Entries tagged with: Rites of Darkness

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by BBG

Anhedonist art for Netherwards

On the heels of the physical release of their impressive demo The Drear, Seattle death-doom crew Anhedonist have created a stunning statement with Netherwards, the band's first full-length and debut disc for Dark Descent Records (look for it on 4/10; vinyl is due via Parasitic/Nuclear Winter later this year). Beautiful and harrowing, introspective yet brimming with rage, soaring melodic doom and worm-ridden death metal, Netherwards is many things at once but undoubtedly a monolithic achievement, one that more-than-likely will be discussed at year-end. Stream "Estrangement" from Netherwards below.

Anhedonist were kind enough to answer a few questions regarding their formation, the LP, and the reverence of the demo within the underground scene. The answers, with the song stream, below...

Continue reading "an Interview with Anhedonist & new song stream from 'Netherwards' (premiere)"

by Andy O'Connor

Pallbearer L to R: Devin Holt, Joe Rowland, Chuck Schaaf, Brett Campbell (photo by Erika Taylor)

Doom unit Pallbearer hail from Little Rock, Arkansas, but if that makes you think of down-tuned moonshine madness, you'll have to adjust your expectations. Whereas most of their contemporaries are influenced by punk and filth, Pallbearer guide you through long songs that bear grace with pain. Brett Campbell's vocal work soars high above the uncomprimising melancholic doom. Think of Robert Lowe of Solitude Aeturnus/Candlemass with the grandiosity cut back just a tad enough to fit the music. There are heavy riffs aplenty, as any doom band should have, but Pallbearer also have some of the most poignant minor-key leads you've heard in ages. All this makes for a band where sadness is next to godliness.

In 2010, they released a self-titled demo (available for streaming below), and while it took a little over a year to burn into the consciousness of the metal public, that flame couldn't be brighter. Profound Lore took notice, and they'll release Pallbearer's full-length debut, Sorrow and Extinction, on February 21st. Sorrow is a continuation of the demo's strengths, with an added dose of heaviness on the guitars and two songs that break the ten-minute point. You may have just gotten through a bevy of year-end lists, but this album will make you start your 2012 list very early.

Check out "Devoid of Redemption," a re-recording of a song from the demo, making its debut in this post. Stream it below.

We spoke with Pallbearer's bassist Joe Rowland about Sorrow, the band's cover of "Gloomy Sunday," and Rites of Darkness. The results and all streams are below...

Continue reading "an interview with Pallbearer (plus a new song stream)"

by BBG

Impetuous Ritual
Rites of Darkness

Rites of Darkness 2011 closed out on Sunday 12/11 with a somber and powerful set from melodic death-doomers Mournful Congregation (we premiered a song from their new LP) who toured the West Coast with the like-minded Aldebaran and Anhedonist. Compared to the other days, Sunday focused more on the slow-and-heavy side of things with Anatomia and Pallbearer (both bands of the doom ilk) also on the bill.

There were exceptions though. Mitochondrian, Vasaeleth, Ignivomous and Cruciamentum all focused on the death metal side of things while Ares Kingdom stayed true to blackened thrash (they also played the pre-fest). The clear standout on Sunday was Impetuous Ritual who, while doused in blood, played seemingly formless death metal with frightening accuracy and power. It was a ritual indeed, and one made for conjuring the dark spirits.

Despite the heavy drama, the rumors, the devastating cancellations, poor communication, the changes/lack of set times, the overall turnout, the garbage food and close to no options to the contrary (only nachos and hot dogs on site), and the bands that flew to the US without a flight home, Rites of Darkness III featured some of the most impressive performances of the year from bands across the globe. Favorite moments include the incendiary Antaeus, the thunderous slow-crawl of Anatomia, the stage-dives and moshing during the great Midnight, the charismatic and fantastic Adorior, the soothing melodicism of Mournful Congregation, evil incarnate from Impetuous Ritual, and Ignivomous's set closer of "World Eater" by Bolt Thrower. We'll see if it happens next year.

