Gifts From Enola, the four-piece post-rock band from Harrisonburg, Virginia, has called it a day and are disbanding after completing an impressive seven year career. The band released a statement via their website explaining why they decided to hang up their instruments after a somewhat successful career. This comes as a surprise since they just recently came out with a new album A Healthy Fear about six months ago that was well received by most people and were still in the process of touring it. But as the explanation says, being a touring band is no easy task and there’s nothing glamorous about breaking the bank to be able to play a handful of shows.
View Full Article »
Back in mid-2012, Post-metal titans Pelican lost their guitarist and founding member Laurent Schroeder-Lebec, after he announced that he would be taking an “indefinite hiatus”. Though Laurent said that he would still be a part of Pelican, he would not be contributing to the music, which basically means that other priorities had taken the its place and he’s no longer in the band. To fill in for Laurent’s place, Pelican announced earlier via Facebook, that they found their new guitarist in Dallas Thomas of the band The Swan Kings. You can listen to their Pay To Pray EP at Bandcamp.
View Full Article »
It seems that with the disbanding of Isis that post-metal, especially in the underground, has been on the rise. Every day there are new bands coming out of the woodwork to make a name for themselves and to unleash their music on the world. In a sea of bands it’s very hard to standout, that is until you meet He Whose Ox Is Gored. The band, hailing from Seattle, are self-described by member Brian McClelland as “a full on doomgaze band now [evolved from atmospheric post-hardcore]“. In my eyes, they’re a post-metal/doom metal band that mix elements from The Sword, Isis, and Neurosis to make a super awesome sound rich with walls of textures and layers upon layers of great songwriting. Their albums are all “pay what you want” and you can get them on their Bandcamp.
In regards to their upcoming album, Brian also had this to say: “We’re in the writing process right now. As soon as that’s finished we head into Red Room Studios with Robert Cheek behind the board. Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Pelican, Botch, Planes Mistaken For Stars) is signed in to mix, so were pretty stoked about that.” Right now they’re in talks with a few different labels, so an official release date is pending, but we will have the news as soon as it is released.
So go download their stuff and follow them on Facebook!
2012 has been a phenomenal year in music. Huge bands came out with some of the best music I’ve heard my entire life. Bands were coming out with such amazing stuff; it felt like they actually believed this to be the last year for humanity and had to come out with the best music they’ve ever created. This year was the year of many things; post-rock, progressive metal, comebacks, djent etc. but to me this was mainly the year of death-metal. With stellar releases by industry veterans like Cannibal Corpse, Nile, Cryptopsy and Dying Fetus, as well as newer bands like Cattle Decapitation, Pathology and Dyscarnate, I have never heard this much death-metal at once. I used to shun the genre, but this year, I converted. I came over to the dark-side (partly because they had cookie… monster. Lelelelelel. No? Okay, no more horrible puns). It was also this year that I started listening to some new genres, mainly grind and slam. I knew they existed but I didn’t see the thrill in them till recently. Boy, was I wrong. So let this year be the “Year of Resolution” on my new found sense of taste.
Reflecting back on 2012, it’s difficult not to think about some of the downright horrible news that came out this year. With the closing down of Hydra Head Records, Laurent Schroeder-Lebec leaving Pelican and the shocking death of Mitch Lucker vocalist of Suicide Silence, it had its ups and downs but I guess that’s just life’s way of reminding us that we have to take the good with the bad. Here’s to trying to keep positive for the next year.
This year is also the year I started writing for HBIH and my opinion on music started to mean something. I had been a reader of this blog for 3 years until I was approached by Alkahest to write for HBIH. Having been a jobless Indian living in New Delhi, I instantly accepted the offer and now I can pose as an online music hipster and look down on other people’s music taste with unabashed glee. Thanks again, Jimmy!
Unlike many of my co-workers here at HBIH, I opted to have my list consist only of 10 albums. I’m old-school that way. Yes, they were many albums I wanted to add to my list but I’m going to stick to the tried and tested way of the Top 10. So without any further ado, here are my Top 10 Albums Of 2012.
View Full Article »
Downfall Of Gaia
Suffocating In The Swarm Of Cranes
02. Drowning By Wing Beats
03. In The Rivers Bleak
04. I Fade Away
05. Beneath The Crown Of Cranes
06. Giving Their Heir To The Masses
[Metal Blade Records]
Alongside the genre standards of death, religion, politics, war and magick, it’s surprising how many bands turn to the raw power of nature for inspiration. Bands like Mastodon and Gojira for instance live up to their namesakes through the visceral organic energy of tracks such as ‘March Of The Fire Ants‘ and ‘Flying Whales‘ and when Isis‘ Aaron Turner growled ‘The swarm is flocking to the wound, their speed only matched by their efficiency‘ on their seminal Mosquito Control EP, it felt like you were actually being suffocated at the heart of the swarm.
Which brings up the interesting point concerning Downfall Of Gaia‘s Metal Blade debut. What is it about that graceful and majestic crane that could possibly conjure up anything similar to their more primal counterparts?
View Full Article »
Maryland Deathfest, America’s self-proclaimed “biggest metal party of the year,” was fantastic this year. As much fun as I had and enjoyed the almost surreal dive into saturated metal subculture for that weekend, I was under the impression that it was going to be a one-time thing for me. Judging by how the lineup is looking for next year’s rendition and the promise in change of scenery however, I’ll likely be looking into making my return!
