Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Svart Crown - Witnessing The Fall (2010)

Full Length, Listenable Records
October 25th, 2010

Genre: Black Metal
Region: France

I saw these guys open for Ulcerate last Thursday and man was that a show to remember. Needless to say Ulcerate completely surpassed my expectations and demolished the tiny venue but I didn't know anything about Svart Crown. Regardless I was pleasantly surprised by their sound and performance. The French know black metal, that is certain, and Svart Crown are another group that come out of that country with some sick and twisted sonic undulations.

Witnessing The Fall is packed full of cutting and dissonant riffs, a ferocious sound that borders black and death metal as the blasting drums hurl you backwards and venomous tongues tear through your ears. At one moment it sounds straight forward and oldschool (though brutal) when suddenly you're struck by a discordant pack of riffs, undeniably powerful with big bends and sustains (as heard on "Strength Higher Than Justice" and "Dogs Of God"). When these bouts of concussive rhythms are over the sharp tremolo riffs, swirling and churning to great satisfaction, and chunky gallops punch through with relentless malice — and an occasional dive bomb solo — made all the more tasty by some thick production and a skin-flaying guitar tone.

The writing is very solid. I wouldn't say it's hugely unique and the subject matter is pretty typical but there's enough there to hold your interest and bring a few surprises. They can play their instruments very well, throughout the release there's a sense of technicality without staying from the orthodox formula or falling into any wankiness that can be off-putting; the intro sets it up nice and it stays pretty damn catchy throughout the 10 tracks with only a few moments to catch your breath.

The final track "Of Sulphur And Fire" is the longest hitting 8 minutes, slowly building from a dark, clean set of chords and then plummeting into a creeping groove, slowly gaining speed and hitting rough dissonance right up to the last fading moments. Slow, loud, filthy and sour.

I recommend checking this out (especially if you like shit like Arkhon Infaustus) and if you have the chance you should definitely see them live. Their material packs a bigger wallop live no doubt and they perform flawlessly with a ton of energy.

Pick this up directly from the label in various formats. They, along with Ulcerate, had a lot of their gear and merch stolen by a pack of cunts while playing in New York a week before I saw them so if you like what you hear try and help them out — same goes for Ulcerate. Those guys are magnificent and true soldiers for plowing through without a hint of self-pity after such a disappointing event on their first North American tour.

DOWNLOAD (Mediafire)
DOWNLOAD (Zippyshare)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Baby Boy - 2010 Tour CD (2010)

Split / Demo, Self-released / Independent
October 29th, 2010

Genre: Post-Hardcore
Region: USA

Here's one I've been meaning to get up here since I returned from the Gilead Media fest, which is where I first heard Baby Boy as well. Don't know if any other blogs have a link up for this. Also I'm pretty sure they're goofing on the horrendous movie with the same name, but luckily the music here is leagues better than the movie.

I know post-hardcore is often used as a tag that masks screamo bands to make them more marketable these days (apparently Fugazi is the only true post-hardcore band) and I myself have a hard time placing what the tag exactly means these days, but I feel it's appropriate for this group's sound.

Baby Boy is comprised of 3 members of Thou (Andy, Mitch and Josh) and is the complete opposite of that wonderfully heavy, socio-politically charged, and dark group both in terms of sound and aesthetic. It's an extremely catchy batch of 8 songs (one of which is not available on their bandcamp page) which are light-hearted though still weighty, sometimes melodic and twangy. Most of the material here runs just over 2 minutes with a few exceptions but are fairly dense and noisy, with all members contributing vocals (together and separately) that are in the hardcore vein of things: screamed as their convey frustration. Lyrics dealing with fairly straight forward punk themes (religion, reason, race) while others are more vague and open to interpretation. They're easy to hear without the sheet though as, while the vocals are harsh, they are clean enough to be decipherable.

