Catch Bastard Feast in the Act with Osculum Infame

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, videos On: Friday, July 11th, 2014

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Three years ago, the Portland, OR foursome known as Elitist floored us with a gritty, hateful debut full-length called Fear in a Handful of Dust.  To nix any confusion about whether or not they played sweet-cheeked djent (as another band named Elitist was doing), the band re-antichristened themselves Bastard Feast, and next week marks the release of their new killer, Osculum Infame, on Season of Mist.

Osculum Infame is a tightly arranged, light-eating burst of ferocity.  It feels a bit more metallic and musical than the cringing, slashing Fear in a Handful of Dust.  Epic-length closer “Synthetic Messiah” also really stretches out and reinterprets the whole vibe of the record.

Before you can get your slimy hands on the new record, read up about the band’s latest incarnation and the drive behind Osculum Infame, in their own words.  Also, check out some live footage of the band and reintroduce yourself to their punishing performances.

What do you like about the new(ish) name Bastard Feast?  Does the name change only reflect your differentiation from another band, or is there any advancement of ideas and interests wrapped up in there?

We no longer felt the need to be associated with another metal band that was not of our liking. Also wasn’t a name worth fighting over even though there was no fight. We changed and grew and so did the name with us. The band needed something uglier and more of a reflection of what we are. We wanted the refined approach of our music to also be shown through with a new name and as respect to the new members. It was a natural choice for us once all the transitions had been made.

What musical/lyrical ideas drove you toward Osculum Infame?

Lyrically we find it following the paths less traveled, with an alarming sense of self destruction. We take the idea that our world could end at any time and put all of the chaos and space into the songs. It has a bigger sound than FIAHOD, and we weren’t nearly as precise about our vision for the band as we are now.

Do you think your playing style has changed between the two albums?

Yes completely. It’s a natural progression. But we know how to accomplish what we want to do without stumbling to get there. The songs on Osculum Infame also were all their own pieces, never really saying “I want a song to sound like this..”  They all developed into their own sort of piece for Bastard Feast. We started with the riffs during a really depressing time of our lives and utilized all the hostility and depth we could to create what became the most cathartic release we have done yet obviously including all the Elitist releases.

How have the live shows been going?

Well, as soon as we changed the name and came back out as Bastard Feast the difference was huge. Within a short period of time we were offered great bills and our live show went up tenfold. The sound was bigger with two guitars and different approach from our new bass player Jesse. We also became more comfortable with playing live. Two guitars offers more space for leads, and a heavier kick to the skull when we want to hurt ourselves and the crowd. Pretty amazing to say within the year’s timespan we also got to play with so many awesome well rounded bands.. Rotten Sound, Graves at Sea, Carcass (thanks to Decibel!) The guys is The Black Dahlia Murder were also super nice and a killer live band. The difficulties only ever happen in the technical department and even those are few and far between for us.

How did the recording process for Osculum Infame stack up to your other recording experience?

Recording Osculum Infame was the quickest session we could have had. [We] feel basically like we needed to get that album out of heads so long ago by the time we did, the band was beyond ready. All of us sat back and listened to it and felt like it was what it needed to be. Wrest from Leviathan appears on the last song on the album with Stevie Floyd. Both were an honor to have on the album and are a huge inspiration. Jesse Mckinnon from Stoneburner also appears on two tracks. So all of the guest spots on this album truly made it feel like we had a fuck ton of support and are surrounded by amazing artist who not only inspire us but we have the amazing opportunity of collaborating with.

This month, Decibel put out a Noise-themed issue of the magazine.  Do you have any interest in noisy extreme music that doesn’t necessarily fit into the metal category?  Any particular noise artists or recordings that you enjoy?

We all listen to a wide variety of music. It’s funny that this question is in here, being that we all listen to a lot of different styles of fucked up music along the lines of Merzbow, Sunn O))), Gnaw Their Tongues, Oscillating Innards.  Murder of Angels’ While You Sleep and In the Air are both incredible.

