Archive for the ‘Chelsea Wolfe’ Category

And The Rest of the Best of 2015

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

We close out our 2015 end-of-year list-a-thon with contributions from LIFE IS NOISE friends and contributors Sally Townsend, Louis Dunstan, Liam Matthews and Gram the Son of Sam.

Sally Townsend, Perth-based music photographer
I am a lover of music first of all, and firmly believe in supporting live music and local artists. I will travel for the indescribable magic that is live performance, and am trying to capture it the best I can with my camera. I’m a riff-worshipping, doom-loving, dedicated listener and participant in both the local and international heavy music scenes. There was too much good stuff released this year, so it seemed fitting to do a top 15 for 2015. In no particular order…

Bell Witch – Four Phantoms

High On Fire — Luminiferous

Windhand — Grief’s Infernal Flower

Uncle Acid — The Night Creeper

With The Dead — With The Dead

Dopethrone — Hochelaga

Monolord — Vaenir

Elder — Lore

Blackout — Blackout

Watchtower — Radiant Moon EP

Chelsea Wolfe — Abyss

Cult Of Occult — Five Degrees Of Insanity

Space Bong — Deadwood To Worms

Holy Serpent — Holy Serpent

Deafheaven — New Bermuda

Louis Dunstan (EXTORTION/Big Bread)

1. Ghost — Meliora

2. High On Fire — Luminiferous

3. Drowning Horse — Sheltering Sky

4. Tame Impala — Currents

5. Napalm Death — Apex Predator/Easy Meat

6. John Carpenter — Lost Themes

7. Jaakko Eino Kalevi — Jaakko Eino Kalevi

8. Elder — Lore

9. Ufomammut — Ecate

10. Ahab — The Boats of Glen Craig

Liam Matthews (Fourteen Nights At Sea, Old Bar/Public Bar, Melbourne)

1. Godspeed You! Black Emperor — Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress

2. Hope Drone — Cloak Of Ash

3. Self Defence Family — Heaven Is Earth

4. Deafheaven — New Bermuda

5. Nadia Reid — Listen to Formation, Look for the Signs

6. Luke Howard – Two & One

7. Mogwai — Central Belters

8. Mares — Mares

9. Closer — Heartache/Lifted

10. The Electric Guitars — The Electric Guitars

Gram the Son of Sam’s top Oz doom, occult and stoner of 2015

1. Witchskull – The Vast Electric Dark

2. Tarot – The Warrior’s Spell

3. Aver – Nadir

4. Hydromedusa – Hydromedusa

5. Space Bong – Deadwood to Worms

6. Seedy Jeezus – Seedy Jeezus

7. Watchtower – Radiant Moon

8. Roundtable – Dread Marches Under Bloodied Regalia

9. Drowning Horse – Sheltering Sky

10. Little Desert – Saeva (This could have been #1 but just not enough time to shine)

Noiseweek: Neurosis, Baroness, Chelsea Wolfe, Primitive Calculators + More

Friday, December 18th, 2015

The sights, sounds and words of the week in noise.

Neurosis have announced a return to Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio Studio to record their eleventh full length, and added more dates to their US and Europe tour schedule for 2016. Founding member Scott Kelly is also setting out on a string of solo dates with Colin H. van Eeckhout of Amenra in Europe in January.


Speaking of Steve Albini – listen to the man himself in a wide-ranging conversation with Woody McDonald at Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre last week. Great stuff.


File under: quirky xmas presents for the hirsute metalhead in your life (see also last week’s Weedian figurines) – Norway’s Borknagar have launched their own line of beard oil. Made up of “a blend of 100% natural and highest quality jojoba, sweet almond, hazelnut, castor and hemp seed oils” Borknagar’s beard oil will be no doubt be filling stockings all over old Norse territory.


Sub Pop’s Best of 2015 lists are pretty hilarious too.


Stage fright hasn’t sidelined singer Chelsea Wolfe | CNN
“Performing was something that I had to learn. I could barely handle being onstage for the first few years, and it’s the reason it took me so long to start my career as a musician,” she said. “I started writing songs when I was 9 years old but didn’t release an album or do a tour until I was 25.”

