In further proof of Metal’s worldwide appeal, dropped-out troupe Age Of The Wolf hail from Costa Rica. There’s pedigree in the ranks too, with ex-Corpse Garden six-stringer Christopher de Haan at the forefront of their sound, and the Extreme Metal experience of the quartet lends a seriously hard edge to Stoner-flavoured debut Ouroboric Trances (Aural Music). Continue reading
The purveyors of great underground music at Sentient Ruin Laboratories have partnered with Ghost Cult today to stream the new album from French extreme metallers Karcavul, Intersaone, out tomorrow. You can hear the stream of the album at this link or below:
Sonically adventurous, brutally unrelenting, and mysterious in aura, Karcavul’s Intersaone makes good on the promise of their earlier death metal/sludge-toned releases with an increased maturity and polish. Fans of Dragged Into Sunlight, Coffinworm, Undergang, Coffins, Neurosis, Wolvhammer, Eyehategod, Noothgrush, Portal and Acturus are sure to unhinge their jaws and swallow this release en mass.
Karcavul- Intersaone track listing:
Intersaone will be released on July 8th 2016 as a 12″ vinyl LP and as a digital product on Sentient Ruin in North America, and through a collective of european labels overseas: Crustatombe, Deaf Death Husky, Et mon cul c’est du tofu, No Way Asso, Repulsive Medias, Saka Čost, Underground Pollution Records, and Witch Bukkake Records. The record was recorded live by Karcavul themselves, and mixed by Lizard. Mastering was done by Guillaume “Commissaire” Odile, while the cover art is by Rafaël Houée, and the LP will also feature and insert designed by the band.
Pre-orders are now live on our shop or on Bandcamp.
Karcavul Official Site
Deaf Death Husky
Et mon cul c’est du tofu
No Way Asso
Underground Pollution Records
Witch Bukkake Records
You can file Coffins and Ilsa’s Split EP (Relapse Records) under heaviest thing you’ll jam out to for a while. No time to waste here with pretentious orchestral arrangements or cliché samples; Coffins and Ilsa immediately start their brutal eardrum massage with relentless riffs and grooves.
Case in point? You only get roughly 12 minutes of music on this EP. Maximum effort and distortion crammed into two songs.
Japan’s Coffins gets first crack at it with ‘Tyrant’ and they somehow make it sound more demonic than on last year’s Craving to Eternal Slumber. The guitar tone remains Coffins gnarly, but the production has dialed up the grit and smoke inhalation. Jun Tokita’s grunts sound like the product of a lifelong sand and gravel diet and are perfectly paired to Uchino’s skilsaw on asphalt guitar tone.
Tempo-wise, Ilsa aren’t as jackhammer intense as Coffins, but they certainly bring the decibels on ‘Cult of the Throne.’ But what they lack in speed, they make up for with an even grimier atmosphere and steady double bass stomp. Orion Peter’s pained howling and the crawling breakdown at around the 4:15 mark conjure up images of prime Eyehategod.
You may not get much in the way of running time, but Coffins and Ilsa satisfy if heaviness is what you crave. Can we get a tour now?
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Tokyo death doom metallers Coffins have confirmed a string of upcoming US dates with Noothgrush. They will be releasing an upcoming, yet to be titled split with Ilsa, coming out in 2016 via Relapse Records. The split is currently being mastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, Noothgrush) and features artwork by Joshy of Ilsa.
COFFINS 2016 U.S. Tour Dates:
Feb 15: Saint Vitus Bar – Brooklyn, NY (No Noothgrush)
Feb 16: Complex – Los Angeles, CA
Feb 17: Catalyst Atrium – Santa Cruz, CA
Feb 18: Oakland Metro – Oakland, CA
Feb 19: Starlight Lounge – Sacramento, CA
Feb 20: Famine Fest – Portland, OR
Feb 21: Highline – Seattle, WA
Going on 20 years as the colossus of Japan’s extreme metal underground, Tokyo’s Coffins has shown no signs of slowing down. Boasting 4 weighty full lengths and no dearth of EPs and splits, this latest offering from Tartarus, entitled Craving To Eternal Slumber (Hammerheart America), is what we kindly refer to in the biz as “more of the same”. This is no fault however, as their œuvre has suffered from no shortage of death/doom cannonading that borrows from the crush of DM veterans Incantation, sludge impresarios Buzzov*en, and the rolling punk inflected gallop of Ilsa. I could go on, but to over-complicate Coffins’ mephitic, yet basic stew is to ovsrstuff the cauldron.
