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Craig Hayes
Image: Craig Hayes
Contributing Editor

Craig Hayes is based in Aotearoa New Zealand, and he is a contributing editor and columnist at PopMatters. Alongside his reviews and feature articles, Craig’s monthly column, Ragnarök, traverses the metal spectrum. He is the co-author of PopMatters’ regular metal round-up, Mixtarum Metallum, contributes to radio shows and numerous other sites, and he favours music that clangs, bangs, crashes, or drones. Craig can be found losing followers daily on twitter @sixnoises.


Features

Sunday, November 24 2013

Mixturam Metallum VII: Fall 2013 Metal Releases

Welcome to another edition of Mixtarum Metallum. Heavy tunes aplenty have their best features amplified and illuminated here, and there's sure to be something to add to the naughty list just waiting to be discovered.


Sunday, August 25 2013

Revolution and Revelation: The Recitals of Gog (PopMatters Premiere)

Experimental artists have taken Luigi Russolo's vision of noise-sound and painted vivid portraits of the cost of modernity, including Arizonan darkened drone artist, Gog. PopMatters takes a look at Gog's past releases, and is proud to stream its powerful new album, Ironworks


Monday, July 1 2013

Aquarius Rotten: Über-hard and Über-heavy Meets Psychedelic Pop, Part 3

All of these bands covered reflect the Age of Aquarius rotting, with their twisted psychedelia or progressive rock, doom-laden or whirlwind riffing, or dissonant arrangements; and you can hear their echo throughout heavy metal’s many sub-genres today.


Sunday, June 30 2013

Aquarius Rotten: Heavy Rock, Blues and Progressive Converge, Part 2

Legions of underground musical legends litter the heavy rock graveyard, and this feature surveys a horde of those rowdy rockers.


Wednesday, June 26 2013

Aquarius Rotten: The Japanese Jimi Hendrix and More, Part 1

The heavy rock superstars of the late '60s and early '70s who inspired and nurtured metal's burgeoning years are all well known. However, there are innumerable more obscure or unheralded groups that fortified the heavy metal machine too, and many are infinitely more interesting than their more famous brethren.


Columns

Monday, December 16 2013

Ragnarök: 2013 Gloomy Awards: The Most Interesting Metal Albums of 2013

Every year a slew of great albums from the louder spheres are missed, misplaced, or overlooked on those end of year lists. Ragnarök's Gloomy Awards seeks to redress that imbalance.


Wednesday, October 30 2013

'Evay and 'Earty Birthday Wishes to Rise Above Records

In 1988, Lee Dorrian founded UK record label Rise Above. A quarter century later, the label is one of the ‘eavisest and ‘eartiest around, filled with as much tuning in and dropping out as doomy drop-tuning and whigging out.


Monday, October 7 2013

A Good Death

All heavy metal bands burn out eventually, but when and how they end matters most. A good death counts for a lot in the genre, because it marks the final point in a band's quest for immortality.


Thursday, September 19 2013

A Very Dirty Lens: How Can We Listen to Offensive Metal?

Some people think that heavy metal's too filthy a lens to gaze at the world through, but most fans don't care who finds metal lewd, crude, or otherwise.


Tuesday, September 3 2013

The Sound the Earth Makes While Vomiting the Grotesque

In underground metal, ritualized hymns are brought to the boil in the catacombs of the psyche, pointing to the malevolence that awaits in the darkness of the cosmos, linking the baleful depths of the Earth directly with the ominousness of galaxies overhead.


Reviews

Wednesday, February 12 2014

'Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult' Is Hellishly Illumniating

Black metal is often reduced to a slew of clichés, but Black Metal unpacks the genre’s history in its true form via a huge cast of characters.


Tuesday, November 19 2013

Seidr: Ginnungagap

Ginnungagap, the latest album from doom and death merchant Seidr, is an utterly beautiful and brutal flight through the stars.


Monday, November 11 2013

Wooden Shjips: Back to Land

Back to Land, the latest release from minimalist motorik four-piece Wooden Shjips, isn’t likely to be the album you were expecting. But it is one to prove that the band’s free spirit still reigns.


Wednesday, November 6 2013

Aqua Nebula Oscillator: Spiritus Mundi

Wig-outs, freak-outs, and tripped-and-fuzzed-out rock 'n' roll is accepted from French trio Aqua Nebula Oscillator. But, in keeping with the band's enigmatic persona, it's pulled a sinister swerve on its latest album, Spiritus Mundi.


Wednesday, November 6 2013

Grave Miasma: Odori Sepulcrorum

Grave Miasma's debut full-length, Odori Sepulcrorum, speaks of ages past, but not with any sense of love or fondness. The band is here to prove that quintessentially evil death metal has never gone out of fashion.


Ulcerate: Vermis [18.Sep.13]
NAAM: Vow [30.Jul.13]
Lantern: Below [15.Jul.13]
Black Sabbath: 13 [13.Jun.13]
VHÖL: VHÖL [22.Apr.13]
KEN mode: Entrench [21.Mar.13]
Spektr: Cypher [19.Feb.13]
Nadja: Dagdrom [24.Jan.13]
Amenra: Mass V [15.Jan.13]
Goat: World Music [15.Nov.12]
Old Man Gloom: NO [26.Jul.12]
Royal Thunder: CVI [22.Jul.12]
Bosse-de-Nage: III [17.Jul.12]
Biblical: Biblical [10.Jul.12]
Sleep: Dopesmoker [10.Jul.12]
Black Pyramid: II [27.Feb.12]
Rwake: Rest [10.Nov.11]

Blogs

Wednesday, November 13 2013

Sisters Of... - 'Follow Me As a Ghost' EP (stream) (Premiere)

PopMatters is proud to premiere Follow Me As a Ghost, the debut EP from experi-metal titan, Sisters Of…


Friday, November 8 2013

Beastwars - "Realms" (video)

New Zealand sludge titan Beastwars has had a pretty damn good year all round.


Monday, October 7 2013

Dying of the Light - "Monolithium" (video)

The end of days are drawing nearer, and New Zealand industrial duo Dying of the Light look and sound enthused about soundtracking their arrival.


Tuesday, September 17 2013

Oranssi Pazuzu - "Vino Verso (Askew Sprout)" (stream)

Fans of unorthodox and ingenious trajectories would be well advised to seek out Oranssi Pazuzu's cosmically gazing black metal.


Friday, September 13 2013

Vivien Lalu - 'Atomic Ark' (album stream) (PopMatters Exclusive)

Fans of expansive and triumphant arrangements, you know what to expect from Vivien Lalu -- meticulous progressive craftsmanship, all finished with a virtuoso panache.


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