Despite the intense hostility of Californian Death / Hardcore bruisers Xibalba, the Hispanic heritage of most of its members, coupled with predominantly Latin lyrics, give a sense of mystique – some may say fatal romanticism – to the music that adds to the magnetism. Fourth album Años en Infierno (Southern Lord Recordings) sees the band delve further into its more brutal side for what is rumoured to be its last album for some time, if not ever. Continue reading
Most reviews and articles concerning Norwegian dark hearts Okkultokrati seem to contain slightly differing classifications of the band’s sound. I’m no different: if you’re going to mould the likes of Motörhead, Emperor, and Sex Pistols into a ball of spewing hate, you’re playing Punk / Black ‘n’ Roll as far as I’m concerned. Anyone care? Of course not. More interesting is the decision of certain band members to change their stage names in a move that seems purely designed for new album La Ilden Lyse (Southern Lord Recordings), and which corresponds with a further evolution of the sextet’s direction. Continue reading
Some things in life carry a level of excitement and anticipation that seems life-changing, almost transcendental: marriage; the birth of a child; a pilgrimage. It seems over-trivialising to compare the release of a Pelican album to any of the above, but after six long years, a new offering from the iconic post-Metal instrumentalists is akin to the herald of a new dawn. Nighttime Stories (Southern Lord Recordings) is an emotional, dramatic and involving as one would expect it to be. Continue reading
Enigmatic doom legends SUNN O))) have announced two new albums. Life Metal, the first due out this April via Southern Lord Recordings. Recorded simultaneously with a second “more meditative” LP dubbed Pyroclasts, both albums created by Steve Albini in parallel, and which will be revealed in autumn 2019. All music performed by Stephen, Greg, T.O.S., Tim Midyett, and Hildur Guðnadóttir. Their first new music in four years will be fully supported by their first US tour since 2017 and the premier US tour of their 2019-2020 season, including stops at The Masonic Lodge in Detroit, Howard Theatre in Washington, DC, Agora Theatre in Cleveland, Rockefeller Chapel in Chicago, The Caves in Pelham, and Brooklyn Steel in Brooklyn. More tour dates coming soon. Watch the album trailer now! Continue reading
After shedding its early metalcore skin to reveal a darker heart in 2008, Italian quartet The Secret has latterly proved as good as its name, with new three-track EP Lux Tenebris (Southern Lord) being the band’s first recorded output for six years. Continue reading
Zakk Sabbath, the supergroup featuring Black Label Society and ex-Ozzy Osborne guitarist Zakk Wylde has signed to Southern Lord Records for a new, limited edition album, Live In Detroit, due out June 16th. Details below: Continue reading
It’s a staggering yet frequent reoccurrence: the hardest music to explain, often due to an apparent lack of infectious hook or because of the fact that little is actually happening, sees its orchestrators revered with an almost pathological devotion. Such is the case, of course, with US Drone gods Sunn O))). An overwhelming crush of Ambient noise, their worshippers hang onto every note, every sparing chime, as if it were a word from the heavens: their live shows remarkable for an inhuman level of sonic pain; each new recorded output more of an event, an experience, than a mere album or EP.
Latest full-length Kannon (Southern Lord) evolves in three movements, the first a sequence of pedal-strewn, cosmic, soaring chords. Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley take turns in expanding the eerie yet soothing soundscapes whilst positively terrifying guttural sounds emanate from the mouth of Mayhem’s Attila Csihar. Save for the brief introduction of didgeridoo and the atmospheric air coursing through this fifteen-minute opener, not much else of note occurs: yet it is inexplicably euphoric, haunting, muscle tightening; a spiritual epiphany which the guys conduct with almost superhuman understanding and control.
The opening chords of ‘Kannon 2’, just as economical, are nevertheless more ‘fuzzed’ and allowed to howl over an almost undetectable bass resonance. Chilling chants are intoned across a throbbing, fulminating body in an almost mournful yet Zen-like expression of emotion: an overtone of synthesised harmonics adding a barely recognisable sense of intrigue to an already hypnotic, captivating sound.
If ‘…2’ is the lament, ‘Kannon 3’ is the grave ascension. A similar structure sees that minimalist riff spike and clash with horrific anger, whilst the chanting bass voices become more sinister yet, paradoxically, reverberating to the verge of messianic celebration: a triumphal, fearful tribute to a returning, victorious tyrant. The intermittent Blackened roars, terrifying yet beatific, are both the counterpoint and the embodiment of the ability to stir and surprise while retaining control of an almost unbearably slow pace.
Masters of their sphere, legends of the galaxies, Kannon sees Sunn O))) display every shimmering ounce of their resplendent power.
