Close the Hatch – Modern Witchcraft (Red Moth Records, 22 May 2020)
Mountaineer – Bloodletting (Lifeforce Records, 22 May 2020)
Good afternoon and happy Friday to all you wonderful people out there!
Day job insanity has really caught up with me this week; my apologies, but that’s why I missed out on writing anything here yesterday. Today isn’t much better — so I’ll have to make this quick — but I didn’t want another day to pass without sharing new music with you folks.
For your Memorial Day weekend perusal, here are a pair of albums that just came out today, from two bands residing on opposite ends of the country, but which are both at least somewhat doom-metal-adjacent. Hope you enjoy them!
Daxma – Ruins Upon Ruins (Blues Funeral Recordings, 26 July 2019)
Hey! In case you were wondering, we still talk about music around here, too. Sometimes. This morning let’s dive into a fascinating two-track EP that emerged over the summer, from the Oakland (CA)-based post-doom/drone crew Daxma.
The band’s name is a homophone (or perhaps simply an alternate spelling) of dakhma, the towers built in Zoroastrian societies as a place to cast dead bodies, where first vultures and other scavengers, and then the sun and other elements, will ultimately cleanse and purify the bones.
Neurosis – Fires Within Fires (Neurot Recordings, 23 September 2016)
So Neurosis are heading out on tour RIGHT NOW. That news by itself will immediately be a huge deal to most people who read this sentence. They’re only hitting a handful of cities across the northeastern U.S. (and southeastern Canada) over the next week and a half, but this is a band that infreuquently performs live in the first place, and very rarely visits the east coast outside the context of a larger music festival (such as Baltimore’s Days of Darkness which they’ll be headlining in October). So, yeah.
But sometimes when it comes to bands that have been around seemingly forever (well over thirty years, in this case) and have achieved a near-universal legendary status (at least, for these guys, among the majority of fans of post-hardcore/sludge metal), it’s easy to forget that there are some folks out there who may not already be intimately familiar with them. Easy to just assume that everyone knows them, disregarding the fact that there’s always somebody who has yet to make that big discovery.
After all, though, that’s the whole point of writing about music: to help someone learn about something that could potentially be life-changing. The About page of this website describes exactly that — while also referencing a particular time period of exploration for myself, which in that narrative was described as “The Napster Years,” but frankly a huge part of my own rebirth as a metal music fan directly resulted from finding Relapse Records CD samplers (like this one and this one) at a local record store (more info here and here for the younger readers). Interestingly, three of the artists that had really jumped out at younger me and grabbed my attention are ones I have written about here, just this month: Today is the Day, Dying Fetus, and now, Neurosis.
Specifically, there were a couple of songs from the band’s then-new album A Sun that Never Sets which I bought not long afterwards, and which was — front-to-back — one of the most amazing things I’d ever experienced. So in light of all that, I’m pleased to present — to any of you who may not have heard this yet — their latest release, 2016’s Fires Within Fires.
Anopheli – The Ache of Want (Halo of Flies, 15 December 2015)
Akem Manah – Demons of the Sabbat (Possession Productions, 11 January 2016)
Well folks, it seemed like it would never get here, but finally it’s Friday and nearly the end of the week! I don’t know about you, but I am fully ready to just go and hibernate for two entire days. (Of course, I won’t, because it seems like every spare minute I get outside of work is always filled by repairing something in our house or car, sometimes both at the same time — but just let me have this moment to daydream, ok?) Before I do that, I’ll leave you with one more article about some music you just might want to check out.
I’ve got two different albums to share with you, actually — one is kind of an atmospheric blackened crust style, and the other is more of an old-school death-doom. Both of these were released within the past several months, and both are free to download, so keep on reading and hopefully you’ll find at least one of these to your liking!
Noothgrush / Coffins – Split (11 November 2013, Southern Lord Records)
Well, the long weekend is over (for a large number of readers: yesterday was Memorial Day in the U.S. and Spring Bank Holiday in the U.K.) and it’s time to return to boring, mundane reality. I’m sure it’s much more of a system shock for those of you who attended Maryland Deathfest this weekend. I’m still jealous of how many awesome bands you got to see over the past several days, though, so I don’t feel bad for you. For the rest of us, I’ve got some more music to share, which comes from some more bands that we missed out on seeing this weekend. This split LP, issued by Southern Lord several months back, serves as a nice little primer for two excellent sludge/doom bands — Noothgrush (who performed at MDF Saturday, 24 May) and Coffins (who were there Friday night)…
Cannabis Corpse / Ghoul – Splatterhash (7 January 2014, Tankcrimes Records)
Exhumed / Iron Reagan – Split 12″ (7 January 2014, Tankcrimes Records)
Tankcrimes Records has been known to put out some fairly unique and sought-after releases over the past few years. (For instance, who could forget 2012’s hugely successful Toxic Waste split featuring Toxic Holocaust and Municipal Waste?) Well yesterday, just barely a week into 2014, we find the label has issued not one but TWO more excellent split records to add to that impressive repertory.
Embers – Shadows (Self-released, 29 March 2011 / vinyl by Iconoclast Records, 25 May 2012)
Californian blackened-crust band Embers released their debut LP Shadows to much critical acclaim early last year. At that time, it was made available as a free (or pay what you choose) download, and it’s still available that way (more details later), but the band recently announced that the album is finally being made available in a vinyl format for those fans who had been requesting that…
Tomorrow (Friday, 25 May) Embers will be kicking off a two-week European tour, starting in Bologna (see the end of this post for a list of dates). At the same time, they will be releasing Shadows as a 2xLP vinyl edition via the Bolognese label Iconoclast Records.