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DVNE – Asheran Review

2 Aug

DVNE

That’s some artwork, eh? The music more than lives up to it too.

Forgive the solipsism but it’s been a very long time since I have been as excited about a band as I am about DVNE.

It’s even more thrilling that DVNE are sludge-inspired band that have picked up the baton dropped in the desert dust many moons ago by personal favourites Baroness (and to a lesser extent Mastodon and Kylesa et al) and run off in the kind of direction I wish their forebears had set their sights upon.

This blog and metal blogging in general is dead, the occasional fragrant wisp escaping from its beautiful corpse. It’s kinda sad but it’s OK. Things decay and feed what comes next. I get most of my new metal from Shreddit these days and that’s where I was gifted DVNE on the weekly recommendations thread. A wondrous serendipity.

Their new record is so damn fantastic, I dusted off my blogging trousers and set to document its dazzling brilliance.

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Inter Arma – Sky Burial

28 Mar

20130329-153636.jpg

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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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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Inter Arma: Destroyer EP

1 Oct
Inter Arma - Destroyer

Are these your balls sir?

Inter Arma are the best band you’ve never heard. Debut Sundown snuck up on me and wrapped a tire iron around my head to snaffle third spot in my 2010 end of year list with its amalgam of black metal, sludge and NWOBHM.

Typically when I fall in love a record, any follow-up will struggle fill its shoes.

On their Relapse Records debut EP, Inter Arma do more than buck that trend, they torpedo that motherfucker out of the water.

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