This year’s fucking awesome heavy festival Roadburn is extra mammoth – it will be curated by thrash metal living legends VOIVOD. From April 12th to April 15th, Tilburg, Holland will be the center of all things rad! The line up this year spans many genres, but all of the bands are connected by the fact that they all are pushing the envelope, no matter their sound. I’m going to keep this short, and let the line-up speak for itself. Check out the full line up after the jump – word is that they still have a few tickets left!
Your Brain Will Never Be The Same….ROADBURN 2012 Line-up!
This November, three heavyweights in the world of sludge embarked on a tour together that brought the threat of seismic activity from city to city. Brooklyn’s Batillus, Chicago’s The Atlas Moth and San Francisco’s Kowloon Walled City teamed up to bring their down-tuned riffery across the nation. This was an ideal tour for music fans that prefer lower frequencies combined with crushing tones. By the time the tour approached San Francisco, Batillus had split off, so I saw them separately at Elbo Room and then KWC and TAM two days later at Hemlock Tavern.
Batillus released an album called Furnace this year on Seventh Rule records. The album is a cold, crushing exercise in claustrophobia and despair. Furnace is the soundtrack to 12 hours of forced labor during the industrial revolution. Sludge, doom, and the perfect amount of Godflesh makes Batillus a formidable live band. The bass cuts through just as clear as the guitar as the drums pound and snap all the while vocalist Fade releases his tortured screams. He also makes timely use of synths to create a further distorted soundscape.
Read the rest of this review and check out a full gallery after the jump.
Sound has the power to change the way that we see the universe around us, and sound has the power to take us into an alternative universe that we never knew existed. When you hear the latest album from Argentina’s Vluba, a mind-bending sonic experience called Supraluminosos, released on experimental label Buh records. This is not a record that you should listen to in the normal sense, because you will not find anything ordinary about it. What you will hear are ever-changing soundscapes that evoke a ritualistic energy. Vluba uses sound to restructure how our imaginations operate – there is no way to listen to this band’s music and not feel or think about things in an otherworldly way! This album reminds me what a sonic jungle would be like, where the plants have voices or the rain drops are percussion instruments. You will encounter voices on Supraluminosos, but they will be in the form of ancient chants that will have the force to induce an organic audio mind meltdown! This band also knows how to use space and obscure sound effects as instruments that guide you through what you are taking in at any given second. This band reminds me what it means to free, and to do something because it keeps you sane, and not for monetary gain. Vluba’s music gives me the feeling that with each listen, I’m actually healing a part of my broken soul. If there is one band that gets way more than beyond high, it would be this one. Supraluminosos is not a collection of songs, but is more of a UFO that will have you flying all the way into the hidden parts of your brain. Vluba conjures up a different type of heavy music, where it’s not about raging guitars or crashing drums, but about solar systems colliding, and the sound of the space vacuum. Now I know the rhythms a tree hears as they age beyond any known number!
Revolution is blowing in the air and it’s fucking getting me hyped for the change that must come soon! For too long, the voices of dissent have not been heard, but this isn’t the case right now with all the positive movements for human justice that are taking place worldwide. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself – music has always been my lifeline to social justice. I believe that one of the major things that scared the LAPD about the punk movement in the 80′s was the fact was that our scene called them and Reagan on their bullshit, so they had to bash our heads in! Anyway, I have said it before, one of our favorite American labels is Seattle’s Aborted Society, who are have been releasing crushing positive music since 1999. Their latest release from Portland’s Nux Vomica is a raging 7″ that has me saying I want more! This record will inject your brain with 12 minutes of off-the-hook metallic crust that will leave an indelible impression on your braincells with it’s mammoth sound. Nux Vomica’s vocals are beyond outstanding for a couple of reasons, the tone of his delivery is spot fucking on, totally raw. Something about the words that this band writes are uplifting, and inspires you to look at the world/humanity for what it is really about. Their songwriting is compelling and thought-provoking, and it’s pure sonic crust fury! Without skipping a beat, this band knows the value of melody and uses it as a weapon of change. Nux Vomica’s songs sound like they are well-built ancient audio castles that have ghosts as the gatekeepers to the afterlife. The song “Embrace the Cycles” is a killer journey that has all kinds of twists and melodic detours that keep you interested from the first sounds of feedback. The other thing about this composition is that once the drums kick in, the tune transforms into this black galloping horse that can’t be tamed and gives the oppressors a ride straight to hell! I could tell you more about the other song entitled “The Two,” but I won’t, because it’s your job to head over to Aborted Society support them and Nux Vomica.
