Monday, September 30, 2013

Q&A: Josh Graham of A Storm of Light

Josh Graham did a Q&A style interview for CVLT Nation recently, the answers to which are online now. I contributed a number of questions to this. He mostly discusses the new album Nations to Flames, its themes and the new direction. Read it HERE.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Latest reviews: Kayo Dot, The Body, Krawwl and A Storm of Light

Kayo Dot’s latest album is a bizarre and challenging record. It’s what you come to expect from Kayo Dot but Hubardo is on a totally different level. Read the review HERE on 50KMusic.

The Body will release their new LP entitled Christ, Redeemers next month. It’s the Portland sludge duo’s most harrowing album yet. Read about it HERE.

Krawwl are Ireland’s newest black metal beast having just released their demo tape and it hints to great things to come. Read the review HERE on CVLT Nation.

Finally, A Storm of Light are back with their most visceral and unrelenting album yet, Nations To Flames, where they have fully shed the doom shades of their early work. Check out the review HERE

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Eulogy for Löbo

This past summer Portuguese instrumental post metal band Löbo called it a day after nearly three years of silence on the album front, which was an unfortunate end to a long wait. After just two releases and a ‘single’ of sorts, Löbo were easily one of the most intriguing and exciting bands to come out of mainland Europe in years, from this particular vantage point anyway.

A viagem de Löbo chegou ao fim.
Obrigado a todos que participaram e a todos que nos vieram ver.

 “Löbo’s journey came to an end”, and while brief it was quite the journey. 2009’s EP release Älma was a stark listen in every way. The band had gone all out doom metal as was evidenced by the cavernous, and ear shattering, opener of ‘Aqui em baixo a alma mede-se com mãos cheias de pedras’ where a shuddering single note rings out. From there the band would traverse through different plains of dense and dissonant droning doom through to creeping electronics. 

‘Aqui em…’ scratches and claws to a slow build crescendo that’s pummelling in its crushing riffing while second track ‘Carne e Sombra’ is six minutes or so of discomfiting electronics dancing to and fro that bleeds into the funeral doom-like passages of ‘Matei os meus mestres - Silenciei os meus ídolos’, which soon morphs into a slithering almost-grooving riff. Final outing,‘Por fim só. Livre’, starts off in beautiful fashion with glimmering guitars and echoing electronics that are soon disrupted by the coarse hail of doomed out riffs reminiscent of the EP’s opening, which rounds out the record in appropriate fashion. Bleak yet strangely gorgeous and always enthralling is Älma

It made for quite a change from their demo, Dânaca, which was a 16 minute single track effort and was characterised by a more, shall we say, conventional set up in that the song is led by distinct riff and bears a little more in common with Cult of Luna to an extent with dashes of Rorcal and even a flavour of death doom.

After the release of Älma, the band were working on full length material, releasing a new song in 2010 called ‘Nöite’, as something of a teaser of things to come. The track, in many ways, picked up right where Älma left off but with a little more emphasis on their electronic shades. It was an exciting prospect thinking what Löbo could be with the space that an album affords.

Sadly after a couple of stop/starts, the band won’t be releasing anything again but the members have all been involved in various other bands including mathy sludge metallers Monogono and the spacey melodic rock of Savanna.

Photo: Pedro Roque

Friday, September 20, 2013

Quickfire introduction: Phasm

Phasm are a ruthless collision of punk and black metal, who have just released their demo tape, and massive thanks to Summoning Spirits for the tip on this one. The minute and a half flurry of ‘Scythe Wind’ is an absolutely ear scraping beast, combining harsh lo-fi black metal and sloppy punk rock. This is not one to sleep on. Have a listen to the track below:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Coilguns interview

Next month, Swiss hardcore noise merchants Coilguns will be hitting Irish shores for a handful of dates around the country. Ahead of this, guitarist Jonathan Nido spoke with Metal Ireland about their new record Commuters, DIY culture and of course, what we can expect from the Irish shows. Check it out HERE.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Voyages of Discovery

In case you didn’t know, I’m back from my travels and home in Ireland once again. As was tradition throughout the summer, I posted on this blog several times about different bands I had seen, especially new bands and inspired by the Homolka post just before I left Toronto, I decided to gather together a couple of the bands I saw in various cities in the US and Canada that really made an impression on me. There were a lot, needless to say, and the only criteria for their inclusion here is that the gig I caught them at had to be my first time seeing and hearing of them and finally, they need to have some music online so I can share it here (I’m looking at you Toskä, get something out there pronto).

Pretty Mouth (Toronto)
Starting with another Toronto band, we have the slightly bizarre and off kilter Pretty Mouth. Techy but no less misanthropic grind is the order of the day with utterly frenetic and violent riffing courtesy of eight string guitars, joined by frantic drums. The vocals really top it all off with uneasy speak/groan/scream combos. The band has a full-length coming out shortly but they must be caught live, especially for the antics of the vocalist.

Night Nurse (Portland)
Portland’s Night Nurse play raging death crust. Simple as that. Imagine the filthy crust influences of Hellshock mashed together with the fury of Putrefaction and Martyrdöd and you’ve pretty much got the idea. With just a demo from last year under their belts, the band is currently working away on an album. There are a few tracks on their Bandcamp for your listening (dis)pleasure. Listen to ‘Don’t Uphold Their Law’ below.

Where have Vancouver’s Erosion been hiding? The band’s roaring d-beat inflected death metal is an utter triumph, as evidenced by their new tape, the pleasantly titled, Kill Us All. There’s a healthy hardcore and crust influence at play here, such as the obvious Repulsion and Discharge nods in the grimy riffing and vomiting-forth vocal style, all the while a faint scent of Sweden can be heard sloshing around. Release an LP, pronto.

Buffalo’s Gas Chamber sound like the apocalypse – Raging dark hardcore and grind inflected with discomfiting electronics and unnerving, eerie melodies. Of all the bands mentioned here, Gas Chamber may be the most intriguing, simply down to their unbridled fury and passion. The band has a forthcoming split with Column of Heaven, which is an altogether devastating prospect. Gas Chamber could be something special. Get a taste below.

Supporting Vattnet Viskar in The Acheron in Brooklyn were post black metallers Black Table from NY/NJ. Their set started off a tad bit patchy but they swiftly turned it around with angular riffing and caustic vocals. There’s a doom flavour at play here too that’s the perfect accompaniment to their more searing moments. They recently toured with Downfall of Gaia and they’re quite a fitting band to do so, sharing a sonic camaraderie with the band as well as hints of Chrome Waves and Krallice. The band released their demo tape, Sentinel, last year, which is now sold out but can be streamed below.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New Protest The Hero track

Protest The Hero will release their new album, Volition, on October 28th, an adequately titled album if there ever was one seeing as the record was crowd funded. Now the Canadian band is streaming a new song, ‘Clarity’, from the album.

The band is still taking cues from their last album Scurrilous, which was broadly speaking a disappointment when compared to Kezia and Fortress. ‘Clarity’ has the bit between its teeth though and while the band haven’t fully reintroduced the harsher vocals, it still serves the band well as Rody Walker’s bombastic wailing clean vocals are more than capable of standing on their own and his vocal melody are instantly memorable. Meanwhile, the technicality of the guitars hasn’t been lost in the slightest, still striking the right balance between musicality and catchiness. Listen below.