Entries tagged with: Bell Witch
by Rob Sperry-Fromm
Wrekmeister Harmonies - Night of Your Ascension
Chicago's art-doom project Wrekmeister Harmonies is releasing its new album Night of Your Ascension just a year after 2014's And Then It All Came Down. As usual, Wrekmeister mastermind J.R. Robinson has enlisted an impressive roster of collaborators from Chicago and elsewhere this album, including Marissa Nadler, Alexander Hacke (Einsturzende Neubaten), Olivia Block, Sanford Parker (Corrections House), Bruce Lamont (Corrections House, Yakuza), Mark Solotroff (Anatomy of Habit), Chris Brokaw (Come, Codeine), harpist Mary Lattimore, plus multiple members of The Body (Lee Buford and Chip King) and the sadly defunct Indian (Dylan O'Toole and Ron DeFries), and still more. Each year it seems, Robinson brings together so many vital Chicago artists that the releases have the feel of an annual family get-together, albeit a depressive, occasionally scary family. As the group has expanded well beyond Chicago, it sounds like the recording logistics of getting all these people together have become more and more of a feat.
In a first for J.R., the new record features two separate songs. Both are based on real-life stories that orbit around religion and death. The title track focuses on Don Carlo Gesualdo, a 16th-century Italian who murdered his wife buy was protected by the Church. "Run Priest Run" is about convicted pedophile Father John Goeghan, focusing on the time before he was killed in prison by a fellow inmate. All told, par for the course from a project who's last album was about Truman Capote interviewing a Charles Manson associate. J.R. tells Noisey:
Yeah. For example, the string section for "The Night of Your Ascension." I had the original score of this Don Carlo Gesualdo madrigal I wanted them to use but I didn't want it followed to the letter. Chromatically, as it is written, it's pretty clashing. I wanted to make it all in the key of A and smooth everything out. And I wanted to record at this crematorium, so we had to get mobile recording gear and set up in there. Then I did the same with the choir.The title track is perhaps the most immediate we've ever heard from Wrekmeister Harmonies. As before, the album starts with a mellow, quiet section before exploding into thunderous doom-metal, but here the quiet section moves away from the ethereal, drone-focused music of the last two albums and straight into folk, with strummed guitars, a string section, and Nadler's haunting vocals carrying the song into darkly hummable territory. When the inevitable crush of the guitars come, they feel more organic, a bit softer around the edges, and are further tempered by a couple of beautiful arpeggiated guitar passages that inch this thing towards prog. "Run Priest Run," meanwhile, is a brutally single-minded piece, shorter and more chilling by half than what precedes it. It also progresses from quiet to loud, but here it's more of a downward spiral, with the screams of a dying man (sounds like The Body to me) sending the album out on its own very specific terms.
Wrekmeister Harmonies will tour in December with Bell Witch, who will be the backing band for that tour (which is crazy) and who are about to play Martyrdoom. You can check out those dates and stream Night of Your Ascension below.
In somewhat related news, this album comes a week after the guest-filled Abigail Williams album, which features Will Lindsay, who like Dylan O'Toole, was in the now-defunct Indian but is now in Lord Mantis whose former frontman Charlie Fell is also on that album by Abigail Williams, the band of another ex-Lord Mantis member Ken Sorceron. Got that?
by Rob Sperry-Fromm
Polish black metal greats Mgla have a new album out now. Its called Exercises In Futility and it's a ripper, brutal and surprisingly catchy in equal measure. Stream it below.
Mgla will be going on a US tour in November that includes two days of NYC's Martyrdoom Festival, which goes from November 6 - 10 at Saint Vitus. All Mgla dates are listed below
The first Martyrdoom show they play is 11/6 with Necrophobic, Kommandant, Paroxsihzem and Vorde. Then they play the 11/8 show with their tourmates Mortuary Drape and Sangus, plus Demonomancy, Black Anvil and Phobocosm. The 11/6 show is sold out, but tickets for all other Martyrdoom shows (including the pre-party at Acheron) are still available.
Check out the full Martyrdoom schedule, with Mgla's tour dates and album stream, below...
photo: Hop Along at Baby's All Right in May (more by Amanda Hatfield)
We just mentioned how a lot of music websites (like NPR) use this year midpoint to post their favorite albums of the year so far. Pitchfork isn't one of them, but they do post their Overlooked Records of the year. They write, "None of these releases received a Best New Music designation and not all were rated above an 8.0 but all are records worth revisiting." They've got a couple metal albums (Bell Witch, Sannhet), that ambient Jeff Bridges album, and the no-longer-overlooked indie rockers Hop Along (who also made best-of-2015-so-far lists from Rolling Stone, AV Club, Stereogum, Paste, Flavorwire, Noisey, and NPR's song list).
The list is also interestingly heavy on relatively underground electronic records, including Lakker, Mbongwana Star, Mumdance & Logos, Anthony Naples, Pearson Sound and Smurphy. Check out the whole list below, and read their commentary here.
In terms of rap, it has Joey Bada$$ (who plays NYC this week), and Chicago duo Sicko Mobb. Sicko Mobb will make their way over to NYC on July 25 for Warm Up with Baauer, Skepta and more (tickets); and a late show at Palisades that night with Taso, Ricky Eat Acid and Tripletrain (tickets).
