Sunday, October 21, 2018

Full Length Review: DEATHKIDS Forest Of Wires (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Forest Of Wires
Independent
Place of origin: New York, USA
Genre: Progressive death/black metal
Available on iTunes and Amazon
Graphic novel available through their official site
Release date: October 7, 2018
Deathkids started as an under-15 band years before Babymetal and was a prominent band in the Long Island death metal scene from 1994 to 1999. I have followed them from the beginning to the present and they’ve gone from what would be perceived as a novelty band to legitimate artists. They personified the independent spirit of the underground, releasing several demos and CDs on their own label, doing interviews for local zines (this one included), performing often in New York and Long Island and making festival appearances around the country. For an unsigned band, they were doing quite well until they inexplicably disbanded, but this is not to say they didn’t abandon playing altogether. Core members Harley and Kenny Wooton resurfaced in 2003 with Inred, releasing four full lengths and an EP over eight years. These showed remarkable evolution for them as musicians and songwriters. Fast forward to 2018 and we have a brand new Deathkids album which is being released and distributed independently. The band appears to have their act together regardless of the changing standards in the industry, and their new album demonstrates overwhelming advancement musically, lyrically and conceptually. For an album that’s only sixteen minutes in length Forest Of Wires goes beyond anything they composed as Inred. That Forest Of Wires is a completely DIY undertaking is all the more reason it deserves attention. The songs here are progressive fusions of death and black metal with goth, industrial and electronica. What’s more they are part of a larger narrative, featuring promotional videos and a graphic novel likewise released independently. The band’s music has progressed exponentially since the 90s, and they continue to pose a direct, in-no-uncertain-terms challenge to the assumption that extreme music requires no ability. This album is even beyond those by many bands who have consistently written and composed for a decade. The songs fall between one and two minutes in length, and the material crammed into them really must be heard to be believed. The videos are beautifully done and illustrate the songs in new and inventive ways. I haven’t read the graphic novel yet but I imagine it does the same and draws you even further into the story. Forest Of Wires is an ambitious project and its presentation could represent a step forward in telling conceptual tales through music and visuals. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Forest Of Wires
2. Run
3. Realize
4. Close The Door Behind You
5. Reckless
6. Fly
7. Vandal
8. Graveyard

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Full Length Review: ARAM 17 Dark Abandoned Town II: Memories (Cephalopagus Records) by Serafima Okuneva

Cephalopagus Records
Place of origin: Armenia
Genre: Dark ambient, occult ambient, drone
Written and Produced By Aram GH
Cover art: Aram GH
Mastering at LANDR.com
Release date: September 28, 2018
The solo project Aram 17 is one of the only dark ambient projects in the territory of Armenia, a distant and beautiful country with own unique culture and rich history. Dark Abandoned Town II: Memories was released by Aram 17 in September of this year on Cephalopagus Records. The music of this project contains different approaches and ideas, but the musician behind it opens up the world within an abandoned city frozen in time.
Cold shapeless sound canvases are sent to time-lost spaces where people once lived and where life once boiled. But time passed, and then stopped, and now there is nothing here but emptiness, frustration, oblivion and loneliness. Ghostly soundscapes slowly sneak up and deeply reveal the essence of this abandoned city frozen in time, opening the doors of perception, from behind is a frightening and completely hopeless atmosphere of doom and desolation. The album sounds remote almost to the point of complete alienation, and on the verge of losing form, doomed to deform and collapse into liquid all around us, suffocating its audience with its deep illusive echoes. Recommended for those who love the atmosphere of distant dead cities, who are fascinated by the aesthetics of these abandoned places, where the traces remain a ghostly reminder of the transience of being. -Serafima Okuneva

Lineup:
Aram GH: Programming

Track list:
1. Black Atmosphere With The Fog
2. Gloomy Gates
3. Statue Of Sinner
4. Forest Near The Town
5. Night Spirits
6. Memories Of The Abandoned Town

