Hey Rob —- I guess by the time you see these questions the vinyl copies of the LP have just arrived, so the first question is are you happy with the finished result?
Very happy, they turned out great, iron bonehead did everything they promised, hail satan!
The new record seems like a pretty solid step up from The Devil’s Poison in terms of the sheer insanity of the songs (and the leads!) —- when you started writing did you feel like you were trying to top the last album or was it just a case of writing whatever came naturally this time around?
Some of the songs I had floating around on tapes for a while – we played one of these trax at our first ever gig actually, it just didn’t suit the other albums. We had a second guitarist for this album, so things needed to be a little different, specially from the last album, so we ran a completely different guitar sound on this album, a lot dirtier, hahahha!
So for the past couple of years now, you’ve been living in Ireland —- has it been hard to keep the band going since the move? Were you ever tempted to try and get a line up of the band together here in Dublin for convenience sake or anything like that?
The only thing that’s difficult is playing shows, we used to play quite a bit before I moved to the opposite side of the planet. I write all the music and lyrics, so that part hasn’t changed and slackness still prevails haha.
With the distance between members, how did the actual writing/recording process for The Escalation take place?
I went back to Australia for 7 weeks to jam with the other guys, and we also roped in a new guitarist, Horror Illogium (PORTAL) to help us out with the madness. We jammed for 4 weeks straight, putting riffs I had on tapes together, the usual drinking sessions and showing off till it all came together. “Prayer to hell” was actually only finalized in the studio while we were recording – we record all of our albums LIVE in studio, so the recording process is very quick, this album only took 4 hours to record, ie, a 5 minute song takes 5 minutes to record. Then we spent 2 weeks on and off mixing and mastering the fucker, Mick at Vibrafeel Studios has been working with us for over 18 years now, so he knows what we want, which helps a lot.
Welcome to my rejoining of the legion, via a reminiscing of ancient rituals. Several years after I started blogging, I became obsessed with capturing amateur footage of artists that set my mind a blaze. As they were captured on a shoddy flip-vip, with no proppor audio input, no real editing software, and certainly no skill set behind this, the sole purpose of these actions was to document sounds and moments that would otherwise go unseen. Consequently, these went far and wide all over the internet, from places like Vice to Roadrunner’s blog. And with nearly 300 in tow, a far reaching number seem perfectly at home in the Cvlt. So, without further ado, I entreat you to the first installment.
I enjoyed The Sum of All Fossils a ton, but it didn’t make my top 20 last year for a few reasons. While Flourishing play a style of haunting, complex death metal I enjoy to no end, the full length felt a little disjointed and unfocused, and it didn’t pull me in. There were a few tracks I really liked (By Which We’re Cemented, A Thimble’s Worth, In Vivid Monochrome), and others that felt a little arduous. Their Gorguts-y tone was tasty, just barely skirting worship, but it never stuck with me.
Make no mistake. It was definitely one of the best releases in death metal last year, and it was far from being a record I didn’t like, but there were a lot of others in both death metal and various other genres that held me longer and crushed me flatter. I honestly haven’t given it too many repeat listens despite the quality and potential being self-evident.
With the release of Intersubjectivity, I’m compelled to make a more serious effort however.
What this new EP from New York’s Flourishing shows is perfect progression, improved writing, structure, and a clear vision. Flourishing have created something truly impressive here and have dived into their true potential. They’ve been complex and beautifully chaotic from the start but on Intersubjectivity these qualities have been refined, honed to a viciously sharp edge while moving in a slightly different direction on several fronts.
Okus are a very new Irish band having only played their first gig in October of this year. But are very much old hands music wise with members having played in The Dagda, Bleeding Rectum, Fuckhammer, Sodb and more. They are to me like a hybrid between crusty death metal, grind and doom. With their music taking a real nihilistic and bleak look at the world based on religion in some way, through war, religion, economics etc.
There are a lot of bands playing crusty death metal. But Okus bring an eerie disturbed feeling into it. Which at times wanders into a slow doomy landscape before intense frenzied riffs take you somewhere else. A great example of this is in the track ‘Blood and oil’. Which starts off with big pounding primal drums and low bass which gradually builds through distorted decay and background noise. The track keeps building, until it changes quickly into extreme grind, then to a slow heavy riff and then off again. They have just completed some new recordings which will be available from the band.
