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Tom Breihan
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Underground metal doesn’t soar very often anymore. It churns and wriggles and spits and seethes, and it can be really great at all these things. If you’re in a bleak, heavy mood, something like Watain can line up perfectly with your mood. When you’re actively pissed off, it can be great, too; thanks to recent albums from Nux Vomica and At The Gates, I’ve found myself enjoying the feeling lately. But very little of this music feels triumphant. If you’re going to stand on the edge of a cliff and spread your arms wide, breathe the wind in through your nose, and feel like you can swallow the world, you’re probably not going to have, like, Pig Destroyer on your headphones. It would fuck the whole moment up. Things didn’t used to be that way. Black Sabbath and Danzig and Entombed made dark and heavy and uncompromising music, but if you heard them at the right moment, you could feel like you were 40 feet tall. And that’s what I hear in Where Greater Men Have Fallen, the new album from the Irish band Primordial. The album does all the things that underground metal is supposed to do in 2014. It blasts and roars and shuts the outside world out. But it does all that with a sense of melody and uplift that I haven’t heard in a long time.

A lot of videos bill themselves as “short films,” but director Nikola Ležaić’s clip for Steve Gunn’s “Tommy’s Congo” can make a better case than most. Gunn is a meditative guitarist and Kurt Vile sideman who released a gorgeous album called Way Out Weather earlier this fall. (We posted his video for its title track.) “Tommy’s Congo” is a blissful seven-minute zone-out with a little Joy Division ominousness in its bones. And its video tells the story of a Serbian woman who attempts to get closer to a coworker and finds herself in increasingly desperate circumstances. It’s an absolutely absorbing piece of work, and you can watch it below.

Earlier this year, EMA released the great album The Future’s Void, which explored ideas about technology and industrial music and where our privacy ends. She’s already made videos for the early singles “Satellites” and “So Blonde,” but her new clip for “3Jane” is something else: An illustration of the themes of both the album and of a feature film that she’s working on developing. The “3Jane” video, from director Y2K, is basically a William Gibson vision rendered as a music video. Anderson lounges about a retro-futuristic California mansion while a cyborg woman, who looks quite a bit like her, looks on. Everything is kept subtle and ambiguous. Check it out and read a statement from Y2K below.

Comments

 0Posted on Nov 25th | re: Album Of The Week: Primordial Where Greater Men Have Fallen (12 comments)

I will, thanks!

Stop trying to police my tastes, you fucking weirdo.

Yeah, actually.

 +18Posted on Nov 10th | re: Premature Evaluation: Foo Fighters Sonic Highways (46 comments)

He matters more in Nashville now than fuckin Auerbach, who’s all over that thing.

 +5Posted on Nov 10th | re: Premature Evaluation: Foo Fighters Sonic Highways (46 comments)

I haven’t seen the Austin episode yet, but there does seem to be something weird about which artists get left out of which cities: No mention of Smashing Pumpkins in Chicago, no mention of Jack White in Nashville. I know it’s one dude’s subjective idea of these cities and all, but it’s weird to just ignore those guys.

 +16Posted on Oct 27th | re: Premature Evaluation: Taylor Swift 1989 (166 comments)

Start one.

And please stop with the “we don’t take this stuff seriously and we write about it for money” argument. It’s stupid.

 +5Posted on Oct 27th | re: Premature Evaluation: Taylor Swift 1989 (166 comments)

Too bad I couldn’t work in the bit about how I tear up every time the “marry me Juliet” bit kicks in on “Love Story.” Taylor Swift songs stay affecting me.

 +26Posted on Oct 27th | re: Premature Evaluation: Taylor Swift 1989 (166 comments)

Taylor has a bad habit of releasing albums the same day as immediate rap classics. Red came out same day as Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City.

 +7Posted on Oct 27th | re: Premature Evaluation: Taylor Swift 1989 (166 comments)

I somehow always do this. Fixed, thank you.

 +7Posted on Oct 15th | re: Meow The Jewels Is Happening (49 comments)

I don’t think people ever remember the whole tax thing when they’re doing Kickstarter project. You have to cough up a fuckton of that money.