Posts Tagged ‘Relapse Records’

Image may contain: one or more people and beard, text that says 'ΠΟΤΗΙΠα THE GREAT DISMAL NOTHING' 4th full -length album explores existentialist themes ofisolation, extinction, and human behavior in beface 2020's vast wasteland. OCTOBER 30 ON DLX. LP/LP/CD/CS/DICITAL RELAPSE YEARS'

On their fourth album The Great Dismal, Philadelphia shoegaze outfit Nothing triumph with both bold and subtle sounds. The band have always excelled at details and dynamics, and they deliver here without fail. The final passages of opening track “A Fabricated Life” really cement the album’s prodigious and intimate themes: “Long before the fall / Did we have it all along? / Sing the same old songs / Beat the same old tired drum / But what else can I ask for? / I’m nauseous from the ride / Degeneration in the wind / A fabricated life.” These moods of erosion, numbness and uncertainty pervade the album, and their mythical soundscapes bolster the weight of these feelings and elevate their sense of urgency. 

The Great Dismal watches as humanity is put through the wringer and responds with godlike, pummelling guitars and metaphorical, emotionally revealing lyrics. One minute, they’re contemplating themes of love, reason, perception and death on a grand scale, and in simple terms, and the next, they’re marvelling at people’s reaction to rain (“Isn’t it strange / Watching people / Try and outrun rain”). It’s a sweltering expulsion of anxieties and a thoughtful chronicling of our species’ downfall. 

Nothing return with their highly anticipated new full-length, The Great Dismal. Recorded entirely during quarantine, The Great Dismal explores existentialist themes of isolation, extinction, and human behaviour in the face of 2020’s vast wasteland. The Great Dismal came out October 30th on LP/CD/CS/Digital via Relapse Records.

Philadelphia rock band Nothing has a way of putting words and sounds to the rock-bottom moments in life. Consider the title of their wide-eyed and beautiful fourth album—The Great Dismal and see if you can think of a better way to sum up the combination of slow heartbreak, frustrated ambition, and deadening boredom that took up so much of our emotional bandwidth this year. In their best moments, Nothing does us one better, taking these states of psychic purgatory and blowing them up widescreen, so that they feel pregnant with a significance that is hard to put into language but also darkly addicting. 

On The Great Dismal, which they recorded during the first few weeks of the pandemic, they let the guitars do a lot of the talking; from the wailing bends on the “April Ha Ha” to the shimmering, oceanic tones on “Blue Mecca,” the shoegaze influence is more apparent than ever, rendered with a clarity of signal that makes every texture pop. Even frontman Domenic “Nicky” Palermo’s voice sounds more feathery than usual, which somehow makes his words cut even closer to the bone when he startles us with a line like “Trapped / In skin that fits me / But never fit me / Was never mine.”

The thing I love about Nothing and their new album The Great Dismal  is you don’t know what to expect as each song takes a different twist and turn. Are they GodfleshThe Cocteau TwinsRorschach… what the fuck is this? Every time I listen and think I have it figured out they switch moods making it a brand new record spinning in a swan dive from your mind into your soul. While I don’t advocate drugs, Nothing makes one appreciate hallucinogens while braving a new flight. The first single off the album, “Say Less,” is a great introduction to what you’re about to receive, and it’s only available on widescreen. 

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Though the word “myrkur” means “darkness” in Icelandic, MYRKUR (aka Amalie Bruun)’s music is far from monochromatic. With its distinct sense of Nordic isolation, MYRKUR’s compositions are at once savage and delicate. Choral and folk elements abound, lending the music a mystical, legendary quality and an untouchable equilibrium between dark and light.

Amalie Bruun has always paved her own path, challenging underground preconceptions of heavy metal ever since the release of her debut Myrkur EP in 2014. Her first two full-length studio albums, 2015’s M and 2017’s Mareridt, recast black metal in the most personal yet expansive of terms, their blending of Amalie’s Danish folk roots with tempestuous internal struggles breathing new life into a subgenre whose followers can be rigidly possessive.

