Ghost Cult Album Of The Year 2015 Countdown: 20 – 11

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Part four of the Ghost Cult Album of the Year countdown for 2015.

One staff team. Over 550 albums covered by Ghost Cult over the last twelve months. One epic race to be crowned Album of the Year.

Read on to dive into the Ghost Cult Top 20…

 

Soilwork-The-Ride-Majestic-800x80020. Soilwork – ‘The Ride Majestic’ (Nuclear Blast)

“The Ride Majestic continues the slow and subtle evolution of the Soilwork sound; sounding fuller, richer and shinier than all that have gone before. In a career of great albums, the aptly named The Ride Majestic is truly outstanding.”

Review by Philip Page here

 

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19. Parkway Drive – ‘Ire’ (Resist/Epitaph)

“While the main focus is still here in the now frontier, by opening the floodgates, Parkway have allowed themselves to write a batch of great metal songs that reference classic rock, traditional metal, 90’s groove metal and metalcore while still sounding resolutely and proudly Parkway.”

Review by Steve Tovey here

 

gnaw dragged18. Dragged Into Sunlight / Gnaw Their Tongues – ‘N.V.’ (Prosthetic)

“A genuinely effective whole, the Noise elements are relatively subtly played, often used to accentuate and highlight the Metal rather than entomb them. Whether judged as a collaboration between two artists with similar aesthetic goals or as an album in its own right, N.V. is an unrestrained success”

Review by Richie HR here

 

Thats_the_Spirit17. Bring Me The Horizon – ‘That’s The Spirit’ (RCA/Columbia)

“That’s The Spirit is Horizon maturing into a fine young adult, confident, strong and secure in themselves and the knowledge that they are now master craftsmen. Successfully combining every good aspect of alternative rock and metal of the last fifteen years, That’s The Spirit is Bring Me The Horizon’s ‘Black Album’ moment.”

Review by Steve Tovey here

 

elder16. Elder – ‘Lore’ (Armageddon Shop / Stickman)

Exemplary progressive stoner metal, with meticulous dynamics and depth, breadth, power, restraint, and mountainous music that builds to an almighty epic of a crescendo

 

btbam15. Between The Buried And Me – ‘Coma Ecliptic’ (Metal Blade)

Ghost Cult Album of the Month –October “The record that they were always promising to make but you weren’t sure was possible, on Coma Ecliptic, Between the Buried and Me have exceeded all expectations and delivered not only the album of their careers but one of the most monumental ambitious rock concept pieces this side of Operation Mindcrime.”

Review by James Conway here

 

gloryhammer14. Gloryhammer – ‘Space 1992: Rise Of The Chaos Wizards’ (Napalm)

“Gloryhammer are ridiculously entertaining. If you somehow manage to listen to new album Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards without grinning like an idiot all the way through it, then quite simply, you’re getting Metal wrong.”

Review by Gary Alcock here

 

AForestOfStars-BewareTheSword13. A Forest Of Stars – ‘Beware The Sword You Cannot See’ (Lupus Lounge/Prophecy)

“Enthralling storytelling and atmosphere, as well as explorations into psychedelic territory and pastoral folk amid the crushing black metal dynamics; fourth effort Beware the Sword You Cannot See is an unabashed masterpiece.”

Review by James Conway here

 

goatsnake12. Goatsnake – ‘Black Age Blues’ (Southern Lord)

“Clear, soulful tones elevate the songs above the rest of their stoner/doom brethren and vocal lines will lodge in your head for days after. An excellent comeback album from a band that has been away for far too long. Let’s hope they decide to keep this motor running for a little longer this time around.”

Review by James Conway here

 

royalthunder11. Royal Thunder – ‘Crooked Doors’ (Relapse)

“There are no throw away songs on this album, and every track rewards repeated listens. Crooked Doors is the sound of pressure cooking sand into glass and then into diamonds, all with an alchemy fuelled by magic and loss.”

Review by Keith Chachkes here

 

PART 1: ALBUMS 50-41

PART 2: ALBUMS 40-31

PART 3: ALBUMS 30-21

Gnaw Their Tongues and Dragged Into Sunlight – NV

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Let’s be honest – collaborations in Metal almost never work. The point is surely to create something which combines elements of both bands into something both distinctive and familiar, but in practice it normally ends up as either a crude patchwork or simply a retread of whichever band has the most distinctive style.

