Thursday, December 27, 2012

Evergreen Refuge - Evergreen Refuge (2012)

Dense atmospheric post-metal that teeters on a palette of many qualities; Uplifting, somber, hypnotic, powerful, beautiful, warm, fuzzy, whirling, noisy, forlorn, neutral… It is all these things and more. It emits a textural warmth that hugs you while weaving in and out of beautiful chaos and lulling interludes.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Islands - ISLANDS (2012)

Get this. Have it. Listen to it. Enjoy it. Appreciate it… Appreciate it for this won't get the recognition it deserves (among with many other solid releases buried under the 'known'), not this year at least. Islands S/T is the result of incorporating a cornucopia of influences; post-metal, sludge, shoegaze, ambient, doom, hardcore, among whatever else they fucking drew influence. In the end we are left with a powerfully cohesive album that makes you want to stare out your window and watch the world end. I have the right mind to include this in my year end list, maybe I'll take out Converge, because fuck you and how good they are.

I'm 98% sure that write-up alone has you convinced, but if not. Listen to it, if you dislike its beauty, come back here and… I'm just kidding, don't ever come back here.

Bandcamp (name your price)

YOUWRETCH - Sympathy of Wolves (2012)

YOU fucking WRETCH. The musical equivalent to a pack of wolverines.

Bandcamp (name your price)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Crystal Viper - Crimen Excepta (2012)

Fucking right man, I've been so up my own ass posting filthy bestial blackened death metal that I've been missing out on some metal on the other end of the spectrum. The cheesy, dragon punching, gryphon riding end of power/heavy metal!

It's hard to take seriously, ergo those afraid of being lumped in along with the neck-beards abandon ship and adamantly defend their music collection from power metal, while continually hoarding basement black metal or death metal demo tapes to remain what? True? Real? I don't even fucking know, but I gladly forfeit the moniker of 'metalhead' any day. Metalhead, a connotation that would stereotypically imply long greasy hair, ill-fitting clothes, ugly girlfriends, black t-shirts and bullet belts with a disposition similar to a neanderthal? No thank you.

Crimen Excepta hearkens back to the golden days of power metal, when bands like Angra, Cellador, Helloween, Days of Yore, old White Skull, Warlock, Hammerfall, and especially early Elissa C. Martin Dark Moor days! I really haven't been stumbling on to much power/heavy metal these days that do anything for me, I must not be looking in the right places, because I'm sure they're out there. Pharaoh's Bury The Light rules pretty hard, anything else?

Crimen Excepta (320)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Best Metal Albums of 2012: Chosen By Musicians (Pt. 2)

Mitochondrion - Shawn Hache (In no particular order)

Degial - Death's Striking Wings
Mgla - With Hearts Towards None
Weapon - Embers and Revelations
LuxCaelis - Mysteria Mystica Maxima XXIII
Vomitor - The Escalation
Antediluvian/Adversarial - Initiated In Impiety as Mysteries (split)
Nile - At The Gates of Sethu
Svartidauði - Flesh Cathedral
Wrathprayer - The Sun of Moloch: The Sublimation of Sulphur's Essence Which Spawned Death and Life
Auroch - From Forgotten Worlds

TrollfesT - Mr. Seidel

01. Katatonia - Dead End Kings
02. Gojira - L'Enfant Sauvage
03. Wintersun - Time 1
04. Meshuggah - Koloss
05. Korpiklaani - Manala
06. Borknagar - Urd
07. Nidingr - Greatest Of Deceivers
08. Testament - Dark Roots of Earth
09. Aura Noir - Out to Die
10. Overthrow - Adjust To Darkness

Dragged Into Sunlight - 'T'

01. Pig Destroyer - Book Burner 
Who doesn't like pig destroyer and who didn't want to see a new pig destroyer album.

02. Tragedy - Darker Days Ahead
This record had mixed reviews.... because it wasn't fast. Does anyone care? It's Tragedy, masters of crust. Darker Days Ahead is relentlessly crusty effort.

03. Inverloch - Dusk/Subside
50% Disembowelment, 50% carnage. This pulverizes all hope for mankind.

04. Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind 
This record is the best effort from Converge since Petitioning the Empty Sky. Bannon sounds like he's coughing up blood.

05. Lazarus Blackstar - Hymns for the Cursed
Everyone loves an underdog and Lazarus Blackstar are one of those bands consistently punching above their weight without anywhere near enough recognition. Former members of Doom and Acrimony stir doom, death, punk, crust into a cauldron of misery.

06. Swans - The Seer
The most intelligent interviews are always either Michael Gira.... or Sodom's Tom Angelripper. For the purposes of a 2012 top 10, Swans forever, the Seer is a genuinely great construct. Check it out.

07. Bossk - Pick Up Artist
This wasn't an album, but it was a release and it is welcome news to have Bossk ploughing the riff once more.

08. Slabdragger/Meadows - S/T (split)
Vinyl nerds will love this. Solid consistent riff. Slabdragger's side really stood out. It's not quite Sleep and it's not quite Iron Monkey, given that the combination of the latter form two of man's greatest creations, Slabdragger have good formula.

09. Be'Lakor - Of Breath and Bone
Australians outdoing Sweden at its own game. Well played. This record is a new flesh for Be'Lakor and really brings something new to the table. New listeners will get into the band and old listeners will probably like them more.

10. Vision of Disorder - The Cursed Remain Cursed 
This record didn't seem to get anywhere near enough recommendation in the end of year lists. It's VOD and it's good to have a band that we grew up listening to return from the grave and on top of their game.

Aldebaran / The Howling Wind - Tim Call (In no particular order)

Evoken - Atra Mors
Menace Ruine - Alight In The Ashes
Profetus - To Open The Passages In Dusk
Witchrist - Grand Tormentor
Vassafor - Obsidian Codex
Anhedonist - Netherwards
Godspeed! You Black Emperor - 'Allelujah. Don't bend! Ascend!
Mgla - With Heart Towards None
Horrendous - The Chills
Revenge - Scum.Collapse.Eradication.

Shai Hulud - Matt Fox

01. Propagandhi - Failed States
02. Testament - Dark Roots Of Earth
03. Accept - Stalingrad04. NOFX - Self Entitlement
05. Classics Of Love - Classics Of Love
06. Van Halen - A Different Kind Of Truth
07. Goatwhore - Blood For The Master
08. Napalm Death - Utilitarian

09. Tragedy - Darker Days Ahead
10. Further Seems Forever - Penny Black

Vattnet Viskar - Matt St. Jean

10. Narrows - Painted
With Painted, Narrows figured out how to take everything you liked about their other/prior bands while maintaining their artistic integrity and creating a wholly new and original sound for themselves. Not to knock New Distances, but this is the record that should have come after the S/T 7”

09. Sigur Rós - Valtari
While definitely nowhere near being metal, and in absolutely no way groundbreaking or progressive, this record was very nostalgic for me, hence its inclusion on this list. It hearkens to the “golden age” of Sigur Rós, namely Takk... and (), with dense string orchestration, ambiance, and their trademark snail’s pace, which the band has been getting away from in their last few efforts. Basically, I like laying down and listening to this record until I fall asleep, but what can you expect from a dude with Icelandic folk art tattooed on his body? (Yeah, it’s pretty hipster, fucking shoot me)

08. Yellow Eyes/Monument - (Split Cassette)
Technically, this isn't an album. Technically, this is two bands. Technically, who fucking cares. Yellow Eyes are what shine on this release. They’re some really amazing dudes, and I’m honored to have been on a label with them, but regardless, there's something to be said when you pop a cassette into the van(yeah, we have a cassette deck) and everyone stops what they’re doing to listen. The same can be said about the Monument side of this release. This is the most solid tape I’ve owned since, well, I don’t own any tapes. Regardless, listen to both of these bands, you wont regret it.

