Monday, 14 October 2019

Meditations In Affinity #2 (Cultivation) - Nerver/...And It's Name Was Epyon/People's Temple Project/Apostles Of Eris


Labels: Akashita Corp/The Ghost Is Clear Records/Zegema Beach Records
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 15 May 2019(Digital)/TBA (Vinyl)

Tracklist:

1. Nerver - General Erosion Of Morale
2. ...And Its Name Was Epyon - Side Seven
3. People's Temple Project - 2:16
4. Apostles Of Eris - The Kobodera

This week has been a bit of a write-off, which sucks. This review has been in the works for a little while as well. It's the second four-way split 7" to come from The Ghost Is Clear Records and Zegema Beach Records, as well as Akashita Corp on this occasion. It's features US post-hardcore/screamo bands Nerver, ...And It's Name Way Epyon, People's Temple Project and Apostles Of Eris. There's more to come from this 7" series so keep your eyes peeled.

Splits like this have become a great resource for discovering new bands and you can’t get any newer than Nerver, as they’ve only really surfaced over the last few months. General Erosion Of Morale is a heavy slab of post-hardcore that seems to end far sooner than it should. Such a good song though, with heavy riffs, intense percussion and hoarse vox. …And Its Name Was Epyon is a different proposition with Side Seven. There are comparisons you could draw to this band, as their melodic and spoken-word vocals are familiar, though their heavier side is utterly brilliant and compliments their sound perfectly,

Naming your song after it’s length if pretty clever (I think so anyway) and People’s Temple Project does just that on 2:16, which is an angular and experimental piece of screamo. It’s pretty violent but also awesomely musical. It doesn’t last very long but that’s fine, as all of the best things are over before you realise. Apostles Of Eris is at least a familiar name to me and their song The Kobodera is as twinkly as it is intense. Melodic riffs go hand-in-hand with emo-violence and the song ends with a mix of both lo-fi and full-throttle screamo. 

These splits have turned out great so far. Their theme is perfect with each band has their own story to tell and their own take on things, I’ll try and get the other three reviewed as and when they’re released.

Stream the split below, where it's also available to grab digitally:-




Physical copies can be pre-ordered below:-

Zegema Beach Records US Store - http://zegemabeachrecords.storenvy.com/
Zegema Beach Records CAN/Intl Store - http://www.zegemabeachrecords.com/zegema-beach-releases

The Ghost Is Clear Records - https://www.facebook.com/TGICRECS/

Monday, 7 October 2019

Abysmalist - Reflections Of Horror


Labels: Caligari Records/Self-Released
Formats: Tape/Digital
Release Date: 23 Aug 2019

Tracklist:

1. Lascivious Rapture
2. Black Lacquer
3. The Engineer
4. Chain Ripper

Time for some ripping death metal played by dudes who also spend their time playing hardcore, thrash and crossover. In fact, there's a lot of cross-pollination happening right now with the likes of Power Trip, Gatecreeper and Scorched amongst those leading the way. Anyway, Californian duo Abysmalist had only just released their "Reflections Of Horror" demo digitally in August when Caligari Records followed it up with a tape release less than a month later. Let's get into this...

“Reflections Of Horror” kicks off with chugging riffs immediately on opener Lascivious Rapture, where the hardcore influence is there but subtle. There’s also that dirty and grimy undertone created by the bass and vocals, which add seemingly endless amounts of nightmarish low-end torture. The drumming is a mix of blasts and mid-tempo rhythms that certainly help to build on there already dark atmosphere. Both Jeremy Meier and Fred Avila are really skilled musicians. They switch tack on Black Lacquer, which sounds like it was written in the 90s when death metal was in it’s hay-day thanks to the likes of Grave and Incantation etc. The solo within is glorious and accentuates that earlier point even more.

The brooding clean guitar of The Engineer could possibly be a nod to their thrash forefathers, but whatever, it’s a great bit of relief from the extremity. For those that enjoy a bit of melody, this is stellar and it leads into closing song Chain Ripper, which fights back with pace aplenty. Loads of old-school hair-whipping madness and mosh parts are present. The pair that make it happen are seasoned veterans now (it feels like) but that just makes this demo even better. Caligari has knocked it out of the park again with the tape release, while Abysmalist themselves will have you begging for more. Get on this.

Stream and download "Reflections of Horror" below:-



For tape copies head to Caligari Records here - http://caligarirecords.storenvy.com/.

