I’ve been writing for Echoes & Dust since December 2013, mostly on drone, doom and black metal. Since then I've completed a PhD looking at mysticism, ritual and religion in drone metal, and will be publishing a book related to this in 2017. I'm also trustee of Oaken Palace Records, a record label run as a charity, each drone release raising money for the conservation of a particular endangered species.

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Mord’A’Stigmata – Dreams of Quiet Places

Mord’A’Stigmata explore further territories from their black metal headquarters on new full-length Dreams of Quiet Places.

GOLD – Why Aren’t You Laughing?

A powerful statement both personal and timely, the album deals with complex and important realms of vulnerability, difficulty, accountability, and our responses and responsibilities.

Nusquama – Horizon Ontheemt

Stunning as in a powerfully affecting piece of art, and simultaneously in the sense of getting hit in the head by a blunt object.

Twin Temple – Bring You Their Signature Sound: Satanic Doowop

So it turns out that the signature sound of Satanic Doowop is much like Amy Winehouse singing Dusty Springfield songs with lyrics by Madonna and King Diamond in a sex-positive Satanism collaboration… and they’ve absolutely nailed it.

Sordide – Hier déjà mort

Juddering-misty-fog black metal riffing is solidly where Sordide’s new record is rooted but there’s also an impressive technical expertise.

Endless Floods – Circle the Gold

Stickiest and solidest document of austere experimental post-extremity.

YODOK III – This Earth We Walk Upon

A relentless flight into the heart of a storm.

Svartidauði – Revelations of the Red Sword

A heavy, incredibly dense whole, the forces under which it was forged and formed are scarcely imaginable.

Tuskar – The Tide, Beneath, The Wall

Like a mad geologist’s spare room, this short record is crammed full of all kinds of species of metal and rock, cramped together in a powerful, multifaceted lump of heaviness. 

Acid Mothers Temple – Reverse of Rebirth in Universe

‘Reverse of Rebirth In Universe’ feels like something of a boundary marker, prompting us to look into the next years, no, centuries, of Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso UFO!

Cantique Lépreux – Paysages Polaires

A new delivery of locally-trademarked version of fast and atmospheric black metal, galloping hooves drum kick and epic trance-riffs, which tend to be complex attacks on simple memorable structures.

Miserable – Loverboy

Eight tracks of mumbling candy doom, exuberant depressive songs of wailing sweetness.

Current 93 • Nurse With Wound – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London

Some context for this review: I wasn’t vastly familiar with either performer here. I’d not really listened to much Current 93 until a week before the gig, and until a couple of months ago I’d never knowingly heard a Nurse With Wound album. . .  though …

Tim Hecker & Konoyo Ensemble – Barbican Centre, London

A fantastically ambitious, powerful, yet mysterious and understated performance, far beyond the excellent Konoyo album. . .

Solar Temple – Fertile Descent

Grabs you like a demonic robot trying to making a cocktail out of your shredded brain.

Iskandr – Euprosopon

Like the beautiful monochrome cover image, this is a striking vision of black metal architecture.

Fluisteraars / Turia – De Oord

A great split by two Dutch masters of serious, experimental and intense black metal.

From the Bogs of Aughiska – Mineral Bearing Veins

New full-length Mineral Bearing Veins mixes Irish folkloric spoken word, noisy ambience, field recordings, harsh chaos and black metal in a dense and unique brew.

Black Spirituals – Black Access/Black Axes

From a duo of drums and guitar this is powerful sound which compels rigorous intellectual commitment, physical-material-sonic engagement, exuberant enjoyment and radical freedom.

Yawning Man – Revolt Against Tired Noises

New album of blissfully desert-scorched jams from Yawning Man that comes over as an effortless joy to hear.

Yob – Our Raw Heart

The Oregon transcendental doomsters Yob return with their raw, heart-filled record named ‘Our Raw Heart’.

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