What about other non-metal music you’re into?  Can you talk about some music that has had some impact on you recently?

Again, we all come together and listen to metal on the regular. But yes we listen to a huge variety of music. Everything from My bloody valentine, Of the wand and the Moon, Depeche Mode, Holy Other, our drummer Nick loves Tangerine Dream and Air. Swans… anything dark and moody. Good song writing is good song writing. I understand being a purist but to make music that has longevity its best to draw influences from all over the board. A lot of the more melancholy passages on the album have come from listening to bands like Depeche Mode and Radiohead. Listen to the album and underneath the filth and grime you’ll be able to hear underlying influences. Thanks and check out the album!

Also, Osculum Infame is streaming in full right now at Lambgoat.

Not the Rough Boys Pete Townshend Was Singing About, but Still Pretty Rough

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, free, listen, videos On: Thursday, July 10th, 2014

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Not that this has anything to do with that, but ever since I was a kid, one of my favourite songs has been Pete Townshend’s “Rough Boys” from his 1980 solo effort, Empty Glass. And despite the fact I can usually feel vast numbers of my brain cells begging for mercy before committing honourable hari-kari, I’ve been known to crank the shit out of bands like Zeke, the Dwarves, Antiseen and ass-loads of the sorts of bands who sound like Motorhead, but aren’t nearly as good as Motorhead. Combine the two factors (sort of) into a rollicking group of drunken delinquents from Toronto and I’d be lying if I said that a prurient part of me wasn’t piqued. So, here we are: the Rough Boys are a two-pack-a-day trio of hard drinkin’, fast livin’, think-about-the-consequences-after-acting ragers who have managed to put down the beers, drugs and courtesans with questionable morals long enough to release a small handful of indie EPs, the latest of which is entitled Blood, Booze and Gasoline, the follow up to 2011′s Spithead and 2012′s Speed. Below, we present the title track from their new recording as accompaniment to any amount of sketchy behaviour you may get up to this summer. So, when you find yourself drunk and stranded in the middle of nowhere at 4am, waking up next to a tattooed duckface whose name you don’t know, charring your extremities in a fit of barbeque and too much kerosene dumb-assery or bleeding in a particularly furious mosh pit, tell ‘em the Rough Boys sent ya!

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Here’s the tune “Born to Rock” from their Speed EP. Note the dude apparently taking a dump with his underwear on, the fake blood and band playing in a kitchen while someone’s cooking, which should be a greater fixture at house shows!

Bandcamp
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And if for some unfathomable reason aren’t familiar with it:

STREAMING: Pelican’s Arktika

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Thursday, July 10th, 2014

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As psyched as we were for the last year’s new Pelican album, we were just as excited to see the band in the live setting again after a long six year wait. Now those worlds are set to collide soon when the Chicagoans drop Arktika, a nine song 2013 live set recorded in Russia. The record is the band’s first full-length live jawn since 2008′s After the Ceiling Cracked CD/DVD. And we’re stoked to be exclusively streaming the ENTIRE THING right here. Not only that, but we spoke with guitarist Dallas Thomas and soundman Matt “Coach” Hannigan about how this project, which the group is putting out itself, came together.

You can pre-order a copy of the album, which is out digitally this Tuesday with a 2xLP out August 26, here.

How did the idea for doing this live album come about?
Dallas Thomas: By chance, really. The idea had been loosely thrown around for a while, then our main man, soundman Matt “Coach” Hannigan, bought a recorder and started recording shows at random.

Can you tell us more about the specific technological tools that have been made available in the last few years that helped this project happen?
Matt “Coach” Hannigan: The Arktika Club in St. Petersburg, Russia had an Allen and Heath console and I used the Zoom R-16 to track the recordings. It’s a small, 8-track recorder that writes to an SD card, so it’s easy to tour with. I also used my own mics and DI boxes to keep the sound consistent. Mics used: Audix D6 on kick, Heil PR20 on snare, Sennheiser 604s on toms, Tech 21 Sansamp on bass and Radial JDX DI boxes on guitars. The Radial boxes helped get me a nice, clear, in your face guitar tone that stayed true to what was coming out of the amplifiers. I love the JDX boxes.

