Music Releases 06-19-20
‘Rough and Rowdy Ways’ is Bob Dylan’s first album of original material in 8 years and his first since becoming the only songwriter to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 2016. Its 10 tracks include the three new songs released this spring: the album’s lead-off track, “I Contain Multitudes,” the nearly 17-minute epic “Murder Most Foul” and “False Prophet.”
Vinyl LP pressing. Includes digital download. 2020 release, the 10th studio album by heavy metal band Lamb of God. Tis self-titled release is the first studio album of all-new material by the band since 2015's VII: Sturm und Drang and the first to feature Art Cruz as the replacement for original drummer Chris Adler, who left Lamb of God in July 2019. The album features guest appearances by Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed and Chuck Billy of Testament.
Phoebe Bridgers doesn’t write love songs as much as songs about the impact love can have on our lives, personalities, and priorities. Punisher, her fourth release and second solo album, is concerned with that subject. To say she writes about heartbreak is to undersell her blue wisdom, to say she writes about pain erases all the strange joy her music emanates. The arrival of Punisher cements Phoebe Bridgers as one of the most clever, tender and prolific songwriters of our era.
Bridgers is the rare artist with enough humor to deconstruct her own meteoric rise. Repeatedly praised by publications like The New Yorker, The New York Times, GQ, Pitchfork, The Fader, The Los Angeles Times and countless others, Bridgers herself is more interested in discussing topics on Twitter, deadpanning meditations on the humiliating process of being a person, she presents a sweetly funny flipside to the strikingly sad songs she writes. Fittingly, Punisher is fascinated with, and driven by, that kind of impossible tension. Whether it’s writing tweets or songs, Bridgers’s singular talent lies in bringing fierce curiosity to slimy and painful things, interrogating them until they yield up answers that are beautiful and absurd, or faithfully reporting the reality that, sometimes, they are neither.
Bridgers pulls together a formidable crew of guests, including the Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, Christian Lee Hutson and Conor Oberst as well as Nathaniel Walcott (of Bright Eyes), Nick Zinner (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Jenny Lee Lindberg (of Warpaint), Blake Mills and Jim Keltner as well as her longtime bandmates Marshall Vore (drums), Harrison Whitford (guitar), Emily Retsas (bass) and Nick White (keys). The album was mixed by Mike Mogis, who also mixed Stranger In The Alps.
On the album’s epic, freewheeling closer, “I Know The End,” Bridgers orchestrates wails and horns, drums and electric guitar into a sumptuous doomsday swirl, culminating in her own final whispered roar. This is Punisher in a nutshell: devastating elegance punctuated by a moment of deeply campy self-awareness.
Following two EPs - Clockscaredet and Hideout -, "Overnight," a celebrated single produced by Daft Punk and their brilliant self-titled debut album, Australian-born, Berlin-based Parcels release an in-studio live album. Recorded live on tape and mixed on a hardware console at the legendary Hansa Studio in Berlin, Live Vol. 1's 18 songs feature everything fans love about Parcels. A generous offering, filled to the brim with the band's hit songs with a heightened live feel.
Vinyl LP pressing. 2020 album from the Canadian singer/songwriter. Hermitage is the follow-up to his 2017 album The Last Rider. Ron worked with producer Don Kerr to create this album; the two set up in Ron's living room to record where Ron played all the instruments for the album, with the exception of the drums. The result is the songwriter's most self-assured collection, still charmingly subtle yet increasingly full of musical vigor, as on "Chateau Mermaid," an ode to his own Stratford Graceland, or the surprisingly hopeful "Small Minded World" in which Sexsmith croons, Oh now don't feel blue 'cos they don't get you, you'll win this small minded world. This new zen can be heard from the first moments of Kinks-esque album opener, "Spring of the Following Year," as the serene sound of birds situate the listener into Sexsmith's state of grace.