Being a short and sweet handful of songs, and the second major release featuring the new line-up, opening track ‘Hatred Storm’ charging in like a loose, and rather ticked off pachyderm. Alternating between Swedeath romps and grooving headbang sections, complete with a sweet solo by axe-cutioner and former frontman Bungo, the dynamics are set in place for the rest of the effort. The production, in following with previous LP The Fleshland, is considerably less thick and wet than it was in times past, but their sound is no less suffocating, as evidenced by the title track’s menacing, swampy lurch.
While the EP does hold up to multiple listens (I may be on my 10th now), its strengths lie primarily in the tracks that sound a bit more, for lack of better word, ” written “. The title track, despite its initial plod, picks up your attention with a sample of a man being tortured, adding a whole new dimension to this exploration of misery. Opener ‘Hatred Storm’, with its initial kick to the teeth, and the grand neckbreaker that is closer ‘Decapitated Crawl’ also hold the primary meat of interest, not to say the other tracks are at all gristle. A delectably rotten teaser, as Coffins is nothing if not infinitely industrious with their (a)musical output, and will continue sculpting new visions of horror for what I hope is another 20 years. At least.
Good Friday indeed! Oh the wonderful tales I could tell you about successfully defeating homophobia by simply walking away from loudmouthed dumbasses, or I could just review bands, which is a better idea, actually.
So, this is the second time I’ve seen New York’s Castevet here at Deathfest, and like their hometown, I’m not sure why it’s considered such a hot item, even though it has elements that I like. I enjoy their post-hardcore tendencies more than their Black Metal ones. Weird, ain’t it? I would have stuck around to hear more of Mgla (who are doing far more interesting Black Metal, straight as a shot of Beefeater), but I wanted to A) familiarise myself with the walk to and from the Baltimore Soundstage, because I would end up going back and forth. A lot. Like, more than a kid at a Gorilla Biscuits show, or someshit. Why do they do this to us instead of using the perfectly good former Sonar Compound for a shitshow, the only attraction being that beers were $3 rather than $6? Fuck logic.
Anyway, yes, Creative Waste from Saudi Arabia, pretty decent. They’ve got the novelty factor of being one of the only known Grind bands from that country for obvious reasons, though they could stand to be more creative in the years to come. They’ve got potential, however, and it’s sweet they could make it out to the US and do stuff.
After a bit of getting wasted, I walked back to check out Ruins Of Beverast, and I honestly found their brand of Teutonic Black Metal a tad dull. I swear one of their songs was repeating the same section over and over and over and over until I finally realised it, and then, as if to fuck with me, suddenly it changed. Is this what it’s like having a bad trip just to snap back into reality and find your loved ones dead? No? Completely off-base? I mean, I like atmosphere and all, but I didn’t come to Baltimore to be lulled to eternal slumber. That’s what got me in trouble the last two years.
Following that was Necros Christos, and I must say, golf claps to having the most evil sounding bands play in the bright Baltimore sun. The irony was lost on nobody, I hope. They were decent enough, I remember, but nothing truly stuck out. Yep, the drought of interest was alive, but luckily Lake ACxDC was nearby to quench my thirst for some hard-hitting PV. Since it was still early in the day and not everyone had warmed up, you can guess that the pit was live, but not entirely lit up. Their caustic mix of standard Powerviolence and wacky fun-loving Grindcore makes for some good Christkillin’ tunes, indeed.
