Monday, March 18, 2019

Bandcamp Picks - Misery Index, Noisem, Berkowitz, Thetan

After an underwhelming last outing, Misery Index have returned (sort of) to form. Focusing on their knack for killer hooks (a vestigial remnant of their slam origins), Rituals of Power shows a more mature and musical side to the band - who can still bloody noses when they want to (as on "I Disavow", which was released as a 7" single last year). I miss the old Misery Index, who blew away most of their peers with their effortless blend of speed and musicianship; but this is still a damn enjoyable album. [$9.99]

Six years since their debut, with most of their line-up departing in the interim, Noisem arrive at their third album as a road-hardened trio. With Cease To Exist, the band keep things raucous, rarely pausing to catch a breath as they blitz from one power violence-inflected death metal song to another. Noisem may have lost most of their members, but they have yet to lose their rough edges. [$6.66]

Virginia's Berkowitz take deathgrind back to its filthy roots. On their debut World Gone To Shit, the band pair their straight forward guitar/drums assault with gurgling vocals that have all the sophistication of a backed up drain. Bring a plunger. [$6.66]

Opportunity is the B-side of crisis for Nashville duo Thetan, who chose to remain a bass and drum duo when they lost their guitarist. Abysmal is so abrasive that the extra strings are never missed, creating a racket that is as bleak as it is rumbley. Basses to break faces. [$6.66]

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Mixtape 80 - No Future

Here is the 80th installment of the Dreams of Consciousness podcast, featuring an interview with Chris and Ben of No Future from Perth, Australia.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Friday, March 1, 2019

Tech death and black metal belong on different shelves

I'm only now catching up with AMC's code monkey prestige drama Halt and Catch Fire. The show is entertaining on several levels, but I take particular enjoyment in the music selection (which in early seasons included forgotten Eighties hardcore bands and some delightfully tacky synth pop - it's a show about computer programmers set in the Eighties, after all).

Early in the fourth (and final) season, Dr. Katie Herman (Anna Chlumsky) delivers this delightful monologue:

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Mixtape 78 - Jason Göbel (Part Two)

Here is the 78th installment of the Dreams of Consciousness podcast, featuring the second part of an interview with Jason Göbel of Cynic, Portal, and Gordian Knot.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Bandcamp Picks - Dead Witches, Ohhms, Endless Floods, Norilsk

Electric Wizard don't have the cachet they did 10 years ago, but there's still a fair amount of hype surrounding Dead Witches (which contains original Wizard drummer Mark Greening). With Oliver Hill of DoC faves Sea Bastard on guitar, there's no doubting the heaviness of The Final Exorcism, which takes the Wizard's true doom fealty to rumbling new lows. The only sore point is new vocalist Soozi Chameleone, whose limited range and off-key wailing often grate - although Ozzy carved out a half-century career with those same qualities, so there's no reason why that should hold Dead Witches back. [€7.99]

OHHMS have carved out a sizable following with a series of releases that mine the once fertile Isis/Hydrahead terrain. Exist, their fourth album, ups the prog complexity of early Mastodon, keeping the listener off-balance with constant tempo changes and stylistic shifts - and that's just the album's monster 22 minute opener. Not a band who makes things easy - either for themselves or the audience. [£7.99 GBP]

If doom metal as a genre seems content to reprise the first four Black Sabbath albums ad infinitum, then Bordeaux trio Endless Floods may come as a relief. Completely eschewing blues riffs and classical scales, Circle The Gold drops dissonant chords like cinder blocks, occasionally easing the distortion but never the weirdness. The baton that Harvey Milk drunkenly tossed aside has been claimed. [€6]

Saskatoon-based duo Norilsk hit a lot of different flavours of slow + heavy on their epic, somewhat meandering third album. Weepers of the Land tries its hand at groovy riffs and grandiose melodies, but is at its best when it strips everything down to a forlorn minimalism. Here's hoping the band zeroes in on those impulses on future albums. The album is available as a "name your price" download.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

an interview with Brave The Waters

DoC friend Rick Habeeb keeps a lot of irons in the fire. Not only is he busy with deathgrinders Buckshot Facelift and the long-running doom metal band Grey Skies Fallen, he and BSF/GSF bassist Tom Anderer formed the instrumental/post-rock outfit Brave The Waters. With their second album out this month, I hit Rick up to fill me in on his latest project.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Mixtape 77 - Jason Göbel (Part One)

Here is the 77th installment of the Dreams of Consciousness podcast, featuring the first part of an interview with Jason Göbel of Cynic, Portal, and Gordian Knot.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

an interview with Treasonist

When it comes to death metal and grindcore, Portland-based Treasonist represent the best of both worlds. Their self-titled debut keeps things short and to the point, without ever getting monotonous - no surprise, considering the band is made up of lifers from respected acts like Benumb and Jungle Rot. Guitarist Andy Goodman was kind enough to field my questions.