The growth of the internet has allowed voices normally shunned from the mainstream to take centre stage.
While Temple Invisible may not quite gain centre stage, they're certainly worth exploring.
Dark, neo-industrial electronics from Romania – a sentence we don't get to write often enough – the trio have been attracting with their dense, Nine Inch Nails inspiring writing.
New track 'Collide' has been placed online. Pitch black, the crushing intensity of their music comes equipped with a redemptive, blissful edge.
Check it out now.
A distant archipelago nestled in a remote corner of the North Sea, the Faroe Islands have a character of their own.
Windswept and deeply idiosyncratic, they tend to produce artists who stand out primarily through the strength of their character.
Brynjolfur definitely fulfils this criteria. Now a leading light in Danish electronic circles, the producer learned his craft during those long Faroese nights.
New EP 'The Save' is out now, with Clash able to unveil some visuals for the title cut. Shot in beautiful monochrome, it's an ambitious clip which builds on the complex music therein.
Check it out below.
Slipknot continue to be the biggest story in metal this month, with the release of their long, long, long-awaited fifth album finally arriving after teaser trailers, press releases, and general pre-release dickery. ‘.5: The Grey Chapter’ has pounced into charts all over the world, with the seven-piece grabbing the top spot in their homeland, and barging their way to a number two placing here in the UK.
While the album will inevitably tumble back down to the lower reaches of the chart next week, it bodes well for their recently announced but almost-entirely-sold-out-already 2015 arena tour of the UK. Interestingly enough, main support on the tour comes from nu-metal survivors (and former titans of the genre), KoRn. Slipknot’s notoriously mouthy frontman, Corey Taylor, took every opportunity to bad-mouth the Californians during Slipknot’s first full UK tour way back in 2000. How things have changed.
The album itself feels like a firming up of the legacy Slipknot have been building around themselves ever since it became clear that they are probably the only true metal superstars following up Iron Maiden and Metallica. At times this drive towards self-mythologising has them flapping a little petulantly (in particular during what many fans feel are Taylor’s lyrical jabs at former bandmate, Joey Jordison) or drifting into the uncharacteristically sentimental (as they do in ‘Skeptic’, which many have speculated is about deceased bandmate Paul Gray).
For the most part though, fans and critics alike have been sighing with relief that this album isn’t a wet fizzle following the drama that accompanied its creation. No matter what your take is on the gossip surrounding ‘.5: The Grey Chapter’, nobody can deny it’s undeniably the kind of record that only Slipknot could make.
Joining Slipknot in metal’s small club of arena-botherers very soon will be Bring Me The Horizon, the Sheffield band (pictured) set to hit large venues up and down the UK throughout December. To coincide with their live activity, they’ve released their first new material since 2013’s ‘Sempiternal’ album. First was the radio-friendly melodicism of ‘Drown’ (watch it above), and then very recently came the significantly more electronically inclined (and Christopher Nolan Batman quoting) ‘Don’t Look Down’, a collaboration with Foreign Beggars’ Orifice Vulgatron.
While the direction the band is taking with these new songs should come as no surprise to anyone who’s paid even the scantest attention to BMTH’s move from Just Another Deathcore Band to legit post-Tumblrcore titans, the five-piece’s evolution from the kind of band your mother always warned you about (http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/bring-me-the-horizon-vocalist-accused-of-urinating-on-fan/) to genuine mainstays of the daytime Radio 1 playlist shows that perhaps those yearly catcalls from certain quarters of the rock press for bands like BMTH to get a Mercury nod aren’t so misplaced after all.
Also releasing new material this month were Bristol’s best-kept semi-secret, Turbowolf. ‘Rabbit’s Foot’ (video below) is the second song they’ve snuck out from their second album ‘Two Hands’, tentatively slated for an April release next year. Midway through a tour in support of Royal Blood, the band also shares their tourmates’ producer, with Tom Dalgety taking co-producer duties behind the desk for this one. It’s stuffed to the guts with Turbowolf’s distinctive rubber-buzzsaw riffs and Technicolour stomp, boding well for a strong showing next year from one of the UK’s most unappreciated rock bands.
