Take Over And Destroy, or TOAD as they like to be known, are a black and roll/sludge/doom/symphonic entity from the wilds of Phoenix, Arizona. This sextet infuse their sound with a multitude of influences and as such have set out to create an epic take on the genres that they so deftly inhabit whilst traversing the plains of horror. Endless Night is their debut full length and follows their EP from 2011 – Rotten Tide – a couple of splits and a whole lotta interest in their shenanigans.
With incredible artwork by the creative mind behind Pallbearer’s Sorrow and Extinction – Sean R. Williams (Animetalphysical) – Endless Night revels in the mystery of the arcane (just check out the full gatefold artwork below) whilst imbuing the proceedings with a sultry groove and more hooks than you can shake a stick at.
The balance between the many different sounds on Endless Night is handled with great style and aplomb and it’s to TOAD’s credit that they don’t let one genre dominate another. The influences are there to be heard yet the band throw them together in such a way as to create a unique sound and a fun as heck record to boot. From the symphonic elements of Emperor to latter day Darkthrone, to shades of Entombed, Endless Night is a rollicking and fast paced record that is steeped in horrific knowledge and a lot of attitude and arrogant swagger.
Check out the full review after the jump, plus a little something extra in the way of an exclusive preview of “Boundaries of Flesh.”
Forty-five minute doom/sludge/stoner/psych epics don’t come around all that often and so Seattle dwellers Lesbian have gone to great lengths (oh snap) to make their third crack at the full length that little bit more interesting and worth your time.
Forestelevision is quite the experience and Lesbian take their time to build sections of massive sound and move the piece onwards at a steady pace without it becoming boring, or trite or predictable. The music twists and dances between a multitude of sounds and influences and it has to be said that the most ambitious and evocative work by this group is certainly their best. Forestelevision is a terrific example of a band forgoing their own limits and letting the composition breathe with its own life.
Vancouver-based Anciients have been on the sidelines of the extreme progressive heavy metal scene for a number of years, having formed in 2010. They released an EP, Snakebeard (great title), in 2011 and this year finally saw their ideas poured into full-length debut Heart of Oak (via Season of Mist). Their sound incorporates the progressive tendencies of Enslaved whilst leaning towards the bittersweet vocal lines of bands such as Baroness and perhaps Opeth. Shifting between clean lines and gruff growls, Anciients battle the light and the dark and Heart of Oak glistens with revelation, hope and coping with the upheaval of the past, particularly during final track “For Lisa,” which traverses sadness and wonder in one fell instrumental swoop.
Canadian duo Gevurah deal in the kind of filthy, dark and dank death metal that the likes of Mitochondrion, Grave Miasma and Cruciamentum have pushed for in recent times. Both deeply unholy and gloriously dirty, Necheshirion is the band’s debut EP and it follows a demo so well received that it sold out almost immediately. Their route into the darkness is one that treads the path of Satanic majesty and as such the two minds behind this project allow the Dark Lord to work through their music with a savage and sly grace.
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats have been at the forefront of enigmatic psych-rock for a couple of years now and with their new release Mind Control consuming the senses and their recent appearance at Roadburn, the band are destined for great things. Just don’t ask for their picture, ok.
Hi…Uncle Acid…..Mr Acid….Bob? How should we refer to you for the purposes of this impersonal conversation?
Mr. Starrs would be nice!
Obviously Blood Lust was a huge success, both commercially and critically – did you feel any pressure going in to Mind Control and if so, how did you seek to overcome that? Was it necessary to even do so?
No. There was no pressure because we don’t seek out to impress anyone or live up to anyone else’s expectations. I’m not in a band to be hugely successful or to get praise from others. I do it because I want to record my music. If people like it then thats great obviously.
What was the impetus to follow this path of occult-laced rock?
I’m not sure it really is occult-laced. It’s more based on my appreciation of horror and B movies. People have been trying to put us into this occult rock box so that they have something to write about. Its nonsense.
The extreme mystery of the band and yourself whilst the hype was building around Blood Lust was often a reason for people to check out the music, are you worried now that you’re a little more out there in terms of being in the public eye (giving interviews such as these) that the people who built you up are now going to turn their backs?
It doesn’t bother me. It should only be about the music, but I know theres plenty of those underground hipsters that only listened to us because we were the new thing that no one else knew about. The kind of people that go on about how they were the first to hear about us and now it kills them inside that so many others are enjoying our music too.
In terms of the mystery, it was simply a case of me not wanting to ‘play the game’ and have pictures taken. I don’t see the importance of pictures. We wanted the focus to be on the music and the concepts rather than on the musicians behind it. Everything is based on image now days and it’s disgusting. We wanted to show that its not important. We got our music out there without any pictures or over the top self promotion. Our albums were selling out everywhere but magazines would not feature us, or review our music because we refused to provide promo shots. I couldn’t believe it. We ended up doing a couple of promo shots in the end because our label had been good to us and I felt we were making it too difficult for them to promote the album. If someone is good to me, its only right to be good to them back. So, sometimes you have to compromise on certain things to maintain the balance, but the general idea is still there; We have no image to offer you. Just music.
