Saturday, 17 October 2009

Recalling the Heavier

Sometimes a little too much time passes on H-T-A between the more metallic content posts, depending on the whims of current listening. This week has ushered in some more aggressive sounds, however, so it's high time to catch up on the murky underworld of the heavy stuff. So, what's new?

  • As always when October rolls around, the nights draw in and the temperatures drop, the beautiful bleakness of Katatonia surges up the listening charts. Well timed this year, as the Swedes release new album 'Night Is The New Day' in early November. The lead track of this newie is called Forsaker and can be freely downloaded here (after e-mail sign up). After a brief but unerring similarity to Machine Head in the opening riff, the familiar floating vocal of Jonas Renske pulls it back in keeping with the sound honed on 'The Great Cold Distance'. It has sweeping, gorgeous moments and, although not hinting at a radically new direction, does bode well for the full length. Plenty more info on the album mini-site, worth a read for Anders Nyström's intro alone.
  • Equally exciting on the current release front is new material from Georgian riff monsters Baroness. After the supremely crafted mix of stoner, metal, and rock n roll delivered on the 'Red' album, expectations are high for this one, cunningly entitled 'Blue'. Once again the cover art is striking and, crucially, once again the music appears to be of the highest order. Striding out with the confident riffing of Mastodon, the melodic sensibilities of Torche, not to mention a sense of adventure all of their own creation, this one looks set to ensure a solid year for hard rock on 2009's best of lists. The neat widget below offers another sign up/free track kinda deal for a live version of Grad, one of the more restrained moments on the album. And for some of that killer older material, catch direct downloads of some tracks below it.


MP3: Baroness - The Birthing
MP3: Baroness - O'Appalachia
Both taken from 2007's the 'Red Album' - Buy

  • Edging into hardcore territory now and another addition to the British collection of ferocious noisemakers which already includes the likes of Gallows, The Ghost of a Thousand, and Your Demise. Dead Swans are the only band to be signed to trusted US hardcore label Bridge Nine, with their judgment appearing particularly sound if the first couple of tracks received from new album 'Sleepwalkers' are anything to go by. On tour with the equally energetic and vicious Comeback Kid in North America just now, this is one to turn up early for. The NYC date at Santos Party House next month is looking proper appealing just at the minute..........


MP3: Dead Swans - Thinking of You
Taken from new album 'Sleepwalkers', out now - Buy

  • Also worth a brief mention - only so because a band of this heritage deserve extended listens, reflection, and eventual summary - is the new Alice In Chains, 'Black Gives Way to Blue'. Having only scratched the surface of this one following its release last month, it's nonetheless immediately clear how relevant and true to their history the band still sounds. This is in no small part down to the heavy influence of the evergreen Jerry Cantrell, though rarely can there have been such a comeback true to the past when a key member has gone. Much more in depth stuff to come on this one, without doubt.


And as it's nigh impossible to top Alice In Chains, that will draw us to a close for the time being. The season is right for fiercer, piercing sounds, however, so expect much more on that side of the musical spectrum before the year is out.

Now playing: Katatonia - My Twin
via FoxyTunes

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