Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Wishing you a very merry Christmas from The Grind That Annoys and a happy new year. Thank you all greatly for visiting the blog and taking the time to read any of the posts.

New Cloudkicker track

Yep, that’s right. There’s just no stopping Ben Sharp this year, and to cap it all off he’s released this Christmas track – ‘You And Yours’. Released for free download on his bandcamp page, it’s accompanied by the note, “Merry Christmas! Thank you all so much for the insane amount of positivity and support this year.”

The vibe of ‘You And Yours’ is a little moodier in tone on this occasion and gently ambling for the most part until it winds down to a placid closing. It’s a slight departure from the usual schizophrenic riffing and the name of the song aside there isn’t exactly anything that characterise this as a Christmas tune.

Beacons and ]]][[[ / A New Heavenly Body, released earlier in 2010, were two sublime listening experiences and it’ll be interesting to see what Ben Sharp has in store for 2011.

HERE to download ‘You And Yours’.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jesu - Christmas EP

Justin Broadrick may have been one of the last guys you'd have thought to release a Christmas track but here we are. Click HERE for the review on Drop-D.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Anathema - The Village, 18/12/10

It’s been a good year for Anathema in many regards and the year is coming to an end with three dates in Ireland – Cork, Dublin and Belfast. Their Dublin stop off includes this simply magnificent showing in The Village.

Support act North Atlantic Oscillation have also returned to Ireland after only being here two months prior supporting Porcupine Tree. One of the problems they faced at that show was not many people paying attention to or really being bothered with them. It’s the same here and a shame really, considering the momentum they should have behind them given the quality of debut full length Grappling Hooks. However, a slightly less than average sound isn’t doing them any favours either but they’ll live to fight another day.

However, nothing can quite prepare anyone for Anathema. Latest album, the wondrous, We’re Here Because We’re Here is played in its glorious entirety. For the climax of opening number 'Thin Air', singer/guitarist Vincent Cavanagh is cavorting uncontrollably and by album curtain call 'Hindsight', many are just left breathless. The run through serves as a validation of what a spectacle the new record is.

It’s then followed by a set of other material spanning from 1998’s Alternative 4 to A Natural Disaster. The first four tracks of Judgement get a look in with 'Deep' and 'Forgotten Hopes' being particular highlights as well as 'Pitiful' igniting a fire under the crowd.

For a while during the night, the band are battling through some sound problems. They succeed however, with Danny Cavanagh frequently miming and motioning instructions to the sound engineer. Regardless, top to bottom Anathema are a triumph. Each track is as vital as the last but nothing less could be expected of a band with a near-faultless back catalogue.

Vincent is clearly enjoying every moment of the show and vocally he sounds astounding. Meanwhile Lee Douglas provides her own gorgeous vocals, particularly when taking the spotlight for a truly awe-inspiring rendition of 'A Natural Disaster'. The set is rife throughout with staggering peaks and troughs, like the despondent airs of 'Lost Control' or the climactic catharsis of 'Closer'.

Then there’s the encore. 'One Last Goodbye' remains the affecting beauty it always is with all voices present in unison for its stunning and heart-rending conclusion. The closer of the night comes in the shape of the rapturous 'Fragile Dreams', which sounds frankly, huge.

It is one thing that Anathema have dropped one of the album’s the year, it’s another that their live shows have such an equally powerful presence. A spectacular way to end 2010.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Scott Kelly interview

Click HERE for an interview with Neurosis’ Scott Kelly who talks about his solo work, touring with Shrinebuilder and the plans for the next Neurosis album.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The 2011 crystal ball

The 2010 end of year report is live now and if haven’t checked it out yet, then get on it HERE. But with a new year dawning on us, what can we expect and hope for in 2011. There are already a multitude of potentially great albums scheduled for release in the coming months.

The first “big” release of 2011 will be Times Of Grace’s The Hymn Of A Broken Man on January 18th. It’s the new project from Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz and former vocalist Jesse Leach. The prospect is an exciting one, especially for those that adored Alive Or Just Breathing. A video has just been released for the first track, ‘Strength In Numbers’. Watch it HERE.

