HYPE HYPE HYPE: Gospel’s The Moon is a Dead World is being reissued.

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The Moon is a Dead World is one of the greatest albums ever made. It blew me away upon release, and it continues to do so to this day. It’s something of a shame, though, that this classic of progressive post-hardcore has been out of print since, well, since the wonderful Level Plane Records closed. At the time of writing, CD copies on Discogs are going for over £20; and vinyl for over £60. Sure, it might be on Spotify, but that’s no substitute for actually having a copy that sounds the way the album should, and I’ve been hoping for years that someone would reissue it. Well, good news, because the wonderful people at Repeater Records are reissuing the album on vinyl, with pre-orders starting on Friday 12th October.

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Review: Piah Mater – The Wandering Daughter

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Label: Code666

Sometimes, a shadow hangs heavy over a record; a spirit, haunting every note, whispering in your ear, taking hold of your thoughts. Often, this is a bad thing; a solid enough record rendered less enjoyable because it makes you think of another, better band. And, for sure, the shade of Opeth looms large over The Wandering Daughter, the new album from prog-death band Piah Mater. But rather than taking anything away from the album, the comparison helps make clear just what an achievement The Wandering Daughter is, as this is a style of music many have attempted, but few have done so well, and this can stand right up to the best of those Swedish titans.

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Five of the Best: Level Plane Records Releases

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That Level Plane Records is no more is nothing short of a tragedy. Between 1997 and 2009, the label released some of the best underground punk, hardcore, screamo, metal, and everything in-between. Originally set up simply so Greg Drudy had an address to put on the back of the first Saetia 7″, the impact and influence the label would go on to have upon the underground scene was huge. Some of these records have been re-issued by other labels – with special praise being given to The Archivist label for getting so many on Bandcamp – but some might require searching on Discogs or eBay.

As such, limiting this list down to only five releases has been rather painful. There’s so many I wanted to include – so many records of superb quality, so many that meant so much to me, and still do – but there’s a reason this series is called Five of the Best, not Twenty of the Best. So, here we go. Feel free to tell me what I missed or what your favourite records from this excellent label are. Enjoy!

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Coraxo – Sol

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Label: Snow Wave Records

Though it’s not what might necessarily be termed a big release, Sol, the second album from sci-fi inspired band Coraxo has still been one of my most anticipated releases of 2017. Their previous album, Neptune, was the kind of record that showed a lot of promise, mixing prog and electronic sounds with melodic death in a way that was full of ambition, but didn’t quite reach the heights the band were so clearly striving for. The feeling was always that their next record would be a big improvement, and now I’ve been able to spend some quality time with it, it’s safe to say that Sol is a considerable improvement, but has a few moments that hold it back from greatness, though it is still a hugely enjoyable listen with lots to recommend about it.

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Veilburner – The Obscene Rite

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Label: Self-released

Even semi-regular readers will probably be aware by now that even if I have plenty of time for music that is creative and challenging, I’m not a big fan of overt prog influences. So, when I review a record like The Obscene Rite by US duo Veilburner, that should probably be taken in to account. The album is a black/death beast that gets practically everything right when it comes to prog sounds and influences, with the music feeling creative and exciting rather than bloated and self-indulgent. Comparisons to the likes of Arcturus, Dødheimsgard, and Akercocke are all warranted and deserved, which must give some further indication of how good this album is. Even if prog-influenced metal isn’t usually your thing, there’s more than enough power and quality in The Obscene Rite to potentially win you over.

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May Blasts

The opening paragraph to this month’s short reviews was initially about how excited I was for Temples Festival. I was only going for the Friday, lured in by the promise of Pissgrave, Revenge, Mgla, and Mayhem all in one night (with the later three being amongst my favourite bands). But alas, the whole festival has been cancelled, days before it was due to take place. This is a huge blow, for the bands playing, the organiser, and for fans like me who have payed out hundreds of pounds and won’t get most of it back (due to non-refundable hotels and trains). Hopefully the individuals involved won’t lose out too badly, but in hindsight, a lot of warning signs were there (just look at how many bands cancelled late-on, and plenty of acts from previous years are talking about the trouble they had being paid).

On a personal note, this is the second time I’ve had the chance to see Mayhem and it’s fallen through; and only the second time I’ve brought tickets for a festival. At least this time it wasn’t called off early because of a bomb scare, I guess?

Anyway; no sense dwelling on what can’t be helped. Up this month though is the usual six shorts. Goatslave unleash their bestial Procession Of Doom; whilst Goddess offer something more prog/doom/psych with The WitheringGrimness and Kastchei bring the weirdo black metal on their split tap, and Noire offer up the atmospheric The Tracks Of The Hunted. Finally, Ulcer‘s  Heading Below is a dose of old-school Swedish death, before Zorormr round things off with The Aftermath.

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