Jun 092020


On their new album Effigy of Nightmares the Cincinnati band Valdrin have used their music to illustrate an epic narrative, and as the title suggests, it’s a nightmarish one. Like their previous album, 2018’s Two Carrion Talismans, the new record focuses on the antagonist of the band’s self-created Ausadjur mythos, a being named Nex Animus. As the band explain: “The story chronicles the tour of a nameless narrator through the halls of Hosptium Mortis, the nightmare hospital below the Orcus underworld itself, where Nex tortures and lobotomizes the dissident gods of his domain.”

Even that brief verbal synopsis has a chilling effect. But the ways in which Valdrin‘s harrowing new music guides us through this frightening netherworld are even more chilling, more threatening to a listener’s sanity, and much more likely to haunt listeners’ dreams for a long time to come. Set aside half an hour and prepare yourself for an experience in electrifying audio terror as we present a full stream of the album in advance of its June 12 release by Blood Harvest Records. Continue reading »

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 »