Ghost Cult is saddened by the loss of long-time writer Paul Quinn, who has passed away after a long illness today. He is survived by his wife and children in Manchester, United Kingdom. A fixture at Ghost Cult from some of our earliest days as a zine and website, Paul was a brilliant writer, with ears of gold, and an unparalleled way with words. Paul personally discovered countless new bands we covered, and was the first voice at our website to champion bands that would go on to further acclaim such as Primitive Man, Conan, Sea Bastard, AHAB, Oathbreaker, Burial, In The Company of Serpents, Darkher, Barishi, Psalm Zero, Myrkur, and so many others. A key figure in our early successes when we launched in 2012, he also helped cover our first major UK festival for the site: Damnation Festival. Many labels and publicists quoted his scores of reviews in their releases, often sending praise of his work to us.
With the heart attack suffered by frontman Biff Byford back in September 2019 and the global pandemic which followed shortly after, NWOBHM legends Saxon have had a rough old ride the last couple of years. Therefore, Carpe Diem (Silver Lining Music) – translated from Latin into English as “sieze the day” – stands not only as an album title but as a clear and heartfelt message to all.
With no less than twenty-two studio albums behind them, NWOBHM legends Saxon are back again but with something a little different this time. Instead of just rummaging around in the attic for an old live recording, or throwing together a contractually obliged “Best Of…”, Barnsley’s finest have taken their time during lockdown to produce something a little more imaginative. Looking to the past, the band has recorded Inspirations (Silver Lining Music/Militia Guard), a collection of songs by artists who made an impact on them at the start of their musical journey. Continue reading
Those who deserted Pisa-based riff kings, Mr. Bison, after their 2012 debut album We’ll Be Brief (Dracma Records) will recognise neither the physical nor the sonic entity that exists today. Only guitarist/vocalist Matteo Barsacchi remains from that initial incarnation, now replenished by two more Matteos – vocalist/guitarist Sciocchetto and drummer D’Ignazi – and the dry, ZZTop-influenced sound of that first effort has been gradually replaced by an oft euphoric leaning towards a form of Desert Psychedelia as progressive as it is retrospective. Their fourth album Seaward (Subsound Records / Ripple Music) is the band’s biggest step forward yet, displaying a level of invention and confidence that is both profound and joyous.Continue reading
When Greek innovators Hail Spirit Noir spewed forth in recorded anger eight years ago it was with tones of the Aegean gracing a strange brew of Blackened Prog Metal. Fourth long-player Eden in Reverse (Agonia Records) sees the completion of a gradual metamorphosis into total Prog, with the absorption of the band’s live musicians transforming the unit into a sextet.Continue reading
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
Having originally formed in Texas, Doom/Punk quartet Wailin’ Storms relocated to North Carolina and it’s possible that both areas may be contributing to the band’s thick soup of rebellion and a life in the darkness. Third album Rattle (Gilead Media) sees the band incorporate a Grungey, swamp-drenched edge to that sound, further uniting related yet disparate genres.Continue reading
2020 has already been a busy year for San Diego electronic darkheart Shrieking. Debut album Let the Galaxy Burn (Self-Release) was released in January; a single, Truth About Demons (Self-Release) appeared at the beginning of May, and is closely followed by this Split (Self-Release) with St. Louis Dungeon Synth project Puddleglum. It’s a curious and enticing prospect, enhanced by both bands weighing in with a healthy representation of the material.Continue reading
In the world of Ambient Industrial music, the UK has some rather notable exponents. It’s a proud standard, maintained by – among others – ‘Wooly’ Woolaston, the sole member of Leicestershire’s magnificently-named Colossloth. His fifth album Plague Alone (Cold Spring Records) was devised prior to the heinous virus presently shrouding the world and in retrospect seems strangely prophetic rather than historical or imaginary.Continue reading
Ethan McCarthy‘s myriad recordings under his classification of ‘Noise’ are what many of us might name Harsh Ambient or Ambient Drone. Dystopian, disturbian, yet with elements of clarity that break through the crushing sound (and occasional soundbites of sex), many fans will have encountered these often challenging passages through his work with Primitive Man and here with his solo project Many Blessings. Sophomore album Emanation Body (Translation Loss Records) embraces more atmospheric airs whilst retaining much of that visceral anger.Continue reading