Dawning – Mount Um + 1997 Demo (2016)


Another previously unreviewed record judged some of The Best Underground Metal of 2016.

Mount Um + 1997 Demo is a digital anthology collecting what Steve Cefala judged to be Dawning‘s strongest material. Half the run-time (“Side A”) is one new, extended track entitled Mount Um in three parts: “Pilgrimage to Umunhum”, “The Albino Bridge Sacrement”, and a melodic bass outro. Mount Um sounds like Summoning worshiping Emperor‘s In the Nightside Eclipse in a lengthy composition reminiscent of Celtic Frost‘s album work. Ambient fantasy keyboards are perverted into pandemonium as if on an arduous journey of great hardship and loss culminating in a bittersweet victory over the uncaring, vicious forces of nature. Mount Um‘s composition is progressive and profound.

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Rotten Copper Unleashes “Live Among The Ruins” From The Toxic Wasteland Jams

Collapse rock band Rotten Copper emits small blips of its chaos live recording The Toxic Wasteland Jams through obscure pathways. Most recently, the video for the song “Live Among The Ruins” has touched down with a new video. In the video it is the year 2035. The world has crumbled. Only skaters and metal-heads remain. And they are threatened by not just a civilization in decline, but something not entirely human lurking among the dark places of the earth.

The Best Underground Metal of 2016

2016 is over. The funderground mentality continued spreading forth, infesting metal over the last year just the same as it had in the decades past the genre’s artistic high-point in the early nineties. Rehashes of past greats pandering to a lowest common denominator audience continue to dominate the release schedules of metal labels all too willing to please the lemmings with music fit to safely ignore during drunken socializing. Ever-flowing streams of posers are desperate to be rock stars, pumping out plagiarism, and paying their way to record deals. File sharing and streaming reducing the cost of hearing new music to essentially nothing has led fans to constantly consume whatever is new regardless of quality. However the purging is at last at hand. The day of doom is here. The filth who have lied and corrupted the underground must be cleansed while the commendable elite few will remain.

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Steve Cefala Interviewed by Doom-metal.com

Occasional Death Metal Underground contributor and Dawning and Pale Existence mastermind Steve Cefala was interviewed by Doom-metal.com about his No God Only Pain project. Want to read Steve discussing his influences, the corporate metal of Bob Rock and Scott Burns, survivalism, Hillary Clinton, and how the world is moving into a new dark age of uncertainty following the collapse of neoliberalism? Let’s find out!

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Rotten Copper – Toxic Wasteland Jams (2016)

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Former Dawning/Nothing Left composer and periodic Death Metal Underground writer Steve Cefala has unleashed his latest project, an attempt to synthesize metal, industrial, punk and post-apocalyptic roadhouse improvisational rock into a soundtrack for the decline and collapse of human civilization.

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Hate Mail (#8): The Reviewer’s Response to Steve Cefala’s Comment Spam

Article by Lance Viggiano responding to Steve Cefala’s comment spam on Lance’s Sadistic Metal Review of Nothing Left’s demo.

People really need to understand that reviewing – when you aren’t listing the objective qualities of the music – ultimately comes down to the reviewers taste and experience.

The problem is ultimately that our culture cannot discern the difference between values and facts. More specifically, they treat values as if they were factual statements. So, habitually, they lose their shit over contrary irreducibly individual judgements.

I’m sure this guy can find a hundred other metal critics to praise what I think is lack luster. Still, the most embarrassing bit is that a 40 year old man has to resort to trying to fight at the flag pole after school over differences.

Pale Existence posts entire 1995 demo

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Doom/death metal band Pale Existence has posted its complete 1995 demo for posterity. This band arose in the second wave of death metal and was part of the wave of bands experimenting with slower and more atmospheric metal after other branches had gone for speed or riff-labyrinth composition.

Over the years several members of Pale Existence migrated to other bands from the area surrounding their San Jose origin, including Exhumed. wound up in that band. Guitarist Lorin Ashton became the popular DJ/electronic artist Bassnectar.

Personnel
Brian Glover – Drums, obnoxious vocals
Bud Burke- Guitar , vocals
Mark Smith- Brutal low vocals
Lorin Ashton – Guitar and mid range vocals
Steve Cefala- Fretless Bass

Recorded by Bart Thurber on top of Mount Um in 1995.

Pale Existence posts “Dark Tranquility” demo (1994)

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San Jose underground metal band Pale Existence has posted its 1994 demo, “Dark Tranquility,” for those who missed the original tape to hear. Clocking in at just over 20 minutes, it shows influences from death metal, grindcore, the nascent black metal scene and doom metal, all without sabotaging any one of those by trivializing it, instead blending them into a unified voice.

Tracklist:
1. Dismal Paths
2. Dark Tranquility
3. Sickness
4 Impure
5. Subconscious Weeping
6. Visions of the Disconsolate

Personnel:
Mark Smith – vocals
Lorin Ashton – guitar and vocals
Bud Burke – guitar and vocals
Brian Glover – drums and vocals
Steve Cefala – fretless bass

Recorded by Brett Tyson at Studio B in Campbell on January 29 and February 3, 1994.

Nothing Left – “Demo 1999”

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Way back in the halcyon days of 1999, Steve Cefala (Dawning, Pale Existence) joined forces with Mike Beams (Exhumed), Brian Glover (Bred For Slaughter, Pale Existence) and Jon Nedbal (Disembodiment, Bred For Slaughter) to make detuned high-volume death/doom metal. From those sessions emerged this 25 minute demo which owes as much to early grindcore as to death metal and doom metal.

The constant assault of “Demo 1999” calls to mind bands like Mortician that intended to make thunderous slow primitive death metal, and energetic heavy-bass assault grindcore bands like Drogheda. The result alternates between slow grinding passages and picked up two-chord uptempo charges, aiming with these basic songs more to create atmosphere than work in a dozen riffs in the death metal style. Like deathgrind slowed down but without the insistence on utterly basic catchy rhythms, taking more of the Napalm Death approach of making basic rhythms sound alien and unnerving, Nothing Left surges like the pulsing sounds of tanks passing in the night on their way to an apocalyptic battle.

Primarily influenced by Mayhem, Brujeria and Mortician, Nothing Left existed for a few short years. To get their signature sound, the band tuned down almost an octave and played at top volume through two full stacks and giant overdriven bass cabinets, then ran the bass through a DOD Meatbox subharmonic pedal that generates a companion tone two octaves below. The result throbs and hangs in the air like a nuclear blast, rumbling and surging within its slowed-down rhythms. True to its influences, it takes the low-fi primitive grind sound and gives it the expansive atmosphere of black metal while reducing all that it creates to incomprehensible destruction. For those who can confront such a monster, band has made the full demo available on YouTube.