Entries tagged with: Agalloch
photos by Greg Cristman, words by Wyatt Marshall
Agalloch @ Irving Plaza - 6/30/14
Agalloch brought their current tour with Jex Thoth to NYC for an IO-presented show at Irving Plaza on Monday night (6/30). We reviewed the show over at Invisible Oranges, and here's a bit of what we had to say:
Agalloch went on right around ten, and opened with "(Serpens Caput)," the instrumental intro from their latest album The Serpent and the Sphere. The new album would be leaned on heavily--"The Astral Dialogue," "Vales Beyond Dimension," "Dark Matter Gods," and "Celestial Effigy" made appearances in the main set, and the massive "Plateau of the Ages" served as the finale to the encore. Agalloch sounded better than ever --the guitars were huge, crushing, and Aesop Dekker was a monster on drums, keeping it lively and powerful. Fans of Agalloch know their watery picked guitar sound that's been a staple of the band since The Mantle (see "Ghost of the Midwinter Fires" for a good sample), and every time they brought it in there was an anticipatory swell from the crowd. Agalloch sounded fantastic, and for those who wrote off coming to the show because they saw the band at Maryland Deathfest, they missed out. Agalloch's a different band indoors.Jex Thoth, a psyched-out doom band from Wisconsin, were reminiscent of a more soulful Blood Ceremony. Like Blood Ceremony, powerful female vocals (courtesy of their singer who's name is also Jex Thoth and who is formerly of Sabbath Assembly and Wooden Wand) are a centerpiece to the band's sound. One highlight of their set, "Keep Your Weeds," is streaming below.
You can read the whole review at Invisible Oranges
Agalloch continues on the road for another week or so of shows, playing with a combination of Jex Thoth, Canadian acoustic duo Musk Ox and Thrones. Remaining dates are listed, with more pictures and the setlist from Irving Plaza, below...
by Wyatt Marshall
The one-man Russian black metal band Sivyj Yar took us by surprise on Invisible Oranges last year with his fantastic third album The Dawns Were Drifting As Before. (Russia doesn't have the same cross-over as Europe). Not wasting a beat, Sivyj Yar is prepping a new album, From the Dead Villages' Darkness and the single "Distant Haze Was Arising" is streaming in this post. It's a stunner that should appeal to fans of Agalloch, older Alcest, Woods of Desolation and the like -- the melodic brand of black metal with folksy touches hits a sweet spot. Here's what we had to say about it on Invisible Oranges:
The scope of this song is enormous. Pagan-approved grooves transition to pensive interludes to soaring blasts, ascending and descending with serious majesty on a backbone of rock solid riffs. It's invigorating as hell. The strings on this are excellent, Dornenreich level as Ian put it but less a focus and a bit grander at the same time in my opinion, a smattering of tasteful acoustics, some bowed, some not, that mesh better with howled, raspy, slightly DSBM style vocals than anyone could have imagined. Like on other Sivyj Yar material, the bass is more lively, quirky almost, than what is typical of black metal.You can stream "Distant Haze Was Arising" below and look for the Dead Villages' Darkness on the Italian label Avantgarde Music this fall.
Sivyj Yar stream below...
By Ian Chainey
Matt Harvey / Ross Sewage live w/Exhumed @ Covered Wagon (photo: Sean McGrath)
We recently wrapped up a three-part series at Invisible Oranges titled "The Story of Lucifer's Hammer" by guest contributor Avinash Mittur. The piece tackles the resurgence of metal in California's Bay Area during the late '90s/early '00s through recollections of those responsible for the Lucifer's Hammer metal club. Avinash got a hold of some of the scene's biggest names, including Mike Scalzi (Slough Feg, Hammers of Misfortune), Ross Sewage (Impaled, Ghoul, Exhumed, Ludicra), John Cobbett (Hammers of Misfortune, Slough Feg, Ludicra, Vhöl), Aesop Dekker (Ludicra, Agalloch, Vhöl, Worm Ouroboros), and Leon del Muerte (Impaled, Exhumed, Phobia, Intronaut, Nausea), among others. As you'd expect given those participants, the anecdotes are on another level. A few choice selections.
