Friday, August 28, 2020

EP Review: hororhaus "entrance" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Project: hororhaus
Location: Woodstock, New York
Country: USA
Genre: Experimental
EP: entrance
Format: Compact disc, digital album
Label: Independent
Release date: July 14, 2020
Imagine if you will, an old style carnival of freaks or an old style haunted house attraction full of human oddities, witches, axe murderers, vampires, ghouls, the gremlins from “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” and other assorted night creatures. If you discovered creature features at a young age and couldn’t seem to purge the memories for years afterward, you’ll find it rewarding to listen to “entrance,” the debut EP from hororhaus. hororhaus is the brainchild of Vasaria drummer Scott Harris whose fascination with horror and paranormal movies of the b-grade variety (everything from “The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari” to “Frankenstein” to “The Fog” and “Creepshow”) compelled him for years to create conceptual tales in song form, as multilayered as they are minimalist. This EP resounds with the impressions old b-movies left on Harris though they remained beneath mainstream radar (for me it was “Nosferatu 1922” that petrified and enthralled me). I recall a line from the 2018 movie “Hellraiser: Judgment” that goes, “Technology may have advanced, but sin remains unchanged.” In other words, the capacity of old horror movies to evoke responses is as timeless as old style boardwalk carnivals and exhibitions of strange people since what lacked technologically was made up for in mystification. That fascination of the unknown still speaks to horror fans, and you’ll get it here with a postmodern soundtrack mixed with analog and vintage instruments. While Harris records with a host of synths and drum programming machines to give the EP a modern push, the elements of nightmare he said he desired putting into the songs are provided by the organ, keyboards and vocal tracks that sound like they’re inside your mind. The villains from those horror movies of yesteryear seem to become real as they escort you to whatever hell they please so you can experience the horrors up close and personal. A hell from which there’s no escape because you’ve crossed into another universe where time operates differently from time in our own. As such, when the nightmare ends it begins again, maybe in another form but always the same nightmare. If you want to listen to something that came from a heretical mind and be spooked at the same time, hororhaus is a project to check out. –Dave Wolff

Scott Harris: Music, lyrics, vocals, programming

Track list:
1. entrance
2. hearse
3. nonataya
4. witch tryal
5. axe killer
6. never leave (ending?!?)

Monday, August 24, 2020

Article: Sahajza Newsletter September-October 2020


The Western Sun, withdraws the shorten'd Day; 
And humid Evening, glidng o'er the Sky, 
In her chill Progress, to the Ground condens'd 
The Vapours throws. Where creeping Waters ooze, 
Where Marshes stagnate, and where Rivers wind, Cluster the rolling Fogs, and swim along 
The dusky-mantled Lawn. Mean-while the Moon 
Full-orb'd, and breaking thro the scatter'd Clouds, Shews her broad Visage in the crimson'd East.

