Sep 082011

(NCS writer BadWolf reviews the new album from Chicago’s High Spirits, one of the many projects of Chris Black (aka Dawnbringer).)

As I sit here, there’s a million things I should be listening to: brushing up on my beardo/nerdo metal in preparation for SUCKFEST ’11, putting together my Norwegian Hardcore playlist for Invisible Oranges, and brushing up on my Enslaved for their upcoming tour with Alcest and Ghost, not to mention the loads of promo records clogging my inbox.

None of those has factored in for the past 6 days thanks to Another Night, the debut record by Chicago’s High Spirits. This piece of self-released, Neo-Traditional metal awesomeness has possessed my iPod harder than Pazuzu possessed Linda fuckin Blair.

“The power of ‘Core compels you, the power of ‘Core compels you.” I scream at the little glowing screen… and then I listen to “Full Power” one more time. 45 repeats in 6 days. I need help. Islander—this is my vote for catchiest song of the year.

Don’t let that fool you into thinking this is a one-song record. Hell no. Another Night is a 40-minute nostalgia trip that delivers. No concepts, no conceits, no bullshit. Just good times and hard rocking.

Then again, that shouldn’t come as a surprise—High Spirits is (in studio) a one-man project of Chicago metal royalty Chris Black. This man is an absolute beast. He writes lyrics for Nachtmystium when he’s not writing every instrument for High Spirits and another little project called Dawnbringer. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

May 012011

(NCS contributor BadWolf caught up with Nachtmystium’s Blake Judd, Will Lindsay, and Sanford Parker before the band’s live performance at Harpo’s in Detroit on February 25, 2011, and conducted this very interesting and revealing interview, which includes candid comments about doing business with record labels, some news about Nachtmystium’s next album, including a working title that appears to have been conceived during the interview, and some eye-opening comments by Blake Judd about the rape charges now pending against Jef Whitehead (aka Wrest), the frontman of Leviathan and a Nachtmystium collaborator. BadWolf proves again that he knows how to do this interview shit . . .)

BW- So how’s the tour going?

Blake Judd- Tour’s going really well so far. The Cradle of Filth guys have been super cool to us, which was our biggest concern. Not that we had any reason to worry but they’re a big band and we’re not and we’re playing direct support to them.  We thought we would be treated like we’ve been treated before which hasn’t been the case. Kids are coming out. The crowd reaction has been sort of eh; some people seem kind of confused by it.

BW- But that’s your career though, isn’t it?

BJ- There’s truth in that, too. The tour is good though. We’ve had more problems with our internal, like, with our bus company than anyone else as far as the people we deal with on a day-to-day basis.

BW- At first I was really puzzled by the bill and then it started to make sense to me. Cradle of Filth is a band where you can ask ‘is it Black Metal?’ Well, what is Black Metal, anyway? It is Black Metal but it’s reaching out of that sound in a way, which is what you guys do as well, so it ended up making sense to me. Did it make sense to you?

BJ-I don’t give a shit, personally. We come from a world where most members of bands I know would take joy in beating the shit out of someone from Cradle of Filth. That’s the world I come from. I don’t care about that anymore, I’ve been over that for a long time and do my own thing. We haven’t really found our crowd. We don’t have beards or a mountain of Sunn amps, so we don’t appeal as much to the hipsters. The people we work with deal more with bands like Cradle of Filth than bands we might listen to in our free time. It’s strange but we’ve got a good thing going, a good crew of dudes. The crowd certainly doesn’t seem to dislike us. We’re further proving ourselves to be a flexible band, which is important. I don’t know, what do you think? Continue reading »