Gnaw Their Tongues and Dragged Into Sunlight are in many ways the perfect combination of bands for this kind of collaboration – not only because of their shared theme and atmosphere, but because both bands occupy a shifting sonic territory whose boundaries are regularly reformed. GTT have long been in the habit of altering the exact balance of Noise and Black Metal between albums, whereas DIS’ two non-collaborative albums both explore notably different styles and tones. As a result, it’s not easy to identify exactly what each party has contributed to NV (Prosthetic) – this is very much its own thing, not a crude combination of the two.

Which is not to say that this is their surprise Polka album. The five tracks on NV explore the mixture of Black Metal, harsh Noise and grim Sludge/Doom that you’d expect from these two names, and it’s a genuinely effective mixture. It may be GTT mastermind Mories’ hand that keeps the balance on the atmospheric and sinister rather than outright brutal, and Dragged Into Sunlight may have written the crusty Black Metal riffs that slither out of the shadows throughout, but the elements unite into a genuinely effective whole. It may initially seem surprising that the Noise elements are relatively subtly played, often used to accentuate and highlight the Metal rather than entomb them in the style of Aevangelist, but both bands understand the value of not over-egging the pudding all the time.

Whether judged as a collaboration between two artists with similar aesthetic goals or as an album in its own right, NV is an unrestrained success, and – alongside Gnaw Their Tongues’ own Abyss Of LongingThroats (Crucial Blast) – one of the more interesting albums in this style that you’re likely to hear in 2015.

 

8.5/10

RICHIE HR

Temples Festival 2016: Major Lineup Announcements

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Hot UK festival Temples, held at Motion skatepark in Bristol, UK, has confirmed the first batch of bands to play next years edition.

Extended to run over four days, and appearing a week later on the calendar than this years incarnation, one of the most must-see events on the UK metal and heavy music calendar has come out of the blocks, confirming the following acts will hit the boards between June 2 and June 5, with more to follow:

ALL PIGS MUST DIE
ARABROT
BONGRIPPER
CORRUPT MORAL ALTAR
DEAD CONGREGATION
DRAGGED INTO SUNLIGHT
ESOTERIC
GNAW THEIR TONGUES
GROUNDHOGS
IRON REAGAN
MGLA
PISSGRAVE
SHEER TERROR
URFAUST
VENOM PRISON
VICTIMS
VISION OF DISORDER
WEEKEND NACHOS

With 3 main stage headliners still to be announced, Temples is already shaping up as the place to be at the start of summer 2016.

Tickets are available exclusively from www.templesfestival.co.uk

Testament, Dragged Into Sunlight, Nuclear Assault, And More Added To Maryland Deathfest

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Maryland Deathfesttoday added 45 more bands to the line-up for next years’ festival, their 14th. New to the bill bands include Testament, Paradise Lost, Dragged Into Sunlight, Ringworm, Nuclear Assault, Buzzov*ven, Centinex, Duischarge, DOOM, Hirax, Novembers Doom, Rottensound, Repulsion, Satan, Weedeater, Skullshitter, and Waco Jesus among others. Last month MDF 2016 announced Venom, Exciter, The Haunted, and Samael with 20 other bands for next years festival.

New Bands Added to MDF 2016:

The Afternoon Gentlemen (UK)
Buzzov*en
Centinex (Sweden)
Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin (Italy)
Crypt Sermon
Dehumanized
Demonical (Sweden)
Demonic Christ
Deranged (Sweden)
Discharge (UK)
DOOM (UK)
Dopethrone (Canada)
Dragged into Sunlight (UK)
Gets Worse (UK)
Ground
Hellbringer (Australia)
Hirax
Horrendous
Infest
Interment (Sweden)
Magrudergrind
Novembers Doom
Nuclear Assault
Paradise Lost (UK)
Priapus
Putrescence (Canada)
Repulsion
Ringworm
Rotten Sound (Finland)
Satan (UK)
Secrets of the Moon (Germany)
Severed Head of State
Sick Fix
Sick of Stupidity (Netherlands)
Six Brew Bantha (Canada)
Skullshitter
Tempest
Test (Brazil)
Testament
Tragedy
Waco Jesus
Weedeater
Whoresnation (France)
Wombbath (Sweden)
World Burns to Death

45 more bands confirmed for MDF XIV!!!The Afternoon Gentlemen (UK)Buzzov*enCentinex (Sweden)Claudio Simonetti’s…