~ James Thomson from the Seasons 1730 ~ 

By Goddess Rosemary 
This is the time of year we, the Sahjaza, honor animals. Birds, fish and reptiles are all included; this is the coming of the time of the Stag. 
We all know throughout history that animals have played a role in mythology and folklore in a wide variety of roles. They’ve been depicted as providers of sustenance, as well as fierce protectors and guardians and sources of mankind’s survival. 
In the year of the Dragon, we once again will visit the theme of the Dragon as this year comes to one more turn of the wheel under the auspicious sign of the Dragon. This mythical beast or guardian spirit appears in vast and totally varied cultural backgrounds from, China, Germany, the Celts, as numerous as these symbols of dragons are found equally numerous are cats the jaguar the lion panther the images as Bast and Shemeckt are honored both by the Sahjaza. 
No one can forget the primal panthers played out in the cult classic film starring Nadia Kinski, “Cat People.” In my opinion this film is on my top 10 of all time list. It’s one of the most premier cult-classic “animal turns human,” or human turns animal films of all time. The epic start of this film with the “family tree” sequence to the evolution of her maturity in the journey from maiden to womanhood, and including the classic maidenmother-crone archetypes in the film if you are looking for mythology behind the wonderful story line. It’s all in there. Someone could very well do a thesis on this film in relation to mythology regarding the turning of man to beast and vice versa. The primal images in this film stand out as one of the greats and many have strived thereafter to duplicate this imagery with special effects but to me this still stands as one of the greats of film there is good vs. evil there is the hunger there is the temptation and more its all there the whole package if you have not yet seen it take a look and watch this one, if you have this is a great film to revisit this time of year. This film and the original “Howling” are my top picks for this season for all time great cult movies to revisit. Animals may have been viewed as the protectors of the human race, however their role in that and their survival are in great peril. The pit bull, the only American bread dog that is pure USA as well as many other large breed dogs, is under constant regulation and law attack. The pit bull was a breed that was created and called “nanny dog” as farmers left the wise dogs in charge of the children as they went out into the fields to protect the kids why they worked all day. 
We’re a far cry from using them thus today the fighting rings have warped the image and created a bad image for this caring dog way removed from its days as the nanny. We must be vigilant to not allow regulations to move our big dogs from our homes there are many breed specific regulations sneaking onto the books to stop this we must pay attention and become proactive watch and see what those you vote into power have planned for dogs and cats and limits of animals in your communities. 
It’s up to you to vote on these regulations and watch it at a local and state level. Demand “no kill” shelters and low cost or free spay and neuter clinics. In 1250 BC depictions of animals like Anubis weigh the human heart. Imagine if animals judged us today. What would they say about our treatment of animals in this society? What would the sacred scribe Ani then say of us on with the lifting of the sacred writing feather of truth? How would we stand in the light of their judgment? 
One of the most fierce mythological dogs that I can think of is the Greek three-headed dog who in my mind brings to mind Monty Python type images guard the underworld Cerberus keeping the living out and the dead in. 
Ravens and crows have a duo nature being both cleaver and cunning and can be anything from muse, to protector to trickster; they have been called guardian spirits, bearers of secrets, and evil omens. I find they are a wonderful omen for me they are to me bringers of good will and good luck as well as come in the spirit of happy protection. To me they come as friendly messengers, when I lived by the Cloisters in Inwood, NYC they followed us to the park where I walked a dog for someone and Alisha and I would get some coffee con leche and go to the park from end to end walking the dog midnight, ravens would hop from tree top to tree top like a tree top troubadour escorts talking all the while to us as we went along the length of the paths they knew our route and followed us back up the hill to the brownstones. In Nevada there was a raven I called, “Spock,” who would come to visit me in the Black Rock Desert so much he became my own decorating my fence posts and eating from my hand. Animals as guardians include a vast many roles as vast as the varied paths of spirituality. Christians have the sacred tree of life, which is guarded by the unicorn on one side and the mature stag on the other. At the same time you see the correlation of the time of the stag in the pagan or old religion incorporated into Christianity. Are they both symbols of Christ? Some say so is the stag therefore the sacrifice? Why the unicorn? No one is really sure theologians debate this issue. Why a mythical creature such as the unicorn it would be interesting to really know remembering the tapestry I looked at with these two images at the Cloisters museum. I have a small lacquer jewelry box with this image of the unicorn on it a piece from that tapestry. These symbols were used many times over and over as images of Christ. 
There are a good many animals that have varied roles and the animals themselves are varied by type and look some are hybrid mixes of a good many animals into one some are part one and part another. The protection by these animals and beast images include spirit guides fertility totems gateways to the ancients and ancestors, wisdom teachers, keepers of secrets, helpers and companions, law keepers and truth judgers, spiritual enlightenment bearers, helpers with super powers and wings and tails as well as other super qualities. For example Buddhism has the dog-lions are guardians of law and enlightenment and Buddha himself revered these animals. Native American’s have clan guardians, depicted on masks, costumes, and totem poles and are deeply woven into their culture, dances, stories, mythology and lore. The various animals signified for some the location and tribes as well as areas they came from and family’s they came from as well. I love the story of the Spider Woman in the Navajo mythology. Look her up you will too. 
The Dragon is lesser known as one of the symbols or emblems of Osiris. And was attributed with the annual Nile flooding this flooding was the life’s blood of the region as all life depended on this flood for fertility of the land and insuring the future. 
Kundalini is the attempt to take make and female energy. It’s a great example of Z/n being the emphasis of opposites, day and night, dark and light, male and female, yin and yang, top and bottom, the Kundalini energy is the serpent energy the energy of our Sahjaza sacred Oboros the sacred circle of snake with its tail in its mouth. Female energy is Shakti energy. Male energy is Shiva energy. 
Together they make a whole and appear as a coiled serpent -- its open mouth the central energy channel its entrance called the Sushumna the base of the spine the Sahasrara the pure consciousness symbolized as a lotus flower of 1,000 petals. Waken the serpent is the aim of Kundalini yoga, uniting the spirit and body, creating male and female perfect balance. We the Sahjaza strive for balance in all things and this sort of yoga would be a good way to work on such balance. (Photo of goddess rosemary with dragon ring by Annie Sprinkle). 
A while ago I asked several of you all this question, “If you were to be an animal or bird or come back as one what would it be.” The second part of this question could be, “if you were to choose companions or advisors of any mythical or real animal bird fish reptile or creature, what would you choose?” 
This example showed to me a side of each individual who responded and I was able to impart knowledge and information to them regarding their choice, as well as opening up ideas for further research and information on their choices. And so I ask you the reader to do the same. Choose the answers to these two questions and see where it leads you. Meditate on and invite your “critter” into your sleeping and waking life and see where it leads you. I would be interested in hearing feedback on this one. Watch for them to come to you as a messenger, do they come more often after your selection and invitation? Do you see them or symbols of them more often? Watch for their messages for imparted knowledge’s and as well for warnings or other messages in your life. 
Social status and symbolic languages have been developed involving the illustration of animals, human animal and animal like creatures as well as combinations of animals creating one creature with characteristics of many animals. To be used to horrify and guard tombs and other royal palaces as well as keep guard of cathedrals and pyramids and a variety of other places sacred to us for example the fantastic gargoyles. They decorate the pages of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and other nighttime tales with outrageously frightening images. These sometimes were also used as family crests marking territory and lineages. Often wings were added to these beasts. They were more exotic across Europe. 
The heraldic pelican was depicted nourishing her own chicks why she was in a boat like woven nest with droplets of her own blood. All manners of beasts – birds, bears, lions and all combinations therein adorned shields and armor. The oldest of these are perhaps, the lion followed by the bear, the boar, and the wolf, used in the medieval cast or knight and family imagery. Three fishes are a sign of the holy trinity on a coat of arms from 1448 found in the U.K. while the silver fish jointed pendent in the Andes Mountains that I did see women wear when I was there was an image or totem used for fertility. The fishes crafted scale like silver sections moved. 
The lion is the living symbol of Ra the power of the sun. The lion guards the spirit realm, death and the afterlife in its relation to Osiris. The lion headed Goddess Sekhmet protects the young and keeps away disease and disaster. Sekhmet the Goddess is often depicted holding a sward with her lions face. Thus she is one of the Sahjaza warriors patron goddesses the patron of the Mradu, as the Goddess Bast is the patron of the Sahjaza Kitra. The Hindu associates the lion with the Goddess Durga and calls her the guardian of the North. Christianity adapted the lion to represent the lion of Judah and a symbol of Christ as I have before mentioned in this document. On Sumerian shrines lions offer protection as the God of war named Nergal. 
Jaguar woman and jaguar shamanism is a topic well worth spending some time researching and experimenting with on your various paths of shamanism and spirituality of animal totems. There are many facts on the ancient practice of this path from the South Americas to evoke the Jaguar is to conjure up some powerful medicine and to travel on a powerful path. There are too many paths and legends and traditions to discuss here in this writing. 
Not all of them call for you to take on the look of a jaguar some wear the skins some do not, there is a tribe in the Amazon of Northern Peru that is called the Matses that think if they look enough like a jaguar they can call on its spirit for protection and cunning their imitation includes body modification some of the methods they use are altered edges of their mouths to enlarge it to make it look more cat like, pierced whiskers, tattooed skin spots eye decoration their mouth slits and tattooing mimic very well the big cats. They give themselves full facial jowls and posture with the ceremonial lip cut alterations and tattoos. Splintered wood both men and women use to adorn themselves with whiskers. 
Ocelotl is the Aztec jaguar’s name honored for its cunning and ferociousness. It was thought that Ocelotl controls the fertilizing rains. And the Aztec thought that only blood shed of an enemy would create inspiration for Ocelotl to allow the rains to flow. Elaborate mock rituals with some depicting enemies were carried out to call forth the rains when no enemy was about. Thus bidding Ocelotl to bring forth the blessed rains. The jousting is costumed and elaborate bouts of highly decorated teams of fist fighters battled in these mock battles the players also include; Ocelotl, deer, four winds, and other players. In ancient Greece the leopard was Dionysus the God of Wine’s, sacred animal. The god was seen in leopard garb or riding a leopard. The cult of the Dionysus wore elaborate leopard masks, there are mosaics that are beautiful and elaborate of these scenes in Greece on walls and on pottery as well as leopard masks, they are known to be from as early as 180 ADE. There is at least one with one of these illustrations of Dionysus with a sward and has a reflective mirror like shield with a ribbon decorated is riding on a heavily clawed beast with a lashing tassel at the tip end of the beasts tail. 
Why did the leopard create so many myths of being the god of the keeper of the rain? The distinct color of the beast may be the answer for it looks like the pattern of the earth as the life giving rains fall? This may be the answer to this mystery but this is my thought as to why the beast is attributed by so many cultures with being the bringer of rains. And the boom from its belly issues a growl not unlike thunder and is fast as lightning. 
Scorpions are mostly destructive in mythology the scorpion is the 8th sign of the zodiac and was to punish the vanity of the human hunter the great hunter. Scorpius stung Orion to death -- so often when you see scorpions you know that you need to look to your vanity and vain way of being or that of others around you. Mayans regarded scorpions as destruction that drove away the wind the storms the rain. The Egyptian god Set in the form of a scorpion attempted to kill Horus as an infant. It was believed that a dead crocodile could easily turn into a scorpion. A wanton aggressive nature is thought to associations with scorpions. However they are well adapted to living in the deserts and are a stunning noteworthy example of nature’s ability to adapt. 
The bat has so many mythologies I will focus on a few only here. The bat has been called the, “devils bird,” and has been thought to be a witches willing winged familiar, I guess that is why one came in my bedroom less then a month ago and flew around a few laps. The bat is attributed with swallowing the sun in Peru. There are ornate pre-Columbian artifacts of pure gold bats that were linked to types of ancient sorcery. Bats rely on acoustics to “see” and radar echoes. Bats, among witches symbolize a rebirth. 
And last I will touch on some mythical beasts before asking you once again what your list of furred creatures, fish birds reptiles or methodological creatures would be to become and to be on your list of familiars, totems or guides. 
The Yeti or the abominable snowman, Bigfoot, footy or Sasquatch -- are they the same creature? Are they real? They could be. There are enough reports that this may be a real beast there are stories around the world they are known by a variety of names and have been seen by reputable people and a vast number of people. Why do they not become in death found? This is one of the questions that are used to nay say their existence, however, perhaps when they are going to die they go as the elephants do to one place or perhaps they come to get their dead and ceremonial like take them to a place where we will not find them, or the brush swallows them up or they enter caves. The lake Eyre beast is a Loch-Ness type monster appearing on her shores for as many years almost as “Nessie” has been bowing to her astonished public to keep her mythology alive as the Bigfoot passes across roads before astonished motorists in kind. Perhaps if you are in tune with nature enough quiet and introspective respectful and remote enough and look long enough you will know the mysteries and solve some of these riddles and myths from Minotaur to centaur to sphinx. 
We will another day explore more of the complex mysterious and spiritual relationships that exist between man and the beasts. Remember to protect the universe our habitat yours, and the animals, and if you put anything, anything at all, on your lawn, besides water, your simply no longer able to call yourself green. 
Hail Sahjaza!!! 
Goddess Rosemary, 
High Priestess Temple Sahjaza

