Chris Dick recently sounded a black metal call to arms – specifically to state that the Deciblog needs to make like a Cajun dish and get blackened – and when Chris Dick calls our arms, he gets them.
Dyed-black-in-the-wool underground demo aficionados don’t need much encouragement to vomit filth in any given direction, as I found when, some summers ago, I mentioned to a coworker that I’d been getting more interested in black metal. This coworker – a Mr. Shuman – immediately targeted my mailbox for blast ‘n’ rasp overload. Data CDs loaded with entire discographies of 3rd tier blasphemers with photocopied cover art, cast-off compilations, and duplicate copies of CDs from the times that he bought music by the lot off eBay – all got shoved lovingly into the little space usually reserved for progress reports and department memos.
At the time, I couldn’t fully appreciate the wealth of material he’d presented me – and let’s be honest, most of it sounded like sun-baked shit – but I recently dug out those brittle plastic coffins again. Here I introduce you to some of that misunderstood (or not so much) grimness.
Almighty Sathanas hail from Greece, and are apparently still kicking through their split and EP output, though they’ve never released an official full-length. My Shuman-approved introduction to AS came through the band’s second demo, Spit on Virgin, and now, probably, so does yours. Included below are portals to the YouTube homes of each of the tracks on that demo. Fair warning: if the words “black metal” and “demo” haven’t tipped you off yet, this post is not meant for fans of Cynic, the entire Cruz del Sur catalog, or anyone with any real sense of self-respect. Hate the world. Taste the Sathanas.
With a self-released EP on the horizon, a European tour about to kick off in a few weeks and an animated video making the rounds, things are busy for Canadian grind freakazoids, Fuck the Facts. More so when you consider they’re doing this all by themselves now, a fact I wasn’t made aware of until the first respose to the first question. Guitarist Topon Das and vocalist Mel Mongeon took time away from their FtF-related workload (not to mention caring for their daughter) to talk to the Deciblog about all that’s going on.
Why, especially considering that you’re signed to Relapse, are you taking on the burden of self-releasing and promoting this EP? Don’t you have tours to go on? A kid to raise? Do you hate sleep that much? Topon: I think there’s this voice in our heads that keeps telling us that this is a brilliant idea. It’s only after we’re knee deep into the process of doing a self-release that we really realize how much fucking work it actually is. As I write this interview, we’re preparing to leave for a European tour in three weeks, I’m dubbing and assembling cassettes, talking to the folks pressing the 10″ vinyl and trying to get records in time for the tour, taking my daughter to gymnastics class, working on new FTF songs that we’ll start recording next week, e-mailing and talking to fine folks like yourself to promote the new EP, mixing other peoples music to pay my bills, and somewhere in there I’ll find time to make a sandwich and hopefully play some guitar. Where do I find the time? I don’t. Everyday is waking up to a check list of things to do and I do my best to get it all done, but most of the time I’m squeezing things in just before the deadline, kind of like this interview. All that being said though, there is an excitement to all of this, and when things are going well it’s an amazing feeling. We handle all the pre-orders, merch, promo, booking, etc… so we’re constantly in contact with the people that are into what we do and having that personal contact makes a real difference and puts a face to your audience. There’s a lot of people that we always recognize their names from orders and over the years we see these people at shows or we talk on-line and we’ve created friendships like that. So we’re not playing to a faceless audience, we’re making music for ourselves and our friends. We actually just finished our contract with Relapse, but even when they were releasing our albums it was the same thing. We would hit the pavement and contact magazines, radio stations and blogs, we were booking our own tours and doing everything we could to get the word out. That’s just how it’s always been for us. As a band, we don’t make anyone any money doing this and I’m sure Relapse never made any money putting out an FTF album. We just do this because we’re proud of what we’re doing and excited to share it with other people.
In what ways do you feel Amer differs from previous Fuck the Facts works? Topon: Everyone is involved in the writing, and this might be one of the releases that is the most balanced in everyone’s involvement. It’s what I like to see and what I really think makes a “band” and not just a group of people playing one guy’s songs. But mainly, this EP is just a different group of songs. We’re constantly writing, and how the music gets split up into releases really just depends on when it comes together. I would like to think we’re getting better at what we do in respects to writing, playing and recording, but I’ll spare you the classic “This is the best thing we’ve ever done!” line, because from a personal point of view I don’t think it’s the best Fuck The Facts release. That’s probably not something I should say in an interview, eh? But I have my personal favorite release and I think it’s important, that even though I started this band, it needs to be bigger than me and my ego. I want it to be a representation of the five individuals involved and that takes a lot of compromise from everyone.
