Serpent Ascending announced that their debut album Aṇaṅku is going to be released by I, Voidhanger Records on September 16th. Serpent Ascending is the solo-project of Desecresy vocalist Jarno Nurmi and previously released two extremely promising demos, Serrpent Ascending and The Mournful Pilgrimage, that were compiled with one new track in The Enigma Unsettled anthology CD. From the label’s press release:18 Comments
Despite claims to being some sort of doom death with black metal influences, Creeping’s music is a progressive sort of rock music with little trace of the influence of metal apart from the most superficial traits. These traits can be briefly summarized in distorted guitars and vox, and rock and metal drum techniques. Creeping’s music in Revenant could be described as being through-composed with a minimalist touch to them. Once you remove this from sight and you look through them, it is evident this is not metal music. In general, their work here displays a very keen sense on smooth transitions and mood-capturing that only the most sensitive musicians are able to put together. What Creeping seems to be at a loss for is an organizing agent that condensates these living shapes into meaningful statements with heads and tails or at least a direction. As it stands, Revenant is only a sequence of related vague feelings without enough organization to convey a concrete meaning — a direct consequence of both being mostly empty of musical formations and missing the point that music and art in general are communication.
The most revealing moment when listening to Creeping is when one reaches the ending of a song and everything is put into perspective. Endings are reached uneventfully. They simply just end. The finishing sections as a group are indistinguishable from those at the beginning. In fact, they could be interchanged and it would make little difference as they do not carry any connotation. Not only are true endings missing but what we would physically try to locate as development sections of any sort (not necessarily Beethovenian) are also flat-out indistinguishable from sections at the beginning or ending. The clue here is not to look at the sections or groups of sections themselves only but also in relation to one another. How is the idea carried forward? What changed from this moment to two minutes in the future? How and why is the idea left behind towards the end? Is the idea actually changed towards the end? There is no answer to this questions in the context of this album, because none of that seems to ever have been in the mind of Creeping when writing these songs. Each section is a progression of chords with “powerful” drum beats. They took care that adjacent sections were related in character and texture (all the album uses the same texture and album) but nothing else. The album is a homogeneous creeping mass sliding down a hill like lava from an erupting mountain. It is an event, it is motion, but it is without life or purpose.
Creeping’s Revenant is one of those albums that will carry the flag of the mainstream in their incursions to try and conquer the underground by taking a depressive-sounding rock outfit and trying to make it look and sound like a convincing metal act. The fastest and most obvious way of doing this is by copying the traits that help identify underground metal through its superficial appearances. This is the second issue we take this album: that of pretending to be metal. Somewhat resembling post-metal, Creeping distinguishes itself from metal music in that it builds its music following chord progressions mainly, not phrases. What tells us that Creeping is rock music and not post-metal, though, is that it constantly follows actually-moving chord circles, effectively creating movement through that most basic device in Western music derived from the Common Practice Period classical music. Post-metal, on the other hand tends to stagnate in one harmony and try to play it in many different ways and with different decorations, usually ceding the task of promoting movement in the music solely to the drums. While there are parts where a melody can be heard, this is often just a decoration for an implied chord progression. The music in Creeping’s Revenant is utterly dependent on them, something underground metal distinguished itself from through years of rethinking itself and distancing itself from rock music in order to attain greater power of expression.