Streaming War Pigs: Apple, Tidal, Spotify, & The Year In Music Services | Stereogum
“And with that, you’ve got the story of streaming in 2015: artist as product or artist as propaganda. Like Zuckerman’s Famous Pig in Charlotte’s Web, musicians today are being fattened either for slaughter or for show, but make no mistake: The beneficiary of all this shiny pink flesh is Zuckerman.”

The Near-Death Of Raves: The Fate Of Independent Music Venues In 2015 | The Quietus
“The pressures on independent musical and cultural spaces are also symptomatic of more fundamental threats to under-represented and marginalised groups within society. There’s the soft bigotry of rhetoric around “British Values” and the like, implying that cultural worth is singularly-defined and divergence fundamentally suspect.”


Baroness – Purple
Out today, making a late entry on a bunch of end-of-year lists, and streaming in full for you here.

Primitive Calculators – ‘I’m Fucked’
More snarling synth-punk from one of the originators of the genre – their trademark misanthropy and willingness to tell it like it is on display once again.

Black Tusk – ‘God’s On Vacation’

The seasonally appropriate first taste of the Georgian trio’s final release recorded with founding bassist/vocalist Jonathan Athon, who died in a motorbike accident last year. Equal parts stoner sludge and hardcore crossover.


Deaf Wish – Live on KEXP
Melbourne’s Deaf Wish making an unholy racket on the Seattle public radio station on their recent US tour.

Baroness – Making Purple

A 11-part making-of video series in case you want a bit more release-day hype.

Noiseweek: Stars of the Lid, Battles, We Lost the Sea, Chelsea Wolfe, Lycia

Friday, July 24th, 2015

The sights, sounds and words of the week in noise.


How Stars of the Lid Made Two Ambient Masterworks | Rolling Stone

Sometime after the release of their sixth studio album, 2001’s The Tired Sounds of the Stars of the Lid, Austin-borne drone duo Stars of the Lid quietly, patiently moved from obscurity into semi-obscurity, renown as the most acclaimed ambient musicians since the heyday of Brian Eno. The three-LP opus featured more than two hours of melancholy, wistful orchestral drones that swelled and dissolved, a home-brewed sound with the ambitions of minimalist composition and the insularity of indie rock. It didn’t make too much of a ripple upon its release beyond raves from alt-leaning press, but it slowly spread. In the 14 years since, a generation of similarly evocative composers — Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Ólafur Arnalds — have risen to prominence in Stars of the Lid’s wake. Vinyl copies of follow-up, 2007’s Stars of the Lid and Their Refinement of the Decline, have sold for more than $200.

My Internet Band Signed a Record Deal Without Ever Meeting IRL | The Daily Beast

“The fact that we’re even in a band is a little crazy. For one thing, I live in Colorado. Our singer lives in Brooklyn. Our bass player lives in New Jersey about two months per year and spends the other 10 months touring the world with his other (very successful) band, Revocation. Our drummer lives in Virginia and also tours internationally with his other (also very successful) band, Municipal Waste.
As if geography weren’t enough to overcome, consider this: I knew the singer and the bass player, but had never met the drummer. Our drummer knew the bass player but had never met me or the singer. Our bass player knew me and the drummer, but had never met the singer. The singer knew me, but had never met the bass player or the drummer.
Confused? Let me put it this way: there wasn’t a single person in the band who had met all three other members. By the time I met the drummer—making me the first member to have met all three of my bandmates—we already had the bulk of an album written and had a handful of demos recorded and released, and we were considering signing to one of two labels.”

Unpopular Opinion: Jack White is the Worst Thing that Ever Happened to Rock | LA Weekly

“It’s not just Jack White’s music that I hate. I hate everything about him. I hate him for making Eric Clapton look like Son House. I hate his stupid hats. I hate his “Look at me, I’m so obscurely retro!”–shaped guitars. I hate that his entire career is built on matching outfits and twee appropriations of what is actually good music. I hate him because Brochella is filled with guys in bucket hats and koi sleeves who know every White Stripes song but have never heard The Mooney Suzuki, The Oblivians, The Delta 72 or the approximately 50,000 other bands who did the same thing Jack White tries to do but way, way better.”


