Catching sideways glances from the local creatures that always seem to be shuffling aimlessly through the disheveled heart of crime-stricken Pomona, crusty metal folk from near and far gathered outside of The Glass House for Scion’s second sponsored metal show in the area in as many years. Last year’s Scion Rock Fest dominated the landscape of downtown Pomona for an entire day, occupying both the Glass House, Fox Theatre, and two festival tents setup in a street temporarily off-limits to traffic. Say what you will about the premise of a car company putting on shows clashing with the average metal listener’s rapidity to decry bands/labels/people as having ‘sold out’, (and the weirdness of Scion giving away labeled business socks to last year’s attendees), but someone somewhere in Scion’s marketing department clearly has a finger on the pulse of niche extreme music… and if bending the knee for ‘the man’ means getting to see the likes of Agalloch, Dark Castle, Morbid Angel, Floor, Dispirit, and Yob for free in my college town? Fuck it.
Scion scaled back the festival a bit this year, choosing instead to place the spotlight on current niche metal ‘it’ label Profound Lore and a handful of their talented artists from across the US. Having received considerable praise for putting out consistently excellent releases across a broad spectrum of the metal soundscape, it was both gratifying and a bit surreal to see the one-man label put on a pedestal by a behemoth of a corporate entity, and witnessing the energy some of Profound Lore’s younger blood brought to the table alongside titans Yob and Loss was absolutely astounding.
Pallbearer began the afternoon’s show with some soulfully crafted throwback doom. The group’s debut full length Sorrow and Extinction has garnered a fair bit of well-deserved attention, being featured on NPR and receiving impressive reviews across the board. Finding the perfect blend of musical intricacy, crushing pace and soaring vocals, Pallbearer’s impressive forward-thinking-but-retro-tinged musicianship captivated the eager midday crowd. Speaking of the vocals, sweet christ do they kill. Singer Brett Campbell jumps from contemplative, almost timid wavering utterances to passionately majestic high notes with an absolutely heartfelt conviction – I’d say the various Dio and Rush comparisons being hurled towards the dude are more than apt, this is seriously stirring stuff. Pallbearer’s impassioned and strangely uplifting (for doom) music lends itself incredibly well to a live setting. If you have the chance to see these guys in the near future, you have no excuses.
Blackened crust/punk mongers Bone Awl will team up with NYC’s death/thrash Villains and reverberate black act Negative Plane, who released the critically acclaimed Stained Glass Revelations last year, for a show on April 6th at Saint Vitus in celebration of their 10th year anniversary. Throughout ten years, Bone Awl have seen the ups and downs without losing faith in what they believe. Recently they have released a split with the former members of the Black Twilight Circle Ashdautas which might not be as good as Bone Awl’s only full length entitled Meaningless Leaning Mess but the songs displayed don’t stray away from the harsh and scratchy punk variations. As far as live show is concerned, it’s the only one which has been scheduled by the band currently. If you are anywhere near the location, flood the arena and witness the three bands commencing their own style and dynamics. For ticket info, visit here.
Check out some live videos from rare Bone Awl shows and also of Negative Plane right after the jump!
On March 31st, at the Public Assembly in Brooklyn, it all went down, as a river of emotionally-charged metal electrified the room. Three awesome bands performed that night: ALCEST, DEAFHEAVEN and VAURA. One of our favorite videographers, (((unartig))), was on hand to capture these moving sets by all three bands. The way he films, you actually feel like he is bringing you on to the stage with him. Alcest brings their song “Les Iris” alive on all levels – I know that everyone that was in the audience had otherworldly dreams after this show. DEAFHEAVEN did what they always do: straight rocked shit. I really respect the way that they are able to paint their agony and aguish with a sonic shoegaze brush. When you you hear them rip through “Language Games” // “Unrequited” it’s evident that this band knows how to bring alive the beauty that exists in torment! Vaura kept the crowd under their spell with their ethereal sound; their song “the zahir” is a great example of what this band creates. After the jump, check out all of this amazing footage, plus the European tour poster for DEAFHEAVEN & Russian Circles.