Godflesh released their first new album in 13 years the other week, ‘A World Lit Only By Fire’ (review). While the pairing of Justin Broadrick and GC Green hasn’t exactly been keeping quiet since Godflesh formally reformed four years ago (and Broadrick’s keeping himself occupied with Jesu, too), there were understandable fears new material from one of the pioneers of industrial music would fail to live up to their illustrious reputation. The world needn’t have feared though, as ‘A World Lit Only By Fire’ almost shrugs its shoulders at the very idea of disassembly or dismissive critique – it is simply Godflesh, and it doesn’t care whether you want to be friends with it or not.
On the nastier end of things, Anaal Nathrakh continued to press further into the kind of firmament behind every form of extreme metal going with their new record ‘Desideratum’. Also consolidating their position as underground titans are Today Is The Day, whose superb new record ‘Animal Mother’ ably dispels tired old notions that bands run out of creative juice after a few albums. Ten albums in and TITD are still untouchable when it comes to hammering disparate elements from black, death, noise, and any-other-sub-genre-you-care-to-name into one big, venomous whole.
It’s not just the old guard with big things to say this month. Smaller in size but never in volume are Obliterations, even if their membership boasts current and former members of Saviours, Night Horse and Black Mountain (among others). Like Poison Idea if they were squashed through Converge guitarist/production maestro Kurt Ballou’s GodCity Studio, ‘Poison Everything’ is a majestic roar built from 13 short, sharp metal-punk barks.
Taking an opposite position are fellow newcomers OHHMS who kicked off October with the release on Holy Roar of their 32-minute, two-track EP ‘Bloom’, a mesmerising blend of measured ambience and heart-pounding riff-crush. It’s still early days for the five-piece but they’re already getting Ones To Watch nods from people across the heavy music spectrum.
Treading a similar path are Japanese iconoclasts Mono, who released two albums on the same day this month. ‘The Last Dawn’ and ‘Rays Of Darkness’ (review) have allowed Takaakira Goto et al to decompress their mammoth range, giving opportunities for the many facets of their unique take on post-rock/metal to shine individually. What we get are records of noticeable extremes – ‘The Last Dawn’ exemplifying the impact musical delicacy can have in the genre, while ‘Rays Of Darkness’ ventures as far as the harshest black metal sounds have trodden.
Also on a double-album kick this month was Canadian experimentalist Devin Townsend. The workaholic is once again tugging himself in even more directions than seems advisable with ‘Z2’, the first half of which (‘Sky Blue’) sees Townsend explore the more inorganic and programmed aspects of his pick-and-mix style, whereas the second half (‘Dark Matter’) sees him return to his Ziltoid The Omniscient alter-ego, a megalomaniacal space alien used in the past to project his more… characterful musical urges.
Look, this shit makes sense if you embrace it. Trust me on this one.
– – –
Words: Hugh Platt
Hugh is deputy editor of Thrash Hits, which is a site we like very much, and you can too: here.
Taking time away from Animal Collective, Avey Tare embarked on a fresh project with some close friends.
Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks unveiled their debut album earlier this year, containing material which seemed to link the directness of garage rock with the adventure of spiritual jazz.
With Hallowe'en now upon us, the seasonably named Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks weren't about to let the event pass them by.
'Catchy (Was Contagious)' has been given the visual treatment by Abigail Portner, with Giovanni Ribisi working in the role of Director of Photography.
Shot in August this year around the area of Atwater, Los Angeles, it's a lengthy salute to the era of psychologically driven, black and white horror.
One of Warp's most inquisitive voices, Clark signalled his return earlier this year.
New album 'Clark' is out on November 3rd, with the producer stopping past NTS earlier this week.
A two hour one off special, Clark played anything and everything that took his fancy: from Basic Channel cuts to straight up hardcore rave, joining all manner of dots in the process.
Dropping a few special tracks from his upcoming album, this is an engrossing insight into a unique talent.
Check it out now.
Crafting soulful electronica for over a decade now, Aqualung proceeds to do his own thing.
Real name Matt Hales, his journey through sound is set to stop at another junction. New album '10 Futures' will arrive on November 3rd, with lead cut 'Tape 2 Tape' online now.
A stirring return, the video was directed by rising Leeds director Matt Saunders. Inspired by renowned Polish filmmaker Zbigniew Rybczynski's 'Tango', this is a vivid dance routine which lingers long in the imagination.
