Sunday, December 8, 2019

Episode 109 - Aarktica

Here is the 109th installment of the Dreams of Consciousness podcast, featuring an interview with Jon DeRosa of Aarktica.

[Cover photo by Ivy Augusta]

Listen on Apple Podcasts (IOS)

Listen on Stitcher Radio (Android/IOS)

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Bandcamp Picks 186 - Coilguns, Salvation, Child Bite, Bedtimemagic

Formed by members of the Ocean Collective - who are known for releasing sprawling double disc concept albums  - it's only by comparison that Coilguns is less ambitious. Watchwinders, the band's fourth album, eschews the sludgy, atmospheric metal of their former band, finding itself closer to Breach's forward-thinking, genre-splicing post-hardcore. Moshpits for the mind. [Name your price.]

[Read my interview with Coilguns here.]

Anyone nostalgic for the glory days of noise rock will revel in the ultra muscular sound of Chicago's Salvation. The trio's third album Year of the Fly hammers the listener with its pulsing, percussive riffs and an obvious Nineties bias. It seems AmRep Xmas comes earlier every year. [$7]

Detroit's Child Bite follow suit with their own blend of Nineties heavy alternative. Blow Off The Omens combines the fuzzed out heft of the Melvins and the slithering rhythms of the Jesus Lizard, with Shawn Knight's vocals reaching Mike Patton levels of yodel-yelling. Ipecac and roll. [$9]

Like similar bass/drum combos Lightning Bolt and Radiation Blackbody, Boston duo Bedtimemagic seem intent to prove that they don't need guitars to make a hellacious racket. Pillow Talk is a surprisingly diverse album, encompassing everything from sludgy doom to screamo melody while limiting itself to four strings, keyboards, and an extremely limited drum kit. Minimum resources, maximum results. [$7]

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Friday, November 15, 2019

catching up with Grey Skies Fallen [2019]

It's been a while since Grey Skies Fallen have been on this blog (though the members' other projects have popped up on this site regularly). Since it was recently announced that the band would be releasing their fifth album Cold Dead Lands in a few months, I caught up with my buddy Rick Habeeb to find out what the band has been up to these past 5 years.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Bandcamp Picks 185: Blattaria, Blut Aus Nord, Mystagos, Qayin Regis

Perhaps the most overlooked project to emerge from the Fallen Empire roster, the enigmatic (and pest-obsessed) Blattaria are back with their third album. Another paean to the mankind's eventual successors, Life Is A Disease weaves tales of roach superiority through a discordant mix of death, black and grind. Like the insects the project is named for, this is a glimpse into our bleak and disturbing future. [Name your price.]

Few bands are as comfortable ignoring metal's self-imposed limitations as France's Blut Aus Nord. Blending post-punk and black metal, the tellingly entitled Hallucinogen is shamelessly psychedelic, using repetitive guitar lines to hypnotic effect, and burying Vindsval's vocals so deep in the mix they register as little more than echoed whispers. Though not as ambitious (or as electronic) as they were during their 777 era, the band's deconstruction of the genre continues unabated. [€7.77]

Sweden's Reveal! join their countrymen Morbus Chron and Tribulation by abandoning the kvlt kids in favor of avant craziness. Their third album Scissorgod channels Seventies prog, krautrock, and horror soundtracks for an unsettling, unpredictable, multi-dimensional album that makes the rare appearances of old school blackened thrash that much more affecting. [€6.90]

One-man band Mystagos are part of a surging Spanish black metal scene, whilst blatantly wearing the influence of its Scandinavian forebears. Their second album Azoth displays a deep love for True Norwegian Black Metal (in particular, Euronymous' no-frills riffing),  before edging into avant/prog territory with simple chord progressions, scale-climbing basslines and spooky quasi-chanting. A surprisingly well-rounded take on "kvlt". [€5.99]

Fellow Spaniards Qayin Regis imbue their blackened death metal with dollops of atmosphere. Over the course of four long tracks, their debut Doctrine makes it clear that the Madrid band are as menacing during their slower and quieter passages as they are with unfettered blasts. [€6]

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Episode 106: Vastum

Here is the 106th installment of the Dreams of Consciousness podcast, featuring an interview with  Leila Abdul-Rauf of Vastum.

[cover photo by Chris Johnston]

Listen on Apple Podcasts (IOS)

Listen on Stitcher Radio (Android/IOS)

Friday, November 1, 2019

an interview with Coilguns

Coilguns aren't lacking for big ideas - which is what you'd expect from a band formed by members of The Ocean Collective. The band's style channels post-punk, sludge metal, and noise rock in a way that sets them apart from the post-metal herd. I reached out to the band to find out more about their history, the creation of their latest album Watchwinders, and the band's own label Hummus Records; guitarist Jona Nido was kind enough to answer my questions (with an assist from vocalist Louis Jucker).

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Episode 105: Runemagick

Here is the 105th installment of the Dreams of Consciousness podcast, featuring an interview with Nicklas "Terror" Rudolfsson of Runemagick.

[cover photo by Stefan Raduta]

Listen on Apple Podcasts (IOS)

Listen on Stitcher Radio (Android/IOS)

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Bandcamp Picks 184: Alunah, Besvärjelsen, Planet Of Zeus, Mars Red Sky

Hailing from the city that invented doom metal, Birmingham's Alunah have a lot to live up to. Written in the wake of a considerable line-up change, Violet Hour expands the band's psychedelic-tinged doom with layers of goth and trad metal (courtesy of new guitarist Dean Ashton, who's also in the current incarnation of Diamond Head). And new vocalist  Siân Greenaway delivers a performance that belies her relative inexperience. Simply sublime. [€7]

[Listen to my interview with Alunah here.]

Should Alunah be looking for a Scandinavian touring partner, they'd find the perfect one in Stockholm's Besvärjelsen. The five song EP Frost lets the band's twin guitar stylings provide a bedrock for Lea Alazam's forlorn vocals, resulting in a more progressive take on bluesy doom. A band with break-out potential who could benefit from a more globally-friendly name. [$5]

Athens' Planet of Zeus are a throwback to the Seventies throwbacks of the Nineties. Their fifth album Faith In Physics brings to mind Fu Manchu and Monster Magnet at their most fringe-jacketed and bell-bottomed; but retro fidelity doesn't stop Babis Papanikolaou's vocals from being political (and at times, unexpectedly aggro) - a commendable change from the usual "girls, drugs, and cars" subject matter of most stoner rock bands. [€8]

The long-running French trio Mars Red Sky have been slowly transforming from European stoner rock band to something truly unique. The Task Eternal is a varied, ever-evolving album that adds a post-rock ambience to the usual Kyuss-inspired grooves, with Julien Pras' gossamer vocals contributing to the dreamlike atmosphere. [€7.99]