Jan 232014

I love it when a plan comes together, particularly when I have no plan until it comes together. Just tripping along through the interhole and the in-box this morning, and I come across one fine new song by a band named Vampire. And then I come across another one by a band named Vulgar Trade. I think to myself, “Self, wouldn’t it be cool if I came across another fine new song by a band with a ‘V’ name?” And then it happened! And here they are…


Thanks to a Facebook post by my friend Vonlughlio I learned that there is a newish Swedish band named Vampire. Surely, I thought, that name was taken long ago, and I don’t mean by Bram Stoker. Anyway, after producing a demo in 2012 (available on Bandcamp) this band landed on the Century Media label, which will release their self-titled debut album in March. And through the good graces of said label a song from the album was premiered yesterday by Stereogum on this side of the Atlantic and by Terrorizer on that side.

The new song is named “Howl From the Coffin”. True to the band’s name, it sinks its fangs deep into the jugular with the kind of toothsome, rocking/thrashing riffs that hail from an earlier time and ravenous howls of gruesome glee. Hellishly good soloing, too! Listening is an electrifying experience that will conjure memories of feral death metal from the late 80s and early 90s. Continue reading »

May 172013

I’m no social anthropologist, but there still seems to be something of a divide between punk and hardcore, on the one hand, and metal on the other. Decades ago, the divide was like an ocean between them — a storm-tossed ocean marked by outright hostility. I saw that first-hand. As time passed, of course, there’s been a lot of cross-polinization, the lines have blurred, and I don’t sense that the hostility has survived. But I still don’t know many people who are equally avid fans of all three genres.

I’m as guilty as anyone. I listen mainly to metal and only dabble randomly in those other genres; I definitely don’t feel well-educated any more on what’s happening there. But every now and then I’ll come across bands with crossover styles, who lean more toward the punk or hardcore side of things than what I usually listen to, that really get my blood racing. By sheer chance, that happened to me yesterday with three bands . . . and here they are. In order, they move from more metal to less . . .


I have CVLT Nation to thank for this discovery. They recently premiered this Orange County band’s official video for “Unrelenting Storm” off their 2013 debut album We Set Fire To the Sky. The video is really well-executed — a beautifully filmed black-and-white band performance interspersed with images of death and destruction. And as for the song itself, “Unrelenting Storm” is an apt title. It’s kind of a Converge-Meets-Neurosis blend of vitriolic hardcore and groaning sludge, with a segment that’s almost atmospheric and meditative, too. I like it a lot. Continue reading »