For Those About to Squawk: Waldo’s Pecks of the Week

By: andrew Posted in: a fucking parrot previewing new releases, featured On: Friday, October 19th, 2012

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Happy Halloween, kiddies. We’ve got some spooky stuff lined up for you.

CRADLE OF FILTH release The Manticore and Other Horrors, and you know it’s, like, haunting and stuff. This is pretty gothy, boys and girls, and this one’s a little more punk, meaning the riffs aren’t as complex as some of their past efforts, but by no means is this a punk record. There’s your usual COF stuff–you know, strings, keys, some gothy vocals, some female vocals. This whole album is a bestiary of critters, mostly scary ones . An exploration in dark fairy tales, if you will. One should really know what to expect from these guys by now, as this is their 10th outing. With dirtier production, this would have a little more teeth (see, there’s that scary thread again), but all in all, it’s not bad. This isn’t my cup of tea, really, but passable. Check out Hot Topic and pick this thing up if you want to scare the “norms” in your town; otherwise, just read Grimms’ Fairy Tales and you’ll get the idea. 5 Fucking Pecks.

Do you like your NEUROSIS heavy? Well, check out Honor Found in Decay–it’s been described as their “pinnacle record” and, well, it’s beaking good. Heavy, arty, this lumbering behemoth certainly won’t disappoint. This band continually progresses, constantly burning down the shadows of their former selves to re-create a new lumbering monster; at times this thing seems like it may very well veer out of control, but in the midst of this chaos is a certain beautiful order. I’m sure this will be pecked over like I have mites by the masses, some agreeing, some disagreeing, that this is a good record, but in this birdbrained opine, it’s beaking good. Not their best, but for peck’s sake, they’ve only been around for, like, ever. 7 Fucking Pecks.

BISON B.C. hits us with Lovelessness and I’m digging it. This has a nasty noise rock feel, the vocals reminiscent of Unsane at times. This is definitely one of the best bands in Canada right now. A little less cohesive than their previous releases, but that’s where I think this stands out–it has more variation in the tracks. This band is mean, the production is mean. I pecking dig this. 7 Fucking Pecks.

AND NOW FOR SOME SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION…
Check out this 10-year-old kid reviewing PIG DESTROYER Book Burner, pretty sweet.

Full Album Stream: Blut Aus Nord’s Cosmosophy

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, listen On: Friday, October 19th, 2012

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Look at that picture.  Seriously, stop reading these worthless scrawlings and LOOK UP THERE.  The artwork associated with Blut Aus Nord records has always kicked a certain amount of ass, but a trio of sculptures depicting humans in various anguished poses sprouting branches from every which limb?  Genius.  Pile on the hand-headed snakes and chaotic downward growths of the album’s cover and what’s inside had better be awesome, right?

As with the third section of any trilogy worth its weight in Roman numerals, Cosmosophy isn’t a great point of entry to Blut Aus Nord’s sprawling 777 opus.  The first installment, Sect(s), was twisted black metal all the way to the hilt, albeit a very Blutified version.  The Desanctification came next and damned all post-apocalypse human life to monstrous, dismal torment.  Now Cosmosophy in turn damns the monsters themselves to a miserable starvation when all human flesh has been used up.   Far from sounding tired and repetitive, however, Blut Aus Nord turn in an invigorated performance of oddly perfect percussion, French chanting, full-voiced clean vocals, and chords so sharp you don’t even realize how deep they cut you until you notice your soaked in your own heart-dark blood.

But what was it that Geordi La Forge said when he ditched his visor for a kids’ literacy program?  ”Don’t take my word for it!”  Here’s Cosmosophy in its entirety.  If there’s one French, Godflesh-inspired avant garde finale to a black metal trilogy that you hear this year, make it this one.

ALL THE COLOURS OF THE RAINBOW: AN INTERVIEW WITH GOLDEN VOID

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, interviews, uncategorized, videos On: Thursday, October 18th, 2012

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Golden Void is a band that I stumbled across thanks to the fine fuckers over at Thrill Jockey who pimped them as an outfit inspired by “Sabbath, Hawkwind and rounded out by Robert Fripp, Jimi Hendrix, and even some Can in there as well.” Those of you familiar with the instrumental, psychedelic, Fat Albert-ness (yeah, yeah, dumb reference, but go listen to them and see if you can figure out what I mean) of the band Earthless might recognise that guitarist Isaiah Mitchell is a featured member in both bands. For those of you who don’t recognise Mitchell’s name (he also plays in Howlin’ Rain alongside former Saviours bassist, Cyrus Comiskey) or have absolutely no clue as to what I’m talking about, check out this interview with Mitchell, their new video and, should you be moved to, their forthcoming self-titled album.