The line is made up of an infinite number of points; the plane of an infinite number of lines; the volume of an infinite number of planes; the hypervolume of an infinite number of volumes…
Book Of Sand‘s fourth album entitled Mourning Star is the latest release from the Jersey Shore deviants at Music Ruins Lives. Seven tracks in just under an hour which paint a hauntingly disturbing musical portrait. From the very first track this album is quite jarring because of its base and chaotic nature. “The Face Of Water” begins with what sounds like someone playing on a children’s four key toy piano or some other kind of toy instrument and is very creepy until it crashes and what follows and plays out for the duration of the album is a blackened and doomed cacophany. My guess would be that they sourced their name from the Jorge Luis Borges story, anyway, this Minneapolis trio know how to cook their experimental black metal and let it stew to a perfection. It should also be noted that Music Ruins Lives (MRL) have a knack for releasing very ambiguous and eerie music by somewhat shadowy artists who are constantly pushing and bending genres with their music. Mourning Star is a fairly heavy album ranging in doomy breakdowns and speed-driven pulses but also at times interjecting that certain funeral-esque grandeur that is prevalent with bands like Australia’s Mournful Congregation for example, albeit without the theatrics in the vocal approach. In fact that lack of bombast is what makes Book Of Sand stand out in a sea of names. “Crawling Through Sand, Crawling Through Earth” is a composition which masks its beauty through high pitched shrieks but the layers unfold with each successive measure and what unravels is an onion-like gristle of truth. Truth not as in honestly but as in truthful expression. This musical expression collides into some brilliantly placed spanish guitar licks which bring to mind Sepultura‘s similar use on Beneath The Remains. “Planet SUV” is the longest running track here at just over fifteen minutes, it’s a violent cut which verges deeper into black metal territory than any of the other tracks on Mourning Star. The musicianship of this band really shines through on this track in particular because of the different instruments featured, which includes some sadistic saxophone abuse that would make Bleeding Gums Murphy cry.
Mourning Star should drop later this month in a limited run of 100 hand-numbered copies which come in a screen printed sleeve sporting silver ink on blue cardstock, plus an insert. Only from MRL.
North America has always been notorious for keeping its black and death metal festivals more “under the wing” rather than heavily flyered around and via popular online news tabloids. And for a festival such as this one from this past March called Cathedral of the Black Goat Fest, it is done properly for a reason and certainly isn’t for everyone in the expanded metal community who would fully appreciate or soak in the bands as well as ideologies that are behind an event such as this one. READ MORE…
The world which is becoming more pretentious day by day particularly in music where one pretends to like a band simply because other “trve kvlt” people liked it or vice versa without even giving it a proper spin, the consequences bound to end up disastrously if this trend continues in near future. The quality of music, if we focus particularly on black metal, can not be measured regarding whether the graph has gone up or down because practically it’s impossible to listen to all the black metal bands over the world and then compressing the whole for judging but theoretically may be. So from this ever expanding industry, Mgła, hailing from Poland, is one of those bands who write music that they hold closer to the heart and in doing so not straying away a bit. Read the full review after the jump!
If you want to see a very moving visual, you should check out this new video montage for the Embers song “Shadows,” from their 2011 album of the same name. What is cool about this video is the way it shows the power and beauty of nature. While watching this video, it got me thinking that spending so much time in an urban environment, we forget how truly awesome the wonder of nature is, its so unreal. The video was created by Kelly of Embers, who picked imagery that fits the energy of the song perfectly. Stay tuned for a special conversation between Leila of Vastum and Kelly of Embers which will be featured on CVLT Nation. For all of our European readers, make sure not to miss Embers live starting in May – peep the tour poster after the jump!
Bare flesh entrenched in the moist soil of hidden wood; thick, clouded air and a soft mist of sweet water. Bask in this naked moment; in the heat of passion with a lover on wet earth or the comforting complexities of solitary enchantment with all that surrounds. Kneeling in reverence and ecstasy; feminine divinity. Bow in worship of everything and nothing. Invoke sanctity, invoke divinity, invoke indulgence and ascension; give birth.
Over this past year, CVLT Nation has become a sanctuary for writers and artists alike whom are dwellers of the deep. We saddle up on our pale horses de Profundis and ascend. This mixtape is an ode to the mother of creative inspiration and manifestation; wet earthen woods.
Stream Wet Earth
Photo courtesy of © Iris Szylack.
I’m a firm believer that there is beauty in darkness, just as much as I believe that there is light in darkness. Right now, I’m listening to the awesome new 8-minute epic song by San Francisco’s Black Monolith, entitled “Adhere.” This tune makes me feel like I’m racing towards the last days of humanity, only to find out that this is really the beginning of time. As a band, Black Monolith is not looking to their past, they are moving forward with their sound by bathing their agony in the sunshine of their nightmares. They are gazing forward with their songwriting, and they recruited melody into their arsenal of destruction. I fucking dig working at CVLT Nation so much, because it allows me to hear how bands can grow so much in a short span of time! Right now, I’m going to stop writing, and save my full review for the release of their EP, Passenger. In the meantime, listen to the new song below!
Yeri Theuns has great admiration for classical music. The way he incorporates piano and orchestral arrangements with black metal is something which deserves more appreciation. His latest offering We, The Damned perfectly follows the promising 2010′s The Great Loss and EP Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes. Despite all the classical arrangements, We, The Damned is an atmospheric black metal record to the core. The kind of maturity that is being displayed in We, The Damned did not come in one day. Any musician’s life is always going to be full of trial and error. The one who can minimalize the error will certainly come out as victorious. Although Yeri Theuns earlier works consisted of piano mainly but soon evolved into atmospheric black metal. No doubt it’s the right direction which Yeri chose given his love for the genre to go with the kind of great musical talent as well. Check out the full review, stream the entire album or download from the Bandcamp Page after the jump!