Lycia — The Fall Back

At a little over two and a half minutes, The Fall Back sounds like an interlude — but that doesn’t make it any less devastating. Lycia remain masters of soul-crushing soundscapes, and even with the odd major key melody, Mike VanPortfleet’s dispassionate delivery over makes for a truly depressing yet truly beautiful listening experience. The track is taken from the trio’s forthcoming album A Line That Connects, out August 21 through Handmade Birds.

We Lost the Sea — Departure Songs

Sydney outfit We Lost the Sea lean towards the blues on their first instrumental album. While lead single and opening track A Gallant Gentleman feels like a celebratory eulogy for the group’s late frontman Chris Torpy, the rest of the record takes on a distinctly more downbeat tone. Perhaps that shouldn’t be a surprise: the album’s copy describes the record as inspired by failed journeys, and the uncertain tone that permeates the record’s five songs seems like appropriate company for a road trip across uncharted territory. In any case, it’s a journey worth taking. Departure Songs is out now through Bird’s Robe and Art as Catharsis; see them on tour with Hope Drone this July and August.


Battles: The Art of Repetition

Step backstage with Battles in this Ableton-sponsored as the trio work on their new record, La Di Da Di, out September 18 through Warp Records.

Chelsea Wolfe — Dragged Out (Live)

It’s remarkable that Chelsea Wolfe can capture the menace of their studio sound in a live setting. In this professionally shot footage of Dragged in Amsterdam from the forthcoming Abyss, Wolfe and her band plod through the song’s droning, sludgy verses while eerie samples — either sonically manipulated field recordings of wind, or a voice twisted and imbued with the creepiness of horror cinema — sound out beneath the deluge. Abyss is out August 7 through Sargent House.

Noiseweek: Chelsea Wolfe, Sannhet, Scott Kay and French Rockets

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

The sights, sounds and words of the week in noise.


The 40 best post-metal records ever made | FACT

“Around the time grime was evolving from garage – in the simplest terms – so too was post-metal emerging from noisecore. Noisecore was the culmination of the fast-and-complex style of thrash and metallic hardcore. Between 1997 and 2000, bands like Botch, Kiss It Goodbye, Dillinger Escape Plan and Coalesce were twisting hardcore and metal into increasingly technical shapes, blurring the brutality with jazz, pop and, well, Gregorian chants. Eventually, the time passed for noisecore, and those young intellectuals decided to slow it down, growing oddly tender at times.”

Insomnia, anxiety, break-ups… musicians on the dark side of touring | The Guardian

“For many, the contrast between the highs of a successful show and the anti-climactic low that often follows can be hard to adjust to, a phenomenon that has been termed “post-performance depression’, or PPD. Mental health professional John C Buckner writes: “When the body experiences major shifts in mood, it is flooded with several different neurotransmitters, resulting in a biochemical release that leads to a feeling of ecstasy. After these moments the nervous system needs time to recalibrate itself to prepare for another release. After an exciting performance the body starts to balance out the level of neurotransmitters, and therefore it is not releasing the same level that caused the exciting feelings, resulting in the lingering sadness. In normal day-to-day life, biochemicals are released and rest/recovery follow, causing the typical ups and downs of life. In the case of PPD, the process is more extreme with higher highs and lower lows.””

Does the Struggle of Making Art in America Make for Better Art? | Pitchfork

Only now as I’ve made my permanent home in the U.S. have I begun to understand what kind of determination and resources it takes to have a successful band, career, and meaningful artistic life. This land of opportunities with no public funding and a queue of talented young musicians lining up for the big time is very, very brutal, albeit exciting and nowhere near perfect. My first year in Los Angeles I damaged my thumb in a wood cutting machine. The medical bills totaled $6,000. The real dark side of being in America, the aloneness of it, how one error or unlucky turn could set you back was terrifying. I remember being in an apartment in West Hollywood lying in the dark in the middle of summer, forcing myself to try to sleep so I could avoid the fact that I had no prospects. Everyone networks very blatantly here. Handing out business cards, and striking up immediate friendships (very un-Danish). Everyone hustling, promising, hyperbolizing everything. My gut-terror and this bazaar-like atmosphere also gave me an energy. There is something about trying to fight through the masses of people and reach the sprawling musical tapestry, sometimes failing intensely and sometimes not.”