First off, what’s the quick and easy story behind the history of Golden Void?
I moved up to the San Francisco Bay Area a few years ago. I reconnected with a couple high school buddies I used to play music with and we started making some noise again. We wanted a keyboard player and my wife plays keys, so she hopped on board. That’s the long and short of it.

Is Earthless still an ongoing prospect and still existing as a band alongside GV?
Earthless is a fully functional group that has been taking some time off. We’re about to go tour Australia in a few months.

You often hear people who play in more than one band claim all the bands they play in are priorities. Despite the best laid intentions, this is impossible. Where does Golden Void fall along the continuum of focus for you in terms of the time you’re able to dedicate to the band?
I agree it’s impossible. Something has to be put on the shelf. I have my priorities and what have you, but when things are mellow, and there has been a good amount of mellow, Golden Void picks up. Also, with the motivation of outside sources who really like the band, we’re able to now block out time for Golden Void to be productive with recording an album or playing shows. So, Golden Void, with all that has been happening building up to the album’s release, has a valid identity as a band amongst Earthless or Howlin’ Rain or whatever. I’d like the band to do something with itself.

How would you characterise Golden Void in comparison to not only Earthless, but also other bands that are similar in sound and aesthetic?
Golden Void is a rock band with the same influences as hundreds of other bands. Pretty straight up rock/pop song formula. I’d say the songs lean towards heavier rock and have some hook-y ear worms in there. Its heavy pop, I guess.

What would you say Golden Void gives you that other bands you’ve played in or with haven’t?
Outside of being the lead singer, which is kind of a first for me, Golden Void lets me explore more melodic expressions using the common “verse/chorus/verse/chorus/solo/chorus or verse/end of song” formula which I really have been enjoying. I’ve spent most of my years playing and recording with Earthless and have really enjoyed that. I love The Band, Neil Young, King Crimson, Black Flag, Black Sabbath, etc. They more or less use that formula I mentioned for a strong portion of their songs. Its great to put a few riffs together, find their voice, and have a song come alive. I really like shorter songs with vocal harmonies and good melody.

Tell us about the writing and recording of the new album. Was it markedly different than how you’ve created other albums you’ve played on? How different is the creative process in GV vs. Earthless?
We wrote the songs over a couple of years. Life has been very busy for each of the band members individually, so we haven’t always rehearsed. Sometimes we’d spend months without rehearsals. We found a time that everyone was able to commit to record. Rehearsed as much as possible and we recorded and mixed the album in four days. When I record for other people it’s usually just me playing guitar and I don’t have to worry about the mix ultimately. Just need to have a good take. Recording the Golden Void album was a lot different than other projects because each song is its own entity with its own set of tones and decorations where as Earthless is pretty straightforward for me, tonally speaking. More or less the switch is always “ON” for Earthless. The creative process is similar for me in regards to Golden Void and Earthless. Find the best sound for the job at hand and have fun while the red light is on. The goal is to capture an inspired take. Sometimes you end up living with the results if time is of the essence. It was a lot more work mixing the Golden Void album than an Earthless album for me because there are a lot more dynamics in Golden Void and you want vocal harmonies to sit in a nice spot complimenting the main vocals and you want the keys to be in the right spot whether they’re matching the guitar with a B3 or complimenting the vocals with a Rhodes.

If you were somehow stuck on the International Space Station and for some ridiculous reason could only bring two Golden Void songs with you, which one would you bring as a way of; 1) best exemplifying your band to your Russian cosmonauts and 2) annoying the fuck out of them the hardest? Why?
To best express what Golden Void sounds like to the Russian cosmonauts I’d share with them “The Curve” because to me that’s the track that explains the band the best with its hard hitting verses and mellow breakdown with a guitar solo. To annoy the cosmonauts I’d show the “Badlands” because it has a minor 4-1-5-1 chord progression popular in Russian traditional music. I could see this annoying the cosmonauts, especially if they were really busy or having a bad day. Also might make them feel more at home….