Mike Scalzi in Part 1:
"We were the only Bay Area band in the early '90s that played total old-school heavy metal. Around here, nobody wanted anything to do with New Wave of British Heavy Metal," Scalzi says. "No way, forget it. In '95, I remember Iron Maiden playing places that we would play. Seriously. Can you imagine? Iron Maiden playing a place smaller than Slim's? It was insane!"John Cobbett in Part 2:
"That was an amazing, amazing night," says Cobbett. "What we're talking about is a really shitty punk rock dive bar with Mayhem and people came from miles around to see that one, man. I had bands calling me on the phone and getting all fuckin' Varg Vikernes on me saying, 'I will kill to play with Mayhem. I will kill to get on that show.'" Cobbett chuckles at the ridiculousness of the situation. "I had to go the butcher and get skinned cow heads and bring them to the show. It was amazing, man."Aesop Dekker in Part 3:
"There was a really diehard core of regulars. It's like that story about the Sex Pistols show that eight people went to and every one of them formed an awesome band," Dekker says. "It was like that, people were meeting at the shows, bands would then be popping and then they'd be like, 'We want to play.' A lot of bands formed from people meeting at Lucifer's Hammer and then they'd play their first show at Lucifer's Hammer. It was sort of like sowing seeds in a sense."It's a great little read and it provides some background on these ultra-active metal participates, one of whom will be swinging by New York City shortly. Aesop Dekker, who is drumming for Agalloch and had a great chat with Kim Kelly back in 2010, will be playing Irving Plaza on June 30 with Jex Thoth for their IO sponsored engagement. Tickets are still available.
A full video of the Mayhem set Cobbett mentioned appears below.
by Ian Chainey (and Jonathan Dick, Wyatt Marshall & Scab Casserole)
Cancer at Maryland Deathfest
The 12th annual Maryland Deathfest, not to be confused with Maryland Deathscape, wrapped on May 25, bringing an end to another headbanging blockbuster. Though there were unforeseen cancellations -- Mitochondrion and Aeternus encountered visa/boarder issues, Triptykon attended H.R. Giger's funeral service -- the fest was another success, providing a four-day-long release for lucky metalheads and those following them on Twitter.
In fact, half the fun for vicarious attendees was keeping tabs on the travel to and from Maryland. Jonathan Dick, making his first trip to MDF, wrote a hilarious dispatch for Invisible Oranges detailing his experience with an eccentric woman aboard one of his connecting flights.
It was the greatest flight in the history of US Airways thanks to a passenger who I can only refer to as 33C. She essentially brought everyone on board into her conversational dimension of pretzel descriptions, the inadequacy of Subway sandwiches, and genuine concerns over who was "driving" the plane.His trials were paid back in full by a Thursday bill at Ram's Head Live that focused on the slow and low. Seven Sisters of Sleep, Whitehorse, Sourvein, Torche, Coffins, and Crowbar all crushed. Crowbar's Kirk Windstein even delivered a kick (see video below). It was a great way to grease the fest wheels, but IO editor Scab Casserole sensed a void. "Everyone's psyched, but the consensus on yesterday was that Triptykon was truly supposed to be the gem of last night. Their absence was felt." More from Scab's memories will appear later on this week at Invisible Oranges.
MDF got rolling on Friday, splitting bands up on four different stages -- Edison Lot A, Edison Lot B, Rams Head Live, and Baltimore Soundstage. The set-up was an improvement, according to Scab. "The new lot is impressive. Expansive, and comprehensive stage-wise. But it's super-hot."
This day, the blackened acts garnered the greatest response, as social media was flooded with kudos for Mgla, Taake, and the two-man Bölzer. Scab later said, "Taake fucking OWNED it. They might have been the best band of yesterday." Wyatt agreed, "Many wondered if the Norwegian band would make it into the US -- it was fortunate for those who were there that they encountered smooth sailing."
Agalloch played a set beloved by most, though the sound was mentioned to be muddy. Better things should be in store when they hit the road with Jex Thoth in June.
But, the death metal one-two punch of Cancer followed by At the Gates was an undeniable pinnacle. It had been a bit since both acts played the States and fans weren't left disappointed. And, lucky us, At the Gates' singer Tomas "Tompa" Lindberg was down to shed light on the status of the new album. All systems GO!
Speaking of fans, the event brought out its share of oddballs. If you had time between sets, people-watching was an attraction. If a Slayer trampstamp didn't display dedication, windmilling while holding crutches was a sure sign of devotion. Of course, then there were the Symbolic speedos:
MDF recap, photos & video continued below...
by Ian Chainey
The Serpent & The Sphere album art
Portland, OR-based folk-inflected metallers Agalloch are streaming their newest record, The Serpent & The Sphere, in full at NPR. The long-player, Agalloch's fifth, is scheduled to be released by Profound Lore on May 13. (Preorder.) The release is the first event in a busy summer for Agalloch, who will be playing Maryland Deathfest in May and hitting the road in June.
