Paradise Lost premieres new video for Beneath Broken Earth

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Paradise Lost’s Greg Mackintosh (lead guitar) comments:

I fucking hate metal band performance videos, so when I got told that we needed to do one I was obviously annoyed but then came the idea to do a performance video of utter misery. The slowest song we have ever recorded. ‘Beneath Broken Earth’ is an utterly old school Paradise Lost doom/death song, and doing a performance video with our miserable, old faces barely moving in a crappy, old basement was too much to resist. The director Ash has done a great job of capturing the somber mood and has managed to make a performance video we can actually be proud of.

Paradise Lost online:
http://www.paradiselost.co.uk
http://www.facebook.com/paradiselostofficial
http://twitter.com/officialpl

Nex Carnis – Obscure Visions of Dark

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Iranian band Nex Carnis plays death metal in the old school vein with flashes of what they describe as experimentation. The actual state of affairs is a little different. The old school differences are pretty clear as one can hear the spirit of Morbid Angel and Sinister in the music.  But there is also a tendency towards phrasings and sound paintings that would be completely at home with more surreptitiously mainstream acts like Sylosis or Goatwhore. Regarding the descriptive term experimental there is much to be said.

To begin with, every time the word experimental is used to describe any album, it causes cautious eyebrows to be raised. Here is a wiki-description of what is  experimental music:

Elements of experimental music include indeterminate music in which the composer introduces the elements of chance or unpredictability with regard to either the composition or its performance. There are many ideas broadly utilized by experimental musicians which are not, however, strictly experimental music concepts, having seen significant application prior to the advent of experimental music, particularly by the avant garde. Examples include: extended techniques (Instrumental or vocal performance techniques that step outside (often far outside) conventional performance techniques) and graphic notation (music which is written in the form of diagrams or drawings. Other elements include “Prepared” instruments—ordinary instruments modified in their tuning or sound-producing characteristics; using instruments, tunings, rhythms or scales from non-Western musical traditions; using sound sources other than conventional musical instruments, such as trash cans, telephone ringers, or doors slamming; creating experimental musical instruments for enhancing the timbre of compositions and exploring new techniques or possibilities; using a tape loop to create a tape phase; and removing perceived barriers of traditional concert settings by putting performers scattered among the audience.

In other words, mostly gimmicky music. Music that intends to attract through the use of unconventional techniques. The very nature of experimental music, it has huge pitfalls, a dangerous land which only the most visionary and steadfast artists tread safely. One of these treks was successfully undertaken by the Candian band Gorguts and  the result was Obscura. Incredibly aware and well-constructed, but also conventional and even orthodox death metal which could only be described as experimental in regards to the guitar techniques, pitches and noises they used in their improvisation-born riffs.

Obscure Visions of Dark, however, are more in line with the experimentation as exemplified by Deathspell Omega. Although not going to the extreme that band went to, Nex Carnis’ music is characterized by digressions and branch-outs from the main ideas in the songs. These often take the form of atmospheric interludes. Nex Carnis will appeal to Deathspell Omega fans looking for something slightly more conventional and inconspicuous.

Today’s Recommended Playlist

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Sometimes we find ourselves looking for the music that suits the moment, the mood. Sometimes we want more than suitable, we want excellent, we want an experience, a window into another world. We waddle around swinging our fists frustratingly at the empty air and cursing our creator for giving us this craving for melody and rhythm that is not so easily satisfied. Then we realize the answer lies in Satan’s music. The rebel. The adversary.

So, while your neighbours and family members are falling asleep in Church this Sunday morning, you can draw a pentagram on the floor of room, scratch some runes, close the windows, light candles and turn the music on.

 

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5e32fdX6-RY

Taco Bell Diablo Sauce

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Those of us who survive in the concrete jungle or the suburban desert live as we must, which often means foraging within the realms of junk food. This in turn means, because too much of junkfood is merely a conduit to “the beetus” or other early death, to have strong preferences for some junk food over other types. Many of us remain enthusiastic fans of Taco Bell because, despite the high salt content and imminent violent defecation, it remains relatively simple, unsullied and realistically-priced compared to the over-sugared varieties of junk food found at the burger joints. It also eschews the pomposity of “down home goodness” and “hippie health food wisdom” which mark, even in small doses, places like Chipotle and In-N-Out.

