Week in Review: 8/31/14

black metal & brews

Hey readers. In my relentless quest to share all that is awesome in metal and beer with you guys, I realize that I’d either need to hire a staff (not feasible) or allow myself to post a weekly roundup of sorts. Since I’m much more interested in keeping current with what’s happening anyway, I feel this is a fun exercise for me and an easy chance for my readers to see a brief aggregate of the week’s happenings. Because this is the first one of these, I’m fudging a bit and going back a couple weeks to compile the music news, articles, and other thoughts of mine here. So what’s the point? A lot of great music comes past my ears and I don’t always have the opportunity to write a full review. You guys should still hear it. Also, I spend a lot of time reading other music writers, and I think you should do the same. I’ll share great reads, great listens, and whatever else occurs here. Finally, since Black Metal & Brews is a blog just as much as it is a music and beer website, I’ll share any relevant experiences I had in my life over the course of the week.

– This post is being written under the influence of Breakside’s Pilsner. I’m not the biggest pilsner guy on earth, so I’ve taken it upon myself to learn the style a bit better. It’s the second pilsner I’ve had this week, the first of which I’ll mention in a bit. This is a solid, smooth-drinking pilsner, with crisp and spicy hop notes going well with an otherwise mellow sipper. Great way to unwind at the end of a very long day.

– Whether you love them or hate them, it’s pretty likely you’ve heard that Deafheaven released a new song through Adult Swim. It’s called “From the Kettle Onto the Coil” and it’s a damn fine offering. While I found myself relatively disinterested in the textured yet repetitive Sunbather, this is an expansion on both that album and Roads to Judah that engages me and makes me eager to see a triumphant new release in the near future.

– Yellow Eyes’ most recent EP, The Desert Mourns was reissued on cassette. Get a copy from Void Cassettes if you missed it on vinyl the first time around. This is a must-have, so don’t miss it twice. You can read my review of this album here.

– I recently read a diverse and solid article on The Metal Advisor about one contributor’s top picks for 2014 so far. The list features a lot of things I’d never even heard of but found myself enjoying immensely. If you don’t regularly read this site, check out this post and add them to your regular reading list. It’s quite different material from my standard fare, but that’s what makes metal a diverse and wonderful place. For the record, on this list I was particularly surprised by Blade, Khtoniik Cerviiks, Cloven Hoof, and High Spirits. None would’ve even come across my radar this year without this list. See if anything new comes your way.

– Speaking of good reads, social media and metal madman Seth Werkheiser wrote a brief but (in my mind) important piece of advice for creative folks of every nature. As someone with a small yet loyal readership, I feel that the reminder to focus on the great folks that are already here is important. This will only take a minute out of your day, so go read it at Novelty and Nonsense, especially if you’re a musician, writer, or artist of any sort.

– You know how much I love Sol y Nieve, right? Well the label just released cassette reissues of The Black House by Krieg and Territories by Locrian. Don’t sleep on these. I just got mine in and they look incredible. They will sell out and you will regret it if you don’t grab them quickly. While you’re there, pick up some of the label’s other fantastic releases. Most of these are going to show up on my best of the year charts and they’ll probably show up on yours, too, if you’re wise enough to get them.

– On Tuesday I met up with a friend who recently moved back to Portland after being away for a year and a half. After a day spent perusing record stores (but resisting the temptation to buy anything), we wound up at a bar in Chinatown where some musicians were setting up. I ordered a Trumer Pils because it’s a fantastic pilsner, but finished before the performance began. Since I couldn’t hear the sounds for the night, I picked up the sampler from their local record label, SDMPDX. The variety of electronic and experimental music on here is pretty broad and the quality seems really consistent. If you like some of the weird experimental stuff I post, check out this label. I’m kicking myself for not staying out later.

– With little notice at all, CAPA announced and released a new EP, The Droves. While I’ve often enjoyed CAPA’s music in longer formats, the brevity of an EP allows them to unleash an assault of their ever-evolving post-metal/black/doom hybrid that is nothing if not heavy and tense in all the best ways. Still, there’s always room for expansion, as evidenced on the sprawling “Chains and Garlands.” These guys are able to bring in many elements that would otherwise sour me on a release and make them not only palatable, but entirely appealing. Check it out for the price you see fit on their bandcamp.

– Finally, I’m undoubtedly late to the game on this one, but I took some time to sit with the newest Mastodon album and it’s actually quite good. I know I spend a lot of time with my ear to the gutter, but sometimes it’s healthy to see what the overall state of metal is in this day and age. I figure each week I’ll check out a “bigger” album I’d ignored and share my thoughts with you guys. In my opinion, Once More ‘Round the Sun is a completely different beast from the Mastodon I came to love when Remission first came out, yet it’s instantly familiar and sounds like it can and will stand the test of time. Even if you’re a skeptic like me, I recommend giving it at least one listen.

So, did I forget something great, terrible, or generally noteworthy this week? Send me an email and tell me all about it. If it’s exciting enough, I’ll throw it in for next week. Future weeks I’ll be a bit more ambitious with my selections, but this is a trial. Let me know what you loved, hated, or skipped over entirely and I’ll tailor future posts to fit my readers’ ideals.