by Oliver Sheppard
Pinkish Black’s sophomore LP, Razed to the Ground, is set for release on September 17. The Fort Worth band’s first and self-titled LP (which was reviewed for CVLT Nation last year, here) was on Denton’s Handmade Birds label; the new album sees them on the larger and more metal-centric Century Media imprint.
Pinkish Black’s sound, however, has thankfully not changed: Razed to the Ground is an opus of doomy, sludgy, crushingly dark music that incorporates elements of doom metal, Projekt Records-style ethereal wave, gothic rock, and other dark music elements. And also as with the first LP, one once again is reminded of 80s Cop-era Swans, early Godflesh (and especially the proto-Godflesh band, Fall of Because), and even stuff like Killing Joke’s “S036″ or Mass’s much-overlooked “Cabbage” release from the 80s. It’s a unique, churning sound that doesn’t fit neatly into any pre-defined categories. There is even a kind of creeping “space drone” twist to the sound this time around that serves as an intriguing development in the band’s evolution. The effect is often eerily psychedelic.
A few months ago I witnessed a band swing by the Bay Area for a couple shows and their set almost forced me to my knees. I’m talking about Before The Eyewall, a spychedelic progressive doom metal band from Columbus, Ohio. The pummeling this band delivered live was both completely unexpected and massively awesome so right after witnessing their painfully crushing live performance I also decided to check out their recently self-released self-titled album, and sure enough I was not disappointed: this pup yields the force of mammoths and thrusts the energy of entire galaxies through your sorry ear ducts with colossal force. Before the Eyewall’s music is completely instrumental, and this peculiar trait of theirs makes their entire sound more like a voyage than anything else. The band can simply space out and solo and stack huge riffs upon riffs for days with out having to give any breathing room to a singer or even things out to accommodate any lyrics, and this definitely paves the way for an unusually atmospheric and introspective listening experience.
GNAW are a frightening band. Dormant for some years after a piss and bile-drenched but staggering debut, the New York City battery acid-meets-razorwire-meets-ebola sounding noise/doom metal band is about to return with a highly anticipated new full-length album titled Horrible Chamber to be released next fall on Seventh Rule Recordings. To celebrate this glorious moment, the band has also resumed live activity, and you can take a glimpse into what a GNAW show entails in the video below. In case you’ve been living on fucking Mars or something for the past years, GNAW is the new band of Alan Dubin (Khanate, O.L.D.), Carter Thornton (Enos Slaughter), Jun Mizumachi (Ike Yard), Brian Beatrice and Eric Neuser. Now make your eyes and ears bleed with the footage below and make sure you catch this ordeal of a band in the live environment sooner than later.
When Josh Graham officially left the line-up of Neurosis, as their live visual artist, late last year, it hardly came as a surprise that his own band A Storm of Light would become his sole focus, something that he’s been steadily working on for the last few years with partner in crime, Dominic Seita.
The band’s first two albums, and particularly 2009’s stellar Forgive Us Our Trespasses, saw the band carve out their own sound of doom-imbued sludge metal that certainly plucked a few feathers from Neurosis but had its own flair. However with 2011’s As the Valley of Death Becomes Us, Our Silver Memories Fade, the band flipped the model on its head – shorter songs, faster riffs and a vigorous dose of hooks.
It was definitely a divisive album but a commendable effort that yielded some crushing tunes like ‘Missing’ but also the catchy ‘Leave No Wounds’ that was quite a step away from their earlier material. With Nations To Flames A Storm of Light have maintained the core ideas of As The Valley… but sharpened the edges extensively for what is their most abrasive and ruthless album yet.
