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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Festival Preview: Woodland Gathering IV

A strange assortment of varied sonic ritualists, ceremonial riff magicians and shamans of noise will congregate in the dark forest surroundings of Fell Foot Wood, for a truly strange and wondrous Woodland Gathering.

Mark Lanegan Band, Duke Garwood and Lyenn – Koko, London

“The closing of this live set by Mark Lanegan and band, with a double Joy Division cover encore, was one of many high points for me of seeing the gravelly-voiced Screaming Tree and solo wanderer perform many times across nearly two decades.”

Harsh Toke / Joy / Sacri Monti – Burnout!

Triple split release where each band takes two sides of a 7”, this is a showcase of classic Californian heavy acid blues.

Impetuous Ritual – Blight Upon Martyred Sentience

A staggering dirge of warped death metal, utter chaos that immediately upon contact will corrode your ears with blackened filth.

Völur – Ancestors

An all around excellent, focused and adventurous addition to a small but so far extremely high-quality catalogue for this band.

Sunn O))) at Barbican Centre, London

Owen Coggins saw Sunn O))) at the Barbican Centre in London. “Without being an intrusive idiot and glaring at people in a weird state, just a glance will suffice: people look utterly drained, almost sorrowful, introspective in massive extension of sound, broken down, blissed out, blown out, checked out but intensely inhabiting themselves, haunted, humble, stunned.”

Valborg – Endstrand

Short sharp songs with a pounding drum beat and barked German vocals, we’re definitely tending towards the PVC realm more than denim or even leather.

Pallbearer – Heartless

More than a doom band, Pallbearer are a rock group with a singular songwriting talent.

Délétère – Per Aspera Ad Pestilentiam

Furious and fast, complicated and propulsive black metal. My main response to this record is appreciation of the technical skill involved in mastering such complexity.

King Woman – Created in the Image of Suffering

King Woman appear with their first full length, taking on board horror, depression and pain, conquering all with waves of crumpled fuzz and beautiful, fragile, monstrous wailing.

The Great Old Ones – EOD: A Tale of Dark Legacy

The Great Old Ones return with a compendium of five new tales of mind-shaking black metal expeditions into the heart of the void.

Zeal & Ardor – Devil is Fine

A genuinely fascinating recording, whether approached as an idiosyncratic meditation on diverse outposts of the history of popular music and its strange influences and contact points; or simply as an expertly compelling collage of intriguing sounds.

Sleep – The Clarity

Pilgrimage meditation on monotonous drone dirge foundation: Sleep forever.

Mosaic – Old Man’s Wyntar

An album that traverses some familiar bleak winter metal soundscapes with impressive and adventurous confidence.

Dirk Serries – Microphonics XXVI-XXX: Resolution Heart

Experimental in the best way, they’re curious, patient and sensitive explorations of minimal themes which reward attentive listening in the right late-night or otherworldly mindframe.

Wardruna – Ragnarok

The scene is set for an excursion into ancient forests, cold battlegrounds and bitterly rigorous journeys, as Wardruna complete their Runaljod trilogy with new album Ragnarok.

Neurosis and Earth – Koko, London

Owen Coggins went to Koko in London to witness Neurosis and Earth play amazing live sets. “The power of Neurosis is an undeniable fact witnessed by all here tonight.”

Lush Worker – Realms

An effective way to present an experiment in drifting, abstract, improvised jam of noise and effects, pushing out past basic conventions into wild but becalmed, weird ecstatic pastel shades. Far, far out. – By Owen Coggins

Urfaust – Empty Space Meditation

Urfaust at their best, this is the sound of a drunken devil trying to keep its balance while staggering along a steep and wintry rooftop. – By Owen Coggins

Aidan Baker & Tomas Järmyr – Werl

Overall, the album can feel a bit indigestible because of its length, but there’s certainly ample space for the musicians to engage fully with the different styles, ideas and feels that are born from their interplay with ambient guitar and roving, experimenting percussion. – By Owen Coggins

Aidan Baker / N / Dirk Serries – Enomeni

Four varied and accomplished sides of atmospheric experimentation by three noted drone guitarists and experimenters, recorded in a live improvised session. – By Owen Coggins

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