Problem with Dragons – Ascendant (2019)

Problem with DragonsAscendant (self-released, 23 August 2019)

 

So… longtime readers with very good memories may find the name Problem with Dragons sounds familiar, because in early 2016 we had discussed their 2015 debut full-length Starquake.

Well, this past August the New Englanders put together a follow-up LP called Ascendant. Somehow that fact had escaped my attention until nearly the end of the year, but I finally got my hands on a copy in December. Right while I was in the middle of putting together my “Top 19 of 2019” list, in fact, which turned out to be fortuitous timing: upon initial perusal it became immediately apparent that this high-quality record belonged among those ranks.

And at this very moment, PwD are engaged in a tour that will take them out to the American west coast and back, throughout most of February. In fact, the tour officially kicked off on Saturday the 1st with a show in their hometown of Easthampton (MA), and the westward push continues tonight (Monday the 3rd) in Kentucky.

Below we will delve into the new album itself, but below that you will find a list of engagements where folks may have the opportunity to witness the band performing live. And for those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to be near one of these scheduled stops (which includes practically the entire eastern time zone, plus of course all of you who live in other countries), at least there’s the option to listen to the recorded version of the band — and to follow them on various social media. Which is highly recommended, as they spend a lot of time sharing crazy science or space-related news, and also they frequently post about literal problems with literal draconianism. Get on board!

 

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Problem with Dragons, Brujas del Sol – Starquake (2015)

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Problem with DragonsStarquake (self-released, 10 March 2015)

 

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Brujas del SolStarquake (H42 Records, 14 December 2015)

 

So within the last year, something kind of strange has happened: two different and (as far as I know) completely unrelated bands, both of them from the northeastern United States, have each contacted me to check out their new album (one was in the spring and the other at the end of the year). Both of these happened to be bands I’d heard before and already liked — in fact, for one of them I had already written about their previous album. The unusual part was that both of these new releases happened to be named Starquake.

Now, that’s certainly not impossible — I mean, thousands of bands put out new stuff every year, and they all need to come up with song and album titles, so I’m sure there is a lot of repetition out there. Maybe you remember, back in 2011, there was a ton of hype surrounding an album called Path of Totality, considered by many to have been one of that year’s finest metal releases, and then a few months later a terrible (although significantly more famous) band did a thing called The Path of Totality?

Surely that sort of thing happens a lot, but still I thought this pair of Starquakes was an interesting coincidence. As it turns out, both of them sound really good too, so I’d like to share them with you now.

 

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