Masterful Swedish post-Rock band Barrens will release their new album Penumbra, tomorrow 4/10/2020 via Pelagic Records. The group features members of long-running Indie Rock band Scraps of Tape. Provocative instrumentals, and possessing a well of emotional depth track after track, the hypnotic journey of Penumbra seeps in through the mind and digs down to your soul. Waves of guitars dance alongside synths to bring additional unique layers to each track. The album was recorded in Uppsala and Gothenburg, produced by the band, and mixed and mastered by Cult Of Luna’s Magnus Lindberg at Redmount Studios in Stockholm. You can stream the full album here at Ghost Cult, as well a pre-order the release at the link below. Continue reading
Ghost Cult has teamed up with Jazz and Metal inspired instrumental trio Kilter for a new giveaway to celebrate their forthcoming new album, Axiom, due out on February 28th. For the uninitiated, Kilter features world-renowned musicians such as founder and bassist Laurent David (Electric Epic, M&T@L), drummer Kenny Grohowski (Imperial Triumphant, Hipster Assassins), and saxophonist Edward Rosenberg III (Jerseyband, Heart of Barf) an improvisation heavy work of avant-garde metal! The album features guests appearances from Andromeda Anarchia (Darkmatters) and Per Nilsson (Meshuggah) and was co-produced by Grammy award winner Marc Urselli. Pre-orders are live now, but you can win this incredible merch bundle from the band, including limited edition custom vinyl and a T-Shirt! Simply find our post on Ghost Cult’s Facebook or Instagram and comment with one band any of the members of Kilter is also involved in! One entry per person, winner chose at random. The contest ends 1/23/2020. See all of the rules of the contest for all of the rules below. Continue reading
Formed in 1999 in Dalian, China; Wang Wen are relative unknowns in the West, despite previous works being well received by those in the know and despite previous tours with the likes of Mono and Mogwai. Their brand of post-rock like instrumental music has always had experimental leanings (despite their pretenses that they aren’t an experimental band), as well as in their approach. Continue reading
Instrumental Post-Rockers Maybeshewill have released a new video for their track ‘Sanctuary’. Filmed on their recent tour, it is the second video off of the recently wide-released Fair Youth (Superball), which first came out in Europe last fall. The video can be seen below:
Commenting on the making of the video the band released a statement:
“Last year we embarked on the most ambitious tour of our lives across Europe, Asia and Australasia. We took a bunch of cameras with us an attempted to document it in some meaningful way that captured what was one of the most incredible experiences of our lives. This video for ‘Sanctuary’ is the result of that.“
The band is currently booking more live dates in Europe for may with two booked and announced already being the UK and Belgium.
Long-running West Virginia bred, instrumental stoner-rock missionaries Karma To Burn has just finally released their killer new album Arch Stanton (Faba Records) in the USA, after it was available overseas last summer. The tracks themselves are mini-epics of major proportions, and they cement everything you love about this groovin institution, yet pushes out their sound even more than before. To celebrate, the band has hit the road with like minded rockers Sierra on a tour that will see them criss-cross the US. Catching up with the band recently at Portland Oregon’s storied Hawthorne Theater, both bands were impressive. Even local opener Disenchanter caught our attention. Check out this photo set from the show courtesy of Curtiss Dunlap Photography. If you can’t make it out to a show, go pick up Arch Stanton, sit back, burn one and space out.
Chicago instrumental post-rockers Pelican have been known for putting on quite the powerful show despite the lack of vocals. While this is a minor setback for those unfamiliar with the band, Pelican’s sound is quite heavy enough for those who love their music this way and tonight’s show was no exception.
Bassist Bryan Herweg was positioned in center with guitarist Trevor de Brauw and their “newest” member Dallas Thomas working together and creating a vibe that comes across heavy yet atmospheric. The visuals playing in the backdrop works well with the low lighting and creates a somewhat somber atmosphere that got the crowd into it immediately.
Almost half of their ten song set covered their latest release Forever Becoming, such as ‘The Tundra’ and ‘Deny The Absolute’, while sprinkling songs from various releases such as ‘Dead Between the Walls’ and ‘Ephemeral’. Their set list flowed fairly smoothly and unlike past tours, Pelican weaved it together fairly well and gave the crowd an earful of heavy sounds.
The encore of ‘Mammoth’ was their heaviest tune of the evening, getting a mosh pit going and raising the tempo for the night. While many may not expect such things happening at a Pelican show, they do throw in surprises.
Brooklyn, New York’s Tombs is a bit of the opposite of what post-rock fans may expect and instead leaned towards crushing riffs and a tinge of black metal meets experimental heaviness. Rarely letting up on low end heaviness, Tombs kept the crowd on its feet with its vicious heaviness and rarely letting up. Neurot Recordings artist Mustard Gas And Roses a.k.a. MGR a.k.a. Mike Gallagher (ex-ISIS) opened the night.
WORDS BY REI NISHIMOTO
Tonight we had a special treat, post-rock rising stars Long Distance Calling are played a full “An Evening With ” concert in 013. No opener, just 2 hours of ambient complex bliss. On their last album, the formerly instrumental band decided to get vocals involved, and this led to some speculation on part of the live shows. Many fans were concerned the instrumental epochs the band was known for would be shoved aside by the new tunes with vocals. The new vocalist also made us very curious to see how he preformed. It’s one thing to sound good on record, but live is a completely different set of playing cards.
