Recent Posts in metal - Page 5
October 27, 2015
photos by Greg Cristman
Stephen O'Malley @ National Sawdust - 10/25/15
Drones are never just drones: There are always other considerations. Not so much the musicians' sensibility or emotional intent, but the instruments, the room, the atmosphere. National Sawdust is shallow and high-ceilinged; Mr. O'Malley ran his guitar through four stacks of amplifiers and various distortion and sustain pedals. He's devised a rich and volatile sound, as if biological material were growing from it as you listen. It comes from a combination of overtones bouncing around, tube-amplifier science and digital manipulation. (It doesn't come across as the sum of various recognizable effects.) He understands that a note can contain infinite life, and he's worked out ways to represent it.Sunn O))) member and general multi-hyphenate Stephen O'Malley played new Williamsburg venue National Sawdust on Sunday (10/25) as part of Pitchfork and Blackened Music's Tinnitus series. He was joined by Reg Bloor (Glenn Branca Ensemble) and Andrew Hock (Psalm Zero, ex-Castevet). We have pictures of the show in this post, and that's a quote from NY Times' review of the show above.
He slowly added more tones to offset the anchoring tone of his chord. They began to suggest a mode. At this point a listener could begin to hear things that hadn't even been played yet. Perhaps because the sound was so fertile, full of Mr. Toop's "raw active life," or perhaps because listening is based on expectation and expectation makes you restless, you might have begun your own modal improvisation in response. This became part of your perception of the music. Perceptions work for a while, until they don't. The trick is for the musician to stop before the perception wears out. In my case the timing worked; I'd started my song, lived with it for a while and was just beginning to look for a way out of it. [NY Times]
Sunn O))) have a new album called Kannon on the way, and they have a few dates coming up in Europe in addition to playing Big Ears Festival. O'Malley also has a few solo dates coming up. Those are all listed below, along with more pictures.
photo: Black Sabbath in NJ in 2013 (more by Greg Cristman)
The most legendary of metal legends, Black Sabbath, have added another leg to their "final" tour for 2016. It already included NYC dates at Madison Square Garden on February 25 and 27 and now includes more dates in the area in August.
The new dates include Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on August 17 on Long Island, PNC Bank Arts Center on August 23 in NJ, and Mohegan Sun Arena on August 27 in Connecticut. Tickets for the new dates go on sale Saturday (10/31) at 10 AM with Citi and VIP package presales starting Wednesday (10/28) at 10 AM and a Ticketmaster presale starting Friday (10/30) at 10 AM. The MSG dates (same link) are still on sale.
Like the first leg, Rival Sons are opening this one. Updated dates are listed below...
October 26, 2015
by Rob Sperry-Fromm
Melvins at The Echo - 10/24/15 (photo via The Echo Instagram)
The Melvins are the consummate road warriors. Look at your local concert listings chances are you'll see Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover and company coming up somewhere in the not-too-distant future. It is this relentless attitude towards being a working band that presumably led the The Melvins to complete a tour that took them through all 50 states and Washington DC in a mere 51 days back in 2012. Now there is a documentary about the trek coming out on DVD. It's called Across the US in 51 Days: The Movie, it's out on November 13, and it is not to be confused with either of the other two upcoming documentaries about The Melvins.
Meanwhile, The Melvins are in the midst of playing two shows in one week at LA's The Echo (clearly they're slacking), and I caught the first, which took place on Saturday (10/24). The opener was Field, who played a set of basically nondescript acoustic guitar songs that served the main purpose of getting the crowd really anxious to see the Melvins (to his credit, he did cover Iron Maiden though).
Once the Melvins took the stage, it was time to get serious at the sold-out Echo. Buzz, wearing his signature glittery robe, was joined by the "Melvins Lite" lineup, which is the trio of Buzz, Dale and Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn, who plays standup bass. It was that lineup's first show back since 2012 when they played the aforementioned 51 shows in 51 days. It is certainly a bizarre sight to see Buzz shredding away alongside a standup bass being played with a bow, but of course the band ripped just as much as you would have hoped, and Dunn's ability to play those songs on that thing just adds a further element of impressiveness to the whole thing. "This guy is one fun motherfucker to play with," opined Buzz during an interlude in which he spoke for a solid 5 minutes while the band played a funny blues progression behind him. "Be honest, how many of you actually recognized that Iron Maiden cover?" he asked the crowd, before eventually concluding "that's why I never talk at these shows."