French Rockets — Pulling Metal

“What repeats makes me stronger.” Such has been the ethos of Perth synaesthetiacs French Rockets, and it continues to serve them well on “Pulling Metal”, the second single from new ablum Arc. Rather than build layer upon layer for the Great Wall of Sound that’s been the group’s calling card for the last several years, this song is about subtraction; the bass drops out to give way to wiry electronic philandering emerges, returning to fill the rhythm once the guitars drop out. And while repetition serves them well, French Rockets have perfected another part of their artillery here: how to write a catchy-as-fuck hook. Arc is out on June 29.

Scott Kay — Stargazer

Your weekend meditation comes courtesy of Scott Kay, better known as the guitarist of metal outfits Voyager and Statues. There are no axes here on Stargazer, though; just seven minutes of exultant celestial atmosphere built around a simple but striking piano motif. The track is available for $1 and all proceeds go towards Women’s Community Shelters which helps women in crisis find safe spaces, so if you enjoy it throw a buck towards a good cause.


Sannhet — Atrium

The latest clip from Sannhet’s under-appreciated Revisionist makes for uncomfortable viewing but a welcome reminder to delve deeper into the Brooklyn trio’s brutal and beautiful sophomore record.

Chelsea Wolfe — Carrion Flowers

Keeping with the trend of disturbing black and white montages is the first video from Abyss, Chelsea Wolfe’s forthcoming new record. Shot on what looks to be several different cameras, the clip is an assemblage of growth and decay, industry and nature, punctuated by striking imagery — honestly, how amazing is this shot? Wolfe’s material has been getting darker with every record, and the drum-and-guitar combination on this track — which is emphasized here with some clever editing — is utterly haunting. If it’s any indication of how the rest of the album will sound, Abyss is shaping up to be one of the most bleak collections of music in a long time.

Noiseweek: New Order, Kathleen Hanna, Chelsea Wolfe, KEN mode and more

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

The sights, sounds and words of the week in noise.


Believe In A Land Of Love: New Order’s Low-Life 30 Years On | The Quietus

“Even as New Order were gearing up for a new phase in their career, the shadow cast by Joy Division still loomed large on the cultural landscape. Indeed, the bleakness of post-industrial Manchester that informed Joy Division’s music soon spread across the UK like a black, ominous cloud thanks to Margaret Thatcher’s administration. 1985 proved to be a watershed year. March 3rd saw the end of the year-long miners’ strike. The bitterest of British industrial disputes, the strike had seen communities torn apart and the increased levels of violence accompanying the dispute were broadcast with a sickening level of regularity on the TV news. Later in the year, both the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham and Toxteth in Liverpool were engulfed in terrifying riots. Sandwiched in between on May 29 was the Heysel Stadium disaster that saw 39 people crushed to death following crowd violence – an event that was broadcast live on national television and beamed into homes across the world. More than any other year, 1985 can be seen as the year that the lid was finally closed on the coffin of the optimism and liberalism that had been born in the 1960s. But not only that, the Conservative party jettisoned the idea of one-nation conservatism in favour of competition that led Thatcher to eventually declare that “…there is no such thing as society.””

I interviewed Mark Kozelek. He called me a ‘bitch’ on stage | The Guardian

“But in this life, Kozelek trades in sucker-punches. He impugns online “bitching and whining”, but hides behind one-way email exchanges, balks at the idea of his peers speaking about him and issues tirades (and sometimes, sexual advances) from the cowardly remove of the stage, with the get-out clause that it’s a performance. He can use sexually violent language to reduce female critics to the status of groupies, knowing that while male musicians’ misogynist acts are examined for nuance and defended as traits of “difficult” artists, women and those who call them out are treated as hysterics who don’t understand art. “The world don’t owe us shit, I learned that real fuckin’ young,” he sings on Universal Themes’ Little Rascals. If anything remains to separate Kozelek from his work, it’s that his music preaches that the least we owe one another is decency.”

