Week of February 17: This week, we visit Major Kong‘s new album, as well as new singles from Elder and Seas Of Winter.
The ‘Embers’ of prog-stoner giants Elder’s new album are burning
After the looser musings of 2019’s instrumental EP The Golden & Silver Sessions, ‘Embers’ finds Elder in somewhat more proggier, rockier territory. The driving, ten minute-plus track is bursting with melodies, not only vocally, but also via some truly irresistible guitar arpeggios, all bolstered by subtle use of keys and strings, resulting in one of the most focussed songs the band have penned to date. One has the feeling new album Omens, due this April, is going to be something very special indeed.
Political black metallers Seas Of Winter take on climate change
Taken from the forthcoming album Forest Aflame, black metal duo Seas Of Winter deliver a savage vision of the looming climate crisis on opening track ‘Life Eternal’. Vocalist Espi Kvlt’s devastating screams cut through a barrage of caustic guitars and drums to decry “Earth is facing the consequences of humanity’s mistakes”. This is incredibly powerful stuff and highly recommended for fans of bands such as Dawn Ray’d, Underdark and False.
Maryland’s Dirt Woman meet their psych-doom ‘Creator’
A bruising all-out assault of colossally thick riffs and dirty, desert-dry rhythms, all adorned with the soaring vocals of Zoe Koch, ‘Creator’ is a hint at the doom-ridden marvels that can be found on the the band’s upcoming album The Glass Cliff. Fans of Electric Wizard, Kyuss and Windhand should find much to admire here.
Immortal Bird vocalist steps out on her own with Errant
Errant is the solo project of Immortal Bird’s Rae Amitay, and ‘A Vacillant Breath’ is a taster of what to expect on her forthcoming self-titled EP arriving in April. Exploring different textures to those of Immortal Bird, Errant mixes cleaner ethereal vocals with her harsher side, creating a rich, varied and haunting sound.
Phenomenal songwriting and engaging storytelling from Huntsmen
Amidst the burgeoning post-metal scene is Huntsmen, and holy hell have they laid down a mind-frying tale that leaves the skin pallid and the mind torn to bits. ‘A Nameless Dread’ is one of the spectacular singles that the Chicago outfit have unleashed upon the world in preparation for the release of Mandala Of Fear. A harrowingly beautiful composition that showcases the band’s incredible talents, it displays their ability to weave in and out of so many styles and meld them all together with powerful storytelling. A truly phenomenal single.
Spartan Jet-Plex says there’s ‘No Shame’ in a good remaster
Grimalkin Records‘ own experimental dark pop/folk outfit Spartan Jet-Plex recently released remastered versions of two albums initially released back in 2016. This lush gem is a standout from Touch Tone, with the ethereal vocals dancing delicately over poignant acoustic guitar. Check it out below, but be sure to dive into both albums in full.
Instrumental sci-fi majesty from doom monoliths Major Kong
Anybody who likes science-fiction-laced doom metal and Issac Asimov is gonna adore this track. The ever-talented instrumental doom outfit Major Kong dropped their first album in three years last month, Off The Scale, and the leading track ‘Robots Building Robots Building Robots’ is a journey into a mechanical factory. The riffs are maniacally repetitive in the most intricate ways within the rest of the composition. Each new idea that enters has wonderfully unique inhuman flavor. It’s like going on a river ride with Willy Wonka, but the liquid is oil and the captain himself is closer to Dr. Gero, or Dr. Vegapunk. The sparks of dystopia have become a sonic roar.
Brand new tunes from Melvins’ legendary frontman King Buzzo
As the iconic guitarist and vocalist from veteran grunge/sludge legends Melvins gears up for his second solo album, King Buzzo has dropped this lead-single to whet our appetites. This track, much like the entire album, features longtime collaborator and Mr. Bungle bass player Trevor Dunn.
Words by: Garrett A. Tanner, Adam Pegg, George Parr