Late Friday night, Limbsplitter vocalist, Devin Swank wrote a particularly enticing Facebook post that read “if this post gets 100 likes I will drink my own pee and live stream it” compelling hoards of the band’s supporters and friends to react accordingly. Fortunately for everyone, (except Devin of course) the post received the necessary 100 likes in less than an hour and he was forced to drink his warm, dark yellow words.
A man of his word, Swank began preparing for the task ahead by drinking copious amounts of fluids and creating suspense and anticipation for those following the events on social media. Just when everyone was beginning to doubt him, the time came for him to drink his own piss.
The Limbsplittervocalist donned a mournful expression as his friends mocked him on his way to the bathroom. Nervously, he dropped trou and peed into what appeared to be a Gatorade bottle. He retched as he gazed upon the warm, goldenrod liquid that nearly filled the bottle halfway . His disgust emanated through the screen.
In true brutal death metal fashion, though, Swank gulped down the piss as though it were a shot of strong whiskey (or a Chloroform Cocktail *wink wink*) and chased the putrid liquid with spicy jalapeno mustard. Whether or not he swallowed is unconfirmed as it was not caught in the shot, but this leaves fans wondering just how brutal the vocal tracks on the next release will be, given the singers vocal chords are now lubricated with pee.
The band released their debut album, Chloroform Cocktail, in November of 2017 and is already hard at work on the next effort, but it’s antics like this that really set Limbsplitter apart from the droves of mediocre brutal death metal bands that upload their albums to Bandcamp everyday. These guys live the metal lifestyle take brutal to a whole other level. Fans can only wonder what’s next in Limbsplitter’s arsenal of comedic antics; farting on old ladies, drinking gasoline? Who knows. All I know is these guys keep it professional.
If you’re still having trouble believing this actually happened, watch the video below. You can purchase Chloroform Cocktailhere.
Steel City ragers and dedicated out of towners prepared for a road trip should head to Cattivo nightclub in Pittsburgh, PA this weekend for a doom fest unmatched since the last “Doomed and Stoned Fest.”Featuring talent from a variety of genres encompassing the doom/stoner tier: including sludge, stoner and even psychedelic rock, Descendants of Crom is keeping it professional by booking only the best talent; young and old, for two hazy days of pure doom bliss.
Weed smoke and the acrid stench of patchouli and Mir will permeate the air as a sea of bearded doom heads sway to the reverberations of bands such as: Lo Pan, Doomstress, Come to Grief, Cavern, Toke, Geezer, Freedom Hawk, The Generator, as well as so many more that are scheduled to hit the stage during this 2 day celebration of all things slow and heavy.
Attendees should also be sure not to miss the pre-gala tonight at Howlers, featuring Mires, Rebreather and Destroyer of Light among others.
Tickets are first come first serve. You can pre-order tickets to the pre-gala here and tickets to the fest here.
Promoter, Chuck Parsons, booked the event at the up and coming metal venue the Maple Grove Tavern. The Maple Grove Tavern has been gaining a reputation as a cool, metal club in recent months, mainly because they’re willing to book rad shows at decent rates while not charging an arm and a leg for booze. Also, they’re a bit gritty without being disgusting. Girls can feel safe using the bathrooms.
Even better, the lineup consisted of the cream of the crop in local fair. Subtype Zero (formerly known as Cringe), HAMMR and FaithXtractor opened for legendary thrashers, Blood Feast.
Perhaps the most impressive band of the evening, other than Blood Feast themselves, Subtype Zero when straight for the audience’s jugular with their harrowing brand of bay area style thrash. Channeling 1985, these Cleveland thrashers melted faces with an intensity reminiscent early Slayer.
These guys are thrash, through and through with distinct hardcore and punk undertones and shreds for weeks. What’s more, with each member’s average age being 21 or younger, these guys left a crowd full of tough dude old enough to be their dads in awe. Subtype Zero played in support of their 2018 release, “The Astral Awakening.” Keep your eyes on these guys. They’re going places.
