Category: Folk

Ascension of the Watchers – Numinosum

While Fear Factory is not a band I like to listen to, Burton C. Bell and John Bechdel of (at the time) Fear Factory had a side project going called Ascension of the Watchers. I first listened to this CD years ago and was mesmerized by some of the tracks. After all of this time, does the album still hold up well? (more…)

J. Tillman – Year in the Kingdom

Sometimes all good music needs is an acoustic guitar and a decent voice to be incredibly effective. That is very much the case with J. Tillman and his prior solo albums before his reincarnation as Father John Misty. Before and during Tillman’s brief time as Fleet Foxes’ drummer, Tillman crafted a number of solo acoustic albums that seeped with melancholy and earthy tones. (more…)

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Steve von Till – A Life Unto Itself

An elementary school teacher who happens to be a member one of sludge and post-metal’s juggernauts is indeed a life unto itself. Thus is the title of Neurosis vocalist/guitarist Steve von Till’s fourth solo album. A Life Unto Itself continues with the brooding folk template of its predecessors, yet sounds even more refined than before. Steve von Till (more…)

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Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems

Even at eighty years of age, Canada’s Leonard Cohen is still at the top of his game, albeit with a smoky raspy voice that has taken the toll of age. Cohen was forced out of retirement and back into making music and touring after his financial manager screwed him up. This new era is a far cry from Cohen’s glory days from the late 1960s and early 70s, yet his recent musical explorations have steadily improved leading to his newest release, Popular Problems. (more…)

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David Thomas Broughton and Juice Vocal Ensemble – Sliding the Same Way

Hailing from Otley, which is near Leeds in England, David Thomas Broughton has teamed up with Juice Vocal Ensemble on the album Sliding the Same Way. David Thomas Broughton is an interesting “indie” folk musician with an uncanny vocal and musical style. (more…)

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Ola Podrida – Ola Podrida

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Despite the simplicity of the instrumentation, Ola Podrida’s self-titled debut always seems to hold my attention. After discovering this album through Last.fm, it was played daily for quite some time. David Wingo’s Ola Podrida plays a simple, yet genuine “indie” folk filled with melancholy. (more…)

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Songs: Ohia – Ghost Tropic

The music world lost a big name last year in 2013 with Jason Molina of Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. fame. Molina was a master at melancholic lo-fi folk and his work has influenced numerous others since. My favorite album that Molina was involved with was Ghost Tropic under the Songs: Ohia moniker. (more…)

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Eluveitie – Origins

Switzerland’s folk-metallers Eluveitie have returned with another album under the Nuclear Blast record label. Origins continue with the folk metal with a strong Swedish melodic death metal foundation that Eluveitie has refined over the course of their careers. There is a running joke that bands on the Nuclear Blast label decline to mediocrity upon their signing. Although, I would disagree that Eluveitie’s music is mediocre, but they have strayed little from their formula over the course of the past few albums. (more…)

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Amaseffer – Slaves for Life

Blazing out of the Middle East is Israel’s Amaseffer, which is a progressive metal band that has only released one stellar album thus far. Amaseffer was formed by Erez Yohanan in 2004, who is also the drummer and principle songwriter. Their debut album, Slaves for Life, is the first in a trilogy of albums and describes stories in the Old Testament telling of the Exodus from Egypt. (more…)

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Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat – Hewers of Wood and Drawers of Water

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Some time ago, I was looking at the artists that were recommended to me on my Last.fm account. Among those bands was a band with an interesting and strange name: Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat. The name refers to a medieval witchcraft ritual. This band from Belgium plays neo-folk in the vein of bands such as Hexvessel or Lux Interna. The music consists of acoustic guitar and drums, with a strong folk and almost shamanistic atmosphere. This music is ideal for the campfire in a forest. Hewers of Wood and Drawers of Water is Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat’s fourth full-length album and continues with their folk style. It opens with the slow acoustic guitars of the title track, accompanied by (more…)

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