NOÊTA is a duo based between Norway and Sweden and consisting of multi-instrumentalists Ândris and Êlea, the latter of whom also provides vocals. Their music is an intriguing hybrid of dark folk and dark ambient styles, with just a hint of black metal seeping in around the edges.
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.
To celebrate the holiday’s the Music Marketing Mixer group has released a MASSIVE playlist of some of the best up-and-coming musicians in the hard rock/metal scene. The five and a half hour playlist comes from the members of the group, which is free to join on Facebook, provides music industry marketing advice from industry experts, coaching, free webinars, and coaching for bands and solo artists. Brought to you by The Dumb and Dumbest Podcast, BDWE Media, Dewar PR, Dropout Media, and Ghost Cult Magazine, the group is free to join at this link here. The playlist has over 60 tracks and includes tracks from artists such as Lindsay Schoolcraft, King Gorm, Caustic Casanova, 20 Watt Tombstone, The Inferno Doll, Duncan Evans, Alpha Bootis, Gravehuffer, Gaia Guarda, Casket Robbery, and many more! Jam out to the list here.
2020 has been a strange and difficult year for most people, but that hasn’t stopped the release of some truly fantastic music. As we near the close of this tumultuous and trying year, here are the 20 albums that have resonated the most with me in 2020.
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.
Anna Von Hausswolff is a singer-songwriter who has always embraced a progressive attitude to creativity. Never unafraid to straddle genres as diverse as metal, Krautrock, and dark pop, and always remaining elusively undefinable, she has made waves over the past decade with her four previous albums and numerous illustrious collaborations. As well as following her own unique musical path, Von Hausswolff (to name just a few of her achievements and endeavours): runs a record label, has guested with Wolves in the ThroneRoom and Swans, has supported Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, and has hosted visual art exhibitions.Continue reading →
Sour Cherry Bell (Kranky) is the second full-length release from New Orleans-based artist Melissa Guion, who releases music under the moniker MJ Guider. It primarily deals in atmosphere. Guion uses heavily processed electronic textures, often drenched in thick treacle-like reverb, to create moody and evocative soundscapes. There are synthetic drum sounds, but this is certainly not dance music. The emotion-laden washy chord sequences recall the 1980s “Gothic” music and perhaps the “shoegaze” that followed in its footsteps, but this is music that doesn’t fit neatly into any category. Many of the sound-worlds have a lush warmth which lends them a meditative quality, but there is also an unsettling element of tension, as though dissonance and harmony are in competition with each other. Guion’s voice is tender and graceful and with it, she weaves flowing melodies. But the voice is often intentionally distant – buried in the mix and concealed by long reverb tails. It feels as though Guion has intentionally engineered a situation where opposing elements battle it out for dominance. These songs could have been presented in a radio-friendly indie package, but instead, the melodies and words only just lift their heads above the walls of noise that encase them. It takes audacity and boldness to attempt this sort of approach which flouts so many of the accepted rules of composition and music production. It seems that Guion was pushing the boundaries of her creativity and her tools: “I was curious to see how far I could go with them, even if that meant reaching the ends of their capacity to do what I wanted.”Continue reading →
It is easy to forget that Forever Blue is the debut album from AA Williams, such is the level of status she has already acquired since first taking to the stage only last year. In the meantime, she has garnered a huge amount of critical acclaim, released a self-titled EP, and collaborated with Mono before releasing Forever Blue.
Prisyn is an album that deals in opposites. On one hand, it is an expression of Evan Patterson’s artistic freedom, in the sense that it is quite far removed from Jaye Jayle’s previous works both in terms of sound and creative process. On the other hand, that creative process was linked to circumstances of enforced restriction and confinement. The album’s title itself – Prisyn – alludes to a ‘synthetic prison’ according to Patterson himself. The work was conceived while Patterson was on an extended tour. He began to compose music in these limited conditions using just his iPhone. Instead of fleshing out or reworking the pieces with the usual Jaye Jayle band, Patterson enlisted Ben Chisholm’s (Chelsea Wolfe) help to embellish and produce the songs. The result is an album of primarily electronic music: tense, brooding and claustrophobic. But, in the spirit of opposites, there is a counterpoint to the cold synth textures in the form of Patterson’s deep and rich voice. As he sings in the very first line of opener ‘A Cold Wind’, ‘The darkness meets the lightness / Or rather the lightness meets the darkness’.Continue reading →
Ghost Cult scribe Duncan Evans caught up by phone with singer-songwriter Henry Derek Elis for an interview about his new covers EP, All The Pretty Little Horses. Henry is best known as the former vocalist for metal bands Scar The Martyr and Act of Defiance, but his solo career has taken him down a path closer to Outlaw Country, Americana, and Dark Folk. Henry chatted about the new EP, his choice of artists to cover such as Danzig and Billy Idol, the difference between his metal music and solo career, his take on how watered-down “folk” music has become his influences and opinions of classic artists, and much more. You can order Henry’s music at this link:Continue reading →