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
The Maryland Doom Fest celebrates its fifth anniversary this upcoming June and has confirmed fifty bands including headliners Pentagram, Conan, Earthride, and Mothership. For the first time in its history, MD Doom Fest brings international artists, the mighty Conan from the United Kingdom and Interitum from Tasmania, with another 48 American acts. Taking place from June 20th – 23rd, 2019 , in Frederick, MD. The Early Bird Discount for weekend passes are only available until December 31st, which you can purchase from the link below. Continue reading
Maryland Doomfest will launch it’s 5th edition in 2019, from June 20th to the 23rd. The bill features fifty of the heavy hitters of the genre such as Pentagram, Conan, Earthride, Mothership and many more. There is also a Pre-Fest Party on Thursday, June 20th, which will also be a 20th Anniversary celebration of the Stoner Hands of Doom Festival (ShoD), with a spectacular lineup. These bands have all performed at great SHoD fests of years past! The Pre-Fest / SHoD 20th Anniversary Celebration must not be missed. Early Bird Tickets sales open December 17th through the 31st. Continue reading
A decade ago this year saw the disbanding of Massachusetts cult heroes Warhorse, after a relatively short career that made quite an impact on the underground scene. After several EP releases, Warhorse released their first and sole full-length effort, As Heaven Turns To Ash; an album that maintains high acclaim to those in the know to this day, and that has proven highly sought after and very rare. Now it sees the reissue treatment, courtesy of extremist heroes Southern Lord.
On a cursory listen As Heavens… may appear a straightforward (albeit hugely strong) take on doom metal, with its melancholic feel and trudging pace, but closer inspection reveals an underbelly of 70’s psychedelic rock influences. The clean, acoustic opening passage ‘Dusk’ invokes a progressive rock feel before ‘Doom’s Bride’ bulldozes into view with a barrage of slow riffs and nauseating heaviness. In contrast, ‘Amber Vial’ has a haunting, almost tribal sounding campfire folk sensibility; not too far removed from the likes of Black Sabbath’s ‘Planet Caravan’; a template later seen again on ‘Dawn’, whilst original album closer ‘And The Angels Begin To Weep’ leads with a spooky, sharp piano passage.
In addition to the original album, this package includes the final EP/Single, the aptly titled I Am Dying; whose contributions sound even stronger; vocalist Greg Orne’s rasping roar sounding particularly emotive on these final offerings; all throughout two more succinct and direct songs, both in formula and duration.
This re-release serves to showcase a truly deserving cult classic which may have missed many people’s radars, but also sadly highlights what a loss to the underground arena Warhorse were, and how strong and important their star could have become if circumstances were different.
The gargantuan psalm comes by way of the band’s final EP of the same name, initially unleashed in 2002 and now available as a companion to the band’s As Heaven Turns To Ash… full-length, both given the reissue treatment by Southern Lord Recordings. Long out-of-print, fervently sought after, and unconditionally vital in foreshadowing the glut of current bands that indulge in slow, self-possessed, infernal low-end sound excursions, Warhorse’s As Heaven Turns To Ash and their subsequent I Am Dying EP still reeks of brimstone, bong smoke, and burning tube amp nearly fifteen years since their respective releases! Both slabs of doom domination will be combined and reanimated on double LP and digital formats courtesy of the Lord.
Forged in 1996 and lasting the best part of a decade, the output of Warhorse wallows deep down, grooving at the kind of frequency usually associated with imminent natural disaster. But in addition to their intricate delivery, WARHORSE exuded an experimental, subtle psychedelic swagger which gave rise to gritty and memorable riffs, and saw them sharing stages with the likes of such amplification legends as Electric Wizard, Khanate, Acid King, High On Fire and Unearthly Trance.
Long out-of-print, fervently sought after, and unconditionally vital in foreshadowing the plethora of current acts who indulge in slow, self-possessed, infernal low-end sound excursions, As Heaven Turns To Ash… was issued in 2001 with the band’s final two-track I Am Dying EP unleashed just one year later, both via the Southern Lord stable. Still reeking of brimstone, bong smoke, and burning tube amp, both slabs of doom domination will be combined and reanimated later this month on double LP and digital formats.
Forged in 1996 and lasting the best part of a decade, the output of WARHORSE wallows deep down, grooving at the kind of frequency usually associated with imminent natural disaster. But in addition to their intricate delivery, WARHORSE exuded an experimental, subtle psychedelic swagger which gave rise to gritty and memorable riffs, and saw them sharing stages with the likes of such amplification legends as Electic Wizard, Khanate, Acid King, High On Fire and Unearthy Trance.
Warhorse will be reissuing their 2001 album As Heaven Turns To Ash on February 24, 2015 via Southern Lord, with their final seven inch EP I Am Dying included.
Formed in 1996 and lasting the best part of a decade, WARHORSE wallow deep down, grooving at the kind of frequency usually associated with imminent natural disaster. But in addition to their intricate delivery, WARHORSE possesses an experimental, verging on psychedelic streak which gave rise to gritty and memorable riffs, and saw them sharing stages with the iconic likes of Electic Wizard, Khanate, Acid King, High On Fire and Unearthy Trance.
