African tribes used the power of the drum to strike fear in the hearts of their downpressors, & in modern times, crust warriors use the force of the drum as the back beat of calls to revolution. When you first hear Life Erased’s album Atop The Mountain Of Your Dead Selves, the rhythm of change will change the pace of your heart. I’m sayin, from the moment their song “Hallowed Retribution” comes marching through my speakers, the war is on. These humans have underground melodic riffs that are as sharp as barbed wire. Then on top of all this, they attack high & low with a two-pronged vocal onslaught that turns off the light to injustice. On the lyrical tip, Life Erased brings the rightious noize that all of humanity needs to hear, and then maybe all of these unwanted wars & race riots would not be taking place in 2011. This band is an example that peace punks do not die, we just get more revolutionized. I swear Life Erased is holding up a mirror to the rotting face of capitalism & saying see what you have done to our people? When I hear music like this, I feel that it can be used as a weapon of unification that can bring all of the like minded humans of the world together. At the same time, Life Erased does not lack at all in the music department, because the tunes this band manifests can rip your fucking face off. They add fuel to my fire for sure, plus they build huge walls of stenchcore melody around every second they have put to tape with this release. Life Erased makes it be known that the deaf, dumb & blind will stay that way, but those who are truly alive will rise as we watch the demise of the unwise! If you go to here, you can download the awesome album, just name your price!See for yourself how rad this band is after the the jump peep change in action.
I swear there must be something in the water in DC, because bands from this part of the country always have a different swagger, and this is a fact – you can hear dating back to Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Void & Marginal Man. DC’s ILSA is a band that brings the cosmic death doom to the party and sets it off til the break gloom. ILSA’s 2010 album, Tutti il Colori Del Buio, released via Contagion Releasing comes from a place of superdelic radness, where the basslines break bones & putrefied screams shatter steel. ILSA has riffs that are apocalyptic & stink of all sweaty basements they have wreaked havoc in. They pull off something really special with this album; it’s like the blues got hijacked by a crazy horde of crusty punx & they gave birth to a mutant bastard sound. ILSA also electrocutes their music with cryptic volts of death metal. They also have one more element in their sonic tour de force that commands respect: they have the knack & knowhow to harness the power of D-beat. Their singer sounds damaged to the core, and seems like someone you would want on your side in a riot. They hit me in all of the right places, and put me in a head lock with their swamp boogie dirge, then they keep my soul captive in their dungeon of doom. They really seem like they are just fucking happy doing them & not trying to be anything they aren’t. Every song on this album bleeds caustic conviction & nuclear passion. I want this band to be the soundtrack to our new Armageddon! Black Flag kills roaches on contact, but ILSA beheads all posers in sight!!! After the jump, check out live footage of gnarly rituals.
Who will give a voice to the people without a voice? Who will stand up for the people that are not allowed to stand up for themselves? I’m willing to to put action into the words I write, & others use the music they create as a weapon of change against the seen & unseen power structure that tries to hold all of us back. One band that uses music as a vehicle for social justice is Finland’s UNKIND, & on their new Relapse release, Harhakuvat, the sense of urgency is evident on every tune. What’s really interesting is that the whole album is sung in Finnish, a language I don’t understand, but I’m still able to relate to every word that they sing. From the very first note, the band brings you into their world with the use of heartfelt, surging dark waves of melody. UNKIND’s vocalist does such a stellar job at spitting out words that are full of conviction & have the power to ignite the revolutionary fuse in us all. Harhakuvat is an album that has the sonics of crust at it’s foundation, but actually is so much more than just one genre. For one, the production on this album is huge, but it still hits you in the grill with a DIY punch. UNKIND are brilliant with the way they use space in their songs, allowing room for the emotion to build. Songs like “Johtajat Ja Uhrit” start to embed themselves into your mind & soul. On the title track on the album, “Harhakuvat,” I hear a perfect example of how UNKIND’s music has an awesome balance between compassion & rage. You can hear the weeping willows’ sorrow, but then the music starts to charge at you like a Mongolian horde. If you dig your crust large & in effect, then UNKIND is your kind!