As a salute to the music legend, and celebrating Peggy's landmark 100th birthday, comes a brand new career-spanning collection, Ultimate Peggy Lee. The 22-track album features hits and signature songs including "Fever", "It's a Good Day", "He's A Tramp", "Big Spender", "I'm A Woman" and the previously unreleased "Try A Little Tenderness." Double LP set.
Vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release, the long-awaited follow-up to the Grammy Award-winning The Goat Rodeo Sessions, with Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile. Not Our First Goat Rodeo builds on 2011's genre-defying The Goat Rodeo Sessions, which debuted at #1 on Billboard's Classical, Classical Crossover, and Bluegrass charts and remained at # 1 for 11 weeks on the Bluegrass chart. Marking Yo-Yo Ma's highest debut on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart, the release went on to break into the chart's top 20 albums, where it peaked at #18.
As history would soon document, SMiLE became the most famous unreleased album in rock history, it’s “completion” not seeing daylight until a Grammy®-award winning box set in 2012. SMiLE’s original plan was to incorporate many different elements of American music in an avant-garde fashion, its musical format leaps and bounds ahead of anything that existed contemporaneously. As SMiLE quickly grew in legendary terms, Brian and Van Dyke each went their separate musical ways, only to reunite briefly in 1972 for The Beach Boys classic “Sail On Sailor.” So it was perhaps with great apprehension and excitement that these two musical giants should finally reunite in 1994 for some unfinished business. This time, however, the mission would be complete. The musical terrain familiar . . . a paeon to California . . . Omnivore Recordings is very proud to announce the release of the 25th anniversary special edition of Orange Crate Art by Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks. By 1994, the roles had been reversed and it was Van Dyke who coaxed Brian into the studio to be the singer of nearly a dozen new songs he had written as a tribute to his home away from home. Parks writes in the liner notes, “Though my roots are somewhere else, far away, my limbs are here in Southern California . . . it’s here . . . that I have struggled desperately for a sense of place . . . Orange Crate Art is a continuum of that which stood, freeze-frame, at the release of SMiLE. Twenty-five years on, this album which sounds like nothing before or since, has been majestically re-mastered by multi-Grammy® award winner Michael Graves. Available on vinyl for the very first time, the deluxe CD package contains three previously unreleased bonus tracks as well as instrumental track versions of 11 of the album’s songs. Orange Crate Art . . . before SMiLE . . . after SMiLE . . . it all makes sense now!
Jordan Davis will release a six song EP on June 19th as a follow-up to his GOLD selling debut album Home State. Jordan had 3- #1 songs on his debut album including "Singles You Up", "Take It From Me", and "Slow Dance In A Parking Lot". This EP will be a bridge for his second full-length album that will be forthcoming. Jordan is nominated for the 2020 ACM Best New Male Artist of the Year and the show will be broadcast in September. CD housed in slip sleeve with mini-jacket packaging.
2020 release from singer, songwriter and producer Jeremy Zucker. Includes the single "Always, I'll Care". With over two billion global streams across his catalog, Zucker has amassed 13 million Spotify monthly listeners, placing him in the top 300 most listened to artists in the world.
Pop Punk legends New Found Glory return with their 9th studio album, Forever and Ever x Infinity. Harking back to the days of Nothing Gold Can Stay and the band's self titled album, the record is full of fast, punk laced drums and the most emo of lyrics revolving around the ups and downs of falling in love. The band will be doing co-headline tour with Simple Plan in the Summer of 2020.
This collection of the label's greatest beats, primarily produced by the enigmatic and prolific Mannie Fresh, is a testament to the sound that changed the course of music history. Ushering in a variety of strings, trip-six patterns and operatic crescendo's this project will be a celebration of the Cash Money empire.
On June 19, 2020, The National will release the 10-year anniversary deluxe edition of their 2010 album High Violet. The triple LP package includes a third LP which includes tracks never before available on vinyl. To commemorate the anniversary, The National will perform High Violet in full at some special shows during 2020, including its own Homecoming Festival in Cincinnati this May.
