Forest Nocturne (Southern Lord) is the debut full-length LP from The Lord, a solo project of the ever-prolific Greg Anderson, perhaps best known for his work with Sunn O))). The press release uses words like “pictorial” and “cinematic”, and mentions the influence of film composers such as John Carpenter and Bernard Hermann. Continue reading →
The contradictions of crafting an album using the very technologies and processes the band had previously railed against are but one small element of the complicated and interesting layers that make up Artificial Devices, the self-released second full-length composition of London duo Andrei Alan (guitars/bass/programming) and Chris Bevan Lee (keys/vocals/programming) collectively known as The Ever Living (I promised myself no Mumm-ra comments, but here I am in the intro… I can’t help it, every time I see the band name…).
Ghost Cult caught up with musician Tyler Cox of the solo project Wrack released his new album “Solo Gravity” this spring via King of Sticks Records. Tyler is also known for his work in other bands such as Thought Leaders, Young Lions (with Noah of Neurosis), The Mass, ex- Totimoshi, and more! We chatted about his entire career in music, his varied interests as an artist and producer, his move to the Bay Area, and much more!
One of the more leftfield collaborations of 2022 so far, see’s French electro maestro Perturbator (aka James Kent) purveyor of heavily eighties-influenced dark-wave join forces with Johannes Persson, vocalist/guitarist and principle songwriter for Swedish post-metal innovators Cult Of Luna. The collaboration first bared fruit early in 2020 as Holland’s Roadburn Festival, the legendary celebration of heavy and experimental music offered Perturbator and Johannes the opportunity to collaborate with a specially commissioned live performance.
The concept Abhorrent Expanse debut release Gateways to Resplendence (Amalgam / Lurker Bias) is indeed a fascinating one. All the tracks have been improvised, and the whole thing was performed as a continuous take. Nothing specific was discussed beforehand except for the pairings of who would play each section and how long they would last, it all being tracked by a stopwatch. The result of such a challenge is interesting if a polarized hit-and-miss affair. Continue reading →
Vexier, the sophomore full-length from Switzerland’s enigmatic post-metal / doomgaze / experimental rock outfit E-L-R (Prophecy Productions), is a record that takes its time to get where it needs to. The record features five tracks spanning a total of 45 minutes; the shortest song is more than six-and-a-half minutes.
We caught up with music legend Burton C. Bell (ex Fear Factory) of Ascension of the Watchers for a new podcast, to chat all about his new album Apocrypha (Dissonance Productions). We chatted about the history of the band, the lead up to making this new album, Burton’s songwriting process, how he derives inspiration from film scores and soundtracks, his bandmates Jayce Lewis and John Bechdel (Ministry, Prong), the spiritual side to his lyrics and themes he writes from, the concept of “modern analog” and how it influenced the recording, memories of the late Paul Raven (Killing Joke/Prong), some thoughts on other projects like City of Fire and G/Z/R, and much more. Order the album here, and check out our chat.
Vader have always upheld a mantra of consistency through their career. Though not as storied as countrymen Behemoth or Decapitated (having closely aligned themselves with the latter act even sharing the odd member), Piotr Wiwczarek has still turned out tried and tested death metal which is neither blackened nor augmented with overt technicality.
‘Triumph Of Death’ has an immediate chorus but something about the bands contentment in playing to the old school death metal fan rather than producing anything particularly challenging makes parts of this album feel somewhat safe. A crisp production allows for each instrument to be present in the mix with Piotr’s characteristic gritty bark helping give the songs more character, but this is an album of peaks and troughs. ‘Tibi Et Igni’ retains the feel of early nineties Slayer or Sepultura with the addition of symphonic textures to add variation. ‘Hexenkessel’ is an improvement; menacing riffs anchored by a sturdy backbeat of blasts and a blur of fast tremolo in the scything verse.
Certainly the more cinematic aspects of Tibi Et Igni (Nuclear Blast) raise the bar. Employing new aspects like spoken word sections and the odd classical intro, adds new depth to a couple of tracks, but aside from that It is the stick to your guns approach Vader have long favoured. ‘Light Reaper’ is clearly Vader by numbers and while none of the line-up sans Wiwczarek himself joined the group before 2009 you get a sense of “business as usual” throughout much of this release. ‘Armada on Fire’ is the benchmark of the album, churning guitars and a middle section which should drive moshpits into frenzied chaos, yet it only highlights how several of the tracks here are merely solid as opposed to outstanding.
Piotr has kept the song-writing tight and concise while adhering rigidly to the blueprint Vader was built upon and the heads down approach to old school thrash injected death metal has marked Vader out as a reliable workhorse of the genre famed for their consistency, but likewise it has been this attitude which has seen some of their peers leapfrog them in the notoriety stakes.