I had the pleasure of hanging with the Fixie Goons at the Wolfpack Hustle Civic Center Crit last weekend and I gotta say, the dude was super humble and nice. The guys in the Fixie Goons ride all over LA, but this time Block Boi took a spin up Griffith…
Each year, my friends in the band King Dude roll through Austin for a tour of some sorts. Whether it’s a festival or just a quick stop through, I always look forward to having them around. Usually they crash at my house and we get to drink bourbon and hang out. I like to think that it’s a bit of a break from the chaos that is touring across the country in a van.
This tour in particular found them opening for Ghost, the Swedish stadium NWOBHM band. While I haven’t been into Ghost all that much, I will say I really enjoyed their live act and stage antics. They packed out Emo’s East in Austin and put on one hell of a show. The fans were sooooo into it!
Each of these bands have been busting their asses on the road for the past two weeks and tonight’s the first stop on their east coast tour. If they’re coming through your town, give them some love. Also, you can now pre-order King Dude’s newest record, Fear at TJ’s label, Not Just Religious Music.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll notice that in lieu of Tuesday Teardown, I’ve started a #PiNPLP hashtag. I wish I could stay on top of reviewing music, but it’s been increasingly difficult over the years. What I have been on top of however, is expanding my catalog into some pretty strange and obscure acts.
Here’s a disclaimer first: PLEASE go out to your local record shop and have them order these albums for you if you’re interested in including them in your own catalog. They could really use your business.
This year’s Top 10 Albums of 2013 is hardly all metal but there are some very dark bands in there. I’m pretty stoked on this list, so check it out, in no particular order below!
Fuck it. This is too good to not share. Does this mean I’ll be doing Tuesday Teardowns every week? Maybe. But no promises.
ALL HAIL SLEEP
Everyone that thinks Darkthrone was better when they had their brief affair with black metal might as well not even continue with this Tuesday Teardown. Back when F.O.A.D. hit, it was greeted with high amounts of cynicism from people expecting more of their death / thrash / black metal cross-over melee. F.o.A.D. marked a key point in Darkthrone’s timeline: they started to have (even more) fun with music. Then came Dark Thrones and Black Flags, one of the best punk / d-beat albums of 2008. Finally, in 2010, the band’s magnum opus, Circle the Wagons hit, blowing everything else out of the fucking water (I’m being a bit partial here). It is still one of my favorite all time albums. Ever.
Each of Darkthrone’s albums have experimented with metal in various states, so a NWOBHM album shouldn’t surprise anyone. That’s exactly what The Underground Resistance is pushing and I fucking love it. So far, the whole package looks great. The first single “Leave No Cross Unturned” is the last cut on the album and with a howl Fenriz and Nocturno Culto kick it into high gear. Typical of their previous releases (mention Sarke, mention Sarke), Fenriz wrote half of the songs and Nocturno, the other*. So far, I like what I hear! I ordered the vinly and t-shirt package from Peaceville last week!
The Underground Resistance was mastered by Jack Control at Enormous Door, here in Texas and the artwork was penned by Jim Fitzpatrick. Check out the first single “Leave No Cross Unturned” below.
I absolutely love Finnish death metal and I can now add Krypts to the rank of Claws / Hooded Menace, Unholy and Amorphis. This band creates such an enveloping sound that they very well may be the new, true arbiters of death in Finland. The torch of heaviness has been passed and with the buzz surrounding this new album, they’re doing a hell of a job.
Enter the metaphors: Krypts’ sound is a dying behemoth, flailing its limbs before death. It envelops you like a breached submarine as it topples into an abyss, seconds before crushing you like a tin can. Their riffs crawl like a venomous centipede out of decaying corpse and the percussions thunder like the drums of an ancient, subterranean cannibal race of rats.
That’s how menacing Krypts’ highly-anticipated album, Unending Degredation is. Over four years in the making, this album represents the hard work of a band that made its name by crawling from the crypt to the pit. Simply listen to “Inhale” before “the Black Smoke” surrounds you. Like their death doom brethren, some tracks linger. “Dormancy of the Ancients” and “Beneath the Archaic” are as slow as a swarm of maggots, devouring a carcass.
How else are you to describe death metal? Just look at the fucking artwork. Are you not scared shitless? As dark and foreboding as their sound may be, Krypts brings a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. Maybe 2013 won’t suck for death metal after all? Check out one track from Unending Degredation below and pre-order the vinyl direct through Dark Descent.
Over the past year, I’ve become a huge fan of Chelsea Wolfe and her dark, melodic folk music. Her previous two albums have been on heavy rotation and everyone I turn onto her, falls in love. Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of seeing her perform live at the Central Presbyterian Church in Austin, one of the best venues in town for a show like this. That night, the church echoed with a powerful performance by Wolfe and her band.
Zeiss 28mm f2.8 T* ZM
Ilford Delta 3200
Bongripper? What do I have to say about Bongripper? For starters, I’ve been a fan of these Chicago doom destroyers since I first heard Hate Ashbury in 2008. Then Satan Worshipping Doom hit me in the gut in 2010. The intense momentum this fucking band has picked up since then is insurmountable. Everything they touch turns green and emits pure heaviness when sparked. After a successful show at Roadburn last year (which you can now buy their live recording here), the band has been working on re-issuing one of their classic albums, Great Barrier Reefer (also for sale now). Still, it had been a while since there was new material from the band. Their Sex Tape / Snuff Film 7″ was just enough to hold over my craving for wall-punching heaviness and now, their new split with Hate features their newest track “Fisting”.
So how is it? Fucking brutal. It’s difficult to type this write up while the song is playing. 11 minutes of giant riffs, heavy as fuck bass and colliding percussions. Just imagine the Old Ones colliding in a battle for the last rip from the bong. Around the 9 minute work, the well-coined Bongripper riffs hit the table and the entire world collapses before a cacophony of d-beat erupts. What I’m trying to say is, this album is intense and I haven’t even talked about side B…
By contrast, Hate’s songs crack open the sky and shatter the stars. As hell rains from the heavens (yes, that is possible), you’re left picking up your teeth. It’s an interesting contrast but that’s what make splits so great, right?
It’s only by coincidence that this week’s Tuesday Teardown pick is also on Profound Lore. Hey, I’m a sucker for USBM and SF’s Bosse-de-Nage has been on my radar for the past year or so. While re-organizing some desktop material, I came up on their latest album that I never got around to listening to (cue my discussion on vinyl vs the digital junkspace that is MP3 music). Anyway, onto post-black metal, or as Bosse-de-Nage comes to call it, grey metal. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a suitable title for this band, as is post-hardcore and for that matter, I tend to think of USBM as a little ambiguous anyway.
Check out more Tuesday Teardown below!
As far as I’m concerned, the bands on Profound Lore are some of the best. Krallice and YOB are just a few of the bigger names on their roster but by chance, if you let Ash Borer slip past your fingers while flipping through the stacks at your local shop, you better get back there and pick it up. Named after an invasive species of beetle, this USBM group resides in beautiful Arcata, California. Like their Cascadian brethren in Oregon, Wolves in the Throne Room, Ash Borer mixes a bleek and atmospheric sound that at times is closer to Sunn O))) than black metal pioneers, Mayhem or Gorgoroth. But don’t you dare think for a second their sound is the same! Their newest release, Cold of Ages was released in August of last year (bear with me here) and it’s quite the album. In fact, it should have been in my Top 10 of 2012 list.
Check out more Tuesday Teardown below!