Concert Review: Pilgrim and Heavy Temple, 3/11/2017

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Disclosure: there were actually four bands on this particular bill. After a bit of a delay in getting into the venue, I missed most of Manic Abraxas. And since I had a drive ahead of me and was traveling with a party of people that were on varying levels of intoxication, I missed the headlining Hessian. So it goes. Regardless, this was a tremendously fun evening, and both Heavy Temple and Pilgrim were a big part of the reason why. Continue reading

Visions ov Hell: Dead to a Dying World – “Cicatrix”

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It has somehow already been a year and a half since Dead to a Dying World‘s impressive Litany was released. Yet, after earning ‘Best of’ marks from me at the end of 2015 and then following that up with easily one of the best sets at Migration Fest the following year, it seems like we still can’t stop talking about everything Dead to a Dying World has done recently. And that trend continues into 2017. Introduced just last Monday, Dead to a Dying World has crafted a visual element of mystery to accompany the second track off Litany called “Cicatrix”. Continue reading

Concert Review: Morne, 2/25/2017

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You know those assholes that skip literally every opener of a show and only show up, semi-drunk, five minutes before the headliner? As appreciators of the more obscure musical varieties, we have always scoffed at this particular breed of concert goer. Support everyone, yo. Yet, a couple weekends back, I found myself among the enemies for the Morne show here in Portsmouth. As they say, you either die a hero, or live long enough to become the villain. Perhaps that time as come since I’m clearly not dead yet (externally at least). And yes, I’m gonna just go ahead and slide a Batman quote in here for good measure. Thanks for asking. Anyway, there were a number of reasons why I missed the opening acts that included Northern Curse, Grue, and Nycterent but when it came down to crunch time, there was simply no way I was going to miss one of my favorite doom metal bands play not five minutes from my apartment. Doom metal on a rainy Saturday night? I’ll take it. Continue reading

Album Review: Unearthly Trance – “Stalking the Ghost”

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There’s something to be said for slow. Slow takes its time working into your system. Slow is subtle, it’s insistent in worming itself into the folds of your pleasure center. Sure, it can also be damning — stuck for a musical idea? Hit one chord for an hour, throw some drums around it and turn the reverb up — you’ve got yourself some funeral doom. But I’m interested in the trick of the slow, deep dark: how something can lie in the background for days only to suddenly and without warning lift its grizzly head and swallow you whole. Because that’s what Stalking the Ghost, the new album by sludge/doom lords Unearthly Trance did to me, and I’m still trying to figure it out.   Continue reading

Album Review: King Woman – “Created in the Image of Suffering”

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Bay Area by-way-of NYC musician Kristina Esfandiari is building quite a name for herself these days. Whether you know her from the fuzzed-out doom of King Woman, or from her softer solo work in Miserable, there’s a good chance you’ve listened to her distinctive voice, even if you haven’t realized it. Now it’s time for that wave of recognition to reach a new peak with King Woman’s debut full length Created in the Image of Suffering, which sees the band double down on the heaviness and melancholic beauty of their past body of work.   Continue reading