Caligari Records - https://www.facebook.com/CaligariRecords/

If you want to support the blog, please go to - https://www.patreon.com/thisnoiseisours. Thank you.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Mental Health In Music: A Musician's Perspective #3 - Andy Curtis-Brignell (Musician of 13+ Years)


This latest instalment of the Mental Health In Music series features UK musician Andy Curtis-Brignell. Andy has been a part of the UK's black metal/noise community for well over a decade and here he shares his experiences and offers realistic advice to those suffering. I just want to personally thank Andy for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. The idea of this feature is to talk about the problems that musicians face, especially those in DIY or up-and-coming bands. Would you mind talking about your own experiences with mental health?

A. Of course. I have experienced dissociative episodes from the age of 9 or 10, depression from 11, which graduated into a diagnosis of bi-polar disorder with concomitant attachment disorders combined with a previously undiagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have intermittently suffered from audiovisual hallucinations, mood swings and suicidal ideation my entire life.It has stained and tainted every part of my existence. I often feel as though I am being tortured in Hell.

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2. Being in a band can be an outlet for people to express their feelings and to help them get over certain things in life but do you feel that it can also have a negative effect? If so, what do think these effects can be and are these linked to writing, recording, touring etc?

Until I was correctly diagnosed, music was the only way in which I could express my feelings to anyone. I was locked in. However, I find touring and often simply being in the proximity of other people intensely unpleasant and anxiety-ridden. I have an extremely avoidant personality. It has made doing this as a career....difficult. However, as I said, it is my inspiration. I've had therapy. Lots of therapy. I'm as good as I've ever been. But I am a realist. I do not believe I could now live without my suffering. What would I do? Who would I be? It's a part of me.

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3. How do you deal with things now? Have you got any advice for those who are struggling themselves, musician or otherwise?

I am currently medicated. I try to meditate as often as I can, and have found a lot of comfort and stability in marriage and parenthood after nearly two decades of barely remembered hell. I try to only surround myself with people I love, which means my circle is very, very small. I feel a lot more protected with a couple of people I feel closer with than blood than I do with a crew of hangers-on and false friends, which has previously been the case. I used to trust much too easily. Not any more.

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4. What more do you think can be done in the underground scene or even the wider music scene to support people who may be struggling?

There is, I think, a reliance on the idea that simply talking about things is going to help. In my experience, until there is a clinical, financial and societal infrastructure to support the mentally ill, anything I can say is simply lip service. Be kind to each other. Be kind to yourself as much as you can. That's all I hold on to.

If you are having trouble seeking out support and services that could help you or others, please reach out to Mind at https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Destroyer Destroyer - The Dead Sleep Like Us For A Reason (Re-issue)


Labels: Wax Vessel (Distributed via Pattern Recognition Records)
Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 06 June 19

Tracklist:

1. Dead Weight As Far As The Eye Can See
2. Horse-Drawn
3. Error
4. I'm Tired Of Making You Listen And You Listen Good
5. Chainsodomy
6. 1981-2005
7. Why Isn't Dr. Gregory's Office Open? Because It's Sunday. No It Ain't!
8. Don't Be Ridiculous, Doctor.

2019 could be the labelled as the year that Myspace grind and mathcore finally makes it's resurgence. Things tend to go full-circle and now the technical metal that was considered "too scene" over a decade ago comes back around. Leading the charge alongside Mathcore Index is new US label Wax Vessel, which is bringing re-releasing a number of cult records including the 2006 debut from Destroyer Destroyer, which originally saw the light of day in 2006. I have this on pre-order along with the re-issue of The Heartland's "The Stars Outnumber The Dead", but I couldn't wait much longer before giving this a write-up.

Destroyer Destroyer’s sound was one of intense extremity and fast tempos. Captured once again for this re-issue it shows just how extreme they really were. Opener Dead Weight As Far As The Eye Can See mixes high-pitched screams and with grinding drums, super-low breakdowns and constantly changing polyrhythms. This record was classed as more of an EP when it was first released and you can hear why. Its song lengths are short but DD fits a lot into them. Horse-Drawn starts, stops and swings in many different directions while retaining a structure that eschews melody in favour of fret wizardry. It’s not so much progressive as it is just mad.

This record is utterly mental and when you consider that Error stretches to over five-minutes, you’ll be left either in awe of it or wondering what hell you just stumbled into. The mix of grinding terror and subtle post-hardcore riffs will have you scratching your head for sure. They’re back with a shorter and snappier song next in the form of I’m Tired Of Making You Listen And You Listen Good. I’m not saying that Error didn’t work, because it did, but the shorter more crazed sound seems to suit DD better and the 7-string work throughout it is beastly, as are the rest of the instrumentation and vocals alike.