Sicko Mobb made the list for their Super Saiyan Vol 2 mixtape, which you can download for free at DatPiff and stream below...
photo: Prurient at Saint Vitus in 2014 (more by Greg Cristman)
We already knew Dominick Fernow would be playing NYC this weekend with his Vatican Shadow project at Nothing Changes on Sunday (6/14), but before that you can see him as Prurient at Saint Vitus TONIGHT (6/13). He was just revealed as the special guest on Pitchfork's Show No Mercy Northside showcase which also includes Bell Witch, Akitsa and Alberich. Tickets are still available, and you can also get in with a Northside badge.
Updated dates are listed, with a stream from Prurient's very good new album, Frozen Niagara Falls, below...
Bell Witch - 'Four Phantoms' artwork
The day 1 lineup includes Fred Thomas, Gun Outfit, Mitski and Dreamcrusher. Tickets are on sale.
And day 2 is Pitchfork's Show No Mercy showcase (their metal column), and that one features Bell Witch, Akitsa, Alberich and special guests. Tickets are on sale for that one too. Flyers for both, below.
Gun Outfit, who haven't been in NYC in a while, were also recently announced for another Northside showcase. They play the Wharf Cat Records showcase on June 13 at Shea Stadium with The Ukiah Drag, Sediment Club, Ancient Sky and Psychic Blood. Tickets for that show are on sale now. Gun Outfit and Ukiah Drag also both play Berserktown in LA.
Bell Witch recently released their newest album, Four Phantoms. Stream that, with the Pitchfork flyers, below...
photo: Mortuary Drape at MDF 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro)
Returning for its fourth year, Signature Riff and Metal Kingdom's Martyrdoom festival is set to go down November 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 at Saint Vitus.
The lineup includes Necrophobic, Lvcifyre, Kommandant, Paroxsihzem and Vorde on night 1; Ride For Revenge, Nightbringer, Gonkulator, Blood Incantation, Sabbath Assembly and Spectral Voice on night 2; Mortuary Drape, Demonomancy, Black Anvil, Phobocosm and Sangus on night 3; Mortuary Drape (again), Omnizide, Kill, the Howling Wind and Discordia on night 4; and finally Bombers, Malthusian, Bell Witch and Luminous Vault on night 5. Tickets for all five nights are on sale now.
After Stardust, this is the second multi-night metal festival happening at Saint Vitus to be announced this week.
photo: Om at LPR in 2014 (more by Greg Cristman)
Al Cisnero (Sleep) and Emil Amos' (Grails, Holy Sons) band OM have a few dates coming up this year. They were part of today's initial NXNE lineup announcement, and also playing Santa Ana's Psycho California Festival (May 15-17) with Sleep, Pentagram (performing First Daze Here), Cult of Luna, Earth, Kylesa, Russian Circles, Eyehategod, Indian, Pallbearer, Old Man Gloom, Cave In, Tombs and more. Tickets for that fest are on sale, full lineup below.
Full tour schedule, a video, and the Psycho California lineup, below...
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
One Tail One Head at Inferno Festival, April 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)
2012 was a year of considerable personal growth for me, as a person, a photographer and a music fan. As I recounted in my favorite photos of 2012, I got to shoot some of my favorite bands of all time and travel the globe in search of new ones. The beginning of the year was spent dealing with personal drama, and if it werent for key records in my life I shudder to think at where I would be right now. To every band on this list and many who aren't, I cant thank you enough.
First order of business, my musical pallette is much much larger than just a series of metal records. This is NOT a list of my favorite records of the year, because that would surely include other entries from across many different genres. This is, however, a list of some of my favorite heavier records.
To me, the term "heavy" can be defined in many ways, from the elongated riff on a doom record to a noise squall to a particularly punishing punk-rock beatdown. While most of the following records are "heavy" in the traditional "distortion and loud guitars" sense, a few are not. You'll see metal, you'll see deathrock, you'll see raw punk, you'll see hardcore, and many spots in between in the numbered list below. And to answer your question, yes you'll see Swans... right beside D-Clone and Asphyx.
My favorite records of 2012 are below. Hopefully you'll see a connection in favorites or maybe discover something new. Regardless, I hope you found your own favorites of the year whether in this list or outside of it.
The Bell Witch @ Acheron, 10/16/2012
Recent Profound Lore signees The Bell Witch (members of Samothrace) had copies of their new CD, Longing, when they rolled into Acheron last night (10/16) as part of the band's US tour. The show, which also featured an appearance from Yellow Eyes, was the band's first NYC showing, and the two-piece ripped a set of melodic, melancholic doom via drums and a six-string bass. Yellow Eyes, this time a three-piece due to a cycling injury to their bassist, played tight black metal with touches of melody peppered throughout.
More pictures from the show are below, and The Bell Witch's tour soldiers on with a show in Baltimore tonight (10/17).
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
Seattle's Bell Witch caused quite a stir with their bandcamp demo (available below) that dropped last year, so much so that I included it in my favorites of 2011. That demo lead to the new Longing LP, which will see the light of day via Profound Lore on November 13. Stream an edit of the first song to emerge from that release, "Bails (Of Flesh)," below.
Unlike his other project Samothrace (who cancelled their tour), Dylan Desmond and the rest of Bell Witch are scheduled to play NYC at Acheron on October 16 as part of a round of East Coast dates. All other tour dates, a flyer and those streams are below.