Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Full Length Review: UPON SHADOWS "Modern Obscurantism" (Ground Media Group) by Dave Wolff

Location: Montevideo
Country: Uruguay
Genre: Dark metal
Full Length: Modern Obscurantism
Format: CD, digipack CD, digital, streaming
Release date: October 18, 2019
I made a point of keeping up with Upon Shadows through the 2010s with good reason. All that time I observed them slowly but steady blossoming into a Tarterian flower of gloaming twilight. With each new release they exhibited black metal’s intrinsic charm and seduction more clearly, asserting that underground metal can become art and listeners can appreciate it as such. This despite an industry that promotes sameness to an audience too willing to accept whatever they’re handed.
The band’s new full length “Modern Obscurantism” expands the range and scope of past releases “7 Stages Of Grief,” “Between the Southern Cross & the Northern Star” and “Fatal Stigma Of The Realist.” The dramatic craftsmanship of Tamara Picardo and Natalia Arocena is an aide-memoire of what I held in high regard of Charmand Grimloch’s Tartaros, Cradle Of Filth, Ancient, Theatre Of Tragedy, Satyricon and My Dying Bride. Those bands held your attention while imaginatively drawing tenebrosity from the deepest, darkest abyss. After seventeen years with no core lineup changes, Picardo and Arocena possess this ability to enchant and beguile.
The album’s first single, “Vanity’s Bonfire,” was out on Youtube the day it was released. I suggest watching the promotional video first, to get an idea of the thematic concept of “Modern Obscurantism.” I gather the message of the song is a recurring message in extreme metal. Mankind, like nature, is as destructive as it is creative. The sharply delineated contrast of light and darkness reiterates this point. Shots of twilight in one segment is ambiguous as to whether the sun is rising or setting, and another segment is a semi-montage of images from history depicting humanity’s darker nature. All this is expressively presented and inspires you to think about it.
Kobzr Magazine from Germany succinctly refers to “Modern Obscurantism” as a masterpiece. This could be summing it up or oversimplifying the point, depending on your perspective. But the zine also describes the arrangements on the album to be well thought out. Not far from the truth as these songs are meticulous and patient, taking time to make their point rather than coming across as too eager. They have a malevolent constitution that emanates organically from the songwriting. Mike Pohjola of Soundmix Studios has enough experience from working with Fatal Effect, Sirakh, Aeom Rite and others to enhance the percussion by session drummer Joonas Alaräihä (Fatal Effect), Arocena’s solid bass and Picardo’s fuzzy guitars and divergent vocal styles.
The most convincing job in terms of songwriting and production is in the keyboard sounds courtesy of Picardo. These vary according to what each song needs for effect. Many times I received chills similar to those I received from Satyricon’s “The Shadowthrone” and My Dying Bride’s “Turn Loose The Swans.” Here those sounds add to an epic folk tale, mourning the loss of innocence to the evils committed by human beings. From introspection to frozen tears like rain to looming malevolence, the keyboards are an integral part of the band’s formula. “Modern Obscurantism” is a promising release for the end of 2019 and the result of much hard work and dedication on the part of all those involved. -Dave Wolff

Lineup:
Natalia Arocena: Bass
Tamara Picardo: Vocals, guitars, keyboards
Joonas Alaräihä: Session drummer

Track list:
1. Back to the Dark Ages (instrumental)
2. Vanity's Bonfire
3. The Archaic Censorship Of Your Eyes
4. Creators Of Shadows
5. Dogma: The Infamy Of Fire
6. Lux et Umbra
7. Illusion Of Freedom
8. Handling Cognitive Factor
9. Out Of The Blue Comes The New Plague
10. Lucifer


Thursday, November 7, 2019

Split Review: ARS VENEFICIUM/ULVDALIR "In Death's Cold Embrace" (Immortal Frost Productions) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Location: Limburg
Country: Belgium
Genre: Black metal
Band: Ulvdalir
Location: St. Petersburg
Country: Russia
Genre: Black metal
Label: Immortal Frost Productions
Format: Vinyl, digital, streaming
Release date: June 21, 2019
A few days ago I was sent "In Death's Cold Embrace", featuring the bands Ars Veneficium and Ulvdalir. I am just getting around to viewing this split now, and goddamn, what an awesome release! Featuring only two tracks, this is a short one, but it still manages to snag my attention fully.
Hailing from Belgium, Ars Veneficium pummels through the first track with a vicious blackness. Tight drums and intense guitar work are brought together with vocals that can only be described as hell-bent and merciless. I needed to let this track play through a few times, but by the third play through I can say that this song is put together very well and Ars Veneficium is more than deserving of an audience.
Calling Russia their home, Ulvdalir is just as dark and foreboding as Ars Veneficium, and the musicianship speaks for itself. Both bands without question play with a tightness that makes itself known, proving that black metal can be created anywhere in the world and still eviscerate the ears of those who are brave enough to listen.
As I have mentioned in other reviews, I usually prefer listening to shorter releases, as it gives me a chance to listen to all the tracks more than once. This way, I have a firm idea of the music in my mind, and I can review the content easier. With this split in particular, I was actually hoping for more! Overall, this was a quick (yet highly enjoyable) release, and I would for sure listen to more tracks from these bands when they become available. Great stuff, Ars Veneficium and Ulvdalir! -Devin Joseph Meaney

Lineup:
[Ars Veneficium]
S: Vocals
Ronarg: Lead guitars
Archcaust: Rhythm guitars
Y.: Bass
Norgameus: Drums
[Ulvdalir]
I.K.Winterheart: Guitars, Vocals
Kreator: Guitars

Track list:
1. Ars Veneficium: A Thousand Weeping Angels
2. Ulvdalir: Litany of Death



Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Full Length Review: MEGALITH LEVITATION "Acid Doom Rites" (ꔅ) by Dave Wolff

