Archive for doom metal

Doom on the 4th of July: MP3s from YOB, Greymachine, & Bloody Panda

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on Saturday, July 4, 2009 by Ryan Buege

It was only 233 years ago that the church bells first rang out over these great United States to signal our newly-earned independence. To be honest, I do not know what the holiday has in common with rock ‘n roll’s bastard son, doom metal, however it’s undeniable that today just happens to be a great day to listen to some slow-burning headbanding epics while you sip your beer ‘n light off bottlerockets. Today, some of the finest names in underground doom are offering up new MP3s to guarantee you get your dosage of doom amidst the happiness & excitement of the 4th.

After calling it quits in 2006, cult doom favorites YOB from Oregon are back with their new album The Great Cessation via Profound Lore Records on July 14th. Although I have yet to hear the whole album, “Burning the Altar” is a stellar track that should turn any doom fan’s head. This time around the riffs are of an even more apocalyptic, Titantic-sinking, crushing nature, with the band directing their torturous chug over the expansive, most spacious cosmic backdrop they’ve accomplished yet. If you can sync your fireworks to explode in time with the beat, this should make one sweet night for you and your metal friends!

MP3: YOB, “Buring the Altar” (from The Great Cessation, available 7/14)

Grey Machine

By today, both Aaron Turner and Justin Broadrick have already played in about 30 bands each, and after treading water in the same territory for so long, it was only inevitable that they’d cross paths. Late last year, they finally announced that they had formed another offshoot together called Grey Machine and would be joined by Dave Cochrane (of Head Of David, God, Ice) and Diarmuid Dalton (Jesu, Godflesh). Since the announcement, little news has surfaced about the project, but now a release date has finally confirmed for the band’s first release. The debut album Disconnected will be out August 4th through Hydrahead, and the “single” for “Vultures Descend” that leaked out earlier this year is an indication that this will be one brutal, unpredictable opus.

MP3: Grey Machine, “Vultures Descend” (from Disconnected, available 8/4)

When I first heard Bloody Panda‘s debut album Pheromone in 2007, my jaw dropped to the floor and stayed there for a while. Though the music first appeared to be of a vibe of straightforward, slow-moving doom, the soaring, cathedral-ready female vocals of Yoshiko Ohara began to push past the edges of my traditional comfort zone. As the polyrhythmic chaos layered slowly took center stage, I began to realize that this was not simply a doom metal act willing to rehash the past – this is the band with the most eerie and engrossing vision in doom that I have seen in a long time.

Fast-forward two-and-a-half years, and now we are awaiting the release of Summons, the band’s followup to Pheromone, on August 11th. If just knowing that this visionary underground act has spent 2+ years refining its craft (and is now supported by a partnership with the esteemed Profound Lore Records) isn’t enough to intrigue you, then maybe the MP3 excerpt they’ve released for “Miserere” will!

MP3 SAMPLE: Bloody Panda, “Miserere (excerpt)” (from Summons, available 8/11)

Buried Inside and Battlefields schedule 7th St. Entry show in July

Posted in Concert Dates with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 by Ryan Buege

I heard the rumor a few weeks ago, but now an official announcement has been made, so I feel comfortable posting this. The doom metal show of the summer has arrived folks (and it just so happens to be the first show at First Avenue that I’d dare to call “metal” all year)! Here’s the info:

Bands: Buried Inside, Battlefields, Frontier, Lungs
Date: July 16, 2009
Venue: 7th St. Entry
Addit:  8 p.m. | $7 | 18+

Follow the jump for all of Buried Inside’s summer tour dates… Continue reading

Concert Photo and Video Recap: Wolves in the Throne Room, Zebulon Pike, Krallice, Empires @ Triple Rock Social Club

Posted in Concert Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on Thursday, May 21, 2009 by Ryan Buege

Wolves in the Throne Room live at the Triple Rock Social Club

Truth be told, May has been a month where Minneapolis has already hosted an almost excessive amount of the unbelievable shows from psychedelically minded metalheads and rockers — the must-see Mastodon/Kylesa/Intronaut bill that ended last month, a stellar Mogwai performance at First Avenue, Thrones desecrating the Triple Rock, and even the expansive progressive death metal of Gojira at Station 4. And now Wolves in the Throne Room and Krallice come to the city for a gig with local favorites Zebulon Pike and Empires? Really, someone needs to thank some booking agents.

Still, even with such a crazy amount of awesome shows going on, the crowds were still strong last Friday (May 15, 2009) for a night of all types of psych-metal (with a heavy emphasis on the black metal). The performances that night were spotless and were definitely just as mind-blowing as I expected they might be, each band immersing the crowd beneath their own monstrous demonstration of ear-splitting blackened, progressive waves of noise. If that sounds enticing, then you really should’ve been there.

Anyway, the Triple Rock was surprisingly pretty packed, so I wasn’t moving around much once I took my spot, but I tried to capture some photos and videos when I could — something rather difficult for a dude with a point-n-shoot and a flash and plumes of fog billowing from the stage throughout Wolves in the Throne Room’s entire otherworldly set.. Either way, enjoy.

VIDEO: Wolves in the Throne Room, Live at the Triple Rock Social Club, 5/15/09

Wolves in the Throne Room live at the Triple Rock Social Club(Wolves in the Throne Room)

Wolves in the Throne Room live at the Triple Rock Social Club(Wolves in the Throne Room)

Wolves in the Throne Room live at the Triple Rock Social Club(Wolves in the Throne Room)

Wolves in the Throne Room live at the Triple Rock Social Club(Wolves in the Throne Room)

Wolves in the Throne Room live at the Triple Rock Social Club(Wolves in the Throne Room)

VIDEO: Zebulon Pike, Live at Triple Rock Social Club, 5/15/09

Zebulon Pike live at the Triple Rock Social Club(Zebulon Pike)

Zebulon Pike live at the Triple Rock Social Club(Zebulon Pike)

Zebulon Pike live at the Triple Rock Social Club(Zebulon Pike)

Krallice live at the Triple Rock Social Club(Krallice)

Krallice live at the Triple Rock Social Club(Krallice)

Krallice live at the Triple Rock Social Club(Krallice)

Krallice live at the Triple Rock Social Club(Krallice)

Krallice live at the Triple Rock Social Club(Krallice)

Empires live at the Triple Rock Social Club(Empires)

Empires live at the Triple Rock Social Club(Empires)

Empires live at the Triple Rock Social Club(Empires)

More blackened photos for you after the jump… Continue reading

Review: Battlefields, Thresholds of Imbalance

Posted in Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on Wednesday, April 8, 2009 by Ryan Buege

Battlefields is band from Fargo, ND, and I don’t know if it was just coincidence for them to release an album with the word “flood” in the title of one of the songs on the same week that their city was bracing against this very same natural disaster, but something tells me that this album would have made the perfect soundtrack to ride out the storm. For someone fighting against the slow push of a rising flood, the visuals inspired by an experimental doomcore sound like this are only too familiar; waves of noise, unforgiving brutality, building rhythms, reflective anticipation, and the sobering aftermath – it’s all there (and I don’t mean to sound unsympathetic). On their Translation Loss debut, Thresholds of Imbalance, these nearly-local purveyors of experimental doom, sludge, and gloom, take the listener on a cinematic journey that places heavy emphasis on ambiance and emotion as it does on crushing riffage.

“Disacknowledge” is a familiar start for anyone who has witnessed a Battlefields live show before. Seamlessly, the song moves through several movements of ever-building sludge thunder and comes to an unexpected eastern cadence at the midway point before segueing  back into an epic, torturous jam to close off the band’s introduction. I really can’t accurately express how much I enjoy the dual vocal approach of this band; while Rusty’s higher-pitched vocals possess an emotional intensity I haven’t heard much outside of the hardcore and screamo scenes, the deep, guttural backing vox add unspeakable power. Likewise, the aural extremes the band band has stitched together into a free-flowing soundtrack have me impressed quite a bit as well; from shimmering electronics to mammoth, gnashing, progressive doom. Admittedly, doom that is this outwardly experimental is unfortunately hard to come by this is why Battlefields is currently supporting an album of doom that defiantly stands out amongst a see a lesser Neurosis, Isis, and classic doom rehashes.

As a band who clearly takes great pleasure in sustaining atmosphere over immediate gratification, Battlefields seems to often wander off on to some trulyBattlefields obtuse electronic and atmospheric jams before allowing the epic doom to take hold. However, like a steamroller, when Battlefields start the headbanging, they are thankfully a band that’s hard to stop. In addition to mind-bending headbangers like “Disacknowledge”, songs such as “Blueprint”, “The Thresholds”, “Of Balance”, “Quake and Flood”, and “Majestic” are all essentially some beastly, rhymthic doom; slow to build but ultimately satisfying by way of depth and expansiveness and the cerebral thrashing they sustain. At times, the band is happy to pick the tempo up considerably, unexpectedly injecting bits of death-trash into their doom in “The Treshholds” and some old-school prog into “Majestic”.

It is a release that will surely satisfy many longtime fans who are have waiting to digest all the nuances of a superb release like this, and it should draw the attention of  underground doom metal fans who are still looking for the perfect combination of doom, hardcore, and electronic experimentation that Isis never found and seemed to stray from. My one possible complaint is that I think the producer could have turned the “heavy” levels up a notch, but this is coming from a person who is used to hearing their tone straight from the amp when they come through the city. Really, this is one of the premiere metal bands from this region; if you are a metal fan and live within 20 miles of Fargo or Minneapolis, consider yourself ashamed to not know this band after Thresholds. And truthfully, any doom metal fan in the nation should definitely check out this album this year if you consider yourself a fan of the genre. With Thresholds of Imbalance, Battlefields  hit all their marks, from the sick riffage and devastating vocal combination to the brilliantly colored soundscapes.

DIG DEEPER: Buy Thresholds of ImbalanceOfficial SiteTranslation Loss

Keep reading for all the band’s tour dates announced so far! Continue reading

Sunday Metal Minute: Khanate, “Wings From Spine”

Posted in Sunday Metalhead Minute with tags , , , , , , , , , , on Sunday, March 29, 2009 by Ryan Buege

Some thought the songs on Khanate‘s Clean Hands Go Foul would never see the never see the light of day, but thankfully Aaron Turner and Hydrahead have given this epic band’s third album a proper posthumous unveiling on their label. The album, recorded in 2006, is a torturous collection of the most abstract, dissonant, and ugly avant-doom known to man; there isn’t another band in the world that could make music this somber and tragic. “Wings From Spine” is  the lead track from this depressing (in a good way!) finale  from Khanate, introducing the unpredictable dirge and bleak ambience of the album with little subtlety. Listen in…

MP3: Khanate, “Wings From Spine” (from Clean Hands Go Foul)

Review: Book of Black Earth, Horoskopus

Posted in Music Reviews with tags , , , , , on Tuesday, January 13, 2009 by Ryan Buege

BOOK OF BLACK EARTH

Book of Black Earth, HoroskopusDeath metal, black metal and doom metal – to an outsider of metal, there’s little distinction between any of these labels. To a knowledgeable listener, though, these terms take on a new life. These are weighty words known to describe the most extreme of all metal music. Each of these underground breeds of metal specialize in their own flavor of assault – from the brutal riffing of death to the overwhelming atmosphere of black metal to the bleak, plodding heaviness of doom. In recent years, metal fans have benefited from a sea of bloodthirsty new bands that are pushing the extremes of these styles to an incomprehensible degree while each is trying to make their own lasting mark on genre. One of of my favorite recent releases of this kind is Horoskopus, by Seattle’s Book of Black Earth, an album of chaotic headbanging metal anthems balancing on an ungodly trinity all of the extremes – death, black, doom \m/

Whether it’s a crushing groove, a spine-tingling solo, a wall of noise, or an addictive hook, Book of Black Earth connects the dots seamlessly. The focus behind the attack is powered with massive, layered soundscapes and brutal death metal riffing. When it comes to death metal albums like this one, if it’s big & beautiful, I’m all for it, and thankfully Book of Black Earth never forgets this. However, despite all of the albums maniacal power, the true beauty of this album is rooted in the band’s ability to simulataneously contrast the deadly brutality with blackened, psychedelic soundwaves and doomy tonal ambience. It seems to find a very unique marriage between what I enjoy in all of my music – both catchy and extreme. Horoskopus is an intense, demanding, fun, and eye-opening release and a definite buy for any fan of extreme metal.

Concert Photo Recap: Blue Ox, Ambassador Gun @ the Uptown Bar

Posted in Concert Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on Monday, December 22, 2008 by Ryan Buege

Last night at the Uptown Bar in Minneapolis, Blue Ox and Ambassador Gun both played brilliant sets of bludgeoning death-n-roll stoner metal and razor sharp grindcore respectively. Although I missed the opening two bands (..I heard Nobot was very good electro psych..) thanks to the shitty road conditions, the fun shows that both these bands put on made the cold trip worth the while for me and the small group of my fellow drunken metalheads in attendance that night. AG even broke out an spot on cover of Sepultura’s infamous “Territory” to close their set! Here are some photos:

Blue Ox
Blue Ox live at the Uptown Bar
Blue Ox live at the Uptown Bar
Blue Ox live at the Uptown Bar
Blue Ox live at the Uptown Bar
Blue Ox live at the Uptown Bar

Ambassador Gun
Ambassador Gun live at the Uptown Bar
Ambassador Gun live at the Uptown Bar
Ambassador Gun live at the Uptown Bar

Full album of photos from both bands available on Facebook!