With the release of her new album, “Folkesange”, Amalie Bruun has set out to journey into the very heart of the Scandinavian culture that marked her childhood. Folkesange relinquishes black metal for a refined yet far-reaching evocation of traditional folk, combining songs ancient and new to sublimely resonant effect.

After the nightmare-induced visions that wrought themselves throughout Mareridt, Folkesange offers an emotional sanctuary, a means to reconnect to something permanent and nature-aligned. It’s an awareness that’s become deeply bound to the album’s organic, regenerative spirit, from the opening track Ella’s heartbeat, frame-drum percussion and crystalline vocals that become the grounding for a rapt, richly textured awakening, to the gentle carousel of the closing Vinter, with its nostalgia-steeped connotations of seasonal, snowfall-bewitched awe.

Storytelling, rites of passage, and the invocation of a continuity that passes through time and generation are all part of folk music’s tapestry, and Folkesange taps into all these currents in their most essential form. In part a purist’s approach to the genre, free from over-interpretation and fusion, the use of traditional instruments throughout, such as nyckelharpa, lyre, and mandola offer a deeper, more tactile connection to their source, an unbroken line of communication back to the past.

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But the album is no museum piece; it resonates in the here and now, aided by the spacious production of Heilung member and musical collaborator Christopher Juul. Cinematic yet intimate, Folkesange exists in a state of boundless reverie, bourne by string-led drones, cyclical, elegiac rhythms and Amalie’s frictionless voice, all carrier signals for deep-rooted, ancestral memories, and associations felt on an elemental level.

It’s a binding of the otherworldly and the earthy that echoes the the subject matter of many of the tales themselves. Written by Amalie, Leaves Of Yggdrasil’s medieval cadences bind tragic love story and mythology, full of both fairytale wonder and deeply human foible. Tor i Helheim, its dreamily persistent rhythm redolent of both innocence and encroachment, is based on a poem from the Icelandic Eddas, relating a journey into the underworld of Hel where the sparse nature of the accompaniment becomes the medium that carries you along in its thrall.

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An immersive experience in its own right, but also belonging to a wider, pagan folk-based renaissance that has attracted a devoted following worldwide, Folkesange answers a need that has become ever more pressing in turbulent times. A zeroing in on a resonance that is both intrinsic and enduring, it’s a rediscovery of personal grounding, and an experience that reaches beyond culture to remind us of a shared, deeply rooted inheritance. A tuning fork that binds the personal and the universal, Folkesange is a reminder that the most transcendent experiences are those closest to home.

Released March 20th 2020

2020 Relapse Records

Rightfully hailed as “the noisiest pop music on the planet” by Pitchfork, Austin, TX’s cult noise rock trio Cherubs have been purveyors of sonic bedlam since their inception in 1991. After an unforeseen return to the scene from a two-decade hiatus in 2014, the Cherubs have now joined forces with the equally revered Relapse Records for the release of their fifth long-player Immaculada High. Recorded and engineered by Erik Wofford (Explosions in the Sky, The Black Angels, My Morning Jacket) at Cacophony Studio in Austin, Immaculada High is 11 songs of signature Cherubs clamor with an added twist of Texas-sized, psychedelic racket. Smooth, rumbling low-end rhythms interplay with feedback drenched, chuggin’ guitars, relentless tone and vocalist Kevin Whitley’s shrill, life-of-the-LSD-party vocals. On Immaculada High, Cherubs loudly proclaim their title as bonafide noise rock legends who continue to forge transgressive yet remarkably accessible punk for a jaded world.

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Formed in 1992, Cherubs emerged on the Austin, TX, LSD punk scene with a jackhammer of nightmarish, rhythm-driven song structures and plenty of Butthole Surfers whimsy and terror to keep things more than interesting. Fast forward 20 years later and the band has reformed with more energy and songwriting acumen then ever.