GUEST POST: Brooks Harlan of War on Women -Top Albums of the Year 2020


Ghost Cult continues our “End of Year Guest Post Extravaganza” with a slew of posts from bands, industry, PR pros, and more! We’ll be sharing lists, memories, and other shenanigans from our favorite bands, partners, music industry peers, and other folks we respect across the globe. In this edition, we have a list from Brooks Harlan of War on Women. Their new album Wonderful Hell is out now via Bridge Nine Records.Continue reading


GUEST POST: Possessor – Top Albums of the Year 2020


Ghost Cult continues our “End of Year Guest Post Extravaganza” with a slew of posts from bands, industry, PR pros, and more! We’ll be sharing lists, memories, and other shenanigans from our favorite bands, partners, music industry peers, and other folks we respect across the globe. Nathan, Ollie, and Graham from Possessor shared their collective Top Ten Albums List for 2020. the bands’ new album Damn The Light released this past October on APF Records.


NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: July 17th New Music Releases


Purchase And Stream All The New Music Released Today!

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Pound – Pound


Although hardly a recent phenomenon, duos are still quite the novelty in rock and metal. While often lazily lumped into that category, acts such as Satyricon, Anaal Nathrakh, and Alcest tend to utilise session musicians when it comes time to record or tour, while those who operate strictly within the parameters of two permanent members and nobody else are still pretty much a rarity in the field. However, thanks to the likes of doomsters Mantar, and Eagle Twin, the drone pair of Nadja, synthwave crew Zombi, and space-rockers Black Asteroids, there does seem to be an apparent rise in the number of genuine duos.Continue reading


Psycho Las Vegas: Part 1 – Various Venues, Las Vegas, NV


 

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Part 1

For the second year in a row, the US stakes their claim to holding a fest the equivalent of a Desertfest or Roadburn level of excellence in the form of Psycho Las Vegas. Last years’ inaugural Psycho California was a hit by all accounts, and therefore not a surprise that Vegas was the locale of choice for round two. Definitely the town is a bigger draw for the bands themselves and some party minded fans, although a few days is really all your should ever spend there at once.

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Housecore Horror Festival III: Part 2- San Antonio, TX


Housecore Horror Fest

On Saturday we were running a little late to the venue for Housecore Horror Festival III. I made it just in time to catch most of NAILS’ set, most of which Todd Jones was visibly displeased the entire time. While dozens of kids could be spotted wearing their hardcore and metal shirts all around San Antonio, the floor of the theater was lightly peppered with kids there to watch the band. Coupled with the fact that there was little to no moshing, or just overall lack of general mayhem during their caustic performance, it was leaving a bad taste in Jones’ mouth.

Nails, by Emma Parsons Photography

Nails, by Emma Parsons Photography

Catching only snippets of Poison Idea and Crippled Bastards, we jumped over to see Providence, RI power-violence group Dropdead. Seeing our fellow New Englanders in the south was cool. Dropdead are here with a message, and that message hasn’t changed, nor will it ever; says singer Bob Otis. Otis is also the main lyricist and mouthpiece of the group, and he made a speech about animal cruelty and corporate greed. The group wants you to leave their shows informed, if anything. After getting crushed by Crowbar, then sped back up again by Negative Approach, we close in on the headliners of the night , Corrosion of Conformity, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, and New York’s own Suffocation.

Dropdead, by Emma Parsons Photography

Dropdead, by Emma Parsons Photography

Phil Anselmo gives a backrub to Pepper Keenan of COC, by Emma Parsons Photography

Phil Anselmo gives a backrub to Pepper Keenan of COC, by Emma Parsons Photography

COC, back with Pepper Keenan at the helm, had a setlist full of classic tunes ending with ‘Clean My Wounds’. Jesus then showed up to clean the crowds wounds and sung with Pepper, followed by stage diving off both ends of the stage to “bless” the theater. To the untrained eye, ANB look like four people standing around waiting for something to happen. But as soon at the lights dim and the projector flashes their name, the audible noise of our butt holes tightening with excitement shadowed the opening notes of the set. It was strangely entertaining to see such a large stage completely devoid of a drum kit, yet welcome.

