Katatonia – Dethroned & Uncrowned (2013), Sanctitude (2015), The Fall of Hearts (2016)

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KatatoniaDethroned & Uncrowned (Kscope, 10 Sepember 2013)

 

Sanctitude cover

KatatoniaSanctitude (Kscope, 30 March 2015)

 

Katatonia - Fall Of Hearts - Medium Res Cover

KatatoniaThe Fall of Hearts (Peaceville Records, 20 May 2016)

 

Commonly referred to as “The Peaceville Three,” British bands Paradise Lost, Anathema, and My Dying Bride each formed in the late 1980s or early ’90s, each signed with Peaceville Records soon after (even though the actual amount of time during which all three of them were on the label’s roster together was actually pretty brief), and each went on to release some major landmark albums that ended up defining the development of the gothic metal genre from its roots in melodic death and doom metal. And, just like when people talk about other bands who just as easily could have been included in lists like “The Big Four” of thrash, there’s an unofficial fourth member of “The Peaceville Three,” who have been in existence about as long as the others, who have been with the Peaceville label for nearly the past twenty years, and who have been just as instrumental in the realm of gothic metal (including the symphonic, progressive, and dark melodic elements that have been interwoven together during its decades-long evolution): their neighbors across the North Sea, Katatonia.

Four years ago, Katatonia released their ninth full-length Dead End Kings, which was subsequently described in press as the band’s “most successful to date,” having “cemented [their] position as masters of sorrowful metal [… and] marked another step in the journey towards a more progressive sound.” Following that acclaim, naturally there would be a high degree of anticipation to see what would come next — and eventually a tenth album of all-new material emerged, just a few short months ago. But before we discuss The Fall of Hearts, the journey to this release has included a look backwards and a good bit of twisting previous entries from this substantial discography into new and interesting shapes, so let’s take a quick tour of what these Swedes have been up to over the past three years, shall we?

 

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Win FREE Tickets for BIG BUSINESS in Pittsburgh!!

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Opus One Productions Presents:

Big Business

with Andy the Doorbum

Sunday 10 July 2016

at Club Cafe, 58 S. 12th St., Pittsburgh (South Side) PA 15203

21+ ONLY, 8:00 show / 7:00 doors, $12 adv. / $14 day of

 

Tickets are on sale NOW at Ticketweb… OR you can WIN a pair of tickets FREE, courtesy of Opus One Productions and Valley of Steel! Keep on reading to find out how (and while you’re at it, don’t forget about our other contests we are currently running!) …

 

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Druids – Cycles of Mobeum; If These Trees Could Talk – The Bones of a Dying World (2016)

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DruidsCycles of Mobeum (Sump Pump Records, 03 June 2016)

 

If These Trees Could Talk - The Bones of a Dying World

If These Trees Could TalkThe Bones of a Dying World (Metal Blade Records, 03 June 2016)

 

Okay people, today let’s take a look at another two bands. Both of these are American — one from the Hawkeye State, the other from the Buckeye State — and each of them will be releasing the third album of their respective careers tomorrow (Friday the 3rd). When I came across these two albums recently, it was my first time listening to either of these bands, but right away I found them both to be quite enjoyable (albeit in different ways). I’ve got a feeling you may agree. So let’s get started, shall we?

 

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Ripple Music – The Second Coming of Heavy, Chapter One (2015) and Chapter Two (2016)

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The Second Coming of Heavy, Chapter OneGeezer / Borracho (Ripple Music, 26 July 2015)

 

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The Second Coming of Heavy, Chapter TwoSupervoid / Red Desert (Ripple Music, 27 February 2016)

 

“Now it’s time for YOUR Classic Rock” says the title at the top of Ripple Music‘s website, and the slogan is fitting: since its formation back in 2010, the label has made a name for itself as one of the premier sources for stoner rock and metal, psychedelic rock, and all things fuzz-laden. We’ve talked about some of their releases in the past, for example here and also here, but more generally, the label has come to be known for putting out music of consistent quality, within the circles of those styles. And now (starting last summer), they have begun a brand-new series of 12″ splits called The Second Coming of Heavy, which so far has featured some pretty serious heavy hitters, with plenty more on the way. Today we’re going to take a look at the first two of these, Chapter One which came out nearly eight months ago, and Chapter Two which hit the streets at the end of February.

