It’s no secret that one of my favourite discoveries this year has been Swiss band Schammasch – after being sent the record to review (which still isn’t done, oops) and then creating a snazzy two page feature on the band for Subterranea, it was pretty darn exciting to hear that they would be heading out on tour with Dark Fortress (another band who have released an incredible record this year) and German legends Secrets of the Moon. All three bands bring something different to the blackened table and to hear them play off and against each other on The Underworld’s stage is quite the treat indeed.
Category: Avant Garde
Idre – Idre
Forming in Oklahoma City, Idre are a melancholic, earthy and hypnotic entity. The former trio (now duo for the time being due to bassist Andon Whitehorn recently taking his leave of the band) are a delicious entry into the atmospheric sphere and their sound is quite difficult to pin down. Taking in elements of doom, sludge, drone and noise, even a martial beat (Nicholas Wojcik) during second track “Witch Trial”, Idre travel the path towards oblivion in many different ways yet their gloomy aura is coherent and each passage moves deftly into the next without losing track of the core of the band.
Vocals are sparse but delightfully gothic in tone with guitarist Ryan Davis adding a new sphere of darkness to proceedings with the recordings on this two track full length taking on a somewhat doomed country feeling at times – think True Widow or Earth’s latest for comparisons – and the sprawling, sculpted landscapes of sound the record conjures are truly mesmerising.
BEYOND THE REDSHIFT – REVIEW
Cult Of Luna’s curated Beyond The Redshift festival was an incredible experience. Each and every act I managed to see impressed and the organisation and atmosphere of the whole event was extremely on point. There’s something very special about being able to look out across a venue and see hundreds of people collectively lose their minds to what is happening in front of them.
Beyond The Redshift was fantastic and so I’ve collated some little write ups and a few pictures and videos (taken with instagram, naturally) in order to somehow express just how enjoyable the day was. As I’m a one person publication and a girl has to have a break to eat now and then, I wasn’t able to see everyone I wanted (God Is An Astronaut suffered due to a much needed coffee break) but I caught a good majority of the groups I was interested in.
Neige Morte – Bicephaale
French obscurity masters Neige Morte are adept at creating soundscapes so abhorrent that just getting through to the end of their second record is a lesson in endurance. Bicephaale doesn’t trip on the more prevalent French rawness or prettiness, instead it resides in filth and dissonance and the very dirt of the earth. “500 Jours de Haine” strips back any semblance of melody to begin the album and punish with swirling vortexes of noise. All gnashing vocals and clashing guitars and sickening drum beats – it’s truly a cacophony and the discordance is dizzying and bewildering. The echoing martial drum beat that blurs into view around fuzzy guitars and XT’s vocals allow the band to step back ever so slightly yet they never lose that forceful rhythm and desolate tone that has been built up so far.
Beyond The Redshift
Bleak Metal is very excited about the inaugural Beyond The Redshift Festival which is taking place across three London venues on May 10th. The Cult of Luna curated event is primed to be a wonderful day of interesting music with each band carefully chosen due to the aesthetic and atmosphere they bring to the live arena. Having been lucky enough to witness a few of these bands on stage already, I’m very much looking forward to experiencing their full aural attitude along with some new names to my ears and eyes.
I wanted to bring attention to a few of the bands I am already eagerly anticipating – both acts that I know will enthrall as well as those which I am yet to encounter. The line-up is incredible and for the very first event is downright too good to be true. Let us take a closer look at Beyond The Redshift and the bands involved.
Cult of Luna’s Johannes Persson says:
“We will have Klas join us for a special two-hour set. We don’t like talking about set lists so we won’t discuss what songs we will play. We’re taking the audience through a show, a rollercoaster of dynamics; we don’t want to destroy the surprise element.
We’ll reveal exact stage times for all bands soon, but you should know that all the other bands in The Forum will play full one-hour sets, as will Amplifier in The Dome. The venues are a 7-8 minute walk apart, and The Forum and The Dome won’t clash, so hopefully you’ll be able to see everything you want to see.
The cosmological redshift is caused by the expansion of space. The wavelength of light increases as it traverses the expanding universe. Unable to assume that we have a special place within this universe, the redshift suggests to us that everything is moving away from everything else…
We may not be able to go beyond the redshift, but we can certainly think beyond it. We are bringing together artists who expand within their space – artists who create something special within this space.”
Bleak Metal Presents: Caïna X Church Of Fuck
Bleak Metal is extremely honoured to present Caïna live as a full band for the very first time in their ten year history. Usually a solo project, Caïna is doing something incredibly special for the ten year anniversary of the band which will be taking place at Camden’s Black Heart on Saturday July 5.
Supporting at this event will be the Manchester based groups Esoteric Youth and Old Skin, both label mates on cult imprint Church Of Fuck and both absolutely fantastic. In addition to playing these sets, members from both acts will be a part of the live Caïna experience giving Andy Curtis-Brignell’s back catalogue the kind of atmosphere that it hasn’t been able to suffer under as yet.
The latest addition to the line up is the wonderful chaps of Harrowed who have kindly agreed to lend their frenetic energy to the evening.
2013. So black metal. Many doom. Such death metal. Wow.
2013 huh? It’s been……it’s not been great to tell the truth. It’s been tough. It’s been wonderful at times, that’s for sure but I’m pretty glad that it’s over and I’m hoping that 2014 brings something more than “fuck, what do I do now?” to the table.
I’ve done some really cool stuff this year. I covered my first big outdoor metal festival for Metal Hammer which was such fun and really great to experience. I’ve done a few smaller events and seen a lot of my favourite bands and made new connections with new faces and if you’d have told me even two years ago that this is what I’d be doing now, I would have punched you square in the jaw. I’ve come out of myself a lot these last few years and gained a lot of confidence in dealing with new and unfamiliar situations. It sounds silly, but I can walk into a pub alone and not be frightened that I don’t know anyone or I can’t find anyone and it’s because of dealing with so many new things that my brain can handle that.
Bleak Metal has gone on to new ventures and that’s incredible. I put on a rock show here and there and although it’s something I’ve always been interested in doing, I never thought that it’s something I could pull off. Huge thanks goes to Zac of Oblivionized for answering all my questions and letting me see how these things work and helping in more ways than I can put into words. The first show of 2014 is booked and I have plans for a lot of cool things in the coming twelve months, fingers crossed they can be organised.
I started to manage a band. What? We’re still not sure how it really works but Caïna is doing really well right now and for that reason I couldn’t include the incredible Litanies of Abjection.
2012…it was the best of times….it was the blurst of times.
This last year has been pretty great in terms of music, but also on a more personal note, 2012 was actually pretty decent. Good things happened and bad things certainly occurred, but 2012 was the year that I realised that I’d found what I wanted to do in life – and now starts the long, hard road to making that a reality. I’ve come across some incredible people in my writing life that have helped me out in more ways than they can ever know. By giving me chances, by allowing me to hear new records, to making sure that I get to see that all important band that I love, and for the people that might actually read the things that I put out there, thank you. This writing lark is a constant learning curve, and I don’t think it ever ends. I’m excited for 2013. I’m excited for the music that I’ve been lucky enough to already hear, I’m excited for the music I’m yet to hear. Despite the fact that my real life job might not exist in six, three maybe even one month, I can’t wait to see what happens in other aspects of my “career.”
Here’s a picture of Darkthrone hanging out to break up the seriousness. Oh, you guys!