Drone lords Earth are returning in February with a brand new album Angels of Darkness, Demons Of Light I, in the wake of the recently released compilation A Beaurocratic Desire for Extra Capsular Extraction. It’ll be the follow up to 2008’s stunning The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull album.

The new Deicide album will be a divisive. Predecessor Till Death Do Us Part was released to little or no fanfare and the shenanigans of one Glen Benton haven’t done the band any favours either. To Hell With God is coming on February 15th. Will it be a “return to form”? We’ll just to wait and see.

By far one of the most anticipated projects of the year is the long awaited collaboration between Steven Wilson and Mikael Åkerfeldt. Under the working title of Storm Corrosion, the two have begun working on material and alluded to the possibility of this new music surfacing in 2011.

In fact, both men will be ludicrously busy in the new year. Wilson’s Blackfield (a collaboration with Israeli musician Aviv Geffen) will release a new album in April. Furthermore he has made mention of a second solo album, the follow up to Insurgentes. Opeth will be beginning work on a new album in January, which also has Wilson mixing.

A Storm Of Light will begin work on their next record with the working title As The Valley Of Death Becomes Us, Our Silver Memories Fade. A May release is scheduled with more special guest collaborators lined up.

Dream Theater’s return will be a more than interesting one. The band have confirmed that they have acquired a new drummer, announcing a name soon, and will begin recording next month.

There are other huge releases scheduled including that of Rush, who released two new songs this year, and Devin Townsend who, under his Devin Townsend Project pseudonym, will be releasing the final two albums, Ghost and Deconstructed in his four record concept.

With the departure of Tymon Kruidenier and Robin Zielhorst earlier this month and an album promised for summer ’11, interesting times lie ahead for Cynic in following up 2008’s breathtaking Traced In Air. The Re-Traced EP, released back in May, saw Cynic meander into some new territories, how that will impact the new record is anyone’s guess.

Portugal’s Löbo are still working on their first full length. The demo Dânaca and the Alma EP were both stunning exercises in ambient and experimental doom. Plus, the new track 'Nöite', released earlier this year was another beautiful taster.

There are plenty of other bands who over 2010 and 2009 released some stunning EPs/demos and have full lengths or other efforts lined up. Ones to keep an eye out for next year are Australia’s Sleepmakeswaves and Ne Oblivisicaris. Also, Cork’s People Of The Monolith, Danish maniacs Scarred By Beauty and rising British prog outfit Tesseract.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Robin Zielhorst and Tymon Kruidenier leave Cynic

Bassist Robin Zielhorst and guitarist Tymon Kruidenier have parted ways with Cynic. Robin Zielhorst made the post on his Facebook page: “just quit Cynic” last Friday, the 10th December and rumours began circulating online that Tymon Kruidenier would be following suit after he announced that he was moving back the Netherlands. The rumours proved to be true.

“After much soul-searching and discussion, Cynic will say goodbye to bassist Robin Zielhorst and guitarist Tymon Kruidenier. This decision was reached mutually, with great respect for each other as people and the work that we’ve done over the past 2-3 years”, read an official statement from Cynic.

Zielhorst commented on the departure: “Tymon and I would like to thank Paul [Masvidal] and Sean [Reinert] for the opportunity and to especially thank the fans for their support and for warmly welcoming us into the Cynic family. We look forward to seeing you all on the road soon.”

Cynic plan to continue writing and recording their next album, scheduled for release in Summer 2011 via Season Of Mist. Meanwhile, Zielhorst and Kruidenier have announced plans to revive Exivious for a new record.

Scott Kelly & Stephen Brodsky - Academy 2, 12/12/10

When you walk into the Academy 2 on this particular night, on the stage, the lone red swivel chair and the mic, though expected of course, have such a strong presence. It’s a gig that’s a little different the usual output of Scott Kelly and Stephen Brodsky, in that it’s a no frills acoustic show.

The set from Cave In’s Stephen Brodsky is splendid. His playing is slick and restful and his voice couldn’t be more complementary. He opens with two Cave In songs in 'The Calypso' and 'Come Into Your Own' and follows through with a cover of Willie Nelson’s 'Suffer In Silence'. Between songs he somewhat interrupts the serenity in the venue with some light hearted banter and quips.

