Wednesday, December 22, 2010

OMG, OSDM! & Bestial Raidz

For whatever inexplicable reason, OSDM (old school death metal, duh) has gotten way popular over this past year, and while some bitter assholes (like me) may complain about the trendiness (the horror, the horror1) of it all, I've got to admit, it's resulted in a marked increase in the amount of my kinda death metal being released. I've never been much for modern death metal, preferring to dwell within the fetid Florida swamps and spik'n'span Swedish art spaces that the birthed the old guard, and have made a point of thoroughly shunning all things technical, proggy, or "djenty'.

*On a side note, I just found out what "djent" means - it's music nerd for "shit mid-range riffs with no balls." Hateful.*

Out with wankery, in with necromancy!













The other big thing, at least on the other side of the pond (hail to England, as always) has been an explosion in not only tolerance for but downright slavish devotion to all that is bestial. Primitive, uncompromising black/death grinding noise and war metal assaults, Goatfago bands and Nuclear War Now! have pretty much dominated the leather jackets and pre-gig conversations of all my London mates for the past few years, and with the arrival of the now-annual NWN! Fest in Berlin, Germany (WHICH FUCKING RULED), the goat worship has reached a fever pitch. It seems like the Yanks are finally catching on, too.










Sunday, December 19, 2010

UPDATE: Tour, Travel, Upcoming Projects, Assorted Babbling

This is how six months of near-constant travel will leave you: dirty, mean, haggard, and hungover. Since my college graduation on June 12th, I've moved from wild West Philadelphia to a delightfully grimy little pocket of Brooklyn, been on four US tours, spent time in five other countries, logged god knows how many airline miles, drank the devil only knows how much whiskey, been to countless gigs (at least a hundred), made some money, spent some money, written a hell of a lot about metal, promoted some killer records, fallen in love, and made a few additions to my arsenal of body modifications. Not bad for half a year, and the next six months are due to be even crazier.

I'm currently in Palm Beach City, Florida, listening to a band called Parabellum sing about whiskey and swamps through gritted teeth. My only other thought in regards to those particular fellows is that they should've considered taking a peek at the Encyclopedia Metallum and maybe not jacking Parabellum's name. I'm here because this is the last date of the tour I've been on since the beginning of the month, and my road brothers Black Tusk are up next.

We've been hitting the North/Southeast hard with the almighty Crowbar, and it's been an absolute fucking pleasure. Kirk, Pat, Tommy, and Matt were a force to be reckoned with, and absolutely decimated the stage every night with vintage Crowbar riffs and a few hot new licks off their upcoming album, Sever the Wicked Hand. I've heard the whole record, and trust me - it's absolutely great. I had a ball bonding with Kate, Kirk's fiancee, behind the merch table, hassling Troy, the tour manager/driver/possessor of the thickest Cajun accent this side of Billy Madison, and poking fun at Meatball the hyperactive drum tech. My boys done good too - but them again, they always do. I've seen Black Tusk at least 75 times now, and am always excited to see them hop onstage.

That's fucking saying something, I think - that after living, drinking, fighting, and sleeping next to these three Georgia boys for roughly three months this past year, I still love them, and their music, to death. They're taking a break from touring the US for a few months (and hitting up Europe/Japan instead!), but next time they (we) roll on through, do yourselves a favor and check that shit out. As for Crowbar - they'll be back in March, on a tour package that will quite literally amaze anyone who worships the riff - and knows their doom history...;)

Many thanks to all that came out, bought merch, gave us a place to crash, bought us drinks, fed us, talked to us, and filled up my tip jar. Y'all make those lonely nights far far from home a lot easier for a traveler's weary bones and heavy heart.

I also spent about five weeks overseas, dividing time between Ireland, England, and Germany. In England, I spent a couple weeks in London hanging out with my mates there, pestering my boss lady at the Terrorizer office, catching a handful of gigs - Live Evil fest, Shining, Metsatoll - and also made a trip up to Northampton, where I spent some time with my dear friends and clients Amebix. In between glasses of scotch and episodes of Man Vs. Wild, I got to hear a few new tracks off their upcoming album, which was an experience unto itself, and talk business with the boys. Expect to be hearing a lot from me about Amebix in the coming year - this album is going to be an EVENT. In Germany, I hit up Nuclear War Now! fest in Berlin to soak up as much bestial war metal horror as I could stomach (two days' worth, and I left wanting more!) and spend some quality time with my errant Aussie friend Griff, who as of now is probably somewhere entirely different. Buddy guy makes me look like a homebody - and is an amazing photographer, at that. The bulk of my time in Euroland was spent in Dublin, Ireland, where my boyfriend Johnny resides. Long-distance relationships are a bitch, but you fight for what you love. If it weren't for this absurdly illogical heavy metal gypsy life that I lead, I'd have never met him, and if he weren't in touring bands he wouldn't understand it as well as he does, so everything sort of works out. He drums for Altar of Plagues, who are currently working on a new record for Profound Lore, and from what I've heard so far, will be releasing one of the deepest, most gorgeously dark black metal records of 2011. He also mans the kit for crusty deathgrinders Abaddon Incarnate, who will be releasing a split 7" with Phobia soon, and hitting South America for a month-long tour (that I am of course trying to figure out a way to accompany them on!) this summer. I'll be promoting the split (mixing business with pleasure, oops) so keep an eye out for updates on that as well.

I'm heading back to Dublin in February, and will hopefully have a tour waiting for me when I get back in March, and by then, it'll be time to get ready for Roadburn, and the wheels keep on turning...

As far as stuff I'm working on - I've written about a billion year-end lists for various websites/magazines, so I'll post links to those as they surface. My post for Metalsucks is already up: fight me about it.

I'm fleshing out the concept of one book and have just had someone approach me with the concept for another, so there's something to work towards. I'm going to be aiming to complete the first issue of my zine Plague Ritual during the first couple months of the new year - more on that as it takes shape. I'm booking a tour for Atlanta doomhaulers Let The Night Roar. I've got a ton of new releases to promote and have entered into agreements with Ireland's mighty Invictus Productions and Boston's gnarly PATAC Records to work some of their upcoming releases, and will be working on new joints from Amebix, Aelter, Panzerbastard, Anal Cunt, and more in the works. There are probably a few other things too, but it's too loud to think in here. Black Tusk have just hit the stage running, and I'm not about to miss out.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


This band fucking rules, and carry the torch for true soul-defiling Canadian war metal. Their new record, All Idols Fall Before the Hammer, is out now on Dark Descent Records; cop that shit here.

1. Canadian extreme metal is becoming more and more recognized within the global metal scene. What are a few bands you feel are still overlooked, or that you'd like to recommend?

1) Well to name a few in no particular order Dead Of Winter, Witchmark, Lych, Sentient,
Antediluvian, Mitochondrion, Nuclear Hammer and Horde Of Worms…

2. Canadian war metal (Revenge, Conqueror, Blasphemy etc) is incredibly highly-regarded in the underground. How closely do you as a band identify with that particular group? You share a similar sound and aesthetic to many of the bands that fall under that umbrella.

2) While we don’t consider ourselves part of any group (simply because of our ideology)
we are proud to come from this country’s underground. We are glad if in time we slowly
become and are considered part of Canada’s extreme (and extremist) musical legacy.

That being said we strive for originality and tried to develop our sound and lyrical
aesthetic away from any outside influence including being part of ANY scene. The name
Adversarial was chosen for a reason…

3. Tell me a bit about the writing and recording process for All Idols Fall Before the Hammer!

3) Ok, well the writing was done by me over a period of about a year (other than the re-
recorded demo tracks which were done before) in which the songs changed constantly
until they ended up roughly as what was finally recorded.
During band rehearsals a few more changes were made stemming from suggestions by
E.K and M.M, recording began soon after.
Decisions were made about how we wanted to record and the resulting abrasive, fuck off,
claustrophobic sound was born.

4. What would you say is the band's main purpose as a musical entity? What is your message?

4) This band stands as an affront to almost everything and everyone alive today. This
band is war.
It’s the outcome of our characters and ideals, and personally it’s an outlet for my own
battle and beliefs.
The message is there for all who care to read our lyrics…

On a final note, thanks for the interest man, and for those who care be on the lookout for
future releases very soon including a split with the mighty ANTEDILUVIAN (on NWN!)
and a re-release of our demo plus some extras on Dark Descent.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

We Are The Road Crew

Tour's winding down. It's week six, and feels like I've been gone for years. It'll be nice to get home and get a real shower and make dinner and gossip with my roommates and drink cheap whiskey at my favorite spots and catch up on writing. Luckily for my wanderlust, I've got a whole lot more traveling to do before 2011 hits. A few days after I get back to Brooklyn, I'm flying out to Portland for Fall Into Darkness fest, indulging my Cascadian hunger with Fauna, Witch Mountain, Black Cobra, Worm Ouroboros, Krallice, Via Vengeance and more, seeing some dear friends, then turning right back around. One week at home, with Resistant Culture and Wolvserpent gigs included, then heading overseas. a week in London pounding pints and raging at Live Evil fest, Electric Wizard, and Bison BC with the lads, two and a half in Dublin with my sweetheart, a week in Berlin for Nuclear War Now! Fest, a couple days in the studio in Northampton with Amebix to check out the new record and talk business, a couple days back in Ireland with Johnny, then back to NYC on December 1st. The next day I'll more than likely be flying out to meet up with Black Tusk and head out on a two week tour with...(secret super awesome band). After THAT...bedtime.

See y'all on the road.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Get In The Fucking Van

Heading back east, little by little. Trekking through the goddamn desert on our way to Dallas, then rolling through the Dirty South and playing with some killer bands - Weedeater, Radio Moscow, and fucking BUZZOVEN!!!! Sticking with the tour a little longer than planned - I'm hopping off in Richmond after we rage with Hellbastard, Cannabis Corpse, and Ramming Speed, then making my way back up north via DC and Philly/NJ. There's a possibility I'll be bouncing out to Portland for Fall into Darkness Fest 10/7-10/10 if I can rustle up plane fare, then I'm sticking around NYC until i leave for Europe.

Here's what we got left. Come hang out, do a shot, buy some merch, or let us crash on your floor.

9/21 Dallas, TX @ Nightmare
9/22 Little Rock, AR @Downtown Music
9/23 Nashville, TN @ The Muse w/ WEEDEATER
9/24 Johnson City, TN @Hideaway
9/25 Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Music Hall w/ BUZZOVEN
9/30 New York, NY @ Rocks Off Concert Cruise Aboard the Temptress w/ BUZZOVEN
10/1 Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar w/ BUZZOVEN
10/2 Richmond, VA @ Alley Katz w/ Cannabis Corpse, Hellbastard, Ramming Speed, Parasytic, Occultist

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Doomed to Suffer Presents: COUGH, Ghloas, Sadgiqacea, Hollenlarm

September 26, 2010 @ 09:00pm - Doomed to Suffer & Philly F/M Fest Present:


Doomed at heart but with a healthy appreciation for filthy sludge and bong-ripping psychedelia, this drugged-out quartet draw upon the power of the almighty riff to unleash their crushing odes to the infinite. Even their name is a dead giveaway – ever really listen to the beginning of “Sweet Leaf?” There you go. This year will see the recent Relapse signees releasing a split with UK doom heroes The Wounded Kings on the always-excellent Forcefield Records, embarking on their first-ever European tour this spring, then rolling across the USA in November. Thank Electric Wizard, Black Sabbath, and a LOT of weed for making this band possible.


"This New Jersey-based quartet shares members with local heavyweights Deathbeds, but has carved out its own niche within the city's heavy music scene, blowing eardrums and dropping jaws with their spaced-out progressive metal compositions. Equal parts Mogwai, Mouth of the Architect, Russian Circles, Jesu, and Sonic Youth, Gholas are a rare and compelling sort of band, one with its own aesthetic, sound, and raw, beating heart."


Heavy, slow, and atmospheric progressive doom from one of the Philly underground's rising stars. SADGIQACEA (sad-juh-kay-shuh) is a ferocious and epic power duo from the Philadelphia/South Jersey Shore area, using detuned guitars and thundering percussion to create a shape-shifting foundation of dripping darkness, while soaring vocals and echo-drenched strings pierce through the toxic sludge, painting a face-melting lucid dream of metaphysical pain and ecstasy.


Bleakest doom, crushing black. Amber, PA.

at Millcreek Tavern
3200 Chester
$8 / 21+ with ID

Monday, September 6, 2010

Doomed to Suffer Presents:

October 24, 2010 @ 09:00pm -

Doomed to Suffer Presents:

Ramming Speed
Boston thrash-grind-crust-party dudes!

Heaviest band in Philly.

West Philly thrash dudes.

Coffin Dust
Grave-robbing old-school death metal from Downingtown/Philly dudes.

at JR's
22nd & Passyunk
$p / 21+ with ID

20 Buck Spin's WOLVSERPENT (formerly PUSSYGUT) Announce US Fall Tour

Boise, ID's most intriguing export, the newly-christened WOLVSERPENT (known previously as PUSSYGUT) have revealed the details of their first-ever major North American tour. During the month-long trek, the ghostly duo will will be playing their upcoming opus Blood Seed in its overwhelming entirely, unraveling their haunting gothic tapestries of violin and doom, ambient and pathos, upon an army of strangers. WOLVSERPENT will be joined along their left-hand path by their friends and allies in Velnias, Locrian, Ehnahre, Javelina, Subrosa, and more.

Blood Seed, the group's fourth full-length (and first under the WOLVSERPENT name) will be released on 500 slabs of virgin vinyl by the ever-evolutionary 20 Buck Spin on October 5, 2010.

It would be awesome to get the band some coverage in their home state. Would you be interested in running a show preview, or doing a live review? Adding the Boise show to your event listings? Maybe an interview with the band? Let me know what you think!

Kim Kelly


Sept 25 Boise ID @ V.A.C Record release and US tour kickoff!
Sept 30 Denver CO @ The Further Shop w/Velnias
Oct 2 Milwaukee WI @ Borg Ward
Oct 3 Chicago IL @ Enemy w/Locrian
Oct 5 Brooklyn NY @ Archeron w/ Archon & Bezoar
Oct 7 Somerville MA @ Starlab w/Ehnahre
Oct 8 Greenfield MA @ John Doe Jr. w/Ehnahre
Oct 9 Ithaca NY @ Warehouse w/Ehnahre
Oct 10 Far Rockaway NY @ Red Light District w/Ehnahre
Oct 11 Baltimore MD @ Golden West w/ OAK, & Ehnahre
Oct 12 Chapel Hill NC @ Nightlight w/Clang Quartet, Mountains Named for Murderers and Ehnahre
Oct 13 Charlotte NC @ The Milestone w/Ehnahre
Oct 14 Atlanta GA @ Eyedrum w/Ehnahre
Oct 15 Nashville TN @ Little Hamilton w/Loss, & Ehnahre
Oct 17 Little Rock AR @ Downtown Music w/Pallbearer & Ehnahre
Oct 20 Austin TX @ Red 7 w/Javelina
Oct 21 Las Cruces NM @ The Trainyard w/Yazata
Oct 22 Phoenix @ PHX w/GOG
Oct 24 Las Vegas NV @ Brass Lounge w/Dead Neon
Oct 25 Salt Lake City UT @Burt's Tiki w/Subrosa
Oct 29-31 Boise ID @ VAC
Nov 4 Seattle @ The Comet w/(a) Story of Rats

Visit: for up to date info on Wolvserpent and Aelter

Tribal Grinders RESISTANT CULTURE Announce North American Tour

Tribal Grinders RESISTANT CULTURE Announce North American Tour

The enigmatic tribal grind/anarcho-crust collective known as Resistant Culture have announced plans to take their message to the masses on a North American tour this fall. The predominantly Native American quartet are known for their ingenious blend of raging grindcore, chaotic crust punk, death metal intensity, and traditional chants & instrumentation. Based in LA and dedicated to the fight for equal rights, environmental issues, and recognition of the issues that face Native Americans and other minorities, Resistant Culture have been a strong voice within the underground for many years. Formerly propelled by the incendiary riffs of the late great Jesse Pintado (Terrorizer Napalm Death), the band has returned in full force, recording a new demo and preparing for a full-scale US tour that will wind through the entire country. The Sacred Fire 2010 U.S. Tour will be in support of the first pressing of the band's classic All One Struggle on clear vinyl, with a gatefold, and 24x36 full color poster and the third pressing of their debut album, Welcome to Reality.


9/30 Wandering Goat
Eugene, OR

10/1 Satyricon
Portland. OR

10/2 The Morgue
Seattle, WA

10/5 Roman's
Rapid City, SD

10/7 Rathole
Minneapolis, MN

10/9 The Black Hole
Chicago, IL

10/12 Token Lounge
Detroit, MI

10/13 Hexagon Space
Baltimore, MD

10/14 Millcreek Tavern
Philadelphia, PA

10/15 The Lake Underground
Brooklyn, NY

10/16 AS220
Providence, RI

10/17 Cambridge Elks Lodge
Cambridge, MA

10/19 Volume 11 Tavern
Raleigh, NC

10/20 Lenny's
Atlanta, GA

10/21 Marauders
New Orleans, LA

10/22 Broken Neck
Austin, TX

10/23 No Thanks Fest
Emory, TX

10/24 The White Swan Live
Houston, TX

10/26 Blast O Mat
Denver, CO

10/27 One Mind Studio
Salt Lake City, UT

10/28 Lucky Lady
Las Vegas, NV

10/29 Gilman
Berkeley, CA

11/6 Common Ground
Riverside, CA

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tour Blog 1

So I'm on tour with my babyboys Black Tusk and stoner rock OGs Fu Manchu, and we just played the Masquerade in Atlanta. We stayed with our boy Dan from Zoroaster yesterday and got shwasted on top shelf liquor, had an epic cookout today (with venison! heaven), and are maxin' out relaxin' all cool in Dan's doom palace surrounded by pitbulls and pillows.

Andrew and Roadie Ben are at a bar with crazy Cameron from San Francisco, but me, Athon, and James are worn out. Kevin from Brutal Truth lives 'round the corner and warned me that the Masquerade sucks; as usual, he was right. The staff were sweethearts, but the crowd should have been way bigger, the openers drank up all the booze and got all uppity asking for free stuff, the house took a 10% cut of the soft merch sales, the moniters blew halfway through Tusk's set...bah. We hit Raleigh tomorrow, which should be cool - I like North Carolina a lot, and after that we hit DC and I get to bro down with Salome, then Cambridge, MA where I get to see my boy Metal George, then NYC for a taste of home, and on and on...

I flew out to meet up with Black Tusk in Austin last Thursday, where we were due to kick things off at Emo's that night (fourth time I've been in that damn club in as many months). After load-in, we grabbed dinner at Stubb's (Texas barbeque, yessss) then did the show thing. I went through all the merch and familiarized myself with the tools of the trade, set my shit up, and waited for the madness to unfold.

Austin is Austin, and Austin is crazy. We crashed with the boys' awesome friend Cory at her adorable little apartment, woke up late, and sauntered off to Houston the next day.

*Black Tusk LOVES lotto tickets*

Now that is a weird town - everyone's stuck in 2001 and the club we played, Scout Bar, was straight-up covered in nu-metal memorabilia. We're talking Disturbed on the house speakers and signed Saliva guitars on the walls, son.

I got cornered by a methed-out waitress who bought a Black Tusk girly shirt then spent the next ten minutes telling me about how breastfeeding made her rack huge, and the boys were enchanted by the lingerie-clad broad serving beer out of a tub (you stay classy, Houston). Crashed in a Super 8, then headed South to New Orleans - one of my most anticipated stops this time around.

I LOVE New Orleans - the city is just brimming with black magic and swamp light, and the food? Fuck. I am the pickiest eater imaginable, but even I'm powerless in the face of Coop's Cajun fried chicken and Cafe Du Monde beignets.

We played One Eyed Jack's in the French Quarter - wicked.

Drank a bunch of whiskey, sold a bunch of merch, and had a ball at Tusk's friend Alex "The Douche"'s house with her goofy dogs and champagne. On our way out of Louisiana, James won 500 dollrs off a two-dollar lotto ticket (!!!!) which provided some excitement (and a bottle of bourbon) for the rest of the evening.

The long drive out to Atlanta the next day was all worth it as soon as we rolled up to Dan's incredibly nice house, and now I'm almost wishing we had another day off to snuggle with his dogs and suck down his blue agave tequila.

On the road again...


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Reinventing The Steel; The New American Underground

So here's a thing I wrote for Terrorizer months ago. In the usual editorial process, things get switched around and reimagined sometimes, and this piece ended up on the wrong side of a red pen. We decided to retool and revamp it to better reflect the theme of the next issue ("Southern Metal") soooo this baby's never gonna see the light of day. It pains me to shelve it entirely, though, so here's what it would have looked like. Some of it will be cannibalized for the new piece, too - waste not, want not!

The New American Underground
Kim Kelly

The gods of metal have a habit of showing up in the unlikeliest of places. From festivals held deep in the Bavarian woods or Czech countryside to basement shows in Brussels and all-dayers in Singapore, the existence of heavy fucking metal is a damn near universal truth – a world without borders or limits. One has to ask, though - what the hell is it doing in the white-bread Midwestern wasteland of Columbus, Ohio? Or in Texas, America’s gun-totin’, pigment-hatin’ conservative stronghold? The answer: March 2010’s one-two punch of Scion Fest, and Austin, TX’s South by Southwest Music Conference. Terrorizer went deep aboveground to investigate the strange phenomenon of metal’s newfound popularity in the US of A.
Maybe “popularity” is the wrong word; after all, the dark arts have always been plenty popular with those of us who knew enough to care. “Respected” may be more apt. With bands like YOB and Alcest gracing the hallowed pages of the New York Times and Magrudergrind and Wolves in the Throne Room blowing up on indie rock behemoths Pitchfork and Brooklyn Vegan (whose Fred “Black Bubblegum” Pessaro has been making waves with his own black meddling and boundless enthusiasm for keeping it true), the level of aural brutality that Joe Sixpack will accept in his daily routine is steadily beginning to increase. Tastemaker labels like Profound Lore, 20 Buck Spin, and Relapse and interesting new signings from Candlelight, Metal Blade, and Prosthetic have colored the musical landscape in a whole new range of shades of black, and countless new metal-focused websites and blogs have been spreading the plague at 500 kbps per second.

As the inevitable “hipster metal” movement reared its artfully-coiffed head, the underground recoiled, but even the most stalwart basement warrior has had to admit that more interest in metal means more tours, and more chances to see the bands they actually care about. At the risk of sounding like a “special advertising section,” it must be said that carmakers Scion (a division of Toyota) have been stealthily leaving oil-slicked fingerprints all over the underground – in a positive way. By doling out sponsorship money to broke-ass touring bands and throwing massive ‘merican shows for bands like Immortal and Neurosis, Scion’s resident metal guru Adam Shore has had a profound impact on the scene at large, and his handpicked Scion fest lineups have brought many respectable denizens of the underworld kicking and screaming into the sunlight. This year’s edition featured Absu, YOB, Voivod, Shrinebuilder, Brutal Truth, Ludicra, Cannibal Corpse, Black Tusk, Lightning Swords of Death, Black Anvil, Landmine Marathon, and tons more, and took place at four small venues in the quiet college town of Columbus, Ohio. Over the course of 24 hours, legions of metal fans descended upon its quiet streets like a swarm of locusts, and Terrorizer caught jaw-dropping performances from Ludicra (a festival high point), Absu, Black Anvil, Thou, and Lightning Swords of Death. A few weeks later, a similar scenario happened, only this time, it all went down a little closer to Hell.

Traditionally held to be a hipster hangout and industry circle-jerk, this year’s edition of SXSW turned out to be the heaviest the fest had ever seen. Bands like High On Fire and Landmine Marathon held equal billing to indie darlings Japanther and Madlib, and the uberhyped Profound Lore/20 Buck Spin and Brooklyn Vegan showcases were so packed, they were only letting in a handful of people at a time. Terrorizer was on hand to catch electrifying performances by Coffinworm, Salome, Dark Castle, The Atlas Moth, Kill the Client, Howl, Bison BC, Zoroaster, Goatwhore, and god knows how many others over the course of the five-day, multi-venue music orgy. Beneath the merciless Texan sun, we wandered through Austin’s blocked-off streets, soaking in the live music that came pouring out of every bar and venue and bumping into band dudes everywhere we turned. Playing at SXSW can be a trial by fire for some, like The Atlas Moth with their hellacious seven-shows-in-five days schedule or Salome with their myriad van woes, but for those that make it out alive, the SXSW stamp of approval goes a long way. Don’t mess with Texas.

Now that we’ve brought you up to speed on what sort of trouble’s been brewing on this side of the pond, meet a few of the two festivals’ highlights: bands that are changing the meaning of “American metal.” Walk on home, boy.


This San Francisco-based collective have been creating artful, mind-expanding black metal odysseys for over a decade, and are finally reaping the rewards of that which they have sewn. Vocalist Laurie Sue Shanaman is an angel and a demon onstage, possessed of a voice that veers from ethereal to apocalyptic in the blink of an eye and is augmented by guitarist/backing vocalist Christy Cather’s deafening roar. The band is rounded out by Aeson Dekker of Agalloch on drums, Ross Sewage (Impaled, Exhumed, Ghoul) on bass, and John Cobbett (Hammers of Misfortune, Slough Feg) on guitar – a dream lineup if there ever was one. An electrifying performance at this year’s Scion Fest and ensuing success on their Decancellation Tour (hastily rebooked after Mayhem aborted the US run they were slated to open), as well as an incredibly well-received new record (The Tenant/ Profound Lore 2010) have put them on the map, and solidified Ludicra’s place at the forefront of the new wave of American black metal.


These Indianapolis-born amplifier worshippers have only been around since 2007, but have already risen to the top of the American doom/sludge pile. 2009’s Great Bringer of Night demo was an impossibly brutal, downtuned beast that set the stage for this year’s When All Become None (Profound Lore), six songs’ worth of gutter sludge, vindictive black metal, old-school death, and suffocating doom. Add in some of the most devastatingly clever, anti-human lyrics around, not to mention an imposing live presence (as seen at SXSW and in cursed venues across the Midwest) and a heavy debt to the occult, and you’ve got yourself one unholy racket. Coffinworm are special, not only because of their grave-digging sound, which mines the tombs of death, doom, and darkness and comes up corpses – they matter because they really fucking mean it.

Move over, New Orleans; Baton Rouge is rapidly becoming the new home of the heavy. Case in point: the uber D.I.Y. doomlords of Thou, who have been criss-crossing the country spreading their nihilistic sermons and earth-shaking riffs since 2005. This extremely prolific, constantly touring quartet have unleashed over fifteen splits, demos, and albums (on labels like Southern Lord, Robotic Empire, and Gilead Media) and show no signs of slowing down. Thou’s vast, monolithic dirges are a hateful mangling of EyeHateGod, Isis, and Winter – droning, shimmering, feral, and achingly honest – and are giving the old guard one helluva run for their drug money.


The City of Angels isn’t exactly the most kvlt of locales, but L.A. black metal mystics Lightning Swords of Death are living proof that something wicked lurks behind all the glamour and plastic. Oozing pure evil, occult secrets, and urban blasphemy, their take on the blackest of the dark arts hits hard, fast, and mean, drawing liberally from the genocidal black/grind of Revenge and Conqueror, the pitch-black thrashing of Aura Noir, and Watain’s perverted rock’n’roll. There are even a few epic nods to Blut Aus Nord in there, coupled with a totally D.I.Y. underground-‘til-death mentality that is doing well to keep their attitudes in check and their weapons deadly sharp. An upcoming Metal Blade debut and more live actions are brewing, so watch your back.


One mic, one guitar, and a set of drums. Doesn’t sound too impressive when you lay it out like that, but when you add in a few massive fucking amps, earth-shaking riffs, and the doomed trio behind Salome, and you’ve got yourself a problem. These Virginian destroyers have been decimating stages and blowing out eardrums since 2006, releasing a thunderous Profound Lore debut and killer split EP with Thou along the way. Vocalist Kat’s bloodcurdling shrieks and sepulchral roars claw their way to the forefront of Rob Moore’s down-tuned, mercilessly heavy slabs of sludgy, funereal riffage and Aaron Deal’s impossibly tight war drum, and the deadly combination thereof is as catchy as it is crushing.


Once the reigning kings of American grindcore, Insect Warfare, called it quits, their throne stood empty for several long, slow years; that is, until their fellow Texans Kill The Client stepped up their game, and went for the fucking throat. The Dallas quintet have been grinding 24/7 since 2002, releasing two raging albums on Willowtip and splits with Agoraphobic Nosebleed and Thousandswilldie before signing a deal in blood with Relapse for their upcoming full-length. A killer live act (as SXSW found out) and known for their snarling, furiously fast take on balls-out grind, these bastards reek of Swedish putrefaction and have something to fucking say, on top of it – their sociopolitical rants are as smart as they are searing.


The denizens of Chicago’s three great talents are scarfing down greasy food, making music, and doing drugs. Judging by the fuzzed-out psychedelic space jams on The Atlas Moth’s Candlelight debut, A Glorified Piece of Blue Sky, this Chi-Town quintet are no exception. Longtime road dogs and D.IY. buzz-builders, the men of the ‘Moth are no strangers to hard work; even a grueling SXSW schedule of seven shows in five days (!) couldn’t slow them down. Drawing from the post-everything catharsis of Neurosis, the Southern-fried dirt tones of Buzzoven, the mangled chords of Coalesce, and even the shimmering progress of Deftones The Atlas Moth’s sound is both many things, and one unified theory. On record, they captivate; live, they decimate. With several high-profile tours and collaborations on the way, the future’s looking bright for this post-sludge collective.


Hardcore dudes playing black metal? It sounds like the worst idea possible, but New York’s mighty Black Anvil have proved how devilishly well it can work. Featuring former and current members of Kill Your Idols, None More Black, and Deathcycle, what Black Anvil lack in kvlt cred they more than make up for in sheer brute force and the kind of songwriting chops that come with years spent toiling in the underground. Sneaking pages out of Celtic Frost, Bathory, Motorhead, and Immortal’s songbooks (check out Paul Delaney’s Abbath impression), armed with a positively nasty “Dethroned Emperor” cover, and hauling out lick after lick of thrashy, bottom-heavy blackness, this New Yawk trio have been blowing up stage across the nation, and, with an upcoming Relapse debut and several high-profile tours in the works, seem hellbent on total destruction. Now THAT’S hardcore.


Dark Castle are sort of like the White Stripes of doom metal, except about a billion times more brutal. This Florida duo are also known for their stripped-down approach – one guitar, one keyboard, a drumkit and two throats – and have spent time as a couple, but instead of garage rock, churn out impenetrably dense, hypnoticly sludgy riffs. It’s difficult to compare Dark Castle to any other band, because although the music they play on their At A Loss debut, Spirited Migration, is very recognizably doom, there is an intriguing balance of atmosphere and ferocity, of droning heaviness and gently clean psychedelic melodies, that many attempt but few actually realize. Stevie Floyd’s guttural roar and Rob Shaffer’s lumbering, almost tribal drumming play off the mystical, bleak soundscapes they create beautifully, and in a live setting, with the lights turned low and the band bathed in red light, are nothing short of breathtaking. These road warriors recently returned from a European trek with Kylesa and are gearing up to cross the USA with Zoroaster this summer, then it’s back to the studio for round two!


This Arizona quintet have been blowing up over here. Their electrifying performances at SXSW and Scion Fest, a killer new record, Sovreign Descent, out on Prosthetic, and a charismatic frontwoman with a mouth like a sailor and penchant for Death shirts have all done their part to bring Landmine Marathon into the spotlight, and they couldn’t be more stoked. Their crusty, old-school death metal sound has a heart of pure grind, culled as it is from the back catalogs of the Earache greats (think Bolt Thrower, Morbid Angel, Napalm Death) and the Infest patches on their shorts. Armed with a perfectly muddy mid-90s guitar tone as well as Grace Perry’s ferocious pipes, they have been sweating it out in the underground for five years now; after releasing several demos, splits (w/ Stormcrow and The Funeral Pyre) and albums (Level Plane released ‘Rusted Eyes Awake’ in 2008), they were snapped up by Prosthetic, and unleashed a monstrous new LP. Watch your back!

The crusty post-sludge fiends on Howl, cosmic doom luminaries YOB, reborn black metal legends Absu, mind-expanding riff worship of Bison BC, NOLA stoner death ‘heads Goatwhore, grind gods Brutal Truth, stoned cavemen High on Fire, and scads of other worthy accomplices made these two events fucking sing, and are slowly but surely making it a hell of a lot more fun to be an American metalhead. Horns up!



Roadburn festival is thrilled to unveil the curator for the 2011 edition of Roadburn: Sunn O))). The band, to be specific Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley, has agreed to curate our festival on Friday, April 15th, 2011 and host a special event.

As curator, Sunn O))) will personally select the bands that will play during their special event as well as perform a headline show. Sunn O))) will be Roadburn’s fourth curator, following David Tibet in 2008, Neurosis in 2009 and Triptykon’s Tom Gabriel Warrior at this year’s festival.

Right now, Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley are gearing up for two major Sunn O))) events in September: performing Altar with Boris at ATP New York and Brooklyn’s Masonic Temple, but you can expect to hear from them in the future with respect to their thoughts on the 2011 Roadburn festival and Sunn O)))’s performance.

We are overjoyed to join forces with Sunn O))) for the upcoming Roadburn festival. Their metal-based drone experimentations have proved groundbreaking and hugely influential for an entire new generation of musicians practicing the art of avant-garde metal, drone, post rock and psychedelica. Sunn O))) is also widely acclaimed for their eclectic collaborations with everyone from musicians Attila Csihar, Masami Akita (Merzbow), Boris, Steven Stapleton, Justin Broadrick, Oren Ambarchi, Ulver, Joe Preston, John Wiese, and Julian Cope to filmmaker Jim Jarmusch and visual artist Banks Violette.

Greg Anderson, who is also Goatsnake’s songsmith and the entrepreneur behind Southern Lord Records, and Stephen O’Malley, a prolific improviser and composer who is well-known for being involved in Burning Witch, KHANATE, KTL and DACM/Gisèle Vienne theatre-works, have performed in different guises during various Roadburn festivals over the years, which is exactly why we felt they would be the ideal curators. Both of them consistently push the envelope musically, and one of our steadfast goals has been to make Roadburn a festival that explores the cutting edge while celebrating the familiar, too. With that in mind, we could think of no better spiritual guide for 2011 than Sunn O))).

We are truly looking forward to the new ideas and visions that the crossover drone duo will bring to the festival next year. When asked to sum up Roadburn in one word, “progressive” would be a fitting choice. Evolving and improving are part of this. The festival is a tribute to the open mindedness of its bands, curators and audience. The joy comes from expanding musical horizons, and with Sunn O))) acting as our curator we’ll definitely be in for some artistic surprises.

Roadburn Festival 2011, including Sunn O)))’s special event, will run for three days from Thursday, April 14 to Saturday, April 16 at the 013 venue and Midi Theatre in Tilburg, Holland. There will be an additional afterburner event on Sunday, April 17, 2011.

For more info, please visit:

*See you there, dudes and ladies!


This was published on Brooklyn Vegan here:

An interview w/ AESOP DEKKER
Kim Kelly

The metal world is rife with curious individuals and iconoclasts, demonic personas and mysterious, elemental figures. We’re none of us “normal,” and neither are our heroes. One of the most interesting (and hard-working) figures in modern American extreme metal is one Aesop Dekker. As an artist, Dekker makes his mark on this ever-evolving world as the drummer and driving force behind such fascinating, innovative, and often life-affirming projects as Agalloch, Ludicra, and as of recently, Worm Ourobouros. As a fan, his rabid and bottomless enthusiasm for all things heavy, dark, obscure, and honest is laid bare in his popular blog Cosmic Hearse and in various other behind-the-scenes efforts. The man himself recently granted an e-interview to Brooklyn Vegan’s erstwhile pillar of ravishing grimness, Kim Kelly, to discuss his thoughts on USBM, the lure of San Francisco, and Agalloch’s upcoming 4th album (and upcoming live shows!).

Your blog Cosmic Hearse is an absolute treasure trove of obscure and not-so-obscure music, metal and otherwise. You’ve clearly got an incredibly extensive knowledge of
music, and are constantly posting about new bands and records that fly below most peoples’ radars. Where do you find out about new bands?

Aesop: Discovering obscure music has been a passion of mine since I was about 13. It is almost to a fault. I can’t stand the thought that there may be some amazing recording that
I have yet to hear. Anytime I travel I come home with a stack of stuff to listen to. Now with the notoriety of Cosmic Hearse people send me stuff or hand me weird releases at shows. Also I ran a short-lived “cassette only” label in 2004 that put me in contact with a myriad of interesting Black Metal bands and labels. I also spend a ridiculous amount of time perusing other blogs and combing bins at record stores.

What does it take for a new band or album to really catch your interest these days?

Aesop: It’s hard to pinpoint what makes a band click with me. A band doesn’t have to be terribly original, talented, or well produced. I think most important is atmosphere,
songs…There really isn’t a whole lot of new bands that interest me. Some bands work for me live but have yet to make a recording that can hold my interest. There are so many variables in how music is taken in and made that to say what makes something “good” is rather difficult.

What are your thoughts on the current state of American black metal? USBM arguably started in the Bay Area with Weakling, and has since grown into this sprawling,
progressive, critically-acclaimed (or at last, acknowledged) scene. Is it surreal to see bands like Wolves in the Throne Room and Krallice getting talked about in the New York Times or on NPR?

Aesop: Well, USBM probably started with Von, then Profanatica, but Weakling was very influential on the west coast. Both bands you mention owe a huge debt to Weakling. Wolves took Weakling and simplified it, Krallice expanded on it. I haven’t really given much thought to the attention the USBM is getting these days. The early Norwegian bands are winning Grammys in their country, so I think it is just progression. Black Metal has gotten too big for major media to ignore and not seem out of touch. While
it’s nice to see American bands getting some accolades, I think that it is a bit of a dilettante’s game. I mean, where is all the praise for Absu, one of America’s longest
running Black Metal bands who happen to release on of the best albums of last year?

Do you miss the older days of USBM when only a handful of people knew, or cared,about what was going on?

Aesop: Not particularly. My experiences with listening to music remain the same. It canbe frustrating seeing hobbyists flooding the bins with subpar releases, but on the other
hand it can also mean exciting new bands. It makes you have to sift more through chaff to find the wheat.

The West Coast and Bay Area in particular has a long history of metallic excellence,and in recent times has played host to an absolute explosion of talented, interesting new
bands. Who are some of your favorite new California metal bands? I’m guessing Dispirit and Fell Voices will fall somewhere on the list…

Aesop: Dispirit and Fell Voices are both excellent. I would also add Lascowiec and Bosse De Nage to the list of amazing Bay Area Black Metal bands. I have also been
impressed recently by Vastum, who feature members of Acephalix and Saros, doing Bolt Thrower worship. Elk from Oakland are getting better and better every time I see them.

You’ve mentioned before how deeply the city of San Francisco affects Ludicra’s music and lyrics, and have lived there for many years. How important is living in San Francisco to your creative process? The city seems to have this unique energy and vibe, something I’ve never found anywhere else – is this what you feed off of?

Aesop: I think cities in general have a certain zeitgeist that is reflected in their bands. People who live in SF have an almost romantic love for this city, it’s architecture, it’s weather, it’s art… But it is also a hard place, it’s expensive, it can seem wholly unwelcoming at times. Ludicra never set out to be the audial essence of the city, we never set out to be anything other than a band, the link to SF is almost natural and unintentional. I remember a few years back people were talking about the Bay Area sound, but I think the bands here are all unique. We may share a geography and the occasional beer but it ends there. Ludicra sounds nothing like Leviathan, and Leviathan sounds nothing like Weakling.

In regards to Agalloch, is it difficult to write and demo material with your Portland-based bandmates when you’re living in different cities? How would you describe Agalloch’s creative process?

Agalloch relies heavily on demos and doing things via mail. It’s definitely slower than having a band that rehearses regularly and works out arrangements together. The three original members, John, Don, and Jason have the process down to a science. For me it was a bit intimidating, It is almost an exact reversal of the process that Ludicra uses to
make records. As strange as it is, it obviously works. Agalloch makes impressive records for sure. It was exciting to be involved with the new album. Of course I wish I saw them more and we could work together closely on the material but I am not sure that if we all lived closer that would change.

Congrats on signing with Profound Lore, and the imminent release of a new Agalloch album. Expectations for this record are high, perhaps higher than ever, which has got to
place a bit of pressure on this recording. How does it feel to be in the studio with your Agalloch brothers? How is the album taking shape?

Aesop: Well, like I mentioned this is my first time in the studio with Agalloch. There was really no more pressure than any recording really. I believe the material to be strong and we did a great deal of preparation and demoing before tracking.

What can we expect to hear on this new record, and how will it be different from your past few releases?

Aesop: Without divulging too much I can say that it will be very different than past Agalloch releases, darker, but still having all the elements that make Agalloch special.

Agalloch are seldom seen in a live setting, which makes every performance seem like a special event. Is that your intent in limiting the band’s live appearances? I know fans are always begging the band to do a full US tour; is that something you would ever be open to doing?

Aesop: I think that some bit of the Agalloch mystique dies if we play out too much. Also we are dealing with scheduling issues when we play. I think the planning of an Agalloch
show or tour requires much more than most bands, issues like gear , rehearsals, and flights come into play. With these factors in play we would rather play shows that are special to us in some way. I know that this can be frustrating to fans but if they put in the effort to see us then we work hard to make it a memorable experience When we played in
Romania with Alcest there was a thousand people from fifteen different countries there, that is much more rewarding to us then playing show after show opening for some bigger

Will Agalloch be playing any shows in support of the new material?

Aesop: Yes, we have some plans for later in 2010 and early 2011.

Besides this record, what do you have planned for the upcoming year? Will Ludicra be doing any more touring/recording? Any new projects in the pipeline?

Ludicra is laying low, writing new material. I am also now playing with Worm Ouroboros, a great band from Oakland who have a brilliant album out on Profound Lore.

*Shortly after this interview, I was lucky enough to catch Agalloch’s John Haughm perform with my friends in Vindensang at a rare performance in Philadelphia, PA, and during a chat after the gig, he confirmed that Agalloch will be embarking on an East Coast tour in March 2011. Keep your ears to the ground!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

INTERVIEW: Zoroaster

'll be chopping and screwing this into a Terrorizer-sized 600ish words, but here's the full transcript of my email interrogation of my man Will Fiore of Atlanta psychedoomelic troublemakers Zoroaster. Buy their new record and come see 'em on tour with Nachtmystium next month!

Interview for Terrorizer
w. Kim Kelly

So you’ve just gotten back from a tour with Black Tusk and Dark Castle, and are
hopefully somewhat recovered by now. Can you share a few stories from the road?
Nothing too incriminating, of course, but a couple of your favorite memories, maybe?

Hmm I don’t know all my favorite memories are way too incriminating. I’ll just say
that any tour that involves as much booze, rooftop pools, broken down vans, fighting,
cookouts, bloody fire extinguishers and cocaine related car accidents has got to be a good
tour, right?

Now you’re already gearing up to hit the road again come September with some old
friends. Are you excited to get back out there again, or would you prefer to have a bit
more downtime? You guys are touring hard on this record – you’ve got Europe on the
horizon, as well! When do you get to take a vacation?

Yeah we head out in September with nachtmystium which we’re really looking forward
to. Blake started this whole thing for us by releasing our first record and we did one of
our first big tours with them back in 2006. I actually wish we could leave right now I
always love coming home after a tour there’s nothing like laying in your own bed for
the first time but honestly after 2 or 3 days I’m ready to get the hell out of town again.
By that time you get caught up with friends you’ve missed but then it’s back to work
and having to pay for beer and liquor and who the fuck wants that? That’s not cool.

The new record is something else. After having heard some of it every night for about
thirty days, I’d definitely say that it’s both immediately compelling, but also something
of a grower – it took some time for the songs to really sink in and open up. How do you
feel about Matador now that it’s out there?

I’m really happy with it actually, getting to finally work with Sanford was great we’ve
been talking about that since before voice of Saturn. I usually don’t think too much about
a record once it’s done though. you live with this thing and it’s all you think about when
you are writing then recording and mixing it and it can be really intense. Once it’s all
done I kind of just let go of it and start all over again I’ve already started making demos
for a new record last weekend so my mind is on that right now. Plus there is always
something you wish you had more time on or could have done something a little better or
whatnot so I try to avoid that it’ll drive you crazy.

What was the writing and recording process like for this record? It seems like you
finished it pretty quickly once Voice of Saturn was released. Can you give me some who/
what/where/when details?

Like I said I’m always writing so there are always songs ready to record we get together
whenever there’s a break from touring and work on songs either brent or I have or we’ll
just work on ideas from jamming. Old world for example is one I was working on around
the vos record but I ended up playing it in a side band I have instead but then a few
months later I realized it really needed to be a Zoroaster song. Plus there are still songs
we wrote when my brother was in the band that we never played with dan or even our
second drummer so we always have those too. Ancient ones, Trident and matador are
actually from that time.

Can you tell me a bit about the lyrics? What are songs like “D.N.R” and “Old World”

D.N.R. Brent wrote about a friend of his who has a terminal illness. He had to sign a do
not resuscitate document for her which makes him responsible for that decision when the
time comes.
In Old World I wrote about letting go of things or people that maybe aren’t good for
you and being able to recognize where and what you should doing or going in life just a
bunch of drunken rabble really.

Who is the Matador?

A car actually. A dead car.

Listening to a song like “Brazen Bull” alongside “Ancient Ones” is almost like hearing
two different bands. Your core elements and influences are still there, but your sound
has evolved and expanded considerably, and gotten way more psychedelic and rockin.’
What brought about this change? Was it a slow-burning evolution, or did you consciously
decide “We want to try something new”?

That’s funny cause Ancient Ones was written when the band first started way before
brazen bull. I think a lot of what people hear is really just us getting more and more
comfortable in the studio. We know what we sound like as a live band and we’ll always
have that so in the studio there’s this chance to take these songs somewhere else without
straying too far from that live sound and I like to be able to have each record have a
certain sound or mood that is unique to that recording while still sounding like us. Dog
Magic definatley has more of that live sound, we went right into the studio to record that
after two to three months touring so we were in that mindset.

The vocals in particular are really interesting – those drawn-out, distorted drone and
stoned harmonies melt into the riffs and seem like another instrument rather than a
focus. Was that what you were going for? How’s you guys come up with that approach?

The vocals are definitely like another instrument to us and a thing where brent and I try
to bring something new to each record and it’s another example of us just getting more
comfortable with that where we are able to push ourselves more than I ever thought.

The current sound of Zoroaster is a logical step, and feels as if that’s where you’ve been
heading the whole time – someplace tripped out, hazy, relentless and never too far from
your dirty Southern roots. With a mystical name like Zoroaster, I guess it makes sense
that you’d like to mess with peoples’ minds a little! How would you say you feel about
where the band is now?

I couldn’t be happier like I’ve been talking about I think we are finally confident enough
and have been playing together long enough to where we can do whatever we want. I
can’t wait for the next record we’re just getting started.

How have your older fans reacted to the new material? Have you been seeing a new
crowd coming to your shows nowadays?

It’s been really great we just played almost the whole record on this last tour when the
record wasn’t even out and people really seem to be digging it. All the feedback we’ve
been getting is really positive but then I don’t know how many people would go out of
their way to tell you your record sucks.

E1 is pushing this record hard, and it’s great to see you guys getting some heavy label
support after doing things on your own for so long. How did you hook up with E1? Did
you have any qualms about signing with such a big label?

They are doing an amazing job it’s awesome we couldn’t be happier. There was
definitely some concern cause we’ve been doing everything ourselves for so long which
is great but it also get’s really expensive and once we met with scott a few times we
knew it was the right decision. It’s been a relief to get a lot of the financial burden off our
shoulders for a minute so we can just concentrate on playing and making this record I
think that really helped out with the outcome of matador.

What’s coming around the corner for you guys after you finish the Nachtmystium tour?

There’s more touring being sorted out now and possibly another video and in the
meantime just working on songs for the next record.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

THE BODY, Atakke, Bad Dream, Curandera played the Acheron

200 words for Terrorizer Mag:

Providence, RI is rapidly becoming a hotbed for doom activity; local heavy weights Sin of Angels, Howl, and now The Body have been laying it down low and keeping it dirty for years, and are finally getting some attention for it. To kick off an extensive US tour, The Body recently played at Brooklyn’s Acheron (a practice space turned DIY show spot) with a trio of NYC’s best underground bands – the powerviolent sludge fiends Curandera, psyche-doom-elic 70s rockers Bad Dream, and thrash/death hellraisers Atakke, whose spitfire of a frontwoman Chloe Puke had the crowd going mental. The true highlight of the night was the out-of-towners, though. With sweat pouring down their bearded faces and shining off of faded tattoos, the two men of The Body hammered away at our eardrums and showed no mercy, hauling out riff after sludge-infested riff of murderously heavy doom and bowing to the crowd’s demand for an encore.
Waves of feedback, creepy samples, and a no-nonsense, head’s-down-keep-playing approach made their set all the more enjoyable and even more intense than a spin of their excellent new LP All Of The Waters Of The Earth Turn To Blood, could have prepared us for. Doom or be doomed.

Photo by Samantha Marble - check out more sick shots and an extended show review here:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

COFFINWORM/Vaste Burai/Wizard Eye - 8/13 PHILLY

I am REALLY EXCITED for this show :) Come support the bands and Doomed to Suffer in the City of Brotherly Hate:

August 13, 2010 @ 06:30pm - Doomed to Suffer Presents: *note: THIS IS AN EARLY SHOW! 7-9PM!

This band is fucking AMAZING. Vicious nihilistic sludge with a blackened bent and syrupy Southern discomfort. Death, doom, destruction, and an insane live show. On tour from Indiana, new record out on Profound Lore. One of my favorite bands!

Brutally down-tuned two-piece on tour from Texas!

Philly's best psychedelic doom warriors.

at The M Room
15 W. Girard Ave
$8 / 21+ with ID

DEVOURMENT Didn't Take My Bait

I wanted to get them talking shit about deathcore, but instead they had to be all diplomatic. Bah humbug. Keep an eye out for an excerpt on Noisecreep sometime soonish.

Interview for Noisecreep
w. Kim Kelly

Congrats on signing with Relapse! How did that come about?

MM- They contacted us a couple of years back about doing an exclusive t-shirt design and we just kind of stayed in close touch with them ever since. A couple of the Relapse guys caught us live a few times and were impressed with our performance I guess, and pretty much approached us at one of those shows and said they were interested in us. We were definitely interested in Relapse we well as it seemed like a logical progression so they patiently waited for us to be free from our previous contract and the rest is history.

You’re heading off to Europe in support of 2009’s Unleash the Carnivore, and will be hitting some pretty major festivals. Have you played over there before?

MM- Yes, we had a successful headlining European tour in 2007 with Viral Load and Despise, and it was an amazing experience. So this will be our second full tour there, which we will be doing with Cerebral Bore. These will probably be the biggest fests we have ever played, especially Partysan and Brutal Assault.

You’ve got a US tour coming up quick as well, and will be heading out with Cattle Decapitation as well as a handful of newer bands. How do you think your fans will react to a band like Knights of the Abyss or Burning the Masses?

MM- Hard to say really, as this will be our first US tour so everything will be a very new experience for us. We have played in the US before but very few cities so it will be exciting to see how it goes. I’m sure all of the bands on the tour will do great and have a lot of fun.

Devourment are one of the most well-known brutal/”slam” death metal bands out there, and have undoubtedly inspired countless others. It’s not much of a stretch to assume that many of the modern deathcore bands have taken some cues from your ultra brutal approach. What do you think of deathcore and your theoretical influence upon it?

MM- Well I can’t really speak for any bands, I mean it would be pretty arrogant to assume any band is influenced by us just because it’s a similar style. We didn’t invent that style so who knows. I personally don’t listen to much deathcore or whatever, but I have no problem with it, each his own. Shit I ripped off a Van Halen song on Anal Electrocution.

Do you see deathcore/metalcore as gateway drugs to the real underground metal scene, or as something to be ignored/condemned/stamped out? It seems like many metalheads take the latter stance. Do you think the generation gap between younger deathcore fans and older death metallers is part of that?

MM- I honestly don’t waste my time or energy giving a fuck what other people talk about or care about. I always have my Reign in Blood CD close by. If it skips, that’s when I get fucking pissed.

Do you feel that the death metal scene lacks unification?

MM- Yes.

What five records are you listening to the most right now?

MM- As far as new albums,
Misery Index: Heirs to Thievery
Immolation: Majesty and Decay
Dying Fetus: Descend into Depravity
Cannibal Corpse: Evisceration Plague
Skeleton Witch: Breathing the Fire
I always have my old school death and thrash CD’s close by as well, but I do listen to other music, not just metal.

Cheers for the interview, see y’all in NYC!

Awesome, thanks a lot!


For a bunch of embarrassing pictures of us, check out the original post:

Writer Kim Kelly has completed her (epic) journey on the road with the Summer Southern Burn Tour aka the indomitable team of Zoroaster, Black Tusk, and Dark Castle. She kept a diary along the way, revealing the first part a few weeks ago, and now the conclusion! (below) - BBG


June 26th - San Francisco, CA @Thee Parkside

We had a hella short drive over from Oakland to San Francisco, so we all splintered off and made the most of our semi-free day. Black Tusk, Zoroaster Dan and I hit up Nation Burger for breakfast, then Dan and I drove over the Bay Bridge (twice - thanks, GPS) in search of records and decent grub. Every time I find myself in the mighty Amoeba Records I know I'm going to drop a bundle, and Dan is an even worse vinyl nerd than I am; he had a fucking stack of at least ten slabs of vintage country/rock'n'roll, while I was just stoked to find Blasphemophager's 'Nuclear Empire of Apocalypse' on picture disc and grab the new Thou/Moloch split alongside a couple Skynyrd and Scorpions tapes for the van. He split to go check out the barbecue that everyone else had been chilling at all day, and I met up with my friends Erin and Kyle and Andrew from Black Tusk for Thai food (he got green chili catfish - you can take a boy out of ol' Dixieland, but you cannot take ol' Dixie from a boy), then after wandering around Haight-Ashbury for awhile, Andrew and I headed over to the venue to kill time at the bar before load in. Everyone else moseyed in about an hour later, and people started piling in shortly thereafter. Tonight fucking slayed - packed house, good sound, a rad promoter (Whore for Satan rules) and a bunch of great friends came out. I was particularly stoked to see my friend Arthur von Nagel from Cormorant and his adorable lady Amber, and a bunch of Zoroaster's buddies kept things lively. We ended up staying with the latter after the show, and tried to grab a few hours of sleep post-party, pre-drive. Thanks for showing us a hell of a good time, San Francisco! This show was just the morale boost we all needed; tempers were flaring and spirits were sagging pretty low up until this one.

June 27th - Chico, CA @Coda Café

Black Tusk's merch babe Chloe (who screams bloody gore in NYC's Atakke) grew up in San Francisco, so when we woke up the next morning she took us out to her favorite burrito place, and to Whole Foods to stock up on van food. I can't stress enough how important it is to stop at grocery stores on tour. The nonstop menu of gas station munchies, fast food, and Waffle House starts to take a heavy toll after a couple weeks, and it's cheaper, too - a box of granola bars and some apples costs about as much as a Big Mac, bro! We've been trying to eat healthy on this run, but finances, time, and general laziness makes it pretty hard. Generally, Rob and Ben will eat any deep-fried monstrosity they can get their hands on while Stevie and I scrounge for Cliff Bars and string cheese (though I did see Ben eat an orange the other day, and swore it had to be a mirage). Living like this makes us even more appreciative of venues like the Coda Café in Chico that made it a point to offer up some decent food when we rolled up. We were there for a pick-up show that'd been added to fill in a day off, which ended up being a pretty laid-back affair. It didn't hurt that the Dark Castle and Zoroaster crews were already in a great mood after having spent a few hours that afternoon drinking beers and swimming in a wonderfully cold river a few miles from the venue; many thanks to Brandon from The Makai for taking us there!

Coda Cafe is small and cozy, with a palate-pleasing menu of gourmet pizza and an appreciative crowd of locals who trickled in once the first band started playing and stuck around 'til the not-so-bitter end. The second local band, The Makai, were fucking awesome - their unholy amalgamation of doom, black, and death metal was executed with merciless precision and unfolded throughout the course of one epic thirty-minute song. Keep an eye on these guys! Their drummer also pulls double duty in Mammoth Tora, the weirdo surf rock band that closed out the night once the touring bands had done their thing. Good show, good vibes, good times!

June 28th - Portland, OR @Satyricon

The drive from Chico to Portland was absolutely beautiful, but hellishly long. This tour's been littered with 8+ hour drives, which has given us all a lot of time to catch up on reading and fight over music selections. We alternate between Stevie's iPhone, my laptop, and the radio, which yields a pretty ridiculous mishmash of sounds that no one can ever agree on. Stevie likes slow, depressive stuff, Ben's a firm advocate of dirty Southern gangsta rap, I'm an elitist prick, and whenever Rob's driving he wants to hear something rockin', which doesn't work well when my laptop's plugged in. "Do you have any Metallica?" "Fuck that." Saint Vitus' Born Too Late starts wailing out of the speakers. "I need something I can sing along to!" Okay. Mercyful Fate goes on repeat for the next couple hundred miles. "Don't Break the Oath, motherfucker!"
Portland's a wonderfully weird city surrounded by breathtaking natural surroundings and populated by a bunch of our good friends, so we'd all been looking forward to this show for awhile. Chloe and I snuck off to Voodoo Donuts before the show for some maple bacon bars and picked up a dozen (chocolate on chocolate and decorated with pentagrams!) to celebrate James (drums, Black Tusk)'s birthday later that night. The Satyricon is an all-ages venue with an adjacent bar, where my friend Zack from the insanely awesome Nux Vomica happened to be bartending and hooked Andrew and I up with some free drinks. It's always surreal to see young kids wandering around, but the bassist of the killer local band Tenspeed Warlock had brought his ten-year-old son to the show and the kid was a total badass! Our buddies Mike and Aaron from YOB came out to hang, and Nate Carson from Nanotear put us up in his awesome house afterwards. A night to remember (for some of us, anyway; a couple of us got into a fight with Jim Beam and Johnny Walker, and lost. Badly). As Athon said, "Girl, you lost your knees!"

June 29th - Seattle, WA @Funhouse

After enjoying a lovely (hungover) breakfast with Nate and some friends from Subarachnoid Space, another long, scenic drive deposited us at the Funhouse in Seattle - right under the Space Needle! This is a pretty merch-heavy tour, and the merch crew has had a hell of a time fitting our assorted bags and boxes into the smaller bars/venues. I'm already dreading trying to fit all three of our setups into the miniscule merch area at the Khyber in my 'hood. The three of us (me, Chloe, and Zoroaster's road dog Nick) took over the joint's lone pool table and laid out our wares, reveling in the luxury of having an actual space for all of our stuff. The Funhouse was one of the raddest venues we've encountered so far. In addition to the merch corner, they had plenty of room for gear, a cozy backstage room, and a basketball hoop outside, where Steven from Kreation Records fucking rocked all of us!
The metaleros in the opening band, Sin Dios, unleashed some high-quality black/death metal fury, but had a sense of humor, too - at the end of their set, the singer cracked "There are a lot of bands from the South playing tonight. We're from the South, too - South of the border!"
Our original plan was to crash with Stevie's friends in Galder and Grey (two killer Seattle metal bands) but we and the Zoros ended up staying with Steven (an old friend of Dan's) at his tricked-out doom mansion instead. His record collection was about as jaw-dropping as one would expect from the guy that runs one of the bets metal/stoner rock record stores on the planet (he had a Deathspell Omega 4xLP box set that still haunts my dreams). Dude had a SAUNA in his bathroom, and you bet your ass we all crammed in there and sweated out the toxins we'd accumulated during the past two weeks of hard-livin' and hard-drinkin' (there was a LOT of sweat!). We stayed up 'til 5am listening to Om records, drinking port wine, and appreciating Steven's hookah. Totally surreal, and totally awesome.

June 30th - Boise, ID @Red Room

We showed up late and had to rush to load in during Pussygutt's set, which was a damn shame because from what I heard, they were fucking awesome. Our dear friends Darcy Nutt and Chad Remains had set up the show for us, and their badass stoner doom band Uzala played second. They are seriously one of my favorite new doom bands; imagine a run-in between Electric Wizard and Saint Vitus with a foxier Jinx Dawson on vocals. So good! Unfortunately, time constraints and set up issues resulted in all three touring bands having to cut their sets short, which no one was too pleased about. Despite the stress, it was a fun show, and the band dudes had plenty of fun scoping out the drunk college chicks stumbling around outside afterwards (apparently, drunk sorority broads love taking pictures with heavily tattooed metal dudes!). The Dark Castle crew ended up at Darcy and Chad's place and stayed up late listening to Saint Vitus records and catching up before crashing hard.

July 1st - Salt Lake City, UT @Club Vegas

We woke up to a homemade breakfast and hung out with Darcy, Chad, and their kickass daughter before heading to their tattoo shop, Chalice, to take a look around. Darcy's work is absolutely unbelievable - there's a reason she's such a well-known, well-respected tattoo artist (and is the sweetest little lady you could ever meet, on top of it!). She hooked Stevie and I up with some gorgeous new jewelry (1" plugs for me, carved wooden weights for her) and showed us around the shop before we had to hit the long road to Salt Lake City. Before we left, we discovered a seriously injured cat curled up outside their shop; Chad made a few frantic calls to local animal shelters, and the couple ended up taking the poor kitty to an animal hospital after we'd left (they called to let us know that the cat was going to be okay!). We got to the club a little late again, loaded in, scarfed down some pizza, and settled in to watch the two locals. Los Rojos laid down a short set of Southern-inspired rock, and Invdrs (not a typo) screeched through some EyeHateGod-worshiping swamp sludge before Dark Castle thundered onstage. Gentry from Eagle Twin came out to hang and check out Dark Castle's set, which was definitely cool. The crowd wasn't huge and everyone that came up to the merch table said they'd loved the set but were too broke to buy anything (hot tip: don't come up to me and cry about not having money while holding the beer you just bought. Fucking dweebs). We all crammed into two hotel rooms, watched some Metalocalypse, and crashed out early in anticipation/dread of the 9+ hour drive to Denver the next morning

July 2nd - Denver, CO @Larimer Lounge

One of the most difficult parts of touring is creating and maintaining a positive balance between tons of very different personalities. Oftentimes, personalities, plans, and opinions clash, and clash hard, and it can get mad ugly trying to negotiate a solution. This morning was one of those times for our camp. Things eventually worked themselves out, but for awhile, shit was pretty apocalyptically awful. This has been a really tough, stressful tour for a number of reasons, and it's taking its toll. The fun and positivity always comes back, though; at the end of the day we're all good friends working and playing music together and it's that love that keeps us sane (or something like it). A long drive and shitty load-in (showing up late and frantically trying to steer the entire contents of our van through a crowd of nonplussed hipsters is never a great way to start a show) put a damper on our arrival, but a good turnout and plenty of hang time on the patio smoothed things over; fair enough, Colorado.

July 3rd - Kansas City, MO @Riot Room

Kansas City was lame, but at least we had a baller hotel room to come back to at the end of the night. Dan Zoroaster is truly the King of Priceline!

July 4th - St. Paul, MN @Turf Club

We spent our Fourth of July cooped up in a van with the windows down to save the engine from overheating and rolled up to the Turf Club just in time for a deadly evening heat to set in. Jesus fucking Christ, it was hot! The venue was cool (it had a photobooth, at least) and some of our friends from Wolvhammer came out to hang, but the crowd was what you'd expect on our nation's birthday. Also, I swear the green room was fucking haunted. The "backstage" area was down a rickety flight of stairs, in a dank basement with a secret closed-off bar in the back and way too many dark corners. I don't think any of us were man enough to stay down there more than few minutes! A very dapper gentleman with full-on face tattoos gave me a wink, though, and drinks were cheap, so the night wasn't a total bust. In addition, HeathHammer's dog RULED, as we discovered upon trudging into the apartment he shares with his lady and Rob from Battlefields (who came stumbling in at an ungodly hour, fresh from working the Dillinger Four-th of July show downtown). Crashing with friends always trumps staying at hotels, especially when they live with awesome friendly beasts.

July 5th - DAY OFF

To make up for our aborted Fourth of July, we decided to stop at a hotel in Madison, Wisconsin, halfway between St. Paul and Chicago and have a barbecue. Needless to say, we left the joint in an absolute shambles. All the madness, blood, and mayhem that went down later that night can be traced back to a single event - Nick and Andrew returning from Walmart with a grill, tons of food, three cases of beer...and a gigantic jug of rum. Hotel security kept creeping in and giving us the hairy eyeball, but since none of us were actually doing anything wrong, they couldn't do a thing, and were forced to leave us to our own devices. Imagine twelve heavily tattooed/pierced people jumping around a pool and swigging beers in the hot tub, periodically wandering off to check on Athon's grilling techniques and ducking back inside when it started to rain - and repeating the entire spectacle for about four hours. After they closed the pool, we ended up at the hotel bar, then up in our rooms, and then things got really fucked. Someone ended up nearly slicing his thumb off, a hole got punched in a wall, earrings were lost, more booze was drunk, people disappeared and reappeared, shit got broken, and, after witnessing just a fraction of what was going on, instead of kicking us out the dudes at the front desk seemed genuinely worried about us. Our theory is that they thought we were actually a big deal famous rock band and were totally cool with us trashing their hotel. We found out later that they'd moved every other guest off of our floor because of noise complaints, and left us alone (which was probably the worst idea they could've had, but hey, at least no one ended up dead.) Most of the crazy stuff happened before midnight, proving that day drinking is NOT good idea, no matter how much rum you've got to finish.

"What's up, bitches! I found the secret entrance!" - Rob Dark Castle

July 6th - Chicago, IL @The Empty Bottle

Chicago rules, and we have a ton of friends out there, so it was no surprise that tonight's show was a fucking blast. Bruce from Yakuza was behind the bar and dudes from Nachtmystium, the Atlas Moth, Lord Mantis, Indian, Twilight, and Blood of the Tyrant came out to hang, and the crowd was killer. The lady behind Metalcakes showed up with 'Black Tusk cupcakes' soaked in SoCo and studded with pecans, which were happily devoured (thanks again!). Chloe Puke has been doing guest vocals with Dark Castle almost every night by this point, and Stevie's been singing "Spirit Molecule" with Zoroaster, so it's turning into quite the family affair. We all ended up going separate ways after the gig, which as per usual led to some confusion the next morning when half of Dark Castle was across town with Zoroaster and the rest of us were at The Atlas Moth World Headquarters in the 'burbs. It's impossible to keep track of eleven other people, but even keeping tabs on the rest of our van is a constant struggle!

July 7th - Newport, KY @Southgate House

This was hands-down the biggest surprise of the entire tour. I expected Newport to be a let-down after the awesome time we'd had in Chicago, but the Southgate House show was absolutely amazing. The staff was super nice, tons of kids came out including some old friends of Black Tusk's (shout out to Mollie Hatchet!) and we were kept busy at the merch table all night. The only bummer came right before Dark Castle's set, when Stevie discovered that her guitar had finally succumbed to a crack it had sustained during their last European tour. After trying in vain to make it work, she had to quickly borrow Andrew Black Tusk's axe to get through DC's set. Dark Castle have had THE worst luck on this tour, but they still manage to bring it every damn night.

July 8th - Pittsburgh, PA @31st St. Pub

Everyone's always told me that Pittsburgh sucks, which seems a little harsh. I fully expected to be proven wrong tonight, but no such luck. After choking down the worst wings in the world (seriously. Nick got his money refunded, they were that bad) we rolled over to the venue and did what we do. Pittsburgh is a pretty lame town, but at least its local bands are super nice. We hung out with Vulture all night after seeing them dredge up some seriously nasty sludge - their drummer, Kelly, was one of the coolest people we met on this tour. The show itself was pretty weak, and there were some money issues with the promoter afterwards ($120 for catering? Really? I didn't realize a couple pints of fried rice and some bottles of water were that expensive, bro) so we were happy to get out of there.

July 9th - New York City, NY @The Studio at Webster Hall (pics from that show)

If you think parking in Manhattan is a nightmare, try parking a fifteen passenger van (or a van with a trailer) in the middle of the street, climbing up a flight of stairs carrying a bass cab, and weaving your way through a crowd of hipsters and Jersey Shore extras to toss your gear on the sidewalk and hope nothing goes wrong. Welcome to hell - and welcome to loadout at Webster Hall. The show was fucking awesome (presented by the always rad Rich Hall and Brooklyn Vegan), the joint was totally packed, tons of friends came out to rage and our buddies in Hull started things off with a bang, but once it was over, everything went to hell. Loadout was a nightmare, bad decisions were made, mass confusion enveloped our entire party, tempers flared, words were said, and almost everyone left angry. Everyone except the two members of Dark Castle ended up at Duff's in Brooklyn, where the indomitable Jimmy Duff took us downstairs to a private room, plied us with beer and whiskey, and told us stories about the crazy goings-on that that room had seen (he also pointed out a pair of Peter Steele's prison boxers...). A late night got later and later - I'm still surprised Ben and I made it back to my place without encountering any more trouble. A great night with an awful ending.

July 10th - Philadelphia, PA @The Khyber

And, one day away from the end of tour, the stress and animosity that had been building up over the past month came to a head, and Team Dark Castle hit rock bottom. The madness and poor planning of the night before caught up with us once one party made its feelings known to another party, and an explosive, heated argument broke out when we got to the van. Total bullshit. Most of the van ride was spent in silence, punctuated by Ben and Andrew's colorful commentary on the New York passersby. By the time we got to Philly, most of us were in a good mood, and things sort of worked themselves out by mid-show. Turnout was good, a ton of my buddies came out to hang, and the bartender was very liberal with free drinks, so spirits were a bit higher by the end of the night. We crashed with my friend James in his enormous house and tried to mentally prepare for one last battle.

July 11th - Harrisonburg, VA @Blue Nile

Last day of tour. We all knew we were one day away from going home, so everyone just went with the flow and enjoyed ourselves.. There were some real characters in the crowd that night, but they added a certain something to the atmosphere (except the one broad that came up to my table and started yelling at me for trying to sell her "lithographs"). Black Tusk made a point of thanking the road crew (love you boys!) at the end of their set, and to the small but rabid crowd's delight, hauled out an older song as an encore. A few good friends made it out (always a pleasure to see Brandon from Cough), and there was no stress, no drama, just good tunes, good vibes, and a lot of bromantic goodbyes. After spending a month living, eating, playing, and fighting with one another, you can't help but start to miss your tour family as soon as their headlights fade into the distance. Luckily, all three bands tour like motherfuckers, so make sure to catch Black Tusk with Fu Manchu next month, and see Zoroaster and Dark Castle with Nachtmystium and the Atlas Moth in September!