Last year I was approached by a mysterious gent going by the name of NoOne – he’d seen a piece that was published for ThisIsNotAScene regarding a reissue of an album called Uncovered Ancient Gateways and he was interested in having it published on CVLT Nation. I of course obliged with this request and found myself corresponding with NoOne fairly often, and it was during this correspondence that I was made privy to a new record, Third Wave Holocaust as well as a short film that T.O.M.B. (Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy) had created as a companion piece to UAG. Much has been written concerning the lengths NoOne and his shadowy collective will go to in order to create the atmospheres and negative energies surrounding their recordings, and the three minute film that I saw goes a long way to prove just how far NoOne has gone and will go in the future. I’m not at liberty to post said video, but I was given permission to at least upload screenshots. I think it’s much more intriguing to let you make up your own minds as to what is contained on that film. But rest assured, it will give you nightmares.
There’s probably not much that we can say about Kylesa that you haven’t already heard a thousand times before – whether that’s the fact they go all out with two drummers, they know how to write a monstrous fucking riff, or (now brace yourselves) there’s a woman in their ranks – but we aren’t ones to back down from a challenge and thus, we take on the heavy charms of the Savannah based band and their sixth full length album – Ultraviolet.
Following on from 2010s Spiral Shadow, Ultraviolet continues in the vein of the Kylesa sound we all know and love (heavy rocking sludged out noise) but picks up a few neat tricks along the way. Laura Pleasants’ voice takes on a little more of the vocal weight, tripped out nuances filter through the wonder of “Exhale” and the traded vocals between Pleasants and fellow guitarist Phillip Cope here are a joy to behold, and massive choruses throw themselves at you with wild abandon.
Skagos have always been a little mysterious – finding information on the band and their music has been somewhat difficult in the past, and it seems that that is just the way that Skagos like it. Their music is their voice and Anarchic is the culmination of much hard work; work that has taken a long time to become complete (in this case, possibly years). It was around this time last year the Skagos released “Side A” onto bandcamp, with “Side B” eventually following and the knowledge that that these two pieces comprised movements I-V of a new Skagos release was enough to begin fresh interest in the Cascadian flavoured black metal project that first came to my attention with the incredible Ást in 2009.
Skagos may come from a background that’s rich in history and textures, but their choice to always sit on the fringes of the “scene” is reiterated during the hour long rhythms of Anarchic. This work is not what you expect and is all the more interesting and intriguing for it. Hours of toil and blood and heart have gone into this recording and it’s a wonder that Skagos even managed to survive the ordeals that are rendered within the record.
New Zealand’s Beastwars first came to my attention a little earlier this year due to the nonstop praise the wonderful Craig Hayes (Six Noises, Pop Matters, About.com Heavy Metal, Hellbound.ca) was giving this stoner driven quartet. New Zealand doesn’t have a vast metal scene (Ulcerate is the only other group that comes to mind right now) so it’s always a big deal when a band from NZ suddenly starts blowing up the airwaves. I checked ‘em out, and damn, they were definitely worthy of all that hype. Crunchy riffs, growling vocal lines and huge songs that kick you right in the guts – Beastwars are something very exciting indeed and we are incredibly pleased to present an exclusive stream of the track “Imperium” from their new record Blood Becomes Fire.
Blood Becomes Fire is an age-old story of dealing with our own mortality and the band explains that:
“The new album serves witness to the end of days, told through the eyes of a dying traveler from another time. It is a work inspired by eternal themes. It’s a reflection on mortality, death and disease. Sooner or later they come for all of us and we’ve all screamed to the gods for answers, not that they’ve ever come.”
The songs found here are powerful, and of course loud, and the narrative of the record is fed through each track with a stylish blaze. From the opening crunch of “Dune” and Matt Hyde’s rough, immediate voice to the sneaky melancholy of closing track “The Sleeper,” Blood Becomes Fire travels the path of life via highs, lows and straight up rocking out.
Beginning life in Scotland in the latter half of 2012, Àrsaidh (which means “Ancient” and “Archaic” in Gàidhlig) is a one-man project dealing with themes of historical affection and deep love and pride in his home country. Àrsaidh’s debut is a fascinating look at the ways in which myth and honour and sacrifice have been long forgotten by many, and A. delves into traditional concepts such as pride and celebration for ones homeland via wonderfully rousing atmospheric tones. Roots is a grand and sweeping gesture and truly a declaration of A.’s strong connection to his own past and is full of wonder and veneration for days past.