When it comes to blackened noise, few bands have the power to truly unsettle you at an extremely deep level and creep you the fuck out for good. Sure, the genre is dark and claustrophobic, but we’re almost in 2014 now and it’s definitely not anything we haven’t heard before. That is true until you run into a new Sutekh Hexen album. To this day, no matter how prolific and active, this demonic quartet from Oakland still manages with every single release to scare the shit out of you once again, and inject into your ear ducts music that literally gnaws on your synapses like a horde of demonic rats, tunneling through your sorry skull to feed on your brain. As such it comes as absolutely no surprise that their new EP Monument of Decay is yet another caustic, excruciating and frightening mauling of dark ambient, harsh noise and black metal, vile and evil enough to plunge you into complete unsettlement and turn your skies black in a matter of seconds.
CVLT Nation interviews Toby Driver of Kayo Dot.
Pick up Hubardo here.
Hubardo no matter the length, came along fast, little over a year after Gamma Knife – can you tell us why?
A few reasons – firstly, the past couple of releases (Stained Glass and Gamma Knife) were relatively short, so I’ve just been overflowing with inspiration for a couple years now with no real means to get it out of me. With both Stained Glass and Gamma Knife, going into those projects, I knew that the band was already severely limited by budgetary constraints… So, in cases like that, I believe that it’s a better idea to keep the scope of a project small so that you don’t end up writing music that can’t be executed due to the budgetary constraints. With Hubardo, we budgeted from the getgo to do a larger-scale album, so were able to let the ideas flow freely. Secondly, we used more repetition in the writing this time than we ever have before, so we were able to make entire songs out of only two or three ideas, as opposed to the past where each song would have very little repetition and would consist of dozens of different ideas and permutations. Thirdly, I’m fortunate enough to be able to dedicate almost all of my time to music now, whereas in the past I’ve been crippled by my day-jobs… So these days, I can finish writing pieces of music in fewer weeks.
In the 2013 death metal pantheon, Washington label 20 Buck Spin has done reasonably well for itself (see: Bone Sickness) but with just two months or so left in the year, the label seems intent on rolling out one more cluster of filthy DM, this time in the shape of Vastum’s sophomore album, Patricidal Lust.
The San Franciscan unit has just one album to their name thus far, 2011’s Carnal Law, but with members of Acephalix and Hammers of Misfortune amongst their ranks, they’re certainly dab hands at their craft, evidenced by this terse but obliterating effort.
Uzala is one of the most exciting listens I have recently come across. Including members of legendary doom/sludge outfit Graves At Sea, blackened doom overlords Atriarch and the newly formed funeral doom destructive force Ephemeros (if you have not done so yet, you should definitely check out their debut album) and with Darcy Nutt taking over the main vocal duties and shares the guitar work with Chad Remains, the band becomes more and more intriguing by the second. And if you consider that Tales of Blood and Fire is coming out just a year after their self-titled debut you can only stand in awe in front of the band’s ability to conjure material of such high quality.
What becomes obvious about the music of the band is that it is quite dim. The combination of their doom metal foundation and the inclusion of some sludge-y bits along with their psychedelic influences make this album quite dark… and therefore absorbing. And what acts as the perfect contrast to the band’s heavy sound is Nutt’s unbelievable voice. Slicing through the huge sounds and slow riffs, it is wondrous to behold and it makes the whole journey through Uzala’s mystical realm even more enthralling. Even when the parts are heavy and full, as is the case with the peaks that the band reaches in “Countess”, she is giving the music an even more thunderous edge. And what is even more impressive is what she is able to do when the music is stripped down, as is the case with the hypnotizing “Dark Days”, a psychedelic sonic trip through the dark passages of the mind with Nutt accompanying you along the way proving that she has a voice that can simply transcend genres.
Text & Photos by Diana lee Zadlo
Not a lot of people take Nashville seriously and the heavier of bands end up skipping our little/big town when planning tours. RVA has been good to us, though. Inter Arma has found a love for Nashville, Cough has come to drink and doom here often, and we have been lucky to have Windhand find a home, too, in our dark, welcoming bosom.
On October 2nd, old friends Windhand made a stop at The Owl Farm here in Nashville, a great DIY space on the east side which we are all grateful for. Locals Tijuana Goat Ride, Wood Splitter and Brother Ares joined them as well as a welcome set of visuals created by Dig Deep Light Show that gave the usually sterile, youth group building feel of the Owl Farm a much needed psychedelic draping. This weird little space will always be one of my favorite spots to see and shoot bands. It reminds me of where my camera-as-my-right-hand life started, in the dank tiny back room of Sound Idea in Brandon, FL photographing bands and seeing badasses like MDC, Bread and Water, Vitamin X and Scrotum Grinder.
Earlier this year, Hammerhands released their utterly devastating first album Glaciers – an album of seething sludgy doom and eerie atmosphere that is sure to pop up on a few end of year lists around these parts. The Mississauga, Ontario based four-piece aren’t resting on their laurels though, and have just posted a short new covers EP entitled 1995 with two new cover songs, which you can stream below.
Thanks for checking out the latest installment in my ongoing series focused on covering the heaviest and most devastating of Bands and Artists within the Underground Music Community that travel through The Bay Area. This is a collection of footage that I’ve captured recently at shows on both sides of the bridges in Oakland & San Francisco.
Sweden’s Ignominy create apocalyptically bleak music that crushes musical barriers with death wish abandon. Come Abuse incorporates everything from blistering hardcore and funereal doom metal dirge to hypnotic ambience, post metal, and power electronics, with the one uniting factor being that it all sounds dark as fuck.
Where doom metal plumbs the seeming depths of sonic possibility in its exploration of funereal emotion, Ignominy manage to aim even lower in both regards. Come Abuse is emotional on a grand scale, with crushingly bleak subject matter paired with an astonishingly grim sound. Drums distort and crackle and mix with harsh electronic abuse, guitars crash and fall and are treated to occasionally unrecognizable levels, and cavernous vocals echo and swim in the ruination. If doom metal is apocalyptic music, Come Abuse is the sound of the apocalypse itself.
Do you like to see blood pour out of the walls of your room while you listen to metal? If that is the case, then sit down and take a minute to listen to this track from Irish black metal bruisers MALTHUSIAN, a band featuring ALTAR OF PLAGUES (RIP) drummer Johnny King, here too of course sitting once again behind the kit. Why do we want you to listen to this music you say? Well, simply put, the music of MALTHUSIAN simply fucking slays in all sorts of ways. The band has thus far unleashed on the masses only one song, so it’s still early to really gauge the true nature of this project, but, oh my, what a blistering slab of destruction this piece of rabid black metal is, and what is even more exciting about it is that it’s pretty much unlike anything we have ever heard and totally new and different – this is why we’ve loved every scary second of it. The band’s demo is coming out sometime in November through Invictus Productions so keep your eyes peeled for it. In the meantime, check out Hallucinogen after the jump!
LITANY OF REGRETS are four young dudes from Italy and they play a painful, helpless and desperate hybrid of crust, post-punk and black metal that traces its roots back to Europe’s up and coming neo-crust movement, which is led by bands like Light Bearer, Link, Planks, and so on, and also leads back to the band’s most immediate origins, those embodied by GOTTESMORDER, the much more well known atmospheric black metal band in which guitarist Matteo usually plays bass.
That said, even though you may know already exactly what to expect, also rest assured that there are moments in this demo that are harder to pin down, that are just borderline annihilating, and that will leave you wondering what the hell on earth could have ever made these guys so fucking desperate and withdrawn into their hideous hole of bleak and tortured musical neglect.