Ghost Cult’s Weslie Negrón interviewed Robin Staps of The Ocean Collective – all about their new album “Holocene” out now via Robin’s own Pelagic Records.Robin discussed the return to touring, creating this different-sounding album from the band, how they create together, the non-stop pace of the music business, and the next album from the band, already in the works!
Hailing from the artistic and musically cultural hub of Berlin, The Ocean are certainly no ‘ordinary’ band. Founded in 2000 by guitarist and principal songwriter Robin Staps, the collective have released a staggering amount of fine music, with around forty different musicians lending their talents to the cause over the years. Always an outlet for extreme experimentalism, The Ocean explores both the light and dark sides of music as eloquently as anyone else in the business, and to catagorise their sound into any one genre is impossible. Continue reading →
The mighty Arctangent Festival 2023 today announces their final main stage headliner for this year’s event, The incredible, truly one-of-a-kind Devin Townsend will be closing out the whole festival on the main stage, Saturday night. The festival will be taking place between August 16th through to August 19th, at Fernhill Farm, a short drive from Bristol City Centre. Also announced today include Haken, Yourcodenameis:Milo, Ashenspire, Clt Drp, The Guru Guru, and many more. Acts already announced include Heilung, Converge, Deafheaven (playing ‘Sunbather’ in full as a UK exclusive), Swans, Empire State Bastard, Sikth, The Fall Of Troy, Cave In, Igorrr, Pigs7, Elder, Russian Circles, Chat Pile, Svalbard, Jaga Jazzist, Brutus, Loathe, Rolo Tomassi, Svalbard, and many more.Continue reading →
Arctangent Festival has announced a second wave of bands for the 2023 event! Among the new names on the bill include Deafheaven (performing Sunbather, UK exclusive), The Fall Of Troy, Cave In, Igorrr, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Elder, Russian Circles, Svalbard, Brutus, Jaga Jazzist, And So I Watch You From Afar, and more. ATG dates are 16th,17th,18th,19th for August 2023 and tickets are on sale at the link below. The festival had already announced bands such as Bicurious, Conjurer, Dvne, Five the Hierophant, Hippotraktor, Scalping, and Skin Failure.
Lustmord will release a new album of collaborative reinterpretations from some of the greatest musical artists in the world. Lustmord & various artists – The Others [Lustmord Deconstructed] will release on, April 1st 2022 via The Ocean’s Pelagic Records. This is a reimiaging of Lustmord’s seminal release Other, and The Ocean and Lustmord have dropped “Primal [State Of Being]” which you can check out now!
Having released multiple EPs and splits since their 2014 formation, Born Of Obsidian is the first proper full-length from Kurokuma. The UK group plays a style that could be best described as ritualistic Sludge Metal, incorporating tribal percussion somewhere between Sepultura circa Roots and Gojira overseen by a hypnotic aura not unlike Oranssi Pazuzu. The former influences are most immediately apparent on the one-two punch of ‘Smoking Mirror’ and ‘Sacrifice to Huitzilopochtli,’ which are largely driven by downright bouncy rhythmic chugs punctuated with extra fuzz.
However, the band’s atmospheric side gets time to shine as the album goes on. ‘Jaguar’ saves the harsher guitar crashes for its climax, allowing the percussion to provide a more subtle buildup that is given even greater precedence on ‘Ololiuqui’ and the closing ‘Under The Fifth Sun.’ It’s an accessible listen as far as this sort of freakout sludge goes; the less than forty-minute runtime isn’t too tough to digest, and the rhythmic focus gives it a more pulsating presence than most. A strong journey suited well to the balance of brutal and trancelike.
8 / 10
Sleepwulf – Sunbeams Curl
Sleepwulf’s second album, Sunbeams Curl (Heavy Psych Sounds) continues down the path of Doomy Occult Rock set up by their 2020 self-titled debut. The mood is a tinge more ominous with a slightly heavier push in the guitars and tighter drumming, but the vocals retain that jovial warble with enough of that rustic aesthetic to trigger comparisons to Witchcraft, Kadaver, and Graveyard.
‘Stoned Ape’ and ‘Toad Licker Mushroom Picker’ are the biggest highlights, adding some extra Psychedelia as suggested by their righteous titles, while ‘Man Under The Mountain’ dares to stomp into full-on Doom territory. It’s a simple package perhaps better done these days by groups like Green Lung and Magic Circle, but enjoyable enough to satisfy fans of those bands looking for more of the same.
