Jul 102014

(Our man BadWolf recently interviewed Landphil, who is a member of Cannabis Corpse, Municipal Waste, and Iron Reagan. Here’s what happened.)

In less than a month, Islander and myself will be waist-deep in filthy metal once again at this year’s Denver Black Sky Festival, and while that fest boasts more than a handful of great grind, crust, hardcore, and death metal acts, it’s a joke band that has me stoked.

Well, not exactly a joke band. Cannabis Corpse is no laughing stock—the group’s grasp on old-school death metal fundamentals is strong. But the band’s sense of weed-pun-based humor is proudly dispalyed on every album cover and in every song title. I’d expect nothing less from another project featuring Landphil, the powerhouse Virginian who also does time in Municipal Waste and Iron Reagan.

In anticipation of the fest, and Cannabis Corpse’s new album, From Wisdom to Baked, we chatted a bit about what it takes to be a funny man in metal, as well as the loss of GWAR’s David Brockie. Oh, and a bit about weed. But that should go without saying.

Jul 102014


Doomed

(Today our Russian contributor Comrade Aleks brings us Part 2 of a four-part series that we’re running for four days in a row in which he puts the same five questions to doom bands from around the world, and introduces us to their music at the same time.)

Sometimes I use this unpopular “quiz” format because there are too many interesting bands that I would like to bring to light, and in my opinion it’s a good way to spread some news and to get new points of view on a few issues (including even some political questions). The list of questions I put to the bands is below:

1. What is the band’s latest news and what are your plans for the near future?

2. What do we get (in the broadest sense) from the release of your last album?

3. What is the best response that your band has ever received?

4. What role does the church (or any other religious organization) play in your life or (let’s take it wider) in the life of the heavy scene? Is there any spiritual, religious, or antireligious component in your songs?

5. What does the Media in your country tell about the situation in Ukraine? And how do you see that situation? Some people from other countries have asked me strange questions about Russia’s policy, and let me say that I have a few friends in Ukraine and my colleagues have relatives there, and believe me, there’s no media in ANY country that is showing the problem as it really is. We can watch as the Cold War turns into real warfare.

Today, we bring the answers to these questions from Doomed (Germany), Ethereal Riffian (Ukraine), Frailty (Latvia),  Mournful Gust (Ukraine), and My Shameful (Finland).

Jul 102014

Greece has long been a spawning ground of powerhouse metal in the underground scene, but 2014 is shaping up to be a banner year. It has already delivered excellent (and quite diverse) releases by the likes of AetherianBurial Hordes, Dead Congregation, Dodsferd, Hail Spirit Noir, SepticfleshSpectral Lore, and Suicidal Angels. Now we must add to that list Fire and Brimstone by Principality of Hell – and we’re giving you a chance to discover its vicious pleasures by premiering a song from the album named “Codex Inferno”.

Principality of Hell may be a new name, but it’s composed of veteran musicians, including three members of Thou Art Lord: The Magus (also Necromantia), El (also Nergal, Soulskinner), and J. Maelstrom (also Dephosphorus, Dodsferd, Ravencult). In this new project, however, the trio have turned their obsidian energies to the creation of black thrashing hellfire.

Jul 102014

A deep rumbling noise could be heard rising up from the bowels of the interhole yesterday as the name BÖLZER! was simultaneously growled by reviewers who had just received their advance copies of the band’s new EP Soma. The degree of excitement that had been building in anticipation of the EP was phenomenal, given that before Soma this Swiss band had only released a grand total of six songs — three of them on 2012′s Roman Acupuncture and three on 2013′s Aura. I can’t think of many extreme underground bands who’ve made such a big splash in so little time on the strength of so few tracks. But on the other hand, this Swiss duo really don’t sound like anyone else, and that’s a rare achievement in this day and age.

I’ve admitted before that my attraction to Bölzer has bordered on the unhealthy. I listened to Aura so much that I began to fear an alien entity had taken up residence in my skull. I included “Entranced By the Wolfshook” on my list of 2013′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. After seeing the band at Maryland Deathfest, I waited in line so long to buy a shirt that I missed the next band’s entire set (but seriously, how could you not struggle for the chance to get apparel emblazoned with “THUNDER TONGUE BOLT FIST” on the back?). So yes, I was growling the name yesterday, too.

Well, I have good news and bad news about Soma. The bad news is that it only includes two songs — “Steppes” and “Labyrinthian Graves”. And that’s it for the bad news.

Jul 092014

(Guest writer Ben Manzella wrote the following review of the July 2 performances by Deafheaven and Wreck and Reference in San Francisco on July 2, 2014, and took the accompanying photos as well.)

A summer night in San Francisco typically means you can wear a jacket. As someone who grew up in the sunnier part of California (the Los Angeles/San Pedro area), I enjoy this fact. As the line began to form outside The Great American Music Hall, I started to assess the crowd from my point of view. It’s always interesting to see what kind of crowd is attracted to any show, but what do you get when the show consists of a pairing of noise/metal/experimental music (Wreck and Reference) and what is often described as the hipster darling of Black Metal (Deafheaven)?

Now before I go any further, don’t misunderstand me; I’ve been a fan of Deafheaven since their album Roads to Judah was released and I’m thrilled they’ve found a rare amount of success, especially in the times we live in. I won’t deny, though, that it’s not exactly your typical “uber-kvltist” that you’ll see at a Deafheaven show. But I digress — I have nothing but respect for the guys in both bands.

