Roadburn 2018: Weedeater, Greenmachine, Grave Pleasures, Årabrot and Many More Added; Tickets on Sale Oct. 19

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Looks like Roadburn 2018 is already doing that thing that Roadburns do where they completely overwhelm with their scope and the promise of what’s to come with their lineup each year. This is, what, the second announcement for next April? Seems early for such things, but to have Weedeater confirmed to play God Luck and Good Speed and Greenmachine doing all of D.A.M.N. is pretty gosh darn special. I’m eager to find out who’s going to be the artist-in-residence — though Walter very pointedly uses “artists” below, so maybe there’s more than one — but there’s plenty to chew on in the meantime, so I won’t delay any further and let you get to it.

Also note the new venue. This fest just keeps expanding. Pretty soon every streetcorner in Tilburg will have a Roadburn venue. I’d be cool with that, by the way. Totally cool with that.

Here’s the latest:

ROADBURN 2018: Further names confirmed ahead of ticket onsale

– Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas to perform Mariner for the final time at Roadburn 2018

– Weedeater will play God Luck and Good Speed in full

– Grave Pleasures confirmed

– Greenmachine will play D.A.M.N in full as part of Jacob Bannon’s curation

Sixteen new artists have been confirmed for Roadburn 2018 ahead of tickets going on sale next week, on October 19.

Artistic Director, Walter Hoeijmakers commented:
“We’re thrilled to bring you this set of announcements ahead of the tickets going on sale next week. We have a lot more still to come including our Artists in Residence for 2018, and two specially commissioned performances. The artists that we’ve commissioned will be familiar to Roadburners, but they will be performing pieces of music that have never been heard before – just for us! We’re still confirming the final details before we can announce those shows but we already know this is going to raise the creative bar for Roadburn.

“We’re also very pleased to confirm that we’ll be making use of a new venue at Roadburn 2018. In response to feedback from our attendees, we have found the perfect space at the Koepelhal – just up the road from the 013 – to spread out a little bit and provide a fantastic space for bands and audiences alike.”

CULT OF LUNA AND JULIE CHRISTMAS

No strangers to the Roadburn stage, Cult of Luna have a rich back catalogue that has traversed many a strange land over their almost two decades. But when they teamed up with inimitable New Yorker, Julie Christmas, to create 2016’s Mariner album, the collaboration brewed up something truly magical.

Originally planned as a studio-only venture, the Swedish-American collaborators were coaxed into playing out last year as they performed a handful of European shows. The demand for North American shows warranted a short tour this past summer, and now they look to add a full stop to the Mariner experience, with a final performance at Roadburn 2018.

We find it hard to say no to Cult of Luna in any guise, so we’re thrilled that the feeling is mutual – and that this time around Julie will be along for the Roadburn ride to perform Mariner, in her words “one more fucking time!”. Whilst we are inclined to refute the adage that all good things must come to an end, if that’s really the case, we’re determined to give Mariner a proper send off.

Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas will perform Mariner on Thursday, 19 April at the 013 venue. Read more here.

WEEDEATER

Weedeater have always epitomised the true essence of what “stoner” music should be. It’s not enough to just add fuzz, or to jam out for hours while super high. Weedeater flirt unashamedly with doom and sludge, they have bite, a sharp attitude, gigantic riffs and a unique personality, not to mention the unpredictability factor brought by Dixie Dave’s irresistible antics.

Which is why, in 2018, the return of the much-loved weed-fuelled trio is not just a “normal” return. Braces yourselves… Weedeater are going to play, exclusively for Roadburn, their seminal 2007 album God Luck And Good Speed in full.

We’ll let you know what time Weedeater will be playing on Thursday, 19 April at the 013 venue in a few months, but you know it doesn’t matter – it’ll be 4:20 in any case. Read more here.

GRAVE PLEASURES

Grave Pleasures have now finally truly arrived at the peak of their creative powers; their new album Motherblood is a truly defining piece of work that will delight anyone – old Beastmilk fans, more recent Grave Pleasures devotees, absolute newcomers, essentially everyone with ears will not be able to resist the cheeky, mischievous glee with which the Finnish band welcome the end times.

Grave Pleasures play on Sunday, 22 April. Read more here.

