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

Under the needle

April 1, 2020

Some bands arrive on the scene, fully-formed and hitting the ground running, but Lord Buffalo was not one of those bands. While their self-titled EP and LP showed the vision, it seemed to be one of an aimless void, with plenty of space but not much direction. A melancholy miasma, but not much more: a space for interesting ideas that just seemed to meander for the running time as backing while waiting for the words to finish. An interesting aside to the dark country scene before we returned back to our 16 Horsepower and Jonny Cash records. So it's with some rapture we find 'Tohu Wa Bohu' is much more focused record and somewhat of an early renaissance for the Lone Star state ensemble.

Named after the phrase in Genesis describing the formless state of the world before the creation of light, t...

March 15, 2020

In this dystopian urban vision, the masses toil and struggle in the unceasing grind of the capitalist world eater, digesting us in a low-level electronic squall while howls wrenched from despair ring out railing against an uncaring world and crushed dreams when the world once seemed so bright and we weren't the puppets of an uncaring elite.

But enough of the current events. It's time to lose ourselves in the world of Human Impact, a super group from New York and comprising members of Swans, Unsane and Cop Shoot Cop bringing their talents together. While this could be a good thing, it's not always a sure fire way to success – for every Shrinebuilder, where each individual talent comes together and each member gets a chance to shine while also contributing to a collective whole with its own i...

March 13, 2020

With the exception of the sort of person who obsessively stockpiles toilet paper at the first whiff of a potential crisis, it’s easy to appreciate why black metal inspires in its followers such fervent extremes of fandom and fixation. For those most newly initiated, there’s the rich, blood-drenched mythos that surrounds it like the darkest of unearthly ceremonial robes; its legacy of bloodshed and betrayal, of church burnings and moonlit rites and diabolical dedications to the god below. Then there’s the deliciously dark, putrefying meat of the material itself – all ragged, frostbitten angles and visceral textures carved in bone-chilling accents of eternal winter.

But then, every so often comes a unique entity that demands we dig a fraction deeper, with a sound potent and all-consuming enou...

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...

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