Alright, let’s the get the introductions out of the way first. This is VHÖL, a “super-group” of sorts originally started by John Cobbett (Hammers of Misfortune, Amber Asylum) and Aesop Dekker (Agalloch, Worm Ouroboros) after the incredible Ludicra called it a day (sigh). Mike Scheidt of YOB was brought on board to lend his discernible vocal skills to the project and Cobbett’s colleague from Hammers of Misfortune and Amber Asylum Sigrid Sheie joined on bass. And lo, VHÖL was born.
The sound of VHÖL is a little harder to pinpoint than their origins and with such a diverse group of musicians there’s always the chance that too much will get thrown into the mix – too many cooks spoil the broth – and whilst with VHÖL there’s the obvious nods to black metal, to thrash, to progressive metal, to hardcore by way of d-beat, at no point does that become overwhelming or overpowering. VHÖL’s strength lies in the abilities of the musicians involved – Scheidt’s voice is powerful and commanding and here he lets loose with a glorious abandon, wailing and rasping and lifting the sound beyond mere heavy metal whilst the guitar of Cobbett soars above the tracks adding depth and nuance whilst a tangible grungy dirtiness flows through the filthy bass lines of Sheie.
All hail this band – VENOM changed the way we banged our heads in the 80′s. They were also a huge unifying factor that brought punks and metal heads together back in the day. When I think back to how we all use to get along, no matter how long our hair was, it brings a smile to my face. VENOM’s record Black Metal was a must-have when it came out. Then we all went out and bought At War With Satan when it hit the shelves. Their music was more than metal to us it was a massive middle finger to the world! This is why today CVLT Nation salutes VENOM by featuring their killer 1984 London Hammersmith Odeon performance. So after the jump, welcome to hell and this heavy show!
Sweden’s Sonic Ritual have been toeing the line between heavy metal and punk for the better part of six years now. Their up coming EP, Last Exodus from the Land of the Dead, due out this summer via Electric Assault Records, promises to be the band’s best yet. For those unfamiliar with Sonic Ritual, now’s the time to familiarize yourself. Up beat punk surges, heyday heavy metal riffing and arena sized vocals kiss off Sonic Ritual’s catchy brand of heavy metal punk.
I spoke recently with singer and guitarist Henke Palm about Last Exodus… and what’s going on with Sonic Ritual, follow the jump to see what he had to say…check out Sonic Ritual’s version of THE OBSESSED classic “Iron & Stone below!…Pre-order SONIC RITUAL — The Last Exodus From the Land of the Dead HERE!
Full interview after the jump!
Interview via Death Metal Underground
Academic acceptance of metal accelerates through conferences dedicated to studying metal, professors teaching about heavy metal, investigations of links between heavy metal and religion, and the launch of an international journal for studying metal.
While the metal community may not have found a position on this change as of yet, the very fact of its existence is startling to those of us who experienced metal in the 1980s or 1990s, when society viewed us as outcasts of a likely deranged, intoxicated, criminal and Satanic nature. From the censorship battles of the 1980s, when the Parent’s Music Resource Center (PMRC) attempted to prevent younger people from acquiring metal in record stores and tried to legislate a requirement for lyrical content warning stickers on metal records, to the 1990s bourgeois bohemians wrinkling upper lips at the impolitic and feral nature of metal, society hasn’t liked us.
Luckily, academics don’t see it that way and have forged ahead with metal study, coinciding with a massive “hipness” of metal in the mainstream press and hipster underground. Metalheads might find this interesting because academic study can balance out what social pressures amplify.
We are fortunate to have Dr. Karl Spracklen, Professor of Leisure Studies at Leeds Metropolitan University, here to tell us more about his projects, the International Society for Metal Music Studies, its conference, and its journal.
Why study heavy metal?
Heavy metal is an important part of modern culture and everyday life, so studying heavy metal enables us to understand both of those things. For me, the interesting thing about heavy metal is the tension between metal’s strong sense of being part of a non-mainstream subculture, and metal’s place in the industry of modern pop and rock music. That’s because I’m essentially a sociologist. Other heavy metal scholars might be interested in the way the music is constructed, or the meaning behind song lyrics, or the history of the scene, or the use of heavy metal as a philosophy or ideology of life. Heavy metal is just a subject field, a lens, through which we can think about problems in other academic diciplines.
Speedwolf is the shit and their new video of the same name is a raging visual party! When I heard their 2011 debut Ride With Death, I was hooked on their intocating riffs. When I watched the “Speedwolf” video, something came over me and I wanted to blast some metal then drink a cold one. Anyway, this sick fucking band is about to hit the road again, but in the meantime check out their visual for “Speedwolf” after the jump!
MOTÖRHEAD will always be one of my favorite motherfucking bands. I will never forget how they influenced me and my homies to party hard! Lemmy and crew had this FTW attitude that made us not only want to listen to them, but also be them. The original line-up was perfect in my book and seeing them live sealed the deal. Plus MOTÖRHEAD might have the sickest logo in heavy music. This why today FuckYeahMotorhead is our favorite tumblr of the moment. After the jump, get your head bang on and peep a huge gallery of photos…No Sleep til MOTÖRHEAD!