JACOB BANNON’S CURATION: GREENMACHINE

As part of Jacob Bannon’s curation, Japan’s GREENMACHiNE will reunite and perform their D.A.M.N. album in its entirety at Roadburn Festival 2018. Originally released by Man’s Ruin Records in 1995, D.A.M.N. is the monumental album that raised GREENMACHiNE to cult like status, making them the Japanese counterpart to bands like Buzzoven, Cavity, Jesuit, and others. Its sound blurred the lines between Stoner Rock, Sludge/Doom, and Hardcore/Punk worlds.

Jacob Bannon comments:
“D.A.M.N.” was released by Man’s Ruin Records during the golden era of that influential label. For me, GREENMACHiNE were one of the bands that really connected with me in that stable. They were more intense than other releases the label was producing, and their origins within the Japanese Punk/Hardcore scene made them a welcomed mystery. A quality that was deepened by their subsequent breakups and brief reformations throughout the years. I am excited to finally see them unleash these brutal songs live at Roadburn 2018, it is an exclusive experience that is not to be missed.”

Greenmachine will perform as part of Jacob Bannon’s curation at Het Patronaat on Saturday, 21 April. Read more here.

FUTURE OCCULTISM

Currently reinventing himself musically and spiritually, ever forward thinking and his eyes and ears set on the future, is Dutch breakcore pioneer, Bong-Ra. Together with his cohorts – whether it’s his partner in dark matters, Svart Lava, or by way of inspiring the elusive Phuture Doom collective – they are pairing a futuristic take on modern day occultism with an eclectic outlook on (doom) metal and electronics.

Future Occultism will be presented at Roadburn in three parts: Bong-Ra, Servants Of The Apocalyptic Goat Rave (the binary view and vision of Future Occultism), and Phuture Doom (their preachings: digital sonic alchemy).

Future Occultism will take place in the 013 venue on Thursday, 19 April. Read more here.

ÅRABROT will defy explanation as they take to the stage  FURIA set to balance unhinged ferocity with intricate melody *European Exclusive*  Read more here
GOST will help us party our way to oblivion  Read more here
HELL to perform potent and evocative self titled album  Read more here
MAGGOT HEART will be making themselves known by force Read more here
MIZMOR  rise from a slumber to play Yodh in full *European Exclusive* Read more here
OCCVLTA will raise your fists for old school black metal  Read more here
SANNHET promise a sensory assault   Read more here
THAW to deliver a night of challenging sonic chaos  Read more here
UNIFORM are a duo defying convention, bringing audio warfare to Roadburn Read more here
WREKMEISTER HARMONIES will captivate hearts and minds with an unpredictable set  Read more here

Already announced:
Godspeed You! Black Emperor playing two sets, Converge (performing You Fail Me, and The Dusk In Us in full), Hugsjá (a collaboration between Ivar Bjørnson and Einar Selvik), Panopticon playing two sets, The Heads, Bell Witch, Ex Eye, Igorrr, Sangre De Muerdago, Aerial Ruin.

NEW VENUE: KOEPELHAL

As Roadburn’s popularity has increased over the years, we have strived to maintain the intimate atmosphere whilst comfortably accommodating our growing audience, and the demand for certain shows. We’re thrilled our 2018 edition will see the introduction of the Koepelhal as a Roadburn venue.

Located just a few minutes walk from the 013, the venue will house our merchandise for artists (meaning a return to a more laid back atmosphere and greater opportunity for interaction between bands and fans!), as well as being used as a 1,200 capacity stage on the Friday and Saturday of Roadburn 2018! This will allow us a bit more room and help to avoid queues, which we know will please attendees! More info on venues will be available in due course.

TICKET ONSALE INFORMATION

Roadburn 2018 tickets will go on sale on October 19. They will be available to purchase in person from the 013 box office from 18.30- 20.30 local time, and online worldwide from 21.00 CEST / 20:00 BST /15:00 EDT / 12:00 PDT.

3 and 4 day tickets will be available, with day tickets going on sale at a later date.

4-day-tickets €198,40 (including €3,40 service fees)
3-day-tickets €175,40 (including €3,40 service fees)

Camping tickets will also be available to purchase, with additional options (such as Festipis and camper vans) also possible. This year the urban campsite will be in a new location – but still within walking distance to the 013 venue – providing a comfortable and affordable option for Roadburn attendees.

