Recent Posts in metal
July 22, 2014
by Wyatt Marshall
Germany's Empyrium released The Turn of the Tides today (7/22) via Prophecy Productions and it's their first in 12 years. The album's single, "Dead Winter Days" (previously released as a single in 2013 from the band's live album Into the Pantheon) is streaming below. You can also stream the whole thing via Rdio.
The sad Dracula/Phantom of the Opera/chanting monks vocals might throw a few listeners at first, but stick with it and "Dead Winter Days" moves from what could loosely be described as operatic folk into majestic territory. It's a blend of neo-folk, neoclassical and epic black metal that isn't too far from a world where Dead Can Dance and Summoning coexist side by side.
For a reference point, Empyrium performed with Alcest's Neige and Les Discrets Fursy Tessier as part of a live lineup for their first ever concert in 2011, this despite having existed as a duo (with various collaborators) since 1994.
Stream "Dead Winter Days" below...
by Ian Chainey
Mother Brain at Saint Vitus in 2014 (more by Drew Gurian)
France's Department of Correction achieved two grindcore rites of passage this year, releasing a split with mincers Agathocles and wiggling themselves onto a six-way split (Monsters! from Kaotoxin). Busy? You bet, but they're not done. In August, the Persian quartet will tour the US with Jersey's blasting duo Budd Dwyer. The two will trek across the entire country, including stops in Baltimore, Austin, and Los Angeles. On August 8, they'll shake the floor at NYC's Saint Vitus along with stunning sludgesters Sea of Bones and the core craziness of Mother Brain. Tickets are $10 at the door (you won't find this show on the venue's website because they only list ticketed shows unfortunately).
Mother Brain, who released unrelentingly ripping Rise and Grind 7" back in March, will also be joining Department of Correction and Budd Dwyer at Obnoxious Noise Fest 2014 on August 9. The fest will take place on Long Island at Even Flow Bar and Grill in Bay Shore, New York and features a stacked bill including Malignancy, Artificial Brain, Pyrrhon, and more. Mutilation Rites were on the bill, but "had to drop off [due] to unfortunate circumstances. A replacement band will be announced shortly." Tickets are $20 at the door.
In related news, Pyrrhon will also be playing the Tombs record release show at Saint Vitus on July 25. Tombs also just released a beer. Mutilation Rites released their album Harbinger this week, which you can find discussed with other new releases in Invisible Oranges' Upcoming Metal Releases. And Sea of Bones are currently out on the road. The aforementioned August 8 date is their final stop.
All of the dates along with flyers, streams from Department of Correction, Mother Brain, Budd Dwyer, and Sea of Bones appear below.
photos and video by Greg Cristman, words by Ian Chainey
Black Anvil @ Saint Vitus 7/20/2014
Blackened thrashers Black Anvil celebrated their new album, Hail Death, by playing it in its entirety at NYC's Saint Vitus on Sunday (7/20). Bathed in red light and the flicker of a few candles, the NYC-based quartet featuring ex-members of gimmick-less NYHC band Kill Your Idols seemed to tower over the crowd as shadows, unleashing ferocious trem after ferocious trem. Vocalist/bassist Paul Delaney threw his body into the groove, inciting the crowd to do the same. The guitarists, Sos and Gary Bennett, flanked Delaney and drummer Raeph Glicken, one covered in grime, the other hidden in a hood. During "My Hate is Pure," John Chernack of openers Fantom Warior jumped to the stage for a guest spot. For fans of their newer material like "Still Reborn," which Joseph Schafer called ". . . the best thing Black Anvil have ever written" in his Invisible Oranges review, it was an exhilarating night.
Black Anvil shared the Saint Vitus stage with three others. Yellow Eyes, the buzzy black metal trio who have been gigging often, demonstrated why they've built a dedicated following off the backs of 2013's Hammer of the Night and their January-released single The Desert Mourns. Jersey cult thrashers Fantom Warior followed. Reformed in 2012, they're giving hope to old-school metalheads that a follow-up to their 1987 album Fantasy or Reality might be closer to the second word in that title. Psalm Zero, the experimental duo featuring Charlie Looker (Zs) and Andrew Hock (Castevet), moved in near synchronicity while backed by a drum machine, offering intense takes on the blackened/industrial amalgam that's their adventurous debut LP The Drain. Though all the performances were strong, the night belonged to Black Anvil. Hail Death indeed.
