Every month Ghost Cult polls its staff to see what they are listening to at the moment. Sometimes it’s the latest underground album, and sometimes it’s an old favorite. Sometimes the music isn’t even metal, and that’s okay too. This month our scribe Wren Leader gets deep with us about what he is spinning right now.
Horrible Earth – Horrible Earth: These guys totally tore it up at Ralph’s in Worcester a few weeks ago. Their record is equally as awesome. Killer death metal with a little grind/hardcore touches to make things bad ass.
Beth Hart – Screamin’ For My Supper: Was driving back from DC listening to this album. For fans of chick rock that has a bit more bite and bitch then sweet and poppy.
Alcest – Les Voyages de L’ame: Last year I must’ve listened to this album at least twice every week. Sometimes 2 or 3 times in a row. When Neige brings on the black metal vocals on “Là où naissent les couleurs nouvelles” I literally get goosebumps
Babymetal – Babymetal: I was into Babymetal before everyone and their mother loved/hated them! Gotta say, this is a damn fine merger of some of the most sweet cute pop I’ve ever heard and the gnarliest metal riffs ever.
Kevin Hufnagel – Ashland: Gorguts/Dysrhythmia guitarist playing solo ukulele. Very chill and relaxing but still complex. Great record to sit back and sip on some wine or tea and let the music comfort you.
Editor’s note: In Ghost Cult’s epic quest to bring you the best in heavy music journalism, we have left no stone unturned when it comes to underground artists to uncover, or just getting some new and unique writers in the fold. This time we did both! After a long time of begging, hounding and cajoling, we are proud to welcome Wren Leader into our ranks as an occasional contributor. In addition to running his long-time highly influence music blog, Bob Loves Music, and a series of DIY metal festivals (Bobfest) where he routinely bring out some of the best talent in the world, in many cases back from the dead. Wren is a purveyor of all things brutal, and a citizen of the metal world.
A few years ago I was offered a tremendous opportunity, the chance to write for a major newspaper. A local but heavily distributed and popular periodical was looking for a few metalheads to write about local and underground metal. Being a connoisseur of fine and exquisite heavy metal noise, I jumped at the chance to see my love of extreme music published. The first and only thing I wrote was a review of an album by one of my favorite local bands, the mighty black metal band Hekseri. While it wasn’t a Pulitzer Prize winning article, I thought it conveyed the beautiful brutality of this incredible band. You can imagine my excitement when I looked down at a newspaper that is read by thousands of people and see my name printed. Unfortunately, that excitement turned to disappointment. Somehow the review had been edited from what I had submitted. There were a few changed lines here and there (which bugged me a little), but the glaring errors included highlighting ex-members of the band that hadn’t been involved with the band for years nor were on the recording as well as misspelling current band members names. I was a bit embarrassed. Even though the general population probably wouldn’t notice, I didn’t like that my name was associated with misinformation and it wasn’t fair to the two masterminds of Hekseri who created this labor of unholy love. Now I understand the need for editing, the newspaper editor had been extremely helpful in fine tuning the piece with me into something that I was quite proud of. But then to see it edited even more with information I knew not to be correct. I probably should have messaged the editor and asked what had happened, but I kinda sucked it up and said “hey something I wrote was in the newspaper, that’s pretty darn cool!” Now Ghost Cult has offered me the chance for the original review to be published! I hope you enjoy it!
Since their beginning in 2004, Hekseri has been one of Boston’s loudest and most volatile black metal bands. After releasing several demos and a split, and performing at such local hotspots as Allston’s O’Briens Pub and the long deceased Skybar of Somerville, this staple of the Boston metal scene has finally released onto the world their full-length self-titled debut. Taking their name from the Danish and Norwegian word for “witchcraft,” Hekseri are indeed a cold and dark conception. Founded by two occult women, this is an explosion of atrocious aggression, blasphemous bile and ear-piercing music that is sure to freeze the blood of all who listen. The guitarist known as Iron Meggido creates thin powerful distortion-filled riffs that are razor sharp and able to rip flesh from the bone. Thuringwethil supports the guitars with a merciless bass rumbling that permeates the record. The drums by pound the ground into submission. On top of this unforgiving sound, both sinister prophets spurt unholy lyrics of anti-religion, war, wrath and dark paganism, provided in shrill inhumanly harsh screams and growls that strike fear in all hearts. While there are no compromises in the brutality of Hekseri’s sound, there is still present a strangely melodic nature. Much like the album art which features gray deathly bodies surrounding a serene mountainous landscape, each devil song has its own memorable flavor; ‘Gods Of Rotting Death’ is a crushing dirge-like hymn whose simple but effective riff can engrave itself into anyone’s soul, ‘Bladefucker’ is relentless in its thrashing onslaught. ‘The Atrocity’ starts off with a haunting clean guitar before diving into a dissonant chaotic anthem, which showcase their breadth alongside the unapologetic blasts of blackness of ‘Invoking The War Goddess’ and the title track. It’s an exhausting listen, but there’s beauty to it. A masterful tribute to the dark arts, this treacherous debut Hekseri record rewards those hardened enough to listen with a gorgeous and grim experience.