Location: Chelyabinsk
Country: Russia
Genre: Doom/stoner metal
Full Length: Acid Doom Rites
Label: ꔅ
Format: Digital, streaming
Release date: September 22, 2019
Megalith Levitation is the next step in doom metal’s evolution as they’re taking it to extremes of minimalist, hypnotic ritual drone beyond most English and American doom bands. The Russian band has maintained a steady lineup since 2016 and strive to compose the most ponderous, mesmeric doom metal imaginable. It took them three years to perfect their debut recording “Acid Doom Rites”, and if reactions to it are an indication they’ve succeeded at creating something frightening in its unremitting power and inventiveness.
It sounds like a stereotypical cliché, but I’ll say it anyway. And elaborate on the point. The only way “Acid Doom Rites” can be listened to is loud. As in ruptured, bleeding tympanic membranes loud. Neighbors who think Black Sabbath is too much to handle will be locking themselves in their homes and hiding under their beds fearing global devastation if they should hear this album.
“Acid Doom Rites” is a monument to all things doom, drone, stoner, and sludge, torn from the fabric of time and space, made tangible by musicians who spent extended periods looking into the dark and finding it has looked into them. Megalith Levitation is described as musical occultists who compose psychedelic sermons that transcend illusion and reality, guiding you through an unknown eternity. From the first moments of the first song you’re on this journey with a slim chance, if any, for a peaceful return.
Dare I say they make Sunn O))), The Obsessed, Yob, Boris and Cathedral sound spongy and threadlike? Because “Acid Doom Rites” is so unrestricted and punishing that a single power chord threatens to compress your brain and body into unrecognizable sarcocarp. As groundbreaking as established doom metal bands are, they don’t quite represent the soundtrack to eternity as well as this band. I haven’t heard an album this dark and menacing since Winter’s 1990 opus “Into Darkness.”
The gritty, repetitive psychedelia here may suggest you should smoke tremendous amounts of weed or ingest a healthy dose of acid while listening to it, but excessive volume will provide a sufficient high. This owes to a motif truly occultic and ritualized in nature. The songs range from sixteen to twenty-five minutes in length, making enough room to push everything to the extreme. From incessantly repetitive and ceaseless guitar and bass progressions to monotone crooning to stridulous black metal-style vocals to atmospheric guitar solos to intermittent sound effects, “Acid Doom Rites” reeks of a theatrical metal opera, presenting new opportunities for doom and sludge to evolve while perpetuating its roots. -Dave Wolff

Lineup:
SAA: Sermons & fuzzmagic
KKV: Thunderbass
PAN: Skullhammers

Track list:
1. Spirit Elixir Drunkard
2. Eternal Trip / The 4-th Plateau
3. Acid Doom Rites
4. Smouldering Embers / Pyromagic


Article: "Let's Talk About Modern Sex In A Modern World..." by Damien Lee Thorr

Let's Talk About Modern Sex In A Modern World...
Article by Damien Lee Thorr

Reading up on human sexual behavior I find only our connection to the natural world, our animal instincts...

Catholic priests and other clergy are celibate. They are sworn to celibacy and cannot engage in relationships, yet, they are assigned to counsel couples on the hardships of people's relationships as if they had a fucking clue about the complex dynamics involved... and they expect (and teach) women are to be subservient.

It is not natural to abstain from sex. We are creatures born to reproduce. When a person, male or female, does not experience sexual contact, a chemical imbalance occurs in the brain, the inner sexual savage takes over and will either masturbate (which is very natural, having observed caged animals with no partners masturbate) or sexually prey upon the vulnerable, namely children.

It is a behavior observed in the animal world as well, as in the case of Elephant seals in Antarctica, when there is an alpha male hoarding a vast number of females, leaving weaker males to seek sex with unattended younger, not sexually matured, juveniles of the species or even with males.

Homosexual behavior is also a natural sexual behavior among some individuals as it is nature's way of controlling populations and we have observed almost all mammals engaged in it. Sadly, many theist critics of homosexuality view it as "sinners making a choice to sin" and never thinking or looking deeper into it. What they don't think about is natural attraction or tastes. For one thing, Vanilla ice cream or chocolate: we don't choose which one we like best. We simply like one over the other without any outside influence. I, for one, have a weakness or fetish for dark-haired Hispanic women..... and I also focus on their sexy hands and feet. I did NOT choose this. I get easily aroused when I see dark-haired Hispanic women and I have no control over how I am attracted to them. In fact, I remember as a child when my first-grade teacher came in to work wearing sandals and I could not take my eyes off her beautifully pedicured feet... and I was aroused! Again, I did not choose this!

Studies indicate heterosexuals do not choose to be heterosexuals and homosexuals do not choose to be homosexual. Every culture has homosexuals among them: some in the open and many in secret.

Bigots and homophobes are interesting to watch. You see, a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that those who vehemently bash gays are doing so in a desperate attempt to conceal their very own secret homosexual desires and/or activities.

The one thing that must be mentioned is how they attack the Pride festivals or events and counter-protest with what they call "straight pride".

You see, Gay Pride events are a way for gays to expose what they experience in their daily lives as they confront discrimination and danger. It is their way of acquiring a sense of unity and solidarity to fix the wrongs of society and unfair laws based on religious discriminatory influence.

As a straight man, I have never been denied employment for being straight.

I have never been denied a work promotion for being straight.

I have never been denied housing for being straight.

I have never lost family for being straight.

I have never been denied service at a restaurant for being straight.

I have never been ridiculed and/or ostracized for being straight.

I have never been physically attacked for being straight.

More importantly, there is no country out there where I am in danger of being executed for being straight.

Homophobes just don't get it.

I know what gays go through because I have been discriminated against for being an atheist or a long-haired rocker in those same exact social situations where I have been denied employment and lost all family for being atheist, for not believing in a god no one can prove exists.

When you think about it, many aspects of our society are backward:

For one thing, we feel we have to hide our nudity, hide where no one can see us when we have sex..... but violence and crime are out in the open.... weird...

I am not at all excusing the pedophile behavior of clergy. I am simply offering an explanation of why it happens. I believe that if clergy is allowed to marry (straight or gay), we may see a global decrease in parochial sex crimes upon children.

Unfortunately, many religious cultures view sex as something dirty, especially among the older aged individuals (although with Muslims, the indoctrination of hate starts much younger) when it is the most natural attribute of our existence and essential for our intimate relationships.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Article: "Samhain Endless Night Dark Moon Ritual" by Liath Sahjaza

Samhain Endless Night Dark Moon Ritual
Article by High Elder Ordained Priestess Liath Sahjaza of Temple House Sahjaza
 
Goddess Rosemary Sahjaza, High Elder Ordained Priestess Liath Sahjaza and Walter Warlock Sahjaza conducted the Samhain 2019 Endless Night Dark Moon Ritual at Sanctuary.
Order the the paperback or kindle edition of Liath Sahjaza's The Little Gray Book of Magic at Amazon.

