Grizzlor – Cycloptic (2015), Rhin – Passenger (2016)

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GrizzlorCycloptic (Hex Records, 28 October 2015)

 

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RhinPassenger (Grimoire Records, 06 May 2016)

 

Hey — remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about a split record by Barren Womb from Norway and New Haven’s Grizzlor? Maybe you missed it because it was only a couple short paragraphs, buried among reviews of two Bardus albums. Whatever the case, in that article (which you can find right here), I pointed out how the two songs contributed by the Connecticutian band were nasty and punky but also just catchy enough to make one want to check out more of their stuff. Well I didn’t realize it at the time, but there wouldn’t be a long wait to be able to do just that — in fact, technically it was a negative amount of time, since that article was published almost a year after the split with Barren Womb was released, and in the meantime — about seven months later, but still a few months before I wrote the article — Grizzlor had already put out another 7″ record.

Today I’m going to discuss that record with you, and I’ll also throw in some words about a brand-new album — due out next Friday from Grimoire Records — by Rhin from Shepherdstown (a small town at the easternmost tip of West Virginia, near the border with Maryland and Virginia). As an added bonus for those readers who live near Philly, Brooklyn, or New Haven, these two bands will be performing in your city this weekend! Further details on those shows will be found at the end of the article. But first, let’s talk about some music …

 

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Corrections House – Last City Zero, Lumbar – The First and Last Days of Unwelcome (2013)

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Corrections HouseLast City Zero (Neurot Recordings, 29 October 2013)

 

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LumbarThe First and Last Days of Unwelcome (Southern Lord Records, 11 November 2013)

 

Salutations. It’s Monday, and I just don’t have the energy for any of the wisecracks or silliness these things often start with, so instead I’ll just jump right into introducing today’s topic of conversation. It’s been a long time coming, but finally I’m getting around to writing about these two albums which were each released in late 2013, and which each subsequently found their way into the top ten of my Top 13 of 2013 list. Yes, that particular list did contain a total of twenty-seven albums, technically speaking, but still that’s no excuse for a delay of more than two years before getting some of these reviews done — particularly considering the exceptionally high quality of the material found here.

The two albums in question were the first to be released by two different groups of musicians, all veterans of fairly well-known bands: first, Corrections House is a conglomoration of Mike IX Williams (Eyehategod), Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), and Sanford Parker (Minsk), with some of the lyrics contributed by the phantasmatic “minister of propaganda,” Seward Fairbury; and Lumbar is a project led by Aaron Edge (well-known as a graphic designer, who worked for Southern Lord Records for several years, but also a guitarist and drummer who has been part of literally dozens of groups, including Brothers of the Sonic Cloth), with the addition of Mike Scheidt (YOB) and Tad Doyle (Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, formerly Tad).

In each case, I think you’ll find — as they say — that the finished product shows each collective to be more than simply a sum of its parts. But even if that wasn’t the case, looking at the particular parts involved, those would still be pretty lofty sums, no?

 

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Two Reviews: The Swan King and Jar’d Loose (2014)

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The Swan KingLast So Long (War Crime Recordings, 03 June 2014)

 

JL Turns 13

Jar’d LooseTurns 13 (CD/digital on The Path Less Traveled Records; vinyl on Threshold of Pain Records, 27 May 2014)

 

For those keeping track at home — yeah, this is the fifth article I’m publishing, as well as the seventh and eighth albums I’m reviewing, this week. That’s got to be some kind of a record. If I can keep up this level of productivity, it’ll only take me about two whole years to get caught up with all the stuff I want to write about. IF bands would just stop releasing new stuff during that time. Which is about as likely to happen as me being able to continue writing and publishing stuff at this current rate.

Oh well, here are two albums I’d like to share with you that were released within the past two weeks, by two different bands from Chicago, who have been travelling together on a mini-tour for about the past week or so, including a stop in Pittsburgh tonight (Saturday, 07 June – more info here) before heading back home to the windy city for a joint record release show tomorrow night (more info here)…

 

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Two Reviews: Eyehategod and Enabler (2014)

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EyehategodEyehategod (Housecore Records, 27 May 2014)

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EnablerLa Fin Absolue du Monde (The Compound, 27 May 2014)

 

I will not be getting any sleep tonight. I’ve already accepted this as an unfortunate but unavoidable truth, and am now working on moving on. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve discovered that since about age 30, it has become way more difficult to function on litte (or no) sleep, and now that I’m hitting the halfway point of that decade, getting enough rest has become a very precious commodity. It isn’t ever easy, especially when my two-hour (each way) commute necessitates that I leave home at 5:00 in the morning, meaning I have to wake up around 4-4:30. That wouldn’t be so bad, if I were able to fall asleep around 10:00 each night, but that’s a rare occurrence — and tonight in particular it will be completely impossible.

I’m going to the Eyehategod/Enabler/Ringworm show at The Rex Theater in Pittsburgh (part of the tour I wrote about last week). The show is scheduled to start at 7:00, but in addition to the three touring bands, there had been two local openers scheduled (Under Everything and Hericide), and then somewhere along the way the Dune sandworm-named band Shai Hulud got thrown into the mix (I guess they are currently on their way home from a tour and just happened to be passing through town today and so now apparently they’re playing at this show as well). Naturally, with six bands, even if things kick off exactly at seven, there’s no way it’ll end anywhere before midnight — and that’s the absolute best case scenerio. Add in an hour drive to get home (that two-hour commute I mentioned involves bus-riding and walking), and I probably won’t be able to be in bed any earlier than 2:00. Falling asleep that late and waking up at 4:00 would probably make me even more tired and miserable than if I didn’t sleep at all. So here we are.

But, shit, what am I going to do — NOT go see Eyehategod in their first appearance in this area since …… well, the Bandsintown archive goes back more than seven years and doesn’t have a single Pittsburgh date listed. Neither does Setlist.fm have any mention of them playing here. In fact, the only thing I could find after an extensive five minutes of web-searching was a couple YouTube videos from a show in the summer of 1998. Basically the point I’m trying to make is, this is a pretty monumental event, and if I don’t take advantage of this chance to see one of the most important bands in the history of sludge metal, I might never have another opportunity.

 

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The List of 2013 Year-End Lists

Photo Collage - 2013 Shows - by Asya Yanyo

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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…

 

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