There are some excellent and catchy riffs here too. The opening section of Handwriting and the final third of Wake Up have some addictive sections that leave you wanting more, and In Our Blood has some tight grooves running though the whole length with a fair bit of noise draping the guitars, while a more clean riff supports it underneath with the bass. With the song Lovers it starts of with some pretty harmonics, playful and clean but dips back and forth between more muddy powerchords before the hook kicks in and the instruments drop out.

Other tracks become more melodic, slower paced, as can be heard in What I Did On My Summer Vacation which is quite beautiful right from the beginning — drifting ever more softly the further it progresses into the warm haze of melancholic chords and effects. There's a subtle hint of post-rock but the track does not over indulge itself here, keeping to their bouncy style as a great lead drifts above to the end. Definitely my favorite track on this album. The Littlest Frenchman is another track with a similar feeling but a little faster and angular at points.

This is quite enjoyable, surprising and memorable. It sounds like the guys had a lot of fun with this and when watching them perform I got that impression as well.

Highly recommended for those who want to hear how versatile the boys from Thou can be outside of their doom adventures. This release can be bought, streamed and downloaded (for $5) from their bandcamp page. It has been pressed on cd but I believe it's only sold at shows and is limited to 100 copies, and it will eventually be re-pressed in 12" format as a split with another Baton Rouge act known as Small Bones at some point in the future.

DOWNLOAD (Zippyshare)
DOWNLOAD (Bandcamp)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Alaric / Atriarch - Split (2012)

Split, 20 Buck Spin / Seventh Rule Recordings
April 17th, 2012

Genre: Doom Metal / Death Rock
Region: USA

I fucking love "Forever The End" to death, so I was eager to hear more material from Atriarch. And here we have it in the form of a split with a "death rock" band known as Alaric who I've never heard before this.

Side A is all Alaric's with three 5 minute tracks. I really didn't know what to expect especially with the tag "death rock". When Atriarch started getting some buzz they were said to have death rock influences but I still didn't quite get that impression; the vocals are gothic-esque so maybe that was where the comparison lays. So would it be gothic rock with death/doom metal?

Anyway I went into their side of the split open-minded and curious. There's a psychedelic emphasis in their sound what with the heavy effects on the guitars, how they're used and the somewhat tribal drum patterns. A little like Chelsea Wolfe minus the folk. Vocally it's more on the clean side and a bit raspy (all lyrics are easy to make out, though a little cheesy) while the bass has a nice crunch, springy and stands out well. The length of the songs are perfect for what's going on: lots of droning, hazy riffs that are simple with a touch of prog, occasionally slowing down but never reaching a doom pace (though the feeling of doom permeates the atmosphere, more old school if anything).

There are nice catchy sections in each track, especially the hook of So Far Down as well as the bass intro in Weep which carries on solemnly. Alaric's contribution has an air of ritualism about it, billowing and gloomy yet accessible. Not sure if I'm a totally on board but I enjoyed it overall.

Atriarch's side is two tracks and they show a little bit of growth and change in their sound. Their first track Oblivion is pretty short and far different from material on Forever The End, mid-tempo and the guitar tone is warped though still wrapped in a druggy fuzz. Oblivion falls right into the next track, Offerings, as the last clear utterance from the vocalist echoes into a slow build — pysch-doom sound from their record makes a return.

A sad and sombre ethereality emerges before this song becomes heavier and the gloomy, moaning vocals make their appearance as the kickers push forward. While their style persists there's a definite step away from the doomier sound in general as the song continues, especially around 4 minutes in when the pace picks up and we hit almost black metal territory — vocals become harsh, screamed, and the drumming is more erratic while the riffs maintain their intoxicated quality as they wash over the other elements.

There's a few surprises to be had on this split. Atriach experiment with their already unique style while Alaric offer something quite unexpected but enjoyable. I recommend giving it a shot if you like what Atriarch put out last year. This split is available at 20 Buck Spin in vinyl format or you can pick up the digital copy on bandcamp for $5 (where you can listen to it in full).

