Four continents, five bad-ass bands: Greece’s Septicflesh, Brazil’s Krisiun, Jerusalem’s Melechesh, Canada’s Ex Deo, and the USA’s Inquisition. This October, they all join forces to tour the United States and parts of Canada. Miss it at your peril!
See the dates below, and [teaser] read about the first three when we unveil Assault of the Earth: Metal Bands from Around the Globe [/teaser].
Silencing Machine, Nachtmystium’s sixth full-length album, re-embraces the traditional Norwegian black-metal sound of its early efforts. The band’s first recordings were Darkthrone covers at heart, but by the time of Instinct: Decay in 2006, it had traded minimalism for riff salads and more textured songs. The Black Meddle series, consisting of Assassins (2008) and Addicts (2010), was purposefully experimental, drawing comparisons to Pink Floyd and Ministry.
Now Nachtmystium takes the lessons learned from experimentation and applies them to the conventional black-metal language of moveable minor chords and tremolo picking.
Justin Bartlett has created art for some of your favorite bands and labels: SUNN O))), Intronaut, and Southern Lord, among many others. A self-described “black-ink warlock from the grim and frostbitten raven-realm of Southern California,” Bartlett knows metal and doom aesthetics. It’s only natural that he knows of a few bands you should hear too.
Bands and Artists You Should Know by Justin Bartlett
Constructing a cohesive theme for my guest column at ALARM was not forming in my skull. Top Ten Album Releases for 2010? Top Ten Favorite Artists? Top Ten Fish Tacos? Hmm…nothing.
Perhaps this needs to be more KVLT and underground…Top 10 Cassette Releases? Nah, the tape thing has been played out enough. Bear with me….Top Six Uses of Upside-Down Crosses on Album Artwork? Ah, fuck it, here’s a list of nine bands and visual artists that I enjoy, find inspirational, or simply think are interesting and who you should check out for yourself. All of the visual artists I’ve listed have created artwork for bands, but some of the musicians/bands do not necessarily have outstanding album aesthetics. Either visually or musically (and sometimes both), they weave together textures that are dark, grim, and, to a person with a penchant for the negative, often cathartic.
Blessure Grave was one of the best things to come out of San Diego’s rather lackluster and safe indie music scene for years. Although its post-punk sound gives a nod to some of my favorites — Joy Division, Death In June, The Cure, and The Chameleons — the band played with enough conviction and creativity to avoid being too derivative. Structurally, the band has a very strong pop drive to its material with an underlying bedroom black-metal atmosphere. Blessure Grave released a ton of EPs on vinyl and cassette, and Judged by Twelve, Carried by Six was one of my favorite releases of 2010. Unfortunately, the band broke up recently, but luckily I was able to work on a cassette cover for When I Die before its demise. Blessure Grave’s mastermind, Tobias [Grave], started a new band called Soft Kill.
Initially formed as a thrash band in the ’80s in Colombia, Inquisition developed a buzz-saw, black-metal sound by the mid-’90s while simultaneously relocating to Washington. Its trademark became lightning-speed, grinding power chords and an atmosphere of ritualistic Satanism.
Since Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult in 1998, Inquisition has stuck to its sound with a Motörhead-like tenacity. Its newest effort, Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm, is its strongest output since Magnificent Glorification of Lucifer in 2004.