New Album Review

Vorga’s “Beyond the Palest Star” Album Peek

Hello, all glorious death metalheads and sci-fi geeks. Today marks the advent of demise, loneliness and destruction in the outer spheres of the universe as I take a dive into Vorga’s “Beyond the Palest Star”. 

This album was released March 29, 2024 on ______. This album is Vorga’s second full length release. Their first, “Striving Towards Oblivion” was released two years ago to much acclaim, but the recent sound-byte reviews of “Beyond the Palest Star” puts it above their first release (as seen on their Bandcamp). 

Vorga hails from Germany, and the members include Atlas (Rhythm Guitar), Спейса (Lead Guitar, Bass + Vocals) and Hymir (Drums).

“Beyond the Palest Star”

In our trip to the outer edges, we find ourselves immediately lost in the beauty of cascading drums and guitars. They bleed into our ears and confuse the listener. The shock and bite of delirium is welcome. (When is it not?). 

Voideath”, the first track on the album, is a long ambling journey itself. The track reaches and climbs through speakers to bring out the intense misery of loneliness in space. Again, it’s welcome, because that feeling is what we search for among the stars. Спейса’s vocals grind in their heavy, throaty way to wind through the stars searching, ever searching. 

In “The Sophist”, which is my favorite track on this release, the journey ambles onward. Through a maze of asteroids we are begged to think and think about impending doom. The song is a little bit slower as it undulates with time and rhythm. Metal is the only sound heard in the emptiness of space, as it should be. 

Vorga decimates all listeners with this niche and growing genre of space bending metal. Evil and doom protrude to the corners, edges of everything, so why not explore space with the knowing feeling of emptiness and be happy you expected it.

New Album Review

LYSOL’s “Down the Street” EP

More epic garage punk descended from the heavens and blessed our ears with LYSOL’s newest release, “Down the Street”. LYSOL hails from the outer reaches of the United States in the infamous punk breeding ground of Seattle, WA. 

This short, four-track EP, was released on March 24, 2024 and has a total run time of about five minutes. LYSOL seems to be most known for their live performances as noted on the EP page on Bandcamp. The members include: Anthony Gaviria, Xtine Lundberg, Chad Ringo Bucklew, and Noah Earl Fowler. It’s a compact band playing short, heavy and fast. 

In “Down the Street”, I’ve found “Grease Paint” to be my favorite hitting track so far. With the off-beat rhymes and in-the-mud lyrics, the undeniable punk nature screams out for attention, but dashes from the limelight and will “put my grease paint on\ act like it’s all ok” (lyrics from “Grease Paint”).

In “15MG”, it’s way more rock based guitar like Wipers, but again in typical punk fashion the song is too damn short. I want more. More! 

Also, we can’t forget the epic drums and explosive introduction to tis EP from “Sonic Thrill“. The band knows want we want. Maybe they want it too, a sonic thrill. Something that will get them going. Some noise that will start up our blood. Activate our desire to rage and change and bump the body next to us a little too hard.

I cannot wait to see more from LYSOL. That’s how I feel about most young bands these days. I don’t ever want anyone to stop making music. I want to see the scenes grow and evolve. The next new hit genre is probably already here in our ears, but I cannot wait to be a part of the masses when it comes to fruition and the spotlight. LYSOL will be one of the bands up there or at least orchestrating the whole damn show. 


“Lair of the White Worm”: Movie Review

Who doesn’t love phallic, campy, vampire flicks? I thought I’d seen the best and the worst of the vampire film genre, but it looks like the caverns of lore and art are endless because “Lair of the White Worm” is an absolute treat to view. 

This horror-comedy from Britain’s Ken Russell stars Hugh Grant, Amanda Donohoe, Catherine Oxenberg and Peter Capaldi. All of these actors are fantastic in their over-zealous enactments of their characters. You can see a sneak peak of their performances in the trailer on YouTube

Hugh Grant’s portrayal of a young rich inheritor is classic and always goes down well. It seems he found his niche of playing rich a**holes really early on in his career. Donohoe’s pagan worship is hilarious and gross at the same time with the phallic instruments that are attached to her character’s pelvis. Also, you can never go wrong with multiple blonde heroines needing to be saved by a strapping Scottish lad portrayed by Peter Capaldi. 

This being a British flick, there were probably a ton of humorous ins I missed being a silly American, but it didn’t matter. The best parts of the film were the strange horror bits that Russell included. 

