Well, I had a completely different set of expectations heading into Loathe‘s I Let It in and It Took Everything (SharpTone Records). See, one of my co-DJs on my radio show Stress Factor (cheap plug) had played ‘Gored’ and ‘Broken Vision Rhythm’ a few weeks back so I thought I was headed face-first into a sea of gnarly down-tuned Hardcore riffs with some Industrial elements tossed in for good measure. Not quite. Continue reading
The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience 2019 has booked Guns N’ Roses, Post Malone and Beck to headline the 21st edition of the fest, taking place October 25-27, 2019 at City Park in New Orleans, Louisiana. The incredible lineup also features Bassnectar, Brandi Carlile, The National, Rezz, Zhu, Young The Giant, Interpol, Sheck Wes, Bring Me The Horizon, Big Gigantic, Clairo, Glitch Mob and more. Over 65 bands will perform across four stages, bringing fans an unforgettable Halloween weekend in New Orleans. Continue reading
Riot Fest 2018 approaches next weekend and the bill looks stacked! The lineup features Weezer, Blink-182, Beck, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Run The Jewels, Incubus, Young The Giant, Interpol, Blondie, Alkaline Trio, Father John Misty, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Tickets are on sale now at the link below. Now. Riot Fest takes place September 14th-16th at Douglas Park in Chicago, IL. Continue reading
Check out all of today’s new releases in the music world! Continue reading
Formed 2010 in Reykjavik, Kontinuum set out to release hypnotic and spiritual musical noise, and over the course of the last two albums, they’ve largely succeeded. However with third album No Need to Reason (Season of Mist) they’ve set out to tone down the noise part and have come back with a much more refined sound. From the first album Earth Blood Magic (Candlelight) and an upbeat and eclectic mix of post-rock and dreamwave influences to the more epic sounding, Sólstafir worship of Kyrr (Candlelight) they’ve clearly been a band not afraid to experiment with their sound. Continue reading
Riot Fest had their big reveal last night, announcing the first and main wave of bands for this coming September in Chicago. Held September 14th-16th at Douglas Park in Chicago, IL the headliners include Blink-182, Beck, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Incubus, Young The Giant, Interpol, Blondie, Alkaline Trio, Father John Misty, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Tickets are on sale now at the link below. Continue reading
Back in 2015, Hey Colossus blessed their willing congregation with a double album release, In Black & Gold and Radio Static High which still remain critically acclaimed to this day with their heavy Desert Rock and bluesy influences painted throughout each composition. With Hey Colossus’ dedicated fanbase showing immense satisfaction from the aforementioned, one has to question whether or not the band can live up to the high bar they set at their previous go-round. Continue reading
Since forming in 2012, Sacramento’s NMBRSTTN have been fomenting their post-hardcore smorgsabord into something truly interesting and compelling. Building on their well-received debut record of a couple of years back, and with a couple of new line-up changes under their belt, their latest EP Energy and Entropy (Flossless Audio) suggests a more synth heavy and goth influence to the band’s artistic vision. They’ve added to their spark and arsenal and the result is very positive indeed.
Opening track ‘Folden Unicorn’ follows that well-worn path of quiet-loud-quiet so beloved of the post-hardcore scene. There’s lots of new wave energy running through the song. A big sonic landscape underscored by dramatic lyrical content that is equally political and personal, centred around the themes of change and transformation proves a riveting and invigorating start.
‘Diamond Heart’ suggests the band have been dipping into their goth record collection; at times it sounds like an outtake from the Cure’s 1989 masterpiece Disintegration (Fiction). It’s majestic in its sense of the forlorn and whilst the subject matter is presumably all about heartbreak, the music makes the pain deeply pleasurable.
There’s a post punk and dark rock mood pervading ‘Terror Row’; at any moment you get the idea that Joy Division’s Ian Curtis is going to make some ghostly appearance from the grave. Imagine Interpol getting absurdly angry and you’ll be part of the way there in understanding what the band are getting at.
