Agalloch's much anticipated The Serpent and the Sphere is streaming on, of all places, NPR. The Portland-based doom-folk-nature metal band has concocted a 60-minute voyage through ashen forests, overhanging crags, and moss-covered monuments of old. Like their prior work, it's a cinematic listen, full of dynamics, tension, fanfare, and occasional violence. Agalloch play the Star Theater on May 16, and The Serpent and the Sphere comes out a few days earlier, on May 13, on Profound Lore. Listen at NPR.
Mimicking Birds took four years to follow up their attention-grabbing self-titled album, released by Isaac Brock's label Glacial Pace (the name of which is beginning to make a lot of sense now). Finally, Eons is coming out next week, and it's streaming in full over on Stereogum. Meanwhile, Mimicking Birds play an early-evening show at the Doug Fir on Friday, May 23. Listen at Stereogum.
Inventions is the collab between Explosions in the Sky and Portland musician Matthew Cooper, AKA Eluvium. Their self-titled album is quite stunning; it came out in April, but right now it's streaming on Drowned in Sound with a track-by-track commentary. If you haven't heard Inventions, you'll want to hear it now; if you have, you'll want to read what Cooper and Explosions' Mark T. Smith have to say about it. Listen at Drowned in Sound.
Local rockers Violent Psalms will release their debut album Slow to Speak on May 16, and it's streaming in full over at the Oregonian. It's self-described as "loud, abrasive indie rock," carrying on a fine Northwest tradition of guitar-oriented, full-volume expression. On May 16, Violent Psalms celebrate the album's release with a show at the Alhambra Theatre. Listen at the Oregonian.