Dark Moon magic is like no other. This month is especially different, as the energies are of Scorpio. Energies, if unbalanced, are erratic and unpredictable, to the point of being shocking. If this is how your life is going, work for balance is well overdue.
Take a long, honest look at emotions, feelings, behaviors, and beliefs. Is the way you are approaching life getting you the results you want? I hope so, but if not, only you can fix things. It's not about being right or wrong, but about being happy and balanced. Don't be too proud, or afraid even, to make changes.
The atmosphere is so highly charged at this time that it can cause impatience, anxiety, abruptness, etc. So don't beat yourself up too much if this is the case with you. However, own up to things and then cut them loose.
Let us now go into a deep and sincere deep inner journey. Accept all you see without self-loathing or self-judgement. Know that everyone has moments of weakness. At the same time, embrace all of yourself as you admit and accept each piece.
We will now have quiet time until we are all done.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Interview with Wes Jaques of Metal Coffee by Dave Wolff

Interview with Wes Jaques of Metal Coffee PR

How long have you run your company Metal Coffee PR and what inspired you to start?
I started the PR side of things in 2017. After fifteen years of doing radio and podcasts. I was inspired by how badly bands were getting raped by PR companies. When I saw how much they charge bands I thought, hell I can do ALL of that for way less. As a matter of fact, I can do it for $1, about the cost of a cup of coffee.

Were you mostly hosting radio programs on the internet during that fifteen-year period? Which radio and podcast shows were you involved in, and which format did you prefer?
I was involved with several Internet stations including two I started on Live 365. The first was called Rapture Radio and then The Static Mass. I also did the very first version of Metal Observer Radio in podcast form, I think back in 2004. My very first live show was called FC in The UK. This was followed by Dirt Talk which I did with my good friend of many years Ray Herndon a.k.a. Black Metal Ray. It lasted for about two years and was a great show. I am sure it’s still out there on the net somewhere.

What made you interested in doing radio and podcast shows to begin with? Were you inspired by any deejays in particular or just generally interested in the field?
In my home growing up, we were not allowed to listen to the radio or watch TV or talk on the phone, so for my first ten years of life music and media were very rare. When my mother divorced my dad I discovered music and just lost my mind. I loved music and in my teens, I discovered Paul Harvey and Larry King and I loved the magic of radio so I decided I wanted to be on the radio. Point A to Point B. After I tried to be a rock star and found out quickly was not going to be successful it reignited my desire to be on the radio. Years later in my 30's, I went to college for broadcasting.

What college did you attend for broadcasting? What classes did you take there and how valuable would you say your education was?
I went to the American Broadcasting School for Broadcasting and Journalism. It was a two-year course. I knew everything prior to taking the course; to be honest, I just wanted to prove to myself I could pull it off in school. I would do it again.

What equipment were you using when you began hosting podcasts and how aggressively were you promoting your shows?
Wow man, when I first started I used cool edit pro and a head mic and the sound was awful. I did it that way the best I could for a long time, then by 2015, I had an eight-channel board Adobie Audition and a beautiful thousand dollar micro-phone. I sounded like Glen Beck; the music and talking were first class.

How did you and Ray Herndon meet and what made you decide you and he could collaborate on projects? Are you still in touch with him after Dirt Talk?
Ray and I are still on friendly terms I think I have not seen him in years. Our entire friendship was based on music and we have known each other since my teen years he used to mail me about music when he served in the navy and he used to pick me up before I could drive and we would jam tapes thorough a ghetto blaster in his car. Ray introduced me to a lot of heavier music.

Were there mostly interviews on the show or was music featured? What were the differences between your usual podcasts and the live shows you hosted?
I have to say my style at the time was more shock jock so I was just way over the edge and Ray was the calmer more subtle host live or podcast Ray had class I was an idiot. As far as bands featured, back then my focus was not as much on indie bands so we played mainly big label bands partly because I was still getting promos from the big labels because of my work at The Metal Observer

How long and on which websites were you doing Rapture Radio and Static Mass? Are installments still available for streaming? Is Metal Observer Radio still active?
It’s been a long time, but I think I did Rapture and Static Mass for a few months apiece. As far as I know, neither exist in any form today. I’m not sure what is going on with TMO last I heard they moved from Germany to Canada.

Did you support any specific genres on Rapture Radio and Static Mass, or were you flexible and willing to support several?
Static Mass and Rapture did not have any specific target really just metal of all kinds things you could not hear on big rock radio they were meant to be an alternative to local radio

How valuable would you say your experience as a radio host and podcaster was?
Radio is the last magic left in audio, though podcasting has really taken the lead in something to listen to and learn and enjoy listening to. People used to sit and listen to the radio and it meant something. I have always loved radio because of the people I met and gained trust with.

How often would you see public relations companies exploiting bands before you started Metal Coffee? How did you offer bands better treatment?
It only took me about three examples of bands telling me they were paying thousands before I said hold on a damn minute here?! I can REALLY help bands with more than just airplay on my podcast. I can take this to a whole new level and really piss on the system! There was no one I particular. It was a broad scope of bands getting their asses kicked by crooks so I stepped in to solve the problem.

Who were the first bands you started promoting after you founded Metal Coffee? How much publicity did you help them receive after they met you?
The band Pokerface from Russia and the label Black Lion Records were my first two clients. Then I had NoSlip Records and Non Serviam Records. I don’t remember after that, but I have had several bands including Dirty Rats, Blood Of Angels, Doghouse Swine and Scanner.

You run a blog and podcast to promote Metal Coffee. Tell the readers about how those got started and what they can find there?
I run Metal Coffee which is what is left of Metal Moose podcast. I run The Grinder blog that has over 1000 interviews. The podcast is on almost every digital platform and is an awesome place to find new metal. We have been playing unsigned and indie bands since 2014. All episodes are still up and running. We were the first to play a lot of bands who are breaking big now. There are 4000 bands and counting. The Grinder is so underrated. It’s full of amazing info and not enough people know about it. I work hard on it and it is a killer blog!

Do you have an approach to interviewing that’s different from that of other bloggers? What topics do you most often discuss with the bands you interview?
I hate giving interviewees the same questions. If you send an honest interview you get a reply telling you what they want to talk about. I have an interview most bands refuse to do because they know the answers will have consequences. People are afraid of speech. If they just knew if you control the speech you have the power. People are afraid to speak the truth any longer because of social correctness we are not allowed to disagree with anyone. Some of my questions require an opinion and most bands refuse to do so because they are scared.

How many listeners does Metal Coffee reach every podcast? Who are some of the bands becoming well known in the world of extreme music since they aired?
I am not sure how many stations carry the show any longer. I stopped counting because it just didn’t matter any longer. I had a hundred stations around the world at one point carrying the show; I do know that. And to be honest I have learned over and over again nobody cares. I could have been on a million stations. I still had to send emails to get music, I still had to run the blog, and I still had to make the show nobody cared or wanted to help so I eventually stopped counting. As for bands that have made it since they have been on my show: I have Ashes, New Romantic Rebel, City of the Weak, Illusions of Grandeur, Hate, jeesh the list goes on.

