Thursday, September 29, 2011

Our Ceasing Voice/Satory split preview

(Original source of embed)

I love these guys. Since I had seen them play in both Budapest and Vienna back in April, we've been in fairly close contact. I consider these guys my Austrian (and Turkish) brothers... sad, sad brothers! But when Sebastian sent me a message saying, "We need your help, we're unsure about the new title," of course, I felt pretty honoured. However, I wasn't quite sure I was the right man for this. After all, it took me two hours to figure up a name for when I signed up for the first message board (heh heh, "message boards," old school) and ended up just using the first ridiculous thing that popped up in my head, "Dude-O-Lob-A-Man." And then it also took me as long to think up a name for my World of Warcraft character (which I no longer play). I'm not creative when it comes to names.

Anyway, Sebastian and I start brainstorming while at the same time expressing how much he dislikes thinking up song titles. He asks me about idioms, that seem to be common in German but not quite as common in American English. And then we just started spouting out different idioms and phrases. "The wish is father to the thought," "The living daylights" (I had to chuckle a little at that one), "Dead Air," etc. Then after a few hours of silence he comes back with five.
-a phantom army marching through the sky
-from deep within
-for darkness fears the light
-dead air

"For Darkness Fears The Light" stood out to me. That and Dead Air, I liked that one a lot too. So, it was finally decided! After a painful period of racking our brains thinking what would be a good title, here it is! Yeah, it's not quite as an inspiring story behind the title, but eh, titles are just that... it's the music that really counts.

As for my thoughts about the new song... wow. It's definitely different than the rest of their stuff. Reiny seemed to think it was more ambient but I felt like it was considerably less ambient than songs their previous album. I absolutely love the Spanish-like intro. And the recording seems a bit more unrefined, noticeable to me by the sound of the drums. Come to find out, they didn't record in a studio for these songs, this was at their own places. Reiny's vocals also add a nice subtle note to the music.

And Satory's new song is very strong. Just like OCV's song, this one is also different progression from Satory's previous album. Except this is more refined and tight as compared to their more raw sounds of The Japanese Beast. It definitely has more "post-" aspects.

This split EP releases November 1st!
Preorder the 7" vinyl

Our Ceasing Voice
[] [Bandcamp] [Facebook] [Myspace] [Website]

[] [Bandcamp] [Facebook] [Myspace] [Website]

Monday, September 26, 2011

Years Of Rice And Salt - Nothing Of Cities

When I posted a new album release for Years Of Rice And Salt's album, Nothing Of Cities, I said that it was one of the best releases of 2011. That was fairly early in the year so that didn't quite have much merit. However, with the year quickly ending I have still yet to find a release that has affected me quite like Nothing Of Cities. Don't get me wrong, Marionette ID's Alluvion is phenomenal, and Matt Stevens' Relic is simply amazing. And I don't want to seem like I'm comparing these amazing albums. But the way Nothing Of Cities affects me is not even comparable to anything else, not Caspian, not MONO, not Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and not even Arvo Pärt. And for me that is saying a lot, especially including Caspian (whom I highly admire). But I can't deny what I feel. Nothing Of Cities causes the passion and emotion within myself to overflow almost gracefully without harming the vessel itself, in comparison to Arvo Pärt shattering the vessel into unrecognizable pieces.

It's hard to pick a favourite track on this album because the entire album is so good. But this song that I have featured today... oh... this song just clenches on to me. At thirteen minutes it is safe to say that it is indeed a long track. And usually with such long tracks, particularly in Post-Rock, there is some kind of progression to an epic finale. But the progression is nothing like that, not like MONO or Yndi Halda. No, it's subtle. It's quiet, it's slow, but it's also really powerful. And then the buildup at 8:05... ooh man... the floor toms come in and the song suddenly turns dark, almost foreboding. The darkness lifts a little toward the end as the guitars go all in with all of their emotion. And then it ends. Even a half an hour later I feel the song.

Sometimes I like to say "Tears flowing" just to express the intensity of some music. But to my surprise, as much emotion is building up in me from this song, tears aren't flowing. GY!BE - Moya causes me to tear. Arvo Pärt - Silouans Song crushes me and reduces me to a crying mess. (And no, I do not suffer from depression nor do these tears have sad memories backing them.) But Nothing Of Cities doesn't do this, it doesn't crush my entire being like GY!BE, MONO, Arvo Pärt, or even Caspian at one time. No. Just like I express earlier, emotions and passion overflows, but the vessel is perfectly intact. Come to think of it, I don't think a song has really affected me quite like this one.

Lately I have not been able to stop thinking of this album. Nothing Of Cities has become my soundtrack to my revisit to Los Angeles.

