Year of the Goat – The Key and the Gate (2014), The Unspeakable (2015)

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Year of the GoatThe Key and the Gate (Napalm Records, 28 November 2014)

 

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Year of the GoatThe Unspeakable (Napalm Records, 31 July 2015)

 

The year of the goat has ended: this past February, the year of the monkey was ushered in.  But the previous twelve lunar months had been dominated by this horned beast — the third such year since the one in which I was born — and around this time period, Sweden’s Year of the Goat had been fairly active.  Exactly twelve weeks before the commencement of the (Chinese) new year, their second EP The Key and the Gate saw the light of day via Napalm Records, who then went on to release Year of the Goat‘s second full-length album The Unspeakable once the year of the goat was actually in full-swing — in fact, right in the middle of the month of the goat.

And I’ll stop there, because that pretty much exhausts the extent of my research into Chinese astrology in preparation for writing about this band from Norrköping and their latest two releases — the latter and longer of which found its way onto my list of the best of 2015

 

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Brimstone Coven – Self-titled (2014); Castle – Welcome to the Graveyard (2016)

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Brimstone CovenBrimstone Coven (Metal Blade Records, 05 August 2014)

 

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CastleWelcome to the Graveyard (Ván Records, 15 July 2016)

 

Good afternoon, all you fine people visiting the Valley. Things have gotten a little bit hectic around here recently — I’ll never understand what it is that makes people want to go on vacation in the summertime when it’s so gross and hot and humid outside. Given the choice, I’d rather sit in an air-conditioned office all day, and save days off for later when I really don’t feel like going. Not that much writing happens while I’m at work anyhow, I’m plenty busy enough doing my actual job, but I usually at least can spend the day listening to stuff, and jotting down some little notes that I can turn into a full article or review later. But sometimes lately I haven’t had much chance to even think, let alone formulate coherent sentences.

But as always, there’s tons of stuff happening in the music world, new releases to tell you about, older stuff that you may have missed but really deserves your attention, tours kicking off that just might be coming through your city. And this will be a blend of all of those things: one band whose new album comes out next month, and who started a tour (that will last pretty much all summer long!) just last week; another band who released an excellent album two years ago but somehow we never got around to sharing it with you, and who will be joining the first band for a handful of those shows in a few weeks. So keep on reading, you’ll hear some great music, and the full set of dates for each band will be listed down below in the comments …

 

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Review: Satan – Life Sentence

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SatanLife Sentence (Listenable Records, 21 May 2013)

 

Hello, readers. As I mentioned a few days ago when I published my list of year-end lists (if you missed it, the collection can be found right here; my own personal list of 2013’s best releases can be found by scrolling all the way to the bottom), and as you could certainly tell yourself just by poking around a little bit, I really dropped the ball when it came to getting much writing done last year. And consequently, I neglected to share a great deal of music with you folks. Believe me, I feel bad about that, because there’s so much of it that I’ve been really enjoying listening to, and it’s pretty unfair not to pass that along. So on that note, let’s talk about Satan.

 

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Out Last Week: Monsterworks – Man::Instincts (FREE Download!)

 

MonsterworksMan::Instincts (Mortal Music, 10 July 2012)

 
Whoah.

Despite all my attempts to stay alert and focused on doing my job, I think I might have accidentally dozed off a little bit just now.

And let me tell you — I had one fucked up dream.

Picture this: King Diamond and his band, Chris Cornell and the rest of Soundgarden, Rob Zombie, Glen Benton and the rest of Deicide, and all four dudes from Mastodon somehow all met up at a party, where they ended up playing cards and drinking and having a good time, and suddenly they decided they wanted to collaborate on a musical project. All of them.

Naturally, with so much talent in the room, nobody could decide who should be the vocalist, so they figured the only fair way would be to let everyone sing — sometimes they’d take turns, or sometimes they’d all join together in like this massive heavy metal choir. Something like the chorus in the Blue Öyster Cult song “Extra Terrestrial Intelligence,” just on a much grander scale.

Another issue arose when it came time to start writing songs, since they all came from such diverse musical backgrounds. But this supergroup soon discovered that they at least had some influences in common — all the great old-school metal, proto-metal, and hard rock bands. So they let this sound be the foundation for their new music, and as they began working together on the songs, they found that the little bits of death metal, stoner metal, thrash, NWOBHM, and whatever else kept creeping into the writing process seemed to mesh together surprisingly well. (I know it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense — I told you it was a pretty crazy dream!)

 
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The “Signmeto” Unsigned Band of the Week: Jamie Parker

Hello, readers.  To be honest with you, as much as I’ve bitched and moaned about the workdays dragging by, I really can’t believe it’s already Monday again!  This weekend went by far too quickly, but not only that, it hardly feels like last Monday was a whole week ago.  I’m guessing this is because school is just about wrapping up for this semester (only one more week to go!) and I’m trying to make sure everything is caught up and turned in before the deadline, and so it is starting to feel like days are slipping away from me.  But enough about that, like I said, it’s Monday, and you all know what that means!  It’s time for the “Signmeto” Unsigned Band of the Week!  As you know, this is the thing where I go to the “Sign Me to Roadrunner Records” website and check out the messages that bands have written to me asking for a review of their music.  Then I grab one of those bands, listen to the songs they’ve got posted, then I write about them here so YOU can discover some awesome new music. 

Today I’m looking at a solo artist from Dorchester, in the southern part of England, whose name is Jamie Parker.  He says the three songs currently included on his Signmeto page are just demo tracks that will soon be re-recorded with a new full band line-up, but they sound pretty fully realized to me.  I like where things seem to be going with this project so far, and if you like your stoner rock on the heavier end of the spectrum, then you’ll probably dig it as well.

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