Anna Von Hausswolff is a singer-songwriter who has always embraced a progressive attitude to creativity. Never unafraid to straddle genres as diverse as metal, Krautrock, and dark pop, and always remaining elusively undefinable, she has made waves over the past decade with her four previous albums and numerous illustrious collaborations. As well as following her own unique musical path, Von Hausswolff (to name just a few of her achievements and endeavours): runs a record label, has guested with Wolves in the Throne Room and Swans, has supported Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, and has hosted visual art exhibitions. Continue reading
Sour Cherry Bell (Kranky) is the second full-length release from New Orleans-based artist Melissa Guion, who releases music under the moniker MJ Guider. It primarily deals in atmosphere. Guion uses heavily processed electronic textures, often drenched in thick treacle-like reverb, to create moody and evocative soundscapes. There are synthetic drum sounds, but this is certainly not dance music. The emotion-laden washy chord sequences recall the 1980s “Gothic” music and perhaps the “shoegaze” that followed in its footsteps, but this is music that doesn’t fit neatly into any category. Many of the sound-worlds have a lush warmth which lends them a meditative quality, but there is also an unsettling element of tension, as though dissonance and harmony are in competition with each other. Guion’s voice is tender and graceful and with it, she weaves flowing melodies. But the voice is often intentionally distant – buried in the mix and concealed by long reverb tails. It feels as though Guion has intentionally engineered a situation where opposing elements battle it out for dominance. These songs could have been presented in a radio-friendly indie package, but instead, the melodies and words only just lift their heads above the walls of noise that encase them. It takes audacity and boldness to attempt this sort of approach which flouts so many of the accepted rules of composition and music production. It seems that Guion was pushing the boundaries of her creativity and her tools: “I was curious to see how far I could go with them, even if that meant reaching the ends of their capacity to do what I wanted.” Continue reading
South African dark-folk artist Ann Jangle has shared the new video for her latest single “Ballad of Pink Cocaine” out now via Mongrel Records. The video which is directed and edited by award-winning documentary filmmaker and photographer Marius van Graan features actual footage taken on her journey interspersed with beautiful slow motion performance shots, capturing the mood of the track perfectly.
Industrial Metal leaders Julien-K have shared an apocalyptic new music lyric video today “Stronger Without You”, only at Ghost Cult! Fans of the Julien K predecessor band Orgy will love the buzzing, sexy throb of the track, and the epic rock chorus that will remind you of old-school NIN, Stabbing Westward, and God Lives Underwater. Watch the clip right here! Continue reading
For many, the nineties would prove to be the end of heavy metal as we knew it. Bands who rose to greatness in the preceding decade suddenly found themselves either retreading old ground, out of their depth trying to explore new territories, or simply grinding to an unceremonious halt. Within just a couple of years, denim, leather and even the term “heavy metal” itself, were out. Continue reading
It’s a fascinating time to be in the Code Orange camp. It’s been a little over three years since the bruising Forever stormed the Metallic Hardcore gates and they’re finally releasing the proper follow-up, Underneath (Roadrunner) to a hungry world. And the hype is certainly a factor. Continue reading
Post-Hardcore is a sub-genre that gets tossed around today as commonplace, but in the early 1990s, it was a new little brother that the older sibling was not ready to cede attention to. As Hardcore Punk mutated into other offshoots, post-Hardcore started to gain ground. In New York City alone, the epicenter for many new waves of hardcore music, a lot of bands crossed over (see what we did there) and bands started to absorb elements of both with Prong, White Zombie, and Biohazard were all leaning more on metal vibes, Quicksand formed by members of ex-hardcore legend status bands we’re pushing towards a new sound. Heavy, but not in a tough guy way, vulnerable, but smart. By the time the members of essential musical outfits Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today, Beyond, Bold, Burn, and Collapse formed an anti-supergroup, released demos and the amazing Slip (Polydor) album, and toured tirelessly, fans in the scene could feel they were building to something huge. They walked in both worlds of Punk and Metal but were also world-building themselves at the same time. Continue reading
Los Angeles-based act Æges is a genre-defying group of guys that are turning heads in multiple music scenes. This budding band has flourished in the last few years because they have a remarkable ability to avoid being pigeonholed. Now, this ear-catching gang is ready to independently release their fourth full-length album, Drømmen (Self-Released). The animation and spirit presented on their last release, Weightless (Another Century), which came out in 2016, is taken to a deeper level on this new record. They are showcasing their exploration of new energy by making some real, heartfelt pieces. Continue reading
And now, the end is near, and so we face the final curtain. My friends, we’ll say it clear, we’ll state our case, of which we’re certain. We’ve lived a year that’s full, and listened to each and every album (well, a good several hundred, in any case), But more, much more than this, We did it our way…
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Carcass with Surgical Steel (Nuclear Blast) in 2013, Behemoth and The Satanist (Metal Blade) in 2014, Ghost in 2015 and 2018 with Meliora and Prequelle (both Loma Vista), Magma (Roadrunner) by Gojira in 2016, and 2017’s Emperor of Sand (Mastodon – Reprise) is our legacy. Those incredible, scene-enhancing, ear-destroying releases are the standard-bearers by which Ghost Cult‘s albums of the year are to be judged. These are the albums of our times; and following another sensation year of great alternative, rock, and metal, the pantheon cries out for more, for another slab of wax, another Album of the Year to join them… the very best of 2019.
With a fully democratic poll of the views and votes of the length and breadth of Team Ghost Cult (including our photographers, reviewers, newshounds, podcast and YouTube contributors) taken, with no editorial steer or amendment, we present to you Part 1 (75-41) of the Official Ghost Cult Albums of the Year for 2019, for your vulgar delectation… Continue reading