Tuesday, 7 May 2013
Sunday, 5 May 2013
Friends, check out the intricacies in the very spiritual works of Lakandiwa over at deviant art. The art hails from the Phillippines and uses the interesting method of applying metallic gel to the black, reverse side of illustrations boards.
While browsing the incredible library of Lakandiwa, I couldn't help but think how psychedelic the images were and how awesome they would be as album covers to equally impressive and psychedelic music.
Of course first and foremost we must appreciate the art for the art and thankfully, with Lakandiwa, this is easily done.
Tuesday, 30 April 2013
I can't remember how I came across this band but I knew I was on to a winner as soon as I heard the vocals of lead singer Brendan Radigan. Magic Circle are Massachusetts finest, previously being seen in various outfits such as DOOMRIDERS, MIND ERASER, and RIVAL MOB. This is a traditional doom metal band and you will instantly recognise the influences of Black Sabbath, Candlemass and Pagan Altar. What I love about this group is the simplicity of the riffs, which are never short of 10 tonnes heavy, and then of course there is the passion in the vocals; just listen to the embedded track to understand what I mean.
Give Magic Circle a search on the blogosphere and you will see that these gave get nothing but rave reviews. The only downside is that they did not release a digital album. Oh well, still well worth a purchase!
Wednesday, 24 April 2013
I had never really heard anything comparable to Patti Smith before hearing Jillian Taylor of Ruby the Hatchet. PJ Harvey maybe, but not really, not ‘raw’ enough. Miss Taylor has something extra, perhaps it is that wonderful raspy voice that, as Patti Smith demonstrated, works so well with a fuzzy guitar and simple ‘engine room’ drums. Being an Englishman the thing that struck me the most was the sexy american twang that flicks out with the intonation of each word, this is particularly apparent on ‘Black Tongue’ where she drags outs syllables over the pinch harmonics of an equally sexy-stoner riff. It is care-free and frivolous at times but with just the right amount of predatory growl.
The vocals really shine through but do not get me wrong, the rest of the ensemble is far from weak - on the contrary we are oft treated to instrumental sections full of vigour and ingenuity. The guitar solos are lovingly poured out with a smoothness of oil onto hard marble, with added phaser for interest. The simplicity of songs like ‘Can’t Get Him Away’, with the happy addition of supporting male vocals, so reminiscent of masterpiece ‘Rock ‘n Roll Nigger’ by Patti Smith, show that this four piece from Philadelphia understand that the song serves itself, Zen-like; it does not need to be forced with creativity and complexity. It is this facet that can create something really enjoyable and ultimately memorable.
Notable tracks in this excellent collection include ‘The Lean’ which, being a guitarist myself, unfolds like a masterpiece, successfully building a haunting atmosphere with sustained, acid tinged wails from the fuzz box. Bravo, John Scarperia. Also, the instrumentally lead ‘Holy Father’ which is accompanied by a dry and airy Organ, has a beautifully worked arrangement. The track ‘Nowhere’ is gentle and clean, (I was at times reminded of the wonderful guitar of Johnny Marr) but holds a sad foreboding within its rhythmic chants: “You’re going nowhere...” It is an expression that could instill a terror within any listener, and if art is about evoking the most primal of emotions, then this track achieves an artistic high point for the album.
Give your record collection a bit more depth. Go get this album.
Sunday, 21 April 2013
Check out deviant Kolaboy if, like me you, like haunting scenes which reflect all possible ways of human life. They twist and perplexed and sometimes disconcern but each painting is beautiful. Eye for detail, perspective and a keen sense of the surreal gives each image a mysterious and psychedelic quality and grabs the eye, commanding it to look closer and unravel some of those mysteries.
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
I have had this album in my inbox for a while now. I can't really explain why I have put off the review for so long but maybe it has something to do with the harrowing theme of the final album from UK 3-piece Wiht (now defunct).
Anyway, I finally got around to listening to it and I was pleasantly surprised. Should I have been though? I was kind of expecting to feel emotionally battered and drained afterwards. You see, "Harrowing of the North", this 33-minute concept piece, takes its influence thematically from the subjugation of the North of England by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, it tells the troubled history of Doomsday-era Yorkshire.The album has clearly captured a sense of brooding and chaos. Track 1 ‘The Harrowing of The North’, contains 8 movements which follow the raids from their beginnings in 1069- when the King massacred Yorkshire’s people and destroyed the land ensuring it held no economic or cultural worth and remained subservient under his rule- to his remorseful deathbed nearly 20 years later. To capture such lofty ideas Wiht have very nicely blended the common tropes of stoner and sludge, tied in neatly some post-metal and sprinkled the all subtleties of psychedelia one would hope to hear. Does it really give the vibe of the North of England, though? Does it capture the cold or the suffering, the bleak and the wet? It is difficult to say. The atmosphere and the tone are full of anger and rage, but their are also enjoyable rhythms full of energy and catchy riffs where the music and not the expression of some overlaying theme really comes through. Perhaps I am being too cynical, after all a band needs to produce something enjoyable, and thus we should applaud Wiht for taking inspiration from such a dark time and making a bit more accessible to the common folk like you and I.
Second track Oderic Vitalis opens with a sludgy riff that more succinctly demonstrates the skill of this three piece. It is an excellent, thumping intro which dissolves down into a dreamy section only to then build again. This is what I signed up for. There is an aggression once again and I'm bobbing my head, fist pumping the air. Usually I like vocals to accompany the track but here, I am glad they refrained. Wiht have got me. I am saddened that I have learnt of them only after their demise.
As with all music, words can only do so much and all to often fail at ever giving enough. Go and listen to it over at Devouter Records