What are Golden Void’s plans for the near and not-so-near future?
Record release show near future. Write new material, play shows, tour, record another album down the road.

www.facebook.com/goldenvoid

www.thrilljockey.com

Decibrity Playlist: Bison B.C.

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists On: Thursday, October 18th, 2012

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In anticipation of next week’s release of his band’s fourth record Lovelessness, Bison B.C. guitarist/vocalist James Farwell penned one of the most introspective and honest playlists we’ve ever run. He also sent over the following introduction, which is fortunate because we could not have put it any better. Listen along to his picks here.

“Here are ten songs that taught me about honest songwriting. The feelings they invoke inspired, to some degree, the compositions for Lovelessness. These songs have all had a part in showing a light in darkness. Exorcizing poisonous feelings that may have caused agonizing sleepless nights and thoughts of drowning in a bathtub of whiskey. In their sadness, their melancholia, their desperation, they have given themselves, to soothe our own symptoms of existing on the wrong side of the living. Enjoy.”

Neil Young & Crazy Horse—”Cortez The Killer” (from 1975′s Zuma)
“And I know she’s living there, and she loves me to this day, I still can’t remember when or how I lost my way.”
One endless riff, slowly and methodically pulling you into the song. Such subtlety, such a calm build that you almost don’t notice the violence as it rises. A true love song! The definition of bare bones. This song is for everyone I have ever wronged in my life. It is the quintessential lost love song. Love can be violent, even if it exists in some tender moments. Violent, evil bastards fall in love too.

Vic Chesnutt—”Flirted With You All My Life” (from 2009′s At The Cut)
“Tease me with your sweet relief. You are cruel and you are constant.”
It’s like a tropical, whimsical death march. Euthanasia in paradise. This song is genius, the thought of this as a love song. Simple enough of an idea, the sweet relief from suffering. Flirting with it, being sick. That idea has been with me for some time, the connection between love and death, both related to the relief of pain.

Thin Lizzy—”Cowboy Song” (from 1976′s Jailbreak)
“Lord all these southern girls, they seem the same!” (for Audrey)
This is freedom, an impossible dream. Late night, settled around some fire or lake drinking with friends, new and old. Countless times has this been sung in a van driving down the highway at night, drunk and carefree, far from home, far from someone. Pure newness, reborn into a fresh new being. This is the escape song. That being said, it does lead to capture in the right hands, that is the true goal in the end. Being caught.

Lucero—”The War” (from 2005′s Nobody’s Darlings)
“I could not stand to get my friends killed. So I took care of myself first. Now I know that don’t sound right, don’t think too bad of me. Now it keeps me up nights what I could have done differently.”
This sounds the way a guy and a guitar should sound. I have so much respect for this band. True hard working dudes, and honest with there tunes. I love to hear people singing about the old guys in their life. Even if their lives weren’t perfect, full of hard choices, impossible circumstance. I dig the idea of love existing through bad choices. Though we try, we don’t always make the right choices in our lives.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds—”Hold On To Yourself” (from 2008′s Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!)
Another drawn out build. So subtle and vague in its uprising, that when it takes you, it’s almost violent. This is the intensity every songwriter should aim for. This is about missing your love I think. Not being able to reach it. I remember driving through Roger’s Pass, snow pasting the road, appearing like static through the windshield. Having such a white-knuckled conversation with a friend, half listening. I now realize I made a commitment I didn’t fully understand, as my attention was unfortunately drawn between the song and the road, not her words. Good fucking song.

Samiam—”Clean” (from 1991′s Soar)
“I’d like to hide away. Somewhere without light.”
This song has always sounded like a young person’s loneliness. Though now, at 40 years old, it still gives me goose bumps. Just a good progression, intense and honest, it sounds like human beings are playing this music. There are flaws in it, which adds to its charm and fragility. Pure self-indulgent desperation. Simple depression, numb to the world, perhaps after some undescribed shitstorm. This is one of my go-to “shame over” songs.

