“Rudiments of Mutilation,” the second full-length by sound warriors Full of Hell, is as threatening as music gets. Following the face-bending “Roots of Earth are Consuming my Home” and a smattering of fantastic splits, “Rudiments” represents the band’s style in full, unapologetic form. The sludge oozes with caustic immediacy. The grind churns above, thundering at a calamitous pace. Voices of near every frequency rise and fall, forming a damned chorus enslaved by the album’s bleak drone. Full of Hell offer nothing tender, only coarse lessons on how far the boundaries of musical discomfort can be pushed.
While one would think “Rudiments of Mutilation” was a quickie when considering its twenty-minute run time, this record fucks with your ears, drags them through the dirt and subjects them to all manner of agony, rage and paranoia. It is nothing short of enjoyable. “Dichotomy” pierces your skull from the get go, that signature broken frequency used by so many peers but made a weapon here. Roars echo from beneath, a booming, forlorn mantra establishing a tone that would call a David Lynch film kin. “Vessel Deserted” manifests as a punk neckbreaker, only to morph into a barren soundscape that fluctuates from freneticism to corporeal loathing. “Throbbing Lung Fiber” allows no trespassers beyond its virulent arsenal, melding its missile silos with zero flaw into the menacing warheads of “Indigence and Guilt.”
There’s probably not much that we can say about Kylesa that you haven’t already heard a thousand times before – whether that’s the fact they go all out with two drummers, they know how to write a monstrous fucking riff, or (now brace yourselves) there’s a woman in their ranks – but we aren’t ones to back down from a challenge and thus, we take on the heavy charms of the Savannah based band and their sixth full length album – Ultraviolet.
Following on from 2010s Spiral Shadow, Ultraviolet continues in the vein of the Kylesa sound we all know and love (heavy rocking sludged out noise) but picks up a few neat tricks along the way. Laura Pleasants’ voice takes on a little more of the vocal weight, tripped out nuances filter through the wonder of “Exhale” and the traded vocals between Pleasants and fellow guitarist Phillip Cope here are a joy to behold, and massive choruses throw themselves at you with wild abandon.
Look at the artwork that adorns this split release. It’s a forest or hillside that, at any other time would, have been a picturesque scene but here it is now, engulfed in a sea of flames, a conflagration that is burning this once serene area of nature to the ground, leaving only ash and sorrow in its wake. If there ever was a fitting image to complement the music held within the record this is it. This is the split cassette between Amarok and Hell.
Both bands have always offered their own brands of diseased doom metal with drone and sludge elements and each released noteworthy split records last year respectively, Amarok with Pyramido and Hell with Thou, so their pairing for this split makes perfect sense and easily gives their predecessor records a run for their money.
Amarok serve up a 20 minute dirge of harrowing sludge in the form of ‘V: Red Oak Wisdom’. It wastes no time whatsoever, erupting with a cataclysmic riff that ushers us into a dreary world of doom that trudges along with Thou-like riffs that would move tectonic plates. This is until around the eight minute mark where the band fearlessly recoils into sombre territory where piano and strings take centre stage, crafting an entirely different world for the listener.
All photos & text by Luana Magalhães
Arguably the most intense, harrowing performance of the whole festival, Amenra were pure catharsis – the outpouring of pain and anguish was evident in each blood-curding Colin Eeckhout scream and every resounding note of their instruments. Most massive sound of the weekend too – the soundcheck before the show alone was enough to nearly rearrange internal organs.
Canadian blackened doom quintet Ensorcelor have teamed up with UK punk infused sludge act Moloch to create what could possibly be described as the greatest fucking thing to ever be created in the history of things that have ever been fucking created. On just about every split there is always one band that stands above the others, be it through a more concise recording, or just sheer talent, we rarely get to see multiple outstanding artists on a single release…until now. The tandem energy these two bands utilize create the flowing atmosphere that makes this album one that is engaging, encapsulating, and just as intriguing no matter how many times you spin it.
Ensorcelor comes out first with a creeping display of sundering lows that are veritably torn apart by harsh vocal onsets and haunting melodies that carry an uneasy feeling throughout the entirety of their 20 minute offering. Trapping a landscape that differs its way from a blackened pool of infinitesimal hate into a realm of endless sadness and confusion. Allowing for a more emotionally rapturing soundscape to pour into the empty spaces of silence that surround and convey while still retaining the reflecting overtone of utter and complete irrelevance. The track bores its way into your subconscious and delves into what would remain after all sorrow has subsided, a full on confrontation between body, mind, and soul. The song fades into a harmonious departure that does not end but simply stops, leaving no room for your senses to return before the next track begins.