But, back to the album: At first blush, one notices how much heavier and more metallic The Serpent & The Sphere is than recent albums such as 2010's Marrow of the Spirit. "The Astral Dialogue," in particular, builds in a way befitting an anthemic tremolo warrior such as Ensiferum. This attention to density may come from the hands of Billy Anderson, who recorded, mixed, and mastered the record. Yet, subsequent listens remove the high-decibel veils, exposing a set that's just as introspective and delicate as prior movements. When the acoustic interludes -- performed here by Nathanaël Larochette of Musk Ox -- click, The Serpent & The Sphere becomes a different experience. It's a grower.
So, of course, there's a chance you'll find that sweet spot by the time Agalloch's tour comes around. It hits NYC for an Invisible Oranges-presented show at Irving Plaza on June 30. Tickets for that show are still available, and you can also listen to the Invisible Oranges show on East Village Radio each week (Tuesdays, 10 PM - 12 AM EST) for a chance to win tickets. This week on IO EVR, we had Kirk Windstein from Crowbar on and he premiered two new Crowbar songs from the forthcoming Symmetry in Black, due out on May 27. Check out the full archived stream
A stream of "Celestial Effigy" from The Serpent & The Sphere is below...
Agalloch (more by Wyatt Marshall)
We also have a pair of tickets to giveaway. Details on how to enter below...
By Doug Moore
Agalloch at Music Hall of Williamsburg, 2012 (more by Wyatt Marshall)
Okay, so this is kinda huge: post-black metal heroes Agalloch are going on tour and Invisible Oranges is pleased to present the NYC show at Irving Plaza on June 30, with support from proto-doomsters Jex Thoth. Agalloch's new album The Serpent & The Sphere is already generating a lot of AOTY talk even a full month before its 5/13 release date, so you know this is gonna be a total blowout. All dates are listed below.
If you want to be present for said blowout in NY: an IO presale will start on Ticketmaster tomorrow (4/16) at 10am. It'll require a password for purchase; check the corresponding IO post tomorrow morning to find it. The presale will end on Thursday at 10pm, and the general sale will begin at the same link on Friday.
Prepare yourselves. Jex Thoth and Agalloch, who were recently added to Maryland Deathfest, will both be touring in the weeks before this show; their itineraries (and some recent music from each) are below.
by Wyatt Marshall
Agalloch at MHOW in August 2012 (more by Wyatt Marshall)
We are still recovering from SXSW (it was a blast, and we know you don't feel bad for us) but did manage to post photos of our Invisible Oranges showcase featuring Black Tusk, Mutoid Man, Kayo Dot, Yautja, Wild Throne, and Venemous Maximus. Check 'em out, and let us know if you went in the comments.
Despite the aforementioned SXSW hangover there were plenty of heavy happenings this week, which turned out to be a great week for new music. Black/grey metal kings Agalloch streamed a new song, "Celestial Effigy" off of their forthcoming album The Serpent & The Sphere, which is due out on May 19 on Profound Lore. After 2010's blistering Marrow of the Spirit, "Celestial Effigy" takes a step back towards an earlier Agalloch sound -- it has a similar lilt to "Hallways of Enchanted Ebony" at times. Give it a listen over at Pitchfork.
It happened late last week so it didn't make our HLD, but Tom G. Warrior's (Celtic Frost) Triptykon dropped two absurdly awesome and heavy tracks on everyone without any warning. Give them a listen below, and give a listen to another new Triptykon track that the band recently performed live. Triptykon's new album Melana Chasmata is out on April 15.
We premiered new Sargeist over at Invisible Oranges -- it's filthy, necro sounding black metal of the highest caliber. Look for Sargeist and the related, also Finnish bands Behexen and One Tail, One Head at the loaded Martyrdoom Fest at Saint Vitus from June 27 through July 1. Tickets are still available.
Metallica played a new song, "Lords of Summer," live in Colombia at the beginning of the week, and a couple of days later, a "Garage Demo" version of the song was posted to Youtube. Give it a listen it below.
As usual, there are a few good shows to check out this weekend. Tonight (3/21) at Saint Vitus, loud as hell creeps The Body play with Theologian and Couch Slut , and on Sunday (3/23) NOLA sludge masters Thou invade Vitus with support from black metal acts Anicon and Vorde and the punked-out Skelptarsis. Tickets to both shows are on sale. Over at The Acheron on Saturday (3/22), Swedish old-school death crew Obliteration will level the place with help from Fantom Warior, Flesh Temple and Iron Force. Tickets are on sale.
For a little further down the line, Florida sludge trio Floor announced a tour that will land at Saint Vitus on 5/5. Floor also streamed another song from their upcoming album Oblation, due out on April 29. For all upcoming heaviness, visit the NYC Metal Show Calendar. It rules.
Deafheaven front man George Clarke announced he created a record label called All Black Recording Company that will focus on underground releases. The first release will be Oakland d-beat/metal band Black Monolith's debut LP.
