Album of the Day: Heinali and Matt Finney, “How We Lived”

Bandcamp Daily

Matt Finney and Heinali don’t so much mix genres as they flatten them into a single drone. Finney, a spoken word poet from the U.S., and Heinali, a self-taught composer from Ukraine, have been working together for some years; they released their last full-length, Ain’t No Night, in 2011.

Heinali’s soundscapes are often classified as ambient, but he’s also acknowledged metal bands like The Angelic Process as inspirations. The droning, pulsing textures of a song like “October Light,” off the duo’s latest, How We Lived, fit into the tradition of fuzzed-out, cross-eyed psychedelic drift from Pink Floyd through Sonic Youth post-rock. It’s easy to see Heinali listening to fellow countrymen Drudkh, or vice versa, especially as the track hits the five-minute mark and it starts to emit a feedback-driven, wailing howl, coupled to a frantic drumming groove. It’s like a soundtrack for fleeing in dreamlike slow motion…

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Album Review: Twilight Fauna/Evergreen Refuge – “Procession of the Equinox”

Nine Circles

twilight fauna evergreen refuge split

Over the course of a few albums you begin to take the measure of a band by the steps they take on their musical path.  Some bands are explorers, never content with where they were before, always looking to try something else.  Some find their place and stick to it, content to tread the same rhythm over and over again (lest you think that’s always a bad thing, I’ll simply leave you with a “Hey! Ho!  Let’s GO!).  But between the balance of standing in place and grasping for something just out of reach is the band that refines, that chances upon something and digs deeper, finding the hidden corners and unexplored nuances of the terrain they commit to.  And it’s this thin space that Twilight Fauna and Evergreen Refuge have been residing in over the course of multiple albums and side projects, and their latest split Procession of the…

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Initial Descent: March 19 – 25, 2017

Nine Circles

Twilight Fauna Twilight Fauna

The weekend, FINALLY. For those of us who actually have weekends off you know it’s something we look forward to and for those of you that never get a weekend off my heart goes out to you, seriously. Whether you’re off or working or whatever, thank you for stopping by and we have a killer bunch of releases to get to so, shall we? In pole position this week is The Year the Stars Fell from Twilight Fauna and on this release black metal collides with emotional heft, Appalachian themes and astoundingly heavy atmosphere that transcends music in a general sense and goes straight for the heart and mind, give yourself over to this album completely and the reward will be monumental. Next up is Memoriam with For the Fallen and honestly this record gives me chills for a couple reasons: the tie in with Bolt Thrower and just…

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Album Review: Twilight Fauna – “The Year the Stars Fell”

Nine Circles

twilight-fauna-stars-fell

Push away the tags, move past the labels and niches of “Appalachian metal” and “black/neofolk” that have been used to describe Twilight Fauna and artist Paul Ravenwood over the years. The concept of music recalling and communicating a sense of place, of community and time is well and good and entirely accurate, but there’s another layer to what Ravenwood is unraveling for the listener in Twilight Fauna’s latest, The Year the Stars Fell. By weaving his musical heritage into his own personal history Ravenwood exposes a raw nerve of grief and tragedy, a painful narrative buried deep under a foundation of feedback waiting for someone to take the time to dig.  

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Mulligan’s Stew: a Collection of Leftover Releases

Nine Circles

9c-mulligans-stew

There have been lot of new and awesome albums released in 2017. Unfortunately, a lot of releases get overlooked for coverage by the release date due to limited resources (or interest). These are a collection of releases that for no fault of their own, did not get picked for coverage on their own. That could be because no one knew what they were, no one cared, or we just missed them because we suck. I wanted to take some time and discuss five of these releases. These releases have nothing to do with each other and would probably never be put together other than they unfortunately are all getting reviewed by me.

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PICK OF THE WEEK: Twilight Fauna push deeper into rustic folk on rousing ‘The Year the Stars Fell’

Meat Mead Metal

How many albums or how many songs do you hear each year that give you a glimpse into the creator’s homeland and the traditions held within. Not many, right? And that’s OK. Not every band is resigned to bringing their homeland or territory into their sounds (well, at least if they’re not European), and often what we get is devoid of the strains of where one calls their dwelling.

That’s beginning to shift a bit when it comes to American metal, and Twilight Fauna is one of the bands helping make that so. Long helmed by Johnson City, Tenn.’s own Paul Ravenwood, his band’s music has rounded more toward the Appalachian sounds in recent year. The band’s latest album, the excellent “The Year the Stars Fell,” continues along those dusty, foot traffic-battered roads, giving you a deep breath of air from where he grew up and formed into the person…

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Meat Mead Metal Premiere: First taste of Twilight Fauna’s rustic new journey ‘Falling Portraits’

Meat Mead Metal

twilight-faunaSo, we don’t do a ton of song premieres around here. There’s no big reason for that. But we certainly pick and choose what we want to do, and when the time’s right, we’re always happy to do a track debut.

We’ve been big fans of Twilight Fauna for a long time now. It’s the project long helmed by Ravenwood, who handles just about every element of what’s going on here. He’s always brought a woodsy, rustic approach to his melodic and atmospheric black metal, and the new Twilight Fauna record “The Year the Stars Fall” is an incredible document that grips from the start and doesn’t let go until the album subsides six tracks later. He’s joined on the record by drummer Josh Thieler (of Pittsburgh maulers Slaves BC), and the two converged to record what you’re hearing toward the end of 2016.

Today, we bring to you “Falling…

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This Friday, Stand with Bandcamp in Support of Immigrants/Basic Human Values

Bandcamp Daily

Bandcamp

Like 98% of U.S. citizens (including the President), I am the descendant of immigrants—my great-grandparents came to America from Russia and Lithuania as teenagers and worked in sweatshops until they were able to afford to bring the rest of their families over. Most everyone you speak to in this country has a similar story to tell, because we are, in fact, a nation of immigrants, bound together by a shared belief in justice, equality, and the freedom to pursue a better life. In this context, last week’s Executive Order barring immigrants and refugees from seven Middle Eastern countries from entering the United States is not simply immoral, it violates the very spirit and foundation of America.

Contrary to the assertions of the current administration, the order will not make us safer (an opinion shared by the State Department and many members of Congress including prominent Republicans). Christian religious leaders…

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Best of 2016: Josh’s List

Nine Circles

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

Outside of metal so much happened this year that it really is mind boggling to think back on it. We lost visionaries and legends, witnessed violence of epic proportions, politics took a huge dive into the void and negativity seemed to reign supreme. And all that is barely scratching the surface. I’m definitely not going to be the one to say that 2017 WILL be better but I will say — let’s attempt to make our little corners of the worldbetter, be better to each other and approach it with some semblance of positivity.

On the flip side of the coin, 2016 was about as strong a year in metal that I personally have seen in ages which was a great thing considering the state of affairs otherwise. As usual, metal was my comfort food and the offerings were bountiful. With that said,making a best of list was extremely difficult.What…

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Album Review and Interview: Call of the Void – “AYFKM”

Nine Circles

Call of the Void - AYFKM

Call of the Void is a relatively young band for as much as they have accomplished since forming. They signed a deal with Relapse Records before releasing their debut in 2013. Their records have been solid and reviewed positively across the board. They’ve toured extensively with awesome bands like Bleak and Inter Arma: making a reputation on fantastic and intense live shows. AYFKM is their first release since losing their vocalist after releasing Ageless in 2015. With their crushing live performance and praise-worthy studio releases, I had no worries about how the new release would be.

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