None or Unknown
Ohio's Bes are a calamitous racket of alt-rock infused heavy sounds and have recently released the very worth your time Pieces Missing EP. Fans of Torche, Failure or even some KEN Mode will find stuff to latch on to here. I don't know how intentional it was but I hear a lot of late nineties influence in some of what this band is doing, but paired with an even more aggressive edge befitting our times. Recommended Track: "Lost It All".
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Preparations continue to be made for the release of SUNN O)))‘s upcoming LP, Kannon, this December. The album will see its release via Southern Lord Recordings, and this week the album’s cover art and preorder options have been issued.
Consisting of three self-titled pieces of a triadic whole, the roots to SUNN O)))’s new album trace deeply into the sessions of their 2009-released Monoliths & Dimensions LP and very recent collaborative recordings with Ulver (Terrestrials, 2014) and Scott Walker (Soused, 2015), culminated and fully realized this year. Recorded and mixed with SUNN O)))’s close colleague and co-producer Randall Dunn at Studio Litho, Aleph and Avast!, Kannon is as always composed around the immense guitar and bass interplay of founders Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson, and includes performances by long term allies and collaborators Attila Csihar, Oren Ambarchi, Rex Ritter, Steve Moore and others.
The literal representation of Kannon is as an aspect of Buddha: commonly known as the Guanyin Bodhisattva (Chinese: 觀音菩薩) amongst a plurality of other forms. There is a rich lineage behind this idea tracing back through many Asian belief systems, with as many names and cultural personifications of the idea.
Some new insight from artist Angela Lafont Bolliger on her inspiration for the creation of the sculpture for Kannon’s cover artwork has been issued:
“I was working on a visual concept inspired by Gian Lorenzo Berninis “Ecstasy of Saint Teresa” (a life-sized Italian baroque sculpture in white marble) and had shared a short description about this project. I took a great interest in the conceptual thought behind the album…
…SUNN O)))’s compositions are minimal but intensely sculptural in depth and detail. This was my inspiration and it was important to me to transcend that idea into the sculpture I would create for the album artwork. Stephen and I both loved the idea that this sculpture could be something really ancient, like a comet – yet also indefinable and timeless…
…I started with an intense research of Guanyin, the imagery, the history, and immersed myself completely into the subject. I then put together a very detailed presentation of ideas… we came to a unanimous decision and went for an idea of “the abstraction of the God of Mercy”. It started by sculpting different black reflective materials, which I then combined with ancient rocks and crystals allowing the surface to be rich and to be viewed as something unseen – an undulating form representing Guanyin’s many hands and heads..
…Highlights were the creation of the sculpture, different materials with versatile textures and creating a tactile object, a sensuous, meditative process. During the photographic shoot of the sculpture, every glossy highlight and detail was amplified. Rotating the sculpture a completely different form would emerge through the lens. This is what fascinates me in art – creation can surprise and transform.”
More info and preorder options BELOW.Add to My Radar
Montreal-based experimental trio, BIG|BRAVE, will embark on their debut European tour this Winter, the dates coming on the very day the band begins their three-city East Coast US run with Southern Lord labelmates Goatsnake and YDI.
Metal Riot conducted an interview with Robin Wattie recently HERE. I recommend reading it and enjoying life instead of suffering and wallowing in the dark with an awful sinus cold like I am at present.
In support of their latest innovative album, Au De La, released on Southern Lord last month, the band members are artisans of everything minimalist yet mammoth, with their sprawling and spacious sonic heaviness. BIG|BRAVE will tour through the East Coast US for three nights this week supporting labelmates Goatsnake alongside YDI on, beginning tonight, with shows in Philadelphia, Washington DC and Brooklyn. Just one month later, on November 19th, their maiden European voyage is set to begin. The tour sees them visiting Germany, the Netherlands, France and Belgium including performances at the Le Guess Who? Festival and and more, as well as supporting drone heavyweights SUNN O))) at the YOYO in Paris. The UK will then be treated to six BIG|BRAVE shows, including ATP’s Nightmare Before Christmas.
Explore BIG|BRAVE’s Au De La in its entirety RIGHT HERE.
BIG|BRAVE Tour Dates below.Add to My Radar
Ken Schalk, well regarded percussionist from Brooklyn’s Candiria once said something to the effect that “heavy” can be as much about feel and vibe as another distorted guitar cowboy screaming over a mosh part. I often have thought back to that quote and paraphrased it over
Montreal’s BIG|BRAVE will likewise seep into your bones and deliver a
listening experience rather than a cheap aggro fix. Whether floating amidst ethereal
drone akin to the wake up chill of a cold wind on a mountaintop or bashing
the listener with tribal beats akin to loops, the trio deliver in full on
Southern Lord release Au De La.
