As a follow up to Below the House, his third lp of dense, doom-y pavanes to solitude, Thom Wasluck, the man behind Planning For Burial, recently released Matawan. A collection of works recorded between his debut and sophomore lps, Matawan shines a light on the various musical incarnations of Wasluck’s beautifully dark vision. From floating drones to walls of thickly distorted anguish to crackling, hissing lo-fi soundscapes, there’s a thread of heavy sorrow– or is it simply tired resignation?– woven through each work that ties the collection together. And despite the weight of it all, there’s catharsis to be found in the experience of moving through it as a listener. Hopefully, there’s also catharsis found in the creation. (Otherwise, I worry a bit for the creator. Dude’s got a heavy soul.)
Matawan is out now via The Flenser. Check it out here.
Welcome to the beautiful brutality of Australia’s Drowning Horse. If you, like the cricket, missed Sheltering Sky back when it landed in 2015– and if you, like the cricket, are a fan of dense, crushing soundscapes– then you owe it to yourself to reach back to this one. Painted with glacial guitar riffs, percussion that sounds like it was pounded out on the devil’s eardrums by giants using dinosaur bones, and vocals that move between blackened howls and meditative drones akin to Tuvan throat singing, this thing is equal parts storm and eye– and all menace.
Sheltering Sky is out and available via Art As Catharsis Records. Check it out here.
From the belly of the beast of the abyss, Livid comes rumbling and howling with debut lp Beneath This Shroud, The Earth Erodes. If the barrage of constant bullshit we call the current state of our Trumped up government has you feeling barely a foot or so shy of six feet under, meld your mind to Livid’s dark, bludgeoning groove as they rise from the rubble of despair and fight fire with scorched earth riffage. There’s solace to be found in their crushing, bellowing rage.
Beneath This Shroud, The Earth Erodes is out now via Prosthetic Records. Check it out here.
The Janitors, Sweden’s supersonic psychedelic shamans, are back with Horn ur Marken, a new lp of head-trippin’ heaviness, and the cricket is crankin’ it loud.
(The cricket is also aware that alliteration is a poor substitute for good writing, but hey, the cricket is a poor substitute for a good writer, so fuck it!)
These dark dealers of dense, droning dread are doing what they do better than ever, and Horn ur Marken is the sound of a band that’s pulled off the none-too-easy trick of playing with complete confidence in their craft without settling into a groove that threatens to become a rut. Instead, they use their confidence to push themselves even further, crafting hypnotic walls of sound laced with sitar-esque guitar textures. The band calls this album a “tiny piece of protest,” and in these dark days can, we can use all the protest we can get, so grab this one, turn it up, and let The Janitors clean the cobwebs from the corners of your mind.
Horn ur Marken is out now via Cardinal Fuzz. Check it out here.
With new lp Dust, Perth, Australia’s Mt. Mountain rock a hypnotic blend of metal, psych, and drone. This album is fucking patient– and all the more menacing for it. This ain’t some gnarling wolf, flying at you with a howl and a gnashing of teeth. This thing is a leopard, crouching low in the grass, stealthy, waiting for just the right moment to attack. And then it does.
Dust is out now via Cardinal Fuzz. Check it out here. Or at the Mt. Mountain Bandcamp site.