A second helping of Coffins was on the menu, and boy was I hungry for more topsoil. Coffins could have played all four days and I’d have no problem with that at all. This time around they played more of their “fast” songs, meaning those with more mid-paced tempos, and even ‘No Saviour’, featuring a blastbeat, which, in my Coffins listening experience, is quite a rare treat. This, however, only proves that the band is not a one-trick pony, and is capable of devastation at several different speeds. Efficiency is terrifying; just ask the Nazis. Not a band to repeat themselves too much, the only returning tracks were ‘Evil Infection’ and ‘Altars In Gore’, the latter of which made the dance floor shine. With sweat. And beer.
Turning 30 just last year, Norway’s Taake has never been in the U.S., because playing shows in America is not Black Metal, or something. Hoest even decided to wear a robe rather than go balls-out, which would make more sense, given that the weather’s pretty nice around those parts at this time.
Controversy about telling someone to “go suck a Muslim” —something Creative Waste would probably not appreciate— and all other bullshit that has lead to people falsely pinning the NS tag on them, Taake is probably one of those bands that you hear about more than actually hear. Having exposed myself to some of their music, I can say with certainty that it is good Norwegian Black Metal, and controversy be damned; those riffs are ice fuckin’ cold, son. I’m not terribly familiar with much of their music aside from the hilariously awesome banjo solo on ‘Myr’ from Noregs Vaapen, but I hope this means that they can come back sometime without me having to pay hundreds of dollars. Also, I saw this dead bird on the way in to see them. Someone removed the bird later, but didn’t touch the dog shit, because I dunno, that’d be weird?
Having to dash from the fog to catch the almighty Capitalist Casualties was a painful, but necessary decision for me to make. If I even missed a minute of their set, I probably would have missed two or three songs, and that is, I assure you, not entirely an exaggeration.
Blistering, impossible hailstorms of insane start-stop tempos, rapid-fire vocals and scathing guitars that straddle the line between an all-out Thrash attack and condensed hardcore ferocity, and I suppose you’ve noticed that I’m fanboying so hard I can’t even stop using ad-words. I’ll be up front and say Capitalist Casualties was one of the main draws for me this year, alongside Coffins. With a 40 minute time slot, I estimated that they’d play at least 10 songs that I knew. I overshot it by three or four songs, but still, good enough. The fact that they played ‘Selfish Parochialism’ nullified the fact that they didn’t play ‘Violence Junkie’, or more from their split with Man Is The Bastard, but I seriously can’t even bitch, because since I don’t live in California it’ll probably be another few years til I get to see them again.
But the madness was far from over, as Italy’s grind virtuosos Cripple Bastards were up next to ruin any semblance of a face remaining from the previous assault.
Ranging in styles from faithful three-chords-and-the-truth punk rock to blasting grind, to fret-melting death metal, Cripple Bastards are certainly not short-sighted in their brutality. I’d know what they talked about if I spoke Italian, but I get the feeling that it falls in line with socio-political vitriol, as grind is wont to do. From Assück to Discordance Axis to early Extreme Noise Terror, grind has many flavours, and Cripple Bastards brings a whole plate of goodness to the genre. Just thinking of Italy makes me hungry because I’m fat.
After my lower back was adequately punished by Punx Aerobics 101, I took yet another long walk (and it got longer every time) back to Edison to catch At The Gates, no big deal.
Alright, so I lied, pretty big deal. At The Gates is only one of the most legendary Melodic Death Metal bands that actually still plays Melodic Death Metal. Who does that shit anymore? Not In Flames, I can tell you that much, even though I love them to death. But yeah, to see the fucking pit surge during ‘Terminal Spirit Disease’ is like a breath of fresh air for MeloDeath. Some dude even got into the circlepit with a camera in hand, and somehow it didn’t get broken. What a man. He’ll put a baby in me one day.
The most pleasant surprise of the set: they actually played ‘The Beautiful Wound’. Holy shit; I thought I was the only person that cared about that song for some odd reason. Killer doesn’t begin to describe it. With fear, I kiss the burning awesome.