Metal Coffee’s Facebook group currently has more than 1500 members. Have you recently met any bands or labels who are interested in working with you through that group?
I meet the majority of the bands I work with on social media. I have several Facebook groups I think with around 30,000 follow-ers. I really had to spread it around since Facebook has handcuffed small businesses. I'm everywhere not by choice but by necessity.

How many Facebook groups are you hosting? Will you be expanding on this in the future?
The page for Metal Coffee Bands as well as the podcast page are really the ones I pay attention to. I probably have a hundred messages on the other pages I have never seen. As far as expanding goes it really depends on how much longer doing this keeps me interested. I tire with things easily especially if it is not a challenge. Fortunately, I have enough enemies to keep this a challenge for a long time.

How long has your blog The Grinder been active, and what bands and musicians have you recently interviewed? Why are there separate columns for guitarists, bassists, and drummers?
I think I started the Grinder in 2018 when I started Metal Coffee, As far who I’ve interviewed lately today I put Dutch Metal band Martyr up also did an interview with Craig from Silver Tongue Devil and I think I have three more today to put up. To be honest I hate interviews. It’s all cookie-cutter nonsense in my opinion so to keep interested I wanted to do interviews about things that interested me like guitars, drums, bass, reading bands describing themselves, etc. Now I will say this: If bands would actually answer real questions about real things it would be interesting to actually learn about the person but god forbid if it’s not all about their music.

How many bands do you currently air on Metal Coffee’s podcast? What do bands need to do to be included?
Because I have been doing the podcast since 2014 I still receive a boatload of promo from labels so the music on the podcast comes from them as well as all of the bands who still send in music for the show to be played. Bands just need to send in music to metalcoffeepr@gmail.com to be in the podcast it is now and always will be free.

You offer bands a service to distribute their songs or singles to major publications. Which online and print zines are you distributing to and how many bands are responding?
I have been fortunate to keep an average of fifty bands on my roster since starting, so I have been lucky in that regard. I have had enough to keep me busy though I work hard I would love to do this full time one day. As for what publications respond, we have had bands covered in Revolver, Decibel, Bravewords and Bloody Knuckles, Metal Sucks, Pure Grain Audio, Kerrang and more. I am ALWAYS hoping for more!

Did the thought of putting on a metal festival ever cross your mind? Being that you’re in contact with all the bands you’re in contact with, how many of them would get involved?
I have actually held nine Moosefests in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and I really enjoyed it. However, I have too much of a conscience to do live shows because I want to pay everyone and sometimes that is not possible; I lose money every time. I also am not the greatest at the live end of things. I am great at giving advice teaching bands but putting together a fest and getting sponsors lined up, sound, venue… it’s just not my field. I am a background guy.

How successful were the Moosefests you have held to date? How much did paying the bands who appeared set you back?
I think it depends on what you call success. Most of the time we had good crowds so in that way they were a success. But as far as meeting the goal it really was a failure. Moosefest and everything I am involved in is about breaking down the walls. We never achieved any success in winning fans away from big rock radio or big crook promoters. The money still runs the market and if it can’t make their money they just aren’t interested. I did my work for free for the bands and it did not matter.

In terms of running fests (and internet radio) independently, self-promoting and supporting unsigned bands, how would you rate the Moosefests and other festivals you attended? After all, without the indie labels and fests, there would be no underground.
Moosefest was small scale, just a multi-band concert with eight bands. I consider Wacken a festival like Milwaukee Metalfest or Ozzfest and I have been to all of them. I have had the opportunity to see some amazing bands. I do enjoy a great concert or festival but as far as organizing them I would rather leave that to the experts. As for bands giving me ad-vice people are always telling me how I could do concerts but it’s just not in my interest.

How much do you expect to expand Metal Coffee PR in the next year or so, as far as supporting bands and spreading word to radio stations and magazines? Do you want to become better known outside the US?
Each year I learn more. My contact list, my clients and the people I work for grows. It is my goal to double my business from the year before. 2018 was my first year of PR. There’s no way I’m going to double it in 2019 but I have grown so much! The foundation to grow is built for a great future!
I think I am well known outside the US working with Sliptrick Records and Downfall Records which are both based outside the US, and working with bands from Finland, UK, Sweden, Russia, Ireland and more I work with people from Europe a lot. And of course, I am interested in working with all of the press outlets I can.


-Dave Wolff

Saturday, November 2, 2019

EP Review: BAUME “L'odeur de la lumière” (Pest Productions) by Dave Wolff

Band: BAUME
Location: Paris
Country: France
Genre: Experimental rock/black metal
Label: Pest Productions
Format: CD, digital, streaming
Release date: October 15, 2019
Many black metal albums have connotations of grounding, of binding to the earth. Then there are black metal albums presenting the chance to escape the physical and soar above the earth, into the atmosphere, the stratosphere, into the reaches of space and beyond. At least your higher consciousness has a connection to realms beyond the physical and the unlimited freedom to investigate them, no matter how fleeting the moment. Baume’s latest EP is one of those transcendent releases allowing you to escape the earth.
“L'odeur de la lumière” follows the 2018 full length “Les Années Décapitées” and "Lucide" the May 2019 split by Cepheide and Time Lurker. “Les Années Décapitées” was raw and minimalist with ambiance, atmosphere and themes relatively likened to old David Bowie and Pink Floyd. Not exactly the comparisons you’d make to black metal if you only hear its rawness and noise. But with extreme music continually varying and intrinsically evolving such comparisons are more self-evident. Cepheide’s split with Time Lurker proves this as the songs on that release are equally minimal while displaying the same tendency to transcend simplicity with stellar overtones.
“L'odeur de la lumière” maintains simplicity and transcendence while amping things up to a manic, almost psychotic level. At the same time, there are subtleties added giving new meaning to the term epic. You would have to listen closely to the album and EP, otherwise, you might miss the differences. While barely noticeable they’re vital to contributing to this band’s growth.
The songwriting is less minimal and more intricate, making the subtleties more enticing and unnerving. By first impressions it sounds incoherent, then it slowly begins to sink in how each instrument is included in the mix. The keyboards, ambient effects, rhythm guitars, lead and backing vocals are pushed into the background while lead guitars, bass, and drums are prominent. The album seems to have been deliberately mixed this way to make the songs colder and more encompassing with greater mystery. This presents more of an impression of silently flying above endless landscapes, watching them diminish as your surroundings turn to endless blackness.
The chaos ensuing from these arrangements are felt more tangibly than usual, and you feel drawn toward an unseen presence light-years away more strongly than usual. The intensity the band achieves working with what they have is indescribable in the sheer impact this album can have on you. Bringing black metal ever closer to personifying complete and total sonic darkness, “L'odeur de la lumière” is an opportunity to experience this darkness you cannot miss. -Dave Wolff

