Nocturno Culto, who forms one-half of the nefarious duo known as Darkthrone, has a long history of side projects. Among other contributions, he worked out the intricate riffcraft behind Satyricon’s Nemesis Divina, making it a favorite in that band’s catalog.
Now he has embarked on a new side project which is a pure traditional heavy metal band called Gift of Gods. Gift of Gods will release its debut mini-album Receive on Peaceville Records on November 5, 2013.
Commented Nocturno Culto, “Finally, the mini-album is done. Gift Of Gods has been a great ride for me. I don’t want this to end now, so I will most likely work on new material. Thanks to my partner in crime, K.A. Hubred, we got to rehearse during the last two years. What to expect? I have no idea how to describe this, but it’s metal for sure.”
Receive was performed and recorded by Culto and Hubred at Culto’s home studio, and mixed and mastered by Jack Control at Enormous Door, who recently worked with Nocturno on Darkthrone’s The Underground Resistance.
So far the only reports tell us this will be traditional heavy metal with a wide range of influences and that it will lead toward the melodic side of things. This EP/mini-album will be a half-hour of material including a cover of “Looking For an Answer” originally by obscure Swedish 80s band Universe.
The next Krieg full length will be titled Transient and will be recorded in 2014, according to Krieg frontman Imperial. The new album will be 40-50 minutes long, “with some return to the old Krieg style in the sense that there will be a lot of very aggressive parts and a fair amount of samples.”
Transient will also blend in more influences from strange industrial projects, nothing you can dance to obviously, but the feeling you get from certain Coil, Whitehouse, and Controlled Bleeding recordings as well as a strong push into the more crusty rock n roll moments from the last three records.
Active since the middle 1990s, Krieg pioneered a unique sound of semi-improvisational and chaotic New World black metal that took many influences from violent and disoriented punk music and merged them with the minimalistic black metal of Darkthrone and Havohej. Recently, Krieg has been incorporating more post-metal influences in their music with The Isolationist, the record releases in 2010.
“It’s going to be a strange beast for sure, as always uncomfortable and hopefully challenging to the listener. We will be recording the majority at a different studio than we’ve used previously as to try to bring a newer feeling to the overall recording,” said Imperial.
First, a quick update on Jill Funerus and her health challenges. She had 100% blockage in one artery and less in another, but the damage was still extensive enough to cause a heart attack and kidney problems.
She went into surgery about 22 hours ago. However, she does not have health insurance and neither does her husband. Thus, she’s going to face some heft medical bills when this is all over.
To counter those bills, the Glorious Times team have partnered with death metal bands across the world to throw a fundraiser. Bands will donate items for a raffle, and perform, with the proceeds going to Jill for payment of her medical bills.
If you, dear reader, wish to help her out in this time of need, you can send funds via PayPal to email@example.com. Here’s the list of bands who have pledged donations for the Jill Funerus benefit:
Mike Browning (Incubus)
If you are a band, label or distro and want to help out with the Jill Funerus benefit, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The book Glorious Times portrayed the experience of being involved in the early metal underground in a way that no one else has attempted before or since. It awakened in many of us a desire for such times again, when truth mattered more than commerce and popularity.
Despite being initially scoffed at by publishers, Glorious Times exceeded all expectations and became a metal institution. The publishers, Alan Moses and Brian Pattison, have stayed active in the underground by promoting shows, writing reviews, and pushing forward bands that seem to have that sense of connection to reality that defined the early underground.
As part of their continued activity, Moses and Pattison have released a profile of longstanding band Nuclear Death. According to Pattison, the material had been slated to be part of the first printing of Glorious Times, but for scheduling reasons was never part of that issue.
Instead, it’s now available for free download thanks to the Glorious Times team wanting to update Facebook friends with a reward for their loyalty and continued attention to both Glorious Times and the underground.
This multi-page spread features a unique story by Lori Bravo of Nuclear Death, previously undiscovered pictures from the era, and the classic zine-style layout which made Glorious Times a hit with the oldschooler crowd as well as new generations looking for an alternative to corporate media.
