That’s right, these two titans of (the music) industry will be making an appearance in Pittsburgh: Ghost (who were here exactly five years ago today and gave one of the more memorable performances I’ve ever witnessed) TONIGHT, Friday the 18th; and (the) Melvins (who also came through town five years ago this month, with what was quite possibly THE best show I’ve seen) TOMORROW night, Saturday the 19th!
Stick around for more details on this weekend’s shows, as well as a bit of a walk down memory lane…
Wrekmeister Harmonies – The Alone Rush (Thrill Jockey Records, 13 April 2018)
As you may recall, Wrekmeister Harmonies hit our Top 15 of 2015 List with their enormously epic outing Night of Your Ascension, with its dozens of contributors and guest stars. Since that time, the eclectic collective has been distilled down to just the duo of founder JR Robinson and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Esther Shaw (the same pair who toured under the Wrekmeister name following that album, performing half of a set alone and the other half with Bell Witch as their backing band).
Also since that time, these two people have dealt with a variety of hardships and sorrows, culminating in a relocation from Chicago to Astoria, Oregon — and a lengthy period spent healing (metally and emotionally) as well as composing, which Robinson referred to as a “cult like affair, just the two of us, thinking the similar thoughts and working them out with hours and hours of conversation, totally alone.”
The result was The Alone Rush, released last month, in which only Robinson and Shaw perform, along with drums by Thor Harris.
Opera IX – Back to Sepulcro (Dusktone, 01 November 2015)
This year marks three full decades since guitarist Ossian started Opera IX in Biella (Piedmont region, in the foothills of the Italian Alps). The band has put out an extensive discography in thirty years, and undergone numerous line-up changes, as they gradually morphed into the titans of occult black metal they would become known as.
One major shake-up occurred back in 2014 with a wholesale replacement of the entire band (other than its founder), including the departure of bassist Vlad who had been around since very early on, and vocalist of the previous decade-plus M. the Bard (who sadly departed permanently late last year).
With a brand-new ensemble — including M:A Fog (drums), Alessandro Muscio (keyboard), Scùrs (bass) and Abigail Dianaria (vocals) — in tow, Ossian proceeded to put together an album (in late 2015) that featured brand-new recordings of several songs from Opera IX albums past.
In today’s post we’ll check out Back to Sepulcro — as well as discussing what the band has been up to since that time. (Spoiler alert: a new album anticipated later this year, plus an appearance at MDF later this month!)
King Goat – Debt of Aeons (Aural Music, 20 April 2018)
Wolf King – Loyal to the Soil (Prosthetic Records, 27 April 2018)
Today we have two albums to present to you, by two different bands. Two VERY different bands in fact; pretty much the only thing they have in common is the word “King” along with some kind of animal in their names. Also the fact that they each released a new album last month. Plus the fact that we deemed each of these albums good enough to write about and share with you.
But besides that, very dissimilar. Having said that, though — if you came here as a fan of one of these bands, why not step out of your comfort zone a bit and give the other a quick spin? You may be pleasantly surprised!
Gallery – Eternal Night (Savage Night Recordings, 11 May 2018)
We recently heard from a brand-new label based out of Texas, a little mom-and-pop type operation who call themselves Savage Night Recordings. None of those terms are intended as denigratory: the label is literally run by a husband-and-wife team, and when I found their Facebook page I believe they had somewhere in the neighborhood of thirty-five “likes”…
Surely that won’t be the case for long, though — not if their selection of projects to work with so far is any indication. Their first official release, due out tomorrow, is Eternal Night by Elizabethan (not to be confused with the period of British history, I mean that these guys are from Elizabeth, New Jersey) black metal band Gallery, and checking it out would absolutely be twenty-four minutes well spent!
Bison – You Are Not the Ocean You Are the Patient (Pelagic Records, EU: 23 June 2017 / NA: 07 July 2017)
Bison – Earthbound (2007; reissued by No List Records, 20 April 2018)
A little over a week ago, while talking about Denmark’s LLNN, we happened to mention that they would be touring across Europe with Bison. Well, that’s still happening, and so it seemed like a fine time to discuss that particular Canadian quartet.
Known as Bison B.C. for several years after their original formation in 2006, both to emphasize their British Columbian heritage and to differentiate from another group named for the large North American ruminant, the band decided to drop the extraneous initials about five years ago, going by the more streamlined moniker ever since.
Last summer, the Ocean-run German label Pelagic released the latest Bison full-length — their fourth overall — while last month saw No List reissuing the group’s long-out-of-print debut EP (since used CDs are going for outrageous prices online), including being pressed on vinyl for the first time ever! Here we’ll give a listen to both of those, and then down at the bottom of the page you can check out the rest of the places these Vancouverites will be visiting in eastern/central Europe!
Kraków – Alive (Dark Essence Records, 24 March 2017)
From the first time I heard them, Norwegian post-metallurgists Kraków quickly became one of my favorite bands out there, through their grasp of the beautiful and fragile meshed with the ugly and frightening, spread out over long meandering compositions that enthrall the listener with their aural stories.
As many times as I’ve listened to their releases (the three most recent of which were written about right here), the appearance of a live album was certainly exciting news. On top of that, we’ve recently learned that another new record will be appearing later this year! In this post you can find out more about that live album — and then at the end, what we know so far about their next one!