One of the more significant hurdles in adult life--or so I've been told--is the oppressive inevitably of the mundane. The dull monolithism of same old, same old. Day in, day out. I'll be the first to admit that, as a guy in my mid 20's trying to claw, with nail-bitten fingers, a little security in this overwhelming world for me and mine, my primary concern isn't mundanity, but rather reaching the tail end of these turbulent times in the first place.
The point? If you find yourself at a stage in your life where the self-doubt, bewilderment, and constant sadness of early adulthood are less than crystal clear, Florida's own Empty Joy are here to offer up a little vicarious grief and agony. These guys are in the thick of it, and the emotive intentions of their first track--to "convey the complicated nature of sorrow in a traditionally happy time of the year"--are refreshingly genuine. In that unhappy spirit, we're happy to present today said debut track, the appropriately entitled Drowned.
Like many, I often don't what I want until it stands immediately before me, like unto a shining beacon of clarity. Such was the case with To The Grave and Into the Wastland, the first two releases from Telepath. Said EPs combine a glorious bevy of sounds that I have genuinely never encountered in conjunction, despite having taken a decent number of strolls around the block. For a baseline, let's just say we're dealing with groovy doom with hefty synth and Giallo soundtrack influences. It's like if Pentagram and Perturbator had a leather-clad lovechild. It's like if a Fabio Frizzi enthusiast grew up on steady diet of 80's slasher flicks and 80's b-list heavy metal. Think Warlord or Brocas Helm. It is, in other words, a delightfully strange mix. Telepath is innovative in an exceptionally pure manner. This whole experiment sounds fresh, and it makes for a wonderful break from the norm.
Otherwise part of the prog rockin' White Willow and art-poppin' The Opium Cartel, Norwegian-Israeli multi-instrumentalist one-man mastermind Jacob Holm-Lupo embodies an eclectic and adventurous foray into the joyous possibilities of genre-bending composition. Thus, as a scribe at this humble establishment, my biggest regret this year is not affording Telepath suitable time in our tepid limelight. Needless to say, we're pleased and honored to premiere his latest single here today.
If you've had your nose to the fertile ground of the metal blog-o-sphere the past few days, you may have noticed a veritable flood of track premieres associated with the illustrious Akashic Envoy Records. And for good reason. In celebration of their 6 month existence, the label has put together a 3-cassette set containing no less than three hours of exclusive material, courtesy of the label's stacked roster. For those unfamiliar, Akashic Envoy tends to focus its attention on black metal, dark ambient, and dungeon synth--thus, each cassette is dedicated to one such subgenre. It's an ambitious affair, to be sure, but Transmissions from the Ætheric Plane delivers the attention to aesthetic and detail that we love, crave, and have come to expect within 6 short months. Transmissions, in short, is coming in hot. We're very pleased to present “Funeralia” by the mysterious Wall Painted Black below.
Despite a certain tendency to hunker down in our decrepit and ill-furnished abodes here at the Sleeping Village, there exists, on occasion, an undeniable urge to throw on a pair of good boots and head out into the unknown. It's a dark and dangerous world out there, and in this way, the joy of discovery is worn like a badge of bravery. In this spirit, we're very pleased to present the video for Guild of Lore's "A Wandering Path," a track most excellent--or perhaps fantastic(al.)
We townsfolk were getting lonely moshing by ourselves in the village cesspool, so please, dear readers, consider this an open invitation to our filth-ridden festivities. That’s right: we’re hitting you with another nasty Appalachian Noise Records premiere, right out of the goddamn gate.
Provided you weren’t utterly concussed by forays into Bather’s bandcamp, you may recall that last week we reviewed the Ohio quintet’s forthcoming debut--an academically tinged ‘core monstrosity, coated with the angsty chug-laden patina of a bygone era. Today, we are pleased to premiere Birds from said album. As a single, it demonstrates very well the entire Bather package, and after several particularly pugilistic bouts with the repeat button, I can safely consider it to be one of my favorite tracks herein.