Furthermore, he reveals that the new Cave In album is indeed finished and he hammers out some acoustic previews.

Scott Kelly’s performance is just sublime. There’s a strange power omitted from one man sitting alone with only an acoustic guitar and his grave croon. His solo live show is a completely different beast to that of Neurosis, of course, but there’s one element that is similar, the catharsis is otherworldly.

The tone created is a beautifully sombre one straight from the instigation of 'Remember Me'. Tracks from Kelly’s last solo effort The Wake get a good airing tonight. 'Figures' is simply foreboding but 'Catholic Blood' is one of the stunning highlights. In between them however he gives off an acoustic rendition of new Shrinebuilder number 'Let The Hell Come'.

'The Ladder In My Blood' then is harrowing but tranquil. That atmosphere however is almost lost when Kelly takes exception to a group of people chatting at the back of the venue. Taking it upon himself, he lays down an ultimatum – shut up or get out, refund and all. Surprisingly, they take the latter option.

One of the most interesting aspects of Kelly’s set though is amount of new, relatively unheard material. He has a new solo album in the works, expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2011. With some anecdotes and tales of their conception, he performs some of the new workings and they’re every bit as bleak but oddly comforting as everything else.

Two covers then come in the form of 'Tecumseh Valley' by folk legend Townes Van Zandt and Hawkwind’s 'Lord Of Light', the first of which is another one of the highlights of a night that was just superb and deeply honest and personal.

Monday, December 13, 2010

2010: End of year report

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, indeed it’s the end of another year. A lot has happened in 2010 both here in Ireland and around the world. The country has plummeted to the mire of mires with the IMF/EU bailout and the harshest budget in the history of the state. The “Big Freeze” returned in late November/early December, causing Ireland, in many ways, to grind to a halt with schools and colleges closed, public transport greatly hampered and the roads near untouchable.

Politically and socially, 2010 has been a year to forget, with the light at the end of the tunnel becoming dimmer and dimmer every day. The music world experienced its fair share of tragedies this year too, far too many.

The great Ronnie James Dio succumbed to his battle with stomach cancer on May 16th, leaving behind him a vast legacy that will affect generations of fans for years, and decades, to come. On that same day, Debbie Abono passed away, also from cancer. She was 80 years old. Much more associated with the work behind the scenes, she managed some greats like Possessed, Exodus, Vio-Lence, Forbidden, Cynic, Obituary and Sepultura.

Type O Negative’s dark humoured misanthrope Pete Steele passed away on April 14th. He died of heart failure. Slipknot bassist and founding member Paul Gray died on May 24th, he was found dead in a hotel room with the cause of death declared as an accidental overdose. And most recently, former Saint Vitus drummer Armando Acosta’s death was announced.

It’s bleak to say the least but we move on. 2010 was also littered with some shocking moments from Mike Portnoy leaving Dream Theater to various break ups and reformations. But as per usual, there were no shortage of records.

Firstly, it’s The Grind That Annoys’ Top 20 albums of the year. As always, this is a difficult one to choose with so many great records emerging this year, some are inevitably going to be omitted. So a shout out must go those that missed out – Fear Factory, High On Fire, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Peter Gabriel, Deftones, Barren Earth, The Reptilians and Year Of No Light all missed out, but all great albums released by them.

So, without a further ado – The Grind That Annoys’ Top 20 albums of 2010:

20: Red Sparowes – The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies The Answer
Truth be told, the initial response for the new Red Sparowes album was a lukewarm one, but after months of continuous spinning, The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies The Answer fully unravelled itself. It revealed many gems that just couldn’t be found on only a few listens. Add the fact that in a live setting the new material took on another life force, it meant the album really was something and that’s why it’s your number 20.
Standout track: Giving Birth To Imagined Saviors

19: Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier
As hard as it may be to believe, Iron Maiden came close to not even making this year’s top 20. The Final Frontier is a great record, no doubt about that, but it was to be expected so there was no surprise element. That aside, the rumblings created by this album are still vast with nods to their Seventh Son... days as well still utilising the crystalline awe of all their 00s records. They’re Iron Maiden, they’ve nothing to prove but they went ahead and did it anyway.
Standout track: Starblind