Following that with the atmospheric as hell black/death/doom two-piece meal Bölzer made for an odd contrast, but it was pretty chill, despite being given the distinct feeling that I had been launched into empty space. Not much I can say about these guys, unfortunately, but they’re good, so check ‘em, if you want. California’s most likely to be sued for medical malpractice, Impaled, however, was what my ears had their hearts set on at that hour. I intended to catch some of Enthroned, but they took too damn long to set up, and ironically enough, Impaled also were taking ages to set up, and thus started ten or fifteen minutes late. But fuck it, it’s Impaled playing ‘The Dead Shall Dead Remain’, in full, with dudes dressed as doctors, Hæmorrhage style, crowdsurfing/moshing in ‘blood’-spattered lab coats and surgeon masks.
To add fuel to the spiritual bonfire of Bacchanal celebration, the infamous MDF Party Brigade struck suddenly with a bunch of glowsticks, inflatables, and other goodies. One second, it’s just Impaled playing, the next, it looks like someone turned on a garden hose that shoots little plastic things you should never, ever, ever, eat. Ross Sewage says: “Always tip your bartender, especially if they give you the ‘Spirits of the Dead!”
Then I went and caught some Incantation, and I must say they’re not quite as slow as I expected, since I believe some of their members had been in Disma, and lemme tell ya, that band’s pretty slow. I kinda liked it, but would have preferred if vocalist John McEntee (also known for his work in Mortician and live stints in Immolation) didn’t insist on trying to sound “evil” even though song titles like ‘Emaciated Holy Figure’ do that well enough. Sounded like a damn cartoon goblin. How brutal. No harm intended, it was just ridiculous being referred to as “sick fucks” two or three times in a 10 minute span. Good night.
WORDS BY SEAN PIERRE-ANTOINE
Third Time’s The Charm: Maryland Deathfest XII
It finally happened. I had a good, no, GREAT time at Maryland Deathfest. Would’ve been better if I could have seen Garm’s unibrow rustling in concentration, but still, fun. Absolutely free of poorly thought out drinking binges, interpersonal drama, God, and other messy things that prevent you from living like a human, I’m glad to report a success story where I not only saw most of the bands I cared to see, but also was fuckin’ FIERCE in , goddamn. Lookin’ and feelin’ good are only two parts to the complex and variable happening that is America’s biggest metal/hardcore party of the year, but it’s easy to forget that when you’re crying and/or puking, and I’m glad to say I only did the latter once, and it was a party puke making room for more party as opposed to an “I hate myself and will try not to do this again” puke. Awesome. Now let’s talk about some shit.
There’s not much to say bandwise about Thursday, because fuck New York traffic. Slapshot got it right, they shouldn’t apologise for that shit. Just take a look at this monstrous eyesore I got treated to at the Port Authority station.
A motherfucking Cake Boss Café. Reaffirms misanthropy like little else. The icing on this cake of fuck is the presence of televisions airing the damn show to the lobotomised patrons. And don’t get me wrong: my brief sojourn to Times Square allowed me to bear witness to a lot of other unspeakable horrors including a strip club/body sushi bar/steak joint (unholy!) but it pains me to even think of the massive overcrowding and overstylised tomfoolery that is that den of iniquity. It takes 30 minutes to get out of that gods accursed necropolis, even with clear traffic, so avoid at all costs all the time.
Now that I’m done bitching about long bus rides (and it was long), I’d like to take a moment to give a HUGE shoutout to a certain Peter Willis for setting me up with a couch to crash on the entire MDF weekend, via couchsurfing.org. Highly recommended if you can’t afford a hotel or just don’t want to deal with one anyway. This guy saved my life, and unfortunately I didn’t think to get a picture with him, but here’s his dresser clandestinely snapped pre-cleanup because he’s a party animal.
To Baltimore natives, Modelo and Natty Boh are water, and Strong Bow Cider is their apple juice.
