Buried Under Sky, Darkest Corners (2022)

The debut EP from Buried Under Sky melts the line between melo and harsh: Darkest Corners.

Buried Under Sky is comprised of veteran Connecticut musicians who have been active in well-known bands for many years. This first EP of theirs was conceived during the pandemic, as was nearly all music comping out now, and the realizations brought on by this local/global event are apparent in the included songs. The band is Ian Kauffman (guitar, keys), Kevin Salvatore (guitar), Jay McGuire (bass), Charlie Sad Eyes (vocals), and Mark Castillo (drums).

The set begins earnestly with “Extinguishing The Stars,” a melodious exploration of dark ideas. The rumbling percussion and surgically sharp guitars share time and space with melodic vocals, acoustic guitars, and soft engineering. Occasionally, they are confronted by gruff and ragged singing. The gentled delivery of disconcerting ideas is a recurring theme on the album. You can hear it on “Darkest Corners” as well, although this second track is generally more overtly ominous than the first. Perhaps this is a symptom of contemporary society. Then again, maybe it is the new face of a resurging goth movement, as the two shares many similar characteristics.

Reflect on the title of the third song: “To Walk Upon Disintegration.” You could see the idea as a positive one – the ability to survive and walk along even after the end of something (or of everything). Contrariwise, it could also be seen as an ode to destruction. That is, walking over something and causing its disintegration. Given the merging of opposites this music achieves, listeners get to choose their preferred reality. Tell me that is not a characteristic of contemporary society.

The final two tracks are “Ghosts of May” and “We Eat Our Own.” The former is a complete divergence from the sonic template of the first three, taking a slow walk through the fields of ruin rather than pepping it up. The song is beautifully and eerily rendered, and it is my favorite song on the album. The closer brings the contrast back and produces the most effective example of the style, and perhaps the most gothic-sounding of the batch. It also offers the best guitar work on the EP.

The album is fascinating. It reminds me of many things from the past while simultaneously positioning itself as forward-looking. I expect to hear a lot more music like this in the coming couple of years. Recommended.

Darkest Corners is fully available on August 19th. I recommend Bandcamp for the gathering.


Bandcamp, https://buriedundersky.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/BuriedUnderSky/

© Wayne Edwards

Buried Under Sky, Darkest Corners (2022)

Noltem, Illusions In The Wake (Transcending Obscurity 2021)

Connecticut metal mystics Noltem release their first full-length album, Illusions In The Wake.

Noltem began in the early 2000s, releasing their first demo in 2005. It was ten years later that their inaugural EP emerged, Mannaz. And now in 2021, the first long-player. They clearly take their time with musical constructions and that care pays off because Illusions In The Wake is exceptional. The band is Max Johnson, John Kerr, and Shalin Shah. Guest soloists for the album include Zach Miller (Pyrithe), Jordan Guerette (Falls of Rauros), and Aaron Carey (Nechochwen).

The primary description of Noltem’s music is Atmospheric Black Metal, and that is not wrong but, as with any shorthand label, it misses the nuance. The compositional clarity and depth of these songs is hard to overstate. There are big, theatrical moments and gorgeous, quiet, acoustic passages. The range of expression is truly impressive.

Illusions In The Wake has five long tracks and one short transition piece. The first song is “Figment,” and in it you can see the future. Big metal riffs, coarse vocals, and complex constructions highlighted by elegant, simply moments. This track places you in Noltem’s world so you can be prepared for the rest of the music.

“Illusions in the Wake” displays a scope almost too large to take in, and then “Beneath the Dreaming Blue” shuffles in very understated, in a casual way that entirely changes the mood. When it drops the boom directly on your head the impact make you see stars. The space for personal imagination is enormous.

“Submerged” is a light, short bridge leading to the grand “Ruse” and the sweeping “On Shores of Glass.” That final song truly serves to inculcate the magnificence of the musical accomplishment of this album. This is a metal album, a metal album painted on a limitless canvas in the finest detail and with the deepest palette. Recommended.

Illusions In The Wake makes its full digital appearance on October 10th with physicals shipping a few days later through Transcending Obscurity.


