The majestic confines of the Albert Hall play host to the enigmatic clandestine outfit Godspeed You! Black Emperor, on this hot spring evening. As the light fades through the elegant stained glass windows solo member drone act Total Life provide something of an endurance test. Devoting nearly an hour to all of three notes may be acceptable when the visual aspect of someone like Sunn0))) is in place, but when it is merely a chap crouched behind a guitar case, fiddling with a laptop and synth then the idea of watching paint dry becomes quiet an attractive alternative to this set of self-indulgent navel-gazing drudgery.
Enter Canada’s premier post rock export. Greeted in a suitably reverential fashion with polite applause lapsing into hushed anticipation the crowd seem grateful just to experience their heroes in such an opulent setting. Over the nine song set which follows Godspeed You! Black Emperor, are simply breath taking. Certainly the omission of numbers like ‘East Hastings’ may be an issue to some, but from the moment violinist Sophie Trudeau leads her colleagues into opener ‘Hope Drone’ the hall is lost in a reverie of wonder. Delivered against a backdrop of eerie projections, slogans such as ‘Out Of Order’ and ‘Fuck America’ appear, their antiauthoritarian rhetoric is absorbed in a far more accessible fashion than having it screaming right at you.
New opus ‘Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress’ is aired in its entirety veering from majesty to dissonant often savage territory. It is a brutal performance art piece where each composition is given its time in the spotlight. Trudeau and company encircled with their back to the audience, only acknowledge their adoring public following the conclusion of the set but to have babbled on between tracks would have spoiled the mood and detracted from the experience.
Two new compositions are aired tonight suggest that, whatever the future holds for this trailblazing octet it will be as mysterious and compelling as ever. Rightfully occupying their very own plain of existence, GYBE are already carving a new chapter in a legacy as compelling as it is unconventional.
I definitely got dragged into some Light….
It was a cold november night, I think this was one of the first days of freezing cold in the Netherlands. And on this they we ventured to the DB’s in Utrecht to see some blackish, sludgy, post, doom, droney.. well do I have to continue?
First up was Galg (eng. Gallow) , this pretty young band is ready to be accepted by a bigger audience. This band definitely has this awesome vibe, they are going in the right direction with the music. They are good with giving you this squishy, nagging feeling in your stomach. So how does this involve the audience , you might ask? Galg got into the heads of a lot of people standing there. I have to say it was pretty crowded already when they began to play, which is a great measure for the way this genre has grown in the Netherlands. The young crowd was ready to get the party going and listen to something with more depth and something to start a conversation about. Galg is a great step toward exploring more in the genre. I have the feeling they could get more experimental musically, it wasn’t as diverse from the bands we already know. They can take this to the next level. Though, this is a pure band that knows how to set a mood with a sublime use of light or show. With a very subtile and smooth use of drums and a wall of sound, they created; they proved to be a very good band!
The second band up there was a very catchy and impressive act that definitely brought something new to my ears. Hemelbestormer (eng. Heavenstormer) is a band that brings a slightly progressive feeling into the post-doom, drone-ish sound that we already know. This band is hard, aggressive and really really catchy! It got me right at the beginning and didn’t let me go. They know we don’t need those boundless screams that seem to go nowhere at all. They just don’t do vocals, and it’s perfectly fine. The guitar lines are sublime, the drums fit perfectly, and the visuals were completely in sync with the music this band was producing. It was even pretty melodious! It was notable that the band could keep my attention during the whole show because they weren’t sticking in the endless guitarmastrubating, no instead they mixed it up and surprised the listener often. This band is a keeper, and really bringing something new. I loved it. I hope they had the same effect on more people over there.
Last but not least, off course, Dragged into Sunlight. This just is a fine piece of hypnotizing chaos. It was such a great atmosphere, people were so sucked into this show. And it was so dark, I was even afraid to write on my phone, I didn’t want to get people out of their vibe. But let’s get back to Dragged into Sunlight. This definitely one of the best shows I have seen yet. During the show the band plays with their backs to the audience in total darkness, except for a strobe light that is completely in sync with the drums. This works perfectly for their mesmerizing vibe. This is the kind of band that takes their music very seriously. It is not about the ego’s of the band members; no it is about the music. And they do everything to keep it this way. They never release their real names. Their vocalist, simply named T, he is not the standard extreme metal vocalist, it is not the screamer you normally see, it is more like it is a lone howling wolf that is amped on speed. Dragged Into Sunlight brings you the complete package, their music is executed perfectly, and it sets a psychoticly energetic mood!