How was this batch of songs written? Any differently from the past? Are you refining or finding it easier to attack the writing process with two members of the band living 5/6 hours away? Topon: The base of every song on this EP started as a demo one of us wrote on our own and was then sent to the rest of the band. We have a Dropbox that’s overflowing with demos and ideas. Some of these have been sitting there for years and some newer songs get put ahead of the queue when we dig them more. It all depends on what we feel like doing. For this EP we started with seven different demos and the first thing is our drummer Vil learning all the songs and putting his own twist on the songs. He plays guitar as well, and writes in the band, so sometimes there’s not much of a change to the drums, but some of the demos can be pretty rough. Then Vil and I get together and just jam them out for a while. As we play them things will slowly change and we’ll come up with new ideas and structure changes and even riffs change. After that we start pre-production demos, sometimes we do a stupid amount of pre-prods, but I think there was only one for this EP. There we get to really hear how the song will sound recorded, make adjustments and try different ideas. Usually we record just before a long tour. That’s our deadline. So we recorded all the drums for the Amer EP before our European tour last year and did the guitars and bass sometime after we we’re back. Mel did the lyrics and vocals after everything was recorded. That’s how the EP went, but sometimes Vil and I will write stuff by just jamming. That’s how pretty much 90% of our album Disgorge Mexico was written, and is my preferred way of writing. There aren’t really any rules to how we write and things are always changing as life changes and we have to adapt. It gets easier in the way that we’ve all been doing this together now for over five years, but the long distance thing is definitely tough. We play way more shows than we ever have full band practices, which can be a bit stressful when you’re trying to be a well-oiled machine. But I think in general we pull it off pretty well because we all make sure we have our shit together on our own end, and it does make it pretty exciting when we do actually jam as a full band.
I’m assuming the EP recorded/engineered/produced by yourselves as well? How difficult do you find recording yourselves and being able to objectively stand back from performances and takes in the quest to get the best out of everyone? Topon: Having our own studio space and being able to record ourselves is really awesome but it involves a lot of discipline. The biggest problem we ever run into is having things drag out, because we don’t really have to look at a clock and there’s no one rushing us to get shit done. We haven’t really gone into a studio, recorded everything and then released it right away since we did Stigmata High-Five back in 2006. Die Miserable was released almost two years after we had recorded it, and Amer is over a year since we started recording it. Even now we have some unfinished recordings waiting to be done. But it’s something we’ve gotten used to. We work with the backlog and always have different recordings and releases in different stages of completions. Maybe it’s not the ideal way to do things, but it just seems to be the way it naturally works for us and more importantly; the way we can make it work around our everyday lives. Performance wise it’s never been a problem. Everyone in the band is more than concerned enough with what we’re doing and we’re not going to let a shitty take pass. A release is never done until it’s been sent off; we’re always open to making changes and having our own space leaves us the time to do that. So it’s sort of a double-edged sword because we have all the time we want, but if we get carried away with that it’ll never get done. For the mix of this EP, I gave myself a strict two week deadline. Two weeks is a long time, but anyone that has mixed their own stuff probably knows it could go on forever if you let it.
Is there an overall theme to the lyrics and art for Amer? What’s the thinking behind everything being in French? Mel: I was writing the lyrics for our new EP and I started with the song that is now called “Jour de Souffrance.” I usually do on average one French song per release. While working on “Jour de Souffrance,” I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed playing with words in my mother tongue. Enough that I was like, “Let’s do another one in French!” So I did “Vend du Nord.” I already had some rough lyrics for that one that were in French already. After that song, the idea came sort of naturally to keep going only in French. So I finished all the lyrics in French and kept our interlude instrumental. Later in the process, our not-French bass player wrote a few lines for that interlude, which is now “A Void.” That’s how we ended up with six French songs and one English one. To give the EP a French title was then a logical step. I really liked Amer because it sums up well the lyrics and blends perfectly with the artwork. The artwork and the lyrics have the same slightly depressed mood, if I can say. It is easier to get a coherence when the same person does both. The concept of the cover and back cover is the people standing together looking at a abstract burnt sun. The front cover is half of the image. There is a palpable void and silence between them. A certain despair. It really echoes with the lyrics from the track “Une triste vue” :
” À quel moment sommes-nous devenus misérables?
Le dos courbé, la tête baissée; nous nous regardons à peine.
L’intense vide entre nous deux.
À quel moment sommes-nous devenus si tristes, si misérables?