Over at Invisible Oranges, we ran down all the metal that came out this week worth buying, reviewed the new Coffinworm album, and talked to Ringworm on the Invisible Oranges on East Village Radio show, during which we also gave away tickets to the Children of Bodom / Halo of Blood North American Tour stops in Charlotte, NC and Silver Springs, MD.
Triptykon and Metallica streams below. Anything else?
by Wyatt Marshall
Agalloch at Music Hall of Williamsburg, 2012 (more by Wyatt Marshall)
Fans were justifiably bummed when early Norwegian black metal greats turned experimentalists Ulver dropped off the Maryland Death Fest bill (May 22-25) due to health concerns. The loss left a notable gap on the Friday, May 23 Edison Lot lineup that featured the likes of heavy hitters like At the Gates and Taake. The MDF organizers took it in stride, though, and replaced Ulver with none other than the fantastic American atmospheric black metal band Agalloch.
Agalloch performed at Maryland Death Fest for the first time in 2012. The band's second appearance this spring will come right on the heels of the release of the band's fifth album, The Serpent & The Sphere, due out May 13 via Profound Lore. This will be the first chance to catch Agalloch (presumably) play the new material live on the east coast, so, Agalloch fans, rejoice.
In other MDF lineup news, Dallas grind band Kill the Client will take the place of In Disgust, who recently split up.
A couple of Agalloch song streams lie after the jump...
By Doug Moore
Here is the definition of black metal, as told by the experts in Norway's Immortal:
COLD.There you have it. We already posted a playlist of snow-themed pop songs, but if anyone should be celebrating NYC's current crystalline entombment (single digits tonight!), it's the metal set. Sadly, there aren't any black metal shows of note happening tonight, so you won't have much cause to venture out into the bitter winds of nowhere in pursuit of icy tremolo riffs and goblin vocals. (Though there are some metal shows going down.) Still, those of you who are weathering the storm at home can enter the grim and frostbitten kingdoms with these 14 black metal celebrations of all things cold, frozen, freezing, icy, wintry, and so forth.
by Doug Moore
A few hints regarding the lineup of the 7th annual Fall Into Darkness fest have trickled out over the past few weeks, but now the full lineup has hit the newswire. Curated by Nate Carson of the excellent doom band Witch Mountain, the fest will bring a broad range of psychedelic rock and metal acts to Portland, OR from October 10 - 13.
Highlights include Orange Goblin, who will be on tour around the fest and who will hit Saint Vitus on November 2; Nik Turner's Space Ritual, which features the ex-Hawkwind member and who will hit Vitus on November 3 and 4 on their own tour, and Hammers of Misfortune, Ludicra and Vhol guitarist John Cobbett's gritty prog-metal band. Oh yeah, and Agalloch is playing.
Pallbearer at Knitting Factory, September 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)
Decibel Magazine has compiled their annual list of top 40 albums of the year. As usual, there are some surprises but the 2012 top ten is basically a list of nine veterans with only a single newcomer to the bunch. The full list of top records of the year according to Decibel Magazine is below, along with a tweet from the winning band. Buy your copy HERE.
We are proud to announce our sponsorship of the upcoming Hammers of Misfortune/The Gates of Slumber East Coast/Midwest jaunt! The dates include a kick-off show in Chicago before looping to Saint Vitus for a July 23rd date. Tickets are on sale and support is still TBA.
The Hammers of Misfortune released their Metal Blade debut 17th Street last year. The band features John Cobbett and Sigrid Sheie, who are also members of the previously mentioned West Coast "supergroup" with Mike Scheidt (Yob, and solo artist) and Aesop Dekker (Agalloch, who is coming soon).
The Gates of Slumber recently played NYC supporting Church of Misery (pictures).
All tour dates are listed below along with the tour flyer..
Eric Cutler of Autopsy
Bullet belts, flip flops, studded gauntlets, chicken suits... yep, its Maryland Deathfest time again. Though it was milder this week, in true MDF fashion the first of the four day Baltimore music festival (on 5/24) kicked off with high temperatures, humidity and unrelenting sun, making for a strong contrast to the pitch black indoor room at Sonar. Luckily, escape from the sun also meant catching some of the best heavy music out there.
The day started with sets by Extermination Angel and Die Pigeon Die, both of which I missed unfortunately, so the "opening" set by Needful Things was a fierce blast of grind that was a great perk-me-up for the rest of the day's activities. For the most part, a lot of the bands on Thursday I had seen in recent months: Eyehategod at A389 (dudes, please... we need new songs... the set is getting tired), Absu and Agalloch at Inferno, and Autopsy at Inferno and in Brooklyn. All delivered excellent, though familiar (to me) sets with the exception of Agalloch whose focus was on their earlier material (no Marrow of the Spirit here). Excellent way to cater to the crowd and make it special.
