It’s been a few months but we’re back with another round of Hellbound staff playlists. Here are some current favourites and a taste of what our contributors have been listening to.
Round Eye – s/t (Ripping Records): I can’t quit this album! A great compromise between western indie punk and eastern flavoring, this sounds quite unlike anything else I’ve heard this year. Both a download and a streaming track can be found here: (groundcontrolmag.com/detail/3/4141/).
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Freedom Tower: A straight-up rock record in many ways, Freedom Tower Stands out because it sees JSBX prove that they have great songwriting chops and know how to use them.
OFF! – Wasted Years (Vice): Because I couldn’t find a copy of their Live at the BBC record on Record Store Day, I’ve been consoling myself by listening to Wasted Years.
Rancid – …And Out Come The Wolves (5X45 reissue set) (Pirates Press Records): Call me a geek if you want, but I still love …And Out Come The Wolves, and this newly pressed 5X45 set breathes a new kind of life into the material. Because its been broken down onto a series of 7”s, new light and focus gets cast on different songs in the album’s runtime, and that forces it to play differently.
Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love (Killrockstars): I have always been a sucker for Sleater-Kinney but, on their “return” album, the band shows fans that they took some time off only because they felt like it. The hearts of fans will swell as they realize that S-K is perfectly capable of picking up right where they left off without stumbling.
ANTICIPATING: Vinyl copies of Heaven is Whenever and Boys and Girls in America, Live Harvest by Blitzen Trapper and Live at Grimey’s by Justin Townes Earle (which are a little late, but being shipped to me for review). The two reissues are both solid albums and the two live ones look good on paper, so it should be good all around. Also, Desaparecidos will be releasing their first album in thirteen years which might be good.
1. The Meads of Asphodel – Desolate Hymns To A Fallen God (Godreah)
2. John Carpenter – Lost Themes (Sacred Bones)
3. Kreator – Violent Revolution (Steamhammer/SPV)
4. 1349 – Beyond The Apocalypse (Candlelight)
5. Mastodon – Jonah Hex Soundtrack (Reprise)
Black Rainbows – Hawkdope (Heavy Psych Sounds): A funky, swinging heavy psych romp built on a firm foundation of shamelessly overdriven air guitar feels from end to end. The perfect summer road trip soundtrack. (heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/black-rainbows-hawkdope)
Pyramids – A Northern Meadow (Profound Lore): The best ever prog metal band from Denton, TX teams up with Colin Marston (Gorguts/Krallice/Dysrhythmia) and Vindsval of French avant-metal shape shifters Blut Aus Nord to produce something strangely akin to a woozy, crisply-blackened AR Kane record. One of 2015’s early top contenders for AOTY, hands down. (profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com/track/indigo-birds)
Ashbringer – Vacant (Avantegarde): Equal parts placid and punishing, Vacant is an arresting exploration of the sober darkness that breeds within the forest depths. Highly recommended. (ashbringermusic.bandcamp.com/track/bitter)
Tribulation – Children of the Night (Century Media): Bridging the divide between tr00 and false [sic] with absolutely zero fucks given, Tribulation continue their organic transmogrification from Swedish death orthodoxy into a far more expansive, melodic (but still relentlessly riff-saturated) creative vision on their Century Media debut. A mercurial yet still fully realized LP, impossible to pin down with arbitrary genre boundaries.
King Woman – Doubt EP (The Flenser): Former Whirr frontwoman Kristina Esfandiari finds fertile common ground between Mazzy Star and Black Sabbath on this insta-classic doomgaze EP. Here’s hoping a full length is soon in the offering. (theflenser.bandcamp.com/track/burn)
Tengger Cavalry – Blood Sacrifice Shaman (Metal Hell Records): Absolutely fun folk-tinged Mongolian metal with a galloping pace. Super stoked to hear the rest of this. (tenggercavalry.bandcamp.com/album/blood-sacrifice-shaman)
Kult of Taurus – Adversarial Paths: The Sinister Essence (Forever Plagued Records/Iron Bonehead Productions): This one is the first of three picks from Greece. Each have their own unique take on the black metal sound, this one edging out just a bit as it is the most immediately catchy. (soundcloud.com/iron-bonehead-productions/kult-of-taurus-the-piercing-conjunctions-of-the-sinister)
Isolert – Isolated Soul (independent): The oh so close second of the black metal offerings from Greece. A bit more attuned to the dark side.