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Walk us through process-wise, whether from the band or recording side, what kind of preparation goes into doing something like this?
Coach: When recording a live show, the recording is completely secondary. One of the advantages of using a simple recorder is that I can plug it in, hit record, check the meters occasionally, and otherwise forget about it. The live show is first and foremost for the audience. If the recording turns out good, it’s just a bonus.

What about once the show is over — what’s the process like from then on to get to a finished product?
DT: After the 2013 Euro Tour, Coach recorded about nine shows, which was about nine hours of material to sift through and he let me borrow the Zoom recorder and I just started taking random shows and importing the files into Logic on my laptop.


How soon after the show was over did you listen to the recording? Whenever you first did, were there specific things you were looking for — something you thought went great during the show, something that you hoped would translate on to tape but weren’t sure would come across?

DT: Pretty much as soon as our last Euro tour was over. Four days after we flew back from Russia, my dog passed away after incurring over $8000 in vet bills while I was on tour. Coupled with jet lag, I was in a pretty nervous headspace and couldn’t really sleep, so I just started going through all the shows that we recorded. While going through all of the recordings, I was keeping an ear out for ones that captured the rawness and energy of the live show that maybe a studio record cannot.

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You’re put out live DVDs before, but what are some of the differences in doing an audio-only project like this?
DT: I think the fact that the show that we captured was in Russia makes a bit more special to us and the amazing time we had there. Considering the historical tension between Russia and US, this release serves at a document of the power of music to transcend culture, nationality and race. Also, I think this recording really captures where the band is at this point in time, and it’s cool to hear raw live versions of these songs as well.

Assuming this was a one-shot deal — you were going to record this show and this show only — what’s it like (either being in the band or recording the show) knowing that everything that happens will be on tape for better or worse?
Coach: I’ve learned that you never remind the band that you’re recording. It might psych them out and cause them to lose focus on the task at hand, putting on a great show for the people there.

DT: We never knew if Coach was recording or not. Which I think was best so we were just concerned with playing not recording. At first we thought we might just compile the best recordings of the tour, then I got to listening to the St. Peterburg show and it sounded the best and we played the best of the whole trip. That is where we just got the idea of do a Live from Russia release. I can’t believe we played as well as we did that night. [Guitarist] Trevor [de Brauw] had caught a stomach bug and I was super hungover from pounding vodka in a shuttle bus on the way to Red Square in Moscow the night before. The Herweg bros held the St. Petersburg show together for sure.

You guys are releasing the album yourselves — tell us a little about what goes into a project like this from that perspective, particularly given that it seems like one of the bigger DIY projects you guys have undertaken in a long time.
DT: Yeah it has naturally come about. I am super stoked on the raw vibe of it. Coach recorded it, I mixed it, my old time friend Brad Boatright at Audiosiege mastered it, and then our manager Simon did the layout. So yeah, it has turned into an in-house DIY project for sure. With the ever changing effect of technology on the music industry, I feel like bands are going to have to be more resourceful and creative with how they embrace technology and use it to their advantage if they are to survive. There are tons of resources out there and the equipment gets better and better and cheaper and cheaper to make tangible listenable recordings from makeshift environments, but you still have to put in the time and work for sure.

Do you have a favorite moment on the live record?

DT: The noise section at the end of “Mammoth”. I went out in the crowd where kids were giving me high fives, patting me on the back and going crazy. If I remember correctly, Coach went on stage and tackled [bassist] Bryan [Herweg].

Coach: At the end of the set, during the “Mammoth” wall of noise, Bryan tried to tackle me to the ground. I think he was still upset that Edward Snowden was not at the Moscow show the night before. He took it out on me, but I was victorious. I will always have the upper hand.

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*Pre-order a copy of Arktika here.

