Lapsarian – Ruminant (2019)

LapsarianRuminant (self-released, 22 November 2019)

 

Last time we took a look at the latest release from a multiple-platinum artist whose discography dates back many decades. Naturally, today our focus turns to an album that just came out last week, from a band who just formed last year.

With just over 100 Facebook likes so far (does that still even count as a metric in 2019?), and without a huge marketing campaign backing them, it’s probably a safe bet that Washington, DC’s Lapsarian is a new name to most of you reading this. So go check out Ruminant, and then once the word gets out, you can brag to everyone else about how you’ve already been on that bandwagon way longer than they have …

 

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Earth and Pillars – Earth II (2019)

Earth and PillarsEarth II (Avantgarde Music, 25 October 2019 [digital]; 15 November 2019 [CD]; 22 November 2019 [LP])

 

Good afternoon! Looking back a few years, I remember being quite taken with the atmospheric qualities of Earth I, the debut album by Italian blackened entity Earth and Pillars — which had originally been released in 2014, but we wrote a little something about it upon its vinyl reissue in 2016.

Well, just last month its sequel Earth II has emerged out of the æther, with the first physical manifestations (on compact disc) popping up last week, to be followed by a vinyl record edition tomorrow. Whichever format suits your fancy, would be worth seeking out.

 

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Insect Ark – Marrow Hymns (2018)

Insect ArkMarrow Hymns (Profound Lore Records, 23 February 2018)

 

Bi-coastal DOOM duo Insect Ark is made up of film music composer and animator Dana Schechter (Angels of Light, Wrekmeister Harmonies, Zeal & Ardor, Gnaw) on bass and lap steel, and electronics expert Ashley Spungin (Taurus, Purple Rhinestone Eagle, Negative Queen) on drums as well as various synths and analog noise pedals she created herself. With this unique arrangement (featuring zero electric guitars, in the traditional sense), the instrumental assembly has brought forth their latest sonic creation (through a combination of long-distance collaboration and in-studio cooperation).

Although nearly two months have passed since the record’s Profound Lore release, last night (Sunday, 15 April) was the celebratory release show in Brooklyn. Next up, the pair will be hitting the Roadburn stage later this week followed by a month-long tour through Europe. You can find a listing of all those dates at the bottom of the page, but first, check out Marrow Hymns!

 

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Doom Side of the Moon (2017)

Doom Side of the MoonDoom Side of the Moon (self released, 04 August 2017)

 

So this weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Pink Floyd releasing their debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. That’s a pretty significant milestone, and anyone who spends much time poking around this website will soon realize that they are one of my favorite bands of all time. That has been the case for at least half of the past fifty years, ever since I really started to discover their catalogue of work when I was in middle school — and that fandom has been borderline obsessive during much of that time.

Evidently someone else who feels the same way is Kyle Shutt, guitarist for The Sword, who has chosen to mark the occasion of a half-century of Pink Floyd albums by recreating their best-known work (and one of the biggest selling records in history) The Dark Side of the Moon.

“The idea came to me after getting baked and wanting to hear a heavy version of ‘Time’,” he explained. “I thought, why not just cover the whole album?” While admitting that “It felt a little strange messing with someone’s legacy,” the guitarist went on to say that he is “treating it as a celebration of one of the greatest bands to ever rock, a party that everyone is invited to.”

Recruiting two of his bandmates, bassist Bryan Richie and drummer Santiago Vela III, the project was completed with the addition of vocalist Alex Marrero, saxophonist Jason Frey, and keyboardist Joe Cornetti, and thus Doom Side of the Moon was born.

Their lovingly crafted tribute will officially be released on Friday (04 August), and then on Saturday (05 August, the exact anniversary of Piper‘s release) they’ll be performing the whole thing at Emo’s in Austin TX, along with a laser show performed by The Mustachio Light Show.

 

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Zaum – Eidolon (2016)

ZaumEidolon (I Hate, 24 October 2016)

 

We’ve covered Canadian bands plenty of times around here, but I’m pretty sure this is the first from New Brunswick. Zaum have been around since about 2013 and last fall’s Eidolon was their second full-length, but somehow this dynamic duo of doom had escaped my attention until the recent announcement that they’ll be hitting the road for an August tour across their homeland.

Having done some pretty extensive touring over the years but mainly in Europe, the dates for this large-scale Canuck tour (also featuring Ontario’s Flying Fortress) will be listed down below, after we’ve listened to Eidolon!

 
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Neurosis – Fires Within Fires (2016)

NeurosisFires 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.

 

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Idre – Unforgiving Landscapes (2017)

IdreUnforgiving Landscapes (Wolves and Vibrancy Records / Breathe Plastic Records, 19 May 2017)

 

Not to be confused with the municipality in Sweden, Idre (who insist, in a Young Frankensteinian way, that the name is pronounced to rhyme with “Hydra”) is a three-piece band from Oklahoma City, consisting of guitarist/vocalist Ryan Davis, bassist Austin Wylie, and drummer Nicholas Wojcik. My first exposure to the group was when they recently wrote to me about their second album Unforgiving Landscapes — which impressed me so much just from a compositional standpoint from the moment I hit “play” on Bandcamp, that by halfway through the first song I had already added the album to my list of things to write about, and before the whole thing was over I was pencilling it into my list of the year’s best releases so far.

Keep on reading, then check out the album for yourself, and see if you don’t feel the same way. If you do, be sure to use the social media links down at the bottom of the page to keep track of the band, since they’re currently working on setting up tour dates for later in the year …

 

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