San Francisco’s Deafheaven have just announced a September California mini tour with Lake of Blood and DNF. Deafheaven’s Deathwish debut Roads to Judah continues to gather positive press, and their live show doesn’t disappoint either. Southern Californian time-stretching black metallers Lake of Blood are also making a name for themselves with their massive album, As Time And Tide Erodes Stone. LOB have already proven themselves as a force to be reckoned with live while on their Summer tour with Vestiges. DNF (Duke Nukem Forever) will be beating audiences into submission before LOB or Deafheaven play a single note. DNF have an intense and confrontational live show that will either win over crowds or send them running. If you live in California, be sure you don’t miss out on this mini tour.
If you live in San Francisco, don’t miss Deafheaven at Great American Music Hall with psych-metal heavyweights KYLESA. Also, East Bay funeral doom overlords LYCUS will be opening their show at Sub Mission Gallery.
DEAFHEAVEN – ON TOUR
9/14 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall w/ Kylesa
9/20 – San Francisco, CA – Submission Art Gallery w/ Lake of Blood, DNF, Lycus
9/21 – Santa Cruz, CA – 150 Pioneer w/ Lake of Blood, DNF
9/22 – Los Angeles, CA – Bow and Sparrow w/ Lake of Blood, DNF, ACXDC
9/24 – Mesa, AZ – Nile Theatre w/ Trap Them, Gaza, Touche Amore
9/25 – San Luis Obispo, CA – 2007 Broad St. w/ White Summer
Poster art by Natvres Mortes Illvstration. SF, CA.
Have you ever wondered what it sounded like in Hell? After listening to BEHERIT’s album At The Devil’s Studio 1990, out now via Hell’s Headbangers, I think I know. This record is fucking way beyond brutal, it’s like putting your head in a blender filled with 100-day-old shit, then turning it on full blast, letting the brown stuff paint your walls. The only thing is, you decide that you like the smell, because it also comes with riffs that have the heads of serpents. The drum beats have the power to shapeshift into decaying limbs that only speak the rhythm of murder murder, kill kill…are you dead yet? The vocals on this BEHERIT record are super raw, they almost give you a weird sense of witnessing a snuff film where the snuffee is a Republican congressman. I really dig the album because you can tell that is was created only for a select few to understand, & for those that don’t get it, fuck off! You can tell that Nuclear Holocausto Vengeance and Sodomatic Slaughter had a blast constructing these songs of hate – every song bleeds with these dudes. What’s really rad about At The Devil’s Studio 1990 is that it was created over 20 years ago, but sounds like it was created in some blackened dungeon like last month. Every riff on this record sounds like it was played by the hands of Satan’s helpers. This album will turn any sunny day into a storm of blackness. Yeah, BEHERIT were super gnarly, but under all of the bile & blackened stench you can hear these weird flurries of diseased melody that is the glue that holds all of this mayhem together!
This band sets the foundation for the legion of ghouls to follow, so put that on your altar & light your candle!
This record is one epic flashback to the mid-90ies (makes sense, Sorcier Des Glaces are around since 1998): Black Metal wasn’t just a bloody, raw and fucked up bastard of Teutonic Thrash and early Death Metal anymore, but still a step away from becoming a lucrative form of music with big selling bands like Children Of Bodom or Cradle Of Filth. A certain rawness was still present, yet moody melodies, acustic parts, keyboards and overexaggerated theatralics began to pave their way into the genre. Think of Immortal (circa around Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism and Pure Holocaust) to get the picture. So this Canadian band Sorcier Des Glaces perfectly fits into this frame. I mean this could very well be some lost record from 1994, the songs, the production, the sound – really, this shit is AMAZING. Full review after the jump!
This is record for the sick. If your preferences concerning extreme Metal begin with Wolves In The Throne Room and end with Liturgy, Mitochondrion from Canada is not a band for you. But if you dig skull crushing mayhem like Deathspell Omega on the one hand and primitive, ugly bastards like Teitanblood on the other, you should give Mitochondrion a shot. This is some seriously gut wrenching, blackened Death Metal, picking up where all the fakes left off.
The Burial Ground Sessions was recorded absolutely live and in one incredible take at, lo and behold, the Burial Grounds in Salem, Oregon. Other bands that have recorded here include the mighty Leech, Merkstave and Mania and Lake Of Blood certainly use the infamous setting to their advantage.
This is eighteen minutes of aural onslaught from the Californian five-piece. Eighteen minutes of pure and passionate black metal. Eighteen minutes, two powerful tracks and a taste of what’s still to come from this band.