DOWNLOAD (Zippyshare) (vinyl rip)
DOWNLOAD (Bandcamp)

Aldebaran - Embracing The Lightless Depths (2012)

Full Length, Profound Lore Records
May 15th, 2012

Genre: Doom Metal
Region: USA

Apologies for the lack of posts. To make up for it here's Aldebaran's new full length record Embracing the Lightless Depths with another piece of brilliant artwork from Alexander Brown. Thanks to Forever Cursed for getting this up so fast.

I got a glimpse of this record when I attended Rites of Darkness III where they performed "Sentinel of a Sunless Abyss", a 30 minute goliath that put me on my ass pretty fast:

This trembling mountain of funeral doom takes Aldebaran in a different direction from past records (though this arguably started with "Buried Beneath Aeons") with two 20+ minute tracks and three shorter "occultations" that buffer the two longer tracks; they fit very well as valleys of calm between the crooked spires jutting upwards that are those trudging songs (almost as depicted on the album art work). The first and last track act as an intro and outro bleeding into and out of the larger songs, calmer and cleaner to help build up to the unending onslaught of terrifyingly heavy doom riffs. Occultaion of Hali's Gates is a soft, melodic guitar-only track that eventually is overtaken by creeping distorted riffs before draining into "Forever In The Dream of Death".

Now this track and Sentinel of a Sunless Abyss are the meat of the album, both following a similar devastating formula of building melody and slinking bass which is slowly enveloped by powerful waves of deliberate, ground splitting doom rhythms and chasmic, husky growls. Both feel like a journey across a desolate burned-out desert: the pace is slow, like dragging an oil tanker through said desert.

It could be said that it meanders at times. There is a clear direction no doubt but the pacing makes it feel like you've lost sight of it in some moments. It's not boring however, as the constant shadowy melody hidden within keeps things comfortable and painfully melancholic all at once while the songs sway and groove, climbing high and sinking to depressing lows — both guitars harmonized (sometimes one is clean while the other shudders with fuzz) while the drumming tumbles beside them at the same pace. They get quiet in some spots with whispered vocals before kicking into the grooves once more, and in "Forever in the Dream of Death" has one section where the kickers pick up a little.

My favorite of the two is "Sentinel..." as its structure grabs me far more tightly and I never feel lost. I was immediately spellbound by it when I heard it live and on the album it is no different. It's fucking huge and dark, with some extremely catchy riffs that will force you to rock back and forth. The clean section right at 12 minutes in and the following crushing leads are so satisfying, and it slows down near the end to an aching pace to heighten that atmosphere of hopelessness; definitely my favorite moment of this record.

Between these two tracks is "Occultation of Ocular Tauri", a 6 minute interlude which crosses from Forever... and into Sentinel. It's dark and dreary with gloomy cleans, great bass lines. Definitely hypnotic and a perfect lead in to Sentinal. Once "Sentinel..." fades with a clean chord the final and very short "Occultation" leads us to the end with that same echoing shine we heard in the first track — as the buzz of the second guitar creeps back in in the final moments.

High caliber, oppressive and quaking doom that I highly recommend you guys check out. You can snag a copy of this album over at Profound Lore's online shop.

DOWNLOAD (Zippyshare)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Lows - Demo (2007)

Demo, Independent

Genre: Hardcore
Region: USA

I did enjoy Harvest of the Carcass, I really did, but I felt that the professional production dampened the potential lethality of the songs — which were admittedly a little disappointing having heard this gem before it. They felt a little bland. For comparison on what I mean you should really check out their 2007 demo right here. I really hate to be that guy who says "their early shit is way better than their new shit" but in this case it really is true.

The four tracks on this album completely obliterate, put to shame that whole album in my opinion. Every riff and slam on this short demo is fine tuned to absolute brutality. A large part of it in my opinion is due to the gritty and harsh production making it incredibly loud, crushing and guttural — the amount of distortion and feedback amps it up even further.

The vocal duties are also far more powerful. You can virtually taste the hatred and malice spit forth, anger only matched by something like Kiss It Goodbye. It feels and sounds as if the guy's vocal chords are about to explode and tear right out of his throat. The drumming is not particularly notable on its own but when combined with the aforementioned aspects it really ties the whole record together, crashing down with incomprehensible force.

