Listening Lately: Monolord, Dialith, Howling Giant, and The Connecticut Metal Coalition

This edition of Listening Lately is brought to you by the half an hour before my laundry comes out of the drier.  September has been a fruitful harvest of music coming across my path…

Yesterday, Monolord released their album No Comfort via Relapse Records.  I had never listened to this Swedish trio, but every stoner/doom Facebook group I’m part of literally salivates over them.  So when No Comfort arrived over the PR wire, I gave it a listen and finally understood what the big deal was.  The straightforward, driving riffs and chantlike vocals make it an instant headbanging favorite.  Apparently this is the first album that Monolord didn’t self-record; with better sonic clarity and emotional lyrics about aging, disease, and disaster, I’m looking forward to burning it onto a CD and giving it a closer listen on the ride to New London tonight.  Yes, I’m one of the few people in 2019 who don’t have the freakin’ internet in their car…

(NB: AltCtrl favorites Ghost:Hello and Cult of Sorrow released albums yesterday too!)

Speaking of listening to CDs in my car, I waited until Dialith’s CD release party a couple weeks ago to get a copy of their self-released debut album Extinction Six — and WOW.  I ran into PJ from Glass Divide at the show, and he said they had “set the bar very high” for a local band.  PJ was right.  Like Nightwish meeting Cattle Decapitation’s The Anthropocene Extinction, Dialith tells the tale of humanity bringing demise upon itself.  Polished production, aggressive drumming, and dueling keyboard/guitar solos so hot they might be contributing to global warming…. This package is completed by frontwoman Krista Sion’s thoughtful lyrics and operatic delivery.  The seventeen-minute closer is divided into four movements — and dare I say ends it on a hopeful note?

The final new CD in my car is the Connecticut Metal Coalition’s inaugural compilation, aptly titled Volume One.  We gave most of the CD copies out at CT HorrorFest, but I hoarded a few copies….  There are many subgenres of metal represented — but whatever kind of metal Owl Maker is, we are the only ones of “that kind” on this album.  My favorite new-to-me finds were “Suffer to Become” by Iblissian (blackened death metal, who happen to share drummer Cullen Mitchell with Dialith) and “Moments” by Condition Zero (melodic metalcore).  For CT metal classics, my face lit up when She Walks Without Legs’ “Wanderer” kicked in.

If you missed your chance to get a CD or don’t feel like chasing the bands down, you can also enjoy this comp on bandcamp and Spotify.

How about upcoming releases?  Our southern friends Howling Giant have a new album, The Space Between Worlds, coming out September 27th via Blues Funeral Recordings.  (You may remember Howling Giant from amazing compilation albums such as Volume Doom…. *cough*)  This album will not disappoint fans, bringing more of the high-energy space metal that has earned them a place in the national  scene.  A relentless rhythm section and listenable prog vibe are markers of Howling Giant’s sound — but they’re not afraid to change the mood with songs like the acoustic guitar and piano ballad “Ghosts in the Well.”

According to the band, “The Space Between Worlds is a concept album that follows the story of a huntress who travels the infinite metaphysical worlds brought into being by the dreams of humankind.   In these realms, she encounters a dream eater which threatens to unravel the fabric of reality by devouring dreamers and destroying the dimensional gateways.”  Sounds great, guys.  Keep it coming.

What have you been listening to lately?  Let us know in the comments.

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