† And then the Curse swept the Earth

terça-feira, 30 de setembro de 2014

Bands You Should Be Hearing Pt.IV

Another round of good music being made out there.

First is the new full-length from black metal band Vaiya. Described as "an aggressive ritual banishment of the darkest aspects of the ego. A progression upward toward the light and away from that which drags us down. Told through three thirteen minute tracks, "Remnant Light" seeks to exalt the journey toward bliss and repel the darkness that aims to destroy true being." I probably couldn't have said it better. With three tracks having each one 13 minutes exactly, "Remnant Light" is a wonderful incursion through light and the true genuine forces of Nature. Really great sound, great production and great atmosphere in general. I consider this to be Vaiya's best release to date. Recommended for fans of bands like Nhor, Wolves In The Throne Room or Woman Is The Earth. To good to let it slip by. 

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Deuil, is a four piece hailing from Belgium that play a corrosive blend of sludge, black metal and doom that results in this sort of contemporary blackened sludge that you can easily connect with bands like Rorcal for example. These guys have a new release coming out and judging by the sample that you can already listen, the track "Deny...", you can tell it's going to be fucking brutal. Their previous release caught my attention but I'm really way more excited with this new release. And that artwork... man.. no words to describe it. Keep an eye out for this one. Follow their moves on Facebook.

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Now this one is quite oldie.. I think. And somehow I slept on it. Until I found it again and when I listened to the whole thing again.. it just felt like a kick in my head. Ghede are a two-piece strange black metal/punk band based out of Brooklyn and they play that kind of filthy, grainy, abrasive metal punk with some hints of black metal that I love so much. Have no idea if the band is still active or not, but no matter what their state is at least they vomited this fucking demented release.

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Next is probably one of my favorite releases of this year. Oh... Is it too soon to state this already? Conjuring four tracks of some of the most vile and obscure black metal I've heard, Skáphe's Demo simply doesn't follow any kind of guidelines or the traditional canons of black metal as we know it. In order for you to understand this a little bit better, I could throw in some similar artists, but in the case of Skáphe... forget it. This is a beast of one kind, an unholy chimera that casts four intoxicating spells that drives us to the most forgotten and obscure pits of insanity. With a great artwork by H.V. Lyngdal (Wormlust) this is one of those releases where the sound really matches the imagery created for the cover. Enter, if you dare.

And once again, such release like this only had to come out from one of the best labels out there: Fallen Empire. These  guys have been unstoppable this year. This is the second re-press of the sold out tape. I'm still waiting for some copies to cross the Ocean... so I'm going to grab this one for sure. You should do the same.

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Now for a more conventional but also unholy act....

Another fine release that made it's appearance at the beginning of this year, was the debut of LVTHN. Some of the most alert ones may already know this band, if not... keep on reading. So, LVTHN is this new "mystery" black metal band coming from Belgium that quickly caught everyone's attention with their debut Demo. No wonder they did. With only two tracks, these guys deliver some fine guitar work, sick vocals and some really obscure and raw black metal just the way we like it. Look forward to see what the future will bring for LVTHN. Get the tape or 7'' in a store near you. Now.

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Another great debut that caught my eye and ears, comes from Austin, TX. "Petals" from the band Funeralbloom. Funeralbloom plays a more accessible type of post-black metal. Fusing elements of post-rock with black metal, I can also hear some kind of a gloomy post-punk vibe in the middle there.. like we can hear in the opening track "Black Shoes". With "Petals", the band really put out a very good-all-above-the-average release, that I truly believe it will caught more eyes and ears upon them in a very near future. Any comparison to that well known post-black metal band that puts pink on the cover of their album that some people listen but they don't admit it, is absolutely unnecessary here. This is Funeralbloom and they have a very specific sound of their own. Everyone loves/hates comparisons. Just open your fucking mind, listen to the music and take your own conclusions. Check them out. Cassettes available through Broken World Media.

quinta-feira, 11 de setembro de 2014

Bands You Should Be Hearing Pt.III

Yet again, some suggestions that might interest you.

Forhekset allé is a one man atmospheric-post-gaze-black metal act from Copenhagen, Denmark. The whole formula used by Forhekset allé on this EP is quite interesting. The whole mix between black metal, post-rock, shoegaze and electronic elements delivers some very intriguing and innovative music in the metal realm. I believe the best term to describe "VINTERBÆST" is indeed "experimental". This EP left me very curious on how a full-length would be from this artist.