Given the way the songs in Revenant evolve and the atmosphere they seem to want to evoke in part as per the claims made that this band’s music adds a hint of black metal to their music, a comparison to Burzum’s Hvis Lyset Tar Oss is appropriate in order to dispel the former’s false claims and to put into perspective their more limited ability for communication. Creeping’s work and procedures have been described in some detail earlier here, so let’s proceed to take a look at Burzum. At a glance, there are many similarities between both. Songs in Hvis Lyset Tar Oss emphasize a smoothness of transition between sections whose borders are blurred out, except when there are major breaks in the music. Texture also consists of drums that change slightly independently of the rest of the music while still working with it, a strong bass, chord-strumming guitar and a rasping/growling vocal. Burzum’s music is further clarified by the use of a synth and another guitar that may outline melodies, phrases and themes. And themes are the key to Burzum’s music in this period (or any other, for that matter…). The discerning listener will notice that chords and progressions in the Norwegian’s music are only harmonic filling-outs of motifs in the bass line, oftentimes enhanced by a slight deviation in the soprano line. Chords are subsumed under motifs. Songs are defined by themes. In addition to that, and addressing the issue of whole-song structure and purpose, the first three songs in Burzum’s album do the same thing with visibly different approaches: present an idea, condense it into a solid and clear expression, introduce development, extend and come to an affirming closing idea smoothed through repetition rather than asserted in vainglorious expression typical of traditional metal. As a whole, and as a reflection of a cosmos that is contained in its smallest particles, Hvis Lyset Tar Oss follows that same pattern as an album. From its slowly building opening track, “Det Som Engang Var” to the more menacing and alienating expressions of the title track and the first half of “Inn in Slottet Fra Drømmen” which marks the climax of the album in frenetic expression only to dissipate into its second half, leading to the crystal-clear conclusion that is the ambient track, “Tomhet”.
In conclusion, Revenant ends up sounding like the indecipherable ramblings of an illuminated idiot. You can hear that there is, perhaps, a wisdom behind the sequence of misty phrases and bursts of adjective-noun pairs blurted out as if in poetic rapture, but there is not enough involvement of a conscience to even start to make sense of these. This is an album for the moment-oriented, people with short attention spans looking for prolonged sequences of singular atmospheric pictures, fans of masturbatory emotional neediness looking only for a cold shower of pleasure with no significance.No Comments
Blues hard rock band Ramming Speed have released a new song titled “Don’t Let this Stay Here”.
The band released the following statement regarding the new song’s message:
‘Don’t Let This Stay Here’ is our reaction to the Edward Snowden leaks that confirmed the U.S. government’s saving of all our phone calls, text messages, emails and web searches in giant server farms. To us, that is fucking terrifying and unacceptable, and this is our rallying cry against it.
The citizens building the first top secret atomic bombs in Oak Ridge, Tennessee were told: ‘What you see here, what you do here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here.’ This song is for the NSA employees that question what they are doing. It’s for the American civilians feeling betrayed by the breaches of privacy, and it’s for the people at our shows singing along and sharing our frustration. Don’t Let This Stay Here. Spread the word.
A list of the band’s currently confirmed tour dates appears below. More shows will likely be added in the coming weeks.
- 7/17 Eindhoven, NL – Dynamo Metalfest Pre-Party (w/ Gama Bomb)
- 7/19 Aachen, DE – AZ Aachen
- 7/20 Dendermonde, BE – JH Zenith ^
- 7/21 Bleibt-Pratteln, CH – Konzertfabrik Z7 (w/ The Black Dahlia Murder)
- 7/22 Bologna, IT – Freakout Club (w/ 7 Seconds)
- 7/23 Milano, IT – Lo Fi *
- 7/24 Rokycany, CR – Fluff Fest
- 7/25 Leipzig, DE – Zoro #
- 7/26 Koblenz, DE – SK2 #
- 7/27 Stuttgart, DE – Juha West # *
- 7/29 Bartislava, SK – Randal Club ^
- 7/30 Vienna, AT – Das Bach #
- 7/31 Chemnitz, DE – Killed System Festival #
- 8/1 Berlin, DE – Stateless Society Festival *
- 8/2 Dresden, DE – Chemiefabrik
- 8/4 Budapest, HU – Dürer Kert
- 8/6 Jaromer, CZ – Brutal Assault Fest 2015
- 8/7 Mannheim, DE – Juz
- 8/8 Brussels, BE – Garcia Lorca
- 8/10 Glasgow, UK – Ivory Blacks
- 8/13 London, UK – The Black Heart
- 8/14 Leper, BE – Leperfest
- 8/15 Thiex, FR – Motocultor Open Air
# with Deathrite
^ with DRI
* with Toxic Holocaust
Paradise Lost has finally officially released their 14th album, The Plague Within, in North America. The band has also announced exact tour dates along with the release.