Lineup:
Gaetan Juif: Vocals, guitars, synth, drums
Hugo Beauzée-Luyssen: Bass, backing vocals
Laurene Hamery: Backing vocals

Track list:
1. I.Ainsi grossit le Ciel
2. II.L'Air Rouge
3. III.Du Sang sur les Mains
4. IV.L'Odeur de la Lumière
5. V.Les Saints des Derniers Jours

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Split CD Review: BOUQUET/ANALKHOLIC Split (Independent) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Band: BOUQUET
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Country: USA
Genre: Goregrind
Band: ANALKHOLIC
Location: Nouméa
Country: New Caledonia
Genre: Goregrind
Split: Bouquet/Analkholic
Label: Independent
Format: Digital, streaming
Release date: February 2019
Once again by scrolling through the vast underbelly of the dark side of Youtube, I happened to stumble upon a fun and gore-filled little split. This quick release is a mash-up featuring Bouquet and Analkholic. I have heard of these bands before, and am quite pleased that both are still producing a sound that I deeply love and adore. Goregrind is life... without it, what would be the point?
Bouquet is a one-man flower-themed gore-machine from Phoenix, Arizona, USA, that has been around since 2018. Analkholic is a two-piece goregrind band from Nouméa, New Caledonia formed in 2010. Together, these two vile projects have managed to put together this splatter drenched goregrind release, and I can say without question that they both have done a damn good job of it.
With grind in the same vein as Last Days of Humanity, First Days of Humanity, Phyllomedusa and Golem of Gore, both bands entice my ears with virulent noise as I have this split on repeat. This is a short release, so I needed to let it play through a few times so I could get a good feel for it.
I love the themes behind the music of Bouquet, as it is a nice stretch from the usual subject matter presented within the throngs of goregrind bands spanning the globe. Even the sound samples make me happy on the inside! Analkholic is more cliché, but even still, they manage to produce a sound that is like candy for my eardrums, and listening to this split has me yearning for more!
Self-released (digital format) in February 2019, I am more than glad that I have found this! Bouquet and Analkholic prove yet again that they are masters of their craft, and together, they present a culmination of blood-drenched splattery goodness that can be likened to a quick (yet filling) buffet of goregrind delight. Great work, Bouquet and Analkholic. You will both always have a fan here. Great stuff! -Devin Joseph Meaney

Lineup:
[Analkholic]
Beer Belly: Fresh beers & porn bass
Danger Fitch: Vomit & guitar

Track list:
1. [Bouquet] Dissolving in the Pit of the Tropical Pitcher Plant
2. [Bouquet] But the Doctor Said That Part of the Island Was Forbidden
3. [Analkholic] Surfing the Bowels

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Full Length Review: DISPYT "Den ständigt närvarande ångesten" (Immortal Frost Productions) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Band: DISPYT
Location: Pietarsaari
Country: Finland
Genre: Blackened crust
Label: Immortal Frost Productions
Format: CD, digital, streaming
Release date: March 29, 2019
While sitting down to check out 'Den Ständigt Närvarande Ångesten' by Dispyt, the first thing I need to say is that this album is a blackened eruption of vile awesomeness. The black metal comes on strong, but the crust is also brought to fruition with malicious fervor. Musically, this sounds to me like a cross between Mayhem and (newer) Malignant Tumour. There is almost a black and roll feel to some of these tunes, but either way, it proves to be an enjoyable Listen.
Punk aspects are brought to light (or unlight) within this album, and I can tell that if I saw these guys live there would without question be a violent mosh pit, and maybe even a wall of death. As I sit listening to Dispyt, I get an insane urge to get up and let loose within the confines of my bedroom. As I do not want to smash up everything I own, I guess I will need to settle with a session of aggressive head-banging.
As stated above, I can note sincerely how much these guys remind me of later-era Malignant Tumour. The guitar tones are similar, as are the vocals and some of the drum patterns held within this release. This is not a bad thing, as Malignant Tumour are a very talented band, who have put out a plethora of great albums in their day.
Put out by Immortal Frost Productions, an independent record label from Belgium which mostly concentrates on releasing black metal artists/bands and sub genres, Den Ständigt Närvarande Ångesten proves to be a carnage filled mass of black revelry and I highly suggest that fans of anything on the blackened side give it a listen. I was highly impressed by this spectacular album. Great job, Dispyt! -Devin Joseph Meaney

Lineup:
Mathias Lillmåns Bass, Vocals
Juuso Englund Guitars, Vocals
P. Kerbs Guitars, Vocals
Owe Inborr Drums, Vocals

Tracklist:
1. He e kört
2. Samhällets bojor
3. I skuggan av självförakt
4. Total alkoholist
5. Sommarstaden
6. Va fan vill du?
7. Då samvetet tryter
8. Mest bara van
9. Under hans givande hand
10. Martyren själv
11. Verklighetsflykt
12. Den ständigt närvarande ångesten



Monday, October 28, 2019

Promotional Video Review: AS DARK AS YOU "What’s in Your Heart" by Heather Dawson

