A choice selection of the latest albums and EPs currently blowing the DM office speakers

Under the needle

November 13, 2019

Pigeonholing is a messy business, mostly because you end up being covered in useless feathered metaphors, and shit. And also, if you can neatly categorise music, it's probably boring as fuck anyway. And it's definitely not something you can do to Opium Lord; from the first sweet hit of 'The Calendrical Cycle - Prologue: The Healer' back in 2013 and agonising tortured tales of urban angst that was painfully birthed from a sludge template and then became a terrifying psychedelic nightmare on debut LP 'Eye of Earth' back in 2015. Now after four years too long, we have 'Vore' and it has been well worth the wait for the weightiest of the West Midlands. It's far easier to state Opium Lord's oeuvre slots them into the sludge and doom camp, but it's a lot harder to say why. Not for them the Orange...

July 29, 2019

Yeah yeah, we know, this has already been out a while. But due to the heatwave in the UK, most of Dark Matter's writers have subsumed into some gloopy black-clad mass. But if there's anything worth lingering over, it's a new record by Earth. Yes indeedy, the doom drone pioneers are back, and even more languid in their amplifier than before.

“What?!” we hear you cry, as you spit out a refreshing cider and black into the hot night air. To the outside observer, Dylan Carlson and co have a made a career of playing so laid back that they're virtually horizontal, and on this front 'Full Upon Her Burning Lips' does not shirk. 'Datura's Crimson Veils' uncoils from the speakers like the blue smoke of a fine cigar. But aside from this 12 minute epic and its similarly long-playing counterpart 'She Rid...

If you thought your Monday morning commute was the stuff of nightmares, you’ve clearly yet to experience this frantic, rampantly brutalising horror show of a record. With its varying strains of bristling hostility, clawing despair and delirium densely packed into the mix like cosmic sardines straining through the ether, there’s something horrifyingly claustrophobic at work here from the off; like the tell-tale cloying stickiness that weighs heavy in the air mere moments before a midsummer downpour. Or that eerily tangible aura of oppressiveness that certain sites and places seem to forever abound with, their past vibrations of bloodshed and atrocity etched into the landscape like the indelible grooves on ancient vinyl. And seventh opus ‘The Furnaces of Palingenesia’ is certainly rich with...

June 27, 2019

In the grand scheme of post-metal, all things are cyclical. In fact you could say it's the defining trait. Pelican follow this too: bone-crushingly disciplined and tight sludge riffs wordlessly pounding like stormy water on the rocks of the psyche characterised their earlier work. However they truly came into themselves with the landmark 'The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw', which effortlessly shifted moods, melody and tempo to be the full rounded package of major key riffs that swooped and soared like the titular bird; each a perfect cross-country journey.

However, after follow-ups 'City Of Echoes' and 'What We All Come To Need', they once again changed tack – slightly. Last full release 'Forever Becoming' was a sleek rock beast that was once again packed with riffage, but this w...

June 3, 2019

Great records seldom come from nowhere; there's always usually subtle – or not so subtle - hints of greatness in every record that leads up their magnum opus. This holds especially true for Portland combo Lord Dying, with precursor releases 'Summon The Faithless' and 'Poisoned Altars' being about as subtle as a brick through the window when it comes to summing up their magnificence. Both are a fiery take on High On Fire with an early Mastodon-esque grasp of dynamics that would have seen them among Relapse's roster back in the day, and you should both buy immediately if you have any affinity for thick grooves and songwriting finesse. Because it might prepare you for 'Mysterium Tremendum'.

Heading off with 'Envy The End', there's hints this will be one mighty record; white knuckle riffs aboun...

April 8, 2019

If there's one thing that you can pick out in the first micro-second of this short (but not sweet) EP, it's the dulcet tones of Jon Davies' guitar tearing out of your speakers. If you've not heard that name, keep up, he's the man behind Conan's rampaging riffs, and you're sure to have heard them raid eardrums up and down the country and around the world. Now he's turned his attention to the 90s industrial metal scene and a very pissed off-sounding drum machine, and the results are predictably epic.

Opening the 'Blackened Gates of Eternity' is akin to wrenching the doors of Hell off their hinges and being engulfed in a boiling tidal wave of lava. It draws in a ton of influences, handily summed up in a press release as a mixture of Godflesh and Fudge Tunnel, but it's not just a quick knockoff...

March 30, 2019

With spasm-inducing riffs that race along at a million miles an hour, Nordjevel’s latest homage to the blackest of black, full-length 'Necrogenesis', is not for the faint of heart.

Drawing comparison with Dark Funeral, Marduk and Immortal, Nordjevel reject the more melodic traits of evolved black metal and accelerate their terrifying tempos to the max. Although only recently formed in 2015, these Norwegian ne’er-do-wells have plenty of firepower to wage their campaign, with their current line-up reading like a roll-call of black metal Illuminati. No wide-eyed newcomers, these are hardened veterans of the scene, frost-blasted and weather-beaten. Dominator, formerly of Dark Funeral, is the drummer, Morbid Angel’s Destructhor takes on guitar while vocals are assigned to Doedsadmiral who has a...

March 24, 2019

Scratch the surface of metal’s dark underbelly, and there are plenty of treasures to be found. Lately there have been a surprising proliferation of solo projects, quietly blossoming like night-blooming flowers with sudden, arresting displays of exquisite dusky-hued iridescence. With just one person involved, there’s no bickering with bandmates, no creative differences about direction and no manoeuvring of busy schedules to get in the way of pure imagination - often resulting in more inventive, experimental material. And with the increasing sophistication of recording software, any independent spirits who can furnish themselves with the appropriate kit can grasp this golden opportunity to forge their own creative destiny.

Dark Matter’s latest serendipitous discovery is one-man enterprise Hai...

February 21, 2019

A Pale Horse Named Death wandered into doom metal’s brooding Asphodel Fields back in 2011. The poetically-named outfit was formed in New York by Sal Abruscato, a former drummer with Type O Negative, on the back of the collective outpouring of grief - and consequent dissolution of the band - following the tragic death of frontman Peter Steele. While Pale Horse’s offerings are suffused with all the moody, gothic broodiness the masters of doom were renowned for, Abruscato serves up his apocalyptic heavy metal with some smudged-eyed blues and a scattering of torrid scrapings from the dirtiest, darkest corners of grunge. Their singular offbeat style echoes with Type-O’s distinctive black melancholia, but Abruscato has moved to the fore to provide his syrupy, Brooklyn-twanged vocals and eliminat...

January 18, 2019

Roaring out of Raleigh in deepest Northern Carolina, recently formed American black metal outfit Mo’ynoq have already amassed some serious acclaim with their suffocating sonic soundscapes. Following the success of their stunning EP ‘Bardo’, released in 2017, the band have now ventured into LP territory with the arresting ‘Dreaming in a Dead’ Language. Filled with all the purging emotional resonance, scorching atmospherics and intense psychotic tempos of the finest black metal, lovers of Immortal, Nachtmystium and Wolves in the Throne Room will happily devour this mood-drenched miscellany, and the most discerning of listeners will discover deeper complexities in each of the seven tracks’ serpentine coils. The imaginative, intricate variations in mood, tone and pace that underly the raging i...

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