The next batch of bands have been announced, and includes Benediction and Ihsahn among the most promising groups. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Benediction, but with them comes the remote possibility of Anaal Nathrakh, which shares a frontman in Dave Hunt and have played MDF before (if I’m not mistaken). Anyone who reads this site knows our collective love of Ihsahn, and a US Ihsahn show is hard to come by. Ihsahn coming over also brings to mind the possibility of his backing band Leprous getting their own set, and that’s an idea I can get behind. On top of that, my curiosity was also raised when Pig Destroyer, Carcass, !T.O.O.H!, Pelican, and Weedeater were announced. Maybe I’m idealizing and speculating a bit, but this has potential to be the best MDF yet.
Here’s the full recent announcement and a recap of the currently billed lineup, made via Facebook this week:
5 more bands have been confirmed for for MDF XI:
BENEDICTION (UK) – Exclusive US show!
IHSAHN (Norway) – Exclusive US show!
INIQUITY (Denmark) – Exclusive US show!
GLORIOR BELLI – Exclusive US show!
Stay tuned for an announcement in September that will include additional headliners for next year’s fest, including the headliner for the Thursday show.
Regarding the venue information for next year, we are still sorting through our options and weighing out the pros and cons of each. There’s a chance that we’ll be ready to post the info before the end of August, but be aware that this could trickle into the first half of September. As of now, we do intend on keeping the fest in Baltimore close to hotels.We plan on having both the venue information and billing complete before the end of September. Tickets will likely go on sale around the first of October, but stay tuned for a precise date.
Updated list of confirmed bands for MDF XI:
!T.O.O.H.! (Czech Republic)
AHUMADO GRANUJO (Czech Republic)
GLORIOR BELLI (France)
GRIDE (Czech Republic)
INGROWING (Czech Republic)
PAGAN ALTAR (UK)
Get excited! MDF XI is May 23-26th, 2013
Photo by Allison Evans
Coinciding with the departure of Jon Kindler from The Chariot, it turns out that guitarist and founding member Laurent Schroeder-Lebec has decided to take an ‘indefinite hiatus’ from Pelican. Although not officially a complete separation, it’s unfortunate how much that term has become the ‘kind way’ of saying someone is done and gone. The official release is as follows, via the band’s Facebook:
It is with resignation that we report that our guitarist and founding member Laurent Schroeder-Lebec is taking an indefinite hiatus from the band. Many may have already noticed his absence from live shows over the last couple of years (he stopped traveling for out of town shows in 2010), his role as a composer is now also going on hold for the foreseeable future. The decision is not due to any internal turmoil or conflict – since our last full length album Laurent has made his family and career the central focus of his life, which the members of Pelican completely respect and honor. In 2010, when his interest in playing out of town declined, Laurent was the first to suggest that we find a substitute guitarist and continue getting the music out to our fans. He continued to play local shows with us and rehearse (in the rare instances that all four of us were in Chicago), but after recording sessions for our last EP, Ataraxia/Taraxis, when we were ready to begin writing our next album and began planning the writing sessions it would entail, Laurent confided that his heart wasn’t fully in it and, rather than deliver music that was half-hearted, he would rather sit it out.
Laurent is our friend and our brother – while his decision is disheartening, we completely respect it. We don’t yet know what the repercussions of his departure will be, but we’re thrilled by the strides made on our last EP and excited with the direction of the new material composed since its recording. Laurent has given us his blessing to carry on. For now Laurent’s place at live shows will be filled, as it has been for the past two years, by the immensely talented Dallas Thomas of the superb band The Swan King – anyone who saw our shows out West last year or in Europe this Spring knows he is a shredder and fully up to the task. As for writing, we are currently working as a three piece since we’re not looking to significantly alter the DNA on the compositional front. We hope that you stick with us and see what coming; as said previously we’re very excited with the path we’re on.
We’ve said since day one that Pelican is and always will be the four of us – we stand by that statement. Laurent is an integral part of this band whether or not he is standing on stage or composing with us. His unique musical voice and confidence of purpose have impacted us all and is present in every show and note we play. Our best wishes are with him in everything he does.
The band carries on to wish him the best of luck and emphasize the fact that’s there no hard feelings between either party. After the recent resurgence in the form of Ataraxia/Taraxis it’s a shame to see this version of the band separate, but you can’t fault the guy for putting family first. Here’s to hoping this works out for both sides.
[via a tip off from reader Atif Jaleel on our Facebook page]
For whatever the reason may be, whenever I get round to making my end of year list, it seems the entirety of it is built up of well-established, well-known acts and the whole thing reads like a list of the most anticipated releases of the year. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, I guess I’m drawn to the more refined and streamlined releases of a band who have found their sound and know how to utilise it. But when my taste is so predictable, it destroys the main point of these lists — to shine light on those elusive releases that blew up without anyone noticing. So in lieu of the standard records that I’m sure most people are enjoying (Meshuggah, High On Fire, Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death… the list goes on and on), here are 5 records that don’t seem to be getting the attention they deserve and you might not have picked up on yet. But I promise you, they’re worth your time.
View Full Article »