CVLT Nation is becoming a family of creative humans from all over the world, who contribute their creativity to this zine, and make it what it is. One of our family members is the photographer Alan Hunter. From the very first moment that we saw his work, we knew that his style of photography was amazing and extraordinary. So what happens when two ultra rad bands stop in his new hometown Portland, Maine to play an awesome concert? Well, we get pure fucking magic, and that’s just what he got when he photographed the sets of Wolves In The Throne Room & Thou. We are way beyond excited to be able to share these special flicks in this photo essay! After the jump, see for yourself how it all went down.
The demons of your unconscious walk the earth and devour your unborn children. They emerge from the old dead willows, whose branches mimic serpents and thorns, your cold, brittle bones as you sleep and indulge in intoxicating habits, as you manifest your lustful desires, as you worship, as you ascend and as you rot.
It is a recurrent theme within underground arts to evoke and celebrate these demons. German-based illustrator Cynthia of ThornyThoughts Artwork has captivated these beings so beautifully, in the perfectly obscure, albeit enchanting way. Perhaps this is what has made her so popular as an underground artist; working with bands such as Urfaust (prominently), Carpe Noctem, Der Weg Einer Freiheit, Aosoth, Arvakh, Merrimack, Self-Inflicted Violence, Slumber, and Yhdarl. Not to mention her upcoming collaborations with Xasthur, Secrets Of The Moon, Witchslave, Atoma, Foscor, Ketzer, TotalSelfHatred, Trimonium, and Tsorer.
Cynthia’s creative process, in itself, seems to be a reflection of the images protrayed. Instead of adding a medium on top of a canvas, she creates these prolific pieces through the destructive process of etching lithographic plates. A previous interview sheds some light onto why she is so gravitated towards this method:
“It’s an attempt to turn negativity into productivity. To me it’s a way to process what’s gnarling and murmuring inside my head, and etching is the perfect technique to me since working with needles and acids is physical work as well, kind of violent…together with music on headphones, getting dirty in the studio…it’s a perfect nondestructive way of swimming in my drama for a while, haha!… and in the end it’s all banned into the metal, and I can kind of put it away.” (MAS)
Photographer: Samantha Marble
Based in: Brooklyn, NY
Mike IX Williams at Club Europa in Brooklyn, NY on October 26th, 2009:
This is the photo that started it all and is very special to me. It’s what sparked the obsession with photographing Eyehategod, it’s where I found my technique and its what got me shooting for Brooklyn Vegan like my pants were on fire for over a year. It was the first time I had been asked to shoot a band I was a huge fan of. It was the first time they had toured in recent years.
-GRAVE ROBBERS FROM OUTER SPACE-
Arrested with The MISFITS in New Orleans —10/17/1982
by Mike IX Williams – EYEHATEGOD
Sonovabitch, the late 70’s early 80’s were the shit, the glory days of Punk, Rock-N-Roll & Hardcore, what a time to have lived through. It’s something I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. There will never be another period like that, fresh new sounds & bands busting out from everywhere, in all corners of the Earth. We, the youth, took the lead, learned those three chords and changed life as we know it. One of my favorites outfits that began in those salad days are the fantastic Misfits. Combining the best elements of B-grade horror movies with catchy toe-tapping punk rock elevated these New Jersey ghouls to the very top of the underground scene. But you know that already. What you don’t know is that I was a fifteen year old runaway from the boy’s home that I was placed in at the time, when the Misfits toured the United States a little while after the ‘Walk Among Us’ record was released. That album never left my turntable from the first day I stole it.
Me and my friend Hatchboy (R.I.P.) and his brother packed up and drove down to Houston,Texas to see them the day before their show in New Orleans, as we would do time and time again for bands like Minor Threat, Black Flag, D.O.A., Circle Jerks, M.D.C., the Dicks and so on and on. We got to a local club called The Island early that day and saw the red passenger van with the Spiderman face logo on the side and knew that it was the mode of transportation for the infamous walking dead hate breeders of the East Coast. We hung out bullshitting with them and quickly became friends and realized how down to earth and cool these Yankee cats were. Imposing? Yes, being upwards of 6 ft tall (well, except for Glenn and Robo) sportin’ the trademark Devilocks and assorted skull emblems and spikes (dressed like this all before the fucking show!) and so happy to hang out and meet their fans. They actually seemed more excited than we were at the fact that we’d drove 6 hours from N’awlins to see them. The opening band for this tour was Maumee, Ohio’s own Necros, who were characters in their own right with a great sense of humor. We were happy as pigs in shit, these were two groups we listened to religiously, day in day out and being the kids we were back in the day we could barely contain ourselves! A spark in the air in those days just brought like minded people together with the common bond that something brand new and life affirming was happening at that very moment. It was still dangerous back then to look like a punk rocker and be different, but we were still outcasts then in that scene. The fact that we wore Venom patches and Motorhead jackets pissed off the jaded old punkers and metal heads alike. It wasn’t like today’s watered down garbage where it’s considered fashionable, trendy & cool to have a mohawk or dyed hair. We fought for you little fuckers. We took the kicks and punches and braved the jocks and preppies that told us we were full of crap. We were passionate about this form of music and expression, and still are today.
Read the rest of this sick story after the jump!
