Written by: The Administrator
My favorite albums of the year are, more often than not, those that sneak their way into rotation...and then simply never leave. The ability to maintain interest over months and months of listening is a surefire mark of a good album, and Asundre, the excellent debut from London's Vulgaris, has managed to qualify itself pretty damn handily. This thing came out towards the end of February, and it is a rare thing indeed to locate a week since wherein it hasn't reared its multifaceted heads.
At this rate, Asundre certainly stands as one of my most-listened albums o' the year thusfar, which, in turn, probably means I should actually find a soapbox and start appropriately proselytizing. Hence:
Written by: The Administrator
Truth be told, I didn't really miss the allure of live music until I fired up ORYX's forthcoming full-length. I know, I know. Poser alert. Now, however, my organs beg to be ragdolled by the sheer sonic physicality of the five tracks contained within this beastly effort. I'm sure your all familiar with the feeling, but should you require a visual representation, the stellar cover artwork is a pretty accurate render of the bodily disintegration that can/will inevitably occur.
Needless to say, ORYX have been receiving a whole lot of airtime in the confines of our humble halls. This trio out of Denver (a city which, side note, is swiftly becoming quite the bastion of high-quality metal) delivers a particularly dense and blackened iteration of sludge, with emphasis on crushing atmosphere and oppressive feedback. The physicality of their approach is particularly notable, as is the songwriting itself, which leaves plenty of room for intrigue in the midst of slow-churning riffage and drawn-out distortion. No doubt about it: Lamenting a Dead World is a powerhouse, and that's before we even begin to consider the appearances from a wide bevy of talented individuals, including Ethan McCarthy (Primitive Man, Many Blessings), Paul Riedl (Blood Incantation, Spectral Voice), and Erika Osterhout (Scolex, Chthonic Deity). Quite the cast of characters.
On (regrettably infrequent) Fridays, a wagon arrives at the Sleeping Village’s crumbling gates, stuffed to the brim with our sustenance for the following week. Today is the day we must offload all this week's new and noteworthy music, and so, in the process, we thought it would be worthwhile to share some of our choice picks from this veritable mass of fresh meat. This is what we’ll be--and have been--listening to this week at the Village HQ. We hope you join us in doing so!
Note: All of today's releases are independently released, which is a direction we're increasingly trying to move with this column. Show 'em some support!
On the docket for today, March 12th, 2021:
Underking, Rise To The Sky, Necropanther, and WitchTit
WORMPHLEGM - In an Excruciating Way Infested With Vermin and Violated by Executioners Who Practise Incendiarism and Desanctifying the Pious (Retrospective)
Village stalwart Izzy is delivering a fresh retrospective review every Friday! Make sure to check in weekly for a dose of nostalgia. - Ed.
Written by: Izzy
Get out your rubber spiders, fake blood, and dollar store fog machine--it’s October 30th and tomorrow is Halloween! It’s my favourite holiday, probably unsurprisingly if you know me, and so I wanted to make a special review for you all this Hallow’s Eve. I thought about it for a bit, and decided I would review the scariest album I’ve ever heard, now for most people that might take some thinking, but for me I immediately knew the one and only album deserving of that title for me.
Wormphlegm’s debut project… *ahem*, In an Excruciating Way Infested With Vermin and Violated by Executioners Who Practise Incendiarism and Desanctifying the Pious, a 32 minute single track demo which for the sake of brevity I will refer to shortened as In an Excruciating Way.
Written by: The Administrator
Splits. You gotta love 'em--particularly when they succeed at A. delivering high quality tunes, and B. serving as a solid introduction to participating parties. It's an odd (yet glorious) occasion when a split features two tracks that compliment each other's strengths without outshining the other's performance. Lucky for you and I, The Plague Split nails that fine balance with a delicacy at odds with the sheer sonic decimation wrought within it's short-yet-mighty runtime.
The split before ye marks a certain uncharacteristic brevity for both parties involved, and so, keeping in spirit, this review shall be uncharacteristically brief as well. That isn't to say, I hasten to add, that it isn't worth every second of yer while--because it is. Without further ado: let's get destroyed, shall we?
Written by: Lord Hsrah
This year has brought us doom metal in bunches and numbers so far, and there's much more to come. Different people feel things in different ways, and this impacts their way of translating it into art--music, more specifically. We associate doom metal with a variety of feelings and emotions, which are invoked by the myriad of different forms they are offered by different bands. But with Poema Arcanvs, it's a different ball game altogether, as they bring forth a slamming, crushing and heavy slab of doom that's an abstraction of its own. Ladies and gents, I present to you: Stardust Solitude!
