Acclaimed Canadian Sludge Metal band KEN Mode has dropped a split 12-inch charity release! The record features Shallow North Dakota and Kowloon Walled City and is a charity fundraiser for Shallow North Dakota bandmember Tony, who is battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and needs help to support his family. Purchase and stream the release now to help Tony and check out a message from the band
Migration Fest tickets are on sale now! Presented by 20 Buck Spin and Gilead Media, Migration Fest III has booked False, Mizmor, Spirit Adrift, Yellow Eyes, Immortal Bird, Obsequiae, Thou and Emma Ruth Rundle Obsequiae, Imperial Triumphant, Buried At Sea, Falls of Rauros, Kowloon Walled City, Spirit Adrift, Tomb Mold, Ulthar and many more. The full list can be seen below. The fest takes place July 31st – August 2nd, 2020 and returning to Mr. Smalls in the Pittsburgh suburb of Millvale, PA.Continue reading →
Migration Fest is coming back for its third edition and it looks like a rager! Presented by 20 Buck Spin and Gilead Media, Migration Fest III has booked False, Mizmor, Spirit Adrift, Yellow Eyes, Immortal Bird, Obsequiae, Thou and Emma Ruth Rundle Obsequiae, Imperial Triumphant, Buried At Sea, Falls of Rauros, Kowloon Walled City, Spirit Adrift, Tomb Mold, Ulthar and many more. The full list can be seen below. The fest takes place July 31st – August 2nd, 2020 and returning to Mr. Smalls in the Pittsburgh suburb of Millvale, PA.Continue reading →
Born in 2016 from the ashes of Atmospheric Sludgers Sòl, Portland trio Flood Peak have thus far allowed their more black-tinged slime to crawl beneath the canopy. Debut EP Plagued By Sufferers (self-released) is about to change that status, containing the shimmering lights of the former incarnation and uniting that style with a ferocious, darkened power which at times takes the breath away.Continue reading →
Do you like loud sounds and overwhelming consistency? Great, then keep reading. Less Art is a group of musicians consisting of members of Thrice, KowloonWalled City, and Curl Up And Die. They’ve got Mike Minnick on vocals, John Howell and Ed Breckinridge jamming away on guitar, Riley Breckenridge on the drums and Ian Miller slappin’ the bass.Continue reading →
Bay-area post-metal masters Neurosis have performed a new song live, ‘Broken Ground’, from their forthcoming September 23rd release Fires Within Fires via Neurot Recordings. You can watch fan-filmed video at this linkor below:
Their eleventh studio album, Fires Within Fires, is the follow-up to 2012’s Honor Found In Decay, and was recorded at Electrical Audio Studio with producer Steve Albini. Pre-orders are live now from the bands website.
Neurosis Fires Within Fires track listing
1. Bending Light
2. A Shadow Memory
3. Fire is the End Lesson
4. Broken Ground
Neurosis upcoming tour dates:
Nov 07: Koko – London, UK w/ Earth
Nov 08: Koko – London, UK w/ Discharge, Subhumans
Nov 25: Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR w/ YOB, Kowloon Walled City [all ages]
Nov 26: Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR w/ YOB, Kowloon Walled City [21+]
There’s a shimmering, spectral beginning to Light the Way (Prosthetic Records), the fourth full-length from Arizona trio North and the first to feature bassist Evan Leek as lead vocalist. Its gently stirring sound suggests no little emotion or drama ahead, and that’s certainly what unfolds. The stark, Post chimes of opener ‘Moonswan’ carry through into the title track and penetrate the heart; whilst Zack Hansen’s Doom-paced drums and Leek’s gravelly Stoner-Sludge roar, appearing less strained than that of long-time predecessor Kyle Hardy, deliver both ferocity and weight.
