A new doom metal “supergroup” releasing a COVID-19 lockdown album in late 2022. That sentence, which describes MMXX‘ Sacred Cargo(Candlelight) in plain terms, will no doubt inspire a variety of different thoughts and feelings in people with an interest in such things. Some might dismiss the concept (album) out of hand. After all, the band’s name translates as “2020” and, well, not only is it not 2020 anymore, but the mere mention of that year is liable to inspire at least a wearied eye-roll if not a flashback to genuine out-and-out despair.
As we dash towards the holidays and the end of the year Ghost Cult is feeling good about this season of giving. So we are giving our fans a chance to get to know our partners, peers, and friends from bands in the world of music. They will chime in with some guest blogs, end of year lists, and whatever else is on their minds as we pull the plug on 2015. Today we have Bidi van Drongelen, Dutch booker and manager who has worked with the likes of The Devil’s Blood, Saint Vitus, Ghost, In Solitude and many more. Every year a multitude of his bands get booked at the excellent Roadburn festival, and we have asked him what he feels were the best releases of 2015.
1. Klone – Here Comes The Sun
Great songwriting, amazing vocals, and a crystal clear though heavy production blending prog and post metal.
2. Ghost – Meliora
Ghost has it all to become one of the leading melodic heavy rock bands in the world
3. Bliksem – Gruesome Masterpiece
If you like Metallica’sMaster of Puppets of Death Angel’sACT III….with the a raw female voice like Doro.
4. Royal Thunder – Crooked Doors
Great atmospheric rock album with the amazing voice of Mlny Parsonsz
5. Tribulation – Children of the Night
Melodies of occult rock like The Devil’s Blood drenched with a satanic black voice which reminds of Satyricon.
6. Chelsea Wolfe – Abyss
Refreshing approach of doom & drone. ART with capital A!
7. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within
8. Steak Number Eight – Kosmokoma
9. Melechesh – Enki
10. Enslaved – In Times
11. Clutch – Psychic Warfare
12. Thy Catafalque – Sgurr
13. Amorphis– Under The Red Cloud
14. RAM – Svbversvm
15. BRING ME THE HORIZON– That’s The Spirit
16. Mgła – Excercises In Futility
17. Baroness – Purple
18. Leprous – The Congregation
19. Graveyard – Innocence & Decadence
20. Hangman’s Chair – This Is Not Supposed To Be Positive
Kloneis one of those bands that is difficult to categorize. They originally branded themselves as a metal band but with each new release of music stray further from what one may consider metal to be. Their latest album Here Comes the Sun (Klonosphere/Pelagic Records) is their most progressive and psychedelic sounding yet although it still holds on to some metal sounds.
It is interesting that the band decided to name the album after one of The Beatles’ most well-known songs considering they do not cover a Beatles song. However, it does tell the listener that they should leave their idea of what metal is behind and prepare for a more surreal or ethereal sound. Overall, the album is mellower than what one would expect from a metal band.
Opening track ‘Immersion’ throws some saxophone in to show that Klone is not one’s ordinary band. The instrument could have sounded out of place in a metal band but instead blends in well enough to come as a nice surprise. Most of the album stays on the lighter sounding side of things, but eventually becomes more epic. A prime example of this is ‘The Last Experience’ which sounds like something grand is coming to an end.
Other highlights include ‘Nebulous’ and a cover of George Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’ from Porgy and Bess. What makes ‘Nebulous’ great is how it encompasses everything that the album, and arguably the band, is about. There is a balanced blend of psychedelic and heavy metal sounds. ‘Summertime’ is one of the most covered songs from musical theater, but Klone is able to own it. The sadness that is not evident in some covers of the tune becomes clear in Klone’s interpretation. The band deserves much credit for being able to pull it off and for creating yet another album that shows off their evolution.
A gradual career build-up and relentless touring are at the core of Gojira’s current success. Marcus J. West caught up with Joe Duplantier (guitars/vocals) to discuss the band’s touring rigours, the importance of gradual career building, his fondness of nature and opening for Ghost.Continue reading →