The Besom Broom in Ritualistic Practice and Magickal Use 
By Corvo Obsidian Sahjaza 

The history of the broom, broomstick or besom is quite old. The broomstick itself was an integral fixture in the ancient homes throughout Europe. Since most of the homes were made of wood, straw and had dirt floors, the only way to keep a home “clean” was to sweep out the old. 
To show just how ancient this practice really is there is evidence of this concept in the KJV translation of the Bible. 
In Isaiah, 14:23 
“I will sweep it with the besom of destruction saith the LORD of hosts.” 

Besoms and brooms have long been misunderstood. Not only are they used in Witchcraft and Paganism to sweep away negative energies, but are also used as protect devices – not unlike an inanimate familiar. One of the earliest incarnations of the broom were known as besoms. Simple in form, they were constructed of twigs tied to a handle. The bristles could be made of straw, herbs or twigs. The symbolism is as follows: The shaft or handle represents the branch of a tree. Naturally there is a connection to the “Tree of Life” in this reference. It’s been discovered that the besom or broom was made from Hazelwood and the bristles from birch twigs. The purpose of the besom was and is still to this day, to ward off evil spirits, negative energies and to protect the home and all who dwell within it. Family member Brighid Affalon says, “I mostly use it after a safe cleanse to sweep out the remaining negative energy.” 
Because the broom can be used to sweep away the negative, some of our own Sahjaza use the besom in this manner. It makes a wonderful tool for magickal practices and rituals. 
Lady Ophelia made her own besom back in Hungary and is always with her. She made it out of Vine Maple branches and used rope to tie it together to the handle. She used it for clearing the area before a ritual or clearing the negative energy from her house. She usually keeps it hanging on her wall, just like her ancient counterparts used to. 
Historically, brooms made great gifts for weddings or Handfastings. You can add a little ribbon, some flowers and you’re good to go! No wrapping needed. Every new home needs a broom. 
The Madame Webb usually gives a besom as a wedding present or has a small one to decorate a wrapped wedding gift. She makes a besom every fall. She shares with us that she, “gets some willow branches and binds them together (ends up more like a switch). I do a house sweeping with the Celtic new year of Samhain, and then I burn the branches or put them back in a wooded area.” She adds that one should always sweep to the center of a room, counter clockwise. She also mentions that on Chinese New Year, “if you want to clean two weeks prior to the New Year, sweep to the corners but don’t use a dust pan or vacuum – you don’t want to sweep away any good energy or luck.” 
The besom has been referred to as a “witches” broom as well as the early Celtic Pagans associating the broom with Faeries, according to our very own Elder Hedge witch Fae. As a witches broom, it is viewed as a tool that acts as a balance of divine forces. It’s part male and female in energy: the phallic handle and the female energy in the bristles. Because of this, the broom was and still is commonly used in Handfasting rituals. The besom, witches’ broom, was also used as a gate or door before a ritual space. 
The besom broom is also known as a fertility symbol. The age-old picture of a witch riding around on a broomstick, casting magick spells is believe to have come from an agricultural fertility rite, where the women rode around the fields, with the broom between their legs, hoping to bring the famers a good harvest. 
Priestess Aurora shares her thoughts on the besom. She says that most people, especially those new to Witchcraft, known as Neophytes, do not know that their besom can be used for more then just sacred rituals. She adds, “while we do use it when preparing sacred space for Esbats and Sabbats, we also use them for our Mundane Sacred Space as well.” Witches use brooms in magick and ritual. The Pagan broom or besom is used in ritual for cleansing the general circle or ritual area. The besom is sweeping away psychic dirt, getting the area purified for the upcoming ritual. The act of sweeping also helps to get the mind ready for the ritual, quieting the mind and narrowing the focus. It is also a purifier and is related to the element of water. 
Here is an exercise from Priestess Aurora that you can do with your besom: 
To use your besom to cleanse the home, and prepare it for sealing with sage, you first must insure that your broom has been consecrated and cleansed and has become a magickal extension of you. You also need to be sure that you’re in good spirits and not hanging on to any negative energy before you begin. Your intentions must be pure of heart and mind. Also, this is best done when you are going to be home alone so that you and your energy are the only things within the walls. If all of this is in place and you are ready to begin, place a small amount of sea salt in a line across the doorway that leads into the front of your home. 
Next, depending on the size of your home, head to the top most floor and to the furthest back corner. If you are in an apartment go to the furthest back corner as well, which is usually a bedroom. Start by taking up your broom in your hands and envision a light of any color that is healing and happy to you. Many of us will use a white light since it is so pure and positive. 
At the back corner of the room, begin to make a sweeping motion, not touching the broom to the floor but about an inch above the floor. We do not use our sacred broom for general house keeping of any type. Sweep the air to the center of the room, all the while chanting a small mantra something like this: "Naught but love enter here, all other energy is unwelcome." 
Then move to the next back corner, again 'sweeping' the air to the center of the room. Move to the next corner and the last, repeating this process until all four corners are 'swept.' 
Move to the center of the room, and say your mantra aloud in a normal tone of voice as you sweep the energy out of that room into the hallway. Continue this process in each room from the back of your home to the front door. Do not skip any rooms, including walk-in closets and bathrooms. Once you are standing at the front door, sweep the energy you have gathered from each room directly onto the sea salt. Visualize the salt becoming black or muddy. 
Open your front door and repeat your mantra as you now sweep the air directly above the salt, in order to force it out the door and cast it to the wind. If you have a rather large lip at the doorframe, you first do the sweeping motion, visualization and then you can pick the salt up with a wet cloth and rinse it down the drain. 
Now you can seal the home with sage or sweet grass as you would normally seal a spell. 
Repeat this process each time you feel an uncomfortable shift in the air in your home. Remember, this too, is your sacred space. 
Hail Sahjaza! 
Corvo Obsidian Sahjaza, Custos Libros and Sacred Scribe, Temple Sahjaza 