Wow is jumping over 6 unholy fucks and awesome is doing back flips over pure radness…MAN WILL DESTROY HIMSELF is one of the sickest new bands in my universe.The first millisecond that I heard them, they had me hanging on to the killer fury that they conjure up like a puppet on a string. So this is the deal, MAN WILL DESTROY HIMSELF, from Raleigh, NC, just released their album This is a Test via The Path Less Traveled Records. If you can’t tell, this record has me mad hyped! When the riff on “Circle the Drain” wraps around your inner head banging demons, I know for sure you will be hooked. Actually, MAN WILL DESTROY HIMSELF is so good that when I hear them, everyday feels like Saturday. Now I’m going to get my mad scientist on, I’m going to mix the spirit of Rudimentary Peni with the confrontational energy of S.O.A, plus the metallic edge of VOID, and what I would create would still be no match for MAN WILL DESTROY HIMSELF. The vocalist in this band is called Earthworm Poverty, and his magnetic screams & grunts are filled with harmonic agony. Then there is the music – you could say it’s crust, metal or punk, but none of these labels would do it justice, my advice to you would be to hear it for yourself. I will say that every tune on this record is gnarly to the core. MAN WILL DESTROY HIMSELF know how to use speed as a weapon, and they construct all of their tunes with a rancid layer of cosmic melody that will have your face contorting in awe. You know when you hear people that live what they create every second of their existence, so their creations have that special quality that you can’t put your finger on? This band has that. Now I have one more thing I have to do before I leave this planet, I must see MAN WILL DESTROY HIMSELF live. I know these humans must rip the universe a new one!
Balaclava has the right to call themselves “Superdelic Gnarly,” because their new album Crimes of Faith, which will be released on vinyl by Forcefield Records/Cosmic Debris & on CD by Southern Lord Aug.30th, is killer with no fucking filler! This band gives me what I need & what I want – some off the hook, dirty crusty punk with some voodoo doom. It gets even better, these dudes also can mold atmospheric soundscapes into sonic hovercrafts for your imagination to take a lift on before landing in a swamp of hate. Listening to Balaclava is like having your favorite five bands become one ultimate killing machine. I have to to give this band mad props for constructing 7 songs that shapeshift into so many varying moods, while still retaining one voice. They had my attention when I heard the first drum beat on “Victims” – the song took off & became this blackened drama where tension looked into the empty eyes of intense, only to realize there is no future, only now. By the time “Throne of Grace” wraps it hands around your throat, feedback starts to poke in your eyes as the drums are knocking away at your joints. Expression of the realest kind is what Crimes of Faith is all about in my book; no matter what the speed of the song, Balaclava will make encounter those emotions you might want to stay asleep. Deep down in the underbelly of this music you will find ancient blues riffs that when played with right kind of rage can be hailed as apocalyptic blues. As the record plays on, it begins to open up & they really start to let the weirdness in, or at least that is what you think, because at the drop of a dime Balaclava will drop the heavy hammer. Fuck putting things in boxes, that just stops growth, what I appreciate about this band is how free & open they are; if this heavy, I feel weightless. Balaclava will execute you with the amount of melody that Crimes of Faith is packing in it’s arsenal. The last song on the album, “A Prophecy,” is a perfect ending to a “Superdelic Gnarly” album – awesome job, Balaclava.
Balaclava : Victims
Recently I was approached by a band from Italy called Gottesmorder to do an illustration for a t shirt. They sent me a link to a song on bandcamp that was part of a compilation, and that was the only recorded material they had available. The song was cool so I agreed to work with them. Once that was in place, they sent me their finished, self-titled EP and I was blown away. Over the course of two songs and 25 minutes, Gottesmorder collide grim black metal with post rock, doom, hardcore and crust all wrapped in a shroud of smokey atmosphere. These two songs are scathing and visceral, and at other moments otherworldly and intangible. Gottesmorder have already begun to forge their own sound that should help to separate them from all the new post black metal bands.
I’m proud to exclusively premiere the second and shorter of the two tracks “Abyss Of Throats.”