Location: New York
Country: USA
Genre: Post-genre metal
Promotional video: What’s in Your Heart
Song from the upcoming EP “As Dark As You” to be released independently November 15, 2019
Shot and edited by Thomas J. Flynn
Recorded and mixed by: Matt Graff at The KooP Recording Studios in White Plains, NY and Long Island City, NY
Mastered by: Jon Jetter at Right Angle Recording
Release date: October 26, 2019
Some people learn things faster than others, that’s just the way it is. Some people can grasp very complex math algorithms very easily but can’t understand how to communicate with other people or make human connections. Some people can never figure out who they are, or if they do, it’s too late and they can’t go back and change the things they did when they didn’t know who they were. But some people learn who they are early and don’t take any guff and navigate the world in a way that’s best for them. As I sit and watch the video for As Dark As You’s song ‘What’s in Your Heart’ I’m intrigued (and not just a little envious, truth be told) when I see young people who know who they are. That’s not to say they always stay on their correct road or they don’t make mistakes along the way, however it would seem that those mistakes or off ramps are still in the service of finding that ‘something’ that’s in their heart.
Kenny Truhn and I are Facebook/Instagram friends. We met through a mutual acquaintance and occasionally we discuss music, poetry or share some words we were working on but we’re not close friends musically or otherwise. For one, I’m probably a good 25 years older than Kenny and there’s probably not much we have in common. I do believe that he is further along on this path of knowing oneself than I and yet, he continues to search for the his path to creative and personal fulfillment
So when I scrolled through Instagram and saw a clip of this song, I had to listen and immediately I was enraptured with just the music itself. This genre or this type of song (and again I will reiterate I am not in the generation of the authors and performers of this particular song) but this type of metal music I have never really understood. It always seem to me to be cloying and wanting to straddle both sugar pop and death metal, which I sort of find incongruous, but still somehow maintaining credibility in the metal world. But this is not that. This is about a seven minute epic song that goes from a panic attack piece to a sort of psychedelic meandering midsection where you’re learning more about how the author is getting rid of the manic phase of their life and then we end in a beautiful Pink Floyd question. I have to say the journey that this song takes you on kind of settles the soul in the end.
In the beginning we have the furious and coronary aneurysm speed that is punctuated by a kick drum that does not stop. And at first, I got to say, I wanted to call the band and tell them to pull back the drums (which I never say) because that kick drum sound was almost disturbing to me. It made me anxious. But, I thought later, it’s supposed to make you anxious. The lyrics of course are meant to make you think, but the music itself makes you think as well; it gives no, it evokes strong emotion and each of the sections of the song take you on a different journey.
The first one is anxiety and the idea of driving yourself so hard that you’re breaking yourself you’re ‘cracking your teeth’ to get where you need to go. And guess what - you’re running in place. That kick drum, right?! And when you think you can’t take it anymore you go into another place with the song
The vocals in here kind of float on the top of the music and you feel relieved and, I don’t wanna make this too morbid, but it’s almost like you’ve gone over the cliff because you can’t keep the manic pace of searching and not finding. You’re ‘killing yourself to live’ so “here I go I can’t I can’t hold it together anymore” and you kind a let it go. So there’s a death here I feel like, there’s a death of that pursuit of something you can’t define and there is a realization that if it’s going to come to you, that granular seed that shows you where to go next, it won’t appear when you’re frantically turning over rocks and lighting things on fire. Instead that floating seed arrives when you’re quiet and therefore able to notice it. And so in the third part of the song we get even more ethereal and we pull even further away until the only question that we have to ask ourselves for is “what’s in your heart.”
What action, what visual, what word when spoken sends a jolt to your psyche? When you feel that jolt it’s so simple, that’s where you need to be that’s what you need to do. But, instead of being quiet enough to let that seed find us, we go through life piling on and piling on all these obstacles and all these layers that prevent us from even thinking about what’s in our heart.
The imagery of the video is really interesting to me as well because we have the band playing, we have Kenny singing and we have a white mask that starts bleeding, like a saint, like a statue of a saint in a Basilica will bleed in a display of Catholic miracle. It would seem you need to go through some trials to get what’s in your heart, but once you go through the trials you need to then bath yourself in humanity and silence to notice the blooming flowers, but again you can’t do that without not quiet and connection.
I’ve always envied Kenny and his cohort of what they have done musically, because it is very experimental and I believe that that’s the way they write. I don’t know this for sure, but it seems to me that someone comes up with an idea and they build on it and they build on it and all this sonic building ends up a song. What they eventually produce probably sounds a lot different from the germ of the idea when they started. It’s a very organic experience from what I can glean. There’s something so unifying in this video. Tom Flynn who directed and edited is kind of flying through with all of this imagery that aligns the song with this idea of movement, growth and rebirth. It captures this idea of stripping away to find out what’s at the center of everything.
I guess the thing that pulls it together for me is that - again I’ll say it - Pink Floyd ending. I don’t know why I aliken it to Floyd; it’s the first thing that came into my head when I heard it - but also there’s a Nirvanaesque Epilogue here. We have Kenny’s words ‘all we really know is all were shown Is what we we’re told is what we’re sold - I got to say this pinpoints problem of not knowing who you are perfectly. It’s not your fault if you don’t know who you are because you’re so wrapped up every day being told who you are by somebody else and being defined by somebody else. Whether it’s your parents or its advertising or its society or its school - there’s somebody out there telling you should be this you should do this. And what successful people do is realize - it’s all a farce. Successful people listen to themselves, they listen to their hearts, and they know what’s in their hearts. And they work and they struggle and they fight to bring what’s in their hearts to fruition. And this is what ‘as dark as you’ has accomplished with this video. I cannot wait to hear the rest of the record, Umm album, errr I mean ‘floating bits of electric vibrations in the atmosphere that we draw from our little portable talking boxes. -Heather Dawson

Lineup:
Kenny Truhn: Vocals/melodies/lyrics
Chris Petchonka: Guitars/bass/composition
Matt Graff: drums/engineering/mixing

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Article: Cashless Society: Pros & Cons... by Damien Lee Thorr

Cashless Society: Pros & Cons...
Copyright © 2019 by Damien Lee Thorr

I was listening to the radio this morning during my usual Friday morning routine of house chores. They were discussing the possibility of the US becoming a cashless society.

It is not surprising to me that the economic and monetary system in the country is evolving towards the direction of electronic credit, imitating art, or futuristic science fiction, where currency is no longer needed.

As I thought about it, there are already numerous businesses in the country who do not accept cash. Why not accept cash, you may ask? The reality is that accepting cash is costly, especially in big and overcrowded cities such as New York or Los Angeles, where a company's employee must spend hours waiting in line in the bank to deposit that cash.

But let's consider the possibilities of a cashless society:

It would 100% eliminate bank robberies if there is no currency to steal, especially if no one accepts it.

No one would worry about getting mugged so much since they are not carrying cash.

No one would worry about losing or misplacing their cash anywhere.

It would be easier to keep track of their money and control their spending.

If there is no cash, it would save the nation billions in materials and labor for the printing of currency and stamping out coins, which would also help conservation of natural resources on the planet.

So essentially, there are many benefits to becoming a cashless society.

Let's also consider the flaws of becoming a cashless society:

It would cause a tremendous and sudden wave of unemployment, as all those who work in the industry of printing currency and stamping coins would be out of work. This also includes the manufacturing industry of the equipment required to facilitate the labor of currency manufacturing.

It would also make check cashing businesses and cash transporting businesses with armored trucks obsolete, causing many more people to be out of work.