Single Review: HAMMERKING At The Mercy Of The Waves by James K. Blaylock

At The Mercy Of The Waves
From their full length Poseidon Will Carry Us Home, released on Cruz Del Sur Music September 28, 2018
Place of origin: Germany
Genre: Heavy metal, power metal
Concept by Yod Multimedia
Release date: September 28, 2018
The German band Hammerking have struck a chord in my core with their newest single At The Mercy Of The Waves. It's pulsating with sheer intensity. No doubt their third album Poseidon Will Carry Us Home will captivate the senses, even if we can't circumvent the thrashing seas without some nautical help. This statement says it best “If you haven’t found your own identity by the time your third album comes out, you might probably never find it,” says vocalist/guitarist Titan Fox V. “I know that we have felt that our third album feels like ‘we are’ now, compared to ‘we want to be’ in the past. Not taking away anything from our previous albums at all, but when you start going on a mission, you begin with searching and trying. After a while you know the task, you know the way and you know about your strengths. Maybe that’s what the magical third album is about.”
As always the lyrics are a major plus for me besides for the musicianship. Actually these guys deliver on both sides of the doubloon.
Now only if we could get a bird's-eye view perhaps through a nearby albatross. Or perhaps even through someone with some depth like the elusive Kraken. Either one would be better to savvy the entire scope of their sentiments. But I guess that's why they pay Hollywood the big bucks.
There you have it: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. -James K. Blaylock

Band lineup:
Titan Fox V: Vocals, guitar
Gino Wilde: Guitar, choir
K.K. Basement: Bass, vocals
Dolph A. Macallan: Drums, choir

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Poem: 'Etheric Light' by Sky Claudette Soto

Etheric Light
by Sky Claudette Soto
Copyright. Sky Claudette Soto,
First American Publishing rights only

And in the palm of my hands Jaden eggs are placed, Amethyst and crystal salt lamps sit upon a treasured trunk as I ,Clad in Louis attire peer out ,as chunks of
Moldavite are tightly wrapped upon my nape,centered...centered. . in Rose quartz I am and in black tourmaline I stand as white lights shine above and below me,
Gazing up upon this glorious view a monument crafted of celestite stones shines like stars as an etheric light drapes down,for judge not ye know nothing about
 

Poem: 'The Wolf' by S.C.C.

The Wolf
by S.C.C.

Meat, food.
The scent in the air.
The choice, the chase and the feast.
The strong lives and the weak dies, it's the law.
Just one more day in life.
Like it or not, cry or accept, it's all the same, we all fall prey of the same embrace.

Poem: Untitled by Natasa Nikolic

Untitled
by Natasa Nikolic

You only live in the lines
I write, from the hollow space
I have nothing to hide,
Nothing to touch

In this, abyss of darkness,
Impossible to fall
Reaching out, I scream
But only disquiet follows

As if for the last time, I exhale
Trembling, walk onto the stage
Vibrations are alarming
Having to move, to dance

A deep current, racing
through the muscles
Wrestling only to find
Your gilded tongue and c(h)ord

With the clanking I’ll prevail
Soon all sounds will perish
Keep the notes, keep all the words
Wheezing visions inside my eyes

Poem: 'Albatross' by Koga Easter

Albatross
by Koga Easter

The bloody nook from which i’ve been birthed
The way i came by this life
The dank passage out of hell and back to earth
Pain be thy name
Destination pleasure
Soul stagnation, here we go again
Your love, my loss, Goddamned, i come, the albatross
Into the ground i go, an opposing womb
Call me back
Play the game again
I’ll be the sweet guilty lie
In which you all hold dear
Call me back, my forsaken birth
Born of pleasure
Born of sin

Poem: 'Dartmoor' by Kay Irvin

Dartmoor

A train from London will be here soon
Hooded coach drivers wait, station bound
Arriving passengers number few
Macabre yarns have spun about a hound
The foggy moors are unforgiving
For any wanderer left to night
The house beacon, on the hill, is far
Wailing wind sends ... like briars in flight
Now that dusk is upon us,... listen
'Tis christen louder than steeple bells
Dead of Winter approaches swiftly
As twin daggers, whose fangs slay noels
There is a curse that must be knotted
Moors to the doors of Baskerville Hall
Bloody crux too shall pass with ending
And ghastly landscapes will lastly call
The foggy moors are unforgiving
For any wanderer left to night
The house beacon, on the hill, is far
Wailing wind sends ... like briars in flight

~ For "The Hound of the Baskervilles"
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
[a Sherlock Holmes/Dr. Watson mystery]
Set on Dartmoor, Devon, in England's West Country