For over ten years Toby Driver and KAYO DOT have crafted music that defies all categorizations and definitions, often even going beyond what one can humanly comprehend in the realm of sonic experimentation. In their decade-long career, these masters of avant garde metal wizardry have shown fear in front of nothing when it comes to pushing the limits of musical composition and have ridiculed boundaries, genre-restrictions, the odds and the rules of songwriting itself. Jazz, black metal, chamber music, noise, sludge-doom, progressive rock, classical and free-form composition exists all in one place with seamless beauty and crushing intensity and forces everything in between into complete submission. KAYO DOT have subdued and molded to their obscure and mesmerizing musical vision into every musical genre they have attempted to possess and manipulate, paving the way throughout the years for the creation of an incredible discography completely stuffed with masterpieces and dominated by a grandeur and magnetism almost impossible to describe. So it is with great pleasure for us here at CVLT Nation that we bring to you exclusively the latest spasm of musical genius from this beautiful enigma of a band. “Passing the River” is one of the many mind-bending moments you will soon be able to find on the band’s new album, Hubardo, a monstrous and colossal masterpiece of blackened avant garde metal majesty that the band will self-release on September 1st through their Bandcamp page, digitally only to start with. Enjoy the 10+ minutes of excruciating beauty of “Passing the River” through the stream below and keep in mind that Hubardo is not only sonically another towering achievement for this band, and possibly the greatest album they have ever made, but also a statement worthy of great respect, as the entire work is – in all its titanic glory – entirely self-produced and self-released by the band, and all proceeds from it’s digital sales and pre-orders will go into funding the vinyl version of the album, which you can pre-order HERE! Talk about integrity, creative independence and DIY ethics. Enjoy!
This is a hard post to write, because it’s about the death of a cool dude who happened to play drums in one of my favorite bands, EYEHATEGOD. Joey LaCaze passed away recently and CVLT Nation wants to celebrate his life with video essay of him doing what he loved – playing drums with his homeboys. Every time I have seen them live, I always thought to myself, these guys are more than just a band to each other, they are family! Keep your head up NOLA crew…Joey LaCaze Lives ON!!!
Text & All Photos by Adam Murray
Usually, at Five Star Bar, most or all of the band can fit on the smallish stage. The drummer gets wedged into the low-ceilinged drummer sandwich area near the back and the rest of the dudes stand up front and shred accordingly. For this show, the stage was utilized for holding a cute lil’ gigantic wall of amps.
On this night I was only able to catch Bottom Feeder, as I was coming from another gig, but I heard Ladybird were fantastic, and I KNOW Pigeonwing were.
Anyway, Bottom Feeder set up on the ground, their drummer below and in front of the amp wall as opposed to tucked away behind everything. It was taint-tickingly loud in there, but not in an unnecessary way. The low end trundled heavily, carrying everything else on it’s lumbering shoulders, but the drums were very still present, cutting through the sludge with cracks and splashes. And then you have guitars and vocals ripping and tearing on top of it all like feral dumpster cats.
I urge you to consume all the pics, videos and links in a voracious manner! Bottom Feeder rules, thanks Denmark!
Last year, Ireland’s Zhora crept into the metal scene in Ireland with a brief online-only EP called Feet Nailed To The Ground. It exhibited a band that, while in their infancy, had aggression and exuberance in spades and most importantly, the bit between their teeth; so much so that they just had to be included on CVLT Nation’s top Irish releases of 2012. There was potential here and needless to say, the few months they spent working on this full-length Almaz has paid dividends.
As of right now, you can get 40 to 50% off all the records and cassettes in the CVLT Nation Record Store!!! After a year of carrying music in our store, we are shutting it down and we are clearing out all our stock at the lowest prices you will find anywhere. CVLT Nation HQ is making the big move up North, so we are taking a break from the music retail business…so check out the record store for massive deals on titles from Neurosis, Deafheaven, Kylesa, Code Orange Kids, NAILS, Cursed, Ramesses, Noothgrush and many more!! Head over to the record store, no code required!
Press play on your tapedeck (or computer), crack open a cold beer in cue, and join Ladybird on their perspiring front porch in Tempe, Arizona. The two string-slingers of the band begin to tell a story with a subtle yet ample beginning; strumming their instruments slyly as the beer begins to drip sweat down the aluminum can. Mapping out the journey to the sludge-lain promised land, the second track hits hard with a relentless opening to impress an ache within your bones.
Being completely unable to avoid rolling one up, “Papers” ignites and puffs into your ears. A mastered progression from the previous EP’s hinted direction – heavy fuzz and feedback with an element of country-boy psychedelic. Heavy-hitting, almost funeral rhythm with a southern metal bass groove that underlies the aching growls and groans of the vocals. As the song comes to a close, the one thought that lingers is where you left your unfinished sack to roll up another.