Cyttorak / Revered and Reviled Above All Others – Split (Sleeping Village Records, 22 January 2021)
So okay, here we are. Exactly fifty-one weeks into mandated quarantine working from home, and truly starting to lose my mind from cabin fever. Looking forward to my wife coming home from work each day with stories of interaction with other human beings, since I’ve all but forgotten what that feels like.
2020 was — well, probably better to not even bring that up at all. You get it. So as a result, I found myself taking nearly two full months into 2021 just catching up on stuff I hadn’t gotten around to listening to, just to get my Top 20 list finalized. Managed to get that online about a week ago. So naturally, now I’ve begun the daunting task of working my way through 2021 releases that I’ve missed so far.
Which brings us back to the original purpose of me writing these words and you reading them: letting you know about something you may wish to cram into your ear-holes. In particular, today I’ve got a split release for you, fresh off the presses of Sleeping Village Records, the relatively new label run by the fine folks who brought you Sleeping Village Reviews.
Don’t forget that this is supposed to be a two-way street: I write words about music that I’ve enjoyed listening to, you folks read those words and listen to that music, and then you can leave a comment about how much you also enjoyed listening to it! For the sake of my sanity! Thanks for stopping by!
Close the Hatch – Modern Witchcraft (Red Moth Records, 22 May 2020)
Mountaineer – Bloodletting (Lifeforce Records, 22 May 2020)
Good afternoon and happy Friday to all you wonderful people out there!
Day job insanity has really caught up with me this week; my apologies, but that’s why I missed out on writing anything here yesterday. Today isn’t much better — so I’ll have to make this quick — but I didn’t want another day to pass without sharing new music with you folks.
For your Memorial Day weekend perusal, here are a pair of albums that just came out today, from two bands residing on opposite ends of the country, but which are both at least somewhat doom-metal-adjacent. Hope you enjoy them!
Talking Book – Talking Book II (Koolarrow Records, 24 April 2020)
Good day, loyal readers. Hope you all are still doing well, trying your best to stay safe and sane.
Today I’ll be sharing something that very much falls outside the standard delineation of purpose for this website: not “metal,” nor “other heavy music,” and debatable whether this would even exactly qualify (under some of the more conservative definitions) as “music.”
Talking Book began nearly ten years ago when the owners of two record labels known for their diverse and eclectic international line-ups (Koolarrow Records‘ Billy Gould and Gigante Sound‘s Jared Blum) came together to collaborate on the album The Talking Book.
Somehow, that one must have escaped my attention when it was released back in 2011 — which is somewhat surprising, considering the fact that I literally signed up for Twitter in order to follow Mr. Gould back in like 2009 when rumors were running rampant about another of his musical projects possibly reuniting, and it was said that a certain bassist and founding member’s Twitter feed would be a reliable source of information about that.
Anyway, since at time the duo were joined by Gigante Sound co-conspirator Dominic Cramp, and many years later they finally got around to recording a follow-up — which Koolarrow released nearly three weeks ago.
Forlesen – Hierophant Violent (Hypnotic Dirge Records, 18 April 2020)
Well, seems like it’s about time to check in on what’s happening with our northern neighbors at Hypnotic Dirge. Here’s a new record they came out with within the past month — and if their history of quality releases wasn’t enough to recommend checking it out, surely that gorgeous artwork (produced by Benjamin A. Vierling) will draw you right in.
It turns out Hierophant Violent is the debut offering from a new ensemble from the San Francisco Bay area, consisting of members who’ve worked in various other local groups — such as Botanist, Lotus Thief, and Kayo Dot.
Body Void / Keeper – Split (Tridroid Records [cassette] / Roman Numeral Records [vinyl], 15 January 2020)
Keeper / Sea Bastard – Split (Medusa Crush Recordings [N.A.] / Dry Cough Records [U.K.], 03 February 2015)
Hello there! Today we’re going to take a look at a split record that’s been generating a little bit of buzz since it came out last month, but not nearly as much as it should — considering the caliber of the two bands who released it (Californians Body Void and Keeper).
But I realize at this point that we have never mentioned Keeper previously, which is really a shame because they were involved with another fantastic split LP that came out about five years ago, along with Brightonian band Sea Bastard. Somehow we just never got around to covering it, so to rectify that error, let’s revisit that one today as well. So you can have a little “bonus review” as a treat.
