Posts Tagged ‘Southern Lord’

Virginia/North Carolina-based instrumental metal ministers Loincloth have shared an official video for ‘Bestial Infernal’, hailing from their final LP Psalm Of The Morbid Whore, which was issued last week through Southern Lord.

We’ll skip the preamble and get down to gnarly business. Here’s the video:

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Southern Lord – 29th September 2017

Christopher Nosnibor

It’s been five years since Wreck appeared on Alternative Tentacles. So what have Unsane been doing in the intervening period? Gazing at their navels, taking up yoga and discovering a serene spirituality as a means of dealing with the anguish of life in the modern world? As if. They’ve been distilling their brutal rage into even more intensely bleak slabs of sonic nihilism. And, naturally, it’s housed in appropriately unsubtle, gore-soaked artwork. Unsane’s album covers are nothing if not distinct: while so many metal album covers which display hematomaniac tendencies are highly stylised and revel in the intended shock value, Unsane’s covers are all the more shocking by view of their clinicality, resembling crime scene photos than works of art. This is in many ways true of the music itself: there’s a functionality, a bluntness about it, and no sense of there being any indulgence or show.

Everything about Sterilize is stark, uncompromising, and connotes post-industrial, post-everything society, the dehumanising effects of merely trying to exist in the capitalist world where everyone gets pushed further and further down for the benefit of the few. It’s the soundtrack to life being sucked from the soul, the sonic encapsulation of desolate fury.

The grey steel assault of ‘Factory’ sets the tone and tempo: screeching feedback whistles through the grey, grain of the guitars and sludgy bass. From thereon in, the ferocious howls of anguish and packed in tight, back-to-back.

The song titles are also functional, direct, descriptive. Again, there’s no fluff, and little joy, to be found around ‘We’re Fucked’, ‘A Slow Reaction’ or ‘Distance’. Everything is paired back to the bare essentials and compacted for maximum impact. This includes the blues-based sound that defines Unsane: it’s crunched up, compressed, stomped into submission, meaning that while there is a certain swing to it, it’s limited to the most concise and precise form.

‘The Grind’ is aptly titled and brings a thunderous deluge of guitar; ‘Aberration’ is built around a simple four-chord trudge; and ‘No Reprieve’ sums up the album as a whole. You don’t listen to Unsane for variety, either across a given album, or their output overall. You listen to Unsane to vent, to experience a relentless viscerality. There’s something almost self-flagellatory about listening to an Unsane album in its entirety. At a certain point, the initial sense of catharsis is replaced by a crushing claustrophobia. This isn’t to say it’s an unpleasant experience, but is indicative of the effect of such sustained intensity. It’s as exhausting, mentally and physically, as the exertions of daily life on the treadmill, a punishment as reward.

When they slow the pace a shade, the weight is turned up, and when they hit a groove, it’s explosive and blistering. The tripwire guitar that stretches its sinews over the sludgy trudge of ‘Lung’ only raises the tension, and closer ‘Avail’ draws a heavy curtain of screaming anguish on proceedings with distorted vocals tearing across a rumbling bassline and savage guitars.

There’s a desperation and urgency about Sterilize which ensures that it crackles from beginning to end. Everything seethes, spits and scrapes and there’s not a moment’s relief. It’s this intensity which makes Sterilize as strong as any Unsane release. It’s mercilessly harrowing, but is ultimately satisfying in a perverse, sadistic sense.

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Southern Lord – 29th September 2017

Christopher Nosnibor

The arrival of this album in my inbox gave me pause for thought. Their debut album, the brilliantly-titled Iron Balls of Steel was a full five years ago. I reviewed it, and raved about it. And I realise I’ve been doing this for quite a while now. Over that time, bands – great bands, shit bands, mediocre and forgettable bands – have come and gone. And now, Loincloth, whom I praised for their ‘megalithic chunks of undecorated, heads-down behemoth guitar riffage and earth-shuddering rhythms hewn from colossal slabs of basalt’, are entering the catalogue of bands gone.

The press release includes the following statement: “Loincloth is no longer a live band, so this record is our final offering not only to the great horned one below, but to the committed ladies and gentlemen of the Cloth.” Still, what a sign-off. Never mind the ladies and gentlemen of the Cloth: the nine shuddering riffcentric sonic barrages that form Psalm Of The Morbid Whore are terrifyingly heavy, dingy and gut-churning enough to leave the listener close to touching cloth. As such, while their departure is sad news, the delivery of this awe-inspiring musical gift is a cause to rejoice for those who like their shit heavy.

The press release pitches Psalm Of The Morbid Whore as ‘packing nine new instrumental passages of white-knuckled twists, and by-the-throat percussion, into a half-hour’.  But this fails to convey, even slightly, the grungey riffs which jolt and jar, shuddering through a stop/start chug of thick distortion. Between the blastbeats and thunderous culminations of bass and rhythm guitar twist sinewy lead guitar lines that spread and unfurl like foliage spreading in a mystical forest. Also emerging from the swamps are fleeting moments of prog-hued illumination.