Était-ce le jour où nous avons tout eu? ”
Tell us about the animated video for “L’enclume et le marteau.” Lay out the who/what/why/how of how it got from idea to execution. Topon: We got hooked up with this guy Phil Osborne (Osborne Oddities) through my buddy Leigh Newton. Phil had done some really cool animated videos for Leigh’s bands The Sun Through A Telescope and Daiquiri, so that’s where we got the idea to contact him for this project. We gave Phil the lyrics to the song and carte blanche to do whatever he wanted. I remember watching the first draft of the video and thinking “Man, this is really weird. Maybe too weird.” I just wasn’t sure if it was for us, but the more I thought about it, I liked that I was uncomfortable with it. We never wanted to do the typical video where you’re fake playing a song in a dark alley or anything. We want it to be different and not a typical metal band video. Phil is really someone that doesn’t listen to metal or grind at all and he doesn’t know anything about this scene, so his approach is coming from somewhere completely different. When it was done, I went to his place to watch it and talk about it a bunch. It was really cool to hear his perspective and find out where the ideas were coming from. He made 800 different drawings for the video and gave us all of them. We’re going to be putting one or more of the drawings in each copy of the 10″vinyl.
What’s on the horizon for the band? Topon: We’re leaving for Europe in three weeks for a three week tour. We’ve never been there in the summer before and we’re going to be going to the UK and Spain for the first time as well as playing Obscene Extreme for the first time, so it’s really exciting for us. We have all the music for our next album recorded and Mel is working on the lyrics and vocals now. When we get back from Europe we’ll be recording those and I’ll be mixing three songs that we have left over from the Die Miserable sessions. We’ll also be recording drums for another future release next week, and finish recording that when we get back from Europe as well. Then, it’ll be back to writing and a tour through Eastern Canada in September. It’s hard to slow down when you always have something on your plate, but this band exists because we always have something to finish.
A new track: “Panser la plaie au lieu de soigner le mal”
FUCK THE FACTS 2013 EUROPEAN TOUR
07/01 ITA Milano | Blue Rose Saloon
07/02 CZE Karlovy Vary | Slashbar
07/03 GER Berlin | Koma F
07/04 CZE Trutnov | Obscene Extreme Festival
07/05 HOL Rotterdam | Baroeg
07/06 HOL Nijmegen | Nothing Changed Fest
07/07 UK Brighton | Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
07/08 UK Leeds | The Fox & Newt
07/09 UK Manchester | Kraak Gallery
07/10 UK Bristol | The Stag and Hounds
07/11 UK London | The Unicorn Camden Live
07/12 BEL Brussels | DNA
07/13 FRA Lille | Le Bistrot de St So
07/14 FRA Toulouse | Pavillons Sauvages
07/15 SPA Bilbao | Sentinel Club
07/16 SPA Logroño | Villatruño Squat
07/17 SPA Zaragoza | Arrebato
07/18 SPA Torellò | Eclectic Club
07/19 SPA Barcelona | TBA
07/20 FRA Luynes | Le Korigan
07/21 ITA Bologna | Freakout Club
If memory serves me right, I have Kevin Stewart-Panko to thank for my introduction to Mouth of the Architect via his review of the band’s debut, Time and Withering, way back in one of our first issues. Since I’ve been keeping up with the Ohioans ever since, it was a no brainer to ask keyboardist/vocalist Jason Watkins to participate in this series in honor of the quintet’s upcoming release Dawning (June 25th via Translation Loss). Fortunately, he did not disappoint: “I wanted to do a playlist that pairs seven songs with seven drinks. A lot of people go to great lengths to pair the right alcohol with food. Fuck that! I wanted to pair certain drinks with certain songs.” Feel free to listen along here.
Cynthia Fee’s “Thank You For Being A Friend” (The Golden Girls‘ theme song) (1985)
Crank this song and follow with a classy shot of Rosé from a space bag with three of your best gal pals.
The Pogues’ “I’m A Man You Don’t Meet Every Day” (from 1985′s Rum Sodomy & The Lash)
Tullamore Dew in short glass with one ice cube. *WARNING* — drink these too frequently and you may begin to look like Shane MacGowan.
Method Man’s “What’s Happenin’” (featuring Busta Ryhmes) (from 2004′s Tical 0: The Prequel)
The Beermosa: three parts High Life (“The Champagne of Beers”), one part fresh squeezed orange juice. The Vitamin C helps you enter the 36 chambers of deliciousness.
Harry Belafonte’s “Coconut Woman” (from 2001′s Very Best Of Harry Belafonte)
Blow the doors off your favorite shirt and fill a coconut with rum! It’s a personal favorite.
Dio’s “Holy Diver” (from 1983′s Holy Diver)
Fill a goblet with Owen Roe Sinister Hand red wine and scowl at the moon. The cape and scepter are optional. Long live Dio!