**Top photo by Tomas Zakopal; others by Trevor de Brauw.

STREAMING: Wolfpack 44′s “The Enemy Below”

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: exclusive, featured, listen On: Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

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Ricktor Ravensbrück was one of the mainstays of The Electric Hellfire Club, a band that made all of the stuff mentioned in metal fun again on industrial albums like Calling Dr. Luv and Burn, Baby, Burn! Seeing EHC in their 90′s heyday was quite an experience.

Ravensbrück is back and Decibel is excited to stream “The Enemy Below” from the forthcoming Wolfpack 44 debut The Scourge, due on September 21st. The album’s initial release will be on French label Deadlight Entertainment, and will be a limited, deluxe digipack CD.

Wolfpack 44 also features Julian Xes of Kult ov Azazel on vocals/guitars; EHC leader/mainman Thomas Thorn contributed lyrics, spoken word and vocals to several tracks. Additional guests include: Jinx Dawson of Coven (lyrics and vocals); Lord Ahriman of Dark Funeral (guitars); Chaq Mol of Dark Funeral (guitars); Dana ‘Satania’ Duffey of Demonic Christ (vocals) and Dan VC of Vein Collector.

The album was written and recorded by Ravensbrück and producer Nikk Dibs at Chicago’s Glitch Mode Recording, with additional recording at SBS Studios in Ft. Lauderdale. Art was designed by Robert Cook, aka Norot.

Stream “The Enemy Below.” Learn more about Wolfpack 44.

STREAMING: The Haunted “Cutting Teeth”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

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It’s been three long years since The Haunted dropped surprise album, Unseen, on metaldom. Peter Dolving is no longer part of the band. Ceremonious or not. Former throater Marco Aro has returned, and with him a viciousness not heard on Unseen or The Dead Eye. The Swedes, in effect, are back!

While some of you probably missed teaser 7″ Eye Of The Storm back in January, it served as a reminder of The Haunted’s former power. In 2014, the Swedes are in-your-fucking-face, which is short code for awesome. Fans of the band remember songs like “Undead”, “Hate Song”, “Bury Your Dead”, and “D.O.A.” Well, Exit Wounds is a return, with a modern, updated take of course, to The Haunted’s halcyon years.

Says Aro: “We decided on Exit Wounds as being a good title for the album given the recent history of the band, but also a sort of a phoenix rising. We are so excited about this little thing we’ve created! Can’t wait to get out there and start playing these songs and for me personally, I could not be more proud of what we have done. I really hope you’re going to enjoy it!”

So, now’s the time. Let’s cut some teeth!

** The Haunted’s new album, Exit Wounds, is September 2nd, 2014 on Century Media Records. Pre-orders aren’t available yet, but click HERE to monitor Century Media’s online store for Exit Wounds and other The Haunted swag.

Sucker For Punishment: Buying Time is Here

By: Adrien Begrand Posted in: featured On: Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

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When it came to new metal music in the first half of 2014, personally I feel it was mediocre at best, with only one album, Triptykon’s Melana Chasmata, deserving of the adjective “exemplary” a rung or two higher than a small handful of releases that qualify as being “very good”. However, this year’s release schedule is so heavily weighted towards the latter half of the year, that any publication’s “best of the year so far” lists seem pointless. Looking at only the next three months, I counted around 20 new albums, nearly all of which I have heard, that are worthy of consideration for my own ballot for Decibel’s year-end writer’s poll. Considering the fact that less than ten percent of the more than 300 albums I listened to and wrote about from January to July were worthy of singling out, that number is staggering. I said a while back that 2014 would get a lot better, really fast, and here in this second week of July it’s gotten truly nuts. The summer release schedule is officially off to a rampaging start this week, with no fewer than seven, maybe eight new albums you must hear. So while the music is often on the doomy and gloomy side, the forecast for the next few months is anything but. Get ready for some fantastic new tunes.