Blue seafoam wave vinyl. Big Crown Records is proud to present Float Back To You, the debut full length album from Holy Hive. Homer Steinweiss, the Brooklyn based soul/funk drummer, always had a soft spot for folk music. Paul Spring, a young idealist folk singer traveling the country with his guitar, always had a beautiful falsetto in his back pocket. A family introduction would lead to Homer producing a few solo records of Paul's, which would eventually lead to the creation of Holy Hive. The two enlisted Joe Harrison on bass and started out recording their first tunes as a group. A tour with soul legend Lee Fields would turn out to have an unexpected effect on their sound as they played their material to crowds of soul fanatics looking to dance. It was this realization that forced the next step in their evolution and gave birth to a sound unique to Holy Hive, a sound that walks a line so perfectly it necessitated a new genre, Folk Soul. Listening to their debut album, their different experiences and influences have all shown up. From the heavy downbeat of the lead single "Broom" to their intimate cover of Honeybus' "Be Thou By My Side," Float Back To You showcases their songwriting prowess as well as their impeccable musicianship. Spring's fondness for ancient mythology shows up in a few places on the album as well adding another level to their work. They adapt the Greek poet Sappho's "Fragment 31" to music on "Embers To Ash" and completely rework the Irish folk tune "Red Is The Rose" into a modern day two stepper. Another standout track is the already classic "Oh I Miss Her So," which first showed up on their 2018 Harping EP and features accomplished harpist Mary Lattimore and trumpet by Dave Guy of The Roots. The symbiotic relationship of Homer and Paul has been likened to that of an oxpecker and a black rhino. Paul's delicate falsetto and fluttering guitar rests atop Homer's brawny drums in perfect harmony. There are many levels to Holy Hive, some of them show up on the surface, but some of them are like the album's title track; you listen to a gorgeous love song only to find out later it is about coming home to your cat. This is perhaps the most telling of Holy Hive, they are easy to like on first listen but spending time with their music will reveal a much deeper experience.
Limited double vinyl LP pressing includes bonus tracks. 2020 release. For the better part of the past five years, top-charting masked metal machine Mushroomhead have been crafting the epic follow up to their monumental 2014 full-length album, The Righteous & The Butterfly - waiting patiently to drop their next collection of anthems. Mushroomhead make their prodigious return with A Wonderful Life, the Cleveland collective's eighth release of their benchmark career. The band shifts into high gear with introductory track "A Requiem For Tomorrow", beginning with an ominous Latin choral piece and juxtaposing heavy industrial-inspired grooves with melodic synths. Mushroomhead attacks track after track with a refreshed focus, delivering a carefully-curated selection of certified future hits. A Wonderful Life re-cements the band's position as one of the most consistently impactful heavy bands of our generation.
Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger formed The Fiery Furnaces in New York City in 2000. Their debut album Gallowsbird's Bark (Rough Trade Records) was released to critical acclaim in 2003. In the following seven years, they released eight more albums and toured extensively throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Japan. The band's last performance was nearly a decade ago at the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona.
In the meantime Eleanor and Matthew have released eight solo albums, collectively. They are very pleased to return to the stage in their hometown Chicago, at Pitchfork Music Festival this July.
Eleanor: Someone comes up to me at every show and asks: ''How's Matt? What's happening with The Fiery Furnaces?'' And I say, ''He's fine'' and ''Nothing at the moment.'' I'm so happy to finally have some news: ''He's fine'' and ''We're playing in July at the Pitchfork Festival.'' We didn't break up; this isn't a reunion. We're just playing the next show.
Matthew: For the last three and a quarter years I've been listening to Fiery Furnaces records every day. I think I finally get it.
Vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release. Owen is the solo project of Chicago's Mike Kinsella. As a departure from over a decade of work playing in a variety of bands - Cap'n Jazz, American Football, and T/T/T to name a few - Owen became Kinsella's way of finally exercising complete creative control over all aspects of a project, including songwriting, recording, and overall artistic direction. Owen's musical output as evolved from sparse acoustic offerings to lush, string-filled arrangements. Kinsella often exposes family relationships and personal experiences with lyrics that are at times clever, witty, raw, and biting.
