The Round Up Tapes // Submission Edition Volume VIII

Gonemage – Mystical Extraction

After the release of Cara Neir’s Phase Out in February band member Garry Brents (here known as Galimgim) sought to expand on that already well-rounded universe by creating an offshoot to the story, a side-quest if you will, to explore further what happened when their characters were glitched into a land where video games rule (the lore is explained much more succinctly on their bandcamp pages). Mystical Extraction is a work of bizarre electronic pulses, chiptune, black metal, melody and fantasy and it is clear that Gonemage are deeply in love with their subject matter.

“Chained Castle” is a furiously screamed song of wonder – Who am I? Where am I? – and Brents’ voice is a spark in the darkness, whether that’s during rage-fuelled cries or the subtle clean harmonies that peek through towards the end. “Dust Merchant” also utilises those clean lines to bring new dimensions to this character – much like “Shady Blades” on Phase Out which allows the music to exist in the same universe while also standing on its own. This screamo influenced direction is one which Gonemage settles into often and as the music gets more aggressive, then the vocals become more beautiful and melancholic — it’s a wonderful shift in texture and Mystical Extraction is all the better for it.

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Cara Neir – Phase Out

Cara Neir – Phase Out

The evolution of Cara Neir has been a joy to watch unfold since they began over a decade ago in Texas. Their take on black metal has long been a singular one with differing elements taking their music on a fascinating journey from black metal to hardcore to experimental weirdness and back again but all with the incredible ability to make it make sense. Cara Neir’s trick is to take opposing forces and meld them in such a way as to make it beautiful and Phase Out fully realises that conceit during songs that are rooted in RPG lore and a love for gaming.

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Roadburn Festival 2019 // In Confrontation // Vol. II

The second part of my Roadburn Festival coverage can be found below (the first part is here). Please forgive the lapses into first person narrative – it’s not something that I do very often at all but Roadburn has been a deeply personal experience each time I’ve attended and I feel that I couldn’t have taken a step back from it while writing something about it.

2018’s edition was a strange time for me; I’d moved country a few months prior and still had many unsettled feelings and that I didn’t really belong anywhere yet. The music I saw that year hit hard and seeing Bell Witch, Worship and Mizmor in one long day really took me to places I had tried not to think about. This year I feel more at home in my new country and the experience of the festival was reflected in that. I felt grief for the person I once was but also hope for what is to come. There is so much relief to be found this year, and this culminated in the Have A Nice Life performance on the main stage on Sunday – I can finally let go of my fears and embrace the future.

Thou performing at Roadburn Festival 2019 – by Cheryl Carter

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Roadburn Festival 2019 // In Confrontation // Vol. I

Beginning a review is always the most difficult part of the writing process. There are many thoughts and feelings that you want to express and so many experiences that you want to put across in the right way and your train of thought moves fluidly from one thing to the next…. but getting that down in a coherent and interesting way is something that often falls short. For a weekend spent at Roadburn Festival that process becomes ten times more difficult as experiences are not exactly in short supply and each person has their own unique take on what the city of Tilburg has given them for the four day festival run. No two people will likely have exactly the same experience of Roadburn and it’s often said by the festival team and those who have attended many times “Roadburn is what you make of it, it’s personal, it’s yours.” And that is such a true statement. This is my third Roadburn and while it’s not a festival I can claim to have been to as many times as another person…it often feels like some bands are being booked directly out of my dreams and for the thousands of other attendees this is most probably true for them. Somehow Walter gets into your mind and pulls out your musical desires and the festival becomes as much a part of you as it is for the organisers.

Thou performing at Roadburn Festival 2019 – by Cheryl Carter

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The Round Up Tapes // Volume XIII

Cavernlight – As We Cup Our Hands and Drink From the Stream of Our Ache

Cavernlight’s debut is a record wrought with absolute despair and in the five passages that make up this work, there is no hope to be found. The members are clear in their utter desperation and in As We Cup Our Hands and Drink From the Stream of Our Ache there is almost a willingness to revel in that sadness, to let it be all-consuming and to allow it to take over. Some doom holds a little light but for this Oshkosh band there is nothing at the end of the tunnel. For a debut, As We Cup Our Hands… is extremely assured; the themes run beautifully throughout and the differing elements are brought together succinctly to create a palette of darkness. Doom is the key but noise, ambient and abstract tones filter through the shadows to build an aura of claustrophobia that is unrelenting in its scope.

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