Hello out there! We’re back from the holiday weekend and slowly starting to emerge from the mini ice age into which we had been plunged for the past several days.
And suddenly we find ourselves swiftly approaching the end of another calendar year. Many other writers and other websites are busily publishing their year-end lists; most of the larger outlets who also have print editions have had their lists out since last month if not earlier. Here in the Valley that window stays open until the last day of the year, as always, and the year-end list will be posted in the appropriate spot on the first of January.
But given that it is nearly the end of 2022 and everyone is in just a reflective mood, let’s take a look back at a couple of releases from much earlier this year which we inadvertently hadn’t gotten around to covering yet…
An Evening Redness – An Evening Redness (Transylvanian Recordings, 25 February 2022)
E-L-R – Vexier (Prophecy Productions, 11 March 2022)
Hey there! We’re embarking on a pretty busy week as far as new releases are concerned. I’ve already touched upon a couple records due out this Friday (here and here), with more on their way.
Including one of the two I’ll be sharing with you today! And if you enjoy that one I promise you also won’t want to miss the band’s previous release, which came out almost exactly six years earlier! Here we go…
Eight Bells – Landless (Tartarus Records, 23 March 2016)
Eight Bells – Legacy of Ruin (Prophecy Productions, 25 February 2022)
Völur – Disir (Prophecy Productions, 24 June 2016)
Völur – Ancestors (Prophecy Productions, 02 June 2017)
Hey folks! The Shadow Frost festival that we talked about recently starts tomorrow and runs through the next day. Whomst among you are headed to Maryland for this event? That’s a pretty enticing line-up, huh?
So having said that, today seemed like an appropriate time to delve into a pair of albums by Torontonian trio Völur that I’ve been meaning to discuss ever since they first caught my attention several years ago. Not an ideal time to write about them, of course, as that would have been actually in 2016 and in 2017 (respectively) when they came out — but nevertheless, an appropriate time. Here we go!
Atmospheric metal band Laster has signed with Prophecy Productions. The Netherlandic group, which formed in 2012 and refers to its ferocious sound as “obscure dance music,” is currently hard at work on its third full-length release and follow-up to last year’s Ons Vrije Fatum (Dunkelheit Produktionen). Laster‘s Prophecy debut is expected in 2018.
A uniquely gifted band with a singular, solitary sound, Laster plays metal with all its fury, but its music could also be described as progressive (i.e. Crack the Skye-era Mastodon), atmospheric, experimental, and even jazz-like. Attempting to categorize Laster‘s elaborately textured and ever-changing style is like trying to catch air with a net; it’s difficult to describe, but “atmospheric blackened shoegaze space prog” should provide a shadowy sense of what to expect. The band has the ability to stun first-time listeners with the utter violence of its initial impact which is unapologetically harsh, particularly with regards to the vocals which morph from flesh-peeling shrieks to ugly, gasping growls, harsh whispers, somber spoken words and rising yells of anguish. Despite its gruff exterior, digging into Laster‘s compositions reveals many layers of complexity.
“Prophecy has been part of our musical development since we were in our early teens. Inviting each other to this dance feels like a proper and weirdly magical gesture,” comments the band when asked for a statement. “At the moment we are in the middle of the writing process. The record will be an expansion of Ons Vrije Fatum. A bit more technical. A lot more nocturnal. City vibes. Some more dissonance. Experimental.”
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) …