Chronology: 2006-2018 is a collection of hits, fan favorites, additional b-sides, rarities and bonus tracks, culled from the complete studio album recordings of The Sword. Features 12 previously unreleased tracks. 3-CD Box Set with individual CD sleeves, housed in a two-piebox with lift-top, casebound book style with 76-pages.
Conquest Of Kingdoms is a compendium of career-spanning live performances, b-sides, covers and rarities, culled from the complete studio album recordings of The Sword. This 3-LP set features 16 previously unreleased tracks. Triple gatefold packaging.
Warner Music Nashville's Gabby Barrett is setting the trend. Recently spotlighted as one ofCMT's Next Women of Country (Class of 2020), a 2020MusicRowNext Big Thing artist, aSiriusXM+PandoraAll-Genre and Country Artist to Watch, Radio Disney's Next Big Thing, andAmazon Music's Weekly One best performing Country female of 2019, she continues to rise through the ranks as "country music's next female superstar" (Country Now). Garnering critical acclaim, Barrett's current single "I Hope" was named one ofRolling Stone Country's "10 Best Country and Americana Songs To Hear Now" and claimed the #1 spot onSiriusXM's The Highway Hot 30 Countdown and onRadio Disney's Country Top 50 chart. "A voice you must hear, " (The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) Barrett has opened forDierks Bentley, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, Chris Lane, Dustin Lynch, Jake Owen, Bebe Rexha, Cole Swindell, Sugarland, andCarrie Underwood, and will take the stage at mile marker festivals like Stagecoach, Tortuga Music Festival, and Country Jam in 2020. With over 130 MILLION on-demand streams to her credit, Barrett previewed her upcomingRoss Copperman-produced album releasing new song "The Good Ones." The Pennsylvania native began singing in her local gospel choir at nine years old, and performed 136 shows in 2017 alone before rising to national prominence as a Top 3 finalist on ABC'sAmerican Idol.
The brand new album from Barcelona-based Post-Punk band, Paranormales!
Produced by Maurizio Baggio (The Soft Moon / Boy Harsher)! The album's first single "Vértigo" has already garnered huge attention with a premiere on the prestigious Post-Punk. Com site and landing on Spotify branded playlist "Novedades Indie" with over 250+k subscribers! Available on both CD and limited edition WHITE vinyl!
New Vinyl: $32.98 Buy
Double LP on red and blue marble (limited to 500 worldwide) in a gatefold with a fold-out poster and free exclusive patch inside.
Unlike previous albums, Braids decided to stay close to home for the recording of Shadow Offering. Taking over a spacious sound recording studio tucked in an old warehouse, the band were able to slow down and creatively rediscover themselves. 'With this album, we wanted to give ourselves time to achieve a higher caliber of artistry and collaboration,' Tufts says. No longer riding the novelty of youth, the band deliberately took time to recommit to themselves and their craft, and channel new energy into their music. They wrote 40 songs. They went through their Saturn Returns. They learnt how to support one another better. They drank a lot of La Croix. The band sketched and re-sketched new material for eighteen months before lucky circumstance found Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie) renting out space in their studio. The four began wandering into each others' rooms, curious about each others' projects. Typically opting for a private and insular creation process, the friendship between the four saw the band sharing their songs with Walla, and naturally resulted in Walla co-producing and engineering Shadow Offering. Pushing the band out of their comfort zone, he at once broke and unified the band's dynamic, unearthing individual creative energy long buried over the years. With a new sense of confidence, listeners will find Braids at their most personal, unabashedly flexing through their new music. A luscious and expansive release, Shadow Offering leads us through a sonic tapestry of narrative. With heart-breaking honesty and precision, listeners traverse a nuanced and complicated world: one full of beautiful contradiction. Although the album directs itself at the failures of people to love and be loved, it also seeks to restore justice and attain blissful union. Its arc crests through the dark towards the light and learns how to dance with the dizzying rhythms of the heart. The songs bubble, sustain, dissolve, expand, retract. Pressed on Opaque Red vinyl.