There are elements of both Kowloon Walled City and Black Sheep Wall here, but with a more noticeable pain and sadness: the plaintive, desperately sad music polarised by the brute force and slow pace of the rhythms, and the vocal nastiness. The sinister bass and wailing guitar opening ‘Weight of All Thoughts’ lead to a pulsating riff which at times hops and crushes with gay abandon, seemingly at odds with the soaring, emotive leads puncturing it. Similarly the Low-end, plangent hostility of ‘Earthmind’, again dictated by portentous tub-thumping and Matt Mutterperl’s colossal riff, is gradually invaded by heartfelt undercurrents.
The switches in tempo of the bruising ‘Primal Bloom’ display the band’s skill and versatility, whilst not straying far from the template. The gentle beauty of the nevertheless ominous ‘Rhef Anad’, however, does show a willingness to depart from a sound which would have proved wearing if unbroken for a full album. Indeed there’s a certain tedium in the oft cumbersome nature of the aptly-named ‘On a Beaten Crooked Path’, and the staccato ‘From This Soil’ which, although seismic and lively, loses a certain amount of impact from that unflinching vocal.
In spite of this, the juxtaposition of suffocating heaviness with sparkling, introspective chords emits attractive shards of light and shade which does win out overall. The gorgeous yet melancholic thrum and jangle of the instrumental closer ‘Relativity’, harking back to North’s earlier days, shows the band in its true light. Its delicate anger finalises a listenable set, showing enough of the invention and emotion of old to offset the intermittent chunks of flab.
Another year, and more juicy low-end horror to get our teeth into. London trio Hag has been around for five years yet Fear of Man (DNAWOT Records) is the band’s debut album – and it’s a hulking, resonant beast of a thing.
The opening title track is a curious amalgam of Black Sabbath and the grungy/post-hardcore infusion peddled by the likes of Kowloon Walled City: vocalist Ian Baigent finding a middle ground between Ozzy Osbourne and the scarring pain of Scott Evans. The ensuing ‘Kingdom O’ and the brutal ‘Trauma Yauma’ set the tone for the rest of the album with a vicious, Stoner-Sludge vibe: a speedier, Melvins-style bluster given a Doc Marten to the arse, with Baigent’s growl reminiscent of Matt Pike. ‘…Yauma’, however, cascades beautifully to a staggered, psych-drenched second movement which shows the band’s invention alongside some endearing rough edges.
A potent production brings every ingredient to the fore, giving the roars of ‘Rainbow Dust’ no little beef whilst forcing huge riffs and Tamas Kiss’s titanic drums through the soul. The High on Fire link grows throughout the album, in particular through the sandpaper groove of ‘Low’, and the slightly ponderous yet fathomless ‘Metal Detector Man’ and ‘White Lion’. The swelling, ferocious riffs and powerful drums prove the overriding influence of the Americans, but a unique English personality allows those variations to shine through and help the band find their own identity.
The intricate, Jazz-tinged structures of the latter tracks, following a ‘stop-go’ format, are augmented by Bluesy leads which, although fleeting, leave their mark and exemplify that nasty charm. The rhythms of the penultimate ‘Beaten at Your Own Game’ pummel the mind whilst leading the senses a merry dance, with Robin Freeman’s bass work utterly ground-shaking. Closer ‘Wrong Bar’, meanwhile, shows both the few flaws and soaring attraction of Hag’s nefarious intent: a slightly limited vocal working alongside crushing power; an occasionally lumbering pace twisted and transformed by sheer oscillating muscle and flowering creativity.
This is an album that will continue to grow, overshadowing any limitations while flinging forward the boundless ammunition in Hag’s arsenal.
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. First up is our pal Seth Werkheiser from Skull Toaster Metal Trivia (@skulltoaster)
Hi – metal friends and people who enjoy reading things on the internet. My year-end list is a mix of metal and rock – but for a dude who grew up on Guns N Roses and Helmet – well – this is the sort of year-end list you get from me in 2015. I left some obvious picks (ahem – FNM) off my list – as they’ll get enough attention everywhere else – and tried to focus on picks that found their way into my life by random BandCamp exploring and listening to a handful of fine folk on Twitter (hey – I’m @sethw). Please enjoy.