Of the remainder of the bands, Dying Fetus's death metal-slam style has never been my cup of tea but Rorschach... that's another story. Rorschach's unique noise/metal/hardcore sound was the clear winner for favorite set of the day for me, coming out with unmatched energy and playing their cover of King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man" as well as material from their Protestant/Remain Sedate release (which was available in exclusive colors just for this show)(wow). I remember being floored when I saw them at Santos and The Charleston way back when, but this might have been their best set yet. I could watch them play forever, but I'm guessing there's a short window of time left for this band... don't miss them. Rorschach pictures are HERE.
More pictures from Day 1 at Maryland Deathfest including Autopsy's setlist are below.
Agalloch at Inferno 2012 (more by BBG)
Agalloch will be on the East Coast this month for Maryland Deathfest, and will be back to the East Coast for more shows very soon. The black-metal tinged crew will hit the road for a few confirmed dates that seem to be part of a burgeoning tour, including a date in NYC with Taurus and Musk Ox at Music Hall of Williamsburg on July 26th. Tickets are currently on AMEX presale and go on regular sale on Friday (5/18) at noon. All scheduled dates are listed below.
Agalloch recently completed recording their new EP Faustian Echoes with Billy Anderson. The new EP has no release date (or releasee) officially announced, but we'll let you know when that changes. Until then, you can order your copy of The Demonstration Archive 1996-1998 on 3LP boxset to catch up on the older material. Get yours via Eisenwald.
In other news, Aesop Dekker of Agalloch (Worm Ouroboros, ex-Ludicra, etc) will team with Mike Scheidt (YOB), Sigrid Sheie (Hammers of Misfortune, Amber Asylum), and John Cobbett (Hammers of Misfortune, ex-Ludicra) for a new band recording this fall. Details of this project are currently hazy, but we'll keep you informed. In the meantime, catch Yob on Wednesday at Bell House (5/23) with a solo Mike Scheidt and Cough. Tickets are still available. Yob will also be playing Maryland Deathfest.
Check out a recent live video of Agalloch in action along with a listing of all tour dates below.
BBG is back in Oslo, this time for Inferno. Here's what he's catching at the Norwegian metal festival...
Autopsy @ Inferno
It's true. Everything in Europe is a little bit different than the states. Case in point, the classic European mosh pit. In the USA, there's always a few knuckleheads walking in circles and trying to assert their pit supremacy with flailing arms, swing kicks, picking-up-change, and skanking. Kudos to an American band, Autopsy for showing me that European moshing is basically a mass of ear-to-ear smiles, pogoing, and kids bouncing off of each other like pinballs.
Agalloch had just started their set at Inferno by the time I got to the venue on the festival's third night, so I missed sets by Merah, Necronomicon and Aeon Throne. I have seen Agalloch a few times and am used to seeing them in a much smaller space; the Portland band on the gigantic Rockefeller stage was nothing less than epic, probably aided by the amazing knob-twiddling skills of the one and only Billy Anderson (who is touring with them as their soundman). Songs from their recent Marrow Of The Spirit and Ashes Against the Grain never sounded so good.
Agalloch's touring partners, the great Velnias, held down the John Dee in the set directly following, and their grand statements of black metal majesty have never sounded so big. The last time I saw the band was at the DIY space Acheron in NYC, so this was decidedly different.
No offense to either Agalloch or Velnias, but after two sets of multi-part epic black metal, catching Tsjuder on the main stage was a welcome change. Tsjuder were everything I wanted at that moment from a "true Norwegian black metal band" (self described, of course); simple in approach, nihilstic, relentless, hooky but without the corny, and with breakdowns straight from the Celtic Frost playbook. The crowd ate it up like it was a coconut curry (one of the only things to eat at the venue), and so did I. Side note: Tsjuder wins the prize for band with the most fans with a tattoo of their logo at Inferno.
Dead Trooper was next on the John Dee stage, and their thrash hybrid contained elements of black metal and many other different influences mixed in. While that in itself isn't a deal breaker, the alternating growls and clean singing in Hetfield style (sorrow becomes sorroooooo-wah) truly put this band over the "not interested" hump for me. Sorry homies.
I washed my hands clean of Dead Trooper with the always amazing Absu. The lightning fast Texas crew played favorites like the new album opener "Earth Ripper", "Four Crossed Wands", "Thirteen Blows" and my personal favorite Absu track, "Pillars of Mercy." The last time I saw Absu (at Europa), I was told that the song was arranged for two guitars so I am happy that the trio figured out a way to take that Tara classic on the road. Such a unique band, one of the few that can get away with campy song introductions and still rip as hard as the best of them.
