Vestiges and Panopticon aren’t new names in extreme music. Both bands are incredibly well-known for their effortless ability to bend genres and weave together songs that are both unnaturally powerful and aesthetically pleasing. For that reason alone, I believe this split to be an attractive one for various kinds of extreme music fans as it allows both musical accessibility via the incorporation of many genres and the proliferation of new, underused, or overlooked ideas to seep into the ears of listeners.
Vestiges contributed two songs to this split, each flowing seamlessly into an eighteen minute monolith. Vestiges give listeners exactly what they’d expect from a colossal sounding band– stark, powerful instrumentals accented and then hollowed out by various overtures and churning drum work. While most of Vestiges contribution is without vocals, I didn’t find this to be a strike against the band by any means; it adds a fullness in terms of atmosphere, sacrificing vocal intensity for deeply layered, prolonged movements that are not only emotional, but physically affecting. Essentially, “VII” is the prelude to the storm that is “VIII.” “VIII” is rife with all of the common black metal tropes; tremolo guitar work, ridiculous percussion, and the characteristic shriek of black metal vocals. However it doesn’t retain this convention for long as it slips into moments of doom and switches from a guitar-based drive to a bass-laden thunder. The tracks are without a doubt the most alluring and emotionally vexing of the split, giving listeners an insight into the more bleak yet horrifyingly beautiful aspects of extreme music.
The very moment the needle touches the black vinyl, you are carried away to unknown terrain. All of a sudden you find yourself lost in some remote, abandoned area, disconnected from time, space, civilisation, everything. Mystical screams & whispers cut through the sound of tropical rain on corrugated tin, while unhealthy subbass movements counteract concrete frames resonant drones. This pitch black musical version of the feeling of being lost paints an astoundingly bleak picture, that wouldn’t even necessarily appear in your darkest dreams.
The duo Oake rambles through the widely ramified, dimmed catacombs of the Industrial past and the Techno present of their place of residence, Berlin. Precise pulses drive the tracks through hazy drones, swirling clouds of noise and ominous moans. Their debut release “Offenbarung” is an obscure melodrama, wrapped in Modern Love/Blackest Ever Black aesthetics.
SMOHALLA and OMEGA CENTAURI are two bands playing their very own style of avantgardistic Black Metal that has the ability to subvert one’s listening habits very easily. To get the impression, check out the exclusive stream here on CVLT Nation.
SMOHALLA is a project from France, a country that had and has some of the most innovative Black Metal to offer – and SMOHALLA is no exception. Their contribution to this split with OMEGA CENTAURI is exuberant with technical riffs, highly progressive song-structures and an arc of suspense that has more in common with cold, harsh arrangements of new music than Metal. If you’re now thinking of Deathspell Omega you’re not completely wrong, but not completely right either. Although there are similarities, especially when it comes down to the compositional side of things, SMOHALLA add massive, symphonical layers that strongly extend the overly powerful, dramatic feeling of these four songs. But even though SMOHALLA‘s creation is really demanding, it is not exaggeratedly intellectual. The songs have a straight forward drive and in contrary to many other progressive Metal acts, SMOHALLA doesn’t get lost in endless chord progressions and senseless self-adulation. The atmosphere of the songs is in the central focus, resulting in four really outstanding, exciting and absolutely grasping songs.
Your songs have an anthem quality to them, and I have found myself with Ultraviolet on repeat. Where does that anthem quality stem from?
LP – Thanks. I’m not sure where that exactly stems from — but probably just the love of a good rock song. And punk rock.
PC- For me it is the influence of punk and older hardcore, when I am writing lyrics I like to throw something out there that can stick and hopefully people will be able to relate too. Those kinds of songs were very important to me as kid growing up in the south. If you stood out, you would have to take a lot of shit and it was great to hear music that made me feel that other people felt the same as I did. So i think even as we have grown older and maybe our lyrical matter has matured, that influence is still there and I agree with Laura that I also love a great rock song.
What visual artist – be them painter, illustrator or filmmaker – has had the biggest impact on the band?
