Over the years I’ve found the best music often comes from the places you least expect it to. Not that you wouldn’t expect good stuff from a collaboration between saxophonist extraordinaire Colin Stetson and Liturgy drum whirlwind Greg Fox. But you might not expect it to be this good – and especially this much fun.
Thrill Jockey’s latest heavy signings – joining the likes of Sumac, Wrekmeister Harmonies, Liturgy and The Body in their growing roster of thinking man’s metal bands – are a doom on the esoteric end of the genre, playing drone-like dirges with brutal intensity.
Grails have been a favourite band of mine for a long while now. They were introduced to me as a post-rock/post-metal band sometime around a decade ago, around the time that Burning Off Impurities was released, but I quickly discovered they were far much more than genre-happy mooks. Attempts to label them so neatly fall desperately short – they collect and shed influences as it suits them, ever creating their own weather. Evocative of a whole heap of sounds and musical periods at once Chalice Hymnal is a trip down a whole new set of rabbitholes, a tough record to digest and a difficult one to articulate opinion on. I’ve no idea if I’ve done it justice or not.