Saturday, September 29, 2012

Interview: Plastic Gods

"Glacial rock", this is the category for which they lump themselves in, which sees itself blending doom, drone, and blues driven sludge with a predilection for psychedelic atmospherics. A washed haze painted in a myriad of hues swallowed in bone crushing glacial rock (get behind the term, Plastic Gods aren't fucking around). I decided to bother Ingó, the vocalist and cosmic wizard of Plastic Gods, though, he also covers throat duties for Ophidian I (whom I interviewed weeks back here), Bastard and Severed Crotch (back when they were still a band and kicking ass). So you see, this is just the man to talk to. Read on fuckos!

I'm sorry for the lack of banner that I normally create for such things, I do not have access to my usual Adobe Illustrator to spew my 'creativity' on. Truth is, I'm in a cafe in Iceland right now using one of my buddies ancient Macbooks (I swear it's from the prehistoric period), I know I know, I'm a dedicated dude. I'll be in Europe for another 37 days or so, which means I'll have to find ways of keeping up with posts. I have no intentions of abandoning you dudes, keep with me, I love you, madly, deeply, truly.

•  •  •

1) "Fuck, KICK IT!" let's get right down to it… Is Plastic Gods architected to be most enjoyable while intoxicated in some form? Are there hidden passages to be discovered in this altered state?

Definitively best enjoyed while in some sort of state of inhebriation. Yeah just listen to our debut album high as a kite repeatedly and you will most certainly find some cosmic gratification.

2) Ingó, you're pretty much the godfather of extreme vocals in Iceland, how the fuck do you do it? How many times have you played multiple shows in a night?

I guess I've just been doing this for such a long time that I don't really think about it all that much anymore haha. The hardest thing isn't really all the growling, it's more hard finding the time to rehearse and devote myself to all my projects wholeheartedly. I try to organize things in such a way that shows with different bands don't go down on the same date, but there have been plenty of times where I've had to pull double duty!

3) How do you guys handle the obstacle of spreading your music beyond the ears of in Iceland?

That's an area where we really need some improvement. We are all pretty handicapped when it comes to the whole viral thing, but doing this interview is one way, right? 

4) What is the main ingredient to Plastic Gods relatively infamous intense live performances?

We think it would probably be the way that we are all usually in such a state that we just kind of space out and connect with the music and each other. We feed of the energy of the audience and vice versa. It really is an uplifting sight to see people banging their heads, crowd-surfing and moshing like crazy to crushing doom riffs and desert rock grooves.

5) The internet can be a cruel bastard to bands trying to start out and make a name for themselves. Do people like me normally become 'the enemy' or can blogs like this one be a welcomed beacon of 'getting the word out? 

A welcome beacon for sure. Except if you talk shit about us, but then again if you were we'd probably be doing something wrong. As we mentioned earlier we really need to get with the times and utilize all the amazing ways the internet offers promotional opportunities. So to answer your question we think that the internet is a great resource for new bands to get discovered.

6) Here's an uncreative textbook question: What 3 bands influenced Plastic Gods sound most?

Cephalic Carnage, Iron Monkey & Black Sabbath, these bands really got our attention when we started playing music and helped us set the form we wanted to play.

7) With music like Plastic Gods, where emphasis is placed on bone crushingly slow/tense build-up, do you feel that the listener needs to be patient in order to fully feel Plastic Gods true impact? 

Our emphasis isn't always on slow bone crushing music, it really depends what kind of show we are playing, often we want to be to the point and just rock hard and fast but when we play our doom people most of the time have to give us some patience to fully get into what we're playing.

8) Plastic Gods is playing this years Iceland Airwaves, what does an opportunity like that mean for the band?

The biggest gain is that it entitles us to apply for support from Icelandair to go abroad and play. Hopefully it also means that some foreign spectators will attend and we're hoping to get some media exposure as well. We'll make sure to advertise our gigs to the best of our ability when the time comes.

9) The song "Birth" on the Self-Titled album is over 14 minutes long, with over 12 and a half minutes of molasses paced tension that can't help but put the listener in a hazy trance. When you play this song live, do you cut the build-up short? 

We actually haven't played it live all that often, but when we have it has usually just served as an intro to our show. And yes we do shorten it considerably.

