Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Brutally Short #1: King Giant, Bearstorm, Khemmis, Valkyrie, Dreadnought

(image by our buried alive intern)
This is the inaugural post of our "Brutally Short" column. Our hands certainly aren't clean of producing them, but we know reading long-winded reviews can be tedious. In an effort to not let so many albums slip through the cracks, "Brutally Short" will deliver around five reviews or so of albums our staff has been recently listening to.

Reviews for Brutally Short #1:

King Giant - Black Ocean Waves
Bearstorm - Americanus
Khemmis - Absolution
Valkrie - Shadows
Dreadnought - Bridging Realms

Check out the reviews after the break!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Exclusive Interview - Josh Weaver (Royal Thunder)

Monday night saw the official start of summer, and for my money, that means two things: softball, and bar patios.  While we didn't get any swings in, this Monday did see Mick and I venture out to the patio of Chicago's Beat Kitchen, where we spent some patio time with Josh Weaver, guitarist for the white-hot band Royal Thunder.  The band's sophomore LP Crooked Doors came out earlier this year, and is a genre-defying medley of damn near all the tropes that make metal and rock great.  We talked to Josh about Royal Thunder's sound, his writing process, and an indie band called Nirvana he listened to in his youth.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Exclusive Interview - Takaakira 'Taka' Goto (Mono)

Last Thursday, I was fortunate enough to sit down and talk with Taka Goto, founding member of the legendary Japanese instrumental outfit Mono.  We chatted about the current tour, Taka's view on what inspires Mono's sound, and some of his favorite metal bands.  On a side note, if you have never seen Mono live then please rectify that ASAP.  The band's performance was full of energy and emotion that was captivating on an unprecedented level.

Check out the interview after the break!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Exclusive Interview - Steve Jansson (Crypt Sermon, Unrest, Trenchrot)

I talked with Steve Jansson from Crypt Sermon about epic doom metal, Dio worship, and the press reaction to their debut LP Out of The Garden. I also spoke with him about recent exploits with death metal band Trenchrot and grindcore band Unrest.

More with Steve after the jump.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Tempel - The Moon Lit Our Path

Nearly three years ago, we received a bandcamp link from a two-man instrumental act called Temple. Self-identified in their description as "instrumental black metal," I was immediately intrigued. While this seemed like a descriptor that would have surely been placed on the metal blogoshpere's carousel of sub-genres already, I couldn't quite place a band that completely fit that label.  Thankfully for my ears, I decided to check out their debut album On The Steps of the Temple (reviewed by Durf here). In the wake of the positive response to the album, the band got picked up by Prosthetic Records, changed their name ever so slightly to Tempel, and have now released a second offering for us to enjoy.  Improving upon the formula from their first album, The Moon Lit Our Path showcases Tempel taking the trademarks of black metal and weaving them into atmospheric elements, soaring guitar solos, anthemic riffs, and unrelenting beats.  What results is a soundscape that is foreboding, serene, and full of heavy energy all at the same time.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Exclusive Interview - Metatron (The Meads of Asphodel)

Recent black/avant-garde/you name it metallers The Meads of Asphodel released their split EP (with Tjolgtjar) called Taste The Divine Wrath. It is a solid taste of what both bands can offer as a full-length and also acts (from The Meads) as a place between Sonderkommando and their future releases. I got in contact with the band's leader, Metatron, to talk about the EP, religion, medieval themes and pure fucking hatred. Enjoy more after the jump.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Concert Review - Steven Wilson (Park West, Chicago, IL June 4,5 2015)

Since we had achieved the unimaginable by interviewing Steven Wilson in-person just over two years ago, Durf and I were determined to not miss him again as he came through Chicago late last week for two shows at Park West.  While we unfortunately fell short in terms of landing another interview, we were lucky enough to catch both shows between the two of us.

Check out our thoughts and some pictures of the show after the break!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Exclusive Interview - Mirai Kawashima (Sigh)

I recently had the distinct pleasure of interviewing the inimitable Mirai Kawashima of Japanaese Avant-garde metal band, Sigh. I asked about their insanely fun new album Graveward, new members to the band and the impact of Japanese metal. 

More after the jump.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Bell Witch - Four Phantoms

There are two people in Bell Witch.  Their names are Dylan Desmond and Adrian Guerra.  They each play an instrument in addition to providing vocals, with Dylan playing bass and Adrian drums.  I bring this up so abruptly because before you read any more of this review, I want you to know that I cannot comprehend how two instruments played by two men can create the music that Bell Witch does.  Their 2012 debut Longing instantly catapulted them to the forefront of doom metal, as it seamlessly wove harrowing roars and pummeling, crushing walls of distortion and pounding drums with delicate, almost quivering clean singing set to sparse bass notes.  The overarching themes and feelings on Longing live up to its title in spades, and it remains one of the most cryptic, mournfully beautiful pieces of art I've ever experienced; it's telling that the band sampled audio from Vincent Price's Poe adaptation The Masque of the Red Death, and that sequence is merely another moment of gothic terror, rather than the standout.  I tell you this for a few reasons; first, you should listen to Longing if you haven't yet, and second, Bell Witch's new album Four Phantoms is out now, and I wanted to give you a taste of how excited I am for that.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Concert Review: The Decibel Magazine Tour 2015 (Chicago 4/6/15)

Sometime in the past few weeks (my perspective on time is supremely disjointed right now), Mick and I headed down to Chicago's House of Blues for the 2015 iteration of the Decibel Magazine Tour.  This tour always has some serious band power, but seems to always hit Chicago on the Durfette's birthday, so this was my first year attending.  Thankfully, the bill was as great as I could have asked for: Vallenfyre, Pallbearer, Converge, and At the Gates.  For those keeping track at home, that's one stellar up and coming metal band, two of my personal bucket list bands, and one of the most important bands in metal history.  Needless to say, excitement and expectations were pretty high as Mick and I settled into our spots, ice cold Dale's Pale Ales in hand to prepare for some metal.