LP – I’m not sure that there is “the one” artist that wins over all others. And, I think that would also depend on who in the band you ask. It’s probably safe to say that David Argento, John Carpenter, David Lynch, and Ralph Bakshi have all impacted our band.
PC: Yeah I agree with Laura on all of those, also recently I have been a big fan of a lot of the newer independent film makers there have been some great movies coming out over the last handful of years and in particular I am a big fan of Gaspar Noe’ s work.
On April 26th it all went down at our 2nd Anniversary show that featured some of the most amazing bands in California. Honestly, the event was a huge success with truck loads of positive energy. All of the bands performed to the highest levels of gnarlyness and you could hear their passion in every note! Just as important as the bands that took the stage, CVLT Nation would like to salute everyone who came out and showed support. We would like to shout out Gehenna, Seven Sisters of Sleep, Youth Code, Children of God, Stoic Violence, Whip Hand and Unit B for an awesome fucking night. The night’s festivities were caught on film by our comrade in photography Adam Murray – good looking out homie! Without Crash the Clubs and Lace Pickups we would not have been able to pull this off, thank you for you support and hard work. It was cool to be able to connect with people outside of the internet. That being said, we really appreciate everyone who makes this webzine a destination every day! Now it’s time for the pictures to do the talking – check out these unreal flicks from CVLT Nation’s 2nd Anniversary and SSOS record release party (they fucking killed it – make sure to check them out on their upcoming tour with Full of Hell).
Written by Anonymous
Daniel Menche is a sound artist based out my hometown of Portland, OR. Since his first release in 1993 he has created a vast body of work. His latest release is entitled “Vilké”, released on CD, Double LP (500 copies), and Cassette Tape (50 copies) by Sige records. The title is of Lithuanian origin and translates to “female wolf”. The music is said to be inspired by the sound of a pack of howling wolves Menche heard during a hiking excursion, which served as the essence of this recording.
The album comes packaged in beautiful ash/charcoal paintings by Faith Coloccia (Mamiffer, Ever Lovely Lightning Heart) that accompanies the music perfectly. I am always impressed with the quality of releases Sige Records puts out. You can tell Aaron and Faith put their hearts and souls into each and every release. The amount of attention and detail they put into their releases is unmatched and deserves recognition.
Vilké is broken into 4 parts, each part taking up each side of this Double LP. The music found on Vilké is dark, dense, and textured. Vilké is meticulously crafted; every sound and nuance is masterfully composed and put in just the right place. The 4 parts flow seamlessly, taking the listener on a sonic journey through anxiety inducing loops, soothing ethereal soundscapes, and haunting melody that create a thick atmosphere. Parts 3 & 4 contain the most memorable moments on this LP for me. Part 3 opens with a frantic, tribal drum rhythm that conjured images of being stalked and hunted by a pack of rabid wolves through the night. Part 4 begins with some minimal, dissonant guitar work that slowly transitions into the chiming of a bell, somewhat reminiscent of Current 93’s “Faust”. Buried underneath it all, you can hear what I believe to be the faint choir of the wolves that ties the 4 parts into a coherent whole.
Technology is such now, for better or for worse, that the world both physical and virtual is practically overrun with one man bands, in all genres. While this comes with certain disadvantages (who the fuck wants to watch one man and his laptop/mixing desk play “live”?), one of the fantastic things about it is how it allows one person without relying on others to realize the sounds in their own head exactly as they want them. In terms of “extreme” music, whatever the fuck that is in 2013, this has provided ample and exciting fruit in the area where human beings attempt to create utterly inhuman music.
SPERMICIDAL is such a project. Project..pfft..scratch that. “Entity”. Spermicidal is an entity, not a project – it is some of the most spectacularly otherwordly manifestation, and some of the most genuinely frightening music emerging from the underground right now. Debuting with a split tape with the post Wreck of The Hesperus project Ordnance, the first release proper from this disturbing husk (helmed by rennowned Irish experimental musician Cathal Rodgers) arrives in the form of the four track “Vermicide” cassette.