Day: September 15, 2012

Down – IV: The Purple EP

Down is a metal supergroup consisting of (former) members of Crowbar, Eyehategod, Pantera and Corrosion Of Conformity. Their “Nola” and “Over The Under” albums are key albums within the whole sludge/doom metal genre. Now Phil Anselmo and his musical partners in crime are back with something brand new, namely an EP, entitled “Down IV: The Purple EP”. This EP is the first instalment of a sequence of four EP’s. Reportedly, Anselmo and Co are through with the concept of full length albums and commissioning four different EP’s, which gives the band a chance to experiment a bit with various influences. Pure doom metal is the name of game of this sucker. Think of Witchfinder General, Black Sabbath, St Vitus and Trouble and you’ll get a pretty solid idea of what you can expect of “Down IV: The Purple EP”. Songs like “Levitation”, “Witchtripper” and “The Curse” have sense of immediate urgency about them. Their straightforward nature and rawness brings the first Down album to mind. Phil Anselmo’s anguished and rough vocal style does the rest. Despite the uncompromising attitude, the songs are surprisingly catchy, thanks to some well-placed memorable hooks. “Open Coffins” and “This Work Is Timeless” are to other great examples of that. In all honesty, I’d rather have seen a full-fledged album than an EP, but on the other hand “Down IV: The Purple EP” is one...

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Steve Lawson & Mike Outram – Invenzioni

This project, the first of three albums worth of improvised material recorded as an assignment for degree students in Leicester gaining experience in audio engineering, features guitarist Mike Outram (who has played with such luminaries as Steven Wilson, Robert Fripp, Cinematic Orchestra and Photek amongst others) and bass player Steve Lawson, who continues to be a fertile collaborator and solo bass guitar experimentalist. For improvised music to truly come together there must be an element of understanding between the participants. This can be gained through familiarity of both the instrument and the collaborators involved. “Invenzioni”, although not initially intended as a cohesive piece of work, displays the kind of intuition between players that can make or break an improvisation. The two instruments dance playfully around each other on the opening ‘A Beautiful Mind’ as if they are teasing each other and the listener is given the notion that this is part of the process of getting to be acquainted with each other. Delicate, yet furious lines, weave together, whilst the occasional abrasive shard of noise breaks through the pattern. A landscape reminiscent of a Sergio Leone spaghetti western is brought to mind on ’70 Degrees in the Dark’, as again, repeated phrases are used to carefully tease out the musical partners’ imagination and resourcefulness. Tantalizing electronic emissions punctuate the ether as ‘First One Home’ as the two guitarists, telepathically...

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Obelyskkh – White Lightin’

Doom metal, we can immediately think US, England, or Sweden and maybe even Canada but Germany is never a country image that comes up with the mention of this genre. Thrash metal sure, death metal ok, but doom metal, not so much. Well it is time to dispel any myths or hesitancy that Germany can not produce quality doom because the quartet known as Obelyskkh (hope I spelled that one right) do it right and proper. I consider myself an aficionado of this genre and all its glorious sub genres but this band came out of left field and hit me upside the head with a proverbial doom laden brick. “White lightnin’” is their sophomore outing since coming together in bleakness around 2008. This is “a-slow-trudge-through-the-black-forest-on-a-bleak-sunrise” kind of doom. The release weighs in at over an hour, which is a good indicator of what to follow. Short doom releases of this style is never a good sign. Its a great sign if you are listening to Pentagram, Bedemon, or Trouble but a bad sign if you are taking in the slow trudge offered by the likes of Pallbearer or Mournful Congregation. “White Lightnin’” opens in the psychedelic wings of ‘The Enochian Keys’, all instrumental, all Floyd-ish and we know we are in the for a long luxurious treat of the bleakest and darkest kind. First glimpse of vocals come...

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Steven Gordon Of Brooklyn’s Family Talks To ThisIsNotAScene

Christine from ThisIsNotAScene became a big fan of Family and was able to not only review the release “Portrait” but was also able to sit down with band member Steve Gordon and talk about all things Family. What prompted the name Family? Used by several bands since the 90s from indie pop, rock and disco to hardcore, would this not make it more difficult to market yourselves, though the name is fairly simple and all inclusive? I’ve wanted to call the band Family since before linking up with any of the guys. But we definitely debated about it for...

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