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!
Last weekend two very elusive bands made live appearances in the Bay Area. The two kindred spirits play a style most of the world would call Black Metal. But here genres, labels, lineups, press releases, promo photos and album cycles are irrelevant. Ash Borer from Arcata and Fell Voices from Santa Cruz exist purely create and revel within their own unique sphere of sound. Their albums serve as mere documents of a fleeting moment in time, their live performances are releases of pure energy. You get the sense that either band could disappear at any given moment and never be heard from again (in fact, Fell Voices were on hiatus), therefore it was important to catch these two bands as many times as possible while they made themselves available to the public eye as well as ear. Fell Voices and Ash Borer played Oakland with Velnias, Hell, Sutekh Hexen and Lycus, and San Francisco the following day. The SF date was a unique case seeing as how the bands played two sets. The first was an early show at Elbo Room that started at 4 in the afternoon. Immediately following the Elbo Room show, the bands set up inside a garage and each played a truncated set of furious and punishing music. CVLT Nation gives you an in depth look at this rare live ritual. More review, full photo gallery and a video after the jump.
Cultus Sabbati’s latest EP, Woden’s Galder, is a darkly evocative, unclassifiable piece of music. Cultus Sabbati’s entire approach, one of ritual and worship, manifests itself in their spontaneous recording sessions. Reminiscent of Abruptum, their tracks bleed and blend into one another, crafting an experience where each record must be taken in full, beginning to end, to truly appreciate. Woden’s Galder weighs in at merely 30 minutes, but ultimately feels like a far longer journey.
“A Serpent Came Sneaking” opens the EP, a slithering, sinister, dark ambient piece. Buried hisses merge with dripping and gurgling noises, evoking a shadowed, subterranean world. Driven by a sparse synthesizer line, with abrupt stabs of noise and feedback throwing the serenity of the track into chaos, it’s a frightening piece of noise that builds in intensity, utterly demonic vocals piercing through. Somewhere between dark ambient, black metal, and power electronics, you begin to understand Cultus Sabbati’s inability to be classified in any one genre.
Are you ready to take a trip to a land where apocalyptic blues rule and dirge blows in the wind? Well, all you have to do is plug yourself into the new Drainland and Trenches split, out now via Degraanrepubliek. Once you press play, both sides will lead you into a cavern of down-tuned weirdness, where bass lines smoke weed that’s been soaked in whiskey. Drainland wrecks shop like only they could, with crust-laden sludge that is tweaked out with all sorts of other awesome influences. The Trenches side reminds me of driving through the desert expanse, on my way to a ghost town oasis. Don’t just take my word for it, because we are streaming it below, so you can allow your reality to warped by these two bands!
To put it simply, King Dude’s Love may be one of the first truly American neofolk albums. Too often entrenched in the trappings of traditional English folk, neofolk artists have lived in the shadow of Death in June, Sol Invictus, Current 93, and the other monoliths of the genre for far too long. Undergoing a bit of a renaissance, artists such as Cult of Youth, Waldteufel, and Skurv are taking neofolk and twisting it into their own craven images. Influenced by tropicalia, punk, black metal, and anything else that may cross their ears, theres a generative spirit in all of these bands (and many more) that’s breathing life back into a genre that seemed to be dying with the retirement of the old guard. In the case of King Dude ( TJ Cowgill of Book of Black Earth, and creator of the brand Actual Pain), Love plays out like a Smithsonian Folkway recorded at an Appalachian Satanic commune. Dais records cites Woodie Guthrie and Johnny Cash as two prime influences on this record, but after a few listens it’s clear that his record is a paean to the apocalyptic spirit that inhabits the dark corners of this countries traditional music. There’s murder ballads, love songs to ghosts, spirituals about lucifer; though Cowgill hails from the rainsoaked Pacific Northwest, Love feels like a journey around the frost rimed back roads of all this countries forgotten towns.
Read the rest of this review after the jump.
Last July 30th in NYC, one of my favorite black metal artists performed at the Fleshtival, and RASPBERRY BULBS killed it! RASPBERRY BULBS plays that kind of black metal that would make the Cramps proud. I found the video for this awesome set, and I get so flipping excited every time I watch it. The venue looks like a tiny basement lit with red lights. Seems like everyone was there on a mission to rock and not give a fuck! I’m not going to write too much about the video, just press play and find out how rad his set was for yourself!
