Written: The Voiceless Apparition
I just want to preface this review by saying that I'm a Rae Amitay fan. I think she is a highly original, unique, and diverse musician in a world full of rip-offs and corner-cutters. Be it Immortal Bird, her work with Thrawsunblat, etc., she puts her distinctive stamp on all of these projects. So when I heard the news that she was making her own band in which she composes and writes everything, I was ecstatic. errant is described by Rae as "a vehicle for realizing ideas that exist in a separate space from Immortal Bird", and that has me intrigued.
Right off the bat, this EP is significantly different than anything she has ever done before. The opening track "The Amorphic Burden" alone runs the gamut of alternative rock, post-metal, and small tinges of black metal. The dynamics in this song are beautiful; the way this song flows between the more melodic and subdued parts and the more intense and heavy sections is particularly well done. I'm really loving the melodies in this song as well. "The Amorphic Burden" proves the point that metal can have hooks and still be kickass.
“…people will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious…”
Written by: Cantina
A possibly controversial (?) statement: music is mostly made of repressed and/or unspeakable emotions. Long lost are the times when I somehow believed black metal musicians’ real life persona coincided with the fictitious one, that wherever they went, gloom and misery accompanied them. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: black metal would be a metaphysical gold mine for Jungian scholars. This genre is the Shadow Self of metal music (of any music type, for that matter). I would go as far as saying that a proper understanding of Carl Gustav Jung’s philosophy will give you the knowledge to understand what is going on in the seemingly “twisted” mind of any musician.
Black metal is of course a prime example of that.
The rubric that plays a major role in determining whether I will consider an album “good” is, as with everything around these parts, a little flexible and open to interpretation. That said, some criteria are fairly stalwart and unmoving. A good metal album must, in my eyes, have proficient instrumentation. It must display cohesion. The vocals need to be enjoyable--or, at the very least, they must spark some synapses other than those indicating that the vocalist in question can’t sing. It needs to elicit some sort of emotion response. Lastly, if it’s steeped in a genre that lives and dies by the axe, its gotta have riffs. Full stop. In the case of today’s artist in question, I’m happy to report that all of the criteria are present and accounted for...no, wait. We’re missing one. But y’know what? Let’s just roll with it.
Our boisterous and loud-mouthed town crier has gathered you all here today, to this ramshackle town square, for two reasons. The first--and the more significant, in a sense--is to draw your attention to a forthcoming compilation created by the recently birth’d Hope Vs. Hate. Said record label have announced their first charity compilation, Hope In The Face Of Fear, proceeds of which will go to benefit and support the excellent work done by Humanity Gives.
It all goes to a great cause, which would be exciting enough...but get a load of this roster. Bull Of Apis Bull Of Bronze, Neckbeard Deathcamp, Sacred Son, Vvishfield, Heretoir, Underdark, Order Of The Wolf, Christwvrks, Sadness, No Point In Living, Advent Varic, Goblinsmoker, Pessimista, Unreqvited, Allfather, Putrescine and Kaddish all, so it has been uttered, make appearances. Music, in other words, to my ears. If that wasn’t exciting enough, the compilation announcement was heralded by another band of note--Necropanther. Which brings me to the second reason we are here--to review this icy-fresh new single, recently premiered by the excellent folks over at Astral Noize.
Written by: Lichtmensch, Loveloth, and Ancient Hand
"But wait!" the haters said, sweating feverishly. "This is a metal review site! Get this pop crap out of here!" Needless to say, said haters are now....disposed of, and the Village is significantly quieter for it. Miss Anthropocene an album many of our writers enjoyed, and it is also hardly a stretch to justify Grimes' latest iteration as "heavy." On her long-awaited followup to 2015's revered Art Angels, Grimes pushes pop to a dark and ethereal place. Utilizing a healthy blend of sounds and genre aesthetics, Miss Anthropocene decries stagnation.