From the opening track it is abundantly clear these guys aren't fucking around. They aren't innovating to be sure but holy fuck this is the essence of pissed off hardcore done so right. Tightly written and violently executed: it's short, simple and truly barbaric with an ugly and evil guitar tone to carry the riffs into unknown levels of sheer power.

When they're not racing forth with unwavering speed in good old punk fashion, the slow moments will collapse on top of you with such force that it will leave you speechless; it's like being crushed beneath and torn apart by some ferocious wild animal. There is no way you won't thrash and headbang uncontrollably when they settle into a thick groovy breakdown like those heard on Lucifer Crucified or Lowest Depths. These two tracks alone make the album fantastically intense you'll ask why Harvest of the Carcass didn't hit such heights; it honestly is a little disappointing returning to it once you run through this sonic evisceration.

Get this now. It demands to be played multiple times on the highest volume possible. Some absolutely fantastic hardcore. The only complaint one could make is that it's too short but I'd much rather a short and exquisite record then a long and bland one. I'm not sure if this is available on its own but it is also coupled with their selftitled re-released EP which has a few other excellent tracks. It can be found on the Deathwish Inc. store.

DOWNLOAD (Mediafire)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Night Heir - Wind In My Dream Mist In My House (2010)

Full Length, Independent/Unsigned
September 1st, 2010

Genre: Avant-garde Black Metal/Ambient/Experimental
Region: USA

So it's no secret that I'm extremely lazy and have been slacking majorly on requests. I'm slowly sifting through the backlog at the moment while catching up on other releases that interest me, but in terms of requests lets start with this quirky and mysterious record from Night Heir.

I passed over this record several times. I've given it several runs so far but I still think I have yet to grasp what it captures within its winding and bizarre depths. It's one of those records (indeed bands) that escapes genre classification despite it clearly housing multiple familiar genres such as black metal, ambient, pysch-folk, progressive metal, etc. — I want to compare it to something like Wreck And Reference, Mamaleek or Bad Life but that won't do either. It makes for a difficult review, and it is best you give it a listen yourself in order to draw from it what I cannot in the short amount of spins I've given it. Throughout ten tracks Wind... gives a refreshing and dark take on what it means to be progressive and edgy in an underground scene that is continuously contorting into and out of strange new soundscapes.

From the opening track you get the impression you'll be experiencing something folky and calm, but as you move forward into it's core set of tracks you're greeted with some unexpected and genuinely intriguing styles and flavors. Of course there are intermittent bouts of this subtle ambience sprinkled throughout, however a lot of the album has a more turbulent nature. It can be a little jarring for the average listener, just hitting that line of inaccessibility but backing off of purposeful alienation just for the sake of it. There is a plan and it is sincere and gripping. Wind... is ripe with quality and unique writing, that is for certain, and you must push forward to fully grasp and digest what Night Heir present within its deep folds.

It is once you encounter "The Night Heir" that the black metal aspect is revealed, glorious and atmospheric in ways you would not expect. But truly I became convinced and most impressed once I hit "No Sympathy For Demanding Idols" which is extremely catchy while at the same time foreign, stimulating. It contains a very groovy set of rhythms and riffs that ebb back and fourth hypnotically while a droning set of vocals (clean and bleak in tone) caress the listener's ears. It has elements of black metal but quite unlike what I've encountered elsewhere. This continues into "Indigo Woman" which as some really heavy, satisfying moments (as does "Böcklin", the track that follows). These four songs flow together as if they were one track while having very different personalities.

If ever there was something one could call dynamic or progressive or "avant-garde" without becoming convoluted and pretentious this is it, and all tracks from this one forward retain this quality, though not trapped in one style. The latter half of Wind... becomes more mellow, heavy, slow and experimental within it's own realm of peculiarity as it sheds it's originally more blackened coil ("I Seek Myself / I See Myself" are good examples of this). The evolution into this valley is just barely noticeable and once you arrive it feels very natural.