No more ATM's.....

But here is the flaw or weakness of a cashless society that worries me the most:

MALICIOUS HACKERS

There have been numerous computer experts who have implemented viruses to deliberately destroy and cripple corporations.

Some of these cyber criminals have conducted and designed these computer hacks for vindictive purposes and some for their own sick amusement.

I have been a victim myself of cyber bullying and after confronting them, it is still difficult to fathom how someone can become such an asshole, to use street standards, as there aren't many adjectives to properly describe them.

As an example: Some years ago, I was in a desperate situation, trying to raise money for medication for my child who was very ill. I was operating a failing business so in order to raise money, I was attempting to sell some guitars and other items on Craigslist.

However, one particular asshole, Joe Piazza, of Boynton Beach, Florida (this is not slander since what he did is true) was maliciously flagging and deleting my ads out of his daily boredom in his loser ass life. For his amusement, he even went out of his way, during working hours, to send me messages stating that I would have better luck selling the guitars if I offered blowjobs with them, among other nasty and horribly offensive messages.

I asked him to stop but he never did. I wondered how this dumb loser would like it if anyone disturbed him the way he was sexually harassing me... I did some research and found him and confronted him. It took me reporting him to his superiors at his job as a drug and alcohol counselor and also reported him to DCF, which regulates all drug and alcohol counselling facilities in the state, in order for his immature behavior to cease and desist. His reaction was never one of remorse or regret, but it was mockery, stating it was “no big deal” and that I should “get over it”.

This experience affected me horribly, developing a deep hatred for humanity. I am angry all the time even though I do not take it out on anyone, especially within my personal family life.

With all this in mind, being aware that there are irrational people out there who go out of their way to disturb others for no reason, and scam and steal from others without any remorse, or that just amuse themselves by creating pranks that cause devastating effects upon people, it makes me very uneasy about our money or credits existing only in electronic form, where one day, an expert computer hacker can make everything we have worked for disappear.

Considering everything, there are good valid points to becoming a cashless society as well as many dangerous flaws that can result in devastating consequences.

I wonder what a viable and compromising solution would be....

Where everyone can be safe from theft, hacking... and live with ease...

Saturday, October 26, 2019

EP Review: GRAVESIDESERVICE "Beings Born of Night" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Country: USA
Genre: Avant garde black metal
EP: Beings Born of Night
Label: Independent
Format: Streaming
Release date: July 24, 2019
GraveSideService has been releasing demos and full lengths in one incarnation or another since 2005. Presently their lineup consists of founding members and former members of Ancestral Shadows and Inverticrux. I had a late introduction to them with their new EP, “Beings Born Of Night” and wondered why I hadn’t heard of them sooner. The reason is probably because they released all their work independently and never signed to an indie label. This has apparently given them room to grow according to their own conditions and explore every microscopic opportunity to pursue musical strangeness. As surprisingly artful and occult noir as their album art is, this still doesn’t prepare you for the madness beneath. “Beings Born Of Night” made me want to hear as many of their older releases as I’d have time to, if anything to see if they compare in terms of sheer bizarre appeal. The EP comes close to Ekphrastic poetry, in the sense that it’s as visually expressive as it’s unorthodox. It sounds like an homage to mental illness, paranoia, delirium, hysteria, schizophrenia and psychosis, all in thirty minutes. If any band could interconnect raw black metal with progressive exposition and structure that feels like classical to casual and experienced listeners of extreme metal, GraveSideService does so with a resourcefulness that causes extreme anxiety to the unaware and vulnerable. “Beings Born Of Night” is the soundstripe to a mind suddenly unhinging and derailing at a steadily frantic pace. Imagine irrationality slowly hijacking your ability to reason and there is little you can do to curtail the process. Then listen closely and carefully to how the EP’s mood fluctuates and transfigures from the intro song and outro song (actually the intro song in reverse with vocal overdubs), “Beings Born of Night” to “Depths I Yet May Reach” to “Crest Fallen” to “Pursued By Pleasures Ungodly”. The vocal arrangements are far from typical for most extreme music. There are one or two vocal styles that are extravagant, theatrical and more indicative of latter day Mayhem and the like, while the last style is more akin to traditional black metal. The constant exchange gives the EP more of a presentational feel and helps the overall lunacy. Highly recommended for souls condemned to hell. -Dave Wolff

Lineup:
Rayzer: Vocals, lyrics
Spacecorpse: Guitar, composer
Death Spirit: bass
Armand: percussion

Track list:
1. Intro - Funeral Sermon
2. Beings Born of Night
3. Depths I Yet May Reach
4. Crest Fallen
5. Pursued By Pleasures Ungodly
6. Outro - Service Has Ended

EP Review: CUCK LORD "Cuckodile Dundee" (Independent) by Kelly Tee

Band: CUCK LORD
Location: Barandunda
Country: Australia
Genre: Pornogrind
Label: Independent
Format: Digital, streaming
Release date: January 3, 2018
For deviant-minded and inclined metalheads, this pornogrind should be right up your alley! I’m talking about the one-man pornogrind band, Cuck Lord.
Yes, the name should give you a fair hint as to what this style of metal is all about...However, if the name doesn’t give it away, think a bit of sex with a bit of violence and some humour thrown in. Aside from the themes of Cuck Lord’s music, which is essential to this type of grind, what Cuck Lord delivers is an obscure, quirky, chaotic and industrial grind flow.
Get past the often comedic, porn inspired voice-overs and even a little bit of audio from the infamous scene of the movie “Deliverance” thrown in, Cuck Lord is a fast and fun listen.
The Aussie character behind this one-man band is Aidan, hailing from Barandunda. He has offered up a crazy seven track EP in Cuckodile Dundee. With tracks such as ‘Fucked By Geese’, and ‘Dick Demon’, the album is definitely unique and catchy with cool drum beats, raw heavy guitars and interesting yet arcane vocal sounds created by Aidan. ‘Mandingo Party’ is the longest track on the album, and is most choice with nice industrial guitars, fast beats and cool mash-up of rhythm and tempo.
The Cuckodile Dundee album is small-scale endurance...(of course it is, this is grind), yet is energetic and colourful. Get yourself acquainted with it and have some fun! It can’t always be so serious.
New work is coming from Cucklord soon, so throw Aidan a like when you can. -Kelly Tee

Lineup:
Aidan: All vocals and instruments

Track list:
1. Daddy's Milking Machine
2. Fucked By Geese
3. Dick Demon
4. Creampie Candy Land
5. Raped By Rabid Pigs
6. Mandingo Party
7. Skullfucked At Birth

