6.PLANKS // LENTIC WATERS Split Preview
Right now, I feel like I have the power to look inside of the darkest emotion and discover the truth about what keeps my mind balanced. I’m blasting the new split between PLANKS // LENTIC WATERS that will be out sometime this June via three different labels: Apocaplexy Records & React With Protest (Europe) and IFB Records (US). What’s extra stellar about this record is that both even though both bands are different, their sound goes so well together. This split has imprisoned my being behind a majestic wall of half urban, half amazing melody that washes over me in waves. The Planks’ side consists of three compositions that are an unreal storm of fragile strength and a sense of urgency that is tempered with rage. Their songwriting is beyond fantastic – maybe this why I have this split on repeat! When you hear “It Fell To The Snakes,” you realize how far this band has come. The melodic riptides in that song will pull you under and drown you in radness, with just a little bit of epic sadness flowing through it. Lentic Waters know how weave together cinematic atmospheric soundscapes with majestic aggro outbursts in a way that will get your attention. Again, I’m pretty blown away by how good these humans are at writing songs, because with each listen you will hear something new. The thing about Lentic Waters is it’s not just about what is happening in your ears, it’s also about how their songs touch your spirit. They have a way of speaking about the human condition with the tones they play with their instruments. As a body of work, this PLANKS // LENTIC WATERS split is fucking stellar, and a record that will age well in your collection. So you really know what you are in store for, check out a preview of this record below.
by Oliver Sheppard
2012 was a great year for deathrock. As I wrote in the notes for the CVLT Nation Deathrock 2012 Part II mixtape, “Most of these new bands come from the DIY punk scene and are reclaiming deathrock’s punk roots. There is a strong element of anarcho/peace punk in a lot of the bands’ sound – see Moral Hex and Dead Cult, for example. Although there are some precedents for this, this is one of the novel developments in this style of music.”
A quick word about the term “deathrock,” whose use sometimes inspires endless debate, both online and off: The strictest and least forgiving definition of the term would be that it was a dark postpunk phenomenon that lasted from 1979 until about 1986 or 1987, and was primarily local to Los Angeles — or the US southwest in general, including California, Nevada (Theatre of Ice), and Arizona (Mighty Sphincter, The Consumers). And yet for many later bands, like Cinema Strange, and current bands, like Christ vs Warhol, Naughty Zombies, or Las Gorgonas, there is simply no other genre tag that fits, although increasingly terms like “goth-punk,” “dark punk,” and even “g-beat” (hah) are being used. Music hasn’t stopped evolving. According to Martin “Oldgoth” Coles at Louder Than War, gothic “music in the nineties was largely dire, possibly due to the scene’s popularity at the end of the eighties bringing in a lot of people without those punk roots” that had originally invigorated the music. “It’s high time the scene looked back and reinvented itself again,” Coles concluded. 2012 has shown “those punk roots” have indeed been rediscovered, as the following releases amply show. They’re listed IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER.
DYSTOPIAN SOCIETY – “Cages” LP
The debut LP by Italy’s Dystopian Society is an important, punk-influenced slab of purist deathrock that features lyrics sung and printed in English; the release garnered them a spot at 2012′s Drop Dead Fest in Germany. Earlier in the year, I reviewed the LP and interviewed the band at CVLT Nation here. The band, a power trio, bring to mind old school deathrock solidly in the vein of early, Rikk Agnew-powered Christian Death, or Voodoo Church, or the Superheroines. The band also performs covers of Paralasis Permanente and Rudimentary Peni songs live, further showcasing their punk sensibility. The band’s anthem, “Dystopian Society,” is an uptempo – but dark – political rocker, while creepier-sounding songs like “Masquerade” satirically poke fun at the obsession with image so evident in what has become of a lot of the deathrock and goth scenes, where punk attitude has been replaced by layers of awful, Tim Burton-style goth clown makeup and the attendant vanity that comes with that kind of cartoony take on the genre. You can get Dystopian Society’s Cages here.
Note: This article originally appeared by Oliver Sheppard at Souciant.com, here.
Record labels are a funny thing. Just like bands, they can be objects of cultish devotion. Factory, Dischord, 4AD, Rough Trade, and others all have fans who look to a label’s branding as an indication of a band’s style, ethics, and quality. This goes back to the days of Sun Records in the 1950s. Crass Records‘ reputation as a purist punk label is due for reexamination.