7 / 10
Fostermother – The Ocean
Fostermother’s sophomore album sees some considerable expansions to their Shoegaze-informed brand of Heavy Psych. In addition to a move to Ripple Music giving The Ocean a larger platform than before, the songs noticeably run longer and play heavier than those on their 2020 self-titled debut. The album isn’t too drastically different from its predecessor but upgrading to a trio lineup certainly gives the proceedings some appropriate power.
Putting more emphasis on the Doom portion of Stoner Doom admittedly makes for less varied songwriting, but this methodical approach works well in its own ways. The guitar and bass fuzz are as thick as ever with the vocal effects providing an ethereal contrast without getting too overwhelmed. Things really pick up in the second half as ‘Unholiest Of Days’ and ‘Redeemer’ put in more upbeat hustles, the former seeming to channel classic The Sword, that are strongly counteracted by the title track’s particularly oppressive riff set. It may not have the same quirky appeal for me as the debut, but The Ocean is a worthy step forward.
8 / 10
Hazemaze – Blinded By The Wicked
Hazemaze plays the sort of Doom Metal that’s somewhere between Cathedral and Electric Wizard, driven by fuzzy mid-tempo riffs and an occult aesthetic without getting too zoned out. Their third album, Blinded By The Wicked (Heavy Psych Sounds), offers more of the same albeit with a somewhat darker tinge than their previous efforts. While the execution is admittedly vanilla at times, there are some strong songs that come out of it.
‘Divine Harlotry’ is my pick of the litter for its winning riff and equally catchy chorus with ‘Malevolent Inveigler’ coming close with its thicker riff set. There’s also promise in the atmospheric keys on ‘Ceremonial Aspersion’ and ‘Luciferian Rite.’ Another album that’s simple in design with a style arguably done better elsewhere, but enjoyable enough to warrant a listen.
7 / 10
Obsidian Sea – Pathos
Obsidian Sea has seen some neat evolution since they formed in 2009, rooted in Saint Vitus-esque Traditional Doom and gradually picking up a more laid back, Psychedelic disposition ala Orodruin, Pale Divine, and Kings Destroy. Their fourth album, Pathos (Ripple Music), pushes the trajectory forward even further with the hazy overtones threatening to completely overtake the Doom riffage. Fortunately, it’s a natural transition as the guitars keep an organic vibe, the vocals are pleasantly workmanlike, and the structures allow for plenty of jammed out instrumental segments.
In a fun twist, the more mellow tracks may be where the album shines the most. ‘The Long Drowning’ is a pretty smooth Blues track complete with climactic speedup, ‘I Love The Woods’ has an almost Folky touch appropriate for its pastoral theme. Elsewhere, ‘Sisters’ has an almost Grungy swagger and ‘The Meaning of Shadows’ closes the album with its most disorienting, Prog-oriented structure. It’s great to see the evolution that came about with 2019’s Strangers followed-up with even bolder confidence.
Ghost Cult continues our “End of Year Guest Post Extravaganza” with a slew of posts from bands, industry, PR pros, and more! We’ll be sharing lists, memories, and other shenanigans from our favorite bands, partners, music industry peers, and other folks we respect across the globe. In this edition, Jonathan of Moths (PR) chips in his Top 10 list. The band shared their recent split EP with The Stone Eye, which you can buy and stream now!
Ghost Cult continues our “End of Year Guest Post Extravaganza” with a slew of posts from bands, industry, PR pros, and more! We’ll be sharing lists, memories, and other shenanigans from our favorite bands, partners, music industry peers, and other folks we respect across the globe. In this edition, we have a list from Portland Death Metal band Sea Sleeper. Their self-titled debut album is coming out soon via Metal Assault Records. Continue reading →
Ghost Cult continues our “End of Year Guest Post Extravaganza” with a slew of posts from bands, industry, PR pros, and more! We’ll be sharing lists, memories, and other shenanigans from our favorite bands, partners, music industry peers, and other folks we respect across the globe. In this edition, Brian Platter of melodic Death Metal band The Last Reign shares his Top Albums List for 2020. The Last Regin just shared their new holiday-themed video for their song “Terminal Threshold” from their current album Evolution.