Given multi-instrumentalist J. Hammr’s reputation in the local Cleveland scene, I had high hopes for this band’s performance. J. Hammr is known for his work with the band Devils with the label Redefining Darkness. Despite Hammr debut album, “Unholy Destruction” being a overall effective balance of calculated blackened slop and distortion heavy thrash riff magic, the band’s performance at the Maple Grove didn’t really come together for me and several others in the crowd.
I think a big reason HAMMR failed to deliver had to do with the loudness of the drums in comparison with the guitars and the vocals. It really drew attention to repetitive patterns in the drumming that could have been easily overlooked if pushed into the background more. That said, the band’s latest effort, “Unholy Destruction,” is great stuff for fans of Black Witchery, Revenge and Blasphemy. Hopefully they fine tune their live performance in the future.
Other than Blood Feast, the band I was most excited about that evening was FaithXtractor. Known for a bludgeoning form of melodic old school death metal, FaithXtractor always delivers an intense and professional live performance.
The band started off a bit rocky, with sound issues being largely to blame, but quickly came into their own on about third track. Drummer, Ash Thomas (of Estuary fame along with the rest of the band) was the true MVP as he belted out demonic growls into the mic while never missing a beat.
Guitarist, Cody Knarr, donned a Grave t-shirt, which perfectly exemplifies where FaithXtractor draws its influences from. Both Cody and bass player, Zdenka Prado, whipped their long manes about furiously and exhibited true stage presence for the entirety of the show.
Cody Knarr’s solos pierced through skin on tracks such as “Flame of the Death Ritual” and “Damned to Return.” FaithXtractor played new tracks “Forsworn Then Burned” and “Damned to Return“, among others in support of their 2018 release “Proverbial Lambs to the Ultimate Slaughter,” which they released back in July.
Finally, the moment we’d all been waiting on was upon us. Strapped with energy, Blood Feast hit the stage. The band has had some lineup changes since their formation back in 1987, with the only original member being guitar player, Adam Tranquili, but that fact didn’t slow them down one bit.
Blood Feast opened with “Darkside” a blast from the past from their debut album, “Kill For Pleasure,” setting the tempo for a vigorous night of thrashing to come. They followed this with newer material, such as “INRI” and “Underling,” songs which barely differentiated from the older tracks, in a good way. This is a band that knows their style and does it well, regardless of lineup changes or trends.
Vocalist, Chris Natalini, was energetic and engaged the audience throughout the set. During the new track, “Off With their Heads” he held the mic out to the audience as we all loudly sang along. But, perhaps, the coolest part of the set was when he went live on Facebook with the crowd, leaving a timestamp for fans to look back to for the rest of their days.
The band ended the performance proper with old school tracks, Menacing Thunder and Hunted, Stalked and Slain, leaving the crowd with serious whiplash. One of the coolest things about Blood Feast is how down to earth the guys are. They all stayed after a bit and engaged with fans. If Blood Feast comes to your city, don’t be a poser. Go! You won’t regret it.
2018 seems to be the year of the comeback for many classic bands, Unanimated returned to the spotlight after a nine year hiatus, Judas Priest released a serious banger entitled “Firepower” and even more obscure older bands, like Trauma sprung from their states of hibernation to produce some seriously killer new albums. Deicide can easily add their latest release, “Overtures of Blasphemy,” to the list of killer comeback albums in 2018.
“Overtures of Blasphemy” is the band’s 12th full length release since their formation almost 30 years ago, and the first album they’ve released in over 5 years, and despite receiving some negative feedback from major media outlets such as Banger TV, I have to say that this album was basically worth the wait.
The CD opens with a catchy, grooving track aptly titled “One With Satan.” Singer Glenn Benton hasn’t softened his militantly anti-Christian stance one bit, despite writing music for almost 3 decades. More interestingly, however, this track is truly ear catching. It immediately drew me in with its slow build up in the beginning followed by a kind of calculated intensity and blistering yet melodic solos.
