The end of the year, around Christmas and New Year, is usually a period of down time for music. News slows down, releases are few and far between and even trusty blogs enjoy some downtime (*cough*except for a brilliant free compilation*cough*) — but it seems like you can’t take your eye of the ball for a second without risking missing something brilliant. Thankfully, it was a slow holiday for me, so here’s three great releases that only saw the light of day at the very, very tail end of 2013. All great and all worth your time, especially before 2014 really ramps up the speed.
El Drugstore – Plague Ship
Comprised of both ex- and current members of meandering metal titans East Of The Wall, El Drugstore are a non-stop freight train of pure instrumental freak-outs. The music fidgets and squirms endlessly, never quite settling into a groove and always hurling itself recklessly headfirst into some new twisting and turning riff and passage — naturally the results are astounding. It’s this inability to focus on anything for too long that means Plague Ship, released on the very last day of 2013, is filled to very brim ideas, making it a fascinating listen from start to finish.
Interested? Stream the entire thing at American Aftermath, alongside a track-by-track run down from the band themselves.
Morgue Orgy – The Last Man On Earth
My first encounter with Brummie death metallers Morgue Orgy, came one sleepy morning in the lab, checking through e-mails. Before stumbling upon one from those lovely people over at Hold Tight! PR, suddenly I was greeted with this hilarious but extremely NSFW sight flashing up on my screen for all to see.
Regardless of the group’s brilliant sense of humour, their new album The Last Man On Earth was released as a free download back on Christmas day and it’s an extremely solid and infectious mix of off-the-wall, crushing death metal, spaced-out keyboards and a whole load of b-movie worship. They’re one of those few bands that put the self-aware fun back into listening to ruthless death metal and it definitely helps that the album is relentless from start to finish. Check out the Anaal Nathrakh-ian filth of ‘4 Days‘ below:
Suffering In Solitude – A Place Apart
If there’s one thing that 2013 taught us, it’s that the grim and bleak template that black metal has set up over many years still has plenty of interesting territory to be explored when it comes to mixing it with the introspective and lush worlds of post-rock and shoegaze. Suffering In Solitude make no bones about the fact that they’re equally interested in both of these seemingly disparate worlds as A Place Apart attempts to combine them over the course an entire album rather than the duration of a single song. This slow burning transition pushes the record towards the territory of ‘must be listened to in one sitting’ and is part of what makes A Place Apart so captivating. Drenched in thick and fuzzy production that can hit like a jagged cold frost or wash over you like a cool summer breeze, Suffering In Solitude have created a truly beautiful and emotive record that shouldn’t be missed.
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