Mark Lanegan—”When Your Number Isn’t Up” (from 2004′s Bubblegum)
“Turn out the lights, don’t see me drawn and hollow.”
Another testimonial, a council. Haven’t we all found ourselves late at night, red eyed, on our knees praying for something to end and something to begin. Just add a sparse crackling background and we could almost be as cool as this asshole. Even as we wept, alone and naked and pathetic, coming down off of whatever high had carried us to flail in the moonlit street, screaming a name into the ether. But rather, we would calmly duck out and whisper everything we wanted into our sleeve. Like the time my friend was locked in a bathroom, just bleeding, feeling no use, no love. While we were all getting it on in the downstairs living room he was unnoticed until someone went upstairs to do some lines.

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band—”Fire Lake” (from 1980′s Against The Wind)
“Who’s gonna make that first mistake?”
Regret. Imagine a way out. All I can say is, I’ve been Uncle Joe, man and “Fire Lake” is a fucking saving grace. Even the thought of it, the idea of it. A gamble, for the better. And this simple story, the strolling guitar, a lesson to us all. Sing this all day, everyday. Say it to yourself, it’s okay to never cut the cake.

Jawbreaker—”Accident Prone” (from 1995′s Dear You)
“What’s the closest you can come to an almost total wreck and still walk away, all limbs intact?”
This tune will always get me. It became ingrained in my heart one terrible day many years ago while on a lonesome ferry ride from Vancouver Island. Beginning at a young age, Jawbreaker would be the cornerstone of my emotional development for many years. Teaching me about the more complex parts of love and social predicament. That was a hard day, traveling back from Victoria to Vancouver, alone and lamenting the loss of a girl and the discovery of another. Drowning in agonizing thoughts while under the familiar overcast, a slight drizzle washing over my face, as I tried to smoke despite the weather. Drinking my secret drink on the deck.

Paw—”Jessie” (from 1993′s Dragline)
“And Jessie you’re a good dog, please don’t follow me. Just go on home.”
On May 17th, 2012 at 2:02 pm my dog Milo passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. After an intense surgery that took his spleen and then an amazing recovery, we had a glorious month together, to drink beer and eat poutine and pizza in the Bocce Park. It was our chance to say goodbye, before the cancer spread to his liver and took him. Fuck the world. Write a song about a dog.

*Pre-order a copy of Lovelessness here.

**We update one Spotify playlist for each new Decibrity entry, so feel free to subscribe to that here. Past entries include:

A Life Once Lost
Fight Amp
Witchcraft (Ola Henriksson) (Magnus Pelander)
Vision of Disorder
Grave
Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Rush (Part 1) (Part 2)
Dawnbringer
Ufomammut
Shadows Fall
Horseback
Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Torche
“Best of” Meshuggah
Astra
Pallbearer
Barren Earth
Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)

STREAMING: Anaal Nathrakh’s “Todos Somos Humanos”

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

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“Madness is like gravity. All it takes is a little push.” So said Heath Ledger’s eminently quotable Joker in The Dark Knight. And there is perhaps no better push than new material from the two maniacs behind Anaal Nathrakh. Decibel is happy to give you a sneak peak of “Todos Somos Humanos,” off the upcoming album Vanitas, due from the band on November 6. Abandon all hope and listen here and preorder the new album from Candlelight.

Ralph Santolla (Obituary, Deicide) on Taking Your Metal Band to the Next Level

By: andrew Posted in: uncategorized On: Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

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Name five great metal bands. Here’s the first ones that come to my mind: Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Metallica and Slayer. What makes them great? Priest and Maiden have iconic, virtuosic vocalists. Metallica, Black Sabbath and Slayer more or less all created their own sort of subgenres. But the one thing all five have–and indeed, ALL great bands in any style have–are a collection of perfect, timeless songs. Period. End of story. In this age of file-sharing, Pro Tools and Facebook, songcraft is rapidly becoming a dying art .

So, what can you do to get your band or project from where it is to where you want it to be? Well, I think you need one of the Big Three: great songs, instrumental or vocal virtuosity, or incredible personal charisma (don’t hate me for having all three). It also helps to have something original, like the sound of Ozzy’s voice, Trevor Peres’ guitar sound, Alice in Chains’ vocal harmonies, etc. But the only one of those that can really be approached as a group goal by a band is songwriting. You definitely can get better at writing every day, every week, every month, and every recording project. The Beatles went from “She Loves You” to “Eleanor Rigby” in a very short time. That was no accident.

And that is the only thing that will give your band any sort of long-term credibility. Wanna be clever? Meshuggah is gonna bury you. “We’re super fast”? George Kollias will be unlikely to lose sleep. Trying to be the most “evil”? Grow up. But the one thing that almost everybody likes is a great, catchy song.

