When I started doing these deathrock mixtapes in early 2012, my point was to illustrate that guitar-driven, dark punk in the deathrock tradition was alive and well, still evolving, despite some folks’ stubborn perception of this genre as being “old school.” (And, actually, as a genre that came into its own in the 80s, it’s younger than industrial or some other types of dark music.) Like the broader genre categories of rock ‘n roll, country, or even the blues, the deathrock subgenre is indeed “old school,” and also like those types of music, it isn’t.
So, here’s yet another new assortment of bands, including tracks by what I call “legacy” dark (post-)punk bands like UK Decay, Killing Joke, and The Damned, bands that are still alive and well and who are still cranking out surprisingly good new material. Among the newer bands, Finland has a strong showing here: Masquerade and Silent Scream reassert the primacy of Scandinavia in this genre; and new 12 inchers by bands like Belgrado, Deathcharge, Catholic Spit, and others also reaffirm the innovation that continues in this style of dark music.
This deathrock mix is not meant as an exhaustive or definitive or authoritative compilation. It’s supposed to serve as a springboard for your own sonic exploration. Some of these bands may not consider themselves to be “deathrock” at all; Arctic Flowers, for example, describe their sound as “a mix of punk, deathrock, post punk, and goth.” All of the songs below resonate strongly with, and are relevant to, the development of deathrock/goth-punk/gothic rock in the modern era as a whole, however.
Tracklist below the jump cut. Enjoy.
Sky Swallower fits into a strange place in Vattnet Viskar’s discography. If all goes well, for a good number of people it will be their first introduction to the New Hampshire band, and they will find a polished, in-many-ways-slick black metal record with traces of post-rock that may or may not be to their liking. For everyone like me who caught on with the group circa their self-titled 2012 EP (or earlier), it will come as a complete change: polished, forgoing almost everything raw and doom-y about their previous work, with growled vocals instead of shrieks, it frankly sounds like a very different band.
At this point in its career, as a virtual (though hyped) unknown, VV can essentially choose to do whatever it wants. After all, this is a band that went from being local to signed by Century Media in the course of 6 months, at a time in their development when most groups are still figuring out how to play together. So instead of providing us with a longer, larger version of what they’ve done previously, VV have taken a direct turn into Krallice-style proggy black metal, structuring the album as a post-hardcore composition, the whole thing of a piece. It’s different.
I feel like I’m knee-deep in radioactive wet cement, wallowing through the wasteland created by ANION with their pummeling vocals and destructive riffs! I’m listening to their first full length LP, Without Solace, which is due to release September 17th on No List Records. This Vancouver band will no doubt gain many fans with this release, recorded and produced with legendary producer Matt Bayles (Botch, Mastodon, Isis). The sludgy hardcore on Without Solace will blast out of your speakers and wreak havoc on your house, leaving only smoldering remains behind! CVLT Nation is honored to be streaming Without Solace in full today, so hit play below and make sure to pick up your pre-order of the LP HERE!
Armed with only a demo, Virginia act American released three songs on their Bandcamp from their upcoming split with another Virginia act, Crone. While short, American absolutely demolishes through three tracks, putting together a sound that can only be described as “wholly unique”.
“Tomb Legions” starts with a fuzzy introduction, slamming guitars with sludgy overtones. American then kicks it into gear with blast beats, the vocals raw and intense. Elements of hardcore, sludge, and thrash all come to the surface; the track is full of bleakness and despair. Towards the end, they bring in noise, giving off a depressing atmosphere. “Crown of Thorns” is a pure hardcore track with mixed blast beats and, with the start/stop mentality, American punches through, ripping the listener to shreds. The band breaks away from normal conventions of hardcore, incorporating different sounds into their music. All these genres put together work wonderfully, creating some unique type of monster in the realm of extreme music.
This is just beyond fucking awesome – CVLT Nation’s favorite creative collective, Belgium’s Church of Ra featuring AMENRA, OATHBREAKER, TBHR, SYNDROME and HESSIAN just traveled to Russia. Looking at all of the videos and pictures from this journey, I so wish I could have been there. Everyone should watch these videos and witness the power of each band! Enough of me talking, press play and enter the Church of Ra! Check out full sets by AMENRA, OATHBREAKER, TBHR and SYNDROME and a moving photo essay from Nadja Sveir below.
All Photos & Text by Darryl Reid
“Well that was fucking insane”.
These are first words heard in the dead silence immediately after Toronto’s Column of heaven destroyed a local venue here in Ottawa and I have to say that this is the best description ever to describe their live show . It’s not often that a band can make a room erupt into total chaos the moment the first chord is rung out. Column of heaven did just that with their genre defying style of music that combines elements of power violence (what does that even mean anymore?), Hardcore and various styles of Metal. Live they are scary good with the aforementioned ability to turn a venue upside down. I’ve seen them twice these pictures are a mix of those two shows.
I rarely fear for my equipment (camera flash etc) in a pit: but during column of heaven I was convinced this was the show my camera would get destroyed (fortunately; only my knee and not my camera got fucked up-we have free healthcare so fucked up knee is cheaper than fucked up camera).
Along with Absolute, Kremlin, School Jerks, S.H.I.T and Column of heaven: Toronto is representing some insanely good punk these days.
Dive into their large selection of recordings.
Coming from Los Angeles, Pendulous are a brand new doom act making their debut with their Mirrored Confessions EP. Pendulous play the style of doom that I enjoy a lot. Slow, mournful, depressing without ever forgetting to deliver the right amount of heaviness into their music by simply mixing some contemporary doom elements with some classic ones. Although Mirrored Confessions features 4 tracks in its alignment, only two of them are really songs. Besides that, we have an Intro and an Outro.
It starts with “Disheveled,” an intro that is served as a very introspective monologue, it instantly brings to my mind “Weathering The Blight,” the intro track from Loss taken from the magnificent album Despond. If you hear both track, you will probably find some resemblances. It has that same cold and gloomy atmosphere where we imagine someone alone in a very dark room looking to its own reflection in a old mirror that stands before him, as we hear his thoughts loudly echoing through the room.
What is punk rock? Well, when I was a young punk in ’82, the older heads would say to me that PUNK IS A STATE OF MIND! At first I thought they were fucking with my head, trying to be all deep, but a year or so later I started to figure out where they were coming from. It really was not about the color of your hair, what band t-shirt you wore or what punk rock gang you belonged to. It was about being who you wanted to be on all levels. It was about living D.I.Y because you have no choice. The South Bay punks were some of the punks to really be on to that shit – they were like, “we are not going to buy into what Punk Society is telling us to be.” Just look at Black Flag – by ’82 they looked like hippies, but were changing the game with the type of music they were creating. What made them even more punk then was the energy they put into their label SST. They gave a musical home to all sorts of weirdos, from The Minutemen, Hüsker Dü, St. Vitus, Meat Puppets, Bad Brains & Sonic Youth.
Which brings me to this point…check out this rad documentary, 20 years of Sonic Youth. Trust me, this is a pretty epic film & paints a vivid picture of a band who have created their own lane in music. So after the jump, get your youth back – check out some killer flicks & this superdelic documentary.