Employed to Serve – The Warmth of a Dying Sun (Holy Roar Records, 19 May 2017)
The last time I wrote about this ‘post-hardcore/powerviolence’ band from Woking, England (in Surrey County, just outside London), I explained how I had first discovered them when they emailed me about their 2012 EP Long Time Dead. I was absolutely infatuated by that release (and still am!) but for a variety of reasons never quite managed to write anything about it until just last year.
When I heard Holy Roar was releasing a brand-new EtS album (and some of the early press seemed to be hinting at an AOTY contender) I knew I needed to get my hands on it — and also that I wouldn’t let another four years pass before writing about it! So here, I present you with The Warmth of a Dying Sun. Enjoy!
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 …
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown – Zim Zam Zim (Bronze Rat Records, 28 July 2014)
For those who may have missed the announcement, about two months ago, the highly influential and iconic Arthur Brown will be performing a series of live dates with The Crazy World of Arthur Brown — for the first time since that group’s earlier incarnation had disbanded after (or during, depending on which account of events you hear) a U.S. tour back in 1969! This new run of shows will be kicking off tonight(!), and we’ve got the details for you down in the comments section. But before we get there, I’d first like to call your attention to The Crazy World‘s newest album — 2014’s Zim Zam Zim …
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.
Ghold – Of Ruin (Ritual Productions, 16 March 2015)
Ghold – Pyr (Ritual Productions, 06 May 2016)
Hello out there — how is your Tuesday going? It’s almost time to go home and I’m totally ready for a nap. I feel pretty confident in saying I will probably be passed out on the bus ride home, if I even make it that far. And there’s another hockey game tonight, so if there’s going to be any hope of me staying awake to see that, maybe a late afternoon nap wouldn’t be the worst idea.
Before I go, though, it’s about time to share some more listening material with you fine people. Today that will consist of a pair of albums — one a little over a year old, the other released just four days ago — both by London stoner-sludge-grunge-noise band Ghold …
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?
Writhe – The Shrouded Grove (self-released, 22 September 2014)
“One-man black metal band” — or perhaps to be more accurate, “one-man black metal project.” What do you think of when you hear (read) those words? It sort of makes my skin crawl just to type them. In my line of work (expert music-opinion-haver), the phrase almost always means bad news: some kid who lives in his parents basement downloaded some pirated sound editing software onto his Macbook, cut-and-pasted the same generic drumbeat for twelve minutes, plugged his crappy guitar directly into the line-in input, screamed some stuff about the Impending Conquest of the Dark Lord Urkel Grue into the built-in laptop mic, and then ran the whole thing through some cheesy preset distortion plug-in. Then found some old black-and-white picture of some old buildings using Google image search, photoshopped some nonsense like “Desolation of Solitude” (using Parchment font) onto it, and then emailed it all to me. The message probably started out by saying “Infernal Hailz.” Never a good sign.
But today — surprise!! — I’m going to introduce you to something that goes against all of those stereotypes…