The first thing we noticed when the band started playing is they didn’t have their vocalist in a prominent place up front. He’s hidden behind the keys, synths and computer elements, with the guitars on the front of the stage. Another thing we were quite happy about is the mix of songs of the set. Instead of focusing on their newer work from their last album, they provided a good mix of older, instrumental songs, flowing seamlessly into newer songs with vocal elements. The two hour show was in two parts, with a short intermezzo between the first and second hour. The first part relied more on a little more edgy and up tempo set, with vocals coming in at different intervals. In the second set they mellowed out more and it felt more like a lengthy jam, where they wove several numbers together, including a brand new song. Vocalist, Martin Fischer, also got a somewhat bigger role to play in the second set. His vocal timbre fits well into the music and reminds a little of Brian Molko from Placebo and Alice in Chains original vocalist, Layne Staley. Where I can listen to this band for ever, it’s not for everyone and I can see how the use of almost the same chord schemes and tonalities can become a little dull. The music is more rhythm driven in it’s variations at times. These elements do mean they can seamlessly weave their music together, pulling the listener deeper and deeper into the world they sketch, almost becoming hypnotic. All in all, a very good gig and definitely a band worth looking out for.
Into the Black Wide Open
Inside The Flood
The Figrin D’an Boogie
Black Paper Planes
How The Gods Kill (Danzig cover)
(Unknown) (new song)
Ductus (with extended middle section)
The Man Within
Arecibo (Long Distance Calling)
Metulsky Curse Revisited
Words and photos by Susanne A. Maathuis
Post-metal flag bearers Pelican have a brilliant new album out Forever Becoming (Southern Lord) that once again has them at the forefront of modern heavy music. Ghost Cult’s Raymond Westland caught up with Larry Herweg and Dallas Thomas to discuss the process of making this masterpiece, changing dynamics within the band, changing record labels playing the Roadburn festival, and the upcoming touring plans of the band.
Congrats on releasing such a strong and focused album as Forever Becoming. Are you happy the way it turned out?
Dallas: I am super stoked on how it turned out, Seemed like everything clicked into place right before the tape started rolling…
Can you take us through the motions of writing and recording Forever Becoming? What were you guys aiming for?
Dallas: Bryan, Trevor, and Larry had most of the material mapped out via some rehearsals and swapping files via email before I came in on the tail end of the writing process just subtly adding to what was laid down. This worked out well because the main aim was to keep it continuation of Pelican, even with Laurent being absent. We all knew it was never going be the same but I feel that a lot of liberties were taken to make sure this album wasn’t a crazy departure musically from the rest the Pelican back catalog.
Last year guitarist and founding member Laurent Schroeder–Lebec left the band. How did this change the dynamics and the creative process within the band?
Larry: Bryan and Trevor had been writing more songs ever since “City of Echoes”. Trevor was responsible for “Far From Fields” and “A Delicate Sense of Balance”and Bryan “Winds With Hands” . When “WWACTN” came out in 2009, Bryan had been playing guitar more and worked out “An Inch Above Sand”, “Final Breath” and “Strung Up From the Sky”. So when Laurent, stepped out of the band, it just made Bryan and Trevor start working together more. Their chemistry is apparent on “Forever Becoming”. We had some time off and there wasn’t too much pressure for deadlines when they started crafting the songs.
In 2012 you guys played at the Roadburn Festival. How you look back on the whole experience and would you like to play there again?
Dallas: Roadburn last year was a highlight of my musical career for sure. It was truly an awesome experience, the only down side was we were on tour and could not stay for the whole festival… Of course we would play there again!
Larry: For sure! That was our second time there. Let’s go for a third!
If you had the chance to curate the Roadburn festival, which bands would you pick and why?
Dallas: Most of the bands that I am thinking of have already played Roadburn, but regardless mine would be Neurosis, Swans, Bolt Thrower, Goat, Atlas Moth, Russian Circles, Bloodiest, Electric Hawk, Godflesh, Carcass, High on Fire etc.... I could go on forever because all these bands rule!
Larry: Quicksand (because they wrote “Slip”), Soundgarden (“4th of July” enough said), Clutch (early material still rules), Mogwai (kill it live), Palms (Isis/deftones members, duh).
Pelican is often cited as one of the leading bands within the post rock and metal genres. What’s your opinion on that?
Larry: I’m glad people like us and we’ve had such great opportunities and some success! We’ve always tried to do our own thing and play by our own rules. I hope we can continue to be seen that way after this new album debuts.
Pelican is signed to Southern Lord, a reputable label known for releasing high quality releases. How does it feel to be on their roster and how things going so far between the band and the label?
Larry: Greg’s been really good to us thus far! I was working with Greg back in 2003-2006 when I was in Lair of the Minotaur. So I knew what to expect when he signed Pelican. Its a great label and a “taste maker” in the heavy music scene. He has a loyal following and we are in good company!
Previously the band was signed to Hydrahead Records, which folded sadly last year. What are your thoughts on Hydrahead’s sad demise?
Larry: “All good things must come to an end”, or “Nothing good lasts forever”. But I am glad they are keeping their back catalog in print! Botch, Cave In, etc!
What touring plans do you have in support of Forever Becoming?
Dallas: We are going to do some record release shows in the US this fall. Then hopefully as much as possible in 2014 depending on what everyone’s hectic schedules will allow.
Larry: East Coast (USA) in Fall, West Coast (USA) in Spring. Hope to go back to Japan and Australia in 2014