The bizarre hellscapes stemming from hallucinatory fever dreams, the constant phallic and gore imagery, and the wonderfully foreboding atmospheric music all combined and created a true vampiric masterpiece. It rises from the backlogs of film watchlists again and again, never to grow old or die. This film will be loved in some fashion by those fantasizing about Hugh Grant, or those in love with strange spurts of viscous green liquid on the faces of this cast. Gore fans have their moments of pleasure, as do comedy fans. 

“The Lair of the White Worm” encapsulates the campy horror-comedy genre perfectly. I cannot wait to watch this film again in a few years with a renewed appreciation for it. If you can, check this film out. I’m sure it’s to die for.

New Album Review

Julia Holter’s “Something in the Room She Moves” Singles

Julia Holter’s new singles are part of her new release which came out March 22, 2024. The new tracks are part of a project Holter is working on about human bodies’ ability to transform and be corporeal (as mentioned on her Bandcamp page). 

This is Holter’s sixth full-length album. I began listening to her majestic sounds a little over a year ago looking for strange, ethereal compositions. I fell in love with her album “Tragedy” for the song “Goddess Eyes”. 

The singles released for “Something in the Room She Moves” have an aura of gold and beauty that have been slowly reaching a climax thanks to the direction of her career. The three songs include “Evening Mood”, “Spinning” and “Sun Girl”. 

In “Evening Mood”, we get to experience creeping beauty, skirting the shadows as the sun sets for the day. Moments of bliss and relaxation permeate the track, leaving the listener in a state of placid peace. 

Spinning” is my favorite release from the singles. An electric little start to the song winds us up for an unveiling of magnetic and addicting grace. The world swirls around in confusing spirals as we get to experience Holter’s delicious composition. 

I’m not the biggest fan of “Sun Girl”. Specifically the first half of the song is a bit too long winded and doesn’t keep me engaged like the lengthy “Spinning” or “Evening Mood”. The second half, after the cacophonous odd noises, is enticing. It’s the strange addicting music that Holter is able to create so well (but only for half of the song). I’m sure many folks will love the whole track, but the first bit wasn’t for me. 

I am excited to listen to the full album when I get the chance. These tracks were awesome teasers and make me want to dive back into the rest of Julia Holter’s discography. 

Local Music New Album Review

Moldy Pear Records’ Food Drive Compilation

Welcome all ye foodies and music enjoyers. Today’s special presentation of things to feast on includes helping out folks that don’t have the capability to get the amount of food they need in their lives.

A fundraiser by Moldy Pear Records (located in Hickory, NC) is taking the initiative to raise money for Feeding America by donating ALL profits from their skramz, punk and indie compilation to this organization. 

Feeding America fights for more legislature and policies regarding food insecurity programs, adds to food banks and meal programs, and is trying to root out the cause for food insecurity in America. They are big proponents of stopping food waste in homes and the food industry by teaching and becoming a collector of food going uneaten and unsold. 

If you didn’t know already, food waste in America is an atrocious issue leading to large amounts of food in landfills (the US government estimates food as taking up 24% of landfill space in their Methane Emissions Reduction Program). Hopefully, programs like Feeding America or Food Not Bombs can help people begin to understand the issue with food consumption in the US (and in the world). 

Of course we’re here to review a little music, but the most important part of this article is to get some of this stuff into the light. I love food and there’s a lot that needs to be done in the world with the way we have decided to consume. 

“Creamy Peanut Butter” by Obscured Wingtip Memoir

This song is so damn painful to listen to. I love that it is the opening doom for this compilation album, and then everything else is much kinder and warmer afterwards. The head thumping chaos fuels me to smile as I get to enjoy this pain as loud as I can tolerate. 

“Table Salt” by Sickle Eater

This reminds me of My Bloody Valentine being mixed with a little post punk. It’s a nice shoegaze feel but still independent in its blood and sound. 

“Condensed Tomato Soup” by Girl Goes to Greenland

I love the slow build in this track. It’s a really calm and simple luxury that gets heavier and deeper as we approach the middle section of the song. The raspy crying vocals grasp for air. It’s a neat song with tons of heart in it. 

“Granulated Sugar” by Snail Trails

This feels like a classic mix of country and punk and the beat of pop-punk. It’s a great little track with the skramz screams and emotion just trying to escape the vocalist. Thank you Snail Trails for this beauty. 

