I've got a couple weeks off from work, so this should be a period of great activity music-wise for me. I have a bunch of new records I want to listen to more, a bunch of mix cd's I promised I'd make, and a bunch of band stuff to do, so it's going to get kicked off with a powerful blast of sorrow and majesty four albums deep (plus two stolen links!).
Roughly 95% of the punks/metalheads/whatever I've met love the Misfits. You love them, I love them, it's actually a shitty contrarian move to not love them. Out of these, another 80% or so love Danzig I, and perhaps another 10% chunk bother with both Danzig I and II. For some reason, only about five of my friends love Samhain, but we together comprise a loyal and fierce army strengthened by our inner knowledge and surety that we are right to do so, for Samhain are simply little Glenny's finest expression of bleakness and creativity. These songs are weirder, slower, and have more character than anything else the guy did before III and carry a timelessness and lasting power in their production that no Danzig album has matched in my opinion. Featuring some guitars from Minor Threat Lyle, this is the album that makes horror somehow sound wistful. Very wistful. I'm not positive, but fairly sure that Archangel holds the current record for closing out the most mix cd's that I've made. It's slow, it's simple, and it floors me every time.
To go with your Samhain, you should probably check out this demo that was posted to Terminal Escape a few weeks back from Funeral Parade. I know nothing about this band except they play the members-of game, and from the cursory listen I gave them whatever bands they're also in are probably awesome. This is just some rad sounding death rock with punk influences from all over the place, and since Terminal Escape is the only place on the whole internet I found this (without looking hard) I'm reposting so that everyone can enjoy it as much as I'm planning to.
To make things square for my (savage and nonconsensual) thieving of his links, I now feel it is my duty to post one of Mr. Collins' bands, so here's a two-song ep from No Statik also via stolen link. Their LP came out a couple weeks ago and has scarcely left my turntable since...the whole package presents as classic hardcore punk ought to with a great cover, colored vinyl, great sounding production from Greg Wilkinson, and of course RAGING songs with well-written lyrics thrown in your face by an awesome girl singer. This ep contains one of the songs from the LP(which occupies the whole of side B) and one more, and I hope will be enough to convince you to go see these boys and girl before they do something stupid like stop playing. Not enough good things to say about this band, go buy their records.
We All Die In The End
Since Thou rules so much, and because a couple folks have specifically thanked me for getting them onto Summit, I now present what may be their masterpiece thus far. These songs are less pensive seeming, despite similar lengths and musical territory, and these riffs will break your heart and make you cry. They play around with a lot more jazzy scales than the bluesy pentatonics in Summit, and the effects use is completely on-point and appropriate. The singer's writing bears a lot of Wes Eisold feeling, but carries an English Romantic wordiness that reflects a lot of time spent sitting around with his head in good novels instead of poetry. These guys are DEFINITELY invited to my birthday party.
To close out this festival of gloom, here's two different projects from one of the guys most directly responsible for the current state of American gloomy music, Weakling frontman John Gossard.
After Weakling, he did a much more esoteric sounding group called The Gault, which musically hits somewhere in between the Dirty Three, Mogwai, and Cinema Strange. I guess the best way to refer to this is as chamber music...it has enough ambient jam parts that you can lose track of what's going on pretty easily, but it seems like just the right bass riff always pops out of the mix at the right time to pull you back in. This album will be represented extremely hard sometime within the next five or ten years, I would think.
Even As All Before Us
Sometime around the release of the Gault record and their disbanding, Gossard joined funeral doom monsters Asunder in time to record their first LP, A Clarion Call. This is some seriously slow and heavy stuff, harmonized into infinity like a Candlemass record from hell, and featuring some of the best pinch harmonic usage ever. If you find yourself thinking that Dopesmoker is just the right length, but not technical enough, then you should probably go buy either of the Asunder records. Their second is also a treat to listen to, and has soundtracked some serious hesh-sesh times. Enjoy responsibly, and then go see his newest band Dispirit, who have a mega grim demo up on their website for download.
A Clarion Call