Recent Posts in metal - Page 3
November 26, 2013
by Doug Moore
Now that the weather has settled into the cold-and-shitty groove that it'll occupy for the next several months, the time is ripe for some bleak, depressing jams. To that end, we're streaming the debut EP by Tampa sludge troupe Servants of the Mist over at Invisible Oranges. From our writeup:
This band is from Tampa, but the music they play is not "Southern sludge"; it involves few blues notes and fewer good-times vibes. This stuff has more in common both spiritually and harmonically with the bottom-feeding negativity of bands like Coffinworm and Lord Mantis, though Servants of the Mist ditch the dense death/black metal rhythms in favor of endless slow-motion chugs. The riffs feel a little directionless at first, but if you emotionally sink down to their level, they start to make sense. Smyth's vocals catch the ear; the chewy tones and hard-fought grooves carry the weight.Read the whole shebang on Invisible Oranges. Suicide Sex Pact comes out on December 10; it will be available for pay-what-you-want download via Servants of the Mist's Bandcamp. Stream it below...
November 25, 2013
by Doug Moore; interview by Jonathan Dick
Integrity at MDF 2013 (more by Fred Pessaro)
When metallic hardcore institution Integrity released their seminal sophomore album Systems Overload back in 1995, the band weren't entirely happy with the final mix & master -- it was slicker and more modern-sounding than they'd intended. Last year, members of their S/O-era lineup got back together to tweak the album's original masters for a limited Record Store Day release. Now that Integrity have announced that the same lineup will be getting back together for the Invisible Oranges co-presented A389 Records 10th Anniversary Bash, they're also releasing a CD version of the S/O revamp via Magic Bullet Records.
We're streaming the updated version of the album over at Invisible Oranges, plus an extensive interview with perennial vocalist Dwid Hellion and guitarist Aaron Melnick. Here are some excerpts:
What was the creative process like for you guys with Systems Overload? Was there a specific mindset or goal you guys had when you initially began writing the songs.Check out the rest of the interview over at IO. Don't forget that much of Integrity's catalog is available for free download via the band.
DH: At that time, we had just undergone one of our many band metamorphoses. Our first album, Those Who Fear Tomorrow, was initially met with great opposition from the underground music scene. Critics declared it was a virus that would "ruin hardcore." If the rumors are true that we had unknowingly helped create the genre known as metalcore, our critics may have experienced a momentary spell of clairvoyance. A year after TWFT was released, the critics changed their opinion, and as is common in human nature, they began to love that which they once despised. So, in turn, we changed our formula. We did not want to pander to expectations. We preferred to agitate the complacent. And this contempt helped to give life to what would become Systems Overload.
A2: We kind of went more towards '80s hardcore for Systems. I personally still listened to a lot of metal, but I was getting into a lot of foreign and old American hardcore. You know, not your typical youth crew stuff.
You've got a label like A389 celebrating its ten year anniversary, and it's interesting to think about how much has changed in the realm of music in that timeframe, especially with regards to independent music. What changes, good and bad, have you guys seen within heavy music from when Integrity first formed or from when you each joined?
DH: In general, the ability to listen to music before you decide to purchase it has raised the bar. I think that is a positive result of our modern technology within the music community.
A2: Well, things seem a lot more separate, with separate scenes for all these different types of music, but I guess that had already started in the late '80s. I think it is cool that everyone can record more easily with computers, but at the same time, I usually prefer the sound of 2-inch analogue tape. Of course, the internet is great for finding out about music. When I was a kid, it was much harder to procure music. Now you can just go to YouTube and type in anything.
Listen to the Systems Overload remix/remaster below...
November 22, 2013
by Doug Moore
just another of those cool metal children's books
After running at full throttle all fall, the heavy music world began to slow down this week in anticipation of the holiday season. Still, there was plenty to talk about, and here's what you may have missed:
Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead did an extremely entertaining interview with the New York Times. (Q: You don't believe in God? A: I believe I'll have a drink.)
Prolific NYC metal drummer and sound man Robert Nelson (Mutant Supremacy/Trenchgrinder/Skullshitter) and his musician brother Jessie (Diane Birch/Head Automatica/Cold Cave) launched a charity drive to aid their mother and extended family, whose homes in the Philippines were ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan. Please give if you can.