Poem: 'Daughter Of The Moon' by Jerry Langdon

Daughter Of The Moon
by Jerry Langdon, 2018

She was the daughter of the moon.
She was desire, she was fertility.
She was birth, she was beauty.
She was Goddess, She was Queen.
She was the brightest light seen.
Inanna daughter of the moon.
She heard from land of the dead
Her sister wished to wed.
So she took to world of Nether
With heart light as a feather.
Inanna daughter of the moon.
As she decended all trees wept
As she departed all plants slept.
Every man slept alone without lust.
Every woman slept alone growing dust.
Bereft the daughter of the moon.
Her journey stopped at the Nether Gate.
'Twas upon her demanded she must wait.
Whilst the world above slept.
Whilst the forests wept.
Bereft the daughter of the moon.
when her passage was allowed
She was first encrowned.
As she followed with question
Echoed 'tis The Nether's restiction.
As she was lead to the next gate
'Twas upon her demanded she must wait.
Whilst the world above slept.
Whilst the desirelessness crept.
Bereft the daughter of the moon.
Again she was stripped of her treasures.
She was rendered naked of her pleasures.
As she followed with question
Echoed 'tis The Nether's restiction.
Inanna daughter of the moon.
So went on through Seven gates
Whilst the Goddess waits.
Stripped to bare skin
Exposing all but what lies within.
Inanna daughter of the moon.
As she stood for her beloved sister
The meeting turned sinister.
Ordered to be thrown in chains.
Ordered to be administered sixty pains.
Sixty diseases given the daughter of the moon.
Long she was held in exile
In plague and pain to while.
'Til she was broken
Dark promises spoken.
Inanna daughter of the moon.
So she was lead back through Seven gates.
Whilst her freedom waits.
Whilst the world above slept.
Whilst the desirelessness crept.
Mourning the daughter of the moon.
All her treasure were returned
Whilst her loins burned.
Whilst the world above slept.
Whilst the forests wept.
For Inanna daughter of the moon.
Her return was a vernal rebirth
That awakened the earth.
Desire again burned
As she finally returned.
Inanna daughter of the moon
Men no longer slept without lust.
No woman slept growing dust.
But she was no longer clean.
Venereal darkness joined the scene.
Brought by the daughter of the moon.

Poem: 'What's Love Got to Do with It (Robotics)' by James K. Blaylock

What's Love Got to Do with It (Robotics)
by James K. Blaylock, 1-20-18

robotics, by definition, have come a long way,
since the days of filling up entire warehouses
what used to be claw-like hands grasping and gyroing, handing back to awaiting humanoids
nowadays, becoming more than companions -
even lovers - in some sense of the very word
but is love reciprocated, since gears and gizmos don't equate for a beating heart...

Poem: 'Chord / Cord' by Heather Dawson

Chord / Cord
by Heather Dawson

You won't remember
It was last December
I was alone and drinking wine
And I thought perfect timing
And to you I said ...
watch that MC5 documentary you'll love it
And you replied...
Who is this (?)

And I said to
JR
Write write write cause your so good at it -don't deny the world your talent ...
And I told big brother I got nothin left
And I think that was it - that was the list
And I clambered up
The stairs alone
And tried the way I said I would swing
And I thought the chord cord could hold 110 - 112
And I wanted to
Write reason all over my opaqueness
But there seemed to be a lack of time somehow

So tip toe in the white billow gown
Around the rafters
Around me
Weeping

And then knew this was a performance I was conducting for
My own
amusement

Thought of the two and stopped
And went flat footed
And returned the chord cord
And went back
Down the stairs

Cried some more and fell asleep
Alive

Poem: 'Thursday’s Child' by Elena Karis

Thursday’s Child
by Elena Karis, September 4, 2017

The path bends, twists and forks
Darkness, shadows and barren trees taunt me as I walk down this archaic lane
Specters of the past remind me of my recent transgressions
I know now there is no mercy and no comfort for the selections I made.

Walking in darkness, grave stones obscure
What feats then brought me to this time and place?
A faint glimmer of hope pushes me onward
Craving to be in a place of acceptance and love -
Sunshine and daisies.

Tsk, tsk, tsk says a dark cloaked figure
Though fair of face, as it pointed a finger
Thursday’s child has far to go.

So I followed each, bended and twisted and forked paths,
Time and yet again and in different directions.
Every time to hear the insidious words
Tsk, tsk, tsk says a dark cloaked figure
Though fair of face, as it pointed a finger
Thursday’s child has far to go.