Bongripper, Miserable (self-released): By now you should know exactly what to expect from the Chicago foursome, nothing but slow, deliberate, mind-bogglingly heavy instrumental doom. Contrary to Earthless’s explorations of the more textured side of the sound, and Shooting Guns’ smart blend of krautrock and psychedelia, Bongripper is all about sheer metallic force. If you’ve ever seen them live, you know what I’m talking about. What this seventh album also proves, though, that for all the Conan-levels of knuckle-dragging doom, the band is also capable of strong dynamics, only with the speed, or lack thereof, with which they work, it requires a little patience. Let these three compositions flow, though, and you’ll find just how well everything shifts gears subtly, naturally, and enthrallingly. The album is currently available as a name-your-price download via Bandcamp, and if you like the doom, this is a total no-brainer.

Earthless Meets Heavy Blanket, In A Dutch Haze (Outer Battery/Roadburn): At a festival like Roadburn it’s impossible to see everything, but one omission from my 2012 experience that I always regretted was the collaboration between J. Mascis, his Heavy Blanket bandmate Graham Clise, and the rhythm section from San Diego psychedelic rock institution Earthless. That performance generated a fair amount of buzz afterward, and now that it’s been released as a special live album you can understand why. A sprawling, hour-long jam it ebbs and flows from mellow passages to pure rampaging hard rock, Mascis and Clise shredding all the while. Some have pointed out that the presence of Earthless guitarist Isaiah Mitchell is missed, and that’s understandable given his talent and the chemistry Earthless is renowned for, but this jam works well in its own ragged, immaculately stoned way.

Exordium Mors, The Apotheosis of Death (Iron Blood & Death): Considering the past work of bands like Ulcerate and Beastwars, and two absolute stunners in 2014 courtesy Diocletian and now Exordium Mors, something is happening way over on the other side of the world in New Zealand. It’d be easy to call this kiwi obscurity “blackened thrash”, but there’s a whole hell of a lot more going on under the surface. The Absu influence looms large, but most importantly, so does the specter of Mercyfrl Fate, as the guitar work shows flashes of flamboyance that you just don’t hear in American metal. There’s no shame in showing a little instrumental flash amidst such otherwise primitive sounds, and to hear that kind of bombast juxtaposed with such brutal black/death music is a welcome thing to these ears (and wait, was that some Messiah Marcolin-style singing on one track?). Highlighted by a sprawling, 30-minute suite and continuing into three more concise tracks, this is a great example of how it’s often best to be far removed from any particular metal “scene”. With no hive mind to follow, left to think for oneself, this band has put a very unique spin on extreme metal, one that’s plenty towering and formidable, but most importantly, stands out because of its unwillingness to be categorized. This is a splendid debut full-length. Preview and purchase via Bandcamp.

Goatwhore, Constricting Rage Of The Merciless (Metal Blade): It’s not that Goatwhore made a bad album – for these guys that’s just impossible – but I just wasn’t as absorbed by 2012’s Blood For the Master as I was by 2009’s stupendous Carving Out the Eyes of God. It didn’t grab me enough; after all, you can imitate Celtic Frost all you want, but even Celtic Frost had hooks. This new sixth album, however, is a big, big return to the form of five years ago, thanks to a bevy of tracks that waste no time getting in your head. “Reanimated Sacrifice” is more of that Warrior worship, “Schadenfreude” sneaks in some very strong melodies, “Fucked By Satan” and “Externalize This Hidden Savagery” are a pair of delirious ragers, and best of all, “Baring Teeth For Revolt” is the best Goatwhore song since “Apocalyptic Havoc”. As per usual, the New Orleans band will be touring like mad, and it’s good to know they have a tremendous album to promote. Buy this one.

Gotthard, Bang! (The End): I always found the Swiss band’s popularity in Europe inexplicable, and then I saw them perform a couple shows a year and a half ago. It’s shameless ‘80s pop metal, but much to my surprise it was performed with great energy and charisma, and listening to their 11th album that pleasant feeling is palpable. Never mind how often the band rips off Sykes-era Whitesnake and all the clichés that entails, “Jump the Gun”, “Feel What I Feel”, and the title track are great tunes that dad rock (or in my case, uncle rock) fans would thoroughly enjoy.