Occasionally clangs of bells, clashing of rattles, and swells of synths/keys tasetfully accompany the eerie vocals, which as mentioned are often clean but sway back into more harsh blackened tones; though not pained and screeching as one might assume. Desperate and howling fits better. The drumming runs the gamut of styles and yet it always feels appropriate while the bass is at the forefront, sliding and bouncing hypnotically. The structure of the riffs move effortlessly between weighty chunks, hazy chords, proggy riffs, and tight tremolos that weave themselves into surprising areas. Heavy but not doomy, dreamy but not shoegazy. Most of the time the songs stay short but still contain so much without becoming crowded or convoluted. This enigmatic two piece manages to create meaningful, atmospheric and articulate songs, escaping tropes one might expect.

I can certainly recommend those of you who are adventurous, looking for something refreshing, to look into this record. It's fairly impressive. There really isn't much out there that you could comfortably compare Night Heir to. It's best you give it a shot yourself as I'm unable to do justice to what has been offered here. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. You can download it for free on their bandcamp page where you can also order a copy of the album in cassette format if you're so inclined for $3 (I did, it's quite nice). You can also follow their blog for updates on their activities.

DOWNLOAD (Bandcamp)

Wake / Dephosphorus - Split (2012)

Split, 7 Degrees Records
April 22nd, 2012

Genre: Grindcore
Region: Canada / Greece

What we have here is two great grindcore acts coming together for a short but sweet split. If you want to you can hear this streaming at Cvlt Nation in full.

Dephosphorus' side is three tracks which will appear on their upcoming album, following up their phenomenal EP Axiom. After the release of an amazing creation like Axiom it's going to be difficult for them to top themselves — such is curse of coming out of the gate with near perfection — but until Night Sky Transform is released Dephosphorus have decided to tease us with what they lay down here. If it's any indication on what the rest of the album will sound like they may have managed to keep up the quality that Axiom displayed.

They continue to follow their unique formula of combining grindcore, death metal and crusty blackened-hardcore with an astral flavor to birth short (much shorter than Axiom's tracks) and powerful transcendent songs, all three filled with strange yet catchy sharp riffs that blend comfortably with the violent scorching rasps of Panos, and unrelenting hyper-speed drumming. Moments of groovy powerchords help to slow down the pace before taking off into blast beats and swirling shreds; The Cosmologist exemplifies this perfectly. Dephosphorus have shown that they're not satisfied with resting on the success of Axiom. Once again they display their ability to craft furious sounds — well arranged, thoughtfully written and tightly performed with a thick production while managing to retain their signature style. A searing, cacophonous and spacy journey as only they can conceive.

Wake on the other hand I only recently became aware of. I've yet to hear all of their 2011 album Leeches but what I have heard of it was enjoyable; here though it definitely feels like they've stepped up their game. Like Dephosphorus, Wake offer up three tracks of unrestrained and brutal grind.

More traditional than what Dephosphorus present both in terms of style and aesthetic (socio-political as opposed to cosmological) but clearly filled with refined structures and a filthy atmosphere — each track plows through you like an out-of-control freight-liner. Two tracks run slightly longer than two minutes, but not to a detriment. Thirst and Veil of Odin both have tasty, chunky powerchord sessions after long bouts of blistering shred passages. Especially the latter track, it bursts forth violently from the start adding in some tastefully used hammer-ons when in the mid-point we hit a sick set of catchy rhythms and feedback leading to the conclusion of their side. Wake are clearly lurking in the dark of the underground for the moment but it would seem they have the potential to emerge and stand proudly beside the more well known acts of the genre.

All around it's a very solid split, and those of you aching to hear a glimpse of what Dephosphorus have in store for their next outing will want to pick this up; and if you want to hear some Canadian's ripping out some harsh grind alongside them then you can't go wrong with this one. They manage to compliment one another quite well. You can order this from 7 Degrees Records in 7" vinyl format with some nice art accompanying it (and a digital download as well).

