Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mixtape 30 - Impaled

Here is the 30th installment of the Dreams of Consciousness podcast, featuring an interview with Doktor Ross Sewage of Impaled.

Miasmal Interview

As someone who spent most of his teen years enthralled by Entombed and Dismember, I eagerly embraced Gothenburg's Miasmal when I first discovered them back in 2011. They helped usher in the return to prominence of old school Swedish death metal, taking the classic Sunlight Studios sound and adding a measure of their own crusty grit into the mix. 5 years on, they've just released their 3rd album through Century Media, and show no signs of slowing down. I reached out to the band to find out more, and vocalist/guitarist Pontus was kind enough to answer my questions.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Bandcamp Picks - The Body, Holy Grove, Deadsmoke, Son of a Witch

Few bands I've seen live can top the body when it comes to sheer volume. [Right now I can only think of two: Sleep and The Swans]. But for all its suffocating weight, No One Deserves Happiness spends as much time exploring the band's (relative) softer side, with actual singing (provided by Chrissy Wolpert of The Assembly of Light Choir) and plenty of ambient moments. It goes some ways in backing up the band's insistence that they're more noise than metal. [$9]

The difference between a good band and a great band is often the difference between a good singer and a great one; lucky then for Portland's Holy Grove that they have the latter. On their self-titled debut, their groovy Obsessed style of doom gets a considerable lift from the searing vocals of singer Andrea Vidal, who knows her way around a good vocal hook. I've heard a lot of stoner and doom metal albums this year, but few as memorable as this. [€7]

On their own self-titled debut, Italian trio Deadsmoke keep things as monolithic as possible. The 5 songs herein approach Godflesh levels of crushing heaviness - a comparison helped along by some pitiless (you might even say Merciless) machine-like drumming. Not stoned, just stone cold. [€7]

All doom metal bands owe their existence to Sabbath in some way, but few make a point of that fact as brazenly as Brazil's Son Of A Witch. Thrones In The Sky announces its roots immediately with the "Electric Funeral" swipe on its title track, and continues from there with nods to Down and Orange Goblin. It's a familiar journey, but Son of a Witch make it enjoyable all the same. [$7]

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Interview with Creeping

Creeping may be new to many (outside their New Zealand home, at least) but the band has been in existence for over a decade, playing an unsettling style of slow atmospheric metal that forces death, black and doom to co-exist in a way I can only describe as "R'leyehan." Their most recent album Revenant, recorded by Jamie St Merat of Ulcerate, was one of my Bandcamp Picks a few months back and a damn fine listen to boot. Needing to know more, I reached out to the band for an interview, and bassist/vocalist Marko Pavlovic cut right to the chase with his answers.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Bandcamp Picks - Deformatory, Deviant Process, Desolator [Swe], Altarage

DoC friends Deformatory kicked off 2016 with a brand new album. [It would have been nice to get a head's up, but you know, whatever...] Malediction is death metal in the most Canadian of ways: technical with lots of melody and no shortage of blast beats. Like bacon dripped in maple syrup, it's a combination that just works. [$8 CAD]

In nearby Quebec, Deviant Process have a similar approach to technical death metal. Remarkable for its focus and maturity, their first full-length Paroxysm recalls their countrymen Quo Vadis and Neuraxis in its combination of melody, brutality, and fretboard wizardry. A reminder, if one is needed, that Canada is home to both Rush and Cryptopsy. [$7]

If, like me, you love Swedish death metal but the endless procession of soulless Grave knock-offs is HM-2 much for you, Stockholm's Desolator will come as a welcome relief. The four song EP Spawn of Misanthropy combines elements of thrash and death metal in an attempt to carve out its own niche, not unlike similar scene outliers Hypocrisy and The Crown. A mix of old, new, borrowed, and true. [56 SEK]

Spaniards Altarage probably don't care much about impressing anyone with their musical abilities - they're much too focused on obliterating everything in their path. The unrelenting barrage of Nihil sounds like Hate Eternal employing the eerie (one might even say R'leyahan) atmospherics of Portal, Ulcerate et al. Simultaneously spacey and claustrophobic. [€7]

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

An [Almost] Interview with Bastardizer

Good foreign bands stop by Malaysia only infrequently; when one does, I try to snag them for an interview. Sometimes I make a podcast out of it, as I did with Full of Hell and Necrowretch. A few times I've recorded an interview with plans to transcribe and post it on the blog soon after. This was the case when Sidney's Bastardizer played Not A Fest XV in September of 2015. I spoke with drummer Andrew Craig and bassist Ray McGill after their set, and planned to have the interview up within a few weeks. Clearly I overestimated my own initiative and underestimated how tedious and time-consuming transcribing interviews can be. Since then, both Andrew and Ray have moved on; so now it's technically not an interview with anyone in the band Bastardizer anymore.

Still, it was an incredibly fun interview, and I enjoyed talking to them so much that I feel it would be a waste not to post this. So almost half a year later, here's an "almost" interview with Bastardizer.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Bandcamp Picks - Primitive Man/Northless, Atrament, Totem Skin, Cease

Primitive Man continue on their quest to release the grimiest, most misanthropic sludge imaginable on a new split. "Empty Husk" is 15 minutes of caveman chords and feedback; the sound of every migraine you've ever had joining forces. Milwaukee's Northless contribute three sludge tracks of their own that bring back fond memories of nights spent at CBGBs seeing bands like Cattlepress and Anodyne make the barriers between metal and hardcore porous and irrelevant. [$7]

Oakland's Atrament takes crust into a place so dark it verges on black. Their full-length debut Eternal Downfall isn't content to just conjure up some crushing d-beat a la Skitsystem, but pushes forward into grind and church-burning riffs; not to mention the bestial vocals of Mattia Alagna, which make most recent death metal bands sound puny by comparison. Heavier than every crust band that's followed in Tragedy's wake. [$5]

Intentionally or not, Swedish five-piece Totem Skin provide as complete a picture of what it means to be a "hardcore" band in this decade as you're going to get. Weltschmerz is a bouillabaisse of power violence fury, screamo melody and post-hardcore discordance, along with plenty of rousing class HC moments. The digital version is available as a "name your price" download; in addition, my new friends at Halo of Flies are handling the vinyl release.

Joining the likes of Nails and Trap Them, Fresno's Cease bond surly hardcore with a gnarly Swedish death metal edge. Their latest EP Unfold has 3 originals and an Entombed cover, all showing the band's commitment to steamroller riffs and swathes of feedback. How long before Southern Lord snaps them up? [$4]

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Checking in with Deformatory

Readers should know by now that I love me some Canadian death metal. So I was excited to find out that DoC friends Deformatory released a new album at the beginning of the year, the stellar Malediction. That seemed like a good enough excuse to check in with the band. Vocalist/guitarist Charlie Leduc and drummer Neil Grandy were kind enough to answer my questions.