The fertility spell indicated uses two apples, one of the fruits of fall. 
Take an apple and cut it crossways through the core so that the center shows the star pentacle -- remove the seeds. 
Take the second apple and remove the seeds as well as you did the first apple.
When you cut the apples, be sure not to cut the seeds. Lay the first two seeds out one from each apple the rest in a cup to the side. Swallow the first seed, from the first apple. Have your partner swallow the first seed from the second apple. Or you swallow both if your working by yourself on this spell. 
As you swallow the first seed/s say “Aah, Oh, ou, aay, ele.” 
As you swallow the first two seeds visualize the seeds being planted inside your waiting womb. 
Take your cup of seeds, or take them in your hand, go out for a walk, or plant them here and there in your yard. Or you can just toss the rest of the seeds, as you continue to chant, “Aah, oh, ou, aay, ele,” and you walk till all the seeds are planted. 
Relax with a cup of tea and enjoy your evening and know the first seeds are planted, in doing so your body is aware of your intent. 
If your partner is working with you on this spell, feed each other the seeds and then walk hand in hand as you both chant, “Aah, Oh, ou, aay, ele.” as you plant the last seeds. When you get home or inside you will have the tea or dinner and lay with one another. 
Fall is the time of gestation for many animals as well as humans. Blessed be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your seed. 
~ Adapted from an old world fertility spell by Goddess Rosemary 

“A stroke of luck or a gift from God?
The hand of fate or devil's claws?
From below or saints above?
You came to me.”
Song by Garbage

Warrior Talk The NA Elder's Meditation

"Silence is the cornerstone of character."
-- Charles Alexander Eastman, OHIYESA SANTEE SIOUX

Be still and know. Anyone can verbally attack another. Anyone can be a smart aleck. Anyone can be angry and tell other people things that will hurt them. Anyone can be sarcastic, devaluating and belittling. It takes a Warrior to be silent. Silence is so powerful. Silence can be so loving.


Overcrowding and Neglect and killing of our animals trapped in shelters. 
My prayers continue for a resolution for this slaughter. 
Spay and neuter your animals. 
It would be so nice if the corruption, at the expense of these many, hundreds and hundreds, of helpless animals would stop, this is outrageous, we are, as a country, better than this, to allow this. Hecate, St Francis and God and Goddess, we call on you to assist in exposing, and righting this wrongs and crimes committed against these helpless captives in the care of humanity. 
Aid those who are striving to help assist the care needed to move to a better way of animal control and no kill shelters free traveling vet care and spay and neuter clinics. Expose those involved and deep in corruption and remove their power over these the helpless little ones who have no voice, no attorney no legal recourse or council to argue their captivity or sentences handed down for being homeless. When will this deplorable treatment stop. 
We call on you our higher power to create a better situation for these animals. 
Right wrongs and hand out swift justice create a new way of dealing with overpopulation through prevention and no kill options. Let it be so for all the creatures in need and let it be soon. 
~ Goddess Rosemary 


1/4 lb. suet (beef fat) 
1 large onion 
1 lb. ground beef 
1/2 lb. ground veal 
1/2 lb. ground pork salt and pepper 
2 tsp. garlic powder 
1 tsp. chili powder 
1 tsp. cumin seed 
2 cans kidney beans, drained 
1 can beef consommé 
1 drop red wine vinegar 
3 lb. spaghetti parmesan cheese oyster crackers 
Heineken beer 

1. Melt suet in large heavy pot until liquid fat is about an inch high. Remove solid pieces of suet from pot and discard. 
2. In same pot, sauté onion.
3. Combine meats in bowl; season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin. 
4. In another bowl, season kidney beans with salt and pepper. 
5. Add meat to onions; sauté until brown.
6. Add kidney beans, consommé, and vinegar; simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. 
7. Add more seasonings to taste, if desired. 
8. Cook spaghetti according to package directions, and then divide among six plates. 
9. Spoon meat mixture over each plate of spaghetti. 
10. Top with Parmesan and serve oyster crackers on the side. 
11. Open a Heineken. 

2. John Szwed’s biography of Davis, “So What” mentions another chili that the trumpeter’s father taught him. The book includes the ingredients, but no instructions, save for serving it over pasta. Like a jazz musician, you’ll have to improvise. 

