Monday, 23 April 2018

April is turning out to be a very busy month for new releases....

Winterfylleth have taken one of those left turns that can completely alienate a metal fan base (Think Paradise Lost with their Host album)

The Hallowing of Heirdom is an totally acoustic collection of English folk. Slightly choral in places with strings and not a black metal grunt in sight. The songs are based on poems by Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh and various Anglo Saxon myths.

This should appeal to anyone who liked the seminal Liege & Lief. The only difference is Fairport Convention approached traditional folk by adding electric guitars and Winterfylleth  have approached the same goal by removing all their electric guitars

The albums lacks a bit variation but it's a bloody good folk album from an unexpected source

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Bands of a certain vintage always have a few tricks up their sleeves to prolong a career....
  • First is tour a classic album in full, record the tour and release a live album
  • Second record a covers album, usually of "songs that inspired us.."
  • Finally record an acoustic album of your hits
The Levellers have finally succumbed to the third option and bring us We The Collective. This seems a bit odd as the band are fairly acoustic anyway and this sounds like their Drunk in Public persona that they occasionally take out live

As with all these type of albums it's rather hit and miss....Subvert sounds like a muscular version of Kitty Jay (by Seth Lakeman) but with lyrics advocating direct action protest. Exodus works remarkably well with an orchestra and the spoon playing percussion in One Way is rather inspired

Dance Before the Storm doesn't work as it's no different to the original and Liberty Song lacks the urgency that makes it a live favourite

There are a couple of new tracks of which Drugs Bust McGhee is the best - a tale of undercover policing which begins with "I stole my name from a dead baby"

Still a band that works best in the live arena

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