The Round Up Tapes // Volume XII

Former Worlds – Photos of Eve IX – XVI

Former Worlds use differing palettes of sound to create a landscape that is ravaged by the harshness of life. Soft, spinning drones echo in the quieter moments while filth-laden sludge bears the brunt of their rage in the opposing loud passages, all within one epic, seventeen minute track. Their first release, Photos of Eve IX – XVI, showcases the quartet’s ability to turn things on a head with barely any notice, yet it’s tight and cohesive and the inclusion of Erin Severson’s voice gives them a little leverage over other bands of this ilk.

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The Round Up Tapes // Volume XI

Dodecahedron – Kwintessens

Dutch avant-horror group Dodecahedron are back after a seemingly eternal wait for their follow-up to the incredible Dodecahedron from 2012. Using their time wisely, the quintet have dredged another terrifying prospect from the depths and in Kwintessens they have a record that moves their avant-garde black metal ever further into the realms of chaos.

“Prelude” forces you directly into the abyss with frenetic beats and jarring guitars vying for space in the heat surrounding echoing voices and industrial machinations before “TETRAHEDRON – The Culling Of The Unwanted From The Earth” whirls into view on discordant rhythms and off-kilter attacks. M. Eikenaar’s vocals are guttural and filled with spite, his approach one of total hatred and in line with the despair that echoes throughout the music, which often turns on its own head and becomes increasingly more claustrophobic as time progresses.

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The Round Up Tapes // Volume VII

Wow. It’s been some time, huh? There’s a myriad of reasons but none of them are very exciting and the problem of being in way too much pain to sit at the laptop and type for hours has been the biggest issue. But! There’s plans afoot and a procedure is booked for the end of April. Cool! I’d like to say that that will fix the issue of me just not being very productive…..but who knows? We’ll see.

Anyway, lots of great music has been released and lots of great music is on the way so to get back to regular programming here are some records that are wonderful and worth some attention. Plus, here are some links to other sites where I have talked about Oranssi Pazuzu’s latest and Wolvserpent’s new EP.

Cobalt – Slow Forever

cobalt

Cobalt have had a much publicised, troubled history of late, with founding member Erik Wunder removing collaborator Phil McSorley from the line-up soon after discovering his heinous antics on the world wide web (it’s been documented countless times so far be it fro me to get back into such a shitty experience). After a lot of talk of new music, it was touch and go for the band and moving forward seemed a long way off. Yet, Wunder drafted in vocalist Charlie Fell (also going through a public break up with Lord Mantis) to add to his musical palette. Wunder is a delirious musician; he has crafted a stunning and epic double album and allowed Fell to explore his voice in much more scope than he has previously.

Cobalt tread a much different path than they have in the past, leaving many semblances of their black metal past firmly with 2009s Gin (the last time we heard anything from the band). Slow Forever instead incorporates other subtle influences – from the Americana style of the opening lines of “Hunt the Buffalo” to the bass driven punk of “Cold Breaker” to the sludgy howls of “Slow Forever” and the amped up dissonance of album closer “Siege.” It’s a varied and dynamic work that is filled with passion, despair, new-found drive and the occasional breath of beauty. The aforementioned track suddenly gives way to gorgeous, soaring guitars that move against the horror preceding it and allows a little spark of light to filter through. Of course, such serenity isn’t built to last and soon the song falls back into furious beats and pained screams. A devastating reminder that there is always a calm before a tumultuous storm.

Slow Forever can be streamed and purchased here.

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Idre – Idre

Forming in Oklahoma City, Idre are a melancholic, earthy and hypnotic entity. The former trio (now duo for the time being due to bassist Andon Whitehorn recently taking his leave of the band) are a delicious entry into the atmospheric sphere and their sound is quite difficult to pin down. Taking in elements of doom, sludge, drone and noise, even a martial beat (Nicholas Wojcik) during second track “Witch Trial”, Idre travel the path towards oblivion in many different ways yet their gloomy aura is coherent and each passage moves deftly into the next without losing track of the core of the band.

Vocals are sparse but delightfully gothic in tone with guitarist Ryan Davis adding a new sphere of darkness to proceedings with the recordings on this two track full length taking on a somewhat doomed country feeling at times – think True Widow or Earth’s latest for comparisons – and the sprawling, sculpted landscapes of sound the record conjures are truly mesmerising.

idre

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Bleak Metal Presents: Sonance +TORPOR, Of Spire & Throne and Terra

After an incredible reception at the inaugural Temples Festival this year, Bristol’s SONANCE will be heading to the other side of the country to take the stage at Camden Town’s favourite pub/venue, The Unicorn. On September 27 they will be joined by TORPOR, Edinburgh’s Of Spire & Throne and Cambridgeshire’s Terra to bring an eclectic line up but a unified echo of deeply atmospheric music to the evening.

sonance final cut

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Bleak Metal Presents: Caïna X Church Of Fuck

Bleak Metal is extremely honoured to present Caïna live as a full band for the very first time in their ten year history. Usually a solo project, Caïna is doing something incredibly special for the ten year anniversary of the band which will be taking place at Camden’s Black Heart on Saturday July 5.

Supporting at this event will be the Manchester based groups Esoteric Youth and Old Skin, both label mates on cult imprint Church Of Fuck and both absolutely fantastic. In addition to playing these sets, members from both acts will be a part of the live Caïna experience giving Andy Curtis-Brignell’s back catalogue the kind of atmosphere that it hasn’t been able to suffer under as yet.

The latest addition to the line up is the wonderful chaps of Harrowed who have kindly agreed to lend their frenetic energy to the evening.

Caïna X Church Of Fuck // designed by http://rdmvisuals.tumblr.com/
Caïna X Church Of Fuck // designed by Ross D McKendrick

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Northumbria – Black Sea of Trees

You may remember that a few months ago I posted a review of a lovely record by a band named Northumbria. If you don’t, click here and you can see it and enjoy it perhaps.

Northumbria have a music video streaming and the title of the track is “Black Sea of Trees”. It’s really wonderful and you’d be doing yourself a favour by checking it out. I have included it below so all you need to do is press play. Minimal effort ist krieg. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Nonsun – Good Old Evil

Nonsun are a two-piece from Lviv in Ukraine and they deal in crushing tones of doomed out sludge and droned atmospheres of wondrous heaviness. Having emailed me way back in Janauary (sorry), Nonsun definitely piqued my interest and I’ve been meaning to get around to this for three months nearly. I am a terrible person and for that, I apologise.

Nonsun - Good Old Evil - Cover
Goatooth – Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Keys
Alpha – Drums

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Northumbria – Northumbria

The Toronto based Northumbria specialise is cloying drone atmospheres culled from only the hugely amplified tones of guitar and bass and this debut was recorded completely live (in a church nonetheless). There’s a definite urgency in their take on the genre that takes a hold almost immediately. High waves of frequency seep into your conscious and the sounds that Jim Field and Dorian Williamson (both Holoscene members) make are truly dripping with a stately warmth. Their hums and thrums are full of texture and a sense of movement and there’s an all-round feeling that Northumbria is a constant forward motion into the unknown.

Northumbria - Church

Jim Field – Guitar, Dorian Williamson – Bass

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