Bacon grease 
3 large cloves of garlic 
1 green, 1 red pepper 
2 pounds ground lean chuck 
2 teaspoons cumin 
1/2 jar of mustard 
1/2 shot glass of vinegar 
2 teaspoons of chili powder dashes of salt and pepper 
pinto or kidney beans 
1 can of tomatoes 
1 can of beef broth 
Serve over linguine 

© 1976 – 2013 All rights reserved. 
Goddess Rosemary Sahjaza -- Z/n.
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Friday, August 21, 2020

Full Length Review: Incantation "Sect of Vile Divinities" (Relapse Records) by Dave Wolff

d: Incantation
Location: Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Country: USA
Genre: Death metal
Full Length: Sect of Vile Divinities
Format: Vinyl, CD, digital album, vinyl/digital
Label: Relapse Records (USA)
Release date: August 21, 2020
Thirty one years and fifteen full lengths (including three live albums) hasn’t slowed Incantation down. One of the east coast’s premier extreme bands with Mortician, Immolation, Rottrevore, Pyrexia and Profanatica, they made contributions to the death metal genre that fans everywhere will attest to. Founding member John McEntee has always had a committed sense of what he likes to write and what Incantation’s supporters want to hear, and has always retained the draconian essence of death metal, without censure or concession. This is why Incantation is instantly recognizable and “Sect of Vile Divinities” was eagerly anticipated since the band re-established Relapse Records as home with 2017’s “Profane Nexus.” Their advance video “Entrails of the Hag Queen” (released after the video for “Fury’s Manifesto”) is a surrealist horror movie in the vein of Fulci, Argento and D’Amato with imagery as dreadful and disturbing as the climate of the song itself. This promotional video likely won’t get past the censors but it’s a clever, resourceful foretaste of what was to come that needed to be made. You should listen to the entire album to grasp the idea that Incantation is no shiny, happy band, nor do they bother to wax or buff their sound. On “Sect of Vile Divinities” they completely reverse that direction, manifest everything that makes death metal shadowy, gloomy, cheerless and repugnant and make it painlessly straightforward and easy to take in. The surreal parameters of “Entrails of the Hag Queen” make their presence known full scale here; the sound is clean and well produced but this serves to heighten the lurid shadiness of the album as well as the dissonant chords, chaotic riffs, intermittent doomy themes and literary lyrical themes. In some ways this feels like a dark ambient or noise album by Aghast (Norway), Abruptum (Sweden), Darkness Enshroud (USA) or Vond (Norway). At the same time Incantation take early death metal as something more aggressive, murky and calamitous than thrash metal, tighten it up, make it more pummeling and relentless and add touches of funeral doom, creating an album that’s purely death metal and purely Incantation. This is an album that newer death metal bands should look to as an example of the genre done properly. –Dave Wolff

John McEntee: Guitar, vocals
Sonny Lombardozzi: Lead guitars
Chuck Sherwood: Bass
Kyle Severn: Drums

Track list:
1. Ritual Impurity (Seven of the Sky is One)
2. Propitiation
3. Entrails of the Hag Queen
4. Guardians from the Primeval
5. Black Fathom’s Fire
6. Ignis Fatuus
7. Chant of Formless Dread
8. Shadow-Blade Masters of Tempest and Maelstrom
9. Scribes of the Stygian
10. Unborn Ambrosia
11. Fury’s Manifesto
12. Siege Hive

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Full Length Review: Chabtan "Nine Levels" (Dark Tunes Music Group) by Dave Wolff

Band: Chabtan
Location: Paris
Country: France
Genre: Modern melodic death metal
Full Length: Nine Levels
Label: Dark Tunes Music Group (Germany)
Release date: April 20, 2018
Chabtan immerses themselves quite deeply in Mesoamerican mythology and history. Though they’re from France they’re undeniably knowledgeable and adept at paying homage to Mayan, Mixtec, Zapotec, and Aztec civilizations on “Nine Levels.” Mesoamerica is one of the world’s oldest, most independently developing cultures, having thrived a full millennium before Spain’s colonization of that part of the world, and its interaction with several different cultures had a significant part in forming the New World. About eighty percent of Mesoamerica’s indigenous population was lost after Columbus’ discovery of the Americas. Greed and desire for conquest led to the massive loss of lives and culture, and this period in history is considered the first act of large scale genocide. As Chabtan digs into these ancient times, reawakening and celebrating the forgotten Mesoamerican era, “Nine Levels” is a distinguished example of the historical transcendence underground metal can achieve. Taking almost a decade to hone their melodic death metal, Chabtan actualizes a personally meaningful, historically relevant statement. Described as comparable to “a thunderstorm conjured up by an angry Aztec war god”, “Nine Levels” is a living, breathing example of distinctively unconventional metal, expanding on their conceptual tales of forgotten but reawakened Mexican and Central American deities from “The Kiss of Coatlicue” (2015). "Nine Levels” may not be as caustic as Amon Amarth or as brutal as Nile, but Chabtan expands on their debut EP “Eleven” (2013), with inspiration from Sepultura and Meshuggah, serpentine arrangements, profound keyboards and choral vocals, philosophically based lyrics, corybantic percussion and traditional instruments that put the screws to the pigeonholing of bands. The feeling of entering the past is made tangible with atmosphere, chants, panpipes and Mesoamerican percussion. Nature, religious and cultural tradition, art and architecture are revealed in all their mysterious glory. The frenetic double bass, fills and blast beats provided by drummer Paul Mora complements those elements with a major amount of versatility. This and the emotion channeled into the material by vocalist Cris Red is essential to put across the collective pain of millions of human beings who perished under the tyranny of the conquistadores. An extremely honest and heartfelt homage to the distant past, “Nine Levels” proves once again there’s always something new to be found in the world of underground metal. –Dave Wolff

Cris Red: Vocals
Dimitri Merly: Guitar
Erwan Montagne: Guitar
Laurent Gasperetti: Bass
Paul Mora: Drums

Track list:
1. The Last Maya King
2. Escaping Seven-Death
3. Among the Demons
4. Jaguars Hunger
5. Never Ending Pain
6. Maya Messiahs
7. Xibalba
8. The Fall of Nojpetén
9. Nourished by Four Gods
10. Facing One-Death
11. The Last Maya God

Article: Trance Artist JAAJ by Tony Sokol

Trance Artist JAAJ Mixes Multidimensional Sonics Into a Transcendent Brew with Music for the End of the World Album, Apply for Departure
Article by Tony Sokol

Music is the universal language. Mathematics correlate across planetary divides. Multidimensional sonic explorer JAAJ blew out her album "Music for the End of the World" on 4/20/20 to bring the perfect vision to the world of sound. Building on a genre framework of EDM/Trance/Worldbeat, JAAJ expands with a dazzling array of instruments, combining ethereal harp, hard rock guitar, multi-percussionist variations, industrial synth, drums, and heavy bass. The music invites you on an intensive journey of trance where you can feel like you’re in a different world.
JAAJ is a state of being, of bliss, from an inter-dimensional planet. JAAJ is a rainbow person, otherworldly as her music. The world is going through a major realignment process. People are learning to realign with their true nature. JAAJ is putting together a cosmic collective. When the world reopens, "Music for the End of the World" will go live as an acoustic electronica project, featuring an orchestra. JAAJ is actively recruiting.
JAAJ’s influences include Santana and Shpongle. Musicians drawn to the potential music which can emerge from this are invited to join JAAJ on her travels. Musicians need money, however, and the artist is also looking for funding. JAAJ is seeking funding to produce a second studio album with orchestra studio session musicians and world singers. JAAJ is a music project based around the concept of transcending genres as well as mixing the various sounds and instrumentations of all over the world hoping to unite the people through music that appeals to everyone. She is currently working on a vocal Electronica album and has plans for a space rap album.

