Story via The Atlantic written by Kim Kelly
“Burn the Quran! Burn the fucking Quran!” a woman screams hoarsely, over and over again. Tinny guitars course beneath her howls, sawing away at any semblance of melody. Sampled snippets of fundamentalist Islamic rhetoric filter through, and muffled voices exhort their unseen audience to praise Allah and to destroy the infidel.
To fans of heavy music, the hallmarks are immediately recognizable. This is raw, mid-tempo black metal, a lo-fi example of heavy metal’s most evil subgenre. Black metal feeds upon hatred, nihilism, and anti-human behavior. Extremity is everything. It drinks the blood of Christ, turns upon its own, and takes almost carnal pleasure in the theory and imagery of war. The music from the early days of this scene conjured images of the ashes of burned churches and the dried blood of murder, and yet the genre, in its middle age, often doesn’t shock the way it once did. The hellish noise of this particular song, though, does. There’s something different about it. This is real.
The overall effect is chilling, which is, of course, exactly its creator’s intent. Her name is Anahita, and she is the 28-years-old voice and vitriol behind Janaza, Iraq’s very first female-fronted, black-metal band. Allow that notion—Iraq’s very first female-fronted, black-metal band—to sink in for a moment. Her first recording, Burn the Pages of Quran, boasts five distorted, primitive tracks that altogether run just shy of an unlucky 13 minutes. She, along with a handful of other acts hailing from the Middle East, are repurposing black metal’s historically anti-Christian ferocity to rail against Islam. In doing so, these bands are serving up another example of how art and dissent can intersect in a region where dissent can sometimes have deadly consequences.
I love art of any medium that can transport me outside of my current earthly residence. Veleda Thorsson is a photographer currently working in the pacific northwest who armed with a camera, the world around her and a keen eye is creating other worlds and new realms from what mostly goes unnoticed. My first experience with her work was the beautifully rendered cover of Agalloch’s “Marrow of the Spirit”. Her photograph perfectly accentuated the music bringing to life a visual representation of what Agalloch brought forth sonically. Here is a short interview I had the pleasure of conducting with Veleda about her work, inspiration and ethics.
How long have you been and what inspired you to become a photographer?
My passion for photography actually grew out of my obsessive storm chasing when I lived in Phoenix, AZ back around 1997. I loathed living in the desert and would find comfort in tracking the massive thunderstorms as they would roll into the region. Once I would find a strong enough storm, either by watching the news or the internet, I would race far out into the desert to get ahead of it so that I could experience the beauty and power as the storm as it traveled over me. I started taking an old Canon A1 film camera with me and soon was hooked on photographing not only the storms but also the rare beauty of the desert when it is cast in the unusual lighting of an oncoming thunderstorm.
FULL INTERVIEW AFTER THE JUMP…
Have you ever looked at scrawl and thought to yourself that you are looking into the eyes of madness? This is what happens when I look at the work of Krawczyk Stanislav, an artist from Kyiv, Ukraine. His drawings reek of death, loneliness, mental illness and true despair. Krawczyk portrays pathways into the valley of darkness, where spirits attack anything that is living. When I look at his work, I feel myself falling into the trap doors of a bad LSD trip. The way he draws is full of empathy that makes you care for the lost souls you are looking at. Krawczyk has the power to deconstruct the beings that he scrawls down to their essence. Nothing about his work is literal – it’s almost abstract, but the same time it conveys clouds of emotion. Today CVLT Nation is celebrating Krawczyk Stanislav with a collection of his work after the jump!
This weekend our fresh delivery of tees from Holy Mountain arrived! Danny outdid himself on these two evil styles, and we are fully re-stocked in Halseycaust’s viking underworld epic Final Abyss, and Desecrator’s rabid killer Black Heavens. Pre-orders took a bite out of our stock, so make sure you head over to the CVLT Store ASAP to pick up your tees. Check out the styles below!
Take me to a place where the photos speak the language of ghosts. Take me to a place were the spirits of the absurd come to life. The Black Medic tumblr is one such place. Once you enter this world, you will be overcome with unreal flick after unreal flick. What really gets me about these photos is that they are not your normal “I want to freak you out” visual. This page offers the viewer something deeper and more surreal. Now you understand why Black Medic is our favorite tumblr this moment! After the jump, check out the huge gallery of mind-twisting images!
