Green Lung sounds like something a toad sexer or Brussels sprout merchant might catch; a chronic illness that makes you snot everywhere while your pubes fall out. In truth, though, it’s a quintet of Doomed Hard Rockers from South London, who are about to release their debut album, Woodland Rites (Kozmik Artifactz). Continue reading →
With a musical heritage steeped in Indie, Alternative and Ska, Coventry has never really enjoyed a thriving metal scene. The birthplace of Cathedral and Bolt Thrower, the city has certainly contributed to the cause, but without a decent live venue for years, and with Birmingham just twenty miles down the road, most bands end up playing elsewhere. Even The Empire, the recently opened venue chosen for tonight’s darkest metal rumblings, boasts a “Ska Bar”. Continue reading →
Ever since Cathedral decided to hang up their Doom-encrusted boots, the UK has been dying for someone to fill the void with the same level of otherworldly mysticism and crushing heaviness. Obviously, we do have Conan making waves if you’re a fan of the weight of the world pounding you into the dust, but if you like your Doom with a touch more class and Sabbath flair, Witchsorrow should already be on your radar. Four albums in and the trio are still able to conjure some of the most infectious riffs and choruses, laden with vivid imagery and nihilistic sensibilities.Continue reading →
A début EP can be a very worthwhile investment for a new band, indeed. A chance to introduce the world to their sound and style, without having to commit to (or wait until you’ve written) a full albums worth of material; a chance to not just test the water, but begin to feel out what really works and what doesn’t within a band’s prospective oeuvre. And in the case of Godthrymm, boasting a cast of talented beasts a-plenty, they’ve more than made the most of the opportunity to plant their dark and melancholic flag. Continue reading →
Following a few excessively raw and highly abrasive EPs, the UK’s Employed To Serve turned a few heads in 2015 with the release of their hungry—nay, starving and salivating—debut full-length Greyer Than You Remember. Now, with The Warmth Of A Dying Sun (both Holy Roar), they are poised to turn quite a few more. Continue reading →
The latest project of former Mayhem guitarist Rune “Blasphemer” Eriksen, Earth Electric finds the Norwegian musician in typically progressive and diverse form. Forming the band in 2014, and working alongside soprano vocalist Carmen Susana Simões, from Eriksen’s Gothic/Doom act Ava Inferi, the pair hired DragonForce drummer Luigi “Gee” Anzalone, and Doro‘s Luca Princiotta, and recorded a three track demo entitled 2014 the same year. Continue reading →
A band like Novembers Doom could only come from a cold place, where nights are long and bleak and depression stalks you like some winged, fork-tongued creature straight from a Clive Barker novel. And if you’ve ever felt the wind blowing off of Lake Michigan in winter, you’ll know the cold, bleak Chicago from which Novembers Doom hails. Continue reading →
R.I.P.’s début In the Wind (RidingEasy) is, quite simply, a grimy middle finger to the heavier cadre of bands that take themselves and their image a bit too seriously. Dripping with reverb and cavernous echoes, the album may very well have been recorded not in the wind, but in a dark, dank basement obscured in thick, pungent smoke. Peeling walls decorated with black light posters. Lava lamps and ashtrays scattered about on a carpet sporting thirty-one flavors of stains. Continue reading →
Noticing Amenra would be doing an acoustic set on Saturday, it brought nothing but confusion since they are well-known for their vigorous, powerful live performances. Acoustic? Singer Colin van Eeckhout even admitted feeling very nervous at the beginning of the set. The band was sat in a circle in the semi-darkness of the stage, only slightly illuminated by beams of light. 013’s brand new main stage felt almost obscenely big for such an intimate setting. However, once they got started, this added a vibe of disconnection from the band that almost gave you a feeling you were watching something you weren’t supposed to see. They managed to find a way to play their 2009’s acoustic EP Afterlife so timid and delicate, that the crowd seemed to be in trance and didn’t wake up until their cover of Tool’s ‘Parabol’, which earned them a deafening applause. For their second set at the Afterburner, they were back to their post-metal selves, screeching, pounding and shredding in exactly the way we know and love them. Leaving us to timidly watch the ripples forming in our beers as if a T-rex came stomping by, while the magic from the night before faded to a distant memory.