As for the set, they ripped through a ton of material from throughout their history, although there was probably more stuff from the past 10 years than from any other period. They hit "Hooch," which was a definite highlight, and they covered Paul McCartney's "Let Me Roll It," which is actually sort of a perfect Melvins song. And Buzz and Dale are just inhumanly tight, displaying the kind of musical synergy that can't be faked and only comes from playing together for as long as they have (Dale's may have also been the loudest drums I've ever heard at a show). Buzz is such a good frontman; his guitar carries the songs and he's never standing still, bobbing and weaving and generally commanding your complete attention, even as your head is banging uncontrollably. This was a professional show by a professional band, and I for one could use more of those.
Tickets for the Melvins Halloween show at the Echo are on sale now (that one will feature Jeff Pinkus on bass). Oddly enough, that and a November show in Tokyo are the only currently scheduled dates for The Melvins.
Check out audio of Melvins covering "Let Me Roll It" back in 2013 below...
by Rob Sperry-Fromm
Opeth in LA - 10/25/15 (photo via Invisible Oranges Instagram)
Opeth played the third of three 25th anniversary shows on October 25 at The Orpheum in Los Angeles, which followed a gig at that same venue one night earlier and a NYC show at the Beacon Theatre on October 22. We were there to catch the epic, 3 hour-plus LA show. They played two sets, the first of which found them playing 2005's Ghost Reveries in full before coming out again to play a set that encompassed a bunch of stuff from over the course of their career.
The show highlighted a lot of the ways in which Opeth just aren't a typical metal band. Certainly a few bands are in their airspace in terms of critical and commercial success, but I can't think of many who would choose to have their triumphant anniversary shows in ornate, seated theaters, or to play for 3 full hours without an opener, or to prominently feature piano solos. This extends to the way they play, which is deeply formal for a metal band. Mikael Akerfeldt, with his unrivaled ability to switch between harsh and clean vocals and play ridiculously complicated guitar solos, barely seems to break a sweat while he rips through these incredibly complex prog compositions. This was almost like a metal recital, where a formidably tight and musically advanced group of players showcased their skills and vast catalogue of music with a calm focus usually reserved for classical music. This also probably gets at why a lot of metalheads have disavowed Opeth as they have moved further and further away from death metal. Seeing this show drove home a point that Akerfeldt has made many times; that Opeth only ever was this type of band, and that the progression from Still Life to Heritage isn't as huge as it might appear, and that even at their heaviest Akerfeldt has never been interested in appealing to the Headbanger's Ball crowd.
The show also highlighted how much Opeth means to people as a band. The crowd was absolutely rapt for all three hours, and seemed legitimately joyous to hear everything from "The Leper Affinity" to "Eternal Rains Will Come." It honestly reminded me of being 16 and going to see The Pixies play Doolittle in its entirety. Sure, the setting was a bit formal, and the band might have been a bit past their peak (certainly more so than Opeth), but the power of those songs to move was undiminished, and that iteration of the band was able to execute them perfectly. Opeth execute these songs perfectly, and that's obviously no easy task, and despite the lack of metal histrionics (though there were plenty of lights and fog) they absolutely own the crowd. I felt like I was in the presence of a band that, again, occupies rarified air.
Akerfeldt is an atypically engaging frontman as far as banter is concerned. He may be the most unassuming frontman in metal. He is very funny. When the first line he spoke was "thank you very much, motherfuckers," the clipped irony of that last word was palpable. And throughout the show he had the crowd rapt. You could sense his amusement as, during the second set, he prompted the crowd to shout out song suggestions. "I'm going to say a few words. I said these words last night and it went...so-so. The words are: what would you like to hear?" As aural pandemonium erupted Akerfeldt played some classic Opeth riffs quietly on his guitar and joked quietly with his bandmates. It was a funny and illustrative moment, Akerfeldt and company inciting the crowd to chaos at the 2.5 hour-mark and just seeming bemused at all the attention. As Akerfeldt introduced the band right before the final song, someone asked him who he was. "I need to come up with a funny name for myself," he replied. As they began the anthemic opening riff to "Master's Apprentices" he said "and I am Don Johnson."
And most importantly, few can play like these guys. Man, what a show. Ghost Reveries is maybe the perfect album for them to play in its entirety (even if I would've given up a body part or two to hear Blackwater Park) because it flows so easily between all the modes that Opeth are good at. The dual guitars are so perfectly in sync, the solos so flawlessly played, drummer Martin Axenrot so on point throughout. The blend of songs in the second set was also great, with "The Leper Affinity" being my personal high point. Once again, this type of band is rare. As Akerfeldt told Invisible Oranges last year, "when we're playing live, I don't care about artistic type of things, like why we write the music and things like that, I just want everyone to enjoy themselves." That was certainly the case on Sunday night.
