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New Spins: 26th October 2020

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Duma - Duma
The guys at Cave Dweller Music (who I also write reviews for) put me on to this experimental release from Kenya. For a really great run down of the album check out their review, but in essence this is really like nothing I've heard before. Duma incorporate elements from grindcore and noisecore with disparate electronic particles that dance throughout the music, all the while bringing in afrobeat sounds and atmospheric field recordings to the mix too. This is definitely a record I urge people to check out if you want to open your mind and be inspired by some new heavy sounds Find it on Bandcamp here
Falcifer - Falcifer
Hailing from Switzerland, Falcifer do share their name with a particularly good Australian hardcore band, but that's all they share with them. Falcifer's atmospheric blackened doom is a thing of disgusting beauty, and on their first album they have combined some really interesting elements together to make something quite special. The riffs are slow a…

Review: Monad by Farer

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It's always interesting when a band appears in the heavy scene that eschews the traditional instrument set up. Kylesa really stood out with their two drummer set up, the duelling tribal beats creating a hypnotic sound that make them a thrilling live act. Sunn0))) and Earth of course invented an entire new genre by dropping the drums completely, and there's a number of bands who have favoured utilising bass as the main instrument over the guitar. Bell Witch and Om are the two most notable in the doom scene, but there is also the garage-dance-punk of Death From Above 1979 and the chaotic noise rock of Lightning Bolt, a band who arguably pioneered the bass-and-drums-only set up. There's few bands out there who go one step further and employ two bass players in their line-up. Melvins have dabbled in it recently by employing Butthole Surfers bassist Jeff Pinkus as a collaborator, and screamo legends Pg.99 at one point employed two bass players in their eight piece line-up; but b…

New Spins: 19th October 2020

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Another busy week has gone by, and whilst I haven't been able to get any full reviews or articles on the blog for a few weeks, you can find some of my recent reviews at The Sleeping Shaman and Cave Dweller Music. That said there should be a really interesting new review coming this week, but in the meantime here is some more new spins...
Merzbow, Mats Gustafsson and Balazs Pandi - Cuts Open
Merzbow is probably as well known for his ridiculously large discography as he is for the stunning noise music that he continues to be the master of. His Wikipedia claims that in 2020 alone he has released 23 studio  albums - I've heard about artists not being able to play gigs so writing lots of new music during the lockdown, but this is something else! Anyway, back in September (a lifetime ago in Merzbow's world) he released the third in a series of collaboration records with Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and Hungarian drummer Balazs Pandi, a trio who have played together live for…

New Spins: 12th October 2020

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This may be the first New Spins so far not to feature any doom metal, but if you like things a bit on the faster side then there's three great releases below to check out.
Liturgy & Leya - Antigone
I'm slightly annoyed that I slept on this one, but after picking up on it last week I've been spinning this track pretty consistently. A collaborative track with fellow NYC based avant-garde group Leya, it's a track which bubbles with intensity and in true Liturgy style can be deceptively melodic. The haunting atmospheric passages which strike through the track courtesy of Leya's harp-based compositional style bring a completely new dimension to the acidic energy of Liturgy's post-black metal style, overflowing with passion and fury. For all the shit that Liturgy took in their early days, being the archetypal 'hipster black metal' band that people would take digs at when they realised they actually quite liked Deafheaven, they have been one of the most progr…

New Spins: 5th October 2020

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It's October already, and we're starting to receive some of the highly anticipated releases due out before the year ends that may well disrupt my already half-formed 'best of 2020' list. This weeks New Spins features two such records, and one which might well do on it's release next month.
Satan - Toutes Ces Horreurs This is one of nine bands listed on Metal Archives as being called Satan, although I'm surprised it wasn't closer to 900. This particular Satan is the one from France that is listed as playing Grindcore/Black Metal, but that doesn't really do their experimental cocktail of sounds quite the justice it deserves. Released back in March of this year, the album opens with a spoken word piece backed by a free jazz composition that sounds like the soundtrack to a stroll through the Pompidou Centre's most abstract collections. The rest of this album is a flurry of intensity that manages to explore some of the deeper and more experimental corners …

