Integrity has just released their split EP with Krieg today. To celebrate the band has shared their cover of ‘Document One’ by G.I.S.M. They also kick off a new European tour tonight, with all dates on sale now. Continue reading
In a post to Facebook, Profound Lore, one of the premier record labels for underground music have announced their partial release plan for 2017. In addition to the already announced Pallbearer and Krieg albums, the label plans to release many notable and cult bands albums in the new year!
Do you love extreme music and craft beer? If you answered yes, get ready for a trip to Philadelphia on April 22nd and 23rd. Continue reading
US Black Metal leaders Abigail Williams have booked a headline tour of the east coast. Wolvhammer and Amiensus will act as direct support on all dates. Abigail Williams are working on a new album, due for release in 2017. Further info will be announced as it is available in the months ahead. Continue reading
USBM leaders Krieg, fronted by Neill Jameson have signed with Profound Lore Records for their new album entitled Guilt, due later in 2016. In an exclusive interview with Ghost Cult, Jameson told Hillarie Jason about signing their new deal, another release long in the works, and the process of writing the new full length:
On signing their new deal:
“Jef Whitehead brought up that we were about to be released from our Candlelight contract to Chris Bruni and it went from there. I’ve had contact with Chris since he wrote for Metal Maniacs and I’m a big fan of some of the bands on his label, and also just how he has built an empire with his own two hands in the image of exactly how he wants it to go. I look forward to causing the label to lose a lot of money and respect worldwide with this next record.”
Concerning a long in the works split release with Integrity:
“...The split’s been recorded for about a year and is the best song we’ve ever recorded and the general basis for the next record so they tie in nicely with each other.”
On the forthcoming album:
“Yeah, we’re going to get together to start putting it together after the new year. There’s been less time between the two so I imagine there’s going to be more similarities between those two than there was between Isolationist and Transient. But I’m more inspired this time around by hardcore and crust than even the last one so there’s probably going to be a strong emphasis on that, without the shitty tough guy posturing.”
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Neill Jameson of Krieg is one of the more fascinating people you will ever come across. Outspoken, articulate, philosophical, funny, and mild-mannered could all describe the man based on meeting him say, if you bumped into him at the bookstore or record shop. However, anyone witnessing him perform or create music, has a very different image in their mind. As one of the most important figures in the USBM scene, he clearly is more about “the work” and not about the accolades. In an exclusive interview with Ghost Cult’s Hillarie Jason, Neill discusses some changes going on in his life, the next Krieg album due in 2016, his thoughts on coping with mental illness, and other topics.
Neill recently moved to Virginia from southern New Jersey, and we opened things up by discussing how that is affecting the creation of a next Krieg album.
“Virginia is a nice change from Jersey in a lot of ways but mostly it’s just been a much needed change in my life that I’m hoping continues to stay positive. Plus I’m fortunate to live in a city that has a good music scene so there’s always something to look forward to.”
“Having a different place to work through ideas always helps. I have a lot of different places I haven’t explored yet but I’m able to take long walks that ease my mind and let me think through the ideas I want to convey with this next record, both sonically and lyrically.”
The forthcoming new Krieg album, entitled Guilt is due in 2016. It promises the progression of Krieg’s growth from Transient (Candlelight), which was definitely a different animal sonically than Isolationist (also Candlelight) was. So should we assume that Guilt will be just as different? “Yeah, we’re going to get together to start putting it together after the new year. There’s been less time between the two so I imagine there’s going to be more similarities between those two than there was between Isolationist and Transient. But I’m more inspired this time around by hardcore and crust than even the last one so there’s probably going to be a strong emphasis on that, without the shitty tough guy posturing.”