Jaaj on Apple Music

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Full Length Review: Primitive Man "Immersion" (Relapse) by Dave Wolff

Band: Primitive Man
Location: Denver, Colorado
Country: USA
Genre: Death sludge
Full Length: Immersion
Format: LP, CD, cassette, digital
Label: Relapse
Release date: August 14, 2020
Primitive Man’s latest full length, released after three years of silence, has been described as “massive,” “confrontational,” “overwhelming” and “soul-crushing.” These descriptions go beyond the usual praise for good underground albums but are maybe the slightest bit off as it more likely shows the condition of the soul after it has been crushed beyond redemption. It announces humanity’s apocalypse is here, one that came about as a result of humanity’s own self-indulgence and willful blindness, one from which there is no coming back. It also shows how blaming music and art for society’s ills is missing the point entirely, as all you have to do is read any news source to see how bad things have become due to the shortsightedness humans have displayed time and again. With dissonant guitar chords, a gigantic atmosphere, eardrum-shattering feedback, an ungodly bass sound, resounding drums, and some of the most cavernous fry growling you can bank on hearing from a band like this, Primitive Man herald global catastrophe with the best of them and confirm the authors of apocalyptic literature from centuries past knew what they were talking about. Heaviness has been known to rub listeners the wrong way if they prefer less noise and more melody. But this is an album that needs all its heaviness to make its message clear if you haven’t read about it or heard of the band before. On “Immersion” Primitive Man take ten steps further than Type O Negative, Winter and 13, exploring the current affairs of the world, how they have snowballed since the 2000s, and their impact on the individual psyche. Generating fear, despair and hopelessness in a way that truly immerses you, this album personifies a future in the starkest contrast to promises made for personal gain. The reality of life has rarely if ever come across so bleak, as Primitive Man reaches into the most shadowy recesses of your mind, uncovering a slew of darkened sentiments to loose upon an outside world that is ill equipped to deal with the apocalypse it created for itself. The band goes on to describe how the apocalyptic theme of “Immersion” reflects on them personally, representing the will to create as a curse while being beset by a lack of financial security. It’s not surprising in a world in which short sightedness includes the mistrust of any form of expression that threatens to explode complacency. And it leaves the critical thinker completely screwed to the same level as the society that did the screwing. The repercussions of dissent are as real here as the grand scale of the destruction you experience while listening. –Dave Wolff

ELM: Vocals, guitars
JPC: Bass
JDL: Drums

Track list: 
1. The Lifer
2. Entity
3. Menacing
4. ∞
5. Foul
6. Consumption

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Single/Video Review: Vasaria "Adversary" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Band: Vasaria
Location: Manhattan, New York
Country: USA
Genre: Gothic metal
Single/Video: Adversary
Format: Digital
Label: Independent
Release date: July 20, 2020
Vasaria is one of New York’s best kept secrets, having released new material on an extremely infrequent basis since 1997. Frontman Baron Misuraca has been involved in several projects over the years, including Desecrator, Baron Misuraca's Retro Lounge, Sabinas Rex and Carnivore A.D. Those acts display Misuraca’s performing range and I recommend checking them out. It’s rather a shame Vasaria is an unsung talent since label and PR support would help bestow well deserved status in the doom and goth metal industries upon them. This lineup of the band also features Chuck Lenihan of Crumbsuckers, Genitorturers and Carnivore A.D. “Adversary” is the first single and promotional video they put together since the viral outbreak from last January, the manner in which it was compiled shows unusually fertile imagination and is an ideal example of how a band can utilize quarantine restrictions to their advantage. The sound quality is clear and professional for however it was recorded, and the overlapping shots of the band in the video presents impressions of a nightmare. “Adversary” integrates affectations of Black Sabbath, old Carcass and Moonspell, connecting them with 1950s horror movies like “Blood of Dracula” and “The She Creature”, Ed Wood fare like “Bride of the Monster,” “Plan 9 from Outer Space” and “Orgy of the Dead” and Hammer Horror like “The Witches” and “Kiss of the Vampire.” In thematic and aesthetic terms you can add Misfits to the list of comparisons, only while the Misfits were zombified greasers Vasaria’s presence is more likened to a fifteenth century vampire who began his undead life when Vlad III Dracula of Transylvania was still walking the earth. His voice and the accompanying music (particularly the keyboards) adds infinitely more weight to this imagery, so much so that listening becomes like entering Dracul’s castle and being entertained by his minions. “Adversary” can be viewed at Bandcamp (with lyrics) and Misuraca’s Facebook and Youtube profiles. –Dave Wolff

Baron Misuraca: Vocals, bass
Chuck Lenihan: Lead guitar
Evan Strumar: Keyboards, guitar
Scott Harris: Drums

Monday, August 10, 2020

Interview with Heather of SHALLOWPOINT (second interview) by Dave Wolff

Interview with Heather, bassist of Shallowpoint by Dave Wolff

When I interviewed you in 2015 you had just hired a new drummer. Has Shallowpoint’s lineup remained steady?
Unfortunately we have changed lineups again and we still have no permanent drummer. It seems, due to time restrictions, most people have a really hard time juggling a band with their other responsibilities in life, which is totally understandable. It’s not easy to be a small upcoming band. And unfortunately during the current climate of Covid, it has become even harder.

How much attendance were you getting before Covid, and at what venues? How much has the local industry in Tennessee been affected by the pandemic?
Our attendance at shows has always been really good! We are fortunate in that aspect. We play our home area so little that when we finally play we usually draw a decent crowd. Tennessee venues are having a really hard time with Covid closings, as I imagine all venues are. We get mixed feelings on any shows we had booked for this year. Some can't wait to get to go to a live show finally, and others feel it's way too soon to be having them.

Knoxville has always had an active rock and metal scene. Are you still friends with the bands from there? I haven’t heard from Crome Molly in a long time; do you know what happened to them?
I really don't talk to musicians in Knoxville much, except the ones we play with, or have played with. Most of my really good musician friends don't live near us. We live a good forty-five minutes from Knoxville, so we don't really get to hang out there. About Crome Molly... I believe they disbanded eight to ten years ago. I will never forget them; they were one of the first bands we met in our beginning and some good times were had by all!