As Heaven Turns To Ash and I Am Dying are sinister demonstrations of ultra-heavy riffs as a weapon, and with Southern Lord gearing up for their re-release, doom fans worldwide will need to start saving pennies for the subwoofer damage they are sure to inflict.
As Heaven Turns To Ash Track Listing:
2. Doom’s Bride
3. Black Acid Prophecy
4. Amber Vial
5. Every Flower Dies No Matter The Thorns (Whither)
6. Lysergic Communion
9. And The Angels Begin To Weep
I Am Dying EP:
1. I Am Dying
2. Horizons Burn Red
As any fool who follows the metal scene can tell you, there’s one hell of a lot of albums out there to listen to. New bands are emerging at an unprecedented rate, the old guard you thought long-dead are reforming quicker than you can say “Greatest Hits Tour” and bands that really should just lay down and die are instead locked into a seemingly never-ending cycle of record/tour/record, regardless of whether their fans have had enough. Grave Digger, Illdisposed and Paganizer have released forty albums between them. Does anyone own any of them? Thought not…
So, what about the bands who released just one full-length before disappearing into obscurity? What impact have these single-figured artists had on our beloved scene? The answer is quite a bit. More than quite a bit, in fact… With that in mind Ghost Cult is proud to present the fifteen essential albums by bands that only gave us one opportunity to hear their wares.
Read on and see if you agree.
Repulsion – Horrified (Necrosis, 1989)
Once regarded as the fastest band in the world, along with being one of the innovators of grindcore along with Napalm Death and Terrorizer, Flint, Michigan trio Repulsion released Horrified in 1989 to a largely unsuspecting public. Its light-speed, hideously ugly legacy has endured to this day, with the band still headlining festival stages on the strength of this one 29-minute recording. Featuring some of the most frantic, caustic riffage ever captured, along with suitably sickening lyrics and of course, that iconic goofy zombie on the front cover, Horrified is an extreme metal classic that you will never get tired of spinning. If you don’t lose your shit when the riff to ‘Black Breath’ begins you probably aren’t human.
Carnage – Dark Recollections (Necrosis, 1990)
When you think of Swedish Death Metal the obvious names that spring to mind are Entombed, At the Gates and Dismember, but there is one often overlooked act whose contribution to the genre is utterly essential. They were Carnage, five spotty oiks from Stockholm whose sole release Dark Recollections was perhaps the purest embodiment of the Sunlight sound that all bands of the genre strived for; buzzsaw guitars, twisted melodies and indecipherable barked lyrics concerning violence and death. Given the whiff of grindcore that imbued the recording it was unsurprising that guitarist Mike Amott soon jumped ship to join Carcass while the rest of the band merged with the remnants of Dismember. However, the spirit of Dark Recollections was absorbed into that band, a more than fitting legacy for an album of such macabre excellence.
Winter – Into Darkness (Future Shock, 1990)
Picture if you will, planet Earth devastated by a nuclear holocaust; a grey, rotting visage of sunless skies, obliterated cityscapes and blasted landscapes. Now imagine that some malign sorcery has resurrected the corpses of Celtic Frost to be this ruined world’s own house band, playing endlessly on only for the benefit of the endless piles of corpses that stretch to the blackened horizon. This is what Into Darkness by New York trio Winter sounds like. Arguably one of the most miserable, lifeless recordings of all time, this is a tortuous forty-six minute crawl through wretchedness via the medium of lethargic doom riffs, clattering percussion and gruff, indifferent vocals. You’re not meant to enjoy it and it’s no surprise Winter only managed one EP after committing this monstrosity to tape.
God Macabre – The Winterlong (M.B.R., 1993)
Another Swedish death metal act that lasted all too briefly, that isn’t to say that Vålberg’s God Macabre didn’t have the talent, as anyone who has spent time with the short but sick The Winterlong will enthusiastically tell you. Far more morose and bitter sounding than most death metal albums that were being released at that time, their sole release may have only lasted twenty-seven minutes but the songs on offer had ‘timeless’ stamped all over them, blending catchy yet savage riffs with mournful melodies and an innate disgust and horror at life. Recently re-issued with the band reforming last year, now is the time for those unacquainted with this forgotten classic to recognise one of the most important bands in death metal, in Sweden or anywhere.
Disincarnate – Dreams of the Carrion Kind (Roadrunner, 1993)
With death metal already beginning to show signs of creative stagnation in 1993, it took the twisted vision of one of the genre’s most talented and well-travelled soldiers to show that all was not lost and that where there was death there was life. Enter James Murphy, who after stints in Death and Obituary decided to take the lead, which he did with the utterly brilliant Dreams of the Carrion Kind under the Disincarnate name. If you thought Death had started to sacrifice songwriting in favour of technicality, found Obituary a tad dull and Suffocation a bit too over the top then your prayers were answered, for Murphy somehow managed to filter all the plus points and none of the weaknesses from those aforementioned bands into one of the darkest, endlessly fascinating and still inherently listenable Death Metal albums of all time. Their split was a tragedy that often comes with an excess of talent but news that the band has reformed is a hopeful sign that more people will soon become aware of Dreams of the Carrion Kind and the brilliance of James Murphy.