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “Alligator Wine” (1958)
The Blue Motorcycle. 1 1/2 oz tequila, 1 1/2 oz rum, 1 1/2 oz vodka, 1 1/2 oz gin, 1 1/2 oz Blue Curacao liqueur and a splash of 7 Up. Screw the sweet and sour mix and drink to the dead like a Voodoo priest.
Tom Waits’ “Dirt In The Ground” (from 1992′s Bone Machine)
Every Tom Waits song must be paired with a glass of Lagavulin 16 year *NO ICE*. What you do once the glass (or bottle) is empty is your own damn business.
THUR 13- Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class w/ Intronaut
FRI 14- Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar w/ Intronaut
SAT 15- Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus w/ Intronaut
SUN 16- Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon w/ Intronaut
MON 17- Montreal, QC @ Il Motore w/ Intronaut
TUES 18- Toronto, ON @ WreckRoom w/ Intronaut
WED 19- West Chester, PA @ The Note w/ Intronaut
THUR 20- Boston, MA @ Great Scott w/ Intronaut
FRI 21- Baltimore, MD @ Metro w/ Intronaut
SAT 22- Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Music Hall w/ Intronaut
SUN 23- Nashville, TN @ Exit/In w/ Intronaut
MON 24- Atlanta, GA @ The Drunken Unicorn W/ Intronaut
TUES 25- Orlando, FL @ Social w/ Intronaut
WED 26- Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum w/ Intronaut
FRI 28- Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s w/ Intronaut
SAT 29- Austin, TX @ Red 7 w/ Intronaut
SUN 30- Dallas, TX @ Club Dada w/ Intronaut
THUR 22- South Bend, IN @ TBA
FRI 23- Milwaukee, WI @ TBA
SAT 24- Minneapolis, MN @ The Triple Rock
SUN 25- Chicago, IL @ The Burlington
SAT 31- Columbus, OH @Ace of Cups
***We update one Spotify playlist for each new Decibrity entry, so feel free to subscribe to that here. Past entries include:
During filming we tried to capture as many angles as possible. Before a shoot, I typically sit down and visualize the angles I want and create a rough shot sheet to make sure I get what I need. If I could offer one piece of wisdom to budding directors out there, it would be this: pre-production is the savior of all things. With music videos, it’s a little tougher to map things out specifically, so you have to be agile and work to find your shots as they present themselves. To that end, keeping the Canon EOS 7D off the sticks and in handheld mode was crucial to us capturing some strong live visuals. I originally thought the GoPros would capture some great cutaways, but due to having to wing it with the screenless, uber-wide-angle solution, they didn’t net out as well as I would have hoped. Even so, we captured a TON of really great shots, as you will see from some of the live camera stills below.
The next day we pulled all the footage into Adobe Premiere. I won’t get into a ton of detail on the editorial program, but for you film geeks that are curious as to why we use it, go here. We typically don’t “finish” anything in an editorial program, and in this case, where we’ll have a decent number of layered effects, the final product will be imported and assembled in After Effects, a compositing program that plays nicely with Premiere.
Once we had everything in sync, we took our favorite angles/shots and laid them out on a timeline. We captured a really great rack focus two-shot of Sal and Matt that had some beautiful light leaks. Eddie and Dave had some nice shots of light highlighting their guitars and creeping through their hair. It is funny because during the entire song I don’t think Dave every reveals his face – if he does we are still hunting for it. From there we looked through the remaining angles for strong cutaways and tried to balance the amount of coverage we used of each band member. The GoPros we mounted to the drum kit actually worked out well, giving us some quick snips to mix into Johnny’s cuts.
Since the finished video will feature some heavy post-processing utilizing the melting effect we plan on doing in the next phase, we really wanted to explore and give ourselves lots of options to allow the edit to breathe in case we need to open it up in some places to allow the effects to play out. Our next steps are to outline where the overlays will happen and pull those still frames and prepare for the effects shoot.
In our next Glimpse Behind the Horse, we’ll have some behind-the-scenes footage and outline in full detail how we achieve the melting effect that will permeate the DMSLT video.
Enshine and AtomA share similar traits. High concept atmospheric metal. Lots of instrumental passages. A space-like art direction. In your view, how do they differ, seeing as though both bands were once upon a time part of Slumber? Jari Lindholm: Although all the bands mentioned share the basic set of instruments and ingredients for the most part, the most obvious difference between AtomA and Enshine would be that Enshine is more guitar based and the vocals are different. AtomA is more experimental and more about finding new and unique ways of making music while Enshine is a bit more ‘traditional,’ to me personally anyway with my own musical background.