Suffocation, by Emma Parsons Photography

Suffocation, by Emma Parsons Photography

Suffocation began much like that of ANB, a few people standing on stage waiting for the go ahead amidst sound checking. Once the OK was given, the lights go down and the grindcore onslaught began. Shortly before the small tour they embarked on leading to Texas, the Suffo guys asked the fans what songs they wanna hear in an online poll, and boy did they deliver. From classics to more recent jams, few songs were spared. A love song, ‘Entrails of You’, seemingly penned by Ed Gein himself for a long since passed lover was a highlight.

Agoraphobic Nosebleed, by Emma Parsons Photography

Agoraphobic Nosebleed, by Emma Parsons Photography

Agoraphobic Nosebleed, by Emma Parsons Photography

Agoraphobic Nosebleed, by Emma Parsons Photography

Agoraphobic Nosebleed, by Emma Parsons Photography

Agoraphobic Nosebleed, by Emma Parsons Photography

Sunday Funday! Day three of the festival and the wear and tear is starting to show on just about everyone, but spirits remain high. Maybe they were just waiting for the headliners or even just to hang out and shop upstairs at the booths in the convention floor. By the way I got a great haul of shirts, patches, and the god-like Boss HM-2 guitar pedal; the most Swedish of all metal pedals! The fest had great vendors with booths both local and internationally based. Often times it was hard to traverse due to hall size and all the people, but with a little courtesy and sucking in of the gut, the metal head marches on! After being preoccupied with a handful of other tasks and waiting in lines, I got to chit-chat with horror film legend Mr. Bill Mosley for a bit before heading back over to the stage,

Author And Punisher, by Emma Parsons Photography

Author And Punisher with Muscle And Marrow, by Emma Parsons Photography

 

Author And Punisher, by Emma Parsons Photography

Author And Punisher, by Emma Parsons Photography

Next up was the barrage that is Author & Punisher. Tristan Shone was joined onstage by tour mates Muscle and Marrow for a song, but was mostly accompanied by projections and skewed video segments. They were followed by YOB who were flawless, even with a sick Mike Schiedt. Had he not told me himself that he was ill, I’d have never known.

YOB, by Emma Parsons Photography

YOB, by Emma Parsons Photography

YOB, by Emma Parsons Photography

YOB, by Emma Parsons Photography

Shortly after YOB’s set I caught up with Mike to have a chat and we found ourselves at Whataburger a block away. We got to talking about touring, music and the state of metal. We discussed the weekend so far and previous tours they had been on, and our mutual love and admiration for Neurosis. In short Mike was my own personal Yoda for an hour and I couldn’t have been happier. Next I briefly checked out Autopsy and Incantation and while both are awesome and historic in their own right, at this stage of the game I was so tired every thing was blurring together tonally. Old school death metal just wasn’t for me that night. To close out the weekend Dawn Of The Dead was screened with the live film score to accompany the film performed by Goblin. Unfortunately by this time it was getting close to midnight, and the walk to the hotel was getting longer. My hotel bed was actually starting to look comfy.

Phil Anselmo watches the bands on stage at Housecore Horror Fest III, by Emma Parsons Photography

Phil Anselmo watching bands from the stage at Housecore Horror Fest III, by Emma Parsons Photography

The long trip was totally worth it, and I’m very honored to have gone and shared this weekend with both the bands, the fans, and fellow metal heads. Thanks to the staff of TheAztec Theater for being both friendly caring, and above all professional. Lastly every one behind the scenes working with Philip Anselmo to put the Housecore Horror Festival III together.

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HCHF III REVIEW PART 1

WORDS BY ANDREW FRANCIS

PHOTOS BY EMMA PARSONS PHOTOGRAPHY


On The Road… with Pinkish Black and Zombi


PinkishBlackTour

Autumn is a great time to be alive and weird. Not only is there Halloween, but the darker days just lend themselves to the fuzzy jammage and oblique styles. A good time to get lost in the exploratory music muse and severely avant-garde art stuff. And it’s certainly a good time to catch two unique bands with new albums out such as Pinkish Black and Zombi. Two dynamic duo’s each challenging the perception of what music can truly mean. Pinkish Black’s new album Bottom of Mourning (Relapse) is a triumph of will, after the years since the reincarnation of Great Tyrant, their previous outfit. That bands’ solemn final release, The Trouble With Being Born (Relapse) is also out now. Zombi also has a new album out too, Shape Shift (Relapse again) that pushes the boundaries of “outer-space rock”, one that defies belief at times. Both groups took the stage at Providence, RI’s Columbus Theatre to make an art form from the beautiful sonic war going inside of themselves. Enjoy this photo set from Hillarie Jason who was on hand to capture the night for Ghost Cult.

