Let’s get one thing out of the way, Roadburn is still the premier underground fest that it has always been. I know so many people who went into this year’s fest expecting it to be their last, saying the lineup wasn’t for them, or that they didn’t like this change or that change. But I can tell you, they have all already booked rooms and bought tickets for next year. Change isn’t bad.
Deep in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn with a nice long walk from the train, I’ve finally made it to Brooklyn Steel for a night of French musical goodness. Carpenter Brut can be considered both the name of the keyboardist/mastermind who perfers to be anonymous and also the name of the group itself. Take your pick. Starting the two-band bill night was Sierra who is making her American debut on this tour. Her EDM and Darkwave tones set the vibe perfectly for this moody dance night. She also was the sole vocalist performing live at this show. Armed with her DJ rig, drum pads, and hypnotic beats; Sierra is someone I’d like to see again.
Sojourning to the Steel City, where the steel these days is mostly from the music, Descendants of Crom Festival enjoyed a second annual event recently and Ghost Cult was there. From the pre-fest gala and parking lot party (think of a modern “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” with stoner rock and doom fans), three nights of badassery at both Howlers and the Cattivo club, it was a rager. Shout out to the sponsors Blackseed Records and Riff Relevant among others. Highlights of the weekend included sets from Heavy Temple, Howling Giant, Doomstress, Come to Grief, Thunderbird Divine, Toke, Geezer, Duel, but really you can’t really go wrong with a deep lineup like this. We can’t wait for next year and round three! In the meantime, check out these photos by Dante Torrieri of Useless Rebel Imaging for Ghost Cult. Continue reading →
Blackseed Records Presents the Descendants of Crom Festival, a three-day underground heavy music festival is taking over Pittsburgh, PA this coming weekend for its second annual event. Billing itself as “A Gathering Of Rock, Doom, Sludge, And Metal” in the Steel City, Descendents of Crom Fest takes place September 27th to 29th at Howlers and Cattivo clubs and features Mos Generator, Lo-Pan, Duel, Come To Grief, Heavy Temple, Worshipper, Devil To Pay, Freedom Hawk, Disenchanter, Geezer and many more. There is also a Pre-fest Gala and other events all weekend long! Full set times, venue info and ticket info can be found at the links below. Continue reading →
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.
The Year of the Snake: Four Days of Noise, Doom, and Booze in the Old Pueblo Part I
Early in the afternoon on the tenth day of October, a small corner on the edge of a rather quiet neighborhood in Tucson, AZ was besieged by a caravan of tour buses and vans. Within moments of screeching to a halt, this group of transports began disgorging the vanguard of an army primed for delivering an all or nothing audio assault of extreme music over a four day campaign. This was the beginning of the second annual Southwest Terror Fest, a celebration of heavy underground music with an impressive lineup that puts well known national acts alongside the best of the underground scene. Year two was all about outdoing year one. Doubled in length, with sixty-five bands, the headliners also grew in immensity with revered artists such as Kylesa, Red Fang, and Sacred Reich leading the charge. Anticipating the experience of seeing these mighty bands and discovering new ones, a heady excitement permeated the air as those first day bands and venue staff converged.
Within hours of their arrival, these merchants of extreme unloaded mountains of gear to strategic locations inside The Rock, the well known local venue on the street corner that was about to become anything but silent. The impressive array of guitar cabinets, amplifiers, drums, and other instruments were tuned and adjusted, while microphones were fixed to stands much like bayonets would be fixed to the end of rifles. Walking by the bar, one would have seen a stockpile of Pabst Blue Ribbon or a vast array of Jack Daniels, all of it neatly set up to supply the artillery of alcoholism that would shortly be firing for maximum effect. Yes, year two of the festival was definitely going the distance and pulling out all of the stops to make the biggest bang possible. Day one was ready to begin.
After an initial gaggle of local bands, who alternately performed on the main stage and the smaller, more intimate second stage, events began to heat up with some on fire performances via Godhunter’s confrontational punk sludge, Anakim’s cerebral hammering, and Sierra’s old school, groovy distortion. The mood of the event was cheerful and the growing crowd flowed smoothly across the the venue in search of merch, beer, or food. Later performances of note on that first day included a powerful set from Demon Lung, packing the smaller side room with their heavy dirges and apocalyptic vibes, as well as a rather unique band named Pinkish Black, who dropped an ethereal, keyboard heavy acid trip onto the curious onlookers over at the main stage. Once Kylesa hit the main stage to close out the first day, it was clear that all which came before was mere prologue. Through their trademark poly rhythmic attack and gut wrenching atmospheres, Kylesa was the definition of heavy during their debut performance in the City of Tucson.
As day two dawned, the festival kicked into even higher gear with a more extensive and diverse lineup. The crowd seemed to grow larger and more eager on that Friday night, ready to party harder. The bands slated to hit the stages for the evening certainly encouraged that attitude. From a local band Kvasura came Eastern European tinged folk metal that could make even the most kvlt hipster nod their head. The band featured an interesting male and female vocal combination, along with a guitarist who picked up the mic and sang a song in Russian. Tucsonans Lethal Dosage also whipped the crowd into a frenzy with their melodic, death tinged pummeling over in the once again tightly packed second stage room. The music grew even heavier when Oregon’s Transient assaulted ears with grinding chaos and Cave Dweller spit venom into the souls of listeners with their prog flavored death metal. Even these performances were outdone when Vehemence deployed a battery of razor sharp death tunes that mowed down droves of the crowd with flawless precision.
Rounding out the heavy caliber portion of the evening, Landmine Marathon crushed heads with their alternating groove, and straight dirty death grind. The mood seemed to shift after all of the super heavies were done, as a bona fide legend was about to get up on the main stage. The show became a nostalgic sing-a-long as Sacred Reich capped off Friday with 80s thrash and proof that the old guys can still plug in their guitars and rock. They could have played ‘Surf Nicaragua’ ten times and the attendees would have enjoyed each one all the same.