The Roadburn Festival, the world première event for all things heavy, diverse, avant-garde, and underground begins today in Tilburg, NL at various venues, under the watchful eye of founder Walter Hoeijmakers. John Dyer Baizley of Baroness curates this years’ fest and performs with his band as well. The fest is nearly a sellout with some limited tickets available for Sunday. Full details below. Continue reading →
When it comes to black metal, I tend to be on the pickier side especially with the production value of an album. The latest release from Caïna, Christ Clad in White Phosphorus(Apocalyptic Witchcraft) has only brought that side of me out even further into light. I found that while a few of the tracks were enjoyable for a raw black metal tone, most of the others were just jumbled messes with lacking production. Also, I tend to enjoy a track here and there that serves as an intro to the track that follows, but the ones in this album just seem random.
‘Fumes of God’ came off at first as an okay track but progressively gets worse as it wraps up with unnecessary synths that throw off the rest of the instrumentals. It sounded as if I was listening to a black metal song and a YouTube ad started playing in the background on my laptop. ‘The Promise of Youth’ is one of the better tracks on the album. In your face black metal with nothing fancy trying to make something “different”. Even the synths that come in late are not overbearing and are only ever truly present towards the closing measures. ‘Extraordinary Grace’ was the most obnoxious twelve minutes of my life as I was waiting for some more black metal after a couple minutes. Then I hoped that it would climax into black metal. Then I hoped it would just end faster. The final track, which is the album track, is what sounds like someone trying their hand at Depeche Modetype vocals with a mid-80s Mayhemdemo playing over a shitty stereo in the background. After fifty-three minutes,Christ Clad in White Phosphoruscomes to an end. This is one of the few times where I only listened to an album maybe three times before just hammering out a review to be done with it. Caïna supposedly has other material where each release has its own mood and emotions. Perhaps that’s where I should have started listening to them. Unless, of course, it sounds like this album.
Festival season is just around the corner, and what better way is there to start the summer than with Temples Festival? Launched in 2013, Temples is an independent music festival based in Bristol. The event will take place from 29th – 31st May at the historic venue Motion.Continue reading →
When talking about Black Metal albums, the word “atmospheric” can be rather difficult to pin down. Sometimes it means pine-scented forest sulking, other times bleak, suicidal caterwauling – these days, due to the odd and sometimes unpredictable shifting of underground trends, it’s as likely to mean “we are now a 90’s Indie band” than anything else. On Setter Of Unseen Snares(Church Of Fuck), long-running British two-piece Caina have pulled off the increasingly unusual trick of doing something a little bit different.
The first half of Setter… leads from a genuinely haunting True Detective sample into four short, dynamic tracks of Black Metal that are contemplative, aggressive and catchy. Favouring strident riffing and surprisingly melodies underpinned by solid blasting and shrieked vocals, they pull off the trick of being “atmospheric” without losing any of the power or dynamics that Black Metal is supposed to have. This is particularly evident on ‘I Am The Flail Of The Lord’ and ‘Applicant Supplicant’, which bookend this first half with genuinely catchy riffs and something approaching a sing-along chorus. Taken by themselves, these first five tracks would form a genuinely effective EP of mature, listenable Black Metal in its own right.
The album doesn’t end with those five tracks, however, and the sixth track – the fifteen-minute ‘Orphan’ – either transforms the rest of the album or contradicts it. Ditching the forceful Black Metal riffing for a slow-build swell of feedback which rises into “Post-Metal” atmospherics and clean vocals, ‘Orphan’ almost sounds like a different band at first, and initially the effect can be to break the momentum built up over the first five tracks. As the song develops, however, more traces of Caina’s Black Metal sound start to introduce themselves, until ‘Orphan’’s final few furious minutes, where we’ve returned full-circle to where ‘Applicant Supplicant’ left us. It’s not a comparison all fans will be glad of, but the band Orphan most calls to mind is controversial “hipster BM” merchants Deafheaven. After a couple of spins, it really coalesces into a single entity, with ‘Orphan’ throwing the catchiness and power of the first five tracks into sharper relief, while highlighting more vividly the atmospheric and contemplative nature of the band.
Setter Of Unseen Snares, then, is a genuinely remarkable album in its own, quiet way, but it needs a bit of time to reveal itself as such. On initial listens it may well sound competent, polished but ultimately offering little new – but for those with the patience to join up the dots between the first and second part of the album and allow the experience of one to affect the other, this may well stand as one of the most interesting and accomplished Black Metal albums they’ve heard in a while.