Islander

Jul 212014

Adam Bartlett and Thou — photo by Shane Stornanti

Part 1 of this report is here; Part 2 is here.

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

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.

Jul 212014

 

(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 CRISISSALVATION OF INNOCENTS

Still angry, still raw

Still destroying the machines

With big riffs and rage

http://candlelightrecordsusa.bandcamp.com/album/salvation-of-innocents
https://www.facebook.com/earthcrisisofficial

Jul 202014


artwork by Bryan Proteau

Part 1 of this report is here; Part 3 is here.

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.

Jul 192014


 

Part 2 of this report is here; Part 3 is here.

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.

Jul 182014

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.

SLEEP

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.

Jul 182014

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”.

Jul 172014


Djinn and Miskatonic

(Today our Russian contributor Comrade Aleks brings us Part 6 of a six-part series 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 Djinn and Miskatonic (India),  Et Moriemur (Czech Republic), Hooded Priest (Netherlands), Mythological Cold Towers (Brazil), Orthodox (Spain), Soom (Ukraine), and Talbot (Estonia).

Jul 172014

 

Here are a few noteworthy things I spotted and heard yesterday, with some help from my friends. If time permits, I’ll put up a second collection today, because yesterday really brought a cavalcade of things I want to spread around.

ÆVANGELIST

I know there are human beings in Ævangelist, but I still prefer to call them “the Ævangelist entity” because the music sounds like emanations from a dark dimension outside our own by an inhuman being whose shape can’t be mapped. This entity has been churning out music at a an increasingly furious rate. Although the last album, Omen Ex Simulacra emerged from the void only last fall, yesterday brought an announcement by Debemur Morti Productions that a new full-length named Ævangelist III – Writhes in the Murk will become available in September (on CD, vinyl, and digital).

That news would have been enough to stop me in my tracks all by itself, but the announcement was accompanied by the unveiling of the wonderful album cover you see above. It was created by Andrzej Masianis, who also created the painted cover for the last album, which is worth seeing in full rather than in the cropped version that was visible as the album’s front cover. The painting was originally entitled “Exterminating Angel”:

Jul 172014

(Andy Synn reviews the forthcoming 10th album by Austria’s Belphegor.)

Both criticised and praised (often in the same breath) for their focussed commitment to blackened sonic savagery over the years, it’s probably not unfair to say that Belphegor have had their sound established for a while, and that a number of their albums were – if not interchangeable – at least very closely related to one another.

And please don’t read that more harshly than it’s intended. I love Belphegor, and for many years their sound was one that didn’t need to change, aside from the occasional tweak here and there. It was pure extremity and blackened blasphemous brutality, no frills, no fat, no filler – just album after album of lean, mean, killing machine music.

But change is inevitable it seems, and three and a half years after the release of the ravenous Blood Magick Necromance, the Austrian sadists have returned with their new album Conjuring The Dead, which on the one hand demonstrates a noticeable shift in approach, and yet on the other still feels altogether too familiar…

Jul 162014

Abske Fides

(Today our Russian contributor Comrade Aleks brings us Part 5 of a six-part series 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 Abske Fides (Brazil), Esoteric (United Kingdom), Obake (Italy), StoneBirds (France), Stoned Jesus (Ukraine) and The Curse of Wendigo (Ukraine).

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