Welcome to the first Review Off (of hopefully many!) The premise? The illustrious Metalhead World and yours truly get down and throw down in an epic review battle. My contribution lurks below, and you can read Metalhead World's review here. Enjoy! - Ed.
Written by: The Administrator
We slumbering peasantry are of a significantly, erm, flimsier stock than those marauders over at Metalhead World. Perhaps to our own detriment, we are also a prideful crowd. Such is the lot with wordsmiths. As such, when our neighbors issued the challenge to write a review of I Disagree, the latest statement from self-acclaimed post-genre messiah Poppy, we could hardly back down from a fight. And so here we are, quill and parchment held tight in white-knuckled grasp. In the distance, a murder of ravens takes flight. Sweat drips under ill-fitting plate armor. Blood will be shed this day, and I pray ‘tis not mine.
...but if today results in slaughter, the victim won’t be the artist in question. Quite the contrary. At the beginning of this process, I was familiar enough with Poppy via one Lichtmensch, but was certainly not what one might consider a fan. Now, however, after several weeks of intensive immersion, I Disagree has found solid footing in the ranks of my favorite albums of the year. Credibility be damned! Long story short: if you’re expecting a takedown, look elsewhere. This is a very good album by a variety of rubrics, and Poppy’s contributions are far too substantial to be merely dismissed.
In the rush to cover the constant waves of new music, we all too often neglect discussing the releases that leave the most substantial impressions in our lives. As such, we recently invited some bands and artists to wax poetic about an album that was deeply impactful or influential to them, either musically or personally. The next guest in line to graciously offer a retrospective in this series is SW, the sole bleep and blooper of black metal inspired chiptune act Lunar Cult, whose work can be found lurking over at bandcamp. I don't listen to much chiptune, but when I do, it's invariably the nuanced and intriguing work of Lunar Cult. Needless to say: when yer done here, check it out!
Written by: SW
It’s a cliché that our teenage years are a period of rapid development, and something we can take for granted; and sometimes, it’s only in hindsight that we can appreciate how much we changed in a short space of time. This is certainly the case for my own journey as a music fan. At 15, my favourite bands were the likes of Ash and Green Day--radio-friendly rock with a hint of transgression. Yet by the time I was 16, I’d gone through a period of massive growth aided by Napster, jumping from Green Day to Korn to Slipknot to Marilyn Manson to Nine Inch Nails to Atari Teenage Riot in a matter of months. Whilst Nine Inch Nails are undoubtedly one of my favourite bands, and changed my relationship with music profoundly, it’s Atari Teenage Riot’s first album, Delete Yourself!, that I think may have had the biggest overall impact on me.
In the rush to cover the constant waves of new music, we all too often neglect discussing the releases that leave the most substantial impressions in our lives. As such, we recently invited some bands and artists to wax poetic about an album that was deeply impactful or influential to them, either musically or personally. The next guest in line to graciously offer a retrospective in this series is politically inclined industrial artist Atrop0ss, whose work can be found in the wildlands of bandcamp.
In a strange twist of fate, this is the third(!) NIN album to have been featured in this series--clearly indicating a broad reach of influence. Once yer done here, check out these retrospectives of The Downward Spiral and The Fragile! But, without further ado:
Written by: Atrop0ss
2020 has been a culmination of centuries of corruption, racism, and propaganda, all burgeoning into a multi-faced demon threatening utter demise. Americans especially are faced with a year that seems to bring a new tragedy or intense "happens once a century" type of event every month, and have reacted in all manner of negative ways. Trauma seems to be a consistent response.
And in times of trauma and hardships, we as a species often turn to music: for answers, for peace, to feeling justified, to feel heard. Musicians in these situations will often write music in order to explain a point, or make known their views. In my (relatively short) time on this earth, I've only found one album that really, honestly, predicted exactly where all this corruption and evil would bring us. That album is Year Zero by Nine Inch Nails.
In the rush to cover the constant waves of new music, we all too often neglect discussing the releases that leave the most substantial impressions in our lives. As such, we recently invited some bands and artists to wax poetic about an album that was deeply impactful or influential to them, either musically or personally. The third guest to graciously offer a retrospective in this series is Steven of (intoxicatingly cathartic and emotive) dark electronica act aortaproject. Notably, this is the second of four(!) NIN retrospectives. Read on!
