En Minor is a project that had been rattling around in Philip H. Anselmo“s head since he was a child; they are an unexpectedly emotional and deeply serious sound that freefalls out of the genres most of the band members are associated with, including Anselmo himself, and into uncharted territory. Unconventional and, in many ways, experimental, their 2020 release, When the Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out (Housecore Records) is steeped in reverence to the Jazz tradition in New Orleans, and maybe more markedly serves as a morose interpretation of a Jazz Funeral March with hints of Vaudeville; an unironic gothic twist on Tom Waits that Anselmo has since self-described as Depression Core.
Melodic Death Metal pioneers, Dark Tranquillity, release their twelfth studio album Moment (Century Media Records). The twelve-song album began recording shortly after founding member Niklas Sundin announced his departure from the band (Editor’s note: although he is still involved with the band behind the scenes) on their social media platforms, after touring members, Christopher Amott (ex-Arch Enemy) and Johan Reinholdz (Andromeda) formally joined Mikael Stanne, Anders Jivarp, Martin Brändström, and Anders Iwers as part of the official dT lineup.
To celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of their now-iconic debut album NOLA (Elektra Records), the band Down originally planned a tour at select venues worldwide before a global pandemic shut down the normal cadence of life as any of us ever knew it for the foreseeable future. Not to be silenced on such a momentous occasion, the guys took to the stage at a private location instead to stream The Quarter Century Throwdown as a global virtual concert. Featuring vocalist Phil Anselmo, guitarists Pepper Keenan and Kirk Windstein, drummer Jimmy Bower and Pat Bruders on bass, the event aired live with two encore performances in the days following the livestream for ticket holders.
The first time I saw Between the Buried and Me live was at The Gramercy Theatre in New York City, during a tour for their then-newly released Colors (Victory Records) album; it was a pivotal period for the group who had, at that time, seen a series of lineup changes in short order. Five drummers, four guitarists, and three bassists later, the band was shaping their sound to dull the edges from the ever-aggressive Silent Circus (Victory Records) and Alaska (Victory Records) albums to an arguably more technically complex, albeit at times mellower, Jazzy era that would set the tone for the rest of their musical trajectory as we know it today. Continue reading
For just one weekend the Banc of California Stadium was transformed into a carnivalesque outdoor funhouse for the Adult Swim Festival. The stadium was alive with colorful distorted animations reminiscent of children’s cartoons and claymation scenes warped and hyperbolized beyond the mind’s comprehension, while a giant Meatwad dome sat across an even larger inflatable slide shaped like Morty’s head vomiting a rainbow.