“The Plague Within” – European tour 2015
27.09 – IE Dublin, The Academy
28.09 – UK Belfast, The Limelight
30.09 – UK Manchester, Academy 2
01.10 – UK Glasgow, Garage
03.10 – UK Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall
04.10 – UK London, Koko
05.10 – DE Cologne, Live Music Hall
06.10 – BE Antwerp, Trix Muziekcentrum
07.10 – NL Utrecht, TivoliVredenburg
09.10 – DE Berlin, Huxley’s Neue Welt
10.10 – SE Malmö, KB
11.10 – SE Göteborg, Sticky Fingers
13.10 – FI Helsinki, The Circus
15.10 – SE Stockholm, Debaser Strand
16.10 – NO Oslo, John Dee
17.10 – DK Copenhagen, Pumpehuset
18.10 – DE Hamburg, Gruenspan
20.10 – CZ Prague, MeetFactory
21.10 – PL Wroclaw, Alibi
22.10 – PL Gdansk, B90
24.10 – CZ Ostrava, Barrak
25.10 – SK Bratislava, Randal Club
26.10 – HU Budapest, Barba Negra
27.10 – HR Zagreb, Vintage Industrial Bar
29.10 – SI Nova Gorica, Mostovna
30.10 – DE Munich, Theaterfabrik
31.10 – AT Vienna, Arena
02.11 – IT Milan, Live Club
03.11 – CH Solothurn, Kofmehl
05.11 – ES Barcelona, Salamandra
06.11 – ES Madrid, Sala Arena
07.11 – ES Bilbao, Sala Stage Live
08.11 – FR Bordeaux, Rocher de Palmer
09.11 – FR Paris, Le Trabendo
10.11 – FR Strasbourg, La Laiterie
12.11 – Liverpool – O2 Academy 2
13.11 – Nottingham – Rock City
Big Nate Productions presents Calgary Metalfest IV June 3-7, 2015 with over 40 bands, kicking offJune 3rd at The Ship & Anchor Pub featuring: The Electric Revival, Bloated Pig, Lucid Scream, The Outer, and Woodhawk.
June 4th at Vern’s Bar will feature: The Cadavor Dog, Frightenstein, SS Doom, DethGod, Penitentz, After The Prophet, and No More Moments.
June 5th the Main Stage at Dickens Pub will feature: Villainizer (Edmonton), Begrime Exemious (Edmonton), Without Mercy (Abbotsford BC), Neck of the Woods (Vancouver), Vile Insignia, Every Hour Kills, Riot City, and Moosifix. Lord Nelson’s Bar features: Mortillery (Edmonton), Dead Asylum (Vancouver), XUL (Vernon BC), Sentient, Path to Extinction, Altars of Grief (Regina), and Skymir.
June 6th the Main Stage at Dickens will feature: Kobra and the Lotus, Into Eternity (Regina), Caveat, Untimely Demise (Saskatoon), Viathyn, Sparky (Saskatoon), Noire (Winnipeg), and Apprentice (Vancouver). Lord Nelson’s Bar features: Lavagoat (Saskatoon), Kataplexis, Chieftain, Doberman, Numenorean, Triton, and Okazaki Fragments.
June 7th CMF IV Hangover Party at Distortion – Live Music Venue. Bands to be announced.
Every year Calgary Metalfest has auctioned off a giant 4’x6’ festival poster signed by the bands to raise money for Make-A-Wish Southern Alberta. This year will be extra special as Reverend Rock (Ross Ingall) of the Metal Nation Radio program Too Metal For Church (Mondays from 10am-2pmand Fridays 12pm-3pm EST) has generously donated a Schecter Twin Tribal Double Neck Guitarfor the auction. The guitar and poster auction will take place before headliners Kobra and the Lotus go on stage at Dickens Pub on June 6th.
