By Dave Herrera | Sept. 29, 2016 |
I used to have a Hessian Aggression T-shirt back in the day emblazoned with the words, "Too Much Metal for One Hand." I loved that thing. Rocked it all the time. Seriously—All. The. Time. It was my favorite shirt. If you knew me back then, in fact, you probably remember it.
Anyhow, the motto struck me like a mantra. I thought about that shirt this when I was sorting through all the music that's moved me recently, exactly half of which happens to be metal.
Man, I just cannot get over all the masterful metal being made in the shadow of these majestic mountains. The metal dudes here are just crushing it. Too much metal for one hand indeed. I've been back home almost two months now, and I'm just absolutely blown away by the mind melting metal I've heard recently—and I've barely even begun to scratch the surface.
Among the things that grabbed my ear these past few weeks, the latest from Blood Incantation, Zombie Hate Brigade, IAMTHESHOTGUN, Remain and Sustain and Chieftain (not "new" new, but it's new to me).
Before I barrage you with all that badass metal, though, I made some delightful new discoveries this week that are worth sharing with you, new music from Laurel Bluffs, Lena Farrmo, Moriah Woods, DJ Check One and Space Orphan. Have a listen below.
Laurel Bluffs is a Fort Collins-based act led by Nathaniel Walberer, who began making music under that name a little more than a year ago. Small Mouth, the ten-song debut from Laurel Bluffs, was written and performed almost entirely by Walberer, with contributions from guitarist Jason Richard and Anna Carlson, who sings on two tracks, “Hotel” and “Gold Paint.” My favorite track on the record is this tune, “Temporary Colors.” Good stuff.
Don't really know too much about Lena Farrmo, other than to that she's from Colorado Springs, and Same River Twice, her latest effort, is her second record, the follow-up to an earlier five-song EP titled Basement of My Mind. Three songs from that record appear on this new platter, including "The Ascent," which is just splendid. Same River Twice was recorded in Seattle and Olympia, Washington, by Henry Wilson, who also plays several instruments on the record.
Moriah Woods is a Colorado-bred singer-songwriter, who’s been living abroad for the past two years. Since moving to Poland from Paonia, Woods has made music on her own with a trio and with a band called the Feral Trees, which she says leans more towards rhythmic folk noir. Woods says she’s always been drawn to the “darker, melancholy side of music,” and this sentiment is certainly reflected in “Mother,” the first single from her forthcoming album, The Road to Some Strange Forest, which is due out October 1.
“Walk Right Pass Me” is the closing track on Blood Red Deep Pocket Breaks, the debut solo release from DJ Check One (aka Dameion Hines of Bigwheel Electrosoul, Future Jazz Project). The album, recorded at Side 3 Studios in Denver, mixes live drums with sampled breaks and other instrumentation and has been in the works for a few years. This particular tune, making its premiere right here on the Trusted Ear, features King F.O.E. and Sedrick Avenue (fka Whygee). Super smooth grooves. DJ Check One is set to drop this one Friday, September 30 at the Meadowlark Kitchen.
This one's been on constant repeat for me. It comes courtesy of Space Orphan, an all-star ensemble led by Jon Wirtz. The track appears on the act's debut, Shut Up About the Sun. The band's taut brand of jazzy funk reminds me of iconic fusion acts like Weather Report. Wirtz says he began writing tunes for the project at the beginning of 2015 and the group began playing live a year later. The record, which features fretwork by Taylor Scott — a gifted guitarist and singer in his own right — was recorded in three sessions at Stanhope Sound with Joshua Fairman and mixed and mastered at Sleeping Brotherhood Studios by Kyle Jones. You can hear the whole record at Relix Magazine and then catch Space Orphan at a pair of release shows this weekend at Cervantes in Denver and Hodi’s Half Note in Ft. Collins.
Starspawn, the latest effort from Blood Incantation, was recorded by Pete deBoer at World Famous Studios in Denver this past January. The album was captured entirely in analogue with minimal overdubs. “Vitrification of Blood (Part I),” the thirteen-minute track that opens the album, is a sprawling epic that effectively sets the tone for the rest of the album, which is straight up fierce.
I was pleasantly surprised to come across this track from Zombie Hate Brigade, a band that has been making mesmerizing metal in Denver for almost a decade. The track, "Into the Minds of Maddness," is from the band's brand new 12-track album, Rotting Recollections, and it packs a powerful punch, leveling everything in sight in less than two minutes. Brace yourself.
IAMTHESHOTGUN is another band that's been blowing minds in the scene for years. Formed nearly a decade ago by Bryan Pelle and Kareem Hendricks, the five-piece is back with five new songs on a brand new record titled Devout. It's the first release featuring frontman Trax Henderson and it might just be the band's best work to date. Damn, this is good.
Remain and Sustain has a new three-song effort that's due to be released next week. "No Peace" is the first tune that's been made available from the set, and it's a doozy. This is another act I don't know much about yet, but I'm eager to follow it and see where this rising quartet goes from here.
Okay, I'm madly in love with this band Chieftain from Ft. Collins. You may have heard this tune already, as Vulture Hunter, the album this songs appears on, came out this past summer. Just the same, it's new to me and it's freaking AMAZING. Sadly, there are only three songs on the record. Can't wait to hear more.