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Wolves In The Throne Room / Aluk Todolo (live at Heaven)

London 30 November 2017

Wolves In The Throne Room live November 2017By the time I get to Heaven, Aluk Todolo are already on stage, kicking out a fine racket. I have no idea what to expect from them, but as I enter the venue I’m thinking “Neurosis”. And for the next few minutes, yes, they do sound a bit like Neurosis.

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Jane’s Addiction – Alive At Twenty-five: Ritual De Lo Habitual

Rock Fuel Media / Cleopatra / MVD Visual

Jane's Addiction - Alive At Twenty-fiveHard to believe Ritual De Lo Habitual is a quarter of a century old, but a quarter of a century old it is, and has taken its rightful place in the pantheon of classic albums. A high point for alternative rock music in the 1990s, which began so optimistically with Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against The Machine and Nirvana and ended with fucking Nickelback.

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Electric Wizard – Wizard Bloody Wizard

Witchfinder / Spinefarm

Electric Wizard - Wizard Bloody WizardElectric Wizard like Black Sabbath a lot, as do all right-thinking people, though I very much doubt the Wizard would like to be thought of as “right-thinking”. Calling your album Wizard Bloody Wizard is possibly the most blatant act of Sabbath-worship in an album title since The Rollins Band released Vol 4.

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Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross ‎- The Vietnam War OST

The Null Corporation / Universal

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross ‎- The Vietnam War OSTIf you have been watching, or have already watched, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick‘s brilliant and harrowing documentary series The Vietnam War, you can’t have failed to notice its masterful use of music. Famously the first war to have its own soundtrack, they’ve used the music of the time to devastating effect, juxtaposing classic tracks with scenes of brutality and hopelessness.

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Wolves In The Throne Room – Thrice Woven

Artemisia

Wolves In The Throne Room - Thrice WovenBlack metal has traditionally been the preserve of Satan, and the occasional Nazi; its blastbeats and shrieking were never going to be suited to tender love songs, after all. But in the quarter of a century since the infamous Norwegian black metal murders and church burnings, it has evolved and enhanced itself. Obviously Old Nick’s still a popular subject (and there are still Nazis, sadly), but Wolves In The Throne Room have taken black metal’s love of nature and ancient things and ditched The Dark Lord entirely.

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The Sisters Of Mercy – Some Girls Wander By Mistake

Rhino / Merciful Release

The Sisters Of Mercy - Some Girls Wander By MistakeIt’s a sobering moment when you realise it’s been a full quarter of a century since Andrew Eldritch, The Dark Lord Of Leeds, has gifted the world with any new music. Despite the latest incarnation of the band being as prolific at gigging as any Sisters Of Mercy line-up has ever been, we’ve been given nothing new.

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Welcome To Night Vale – All Hail

Apollo Victoria Theatre, London 1 October 2017

Welcome to Night Vale - All HailFor the last five years, a growing audience of podcast listeners have been being amused, entertained and just plain weirded out by the small-town cosmic absurdism of the mighty Welcome To Night Vale – community radio from a little town somewhere in the desert

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The Doomed Bird Of Providence – Burrowed Into The Soft Sky

Front & Follow

The Doomed Bird Of Providence - Burrowed Into The Soft SkyThe Doomed Bird Of Providence‘s latest album shows a marked departure for the band. Initially known for their dark and mournful songs about Australian colonialism, Burrowed Into The Soft Sky takes a far more abstract approach.

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Boris – Dear

Sargent House

Boris - DearBoris. Boris are a hard band to describe, other than in purely factual terms — like “there’s three of them and they’re from Japan”. Which doesn’t really cut it.

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Devil’s Domain

Cleopatra Entertainment

Devil's DomainDisney‘s Beauty And The Beast famously likes to call itself “a tale as old as time”, but traditional though a young girl marrying a lion may be in the circles YOU move in, I’d argue an older tale was that eternal staple of the cautionary tale, the tale of the Devil’s bargain.

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Acid King / Alunah (live at The Black Heart)

London 27 July 2017

Acid King live July 2017Our Black Heart, on a dingy sidestreet in the middle of Camden, is rapidly becoming one of the capital’s finest purveyors of underground heavy music. Not only does it once a year double as the command centre for Desertfest‘s weekend-long celebration of all that is doomy and stoned

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Lana Del Rey – Lust For Life

Polydor

Lana Del Rey - Lust For LifeSo summer’s here (kind of), Twin Peaks is back on TV (and oh boy is it fucking BACK) and everyone’s favourite unofficially-Lynchian songstress Lana Del Rey is also back with her long-awaited new album Lust For Life, with a cover that couldn’t look more ’70s if it tried.

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Laibach – Also Sprach Zarathustra

Mute

Laibach – Also Sprach Zarathustra

OF COURSE THEY DID.

So Laibach made an album called Also Sprach Zarathustra. Which displays the kind of self-confidence, arrogance and sheer fucking balls for which Laibach are famous.

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The Tear Garden – The Brown Acid Caveat

Metropolis

The Tear Garden - The Brown Acid CaveatAh, The Brown Acid Caveat. We’ve all heard of it, though not necessarily by name. Delivered over the PA at Woodstock, it was an exhortation to avoid a particular type of tab that was doing the rounds. Probably well-meaning, it almost certainly led to a huge amount of freakouts among people who up until then had been tripping away merrily on that self-same acid.

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Einstürzende Neubauten (live at The Forum)

London 4 May 2017

Einstürzende Neubauten live May 2017Einstürzende Neubauten are a band very close to my heart — indeed, they reside in tattoo form on my left arm, so it’s literally a matter of inches. So I am delighted when, having given up on seeing what’s billed as a Greatest Hits set due to lack of funds, I find out at the last minute that I’ve been assigned to cover it for this esteemed organ (no giggling at the back).

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