Death’s Door // May 2018

Welcome to Death’s Door. Wipe your feet on the mat, because I can’t even with this month. So busy. So damn tired. It feels like an eternity I’ve spent trying to focus up on my musings for this past month’s death metal offerings. So no flowery introduction this month. Just unadorned death metal awesomeness. As you will see below, May was a very good month for the ol’ slash and burn. Death metal bands of all shapes and sizes made quality appearances, generating a diverse smorgasbord of delights for all to enjoy. So kick back in a bone chair and…

Post Rock Post – Alters

Alright folks, hold on to your seats because this one is going to get wild. Allow me to introduce you to Alters, an extremely interesting band from Poland. Nominally, their thing is a blend of progressive rock and post rock. The progressive parts take a very distinct influence from one Steven Wilson, with the opening tracks to their most recent album, Dawn, sounding a lot like Porcupine Tree. “Hypnagogia” and, even more so, the self-titled track which open the album have all the unique identifiers you’d associate with this style of progressive rock. The drums are loud, the vocalist seems aloof and depressed, the guitars are influenced by classic progressive rock but with an exceedingly modern sound. So far, so good; things are pleasant and well made, if not totally original or mind-blowing.

The third track, “Klechdawa”, starts in the same manner. Indeed, it goes on in that manner until its mid-point. But then, there’s a break and everything changes.

Heavy Rewind – Black Mountain’s “Wilderness Heart”

As we keep saying, experiences and context play a huge role in our appreciation of music. That’s what makes pretense to complete objectivity when talking about music so silly. There is certainly a degree of professionalism and detachment which is possible and necessary, but musical enjoyment is inherently a subjective experience. One of the best reminders of that, for me, was how I stumbled upon Black Mountain’s Wilderness Heart. It was about five years ago. I was working night shifts back then, sitting in front of a computer and chatting with people into the small hours of the night. The office was…

129 – Always Be Content-ing

This week we have little new news, so we talk about the year so far. The few news items we have are the new Mask of Judas album, the new First Fragment Drummer, and upcoming Black Fast material. Then we talk about a bunch of albums from this year, and play “Will you forget this in 6 month or 6 years”? Finally, cool people time with Vampyr, Brooklyn Nine Nine, and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams. Enjoy!

Panegyrist – Hierurgy

I’m not exactly unveiling a deep or hidden truth when I say that the occult has been one of – if not the – most prevailing lyrical themes of metal music since its inception. In fact, I’m pretty sure  being a metal band and not having at least one song about Satanism is illegal in Scandinavian countries. The thought of some great Biblical evil, something lurking beyond our perception to which we owe fealty should we wish to channel its grimness into the world, clearly fits into the dark and aggressive schema of metal. Its inversion, uh, not so much. Outside of…

Dance Gavin Dance – Artificial Selection

There is a seemingly deep irony in Dance Gavin Dance naming their ninth album Artificial Selection. Their sound has evolved so naturally over their career; how can it be anything other than the invisible hand of fate guiding them with great care and dexterity? While it can be easy to believe they were blessed with an insight that reaches far beyond mere mortals, it does not give them the credit they deserve. In reality, their evolution is due to the elements and collaborators they include being selected by hands that deftly understand what Dance Gavin Dance is at its core.…