Wednesday, December 22, 2010
For whatever inexplicable reason, OSDM (old school death metal, duh) has gotten way popular over this past year, and while some bitter assholes (like me) may complain about the trendiness (the horror, the horror1) of it all, I've got to admit, it's resulted in a marked increase in the amount of my kinda death metal being released. I've never been much for modern death metal, preferring to dwell within the fetid Florida swamps and spik'n'span Swedish art spaces that the birthed the old guard, and have made a point of thoroughly shunning all things technical, proggy, or "djenty'.
*On a side note, I just found out what "djent" means - it's music nerd for "shit mid-range riffs with no balls." Hateful.*
Out with wankery, in with necromancy!
EMBRACE OF THORNS
The other big thing, at least on the other side of the pond (hail to England, as always) has been an explosion in not only tolerance for but downright slavish devotion to all that is bestial. Primitive, uncompromising black/death grinding noise and war metal assaults, Goatfago bands and Nuclear War Now! have pretty much dominated the leather jackets and pre-gig conversations of all my London mates for the past few years, and with the arrival of the now-annual NWN! Fest in Berlin, Germany (WHICH FUCKING RULED), the goat worship has reached a fever pitch. It seems like the Yanks are finally catching on, too.
BLASPHEMY (HAIL THE MASTERS!)
Sunday, December 19, 2010
This is how six months of near-constant travel will leave you: dirty, mean, haggard, and hungover. Since my college graduation on June 12th, I've moved from wild West Philadelphia to a delightfully grimy little pocket of Brooklyn, been on four US tours, spent time in five other countries, logged god knows how many airline miles, drank the devil only knows how much whiskey, been to countless gigs (at least a hundred), made some money, spent some money, written a hell of a lot about metal, promoted some killer records, fallen in love, and made a few additions to my arsenal of body modifications. Not bad for half a year, and the next six months are due to be even crazier.
I'm currently in Palm Beach City, Florida, listening to a band called Parabellum sing about whiskey and swamps through gritted teeth. My only other thought in regards to those particular fellows is that they should've considered taking a peek at the Encyclopedia Metallum and maybe not jacking Parabellum's name. I'm here because this is the last date of the tour I've been on since the beginning of the month, and my road brothers Black Tusk are up next.
We've been hitting the North/Southeast hard with the almighty Crowbar, and it's been an absolute fucking pleasure. Kirk, Pat, Tommy, and Matt were a force to be reckoned with, and absolutely decimated the stage every night with vintage Crowbar riffs and a few hot new licks off their upcoming album, Sever the Wicked Hand. I've heard the whole record, and trust me - it's absolutely great. I had a ball bonding with Kate, Kirk's fiancee, behind the merch table, hassling Troy, the tour manager/driver/possessor of the thickest Cajun accent this side of Billy Madison, and poking fun at Meatball the hyperactive drum tech. My boys done good too - but them again, they always do. I've seen Black Tusk at least 75 times now, and am always excited to see them hop onstage.
That's fucking saying something, I think - that after living, drinking, fighting, and sleeping next to these three Georgia boys for roughly three months this past year, I still love them, and their music, to death. They're taking a break from touring the US for a few months (and hitting up Europe/Japan instead!), but next time they (we) roll on through, do yourselves a favor and check that shit out. As for Crowbar - they'll be back in March, on a tour package that will quite literally amaze anyone who worships the riff - and knows their doom history...;)
Many thanks to all that came out, bought merch, gave us a place to crash, bought us drinks, fed us, talked to us, and filled up my tip jar. Y'all make those lonely nights far far from home a lot easier for a traveler's weary bones and heavy heart.
I also spent about five weeks overseas, dividing time between Ireland, England, and Germany. In England, I spent a couple weeks in London hanging out with my mates there, pestering my boss lady at the Terrorizer office, catching a handful of gigs - Live Evil fest, Shining, Metsatoll - and also made a trip up to Northampton, where I spent some time with my dear friends and clients Amebix. In between glasses of scotch and episodes of Man Vs. Wild, I got to hear a few new tracks off their upcoming album, which was an experience unto itself, and talk business with the boys. Expect to be hearing a lot from me about Amebix in the coming year - this album is going to be an EVENT. In Germany, I hit up Nuclear War Now! fest in Berlin to soak up as much bestial war metal horror as I could stomach (two days' worth, and I left wanting more!) and spend some quality time with my errant Aussie friend Griff, who as of now is probably somewhere entirely different. Buddy guy makes me look like a homebody - and is an amazing photographer, at that. The bulk of my time in Euroland was spent in Dublin, Ireland, where my boyfriend Johnny resides. Long-distance relationships are a bitch, but you fight for what you love. If it weren't for this absurdly illogical heavy metal gypsy life that I lead, I'd have never met him, and if he weren't in touring bands he wouldn't understand it as well as he does, so everything sort of works out. He drums for Altar of Plagues, who are currently working on a new record for Profound Lore, and from what I've heard so far, will be releasing one of the deepest, most gorgeously dark black metal records of 2011. He also mans the kit for crusty deathgrinders Abaddon Incarnate, who will be releasing a split 7" with Phobia soon, and hitting South America for a month-long tour (that I am of course trying to figure out a way to accompany them on!) this summer. I'll be promoting the split (mixing business with pleasure, oops) so keep an eye out for updates on that as well.
I'm heading back to Dublin in February, and will hopefully have a tour waiting for me when I get back in March, and by then, it'll be time to get ready for Roadburn, and the wheels keep on turning...
As far as stuff I'm working on - I've written about a billion year-end lists for various websites/magazines, so I'll post links to those as they surface. My post for Metalsucks is already up: fight me about it.
I'm fleshing out the concept of one book and have just had someone approach me with the concept for another, so there's something to work towards. I'm going to be aiming to complete the first issue of my zine Plague Ritual during the first couple months of the new year - more on that as it takes shape. I'm booking a tour for Atlanta doomhaulers Let The Night Roar. I've got a ton of new releases to promote and have entered into agreements with Ireland's mighty Invictus Productions and Boston's gnarly PATAC Records to work some of their upcoming releases, and will be working on new joints from Amebix, Aelter, Panzerbastard, Anal Cunt, and more in the works. There are probably a few other things too, but it's too loud to think in here. Black Tusk have just hit the stage running, and I'm not about to miss out.