Poem: 'Break Away…. Crystal Madness' by Craig Michael

Break Away…. Crystal Madness
by Craig Michael

Windows to the world, Crystal madness.
Break the mood, blotter the sadness.
Trip on as clowns with distorted faces cannonball to the ground. Mocking all that exists. Making death faces. One with an evil frown.
Trip on as crystal swans swim on porcelain lakes. Turquoise geese beckon the great mythical amethyst drake.
Insanity dwells in flare. Can’t feel my face! My tongue rolls out to taste the air.
Cartooned imaginations, Innocent eyes turn red, asking yourself: Am I alive or am I dead?
Wow! Mental mind games, Angelic frogs begin to preach. Cannot comprehend. Sobriety cannot be reached.
Swim into the gel, the gel of the night. Smile at the moon, Feeling alright! Swim into the fog, Backstroke into the night!
Dead dogs and aborted puppies on my floor make me slip and fall. Rotted road pancakes are nailed to my wall. Think old mama would like my new décor or will she show up at 6 AM to throw me out the door?
Windows to the world, Crystal Madness. Break the mood, Blotter the Sadness

Poem: 'His Psychosis' by Coralie Rowe

His Psychosis
by Coralie Rowe

The space in between is where he exists
A realm of nothingness filled with mist
An illusionary world which is his own
His place within which he calls home

His silent retreat to where he does go
When the demons inside start to show
His internal escape from their grasping claws
His inner sanctum where he can bar the doors

He doesn't know what they do when they play
Or for how long they will decide to stay
He is cocooned somewhere deep way inside
From their miscreant deeds he does hide

So he doesn't see the gore or hear the screams
Whilst away in his land of delusional dreams
And even though the vista is just misty air
It has to be better than what's happening out there

He learned long ago of what they can do
And forever since has ran when they ensue
He knows that they arise for the taste of blood
Only diminishing after bathing in a sanguine flood

The worst part of reemerging away from his space
Is what he would see as he looked around the place
He himself would be covered in scarlet red
White eyes shining through, surveying the dead

Broken bodies with torn limbs, lie askew
How could he explain that he never knew
He was an innocent victim of his own insanity
And what they did when in the depths of depravity

So brutal in their dissection of those they kill
He knows he should fight them but he never will
Instead he retreats to his secret hideaway
Whilst his demons take over and continue to slay

He never meant to harm and it wasn't actually he
Yet he is the one left standing amidst the barbarity
He was never there, he was locked away in his head
But physically it was he, that made so many dead

Poem: 'We play pretend' by Astrid Viridian

We play pretend
by Astrid Viridian


I feel like I’m losing my faith in fairy tales,
Because everyone only wants sex.
Like, sex is great, but have you ever tried watching movies and cuddling?
Dancing in the kitchen at 3am to nothing?
Sitting outside together, watching the stars?
We play pretend with each other,
We live these lives that have absolutely no purpose and build them up to become empires.
I find myself lost in your eyes and then I have to blink,
I try so hard not to, waiting until the very last second to close my eyes.
When they reopen, you’re not there and it crushes me,
Because I don’t think happily ever after even exists in today’s society.
Do you have a Snapchat?
Follow me on Instagram!
You liked my Facebook post,
I’m glad you agree with the thought I stole from another.
I only just exist here,
I’m tolerated just enough to not be cast away by everyone.
A well timed verse in a song that plays on a loop throughout our encounters,
But you’re deaf and the melody is lost entirely.

Everything and Nothing

Poem: 'Be Your Best' by Andy Horry

Be Your Best
by Andy Horry

You’ve gotta be your best
If you wanna serve the rest.
Just let go of the past
With a shotgun blast.

Your sexy ass deserves some loving,
So don’t hold back or backtrack.

Love your self, attract the wealth
And you better make sure that
You’re in good health.

Then you can be your best
And serve the rest.
You heard me!
Be your best,
Don’t settle for less.

Don’t limit your life
To make others feel blessed.

Their situation is theirs.
If you wanna help,
you best distance yourself.

Let them feel the pain
So they can check themselves.

Just like Ice Cube spat,
“Chickity check yourself
Before you wreck yourself.”

He spat those bars about
All the shit that’s bad for
A brother’s health and you
Better believe that if you aren’t
Being your best, you’re gonna
Wreck Your health.

And who’s gonna listen
To your nappy headed ass
When you haven’t even
Got your own shit sorted?

Sort it fam,
Sort it homie,
Fix it sista,
Fix it broski.

Get it done.
Don’t wait till tomorrow.

Be the geezer or gal
You came here to be.

Smash it like a jackhammer.
Bash it, slash it, nail it!

Notice the greatness within
And don’t spread that shit thin.

Feel the pain and grow
Your domain as you hustle
Like the spiritual gangsta
You’ve always been.