Conan – Blood Eagle (Napalm Records, 28 February 2014)
Conan – Revengeance (Napalm Records, 29 January 2016)
Following our last article that covered a few of North‘s more recent releases, it only makes sense to talk about their current tour-mates Conan as well. The Merseysider trio has been around for over ten years — although the line-up has changed a few times: from 2011 (when their split record with Slomatics came out, which was the last release we discussed here) until the 2014 emergence of their second full-length Blood Eagle, Paul O’Neill had remained behind the drums, but Phil Coumbe had taken on bass/vocal duties; then by 2016 new drummer Rich Lewis had joined, and Chris Fielding (a prolific producer and engineer who had worked on all of Conan‘s previous releases) was added as bassist/vocalist. The only constant throughout the band’s career has been guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis, who also runs Black Bow Records in his spare time — oh and by the way, you may remember from when last year when we covered Boss Keloid‘s Herb Your Enthusiasm, which was a Black Bow release, Davis and Fielding both had guest spots on that record.
Well, it wouldn’t be accurate to say that Mr. Davis being part of the band continuously has been the only constant over the past decade-plus. The sound produced by this trio has perpetually been as savage and barbaric as the literary character from which their name was derived. To be specific, they identify themselves as “caveman battle doom” — and you’ll find, as we make our way through Blood Eagle and last year’s follow-up Revengeance, there really couldn’t be a more apt description …
North – Siberia (self-released, 01 May 2006 / re-released by Prosthetic Records, 02 June 2015)
North – Metanoia (self-released, 11 March 2014 / re-released by Prosthetic Records, 02 June 2015)
North – Through Raven’s Eyes (Prosthetic Records, 14 August 2015)
North – Light the Way (Prosthetic Records, 18 March 2016)
Well. Today is going to be all about North, a band who (naturally) come from the extreme southern part of Arizona, and who, as we mentioned a while back, are touring across the country with Conan. As you can see from the title of this post and that series of album covers just above, there’s going to be a ton of material to go over, so that’s all the introduction we have time for …
Hey! I know I promised recently that we’d be getting back to reviews soon. That was before I spent the majority of January just getting caught up on listening to stuff from 2016 so that I could belatedly finalize my list of the year’s best releases! But that’s finally online now, and our first review of 2017 is scheduled to be published tomorrow. First, though, it’s time for another quick news update.
In this edition: charity donations at Bandcamp; tour news from Katatonia, Conan, and North; album release news from Ever Circling Wolves; plus more news about new videos and shows!
Conan / Slomatics – Split (original release 2011 / to be reissued by Black Bow Records, September 2016)
Yesterday when we talked about Slomatics‘ first two albums, I mentioned that the band has signed with Black Bow Records, who has rereleased those two albums in advance of the band’s new record due later this year. But this partnership was not the first time they’ve dealt with that label OR its owner Jon Davis. Slomatics and Davis‘ band Conan — from Merseyside County, England, just across the Irish Sea from Belfast — had put together a split record back in 2011. After that limited-edition vinyl quickly sold out, Black Bow put out another pressing of the split in 2014, which also wasn’t around for very long.
And now, they’ve announced that there will be a new batch coming soon — only 200 copies will be made available this time, and each record will be pressed onto a full-color representation of that incredible cover art! An exact release date hasn’t been set yet, but pre-orders are on sale now, and they’re expected to begin shipping around early September.
Slomatics – Flooding the Weir (original release 2005 / reissued by Black Bow Records, 20 November 2015)
Slomatics – Kalceanna (original release 2007 / reissued by Black Bow Records, 20 November 2015)
Here we find ourselves in the midst of another magnificent Monday. It’s kind of shocking to realize how much of each day (and therefore how much of the workweek) is spent basically sleepwalking, semi-conscious, sort of in that fuzzy slow-motion daze that they always use in movies and tv shows when someone has been drugged or tranquilized or something. And I mean, a large portion of each day even after a cup of coffee or two. Maybe this is why I find myself drawn to low-tempo, fuzzy, swampy/sludgy, crawling-through-quicksand styles of music so much of the time?
I don’t know. But that’s exactly what the music we’re here to talk about today sounds like. Slomatics, from Northern Ireland, have been actively creating heavy fuzz-sludge music for about a dozen years now. Their first two albums were released in 2005 and 2007 on CD, but have been out of print for years. So naturally, after they had signed to Black Bow Records (the label run by their neighbor across the Irish Sea, Conan‘s Jon Davis), while the band got working on their upcoming fifth album (which is set to release in early September), the label decided to once again make those early two releases available in digital format.
Boss Keloid – Herb Your Enthusiasm (Black Bow Records, 08 April 2016)
Well it’s Thursday now, which means it’s almost Friday, which means the weekend is almost here, so I guess that’s a good thing, right? I dunno. I’ve been so tired all week, it’s tough to feel excited about anything. Although — again, tomorrow is Friday, and we’re now finding ourselves coming into what’s traditionally one of the biggest times of the year in terms of new music getting released. Which means a bunch of stuff will be coming out tomorrow (just as it has for the past couple of weeks and will over the next several). So at least there’s that.
I totally missed out on getting anything published here yesterday, due to some super lame crap that kept me busy all day, which means we’re already behind schedule in terms of what I wanted to be able to share with you people this week. So probably it’s about time to quit rambling and get straight to the music, right?
Various Artists – Doommantia Vol. 1 (23 October 2012)
Hey folks. We’ve already talked about Ed Barnard, who operates the Doommantia website, but in case you’ve forgotten, this is the guy who has dealt with being bankrupted by astronomical medical bills, eventually resulting in being evicted from his home. More information on the situation is available elsewhere, if you care to look.
Anyway, it’s a pretty terrible story, but the brotherhood (and sisterhood — or, let’s just say, siblinghood) of Doom Metal has been quick to respond. The Doommantia website itself has been collecting funds via a Paypal button; earlier this month, Maryland-based War Injun put together a benefit concert.
And now, an enormous (39 tracks! Over four hours long!) compilation of songs from all kinds of amazing bands has been put together by members of South Carolina’s Compel. Downloads are available for purchase from Bandcamp; the minimum price is only seven bucks, but naturally you have the option to decide to donate any amount you wish.