07. Meek is Murder - Into The Sun Where It Falls Off The Sky
The dudes in Meek is Murder know how to make you hate them for only releasing 7 minutes of music. I actually created a playlist with this EP 3-4 repeated and listen to it while I’m driving. Dense yet fun, thrashy yet technical, and pretty damn musical, I can’t wait to see them play this shit live.

06. Birds in Row - You, Me and the Violence
I really don’t listen to a lot of hardcore these days, and this record wasnt going to be an exception, until I heard the first single, Pilori. I figured I would give the rest a shot, and was subsequently treated to an incredible onslaught of raw emotion, dense arrangement, and the best non-breakdown breakdowns I’ve heard in years(if that makes any sense). This record is honest, and openly shows it.

05. Krallice - Years Past Matter
This is my go to black metal album of the year. It’s a runaway freight train, but the conductor is actually in complete control. Everything on this record feels deliberate yet natural, with subtle changes in texture and form that come at exactly the right junctures. It may only have six tracks, clocking in at nearly an hour, but this seemingly daunting record is cover to cover listenable in ways that even the greats of the genre have difficulty creating consistently.

04. Kowloon Walled City - Container Ships
Barely weeks old relative to its release, once I picked this one up, I have not been able to stop listening to it. As grimy as it is crisp, this is how I would want to ride out the apocalypse that never was.

03. Old Man Gloom - No
Equal parts driving sludge and gouge your eyes out noise, this record became an instant classic the second it reached my ears. The fact that these dudes can come together and create No, which is fresh, original, and familiar all at the same time, is amazing. Hopefully we wont have to wait another 8+ years for more.

02. Bosse-de-Nage - lll
If one had to describe this record in a single word, it would have to be dynamics. On lll, Bosse de Nage have created one of the most cohesive and thoughtful records of the year. All too often, black metal bands, and great ones at that, rest on the laurels of the blast beats and tremolo picking that have made the genre since its inception, but this record breathes, has purpose, and evokes something form the listener. Listening to this record, I feel like I known them, and have known them for years, its that intimate. Also, this is hands down my favorite drumming of the year, just plain tasteful

01. Pallbearer - Sorrow and Extinction
Instead of rehashing the same things that you’ve probably already read a million times since the record came out, all I will say is this-YES, THIS RECORD IS THAT FUCKING GOOD AND IF YOU HAVEN'T LISTENED TO IT YOU'RE PROBABLY MISSING OUT.

Moloch - Henry (In no particular order)

Swans - The Seer
Raime - Quarter Turns Over A Living Line
Gog - In Our Architecture This Resounds
Wölfbait - S/T
Column of Heaven - Mission From God/Soldiers Field
Lanverraad - No Love For A Nation (demo)
Lich/Man Hands - (split 10”)
Moat - (demo)

Moloch - Chris (In no particular order)

Unsane - Wreck
Chris Spencer has more conviction than most. I believe this band.

Sex Prisoner - Sleep Eradication (7")
Absolutely ripping, no nonsense.

Seven Sisters of Sleep - S/T (EP 7")
Heavy as shit. Rocking without being JD drinking stoner bros, doomy without being uber kvlt grimmm. Can't wait to release their split 10" with Shaman's Owl early next year.

Horders - Fimbulvetr
Beautiful and bleak, amazing artwork, a pleasure to be involved with.

Lich / Man Hands - (split 10")
Lich hit the spot. Brutal mosh violence. This split should have been released in the late 90s. Good peoples. (Lich / Moloch split out early 2013.)

Meth Drinker - S/T Reissue (reissue was 2012)
Absolute filth. Proper sludge. Genuinely horrible. (Meth Drinker / Moloch split out early 2013.)

Kowloon Walled City - Container Ships
Great songs. Underrated band.

Thou / Hell - Resurrection Bay (7")
Amazing, heavy split with great packaging.

Column of Heaven - Mission from God
Continuing where the Endless Blockade left off and going further. (COH / Radioactive Vomit 7" out early 2013.)

Rot in Hell - Termini Terrae (7")
New singer, still savage!

The Great Old Ones - Jeff Grimal

01. Enslaved- RIITIIR
02. Deathspell Omega - Drought (EP)
03. Ulver - Childhood's End
04. Katatonia - Dead End Kings
05. Dodecahedron - S/T
06. Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind
07. Blut Aus Nord - 777 Cosmosophy
08. Evoken - Atra Mors
09. Wodensthrone - Curse
10. Incantation - Vanquish In Vengeance

Rise And Fall - Björn Dossche (In no particular order)

Amenra - Mass V
Dinosaur Jr - I Bet On Sky
Hot Water Music - Exister
The Secret - Agnus Dei
Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d city
The XX - Coexist
Neurosis - Honor Found In Decay
Cat Power - Sun
The Men - Open Your Heart
Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind

Dawnbringer - Scott Hoffman
01. Paradise Lost - Tragic Idol
02. Katatonia - Dead End Kings
03. OSI - Fire Make Thunder
04. Witchcraft - Legend
05. Borknagar - Urd
06. Enslaved - RITTIR
07. Pharaoh - Bury the Light
08. Graveyard - Lights Out
09. Zuul - To the Frontlines
10. Mars Volta - Noctourniquet

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Okkultokrati - Snakereigns (2012)

Norway's Okkultokrati rather shy away from all the black metal credit they are usually presented with, and they themselves are a bit beguiled with the automatic labeling they are commonly slapped with. Though whether or not they embrace it or reject it like a common whore, there is a familiarity in their sound. 

Modern Darkthrone influence would seem like the appropriate culprit, but to give these guys the credit they deserve, they do come up with a sound to call their own. Ugly crusty basement punk with a black n' roll, metal-punk aesthetic. Call me a fuckhead, but I can hear similarities to crusty scummy bands like Ed Gein's Car, GG Allin, Black Flag, Poison Idea and what about Funerot?

Released later this year, missed by most, though Brian of Trap Them included them in his top 2012 releases. Make thy own judgement.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Best Metal Albums of 2012: Chosen By Musicians (Pt. 1)

(Elizabeth, where vultures land)

Are you completely fucking hassled and bored of year end lists already? Well too bad, as the ancient Mayans used to say, "Life is short, and then you fucking die man". So this year I got in touch with some bands to do a "best of" list for metal albums in 2012. Now, don't mistake this for the abysmal MetalSucks version they do over there… their metal sucks. That was puerile. But really, the majority of those lists turn out to be a "best of rock and generic metal choices" thing, and that's cool if you're not really looking to broaden your musical horizons a little bit, or strengthen thy metal.

