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.
2R0I2P0 (Twenty Twenty RIP, Relapse Records) is a collaboration album from two luminaries of the Japanese experimental music scene, Boris and Merzbow. Boris has released a vast number of albums over the past 25 years, and their sound ranges from psychedelic post-rock to crushing metallic doom riffery. Noise artist Merzbow (the brainchild of Masami Akita) has been even more prolific, having released hundreds of records over a 40-year career.
For over eight years, Dana Schechter and Ashley Spungin created heavy, eerie soundscapes as Brooklyn-based duo Insect Ark. When this fragmented last year, with a new album and US tour in the pipeline, leading force Schechter found herself in a tight corner until a serendipitous union with former SubRosa drummer Andy Patterson enabled the renewed probability of both. Tour almost complete, it’s time for the fourth album The Vanishing (Profound Lore Records) to hit the airwaves and Patterson’s influence, together with a more intense writing process, sees the band’s sound throb with added weight.Continue reading
You can call it Punk; you can call it Noise; you can, if you will call it Beat poetry. One thing that Manchester UK experimentalists Locean do produce is a thrilling, vibrant energy and Chav Anglais (Artificial Head Records), the band’s first full-length album, is full of such attitude: from crashing strings and rhythms to sparse, protesting, dominant sexuality.Continue reading
Whenever our house is made home by a particularly large member of the domestic arachnid species, it’s affectionately called Boris: largely due to the long-attributed name for such creatures, but also to my affection for the Japanese band of the same name. Latest albums Lφve and Evφl, originally released in August as tour merchandise, now make an appearance as a double album on general release (Third Eye Music).Continue reading
Ghost Cult caught up with KW of Vile Creature at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, New York. Vile Creature signed with Prosthetic Records and released a compilation on their past work, Preservation Rituals earlier in 2019. At the same time, the Toronto-based, extreme Doom and Drone duo are laser-focused on the future, as they write and prepare for a highly-anticipated full-length label début, perhaps arriving in 2020. KW chatted about signing with Prosthetic, how the group creates their art and music, the honor of being repeat performers at the prestigious Roadburn Festival, the crucial element of great music publicity, and much more. Continue reading
Despite being heralded as a paragon of minimalist Drone, Dylan Carlson and his fluctuating incarnations of Earth have eschewed the usual expectations of such music, moving through variations on the theme throughout their thirty-year existence. Ninth studio album Full Upon Her Burning Lips (Sargent House) sees the band return to its core of Carlson and percussionist Adrienne Davies, leading to a partial revisit of earlier days.Continue reading
If anyone seriously doubts the efficacy and emotion of what is essentially classed as Drone, then they have never experienced Canadian outfit Big|Brave. They have toured with bands more eagerly anticipated than themselves: but those bands oft flounder at the point of displaying true emotion. It’s here where Robin Wattie and Mathieu Ball, along with drummer Loel Campbell, find a real connection while exploiting the wondrous virtues of focus and silence.Continue reading
Secrecy surrounds the release of Sunn O)))‘s latest opus Life Metal (Southern Lord Records), aimed for a limited release on Record Store Day. Who can blame them? With albums by megastars falling victim to hacks and illegal leaks, it’s frustrating but somewhat understandable to be reviewing a product after it’s initial release. Whatever the strategy an epic journey is guaranteed and, with four tracks spanning seventy minutes, the album doesn’t disappoint in that regard.Continue reading
Dirk Serries has been composing interstellar, compartmentalised Drone structures for thirty-five years now, fourteen of which have been spent as the figurehead of his Fear Falls Burning project. The Belgian’s latest album, Function Collapse (Consouling Sounds), shows the scope of the electric guitar and the man’s wizardry of command.Continue reading