18: Shadowcast Sun – Lucid; Dreamscape; Remedy;
Imposing, Meshuggah-esque guitar tones and glimmering post rock infused ambience collided for the lush soundscapes of Shadowcast Sun’s second full length record. The music is resembled particularly by the second word in the album’s title – dreamscape. It’s dreamy, atmospheric and verdant in its staggering aural landscape created from the outset. Lucid; Dreamscape; Remedy; is one of those albums that could soundtrack both death and birth, it’s that beautiful.
Standout track: Arcane

17: Swans – My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky
The quality of this record shouldn’t surprise anyone in the slightest. When Michael Gira announced the revival of Swans and with it a new record, expectations were unsurprisingly high. My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky is like any Swans album – completely different and incomparable to its predecessor. A contradiction? Of course, but Swans have always been a gob full of phlegm in the face of conventionality. The passing of time, 13 years, since their last album in fact, hasn’t changed that. Not in the slightest.
Standout track: Eden Prison

16: Nevermore – The Obsidian Conspiracy
After a few years apart the members of Nevermore indulged in some extra curricular activities, particularly solo albums. Their reconvening this year yielded this storming record, The Obsidian Conspiracy. Whether, it’s the tremendous riffs and hooks on 'An Emptiness Unobstructed' or the spine-tingling chorus of the title track, one thing is certain, Nevermore haven’t missed a step. It’s exemplified by the ever stunning fret work of Jeff Loomis and his meeting with Warrel Dane’s infecting and towering vocals. Just brilliant.
Standout track: The Obsidian Conspiracy

15: 36 Crazyfists – Collisions & Castaways
Collisions & Castaways isn’t the jewel in 36 Crazyfists’ crown. However the Alaskans have always maintained a remarkable quality on all their records that even if this doesn’t quite scale the heights of A Snow Capped Romance, it’s a still terrific effort. It’s bustling with what you’d always expect from 36 Crazyfists – vast choruses and huge melodic riffs, and on Collisions & Castaways, that is once again the agenda. Some songs here are just destined for the live setting, for proof, take the standout track…
Standout track: Reviver

14: Drudkh – Handful Of Stars
To say Drudkh’s Handful Of Stars entered from the leftfield would be an understatement. The Ukrainian pagan/folk/black metal outfit have always embraced outside forces in their music but nothing quite like what was heard on Handful Of Stars. ‘Towards The Light’ is largely indicative of the change, the clanging clash of the guitar tone and the development of melody has certainly divided fans on where they stand with Drudkh. But based solely on its own merits, Handful Of Stars is a splendid record.
Standout track: Towards The Light

13: Twilight – Monument To Time End
Twilight are a “supergroup”, featuring Isis’ Aaron Turner, Nachtmystium’s Blake Judd and Sanford Parker of Minsk, amongst others. Monument To Time End draws mostly from black metal but is also permeated by several styles of doom, sludge and crust. The vocal trade offs of N. Imperial and Turner are both ear shattering and mystic in their delivery, as they range from the thunderous shrieks to hypnotising croons. The end result of this collaboration is a record to get lost in.
Standout track: The Cryptic Ascension

12: Canvas Solaris – Irradiance
Canvas Solaris are something of an acquired taste. If dizzying instrumental technicality and showmanship isn’t your thing then Irradiance is unlikely to change your mind. It’s every bit as technically jaw dropping as previous efforts. Guitarists Nathan Sapp and Chris Rushing are just phenomenal here, from the vivacious fret-board dancing to lush, slower guitar leads, they more than prove their worth as stunning players. However, for all their technical clout, never once do they lose sight of the art of the song.
Standout track: Vapor Chasm

11: Aether – Aether
Dundalk’s Aether shot out of nowhere and dropped one of the strongest debut albums of the year. This self titled, though in a genre and style that’s saturated, still manages to conjure up its own identity. The lavish production job means that all aspects of this instrumental offering are heard – two prominent guitars, drums and keyboards. With only five songs, it’s still vast whether it’s the haunting intro provided by 'Maelstrom' or towering heights mounted on the title track.
Standout track: Aether