[] [Service Bell EP (Bandcamp)] [Nothing Of Cities (Bandcamp)] [Facebook] [Myspace] [Website]
(Both albums are available at own donation on Bandcamp or on their site for £5.)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

New Album Release: Matt Stevens - Relic (Preorder now, releases Sept. 26th)

A couple days ago I received a message from Matt Stevens. I'm always honoured to have an artist I feature on my blog contact me personally, as it rarely happens. I'm usually the one to go, "HAY MAN LOVE THE MUSIC." Hah hah.

So anyway, after having listened to this new album I have to say that Matt has evolved rapidly through his music. I absolutely love his Echo album. It is acoustic, it is jazzy, it is funky, it had a wonderful Spanish feel... it is one of my favourite acoustic albums. And then came Ghost, which I feel was a little more emotional, and a little darker than Echo. And now Relic... this is drastically different from his prior albums but at the same time it's still Matt. Relic is on a much grander scale with an entire band backing him. But much like his previous albums, there is a dynamic progression with each song, but now even more-so.

The album starts a little surprising, if you had heard Matt's prior work. "Are these ID3 tags correct? Is this really Matt Stevens?" This song starts off kind of... pop-y. As the song progresses it certainly doesn't stay pop-y, and you definitely start to hear that Matt Stevens that you're familiar with. It then gets even more intense and sort of post-rock-y as the next song, Relic, plays. During the progression of the album we hear different variations of instruments and different emotions. And then we come to the centre of the album where we hear some more classic Matt Stevens style. As the album finishes we're tossed with an unexpectedly heavy track and then mellow back down to something like an ambient post-rock.

This is definitely a different Matt Stevens. I love his purely acoustic stuff, but this album... I cannot stop listening to it! This is easily one of my favourite albums of 2011.

Relic will be released tomorrow. But if you're impatient you can preorder the album on Matt's Bandcamp page.

Also check out his prior albums, Echo and Ghost.

[] [Bandcamp] [Facebook] [Website]

Friday, September 23, 2011

Smallman - Evolution

It's wonderful being back in Los Angeles, even if it's a short amount of time. But I haven't really done much since I've been back, other than work. And I haven't had much time to discover more artists and make more posts. But there are a couple bands I have on backlog I should try to feature.

Well, today's post is a Bulgarian band that Максим of Mental Architects introduced me to a while back. Metal + Bagpipes... nicccce. What I do like about this band as opposed to other rock or metal artists that use bagpipes is that they are not folk. Don't get me wrong, I love folk, and I absolutely love folk rock or folk metal. But sometimes it's nice to have folk instruments used in a very non-folk way.

For those of you dropping by that happen to live in or around Bulgaria, Smallman and Mental Architects will be playing at Stage51 in Пловдив (Plovdiv) on October 22nd.

[] [Facebook] [Myspace]
(Album available for purchase on iTunes.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

June Miller - Silk Flowers

Don't mistake this June Miller with the Drum n' Bass June Miller... two completely different bands. This one is an Italian indie band. I was introduced to this band by a really good friend, and the former bassist of Marionette ID. I fell in love with this band and was a bit bummed to hear that the female vocalist had parted from the band. The new male vocalist is great as well. But something about the female vocalist... it added a kind of delicacy to the music that I find very attractive.

[] [Facebook] [Myspace] [Blogger]
(With Downcast Eyes is available for free download here. I'm not entirely sure how to get their other albums.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Presing - Kad Je Nema

Some interesting Serbian rock an old friend showed me some time ago. Often times I'll write myself a note to remind myself to check out certain bands so that a year and a half later I can finally check them out... hah hah hah.

My updates have been becoming more and more sparse. Hopefully I'll be returning back to a better posting schedule. However, I'm going back to Los Angeles for a short time and will be leaving my laptop at home. Sooo, hopefully I can update through my iPod touch...

[] [Myspace] [Website]
(I am not entirely sure how to get their music...)

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Mental Architects (Bulgaria) + Aaron Harris (ISIS drummer)

Congrats to my Bulgarian friends!!
No more than a half an hour ago Mental Architects revealed that Aaron Harris, former drummer of ISIS, will be working on their first LP. Currently they've finished tracking the drums and are now working on the guitars.

Aaron Harris:
I just started working with the Bulgarian band Mental Architects and will mix and produce their first full-length record. They’re recording the album themselves in Bulgaria, but it’s been a collaborative process from the get-go. To prepare, for instance, we’ve been exchanging videos, demos and sound clips. In this way, I’ve been able to see and comment on their set-up, micing techniques, signal path and environment in which they’ll be tracking the record. This has been great for tweaking certain elements and understanding how the whole thing is coming together. It helps that these guys are very proactive about their band and music. They’ve been a pleasure to work with, and I’m really inspired by their dedication and innovative approach to their art. I love the new demos, and I’m really looking forward to mixing this new record.