10) Pretend I am a (7 foot, 300 pound) warrior. Who in Plastic Gods stands the best chance to beat me in a drinking game? Who stands the best chance in an arm-wrestling competition? Lastly, who would defeat me in a hot-dog eating contest?

Hahaha. In a drinking game it would probably be either me (Ingó) or Dagur (just contact us if you wanna play!). The arm-wrestling would probably have to be either Dagur or Erling. As for the hot-dogs we don't recommend you challenge anyone of us.

11) If you were to get a lyrical fragment from a Plastic Gods song tattooed on your kneecap which one would you get?

Dagur: "Dreamfilled patterns make the bowl. At 20 past we free our souls" 

12) What is one thing about the Icelandic culture that pisses you off most?

Ingó: For me it's probably the attitude that a lot of icelanders have thinking that no matter how fucked they are they tend to think that everything will just be alright, without them actually having to lift a finger to make it so.

Dagur: We are a nation of hicks, rapists and drunks and we try to deny our origin Vikings weren't the nicest as you could imagine, eye for an eye was actually legal and these people have to get their heads out of their asses and get out of denial so we can progress as a proper nation. Im not saying that everyone is like this but we have a real problem with our identity.

13) I have no tickets to the sold out Airwaves festival, how impossible would it be to sneak me into the Plastic Gods set?

What are you willing to do? Let's talk...

14) What changes musically did you guys go through during the period after Quadriplegics to the self-titled released 3 year later? What inspired this change?

Well... actually most of the material on our self titled album was written before and during the songs on Quadriplegic, our first release. Both albums really represent the birth of Plastic Gods and the importance of these two albums for us defining our sound and the width of different styles of rock we want to play. We think since that material there's been more of a change and it will be apparent on our upcoming albums.   

15) How do you keep your vocals in tip-top shape, being a vocalist for 4 different bands must require some monk like training. Do you have any home remedy techniques? (Or does straight bourbon keep the pipes flowing?)

It does take quite a toll, but for me it's all about keeping in practice. When I rehearse and perform regularly I stay in shape. Excessive smoking and drinking tends to impair me, so I do my best to keep it to a minimum around shows. well... that's a lie.

Thanks Ingó and the dudes in Plastic Gods for kicking fucking ass, and thank you for taking the time to do this.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ladybird - Demo 2012

Just in case you were having a good day I give you Ladybird's 2012 demo, which will reach into your heart and shit down your soul with its heavier than a dump-truck full of dead baby's doooooom.
Why of course it's reefer encrusted, it seems as though getting high and doom metal are the best of friends.

Drenched in reverb with riffs that groove and thunder lazily through a chasm of molasses paced drone … a big 'fuck you' to a polished aesthetic proudly adorns each track! It's beautiful, like the inside of a toilet bowl at your local Wal-Mart. It's sloppy because it wants to be, it's unrefined because fuck you, and it shits on everything because it can.

Download (name your price, even if it's $00.00 asshole)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Kokomo - If Wolves (2011)

Kokomo make use of no words. They speak through instrumentation in a whirring blend of ambient post-rock, and boy do they speak LOUDLY. It's as if you are watching the world end from a birds eye view… it feels bigger than you, it's beautifully somber and bleak and you can't look away.

The bread and butter of If Wolves is the atmosphere, a dizzying hypnotic drone of palpable emotion, it all feels profound and you can't understand it, you just feel it. Maybe you don't, but maybe you're vanilla as fuck. Listen to it for yourself, if you don't once become entrenched in a series of thoughts, or feel the unsettling yet uplifting ambiance through your blood, check your pulse - you're dead.

 If Wolves (Zippyshare)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Between The Buried And Me - The Parallax II: Future Sequence (2012)

Are you completely fucking hassled into liking BTBAM? Perhaps just exhausted of all the hype and praise they adorn? OR maybe you just miss the past, when they had a simpler (less pretentious?) approach… It's not as if they weren't always complex or musically talented, we knew that as soon as we heard their impressive floor recording (I can't find the evidence that backs this up) self titled.

BTBAM has never really been guilty of putting out anything bad, nor do they fall into the category of bland or uninspiring. They demand your full attention, some songs require many listens before they no longer feel blurry or a carbon copy of the previous.

