There are few instances in life that are more polarizing than the defining moments when you find something that defies expectation and opens you to a truly unique experience, and ultimately changes the way you perceive your surroundings. Such was the case when I first came across Aaron Turner’s label, Hydra Head Records. I was thirteen years old; the label had been around for roughly ten years at that point. Thank God for this chance passing, because it pulled me out of the constant swell of shit that I’d been listening to up to that point. Up to this period of my life, my time had only been consumed with early punk and some very sad metal core. The music I found affected me so profoundly that it essentially shaped all of my creative output thereafter, through the mediums of music and art. Hydra Head, as well as its imprints, Hydra Head Noise Industries and Tortuga, have helped uphold a higher standard for creative and boundary pushing music through the years. Here’s to you.
Canadian label Profound Lore once again goes ahead to prove their reach in the world of musical accomplishment by releasing an entirely instrumental cello based full length by the artist Helen Money. Otherwise known as Alison Chesley, Helen Money is the moniker used by a woman who has had quite the illustrious career thus far. Chesley’s had a hand in some pretty excellent records and has also worked with a few of of the greatest names and artists of our time. Steve Albini (he recorded these pieces of music), Bob Mould, Mono, and Russian Circles are but a few of the musicians Chesley has lent her talents too but it’s with her solo work that Helen Money takes hold and the unnerving character of her playing shines through.
Doom and gloom settles across the tracks found on Arriving Angels and a claustrophobic stuttering motion of strings on opener “Rift” evokes its title with an uneasy thrum and leads into the album with an unsettling mood. It’s delightfully heavy in tone and aesthetically holds much in common with the more electric side of droned out doom that we are more used to hearing, yet this is a little more clever in it’s path towards utter obliteration and is all the more interesting for it. Deadly ambience filters through the tense moments of calm during “Upsetter” and once again Helen Money drives straight for the very core with a track that is brutal and punishing. The sawing motions of bow against string can be heard and felt as the momentum and crescendo builds until the unbearable end seems too far away.
Arriving Angels is a curious record and houses some truly dissonant moments within the occasional melodies that can be found. It’s quite a minimal album at times and sounds and echoes filter through passages of extreme quiet or intense loudness with nary a warning as to what may, or may not happen next. Arriving Angels is fairly unpredictable in it’s execution – one second there’s droning white noise, the next there’s stately drum beats wrought from the hands of Neurosis drummer Jason Roeder, the next there’s huge walls of symphony surrounding your soul – Helen Money takes on a multitude of metal extremities and carves her niche with flair and disturbing charm.
The Pacific Northwest has always been notorious for its number of grunge-related acts through the eyes of modern society. For those who partake in the metal scene, it could go in many ways differing from one to another depending on who you talk to, but the most common and unfortunate consensus from outsiders will involve the words Cascadia and such along the lines of “hipsterism” thrown into the pot. I, for one am tired of these preconceived notions of those who choose to clump bands from a particular region into a category based on just the more well-known ones who are in the spotlight more often than others. And alas, there lies much more beyond those who are familiar solely with bands such as Agalloch, Velvet Cacoon or Wolves in the Throne Room (note: the term solely). The term ‘Cascadian’ should be deemed for nature-related purposes and not within its music. According to Wikipedia, the term Cascadia includes all of these areas which are lined up on the Pacific coast – when some people think of metal bands from this side of the country, these three bands listed above seem to come to mind instantly, but let’s not forget bands such as Blasphemy and Conqueror who have originated from the British Columbia province and not to mention the mighty Inquisition who hail from the Seattle/Everett area (not Colombia as some may argue) as well.
“Hipoxia: a pathological condition in which the body as a whole (generalized hypoxia) or a region of the body (tissue hypoxia, or less commonly regional hypoxia) is deprived of adequate oxygen supply.”
Hipoxia were born in Madrid in 2009 when JK, E and K pooled their music interests and started to play and drink beer together. In summer 2010, Hipoxia published their first reference: Doomrehearsal. As the name suggests, it is a 40 minute rehearsal of three songs full of hateful and filthy doom/sludge/drone with black metal and punk influences. That year, the band began to play live. Their live debut was in December 23010 with Dispain. Since that moment, Hipoxia has shared the stage with bands like Monkeypriest, Reznik, Ali Agca, Iron Batasuna and ROLF.
Hipoxia, a new heavy-weight band within the Spanish sludge/doom scene, present their first original album, recorded and mixed at Mantis Studios by F. Trych and V. Brown (Wormed, Gödus, Banished from Inferno or Nüll), simply entitled Hipoxia introducing four tracks and 50 minutes of nihilistic and misanthropic sludge/doom.
Opening the hostilities with “Children of Winter,” a theme that, during its 12 minutes, drags us at a slow pace commanded by the drum and its repetitive, almost tribal beats. Flanked by foul guitar riffs that slowly chew our eardrums, we are dragged into this dirty pit from where the agonizing voice seems to echo. Although the song unfolds at a very slow pace, Hipoxia can provide another dynamic to the tracks by introducing some more thrilling punk-ish rhythms into it. At some points, the band decides to break down barriers and takes us to the neighboring border, as in “Living Dead Society,” a track that opens on a cloak of caustic-half-drone riffs where the voice echoes through a fog of stinking sludge. “Living Dead Society” is a track that pulls over the atmosphere into which we enter cautiously, only to slowly sink in the quicksand created by Hipoxia.
