Hey folks — a very Happy (Belated) New Year to all of you! 2013 definitely turned out to be an interesting year for me, with lots of big changes, new projects, new responsibilities, etc., but an unfortunate side-effect of some of that was (as you’ve surely noticed) that the amount of time I’d been spending writing really tapered off as the year went on, to the point where I didn’t post
anything here for the last few months! Well, as you may have seen, I’ve started writing reviews of some new 2014 releases — and as time allows I promise I will also be sharing plenty of older stuff I’ve missed writing about, because believe me there has been a TON worth sharing!
But more on that later. As I started doing last year, I’ve once again put together a collection of various people’s “best of” lists from 2013. Admittedly I sort of got a late start on this (I didn’t even put out the open invitation until after most websites had already finished with publishing all their year-end stuff), but several people have answered the call and contributed some really interesting lists that you’ll want to check out…
Fister – Gemini (self-released, 19 March 2013)
Lately, a close personal friend of this website, Mr. Jason Cantu (read more about him here, as part of my wife’s ongoing interview series), has been all atwitter about this sludge/doom band from Saint Louis called Fister. Now, I’ve always had a lot of respect for his judgement about things, because anytime he’s recommended something it’s always been a winner: he seems to really pay attention to what people listen to, and so if he says “You’ll like this,” chances are you will.
But you don’t just have to take my word for it. Jason’s opinions have just gained a whole new level of credibility, as he has recently joined the ranks of The Sludgelord as a contributing writer. So you know that’s no B.S., since that site is world-renowned as a leading authority on heavy music.
So anyway, Fister. The first time I heard of these guys was last year, when one of their songs was included on the Doommantia benefit comp. That song was very slow and heavy, raw and noisy. All things that I would later discover to be part of this band’s signature style.
Fast forward to the present day; Fister are currently in the midst of an excursion across the Midwest and the northeast, which includes a stop in Pittsburgh tonight! All the members of Cantu‘s band Slaves BC have been talking about how excited they are to be part of this show, so I figured it was about time for me to do some investigating.
As it turns out, Fister has quite a lot of material available on their Bandcamp page, so I decided to tackle their most recent album, Gemini (released earlier this year), which is their second full-length. Here’s what I discovered…
Dendritic Arbor – Sylvan Matriarch (self-released, 26 March 2013)
Good morning, folks! What’s new with you?? I have to tell you a story about what happened to me recently, but it’s a little bit embarassing…
So I’m sure you all remember Quercus, guitarist/vocalist for that band of black metal eco-terrorists Dendritic Arbor — he and I had a conversation about his band last month when they were performing at the Winter’s Wake pre-fest show (which you can read here). As you’ll recall, there was some discussion at that time about their forthcoming release Sylvan Matriarch…
Anyway, fast-forward to a couple days ago, and I got a message from Mr. Quercus, where he asked me whether I do album reviews on this website. Well. That was sort of a reality check for me — I know that I’ve been very preoccupied lately and have been writing very, very little. And what I have been posting recently has largely consisted of interviews, either conducted by myself or by someone else. But at that moment I realized, geez, you really couldn’t tell just by looking — unless you were to dig pretty deep — that reviewing music is sort of supposed to be the primary purpose of this website!
So I got my hands on a copy of Sylvan Matriarch, which is officially available today — it actually went up on Bandcamp yesterday, but tonight Dendritic Arbor will be playing a show to celebrate the release. I’ve got all the information you need about the album, the show, AND a special super-limited bundle were you can get a whole bunch of goodies for a really low price, IF you’re one of the first few people to jump on this deal!
The Winter’s Wake 2013 Thursday Night Pre-fest Show is coming up very soon! Here’s an interview with another band that’s playing tonight!
Once more, since there have been so many different bands to talk to, I’m keeping these relatively short and sweet. Hopefully there’ll be enough here for you (the reader) to get a bit of background info about each band, and you’ll get excited about getting to see every single one of them this weekend!
Below you will find the result of chatting with Quercus, guitarist/vocalist for the ecologically-minded harsh black metal band Dendritic Arbor…