It’s pretty rad when you can see people are comfortable in their own skin – it makes whatever they create so much better. This review is just as much about a label as it is about a band. I have said before, I have so much respect for labels that have a strong foundation of integrity, which spreads into everything about it as a musically entity, even down to their aesthetic. One label that has been blowing my mind lately is HANDMADE BIRDS, which is run by R Loren. I must say that this human has been amazing me – he has been releasing albums that defy any genre. Looking at the world from the perspective of not labeling things keeps everything way more interesting & allows things to shapeshift into new, unknown forces that have never been seen or heard. This month HANDMADE BIRDS is releasing a new record by CROOKED NECKS called ALRIGHT IS EXACTLY WHAT IT ISN’T, which you can pre-order HERE now. Only one label will do this album justice: fantastic fucking music that will pull your spirit in so many awesome directions it will be your source of a new kind of high. I will tell you how listening to CROOKED NECKS makes me feel. One song that I’m really hooked on is “Smelling the Sounds” – it reminds of a beautiful summer’s day clothed in black silk. The guitar on this song will have your saddest times flying away, never to return again, plus the melody of the vocals will enchant you as if you just turned into magic mushroom! Drone layered on top emotive sound is the structure for another one my favorite tunes, “Every Step Seems Backwards”. The vocals are not sung in a traditional sense, but almost whispered, only to be joined by their crazy black metal cousin who crashes the party to also throw down some vocals. I know this all seems a little weird, but when you hear it for yourself, it will all become clear. CROOKED NECKS did such a great job at creating their own world, where their musical imagination rules its’ own sonic kingdom. I actually feel really happy & honored to have a chance to write about such a killer piece of audio history. All I can say is open you heart & let this rad band do their thing, you will not be disappointed!
Sound is power, Sound is magic, Sound is unseen energy. The San Francisco Blackened Noize duo Sutekh Hexen are fully aware of the special properties that sound posseses & they explore the secrets of sound on their new self-released album, Luciform. The first thing that comes to my mind while listening to this album is the light & the dark sides of Nature. They attack my imagination and all of a sudden I have visions of dead, decaying animals being eaten by maggots and becoming food for the earth, so other beings can be reborn. Sutekh Hexen’s music also invokes a sense of coldness in me that I guess I would explain as the sonic storm that this band conjures up with each of their songs. Their music is frantic movement that pulsates & spins your most demented thoughts around a thousand times. What I really dig about Sutekh Hexen is the way they manipulate sound – it’s up to each listener to determine what the music means to them, which equals pure freedom. It’s almost seems that each song on Luciform is it’s own audio ritual of mayhem on the verge of tranquility. I really dig the way that their song “The Great Whore, In Worship They Weep His Name” unfolds; it’s a weird puzzle made of different parts of the cosmos. The tune has this rad demonic melodic part that just pushes all of the other elements towards insanity but then mid way through, it is hijacked by a fast moving ice storm. When you really dig deep into their compositions, you will hear almost a meditation happening. The guitar on the whole album is off the fucking hook, it’s full of these volcano riffs that turn into lava & burns everything in sight, even your dreams of a better existence. Sutekh Hexen wants your mind to travel when you hear what they are laying down, but at the end of the day, they will not hold your hand or make it easy for you. The vocals on Luciform are harsh as fuck & come at you from many directions, which can leave you in awe at times, but this is a part of the fun of having this band invade your brain! Their song “Serpents, the Hermetic” is a slow moving masterpiece, where the vocals float on the track like it’s a river of blackened angst. For more info about this killer limited Sutekh Hexen album, go HERE!!!. After the jump, check out some rad live footage, plus stream some of their live rituals on Soundcloud!
We live in a society were the rich just fucking keep getting richer, and the disenfranchised humans are treated as subhuman. This is why I listen to music that is filled with hate, because right about now when I look around it’s hard to see love. One release of 2011 that gives me just what I need in the hate department is Baton Rouge’s Barghest. They released an album on Gilead Media called Untitled, and it’s 7 songs of epic USBM that will take over your spirit with every listen. This record is almost like a puzzle – it’s something you need to spend time with to really feel the full impact, & once you allow it to get into your headspace, you will realize hate has never sounded so rad! Barghest’s music is made up of many different layers of filth that is what makes it so engaging & powerful. This band doesn’t write songs, they wage epic sonic battles. The guitar work on Untitled is so killer that it gives the undead a chance to breath again. Many of the riffs on this album evoke ancient times of human slaughter, people dying at the hand of steel, and Barghest makes you mourn for them. When you hear the intro to “Pain Of Days,” they will pull you into their world of nothingness. Barghest does not make it easy for you, but trust me, under all of the blackened mayhem they have created bursts of demented melody that will captivate your darkest thoughts. Barghest’s vocals are instruments of destruction unto themselves – at one point, a high growl sounds like 1000 year old sonic stench & then a low voice crawls into the mix to wreak more havoc. This band empowers me to get through a world of despair ruled by warmongers who hide behind their faith of lies! Bring Barghest into your life so that your bright daze will be taken over by the mighty hand of the real black.
