Louder Than Life Festival Experiences Announced, Festival Approaches Next Month

The World’s Largest Rock ‘N’ Roll Whiskey Festival Returns next month at Louder Than Life. Taking place at Champions Park In Louisville, KY from September 28, 29 and 30th. The bands leading the festival includes Nine Inch Nails, Alice In Chains, Godsmack, Deftones, Limp Bizkit, Ice Cube, Five Finger Death Punch, Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown and more. Now the fest has announced their lineup of festival experiences has been revealed, always a highlight for attendees. Continue reading

Schammasch – The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite

It’s been a strange trip for Schammasch.  Starting as a not-entirely-successful mash-up of Black Metal and Stoner Doom, they scored an underground break-out with 2014’s Contradiction.  That rarest of rarities – a double album that’s interesting all the way through and isn’t Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds – it swaggered out of the gates like a prog-infused Behemoth, all muscular Black/Death Metal riffing combined with effective atmospherics and some genuinely skilful songwriting, and had many professional opinion-givers cautiously predicting them as the Next But One Big Thing. Continue reading

The Official Ghost Cult Writers Albums of the Year Top 50: 50-41

It’s hard to believe we’ve already reached the end of another year packed tighter than Joey de Maio’s loincloth with incredible genre-pushing, eardrum-violating, neckache-inducing metal. 

So we can begin to tell the story of a year which saw us give more top marks than any other year so far (and more 2’s and 3’s out of 10, too!), a year that left us inundated with so many great releases, we sought the opinions of our esteemed and respected writing team and we offer forth their albums of the year.  

The countdown to the Official Ghost Cult Magazine Album of the Year for 2014 has commenced. Please consume and enjoy the results of our 2014 Writers’ Poll. We hope it will introduce you to some of the incredible works of art you may have missed that we have had the immense pleasure of listening to and writing about this year.

In our first installment we bring you albums 50 through to 41.

 

 

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50. HARK – Crystalline (Season of Mist) 

Genre-bending aggression with doses of Doom, Prog, Psychedelia and Hardcore. Heavy as a very heavy thing.

 

 

 

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49. THE HAUNTED – Exit Wounds (Century Media)

“The album is filled with urgency and manages to be relentlessly heavy without compromising on those insanely catchy riffs. The Haunted have come back stronger than ever…  easily the band’s best effort a decade” DAN SWINHOE 9/10  Full review here

 

 

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48. THE WOUNDED KINGS – Consolamentum (Candlelight)

“Favouring lengthy yet subtly evolving guitar workouts that never lapse into repetitive dirge territory,The Wounded Kings go about working their dark, smoky magic with grim elegance… Simply put, The Wounded Kings are the quintessential English doom band “ JAMES CONWAY 8.5/10 Full review here

 

 

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47. SCHAMMASCH – Contradiction (Prosthetic)

“The quality of this album is obvious right from the beginning. Schammasch have created a record both challenging and endlessly refreshing, a truly remarkable sonic journey from beginning to end.” CAITLIN SMITH 9/10 Full review here

 

 

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46. AUTOPSY – Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves (Peaceville)

Tourniquets… continues in gnarly, raw and near sludgy death metal vein, but maintains their run of high quality and in fact tops anything that has come from their return.” CHRIS TIPPELL 8/10 Full review here

 

 

 

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45. KROKODIL – Nachash (Spinefarm)

“With a heavy dose of Mastodon in its veins, Krokodil are a groove juggernaut that pummels all in its path with its three guitarists of fury” DAN O’BRIEN 9/10 Full review here

 

 

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44. INTER ARMA – The Cavern (Relapse)

“The sheer gravity and fulminating power of much of the music here is oppressive yet it carries the weight easily, this blend of raw animal force, aching melody and immeasurable creativity marks out this fantastic band” PAUL QUINN 10/10 Full review here

 

 

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43. DEVIL YOU KNOW – The Beauty of Destruction (Nuclear Blast)

“(with) all the promise of a powerhouse, and it delivers on all fronts. The songs are well-crafted, nicely developed and excellently executed.” LYNN JORDAN 9.5/10 APRIL ALBUM OF THE MONTH Full review here

 

 

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42.BLUES PILLS – Blues Pills (Nuclear Blast)

“…a record that understands and curates its heritage and lineage but is fresh, contemporary and massively memorable. This is the record that you’ll be recommending to your friends for months to come” MAT DAVIES 9/10 Full review here

 

 

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41. ARTIFICIAL BRAIN – Labyrinth Constellation (Profound Lore)

“Technical death metal with sci-fi themes, brilliant, utterly amazing, breath-taking and challenging from the first to the last second.” TIAGO MOREIRA 9.5/10 Full review here

 

 

 

 

 

Compiled by Steve Tovey

Schammasch – Contradiction

Schammasch - Contradiction album cover

 

Switzerland may not often be recognized for the superiority of its black metal output, but with bands such as Celtic Frost, Samael and Bolzer all hailing from the country any new group stepping forth really does have some serious heritage to contend with. Taking up this mantle are Schammasch, a four-piece band from Basel. Revealing themselves to the world with their debut album Sic Lvceat Lvx back in 2010, they have returned this year with a massive 84 minute follow up double album, Contradiction (Prosthetic).

 

Despite the length, this is not an album that should be picked apart by track; it simply slips easily through from beginning to end, defying the seeming need to be broken down into smaller chunks of time. There are however some differences between the two halves of this double album. While the offerings of the first CD are violent and dismal blackened tomes, the second half draws back with a heavier post-black influence, transforming into something entirely more introspective without losing any of its power.

 

The quality of this album is obvious right from the beginning, starting as it means to continue with a punishingly long 10-minute opener. Atmospheric and menacing, Contradiction winds its way through a myriad of influences, only held together by the ever-present layer of distortion from the guitars. Despite not grounding themselves in a particular genre, the different styles seem to fuse organically with both metal and non-metal influences falling together into a dissonant and dark cacophony. It is this encompassing other styles and fearless experimentation that makes this band stand so strikingly far apart from many others producing extreme metal today.

 

It may only be their sophomore album, but Schammasch have created a record both challenging and endlessly refreshing, a truly remarkable sonic journey from beginning to end. This is certainly not a band you want to ignore for too much longer.

 

9 / 10

Schammasch on Facebook

 

CAITLIN SMITH