Click here for more information on tickets and the campsite

https://www.facebook.com/roadburnfestival/
http://www.twitter.com/Roadburnfest
http://www.instagram.com/roadburnfest
http://www.roadburn.com

Roadburn 2018 lineup announcement by Costin Chioreanu

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Psycho Las Vegas 2017 Makes Massive Lineup Announcement; Slo Burn, Vhöl, Pelican, Chelsea Wolfe, Melvins and Many More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 17th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Take a deep breath before you dive into the new lineup announcement from Psycho Las Vegas 2017. With 35-plus bands added, it officially qualifies as huge, and considering who those bands are — Slo Burn for a US-exclusive, plus bringing over the likes of Elephant Tree to play alongside SummonerHollow LegGatecreeper and others — it can be a lot to take in. If you haven’t had a meal yet today, you might want to eat something. Make sure you’re hydrated. Basically I want to avoid anyone fainting as a result of reading the list of bands. If you’re sensitive to flashing lights… you’re probably okay. But otherwise, check to see you have something soft to land on nearby, should you need it.

I missed Psycho this year owing to a new job and a general lack of funds. I’m not sure I can do the same in 2017. This one might just be a gotta-go kind of scenario. Fuckin’ Slomatics are gonna be there.

There are still more than 40 bands to announce, including headliners, whose names will be out at random points over the next 30 days.

Jeebus.

To the PR wire:

psycho las vegas 2017

Psycho Las Vegas 2017

August 18, 2017 – August 20, 2017
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas

Psycho Las Vegas today announces over 35 new additions to its massive 2017 lineup. The festival has quickly become the premier event in the US for underground heavy rock, psych, doom, alternative and beyond, and as the roster grows for this year’s edition, they’re clearly looking to push their boundaries even further.

Headliners remain TBA, but joining previously-announced generation-defining acts like Neurosis, Swans and French prog lords Magma, come UK grind legends Carcass, whose reunion continues to bring gruesome tales of dissections and unparalleled.

They’ll be in good company with Norwegian black metal legend Abbath, formerly of Immortal, who released a raging self-titled debut album under his own name this year, New York’s Myrkur, whose own debut, M, disrupted black metal genre convention on nearly every level, and USBM innovators Wolves in the Throne Room, who continue to refine a style they helped establish more than a decade ago.

Look for the Melvins to boggle brains with their brand of heavy rock – still unique unto itself after more than three decades – as well as for the new project Crystal Fairy with Buzzo and Dale from the Melvins, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (Mars Volta) and Teri Gender Bender (Le Butcherettes) to bring to life their debut album, which releases in February on Ipecac Recordings.

This latest announcement also brings sludge-laden chaos from the pair of Weedeater and Buzzov*en, and Chelsea Wolfe to emit a darkness that even Las Vegas in the summer won’t be able to hold at bay.

The reunited Slo Burn (vocalist John Garcia’s first project post-Kyuss) will play an exclusive US show at Psycho, and a special highlight performance from psych-jazz legend Mulatu Astatke is open eyes, ears and minds alike as he celebrates a career spanning more than 50 years.

Also added have been long-running mischief-makers Murder City Devils, alt-rock legends Echo and the Bunnymen, progressive thrashers Vhöl (members of YOB and Agalloch), Pelican, Cult of Luna, Psychic TV, and as it did with the landmark 2016 edition, the fest digs deep into the heavy rock underground once again to unearth the best of up-and-coming bands from the States and beyond. Along with the already confirmed riff-crushers Windhand, Blood Ceremony, Slomatics and Domkraft, Elephant Tree (UK) have signed on alongside fellow fest-newcomers Khemmis, Sumac, Gatecreeper, Snail, North, Cult Leader, Hollow Leg, Summoner, Floorian, Wizard Rifle, Merlin and Morne.

Further lineup announcements will follow in the New Year — including headliners — so stay tuned for more from the best and biggest heavy festival the US has ever seen.