This past Tuesday, ATRIARCH finished their first US tour in Los Angeles, and it was a performance I will never forget. The energy in the room was magical, and the band did not disappoint us. That being said, every band that took the stage that night brought something special, from the killer Doctorshopper to Iron Mountain to Pendulous. Plus I want to also give a huge 666 gun salute to EAR/SPLITTERS for keeping heavy music alive in SoCal. Now back to ATRIARCH – not only do they create music that is from another planet of radness, they are also cool humans with positive hearts! Make sure to pick up their most recent album Ritual Of Passing, out now on Profound Lore, plus get their first record Forever the End on Seventh Rule. Johann Currie aka Obsidian Mirror Photography, one of CVLT Nation’s resident photographers, was on hand to capture all of the bands conjure up a heavy portal that we all walked through that night. His photos will show that these bands had the whole room transfixed. I want to say it was so cool seeing Los Angeles support real music, and thanx again to all of the bands…Now check out an unreal photo essay after the jump!
Since day one of CVLT Nation, ATRIARCH has been a band that we have been fascinated with because their high level originality. Recently they released Ritual Of Passing, out now via Profound Lore. The band is now on their first US tour, and the word on the street is that they have been destroying every stage they have stepped on to. On Nov. 17th, ATRIARCH performed at the St. Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, and our comrade (((unartig))) was on hand to capture their set. For everyone in Los Angeles reading this: make sure to head out to their show this Tuesday night at the Boom Tomb Room presented by Ear/Splitters! Peep their mind-blowing performance after the jump plus the gig poster!
Atriarch is a band that CVLT Nation has supported since day one because we dig where they are coming from. Their new album Ritual Of Passing, out now on Profound Lore, will take you to some cryptic and otherworldly places in your mind. To support their new sonic offering, Atriarch has just set off on a U.S. tour. So today, we have decided to put together a live footage video essay so you can see what you are in store for…Also, peep all of the tour details after the jump. If I was you, I would not miss an Atriarch live ritual. I’m so determined to see them, I will be catching an L.A. bus – nothing and no one can stop me from seeing this band!
by Oliver Sheppard
Portland doom metal band Atriarch have taken a gothic turn since their split earlier this year with San Francisco’s Alaric. Although still solidly anchored to a doom metal-y rhythm section — complete with ponderous, stomping drums and trudging bass guitar — on the band’s new LP, Ritual of Passing, the vocals have taken on an increasingly Rozz Williams style of wailing, and the guitars more and more evince an influence by Rikk Agnew and Eva O (although there are still plenty of ‘tolling bells of doom’-type downtuned, crunchy guitar arrangements). At their Facebook page, Atriarch describe themselves as “blackened deathrock/doom,” and that is as good a phrase to describe their hybrid style as any I have seen. Ritual of Passing combines elements of early 80s LA deathrock with downtempo European doom metal.
I love The Birthday Party. When they were at the top of their game, no band was more original. These weirdos were super death rock on some sleazy vodun styles, without ever labeling themselves. The Birthday Party is a perfect example that some of the most interesting music was created by ex-punks. When I listened to them when I was young, I always felt like little monsters were dancing around my brain. Everyone knows that Nick Cave was one of the sickest frontmen to ever stalk a stage. He was the right balance of James Brown on some next shit and Screaming Jay Hawkins on some living dead shit! This is why today CVLT Nation is celebrating the almighty The Birthday Party with a huge video essay of favorite videos and live footage. So after the jump, release the bats and get your inner cycodelic on!
All Photos: Ted Reckoning
Despite some unwelcome shenanigans on the 2nd night of Vancouver’s 8th annual DISTORT FEST, the third night went off well and featured performances by CRIMSON SCARLET, OUST, DERAS KRIG, DEATHCOUNT, SKABIIS, NIGHT NURSE, ASILE, BELLICOSE MINDS and WOLFBRIGADE. All bands killed it, and Ted Reckoning has provided us with photographic proof of it! Check out his gallery of photos after the jump, and start getting ready for next year’s fest!
The past year has been a busy one for Portland based enigmatic death rockers, Atriarch. The dudes have strung together a series of successful West-Coast mini tours (whose crushing sonic mire you will drown beneath), put out an awesome split with Alaric, and are now on the verge of dropping a heavy-hitting dose of the black abyss with an accompanying tour for Ritual of Passing, the band’s follow up to last year’s excellent Forever the End. I recently had the chance to chat with vocalist and frontman Lenny Smith about the direction of the new album, the symbolism found throughout the music, and the impending US tour. Check out the full interview and tour dates after the jump!