Posted by Maryland Deathfest on Friday, July 17, 2015

Temples Festival – Live at Bristol, UK

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Day 1

The excitement is palpable on the first day of Temples as the 2000 or so patrons eagerly await the delights of the truly impressive bill. The room for the Second Stage is packed as Flayed Disciple open up the second stage serving us some old school death-trash with effortless precision. Code’s new vocalist may just be settling in but melts effortlessly into the old sound only hindered by theatrical fluttering. The room turns distinctly black as northeastern beasts Wodensthrone unleash atmospheric layers of tremolo riffs with triumphant synths cut from the heart of heathen Britain itself. Winterfylleth fell victim to Friday’s sound issues, descending into a repetitive wall of noise, but luckily Desecration were ready to up the ante, running through neck-snapping family favorites such as ‘coffin smasher’ and ‘cunt full of maggots’. Mick Kenney may have been absent from the Anaal Nathrakh lineup for Temples, but his replacement is more than a match for their usual barrage of noise. As people pack to the main-stage, Gehenna’s old school blackened mass falls on just a few ears but those that remain are treated to cold dissonant blasts right out of ancient Norway.

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Some niggling sound issues are present at the Main-stage, but it doesn’t make much difference to the likes of Moss and Jucifer who both do their best to blow out as many eardrums as possible with their devastatingly heavy sludge batterings. Blood Ceremony draw a large crowd and it isn’t just because of what vocalist Alia O’Brien can do with a flute; their brand of rural pagan doom has enough charm and Sabbath-ian groove to bewitch anyone watching. There’s a feeling of sadness in the air as grindcore veterans Brutal Truth take the stage for their last ever UK show, but the feeling soon dissipates as they proceed to level the venue with mini cluster bomb tracks from ‘Extreme Conditions…’ through to ‘End Time.’ Drummer Rich Hoak hits his snare so fast it’s a wonder his arms don’t fall off while rotund frontman Kevin Sharp grunts and bellows his way through the likes of ‘Fuck Cancer’ like a belligerent old dog refusing to admit his day has come. Electric Wizard’s headline set is characterised by bad vibes, sloppy playing and ear-splitting heaviness; just why we love them. The absence of the trademark visuals may lessen the atmosphere slightly but it doesn’t stop ‘Satanic Rites of Drugula’, ‘Dopethrone’ and a gloriously ramshackle ‘Funeralopolis’ from burying the audience in smoke in a gloriously downbeat closer to Day 1.

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Day 2

There’s a few sleepy faces on Day 2 so what better wake-up call for the Second Stage than a blast of vicious metallic hardcore from local heroes True Valiance to brush away the cobwebs? Those expecting a Sabbath cover band are no doubt confused by Mob Rules and their disjointed hardcore which goes off in all directions, none of them particularly satisfying. Both Unkind and Vitamin X get their rage on in style with some impressive crowd participation but both of these acts are a mere forerunner to the triumphant return of D-Beat gods Wolfbrigade whose snarling, relentless set has bodies swaying and screaming along to cuts from as far back as the Wolfpack era. No one wants it to end yet as soon as old crusties Doom saunter on stage and set about reminding us that the 80s never really ended, all that matters is how utterly relevant they, and the likes of ‘Police Bastard’ still are.

 
Hangovers seemed plentiful on in the early afternoon as Mike Gallagher of ISIS fame entrances us with his post-rock side project MGR on the Main-Stage. Long intros and sparse notes dropping into shrieks show Bossk are on full form that evening, warming up for doom lords Conan who roll out a thundering wall of noise that make even the hardiest earplugs quake. Matching the intensity, Tombs heavy mass of sound is a dark moving mass of noise, twisting and turning through the set with deadly precision. Calling the masses back, Amenra captivate with bleak black and white visuals and Cult of Luna sound. The stark contrast of riffs and doomier chords combine perfectly to create an atmosphere of disembodied despair and pain. Neurosis said a massive fuck you to curfew and set times sailing through their billed time and treating fans to a massive 2-hour set. Their experience is evident as they break out solid grooves that ensnare even the most exhausted crowd members to the final note.

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Day 3

One of the largest crowds of the festival turn out for the lighter fare of Beastmilk and it’s impossible to resist the pitch black post-apocalyptic party for anything longer than a few seconds. Smiles are soon wiped however by the blackened rage of Oathbreaker who attack their instruments with venom, laying waste to the assembled throng with their nihilistic fury. A weak guitar tone and frequent pauses renders The Secret an exercise in frustration although ‘Seven Billion Graves’ still cuts deep. Nothing can prepare however for the complete annihilation of Dragged Into Sunlight whose wall of fog and caustic noise is like being hit by a nuclear bomb while being butchered by the Manson family. Repulsion have no hope of matching such intensity but you can’t argue with their cheery demeanour and the bulk of “Horrified” going down in easily digestible rotting chunks.