Psycho Las Vegas 2017 Confirmed lineup:
MURDER CITY DEVILS
NEUROSIS
MULATU ASTATKE
SWANS
CARCASS
WOLVES IN THE THRONEROOM
CRYSTAL FAIRY
MAGMA
CHELSEA WOLFE
SLO BURN
CULT OF LUNA
ABBATH
SUMAC
MYRKUR
PELICAN
WEEDEATER
ZEAL & ARDOR
SLOMATICS
OATHBREAKER
VHOL
COUGH
BLOOD CEREMONY
INTER ARMA
THE SKULL
WINDHAND
BUZZOVEN
MINSK
CODE ORANGE
KHEMMIS
GATECREEPER
NORTH
CULT LEADER
SNAIL
WIZARD RIFLE
MERLIN
FLOORIAN
DOMKRAFT
ELEPHANT TREE
MORNE
HOLLOW LEG
SUMMONER

http://www.vivapsycho.com/
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/psycho-las-vegas-2017-tickets-27758793298
https://www.facebook.com/psychoLasVegas/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1636267026703732/
https://www.instagram.com/psycholasvegas/
https://twitter.com/psycholasvegas

Elephant Tree, Elephant Tree (2016)

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Roadburn 2016: Bang, The Body, Blood Ceremony, CHRCH, Repulsion, Behold! the Monolith and More Added to the Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 19th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Another day, another sigh heaved by Roadburn 2016 and a list of, I don’t know, like, 45 lineup additions expelled. Like it’s just happenstance, no big deal. Oh, Repulsion are playing Lee Dorrian‘s curated day. Oh, Bang are doing their first European show ever and they’ve been a band since 1970. Oh, G.I.S.M. are playing outside Japan for the first time ever. Ho hum. Meanwhile skulls around the planet cave in simultaneously, mine included.

Particularly noteworthy? CHRCH. The Sacramento five-piece released their devastating full-length, Unanswered Hymns (review here), earlier this year, and it’s quite simply one of 2015’s best debut albums. Also Blood Ceremony, who’ll reportedly have a new record out by then, and Behold! the Monolith, whose new one, Architects of the Void (review here), came out this fall.

All this and more. Here are words from the PR wire:

Cult of Luna, G.I.S.M, Repulsion, Bang, and more added to Roadburn 2016 lineup

• CULT OF LUNA to celebrate tenth anniversary of Somewhere Along The Highway with a special performance.
• G.I.S.M, REPULSION, and BLOOD CEREMONY added to Lee Dorrian’s curated events
• BANG play their first show in Europe at Roadburn 2016.

CULT OF LUNA

2016 will mark a decade since CULT OF LUNA unleashed Somewhere Along The Highway – catapulting them to the top of end of year lists, and in to prized positions in record collections the world over.

Whilst the last ten years has seen the ascendency of CULT OF LUNA’s star, as well as two further stunning albums, Somewhere Along The Highway remains something of a marker in this history of the band. It seems fitting then, that just a week shy of the album’s official anniversary, CULT OF LUNA will be performing the album in full at the 013 venue on Thursday 14 April 2016.

It’s an honour to welcome back CULT OF LUNA to Roadburn Festival; the threads of their influence are weaved throughout many of the bands that have appeared on our line ups over the years. Join us as we honour the seminal importance of Somewhere Along The Highway, and celebrate all that CULT OF LUNA have achieved since its inception.

To find out more about CULT OF LUNA at Roadburn, click HERE

LEE DORRIAN’S RITUALS FOR THE BLIND DEAD

Joining Pentagram, Galley Beggar and With The Dead at Lee Dorrian’s curated events will be three newly added bands.

• G.I.S.M

Over a decade after ceasing activities, G.I.S.M. reappear for their first concert ever outside their native Japan – at Roadburn 2016. The absolutely legendary Japanese band embody the true meaning of cult – one of the first acts to bridge the gap between hardcore punk and metal, and in the process redefined danger and unpredictability with violent stage antics and the insane aggression of their music

Lee Dorrian comments: “I thought it was an extremely long shot for many reasons. Mainly because I knew that they had never performed outside of Japan but also, they hadn’t even performed a show in Japan for over a decade. I still can’t quite believe that this is actually happening but the flights are booked and they are getting ready to come and boot you so brutally fucking hard in the ass!”

G.I.S.M’s Sakevi added: “It’s my pleasure to be involved and to be part of such a cool festival. It’s our first time ever playing outside of Japan, and it will be our fist show at all since February 2002! We’ll be playing a so-called “classic set” – and I’m already looking forward to having a lot of fun at Roadburn.”

