Album Review: Twilight Fauna — “Foundations”

twilight fauna - foundations

The thing I keep coming back to listening to the latest from Twilight Fauna is that title.  I’ve found over the past few weeks of isolation that when I reach for music I’m looking for different things than I used to.  I want connection, I want an experience that reassures me that we’re here, that we’re together.  The music Paul Ravenwood has created over the years always provided that connection, but nowhere is that intent, that essence, as crystalized as it is on Foundations.  More than being a new apex in the band’s catalog, it feels like the true foundation upon which Ravenwood will build moving forward. Continue reading

Josh Thieler’s Favorite Records of 2018

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2018 has been quite the year. It was a roller coaster personally, nationally, globally, and in the realm of metal. There are people that I loved that are gone now. There are people who are gone that I should have loved more. I failed a lot of people. I’ve struggled in so many ways. If you are curious about that, just listen to the last Slaves BC record or read any interviews I did during that release cycle. I got fatter, fitter, quit smoking, joined five or six more bands, did artwork for some bands, did PR for some others, and spent a lot (but never enough) of time with my wonderful wife and animals.

Anyway, I listened to a ton of music again in 2018. I didn’t get a chance to talk about any of it very much, but I listened to a ton. 2018 was another fantastic year for metal/hardcore/whatever. I’ve been altering this list for months and I had a real hard time narrowing it down as much as I did. Just like last year, I have compiled my favorite 50 full length metal/hardcore records, favorite 10 non-metal records, and my top 10 favorite EP’s/singles/etc.

I made this playlist with one track from each of the records that are on Spotify for you to listen to a sampling of everything below. Thank you for checking this out and here’s to a better 2019!

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Album Review: Slaves BC – “Lo and I Am Burning”

Slaves BC Lo and I Am Burning

Pittsburgh blackened metallers Slaves BC are back with a new album, Lo and I am Burning, and it’s one that shows just how far a band can go to reinvent their sound in a relatively short time.  Slaves BC’s musical jump between their latest offering and 2016’s All is Dust and I Am Nothing is less a jump and more an oblique step, but in a way that highlights the maturation of the members through time spent refining their sound. Continue reading

Album Review: Twilight Fauna/Evergreen Refuge – “Procession of the Equinox”

twilight fauna evergreen refuge split

Over the course of a few albums you begin to take the measure of a band by the steps they take on their musical path.  Some bands are explorers, never content with where they were, always looking to try something else, move further.  Some find their place and stick to it, content to tread the same rhythm over and over again (lest you think that’s always a bad thing, I’ll simply leave you with a “Hey! Ho!  Let’s GO!).  But between the balance of standing in place and grasping for something just out of reach is the band that refines, that chances upon something and digs deeper, finding the hidden corners and unexplored nuances of the terrain they commit to.  And it’s this thin space that Twilight Fauna and Evergreen Refuge have been residing in over the course of multiple albums and side projects, and their latest split Procession of the Equinox demonstrates how subtle shifts and expansions of sound can reap huge rewards.   Continue reading

Album Review: Twilight Fauna – “The Year the Stars Fell”

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Push away the tags, move past the labels and niches of “Appalachian metal” and “black/neofolk” that have been used to describe Twilight Fauna and artist Paul Ravenwood over the years. The concept of music recalling and communicating a sense of place, of community and time is well and good and entirely accurate, but there’s another layer to what Ravenwood is unraveling for the listener in Twilight Fauna’s latest, The Year the Stars Fell. By weaving his musical heritage into his own personal history Ravenwood exposes a raw nerve of grief and tragedy, a painful narrative buried deep under a foundation of feedback waiting for someone to take the time to dig.   Continue reading