Recent Posts in metal
April 24, 2014
by Doug Moore
Portishead at Hammerstein Ballroom, 2011 (more by Dana [Distortion] Yavin)
Both Portishead and their vocalist Beth Gibbons tend to work slowly; the former theoretically have an album in the works, though it could take "ten fucking years" to be completed. (We're down to seven, now; the band have reportedly cleared their schedules.) Gibbons, likewise, announced plans last year to release a solo album via Domino Records, but details are still in the offing 10 months after the initial announcement.
In the meantime, Gibbons teamed up with the unheralded UK doom band Gonga for an intriguing Record Store Day release: a basically note-for-note cover of Black Sabbath's classic, eponymous song. If you didn't get a copy last weekend (and don't want to spend a bundle on Ebay) you can stream the recording below. Gonga pretty much just play it the way Sabbath did, and even Gibbons' vocal performance is fairly conservative and buttoned up. Still, it's good to hear her voice on a new recording.
Check out the "Black Sabbath" cover (with footage from Mario Bava's titular 1963 horror film) below...
By Doug Moore
Misery Index at Fontana's, CMJ 2009 (more by Samantha Marble)
Jason Netherton likes to keep himself busy. His current band, Misery Index, is one of the tightest and most active death meta bands on the touring circuit -- they have their fifth album, The Killing Gods, coming out on May 23 via Season of Mist. Even when Misery Index isn't busy (and they haven't been especially so over the past few years), Netherton keeps working -- he's currently two years into a PhD program, and recently compiled an oral history of the death metal scene. This ethic goes back to the DIY roots of Dying Fetus, his influential previous band.
Invisible Oranges spoke to Netherton as part of our ongoing series on metal vocalists today. We also touched on his academic studies, his book, and the way the metal scene has changed over his two decades of involvement. Here's an excerpt:
This stuff obviously relates to the book you have coming out shortly -- Extremity Retained: Notes from the Death Metal Underground. Is writing a book something that you've always wanted to do?You can read the interview in full over at IO. Misery Index also recently debuted the title track for their upcoming album, The Killing Gods; you can stream it below. They're currently on tour with Gorguts in Europe; no North American dates have been announced in support of the album yet, but given the band's past habits, you can bet some will be.
That sort of came together over the last touring cycle. I was trying to figure out something that I could do with my time -- a long term project of some kind.
Once you do this touring thing long enough, you get to know a lot of people. You see a lot of the same people in different cities, and you become part of this network of touring musicians. I decided to start documenting the conversations we'd have backstage or in the bus or wherever. We'd often end up talking about the state of the underground, or how it came from where it was in the late '80s and early '90s to where it is today. Other things would come up too -- tour stories, memories from recording sessions. I started to record these conversations, and before I knew it, I had dozens of them. Eventually I worked my way up to over a hundred, over about three years. In my downtime I'd transcribe them and put them into categories, which eventually became five different sections in the book.
It kind of unfolded like that. It wasn't necessarily planned -- I didn't know how it'd end up. I thought it'd be cool to have an oral history of death metal; there have been some other really cool books written about the death metal scene, but there hasn't been any collection of firsthand stories and anecdotes, like there's been for some other scenes.
All dates are listed, along with the new track stream, below...
by Doug Moore
Slayer at MSG Theater, 2013 (more by Caroline Harrison)
Revolver Magazine's Golden Gods Awards were last night. I'm not typically one for awards shows, but this one was notable for a surprise (read: tweeted about several hours in advance) live appearance by thrash metal legends Slayer, who are down to two original members following the death of guitarist Jeff Hanneman (RIP) and the departure of drummer Dave Lombardo. In true post-2000 Slayer fashion, the Golden Gods appearance was timed to coincide with a business announcement -- the band have ended their relationship with Rick Rubin's American Recordings (which goes all the way back to the Reign In Blood days) and signed to a worldwide deal with long-running German label Nuclear Blast where they'll have their own imprint.
The band also announced a tentative early-2015 release date for their upcoming, still-untitled 12th album. They both debuted a song from it, "Implode," live at Golden Gods last night and posted a studio version on their website as a free download. It's their first new studio cut in five years and you can stream it below.
"Implode" pretty much picks up where Slayer left off before the lineup shuffle of the past few years -- which sounds better on paper than it does in practice. The groove section that opens the song aims for 'tense,' but predictably misses and ends up with 'goofy' instead. (There's something to be said for masking your lyrics with incomprehensible growling on occasion.) The band sounds much more confident at the faster tempos that occupy the second half of "Implode." It's not exactly a dire omen for the album to follow, but it hardly inspires renewed confidence in Slayer's songwriting future, either.
Stream "Implode" below...
April 23, 2014
by Wyatt Marshall
Kvelertak at the Studio at Webster Hall, May 2013 (more by Keith Marlowe)
Kvelertak, the rambunctious beer and party metal worshippers out of Norway, are going on a previously discussed tour opening for Mastodon and Gojira that hits NYC for a big show at Terminal 5 on May 15 (sold out), but if you'd like to see Kvelertak somewhere way more intimate than that, you're in luck. The day before, they'll headline their own NYC show at Saint Vitus (5/14). Prepare for a rowdy time that will surely include lots of stage diving and sweat and mucho beer spillage that you probably won't get at the T5 show.
Tickets for the Vitus show go on sale Thursday (4/24) at noon. Support TBA. Updated Kvelertak dates are listed, with a live video, below...
by Doug Moore
Tombs at Union Pool in 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro)
We've been excited to hear the new album by NYC black metal genre-melders Tombs since the dust settled on their amazing 2011 effort Path of Totality, but especially so after the band played most of their new disc Savage Gold straight through at a Brooklyn gig last fall.