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Of Spire & Throne, a very well known band from here. I've been posting the work of these fine Scottish gentlemen since day one, and it's curious to witness their growth every time they send new material out. This year the band introduces us to "Toll of the Wound" their latest full-length album that came out by the hand of Broken Limbs Recordings. Once again, the trio unleashes three crushing songs that will smash our skulls with the most loathsome sludge doom to which the band has got us used to. Heavy, filthy dragged riffs covered with the cavernous vocals of Ali Lauder. One thing you'll probably notice, if you haven't heard this yet or at least with enough attention, is that, soundwise, the first track "Legacy" has a slight different kind of production than the other two songs. that was precisely the first thing I noticed when I heard the album. This happened because they were recorded by two different people with a with an range of five months between them although "Toll of the Wound" was mastered by James Plotkin. Two songs of the most minimalist sludge doom sliced by a instrumental all wrapped up in a very good sound mastering. You like your doom slow and sluggish? Then this is for you. Buy it here. Support these lads.

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Offerstigen, a very curious band from Sweden. What do these guys play? Low-fi Black metal? Ritualistic Doom? I don't know and it's hard for me to describe their sound or even compare it to some band that already exists. They sound a lot different from the stuff I'm used to hear. And you know what? I like it. The despairing screams that range from afar from the rest of the instruments, the whole gloomy atmosphere that the band manages to pass with this release is really unique. Check them out.

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Outer Gods the destructive atmospheric drone duo from Atlanta are back. Delivering two massive tracks of 22 minutes long each, that work as chapters for this noisy and corrosive wall of noise that we face in "Through This Unending Chasm". I do not listen a lot to this genre nowadays but once I press "Play" I get in such an entrancing state that is hard for me to get out this dark, labyrinthine well of drone and dark ambient. The first chapter deliver a more harsh and massive wall of distortion while the second chapter is more about creating a very haunting and creepy atmosphere. Approved!

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Pornography, from Nashville, Tennessee. I almost forgot how good this band is. And at this point I don't understand how these guys aren't in some well known labels out there. I kinda imagine this band in Gilead Media, Iron Lung or even Deathwish. Pornography's sound is also very unique and is something that separates them from the rest herd. Slow, punishing, minimalist riffs that are thrown with precision into the mind of the listener causing nothing but discomfort. The tracks here, "Hex" and "Golden Sunshine" are very good but still, not enough. I want more from this band. And I'm sure you do too. So please... check the rest of the discography from this band. You can thank me later.

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Finally, Recitation, an occult doom band from Copenhagen, Denmark. Introducing his first self titled EP. Apparently this was all written, performed, recorded and mixed by J. S. Jarlstrøm. Holy shit dude. The result is three heavy, primitive and slow impenetrable doom tracks. At a first listen it might not grow on you (it didn't grew on me at first ) so, it's going to take some few plays for you to probably get into Recitation's obscure version of doom. Of course that, soundwise speaking, there are some edges that needed to be trimmed so let's see what the future will bring for Recitation. Horns up!

sábado, 6 de setembro de 2014

Bands You Should Be Hearing Pt.II

First, and to start in a good way, I bring you the putrid sonic attack by Wørsen. A primitive, raw black metal punk band from Florida. This "Rehearsal" tape was released on Primal Vomit Records and the band seems to be writing new stuff at this point. Here we get, basically, six tracks of filthy, disgusting  and raw-to-the-bone style of black metal that will please fans of bands like Black Apparition, Raw Moon, Ancestors, etc. Check'em out.

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Next is a young band from Zurich, Switzerland, Æsop, with their debut EP "Weltengänger". Entirely recorded and produced by the band itself, "Weltengänger", contains three tracks that together, result in a total of 20 minutes length. Although it was all crafted under a very DIY spirit, the result is really astonishing. The sound is great, all the instruments are perfectly combined, the vocals and the songs are really good and interesting. Æsop's sound drinks from atmospheric sludge to post metal with some hints of black metal in the middle. Fans of bands like Year Of No Light (back from when they used vocals), Rorcal or Kehlvin for example, should keep an eye on them. A very solid and strong EP by Æsop. Look forward to hear what the future will bring.

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Now it's a band I've talked about some time ago, Grue. This time Grue, delivers "Rake" EP although I recommend you to look back into their stuff and hear the album "Casualty of the Psychic Wars". I'm glad to hear that the band continues their style of ravenous and epic black metal, specially here on the "Rake" EP where the band unleashes two incendiary tracks: "All Mortal Greatness Is But Disease" and "Rake", burning down every little sparkle of hope and life. Soundwise, Grue's sound is very accessible, reaching out not only the usual avid black metal fundamentalist kind of fans but also the usual heavy music fan that seeks new bands and that, once in a while, likes to dig in deep inside the black metal specter. The drum seems a little bit low in the mix, nevertheless you can still feel that it's there. The big highlight for me is indeed the vocals. It's really different from what we usual get from the most standard black metal bands out there, not the usual style of harsh or grim kind of vocals, and that's why it stands out. It's clear yet filled with hate and powerful. Very good stuff, check them out.