We enjoyed some Czech children's illustrations awesomely repurposed for metal means.
Obituary announced Metal Meowlisha: a benefit show for feral cats which features Terrorizer, Exhumed and more. Occultation and Gnaw announced NYC shows. One of Gnaw's is at Trans Pecos, which occupies the old Silent Barn space.
Maryland Deathfest announced more bands and venue info.
Over at Invisible Oranges, we reflected on that weird thing where you keep defending a band who stopped being good years ago. We ran the only Overkill interview you ever need to read. We interviewed Zack Rose of Nekrofilth on East Village Radio. We debuted killer new music by Cult of Fire, Woods of Desolation, Lluvia, Arabrot, and Immortal Bird; we also reflected on live experiences with Absu, Eyehategod, and Damnation Fest.
The hits keep coming this weekend: Kayo Dot, Vaura, and Psalm Zero are playing 285 Kent tonight (11/22), as well as Whores, Black Black Black, and No Way at Saint Vitus and Tidal Arms, Mount Gomery, Tiger Flowers, & Cavallo at the Acheron. Overkill, Kreator, and Warbringer will play Stage 48 Saturday (11/23) and Sunday (11/24).
What did I miss?
by Doug Moore
Maryland Deathfest announced its (almost) final lineup of bands this afternoon. At this point, the festival really didn't need to add much to sell out its allotment of tickets, but there are some heavy hitters in this round of announcements nonetheless. Some highlights include Tryptikon (the post-Celtic Frost band, making their only US appearance), Dark Angel (the classic hyper-fast thrash band featuring Gene Hoglan of Strapping Young Lad/Fear Factory/Death), Inquisition (who released one of this year's best albums), the long-running powerviolence act Capitalist Casualties, and reunited Floridian grinders Maruta. The complete list of new announcements is below.
Tickets for the festival go on sale tomorrow (11/23) at 3pm. You'll be able to buy whole-fest passes for $255, and 3-day Friday->Sunday passes for each stage for considerably list. Individual tickets will go on sale in December.
MDF's organizers also announced more venue information, including a breakdown of which bands will play at which of the fest's three stages (though the only day-specific lineup that they've announced so far is for Thursday). You can find the complete lineup, divvied up by stage, along with the full list of new artist announcements, below...
by Doug Moore
Norwegian noise rockers Arabrot already released a self-titled 2013 LP and a split with Rabbits this year, and they've got one more release slated for 2013: an EP titled Murder as Art, which mostly consists of a single song called "The Story of Lot." (And also HOLY CRAP THAT COVER ART.) Arabrot no longer has a fixed lineup, and "The Story of Lot" is radically different from their other releases this year. We premiered the lengthy tune over at Invisible Oranges, and said:
While Årabrot are best known as a Melvins-style heavy rock act, this tune has no metal influences to speak of. Instead, Nernes spins the famous tale of alcohol-fueled Biblical incest over a motorik beat, a bassline that Al Cisneros might've written within the last few years, and a slow-growing mass of analog noise. This goes on for some 15 minutes, but time is fungible when you're under its spell.Murder As Art comes out in the States via Red Eye on November 26. Stream it below, along with their side of the Rabbits split for comparison's sake.
by Doug Moore
Immortal Bird are a new Chicagoan death/black metal band, featuring members of the folk metal band Thrawsunblat (who in turn are connected to Woods of Ypres), as well as (live) members of Novembers Doom.
We're streaming "Spitting Teeth," the opening cut from their debut EP Akrasia, over at Invisible Oranges. Here's an excerpt from our writeup:
I suspect that most coverage of this band will play up the Thrawsunblat connection, but the two have little in common. Immortal Bird ditch the pretty pastoralism in favor of an inward-looking cosmpolitan ugliness that sometimes evokes a less-patient version of early Castevet. Opener "Spitting Teeth" delivers their melange at its best. Its ingredients: blurry, dissonant black metal fluttering; lots of nervy arpeggios; occasional stop-start trickery; dirty riffs played cleanly. Kurt Ballou's HM2-free mix ironically spotlights guitarist Evan Berry's performance more than Amitay's, but it's not such a bad thing -- his versatile playing carries the band's charge.You can read the rest of the deets over at IO. Akrasia comes out on December 3 via Closed Casket Recordings.