•  •  •

Alas, a change has been made! The Parallax II: Future Sequence wears 12 tracks proudly, more than any other previous release. A perfect harmony of longer tracks, shorter tracks and ethereal interludes comprise the colossal beast that spans around 71 minutes. We enter the parallax chambers, which apparently is a cosmic rift of progressive metal with a penchant for theatrics and eccentrics. Gone are the days of the diverse unpolished archaic bellows of Tommy (listen to "More of Myself to Kill" 00:45 - 01:15) or the NWOBHM howls in "Aspirations" (02:35) and yes even the shrieks buried under noise (listen to "Lost Perfection: Anablephobia" 02:25) that are familiarly found within ambient black metal. It's gone, all gone.

The band has obviously found their niche and they have worked hard at creating a sound they can call their own. It's very much audible, every instrument can be heard clearly in a polished and refined production that has been becoming increasingly apparent since Alaska. Is this direction a good thing? It depends who you ask.

Get it here before the parasites inevitably take it down. (320Kbps) (taken down)

(Allow me to alleviate some guilt by saying, if you really like it, pick up the CD, they are usually reasonably priced. I know, I'm the parasite.)

We Had A Deal - Dialectics (2012)

If you're the kind of dicksmith that doesn't dig some genuine hardcore turn your attention away from this post…I pity the fool. We Had A Deal is a German hardcore band that blends an infectious variety of hardcore with nuances of 90's screamo (think Alpinist or Grand Griffon).

It's jam packed with contagious energy, it's extremely ambitious and it doesn't fucking slip up or disappoint once. I was taken aback upon my first listen through, sitting in silence after finishing it thinking 'holy fuck shit, I didn't expect to like that album as much as I did. Round 2… fight!'. I know an album has truly appealed to my interests when I finish listening to the album all the way through only to play it again right after.

Fuck this is good. You know what's even more rad? These fucking awesome dudes want you to have it for free, despite having a righteous 12" vinyl! (Definitely picking one up when I have the monetary gain)

Get it here, shiiiet
bandcamp/12" vinyl

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Acid Witch - Witchtanic Hellucinations (2008) + Stoned (2010)

 Acid Witch

Summer is fucking ending, the days are getting shorter while the nights grow longer - with this comes fall, with fall comes colourfull trees looking ablaze, and with autumn approaching we look to albums that fit this imagery.

Which albums come to mind? A host of albums nail down this vibe, but right off the bat I think of quintessential albums like Drudkh's "Autumn Aurora", Kroda's "Cry To Me River…", Agalloch's "The Mantle", Neun Welten's "Destrunken", Nàttsòl's "Stemning" among many others. Though, an unlikely beast stands tall within the predominately folky metal ilk. Acid Witch deliver a kaleidoscope of pigeon shit grimy doom, imbedded deeply into everything hallucinogenic and psychedelic… perfect for Halloween.

Through a smoky haze you are smothered by doom laden with hash-encrusted riffs, gurgling vocals and a blurry production giving everything a textural tone. Both albums are a fun listen, not like listening to Kvelertak on Splash Mountain fun, but carving pumpkins, watching old horror movies, playing the board game Nightmare and huffing hallucinogenics fun.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Veils - Clarity EP (2012)

I fucking always feel like such a sucker when I miss out on righteous albums fresh off the release vine. This one among them, titled Clarity, by Veils of Cornwall, England - released January 30, 2012.

What do we have here? I'll tell you what we have, we have some brilliantly emotive and powerful female-fronted hardcore with it's roots sunk deep in 90's screamo. This is what music sounds like when you are still playing for passion, it sounds genuine, it feels authentic, and most importantly gripping. It has unsettling qualities, the energy is like a funeral… dark, angry, upset, broken down and weathered. The vocals are shrewd and 110% convincing of the emotion, the guitar tones battle each other in a downward brooding spiral while the drums provide the funeral march.

Listen to the song "Caves (Anxiety)", you'll know exactly what I mean. Turn it up loudly and relish in the ensuing chasm of shear emotion and energy - halfway through, the song erupts like a volcano that is trying to rid itself of all its magma, it's heavy, feral and passionate… shit.