Bandcamp, https://noltemband.bandcamp.com/album/illusions-in-the-wake-atmospheric-black-metal

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/noltem

Transcending Obscurity, https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.com/

Noltem, Illusions In The Wake (Transcending Obscurity 2021)

Bone Church, Bone Church (Ripple Music 2021)

The self-titled album from Bone Church gets a re-issue with bonus tracks.

One of my favorite albums from 2020 was Bone Church’s Acid Communion. It is as solid a set of blues-infused heavy groove you are likely to come across. Each song is an extension and a complement to the one before. It is fantastic.

When you hear a record like that, you want to go back and listen to everything else the band has released. Ripple Music is making that easy for you with a deluxe re-issue of the first Bone Church album. The new edition has the complete original Bone Church set plus two live tracks.

As soon as you drop the needle on the first album you see where the second came from. The music is heavy metal laid down with the confident ease of musicians channeling primal elements. “Altered States” and “Pale Moon Sacrifice” are my favorite tracks but they all qualify as top picks. These are the two songs that have live versions included on the re-issue so that puts me over the moon.

Bone Church is going to be at Ripplefest Texas on August 7th and I can’t wait to see them play live. At this writing you can still get tickets to that event (link below) so grab them while you can.

Bone Church is out now. Don’t let another day go by without hearing it. Highly recommended.


Bandcamp, https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/bone-church-reissue

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/bonexchurch/

Ripple Music, https://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/product/bone-church-s-t-reissue-limited-digipak-cd

Ripplefest Texas tickets, http://www.outhousetickets.com/Event/17387-Ripplefest_Texas/

Acid Communion review, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2020/06/03/ripple-round-up-2020-round-01/

Bone Church, Bone Church (Ripple Music 2021)

Entierro, El Camazotz (2021)

Connecticut-based metal band Entierro flap in on blackened wings for with their latest EP, El Camazotz.

The band has been active as Entierro since 2013 and have released two prior EPs and the long-player Entierro in 2018. They play a solid, middle-of-the-road heavy metal that lays the attitude plainly out and backs it up with expert performance. The band is Christopher Taylor Beaudette (vocals and bass), Victor Arduini (guitar), Chris Begnal (guitar), and Dave Parmelee (drums).

“Camazotz” refers to a wicked bat creature that shows up in the Popol Vuh and is a deity in Mayan mythology. It is excellent framing for a metal album. The music itself is not quite as dark as the title might imply, but it is heavy and surging.

Here we get five tracks: four originals and a spicy cover. “The Penance,” the opener, is a perfect driving tune with a catchy set-up, melodic chorus, and a great, tight lead break. The pace backs down on the next track, “The Tower,” offering a more serious and dramatic tone as the lead-in before turning into a driving march with a clever hook. The lead breaks are fantastic on this song, too.

“The Past” is reflective and a little melancholy, and then the title track flat out flies. You can really feel the demon bat coming for you on “El Camazotz.” The final song on the set is a cover of the Judas Priest song “Call for the Priest.” It is a faithful rendering and the world can always use more Judas Priest so it is great to hear this song chosen for the EP – one that is not often covered. It fits right in with the new music and is an effective closer.

You can get El Camazotz right now. Check out the Bandcamp link below. Recommended.


Bandcamp, https://entierro.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/entierrometal

Entierro, El Camazotz (2021)

Happy New Year’s Eve 2020

I don’t have to tell you about 2020 – you were there, too. Usually, at the end of the year, I spend December choosing some photos to repost for good vibes and great memories, but this year I didn’t take a single photograph of a live show. Yeah. So, I am going to post a few photos from 2019 that did not see that light of day then, just for fun. I am keeping the cameras warm for 2021 because hope springs eternal.

There was a lot of excellent music released this year. We published 188 reviews in 2020, a lot more than we thought we would. There are so many “Best of 2020” lists out there that I decided not to do one for FFMB. Instead, I am throwing up a couple of covers from albums we didn’t review this year that were really good – just couldn’t get to everything. We’ll try to do better in 2021.

Thanks to everybody involved with Flying Fiddlesticks Music Blog and the Shardik Media Cabal. Deep gratitude and thanks to all the bands, record labels, venues, publicists, and promoters keeping music alive for all of us.

We’re still here and we are carrying on in 2021. See you out there.

All live performance photos by Wayne Edwards.


Heavy Montreal



© Wayne Edwards.

Happy New Year’s Eve 2020