In their down time from story-boarding episodes of Rick and Morty and Mr. Pickles for Adult Swim, the team at Williams Street Productions has been an odd source of quality underground music compilations and albums. Not only does their catalog feature works from the likes of Captain Murphy (a.k.a Flying Lotus) and Destruction Unit alongside annual, multi-genre compilations, nearly all of these albums are entirely free to stream and download. If you’re searching for a negative here, there isn’t one, a point the company proved yet again last month with their most avant-garde offering to date. The appropriately blunt title for NOISE should point to the abrasiveness of this collection of tracks; an eclectic range of compositions from an equally broad roster of artists, all of whom approach “noise” as a malleable concept meant to be stretched to its limit.
“Blackgaze” is now a thing. It’s been confirmed. Just don’t use Deafheaven as the only example. Any new genre needs new blood to keep the momentum high and, though they may not sit perfectly within the designated safety lines, Ruetz are the blackened torch bearers this slightly kooky movement needs. Blackened hardcore when the hardcore needs to be blackened and post-gaze enough to keep the indie kids tapping brown leather shoes to the beat, debut salvo Melanoma stares at it’s trotters long enough to be a gaze. Thankfully, the gaze is short lived and the fun parts move firmly to front of stage.
If a poster was created of famous devil-worshippers then Aleister Crowley’s face would no doubt be near the front and center. Despite not actually being a Satanist, Crowley’s “wicked’’ deeds placed him in league with the Dark Lord in the eye’s of the public back in his heyday. However, he was a practitioner of Thelema, a spiritual philosophy of self-empowerment that’s often lumped in with the glorification of evil much like Satanism has been throughout the years. And like old Beelzebub, Crowley and heavy metal fit together like a hand in glove, and his influence in heavy music can be traced all the way back to the genre’s earliest years.
Story time: the first time I heard Late. play their brand of sludgy, jam-styled, instrumental post-metal, I was in a friend’s…
At the Drive-In was unlike any else I had ever heard; they had a sense of angst that was so perfectly channeled that it barely seemed angsty somehow. It was raw emotion, but wrapped in ribbons and bundles that allowed it to be easily digestible, even more so than the Dischord Material I idolized (and still do). The band was artful and careful with how they did everything and, at the time, it seemed revolutionary. Now, some 4 or 5 years after that first initial meeting, I am sitting here re-visiting their discography in full, struck not only by its timelessness but by the band’s sonic evolution from release to release. Below is an exploration of those releases, their inner workings, and why they have retained such heavy, influential status among the post hardcore community.
Original concepts often lead to original execution, either out of the necessity to relay new information with a new combination of tools or because thinking outside the bounds of normalcy encourages a new level of creative engagement. There is certainly something to be said for this second one; it’s not rare to see albums of a novel conceptual nature end up sounding somewhat extraordinary as well. Hell, some artists even make careers out of this – The Dear Hunter’s episodic Act series of albums is, rather unconventionally, set in the era just following the first World War, and brings in many elements of musical theater, lounge, and big band to add some temporally appropriate weight, and rap trio clipping. have made quite a name for themselves out of eschewing genre trends, most recently exploring the intersection of sci-fi dark ambient, musique concrete, and hip-hop on their newest album, Splendor and Misery.
Run the Jewels’ Run the Jewels 2 (Known throughout the rest of this review as RTJ2) was one of the best rap…
Good lord, I can’t even believe I’m writing these words. Almost two years ago, I wrote about Psykup for the blog. We’re talking about a band that mixes Mr.Bungle, SikTh and The Dillinger Escape Plan into one messy, irreverent, and extremely violent version of chaos. When I wrote about them back then, I believed it was posthumously; they had been quiet for years and there was no sign they were coming back. Well, now they have! Out of nowhere, Psykup have released a new track and announced an upcoming album, Ctrl + Alt + Fuck. And you bet your ass the track is amazing as well. Head on down below to listen to it, pick your jaw up from the floor and then we’ll talk.
A few weeks ago, we reviewed a unique album; The Empire Never Ended by Twinesuns is an evocative and darkly looming drone album, a sort of mix between Earth and a faint, urban nightmare. Melding loud guitars, rich synths and voluminous static, The Empire Never Ended is a distinct and special work of drone metal. It’s also quite good which is why we’re very happy to be premiering “System Regained” off of said album. The track perfectly encapsulates the tensions and textures of the release, containing several layers of instruments which border the line between “thundering” and “insidious”. Head on down below and make sure to adjust your volume accordingly; you don’t want to be blowing out any windows or driving passersby insane.
You know, I was debating on whether to even write this article; I feel like I talk about John Zorn…
The figure of the auteur is one which we’ve discussed on the blog multiple times. More than just an artist figure, the auteur represents a willpower which motivates an entire project, stamping their name (for good or for bad) on an album, a discography or any other form of art. It also represents a site of unprecedented danger, as arrogance, egotism and a simple lack of inspiration hover on the edges of creativity and look for a way in, looking for a way to twist art into navel-gazing self congratulation. Pain of Salvation have been skirting with these ephemeral lines between artistic impetus and artistic extravagance for years now, ever since Daniel Gildenlöw closed ranks around his vision and aesthetic. The previous three albums (and, one might argue, perhaps four) were mostly about his vision and his expression. Thus, the latest release by the band is suspect; is In the Passing Light of Day, especially when considering the circumstances of Gildenlöw’s life (and near death), able to skirt away from the abyss of artistic self congratulation and produce something more?