After the first look at the cover art for the self-titled EP from Black Goat of the Woods, you would be forgiven for expecting some old school trash with its heart firmly in the 80s, with a love of Sodom first coming to mind. Of course, there’s that old saying about judging books and what not and their covers. However it goes. Anyway, the point is that when approaching this EP you’re not quite prepared for the sound and atmosphere held within its nine tracks, edging much more towards grindcore.
The Sempiternal Dusk demo, out now on Parasitic Records, is an all-out Ritualistic Death Metal storm that will blow you the fuck away! Consisting of two tracks and clocking in at 24 minutes, you will get your unhealthy dose of decaying riffs. On a personal level, I believe the Sempiternal Dusk tape should end up on many end of the year lists! CVLT Nation is super stoked that we are streaming this kick ass demo in full below…Sempiternal Dusk demo is being stocked in CVLT Records.
Now signed with Nuclear War Now, Oregon underground enigma Knelt Rote has all but moved away from their grindcore origins and into pastures more akin to the death metal and black metal that is often associated with the label. Last album Insignificance went a long in bridging the gap to where Knelt Rote are now. The band’s third LP Trespass espouses all the hallmarks of the underground’s brutal heart as this is one of the year’s most devastating and unrelenting metal records.
Our partners in death are at it again! Japan’s Death by Metal, aka Galeria de Muerte, is about to release a special t-Shirt + tote Bag. Nicke of Entombed handled the illustrations & Daniel Ekeroth, the author of Swedish Death Metal, curated a mixtape that is streaming below! To pre-order this Death by Metal t-Shirt + tote, go HERE!
Over the past week we have added quite a few titles to the CVLT Record Store! First up – two import double LPs from the UK’s doomlords RAMESSES, Take the Curse and Possessed by the Rise of Magick, remixed by Justin Broadrick. In addition to two 180 gram black vinyl double LP, Take the Curse comes with a bonus 7″ with two live tracks from their 2011 Roadburn set, a full-color poster and a rad full-color sticker sheet. Next up we have the 3rd press of the WINDHAND self-titled LP, featuring white vinyl with a purple haze, plus we have the self-titled LP from KUXAN SUUM from Fallen Empire, limited to 500 copies on black vinyl. We also brought in a couple of new 7″, including OLD WOUNDS’ Terror Eyes, and the Halloween 2012 special edition color vinyl of the EYEHATEGOD “New Orleans is the New Vietnam” record. There will be more coming soon, so stay tuned to our FB and Twitter to hear the word first!
They say you can’t judge a book by it’s cover but in the case of Ilsa the cover of “Intoxicantations” tells a whole lot about what’s to come. A tiger with a tab of LSD on it’s tongue, a tangle of weeds, skulls, eyes, and centipedes, lines being cut, a free-based tooth. Horrific, intoxicant soaked doomed out death metal that’s equal parts brutal as it is mind-altering. Following up 2010′s excellent debut record, Tutti il Colori del Buio Ilsa return with another crusted out attack on sobriety. Intoxicantations is a lengthy record, over 10 tracks ranging from two minute bursts of rage to six plus minutes of punishing doom. The introduction sets the stage perfectly. Ominous, martial drumming with strangled ambiance merges with panicked descriptions of drug use and the occult, merging with the opening track “Foreign Lander”. Crusty riffing, d-beat drums, and Orion’s furious vocal delivery make up the backbone of this record. There is something particularly punishing about Ilsa’s brand of death/doom, and Intoxicantations dials it up a notch. The sludged out guitar and and abyssal drumming provide an oppressive, funereal atmosphere to this record.
The eponymous track, “Intoxicantations” is pure doom. Serving as a powerful contrast to the slowed down riffing, the drumming on this track, and record as a whole, is something to behold. Bursts of double bass drop in when necessary then dissipate into ethereal cymbal crashes, never overwhelming, but always there, pressing on your chest. Paeans to drugs and satan make up the core of this records lyrics. It’s wild, hallucinatory imagery that fits well with the death-tinged atmosphere. The next track, “Deadbeat’s Ballad” takes on a more traditional heavy metal tone, something that happens a few times on this record, invoking bands like Red Fang or Howl. Buried gang vocals are the first thing you’ll notice about this track. ”Deadbeat’s Ballard” is high energy even when the listener is being buried under the massive riffing and wild drumming, ultimately leading to a massive conclusion.