I admit it; I’m a fiend for blackened crust. I can’t explain why, but when I hear that gnarly metallic stench I feel like my skin becomes iron. Here is a fact that I realized when I was a teenager: some of the sickest d-beat in the world comes from Sweden, it’s just one of those things. Martyrdöd has been releasing some of the illest black metal-infested crust since 2003, but it’s their 2009 album Sekt that I keep on repeat. Unholy hell, this record has these primal ghosts that jump out of the track that make want to fight in ancient Iron age battles. Martyrdöd figured out a way to to produce meth in the form of sound, because these songs are an addictive drug & I know crazy amounts of energy when I hear it. This band’s music has an extremely wild quality to that makes you feel like you are about to lose your fucking mind in best way possible. The guitar riffs & solos on this album seem like they are being played by warlocks who just smoked a pound of nitro! I know it’s a part of the corporate & government plan to keep blackened crust away from the ears of the masses, because if they did get a dose of the real shit they might ready to fight the real fight! Martyrdöd’s musicianship & songwriting on this album is so fucking awesome, it’s like they are on a mission to destroy the world as we know it. Check this out, it’s the monolithic structures of torment & living nightmares that this band builds with their songs that makes you realize these dudes are nothing to fuck with. When you hear “En Demon & Gloria Runt Iris” blasting through your speakers, if you don’t get the feeling that you want to punch a cop, maybe you should go join that army & sign your life away to this corrupt regime! Martyrdöd’s singer belts every word from the bottom of his gut. If vocals could set political prisoners free, this dude has the vocals that can make it happen. It’s the the weird, unexpected sounds on Sekt that will really have you going DAMN this band is so rad. After the jump peep some dramatic live footage !
Excuse me while I chew my shrooms, pick up my bong and then press play…what’s that sound coming out of my speakers? It’s Noothgrush’s 1994 self-titled album, released via Fuck Yoga Records. This album is one long radical trip that will have you seeing trails. It sounds different than their later material, which has a heavier hand in the doom universe. These songs are heavy no doubt, but they have a killer slow, sinister, blissed-out cycodelic vibe about the listening experience. I get the feeling that this album was mixed in a school bus parked at the corner of Haight and Ashbury in 1976. I must say that every song on this album is a deep journey into the world of never never land. The baselines create purple rivers that flow right behind your eyes, as your past lives float by your present self. Noothgrush’s riffs sound like giant castle doors shutting behind the knights of the rad table, and they will empower you to see beyond this modern day fuckery. The music you will hear on this album has the force to awaken the sleeping wizards, and then set free all of our imprisoned thoughts. Noothgrush created so much gnarly sonic space with these songs that I lose gravity with each time they blast through my speakers! Then there are the cosmic vocals, the mothership for their intergalactic lyrics to ride on. They have one epic 21-minute composition entitled “8D8″ that give me the feeling that I’m gliding above earth looking down. The sound effects that you will encounter on this tune will have you seeing colors for daze, and the music you will hear builds the walls of the Grand Canyon around you. Noothgrush dips melody into a cauldron of electric Kool Aid; you can see reality shapeshift every time you play this record. Noothgrush conjured up a killer trip of apocalyptic blues…this music was made in 1994, but it was molded by the hand of infinity!
One that band reshaped how heavy music is created and how it affects the listener is Chicago’s Bloodiest. Their 2011 album, Decent, has expanded my mind since the first time I heard it, and every time after that. Something about Bloodiest’s music is transcendental and will take your imagination to different planes of thought. As much as this band creates music that is new, there is also an ancient vibe about their songwriting. I have yet to see them live, but I recently saw an amazing video of their most recent NYC performance at St. Vitus captured by (((unartig))). From what I see, these humans do in fact manifest sounds that defy space and time. So after the jump, descend into Bloodiest’s universe and peep this moving footage!