If you missed it, check out pictures and reviews from day 1 and day 2, and then check out more pictures from the final day at Rites of Darkness (I missed Vasaeleth unfortunately, though I did catch their set at the pre-fest), below...

Continue reading "Rites of Darkness 2011 -- Day 3 pics & review"

words by Kim Kelly, photos by BBG

Antaeus @ Rites of Darkness
Rites Of Darkness

Rites of Darkness hit the halfway point Saturday with no more major disasters (comparatively speaking, anyway) and a sicker than sick lineup. Doors opened at 3pm but the show didn't actually start 'til after 5, when Texan grind 'heads P.L.F. hit the stage followed by death metallers Blaspherian and Grave Ritual. Hooded menace Midnight were a crowd favorite; framed by stagedivers' flailing limbs, Ohio's finest tore through a half hours' worth of black thrashing, neck-snapping, punk as fuck anthems like "Black Rock'n'Roll" and "Endless Slut" and left us all wanting more.

Adversarial's head-down Canadian war metal assault brutalized those who remained, then Black Witchery stalked onstage and tore the joint to shreds with an onslaught of Satanic might (as seen at Europa this past summer with Proclamation). Total death!

Chicago death metal legends Cianide were nothing short of fantastic; their guitar tone alone was worth the trip down. Grecian horde Zemial played a solid ninety minutes of old-school black metal (Quorthon would've been proud), which felt a little longer than necessary but still slayed. Antaeus's first-ever North American performance was the indisputable highlight of the evening, if not the entire fest so far. Spewing forth violently intense and utterly focused, savage black metal, littered with razor-sharp shreds of melody and drenched in evil, these corpsepainted wraiths stood and fucking delivered. Cut your flesh and worship Satan.

Day 1 pictures HERE. More pictures from Rites of Darkness day 2 are below

Continue reading "Rites of Darkness 2011 -- Day 2 pics & review"

words by Kim Kelly, photos by BBG

Adorior @ Rites of Darkness
Rites of Darkness

Rites of Darkness is in full swing, with both pre-fests done and dusted (check out photos of the Bond's show here) and Day 1 still ringing in our ears. On Friday evening, doors opened at 4pm and the opening band, Houston death metallers Warmaster, got short shrift: the line of black leather-clad punters wound 'round the outside of the building waited impatiently for the singular door-person to check their IDs well into and past their set (from what we could hear, their crushing, Bolt Thrower-inspired cacophony deserved better).

Philly black-thrashers Infernal Stronghold (who just got back from a short tour with Absu) ripped through a short set of urban blasphemy, taunting the still-lethargic crowd ("I didn't realize we were gonna be playing a fuckin' nursing home!") until the room filled up and the front row got violent. Ritual Necromancy brought the Incantation worship (filtered through a few grimy layers of doom and blackness), then Grave Upheaval filled the entire fucking room with (funeral) fog, which helped distract a bit from the monotony of their muddy, unfocused material.

Dispirit, who had appeared at the prefest and were hastily added to the fest proper, were once again at the top of their game; their hypnotic, atmospheric black metal rituals captivated and impressed. London horde Adorior, one of the most anticipated acts of the fest, delivered a wickedly intense, utterly savage set of thrashy death/black. Their imposing, leather-and-spike-clad frontwoman Melissa screamed bloody gore, sneering and mocking the "whiners and bitches" who'd been complaining about the fest and unveiling a new song: "This one's about fucking surviving, you know? This is "Gutters of Cum."

Canadian black/death cult Weapon were up next. This was their first-ever time playing the United States, and the maniacs down the front made their appreciation known, as a sea of fists and deafening roars greeted the quartet between every merciless cut of raw, sinewy death, blackened and tempered with shades of Middle Eastern melody. Afterwards, the mighty Demigod, Finnish gods of death, took the stage to play their seminal classic Slumber of Sullen Eyes in its entirety. "Amazing" is the only word that comes to mind; they were utterly on point, totally focused, and devastatingly heavy - a well-oiled war machine. The show closed out with two-man black metal institution Inquisition (who recently laid waste to NYC with Disma). Dagon's vocals, always a matter of contention, were a bit too loud, but the overall effect was fluid and damn near trance-inducing.