To find out more about G.I.S.M click HERE

• REPULSION

Over 25 years after the release of REPULSION’s standalone masterpiece Horrified, still stands as one of the major cornerstones of not only grindcore, but extreme metal as a whole.

Lee Dorrian, a pioneer in the scene himself, says: “The line-up for my curated event is getting more and more exciting as we go along. I can’t tell you how happy I am that REPULSION are still playing live and crushing skulls wherever they appear. The legacy of this amazing and extremely influential band continues to grow and spread like wildfire as the years go on. It is a great honour that Matt and Scott accepted my invitation to come and destroy you all at Rituals For the Blind Dead.”

REPULSION will rip the 013 venue apart on Friday, April 15.

To find out more about REPULSION, click HERE

• BLOOD CEREMONY

Canada’s BLOOD CEREMONY delivers the finest progged-out, occult-inspired acid folk this side of the early 70s, replete with an atmospheric Wickerman vibe, Hammer Horror organ, seriously doomy guitar riffage, and the sometimes soft, sometimes soaring vocals of Alia O’Brien, who’s also BLOOD CEREMONY’s flautist.

The band’s tales of witch-cult gatherings in wooded glens, pacts made in torch-lit abbeys and Victorian magic made such a huge impact on Roadburn back in 2011, thus we’re spellbound to report that Lee Dorrian has invited BLOOD CEREMONY to return to the 2016 festival on Saturday, April 16 as part of his curated Rituals For The Occult Pt.2 event.

To find out more about BLOOD CEREMONY, click HERE

BANG

Unsung heroes of the heavy ‘70s may be plenty in number, but few can offer the sweetness of groove that BANG bring to the stage, and we’re thrilled to announce they’ll be playing their very first European show ever at Roadburn 2016!

Says BANG of playing Roadburn, “We are incredibly excited to play Roadburn and for BANG to rock Europe for the first time. We know we have a lot of fans across the pond who are excited as well, and it’s going to be amazing to connect to that audience. We even heard they have amps over there that go to 11, so we will be extra loud!”

To find out more about BANG click HERE.

ALSO CONFIRMED:

Naðra, NYIÞ and Grafir – click HERE
The Body – click HERE
Full of Hell – click HERE
John Haughm – click HERE
Behold! The Monolith – click HERE
Chrch  – click HERE
Night Viper – click HERE
Sinistro – click HERE
Hair of the Dog – click HERE

FURTHER TICKETING INFORMATION

Tickets to Roadburn Festival 2016 are now on sale! Ticket sales got off to an incredible start with many of the available weekend tickets being snapped up within the first few days. There are still 3-day, 4-day, and Sunday tickets on sale. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday day tickets will be released at a a later date.
It is also possible to book camping tickets via Ticketmaster.

Click HERE for all the details.

http://www.roadburn.com/
https://www.facebook.com/roadburnfestival
https://twitter.com/roadburnfest

CHRCH, Unanswered Hymns (2015)

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Sleep, Pentagram and Cult of Luna to Headline Psycho California 2015

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 15th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

True to their word, it’s Jan. 15 and Psycho California 2015 has announced the headliners for what looks like the best American festival lineup I’ve seen since the days of Emissions from the Monolith. That’s not to take away from the hard work anyone else is doing, but just look at the list of bands. It’s unreal. You’d want to be everywhere at the same time to see all of it. Absolutely wild.

Sleep and Pentagram were pretty clear choices to headline. Not only for being legends in the heavy underground, but for also being just about two of the only bands left. Sweden’s Cult of Luna were something of a surprise, but for a festival already showing a European reach in bringing aboard the likes of Samsara Blues Experiment and Stoned Jesus, they make sense. Hell of a bill. Kudos to anyone who actually gets to go to the thing.

Announcement follows, courtesy of the PR wire:

PSYCHO-CALIFORNIA-2015-POSTER-1400

PSYCHO CALIFORNIA ANNOUNCES HEADLINERS: SLEEP, PENTAGRAM AND CULT OF LUNA

WEST COAST METAL FESTIVAL HAPPENING MAY 15, 16 & 17 AT THE OBSERVATORY IN SANTA ANA

FIRST WAVE OF ARTISTS ANNOUNCED INCLUDED KYLESA, EARTH, OM AND RUSSIAN CIRCLES

Psycho California, the west coast’s first annual metal festival and a must see for fans of doom, heavy psych and sludge, has announced the headliners for this year’s event: Cult of Luna (May 15), Sleep (May 16) and Pentagram, who will perform First Daze Here in its entirety (May 17).