* The band has since changed their name to Vales for legal reasons

Clarity (Zippyshare)
12" Vinyl (sold out)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Interview: Alda

Let me get one thing out of the way before moving on, I really fucked up last year on my 2011 year end list by not including Alda's Tahoma… a lot of people did. It humbly flew under the radar of everyone's shit smelling noses and we all look stupid because of it. Tahoma should/could replace Wolves In The Throne Room's Celestial Lineage on any year end lists without any scoffs or qualms - for it is a more cohesive, organic, and overall convincing album. I said it, I stand behind it, deal with it. 

It is important to note that the band as a whole is credited for the answers instead of one particular member, everyone contributed which is great. Some will be credited individually however depending on the question. I thank them for getting together and answering these questions in detail, to you I would suggest listening to Tahoma while reading along… it's free download on their bandcamp.

•  •  •

1) "Tahoma" truly succeeds in creating a portal of vast and dense atmosphere, sending the listener into the depths of the wilderness, surrounded by bulking conifers and mountainscapes. How important was it to try and bring the listener into this imagery?

It is important to us to try and accomplish this for sure, and we like hearing about folks picking that up when they listen to our music. For us Black Metal has always been about creating a self-contained world within the sound and general aesthetics of it, and transporting the listener to that world, in our case it being the vision of Nature we experience and our embodiment within it, and everything that comes along with that.
But there are also fundamental elements of music that are entirely emotive, and move the recipient of the music in ways that transcend any kind of defined imagery or ideology. It can get pretty abstract when you think about it, so as an artist it is best just to do your thing and accept the diversity of ways that people experience and interpret music.

2) Look within yourself, which animal is your spirit animal? Why that animal?

Jace: The Elk and the Salmon are always in my dreams.

Stephanie: The Fox and the Wolf.

Michael: There are many Animal beings that have influenced me. The Raven, the Coyote and the Owl are some I’ve had close encounters with, and have affected me.

Tim: The Hummingbird – go like hell and die young.

3) I'd like to think that bands who so powerfully convey the essence of nature in their sound are truly outdoorsmen, and I get a kick out of imagining that the band will write and develop songs while gathered around a bonfire in a forest somewhere. Does Alda ever head into the woods to gather inspiration, to fully encapsulate the raw nature of… well nature?

We get a kick out you asking us that question because this is a subject we think about often, the relationship between a band’s subject matter and their lifestyle. We do go out into wilderness as a group sometimes, and we certainly do individually. We used to camp together pretty much every weekend and go on some pretty great adventures as a group, but our respective schedules and routines have changed a bit, so it’s less frequently a group thing these days. So basically we don’t bring our instruments out into the woods all that often anymore, but our time spent out in the wilder world does directly inform our music. 

Although we’re all involved in wilderness activities on some level, the truest lifestyle outdoorsman in our crew is really Jace, who is a pretty serious fisherman and a practitioner of traditional bow-hunting. He’s the guy who spends the most time out in the wilderness out of all of us, occasionally camping for weeks at a time, and is probably the one who draws the rawest inspiration from nature, as he particularly requires time out amongst the wilderness to uncover his inspiration to create music.

4) I hiked the Appalachian Trail a couple months ago, and made sure to listen to tunes that fit the scenery that was surrounding me, among my choice was "Tahoma". So my question is this; does it ever give you guys a kick to think that your music may be inspiring others while they are in the great outdoors? Or do things of that nature not matter as much, so long as it's being enjoyed?

From our point of view, if our music conjures up visions of the wilderness or inspires the listener to go out and experience the wild world, than we have successfully communicated as artists on that level and we think it’s really cool that some people resonate with it in that way. But when it comes down to it, music is a very subjective thing, and it would be arrogant and narrow-minded of us to set a specific criteria for how we think our music should be experienced. In a sense, even if someone is simply sitting in their downtown flat and letting the music carry them to a space of introspection and enjoyment, then we have also successfully communicated as artists, and in a roundabout way the very experiences that inspire us are still speaking to the listener, even if they’re not aware of it or care very much about what we’re talking about.

5) The ending to Shadow Of The Mountain is magnificent. Can you explain everything that is going on, between the chanting, fire crackling and what seems to be an animal call that I can't quite put my finger on?

