Aug 282019
 

 

Man, every day brings so much new music. Honestly, it’s overwhelming. But that’s not a new development, is it? It just continues adding to the endless difficulty of trying to sift the wheat from the chaff. I feel confident there’s a lot more new wheat out there I haven’t come to yet, but I did pick these gleaming grains from the harvest of last night’s listening session. (Figure of speech of course, because this is some gnarly and nasty shit I’ve picked out.)

VASTUM

Any year that brings a new Vastum album is a very good year. I mean, other than all the other things in the daily headlines that make every year terrible. To counterbalance the greater-than-usual terribleness of what’s happening in the world during 2019, we will have Orificial Purge, and man, couldn’t we all use some a that? Continue reading »

Oct 182016
 

cdf-monday-morning3

Monday morning, Oakland waterfront

This wraps up our coverage of the second installment of CALIFORNIA DEATHFEST, which took place from October 14-16, 2016, in Oakland, California. As was true of my posts on Day One and Day Two, I haven’t written fulsome reviews of the performances I saw on the final day, though this time I have included a few more impressions than in the earlier installments — but I’ve once again included photos and videos I made using my iPhone.

Yes, this is a half-assed way to document a festival compared to what you will probably see from a few of the more well-healed metal publications out there who employed professional photographers and videographers. However, because “Half-Assed” is in fact my middle name, I’m being true to myself. Continue reading »

Aug 142016
 

Capitol Theater-Day Two

 

This is the second part of a three-part recap of the first Migration Fest in Olympia, Washington. For the first installment, covering the pre-fest show on August 11 and Day One on August 12, go here.

The first day of Migration Fest proved to be a very strong start to what I selfishly hope will become an annual tradition. If anything, Day Two topped it, in large part on the strength of a history-making performance by Saturday’s headliner — Panopticon — that was simply stunning.

At the end of this post I’ve embedded five videos from Panopticon’s 90-minute set, and I’ve got one video of Vastum in here, too. By tomorrow, I also plan to update this post (and yesterday’s recap of Day One) with videos of additional bands. For now, I’m including the best of my crappy cellphone photos, and some words of course. Continue reading »

Oct 212015
 

hotel photo

 

I had to make a whirlwind trip to Dallas, Texas, for my fucking day job, leaving Sunday morning and returning to Seattle late yesterday. I didn’t have much time to myself, which means I fell behind in listening to new metal. On the plus side, I was put up in a swanky hotel, the corridors of which were lined with large framed photos from ’60s and ’70s fashion magazines. Every time I walked past the one above, I did a double-take. And that wasn’t the only one that stopped me in my tracks. So there’s that.

Anyway, last night and this morning I enjoyed the following new music streams and videos, presented here in alphabetical order by band name except for the last one, which is a twist on what I usually feature in these pages.

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS

Thanks to Andy Synn, we’ve previously reviewed the excellent new album by Abigail Williams, The Accuser, which will be released by Candlelight Records on October 30. Yesterday CVLT Nation premiered a video for one of the new songs named “Nuumite”. It’s the track that ends the album, and takes a sharp turn from what preceded it (though if you listen closely to the preceding songs, you’ll realize that the twist was forecast all along). Here’s what Andy wrote about the song: Continue reading »

Sep 302015
 

Vastum-Hole Below

 

Once again I find myself awash in new songs that I’ve discovered since the end of last week, but without enough time to write about all of them. To avoid a paralyzing indecisiveness about which ones to select for this round-up, I taped a list of them to the wall, threw my head against the edge of a table to cause a bleeding scalp wound, spun around in circles like a dervish, and then checked the list to see which names had been hit with blood spray. I’m probably going to work on a different selection method in the future.

VASTUM

Two days ago we got a preview of the new album by Vastum courtesy of a premiere at DECIBEL. This is the band’s third album, bearing the title Hole Below, and I’m very, very eager to hear all of it — especially after listening to “Sodomitic Malevolence”.

Holy mother of calamities, is this song creepy and crushing — it sounds like a torture chamber engulfed in an earthquake. During a hurricane. While an eclipse is blotting out the sun. And when the song eventually begins to really roll, the riffs will snap your neck — and there’s a guitar solo that will sear the skin off your face. Continue reading »

Sep 122015
 

Vastum-Hole Below

 

Hey there, happy Saturday. I’m feeling a little woozy. For some reason Friday nights usually seem to have that effect on me. I had some ambitious plans for today’s posts, but unless I can figure out how to vacuum all the woozy out of my head, what you’re reading now may be all I can manage. These are just a few of the things I spotted over the last two days that didn’t make it into that big slug of round-up posts yesterday.