Jul 092014

Lacerated Enemy Records has described the music of Infestum from Belarus by referring to the sounds of Behemoth, Emperor, and Aborym, and when you hear the Infestum song we’re premiering today from their new album you’ll understand why.

“Ordo Infestum” begins with a deep thrumming sound that resembles the notes of a bass violin, and then the song explodes in a fury of deep, doom-cloaked riffs, gut-rumbling percussion, and venomous serrated vocals. The sound is massively skull-flattening, and the music’s atmosphere is bleak, occult, and threatening.

Yet the music is not all one thing. In the course of this warlike assault you will hear a piano melody and otherworldly keyboard ambience drifting eerily through the avalanche of riffs, along with the voices of a choir, aching clean vocals, and even an industrial-tinged beat near the song’s finish.

Jul 092014

For your entertainment and edification I bring you a small group of news items and new music that I enjoyed over the last 24 hours. All of them involve especially enticing pieces of album art that you may view as larger images by clicking on them.

DECAPITATED

Thanks to a tip from my friend Vonlughlio, I just saw the news that the sixth album by Poland’s Decapitated will be released by Nuclear Blast and Mystic Production (Poland) on September 26, 2014. It was recorded, as usual, at Hertz Studio in Białystok, Poland, by the Wiesławski brothers. The album cover was created by Polish artist Lukasz Jaszak, who also made the cover of the band’s last album, Carnival Is Forever.

This announcement was accompanied by a statement from Vogg (Waclaw Kieltyka) that the new music is “totally crushing and huge” and that Blood Mantra is “the most heavy and mature album” the band have ever recorded.

Such statements must always be taken with a grain of salt, but even if the album is only “about the same level of crushing and huge” as what Decapitated have delivered in the past, sign me the fuck up.

https://www.facebook.com/decapitated

Jul 092014

Jurgen of Absent/Minded

(Today our Russian contributor Comrade Aleks begins a four-part series that we’re running for four days in a row in which he puts the same five questions to doom bands from around the world, and introduces us to their music at the same time.)

Sometimes I use this unpopular “quiz” format because there are too many interesting bands that I would like to bring to light, and in my opinion it’s a good way to spread some news and to get new points of view on a few issues (including even some political questions). So here’s the first part of our Doom Quiz, and the list of questions I put to the bands is below:

1. What is the band’s latest news and what are your plans for the near future?

2. What do we get (in the broadest sense) from the release of your last album?

3. What is the best response that your band has ever received?

4. What role does the church (or any other religious organization) play in your life or (let’s take it wider) in the life of the heavy scene? Is there any spiritual, religious, or antireligious component in your songs?

5. What does the Media in your country tell about the situation in Ukraine? And how do you view that situation? Some people from other countries have asked me strange questions about Russia’s policy, and let me say that I have a few friends in Ukraine and my colleagues have relatives there, and believe me, there’s no media in ANY country that is showing the problem as it really is. We can watch as the Cold War turns into real warfare.

Today, we bring the answers to these questions from Absent / Minded (Germany), Arc Of Ascent (New Zealand), Bevar Sea (India), Byl Zamechen (Ukraine), and Conan (Great Britain).

Jul 082014

We warned you yesterday that today we would be cooperating with Kydoimos Records in the Bandcamp release of a free 20-track compilation of music from 20 UK grind violence bands, featuring artwork by Mark Rennie — and it is now a live thing. Go here to listen and to download the music, either a track at a time or as an entire album:

http://nocleansinging.bandcamp.com/album/hold-fast-grindviolence-compilation

The album download also comes with a special 27-page zine created by Alex Layzell (of Grind to Death and Kydoimos) that includes band interviews and a lot of cool artwork.

Big thanks to Alex for doing all of the really hard work to make this a reality, and of course huge thanks to the bands for contributing their music. Eventually, the comp will be released on cassette tape with accompanying hard copies of the zine, and we’ll let you know when that happens. The album stream comes next…

Jul 082014

This is a collection of news and new music I discovered last night and this morning. When I use the “Shades of Black” title, it doesn’t always mean that everything in the post will be black metal, but it does today. On the other hand, most of the music in this post isn’t likely to conform to any preconceptions that most casual listeners may have about the sound of black metal. If one were to construct a bell curve of the genre, almost everything in here would be out on the edges.

ABIGOR

Austria’s Abigor have finished recording their tenth studio album, entitled Leitmotif Luzifer — The 7 Temptations of Man. It will be released by Avantgarde Music on July 11. Despite Abigor’s long history, I’ve never listened to any of their previous releases from start to finish, and I’m not even certain I’ve ever listened to any individual songs. So this new album will be my first proper introduction to the band — and from what I’ve heard so far, it will be a very happy meeting.

Abigor have created a Bandcamp page on which they’ve uploaded two different teaser tracks, each of which contains excerpts from songs on the new album. They emphasize on that page that “no synthetic elements have been used” in the recording of the album — “the guitars are completely free of any effects, neither reverb nor any special effects edit were allowed to touch the string instruments on this album”, and “for vocals only reverb and delay has been used, no pitch or chorus or any other effect stained the purity and directness”.

The teaser clips collectively include nearly 18 minutes of music, though no complete songs. To say the least, the music displayed by these teasers is esoteric and eccentric, but it’s also fascinating and rich in its diversity.

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