Here is part one, from fucking radical musicians in radical bands choosing those in the realms of thy own ilk to stand among thee top. Some of them break the rules, some of them went above and beyond and even wrote blurbs, some of them couldn't seem to pick an order, and most of them have some awesome choices! Here's who did it best this year according to…

 •  •  •

Cobalt - Phil McSorley

01. Revenge - Scum.Collapse.Eradication
02. Bestial Warlust - Satan's Fist  
03. Pseudogod - Deathwomb Catechesis
04. Dagger of Sacrifice - Demo
05. Vomitor - The Escalation
06. Warfire - Of power and steel
07. Goatpenis/Nyogthaeblisz - (split 7")
08. Niantiel - Cavern of the Skeletal Spirits
09. Intolitarian - Berserker Savagery
10. Sickrites/Nuclear Hammer - Abomination To The Lord (split)

Witch Mountain - Nathan Carson

01. Rush - Clockwork Angels
02. Agalloch - Faustian Echoes (EP)
03. Wizard Rifle - Speak Loud Say Nothing
04. Ides of Gemini - Constantinople
05. Chelsea Wolfe - Apokalypsis
06. Show of Bedlam - Roont
07. Occultation - Three & Seven
08. Pinkish Black - S/T
09. Atriarch - Ritual of Passing
10. Menace Ruine - Alight in Ashes

Black Sheep Wall - Scott Turner

10. Deftones - Koi No Yokan
Deftones come in at number 10 with an album that proves why they remain one of the most important heavy bands in “mainstream media.” Lush soundscapes take precedent on this one making it easy to channel that 15-year old in me that used to dream to “White Pony.”

09. Hot Water Music - Exister
When I heard Hot Water Music was getting back together I lost my shit. Maybe a bit more tame than most fans remember Hot Water Music being on their previous albums, but they don’t miss a step and it feels just as relevant as anything in their stellar catalogue of albums.

08. Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind
Not my favorite Converge record by any means, and I still find myself confounded by some of the riffage on their, but there is no denying that in the short time “All We Love We Leave Behind” has been out that it has been in constant rotation for me.

07. Old Man Gloom - NO
The super group that can do no wrong returns with an album that see's their brand of noise driven extreme music finding a perfect balance between terrifying soundscapes and some awe inspiring song writing. Definitely my favorite release from OMG so far, let's hope we don't have to wait another thousand years for the next one!

06. Propagahndi - Failed States
Unexplainably catchy, and it gives you the feeling that you’re listening to something that matters. Like a fine wine, Propagandhi only gets better with age, all while managing to outdo almost of their peers at the same time.

05. Code Orange Kids - Love is Love // Return to Dust
Sometimes I find myself in intermittent periods of introspection as I find myself listening to less and less heavy music as I get older. A couple years back it was Trash Talk that kept my head in the game, but this time it’s these kids from Pittsburgh. This shit is furious, full of emotion, and it makes me feel like The Incredible Hulk. Saw them live recently too, that really kicked all kinds of ass. 

04. The Twilight Sad - No One Can Ever Know
The Twilight Sad is known for their dark, almost industrial like take on indie rock. Well on “No One Can Ever Know,” dark is an understatement. Sometimes I close my eyes and think about committing suicide when I listen to this album. Did I mention it’s super catchy? Don’t worry, I’m not brave enough to kill myself!

03. Pig Destroyer - Book Burner
Scott Hull and his band of grind warriors return with their followup to their 2007 nihilistic sonic assault “Phantom Limb.” “Book Burner” shows a slight return to form, digging up some of the tricks that made them the grind powerhouse that they are today. The whole album just sounds scary really, something I look forward to from every Pig Destroyer album.

02. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
I was thrown for a loop when I first put this album on. I really didn’t expect to like it as much as I do now. Smooth tunes that are reminiscent of some of the gems that Motown used to pump out back in the day. The lyrics are clever, and you can feel the “bigger picture” Frank Ocean was going for with “Channel Orange.”

01. Summer Vacation - Condition
This album actually came out in December of 2011 with like two weeks left before the new year so I’m going to take a small liberty here, and just include it in my list. These SoCal punks have crafted an album that evokes the same emotion I got when I first heard “All” by the Descendents. It’s an album that I often find myself repeating as soon as it’s over. Summer Vacation are melodic, honest, and one of the catchier bands I have heard in a very long time. I’m calling it now, these guys are going to be huge.

Panopticon - Austin Lunn *In no particular order*

Borknagar - Urd
Wodensthrone - Curse
Swans - The Seer
Winterfylleth - The Threnody of Triumph
Blood of The Black Owl - Light the fires
Nechochwen - Oto
Drudkh - Eternal Turn of The Wheel
Neurosis - Honor Found In Decay 
Blut Aus Nord - 777 Cosmosophy 
Xanthrocroid - Blessed He With Boils

Cormorant - Matt Solis

10. Samothrace Reverence to Stone

Fucking crushing. The sound of being trampled by your saddest memories.

09. Worm OuroborosCome The Thaw

Simultaneously beautiful and heartbreaking. The soundtrack to doing heroin on a deserted beach with the ghost of your dead lover.

08. ConvergeAll We Love We Leave Behind

Goddamn furious. I think that main riff in “Sadness Comes Home” might be my favorite of the year.

07. WitchcraftLegend

Still don’t understand all the butt hurt. This album rocks hard. Great guitar work.

06. Hooded MenaceEffigies of Evil

One of the best old-school death metal albums I’ve heard in recent years. Sounds like being chased through a mausoleum by a rotting mummy. Also, DEM RIFFS.

05. PallbearerSorrow and Extinction
Doom done right. Amazing arrangements, sick vocal performances, all around crushing greatness.

04. GraveyardLights Out

Fuck yeah, Graveyard. Another stellar release full of songs that make me want to stop washing my hair and mainline barrels of whiskey.

03. EnslavedRIITIIR

Metal’s most dependable band comes through yet again. Progressive, thoughtful, brutal and beautiful all at once. If you don’t like modern Enslaved I want to fight you.

02. AstraThe Black Chord

They moved from Pink Floyd worship to King Crimson and Yes worship. Sounds like a jaunt through an inter-dimensional wormhole. Sounds like drugs. Sounds fucking awesome.

01. AhabThe Giant

One of the best doom albums I’ve ever heard. Sounds like being crushed under the foot of a Goliath sea monster in the murkiest depths of the deepest oceans. Amazing work.

