When it comes to the music lurking in our humble halls, we Villagers have been happy, as of late, to abide in the presence of doom and gloom. But all things must change, and today's change comes in the form of...an alt-rock ballad? Not our typical fare, but upon receiving this track some time back, I was quite taken with its deceptively confident approach and (equally deceptive) replayability.
Said track--"Dragon Of The West"--comes to us courtesy of one Underking, a versatile outfit that, by virtue of seemingly disparate influences, is actually a little hard to describe in a quick sound-bite. Their early stuff is more classically "metal," but this track delves deep into the mellow waters of the emotive rock ballad--promo material mentions both Meat Loaf and Judas Priest's softer side, which certainly applies, albeit with a significant orchestral bent. As if that wasn't enough, this thing is inspired by Avatar: The Last Airbender. And, like, it has a wicked cool visualizer. Sign me up.
Rather than scaring you all away with excessive explanation, how about you just give it a listen for yourself? Check out the subtly mighty "Dragon Of The West" below, and, once you've had your fill, I'll meet you on the other side.
Disillusioned as I am, this particular scribe simply won't consider a day complete unless it involves a good ol' depressive existential spiral. This routine harrowing glimpse into the bleakness of my future and the future of my future children requires, of course, an apt soundtrack, and I'm quite certain a sizable contingent of our readership would consider death doom a poor choice. In any case: the yard-long stare is engaged and the tears are primed to flow, so let's tuck in, shall we?
Today, we are pleased to premiere a bangin' single from The Encompassing Nothing, the debut EP of Arizona's foreboding one-man Thorn. Comprised solely of the guitarist from sci-fi grindcore oufit Xeno Ooze (a band we love 'round these parts) and GLITTERBOMB (a harsh noise project with which we were shamefully unfamiliar,) a little extremity is to be expected, albeit in a significantly more cavernous end of the musical spectrum. Thorn plays a hearty conglomerate of bituminous doom and paleolithic death--not the most original take, sure, but certainly a high-quality paragon of the style. It's low, slow, somber, menacing, and coated in a dank grotto patina--or, in lieu of adjectives, just imagine the sonic representation of the album artwork before ye.
Without further ado, check out "Fields Of Blight" below!
Alright, picture this. It’s another friday night at your prototypical dive--you know the scene. 80’s wood paneling, scabby pool table, cardboard coasters. Cigarette butts litter the bathroom floors. Bad lighting. Cheap beer and urinal cakes. Two or three dead soldiers on the table already, with room for more. The band moves in, sets up, and launches into a boisterous set. It should be a normal night.
But it isn’t, because the band is Brandy and the Butcher. You don’t know ‘em now, but you’ll know 'em soon. By the first few notes, they have your attention. By the chorus, everyone stares in bewilderment. By the time the first song rolls to an end, accompanied by raucous applause, everyone in the damn room has swiftly come to the same conclusion: this is, by far, the best entertainment this bar has ever seen. Practically leaps and bounds beyond the typical rocker mold. This is exactly how quality rock 'n' roll should make you feel. In a word: invigorated.
To draw you back to the here and now, we slumbering Villagers are honored to premiere Dick Circus, the latest effort from these talented South Carolinians. Fire it up below, and we'll meet ye, as always, on the other side!
We slumbering peasantry tend to grumble and complain about the back-breaking labor involved in this review-writin' trade, but this profession isn't marked solely by a surplus of sweat and tears. When encountering hordes of new music and bands on a daily basis, there are many moments of pure and unbridled excitement--and nothing is more invigorating than a brand new band that positively reeks of potential. Such is the case with today's (one man!) crew in question: Philadelphia's Mothman and the Thunderbirds. The sheer fact alone that this single track has garnered a bevy of reviews from our neighboring blogs and publications should be indication of the promise, and we haven't even got to the damn music yet.
To review such a track is exciting, but to premiere one is a genuine honor. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, give "Nomad" a listen below! We'll meet ye on the other side.
Typically, when we sleepy scribes think of doom metal, the hallmarks of the genre's trademark guitar tone--fuzzy, warm, peas-soup thick--is what comes to mind first. When recalling the classics, from Sabbath to Sleep and every legend between, a little riff worship counts for a helluva lot. Imagine our surprise and delight, then, when asked by UK's own bluesy/stoner doomsters Trippy Wicked & the Cosmic Children of the Knight to premiere an acoustic cover of Weedeater's "Time Served."
At the beginning of this year, the band's plans to record a third full length were put on hold due to Covid-19. Thereafter, in their words: "out of work and with a lot of time on their hands, they decided to start remotely recording some of the acoustic material they have worked on over the years. This material includes some cover songs and some acoustic versions of Trippy Wicked songs." Silver linings, folks. As a fan of the track in question, and of acoustic instrumentation in general, I immediately said yes, albeit with a certain trepidation as to how the formula would translate in practice. Said trepidation evaporated in seconds.
The OG "Time Served" is a shining gem in Weedeater's catalog--a brief yet somber stoner ditty constructed around a kind of simple and gargantuan riff that plods with sasquatchian heft around Collin's fuzzy-edged pleas of innocence. It's a great track, and I'm pleased to state that Trippy Wicked have succeeded masterfully at reconceptualizing the track in a significantly more graceful light. Without further ado, give it a listen here:
These days, it's a dangerous business--as a wise scribe once wrote--going out your door. For obvious reasons, it has been quite some time since we highfalutin peasants put on the ol' adventuring boots, packed our rucksacks, and headed out for the high road, a thirst for new scenery and unexpected encounters our only true motivation. As such, I'm particularly excited as of late to feature music that evokes a sense of fantastical adventure.
