Tag Archives: United States

Twilight Fauna

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Metal is an extremely aggressive genre of music, that is a given. But we metal-heads need to unwind every once in awhile. What exactly does a metal-head listen to, to unwind? Readers, hailing from the ice capped mountains of Appalachia, I give you Twilight Fauna.

Twilight Fauna is another American, one man, atmospheric black metal project. America is quickly making a name for itself as the home of one man metal, with big names such as Xasthur, Leviathan and Judas Iscariot all hailing from the so-called “land of opportunity”. Twilight Fauna does not divert too far from the sounds of USBM.  In fact the sole composer of the beautifully crafted works of Twilight Fauna, Paul Ravenwood, stays very true to America’s depressive resonance.  Paul has been very busy as of late, releasing two splits and a full length album this year alone.  The full length release Grief, released April of this year, is a spellbinding journey through grief’s five ugly stages.

The first track, Isolation, is a tortured dirge.  The vocals are pained and the atmosphere is heavy.  The agony of loneliness is brought right to the surface.  The second track however did not quite meet my expectations.  For a track entitled Anger, I expected a faster, heavier, more bludgeoning experience.  Instead I got a sound that didn’t divert too far from the last track.  Bargaining and Acceptance were definitely the standout tracks on the album, with both tracks featuring beautiful acoustic guitars.  This album is not to be picked apart track by track, however.  It is to be enjoyed as one great work.

The works of Twilight Fauna are nothing truly unique in the cold and lonely world of DSBM.  But fans of gritty production, harrowing atmosphere and Lurker of Chalice take note.  Grief is a sorrowful venture into the emptiness of death and a doleful lamentation for the grieving.  So get comfortable, unwind and join me in the abyss with Twilight Fauna.  Happy Listening.  Hails!

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In Memory of Tom Rojack

Aug 1969 to Oct 1997
Aug 1969 to Oct 1997

I thought I’d end my tribute to Cleveland metal properly, in honor of Cleveland guitarist and vocalist Tom Rojack’s life. Shredder, Tom Rojack, pioneered the Ohio metal scene, playing in many great bands such as Decrepit, Funeral Pyre and Civil Disobedience but is perhaps most well known for his work in death metal outfit Blood of Christ.

Passing unexpectedly in 1997 at the tender age of 28, due to complications after falling down some stairs, Tom led a full life, contributing much to the metal scene. He is remembered not only for his superior musicianship but also for his jovial personality.

Tom is missed and celebrated by many to this day. Let’s all take a moment to commemorate the work of Tom Rojack and listen to some fucking Blood of Christ! Throw some horns. Happy Listening. Hails!

Soulless

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Continuing my tribute to Cleveland metal I bring you C-town death/thrash legends Soulless. Blustering through Cleveland’s metal clubs and pubs with pure metal imperium since 1997, the band has released four full length LP’s to date, including the 1999 debut, The Darkening of Days, 2002’s Agony’s Lament, 2007’s Forever Defiant and the latest release from World Chaos Productions, In Death’s Grip. Not only is Soulless continuously recording original material, they also have appeared on several tribute albums such as Armageddon- A Tribute to Destruction, Overload II- A tribute to Metallica and Hellbent for Metal- A Tribute to Judas Priest, just to name a few.

The band has been known to tour relentlessly, opening for such acts as Nile, Macabre and Cleveland’s own Nunslaughter. The hard work has paid off as Soulless has developed quite the diehard, cult following amongst the local circuit. Soulless only continues to please the diehards with their 2013 release, In Death’s Grip by not veering far from the sound that we fell in love with in ’97. More of a thrash album than a death metal one, In Death’s Grip showcases blistering solos, anthemic choruses and catchy riffs and even epic interludes. From beginning to end the album flows nicely without a dull moment. Tracks like It Ends Tonight and Bury the Cross show tremendous growth in the musicianship of the band featuring masterfully crafted, almost progressive soloing.

Soulless stays true to their roots by covering Cleveland thrash pioneers, Destructor. The album is a must-have for thrashers and death metallers alike. As usual I will let you be the judge. Below is the sixth track off of In Death’s Grip, Bury the Cross. The full album is available for free streaming on Bandcamp as well. I’ve posted a link below. Happy Listening! Hails!

http://soulless.bandcamp.com/

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

Appalachian Winter

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Who says America isn’t “cold”? Hailing from the ice capped mountains of Pennsylvania, I bring you Symphonic one man project Appalachian Winter. With five full length releases since 2008, visionary and brainchild behind Appalachian Winter, D.G. Klyne shows no signs of slowing down. Appalachian Winter’s unique brand of Symphonic Black/Folk Metal is sure to please even the harshest critics because, while the genre drips in cheese, there is an intelligence in the band’s sound, reminiscent of Summoning or (dare I say it) Nordland era Bathory.

In an age when Europe is so often celebrated for it’s legacy in Black Metal, Appalachian Winter seeks to put America on the map with the band’s latest release, Ghosts of the Mountains. Song titles like Rebellion Within the Young nation, Pennsylvanian Fire and The Cemetery Where Slaves Lie Buried celebrate the darkness of the American countryside. From hearty minstrels to battle hymns to sheer symphonic eargasm, Ghosts of the Mountains resonates a fullness and quality unmatched by many.

While the band’s material can be difficult to procure, D.G. Klyne has made some of his music available free for download on Lastfm.com. One can’t help but recognize the integrity of an artist willing to do that. While I’ve yet to hear a track I didn’t like, I will let readers put this artist to the test. This is the first track from new release Ghosts of the Mountains entitled Rebellion Within the Young Nation. Happy listening. Hails!

http://www.last.fm/music/Appalachian+Winter?ac=appalachian winter