One of the best underground labels in the world, Artoffact Records his home to killer bands such as Cloud Rat, Kælan Mikla, OvO, Kanga, SPECTRES, Front Line Assembly, VALHALL, Horrible Youth, Sólveig Matthildur, Ritual Dictates, ACTORS and more. With the rash of cancellation due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, the livelihoods of not just the label, but all these cool bands are affected. The label is offering a pay what you want sale on Bandcamp right now, but surely if you can support, purchase and pay more than less, that would rule! If you can’t discover some new bands, and spin these albums, and share them with your friends. Anything helps so please, give what you can.
Roadburn 2020 is shaping up to be a music fest of the ages, which is saying a lot, considering the deep history of greatness here. Oranssi Pazuzu, currently wowing American audiences on tour will premiere their entire new album as part of James Kent’s curation. Further bands added to James Kent and Emma Ruth Rundle’s curated events include Blanck Mass, Hangman’s Chair, Mizmor, Cloud Rat, Fvnerals, Srsq, as well as other new artists on the bill such as Big Brave & Jessica Moss, Jessica Moss solo, Crypt Sermon, Lana Del Rabies, Red Kite, and more. Previously announced were James Kent & Johannes Persson, Jo Quail, and Vile Creature & Bismuth, the return of Julie Christmas, Red Sparowes, Russian Circles, Torche, Brutus, Bada, Dool, Health, Hide, and She Past Away, Full of Hell and Lingua Ignota. Weekend tickets for Roadburn are on sale now (3-day tickets are sold out, 4-day tickets remain on sale). Tickets on sale below. Continue reading
Cloud Rat has something to say, and if you’re not willing to lend an ear they’re just going to play louder and faster until they get your attention. No, there are rarely any moments that allow for you to catch your breath on Pollinator (Artoffact Records) so know from the rip that these Michiganders intend to keep your head submerged in gray waters for about thirty minutes. Continue reading
Cloud Rat has shared an explosive new single, ‘Seven Heads’, from their forthcoming new album, Pollinator due out September 13th on Artoffact Records. The track premiered at Decibel Magazine and it’s is super brutal! Check it out! Continue reading
Immortal Bird will release a new album Thrive On Neglect this summer, their first for 20 Buck Spin, on July 5th. The group has shared its first new song, ‘Anger Breeds Contempt’, which you can hear below. Continue reading
Pig Destroyer has announced a new two-night stand concert event in Baltimore, Two Nights Of Terror At Metro Gallery Baltimore with Pig Destroyer! They will be playing different sets each night with different lineups. Tickets go on sale this Friday 4/26 at 10 AM. Night one includes Cloud Rat, Cemetery Piss, Ampallang Infection, and Virginia Creep. Night two includes Outer Heaven, Red Death, No/Más and Zealot R.I.P. The amazing poster is by Mark Richards of Heavy Hand Illustrations. Details below. Pig Destroyer’s recent album Head Cage released via Relapse Records in 2018. Continue reading
Black Flags Over Brooklyn 2019 will be New York’s first-ever anti-fascist extreme metal festival! They have announced their full lineup for their show taking place Friday, January 25th and Saturday, January 26th at Brooklyn Bazaar. The Friday night show will be followed by an all-day Saturday event that will include an all-day vendor market of band merch, label distros, radical publishers, activist organizations, local artisans, and more. Fifteen bands from all over the world will play including Dawn Ray’d, Cloud Rat, Racetraitor, Ragana, Vile Creature, Closet Witch, Morne, Chepang, Whitephosphorous, Sunrot, Trophy Hunt, Heavy Temple, Axebreaker, and Niuta are all set to play. The fest also launched a Kickstarter for merch and rewards,and tickets are on sale now. Continue reading
Part two of the Ghost Cult Magazine countdown to our Album of 2015.
And now the end is near, and so we face 2015’s final curtain, and once more the Ghost Cult army got together to vote for their favourites. The results? Over 20 writers pitched and voted on over 220 albums ranging from indie pop to the most horrific savage tentacle laden death metal showing the depth and breadth of the official Ghost Cult Album of the Year for 2015.
The countdown (to extinction) continues…
“Once again every track has its own theme and spirit – the “carnivalesque” sound that has been part of their image since LMI is still present… but in terms of musical excellence and thematic power it matches or even exceeds that classic album. Whether or not you’ve ever engaged with Arcturus before, do so now.”
“Throw (it) on at the end of a long day and just let fuzz consume your mind…The Night Creeper is an album worthy of a place in your doom collection. It’s got all of the darkness and foreboding of regular doom but without putting you (me) to sleep.”
A swirling, enchanting brew of post-rock with touches of blackened metal and psychedelic swirls, as melancholia most vivid is wrapped in progressive motions and dreamy epics and delivered to the sub-conscious in swathes.