When writing music what do you typically seek? Jari Lindholm: I seek to create the sounds and the music I would want to listen to at the moment of creating it. Sometimes I wish to listen to something that sounds a certain way, and if it doesn’t already exist, then it has to be made. Making music is also something very therapeutic, so it serves to fulfill an emotional or spiritual need.
You had put out some previews to Enshine songs before naming the project Enshine. What was the initial reaction like? Jari Lindholm: Mostly positive, but then of course this material was mostly found by the listeners who had already been following the works of my earlier bands.
And at what point did you realize you wanted to put out a full-length? Jari Lindholm: Pretty early, I think it just came naturally when starting to write these songs. The songs were written with some kind of album structure in mind and the order of the songs was decided early as well, before starting the recording. It was all recorded in demo versions first to arrange it as a whole and see how the songs would follow into each other and so on.
How’d Sebastien [Fractal Gates] enter the fold? Seems logical to go with a Swede. Jari Lindholm: I heard his songs with Cold Insight on Myspace and it seemed to me we had similar sources of inspiration for our respective projects. Turned out we had some other common interests also. So, we were sending different ideas and song sketches to each other and after some time he showed me some suggestions of vocal ideas on some of the sketches I had done. Sure, it seems logical to have the band more local, but I think it is rare to find others with similar ideas around where I live. Especially at that time it seemed to me that most of the local musicians had either gone back to the ’80s glam stuff, a lot of them I guess weren’t even born then, or they wanted to play more ‘brootal’ types of metal and so on. Nothing wrong with being influenced by ’80s stuff, by the way, but I just think it’s weird when this whole retro style became such a big hype again. Nowadays, I don’t hang out at the rock and metal places so much so I don’t even know what is the current trend at all, but most of the time when I find people with a similar taste and view of music, they are from places far away.
I find Origin to be a good starting point. I can hear and see the vision. Big songs. Big production. Am I on the right track? Jari Lindholm: I would think so, yes. I am always trying to find new ways to make it sound bigger, always trying to improve with new ways in production, as well as songwriting and arrangements of course. To find ways of adding a lot of atmosphere and texture and still getting everything across as clearly as possible. Every part of each song has some kind of added texture component. Sometimes they may be very subtle but they are always there for the sonic experience.
Favorite track at the moment? Jari Lindholm: From the album, at the moment maybe “Ambivalence.”
There’s lots of instrumentals on the record. Was that on purpose? Jari Lindholm: Yes, the two more ambient instrumentals serve the purpose of dividing the album into different sections, it starts off with some more melodic tracks and “Astrarium” is a sort of bridge into the heavier tracks like “Nightwave” and “Ambivalence.” Even if “Refraction” was placed in the early part of the album just to spread out the heavier, more rhythm-based songs a little bit and not lump all of them together. “Immersed” is another bridge back into a more melodic section while “Constellation” is a bridge to the silence that comes after the album is over.
I like how you added ambient pulses to “Immersed.” It’s a bit different from the rest of the songs. Where’d that song come from? Jari Lindholm: It is a little different and, in fact, the oldest song on the album, written as far back as 2005! I was at the time experimenting with some new synth sounds and drum samples and a lot of times a piece of music comes as the result of this kind of sonic experimentation. That is one of the reasons I am always messing around with new sounds, new equipment, etc. What you hear on the album is not the original recording, however, but was adapted to fit the sounds of the other songs.
You ended up on an obscure indie, Rain Without End Records. Did they seek you out or the other way around? Jari Lindholm: We were connected through a mutual friend, or well, he was working with helping the label at the time. So he made the suggestion both to us and James at Rain Without End.
I hear you’re already working on the next full-length. With Sebastien serving a more important role. What can we expect from the next Enshine? Jari Lindholm: Personally, I aim to find a slightly more organic sound for the next album, it will still have the same basic style however. Both me and Seb are into doom/death with a touch of rock, which is already a part of our sound, but I think we will try to incorporate more of that in the future, as long as it can be done with style, and I think it can! There is still a lot to be done before it is possible to describe the overall sound of the next album though.
***As chronicled by Alia O’Brien, singer/flutist/organist for Canada’s finest occult rockers, from their current tour with Kylesa, White Hills, and Lazer/Wulf. Remaining tour dates listed below; preorder their phenomenal new LP, The Eldritch Dark, here
Although our highway blowout incident threatened the Albuquerque show, we made the gig and then set course for Denver, Colorado, home of some of the greatest craft beers in the United States. We played at the Marquee Theater a year and a half ago supporting Ghost, and it was a great feeling to return to a familiar venue–we already knew the lay of the land. Last time around the sound guy was wasted and got fired for throwing a pint glass at the bartender, so we were happy to see that his replacement was less volatile.
