Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
32 years?! It's crazy to say that Paradise Lost have been a band for 32 years. The masters of doom and melancholy have been going steady ever since then with no break-ups or hiatuses in between. After a brief wait, Paradise Lost return with their 16th opus Obsidian, the follow-up to the masterful Medusa. Said album was a slight return to their original death/doom roots although within a modern context...but enough about the past.
Obsidian is split into three different and distinct styles. You have the more death/doom-leaning tracks, the more gothic rock/metal-based tracks, and a subtler bridging between the two styles. It feels like a natural progression from the last album, with many of the trademarks we all love and adore about Paradise Lost, but with many twists and turns along the way. Welcome to the world of Obsidian.
Written by: Volt Thrower
Canada has been on a tear with its metal releases so far this year. Alberta specifically has been a hotbed for heavy lately. Whether you want genre bending devastation of the stunning Wake Devouring Ruin release, or some mind numbingly heavy stoner doom in Highbernation's Comatokes, chances are you can find something to scratch that itch in-province.
Now you might be saying, “I'm actually in the mood for some trad-heavy, maybe some NWOBHM speed stuff.” If so, gather ‘round weary reader, for the local village Journeyman has the release for you. Termination Shock, recently released through Gates of Hell Records, is the second full-length from Calgary speed rockers Traveler.
Written by: The Administrator
Like many of our music-blogging contemporaries, this particular scribe does, indeed, fuck with Soundgarden. As luck would have it, I also fuck with Vancouver's ever-evolving Seer, whose latest effort, Vol. 6, caught eyes of several Villagers with its dark and delicate take on doom. Thus, finding out that the two have been combined by way of glorious tribute was enough to elicit a (rare) grin on this three year anniversary of Chris Cornell's death. Seer's cover of "Room A Thousand Years Wide" is a heartfelt homage to one of their most beloved heroes--and, beyond that, it's a damn good track.
Let's get to it, shall we?
Written by: Volt Thrower
Let's just get this out of the way first: that artwork. Lordy it's stunning, and sets the bar high without a single note even being played. I own this record on vinyl and like 80% of the decision to buy it was based on the artwork alone. Designed by Toronto based tattoo artist Arthur Mills, it perfectly captures the haunting, war-torn, cosmic yet industrial landscape the band lays to waste on their second EP now, Pale Mare II. Pale Mare instantly get compared to High on Fire, which is lofty and can be a bit unfair, but the band themselves don't seem to shy away from the comparison on their bandcamp page.
So, lets dig into some High on Fire worship, shall we?
Written by: Lord Hsrah
Beyond the Red Mirror follows after a long 5-year wait since German power metal titans Blind Guardian's last studio release, which was 2010's At the Edge of Time. The record received warm and positive reception from both fans and the media alike. Beyond the Red Mirror, however, is a completely different gravy compared to At the Edge... or some of their releases of the 21st century such as A Twist In The Myth, which saw the band move increasingly to a more progressive direction.
Released by Nuclear Blast, Beyond the Red Mirror is a concept album that loosely follows the events of their 1995 masterpiece Imaginations From the Other Side. And like it's prequel, this is a very riff driven album that was the Krefeld-formed band's style for the 80's and the first part of their 90's records. The orchestral elements climb higher up the pecking order of the song composition percentage, taking the band to a more classical side. This is also the first album to feature new bassist, Barend Courbois, following the departure of long time session bass player, Oliver Holzwarth, who left the German outfit after filling in for bass duties, both live and in the studio for 13 years.
Do you remember the 2011 internet sensation that was Potion Seller? Our dear apothecary here at the Sleeping Village was nearly ruined by said video back in the day--besides the sudden mistrust in the potion selling industry, people kept asking him for potent quotables. As such, he was extremely resistant to the notion of us giving any publicity to that which endangered his livelihood (and his sanity.) But tyranny rules, and so here we are.
For those unfamiliar: one fateful day, one Justin Kuritzkes posted a video in which he utilized the glorious photo booth distortion filter to record dialogue between a knight and a potion seller who flat-out refuses to sell the knight any of his potions. Hilarity ensues, as did the tributes that inevitably spawn from virality. If you hadn't already guessed: the band in question today is, indeed, an overt tribute.
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.
I just took a trip down the winding stairs of our scriptorium and braved the wretch’d outdoors. The reason for my madness? A brief visit to the Village apothecary, where I decidedly did not panic-buy their entire stock. It was a remarkably brief expedition; hardly worth putting on a jacket. But for those few moments outside my dusty sanctuary, the palpable tension--and I don’t mean to alarm you here--was quite high. Rightfully so.
Needless to say, I’m happy to be cloistered back at my desk with my speakers roaring loud ‘n’ proud. Monster Skull have wormed their way back into rotation for what seems the hundredth time, and now seems a prime time to chat about why I like their latest EP--the ominously entitled Visions of the Horrible and Strange--so damn much. If you too are in need of some upbeat jubilance in these troubled times, this Washingtonian duo has you covered.
RoadRash. The name alone strongly reeks of a certain sonic quality: mustachioed, leatherclad, whiskey-sodden, and imbued with a lifetime of chainsmok’d cheap cigars. You either know what I’m talkin’ about, or you have never experienced (or imagined) the adrenal rush associated with drag racing a Mad Maxian jalopy down the uncivilized highway, sparks flying from the torn bumper’s ungainly contact with the sunbaked pavement, booze churning though your veins and Motorhead bootlegs blaring through busted speakers. Y’know, that particular (and relatable) fantasy.
Self-reported “Canadian speed metal marauders” RoadRash are raw speed metal at its most straightforward, most belligerent, and, frankly, most fun. Think Excited. Think Razor. If you’re still with me, think Warhead, or Living Death, or Iron Angel. Whiplash with sleezier vocals and more references to driving fast. In other words, RoadRash (and now you, presumably,) are familiar indeed with the grimy lineup of speed metal royalty. This 2-track EP exudes a gloriously infectious devil-may-care ‘tude--and when it comes to speed metal, if you ain’t got that, you ain’t got shit.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!