The idea for Luminous Gloominous has been kicking around for a while. It took some time to figure out the right avenue, and a weekly column seems the best fit so far. Allow me to explain the concept, yes?
Good mental health maintenance, for many, requires ample time spent listening to music. Most of us can attest to being in an extremely dark place and hearing an album that lights a spark bright enough to get us home. That’s Luminous Gloominous. The music that provides luminescence within the gloominess.
In this column, we will focus on the positivity Heavy Metal music brings to our lives, and will do our best to explain why sometimes some of the darkest themes imaginable can lead us to places of contentment and peace. Luminous Gloominous is the healing quality of heavy music, and it knows no boundaries.
Ghost – Impera
By Andy Amsdill :
#NowSpinning the most recent offering from Ghost – Impera. I love this band. I have from the moment Bubba Mackenzie from the Bump:N-Uglies told me to sit down and listen to Infestissumam, shortly after it dropped. I love the more experimental side the band showcases on this album and how it really is a great evolution of the band, if you listen to the albums in order of release. Every album adds something to the mythos, this one is no different.
This is an album about the rise and fall of empires, so the heavy 80’s vibe in the first half of the album may be jarring to those expecting “another Ghost album.” I hear a lot of Rush and Maiden influence, and even a dash of stuff like Anthrax here and there. Even getting into some Van Halen at points. Those big sounds lending to the implication of decadence of a bloated empire on its way out.
The B-side is where you get what you expected, and that’s not a bad thing. A bit heavier, more menacing, and definitely showing the decline of the empire, and those in charge. How they rule through false promises, and fear to clutch and cling to their riches and power. All the while being worse than the “devils” they’re zealously rallying against.
“Spillways” and “Darkness At The Heart Of My Love” are sticking with me after a few listens. All around, a great album. One I feel needs to be listened to straight through.
Mutilatred – Determined To Rot
By: J. Wukotich
I’m from Toledo, Ohio. I have lived in this area for many decades, and of all the bands currently making noise here, Mutilatred is unquestionably the most putrefying. With Hanging Fortress not far behind, often on the same night, which I was fortunate enough to witness a few weeks ago downtown at the Ottawa Tavern. Both bands, along with Toledo based Bone Folder, were supporting Undeath. What a killer fucking show, man! Nothing like a good Death Metal show to keep the blood flowing. Especially if you’re old as dust… like me.
The band’s upcoming album, Determined To Rot, is to be released on May 13th this year on Redefining Darkness Records. I want all of you Death Metal fans to mark your calendars for this one. Given the recent remarks Chris Barnes made about the current DM scene sucking so bad, I can’t tell you how excited I am for the record to come out. It is going to burn shit down! Mutilatred makes me proud to be from Toledo.
Cryptivore – Celestial Extinction
By: J. Wukotich
This album checks so many boxes for me, it’s hard to know where to start. First of all, it simply cannot be overstated how much I appreciate my friends. Namely, in this case, TMW‘s The Great Mack. I’ll keep the praise to a minimum, so as not to inflate the man’s cranium too full of helium. We don’t want him floating too far away from the sea. The salt water exfoliates his beard, which is so Metal it has grown its own skin.
Upon threat of violence, even if that meant inventing a teleportation device, The Great Mack demanded – in the nicest way possible, mind you – that I check out his mate Chris’s project, Cryptivore. I was then provided with the music in question, and ho-ly-shit! Aussies know how to make old school Death Metal!
Chris Anning, as it turns out, is Cryptivore! This is shocking to me for a couple reasons, which don’t matter nearly as much as the fact that I had listened to the album five or six times before I realized it was a one-dude-operation. Any time since, should I feel the familiar pang of self-doubt clogging up my innards, if I put on Celestial Extinction, I’m gleefully reminded that Death Metal is the prescription I’ve been given by The Great Mack, MD (Metal Doctor). Good medicine, indeed!
Do I have a particular song in mind that could help a new listener find their way through? Fuck no! Just listen to the whole thing!
(0) – SkamHan
By: Brad Sinclair – The Vulgar Parts
“I’ve not been listening to much Metal, to be honest.
With the notable exception of that (0) album.
I still spin that regularly…
and it certainly does help reach a place beyond my demons.”
Recommended track: “Rød Glorie”
Sidus Atrum – Spiral Of Life
By: J. Wukotich
I don’t recall off hand how I heard about Sidus Atrum. Probably just a week ago, actually, the project was described as something like a “One-woman, Atmospheric, Blackened Death/Doom band from Ukraine.” Well, coupled with the artwork, that description had me intrigued. I looked it up right away.
Bandcamp’s description of Spiral Of Life is “A journey through life and death, closer to eternity. Black Doom metal with Death and Post-Black elements,” which isn’t far off from the first description, but the added element of journeying made the anticipation of listening even greater.
These two descriptions are precisely what Spiral Of Life sounds like, I’m happy to say. This album is just packed full of emotion. Raw, glassy, and exposed to all of the cruelties and kindnesses of the world, these songs will grab hold of your soul and stay just long enough to leave a permanent mark.
I cannot get enough of this album. Go now. Listen.
Music & Lyrics by Yuliia Lykhotvor
Guest Vocals for “Rain brings your Voice” by Daniel Neagoe (Clouds)
Stray Gods – Storm The Walls
By: J. Wukotich
Our good friend, Trendcrusher sent me a cryptic message a few days ago. All it said was, “How big a Maiden fan are you?” To which I replied, “Pretty fuckin huge, man.” He then sent me the following link:
It takes exactly four seconds to hear why a Maiden fan may be interested in Stray Gods. And after hearing Artur Almeida sing a few of these songs, the only conclusion I can come up with is that Storm The Walls has a touch of Powerslave/Somewhere In Time greatness that simply cannot be denied. That might piss some people off, seeing as how it clearly resembles Iron Maiden, but since when is that a bad thing? Because I don’t see a problem.
“The Seventh Day,” “Alive For A Night,” “Silver Moon,” and “Storm The Walls” are all spectacular Traditional Heavy Metal songs, with or without any further tipping of the hat. Almeida’s voice is a nice perk, though. Reminds me of simpler times, and simple is in rare supply these days. Please go listen to this album.