New Spins: 28th September 2020

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This week's New Spins contains some black metal, some hardcore and some sludge. It isn't all brand new, but it's all fucking great music...
Ancient Emblem - Funeral Pyre
Released a little over a year ago, I'm kind of annoyed that it's taken me this long to discover Germany's Ancient Emblem. As a band who espouse anti-authoritarian views, their brand of black metal has a ferocious passion to it that is palpable in both the music and the lyrics. Throughout this album the riffs have a raw black metal quality, but are played with a crust-punk energy and vitality to them. They can also do the slower atmospheric stuff as well at times, but Ancient Emblem are at their best when they're going full speed into their black metal fury. Lyrically it's pretty wonderful too, some naturalistic themes akin to WITTR but with an added sense of rebellion, using the environmental depictions as a metaphor for their social views. The band have several releases in their back cat…

Review: Bong Rites by Earthbong

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You can't help but admire when an artist fully commits to their theme, and Germany's Earthbong are 100% committed to worshipping at the altar of the green stuff. Their brand of stoner doom might have some of the best weed-themed song titles outside of Cannabis Corpse's albums, but Bong Rites isn't just a cut and paste tribute to their stoned forefathers. Earthbong's riffs are certainly very familiar, but they have developed a way of writing songs which takes ideas towards their longest and most drawn out extremes, and it's pretty fantastic. Beyond the typical stoner doom riffs that make up the bulk of this album, there are also moments when the band can surprise you too; for instance in the opening track Goddam High, a couple of minutes after the band break things down into a quiet Sleep style jam the last thing I was expecting was for a grim true cvlt black metal vocal to start wailing into my ears; but that's exactly what I got. Whether or not it 'fits…

Rank The Albums: Electric Wizard

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I already talked about how much I love Electric Wizard in my Top 10 Doom Metal Bands post, and with nine full lengths under their belt I thought they would be the perfect band to begin my Rank The Albums series with. I'll be ranking all of Electric Wizard's albums from nine to one, and expanding a bit on why I placed them. I won't be including any of their EPs or splits here, just the LPs. I'll be trying to give a little objectivity to this ranking too, but for the most part this will be my personal taste. So here we go...

9. Electric WizardIn retrospect, Electric Wizard's self-titled debut sits slightly apart from the rest of their discography. The band had yet to really discover the sound that would take them away from other bands of the era and propel their brand of Doom into new, as yet undiscovered horizons of heaviness. At the time the record was considered to be up there on the heaviness scale, and certainly it has it's moments: the chugging riffs on '…

New Spins: 21st September 2020

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It's a late one this week, but some fantastically diverse metal on this weeks New Spins, including the latest singles from my 7th greatest doom band ever...
Golgi Apparatus - BreachThis was sent to me in a group comment without much info, and in seeking out more about the group it turns out there isn't really much to be found. On their bandcamp page it claims they are a duo from Vienna, but even that sees to be a bit cryptic. In all honestly it isn't surprising, because the music itself is pretty hard to pin down too. Crossing different styles and and tones in every song, this is music far more focused on atmosphere and emotion than on any genre boundaries. It's post-metal, but not as we know it, with plenty of weird electronic sounds clashing over doom riffs, vocals that go from harsh yells to soft croons, and a very subversive song-craft which has little regard for traditional structures. Lyrically it's also particularly poetic and abstract, reminding me of the ki…

Interview: miserable.noise.club

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Global music collective miserable.noise.club are one of the most intriguing acts I have come across in a long time. A multinational group who's membership includes artists from China, USA and Jordan, three nations that on a global political scale are far from traditional allies. But miserable.noise.club show that the borders of politics can be broken down in the name of art, and their subversively experimental blend of ambient, drone, electronica and ethereal post-rock comes together in a beautifully atmospheric way. Every one of their many releases is unique and often focuses on one specific element of the group's sonic assemblage, but there is a consistently dark and heavy feel to their music which gives their sound an intensity that many experimental acts can miss.It's a deep and fascinating world to dive in to, and sometimes the best way to do this is with the words of the composers to accompany you. It was on this basis that I took the time to ask a few questions of m…