The Great Old Ones - Sébastien Lalanne

01. Dodecahedron - S/T
02. Enslaved - RIITIIR
03. Der Weg einer Freiheit - Unstille
04. Gorod - A Perfect Absolution
05. Hooded Menace - Effigies of Evil
06. Krallice - Years Past Matter
07. Monarch! - Omen
08. Wildernessking - The Writing of Gods In The Sand
09. Winterfylleth - The Threnody of Triumph
10. Asphyx - Deathhammer

 Winterfylleth - Chris Naughton

01. My Dying BrideA Map of All Our Failures

02. EnslavedRIITIIR
03. WodensthroneCurse

04. A Forest Of StarsA Shadowplay For Yesterdays

05. RattenfängerEpistolae Obscurorum Virorum
6. DrudkhEternal Turn Of the Wheel

07. Alcest - Les Voyages De L'âme
8. Grand MagusThe Hunt

09. PallbearerSorrow & Extinction

10. IndesinenceVessels of Light & Decay

Trap Them - Brian Vincent Izzi *Brian is a cheater, he submitted 12* (I'll allow it because Okkultokrati rules)

Asphyx - Deathhammer
Aura Noir - Out to Die
Burzum - Umskiptar
Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind
Enslaved - RIITIIR
God Seed - I Begin
Grand Magus - The Hunt
Nettlecarrier - Nettlecarrier
Neurosis - Honor Found In Decay
Nidingr - Greatest of Deceivers
Okkultokrati - Snakereigns
Tulus - Olm Og Bitter

The Howling Wind - Ryan Lipynsky *In no particular order*

Tragedy - Darker Days Ahead
Virus -
Oblivion Clock 
Haarp - Husks
Drudkh -
Eternal Turn of The Wheel
Old Man Gloom -
Mgła -
With Hearts Toward None
Deathspell Omega –
Drought (EP)
Nekromantheon -
Rise, Vulcan Spectre
Saint Vitus -
Lillie: F-65
Column Of Heaven -
Mission From God

Profound Lore Records - Chris Bruni *bonus round*
(omitted my own releases to keep things objective)

01. Swans - The Seer
02. Twin Shadow - Confess
03. Knelt Rote - Trespass
04. Scott Walker - Bish Bosch
05. Krallice - Years Past Matter
06. Weapon - Embers and Revelations
07. Godspeed! You Black Emperor - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
08. Death Grips - No Love Deep Web
09. Vatican Shadow - September Cell
10. (Tie); Pseudogod - Deathwomb Catechesis / Vomitor - The Escalation

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Demos / EPs / Splits: Best of 2012 (pt. 1)


This year, I decided I was going to do a separate post for the best Demos/Eps/Splits out this year. I am splitting these up into parts, so there is no reason to become overwhelmed and not give these a chance.

Vattnet Viskar - S/T

This is it, this is the one. If I had to pick one EP, demo or split that did it the most for me it would have to be Vattnet Viskar. The high warlord among them all, I pondered sneaking this into my 2012 year end list… Though the crop this year is rich and bountiful, so it's place is here, among all the other great demos, EPs and splits this year. (Download) + (Support)

Tempest - Solace

I have none other than Haxan over at Forever Cursed to thank for this shrewd beast. Two songs spanning 10 minutes of dark and crusty hardcore weaving in an out of other influences at an incredibly furious pace. It's emotionally charges and handled with an undeniable sense of genuine ferocity and passion. I wouldn't overlook this one douchebag. (Free Download)

Yellow Eyes / Monument (Split)

Yellow Eyes coast through warm and fuzzy black metal with a sound that is bleak yet homely. A fell distant searching shriek accompanies dizzying and ominous soundscapes that will lure you in. // Monument is an appropriate counterpart for this split as they to go about their own blend of whirring black metal caked in a warm fuzzy haze, arguably with a bit more of that 'nekro sound' than Yellow Eyes. This is one of my favorite splits this year, don't even scroll down until you get it. (Bandcamp/name your price)

Muknal - S/T

A cavernous offering on the sacrificial altar of 2012, archaic occult death metal that bears that hollow recorded in a chasm sound, echoing its decaying insanity, sounding like being chased through a dank corridor by a hulking beast. (Mediafire)

 Adversarial / Antediluvian - Initiated In Impiety As Mysteries (Split)

Two Canadian death/black juggernauts get together to meld a concept into a single syncretic expression, something almost entirely lost on split albums. The concept is a complex one, synthesizing and contrasting the symbol of Leviathan with that of Lucifer. Hard to wrap the skull around it without further rote, but musically expect to hear swirling and crumbling archaic death metal, some of the heaviest and burliest of the year. (Zippyshare) + (Purchase 25% off)

Vales - Clarity

Vales, formerly "Veils" (went through a name change shortly after this EP) play a melodically charged blend of hardcore with a strong nod to early screamo that basks in a poignant infectious zeal! I'll say it now, this has to be one of my most played out EP's of the year, I still can't get enough of it's genuine emotion and power. This is what music sounds like when you leave everything else behind, emotionally charged and brimming with genuine energy. (Zippyshare) + (Support)

Unsacred - Where The Light Dims

Found this over on Equivoke some time ago, and I seem to have gone back to it time and time again throughout the year. Chaotically wrapped up crusty blackened hardcore. It is caustic, speedy and wears proudly the temperament of a fenced in wild boar, fucking pissed. It doesn't offer much fresh air per se, but it will kick your head in senseless for the better part of 15 minutes. (Mediafire) + (Support)

•  •  •

A big thanks to those that contributed suggestions (Valis and Orcus especially), I will gladly take more recommendations for the upcoming Part II. If this blog were a machine, it would be a mechanism run by my free-time and the activity of its viewers. I pay attention to those that take part in this metal/hardcore circle-jerk, if you are a presence around SHOM, chime in every now and then.

There is a similar post to this one over at "Celebutards, Dystopian Landscapes and Pseudo-Scientifi... Morons....", give it a look, some very good things going on over there!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Death metal: An inside look of 2012 (part I)

Death metal as a genre can be scorned for becoming stale over the years, but in reality if you know where to look, you'll discover bands that are pushing the genre further than death growls, bullet belts, and wonted song structures. Look at what Chris Bruni of Profound Lore Records has unearthed and released under PFL; Last year alone the label delivered albums from Mitochondrion, Antediluvian, Disma and Loss – without a doubt amongst the most talked about and appreciated albums within the genre that year!

You can't bring up forward thinking death metal without mentioning the likes of Portal (who are expected to unleash their latest album "Vexovoid" this February, 2013), whom will likely continue to breathe fresh air into the genre with their horrific and abstract dirge.

BUT who this year has been among the ranks in further developing death metal? A question that demands a lengthy answer I'm glad to say, and not one I'll fully cover in this postBut let's delve into a few of the bands who positively contributed to death metal this year:

Revenge - Scum.Collapse.Eradication

Oh Canada, are home and untamed land! True putrid death in all thy scum command. With feral hearts we see thee fall… Canada is no stranger to abyssal death metal, conjuring up the likes of Mitochondrion, Auroch, Antediluvian, Blood Revolt, Weapon, Begrime Exemious, Blasphemy and of course Revenge! Besides all playing a similar blend of chasmal black/death metal and living in the same country, there is one other thing that unifies them – They all come out of the west region of Canada! How can that be? Why the West? A good question, and one I'd like to further pontificate upon, but not here nor now. Fucking Revenge though, they are one of the foulest of them all, sounding akin to a pack of ravenous wolves snarling over a fresh kill. Nay, feasting on a fresh kill, raw and fetid.
Bestial Holocaust - Into The Goat Vulva

Call it blackened thrash, call it barbaric blackened death, call it bestial and filthy, whatever. Just don't throw around the words tame or "familiar ground", because it isn't. By now we're all pretty accustomed to hearing females in all forms of extreme music, we get it, chicks can belch out some growls too. Though Sonia really does help add a welcomed dynamic to this, her gurgles and shrieks carry on a higher note, sounding possessed and putrid. Like with Teitanblood, the Spanish lyrics give it a rather hoary quality parallel to babbling incantations .

