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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Blood Incantation – Hidden History of the Human Race

Complicated, weird, heavy, tight and uncompromising but also cerebral, curious and accessible. All praise that this record has received already is definitely well deserved.

Tuskar – The Monolith Sessions

A furious but brief equinox storm, the sounds evoking complex swirls and riptides.

False – Portent

No quarter-second is wasted when some seriously densely organised noise could be forced into it.

Profetus – The Sadness of Time Passing

Ancient trees falling, icebergs toppling into the ocean, molten rock crackling as it cools, it’s difficult to imagine a more impressively epic way of crashing about.

Botanist – Ecosystem

Botanist appear from the undergrowth with Ecosystem, an intriguing new record of their trademark zithery, plant-supremacist black metal.

The Great Old Ones – Cosmicism

All in all, an excellent new step for the band, extending their previous accomplishments with a noticeably complex, faster interlocking riffs matched to the existing harmonic intensity and sinisterly animated drumming, all serving to crowbar open the portals and let the elder gods in.

Tomb Mold – Planetary Clairvoyance

Tomb Mold’s new album Planetary Clairvoyance is cosmic-themed, bottom-heavy growly death metal with unusual flourishes.

Crom Dubh – Firebrands and Ashes

Another welcome instalment of the band’s stinging originality of vision.

Yawning Man – Macedonian Lines

Macedonian Lines, the new record from California’s legendary Yawning Man, is a blissfully laidback yet rock solid set of instrumental jams.

Roky Erickson, Musical Demon with the Two-Headed Brain

Roky Erickson died this weekend in Austin at the age of 71, having created some of the most urgent, influential and truly psychedelic music of the 20th Century. But the traditional tale of hippie acid casualty whose light burned brightly but briefly, tells only half the story.

Mizmor – Yodh: Live at Roadburn 2018

Suffice to say this hour slab of blackened doom will darken your day and righteously attest to the end of the world.

L’Acephale – L’Acephale

The record is a sprawling multifaceted thing that gets better each listen,… You’ll be wandering around in search of your own head by the end of it.

Mord’A’Stigmata – Dreams of Quiet Places

Mord’A’Stigmata explore further territories from their black metal headquarters on new full-length Dreams of Quiet Places.

GOLD – Why Aren’t You Laughing?

A powerful statement both personal and timely, the album deals with complex and important realms of vulnerability, difficulty, accountability, and our responses and responsibilities.

Nusquama – Horizon Ontheemt

Stunning as in a powerfully affecting piece of art, and simultaneously in the sense of getting hit in the head by a blunt object.

Twin Temple – Bring You Their Signature Sound: Satanic Doowop

So it turns out that the signature sound of Satanic Doowop is much like Amy Winehouse singing Dusty Springfield songs with lyrics by Madonna and King Diamond in a sex-positive Satanism collaboration… and they’ve absolutely nailed it.

Sordide – Hier déjà mort

Juddering-misty-fog black metal riffing is solidly where Sordide’s new record is rooted but there’s also an impressive technical expertise.

Endless Floods – Circle the Gold

Stickiest and solidest document of austere experimental post-extremity.

YODOK III – This Earth We Walk Upon

A relentless flight into the heart of a storm.

Svartidauði – Revelations of the Red Sword

A heavy, incredibly dense whole, the forces under which it was forged and formed are scarcely imaginable.

Tuskar – The Tide, Beneath, The Wall

Like a mad geologist’s spare room, this short record is crammed full of all kinds of species of metal and rock, cramped together in a powerful, multifaceted lump of heaviness. 

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