10: Watain – Lawless Darkness
Lawless Darkness is the next step in the devastating development and evolution of black metal. Two predecessors Casus Luciferi and Sworn To The Dark, in particular, were demonic statements of intent for the Swedes and Lawless Darkness is the devices of those two records coming to fruition. There isn’t a superfluous moment on here nor any erroneous attempt at sounding evil for the sake of evil. Every riff, blastbeat and growl serves a purpose and they all deliver.
Standout track: Waters Of Ain

09: Lantlôs – .Neon
Germany’s Markus Siegenhort, better known as Herbst, crossing paths with Alcest’s Neige turned out to be something more than worthy of your attention. Neige lends his vocals to the project with Herbst manning all instruments for this black metal and shoegaze collision. .Neon’s strength is in its diversity. It slips in almost post hardcore-esque riffs around deafening shrieks and relentless drumming, and then delves into brooding atmospheric passages. It’s a stunning record, and what’s even more interesting is the prospect of there being more to come.
Standout track: Coma

08: Cloudkicker – Beacons
One man project Cloudkicker, the creation of one Ben Sharp, is truly gathering in pace as more and more people across the web become aware of this man’s work. Releasing the EP ]]][[[ earlier this year just wasn’t enough, Beacons, the second full length was unleashed on the world only a few months later and proved to be the finest piece of work Sharp has produced yet. Everything, from dense and crushing, “djent” like, riffs to the other more elegant guitar tones, is all top tier.
Standout track: Amy, I Love You

07: Devil Sold His Soul – Blessed & Cursed
Blessed & Cursed is an unexpected triumph. It was way back in 2007 that Devil Sold His Soul released their debut record, A Fragile Hope and the failure to produce a follow up in a reasonably short space of time could have been their undoing. However, the hugely extroverted and cathartic explosion of riffs and screams that come thundering out of the ethereal introduction of opener ‘Tides’, quickly dispels all that. Perhaps, the lengthy time between records has turned out to be beneficial but either way Blessed & Cursed is a massive step up.
Standout track: An Ocean Of Lights

06: The Ocean – Heliocentric
Much like number seven, the quality of The Ocean’s Heliocentric wasn’t expected. Granted, the German collective had made their ethos clear with the ambitious double album Precambrian in 2007, but a line up change had made this album (and the accompanying record later in the year) something to approach with caution. That turned out to be foolish as Heliocentric is ridiculously solid with colossal soundscapes to stand beside Mastodon and Isis and new vocalist Loïc Rosetti delivering one of the most impressive vocal performances of the year. Little did we know however that this was merely an indication of something much grander to come.
Standout track: Metaphysics Of The Hangman

05: Alcest – Écailles de Lune
Écailles de Lune is Neige’s second appearance in this year’s top 20, but for something entirely of his own creation. Alcest is an enigma entirely to itself. There are many more bands now melding shoegaze and post rock elements with black metal templates but none quite like Alcest, and Écailles de Lune attests to this. The two part title track is gorgeously arranged but also razor edged when it needs to be and closer, ‘Sur l'Océan Couleur de fer’ is one of the most haunting and spectral pieces of music of the year. A shadowy but beautiful album.
Standout track: Écailles de Lune (Part II)

04: Ihsahn – After
After was released all the way back in January and its place in the top five is emblematic of its quality, it’s something you’ll keep coming back to. It’s Ihsahn’s third solo record and according to him the final piece of his triptych of records. He employed the services of Shining saxophonist Jørgen Munkeby for this endeavour, which, colliding with his progressive and still somewhat black metal tinted writing has proved to be a brave decision. But it’s the bravest decisions that often yield the most breathtaking results and here, that’s very much the case.
Standout track: Undercurrent

03: Enslaved – Axioma Ethica Odini
Enslaved seem to be constantly on the up and up. Each record they’ve released, particularly since the early part of the last decade has been rapturously received with press and fans alike just salivating. Axioma Ethica Odini is no different. They’ve embraced more melody, including more clean vocals, on this effort but still preserve their rasping edge, as heard inexorably by Grutle Kjellson’s, all too familiar, spitting voice. With nine tracks, Axioma Ethica Odini really does feel intended as a record to be digested in one go and take you on that always special “musical journey”.
Standout track: The whole record clearly but for now: Singular