The Ship and Anchor Pub is located at 534 17th Ave SW, Vern’s Bar at 622 8th Ave SW, Lord Nelson’s Bar at 1020 8th Ave SW, Dickens Pub at 1000 9th Ave SW, and Distortion at 3828 MacLeod Tr. S, Calgary. All venues 18+. Doors for all shows will be at 8pm. Tickets and passes are available online at http://calgarymetalfest.com and at Dickens Pub, Sloth Records (Calgary), The Soundhouse (Red Deer), and from the Calgary bands.
CMF IV is sponsored by Last Rites, Heroes & Villains Tattoo & Piercing, Beatroute Magazine, Absolute Underground Magazine, UA LOCAL 496, and Metal Nation Radio.
Official site: http://calgarymetalfest.com1 Comment
We recently reviewed Unaussprechlichen Kulten Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath, a death metal album that knits together old school and newer styles of the underground metal art. We were lucky to get a few moments with Joseph Curwen, guitarist and composer, to explain the intricate secrets behind this dark cult act.
Do you identify with the “old school spirit” in the metal underground? If so, what is it and how does it emerge in your music?
Not really. “Old School” sounds like a “nostalgic trend” of “clone bands.” For us the Death Metal way is one style. It may have variants like brutal, old style or mixtures with other styles. But if the bands begin to clone all — the style, sound and even the graphics and pics — this really… sucks. Poorly made copies are not necessary! The “Sunlight” or “Tampa Florida” styles are wonderful and are always “inspiring,” I know it’s difficult to innovate in a “strict” style and with so many old bands as reference … but if a band does not have in its purpose something new, creative, original… anything in particular that distinguishes… why make that band?
The name “Unaussprechlichen Kulten” or “nameless cults” comes from the Cthulhu mythos, as do many of your song titles. How important is Lovecraft’s work to your art, and to metal in general? What other occult/romantic/fantasy writers influence you?
You are right about our name. Lovecraft’s literary legacy is rich in terminology and knowledge, therefore allows us to explain with his words the religious or spiritual concepts that otherwise we would be forced to use “Christian” or “common” terms so they can be understood. Lovecraft always publicly declared himself to be an atheist, but his erudition in the occult was something more than an amateur.
Therefore we are not only focused on the work of Lovecraft. We also include other topics, including Chilean mythology. The Necromancy is not unique to any particular culture, so what we do is explore in different subjects, always mystical and dark, but with the work of Lovecraft as a reference. Other interesting writers are Robert Bloch and Robert E. Howard, classics occultist like Blavatsky and Eliphas Levi, even contemporary Chilean writers as Oreste Plath and M. Serrano and others
Metal has always been influenced by the literature of Terror, and Lovecraft is the horror writer who made the most important revolution in the genre. He will always be a benchmark in the lyrics of Metal bands.
Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath sounds like it takes influence from both newer and older raditions in underground metal. What are your influences? Which of these did you find most useful in creating this album?
A lot of influences, you know mainly 80-90. Classic Swedish and American death Mmetal. Some from South American or Scandinavian… older? …mmm INCANTATION, NECRODEATH, GORGUTS, SHUB NIGGURATH, IMMOLATION, NECRODEATH, PENTAGRAM, MORBID ANGEL (old), MORTA SKULD, DISMEMBER, the mighty SADISTIC INTENT, DEMIGOD (old), MORTEM, and of course SLAYER, MERCYFUL FATE, SACRIFICE….. Newer? Throneum, Karnarium, Deathspell Omega, Godless, After Death, Dead Congregation, Hatespawn, Katharsis among many others.
In the early 1990s, there were few bands and not that many fans. Now there are more of both, and metal is accepted as normal in the mainstream press. How has this changed what it is to be a metal band? How has it not changed how it is to be a metal band?
Good question. It’s been over 20 years and society (worldwide) changed. We live in the information age; in the early 90s without internet, the bands depended on the promotion and diffusion that could be done through the “official” and monopolized media (radio, tv, zines Poser, label’s flyers, etc). Now every band can do their own promotion, also in these 20 years there was a “democratization” of recording technologies now make it possible to make music in a “Home Studio” way. More music available and easier to access it produces “the moment” in which we live.