 

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Beehoover – The Devil and His Footmen (2013), Primitive Powers (2016)

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BeehooverThe Devil and His Footmen (Exile on Mainstream, 30 September 2013)

 

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BeehooverPrimitive Powers (UnUnDeux, 26 February 2016)

 

Hey, good afternoon, music fans! Did you know that this website is now in its fifth year of existence? Technically its fifth birthday will be coming up later this year, but I just thought it was interesting to think about that. That might be partly why I’ve been covering quite a few older releases over the past weeks, trying to get some stuff written about and shared with you that I’ve been listening to and meaning to write about for a long time: reaching (or approaching) that sort of milestone can make you do a lot of reflecting back, while also trying to stay on top of what’s happening currently and looking ahead to what’s next.

Anyway, that’s kind of a roundabout way of introducing today’s topic, which will be hitting a bit of each of those things, since I’ll be covering a pair of albums by German bass/drums/vocals duo Beehoover — one which came out in late 2013 (and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying, and intending to get a chance to write about, since around that time), and a brand-new one (that I feel confident you’ll enjoy just as much) which will officially hit the store shelves (metaphorically speaking) tomorrow!

 

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Intronaut – Habitual Levitations (2013)

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IntronautHabitual Levitations (Instilling Words with Tones) (Century Media Records, 19 March 2013)

 

Hello there! “TFIF” and all that stuff. I wanted to get one more thing written and shared with you before the weekend, and in deciding what to talk to you about, I was feeling kind of reflective: looking both forward and back. Forward, because (as I mentioned yesterday) this year seems to be slipping by at an alarming rate. Before we know it, it’ll be time for year-end summaries and lists already! There are a few new records that’ve either just come out (or will be soon) that I’m sure will rank pretty high, as well as some from earlier this year I’ve listened to a whole bunch but maybe just haven’t had the chance to review yet. I’m going to want to get moving on posting something about all of those, lest I find myself in a situation like I did at the end of 2013 (where I put together a list of my favorite 26 releases of the year, 25 of which I hadn’t yet written about!) … which, of course, is what also has me thinking backwards. Almost nine months later, I’m still not quite halfway through reviewing last year’s list yet!

So I decided, there’s no time like the present; let’s discuss another of last year’s best albums. This is one of the more high-profile items on that list, or at least one that was put out via the biggest label. So a lot of you are probably already familiar with this band. But there may be some out there who haven’t heard Intronaut before, or may have missed out on this album — which would be a shame, because it’s really good stuff!

 

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Person or Persons Unknown: Six Questions with Solarburn Bassist Tony Thomas

Person or Persons Unknown

 

Six Questions with Solarburn Bassist Tony Thomas

by Asya Yanyo

 

    
The first step is admitting it, right? So here goes… “Hello, my name is Asya, and I am addicted to Solarburn.”  I have seen them numerous times, and will again soon; I had their CD in the CD changer in my car for a record 12 weeks straight, and for a long time it was the band that I would talk about every chance I got. It’s not as if I wish to be cured of my addiction or anything; in fact I’ve decided to just own it, and I am perfectly willing to help others get addicted too.

This pretty much is THE band for me, the band that opened up a whole new level of musical enjoyment in my life, and the band that I shamelessly promote every chance I get, quite like I am doing right now. Yes, if you haven’t seen them yet, you’re honestly missing (in my humble opinion) one of the BEST things about Pittsburgh! But you can fix that April 2nd when they open for Otep at the Altar Bar.

They are three of the nicest and most genuinely no-BS guys I have ever met in my life, and these dudes can shred like nobody’s business. So how did I just pick one of them for Person or Persons Unknown? As hard as it was (and honestly it WAS hard, because I am lucky enough to actually be friends with [guitarist] Mike [Stains], [drummer] Russ [Tompkins], and [bassist] Tony [Thomas]), I ended up choosing the person I connected with immediately in the beginning, at the first show at I ever saw Solarburn play — way back in August of last year. Immediately, I felt that Tony was more than just an awesome bass player, but that he also a had deep knowledge of music, which I respected and connected with. As you’ll see from this interview, that is definitely the case.

 
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