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. (more…)
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.
Australian tech-death act to return to the U.S. this summer in support of new self-titled album. During their first North American tour since supporting Nile in 2010, Psycroptic will blast tunes from their brand new self-titled album — which reached #59 on the Australian pop charts and is one of the best-reviewed metal records of the year to date — along with favorites from their five previous releases over the past 10 years. The new album was produced, engineered and mixed by guitarist Joe Haley while being mastered by Alan Douches (Converge, Baroness).
Prior to their venture to the States, Psycroptic will travel to Japan for two headlining gigs before returning to Australia to join The Black Dahlia Murder on tour throughout June. Dates can be found below, and for tickets or further event details, please visit www.facebook.com/psycroptic.
6/7 Osaka, JP – Nanba Rockets
6/8 Tokyo, JP – Duo Music Exchange
6/19 Adelaide, AU – Fowlers #
6/20 Melbourne, AU – Northcote Social Club #
6/21 Melbourne, AU – Northcote Social Club # (All Ages, Afternoon Show)
6/21 Melbourne, AU – Northcote Social Club # (18+ Only, Evening Show)
6/25 Newcastle, AU – The Cambridge #
6/26 Canberra, AU – The Basement #
6/27 Sydney, AU – The Factory #
# with The Black Dahlia Murder & Colossvs
Hells Headbangers sets July 24th as the international release date for Destruktor‘s highly anticipated second album, Opprobrium. The band’s first full-length in six years, Opprobrium follows the warring black/death path laid out on their critically acclaim debut album, Nailed. Since 1997, these Aussie tyrants have been patiently honing a sound that seethes with the war-metalled fire their homeland’s world renowned for, yet over the years finessed with an acute attention to propulsive, immediately memorable songcraft. Nowhere is this more pronounced than on Opprobrium. Across seven swift songs in a lean ‘n’ mean 34 minutes, Destruktor quickly whip up a fury that walks the fine line between chaos and control – neither too blackened, nor too deathly – maintaining the teeth-gnashing gnarliness of their early work whilst exhibiting a startling sense of clarity. That clear-yet crushing production amplifies Destruktor‘s scabrous assault tenfold here, every track a heat-seeking missile until the penultimate closer, “Forever the Blood Shall Flow.” Indeed it shall, as you prepare for the force of Opprobrium…
A statement from founding vocalist/guitarist Glenn Destruktor reads: “We believe we have shown once again why Rome wasn’t built in a day. Opprobrium stems from many years of dedication, and was recorded with our longest-standing and strongest lineup to date. The small circle that has been subjected to our Opprobrium believe it a step up from anything we have done before, and it would be very hard for us to disagree. Clearly a Destruktor release, Opprobrium sticks to the formula of the past with total aggression, darkness, heaviness, and riff after riff of extreme metal that clearly sticks to the traditions of those long before. Opprobrium is finally ready for release, and we are looking forward to smashing cunts live, and on your stereo with our new hymns of desecration!”
Doom Metal band Bathsheba will release The Sleepless Gods on May 15th through Svart Records. Bathsheba play a rehashed 1970s “witchy” doom metal that appeals readily to a mainstream audience looking for a moderate and palatable dose of the mainstream and casual “occult” . Women’s vocals accentuate the late 1960s and 1970s horror movie concept of the witch’s covenant celebrating a bloody black sabbath. For fans of average retro music.
Punk/hardcore band, Obliterations, have announced additional dates to their previously-announced impending Eastern North American tour with While Lung, including a set at this year’s ultra massive NXNE Festival. Additional Obliterationsshows are being added to the routing to be announced as the tour begins, at which time the band will also release their next official video from Poison Everything, being finalized for the track Scapegoat.
Obliterations Tour Dates:
6/06/2015 The Studio At Webster Hall – New York, NY
6/08/2015 DC9 – Washington DC w/ White Lung
6/09/2015 Rumba Café – Columbus, OH w/ White Lung
6/10/2015 The Demo – St. Louis, MO w/ White Lung
6/11/2015 7th Street Entry – Minneapolis, MN w/ White Lung
6/12/2015 Underground Lounge – Chicago, IL
6/13/2015 PJ’s Lager House – Detroit, MI w/ White Lung
6/14/2015 Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland, OH w/ White Lung
6/15/2015 Mohawk Place – Buffalo, NY w/ White Lung
6/16/2015 Great Scott – Allston, MA w/ White Lung
6/17/2015 Bar Le Ritz PDB – Montreal, QC w/ White Lung
6/18/2015 Ottawa Explosion Weekend – Ottawa, ON w/ White Lung
6/20/2015 Lee’s Place – Toronto, ON @ NXNE w/ Girl Band, Mission Of Burma, California X, Grooms [info]
Obliterations released Poison Everything through Southern Lord in October 2014.