DOWNLOAD (Zippyshare)

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Great Old Ones - Al Azif (2012)

Atmospheric Black Metal
Full length, Les Acteurs de l'Ombre Prodcutions

You guys know how I'm a sucker for lovecraftian shit, so it's quite obvious this album appealed to me. Also posted on Forever Cursed, I present you The Great Old Ones. A lovecraft inspired band from Bordeaux, France. And this is their debut album Al Azif, and let me tell you that this album is one of fucking hell of a debut.

When listening to Al Azif, I didn't get what I was expecting. So many bands who take Lovecraft often incorporate him with dark, desolate, depressing, petrifying soundscapes, which is correct since a lot of his stories are just that. However Lovecraft as a whole isn't just that, Lovecraft can be epic even when surrounded by the all hopelessness, Cosmic gods, monsters that can control winds, ancient wars and rebellions etc. Al Azif provides a good emphasis on these subjects whether it was band's intention or not.

The Great Old Ones are in the end a black metal band. Raw, fast drumming, shrieking vocals, and lots of tremolo, but album is also rich with harmony and melodies that are pleasing to the ears. The doomy rhythm and atmosphere almost puts this in sort of a "Post" genre as Forever Cursed put it. If you enjoy bands like Altar of Plagues and Wodensthrone I am pretty sure you're going to enjoy this so why not give it a spin?

LISTEN (Bandcamp)
DOWNLOAD (mediafire) Dead

Saturday, May 5, 2012

P.H.O.B.O.S. - Atonal Hypermnesia (2012)

Full Length, Megaton Mass Productions
March 19th, 2012

Genre: Industrial Doom Metal
Region: France

Atonal Hypermnesia is this secretive group's third full length, and it continues their unique journey with more ambient, industrial tonnage with a few more steps into plunging madness. It may be their best record yet.

P.H.O.B.O.S. offer up four lengthy and dense tracks on this release, each one filled with creeping drones and trembling heavy riffs that will plow you beneath waves of industrial noise. Hypnotic and heaving, cavernous and desolate atmospherics fill the dark void that they open up on "Necromegalopolis of Coprolites". The riffs here are muffled and could be compared to the warped rhythms that Portal achieve but are more repetitious — winding back and forth as the industrial drums repeat continuously. The vocals lay buried under the onslaught largely, whispered and echoing as a smooth bass riff meets the guitar. Cycling noise and samples (deep and booming) both accompany the slogging guitar or stand alone in some sections to give the track a very spacy or alien vibe. Sections of silence are interrupted as the riffs come full circle.

This is the formula that underlies each track on this record, and while it doesn't stray too far from that pattern it stays spellbinding and heavy at all times. It's truly impressive that they do so much with so little in terms of riffs. Apocalyptic, perhaps brooding is the only way to describe the tone of this record.

"Maelström Mani Padme Hum" is no exception which again opens with slow bends that grow in volume with the drumming. The riff drones deliberately with great weight for a bit with occasional additions of dissonance when the drowned vocals emerge, and not long after the bends become altered slightly. It's a very unique and strange heaviness which you're likely to only get from P.HO.BO.S. Riffs fade and an ebbing is all that is left for a time; it really does sound like the sounds that would emanate from deep within some ancient monster. Suddenly the drums slam back in as the hum and buzzing continues to entrance. Drums switch up with added punch when you hear the riffs begin to subtly swing back to the front until they're pressing against you with full force — disturbing and filled with darkness. Near the end as the guitar become more mangled this is the first time a scream rises above the instruments, and the song fades ominously with intermittent drum blasts.

"Solar Defrag" may be my favorite track on this record, and follows the previous one with a rumble, whirling like the blades of a massive flying machine. Electronic pulses shoot up continuously as the drums return. It's truly trance-inducing. The drums drop out leaving the whirling noise to stand alone, and it builds when the first riff breaks through: one massive, loud powerchord sustained and smooth. It continues to bore, gouges a deep ugly crater into your mind endlessly as the vocals seethe under them and the drums occasionally drop out. The riff only changes once into a huge bend far into the song and continues like that (slowing down to a crawl) right to the end.