Notable mention to “Hamburger Helper” by Sometimelastyear

Another painful track. It kills me a little more every time I listen to it. I can’t put the horror into words, but it’s definitely worth a listen. 

There’s tons of interesting music on this compilation. I find it very noble to try and raise money this way. If you’re inclined to help donate to Feeding America and potentially discover some new tracks and bands from Hickory, NC, then drop some money to donate for this album. 

New Album Review

A “Deadly Struggle” by Public Acid

Public Acid’s newest contribution to NC’s hardcore music scene is “Deadly Struggle”. The album was released on February 23, 2024 and has a runtime of fourteen minutes. It has eight tracks; all of them leave you with a desire for a shower after listening. 

Public Acid has a few other releases. Most notably is “Condemnation”, an EP released about two years ago, which is just as harsh and thrash-y as “Deadly Struggle”. 

To find an album that still makes my skin crawl AND creates a putrid stench of hatred is no easy feat. The more I flounder around in the metal and hardcore scenes, the more unimpressed I become with guttural howls of pain and rage. Public Acid definitely doesn’t re-invent the metal scream or do anything too crazy and new, but “Deadly Struggle” is a pleasantly-sleek, head-whipping release. 

Beauty of Horror

My favorite three tracks, “Slow Bleed”, “Ignorance” and “Hang the Leaders” are like Death cradling the dying. They’re a beautiful look at the horrible pains of everyday life. Since beginning my hardcore music fascination, I’ve been able to unlock appreciation for nasty sounds and disgusting imagery. 

I can see the beauty that lies in more horrific actions and deeds. That’s because beauty isn’t the same kind of serene natural picture we are always told about. There’s beauty in fear, there’s beauty in blood, there’s beauty in death. 

“Deadly Struggle” isn’t glorifying violence (and neither am I, though it sure looks like it). Public Acid captures the nature of corrupt social practices and the fascination with a blood fueled world. They capture and make it beautiful through their destructive music. If you read my other blogs, you can see I’m pretty easily impressed by most musicians and bands I listen to. 

To some (and maybe even to me sometimes) Public Acid might be just another one of those hardcore punk bands that sound like every other one, but I get a sense that their ability to capture despair, disgust and destruction will help them prevail the onslaught of current day music industry practices.


“Dune: Part Two” Sounds of the Desert and Fremen Jihad

If y’all haven’t noticed, the second part of Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” movies has been in theaters for over a week. The absolutely epic nature of “Dune” continues in its second movie and relies heavily on a soundtrack again written and composed by Hans Zimmer, one of Hollywood’s premiere sound designers for blockbuster films like “Interstellar”, “Kung Fu Panda 4” and Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” trilogy. 

I can be a very picky person when it comes to book adaptations. Especially for books that are impossible to adapt to a screen perfectly. “Dune” is definitely one of those books. However, the music and cinematography bring the world of Arrakis to life. This is the strong point of the two Villeneuve “Dune” films for me. They are absolutely some of the most beautiful representations of Arrakis imaginable.

Dune: Part Two” opens with soft sounds and a slowly waking planet and people. Zimmer captured this extremely well with tracks like “Beginnings Are Such Delicate Times”. We slowly traverse the golden path of Paul Atreides becoming the Lisan al Gaib, the prophet and messiah of the Fremen people of Dune. 

Zimmer’s soundtrack builds as the tension in the story begins to weave towards war. In “Dune: Part Two” there’s abundant imagery and scenes of the Harkonnen clan on their cold, black sunned planet, Giedi Prime, that Zimmer again captures well with “Harkonnen Arena”. It’s music drowning in fear, violence and greed. I love the way it makes the pasty, bald-headed Harkonnens more treacherous just with some epic music. 

The scenes on Giedi Prime are also unique and beautiful too. They are absolutely some of my favorite interpretations from the source material (though I do wish they made Baron and Feyd Harkonnen even nastier like the books). The black and white coliseum scene is the most goosebump inducing gladiator fight scene I’ve seen in a film to date. 

In the second half of the film, the music’s rise in tempo with the imminent war helps quicken the heart beat more. There’s a ton of plot points in the book I wish I saw represented in this section of the movie (like Paul and Chani’s child that gets killed and young Alia running around talking at a few months old), but adaptations can’t be perfect. It’d take years to get through a perfect adaptation of “Dune”. I’m satisfied with what I was able to witness in theater, but still longing for perfection even when I know it won’t arrive.