Savage Gold sounded good then, and it sounds good now. Tombs have released the first single from the album, "Edge of Darkness" -- you can stream it below. Unsurprisingly, the band have chosen to lead off with a banger; check out the suffocating death/thrash riff that opens the song. It may take a while to get used to Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal, Morbid Angel)'s dry and precise production if you're used to the atmospheric techniques John Congleton used on Path of Totality, but by the time you adjust, "Edge of Darkness" will have already put the hurt on you.
Savage Gold will be out on June 10 via Relapse. You can preorder it from the label or digitally from Tombs' Bandcamp. The band doesn't have any NYC appearances announced currently, but they'll be at Temples Fest in the UK at the beginning of May and will play a short run of West Coast dates with Pelican in June. Check those dates (and the stream, of course) out below.
April 22, 2014
by Doug Moore
Cobalt at Saint Vitus Bar, 2013 (more by Caroline Harrison)
The last year has been a rollercoaster for the great progressive black metal duo Cobalt. The band got its start as a fully-functioning live band (aside from two shows in the early '00s, before they'd achieved any significant notoriety) at last year's Maryland Deathfest, followed by a successful first tour. Both members of the band released side project material last year, too; vocalist Phil McSorley put out the debut material from his raw black metal project Recluse, while instrumentalist Erik Wunder released the second album by his excellent roots-grunge project Man's Gin.
Then, back in March, McSorley announced via Cobalt's Facebook page that he had quit the band, effectively terminating its run. This was a pretty huge bummer; the band's last two albums, 2007's Eater of Birds and 2009's Gin, are two of the best metal albums of the past decade. But as abruptly as it was announced, Cobalt's retirement ended -- McSorley announced that he and Wunder are working together on a new album via another Facebook message last night:
In the end, all one ever experiences is one's self.Brave words, but credible coming from these guys. No specific album details have been announced yet, but keep an eye out. In the meantime, stream Gin and Eater of Birds in full below.
Erik and I have had a rocky last few years due to extreme personal experience. I cant discredit him for his profound personal development, considering that I have been elusive due to my nature as well.
We have spoken and a new Cobalt album will be recorded, and will be massive and overshadow everything we, and many others, have ever done.
Death, the highly influential Orlando death metal band, have been reissuing their catalog on Relapse, and the newest installment in that is their 1988 sophomore album, Leprosy, which comes out next week (4/29). The album was remastered by Alan Douches (Mastodon, Converge) and comes with previously unreleased bonus material and a 24-page booklet with previously unseen photos and new liner notes. The reissue can be pre-ordered in multiple formats here. The double album remaster (bonus material included) can be streamed in full, via Loudwire, below.
Death at Burgerama III in March (more by Debi Del Grande)
In other news, Death, the legendary Detroit protopunk band who were recently subject of a documentary and who are now very active (see recent live pic above), unearthed more archival material with Death III which came out via Drag City today (4/22). They also appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show last night (4/21) for an interview and a performance of their classic "Freakin' Out." Videos of that below.
by Doug Moore
Weedeater at Ultra Lounge, Chicago (more by Jimmy Farabi)
We just premiered a new Weedeater song over on Invisible Oranges today. It's called "Hot Doughnuts Now." It's about, well, doughnuts.
If you've heard Weedeater before, you probably already know whether you're interested. If you haven't, then expect some thick, ugly stoner sludge, complete with agonized vocals. About doughnuts. All that's left for me to add are the release details (via IO):
This song is the product of Weedeater's appearance at an installment of Scion's monthly show series at the Satellite in LA alongside Pins of Light back in January. Each band that plays one of these shows also records a new song that Scion then presses to a 7″ that they distribute for free at a later installment of the series. "Hot Doughnuts Now" is evidently what they cooked up.If you happen to be in Atlanta tonight (4/22), Weedeater are playing a one-off show at The Earl with Dropout and Wolves & Jackals. Even if you're not, enjoy "Hot Doughnuts Now," now, below...
photos by Caroline Harrison, words by Doug Moore
Behemoth @ Irving Plaza - 4/19/14
Aside from perplexing openers Black Crown Initiate, whom I missed, every band on this bill was both ungodly tight and steeped in lovably familiar theatricality. Inquisition and 1349 both opted for the classic Scandinavian corpsepaint-'n'-spikes look; the latter's bassist bizarrely chose to wear a robe. (Mismatched costume levels among metal band members are always funny; it's like when album personnel notes credit Nekroshaman, Maniacal, Caligula, and Steve.) Ben Falgoust of Goatwhore might be better at metal-frontman posturing than anyone I've seen -- he strikes badass pose after badass pose for the entire set every time they play, all without his powerful voice ever faltering.This year's edition of the Metal Alliance Tour -- which features Behemoth, 1349, Goatwhore, Inquisition, & Black Crown Initiate -- hit NYC last Friday (4/19) at Irving Plaza. (The entire tour, aside from Behemoth, would go on to hit Saint Vitus the following night.) That's an excerpt of my Invisible Oranges writeup on the show above. Read the rest and check out pictures at IO. More pictures are in this post and they continue below...
photos by Greg Cristman
Carcass / Gorguts @ Best Buy Theater - 4/11/14
This year's edition of the Decibel Magazine tour wrapped up earlier this month, after hitting NYC on April 11 at Best Buy Theater (one night after Godflesh hit Irving Plaza). The tour saw 2013's two biggest death metal comebacks, Carcass and Gorguts, team up with The Black Dahlia Murder and killer youngsters Noisem. It was Carcass's 2nd time in New York in two years with 2013 bringing them out on a tour of smaller venues including Gramercy Theater and Saint Vitus.
Unfortunately, we missed Noisem, but we did catch the other three, and you can check out pictures of those bands from the NYC show in this post. More pictures, some video and Carcass's setlist, below...