The band's only upcoming date at the moment is an EP release show in their hometown. Stream "Spitting Teeth" below.
November 21, 2013
by Wyatt Marshall
Deafheaven at 285 Kent in July (more by Lukas Hodge)
The discerning folks over at Amazon have announced their picks for the best albums, songs and artists of 2013, and Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City and Chvrches' The Bones of What You Believe filled out the top three spots on their best albums list.
A bit more of a surprise was Deafheaven coming in sixteenth overall with Sunbather and landing "Best Hard Rock & Metal" honors in both the artist and album category--Russian Circles won "Best Hard Rock & Metal" song with "1776", stealing the trifecta that was just within Deafheaven's grasp. Sixteenth-best album of the year and best hard rock and metal album of the year on a huge site like Amazon is pretty high profile for Deafheaven, the San Francisco post-black metal band that still road warriors-up for shows at small clubs. But they've been on the big stage before--to be specific, for Apple's keynote announcement for the iPhone 5c, when the cover of Sunbather graced one of the five iPhones on the projection screen behind the presenter.
Check out the top 20 best albums according to Amazon below, compare that to more old school and indie retailer Rough Trade's list, and head over to Amazon to see what else they thought was a cut above...
photos by Caroline Harrison; words by Doug Moore
Absu @ Saint Vitus - 11/18/13
Texas "mythological occult" (read: black metal) stalwarts Absu wrapped up their fall tour in NYC by hitting Saint Vitus Bar on Monday (11/18) for an Invisible Oranges-sponsored show with local powers Villains and Iron Force. Absu are one of the best live bands in the metal world, and this performance was true to type for them. We've got pictures and a writeup at IO now. Here's an excerpt:
Absu were in top form, with Proscriptor gleefully reminding us (as always) that his band is from Texas before proceeding to use his drum kit to destroy everything in sight. Despite only playing for about an hour, the trio managed to create the kind of atmosphere that turns tiny bars into massive arenas. The 50 fists pumping in unison to classic tracks like "Never Blow Out the Eastern Candle" and new favorites like "Earth Ripper" felt like 50,000, and the band fed off the crowd's energy, visibly thrilled that Saint Vitus had temporarily become their Barclays Center.Check out a video of their entire set, plus more pictures, below...
by Doug Moore
Death and black metal don't often intersect with children's literature, but oh, what glories when they do. Most Americans probably aren't familiar with the Czech illustrator Helena Zmatlíková, but seeing her work in kids' books is evidently a universal experience for children growing up in her homeland. Fortunately, you don't need to be familiar with the original illustrations to appreciate the awesomeness of the following images. Some wiseass Czech metalheads have paired a bunch of Zmatlíková's paintings with logos and titles from well-known metal albums to absurd/hilarious effect. According to the über-kvlt Nuclear War Now! forum thread that dug the pics up, one of the culprits is both a member of the black metal band Umbrtka and a writer for the Czech version of Maxim. Umbrtka have released 17 albums over the last 13 years, including one called Melša - Frank Zappa Meets Darkthrone, which is pretty impressive in its own right.
Check out more of these below, and the rest over at Deathmetal.org. (The Satyricon one is my personal favorite.)
by Doug Moore
Gnaw at Europa in 2011 (more by Greg Cristman)
Gnaw, the thoroughly unsettling noise troupe fronted by ex-Khanate shrieker Alan Dubin, have announced a smattering of East Coast dates in support of their excellent new album, Horrible Chamber. The four-date run includes two NYC dates: one at Trans Pecos in Queens on 12/5 alongside Psalm Zero (who also have a new album to support) and The Notekillers; and a second appearance at The Acheron on 1/18 with Sonic Suicide Squad, Insect Ark, Xaddas, and Prana Bindu. No tickets available yet, but keep an eye out.
Check out the full run of dates and stream the Gnaw tune we debuted at Invisible Oranges a few weeks back, below...