Stream and purchase Poison EverythingHERE, and scope their video for “Mind Ain’t Right” at THIS LOCATION.
Vod is the one-man project of bassist Dave Trembley. Announced as an indescribable anomaly, a blend of interesting ideas in astounding ways, this is a actually a fairly clear mixture of influences that never coalesces into an original voice. Dancing and jumping between general ambient, post rock, and the break-down metal of Meshuggah (mostly in derivative and simplified Djentish manner, for groove more than for percussion wankery). The whole album is nonetheless covered by a recognizable blanket, although it is not a distinct expression but only a consistency in the use of the same collection of styles.
Rather than establish a mood and submerge the listener in it, or take us into a spiraling well of moments to build atmosphere, Vod simply gives us cool-vibe-inducing moments gathered from the aforementioned genres. Heavily relying on the most primal effects of both ambient and Djent, Tuurngait will often fall into a simple ambient drone or into the simplest and easiest to catch syncopated modern groove. Careful and smooth in taking the songs from a whisper to a full-on groove-party, this music is good conversation material as it is easy to digest.
There are some records that achieve greatness through their studied and natural use of the musical language that our civilization has been building up for many centuries. Such a record was Close to the Edge, reaching immortality with its self-titled piece. There are other records that do away with everything that came before them and in an unprecedented bout of madness envision doors to previously undreamed of realities. The key to such a door was given to Parabellum and what they found beyond that wallcrystallized into Sacrilegio.
Unique and meaningful in its expression, Parabellum’s music is hard to trace back to any defined subgenre at the time, perhaps even today. We know it is metal. We know it arises from the 1980s underground tradition and if we look very hard we may find traces of proto-black-death, hardcore and what can only be described as organized noise. At the same time, the band’s music cannot conceivably be cased into any of them, nor can it be wholly accounted for as a concoction of the same. Parabellum’s Colombian underground metal stands entirely alone and makes use of sounds, patterns and rhythms from its influences but is never defined by them.
While the compositions in it date back to 1983 or 1984, Sacrilegio was released in 1987 and is comprised of two tracks. Both of them, Madre Muerte (Mother Death) and Engendro 666 (Foetus-Abomination 666), are of relatively long duration by metal standards. None of them, however, feel overextended. While difficult to gauge here, this writer perceives no obvious loose ends, and no purposeless spaces in the pieces. Not interspersed, not interlocked, but breathing in living symbiosis with the extreme underground expressions we find silences, Azagthothean guitar solos together with painful, woeful laments.
Uncouth, savage and violent, Parabellum’s music also takes us through moments of passive dementia and ecstatic delirium. Together these propound stark, bleak and at points suffocating experiences of desperation resembling but going far beyond the misanthropic nature worship of Vidar Vaaer. If I could put my impression of Parabellum’s music in concise terms, I would describe it as what I picture is life as seen through the eyes of a mad epileptic.
Many different artists have sought to bring instrumentation that is unconventional to the genres they work in, be it metal, the folk music of a certain region, rap or European classical music of a certain period. Oftentimes, these unusual choices in instrumentation are made with the intention of bringing in an element of novelty to the music. In other cases, it has been done because the picture, concept or sound in the artist’s mind can only, to him, be portrayed by making use of an imported medium. (more…)
Khors is a Ukrainian black metal band formed in 2004. Coming from the same general scene as Drudkh and Nokturnal Mortum, Khors’ brand of black metal is made by mostly simple riffs and long, simple and slow melodies. These are all very typical of the Slavic black metal sound. Accessible to the novice listener of black metal, Khors offers an experience that lies closer to what purists would consider closer to black metal than most mainstream acts rising the flag of the genre despite the real nature of their music
Cold consists mostly of simple guitar strumming outlining singable melodies with constant rock-like drums that use the double bass intermittently. The music relies on heavy repetition with very little changes. This is compensated by the tightening and releasing the drums provide through the simple effect of using and not using double bass drums. Particularly understated keyboards provide the spacious backdrop in which ghastly vocals carefully make sparing apparitions.
Production in this reissue of the album is stellar, outshining that of releases by countrymen Nokturnal Mortum. The rock-oriented sensibilities of this Ukranian black metal could tick off purist fans of the more extreme expressions of black metal, but Cold remains a black metal album at its center. Content-wise representing little more than a mouthful for the experienced listener, this is a perfect release for those starting out with the genre. Strongly recommended as an authentic gateway album.