Ignivomous - Contragenesis

Aptly named after the archaic meaning for "vomiting fire", Ignivomous spew a cavernous blend of death metal with its hands dipped deep in the old-school. New grounds aren't being paved here on Contragenesis, rather it delivers exactly what you would expect in the form of stalwart tenacity crusted in sewer scum.

 Putrevore - Macabre Kingdom

Besides the vocals sounding like they are being fleshed out by a hulking lich overlord, Macabre Kingdom down to the instrumentation and production sound stout and primordial. It is straight forward in its approach but not to the extent of lulling into familiarity, it crawls through murky waters and treads on familiar soils but it does so very well.

Part II will find its way out soon, until then, please do throw in suggestions for the next one in the comments. Bonus points to those that show me something I have yet to discover, that would be rad!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Helta Skelta - S/T (2012)

A scum-punk/crust release from Helta Skelta of Australia, filled with a back-alley production soaked in vomit, urine and blood. Shit, imagine GG Allin's carpet in music form. Featuring dudes in the hardcore/power-grind band Extortion, one might expect a flurry of furious blasts under a barrage of anger, but really it takes the form of a different beast. Imagine a rabid possum, scouring day and night, rummaging through garbage and grime, engaging in raucous sexual acts with its nocturnal counterparts… And then bam, fucking hit by a car, guts everywhere strewn across the pavement in a morbid display. That's my visual representation for Helta Skelta's Self Titled debut. Bite at it you scum!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Töxik Death - Demo 2012

UPDATE: It seems as though Norway's Töxik Death have heeded my call to make their demo purchasable on their bandcamp page at a 'name your price' option. A member of the band got in touch with me via the comments below, so now we do what little we can to keep the blood flowing through the underbelly of underground music. I chipped them a measly 4$.

Holy fuck, I haven't been this stoked for a demo since I heard Antichrist Blasphemies (which is actually an EP but fuck you) by Morbid Insulter of Sweden. Right off the get go Töxik Death stomps your skull with Thrashforces of Evil, raw crossover thrash that seems to have no interest in being pigeon holed as they weave in and out with some sweet influences. When your sound shares resemblance to Noia, Morbid Insulter, Barbarian, or Volcanic Slut you're doing every fucking thing right. With that being said, make sure you click those links.

As far as my scavenger prowess goes, this demo doesn't actually exist on the internet, only on the bands bandcamp with no option of a 'Name your price' download either, which I'm a big fan of. It's even sold out on cassette! I'm going to have to contact the band to see if they're willing to send a link or put up a 'Name your price' download. If I yield positive results, it will surely be put on SHOM.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bestial Warlust - Satan's Fist (Halifax Collect review)

I scribbled some words (but really mainly talked about crusty semen and dicks) for Halifax Collect pertaining to the reissue of the legendary Satan's Fist '96 Demo that is now being sold through Hells Headbangers!

•  •  •

Bestial Warlust were the smegma caked under the foreskin of bestial blackened death metal, they were the musical equivalent to infanticide… Albeit with more bullet belts. If Corpsemolester, Bloodstorm, and Warslut were around Satan's Fist would have been titled "Satan's Cock", though only Skullfucker and Hellcunt were around and they had become more docile in their old age. None of this is of course true, except the part about Skullfucker and Hellcunt being the only remaining members on the demo. Such lovely names…

"I want to keep reading about cum and Satan..."
"I want to buy this rare cum encrusted vinyl!"
"I want to Download the piece of shit Wintersun album."

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Elysian Blaze - Blood Geometry (2012)

I've been a fan of Elysian Blaze ever since I bought Levitating The Carnal back in 2009 (it came out in 2006), I bought it on a whim thinking it was going to be a colossal heap of black metal from the land down under. Turns out I was right…

Elysian Blaze is a one man band from Australia that set out to display a hollow churning void of black metal with halting funeral doom pace and a lightly ambient overtone. It stands firmly between a minimalist approach with a very dreary vibe, its bleak energy belongs echoing in empty halls. It seems that all that is good is meant to be purged from the listener, an easy listen it is not. If you hearken its entirety, thy blackness is strong.

2012 sees Blood Geometry on a lot of year end list I presume. I almost forgot to mention, it's in two parts, spanning for over 2 hours… Of emotionally draining black metal. Good luck.

Blood Geometry (part I)
Blood Geometry (part II)

Charon - Sulphur Seraph: The Archon Principle (2012)

I have my work cut out for me on here, soon I'll be posting a part of my top metal albums of 2012. I'm more into showing you guys the more overlooked shit of 2012 until then, rather than post Pig Destroyers Book Burner I give you guys Charon of Germany with their first full-length since being a band for fifteen years.

This wretched spew is titled Sulphur Seraph: The Archon Principle and it is festering in its own filth of bestial death metal, a concoction of cavernous riffing, marching drums, bellowed growls and tortured shrieks all wrapped up in a dank atmosphere.

Grab if you like: Mitochondrion, Teitanblood, Witchrist

Sulphur Seraph: The Archon Principle (mediafire)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Basarabian Hills - A Breath of The Wide Valley (2012)

Basarabian Hills, garnering one of the most inane and incomprehensible logos in metal, one that leaves you forcefully assuming the band surely is being facetious, has released their latest LP - three songs spanning for thirty-six minutes of lulling, and dream-ridden ambient atmospheric black metal.

Ahh fuck semantics, this has as much to do with black metal as hockey sticks do with basketball. Heavily ambient and seemingly focused on improving sleep patterns on listeners, yes yes, it has underlying elements of atmospheric black metal, but to lump this in with black metal would be akin to lumping Led Zeppelin to doom metal. Songs sound like they were manufactured, with a formula, it has ethereal soundscapes and dreamy textures, representing the same nodes as delta waves, hence the attributes that can help you out-sleep a sloth. Let me deem this, black metals answer to sleep apnea.

Wipe off that corpse paint, throw on your one-piece pajamas, and hit your fucking pillows with A Breath of The Wide Valley.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Your Highness - Blue Devils EP (2012)

Here is the latest sound from Your Highness, still washed in a reefer haze and soaked in whiskey. It sounds like a beard, this is the newest EP.

I've been busy, like real life busy, hard-pressed to find my usual music scouring hours. I invite any of you readers to toss 'good' suggestions' my way to post. Either fucking way, more to come.

- Chris

Your Highness - Cults n' Cunts (2011)

"Cults n' Cunts makes you want to shotgun 100 beers and go climb something epic, maybe while beating the shit out of someone." 

 •  •  •

I really couldn't say it any better, though maybe I would add in growing a gnarly beard and throwing on a denim vest with the sleeves cut rocking the mandatory patches on it: The Sword, Baroness, Doomriders, with the words "Scum Cunt" arching on the back.
I'm not sure how this one eluded me all of last year, and I'm not even sure how I have recently stumbled upon it, but this is some seriously easy to get into groovy sludge/stoner metal.