Enter (the accurately moniker'd) Celtic Metal Dude--not a band, but a man who endeavors to create acoustic and folk covers of folk and metal. Said covers are accompanied by some of the most gloriously bombastic music videos I've had the pleasure of witnessing as of late. Much assorted headgear, swords, beer, barechestedness, tattoos, and general emotive enthusiasm await. Y'know, the usual folky metal shenanigan stuff. For reference, please see Exhibit A:
Beyond the visual aesthetic, of course, is the music, which is frankly some of the most engaging of its ilk. Today's song in question is a joyous little ditty with exactly the dosage of uplifting vim and vigor that I suspect we all need right about now. It's got a woodsy charm, an infectious sense of jubilance, and a self-awareness that only the best of drinking songs possess. There's a delicious lushness to this track, from the lightfooted percussion, to the flute solo, to the gang vocals, which practically ooze camaraderie. I don't know how many more ways I can say that this is a helluva fun track, so there you have it. This is a helluva fun track, and I hope you enjoy as much as we slumbering villagers did.
If this all sounds like your definition of a damn good time, check out the video for "High Adventure" below! This track, released today, is an original, but we'll let the Celtic Metal Dude speak on that in detail below. In the meantime:
Y'know what I find so endlessly endearing and intriguing about Connecticut's own Turkey Vulture? Despite a lack of released tunes in the grand scheme--indeed, the tracks herein account for, like, half of their discography--this duo consistently brings startlingly fresh ideas. Every track to their name is a new take, an exciting conglomerate of seemingly non-adjacent influences.
In other words: if invention is a product, Turkey Vulture produce it with an admirable fervor. Mixing olde-timey Americana with aggressively studded punk, morose grunge, and sludgey hard rock shouldn't, frankly, work as well as they make it. We’ve reviewed both their debut EP and a followup single, so if three reviews ain’t good enough reason to check ‘em out, I’m not sure how to help ye out of your particular predicament.
Intro aside: let's get to tunes, shall we? We're honored to present here today--in full!--a premiere of Time To Pay, Turkey Vulture's latest (and greatest) EP. That's right. Four banging tracks, fresh off the press. Eat ‘em up while they’re still hot. It's damn good, but don't just take my word for it!
What, dear reader, makes a song--or an album, or an artist for that matter--quintessentially metal? That's obviously a question so broad as to be belligerently provocative, so let me just assert my two cents and get on with it: (italicized) metal is epitomized by chunky riffs, hefty atmosphere, a certain adherence to heartfelt aggression, and a devil-may-care attitude. Sure, the vast majority of music falling under the assorted subgenres will divert from this basic formula, but the existence of those factors can mean only one thing: metal is present. Time to break out the headbang.
New York's very own DemonScar are quintessentially metal, and their latest single--"MDCXCII," which we are honored to premiere here today--is a perfect exemplar of their Motorhead-by-way-of-Sabbath-by-way-of-Corrosion of Conformity aesthetic. In regards to the track in question, DemonScar state: “our new song has got a lot of those classic doom, stoner, and witchy vibes. Groove along with DemonScar as we journey back to Salem, 1692.” It's a tempting invitation, and I hope you take 'em up on the offer. Have yerselves a listen below:
Moonlow presents “apocalyptic noise poetry," and if that particular combination of descriptors wasn't what you were expecting to encounter today, join the club. This one-person artist in question writes music for fans of Current 93, Laurie Anderson, Crowhurst, A Forest of Stars, and Brian Eno--which, frankly, is an odd enough roster that an actual template isn't exactly apparent. The instrumentation is equal parts harsh and tranquil--a peaceful mediation routinely and unexpectedly beset by paralysis demons. The lyrics are spoken, whispered, and guttural fried with alternately tranquil and chaotic abandon. It's ritualistic, and enchanting, and....kind of scary. In a word: this is delightfully weird stuff.
Moonlow is the veritable poster-child of musical invention. Who Are You? is a strange and grand album, and "Day 3 (You Diminish Me)" is a prime representation of what lurks within. As such, the track before ye--and Who Are You? as a whole--is a wholly indescribable experience. Without further ado, then: listen for yourself!
While we Villagefolk are all-too-oft content to snooze whilst wrapped in the suffocating embrace of music's more extreme edges, a little diversification in the genre department can go a long way. I, for one, am a big fan of the murky and ill-defined worlds of dark ambient and experimental electronic--particularly when the artist in question plays with expectations in a, well, unexpected fashion.
Enter Emerson Sinclair--classically trained, but since described as "quietly metal as fuck,"--who combines seemingly incompatible elements of dark synth, rock, baroque, electronic, and traditional liturgical. Just the level of experimentation we needed to wake us from slumber. Needless to say, this combination of sounds and influences is a melding that is better witnessed than clumsily described. As such, we're happy and honored to premiere here today the music video for Emerson Sinclair "Singularity." This arresting track is the second single from the forthcoming Never Without The Pentagram, a split collaboration between the genre-melding artist featured here today, and cello-based black metal ensemble Hvile I Kaos.
Without further ado: check out the video below! We'll meet you on the other side.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
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