Vinyl LP pressing. Digitally remastered edition of Dee Dee's debut album. Recorded in Tokyo in 1974, the album was originally released exclusively in Japan via two different Japanese labels. Afro Blue features an exquisite collaboration of American and Japanese musicians, such as Cecil and Ron Bridgewater, Motohiko Hino and producer Takao Ishizuka. The result is a sublime deep soul-jazz masterpiece with timeless versions of 'People Make The World Go Round', 'Love From The Sun', and 'Afro Blue'. It is arguably one of the finest albums in it's genre. This record has long been a sought-after item for DJs and collectors alike, so we are delighted to finally make this wonderful music from an understated great available to all.
Meet Jonah Yano, the Toronto based singer, songwriter, whose journey into music began with recording music using his cellphone in 2016. Having played piano and guitar as a child, it wasn't until Yano moved from Vancouver to Toronto in 2016 that he began putting his songs online, catching the eyes of Toronto's thriving local music scene. Spending the next couple of years obsessively songwriting and practicing vocals, and learning technical skills, he collaborated with Toronto duo MONEYPHONE on the 2018 song 'On Lock' which became an underground success. Shortly after, Yano released his first solo single 'Rolex, the Ocean'' with producer Joseph L'etranger. Once he began writing his full EP, he was introduced to frequent collaborators BADBADNOTGOOD, who are featured on the EP's title track, 'nervous.' Yano's work has garnered praise in major music publications like The Fader, Billboard, Complex, and Exclaim and the attention of Virgil Abloh and Gilles Peterson along with millions of streams on Spotify and Apple Music. Most recently, Yano released a highly praised cover of the Majestic's 'Key to Love (Is Understanding)' also with BADBADNOTGOOD, finding himself in the natural position of writing the feature length album, 2020's souvenir. Following a highly acclaimed 2019 which included the release of an EP nervous, collaborations with BADBADNOTGOOD, MONEYPHONE, and Nono; industry praise from The Fader, Billboard, High Snobiety, NME, KCRW and Exclaim ' it's not a stretch to say Jonah Yano's highly anticipated debut feature album souvenir took a lifetime to make. Yano's souvenir, mixes his soulful, genre blurring vocals with searing, personal lyrics. With collaborations from talents like producers Monsune (strawberry!, delicate), Leland Whitty of BADBADNOTGOOD (poor me, monarch, anywhere), and Jacques Greene (what i can do to help), souvenir touches on themes of family separation, healing, and reconciling with the past. With each track delving into Yano's personal history, the album tells the story of his parents separation and absence of his father from his life through the perspective of each of his family members. Following the separation of his parents in 1998 in Hiroshima and subsequent move to Vancouver, Yano spent years with very little connection to his father beyond occasional calls and birthday presents. Having not seen each other in 15 years, Yano visited his father in Nagato in the fall of 2019 with the goal of making sense of their complicated relationship through music. Both being avid musicians, Yano then incorporated some of his father's earlier recordings into his own, while making peace with their past. The result ' the album's final track, 'shoes,' featuring his father Tatsuya Muraoka and written by him about a pair of shoes he purchased for Yano as a child. Most of the track was recorded live at some point in the 1990's in Hiroshima, with Yano's own vocals filling gaps between his father's vocals. Recording the album in Tokyo's Red Bull studios, a log cabin in Nagato, Toronto's Studio 69, and his own home ' the intensely personal album incorporates Yano's unique sound with a deeply relatable concept, making it the natural follow-up to an already impressive catalogue.
