Black Tar Prophet – Deafen (2014)

BTP

Black Tar ProphetDeafen (Domestic Genocide Records, 22 April 2014)

 

Hey, folks. How’s it going? I’ve got some more music here I’d like to share with you. I think you’re going to like it.

A lot of times when I write about a band, you may have noticed I will include some kind of anecdote about how I first heard about them — whether I’d seen them perform live at some point, or sometimes it’s someone I get introduced to through another website or another band. But the vast majority of the stuff I have here to write about came to me as the result of being contacted by either the band themselves, or their record label, or the PR person who represents the band or label. I get a TON of stuff emailed to me — seriously — and it can sometimes be a bit taxing to sort through it all. But in the end it’s completely worth it, because I’ve discovered some amazing stuff this way that might not have come to my attention otherwise. In fact, some of the bands I would consider to be among my favorites to listen to (not even exaggerating) were ones I had never heard of until I’d been contacted by their label or PR company.

For this reason, I make it a point to listen to absolutely everything that anyone sends me. Because there’s no way of knowing whether something might end up surprising me and being awesome. In fact, I go into every new album with as little knowledge as possible, and with the hopes that it’ll be something that completely blows me away. Of course, this leaves me feeling pretty disappointed much of the time, but occasionally I come across some real gems. When I do, that’s when I generally will go back to the original email (and then Facebook or Bandcamp or the band’s own website, wherever they have some sort of online presence) to learn more about the band — such as where they’re from and a whatever history I can learn about them.

This is sort of what happened when I first heard Black Tar Prophet‘s new album Deafen, which came out earlier this year. When I started listening, I knew nothing about the band other than their name, but before I reached the end of the first song, I was already rushing back to find that email, to see where these guys were located — and not just from curiosity. This time, I needed to know how close to here (Pittsburgh) they lived, so I could gauge the chances of them ever playing in this area. Once I found out they were from relatively nearby (Tennessee, which is just three states away, or about 8-9 hours driving), I immediately started considering the possibility that they could someday be on tour somewhere in this direction, and furthermore I decided that if this happened, I needed to get them a show here in town, and that my own band Last should open for them.

Well… I’m very excited to tell you that in just a couple of weeks, both of those things will be coming true! This instrumental heavy sludge/noise duo will be hitting the road in October, and I’ll include all the details about that right after I’ve told you some more about this album that had piqued my interest so much when I first heard it…

 

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The “Signmeto” Unsigned Band of the Week: Scent of Remains

 

Good evening, blog readers of the world! Another new week has begun, which means another trip to the “Sign Me to Roadrunner Records” website to find some new music! Remember last week when we were too hung over from a long holiday weekend and I said I had skipped over some great heavy bands in favor of something mellower and more relaxing? Well now we’re going to back it up and revisit one of the more brutal metal bands…

Scent of Remains, from Knoxville, in the eastern end of Tennessee, play some pretty heavy-hitting music that hovers somewhere between melodic death metal and a more thrash-groove-oriented style. They’ve been at it for about three years now, during which time they’ve released one full-length CD, as well as a recent EP of teaser tracks from a second album due to be released in the near future.

 
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Upcoming Shows: Across Tundras Heading Across the U.S.A.

Hey, just a quick heads-up so you can start getting excited about this: Nashville, Tennessee’s Across Tundras are heading out on tour in just a couple of days, and will be making their way back and forth across the country, almost non-stop for two months. A full list of dates can be found at the end of this post, including a few yet to be confirmed or still needing booked.

But first, here’s a small sampling of what’s in store for you if the band is coming near where you live (spoiler alert: they are coming to Pittsburgh!) If the name wasn’t already in use for a similar genre, I’d be tempted to call this desert rock, because in my opinion that expression suits this music perfectly: it’s very mellow and introspective, sometimes sparse, and it’s extremely heavy without being especially loud. I don’t know if that makes sense, when you read it, but have a listen and see what I mean…

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