EP closer ‘Heliotherm’, then, comes as a bit of an aural shock. It couldn’t be more different in tone to the bleak and harrowing sensibility of ‘Diamond Heart’ and ‘Terror Row’. There is a greater sense of optimism allied to the driven rock based, synthy soundtrack. I kept coming back in my mind to early 90s goth meisters Curve with their love of electronica, dark mood punctuated by a coda that simply screamed Cult of Luna. All of these are very good things as I’m sure you’ve already twigged.
As an appetizer for a second album, Energy and Entropy works superbly. If you haven’t discovered this band then this is a perfect hopping on point; it’s rich, layered and richly creative. NMBRSTTN might be magpie like in their approach but as any good chef knows, it’s what you do with the ingredients that really matters and on this evidence, I’ll be ordering a second helping. Darkly delicious.
If there is a phrase that tends to put my hackles on end, my blood boil and my temper enter a different stratosphere it’s when people talk about musical creativity as a “journey” but, in the case of Finland’s post metal outfit Callisto, I can’t think of a more apposite word to describe their moves from hardcore proficiency to the critically lauded outpost of post-metal.
Secret Youth is the band’s fourth full length album (their first on Svart Records) and the first new material since the progressive delights of Providence back in 2009. Six years is almost the equivalent of six lifetimes in the ever changing world of the music business so whilst there isn’t anything remotely approaching “pressure” on Callisto, a lengthy absence tends to lead to speculation about whether you’ve still “got it”.
Relax, kids. They have. And then some.
Secret Youth feels like the sum total of the band’s dozen or so years of accumulated musical knowledge and prowess blended into one record of power, precision and infectious abrasiveness. The first thing that strikes you about the album is just how accomplished it all is – there is a greater level of ambition in the songs that they have created, a readiness to explore different approaches, textures and melodies. Secret Youth also has moments of sublime anger and ferocity, so don’t think that just because they have found melodies and tunes that they have lost any of their inherent aggression; if anything, they have simply become more discerning with when and how they use it.
Opening track ‘Pale Pretender’ is dynamic and pulsating, building a sense of impending menace and doom. Vocalist Jani-Ani Hukkala sounds like he has taken lessons from Interpol’s Paul Banks which, as any fule kno, is a very good thing indeed. Lead-off single ‘Backbone’ consolidates the sense of unease and the arrival of the first guttural howls. This exceptional blend of haunting melodies, pained lyricism and outright ferocity is probably what you’re looking for with Callisto and, make no mistake, it is here in abundance. ‘Acts’ slows the pace a bit, all noir-ish melody and disjointed guitar parts before ‘The Dead Layer’ delivers gloomy atmospherics and poignant ambience.
The second half of the record is equally impressive with the band offering a balanced shift between intensive aggression and more introspection and reflective pieces. As I’m writing this I can immediately sense that this blending of style, in lesser hands, might not really work but as with some of modern heavy music’s best – think of Opeth, Cult of Luna, Katatonia – the effect here is never any less than impressive and, at times, it’s downright brilliant.
Many bands come straight out the traps with the essence of who they are almost immediately; for others, it’s more of a slow burn. With Callisto, we seem to have waited a long time to arrive at the purest distillation of what they are about but with Secret Youth, they have achieved it. If you want to give anyone a perfect example of what this weird thing called post-metal is all about, then you could do far, far worse than play them this. They will thank you and then, in turn, you can thank me. In a word: fabulous.
Rock Im Park and Rock Am Ring is confirmed to be held June 5-7, 2015. Rock Im Park is held in Nurnberg Zeppelinfeld in Southern Germany and Rock Am Ring is held at Flugplatz Mendig, Vulkaneifel in Western Germany.
Die Toten Hosen
Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators
A Day To Remember
Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls
Lamb Of God
Eagles Of Death Metal
Body Count featuring Ice T
Feine Sahne Fischfiles
While She Sleeps