Wednesday, 7 March 2018

So the NME has finally given up and will no longer be printed..... Can't say that I'm in any way upset by that. The snobbish indie ink rags had no appeal to me even as a student and derided most of what I enjoyed (metal, goth, etc.).

The Levellers summed up how I felt in the lyrics to 100 years of solitude:

"The NME was nothing to you,
And the Maker well the maker of who?"

Monday, 5 March 2018

I can fairly well guarantee you won't hear another album like this all year.... The first album from Gwenno was sung all in Welsh and now for the follow up, Le Kov, it's all sung in Cornish

The strangeness of lyrics makes it all a bit other worldly and the woozy psychedelic atmosphere of the music heightens that feeling

The vocals on the opener are all breathless and seductive, almost dragging you in. Track 4, Eus Keus?  is what would have happened if Kraftwerk had grown up in Truro

It all gets weirder as it goes along - Daromes y'n Howl is a sort of kosmiche rag time

It's a very hard album to review and will probably be one you love or hate but early indications are it will be the former

Monday, 15 January 2018

Time to consider what may be on it's way in 2018....

Firstly the definite releases: Gwenno has a new album out in March and this time it's all sung in Cornish(!), Blueneck are confirming a new album this year and the live album from Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas is due in April

Next are the possibles: A debut album from Bryde is very probable, A Perfect Circle have teased with a few singles so a full album may be imminent and a new Amorphis album is mooted

Finally the serial offenders:
  • Julianne Regan - Demo's were uploaded to Bandcamp 18 months ago and nothing more
  • Eldritch promised an album if Trump was elected 15 months ago
  • Fish has been promising Weltschmerz for over 2 years (but at least he has a title !)
  • It's now been 13 years since Mourning Sun so that new Nephilim album should be out soon

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

I honestly thought I would struggle to find a top ten releases for this year but then you look back and the problem turns out to be what to leave out.....

And so here in the usual alphabetical order is my top ten for 2017

Cult of Luna - Marching to the Heartbeats/Dim (EP)
Fen - Winter
Rose McDowall - Our Twisted Love (EP)
Mork - Erimittens Dal
Myrkur -Mareidt
Matthew North - Still Thinking? Still Dreaming
Brian Pern - Heaven Calling (EP)
Public Service Broadcasting - Every Valley
Tusks - Dissolve
Ulver - The Assassination of Julius Caesar

Special mentions for singles of year go to Bryde for Desire and A Perfect Circle for The Doomed

Monday, 11 December 2017

The problem with bands that have lengthy careers are that members change, the music evolves and grows. This means if you want to know what a genre sounded like you need to revisit classic albums or check out new bands....

In this case Mork have perfected the sound and spirit of classic Norwegian black metal on their new album Erimittens Dal.

It lulls you in with the opener which chugs along but from the second song, Holdere Av Fortet, it is absolutely brutal. In the best traditions this is the brainchild of one man apart from some guest vocals from Dimmu Borgir.

The energy drops a bit on the last couple of tracks but it's still a blast of pure black metal

This is a spot on homage even down to the artwork inspired from the early Burzum albums.

Definitely an early wintery present

Monday, 4 December 2017

Christmas is here and suddenly everyone wants to give you an early presents.....

First up is Attrition with their take on Silent Night. It's starts out with a cut crystal female rendition of the chorus before descending into a disturbing noisescape which sound unsettlingly like someone banging on a steel cell door. Utterly bizarre but not very cheerful

Next up Blueneck release a remix album of their last offering, The Outpost. It only really confirms that remix albums are unnecessary if the original was already brilliant and listening to the first track, From Beyond, it's clear someone in the band has a huge Bladerunner fetish

Moving on and Peter Yates (guitarist with Fields of Nephilim) and Evi Vine (vocalist for The Eden House) give us Just Like Christmas - The Stockholm mix. It's a gauzy, icy track with no real tune but at least has some festive feel in a glacial fashion

Finally, and best, is a bonus EP from Ulver of left over tracks from the Assassination of Julius Caesar album. The opening track Echo Chamber (Track of Tears) appears to be about the July 2005 tube bombings which isn't jolly but its a great track. The drums and synths are straight out of the late 80's and the biggest compliment is that this would not have sounded out of place on Songs From the Big Chair.
The other big surprise is a cover of The Power of Love by Frankie goes to Hollywood. A more stately and less vocally camp version but very true musically to the original. And when they say they will keep the vampires from your door its definitely more believable......

Monday, 20 November 2017

Highly recommended is the debut album from Tusks. Admittedly three of the tracks are lifted straight off the False EP so there's really only 7 new songs to me but Dissolve is still an amazing album...

It's all shimmering, hazy pop but with enough beats and glitches to keep thing on the edge of electronica. The vocals are buried deep in the music and it does make deciphering lyrics difficult but doesn't spoil the sound

The standout tracks are Toronto with a nagging guitar refrain at the start and drums that just appear and disappear and the title track Dissolve which sounds a very personal recounting of a relationship breakdown

Really would like to see this played live but at the moment that doesn't look a possibility...

Go discover.