Welcome to Bay Area, where the sun shines and destruction crawls, endlessly. Lurking somewhere in the East Bay, the mysterious black metal horde known as XENOTAPH have managed to craft a demo so grand and timeless that it’s almost impossible to believe it’s the work of four young dudes hailing from the sunny banks of the east San Francisco Bay. These four caustic and suffocating blasts of necrotic black metal that the band have crafted under the form of Vitae Iactura sound like something coming straight from the icy and desolate plains of the Norwegian tundra plunged into and endless and demonic winter rather than tunes made by a bunch of Californians.
Q: What was it that got you into drawing and design? Did Punk and Hardcore have any bearing on the style you eventually developed into?
Growing up, my grandfather was actually a semi-famous water color painter in the Hudson Valley area, he shared a studio with Norman Rockwell and things like that. I don’t know who the first person to put a pen or crayon in my hand was, but my earliest memories are of me drawing. My grandfather was primarily a painter but as a child he would always draw me pictures of the ocean on sea shells with ink pens and I think that’s why I always leaned more towards illustration.
Kromosom is pure fucking D-Beat with the power of millions of chainsaws about to rip through your neck! Their most recent album Nuclear Reich is a skull-breaking affair that I want to play over and over!!! It seems that Kromosom had a blast on their most recent tour of Japan – if you don’t believe me, check out how they destroyed shit at their last show in Tokyo. Honestly, I saw them in L.A. but this show looked way more insane…stay tuned from something special between Kromosom and CVLT Nation. In the meantime, check out their full set and if you have not heard the Kromosom Sonic Cathedrals mixtape peep that as well!
When it comes to blackened noise, few bands have the power to truly unsettle you at an extremely deep level and creep you the fuck out for good. Sure, the genre is dark and claustrophobic, but we’re almost in 2014 now and it’s definitely not anything we haven’t heard before. That is true until you run into a new Sutekh Hexen album. To this day, no matter how prolific and active, this demonic quartet from Oakland still manages with every single release to scare the shit out of you once again, and inject into your ear ducts music that literally gnaws on your synapses like a horde of demonic rats, tunneling through your sorry skull to feed on your brain. As such it comes as absolutely no surprise that their new EP Monument of Decay is yet another caustic, excruciating and frightening mauling of dark ambient, harsh noise and black metal, vile and evil enough to plunge you into complete unsettlement and turn your skies black in a matter of seconds.
SWAMP WITCH is a very special band and every time I hear their album Gnosis I remember why! The record was just released on vinyl via Anti Matter Records and sounds un-fucking-real blasting through my speakers. A couple of weeks ago, SWAMP WITCH performed with Windhand and killed it! The whole doomadelic affair was captured on film by KILLTHATCAT. Check out the full set here…All I need is SWAMP WITCH and Vaporizer and I’m way beyond elevated! Walter, if you are reading this, bring them to Roadburn, they will give an outstanding performance!
“Beer, heavy metal, and Denver; that’s what we’re about.”
Denver, Colorado’s own, TRVE Brewing Company, is hands down, the raddest place I’ve ever been to. A brewery devoted to, “creat[ing] beers that are beyond the pale,” (no joke; that’s straight from their website: check it), is not something you come across everyday. A while back a friend of mine sent me a link to their website. I was floored. Beers named Stout O))), Atma, Black Cascade, Prehistoric Dog, and Tunnel of Trees?! This place was, clearly, paradise. Since then, TRVE Brewing has risen to that stature of a grand drinking hall of legend between friends and I. When I found out I was going to Denver for a bit, I realized my time had finally come to make the pilgrimage. That being said, knowing metal breweries are a real thing, and actually stepping foot inside of one, are two totally different beasts–we ain’t got shit like that in the desert wastelands of Phoenix! This past week I had the pleasure of tasting some blackened brews, and talking with the owner of the illest brewery you’ll ever go to. Seriously.
Dive into the world of Mat “Captain Kvohst” McNerney and his new (apocalyptic post-) punk band Beastmilk, and you will be blinded by the light of a nuclear dawn. By the unbearable view of the end of all things. If the apocalypse were in sight and the decision would be to party it up and embrace the shockwave and nuclear fallout with open arms instead of ending our existence in despair, well, Beastmilk’s music would be the soundtrack to that moment. Not many people may know this but Kvohst is the charismatic frontman/guitarist/singer of Finnish post-psychedelic folk prodigy Hexvessel, and the dude has an extremely interesting past, having been in bands – even extreme metal ones for the most part – such as Decrepit Spectre, Gangrenator, The Tragedians, Vomitorium, Code, Dødheimsgard, Israthoum, and Void, a background which makes diving into this punk affair of his even more interesting and intriguing. Beastmilk is Kvohst’s first proper punk band, and oh my what a punk band it is. The music of Beastmilk, just at is for Hexvessel, not only overflows with mermorable riffs and stellar songwriting but it also litteraly glides over Kvhost’s incredible vocal delivery, making it a totally unique affair which sets it completely apart from what we normally see in the realm of punk rock these days.
Of all the different bay area metal bands (and fuck, how many are there?), Dispirit is certainly one of the most interesting. Not quite a continuation of Asunder or Weakling, Dispirit was started as a side project to exist simultaneously as Asunder, offering John Gossard and Co. an additional outlet of aggression. Buried in a morass of almost psychedelic effects with distant forest howls, Dispirit play a combination of Blackened/death/doom completely their own. After over a decade, this rehearsal tape is only Dispirit’s second offering (their first, from 2010, was also a rehearsal tape), and it captures the knife-wielding sonic intensity and nervous, evil ominous atmosphere Dispirit embodies.
Hello there Arizona! Sunny, warm… and it appears, really fucking pissed too! From the sunny and usually less musically roudy Grand Canyon State hail infact an extremely crusty, violent, confrontational and wacked out hardcore punk band with a super cool name, Windmill of Corpses! These young lads from Northern Arizona have been lurking in the underground for a while now, playing in and around their native state and even venturing further into the deep south of the country, but nevertheless their awesome debut demo (which has been out for a while now), the first manifestation of their musical intent, thankfully made it into our hands and oh boy what a joy it was to discover its existence.
On May 2nd through 5th, a very special festival took place for it’s second year in a row – Heavy Days In Doom Town. The lineup was packed with some of the most killer heavy bands out right now around the world. Today CVLT Nation wants to celebrate HDDT’s 2nd year with a video essay featuring full sets from Graves At Sea, Cough and Mournful Congregation, and after watching this footage you might just book your ticket for next year’s fest! We we would like to salute everyone who put on this unreal DIY experience and much respect due to Astrid Tonella – check out her photos from this years Heavy Days In Doom Town here…She also had a photo exhibit at this years fest. Now spark a big split and peep two hours worth of DOOM!