Ioanna Gika wrote and produced her first solo record, Thalassa, during a period of turbulent change. In the wake of the deaths of her father and stepfather, and the dissolution of a long-term relationship, the former member of Io Echo traveled to her family’s home country of Greece, where she witnessed its now-decade-long spiral into economic ruin and corruption firsthand. She emerged with an art-pop odyssey of gothic elegance and profound searching: for clarity, for solidity, for a way forward, like a balm amid crisis.
HELMS ALEE Premieres The Appropriately Titled Track “Beat Up”
Sludge metal trio, Helms Alee, are back at it with a brand new album titled Noctiluca, and if you’re looking something heartwarmingly crude and groovy, then you owe it to yourself to check this out!
Today we’re excited to bring you the track “Beat Up” off the album, a quick number that is disgustingly raw and catchy at the same time, leaving you to smash that repeat button more than you’d like to admit.
Changing the game: Emma Ruth Rundle at Roadburn 2019
Roadburn had no shortage of female musicians, generally being awesome. Whether it is the heavy bass work of Tamaki Kunishi (MONO), the multi-layered keyboards of Helen Stanley (Crippled Black Phoenix) or Amalie Bruun (Myrkur) achieving two critically acclaimed black metal albums. Of course, it seems redundant writing about female representation in heavy music today, let alone in regards to a massively diverse festival such as Roadburn. However, it isn’t all that long ago that bands were marketed as ‘all female’ or ‘female fronted’ as if this was something new. So even in this day and age, with those labels long gone out of hot shot marketers’ mouths, female representation is as important and relevant as ever. Enter Emma Ruth Rundle, who is prominently featured at this year’s festival and quickly became one of this edition’s most valuable players.
Olympia, Washington’s Dylan Carlson has kept his legendary, long-running drone-metal project Earth going since 1989. In those years, he’s collaborated with Kurt Cobain, branched out into different musical ideas, and pioneered the whole idea of instrumental metal as full-immersion ambient music. Carlson has been busy lately, but it’s been five years since Primitive And Deadly, the last proper Earth album. Next month, they’ll be back at full force with a new studio LP called Full Upon Her Burning Lips. We’ve already heard the early track “Cats On The Briar,” and now they’ve shared another one called “The Colour Of Poison.”
Greek-American singer songwriter Ioanna Gika crafts songs so towering, they nearly pierce through the atmosphere. Her self-produced debut album Thalassa (which translates to ‘sea’ in Greek) is out in its entirety today, and it’s a…
Belgian trio Brutus first hooked me back in January with their insanely impressive live music video for “War,” featuring drummer/vocalist Stefanie Mannearts delivering an absolutely stunning performance on both instruments with an expressive, dynamic band behind her. I haven’t been able to stop listening to the band’s new album Nest ever since.
One of the most interesting trends in modern heavy music is the acceptance of a style that, on the surface, sometimes has very little in common with metal. At one end of this rather vast spectrum are the more obviously metallic stylings of Chelsea Wolfe, and at the other is Greek-American artist Ioanna Gika, whose compositions are intense but electronically driven.
Closing out the intense night of music was Thou and Emma Ruth Rundle. Both powerhouses on their own, the two acts decided to join forces and give a few select cities the treat of seeing a collaborative set (thank you Jimmy from False for bringing this event to the Twin Cities). Now, as mentioned and per usual, I was going in a wee bit blind to this show so I couldn’t tell you if the songs being performed were by Thou, Emma Ruth Rundle, or brand new songs they all wrote together. What I can tell you is the way the music came across was absolutely perfect and honestly I could have easily been fooled into thinking that this was just one band that has been performing for years, not a collaboration that will only last a couple of shows.
“We wanted more space, more room, the record had to breathe…”
When Brutus released their excellent debut, ‘Burst’, in 2017, it wasn’t long before the plaudits started rolling in. The Belgian post-hardcore trio had won themselves some famous fans, perhaps most notably, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, who loved the record so much he invited Brutus to one of his band’s mammoth 2017 shows at the London O2. “We had to wait in the VIP bar,” remembers bassist Peter Mulders. “An assistant came and said: the Brutus guys? Are they here? Can you come with us because Lars wants to talk to you!”