James of Altar of Plagues interviewing Michiel of Nihill
Congratulations on the completion of your trilogy. As a writer I find commitment to one album enough, so three must have been quite and undertaking. ‘Verdonkermann’ is stunning, but as always with your work it took quite a few listens before the subtle details became apparent. Despite the chaotic and relentless sound of NIHILL, is subtlety something you consider?
Thanks, and yes it was quite an undertaking, that’s why it took a while to complete it. But as the overarching structure was already clear from the beginning we never lost focus or got distracted during the creation of this trilogy. When it comes to subtlety – that is not something we’re actively looking for but something that comes naturally when you deal with sound like we do. Just making noise would never do for us or our vision. As this release deals with the transition between dying, being reborn, living and dying again, the music has to reflect that as well. That’s where some of the details are put in. The metaphors and the esthetics of Alchemy really speak to us. It’s about things happening in life and translating them to a metaphysical level.
Full interview after the jump…
Absvrdist play a signature brand of grindcore with a splash of black metal. What is most interesting about Absvrdist’s lone release is that in sound it bears little resemblance to the oft too serious tone of its roots. Illusory’s 26 minutes tears through like a speed addict’s playtime. Relentless is the best word to place on this work. The record’s attention-nabbing moments are unfortunately few and far between, with the songs at times melting into an indistinguishable whole. This appreciatively does not incur boredom. Absvrdist showcases grand musicianship that rears its corpse painted head midway through with “Amongst Humans.” The grind aspect is pulled back a moment to treat us to furious melody dancing on a smattering wall. This amalgamation seems to meet a near-perfect balance at Illusory’s midway point, blending abrasiveness with melody to startling results at times. “Delusion” brings forth a nuclear payload’s worth of death metal, highlighting one of the heaviest moments on Illusory. The last two tracks give way to sheer exposition with “Brood,” with “Abstract Absurdities” continuing this along with brooding complexity. “Abstract Absurdities” is the longest track and the most rewarding, atmospheric at a brisk pace and brutal without gimmicks.
Review Source Equivoke
Here’s a submission by an Indiana band called Thenn. I’m trying to get through the pile, and I think this is an excellent place to start.
What I think would best describe Thenn’s style is the reverse of Young and In The Way. Where YAITW take a sprinkle of black metal and delicately lace their crusty hardcore with it, Thenn stand on a thick foundation of old school black metal ala Darkthrone and inject some crust into thrashy dark nest they’ve made.
With a sickly rasp the vocalist sprays cryptic cult messages, it’s a very ugly and gnarled howl that perfectly fits the tangled instrumentals underneath. The guitar and drumming is very reminiscent of older iterations of black metal with fast, crunchy tremolo riffs and abrasive, foul percussion. The bass has a fair presence as well which is always nice to hear.
This group kind of takes Barghest’s approach as they breath new life into the style. When the crust emerges it’s subtle and more akin to YAITW’s V. Eternal Depression style: occasional cold passages between the writhing, but they are few and leave the black metal unscathed the majority of the EP.
There’s five short tracks to ingest here, and they’re all quite chaotic and hazy. “Abscesses of Light” starts things off with straight up stormy black metal riffs, with very little indication of their crusty influences except for a more hardcore tempo chunk near the end. Following up is “Bathing in Cold Autumn” which continues with the same fervor but with a slight tainting of hardcore when a slower powerchord emerges amongst the tremolos.
A new force out of Trondheim, this oddity of a group has been quickly making icy waves through their home nation’s fjords and beyond. Khonsu only formed this year, but were signed to Season of Mist and performed at Oslo’s distinguished Inferno Festival with nothing but a demo under their studded belts.
Falling somewhere on the aural bridge between Meshuggah and Arcturus (although much more melodious and accessible), the Norwegians sometime take detours to more industrial locales, most evident on penultimate track “The Malady.” But their tendency to sprinkle programmed drums and spaced-out keyboards throughout the effort doesn’t hinder them, it helps to set them apart from a nation and scene that still sometimes attempts to recreate to the trve days of yore.
Full review after the jump!
Deep deep in the underground caves of misery exists a band called Sutekh Hexen. They just gave an unreal performance at the Terminal which was captured by the videographer Kevin Hobbs. I must say that this footage is more than just a live recording. It’s actually a visual document that shows you the depth of Sutekh Hexen’s vision. For 24 minutes you will be transported into the band’s world via this insane recording. Hold on, it gets better – Sutekh Hexen are now on a U.S. tour that just started yesterday, peep all of the dates after the jump! In the meantime, watch this video and see how this band will give you the chills.
I never get tired of seeing awesome photography from someone who is young and full of fucking talent, in fact, I get hyped. This is exactly what happened the other day when I found the tumblr Misplaced Lens Cap by Matthew Grant Anson. This epic young photo wizard has something special when it comes to taking pictures. His photos have a magic to them that makes you feel like you are in the photo, or there while it was being taken. It’s pretty clear that Matthew is a part of the scene, and this fact makes the people that he photographs extra comfortable in front of his lens. Not only are his flicks of bands off the chain, his pictures of the humans around at a party or gig are pretty killer as well. I’ve got to say, when I look at his pictures, I feel like I’m looking at the future when it comes to actually capturing what youth culture is really up to. This is why Misplaced Lens Cap is our favorite tumblr this week. Make sure to stay tuned for an upcoming Seven Stories featuring Matthew Grant Anson’s work. For now, see what the punk youth of Los Angeles are up to after the jump!
