The Body and Thou are two bands that have risen to the top of the underground over the past year or so. The Body have pushed the envelope by pulling off unconventional collaborations with the Assembly of Light Choir and post-rock band Braveyoung. They’ve also toured relentlessly and built a fan base across the whole United States. Thou embody the true spirit of DIY. With everything the band does there is a tangible dedication and attention to detail. Their innumerable splits and EPs have kept people interested in between each one of their three impeccable full lengths. With each release, Thou have kept a visual cohesion and a reputation for creating intense and creative compositions. When I found out that these two creative forces would be touring together, I couldn’t help but be thrilled. I attended all three of the bands’ Bay Area performances at 1234 Go Records in Oakland, Gilman in Berkeley, and Sub Mission in San Francisco. Each night had great local support and intense performances from both headliners. Check out more words and tons of photos after the jump!
There is no better way to be made an instant fan of an unfamiliar band than to witness them absolutely destroy an intimate venue under relentless aural barrage, and that is precisely how I was turned onto Los Angeles’ very own stoner doom trio Behold! The Monolith. This is a band that plays their fucking heart out in a concrete walled room lit by a floodlight – the kind of opener you had no experience with before but rush home eager to devour their sonic offerings after the show.
Defender, Redeemist begins with the doom drenched Guardian’s Procession, whose crushing, down-tuned chords waver and oscillate just long enough to establish an armor clad war-march of a tempo before being beaten to the ground by an explosion of second track Halv King‘s fast paced destructive goodness. Just as the song’s furious pace and hoarse vocals nearly cement it as a competent sludgey-thrash-hardcore crossover, you’re kicked in the face by oldschool Southern rock licks and chops that’ll keep you tuned in and guessing for the album’s entire runtime. While a lot of genre-blending metal bands tend to try and walk a delicate line between their specific combination of outside influences, D,R chooses instead to blur a myriad of styles together with what equates to the delicacy of slamming a fucking dumptruck into them – and I fully intend that to be a complement.
CVLT Nation & Ear/Splitters present Hull and Bell Witch Live Rituals, captured for your listening pleasure on the night of their epic Long Beach performance at Que Sera on November 6th, 2011. Below you can stream their sets or you can download them. The music speaks for itself, so click and enjoy…
Drowning in a sea of reverb, the first track from doctorshopper’s debut full length release hits hard. Massive in tone and heavy in weight, “Degeneration” is a slow, swirling descent into a world created by this group of artists from the south of LA. There’s not much that can be said for the band that hasn’t already been mentioned here – http://www.cvltnation.com/doctorshopper-in-focus/ – suffice to say that this newest addition to the bands catalogue is a major step up. Blasting through ten tracks in less than thirty minutes, doctorshopper take everything from their demo and completely destroy it.
Degenerate Utopia cassette cover by Veronika Volkov
Just like a lot of bands RED APOLLO started as a sideproject. And sometimes sideprojects are more interesting than the participant’s main bands, probably due to the fact that the members do not feel like needing to fulfill certain expectations concerning their music and thus are able to act more freely. Which sometimes results in something amazing. Just check the track Häxanhammer, full review after the jump!
HAZZARD’S CURE ain’t no strangers to the CVLT. The debut record of this Bay Area band embodies a sound located in the midway of Hardcore-Punk at the one end and cheerful Stoner Rock at the other. You get loads of melodic, beer soaked leads and a lot of groovy passages to bang your head to as well as really fast, thrashy parts accompanied by nearly dissonannt, sometimes even Black Metalesque riffing. And now and then kinda both at the same time. Good vocals, pending between intense shouts and “rock” singing, provide a binding element. To calm you down before and after the hectic passages, HAZZARD’S CURE deliver some quiet moments, too (like in Clashing of Hordes for example). READ MORE…
High On Fire, Indian & It’s Casual at Viper Room 11/12/11
By Adam Murray
I received some disconcerting news at home just before leaving for this show. Took a cab and the driver was more than happy to share a few stories, observations and reflections on the world and his outlook and such. It was nice to hear from him.
When I got inside, It’s Casual was halfway through their set. Eddie Solis was stampeding through riffs and barking lyrics at the already dense crowd. Jimmy Sotelo (Bloodcum/Resistant Militia) was punishing the drums. They were playing mostly new songs, punching sociologically relevant L.A. hardcore anthems down everyone’s throats. Plus, Eddie’s in-between banter was keeping everyone drunk, excited, and generally psyched for the evening that they were already enjoying. Eddie’s banter can be very inspiring.
#6 Fell Voices at Eli’s Mile High Club
I was able to see Fell Voices and Ash Borer three times during their time in the Bay, but their appearance in Oakland was particularly special. The lineup consisted of Oakland funeral doom band Lycus, San Francisco blackened noise trio Sutekh Hexen, Oregon doom band Hell made their California debut, and Velnias from Colorado played by candle light. The combination of a diverse lineup, good friends and a solid turnout helped make this one of the best shows of the year.
Read the rest of the list and find out who’s number one after the jump.
It’s fitting that Atriarch did one last short tour before the year is over. It was almost like a victory lap for the band as they have been collecting accolades and making tons of year end best of lists (including a spot here on CVLT Nation). This was my third time seeing Atriarch, and I’m never anything but completely in awe of their live performance. I always feel like I’m intruding on a deeply private ritual as I watch them. The lights dim and the scent of burned sage clings to the air. Vocalist Lenny writhes as he screams while bassist Nick nods hypnotically to his rumbling dirge-ridden bass lines. Brooks’ guitar cuts through the thick bass tone like a knife, while Maxamillion holds the songs together with forceful drumming. Their recordings are more ethereal, but their live show is nothing short of primal. Check out the stills from their San Francisco stop below. See a full black and white gallery of Atriarch after the jump.
Life at CVLT Nation is pretty awesome, because alongside Ear/Splitters we are super stoked to be able to bring you a stream and download from the Laudanum Live Ritual that took place in LA this past October. The band performed on a whole other level of radness, and the quality of this live recording truly captures that. Laudanum’s sound is mind-altering and powerful, and after you hear this show, you will know why! So roll up a big spliff, download or stream this Live Ritual, and drift away to another universe!
Stream Laudanum Live Ritual:
Download link after the jump!