Brian from respected blog Meat Mead Metal even went so far as to say that ,“there’s not another band that possibly could replicate what Big | Brave achieve on this record”. It’s true that some avant garde or truly post-punk bands just have their own sound, be it Killing Joke or Tearist or Swans. Or some films you could sort of describe, such as Lars von Trier’s Depression Trilogy or, I dunno… the space herpe in Ice Pirates. You could do half assed justice trying to explain, but some things just need to be experienced.
Jessica Moss of Thee Silver Mount Zion Memorial Orchestra lends guest violin to the record, but the beating heart of this band is in the guitar and drums interplay and liberated vocals. The band know the space between the heart beat or down hit on a drum is as important as the moment of explosion, and can say as much.
Robin Wattie, in house banshee, checks in to answer my questions on what else she had to say with this record BELOW.Add to My Radar
I was talking recently to a bassist in one of my bands and he was worried our first single wasn’t best representation of full scope of what we do in the group. I argued to let each song be what it is, as over time people grasp a fuller understanding of any artist and certain elements will rise and fall in any band’s sound. Sunn O))) might get some snark at times from people who think they take drone and art and jazz, etc. too seriously, but anyone who has ever talked to the band members knows the reverence and high place they hold everything from black metal to cinema scores to philosophy in.
It is Sunn O)))’s drive to be themselves that arguably has allowed much of the smarter strains of metal to rise forefront again or to at least be encouraged to be sustainable at a certain level. From the swirling textural brilliance of Monoliths & Dimensions to recent triump team ups with Ulver and experimental music legend/not shitty politician Scott Walker, Sunn O))) have allowed things drone, the aesthetic of live shows as ritual and words like “soul” to gain as much attention as guitar tone. Arguably things like the ascendancy of Black Yo)))ga or even some of the rebirth of post-metal wouldn’t be possible if not or their contributions, and certainly the band also helped clear up many older, outmoded ideas of black metal’s influence being limited to purely church burning tantrums.
New album Kannon arrives this December and draws upon Eastern philosophy as well as Darkthrone’s Panzerfaust, perhaps the only time you will get to read a sentence like that this week!
The literal representation of Kannon is as an aspect of Buddha: specifically “goddess of mercy” or “Perceiving the Sounds (or Cries) of the World.” She is also sometimes commonly known as the Guanyin Bodhisattva (Chinese: 觀音菩薩) amongst a plurality of other forms. There is a rich lineage behind this idea tracing back through many Asian belief systems, with as many names and cultural personifications of the idea.
SUNN O))) commissioned critical theorist Aliza Shvartz to write text and liner notes around these ideas and topics. She also explores the relations and perceptions to their approach to these ideas via the metonym of music and SUNN O)))’s place/approach within the framework of music and metal overall. The band also enlisted Swiss designer/artist Angela LaFont Bollinger to create the cover artwork, an abstracted sculpture of vision of Kannon. French photographer Estelle Hanania captures portraits of the core trio (Csihar, Anderson, O’Malley) in the impressive and obscurant Emanuel Vingeland mausoleum in Oslo.
Kannon will be available on gatefold LP, CD and digital formats worldwide on December 4th, with a limited number of clear vinyl available on Black Friday RSD, Friday, November 27th.Add to My Radar
West Coast bile spitters Black Breath have returned for their first record since Jamie Byrum was hit by a car and it is one gnarly record. Slaves Beyond Death is somehow even darker than previous efforts from a band who made early impressions years back with a sunny song called “Spit On The Cross”. Yes, this is bleaker than that. Invisible Oranges has a stream of Slaves Beyond Death in full HERE and you can pre-order the album HERE.Add to My Radar
SUNN O))) announces that their live, cathartic reverberations have been documented and can now be accessed via their live BandCamp page. Compiled of taper and fan recordings, spanning from their 2002 show at the Blackbird in Portland up to their recent headlining show at Temples Festival 2015, these documents are presented in their raw and unedited beauty.
SUNN O))) invites you to contribute to this sonic archive at THIS LOCATION.
“SUNN O))) live archives. Unmixed, unmastered raw footage grabbed by underground tapers which we now present to you.