Who did you perform with in your last shows before Covid? Do you remember anything specific when it comes to you and Crome Molly?
Our last shows were mostly at big rock festivals. The last show was at the Blue Ridge Rock Festival in Virginia; it was so much fun! Godsmack and The Offspring were the headliners! It was amazing to play alongside some of my favorite bands in the world! We played between I Prevail and In This Moment. I believe due to time constraints that may have been the only show we played last year, as we were in the studio and writing the first half of last year.
I remember playing a festival with Crome Molly in Knoxville; that was when I first met them in person. Before that I only knew them on Myspace, where I in fact met you! We played a biker rally with them once in early May, and I remember it being sooo cold that night. We all got drunk and huddled by a campfire, haha.

Have you considered taking the live stream route as many bands have done since Covid? If you decided to, where would you play and what streaming site would you use?
We have considered live streams; we should probably do more for sure! If we stream for a live show, it would most likely be in our practice room at my house. It is set up super cool, light show and all! We would most likely use Facebook Live, Youtube Live or both.

About eight months ago you released a promotional video for “Broken Life.” Who worked on it with you and how well does it reflect the lyrics?
The “Broken Life” video was produced and shot by Chuck with a little camera help from me. We do all our music videos and most of our lyric videos. I think “Broken Life” suits the song and vision we had for the lyrics well. We finished that video about the time our ex-guitarist left the band, so if you notice there's only the three of us in the video.

What other songs have you made videos and lyric videos for? Which of your songs are you considering a video for next?
We have made music videos for “Nothing Left”, “Self Inflicted”, “Fractured” and “Broken Life”, and lyric videos for “Erased”, “Haze”, “Fractured”, “Determined Angels” and “Complicate”. We are currently in the middle of filming a new music video for our new song “Tell Me” and a lyric video for the new song “Sleeper” will follow that. A new music video for the song “Determined Angels” is in the planning stages.

Which of all your videos have received the most hits on Youtube and the most feedback?
I think “Nothing Left” has the most views, but it is the oldest of the videos and has been on Youtube the longest, followed by "Fractured".

Shallowpoint just released a new EP. Where was it recorded and how did you choose the songs to appear? What lineup was involved in the recording?
We recorded almost all of our music with producer Travis Wyrick of Lakeside Studios in Knoxville, Tennessee. Our songs are usually chosen in advance of recording.
We spent a long time perfecting the songs. We basically picked our favorites and worked really hard on them before entering the studio. Travis basically just recorded the new songs for us. In fact we sent all the digital keys and even the bass tracks by email to be used on the actual recording. Travis is an amazing producer, but the more time you spend in a studio the more expensive it is, so we like to have everything the way we want it when going in. I think we're pretty easy to record for him, hopefully, haha.
Our lineup for recording always includes me and Chuck. Our former drummer/friend/composer Jason Drake plays on the newer recorded songs, and he also does all of the keys. We have recently had a lineup change and have a new guitarist; his name is Dustin Bolt. We will have Georges Octobous on drums with us most likely from now on! Some may recognize him from playing with the band Flaw for the past several years. We love working with an assortment of musicians! You have to be really open these days to make it work; it takes an army. I have been told that by many very experienced people and I believe it, haha.

How much experience does Dustin Bolt have as a guitarist, and how does his experience benefit Shallowpoint?
Dustin has been playing guitar his whole life, he also plays drums and sings. He has a punk music background. He learned our music pretty fast! And we're all raring at the bit to get out and play some more! But the Covid thing is holding us back at the moment, as I’m sure it's doing to all of the bands everywhere. So at the moment we are focused on our next show, Sept 5th with Saliva, finishing up our music videos and then planning to continue writing new material for as long as Covid keeps us down. Dustin is a very fun and pleasant person to be around. We are all looking very much forward to the future.

I am not familiar with Flaw. Tell me and the readers about this band and how you hooked up with Georges Octobous?
Flaw has been around a long time. You should definitely check their music out, I think you would like them. We played several times with Flaw in several different cities. We befriended them during that time. I believe they have some new band members now, I’m really not sure, and do not want to say much without knowing. I can barely keep up with my own bands happenings, haha.

How much new material has been written and composed recently? Does your rotating lineup make it more difficult to write?
We have another five songs that have not been recorded yet. Chuck has written those himself. It’s hard to say how the rotating lineup affects us. Different people bring different ideas to the table usually. And if there is no one interested in co-writing, we write them ourselves. Changing lineups has never been detrimental. We keep on keeping on as “Joe Dirt” says! Haha. We have always done the best we can with what we’ve been given. We really love what we do, and I think it shows. People tend to recognize that.

What are your newest songs about and how do they compare to your older songs?
"Sleeper" is one of the new tracks on the EP. You can tell it is still Shallowpoint but it's a little different in some ways. The subject matter is written about Chuck's 1969 Chevelle. He has a love for old hot rods. So the song is basically about his love affair with his car. They used to call them “Sleepers” back in the day. It’s a really cool song!
“Determined Angels” was written by Chuck, and it was inspired by my mom and I! Chuck, my mom and I are all of the astrology sign Taurus. Taureans are well known for their strong determination in life. The song is about never giving up on your dreams.
Chuck also wrote the lyrics to “Tell Me.” The song is basically about saving yourself. Pulling yourself out of a dark place. A battle within yourself.
The EP also includes our previous single "Fractured" as it had never been put on CD. And it also includes a cool remix of "Determined Angels" remixed by our good friend and fellow song writer Jason Drake. It has an EDM feel to it, turned out super cool the bass in it rattles my house, haha.
I think the newer songs are still very introspective of what makes us Shallowpoint. Always writing from the heart and imagination.

Is the new EP being released independently or are you seeking labels for wider US distribution?
The new EP is being released independently. I have pretty much given up on record labels, and it seems they have even given up on themselves. I notice any bands they sign these days seem to sound like another popular band, or they use cover tunes to boost them to the top, which comes across as “gimmicky” to me. I love cover tunes, but we never wanted to spend our limited time being a cover band. We tend to spend our time writing original music, for what it's worth. For us, it makes us happier writing songs from our lives and emotions or even imagination. Not to say we won't eventually do a cover tune.

Are these local labels you’re referring to, or larger/national indie labels? Would the band found their own label if the need arose?
I was pretty much referring to all labels. I don't believe there are any locally now I am aware of. And yes, we would love a label. This is a lot of work, and I’ve always felt we would be further along with one! But I no longer set around waiting on such things these days. We decided a long time ago to do it all ourselves, and to do whatever it took “within reason” to keep moving forward!

