Recent Posts in metal
March 7, 2014
By Doug Moore
Municipal Waste at Santos Party House, 2012 (photo by Wyatt Marshall)
This week ran a little slow as the music industry geared up for the clusterfuck that is SXSW, but it saw some notable developments anyhow. (And if you're going to Austin, here's our guide to metal at SXSW.) Here's the low-down.
First, live stuff for this weekend: Dehumanized is topping a brutal death metal bill at The Acheron tonight (3/7). Tortuous Inception, Kalopsia, Forced Asphyxiation, & Hypoxia provide support (tix). On Saturday (3/8), there are two shows with Japanese headlining acts: experimental weirdos Vampilia will put in the first of a few NYC appearances alongside Mick Barr, Kevin Hufnagel, & MV Carbon at Silent Barn, while punkers System Fucker will team up with Aspects of War, Nomad, Herpes, & Warthog for an Acheron show (tix).
Some other developments:
Swedish punks Infernöh's aforementioned TBA appearance on April 12 has been slated for the Acheron.
NY Death Fest II has announced the rest of its lineup. Notable additions include long-running West Coast punks Nausea and New York death metal icons Mortician. The full lineup is listed below.
Speaking of SXSW: if you're headed to Austin and you've got an ear for the heavy, check out our Metal At SXSW 2014 rundown for all of your schedule-building needs.
Over on Invisible Oranges, we took a gander at new jams by Solstice, Tiger Flowers, Metsatöll, and a host of underground black metal, including Skogen, Sujo, & Rhinocervs. We warmed up for Tankcrimes' upcoming Brainsqueeze II Festival by bringing you a compilation showcasing every band on the bill, including some exclusive tuneage from Municipal Waste, Fucked Up, & The Shrine. We spoke to Slough Feg main man Mike Scalzi about his controversal 2010 IO columns, among other things. We returned to East Village Radio -- this week's show was brought to you by the Children of Bodom Halo of Blood tour, which also features Tyr & Death Angel. Tune in every week for ticket giveaways, interviews, bad jokes, and tons of good metal jams.
March 6, 2014
by Doug Moore, Wyatt Marshall, Zach Pollack and Andrew Sacher
Black Tusk at Saint Vitus in 2013 (more by Caroline Harrison)
SXSW may be all about catching the hippest bands--check out the SXSW schedule for a lowdown on what's going on (or browse our "SXSW" tag for some highlights) -- including three BV day parties and the BV official showcase -- but there's no shortage of metal to bang your head to, either. Our metal blog, Invisible Oranges, is putting on a showcase on Thursday, March 13 at the Quantum Lounge (303 W. 5th St.) with Black Tusk, Mutoid Man (members Converge/Cave In), Kayo Dot, Yautja, Wild Throne and Venemous Maximus, and there are a number of other showcases and parties bringing heavy vibes. Here's a rundown of those events (with flyers and more details below).
On Tuesday night (3/12), Pitchfork's Show No Mercy showcase goes down at House of Vans at Mohawk (912 Red River) with Indian, Kylesa, Power Trip, Christian Mistress, Windhand and Iron Reagan outside; and Youth Code, Gnaw, Primitive Man, Psalm Zero, Sannhet and Yautja inside.
On Wednesday (3/13), it's the first of four Converse x Thrasher Death Match day parties at the Scoot Inn (1308 E 4th St) from noon to 6 across two stages with heavy representation from Earthless and The Shrine, plus some fun non-metal like Black Lips, Trash Talk (who also play the free Thursday BV party at Red 7), Cherry Glazerr and more. Free to the public.
Stereofly is also throwing a free party at Javelina Bar (69 Rainey St) with Yautja, Primitive Man, Gnarwhal and more.
There's also a not-free Heavy Metal Parking Lot day-into-night party at The Lost Well (2421 Webberville Rd) with Wino's reformed Spirit Caravan, The Shrine, Kylesa, Lazer/Wulf, Truckfighters and more. You can get advance tickets to that one.
Wednesday night, Relapse Records (who signed Iron Reagan, who do play SXSW but not this show) throws their showcase at The Dirty Dog (505 E. 6th St) with Windhand, Christian Mistress, Nothing, Obliteration, Primitive Man and Pyrrhon. You can also catch Nothing for free at the Thursday BV party at Red 7 which Trash Talk is also playing.
