The Round Up Tapes // Thrill Jockey Edition

If you’ve been reading Bleak Metal for a while (in which case, wow, thank you) then you may remember my End of Year list from, well, the end of last year. Now, I spoke a lot there about how terrible 2013 had been in a lot of respects, the biggest being that pretty soon I would be out of a job. That happened, and it sucked but y’know, I’m so bloody glad about it. Because losing that job meant that I got to do something hecka cool this summer – I went to America and attended Gilead Fest. And holy crap, it was brilliant. At that festival I saw friendly internet faces, bands I never thought I’d get to see (two of which I will talk about below) and I saw up close the passion and commitment that one of my favourite labels has for the community. I reviewed the event for Subterranea/Metal Hammer and you can see it here.

I also met some lovely people, two of whom were Bettina and Jonathan from Thrill Jockey Records who then put me in touch with Ken from the UK side. Since then Ken has sent some excellent works, a few of which I will now talk about because no one wants to hear me bang on about myself and the music is much more interesting.

Hit more for more!

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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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Grey Widow – I

Grey Widow have been around for barely a year (members have been/are in Dopefight, Parole and Evisorax) and their debut, I, is a record that belies that freshness – although the record itself is far from clean and pure. This monolithic beast of an album is slow, sludgy and disgustingly dark. It’s huge in tone and the UK quartet have created an album of complete misanthropic intensity and an experience that is harrowing, dirty and agonising.

Grey Widow - I - cover

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Ancst+Hiveburner – Split

What do we have here then? Oh, just a really cool split by two really cool bands, that’s all.

Ancst hail from the Berlin DIY scene and their blend of furious black metal with a hint of melody and more than a touch of hardcore (check “Patterns & Dreamers” if you don’t believe) is deadly and wholly infectious – you’ll be throwing that old invisible oranges pose before you know it. Hiveburner come from the same scene but I know bugger all about them and they are evidently quite hard to track down on the world wide web. That’s cool though, I guess?

ancst cover

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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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Ecocide – When Will It End?

San Antonio based Ecocide have sadly split up (an event which occurred some time ago), but to continue their legacy Tofu Carnage Records are set to press a collection of previously unreleased material on vinyl. Four tracks of powerful and driven sludge make up this new compilation and show that Ecocide are certainly going to be hugely missed on the crust sludge scene. Blackened choruses showcase a knack for melody and deep growls of utter contempt permeate the oppressive atmosphere of When Will It End? with rage and outright disgust at the horrors of the modern world.

Their first and self titled LP was an important record in terms of message and action, and it’s a huge shame that Ecocide will no longer continue. Their history and legacy will live on though, through When Will It End? which is a huge and heavy work, and one that consistently reveals new layers of sound and tone through repeated listens.

Ecocide - When Will It End - Cover

Heidi – Violin and Vocals, Brian Gordon – Guitar, Nick – Guitar, Brian Slaughter – Bass, Elliott – Drums

1. Despair
2. Pain
3. When Will It End?
4. Barren

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