Saturday, February 23, 2013

Song of the Week: The Gates of Slumber – Ice Worm

If you are looking for a modern representation of the classic doom metal of Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus, you need to look no further than Indianapolis’s Gates of Slumber. Many of their earlier albums were inspired by the fantasy writings of Robert E. Howard, with particular emphasis on Conan the Barbarian. The song of the week comes from their 3rd album, Conqueror, and is based off of the short story "The Lair of the Ice Worm" where Conan battles an ice worm named Yakhamar. And while it can often be difficult to craft a song about fantasy topics that does not come off as being forced, The Gates of Slumber do not fall prey to this. Karl Simon’s impassioned vocals add real weight to the topics and help to recognize Robert E. Howard’s creations and their important place in fantasy literature.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Son Volt – Hearts and Minds

Son Volt was one of two bands that helped me realize that country music had a lot worth liking (the other being Armchair Martian). It was singer Jay Farrar’s voice that first grabbed me and helped me come to terms with the mellow country sound, until I finally acquired a taste for it.

It has been 4 years since Son Volt released their last album, American Central Dust, which was a venture more into traditional acoustic folk/country than the rock & roll of some of their previous albums. On March 5th, Son Volt is releasing Honky Tonk, and from all I have read, it will be a continuation of the sound from American Central Dust.

Rolling Stone is streaming the song “Hearts and Minds” from the album, which you can listen to here. The song does not have the sorrowful and depressing tone that I particularly love about a lot of Farrar’s other music, but anything new from Son Volt is worth getting excited about.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Song of the Week: Enabler – Live Low

I have to admit that I know very little about Enabler. They are a crust punk/metal band from Milwaukee that recently signed to the venerable Southern Lord Records. They have been on my mental list of bands to check out after seeing a lot of praise for their 2012 release, All Hail The Void.

The metal news blog Metal Sucks recently previewed a song from their upcoming EP, Shift of Redemption. The song is called “Live Low,” and is it one hell of an angry ride. Vocalist/guitarist Jeff Lohrber describes the song as his attempt to write the ultimate “fuck you” song. An admirable goal, and one that he very well may have obtained. The opening lines of “Fuck you. Fuck you forever!” certainly set the right tone. Head on over to Metal Sucks and see if you agree.

Shift of Redemption is being released on Think Fast! Records on April 9th on a 7”. Only 1,000 copies are being pressed, so don’t hesitate! Preorder it here.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Song of the Week: Pallbearer – Foreigner

My favorite song from Pallbear’s debut album, Sorrow and Extinction, one of the most celebrated metal releases of this past year. If you are a fan of old school Black Sabbathian doom metal, then this will be right up your alley. Foreigner is a 12 minute expedition into the depths of despair, rising to majestic, soul-piercing heights by the third vocal refrain.

They are on tour right now with Norway’s preeminent black metal band, Enslaved. Get out there and see them if you want to see one of doom metal’s most promising acts.