Friday, November 30, 2012

Bastard Sapling - Dragged From Our Restless Trance

The year isn’t over just yet so you’ve a chance to soak in this supreme BM record from Bastard Sapling. Dragged From our Restless Trance, the first full-length from these US black metallers, is an almighty hail of searing, but chillingly melodic, bleakness and devastation. Click HERE for the review.

Riverside post new album trailer

Polish prog band Riverside will be releasing their new album, Shrine of New Generation Slaves in January through Inside Out. The sorely underrated band has a slew of quality records to their name and with any justice, Shrine of New Generation Slaves will be another impressive notch on their belt. Inside Out released a short two minute teaser for the album, which you can stream below for a little indication of the new album’s direction.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jeff Loomis live review in new issue of Terrorizer

The new issue of Terrorizer is out now (Kirk Hammett on the cover) and includes my live review of Jeff Loomis' show in Dublin last month, with support from Monuments, Vildhjarta and Stealing Axion. Terrorizer have also released their Secret History of Earache special, to celebrate the label's 25th anniversary. There are a few quotes from Hour of 13 in the New Generation feature, which are taken from an interview I conducted with the band. Check out both.

Steven Wilson announces new album

The masterful Steven Wilson has announced his new solo album, The Raven that Refused to Sing (and Other Stories), to be released February 25th on Kscope. The album was written throughout 2012 and includes a backing band of luminaries who require no introduction - Guthrie Govan, Marco Minnemann, Nick Beggs, Adam Holzman, and Theo Travis. The album was engineered by Alan Parsons, whose credits include Abbey Road and Dark Side of the Moon (you may have heard of them).

Wilson’s previous solo outing, Grace For Drowning, was an expansive double album affair, but The Raven that Refused to Sing (and Other Stories) will be six tracks in length and is “based on stories of the supernatural”. Wilson intends to heavily tour this record with dates commencing in March. Porcupine Tree remain on indefinite hiatus, which they announced earlier this year.

Check out the artwork for The Raven that Refused to Sing (and Other Stories) below. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Flenser to release new album from Botanist

Botanist is one of the more bizarre black metal entities to emerge in recent years. For the uninitiated, it’s one man, a drum kit and his hammered dulcimer, that’s about it. It’s head scratching and in the best way. Meanwhile, one the US’s most forward thinking metal labels, with a particular emphasis on black metal, The Flenser, is getting on board and will release Botanist’s new album IV: Mandragora on February 19th.

According to the label press release: “Combining lyrical creativity and musical ingenuity, IV: Mandragora is a concept record on the alchemical creation of a mandrake, and how The Botanist is instructed on raising an army of mandrakes to wipe out humanity.” Read the full statement HERE and check out the album artwork below.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Neurosis to no longer use live visuals

Neurosis released a statement today announcing that the visual projections and imagery that characterised their live show for many years will no longer be used, and with it the departure of visual artist Josh Graham. I’m struggling to imagine what a Neurosis show will look like now without this mainstay. You couldn’t help but be captivated by the intensity in the images of “the human condition” before you, while even more intense sonic pervasions reverberated around the venue. But this is Neurosis after all, evolution is a must. Read the statement from the band below as well as a statement from Graham.

As of today, after much thought and discussion, visual projections as we have presented them over the last 20 years will no longer be part of Neurosis live shows. We are going to begin the process of reinventing our live presentation. This process will begin at zero, allowing the music to speak for itself and lead us where it may. Whatever form or however long this may take is unknown. This also signals a parting of the ways with our visual artist of the last twelve years, Josh Graham. Josh’s tireless work and talent came at a time when we really needed it and carried us gracefully into the video age with original content we couldn’t have dreamed of when we were just starting out. Our parting comes from a place of mutual respect, friendship and understanding. We all agree that this is a step Neurosis has to take and are open to working together on specific projects in the future. We wish him success and the best of luck with all of his own musical endeavors and artistic passions.

In the spirit of sound,

- Steve, Dave, Jason, Noah, and Scott

Statement from Josh: For us all, time for change has come. The friendships and body of work that have spawned from our time together will live on as we move forward. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with Neurosis over the last 12 years. As the crossroads are upon us, and we feel that the pinnacle of our collaborative efforts have been reached; we now look toward our individual futures with support and encouragement. Constant reinvention is at the heart and soul of us all, and we will all continue to persevere. Despite the larger picture winding down as we move on in our own directions, we will continue to work together on specific legacy projects including reissues and possibly more if/when the right projects come up.


Josh Graham


Monday, November 26, 2012

Fuck the Facts working on new material

Fuck the Facts have always been very prolific and after releasing one of their best records, Die Miserable at the end of 2011 and touring heavily in support, the band has been rather quiet in the latter half of 2012, which is why it’s great to see that the band is working on new material in studio, according to recent online posts. Here are a few encouraging studio photos from the band that suggest a new release isn’t too far off.