Archive for the ‘ALERT: Awesome new music’ Category

Blind Monarch - What Is Imposed Must Be Endured

The titanic sludge doom of British misery artists Blind Monarch has finally seen the light of day earlier this year through Black Bow Records, and ‘What is Imposed Must Be Endured’ is four tracks and almost an hour of crumbling, ruinous music.

Opener ‘Suffering Breathes My Name’ seeps, drips, crawls into view; a mesmerising magma flow of earth wrenching riffs and tar gargling roars. A funereal pace lurches the song forward, with huge Winter style riffs being accompanied by the kind of nihilistic scream you’d find in NOLA’s finest. The quiet moments of ‘My Mother, My Cradle, My Tomb’ are almost as terrifying as the rest, the band’s eponymous track drags us to the cold edge of cosmic oblivion where closer ‘Living Altar’, gently prepares us what is to be endured. Which happens around the four minute mark and your sacrificial casting into the void marks the beginning of the end of this mammoth paean to darkness.

Blind Monarch’s vast, crushing doom would be a fitting epitaph to the end of this world. ‘What is Imposed Must Be Endured’ is the kind of record that comes along rarely; one that plays with emotional heft as well as the weight of its riffs. Blind Monarch are superb, and if this world doesn’t collapse under its own self destruction, please may we have more of this?!

https://www.facebook.com/blindmonarchband/

https://blindmonarch.bandcamp.com/releases

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June 1974 are an Italian project from underground poet and writer Federico Romano, and their newest record ‘Earth is Not Place for Lovers’ is out now through Visionaire Records. June 1974 have been experimental and genre defying over their last few releases, but have settled into a more post rock/alternative world for this record.

The opener has a lot going on; electronica elements play off glacial clean guitar, while the drums do a little bit of everything, pinning the band down to this earth. There’s a little Minus the Bear in the driving second track ‘School Days’, and that style of glacial indie rock plays a large part here. Entirely instrumental, this is a record designed to showcase the music, and it mostly speaks for itself. From the quietly introspective ‘Black Mirror’, to the lively and fragile beauty of ‘No More Human Race’, June 1974 is an avantgarde, post rock artist to be recognised for variety, and possessing a skilled palette with which to paint. The driving riffs of ‘You’re My Shining Grief’ contrast to the gloriously ethereal ‘Nulla e Verita’ beautifully, and there’s always a chance for a little dancey funkiness, like in ‘Avantgarde’.

There’s a simple purity to ‘Earth is Not Place for Lovers’, different from what we normally cover here but no less important to me. Electronica and alternative/indie have played their part in my musical life, and June 1974 are another band I will look to in the future when I need that itch scratched. Excellent.

https://june1974.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/june1974music/

The new EP from Boethiah, ‘Celestial Gateway’, continues their path from their full length debut ‘Invocation of the Xenolith’, which I reviewed a while back, dragging the classic Swedeath sound into science fiction realms. It was released late last year through Camo Pants Records and Rotted Life Records for the CD. The band have also since set up their own label, which they reissued this on cassette earlier this year as well, Desert Wastelands.

The sinister, gurgling intro sets the scene for the cosmic, spectral horror that is about to unfold. First track proper ‘Charting the Unknown’ has all the same Swedeath chugging viciousness that we loved about their debut record, ensorcelled by dreamy spacey weirdness, and it carves out a more unique place for Boethiah in this world of copycat death metal bands. The more midpaced thunder on this EP is a refreshing move away from identikit Swedeath thrashing, and every riff is coated in a darker, oiler tone. ‘Succumbing to the Maelstrom’ is brutally dense and dark, while the stunning melodies of ‘Beneath the Mist’ languish under a steamroller of chainsaw riffing.

‘Celestial Gateway’ is a step up from their last, and Boethiah are carving their own maelstrom of darkness in metal’s galaxy. Far away, ever present and awaiting their time to engulf us all in blackness, ‘Celestial Gateway’ is merely another step on the path to celestial dominance.

https://www.facebook.com/BoethiahBand/

https://boethiah.bandcamp.com/album/celestial-gateway

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEpf5huB9b2KFLim-wjTSMA/featured

https://desertwastelands.bandcamp.com/

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Ghost:Hello are a family affair, and the trio of stoner rockers from Ohio are releasing their debut record in September, entitled ‘The Sound of Color in Space’. This is a record that demands repeated listens to unlock its glories, but it is just a little too strange in places?