VASTUM

San Francisco’s Vastum have completed work on a new album, featuring cover art by the Vastum vocalist Daniel Butler. I can already feel the ground beginning to tremble in anticipation of the detonation to come. The album’s name is Hole Below, and 20 Buck Spin plans to nuke the planet from space with it on November 6, because that’s the only way to be sure. Continue reading »

Oct 082013
 

Ævangelist album art by Andrzej Masianis

“Music has charms to soothe a savage breast,” or so wrote William Congreve (not William Shakespeare) in his play The Mourning Bride (1697). This is in fact true of some music, but what charms your humble editor is music that’s savage rather than soothing. I have four recent examples of metal savagery for you, in the order in which I heard them this morning.

ÆVANGELIST

The new album by ÆvangelistOmen Ex Simulacra, will be released on November 29 by Debemur Morti. This is a later date than first reported. Based on the band’s previous output and the first two songs released for this album, it will be worth the wait. In July, we featured the first of those two advance tracks (“Abysscape”), and today Debemur Morti began streaming a second one — “Relinquished Destiny”.

This song takes no prisoners. It shoots the wounded in the head and then rips the corpses into small pieces before consuming them. It delivers an atmosphere of alien horror, and the corrosive distortion can’t disguise the experimental-sounding nature of the riffing and drum progressions, which make the song interesting as well as frightening. As icing on this maggot-ridden cake, death/doom descends at the finale. Continue reading »

Sep 222012
 

The members of the Bay Area’s Acephalix, whose crushing 2012 album Deathless Master I reviewed here, have their claws in a lot of grisly pies. In addition to unleashing sonic destruction in Acephalix, vocalist Dan Butler, guitarist Kyle House, and bassist Luca Indrio are also members of Vastum, another killer band we featured recently and who are now in the recording/mixing phase of their next album at Earhammer Studios in Oakland.

AND guitarist House, bassist Indrio, and Acephalix drummer Dave Benson are also the three members of a band named Lawless, with Indrio and House also sharing the vocal duties. Earlier this month the trio released their first demo under the Lawless banner. Titled Nite of the Wolf, it includes three songs and is available for download at Bandcamp (HERE) for $3, or on tape for $5.90 (limited to 200 copies) from Blood Divine.

The obvious question is how does Lawless’ music compare to that of Acephalix, given that both bands share the same guitarist, bass player and drummer, and given that both Deathless Master and Nite of the Wolf were recorded by the late Jeff Leppard Davis at SF’s Lennon Studios? Well, if you know anything about Acephalix, you would be shocked if I told you that it turns out these guys decided to form an outlet for their interest in acoustic folk music. So, I’m not telling you that. Continue reading »

Sep 082012
 

Here are a randomly noticed assortment of art, news, new music, and a video I saw and heard yesterday that I thought were well worth sharing.

VASTUM

Vastum are a Bay Area band who began under the name Corpus as a side project of vocalist Dan Butler and guitarist Kyle House from the amazing Acephalix, whose titanic 2012 album Deathless Master I reviewed here. They were eventually joined by guitarist Leila Abdul-Rauf (Hammers of Misfortune, ex-Saros), bass-player Luca Indrio from Acephalix, and drummer  Adam Perry. Their five-song debut, Carnal Law, which was originally released as a demo, made quite the splash in 2011, delivering a filthy, crusty, punk-influenced take on death metal.

Yesterday I happened to see the artwork at the top of this post. It’s one of the latest creations by the uber-talented Paolo Girardi, whose work I follow closely (and have featured at NCS many times before). When he posted it on his Facebook page, it came with this notation: “VASTUMPATRICIDAL LUST (2012)”.

I’ve seen no other news that Vastum are planning on a new release this year, but that’s sure what Paolo Girardi’s artwork and explanatory note suggest. I really hope that’s what it means. If you’re unfamiliar with Vastum, Carnal Law can be streamed and purchased at Bandcamp (here), and you might want to give it a listen after the jump. Continue reading »