02: The Ocean – Anthropocentric
Heliocentric was part only part one of the magnificent new concept from The Ocean this year. Anthropocentric, its accompaniment ascends much vaster heights. In many regards, it’s heavier and more unforgiving and then in others, it’s more melodic and velveteen, like ‘Sewers Of The Soul’ or ‘The Almightiness Contradiction’ show. Both of which have stark contrasts. It’s illustrative of what The Ocean accomplished on both albums and what they do next could indeed be something very, very special.
Standout track: The Grand Inquisitor II: Roots & Locusts

01: Anathema – We’re Here Because We’re Here
This year’s top four records all had equal chances of taking the number one slot for a while but We’re Here Because We’re Here ended up with a slight advantage come December. It took seven long years for Anathema to release some completely fresh new material and the wait has been worth it. From the soothing opening passages of ‘Thin Air’ through to the grandiose instrumental closing of ‘Hindsight’, Anathema prove once again why they should be one of the most cherished bands today. Unavoidably less melancholic then before We’re Here… is another stage in their wondrous evolution and with tracks like the gorgeously extroverted 'Summer Night Horizon' and 'A Simple Mistake', with its elegantly shaped crescendo, it means We’re Here Because We’re Here is, frankly, beautiful.
Standout track: Summer Night Horizon

Top 5 EPs of 2010

05: Altar Of Plagues – Tides
Altar Of Plagues’ rise has been a stunning one to witness following the more than warranted praise gathered after last year’s White Tomb album. Now, to follow up they’ve brought us this two track EP, Tides. It sees them shying away somewhat from their black metal sensibilities and with it creating something of a foundation to be developed on for the next record, which couldn’t come sooner.

04: Cynic – Re-Traced
Re-Traced was a questionable choice to say the least, re-working and re-interpreting four tracks from Traced In Air. The end result wasn’t as debatable though with interesting takes that employed some more leftfield influences, the semi-acoustic ‘Integral’ being a particular highlight. However the most powerful moment came with the one entirely new track, ‘Wheels Within Wheels’.

03: Cloudkicker – ]]][[[
]]][[[ was mentioned earlier. With only three tracks and being 15 minutes in length, it still takes a strong presence here.]]][[[ sways more towards the moodier end of things but with every riff being still mind numbingly thick and crushing. Cloudkicker is just a delight and 2010 has been more than a good year for proving this, alongside Beacons.

02: The Speed Of Sound In Seawater – Red Version
The Speed Of Sound In Seawater popped up out of nowhere. Very much a chill out effort, Red Version utilises meandering and cheery guitar work as well as angelic vocals. There’s a great deal of pop and some indie influences in Red Version. However, there’s still a healthy level of experimentation wandering about to keep your attention. Closer, ‘The Coldest Room In The House’ is inundated with poignant and expressive melodies that hopefully will be explored on a full length album in the not too distant future.

01: Grey Waters – Below The Ever Setting Sun
Australian atmospheric black metallers Austere called it a day and vocalist “Sorrow” went in a completely opposite direction with Grey Waters, and in another sense went the same direction. Below The Ever Setting Sun isn’t a black metal release; it’s a hook laden rock effort that has a mix of Khoma and early Biffy Clyro. The similarities are in that it’s quite heavy on the daunting and depressive atmosphere. The EP however is far too short; a new album next year may be an event indeed.

So, that’s another year more or less done and dusted. Seeing as you’ve actually taken the time to read this or anything else on The Grind That Annoys, thank you very much. Check back in the coming days for a post regarding hopes for 2011.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bacchus, Trenches and more - The Lower Deck, 10/12/10

Click HERE for a brief review of the gig in The Lower Deck last Friday with a line up that included Bacchus, Trenches, Complan, Bang Bros. and Crows.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New Corey Taylor track, X-mas song

Slipknot/Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor has released a Christmas single, ‘X-M@$' for release on December 12th.

As expected, it’s a chirpy and short humorous track, laden with expletives. Of course, it’s not meant to be taken too seriously but all proceeds from the digital download go the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Check out the video below:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tommy Rogers releasing solo album, new track online

Between The Buried And Me frontman/keyboardist Tommy Rogers has announced plans to release a solo album, Pulse, next month. Rogers will be releasing the record under the name Thomas Giles, his middle name. He previously released a solo effort in 2004, just under the title of Giles, an electronica record. Producer, Jamie King (who recorded Colors and The Great Misdirect) was at the desk for Pulse.

