Music

The Angelus: On a Dark & Barren Land

Let the good times, er, sink into the mire. Gloomy band strikes out interesting, if not particularly fun, new territory.

The Angelus

On a Dark & Barren Land

Label: Gutterth
US Release Date: 2011-10-08
UK Release Date: 2011-10-08
Amazon
iTunes

The Angelus likes to take things slow. Beats tend toward the plodding and rhythms might be described as "dirgelike," while frontman Emil Rapstine's lugubrious vocals convey a weighty gloom antithetical to what the phrase "rock band" conjures up. We might be looking at the birth of a new genre here: dirge-rock? Funerock? Not as in "fun" but as in "funeral," as these tunes swell heavily with portent and gloom. Opener "All Is Well" combines vocals reminiscent of plainsong chant with glacially slow chord progressions, and that's about as lighthearted as things get. Tracks like "Turned to Stone" and "Crimson Shadow" rely on vocal repetition and crashing minor chords to convey a sense of dread rarely heard outside of metal. The Angelus is assuredly not that, despite their fondness for distorted guitar, but it is a band that takes a certain grim glee in being unremittingly dark. Pop in the CD and, er, have fun, kids.

6

The 10 Best Debut Albums of 2009

Continuing our celebration of PopMatters' 20th anniversary, we revisit our 10 picks for the best debut albums of 2009. It turns out our selections were prescient as many of these artists have gone on to storied careers. Travel back to 2009 and see them again for the first time.

Music

The 60 Best Albums of 2009

PopMatters turns 20 years old this October and we're beginning to celebrate our history by taking you back in time a decade ago. Obama was in the White House and the musical times were very good indeed. Revisit 2009 through its best albums.

Music
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2018 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.