Grab if you like: Kylesa, Doomriders, Baroness

Scum Cunt

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Caspian - Waking Season (2012)

I've been fucking the dog lately, and of course by this I mean I have been putting this particular post off for a while (not actually fucking a dog… dude). Waking Season has been on my "Post to shit-hole blog" list for a while now, and I'm only getting around to it right now because of the interview with Ben Sharp of Cloudkicker that I just had.

It appears the post-metal guru himself has taken to the gossamer with all of its delicacies encased in a warm and fuzzy ethereal shell. It's like submerging your head in honey. Ben Sharp said "Waking Season by Caspian is living in my head right now." and went as far as putting it in his top 2012 list. It's easy to see why this can be justified… The album is a monolith of honest and pensive sounding post-metal tangled in a web of dreamy atmospherics and solemn ambient qualities. It's like submerging your stupid skull in honey and silk.

Imagine this for a second: Somebody cracks your skull open, and in it they pour honey, tea-tree oils and melty gooey cheese, a sensation for the senses reports your brains nerve endings (dutifully ignoring the pain caused by a cracked skull), this is Caspian's Waking Season. A cornucopia of stupid hyperbole, what have I come to?

Waking Season
Caspian on Bandcamp

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Interview: Cloudkicker (Ben Sharp)

"Cloudkicker is a music that happens when a person named Ben Sharp sometimes uses a computer to record and sequence instruments. Since starting to do that in 2005, he has created many compilations of songs and they don't necessarily sound the same as other compilations of songs that he has created. In fact, writing and recording music is something he does when he isn't working at his job." I got in touch with Ben Sharp to bother him into answering some questions… These are the questions and answers. Invoke!

 •  •  •

1) Let's kick this off with something engaging, tell us something about Ben Sharp that may will surprise us?

BS: I own several guns.

2) The name Cloudkicker was derived from Kit Cloudkicker from the radical 90's cartoon show "TaleSpin"… What other cartoons were a big part of Ben's salad days?

BS: That whole lineup… Darkwing Duck, Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers, Goof Troop, Duck Tales. Also Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That might cover it!

3) There appears to be a lot of intrigue surrounding you Ben, a man of mystery. Do you think this has to do with the fact that you stray away from the 'norms' when it comes to your music? Which questions are you most sick of hearing by now?

BS: It's kind of odd to me because I don't feel very mysterious, I just feel like me. I'm pretty sure I feel like what most people feel like when they are people. I guess I'm not exactly keen on the idea that once you become even a minute person of interest you are obligated to share every waking moment of your life, but then I'm not even that way with my friends and family. I answer questions that people ask and I answer them honestly but I think most people are interested in the technical aspects of what I do and couldn't care less about what kind of restaurants I go to. I'm not "sick" of answering questions like; "Will you ever play live shows?" or "How did Cloudkicker start?" or "What kind of thing do you use for a part?" because each person that asks that is asking it for the first time.

4) Cloudkicker has always been your hobby. Money, personal glory, record labels, etc. never seem to be of any interest or importance. But being as it is a hobby, do you ever feel the pressure of expectations and eagerly awaiting fans? Does this ever suck the life/fun out of what you once personally loved?

BS: I do know that there are people that might be curious or maybe eager to hear more things I've made, but to me that's an incredibly positive thing. I don't even know if I would still be making music if not for that! But I filter that knowledge through my own motivation to make something worth listening to. There's no sense in getting all anxious about making music for people that want to hear it if it's just going to be a waste of their time. So no, it absolutely does not suck the fun out of anything, but I choose to use it as a tool more than anything.

5) What is the best thing (for you personally) that has come out of Cloudkicker?

BS: Connecting with an incredible amount of people in a way that I never dreamed I would experience.

6) You've always done things by the DIY bible, stating that it's mainly due to 'laziness', but did a big part of it come down to wanting full creative reign of your own work? What did this free reign ultimately translate to? And are there any aspects of your own work your disappointed with?

BS: Yeah of course, I guess I kind of think that goes without saying. But that's almost the entirety of it. It's pretty simple what it means for me actually, it means I get to do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it. Fully and uncompromisingly and for better or not-as-better. Ultimately the responsibility for anything happening and the quality of whatever is produced comes back to me only, and I like it that way. Am I disappointed in anything? No not at all, of course I can look back at things in hindsight and think that I would have done some part of it differently now--but that's not what this is about. I deal with that by continually aiming to do the best I can do at whatever I'm doing.

7) Being as DIY to the core as you have been/are, how difficult was it bringing Cloudkicker to fruition, or more importantly to where it is today? And how surprised are you with what Cloudkicker has now become?

BS: It was the easiest thing in the world. I made music and people liked it and they told other people about it. That's about all that has happened and that's what continues to happen. I'm blown away at what Cloudkicker has become. Try to think about it from my perspective; I'm sitting in my apartment making music and uploading it to the internet and after a couple years of doing that all of the sudden people from Japan and Russia and Pennsylvania are emailing me about how I helped them through a rough time or helped them understand something bigger than themselves. I don't even know if there's a word for how much of a mindfuck that is.

8) Let's switch gears here, I want to know your favourite of the following; Movie, Album, Food, Past-time (besides Cloudkicker)

BS: I don't really have favorites of things so I'll just tell you the kind of thing that I really dig and maybe you'll know what I'm getting at;

(Movie) The last few movies to make me feel incredibly intense feelings were Looper, Drive, The King's Speech, Inception, and A Serious Man chronologically. I walked out of each of them with very distinct emotions.

(Album) As I type this I'm listening to "Allelujiah! Don't Bend! Ascend!" by GYBE super loud because I just discovered it for myself a few days ago and I think it's incredible. In the past week or so I've been kind of kicked in the head with music. It's been really fun. "Waking Season" by Caspian is living in my head right now also.

(Food) Anything my wife makes for us to eat. Everything she does is delicious.

(Past-time) I've been on kind of a space kick for a couple months. I'm beyond fascinated by looking at the sky from dark places and trying to get at it. Like really get at what I'm looking at. I have a lot of little tiny hobbies because everything is a hobby if you're trying to get better at it. I like reading books that take a dogmatic idea and destroy it. I like unlearning things that we're all just supposed to accept as truth.

9) I'm going to go out on a limb here, or a well educated guess, you're a sentimental dude aren't you? Past experiences don't seem to wash over you with no affect… I ask this because Cloudkicker has this immense evocative quality that invokes, well, feeling. So, is Ben Sharp a sentimental dude? AND does this translate into the music?

BS: When I was a kid I think I was out-of-control sentimental. Like too sentimental for it to be good for me. Things were really heavy a lot of the time because of that. In my early 20's I kind of restarted in a lot of ways and part of that was figuring out how sentimentality can be good. So I definitely consider myself a sentimental person but now I enjoy it in the same way that you enjoy a glass of red wine and close friends--you let it wash over you and feel happy until it passes. Does it translate to the music? Yes absolutely, it's a fundamental part of who I am.

10) "Let Yourself Be Huge", "Loop" and the most recent "Fade" have incontrovertibly seen a more dramatic shift in the sound of Cloudkicker, have you seen a lot of people abandoning the Cloudkicker ship, or has there been an embrace by new and old fans alike?