Jill Funerus, wife and bandmate of Ibex Moon label head and Incantation guitarist John McEntee, and composer of songs for Funerus along with McEntee and Sam Inzerra on drums, has been diagnosed with a heart attack in response to recent health problems.
Funerus began in the early 1990s in Pennsylvania as a Swedish death metal-influenced doom-death band. Jill Daily, who uses the stage name Jill Funerus, went on to become the bassist for this band influenced by Entombed, Bolt Thrower, Obituary and Carcass.
After terminating in 1994, the band resurrected itself with a new line-up in the early 2000s, and with the help of John McEntee (Ibex Moon/Incantation), rose again in a new form and began gigging. The band are known for being professional and easy-going at the same time, in addition to making crushing grinding doomy music.
Our thoughts are will Jill, John and their family and friends at this time.
Suppose that you’re a dying society (“the human race was dying out / no one left to scream and shout” – the Doors) and that you decide to give it one last hurrah. To try honesty instead of manipulation.
You might come up with punk music. It strips out everything that reeks of manipulation. The good production, gone; the complex chords, gone; any pretense of musicianship, out the window.
But then people realize that you’re going about it backward. You can’t change your methods to change your goal. You have to change your goal. That means you’re thinking about composing music in a new way, not just how you’re going to play differently with something rather familiar.
This lets loose the dogs of war.
No longer is music carved from a known pattern; the song is the pattern, and it obeys no rule other than its content. Face value is made secondary to internal value. Like it is in human, whether we have souls or not.
Musically, punk’s first wave hadn’t been all that far removed from regular rock’n’roll. “God Save the Queen,” with its hummable melody and simplistic chord changes, is clearly a relation, albeit distant, of Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones. The difference is in the attitude, in Johnny Rotten’s adenoidal snarl.
Discharge’s revamped version of punk bore little resemblance to anything that had come before. It was faster, harsher, and often almost entirely lacking in melody. The riffs were generally three-chord affairs, but they were played at warp speed, accompanied by a rumbling bass and a merciless, galloping drumbeat. The songs rarely topped the two-minute mark. As Garry Maloney, who drummed on some of the band’s best recordings, explained to a ‘zine called Trakmarx, “We just embraced speed—the concept—not the drug—took it to its logical limit.”
Away went the blues scale, playing in uniform musical measures, and having pop song format work for you. Instead, the new vision was the lawless chromatic scale, a lack of key and thus of soaring bridge and chorus, or even any fixed song format. It was repetition made into its own undoing, a type of ambient music made from noise.
Rock ‘n’ roll died with Discharge. Others, like Amebix and The Exploited, followed. On US shores the Cro-Mags and thrash (DRI, COC, Cryptic Slaughter, Dead Horse, Fearless Iranians From Hell) further put metal into punk. With metal’s phrasal riffs and punk’s lack of structure, music got closer to ancient times.
Suddenly, the melody determined the song, and since the songs were topical, the melody was determined by the idea. Like ancient Greek dramas, where the chorus sang poetry as the story was acted out on stage, the new punk-metal hybrid entered the world of motifs and mimetic meaning, where art imitates life to tell the story of a journey or adventure and how it changed those who sallied forth.
The end of the second song, nearly eight minutes in, elicited a weak cheer, a few claps, and a robust chant of “D.R.I.”—a local thrash band on the rise, which had played earlier that night.
This was the new legion, thrash and underground metal (death metal and black metal), and it ushered in a new era. Where music was plain-spoken like punk, but mythological like metal. Where it took metal’s criticism of human behavior and used that to explain punk’s extreme political dissidence. Where people started looking at what they’d die for instead of what they’d live for.
Since that time, metal and punk have both gone through many generations. None have gotten very far from those originals who broke free however. They had to destroy before they could create and, when the dust of destruction and subsequent self-destruction finally settles, creation will begin anew.
This intensely rhythmic music is strong in its level of energy and ability to make songs that trap and redirect that energy, creating the “oh wow” effect of complex riffs interactions that expand context with subsequent changes, causing a sensation like discovering new passageways in an ancient building.
