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Inter Arma – Sky Burial

28 Mar

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Some bands just get it right.

Inter Arma have been building towards a wonderful record and this most definitely is it.

It’s bleak and it’s beautiful. At turns joyously uplifting, at others crushingly heavy. I’m fucking enchanted.

Black metal and Pink Floyd are stirred in equal parts through soaring psychedelic sludge to create something unique and utterly compelling.

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Kvelertak Live In London: Owl Party

18 Mar
Kvelertak Live in London Camden Electric Ballroom March 14

This man has an owl on his head. It’s clearly time to party.

Whores’ drawers, I fucking LOVE Kvelertak.

A little green of gill and somewhat gig-jaded, there was notable anti-anticipation around these parts as the clock ticked down towards time-to-get-off-my-arse o’clock.

You see the sour taste of The Sword remained and while High on Fire wobbled my jowls pleasingly with their vibrating air, the crowd carried the faintest whiff of dickhead.

Combine that with my suspicions around the unfamiliar venue – everything in Camden inherently veers towards shithole-status – and the stoke levels were minimal.

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High on Fire Live in London 2013

27 Feb
High on Fire Live, Matt Pike

I give you, Mr Pike

An pleasant cudgelling. A righteously refreshing bludgeon to the head. A welcome assault by an angry bear wielding a sackful of half-bricks.

You know what you’re signing up for when you lay down your notes for tickets to a High on Fire show.

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Periodic Table of Heavy Metals

17 Feb

Periodic Table of Heavy Metals, metal bands

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Earthburner – Stoned at Birth

17 Oct
Earthburner - Stoned at Birth

I don’t think babies should be allowed to smoke marijuana. They can’t roll their own for a start…

NOT the Kyuss rip-off you might expect with a bandname and EP title like that.

Instead we get satisfyingly fearsome crusty, sludgy hardcore-inflected metal that draws from the same wellspring that nourishes great bands like Black Breath and Trap Them.

While these Ohioans (is that even a word? Google says yes, so that’s good enough for me) certainly share traits with some popular beat combos du jour, their take on this sound feels their own.

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Baroness Bus Crash: John Dyer Baizley Speaks

2 Oct
Baroness Crash - John Baizely

Look closely…

This just came via email and is one of the most moving things I have ever read:

On August 15th, just before 11 am, Baroness and our crew were involved in a very bad crash while on tour. The brakes in our bus failed completely, on a notoriously dangerous, incredibly steep (12% grade) hill in Monkton Combe, UK, on our way from a show Bristol to another show in Southampton. Our bus went entirely out of control, and we had no choice other than hitting a perpendicular guardrail going about 50 mph at the bottom of the hill. The guard rail and the 20 or 30 trees we ploughed through snapped like matchsticks as we went fully airborne and fell down more than 30 feet off of a viaduct to the ground below. Half of the band/crew were asleep while we lost our brakes, and a few of us were awake and sitting in the rear lounge. I was up front with our driver, and I bore witness to the entire thing. Once our brakes failed, the bus could do little more than gain momentum and plummet down the hill. There was nothing anyone on the bus could have done during our descent to avoid the crash, and no one, the local residents, the police or any of us can believe we survived the impact.

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You Need to Hear: Samothrace

19 Sep
Samothrace - Life's Trade

Pop-punk this ain’t kids

Samothrace may have just released their sophomore record Reverence to Stone. Yet this dispatch from Monkey Towers, while Samothracian in subject, will barely mention that.

Instead, my thoughts about that record’s 2008 predecessor, Life’s Trade – hands down one of the best records I have heard this year – have finally coagulated.

So, in the absence of my having got my arse in gear to properly digest the new one, you can read Sawtooth Wave‘s take on it, if that’s what you are after.

Otherwise, let’s see if we can get a handle on an album that takes 47 minutes to unravel  four songs.

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