The final track is "Transonic Mahasamadhi". It starts with a psychedelic tinge as the noise grows and grows until the thunderous drums kick into a sick rhythm, while the down-tuned guitar circles below. Repeating strongly, there's a break from the drums as feedback, delay and reverb take over for a short time — but then all elements return. Whispering accompanies a very subtle change in the riff, and then it shifts to an evil droning bend once again. Then after many cycles for the first time (though brief) we get some palm-muted chugs that stand beside the harsh chaos and sick bends before a return to the previous section. And it continues this way — a trudging hideousness unmatched with only brief glimpses of silence. The last leg of this album is filled with shifting pitches and frequencies, bass punches and almost inaudible vocals before we reach the conclusion.

I have to say this is definitely a huge step up from Anœdipal in my opinion, and from the material I've heard this impressed me the most. Unbelievably heavy, mysterious and strange. Highly recommended for those of you looking for lumbering alien heaviness. You can pick this up through Megaton Mass in cd and vinyl formats, the vinyl version comes with a cd copy as well.

Go get it.

DOWNLOAD (Zippyshare)

Thou / Hell - Resurrection Bay (2012)

Split, Pesanta Urfolk / Gilead Media
April 23rd, 2012

Genre: Sludge/Doom Metal
Region: USA

What a perfect combination for a split. Two tracks from two devastating monsters of doom: Hell and Thou. No doubt this will be one of the top splits (if not general releases) this year.

I don't know what you want me to say about this. It should speak for itself by just having both bands attached, not to mention being released by two excellent labels. Side A is Hell's side, titled "Sheol". They played this to end their set at the Gilead Media fest so that was my first taste of the split, and for sure you won't be disappointed. It's just over 5 minutes long and very thick, pounding doom with hoarse distorted screams echoing throughout. It plods at a snails pace and shakes the ground beneath you like a titan roaming the earth. Dark and filthy with one section of clean riffs before returning to pitch black ugliness.

Thou's side is a track called "Ordinary People". It's fucking Thou guys — once again they spew forth an amazing, groove-ridden tsunami of sludgy excellence over 6+ minutes. They can do no wrong really. "Ordinary People" crushes you into a fine powder effortlessly with heavy riffs and bouts of dissonance as Brain rasps hatred and defeat that will pierce your skull, leaving you to bleed out on the cold ground alone. It's massive bone-breaking riffs, crushing drumming and bass licks form a tragic trek through a bleak and impure realm that only Thou can deliver.

I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to hear this if you like doom. Highly recommended. Not only is the music awesome but the packaging is truly beautiful: thick screen printed white jacket and obi strip, embossed with letter-pressing, and all white 7". It really contrasts heavily with the dark music it holds within.

Go pick this beautifully packaged and heavily executed split from either Pesanta Urfolk or Gilead Media and support these guys (limited to 1000 guys). You can also listen to this on the Gilead Media bandcamp page.

DOWNLOAD (Mediafire)
DOWNLOAD (Zippyshare)

Gilead Media Music Festival



The Gilead Media Music Festival.... where to start? What an incredible weekend. Even six days later I'm at a loss for words in terms of what I experienced. It took me a little while to write this and even then I don't think I could ever do it justice. Be prepared for a disappointing account of a wonderful weekend. You had to be there.

Before getting into the bands and their performances I want to sincerely thank Adam Bartlett, founder of Gilead Media and generally humble and awesome dude, for putting this shit together. The fest went off without a hitch — it was very well organized. Much praise to him, his crew and all the people who came together to make the fest an unforgettable experience.

After the break I'll get into the sets and all that great shit. I took some photos and video but the large amount of pro photographers and press allowed me to take it easy on that end of things; I only got shots of those bands that interested me the most but even then the cramped conditions and thrashing going on made it difficult for someone as unprofessional as me to get much — which again relieved me and allowed me to sit back and just enjoy the fest.

Anyway on with the review.