Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Single Review: Null Cell "Blade’s Edge" (Machine Man Records) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Null Cell
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Country: USA
Genre: Industrial rock, EBM
From the upcoming full length "Nemesis" to be released December 31, 2021
Format: Digital
Label: Machine Man Records
Release date: November 26, 2021
Null Cell -Blade’s Edge
In today’s news headline the artist Null Cell has released a new single, one that is beginning to turn heads.
;Oh that’s absolutely right Corban! The Nebraska native really went all out with this one, giving us more of that classic 90’s-2000’s techno vibe mixed with some of that new school Dark Electro vibes! It’s a great marvel to witness!
:Douglas, you hit the nail right on the head it really does have that spark, doesn’t it? Makes you remember about those (not so memorable times) when we’re teenagers going through our little emo phases with our hair spiked up, wearing all those bracelets and long shorts and we would just get dropped off by our parents to an underage club and dance our troubles away!
;Ha-ha, yes those sure were interesting times. None the less I love how groovy and psychedelic this track feels, what he’s giving us is a sense of thrill to counteract the boring day to day routine, a sense of sonic adventure to quench our thirst for creativity and overall deliver a mood-changing aesthetic that will be remembered for days or weeks to come!
That’s all for today's news bulletin, remember don’t be shy try this track out. Yes, you driving home from work, yes even for you lady walking her dog this track is great for everyone and I guarantee you’ll have a blast.
That was Corban and Douglas on your Relentless Music News at 6! Corban Skipwith

Isabella Chains: Programming, keyboards, production, vocals, remixing
Eddie LaFlash of Decent News: Guitar soloing on “Blade's Edge”

Track list:
1. Blade's Edge
2. Blade's Edge (thrash mix)
3. The Ceremony (dub mix)

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Single Review: Upon Shadows "Virtus Dormitiva" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Upon Shadows
Location: Montevideo
Country: Uruguay
Genre: Dark metal
Format: Digital track
Label: Independent
Release date: October 18, 2021
In the dark corners of music, you can find just about anything your heart desires. This single is for the ‘pessimist’ in you who just wants to watch the world burn.
-Virtus Dormitiva by Upon Shadows
So this is a single that was released this year with some pretty interesting sounds to go along with it!
Firstly, you have that dark undertone of Ambient, Goth, Electronic and Black Metal influences. The main stage sets the electronic and ambient vibe with those harrowing and morbid synths and passages gliding like the wind throughout the track.
When the vocals kick in that’s where I feel the Goth/Black Metal influences take shape, kind of a mix between the orchestral style of Cradle Of Filth mixed with some internals of HIM or Type O Negative to really invoke that depressing sound of despair and darkness.
I think the combination although unlucky really make for an interesting track, one that won’t necessarily hype you up but if listened to in the right place and space would make for an engaging piece of sound combined with the aesthetic it brings with make for an ‘experience’ rather than just a single listen.
Give it a try today! Corban Skipwith

Tamara Picardo: Vocals, guitars, keyboards
Natalia Arocena: Bass

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Documentary Review: "The Beatles: Get Back" (Walt Disney Pictures, Apple Corps, WingNut Films) by Tony Sokol

The Beatles: Get Back
Directed by Peter Jackson
Featuring: John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, Billy Preston, George Martin
Presented by Walt Disney Pictures in association with Apple Corps and WingNut Films, 2021
Deadlines and breakup talk make for a gleefully stressed opening to “The Beatles: Get Back.” With no songs written and an undertone of fatigue, the Beatles documentary mini-series is filled with the excitement of new beginnings and possible catastrophe. Director Peter Jackson starts with a sad song and makes it better. After having fun performing “Hey Jude” in front of a much-too-close audience, the biggest band in the world decides to make a night of it, from scratch.
The Beatles hadn’t toured since Brian Epstein managed them. The band’s first project after his was the film “Magical Mystery Tour.” They did everything themselves and broke cinematic rules to do it. The film failed, at least to critics, but the accompanying music was among their most intricately produced. The “Get Back” project aimed to reverse this. After years off the road, they would perform all-new material live, no overdubs, for a TV project, and the music would go out, unadorned by overdubs, as an album.
Jackson presents this as a race-against-time. Apple Film’s Denis O’Dell has space in Twickenham film studio, where Ringo will film “The Magic Christian” with Peter Sellers, and everything’s got to be wrapped up quickly, so he can get his production started. The band comes into the project with a blank slate and a quick wit. Jackson’s aim is to capture everything. The writing, arranging, rehearsals, rearranging, re-rehearsing, rewriting, of an entire album. Excited? Jackson wouldn’t have it any other way. He is loving this, and it comes out in every frame.