Much of the album continues on this trajectory. It seems that, over the years, the guys have honed their songwriting abilities and deliver every time. Yet, while previous releases were a bit techy for my tastes, “Overtures of Blasphemy” has an air of returning to the bands roots. The feel of this album is old school through and through – just with better production.
What really stood out for me was the guitar work. This makes sense given the introduction of new guitarist, Mark English, of Monstrosity fame. The solos and riff magic was ultimately what drew me in on tracks such as “Seal the Tomb Below,” “Excommunicated” and “Defying the Sacred.” Mark’s riff mastery and shredding made up for Benton’s somewhat lacking vocal on this effort. Benton is known for his vocal range, high to low, but his tone was pretty monotone on this album and really and left much to be desired.
Despite this minor complaint, I don’t have much negative feedback for this release. I think this album was better received than some of Deicide’s previous releases by most of the metal community, and I think that’s for good reason. It’s a banger through and through. “Overtures of Blasphemy” stands out because I doesn’t try too hard. It simply thrashes hard and induces head banging.
It’s rumored, in the underground scene, that this might be the band’s last effort. If that’s the case, it makes sense they would choose to go out with a bang and a nod to their roots. I think that’s what they did here. Overall, good stuff.
According to Webster’s online dictionary, the term ennui refers to “a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.” That definition is a perfect way to summarize the Georgia based funeral doom duo’s latest effort “End of the Circle.”
As is expected from any funeral doom release, Ennui’s latest LP, “End of the Circle” requires patience from its listeners. Each track is upwards of 20 minutes in length and contains several progressions throughout the mix. Still, for those with a stalwart attention span, the fruits of this listen are truly rewarding.
One element that stood out for me on this release were the infusions of ambiance generously sprinkled throughout each track. Where other funeral doom bands descend into gritty territory pretty quickly into the mix, Ennui’s style captured a more mystical atmosphere because of their liberal use of ambiance and even kvlt elements throughout each track. I say kvlt because I don’t get much of strictly black metal feel on this album per say, primarily because of the lack of Cartoonish aspects.
That said, I would be lying if I were to suggest this release didn’t emote the same expressions as Rundgang um die Transzendentale Säule der Singularität by Burzum. Ennui certainly employs a specific blackened style on this release that lies in tandem with some of the more emotional DSBM bands out there. I think this fusion of different genre elements is what caught my attention to this LP and will catch the ears of others who don’t typically listen to funeral doom.
Ennui is a band that takes themselves seriously by emanating a cerebral air in their sound that demands full attention from the listener. There is something truly magical about the entirety of the release. “End of the Circle” is intended to be digested as single unit; each track complementing the last. With that said, my favorite track was the self titled, first track. With progressions designed to lull the listener into a hypnotic, dream state, “End of the Circle” delivers a truly mind expanding experience, complete with ambiance that would move even the most staunch thrasher with musical ADD.
The unique experience that is “End of the Circle” continues in the proceeding tracks “The Withering Parts I-II,” as Ennui takes its fans on a 40 minute interstellar journey into the heart of a dying star. There is a sense of order in these tracks despite their length. Each element builds into the next seamlessly in order to create a mood. The vocals remain simplistic, low end growls that don’t detract from the music or the atmosphere; instead complementing it perfectly. You’ll be compelled to close your eyes while listening to this – it’s that affecting.
Overall, I really enjoyed this effort. I am not typically a fan of funeral doom, but Ennui’s latest release had enough momentum to keep me entertained for the long haul. “End of the Circle” is must have album for 2018.
When I first listened to Witchgoat’s debut effort, Umbra Regit, a restored sense of excitement came over me. Its primitive intensity whisked through my veins, sending chills down my spine with every sick riff. I became curious to know more about these El Salvadorian thrashers, but Witchgoat was seemingly shrouded in obscurity online — with only a small digital presence. Fortunately, I was able to speak with Witchgoat guitarist P. Scyther about the details of the band’s writing process and future plans. Here’s what he had to say…..