“Creating this album was a very unique experience for me”, said Rogers. “It’s a very personal record and I hope the songs help people evaluate their lives and make the best of their time here. Find your pulse”.

A track is available for streaming from the album on his myspace HERE or down below. Entitled ‘Sleep Shake’, it very much focuses on Roger’s clean vocals. The heavy samples provide for an interesting mix with Roger’s all singing.

Pulse will be released on January 31st through Metal Blade records.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Armando Acosta passes away

Former Saint Vitus drummer Armando Acosta has passed away, it has been confirmed. He was 58. Saint Vitus management confirmed Acosta died on Thursday November 25th, Thanksgiving.

Doom metal pionners Saint Vitus released this statement on the death of their former sticksman:
“It is with great regret that we announce a great loss to the world of heavy metal with the passing of former Saint Vitus drummer Armando Acosta.

“Armando's last show with Saint Vitus was April 29, 2009 in Stuttgart, Germany.

“Armando had been struggling with health issues over the years but came back into the Vitus fold for one last hurrah by headlining Roadburn [festival in Tilburg, Holland] in 2009 and playing a handful of European dates directly after the festival.

“Henry Vasquez replaced Armando Acosta in 2009, making his debut on the main stage at Hellfest [in Clisson, France].

“The December 2010 Saint Vitus tour will be dedicated to our old friend, Armando Acosta.

“R.I.P., brother!!!”

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shrinebuilder - Button Factory, 29/11/10

Shrinebuilder (Scott Kelly, Wino, Al Cisneros, Dale Crover) made their Irish live debut last night. Click HERE for the review.

New Alright The Captain track

Nottingham noiseniks Alright The Captain have released on new track, ‘Rostov Could Get It’. It is available on the compilation A Cheery Wave From Stranded Youngsters.

The band has expanded on the noise element of their music on this track, as the cacophony barges through initially. However, they haven’t lost sight of the art of the composition. ‘Rostov Could Get It’ is heaving with thick riffs and very crunchy bass lines, which are a formidable presence. It then leads into meandering and effervescent but smooth passages.

There is still little news on Alright The Captain’s full length record, the follow up to last year’s 123 EP. However ‘Rostov Could Get It’, for now, is a satisfying stopgap.

Click HERE to listen to the track.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Misery Index & Grave - Whelan's, 23/11/10

The doors of Whelan’s are opening at the much earlier time of 6pm tonight. It’s both a good and bad thing. The positive side being that it will accommodate the mammoth tour bill on hand. The negative is that such an early start means that there isn’t a great deal of folk through those doors at this time, particularly given that it’s a Tuesday night.

Strangely, UK’s The Rotted find themselves at the bottom of this five band line up. It’s strange because the band above them, The Last Felony don’t enjoy nearly as much notoriety. Regardless, they make do with their slot and hurl out their blood
drenched and debauched death effectively.

The Last Felony struggle somewhat to get a strong reaction from the crowd despite the mouth-piece bassist practically begging people to move and respond. But still, their set is relatively strong even if the sound borders on horrendous in parts. Live, they slightly overshadow their recorded output as their energy is palpable from the beginning. What their next endeavours are may prove to be quite interesting but right now they’re just another face in an already generic crowd.

The proceedings shift then for Arsis. With tracks like 'Forced To Rock' making their presence strongly felt, there’s a little bit of a party vibe to their performance. The crowd has started to thicken and the appreciation for the Virginian’s visceral and technical punishment is greatly heard. Closing with 'Face Of My Innocence' is also a nice touch.

Swedish death metal luminaries Grave are nothing short of a treat. The sound is tight, as too is their delivery, whether it’s tracks from latest effort Burial Ground or older, more seasoned numbers. 'Turning Black' from 1994’s Soulless is one of the particular highlights and with topping it all off with the near obligatory 'Into The Grave', all couldn’t have been better.

