Newest Releases from Gilead Media

I wish that I had the time to give Gilead Media, or at least the latest releases from said label's bands, a full-on glowing write-up, but since I really don't, I at least want all the readers to know that there is a bunch of incredible releases out on Gilead now that you should be ashamed to not have in your collection. 

First and foremost is the vinyl edition of the debut full-length from Nashville black metal band Alraune, titled The Process of Self-Immolation. The CD was released by Profound Lore and to be honest, the album didn't catch on with me right away. But after spending some real time with the music, I realized that this is quite a gem. At once heavy and melodic, brutal and catchy, I can't really get enough of it now, and I like it a little bit more every time I hear it. I also wonder what my problem was when I first heard it, but I guess that's been rendered irrelevant. 3 different vinyl colors were pressed, and with the solid black ones sold out, the two colored options are still available; pick it up as soon as you can, and trust me: if it doesn't grab you right away, it will if you give it the time it deserves, and you'll be asking yourself why you were such an asshole before.

This one here is sick, and is one of my favorite releases of the past year or so. I've mentioned before how I've gotten quite bored with most sludge, but these folks in Sea of Bones have cranked it up and raised the bar. This album is so wonderfully heavy, so absolutely crushing that it's just addicting. I play it once, and usually end up playing it again because it's just that damned good. When I first heard that Gilead was doing a vinyl release of The Earth Wants Us Dead, I was disappointed that it was only going to be 2 LPs, and that the album's amazing closing song would not be included. Apparently, Adam was pretty bummed about this too and decided to make it a 3xLP. I grieve for his wallet, but I celebrate the fact that he changed his mind, because it sounds absolutely devastating. If you were only going to buy 5 metal albums this year, this would have to be one of them. 3 colors available now - get one or get them all and revel in the beauteous destruction left in this album's wake.

You must not sleep on this one either - Bastard Sapling's new record is called Instinct is Forever and it is amazing. These guys have really progressed and brought their brand of black metal to a whole new level. This is saying a lot, I think, because I really enjoyed their first album quite a bit. They've clearly grown as musicians and songwriters because there is not a thing about this record that isn't flat-out great. Digital is nice, but vinyl is better, especially for this record. The vinyl just arrived in the mail today and it's playing as I type this. I highly recommend that you pick this up in one format or another sooner than later. You won't regret it.

Last but by no means least is the new Barghest record, The Virtuous Purge. Words kind of fail me on this one. I love it, It totally rips. These guys are pretty much in your face telling you that they're tired of you and the rest of the human race, and to be frank, they make a pretty strong point. The only thing better than a Barghest record is seeing them live, so if you happen to be in New Orleans on November 25th, check them out. Failing that, get this record, and get it now. You can download it here, and you can get the LP here.

So yeah, Gilead Media is, as always, killing it. And they've got more great shit on the horizon, so keep your eyes peeled. Now if there were only a new False record coming soon... one can hope that they'll put something out soon.

Hammerheart Brewing Company WINTERBLOT Tap Takeover and Metal Fest

So this is pretty fucking awesome...

Hammerheart Brewing Company (which, if you don't know, is co-owned and run by Panopticon's Austin Lunn) is putting on a pretty damned awesome celebration of the coming of winter in Minneapolis, MN, on December 20th. The Winterblot Tap Takeover and Metal Fest has a lineup that you'll be quite sorry to miss if you can't make it (like myself). The UK's Wodensthrone and Maine's Falls of Rauros will be headlining the festival, which will also featuring performances by False, Obsidian Tongue, Nechochwen, and Woman is the Earth.

There will be a special "Fest Only" brew, as well as Festival Merch. All the info you need is on the flyer and in the links above, and you should seriously look into attending this if you haven't already. While I haven't yet made it out to Hammerheart, I have tasted a couple of Austin's brews, and the few I've had are mighty. If you like metal and beer and live in in or will be in the area of Minneapolis ON December 20th, you've no reason not to attend.

Hopefully, this is a recurring thing, and I will at sometime in the future see some of you at one of these!

Wold - Postsocial

In my review of Wold's last full-length, Freermasonry, from 2011, I detailed how I had never been much a fan of the band's earlier works, but that I was a huge fan of that record in particular. With the band's newest record, Postsocial, I think I have crossed over into full-on fan status.

I loved Freermasonry so much that when Postsocial became available, I grabbed it blindly, without having heard so much as a note of it. And I have to imagine that will be the case from this point forward, because Wold has made another chaotic yet unstoppable record that just calls out for repeated listens. I can binge on this for hours, and while my ears may at some point ask for mercy, my mind will not allow it. The album contains 5 songs and 45+ minutes of genuine aural punishment, but if you're anything like me, you'll keep begging for more, because this album is pretty damn catchy, too.

"Catchy" might not be a word that is often, if ever, associated with Wold, but there's something very unforgettable about this record that identifies it as such. It's not as if Wold has gone pop, but the rhythms of Postsocial are undeniable to say the least. Indeed, there seem to be patterns in the chaos, and I can't help but think there is something greater going on here, something more than just music, more than just art. I feel like Wold are making a statement of some sort here, though I'll be damned if I can figure out what it is.

Wold have always had an element of black metal to their sound, but like with Freermasonry, Postsocial seems to have little if any hint of it at all. But those unavoidable rhythms, be they intentional or not, produce sounds at times that are almost melodic. Notice I said almost... I don't want to be misunderstood here; the disorder and noise attack that has always characterized Wold's sound is here, and in spades. The hate-soaked, frenzied vocals and walls of electronic and acoustic noise that Wold fans should expect permeate the album from beginning to end, and are as resplendent as they are frantic. Check out the track "Five Points" for instance: it is a perfect example of the dichotomy of the record. While it is quite insane, it also gets caught in my head quite easily. And even though I can't guarantee similar results for everyone (or anyone, for that matter; this is Wold, after all), I should hope that if you haven't been a Wold fan in the past,  you would at least give this record a chance.

This is available now on CD from Profound Lore, and on vinyl from numerous fine distros, including Experimedia and Gilead Media.