I’ve Listened To These Recently…

…while under the influence of cold, cold days.

Artist: Indian
Album: The Unquiet Sky
Format: LP

What separates Indian from their Chicago metal brethren? Their undying need to scare the living shit out of any mammal within earshot. “No Able Fires” begins unsurprisingly…drawn out feedback and other-worldy groans. It is when, from there, it travels to the deepest, darkest pit and you find yourself compelled but at the same time nauseous. The swirling feedback of despair overtakes until the song finally flourishes in a muddy, uncontrollable forest fire; or what it would sound like from the center of a forest fire while hundreds of people are being burned alive around you.

As the album ascends into the maelstrom of “Dead Weight”, “God of Panic Lord of Decay”, and “Shill”, it is the final two songs that make this unforgettable. “We Can Build You” sounds just as it is suggested in the title: overwhelmingly powerful, forcing a feeling of helplessness over the listener. “Worshipper of Sores” is as disgusting as it sounds. Good disgusting.

Artist: Danava
Album: Unonou
Format: LP

Portland-based, hippieish bros Danava play metal that is equal parts glam, stoner, and prog. Dusty Sparkles (vocals, guitars, keyboards, synthesizers, brass and woodwind arrangements) sports both a falsetto and a nicely cropped set of bangs. The title track and following “Where Beauty and Terror Dance” are a bit boggling at times but also, thankfully, mesmerizing. Side two starts at the lowest point of the record, “A High or a Low”. Luckily, side C’s “One Mind Gone Separate Ways” and D’s bad ass etching cover up any shortcomings. Yep, I’m a sucker for nerdy shit like that.

Artist: Disfear
Album: Live the Storm
Format: LP

Thrash-by-way-of-Swedish-bearded-dudes Disfear return sounding A LOT like they did on their first record, Misanthropic Generation. And, yes, all the songs still sound formulaic and identical, but consistency is important to factor in while all these songs could also stand confidently on their own. The formula works thanks in part to:

-over-the-top-intense production of Kurt Ballou (Converge, Genghis Tron, Old Man Gloom, blah blah blah) in Salem, Massachusetts’s God City Studios.

-They’re Swedish, for chrissakes. Singer Marcus Andersson was in a little band called In Flames.

-the lyrics, “We dream of poison/Of annihilating liberation/We are too young for mercy/We are the revolution” (from “Testament”). Kind of breaks it all down in an easy to swallow capsule of metal.

Fun, party thrash. High-alcohol beer (+8.5%) and lots of cigarettes recommended.

Artist: Silver Apples
Album: The Garden
Format: LP

Yes, this is in fact a new Silver Apples record, though the recordings are old. Kind of. They’re also kinda new. Confusing? Yeah, no shit.

Original drummer Danny Taylor has been in hiding for longer than I’ve been alive. Whoa. To make a long story short, Danny was sitting at home listening to the radio when, during a pledge drive, he heard the Silver Apples ditty, “I Have Known Love”. He gave them money, the DJ (whose name is faBio…ha) was like, “Holy shit, you’re THE Danny Taylor…,” then a reunion and the discovery of all these tapes in Danny’s attic. Drum ideas, demos, etc. Well, Simeon (vocals/programmer extraordinaire) threw some stuff on top of the old drum loops, called them “Noodles,” and released it. It sounds too easy, and it is for them. While some of it lacks the importance and vitality of  Contact, they still have something that no one else has. I don’t know what it is, though, so don’t ask me.

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