A lot of body modifications practiced in the West today have their roots in religious or cultural practices of Eastern peoples. Tattooing, piercing, filing teeth (ok maybe not donut heads) are all a part of the spiritual beliefs of old cultures from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In fact, there are many religious ceremonies that still include body modification/mortification today, like the Buddhist Vegetarian festival in Phuket. This is no Christmas Nativity play, we’re talking piercing your face and body with skewers that have been used for that purpose for centuries. Today we’ve brought you a fascinating photo essay from photographer Michael Biach documenting the Sufi Dervish Nevruz ritual being practiced in Kosovo. Men and boys use decorative skewers to pierce their cheeks during the ceremony and stab themselves in the hip, with the sheik using a decorative tool to hammer it in further. Check out Biach’s beautiful photos of the dervishes below and also his description of the ceremony and its history.
Text and Photos by Matthew Grant Anson
There’s something special about Deafheaven, that much is clear. Regardless of the outlet (New York Times, anyone) that has lauded the band’s shoegaze-ish black metal (blackgaze is not a thing, okay), the band has made waves with their recorded and live work in equal amounts. Considering the band just played at the Echoplex in Los Angeles a few months ago, the uninitiated could be tempted to say their August 23rd show was a case of been-there-done-that. They would be wrong. While their earlier two-night showcase at the Echoplex was opening for Japanese sludge-droners Boris, the three band lineup preceding them last Friday was about as perfect a set up as possible.
The show began with Wife, the guitar/bass/effects only project comprised of Andrew Thomas and Touche Amore’s Nick Steinhardt. The two-man project stayed seated the entire set as they let their delay-laden riffs do the talking. Wife sounded like Have a Nice Life (if you enjoy shoegaze and enjoy feeling really depressed, they are worth your time) if that project only played post-rock, and the effect was captivating in the deft control of the atmosphere by the band. Aside from some misguided guest singing on the final song, the instrumental work was stunning. First acts can at times feel like more of an appetizer than an actual course of the musical meal, but Wife provided a legitimate opening for what was to come.
Following Wife was Wreck and Reference, the experimental noise two-piece that has steadily carved out a place for themselves in the realm of drone and doom. Both members were mic’d, with one behind a drum kit and the other equipped with some sort of bizarre electronic box covered in buttons and programmed with samples and the ability to produce devastating feedback. It was mesmerizing. Not only was the creation of the noise interesting to watch, but the actual sounds and faux-riffs at certain points approached straight-up amazing, leaving audience members with faces resembling the Barack Obama Not Bad meme. If the post-metal band Rosetta had switched to noise/drone, you would have W&R, and that is awesome.
The DEADFEST just took place in Oaktown, and from what I see and hear it was a great success. CVLT Nation salutes Gregg Deadface and the DEADFEST crew, all of the bands who performed and who went out to the fest. Also much respect due to all of the videographers on hand who captured radical footage – Killthatcat & Kevin Hobbs. Now check out this gnarly DEADFEST video essay featuring Graves At Sea, Noothgrush, Negative Standards, Lycus, ACXDC, Brainoil, Femacoffin, Connoisseur, Human Waste, Deras Krig, Burmese…I’m not dead yet, but these visuals are killing me in a heavy way!
On 11/08/13, the WEEKEND NACHOS put out their new album entitled Still on Relapse Records, and from what I hear it’s going to be the SHIZZZ! Right here and now, you can stream and download tWo songs that the band released to the public…Thank you WEEKEND NACHOS – these songs are a jolt of cyco joy!
