The Ravenna Arsenal – I. (2013); Gholas – Litanies (2014)

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The Ravenna ArsenalI. (self-released, 23 February 2013)

 

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GholasLitanies (Dullest Records, 11 February 2014)

 

Hello out there, folks. Hope this week has gone well for you all. Over the past few days — during which things got pretty crazy busy, to the point where I didn’t have any time to get anything written — I’ve heard some pretty incredible brand-new releases, and I definitely look forward to sharing those with you. But not quite yet; instead, today we’re going to turn back the calendar a little bit, and spend some time with a couple of my favorite releases from years past that I just never quite got around to writing about yet. These were featured in my Top 13 of 2013 and Top 14 of 2014 lists, respectively, chiefly due to the fact that both of these bands know how to write a hell of a song. These are both albums that I’ve listened to front-to-back like dozens of times, and I feel pretty certain you’ll agree that every single song on each is of excellent quality …

 

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In Case You Missed It: The Matador – Descent into the Maelstrom

 The MatadorDescent into the Maelstrom (Serotonin Productions, 21 April 2011).

 “It raged with such noise and impetuosity that the very stones of the houses on the coast fell to the ground.

Much like the short story of the same name, these progressive-post-doom-metal Queenslanders’ EP takes the listener on a voyage that explores unknown depths of madness.  Also like the Poe narrative, there is no telling where the experience will end up, but what is certain is that you will not emerge from the other side unscathed or unchanged.

This review is somewhat atypical, in that I will be describing each of the songs in detail, rather than just giving some overall impressions of the entire album.  Ordinarily I wouldn’t do this, but for one thing, there are only five songs on this release; also, the passage of time through the tracks seems to represent a progression – an aural journey that represents the titular descent – and it felt like this was the best way to do justice to the material.

Keep reading to join me on this voyage, and along the way you’ll come across links where you can listen to and/or download a couple of the tracks…

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