Pics from the whole night, plus videos for Psalm Zero and Black Anvil, below...
July 21, 2014
by Ian Chainey
Ótta cover art
Icelandic cowboys Sólstafir premiered new track "Dagmál" over on Invisible Oranges today. The song is from their forthcoming effort Ótta which will be released by Season of Mist on September 2 (preorder). And, like most of their work, it's a cool little number. If you're burning up in the summer sun, it's a welcome respite. Here's a bit of what we said about it on IO:
["Dagmál"] uses guitars like a cool breeze; almost more of a Windy & Carl soundscape than a rock song. ("Here Come the Cold Jets" is another thought.) Yet "Dagmál" does rock, driving with a tempo befitting freeway travel. Drummer Guðmundur Óli Pálmason maintains cruise control while tapping the gas with Keith Moon fills. He's never obtrusive, though. None of the players are, right down to the simple melody that runs repeatedly through the track's five minutes. This leaves singer Aðalbjörn Tryggvason to do the heavy lifting, to be the listener's surrogate. He's up to the task, reprising his role as one of metal's most charismatic vocalists. But Sólstafir work as a whole. You don't admire them for the brush strokes. It's about stepping back, seeing the bigger picture, and feeling the wave of emotion wash over you.You can give "Dagmál" a listen below.
Sólstafir will be hitting various European locales this fall after creating quite a stir stateside at this year's Maryland Deathfest. Speaking of, early bird tickets for the 2015 edition of MDF went on sale last Saturday (7/19) and the batch of 300 sold out within a matter of minutes. And for good reason. We ran down the 30-plus confirmed bands for MDF XIII at IO last week. It's another intriguing mix of the big names with the up-and-comers. Of course, if May 21, 2015 is a little too far in the future and you need your MDF fix now, Brooklyn venue Acheron is screening the Welcome to Deathfest documentary on August 9 along with sets from Argentinum Astrum and Belus (tickets).
All of Sólstafir's Euro dates are listed, with the "Dagmál" stream, below...
July 18, 2014
by Ian Chainey
Modern metal renaissance man Mike Hill of Tombs is getting into the beverage game. First, he has a beer on tap brewed by Tired Hands Brewing Company in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. He's calling it the Savage Gold beer, most likely in reference to Tombs' recently released Savage Gold on Relapse, and not a tribute to a death scene in Goldfinger. Says the press release:
The Savage Gold beer is an imminently refreshing and crushable IPA. Brewed with red wheat and oats. Hopped intensely and aggressively with Nelson Sauvin and Hallertau Blanc. Enormous notes of white grape, green pepper, mango, and marijuana.Has notes of a Jamba Juice in Colorado. Got it. Tired Hands will also be hosting a beer launch today (7/18) where you can win copies of Savage Gold.
Now, for the dark stuff. Hill has started a premium coffee company named, you guessed it, Savage Gold Coffee.
The first roast, Savage Gold Prime, is an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee bean grown between 6,000 and 6,500 feet above sea level. It is an aromatic and dynamic coffee roasted to perfection with a large flavor profile. It is sourced from a co op of Ethiopian farmers and is 100% Fair Trade, certified organic and wet (mechanically) processed.Wet processed. Naughty.
I had the chance to interview Hill in the days before Savage Gold was released. As his Invisible Oranges contributions attest, the guy is whip smart and a straight-shooter. Plus, he has great taste in show lineups. On July 25, Tombs will play a record release show at NYC's Saint Vitus with a little band named Pyrrhon, along with StatiqBloom and Passage Between. Tickets are still available, and so will be a keg of Savage Gold at the show. Then in October, Tombs will hit the road with Pallbearer and Vattnet Viskar, swinging back around to Saint Vitus on October 27. Tickets for that show are also still available. The rest of the current tour dates are listed below.
photos by Mathieu Bredeau, words by Rob Sperry-Fromm
Eyehategod @ Acheron - 7/15/14
Louisiana sludge legends Eyehategod hit the Acheron Tuesday night (7/15) for the final show of their tour with Strong Intention and Iron Reagan. Unfortunately Vektor, who were also on the tour, had to cancel their set because one of their members was vomiting uncontrollably, but the rest of the show was brutal and varied as planned.
