01. Raise The Sun
03. Falling In Line
04. The Longest River
05. One Foot In The Light
07. Faith And Oath
08. Flood And Fire
09. For Lisa
[Season of Mist]
To simply discuss Anciients as only the sum of their parts would be to do them a complete injustice. Here on Heart Of Oak this Canadian quartet take on a sludgy sound that is equal parts technical and progressive, with bands like Intronaut, Baroness and even Opeth all being submerged and absorbed into their murky swamp waters. Still, in execution, Heart Of Oak is so much more than that, it’s a meticulously crafted and instantly satisfying piece that may be the biggest surprise of the year so far.
I’ve been keeping an eye on Anciients for a while, checking out tracks here and there, but I don’t think much could have prepared me for the vicious face-stomp of their Season Of Mist debut Heart Of Oak. Early Baroness and Intronaut collides here with more riff heavy bands like The Sword or even High On Fire, all conglomerating to a sound whose sole purpose is to dredge up the sludgiest riffs possible and clean them up to sharpen them even more.
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.
If I had my say, there would be a top one hundred list, because I enjoyed so many different albums this year. I’ve changed this list fifty seven times over the past week, so this list is me finally making a decision. It’s honestly been harder choosing this list than it has been choosing classes for next semester. I must say that 2012 has shown that music has not totally gone down the drain, because there are still so many amazing bands I’m just now hearing about, and so many great albums to listen to. So, without further ado, here are the twenty best albums to come out in 2012, and the six best albums that would be twenty one through twenty six that just didn’t make the cut.
01. Veil Of Isis
02. Cloak Of Feathers
03. Arcane Montane
04. The Hidden Masters
05. Dying Earth
07. Seven Sisters
08. Hawks & Serpents
09. Eyes Of The Stormwitch
[Razor And Tie]
Metal has evolved greatly over the past 40-something years. However, many of us tend to forget that metal originated from the blues. It was this genre that influenced the first few metal bands, and if you listen to their work, you can clearly hear the influence. Sometimes we also forget how well metal can groove, how well it can get in the pocket. These elements of groove were continued with sludge and stoner bands, and continue to this day. While many of us overindulge in prog, djent, tech, and death metal, we often forget to go back to our roots, to revisit the true origins of metal, and to just relax and enjoy the old stuff. However, there are very few bands that can take this select brand of metal and make it sound unique. Mastodon, Sleep, and Kyuss are all examples of bands that do it very well. However, one band that continues to do it well, and have perfected their formula to deliver their best record yet, is The Sword.
Witchcraft sound like an entirely different band compared the slow, plodding Sleep and Sabbath worship of their early material. ‘It’s Not Because Of You‘ from their upcoming release Legend sounds a lot more upbeat and rocking, more in the vein of The Sword (who they actually shared a split with a while back) than anything else, and while it may not be the most original thing you’ve heard all year, you’ll catch yourself unaware humming that chorus. Legend is set to be released September 25th and is to be their debut release for Nuclear Blast, marking the bands return after a 5 five lull, but by the sounds of it, the wait was worth it.
Everybody’s favourite stoner merchants from space (well, Texas really), The Sword, have been hard at work writing for their follow up to the 2010 space odyssey Warp Riders and now, during a hometown show, the band decided to air out some new material. Naturally, it sounds exactly like it should – swaggering, huge riffs circling primitive drums and John Cronise’s distinctive voice. So whilst the band’s music hasn’t changed dramatically over the years, the shift from classic fantasy and mythology to science fiction based tracks was an interesting move and I’ll be intrigued to see what concept they take on next. The band is set to enter the studio later this year, but a release schedule hasn’t been confirmed as of yet.
The discovery of a new band is always exciting. Will it be something you’ve heard countless times? An experience that leaves a bad taste in your mouth? Or is it a treat from which you cannot stop consuming? I wanted to take a trip back in time to reminisce about bands/albums that not only introduced me to heavy music, but kept me coming back for more…
From The Archive: The Sword – Age of Winters
This next group is one of those bands that you either hate, love, or love to hate. Many metalheads have expressed their disgust with these guys, based on the many reviews I’ve come across, referring to them as a second rate Black Sabbath and/or a hipster metal kids wet dream. On one hand, I can understand why fans of metal feel this way. When it comes to music, no matter what genre it is, there are an over abundance of elitists that stick to their guns and refuse to acknowledge any new band whose approach to a tried and true sound is less than stellar. But in the end, it all comes down to what the listener thinks. We listen to whatever peaks our interest and could care less what others think about it…
The second of a reported trilogy of videos recorded from recent album Warp Riders, The Sword continue their sci-fi saga. There’s a spaceshipsm some lights, a whole lot of purple, and a creepy-looking broad in a cloak; and once again, fucking samurai swords!
Rather. Part the third, entitled ‘Night City‘ is coming soon.