As I wrote previously, Birds serves a prime example of Bather’s dynamism, which remains...well, present, considering the primordial genre sludge from which this outfit crawls. Beginning with a seemingly chuggy sludgefest, Birds quickly takes that rugged riffage and transitions into an oddly melodic affair. Higher leads ride high above the marshy underfooting, before falling back into the mire for a chorus bursting with all the unwashed spite the 90’s ‘core scene might muster. And then back again. Drums are less percussed than bludgeoned into broken-toothed submission, and, come the back half, viltrolic vocals are expelled through massive gaps in the chugs. To quote myself--as us narcissistic ink-splattered scribes are wont to do--Birds stands as a high-water mark where “the vocals are particularly repugnant (and this, of course, in the best sense of the word).” For a four minute track, there’s a helluva lot going on to maintain interest, and that alone places Bather in a notably distinct echelon. The point deserves to be hammered home: Bather takes the mangled tools offered by 90’s ‘core and uses them to surprisingly inventive effect. Their influences never wrote tracks that even begin to approach this level of sophistication.
Anyways. You can read about it all day, but descriptions are for the birds. Listen here:
Bather’s self-titled debut will be released April 12th, 2019 from Appalachian Noise Records. While we're on the topic, don't miss out on that sweet album bundle.
For any of ye beleaguered souls familiar with Lörd Matzigkeitus' storied career, (The Projectionist, The Black Sorcery, Thy Sepulchral Moon), it should come as no surprise that his third solo outing is a tortured beast. From the Many Splintered Minds is an impassioned reflection of a dislocated, unfamiliar, and startlingly earnest psyche, and today, we are honored to present this album's nightmarishly compelling third track. You can find the (appropriately entitled) Nightmares Woven Upon the Day below.
This track's nearly 9 minute runtime--and the depraved expanse of the album as a whole--is not a journey, despite encompassing an unstable ride through black metal’s nuanced and diverse outlets. Rather, it is a seemingly accurate portrait of the titular shattered mind, undeniably complex in its construction. Tortured and expressive, acutely schizophrenic, bleakly manic. Utterly demented. Utterly...unwhole. At no point, I might add, does it feel like a mockery or a facsimile.
Instrumentally, longtime collaborator Orpheus has concocted a soundscape both wretched and uncanny. There's an unnatural disorder to Nightmares Woven Upon the Day's composition, and above the heartfelt cacophony, Lörd Matzigkeitus dynamic treatises reign supreme. There's no doubt: the sheer range of the Lörd's vocal capacity is a primary draw--here, his voice is central to both the sonic and thematic weaves of the track as a whole. Self-soothing asphyxiated whispers gurgle and groan, rising (or perhaps falling) into animalistic ravings, throat-wrenching and tangibly pained. Despite the aggressive and otherwise unrelenting tones, there's something naked and vulnerable on display. A truly dynamic performance, in multiple senses of the word.
...But enough of my blathering. Lörd Matzigkeitus himself--who notoriously has a way with words--sums up the intent and the impact far better than I:
“'Nightmares Woven Upon the Day' started out as a conversation with a deeply suicidal person who reached out to me during a moment of excessive self harm. I suggested that if they wrote down how they felt to me, I’d transform the grief that consumed them in those moments into a song that would cathartically purge the negativity and become something more than fleeting anguish. I took the skeleton of that, and fleshed it out into my poetic style to create a haunting, sincere piece.
The music Orpheus (of Sartoraaus lore) created is what I consider to be his best. It grieves, punishes and has a movement and dynamic that is akin to classical pieces. It's a track that begs absorption and contemplation.
This above all the tracks on this album shows the broad spectrum of everything black metal can be, and also the rancorous range of my voice.”
Well said. Listen to Nightmares Woven Upon the Day here:
Lörd Matzigkeitus - From the Many Splintered Minds will be released April 26th from Appalachian Noise Records. Preorders can be found here. Physical release limited to 50 copies on CD, with half of them being housed in custom, handmade leather/wooden boxes.
Lörd Matzigkeitus can be found: