Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Imagine what would happen if you took the gentle Canadian hippies behind Nadja’s blissful ambient drone-pop, locked them in a room stocked with Merzbow records, three used copies of “Streetcleaner,” and a drum machine, pumped them full of angel dust, tossed in a rabid wolverine or two, then sat back to watch the fun.

Sounds pretty interesting, right? Well, now imagine the aural equivalent, and you’re pretty close to what WINTERS IN OSAKA may sound like on any given day. That is, unless they’ve decided to indulge their powerviolent grindcore roots that morning, or gotten caught up in a swamp’s worth of drone-heavy doom after their afternoon siesta; perhaps they’re in the mood to worship the Sunn0))) well into the night. No matter what genre these Chicagoan noiseniks choose to explore, it’s safe to say that they’re going to do it a hell of a lot of justice, and inject some fresh venom into any number of dead scenes.

CATHARSIS PR is pleased to announce that we’ll be working with WINTER IN OSAKA to promote their particular strain of powernoise terrorism; keep your eardrums peeled for an upcoming split with BONGRIPPER, as well as a full-length due out in the early days of 2009.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sounds of the underground...

What follows are a bunch of band profiles I'm putting into Hails & Horns' new "Unsigned Bands" section. These bands RULE and are all great friends of mine, so you owe it to yourself, Denizen of the Interwebs, to check them all out!

The Atlas Moth

What’s What: New Orleans may be the spiritual home of dirty rockin’ sludge, but damned if the Windy City ain’t givin’ it a run for its money with doom-hungry scions The Atlas Moth. Equal parts crushing and heartbreakingly beautiful, their dynamic take on filthy Southern sludge comes with a psychedelic sheen. Since their inception in 2007, the ‘Moth have already toured the United States three times and released a 7” and an EP, as well as securing a spot on legendary doom merchants Trouble’s upcoming Canadian tour.
“We are offering nothing but honest music. There is no flash, there is just honesty. We don’t use triggers, we don’t fake our music. In the metal world everything is so processed and fake now. There is no soul left. Hopefully we are offering a little bit of realness and soul back into a genre where practically none exists, “explains guitarist/throat Steven Giannopoulos.

They are currently touring and recording their debut full-length for release in 2009. Worshippers of the almighty riff, look no further -The Atlas Moth are your new favorite band.

Location: Chicago, IL

Current Release: “Hope For Atlantis” 7” & “Pray For Tides” EP (

Rocks Like: Neurosis, Eyehategod, Deftones, Envy, Coalesce


What’s What: Drawing from elements of black metal, post rock, Japanese-style electronics, industrial, visual art and experimental sound, New Jersey’s answer to Ulver came into being in 2006 as the solo venture of Nile Bowie. After the addition of Itay Keren & Mat Noojin to the lineup, Ossein made a name for themselves by following muse Trent Reznor’s example and offering all of their releases for free online. 2008 saw the eclectic black metal of first release “Declination” give way to the genre-bending soundscapes of “Osaka,” drawing attention for their pro-vegetarian, politically-liberal stance.
“The multi-disciplinary theme of my project may have the potential to turn people who may have enjoyed my black metal work into enjoying my cleaner acoustic material, and finding more new artists from there. The potential of opening other's minds is what fuels me to create so rapidly,” says Bowie.

Ossein are currently working on their next release, a double album entitled “Fuhrer.” You NEED to hear this band – mere words don’t do ‘em any justice.

Location: Jersey City, NJ

Current Release: “Osaka” full-length (

Rocks Like: Ulver, Boris, Burzum, Misanthropy Legion, Sigur Ros

Misanthropy Legion

What’s What: “I think hearing any of our new material (under ideal listening conditions) is like being trapped in an acid-rain storm with your legs knee deep in melted copies of old Immortal releases,” muses Joe “Wraith” Adversario, frontman for New Jersey black metal cult Misanthropy Legion. The Legion has been around since 2005, unleashing their own particular brand of extreme left-hand path black metal upon unsuspecting victims and building up a reputation as a devastating live band with a no-bullshit attitude. A string of releases, culminating with 2007’s “ALAL,” have seen the band expand both ideologically and musically to include elements of d-beat/80’s hardcore and refine their lyrical focus on the inner workings of our doomed species.

Misanthropy Legion = no corpse paint, no fashion, no goat’s heads, no pretension: just unmerciless, gutsfucking black metal. Jersey’s filthiest have just completed their second full-length, “Eidolon,” and plan to launch a live assault on the East Coast in the summer of ’09.

Location: Cranbury, NJ

Current Release: “Eidolon” full-length (

Rocks Like: Craft,, Iskra, Absu, Inquisition, Bahimiron

Monday, August 11, 2008


MUNICIPAL WASTE (w/At the Gates, July 9/10)
Live @ Irving Plaza *for Metal Maniacs
Kim Kelly

After the balls-out blackened thrash attack that was Toxic Holcaust, a heaping shovelful of Municipal Waste was just what the doctor ordered. Opening up with the disgustingly-catchy “Headbanger Face Rip” (I totally see zombies in my head whenever that song comes on), Richmond’s favored sons proceeded to practice what they preach, shredding off faces left and right and kicking up one of the most joyously sloppy circle pits I’ve ever seen. Seriously, would it have killed the bouncers to throw down some paper towels? I almost decapitated myself while circling it up to “Unleash the Bastards,” and seeing kids careen across the slippery floor in time to Ryan Waste’s destructive thrash riffs was almost as much fun as watching Tony and Landphil’s onstage antics. The Inebriator was sadly absent, as were the boogie boards and wizard hats that make this band so much fun at smaller shows, but the ‘Waste still managed to bring their trademark manic, beer-fueled energy to the bigger stage. Perhaps as a token of respect for their esteemed stagemates, Municipal Waste stepped up their performance a notch (which was about what one might expect from the band who wrote “Guilty of Being Tight”), and ripped through a speedy set of favorites. “Sadistic Magician,” “Terror Shark,” “Beer Pressure,” and “Sweet Attack” all did their part to keep the crossover flag flying high. The crowd ate it up, especially the kids covered in D.R.I. patches and the two dudes who came all the way up from Miami for the show only to have their boogie boards confiscated at the door (sick burn!). Municipal Waste’s high-octane blend of thrash and crusty hardcore punk may have befuddled some of the older ‘heads, but goddamn did it get the crowd pumped up. The epic closer, “Born to Party,” tore the place to shreds as the now-famous chant of “Municipal Waste is gonna fuck – you- UP!!” rang loud and proud up to the rafters. And fuck us up, they did; I’ve still got bruises. Party squad, unite!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Desecrating The Unholy Dogma: Black Metal’s Vicious New Killers

Desecrating The Unholy Dogma: Black Metal’s Vicious New Killers
Kim Kelly
*to be published in Unrestrained! Magazine

