Neurosis – Fires Within Fires (2016)

NeurosisFires Within Fires (Neurot Recordings, 23 September 2016)

 

So Neurosis are heading out on tour RIGHT NOW. That news by itself will immediately be a huge deal to most people who read this sentence. They’re only hitting a handful of cities across the northeastern U.S. (and southeastern Canada) over the next week and a half, but this is a band that infreuquently performs live in the first place, and very rarely visits the east coast outside the context of a larger music festival (such as Baltimore’s Days of Darkness which they’ll be headlining in October). So, yeah.

But sometimes when it comes to bands that have been around seemingly forever (well over thirty years, in this case) and have achieved a near-universal legendary status (at least, for these guys, among the majority of fans of post-hardcore/sludge metal), it’s easy to forget that there are some folks out there who may not already be intimately familiar with them. Easy to just assume that everyone knows them, disregarding the fact that there’s always somebody who has yet to make that big discovery.

After all, though, that’s the whole point of writing about music: to help someone learn about something that could potentially be life-changing. The About page of this website describes exactly that — while also referencing a particular time period of exploration for myself, which in that narrative was described as “The Napster Years,” but frankly a huge part of my own rebirth as a metal music fan directly resulted from finding Relapse Records CD samplers (like this one and this one) at a local record store (more info here and here for the younger readers). Interestingly, three of the artists that had really jumped out at younger me and grabbed my attention are ones I have written about here, just this month: Today is the Day, Dying Fetus, and now, Neurosis.

Specifically, there were a couple of songs from the band’s then-new album A Sun that Never Sets which I bought not long afterwards, and which was — front-to-back — one of the most amazing things I’d ever experienced. So in light of all that, I’m pleased to present — to any of you who may not have heard this yet — their latest release, 2016’s Fires Within Fires.

 

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Molasses Barge – S/T + Covered in Molasses (2017)

Molasses BargeMolasses Barge + Covered in Molasses (Blackseed Records, 28 July 2017)

 

So I’ve been writing about Molasses Barge basically as long as I’ve been writing about music in general. It all started way back in late 2011 when they had a few shows scheduled, and I threw together a little synopsis of my first experience seeing them perform live (earlier that year when they opened for Pentagram). This was followed by an interview with drummer Wayne Massey in 2012 (as they were about to open for Tombs and 16), and then guitarist Justin Gizzi also answered a few questions as part of our coverage leading up to the Winter’s Wake festival in 2013.

In all, these Pittsburgh-based doom-metal workhorses have appeared (at least mentioned in passing) on this website a few dozen times. And yet, as active as they are (and despite having been in existence for close to a decade now!), the band’s official recorded output thus far has consisted of one EP six years ago, plus a three-song demo a few months later. (Both of them are available to stream or download FREE at Bandcamp.) But that all changes now: this Friday they will be unleashing their stunning debut self-titled LP, and as a special added bonus (perhaps as a thank-you to all the fans who’ve been patiently waiting so long), it’ll come bundled with a second disc filled with cover songs.

 

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Employed to Serve – The Warmth of a Dying Sun (2017)

Employed to ServeThe Warmth of a Dying Sun (Holy Roar Records, 19 May 2017)

 

The last time I wrote about this ‘post-hardcore/powerviolence’ band from Woking, England (in Surrey County, just outside London), I explained how I had first discovered them when they emailed me about their 2012 EP Long Time Dead. I was absolutely infatuated by that release (and still am!) but for a variety of reasons never quite managed to write anything about it until just last year.

When I heard Holy Roar was releasing a brand-new EtS album (and some of the early press seemed to be hinting at an AOTY contender) I knew I needed to get my hands on it — and also that I wouldn’t let another four years pass before writing about it! So here, I present you with The Warmth of a Dying Sun. Enjoy!

 
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Reintroduce Yourself: An Interview with Chuck Mosley

 
Following on the heels of last month’s announcement about Chuck Mosley‘s “Reintroduce Yourself Tour 2017”, I was recently offered the opportunity to speak with the man himself — to find out the answers to some questions you may have about the tour or any of the numerous other things the singer/guitarist has going on these days.

Those answers can be found below, so go check them out. The tour continues TONIGHT (25 July) in Brooklyn, hitting stops in Connecticut, Maryland, and New York before closing out the week in Pittsburgh (Howlers in Bloomfield) on Saturday. Then starting next month, Mosley will be reintroducing himself all over the country — see the updated post for the latest dates (now running through November); at least a dozen more shows have been added since it was first published!