BS: No not at all. Maybe there have been but if so they've been replaced with new people at a greater rate. In fact, Fade and Let Yourself Be Huge got an even bigger response than Beacons in terms of downloads.

11) Have you received any fan mail from girls who tattooed "Let Yourself Be Huge" as a tramp-stamp yet?

BS: I've gotten tattoo emails but no, not that yet…

12) Alright let's get hypothetical; You come home from work to find your living quarters ablaze, you have enough time to grab three things. What did you grab?

BS: Wife, acoustic guitar, external hard drive.

13) If a giant meteor was heading for earth and you had ten minutes to jot down your seven favourite albums released in 2012 thus far, what would be on the list before you're crushed into Cloudkicking nothingness?

Dan Deacon - America
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Allelujiah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
Caspian - Waking Season
Yosi Horikawa - Wandering EP
The Shins - Port of Morrow
Four Tet - Pink
Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind

14) It's clear that Meshuggah played a huge role in the inception and sound of Cloudkicker, but what influences did you draw from for the ambient aspects?

BS: For older stuff it was bands like Explosions in the Sky and Mogwai but more recently it's shifted towards Tycho or Four Tet and Steve Reich or Philip Glass but also incorporating the older influences because that's where I came from. It's really hard for me to say where things are going now.

15) Time to end this thing on a serious note… Have you ever conceived a riff while in the nude?

BS: No actually I really dig clothes. Not in some puritan way but in the utilitarian way that they wick moisture and odor away from my body and help my skin breathe better. I don't know why I would ever not wear clothes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Secret - Agnus Dei (2012)

Xavier of France's The Great Old Ones , once told me his favorite discovery on SHOM was Solve Et Coagula by Italy's The Secret. A righteous find indeed. Well guess what Xavier, and the lot of you, The Secret are back to assail you with their noise-ridden blend of dark metallic hardcore, in the form of their newest release Agnus Dei. They dredge from many variants of influence, let's not get hung up on them all. It stomps, get it.

Agnus Dei (Zippyshare)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Whips / Chains - Master / Slave: Review for Halifax Collect

Master / Slave is a snake slithering through cavernous waste seething and foaming in its own grime. Slowly dragging itself through shit and filth for a meandering 13 minutes… It's short, and sometimes the momentum suffocates as a result, but this is something familiar within EP's. Let's dig in…

Master / Slave doesn't deviate far, if at all, from the standard formula unearthed in hardcore of this ilk. Husky infuriated vocals, down-tuned unrelenting riffs that fluctuate between crushing and banal with the conventional pummeling of the drums serving as the 'beat down'. Think of a healthy mixture of Buried Alive, Hatebreed and His Hero Gone. Fuck Hatebreed 

Arcane Order - The Serpent Tower (audio)

What the fuck man, 4 years and still no follow-up to the awesome In The Wake of Collisions! Has anyone heard of any type of resurgence from these radical Danes?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Foundation - When The Smoke Clears (2011)

Hardcore is nor ever was the genre to be reinventing the wheel… Sure, there are bands that explore the sometimes stagnant genre further than its peers. Take We Had A Deal for example, imploring an infectiously melodic approach to fast and furious hardcore, with elements that aren't normally found in a hardcore album; A three part-song with it's own intro featuring a lulling female singer and an outro that sounds like an eclectic busker band, and really a host of other subtle nuances that set it apart from other "heard this before" bands…

My point is, Foundation aren't coming up with anything you haven't heard before, and I don't think they give a shit about that. This Atlanta based straight edge band set out to assault you with all the usual suspects present; burly pissed-off vocals, power chords, two-step shit stance sections, floor-punch shit romp breakdowns, floor tom marches, crunchy tones, mid-tempo beats, etcetera, etcetera. Heavily harken with sounds of 90's hardcore, Foundation have planted their feet deep in the ground with When The Smoke Clears, setting it apart from the debut Hang Your Head (which was also really good, albeit a bit hollow in sound and lacking in breadth).

Grab if you like: Mother of Mercy, Earth Crisis, Unbroken

When The Smoke Clears (Zippyshare)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Von Drakus - The End (2012)

The End is really just the fucking beginning. Von Drakus of Germany set out to play agile and pissed of jams in the form of hardcore that dips its hands in the cauldron of black metal, punk, crust and some other shit, interpret it as you will! It's pretty short, That is why we have a repeat button on just about everything. Use it. I listened to it 4 times in a row and my room looks like downtown Syria, okay I lied, I didn't mosh around in my room. But my room is a fucking sty right now, I should probably clean that up, you know what they say… 'busy environment, busy mind'. You know what else is messy? This album, chock full of noise enshrouded in a sea of filthy vibes.

"The earth was created in 6 days… so to, shall it be destroyed!"

Download free via Bandcamp! (how nice of them!)

Purchase the awesome looking vinyl!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Alda: Recap, Rehash, Return, Refuck // Limited vinyls for grab!

Firstly, fuck mormons. Secondly, welcome back. Thirdly, I'm back in Iceland writing out from a cozy cafe full of people I hate for no reason. Fourthly, it feels good to be back on here and posting again, even if it's just a little recap post pertaining to to a band already mentioned and brought to attention on SHOM. Albeit, a band that kicks so much fucking ass they probably get private lessons from Dolph Lundgren. Yes, I'm talking about atmospheric black metal giants Alda.

I interviewed them a while back, but you already saw and read through all of that right? Of course. If for whatever reason it eluded the likes of you, unfuckify yourself by clicking here.

Now, to the main point of this post, which isn't about telling you how good these guys are (they're good.), it's about informing you fine fellows of a limited Alda vinyl purchase thingy we have going on at SHOM. The strident and monolithic release Tahoma was sold out on vinyl about as quickly as it went up, restoring my dwindling faith in humanity just enough to seek out and make this limited vinyl reappear from the dead. This is where you come in, let me know in the comments if you would like to purchase this back from the dead vinyl beast and we will work it out mono es mono! The rad dudes in Alda will even autograph/scribble on it for you, maybe even include an inspirational quote or dick drawing for good measure. This post is to see if there is any interest in something like this, if there is, then good one you, and we will get the ball rolling on this ASAP.

•  •  •

Send me those messages via comments or email me at; We'll work out the lowest price we can with your shipping address. Thank you dudes, make me proud!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Greetings from Amsterdam!

I'm mega behind in the virtual world, it hurts a little bit. My physical self is enjoying itself in a variety of unfamiliar lands, right now I'm in Amsterdam, tomorrow it will be Berlin. I'm behind in music, but most importantly I'm behind in this blog right now, stick with me, I'll be back soon. One love.

PS: Amsterdam is a degenerate cess-pool of scumbags, it's rad! (it has it's charm)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bone Dance - Self Titled (2012)

I sit tucked away in a corner at my hostel in Iceland, the sun is chirping, the birds are shining, and the coffee is filling me with caffeinated joy, it's all pleasure centers. Good vibes… but that's all just about to fucking change. I just got my grubby paws on the new Bone Dance ST, and after a few songs I find myself hating on every existence in the room (especially the dude wearing mittens while scrawling in his meaningless travel journal - "dear diary, I'm a dick hole").