“2015 is going to be a slow year for Cult of Luna. However as much as we are musicians we are also fans,” said Cult of Luna’s Johannes Persson. “Evaluating if the offer to play Psycho California was worth dusting off our instruments was not hard after looking on the line-up. Being on the same bill as Pentagram, Sleep and a festival packed with the best bands around is a privilege in itself and we’ll try to live up to that honor.”

The lineup for Psycho California is: Sleep, Pentagram, Cult of Luna, Kylesa, OM, Earth, Russian Circles, Bedemon, Conan, Wrench, Eyehategod, Indian, Earthless, Pallbearer, Stoned Jesus, Old Man Gloom, Cave In, Acid Witch, Truckfighters, Tombs, Bang, Electric Citizen, Coffinworm, SubRosa, Eagle Twin, Mammatus, True Widow, Anciients, Bellwitch, Dead Meadow, Lord Dying, Death By Stereo, Radio Moscow, Ancient Altar, Samsara Blues Experiment, Atriarch, Elder, Mothership, The Well, Deathkings, Wo Fat, Rozamov, Destroyer of Light, Highlands, Bloodmoon, Slow Season, Goatsnake, Crypt Trip, Wrench, Lords of Beacon House, Tumbleweed Dealer, Sinister Haze, Blackout, Red Wizard, Banquet and Loom.

Festival interludes will be provided by Housecore Records’ artist Author & Punisher and vinyl DJ set from Bob Lugowe (Relapse Records) and Sean Pellet (Last Daze Here).

Previously announced early bird tickets sold out immediately. Tickets for the festival are on-sale this morning with both a 3-day pass ($149.50) and a 3-day VIP pass available ($256.66)

VIP packages include a 3-day festival pass, a signed screen print concert poster by David D’Andrea, express entry via artist check-in booth, access to artist VIP lounge, a limited edition Thief X Obey festival tee, a Psycho record bag and patch as well as access to a complimentary craft tequila bar, premium microbrews and artisan snacks.

www.psychoca.com
www.facebook.com/psychocalifornia
https://www.facebook.com/Thiefpresents

Sleep, “The Clarity/Dragonaut” Live in Chicago, Aug. 28, 2014

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Cult of Luna Unveil “Passing Through” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 8th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Cult of Luna (also on Roadburn‘s lineup) reportedly filmed the video below for “Passing Through” from their new album, Vertikal, in an abandoned mental institution. They said the same thing about the recording of their last album, 2008’s Eternal Kingdom, and that turned out to be a hoax perpetrated by guitarist Johannes Persson reportedly to point out that nobody in music journalism checks facts. That or it was a convenient story to sell records and it took the band four years to come up with an excuse for why they lied about it. Take your pick. Either way, the fact that I make dick money and sell myself out for the potentiality of being able to beg for a free CD and the fact that I’m useless at everything else weren’t degrading enough. Glad to be the butt of your “point.”

As such, rather than check the facts on where this clip was filmed, I’ll just assume it’s his mom’s house and that his line below about it being the most honest song he’s ever heard is also pretentious bunk. Damn lazy journalists. Vertikal is out now. Or not. Whatever:

Check out our new video for “Passing Through”. Directed by Markus Lundqvist, “Passing Through” was filmed in sub-zero temperatures at what was once Sweden’s largest mental hospital. Closed since the ‘60’s, the Säter hospital was where the mentally ill were routinely castrated and lobotomized.

“Passing Through” is the closing track on Vertikal and is sung by guitarist Fredrik Kihlberg. “When we decided to start writing a new COL album and talked about which direction we wanted to go, this was actually the first idea that came to my head,” said Kihlberg. “I had this phrase – time is passing me by – in my head, going on repeat, and I thought and I should try to make something out of it. It’s a simple phrase but at the same time a powerful and overwhelming feeling. We wanted this to be a beautiful but at the same time intimidating song.”

“You can hear the sensitivity in his voice – just listen and you can hear what he’s communicating. You can feel it. It’s the most honest song I’ve ever heard,” commented vocalist and guitarist Johannes Persson.