So without further ado (and I’m not even sure about the ado), I made my sweet little way to the Ram’s Head, and I must say it’s a tad fancier than I would have thought, being called Ram’s Head. I had in mind a bar shitty enough to be Deathfest material, but that was only the bowels. The outside has a fancy ass fountain with lights that make it look like Vegas or someshit. Too cool, dude. And it’s near the most brutal Holocaust memorial you’ll ever see.
Isn’t that fucking metal? And not just because it’s cast in iron or whatever, but because it’s a bunch of bodies burning, twisting, writhing, and melting in spiritless agony. Forever. Fuckin’ rad. Boston’s glass tubes full of steam can’t compare.
Appropriately in the mood for Coffins after some rituals near this most blesséd monument to misery, I stepped face-first into the sludge.
The embodiment of dark, slow and heavy, and a direct genetic predecessor to Winter’s death/doom monstrosity, Japan’s Coffins is a contender for one of the most disgustingly oppressive metal bands out there. And they’re actually good at what they do, too. The distortion serves not as a cover-up for being shitty musicians (they aren’t), but creates that foreboding grave-like atmosphere we sick fucks need to feel alive. Now one member heavier after moving Ryo from drums to frontman and getting a new stickman during the making of their punishing new album The Fleshland (Relapse), they brought out plenty of hits from the hellish Buried Death, my personal favourite (though suspiciously missing ‘Cadaver Blood’, why?). You’d be amazed at how fast a crowd can get moving even though the music runs like a tank draped in human bodies. Easily one of the more brutal pits of the weekend. Nearly lost my shit —as in my possessions, as you know I went ham— but it was totally worth it. “See you tomorrow”, Bungo or Ryo quipped as they signed off, with a smile.
Following with another hard C to the jaw, Nawlins’ own Crowbar came up to the plate and delivered sorrowful Southern sermons to our congregation of freaks.
There they were chugging along dutifully onstage, I’m looking at guitarist Matthew Brunson as the blues flowed freely, and suddenly there’s a scrawny-looking guy feeling the fury of Kirk Windstein’s foot to his face. Now everyone’s mind is in “what the fuck?” mode for a moment, and conflicting accounts of the “what” rose faster than weeds outside a shitty project building. Apparently a fan got onstage, got tackled by security into Kirk, which then prompted Kirk’s “what the fuck” mode, and subsequently a violent reaction that was probably not needed, in light of the whole Randy Blythe kerfuffle. Despite this hiccup, however, they finished their set like gentlemen, and all was well. No clue what happened with the guy that undoubtedly still has a shoeprint in his forehead, but I hope that wasn’t the highlight of his weekend.
I mean, aside from that, the set went well. I made a man of myself by throwing the shit down during ‘Cemetery Angels’ in a goddamn blue miniskirt. Get on that level, chumps.
Switzerland’s Triptykon was supposed to headline, but due to the sudden and tragic death of band friend and artist, H.R. Giger, and the subsequent scheduling of his funeral, they couldn’t make it, though the MDF XII shirts tell a different story.
WORDS BY SEAN PIERRE-ANTOINE
Scion AV’s annual free music fest, The Rock Fest returns to Pomona, CA after the last one in 2011, and turning the Glass House and Fox Theater into a mini music mecca for the day. The fest is held in a different city each year and bringing it back to Pomona with another strong lineup gave fans something to be excited about once again.
Four venues within the area (The Glass House, The Fox Theater, Sky Fox Lounge, and Acerogami) housed the bands who performed throughout the day. Wristbands for those who RSVP’d for the event were handed out in advance and arranged much better so attendees did not have to wait in long lines like the last time the event was held there.
Sky Fox Lounge and Acerogami were the two smaller venues which held some of the up and comers within the stoner rock, doom and experimental bands on the scene today. Much of the crowd in those venues preferred the intimate atmosphere of those two venues and the more underground vibe of the acts playing within those venues.