Speaking of shitty tough guys, Neill has commentated on the foibles of such men in the metal scene in his occasional op-ed series for Decibel Magazine. He was equally praised and condemned by keyboard warriors regarding his past observations on bigotry, chauvinism, and elitism in metal. We asked how he dealt with the praise and backlash:
“I’m happy to have some kind of platform to speak out about stupidity in general, be it about stupid shit like horse masks and chicken costumes or the heavier stuff I’ve dealt with the last few columns. I’m also very used to people talking shit about me on the internet so this isn’t anything new nor will it be something that goes away. So I don’t particularly care one way or the other. I’m not interested in being a social justice warrior nor do I think censorship in case someone’s fucking feelings get hurt is a good idea. I’m all in favor of freedom of speech and expression but I’m also aware those come with consequences, an idea not a lot of these dry dicks hollering at me while their mothers are upstairs drinking away the memory of having a failure of a child can seem to grasp. But I’ve spent long enough being a shithead myself so now’s my chance to atone a bit I guess.”
Neill has been candid about his struggles with mental illness publicly and in past interviews. So much so that it may have paved the way for a public discussion in the music community on these topics, since a lot of heavy music imagery and lyrics focuses on madness. We asked what, if anything if the underground music community can do to break the stigmas attached to mental illness, bipolar disorder, etc.?
“Odd you bring that up right now. Yesterday I made the decision after five years off to go back on meds to treat my bi-polar depression and anxiety. I was going to try to use my writing to document the experience and try to follow in a lot of people’s footsteps and keep the dialogue about mental illness in music and art in general open and flowing. There’s less of a stigma to it now than ten years ago, but also everyone’s doctor has them on something for shit they probably don’t even need treatment for and that’s what kept me from being on them for so long, it had stopped making a difference and I felt the whole thing was a fucking sham, I still do for the most part, but I’m also at a place in my life where I know I need help otherwise I’m going to fucking ruin things for myself which I almost did when I did Blue Miasma and again after The Isolationist and I want to see if exploring this will somehow be beneficial to myself and maybe others through sharing the experience.”
Neil is well known for a slew of collaborative projects and split releases. We wondered if it’s easier to run your own band with no interference: “I don’t just have myself to think about anymore, that’s a big part of it. A lot of people who suffer from these conditions aren’t aware how it affects those close to them, I have been aware for a long time and that’s where the “guilt complex” comes in but it’s been recently that I’ve decided it’s not a cycle I want to keep reliving. It doesn’t add to my “creativity” or anything positive.”
“The collaborations I do have each been so entirely different that I focus on them more as a way to learn new methods and techniques from other artists and how to incorporate them into my own music. So they’re entirely different experiences to me so I can’t say if one is necessarily easier than the other.”
On working with working with Thurston Moore (in Twilight):
“One of the most valuable learning experiences I’ve ever had. Plus he’s such an open and excited collaborator that it made what we were doing all the more vivid and dynamic. I would love for the chance to work with him again on something.”
“As opposed to other previous Twilight members, two in particular, who just dialed it in and sat back to collect praise and whatever money was available.”
Krieg recently left Candlelight Records and signed with Profound Lore Records: “Jef Whitehead brought up that we were about to be released from our Candlelight contract to Chris Bruni and it went from there. I’ve had contact with Chris since he wrote for Metal Maniacs and I’m a big fan of some of the bands on his label, and also just how he has built an empire with his own two hands in the image of exactly how he wants it to go. I look forward to causing the label to lose a lot of money and respect worldwide with this next record.”
In general Neill has had a fairly prolific couple of years. What is his regular creative process like or does he prefer to work project to project?
“It’s sporadic. For most of this year I barely picked up a guitar or wrote any lyrics. Other times it’s like I can’t turn it off. I don’t know what causes this to happen, it’s like the seasons change. It’s always been like this.”
“I could sit and force it but you can tell when I do that. I’d rather just let it come naturally.”
Commenting further on the release date: “Sometime next year. Same with the split with Integrity.
The split’s been recorded for about a year and is the best song we’ve ever recorded and the general basis for the next record so they tie in nicely with each other.”
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A collaborative effort between two or more bands is not an unheard of concept, especially within our world’s more avant garde entities, from the sublime – Scott Walker and Sunn O))) – to the not so good (Metallica and Lou Reed just to open a can of worms). Experimental extremists The Body are certainly no strangers to such work, with their previous collaborations with the likes of Thou and this release with black metallers Krieg (At A Loss).