Feeling Myself: Kathleen Hanna Get Back to Work | Pitchfork

“At the end of the Julie Ruin’s recent set at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound, frontwoman Kathleen Hanna makes for the wings, as if she’s about to let the rest of the band play out the final minutes. It seems like a strange end to her first performance on the continent in a decade, but it’s a feint: She suddenly turns, cartwheels back into the center of the stage, and lands in a perfect split. Within a few hours, a GIF of the moment is circulating online.
Not only is Hanna 46 years old (who among us can truly say they’ve ever been able to do that?), but this time last year, she was in bed, struck down again by a side-effect of Lyme disease. She’s been battling the chronic illness for years—her struggle can be seen up-close in the candid 2013 documentary The Punk Singer—and that latest relapse forced her to cancel what would have been the Julie Ruin’s debut European dates. “There was a period where I could barely do anything except paint watercolors in my journal,” she told me over the phone two weeks before the festival.”


Chelsea Wolfe — Carrion Flowers

Our second taste of Chelsea Wolfe’s forthcoming record is perhaps her most ominous effort to date, replete with a menacing, digitized beat like something out of a disaster film’s trailer. Carrion Flowers is one of several tracks to feature Russian Circles’ Mike Sullivan on guitars, returning the favour from Wolfe’s guest vocal appearance on the closing track of Russian Circles’ Memorial. But here, Sullivan’s trademarks are all dialled back — instead, his guitar is barely distinguishable, woven seamlessly into the simple bit foreboding rhythms that dominate the track. Expect this to be a top contender for album of the year.

KEN mode — I Just Liked Fire

The final preview from Success is KEN mode’s most tributary. Between the rapid-fire industrial guitars, Jesse Matthewson’s rabid bile-spitting and the song’s relentless speed, the Canadian trio are more than comfortable exposing their Jesus Lizard influence, but they do it almost better than anyone else (because, let’s face it, about 90% of noise rock bands are trying to write Shot).

Failure — Mulholland Drive

Failure have a tremendous task ahead of them with The Heart is a Monster, their first album in almost two decades. 1996’s Fantastic Planet was almost perfect, and I’d argue that its final five tracks make up possibly the best 25 minutes of music released in the 1990s. Tracks like Mullholland Drive and the previously released Hot Traveler are interesting, but leave me unconvinced — is it worth diluting a tremendous albeit obscure legacy with a comeback record that’s just OK? Then again, Failure have always been an album band, best enjoyed in large doses; Frogs and Macaque and Blank work so much better when placed in the ebb and flow of a 40-minute collection. Mulholland Drive retreads that familiar Failure territory of low-key balladry that’s steadily transforms with powerful guitars, staccato piano chords, unexpected melodic turns and distant atmospheres. And it’s good, but is it good enough?


Chill out with a 20-minute studio set from dream-pop trio Dianas on the latest installment of RTRFM’s The View From Here.

Noiseweek: The Leap Year, Chelsea Wolfe, Fugazi’s Repeater at 25 and more

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

The sights, sounds and words of the week in noise.


If you’re over 33 and can’t stand all the racket the kids call music these days, turns out you might be statistically average. Writing at Skynet & Ebert, Ajay Kalia — who works at Spotify to create users’ Taste Profiles — analyzed the demographic data and listening habits and concluded that users’ tastes, on average, “mature” by their mid-30s — which is to say new music is no longer a part of their listening diet. Of course, Kalia’s conclusion concerns popular music (whatever that means), and what many of the discussions around his findings have ignored is that older Spotify users (whatever that means) discover less familiar genres that they weren’t exposed to as teens, and users also re-visit music that’s fallen out of popular favour since their teenage years.


Explosions in the Sky’s discography is now available on Bandcamp.