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Next is Naught, a doom metal band from Iceland. Now, we're all used to think about black metal when we relate "Iceland" and "metal". This time, we get to see another side of the cold and desolate landscapes of Iceland. Naught presents us with "Tómhyggjublús", a beast formed by three sluggish, mournful, despairing songs that clock around 7 to 11 minutes long, all filled with this draining negative energy. These guys play really slow... so slow that you can almost see your beard growing along the playing of "Tómhyggjublús". And that's how doom is meant to be: fucking slow and evil. Check them out.

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Yith, a black metal project from the U.S. that seems to already have a solid cult around it, as every tape that is released is already sold out. Soundwise, Yith blends the best of two worlds: black metal and doom. And you can see the justification for all the adoration around this band: Yith's tracks are really above the average, speaking of a an unknown band, that probably many of you out there never heard about before. Yith sound here is perfect. It really matches that artwork and it's suitable for those cold, foggy Winter days. A very interesting release for you to discover. 

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For the last, but not the least, I present you Hedge Fund from Boston, MA (Somerville). Hedge Fund play this brute and noisy hardcore punk in the style of bands like Mind Eraser, Rival Mob or Full Of Hell, so that you can get the picture. "Apeiron" was all self recorded and released in cassette that, I think is still available. When Hedge Fund aren't busting heads with their brutal "mongocore" hardcore, they're fucking up with our brain making up some noisy and violent sort of power electronics as heard on the tracks "We Have Transgressed" and "Of The Crooked Timber". I think it works rather well here. I mean, it's the fusion of these two that makes "Apeiron" one hell of a good release. So what the hell are you still waiting? Go and buy the tape Goddamn it!!!


quinta-feira, 4 de setembro de 2014

Bands You Should Be Hearing Pt.I

I've realized that my inbox is flooded at this point with requests, and as much as I would like to, it's hard to filter most of the stuff there. I really would love to take some decent time to listen to all of the music people kindly send me, but I find that to be a very, almost, impossible task to do it in the very little spare time that I have. I know you guys would love a deep and full review of all your releases... but in the end it all comes down to use Forever Cursed as the messenger, the vehicle to your message out there, I just light the way and people will do the rest. So, without further bullshit, excuses, bla-bla-bla, here are some of releases/bands that caught my attention in the past few months.

I became aware of the Pennsylvania duo Capa since the "Shallow Towers"release, at this point many of you probably know them too. The band plays a more contemporary, avant-garde and technical style of black metal. I look at Capa's sound and I interpret it as "progressive metal with black metal influences" and not as simply "black metal" because it's not. Although I'm not the most avid fan of this style of over polished kind of production, "The Droves" turned out a very interesting listen and it's one of those releases that you will put on repeat for the next couple of hours or even days. The whole production behind it is very keen and the songs are pretty solid. Like I said, the percentage of black metal influence is strong on this one, although after lifting up Capa's cloak (Fact: "Capa" in portuguese means "cloak") and after dissecting their sound, it I also found some "djenty" and post-metal riffs that are thrown in the middle of the tracks. In the end the result is this very tragic, almost theatrical, if you look at it through this point of view, style of metal. What a nice surprise. Check them out below.

This next band crashed in a very mysterious and simple email with the just the Bandcamp link in it. The band is Home Is Gone (No, it's not a His Hero Is Gone covers band) from New York and they introduce us to "Triptych", that's right: a three song release that consist of this blasting, furious, industrial sounding black metal sound. Almost as a bastard child between Genghis Tron and Liturgy (wait..) and the result is, at least, interesting. Check them out below.

From Finland, Maze of Roots, a doom duo releasing their fifth Demo, well they've released two Demos last month, simply called "Chapter One" (or was it supposed to be Three?) and "Chapter Two", two chapters of what it seems a trilogy. Maze of Roots plays a very bleak, depressing, anguished and traditional style of doom metal, following the Finnish heritage of doom bands like Umbra Nihil and Majesty for example. I must confess I wasn't very impressed with their first Demos, I really didn't like the vocals at all but maybe it was just me back then. Here, Maze of Roots, successfully created some very nice tracks filled with a very gloomy and melancholic atmosphere. (Sorry I took so long Joel)

Next is Cepheide, a brand new band, formed this year, coming from France. The band describes their sound as raw cascadian black metal in the vein of bands like Ash Borer or Fell Voices. Indeed Cepheide's style of black metal drinks up in a insatiable way, the influence of the Cascadia style of bands. It's good to see bands like this coming out of Europe, the truth is that there aren't many bands playing this style here. So it's always good to witness the rise of bands Cepheide. In "De Silence et de Suie" (that was created under a very DIY spirit by the band itself) expect four great tracks of passionate, uncompromised, energetic and raw black metal. A great release by Cepheide. Bravo!

