Happy Friday! Got something brand-new for you all today…
Although North Carolinian ecology-themed band Escaping Aghartha is more often associated with the sounds of extreme death and doom metal, they’ve just dropped an album completely consisting of mellow ambiance.
Avian is an ambient album in which each song has been crafted around the vocalization of a specific species of bird, resulting in other-worldly and deeply immersive atmospheres. The album is a celebration of the wondrous diversity of shapes, survival strategies, vocalizations, colors, behaviors of birds and their intellectual prowess.
Escaping Aghartha – Avian (Hiraeth Records, 16 December 2022)
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.
So Hideous – Laurestine (Prosthetic Records, 16 October 2016)
So Hideous – Laurestine Orchestral (Prosthetic Records, 06 May 2016)
Back in October, Brooklyn-based blackened post-hardcore band So Hideous released their second album Laurestine. The group has described their writing process as beginning the structural components of each song on the piano, then fleshing out the composition for all of the orchestral/choral parts. Once each piece of music is fully composed, then they add the guitars, bass, drums, and vocals as necessary.
This seems a bit backwards from how most bands work: orchestral elements are usually sprinkled on top of otherwise fully-formed songs, as complementary parts or occasional embellishments. But here, the underlying compositions (performed by the 30-piece First Light Orchestra) are intended to be complete works capable of standing on their own. To drive that last point home, Prosthetic Records recently announced the release of an alternate edition of Laurestine consisting solely of the orchestra and chorus components, and — guess what! — it totally does hold up, independent of the rest of the band. Keep reading to learn more about both versions of this incredible album …