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Where to Start: Post-Metal

Posted in Where to Start on October 20th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

At this point, the subgenre’s trend level has crested and most of what the specific style of music has to offer has likely been explored, but although it gets the ol’ eye-roll “not this again” treatment these days, it’s worth remembering that post-metal has produced some great, landmark albums, and that the bands who came after had solid reasoning behind being influenced as they were.

Blending post-rock elements with heavier, often crushing guitar work, the classification post-metal is as amorphous as any genre term. I’ve heard everyone from High on Fire to Ulver referred to under its umbrella, but I want to be clear that when I talk about post-metal, I’m thinking of what’s also commonly called “metalgaze,” the specific branch of metal heavily inspired by the bands below.

I wanted to do this Where to Start post not just for those looking to expose themselves to the genre, but also in case anyone who maybe is tired of hearing bands that sound like this has forgotten how killer these records were. Here’s my starting five essential post-metal albums, ordered by year of release:

1. Godflesh, Godflesh (1988): I saw the album art on hoodies for years before I knew what it was. 1989’s Streetcleaner was better received critically at the time for its industrial leanings, but Justin Broadrick‘s first outing after leaving Napalm Death has grown over time to be the more influential album. At just 30 minutes long in its original form (subsequent reissues would add bonus material), it’s a pivotal moment in understanding modern post-metal that predates most of the genre’s major contributions by over a decade.

2. Neurosis, A Sun That Never Sets (2001): Take a listen to A Sun That Never Sets closer “Stones from the Sky,” then go put on just about any post-metal record, and you’ll see many of them trying to capture the same feel and progression — if not just blatantly transposing that riff onto their own material. Say what you want about Neurosis‘ earlier material, I think if everyone was honest about it, it would be A Sun That Never Sets mentioned even more. An awful lot of the modern wave of post-metal bands formed in 2001 and 2002, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

Read more »

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Late Night Review: Cult of Luna, Eternal Kingdom Limited Edition CD/DVD

Posted in Reviews on July 6th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

This is the limited edition cover. It rules.Start 1:10AM: There are almost no practical reasons for anyone to get involved in the trade inaccurately called “music journalism” despite having very little to do with either. The money (when you get any) sucks, and contrary to popular belief, finding out the vast majority of your rock heroes are morons, resentful assholes or both isn’t glamorous or enticing. It’s disappointing. The music industry, such as it is, doesn’t give a shit about you. People use you for what they can and are done with you, and you, if you’re good at it, are done with them too. There are good people and you make some friends, but mostly you exist in a cordial symbiosis. I need you and you need me. Until they don’t or you don’t, whichever comes first.

I’ve been thinking a lot about career lately. I’ve had time. The only reason I can come up with for doing this — aside from the “Aw man, do it for the love” line which is bullshit no matter what anyone tells you — is free goo. CDs and concert tickets. I’m 27 years old with a lifestyle and attitude unhealthy for me on almost every level and the realization I’ve been forced to come to is my entire professional life has been geared toward getting me free CDs and concert tickets. My mother used to tell me I had the potential to be anything I wanted, to do anything I wanted. Clearly she was lying.

The point here isn’t to moan, only to point out facts. If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t be doing it (likewise, if I didn’t love being miserable, I wouldn’t be), but in the words of someone wiser than myself, it is what it is. Usually it’s Can you find all eight???complacence. At least I’m not in the city every fucking day.

But on the topic of free CDs. Most of the “metal majors” don’t send out physical promos anymore. It’s all mp3s and album streams. So even that purpose is gone. Century Media used to ship their albums in cardboard sleeves, ditto for Nuclear Blast. Both have stopped, though the occasional care package from the latter is most welcome. Metal Blade sent liner notes, tray cards and CDs without cases, but that stopped. I don’t know what Roadrunner does these days. Relapse does streamers and sleeves, though they’re not always complete. If it’s a digipak, you get the disc and the liner notes. That’s how it was with the Voivod and Dysrhythmia records, anyway. I used to ask for the real deal retail versions from everyone when I didn’t get them automatically, as though I was entitled. Not anymore. Earache, on the other hand, just sent me a full copy — double disc jewel case and cardboard outer cover — of the limited CD/DVD reissue of Cult of Luna‘s last album, 2008’s Eternal Kingdom.

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