Dragged Into Sunlight on Facebook
WORDS: KAAT VAN DORMALEN
Continuing their rise in the US as one of the best new post-rock/gaze/post-punk bands of recent memory, Nothing will storm the shores of Europe this Fall, playing dates in the UK, Italy, Austria, Hungary, The Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium and return to the Netherlands. This return to European soil follows their acclaimed turn at this past April’s Roadburn Festival with a performance that left tongues wagging and mouths agape.
Nothing released Guilty of Everything on Relapse in March. Surely to mark year-end best of lists in 2014, Nothing has been universally hailed as a new hope in modern, heavy music, Ghost Cult’s own scribe Tiago Moreira raved in his review of Guilty…, referencing the best in post-metal, shoegaze, and even some legit comparisons to Nirvana:
“The high levels of energy are a constant throughout these ten tracks. Jesu, My Bloody Valentine, Smashing Pumpkins, Slowdive can be influences, but they don’t restrain Nothing’s freedom, not even for one second….You just need to pay attention and let the repeat button do his job. In the end I can promise you this: the music and lyrics on Guilty of Everything will make a huge impact on you. You will not explore Nothing’s music, you will explore yourself.”
Front man, Domenic “Nicky” Palermo commented: “Can’t wait to get out of the United States for a while and come visit Europe. I hope someone takes me in so I never have to go back home.”
We know how you feel Nicky!
NOTHING Tour Dates:
04 November IT Bologna Freakout Club
05 November IT Rome Circolo Degli Artisti
06 November IT Milan Ohibo
07 November AT Linz Ahoi! Pop festival
08 November HR Zagreb Mochvara
09 November AT Vienna Arena
10 November CZ Prague Podnik
11 November DE Berlin Cassiopeia
12 November DE Hamburg Hafenklang
13 November DK Copenhagen Loppen
18 November NL Eindhoven Dynamo
19 November DE Stuttgart Jugendhaus West
20 November BE Kortrijk De Kreun
21 November UK Brighton Green Door Store
22 November UK Birmingham The Oobleck
23 November UK Glasgow Broadcast
24 November UK Leeds Brudenell Social Club
25 November UK London Birthdays
26 November BE Antwerp Het Bos
27 November NL Amsterdam OCCII
Stream to Guilty of Everything here
Eighteen years since their first release and 19 albums into their career, Boris are nothing if they are not prolific geniuses. You can count on them to release a challenging new album every few years, standing apart from the norm of what is expected, even from an underground band with a critical following. Their claim to fame is their chameleon-like ability to musically go from crushing sludge masterpieces, to post-rock gaze epics, to psychedelic prog-rock, thrash and whatever else their little hearts desire. To the casual observer, it might seem that the randomness of their musical whims are just that, whims. However, like a great novel, every Boris album at its core has every notion, theme, and every single note in its proper place. Whether you the listener is comforted, confounded, enraptured or frightened, they mean to take you on a journey to the center of your soul.
For a band that excels at making glorious noise, Noise (Sargent House) is not all that noisy compared to some of their more off -kilter releases. The vast majority of this album is a sublime exercise at heart tugging post-rock and shoegaze. Patient, methodical, uplifting and chilling all at once, these are some of the feelings that come to mind on repeated listens to Noise. There is just no way this album doesn’t move you emotionally. ‘Melody’ has an ominous entry into the album, but soon gives way to dreamy, uptempo beats and fierce singing guitars. The first few tracks are definitely fun and energetic, bringing the best this band has to offer in catchiness couched in a heavy sauce, akin to Queens of the Stone Age. Atsuo’s vocals soar and dominate, but also sooth you. A terrific opening. ‘Vanilla’ has more of the same jumpy beats and slick guitar work, with vocals from Takeshi. Changing pace, the more sedate, drone-laden ‘Ghost of Romance’ and doom mastery of ‘Heavy Rain’ are more standard fare for this band, but no less impressive.
After the light pop sunshine of ‘Taiyo No Baka’, the centerpiece of the album ‘Angel’ takes hold. At almost 19 minutes long, this is the best track on the album and easily one of the most dynamic, soul baring tracks the group has done. Wata’s guitar work is among her best ever. No one uses certain kinds of effects (delays, e-bowed parts) quite like she does. It’s slow, massive sounding, and pure Boris. No less epic, ‘Quicksilver’ is fast and angry, a mosh anthem with a brain. Closing out the album ‘Siesta’, sounds more like the hang-over the next day, rather than start of the party. Lucky for us, this band will always keep us on our toes, never turning complacent.
KEITH (KEEFY) CHACHKES