Jamie Jones

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A survivor of the nu-metal years, Jamie Jones lives in Cardiff, Wales stockpiling good music ready for the inevitable revival. “They say we could never have another Limp Bizkit or another Coal Chamber, that we’ve learned our lesson,” he says, “but people have short memories. It’s only a matter of time.”

He writes about music in the hopes of delaying the inevitable as long as possible. Primarily a reviewer of heavy music – particularly doom, heavy psych, stoner rock and post-metal – he’s also the kind of dilettante who’ll fling words at anything that can keep his attention long enough. He believes Mike Vest’s guitar tone will soon attract visitors from another galaxy wanting to know how we learned their language and that if you listen to the entire Grails back catalogue in the right order you’ll unlock the meaning of the universe and become infinitely powerful.

A keen beard cultivator, amateur curry chef/brewer of ales and wannabe boxing aficionado, his music writing is collected at his blog ghost signals. He also occasionally writes about videogames and has been known to attempt to write fiction.

Articles by Jamie Jones

Khost – Governance

Birmingham industrial metal duo Khost’s latest offering is full of familiar parts – warped Arabic vocals, heaving industrial percussion and relentless crushing guitar alongside spoken word pieces from Eugene Robinson of Oxbox and Syan and cello from Jo Quail – but it’s imbued with a sense of horror and a purpose that elevates it above their earlier work.

Ufomammut – 8

Italian psych-doom masters Ufomammut’s return to action following their 15th anniversary celebrations sounding somehow more full of energy than ever. Recorded live in the studio ‘8’ sees them at their sludgiest and most furious, and is as relentless a trip as they’ve ever taken us on.

Monarch! – Never Forever

Monarch! have long reigned as one of doom’s most drone heavy outfits, utilising colossal heaviness and hypnotically slow guitar thrumming across typically epic song lengths. On ‘Never Forever’ they add a little more light to the shade and craft perhaps the most distinct album of their career.

Big|Brave – Ardor

Big|Brave don’t change their formula on Ardor, they just refine it a little, distil its essence down into 3 long tracks. The result is an incredible piece of slow, heavy, emotional metal, a landmark for both the band and heavy music in 2017.

Cloakroom – Time Well

Cloakrooms second record – and first for Relapse Records – is a happy marriage of slowcore despondency and stoner rock heft that hits the sweet spot between sad-sack mopery and soaring, fuzzed out catharsis.

Heinali and Matt Finney – How We Lived

‘How We Lived’ is the first collaboration by Ukranian multi-instrumentalist Heinali and American spoken word artist Matt Finney since the latter walked away from music in 2011. It details the dark years spent in the wilderness and makes for an uncomfortable, but compelling listen.

Ex Eye – Ex Eye

The idea of bass sax virtuoso Colin Stetson forming a metal band with Liturgy’s Greg Fox is intriguing on paper – and surprisingly fun in practice. As Ex Eye they explore the possibilities of heaviness together, pushing each other to impressive heights.

Space Witch – Arcanum

Space Witch play cosmic doom metal – and embody that concept as well as anyone else has to date. On ‘Arcanum’, their second record, they expand their palette a little, with often intriguing results.

Elder – Reflections of a Floating World

After the acclaim of 2015’s ‘Lore’ Elder return with an extra guitarist and an expanded sound. Their lengthy prog/stoner odysseys are even richer and more complex and despite a couple of missteps ‘Reflections of a Floating World’ further cements their reputation as stoner rock’s best kept secret.

Here Lies Man – Here Lies Man

‘Afrobeat meets psych rock’ is a proposition that pretty much sells itself. If you’re at all intrigued rest assured that Antibalas’ Marcos Garcia has put together a quartet that is both mind expanding and groove-laden enough to do both halves of that equation justice.

Blown Out – Superior Venus

Newcastle’s Blown Out release yet another album of intense, coruscating instrumental heavy psych for the ever impressive Riot Season Records. At this point they’re pretty much counter-cultural national treasures – with none of the fustiness that might imply.

Planning for Burial – Below the House

Planning for Burial, aka Pennsylvanian artist Thom Wasluck, makes miserabilist doomgaze for drunken shut ins and doomed romantics. On ‘Below the House’ he chronicles a particularly bleak time in his life – and mines a rich vein of melancholy for his most affecting and complete sounding record yet.

Aseethe – Hopes of Failure

Iowan trio Aseethe make their Thrill Jockey debut with a record of difficult drone-like doom that is more reminiscent of a slowed down version of cerebral metal artists like Sumac and Old Man Gloom than it is Sleep or Sabbath.

Lawrence English – Cruel Optimism

They say the one silver lining to our current political situation is that punk will be good again. Lawrence English’s Cruel Optimism makes a compelling case to look for dissent in less obvious, more abstract genres.

Grails – Chalice Hymnal

After 5 years away Grails have returned. Never ones to repeat themselves they’ve indulged their crate digging impulses and drawn from several new sources for Chalice Hymnal – not all of which may be to the tastes of the faithful. It’s their most cinematic, and least predictable, work yet.

Stéphane from Endless Floods

With their latest release ‘II’ Monarch offshoot Endless Floods have released an album almost as bleak as the times in which it finds itself in. We caught up with the Bordeaux doom-mongers to ask a few questions.

Book of Wyrms – Sci-fi/Fantasy

Fans of horror-themed female-fronted stoner rock or straight up bluesy hard rock will find much to enjoy in Book of Wyrms. They don’t bring much new to the the table, but what they do bring is pretty tasty.

Endless Floods – II

Endless Floods play a minimal, tectonic brand of doom that borders on drone-like ambience, seeped in melancholy, grief and anguish. With ‘II’ they push at the edges of what doom can do – and set a high bar for the genre in 2017.

Spore Lord – In the Beginning (Review + Exclusive Album Stream)

The world is not short on instrumental stoner/metal bands. Do we really need another one? With ‘In the Beginning’ Spore Lord make a compelling case that yes, we absolutely do.

Headless Kross – Projections I

The first part of a planned trilogy, ‘Projections I’ promises us a portrait of our fractured world painted in psychedelic doom hues. What it delivers is a some pretty solid, pretty vicious doom – and little else.

Black Bombaim & Peter Brötzmann – Black Bombaim & Peter Brötzmann

Portuguese instrumental psych outfit Black Bombaim are no strangers to collaboration – but they’ve never worked with anyone quite like free jazz legend Peter Brötzmann. The results are challenging, frustrating and exhilarating in equal measure. By Jamie Jones

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