We would like to invite you to also submit your own recordings of any of our concerts (even ones already posted) to this archive. If you have photos and visuals from the posted shows, please send them too. Hail to our great fans!”
A number of key European festival appearances pending this Summer offer ample opportunities for fans to add to this archive. Such appearances include the recently announced Le Guess Who? Festival whereby Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson will showcase their similar, adventurous musical inclinations with a very special four-day program titled SUNN O))) presents at Le Guess Who? Festival 2015. The program will include a performance by the legendary Annette Peacock, who will return to The Netherlands for the first time in over twenty tears.
Additionally, Southern Lord is repressing the following SUNN O))) titles; Black One in limited edition clear vinyl, øø Void in limited edition green vinyl and SUNN O)))/ULVER Terrestrials on black vinyl. These are now available at the SUNN O))) store HERE.
Tour dates BELOW.Add to My Radar
Currently listening to DRCARLSONALBION’s Gold as I write this, stretched out notes rounding the curve of my mind to carry some desert light to the backmost reaches of persona. Hot day crawling to a close and reading a Jack Reacher book from a pile of stuff my dad gave me before he died.Thinking about how anything Dylan Carlson is involved in seems to really resonate on the same frequency as the rugged, underground American spirit of freedom.
Carlson’s band EARTH are a favorite and I’m pleased to announce they have a slew of good events coming up, including Project Pabst Presents in Portland, Oregon on July 18th, a show in Olympia, Washington on the 19th, and a hometown Seattle performance on July 22nd. According to their PR:
EARTH has also confirmed their return to the East Coast, based around their participation in Necronomicon Convention in Providence, Rhode Island on August 22nd, at the upcoming city-wide tribute to H.P. Lovecraft in the famed writer’s hometown. September will see EARTH taking part in this year’s installment of the massive Ellnora Guitar Festival in Urbana, Illinois. Additional live performances will be announced in the weeks ahead.
Dates below and links to get Primitive and Deadly.Add to My Radar
[photo by Anne Spina]
Tierra Y Libertad, released first quarter by Southern Lord Recordings , is cult force Xibalba crushing ball-bas. Ok, I know that was terribly written. Fuck it. The band are unstoppable and now have a new video via Lambgoat.
Press release clip:
In complete DIY fashion, XIBALBA basically took the concept of their classic “Cold” video to the next level, this time the overthrowing an entire neighborhood in their hometown of Pomona, California. Directed, shot and edited by Shawn Skadburg and Matt Welch for Nine/One films, with footage by Danny Mayo and Mike Sogoff, the video for “Guerrilla” features a brutalizing live uprising filmed at a live outdoor show in a Pomona neighborhood, utilizing the voices of their friends and family to carry the message of the track to the masses.
Through a premiere at Lambgoat this week, XIBALBA’s “Guerrilla” is now playing RIGHT HERE.
Add to My Radar
Goatsnake emerge and reclaim their heavy throne with Black Age Blues. “House Of The Moon” shuts down any foolish few critical of the stomping immensity of the Goatsnake ride well before the vocals even come in, and it is just one of many examples of what makes this band more venomous than ever. After fifteen years the band is back strong and fans will revel in the heavy, deep from the Earth rock vibes on this must have class of 2015 doom entry.
Black Age Blues showcases vocalist Pete Stahl (Scream), drummer Greg Rogers (The Obsessed), bassist Scott Renner and guitarist Greg Anderson (Sunn O))), Southern Lord Recordings) working as a real team to dust off a monster. With guests from David Pajo (Slint, Aerial M, Papa M) and soul vocal trio Dem Preacher’s Daughters, comprised of Wendy Moten, Gale Mayes and Andrea Merrit, the album was recorded and mixed at Rock Falcon Franklin, Tennessee by Nick Raskulinecz (Queens Of The Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains, Mastodon, Rush) and mastered by Brian Big Bass Gardner (N.W.A., Stevie Wonder, Parliament).
If you don’t know that our planet is one of gazillions in a multi-dimensional, interconnected energy continuum that is easy to reconcile with almost any faith system AND science (as long as you aren’t a bigot, homophobe or in willful denial because you REALLY like Monsanto foods and Wal-Mart USA), I feel bad for you. I will send good vibes your way when I meditate between repeat plays of Earth’s Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light 1 & 2.
