Kristin Hayter is perhaps better known by her erstwhile pseudonym Lingua Ignota, under which moniker she has released several albums that combine dark experimentalism with the influence of classical and folk music. Stating that it is “not healthy for [her] to relive [her] worst experiences over and over” through the music of her previous project, she has now recast herself as Reverend Kristin Michael Hayter, under which name her new album SAVED! (Perpetual Flame Ministries) arrives.
On Thursday, July 20th, I was fortunate enough to be amongst many others in attendance at Wally’s in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, where Royal Thunder took the stage in support of their newest album Rebuilding the Mountain (Spinefarm Records). This was the first time I had seen a Royal Thunder performance since they toured for their previous record Wick in 2017. After some time away from touring, the Atlanta rock band soared back into our ears & hearts in a way that only Royal Thunder could. With an awe-inspiring spell of entertainment right on Hampton Beach that evening. As the lights dimmed and the house music dissolved to a halt, Josh, Mlny, and Evan sauntered onto the stage into view. The trio that gave us such fantastic records previously were reunited at last. The energy between the three bandmates before us seemed to resonate throughout the room like an unheard sound. It was hard to ignore the feeling of anticipation building, for the heart of Royal Thunder was whole again.
Jaye Jayle is effectively the solo project of Evan Patterson, and Don’t Let Your Love Life Get You Down (Pelagic Records)is his first offering since his divorce from Emma Ruth Rundle — a topic which seems to have informed both the title and the content of this new record.
Ayron Jones delivers blockbusting, heartbreaking, beautiful, and bluesy rock ‘n’ roll on Chronicles Of The Kid (Big Machine/John Varvatos Records). “I came for the title,” he sings. “I got a word to my rivals.” The verdict? If it’s a matter of survival, this kid’s still standing.
This band from Atlanta transcended the vest metal tag assigned to them early on, to become one of the most underrated new acts to coast under the radar of mainstream rock. The lengthy seven-year break since their last album did not help this, but Rebuilding The Mountain (Spinefarm Records) finds the band taking inventory of their demons before returning, reconfigured, with drummer Evan Diprima back in the fold.
Avenged Sevenfold are potentially one of the most divisive metal acts out of the US since Metallica. All you need to do is look at their previous two albums, 2013’s Hail To The King & 2016’s The Stage to see the extreme polar oppositions these albums created. The former for how the band wore their Metallica influence on their sleeve, creating their own version of The Black Album, and then the following 2016 release throwing all of their previous influences and sounds up in the air, bringing in outside sources from the likes of Pink Floyd, and creating a wholly new progressive rock/metal experience.
After a seven-year wait, psychedelic rockers Blood Ceremony are back with their new album The Old Ways Remain (Rise Above Records). This is their fifth record and it sees the Canadian quartet successfully add Folk, Pop, and Jazz elements to their already multifaceted, woozy psychedelic rock.
There is a rich tradition of Doom musicians releasing stripped-back acoustic affairs as the likes of Scott Weinrich, Tony Reed, and Mike Scheidt can attest to. Windhand‘s Dorthia Cottrell is no exception and Death Folk Country (Relapse Records) marks her second solo effort to date following a self-titled debut in 2015.