Doing a site that reviews a handful of records each week might not seem like that tough of a thing to do, and honestly there are harder jobs out there. We’re not exactly saving lives. But we live in shitty times where fascism is on the rise, we’re somehow still dealing with rampant antisemitism, and finding bands and labels you can truly trust is exhausting and involves more research than it should.
So, when we find a label like Fiadh Productions, it makes what we do a whole lot easier. Not only is the female-owned label steadfast in their stance against fascism and supports animal rights, they also put out killer music in physical and digital form you can trust isn’t made by shitheads. It’s hard for a site like mine with one dummy doing everything to capture everything Fiadh is putting out and already has released (Cherry Cordial are a delight; the Book of Sand’s “Occult Anarchist Propaganda” vinyl reissue is essential as is their new album that we covered Friday; Petricor make rousing black metal), but we present a few of their November releases we really liked in capsule form as well as some notes on other stuff that’s available. Fiadh already has informed me there’s another swarm of stuff coming, so I’m very excited to hear that and give you another roundup when the time is right.
Agriculture is a four-piece black metal band from Los Angeles, and their “The Circle Chant” is a fairly compact collection of four tracks that give you a taste of what the band does well. Yes, of course, black metal is so prevalent in heavy music that it’s not always the easiest to sift out the trash, but Agriculture certainly are in the group of those that adhere to the roots but push into places others fear to tread. Take for example the storming title track that starts the collection that then pushes into “Salt” that features lush singing and harmonizing, sounding like something you’d hear coming off a misty mountain hike. “The Circle Chant Pt II” that closes the collection even features some honey-thick pedal steel that veers into country terrain, giving this blast of black metal a proper sunburn.
For more on the band, go here: https://agriculturemusic.bandcamp.com/album/the-circle-chant
The band supports: https://www.myfriendsplace.org/
Just a couple weeks ago, one-woman black metal project Vega didn’t even have a social media profile at all. Now, there’s an Instagram account, and the woman behind the five-track debut EP “Reliquia,” Vega Shaker, has explained the power behind this jarring effort combines her desire to move forward with her life and the struggle to make sense of a past that wasn’t always comforting. The songs on here revel in black metal horror but also trade off with gothy tendencies and delicacy not often experienced in this style of music. It feels very personal even before knowing what the music is about, and you can feel the exploration and the pain drip through this entire thing. It’s emotional, intense, vicious, and vulnerable, the first step on what could be a fascinating project to watch and hear develop.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.instagram.com/vega_bm_official/
Finland hasn’t come at us with the most reliable of bands when it comes to battling against fascism, but raw vampiric black metal force Sanguinaria make it very clear right up front they do not tolerate that bullshit with their “Fuck NSBM. No tolerance for nazis and nazi sympathizers,” greeting on their Facebook page. So, we already had love in our heart for this bizarre band for that reason, and their seven-track debut offering was something we looked forward to devouring in full. And what an experience it is with some of the strangest guitar playing, warped melodies, and mystical fury, sometimes even packing a punk rock edge to their chaos. The songs are mangling, exciting, chaotic, obscured in noise, and a tremendous blast right to your chest that robs you off your breath.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/sanguinariabm
Montana isn’t exactly a hotbed for heavy metal, but Uamh potentially could change that with “Ràithean,” their second EP overall and this year. Over two lengthy tracks, the one-man project helmed by Urisk Uaine (guests musicians add tin whistle and harp) stretches into stormy, glorious black metal that feels like it’s rampaging over the horizon, situated in the heart of a storm that’s growing more intense by the moment. The music is angling to express what’s it’s like to witness the changing of the seasons in Montana, something I’ve never witnessed, so I can only take for granted the feelings conveyed here. But I definitely got something in my gut that made me think of the natural cycles here in my home state. So, I guess I got it. The music provides electricity, driving energy, and waters rushing, chilling you thoroughly and letting the soil entomb you for good.
For more on the band, go here: https://uamh.bandcamp.com/
The band supports: https://www.niwrc.org/
There also are recordings from Connecticut black metal force This White Mountain with “A Plague Upon the Earth” (we covered their “The Final Sorrow” earlier this year); Scottish dungeon synth force Abyssal Slumber with their “Demo I” that’s a strange and mysterious adventure; and Scottish black metal crushers Dorchadas and their slashing “Aon.” All are more than worth your time, and as noted, many of the bands support great causes.
To buy all of these releases, go to: https://fiadh.bandcamp.com/