Cantharone – Sons of the Crow (self-released, 06 June 2015)
Mine Collapse – Mine Collapse (Nefarious Industries, 22 July 2016)
Livid – Beneath this Shroud, the Earth Erodes (Prosthetic Records, 14 July 2017)
Today we’ve got not one, not two, not five… but three different bands to talk about, each of which has come across my radar screen within about the past year or so. Cantharone is a four-piece from Minneapolis who have been around since about 2009, and their most recent release was their second EP which came out in the summer of 2015 (and which I’ll be sharing with you today). But despite that relatively low rate of recorded output, the band has kept pretty busy, between putting together their yearly Canthrammer Music Festival featuring a blend of metal and outlaw country bands, as well as frequent touring around the region. Down below in the comments section I’ll include some info about this year’s festival (coming in late August) as well as a list of shows they’ll be playing over the next week or so.
The other two bands that will be included in this article will be sharing a stage with Cantharone at some point in their upcoming travels, and each is equally worth checking out. Mine Collapse (Chicago) dropped their debut EP almost exactly a year ago, while Livid (Minneapolis) saw their debut LP released just days ago — both of those will also be discussed here.
The Second Coming of Heavy, Chapter One – Geezer / Borracho (Ripple Music, 26 July 2015)
The Second Coming of Heavy, Chapter Two – Supervoid / Red Desert (Ripple Music, 27 February 2016)
“Now it’s time for YOUR Classic Rock” says the title at the top of Ripple Music‘s website, and the slogan is fitting: since its formation back in 2010, the label has made a name for itself as one of the premier sources for stoner rock and metal, psychedelic rock, and all things fuzz-laden. We’ve talked about some of their releases in the past, for example here and also here, but more generally, the label has come to be known for putting out music of consistent quality, within the circles of those styles. And now (starting last summer), they have begun a brand-new series of 12″ splits called The Second Coming of Heavy, which so far has featured some pretty serious heavy hitters, with plenty more on the way. Today we’re going to take a look at the first two of these, Chapter One which came out nearly eight months ago, and Chapter Two which hit the streets at the end of February.
Oak Pantheon – From a Whisper (Broken Limbs Recordings, 25 September 2012)
Winter can be pretty stressful at times: for someone who has to commute long distances on a daily basis, wondering how long traffic delays might be during inclement weather, whether the worst of a storm will come earlier than predicted before arriving safely at home, which steep hill that leads home is more likely to have been plowed or salted more recently; for someone who has to walk to and from the bus stop, afraid that hiding under that snow or on that poorly-lit section of sidewalk may be a treacherous patch of ice, that maybe it will be possible to maintain balance in the event of slipping or skidding, but if not, will the result just be a few bruises again, or something much worse this time?; and for someone who lives in an old house wherein everything seems to be falling apart all at once, where it seems that the scarcely-adequate amount of heat coughed out by the ancient furnace just goes straight through poorly insulated windows.
I imagine there are lots of folks out there who can relate to many of these concerns, or at least some variation of them. But we’re going to put all of that out of mind today, because we’re coming back from a weekend full of atypically mild weather — at least here in western Pennsylvania — and even at four o’clock this morning when I left for work it was lovely outside (relatively speaking), with a pleasant, warm-ish breeze. Anyway. Having said all of that, now perhaps we can look at some of the more positive aspects of winter. For example, if you don’t have to travel anywhere (and if you’re sufficiently bundled up), walking through the woods and seeing all the snow-covered trees can be sort of pretty. Also it’s generally an appropriate environment for listening to black metal, particularly of the atmospheric or pastoral varieties. Also… nah, that’s all I can think of, just those two things.
It just so happens there’s an excellent album full of exactly the right type of sounds for this time of year — one that came out a little over three years ago and I’ve been listening to it quite a bit (especially during the wintertime) since then, and that I’ve always meant to share with you people but somehow just never got to it yet. I suppose that, as they say, there’s no time like the present…