Clad in cowboy attire, hair braided, and opening with riffs that sounded like more metallic versions of Morricone soundtracks, I thought I had Solstafir pegged as a progressive metal band with a southwestern slant. Though they started a bit shaky, the band tightened up by the end of the first song and played an interesting set of psychedelic metal with black metal parts that had some great moments. The crowd were nuts for the band, and I was surprised and definitely impressed.
Autopsy was the main attraction of the night, and rightfully so. The primitive death metal legends got the crow riled up and brought the first mosh pit of the evening with songs like "Severed Survival", "Gasping for Air", and later fare like "Maggot Holes" and "Hand of Darkness". So animated. So brutal. So amazing. I can't wait for the Bell House show.
Pictures from day three of Inferno are below.
Rorschach at The Charleston (more by Ryan Muir)
While we wait for the Maryland Deathfest lineup to expand, one of those bands have slipped past the goalie! Rorschach will play Maryland Deathfest
and will presumably be announced with their final batch of artists in the coming weeks. Final bands announced! and they are: AGALLOCH, ARCHGOAT (Finland), BRUJERIA (Mexico), YOB, BLACK WITCHERY, DYING FETUS, UNANIMATED (Sweden), MORGION, RORSCHACH, NEEDFUL THINGS (Czech Republic), DIE PIGEON DIE (Australia), and EXTERMINATION ANGEL.
Show No Mercy returns with an interview and a new song from Leviathan. The interview is short and Whitehead doesn't exactly delve deep, but it and the song are both definitely worth a listen.
Vanishing Leper is Justin Detore (Mind Eraser/Rival Mob/Righteous Jams etc) and Jordan Darby (Dry-Rot), and the band is currently streaming a new EP and are preparing it for a limited release on Cold Vomit. Listen below.
Kvelertak is coming.
Absu added more dates since we first posted. Original post updated.
Rise And Fall have a new 7" on the way entitled "Deceiver", alongside a reissue of Hellmouth. Look for both on Deathwish.
Portal are currently tracking their new LP.
Mastodon's Remission has been repressed on 2xLP.
Have a fun weekend. More NYC shows listed below. What did I miss?
words by Stefan Raduta, photos by Greg Cristman
Well, it finally happened.
Portland's finest dark metal export, Agalloch, played New York City for the first time, in front of a packed audience at Le Poisson Rouge. The show, part of a larger tour for the band that kicked off in Austin, was definitely one of the most anticipated shows of the year, and the turn-out was nothing short of spectacular: great atmosphere, enthusiasm all over, pristine sound.
Agalloch were preceeded on stage by Aerial Ruin, Daniel Menche (who was the surprise of the evening as far as I'm concerned, really intense, original and quite a shocking performance) and the amazing Worm Ouroboros - without a doubt the cherry on top of the cake at this show. Fronted by the beautiful Lorraine Rath (Amber Asylum, The Gault) and Jessica Way (World Eater), they really were the perfect opener for Agalloch, enwrapping the venue in a very dark and gloomy vibe.
Their debut album on Profound Lore turned quite a few heads last year, and finally seeing Worm Ouroboros live was a really cool experience for me. Equally fragile and delicate, at times showing some grit but mostly dreamy and harmonious, Worm Ouroboros might just be the perfect winter soundtrack for a good bottle of red wine in front of a warm fireplace. Even if they're creating their own path, I have to say I've always been a big fan of Amber Asylum so their set went straight to the heart.
Agalloch is constantly reinventing themselves, pushing their own boundaries in spite of everything that happens around them. 2010's Marrow Of The Spirit is truly a phenomenal album: it's their bleakest & darkest record yet, it has the heaviest, most aggressive sound ("Into the Painted Gray" for example) and yet it also captures the band at it's most fragile and suffocating moment ("Black Lake Nidstång"). Definitely worth all the praises it's been receiving, the new album has also left quite a few people in disbelief, especially due to the harsh production...to them I can only say that one day it will hit you like a truck, because this album will age beautifully. Come to think of it, it's definitely the Agalloch "reserve" album, best open in ten years.
It was a real pleasure seeing Agalloch again, exactly one year after their two exclusive shows in Romania, one sharing the stage with Alcest for their first ever live performance. They were pretty stressed coming in Tuesday night, being very late due to traffic and they were also rushed through the sound-check, which irritated them even more. All water under the bridge, their set was simply great.
