REVIEW: Psycho Las Vegas 2019 – Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino

As far as large multi-day fests go, Psycho Las Vegas is still pretty wet behind the ears having only just had their fourth annual incarnation this August but already it has begun growing into what will likely continue to be the summer juggernaut of partying and music. New this year, to the dismay of many, was the location change from the off the strip and perfectly themed haunt, The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, to the megaplex that is Mandalay Bay. Gone is the feeling of a true fest take over and in its place, a sprawling amalgamation of “psychos” and people from any town USA or abroad there simply to gamble, throw pre-wedding bashes, get drunk or maybe attend a conference (*ahem* “conference”). Once everyone got their bearings and navigated through this corporate mega casino/hotel/shopping mall, pushed back a few drinks or whatever preferred substances they were into, and found the locations of the four stages, the complaining ebbed and instead, people experienced the fest for what it is. A gigantic party with a great combination of bands playing for four days. Continue reading

FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Psycho Las Vegas 2019

Ghost Cult is once again honored to be part of Psycho Las Vegas, a goddam heavy metal casino/beach party extravaganza if there ever was one. The filth of Rock, Sludge, Doom, Trad, Hardcore, Prog, and Stoner Metal genres and the glitz of Vegas- baby, all rolled into one. Headlined by Original Misfits, Opeth, Electric Wizard, Corrosion of Conformity, Bad Religion, YOB, Lucifer, High on Fire, GsY!BE, Clutch, Carcass, Triumph of Death, Graveyard, ASG, Primitive Man, Deafheaven, Kadavar, Vio-Lence, Soft Kill, Andrew W.K., Tomb Mold, Power Trip, Full of Hell, and a ton more bands, it promises to be a rager. Sadly, Oranssi Pazuzu and Rotting Christ have dropped out. Every band is carefully curated and picked, so try to see them all if you can. If you can’t get set with the full lineup, and our “must not miss list” picks for each day! Continue reading

Benefit Show For Ilsa Planned After the Band Was Robbed Of Their Gear On Tour

DC area Doom Metal band Ilsa were having a bang-up year with their springtime release of their excellent album Corpse Fortress on Relapse Records and a ton of touring. They recently also put out a split EP with Greta. Sadly, right before Thanksgiving, they were robbed in Seattle, Washington outside of the Sheraton Four Points Hotel. The was a devastating blow to the band and they lost irreplaceable gear (full list in the post below). On a good note, friends of the band are putting on a benefit show on February 2nd. Hosted by promoters Ripping Headaches and Crowbars Up and held at Atlas Brew Works in DC, the show will feature Inter Arma, Earthling, Total Maniac and Ampallang Infection. All proceed will go to the band as well as any other donations taken that night. It sucks when bad things happen to cool people, but it’s good when others come together to lend support. If you can’t support the event by going, please consider buying some albums or merch from Ilsa so we can list their spirits and get them back to business soon.

Continue reading

Ilsa – Corpse Fortress

To refer to Ilsa’s latest, Corpse Fortress (Relapse), as just Doom Metal seems a bit reductive. Yes, Doom is the foundation on which the monolith tracks of Ilsa are built on, and that is fiercely on display on ‘Drums of the Dark Gods’ and ‘Hikikomari.’ But careful attention reveals that there are undercurrents of Black, Thrash and even Punk fortifying the stock. Continue reading

Relapse Records Announces New Dying Fetus, Obituary, Iron Reagan, Primitive Man, Myrkur, King Woman, Pig Destroyer And More

Relapse Records, one of the most respected labels in music posted an announcement earlier today for a partial release plan for 2017. Dying Fetus, Obituary, Iron Reagan, Primitive Man, Myrkur, King Woman, Pig Destroyer, Ilsa are among the notable bands with new music on the way. Continue reading

Windhand – Ilsa Live At Once Ballroom


My back was to the wall, and I felt a little wavy headed from booze and music. Sweaty under my hoodie from pregamming at the house, but the club was drafty. My eyes were rolled back under my sleepy lids, as waves of sound punched my eardrums inside out. My head nodded to the beat of every riff. Sometimes those glorious razors of sound came faster, but most of them were steady as breathing to me. Over the din, one solitary voice in pain, disgust, and sometimes joy filled entire room with so much heart, if left the crowed positively entranced.  Continue reading

Coffins/Ilsa – Split EP

coffins ilsa split ep ghostcultmag

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?



[amazon asin=B01B6XTJJ2&template=iframe image1]

News: Coffins Announces Upcoming US Tour

coffins the bloodstained resurrection tour 2016

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

Coffins – Craving To Eternal Slumber

Coffins - Craving To Eternal Slumber

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.