You can check out a couple of fan videos from the first night in LA below...
by Rob Sperry-Fromm
Philly death metal classicists Horrendous are back with Anareta, the follow-up to last year's standout Ecdysis. Anareta marks a further step forward for Horrendous. They still write some of the tightest, most cerebral songs in metal, but this record is even more accessible than Ecdysis, and just generally more packed with great material. That might sound like code for "less heavy," but fear not, this is pure crushing death metal to the core. It's just that Horrendous has become that rare metal band, and even more rare death metal band, that marries high-level musicianship to catchy songwriting in a way that can appeal to both metal die-hards and more casual fans of rock n' roll.
Simply put, Anareta is catchy as hell, and armed with killer guitar solos and an advanced sense of melody. This was often the case on Ecdysis, but now even more so. Over the course of the album, the band just continue to bust out riffs that make you grimace with delight. They have a masterful control of rhythm and dynamics and they know just when to pull the rug out from under you or to hit you in the gut with a killer groove. There's no fat on this thing, just great song after great song.
The band still sounds like they worship at the altar of early '90s death metal, with Death and Heartwork-era Carcass probably the biggest points of influence. But they don't get bogged down in idol-worship; the cleanliness and relative simplicity of their sound highlights a progressive and thoroughly modern sense of composition. They also get that a lot of great death metal can be really sad, and despite the guitar heroics and general badassery that Horrendous deliver in spades, that sense of genuinely felt emotion is what they manage to hit on a lot of these tracks. "Ozymandias" soars in a way that death metal rarely aims for, let alone achieves, with a climax that conjures some serious emotion. "Acolytes" is good old-school death metal crush until it becomes a nearly arena-ready major-key jam for the outro. And "Siderea" is a beautiful curveball, a swooning, swaying instrumental that feels like it encourages slow-dancing as much as head-banging.
Give the whole thing a listen below (via Stereogum).
No word yet on a tour, although Horrendous do have a show coming up in Philly, where they'll be opening for Skinless.
October 23, 2015
by Rob Sperry-Fromm
photo: Mike "IX" Williams w/ Eyehategod @ Acheron in 2014 (more by Mathieu Bredeau)
Corrections House, the heavy supergroup consisting of Mike "IX" Williams of Eyehategod, Scott Kelly of Neurosis, Bruce Lamont of Yakuza and Chicago mega-producer Sanford Parker, have released their new album Learn How to Carry a Whip, and its streaming now.
The album is definitely a weird one, perhaps even more so than their first record. The sound is coated in harsh, industrially-tinged electronics, which provide a counterpoint to the lurching, sludged-out guitar and the ravings of singer Mike Williams. Williams is in fine form here, moving from spoken word to screamed word at what always seems like the perfect time. There are also plenty of curveballs here; "White Man's Gonna Lose" is actually kind of dancey, "Visions Divide" is their take on an acoustic torch song, and "When Push Comes to Shank" breaks out the signature Yakuza saxophone. All in all, a compellingly bizarre document from some of the more accomplished metal minds around. Its worth a listen if you're a fan of this type of thing, and its streaming below (via Decibel).
Scott Kelly and Bruce Lamont are currently playing shows together (as solo acts), including a stop in NYC at The Acheron on 11/13 (tickets). Eyehategod are playing Housecore Horror Fest soon, and Yakuza's only upcoming date is a one-off at Chicago's Empty Bottle on December 5.
Stream Learn How to Carry a Whip below...
by Rob Sperry-Fromm
photo by Dean Chooch Landry
Local orchestral black metal band So Hideous are playing a release show for their new album Laurestine. The show is at ABC No Rio on Saturday (10/24) as an early show (doors at 3), and tickets will be at the door. It features support from excellent PA doom/shoegaze artist Planning For Burial, Black Table and Barbarian.
Laurestine is a pretty insane, extremely ambitious mix of shoegazy black metal with the orchestral theatricality of someone like Septicflesh or even Goblin. It came out last week on Prosthetic and you can stream it below.
October 21, 2015
Dave Hill and his good friend Danzig
The above Instagram photo of Danzig posing with Dave Hill, taken at Danzig's tour stop at Electric Factory in Philly on Friday, is a great reminder that Danzig headlines the Playstation Theater in NYC TONIGHT (10/21). Tickets are still available.