Long standing flagbearers of Chilean doom metal, Poema Arcanvs (pronounced 'arcanus') have acquired a legendary status over the years, having churned out impressive albums, one after the other since their inception in the early 90s. Their sixth offering, Stardust Solitude, is the next in line to be branded with the Poema Arcanvs stamp, and let me tell you, it's an absolute juggernaut! Drawing inspiration from the early works of the famous Peaceville Three (that's My Dying Bride, Anathema, and Paradise Lost for those who don't know) among others, and blending in their own style to create a monstrous fusion of exquisite doom, Stardust Solitude is tailor-made to be this sonic powerhouse whose sole purpose is to beat down on your ears as your brain ejaculates litres of serotonin and adrenaline in your body!
Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
Barbarity, menace, misanthropy. These three words alone could very well describe the sound of Primitive Man, a noisy and fucking terrifying 3-piece band from Denver, Colorado--but you probably already know who they are. These guys are really rising in the underground, and for good reason. They make excruciatingly slow, noisy, and painful death/sludge. So with Immersion being their third album, and second with Relapse Records, do they finally give in and start making more accessible songs? The answer is absolutely fucking not: they increased the barbarity ten-fold and created an even noisier, more punishing, and twisted album, and it's great!
Immediately you are greeted to feedback in opening track "The Lifer." Just like that, Primitive Man begin this journey. First I have to point out the unhinged, tortured, and agonizing vocals of Ethan McCarthy. His vocals are so fucking visceral and hateful. He really sounds like he is using all of the energy he has to do these vocals. A vicious way to begin this new opus.
Written by: Volt Thrower
Being born into a bible bashing religious cult/family is a traumatizing experience for a curious child. Something I've only started to fully grasp after countless hours and thousands of dollars in therapy. So when I saw the press release for a Bible Basher record featuring Tich of Temple of Coke, Joe E. Allen of Kurokuma and the doom doc featuring the UK underground, plus members of Archelon and Spaztik Munke, I knew I had to have it. I purchased a cassette copy instantly, I don't even own a tape player but I guess I'm on the lookout for one now.
Scathing, sacrilegious, supergroup sludge from Sheffield, UK, is exactly what the doctor ordered for this 2020 hellscape. “Words from the bible, riffs from hell.”
Here’s a factoid our eagle-eyed archivist doesn’t expect anyone to recall: back in the primordial days of this site, we published a track review of the delightfully entitled “Obstrinxerit,” from a Albuquerque-dwelling sludge duo named Sword Horse. It made an impression on me then--to quote: “‘Obstrinxerit’ maintains a free-flowing ambiance, an irresistible pull into a cave that is too small. In this case, Death doesn’t beckon, so much as leave you with no other option.” Chilling stuff.
Given a certain enamorment with this track, as well as a healthy appreciation for their prior work, I was suitably intrigued by the release of a self-titled EP way back in August of last year. I listened to the damn thing quite frequently, a little sludge-me-up between other releases. Despite an intent to put pen to paper and scratch out a review, I simply...didn’t. And so the apology tour continues. I arise today from an apparent Rip Van Winkle situation to inform you that, unlike yours truly, you really shouldn’t look this gift Sword Horse in the mouth.
Here I am, quill clenched betwixt my inksplatttered teeth as I clamber into the tub. Advent Varic's Tumulus tumbles, rapidly and raucously, into my earholes. Perfectly on cue, blood pours from my nostrils as the sky burns. In other words: all is not well. Sorry, I mean: all is well. Fuck.
Why the tub? Two reasons. Firstly, as a clear Side A/Side B concept album, this beast offers a duo of twenty minute tracks, constructed and delivered as a single blackened stoner symphony. My attention span lasts about as long as this fragile soap bubble before me, so I'm admittedly out of my comfort zone. Secondly, it's damn comfortable, and if I'm going to witness the world collapse into inferno, I might as well do so from here, where the fires of civilization's demise will prevent this bathwater from going lukewarm. For those of you not privy to the expanded universe of Advent Varic lore, here's the gist: these extraterrestrial marauders were birthed from the muck of the titular far-flung world of Tumulus, and have since wrecked havoc across the universe on a cosmic mission of destruction at the bidding of the Godlike entity known as Varic. Our beloved homeworld is, alas, the next link in their chain of brutalistic annihilation. Concept albums live and die by the strength and flexibility of their narrative, and here, Advent Varic have given themselves ample room to experiment. Let's see where that takes us.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!