As part of its ill-advised campaign to be “more competitive,” which is scurrilous nonsense since it has already captured its self-selected target audience of drunks, college students, scat fetishists and budget-conscious consumers, Taco Bell has made tentative stepts toward expanding its menu to include more varied tastes. As a long time observer, I believe this contradicts business wisdom which would be to instead serve its existing constituency such that it expands, instead of trying to capture audiences from other businesses who are more adapted to what those groups expect. However, it has in addition to some hilarious missteps — the soggy Doritos-in-a-burrito was more than gastronomically dismal — this has brought a number of useful experiments, including the new Diablo sauce. From the beginning, this product faces a steady climb because those who really like hot sauce enough for it to be essential with a fast food meal probably have their preferred poison on hand, but it also may gain an audience of those heading past the sauce counter for some slightly new experiences. Much like the market for spicy sauces sold separately, it navigates a fine line between over-processed and sweetened sauces, and perennial favorites like Tabasco which balance spice with flavor such that one tastes more than spice or the sugar, aromatic spices and fruit extracts added to soften the blow or at least give it an ironic, contrarian or contradictory identity (“it’s a hot sauce, but unlike the others, it has fruits and flowers”).

The first taste of Diablo Sauce, as warned by our local Taco Bell proprietor, is of intense spice. A glance at the ingredients shows that it picks up from where Fire Sauce left off but uses a more intense pepper base, feeling like simultaneously more black pepper and a habanero or more concentrated jalapeno-serrano mix. The result, while warming and very useful to pick up the intensity, falls short on the spice-flavor balance: unlike Tabasco, it is more hot than flavorful and, while it avoids the odious boutique spice flavors that insist mixing mango and cloves with Scottish bonnet peppers somehow makes a “new” taste, it also fails to bring with it the optimized mix of flavors that fire sauce does. Perhaps this means that Taco Bell caved to the extremists — who might be conveniently visualized as drunk bearded men with bandoliers full of specially-bred spicy peppers — and forsook its commonplace wisdom as to what its audience desires, which can be summarized as “spicy Southwestern” since Taco Bell borrows more from Tex-Mex than Mex and more from California Tex-Mex than Tex-Tex-Mex.

The question always presented itself as to whether Taco Bell would make a more spicy Fire Sauce, or a spicy sauce, and the sense I get is that they aimed for the latter while guarding their flank with some inclusion of the former, which runs a risk of pleasing neither group. I suggest they defer to interface: mild, medium and fire are variants on the same flavor, and Diablo should be too on that basis, with the possibility of simply adding a “habanero sauce” (or equivalent, since a concentrated jalapeno-serrano or jalapeno-japones mix will achieve the same result) as an addition to the Diablo sauce. Perhaps this was the intent, since of the eight of us eating the three who appreciate spicy food the most ended up using a 2:1 mix of Fire:Diablo sauces to great effect. In any case, it was a joy to experiment with this new flavor and, while it may not be the end-all for spice fetishists, for those who have the time to mix it in with other sauces it makes for a powerful addition to the Taco Bell palette.

Morbid Spawn Recording Full-Length Album

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Morbid Spawn, a death metal band influenced by Asphyx, Suffocation and Deicide are releasing their first full-length album later this year. At a first glance, the band shows a middle and later period Suffocation influence with a secondary of the Asphyx sound.

You can follow Morbid Spawn through their facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Morbid-Spawn/330641050464141?pnref=lhc

 

Usnea, Portland Cosmic Sludge Quartet Begins Most Extensive Tour To Date

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In support of their Relapse Records debut LP, Random Cosmic Violence, Portland, Oregon’s decimating cosmic doom/sludge act, USNEA, has just embarked on the band’s most extensive tour ever. Kicking off in their hometown tonight, the quartet will take their dredging hymns across North America with nearly three dozen shows through mid-June. Leading off with several solo gigs,USNEA will rendezvous with Italian psychedelic doom trio, Ufomammut, mid-next week, and will directly support them for the entirety of their first North American tour, with several one-off shows confirmed along the way, in addition to a performance at this year’s Maryland Deathfest with Ufomammut as well as Primitive Man, Mantar, Conan, Yob and more.

