Talking Book – Talking Book II (2020)

Talking BookTalking 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 RecordsBilly 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.

 

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Now Available for Pre-Order: Coffinworm – Great Bringer of Night (Vinyl Reissue Shipping Soon!)

Good afternoon! How are you on this lovely Wednesday? Personally, I’m pretty sure I’m about to choke somebody. I don’t know who yet, but it’ll be the next person who says something about how gorgeous the weather is outside. It isn’t raining, and it’s actually been pretty sunny for most of the day, and if you’ve never been to Pittsburgh then you probably don’t realize how rare that is — especially in the springtime. In general, though, we have one of the lowest average numbers of sunny days in the whole United States. Even fewer than Seattle — although we don’t get as much rain, if you factor in cloudy or partly cloudy days and overcast days, we average fewer sunny days per year. True story; you can Google it if you don’t believe me.

So anyway, on the rare occasions that the sun is actually shining and there’s no precipitation around, all these idiots walk around prattling on about what a beautiful day it is, until you feel like you’re going to vomit. Being shut inside a windowless office all day is kind of a double-edged sword, too. On one hand, you don’t have to be subjected to the stupid sun, but on the other hand, all the people around you feel some sense of obligation to give you the goddamn weather report at least once an hour.

Unfortunately, I don’t have an office door. I think there’s an official policy somewhere that dictates who exactly can qualify for an office with a door, and I’m definitely not there yet. In fact, the people one or two levels above me on the organization chart also don’t have doors, and I have no idea how much time and hard work it will take to rise three whole levels on that chart. I suspect it doesn’t involve spending half of one’s day writing a metal blog, though. So for now, I have to make do with the invisible, virtual door provided by loud music through a pair of headphones. It makes the days pass by more quickly, and sends a clear signal that I don’t want to be disturbed by any passers-by.

On a day like today, though, it takes a little bit extra to be able to block out the outside world — some music that’s especially miserable and filthy and nasty. If you’ve been paying attention to Facebook today, you might have noticed that I spent part of the day with Vulture. That helped for a while, and then since I was already in a dirty, sludgey, agonizing kind of mood, I’ve moved on to Coffinworm.

Although it might feel like this band has been around forever, based on the amount of underground cred they seem to have accumulated, they’ve really only been around for a couple of years — their debut full-length When All Became None was just released by Profound Lore about two years ago, while the three-track demo Great Bringer of Night had been self-released about one year earlier. While that demo had been made available for an extremely limited run of physical copies, those have been pretty hard to come by for a long time now.

Well, all that’s about to change, because The Flenser has been kind enough to repackage the songs, along with the demo versions of two additional tracks from around the same time, got all five remastered by James Plotkin, and stuck them on some vinyl inside the warm and inviting cover whose artwork (by Bryan Proteau) you can see at the top of this page.

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Out Last Month: Author & Punisher – Ursus Americanus

Author & PunisherUrsus Americanus (24 April 2012, Seventh Rule Recordings)

Good afternoon, readers. You might remember about two months ago, when I told you about a couple preview tracks from the new Author & Punisher album, Ursus Americanus (as well as an interview with the mechanical engineer Tristan Shone who is the architect of these technological soundscapes).

Well, in case you forgot or you haven’t been paying attention, that album has since been released by Seventh Rule, and is now available for streaming, or to purchase the album download or CD, whichever is your preferred method for experiencing post-apocalyptic harsh industrial nightmares…

 
Do you remember the basic idea behind The Matrix movies? At some point in the future, humans have built machines that developed higher and higher levels of intelligence, until eventually they became self-aware and rebelled against the people who had created them. “The Matrix,” or the reality that we all perceive, is actually just an artificial virtual environment created by those machines to occupy the minds of the human slaves who are kept as sources of energy; meanwhile, the “real world,” or the actual reality outside of the Matrix, is a war-torn, post-apocalyptic hellscape as the result of generations of battles between men and machines.

In that reality, where the machines are the dominant ‘species’ and nearly all of mankind is reduced to the role of subserviant ‘batteries,’ so to speak, one would imagine that there would be plenty of leisure time for those advanced technological creations. Perhaps they get together for parties or go out to a night club. And when they do, this is their soundtrack.
 
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