Due to allegations of sexual harassment and verbal and physical abuse made against the tour’s promoter, Sleep have decided to cancel their upcoming dates in New Zealand and Australia. Continue reading
This multinational bill covered three continents and crossed several extreme sub-genres, which may have accounted for a disappointing attendance. A mere dozen witnessed Hampshire quintet Ageless Oblivion take to the stage but a Death-Groove explosion, orchestrated by the phenomenal drumming of Noah See, steadily roused the populace. The brooding, savage ‘Penthos’ displayed the band’s versatility, a pensive progression offset by bone-crushing main sections, and was the high point of a dramatic and technically superb performance.
The intensity with which Bell Witch drummer Jesse Shreibman leant over his kit whilst studiously watching bassist Dylan Desmond, accurately portrayed the belief and intent with which he subsequently laid waste to it. Desmond’s huge 6-string bass towered over the bewitched throng as he softly intoned into the mic, his fingers caressing the fretboard and producing notes usually out of reach to mere mortals. ‘…Awoken (Breathing Teeth)’ was harrowing, omnipotent and bewildering: Desmond’s mournful strings weighing on Schreibman’s bowed head until he pounded back in with the force of a fucked-off juggernaut, roaring to the sky like a wounded musk ox. The track’s frame-shuddering and impossibly moving finale sent more than one person to the benches, overwhelmed by emotion.
Auckland Technical Death purveyors Ulcerate displayed every element of their undoubted proficiency with urgency and muscular action. Guitarist Michael Hoggard and frontman / bassist Paul Kelland jerked lithely in almost reptilian fashion, their heads pouncing on the buckling beat like raptors. Jamie Saint Merat, meanwhile, considered one of the best sticksmen in the world, danced around his kit with the dexterity of Nijinsky whilst pounding the crap out of it. Involving yet brutal, the groove of ‘Soullessness Embraced’ was pushed through every bone by a wiry frontman wielding his bass like a demanding lover; while Hoggard, his freakishly long, flexing neck moving with the articulation of a Bosc Monitor, flung his instrument around like a toy in a kid’s hand. ‘Weight of Emptiness’ meanwhile, its sinister clashes and clangs shot through with brutal portent, highlighted again the incredible work of Merat who hypnotised all by slamming perfected, multiple rhythms down our throats whilst appearing to do nothing.
For a New Zealand band to perform 11,000 miles from home with this intensity to a room of 50 people was both criminal and admirable. An eclectic bill in many ways, Bell Witch just about stole it but every band played their part in a remarkable show of strength.
WORDS BY PAUL QUINN
PHOTOS BY RICH PRICE PHOTOGRAPHY
Founding AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd was sentenced today (Thursday June 9th) by the Tauranga District Court in New Zealand to 8 months of home detention for his charges of drug possession and threatening to kill.
Rudd was present in court for his sentencing, having already pled guilty to possession of cannabis and methamphetamine and one charge for making a threat to kill someone. He had hoped to have the charges dismissed.
Judge Thomas Ingram presided over the case, and gave Rudd a stern warning to not break his sentencing:
“I stone cold guarantee that’s (jail) where you’ll end up”. “I’m not your headmaster, I’m not your father. I’m a judge.”
Rudd will serve out his sentence in is mansion for the duration the the 8 months. Arrested and charged with the drug offenses and attempting to “procure a murder” of his former personal assistant last November, Rudd has been embroiled in drama ever since. He was not officially terminated from AC/DC and has said repeatedly in the press that expects to play with them again someday, although his band mates are apparently “not talking to him”.
Chris Slade was invited back into AC/DC earlier this year and at least for the time being, is expected to remain behind the drum throne for the legendary band. AC/DC continues to tour behind 2014’s Rock Or Bust (Columbia) album and is celebrating 40+ years as a touring band in 2015.
New Zealand post-hardcore outfit Spook The Horses have completed their sophomore album Rainmaker for a mid-winter 2015 release. Download “Flood” for free via Bandcamp here.
The band has confirmed show dates which are listed below.
SPOOK THE HORSES North Island 2014/15 [info]:
Nov 28: San Fran – Wellington, NZ (w/ Into Orbit, Skymning)
Dec 06: Great Job – Palmerston North, NZ (w/ Gains, Robin)
Dec 13: Ding Dong Lounge – Auckland, NZ (w/ Old Loaves, Proton Beast)
Jan 17: The Cabana – Napier, NZ (w/ Heterodox)
SPOOK THE HORSES:
Ben Dentice – guitar
Donnie Cuzens – guitar
Callum Gay – guitar, synth/sampling, vocals
Alex Ross – bass guitar
Zach Meech – drums