Mid (a.k.a. Rob Middleton) when not playing in pioneering crust band Deviated Instinct, he provides breathtaking art for bands like Napalm Death, Gorefest, Disfear, Hellshock, Extreme Noise Terror, Stormcrow, Stampin` Ground, Prophecy of Doom and Optimum Wound Profile to name a very small few. His art style is very much his own, ranging from digital, pen and ink to painting. His style of crows, skulls, bones, gasmasks, stitched lips and scratches really capture the feel of the bands he has done work for. And are a familiar face on a lot of our favourite album sleeves since 1985. And like his band, his illustrations have had a great influence on many.
Jason Barnett‘s oil paintings take dark art to another level. By that I mean that when I look at his paintings, I see abstract precision in his gory depictions, I see classic lines in his decaying faces. I feel like I am looking at an artist that knows his voice, and speaks with it clearly in his work. Much of Barnett’s work leaves me with an unsettled feeling, like I have suddenly been transported into an alternate universe where I am alone and weird. I am surrounded by eyes that look skyward as if waiting for the stars to descend, eyes that gaze on me with menace, and eyes that look through my flesh and bones as if I am nothing, as if those eyes hold the secrets of my life and death. His subjects invoke a mask-like stillness, but like ritual masks they express deep truths and emotions that they reflect back on the viewer. Maybe it’s this expressiveness that leaves me feeling both entranced and uncomfortable at the same time. Many of his subjects wear the Third Eye both in their hearts and on their foreheads, signifying the unconscious knowledge that we all have, but that many of us ignore. They are often multi-faced, looking directly at us, but also around and behind themselves, with death masks, skulls and flesh all sharing the same head. Barnett is not only skilled in oils, but he also creates street art of epic proportions, and is a member of the sadly former band Life Erased. After the jump, check out a selection of his work…
There is an occult energy to Sin-eater‘s work. His is a cosmic darkness; he creates constellations that twinkle with mystery and melancholy. His combination of painting and ink makes for highly detailed drawings, but he blurs the lines, creating a sense of movement and perspective. There is a fog that surrounds his subjects, bathing them in blacks and grays, obscuring his fine details but not hiding them. They seem to be in the distance, drifting towards you, his alchemical tools burning, lighting, exploding, and singeing the very air around them. He lights his altar, and as smoke rises from his ancient candles, cosmic beings arise from the twisting mist. He creates with a symbiotic relationship between his pen and his brush, creating cavernous depths. His work has a natural symmetry, so that he is able to create his own self-contained worlds . This natural influence may arise from the fact that he lives in Herefordshire, deep in the English countryside, a place associated with mythical figures and magick. He has worked with bands like Amenra and Nhor, and with Witchcraft Hardware. Sin-eater envisions a universe where darkness rules, where the sun never beams its rays on the dead trees and gray air. After the jump, enter his dark realm…
Photographer: Suren Karapetyan
Based in: NYC
I was looking through gigs upon gigs of photos that I could possibly pick for this little feature, and finally found seven I was happy with. It was difficult to pick photos that I likes and wanted to “show off,” and photos that actually had a great story behind them, like these below. What I was happy to discover was that these photographs really represent the different stages I went through in the roughly three years of photographing this growing scene here in New York City. From bands that I started going to see, to formats I started to use. As a whole, these Seven Stories more so chronicle, I’d say, the growing photographer and metal head in me.
Finally, three years after hearing about the “biggest metal party of the year”, I got the chance, the money and the friends to go with. I kept telling myself, “I’m going to go, but I will not bring my camera, I’m going to have fun and not shoot a damn thing!” What a lie!
Day one of Maryland Deathfest I bumped into my friend, Justina Villanueva (who also did this Seven Stories feature!), and I was explaining to her how much I was itching to shoot something. She said something along the lines of…”do it, get a disposable!”. I couldn’t resist and I did, I ended up buying three. I didn’t want to shoot bands though; I wanted to shoot the parking lot. Why? Partly due to inspiration from Heavy Metal Parking Lot and partly because there was just so much more fun happening back there underneath the shade of the highway than outside by the stages. I shot drunken metalheads cooking, eating, raising the invisible oranges, headbanging and of course drinking! I also caught the immense number of crust punks that come to this festival year after year to just hang out in the parking lot and drink bagged alcohol. Crusties are damn fascinating! I’m real happy with the entire set and it did real well on the Invisible Oranges website.
LIVE…SUBURBIA! is a celebration of suburban Americana and youth culture in the post-1960s world, all the way up to the culture mesh of the 90s, co-authored by by Anthony Pappalardo and Max G. Morton. This book looks like a seriously entertaining read, with awesome photos and stories that will either remind you of your youth, or remind you of why you wish this was your youth, instead of your years of Power Rangers and unpronounceable Japanese anime characters. Pappalardo and Morton have compiled home photographs of the legendary subcultures that rocked the suburbs in the pre-cell phone, pre-Internet era, archiving the suburban decay that manifested itself in skateboarding, the KISS army, graffiti, skinheads, hardcore, punk, kung-fu, mall arcades, metal, BMX, drug abuse, and all the rest of the youth movements born from idyllic American hamlets across the nation. The book hits the shelves courtesy of powerHouse Books in October, and the official release party is Friday, September 23, 7–9 PM at the powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn. They are also giving people a chance to submit and display their own suburban photo memorabilia at the release, for more details check the flyer after the jump. Also check out a rad preview video with some awesome, rainbow Sabbath footage from their ’74 performance at California Jam, plus the LIVE…SUBURBIA! book flip.