Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bandcamp Picks - Swans, Terra Tenebrosa, eyeswithoutaface/IRN, Endless Floods

The current incarnation of Swans is coming to an end, but apparently not in any kind of hurry. With most songs running over 10 minutes - and a couple well over 20 - The Glowing Man is a testament to Michael Gira's scope and ambition. Swans have always utilized minimalism and repetition (not to mention Gira's imperious baritone) to maximum effect, only now that effect is restrained and meditative; though I have no doubt that it'll be delivered at ear-wrecking levels in concert. As unlikely as it seemed a decade ago that Swans would reform and deliver four albums as good and as relevant as their Eighties output, it now seems equally hard to believe that this is the last we'll hear from them. But it would be a hell of a high note to go out on. [$15.99]

It was big news for me when members of my beloved Breach resurfaced in Terra Tenebrosa. Ignoring all musical boundaries, third album The Reverses sees them integrating Breach's driving rhythms and discordance with sinister atmospherics, topped by Tomas Hallbom's hellish rasp. Even without the costumes and mystery, this is one of the most intriguing bands active right now. [€7.77]

It's been a while since we checked in with our friends eyeswithoutaface, and all has not been quiet. On their recent split with IRN, they punish the listener with four bleak new noise and electronics-tinged dirges; this is what the robots will be playing when they finally rise against us. For their part, IRN contribute one sludgy original as well as covers of Electric Wizard and that old hesher standard "Combat Swine", slathered in feedback and bad intentions. Death and hatred to mankind all around. The split is available as a "name your price" download.

Say this about Endless Floods - they're committed to the idea of doom. On their self-titled debut EP, the Bordeaux trio shuffles along like a funeral march, one oppressive chord after another and not a bong or Seventies riff in sight. An audio suicide note. [€3]

Friday, June 17, 2016

Mixtape 31 - Nights at Saint Vitus with Black Fast, Artificial Brain, and Sanitys Dawn

Here is the 31st installment of the Dreams of Consciousness podcast, featuring interviews with Black Fast's Aaron Akin, Artificial Brain's William Smith, and Topsy and Holm of Sanitys Dawn. These were recorded over three different nights during three different shows at Saint Vitus Bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Bandcamp Picks - Gorguts, Mitochondrion/Auroch, Archaic Decapitator, Cadaveric Fumes

Nearly 25 years after they first started eroding sanity, Gorguts are still pushing death metal to its outer limits with their latest album/single/headfuck. Over the course of half an hour, Pleiades' Dust takes the listener on a journey, ebbing and flowing through discordance and polyharmonies, with tricky time signatures and multiple tempo changes throughout. It's a work of staggering vision and ambition, and the line for album of the year starts here. [$9.99]

Expectations are high for the next Mitochondrion full-length; in the meantime, they have a new split with sister band Auroch. If their contribution to In Cronian Hour is any indication, Mitochondrion haven't lost their knack for churning riffs and mutating rhythms, all topped by their unique multi-vocalist assault. On the other side of the split, Auroch keeps things atmospheric and unsettling with leads that sound like they were recorded in another dimension. I can't pretend I always understand what these two bands are doing, but I appreciate that it's never what I expect. [$6.66 CAD]

Connecticut isn't particularly known for its technical death metal, and Archaic Decapitator probably won't change that. But Light of a Different Sun is still a shining example of the style, integrating neo-classical melodies and proggy bass lines with shredding riffs and pure blast. With two EPs already under their belts, the band sound like they're ready for a full length. I know I am. [$6.99 ]

The old school revival is in its death throes, and from its corpse emerges far more interesting things like Cadaveric Fumes. On Dimensions Obscure, the French band combines old school death metal with even older school prog rock. Anyone mourning the loss of Morbus Chron should find consolation here. The EP is available as a "name your price" download.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

An Interview with Sun Worship

Berlin's Sun Worship are one of the more interesting bands to come out of Germany in the last few years, taking black metal into shoegazing territory without letting it lose its primal power. Their new album Pale Dawn is out now for anyone who likes their metal both unrelenting and atmospheric. Guitarist Lars Ennsen was kind enough to answer my questions over e-mail.