Friday, October 25, 2019

Promotional Video Review: UNCOMPLIANT "Ashamed" by Heather Dawson

Band: UNCOMPLIANT
Location: Los Angeles, California
Country: USA
Genre: Metalcore
Promotional video: Ashamed
Directed by: Franky Kerrigan
Release date: July 26, 2019
Last night I was having a conversation, actually was an argument, with my son regarding why he needed to take honors chemistry (although science wasn’t really his big deal it’s more English). My argument was that even though he wasn’t going to need to know the density of water when he was an adult, doing whatever he needed to do to pass this class would be a good exercise for him. He would need to work hard to slay the chemistry dragon. He needed an obstacle to overcome; a challenge he thought was unsurmountable. I said to him, “Life is going to throw things at you Lucantonio when you’re an adult, and you need to be able to know that you can handle these challenges. If you can overcome chemistry then you can overcome anything that life Throws at you. And I can tell you from experience it’s going to throw a lot at you.”
In the opening scenes of Uncompliant’s video for their song “Ashamed”, a lanky youth throws down his phone and collapses on the couch after hearing bad news about a loved one. The medical providers have done all they can, there’s no more to be done. This kid’s going to lose somebody and it’s somebody that he loves and he can’t take it. Lucky for this young man he’s got amazing bandmates that come to sit by his side and try to help him through this time. He’s also got an outlet, he’s also got something to funnel his rage and his sadness into and it’s his band. Not all people have this, not all people have support systems, and not all people are gifted with resilience and intellect to push them through bad times. And unfortunately not all people have had to struggle with small things first so that they could overcome the big things later in life.
The problem in today’s isolative world is that young people do not have a chance to test their limits. When I was young I got on my bike and I left the house and if my foot got caught in the spokes or I stepped on glass or I stubbed my toe I needed to get home by myself without a phone without my folks and handle that problem on my own. This may not seem like a huge deal, but in today’s society you rarely see a kid with a cast, you rarely see a kid with a broken collarbone. I broke my arm at 12 skateboarding, my sister broke her leg in a drunken fracas in the playground at 16, my other brother, at seven years old fell off the porch and broke his arm. Why do I tell you this in the middle of a review for a song? Because it’s really important for children and young people to have to overcome small things in life. Classes they don’t like, friends that they have problems with, even injuries, so that they know they have the capability physically and mentally to overcome these obstacles - and that life gets better.
Why we have so many anxious, suicidal kids today is that they don’t know they can handle life. Because they’ve never been tested, because I can always run back to their parents and say ‘fix this for me’ and we do it... because we love them... because we are frightened for them... because in our 24 hour news cycle the world is a dangerous, frightening place where our children can be snapped up from us in moments. We are super permissive in some ways and over protective in others. I worry that my children won’t have the fortitude that it takes to be an adult in this world. Because I haven’t offered them challenges or the challenges that they are offered are in controlled environments like school.
Getting back to this video (after that long diatribe) this young man has similar problems to the youth of today it seems like he’s collapsing, it seems like he’s collapsing under the weight of this loss - of this impending loss. How is he going to deal with it? How is he going to overcome the emotion that he’s feeling and turn it into something positive? He fights his own friends that are trying to help him, at first he rejects their compassion because he’s wallowing in that pain. He wants to be in that place that his loved one is in, he wants to share in their death struggle and in that end of life pain. And that’s fine; but the living have to remember that they are still living and that they have to go on. And their mission in going on is to show others that the struggle is worth it. That overcoming obstacles leads to better things, more confidence, better experiences and deeper relationship with others. When we experience pain we can commiserate with others, we can recognize their pain as ours.
This video kind of reminds me of “Fall To Pieces” by Velvet Revolver, where you have Duff cradling the ultimately doomed Scott Weiland in his arms in the bathroom of some skeezy club, saying ‘don’t do this you can overcome these problems I’ve overcome them you can do it too you’re smarter than this you’re more talented than what you’ve given yourself’. In this video Mr. Weiland gets his shit together and overcomes. Unfortunately, not so in real life. In the “Ashamed” video we watch singer William von Hofsten struggle, fight, collapse and overcome the terror of living in this world attached to another human being. This is the struggle of life; do we love? Do we love knowing love ends? Whether it be through breaking apart or death? Do we Love regardless, giving our all to our parents who will die, to our lovers who will go, to our children who will move on without us, and if we do our job correctly, not need us anymore. Life is overcoming struggles and in that overcoming we slowly drop pieces of ourselves across the world, across other people, until hopefully at the end of our lives, we’ve given enough pieces of ourselves to be remembered. That is why the struggle of life is worth it. That is why we need to teach our kids that they are strong, capable people and that they can overcome the simple problems in life when they’re younger so that when they’re older they can overcome things like love ones passing. They will not permanently collapse. They can continue to contribute to the society and say “I lost my loved one and this is how I overcame it”. We’re doing an enormous disservice to our children and to the world if we don’t teach kids to have confidence in their abilities. I feel that we are doing that as a society and I fear that I’m doing it individually.
Again, getting back to the “Ashamed” video by Uncompliant. Why is this young man ashamed? I wonder is he ashamed for loving? Is he ashamed that he needed his friends to help him? Is he ashamed that he turned them away? I sort of feel this song is not aptly named although I have no suggestions. There’s no shame in asking for help, there’s no shame in accepting help. There’s no shame in wallowing in sadness for a while. The only shame comes when you can’t get up, dust yourself off and go on. The music in the driving yet melodic tune suggests forward motion. It suggests that when we do face these obstacles we get up and we move, we take thoughtful action. After we see Van Houston rage during the bridge, releasing all the anger and pain that sits inside him, again his friends (who he rejected) come to his aid and help him in his struggle. I guess that’s where the ashamed comes in. We need never be ashamed of failure because we tried. We need never be ashamed to ask for help, because we are giving others a chance to nurture and care. We need never be ashamed of emotions or how we love or who we love if our intent is pure. I believe that Uncompliant have pure intentions and I believe they have a good road ahead of them. Their name suits them; they are not going to comply with the tough guy metal image that blocks out emotion that scorns love and that is so self-reliant as to be an iceberg. Uncompliant are dark and introspective but caring and insightful and I expect great things from them. -Heather Dawson

Lineup:
William Von Hofsten: Vocals
Henrik Exel: Guitar
Zachary Richard: Guitar
Tanner Kahn: Bass
Max Codoceo: Drums

[Max Codoceo has since left the band due to personal issues. -DW]