Last year I was approached by a mysterious gent going by the name of NoOne – he’d seen a piece that was published for ThisIsNotAScene regarding a reissue of an album called Uncovered Ancient Gateways and he was interested in having it published on CVLT Nation. I of course obliged with this request and found myself corresponding with NoOne fairly often, and it was during this correspondence that I was made privy to a new record, Third Wave Holocaust as well as a short film that T.O.M.B. (Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy) had created as a companion piece to UAG. Much has been written concerning the lengths NoOne and his shadowy collective will go to in order to create the atmospheres and negative energies surrounding their recordings, and the three minute film that I saw goes a long way to prove just how far NoOne has gone and will go in the future. I’m not at liberty to post said video, but I was given permission to at least upload screenshots. I think it’s much more intriguing to let you make up your own minds as to what is contained on that film. But rest assured, it will give you nightmares.
This band is truly something special. This is the latest release from the Artist behind The Gault, Weakling, & Asunder. All of which are incredible and should be essential listening for anyone trying to expand their dark musical horizons. When you have a pedigree like that with the new addition of Sixes, your listening experience is going to be otherworldly.
This is a preview of a frightening track titled, “All Paths End The Same”. There’s a continuation of the romanticism of misery and absolute horror involved in their trademark soundscaping style and now it’s even denser and more methodically controlled. Unnerving, Hypnotic Bliss. Enjoy the preview and make sure to support the band.
The moment I started researching for this particular review it hit me: I am covering a cassette tape release. And with only 39 copies available to the world, a very limited cassette tape release it is. It is from a label that presses only cassette tapes. This specialty underground label is Colloquial Sound Recordings and the release in question is the new split between A Pregnant Light and Deeper Wells.
The idea of dealing tapes in the digital age is a bit strange. It is old technology and has a much shorter shelf life than a CD or an LP. But it is also a very cool technology. Archaic, yes, but nostalgic at the same time. People seem to like them. Tape trading is how I found a lot of new music myself (back in the day). It has its place in music’s subculture.
Michigan’s A Pregnant Light was formed in 2010 by multi-iinstrumentalist and vocalist, Deathless Maranatha. He alone is responsible for nine releases in a little over two years. Quite prolific for one solitary guy. Everything he has released so far has fallen under the blanket category of Black Metal, but that is selling it short. A Pregnant Light touches on many genres. “Glint, Glimmer and Glow” sounds like an indie rock song for the first minute, then veers into heavier territory. The music is very raw, reminiscent of DIY punk or hardcore. Sloppy good. Intense. And short. “The Heavens Alone In Love” basically has two parts with a lovely intermission between. The vocals sound distant. Odd and angular guitar licks sit in the mix with blast beats. It’s fast, and slow. Long. A Pregnant Light Is trying new things. I think that’s what most matters here. Solid.
All photos & text by Luana Magalhães
Their microphone-less screaming alone would have been enough to consider them one of the bands of the weekend, as those inhuman howls could be heard from the hallway outside. The fact that their black metal fury even outclasses what can be heard on their records helps, too.
Canadian blackened doom quintet Ensorcelor have teamed up with UK punk infused sludge act Moloch to create what could possibly be described as the greatest fucking thing to ever be created in the history of things that have ever been fucking created. On just about every split there is always one band that stands above the others, be it through a more concise recording, or just sheer talent, we rarely get to see multiple outstanding artists on a single release…until now. The tandem energy these two bands utilize create the flowing atmosphere that makes this album one that is engaging, encapsulating, and just as intriguing no matter how many times you spin it.
Ensorcelor comes out first with a creeping display of sundering lows that are veritably torn apart by harsh vocal onsets and haunting melodies that carry an uneasy feeling throughout the entirety of their 20 minute offering. Trapping a landscape that differs its way from a blackened pool of infinitesimal hate into a realm of endless sadness and confusion. Allowing for a more emotionally rapturing soundscape to pour into the empty spaces of silence that surround and convey while still retaining the reflecting overtone of utter and complete irrelevance. The track bores its way into your subconscious and delves into what would remain after all sorrow has subsided, a full on confrontation between body, mind, and soul. The song fades into a harmonious departure that does not end but simply stops, leaving no room for your senses to return before the next track begins.
With their third album Withdrawal, Philly-based Black Metal band WOE set about becoming one of USBMs strongest new forces. The band that started out as Chris Grigg’s one-man project became a full-fledged band with the previous Quietly, Undramatically, with all members contributing to the song-writing now. Maybe due to this fact Withdrawal is definitely WOE’s most varied output to date, with many non-BM influences enriching the heavy, melancholic sounds that gained them already quite some recognition over the last years.