If CVLT Nation gave out an award for doom labels, California’s Easy Rider Records would get it hands down. Not only are they putting out some of the sickest young bands that are bringing the heavy the mammoth way, they are also re-releasing unreal old and new bands on cassette. For instance, right you can order Sleep’s Holy Mountain, Witchcraft Legend, Graveyard Hisingen Blues and Orchid The Mouths of Madness all on cassette. It only gets more doomadelic, because Salem’s Pot, Albino Python and Black Prism are creating music that will enhance your high and have your imagination head banging to their groove! So check this out – we are featuring a free download and streams from a bunch of Easy Rider Records releases below, plus peep the new Black Prism video for “Satan’s Country”…Now tune the fuck in and GET DOOMED!…plus check out their stonerdelic web store HERE!
Perigaea Antahkarana is an evolution of 2012′s demo Perigaea, which in itself took a long time to come about – how does the new record compare to the original sounds that you created (for anyone that didn’t hear the previous release) and did the album move forward in a way that you expected or even wanted it to?
Perigaea Antahkarana sounds better than the demo. We recorded and mixed with producer/engineer Mell Dettmer. She has worked with Earth, Asva, Sunn, Boris, Eyvind Kang and Gamelon Pacifica, among many others. We recorded through a killer vintage Trident board onto two-inch-tape which has given this album a very interesting sound. Our performances were better on this record than any in the past. I am very happy with how the pieces have progressed musically. There is probably 40-45 minutes of new material. It really is the difference between a demo and an official release. I hope that our fans will enjoy both.
How collaborative is the Wolvserpent process? Do you bring separate ideas to the table or work on things together?
Wolvserpent is a very collaborative project. We basically do everything together. But we are also very open to the unique ideas that we develop on our own. Our material is best when we develop it together. One of us may bring an individual idea to the table but we work on it until it becomes Wolvserpent. We each have our own strengths and that is very helpful when one of us gets stuck on an aspect of composition or atmosphere, the other can provide starting points to the solution.
So what happens when some of your favorite Pop Icons end up on prayer candles? You get Saint Morrissey, Saint Bowie, Saint Edgar Allen Poe, Saint Johnny Cash and Saint Darth Vader all put on candles by Greaser Creatures. You can check their web store HERE and I’m pretty sure some of them will light your fire!
CVLT Nation is stoked to release Sonic Cathedrals Vol. CXIV by VATTNET VISKAR today! This is their 2nd mixtape for us, and we thought it was fitting for them to do a part two since their epic new album, Sky Swallower, is out via Century Media Sept. 3rd in the US and Sept. 9th in Europe. Plus they will be touring the month of September, so check the dates below! So in preparation, sit back, hit play and download!
For our second CVLT Nation mixtape, we wanted to explore a bit. Picking songs that influence us in specific ways is never an easy task, but we came up with something we’re very proud of. We chose these songs as a representation of influences we drew from during the writing and recording process of Sky Swallower. Music is emotional, and emotional cues can be taken from any musical source. Like our last mix, much of this isn’t metal.
Stream Sonic Cathedrals Vol. CXIV Vattnet Viskar:
Gang culture has been a part of this world for a very long time and is not exclusive to one race or gender. Being a 70′s/80′s baby from the West Coast, I grew up around Rollin 20′s Bloods, Sho-Line Crips, V-13 Vato and VBWL Locals – these gangsters wore different color but shared a similar aesthetic. On the East Coast during the 70′s they had gangs, but their homeboys looked more like bikers, plus they had colorful names like the Black Spades, Ghetto Brothers, Savage Skulls, Savage Nomads and Dirty Ones just to name a few. These gangs are very important to the history of underground music, being that many of their members were the founding Fathers & Mothers of Hip-Hop. The Black Spades became the Universal Zulu Nation, who are the real foundation of NYC hip hop. During the 70′s in the rotten apple, all of the weirdos united on some straight unity shit. It was not uncommon to see a bunch of punks head up to the same b-boy jams. Maybe this is why when I look at photos of New York 70′s street gangs I see way more than just hoodlums. I see Outsiders that would one day have their look become mainstream. More than just gangs, these people formed strong family bonds that at times they did not have in their own home life. Check out this huge photo essay of NYC 70′s gangs and also peep the killer documentary 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s!