All you SLEEP fans out there listen up – tomorrow, Saturday July 7th, at 1pm Pacific Time/4pm Eastern Time/20:00 GMT, creative cosmonauts David D’Andrea and Arik Roper are releasing their end-of-tour poster for Sleep’s Marijuanaut Tour, which touched down on Earth’s surface on June 5th, 2012, at the Fox Theater in Oakland. These two artists are a couple of my favorites when it comes to entering stoner fantasyland, and this poster does not disappoint. I don’t think I need to give you one of my flowery descriptions to communicate the epicness of the Marijuanaut poster – just check out the pictures below and after the jump, and you’ll know this is something you need to get your hands on! There are only 100 of these available, signed by both D’Andrea and Roper and hand-numbered, so they are going to go fast! Don’t wake n’ bake tomorrow, because you’ll have to have all your faculties to get online and pick up your poster HERE.
FULL DETAILS AFTER THE JUMP…
A few weeks back, we posted about the Clouds Without Water art show at the Rooz on Park Cafe in Oakland, CA, featuring work by Reuben Sawyer (Rainbath Visual) Bryan Proteau (Natvres Mortes Illvstration) and Tanner McCardle, and live performances by ANTWON and Uncanny Valley. Well, the show was a success – despite it being on June 14th, the same day that BART went down, leaving hundreds of thousands of people stranded in the Bay Area. A crowd still turned out to support our homies and admire some truly epic artwork! Here are some pics of the event, and make sure that when this happens again, you are there! Mark my words – these guys are artists to watch, you should pick their stuff up before you can’t afford it!
by Oliver Sheppard
Visual artist Aeron Alfrey has furnished illustrations for books about horror authors like HP Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Thomas Ligotti. Alfrey’s meticulously detailed nightmare worlds are crammed with denizens of all varieties, densely peopled with black and white monsters like an unholy mash-up between the medieval apocalypses of Heironymus Bosch and the spooky imagery of Stephen Gammell (Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark). Although Alfrey has primarily provided artwork for horror fiction, he’s had dozens of exhibitions over the globe in the past few years, and has recently started doing artwork for bands. I recently asked Alfrey about the inspiration behind his morbid fantasies, the process he uses to create them, and what his plans are for the future. Included are samples of his artwork as well as links to check out more of his nightmarish creations.
Check out the CVLT Nation exclusive interview with Aeron Alfrey and more of his art after the jump below!
Lele Saveri is a prolific photographer, investigative journalist of sorts, and just a rad guy! He’s done a ton of freelance work for publications like l’Uomo Vogue and Rolling Stone, and has also been on staff at VICE Italy, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY. He recently published a book of his photography entitled Incubi et Succubi, and it is a journey through his worst fears and nightmares, full of mysterious and creepy yet beautiful imagery. Incubi et Succubi is out now via Seems Books, and to accompany the release of his crimson-bound tome at Family bookstore in L.A. in December of last year, Lele screened the short film he filmed and directed with Giulia Maria Venturini, To Lie Under, with an original soundtrack by No Age. Today CVLT Nation is lucky to be the exclusive internet home of To Lie Under, which you can view below, and after the jump check out my interview with Lele Saveri about his background, his book and his photographic travels, as well as unpublished photos from Incubi et Succubi and some of his upcoming projects…
FULL INTERVIEW AFTER THE JUMP…
Text and photos by Adam Murray
Woke up at the crack of 5pm. Walked into town a little worse for the wear, took down a couple slices of pizza, forehead-slapped myself for missing Mauser at Beerland, but I check out a Japunkcruster band called Zyanose – two basses noised out to the maxx, releasing soaring banshee feedback bursts between songs that were also very bursty. If the pizza didn’t wake me up (which it didn’t), these guys certainly did. I enjoyed it considerably. Then it was back down the street to Mohawk to see Thou give everyone a supreme sonic headbutting, followed by a very rousing performance from Ceremony.
Here’s where it started getting tricky – there were just too many good shows happening this evening. I darted a mile or so out of the main venue area to Hotel Vegas. Lineup here was unreal: Theories, Batillus, Cross, Whitehorse, Cough, and Dragged Into Sunlight all under the same small roof, a lil’ converted house/bar with a nice backyard to relax in. Theories and Batillus totally killed it. Time to head back to Red 7. Knowing I would see Whitehorse in L.A. a month later, I sacrificed them and Cross so I could try to get as much at Red 7 as I could (two stages = more bands for the buck).
Ghoul put on a fantastic show: a plentiful helping of blood, banter, creeps and chords. Moshing upon moshing ensued, Killbot busted some heads, riffs and leads whipped and ripped. On the outside stage, Ringworm was making it look easy, giving everyone the tough stuff. They had one of those big open pits where most people just watched and “sat this one out” but you know they were just scurred. Keeping constant watch of the clock and schedule, I figured I could take in most of Midnight’s set and then jam back over to Hotel Vegas for the last two bands. Not an easy decision – I always have a blast seeing Toxic Holocaust, but I knew this time I would have to skip it.