Written by: Steven of aortaproject
Nine Inch Nails The Fragile: Trent Reznor's opus. Not his most critically acclaimed work, but for diehards, this is "all that could have been" for Nine Inch Nails.
It's been almost 20 years since the iconic double album’s release in Sept of 1999 and I still couldn't be happier with it. The Fragile remains a staple in my reported influences, and a constant in my playlist. Even after thousands of hours of listening, I still find bits and pieces I haven't noticed before. Exploring the threads of Reznor's genius. The Fragile is laced with sonic texture, intricate layering, and an articulate blending of synthetic and natural elements, encroaching the frail temperament of stringed instruments with the powerful programming of electronic drums and pulsating synths.
In the rush to cover the constant waves of new music, we all too often neglect discussing the releases that leave the most substantial impressions in our lives. As such, we recently invited some bands and artists to wax poetic about an album that was deeply impactful or influential to them, either musically or personally. The second guest to graciously offer a retrospective in this series is Chris H of antifacist blackened outfit Phryne. Read on!
Written by: Chris H
The first time I listened to The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails was in 2015. At that time, I was starting to find myself listening to heavier music, and I was venturing to discover all the classic hallmarks of metal. Industrial had always been interesting to me, but as a kid I was always too afraid of the dark imagery to really listen. When I sat down to listen to The Downward Spiral--the first industrial album I decided to listen to--and pressed play, I heard the sounds of a man being beaten in a strangely rhythmic fashion. At that moment, I was uneasy and wondering if I should keep going and listen on, but as the sample from the film THX 1138 crescendoed into a chaotic noisescape, I gave in and was transported to the grimy world Trent Reznor had created. “Mr. Self Destruct” is still one of my favorite album openers because of its raw attack and energy. It is the perfect beginning to the experience that is The Downward Spiral.
Written by: Continuous Thunder
I’m pulling something from the deep recesses of left field for you today. But when you’ve listened to as much music as I have, left field can provide welcome, refreshing, if sometimes puzzling breaks from the norm. (There’s a reason music critics praise experimental music so highly.) The harsh sounds of heavy metal’s more extreme sub-genres make them excellent sonic palettes for experimental artists. The best artists will recognize the similarities in different styles of music and bring them together, or they will contrast two very different genres that otherwise would never mix. The latter can be found in Fire-Toolz, who juxtaposes the clean, hazy, and nostalgic sounds of vaporwave with the harsh and oppressive sounds of black metal, noise, and other extreme genres.
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.
As a wordslinger here at the Sleeping Village, my vocabulary is my pride n’ joy. While the reviews and features published here are (admittedly) a little verbose, it is this academic rigor that defines us. Thus, as a thesaurus hound, a word with which I am unfamiliar is if nothing else, a challenge. A month back, Sword Horse (Albuquerque’s soon-to-be-favorite doom duo) threw down the gauntlet with a single bearing a wildly pedantic title, born of the Latin but otherwise lost on me. Needless to say: hook, line, sinker.
Today’s vocab means, loosely, that he/she will bind, tie, or otherwise fetter. What a fitting title for such a constricting track. Sword Horse don’t deal in doom of a relaxed nature. This music falls off the extreme end of the spectrum. Dark, violent, crushing--all are apt. Rather than riffs, Sword Horse writes motifs in distortion. Rather than intelligible vocals, a harsh cry emanates from the blackened void. While prior singles and their Affliction EP recall Primitive Man in a dedication to the purest form of sonic annihilation, Obstrinxerit taps into something even more visceral. On Affliction, the percussion in particular was a defining quality, allowing the sludgy atmosphere a structure. Here, that structure is pulverized, replaced by a free-flowing ambiance, an irresistible pull into a cave that is too small. In this case, Death doesn’t beckon, so much as leave you with no other option.
Obstrinxerit’s strongest suit is the vocals, which echo and billow, filling the space with remarkable aptitude. For a six minute track, it seems half its length, which is quite telling given the rejection of a typical template. With that said, should Sword Horse put out an album of this material, some additional features will likely be necessary to maintain the high standard of pummeling and constricting music they have created until this point. If you like your metal raw and visceral, this loquacious Villager highly recommends you give Obstrinxerit some of your hard-earned time.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!