Lycia – A Line That Connects (Handmade Birds, 2015)

alinethatconnetsWhen darkwave legends Lycia returned from the musical wilderness with Quiet Moments in 2013, it was widely hailed as a stellar comeback for the band.  While I certainly enjoyed the album, I couldn’t help but feel that they were just warming up. Quiet Moments is unquestionably a good record, a great record even, but it also struck me as the work of an artist attempting to fully regain their footing after some fairly lengthy gaps between releases (seven years between Empty Space and the Fifth Sun EP, three years between Fifth Sun and QM).

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Ester SegarraIf there’s one thing I hate doing, it’s writing intros to interviews.  Fortunately, Paradise Lost is a band that needs no introduction.  The death/doom/gothic metal pioneers have been releasing great music for nearly three decades now, and that enduring legacy continues with their latest full length, The Plague Within, which is out June 1st via Century Media.  Legendary vocalist Nick Holmes graciously answered my questions about their stunning new album via e-mail.

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Weeping Rat – Tar (Handmade Birds, 2015)

1526659_825951394136465_8729640222783617169_nSacramento was positively drenched with rain last weekend.  The meteorologists called it an “atmospheric river;” I called it a great time to wallow in some seriously depressing music to match the shitty weather. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no better band in 2015 to accompany overcast skies and sheets of (probably toxic) precipitation than Australia’s Weeping Rat.  The band is set to drop their debut album Tar via the mighty Handmade Birds, and it’s a deliciously dismal listen, to say the very least.

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Beastmilk – Climax (Svart Records, 2013)

Beastmilk Climax cover

There are few things that please me more right now than this resurgence we’re currently seeing in the gothic sounds of the 1980s within the realm of heavy music.  It appears that metal musicians have taken a shining to the the stuff of late, or maybe they’re getting bored with metal, or perhaps they always had it and are only now allowing themselves to cut loose and release the bats.  Whatever the case, Helsinki’s Beastmilk are absolutely killing it with their debut album, Climax.

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Listen to: Ghost Noise


A man cannot live by metal alone.  The problem is, I don’t keep up with other styles of music as obsessively and consistently as I do metal, so when I want something new to listen to that falls outside the genre, I’m often at a bit of a loss.  Not sure where to turn, I recently started trawling Bandcamp to see if I could find anything of note that didn’t involve screaming, Satan, loud guitars and the like.  Most of the bands I found were total duds, but after much intense searching I stumbled across the Los Angeles trio Ghost Noise, and suddenly all was right with the world.
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Atriarch – Ritual of Passing (Profound Lore, 2012)

Rumors of deathrock’s uh, death, are greatly exaggerated. Pinkish Black proved it was still alive and well with their excellent self-titled debut earlier this year, and now Portland, Oregon’s Atriarch have knocked it out of the goddamn park with Ritual of Passing. This isn’t your granddaddy Rozz Williams’ deathrock though. While it might be built on a tortured foundation similar to what bands like Christian Death were putting down back in the day, Atriarch breaths new life into the genre by incorporating the musical vocabularies of doom and black metal into their approach, making their brand of diseased heaviness that much more, well, deathly.

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