I recently worked for over a year with a band. This band would literally spend hours and hours every week on Facebook. The bandleader would routinely spend 3-5 hours per night (!) promoting tiny gigs on Facebook that would end up being attended by 30 or 40 people. They would bend over backwards , obsessively responding to every little comment about “please come to Uruguay” or words to that effect. But the one thing they absolutely and resolutely refused to do was put any effort whatsoever into improving their songs or playing their instruments. The majority of the members are actually unable to play their parts correctly for even one of their songs. It’s sad. I tried everything: I begged, pleaded, cajoled, bullied, bribed. Nope. Absolutely not. The main songwriter and the singer were willing , but sometimes it really does take a village.

It got so bad that they sent a song I worked many hours on in pre-production away to be mixed. The guy that mixed it rerecorded their parts himself. They were totally fine with this. A complete lack of artistic integrity. And it really bothers me, because I believe in them ( or most of them ). But that refusal to care at least as much–if not more–about the icing than the cake has resulted in the building of a house of cards. It simply can’t remain standing.

It’s immensely frustrating. (As an aside, the vocalist did take what I said to heart, and has become someone I feel is capable of fronting any world-class band out there.) I love teaching. I love seeing the look in someone’s eyes when they realize the possibilities. When they hear magic in their music or playing that they never realized was there until we uncovered it. When they go from what they are to what they are really capable of being. But alas…

So, how do you apply this epic wisdom in a practical way? Here’s a few ideas/suggestions:

1. Set Your Sights High
Why aim for mediocrity? Expect and only accept the absolute best that you can offer in any creative situation. Idolize Slayer? Make your goal to write a song as good as “Raining Blood.” Why not? THEY did it, didn’t they? Throw out every single riff, progression, lyric, melody and part that you have that is substandard. It can be difficult to live like that as first, because you tend to lose most of your ideas. But over time, if you make it a habit, the rewards are enormous. When I was in my early teens, there were a lot of talented guitarists in my peer group. The single most important factor in my subsequent progress compared to theirs was this: They all wanted to compete with each other. They all wanted to be the best at our school, music store, whatever. I never cared about that. I had in my mind that I wanted to be as good as Randy Rhoads and Michael Schenker. Obviously, I didn’t achieve that goal. But where I fell was a hell of a lot further down the road than if my goal was to be the best guitarist in my neighborhood. The flip side of that is…

2. Be Brutally Honest With Yourself
Listen to great music with all of your attention. Dissect it. Listen to it both analytically and emotionally. Absorb it. And then listen to your music the same way. Just because people on FB or wherever are telling you how awesome you are, that means NOTHING. Compare your ideas to the people you consider to be the true greats, the ones you aspire to be like. Inevitably, you are gonna fall short. Don’t be discouraged. You’ve reset your goals, and it will take time to see the results. Which leads us to…

3. Make It a Habit!!!!!!
Writing, like most artistic processes, is just that: a process. You can never finish. You’ll never be “there.” You’ll never reach a point where every song you write is gonna be amazing, every riff a classic. But if you make it your goal to do just that, and then work a little or a lot every day to get closer to that goal, you’re gonna see results. Big time. And next week, you’re gonna be better than today. A year from now ? LOOK OUT Y’ALL !!! Just keep at it 24/7, and best of luck!

STREAMING: Rage Nucléaire “Endziel”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

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Informed by early Emperor, inspired by Anaal Nathrakh and motivated by long-ignored black metallers Mysticum, Rage Nucléaire might just be Canada’s best new black metal outfit. There seem to be too few from a country dubbed, “The Great White North”, but I digress. Anyway, the history of Rage Nucléaire surprises. No, the French-Canadians weren’t part of a cult black metal sect from the early ’90s or are they a group of evil younglings who’ve just discovered Lords of Chaos on their mom’s Kindle Fire. Actually, Rage Nucléaire is (de)composed of ex-Cryptopsy throatman Dan “Lord Worm” Greening, ex-Cryptopsy guitarist Steve “Dark Rage” Thibault, and mystery man, Alvater. That’s right. Some of death metal’s most celebrated (and reviled, in a good way, naturally) musicians have come together to form an unpretty—no synth reproductions of fjord vistas or dead cities—rendition of the evilest metal.