Double vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release. German symphonic metal institution Beyond the Black emerges from their cocoon and reaches the next level with the album Hørizøns. Led by vocalist Jennifer Haben, the band unbolts their unequalled, differentiated spectra of symphonic and melodic rock spiced with sonorous melodious metal soundscapes in 13 manifold songs. The album kicks off with a heavy, yet atmospheric title track, spanning the range of intumescent soundscapes and Haben's crystal clear, striking vocals. Followed by their first single, "Misery", Beyond the Black prepares a powerful manifesto of self-confidence and draws it's listeners into a wide melodic range between symphonic mellifluousness and uncompromising energetic metal fragments. Dark subliminal grooves coalesce with harmonizing guitar lines and form the prevailing nexus of "Human" and it's unmistakably catchy chorus. Another facet rises with "You Are Not Alone", which is dominated by electronic influences as well as symphonic sounding violins. Hørizøns' atmospherically dark harshness creates the stylistic bow over the distinctive melodic rock meets pop sound in symbiosis with fragile yet strong fragments. The charismatic outfit persuades with a rousing, emotional clout and their strong, confident message off self-assertion. This is a multi-layered, metallic offer proving Beyond the Black's standing in the scene!
Simply put, Michael McDermott's latest, What in the World... is a rock and roll/ singer-songwriter tour de force in a career full of them. What in the World is a cavalcade of emotions and textures. Guitars ring one moment, then soothe with warm fingerpicking the next. The title track is a flat-out rocker and a politically charged anthem for the election year. There might be a lot of pain being sung about, but the record never succumbs to the darkness. The characters might be buried, but they're not dead.
What in the World... is a record by a man who knows who he is. Bloody and unbowed.
2020 release. The daughter of blues legend B.B. King shines on this spectacular, star-packed album. Shirley is a seasoned vocalist who performed regularly with her father and has continued to be an ambassador in the blues world after his passing. Features an amazing cast of blues legends including Joe Louis Walker, Robben Ford, Elvin Bishop, and Junior Wells as well as Pat Travers, Steve Cropper and others.
On his second Blue Note album Smoke Stack, pianist and composer Andrew Hill used an unusual line-up of two bassists (Richard Davis and Eddie Khan) along with the masterful Roy Haynes on drums. The seven Hill compositions that the quartet explore here contain all the rare beauty to be found in his music. This Blue Note 80 Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.
Kenny Dorham's 1964 album Trompeta Toccata would be the final album that the great underrated trumpeter and composer would record as a leader, and it stands as a fitting testament to his prodigious talent. The album featured a stellar quintet with Dorham and his frequent collaborator Joe Henderson on tenor saxophone along with pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath.
On 1964's Into Somethin', Larry Young made it abundantly clear that he had his own unique approach to the Hammond B-3 organ. Young explored a more modal territory over the course of his six Blue Note albums including this tremendous session featuring tenor saxophonist Sam Rivers, guitarist Grant Green, and drummer Elvin Jones. This Blue Note 80 Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at Optimal.
Since Paysage d'Hiver's long sold-out split album with Lunar Aurora is being sold for exorbitant collectors' prices, Kunsthall and Cold Dimension are now offering a joint release of this much-sought record. The LP is available on classic black 180g vinyl with four-page inlay and protection sleeve. The first-ever CD edition comes as 32-page hardcover book (format: 16x26 cm) with bonus tracks from both bands. This double CD is limited to 1.500 copies.
Gletschertor / Das schwarze Metall-Eisen is a split release by Paysage d'Hiver with... Paysage d'Hiver. Whereas the two tracks are also available on the 2CD edition of the Lunar Aurora split with Paysage d'Hiver, they are also available separately as LP.