Magnificent as it may be, we cannot take credit for it because it is a sample culled from the Japanese/Russian film Dersu Uzala, which was created and directed by Akira Kurosawa in the 1970’s.  This is one of our favorite films as well as being a very moving true story of a nomadic Nanai hunter in the Siberian Wilderness, and his relationship with a Russian exploratory team in the early twentieth century. The scene that the sample originates from depicts Dersu, alone and singing and making offerings of carved wood and Vodka to a fire. As he sings, the forest responds to him, and he listens and reacts in synergy with what is around him. The captain of the Russian exploration team, Vladimir Arsinev, watches him and later asks to sit by him. 

Dersu explains to him that his family died of smallpox in that very location years before, and that he is making offerings to them. You’d really have to see the movie to put it all in context. We deeply resonated with this story during the creation of this recording, and wanted include a piece of it in the album because Dersu’s story is very much related to the kinds of things we are addressing in our music. We placed it as a bridge between Shadow of the Mountain and Wandering Spirit, the latter being an offering to a close friend of ours who took his own life during the creation of the album.

6) If you had the power to bring one folklore creature to life which would it be?

Stephanie: It’s a toss-up between Trolls and Goblins, or Dragons maybe.

Michael: Trolls, they being the wrathful and cunning spirits of those wild places where Christians fear to tread. But all creatures of the old lore are cool.

Jace: I love Trolls, but Goblins and Orcs would be awesome... I could slay them indiscriminately with no remorse.

Tim: Bigfoot. It might help explain a few things.

7) I found this picture on the bands Facebook page, can you give us the story behind it and explain its use and significance?

That is a picture our friend Nadine took of the altar we construct at our shows. It’s something we’ve done since the very first show we played as Alda. The idea is to bring a piece of the forest, a representational piece of wildness into these performance spaces that are typically located in a very urban environment, such as Seattle. The altar is a circle of old-growth Douglas Fir bark which encloses young evergreen branches that we usually gather the day of the show, which in this photo are Hemlock. The skull in the center is a Coyote who was killed locally by a hunter in a way we found reprehensible, and so we decided to honor the animal in our own way and ritualistically use its remains as part of our shows. The bone above it is from a Blacktail Deer that we found in a hollow tree.

8) As per usual, let's discuss the album art behind "Tahoma". (I had a SHOM reader mention in the comments it could depict sockeye salmon before the mating ritual), what is it that is being depicted, and what is its significance within the album?

In order to place the symbolism of the cover painting in context we’re going to have to describe the history and concept of the album a bit. Tahoma is the Native Puyallup name for what is now referred to as Mount Rainier, an enormous volcano that completely dominates the landscape of the region, and the word translates to “Mother of the Waters”. The glaciers on the slopes of Mount Tahoma feed the rivers of the south Puget Sound region, and these rivers are truly the life’s-blood of the local ecology. They feed into the ocean and provide an entry for the salmon runs that are essential for the health of the region. 
Now, the ecology of this region has been seriously fucked with since advent of modern civilization in the Pacific Northwest, with nearly all of the forests being carved up and claimed by the timber industry, rivers being dammed, important natural predators being eradicated and the water life such as the Salmon being seriously abused by over-fishing and pollution. But the mountain still stands pretty much untouched, because the raw power of its very nature is currently far beyond the reach of the human hand. It still stands as it once was, and its glaciers continue to feed the rivers of the very lands that are ravaged in its shadow.

The cover artwork (which is an oil painting by Michael’s sister Naomi Korchonnoff) depicts the flow of the river from the mountain. In our original cassette release the concept was presented by a succession of pictures we had taken along with some poetic verse that was included in a drop-card, but for the re-release we kind of condensed it into a single image. The fish on the cover do look like Sockeye Salmon, which is not really biologically accurate to the region (Silver Salmon would be what you’d see in the rivers here), but the red-color of the Sockeye is metaphorically-placed to portray the river as the blood-vein of the forest. Salmon are an essential species of the region. 
They are born in the rivers, swim to the oceans where they live their life and later return to the rivers they were born in to spawn their young, during which and after they die and are consumed, giving nutrition to the flora and fauna of the land. On the bottom left corner of the painting there is a human skull amongst the riverbed, with a fish-skeleton protruding from its mouth. This reflects our view of human beings – that we, in the big picture are simply animals participating in the flow of natural forces. In our arrogance we forget that our bodies, in life and death feed the things we claim dominion over, and that we are completely integrated with and dependent on the cycles of these forces. We are elements of the incarnated dance of life and death in Nature.