Chainsodomy starts off the second half all too quickly and is over before you know it. It doesn’t get any easier on 1981-2005, which goes by before you’ve even managed to focus your attention on it. Both songs are mental and the super high-pitched screams on the latter are almost as piercing as those put forth by The Body! You have to laugh at titles like Why Isn’t Dr. Gregory’s Office Open? Because It’s Sunday. No It Ain’t!. It fits the music perfectly though, as DD’s bewildering approach to metal is unbelievable. Again, it’s a piercing song in places but it also contains some great off-kilter passages that at times resemble jazz but then again not so much. 

Closer Don’t Be Ridiculous, Doctor. leaves your head in a spin and your ears ringing with feedback. A fitting way to end this monster of a record. I don’t really know what else to say, except that this may well be one of the most extreme releases that I’ve dared play in my flat for a longtime (especially with neighbours both above and below me). I missed out on it first time round, so getting opportunity to pick a re-issued copy now is great. Vinyl copies are limited to just 200 and tape copies to 110. Grab one while you can!

You can stream "The Dead Sleep..." and grab it digitally or on one of the last remaining 18 tapes via Pattern Recognition Records below:-





This Noise Is Ours Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/thisnoiseisours

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Chernaa - Empyrean Fire


Labels: Noizr Productions
Formats: CD/Digital
Release Date: 07 Jun 2019

Tracklist:

1. Pink Powder
2. Ominous
3. Alice Syndrome
4. As I Succumbed
5. Mania
6. Camus
7. Discrepancy

My mood isn't great this evening, so hopefully the solace that I get from listening to music will help. As I eluded to a few reviews back, there's so much I have to catch up on and this debut release from Czech post-black metal Chernaa has been sat in my inbox for a while (sorry guys). "Empyrean Fire" was released digitally and on CD via Noizr Productions in June. I've been staring at that mesmerising cover-art for too long, so let's not waste any more time.

Chernaa used album opener Pink Powder as their first single, which was released prior to the full album. It’s a strong song to announce your introduction with, as it’s pummelling percussion, impressive guitar work (from both the bass and the guitars) and the icy shrieks take hold. The whole production and mastering has been delivered with detail in mind and as a result, the music is crisp and powerful. Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of polish. Despite its title, Ominous is not actually ominous (sorry). It continues the momentum that was gathered by Pink Powder and adds in plenty more lovely musical textures. There are classy synth touches during the instrumental sections here and it all just works so well. Listenability is something that is sometimes difficult to strive for but Chernaa achieves it here.

By the time Alice Syndrome whirrs into life (if your anything like me), you’ll be in a more reflective state. It must be something to do with the treble-laden guitar riffs. It’s not all laid-back fluffy clouds though, as Chernaa’s black metal isn’t far away and continues to add heaviness to the record. It’s bloody good black metal it has to be said! The post-rock well and truly flows during the beautifully executed As I Succumbed. It’s almost sludge/doom-like atmosphere and riffs become truly emotive, as they extract the same reaction from the listener (I almost lost composure at this point). The clean vocals are perfectly at home here as well. 

From there, Mania is a much more upbeat experience with a tempo that’s as catchy as the melody it shares the recording with. Even the harsh vocals do little to shake off that feeling, as they’re slightly buried within the other elements here. That’s actually quite a masterstroke, as it allows some relief from the extremity for a time, while not losing any of Chernaa’s character in the process.  All of the songs on “Empyrean Fire” are more than just mere three-minute throwaways. They wash over you with such confidence and ease that it’s hard to believe that this is that band’s first release. Penultimate song Camus reiterates that point perfectly, with a juxtaposition of extremity and subtle melody that is more pronounced than you think during the verses, but that takes on a life of its own when allowed to breath.

It’s left to final track Discrepancy to resolutely underline how good this album is, and boy does it do it. 2019 continues to surprise and amaze musically, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better debut album this year. Chernaa is very much a band to watch. Despite the undertones on offer, their future looks very bright. 

