Editor’s note: this review was originally published in 2020 at a now-defunct site for a collaborative Best Albums of the 2010’s Retrospective. As the internet has since swallowed said site, my retrospective review now appears here in lightly edited form.
Written by: The Administrator
When initially considering what album I wanted to draw into the light for an End of Decade retrospective, the sheer volume of possibilities sent me into a bit of a frenetic journey through a decade of heavy music. Let’s face it: in ten years, the metalverse spawned an unbelievable bounty. But, eventually, the only true option became clear. For such an event I needed to focus on an album that, beyond being excellent in its own right, somehow personally set the stage for the decade as a whole. That, for me, is Agrimonia’s Rites of Separation. This album singlehandedly determined the course of my music listening experience from 2013 to the present.
“Talion,” the album’s first track, begins with a piercing riff, a crystal-clear clarion call. It serves as an assertive hook, cutting through the noise before the noise even begins. This is the track that pulled me into a world of harsh vocals and aggressive atmosphere, a world of deliberate and progressive songcraft. Because Agrimonia are so genre fluid, existing betwixt black metal, sludge, post-metal, post-hardcore, crust punk, death metal, and doom, it is remarkably easy to approach their sound without any particular expectations. As such, a young acolyte to heavy music gained perspective without necessarily committing to the trappings of a particular niche.
Written by: The Administrator
The esteemable Heron are a perpetually underrated gem, and a band that continues to make its mark on our ink-splattered populace. Back in the primordial days of ye olde Sleeping Village, we briefly reviewed their (very good) A Low Winter's Sun, and in the early days of the pandemic, the excellent Time Immemorial received the Volt Thrower treatment and stamp of approval.
It's my continuing assumption that everything Heron does is inherently high quality, and this latest album, Empires of Ash, may very well be their strongest and most consistent album to date. If you have enjoyed their back catalog, you'll inevitably find a lot to love with this latest. If Heron are a yet-unknown entity in your rolodex of sludgy post-metal bands, this album makes for a fantastic entry point.
On (regrettably infrequent) Fridays, a wagon arrives at the Sleeping Village’s crumbling gates, stuffed to the brim with our sustenance. 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 listening to today at the Village HQ. We hope you join us in doing so!
On the docket for today, January 28th, 2022:
Rotborn, SARTORI, Mt. Echo, and Depleted Uranium
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that wakes us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.