Follow Mental Architect's facebook for constant updates.
Also check out my previous Mental Architects post.

[] [Bandcamp] [SoundCloud] [Facebook] [Myspace] [Website]

Monday, September 05, 2011

One Hour Before The Trip - Missing

Today is my grandfather's birthday. But it is also One Hour Before The Trip's bassist's as well. So, this is dedicated to their birthdays.

Boldog Születésnapot
Честит рожден ден
Doğum günün kutlu olsun!
Χρόνια πολλά!

[] [Facebook] [Myspace] [Website]
(Albums are free for download on their website.)

Saturday, September 03, 2011

New Album Release: Marionette ID - Alluvion (preorder now, releases Sept. 12th)

The Hungarian independent rock group, Marionette ID, has announced that they are now accepting preorders for their new album, Alluvion which will be released on the 12th of September.

Preorder here

I'm not good at describing and reviewing music, so I won't even attempt describing with amazing technicalities I read in other people's reviews and just go with my experiences with this music and this band.

I was first introduced to this band by a now distant friend. But I never gave them much of a chance until a little over a year ago. I was so stuck on Képzelt Város that I narrowed my views of the Hungarian music scene. When I finally gave mID a chance and listened to Emptiness Will Change Your Mind. I was "wow'd." This wasn't quite the typical post-rock that I listened to, but it did have some familiar elements. As I continued listening I became more and more engaged. The vocals were gripping, and while they had a somewhat emo-ish sound to them, they were most definitely not emo. I became a fan. I then started checking out these other Hungarian artists that friend suggested to me.

Months later they come out with their two-track Transpires EP, the first piece of music they put out in two years. This is much, much darker than their previous work and less vocal oriented. And the minimal vocals seem a bit more emotional as well. This looks to be an interesting turn for mID.

During this time I have been in contact with their bassist. I wanted to make a trip up to Hungary primarily to see them and Képzelt Város play. This trip finally took place in April. I had the pleasure of not only seeing mID play, but open for the irish post-rock behemoths, God Is An Astronaut. I was afriad that God Is An Astronaut's status would cause mID's crowd numbers to be fairly dismal, but to my surprise, the venue was packed for mID. I've never seen so many people come and stay for an opening band. Then it hit me, "I'm here... IN BUDAPEST... watching my friends up on stage... playing... opening for God Is An Astronaut... in a crowded venue!" And I look around me, there's Máté and Gergő from Képzelt Város. That was a good night.

Upon my arrival back at home I hear word from them that they're working hard to finish their new album. Soon after comes the heartbreaking news, my dear friend and the first person I've ever contacted from mID, must travel his own path and must part from the band. Their show with Rosetta was his last show. On July 7th, sorrow made its way across the Atlantic Ocean over here in the US. But when a door closes another one always opens... and later something exciting will happen. mID officially announced last Sunday that Máté, also big fan of mID and Képzelt Város' guitarist, is now the new bassist. This is extremely exciting (well, at least for me it is). Two days later, preorders for Alluvion are officially announced.

And this now brings us to Alluvion.

I've been fairly curious about this album especially since the Transpires EP. Alluvion does feature the two songs off the EP as well as five new songs. I had the privilege of listening to one song, Parallel Monologue, which at the time he sent it to me had the tentative title of Fierceness. And with Serenity available as a teaser for the album on their Bandcamp page, Alluvion seems to me to have taken a somewhat darker turn with a little more post-rock-y elements as compared to their previous album.

Nine more days... just nine...

[] [Bandcamp] [Facebook] [Myspace] [Website]

Thursday, September 01, 2011

A Hawk and a Hacksaw - The Sparrow

Lately I've been tiring of intense, progressive, emotional stuff... particularly post-rock and classical. I think Arvo Pärt burnt me out. Jazz, ambient, electronic, math rock, none of these were drastic enough of a difference for me. And then someone played Dark Dark Dark on I love folk, but Dark Dark Dark showed me a different side of folk. So, as with my usual obsessive self, I search for everything Dark Dark Dark. I came across the events page on and saw A Hawk And A Hacksaw was touring with DDD. This band must be similar, I'll check it out. Aaaand wow. Dark Dark Dark was different, but this... this is on the other side of the globe. This is exactly what I was looking for, something that doesn't even remotely come close to being comparable to post-rock. I have found my new love, balkan and gypsy style folk. So, for the next few days you may a lot more folk music.

Now, I know that A Hawk And A Hacksaw is relatively known, 93k listeners on But I have become fanatic about this band.

[] [Discogs] [Facebook] [Myspace] [Website] [Midheaven] (Albums available for purchase on Discogs, Midheaven, and iTunes.)