Gottesmorder – Abyss Of Throats
More words, photos, artwork, tour dates and info on how to order after the jump.
It’s about to be less than a month away before POWER OF THE RIFF will be invading the West Coast. POWER OF THE RIFF is on point by taking this festival up & down the West Coast, hitting Los Angeles, San Francisco & Seattle, spreading the stench far & wide! The line up this year for all of the dates is straight killer & no fucking filler – if you don’t believe me, check the line-up. It’s pretty weird, like the person that picked the bands said okay let’s make sure we pick some of CVLT Nation’s all time favorite bands. I will be at the Los Angeles show on Aug. 13th – if you don’t know, now you do – I’m a heavy music junkie, and this festival is making sure I get the fix I need to survive. I really dig listening to music, but as we all know, nothing beats seeing it live. We decided to give a visual as to how rad POWER OF THE RIFF is going to be, so we complied sick live footage of most of the bands that will killing shit this year. So after the jump, check out some toxic live footage that will burn your eyes & rock your brain…plus, for all who don’t live on the West Coast, see what you are missing (you still have time to buy a plane ticket).
I can smell the pot fumes coming out of the sewer, wrapping around my dreams, turning them into night terrors. Hold on, I’m exhaling PUS…this South Wales band is my kind of buds. They have a sticky, blackened self-titled EP out now on Universal Tongue/Feretro Records that will make you feel dirty & high at the same time. PUS’ music is demonic blues for the underworld, where Satan’s helpers smoke big bongs. Every song on this EP crushes the timid, but gives power to the herbmen of the darkworld. This band’s bass lines are full of top grade THC, plus they have this “stoned is the way to be” vibe about them that just makes my fucking day. Actually the bass waves on songs like “Image of the Dredd Law” is as heavy as 666 tons of the gnarly stuff. You know when you smoke too much & evol voices start going off in your head, that’s what their lead singer sounds like, a mean ghoul who is trying to steal our stash. PUS drummer sets the dirge beats for the rest of the band to follow, which is not hard for them because the sounds he creates are mammoth. Now let me talk about the wizard riffs that have me high before I even light my spliff, now that is some rad shit. One thing is that I really dig about PUS is that they have this awesome crust aura that gives every jam a good stench. So this is the deal, when a bunch of punks decide to puff on that Mr. Nice & form a band, you end up with the killer sounds of PUS!
I wonder what’s making me smile? I know what it is – this face-ripping metallic crust I am blasting into my ears, created by a rad Minneapolis band called Cognitive Dissonance. Their new album Into the Madness, out on Ecophagy Records, is the sonic personification of hell hounds chewing at your throat. This band has something to say to the world, & they get the job done in a caustic fashion that will leave you with energy to rage against this oppressive system. The vocals on this album will penetrate your psyche, and travel all the way through your skeleton, where they will leave you with an unsettling feeling of blackened joy. The dual singing that Cognitive Dissonance has happening is just fucking awesome! This band’s riffs ring the alarms of revolution that can be heard by all the freedom fighters worldwide. It’s weird, the song writing on Into the Madness is so epic, at times I wonder if I might be listening to the Mozart of crust. Hot Damn, every song on this album will have you standing to attention, and the metallic solos on this album scream out “You better listen to us you bastard! GAME OVER!” Check out the title tune “Into Madness” – your head will be banging & your face will be contorting with radness. Lyrically speaking, this band is on point, writing about issues that I’m sure many of you think about, like “Manufactured Genocide” and “Omens of Doom.” Cognitive Dissonance’s tunes have this blackened groove to them that totally gets me wildin out, but whats so killer are the deep valleys of emotional fury that this band paints with their righteous anger. The next step for me is seeing them perform this sick album live & taking some epic flicks!
I was able to catch up via email with one of the creators of this years most talked about Southern California extreme music festivals…California Discord Fest. The first of many more to come, this festival has already generated massive buzz due to the impressive and exclusive lineup with bands from all over the world convening at its Los Angeles based location. Heres a brief insight into the mind of Daniel Gonzales of Bones Booking.
Read the rest of this epic interview after the jump!