Tag: Doom

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November Roundup

We are getting towards that end of year list time again already, but there are still some choice picks to be had, last minute additions to that top *insert number here*.

 

fluke-13Fluke Fanzine #13
This is Fluke‘s 25th year, and issue 13 of this great zine;  as a bonus I was lucky enough to get my hands on a limited edition t-shirt to celebrate this momentous issue but would have been satisfied just to get my hands on the latest issue on its own.  I always look forward to a new Fluke; the enthusiasm that Matthew has for the scene and the great people he’s met over the years really shines through; he writes with a nostalgic edge but you get the feeling he is always looking to the future with excitement.  Perhaps its because we are the same generation that I connect with his world view so well, or perhaps its just the easy way he draws you in with his great writing style, but this issue of the zine is a fascinating glimpse into his life and the music and people that inspired him growing up.  Highly recommended.

 

cod-fanzine-2Cretins Of Distortion #7
I’ve been looking to pick up a copy of this fanzine for a while and having no luck with UK distros I ordered one from overseas. COD is punk as fuck; on first appearances it looks to be a random cut and paste of images and text, but of course things are more organised than the appearance of chaos. The zine is ‘dedicated to/and stands with everyone who has suffered from systematic violence’ and revels in the freak tag throughout.  This is a serious mag; a strong message carried by someone who clearly cares about the subject and it makes you sit up and take notice too.

I’ll be picking this up again for sure, I love reading whats going on in people’s local scenes and this mid-west view is fascinating stuff.

 

taman-shud-oracle-imageTaman Shud – Oracle War
Hotly anticipated sophomore album from the London (self-styled) necro-psych/cave-rock mob.  The Taman Shud image, one of mystery and darkness, is all pervasive, they never let the veil drop on their social media accounts, posting only reviews, upcoming information and darkly quirky pictures and words; not wanting to give away the personalities behind the controlled image.  This approach makes the music the only focus, you have to admire their commitment to the cause, and it really works to set up a heady atmosphere when you listen to the album.

As with Viper Smoke the record has a dream-like quality, repetitive droning loops of riffage and vocal chants lend the atmosphere a ritualistic quality, and you feel yourself lost in their world of smoggy, doom laden, psychedelic licks, meanderings, over the top vocal effects and satanic crooning; Taman Shud really are an entity all their own.

The production on this record is super scuzzy and distorted – imagine you’re in the cabin in the woods listening to the recordings of the Book of the Dead on that old tape machine;  half heard sounds appear out of the distortion, screams are muted under feedback and the melodies are hidden behind a wall of frenetic sound.  It’s a slightly different approach to ther last record, which, while it was not crystal clear or slick in any sense, did feel more minimal and have more of a focus on melody; each sound was identifiable in the mix and retained its own identity.  Here the wall of noise means you are constantly searching for a focal point and it makes for a more challenging listening experience, (tracks like Slime Litury may test casual listeners boundaries), however it is compusive and dramatic and addictive in a different way.  I’m sold on the intensity.

 

tough-tits-cover-image
Tough Tits – Hairless EP
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne all girl punk trio;  lo-fi production, shrill vocals, uncomplicated drums.  What this lacks in scope it more than makes up for with energy and attitude.

 

 

grieving-cover-imageGrieving – Demonstrations
There is something really charming about this EP from the Cambridge four piece. It’s been out for a while now and I’ve had it as part of my regular rotation since I first heard it.  I get Reuben and Million Dead vibes at times and then more of an indie feel with some sweet riffs; it is in essence very British, with a strong 00’s thing going on. I like that it’s minimal with an emphasis on some great melodic moments and a lovely clear guitar sound.

This band obviously has a ton of ideas to throw around as each track has a slightly different flavour; so overall its not hugely cohesive, but because it’s all so listenable they do pull it off over these 5 tracks. Doesn’t appear they have an album yet but I’ll be interested to see how they handle it.

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Review: Svalbard Album

Svalbard album coverSvalbard – One Day All This Will End, Album Review

This may be their debut album but you know you’re listening to a band already totally in control of their sound,  elements of post-hardcore, post-rock, metal and doomier genres combine seemlesly with fantastic melodies and classic structres meant to draw you in.  The result is a poweful and positive record which is easy to connect with and come back to.

A listen to the band’s earlier EPs reveals a leaning more towards post-hardcore, a route they could easily have gone down and still been a great band, but they have gradually edged into more interesting territory.  So, by the time their split with Pariso came out last year, their sound was much more complex and rewarding and they were poised to hit us with this beautiful beast.

There was no doubt this record was going to be huge, but it is also dreamily epic and for such a heavy album, very uplifting.  Take the opener, Perspective, the melody running underneath soars and takes you with it, all the while those aggressive vocals add edge. Mid-way a slower section reigns you back in before the build towards the horizon.  Yes, yes yes.

Svalbard know how to work their listening audience, wringing out goosebumps and closed eyes and pounding fists. Disparity is richly layered and addictive, the kind of track you want to put on repeat. There are moments of post-rock beauty like measured and melancholy track The Vanishing Point and more straightforwardly hardcore moments like The Damage Done but all are bound in that unmistakable Svalbard feel.  This is the record we’ve been hoping they would release and it doesn’t disappoint, put it on your christmas wishlist.

The record is out now through Holy Roar Records.

Album Review: MAKE, The Golden Veil

Make album coverMAKE’s new album (out 20th July) is a serious, doom laden affair but it has a gentle heart.

In the three years since I reviewed their debut album, MAKE have been busy evolving their sound – they are stlll making epic metallic post-rock but this new record feels infused with a wider set of influences.  Although the record has a greater scope it somehow sounds more refined; a softer side to the band has emerged and with it a dreamier soul, taming those hard edges and bringing everything together to create a more satisfying mix.  Where Trephine was more direct and sludgy The Golden Veil feels less grounded, drifting wonderfully, concerned more with atmosphere and beautiful expansive guitars than with power chords.  As with their previous releases there is a cinematic aura at the core of the record with a  widescreen feel still in evidence (on tracks like The Architect), but this record brews more slowly, giving you time to enjoy the view.

Its great to hear an album that plays out as a whole experience, something I seem to come across less and less – this is old school post-rock, taking me back to the days of early Godspeed, Envy, Pelican – a no nonsense, moody record full of all encompassing tunes; huge, heady and powerful, it’s easy to get lost in and is sure to feature in my records of the year.

New Reviews Early March 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve reviewed some great new records in the last couple of weeks, it’s been a solid start to March. I think these are all worthy of attention:

A Whisper In The Noise – To Forget
This is a record that begs to be listened to in one sitting, it’s cohesive and well constructed and the mood intensifies when you allow yourself to become lost in their world. The tone is full of loneliness and melancholy, but there is also a spark of magic which seeps into every track and counteracts the darkness. Dreamy, moody and beautiful; recommended for fans of slowcore.
Read more here

Duara – From The Hill
Swiss trio Duara have a punchy instrumental sound with off kilter, complex drums and technically impressive guitars but it’s all done without fuss, without theatrics, so it sounds organic, easy and uncomplicated in their hands. From The Hill is the band’s third full length and it’s being released through the excellent Ikarus records. The album was recorded live in an old cottage in Luzern with no sound tech support, just the band playing their songs and recording them and it sounds fresh and incredibly tight.
Read more here

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