Judas Priest, Redeemer of Souls (Epic): Having already written several pieces about the new Judas Priest album, including a review in the next issue of Decibel, I’m reluctant to go into great detail again for fear of self-plagiarizing. However, I will say Redeemer of Souls is a joy, from start to finish. Richie Faulkner has proven to be a terrific replacement for the retired K.K. Downing, and you can tell he’s brought new life to the band’s new songs. All 13 tracks – and the five bonus tracks on the deluxe edition too – burst with life, channeling the better moments from Painkiller as well as the more melodic moments from Screaming For Vengeance. It’s a huge step up from the wildly uneven Nostradamus, simply Judas Priest being Judas Priest, and by keeping things simple the band has reasserted why Priest remains the truest living embodiment of heavy metal. It’s important for a genre’s masters to make vital music, and it’s a pleasure to see this band back in peak form.

Mortals, Cursed To See the Future (Relapse): I stumbled across Brooklyn trio Mortals a couple years ago and was thoroughly impressed by the intense combination of black metal, doom, and sludge they created. The more I followed their progress, the more impressed I became with their willingness to let things grow. They were signed to Relapse incredibly quickly, in early 2013, but they smartly kept working on new material and honing their work on the road. By the time I finally saw them perform in person last fall, they’d become something a lot more formidable than I’d heard on record, and the much-anticipated debut album captures that live power extremely well. Guitarist Elizabeth Cline and bassist Lesley Wolf bring feral ferocity to Cursed to See the Future, from the buzzsaw riffs to the snarled lead vocals, while drummer Caryn Havlik punctuates and propels the songs with startling authority. This is a band absolutely brimming with ideas, and at times you feel that some of the songs don’t have to approach the nine-minute mark, but that’s a very minor gripe, as this music roars with a level of intensity I haven’t quite heard lately. It’s a remarkable effort. Listen and purchase via Bandcamp.

Origin, Omnipresent (Nuclear Blast): It’s so interesting how Origin, a band that helped pioneer the full-on, brickwalled assault that is post-2000 technical death metal, has made a significant change in the way the band makes an album. Musician and producer Colin Marston is a sworn enemy of that overly loud production and mastering, and what he’s done with Origin on its sixth album is so simple, yet so overlooked in extreme metal, creating distinct space in the sound. The music is as dense as ever, but it now breathes, and is so much easier to take in. The trio of guitarist Paul Ryan, bassist Mike Flores, and drummer John Longstreth is as great as any death metal band working today, and they flourish on these dozen tracks. More death metal should sound like this.

Sonic Syndicate, Sonic Syndicate (Nuclear Blast): Still carrying on like it’s 2004, still mimicking Killswitch Engage, still showing no musical growth whatsoever, still hilarious.

Steel Prophet, Omniscient (Cruz del Sur): At its most focused, Steel Prophet’s first album in a decade is adequate prog/power metal, galloping along in its Iced Earthy way, rife with robust Nevermore-isms and moments of Symphony X-stasy. But for some insane reason this thing quickly loses itself in 9-11 conspiracy theories, awful psychedelic interludes about taking a meander through oleander, aliens and Richard Nixon, George Orwell, and a truly awful cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody”. I’m all for ridiculousness in metal, but this much ridiculousness? Goodness, no.

Vintersorg, Naturbål (Napalm): The musical partnership of Andreas Hedlund and Mattias Marklund has yielded some very good Viking metal over the years, but the band has been especially strong as of late, with 2011’s album Jordpuls turning out to be one of Vintersorg’s finest moments on record. Naturbål – Swedish for “nature’s bonfire” – continues that positive momentum nicely, the band’s epic yet welcoming music equally bracing and affable. Hedlund is in his usual strong vocal form – it’s always nice to hear Viking metal with actual singing rather than growling – while these compositions skitter gracefully from blastbeats, to palm-muted marches, to more contemplative, melodic fare.