Morning Glory: Fugazi’s Repeater Revisited | The Quietus

“Rock music tends to reward the inspired accident: fans have become trained to respond to sounds that may be calibrated to micron-thin tolerances but which give the aural appearance of the intuitive and the inspired. That isn’t what seems to be happening here. Nor is this the product of a jazz sensibility, where technical excellence and deep understanding of chords, tone and rhythm combine to permit improvisation, in tune and on time, to provide the hypnotic focus. On these sessions Fugazi sound like they found a new path, somewhere between the two — where you can hear the deliberation behind every note yet never for a second feel that this makes the music anything less than tremendously exciting.”

Creative Darwinism: Pretty Flowers Grow in Shit | Spook Magazine

“Being isolated spatially and culturally – us from the city, Perth from Australia and Australia from the world – arms one with an Atlas-strong sense of identity. Both actively and passively, originality seems to flourish in Perth’s artistic community. Without the wider community’s acceptance, creative pursuits lack the potential for commodification. There’s no point in preening yourself for success because it’s just not real. It’s a fairytale, so you may as well just do it in whatever way you like, good or bad, in your room or on the top of the Telstra building, which – as anyone with any common sense will attest – was built for that one potential badass to drop in on a skateboard and parachute off.”

The Fight For All Ages Shows | Pitchfork

“Live music is, by nature, impermanent and ephemeral, but the places that show are staged can be either transitory or stable. All that’s needed is a power supply, a space for artists to play, and a place for the audience—meaning live music can happen most anywhere. I’ve seen bands play in a cemetery, in a botanical garden, a library, an industrial hallway, on a bridge, and in a skate bowl. I’ve been to huge festivals, clubs, and seen sets in churches, community centers, and many basements, kitchens, and living rooms. Despite all these options or spaces for opportunity, it’s harder than ever to get a show space off the ground, and keep it running. It’s no wonder so many spaces throughout the U.S. are illegal and temporary at best.”


The Leap Year — Knesting / Dental Work

In an alternate universe, The Leap Year are one of the biggest bands to ever come out of Perth. I fucking love this band, and I wish everyone else did too, and I can’t pinpoint what makes them so compelling yet so under-appreciated. Their new 7-inch — the follow-up to their tremendous 2013 album, The Narrowing — is bombastic and subtle and brittle and powerful and morose and uplifting all at once. Without being obtuse or even that groundbreaking, The Leap Year defy genres — call it slowcore, indie rock, shoegaze or gloom — all I’m settled on is that they just write really fucking good songs.

Chelsea Wolfe — Iron Moon

There’s a menace lurking beneath every note in this first taste from Chelsea Wolfe’s forthcoming Abyss, which is out August 7. But the song’s not without its moments of beauty; she matches the storm-brewing moments of intense discomfort with purgative, uplifting vocal melodies. This is Wolfe at her heaviest and most invigorating.


Under the Influence: New York Hardcore

Rancid’s Tim Armstrong narrates this VICE documentary on the punk scene that flourished amongst New York’s 1970s and 80s squalor in the Village, documenting the abuse, addiction and poverty surrounding the rise of Agnostic Front, Title Fight and more.

Death From Above 1979 — Virgins

The amish go wild in this second video from the Toronto duo’s The Physical World.

Noiseweek: Chelsea Wolfe, Lycia, Sumac and Tyranny is Tyranny

Friday, April 24th, 2015

The sights, sounds and words of the week in noise.


New book alert: Drag City are releasing a collection of posters from the Louisville punk scene that birthed the likes of Slint and Bonnie “Prince” Billy. Though never as celebrated as a music capital the way Seattle, Nashville, New York or Chicago ever were, the Kentucky city played a pivotal role in the development of noise rock, hardcore and its others — names like Rodan, Squirrel Bait, June of 44, and more recently, Young Widows, Waxeater and Watter. Titled White Glove Test, the book brings together poster art from 1978–94 and is available for purchase at the Drag City website.


Seems like tribute records from the 90s are the new reunions. There’s currently crowdfunding campaign to finance a cover of Helmet’s debut Meantime, with contributions from KEN mode, Kings Destroy and The Atlas Moth among others. The starting goal is pretty low at $5,000 and as of writing a little over 40% of the way towards its target. Head over to the Kickstarter campaign page if you’re keen to throw some coin.


