Join us once again for an update on what the Hellbound folks are digging these days. On top of the usual picks this month, we share some of our spooky Halloween favourites.
New release: Hamell On Trial – The Night Guy at The Apocalypse, Profiles of Rushing Midnight (LP). Anybody who knows me knows that I’m a devout fan of Hamell On Trial, and have been since Tough Love came out in 2003. That doesn’t mean any of Hamell’s releases since then have been comparable to Tough Love though – not before now. Recorded using the singer’s cellphone while on tour around North America, Europe and the UK, The Night Guy at The Apocalypse, Profiles of Rushing Midnight is undeniably raw, but it perfectly showcases the singer’s talent for wordplay and song craft, and goes out of its way to duck most of the comical clichés which dogged albums like The Happiest Man in the World and Songs For Parents Who Enjoy Drugs. The results contained here are phenomenal – the first record comparable to Tough Love since that album’s release – and will be able to quench the appetites of existing fans as well as bringing more to the table, effortlessly.
Non-metal: Travelling Wilburys – Volume 1 (picture disc vinyl reissue). Since I joined the press in 2002 alone, The Traveling Wilburys’ first album has been reissued a couple of times which, I think, speaks volumes about the quality of the music contained on it, but this particular reissue goes a step further and includes the best imaginable wrapping. This vinyl gives listeners a great physical package to accompany the undeniably classic music.
Wildcard: Dad Brains – s/t 7”. Since OFF! first appeared and revived the real spirit of hardcore in 2011, there has been no shortage of great releases, but Dad Brains is different. On this 7”, Dad Brains accept where hardcore is (now about forty-five years strong) and plays to that without bothering to try and front it with a babyface. That Dad Brains acts its age is refreshing and that it ends up sounding youthful as a result is surprising – and that the songs presented on this 7” single end up playing out as well as they do is nothing short of gratifying. This reality check has the brass to not act like no time has passed since the band from whom Dad Brains lifted its name was making noise and is a must-hear for that reason and the fact that it doesn’t try to take itself too seriously too.
Halloween: Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers – Teenage and Torture. Okay, yeah – my pick here is not a new release and not (technically) directly associated with Halloween, but listening to this album at this time of the year just feels as right as listening to Bing Crosby does at Christmas. It’s dark, it’s aggressive and angry, and just the ticket for my favorite holiday.
New Release: Iron Void – Excalibur. Excellent NWOBHM-infused concept album, this is metal as it should be, from a time before negativity and a silly multitude of sub-genres entered into. One of my albums of the year.
Live: Glenn Hughes at the Olympia Dublin September 30. Absolutely superb set, great to see a legend who can still deliver, and such a genuine warm chap with the audience. definitely hoping Glenn will come back to Ireland, and I advise anyone reading this to see the show if they get a chance.
Non-metal: A cliché but a good one, anything by John Carpenter, his music is just seared into my synapses as the sound of Halloween.
Wild card: After see Glenn Hughes at the Olympia, you would have thought that was it for great music for the night, but happily no so! I saw Mama Martin Fibbers, blues for the 21st century, played by a great band, and in Andrea Martin, they have the best front lady I’ve seen since Tina Turner!
Halloween: Bit of a two pronged attack for Samhain. On one hand it will be films like Halloween or Mandy, on the other Bad Reputation’s Siege of Limerick at Dolans featuring the likes of Kingwitch and Seven Sister’s, always the best way to spend Halloween in Ireland.
Listening to: Boss Keloid, sludge, stoner, prog, doom band from England, UK. Just discovered this band when they were supporting OHHMS. Why I have not heard of them before?? Can’t get enough of them now!
New Release … or two: Disturbed – latest album Evolution, released on October 19th by Reprise Records. And having a soft spot for industrial metal, was waiting for Author & Punisher’s sixth full length recording Beastland to come out (October 5th via Relapse Records).
Live: Monuments headlining Euroblast’s first day. The energy in that room was insane!
Halloween: Type O Negative – ‘All Hallows Eve’, ‘Woof Moon’
Listening to: Friday the 13th soundtrack
New release: Soulfly – Ritual. Best Soulfly album to date and I shall put together a review of it shortly.
Live: Monster Energy Aftershock Festival, review in process.
Non-metal: Devo – Greatest Hits
Wild card: The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix. Fun, creepy story that pulls from other haunted stories before it. A binge worthy watch.
Halloween: Dawn of The Dead (1978) soundtrack
Listening to: Saint Vitus – Born Too Late
New release: Deadbird – III: The Forest Within The Tree
Live: Clutch @ Rebel Oct 23, Windhand / Satan’s Satyrs @ Horseshoe Tavern, Nov 5
Non-metal: Cody Jinks – I’m Not the Devil
Wild card: Currently sitting at 3-3 in Matt Hinch’s heavy metal fantasy football league
Halloween: Misfits – “Skulls”
Listening to: Avidya by Drofnosura. Psychedelic, sludgey, delicious.