A day off fell between great shows in Salt Lake City and Santa Cruz and so we opted to stay in Reno for a night of gaudy excess. Fueled by an Indian meal and “espresscatinis” prepared by White Hills’ bassist and drink wizard Ego Sensation, BC and WH combined forces to take The Biggest Little City by storm. We managed not to fritter away too much merch money at the slots, and instead flocked to the dance floor at the hotel’s club. We were even comped a bottle of vodka! At first we were suspicious of the gesture, having had a misunderstanding about the price of pink lemonade at a club in Hamburg on our last European tour, but there was no catch–it was simply a slow Thursday night. While we were a bit haggard the next morning, we dusted off the cobwebs and had a quick swim before heading off to California.
Dave W. of White Hills tearing up the dance floor with a mysterious stranger.
Our show at Slim’s in San Francisco was memorable not only because of the amazing crowd, but also thanks to the venue’s chef, Jose, a metal maniac who cooked us one of the best meals we’ve had on the road to date. We ended up with a bit of extra time the day after our show in San Fran, and so we grabbed a leisurely breakfast with White Hills and then sauntered down to Amoeba Records, where we met up with musical madman Scott Carlson (the Grindmaster General!) and his partner Erin, as well as old pal Carson Binks from Saviours. We spent a bit more than we should have. So it goes!
Amoeba warlords! Left to right: Sean, Mike, Carson, Scott, Erin, Alia and Lucas.
More friends awaited in Portland, where we got a lot of love from the crowd at Star Theater. Nate and Rob from Witch Mountain put us up in their gorgeous bungalow, complete with crackling fire and heavy chunes on the stereo. Nate gave us a tour of Portland in the morning, which included Da-Pressed Coffee, Movie Madness, delicious (vegan!) breakfast, and some further record shopping–as if our vinyl binge in San Francisco wasn’t enough!
The caffeine alleviated his da-pression.
Blood Ceremony meets Whiskey the cat at Casa Witch Mountain.
The next string of shows wove through Canada, and we were happy to have regular access to our data plans and the almighty BBS (Bad Breath Special) from Tim Horton’s: an everything bagel with herb & garlic cream cheese. Our first Canadian date was in Vancouver, where the massive green room area boasted two ping pong tables but no paddles to be found, which lead to much frustration! We had a taste of the good life when my mom–who happened to be in town on business–took the band out for an Italian meal. It was also nice to reunite with some of our West Coast band buddies, including Shane from 3 Inches of Blood and Matt from Funeral Circle. Our night off between Vancouver and Calgary was spent nestled in the misty mountaintops of Revelstoke, BC, where Sean’s old roommate Alex hosted us and even built a massive bonfire!
Celebrating our return to Canada with Matt from Funeral Circle!
We were happy to hit Calgary once again after playing a raucous show at the Noctis Festival last fall where we had a face-melting weekend with Venom, Nunslaughter, Manilla Road and other heavy pals! More faces were melted this time around, including ours, thanks to crushing sets from our tour mates, mixed drinks courtesy of Ego Sensation, and an off-the-wall Cowtown audience. To close this chapter of Road Rituals, I leave you with a picture taken at Noctis last fall of BC hanging with members of the almighty Venom!
Noctis metal meltdown.
BLOOD CEREMONY w/ Kylesa, White Hills, Lazer/Wulf
06/11 Toronto, ON Lee’s Palace
06/12 Ottawa, ON Maverick’s
06/13 Montreal, QC Il Motore
06/14 Brooklyn NY Northside Fest (Music Hall of Williamsburg)
06/15 Albany, NY Bogie’s
06/16 Boston, MA Middle East Downstairs
06/18 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
06/19 Washington, DC Rock & Roll Hotel
06/20 Asheville, NC Asheville Music Hall
06/21 Atlanta, GA The Earl
06/22 Savannah, GA The Jinx
Last September the frenetic Ventura, California quartet P.O.O.R. — i.e., Point of Our Resistance — released Extinction of Trust, which just so happens to be one of the great grindcore records of the last several years. Yet despite featuring members/ex-members of Fatalist, Dirty Dead, Decrypt, Stump, and Burning at the Stake, and a slew of gigs opening for such luminaries as Nasum, Rotten Sound, Exhumed, Phobia, and Fuck the Facts, this diverse, churning, creative slab of blast n’ roar still has not quite received its proper respect.
Ahead of the band’s gig this Saturday at Las Vegas Death Fest V, Decibel asked P.O.O.R. guitarist/vocalist Neil Burkdoll to give us the lowdown on six standout tracks from Extinction of Trust. (Matt Harvey from Exhumed makes a couple cameos.) If you like what you hear, the entire album is available via the P.O.O.R. Bandcamp for five well spent bucks.