It also overlooks the progression between Psalm Of The Morbid Whore and its predecessor. While the tracks are, on the whole, short, there are a number of longer workouts, with the final cut, ‘Ibex (To Burn in Hell Is To Refine)’ running to almost eight minutes (twice the length of the lengthiest piece on Iron Balls). And, significantly, the tone has shifted, from the slightly jokey or flippant-sounding ‘Underwear Bomb’, ‘Shark Dancer’ and ‘The Moistener’ of the debut the to the subterranean savagery of religious / pagan coloured titles like ‘Necro Fucking Satanae’, ‘Pentecost Dissident’, ‘Bestial Infernal’. Psalm Of The Morbid Whore is dense, dark, and heavy, and while in some respects less claustrophobic than its predecessor, it feels more focused, less metal, more grunge, and also more groove orientated.

But most importantly, Psalm Of The Morbid Whore retains the dirty, unpolished primitivism worthy of a band named Loincloth.

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Montreal three-piece BIG|BRAVE  share an official video for ‘Sound’, a brand new track from their forthcoming third album, Ardor, due out September 15th via Southern Lord.  The trio also share headline tour dates in support of the album, with Jessica Moss (who features on the album) performing in support on some dates.

‘Sound’ speaks volumes regarding what’s to come in BIG|BRAVE’s next endeavor; swirling static, booming guitars, powerful drums—all the hallmarks that have made them one of experimental rock’s most exciting acts today.  With just three songs that clock in for a 40-minute-long LP, BIG|BRAVE have adopted a nearly unbearable level of urgency and intensity that weaves throughout Ardor.

Check out ‘Sound’ here (tour dates below):

TOUR DATES (SO FAR):

Sat 21/10 – UK, Brighton – Sticky´s Mike Frog**

Sun 22/10 – UK, Manchester – Star and Garter**

Mon 23/10 – UK, London – Underworld**

Tue 24/10 – FRA, Lille – Le Biplan

Wen 25/10 – FRA, Rennes – Barhic**

Thur 26/10 – FRA, Nantes – Soy Festival**

Fri 27/10 – FRA, Rouen – 3 Pieces

Tues 07/11 – FRA, Lyon – Sonic

Wed 08/11 – BE, Antwerp – Autumn Falls @ Het Bos

Thur 09/11 – NL, Utrecht – Le Guess Who?

Mon 13/11 – DE, Oldenburg – MTS

Tues 14/11 – DE, Mannheim – Kurzbar

Fri 17/11 – DE, Dresden – Scheune

**with Jessica Moss

(Further Dates to be confirmed soon)

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Southern Lord – 23rd June 2017

Christopher Nosnibor

Maybe I’m not nearly as musically ware as I thought. Or maybe some bands are simply so way off radar, it takes a poke from a PR to get things moving. And so it is that my introduction to Circle comes after they’ve already got over 30 albums to their credit. Before I even start listening, I find myself thinking ‘shit, I hope it’s not so awesome that I feel compelled to explore their entire back catalogue’. I’m still working on The Melvins after all, and have kinda parted ways with The Fall in recent years, not because I haven’t enjoyed any of their more recent release, but because I simply can’t keep up, and there’s so much music out there. Something’s got to give.

Terminal contains six tracks, all bar one of which extend beyond the five-minute mark, and opening with the thirteen-minute ‘Rakkautta Al Dente’. It’s got the lot woven into its epic, dense fabric, building on a mystical desert rock vibe that spins out for mile after mile, before a ravaged vocal, by turns demonic and magickal, leads through a preposterously theatrical rock opera of sorts, riding through a succession of crescendos and surges, with changes of style galore, ranging from medieval riffery to cinematic prog. And… well. It’s effectively an entire album in a single song. Over the top? Way over… but if you’re going to go over, there’s no point in just scraping the bar.

The title tracks kicks in with a punchy riff that leans heavily on ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ by The Stooges – or, from another perspective, that classic chord sequence that informs a near infinite number of songs – before flying off into motoric space rock territory. With ‘Saxo’ mining a manic post-punk seam and ‘Kill City’ coming on somewhere between Iron Maiden and GWAR before ‘Sick Child’ plays out with a thumping psychedelic trudge, Terminal is as eclectic as a heavy, guitar-based album is as likely to come.

Small wonder the Finnish act are almost unanimously hailed as the very definition of genre-defying. At its heart, you may say there’s a hard rock / heavy metal album lurking amidst the coalition of disparate elements which form Terminal. This would certainly sit with the narrative of an album released on Southern Lord. But the way in which everything is drawn together – sometimes seamlessly, sometimes audaciously and unexpectedly – means that this framing of the album doesn’t really work. All of this leaves more questions than answers in terms of how to frame, and therefore how to accommodate Terminal. But regardless of how one assimilates, or otherwise fails to assimilate it, Terminal is a wild ride, and while in places perplexing and vastly excessive, it’s never for a moment dull or predictable.