Idre, a trio from Oklahoma who quote names like Neurosis, Ennio Morricone, Swans, OM, and Khanate when describing their music. Interesting, no? It immediately makes me just go out and press "Play" as I forget what I was doing. This self titled album consists of 2 songs spanning over 40 minutes. The first track "Factorie" last almost half-hour and its melancholic tone reminds me a lot of the style of Across Tundras. The more we dig in, the more weird it gets, as more entangled we get in those slow and atmospheric layers. In the second track "Witch Trial" I really get the OM influence. The sound is Ok, I get their thing here but I'm not a big fan of the vocals. These guys are trying to do something different here but I believe that they still didn't reached it.. yet. I wasn't too excited with this released. Please Idre, prove me I was so wrong in a very near future. Take your own conclusions below. A CD and LP versions will be available later this summer.

Oh yes! Filthy, nasty, sickening sludge doom from Keeper. From what I've seen so far, these guys are escalating quickly with their "MMXIV" Demo. Formed by ex-Tiger Lily (whom I've talked about here on the blog some time ago) member, Keeper is the answer to every sludge/doom aficionado. You dig Thou? You dig Hell? You dig The Abominable Iron Sloth? You dig Old Witch? Then this band is for you. Just one word to describe this release: Crushing! Support these dudes. Tape out now on Grimoire Cassette Cvlture.

quarta-feira, 3 de setembro de 2014

The Last Three Winters "Dyatlov Pass Incident"

The Last Three Winters, are an unknown band coming from Russia and at this point, I'm not even sure if they're still active. Now, I've stumbled across this band and this specific EP some time ago, and still once in a while I once again stumble on them and it's almost impossible to press "Stop" as I revisit "Dyatlov Pass Incident". This EP, judging by the title and cover of it, inspired by the Dyatlov Pass Incident, a gruesome episode that took place in the Ural mountains back in 1959, until today it remains a mystery. You can google about it and you will find a lot of information about this, I strongly recommend you doing a little research, a little bit of knowledge won't do you any harm...

Now, speaking of The Last Three Winters, this band plays a fusion of black metal, ambient, I don't know exactly how can I describe it. This EP features only two tracks simply called "Dyatlov Pass Incident I" and "Dyatlov Pass Incident II". The first one is a more caustic, ravenous black metal track that, sound-wise, I find it to be very similar to the last Leucosis album. Basically it consists of repetitive riffs and shrieking, inhuman howling screams that leads us immediately to the place where all those gruesome murders happened. The second track consists of a very calm and strange instrumental track where the guitar notes soon give way to some kind of a Buddhist chants that on its hand, give way to an eerie and haunting chant that closes the track.

Was the Dyatlov Pass Incident real? Was it a hoax to cover up something that went wrong? I'll let you take your own conclusions.

As a bonus, I have also included the self titled EP (released back in 2012) that pulls off some more post-metal/atmospheric/post-rock landscapes, if you wish to hear more about this band. Really worth a listen.

terça-feira, 2 de setembro de 2014

Void Wraith "Ø"

Another cool and very worthy of your attention is this release from Seattle's Void Wraith. A brand new and unsigned act, releasing this year their first EP simply entitled "Ø". Void Wraith play a mix of black and death metal all cloaked in a very obscure kind of production. Almost as if it was recorded live in one take. And that's what I really enjoy the most here: the whole sound. Although the music isn't groundbreaking or bring anything new to what we already know, the quality tracks are quite good and acceptable. One one hand, these guys can throw some really catchy riffs while on the other they absolutely shred everything with powerful blastbeats and those vocals... really gnarly! Although at some points it seems to get a little bit muffled in the whole mix. But screw that detail. Void Wraith's sound really brings to my mind bands like Barghest or Mutillation Rites. In the end, "Ø", is a very good bestial assault performed by this new band. 

"Ø" is available as "name your price" although it's also available on cassette, just contact the band via Bandcamp or go to one of their shows if interested. Check them out.

Qualm "Passive"

"Passive" is the full-length debut of dutch band Qualm. Qualm play this sloppy, filthy and drunken kind of punk/hardcore (can we call it mongo-core?) that will please for sure, fans of that demented faction of punk/hardcore bands like Hoax, Bleak Bulge (whom I've talked about also here on FC), Hoarders or the majority of bands featured on the Youth Attack catalog. Qualm don't follow any kind of guidelines. Expect those classic and basic punk drum beats, chomping bass lines, lots of feedback as some crude and catchy riffs from the guitars and the gnarly growls from Kevin (the mind behind Svarvit, a harsh noise/electronics project that some of you out there may know). The recording is quite good, not as harsh or inaudible unlike many other releases of gender that consist on one huge wall of feedback with a voice growling from behind. Here we can distinguish ever single instrument perfectly. "Passive" will not let you passive at all, instead it will make you want to move like a fucking mongoloid across the dance-floor, mosh or start a fight. No pain, just fun. Very cool release. You can buy tape here. Follow them on Facebook