The first thing to note is how dissonant and visceral this release is. As with their previous joint works, The Body choose to bolster the white rage intensity of Krieg, building on a distinctly metal record with their dark traits. Rather than the more distinctive black metal blast beats however, this is much more electronic based, programmed beats, high pitched frequencies and feedback and a bulldozing pace, albeit with Neill Jameson’s piercing growls and shrieks on top.
This clash of raw black metal and the mechanized and programmed beats match up so well in what is an equally horrifying, dizzying and hypnotic effort, while Jameson’s vocals add an even weightier punch of pure terror as this conveys the absolute epitome of dismay and filth.
This is extreme metal crawling to its warped and perverse limits, dragging it kicking and screaming to the future.
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The inaugural Death To False Metal Festival will be taking place on May 1, 2015 on August 14 and 15, 2015 at The Outer Space & Ballroom in Hamden, CT. The event is sponsored by Earsplit PR and Metal Insider. The lineup will feature the following artists:
Friday night’s lineup:
Valkyrie (Relapse Records)
Bedroom Rehab Corporation
Saturday night lineup:
Krieg (Candlelight Records)
Secrets Of The Sky (Metal Blade Records)
Destroyer Of Light
Godhunter (The Compound Recs/Battleground Records)
Tomb & Thirst
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New Jersey isn’t a place you’d imagine was capable of spawning a Black Metal act that could appease the kvlt masses, all 666 of them. Indeed, the Garden State had best prepare for the oncoming blizzard. Being a band for nearly 20 years, Krieg has been among the forerunners of the USBM movement alongside Judas Iscariot, Weakling, and Leviathan, a distinction well deserved if it culminates in the release at hand, entitled Transient. The unassuming cover art features naught but a ruined building in black & white; no logo, no title, just an unassuming portrait of decay to accompany the equally grim music.
Far from being merely an imitation of the Norse masters, one can still pick out glimmers of old Immortal, and DarkThrone, as well as that distinctively American (fuck yeah) sound that pays homage to Crust Punk. Speaking of that, there’s a killer cover of Amebix’s ‘Winter’, with faithfully replicated vocals, cleverly placed in the middle of the album as opposed to being tacked on at the end. Not many bands do this, but I feel as though Transient on its own could have gotten away with that, seeing as the material is strong enough to hold its own merit. The drumming’s cannonading assault is rhythmically sound, and even provides enough subtlety, particularly in the cymbalwork, to keep me tuned in throughout. The guitar work is simple, but does its job well enough that they don’t need flashy solos, complex intertwining harmonies, etc. Just endless snow. Even the bass is audible, and that extra layer of low end goes a long way in enhancing the already potent axes.
Overall, I found myself preferring the tracks with the catchiest melodies, as I’m a sucker for songwriting in my Black Metal. ‘Atlas With A Broken Arm’ has a particularly sorrowful, even catchy melody, and near the end puts in a rockin’ headbang section, complete with an atmospheric lead (or is it a synth?), finishing with a spectacularly anguished wail that departs from Lord Imperial’s standard delivery. ‘Ruin Our Lives’ opens slow, has a brief electronic interlude, and returns with renewed malice in the form of Satanic Warmaster-esque pummeling. Closing track ‘Gospel Hand’ is perhaps, alongside ‘Atlas’, one of the strongest tracks, due to its melody also being quite the earworm, insofar as Black Metal can have catchy riffs without being false. Take notes, aspiring Black Metallers, before strapping on those spiked gauntlets: You can make music.
Picturesque bleakness and a comforting sense of nihility pervade this release. No filler makes itself known here, even though the average song is around 4-5 minutes, the longest being ‘Home’, an ambient track featuring a seasonably bleak spoken word piece that drives er… home the essence and heart of the album. Enriched by electronics and a simple acoustic guitar riff, it’s a welcome shift musically, tonally cohesive enough to earn its place. In all, the album doesn’t reek of modernity, nor wallow in its vinyl closet, but offers quality at every turn. A highly recommended soundtrack for your impending death.