Bone Dance have solidified themselves in the underground hardcore scene with their DIY approach and work ethic rivaling your foreign grandparents. Releasing EP's, splits, some 7-inchers and even a full-length release back in 2009 that is now deemed by the band as an artifact as they no longer play the material.

Let's get down to it. Shrill nihilistic metallic hardcore that pulls elements from crust, sludge, doom and punk. The riffs have multiple personalities, weaving in and out of crushing chugs to technical passages that teeter on melodic. Commanding vocals roar like a lioness in heat, the bass remains audible and chunky while the drums march along in taut fashion. Pissed. Think of bands like BotchMind Eraser, Plebeian Grandstand and The Engineer.

Bone Dance (deposit files)
Bone Dance Bandcamp
Bone Dance Store & pre-order (peruse friends, rad stuff in there!)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Interview: Plastic Gods

"Glacial rock", this is the category for which they lump themselves in, which sees itself blending doom, drone, and blues driven sludge with a predilection for psychedelic atmospherics. A washed haze painted in a myriad of hues swallowed in bone crushing glacial rock (get behind the term, Plastic Gods aren't fucking around). I decided to bother Ingó, the vocalist and cosmic wizard of Plastic Gods, though, he also covers throat duties for Ophidian I (whom I interviewed weeks back here), Bastard and Severed Crotch (back when they were still a band and kicking ass). So you see, this is just the man to talk to. Read on fuckos!

I'm sorry for the lack of banner that I normally create for such things, I do not have access to my usual Adobe Illustrator to spew my 'creativity' on. Truth is, I'm in a cafe in Iceland right now using one of my buddies ancient Macbooks (I swear it's from the prehistoric period), I know I know, I'm a dedicated dude. I'll be in Europe for another 37 days or so, which means I'll have to find ways of keeping up with posts. I have no intentions of abandoning you dudes, keep with me, I love you, madly, deeply, truly.

•  •  •

1) "Fuck, KICK IT!" let's get right down to it… Is Plastic Gods architected to be most enjoyable while intoxicated in some form? Are there hidden passages to be discovered in this altered state?

Definitively best enjoyed while in some sort of state of inhebriation. Yeah just listen to our debut album high as a kite repeatedly and you will most certainly find some cosmic gratification.

2) Ingó, you're pretty much the godfather of extreme vocals in Iceland, how the fuck do you do it? How many times have you played multiple shows in a night?

I guess I've just been doing this for such a long time that I don't really think about it all that much anymore haha. The hardest thing isn't really all the growling, it's more hard finding the time to rehearse and devote myself to all my projects wholeheartedly. I try to organize things in such a way that shows with different bands don't go down on the same date, but there have been plenty of times where I've had to pull double duty!

3) How do you guys handle the obstacle of spreading your music beyond the ears of in Iceland?

That's an area where we really need some improvement. We are all pretty handicapped when it comes to the whole viral thing, but doing this interview is one way, right? 

4) What is the main ingredient to Plastic Gods relatively infamous intense live performances?

We think it would probably be the way that we are all usually in such a state that we just kind of space out and connect with the music and each other. We feed of the energy of the audience and vice versa. It really is an uplifting sight to see people banging their heads, crowd-surfing and moshing like crazy to crushing doom riffs and desert rock grooves.

5) The internet can be a cruel bastard to bands trying to start out and make a name for themselves. Do people like me normally become 'the enemy' or can blogs like this one be a welcomed beacon of 'getting the word out? 

A welcome beacon for sure. Except if you talk shit about us, but then again if you were we'd probably be doing something wrong. As we mentioned earlier we really need to get with the times and utilize all the amazing ways the internet offers promotional opportunities. So to answer your question we think that the internet is a great resource for new bands to get discovered.

6) Here's an uncreative textbook question: What 3 bands influenced Plastic Gods sound most?

Cephalic Carnage, Iron Monkey & Black Sabbath, these bands really got our attention when we started playing music and helped us set the form we wanted to play.

7) With music like Plastic Gods, where emphasis is placed on bone crushingly slow/tense build-up, do you feel that the listener needs to be patient in order to fully feel Plastic Gods true impact? 

Our emphasis isn't always on slow bone crushing music, it really depends what kind of show we are playing, often we want to be to the point and just rock hard and fast but when we play our doom people most of the time have to give us some patience to fully get into what we're playing.

8) Plastic Gods is playing this years Iceland Airwaves, what does an opportunity like that mean for the band?

The biggest gain is that it entitles us to apply for support from Icelandair to go abroad and play. Hopefully it also means that some foreign spectators will attend and we're hoping to get some media exposure as well. We'll make sure to advertise our gigs to the best of our ability when the time comes.

9) The song "Birth" on the Self-Titled album is over 14 minutes long, with over 12 and a half minutes of molasses paced tension that can't help but put the listener in a hazy trance. When you play this song live, do you cut the build-up short? 

We actually haven't played it live all that often, but when we have it has usually just served as an intro to our show. And yes we do shorten it considerably.

10) Pretend I am a (7 foot, 300 pound) warrior. Who in Plastic Gods stands the best chance to beat me in a drinking game? Who stands the best chance in an arm-wrestling competition? Lastly, who would defeat me in a hot-dog eating contest?

Hahaha. In a drinking game it would probably be either me (Ingó) or Dagur (just contact us if you wanna play!). The arm-wrestling would probably have to be either Dagur or Erling. As for the hot-dogs we don't recommend you challenge anyone of us.

11) If you were to get a lyrical fragment from a Plastic Gods song tattooed on your kneecap which one would you get?

Dagur: "Dreamfilled patterns make the bowl. At 20 past we free our souls" 

12) What is one thing about the Icelandic culture that pisses you off most?

Ingó: For me it's probably the attitude that a lot of icelanders have thinking that no matter how fucked they are they tend to think that everything will just be alright, without them actually having to lift a finger to make it so.

Dagur: We are a nation of hicks, rapists and drunks and we try to deny our origin Vikings weren't the nicest as you could imagine, eye for an eye was actually legal and these people have to get their heads out of their asses and get out of denial so we can progress as a proper nation. Im not saying that everyone is like this but we have a real problem with our identity.

13) I have no tickets to the sold out Airwaves festival, how impossible would it be to sneak me into the Plastic Gods set?

What are you willing to do? Let's talk...

14) What changes musically did you guys go through during the period after Quadriplegics to the self-titled released 3 year later? What inspired this change?

Well... actually most of the material on our self titled album was written before and during the songs on Quadriplegic, our first release. Both albums really represent the birth of Plastic Gods and the importance of these two albums for us defining our sound and the width of different styles of rock we want to play. We think since that material there's been more of a change and it will be apparent on our upcoming albums.   

15) How do you keep your vocals in tip-top shape, being a vocalist for 4 different bands must require some monk like training. Do you have any home remedy techniques? (Or does straight bourbon keep the pipes flowing?)

It does take quite a toll, but for me it's all about keeping in practice. When I rehearse and perform regularly I stay in shape. Excessive smoking and drinking tends to impair me, so I do my best to keep it to a minimum around shows. well... that's a lie.

Thanks Ingó and the dudes in Plastic Gods for kicking fucking ass, and thank you for taking the time to do this.