Death Mother (Church Road Records) is the debut full-length from Sweden’s Blodet, and it arrives after the tragic death of their guitarist Rickie Paleski-Östland, who contributed to the writing of the album. In spite of the inevitably difficult process of getting the record finished, it is nevertheless described as “cathartic”, “mesmerising”, and “alluring” by the press release which also draws comparisons to Chelsea Wolfe, Cult of Luna, and Sonic Youth.
A live album by New Model Army was not expected, but I’ll take it. They have pushed the boundaries of punk since 1980, and this album is another example of how they outgrew the punk label. How many punk bands bring an orchestra with them? New Model Army was never just a three-chord band bashing things out with youthful recklessness; thoughtful songwriting and darker dynamics have always been a part of who they are. This album makes perfect sense given the breadth of their work, as it’s not the first time strings have played a role in their songs.
Singer-songwriter Ora Cogan, based in Vancouver Island, has been creating and releasing “cinematic compositions” since 2007. Her ninth album, Formless (Prism Tongue Records), presents a “bizarre sonic Venn diagram” of influences including gothic country, psychedelia, post-punk and more, according to the accompanying press release.
For reasons well documented that we are not going to touch on here, notverynicecream (Hassle Records) the sophomore record from Bristolian avant-garde noise merchants Phoxjaw, finally sees the light of day some six months after first scheduled. And focusing solely on the music, is this a record that was worth the wait? In a nutshell … Yes!
Brooklyn, New York trio Spotlights (Sarah Quintero – bass/vocals, Mario Quintero – guitar/vocals/keyboards and programming, and Chris Enriquez on drums/percussion/vocals) have been releasing music since 2016 when they debuted with the Tidals album. Since then they have garnered fans such as Chino Moreno and have toured with the aforementioned’s band Deftones as well as Refused,Quicksand, and Mr. Bungle.
Grave Pleasures were one of those bands that had been stuck on my ‘must check out at some stage’ list, until now. In case you weren’t aware of the history, they originally formed as Beastmilk back in 2010 and put out debut Climax after which came the name change as well as a string of subsequent releases. Plagueboys is the band’s fourth full-length album overall and the follow-up to 2017’s Motherblood. Continue reading →
HIM (aka His Infernal Majesty) is one of the biggest, most successful bands to come out of Finland. Love Metal is not only the name of their fourth full-length album, but it is a genre of music they invented. So, it is fair to say many were dismayed when these Finnish fellas broke up six years ago. Yet hope was rekindled when frontman Ville Valo (aka VV) announced his debut solo album in 2022. Neon Noir (Heartagram Records, read our review here) was released earlier this year and has received high praise. Now the man is on the road again sharing his new tunes and some HIM classics on his headlining world tour. Valo brought his romantic rock to Detroit and blessed Saint Andrew’s Hall with his presence. The Live Nation venue was a perfect pit stop for this tour since it is a premiere music site that caters well to hot and flashy rock bands. Our local baseball team, The Detroit Tigers, had their opening day the same evening as Valo’s big show so the streets of the city were bustling and full of hubbub. That energy spilled into the beloved hall and made the night a colorful experience.
Songs Of Abundance, Psalms Of Grief (La Rubia Producciones) is the debut album from Edinburgh-based healthyliving, who comprise of singer Amaya Lopez-Carromero (Maud The Moth), guitarist/bassist Scott McLean (Ashenspire / Falloch) and drummer Stefan Potzsch. The project is the culmination of the three working together under various different guises over the years and follows on from their EP release Until/Below (2021).
Puscifer will always be best known as one of the many creative outlets for Tool / A Perfect Circle vocalist Maynard James Keenan, and as an avenue for the most obscure depths of his musical creativity. But the band has always been a collaborative affair, with Keenan working alongside many different artists over the years, with their albums subsequently always providing an infusion of many different ideas and experiences. Existential Reckoning : Rewired (Puscifer Entertainment / Alchemy Recordings/ BMG)is the remix accompaniment to their 2020 album, which itself was a typically avant-garde electro-rock melting pot of futuristic and otherworldly sounds.