New Album Review

Creepy Clowns Crawl out of the Dark in “Spell Piercings”

Last year I wrote a short article about Gonemage, Garry Brents’ crypto-death and nu-metal project that he is lovingly devoted to. I absolutely love this person’s work, and thankfully he’s released a new album, “Spell Piercings”. 

“Spell Piercings” was released February 23, 2024, and has a total playtime of thirty-eight minutes and forty-eight seconds. It is the twelfth release by Brents under the Gonemage moniker. He has other projects like Memorrhage and Cara Neir

Onto the album… “Spell Piercings”

To start us off and put us in the optimal headspace for this strange album, we must acknowledge the story and theme set up by Gonemage on their Bandcamp page:

“It’s 1999. Somebody someone from nondescript suburbia opens a dusty, old toy box tucked away in a crawlspace underneath a bedroom closet. Out comes a purple clown doll, animated with clacking footsteps, smiling, and singing indecipherable words. Stone, ice, and chains suddenly emerge out of purple smoke emitting from the doll, warping all surroundings into a dungeon. All nearby inhabitants become subject to the clown’s morbid sense of amusement and games of magic and mischief”

From Gonemage’s Bandcamp

Brents must have a deep appreciation of the inner-machinations of creepy clown dolls. I don’t love clowns, but I’m also not terrified of them either. This, though, is horrific. I applaud Brents’ fun creepy theme as it definitely helped me assimilate parts of myself with the sound. 


The first song on the album is a rollercoaster. It’s a long descending staircase into a musty basement that is just a portal to another equally horrific dimension of terror and surrounding fear. Claustrophobia sets in. The walls are touching you, scraping you and you’re stuck with nowhere to go but further down into this album’s abyss.

Bouncing Scroll

I really loved the first bits of this track up until the chorus. Then it kinda drags me along, unwillingly, into more drawn out mediocre vocals. The instruments are epic though. I do love the variation and complexity Brents continues to use in all of his projects. 


Another track on this album I found to be close to perfect for my ears. The first and the last minute are amazing. Absolute terror and fear crawl through the closed pores on my skin. The goosebumps are spreading like a plague. But that minute in the middle of the track is numbing, and not the good numbing. The “boring, what am I doing here listening to this too many thoughts in my head” numbing. 

Sliced in Chamber

The main issue I keep finding with this release is the variability within the tracks themselves to keep me focused and loving the entirety of the song. I do like this track, but it gets old the more you listen to it. That might be my decreasing fascination with songs that tell stories or have a narrative. The tink tink tink sounds in the last twenty seconds are gold.


As one of my favorite tracks on this release, there are still a few shortcomings. At first I didn’t love the movie sound byte used in this track, but the more I listen to it, the more it grows on me. Foreboding music throughout and an amazing set of lyrics represented as “(indecipherable words and sounds from the clown doll)” (From Bandcamp). This is a long heavy track which keeps me entertained. 

Tattered Cloak

Addicting guitar rhythms and interesting vocals still don’t help me adore this song. I cannot pinpoint the exact reasons “Tattered Cloak” doesn’t do it for me, but it doesn’t completely repulse me either. 

Cave of Trials

The introduction is full of whiny vocals and that just completely ruined my chances of loving this song. It does have fun, campy lyrics sung in a strange manner:

“Soda pop soda pop wonder drug

Soda pop soda pop fresh syrup

Soda pop soda pop wonder drug

Amoeba amoeba soup

Slime jelly”

From Gonemage’s Bandcamp
Spell Piercings

The longest track on this album would have had to a ton to make up for the shortcomings and perceived time wasted in some of the other tracks, and it absolutely does. I adore this song. It’s got the abominable clown doll creeping through my skull at this moment. At seven minutes long, I never expected to be sucked into a track like this, especially on the last song of the album. I find this track to be a step up from everything on “Celestial Innovation” too (which is easily my favorite release under the Gonemage projects).

Leaving the Clown’s Grip

Alright, this album has tons of good and beautiful innovations in it. Brents is a phenomenal collaborator with his fellow Texas musician community to create his work (you can see collaborators for “Spell Piercings” on the Bandcamp page). There are a few things I didn’t love in this album too, but I think this release shows how much fun Brents is having creating music. I can’t wait to see and hear more music that Garry Brents releases in the future, and while this album won’t be getting tons of replay ability for me, it still should be fun to revisit every now and again.