Check it out now.
'10 Futures' will arrive on November 3rd.
Developing a reputation for uncovering brave new talent, each new signing from No Pain In Pop tends to grab our attention.
Jire is no exception. Just 18 years old, the project is the work of South London resident Nathan Geyer.
Matching classical flourishes against found sounds, avant electronics and more, new track 'SSTNSLNC' is an engrossing introduction.
Sparse – at times the only instrument is silence – the atmosphere flits between one of serenity and something rather more ominous.
Check it out now.
Photo Credit: Freddy Scott-Poll
Absolutely sick of winter before it’s even begun properly? Us too. So indulge yourself with a “bright little selection” from impressive new synth-pop-infused songwriter C.A.R., who provides an exclusive DJ mix for Clash as an “answer to darkening days”.
C.A.R is the project of Chloé Raunet, formerly singer with London arty indie trio Battant and now solo artist. C.A.R’s sound utilises Battant’s leftfield approach to songwriting and tendency to dip into electronica, mixing it with pop-flecked hooks and colourful melodies. After receiving considerable props for brooding electro single ‘Idle Eyes’ (remixed by the likes of Roman Flugel and Planningtorock), C.A.R’s debut album ‘My Friend’ continues the journey.
Raunet’s exclusive DJ mix for Clash does indeed contain plenty of bright little moments to banish the winter funk, but it’s also intriguingly avant-garde. Hazy pop, ragged blues, lo-fi and Afrobeat are all explored – from artists including Charlotte Gainsbourg (remixed here by Metronomy), TOY and Nick Monaco – revealing a satisfyingly diverse range of influences in Raunet’s own music as C.A.R.
Raunet explained a little more about the mix: “It’s late October. The clocks have just gone back, the afternoons are shrinking and I need warmth. This is a bright little selection. My answer to darkening days. An antidote to switching big lights on in the middle of the day.”
Listen to it now.
Simone – Albert Marceur
Papa Sooma – Red Axes
Pipan – Colomach
American Holiday – Nick Monaco
Architects – Seftel
1982 – Fenster
Safe and Warm – Gareth Williams and Martin Harris
5:55 (Metronomy Remix) – Charlotte Gainsbourg
As We Turn (dub) – TOY
Baby Love – Spike
Dangerous Voyage – Pete Willsher / T.Kelly
Church of SoMa (HNNY Remix) – Avalon Emerson
Ci Da Dy – Mamman Sani
A Demain 100 – Masahide Sakuma
Words: Tristan Parker
– – –
‘My Friend’ is out now on Kill The DJ.
An ever vital imprint, Watergate is set to enter the winter months with a flourish.
Lining up a series of releases, the label have coaxed out a fresh pearl from none other than Alex Niggemann. Widely respected, the German producer has spent almost a decade defying categorisation.
Working with the likes of Get Physical, his work has a tangible sense of atmosphere alongside a supple groove. 'Sorrow' is a deep cut, with the producer opening in sparse, near ambient climes.
Steadily building, Alex Niggemann utilises a softly emotional vocal from WhoMadeWho's Bon Homme. With spiralling oscillations gently building underneath his voice, Bon Homme really takes 'Sorrow' to another level before the producer breaks out into a glorious avalanche of sound.
Listen to it now.
'Sorrow' is set to be released on November 24th.
Still in her teens, Alicia Catling is quietly, patiently carving out an identity for herself.
Spreading her wings, a recent London show saw the precocious artist unveil several new tracks.
There's a sweeping melancholy to her work, one that is infused with an almost whimsical sense of Englishness. New track 'Plants' is a neat introduction.
Clash is able to unveil the video, which features a young girl waking on a hospital bed… in the middle of a field.
Here's some information from Alicia herself:
The video: is about the idea of a girl who falls into a coma and gets lost in a whimsical place. she finds a hospital bed in the middle of a field, with a seed on the pillow. absent-mindedly she takes the seed and plants it in hope of it growing to live, like herself. as the girl dies, the flower does too. in the end she falls back into her hospital bed and her pulse stops.
The song: is about the idea of death and decay and that people always end up on their own.
Watch it now.