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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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.

Impetuous Ritual – Blight Upon Martyred Sentience

A staggering dirge of warped death metal, utter chaos that immediately upon contact will corrode your ears with blackened filth.

Völur – Ancestors

An all around excellent, focused and adventurous addition to a small but so far extremely high-quality catalogue for this band.

Sunn O))) at Barbican Centre, London

Owen Coggins saw Sunn O))) at the Barbican Centre in London. “Without being an intrusive idiot and glaring at people in a weird state, just a glance will suffice: people look utterly drained, almost sorrowful, introspective in massive extension of sound, broken down, blissed out, blown out, checked out but intensely inhabiting themselves, haunted, humble, stunned.”

Valborg – Endstrand

Short sharp songs with a pounding drum beat and barked German vocals, we’re definitely tending towards the PVC realm more than denim or even leather.

Pallbearer – Heartless

More than a doom band, Pallbearer are a rock group with a singular songwriting talent.

Délétère – Per Aspera Ad Pestilentiam

Furious and fast, complicated and propulsive black metal. My main response to this record is appreciation of the technical skill involved in mastering such complexity.

King Woman – Created in the Image of Suffering

King Woman appear with their first full length, taking on board horror, depression and pain, conquering all with waves of crumpled fuzz and beautiful, fragile, monstrous wailing.

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