I’m walking on air right now, surrounded by fears that get close to my dreams, and my depression is no where to be found! I have a new sound of radness that makes me feel like a better human with each listen – the new ZOLA JESUS album Conatus, out now via Sacred Bones Records. This sonic mosaic is constructed of many soul-moving anthems. While listening to ZOLA, her voice is the ultimate guide out of your normal state of mind. At times, I can imagine what the movement of clouds might sound like. Honestly, every tune on this album is laced with moon dust and these are the kind of anthems that will empower me for decades to come. I amazed at how ZOLA JESUS knows how to make her voice soar high in the atmosphere, and it’s this sonic magic that makes Conatus such a special album. For all of the machines that make up the backdrop for her voice, there’s something really organic and honest about every moment of this album; you never get a sense of the contrived. Also I can’t say exactly what it is, but there are moments when I’m in the Himalayas with monks while they chant in a tongue that I can’t understand, only feel. Musically, Conatus is awash in keyboards, effects and interesting beats all molded together to create the perfect canvas for ZOLA’s vocals. What makes her so killer as an artist is that when you hear her singing, you get the sense that she is directing her messages straight at your life. This album is a huge pyramid of melody the points us all in the direction of a new beginning. Blast “Lick the Palm of the Burning Handshake” as loud as you can, I know for a fact the rhythms will paint your sky a new color! I refuse to break down this album track by track, because it would not make sense. The best advice I can give you is to have a an open mind and allow the song “Shivers” to be your spaceship!
Imagine a huge mountain that reaches all way up into the clouds, with one solitary mammoth castle perched on top. Then wonder if the castle walls could talk, or how the wind sounds as it creeps its way around this structure of light & darkness. One album holds the answers to these questions – it’s the new Locrian album, The Clearing, which will be released Nov. 1st via Fan Death Records. From the smallest to the biggest soundscape, this album is rich in emotion and texture. From the first song, “Chalk Point,” you know that you will encounter all sorts of audio rawness. When I heard this track, I felt like I was that lost, lonely soul in a horror movie, seeking redemption and trying to find my way out of this laboratory called life. Next, Locrian guides you on your walk with minimal receptive piano notes, and ghostly chants act as candlelight for your way. I really dig how this tune evokes a heavy feeling without the use of very many instruments. The Clearing is epic on many different levels – one of them being that Locrian is able to take your darkest sonic thoughts and inject them with a sense of blackened warmth. The best way to understand where I’m coming from would be to listen to their gnarly song “Augury in an Evaporating Tower”
- the dark majesty of this tune will give you the answers you need. I’m so amazed by this song, because it twists my thoughts around weird bleeps, then dips them into the abyss where only screaming skeletons dwell, before bathing my nightmares in a shower of cryptic melody. The songwriting on this record is full of surprises that will awaken parts of your being that you might not see on the regular. As I listen to The Clearing, I feel like a snake shedding its skin, because with every spin of this record I hear something new. Locrian knows how to say so much without the use of vocals, because they truly know how convey what they want you to hear or feel with their instruments. But there are vocals on this album, and when they do come in they will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It’s so fucking cool that so much thought and soul goes into what this band does, but you never get the sense that their music is overly thought out, instead there is an effortless, organic feel to this album. The Clearing will be the album that you put on no matter the weather, because from the darkness comes light!
Have you ever wanted put your head in a pit of audio chaos that has been laced with a dark alley energy? When you listen to CITY BONES’ 2009 tape release, Our Loss, from Razors and Medicine, you will be there with me. I dig the lo-fi blackened noise and sinister grooves that this band conjures up. This tape is only two songs and 6 minutes, but who gives a fuck – it’s short, ugly and ultra awesome! CITY BONES wreaks catchy havoc with the tune “Right To Die”; the beat is so sick, with this low gruff voice that comes in every once in while. This songs reminds of how the Lower East Side use to smell and look back in the 80′s, before the yuppie scum invaded the hood. Their song “Our Loss” sounds like hobos making out to the Cramps in the trash can of love. It’s a trip the way this band makes music – it’s sounds mad primitive, but that’s the trick – when you scratch away at the surface, cryptic layers start to appear. CITY BONES’ music packs a huge punch that many bands could never achieve with expensive studios. This band kills shit with their use of left of center melody that just creeps up on you and gives you the creeps. From now and forever, the City Bones will always move my bones!