The Sleeping Village's cabal of scribes is a multifaceted lot, and when a Grimes review was proposed, three unique individuals--Lichstman, Loveloth, and Ancient Hand--were all excited to put in their two cents regarding Miss Anthropocene. In cases like these, where a frank and friendly discussion between friends seems more productive than a bunch of separate reviews, we break out a rare but ancient form of communication: the conversation. So, here it is: the long-belated followup edition of Twofold Treatise-- but, in this case, we're not dealing with two slumbering critics, but rather three. Hence: Threefold Treatise.
Written by: Ancient Hand
Aggression and forthrightness are the key components of Code Orange’s attitude. After the release of their incredibly well-received album Forever, the band maintained a certain level of aloofness and, well, fuck-you-ness. While some perceive this attitude as cocky and narcisistic, this attitude truly stems from the group’s hardcore/punk roots. The band’s DIY nature still exists to this day-- despite their Grammy nomination and signing to Roadrunner, the band still packages and ships their own merch.
This fierce devotion to their craft also translates into a ferocious protection over their artistic direction. After the worldwide success of Forever, it may have been anticipated that the band would lighten their sound and move forward in a “Bleeding in the Blur” style where Reba Meyers would sing the band into top-rock-chart stardom. However, the band’s first record in three years, Underneath, does anything but.
Bor•bo•ryg•mus: a rumbling or gurgling noise made by the movement of fluid and gas in the intestines. In other words, things are about to get nasty.
Seems like I’m always a release behind the curve when it comes to Wisconsinite goregrind one-man outfit Borborygmus. Bit of a bummer, really, as the self-appointed Hellsmasher consistently delivers delicious platters of still-warm viscera--”raw,” in other words. Ghoulish Goremet is a goregrind gorefest, with the trappings of such, from the horror-film samples, to the toilet gurgles, to the crashing percussion, to the wall-of-sound approach. And, of course: every implement and surface you encounter within this EP is coated in a thick patina of blood and guts.
Because this particular scribe is a big frickin' nerd, I recently listened to an episode of Criminal detailing Sgt. David Mascarenas' treacherous dive into the La Brea tar pits. In searching for evidence, the LAPD Dive Supervisor volunteered to lower himself into the crushing bituminous mass, led through the impenetrable murk by sonar and his own gloved hands, grasping and clawing his way through the dark. This stuff is famously thick enough (and hungry enough) to consume mastodons and other beasts of significant size. Not for the faint of heart, in other words. Nor for mortals.
This is all a long way of stating that Compelled to Repeat, the debut LP from Beggar, is the closest thing I can imagine to swimming through that tar, methane bubbles bursting, languidly, in the sludge in my miserable wake. The difference--besides the obvious fact that Sgt. Mascarenas actually did that shit--is that, in the case of Beggar, we aren't exactly guided by sonar. This, friends, is unknown territory.
This review (in its unadulterated form) was originally published in December of 2018 but, as this Friday sees the re-release of an expanded version under Bonita Steel Records and Diabolic Might Records, we thought it would be appropriate to break out this ol' writeup. The following is an edited and updated version. - Ed.
Well, this is refreshing. Typically, when promo proclaims that a band represents a "bold new take" on a traditional, well-trod style, you can expect the same: yet another forgettable "revitalization" of a sound and aesthetic that has been done to death, reanimated, and then slaughtered by copycats once more. In the case of Tzimani, the status quo is effectively put in its place. Despite sparking synapses associated with a variety of high-octane hard rock and metal birthed in the days of yore, this self titled debut EP genuinely feels fresh-faced. Pull on your leather, put the pedal to the metal, and smell the gasoline: Tzimani begins with menacing distortion, a rumbling engine of Mad Max-ian proportion. This EP, previously reviewed by yours truly here, had been bolstered for a vinyl release by a new track, a couple o' covers, and some demos.
Written by: Scorpi
This album was labelled as “Bluesy Doom” in the Sleeping Village super database of new music. And it tickled the fibers of my curiosity. How would such an album present itself in the light of day?
Dream Quest Ends is the second EP from Smoulder, a quintet from Canada who have been writing music together since 2013.
Straight off the bat I should mention there are only two “new” songs from Smoulder on this EP. The other four tracks feature three demo versions of previously released songs and a cover of Manilla Road’s “Cage of Mirrors” which we will get to in due course. However, to someone such as I, all of the goods on this EP are new.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!