Not far from there, Roadhouse Management / Nuclear Blast Records will be presenting their showcase inside at Red 7 (611 E. 7th St) with Orchid, Kadavar, Scropion Child, BP Fallon & the Bandits, Mothership, Sweat Lodge and The Well. (Not metal, but outside at that same venue on the same night is our BrooklynVegan showcase. And hey, there are some heavier bands like Touche Amore and Frameworks on the bill.)
Also on Wednesday night, you can catch Wrekmeister Harmonies at Remedy (209B W. 5th St) with a non-metal lineup of Sean Nicholas Savage, Audacity, Tyvek and more.
Thursday (3/13), the free Converse x Thrasher Death Match parties continue with Windhand, Nothing and not exactly metal (not that Nothing is really metal either), but certainly loud bands Fucked Up, Destruction Unit, together PANGEA and Dirty Fences.
Then at night, it's our previously mentioned Invisible Oranges showcase at the Quantum Lounge with Black Tusk, Mutoid Man, Kayo Dot, Yautja, Wild Throne and Venemous Maximus.
We do of course hope you come, but you can also catch Scale the Summit, The Ocean, Rivers of Nihil, Felix Martin, Vattnet Viskar, The Atlas Moth and Silver Snakes at the Metal Injection showcase at the Dirty Dog (505 E. 6th St).
It's the free Converse x Thrasher Death Match parties again on Friday (3/14) with the recently reunited NYHC band Judge, the recently reunited '80s-era SST vets Bl'ast, plus quality newer bands like Kylesa, Power Trip, Black Tusk, Sannhet, Lecherous Gaze, Iron Reagan, Southern Lord-signed LA band Obliterations (not to be confused with Relapse-signed Norwegian band Obliteration), Youth Code and more.
During the day on Friday, New England Metal & Hardcore Fest also has a free party at G Pen Annex (corner of 6th and Red River) with Xibalba, Alpha & Omega, Comeback Kid, Backtrack, Counterparts, Downpresser and more.
That night, MetalSucks puts on their showcase at The Dirty Dog (505 E. 6th St), headlined by Animals as Leaders, and also featuring sets by After the Burial, Ringworm, Iron Reagan, Mutoid Man, Whores and East of the Wall.
The last day of the free Converse x Thrasher Death Match parties happens on Saturday (3/15), and though there's no metal at all on this one, you can still rage to Perfect Pussy and Diarrhea Planet.
Then, Saturday night, Tone Deaf Touring's showcase is at Red Eyed Fly (715 Red River) with Spirit Caravan, Iron Reagan, King Parrot, Vattnet Viskar, Lazer/Wulf, Pilgrim and Vaporizer.
And if you've got a badge, you can check out some of the metal panels during the day, including From Riffs to Bits with James Williamson (The Stooges) and Buzz Osborne (Melvins) on Friday at 12:30 PM, and Has Metal Lost Its Edge? with Brandon Stosuy (Pitchfork), Chris Gigg (Woe), Emilie Friedlander (The Fader), former BrooklynVegan contributor Fred Pessaro (Noisey), and Kim Kelly (Pitchfork) on Thursday at 3:30 PM.
That's a good amount of choices of the heavy persuasion for this year's SXSW, but if you're trying to narrow down the things you want to catch, we've put together a list of 11 metal bands we're looking forward to seeing. Check out that list (in alphabetical order) and along with flyers and set times for the above-mentioned shows, below...
by Wyatt Marshall
High Spirits worships at the altar of classic 80s metal, hitting a sweet spot between nostalgia and timeless righteous riffing. The Chicago band is the product of one Chris Black, perhaps better known for his work in trad metal kings Dawnbringer (he also heads up Superchrist). High Spirits has a more of a party feel than Black's other two bands, and the one-man-band's material is a masterclass in restraint, stuff that never seeks to show-off and will be stuck in your head for days. The band's album, You Are Here, will be out this May and you can stream "The Last Night" from it right now (Stereogum) below.
Around the same time High Spirits will be touring, including a stop in NYC at Saint Vitus on April 22. No info on tickets yet.
All dates are listed, along with the song stream, below...
By Doug Moore
Given that Iron Reagan consists of current and former members of two very well-established metal bands (namely Municipal Waste & Darkest Hour), it's no surprise that they're on their way up so quickly. Formed just two years ago, this straight-ahead crossover thrash act has already built a substantial national following and adopted an aggressive tour schedule.
