Marilyn Manson – “Deep Six”

Some artists have always felt the calling to make rock music that tries its best to be pure evil. When it’s done well, like Marilyn Manson does in “Deep Six,” the effect is a complete escape to the artist’s world and their view on it. It’s exceptionally trying for an outsider to explain these worlds, because they are inhabited by only one person. Here, Manson does his best to be your guide and lures you in under the false pretense that you’re listening to “rock” music.

The elements are all there, a relatively simple drum beat with a chugging riff laid on top of it. The structure of the song is like most rock songs that you’ll here out there too. However, the vocals are where this song leaves all notions of being generic behind. They are absolutely seductive in the first minute before erupting into the explosive metal style singing that music from Manson’s late 90s and mid 2000s heyday is known for. The people who call this music satanic are not in fact crazy, but are noticing the parallels in biblical corruption wherein the evil that ends you feels like guilty yet harmless fun. Where they end up missing the point is that all of this really is just a harmless and enjoyable romp through Manson’s fun house.

“Deep Six” is taken from Manson’s upcoming ninth album The Pale Emperor, due out 16 January via his Hell, etc. imprint.

-Garrett Cottingham

D’Angelo and The Vanguard – Black Messiah

After 15 years of studio album silence, D’Angelo returns with a fantastic comeback record.

Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways

Foo Fighter’s match this album’s ambitious concept with some generally uninteresting songs.

Torche – “Minions”

Every time I listen to Torche, I catch myself thinking how much cooler they would sound if they dropped a bit of screamo to match the bassy, grinding, sludge metal-influenced guitar lines that have become their signature sound. However, I must remind myself that not every sludge metal band wants to sound like EyeHateGod. In fact, Torche have built up such a unique sound that it would be a bit unfair to compare them to any other band or genre.  Guitarist and vocalist Steve Brooks said himself how he didn’t consider Torche a metal band, and although that’s debatable, their peculiar sound and aesthetic has some difficulty being labelled.

It’s been two years since the release of their last album, Harmonicraft, and with a new album on the horizon, Restarter, the time has come to sample the new single, “Minions.” The track is a direct reference to their sludge roots, with a heavy, dragging bass line held back by some Sabbath-style hat/snare percussion. Each verse ends with a slurred “come my minions,” which I can just imagine being powerfully shouted in unison with the crowd in concerts to come. The song isn’t particularly progressive, a bit of a throwback really, but that doesn’t mean the next album will be just another Torche album.

- Fin Worrall

i.o – Four Pattern Distorted Harmony

Four Pattern Distorted Harmony is the fourth album released this year by Vitoria-based experimental music project i.o. I endorsed their album Edit Architect earlier this year.

Just like i.o’s previous exploits in 2014, this album is an intense, glitchy collection of tracks indulging in progressive rock, free jazz, noise rock, and match rock. It’s got a number of subtle, serene moments as well that work wonderfully as well. Enjoy!

The Neighbourhood – #000000 & #FFFFFF

Download: The Neighbourhood – #000000 & #FFFFFF

A producer needs a very convincing aesthetic on a mixtape in order to get cooperation from all of his collaborators. The way that every rapper on this tape steps into the atmospheric world and plays their character speaks volumes to the world’s authenticity. From Danny Brown–who turns in by far the best verse on the tape–to Casey Veggies, each artist is willing to slow their roll a bit to make sure they can put their name on this breathtakingly dark mixtape from LA-based pop rock band The Neighbourhood.

The strength behind the production lies in its ability to take sounds associated with carefree pop culture and expose the dark underworld lurking just underneath them. Horns, which have recently dominated most #1 songs, are a constant mood setter here. They creating a sense of unease as they lurch just beneath the stripped down beats on the surface. Unfortunately, the DJ introductions on here get a bit grating. Here’s to hoping there’s a DJ free version available soon, but nevertheless, the tape is worth an attentive listen.

-Garrett Cottingham

Future Islands – “Seasons Change (Waiting On You)” (BADBADNOTGOOD Reinterpetation)

Give Ontario jazz-rock trio the opportunity to revise one of the most sensual songs of the year, and what do they do? They make it even more sensual.

Yes, BADBADNOTGOOD basically pulls apart and reassembles Future Islands’ “Seasons Change (Waiting On You),” and they turn it into a sweet piece of vintage soul in the process. What’s even more amazing is that they successfully maintain everything about the track that made it so great in the first place.

Few remixes churn out results this amazing.

Vision Fortune – “Dry Mouth”

A strange, unsettling single from the forthcoming Vision Fortune album, which is titled Country Music, and will be seeing a release via All Tomorrow’s Parties.

The otherworldly tones and deadpan vocals on “Dry Mouth” remind me quite a bit of Liars’ output in the 2000s, but even more challenging and pop-defying. Immediately after establishing the song’s central refrain, the band embarks upon an ominous instrumental interlude that leaves my mouth watering.

Marilyn Manson – “Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge”

Dark and dramatic, the new Marilyn Manson track isn’t bad at all, surprisingly. Considering how much of a let-down his last album was, I–like many–thought Manson’s best moments were well behind him on albums like Antichrist Superstar. However, with this new single of his, there’s a glimmer of hope that he might pull through on his upcoming full-length titled The Pale Emperor.

What makes “Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge” so appealing is its dreary melody and organic rock instrumentation. The guitars sound and feel much more natural and dynamic than they did on much of Manson’s 00s output, and it really enhances his relentlessly depressing moans.

Some of the song’s top comments on YouTube liken the music to that of Bowie and Nick Cave, and I have to wholeheartedly agree. It’s nice to see Manson wearing his influences on his sleeve a bit more at this point in his career. If I recall correctly, Born Villain even had a few post-punk-y moments on it, which I dug a lot.

All I’m saying is we’ve got a pretty good song here, and a reason to have faith in rock’s last major figure of controversy again.

Sterilizer – Self-Titled

With Sterilizer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Brandon Duncan explores some incredibly harsh industrial metal.