Strong Intention kicked it off with a fierce set that toggled effortlessly between grinding blast-beats and slower grooves. I was unfamiliar with these guys going in, but they've been doing it for a long time (since 1993) and they really knocked me back with how tight they were and how quickly their rippers got to the point.
Iron Reagan were next, and they played a longer set than usual to make up for Vektor's absence. Those dudes know how to throw a party. They had the small space at the Acheron moshing in short order, their frenzied blasts of crossover thrash whipping everybody into party mode. The band is insanely fast and tight but come armed with a sense of loose metal fun that defines the proceedings. They write extremely catchy riffs and grooves, and that comes through on stuff like the particularly tasty new song "Miserable Failure" and the set-closer "Eat Shit and Live." The band is really a sight live, the hair of the three string-players whipping around in perfect unison. They played a couple covers towards the end, ripping through a Cannibal Corpse song (not to be confused with Cannabis Corpse, with whom they share a member) before singer Tony Foresta declared, "Fuck it, we're in New York, we'll play a Cro-Mags song." That one really got the crowd going, not that they weren't already.
Iron Reagan would normally be a tough live act to follow, but Eyehategod had no problems. "This is the perfect tour for us. I hate touring with bands that rip off Eyehategod" slurred Mike IX Williams in the middle of their set. In contrast to the speed demons that came before, Eyehategod stumbled across the stage for their whole set, but in their fucked-upness lies their power. It seemed like the audience was drunkenly swaying with them, and the small room by then was unbearably packed and sweaty (in that good way). It was basically a madhouse as they played for over an hour, thick feedback accommodating every pause, Williams pouring Vodka into the eager mouths of those in the front row. The sludge was so thick you couldn't cut it with knife, and the Acheron provided the appropriately filthy atmosphere for the music. The band have such a great back catalog of music to grab from, and they mixed new material with classics like "Dixie Whiskey" and "White Nigger." The whole thing was loose, huge, and intoxicated, which is what I had expected and hoped for from an Eyehategod show.
More pictures below...
by Ian Chainey
The picture above is Riley Breckenridge's fractured jaw after the Puig Destroyer -- the baseball themed grindcore group -- drummer took a pitch to the head. After posting to his Instagram, Riley said, "Don't try to hit fastballs with your face, kids. #themoreyouknow #luckybreaks." Noted. That must've been terrifying, but not as terrified as Puig Destroyer's namesake is of thunder.
Speaking of breaks, classic thrashers Rigor Mortis have one more record in them before they call it a day. The final collection will be called Slave to the Grave, out on October 7 via the band's own Rigor Mortis Records. The album was recently crowdsourced into existence. You can check out the details below. In other album news, sludgesters Weedeater are repressing Sixteen Tons through Season of Mist on CD and LP (preorder). The record has been out of print for a bit and you can stream it in full below.
Returning to the athletic theme, if you're in Brooklyn, you can start cycling to Slayer. SYNCstudio will be holding a "metal themed indoor cycling class" on July 24. "This next song is called. . . "BLACKNESS WITH SCHWINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN."
Finally, want the deepest teeth cleaning experience? Polyrhythms, man.
Don't forget to keep up with the rest of our metal coverage during the week.
Now that you're, ahem, fully briefed, let's recap all of the A/V transmissions.
If this week was good for something, it was a wealth of new music videos. The form is alive and well with contributions from UltraMantis Black, Corrosion of Conformity, Goatwhore, and Enabler. All four bands have live engagements in their future. UltraMantis Black will be playing This is Hardcore. CoC are going to be in Australia (the continent and the country) and then will head back to the left side of the US for a slate of dates with Bl'ast!, Brant Bjork & The Low Desert Punk Band, and Lord Dying. Goatwhore are currently out with the Summer Slaughter mega bill. And Enabler are set to hit Chicago on August 5 with Power Trip and Mammoth Grinder. All of the updated dates along with the videos appear below.
For the full-album previews: Blackened rippers Mutilation Rites have offered up all of Harbinger (preorder). The Brooklyn bashers are at Gilead Media Fest this weekend. Then, Swedish d-beat superheroes Martyrdöd unleashed Elddop (preorder). Both albums hit the streets on July 22, and you can hear the goods below.