To wit: the band have announced their recent signing to the storied Relapse Records (who have been snatching up bands left and right lately -- they've signed IR, Torche, The Drip, Atriarch, & Nux Vomica this year alone). They've also announced an extensive run of live dates through March and April, with accompaniment from Occultist on most of the dates and Ghoul on a handful as well. The dates with Ghoul wrap up with an appearance at the aforementioned Tankcrimes Brainsqueeze festival; you can stream the Invisible Oranges-debuted Tankcrimes compilation of fest participants below.
Iron Reagan aren't hitting NYC on this run, unfortunately, but they'll be putting in a number of appearances at SXSW: the Pitchfork showcase on 3/11, the Converse/Thrasher show on 3/13, the MetalSucks showcase on 3/14, and the Tone Deaf showcase on 3/15. They're NOT appearing at the second annual Invisible Oranges showcase, which will feature Black Tusk, Mutoid Man, Kayo Dot, Yautja, Wild Throne, & Venomous Maximus on 3/13 at the Quantum Lounge.
Stream that Tankcrimes comp and check out the full run of Iron Reagan dates, listed below...
By Doug Moore
Back in 2010, Slough Feg / ex-Hammers of Misfortune frontman Mike Scalzi wrote a brief series of op-eds for Invisible Oranges under the title "Bullpen Bulletins." The posts -- and Scalzi's unvarnished take on what he considers the malaise of the contemporary metal scene -- did far better than he or then-IO editor Cosmo Lee expected, generating a lengthy discussion on the viability of 'extreme' metal styles like death and black metal.
The release of Slough Feg's new album, Digital Resistance (which rules), has reignited that discussion, so we figured it'd make sense to catch up with the man himself. In a new IO interview, Scalzi touches on the reader response to the Bullpen Bulletin posts, among various other topics. Here's an excerpt:
So I confess, I'm one of those people who read your op-ed on IO, and I was totally one of those guys who felt like...Why is Mike angry at me?You can read the whole interview on IO. Digital Resistance is out now via Metal Blade. Stream a song below.
I don't think I was particularly angry. Maybe it came off that way, but that wasn't how I wrote it. People really had a strong reaction to it. I thought it was bizarre. The whole thing is very amusing, first off. I don't take it very seriously. It's fine if other people take it seriously, but I would hope that people have other things to be serious about, other than some weird guy's opinion on heavy metal. That's what blew me away; why is my opinion so important? I don't think it is at all. The thing got on NPR. Somehow I saw that, I got phone calls about my column bering reprinted on NPR. Cosmo told me it got more comments than anything on there before, or something similar to that, which blew my mind. What I realize looking back is I don't read much stuff like that. I barely read any heavy metal blogs or websites. So you've got to realize I came into it with no fucking idea what the whole standard or climate is. I have no idea, no clue. I was just saying what I'd say to someone in person. It's not journalism. It's just me telling my opinions the way I would shoot the shit with friends. I mean, I understand people's reaction. This is music you love and I'm sitting here bashing it, but I'm just baffled by that kind of music. I just don't get it.
But really, what happened was that Cosmo came to me -- and I had never even heard of Invisible Oranges. I didn't know Pitchfork at that time. So, I got this email asking to write something for this online magazine about contemporary metal, and I said pretty much verbatim, "I'm flattered but I don't really know if you want me to. I don't have anything good to say about contemporary metal." And he said, "Just talk about that, then, I'd like that." So I did, and people asked, "Why would Scalzi publish this on a site that covers extreme metal?" I had no fucking idea. [laughs]
March 5, 2014
by Doug Moore
Back in January, we mentioned Brainsqueeze II, the Californian punk/metal festival organized by Tankcrimes and featuring a number of acts that have worked with the label. A few acts -- namely Connoisseur & Impaled -- have been added to the bill since, and the daily schedule & venue info have both been announced. You can check those out below.
We've got a bonus on tap, too. Tankcrimes have put together a free downloadable (or streamable, if that's your thing) compilation that we just posted over at Invisible Oranges. Unlike most recent comps, it's a reasonable length -- sixteen short songs. I consider most of these songs worth listening to in their own right, but some of them are rarer finds -- an exclusive re-recording of a sardonic Muncipal Waste song called "Insurance Fraud" from their split with Crucial Unit. It also features songs from upcoming short-format releases by Fucked Up and The Shrine. There's also a bonus cut by Obsessor, who don't appear on the fest's lineup, and a secret bonus cut that you'll have to download the comp to hear.
