Aug 132016
 

Migration Fest poster

 

Here I am on a gorgeous Saturday morning in Olympia, Washington, still pinching myself to make sure what I’ve been experiencing isn’t some kind of fantasy (or more likely, incipient dementia). Yesterday was the first day of Migration Fest, and the night before that was the unofficial start of the party with a three-band pre-fest show. In a nutshell, it’s been an absolute blast so far. More words (and amateurish photos) to follow.

This is, of course, the first edition of what by all rights should become a never-ending tradition, a labor of love jointly organized by Adam at Gilead Media and Dave at 20 Buck Spin, with support from a whole bunch of their tireless friends and family members. They assembled a stellar line-up of bands, and based on what I’ve seen so far (at least from a fan perspective), they’ve been executing on the plan like a well-oiled machine. Continue reading »

Mar 282016
 

HammerHeart Ostarablot flyer

 

(Our guest from the Midwest, Ben Smasher, was fortunate enough to attend the Ostarablot festival organized by HammerHeart Brewing Co. (the brewery and tap house located in Lino Lakes, Minnesota, that’s co-owned by Austin Lunn of Panopticon) and hosted on March 18-19, 2016, at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis. Here’s Ben’s review of the festival, along with some photos and videos the editor has scrounged from the internet.)

DAY 1

Hammerheart Brewing Company and the amazing people that comprise it consistently put themselves second to their intentions.  Austin once said to me, “I want to make beer that brings people together.”  So, as it would turn out, if you bring the world’s best beer and music under one roof, the best people in North America will join in a two-day celebration of the vernal equinox.

Though 2014’s Winterblot was a pretty remarkable event for bringing UK’s Wodensthrone to the US shores alongside some of America’s finest bands, Ostarablot brought artists from even further reaches to Minnesota.  Vemod traversed all the way from Norway and Germany’s Waldgeflüster came a long way as well. Continue reading »

Jan 172016
 

Nechochwen-Heart of Akamon

 

Well, you may have noticed that I’ve let three days go by since posting my last installment in this evolving list. I won’t bore you with the reasons. Instead, let’s move right on to the two songs I’m adding to the list today (to see the songs added to the list previously, go HERE).

NECHOCHWEN

2015 proved to be a breakout year for this unique West Virginia band. Though Nechochwen’s first two albums (Algonkian Mythos and Azimuths To the Otherworld) and his 2012 EP (OtO) received praise from discerning listeners and critics, 2015’s Heart of Akamon has appeared on a huge number of year-end lists, including a substantial percentage of the more than 50 we posted here on our own site. Continue reading »

Mar 182015
 

 

The music on Obsequiae’s debut album Suspended in the Brume of Eos was a magical spanning of widely separated musical eras, as if the band had discovered the secret of being in two places at once, widely separated in time, and finding a communion of the spirits of each age. It was a remarkably imaginative work, something deeply felt and beautifully realized. Everyone who fell under its spell has been waiting for what would come next, and our patience is about to be rewarded.

On May 12, 2015, 20 Buck Spin will release the band’s second album, Aria Of Vernal Tombs. Fittingly, as the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere approaches at the end of this week, we are proud to bring you the premiere of not one but two new songs from this brilliant new album. They are the album’s first two tracks: “Ay Que Por Muy Fremosura” and “Autumnal Pyre”. Continue reading »

Jul 232014
 

(During my recent stay in Wisconsin for Gilead Fest I had the pleasure of meeting both Tanner Anderson (Obsequiae, Celestial) and his friend Ben Smasher. I later discovered that Ben had written for his own blog about Tanner’s band Obsequiae (formerly Autumnal Winds), and I asked for and received permission to reprint it here (slightly edited), since we have inexcusably failed to review Obsequiae’s music before.)

written by Ben Smasher

Today I am feeling relieved.  My trouble began when I met Tanner Anderson in the winter of 2007, and soon after was the first time I’d heard Autumnal Winds.  Upon loving it immensely (see my review), there was always this distracting itch that I couldn’t scratch.  I really wanted to be able to say the typical phrase, “Oh, this is just like ______ crossed with ______.”  There was such a tangible familiarity, which I am usually able to quantify easily by describing it as “A thrashier ______” or something to that effect.

This trouble is even further fueled by Tanner’s and my mutual and unforgivably rampant obsession with melodic black and death metal bands of the 1990’s.  Knowing that Tanner’s and my CD collections are largely interchangeable makes it all the more frustrating that I couldn’t easily reverse-engineer Tanner’s music — be it Autumnal Winds or Obsequiae — into a palatable formula that could be stated in a short sentence.

The satisfaction and relief that I have found to this conundrum can be reduced to this article, by giving the music of Obsequiae the reverence it humbly commands.  With the recent release of Obsequiae’s debut album on the vinyl format, I have been seeing an increasing number of comparisons, ranging from Agalloch to Hammers of Misfortune to Pentangle to Bathory.  Each time I see this I inadvertently stomp my foot down because these associations are lazy, and do all parties a disservice. Continue reading »