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King Buffalo – Acheron

As their second record of 2021, it maybe felt like King Buffalo would have played it safe and stuck to familiar terrain, and in a sense they have. It doesn’t have the same impetuousness as its predecessor but by opting for longer, more atmospheric cuts they have played to their strengths and delivered yet another instant classic.

Ivar Bjørnson & Einar Selvik – Hardanger EP

The two tracks on this short EP come from very different places but the soul and messages are the same – messages of journeying, of people and of the land from which it takes its name.

Megalith Levitation – Void Psalms

The second album for Chelyabinsk psychedelic doomsters Megalith Levitation taps into something primal, spiritual and genuinely vast across its four tracks, infusing old-school riffing with left-field meanderings and druidic chants that feel like they could herald the coming of Yog-Sothoth with each line.

Jon Howell of Kowloon Walled City

David Bowes caught up with Jon Howell of Bay Area sludgers Kowloon Walled City to discuss their triumphant return to form.

Dust Mountain: Voices from the wilderness

Dust Mountain are a psychedelic folk rock band from Tampere, Finland. We spoke to founders Henna and Toni Hietamäki to find out the roots of their sound.

In Conversation With Emma Ruth Rundle

David Bowes spoke candidly with Emma Ruth Rundle to discuss her most honest record to date.

Viviankrist – Korrumpert Integritet

Korrumpert Integritet is undoubtedly a niche release, but then so is everything that Viviankrist has ever had a hand in. It’s difficult, unsettling, often obtuse and it’ll take you somewhere that you probably don’t want to go but sometimes, that’s everything you could want in a record.

Funeral Chasm – Omniversal Existence

Funeral Chasm may be a relatively new entity but there’s obviously considerable experience at work here and that, combined with a reverence for the past and a willingness to push past its boundaries, is reason enough to take notice.

Fulci – Exhumed Information

A triumph for those who love their death metal dark, gritty and vicious, and also for vintage horror movie aficionados. And if you like both? Then yeah, you might want to give this a spin.

景湖白 (Jing Hubai) – 清醒的人格分裂 (Lucid Schizophrenia)

A remarkable and surreal work that’s a cut above most modern black and post-black metal. Whether that’s because it’s free of the clichés and rehashed sentimentality that we’re now drowning in, or if it’s simply down to Luo Jing’s singular vision and his willingness to embrace eastern and western phrasing and structure, isn’t clear but at the very least, you won’t be hearing anything else like it any time soon.

Suffer Yourself – Rip Tide

An impressive work of atmosphere, misery and mountain-sized riffing. Ambitious enough to push its own boundaries in composition and musicianship yet comfortable enough to remain true to the hallmarks of death-doom’s classics, this is a short, sharp descent into the abyss that deserves recognition.

Noctule – Wretched Abyss

As a love letter to classic black metal, to canny songwriting and to The Elder Scrolls’ rich lore, this is a winner in every respect.

An Autumn For Crippled Children – As The Morning Dawns We Close Our Eyes

As The Morning Dawns… subverts expectations of what a ‘genre’ album should be, either by pairing resolutely melancholy themes and pained screams with upbeat, surging riffs that eliminate even the possibility of a good mope, or in pushing their sound so stridently forward while still throwing in moments of pure chaos.

Boris – ‘NO’ World Tour In Your Head 2021

It provided a level of immersion that had been missing from many streamed events and though it probably won’t make artists more accepting of people filming entire bloody shows when concerts resume, this was the perfect chance to experience a performance from one of music’s great innovators in a truly unique way.

Zombi – Liquid Crystal

There’s enough substance that Liquid Crystal goes far beyond the status of “something extra for the fans” and firmly into “if you like your music as dark, mesmerising and colossal as that monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, you’ll want to check this out” territory.

Festival Review: Roadburn Redux – Part 3

Part 3 of our Roadburn Redux coverage. “It was maybe one of the most egalitarian musical ventures to have been attempted, not just during this lockdown but ever.”

Rúnahild – Sacred Feminine

Such an ebb and flow of energy runs throughout Rúnahild’s work but on Sacred Feminine, it feels more pronounced, moving to and fro between emotional poles while heading to a destination that is simultaneously personal and universal.

Electric Moon – Live At Freak Valley Festival 2019

It’s a shining example of why instrumental bands as often more expressive than their language-constrained counterparts. The riffs don’t just sing, they scream and murmur and exalt, each shift from delicate intricacy to distorted tremolo a poem in and of itself.

A Conversation with Hades composer and audio director Darren Korb

In the wake of Hades’ colossal 2020 success, David Bowes grabbed a conversation with Supergiant Games’ soundtrack composer and audio director Darren Korb to chat orchestras, voice acting and why early access is the key to confidence.

King Buffalo – Live At Freak Valley

The three have always possessed the sense of being keenly attuned to each other’s conjurations but here, it feels more expansive, the drive less to create their own psychosonic universe than to create a unified space where they, the audience and, by extension the home listener, can merge and drift off.

Nadja / Disrotted – Split

Sometimes, split releases make for odd bedfellows and on the surface this one falls into that category, but there are commonalities that make it work. Both Nadja and Disrotted are capable of transforming an atmosphere through sound and though they may use differing strokes and palettes, the two are equally adept when it comes to clarity of the outcome.

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