For single tracks and teasers: Midnight covered Venom's "Too Loud (for the Crowd)" for Decibel's Flexi Series. As a reminder, Midnight (who play with Samhain in November) will be appearing at a stacked New York Deathfest. Entombed A.D. -- the LG Petrov iteration of the Swede death n' rollers -- put out "Vulture And The Traitor" from Back To The Front (August 5, Century Media - preorder). Sounds like Entombed, but so do a lot of bands. The slow and low Monarch unveiled "Mortes" from Sabbracadaver (July 22, Profound Lore - preorder). Make sure you set aside the full 18 minutes for that one. And finally, doomers Cardinal Wyrm debuted "Dreams of Teeth" from Black Hole Gods (August 5, self-released). All streams appear below.
Got it? Good. To shows we go:
TODAY (FRIDAY, 7/18): Free show alert: Ceremony, Iron Lung, and Nothing will play Brooklyn Bazaar. The doors are at 7 PM and you can RSVP to skip the line. Want something more metallic? Mortals, Godmaker, and Mammal are playing the Acheron (tickets). That's Mortals record release show, so go and congratulate them.
SUNNNNNNNNNDAY (7/20): Flip the impending work week the bird by hitting Black Anvil, Psalm Zero, Fantom Warior, and Yellow Eyes at Saint Vitus (tickets). Maybe you can get Black Anvil to play their Kiss cover.
Looking for late adds and dates ahead? NYC Metal Show Calendar has got you covered.
Let's talk IO: It might've been your vacation, but, as always, we were working to find the best metal. Upcoming Metal Releases tracked all of the new things. We premiered a new ass-kicker from the nasty Rabbits. We went review-crazy with critiques of Bastard Feast, Martyrdöd, and Peculate. We remembered At the Gates before they blew up. We unearthed some seriously solid black metal. We also gave some shine to albums we missed. And we took a long look at the announced bands for 2015's Maryland Deathfest.
Alright, consider the decks cleared. What did we miss? What are your plans? Let us know and catch all of the dates, reams of streams, and other noted details below.
by Ian Chainey
A lot has changed since Sleep split. California voted in "medical" marijuana ("medical" meaning, 'I asked and had $40 on me for a license') the same year they recorded what would become their swansong, Jerusalem/Dopesmoker. Two states have even legalized the green. Matt Pike has gone on to rule the riff with High on Fire. Al Cisneros has explored the inner workings of the mind with Om. Jason Roeder from Neurosis hopped aboard to fill Chris Hakius's vacated drum stool. All of this is to say that Sleep could've changed. But as new single "The Clarity" makes, uh, clear, Sleep are still Sleep.
"The Clarity" will be available for free download from Adult Swims' Singles series on July 21, but it premiered on NPR's Viking's Choice today. It has that familiar rhythmic rise and fall to it and it's as heavy/hypnotic as you'd expect, luxuriating in the verdant depth of Pike's and Cisneros's tone. Sleep also seem to be in good spirits, offering Lars Gotrich a tongue in cheek Q&A:
NPR: I couldn't help but notice the in this new song. Is "The Clarity" a lyrical follow-up to Dopesmoker?Sleep will be going on tour this August, including a stop at NYC's Stage 48 on August 25.
Sleep: "The Clarity" is a lyrical follow-up to a lifetime of marijuana enjoyment.
Check out "The Clarity" below...
July 17, 2014
We've had no lack of posts about Black Anvil's new album Hail Death that they'll be playing in its entirety at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn this Sunday (7/20), and earlier today we did a big KISS roundup that included news related to the Melvins and White Lung. Hours later we find out Black Anvil are streaming a KISS cover! So here's another KISS post. Listen to the cover of "Under The Rose" (which appears on the deluxe version of Hail Death), and the original, below.
Black Anvil kick off a tour with Skeletonwitch and Ghoul in Chicago in September. Skeletonwitch play their own Saint Vitus show in October while on the road with Amon Amarth who play Best Buy Theater in NYC that same night.
All Black Anvil dates are listed below...
Richmond's highly melodic trad-style doomers Windhand are opening the Philly date of the Sleep tour this summer, and after that they'll be heading out on a headlining tour. All dates on that tour are with psych jammers All Them Witches with additional support at select shows from Jex Thoth and Ilsa. The tour wraps up in NYC on September 20 at Saint Vitus with Ilsa. Tickets for that show will be available soon via Ticketfly.
All dates are listed, with a stream of last year's excellent Relapse-released Soma, below...