Nocternity – Harps of the Ancient Temples (Iron Bonehead): Third of Greece’s fine selection of black metal picks. Great atmosphere. (soundcloud.com/iron-bonehead-productions/nocternity-harps-of-the-ancient-temples)
Al-Namrood – Heen Yadhar Al Ghasq (Shaytan Productions): Rounding out the bunch with some very addictive Saudi Arabian black metal. (shaytanproductions.bandcamp.com/track/bat-al-thaar-nar-muheja)
1. Palace in Thunderland – In the Afterglow of Unity (independent)
2. Demon Eye – Tempora Infernalia (Soulseller Records)
3. Minsk – The Crash and the Draw (Relapse)
4. Atavismo – Desintegracion (Not on Label Records)
5. Graveyard – Lights Out (Nuclear Blast)
READING: Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther Trilogy
WATCHING: La prochaine fois je viserai le coeur (Cédric Anger)
ANTICIPATING: Apostle of Solitude/Orodruin in Rochester (May 1), Ufomammut/Sons of OTIS (May 16), Graveyard (May 22)
1. Monolord – Vaenir (Riding Easy) Heavy ass STONER DOOM! (monolord.bandcamp.com/album/v-nir)
2. Bell Witch – Four Phantoms (Profound Lore) Heavy ass DEATH/DOOM!
3. Elder – Lore (Armageddon Shop) Cool ass STONER/PROG/SLUDGE! (beholdtheelder.bandcamp.com/album/lore)
4. Foehammer – Foehammer (Grimoire) Heavy ass DOOM! (grimoirerecords.bandcamp.com/album/foehammer)5. Kult of the Wizard – The White Wizard (self) Spaced ass PSYCH DOOM! (kultofthewizard.bandcamp.com/album/the-white-wizard)
NOW WATCHING: Game of Thrones Season 5
NOW READING: Patrick Tilley – The Amtrak Wars: Book 2: The First Family
Corsair – One Eyed Horse (corsair.bandcamp.com/album/one-eyed-horse)
Elder – Lore (Armageddon Shop) (beholdtheelder.bandcamp.com/album/lore)
Kyuss – … And the Circus Leaves Town (Elektra)
Convent Guilt – Guns for Hire (Shadow Kingdom) (shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/guns-for-hire)
Bell Witch – Four Phantoms (Profound Lore) (profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com/album/four-phantoms)
1. Deaf Dealer – Journey into Fear (Cult Metal Classics): Finished in ’87 for whatever reason it was never released till now. Truly one of the great true metal LPs of all time.
2. Weak Aside – The Next Offensive (FDA Rekotz): Great Bolt Thrower influenced Death Metal.
3. Dwell – Vermin and Ashes: Great doom metal Hells Headbangers.
4. Dr Living Dead – Crush the Sublime Gods (Century Media): Great Venice beach influenced Speed Crossover à la Suicidal Tendencies.
5. Evil Invaders – Pulses of Pleasure: Great Belgian Speed Metal on Napalm Records.
Solefald – World Metal: Kosmopolis Sud (Indie Recordings) (www.indierecordings.no/solefald)
Leprous – Congregation (Inside Out) (soundcloud.com/officialinsideoutmusic/leprous-rewind)
A Forest of Stars – Beward the Sword You Cannot See (Prophecy) (a-forest-of-stars.bandcamp.com/album/beware-the-sword-you-cannot-see)
Killer Be Killed – Killer Be Killed (Nuclear Blast) (www.killerbekilled.com)
Dead Land – All Light Finds Us in the End: a two track drone/ambient EP for the victims of the recent earthquake in Kathmandu. Any financial donations will forwarded on to Kathmandu Earthquake Relief Fund.
The Gentle Storm – The Diary (Inside Out)
Bell Witch – Four Phantoms (Profound Lore)
Vile Creature – A Steady Descent Into the Soil (Independent)
Katatonia – Sanctitude (Kscope)
Royal Thunder – Crooked Doors (Relapse)
WATCHING: Utopia (series)
ANTICIPATING: Faith No More live in Toronto (May 9th)