Loud & Clear

Posted by prla1983 on August 08, 2008 • 0 commentsEmail This Post

Apart from The Offspring, there are a few other bands that have been heavily doing the rounds in my particular neck of the woods. Because I still have to digest most of these albums entirely but all the same they are too good to pass up, here's a quick and dirty heads up if you're looking for some mighty stuff to put through your speakers or headphones.

Baroness - Red Album (2007)

I was turned on to this band by a guy I know who owns a record store (or used to own, he sadly closed shop last month). At the time he recommended a lot of stuff which I couldn't afford to simply buy on sight plus I didn't really know Baroness. But then I kept hearing about them here and there and last time I went to the best record store in Lisbon, I picked this one up, new and shiny (sorry Miguel, if you hadn't closed your joint, I'd have bought it from you). The sticker on the cover claims this one is for fans of Mastodon, High On Fire, Mastodon and Explosions in the Sky, among other bands, but I don't know. This is simply modern rock and fucking roll the way it should be done in the 21st century. Enough technique, big fat groove, huge sound and I can't recommend Baroness' Red Album high enough. Yeah. Really.

Capricorns - Ruder Forms Survive (2005)

Another recent discovery of a fairly unknown band, again thanks to Miguel from the tiny record store. I actually bought this one there in one of my after-work visits last month. This was the first record he played for me in one of those afternoons and I was sold after a couple of minutes. Capricorns are part of the small roster of Rise Above Records, a label owned by Lee Dorrian (Napalm Death, Cathedral, Teeth of Lions Rule The Divine). This is stoner meets doom, mostly instrumental, lots of repetition, one of those records that seems fairly uneventful most of the time but that you slowly absorb until it grabs you and doesn't let go. Been spinning this quite a lot lately.

Ulver - Shadows Of The Sun (2007)

I pay a lot of attention to every sort of end-of-year list from every sort of genre and I couldn't help notice Ulver was included in a lot of those last year. It's quite hard to describe Shadows Of The Sun even more so because I thought this was post-rock/metal a la Isis and ends being different from anything I heard before and different from everything I had expected. Slow, evolving, music that surrounds you and takes you places, attracting and repulsing at the same time. Cliché description, but there's nothing cliché about the music herein. Check it out for yourself, preferably through headphones, and you'll see (or listen to) what I'm talking about. Oh and that's a damn cool cover, if you ask me.

Khoma - The Second Wave (2006)

Last time I went to Carbono in Lisbon I saw this one on sale second hand for 10 EUR. Now I regret that I didn't bring it home with me. I'm still in the middle of discovering this album but it definitely sounds like Oceansize meets Sigur Rós with a lot of introspection going on. Oh, the intro is hauntingly beautiful, by the way. But as I said, haven't absorbed it yet, but here's a winner, definitely. And if you like Cult of Luna as well, double check this one out as Johannes Persson plays guitar here.

Torche - Meanderthal (2008)

Man! Saved the best for last. Goddamnit. If you follow Feral Pig Isis' Aaron Turner visual art blog, you'll instantly know an Aaron Turner artwork when you see one. That's how I first got to know Torche's Meanderthal which is a strong contender for my favorite album of 2008 only matched by Portishead's comeback. Anyway, the artwork caught me eye but it took me a couple of months to actually get to the music and let me tell you, this is a motherfucker of a rock/pop/metal/whatever record. First half dozen songs go by in less than 10 minutes and you are left wondering exactly what fucking hurricane just went by. Then more slowly post-metal like progressive songs kicks in and you understand this guys are no fools. They know their stuff and I can't wait for their next effort. Until then I'll spin Meanderthal to death and encourage you to do so as well.

It's a golden era for music!

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