The Fucked Up song is a Cardboard Brains cover from the B-side of the recently-announced sixth entry in their Zodiac series. Titled Year of the Dragon, the recording features a 17-minute A-side original, the Cardboard Brains cover, and a The Ugly cover. If you're heading to SXSW, you'll be able to catch Fucked Up at Pitchfork and Stereogum's day parties, both of which fall on Thursday (3/13).
You can stream the comp below (aside from that secret cut) or download it for free. Tickets for the festival are on sale here. The comp track listing, the Brainsqueeze day-by-day lineup, and a goofy commercial for the fest are available below as well...
By Doug Moore
You may recall that the influential British proto-thrash metal band Satan achieved a rare feat for bands of their sort last year: they released a comeback album, Life Sentence, that received nearly universal critical acclaim. This accomplishment is especially noteworthy because of the timespans involved. Satan formed way back in 1980, and Life Sentence was the band's first studio effort in 25 years.
The album has evidently done well enough to justify Satan's first-ever trip to North America. The band will play a run of eastern-NA dates during April, beginning with an NYC appearance at Brooklyn's Black Bear Bar (formerly the back room at Public Assembly) on 4/11. Locals Natur & Sacrificial Blood will provide support. Tickets are on sale now.
Check out the rest of Satan's upcoming worldwide dates (which include a number of European summer festival appearances) below...
by Doug Moore
Reports are trickling in that former The Devil's Blood guitarist and songwriter Selim Lemouchi has passed away. Though neither his former band nor his current band have issued statements as yet, a cryptic post on his personal Facebook page has been drawing comments that seem consistent with these reports. Additionally, Swedish rockers Ghost B.C. posted the following to their Facebook page:
Children of the World!Hopefully this will turn out to be an unsubstantiated rumor or misunderstanding. If not, we send our condolences to Lemouchi's friends and family. We'll keep you posted as additional details emerge.
We want to pay homage to our friend Selim Lemouchi (The Devil's Blood and his own Selim Lemouchi & His Enemies) who has passed away and left the world one great talent poorer.
UPDATE: Former The Devil's Blood manager Bidi Drongelen appears to have confirmed Lemouchi's passing.
March 4, 2014
by Wyatt Marshall
Early black metal greats turned avant-garde experimentalists Ulver have had to drop off the Maryland Death Fest bill due to unspecified health concerns. Ulver was scheduled to play the Edison Lot stage on Friday, May 23, along with heavy hitters like At the Gates (who are recording an album) and Taake. No word on who will fill their rather big shoes, but stay tuned for an announcement.
In a statement on their website, Ulver wrote that doctors advised the band to take a break after a short tour in Europe. Uncertainty as to a recovery time led to Ulver canceling the performance at Maryland Death Fest, as well as a show in Moscow that the band was scheduled to play with an orchestra.
Ulver just released a collaborative album, Terrestrials, with Sunn O))). Stream it in full, with the updated MDF lineup, below...
By Doug Moore
The last half-decade or so has produced a great deal of throwback psychedelic rock and proto-metal. While I'm a proponent of both, the whole fuzzy-riff/delay-everywhere approach has inevitably started to wear a little thin with the repetition. This brand-new track "The Quiet Crooks" by Toronto's Biblical caught my ear nonetheless, thanks in large part to bassist/vocalist Nick Sewell's surprisingly delicate croon -- no beardy yelling here. The instrumental component is righteous, too, with a piled-high psych production and a topping of supersaturated guitar leads.The album that song came from -- Monsoon Season, which is the band's first LP -- kept growing on us. When we were given the opportunity to stream the album in full, we jumped on it. You can hear it below; Biblical's widescreen jams work well in a singles format, but they sink in even more effectively over the duration of Monsoon Season's efficient 38-minute runtime. I'm increasingly jaded about this style, so it's rare that I come across an example that I enjoy as much as I do this album. Monsoon Season will be out on March 11 via New Damage Records; preorder it here.
We had previously mentioned that Biblical would be performing at SXSW, which is unfortunately no longer the case. They do have a few Canadian dates lined up in the coming months, though, including an appearance at Quebec's Heavy MTL festival. US dates are reportedly in the works as well. For now, check out the Canadian dates (and the stream!) listed below.