9) If you were to be stranded in the wilderness for four days, with nothing but a dull hatchet, basic survival kit and a magical iPod with unlimited battery juice but could only fit five albums on it, which five albums would you choose and why?

Jace would probably try and use the iPod cord as a snare to catch something to eat, and we’d probably be listening to the forest more than anything. But as far as the music we’d listen to anytime… the early Ulver stuff for sure, particularly Bergettat and Kveldsangger. The first several Drudkh albums. The works of Hank Williams senior. Agalloch’s The Mantle. Vradiazei’s Return to the Forest. Windir, probably any album. Fearthainne, and the Elemental Chrysalis’s Dark Path to Spiritual Expansion. Sorry, we just can’t boil it down to five albums between all of us.  

10) What is something about todays society that you just can't wrap your head around?

We see people doing aggravatingly stupid shit pretty much every time we step outside or read the news, and we could certainly go on about it. Much of it couldn’t be said to be strictly modern problems either, as so much of what goes on has its roots in antiquity. But who are we to point fingers? We have strong feelings and convictions about life and how we want to live it, but we don’t have all the answers and we have our flaws. We all contribute and are part of the very worst qualities of modern life, in varying degrees. Whether or not the bullshit human beings are doing with their time in this age is an evolutionary inevitability is a philosophical question that has no clear objective answer, and is probably a waste of time to obsess over. It’s best to stay focused on creative action and keep a clear head about your values, because wallowing in negativity leads to personal stagnation, and then you’re living out an equally ridiculous existence to that of the very people you despise.

11) You guys drive that outdoorsy vibe through a more natural organic approach where as some other bands go for a more 'in your face' sound, incorporating traditional instrumentation or keyboard soundscapes. (Like Kroda or Borknagar) How do you feel about the bands that take the other route, do you still like it, or are you more of a purist mind?

We’re into some of those kinds of bands, including the two you mentioned, but it really doesn’t come naturally for us to create that kind of music. We’re not actually too technically-proficient as musicians… what we do is probably pretty literally the most we are capable of in the moment. We have a kind of simplistic jam-band approach to our music in some ways, and try to keep it gracefully simple and folkish, which is the sound that we like the best and feel the most natural creating. Although taking a synth-heavy approach is not aesthetically what we are going for, we have no real opinion regarding those who do, depending on how they use the tools available to them. Many of the Black Metal bands we’re into have different approaches to this music than we do.

 12) "Tahoma" has shown Alda's style and sound evolve vastly from the days of the self-titled release in 2009. What has taken place in the band to create this transformation?

The songs featured on our first full-length and demo were written between ’07 and ’09, when we were still honing our craft, still refining our understanding of ourselves and our beliefs, and when we were still recovering scumbags. It’s been a hard, weird road to maturity (a road we’re still on), and the quality of an artist’s craft is deepened by introspection and discipline. When it actually came down to recording the self-titled album in 2009 we had already written and were performing versions of the songs In the Wake of an Iron Wind and Tearing of the Weave, but recognized that these vestigial songs were best documented when we had the time and correct space to really focus on them, which turned out to be a pretty good call. 

Our first album really could have been far more developed than it was, but back then we just simply weren’t disciplined enough, and even then most of us were pretty dissatisfied with that recording because we knew we were capable of much more than we gave. Regardless of its flaws however, that record does stand as a good kind of “opening statement” and basic summary of our ideas, musically and ideologically. 

Our first album was also recorded in a more professional studio that we weren’t very comfortable in, and was recorded and mixed in its entirety within two days, whereas much more time was spent on Tahoma as well as it being a home-recording, which was much more conducive for getting down to what we really wanted to make. We have our friend Nate Myers to thank for that, who spent a lot of time with us recording and mixing it, and who patiently and creatively helped us manifest our vision of what were yearning to create. So really it all comes down to time, self-reflection and discipline.

13) The floor toms sound like a tribal war drum summoning a rallying cry, it's use is often and quite fantastic, what effect does this have in significance to the album?

