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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The Memory Remains. 2015 in review.

2015 is over and 2016 looms, full of promise and optimism but, in all likelihood it’s going to be much the same as the year before it and the year before that and the year before that……etc etc…. Every year I try not to have too many expectations about what the following twelve months will hold and instead try to take one day at a time and hope that through some kind of cosmic circumstance, that things will be OK. That my family will stay well and that they will be happy and that the struggles they face will become less.

2015 was, on the whole, a good year. My day job went well and continues to do so. For the most part my family are doing great and I saw my little brother get married in the summer, which was incredible despite having to sit in a church for that length of time. Writing took a little bit of a back seat and I found myself struggling to get as excited about it as I used to. It turned into a chore and I thought it best to allow myself some time to regain the joy in writing. I still get paid a little for some work and I continued to do that, but this blog and other online outlets suffered as a result.

I found myself not listening to as much music as I could have and usually do. That I wasn’t listening to a record unless I was writing about it (which as you can see from above, I didn’t do too much of) and so my pleasurable listening came from the occasional musical crush – you don’t want to know how many times I’ve listened to Enthrone Darkness Triumphant in the last six weeks.

As well as that, I have a physical ailment (it’s a super gross ganglion on my right wrist) that is preventing typing for extended periods of time and I finally went to see my GP about it. Fingers crossed that during the beginning of this year I get some news on when it can be operated on. The recovery is a month or more, so I’m not sure how things will go from there but it will save a lifetime of pain and medication.

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The Round Up Tapes // Submission Edition

Often I have bands send me a nice email asking if I’d like to hear some music. I like that, I like hearing new things that I may not have found otherwise. Sometimes I have bands who I have been in touch with previously send me something they think I might like. And I like that too. What I don’t like is when I take forever to write something about those bands. Life is busy and I don’t do enough on here. The Round Up Tapes this time is five bands who have submitted themselves, or have been submitted by someone I have dealt with before. Enjoy!

Barbelith – Mirror Unveiled

barbeith

Baltimore’s Barbelith attack black metal with a sly atmospheric tone that creeps beneath their otherwise harsh sounds and lifts their music into the more intriguing category of USBM. The band are raw where it counts and beautiful where it matters with Mirror Unveiled flowing from fast, staggering black metal to gorgeous arrangements of softer movements that layer the epic “Astral Plane” from beginning to end in light and shade. Harrowing screams from Barbelith’s frontman stand against the darkness and encompass the anguish that is held within their walls of sound. Highly recommended.

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OBLIVIONIZED//OLD SKIN//LET IT DIE//GREY WIDOW//KRAWWL

Oblivionized and Old Skin are heading out on mini tour across the weekend of June 6. In association with The Bloated Corpse Of Punk, Bleak Metal is helping put on the London date at Power Lunches in trendy East London on Friday 6 June.

Both Oblivionized and Old Skin are incredible forces live and joining them for this London show will be Let It Die, Grey Widow and KRAWWL. The mix of musical styles is quite varied but rest assured, the whole evening will be tied together with that misanthropic glare that each act contains within.

The doors for Power Lunches open at 6, with bands due to start around 7.30. We have the venue until 2am so bring yourself, your cool friends, £5 to gain entry and the capacity to party until the early hours.

Event information can be found here.

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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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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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Vestiges+Panopticon – Split LP

It’s no secret that I have a personal love and appreciation for the one man project of A. Lunn – Panopticon – so please allow me to harp on about this band one more time. It’s unlikely it’ll be the last time I talk about Panopticon so you’ll just have to deal with it. After 2011s searing Social Disservices and 2012s more melodic affair, Kentucky, Panopticon is back – this time with a split from another favourite of mine, Vestiges.

Vestiges side of the split nicely follows their debut The Descent of Man and their split with Ghaust in 2011 by naming the tracks contained here in a continuation of the songs found on those releases. “VII” and “VIII” deftly progress the sound that Vestiges created on their debut whilst bringing a new sense of coherence and a world of agony into these new works. Pantopicon meanwhile, evokes the landscapes we heard on Kentucky with two new compositions – “A Letter” and “Eulogy” – as well as a furious cover of Suicide Nation’s “Collapse and Die.”
vestigespanopticon-split-cover

Vestiges: Top secret guys. Panopticon: A. Lunn

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