Coliseum has spent a decade of existence wedged within a punk-rock Venn diagram, falling in the overlap of punk, hardcore, rock and roll, and all sorts of “post” subgenres. Here ringleader Ryan Patterson talks about its punishing new record and much more.
[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Communal_Blood.mp3|titles=This Will Destroy You: “Communal Blood”]
Instrumental-rock quartet This Will Destroy You coined a new term to describe the music on its latest album, Tunnel Blanket: “doomgaze.” It’s remarkably apt — the sort of evocative portmanteau that makes music writers everywhere drool — as TWDY’s dense, slow-burning, guitar-driven tunes typically skip past melodramatic meandering and head straight for Boris-like levels of sonic density. We asked the band’s guitarist, Chris King, to make us a playlist, and the doom-gazer dropped this Shining Void on us.
Shining Void Mix by This Will Destroy You
“Then came human beings. They wanted to cling but had nothing to cling to.”
Aaron Turner, founder of Hydra Head Records and frontman for pioneering metal band Isis, is no stranger to the art of making an album, from the studio to the shelves.
In addition to laying down guitar riffs and vocals, Turner is an accomplished visual artist, responsible for cover art, layout, and package design for numerous bands. This unique knack for the aural and visual aspects of music inspired us to ask Turner about his favorite fellow double threats.
My Favorite Musicians/Artists/Designers by Aaron Turner
Album art is and always has been an extremely crucial component of the experience of an album for me. Though there certainly have been records I’ve loved that have had terrible cover art, most of those that have left an indelible footprint in my mind have been those with a visual presentation of power equal to that of the music.
When I think back on the records that have shaped my ideas about what it means to make music, I usually have a tangible feeling that comes with that recollection, a sense of the atmosphere that the record created for me and how that atmosphere was accentuated or more clearly defined by the accompanying sleeve art. As that has been true in the past for me, so it is now; when checking out new records, I’m consistently drawn to those with compelling covers that draw me in and make me what to know what’s going on inside.
In the last 10 years or so, I’ve become particularly interested in musicians who are also active participants in designing or creating artwork for the albums that they make. It seems logical to me that those people would have the best understanding of what the music is about and the clearest idea of how to communicate that visually. Some of my favorite album covers now are those that have been made wholly or in part by the musicians who also have created the music itself.
Below is a list of people who reside in that category of musician/designer/artist and who have excelled at both aspects of making memorable albums.
1. Fangs Anal Satan (Boris)
Boris has made some tremendous albums over the years, and the music has always been matched by the equally excellent illustration and design. Like the band, which has mutated through a series of different incarnations (in sound rather than personnel), so too have the visuals, without ever dropping in consistency of quality.
From album to album, numerous tactics have been employed: rigid restraint bordering on minimalism, unorthodox packaging materials (colored foam, die-cut cardboard, hand-painted boxes containing dried flowers, etc.), psychedelic fantasy scenes paying homage to ’70s album artist Roger Dean, parodies of classic metal logos (Venom), extensive and beautifully arranged LP-sized photo books. Each release is a special artifact in its own right and as such warrants even further focus towards the music and the packaging from the listener/viewer.