Review: Drowse – Cold Air

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Label: The Flenser

The concept of creating music as self-care is hardly a new one, but sometimes, an album can strike you with just how powerful and important a concept that is. Such is the case with Cold Air, the new album from Drowse. Written during a spell of anxiety and depression, Cold Air is an album of interesting contradictions. At times, its hazy shoegaze is filled with warmth, and possesses a real power of emotional healing; and then at others, there is the feeling that something is desperately scratching at the walls, trying to get out with a life-threatening desperation. It makes Cold Air an intense listen, despite its often soothing sounds; and one that is filled with a unique sense of personality and intensity.

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Heinali & Matt Finney – How We Lived

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Label: The Flenser

Sometimes, there is comfort in the darkness. There are records out there whose content speaks of pain and misery, and wants you, the listener, to know that you’re not alone; to know that things will get better.

How We Lived isn’t one of those albums.

On their second full-length together, the duo of Heinali and Matt Finney have crafted something that may move with a damaged grace and sense of warped beauty; and there may be sounds that shimmer and dance in the haze; but more than that, How We Lived is an album heavy with the sounds of deep-seated sorrow, rooted in the everyday experiences that slowly build up until the burden feels insurmountable. It is a challenging listen, intense in a more emotional rather than musical sense, but it is also a deeply rewarding one, where the void in your soul may stare back at you, but if you’re strong enough to avoid looking away, How We Lived makes for one hell of an experience.

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Botanist/Palace Of Worms – EP1: The Hanging Gardens/Ode To Joy

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Another review of mine has been published at Summing Spirits, this one for the split EP between US black metal bands Botanist and Palace Of Worms.

“US one-man acts Botanist and Palace Of Worms have both been making waves for a few years now with their distinctive takes on black metal, and EP1: The Hanging Gardens of Hell / Ode to Joy demonstrates exactly why that is. This is not black metal for those yearning for past glories and to whom anything not sounding like it came from Scandinavia in the mid-90s is “untrue.” Rather, it is for those who see black metal existing just as much in spirit as it does in sound, and aren’t afraid to embrace something more adventurous and experimental, as well as challenging.”

Read the full review here.