John Frum – A Stirring in the Noos (Relapse Records, 12 May 2017)
Dying Fetus – Wrong One to Fuck With (Relapse Records, 23 June 2017)
Hey boys and girls. To start off the week right, I’m going to call your attention to a couple of recent Relapse releases. Presumably Dying Fetus (whose new album we previewed a little while back) will already be familiar to everyone reading this, but I’ll just take a moment to introduce John Frum.
Named for the messianic figure of a particular religious sect from the south Pacific nation of Vanuatu, John Frum combines guitarist Matt Hollenberg of Cleric (who has also played with John Zorn), bassist Liam Wilson of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Derek Rydquist from Bereft, (who was also with The Faceless for their first couple albums) on vocals, and Eli Litwin (the mastermind behind one-man band Intensus) on drums.
These two bands may have strikingly different takes on death metal, but both albums are definitely worth taking the time to check out!
Lifetime Shitlist – Lifetime Shitlist (Grimoire Records, 10 June 2014)
Well holy crap. When did this happen — I can’t believe it’s more than halfway through August already! (Well, to be honest, just the fact that we’re more than halfway through 2014 seems kind of insane…) The past month or two has completely been a blur to me, mostly in regards to craziness at work. My company bought another company, adding tons of extra paperwork for us pencil-pushers, exactly at the same time that someone in my department who’d had lots of responsibilities had to suddenly go out on medical leave. Add in all the usual week-long summer vacations that people tend to take, plus new temps who’ve needed training as they’ve come and gone randomly over the past several weeks, and I’ve barely been finding time to breathe or eat (let alone sit still long enough to even LISTEN to much music, nevermind trying to actually WRITE anything!)
But I have had the chance to listen to some stuff recently — some really good stuff — and gradually things will be settling down a bit. And anyway, I don’t want you to think I’ve forgotten about you, readers! So I’ll be trying to take advantage of what little freetime I can find (for example right now I’m writing this intro on the bus at 4:30 am, instead of sleeping, since I found myself inexplicably unable to sleep most of last night anyway), to share with you some new releases that you really ought to hear. Besides, this particular EP I’d like to tell you about today is only sixteen minutes long, give or take, so I’ll try to keep this relatively short.
Noothgrush / Coffins – Split (11 November 2013, Southern Lord Records)
Well, the long weekend is over (for a large number of readers: yesterday was Memorial Day in the U.S. and Spring Bank Holiday in the U.K.) and it’s time to return to boring, mundane reality. I’m sure it’s much more of a system shock for those of you who attended Maryland Deathfest this weekend. I’m still jealous of how many awesome bands you got to see over the past several days, though, so I don’t feel bad for you. For the rest of us, I’ve got some more music to share, which comes from some more bands that we missed out on seeing this weekend. This split LP, issued by Southern Lord several months back, serves as a nice little primer for two excellent sludge/doom bands — Noothgrush (who performed at MDF Saturday, 24 May) and Coffins (who were there Friday night)…
Seven Sisters of Sleep – Opium Morals (20 March 2013, A389 Records)
Well folks, the last weekend in May is upon us, which means that most of my peers in the music-writing industry (and many of my other metal-loving friends as well) have made their annual pilgrimage to Baltimore for the year’s largest metal festival (outside of Europe, of course), Maryland Deathfest. Once again, a number of huge names jumped out at me from the announced schedule (Hooded Menace! Crowbar! Fucking Candlemass!!), but also once again, various factors have conspired against me being able to attend.
But — whatever, I’m not just going to sit around all weekend and whine about it. I’ve got plenty of good music to keep me company, and I fully intend to listen to all of it. All of the musics. For starters, although I will not be seeing Californian sludge band Seven Sisters of Sleep performing at the MDF kick-off show tonight (Thursday, 22 May 2014), I can always stuff their second full-length Opium Morals (which happened to rank among my favorite albums of 2013) into my ears. And while I’m at it, I can share it with you readers (who, I assume, are reading this because you also not at the festival in Maryland right now). So here goes.
Myopic – Beyond the Mirror’s Edge (17 January 2014 CD / 04 March 2014 cassette, Grimoire Records)
Good afternoon, folks, and HAPPY FRIDAY! You all are probably anxious to get the weekend started, perhaps with some awesome music to listen to, and perhaps without a lot of crap to read before you get to listening. I understand. I’ll try to make this short and sweet. Which makes sense, because with just four tracks spanning approximately 25 minutes, this EP that was just released a week ago by Baltimore-based Grimoire Records is short — and also pretty fucking sweet.
The Beyond the Mirror’s Edge EP is the first thing I’ve ever heard from both Myopic, a three-piece band from Takoma Park, Maryland (just outside Washington), and from the Grimoire label. But if this little package of blackened post metal (with just a touch on the experimental side) is any indication, then I’m pretty excited to see what the future holds for both of them.
As everyone knows, almost all of the awesome metal tours and festivals take place over in Europe. They’ve got Wacken Open Air in Germany, Download Festival at Donnington Park in England, Metalcamp in Slovenia, and what seems like millions of others — all with the most incredible lineups imaginable. Meanwhile, the rest of us are pretty much just forced to contend with tours that have a far-too-high ratio of shitty-to-good, like Ozzfest or the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival.
Well, with a few exceptions, and probably the biggest exception each year is the Maryland Deathfest. This weekend-long metal party is held annually in the city of Baltimore, which as everyone knows was named for the seminal 1970s metal band Sir Lord Baltimore.
This year, the Deathfest is taking place between the 24th-27th of May, and tickets are available for three out of those four days. As we’ve recently discussed, Morgion had to pull out of their scheduled performance, but there is still a fuckton and a half of awesomeness in the lineup.
**Update (3 May 2012) — the official time-slot schedule has been released; details below**