As mentioned in this week's Upcoming Metal Releases, Denver doom/sludgesters In The Company of Serpents' great new album LUX is out today. It's the band's first album as a trio -- guitarist/vocalist Grant Netzorg, Ben Pitts (Nightwraith, False Cathedrals) on bass and lap steel guitar, and JP Damron (Vermin Womb, Bleakheart, Clinging To The Trees Of A Forest Fire) on drums -- and it features guest vocals from JP's Vermin Womb bandmate Ethan Lee McCarthy (Primitive Man, Many Blessings) and Khemmis' Ben Hutcherson on the song "Scales of Maat," as well as viola by Colorado Chamber Players' Paul Primus on "Daybreak" and "Nightfall." As we said in UMR, it's "a behemoth groove-machine of an album that’s dark and beautiful in all the right ways," and you can now hear the whole thing below.

We also spoke to Grant about the music and books that's getting him through quarantine, and he included Kurt Vonnegut, Swans, Nick Cave, Ramones, and more, with commentary on each pick. Read on for his list.





Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

This is probably the tenth time I've come back to this book in my life, and it never fails to delight me. Vonnegut's unflinching humanism clothed in prickly cynicism has long been a source of inspiration for me. Plus, it's damned funny.

Grant Morrison, The Invisibles

A wonderful, zany guide to being the best agent of liberation you can be in an otherwise oppressive, Archonic dystopia.

Ingo Swann, Psychic Literacy: & the Coming Psychic Renaissance

One of the chief architects of remote viewing spells out the history of legitimate soothsaying, from the oracle at Delphi to Nostradamus and beyond. A highly recommended read for both the hardened skeptic and true believer alike.


Townes Van Zandt, Townes Van Zandt

Given the broader plague winds that currently prevail, I've not been listening to much on-the-nose heavy music. That being said, I have been finding great solace in musicians who can bring that same heft in quieter ways. This is my favorite of Townes' stuff, and the stripped-bare versions of tunes like "Waiting Around to Die" and "I'll be Here in the Morning" are breathtakingly grim.

Swans, Leaving Meaning

Some of the most haunting material from a band whose back-catalog is rife with ghosts. The trumpeting chaos of the closing track, "My Phantom Limb," may as well be John the Revelator whispering sweet nothings of the Apocalypse in your ear.

Skip James, Today!

Speaking of heavy music which doesn't rely upon the gratuitous amplifier worship that I, myself, regularly employ, we have Skip James. Tunes like Hard Time Killing Floor Blues seem particularly resonant in our broader circumstances.

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, B-Sides and Rarities

While I love all of the Bad Seeds' discography, I'm mainly including this for the acoustic rendition of "City of Refuge." The cheeky, major-key welcoming of the End-of-Days is too perfect to omit in our current cultural moment.

Ramones, Ramones

Because sometimes you just need to bounce up and down and jam tongue-in-cheek classics. I've been playing this one a lot for my two-year-old daughter, and she has now taken to shouting out "1-2-3-4!" whenever one song ends (even when we're not listening to the Ramones), announcing to the world that she's ready for the next one.

Dead Meadow, Warble Womb

While I think their latest, The Nothing They Need, is fantastic as well, Warble Womb is probably my favorite thing Dead Meadow have done. Pure, magnificent chill. The opening and closing tracks, "Six to let the Light Shine Thru" and "September," respectively, are perfect bookends to a piece of flawless psychedelia.


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