Text & Art by Glyn Smyth
When starting out on a work commission I’m always looking for new ways to tackle the subject matter. Whilst it’s always tempting to jump on the first or most obvious idea that springs to mind, I’ve come to realise it’s always more rewarding to view the artwork process as an “exploration” of the idea. That allowing yourself the freedom to wander off the most direct path, uncertain of your exact destination makes for a far more interesting journey with a greater prize at the end…
I was fortunate in the fact that both Caleb and the label seemed receptive to a fresh approach and were happy to entrust me with a great deal of creative control from the outset. After some brief initial discussions I received the album tracks, lyrics and the title – “Savage Masters”. Whilst familiar with earlier Zozobra material these new songs were faster, leaner and more aggressive. Images of wild creatures immersed in fierce combat sprang to mind. A tangle of beasts fighting over a crown. The unhindered savagery of the animal kingdom.
Yet the lyrical content told a different tale. The lyrics hinted at an internal anguish and being subject to forces beyond ones control. References to serpents, venom and weaponry was suggestive of ritual more than that of warfare.
And there were repeated references to an unidentified female force…
“Screaming hear left defenceless..offer my seed to her sword”
“Drink from her rain when it’s burning and acid”
“And the goddesses weave wicked spells…”
In this light, the original etymology of the Spanish word Zozobra (meaning ‘anxiety’, ‘anguish’ or ‘worry’) seemed more relevant than references to the communal catharsis experienced by the burning of “Old Man Gloom” in Santa Fe each year. Nevertheless, this relatively modern ritual (the first Zozobra burning was in 1924) has roots in “The Burning Of Judas” festival once practiced widely in many orthodox Catholic countries but perhaps today most strongly associated with Mexico…
At this point the identity of this unseen female entity became apparent to me. The goddess in her dark aspect…whether appearing as the Santa Muerte of recent popularity, Mictecacihuatl of Aztec culture or as the Lady Of Guadalupe. She arrives from the West and may represent death, though is something more than this. An arbiter of divine justice. A shape shifting Divine Mother who’s chthonic nature is revealed by the light of the moon. An inverted cross of orthodoxy suspended over a river within Mictlan. The High Priestess. A savage master.
For their all too brief but imposing lifespan, Trenches produced some of the most forward thinking heavy music to come out of Ireland in the past decade. The Galway band’s ton weight three guitar assault had its’ own field of gravity, was a titanic and multifaceted onslaught that had a heft that was emotional as much as physical. I have a memory that will always stay with me of seeing them at least once, in the upstairs room in a bar in Galway one summer night where – no word of a lie – they played a set that rivalled only prime time Neurosis for sheer intensity.
Trenches were special, basically.
And Trenches are no more. The band dissolved quietly earlier on this year with only a self released eponymous ep and a split 12″ with Drainland. Obviously having been a member of the latter band I am both biased and priveleged to have been involved with their history. Unbeknownst to me though, in spite of the band’s end, there was one final recording. And the band have now entrusted these two final songs to Cvltnation to stream so that you, dear readers, may have the pleasure of hearing the band’s dying breaths.
I’ll hand you over to now to guitarist Gab for a brief note on the origin of these recordings:
“The songs were originally recorded in early 2012. And were meant to go on a split with Diet pills (then they broke up) and so we had kept them for a split with State Icons. But after all the difficulties and line up changes in 2012 the band ended, state icons also broke up at the end of 2012 so the songs remained unreleased. I still hope to one day release them in some shape or form but for now we will only be doing a download version.
4:20 is almost upon us, so I wanted to represent with a post from a band that always elevates my high: WEEDEATER. In 2012, they gave a bongadelic performance at Churchill’s in Florida and today we would like to share the whole stoneriffic event with you! CVLT Nation salutes South Florida Hardcore for always filming the killer shows!
New Zealand’s Beastwars first came to my attention a little earlier this year due to the nonstop praise the wonderful Craig Hayes (Six Noises, Pop Matters, About.com Heavy Metal, Hellbound.ca) was giving this stoner driven quartet. New Zealand doesn’t have a vast metal scene (Ulcerate is the only other group that comes to mind right now) so it’s always a big deal when a band from NZ suddenly starts blowing up the airwaves. I checked ‘em out, and damn, they were definitely worthy of all that hype. Crunchy riffs, growling vocal lines and huge songs that kick you right in the guts – Beastwars are something very exciting indeed and we are incredibly pleased to present an exclusive stream of the track “Imperium” from their new record Blood Becomes Fire.
Blood Becomes Fire is an age-old story of dealing with our own mortality and the band explains that:
“The new album serves witness to the end of days, told through the eyes of a dying traveler from another time. It is a work inspired by eternal themes. It’s a reflection on mortality, death and disease. Sooner or later they come for all of us and we’ve all screamed to the gods for answers, not that they’ve ever come.”
The songs found here are powerful, and of course loud, and the narrative of the record is fed through each track with a stylish blaze. From the opening crunch of “Dune” and Matt Hyde’s rough, immediate voice to the sneaky melancholy of closing track “The Sleeper,” Blood Becomes Fire travels the path of life via highs, lows and straight up rocking out.