Stream roundup: High on Fire, Oshiego, Ocrilim, & more
With all of the CMJ craziness last week, we let a lot of interesting streams slide. Because of said craziness, we've got a lot of live coverage coming up over the next several days. So for fear of falling behind on the final few weeks of awesome new music in 2013, let's get caught up in one fell swoop. Roundup time.
THE "NEW STUFF" DEPARTMENT
High On Fire - "Slave the Hive"
It seemed like this Scion AV-sponsored High on Fire single was the biggest piece of news for most people last week. Matt Pike obviously idolizes Motörhead, and his career now mirrors theirs: High on Fire is a perennial favorite that people celebrate simply for doing the same thing year-in and year-out. I have a hard time getting excited for new music by them these days, but to each his own, and this song is a ripper.
Oshiego - The Great Architect of Nothing
Speaking of ripping: I've never encountered Singapore's Oshiego before, but they've apparently been around for nearly a decade. This album is one of the more thrilling death metal rhythm guitar workouts I've heard in a while. Their riffing style reminds me of the more high-octane end of Polish death metal (especially later Vader and early Decapitated), but with a lower-budget film of dirt all over everything. You can buy it physical or digital from their label's Bandcamp.
Ocrilim is one of Krallice guitarist Mick Barr's many projects. If you've heard Ocrilim before, you know what to expect here — minimalist but still hectic solo guitar workouts, occasionally peppered with Barr's tormented screams. I recently came across an interview with him in which he endorses the idea of playing guitar "like you're banging two rocks together." Ocrilim isn't quite so simple, but the spirit is there.
THE "HOW THE FUCK DID WE MISS THIS?" DEPARTMENT
A God or an Other - Towers of Silence
This album came out way back in April, but it deserves a mention: A God or an Other play burly, dissonant West Coast black metal that sounds much more like a product of the Continent than it does of Cascadia. Drummer Sam Pickel totally makes this album for me. He drives the groove forward with elaborate patterns whose emphasis on cymbals reminds me of the most recent Mgla album, but he plays them with an exuberant, punky messiness.
A God or an Other is the latest in a series of good recommendations I've gotten from Rennie Resmini of the long-running Philly group Starkweather. Aside from being an immensely gifted vocalist, Rennie is also a relentless Bandcamp hound who seems to have a clutch of under-exposed young talent up his sleeve every time I hear from him. He posts many of them to his band's Facebook; enough of them are of interest to me that I can't keep up with them all.
blackQueen - March of the Obsidium Triumvirate
This album came out even longer ago — all the way back in 2012. Still, it's good enough that I felt compelled to include it. San Francisco's blackQueen call the music on March of the Obsidium Triumvirate "witch metal," which doesn't tell you much about how it sounds. In practice, the band play a heaving brand of Morbid Angel-esque death metal for the most part. But they're also disciples of the Italian psych-prog band Goblin (where did all of this Goblin worship come from all of a sudden?). And lo, a death metal version of Goblin was born. It works way better in practice than on paper; the keys and trippy textures are smoothly integrated into the death metal riffs, which help out by more than holding up the brutal end of the bargain.
This band are also on a West Coast tour right now that includes a stop at Housecore Horror Film Festival, where, according to their tour itinerary, they will spend three days "studying Goblin". Have fun, guys.
blackQueen tour dates
21 Mon Flagstaff, AZ TBA
22 Tues Albuquerque, NM @ Sister Bar
23 Wed Dallas, TX @ Bryan St Tavern w/Lord Dying
24 Thurs Austin, TX Housecore Horror Film Fest @ Dirty Dog's
25-27 HHFF studying Goblin
29 Tues Tucson, AZ @ the Rock w/Lord Dying
30 Wed San Diego, CA @ the Void w/Archons & Lord Dying
31 Thurs Oakland, CA Helloween @ First Church of the Buzzard
1 Fri San Francisco, CA @Ouija w/Hornss & Apocryphon
2 Sat Arcata, CA @ the Alibi w/Lord Dying