1. “American Idolatry”
First song on our album, mostly due to the fact that I did the guitar feedback in the intro and it sounded like a good opener to the album. I wrote the music to this one with [drummer] Brad [Vanderzee] doing the lyrics. It has more of a Death Metal vibe to it than some of our other songs, but we are fine with being death/grind and not just straight grindcore. The last half of the song was very inspired by Utopia Banished-era Napalm Death, but I’m not sure anyone would even notice besides me. It was just a certain vibe I was shooting for and I’m still not sure if I ever captured it.
2. “Corpse Corruptor”
This is probably my favorite song because the beginning riff makes me want to kill things in the way that Out of Step by Minor Threat makes me want to kill things. The first two riffs were actually stolen from a song I wrote in 1996 for my old band Morthona. It was from the song “Epic” and it was on our Where All Dividing Lines Become A Blur demo tape. I had those two riffs and the rest was written on the spot as Brad and I were jamming. This is a song that we have played at every show we have ever performed.
By: jonathan.horsley Posted in: featured, listenOn: Monday, June 10th, 2013
Courtesy of the good people at Safety Meeting Records, here is some fresh sludge in the form of the title track of Stone Titan‘s forthcoming debut LP, Scratch N’ Sniff.
Okay, so those of you who are familiar with the underground scene in South Windsor, Connecticut, may well know all about the trio’s trippy sludge. But, for the rest of us who are not quite as clued up on The Nutmeg State’s repertory of dive-bar metal, Stone Titan’s sound is all about low-end and off-kilter guitars fighting it out in the mix with the bass, psych-grooves, and the sort of localized nihilism and anxiety associated with the morning after the beer and the drugs.
Stone Titan are a mess, fucked up in all the right places, and “Scratch N’ Sniff” is one fat pile of gelatinous groove, hollered spite, squawking feedback, with a nasty like HxCx feel-change halfway in. But while it’s a great track, it’s probably not even close to being the best jam on the album (for our dollar, that’s got to be the E.H.G. grade misery ‘n’ riffs of “I Wish I Was Fucking Dead”, or the morbid waddle of “A Brief History of Overweight Men”).
Scratch N’ Sniff is out June 25th. Here is the title-track:
By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: featured, listenOn: Monday, June 10th, 2013
Scale the Summit are pretty much the epitome of the hoary old cliché “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” After all, who would’ve thought that playing instrumental prog rock in the 21st century would be a remotely sane move, much less a valid career path? it seems to be working pretty well for them – although it helps that, unlike a lot of their fellow Musicians Institute alumni, they can actually write songs in addition to their obvious technical mastery. They’ve been pretty prolific to date with said songs, knocking out four full-length records in space of a six-year existence. The Migration is the latest of those, and while it doesn’t offer any real surprises, it also doesn’t screw up the amazing, intricate style they’ve made their own. No guest vocalists, no dubstep drops, no djent. Just emotionally-charged beauty in the vein of Joe Satriani and Dream Theater (in their streamlined mode), expertly coproduced by Between the Buried and Me’s Jamie King. But don’t take my word for it – listen to the full album stream below.
***The Migration comes out on June 11 courtesy of Prosthetic. Preorder it on physical media here, on iTunes here, or from Bandcamp here
6/5 Seattle, WA – Highline*
6/6 Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theater*
6/7 Calgary, AB – Calgary Metalfest*
6/8 Edmonton, AB – Pawn Shop*
6/10 Winnipeg, MB – Osborne Village Inn*
6/11 St. Paul, MN – Station 4*
6/12 Chicago, IL – Double Door*
6/13 Cleveland, OH – Now That’s Class*
6/14 Rochester, NY – Bug Jar*
6/15 Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus*
6/16 Syracuse, NY – The Lost Horizon*
6/17 Montreal, QC – Il Motore*
6/18 Toronto, ON – Wreck Room*
6/19 West Chester, PA – The Note*
6/20 Boston, MA – Great Scott*
6/21 Baltimore, MD – Metro*
6/22 Charlotte, NC – Tremont Music Hall*
6/23 Nashville, TN – The End*
6/24 Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn*
6/25 Orlando, FL – The Social*
6/26 Tampa, FL – The Orpheum*
6/27 Metairie, LA – Cypress*
6/28 Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s*
6/29 Austin, TX – Red 7*
6/30 Dallas, TX – Club Dada*
7/01 Lubbock, TX – Jake’s Sports Cafe**
7/02 Santa Fe, NM – Warehouse 21**
7/03 Denver, CO – Marquis Theater**
7/05 San Francisco, CA – Slim’s**
7/06 Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy**
7/07 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar (w/ Castle)
7/08 Tempe, AZ – Yucca Tap Room
8/03 Camden, NJ – Yestival @ Susquehanna Bank Center (w/ Yes)
# with Intronaut
* with Intronaut & Mouth of the Architect
** with Intronaut & Castle
** The “Wild Hunt” listening party was held at Duff’s in Brooklyn, New York on June 8th. Century Media hosted, with Erik Danielsson acting as infernal master of ceremonies. The track-by-track review was written on first listen at Duff’s.
