Employed to Serve – The Warmth of a Dying Sun (2017)

Employed to ServeThe Warmth of a Dying Sun (Holy Roar Records, 19 May 2017)

 

The last time I wrote about this ‘post-hardcore/powerviolence’ band from Woking, England (in Surrey County, just outside London), I explained how I had first discovered them when they emailed me about their 2012 EP Long Time Dead. I was absolutely infatuated by that release (and still am!) but for a variety of reasons never quite managed to write anything about it until just last year.

When I heard Holy Roar was releasing a brand-new EtS album (and some of the early press seemed to be hinting at an AOTY contender) I knew I needed to get my hands on it — and also that I wouldn’t let another four years pass before writing about it! So here, I present you with The Warmth of a Dying Sun. Enjoy!

 
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Unkirk – .burial (2017)

Unkirk.burial (Tartarus Records, 31 March 2017)

 

Hello,

There are a lot of new releases coming up.

Because of this I’m offering a 30% discount on all orders to make more space at Tartarus HQ.

This includes all of our latest titles and distro items.

Visit tartarusrecords.com and use the code KEEPINGITREEL before checking out to apply the discount.

This discount ends on Saturday June 10th.

Oh, and we priced all of our shirt designs down to 9 euros for the time being 🙂

 
Thus reads the press release that just came from Tartarus Records this week. Their sale of 30% off runs through TOMORROW, so we wanted to make sure you nice people heard about this and had the chance to take advantage of it. And if you need a suggestion of where to start shopping (aside from previous Tartarus releases we’ve already discussed), might I suggest this megalithic wall of noise from Scottish dirge-drone duo Unkirk?

 

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Conan – Blood Eagle (2014), Revengeance (2016)

ConanBlood Eagle (Napalm Records, 28 February 2014)

 

ConanRevengeance (Napalm Records, 29 January 2016)

 

Following our last article that covered a few of North‘s more recent releases, it only makes sense to talk about their current tour-mates Conan as well. The Merseysider trio has been around for over ten years — although the line-up has changed a few times: from 2011 (when their split record with Slomatics came out, which was the last release we discussed here) until the 2014 emergence of their second full-length Blood Eagle, Paul O’Neill had remained behind the drums, but Phil Coumbe had taken on bass/vocal duties; then by 2016 new drummer Rich Lewis had joined, and Chris Fielding (a prolific producer and engineer who had worked on all of Conan‘s previous releases) was added as bassist/vocalist. The only constant throughout the band’s career has been guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis, who also runs Black Bow Records in his spare time — oh and by the way, you may remember from when last year when we covered Boss Keloid‘s Herb Your Enthusiasm, which was a Black Bow release, Davis and Fielding both had guest spots on that record.

Well, it wouldn’t be accurate to say that Mr. Davis being part of the band continuously has been the only constant over the past decade-plus. The sound produced by this trio has perpetually been as savage and barbaric as the literary character from which their name was derived. To be specific, they identify themselves as “caveman battle doom” — and you’ll find, as we make our way through Blood Eagle and last year’s follow-up Revengeance, there really couldn’t be a more apt description …

 
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The Crazy World of Arthur Brown – Zim Zam Zim (2014)

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The Crazy World of Arthur BrownZim Zam Zim (Bronze Rat Records, 28 July 2014)

 

For those who may have missed the announcement, about two months ago, the highly influential and iconic Arthur Brown will be performing a series of live dates with The Crazy World of Arthur Brown — for the first time since that group’s earlier incarnation had disbanded after (or during, depending on which account of events you hear) a U.S. tour back in 1969! This new run of shows will be kicking off tonight(!), and we’ve got the details for you down in the comments section. But before we get there, I’d first like to call your attention to The Crazy World‘s newest album — 2014’s Zim Zam Zim

 

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Conan / Slomatics – Split (2016 Reissue)

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Conan / SlomaticsSplit (original release 2011 / to be reissued by Black Bow Records, September 2016)

 

Yesterday when we talked about Slomatics‘ first two albums, I mentioned that the band has signed with Black Bow Records, who has rereleased those two albums in advance of the band’s new record due later this year. But this partnership was not the first time they’ve dealt with that label OR its owner Jon Davis. Slomatics and Davis‘ band Conan — from Merseyside County, England, just across the Irish Sea from Belfast — had put together a split record back in 2011. After that limited-edition vinyl quickly sold out, Black Bow put out another pressing of the split in 2014, which also wasn’t around for very long.

And now, they’ve announced that there will be a new batch coming soon — only 200 copies will be made available this time, and each record will be pressed onto a full-color representation of that incredible cover art! An exact release date hasn’t been set yet, but pre-orders are on sale now, and they’re expected to begin shipping around early September.

 

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Slomatics – Flooding the Weir, Kalceanna (2015 Reissues)

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SlomaticsFlooding the Weir (original release 2005 / reissued by Black Bow Records, 20 November 2015)

 

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SlomaticsKalceanna (original release 2007 / reissued by Black Bow Records, 20 November 2015)

 

Here we find ourselves in the midst of another magnificent Monday. It’s kind of shocking to realize how much of each day (and therefore how much of the workweek) is spent basically sleepwalking, semi-conscious, sort of in that fuzzy slow-motion daze that they always use in movies and tv shows when someone has been drugged or tranquilized or something. And I mean, a large portion of each day even after a cup of coffee or two. Maybe this is why I find myself drawn to low-tempo, fuzzy, swampy/sludgy, crawling-through-quicksand styles of music so much of the time?

I don’t know. But that’s exactly what the music we’re here to talk about today sounds like. Slomatics, from Northern Ireland, have been actively creating heavy fuzz-sludge music for about a dozen years now. Their first two albums were released in 2005 and 2007 on CD, but have been out of print for years. So naturally, after they had signed to Black Bow Records (the label run by their neighbor across the Irish Sea, Conan‘s Jon Davis), while the band got working on their upcoming fifth album (which is set to release in early September), the label decided to once again make those early two releases available in digital format.

 

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Ghold – Of Ruin (2015), Pyr (2016)

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GholdOf Ruin (Ritual Productions, 16 March 2015)

 

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GholdPyr (Ritual Productions, 06 May 2016)

 

Hello out there — how is your Tuesday going? It’s almost time to go home and I’m totally ready for a nap. I feel pretty confident in saying I will probably be passed out on the bus ride home, if I even make it that far. And there’s another hockey game tonight, so if there’s going to be any hope of me staying awake to see that, maybe a late afternoon nap wouldn’t be the worst idea.

Before I go, though, it’s about time to share some more listening material with you fine people. Today that will consist of a pair of albums — one a little over a year old, the other released just four days ago — both by London stoner-sludge-grunge-noise band Ghold

 

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