Throughout it's 17 years of existence, Hungarian duo The Moon And The Nightspirit not once failed to enthrall lovers of mythical folk music. With traces of paganism and tribalism, the pair has existed in it's very own fairytale world throughout six albums and countless intense live shows on international stages - but now, it was time for them to readjust their approach. Speaking of their new full-length "Aether" as a "milestone in the history of the band", guitarist and lyricist Mihály refers to a surprising stylistic recalibration during songwriting - for whereas so far, singer Ágnes' voice has been front and center, the two-piece now perfectly balances the female and male sides of it's musical entity. Consequently, The Moon And The Nightspirit are as flamboyant as they have ever been. As forerunners of a new generation of heavenly folk music that takes it's cues from Dead Can Dance as much as it's immediate surroundings, they filter their time-honored mixture of richly layered sounds, shamanistic chants and multiple instruments from different periods through masculine powers, maintaining both their graceful delicacy and peerless inventiveness. With added focus on harsh vocals, "Aether" seems not only impeccably executed - arranged with the group's fabled passion and virtuosity - but also makes good on the promise of "Metanoia": If it's predecessor rekindled an inner flame, we are now faced with a glaring fire that lights our way on "a journey through the Gateless Gates to the source of creation to find the Divine essence of the soul, to remember our Great Cosmic Unity and oneness..." "Aether" is available as Digipak CD, gatefold LP (black, ltd. Transparent violet) and 2CD box set incl. Digipak CD, 4-track bonus CD (one alternate album track, three live recordings), mini poster and a hand-signed and numbered postcard (500 copies available).
Kall - "the Velvet Underground of black 'n' roll" according to Cvlt Nation - have come a long way. It has been six years since the successors of depressive black metal pioneers Lifelover released their self-titled debut, and while the ghost of their former band floats above three of the members, their second full-length "Brand" is a paean to self-empowerment and rigorous individualism. "We are basically still dealing with past abuse and angst," the group states, "only in a more constructive way with the same sincerity." The raw-sounding, yet refined compositions mirror the emotional purity their creators wanted to maintain. The title "Brand" ("fire") refers to the song 'Eld' as a tale about a violently cathartic experience at a forest fire, making the primordial power of nature a recurring theme. In this sense, the album is a call to overcome suffering by facing it right on, using the idioms of Scandinavian black metal, shoe-gazing post rock, saxophone-fueled psychedelia and the saddest of pop to get the message across. Break the shackles of society and let go of any preconceived notions while keeping in mind that you are not special, find your purpose in life to be as free as you possibly can. Or - to use the Swedes' own plain words: "Kall, like Lifelover, shows it's collective middle-finger to any scenes. The more they conform, the more we will set ourselves apart from them..." "Brand" is available as Digipak CD, gatefold double LP with etching (black, limited neon orange transparent).
Since their formation in 2012, Seattle's Eye of Nix have established themselves as masters of juxtaposition. Across an EP and two full-lengths, flanked by steady touring, they have coalesced beauty and harshness by creating a signature sound that melds fervent doom, eruptive black metal and psychedelic rock. Throughout the sonic journey of "Ligeia," Eye of Nix ups the ante in all respects. The quintet's third album is a dark and seductive vortex swirling around an inextinguishable light, dragging listeners up and down through peaks and valleys of cacophonous noise and euphoric melody. With it's title invoking one of the sirens from Greek mythology who enticed humans to their demise, this harrowing yet thought-provoking record lures the listener through storms and calm waters to the farthest frontiers of existence. Lyrically delving into obsession, trepidation, addiction, and illusion, "Ligeia" provokes a range of emotions that are both comforting and unsettling simultaneously. For singer and guitarist Joy Von Spain, the idea that "any moment could be the last we experience as ourselves is an endless sea of inspiration." Accompanied by Michael Zech (Secrets Of The Moon, The Ruins of Beverast, Triptykon, Bölzer etc.), who engineered and produced the tracks at Sound House in Seattle with the group, "the songs became colossal yet contemplative, a complete vision." Mastered by James Plotkin (Isis, Aluk Todolo, Nadja), this contrastive piece of work is sure to stretch perceptions of time and space. "Ligeia" is available as Digipak CD, LP (black, limited purple) and Hardcover artbook featuring golden hotfoil embossment cover, significantly enhanced artwork, alongside a 6-track bonus CD of cover versions and remixes.