Pinkish Black, by Hillarie Jason

Pinkish Black, by Hillarie Jason

 

Pinkish Black, by Hillarie Jason

Pinkish Black, by Hillarie Jason

 

Pinkish Black, by Hillarie Jason

Pinkish Black, by Hillarie Jason

 

 

Zombi, by Hillarie Jason

Zombi, by Hillarie Jason

 

 

Zombi, by Hillarie Jason

Zombi, by Hillarie Jason

 

Zombi, by Hillarie Jason

Zombi, by Hillarie Jason

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[amazon template=iframe image1&asin=B014JC18GY] [amazon template=iframe image1&asin=B0144R8JQQ]


Festival Preview: Philip Anselmo’s Housecore Horror Festival III


Housecore Horror Fest

Philip H. Anselmo, metal legend and horror film aficionado puts on his third annual Housecore Horror Festival this weekend, in San Antonio, Texas. Kicking off tomorrow night with a pre-party, the fest runs all weekend at The Aztec Theater and The Korova venues, as well as at the Holiday Inn Riverwak Hotel from November 12th to 15th. Ghost Cult Magazine will be there to capture all the action.

One of the best, and deepest lineups in the history of the fest, this year’s talents with such immense talents as King Diamond, Anselmo’s own Superjoint, Goblin, YOB, Exodus, Suffocation, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Autopsy, Incantation, Corrosion of Conformity (with Pepper Keenan), EyeHateGod, Crowbar, Poison Idea, Nails, Zombi, Black Breath and many more from across all genres of heavy music.

King Diamond. Photo Credit: Kevin Estrada

King Diamond. Photo Credit: KevinEstrada.com

In addition to the concert portion there will a screening of 80 underground and legendary horror films from some of the greats as well as up and coming directors in the genre. Some of the films will come from Phil’s personal collection and he is sure to be on hand to lend a word or ten on the matter. There will be celebrity panels, signings, and vendors galore as well. Special guests include GWAR’s Don Drakulich aka “Sleazy P. Martini” who will host a special screening of Skulhedface and a secret bonus film that GWAR fans won’t want to miss, a onetime screening of cult classic, Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things with original cast members Alan Ormsby and Anya Cronin in attendance, a premiere of a never-before-seen short film from Coffin Joe, the world premiere of the controversial, massacre-ridden American Guinea Pig: Bloodshock, a special director’s cut of zombie-Viking-black metal-biker film, Saga, starring Ted Skelljum of black metal icons Darkthrone and a an appearance by iconic bodybuilding champion/actor/ songwriter/

Superjoint, by OJC Pics/Omar Cordy

Superjoint, by OJC Pics/Omar Cordy

screenwriter/musician, Jon Mikl Thor, who will be screening his new documentary followed by a performance on The Korova stage. Additional special guests include comedian Dave Hill from the Metal Grasshopper films, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 star Bill Moseley, president of Unearthed Films/producer of the American Guidea Pig SeriesStephen Biro, world renowned tattoo artist Paul Booth and more! For a detailed 2015 film screening list visit: http://housecorehorrorfilmfestival.com/films.

