I’m almost at a loss for words, but I will tell you that in 2008 doom history was made in the Bay Area. This was the year that ASUNDER & CORRUPTED collaborated for well over an hour on a piece of music that is far beyond classic. The event took place at the KFJC studios, and fucking hell, what this music does to me is so epic. For 1:35:00, these two bands became one and manifested pure magic. This moment in musical history feels like the beginning of humanity; before the word, there was doom. Silence rolls towards mountains of wind for many minutes, before the birds began to break out of their shells to the sound of beautiful guitar. Ancient foot prints are left in the mud by a slow-moving drum beat that is starting get closer to the ocean of sorrow. The thunder clouds are gathering after the CORRUPTED vocalist has left his mark on your brainwaves, and now rain is about to come down, so all can bath in ASUNDER. Next, without explanation, your body will start to rock back & forth in blackened bliss. The pounding of the giants will grow stronger before a real sense of gloom takes over everything around you. If sound has the power to heal, after hearing this killer song I will never need to see a doctor again. Within in this colossal tune, everything you have thought of will take place. If you have not noticed, this is not a normal review, but a written free association exercise about how this special musical treasure has made me feel. Now here is your chance to feel…
By Jeremy James
I must say, this theater has history. It’s been known by a bevy of names in the past and has housed many varied acts. Hell, this was even the place where I photographed my first band; but tonight, the now named Observatory was housing four very well cemented acts to close out the year with a bang.
Helen Money, a solo cellist who might be best known for her previous work with Verbow, opened the night. Armed with a slew of pedals, she created dizzying spells and a crushing ambiance that shook anyone who listened to the core. Wave after wave of bowed perfection smacked across the listeners chests as she soothed and swayed, driven to create perfection via amplification, repetition, and distortion. Her set was unfortunately short lived, but the energy she put into her performance was fantastic, and I would definitely recommend seeing her perform if you get the chance.
Darkest of the dark and evil black/death metal has been enjoying a healthy rejuvenation over the last few years, with plenty of bands spewing forth their caustic riffs of old school fury and strains of modern flair. Labels like Nuclear War Now and Dark Descent have been vital cogs in this machine, releasing some key records of late, and it’s the latter that takes the stage this time, releasing Svn Eater, the second LP from London outfit Lvcifyre.
Text & Photos By Jeremy James
The night air was cool, the parking lot was filling up and the merch booth was overrun. On this night, November 15th, 2013, the Legends of Thrash tour brought the co-headlining titans Overkill & Kreator to Anaheim, California.
Southern California’s own local band, Warbringer, who have been around for almost ten years now, were the first to hit the stage and give us a taste of what was in store for the evening. They started the night strong, with a short but spirited seven song set, the majority of which were new songs off their just-released fourth album Empires Collapse – and if the energy of their live show is any indication, these guys won’t be slowing down any time soon.
It would have been amazing to get a full set of pictures of this band, but since I was officially there on project to photograph only Overkill & Kreator, I was actually not allowed to enter the photo-pit for their set (odd, but business is business). Thankfully, John Laux, who brings an incredible amount of energy to the stage, was well within my field of view while I was out in the audience. Hopefully I will get another opportunity to photograph these gents as their live show was immensely fun to watch.
Head to any metal show and you are bound to see a few pairs of black Chucks. Now, if you’re feeling fancy, Converse and Black Sabbath have teamed up for 2014 to offer four new pairs of collaboration Chucks inspired by Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Never Say Die! and VOL. 4. Some of you may bemoan the corporate interference with what was once, and still is, an underground genre of music, but come on – Ozzy is already a reality TV pioneer! It’s kind of strange, but telling, that Black Sabbath’s first ever US Top of Charts was reached in 2013, 45 years after the band first formed. And you really can’t beat a pair of worn in Chucks, plus aesthetically these are pretty fucking rad. The Black Sabbath album cover is awesome as an allover print shoe, and the Never Say Die! and VOL. 4 are black enough and minimal enough to please many metal wardrobes. All four are good tributes to great albums. Check out some images below…
Abalam marks the return of the Danish killing machine Hexis, one of the most promising bands and most avantgarde within the genre. After a handful of EPs, splits and some tours across Europe and South America, where the band left a trail of destruction wherever they went, Hexis left everyone on their knees begging for more. Well, do not despair. Your prayers were heard and have been answered. Hexis are back and they are angrier than ever.
First, and to contextualize you better when you listen to this album, the title: Abalam. In the Christian demonology, Abalam is the name given to the demon that possesses the human body and forces him to commit profane acts of lust among others, and this demon involves himself in such a way that sometimes the only way out is death.
Check this out: it’s ultra rare DARKTHRONE performing live in 1996 in full color…NUFF SAID!
I’m under the spell of these ghouls from Indianapolis WE ARE HEX and it feels great! They are the bastard children of the The Birthday Party on meth, and I mean this in a good way. The have a new 7 inch coming out on Latest Flame Records in the Spring. Honestly WE ARE HEX create songs that are highly addictive. This is why it’s an honor to be premiering their brand new video for their infectious tune “Tongues”!
Just out on Video Disease Records is this self-titled seven inch from weirdo hardcore band Umbilical Cord. Spastic snarls and high pitched screeches are spat over surprisingly melodic and idiosyncratic guitars with occasional bursts of Greg Ginn-ish atonal shred and psychedelic riffs that are as much feedback as playing. ‘Two Seconds’ in particular is filled with achingly emotive arpeggios and melodic chords, contrasted with the vocals that sound like the frontman is actually being strangled by an umbilical cord. This release flies by in less than five minutes but easily packs in more creativity and fuck-it sonic adventurism than an hour’s worth of by-the-numbers hardcore.