Death Metal and Grind mixed with Surf Rock???? Yes, you heard right. Here we have a group of five foul mouthed surf zombies hailing from the decrepit sands of Wormwood Beach, CA.. (Fresno, CA to be exact) entitled GORESHACK and here is their brand new full length album entitled “Surf.Mosh.Kill” that is an extremely well executed mix of Death Metal, Thrash, Grind and Surf Rock wrapped up in an awesomely wacky, kooky surf-zombie filled package full of great sound bits, song themes and punishing tracks that’s just all about having a fucking blast doing it while hammering your face in all at once. GORESHACK pays homage to the gore-soaked likes of GHOUL, EXHUMED, CARCASS, IMPALED, SPLATTERHOUSE and IMPETIGO along with some Surf Rock masters like DICK DALE and THE BEACH BOYS.
Interview by Andy (Leffer)
WARTORN are a whirlwind of thrash punk goodness hailing from Wisconsin. Since 2004, they’ve been hitting the touring and record release circuit with no looking back. Here’s a quick interview I did to assist in the Profane Existence release of their single.
Andy: You know the drill, just give us the basics on who’s who and what’s changed in the past, in regards to any line up changes, etc. Also, give us some insight on where WARTORN is going. We want to know tours, records, riots, protests, arrests….the whole back story on WARTORN’s origins.
Bitty: (Vocals) The band started in 2004, with Ryan, Hart (on drums) and myself as a three-piece. Within half a year I got a call with an offer for our first tour, which was with Municipal Waste. We did a mini tour with them and ever since then we have been able to go on tours with amazing bands each year such as Los Dolares, ATU, CYP, Krang, In Defence, Pyroklast, Hellshock, and up next RAW POWER . We have been to 13 countries and have done lots of releases on many different labels.
Ryan: guitar / low vocals / whiskey enthusiast. Well we started as a 3-piece and over a span of over 8 years, have ended up with 6 members. With 3 of us being guitar players we are able to diversify our songs in ways that we could only do in a studio setting. This obviously makes a difference live as well.
Ela: I’ve been the bass player for over the last 6 years. Recently, we came out with an LP/CD on Southern Lord Records called “Iconic Nightmare” and a 7-inch, “Domestic Terrorist”, released on Profane Existence (which is part of their limited edition singles series).
Toban: (Guitar) I think I might have the most arrests out of anyone in the band. Not like its anything to brag about. I did narrowly avoid another arrest a few weeks ago.
Derek: Guitar as well. I’ve been in the band for a few months and have been on two tours so far.
Start digging in your closet for that multi-colored Anthrax shirt (size XL) you bought in the mid-80ies, search for your Adidas high tops and better flip that bill of your cap because when the first note of this 7” resounds the laws of physics will be suspended: You’ll be immediately brought back to a time when bands like DRI, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, NUCLEAR ASSAULT or MOD merged Hardcore and Thrash Metal to create an urban soundtrack for endless skate sessions, wild mosh-pits and out of control house destruction parties.
FORESEEN’s new 7” Structural Oppression is stuck knee-deep in the 80ies and reproduces this classic crossover sound so well it’s hard to believe that those two songs were actually recorded in 2012 and not 25 years earlier. Besides sound-wise similarities to the aforementioned bands (and a shitload of others, I can’t help but think of the German Hardcore phenomenon TRUE BLUE for example) there are also the excessive vocals which are almost drowned in reverb and the downright hilarious cover artwork that totally support this 80ies-feeling. The sound of the recordings is quite rough, but very lively and direct – as I’ve heard these tracks have been recorded analogue, so that might be an explanation. And it’s great, most important.
If there is one thing I have learned about heavy metal it’s that there is no one generic “metalhead.” Yes, there are people who have tried to argue that metal is a European thing or a white thing, but all that tells me about those people is that their experience is limited (and they are seriously ignorant and should just shut the hell up). Go to any metal show in L.A. and you’ll see at least half, if not more, of the crowd is latino. There are metal scenes in Singapore, Brazil, the Middle East and Africa, just as there are scenes in Scandinavia and Russia. My point is, there is no color or nationality that can truly lay claim to this music, because it is a culture that finds root in many earths. South African photographer Frank Marshall traveled to Botswana to take portraits of the metal scene there – a small but strong one, heavily influenced by bands like Iron Maiden, Megadeath and Motörhead. Talk about being outcast from society – try being a metalhead in Botswana, wearing head to toe leather in 80 degree weather. The Renegades series of portraits show people who truly live for the music they love, making bullet belts out of used bullet casings and making a style of their own when it comes to metal fashion, a kind of leather-thrash-cowboy-Mad Max look. This collection of 60 portraits is available in book form from the Rooke Gallery in Johannesberg. After the jump, check out some of Marshall’s Renegades portraits and see Botswana Heavy Metal in action…