Track 1: “Night Vision”
Big slow intro build. Heavy metalesque segue, twin harmonic leads cutting the dirty distortion. Tympani drums signal the oncoming assault. Raw mix, up front, clear ’80s production. Lots of space, buried guitar solos. Chaotic.
Track 2: “De Profundis”
More direct, tremolo Swede vibe. Vocals feel like venom on skin. Could be a Sodom song—tight and riff simple—if it was done by a more musically adept Sarcofago. Then it goes into a Dissectionesque march, but still very much Watain. Triumphant mid-section. Very soundtrack-like.
Track 3. “Black Flames March”
The trademark Swedish tremolo riff returns. Windswept in feel but also evil and grimy. The mid-section breaks open, spacey and focused on a drum/vocal call and response. Nice solo transition into a rocking movement that could’ve been on Tormentor’s Anno Domini record.
Track 4. “All That May Bleed”
Reading the lyrics to this song as it plays gives it a new dimension. It rolls along, powerful and purposeful. Erik’s rolling the “r”, too. There’s a violent mid-section; feels like something out of South America but sounds like no one. The tight thrash riff that explodes out of the brief solo is Germanic. The amount of production “things” is also of note. Whether it’s the bubbling bass or background noises, there’s more here than a “song.” “All That May Bleed” is the 7-inch single.
Track 5: “The Child Must Die”
Very much in line with the black/death of Unanimated. Erik’s vocals clear and commanding, a sense of climatic danger. The drum production is of notice. Huge and impactful. The coruscating melodic guitar could be on a Mörk Gryning record, like Maelstrom Chaos. The rocking end, with the bass and guitar lines guiding the song to its inevitable resolution.
Track 6: “They Rode On”
Introspective. Singing! Very singer/songwriter. Pensive. Will surprise. Feels a bit like a Root song from The Book, without the Bohemian vibe. Or maybe something like Bay Laurel would do on Days of Joy. Very Swedish in mood. Great end of Side A track. Guitar work is fantastic. Feels like Erik’s invoked Quorthon. But this is very much individual. It’s a genuine song construction. The solo is fucking brilliant. Slow and melodic, lengthy it takes over before Erik’s vocals return.
Track 7: “Sleepless Evil”
Brutal. Some kind of nasty, barely unbridled version of German/South American death. The alternating tremolo guitar the only indication this song of Swedish origin. Horror movie piano break. Dynamic. Big production. Drums sound massive. Guitars churn. Thrashy break into a more black metal assault. Solos clash, break. Direct and uncompromising. Consider this a response to track 5.
Track 8: “Wild Hunt”
This is the single. To me. Ritualistic. Choir vocals. Sort of what Bathory did on Blood Fire Death. Dark, slow and melodic. There’s menace present but it’s an ancient menace. Something finally awake after a long slumber. Solo is great. Depressive yet engaging. Funeral march-like. Again, feels like Bathory on Hammerheart. Erik’s singing. A bit of a Pink Floyd feel. Outro is great. Big and reflective. Strange flamenco finale.
Track 9: “Outlaw”
Pulling in ancient voodoo/religious vibe. Unleashes hell. Fast, spitting black. Cool thrash solo, weird prog movement. Solo’s chaotic, wild, recalling the late ’80s. Oh, there’s a Maybe Voivod if they worshiped the devil and dined on the dead. Not evil just noisy and different. Voodoo vibe comes back. Maybe inspired by the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom soundtrack. Ends suddenly.
Track 10: “Ignem Veni Mittere”
Instrumental. A break. Shows Watain’s melodic side. An evil bit closes it out. They’re developing at a frightening pace. While one one hand, they’re brutal and uncompromising, on the other they’re nostalgic, reflective, and musical. The marriage of the two styles will surely bring more interesting things in the future.
Track 11: “Holocaust Dawn”
Brutal yet experimental. Choirs. Waltz part with tremolo guitars. Arabic section, with talking and atonal strings. Fast blasts dominate. This is Watain in 7-minute frame. This the past, the present, and future of Watain. Certainly, it’ll divide the purists, but the purists see only out of one eye. Sadly.
** Watain’s The Wild Hunt is out August 20th in North America.