Musical Digest: Tumbleweed Dealer, Ocean of Tears, Rhino, Norilsk, Altars of Grief
Seb Painchaud and Tumbleweed Dealer are back! A second full length, Western Horror brings a new chapter to the stoner story. An instrumental journey, this time around we find ourselves in a darker setting, as if all lights had suddenly been turned off in an abandoned village where we would have ran out of gas. To my opinion, “Slow Walk Through a Ghost Town” sums up the qualities of the atmosphere on this album. Whether in the background or closer to us, the various layers of guitars are carrying this spooky breeze. Meanwhile, drums follow their path casually like a zombie moving in the shadows. Songs on Western Horror are built on a frame similar to the previous chapters: there is always a slow but safe progression for at least half of the song, and sometimes another riff kicks in half way through, as in the excellent “…And the Horse You O.D.’ On”. Tumbleweed Dealer sits on a higher mount than before, as expressed through the tighter and more daring musicianship. While we find songs that could have figured on the previous album, like “Riding Upon a Skeletal Steed”, we also find more complex sructures and rhythm sections, such as in “A Scythe in One Hand, a Shotgun in the Other”. In short, Tumbleweed Dealer has this great ability to create colorful soundtracks for the imagination. To build the setting, it also has the help from the excellent graphic artist Alexandre Goulet, who creates all Tumbleweed Dealer artworks like classic movie posters.
Get it here: http://tumbleweeddealer420.bandcamp.com/
We said a few words about Ocean of Tears some time ago, and here are more news about the Ottawa/Halifax entity. Founded by current and former members of death metal band Fumigation, Ocean of Tears is a doom-death metal entity the vein of Novembers Doom and Saturnus. “Her Deceit” is the second song they published online, and it re-affirms the characteristics displayed earlier: an intro, some introspective spoken words laid on melancholic notes, contrasted with very heavy sections and low death metal growls. The song is catchy and the rendering is convincing.
Hear for yourselves:
Montreal post-hardcore outfit Rhino just released their first EP. With 5 songs and a total of 22 minutes, Footnotes is something we have been waiting for for a long time. In fact, Rhino had previously played a lot of material live, but it never presented more than one or two songs at a time on its Bandcamp page. Recorded and mixed by Jean-Baptiste Joubaud and studio Lantiez, who produced the last single, the songs on this album display both strength and precision. Footnotes is a wave of sound in the face, with vocals disappearing in the loud and salty guitars foam, bass guitar rolling in the shallows and carrying with the drums this sand-like grain texture. My favorite song is “Tinnitus of the Deaf”, located in the middle of the album. Details on the album launch here.
A mix of death, doom and sludge, Norilsk comes from Gatineau, Quebec. Founded by Nicolas Miquelon and Nick Richer, who both played in various bands through the years, the band goes back to the roots of the genre by revisiting the legacy of early My Dying Bride, Morgion, Thergothon and Saturnus, and incorporating sludge and post-metal elements à-la-Isis or Morne. Norilsk just unveiled a few details about their first EP which will be released on July 22nd. An introduction to the band and demonstration of things to come, this three-song EP should be made available for download on its Bandcamp page and in very limited CD quantities. A historic photo of the Port of Montreal spring thaw in the late 19th Century, this EP artwork plays with contrasts: beauty and gravity, nordicity and urbanity, identity and oblivion. Listen to Norilsk’s first excerpt, “Japetus”, down here.
Apparently a new band coming from Regina, Altars of Grief has a stunning start with a video for a song called “Only Our Scars”. Filmed by Erik Labossiere of Desecrate Promotions, we understand immediately that this band will lose no time trying to take its place on the death-doom Prairies and Canadian metal scene. It is well crafted, well produced, well performed and nicely filmed. The band currently works on their first album titled “This Shameful Burden” and will be touring western Canada in August.
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