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An energetic start to Main-Stage as rock n roll band Lionize attempt to breathe life into a flagging audience with soaring vocals and classic riffing. Continuing on, stoner rock act Black Moth up the fuzz and hazy solos are offset by Hyde’s slow, haunting vocals. Herder up the energy, bursting on with a pure dosage of sludge on speed although it lacks the depth that Issac’s post-Taint band Hark brings to the stage. Crossover thrash masters SSS bring with them an infectious, relentless energy, pummeling out short sharp pulses of sound, rousing the crowd into masses of flailing bodies and limbs. Twin harmony riffing and vocal bellowing abound, its Doomriders consistent energy that ready the main room for the much-anticipated headliner that evening. Clutch’s dirty bluesy rock riffs are an undeniably catchy. Aptly opening on ‘The Mob Goes Wild,’ they break out enjoyable opening grooves but it quickly transforms into a distinctly slow end to an explosive weekend.

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WORDS BY JAMES CONWAY & CAITLIN SMITH

PHOTOS BY STEVEN WATKINS

High Art, Dark Hearts – Dragged Into Sunlight

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Burning candles. Backs turned resolutely to the audience. And of course the ever-present goat skull. It’s fair to say that Dragged Into Sunlight are one of the most intense and overwhelming live acts this country has ever produced, and we haven’t even mentioned the deafening volume and harrowing serial killer samples yet. For those who can take it, Dragged Into Sunlight’s set at Temples Festival will in all likelihood be impossible to miss. Let’s just hope they don’t set the fire alarm off. Mysteriously due to the closely guarded anonymity of the group… we are not sure which member answered our questions.

You are notoriously choosy when it comes to live shows. What made you agree to play Temples?

Temples has one of the more intriguing line ups that the UK has seen. Naturally, we were intrigued.

How important is the visual aspect to your live show?

Dragged Into Sunlight places significant emphasis on ‘feeling’ music in all of its forms. Dragged Into Sunlight is subjective and the importance therefore varies between individuals. That said, ultimately Dragged Into Sunlight has one motivation, putting everything we have into every moment we have and that integrity and intensity is second to none.

DIS-Cover

It’s been 18 months or so since the release of Widowmaker (Prosthetic). What has the reaction been like?

Widowmaker was well received. Whilst perhaps not the easiest to digest, it is anticipated to withstand time where others consistently fail. It is a recording which continues to challenge perception and serves as a suitably apt summary of a very specific window in time.

Is it difficult choosing a set list when so much of your music is best digested as a whole rather than via individual songs?

Whilst some may value specific parts over others, given that Dragged Into Sunlight is a completely selfish endeavour, the decision process is relatively straight forward. It is what it is, and you are free to consume as much or as little as you wish.

Is it hard to maintain your preferred method of anonymity in the digital age and does this approach make it easier or harder to reinforce the idea that Dragged Into Sunlight exists as a concept rather than ‘just a band.?’

It is certainly unfortunate that contemporary society struggles with the unknown and there exists what is almost an entitlement to know. Given the composition and the number of individuals involved, it would be difficult to interpret Dragged Into Sunlight as anything other than a concept. That said, every concept requires an explanation and where there is explanation there can be an understanding.

You have recently announced your first tour of Japan. What do you anticipate from touring in the East?

Godzilla Vs Mothra.

You have previously collaborated with an artist, Den Unge Herr Holm who depicted a show you played in Norway last year. How did this come about and do you anticipate similar collaborations in the future?

It was not a premeditated collaboration rather a chance encounter, nevertheless Kim Holm is exceptionally talented and we look forward to meeting again on our next visit to Norway. Whilst we always anticipate collaboration, time is not always on our side and we do what we can with the time available to us.

Dragged Into Sunlight tour poster

You have recently collaborated with Gnaw Their Tongues. Can you tell us about this meeting of minds and any news on a forthcoming full length release?

It derived from mutual admiration following meeting in 2010. We anticipate releasing a selection of those recordings in due course. We are currently writing and experimenting new material.

What bands are you most excited about sharing the stage with and seeing perform at Temples?

Repulsion and War Wolf.

What can we expect from your Temples set?

Misery forever.

Dragged Into Sunlight

JAMES CONWAY