My favorite part about writing for CVLT Nation is that I can sit back and look at a collection of art that truly reflects my taste for the macabre. Occasionally I have been able find galleries or curators dedicated to dark and/or disturbing artwork, but up until recent years I have found myself at group shows, admiring one one or two of the artists, people who see the infinite beauty in grotesque places. This Friday the 20th from 6-9pm, Black Thorns in the White Cube is opening at the Paragraph Gallery in Kansas City, MO, and it is an exhibition of artists that I would jump at the chance to see together if only I wasn’t 1,600 miles away. Curated by artist and scholar of black metal Amelia Ishmael, Black Thorns in the White Cube features work by Alexander Binder (Stuttgart, Germany), Vincent Como (Brooklyn), Terence Hannum (Baltimore), Karlynn Holland (Brooklyn), Elodie Lesourd (Paris, France), Aaron Metté (Brooklyn), Grant Willing (Brooklyn), and Tereza Zelenkova (London, England). This is an intellectual exploration and visual interpretation of black metal, and the artists participating are visionaries of their dark crafts. Ishmael is internationally known for her study of black metal in art, and has spoken at several international conferences, including the Black Metal Theory Symposium in London and the Home of Metal Conference in Wolverhampton, U.K. To hear her discussion of Black Thorns in the White Cube, come out to the gallery on Saturday the 21st at 4pm. The exhibition runs until March 3rd, and then will be resurfacing in Chicago for a western exhibit. If you can’t make it out this Friday, stay tuned for coverage of the show next week here on CVLT Nation.
(Image from Alexander Binder’s Maleficium I)
Photographer: Carrie Whitney
Based in: Brooklyn, NY
Botch, 12.27.97 RCKNDY Seattle, WA
ENERGY. These guys were always exploding with it. When I listen to Botch this is exactly what I picture. There is so much time between then and now, I’m not sure if this picture looks like how they sound or they sound how this picture looks. Either way, I’m glad I was there to shoot it. Botch opened for Undertow’s reunion show this night. All the bands that played that night (See 6 Murder City Devils) inspired me to move back to Seattle in 1998.
80′s hardcore wouldn’t have been the same without its connection to skateboarding, especially Venice skaeboarding. Venice was the breeding ground for gnarly, low-income misfits that were raised by the beach more than by our parents. In the early 70′s, the young z-boys were on some next shit, and they had an agro skate/surf style that no one else had. When hardcore punk exploded, all the kids I knew who had long hair shaved their heads and now blasted Black Flag during their skate sessions. We also had our neighborhood bands that we all rallied around – one of the most well-known locals was Suicidal Tendencies, fronted by Mike Muir, the younger brother of Dog Town’s Jim Muir. If you asked Ian Mackaye and Henry Rollins what skate and punk scene had the biggest impact on the D.C scene, they would both say Venice skate culture and Huntington Beach hardcore. Glen Friedman took his 1st photos of DT thrashers, and then he went on to make a major impact on the SoCal punk scene plus he put out the first photo punk zine. The world knows about the first generation of Dog Town skaters, but today CVLT Nation wants to shed some light on the 2nd & 3rd generation z-boys, heads like Natas, Tim & Kelly Jackson, Scott Oster, and the skaters that they influenced, like Jason Jesse and Mike Valley. After the jump, check how Venice & Santa Monica skate rats did what they did – SKATE & DESTROY!
Photographer: Markus Shaffer
Based in: Brooklyn
I’ve been photographing live music for over 20 years now. Occasionally for publication but mostly for the bands whom suffer my lens in front of them while they perform. Music has been such a powerful force in my life for so long it’s hard to image what existence would be without it. In so many ways, music has given to me and made my life all that much better. Be it through the visceral feelings experienced through listening or through the world of friends and camaraderie that has come from all the musicians I’ve met over the years, music has been a staple of my existence since my early teens.
Living in New York affords one the amazing opportunity of getting to see an extraordinary amount of live music. We are lucky to have a very dedicated group of people who book shows, run clubs and generally make a huge effort to promote and perpetuate the scene of heavy music here. With such a scene comes an even larger group of talented people who are involved in some way or another. The abovementioned who make it happen, but also the artists, photographers, people who run music websites, and certainly not least, the musicians themselves. I constantly find myself humbled to be surrounded by such talent of all kinds. It’s not often I make an effort to share my photographs with the public at large. Thus, having been asked to contribute here is an honor.
One of my all time favorite photos of any band. These guys are always smiling on stage. Nothing else I’ve shot of any band has ever come close to personifying the performance in the way this does. They are fun as hell live and this image will always remind me of that.
Rites of Darkness III @ Backstage Live, San Antonio, TX – December 9th-11th, 2011
All Photos & Text by T. Terrorist
With all controversy that had surrounded this festival aside, as the days drew closer and closer to the day I would get on my flight departing to San Antonio, excitement filled my mind and I was incredibly stoked for this event as I knew the bands and die-hards who were still flying/driving out to this event were going to make all the previous cancellations and stresses worth it… and I sure was right. It was one hell of a weekend, starting off with the pre-fest (which I did not photograph this time around) although the bands I managed to catch were great as expected.
