In these very strange, unprecedented times for the world over (and not just the music world) it must make a few of us uneasy in terms of when does “new music” stop coming out thanks to the pandemic. Well, the good news is the music we are getting right now is simply fantastic! The Acacia Strain have dropped two EPs this year after a surprise full release at the end of 2019. These new EPs entitled, simply, D and E (Rise Records) are certainly under the “short but sweet” category. Each EP only has two tracks apiece, however, this only helps in getting listeners to want more.
If ever two bands were put together in order to aurally depict the turgid, depressing slog that is Life In Northern England Under An Elitist Bunch Of Fascists, it’s Liverpool’s Bodies on Everest and their Newcastle-based touring chums Lump Hammer. As joint release Whelmed (Inverted Grim-Mill Recordings) is a “split”, one would expect around half-an-hour of bile and Sludgy hostility: but as if to ram home the belief that There Is No Hope, this thing grinds along morbidly, relentlessly, for a full hour and forty minutes. Continue reading
This one-man metal project that we know as Woods of Desolation comes from the intriguing mind of D., the Australian musician that has been playing an undeniable important role on the Down Under’s underground scene not only with his current project Woods of Desolation, but also with Forest Mysticism and Grey Waters. The road that was started with depressive black metal (the highest point being the debut full-length released in 2008, Toward The Depths) suffered what we can call a big change with the injection of shoegaze and more ethereal environments and soundscapes with Woods of Desolation’s sophomore album, Torn Beyond Reason (released in 2011). Three years after we have the third album which mixes the sounds of Forest Mysticism with the sounds of Grey Waters. It sort of works as a full circle for D., the musician in charge of this new album, As The Stars (Northern Silence Productions). With the help of Vlad from the mighty Ukrainian band Drudkh and the countrymen Luke Mills on bass (Nazxul) and Old on vocal duties (Pestilential Shadows). Having the support and help of other musicians was probably what made this album be so damn rich in terms of guitar layers and tones. Every single track seems to take advantage of D.’s guitar work to levitate and finally rise in a spiral movement that is too fuckin’ strong to be stopped.
As Michael Gira (Swans) once told me, the main goal must be to achieve ecstasy. Well, As The Stars doesn’t have a problem achieving ecstasy, but rather a problem to let it go. Like a fuckin’ junkie never satisfied, Woods’ music on this new album is constantly trying to exceed itself. What once was depressive now it seems to be uplifting and hopeful towards positivity. But who really knows? It’s really hard to tell when you’re so fuckin’ high for almost thirty eight minutes and you’re not allowed to stop. Hopefully this album, and this band, will have the due credit and recognition. If you like stuff like Alcest, Lantlôs and Deafheaven… Why the hell would you not give a chance to Woods of Desolation? Don’t be afraid. Jump!