Following the 2017 death of HIM and a brief hiatus, Ville Valo debuted his solo project VV in the spring of 2020. After surviving on drip-feeding of singles over the past few years, romantics and vampires everywhere can finally rejoice as we’ve been given a feast in Valo’s first full-length record in a decade, Neon Noir (Spinefarm).
Since their earlier days as a formidable and unmistakable grindcore act, the evolution of Calgary, Alberta’s Wake has been an absolutely joyous spectacle to witness. Expanding their sound with wider influences and tones on later releases, the culmination up until this point was 2020’s spectacular Devouring Ruin which, whilst utterly furious and feral also conjured further expansiveness and intrigue to their sound. It was a truly exciting work that deservedly generated high expectations for what was next (as well as signing to Metal Blade Records). Expectations that have, staggeringly, been surpassed.Continue reading →
A contemplative, but serene gaze out of the window, as a hazy half-smile plays on the corner of the lips. Half a memory aligns with the story that is playing in the ears, but it has its own shade and hue, something the same but different, but definitely and absolutely connected. ‘Me and Mine’, the second song in a breathy, intimate, quietly sung middle of the album causes pause to reflect. A simple song about children, how being a parent as your kids grow up can be, it’s about closeness… And it is genuine.
There are a lot of great storytellers in the world. For over fifteen years as a solo artist, Hardcore kid and childhood Heavy Metal devotee Frank Turner has mined the considerable depths of his life experience to bring his raw delivery, and his unique take on the human condition. His transparent honesty as a person and artist has earned him a lot of love from fans, and respect in general from his peers. At the end of the day, he’s just a regular guy, sharing his story. Much like the rest of us, but sorting it out one verse, one song, one album at a time.
They say no band is really an “overnight success” in the music industry. Like most cliches, that one has been ridden into the ground by lazy people. Rolo Tomassi has been a band for over fifteen years at this point, and if their ascent to the top of the underground metal genre has taken you by surprise, you just weren’t paying attention. The band has been DIY (with some proper distro mixed in) the entire way, making music on their own terms, gathering forces of fans and waves of respect. Wearing many musical masks and expertly jumping from Grindcore, to Thrash, Hardcore, Pop Rock and even Blackened extremism, the band has always sported loads of talent and great songs. For their debut album for MNRK Music, Where Myth Becomes Memory, the band is determined to change your perception of the band, even if you are a longtime fan.
There are many ways unironically describe the last year or so of human life in a manner we can all appreciate. A lot of us use sarcasm and deflection as a means to cope, and it shows. We may become numb to our own reality based on a lot of loss and sadness, and the mass psychotic break the world seems to have suffered. If you are here reading these words, hopefully,you are looking for an escape from the mundane in some good music. Music is here for you, both as a hug to say “it’s gonna be OK,” but also to commiserate with someone who has been there through the muck, just like you. Danny Kiranos, a.k.a. Amigo The Devil has found a foothold in our musical diet, a needed figure to tell the unpleasant truths about that muck and mire we need to learn from, or just relate to. He asks us to look with him and at ourselves too. He does this to a bold effect on his new album, Born Against (Liar’s Club Records, Regime Music Group).
Ghost Cult’s Keefy caught up with John Connolly of Sevendust to chat about their new album, Blood and Stone, releasing on October 23rd, 2020 via Rise Records. We discussed the making of the new album, releasing new music during this uncertain time, the more adult themes of the band’s music these days, how the band approaches songwriting, working with producer Elvis Baskette, the decision to cover Soundgarden’s “The Day I Tried To Live” and how they almost didn’t go through with it and more. Purchase the album here and listen to our chat right 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 →
Ghost Cult caught up with singer-songwriter Kalen Chase recently to discuss his recent series of singles, including “Good Things”, out now. We talked to the former lead vocalist of VIMIC (with Joey Jordison, ex-Slipknot) and Korn live member about the long and winding road of his career, his approach to songwriting, working with Brian Viglione of The Dresden Dolls, his upcoming new single “Let Them Come”, the country album he is writing with his brother, writing for other artists versus keeping songs for himself and much more. Purchase new Kalen Chase music here and check out our chat. Continue reading →
The Cult is celebrating thirty years of their classic Sonic Temple (Beggars Banquet). Produced by Bob Rock, the album has a lot is fingerprints on it: huge live drum sounds, choir-like vocal parts, layers of guitar tracks, and a ready-made arena rock sound that suited the band perfectly. Continue reading →