Has Shallowpoint expanded to new social media outlets since Covid?
We have not been real active on social media of late. Really been busy with the videos and production of new band merch. I have not found new social media sites to be very helpful. Myspace was awesome back in the day, but it was quickly replaced by Facebook.

Have you seen more bands releasing their music on social media in recent years? In Shallowpoint’s case, where does copyright enter the picture?
I believe bands releasing music independently has definitely become the new thing. It is still very hard to gain a following, in the sea of music and bands. So many out there! In the case of copyright, we believe in protecting our work and investments. We trademark and copyright all of our music. It is very inexpensive and the only true way to protect ourselves.

In our last interview you mentioned how much Shallowpoint has learned by having a grassroots/DIY ethic. How much has the band learned since?
We learn new things every day. We never stop learning because the second you think you have it all down is when it will change on you. Even down to learning new instruments! I have taken up drumming as a secondary instrument, mostly for fun.

When did you decide to take up drums as a second instrument? Is anyone else in the band learning additional instruments?
Ahh... drums! I have been banging around on the drums for at least ten years! Only for fun, although I can keep a beat and play with a metronome. But I am by no stretch of the imagination a "drummer", haha. It's just a fun secondary instrument for me to have fun with, mostly at parties etc. I love the drums! Chuck can keep a beat as well! In fact, he's the one that taught me how to keep a beat! He often entertains me by playing drums and guitar at the same time, haha.

We also discussed how much exposure Shallowpoint received from the net radio station Deviants Underground Radio. Are you still in touch with Pryj since it folded? Is the band searching for other net radio programs? Where do you think net radio is heading now?
I somehow lost touch with Pryj over the years, though I occasionally run into her son around town. They were very instrumental in our beginnings as well as you! I am in touch with a lot of different radio outlets, so many that I can never remember them all. Luckily when we have new music out a lot of them contact me to send it to them... thankfully... I think Internet radio and FM radio are still very popular! We take any outlet we can get to get our music heard. It takes worth, but it's worth the effort. Constantly meeting new people through internet radio.

Who have you and the band met through internet radio lately? Which radio would you recommend most highly?
I have met so many people in radio, they have all been very supportive. I can't say that I would recommend one over another; they are all equally important in my book! But to throw some names out, Michael Palmer from Outlaw Renegade Radio, Oz from 106.1 FM "brand new rock station in Knoxville". Samantha Knight at Z975 Clarksville, Tony Arteaga from The Music Box, Chris Jones and Kitra Scott from Rock Rage Radio, and Rawk Dawg Radio station with Doug Russ and Firebrand Radio have all been amazing and helpful! And I know I’m leaving many out; my memory escapes me at the moment.

Is the independent label Twisted Hillbilly Records still active today, and if so, are you in touch with them as before?
I'm not sure Twisted Hillbilly Records is still around; I think they evolved into a photography business. I do run into the photographers occasionally at shows. Or at least I did.

How much more well-known has Shallowpoint become in other US states and other countries due to your Youtube and social media outlets and zine interviews?
Shallowpoint is pretty well known in Canada and the UK now. it's so awesome to be able to reach places where we have never been able to play live.

Are you reaching new listeners in Canada and the UK through zines and radio shows, similarly to the United States?
We sure are! People tell their friends about us; we constantly have new listeners,

What else can you tell the readers about your new EP? What else is Shallowpoint planning for the future?
Our new EP just released worldwide! And CDs are now available on our website! So far I am very pleased with the overwhelming response! We have sold a hundred CDs in one day! And I have barely had time to promote it! It's amazing how far we have finally come! When we released our first album it was hard to get anyone to take the time to listen to it. But once they did, many became fans and follow us and are very interested in our new stuff. So that is a really good feeling. In fact I’d like to take a second to extremely thank all of the fans, zines, radio stations and everyone who has ever helped us to get to this point, we are forever grateful! Thanks you guys! We are working very hard toward doing a tour next year, if Covid goes away! We’re also working on getting on more festivals, working on more new music and working on music videos for the songs on the EP. We never stop working toward our goals. Plus, it’s our life, and we love it.

-Dave Wolff

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Full Length Review: Astral Winter "Perdition II" (Immortal Frost Productions) by Dave Wolff

Band: Astral Winter
Location: Launceston, Tasmania
Country: Australia
Genre: Epic melodic black metal
Full Length: Perdition II
Format: Jewel case CD, digital album
Label: Immortal Frost Productions
Release date: July 31, 2020
Astral Winter’s fourth full length, in a way, is like a continuation of the concepts of their previous full lengths, “Winter Enthroned” (2011), “Perdition” (2013) and “Forest of Silence” (2016). As with those albums, “Perdition II” reiterates that there are no rules when it comes to subgenres of metal, that metal and poetics can and do exist hand in hand. “Perdition II” achieves it without the benefit of lyrics, as founding member Josh Young (also of Atra Vetosus, Hammerstorm and Lost In Desolation) seems to do more than set moods, he tells a story and makes it feel real to the listener. This album has a tranquil effect if you like black metal with Celtic and classical themes, acoustic guitars and keyboard instruments and/or lasting impressions of nature in the season when everything is in slumber. The coldness around you, the grayness above, the distant mountains and even the snow falling everywhere you look… Young has a way of convincing you it’s all genuine enough to touch and feel. He wrote these instrumental tracks as a means of accompanying a personal journey through the afterlife, while leaving it open for interpretation. My own impressions of this album were of something darker and more despondent underneath all this. One perception I had was that the album leads you to mourn the long forgotten time often celebrated by black and death metal bands, and to feel all-encompassing solitude bearing down on you. It feels like you are searching for a way in or a way to reawaken that age, and it eternally eludes you. The feeling is all the more mournful because that world you yearn to reach is far preferable to the present day, and it grows more intense with each passing track. It personifies the feeling of growing old, not only growing old in our physical world but knowing you’ll continue to age in the world beyond. Most albums introduce you to such otherworldly characters; while listening to “Perdition II” you become this despondent spirit. All the instruments by Young as well as the background vocals are mixed to properly put this concept across, with enough in the foreground to present emptiness and enough in the background to present the unreachable paradise that ceases to be ages ago. The sounds of nature mixed in enhance this desolate barrenness, this emptiness, making it all the more tangible. However it speaks to you, “Perdition II” is beautifully written and arranged, allowing you to share in the journey he paves the way for. –Dave Wolff

Josh Young: Vocals, all instruments, composition

Track list:
1. Corridors Of Time
2. Light Of The Cosmos
3. Ethereal Light
4. Fading From The Skies
5. Dreams Of The Stars
6. Crystal Tears
7. The Celestial Age
8. At The Gates Of Creation
9. Withering Illusion