“‘Endziel’ is about a game of human chess, played in an urban setting (Endziel meaning end-game, or checkmate),” enthuses Lord Worm. “The idea of the urban setting comes from Charles Manson’s “Helter Skelter” bizarre notion of a race war (black vs. white). It’s simply another take on violence, as per Rage Nucléaire’s credo KILL-HATE-WAR-VIOLENCE.”

And Decibel‘s (un)fortunate enough to have landed a streamiere of new track, “Endziel”, from the group’s debut full-length, Unrelenting Fucking Hatred. Now, if you’re one to cast stones before you know what you’re throwing at, well, Rage Nucléaire can’t help sway you from your myopic position on what is/isn’t black metal. If you’re of an open brain, well, Rage Nucléaire is a welcome addition between the Rotting Christ, Ragnarok, and Revenge LPs you openly covet. But, hey, all you have to do is listen.

** Rage Nucléaire’s new album, Unrelenting Fucking Hatred, is out November 6, 2012 on Season of Mist. Pre-order the platter of controversial Canadian splatter HERE.

Fear and Loathing at the Great American Beer Festival

By: adem Posted in: featured, heavy tuesdays, liver failure, stupid crap On: Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

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For the majority of the nearly 50,000 people who bought their tickets to one or more of the Great American Beer Festival sessions (which took place in Denver last weekend) when they went on sale last summer, the opportunity to attend this massive beer tasting event is probably the pinnacle of their craft beer-drinking year. After all, there are approximately 2,700 brews to sample from every corner of the country. For these people, there’s no doubt that it’s about the beer. In fact, it’s easy to spot the serious ones. They’re likely wearing a pretzel necklace and special lanyard for holding their glass when they’re not drinking.

© Brewers Association

But the GABF is filled with all sorts of wackiness that is the result of thousands of people roaming a giant room while drinking constantly for hours. Well, the beer drinking obviously contributes to the wackiness, but plenty of festivalgoers arrive already primed to get their freak on. Dressing up is not discouraged. You get the ladies in revealing dirndls, dudes with foam domes, Zippy the Pinhead, pirates—we even spotted a pedicab driver dressed as Duff Man. For these festers, it’s apparently not enough to attend the session and get their fill of beer, they’ve gotta be part of the whole insanity.

Many of the breweries pouring at the event also contribute to the surreal environment. Over at Sierra Nevada we spotted four people sitting around a tiny bar under a psychedelic canopy drinking beer while they peddled furiously. And, no, we have no idea why. The beer we had consumed previous to this encounter didn’t, surprisingly, help with our comprehension. The festival’s weird orangey fluorescent lighting only made everything that much stranger.

There are also plenty of breweries—despite their notoriety, or perhaps, because of—that do nothing more than hang the generic sign that up that says their name and what they’re pouring. They don’t give out stickers or hang banners or have scantily dressed women pouring their brews, because they just don’t have to. The long lines that form in front of their booths are all the promotion they need. The old maxim that nothing draws a crowd like a crowd couldn’t be more true here.

And speaking of crowds and lines, these will be the biggest impediments you face while trying to navigate through between hundreds of booths. Well, that and whatever level of intoxication you’re operating on. We’re not exactly agoraphobic, but finding a bit of space to actually drink and enjoy the sample we just spent 20 minutes waiting for was an ongoing challenge. We were constantly asked if we were (or mistakenly thought to be) standing in line, even when we were 15 feet from a booth.

You’ve never seen a more bittersweet closing time than when one of the four-plus-hour sessions concludes. The serving pitchers are turned over at all the booths and no matter what sort of sob story you offer, not a drop more will be poured. The well-lubricated beer lovers shuffle toward the doors euphoric from their beer buzz, but also saddened by the inevitable end of this annual event. They’ll no doubt be back next year. Maybe dressed up as tap handle or the members of Devo.

Behexen’s Nightside Emanations: Full Album Stream

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Behexen Band

Finland’s Behexen have the good taste to traffic in occult black blasphemies, and the good sense not to bludgeon their audience, um, senseless.  Christian-slaughtering speeds certainly take their due, but Behexen take the time to smell the burnt-offering entrails, too.  The year 2012 finds the occult Scandinavian crew unleashing its fourth full-length recording in its sixteenth year of Satan-hailing, and Nightside Emanations is a killer.  Catch the whole album right here, and get to know “new” guitarist Wraath (he joined in 2009) and his perspective on Behexen’s past and future.