The drum is described in some traditions as the Shaman’s horse, the pulse that carries the consciousness to the spirit world. The trancelike-approach to drumming used in indigenous traditions from around the world are an influence, yes, and the blast-beat style of rhythm that characterizes Black Metal can be assistive in creating a kind of meditative and trance-inducing technique, depending on how the song is put together. The sonic attributes you mentioned are definitely a motivation for playing the drums that way, but additionally Michael uses a rather simple five-piece drum kit and he doesn’t use double-kick drum when he plays, so full and creative use of this somewhat minimalistic setup is necessary to accentuate the rhythmic momentum of the music.

14) I honestly struggle to find any flaws in "Tahoma", if you could go back and change anything about the album would you? Is there an element that you think may be amiss?

It’s hard to answer that question objectively, because we’ve all spent an absurd amount of time buried in that album and we’re pretty intimate with its flaws. But we’re pretty satisfied with it, and it has been about two years since recording it, so it doesn’t make sense to nit-pick at this point. But the album is far from perfect to us – it is merely a closer representation of what we’re shooting for.

15) The genre of black metal is an elitist one, it almost has to be to remain in its "pure form". Is it ever a daunting task creating music that is aligned within the genre that can tear you apart quicker than a pack of wolves?

It isn’t ever daunting to us because whether or not we’re staying true to the specifics of the genre really has no influence on our music. Also, the social politics of music scenes are really quite hilarious and should never be taken too seriously. What is most important is honest expression in one’s art and staying true to yourself, and there will always naysayers no matter what you do, so it’s best not to put yourself on a pedestal, as well as being able to tell the difference between constructive criticism and shit-talking. 
We’re not making music with the intention of being strictly any kind of genre. Much of what we do comes out as Black Metal because we feel that is the best way to express what we feel we need to get out. That, and we’ve been huge fans of it since our adolescence and the whole culture and aesthetic approach have become part of who we are artistically. So maybe we just haven’t matured very much as people in some ways, since we’re basically doing the same thing we did as kids.

16) The world ends tomorrow, which five albums are at the top of your list for 2012?

It’s too soon to answer a question like that, honestly. But we’d like to give a heads up regarding some music our friends are making that we think people should listen to in the upcoming year and beyond. Check out the Nulla Cur and Will O’ the Wisp albums via Eternal Warfare Records, Blood of the Black Owl’s Light the Fires!, and the long-expected album Avifauna by Fauna, which was supposed to be out last year, and should emerge this year.

the end. (thanks for reading)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Blut Aus Nord - 777: Cosmosophy (2012)

So many new releases, so little time. Behold, this one is fresh off the leaked belt, so you can feel extra scummy for picking it up early. Just fucking kidding, it's guilt free because I say so. Download it, put the music in your ears, if you like it, you have the right to decide on acquiring it from the band if you so choose.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Oblivionation - Demo 2012

I'm swamped with things to do, so I'm sending you over to Halifax Collect to grab the Oblivionation demo, it's fucking mandatory that you do. No really, it's angrier than a group of vegans inside of an Arby's. Dig in here.

Monday, September 10, 2012

LOGN - Í Fráhvarfi Ljóss, Myrkrið Lifnar Við (In depth review)

I recently did a review for my pal Birkir over at Halifax Collect, I went in-depth on Logn's "Í Fráhvarfi Ljóss, Myrkrið Lifnar Við"… below is a small except from it, I suggest grabbing the album, enjoying it, and reading the words on your screen.

- This young (albeit mature in sound) band hailing from Iceland's capital, Reykjavík, set out to assail your auditory meatus with a cornucopia of musical influences. Audible throughout the unpronounceable album Í fráhvarfi ljóss, myrkrið lifnar við (say that 5 times fast - Icelanders, you can't play) is a palatable blend of crust, grind, hardcore, d-beat and nuances of death metal and sludge that take form in a muddied, non-polished aesthetic. A grizzly host of dark and pissed off tracks that seamlessly teeter in an out of pace, one moment being lulled into a foreboding melancholy that suddenly shifts the calm of the storm and your back on your ass being barraged by a flurry of blasts, pummelling riffs and shattering screams. The tone that permeates throughout the entire album gives everything a very woeful personality further enforcing its grittiness - it's presentation is decorated with subtleties that help it escape the clutches of "heard this before"... (click here for full article)

•  •  •

To head to the bands bandcamp, click this fucker. (name your price buckos!)
To waste your time, click here.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Nekrogoblikon - No One Survives (video)

I don't overly care for the incessant cheese-ball factor of Nekrogoblikon, I'm not even sure the band really gives a fuck, and if I wanted cheese I'd go for the real thing… Fairyland. They recently put out a video that is worth watching though, music videos normally make me cringe, this one at least added some laughs, and a half decent looking goblin. Rock on!