The Next is like a roller coaster in that while you whisk through it, and while there are many fast twists and turns, the territory is ultimately very similar. Serocs understand how to link riffs together in a powerful way and differentiate these songs by riff-grouping and unique themes and motifs to each. However, the underlying mechanics are similar.
This accusation could be leveled at the deathgrind genre as a whole because the techniques used to make it and the speeds at which it executes itself require such fast fingerwork that chromatic charges and string-skipping are necessary conveniences. Serocs avoid the worst of this tendency by forcing each song to have its own format, tempo changes and some degree of melody.
High-speed blasting marks each track and like the roller coaster of our metaphor, lifts up the listener so that a rhythm drop or melodic hook can send them falling downward. These intense dynamics drive a need to combine riffs and make them emerge in some other direction so the roller coaster can begin its ascent again.
Deep guttural vocals propel The Next to a posture of enjoyment among fans of deathgrind and extreme death metal. Modernizing influences have been kept to a minimum, which gives this album the full-bore coherence it needs to channel its intensity. While the tenets of the genre may drive most away, Serocs acquits itself well and will join the secondary echelon of bands like Scythe and Disgorge.
Creating within the style of old school percussive death metal, Necrotic Disgorgement add in the catchier rhythms of deathgrind and know when to break songs for melodic detours that add hook to these relentlessly rhythmic songs.
Documentaries of Dementia builds in the style of later Suffocation, with frequent tempo changes, and frenetic drum buildups followed by proto-breakdowns, layered in choppy riffs made from intricate textures. They tend toward a higher-energy version with near-constant blasts in many songs, but know when to drop out of linear blast and vary things up a bit.
Unlike Suffocation, Necrotic Disgorgement has another decade of deathgrind to draw from and elicits some of the extremities from that influence. Among those are slightly more friendly lead guitar that sometimes even gets bluesy, absurdist riffs thrown in amongst the blast, and a tendency to be relentless where Suffocation would have brought the song to a peak and mellowed. The problem with any kind of uniformity is that it norms quickly and loses its intensity.
Necrotic Disgorgement keep this release raging with diligent riffcraft and the ability to cut the stream of riffs into songs, and then crest it with elements of other metal genres. This provides a complete package that, if you can stand the incessant blast and percussive riff medleys, provides a deathgrind experience of greater power than the norm for this genre.
Artist Dan Seagrave, whose works adorned the cover of classic death metal bands like Morbid Angel, Suffocation, Entombed and Pestilence, sells prints of the art uses for these classic covers. This means the underlying image, without the logo and title.
Seagrave has begun offering the art from the Morbid Angel album Altars of Madness as a large format limited edition of 99 prints and ten artist proofs. Printed on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Pearl, the prints measure 28 inches to a side and are specially made to order for $350 each plus shipping.
In addition, he’s offering the art from the Suffocation album Effigy of the Forgotten in the same size for $270 each in an edition of 450 on Somerset Velvet matte stock paper. He cites the increased cost of printing on high-quality paper as the reason for the rise in price for this longstanding favorite.
In the 1980s, the big news was metal-punk hybrids. Now it’s metal-rock hybrids, specifically alternative rock and then its less sarcastic ancestor, indie rock.
Arthouse Hours combines 1970s art rock with 1990s indie rock and throws in stitches of metal riffing to keep the whole thing urgent. Over this, dreamy high-pitched vocals blend with soaring background sounds to create a dreamlike audience not unlike an updated version of The Velvet Underground.
All For One keeps energy high with constantly changing riff forms and textures but still manages to pull out sweet melodic hooks in choruses. With its protean texture, this album creates an experience of delirium that allows these different riffs to meld together elegantly.
The only vital gap is that it is unclear what this band hopes to portray except the experience of being drunk in an afterhours coffeehouse talking about art. Having more of a point of view and less participation might organize it internally as well as externally.
Standout elements are the aforementioned outer-space vocals and the well-studied guitars which are able to allude to, without citing from, forty years of art-rock and shredder delights. It will be interesting to see where this band develops on its subsequent releases.