Tuesday, May 14, 2019

an interview with ZAUM

The trance-like repetition of doom/drone - as well as its resonating low-end frequencies - make it a perfect, if unlikely, vessel for meditation. Perhaps there's no better example of this than Canada's Zaum, who have crafted their own unique style of middle-eastern inflected doom. Their latest album, aptly titled Divination, is out now through Listenable Records. Vocalist/bassist Kyle Alexander McDonald was kind enough to answer my questions about the band's history and how they approach making heavy music.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Bandcamp Picks - Dreadnought, Big|Brave, Novarupta, Crowhurst

Colorado's Dreadnought are the most prolific prog metal band you haven't heard yet. Listening to their fourth album Emergence is like navigating a King Crimson-ian maze of doomy riffs, rumbling bass-lines, and the alternating screamed/clean vocals of Kelly Schilling and Lauren Vieira. Add the occasional woodwind for flavour, and you've got the most adventurous metal album released in 2019. [$8 CAD]

Less is more for Montreal's BIG|BRAVE. On A Gaze Among Them, Robin Wattie's vocals crest over and pierce through waves of slow, pulsing chords, allowing them to resonate all the more. Marie Kondo would approve of the band's commitment to minimalism and uncluttered arrangements. [$7.99]

With Novarupta, former Moth Gatherer guitarist Alex Stjernfeldt is joined by an all-star line-up of Swedish screamers. Bolstered by the likes of Grave's Jörgen Sandström and Dark Tranquillity's Mikael Stanne, the atmospheric doom on Disillusioned Fire takes on aspects of the contributors' main bands, and morphs thusly from track to track. Of all the bands affiliated with this project, none casts a longer shadow than Breach, who broke ground for this sort of forward thinking doomcore over 20 years ago - and whose legacy Novarupta continues. [ €7]

Over their prodigious discography, Crowhurst have encompassed doom, drone, noise rock and crusty black metal. Their newest album - simply titled III, as is typical of the band - tempers their more experimental impulses, focusing on the heavier side of their sound: Blasting sections break up shoegazing doom passages, and a handful of guest vocalists intersperse Jay Gambit's forlorn screams. Gloom with a view. [$6.99]

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

an interview with Dreadnought

With three albums released between 2013 and 2017, and their fourth album Emergence set to be released on May 10th through Profound Lore Records, Colorado's Dreadnought may be the most prolific progressive metal band you haven't heard yet. Bassist Kevin Handlon was kind enough to answer my questions about the band's history and the evolution of their unique style.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The Long Hundred 011/100: Carnage - Dark Recollections

...in which some future Swedish death metal hall of famers released an instant classic before going on to bigger things.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Malaysia vs Metal: A Brief History (Updated April 2019)

Here's a pithy and flippant guide to how Malaysia became the premier source of forehead slapping throughout the metal world.

Bandcamp Picks - Dead To A Dying World, Vaura, Waste of Space Orchestra, PAK, NNRA

Dead To A Dying World continue to make strides with each album. Elegy is their most refined release yet, demonstrating they're equally adept at quiet introspection as they are at furious blasting. Rather than just another crusty black metal band employing cellos (believe it or not, there are a few), DTADW are shaping up to be a band that can integrate classical elements into metal while exploring the emotional depth of both. [$8 CAD]

DoC friends Vaura continue their chimeric evolution with their third album. Sables re-focuses the band's genre-blending compositions around new wave and prog rock - moving them away from metal but retaining its dark heart. A Cure for derivative heaviness. [$8 CAD]

Waste of Space Orchestra contains members of Oranzi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising, and the fruit of their union is as out there as you'd expect. A space themed (and space rock influenced) take on avant garde black metal, Syntheosis is as unsettling as it is unconventional. Svart Records is being stingy with the number of preview tracks on the Bandcamp page, but trust me - this psychedelic mindfuck is worth checking out. [€7]

A collaboration between NY-based composer Ron Anderson and members of Imperial Triumphant and Cleric, PAK are cut from the same cloth as math rock heroes Don Caballero, but stitched by much rougher hands. Bestial is a confounding (mostly) instrumental album, full of unorthodox time signatures and dissonant anti-riffs. If you think Black Flag would have been better without a vocalist, this Ginn-soaked oddity is for you. [$5]

A project from the man behind the Middle-Eastern inflected post-metal band Ddent, Louis Lambert, NNRA similarly defies pithy categorization. Incarne fuses post rock with industrial elements to create instrumentals that are both atmospheric and futuristic. The album plays like a film score; appropriately enough, visual artist Sebastien Mathieu created seven videos to accompany the album's "movements". [Name your price.]

Sunday, April 28, 2019

catching up with Nucleus

The last time I interviewed Chicago's Nucleus, they were gaining traction with their debut Sentient and were just about to release the split EP Fragmented Self. Since then, they've been quiet but not inactive - their second full-length Entity is about to drop courtesy of Unspeakable Axe Records. Guitarist/vocalist Dave Muntean and guitarist Dan Ozcanli brought me up to speed via e-mail.

Mixtape 86 - Suaka

Here is the 86th installment of the Dreams of Consciousness podcast, featuring an interview with Suaka.