Aug 142016

Capitol Theater-Day Two

 

This is the second part of a three-part recap of the first Migration Fest in Olympia, Washington. For the first installment, covering the pre-fest show on August 11 and Day One on August 12, go here.

The first day of Migration Fest proved to be a very strong start to what I selfishly hope will become an annual tradition. If anything, Day Two topped it, in large part on the strength of a history-making performance by Saturday’s headliner — Panopticon — that was simply stunning.

At the end of this post I’ve embedded five videos from Panopticon’s 90-minute set, and I’ve got one video of Vastum in here, too. By tomorrow, I also plan to update this post (and yesterday’s recap of Day One) with videos of additional bands. For now, I’m including the best of my crappy cellphone photos, and some words of course.

Jul 282015

Black Breath-Slaves Beyond Death

 

I’m kind of rushed, so I’ll skip the usual preamble and save the words for these things I saw and heard over the last 24 hours that maybe you’ll get as excited about as I have.

BLACK BREATH

I’m beginning to think the day will come when Paolo Girardi will have created at least one painted album cover for every metal band in the world — though that assumes all metal bands have good taste, and of course they don’t. But Seattle’s Black Breath and Southern Lord do, because as I discovered today, they engaged Mr. Girardi to create the cover for Black Breath’s new third album Slaves Beyond Death.

Interestingly, although I did receive a press release with details about the album and a related Black Breath tour, it didn’t include the artwork. I saw that instead for the first time at the Metal-Archives listing for the album, which a friend linked on Facebook today. Very exciting, because in addition to being an obvious fan of Girardi’s artwork, I’m a big fan of this band, too, and am anxious to hear this new album.

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 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.

Feb 212014

Thou’s new album, Heathen, has range, but it’s something like the range between the horror of death and an almost peaceful acceptance of its inevitability, between the looming cataclysm and a halting spiritual perception of something that will outlast it — or at least the lesson learned that the finite minutes we have now are worth seizing for all they are worth, and that it is pain which grounds us in what is important.

Heathen is this Louisiana band’s fourth full album and the first since 2010’s Summit. They haven’t been idle during the years in between, producing an assortment of EPs and splits along the way. But Heathen is a monolithic effort — an hour and fifteen minutes of music. It’s a lot to take in, and not simply because of the time required. It taxes your well-being. It drags you down. It’s so crushingly dark, so heavy, and so wholly engulfing in its doomed atmospherics that it ought to come with a warning to the emotionally fragile.

And yet just when you think you’re going to sink beneath the waves, Thou throw you a life preserver, a little something to lighten the load, if only briefly. The immaculate weaving together of those two strands — the sense of drowning and the grasp of a lifeline to the surface — that’s what makes Heathen such a compelling experience.

Feb 142014

This has been one hell of a week for new songs and videos. I have a list of good new things as long as my… arm… and although I’ve been doing my best to round up the best of what I’ve noticed, I’m still coming up… short. Although I won’t be able to cover everything before the week ends, I do have this one final collection of head-wreckers. Happy Valentine’s Day motherfuckers. If you’re sad about being alone on V-Day, just gaze into the eyes of that cat, and remember… we love you.

THOU

Heathen — the forthcoming album by Thou from Baton Rouge, Louisiana — is on my list of highly anticipated 2014 releases.  It is due to arrive from Gilead Media on March 25 and is now available for pre-order here. I discovered this morning that while I wait for that apocalyptic monstrosity, I will have something else from Thou to while away the hours. Specifically, Thou have made available for free on Bandcamp a compilation entitled Ceremonies of Humiliation. It collects all of the band’s musical output from split releases prior to the release of 2010’s Summit.

Ceremonies of Humiliation will also be released as a triple-LP set, though I haven’t yet seen a projected release for that. After the jump, you can gaze upon the Ceremonies cover and stream the entire collection. There is no love in it.

Dec 172013

Before this morning I was already excited about something coming our way in 2014 from Gilead Media, that oh-so-tasteful little label run by Adam Bartlett in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I’m talking, of course, about the 2014 GILEAD FEST coming next July 18-20. I’m planning to go, in part because one of my favorite co-workers is actually a native of Oshkosh and seems interested in attending the show even though he’s not a metalhead (though he has an amazing array of other musical tastes, with that one glaring omission). I’ll remind you after the jump who is scheduled to play at that festival.

But the point of this post is to provide additional reasons to be excited, because today Adam provided a full rundown of the Gilead release schedule for 2014. And man, there are a lot of gems on the line-up. For example, on February 25, Gilead will be release Heathen, the fourth album from doom titans Thou. And on the same day, Gilead will be releasing a self-titled 12″ from Geryon, the bass-and-drum death metal project of Nick McMaster and Lev Weinstein (which I’ve already had the pleasure of hearing, and it’s great). You can see the cover art for both of those after the jump.

And there’s more. Here’s the rest of the Gilead release schedule following those two lead-offs for 2014, along with Adam Bartlett’s notes about each one:

Jan 112013

Awesome artwork by Michiel Eikenaar

(In this post, guest writer Utmu sheds some light on underground bands who deserve a higher profile.)

I’ve been listening to some bands lately and I really like them. I also wanted to write another article, so I just decided to combine the two. I don’t know how obscure these bands are, although the music they make is great and they should be recognized for that.

The first two are bands who may be well-known in certain circles, but to anyone who merely scratches the surface of those circles (like I often do with different scenes) I think they’re more obscure. Again, I don’t really know how well-known these bands are, so don’t hold me to the “this band doesn’t get enough attention” mentality. I enjoy them and I don’t hear about them often. The third section in this article is about a creative band from my region who I think should get way more recognition than they seem to get.

URFAUST

Here’s a band that’s been on my radar for a while. Ever since Invisible Oranges released that mix-tape containing Aosoth and Infestus, I’ve remembered Urfaust because they have a really unique sound, and more recently I’ve put time into really listening to their music — it was a great decision to do so.

Sep 212011

(NCS writer BadWolf was on hand in Columbus, Ohio, earlier this month to witness Wolves in the Throne Room live — and he brought with him photographer Nicholas Vechery, whose awesome pics illustrate this review.)

Wolves in the Throne Room are, without a doubt, the best smelling metal band I’ve ever seen. I say that with honesty and seriousness. They smell amazing.

But I’ll get back to that later. First things first, I saw Wolves alongside Thou and local openers Vit at Columbus’ Ravari Room, and thank god the place was empty when I got there so I could get a good look before the floor was completely packed with bodies.

Someone could get lost in that comely place, with its abundance of dark corners. Everything about the bar felt apropos for an underground ritual—burlap-wrapped red and orange lanterns hung from a high wooden ceiling, but the atmosphere was thick and dark. Huge brick arches framed the bar and every alcove. The place could be the remains of an illegal gin distillery from the 1920’s, with all of its vitality and character.(more after the jump . . .)

© 2009, 2016 NO CLEAN SINGING Banner design by Dan Dubois, background design by groverXIII. Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha