Tag Archives: Blood Coven

Chemtrail X and Blood Coven @ The Outpost

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Music festivals are always a blast and big concerts are an excuse to let it all hang out. The atmosphere I find most enjoyable, however, would have to be those small, intimate shows held at grimy little clubs with 20 or 30 of the band’s closest friends. It’s at these shows that mingling, trading and promoting takes the forefront and the scene gets “deep”.

This was precisely the atmosphere at the acclaimed Kent area metal club “The Outpost”, on Saturday 9/14/2013. A small, charming, dark and graffiti riddled club, The Outpost is an absolute haven for extreme metal. Met with the company of Radiatrix, Sanctify, Blood Coven and Chemtrail X, I prepared for an evening of beauteous gore.

The first band up was Canton’s newest and youngest thrash outfit, Radiatrix. Judging them solely on their youthfulness, I expected this band to be sloppy. Radiatrix proceeded to surprise me. These five skinny teenagers, thrashed harder than many of their contemporaries twice their age. Their sound was evocative of mid era Sacred Reich with a bit of Metallica’s charm thrown into to the mix for added effect. The band’s energy was high, with the guitarists windmilling and the vocalist interacting with the crowd. My only criticism would be that Chase Casterline’s vocals lacked power. While he has potential to become a great thrash vocalist I sensed he was a bit inhibited. Overall, this band writes catchy thrash riffs and given a few years to tighten their sound (they’re still very young) they can become something great in the arena of American thrash. Keep killin’ it Radiatrix!

Next up was Akron’s prog metal act, Sanctify. Radiatrix was going to be tough to follow and Sanctify couldn’t quite make the cut. The problem with many progressive metal bands is that their scope of what they can get away with is so great that many band’s tend to sound too busy, or all over the place. I wasn’t sure how to categorize Sanctify. The sound was confused, with pseudo progressive riffs, splashes of rock and roll and nu metal-like sing song breaks, the vocals were weak and their look was all but ordinary. Sanctify’s only saving grace was their flawless cover of the Megadeth classic, “Holy Wars….The Punishment Due”, but since the song was covered to a tee, with no unique Sanctify flavors thrown in, I’d say the credit still is owed to Dave Mustain. What was truly missing at this performance was unified energy. For much of the time the band just stood there only breaking attention to shout an ill-fitting “Hail Satan” into the crowd or something equally absurd. This band needs to commit to a sound and hone it before I’d recommend them, until then, they remain an opening act.

Finally it was the moment I’d been waiting for. Akron’s black/death hellions, Blood Coven prepared to hit the stage. Three black clad and tattooed brutes bearing armor, graced the stage and bludgeoned an unprepared crowd with an assault 100 times heavier than anything they’d seen thus far. Vocalist Daniel Saladin, prefaced the set with a warning to the crowd. “We’re Blood Coven, from Akron and you probably won’t like us”, he said. I laughed a little to myself and prepared to have my ears bludgeoned. Blood Coven fittingly opened with “Let Rome Burn”, the first track off their 2012 LP “Battle Cult Empire”. The aggression and intensity was beyond measure and their speed was electrifying. The band exhibited enthusiasm and high energy with their stage performance as well, headbanging throughout the set and occasionally executing choreographed and theatrical moves. It was a pleasure to witness the show. Blood Coven played everything from classics like “Godless and Wicked” and “793: The Fall of Lindisfarne” to flawlessly executed covers like Mayhem’s “Freezing Moon”. The set was a shining example of showmanship, musicianship and professionalism, as to be expected.

At last the end of the evening was nigh. Chemtrail X set to hit the stage. Blood Coven was going to be a hard act to follow but Chemtrail X was up to the challenge with their brand of nu-metal. Chemtrail X has a gimmick. Unlike so many other bands who simply settle to be satanic or humorously gory, Chemtrail X has decided to put the evil of the clandestine US government on the forefront and expose the criminals for what they really are. This is not a band you’ll see playing in sweatpants. They were dressed up like military officials and members of FEMA. It was actually pretty cool. The stage show was interesting as well with fog machines and the vocalist occasionally spouting off about conspiracy theories. Although this band doesn’t exactly play the sort of metal I listen to, for what they do, they do it well. Fans of Slipknot and Mushroomhead should take note of these guys, because they are actually more interesting than the aforementioned bands. They played tight and put on a good performance. This is definitely one of those bands that’s better live, but listen for yourself.

Overall this event was well worth the cover charge of a mere six bucks. The crowd was intimate and enthusiastic, the drinks were cheap and most importantly the bands played well. These are kinds of events metal is all about. Be sure to support your local scene for glimpse into the underground and the bowels of Hell. Happy Listening. Hails!

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Embalmination Tour 2013

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Embalmer has embarked on their western tour with Forged in Gore, and I (being a Cleveland native) was fortunate enough to catch the first show of the tour in their hometown with featured act, Rottrovore as well as local bands Blood Coven, Funeral Pyre and of course, Forged in Gore. The show was held at Lakewood’s only exclusively metal venue, The Foundry. The club is known for being one of many names (The HiFi, The Breakfast Club etc.) but has really come into it’s own as a spot for extreme metal. Slow to compete with punk/metal pub, Now That’s Class, The Foundry has respectfully become a haven for the underground in the past two years.

Blood Coven was the first band to hit the stage. They kicked off the evening nicely, playing classics, Warmaggedon and Feel My Steel, as well as showcasing their new track Age of Hell, to a lackluster crowd. Perhaps the highpoint of the set, for me at least, was when they played my request, Godless and Wicked.  The set was a bit sloppy in places, but not unforgivably so and the pure evil and aggression emanating from the stage, well made up for any slop in the performance.  Perhaps the only true disappointment was the utter disinterest, yielding from the crowd.  I can not, for the life of me, figure out why Blood Coven hasn’t become a greater force in the Cleveland metal scene.  Alas, I appeared to be the only person familiar with the material.  It was of no consequence to me however, I’ve been that person numerous times.  Blood Coven is truly a band worthy of recognition, so I give you Age of Hell!

Blood Coven’s ass kickery made way for black metal outfit Funeral Pyre. Funeral Pyre prefaced their first performance in twenty years with smells of acrid incense and arrant blackness. The crowd prepared for a celebration of evil. The enthusiasm of the crowd would only be met with sheer disappointment, as the set was an utter disaster. The drums were entirely too loud, drowning out sloppily played guitars.  Vocalist Brian Sekula, lazily fluttered about a goats skull as he shrieked classic tracks, Prosperity of Satan’s Reign and Celtic Sun.  Brief moments of harmony were quickly halted by clumsy mistakes, so attempts to get lost in the music or even discern one song from the next, were futile.  This band will definitely have to work together and practice more if they intend to gain a following in the underground live circuit.  Either that, or remain a studio band.

The show wouldn’t be a total bust, however, Forged in Gore hit the stage next to tear our faces off with the brutal death metal Cleveland has become known for.  Lightening fast riffing, blast beats and guttural “vokills” characterized the set.  Tongue in cheek requests for the band to slow down were met with a proverbial middle finger and even faster playing on the track Afterbirth Hors d’ oeuvre. Vocalist/bassist Brian Baxter engaged the crowd even further, inciting mosh pits and interacting with fans. Embalmer vocalist Paul Gorefiend performed guest vocals on a cover song to much approval from the crowd. Forged in Gore put on an incredible set. The band exudes professionalism and can most definitely anticipate a promising future.

We’d all anticipated Embalmer would go on next as initially Rottrevore was supposed to close the show but at that point in the evening everyone was inebriated and logistics mattered little.  Rottrovore went on next.  Excitement came over the crowd as Rottrevore set the perform their first live show in Cleveland in over 20 years.  Although I, personally am not an avid fan of the brutal death foursome, the band did not disappoint diehards, performing classic tracks like Unanimous Approval and Incompetent Secondary to perfection. Rottrovore closed their set with Conspiracised and fittingly the performance was met with “unanimous approval”.

The final band of the evening to play was of course, goregrind aficionados, Embalmer. An intoxicated Paul Gorefiend hit the stage, spewing vocals to utter perfection. You would never guess that he was wasted or that he’d injured his ribs at a Goatwhore show months back. Embalmer killed it, performing tracks from their must-have compilation from 1997, There Was Blood Everywhere, such as Rotten Body Fluids, the title track and my favorite, Bone Box. They also introduced new tracks from the soon to be released LP Apocalyptic Bloodshower. The new songs may have even exceeded the aggression found on earlier releases, which excites me for the release of Apocalyptic Bloodshower. The band closed with the classic, I am the Embalmer, paying homage to sole original member Roy Stewart. Embalmer did not fail to meet high expectations and “keep it fucking sick”!

Overall, the show was the definition of underground metal, with exorbitant demo trading, unofficial, laid back meet and greets, heavy promotion and intense gratitude for underground heads.  A rapturous evening of gore, dedicated to diehards.

Embalmer is currently touring the west coast with Forged in Gore. Dates are as follows…

6/8 Cleveland, OH
6/11 Kansas City, Missouri
6/14-6/15 Las Vegas Deathfest, Las Vegas, Nevada
6/17 Sacremento, California
6/18 Los Angeles, California
6/21 San Diego, California
6/22 Tempe, Arizona
6/25 Houston, Texas
6/26 Dallas, Texas
6/28-6/29 Gutfest, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Catch them in your town! Happy Listening! Hails!

Blood Coven

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Since I started this blog, I have wanted to do a tribute to Cleveland metal. Being a Cleveland native myself, I am no stranger to the greatness that is Cleveland’s music scene, despite its being the home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The first Cleveland band I will pay homage to is the ruthless, Black/Death metal act Blood Coven.

Formed in 1993 by Dann Saladin, Blood Coven is a force to be reckoned with, terrorizing Cleveland with brutal live performances and intense new releases. Despite forming in ’93 the band only has three full length releases to date, Ashes of Autumn Burning, Battle Cult Empire and 2012’s Of Blood and Battle. The newest full length album seems to be re-mastered versions of earlier tracks compiled onto one merciless and beautifully crafted LP. The band maintains it’s distinctive sound, never watering down their unique blend of Black and Death metal for the mainstream masses. What sets Blood Coven apart form so many other Black/Death acts is their range in vocals (from shrieks to growls) and stunningly melodic, clean soloing.

While so many bands have forgotten the art of soloing, Blood Coven celebrates it, featuring a beautifully rendered solo on every track. The guitars range from melodic unmuted tones to heavy distortion and in true Black/Death adulation, the lyrics are heavily Anti-Christian. Tracks like Ashes of an Autumn Burning, An Angel’s Rage and Bloodwrath, grip the listener into a dark world of unadulterated pain, to no protestation.

The band has suffered a slew of lineup changes over the years and is currently looking for a rhythm guitarist. I am confident, however, that Blood Coven will find a guitarist soon. Until then, I welcome you into the bowels of Hell itself with Blood Coven. Happy Listening! Hails!

http://www.myspace.com/bloodcovenband