Review: Windhand's 'Soma' brings a fresh approach to doom
Just when you think there is nothing fresh that can be done with the doom metal genre, you get hit in the back of the head by Windhand. The Richmond, Va., band's second full-length is one of the heartiest, most emotional and dark doom records of the year and a true indication of this powerful unit's arrival.
Driven by the passionate, sometimes ghostly vocals of Dorthia Cottrell, Windhand packs punch after punch on this six-track record, and each passing second should help you transcend to a higher level of understanding on tracks such as the great “Woodbine”; noise-drenched “Feral Bones”; the pretty, haunting folk of “Evergreen”; and the mammoth, 30-minute closer “Boleskine” that'll scorch your face. This is a phenomenal album that'll make a lot of year-end lists.
Mark Lanegan (Vagrant)
Mark Lanegan's raspy, quivery vocals sound like those of a world-weary man who has seen a lot of things and lived many lives. And that's not untrue of the versatile Lanegan, one of the great rock voices of our time who has played with Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age, Gutter Twins, Isobel Campbell, and, of course, all by himself.
“Imitations” is a really interesting project where he unearths old and more recent songs that helped form his musical palette and passion, and he truly transforms these cuts into his own creations, including a take on Chelsea Wolfe's “Flatlands”; Bobby Darin's “Mack the Knife,” that he makes sound more ominous; John Cale's “I'm Not the Loving Kind”; and a pair of Sinatra cuts — Nancy's “You Only Live Twice” and Frank's “Pretty Colors.” If you love Lanegan like I do, you'll dig this unique collection.
Esmerine has been making really compelling records ever since its 2003 debut, and it even has collaborated with artists such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor and the Silver Mt Zion project. No matter what it does, it's always organic and purely original.
For its fourth record “Dalmak,” the band created a collection based on its recent musical residency in Istanbul, where the band members soaked up their surroundings and created this colorful, emotional album that feels like you're experiencing them perform in an open-street setting. The instrumental cuts are cinematic, exotic, and full of impact, from the two-headed “Lost River Blues” cuts, that go from soft to noisy; “Hayale Dalmak,” that's dressed in electronics and cool ambiance; and the two “Translator Clos” tracks that spiritually ascend to great heights.
‘On Oni Pond'
Man Man (Anti)
Man Man always has been a fun, carnival-esque band that's poured rock, jazz, gypsy sounds, and other influences that stretch across the past few decades. “On Oni Pond,” its fifth record, finds the band grasping for accessibility, dialing back the crazy but not its penchant for fun songs.
Personally, I prefer Man Man when it seems like it's on the edge of insanity, but I can appreciate what the band does on these 13 songs. Cuts such as “End Boss,” “King Shiv,” “Loot My Body,” and flamboyant, rocked-out “Born Tight” are more likely to reach a wider audience, while “Pink Wonton” and wacky “Paul's Grotesque” offer an embrace to those of us along for the ride from the start. Hopefully Man Man's audience expands even more now. It sure does deserve it.
Brian Krasman is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- PSO ends year’s Grand Classics with Viennese masters
- For broadcaster Lee’s fans, Pittsburgh rock awards a waiting game
- Adele shines on ‘25’
- Pittsburgh Symphony celebrates Thanksgiving with memorable ‘Waltz Tradition’
- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra offers own tradition with ‘Waltz’
- Journey, Josh Groban shows set for First Niagara Pavilion