“Qliphoth is a snapshot of a ferociously dedicated and hardworking band continuing to carve out their own unique sense of what Grindcore can be. Cloud Rat have offered something both rare and interesting, and have made themselves genuinely the best new Grindcore band in years in the process.”
A cocktail of stoner, progressive and doom metal, unafraid to stretch it’s mighty wings to allow an epic to pound and unfold, and proud to worship at the altar of The Riff.
“If ‘Ethnic Metal’ is a poor fit for Melechesh’s music, Black Metal is almost as inappropriate. The snarled vocals and trebly guitars put it superficially in that style, but the song-writing owes more to classic Thrash and Heavy Metal, filtered through the ever-present Mediterranean voice.”
Album of the Month – November “Puscifer delivers money shot after money shot in the form of aural enjoyment. So, instead of pounding away at your keyboard on social media bitching about the next Tool album, maybe you should hit up YouTube and try out Puscifer.”
“Produced by Kurt Ballou, the album crawls, kicks, stamps, and screams abuse into your face, pulverizing you in a variety of different ways; never dull with the slower parts merely serving to accentuate the chaotic flurries of speed and aggression when they do arrive.”
“Hammer Of The Witches is a competent enough album by a band who know exactly what they’re doing, and fans of their most recent material will find something worth listening to here, but those still waiting for a return to former glories may need to decide whether we’re happy to settle for the next best thing”
“Nightwish, the rulers of symphonic metal have returned and are ready to take over the world with their new album Endless Forms Most Beautiful. Trying to pick out highlights from this album is like trying to pick needles out of a stack of predominantly needles – there is not a strand of hay in sight.”
Grindcore is not a genre renowned for embracing diversity. Sure, there are degrees of complexity, sub-sub genres (the much reviled Goregrind and unbelievably-somehow-even-worse Pornogrind being tragic examples) and bands who’ve found their own sound, but the basic template laid down by Siege, Deep Wound and the original Napalm Death The Peel Sessions (Strange Fruit) is as relevant to the genre now as it ever was.
Which makes Cloud Rat both extremely important and extremely difficult to describe, because their thoughtful, reflective Grind manages to capture musical territory that is both recognisably Grindcore and recognisably different. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how they accomplish this – they slow down quite a lot, but that’s hardly a new thing; sure, they use spoken word sections and Dark Ambient elements, but again Grind’s involvement with Noise is hardly new. It’s more the way these elements are used, not to crush or destroy but to create a sense of distance and space, which is then contrasted with the more genre-conventional violence and blasting to heighten the impact of both. “Contemplative” is not a word you might ever have expected to read in a Grindcore review, but for Cloud Rat it honestly fits.
Their third full-length album (fifth if you count odds-and-sods collection Fever Dreams and Blind River) since 2010, Qliphoth (all Halo of Flies/IFB) is a snapshot of a ferociously dedicated and hardworking band continuing to carve out their own unique sense of what Grindcore can be. It’s a varied collection, its songs as meandering and reflective as my raiding-the-thesaurus-for-words-that-mean-thoughtful would have you expect, while still as savage and devastating as a Grind album should be. Anyone just seeking wall-to-wall blast beats and mosh breakdowns will be disappointed, but it’s not like those are exactly hard to find. Cloud Rat have offered something both more rare and more interesting, and have made themselves genuinely the best new Grindcore band in years in the process.
Cloud Rat on Bandcamp
Die Choking has completed the recording sessions of their debut recording, III, which is due out later in 2015 with Will Yip (Lauryn Hill, Circa Survive, Blacklisted, Cop Problem) at Studio 4 in Conshohocken, PA. Vinyl will be released via Earsplit’s label The Compound. Stream a brief video teaser below.
The band has confirmed upcoming tour dates.
Apr 25: Ortleibs – Philadelphia, PA (w/ Starkweather, Darkside NYC, Edgewise, Dysphoria)
May 01: Bremen Cafe – Milwaukee, WI (w/ No Brainer)
May 02: No Tomorrow Fest – Appleton, WI (w/ MDC, Hemdale, Solstice, Sick/Tired, Tenement, Cloud Rat, Deathwish, more)
May 03: Spunk Manor – Indianapolis, IN (w/ Cloud Rat, Sick/Tired)
May 14: Lucky 13 – Brooklyn, NY (w/ Scowl, Mary Todd)
May 15: Whitney House – Hartford, CT (w/ Fantasy Panther, Empty Vessels)
May 16: House Show – Worcester, MA (w/ Fantasy Panther)
May 17: Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia (w/ Drones For Queens, Omotai, Mary Todd, Night Raids)
Jun 15: O’Brien’s Pub – Boston, MA (w/ Connoisseur, Ratstab, Eaten, Shroud)