Jul 212014

Adam Bartlett and Thou — photo by Shane Stornanti

Part 1 of this report is here; Part 2 is here.

Yesterday was the third and final session of the GILEAD FEST at the Masonic Center in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and it proved to be a day of megaton doom bombing mixed with strafing runs of blackened hellfire. It also featured two of the most emotionally searing moments of the entire festival and a final encore at the end of the night that was both surprising and eminently appropriate — and a whole helluva lot of fun.

Once again, the event was blessed with a beautiful day. Once again, the event planners and volunteer staff pulled everything off smoothly. Once again, all the bands I saw were wonderful — though I’m sorry to say that I spent so long toiling over yesterday’s report that I missed the first two groups, Northless and Alraune. We arrived not long before Seidr took the stage…


Seidr’s massive double album Ginnungagap was released by Bindrune last fall. It was the first of the band’s music I had heard, but it was enough — the chance to hear Seidr live was one of the paramount reasons why I made the trip to Oshkosh. Continue reading »

Dec 172013

Before this morning I was already excited about something coming our way in 2014 from Gilead Media, that oh-so-tasteful little label run by Adam Bartlett in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I’m talking, of course, about the 2014 GILEAD FEST coming next July 18-20. I’m planning to go, in part because one of my favorite co-workers is actually a native of Oshkosh and seems interested in attending the show even though he’s not a metalhead (though he has an amazing array of other musical tastes, with that one glaring omission). I’ll remind you after the jump who is scheduled to play at that festival.

But the point of this post is to provide additional reasons to be excited, because today Adam provided a full rundown of the Gilead release schedule for 2014. And man, there are a lot of gems on the line-up. For example, on February 25, Gilead will be release Heathen, the fourth album from doom titans Thou. And on the same day, Gilead will be releasing a self-titled 12″ from Geryon, the bass-and-drum death metal project of Nick McMaster and Lev Weinstein (which I’ve already had the pleasure of hearing, and it’s great). You can see the cover art for both of those after the jump.

And there’s more. Here’s the rest of the Gilead release schedule following those two lead-offs for 2014, along with Adam Bartlett’s notes about each one: Continue reading »

Jul 212012

“U.S. Black Metal” isn’t a true genre term, because what American black metal bands have been doing in recent years with the basic Northern European template is too diverse. Some stick close to  the Scandinavian blueprint, of course, but others have spun out some really creative variations on the theme. The subjects of this post are two of the USBM scene’s rising stars.

False is a Minnesota band who turned a lot of heads last year with their Untitled 12″, released by Gilead Media and Howling Mine (for example, it took the No. 14 spot on DECIBEL’s 40 Best Albums of 2011). It consisted of two 12-minute songs that were a mixture of hate-fueled, punk-influenced mayhem and epic wall-of-guitar jams.

Louisiana’s Barghest are another band who hit lots of radar screens last year (including ours) with their self-titled debut album (also released by Gilead and Howling Mine). It had an old-school lo-fi vibe, and no bass, but it packed in some crushing groove along with the haze of tremolo picking and percussive blasting.

Thanks to NCS reader Ørsaeth, I’ve discovered that on August 21 Gilead Media will be releasing a new False-Barghest split (12″ vinyl only) and that the split’s contents are now streaming within the internest. It’s strong music that will only fortify the growing reputation of these two bands. Continue reading »