Housecore Horror Fest Aztec Theater Day-To-Day Lineup:


Friday, November 13th
Doors at 5:00 pm

Child Bite – 5:30 – 6:00
Warbeast – 6:15 – 6:55
Eyehategod – 7:15 – 8:00
Exodus – 8:20 – 9:05
Superjoint – 9:25 – 10:10
King Diamond – 10:30 – 12:15

Saturday, November 14th
Doors at 1:30 pm
Gasmiasma – 2:00 – 2:30
Nails – 2:45 – 3:20
Poison Idea – 3:35 – 4:15
Cripple Bastards – 4:30 – 5:10
Dropdead – 5:25 – 6:05
Crowbar – 6:25 – 7:10
Negative Approach – 7:30 – 8:15
Corrosion of Conformity – 8:35 – 9:25
Agoraphobic Nosebleed – 9:45 – 10:35
Suffocation – 11:00 – 12:00

Sunday, November 15th
Doors at 1:30 pm
Muscle And Marrow – 2:00 – 2:30
Gristnam – 2:45 – 3:15
Author & Punisher – 3:40 – 4:20
YOB – 4:40 – 5:30
Ghoul – 5:50 – 6:35
Zombi – 7:00 – 7:50
Incantation – 8:10 – 9:00
Autopsy – 9:20 – 10:20
Goblin (Dawn Of The Dead live score) – 10:45 – end

HOUSECORE HORROR FESTIVAL The Korova Day-To-Day Lineup:


Thursday, November 12th – Preparty!
Doors at 6:30 pm

Aggravator – 7:00 – 7:45
Protest – 8:00 – 8:45
The Black Moriah – 9:00 – 9:45
Black Breath – 10:00 – 10:45
Idolatry – 11:00 – 12:00

Friday, November 13thvember 13th

Doors at 12:00 pm

Butcher – 12:30 – 1:00
Bloodfuckers – 1:15 – 1:45
Fat Stupid Ugly People – 2:00 – 2:30
Hellshock – 2:50 – 3:30
Valdur – 12:30 – end

SATURDAY, November 14th

Saturday, November 14th

Doors at 5:30 pm

Krigblast – 6:00 – 6:30
Kill it Again – 6:50 – 7:30
Classhole – 7:50 – 8:30
Ossacrux – 8:50 – 9:30
The Unnaturals – 9:50 – 10:30
Thor – 10:50 – 11:30
Fang – 11:50 – 12:25
Disfigured – 12:40 – end

Sunday, November 15th
Doors at 7:00 pm

Los Revolucionarios – 7:40 – 8:15
Honky – 8:40 – 9:30
Big Okie Doom – 9:50 – 10:30
Mountain Of Wizard – 10:50 – 11:40
Hellknife – 12:00 – end

Get tickets for Housecore Horror Fest III here:

Housecore Horror Fest on Facebook

Housecore Horror Fest on Twitter

The Aztec Theater online

The Korova Theater online

 

 


Goblin Rebirth – Goblin Rebirth


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Goblin is back!

Inspired by the 70s horror film icons who brought us Suspira, Zombi, and Tenebre, Goblin Rebirth features the original drummer Agostino Marangolo and bassist Fabio Pignatelli, alongside new keyboard players Aidan Zammit and Danilo Cherni, as well as guitarist Giacomo Anselmion. Together with guest musicians Arnaldo Vacca, Roberta Lombardini, Francesco Marini, and Dorraine Zammit Lupi, they bring us eight tracks of newly incarnated Goblin horror.

The album opens with ‘Requiem for X’, which has a theatrical, atmospheric intro, using bells, piano, synths, and percussion. This flows into a rock song with funky basslines, haunting synths, and incredible dramatic tension. ‘Back in 74’ has even more funk, and through the synths the spotlight is really on the amazing bass licks by Pignatelli. The guitar and synth playing over the foundation of synth, bass, and drums seem to form a storyline in your head, and the music-box outro is also nice and creepy. ‘Book of Skulls’, while also funky, has a very trance-like synth-driven atmosphere, while ‘Mysterium’ has a stable base but very strong and far-out synth and guitar elements throughout it, which makes for a very intense experience.

One of the things that really impresses on Goblin Rebirth (Relapse) is how varied the music is: the changes of pace, key, and dominant instrument within each song, while somehow managing to stay thematically linked. ‘Evil in the Machine’, opens with an amazing bass riff, the use of the vocoder creates a space-horror feel, and the guitar riffs almost give you the physical claustrophobic sensation of being stuck on a spaceship with a rogue AI. In addition is the contradiction between the organic and synthetic in the song ‘Forest’; on the one hand the synths don’t seem to match something as earthly as a forest, on the other hand the vocals by Roberta Lombardini and the bass, drums, and guitars really do evoke the natural world. The resulting balance is truly spectacular. ‘Dark Bolero’ out of this world; the addition of cello, played by Francesco Marini, is darkly exciting, as are the choral vocals. It also features percussion by Analdo Vacca, who does an even more spectacular job in ‘Rebirth’, the final song on this album, which also features some impressive acoustic guitar.

