Dysgeusia Volume #5: Tales of lingering trauma, Finnish folk-metal and trips to Damnation

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Brothers of the Sonic Cloth

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth against a rather incongruously blue sky. Credit: Invisible Hour

In the fifth installment of Dysgeusia, our resident metal columnist Laura Coppin looks out at the musical smorgasbord of 2015.

We’re not even a full month into 2015 and it’s already shaping up to be an incredibly exciting year.

Heavyweights like Gojira, Slayer, Faith No More, Deftones, Ghost, and Between the Buried and Me have all promised new releases, and furthermore there’s more gigs on the horizon than you can shake a stick at (unless you have a thousand arms and half of a forest at your disposal, in which case may I please, please watch?).

Music aside, my own annual bout of furious planning has well and truly begun in earnest; planning which to my delight features a trip to the city that will always hold the keys to my heart – Amsterdam. This canal-filled jewel in the Netherlands’ crown of beautiful cities really does offer everything one could possibly wish for, from the finest fried goods I’ve ever sampled, to stunning architecture and an atmosphere that feels like no other city on earth. Unsurprisingly, it’s rated as both one of the happiest and one of the best places to live in the world.

Amsterdam does of course seem to be known for its drugs and prostitutes more than anything else, but they’re such a small part of a mind-bogglingly vibrant city that the sheer persistence of its reputation as a sordid stag-do haven really is baffling. Admittedly though during my own tenure there I did have some irrevocably scarring experiences combining the two, so perhaps the less said about that the better.

Unless of course you want to buy me a drink, in which case I’ll tell you all about it in horrific, mind-bending detail. After all, what is a traumatic experience if not a good story?

A waste, that’s what. A terrible, terrible waste.

If you find yourself paying the ‘Dam a visit and need to get your music fix then Rock Club the Cave is well worth dropping into; a tiny little place which manages to hide surprisingly discreetly on Prinsengracht and which regularly plays host to fantastic live acts.

On the subject of the Netherlands, Landgraaf’s finest export will be releasing their new album This is No Fairytale next month. Carach Angren are a band who aren’t afraid to have fun with their very particular brand of symphonic back metal, something they made abundantly clear when they premiered new track There’s No Place Like Home in December. If you enjoy your music with a spoonful of theatre and a hefty dose of melodrama, then make sure to get your hands on it.

Finnish folk-metallers Ensiferum will also be releasing a new album in February, with One Man Army marking their sixth studio offering. They released the official video for their titular first single only a few weeks ago, and it’s a song that spells promise for the rest of the album – with fans’ endless squabbling over Jari’s departure aside anyway (listen to Wintersun rather than complain about it is all I’m sayin’). The new material isn’t ground-breaking by any means, but in many ways that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, anyone attending their upcoming mammoth tour will be expecting a joyous romp across the battlefield – and it’s most certainly what they’ll find.

It’s not often that a press release landing in my inbox gives me musical priapism, but when it involves the legendary Tad Doyle and reads like the following then it comes as no surprise that I was very much standing to attention:

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth is the sound of earthly decomposition and planetary demise; a slow, entrancing dance towards a looming apocalypse… thick, monolithic, deliberate and devouring.

Now, any of you who know me (or simply read this column) will also know my love for discordant sludge. There’s little that pleases me more than the heavy weight of sonic oppression, something which the trio promise by the barrow-full. Frustratingly I’ve been unable to get my gnarled little claws on the full album in advance, but with song titles like Empires Of Dust and the below Lava I know deep in my soul that it’s going to be well worth the wait. Thankfully it too will be released in February, so it will be a short one at that.

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