You can stream "Empyrean Fire" and purchase in digitally and on CD below:-



Noizr Productions - https://www.facebook.com/Noizrr/

I also wanted to mention the blog's Patreon page. If you enjoyed this review, it would mean the world to me if you donated to help the blog grow - https://www.patreon.com/thisnoiseisours.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

This Noise Is Ours Patreon

Once again I forgot that another blog anniversary had passed. This Noise Is Ours has now been running for just over nine years. With that in mind, I've put some thought and attention into where I want to take this. I've always wanted it to be something bigger than just a blog so I've set up a Patreon page with the aim of expanded beyond it and also helping out some good causes along the way. 

If you decide to become a patron, your support would mean that I can put some projects into motion that would include tape releases and special merchandise for patrons (t-shirts, stickers, posters etc) amongst other things. Patrons will have their names added to a new page on here and will also receive some extra surprises as things grow. 

I also have the YouTube channel that I'll be using to provide updates and added content relating to the blog. 

MRTEX - Riot/Mutiny


Labels: Akashita Corp/Larry Records/Zegema Beach Records
Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 15 Apr 2019

Tracklist:

1. June And July, Life Over Die
2. Sectumpsempra

About to head back to the coal-face tomorrow. This two-song EP stands as the final release to come from dreamo duo MRTEX (though there is a comp on the way). From a discography made up of compilation appearances and split's, MRTEX carved themselves a little niche during their relatively short existence. Both members have played and still play in several bands of a similar ilk as well as running a label or two here and there (you probably know who already). "Riot/Mutiny" was release d earlier this year digitally, on tape and via limited 7" lathe-cut vinyl.

As a parting gift to fans, this tape achieves more within its two-songs than most bands do in their entire catalogues. MRTEX’s output has focused on quality over quantity and the intense beginning of June And July, Life Over Die gives way to calming emo instrumentation with screams sitting between it. It’s very moving. The duo’s musical violence is epitomised on Sectumpsempra, but where most emo-violence bands would have ended the song at the fifty-second mark, MRTEX keep going with their serene instrumentation once again. 

I think we take music and bands for granted nowadays. It’s so easy to consume it and the longevity of it is sometimes fleeting, so taking moments to enjoy it is important. You can do that with "Riot/Mutiny" because even though it’s short in length, it still allows you time to switch off from your worries and from real life for a moment. It’s what’s needed. 

You can stream 'Riot/Mutiny" and buy it as a name-your-price download from MRTEX's bandcamp page below:-




Physical copies are available from the links below:-


Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Torpor - Rhetoric Of The Image


Labels: Truthseeker Music/Sludgelord Records/Moment Of Collapse Records/Smithsfoodgroup DIY/Medusa Crush Recordings
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 20 Sep 2019

Tracklist:

1. Benign Circle
2. Two Heads On Gold
3. Enigmatic Demand
4. Mouths Full Of Water, Throats Full Of Ice
5. Mourning The Real

It's been an honour for me to be able to write about Torpor's music over recent years. My first introduction to them was the 2012 tape "Bled Dry" that was released via Headless Guru Records. Then came their first full-length "From Nothing Comes Everything" in 2015 released via Head Of Crom on vinyl and Black Bow Records on tape (alongside a self-released CD version). A mere twelve months later came their "Split" LP with Sonance through Truthseeker Music and now they're back with a brand new full-length "Rhetoric Of The Image" where they once again team up with Truthseeker Music, as well as other like-minded labels for a double LP release. Everything they've put out thus far has been unique and has painted them to be one of the strongest sludge/doom bands in the UK.

Embarking on the journey that is “Rhetoric Of The Image” is a mixture of both the familiar and the unknown. Familiar in the sense that Torpor has built a truly enviable reputation with the noise that the trio creates but unknown because you don’t know the level of progression that faces you. Album opener Benign Circle is immediately heavy and intense, with a sound and a volume that’s beyond anything you’d expect from a three-piece and a groove that’s subtle yet also full of momentum. It’s gloomy and the bellowed vocals are deep, but the metallic additions add light. The lengthy instrumental mid-section is meandering (in a good way) as Torpor weaves ambience and atmosphere into the song before once again, your senses are assaulted by the rapturously bleak riffs and powerful percussion. What a start to the album!

Talking of ambience, Two Heads Of Gold is a prime example of how noise can co-exist with organic instrumentation in the most unnerving of ways. The spoken-word vocals that sit within the mix don’t make things anymore comfortable. If you were expecting a straight-forward sludge album, then you’re probably still wet behind the ears. The haunting soundscapes continue into Enigmatic Demand, which like the opener, passes the ten-minute mark and then some! The long build-up is now a characteristic of Torpor’s music and here its oddly soothing while also being climactic too. The groove is back at this point and as it reaches the mid-section, the explosive dissonance hits. The bellows are real and as painfully delivered as you’d expect. They even drown out the incessant helicopter noise outside (Harrogate is currently hosting a major global cycling event and I’m on the flight path). 

