Éohum – Ealdfaeder (Mycelium Networks, 18 March 2016)
Have you ever noticed that the first example of something you hear — not all of the time, but pretty often — tends to have a profound impact on you and can color or influence your perception of any similar thing you hear later? For example, the first album you hear by a particular artist, even though that album might not be critically or generally viewed as their best work or even among their best, nevertheless will often establish itself as your favorite album by that artist. It’s an often-repeated joke, that upon an artist releasing new material, hipster-type people will commonly declare their previous albums (or their first demo) to be vastly superior. Since another cliche about hipsters is that they always claim to have heard of (or been fans of) a band or style of music before it had become familiar to the general public, it seems that claiming that an artist’s first material was better than their later work kind of goes hand-in-hand with having been familiar with that artist earlier than most other people — because it seems natural that in such a case one would indeed feel more of an affinity towards that earlier material, that having been the example of the artist’s work that was heard first. (I suppose it’s when these claims are made falsely, or as an affectation, that the derisive term ‘hipster’ would come into play, but that’s a different subject entirely.)
Anyway, the reason I brought up this discussion in the first place was that I had been thinking about my earliest encounters with black metal. Outside of a brief exposure to Celtic Frost at a rather young age, at a time when that vocal style was so far removed from anything I’d ever heard up to that point that I wasn’t even sure how to react to it, my relationship with black metal as a genre began somewhere around 1999-2000, at the height of the Napster era. I was in my early twenties and had started branching out as widely as possible, discovering anything I could get my hands on. Almost by accident, I had stumbled upon the Cradle of Filth song “Malice through the Looking Glass,” and it was like a whole new world had opened up to me. That orchestral introduction, and the way that unworldly shriek pierces through it, the insane-sounding metal arrangement that should never work juxtaposed with those symphonic elements but somehow it just does.
From there, I sought out anything similar I could find; I quickly developed an affinity for bands like Immortal and, especially, Emperor — anyone who was taking that black metal sound and combining it with other contrasting sounds. Sure, there was plenty out there that used the keyboards or samples in an over-the-top, cheesy manner, and I tried to avoid these as much as possible, but I also learned that once I’d experienced the symphonic variety, regular straight-up black metal just felt kind of stagnant and unexciting. And it all comes back to what I had heard first — so that, still to this day, I have a tendency toward music that blends different things in new and interesting ways. Today I’ve got an example to share with you: a Canadian band that includes some unexpected instruments within its arrangements …
The Second Coming of Heavy, Chapter One – Geezer / Borracho (Ripple Music, 26 July 2015)
The Second Coming of Heavy, Chapter Two – Supervoid / Red Desert (Ripple Music, 27 February 2016)
“Now it’s time for YOUR Classic Rock” says the title at the top of Ripple Music‘s website, and the slogan is fitting: since its formation back in 2010, the label has made a name for itself as one of the premier sources for stoner rock and metal, psychedelic rock, and all things fuzz-laden. We’ve talked about some of their releases in the past, for example here and also here, but more generally, the label has come to be known for putting out music of consistent quality, within the circles of those styles. And now (starting last summer), they have begun a brand-new series of 12″ splits called The Second Coming of Heavy, which so far has featured some pretty serious heavy hitters, with plenty more on the way. Today we’re going to take a look at the first two of these, Chapter One which came out nearly eight months ago, and Chapter Two which hit the streets at the end of February.
at Club Cafe, 56-58 12th St. Pittsburgh (South Side) PA 15203
21+ only, 8pm show / 7pm doors, $12
Tickets are on sale NOW at Ticketweb, Dave’s Music Mine, or the Club Cafe box office… OR you can WIN a pair of tickets FREE, courtesy of Opus One Productions and Valley of Steel! Keep on reading to find out how…
Hello, and Happy Friday to everyone out there! I hope you’ve had an okay week — and if not, then I hope you have a great weekend to make up for it. Before then, though, I’d like to throw something at you real quick.
At this very moment, there’s somewhat of a mini-tour going on — a handful of regional dates featuring a couple of bands, Philadelphia’s Bardus and New Haven’s Grizzlor, and it just happens that each of them have released something over the past year and a half that I’ve got in my to-do list for sharing with you readers. So it seems like a pretty convenient time to share both of those with you now, and even more so considering the fact that one of them also will have a brand-new album coming out next month — I’ll talk a little about that one, too.
I’ll try to keep this one kind of short (I know I say that a lot and it doesn’t always work out that way, but I promise I’ll try!) because I’m sure all of you are as anxious as I am to get started on those weekend plans. But scroll down to the comments section because I’ll also throw in the remaining tour dates for these two bands — which happens to include a stop in Pittsburgh this Saturday!
Clouds Taste Satanic – To Sleep Beyond the Earth (Kinda Like Music, 01 May 2014)
Clouds Taste Satanic – Your Doom has Come (Kinda Like Music, 01 September 2015)
Well as I had predicted, I didn’t manage to get any writing done yesterday. I still don’t know if I’m fully recovered from the night before last, but in any case, here we are. I will just say this: it was totally a surreal experience, and if you happen to live near any of this tour‘s few remaining stops, or if either of thesebands should come anywhere near you in the future, DO NOT miss the opportunity. Seriously.
So anyway, speaking of things that are surreal, today I’d like to talk to you about a pair of albums that have been released over the past two years by my all-time favorite band-whose-name-was-adapted-from-the-title-of-my-second-all-time-favorite-Flaming-Lips-album, namely, Brooklynite instrumental doom ensemble Clouds Taste Satanic.
Endlichkeit – Endlichkeit IX (self released, 18 May 2015)
Good morning! Gonna make this a short and sweet one, because it’s going to be a busy day for me. Headed out to a show tonight — something I’d almost never do on a weeknight, but there’s just no way I could miss a show like this one. But of course that means tomorrow I will be absolutely dead to the world and so I’ll probably be extremely unproductive (you probably shouldn’t expect any new posts here, either), which means I’ll need to be extra busy today to make up for it. But I’ll take the time to share something with you real quick, a track that you can download for free, that was released on Bandcamp by the band Endlichkeit last spring. Think of this as sort of a bonus track to yesterday’s review, since this one fits together nicely with that album — not only alphabetically, but stylistically as well.