Soul has a new sound in the form of a very heartfelt split between DC’s Vestiges and Indonesia’s Ghaust. This record will attack you on a emotional level for sure. I really dig the idea of both of these bands working together, it makes total sense. The Vestiges side is a 10-minute mammoth musical ride that is filled with power, tranquility and self-awareness. Vestiges never stops amazing me with how they incorporate so many different musical genres, but they do it in a way that is highly intelligent and original. The beginning of the song “VI” reminds me of walking in Seattle at six in the morning, before the sun is up, thinking about how awesome nature is and how just the sight of it can help us overcome some of our inner sadness. Vestiges creates songs that are perfect backdrops for the human condition. Their music has an ultra heavy vibe about it, but underneath the band has buried the sun, which shines through from time to time. The way that Vestiges wrote this song is spot on, because of the different audio waves that you will encounter while listening to VI. These huge somber notes kick the song off, then they are joined by brooding vocals, before the songs changes shape into a charging horde of radical sound waves! There are so many journeys within this song, and the best way to know how epic they are is by listening to the song itself! Then you have the two songs created by Ghaust, “Amongst The Ashes” and “Sleep and Release,” both of which are extra awesome. Here is a band that says it all without saying a word, just by injecting your brain with dose after dose of cosmic melody. Honestly, “Amongst The Ashes” has the power to change the way that I feel about the world around me. Ghaust creates monumental music. I don’t want “Amongst The Ashes” to end because I’m engrossed in the way that the bands works with melody and evokes spirits with their audio tapestry. Then you have “Sleep and Release” – this song will wake you up, something about the tone of this music makes me realize that our dreams filter our world. There is light in darkness that can be celebrated, and that’s what I feel that both Vestiges and Ghaust did with this split.
There is a young band from Sweden that whole world needs to know: they go by the name of Ignominy, and released an album early this year entitled Crash/Existence. The first thing that strikes me about this record is the deep emotion in their sonic message. There is nothing sunny or happy about Ignominy’s music, but there is something very uplifting about the songs they write. Ignominy can turn it up a notch and knock you in the head with speed, but it’s the way they use feedback and space that creates the killer audio atmosphere. This band bends sound and tension into weird places where time becomes color and your thoughts are given room to float on vibrant waves. They are masters at conjuring up dissonant showers of melody. Ignominy’s guitar work on Crash/Existence speaks to my soul – the tones that they use are amazing. This band realizes that they can speak to the listener with the use of instruments, not just by using vocals. Which brings me to my other point: the singer in this band has his own way of doing what he does, and it fucking works. Ignominy should not classify the music that they create, because it’s the freedom their compositions that really makes me want to hear more. If you are feeling down and need to look within yourself for solace, blast their song “Pt. III. Shut The Light,” then all of your bullshit will start to melt away! Their tune “Reality Crash” has this dirty intro that slows everything down, but it’s the big drums that come in to smash smash all of your insecurities to pieces. When I play Crash/Existence, concrete stops looking so solid – this band’s music gives me a feeling like nothing can fucking stop me! For everyone who needs a burst of aggro, make sure to give their song “Eating Glass” a once over. I feel lucky that I have found Ignominy at this point of their career, it’s going to cool as fuck to hear them grow! You can download Crash/Existence HERE! The word on the street is that they are in the process of working on new material…now that is RAD!
Charbroiled hate has never tasted so good, it makes me want to vomit in the faces of all of the haters, so that they can die a slow death under my acid spew. I know the perfect soundtrack for their demise, the split between IVES/AMORT that was released via Boue Records in 2010. Some may wonder why these two bands did a split, but when you dig deep into macabre, you will realize that both bands have taken a different approach to slaying the same monster. This music inspires me to have wicked and highly demented thoughts of how I would like to torture the weak-minded subhumans that fight against us. I would arm myself with one of IVES extra blackened crusty riffs, and when I turn up the volume, it turns into a killer electric saw that would be perfect for dismembering their corpses. Then I could use the pounding drums on IVES’ songs as a meat tenderizer, which will make it easier for their flesh to cook over the flames of this band’s gnarly musical bonfire. But I’m just getting started – I will feed them the zombie root, dipped in the black dirge that oozes out of IVES’ songs, so that they only appear dead, and are living misery. It’s time for this band’s demented vocals and lyrics to have their turn at bringing the pain to the haters, by slicing into their torso, then pouring bile into the cuts so that the band can use their screams on their next album. This is getting fun now – AMORT wants to get in on the killing time, so he sets up his room of drone and feedback, and lays out all his tools of extreme torment. He decides to tie up the haters in the ropes of their own lies and deceit, so that they can know the pain that they cause others with their empty thoughts and unjust words. AMORT uses minimal sounds so that the victims can hear their death is creeping closer to them. He lets the bleak sound move over their blooded skeletons, and it’s the sonic tension that AMORT creates that will keep you transfixed as this horror takes place before your ears. 14 minutes of drone chokes the life out of these feeble subhumans, and now only AMORT is on the throne. It’s the serene soundscape that AMORT creates that will be the last thing that they ever hear!