Torpor settles it all down slightly with penultimate song Mouths Full Of Water, Throats Full Of Ice. It’s another ambient song with melodic vocals that will penetrate even the darkest of souls. Closing song Mourning The Real is the longest of all five on “Rhetoric Of The Image” and its as mighty as promised. The low-end is as heavy as it’s ever been and the whole band seems to be at it’s most comfortable. There’s a lot to be said for momentum, but as mentioned above Torpor just deals with it. Once again the mid-section is filled with ambient instrumentation but it doesn’t detract from the overall feel and sound of the record. It adds to it and continues to show how much this band has grown over recent years. 

We’re racing head-on to the end of 2019 (at least that’s how it feels) but there are still many great reasons to embrace the music that’s been released so far this year. This album is one of those reasons and Torpor is to thank for that. UK heavy music for the win!

You can stream and purchase "Rhetoric Of The Image" digitally below:-




Physical copies are available below:-

Moment Of Collapse - https://kollektif.eu/34-preorder

Moment Of Collapse Records - https://www.facebook.com/momentofcollapse/ 

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Mental Health In Music: A Musician's Perspective #2 - Alex Bond (Musician of 27 Years+)


For this second instalment of my Mental Health In Music series, I went further afield and spoke to Floridian musician Alex Bond. Alex has played in many bands throughout his life and his perspective below is a unique one I feel, especially when talking about community and support within the DIY music scene itself. I hope you enjoy reading this and I just want to say thank you to Alex for taking time out to answer my questions.

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1. The idea of this feature is to talk about the problems that musicians face, especially those in DIY or up-and-coming bands. Would you mind talking about your own experiences with mental health?

A. I grew up with alcoholic parents, and my parents divorced when I was six. My father was barely ever around, so I never really had a father figure to lean on for support. My sister and I were left to our own devices much of the time. We both started experimenting with alcohol and drugs at an early age (for me, middle school). I am not sure if any of this lead to my mental health issues, but I was always a loner, didn’t have many good friends as a kid. I had depression and anxiety from an early age and started taking anti-depressants in middle school. 

As a teenager, it was difficult to get on track with my mental health and stability, because I was not inspired with music if I wasn’t feeling completely tragic at the time. I was also dealing with my sexuality. I felt like I was easily able to come out of the closet to friends/direct family, yet I had no gay people to relate to in my immediate area (Indianapolis, IN). I felt quite isolated on a regular basis. 

My life, in a nutshell, has been a roller coaster ride of emotional turmoil and crippling anxiety ever since I can remember. I really only now feel, within the last couple of years (I am 38), a sense of what normalcy may look like. I am able to finally hold a job, run a household, help to keep a band together, etc. Getting away from my hometown and moving to Saint Petersburg, FL has helped gain some footing over my demons (not to mention more consistent weather patterns LOL).

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2. Being in a band can be an outlet for people to express their feelings and to help them get over certain things in life but do you feel that it can also have a negative effect? If so, what do think these effects can be and are these linked to writing, recording, touring etc?

Growing up in the punk/hardcore community, it was quite the double-edged sword. Initially, it felt like I had found the community in which I belonged. It soon became apparent that we were all there due to how fucked up we all were. At times, I felt accepted and embraced in spite of my issues. Other times, I felt like I was part of some fucked up cool kids club where I felt like I had to compete with others for acceptance. 

I started playing drums in bands when I was eleven. Music was all I cared about, which in itself was a drug, a toxic dependency. All I had to look forward to was practice/shows with bands, attending shows, collecting records. I was being fed all of these ideas from people I did not personally know. If I did not agree with the flock about certain ideas/political themes, I was rejected. Naturally, I felt just as alienated by the punk scene as I did by the rest of society, so I drank more and did more drugs. I was angry, depressed, anxious constantly, had very low self esteem, no sense of self worth. I was always getting kicked out of bands and butting heads with people. 


3. How do you deal with things now? Have you got any advice for those who are struggling themselves, musician or otherwise?

I try not to bottle things up. I taught myself to be open and honest about my emotions and thoughts, even if it meant sacrificing friendships/relationships. I also taught myself how to be more constructive in serious conversations, rather than place blame or attack the other parties. It’s all about sharing information and ideas and seeing all sides before drawing conclusions. 

