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?
In the course of trawling through independent review requests that slid down the sluice and plop into the promo pit, a rough-n-tumble process, of sorts, has formed. After sampling tracks, this slumbering invariably breaks submissions into vague categories, as to maintain a little bit of order 'round this joint.
The first category: "that was good, I want to examine this further and could be easily persuaded to write about it.
The second category: "that was decidedly not good, if anyone writes about it, it shan't be me."
The third category: "that was outstanding, I must write about this immediately."
Said third classification is exceedingly rare, but when it makes an appearance, it is a wonder to behold. Extensive intro aside, let me assert that "Black Seas," the latest single from Toronto's so-called "Satanic Blues" peddlers Demonchrist, is a track that makes me want to drop everything, run to the scriptorium, and sharpen my quill.
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.
Here's one of those reviews that has sat, half-completed, for an embarrassingly long time. The catalyst for completion? A lyric analysis that CHNNLR posted over on Instagram for the second single released under this project moniker. As stated there, “In Dreams”--the track in question--focuses on the “forms and stages” of clinical depression or anxiety, and how they “can debilitate and take over someone’s mind and body.” Like the artist, I am not diagnosed with these demons, but the person I love most in this world has routinely lived in the midst of a “waking nightmare” (as he astutely puts it) due to machinations of the mind: chemical, situational, or otherwise. Depression and anxiety are legitimate diseases with legitimate implications, and, as CHNNLR states, treatment is a necessity: “Don’t ignore the signs, and don’t just think things will get better. Reach out, connect, check in.” And, given the current state of affairs out there: now more than ever.
In the expansive metalverse, doom is my first love. When a band delivers a fat Iommi riff drenched in the fog of genre convention, I am content to sit, passively, in the palm of their momentarily almighty hand.
What ye may not know about this particular scribe is that, in addition to the doom, I also encountered a pretty sizable grunge period in my late teens. Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, et. al. were the name of the game, and the tropes associated with those melancholic wells still run deep in my musical preferences. Thus, when the two combine in unholy matrimony, my cold heart inevitably warms and weeps. This sentiment, of course, leads us to the track before us now--CELLARDOOR’s excellent debut single, released today.
Pull up a chair and put up your feet: I'm going to review this single by way of story. If you'd rather skip the drama, just stream the damn thing below. Either way: good choice.
Last night, in the midst of Sunday evening zeal, I was workin' out with some resistance bands whilst listening to Gatecreeper's latest single on repeat. Somewhere, somehow, said resistance band broke and catapulted into my face, which necessitated a very, very bloody journey to the ER. Bloody beard-trimming, three stitches, lots of unsightly bruising, and a chipped tooth later, I'm back at the scene of the crime...spinning "Anxiety" once more. If this isn't a clear indication of Gatecreeper's finesse in the injury-inducing department, I really don't know what is.
Yes, yes. The observant reader will note that The Sleeping Village was host to a review of this single many months ago. But today, the occasion is ripe to break the same dastardly write-up out of the ol’ archives. On March 9th, Detroit Doomsters Temple of the Fuzz Witch will be releasing their self-titled debut under Seeing Red Records--and "Bathsheba," the track we previously spoke highly of, serves as the lead single. If you missed it, here's a chance to remedy that mistake.
As a figure of literal biblical proportion, Bathsheba is an admirably complex character. An obvious victim of David the adulterer, Bathsheba was nonetheless a cunning puppet-master who made the best of a bad situation, solidifying immense power for her bloodline. This is all to say that Temple of the Fuzz Witch’s homage to Bathsheba is significantly more black & white than the character herself. Fortunately, nuance isn’t the goal for these riff-worshippers. Like with the fuzzy witch's prior EP, we’re presented the opportunity to revel in some no-nonsense fuzz induced occult gloom, and boy, does this hit the spot.
When we talk Sabbathian influence, Iommi’s thick riffage is usually the topic in question. Here, however, the bass is pure Geezer. Thick, forward-facing, & nearly recalling Dopethrone in its stoic delivery, the bass provides a well constructed foundation for the titular fuzz. The Electric Wizard influence extends to vocals as well, manifesting in filtered, heavy-lidded howls that prowl low in the mix. Like everything else, the vox lacks frills, but it’s an excellent performance to be sure. The soloing around the 4:10 mark is particularly well conceived. Simple but delightfully timeless in its distorted, steadfast delivery.
These are the sounds that made me fall in love with doom in the first place, & the continuation of that god-given tone is truly a delight to behold. A review of Temple of the Fuzz Witch's debut in full shall manifest shortly, but for the time being, we implore you: spend a lil’ precious time with Bathsheba. And get on that $6.66 pre-order.
Let’s start Sunday off with something fun. Between the doom and the depressive black metal, we here at the Sleeping Village get, on occasion, a little too gloomy for our own good. The cure for such a self-inflicted diagnosis? Our plague doctor heartily recommended some overt NWOBHM nostalgia...and what kind of plebs are we to deny the good doctor’s word? To that end, let’s talk about High Risk, lead single (and title track) from Blade Killer’s forthcoming debut album.
High Risk is plucked directly from the 80’s. As such, the most common comparison, musically speaking, is undoubtedly Di’Anno-era Maiden. Prominent bass a la Harris? Check. Energetic vocal stylings with just a hint of graceless gruff? Check. Galloping--nay, runaway train riffage? Just let me have that check, please. If we’re talkin’ shameless NWOBHM gravitas, however, Angel Witch, Tokyo Blade, and the ever-fantastical Tygers of Pan Tang might be closer to the mark. High Risk is a track imbued with an undeniably rambunctious energy, a pure distillation of no-nonsense 80’s headbanging glory. No intro is necessary--the guitar kicks right in with a head-bopping enthusiasm. The lyrics, while fairly standard fare, are delivered with a similar gleeful kineticism.
This is air guitar-inducing, chorus-belting, demin-stitching music if ever there was, and Blade Killer’s blatant commitment to the NWOBHM aesthetic comes highly appreciated, even in a fairly saturated market. If the rest of the album has an inkling of the balls-to-the-wall determination of its title track, its safe to say Blade Killer have gifted a worthwhile depository into our collective horn-throwing hands. From what I’ve read thusfar, no worries on this front. Lookin’ forward to Nov. 23rd.
High Risk will be released Nov. 23 through M-Theory Audio.
Check out Blade Killer on Bandcamp.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!