Album Review: Glassing – “Spotted Horse”

Glassing - Spotted Horse

I can’t recall how I stumbled across the first single from Spotted Horse by Glassing, maybe a friend’s recommendation or a random Bandcamp find, but I do know that “Lobe” grabbed me instantly. Raw emotional anger is my catnip, one of the few things that laser focuses my attention, and that 1:47 packed a whole lot. Yet despite the in-your-face post-hardcore nature of the track, the album holds a secret: it’s actually a wonderfully complex post-rock album. Continue reading

Album Review: Arch/Matheos – “Winter Ethereal”

arch matheos - winter ethereal

No one crafts a vocal melody like John Arch.  No one.  It’s not just his ability to hit these ridiculous high notes and carry them, something that doesn’t seem to have lost its power more than 30 years after I first heard his voice on Awaken the Guardian.  It’s the way he fashions his lyrical lines, almost (but not quite) cramming them into a cadence that never follows the riff, but always complements it, no matter how unexpected it turns.  That’s the cornerstone of what made his time in Fates Warning unique, and it’s what makes Winter Ethereal, the second full length from Arch/Matheos such a dynamic powder keg of an album. Continue reading

Album Review: Lo-Pan – “Subtle”

lo-pan - subtle

Somewhere in the tangle of stoner metal and hard rock, where the sinew of heavy distortion meets the sweet muscle of melody and hook, lay the spark of what just might be my favorite kind of music.  Hard, biting, but never afraid to grab onto a hook and hold on for dear life.  Sometimes you want to roar and smash your head, and sometimes you just want to close your eyes, reach out to the universe and sing along loud enough to let it know you exist, you matter, and you feel the connection the music brings.

The point being, again (for those that missed it the last time): Lo-Pan.  Specifically their new album Subtle, which is anything but when it comes to my adoration for it. Continue reading

Album Review: Big|Brave – “A Gaze Among Them”

big brave - a gaze among them

It is a fairly common experience for people (read: me) getting into meditation for the first time to experience difficulty in quieting one’s mind. Repeating mantras over and over can sometimes be helpful , because that repetition gives the conscious mind a concrete task to focus on, which frees up the rest of the person. The language used can change based on the tradition it’s found in of course, but the idea of using repetition to lower defenses and experience something wonderful is all I have been able to think about as I continue to sit with Big|Brave‘s new album, A Gaze Among Them.   Continue reading

Album Review: Swamp Witch – “Dead Rituals”

Swamp Witch - Dead Rituals

Swamp Witch have come a long way from their 2011 EP Gnosis. That album’s fuzz soaked psychedelia showed promise, and the follow up Slithering Bog doubled down on the psychedelic elements. Well, Dead Rituals decided that what they needed was more fuzz. Thick, heavy, slow, driving, drowning fuzz. And I am 100% here for it. Continue reading