Stay tuned to BrooklynVegan for continuing coverage from Rites of Darkness 2011. Check out more pictures from Day 1 below...

Continue reading "Rites of Darkness 2011 -- Day 1 pics & review"

by BBG

DOWNLOAD: Dispirit - "Untitled rehearsal track" (MP3)

Rites of Darkness

Rites of Darkness doesn't start for another few hours but the die-hards have already arrived in San Antonio, and spent their time at one of two pre-fest parties last night (12/8). I attended the "official" pre-party, featuring a headlining appearance from Ares Kingdom (mems Order from Chaos), spirtual black-metallers Dispirit (mem Weakling, Asunder, The Gault), death-metallers Drawn & Quartered, epic black metal from UK's Wodensthrone, Vasaeleth (mems ex-Demoncy, Dagon), and locals Sturmgewher (who I missed). Though Ares Kingdom ripped (especially guitarist Chuck Keller), Dispirit was clearly the highlight for me, combining psychedelia, epic black metal and an abundance of fog to create the prefect atmosphere for their extended compositions. Wodensthrone and Vasaeleth were also personal favorites, the latter playing Incantation-style death metal while the former specialized in sprawling pagan black metal.

Make sure and pick up a copy of Dispirit's cassette at your favorite local distro, and download a rough mix of a rehearsal track above. Stay tuned to BrooklynVegan for continuing coverage from Rites of Darkness 2011. More pictures from the pre-fest at Bonds 007 last night are below...

Continue reading "RItes of Darkness kicked off pre-fest last night with Ares Kingdom, Dispirit and others (pics)"

by BBG

Inquisition @ The Studio

Inquisition are on their way to the crumbling four-day Texas festival known as Rites of Darkness, where they'll join-up with an ever decreasing number of bands. Since "finalizing" the lineup earlier this year, a staggering 20 of the 54 bands, most of them headliners and exclusives, have all fallen off of the lineup due to an issue with Paypal.

As the festival has grown closer, the list of casualties has increased. Some bands succumbed to the pleas of fans begging to stay on (like Zemial), and others tried but ultimately still had to drop off (like Pagan Altar). The festival issued a definitive statement on 11/30 which confirmed the lineup, but then six more bands cancelled. It has, to say the least, been a rollercoaster ride for Rites of Darkness ticketholders, who are now still awaiting confirmations from Zemial, Hell Militia and Nunslaughter. Regardless, I'll see you there this weekend.

UPDATE: Both Hell Militia and Nunslaughter have cancelled. Nunslaughter's official statement is here, while Hell Militia's is here.

Meanwhile, Northwestern black metal duo Inquisition played The Studio at Webster Hall on Friday 12/2, joined by Disma and Agrath (after Mortuary Drape and Negative Plane dropped off of the show). NJ death metal crew Disma were also scheduled to play Rites of Darkness but cancelled their appearance alongside related bands Evoken and Funebrarum, so the NYC show was unfortunately their last of the year.

Drenched in fog (courtesy of the itchy trigger finger of Tooth from Natur) and red lighting, both Inquisition and Disma ripped at The Studio, playing favorites from their recent LP offerings Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm and Towards the Megalith respectively. Agrath, which contains members of Negative Plane, opened the evening to a mostly packed house with their primitive blackened stomp.

More pictures from the NYC show are below.

