Sunday, November 30, 2014

At Peace with Reality

[Or: With Resignation I Kiss the New At The Gates Album]

Through clandestine means, I heard an early leak of the new At the Gates album. In terms of style, it falls somewhere between the diet black of Terminal Spirit Disease and the circle pit baiting thrash on The Haunted Made Me Do It. Incidentally, do you know what else came right between those two albums? This:

Bandcamp Picks: Godflesh, Today is the Day, Nightfell, Monarch

NEW GODFLESH - I'm tempted to leave it at that, because none of my crass one-liners can do A World Lit Only By Fire justice. As much as I've been enjoying their return, I bristle at comparisons linking Godflesh 2014 to their sublime Selfless album - not just because the latter was an earthshaking album during my teenage years, but because everything about this new album is so obviously reminiscent of the Us and Them/Hymns period. That's a minor quibble though. All hail the new 'Flesh. [$8.50]

Everyone from Mastodon to Converge has borrowed the creepy menace of Today is the Day; Animal Mother, their tenth (!!!) album, shows that Steve Austin has lost none of his propensity to unsettle, and his is one of the few bands that gets better with age. Prepare for nightmares and vertigo. [$8.99]

I'd never heard of Nightfell until fairly recently. Featuring His Hero Is Gone/Tragedy guitarist Todd Burdette and Tim Call of various Portland OR area death/black metal bands, it's not surprising thatThe Living Ever Mourn sounds like a doomier, deathlier version of HHIG. But the album is also weirdly reminiscent of the largely forgotten (and unsurprisingly, personally beloved) West Coast death/doom pioneers Mindrot. Minimalistic but surprisingly effective. [$6.50]

With the loss of Black Boned Angel and the mighty Sabazius preparing to call it quits as well, France's Monarch are welcome indeed. Sabbracadaver is atmospheric and surprisingly nuanced doom/drone topped with the disconcerting (if somewhat one-dimensional) screams of Emilie Bresson. This is what it sounds like when planets smash together. [$6.99 ]

Sunday, November 16, 2014

By Request

My buddy Josh asked me to recommend some bands for him. He requested "something that sounds raw and brutal but melodic."

Of course, Pentekost is exactly all those things, but the EP won't be ready til the end of the year, and the album won't be done til 2015. So to tide him over in the meantime, I made him a mixtape of stuff that I thought he would like, plus the occasional movie/tv sample.

I make a damn good mixtape.