How Much is Music Really Worth? | Pitchfork

“Putting the debates about artists’ income from Spotify, Pandora, and their ilk in a broader historical context, it becomes clear that the money made from a song or an album has clearly decreased over the last several decades. What’s equally clear, though, is that the value of music is almost as subjective financially as it is aesthetically; the economics of music, it turns out, is more dark art than dismal science.”


Join The Chant? Pop’s Endlessly Problematic Relationship With Politics | The Quietus

“There’s a sense, some reckon, of heads-down expediency among today’s generation, that however tousled their hair may be or serrated their ‘indie’ guitar stylings, they are aspirational rather than countercultural. Is there even such a thing as the ‘counterculture’ anymore, outside of the dreams of 40-and-50-somethings brooding wistfully over their large vinyl collections? What has become of the insurrectionary spirit of rock’s halcyon years, before postmodernism set in and hip ironicism usurped an older, angrier spirit of authentic rage? Where is the Doc Marten energy of the old days, of rock music as soundtrack to petrol bombs and stand-offs with cordons of crewcut police?”


The Man Who Broke The Music Business | The New Yorker

“From 2001 on, [Dell] Glover was the world’s leading leaker of pre-release music. He claims that he never smuggled the CDs himself. Instead, he tapped a network of low-paid temporary employees, offering cash or movies for leaked disks. The handoffs took place at gas stations and convenience stores far from the plant. Before long, Glover earned a promotion, which enabled him to schedule the shifts on the packaging line. If a prized release came through the plant, he had the power to ensure that his man was there.”


Lycia — Silver Leaf

I first heard of Lycia when the late Type O Negative frontman Peter Steele described the Arizona outfit’s music as the most depressing he’s ever heard which is lofty praise from the drabbest of the drab four. Now a duo, Lycia remained largely dormant for the first decade of the 21st century before resurfacing in 2010. “Silver Leaf” is one half of a forthcoming split release with Black Mare through Earsplit, and it seems Steele’s description still holds true; if you start your morning with the tides of reverb that envelop Mike VanPortfleet’s stark incantations, you’re useless for the rest of the day.


Tyranny is Tyranny — The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

Tyranny is Tyranny first came to my inbox about six months ago with word of their ambitious concept album, Let It Come From Whom It May, based on American writer and critic Howard Zinn’s The People’s History of The United States. Rarely is protest music infused with such a vivid aesthetic — in this case, a vivid and violent sound somewhere between mid-west emo and Fugazi (Russell Emerson’s vocal delivery falls right in the middle of Ian Mackaye marching orders and Guy Picciotto’s attitudinal rebel yell. Tyranny’s latest record takes on Naomi Klein’s breakdown of disaster capitalism,The Shock Doctrine, and this time their adaptation is better produced and rich with guitars that convey vulnerability and power all at once. Extra props for this being the only record on Bandcamp tagged Zinn-core.


Sumac — Thorn in the Lion’s Paw (Live)

As much as I’d love an ISIS (the band) reunion, it almost seems unnecessary. Between Old Man Gloom, Zozobra, Mamiffer and now Sumac, the members of the late post-metal vanguards are producing some of the most exciting heavy music in the world. Sumac is the youngest of those projects, having just released The Deal through Profound Lore earlier in the year. This video from one of their first shows ever back in March in Vancouver showcases how utterly gargantuan a three-piece can be. That’s Turner on vocals and guitar, Baptists’ Nick Yacyshyn on skins and Brian Cook of Russian Circles / Botch / These Arms Are Snakes fame on bass. This is the most crushing thing you’ll hear all week.


Chelsea Wolfe: ABYSS album trailer

Your Sargent House Gush of the Week features the first taste from the fifth album of the new Noir Queen. This excerpt is easily the heaviest Wolfe’s ever sounded, and the visuals of a chiaroscuro California show the limitless potential of her cinematic world. Abyss is slated for a summer 2015 release.

Live Review: Chelsea Wolfe at The Bakery

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Chelsea wolfeSunday, November 11, 2012. Review by Matthew Tomich Why do promoters keep booking small international bands on Sundays? Granted the logistics of touring this huge sparse country doesn’t necessarily offer flexibility, but if you want a show to make money, […]