Photos: Derek Carr
If you weren’t at Vancouver’s Astoria on Saturday, Oct. 26, you missed your ONE chance to see Wolvserpent!!
…But don’t cry about it because they didn’t show up. Those border dicks were DICKS. I mean, I love a man in uniform. Unless he’s a pig.
For anyone who doesn’t know, the creative geniuses behind CVLT Nation, Meghan and Sean, just moved to Vancouver. Nothing is Heavy & CVLT Nation Present Wolvserpent & Guests was their second event in Van City — and the first time we got to stalk them up close. ALSO: it was Halloween, motherfuckers. Well, practically.
I honestly do not know what is going on in this small and seemingly peaceful country called Iceland. Iceland has given us big names within the black metal scene – we can highlight names like Svartidaudi and Wormlust. There is also a very interesting array of bands there that follow the same path, such as Chao, Azoic, Vansköpun, Dynfari and Kontinuum just to name a few. All of these bands have above average talent and a very characteristic kind of sound, so much “their own” that they could almost certify it with a “Made in Iceland” stamp. From Iceland comes one of the most spectacular albums I have had the privilege to hear this year, brought by the hands of the, until now, unknown band Carpe Noctem.
WOLVSERPENT created a very special album this year called Perigea Antahkarana, out now on Relapse Records, and every minute of this record is a looking glass into another dimension. Live, the band are able to totally expand the dark majestic qualities of their sound into a whole other sonic universe. Our comrade in video Kevin Hobbs captured WOLVSERPENT’s most recent show in the Bay Area, and after watching the footage you will see that words almost can not describe how good this band is! If WOLVSERPENT is coming to your town, you better not miss them, because their live show is a ritual that you must experience!
Pairing two bands together for a split should be thoughtful and while there’s intrigue in seeing two totally different bands mashed together for a split and have the dichotomy displayed and examined, more often than not the best splits are when bands share a sonic and thematic camaraderie. This is very much the case with Amiensus and Oak Pantheon, both hailing from Minnesota too as a matter of fact.
Technicality is something of a sticking point among metal fans. There are some bands that impress people solely with their chops (Dragonforce, etc.), possessing little in the way of ‘songwriting’ or ‘good material’ but much in terms of wicked fast guitar solos and operatic vocals. Then there are the bands for whom, to quote Mick Barr of Krallice, playing guitar is like banging two rocks together. Second wave of black metal, I’m looking at you.
Of course, there are bands that cross this divide, conjuring the gut power of angsty-caveman metal but with the technical wizardry of the practiced. Russian Circles springs to mind, but a more recent, and in a sense more powerful, addition to this group is Castevet, a Brooklyn-based group that blurs the lines between black metal, math rock, and post-hardcore. On Obsian, the threesome proves the possibilities inherent in musical virtuosity, but lack the noodling baggage of their peers in high-speed shreddage.
Meet ORHORHO the new frightening brainchild of Michele Ferretti, the singer and guitarist of Italian atmospheric black metal trio GOTTESMORDER. Why do you need to familiarize with the music of ORHORHO? Well first off because this necrotic and plague-infested slab of crusty black metal is just simply awesome and memorable, and second – and most importantly – because it is an enormous sonic middle finger pointed straight in the face of pretty much anything that exists, even of black metal itself. In fact Michele has explained to us that the name “Orhorho” is the name of an ancient African princess and that the music of this new project of his digs deep in the ancient traditions of African magick and occultism, something that black metal has probably never before even dreamed of venturing into.
The black metal duo, originally from Colombia, returns through the demonic astral planes. Just two years after the unbelievable Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm, Dagon and Incubus are back with a vengeance. Having signed a deal with Season of Mist for their latest album, Obscure Verses for the Multiverse, Inquisition are once again bringing an all-consuming offering of pure malice and boundless darkness.
Through the ten tracks of the album, the band brings forth an insane amount of energy, with an ever-burning fury driving their music to its extremes. The ability of the band to somehow retain an ambiance despite their aggressive style is still at large in Obscure Verses for the Multiverse, as uncanny as ever, while Dagon’s vocals still maintain their insane Abbath-ian character, with a few interesting twists in there, for instance the deeper growls in “Where Darkness Is Lord and Death” and “Darkness Flows Towards The Unseen Horizons” giving a different flavor.
Inquisition are able to produce tracks of unearthly speed and anger. The explosive blastbeats of “Force of the Floating Tomb” are thrown straight in your face when the album kicks, while in “Master of the Cosmological Black”, the band is showing of their bare teeth with Inquisition unleashing their schizophrenic guitar playing and letting loose a sonic tempest of black metal cruelty. The insane nature and power of the band is prevalent in other instances as well, “Arrival of Aeons After” is pinning you to the wall with its intensity while the haunting leads are crafting a sickening ambiance for the song. Dissonance is another strong aspect of the band, something that Inquisition have no problem showing in “Infinite Interstellar Genocide”, crushing your very essence with the most brutal moment of the entire album.
Introspectively, the demo tape has always been the first glimpse we see into any up and coming musicians’ futures, and for better or worse this first impression determines the potential success of that future. In a market where music is dissected, labeled and mass produced instead of merely listened to, the simple and sacred process of artists sharing their vision with the world has never been more influential. In the case of Belgium’s blackened thrash amalgamation Possession, we are privy to a return to roots effort that exacts its ferocity through an homage to a time when classification did not exist, and all that mattered was producing the most tangibly destructive effort possible.
When it comes to blackened noise, few bands have the power to truly unsettle you at an extremely deep level and creep you the fuck out for good. Sure, the genre is dark and claustrophobic, but we’re almost in 2014 now and it’s definitely not anything we haven’t heard before. That is true until you run into a new Sutekh Hexen album. To this day, no matter how prolific and active, this demonic quartet from Oakland still manages with every single release to scare the shit out of you once again, and inject into your ear ducts music that literally gnaws on your synapses like a horde of demonic rats, tunneling through your sorry skull to feed on your brain. As such it comes as absolutely no surprise that their new EP Monument of Decay is yet another caustic, excruciating and frightening mauling of dark ambient, harsh noise and black metal, vile and evil enough to plunge you into complete unsettlement and turn your skies black in a matter of seconds.
Straight up and fucking all the way down, from the 1st time I heard the blackened madness of House Of Apparition I have been a fan! Now they have just released their self-titled debut album on Nerdcore Records and all I want to do is plug my skull into their Ultra Raw Black Metal outlet. Listening to the A side of the House Of Apparition record will cause permanent brain damage or just turn all of your thoughts into a black sonic stew. Over 12 minutes of House Of Apparition lo-fi riffs will peel your flesh away from your skeleton but you won’t mind because they will also put your reality into black hole of decaying bliss. Now it’s your turn to experience the A side of the House Of Apparition record we are streaming it below! To order this piece of filthy wax, go HERE!