One of the most exciting underground bands in America today is Ramlord. Led by the positively nihilistic Jan Slezak (Leather Chalice), their mesh of crust-laden blackened d-beat has kids beating the piss out of each other up and down the east coast and scowling a lot in general. Sort of an anti-hero band for people in these times of anti-everything; these guys play fast, sick music without apology or regard for typical conventions. Their recent album, Crippled Minds, Sundered Wisdom (Hypaethral Records) was a keeper too. Ghost Cult scribe Sean Pierre-Antoine has risked his own life and limb in the mosh pits of raided-by-police DIY venues and Elk’s Lodges to witness the fury Jan and his mates put down. It was only fitting that a fellow eccentric, like Sean, pen this Q & A for the band to try to uncover some ugly truths about them.
Aside from the obvious, what inspired the name Ramlord?
The name Ramlord was created by founding member and ex-bassist Brian, who played on Stench of Fallacy and the couple splits that followed it. I can only imagine his sick obsession with melding common livestock with honored religious figures. We praise the horned one eternal at the dawn of each painful, regrettable day.
On the topic of influence; what are some non-metal/punk artists that the band draws from?
I honestly don’t listen to anything outside of trve territory besides some harsh noise/power electronics and dark ambient, although those genres don’t have much influence on Ramlord. We draw from all extreme corners within punk and metal though.
You’ve got splits out with Cara Neir, Condensed Flesh, Welkin Dusk, and most recently, Nuclear Devastation; do you have a favorite?
Each release is special to me and slowly helps fill the many voids I experience on a daily basis. The romantic sounds of ‘Ceaseless Grief’ (from Welkin Dusk split) serve a different purpose than the introspective ‘Affliction of Clairvoyence’ (from Cara Neir split) so it is difficult to decide.
How would you describe the creative process behind the “normal” Ramlord song?
Although I write a majority of the music and bring it to practice beforehand, the songs shape and evolve when other members contribute their ideas to the sound. We often jam on one riff for a very long time until we can churn out the filthiest noise from it and then commit the best part of the jam into a short section of the track. It is an ever-evolving mass of sewage although it is always very clear when the trail of slime runs dry.
At the risk of raising discontent; is there anything you are dissatisfied with under the Ramlord name?
Ramlord is the ultimate project I can image being in, as I feel 666% free to pursue the musical direction in my filthy heart. All those strange pieces somehow come together to create one vision, or perhaps not, but our discography is so fragmented through short releases that no one notices.
How do you view the growing popularity of your stench?
It is very rewarding to see people making bootleg crewnecks and getting numerous pressings of releases and seeing my words and music resonate with many other suicidal failures. I have a very specific vision for songwriting and I am getting closer and closer to it with each release, this is the only optimistic aspect of my life.
What are your thoughts on the term “USBM”, and do you feel as though Ramlord fits in this category?
I would guess our closest genre is “blackened crust” although I feel quite detached from the metal, hardcore and punk scenes in my area. People have told us we aren’t “black metal enough” so this could be a big reason why.
What band(s) would you kill to tour with; active, non-touring or dead?
For all eternity :: Discharge. Other legends like Blasphemy, Incantation, Venom, Coffins, Abigail, Autopsy, Saint Vitus, Bathory hologram, etc..
How many songs about death, despair and loneliness do you have left in your collective soul?
I always thought I was constantly evolving lyrically with each release but I recently read through all the lyrics in one session and realized they are all about self-loathing and the fetishism of death’s release. No matter what I set out to write about, it comes full circle to the one true master : death.
Should we expect musical experimentation on future releases?
The newer recordings we have are heavier and use more ODSM influence, however, there are no plans to leave the banner of punk and metal any time soon. We have often talked about doing a 40-minute song of pure doom but with the constant barrage of splits, it might be a while before that happens.
Is there ever too much Discharge?
Absolutely not. I have never heard of a Discharge-clone I didn’t like, especially live. All bands should play Discharge covers, regardless of genre, if they want to be taken seriously (by me).
Smoke weed//Kill cops forever
Future Ramlord releases:
Krieg/Ramlord (7” on Unholy Anarchy, cassette on Wolves ov Hades)
Stench of Fallacy repress (cassette on Wolves ov Hades)
Untitled EP (7” on Broken Limbs)
Sea of Bones/Ramlord (7” on Broken Limbs)