Jun 042014

The last time King Crimson mounted a tour was in 2008, and I’m sure many people thought that would be the last reunion (and the last hurrah). But founder Robert Fripp has decided to do it at least once again. He has assembled a new King Crimson roster for a group of select U.S. dates this coming September and October, starting in Albany, NY, and finishing in Seattle (be still my beating heart!).

This time, Fripp has assembled three (!) drummers — Gavin Harrison, Bill Rieflin, and Pat Mastelotto — and a bassist-singer (Tony Levin) in what Fripp has called the “front line”. And in the “back line” will be two guitarists (Fripp and Jakko Jakszyk) and a flutist-saxophonist (Mel Collins). This should be… interesting, to say the least. Continue reading »

May 312011

I think Norway’s Enslaved are so talented that they can do anything they set their minds to, and do it superbly. As further proof, I have some videos for you, which, as the kids say, are fuckin’ siiiiiiiick.

Just the day after that Dimmu Borgir show that Andy Synn attended in Oslo on May 28, Enslaved played a special show in the same city at the Henie Onstad Art Centre, which appears to house Norway’s largest collection of international modern art.

In honor of Enslaved’s 20th anniversary, the Art Centre asked Enslaved to prepare a special setlist consisting of a mix of cover songs from their favorite bands as well as original songs. Among the artists Enslaved covered were Pink Floyd, Rush, Faith No More, Led Zeppelin, and King Crimson.

Thank goodness someone filmed this. So far, I’ve seen videos for the band’s performances of “The Immigrant Song” — one of my all-time favorite Zeppelin tunes — and “Red” by King Crimson, plus a drumcam view of the band’s own original song “Lightening”, from Axioma Ethica Odini. The video quality is excellent and the audio quality is pretty good — good enough to blow me away.  (more after the jump, including the videos . . .) Continue reading »

Feb 182010

Earlier this week we began a 3-part post about some technically proficient bands we’ve discovered in the last few months who’ve pushed the extreme metal envelope by incorporating unusual elements into their music.  They’re not well known in the U.S., but we think they’re worth your time. In Part 1, we wrote about a mind-blowing band from Rome called Carnal Rapture. We devoted Part 2 to a head-turning band from the Phillipines called Bloodshedd. Today we return to Italy for Psychofagist.


Last week we wrote about a Norwegian band called Shining and their latest album called Blackjazz.  We thought that collection of songs was wild in every sense of the word. We thought it would be a long time before we encountered anything quite so inventively insane. Well, we were wrong. It only took a week. During that week, we stumbled on II secondo tragico, the second full-length release by Psychofagist on the Subordinate label.

How to describe this? Imagine that extreme metal is a river all its own, with branching tributaries.  The main current is fast and strong, fed with snow melt or heavy rain and rushing with power beneath overhanging trees that shroud it in darkness most of the time. (continue reading after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Feb 102010

These avant-garde Norwegian metallers have just released their fifth album, Blackjazz. How did we not know about Shining before now?

Blackjazz is wild in every sense of the word – feral, uninhibited, unpredictable, deranged, vicious. Ah, hell, wild is too tame an adjective — it’s just bug-eyed, batshit crazy. Not headbanging music. Not music you can have on background as you do something else. If you’re going to listen, that’s what you’ve got to do — listen with single-minded focus.

If you want to find out where extreme metal is being pushed into new frontiers, visit Blackjazz. Our prediction: you will either love it, or it will make you want to hurl your music player against the wall and run screaming into the street. Or all of the above.

Blackjazz erupts from the starting gate with “The Madness and the Damage Done” – shrieking howls, crazy riffs swarming like a hive of giant bees, complicated math-metal rhythms pounded out by the bass and drums, industrial sledgehammer keyboards, and the cacophony building in intensity until you think the whole enterprise is going to fly apart at the seams.

And that’s just for starters. (read more after the jump, plus a few tracks available for screaming streaming . . .) Continue reading »