Daxma – Ruins Upon Ruins (Blues Funeral Recordings, 26 July 2019)
Hey! In case you were wondering, we still talk about music around here, too. Sometimes. This morning let’s dive into a fascinating two-track EP that emerged over the summer, from the Oakland (CA)-based post-doom/drone crew Daxma.
The band’s name is a homophone (or perhaps simply an alternate spelling) of dakhma, the towers built in Zoroastrian societies as a place to cast dead bodies, where first vultures and other scavengers, and then the sun and other elements, will ultimately cleanse and purify the bones.
Body Void – You Will Know the Fear You Forced Upon Us (Crown and Throne Ltd/Dry Cough Records/Seeing Red Records, 15 March 2019)
Each of the past two years, Body Void from beautiful, sunny California has unleashed an album unto the world, which could be called anything BUT beautiful or sunny. Even if you’ve been hiding under a rock this whole time, surely they’ve still managed to catch your attention. But if by some inexplicable means you’ve missed out, please do yourself a favor and check them both out here.
Well, this deteriorating mass called earth and all its awful inhabitants have crept their way around the sun once more, and sure enough, the Golden State trio has graced our ears with another heaping helping of auditory despondence: You Will Know the Fear You Forced Upon Us.
Continuing their affinity for pushing the boundaries of physical packaging, the Grammy Award® winning outfit has created a deluxe, limited-edition CD version of Fear Inoculum. The collectible offering, which was conceived by and directed by Adam Jones, features a 4″ HD rechargeable screen with exclusive video footage, charging cable, 2 watt speaker, a 36-page booklet and a digital download card. Pre-orders for both the special package and digital downloads are available now. A vinyl release will be announced soon.
The 85-minute collection was produced by Tool, with Joe Barresi engineering and mixing the release. Barresi also worked with the band on 10,000 Days.
The song stream and pre-order news arrives as the Los Angeles band recently made several of their previous releases, Opiate, Undertow, Ænima, Lateralus and 10,000 Days, available for the first time on digital service providers. The releases racked up over 20 million streams in the first 48 hours of release, as well as quickly claiming five spots on iTunes’ Top 10 Albums chart.
Chrch – Light Will Consume Us All (Neurot Recordings, 11 May 2018)
Fister – No Spirit Within (Listenable Records, 18 May 2018)
Hey! Remember that incredible split of DOOOOOOM between California’s Chrch and Missouri’s Fister, that came out last November? We just wrote about it at the beginning of this year. Well, both of those bands recently wrapped up a joint European tour, and coincidentally they are both beginning a series of U.S. tour dates TONIGHT (although those will all be separate shows). Also, they both signed to new labels in the recent past (Neurot and Listenable respectively), and both bands have just released their first album on those labels within the past month.
In this article we’re going to talk about both of those albums, and then at the end will be a list of upcoming performances for each band. Prepare yourselves.
Body Void – Ruins (Crown and Throne Ltd/Dry Cough Records, 31 January 2017)
Body Void – I Live Inside a Burning House (Crown and Throne Ltd/Dry Cough Records/Seeing Red Records, 11 May 2018)
At some point throughout all these years of running this website, it has become apparent that it’s very difficult for someone to go back and remember everything they heard at the end of the year, pick out all the best things, and rank them in some kind of order. And as we’ve grown and attracted more attention, with the hundreds and hundreds of things submitted here each year, to do so nowadays would be downright impossible. So here’s a quick pro-tip: the start of each new year brings with it the start of a new list. For example, the first seventeen releases from 2017 would have made that year’s list by default. Once the eighteenth release rolls around, was it better than anything already listed? Then it gets slotted in there somewhere, and everything else gets bumped down a slot. And so on through the end of December.
Naturally there will be a need to revisit the listed items at year-end, to see how well they’ve held up to repeated listens and to solidify the order. Also, anything that just narrowly missed making the cut will be kept track of throughout the year, in case it feels like there need to be any substitutions made by that time. But for the most part, it’s been a pretty decent system.
Arriving at the actual point of all this nonsense — with a January release date, San Franciscan trio Body Void‘s debut LP Ruins would have been one of the earlier records to get ranked in the 2017 list, and whatever else came in throughout the following eleven months, it ended up hanging around in that top 10 the entire time. And now, their follow-up I Live Inside a Burning House has just been released this month, boldly demanding a spot in the current year’s list (and not looking likely to be unseated any time soon).
In this article we’ll give both albums a listen, and then at the bottom don’t miss the list of their June/July tour dates, all the way across the country and back again!