USNEA Tour Dates:

  • 5/08/2015 High Water Mark – Portland, OR * tour kick-off w/ Eye of Nix, Hiding, Shine of the Serpent
  • 5/09/2015 Neurolux – Boise, ID – w/ Inter Arma, Uzala, Yautja5/10/2015 Metro Bar – Salt Lake City, UT w/ Odium Totus
  • 5/11/2015 Lost Lake Lounge – Denver, CO w/ Inter Arma, Yautja, Prison Death
  • 5/12/2015 Frank’s North Star Tavern – Lawrence, KS

USNEA North America Spring 2015 w/ Ufomammut:

  • 5/13/2015 Reggies – Chicago, IL w/ Bloodiest, Cokegoat5/14/2015 Now That’s Class – Cleveland, OH w/ Contra
  • 5/15/2015 Bug Jar – Rochester, NY w/ Blizaro, The Highest Leviathan5/16/2015 Mod Club – Toronto, ON w/ Olde, Sons of Otis
  • 5/17/2015 Le Ritz – Montreal, QC w/ Tunguska Mammoth, Show Of Bedlam5/18/2015 Middle East Upstairs – Boston, MA w/ Stomach Earth, Wormwood, Slow Mover [no Ufomammut]
  • 5/19/2015 Saint Vitus Bar – Brooklyn, NY
  • 5/20/2015 Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA w/ Ominous Black
  • 5/21/2015 Ram’s Head Live – Baltimore, MD @ Maryland Deathfest
  • 5/22/2015 King’s – Raleigh, NC w/ Make
  • 5/23/2015 Drunken Unicorn – Atlanta, GA w/ Order Of The Owl
  • 5/24/2015 HiTone Café – Memphis, TN [no Ufomammut]
  • 5/25/2015 Siberia – New Orleans, LA w/ Space Cadaver
  • 5/26/2015 Walter’s – Houston, TX w/ Holy Money, Defending The Kingdom5/27/2015 Red 7 – Austin, TX w/ Unmothered
  • 5/29/2015 Sister – Albuquerque, NM w/ Black Maria
  • 5/30/2015 Flycatcher – Tucson, AZ w/ Sorxe, Inoculara
  • 5/31/2015 Complex – Los Angeles, CA w/ Kata
  • 6/01/2015 Sweet Spring Saloon – Los Osos, CA [no Ufomammut]
  • 6/02/2015 Catalyst – Santa Cruz, CA w/ The Bad Light
  • 6/03/2015 Elbo Room – San Francisco, CA w/ Badr Vogu, Hornss
  • 6/04/2015 Press Club – Sacramento, CA w/ Lycus, Church
  • 6/06/2015 Rotture – Portland, OR w/ Survival Knife, Church
  • 6/07/2015 Chop Suey – Seattle, WA w/ Survival Knife
  • 6/08/2015 Neurolux – Boise, ID w/ Brett Nelson & Snakes
  • 6/09/2015 Bar Deluxe – Salt Lake City, UT w/ Subrosa
  • 6/10/2015 Hi-Dive – Denver, CO w/ In the Company of Serpents
  • 6/12/2015 Turf Club – St Paul, MN w/ Vulgaari
  • 6/13/2015 Metal Grill – Milwaukee, WI w/ Asatta

Reissue of Vulcano’s Bloody Vengeance coming on May 18

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Greyhaze Records is set to unearth Bloody Vengeance, the 1986 full-length debut from Brazilian death metal pioneers Vulcano. Formed in 1980, Vulcano is thought to be the first band from Brazil, and possibly South America, to play extreme metal. An early influence for the likes of Sepultura and Sarcófago, Vulcano’s primal blend of black, thrash and death metal sparked a flame that quickly spread across the mid-80s underground metal community.

Bloody Vengeance is being reintroduced to a new generation of metalheads. Fully remastered and restored, the album is accompanied by a DVD that features a live performance from the 1986 Festival Da Morte. Greyhaze Records will reissue this cult classic as a six-panel digipak CD/DVD on May 18.