Continue reading "Inquisition played Studio @ Webster w/ Disma & Agrath (pics); Rites of Darkness festival continues to crumble UPDATED"

by BBG

Inquisition at MDF (more by BBG)

"This is Danny, the promoter for Rites of Darkness. I understand people have been getting frustrated with lack of news so I personally apologize for that. We have gone through a rash of cancellations which were beyond our control.. Paypal froze the Festival's account which caused delayed flights for months. By the time Paypal decided to release our account flights escalated beyond our set budget. So the show is NOT cancelled by any means but the following bands will not be performing: Root, Akitsa, Interment, Demonical, Valkyrja, Dead Congregation, Hour of 13, and Strid"
Rites of Darkness, the San Antonio festival in December that lined up an impressive slate of bands from around the world and many notable exclusives, has suffered a rash of cancellations (including Mortuary Drape), many of which were headlining bands.

The festival has remained silent about the situation for close to two weeks, but finally updated festival-goers today. Their message, excerpted above and available in full below, explains the situation, but neglects to mention that Pagan Altar also cancelled (they were slated for a two hour set) and that Zemial cancelled too. Another band that is currently in flux, Stargazer, is reportedly without flights (the band is from Australia) at the moment. The listing is missing General Surgery, and no announcement has been made about the pre-fest which includes France's Hell Militia. Previously announced cancellations include Ondskapt, Urfaust, Behexen, and Sargeist. RoD has added new Profound Lore signees Pallbearer.

Reminder: two RoD bands, Inquisition and Disma, are scheduled to play The Studio at Webster Hall on 12/2 with Agrath. Tickets are still available.

UPDATE: Both Zemial and Pagan Altar are reconsidering their appearances. Statements from both are below.

UPDATED AGAIN: Disma, Funebrarum, Evoken, and Oak have all cancelled their appearances.

The most recent Rites of Darkness statement and the current lineup is below.

Continue reading "Rites of Darkness 2011 still on despite heavy cancellations UPDATED"

by BBG

Inquisition at Maryland Deathfest (more by BBG)

NYC's Studio at Webster Hall will soon host a trifecta of black metal greatness! Inquisition will headline the venue on December 2nd with a rare appearance from Mortuary Drape and Negative Plane. Tickets are on sale.

Italy's Mortuary Drape and Inquisition will then tour their way to Rites of Darkness 3 in San Antonio, Texas where they'll join the newly added Disma, but NOT Urfaust:


URFAUST is very sad to announce that we have to cancel our Intoxication Ritual at Rites of Darkness III in Texas, USA.
Our last Alcoholic Rites on US soil where splenditory, so this is just fucked up...
Nothing more to say about this, we hope to return to the USA and Rites of Darkness in 2012!
All hail the madness!
Ix & Vrdrbr on behalf of Urfaust

Three day passes for Rites of Darkness 3 are on sale. Pictures from Urfaust's recent Brooklyn show HERE.

All known Inquisition dates, the full Rites of Darkness lineup, and some video is below.

Continue reading "Inquisition & Mortuary Drape playing NYC w/ Negative Plane before Rites of Darkness 3 (lineup & dates)"

by BBG

Dead Congregation at Maryland Deathfest 2011 (more by BBG)
Dead Congregation

Spanish black metal trio Proclamation will play seven US dates in as many dates as part of a whirlwind US tour. Those dates include two shows on the East Coast and one in NYC, with Abazagorath, Decieverion, and Villains on August 8th at Europa. Ticketing info is forthcoming, though the show will cost $15.

In other blackened news, tickets are now on sale for Rites of Darkness III in San Antonio, TX, a three-day black/death metal event taking place over the second weekend in December (12/9 - 12/11). The three day-pass will set you back $100. The festival boasts some big names including appearances from Root, Demigod, Nunslaughter, Loss (who we recently interviewed), Impetuous Ritual, Mortuary Drape, Dead Congregation, Funebrarum, Evoken, Mournful Congregation, Urfaust, Ilsa (who recently played NYC), and many many others. The festival will also have a "pre-fest" show that will go down on Thursday December 8th featuring Ares Kingdom, Dispirit, Oak, and many more. Ticketing info for that show is forthcoming.

All Proclamation dates and full Rites of Darkness festival lineup is below.

Continue reading "Proclamation visiting the US (dates), Rites of Darkness III will blacken San Antonio (lineup)"