Concert Preview Local Music

March and April Live Music in the Triangle

Hello all. As the new year is slowly settling into place, I wanted to take a minute and assure you, the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area has all around tons of music all around us for these next few months.

Here’s a little preview of some shows you can see and where you can see them…


Starting with this upcoming week (March 3 – 9), there are a bunch of opportunities to witness amazing live music at The Pour House like Goetia, Pathogenesis and Noctomb playing some metal on March 3. Also, there’s a bluegrass performance on March 7 with ShadowGrass. On March 29 there’s a grunge cover night with Pearl Jam and Soundgarden cover bands. All this and more is on The Pour House’s website.

Slims also has tons of metal oriented and head banging bands playing throughout these next couple of months, like Auroras Hope playing on April 5 and a plethora of bands playing April 25.

At Kings there’s awesome bands like Weymouth, Frost Children and Small Crush peppering their calendar.

So just in the Raleigh area, we have tons of access to musical greatness.


Durham has tons of wonderful venues like the Pinhook, which is featuring one of my favorite Philly bands, Washer, on March 11 followed by Cowgirl Clue on March 12. That’s two amazing nights of completely different tunes.

Also in Durham is The Fruit with a great head-banging lineup for March 29. A few of the bands performing will be Sevyrnce, Spunge and Lil Space Cat.

The one performance I wish I’d seen coming sooner at Motorco Music Hall is Mannequin Pussy and Soul Glo playing together on April 7, but unfortunately tickets are sold out on the website. They’ve also got tons of varying genres popping in and out throughout these next few months.

Chapel Hill

Good ol’ Chapel Hill has metal and thrashing central at Local 506. There’s a boatload of beautiful sounding band names filling my eyes as I peer through the never ending list. Most notable is Teen Mortgage on April 6, Sarah and the Sundays (not metal fyi) on April 12 and Spew on March 13.

Of course there’s the beloved Cat’s Cradle venue too, which is hosting: Guster on March 20, Unwound on March 22, Otoboke Beaver on March 26, The Postal Service & Death Cab for Cutie on April 27 at Coastal Credit Union and finally Black Country, New Road also on April 27 but at the cat’s Cradle Venue.

I hope you all find some bands or some resources to go out and support beautiful artists touring our neck of the woods in these next few months.

Local Music New Album Review

Fresh Cold Cream from Carrboro

Surfacing form the deep depths of Carrboro, NC is Cold Cream with their newest addition to the music world, “Cold Cream II”. As a psych-punk band, these folks have all the sounds you could desire: catchy vocals and beats; screaming; grounded, realistic lyrics.

In terms of members, Cold Cream claims “exes of Pipe, Superchunk, Bat Fangs, Flesh Wounds, Spider Bags, and Entez Vous” to be a part of this band (as stated on their Bandcamp bio). The band has Clark Blomquist (drums, synth), Laura King (bass), Ron Liberti (guitar) and Mara Thomas (vocals).

Cold Cream II

Cold Cream released the album on February 1, 2024, and it features eight tracks with a run time of about thirteen minutes. FCC warning: there are curse words and foul language in a few of the tracks on this album.

Cactus Wife

Alrighty I picked three songs to dive into a little bit. “Cactus Wife” has the most classic punk and indie rock vibe to it. It’s a pleasant reminder of other NC bands like Archers of Loaf that have been ruling and inspiring artists for over thirty years. “Decorate the World” also a similar upbeat punk rhythm to it if you enjoyed this track.


Here, we are able to find the most psychedelic inspired track on this album. The wavy reverbed vocals sink in like teeth into an ice-cream bar. It’s not pleasant for some, but I love it. The heavy drums have a rainy pitter-patter meant to keep your feet movin’.


A lovely title has to have a lovely sound, right? This track slams and thrashes the most (in comparison to the other tunes on this album).

Last Bite

As I’ve been writing these articles and posts for the last few months about NC music, I keep finding more hope and new bands to latch onto. I grew up being jealous of other states with exemplary music scenes like Philly or Seattle. Now I am beginning to find bands and sounds that have existed for some time, but finally want to unearth themselves to my ears.

I’m excited for the young bands coming onto the scene too. A few that I’ve written about like Babe Haven and smattering of other hardcore bands, are slowly getting pushed into the limelight because of their amazing talents.

Cold Cream is a another one of these bands (comprised of music veterans) that should be able to foster the growth of more unique NC sounds to come.