They opened with "Into The Painted Gray" with the clear intention of waking everyone up, then moved into the killer "Falling Snow" and carefully visited each album. Aesop's drumming was vicious and in your face, guitars sounded crystal clear, and lighting was perfect. The band played two brand new songs besides "Into The Painted Gray", the sorrowful "Watcher's Monolith" and the insanely beautiful "Ghosts Of The Midwinter Fires", a song I personally think has some of the best guitar parts they've ever written, reaching dizzying heights...so uplifting and magical!! Other winning highlights of the night include "Dead Winter Days", "Of Stone Wind And Pillor", and (thank god!) they even played my favorite song off of The Mantle, "In The Shadow Of Our Pale Companion", which ended the stellar evening.
It was really cool to watch the joy on people's faces at this show. Clearly a special occasion for all, many who were seeing Agalloch for the first time, an experience I wish I could relive after seeing them for the first time a year earlier. The atmosphere was exactly the same, some getting really emotional and listening with their eyes closed, some applauding, others head banging so intensely. I even ran into people I met in Bucharest last year, that flew from Europe (Italy, England, etc) and are pretty much catching every show on this tour! Thank you Agalloch for a memorable evening, and everyone in the audence for the warm welcome!
For those of you who missed the show, you can listen to the entire thing via NPR. More pictures from Le Poisson Rouge are below.
photos by Samantha Marble & BBG
Agalloch @ Barbarella Patio (by Samantha Marble)
"The anticipation was highest for the black metal quartet Agalloch. One Austin metal fan outside Barbarella, the venue holding the showcase, told me: "This is great 'cause they hardly ever play out here." I didn't have the heart to tell him where I came from. Agalloch didn't disappoint either, sleekly wailing through a handful of tracks from their 2010 album Marrow Of The Spirit with maximum force and energy." [Oregon Live]Pictures and a video of Agalloch from that show are in this post. The amazing YOB, after playing the BV/1000Knives stage at Full Metal Texas earlier that day, also played that SXSW show (pics forthcoming).
Agalloch and Worm Ouroboros, who had to cancel their 3/18 New Orleans show due to van trouble, play Le Poisson Rouge in NYC tonight (3/22) with Daniel Menche. That show is now sold out.
Arabrot and Wizard Rifle also played that SXSW show and are on tour together. Catch them at Acheron in Brooklyn on Sunday, 3/27. Check the latest edition of Evillive for a list of more upcoming NYC metal shows.
More pictures & the video from SXSW, below...
Two outdoor tents, a club, and a theater hosted 26 bands. Perhaps by design, the premises lacked alcohol (except for the theater). So bad behavior was scarce. Fans happily bounced from venue to venue, queuing for some bands (Wormrot, Floor, Atheist, Obituary, Morbid Angel), and eating burgers from the Grill 'Em All trucks. To order the Witte Burger (beef, bun, cream cheese, deep-fried bacon, beer-and-Sriracha-soaked onions, malt vinegar aioli), my friend Robert merely pointed several feet away, where Dave Witte himself was standing.Saturday (3/5) was the left coast's turn for Scion Rock Fest 2011. The one day, multiple venue festival relocated to Pomona, CA this year, and housed legendary names like Morbid Angel, Obituary, Integrity, Agalloch, and many more alongside names of tomorrow and underground favorites like Bastard Noise, Anaal Nathrakh, Floor, Wormrot, and many more.
Kvelertak were supposed to play too. but their passports and visas were stolen at the airport moments before they boarded the plane to the US. As a result, they'll also miss some days of the Weedeater/Zoroaster tour, but should "be in the states by Friday" (3/11). That means they should have no trouble making it to SXSW where they're on board to play Full Metal Texas. The band was replaced in Pomona by Black Cobra.
More pictures and some videos from Scion Rock Fest 2011, below...
Yob at Scion Rock Fest (more by BBG)
Amongst the zillions of bands playing billions of showcases, every year presents certain must-go events at SXSW. Thursday Mar 17th at Barbarella Patio will feature an incredible line-up of bands as part of the Nanotear Showcase, co-headlined by the one-and-only Yob with Agalloch, and featuring appearances from Witch Mountain, Worm Ouroboros, Amber Asylum, Arabrot, and Wizard Rifle. The show will be Yob and Agalloch's lone appearance at SXSW, and the first date of a East Coast tour for Agalloch/Worm Ouroboros that will eventually land them at NYC's Le Poisson Rouge on March 22nd. Tickets are still available.
Yob recently cancelled their appearance at Roadburn, as well as their entire European tour. While that comes as sad news, the festival has added Keiji Haino, Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter, and a performance of Eve by Ufomammut in its entirety to counteract that. Full Roadburn lineup is below.
Arabrot will hit the road with Wizard Rifle, playing dates along the East Coast. More on those dates very soon, but for now check out some video, the Roadburn lineup and all Agalloch dates below...