Vulcano will celebrate the reissue at this year’s Maryland Deathfest. The MDF set will be the band’s first-ever live performance on American soil. With no other U.S. dates in the works, MDF XIII looks to be the only chance to experience the madness that is Vulcano north of the equator.

Bloody Vengeance is available at store.greyhazerecords.com.

Defect Designer Posts Artwork for Upcoming Album

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Progressive death metal band Defect Designer announce their signing with Sleazy Rider record label.The band has posted artwork for upcoming album Ageing Accelerator. Artwork is done by Seth Siro Anthon, famous for his work with Soilwork, Paradise Lost, Moonspell, Sybreed and other acts.

Ageing Accelerator recording lineup includes:
– Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy) – drums
– Stelios Mavromitis (SepticFlesh live guitarist) – guitars
– Martin Storm-Olsen (Trollfest) – guitars and clean vocals
– Christos Antoniou (SepticFlesh) – sampling and orchestration
– Dmitry Sukhinin (Diskord) – vocals, bass and guitars
The band was originally started in Siberian Russian city Novosibirsk, and reestablbished after mainman’s relocation to Oslo, Norway. Defect Designer has a full-length album, Wax released worldwide viva My Kingdom Music.

A Comment on Bardic Tradition in metal

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The terms bardic or minstrel metal have often been used to describe bands that usually sing in a clear voice and with anthemic overtones, often imitate medievalesque motifs and write lyrics in the manner of romanticized ancient legends. Generally, the metal subgenre most readily associated with bardic expression is power metal because they advertise themselves as modern-day minstrels and theirs is the kind of catchy and upbeat music most people can latch on to most easily. The bardic spirit along with the culture it transmits, however, requires a sturdier medium that is able to etch its runes indelibly without detracting from the importance of their message.

Power metal could be described as a blend of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden mixed with the energy of speed metal. The influence of Ritchie Blackmore cannot be overstated either. In time, they developed their own tropes and particular voices that set them apart from their Briton godfathers. Bands making music in this style are known for an overt expression and presentation that falls just a little short from that of the despicable glam metal. More often than not, these theatrical habits and indulgences overshadow both the content of the music and the words, both of which come close to becoming only an excuse for narcissistic expression. The persona takes precedence over the message.

A sensible division of terms would be advisable here since the words bard and minstrel actually denote two very similar but different traditions. The bard was said to be an itinerant poet who, with the help of music, kept traditions and values alive through stories and legends written in meter. The minstrel made its most significant appearances in courts. Its main job was to entertain the nobility. The latter job’s description often overlaps with that of a jester whose curriculum included clownish acts like juggling. Here is where we find the most apt description for bands like Helloween or Blind Guardian, who willingly and naively took the latter term for themselves.

In lieu of this minstrel metal, a bardic one, with enduring power to carry and transmit the word by giving it the place of honor, is needed. Firstly, any musical tradition with this aim must achieve an optimal balance between being both evocative and submerging yet enveloping the words so that these are propelled forward, emphasized, given contour and colour. Secondly, this is metal. And as proper metal, the riff must lead.

War Iron – Procession of the Equinoxes

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War Iron released their first album in 2010 with the explicit intention of making pulverizing heavy music and creating bone-crushing riffs. If they accomplish the first of these is up to each particular listener to decide, the second is true by the very nature of slow-tempo, duple-time patterns played in de-tuned guitars with incredibly fat but clear distortion. But music with a profound and long-lasting repercussions, that is, with depth, relies on its concrete and intrinsic (rather than an external argument for possible) multiple levels of appreciation, which go beyond attributes of heaviness.

As the sharp observer of metal artwork covers may notice, the colors and penmanship of Procession of the Equinoxes are a fair warning of what this music is and what it is not. The lyrical topics are a cartoonish and theatrical representation of topics deemed occult and dark in popular culture. It is then no surprise that the music is consistent with these as well. Sludge (a slow counterpart to the vacuous Stoner) riffs march in procession. One by one they march. They do not talk to each other, they do not communicate anything. They do groove though. And they groove heavily. And then the album is over.

Fans of intense and heavy riffing, slow trudging music and a cool, and dark atmosphere that feels like the music accompanying a recitation of Evil Dead‘s Necronomicon will love this for its uncompromising devotion to heaviness.