Sharks are dying, glaciers are frying and if the bees go we’ll all start crying. Let’s get real here and stop having our music mainly be about distraction. Of war and peace, war might seem more metal but peace is more tenable and requires a stronger spirit to manifest in the world. I grew up in Woodstock, NY so the bands from my scene and myself knew we had like Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and The Band to live up to…so half assed art was not really an option. It kills me to see how dispassionate, ADD and apathetic some people are today, and in society as a whole. Go drink some wheat grass and read a book! And of course, listen to metal.
Just don’t let the bastards grind you down. #propeace #worldmetalunity #preservehumanity #healtheworld #keepmoshingthough #testament #gospelofthewitches #cattledecapitation #stratovarius #earthcrisis
Below are 5 songs for today’s Metal Riot EARTH DAY playlist 2015. Check ’em HERE.Add to My Radar
I’ve been a fan of Steve Austin‘s and his ongoing revolving cast of audio anarchists Today Is The Day‘s output for a long time (Willpower is my current favorite…TITD albums always change place vying for number one in my heart, much like Clutch and Melvins records). Steve told me once years ago during an interview that once he got hooked on The Jesus Lizard he was just drawn to need uglier and more raw sounds. Their new clip for “Heathen” (from recent Southern Lord life punisher Animal Mother) certainly finds a foothold in the steaming guts of misanthropy. It might be their best since “Six Dementia Satyr”, which was a long time ago. “Heathen” is a disturbing distilled animated vision of boiling grief, alienation and anger. Set to the untamed crunch of TITD’s grim march, the clip features weaponry, self-harm, madness and crosses while Steve screams “No God/One shot” in his trademark bloody and hissing shouts. In a particularly moving scene sure to give existential nightmares we see isolated figures made of burning flame atop mounds of accumulated refuse as crosses seem to beckon with empty promise. It’s a scene of images that will be glued to my thoughts for some time to come, I wager.
Bloody Disgusting has the video premiere HERE. Highly recommended experience from a classic noise/grind band.
The video for said anthem comes courtesy of Novel Concept TV, whose architects share an equally mad vision of the world as the band, bringing the song to visual fruition through an intense, animated self/outward mutilation spree.
Issues Austin of the “Heathen” video’s inception, “I was on tour last fall and stayed at my long time friend, Neil Barrett’s house. While I was there he showed some of the video work he had been doing and my mind was blown. Neil and Marco Morales are super creative dudes and Neil has been intoTITD since the band began. Together, they make some really psychedelic mind expanding films; it’s really cool to finally get to work on something together.”
The video’s creators themselves offer, “We’ve been in the dungeon at the Austin Enterprise compound for several weeks with no food, water or sleep creating this visual nightmare. We’re just happy it’s over. Steve Austin is a genius and a madman. We hope you enjoy the fruits of our suffering.”
In additional rad fucking news , after a brutal highway accident in late November, which destroyed their van, merch, equipment and seriously injured some of the members, TODAY IS THE DAY returns to the road in two weeks. Currently comprised of bassist Trevor Thomas, drummer Douglas Andrae, and founding guitarist/previously mentioned vocalist, Steve Austin, the band’s new trek will hit nearly thirty North American cities in a “clockwise massacre”, beginning in Portland, Maine on April 24th and finishing on May 24th in Rochester, New York, with direct support being supplied by Lazer/Wulf. More US tour dates and European shows coinciding with the band’s set at Temples Festival in Bristol, England in May will be declared soon.
Tour Dates BELOWAdd to My Radar
Weedeater, aka the band who can’t make a bad album ever since their core sound is simply too inherently awesome, have announced release details for their new record. The album titled Goliathan, will be released on May 19th in North America. The band are streaming the first track taken from ‘Goliathan’, titled “Cain Enabler”, at Noisey.
Goliathan once again features album art by Arik Roper (HIGH ON FIRE, SLEEP, THE BLACK CROWS) and will be available across multiple CD and Ltd. Ed. LP formats. Pre-orders are available at the Season of Mist E-Shop. The artwork and track list for ‘Goliathan’ can be found below.
Regarding the new album, “Dixie” Dave Collins comments:
“In terms of Goliathan the listener should prepare themselves for what may possibly be one of the best 5 Weedeater records to date!”Add to My Radar
Steve Austin of noise/metal instigators Today Is The Day has been creatively on fire again of late, from the thrilling burden of the intensely mournful extreme record Animal Mother to his performance on LAE’s Break The Clasp post-rock experimental record of haunting whispers and psych dream fragments. TITD have two new music videos soon and are finally back following a near deadly van wreck.
Add to My Radar