Well, it’s Sunday, and that means … more blog posts! I have three in mind for today. Of course, having them in my mind and getting them out on the web are two different things, but at least there will be this one — a Sunday round-up of things I spotted yesterday.
KILL-TOWN DEATH FEST
This first item falls into the category of Things Worth Applauding Even Though I Will Never Hear Them. This is a very small category, especially when it comes to tours and festivals that I can’t see, because if they look really enticing they usually just make me green with envy and kind of ill-tempered and not in an applauding mood.
Where was I?
Oh yeah, the Kill-Town Death Fest. It will take place on September 4-7, 2014, in Copenhagen, Denmark, which might as well be Mars as far as I’m concerned. But good god almighty, look at that just-announced FINAL line-up on the above poster! (If you’re having any trouble reading it, clicking on it will make it bigger.) I mean, all those bands are so up my alley that I can’t even take a piss in it any more because there’s no room left! Hail Santa and all his elves!
If you’re lucky enough to live within striking distance of this thing,
please don’t tell me because that will open my bile ducts I’m very happy for you. More info and ticket sales can be found here.
A London-based Sabbathian doom band named Throne has a new EP planned for release on June 16. That would be tomorrow. The name of it is Where Tharsis Sleeps. There’s a song on there called “Tharsis Sleeps”, which makes the title sound somewhat like false advertising because we already know Tharsis Sleeps but we want to know where. (Actually, if you’re a student of Mars, you know where Tharsis is and you know what’s located in that region — and if you don’t, better check this out.) But anyway, a video for the song debuted on June 9 and it’s just flat-out astonishing.
Watching it is loads of fun — it tells the story of the band traveling to Mars to drop a nuclear device into a volcano in order to terraform the planet — but understanding what you’re seeing is what really puts it over the top. Because what you’re seeing is an animation in which each frame is an embroidered patch. That’s right, it’s an embroidered video that exists because of roughly 45 million stitches.
The video was directed by Nicos Livesey, who happens to be Throne’s vocalist and guitarist and someone who knows how to sew. The process was partially financed through a Kickstarter campaign and was aided by the loan of three industrial embroidery machines, but it still took 7-8 months to do this. More details about the creation of the video can be found here. and credits to all the people who worked on it are listed at this location.
Wanna know something else? 79 of the embroidered frames from which the animation was made are for sale here, and the shop will be updated with more as time passes Now watch the video, dammit (the song, which is an Exception to our Rule, is pretty damned good too):
Vilkacis is Latvian for “werewolf” and it’s the name of the solo project of Michael Rekeviks of the excellent Fell Voices (and also a member of Ruin Lust and Sleepwalker). Last year Volkacis released a first album named The Fever of War, and I discovered it yesterday because a label named Psychic Violence Records has just released the album on 12″ vinyl and has put it on Bandcamp for download as well
I’ve only let it run roughshod through my cranium one time, but that was enough to wow me. The first two tracks, “Freezing Hell” and “Blood Dream In the Fever of War”, are non-stop rampages of blasting drums, tremolo tidal waves, and cavernous, echoing howls — but through those powerful storms ripple piercing guitar melodies that are transfixing.
The middle track,”Sentinel at the Gate”, is a slow reprieve, a combination of dark, droning undercurrents and vibrating ambient melody that drifts like clouds across the face of the moon. It’s deeply meditative without being even slightly dull.
“Wolf’s Eyes” changes things up again. It’s a lumbering, distortion-shrouded beast, a doom-bringer that slowly builds in intensity until the occult funereal procession takes wing and flies — and Rekeviks’ vocals drop into cavernous death-doom territory. And the final track, “Wind and Flame”, returns the album to where it began, with a storming surge of black metal vehemence, with rolling corrosive chords and blasting drums again providing the foundation for a memorable, melancholy melody that soars.
The Fever of War is raw, atmospherically dramatic, thoroughly gripping, and very, very good.
Last, but not least, I bring you a video that appeared yesterday of 14-string guitar wizard Felix Martin demonstrating a new performance technique, in which he plays the guitar like a drum kit. Naturally, it’s named “Drum Bath”. There’s an actual drummer (Phillip Galatioto) accompanying him, but Martin is himself mimicking the action of a metal drummer on his double-necked guitar. For a detailed explanation of what he’s doing, visit the notes at the YouTube page where this appeared. Watch and listen below. This is amazing.