And so we return, just shy of the prime meridian. It seems as though Australia has been one of the hotspots in terms of metal and alternative rock goes. We’ve had some really talented young acts come from there in recent years. However, a little further South and slightly East, we tend to forget about New Zealand. After all, they did give us the almighty Ulcerate, who is one of best death metal bands of our generation. Now, however, the band that we’re discussing is a fairly young one, called Spook The Horses. Combining some killer post-metal with tinges of sludge and doom, their new album Rainmaker is definitely a good start for the band.
Sweden’s Cult of Luna may have announced just over a year ago that they’d be going on hiatus, but they left things pretty open-ended. In their December 2013 statement, they stated that “Maybe we’ll release another album next year or maybe in a decade we honestly don’t know. Sooner or later we will return in one form or another.” Well, there doesn’t seem to be any new music on the horizon, but the post-metal behemoths have announced a few dates in North America this May!
A little while back, I told you guys about a band named Herod who are making a huge racket over in Switzerland right now. At the time, we only had a small teaser of music, but now the band have returned with a brand new video for ‘We Are The Failure‘, a monolithic and churning mass of lumbering riffs that sways and twists. Climb the colossi below:
Apparently while on tour in the UK last August, Cult of Luna took up camp in BBC Maida Vale to record a three-track studio session. The audio is just now being made available, and it’s a phenomenal performance. The session was debuted on the latest episode of BBC Radio 1’s Rock Show with Daniel P Carter. Unfortunately, you can’t play each track on their own or automatically jump to them. Fortunately, I had nothing else to do and tracked down the playtimes for you.
02. False Idol
03. Trance Monolith
04. Triple Gemini
05. Dark Sun
06. Glass Cathedrals
08. Pale Heart
09. Black Waltz
10. Stone Devils
Post-metal and sludge as we know it are generally associated with meandering and complicated song structures, ever evolving in tone and atmosphere with little in the way with repeating segments. That was until 2009, when Brighton, UK based group The Mire — who were born out of the brief dissolution of Bossk — took the genre’s melancholic atmosphere and massive riffs and made them work in the context of condensed pop-inspired song structures and vocal hooks with their EP Volume I, beating The Ocean‘s 2010 game-changer Heliocentric to the punch. 4-minute tracks with cleanly-sung refrains were nearly unheard of in the genre, and to no surprise, the formula works; The Mire strive to bring emotion, soul, and immediacy into a genre that has all the potential to be deeply resonant with not just the mind, but the heart as well.
Right now, you may not know who Herod are, but you will do soon. This Swiss three-piece are mining a groove so gargantuan and crushing with their sound that it’s hard to ignore, so consider this an advance warning of great music to come!
2013 is done and over with, and you’ve all seen our many year-end lists by now. However, musical discovery never truly ends with a new calendar, and even a blog with ~20 members on staff can have blind spots. As we find albums in the depths of 2013 we missed out on the first time around, we’ll make good on correcting our oversight. After all, just because an album came out months ago doesn’t mean it isn’t worth talking about anymore!
Not long after I finished my own year-end list, I started catching up on the lists from other metal sites around the net. Along the way, I picked up on the perplexing Salt Lake City based Subrosa, a band that writes epic-length post-metal/sludge jams with stoned out vocal harmonies and sonic experimentations that put the band on a whole other level.
I’m going to skip the intro because I know most of you just want to read the list.
No long introduction. Let’s just get down to business.