New release: An Appointed Time by A Flock Named Murder. Cascadian riffs, massive hits.
Live: Liquor Messiah performing as Metallica, “Tribute to Legends” Halloween – Oct 27 @ Coalition. Total dedication pays off.
Wild card: Beyond Celestial Echoes by Sacral Rage. AMAZING.
Halloween: Spookhouse by Slasher Dave. Veteran of all things creeptastic does it again.
Listening to: Brant Bjork – Local Angel. Technically this is the 2018 reissue but it originally came out in 2004. It’s wicked chill, dude.
New release: Soulfly – Ritual. Max and Co. bring some of their past sounds into the present with a savage new record. I skip “Soulfy XI” every time though. Stupid saxophone.
Live: CLUTCH!!!!! Live in Toronto Oct 23. Greg was there! Obviously they played plenty of new tracks but they busted out “Shogun Named Marcus”, “El Jefe Speaks”, “Spacegrass”, and not just “Big News I” but “Big News II” as well! I’d like to know which one of the boys got to pick that night’s set list. Plus my first show post-legalization. 😉
Non-metal: Greta Van Fleet – Anthem of the Peaceful Army. Any metal friends I’ve spoken to about this album hate it and the band. Guess what? I like it and I don’t care.
Wild card: Clutch – Book of Bad Decisions. Still dominating the cd player in my van. It’s so much fun! And now I’m trying to start every day with some Clutch.
Halloween: White Zombie – La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol.1. I don’t listen to much “spooky” music unless you consider psych-doom spooky. But nothing represents Halloween better than Rob Zombie!
New release: Cauldron – New Gods
Live: Razor at Mavericks in Ottawa December 1st
Non- metal: This is Rachmaninoff.
Wild card: Zimmer’s Hole – Bound By Fire
Halloween: The time of year the good home decor goes on sale!
Listening to: REPULSION – Horrified (Relapse Records, 1992)
New release: BLURRING – Cloud Burner (SOA Records 2018)
Live: SHALLOW NORTH DAKOTA / FIFTYWATTHEAD at This Ain’t Hollywood, Hamilton ON, earlier this month totally blew my mind.
Non-metal: THE TRAGICALLY HIP – We Are The Same (Universal Canada)
Wild card: VAN HALEN – 1978-1984 demos
Halloween: GOBLIN – Suspiria soundtrack
Listening to: Dissection – Storm of the Light’s Bane (1995)
New Release: Ahtme – Sewerborn (2018, Unique Leader Records). A good friend of mine just recently introduced me to Ahtme and their new album Sewerborn. What a gnarly tech death sound!
Live: Suffocation (Frank Mullen’s Farewell Tour) @ Lee’s Palace, Toronto, October 24th
Non-metal: Die Mannequin – Fino + Bleed (2009)
Wild card: Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir. The autobiography from Dave Mustaine of Megadeth and Metallica.
Halloween: King Diamond – “Halloween” (Fatal Portrait, 1986)
Listening to: Bathory – Hammerheart (1990. Noise Records). Definitely one of the most subversive albums Bathory ever released approaching more Nordic lyrical themes and a unique vocal style different than previous records. This album holds one of my favorite Bathory tracks, “One Road to Asa Bay.”
New release: Esoctrilihum – Inhüma (2018. I, Voidhanger Records). One of the most consistent one-man-projects has released his second full-length this year and it’s a masterpiece of terrifying experimental black metal.
Live: Suffocation and Cattle Decapitation at Lee’s Palace on October 24, 2018. What can I say, an amazing grindcore and death metal show. Every act was kickass and I’m sad I won’t be able to see Frank Mullen with Suffocation ever again.
Non-metal: Wintersleep – Wintersleep (2003. The Tom Kotter Company Limited). Some killer unique Canadian folk music that is completely original in vocals, percussion and guitars.
Wild card: Liv Ullmann on Faithless at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on October 23, 2018. Yeah pretty jazzed about this one. Got to meet my favorite actress of all time who has appeared in countless Ingmar Bergman films.
Halloween: Mercyful Fate – Don’t Break the Oath (1984. Metal Blade Records). Come on. Mercyful Fate and King Diamond have a spooky aura around them. I honestly can’t think of any better pick for Halloween.
Listening to: Zeal & Ardor – Stranger Fruit (2018)
New release: Virgin Black – Requiem – Pianissimo (releases November 30, 2018)
Live: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds @ Scotiabank Arena, Toronto
Halloween: Entombed – “Night of the Vampire,” which I only just now realized in a Roky Erickson cover (#slowontheuptake).
New release: Thrawsunblat – Great Brunswick Forest
Live: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Toronto
Non-metal: Mandy (OST) – Jóhann Jóhannsson
Wild card: Sorry to Bother You – dir. Boots Riley
Halloween: Iced Earth – Horror Show