One thing I always liked about WOE is that they never even tried to imitate certain trends within the realm of Black Metal: not the tree-hugging primitivism of WITTR and the likes, nor the “transcendental” aesthetics that occurred around the same time. And WOE didn’t fall back to a total Scandinavian mock-up either.
Instead WOE take the inscribed aggression and melancholy of Black Metal, boosting it with a heavy, powerful production and more or less remote influences, which they take from a quite wide range of different genres. For example, the backing-vocals in This is the end of the story definitely sound very Hardcore’ish, and the clean vocals that appear now and then could also have been borrowed from certain Post-Hardcore bands. At the same time WOE also made their homework when it comes down to classic Heavy Metal. And there are traces of Post Rock and even Pop music woven into Withdrawal.
Skagos have always been a little mysterious – finding information on the band and their music has been somewhat difficult in the past, and it seems that that is just the way that Skagos like it. Their music is their voice and Anarchic is the culmination of much hard work; work that has taken a long time to become complete (in this case, possibly years). It was around this time last year the Skagos released “Side A” onto bandcamp, with “Side B” eventually following and the knowledge that that these two pieces comprised movements I-V of a new Skagos release was enough to begin fresh interest in the Cascadian flavoured black metal project that first came to my attention with the incredible Ást in 2009.
Skagos may come from a background that’s rich in history and textures, but their choice to always sit on the fringes of the “scene” is reiterated during the hour long rhythms of Anarchic. This work is not what you expect and is all the more interesting and intriguing for it. Hours of toil and blood and heart have gone into this recording and it’s a wonder that Skagos even managed to survive the ordeals that are rendered within the record.
It’s what you are not going to hear on the new SURACHAI album Embraced that makes it special. You will not hear formulaic black metal; instead you will hear music that incorporates many different genres in an organic way to create something original and engaging! Embraced comes out today and it can be bought here, plus we are streaming it below!
Santa Cruz doesn’t seem to be a place to invoke the most grim and gloomy kind of black metal. But with Leucosis, the story is different. The band made its debut back in 2011 with the amazing “Pulling Down The Sky” that pulled off really impressive reviews along its way. The level of black metal presented then by the band, through the quality of the tracks and their sound, really caught up the attention of many out there, including myself, in such a way that i had to put “Pulling Down The Sky” in the altar of my favorite releases of that same year. This year they mark their return with another brilliant milestone into their young, yet prolific career. A self titled album made out of six amazing chapters which have a total of more than one hour of length. Although it’s a long release, I assure you that it’s one of the most well spent hours you will have. At this point, before i go further into the album i must warn the fans of “Pulling Down The Sky” that here they may be a little bit disappointed or even upset by Leucosis sound on this album. It all depends on how you like your black metal and how open-minded you are. I believe that this evolution in Leucosis sound is quite good as the songs themselves, united by different nodes that culminates into something quite interesting and innovative. It becomes a bit difficult to classify Leucosis sound with this new record. Atmospheric Black Metal Doom? Cascadian Blackened Doom? Whatever. It’s clearly black metal that drinks from cascadian and atmospheric fountains of inspiration and obviously some doom. Whatever the result, the way it’s made and how it sounds, it’s awesome.
The album begins with “Anaesthesia“, which is the perfect track to begin this album with. An epic track that contains 14 minutes of the most perfect doom infused black metal where the rhythm ranges from slower sludgier/doom rhythms to the most cascadian influenced black metal stretching even to some beautiful instrumental territories with melodic contours that all together, offer an excellent gateway to what is a brilliant album. If we dissect this track we will see that 80% is merely instrumental, the voice when marks its presence, it shouts from way beyond, in total despair all caught up in this whole mix. But what really amazes me is how Leucosis take all of these different influences and create this unique harmony. Immediately glued “Calcinate” whose initial tone reminds me a snippet of “Time as Automation” from Buried Inside. Sweet and melodic notes are gently released as they slowly build a scenario that aims to be, at least, epic. The tone that the band injects into their tracks really has that dramatic charisma and melancholy that is so simple yet so brilliant. The tone increases before a deluge of thick blackness drowns us all. The voice is quite creepy as it echoes through this impenetrable wall of sound.
Today is a special day on CVLT Nation – we have been given the honor of streaming the new WOE album, Withdrawal, that is coming out via Candlelight Records on April 23rd. I know that this record will win this band even more fans worldwide. Stay tuned for a full review of Withdrawal in the very near future on CVLT Nation. For now, press play below and listen how WOE created a moving album that hits the mark!