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Afreaka! (Awaiting Repress)PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE
HYMN TO MOTHER EARTH
MERCY (Variation No. 1)$14.99Vinyl LP Reissue - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
The Unquiet SkySince the early 80's when bands like Cathedral and Saint Vitus pioneered the doom genre of metal, the style has continuously evolved and spread, despite being far less recognized and appreciated than most other forms of more traditional heavy metal. Bands like Eyehategod and Crowbar melded elements of doom into sludge and stoner metal, gaining modest success in the more mainstream metal community, but doom is beginning to enjoy a new wave of popularity, thanks largely to the more progressive experimental work of artists like Stephen O'Malley (Sunn0))), Burning Witch). Indian is a Chicago-based trio whose brand of doom is more akin to that of Eyehategod than the earliest or latest incarnations of the genre, and their distinctively black metal vocals immediately set them apart from the pack.
First things first: The Unquiet Sky is everything a doom record should be. The bass tone is so perfect and intense that it could shake your body through a pair of headphones. The guitars bring Black Sabbath-esque fuzz down enough notches to kill a horse. The percussion is sparse when it needs to be (Ration) and energetic when it's allowed (Tied and Gagged). Dylan O'Toole's vocals give Indian the extra edge over many of the other bands who have perfected this formula by complementing the melancholy created by the music with a demonic voice of evil. There is even an extended track of terrifyingly psychedelic feedback, perfectly placed to scare the crap out of you when you're high. In fact, the only thing that fails to be suitably doom-y and evil about this record is the cover illustration of a Christ-like baboon which, despite being evil enough in spirit, looks a bit too much like it was drawn in a junior high art class.
This record is an easy recommend for fans of the doom genre, but what about anyone unacquainted with the genre I personally don't consider myself a huge aficionado of the style, but loved this record. The only things required to enjoy The Unquiet Sky are an attention span and a love of all things metal. This record generally moves slowly, as does most doom, but it is far less droning and repetitive than many recent examples of the genre. As the name of the style suggests, doom is, by its very nature, dark, oppressive music. As such, Indian is definitely better suited to being digested over an extended period of time at high volumes, rather than short bursts in your car or through headphones.
Bottom Line: If you're searching for the latest, greatest doom record to add to your collection, look no further than Indian's The Unquiet Sky. Fans of Neurosis, Eyehategod and Godflesh should also definitely pick this up. It's a solid record from beginning to end from an up-and-coming trio of doom virtuosos.
- Cory (Lambgoat)1. No Able Fires
3. Dead Weight
4. Los Nietos
6. Tied and Gagged
7. God of Panic, Lord of Decay
8. Loophole Noose
10. We Can Build You
11. Worshiper of Sores$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
FainRecorded in a beautiful and isolated house in the Yorkshire Dales, Fain is the sound of a band at the peak of their creative powers. It's an honest and natural album that allows its stories, its melodies, its themes and structures to breathe. The album draws on more traditional English and Scottish folk melodies than anything they've done before, but not straying from the drop-out fuzz-rock route they've made their own, the influences are vast - British rock bands like Groundhogs, Dark, Mighty Baby and Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac are evident in the swirling and distorted guitars throughout Fain, along with the 60s revival folk of Fairport Convention, Nic Jones, and Trees. Additionally they have looked towards Scandinavian's rich psychedelic tradition both new and old - you can hear the likes of Mecki Mark Men, Mikael Ramel and contemporaries Dungen. You can even hear the band's teenage forays into Hip-Hop in the drums of 'Thief' and 'Athol'.
It rained constantly throughout the recording process and the house was so packed with gear and recording equipment the band were forced to sleep in tents and caravans parked outside. Whilst performing, they could look out into the vast countryside and catch sight of buzzards, hares, curlews and hundreds upon hundreds of crows and gulls. The fire was on permanently, overnight and throughout the day. A serene experience that informs every track on the album. It was mixed and finished in the equally rainy London, with additional performances from Olivia Chaney on piano and backing vocals, plus Nic Kearey and Rachel Davies of Stick in the Wheel and Various (XL). Jace Lasek (Besnard Lakes) recorded backing vocals in Vancouver remotely for All Returns.
As evidenced by the first single All Returns, Fain is more lyrically focused than anything they've previously recorded.. The song tells the story of a dream Jack Sharp (guitars/vocals) had during which an acquaintance had looked into his eyes and seen into his soul whilst calmly describing his faults and inner demons, a truly cathartic experience. However, says Sharp, his life is largely too banal for material and he largely draws upon snapshots of history to furnish him with the ideas for lyrics. Stand out track Thief is taken from various stories of highwaymen that had been made famous by broadsheet ballads and plays - the likes of Charles Peace, William Nevison, Jonathan Wild and Jack Sheppard. He delivers this story in first person, almost as if he is playing the part of a complete degenerate with little or no conscience or morals. As Sharp says, It's like a form of tourism. You can visit but not live in the mind of an appalling human being.Empty Vessels
When the Fire is Dead in the Grate
NRR$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now