This album embraces a dark and occult way of putting riffs in order and making songs of them. How do you know which riffs fit with each other? And how do you compose a song — do you start with a melody, a riff, an idea, an image?
From “People of the Monolith” onward our approach has always been the same way — to do riffs. I bring the riffs, arrangements and dis-harmonies of both guitars (I come with everything done and ready in accordance to what lyrics need like faster, slower or thicker parts, strange arrangements, etc.). It’s personal, a kind of trance. I only think in the “concept” and the lyrics, while I do an old trick: I move my fingers over the guitar until I’m no longer playing at random, but there is a “pattern” becoming a “riff.” Once I show the guitars to Butcher, drumming is 100% his responsibility. Then we adjust the structure and cuts together in the rehearsal room. When that base is settled, we incorporate the bass (based on drums). I used to do the bass but in this last record, NAMRU IMPETRADORUM MORTEM was integrated into the creative process of basses, all of them were 100% invented by him in Chapter VIII.
How did Unaussprechlichen Kulten form? Did you know each other from previous bands? Did you have a stated goal in coming together and forming the band?
In the beginning we was just two members, with no previous bands, the first name was “SPAWN.” With that name we just recorded 5 tracks of traditional Death Metal (never edited!). During that period of time I always felt unsettled about the name of the band so I decided to change it for a name in Spanish: “Culto Innombrable” was the one that came into my mind, it was a good name, we even made a logo. At that time I realize about the coincidence with the apocryphal Lovecraftian book: “UNAUSSPRECHLICHEN KULTEN”, diabolically whispered in my ear by Azathoth!
How well has the album been received so far? As more people hear your music, will your plans change? What comes next for Unaussprechlichen Kulten?
So far very good reviews, but our plans will not change. We are a “not popular” or “trendy” band. It has been more than ten years since it all began. So far we are a very unknown band out of Chile, we have been into the deep underground always, and I think will always be so because of our style. Death Metal is not a “trendy” style at this moment; now Death Metal is made by people who are stubborn and headstrong which maintains this “sectarian” behavior. It is true that more and more bands are appearing… on one hand this is good … the “scene” looks “healthy,” alive, which allows bands to exist and makes the media interested in promoting them (and of course in our case, more people hear our music), but on the other hand, also the “overpopulation” of bands is huge, generating a size of information unable to be processed. “A lot of bands” are not synonymous with “quality of bands.”3 Comments
Former black metal, now modern metal band Mayhem have announced further details about their upcoming album via Season of Mist. Entitled Esoteric Warfare, the track list can be viewed below:
- Six Seconds
- Throne of Time
- Corpse of Care
- Aion Suntalia
The album is set to be released on May 23, with a US release date on May 27. It will be available for pre-order next Wednesday, March 26.
Additionally, the band has planned a European tour to support the album’s release, with two festival dates currently scheduled later in the year:
- 14 May 14 Hamburg (DE) Markthalle
- 16 May 14 Bochum (DE) Matrix
- 17 May 14 Köln (DE) Essigfabrik
- 18 May 14 Eindhoven (NL) Effenaar
- 20 May 14 Bruxelles (BE) AB
- 21 May 14 London (GB) Electric Ballroom
- 22 May 14 Paris (FR) Le Divan du Monde
- 23 May 14 Winterthur (CH) Gaswerk
- 24 May 14 Milan (IT) Factory
- 26 May 14 Bratislava (SK) Randal
- 27 May 14 München (DE) Backstage Club
- 28 May 14 Berlin (DE) C-Club
- 29 May 14 Warsaw (PL) Proxima
- 30 May 14 Plzen (CZ) Metalfest Open Air Festival
- 31 May 14 København (DK) Pumpehuset
- 28 Jun 14 Lausanne (CH) Les Docks (Inferno Festival)
- 08 Aug 14 Øya (NO) Tøyenparken (Øya Festival)
The album’s first single, entitled Psywar is scheduled for release on April 26. It contains of an alternate mastering of the titular track (our review can be found here), in addition to a track entitled “From Beyond the Event Horizon”, taken from the scrapped 2012 Budapest Sessions.3 Comments