Yob at Scion Rock Fest 2010 (more)
Scion has confirmed exclusively to LA Weekly that they will be bringing their metaltastic Rock Fest this year to Southern California.Rumors circulated right around the announcement of Scion Rock Fest 2010 that Morbid Angel would play that year's show. Glad to hear that those were (somewhat) true. Hopefully Morbid Angel schedule some shows outside of California too.
"Scion's major event of the year," confirms their publicist, "is a huge metal festival with four stages and 30 bands. We did the first in Atlanta and the second in Columbus [check out part one and and two of our pics & review]. It's always a mix of legendary bands, important bands and up-and-coming bands, representing all the areas of underground metal. And like all the stuff we do it's all ages and free."
"What no one knows yet," he continues "is the next one will be on March 5, 2011 in Pomona. We're taking over the Fox Theater and the Glass House and building two more stages nearby."
Headlining the Scion Rock Fest in the LA area will be death metal royalty Morbid Angel with their first US show in six years (and as of now, the only scheduled US date in 2011)
...Founding member guitarist Trey Azagthoth, regarded by many as the greatest death metal guitarist of all time, will be at the helm along with bassist David Vincent (member 1986-1996 & 2004 - present) and Destructhor (member since 2008).
The Scion Rock Fest will include 26 bands on four stages (including The Fox Theater, The Glass House and two outdoor stages). -[LA Weekly]
One of the bigger names at Scion Rock Fest in 2010 was Shrinebuilder. Don't forget that half of Shrinebuilder, Scott Kelly and Wino, are going on a solo tour in February. Tickets are still on sale for the February 12th Mercury Lounge show which now looks like this:
Scott Kelly (of Neurosis) 11:30You can also catch all of Liturgy (who played Scion Rock Fest 2010) on January 14th At Silent Barn with Controlled Bleeding, Cellular Chaos, PAK, and Diablo, January 27th at Union Pool with Naam, Yr Youth, and Arms, February 10th at Glasslands with Extra Life, Lichens, and Chaos Majik, and February 25th At Monster Island Basement with Talk Normal and Nat Baldwin. More local metal shows are listed in the latest edition of Evillive.
Wino (of Saint Vitus) 10:30
Man's Gin (of Cobalt) 9:30
Hunter Hunt-Henrix (of Liturgy) 8:30
The PRP is also reporting a rumored list of other artists playing Scion Rock Fest 2011. I can confirm that at least half of a dozen of those are true. That list is reprinted below...
Brian Gibson and Jason Kendall of Megasus at Acheron (more)
After releasing their punishing self-titled LP with 20 Buck Spin (and playing an equally punitive live show at Acheron), Megasus is back to release a new 5" mini-EP with Brutal Panda Records. The Menace of The Universe 5" features a pair of new tracks from the Providence beatdown artists including "Damned Hammer" and the title track, which is streaming below. Guitarist Ryan Lesser is responsible for the (impressive) artwork duties on the release, which will include die-cut six-panel packaging. You can see the art and pre-order the EP at Brutal Panda's site.
Megasus, the only band that has the distinction of having a record on Brutal Panda and 20 Buck Spin all while having a song in Rock Band 2, currently have no dates on their calendar. Neither does Lightning Bolt who share drummer/bassist Brian Gibson.
In between working on his fretwork and art for the upcoming release, Ryan Lesser also found time to tell us what his favorite things were in 2010. Check out that list while you listen to the song stream for "Menace Of The Universe" below.
Agalloch in Brasov (more by Stefan Raduta)
West Coasters can catch Agalloch this week in LA and San Francisco. All current dates are below.
Worm Ouroboros, Agalloch, and Ludicra all feature Aesop Dekker on drums and all released LPs via Profound Lore in the past year. More details regarding an Agalloch tour around the NYC date (which we hear is in the works) are forthcoming, but for now, their current tour dates and some videos below...
DOWNLOAD: Thou - "By Endurance We Conquer" (MP3)
Sleep at Brooklyn Masonic Temple (more)
Lists are very subjective. A "best of" list is always an amalgam of personal experiences - that fateful moment when you press "Play" for the first time, in addition to a grade of excellent songwriting. The records I've listed below had a profound impact on me this year, as did many of the shows that I attended and put on in the past twelve months. I'd like to thank all the artists who made this list as well as the ones who didn't, in addition to people like 1000 Knives, Osiris, Bill Dozer, Ian Dickson and venues like Union Pool, The Studio at Webster Hall, Acheron, Santos Party House and a slew of others for keeping heavy music alive in NYC. But mostly, thank YOU, the reader and the listener!
Alright, enough with the sappy bulshit, let's RAGE...