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The gargantuan psalm comes by way of the band’s final EP of the same name, initially unleashed in 2002 and now available as a companion to the band’s As Heaven Turns To Ash… full-length, both given the reissue treatment by Southern Lord Recordings. Long out-of-print, fervently sought after, and unconditionally vital in foreshadowing the glut of current bands that indulge in slow, self-possessed, infernal low-end sound excursions, Warhorse’s As Heaven Turns To Ash and their subsequent I Am Dying EP still reeks of brimstone, bong smoke, and burning tube amp nearly fifteen years since their respective releases! Both slabs of doom domination will be combined and reanimated on double LP and digital formats courtesy of the Lord.
Forged in 1996 and lasting the best part of a decade, the output of Warhorse wallows deep down, grooving at the kind of frequency usually associated with imminent natural disaster. But in addition to their intricate delivery, WARHORSE exuded an experimental, subtle psychedelic swagger which gave rise to gritty and memorable riffs, and saw them sharing stages with the likes of such amplification legends as Electric Wizard, Khanate, Acid King, High On Fire and Unearthly Trance.
Soaking up respect from generations of hardcore punks and dishing none out, the dastardly denizens of mid-paced punk shred are in trademark form on Confuse & Conquer. With longstanding members Jerry A (vocals), Eric “The Vegetable” Olsen (guitar) and Chris “Spider” Carey (bass) alloyed by the fresh faces of Nathan “Skinny” Richardson (drums) and Brandon Bentley (guitar), POISON IDEA’s brand new full-length proves itself both identifiable and rewarding to listeners who have encountered them at any point from their 1980 birth onwards. Inventive beyond its steadfast roots, yet altogether as blunt as a stagediver’s knee hurtling towards your face, Confuse & Conquer sees the band wasting not a single second on non-music activities, riding high on this wave of creativity. Their forceful hardcore pummel is underwritten with dark humor, rage, disdain, and moments of real melancholy well beyond the usual remit of the genre, but it’s to be expected of Portland’s nihilistic champions, proudly unaligned with any other sound out there. They were there at the beginning and they’ll be there at the end, and in the meantime they have a lot more punk rock left to produce.
Confuse & Conquer was recorded in their hometown by Joel Grind (Toxic Holocaust) and mastered by Brad Boatright (From Ashes Rise) at Audiosiege over the closing few months of 2014, and will see release via Southern Lord on the 7th of April on CD, LP and digital formats. Additionally, expanded reissues of seminal POISON IDEA titles War All The Time, Feel The Darkness and more are also in the works for the coming years.
Southern Lord Recordings owner Greg Anderson issued on the signing and upcoming album, “I’ve been a rabid POISON IDEA fiend ever since seeing them decimate the legendary Gorilla Gardens in Seattle in 1985. Having the opportunity to work with this legendary band all these years later is an inexplicable honor.”
Formed in 1980, POISON IDEA became a household name in the hardcore/punk scenes early in their career, and are known as one of the most notoriously in-your-face acts in the American musical underworld, with an enraged, high-energy live set even more rambunctious than the massive roster of singles, EPs, full-length studio and live releases and more, across a realm of labels including Pusmort, Alchemy, American Leather, Bitzcore, Tim/Kerr, Taang!, Farewell, TKO, Southern Lord, Candlelight, and their own Fatal Erection. They’ve been an incredibly influential act to major performers including Nirvana, Pantera, Napalm Death, Machine Head, Eyehategod, Emperor, Turbonegro and an endless list of others.
POISON IDEA Tour Dates:
Mar 11-14: The Loving Touch – Ferndale, MI @ Berserker Fest II
Apr 17: Schaubude – Kiel (DE)
Apr 18: 1000Fyrd – Aalborg (DE)
Apr 19: Hafenklang – Hamburg (DE)
Apr 20: Little Devil – Tilburg (NL)
Apr 21: Willemeen – Arnhem (NL)
Apr 22: TBA – Frankfurt (DE)
Apr 23: Chez Heinz – Hannover (DE)
Apr 24: Wild At Heart – Berlin (DE)
Apr 25: Luka – Lodz (PL)
Apr 27: Alte Malzerei – Regensburg (DE)
Apr 28: Exit Us – Prague (CZ)
Apr 29: Explosiv – Graz (AU)
Apr 30: Arena – Vienna (AU)
May 01: Unterhund – Ormoz (SL)
May 02: Kaleidos – Poviglio (IT)
May 03: Traffic Club – Rome (IT)
May 04: Border – Torino (IT)
May 05: Between – Bregenz (AT)
May 06: Ondulatoire – Paris (FR)
May 07: Borderline – London (UK)
May 08: The Doghouse – Nottingham (UK)
May 09: The Black Bull – Gateshead (UK)
May 10: Audio – Glasgow (UK)
May 12: Adam And Eve Pub – Birmingham (UK)
May 13: The Exchange – Bristol (UK)
May 14: The Owl Sanctuary – Norwich (UK)
May 15: Het Bos – Antwerp (BE)
May 16: MTC – Cologne (DE)