Behexen has an extensive history.  How have the band’s musical/philosophical goals changed over the years?

Vocalist H.Torog told me this: We have shed our skin after each release, and every time our form has become blacker, darker, sharper and more dangerous.  We have grown spiritually, and also we have been re-born again numerous times. We are not the same  persons as we were 20,  10 or 5 years ago.  We had climbed the tree of Daath and enjoyed its fruits.  We have awakened the sleeping serpent, which now reaches from its glowing chamber.  It has been 20 years with different eras and experiences, but now I feel it is a new beginning!

How have membership changes affected the sound or direction of the band?

Well as I am the newest member of the band I can’t say much about it. But in my opinion not much have changed as it is.  Horns, our drummer that has made all the music up until now, where me and Shatraug has contributed with some material. And on the lyrical side H. Torog has always written everything and focused only on one thing:  his spiritual work and the Left Hand Path. Maybe the only big change has been the focus and dedication which is stronger now than ever. But that’s my opinion.

Do you feel Behexen has musical brethren still active in the current metal scene?

Naturally we have a strong connection to the Nidrosian scene where I live. Also in Finland there are many great persons which I respect. But as a band I feel that Behexen stands alone.

What is the songwriting process like for a Behexen record?

Riffs are worked on at home and then brought to the rehearsal chamber were we put it together, listen and let the energies flow and see what happens. It’s never easy for me to talk about the creative process as it changes all the time. But naturally for this record the rehearsing was intense at times as I have to travel over to Finland for short periods of time and try to use the time there wisely.

How has recording Nightside Emanations been different from earlier records?

That I cannot answer as this is my first recording with Behexen.

How important is the makeup/clothing/prop preparation to Behexen recording or shows?

Very important as we consider every concert a ritual. Also live is where the music will come alive, where the energies flow and the music becomes not only an audible medium but also an visual one. We want to experience it with all senses, and therefore everything is thought through and prepared before a ritual.  It is where we burn with the Serpent’s Fire and spreads the venom of our Gods!

What ideas (either musical or philosophical) are interesting right now to you and influenced the work on Nightside Emanations?

This should be answered by H. Torog as he has written all the lyrics. But I know that Lillith has been of great important to this record.  But for myself I must say that the search inwards can be one of the most inspiring and horrible influences. I read different occult literature mostly connected to the Left Hand Path, I listen to different music also so I really can’t say that ONE idea or thought has influenced me. My well is deep and there are many different demons there.

What are your plans for the coming year?

Hopefully we will do a tour, but the only thing planned right now is the Nidrosian Black Mass in Belgium in February.  Also I think already now we will start to write some new material. The world is moving towards the end and what else can we do than to glorify it!?

Hail Satan!!

A Very Heavy Halloween III: Stallone Vs. Dane Cook & the Kings of Leon

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, listen, lists On: Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

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We’re about two weeks out from the release of American Baby, the driving, effervescent debut from ex-Torche/current MonstrO guitarist Juan Montoya’s instrumental metal outfit Stallone. Burly as their namesake, Limited Fanfare Records describes the EP as “riff oriented, drop-tuned melodies combined with an uplifting expression of aggressive energy” and that seems pretty spot on, though the exclusive stream of the track “Tight Like Tigers” below will give you all a chance to decide for yourselves.

In keeping with this month’s A Very Heavy Halloween theme Stallone also sent along a list of a few people who should die in a horror movie and how. Try to read it through all the headbanging if you can:

Dane Cook: He’s incredibly annoying….Mauled by to death by a werewolf while backpacking through Great Britain with Larry the Cable Guy, the friend nobody likes.

Kings of Leon: The band is playing on stage. They all get shit on by a flock of BIRDS and are pecked to death after complaining there are no plush towels or bird wranglers around.

Jerry Sandusky: He falls victim to the Children of the Corn…with an enormous cob of corn as the murder weapon!

Gene Simmons: This one has a twist…Gene is a very greedy bastard and has much covered all of the seven deadly sins at one time in his life. Imagine Gene and Paul as detectives in the desert on the hunt for a serial killer…they open up a mysterious box only to see a decapitated head copping Space Ace’s makeup.

Check out more over at Stallone’s bandcamp.