Thanks to the band for not incorporating scenes of themselves 'jamming' away on their instruments like dicksmiths in a grim forest.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Body - All the Waters of the Earth Shall Turn to Blood (in-depth)

Haunting [adj]; Remaining in the consciousness; not quickly forgotten. Why the  definition to the word 'haunting'? I'll explain, gather around the hearth children for I will tell the tale of how "All The Waters of the Earth Shall Turn to Blood".

The year is 2010, a robust duo hailing from Rhode Island set out to create the soundtrack of nihilism. An album that is both harrowing and grim in all of its facets; sonically, atmospherically, lyrically, structurally, and yes even visually.

Lyrically outlining the failures of science, humankind, deities and just about everything else negative tinged and forlorn through shrieks that barely pierce through the ensuing chaos, as if the words are being swallowed up and buried under its own instrumentation.

The atmosphere is a swirling wind carrying negative vibes your way, causing an uneasiness through its entirety. The Body doesn't give a fuck about your fragile feelings, in fact, they intend to smash them along with your rather whimsical take on life. Structurally scattered adding to the foreboding nature of the beast, with riffs weaving in and out of the labyrinth of molasses paced drone/doom. The guitars are thick and glacial as the drums beat on in hypnotizing fashion, both seemingly recorded louder than the recording equipment could handle.

What you hear is entirely unique (as unique as something can be while still being influenced), which can be a rarity in todays day and age, but these two burly dudes deliver bizarre soundscapes through a bounty of interesting ways; The Body collaborated with "Assembly of Light" choir group to add their ethereal gospel like chant into a few songs, most notably the opener track  "A Body" where it is used brilliantly to create immense tension for a solid 7 minutes (Demanding patience) until a wall of noise comes crashing in.

There are a number of other oddities that take shape on "All The Waters of the Earth Shall Turn to Blood", in the song "Empty Hearth" which features unusual throat singing and a ongoing nonsensical chant by a religious separatist movement woven throughout the dense sound of guitars and droning drums where its use is edited quite intriguingly. "Song of Sarin, The Brave"  has fragmented quotes from Charles Manson, a man who often goes on these (sometimes brilliant)nonsensical tangents that have manipulating power, it's a suitable voice for misanthropy.

I'll quickly dabble into the visual element, an album cover that only conjures up impenetrably eerie vibes and peculiar intrigue. The two members are shown standing in a barren scenery brandishing guns,… but here's the odd part, they are wearing outlandish garments (I read somewhere that it had something to do with traditional ceremonial wedding garb) that fester up an uneasiness that was surely intended.

Behold, an album that succeeds in just about every way it means to; Create the misanthropic funeral dirge of nihilism, buried in a devastatingly heavy sea of mid-tempo riffing, hypnotic drumming, and unsettling atmosphere through careful layering. The Body will reward patient listeners with fresh frissons of palpable tension and sonic vertigo. This is how all the waters of the earth will turn to blood.

Get it. (thanks to The Elementary Revolt for the download link)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Planks - Funeral Mouth (2012)

I'm seeing this being labelled as death/black metal everywhere, I'm not one to meticulously genre nit-pick, but that doesn't fit what's going on here, I'll fly my own banner and say it has the aforementioned blended in to its sound, but I'm hearing a more down-tempo sludge with a crusty… ugh, fuck this. I'm nit-picking again.

I'm only 7 tracks in as I post this, and I'll be honest, I'm not even sure I like it yet, so far it has had its moments that had my attention and moments where it was just background noise. I can't give this my stamp of approval yet, but since I liked what they offered in 2010 with The Darkest of Grays I will give them the benefit of the doubt and also give you guys the chance to decide for yourselves… much earlier than it's release date which is set in mid October, whoops.

Funeral Mouth (Zippyshare)