Hey folks — a very Happy (Belated) New Year to all of you! 2013 definitely turned out to be an interesting year for me, with lots of big changes, new projects, new responsibilities, etc., but an unfortunate side-effect of some of that was (as you’ve surely noticed) that the amount of time I’d been spending writing really tapered off as the year went on, to the point where I didn’t post
anything here for the last few months! Well, as you may have seen, I’ve started writing reviews of some new 2014 releases — and as time allows I promise I will also be sharing plenty of older stuff I’ve missed writing about, because believe me there has been a TON worth sharing!
But more on that later. As I started doing last year, I’ve once again put together a collection of various people’s “best of” lists from 2013. Admittedly I sort of got a late start on this (I didn’t even put out the open invitation until after most websites had already finished with publishing all their year-end stuff), but several people have answered the call and contributed some really interesting lists that you’ll want to check out…
Regular readers of this blog (or the occasional random Googler) will already be familiar with my feelings on Californian blackened progressive metal band Cormorant. For anyone else who might be unaware, here is a brief overview of their discography which I wrote upon the occasion of their most recent release, Dwellings, back in December.
Knowing that this DIY band manages to put together strings of tourdates fairly infrequently, it’s always a big deal when they announce some shows. However, when I saw Primordial (Irish black-metal-turned-blackened-doom-metal, of whom I’m also really really fond) announce a jaunt through the eastern U.S., and Cormorant’s name appeared on the poster too, well I almost passed out.
Unfortunately, on closer inspection (and with helpful guidance from Cormorant bassist Arthur von Nagel), I realized that these two bands — along with the epic/melodic doom band While Heaven Wept — were only playing most of the dates listed.
While Pittsburgh’s Smiling Moose bar is shown in the image (see below), the asterisk next to that date, according to the legend at the bottom, means “WHW only”.
I’ve heard that that literally means “WHW only”… I’ve also heard (from Bandsintown, and later from Primordial themselves when they shared that event) that Primordial would indeed be playing Pittsburgh that night. Later, Primordial’s wall post was deleted, although the Bandsintown event remains. And the dude from Meatmeadmetal tells me that Metal Blade has confirmed there will be no Primordial.
What a huge fucking mess — I have no clue what’s happening. Opening bands at the Pittsburgh date will also include two local greats, Argus and Vermithrax. Those are both worth seeing, and if you like While Heaven Wept, then there’s another plus. Go check out the show, maybe Primordial will show up, maybe they won’t. Maybe fucking Black Sabbath will reunite with Bill Ward for one night only and play a secret show at The Smiling Moose. I wouldn’t be surprised by anything at this point.
Personally, I can’t help feeling a good bit of disappointment at the absence of Cormorant; however, Cleveland is only a few hours away, so ‘Burgh-area fans may want to keep that possibility in mind… or possibly Rochester or Philadelphia, if you’re feeling especially adventurous.
Anyway, here is the tour poster, in all of its bewildering confusingness, followed by a full list of dates:
Although I only discovered them about a year ago, Sweden’s Kongh quickly became one of my favorite new bands. Their brutally heavy, almost aggravatingly slow, brand of sludgey, droney post-doom really resonated with me from the first time I heard a track from their 2007 debut Counting Heartbeats. Sadly, as much as I love that album (it can be streamed/downloaded on Bandcamp), I haven’t seen it available on CD anywhere.
However, I did snatch up a copy of its follow-up, 2009’s Shadows of the Shapeless, which was released in North America through Seventh Rule Recordings, as soon as I saw it at my local record store. That’s an incredible album as well, so I am beyond excited to learn that they are nearly ready to begin recording a third album!
That announcement came yesterday (Wednesday, 13 June) morning, along with information about the band’s new record deal…
As everyone knows, almost all of the awesome metal tours and festivals take place over in Europe. They’ve got Wacken Open Air in Germany, Download Festival at Donnington Park in England, Metalcamp in Slovenia, and what seems like millions of others — all with the most incredible lineups imaginable. Meanwhile, the rest of us are pretty much just forced to contend with tours that have a far-too-high ratio of shitty-to-good, like Ozzfest or the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival.
Well, with a few exceptions, and probably the biggest exception each year is the Maryland Deathfest. This weekend-long metal party is held annually in the city of Baltimore, which as everyone knows was named for the seminal 1970s metal band Sir Lord Baltimore.
This year, the Deathfest is taking place between the 24th-27th of May, and tickets are available for three out of those four days. As we’ve recently discussed, Morgion had to pull out of their scheduled performance, but there is still a fuckton and a half of awesomeness in the lineup.
**Update (3 May 2012) — the official time-slot schedule has been released; details below**