Ludicra at NWTF – photo by Islander-NCS
This past Saturday night the fourth edition of Northwest Terror Fest came to a glorious close. NCS has sponsored the fest since the beginning, and some of our staff have worked the fest from the beginning as well. This most recent one was, in a word, fantastic. At least from our perspective, it ran like a well-oiled machine, and it seemed like everyone there, from the bands to the audience to the venues’ staffs, enjoyed the hell out of themselves.
There were dozens of highlights. The best of all was the spectacular reunion performance by Ludicra, who headlined the first night, but all the bands fired on all cylinders, and the biggest crowd we’ve ever had at NWTF had great energy.
Perhaps it goes without saying, but the big crew of festival volunteers who worked the event were left both elated and exhausted, including those of us from NCS. We basically had to shut down this site for the last few days, and it will take a little while for us to get back in motoring gear again.
Midnight at NWTF – photo by Islander-NCS
DGR and Andy Synn are still in Seattle recovering before they jet home, and although I only had to cross the water to get to NWTF instead of crossing the skies, I’m in need of rest and recuperation myself. I haven’t paid attention to NCS e-mail in four days, and shudder at the thought of what’s lying in wait there, but will force myself to wade in later today. Maybe one of our other writers sent us something we can use to help fill in the coming week? But we will at least get back to our daily premieres, starting with the body-mauling, mind-mangling track from Fleshrot I posted here earlier today, and might have a scattering of other features too (advance planning has never been our strong suit).
And oh look! It’s the Fourth of July today! Truth be told, our country doesn’t have very fucking much to celebrate this year (the chasm between ideals and reality seems particularly enormous), but just celebrating for the sake of celebrating is a good thing, even if the official reason for doing so seems kind of hollow. So, we hope all of you in the U.S. will have a fun-filled day. We hope the same for everyone else who stops by here today from anywhere else in the world.
To help fuel the fun, I decided to pick just a couple of new tracks to throw at your faces, and both of them come from the same forthcoming release — a cassette-tape split named Desolate Tides from Putrescine and Kosmogyr that’s dropping on September 23rd via Tridroid Records. (You can pre-order the tape here, and digital editions via the Bandcamp pages for the two groups linked below).
The first track from this fine San Diego band (whom we’ve written about many times here), “Secrets Beckon Sweetly“, is one of three from them on the new split. It’s a fascinating mixture of darting and swirling riffage, bounding and burbling bass-lines, whip-cracking drums, and ravenous vocal intensity. The song is intricate and kaleidoscopic in its swift twists and turns, and technically impressive in its execution.
The fast-changing blends of dissonance and harmony and the ever-changing fretwork and percussive permutations give it a weird and wondrous feeling. It’s both menacingly sinister and gloriously wild, and reaches one of many zeniths through a spectacle of a solo. It’s one of those tracks that gets the adrenaline pumping but demands to be heard repeatedly just to better follow all the head-spinning machinations.
In case you missed or forgot my previous writings about this band, its line-up consists of Shanghai native Xander Cheng (The Arcbane) and Ivan Belcic, (formerly of Shanghai’s The Machinery of Other Skeletons and a member of Death to Giants). Ivan now lives in Prague, but he and Xander have been collaborating by long-distance. Their debut album, 2018’s Eviternity, was a fantastic experience (and so was Eveternity: The Remixes), so it was great to see that they’ve surfaced again with three tracks on this new split.
The Kosmogyr song that’s now streaming is “Eschaton“, a breathtaking 7 1/2 minute excursion that’s worth every second. Slow and spell-binding at first, it melds swaths of abrasion, sweeping synth-swells, and a beguiling chime-like melody. Even when the rhythm section begin pounding and blasting, and the savage growls and howls become uncaged, there’s still a vast and glorious feeling to the music. It creates audio panoramas of heart-swelling splendor, even as it pounds the pulse.
The spells keep coming as well, as the guitars and keyboards ring through the majestic typhoons, creating moods of longing and wonder. At the end, when the storm spends itself, what may be a violin or a guitar that sounds like one provides a brief but sublime exit.