It’s a rainy night in Queens, and I’m standing on a dock overlooking the East River. The soft glow of the Manhattan skyline catches my gaze as the acrid scent of burning flesh wafts by, reminding me why I’m here. I turn to the vast abyss that looms behind me – an artist’s warehouse, hollow and empty save for boxes filled with wire and secrets, a smattering of solemn-faced people, and a fire pit, over which’s glowing embers two pigs are being roasted. An unlikely mélange of leather jackets, cheap beer, silver necklaces and ballerina flats populate this alien slice of the city; flanked by an upscale restaurant and a loading dock, this “venue” seems as out of place here as its temporary residents, and no one is quite certain of what to expect. Some of us – the longhairs and the bullet-belted - are here to see a metal show; others are drawn by their curiosity about this gathering of black-clad people, and about the spectacle to come. This city has a way of bringing strangers together in the strangest places, especially if the words “free” and “BYOB” happen to be involved.
As night fell, Krallice took the stage. If you haven’t yet heard about Brooklyn’s most talked-about black metal project, you’d fail to understand the sort of spell they cast over the audience, or how effortlessly they managed to fill that cavernous space up to its very rafters with a raging inferno of sound and chaos. Much like Wolves In The Throne Room or Watain, one must witness Krallice’s particular brand of BM live in order to fully appreciate it. There is no corpse paint, no inverted crosses or cow’s blood. There are no histrionics or posturing or pretensions towards grimness. The members of Krallice simply play their music with passion, with emotion, with determination and with feeling, and that is what makes it so compelling. They don’t need to invoke Satan or decorate their microphones stands with bones; as far as Krallice is concerned, the Devil’s in the details.
The band was formed in the summer of 2007 by Mick Barr and Colin Marston. According to guitarist Marston, Krallice was originally borne of a mutual desire to play together, bolstered by the rapport the two had built up over years of working in tandem on various musical endeavors. Barr had guested on several releases by Marston’s other bands, while in turn Marston has engineered several of Barr’s albums. Both of them boast extremely diverse, technical musical backgrounds, as Marston’s work in Dysrhythmia, Behold…The Arctopus, and Byla, and Barr’s participation/solo work (Othrelm, Ocrilim, Octis, and more) can attest. The lineup was rounded out by drummer LevWeinstein that fall, then solidified in April 2008 with the addition of bassist Nick McMaster. Krallice’s rhythm section are no slouches either. Weinstein pulls double-duty behind the kit in NYC avant-doom noiseniks Bloody Panda, and, in addition, McMaster holds down the low end in Astomatous, Sallah, and Hymn while Weinstein holds court behind the kit. With members that boast a veritable laundry list of projects under their collective belts yet participate in no black or even thrash metal bands to speak of, a throwaway description of Krallice as, “black metal played by non-black metal dudes” may indeed fit, if only on the most superficial of levels. As one might expect, Martson’s hackles raised a bit when faced with that particular analysis." If it means you have to be a Satanist and wear corpsepaint, then I suppose that statement is correct. But if you think that way, not only are you full of shit, you're just ignorant: Venom weren't Satanists, Enslaved never wore corpsepaint, and the list goes on.”
The man’s got a point. It’s 2008, not 1994, and the once colorless, grim face of black metal is changing, finally trying on new personas and expressions; it’s only fitting that the members of Krallice keep theirs bare. The widespread critical acclaim and mainstream (comparatively-speaking) acceptance of bands like Xasthur, Wolves in the Throne Room, Nachtmystium, and Withered has dragged the genre kicking and screaming out of its frozen lair and shone a spotlight on the emaciated corpses of Quorthon’s progeny. That doesn’t mean that they have to like it, though.
“To be fair, most of that sentiment probably comes from the fact that Mick and I are not known for making black metal, but believe it or not, it is possible for musicians to make different kinds of music throughout their lives (even multiple kinds at the same time!). Since this music is written by us, it's going to sound like us. If it didn't, it would be pretty false, right? I decided to play in a black metal band because it's a style that speaks to me and has for a long time. I've always been strongly attracted to music that appears to be cloaked or shrouded… music that suggests that there is more substance than may be immediately apparent or understandable. It is this attraction that has drawn me to very simplistic, noisy music as well as extremely complex composition.”
Substance is one thing that Krallice could never be accused of lacking; they manage to pack more riffs, ideas, and atmosphere into one song than many of their peers can manage to scrape together for an entire record. Graced by artwork from artist Karlynn Holland, their self-titled debut has racked up massive praise for its forward-thinking approach to the black metal aesthetic, and as has been mentioned previously, their live show seldom stops short of mesmerizing. Blackened drone passages recall a better-produced Xasthur or tranqued-out Deathspell Omega, with just enough menacing riffage to keep things at a steady death march. The dual guitarmonies of Barr and Marston lay a firm foundation of technical prowess, spiderwebbed by meandering pieces of ambience and viciously menacing hyperblasts (courtesy of the criminally-capable Weinstein). In short, it’s a hell of a record, one that would fit comfortably between “Dead As Dreams,” "Nattens Madrigal," “Diadem of the Twelve Stars,” and “The Eye of Every Storm” on your CD shelf (fitting, as Marston names Ulver, Weakling, and Neurosis amongst his main musical influences for Krallice).
Weakling worship and buzzsaws in the throne room characterize this new wave of American black metal, and with the release of their first longplayer, Krallice have already made their mark on the ever-evolving USBM scene. Recorded on 2” tape by Marston at his own Thousand Caves Studio in Brooklyn, the production is far from raw; rather, the instruments are given room to breathe, so that their individual sounds shine through the darkness. According to Marston, this was done intentionally. “We recorded every instrument separately. We tracked all the guitars next to the amps (for feedback and sustain), and I used distant mics (sometimes putting a mic in a, altogether different room from the sound source) on everything to give the record a cavernous depth. All the guitar parts were doubled or tripled with varying tones, again to thicken the texture. I refrained from using any simulated reverb, drum triggering, and hardly any compression to leave the band sounding open and organic. I also didn't master the album super loud for the same reason. People should learn how to operate a volume knob!”
As far as the end result goes, Martson is content. “I do feel like we achieved our goal of making an awesome record with a pretty unique voice. I also achieved a personal goal in terms of the production of the album. I've always wanted to make a record that sounds like this and was never allowed to (or it wasn't appropriate) in my other bands.”
Speaking of his “other bands,” one’s got to give it to Marston – he’s got a Ringling-worthy balancing act going on, and shows no signs of slowing down.
“We have a bunch of local shows scheduled, and maybe a tour if Fenriz decides to put together a live band and have us open for Isengard. Other than that we've been working on the next album since January whenever we have time. So far we have enough song structures for two new records, so we'll probably just pick around five of those for the next album and then have a jumpstart on the third.”
From his mouth to our ears. Planning three albums ahead ain’t nothin’ to musicians of this caliber; the hardest part will be waiting for the next breath of fresh, stagnant air that these black metal iconoclasts chose to unleash upon our sorry souls. You have been warned.

Copremesis "Muay Thai Ladyboys"

*to be published on

Unlike some of the other new albums I’ve been spinning this month (I’m looking at you, Klabautamann), NY’s Copremesis are anything but difficult to describe. Let’s break it down.

1. They’re from New York.
2. They like uber-explicit sexually-oriented artwork (i.e. titties and she-males).
3. They play goregrind and undoubtedly felt very much at home sharing a bill with bands like Pyrexia, The Day Everything Became Nothing, and Malignancy.

Any questions?

To be fair, there is a bit more to Copremesis than that (but just barely). The vocalist is ridiculous, even by goregrind’s unintelligible standards. Stomach-churning lows spew forth like human waste from the soiled bowels of Bangkok’s most disease-infested slums, and ride the crimson wave above a stock set of genre-approved riffs, grooves, and techy bits. I’ll admit, the “Thai” vocal interlude in the title track caught me off guard, but that momentary gibbering racket is about the only thing that stood out about this release.

You can tell that these dudes know what they’re doing; moments of technical ability and songwriting prowess shine through the slime, but usually end up buried under genre clichés. I love goregrind as much as the next girl (well…make that “a whole lot more than” the next girl, realistically-speaking) but Muay Thai Ladyboys is lacking that vital ingredient the band needs to separate from their vast mob of filthy-minded peers. Here’s hoping that Copremesis focuses more on songwriting and less on tranny porn (buy the CD and you’ll see what I mean) on their next effort.

Kim Kelly 2008