The tension worldwide is palpable as Wolves In The Throne Room prepare to release their fourth full length album Celestial Lineage (Southern Lord). Expectations for this album are high to say the least. WITTR quickly rose to prominence with their 2007 LP Two Hunters. The band toured rigorously behind the critically acclaimed album, and played a well documented show at Roadburn in Holland. Black Cascade was released in 2009 and was far more aggressive and visceral than it’s predecessor. This is the album everyone expected WITTR to make after Two Hunters, but fans were handed the violent, albeit still excellent, curveball that was Black Cascade. Now with Celestial Lineage, Wolves complete the trilogy started with Two Hunters.
Celestial Lineage takes the ethereal sound of Two Hunters and amplifies it. Each of the album’s 7 tracks are packed with lush sonic detail; keyboards, guest musicians, samples, and acoustic instrumentation all brought to life by recording engineer extraordinaire Randall Dunn. The album’s opener, the twelve minute ‘Thuja Magus Imperium,’ begins with what should now be the instantly recognizable voice of collaborator Jessika Kenney. Her incredible melodic vocals call to mind sun streams beaming through the tree tops of the Cascadian forests. This is one of the things that makes WITTR so special. They create a world for their music to exist in. Their artwork, press photos, lyrics and choice of collaborators all help to create an aura that is instantly recognizable and unique to them. ‘Thuja…’ sets the tone for the rest of the album. The instrumentation is aggressive, yet highly melodic. Guitar riffs are often backed by keyboard lines. The vocals are powerful rather than hateful.
Aaron Turner (formerly of Isis and currently of Mamiffer and House of Low Culture among many others) contributes vocals to two tracks, as well as art and design elements to the album packaging. His vocal contribution on ‘Permanent Changes In Consciousness’ is similar to his work on the last Twilight album Monument to Time End (Southern Lord). Turner’s voice calls to mind the chanting of monks. His clean baritone is duplicated, layered and reverberated to the point where it sounds like it’s emanating from a deep well. His addition to the album ads an extra layer of magic to an album already brimming with it. ‘Permanent Changes…,’ and ‘Rainbow Illness’ both fall under two minutes, and work as breathers between the album’s five proper tracks.
What makes this album such a compelling listen is that the songwriting is impeccable. Wolves have long since proved that they can write incredible music with just guitar, bass, vocals and drums. The band took what were already well crafted songs and added layer upon layer of aural stimulation to the point where each song is radiant with sound. The album stripped to its bare elements would be an achievement in itself, but it’s Kenney and Turner’s vocals, the acoustic percussion and the gorgeous harp that makes an appearance on ‘Astral Blood’ that push the album to levels of sonic bliss.
On Celestial Lineage, Wolves In The Throne Room have created their masterpiece. It’s a fitting end to the trilogy. If the band decides that this will be their last album, it will be a more than fitting career summation. There are a handful of bands who do the atmospheric black metal sound, and do it extremely well. But WITTR have tapped into something that resonates in the hearts and minds of many. With this new album, the band continues to push them to the top of their genre and differentiate them from their peers.
Celestial Lineage comes out Spetember 13, 2011 on Southern Lord. Click below for a list of live dates.
I come from the school where the name of the label stood for something, like when Dischord or SST put out a record back in the day, you knew you would be getting a quality product. What I see happening in the underground is a rebirth of those kind of labels. One such label is San Francisco’s Flenser Records – they put out some really rad releases this year, & they just did it again. The new album from Bosse-De-Nage is going to be on my top ten list for sure! It’s just so fucking rad on so many levels. This release could be called black metal weirdo, but I would rather call it music for people in the right state of mind. This band is so comfortable in their skin it’s a joy to listen to, plus every song pushes creativity to a whole other sphere of reality. Bosse-De-Nage builds dynamic walls of emotion with their use of off-kilter, epic riffs that engage you with torment. The singer’s voice is full of agony, you can hear that he is calling out for change. There is not a moment when he is singing that you can’ t feel his sincerity. I’m also in in awe of the production – yes, it’s huge & clean, but you can hear deep caves of dirge that you fall into. It should be a crime to scratch at people’s hearts the way the melody does on this release. Bosse-De-Nage’s songwriting is unique and will have you transfixed from the very first moment. This record is not about one or two songs, it’s the whole experience, which for some reason makes me feel like a better human being for being a part of it. Bosse-De-Nage has created an album that took courage, & for that I give them my respect, so should you.
Bosse-De-Nage : The Death Posture