Friday, May 14, 2021

Durf's Weekly Workout # 17: May 14th, 2021

Next week is the Durfette's last week of maternity leave.  Aside from being amazed that it's already been almost three months since The Durfling Strikes Back was born, this means that I'm going to have to stop being a deadbeat during the week and help out when he wakes up and needs to eat.  So far, I've been taking weekends to let the Durfette get some uninterrupted sleep then, and she's been doing the week so that I can get a good night's sleep before work, but now the schedule is being upended.  And you know what that means: It's time to change up my workout routine!

Since I started Durf's Weekly Workouts, outside of a few scattered days here and there, my workouts have been pretty consistent: Mondays and Thursdays I do chest and back, Tuesdays and Fridays are legs and shoulders, and Wednesdays are for arms; abs get worked Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  It's a pretty steady routine, tried and true, and it works.  And you would think it should continue to work, except The Durfling Part II pretty typically wakes up between 2:30 and 3:30 every morning, and with the half-hour or so it takes to feed him and put him back to sleep, that would really put a crunch on my lifting time.  So to switch it up, I figured I needed shorter workouts a couple times a week.  So based on the schedule the Durfette and I worked out, I'll do my standard lifts Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and then Tuesdays and Thursdays will be set for HIIT workouts.  I've done a couple HIITs for the column before, but if you missed them, they are shorter, incredibly intense workouts that are great for when you're short on time.

You're probably wondering what this means for you and why I'm bothering to tell you all of this, and it's because this change in routine is going to lead to a change in Durf's Weekly Workout.  I really try to finish an album during a workout (which is why I still haven't listened to the new, nearly 90 minute Fucked Up album), and with HIIT workouts being so short, Tuesdays and Thursdays are going to start featuring a whooooole lot of EPs.  Which honestly is pretty cool, because I've already been listening to a bunch of EPs outside of DWW, so it's only right that I start sharing my thoughts on them with you now!  So that'll start in two weeks, but for now, here's what went down this week!


Angstskríg - Skyggespil

This was one of those workouts where I was just in the zone, and so I wasn't paying super close attention to the music.  Which is great, because even good, solid workouts can sometimes come with the tedium of repetition, of knowing you're doing the same 12 reps in the same five sets of the same ten to twelve exercises over and over again, like Sisyphus pushing his boulder eternally.  But sometimes you get in a groove, and everything just flows.  You feel each of your muscles working in sync, you aren't obsessing over your posture and form, but you know it's perfect, you throw some extra weight on for a set... you're just in it.  I haven't found any tried or true methods to ensure I hit The Zone every time I work out, but if you know of any, hit me up.  As far as the music goes, I perhaps made some assumptions about what I would hear from Angstskríg based on that creepy (but super gnarly) cover art, but every time I checked back in to focus on the music, I thought to myself "This is a lot more melodic than I thought it would be!"  A subsequent listen on my commute confirmed those half-assed observations; Skyggespil is a melodic black metal album that wears its dead heart on its sleeve, giving the guitars room to breathe amidst all the shredding and blast beats.  Glad I went back to this one after pretty much missing it during my lift.  Skyggespil is out May 28th via Despotz Records. 


Book of Wyrms -  Occult New Age

I almost listened to this yesterday, but at that point I'd probably have to make Stoner Mondays a thing around here, and I'm not ready to commit to that.  Also as soon as I did that, the psychedelic/stoner promos would dry out faster than a joint left outside on a hot summer day.  Book of Wyrms dials into that Blood Ceremony-esque type of cult rock that seemed like it was about to take over the blogosphere in the aftermath of Ghost's second album way back when.  There are grooves, there are passages where your mind wanders into the crevices of itself, searching for meaning, and there are beautifully ominous clean vocals.  You'll know immediately whether this is your jam or not, and if it is, you're in for a treat.  Occult New Age came out May 7th on Desert Records


Sugar Wounds - Calico Dreams

Bro.  BRO.  BROOOOOOOOOOO.  Sugar Wounds is an absolutely fucking BONKERS discovery, a combination of styles I never would have thought of that works so well that I've become obsessed with it.  Another random Bandcamp discovery, Sugar Wounds plays what I guess the kids these days are calling "grindgaze," and as that name suggests, Calico Dreams sounds like you're listening to a sex tape made between Pig Destroyer and Deafheaven.  And at just over 23 minutes, you can listen to this sonic coitus plenty of times in a day.  Which you should do, because seriously, Sugar Wounds is making some absolutely bananas music and I am here for it.  Calico Dreams came out March 25th, and I am kicking myself for waiting almost two months to accidentally stumble across it.  Wait, they had an EP four years ago?!?!?  Goddammit I am so bad at this.


Grafting the Vine - Golden Gate

Sludgy, proggy, instrumental music is 100% my jam, so obviously when I saw those descriptors along with a solid FFO (Gojira, Mastodon, Russian Circles, etc.) I had to check out Grafting the Vine (a band I had never heard of previously).  Golden Gate made for a really, really solid lifting album, as its eight tracks are expansive enough to get lost in, but short enough to not completely derail your focus.  There are a lot of good riffs, and it gets juuuuuuust heady enough without drifting completely into more of a stoner realm.  Honestly, I feel as though I'm selling Golden Gate and Grafting the Vine short because I don't have a whole lot to say about it, but this was a really fun album that's well worth your time.  Golden Gate was released May 1st.


Devastating Light - I Have Already Failed You

Last weekend I had a pretty decent panic attack, brought on by stress and worrying about fatherhood and the world in general and realizing just how many things I need to be thinking about all the time.  So when I saw the promo for I Have Already Failed You, and glimpsed the line about "a man suffering from depression and becoming a father while the world is ending... (exploring) feelings of not being or doing enough..." I immediately thought "Well that seems relatable."  I don't suffer from depression, but man, "feelings of not being or doing enough" as a father?  I can absolutely empathize with that, and thankfully, Devastating Light matches this heavy subject matter with some impeccable tunes.  Make no mistake, I Have Already Failed You is a bleak, desolate listen, a morose amalgam of doom and post-metal that isn't afraid to dive right into feelings of helplessness and isolation and explore them to their depths.  I played through the EP completely twice during my workout, and then again on my commute in to work, and while I don't know any of the lyrics, I can say that the album speaks to its intended goals with aplomb.  There's no solution, just an acknowledgement of the fear involved in being a parent while the world seems to be doing everything it can to destroy itself.  And you know what?  There is a lot of comfort in knowing that a stranger making music on the other side of the globe is feeling the same way I am, because sometimes it's enough to know you're not alone.  I Have Already Failed You came out all the way back on January 9th, but it's definitely worth catching now.

And that's the week!  Hopefully you had a great week in the headphones and in the gym as well, and are ready to head into the weekend feeling fulfilled.  Previous Durf's Weekly Workout Albums out this week are:

  • Wreche - All My Dreams Came True (Piano-centric black metal, and also one of the absolute best albums of the year)
  • That's it, that's the only one, which is good, because 1) Wreche seriously deserves to be celebrated as the only release today, and 2) the next two weeks are absolutely loaded with releases.  So that'll be fun too!
That's all I got.  Be excellent to each other.

- Durf

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