Album Review

Giles Corey – Giles Corey (Enemies List, 2011)


Giles CoreyBlackest Bile (Enemies List)

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I’m a terrible person. I’ve loved this record from day one (and I mean love) which was almost 2 years ago. I got pumped for the video for “A Sleeping Heart” but never followed up with a full review. Plus, I walk past the site where Giles Corey got crushed on my way to work every day (REPRESENT). Anyway, here’s what I should have written long ago.

Giles Corey is Dan Barrett’s solo project, the dude behind Enemies List and half of the immortal Have A Nice Life, this is his Dust Bowl era spectral folk side where he takes on death, the occult, suicide, depression, and supreme heartache, turning terrible shit into the most powerful & amazing music ever. Depressing as fuck lyrics chanted & crooned & shouted like “I’m going to kill myself,” “I want to feel like I feel when I’m asleep,” and “I open up my heart and let it all in and it kills all my love and hope for everyone,” bleeding through everything, reaching soul wrenching depths, rooted in bittersweetness, even evoking some mid century pop/doo wop sounds, his voice the richest imaginable, so pure & raw, layered a hundred times over surrounding himself in a choir of his own nightmares, armed mostly with just an acoustic guitar and percussion that sounds like an oil drum being pounded in an empty warehouse, kicking the hushed intimacy into enormous bombastic anthems, sometimes bringing in some brass for an extra old timeyness, but always perfect, every fucking song is as good as it could possibly be, Barrett’s song writing is unmatched and inimitable. The original release came in a DVD style case bound by rope to a 150 book filled with a crazy fucking story and lyrics and photos and shit. That’s way sold out but for $5 you can still get the download and it includes digital versions of everything except the rope.

There’s a super weird noise/drone/wtf record he put out “designed to induce possession states” called Deconstructionist, a second full length set for this year (on vinyl!) and, awesome news for you New Englanders, there’s a GC mini-tour coming right up. Three shows, (NY, Boston, & Enemies List HQ), all with Planning For Burial on the lineup, and I’m hosting the Boston show. On Saturday, 2/23 at PA’s Lounge with High Aura’d and Ehnahre helping to usher in the new darkness.

Album Review

Nocht The Only Ghouls – Nocht The Only Ghouls (Vwyrd Wurd, 2011)


Nocht The Only GhoulsSleeping Bär-geist (Vwyrd Wurd)

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Nocht The Only Ghouls. Weird stuff! I think it’s their debut release, but at the very least it’s the first from Vwyrd Wurd, and it’s on vinyl and PWYW at Bandcamp. This conjures some dark days, super fine black folk, lonely guitars emanating from empty attics, overgrown graveyards absent of color, slow & meticulous, sparse & haunted, with subtle electronics, nearly non-existent vocals, and hidden percussion. The electronics become more apparent as the album progresses and by the end of it, it’s turned into more of a dark ambient/drone. Awesome as fuck, an original album of dusty midnight rituals to add to the increasingly large but still sadly small pile of neofolk.

Album Review

Jakob Battick & Friends – The Painful Places Will All Fly From Me (self released, 2011)


Jakob Battick & FriendsThan Even The Night (self released)

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So it has come to this, the final nail in the Jakob Battick & Friends coffin. Originally a limited physical release in 2010, Battick decided to re-release Painful Places for free on Bandcamp as a farewell. Well, this couldn’t be a more fitting finale as this is as fucking sad as it gets. Melancholic and bittersweet, stripped down to its bones, just a couple slow guitars with Battick and and his friends filling in the spaces with their voices, Battick’s rich & resonating, super intimate, like you’re right there with him in a cold, empty church attic. This is the bleakest, most minimal folk you’ve ever heard, Battick can take a few chords and turn them upside down, into something previously unknown, and his voice makes everything incredibly tragic but still uplifting, like he’s fucking Atlas with the weight of the world on his shoulders for infinity, singing to the world that there’s nothing to worry about ’cause he’s fucking got it, death, death, more death, and it’s all ok because nothing matters. So yeah, this is really fucking good, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t grab a gratis copy. Here’s hoping that Battick isn’t done making music and he’s just retiring the “Friends.” The world would certainly be worse off if he was done for good, so lets make this a public plea for more Battick creations. We (I) need it.