A Clarion Call For Writers

The bottom line is this: we want you to write for us. This is a clarion call for writers; this is the trumpet at dawn, signalling the march forward. This is us saying: “we know you have interesting ideas, we know you want to put them out there. Let’s do that together”. We’re looking for people who are as passionate as we are (and more so) about any genre of music but that have some contact with metal. We’re looking for people who like working in a team and are able to collaborate. We’re looking for people who want to put their passion into words and lots of words to boot. We’re looking for people who come from groups that are usually under represented or outright ignored in the metal/music community and who want to make their voices heard.

DIY and the Issue With Social Capital

In the past year as I stood around at a house show, engaged in my normal Saturday night rituals of alternating between watching whatever band was playing and socializing, I heard a statement that disturbed me deeply. Among the casual chatter it was delivered as a light hearted quip, one not meant to shock but rather to gently tease. It came as someone recognized my friend but could not put a name to the face. My friend, casually joking with the stranger, said “just remember me as the one black guy who goes to shows”. They both laughed and I did as well at the time but something about that statement rubbed me in the completely wrong way.

Cavernlight – As We Cup Our Hands and Drink From the Stream of Our Ache

Funereal doom and post metal, genres which often blend together in their search for bottomless melancholy expressed through slow yet abrasive music, are tempting genres for the uninitiated musician. They appear simple, composed of slow moving parts which should, in theory, be easy to manage. However, they (of course) hide within themselves a trap and, too often, musicians fall right into it, giving themselves over to repetitive music which has little merit beyond another iteration of old ideas. Cavernlight however manage to walk a very thin line between true-to-the-source homage and redundancy, making doom that’s so slow as to harbor on the funereal while managing to add enough flourishes from post metal in order to alleviate the weaknesses of their parent genre. As We Cup Our Hands and Drink From the Stream of Our Ache (hereby referred to as Cup) is not exactly a groundbreaking album but it certainly does what it sets out to do quite well.

Anathema – The Optimist

It was only last night that we ran a Love Letter to Anathema’s Weather Systems. That post was perhaps not large enough in scope as it should have really been addressed to the band’s entire discography. Anathema are one of this reviewer’s favorite bands, a pillar of his personality and perspective on life. It is only natural then that any new release comes accompanied with trepidation. When Distant Satellites presented an image of Anathema quite different than Weather Systems, most listeners were overjoyed; the band seemed to handle the summit well, not opting to remain frozen in place. But now, The Optimist is here and the question remains: what strange lands do we found ourselves with Anathema and what is the purpose of the band post-masterpiece?

Love Letter – Anathema’s “Weather Systems”

There are albums which change your life. You listen to them once and you are impaled, transmogrified by the experience, wholly unable to go on being the same person. That is the power of music and that’s what we’re all searching for, all of us on the blog. In 2013, the year before my life broke down for the first time, I found such an album and I haven’t shut up about it since (seriously, we’ve posted so much about Anathema and I can’t stop). It was Anathema’s Weather Systems and it completely changed my outlook on life. So, here I am, writing my most important of Love Letters to one of my most important musical discovery’s. Weather Systems is both an extremely clever work of music and an extremely moving piece of art, a wonderful story on transformation and the power of the self.

The Response To PWR BTTM’s Sexual Assault Was Swift And Appropriate, So Why Can’t We Get It Right With Any Other Band?

When I found out that Ben Hopkins was outed as an abuser and rapist I was heartbroken. I was heartbroken for my friends who loved PWR BTTM. I was heartbroken for all of the queer kids and young queer adults who looked up to this band who (at the time) appeared to really care for their communities. They were activists. They were one of us. They held space for a community of people who didn’t quite fit in anywhere else. PWR BTTM stood up for us. They were just like us, and when people like us are ousted we see ourselves in them and we lash out. We grieve. We process. We take action. We compartmentalize. We move on and hope we won’t have to deal with this again until we do, because this is work that never stops.

Hey! Listen to The Flight of Sleipnir!

Let’s get something out of the way first – Sleipnir is an eight-legged horse variously featured in Norse mythology, most prominently in the Poetic/Prose Edda. Skadi, likewise featured in that most seminal of texts, is a jötunn most often associated with the bow and the hunt. If you have no idea what such references are doing on a metal album’s cover, please read this post by yours truly. Interestingly enough, The Flight of the Sleipnir have chosen unique and somewhat obscure Norse figures for their name and album title. Even more pleasing is the album itself. Skadi is a powerful exploration of the type of doom which draws its power from quiet, slow passages frequently interspersed amidst the tumultuous summits of its heavier segments. Unlike its fellow releases, however, Skadi manages to keep things fresh for the entirety of its run-time. Meet me below and let’s dive into the frozen landscape.

Rest In Peace, Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell died a “sudden and unexpected” death Wednesday night at the age of 52 in Detroid, MI while on tour. The Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman also started Temple of the Dog, whose other members would go on to form major grunge act Pearl Jam. Cornell, with the other members…

Grind My Tears: Portrayal of Guilt

It is in this new generation of emotionally charged, horrendously heavy music where we find Portrayal of Guilt. The band, hailing from Texas, does not play in the more direct style of thrash and emo, however. Instead they opt to play a far more brutal combination, blending the hectic, crazed pace of screamo with harsh black metal. It is a frightening combination, one that draws on the emotional torment inherent in both genres, and mixes them together into a truly pained form of musical catharsis. Add to that a little bit of 90’s metalcore in the vein of Coalesce and Converge, and you have one truly hectic blend of music.