Alaska, The Last Frontier. Home to savage elements and captivating landscapes, but also home to a bleak Black Metal Underground, and by underground I mean you basically need to venture out into the tundra with a shovel to find some of these bands. Thankfully Alaska is also the place I call home so I’m here to shed some light on an otherwise dark and unseen niche. Continue reading →
Bury Tomorrow‘s 2018 album ‘Black Flame’ was phenomenal. It was the band’s third consecutive UK Top 40 album. The band hail from the UK and are comprised of Dani Winter-Bates on vocals, Jason Cameron on vocals/rhythm guitar, Kristan Dawson on lead guitar, backing vocals, Davyd Winter-Bates on bass and Adam Jackson on drums.
They are a fearsome mix of brutal Death Metal with a huge mixer of melodic vignettes. They are very technical, but never forget that hooks need to be applied also.
Delaney is a four-piece pop rock/alternative rock band hailing from southern NH. They were my choice for the last NH State of the Art and I have continued to follow their fortunes closely since then.
Their music is a cathedral of the caustic, combined with the sweet dew of self-awareness. Consisting of members Matt (lead vocals/guitar/piano), Kurt (drums), Andy (bass/backing vocals) and Derek (guitar), Delaney draws much of their influences from early 2000’s rock/emo bands such as The Dangerous Summer, Jack’s Mannequin and Jimmy Eat World.
The band spent their first year and a half building a following across NH and MA until releasing their debut EP ‘Kites Without String’ in May of 2018. Since then, the band have continued to play across the northern New England area and is scheduled to release their second E.P. ‘A Small Remaining Quantity of Something’ on June 26, 2020.
This release is a cathartic release from the current turmoil in the world. It chases away the blues with its insistent drive to uplift with crunchy guitars and lush keyboards. The opener “The Ghost of Better Times” is a positive call to bring back normality to the world. The drum sound is full and direct and Matt’s vocals are strong and melodic. Yes, this is no Death Metal fare, but it rocks and uplifts in a potent mix.
“Busy Hands” has chiming guitar and a laid back vibe that ushers in the long summer nights. You can imagine a warm evening playing this song on your porch and looking at the glistening stars. It is a song about reflection and soul searching, which is something I can identify with.
“Thief” swims in on a lead piano and guitar mix. The background vocals on this lend themselves to serious grooving. The guitars hit with emo intent and the song documents personal struggles. The guitar solo on this song is subtle, but strong.
The E.P. continues the high quality with the dampened chords of “Disease – Deliverance.” This song seems so poignant at the moment, celebrating lives that have passed. The cloud of COVID-19 seems to haunt the lines. Of course, I am not sure it does mean this, but it seems to refer to this pandemic.
“Broken” is the main rocker on the release, with its urgent fuzz guitar and faster tempo. It is a shot of adrenaline and a great song. The chorus is killer and the vocals again deliver with the energy of the tune.
The release is rounded out by the single “Do You Want To Be Afraid” which is catchy and full of emotion. “Can’t seem to shake these inhibitions” – you and me brother! Completely sold on this composition, with its heart-held exposition.
What can I say? Legendary stuff from a band who just seem to get better and better! Check them out as soon as possible!
This New Orleans band are fantastic cinematic metal with a sludgy panoramic sound that blasts and bewilders in equal measure. Lead by the ever thoughtful John Baleine (guitars/vox), ‘Void Moon’ is their second release, following their self-titled debut.
There are four songs completing with release and they are weighty tomes for these dark times. “Beginning of the End” is an eight minute opener which reaches many different valleys and plains with its doom focused arrangements.
The release takes off into further spheres with the beautiful lush instrumental “Another Family“. It creeps in and swells with wonderful arrangements. This is a real tearjerker as you can imagine it being the soundtrack to a modern day Western.
“Void Moon” casts a sci-fi vision and stalks from the speakers after the quiet entry. The middle section is a spoken word part about religion, which then moves into a fusion of static.
“Evil of Man” finishes the record with deliberate dissonance and a brutal bookend about a plague being unleashed – very topical for these troubled times. “Killer of spirit, killer of spirit! Lies the memory of the life never known!” Not easy listening, but a headfirst dive into the horror of the present. The song is hypnotic and starts to unnerve with its extreme soundscape. There is never an easy ask for real art and this song is art in action.
Space Cadaver are a band unafraid to experiment and make you unsettled by their beauty and brute force. Don’t enter without a safety hat of wonder! They are a band that take your preconceived ideas and make them turn on their head. They have a sound that is hard to define, but they don’t make music for the masses and are focused on their art alone. A refreshing change of pace from the norm.
As if ‘Black Flame’ wasn’t already enough Bury Tomorrow has decided to take it to the next level. Besides creating top notch music they have a very specific goal this time, to get people talking about mental health and to remove the stigma once and for all! So with that in mind let’s dive right into ‘Cannibal’!
Montana’s premier Doom musical maverick Eric Sartana has produced a new E.P. which rattles the windows of your soul with ‘Dark Days’. This three track collection continues his fine work with Throne of Malediction and the path of independently produced excellence.
Eric has a unique vision rested somewhere between Doom and Thrash. He walks the lonely highway of non-commercial excellence where the depression and oppression of everyday life stalks each of us. His vision is to make music with real substance and thoughtfulness. He is an auteur and a rationalist in these days of reactive nihilism.
Polaris is back and ready to unleash their second album called ‘The Death Of Me’ via Sharptone Records tomorrow and it is straight fire! Releasing an album as good or even better than ‘The Mortal Coil’ seemed impossible but they have done it with ease and I am here to prove it!
New York experimental black metal band Tombs grabbed my attention two years ago when I got their sophomore album ‘Path Of Totality’ in a Relapse Records blind bag deal. Tombs formed in 2007 with founding member and frontman Mike Hill. My expectations are high for ‘Monarchy Of Shadows’ as it follows their great 2017 record ‘The Grand Annihilation.’ On top of their last record they have the weight of ‘Path Of Totality’ on their shoulders, which won Decibel Magazine’s 2011 Album of the Year award. Consisting of Mike Hill, Justin Spaeth, Drew Murphy, and Matt Medieiros, Tombs rip their way into a new decade with some of their best songs in their entire discography on this EP ‘Monarchy Of Shadows’ which releases on February 28, 2020 via Seasons Of The Mist. Continue reading →
Muddy Leaf is a new and upcoming post-metal band from Tours, France that formed in 2014. The band’s first release was ‘Writing 1.0’ in 2016. The five piece band has now put the final touches on their sophomore release ‘Distorted & Wild’ mastered by Clément Dalmange, Muddy Leaf are sounding great from the start. The band is comprised of Djouk on lead vocals, Benoît and Guigz on guitars, Fwash on the bass, and William rounding out the band on drums. ‘Distorted & Wild’ is an extremely promising debut record. These tracks are cloudy and wrap around the ears of the listener. ‘Distorted & Wild’ was released February 5th, 2020.
Ever since the release of ‘Narrative’Fire From The Gods has earned the respect of many and I bet after listening to their just released record ‘American Sun’ those very few left will be convinced to love and respect them as much as we do!