I’m pretty sure that in a parallel universe there’s a version of me who’s a metal guitarist. I love music, despite knowing nothing about it technically and I spend most of my waking hours listening to rock and metal.
So, in a break from regular programming (haha, there’s nothing regular about my posting), heres’s a post about some delicious dark music I’ve discovered and enjoyed in the last year – in no particular order. I’ve only covered a few albums, so this list is nowhere near complete, but I like the idea about writing about music, so may do it more.
Mammoth Storm - Fornjot
First off, here’s some Stoner Doom Metal (yes, that’s totally a thing). Mammoth Storm is slow, ponderous and extremely heavy, with epic buildups and hypnotic riffs. Their full length album, Fornjot easily one of my favourite releases of 2015, and I find this great background music when I need to concentrate.
Riverside - Love, Fear and the Time Machine
Riverside’s albums get less heavy over time, but definitely no less brilliant. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the heavier albums of a few years ago, like ADHD, but this album feels a bit more grown up, and is excellent.
Author & Punisher - Melk En Honning
Melk En Honning reminds me of The Fragile, by NiN. In that it’s EXTREMELY heavy. I know little about this artist, but their bandcamp page says they use specially made instruments, and this come across in the industrial sounding feel of the music.
Paradise Lost - The Plague Within
This is my favourite Paradise Lost album for years! I love the mixture old oldschool vocals and clean singing from earlier albums and the classic guitar sounds are still there. Nick Holmes’ time singing for Bloodbath really helped with the quality of this album, and my favourite track is Flesh From Bone.
Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard - Noeth Ac Anoeth
Don’t let the ridiculous name put you off! Noeth Ac Anoeth is awesome Stoner Doom metal with positively angelic vocals. The female vocals make this really different from other bands in the same genre, and while I discovered it late in the year, I’ve been listening to it a lot.
Marilyn Manson - The Pale Emperor
I spent a fair amount of time earlier last year with this album on repeat. It sounds great played loud, through actual speakers, and while it’s not at all like any of his previous albums, I think this is Marilyn Manson’s best album for a good few years.
Leprous - The Congregation
I really love Leprous, and I’ve only recently found any other bands with such striking vocals (see Agent Fresco, below). The Congregation is great, but as lots of online reviews have said, somehow less striking and progressive than Coal, their previous album.
Still, don’t let that stop you listening because it’s still awesome. If you need any convincing that this album is worth a listen, just watch the video for the opening track, The Price:
Gazpacho - Molok
This post is dragging on, but I can’t even start to wrap it up without mentioning one of my favourite Norwegian “Art-Prog” bands, Gazpacho. I always find their music takes a few listens to really sink in and become enjoyable, but once you cross that threshold you’ll become hooked. Molok is no exception. Some of the concepts covered in the album are crazy, so I encourage you to search the web and read about it!
Finding new music
Apart from clicking about on streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify, which are great sources of new things to listen to, there are a few blogs I recommend if you’re into ‘dark’ music, like the more experimental side of rock and metal.
Dark Hemyspheres is a monthly column which rounds up recent releases. I never know how the author picks what he reviews, but it’s an excellent source of new music. In December 2015, for example it reviewed Sunn O)))’s amazing Kannon album, and Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, which is alo excellent.
Radio Fenriz, by the Fenriz from Darkthrone covers a massive amount of music, a lot of which is excellent. Episode 9 was my favourite last year, and it covered things ranging from Avatarium to Ecstatic Vision, which I love. Check it out. Just don’t send in any more demos.
Heavy Blog is Heavy
Heavy Blog does an excellent job of covering less common heavy music. In fact, it might do too good a job, and I end up with hundreds of posts in my RSS reader. Their Top 50 Albums of 2015 is full of great albums, like Myrkur’s M, Leprous - The Congregation, and Agent Fresco, with Destrier. This is a good site to flick through until something catches your eye, and then listen to it.
I’ve been thinking about writing a post about music for a while now, and now I have. Hopefully, if you’ve stumbled here because of an artist you know you’ll find something else you like. I’ve tried to include a range of different types of music, but know I don’t listen to that broad a range of styles – there literally is just too much to listen to.