It is an often overlooked but undeniable fact that up to the present day, Katatonia is on a phenomenal creative run; arguably one of the best in Metal music, in general. Since 2006’s The Great Cold Distance (and arguably even before this), Katatonia have been consistently put out near classics up to 2016’s excellent The Fall Of Hearts, with even 2020’s hiatus ending City Burials (all Peaceville) standing shoulder to shoulder with such works. Firmly returned from a brief absence, 2023 sees the band’s second album since this return, on a new label home for the first time in their career.
Since forming in 2008, Thurmont, Maryland trio Faith In Jane has racked up an astounding eight releases of which Axe To Oak (Grimoire) is the latest. Quite impressive when you consider it takes a band such as Guns ‘N’ Roses decades to put out new music. The band is comprised of Dan Mize – guitar/vocals, Brendan Winston – bass, and Alex Llewellyn on drums.
Dutch Symphonic Blackened Metallers Carach Angren has shared a new music video, the positively amazing “Franckensteina Srataemontanus.” The track is the title track from their recent new album, out now via Season of Mist. The album trellis the story of the vicious and troubled Conrad Dippel, the real-life inspiration of Mary Shelly’s original horror classic novel Frankenstein. Watch the video, Directed by Zoran Bihac, right now and purchase and stream the album at the link below.
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.
Just in time for the season of all things spooky, we bring you melancholic Gothic Metallers The Nocturnal Affair and their creepy new music video for “Beyond The Wall Of Sleep”! The band is led by singer/songwriter Brendan Shane, with his smooth and dusky voice and deft melodic sense, he creates a stark contrast to the heavy and gloomy instrumentation. Riffs, double-bass beats, and haunting synths will catch you in the feels and bring you closer. The Haunted House vibe of the lyric video is the perfect Autumn bring me down, to the grave! The track is the first taste of their debut album (Meta)morphosis, due out in early 2021 and it was produced by John Moyer (Disturbed), with mixing and mastering by Logan Mader (Machine Head, Once Human). Logan also contributed to some of the songwriting and production. Check out the video now!
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.
South African post-Black outfit Constellatia arrived just two short years ago, and already last year’s debut album The Language of Limbs (Season of Mist) has earned a power-label reissue. A blast of atmospheric harshness and aching melody with a touch of doomed romance, its four tracks are a paean to the outer edges of Emotion.Continue reading →
Philip Anselmo’s (Pantera, Down, Scour, Philip H. Anselmo and the Illegals) “depression core” projectEn Minor has signed a new record deal for Europe and Ward in Japan, with the great label Season of Mist. The band will release its debut full-length later this year. The band released a self-titled seven-inch EP this summer via Housecore Records. Continue reading →
As a proud Lancastrian all my life, it pains me to acknowledge the occasional superiority of bitter neighbours Yorkshire. One such area of supremacy is within the realm of Doom Metal: Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride have wielded the White Rose over some of the genre’s most memorable, emotional moments of the last thirty years and the latter’s erstwhile guitarist Hamish Glencross is determined to carry on that sound with his latest outfit Godthrymm. Debut album Reflections (Profound Lore Records) oozes the drama, power, and tragedy of his former band.Continue reading →