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)
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.
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.
I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to the TrollfesTFacebook page (if not, then you should be ashamed of yourself!), but all this week they’ve been teasing the fact that some sort of major announcement would be made on Thursday. Guess what: now it’s Thursday. And here’s what I’ve just learned…..
The Blodsgard song “Mentalt Minefelt” was selected by No Clean Singing as one of 2011’s “Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs” and in thanks for that honor the band is giving free downloads of the video for that song. Christianity gets a comeuppance courtesy of the Swedish cult film Häxan‘s Devil, and Blodsgard provides the crushing soundtrack. Click the link below to go to the video page and get the free DL for your computer or your smart phone.
This is the email update that I recently received from Norwegian black metal miscreants Blodsgard (which translates to “blood farm”). If you aren’t familiar with the band, I can’t think of a better way to get acquainted than to check out this video, and then you can grab your very own copy if you’d like.