Hello out there! We’re back from the holiday weekend and slowly starting to emerge from the mini ice age into which we had been plunged for the past several days.
And suddenly we find ourselves swiftly approaching the end of another calendar year. Many other writers and other websites are busily publishing their year-end lists; most of the larger outlets who also have print editions have had their lists out since last month if not earlier. Here in the Valley that window stays open until the last day of the year, as always, and the year-end list will be posted in the appropriate spot on the first of January.
But given that it is nearly the end of 2022 and everyone is in just a reflective mood, let’s take a look back at a couple of releases from much earlier this year which we inadvertently hadn’t gotten around to covering yet…
An Evening Redness – An Evening Redness (Transylvanian Recordings, 25 February 2022)
E-L-R – Vexier (Prophecy Productions, 11 March 2022)
Hello — and Merry Christmas Eve Eve, to those who celebrate.
What a nasty, ugly day this has turned out to be: snow, rapidly plummeting temperatures, and huge wind gusts that very nearly sent our trash cans careening down into the river. Again. That is, we lost one of them to the river during a windstorm a couple years ago; this time both of them did go flying after they were emptied this morning, but I was able to rescue one from the edge of the embankment, while the other has managed to wedge itself between two trees halfway down the hillside, just out of reach of any of the long-handled implements I have readily available so I’m hoping it will stay in place long enough for me to figure out a way to retrieve it.
Anyway, enough about that, let’s listen to some nasty, ugly music befitting such a nasty, ugly day!
S.I.D. – City of Chemistry (digital 15 July 2022; vinyl 14 October 2022, Gruesome Records / SFA Records / V.A.N.G.A. Records)
Private Prisons – Extrication (Trepanation Recordings, 16 December 2022)
“Are you the guys on the beach that hate everything?”
Right around 30 years ago, as hair metal was in its final death throes along with most other remnants of the Reagan 80s, and the grunge movement was just starting to come into full swing in terms of global mainstream recognition, Californian hard rockers Ugly Kid Joe dropped their debut full-length, kind of bridging the gap between the dominant sounds of the previous decade and the one that had just begun.
This writer was in eighth grade at the time, and America’s Least Wanted may have been the very first cassette I ever bought for myself, or if not, at least one of the first two or three.
So when I heard that the band was releasing a brand-new album this fall — even working with the same producer they did three decades ago (Mark Dodson) — based on the nostalgia factor of course I had to check it out. But I ended up discovering that these guys (two who’ve been around since the founding days of the band and two others who’ve been on every major release in their history; only the drummer role has changed hands a few times over the years) have crafted a very good, very solid, rock record.
Ugly Kid Joe – Rad Wings of Destiny (Metalville Records, 21 October 2022)
Happy Friday! Got something brand-new for you all today…
Although North Carolinian ecology-themed band Escaping Aghartha is more often associated with the sounds of extreme death and doom metal, they’ve just dropped an album completely consisting of mellow ambiance.
Avian is an ambient album in which each song has been crafted around the vocalization of a specific species of bird, resulting in other-worldly and deeply immersive atmospheres. The album is a celebration of the wondrous diversity of shapes, survival strategies, vocalizations, colors, behaviors of birds and their intellectual prowess.
Escaping Aghartha – Avian (Hiraeth Records, 16 December 2022)
Just a quick shout to let you all know about this brand-new split record that came out last Friday — half of which is by a doom troupe from Montpellier France, whose 2016 album we had written about back when it came out; the other half features a sludge trio from Seattle whose 2017 album really caught my attention at that time but somehow I never got around to writing about that one, an oversight which is being rectified right now…
Old Iron – Lupus Metallorum (Good to Die Records, 18 August 2017)
Old Iron / Verdun – Split (Satanik Royalty Records, 25 February 2022)
We’re back! No new posts yesterday because I was celebrating “Two-sday” (2/22/22 or 22/2/22 depending on your local date formatting tradition) a little too hard.
Or to put it a different way, I found myself swamped with upwards of 70,000 email messages and about twelve hours of meetings (in just a nine-hour day, somehow) at work yesterday, which left very little time to think about anything else.
But like I said, we’re back! Today I have two different takes on post-metal to share with you, starting with an Israeli quartet’s second EP that came out late last year, and then we’ll check out the fourth full-length (and second as a six-piece band, following one I wrote about two years ago) by a Californian ensemble.
NŪR – Negative Transfer (Suicide Records, 15 October 2021)
Mountaineer – Giving Up the Ghost (Lifeforce Records, 25 February 2022)
Hey there! We’re embarking on a pretty busy week as far as new releases are concerned. I’ve already touched upon a couple records due out this Friday (here and here), with more on their way.
Including one of the two I’ll be sharing with you today! And if you enjoy that one I promise you also won’t want to miss the band’s previous release, which came out almost exactly six years earlier! Here we go…
Eight Bells – Landless (Tartarus Records, 23 March 2016)
Eight Bells – Legacy of Ruin (Prophecy Productions, 25 February 2022)
Mr. George Fisher — most famous to denizens of the internet as an aficionado of cuddly stuffed animals (see here, here, here, here, and here for just a few examples) — has apparently decided to try his hand at death metal vocals.
While I’m not completely sure what prompted this new hobby (although I’m curious whether it might have resulted from a coincidental similarity in appearance to Dethklok vocalist Nathan Explosion from the hit Adult Swim show Metalocalypse, particularly when Mr. Fisher is depicted in cartoon format, as evidenced in the cover artwork shown below), for whatever reason he has assembled himself a brand-new band he calls Corpsegrinder which will release its self-titled debut album one week from today!
Corpsegrinder – Corpsegrinder (Perseverance Music Group, 25 February 2022)
Here we have two more noteworthy releases from last year. The first, a two-track single, debut release of a collaborative trio from Scotland and Germany; the other an album by a veteran deathrock quintet from the San Francisco Bay Area.
healthyliving – until/below (self-released, 25 June 2021)
Esses – Bloodletting for the Lonely (Bat-Cave Productions / Atakra Records, 06 August 2021)
Good day, readers. Here to start off the week properly I’ve got a pair of albums that live somewhere in the vicinity of post-hardcore, both by Swiss bands (well, one of them is more of a Swiss-Swedish hybrid), and both of which are coming out very soon. Get ready!
Norna – Star Is Way Way Is Eye (Vinter Records, 18 February 2022)
Abraham – Débris de Mondes Perdus (Pelagic Records, 25 February 2022)