UPDATE: Right after posting this we realized that Danzig has been also making news today for allegedly roughing up someone taking pictures at the Montreal show, two nights after he was hanging with Dave.
Dave Hill was backstage at that Philly show, after himself performing "Fuck Your Enemy" with openers Superjoint Ritual -- not the first time Dave did that with Phil Anselmo's band, and hopefully he finds time to do it again tonight before flying to Austin where he opens for Snoop Dogg on Friday night (?!?).
UPDATE 2: Dave did in fact make it on stage again in NYC:
Dave also returns to Texas in November to be part of Anselmo's Housecore Horror Festival where among other things, he'll be playing guitar as part of Thor's band. Johnny Kelly of Danzig (and Type O Negative) will be on drums for that supergroup.
Housecore has also announced their full film lineup. The massive slate includes a documentary about Thor, aptly titled I Am Thor (he'll also be introducing Zombie Nightmare and Rock N' Roll Nightmare), a screening of the GWAR-movie Skulhedface with live commentary by Gwar's own Sleazy P. Martini, a screening of Dawn of the Dead with live accompaniment by Claudio Simonetti's Goblin, and a special screening of the classic Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer in honor of Corey Mitchell, the author who co-founded Housecore with Anselmo and who passed away last year. This is all in addition to just a ton of horror films and rock docs with titles like Cannibal Man, Voodoo Dick, Deathgasm, Coffin Cruising and Terrain Hatefuck. You get the idea. The updated festival poster and Aztec Theater lineup are at the end of this post.
There's also an I Am Thor screening and performance in Brooklyn on November 22 at Saint Vitus. Tickets are on sale.
You can also catch the comedy and rock n roll stylings of Dave Hill at Union Hall in Brooklyn on November 6th for the next edition of "Meet Me in the Bathroom and Tell Me All Your Secrets". Dave Hill hosts and plays in his band Valley Lodge that night. Special guests for the evening so far include Marcus Monroe, Adira Amram & The Experience, and Danny Felts.
Dave, who last week read his classic BrooklynVegan Def Leppard review out loud at a CMJ event, also appears as part of "Seven Minutes in Purgatory" at Littlefield on November 10th, along with Ian Abramson, Aparna Nancherla, Nick Vatterott, and more (part of New York Comedy Festival). (By the way, Def Leppard just announced a Barclays Center show with Styx and Tesla. Dave, you going??)
Last but not least, don't forget that you can tune into the The Goddamn Dave Hill Show on WFMU every Monday from 9pm-midnight (also available to stream any time in the archives).
by Rob Sperry-Fromm
photo: All Pigs Must Die at SXSW 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro)
Boston crust-metal rippers All Pigs Must Die (members of Coverge, Bloodhorse) have announced two shows for December: a hometown-area date on December 5 at the Middle East in Cambridge with Wormwood and V-Sect (tix), and a NYC date at The Acheron on December 4 with Deathcycle, White Widows Pact and Wrist Deep (tix).
All Pigs Must Die haven't released anything new since 2013, but they are pretty much a must-catch live band due, if nothing else, to the presence of best-drummer-on-planet-earth candidate Ben Koller of Converge. Check out a video of All Pigs Must Die at Roskilde earlier this year, along with a video taken from a GoPro strapped to Ben Koller's head during a Converge show, below.
by Rob Sperry-Fromm
photo: Scott Kelly with Neurosis at Saint Vitus in August (more by P Squared)
Scott Kelly of Neurosis and his Corrections House bandmate Bruce Lamont (also of Chicago's Yakuza) are playing some shows together on the east coast this November.
The tour hits NYC for a show at The Acheron on November 13 with additional support from Kevin Hufnagel of Dysrhythmia and the current Gorguts lineup. Tickets for the Acheron show are on sale now.
Meanwhile, Corrections House release their new album Know How to Carry a Whip on Friday (10/23) via Kelly's label Neurot. They've already premiered two songs from it, "White Man's Gonna Lose" and "Superglued Tooth," both of which showcase a heavier industrial influence than ever for the supergroup (the band also includes Mike Williams of Eyehategod and metal super-producer Sanford Parker).
Scott Kelly also just released a video for a cover of Townes Van Zandt's "Lungs." Maybe he'll bust that one out on the tour. You can check it out, with the Corrections House songs and the list of tour dates, below.