If you are fond of the old Goblin, like the musicality of Ayreon, theatrical or progressive rock, horror and 70s soundtracks, you should totally get this album.

Seriously, it is that good.

 

9.0/10

LORRAINE LYSEN


Between the Buried and Me – Coma Ecliptic


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In their fifteen year existence, Raleigh, North Carolina quintet Between the Buried and Me has resisted all attempts at categorisation largely by the ever-changing nature of their music. Breakthrough record Alaska in 2005 saw them being lumped in with the ascendant metalcore scene largely by virtue of their choice of record label and haircuts, despite that critically acclaimed release being very different in content to anything post-Killswitch.

Further records such as Colors in 2007 and The Great Misdirect two years later (all Victory) saw the band flirting with death metal and grind yet the overarching theme was that of fully-fledged progressive metal, something that has now come to fruition on Coma Ecliptic (Metal Blade) a bona-fide rock opera that was always in the works, yet few thought would ever be quite so glorious.

With a concept detailing a coma patient’s self-induced exploration of his past lives, facing the choice to either stay or move on to parts unknown and the strange, arcane machine which enables him to do this, none could accuse Between the Buried and Me of lacking a sense of the grandiose. However it is the music that matters and on this record the band has wandered further into the lands of bewildering, arcane prog than ever before, while thankfully still in touch with their metal safety ground. Bands such as Genesis, Queen and Pink Floyd are notable reference points here, with BTBAM seeking to emulate the sense of wonder and freedom those noted acts managed to achieve with their seminal records back in the 70s.

The guitars on Coma Ecliptic are more interested in swirling leads and deft licks than common-or-garden heads down riffing, with rhythm largely left over to the solid, yet often playful bass guitar. This is apparent from the first time the axes make an appearance; with a brief yet histrionic solo which closes the soulful, piano-led opening track ‘Node’. Of course, this is still a metal album at heart and most tracks feature basic one/two chugs during the verses, although the attention will mostly be focused on the ever-present spiralling leadwork. A prime example of this is ‘The Coma Machine’, which develops the themes of the opening track into a surreal yet wholly engaging journey of bewildering prog rhythms, fluid guitar acrobatics and soaring, mysterious keyboards. It’s one hell of an impressive start to a record and things only get better from there.

Between the Buried and Me, photo by Justin Reich

Between the Buried and Me, photo by Justin Reich

Whether it’s the Zombi style 80s synth of ‘Dim Ignition’ complete with buzzing vocal effects which pitches the listener straight into a John Carpenter action film, the absurdly fun Vaudevillian stomp of ‘The Ectopic Stroll’ which Faith No More would have killed to have included on their recent comeback album or the emotionally devastating ‘King Redeem – Queen Serene’ which flits between soulful acoustic introspection to searing melodic death metal with a few maniacal prog flourishes thrown in for good measure, it’s utterly impossible to get bored. This is a record that you could listen to over twenty times and still find surprises waiting for you at every turn.

Each member of the band has come on leaps and bounds since the early days with Paul Waggoner surely staking a claim for one of the most gifted guitarists of his generation and the man DreamTheater should be keeping a close eye on when they next suffer a crisis in the ranks. But it is mainman Tommy Rogers who deserves most of the plaudits. His soulful croon will tug at your heartstrings on ‘Rapid Calm’ during the wondrous guitar solo-used-as-verse, but will instantly switch to feral death growl without breaking sweat, and crucially without ever sounding contrived.

The record that they were always promising to make but you weren’t sure was possible, on ComaEcliptic Between the Buried and Me have exceeded all expectations and delivered not only the album of their careers but one of the most monumental ambitious rock concept pieces this side of Operation Mindcrime (EMI).

How they will ever top this remains the only sticking point.

9.0/10

JAMES CONWAY