Well, another day, another couple of records I’d like to call your attention to. These both came out during the first half of last year, and both inhabit kind of the mellower end of the sound spectrum, ranging from prog rock to a sort of minimalistic classical/jazz. Here we go!
35 Tapes – Home (Apollon Records, 12 February 2021)
Ole Teigen – Aske og Jord (Apollon Records, 02 June 2021)
Good afternoon, friends; Happy Monday and Happy New Year to you all!
Now that my Top 21 of 2021 list is complete (it was published right as the clock struck midnight on New Years Eve, so, I’m proud to say, this has been the first time in quite a long time — maybe like nine years? — that the year-end list was ready AT the actual end of the year!), I’m setting my sights on checking out all the new 2022 releases that have been pouring in, so I can start sharing them with all you lovely people.
But as always, there’s still a bunch of cleanup to do, plenty of releases from last year (as well as from years past) that we’ve missed discussing, and I’d like to start today by offering two of those for your listening pleasure.
Kite – Currents (Majestic Mountain Records, 08 October 2021)
So Hideous – None But a Pure Heart Can Sing (Silent Pendulum Records, 03 December 2021)
Hello, friends and casual acquaintences! Nice to see you all once again. And at this point we’ve successfully navigated our way through half of another week, which almost feels like cause for celebration, doesn’t it? These days, we kind of have to take what we can get.
Anyway. Obviously the reason you are here is because you are looking for more new music, and the reason I’m here is to share some with you. Several years ago in a larger article about several other albums, we had taken a quick glance at a split record between Grizzlor (from Connecticut) and Barren Womb (from Norway).
Right after that article was published, I became aware of a full-length album by the latter of those two, which had been released several months after the split. I enjoyed that record quite a bit, but as seems to happen far too often, somehow I never got around to writing about it and sort of lost track of the band.
But now — they’ve got another new record due out just two days from now, so it seems like a great opportunity to kill two birds off my to-do list with one stone, so to speak. Here we go!
Kite – Irradiance (Argonauta Records, 27 March 2020)
Good afternoon! Here we go with another recommendation of a recent release for you to insert into your ear-holes.
There have been some pretty stellar albums so far in 2020, but with the state of the world being what it is, I’m afraid some of them might end up slipping through the cracks and escaping the notice of many listeners. And that would be a shame, so we’re going to continue doing what we can to seek out the good stuff and bring it to your attention.
Argonauta Records is apparently stuck in lockdown along with the rest of Italy right now, and so they have delayed shipping out anything from their store at the moment, but that shouldn’t stop you from checking out this record from Norwegian trio Kite!
Sâver – They Came with Sunlight (Pelagic Records, 08 March 2019)
Here in the Valley of Steel we don’t pay much attention to what’s trending or getting a bunch of recognition elsewhere; all we care about is listening to what we enjoy, and (sometimes) writing about it.
But having said that, sometimes it’s also nice to feel vindicated and validated, when something we identify as “good” achieves recognition from elsewhere.
Case in point: They Came with Sunlight, the debut offering from Oslo trio Sâver — which upon its release about eleven months ago made quite an impression upon this reviewer, later to become firmly entrenched in our selection of last year’s best records.
Kraków – Alive (Dark Essence Records, 24 March 2017)
From the first time I heard them, Norwegian post-metallurgists Kraków quickly became one of my favorite bands out there, through their grasp of the beautiful and fragile meshed with the ugly and frightening, spread out over long meandering compositions that enthrall the listener with their aural stories.
As many times as I’ve listened to their releases (the three most recent of which were written about right here), the appearance of a live album was certainly exciting news. On top of that, we’ve recently learned that another new record will be appearing later this year! In this post you can find out more about that live album — and then at the end, what we know so far about their next one!
Mayhem – De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive (self-released, 15 December 2016)
It happens every year without fail: news announcements pop up about the Mayhem tour coming to town, and my ears will invariably perk up, until I realize they don’t mean THATMayhem, but the perpetually mediocre packaged tour with the energy drink sponsor. But every single time there’s that split-second of hopefulness, because let’s be honest, it would be a huge deal if the Oslovian band who was one of the main originators of black metal as we know it (hugely influential not only for the musical style but the overall aesthetic as well, and as famous for releasing some of the genre’s most highly-regarded landmark records as for the various controversies surrounding its members’ extra-curricular activities) was coming to town, right? Well guess what, Mayhem are coming to town.
It all started as a celebration of their debut LP (still universally regarded as the pinnacle of black metal), 1994’s De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, which the current iteration of the group (which now consists of bassist Necrobutcher, the sole remaining founding member, though he had been separated from the band and replaced by — someone else — at the time the album was recorded and initially released; drummer Hellhammer and vocalist Attila Csihar, who have each been members for large portions of the band’s history, including taking part in that first full-length; and more recent additions Teloch and Ghul on guitar) began playing live in its entirety for the first time ever, during a European tour. That tour has continued adding additional trips to various parts of the world over the past couple of years, and at this moment Mayhem are recreating De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas on stages across North America.
This current expedition on this side of the ocean will actually be wrapping up in the very near future, but I’ll be including the remaining scheduled dates down in the comments section (along with a one-off visit set to take place next spring). But before we get there, I’d also like to share with you this recording that the band put out nearly a year ago, which originated way back at the beginning of this long series of commemorative tour dates.
Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance (Peaceville Records, 25 February 2013)
Germ – Escape (Prophecy Productions, 29 April 2016)
Good afternoon, or good evening, or good whatever-it-is-right-now. I can hardly even tell anymore, because I don’t think there was any point today at which I even reached a state of being half-awake. These late-night hockey playoff games are really killing me. Last night’s went into overtime, which ended up only lasting about two and a half minutes, but still, it was already difficult enough for me to stay awake through the end of the first three periods.
Anyway, I’ll quit whining and get on with the music I have to share with you today. One of these was on my top 13 of 2013 list — yes, I’m still working on getting something written about each of those, and we’re down to just a handful remaining! — while the other was released just last week, but both of these albums are highly recommended listening (even though on the surface they seem completely different) …