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Power Trip’s new video for the single ‘Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)’ takes us front and centre, into the eye of what is guaranteed to be a perfect storm time and time again.

Debuted by Noisey and directed by their own Andy Capper, the video takes footage captured from a spirited hometown show in Dallas and melts it with what Noisey describe ‘clips of politically-ordered carnage, masked maniacs, and the orange smirk of American fascism.’  The imagery articulates Gale’s lyrics that hone in on the devaluation of human life by those who’ve gained power through money and politics.

Power Trip hit us hard last month with their most powerful effort yet – Nightmare Logic – available via Southern Lord.  Released to high critical acclaim and anticipation – their second release does not disappoint.  With hooks and tightness rivalling the likes of Metallica, Pantera or Pentagram, Power Trip punishes fans not only sonically but with pure songwriting skill. 

After a wild, sold out East Coast / Midwest US tour, the band set to takeover the West Coast US this month with Destruction Unit, before they head to Europe with Napalm Death and Brujeria. Check below for the dates.

Watch ‘Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)’ with tour dates listed below.

 

POWER TRIP JOIN ‘CAMPAIGN FOR MUSICAL DESTRUCTION TOUR’ WITH NAPALM DEATH & BRUJERIA

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 Copenhagen – Amager Bio, DK
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 Gothenburg – Pustervik, SWE
Thursday, 27 April 2017 Stockholm – Kraken STHLM, SWE
Friday, 28 April 2017 Flensburg – Roxy, DE
Saturday, 29 April 2017 Magdeburg – Factory, DE
Sunday, 30 April 2017 Haarlem – Patronaat, NL
Monday 1 May 2017 Koln – Underground, DE
Tuesday, 2 May 2017 Berlin – SO36, DE
Wednesday, 3 May 2017 DAY OFF
Thursday, 4 May 2017 Krakow – Kwadrat Club, PL
Friday, 5 May 2017 Brno – Klub Fléda, CZ
Sunday, 7 May 2017 Saarbrücken – Garage, DE
Monday, 8 May 2017 DAY OFF
Tuesday, 9 May 2017 Birmingham – O2 Institute, UK
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 Glasgow – Classic Grand, UK
Thursday, 11 May 2017 Manchester – Rebellion, UK
Friday, 12 May 2017 London – The Electric Ballroom, UK
Saturday, 13 May 2017 Paris – Le Glazart, FR
Sunday, 14 May 2017 Antwerpen – Zappa, BE
Monday, 15 May 2017 DAY OFF
Tuesday, 16 May 2017 Six Fours Les Plages – Espace André Malraux, FR
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 Geneva – L’Usine, CH
Thursday, 18 May 2017 Bologna – Zona Roveri, IT
Friday, 19 May 2017 Karlsruhe – NCO Club, DE
Saturday, 20 May 2017 München – Backstage, DE
Sunday, 21 May 2017 Eindhoven – Effenaar, NL

More dates to be announced…

Ahead of the release of their new album, Nightmare Logic through Southern Lord on 24th February, Power Trip have unleashed the title track by way of a taster. You can hear it here, with tour dates alongside Napalm Death and Brujeria listed in full below.

POWER TRIP JOIN ‘CAMPAIGN FOR MUSICAL DESTRUCTION TOUR’ WITH NAPALM DEATH & BRUJERIA

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 Copenhagen – Amager Bio, DK
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 Gothenburg – Pustervik, SWE
Thursday, 27 April 2017 Stockholm – Kraken STHLM, SWE
Friday, 28 April 2017 Flensburg – Roxy, DE
Saturday, 29 April 2017 Magdeburg – Factory, DE
Sunday, 30 April 2017 Haarlem – Patronaat, NL
Monday 1 May 2017 Koln – Underground, DE
Tuesday, 2 May 2017 Berlin – SO36, DE
Wednesday, 3 May 2017 DAY OFF
Thursday, 4 May 2017 Krakow – Kwadrat Club, PL
Friday, 5 May 2017 Brno – Klub Fléda, CZ
Sunday, 7 May 2017 Saarbrücken – Garage, DE
Monday, 8 May 2017 DAY OFF
Tuesday, 9 May 2017 Birmingham – O2 Institute, UK
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 Glasgow – Classic Grand, UK
Thursday, 11 May 2017 Manchester – Rebellion, UK
Friday, 12 May 2017 London – The Electric Ballroom, UK
Saturday, 13 May 2017 Paris – Le Glazart, FR
Sunday, 14 May 2017 Antwerpen – Zappa, BE
Monday, 15 May 2017 DAY OFF
Tuesday, 16 May 2017 Six Fours Les Plages – Espace André Malraux, FR
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 Geneva – L’Usine, CH
Thursday, 18 May 2017 Bologna – Zona Roveri, IT
Friday, 19 May 2017 Karlsruhe – NCO Club, DE
Saturday, 20 May 2017 München – Backstage, DE
Sunday, 21 May 2017 Eindhoven – Effenaar, NL
…with more dates to be announced

Album Art: Paolo Girardi