From time to time, when i think that nowadays nothing can surprise me anymore in terms of heavy music, one of these precious gems surface and as my ears are flooded with such great music i silently whisper a sincere: “Holy shit…“.
This happened a few days back when i discovered Sonance, a atmospheric/experimental sludge/doom collective hailing from Bristol while checking my blog roll. “Like Ghosts” is the first recorded material from the Bristolian 5 piece formed by Ben (guitar, screwdriver), Will (guitar, dictaphone, vocals), Tom (vocals), Chino (bass) and Jamie (drums).
“Like Ghosts” comes in two halves, totaling just under 42 minutes. Each part is an atmospheric heaping of interwoven arrangements, detailed and droned stretches that subside into sludge filled chasms as the bass pushes you through the floor and lifts dust from the walls. The record was written and rehearsed in a confined practice room in which the waves of sound could literally be felt shuddering up through your lungs and out of your mouth.
“Side A” begins with this hiss coming out of violins giving the motto for this thick cacophony wall of sludge that sounds pretty much like Hell. Massive riffs are hammered repeatedly through our brain as the voices behind it scream and yell. Suddenly the whole music tempo changes and morphs into what it seems a more post-rock/instrumental register, very low, it moves at a very slow pace until it morphs again into a more aggressive beast. There’s layers and layers of rich and diverse elements that intertwine harmoniously between each other and work perfectly together, and that voice that speaks “like ghosts..” around at minute 7:45… leaves me speechless. I can see there’s a clear Neurosis influence in Sonance’s sound but i can also throw in names like Kayo Dot or even Godspeed You! Black Emperor. “Side B” goes to a more drone/atmospheric territories before it unveils these massive layers of sludge metal. This was the factor that hooked me up instantly, the whole atmosphere that lies within Sonance’s music. making this release (and band) the best music i’ve heard this year. Mindblowing.
Heavy Music is Power. This is a “Heavy Hour” brought to you by two fine examples of American Heaviness.
Laudanum is a crushing band that features the talents of Nathan Misterek from Graves at Sea on Vocals, Sal from Asunder on Bass, and combined with the punishing power duo of Becky on Drums and Judd on Guitar. They’ve been punishing ear drums for the better part of a decade now and this was one of my favorite performances of theirs.
Loss footage after the jump!
Come a little closer, so I can drop some negative psychedelics on your tongue…Fuck that, just know that you need the band WOLFBAIT in your life, because their new tape (via Art For Blind) is the kind of sonic brain damage that will make you happy. All 8 songs are laced with that shizz that will make you sick and mad in the head! WOLFBAIT know how to use the force of hardcore and weave it into an almost industrial basket of insane riffs. This band has fucking raised the bar when it come to tweaking a genre into their own audio likeness. Is WOLFBAIT heavy as concrete boots? Yes, and they will break your bones against their sinister walls of melody. Vocally, the singer sounds like maggots have eaten away at his voice box while he screams like van Gogh cutting his ear off. Which brings me to the point: WOLFBAIT has a weirdo art vibe to them that I really dig and I feel it gives them a different view on the way they write their songs. They incorporate bugged out noise effects into their mountains of sludge that only make me like them even more. From the very first moment I heard this band, I knew they were special, because their is something really awesome happening in Ireland right now. I guess you could say I’m fucking hooked on the WOLFBAIT, and you should be to! This is also a message to all bloggers reading this: spread the word! And to all heavy music weirdos: get with the program! WOLFBAIT’s tape should be on many end of the year lists if it was up to me! If you don’t believe me, check out the WOLFBAIT tape streaming below!
Video after the jump!
CVLT Nation is stoked to announce the upcoming Mondo Generator January 2013 tour with Saviours and Wino! This 11-day tour will take them all over the country, beginning in Brooklyn, NY, and ending in Santa Cruz, CA, so make sure to check the dates below to see when they’ll be in your city. We are stoked to be sponsoring this tour, so look forward to some excellent mixtapes and interviews with these bands. If you can’t wait until lucky 2013, all three bands will also be supporting CLUTCH on their December 2012 tour of the east coast. All info after the jump!
One of the best things about living in the Bay Area is getting to see shows like this one. Brainoil is a supremely Heavy band that features Nate on Guitars/Vocals from the legendary band Destroy, Ira on Drums from Watch Them Die & Greg on Bass/Vocals from I Will Kill You Fucker & Dead Language. They are all very respected and looked up to in the scene and for good reason, they are fucking incredible. It’s rare that you get the opportunity to watch one of the best Heavy bands in America play a free basement show – This is 40 minutes of Brainoil ruling in their hometown of Oakland, California.
“It’s bad enough you’re a fuckin faggot. Nobody likes a negative queen.” – Some asshole talking shit to Myles
Negative Queen’s short life started on December 18th 2010 and ended on September 1st 2011. The band was comprised of vocalist/guitarist/noise samplist Dylan Bennedict (Cull, Anon Remora), guitarist Ayla Holland (Disemballerina, Anon Remora, Malice Discordea), bassist Myles Donovan (Disemballerina, Myles of Destruction), and drummer Ashley Spungin (Taurus, Purple Rhinestone Eagle). The name of the band originates from the above quote – a line which was delivered as an immediate response to bassist Myles Donovan’s refusal to comply with the societal cluster of expectations and stereotypes that burden individual members of smaller LGBT circles (where the ‘L’ and ‘T’ matter just as much as the ‘G’ and ‘B’). For the short span of time they were around, the members dealt with a few years’ worth of personal pressures and group-based tension.
The members found themselves during a time when everything was falling apart and the only possibility of relief made itself attainable when the music was being played. This is a definite sign of a band that had a purpose and, by virtue of this, a band that needed to exist at some point in time. One can only imagine how the constant stream of friction felt and shared throughout roughly seven months of activity justified the band’s existence when those momentary lapses of release manifested themselves on stage, or otherwise.
Here is some live footage of “Mutiny” recorded at the Black Rose in Portland:
On the evening of November 17, 2012, heavy music legends Neurosis played their hometown of Oakland in celebration of their tenth studio album called Honor Found In Decay. Neurosis also invited along Portland doom trio Yob, and the Canadian heavy metal band Voivod. Oakland’s Fox Theater was packed to the brim with an audience that spanned multiple generations, proof that their legacy continues to thrive. As usual, Neurosis wasted no breath communicating with the audience, preferring to plunge straight into leaden, dismal riffs, primal howls and captivating visuals. In the spirit of Neurosis, my words end here and I leave you with my photos from that unforgettable night.
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.
Did growing up in the city of Oakland influence they way you compose music? How?
Yeah, I think it did. I didn’t really grow up in Oakland. I grew up in a whole bunch of different places. I was born in Chicago, and I lived in Philly, Dallas, San Diego, a little bit of time in Detroit where my dad’s from, and I ended up in Oakland when I was about 15. It’s really the place where I became a man, and a place where I really kind of settled in for the first time in my life and grew some roots. I think the environment, the way that city was, particularly in the 80s and 90s, definitely had an effect on me – the lack of connection to nature, the general dehumanized concrete experience. I had pretty much grown up in the suburbs for most of my life, and Oakland is far from that. Oakland is a pretty heavy city. Having now traveled around the world and seen a bunch of cities, I can definitely say that Oakland is a heavy place. It’s got a lot of shit going on in the street, it’s not an up-and-coming place and it never really has been; but on the other hand, it’s also been the home of a lot of really creative musicians and artists and writers, as well as a lot of extremists of one form or another. The Black Panthers were formed there, the Hell’s Angels – I mean, these are all big parts of what Oakland is. A place like that has a huge influence on you.