 
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Ketchup Day: Upcoming Release News (Septicflesh, Unsane)

 
Yeah, it’s a silly name and a silly concept, but we’re doing this thing again. Further explanation for those who need it here.

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Fashion Week – Prêt-à-Porter (2015)

Fashion WeekPrêt-à-Porter (Solar Flare Records, 23 February 2015)

 

New York Fashion Week, or — excuse me — New York-based band Fashion Week, have been around for some number of years, with some quantity of recordings released during that time. I’ve heard rumors about them forming sometime around 2009, and also that this album from early 2015 was their debut full-length, but I can’t really say for sure since their official biography (on Facebook and elsewhere) is more of a tongue-in-cheek retelling of the Nirvana story with only oblique references to any actual members of Fashion Week.

Be that as it may, I guess it doesn’t really matter how much background information you do or don’t know, as long as the music’s good, right? These guys are on the road with Unsane at the moment (the tour actually started last weekend, sorry about the late notice!) and it’s pretty likely that anyone heading out to see the headliner will go back home as a fan of the supporting act as well. Keep on reading to find out a bit more about Prêt-à-Porter (the album, not the movie), and check out the list of tour dates down in the comments.

 

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Begrime Exemious – Primeval Satellite (2014), The Enslavement Conquest (2016)

Begrime ExemiousPrimeval Satellite (Dark Descent Records, 31 August 2014)

 

Begrime ExemiousThe Enslavement Conquest (Dark Descent Records, 04 March 2016)

 

Good afternoon. About three years ago, Edmonton-based filthy death metal squad Begrime Exemious ventured south across the border into these United States, in celebration of which I had dug out their album from two years prior (Visions of the Scourge) to write about it at that time. Well, there have been reports of another stirring from the north — apparently the horde is on the move again — and so it seemed like an appropriate time to share with you a few things the band has done since the last time. Ironically, the first of these was actually released just a couple of months after the previous review was published. And the other came out early last year — so by historical standards I’m actually pretty far ahead of the game by sharing that one with you now! Anyway, please direct your eyes and ears to the following — and then see the comments section for a list of cities slated for begriming.

 

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Cantharone – Sons of the Crow (2015); Mine Collapse – S/T (2016); Livid – Beneath this Shroud… (2017)

CantharoneSons of the Crow (self-released, 06 June 2015)

 

Mine CollapseMine Collapse (Nefarious Industries, 22 July 2016)

 

LividBeneath this Shroud, the Earth Erodes (Prosthetic Records, 14 July 2017)

 

Today we’ve got not one, not two, not five… but three different bands to talk about, each of which has come across my radar screen within about the past year or so. Cantharone is a four-piece from Minneapolis who have been around since about 2009, and their most recent release was their second EP which came out in the summer of 2015 (and which I’ll be sharing with you today). But despite that relatively low rate of recorded output, the band has kept pretty busy, between putting together their yearly Canthrammer Music Festival featuring a blend of metal and outlaw country bands, as well as frequent touring around the region. Down below in the comments section I’ll include some info about this year’s festival (coming in late August) as well as a list of shows they’ll be playing over the next week or so.

The other two bands that will be included in this article will be sharing a stage with Cantharone at some point in their upcoming travels, and each is equally worth checking out. Mine Collapse (Chicago) dropped their debut EP almost exactly a year ago, while Livid (Minneapolis) saw their debut LP released just days ago — both of those will also be discussed here.

 

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Hail Spirit Noir – Mayhem in Blue; Aenaon – Hypnosophy (2016)

Hail Spirit NoirMayhem in Blue (Dark Essence Records, 28 October 2016)

 

AenaonHypnosophy (code666, 25 November 2016)

 

Longtime readers should already be familiar with Hail Spirit Noir and Aenaon: both of these Greek avant-black bands’ second albums were reviewed right here about three years ago, after they were both released in early 2014. And very longtime readers may even recall that the HSN debut album was covered here when it came out back in 2012. All three of those records (all via Code666, sublabel of Italy’s Aural Music) ended up on my respective lists of those years’ top releases.

One band has since shifted to Norwegian label Dark Essence, but otherwise you’ll find that not much has changed for the bands’ third releases (each of which came out in late 2016), especially not in terms of quality — as you may have noticed, both of these once again made an appearance on my Top 16 of 2016 list. So without further ado, here are Mayhem in Blue and Hypnosophy!

 
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