I’ve been writing for Echoes & Dust since December 2013, mostly on drone, doom and black metal. Since then I've completed a PhD looking at mysticism, ritual and religion in drone metal, and will be publishing a book related to this in 2017. I'm also trustee of Oaken Palace Records, a record label run as a charity, each drone release raising money for the conservation of a particular endangered species.

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GOLD • Necro Deathmort • Threshold Entities – The Black Heart, London

Singer Milena Eva appears as if with puppet strings pulled from another dimension – an uncanny marionette, hands and eyes drifting with an otherworldly automatism . . . The songs, in addition to some great heavy post-metal dringing chords, are a balance of a skewed declamatory lines and then crystal shards of melody.

Amenra • Boris • Jo Quail – Heaven, London

It’s wildly powerful. Halfway through, evidence appears to suggest that someone farted near me. . . they probably had no choice. The noise must be bothering the trains above, vibrating them off their rails.

YoshimiO / Susie Ibarra / Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe – Flower of Sulphur

While presence at the live event where this was recorded may have allowed attendees to participate in that exploration of space in the moment, unfortunately here the ‘no specific goal’ is what shines through.

Various – Hexadic III

Whatever one’s depth of knowledge about the mechanisms behind the music, here we have an intriguing collection of sonic constructions.

Insect Ark – Marrow Hymns

Insect Ark’s ‘Marrow Hymns’ is great once you’ve snapped into it, an accessible and interesting mix of doom constructions, with the signature element being various kinds of glisses and slides.

Fatso Jetson • All Souls – Desertfest Tour, The Black Heart

Legitimately up there in impossible this-can’t-actually-be-happening desert rock heaven with watching, on New Year 2012, Brant Bjork and a barefoot Scott Reeder play ‘Whitewater’ for maybe the last time together.

Earth 2: Special Quarter Century Version

Twenty-five years ago, on the 3rd of February 1993, Seattle-based band Earth released their first full-length record, ‘Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version’. The ultra-extreme yet weirdly ambient, intensely embodied but marginal and fragmented subgenre of drone metal was born.

Sortilegia – Sulphurous Temple

Caveman black metal is a great descriptor from the press release here, as this new offering from Sortilegia sounds dark, shadowy, subterranean, yet viscerally primitive as well.

Dylan Carlson and Meltaot in Elektrick Lycanthrope – Cafe Oto, London

A brilliant combination of two performances channelling earthy, secret powers of transformation . . . in an event entitled ‘Elektrick Lycanthrope’ at Café Oto.

(DOLCH) – III – Songs of Happiness, Words of Praise

Washes of churning grinding scruzzz, covered in zombiechant vocals… this album definitely rewards repeat visits to its weirdly lit swampy depths.

Belphegor live at the Dome

After missing Nargaroth and Absu on the same bill back in June, it was great to get to another of Aeon Promotions trademark big shows with a stacked line-up of extremity. And it was a blast of a night. . .

Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper

The vast scope is quite staggering and requires you to sort of listen to it from a distance in order to get a view of it. Like grief, you’ve got to let it approach you slowly.

Belphegor – Totenritual

Making the most of black metal influences, but built around a dense core of the hardest death metal.

Drunk in Hell – Drunk in Hell

The combination of leering, sludgy noise, thudding prehistoric riffing, and sheer revolted aggression contained within it constitute sufficient danger to cultured musical sensibilities, to warrant a Public Health Warning Notice.

Wolves In The Throne Room – Thrice Woven

Spectacular, frothing, rattling, cold and wild black metal, thick with the thumping of paws through moss and leaves, distant stars and breath rising in the night air, wild and gripping.

Ben Frost – Threshold of Faith

A compelling EP, which dives from collage-y style explorations of texture, to distorted ambient druddering, to airy ice caves of twinkling cold.

Esoctrilihum – Mystic Echo from a Funeral Dimension

A great debut, with the cover art a perfect accompaniment to the sounds: evocatively colourful within a dark palette, and featuring an oddly luminous weirdness that promises much to those who would venture in to join the spirits in the forest.

The Tear Garden – The Brown Acid Caveat

The Tear Garden drop in to update us with the latest news from their psychedelic wanderings, with a sprawling album The Brown Acid Caveat that hits their trademark notes of chemical whimsy.

Festival Preview: Woodland Gathering IV

A strange assortment of varied sonic ritualists, ceremonial riff magicians and shamans of noise will congregate in the dark forest surroundings of Fell Foot Wood, for a truly strange and wondrous Woodland Gathering.

Mark Lanegan Band, Duke Garwood and Lyenn – Koko, London

“The closing of this live set by Mark Lanegan and band, with a double Joy Division cover encore, was one of many high points for me of seeing the gravelly-voiced Screaming Tree and solo wanderer perform many times across nearly two decades.”

Harsh Toke / Joy / Sacri Monti – Burnout!

Triple split release where each band takes two sides of a 7”, this is a showcase of classic Californian heavy acid blues.

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