A mighty slab of synth riddled stoner fuzz is exactly what this record gives you from the start. The driving riffs that open ‘Fingerstache’ are immediately addictive, but what really hooks you in are the surrounding synth lines, weird effects and otherworldly vocals that ensure that you’ve never quite heard anything like this before. The strange gloom of ‘Perfect’, the awesome driving bass of ‘Mouth of the Gift Horse’ coupled with the raw vocal; it is the variety in every song that makes Ghost:Hello such an intriguing prospect. Highlights include the tripped out fuzz of Burnout’ and the closing ‘Poison Swan’, that drifts away in squalling feedback.

Equal parts driving stoner rock and weird darkwave, Ghost:Hello have released one of this year’s most interesting records. The tribal, sleazeblues of ‘Nemesis’ sits right next to the eerie, pulsating ‘Bardo State’ and yet makes total sense. A challenging record, but ultimately a great one.

https://www.facebook.com/Ghosthello/

https://ghosthelloband.com/

https://ghosthello.bandcamp.com/

Towering - Obscuring Manifestation

Another day, another black/death metal debut record seeking to make waves in the increasingly oversaturated market. But when the band hail from France, home of some of the more interesting and inventive death metal, then it is worth paying a little more attention. ‘Obscuring Manifestation’ is out now on Dolorem Records, and Towering are here to destroy.

After the powerful, foundation laying introduction, we are thrown to the wolves with the potent rage of ‘The Poison of Man’. Towering clearly take a lot of influences from the eastern European death metal scene, like Decapitated or Azarath. It isn’t overly technical but the riffing pours out like molten fire, a rampant performance that only gets better. Towering pull more ideas out in the 40 minutes of this record than a lot of bands do in a career, and each song tries hard to be different from the previous one. I mean, compare ‘The Calling’, which rampages with savage intent through a speedy deaththrash style, with the imperious rage and icy majesty of the titanic ‘One with the Black Earth’.

‘Obscuring Manifestation’ is a record of massive potential, with a wonderful crunchy production allowing every riff, every roar and all the songwriting magic come to the fore. Towering have hit this out of the park, and this is a tremendous record for 2019’s collection.

http://www.doloremrecords.com/

https://www.facebook.com/toweringofficial/

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A fusion of blackened death metal extremity and an obsession with Indian spirituality has brought Germans Temple Koludra to their debut full length record, ‘Seven! Sirens! To a Lost Archetype’. Seven tracks totalling over an hour, this is a complex, massive work of esoteric art through brutal music, out now through Transcending Obscurity.

‘Trimurti’ blasts from the speakers with a ferocious roar, instantly bringing to mind the type of regal fury of Behemoth. A vast labyrinthine work of twisting riffs, Temple Koludra layer a lot of dense atmospherics over each track which builds up this ‘wall of sound’ effect. So when it drops away in places, the effect is even more jarring. Impenetrable cloaks of darkness shroud the goliath ritual of ‘Namarupa’, while the furious atonal rage of ‘Grey Apparition’ is a highlight. ‘Seven! Sirens! To a Lost Archetype’ is a record that is hard to quantify or categorise, but it is not hard to respect and be besotted by. Full of otherworldly weirdness and punishing, blackened chaos, Temple Koludra are a band like no other. The hypnotising, blasting drone of the close of ‘This Diadem Will Last’ is glorious.

‘Seven! Sirens! To a Lost Archetype’ is currently my album of 2019. Nothing has come close to touching its brutality, the songwriting or the pure evil darkness of the atmosphere. A vast and mesmerising work, surprising at every turn and demanding repeated listens to unlock its true meanings. A true masterpiece.

https://tometal.com/store/

https://www.facebook.com/templekoludra/

https://templekoludra.bandcamp.com/

The second record from German sludge/doom band Turin Horse, ‘Prohodna’, follows last’s year’s debut ‘Uncleared’ with more thunderous riffing, oily atmospheres and a powerful vocal performance, but has it got what it takes to take Turin Horse out of the shadows? It is out now through the band’s Bandcamp page.

The churning, sludgey horrors of the title track immediately comes grinding forward, with shredded vocals roaring over a tar thick riff. Hypnotic dirges of nasty, blackened doom loom and lurch from the darkness, while ghostly clean guitar floats amongst the miasma, creating brief interludes of light and space. The majestic heave of ‘Every Seed Every Stone’ is glorious, while the dissonant ‘I Am the Pain’ adds a new, uncomfortable edge. The thick low end helps with the aural density and the visceral roars that accompany tracks like ‘A Hunger’ really add to the nastiness.

‘Prohodna’ is a thunderous, constant barrage of harsh vocals, churning EyeHateGod riffs and a poisonous, smoggy atmosphere. Turin Horse are violent, smothering and raw, and this record does everything to hit that home hard. There are a few moments of respite (the title track), but they are as dark and mesmerising as the brutality. I love this.

https://turinhorse.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TurinHorse666/