In the time since its 2005 inception Damnation Festival has grown to into a four-stage affair that has become a mainstay of the UK metal scene. 2021’s festival on 6th November was significant for a number of reasons. Firstly, it marked the event’s return after a year off due to COVID restrictions. Secondly, it sold out in record time; as soon as the UK government announced the end of all restrictions (back in March), all tickets were swept up within a matter of weeks. Thirdly, the lineup had to be dramatically changed, with many major international acts such as Wolves in the Throne Room and Pig Destroyer having to have their appearances cancelled due to then-ongoing uncertainty surrounding travel restrictions. Fourthly and finally, 2021’s Damnation marked the end of its 14-year tenure at Leeds University: 2022’s festival will return to Manchester (where it first took place for two years) at a larger arena venue.
Lingua Ignota’s music has always come with a certain duality as her first three albums cycled through the harshest Industrial textures and the most arresting Neoclassical Darkwave. However, that duality has seemingly been phased out with the release of her fourth full-length, Sinner Get Ready (Sargent House). The walls of noise are considerably subdued in comparison to past outings and the vocals are devoid of screams and distortion, leaving the songs to be primarily driven by sparse piano and organs with layers of melismatic cleans.
Kris Esfandiari has released many different styles of music under many different monikers. There is Miserable, a solo, Shoegaze project of Esfandiari. Then, there’s NGHTCRWLR, an Experimental, Noise, Industrial outfit. With each project more different than the last, Esfandiari is a versatile and inventive vocalist gifted at making transgressive music. On Celestial Blues (Relapse Records), Esfandiari returns as King Woman. Following up 2017’s Created in the Image of Suffering, the sophomore album from King Woman is a shocking release that is like horror.
You want brutal? You got it! The debut album from Yautja (members of Thou, Coliseum, Mutilation Rites), The Lurch (Relapse Records), is that in spades. If you’re into just an all out onslaught of driving grooves mixed with crazy, double stops, and all the above, this is the cut for you! Not to get too into it, but this is right up my alley. I dig it when a band is their own thing, or their own entity, so to speak. They are just themselves.
It lies deep within the cold vastness of space. A distant, inhospitable land that exists at the farthest reaches of an unforgiving, lonely planet. Cast adrift and surrounded by an ocean of venomous, fanged, and tentacled monstrosities lies an island of such unimaginable manifestations of horror that madness and fear await every nervous footstep with eager, slurping lust. Crawling, slithering, scuttling, swimming, hiding. It waits.
The concept of metal without electric guitars might feel like an oxymoron. After all, guitar riffs of one type or another have been the key bedrock of the genre ever since Black Sabbath. But Wreche is different. John Steven Morgan, the multi-instrumentalist and vocalist behind the band, makes a kind of experimental black metal using acoustic piano as the lead instrument. All My Dreams Came True (Handmade / Acephale Winter Productions) is the second Wreche album and the first on which Morgan operates Wreche as a one-man-band (aside from two guest appearances), providing synthesizers, drums, and vocals as well as what the press release describes as an “88 key, 700lb behemoth running hot on distortion and space echo.” Morgan also recorded, mixed, and mastered the album himself.
Sad news has come to us via correspondent Scott Sommer- Jack Terricloth, a legendary genre-bending Cabaret Punk artist from New York’s World/Inferno Friendship Society has died. He was 50 years old and no cause of death has been revealed. Although Jack was lone permanent member, a post was made to the bands’ social media breaking the news. Born Peter Ventantonio (June 11, 1970-May 13, 2021) he was also the guitarist and vocalist of Sticks and Stones. RIP Jack.
Post-Metal legends Amenra have unleashed a new single and video – “De Evenmens.” The track comes from their new album De Doorn, their first under theory new deal for Relapse Records, due out on June 25th 2021. Watch the new video directed by Dehn Sora, right now and pre-order the album at the link below. Continue reading
Metal, for all its anti-establishment credentials, can often be quite conservative. Many of the same old tropes have been rolled out again and again for the past four decades or so. Whilst that’s not a major problem for many metal fans, it is arguable that the same recycled ideas just don’t have the same impact that they once did. What once seemed impossibly heavy, deafeningly loud, even shocking or transgressive, can now be played on mainstream radio without anyone raising an eyebrow.
As much as I enjoy Reverend Bizarre and plenty of Sami Hynninen’s other various projects, I’ve honestly not been as enthused about Opium Warlords. Their experimental brand of Drone Doom tends to be rather hit and miss, producing ideas that can be intriguing but more frequently stretched beyond their limits or constructed haphazardly. Their fifth full-length album, Nembutal (Svart Records), doesn’t promise anything different yet I find its execution to be somehow more palatable than anything else they’ve released.