Earth and Pillars – Earth II (Avantgarde Music, 25 October 2019 [digital]; 15 November 2019 [CD]; 22 November 2019 [LP])
Good afternoon! Looking back a few years, I remember being quite taken with the atmospheric qualities of Earth I, the debut album by Italian blackened entity Earth and Pillars — which had originally been released in 2014, but we wrote a little something about it upon its vinyl reissue in 2016.
Well, just last month its sequel Earth II has emerged out of the æther, with the first physical manifestations (on compact disc) popping up last week, to be followed by a vinyl record edition tomorrow. Whichever format suits your fancy, would be worth seeking out.
Mevrimna – INHIBIT\\EXHIBIT (The Fear and the Void Recordings, 01 November 2019)
While they may take the stage silently, completely shrouded in the anonymity of long black cowls, I don’t think either member of Pittsburgh-based blackened noise duo Mevrimna is making any real attempt to conceal their real-life alter egos: the guitarist (and occasionally bassist) and the drummer/vocalist serve in those same capacities as members of the much-acclaimed Slaves BC.
In fact, their live debut (almost exactly one year ago in Turtle Creek, PA) was slotted immediately before a performance by their “other” group. While I don’t know whether they found themselves to be a hard act to follow that evening, I can confirm that the peculiarly-named twosome did succeed in utterly scaring the hell out of everyone in attendance.
And now, following a few one-off tracks, this month these guys have released a brand-new full-length recording, which assuredly will serve up the exact same result. Consider yourself warned.
Fister – Decade of Depression (Listenable Records, 27 September 2019)
Hey, have you heard? St. Louisan grimy doomlords Fister are celebrating their first decade of existence!
Well, maybe “celebrating” is not the correct word — taking a cue from the Slayer live album Decade of Aggression, the band has assembled an LP filled with covers paying tribute to some of their main influences, entitled Decade of Depression.
Here at VOS we’ve been huge fans of this trio for the better part of that decade — ever since a joint tour with The Lion’s Daughter led to a stop here in Pittsburgh back in the summer of 2013, which was completely mind-blowing to those few of us in attendance. From then on, we’ve tried to make it a point to spread the good word anytime there is new Fister material with which to desecrate one’s ears.
It’s been a little over a month since Decade of Depression hit the streets, but for those who may have been sleeping on this, kindly do yourselves a favor and direct your attention this way…!
So we’ve brought a couple two-track albums to your attention recently, which we hope you’ve enjoyed. For a change of pace, today we present a one-track album for your listening pleasure.
That one track, “Spasm of Light,” is an incredibly dense wall of black metal noise, nearly thirty-four minutes long. And reportedly the whole thing was recorded live in a single partially-improvised session. I will try to take at least some time talking about the band’s sound as a whole, rather than just spending 500 words gushing about the incredible amount of stamina it must take for a drummer to plow through such an intense marathon. But seriously.
Tia Carrera – Visitors / Early Purple (Small Stone Records, 22 March 2019)
Many of you may already be familiar with this group, who rose to superstardom when they appeared in the 1992 film Wayne’s World as the fictional band Crucial Taunt, as well as having a few of their songs appear on the soundtrack. But perhaps you soon lost track of these guys, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if you hadn’t heard that several years later they decided to move to Texas, fire the lead singer, fire the rest of the band, bring in a completely new set of musicians, not bring in a new singer, and adopt more of an improvisational psychedelic style.
To cap it all off, they went on to alter the spelling of their name just barely enough to avoid any potential lawsuits. See, in a situation similar to Alice Cooper, who had been the vocalist of the Alice Cooper Band prior to his appearance in Wayne’s World, the original singer of Tia Carrere legally changed her name to the band’s name — using it in her acting career when she, too, played roles in Wayne’s World and its sequel. This left the rest of the band — which, to reiterate, by this time consisted of entirely different members anyway — in an awkward position, and they had little choice other than to change the name to Tia Carrera.
Or to put it another way, virtually nothing I’ve said thus far has been even remotely true, aside from “Texas” and “improvisational psychedelic style.” Austin-based trio Tia Carrera, who (as far as I can tell) are completely unrelated to the similarly-named actress or her fake glam rock cover band, put out an album with two new lengthy songs (their first new material since 2011!) via Small Stone earlier this year, and if you haven’t heard it yet, I’m going to tell you why you should.
Sportsball, 2019 Week 5 Preview: Truth to All Rumors
Well, most teams have wrapped up a quarter of their games for this season — the last two will be playing their fourth games soon, one early Sunday afternoon and the other Monday night. By this point, you’d expect teams to be starting to settle into patterns, defining who they are and where they are headed (whether that means trending upward or downward). But this season, so many unexpected events — retirements, injuries, disaffected players forcing their way off teams’ rosters (or at least trying to do so) — has made it difficult for many to solidify their identities, resulting in some very topsy-turvy activity from week to week thus far.
Will this fifth week of the season see teams locking into trajectories that will carry them through the remainder of the season? Or are there still more surprises and major shake-ups yet to come? Rumors currently seem to favor the latter, and as we all know, there is at least some truth to all rumors. What rumors are you hearing, and do you believe them or not? Let us know in the comments section (below). And as always, head on over to Twitter to complain and argue, up to 280 characters at a time.
Talk is indeed cheap. Enough talk, let’s get straight to those week four game previews! The comments section is always open for business if you want to share your own opinions, or Twitter is a fun place to start some shit. Dig in!