Join ‘The Up Rising with Pyroglyph
The Up Rising Crazy Cajun4 stars of 5Now thats what Im talking about. Thats what I need. Big, distorted guitar riffs and crazy drum tempos led by falsetto banshee wails. Loud, fast and dark. Pyrogplyph, the Denver-base heavy metal band, is all of that. Im not going to lie, Im a little bit biased when it comes to metal bands, especially the ones who remind me of my childhood when Motley Crue and Iron Maiden ruled with an iron fist. The Up Rising, Pyroglyphs debut album, is just good, solid metal from the opening Master of Puppets-style riff of Hope to the Black Sabbath-tinged finale Phantasmagoria, and everything in between. The acoustics of the album are arranged to sound distant, as if it was recorded in an ancient, high-ceilinged crypt. Pyroglyph explores a pretty wide cross section of musical styles throughout the album too everything from funky bass lines to wild, jazzy drumming in Standing In the Rain. For a debut, The Up Rising is exactly what it should be: a nostalgic trip with enough of their own sound to remind us this isnt the 80s anymore.For: Metal fans. Charlie Owen, High Life writer
All Is Well, Bedroom Community4 stars of 5From the moment that All Is Well begins playing, Amidons voice sinks right into your soul. Its eerie almost too eerie. His voice is haunting and his sparse acoustic guitar plucking only adds to the borderline despair that most of the album perpetuates. Dont get me wrong, its not that suicidal despair that comes with most folk albums, but the good kind, the kind that makes you question life and everything in it. Really, All Is Well is nothing more than a collection of 10 songs sung by Amidon, some guitar, and a few other instruments scattered throughout.All the same, it sounds a lot bigger than I just described, which is really quite a feat. You may recognize the song O Death from other artists recordings most recently the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack but Amidon does it with a sweetness that almost makes you forget that its a song about begging death not to take his life.All Is Well is a moody and ambient collection of songs, and one that is worth getting acquainted with.For: Fans of folk.Charlie Owen, High Life writer
Heretic Pride 4ad/Ada4 stars of 5John Darnielle is great when hes mildly pissed off. In his prolific stay as the engagingly nasal-voiced lead singer and songwriter for The Mountain Goats, Darnielle has made a name with deeply insightful lyrics that arent about anything especially deep he sings about what he sees, and he does it well enough to craft entire albums on observation and everyday relationships. But sometimes, Darnielle gets feisty. Thats the case on Heretic Pride, Darnielles return to writing songs about anything outside of himself. Its more accessible than the last couple of Goats releases, often embracing piano pop flourishes to cut across Darnielles abrasive vocals. From the opening track, Sax Rohmer #1, Darnielle stomps if thats possible with his slight frame and acoustic guitar through songs about war, desperation, lost romances and California highways. They dont go together, and it doesnt matter. Darnielle gets his themes from his oddly detailed characters, describing one as a great, unstable mass of blood and foam and the next as a proud heretic being dragged through the streets. That leaves continuity to other sources in this case, the result is a collection of perfectly balanced songs from John Vanderslice and Superchunks Jon Wurster. Margaret Hair, Steamboat Pilot & Today
For Emma, Forever Ago Jagjaguwar3.5 stars of 5 Justin Vernons debut as Bon Iver sounds like it was recorded in a remote hunting cabin because it was. The latest addition to the quietly introspective songwriting canon (Iron & Wine, Bonnie Prince Billy, etc.), Bon Iver makes relatively simple, strained odes to solitude. Sometimes closer to Gregorian chant than it is to coffeehouse folk, the songs on For Emma, Forever Ago capture a range of emotion without ever really changing their tone. On Skinny Love the albums only single, if it has one Vernon uses a breathy falsetto to give weight to his indie folk shouting: I told you to be patient / I told you to be fine / I told you to be balanced / I told you to be kind / now all your love is wasted? / then who the hell was I? Its the only part of For Emma that reads like song lyrics. Everything else is closer to free-form poetry. Both writing styles work for Vernon. The real standout here, though, is The Wolves (Act I and II), a song that works in easy layers (all Vernon) and just a few lines to make something surprisingly thick a texture that is frenzied and then, out of nowhere, is gone. Thats what makes For Emma, Forever Ago so intruiging: Vernon never asks questions and doesnt have to give answers, which means his raspy romances can move through the albums 37 minutes unharmed. Margaret Hair, Steamboat Pilot & Today
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