When an artist such as No One approaches you to enquire as to the possibility of a re-posting of a review you’ve written, there’s only one answer you can give.
So for your reading pleasure, here is a piece originally written for the fine fellows over at ThisIsNotAScene who have very kindly agreed to allow this review to be published here.
UAG is the sound of nightmares. Terrifying. Claustrophobic. Nauseating. The sole member of T.O.M.B. (Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy) is No One. A man with no name and only the creeping dissonance of Uncovered Ancient Gateways (recorded in 2009 and released in a limited capacity but now seeing a wider audience with Crucial Blast) to demonstrate his utter antipathy towards traditional recording techniques.
Previous albums, EPs and demo releases have been much talked about for their unconventional approach towards sickening noise driven black metal. It has been documented that No One broke into abandoned mental institutions to harness the atmosphere and desolate structures for the purposes of percussion and horror. And damn, does that cloying texture stay with you.
So, you might have already heard the Pervertor album from Lord Mantis that was released March 2012 by Candlelight. And if you’re not too picky on the moral issues, you might have concluded like many others that this album is one monstrous collection of songs that dives fearlessly into filthy stuff – lyrically, sonically and art-wise.
We’re talking major sludge metal fest here people, with Bill Baumgardner (drums), Charlie Fell (bass), Drew Markuszewski (guitars), and Greg Gomer (guitar) revelling in the blackest of moral mud. All skilled metal people with a lots of experience. Almost fail-resilient, I’d say.
The artwork on Pervertor by artist Justin Bartlett is sick stuff. I have spent days and nights trying to figure it all out. Is it an armless woman Jesus being sucked empty by bystanders, or some transvestite crucified being used as a bong? I have tried to decode it all and reveal the Da-Vinci code – but I really struggle. Whatever the fuck this is, it’s twisted.
Nonetheless, the album pours out heavy, muddy riffs while the vocals desperately spell out the alphabet of depravity over topics, securing VIP treatment in terms of parental advisory.
Sanford Parker produces the album, and he has skilfully torn to shreds every instrument so that the album comes across as really raw and filthy. Together with the pulsating riffs and repeating themes, it feels like somebody is trying to convince you to do something you’re not supposed to do under any circumstances.
I’m guessing that this album is impossible to ignore when metal fans sit down on Christmas Eve to scorn religion and write up their shortlist of best metal of 2012.
Therefore, an interview is legitimate. Case closed.
Hi guy(s), thanks for taking the time to do this interview! You have a new album out since March 2012, and reports are that the feedback from numerous zines and fans is very positive. I’ve even seen dead people rise from their graves at midnight to bang their heads to the Pervertor album. What are your thoughts on that?
I’m glad people like it; we aim to please.
Full interview after the jump…
Emerging from the mist is the ethereal presence of Oak Pantheon, a relatively new entity of sorrowful gloom and abject woe. The Minnesota duo of Sami Sati and Tanner Swenson has a penchant for all that is melancholic, but in that downtrodden mire you’ll find affecting beauty such is the dichotomy summoned by a lot of “sad” music. Residing in a vein similar to Agalloch, it definitely feels like the two bands are kindred spirits in some way. “From A Whisper”, the band’s first full-length record, meshes cold black metal rasps with lush neo-folk acoustics, meanwhile expansive riffs blossom on every track. Flowing beautifully and cohesively, this really is a record that takes you places.
“From A Whisper” unfurls like a grand, epic novel with the aptly titled “Descend Into Winter”. As summer is coming to an end, we’ll soon prepare for winter and Oak Pantheon conjure vast images of snow blanketed forests and the feeling of cold, biting winds rushing past your face, all the while being totally hypnotic and calmative. This is all just part of one rich tapestry that Oak Pantheon have only begun to weave.
Full review after the jump!
So what happens when GEHENNA links up with INTEGRITY for a split that’s out now via Holy Terror? I will tell you what happens: it’s all out audio murder against the weak of heart! From the GEHENNA song titles alone – “Parallel Hells” & “Amphetimine Psychosis” – you know that this band wants to cut the tongues out of the false prophets’ mouths. It’s fucking awesome the way the band uses dirgey feedback to set the tone of destruction that they are about to unleash upon you. On both tunes, GEHENNA is able to blend the cold cold nordic winds of black metal with the cyco sleaze of hardcore to perfection! What I’m really impressed with is the interaction between the vocals and the pungent riffs. When you reach the end of “Amphetimine Psychosis” you realize that you don’t want this ride of terror to end! Then this insanely emotional killer riff kicks in for the INTEGRITY song, before it takes you off in another gnarly direction. It’s the fucking guitar playing on “I Know VVhere Everyone Lives” that keeps you pushing the repeat button. The balance between Dwid’s vocal delivery and the rest of the music is on point. What you realize when you hear the INTEGRITY song is that this band has many different influences and are not afraid of allowing them to organically become a part of what they create. This is why I dig this song so much – because of the different dimensions of musical inspiration that are alive in this song. Actually, when I listen to this 7″ it inspires me to do what I have to do in my daily grind.