Mar 172014

(Our long-standing supporter and guest writer Black Shuck turns in this report on the inaugural Blood of the Wolf Fest, which took place in Lexington, Kentucky, on Feb 22, 2014. All photos are by AnnSydney Taylor.)

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of experiencing the dark, mysterious ritual known as the Blood of the Wolf Fest. What’s that, you haven’t heard of it? That’s because this was the first one to ever take place. I’d be very suspicious if you had. (For any reader who had heard about it, take your scrying pool and begone, wizard. We’ll hold no truck with your starry-hatted nonsense here.)

This festival was the brainchild of those Kentuckian warriors of chaos, Tombstalker. Primarily organized by vocalist/guitarist Anton Escobar and bassist Chuck McIntyre, the lineup featured several bands from a group known as the Wolven Brotherhood. The Brotherhood was founded several years ago by Tombstalker and Dawn of Wolves (now Valdrin), when they released their split Cemetery Wolven Ritual (are you sensing a theme here?). The Brotherhood has now expanded to include many other bands from across the country. Presumably their collective subject material has also expanded to cover things that are not wolves, although I hold out hope that I will have a place there once my one-man black metal band, Death to the Three Little Pigs, gets off the ground.

Anyways, on with the fest. Note: All of the excellent photographs that appear here were taken by one AnnSydney Taylor. The festival poster and banner were designed by Lucas Ruggieri. Continue reading »

Oct 162013

Delicious cover art by Kator.

In early November, Maryland-based Unholy Anarchy Records plans to release a 7″ split by two young bands who are new discoveries for me — Philadelphia-based Casket and Sewercide from Melbourne, Australia. Each band contributes one song to the split, and both of them are good.


Casket’s offering is “Armed To the Teeth”. It thrashes and lashes with a firm whiphand, raising welts with a blaze of head-snapping riffs before splitting the skin wide open with a an off-speed beatdown. There’s more than a little hardcore punk blood that courses through the thrash spine of the song, and a miasma of ghoulish death metal fouls the air in that breakdown. Good vocal foulness, too, in a mix of rancid, nails-on-the-chalkboard rants and guttural grunts. And finally, there’s just the right amount of gauziness to the production, because you need a wrapping of gauze to soak up the blood.


Sewercide’s track is “Vector of Disease”, and it’s a romping, wrecking, open-throttle thrasher. You can smell the exhaust from this well-tuned engine, along with a strong whiff of sulphur, because it’s plenty evil. Rippling lead guitar lines, an eye-watering solo, and turn-on-a-dime tempo changes help make the song one worth coming back, too. Standout drumwork and unhinged vocal vehemence, too. Continue reading »