Writer’s Note: Before I continue, I gotta say that it’s been too long! Life has been insane and I’ve gone a little more insane too! There is far too much for me to catch up on. Movies, video games, music albums, whatever! But, I’m back in action in one form or another. Even though I’m not completely back together, I’ll continue to shamble on with this reanimated corpse of a blog as well. Will I be back to a weekly basis? Not sure, I’m trying to kick my gaming projects into full gear. You might get me weekly, maybe every 2 weeks. But enough about me, let’s talk about THE SHRINE with their 2016 album, “RARE BREED!”
The Shrine wasn’t a band I would have stumbled upon by myself. That credit goes to some of my good buddies who love hopping bars and venues to support local and smaller name bands. But none the less, I was intrigued upon hearing their raw and awesome sound at the St. Vitus bar in Brooklyn back in October 2015. It was a joined show between them and Dirty Fences with “Big Truck” opening for them. It was a sick sound to make for a truly sick show. While the band did not have the newest CD available to the public yet, I was hooked on their righteous riffs and violent vibrancy.
Now, how would I describe The Shrine? They’re a thick and fuzzy soundscape of rocky bluesy tradition, colliding with classic yet fresh hard rock alongside a screaming torrent of skater punk rock rage. Now, what does that mean? An eclectic mix of rock music sounds blended into a distinct, modern sound. Containing an energy that brings to mind classic era punk and alternative groups, while bringing a heaviness and raw power associated with a Sabbath era sound; The Shrine proves to be a band that keeps a crowd rolling. Their most recent release, “Rare Breed”, unleashes a raw and lively sound to capture the spirit of Rock and Roll.
Tired of the saccharine crap that floods radio waves from early November to early January? It’s the same old derivative playlists only lightly spiced up by flavor of the year bubblegum pop. After a while, it’s grating to the mind and soul. Now, for gloomy souls like myself, there’s a genre of music that appeals as a proper alternative. I speak of dark ambient/atmospheric music. Combining this with the motifs and inspirations of the early winter holidays and you have the recipe for a fantastically freaky but festive experience. Groups such as Nox Arcana have created their own contributions to yuletide terror, with their own excellent releases.
This time around, it’s Midnight Syndicate’s turn to show their musical mastery for a truly magical christmas time. When I speak of “christmas magic”, I’m not talking about holly jolly merriment, I’m speaking of the twisted and bizarre folklore that extends several centuries at the very least; strange shadowy beings, seemingly alive winter winds, strange monstrosities, wandering ghostly spirits and tons more. These are the myths crafted in small villages and written by just as crafty poets. Whether it be St. Nick’s demonic helper from the Alps or the ghosts that haunt Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, the weird and supernatural is just as much a part of Christmas as it is Halloween. With that, there’s plenty of reason behind a horror-oriented Christmas album. I’m referring to the latest release by atmospheric gothic music group, Midnight Syndicate. Their newest release, “Christmas A Ghostly Gathering” has a mix of original pieces and dark takes on traditional hymns and holiday essentials. In a sense, it’s like Midnight Syndicate heard the soundtrack to “A Nightmare before Christmas” and wanted to make their own take on Horror for the Holidays. Read on for more.
It’s certainly no lie that I’ve enjoyed the soothing sounds of dark electro artist, Sam Haynes. And while the warming months approach us and it’s time to play outside, his music reminds us that there are plenty of things out there that can send a chill down our spines. And since this is my third review of his awesome music, this might as well be a “chillogy” of sorts! (Please don’t hurt me.)
As I’ve stated in prior reviews, Sam Haynes’ work has a focus on ambient textures mixed in with some electric groove beats. With plenty of tracks to wake the dead at any party or terrify guests of any corporeal state, his twisted creations bring a delightful variety to the table. Plus, it’s been interesting to see how he’s altered and evolved his sound with incorporation of new motifs and styles. So, how does this album change the mold? Buy your ticket for the show and attend The Incredible Dark Carnival to find out.
As I finish writing the review for a new book, here’s a look back at an awesome album from independent artist, “Jim Strange”. His blend of post-punk, americana, and heavy music is one hell of a ride! Here’s Jime Strange with The Proud and the Damned, with their latest album “Pox Americana”.
“A nihilist descendant of Johnny Cash and Nick Cave. Portland, OR resident Jim Strange is not afraid to write about the darker side of life. After years of playing in metal bands that went nowhere, in 2008 Jim decided to take the bull by the horns and start his own project. His new band The Proud and the Damned would be based around American Roots music but with the bombast of heavy metal and echoing atmosphere and chilling vocals of gothic rock. Guitarist Kyle Faircloth joined soon after and brought a flashy lead guitar element to the sound.”
– From the band’s Bio.
Howdy, tumblrland! Doc. Necrotic, here; returning to my endless search for music, both known and not so known. This time, I venture into the work of “Jim Strange” and his band “The Proud and the Damned.” His latest album, “Pox America” is a hard and heavy ride through roadside America; and we took a wrong turn straight on leading into the pits of Hell themselves. And ya know what? The result is… groovy.