Vasaeleth were notably one of the bands that night which pulled off a spectacular performance as per usual – this had been their 2nd set they had ever played (1st at Rites of Darkness II last year) and even with the sound being as ridiculously loud as it was inside that small pre-fest venue, they totally killed it – as did their performance on the main fest the 3rd night. Although the “old school death metal” sound has become somewhat of a streaming trend within the last year or so, it is easily distinguishable to tell which bands are merely carbon copies of their musical forefathers, or ones who continue to carry on the legacy of real underground death metal with all their blood, sweat & tears. Vasaeleth have definitely proved to be one of them, as there is Youtube footage of their set as well as some other killer live sets I’m about to briefly mention below.
The flesh is but a vessel; a vessel that transposes space and time when evoking other-worldly manifestations through art, ritual, and exaltation. In the pits of darkness, we soak up the energies entering and exiting our wounds. When the spirit overwhelms the vessel with mania and awe, when we have exacerbated all of our energy into merging the internal and external, we transcend. This is where Matthew Stone‘s body of work makes its presence known.
“Like a flame burning away the darkness, Life is flesh on bone convulsing above the ground.“
I have wrote before of the dark photography of Erik Truchinski for his Autumn Wind project. This time I am projecting another side of him to represent his recently created distro, dedicated to harsh noise recordings, obscurity and collages of women in bondage. All pieces were handmade by him, portraying the darker and more experimental sides of sexuality, that I personally think lie in EVERYONE, whether it is realized or not. We were biologically crafted to have these unpure desires, and of course what you do with them is your own augmentation and personal choice. These are not something to be hidden away like a sickness, but instead using this form of pleasure for personal fulfillment. There is a fine line of course between the extremity and subversive practices of BDSM and many real acts of violence that lie outside of consensual desires. This art reflects the former, no matter how obscure or different it may seem. http://bondagecultdistro.com/
A few selective words about Erik’s own thoughts on his works, it is true these speak for themselves mostly, but his personal attachment to them is as follows.
“”Stepping into the dreams of the perverse, wretched and beautifully filthy…consuming my mind and infecting yours. I’m trying to portray the images within my mind, scattered together and balled up into one fantasy and nightmare after another…speaking to your hidden desires, splattered with lust and disgust. Show me your tongue…see how filthy you can be…”
I suggest if you are not mature enough as to observe this form of art without being offended to do some research of your own on the culture or not bother looking at them.
Enter through here and take a glance at your inner lusts!
High On Fire, Indian & It’s Casual at Viper Room 11/12/11
By Adam Murray
I received some disconcerting news at home just before leaving for this show. Took a cab and the driver was more than happy to share a few stories, observations and reflections on the world and his outlook and such. It was nice to hear from him.
When I got inside, It’s Casual was halfway through their set. Eddie Solis was stampeding through riffs and barking lyrics at the already dense crowd. Jimmy Sotelo (Bloodcum/Resistant Militia) was punishing the drums. They were playing mostly new songs, punching sociologically relevant L.A. hardcore anthems down everyone’s throats. Plus, Eddie’s in-between banter was keeping everyone drunk, excited, and generally psyched for the evening that they were already enjoying. Eddie’s banter can be very inspiring.
by Samantha Marble
This was a hard list to make, considering I got to see so many amazing sets this year. I got to see YOB twice in one day, as well as Kvelertak, but that was in Austin. I shot Agalloch’s first performance in NYC and that was one of my favorite albums of 2010. I also had the opportunity to see Rwake and Hull unleash their new, brilliant material. I had the distinct pleasure of witnessing Urfaust in the US for the first time. I also didn’t get to make it out to a lot of shows I wanted to, but such is life. I feel extremely fortunate though nonetheless. Like the saying goes, opinions are like assholes and everyone’s got one.
#6 Disma & Coffinworm at Saint Vitus
Unfortunately, I didn’t have a camera on me at this show but it lives in my mind as one of the best of the year. I hadn’t listened to Disma yet but knew Coffinworm’s blackend sludge would sound great in a place like Saint Vitus. And drown that room in their syrupy death they did. Disma was the ultimate surprise in terms of it’s sound matching the packed, almost all black room making it seem like you were sliding down into the more toxic parts of hell. It was a hell of a ride leaving me looking forward to what was going to be next for this band.
Photographer: Jordan Fogal
Based in: NC
Boris is always a great show and even though I’m not a gigantic fan of their newer material, hearing it live was still amazing. They played a lot of tracks from Heavy Rocks I & II and New Album then some favorites from Pink and Smile. This shot was during one of their heavy droning interludes. The horns thrown by Atsuo and Wata’s drone stance really capture my favorite aspects of Boris.