(In this post Russian contributor Comrade Aleks delivers an interview of Mikael Monks of Sweden’s Burning Saviours.)
The combination of doom metal and rock from the 70’s has became actual genre nowadays. It feels like a damned lot of people miss the good old days when things looked more or less simpler. Good melodies, a recognizable retro sound, and lyrics on familiar themes are enough to satisfy our needs, and it’s not necessary to be original in that case.
The Swedish band Burning Saviours have been playing doom metal / hard rock since 2004 in the name of almighty Pentagram! A few successful releases have brought Burning Saviours a well-known reputation, and I Hate Records has decided to remind us about the band’s deserts with the release of a compilation named Boken om förbannelsen. I got in contact with Mikael Monks (guitars, vocals) to clarify details of the album.
(TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by Fallujah.)
One of the things that consistently surprises me about music, in general, is how much some artists can change in their evolution yet still remain fundamentally the same. Fallujah released a pretty killer debut with The Harvest Wombs, a blitzkrieg of melodic technical death metal madness with a seasoning of Allan Holdsworth fusion thrown on top of it; the sound was the essence of ethereal yet feral. It was their way of achieving a sort of space-death sound, and it worked.
Of course, the other elements in the music helped, too. Fallujah pulls from a strange bag of tricks and smashes them together. The combination of death metal with a lot of post-y elements, including some borrowed from that end of the Black Metal spectrum, has cemented a sound I would argue is recognizably Fallujah, signature in nature.
The Flesh Prevails is a logical step forward, an attempt to bridge the technical showmanship of The Harvest Wombs with the spaced-out fusion atmosphere of the Nomadic EP. The end result is death metal that is equal parts brutal and Zen. Depending on your mood, you could windmill to this until you get whiplash, or sit around stoically contemplating the meaning of your life. It’s an odd paradox of sound that’s hypnotic.
So many new things happen every day in the world of metal that if you check out for almost four days, as I just did, catching up is tough. Not that I’m complaining, because I had a blast attending Gilead Fest. I know you’ll want to read all about how much fun I had, in case you haven’t already. But now I’m back in Seattle, and I’m making a small stab at catching up on what I missed while I was neglecting daily metal happenings. Here are three new songs I heard last night that I recommend to your ears.
Iceland’s Sólstafir have now shared with the world the third advance track from their next album, Ótta, which will be released by Season of Mist on August 29 in Europe and September 2 in North America. The new one is named “Dagmál”. It cruises like a car on an open road, the top down, the wind in your hair, not another soul in sight, magnificent vistas around every turn. And then your car leaves the road… and glides into the air.
(Austin Weber reviews the new album by Denmark’s Defilementory.)
The current wave of atmospheric death metal is an interesting offshoot from traditional death metal.We can thank acts like Gorguts and Ulcerate for this newfound blueprint for disorienting and disgusting us, while still perpetuating the trademark rapid-fire horrific emanations upon which the genre was built. Entering this subgenre are Danish defilers Defilementory, an act who before this release fit squarely within brutal death metal. Having integrated a cold abyssal atmosphere into their sound, they come across as a fairly different and refined group this time around.
As for the brutal death metal side of their sound, they come across as very Suffocation-inspired, and yet they are one of the few groups to do so who don’t engage in blatant worship/ ripping-off of their progenitors or follow the way of Deeds Of Flesh This is partly due to the frequently intertwined atmospheric passages and builds spliced within the overall meticulously constructed rampaging chaos.
Adam Bartlett and Thou — photo by Shane Stornanti
Yesterday was the third and final session of the GILEAD FEST at the Masonic Center in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and it proved to be a day of megaton doom bombing mixed with strafing runs of blackened hellfire. It also featured two of the most emotionally searing moments of the entire festival and a final encore at the end of the night that was both surprising and eminently appropriate — and a whole helluva lot of fun.
Once again, the event was blessed with a beautiful day. Once again, the event planners and volunteer staff pulled everything off smoothly. Once again, all the bands I saw were wonderful — though I’m sorry to say that I spent so long toiling over yesterday’s report that I missed the first two groups, Northless and Alraune. We arrived not long before Seidr took the stage…
Seidr’s massive double album Ginnungagap was released by Bindrune last fall. It was the first of the band’s music I had heard, but it was enough — the chance to hear Seidr live was one of the paramount reasons why I made the trip to Oshkosh.
(Andy Synn delivers another installment of his irregular series of album reviews in haiku. Two more reviews come after the jump. With music, of course.)
EARTH CRISIS – SALVATION OF INNOCENTS
Still angry, still raw
Still destroying the machines
With big riffs and rage
I thought the first day of the Gilead Fest in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, was a blast, but holy shit, yesterday’s performances were off the charts. By “holy shit” I mean that shit before which you prostrate yourself and utter miserable prayers of thanks. And by “off the charts”, I mean dismembering, skull-splintering, bowel-perforating, synapse-severing, and occasionally entrancing.
The weather here in Oshkosh remains gorgeous. In between sets, the lure of the outdoors was irresistible (and would have been even if the lure of nicotine and tar hadn’t been part of the equation). Even during the sets, a soft breeze flowed through the windows of The Lady’s Parlor across the hall from the ballroom where the bands were performing, and it wafted through the open doors into that space like a balm from… Gilead.
The sunny disposition of the crowd continues to match that of the weather. It’s a chill group, like a reunion of old friends, even when the old friends had never met each other before. I had almost as much fun talking to people I’d only known over the internet before this weekend (including Adam Bartlett of Gilead Media, who made this whole wonderful thing happen) or had never met before, even over the ether, as I did listening to the music. And the event itself continues to run smoothly, like the well-oiled gears of a vast noise-making machine.
The three-day Gilead Fest organized by Gilead Media began yesterday in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, at one of the three locations pictured above.
The first night was indeed loaded with power, and by the end of the evening there was certainly plenty of work available for a coroner, but if you guessed the Oshkosh Masonic Center, give yourself a pat on the back.
As I mentioned in today’s only other post, I’m in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, preparing for the onset of Gilead Fest tonight. After a hearty lunch and a few adult beverages, my friend from Oshkosh and I bombed around the town, visiting a record store, stopping for a custard cone, and sticking our heads in the Masonic Lodge where the fest will be held.
We were listening to YOB’s Atma in the car, which put me in a certain mood. Now, back in my hotel room for a couple of hours, I thought I’d indulge that mood with two new songs from two legendary bands.
This afternoon, Lars Gotrich at NPR spotlighted the premiere of the first new song by Sleep in 20 years, and thanks to a tip from Leperkahn, that’s how I found his article. Twenty years after Dopesmoker, the song is “Clarity”, and it appears as part of Adult Swim’s singles series.
I’m getting a slow blog start today. Yesterday I traveled with a friend to Oshkosh, Wisconsin (my friend actually grew up in Oshkosh), in order to attend the Gilead Fest, which starts tonight and runs through the weekend. We got in late and stayed up later, eating dinner and drinking Wisconsin brews, and I slept in.
When people asked what we were doing in town (as many did), we told them we were here for a metal festival, and they all said, “Oh, Rock USA”. Turns out that festival began Wednesday and runs through Saturday and it’s here is Oshkosh, too. With Slayer and Rob Zombie and Korn and Five Finger Death Punch and… no, we’re not here for that thing. But it is a weird fuckin’ coincidence and explains why we had some trouble finding a hotel or motel with vacancies.
Anyway, I’m getting a slow start on the blog day. So I’m just going to throw some things at you that I came across as I was waking up. Starting with this highly unexpected piece of music from Darkest Hour: “By the Starlight”.