Sky Fox Lounge featured such acts as riff rock acts such as MOAB and Lord Dying, sludge/doom acts such as Black Sheep Wall, experimental acts such as Windhand and Jex Thoth, and extreme acts such as Japan’s Coffins, who made a rare US appearance. Fans who congregated at the venue definitely felt the vibe there, and were there to soak in sounds they would not normally get to see.
Acerogami’s lineup was largely lesser known stoner rock and hard rock acts who were making their first time appearances on the West Coast and gaining more exposure thanks to the help of Scion AV. Much of the bands within this room were coming from the stoner rock and doom realms, where bands like Pittsburgh based Pins of Light and San Francisco based Carousel both set the vibe and got the early comers with lots of cool riff sounds and lots of excitement overall. Another San Francisco based act Hot Lunch have quickly become a rising name within the genre circles and put on another strong performance, as did Nashville psychedelic rock act All Them Witches. of the French psychedelic rockers Aqua Nebula Oscillator drew some much curiosity from the attendees and became one of the much talked about acts of the night.
The Glass House held the punk and the experimental acts of the evening. Veteran acts BL’AST featured former Queens of the Stone Age rhythm section Nick Oliveri and Joey Castillo alongside frontman Clifford Dinsmore, blazing through their classic tunes with a mini-pit circling alongside the band. Veteran speed metal/punk outfit Midnight kept the momentum going with the same energy despite the crowd coming and going in between venues. Veteran Bay Area death freaks Exhumed made another one of their regular So Cal appearances and once again put on another powerful set. Power Trip and In Cold Blood both represented the classic crossover hardcore/thrash styles that sometimes get overlooked in the So Cal area. They both played strong sets and gave lessons to the crowd in the genre. Speed metallers Speedwolf and Nekrogoblikon rounded out of the day with early set calls and gave the early attendees a taste of metal that flying under the radar.
The Fox Theatre held the high profile names of the event, with King Buzzo of The Melvins opening with his acoustic set similar to what he previously performed a recent Scion AV event at LA’s Satellite. Big Business followed with a loud and powerful set who are no stranger to the Melvins world. Quite the opposite of King Buzzo’s set, but still made an impact and set the tone for the day.
Orchid’s classic riff rock stylings became the lead into a much anticipated Crowbar appearance, where they grabbed the attention of the crowd and never let down throughout their set. Red Fang followed with their usual set list of heavy riffing and a set full of energy that kept going from Crowbar. High On Fire put on their usually ear bleeding loud set of riff rock tune and also never let go of the crowd.
Headliners Machine Head did an unusually longer set list of songs that spanned across their history and more. Their newest song ‘Killers & Kings’ was featured within their set list, as well as a few songs from each of their albums. A good mix of old and new (and yes “Old” was one of them they played), Machine Head does not disappoint and a longer set from these guys is always a treat to witness.
Overall, Scion AV Rock Fest is a whole lot of music for free during a time when the music world is struggling to attract audiences towards live shows and buying music. Events like these should help attract fans of the genre towards newer bands and getting reacquainted with older bands they may have once enjoyed.
WORDS BY REI NISHIMOTO
I don’t know about you, but when I first heard this band’s hearty stew of Eyehategod’s misanthropic dope and whiskey fueled sludge, the doomy death metal stylings of Acts Of The Unspeakable-era Autopsy and Winter along with pinches of the old masters Saint Vitus and Candlemass, and a little bit of punky groove sensibility that gets the pit churning, I was sold. Japan’s own Coffins, perhaps one of the most weighty acts in the world, boasting three impossibly heavy LPs (the best and most varied of which being Buried Death) and a battalion of splits and EPs released in the Japanese metal underground, has been quite the coveted filth-encrusted gem for any fan of metal who actually likes it heavy. This being their fourth full-length, they’ve understandably got their work cut out for them in keeping people interested in their brand of merciless riffage from the deep, as this kind of aural assault can become wearisome in the wrong hands. Continue reading