Wolves in the Throne Room, Celestite (Artemisia): The latest album by Olympia, Washington brothers Aaron and Nathan Weaver seems like a severe departure, but is it really? Sure, all the guitars and drums have been replaced by vintage synthesizers and a wind ensemble, but essentially this is very much the same kind of music, the same hypnotic chord progressions and melodies as heard on their past work. Only this time, instead of following the lead of Weakling they’re looking to Tangerine Dream for inspiration. With that “Cascadian black metal” gimmick so played out, it’s encouraging to see Wolves in the Throne Room branch out more, but this music follows more than it should lead, often feeling too derivative, not exactly coming through with many assertive ideas. The music just floats along complacently, going nowhere, achieving nothing. If the goal was to strip the band’s music of all metallic trappings to expose the real core underneath, you can’t help but wonder just how hollow and empty this whole thing was from the start.

Wolvhammer, Clawing Into Black Sun (Profound Lore): A little restraint in extreme metal goes a long way. After capturing people’s attention with a pair of outwardly hostile, aggressive albums, the Minnesota-based band takes a much more measured approach on this new record, and the difference is, ironically, colossal. It’s not unlike when Nachtmystium toyed with psychedelic rock on the classic Instinct: Decay, how the music here reins all the aggression in. There’s more control, and consequently more space within to work, and songs like “The Desanctification” and “The Silver Key” benefit immensely, with even a slight gothic influence creeping in, most noticeably on the subdued “A Light That Doesn’t Yield”. That’s not to say the music is any less intense – that couldn’t be farther from the case – but by pulling its punches just a little, Wolvhammer still manages to score a wicked knockout. Listen and purchase via Bandcamp.

Follow me on Twitter at @basementgalaxy 

FREE DOWNLOAD: Electric Citizen’s “Savage”

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: exclusive, featured, free, listen On: Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

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Our own Adrien Begrand has been raving about Electric Citizen for months now (like here, for example), and since he has pretty impeccable taste (for a Canadian), I figured I would check them out – and he was right. The nice thing about this whole occult rock trend is that the bands need to have actual songs in order to stand out. Electric Citizen have those in spades. Their debut, Sateen, hits all the creepy, catchy notes we want from the style while establishing their own distinct, shimmering sound. The album is out now, so you should already have it, but in case you don’t, we are pleased to offer an exclusive download of the song “Savage.” According to singer Laura Dolan, “We call this song our little ripper. It’s about gettin’ angry and fightin.”

And hey, even better – if you want the whole album, head over to Twitter, where we will be giving away vinyl/CD bundles (courtesy of RidingEasy Records) to THREE random winners over the next 24 hours! Hail Sateen.

***Sateen is out now on RidingEasy. Check out the band’s website here. Download the album here. Purchase the wax here.

And STILL “No Salvation”: Exclusive Coliseum Premiere!

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, listen On: Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

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For its tenth birthday Louisville, Kentucky’s rightly celebrated progressive punkers Coliseum may have re-signed with Deathwish, but it’s the rest of us who are getting the gift: A totes beautiful deluxe reissue of the band’s instant classic self-titled debut rager featuring eight bonus tracks, a full remix by Toxic Holocaust’s Joel Grind, extensive liner notes, and cover artwork by John Baizley of Baroness.

Below we have the exclusive premiere of a rare early song included on the disc, “No Salvation” — enjoy!

Coliseum is out August 19. Preorder page is here. Tour dates after the jump.

William Bennett (Cut Hands) interviewed

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, interviews On: Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

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** The original interview Cut Hands’ William Bennett is featured in our groundbreakingly awesome “noise issue” (HERE). What follows below is the full transcript. If you’re adventurous enough to you’ll succumb to Bennett’s Afro Noise.

What is Afro Noise?
William Bennett: This was the name of the debut Cut Hands record, essentially referring to two fused elements I began experimenting (and not without some initial trepidation!) with around 2003: hand percussion and electronic ‘noise’, initially on the song ‘Wriggle Like A Fucking Eel’.

