Ningen Isu (The Human Chair) are a metal band out of Hirosaki, Japan. I got a kick out of these guys for their imagery, their influences (which include Robert Fripp, Tommy Iommi and Judas Priest) and their rather unique costume choices.
Although seeing this listed as doom metal in the tags, it seems that the brilliant album by the New York-based group Witnesses is more cinematic in nature. The cover art, from a dark, foggy Gotham City-esque setting, gives you a great idea as to what kind of music you should be in for, and this did not disappoint.
The more I hear doomjazz artists, the more enthralled I become with the genre. It sounds as though jazz-noir combines well with a nearly ambient aesthetic. Our latest case-in-point are the Australian group Vainoras and the altar of the drill. This release appeared out of nowhere last night, and it has had my ears perked up ever since.
There is a mellow, spacious, yet creepy vibe flowing throughout the album. It’s not unnecessarily noisy at all, which makes the experience much more pleasant. This is music to think and fume to.
Dos Brujos are an Austrian band which offer a heavy Black Sabbath-inspired wave of sludge. I’m really liking the meatiness of their sound, and it goes well beyond mere Sabbathian hero worship.
The label they’re working for on this release, Fuzzy Cracklins Presents, tends to keep their metal catalog fresh, and they offer many free releases. They’re worth exploring.
My goodness! I knew my friends in the band Zeresh had a new album out, but I wasn’t expecting an epic! Farewell does an amazing job of combining the good elements of the early Pink Floyd sound and melds it together with neofolk. Tamar Singer’s vocals are otherworldly, quite rich and unique in this genre. I mean this literally!
Also, as this is considered atmospheric black metal in the genre section of the Bandcamp site, I would have expected more shrieking and screaming. Thank God, no noise like that on this release. It would have ruined the truly dark, foreboding vibe that Zeresh were giving to me while preparing for a long day at work. I enjoyed this one immensely.
There’s always a band that manages to slip into the cracks, no matter how carefully I try to research what’s new. Take Radare for instance – a band out of Wiesbaden, Germany, who specialize in a noir-jazz (maybe darkjazz?) style that reminds me of Die Haut, who gained fame collaborating with Nick Cave a lifetime ago, and the incredibly prolific Bohren & der Club of Gore.
The only word that came to mind while listening to SUNN O)))’s latest release, Life Metal, is thunderous. Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley produce a slow, plodding, but so absolutely powerful without having to resort to cheesy metal riffs or death metal histrionics. Though they have been around for a long time now, I still feel that there are reference points to the work of the Swans during the 1980s, but even more under control.
A couple of guitars, a bit of drums, a stellar cast supporting them, including T.O.S. Nieuwenhuizen, on Moog, Hildur Guðnadóttir on Haldorophone, electric cello and voice, Tim Midyett supplying the bass guitar, and Anthony Pateras on pipe organ
In honor of the Harrowing of Hell, where Christ destroyed the place and released the souls waiting there for relief, I present you the Spanish progressive doom band Orthodox. Noisy metal bordering weirdly on free jazz, this is a bit of a score for me. The music is brutal, loud, but there is something comforting in this kind of sludge.
The record cover of this new EP by Lousberg, The Death of Humanity, gives it the aura of either a black metal band or a black ambient band circa 1990s-era Cold Meat Industry. It is neither of these. In fact, it’s a swelling, sumptuous piece of neoclassical music which would work as a soundtrack to many a movie. I quite like this!
Check out more releases like this one at Dunkelheit Produktionen out of Germany. They seem to be releasing a lot of quality material.