A band that needs no introduction, post-metal/sludge act Neurosis recently dominated North America on a tour with The Body and Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, recently playing their last stop in Houston on August 16th.
We’ve got pictures of Neurosis from their stop in Chicago at Thalia Hall (thall), but we were unfortunately unable to grab shots of both Brothers of the Sonic Cloth and The Body due to some logistical issues in travel, as well as an undesirable lighting situation. The aforementioned lighting issues are also the cause of a fairly meager Neurosis gallery. But what can we do?
With that, please enjoy the shots of the monumental Neurosis below!
We’ve covered Rosetta quite a bit on this website as of late. The band did, after all, release one of the best albums this year with Quintessential Ephemera [review], and many of us here all agree that it’s one of the best albums in the genre as a whole. However, we really did not discuss their documentary as much, and I think it comes down to time constraints. However, I recently had the chance to talk with Justin Jackson, the film’s mastermind, and talk to him about why he made the film, the band’s reaction to it, and if he’d do it again. Read more below!
Genres are fickle beasts. We crave proper tools for identification and organization, and more often than not, things fall neatly into place. However, when a piece of media aligns itself too comfortably with a single set of established confines, it’s taken as generic and derivative. We’re all guilty of it. What’s worse is that this encourages a culture in our community in which we put too much faith in categorization as a means of fandom. We as music fans often find ourselves making entire genres a part of who we are as individuals. A single genre of music — with its own set of rules, sounds, fashion, and aesthetic — can inform our entire being.
This isn’t meant to be some grand think-piece on genre and culture, nor am I decrying the importance of classification; it’s absolutely necessary and culture will always be influenced by art (and vice-versa, of course). That’s just how things are. So what do we do when a band doesn’t neatly fall into one box? Best case scenario is cognitive dissonance and settling for what could be an inappropriate tag, or perhaps worse, the clumsy and speculative creation of new words in the hopes that something sticks.
For the unfamiliar, Tucson sludge trio North proudly carry on in the direct Neur-Isis lineage of sludge and post-metal, and do so with excellence. As the group celebrate their tenth year as an active unit, North continue to finesse their sound of crushing and foreboding riffs and melodic introspection to become an act that does not merely mimic, but lead the pack in keeping the form alive and well.
Take for instance the group’s stunning new track “Old Blood,” one-half of the band’s forthcoming digital EP Through Raven’s Eyes, arriving August 14th through Prosthetic Records. The track ebbs and flows through staggering southern grooves and suffocating doom to surprisingly buoyant instrumental interludes. We’re proud to present its world premiere, which you can stream after the cut.
Sometimes, you don’t want something complex. While a fancy, flavorful dish bursting with spice and variety is well and good, there are times when you just need a damn cheeseburger. And musically, nothing is closer to the equivalent of a cheeseburger than sludgy stoner doom; it’s a tried-and-true perfected formula that works all the time, every time. Here, today, we have something exquisite from that very genre: a full stream of the new album from Las-Vegas-based act Demon Lung, who creates music that straddles the two genres perfectly with their gothic and plodding sound.
Gothic songstress Chelsea Wolfe has been a consistent source of brooding, textured sounds touching down upon a variety of styles. She has already released “Iron Moon” from Wolfe’s upcoming fourth album Abyss, which may be streamed here. A strong Neurosis vibe emanates from the track, likely due to the input from members of Russian Circles on the album. Now, the album’s lead track “Carrion Flowers” has been released, and in line with Wolfe’s past career holds a rather starkly different musical approach. Head past the jump to stream the track:
It’s been more than 15 years since sludge metal gods Neurosis toured as extensively as they are currently preparing to do. Wait, I think I missed something in that sentence. Holy shit, Neurosis is touring the US. Words honestly fail to grasp how monumental this is, both in light of how long it’s been since a tour of this capacity for the band, but also when taking into account what’s been going on with Scott Kelly and his wife.
Verbs are very useful when describing albums. Adjectives tend to slip faster into hyperbole and there’s something about the dynamics of doing that relates to music very well. So, when one turns to an album, it might serve to consider now what the album sounds like but what actions it calls to mind. With Steve Von Till‘s A Life Unto Itself, the semantic field is clear: scraping, digging, distilling, excavating. Reaching into some sort of core that has always been present in von Till’s illustrious career and bringing it to light.
If you’re in the northern hemisphere like most of you who read this site, then you’re no doubt enjoying the benefits of natural seasonal changes as the nightmare that was winter 2015 has given way to a beautiful spring. And if you’re in the southern hemisphere — particularly if you’re in Australia, as many of our readers are — you’re almost certainly feeling the relief of more tolerable temperatures as your summer has given way to fall and is quickly approaching winter. Either way, all over the world we’re entering the magical time of year known as Festival Season. Many of the biggest and best bands in the world (and leagues of smaller ones as well) are preparing to set out for various tours and huge outdoor festivals that will attract thousands upon thousands of individuals. The global festival circuit has become so huge and varied though that it can be nearly impossible to know where even to start if you’re looking to travel to one.
We’re here to help! Obviously there are far too many metal festivals around the world for us to provide anywhere near a comprehensive list, but we asked our staff to highlight a few festivals on 3 continents — North America, Europe, and Australia (apologies to the rest of the world as we only have so many staff members from different places). Check them all out below!
New Hampshire post-black metal outfit Vattnet Viskar are poised to release a 2015 highlight (and possibly their best work yet!) with their upcoming record Settler. A lot of post-black bands these days tend to be on the flowery side of the spectrum, but what makes Vattnet Viskar such a great act is that they really do feel like a solid meld of black metal and the type of expansive post-metal descended from the strings of Neurosis rather than anything in the vicinity of Alcest or Deafheaven. So in case you’re unfamiliar with the act, don’t judge them by their genre and the peculiar album artwork — which, by the way, was inspired by this photo of Christa McAuliffe, the schoolteacher who was killed in the Challenger explosion in 1986. Kinda changes things, yeah?