Meanwhile, their co-headliner Misery Index are an entirely different beast. From start to finish they assault with their skull shatteringly rapid and relentless ferocity. Cuts from the new opus Heirs To Thievery steal the show with aplomb and only a few songs in, 'The Carrion Call' lays proof of this. But also, the mass crowd’s fist pumps and bellows for 'Traitors' are something else, being wholly invigorating.

The vocal trade offs of Jason Netherton and Mark Kloeppel are stunning tonight, devastatingly complementing each other. New led guitarist Darin Morris doesn’t go without appreciation either from all on hand as the impeccable sound in Whelan’s by the time of their slot comes, attests to his playing.

But with that said, the spotlight falls on drummer Adam Jarvis and unsurprisingly so. In many regards, he’s one of the fastest, most brutal yet still slick drummers in death metal right now and the flood of sweat seen pouring from him is indicative of that. He batters through other highlights of their set including the “slow” 'Ghost Of Catalonia' and the ravenous 'Conquistadores'. All in all, a lesson in brutality but still with powerful adroitness – one of the death metal gigs of 2010.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gazz Carr, Butterfly Explosion interview

Dublin based shoegaze band Butterfly Explosion. Click HERE for the interview with guitarist and vocalist Gazz Carr to find out about the band's life so far and what lies ahead.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Leaflog - Mayday EP

Mayday is the new EP release from Cork/Kerry post rock outfit from Leaflog. Click HERE for the review on Drop-d.

Friday, November 19, 2010

System Of A Down reunited?

The rumour mill is galloping once again regarding a possible System Of A Down reunion. French radio DJ Francis Zégut has reported on his blog (HERE) that SOAD will be playing a Paris show on June 6th 2010.

Frontman, Serj Tankian appeared on the radio show Pulse Of The Radio last August where he stated: “Shavo (Odadjian, bassist) got married like two months ago, we were all at his wedding, and you know, we all talk, we're friends, nothing's changed, and we get offers to play shows, tours, whatever, and we discuss them once in a while. We have not made any decisions as of yet as to what we’re going to do. But when we do, it'll be quite obvious.”

Reports like this are to be approached with caution. An official statement from the band, any of their members or management is yet to be seen. The band have been on hiatus since 2006 over artistic differences and a situation within the band that was “unbrotherly-like".

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Ocean - Anthropocentric

The second and final part of The Ocean's album concept. Anthropocentric is upon us, click HERE to read the review.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gareth Pearson interview

In the latest issue of Griffiti, you can read an interview acoustic guitar instrumentalist Gareth Pearson. Check out the pages below, a version of the interview will be appearing on Drop-D in the near future.

Click to enlarge:

Read the interview on Drop-d HERE.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Michael Gira interview

Yes, the inimitable visionary that is Michael Gira. Click HERE for the interview with the architect of Swans now where he discusses Swans’ return, the new album, playing live again and a little indication as to what the next album has in store.

Nimh Stil - Nimh Stil [Demo]

Nimh Stil, black metal band from Galway have released this self titled demo online for your consumption. Click HERE for the review.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Refraction track

Dublin’s Refraction have released a new track for streaming. The instrumental metal outfit are currently recording a full length album due for release some time soon… apparently. New track, ‘Into Nothing’ for now is just a taster of what we can expect. Put frankly, the track is a stormer. It’s a maelstrom of angular riffs and neck-craning peaks and the production is beautifully done also with each little nuance audible to stunning effect.

Go on over to their myspace HERE to check it out or their Facebook to keep up to date with any news regarding the album.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Engel - Threnody

Engel are back after seemingly falling off the radar following the cycle of 2007's Absolute Design coming to an end. So, back with a new record in Threnody, how does it fare? Click HERE for the review.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Spittin' Bones - Amongst The Blind EP

Spittin' Bones, from Dublin, have released their new EP Amongst The Blind. Click HERE for the review.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Josh Graham & Domenic Seita, A Storm Of Light interview

Just over a month ago A Storm Of Light played their first show in Ireland, touring still in support of last year’s stunningly heavy yet beautiful record Forgive Us Our Trespasses. Drop-D spoke with band founder Josh Graham (also of Neurosis and former Red Sparowes notoriety) and bassist Domenic Seita about the band’s origins, touring and hints to the new album. Click HERE to read the interview on Drop-D.