Amenra, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography
An unexpected highlight on the Saturday was Brothers of the Sonic Cloth. Both captivating and furiously loud, their psychedelic visuals and droning music created the perfect setting for a lot of people to hang out on the floor of the main stage and take in the wall of sound the Americans produced. For those of us feeling more awake, progressive space-rockers Astrosoniq, led by a very Rock’n’roll looking singer, gave a more fast-paced performance in the Green Room. Walter, in official terms the artistic director of Roadburn, but in reality the true heart and soul of the festival, brought out his visuals to accompany Astrosoniq’s very psychedelic guitar riffs.
Astroniq, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography
Roadburn 2014 favorites The Vintage Caravan showed up for a surprise gig at café Cul de Sac on Sunday. Well, I say surprise, but 30 minutes before showtime the venue was absolutely packed with people. There is only one way to actually see a band in Cul de Sac: be hella early. So we found ourselves snuggly between 150 hot and sweaty, hungover fans with no chance of reaching the bar or the toilets in the next hour-and-a-half. But boy, was it WORTH it. The Islandic rockers tried to drill out our hangovers with their heavy bass and guitarist Oskar‘s relentless headbanging let us forget that this was our fourth day at the festival already and we were supposed to be very tired.
The greatest thing about Roadburn must be the diversity of the people you meet. Surrounded by more foreigners than native Dutch, you usually leave the festival a couple of Finnish words wiser than you were before (none of which probably as innocent as they led you to believe). However, I’m not going to lie: people watching is right up there on my list of favorite pastimes, and there really isn’t a better place for it than Roadburn. Mainly because metal shows in themselves are beacons of creative and eccentric people. And Roadburn, well, that is the holy grail of metal shows. Amidst a goldmine of glorious manes and enviously long beards, there seem to be more crust punks than usual (thank you G.I.S.M and Converge) and of course every back patch under the sun.
Neurosis, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography
Neurosis, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography
Neurosis, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography
One of the most spotted patches this year was obviously Neurosis. You’d think that playing two ’30th Anniversary’ sets would bring about its problems. After all, having a thirty-year spanning discography to choose from can’t be easy. Remarkably enough Neurosis managed to represent each and every one of their records during their shows, right back to their 1985 hardcore punk debut Pain of Mind. It is astounding to see how much they have grown and changed over the years, before they settled into their skin of a contemporary hurricane of genres, set to a baseline of doom. When the final tones of 1999’s ‘The Doorway’ sounded at the Afterburner, it left us with nothing but goosebumps, hands sore from clapping and a profound sense that 366 days are way too many to wait until the next Roadburn.
As we dash towards the holidays and the end of the year Ghost Cult is feeling good about this season of giving. So we are giving our fans a chance to get to know our partners, peers, and friends from bands in the world of music. They will chime in with some guest blogs, end of year lists, and whatever else is on their minds as we pull the plug on 2015. Becky Laverty, publicist of Pioneer Press, who takes care of many of our favorite bands in the UK and europe, and handles all things press for Roadburn Festival, Damnation Festival and many others. This lovely lady has agreed to write us a list of her favorite releases of 2015, “in no particular order”.
Chvrches – Every Open Eye
I listen to this to the point that my boyfriend hates it. ‘Empty Threat’ in particular is a banger
Marriages – Salome
I missed seeing them live twice in April, but finally saw them on tour with Deafheaven.’Love, Texas’ is a favourite.
Chelsea Wolf – Abyss
Listening to this feels like drowning, but in a good way.
The Bridesmaid – Grayson
A short release, and one I worked on, but it’s a fantastic first release and I can’t wait to hear what they produce next.
With The Dead – With The Dead
Another I worked on – which was an honour (featuring Lee Dorian of Cathedral) and a lot of fun. The album just crushes, pure and simple.
with The Dead, photo credit Ester Segarra
Insect Ark – Portal/ Well
These are mesmerising live and beautiful to listen to on record. Highly recommended.
Carly Rae Jepson – Emotion
I had to swap this in at the last minute… it’s full of pure pop hits, which in my opinion, is hard to beat.
Beach House – Thank Your Lucky Stars
I listen to this when I’m alone and working quite a lot.
Royal Thunder – Crooked Doors
I have a lot of love for Royal Thunder and want desperately for them to play over here again. ‘Time Machine’ is such a strong opener. Pow!
Tribulation – Children of the Night
Another band that nails it live – 100%, and they’re big fans of a lemon cheesecake martini, I hear.