Nov 122016



Six years ago I conducted an experiment on some music that happened to be experimental to begin with. I took a song called “Scepters” from Skullgrid, the debut album by Behold the Arctopus, and slowed it down by a factor of three, extending its length from 3:43 to more than 11 minutes. It still sounded fast, with discernible rhythms and pulsing guitars. Remarkably, the blowtorch guitar solos still sounded like badass solos, which is a sign of just how fast Colin Marston and Mike Lerner were playing the original. Same thing with Charlie Zeleny’s drumming — it was so ridiculously fast in the original that even dragged down by a factor of three, it still sounded like what you’d expect to hear on a “normal” metal recording.

So I slowed the song down again, more than 10 times slower than the original, extending the length of “Scepters” to more than 41 minutes. Even at that ridiculously dragged-out pace, the song could still pass as music — albeit music with a demented, demons-on-the-loose quality, the kind of thing you’d risk your sanity to hear for 41 minutes straight. Continue reading »

Sep 052013

Collected in this post are a handful of tours that I decided were worth mentioning, even though only the first one is within my grasp. I’m trying to be less self-centered. This is like trying to levitate, but I should get points for the effort, don’t you think?


Earlier today we posted Old Man Windbreaker’s review of the entire discography of Botanist. And only now I come to find out that Botanist will be here in The Emerald City at Highline along with two other stellar bands in little more than a month (October 13). One is the brain scrambling Behold… the Arcoptus (featuring Colin Marston on Warr Guitar, Mike Lerner on Guitar Guitar, and Weasel Walter on drums), and the other is Seattle’s own Lesbian, who are riding a big wave of entirely justified attention drawn by their latest album Forestelevision.

But this turns out to be just one stop on a brief West Coast tour by BtA. On October 12, Behold…the Arctopus and Botanist will be playing together with Agalloch and Eight Bells at Day 3 of the Fall Into Darkness festival in Portland (OR). And on October 11 BtA and Botanist will be playing Oakland along with a Bay Area band named Burmese. Continue reading »

Nov 172012

(Guest writer Tyler Lowery has bestowed upon us another article, and this one is about instrumental metal.)

 One of the biggest issues I had when I was first getting into extreme metal was the overbearing vocals in the music of many bands who were the front runners. The growling that my untrained ear misinterpreted as garbled cacophony kept me away from bands such as Necrophagist, Behemoth, and Napalm Death. From these bands I have now built a decent-reaching empire of extreme metal bands who I now thoroughly enjoy. However, it took me far too long to become accustomed to them as their vocal presentations distracted me from the excellence of their music as a whole.

As I began the perilous quest toward the seedy underbelly of the metal genres, I made my way through less than appealing bands who were  heavy but not crushingly so. These days were tedious and often without reward. Eventually tiring of the hit-or-miss tomfoolery, I started dipping my toes in the vast waters of Death Metal.

To cope with the harsh vocals that consistently harshed (hardy har har) my buzz, I found bands who employed clean vocals, as a diversion from the constant battery of screeching and growling. Bands like Opeth and Between the Buried and Me helped create the groundwork for an appreciation of the extreme, but even still the music was sometimes overshadowed by the vocals. That being said, the next logical step was to remove vocals altogether, right? Continue reading »

Oct 092010

A couple days ago we put up a post called “Slow, Then Fast”, the focus of which was a temporal experiment that our fellow metal bloggers at Death Metal Babboon conducted with a piece of doomy sludge (or sludgy doom) by a UK band called Blut. DMB honcho Niek took a cut from one of Blut’s very loooooong songs and sped it up by a factor of three, and reported on the results. We, in turn, put those same two tracks up on our site in order to share the interesting outcome of Niek’s experiment.

This gave us ideas. Because we do most things ass-backwards, we thought it would be interesting to flip Niek’s experiment around. We wanted to take a really fast song — a nice piece of balls-to-the-wall grindcore — and slow it down by a factor of three.

The original plan was to do this with a purely instrumental track, because we thought the slowing down of the music might make the vocals sound fucked up. But after reading the comments on that “Slow, Then Fast” post, we decided to use a track with vocals in addition to one without.

So that’s what we did. We used the same audio-editing software that Niek used, and we applied its magical tools to two songs: “Cemetery Road” by Pig Destroyer and an instrumental track called “Scepters” by Behold the Arctopus. The results surprised the hell out of us. Hear what happened . . . after the jump. Continue reading »