One of the stand-out releases so far is the yet-to-be-released record by Primitive Man, entitled Scorn. If you what to know how CVLT Nation feels about this bleak fucking piece of doom, go here to read our review! Today we want to shed darkness on the new Primitive Man video “Rags.” This visual will make your eyes hurt, and if you have any medical conditions, watch it at your own risk…Primitive Man’s Scorn can be ordered from Throatruiner Records & Mordgrimm. Now let the pain begin and peep the video after the jump!
What drives what we do at CVLT Nation is good fucking music. We refuse to write about music we don’t like, and use negativity to crush people’s dreams. After doing this zine for a couple of years, I have to respect certain humans’ creative output, and I know when they send in tunes I will more than likely be into them. One such person is Ryan from ENDLESS DISEASE, The Hollow Void and now Tethered To A Dying Animal. This new record, Impermanent, will be on my end of the year list without a doubt, because almost nothing else has touched it so far. Tethered To A Dying Animal is out of the box Doom//Sludge that speaks with the tongue of Grunge bleeding out the death juice of some shoegaze shit. The humans creating these songs know how to guide their influences in directions that have never been followed before. When you hear the despair-filled baselines in “The Day I Gave Up,” you start to feel a cancer eating away at your emotions. Then the vocals kick in, and a morbid sense of hope kicks in, and you start to feel there might still be a reason for living. Tethered To A Dying Animal is as heavy as a blanket of cement dipped in steel, but it also has the melodic magic of My Bloody Valentine. When you hear the vocals on “Car Crash,” you will say to yourself, unholy fuck, I really fucking dig this band. Tethered To A Dying Animal makes the kind of music that makes this site what is it! Within the ugliest sonic shit storm, there is beauty of a fucked up kind. Listening to this EP makes me dream of having a record label that releases music like Tethered To A Dying Animal, and one day I hope this will be reality! In the meantime, check out the stream of Tethered To A Dying Animal’s EP Impermanent below…If any fellow bloggers are reading this spread the word about this sick ass band!…This review was written by the force of Tethered To A Dying Animal, and these four songs inspired every word!
Today CVLT Nation brings you the last in the series of Cult of Luna’s Vertikal Sessions, The Time. In this episode, Magnus Lindberg and Johannes Persson discuss the timing of Vertikal, and namely the question many fans have wondered about – why did it take so long for a prolific band like Cult of Luna to release a new album? This episode is concise and to the point, and builds the anticipation for the January 29th release of Vertikal via Density Records (US) and Indie Recordings (EU). Check out this episode below, and make sure to pick up your copy of Vertikal this week!
I won’t spend any further words to describe IRON WITCH, since I already spread quite a range of posts about these Sludge-lovin’ Liverpudlians. Just as much: They still rule. Ok, their newest output is another 7”, which is awesome, and will be released in February by Endtyme Records. The title is just as hilarious as of the previous release: After last year’s Post Vegas Blues you’ll now get Hangover Suicide. The cover artwork is fucking gnarly and goes hand in hand with the bleakness of the music.
Looking at the musical side of things I really have to write the five forbidden words: Their best output to date. The two songs on this EP show a developed band that knows what sound it’s aiming for, but isn’t afraid to do things differently to hundreds of other Sludge bands. On side A you’ll find Death was the colour, a song that starts with a short and mean repetitive riff that torments your auditory canals like a wisely used drilling machine in your favourite splatter movie. The mid- to lava-esque speed throughout the song is just the perfect pace for the cancerous vocal delivery. A very harsh track. If you think that it can’t get any better, flip the vinyl and kill yourself: The title track features a riff whose emergence can only be explained like this:
Greg Ginn invented time travel in around 1984 and due to unpredictable circumstances finds himself in IRON WITCH’s rehearsal room. Since he is a good man willing to help other bands out he’s like: “Well, you guys can use this super fucked up riff I wrote the other day. I wanted to use it in Black Flags upcoming album, but Henry is a total pain in the ass about it, so it’s kind of a left over I want to give to you. But make sure you keep the odd time signature.” Aaaaaand he’s gone, back to the 80ies.
And as if this amazing Black Flag’ish riff wouldn’t be enough to write like at least five outstanding songs with it, the track evolves into an almost hypnotic, trance-like riffage that wouldn’t be misplaced on a Yob album. All the while keeping the shit heavy as fuck, of course.
When we last left off I was regaling you with grim tales of the bloodthirsty wall of sound that is Jucifer, which is apparently so mercilessly cruel that it took me an extra week to recover. But I have returned, and I thought I’d pick right back up in that spot where the proverbial quill had trailed off in inky dots.
Coming from that same sacrificial eve where Jucifer was documented at the Black Cat, in my last post, we return to the scene just a bit earlier to reveal a few doomed durges from the dark minds of Salome. For the record, this is not the best footage I have of the group, but I’m tucking that ace in the obelisk away for another date. What you have here is two bone-powdering songs followed by another of my awkward and rambling interviews. So, you’re really getting a tripple threat of a dangerous meeting.
Apart from their geographic location, we don’t know that much about Thaw from the mighty Poland.
Advance [MMXII] is Thaw‘s second demo and another right step in the right direction. Extreme as fuck, these guys play different extreme music genres (black metal, doom, sludge, etc) always trough their noisy – as fuck, of course – filter.
For those that have known this band since 2010, when they released their first demo Decay [MMX], it’s kind of easy to point out the differences between these two releases. If the first effort was full of black metal atmosphere, and it was an obvious influence in the way they created, here in Advance [MMXII] they use the sludgy atmosphere as a kind of base atmosphere to deliver the three compositions included in this piece.