I also try as hard as I can to keep up with my physical health. I cannot stress enough how important eating healthy, drinking tons of water, taking vitamins and exercising every day can be. Taking hikes, spending more quality time with my canine companions, catching up with loved ones on a regular basis. Watching inspiring documentaries or reading a great book also helps with my daily outlook. I am constantly trying to stay focused on how fortunate I am to have the life that I do rather than focusing on all of the negative, toxic bullshit in this world. 

If someone is struggling with anxiety and depression, my biggest piece of advice is to talk. Talk to your friends, your family, those that you trust. Open up to them. Never bottle up your feelings, anger, anxiety, confusion. Stay physically active as much as possible, but also know when to relax. Take care of your body, which will in turn benefit your brain. 

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4. What more do you think can be done in the underground scene or even the wider music scene to support people who may be struggling?

I think just keeping the honesty alive in lyrics and music is most important. Keep the doors open to discussions regarding mental health and the struggles that come along with it. Forge friendships with people that lift you up instead of tearing you down. Always welcome the newcomers with open arms. If you see someone struggling, do not shy away from helping them by just being there. Be a good listener and always be ready to TALK. 

Horsewhip's website is here - http://www.horsewhipfl.com/

If you've been affected by any of the above or you want to speak to somebody or donate, and you're in the US, you can visit Mental Health America here - https://www.mhanational.org/donate-mental-health-america. Wherever you are though, if you need to reach out to people, do so. There are people and charities globally that can help.

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Pelican - Nighttime Stories


Labels: Southern Lord Recordings/Brutal Panda Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 07 Jun 2019

Tracklist:

1. WST
2. Midnight And Mescaline
3. Abyssal Plain
4. Cold Hope
5. It Stared At Me
6. Nighttime Stories
7. Arteries Of Blacktop
8. Full Moon, Black Winter

The other night I mentioned the number of incredible records that were released recently and how I was way behind in appreciating them all. I'm slowly catching up on them and latest album from Chicago, Illinois post-metal/instrumental band Pelican was one that I was eager to hear. It was released in June on vinyl, cd and digital via Southern Lord Recordings, along with a tape version via Brutal Panda Records that saw the light of day about a month later. I probably can't say anything that hasn't already been said about Pelican and their music, but this is all about enjoyment of music and its creators.

Elegant soundscapes and subtle textures are exactly what’s needed this evening, as the barmy late summer sun recedes and “Nighttime Stories” promises that. Opener WST provides a glimpse into a mellower side of Pelican, though it’s only a mere intro of sorts. Midnight And Mescaline is a very different beast with upbeat tempos and driving instrumentation. The quartet has matured well beyond the point of a band still finding own way and it shows here.

It’s actually amazing how upbeat this record is considering the heavy sludgy beginnings of the band well over a decade ago. Abyssal Plain is another example of this, albeit one that does call on passages of off-kilter instrumental black metal-like guitars and blasts at times. It convinces you that vocals are not needed. Cold Hope is by far the heaviest song on “Nighttime Stories” so far as it takes things in a more dissonant and doomier direction.

The second half of the album is ushered in by another calming piece in the form of It Stared At Me. It tempers back Pelican’s more full-on side but it still gives you plenty of time to appreciate their musicality at the same time. Time is short but when it’s spent listening to this, it’s very previous indeed. Just when you’re at your serenest though, the title-track shatters that feeling with a bass-heavy smash to the face. There’s still plenty of melody here but it’s the rumbling noise that takes true hold of your senses. The volume seems like it’s been turned straight up beyond maximum and it gets the heart beating as a result.

There’s a slight reduction in the heaviness as Pelican wind their way to the end of “Nighttime Stories” but that does nothing to stop their momentum and penultimate song Arteries Of Blacktop is still a driving effort for sure. Closing song Full Moon, Black Water is most definitely a positive and life-affirming way to end. It gathers everything that is great about Pelican’s music and shoehorns it into the perfect summary to conclude the album. There are no histrionics or pretence, just honest musicians making honest music. A fantastic contender for album-of-the-year.

You can stream "Nighttime Stories" and purchase on vinyl, on cd and digitally below:-




Tape copies can be purchased via Brutal Panda Records here - https://www.brutalpandarecords.com/collections/all?page=4

Southern Lord Recordings - https://www.facebook.com/SLadmin/