Underworld– First things how are you?
P. Scyther– Everything is going well. We are somewhat busy with our jobs, working on the album’s release and our debut that we hope it will occur before this year ends.
Underworld– That’s great! To jump right in, “Umbra Regit” has been getting quite a bit of attention online by webzines and so forth. Besides it being a killer demo, what factors would you guys attribute to the album’s success?
P. Scyther– First of all, we would like to thank all metalheads for the support that the demo Umbra Regit has received, and also we thank the media that supports the underground.
It has been great to find people who are interested in the primitive elements of metal that we have tried to compose. In regards to the response received, we assume that the mix of elements such as speed, aggressiveness and visceral vocalization, all mixed with the sound of the riffs and melodies of old school thrash metal, has resulted in a great response from old school and blackened metal fans.
Underworld– It definitely had that primitive vibe. One of the first things I noticed was the classic feel of this demo and how it brought me back to metal’s heyday back in the late 80s/early 90s. Did you guys intend to recreate that kind of atmosphere on this album? Did any other bands influence the sound of Umbra Regit?
P. Scyther– This classic feel that you mention is a consequence of our own taste for the type of raw/blackened thrash metal which we have been fans of our whole life. Before being musicians, we were enthusiastic fans of these genres so we have tried to impregnate in our demo the elements of those times in which music was honest in its ideas and above all in its sound avoiding excessive technological refinements.
We believe that metal must have a dose of rawness such as the one this genre had when it began in Europe and Latin America in the middle 80’s. At the same time, we have tried to incorporate and admire very much, the melodic part that blackened death metal bands impregnated to the genre in the 90’s. All of this tried to preserve the tuning and a tone close to the standard used by the first old thrash metal bands.
In regards to the sound, we have various influences of thrash metal albums such as: Schizophrenia from Sepultura, Inverted Crosses from The Unsane, Fragments of Insanity from Necrodeath, this kind of stuff… and even classic bands like Bathory, Death, Possessed, Mercyful Fate, Aura Noir and Sarcófago, etc…
Underworld– Schizophrenia is easily my favorite Sepultura album. I definitely hear the same elements of raw intensity on “Umbra Regit.” El Salvador isn’t always the first country people think of when it comes to metal, but doing a quick Google search, it seems that there’s somewhat of a thriving scene in the country. Should metal heads be paying closer attention to the El Salvadorian scene?
P. Scyther– El Salvador is a country with underdevelopment in many aspects. However, like other regions in Latin America, the metal scene has been growing gradually and even though there is not a huge number of outstanding bands, there are some that we recommend and that have represented this region well such as: Conceived by Hate, Disorder, Invocation of Death, Morbid Stench, Dismal Gale, Tabú, among others.
Underworld– I’ll have to check out some of those bands for sure! Tell me a little about the process that went into writing “Umbra Regit?” How long have you guys been at this? Do you have time to practice as much as you’d like? Metal is DIY in my experience, with bands marketing themselves and buying studio time themselves etc. How much of your blood sweat and tears went into this demo?
P. Scyther– As far as the demo’s composition process and the long play, which is completely recorded and hoping to be released by the end of this year, I can say that music was totally composed in the middle of 2016 and 2017.
Since then, time has served to rehearse and assemble the drums and bass adequately, and to develop a complete concept that includes an agreement regarding the philosophy expressed in the lyrics, and that which we share among the members of Witchgöat. We consider this an important aspect of our music and Morbid Miasma, the band’s vocalist, has taken sole charge of this.
Regarding the composition of the music, sometimes it is easy and ideas come up without much effort. On the contrary, sometimes more time and inspiration is required to obtain the desired result. Either way we shape our creations and work in them until we are fully satisfied with the result.
The production of the Umbra Regit demo has been precarious and much of the sound is actually intentional. Guitars were recorded in my home study and the drums in the studio of a close friend. Vocals and bass were recorded in Devil’s Eve Studios owned by M. Miasma. The mixing was done by us and the mastering was done by a friend of the band. We are pleased with the demo sound because we believe that a demo should have a raw and honest sound but with enough power to show the music that the band is making and to demonstrate the concept. From that point of view we believe that this is an honest production.
Underworld– “Towards the Gulgalta” is one of the most emotional acoustic pieces I’ve heard in a long time. Ending the demo that way was a bold choice. Tell the readers a little been about what influenced you to make that choice. Were you just trying to show range, or was there some other inspiration?
P. Scyther– Thank you for your kind words. Towards the Gûlgaltâ is a piece played with acoustic guitars. We intended to evoke a state of melancholy and darkness in the way old Swedish bands of the middle 90’s used to do. Big influences such as Lord Belial and Dissection have absolutely impregnated in our minds their seal and have marked our path in metal.
A composition like this finale definitely intends to create an atmosphere that will take us to this era and is merged with our own composition essence. It was selected to finalize the demo with the intention of creating some kind of melancholic epilogue following the demo’s chaos and melodic violence.
Underworld– Given the demo’s underground success, do you foresee getting on the bill for fests in the near future? Is there anything already in the works?
P. Scyther- Thanks for saying that, we are taking this step by step so we are focused right now on releasing the debut album and try to get a good promotion and distribution for it. After that maybe we will start in some new material but so far there is no clear vision of possible live performances. We do have some ideas for future releases that we are working on.
Underworld– I’m sure fans will be happy to hear that? When can they expect the first full length LP to be released? What else can we expect from Witchgoat in the future?
P. Scyther– The short-term plans are the release of the full-length album by the end of this year 2018, which is almost a reality. We are working on the final details and hope to have news about the release very soon. Additionally, we are currently working on making new music and rehearsing for preparing new material in order to keep on dispersing in the future our musical pestilence worldwide through the underground.
You can purchase Witchgoat’s demo, Umbra Regit Here
This band propped up out of nowhere and unleashed an icy fury upon the hardened souls of cynical metal fans everywhere. German foursome, The Spirit, re-released their debut “Sounds From the Vortex” on Nuclear Blast earlier this month and melodic black/death metal fans are throwing up the horns in praise of this awesome album. Despite this band being young – only forming in 2015 – “Sounds From the Vortex” is the best damn thing to come along since Vinterland, Necrophobic or even Dissection.
Although most of The Spirit’s debut hearkens back to the era of the 90s in which Stockholm ruled the world, the band does throw in just the right amount of technical flair to keep their sound fresh in the modern era. The band’s true strength, however, lies in their ability to temper icy dissonance with intense emotional melody, to create a sound that cuts through barriers and demands the listener’s full attention.
They open “Sounds From the Vortex” with an ominous self-titled intro that is pervasive in nature; only to immediately pummel the listener with the cold blistering melody of “Cosmic Fear.” The Spirit has a real sense of flow and melody and every tempo change and progression melds beautifully into the next without becoming predictable.
Another element that really stood out on this debut was the band’s ability to create memorable hooks. The vocalist, in particular, focused on classic songwriting elements that foster the almost arcane compulsion to hit repeat track. The track entitled “Illuminate the Night Sky,” in particular, had a bridge and chorus with discernibly clear lyrics that beckoned singing along.
“Burning streams are flowing; fatality! Souls screaming out in agony! Curtains of fire rising high! ILLUMINATE THE NIGHT SKY!”
It’s not difficult to envision a sea of black clad fans throwing horns and chanting along to a chorus such as this. In true black metal fashion, The Spirit focuses on mystical themes in their songwriting which temper well with the icy feel of their sound.
The only criticism I have for this band’s debut is that I wanted more. At only 38 minutes long, “Sounds From the Vortex” was a bit short. I trust the band’s sophomore release will offer a bit more meat for the listener. That said, this album packed a ton of quality into that 40 minutes. These Germans sound as though they came right of the coldest mountain tops in Sweden. When I say this is the new Dissection, I mean it. The Spirit’s debut is a serious contender for album of the year.