Where did the name Cut Hands originate?
William Bennett: It was from the song I wrote entitled ‘Cut Hands Has The Solution’, released at that time (on the album Bird Seed, 2003) which mostly deals with eating disorders.

You are still part of Whitehouse. Is Cut Hands a sort of creative release from Whitehouse or are they mutual exclusive creative spheres?
William Bennett: I put a stop to Whitehouse as an ongoing project in 2008, it wasn’t really planned that way but Cut Hands has taken up all my time ever since.

What’s different about electronic music in the 80s when you kicked off Whitehouse and now?
William Bennett: I guess the main thing is that audiences had such little access to information, not to mention electronic musical technology, that there was a dramatically different level of expectation. At shows, for example, there was a real sense of ‘what the fuck is that’, it’d be very difficult to achieve that type of response now.

Polyrhythm is a common attribute across African music. How do polyrhythms play into the music you create for Cut Hands?
William Bennett: With an absence of voice and conventional musical instrumentation, it’s to polymeters and polyrhythns I turn to provide the overwhelming intellectual and physical stimulation I crave. Many of the voodoo polyrhythns are intensely complex and I wouldn’t know how to deconstruct them if I tried, or even wanted to, nor do I have the musical skill or background. Therefore, I merely take inspiration from the feeling and take it from there within my own musical domain of experience, which is complex in its own right.

You’re bridging vévé art with African-informed musical styles. Where’s the connector between Haitian voodoo symbols and Cut Hands’ musical endeavors, which appear to be more African than Caribbean (realizing there’s a cultural and historical connection, obviously)?
William Bennett: Voodoo is a syncretic religion that borrows from a wide range of sources both African and European, in addition to local Caribbean or American. It is also a very open and permissive religion to all kinds of people and sexuality. As with the music I think what’s important is the spirit rather than specific geographic origins of its various facets.

You say you’re “Easily pleased, never satisfied”. What does that mean in relation to Cut Hands?
William Bennett: This is just kind of how I am with life so it applies to making music as much as eating out or watching a movie. Creatively, it can be a curse too, things end up taking much much longer than they need to.

What excites you about making music at this stage?
William Bennett: That rare moment of successful alchemy, when the components produce a magical sound far greater than the sum of their parts. Sometimes you can go many weeks without getting that. I adore playing live, too.

Damballah 58 came out last year. What are you currently working on? And where can people find it?
Volumes 3 and 4 just came out as vinyl LPs, am also working very hard on a brand new studio album.

Is there still art in releasing physical product? The digital age has its pros and cons, naturally.
William Bennett: I think so. There is a palpable kinesthetic pleasure in touching and manipulating that I find deeply attractive. Certain types of music perhaps don’t benefit from that so much. For me, nothing beats physicality.

** Cut Hands’ Damballah 58, Volume 3, and Volume 4 are available now. Check out Bennett’s blog (HERE) for ordering information, what’s he’s listening to, what he’s reading, and more!

Metal Yoga With André Foisy #3

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs, videos On: Monday, July 7th, 2014

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André Foisy plays guitar in Locrian and is a certified yoga instructor who teaches at Turbodog Yoga in Chicago, IL. You can find his yoga teaching schedule and more information about him on his blog.

A lot of musicians get wrist problems. Playing guitar, bass or pounding on drums places a lot of strain on the wrists. Typing and texting doesn’t help. People do lots of things to numb the pain: painkillers, alcohol, or whatever, but that pain is just your body’s way of saying that you have weak wrists that are misaligned. I see these issues frequently in my students.

Many people get surgery for wrist pains. In most cases, people could prevent having surgery by strengthening and aligning the wrists with the proper poses. Trust me, surgery is great when Carcass sings about it, but it’s something that you want to prevent if possible.

Today, I’ll share a Turbodog yoga pose called Eagle Claw that’s great for strengthening and stretching the wrists.

Here’s a video I made about how to do the pose properly:

Benefits:
-Keeps your paws strong
-Strengthens the muscles in the wrist
-Helps to property align bones in the wrists
-Helps prevent and heal carpal tunnel syndrome