The history segment captures the humor, excitement, and distress of touring. Beatlemania has never truly been generated by any other artist, and Jackson gleefully captures how unique it is without calling attention to it. His preamble is also very cognizant of how the band was growing as people and artists. He picks clips that show their eyes being opened on the road, and the world shutting them in. Fans or Ku Klux Klansmen, the band brought people out. Lines stretched a mile for tickets, and any glib remark at a press conference could trigger a record burning. Jackson finds a way to viscerally capture the divergent forces of being the biggest musical act on the planet while retaining individuality at all costs.
Each episode is broken down into chapters, which represent the working days to the live shows. As Day 1 opens, Lennon is alone in the huge space. The opening establishes the character of group unity and how it informs the Beatles’ process. When Day 2 opens, the mood is up, and we know things are going to happen. Paul is on piano and Ringo is dancing. George hates an ensemble he’s wearing in a fan magazine but likes the way Paul’s beard looks. Jackson’s pristine print captures both the consistent one-liners the band is known for, and their impeccable rockstar style. In Day 3, Jackson captures both the democratic all-or-nothing code of the quartet and the hard musical lesson of slicing something the band puts so much work into.
Day 4 is most notable for the introduction of the title song. “Get Back” begins with Paul playing the chords on the bass almost to himself. Day 5 is interesting because it lets us know George likes science fiction stories. He got the idea for “I Me Mine” when he heard a Viennese Waltz on a TV show called Out of the Unknown. Jackson makes the progression of the song fun, punctuating performance with exuberant flamenco dancing from John. He also includes a snippet of the waltz Lennon enjoys with Yoko Ono, which is featured in “Let It Be.” Jackson takes great pains to use footage not seen in that film.

Breakup is in the air throughout. Jackson uses it as a condiment, flavoring scenes, but never overdoing it. It is in the corner, a shadow that is only seen in a certain light. Early on, the band makes jokes about Jimmy Nichols, who replaced Ringo on a leg of their 1964 Tour. Later, we hear McCartney say they “talked about a divorce in the last meeting.” Lennon asks “but who’ll get the children?” During Day 7, George quits. We know this is going to happen from the history of the band, and all the clues Jackson lays out. What comes as a surprise is this does not conclude the episode. Jackson is too cunning a filmmaker to end on such an easy cliffhanger.
We could have been left with the big question mark: Is this the end of the Beatles? Tune in tomorrow while we break for tea. But he shows the remaining trio playing, letting the news sink in. We know this is a big thing, and we are emotionally engaged in what happens next. It actually comes as a surprise when it doesn’t end, because the audience needs to know right now what’s going to happen. Just run the end credits and start the next episode.
Lennon comes across as unconcerned, saying “If he leaves, he leaves, if he doesn’t come back, we get Clapton.” At one point it appears Lindsay-Hogg is going to have a go at the band, He even mentions he was an actor when he was young. Episode 1,” closes on a delicate version of “Isn’t It a Pity.” The band’s rendition is perfect, warts and all. The same can be said for Jackson’s opening installment. It hits all the right notes, occasionally flubs the timing, and leaves us wanting more.

Beginning in the aftermath of George Harrison’s departure, Episode 2 begins with a pensive tension and not much music. But once they plug in, the documentary takes off. Episode 1 presents a wild ride through the first stages of a major event and ends on a cliffhanger which is dropped so subtly it takes a while to hear the feedback. The day after learning the most songs the band has achieved in one day, George Harrison quits. Peter Jackson lets the note hang. Episode 2 opens by turning down the sound.
Visually, we see John, Paul, and Ringo as a trio for the first time, and envision them as a musical trio. It's Day 8 on the project calendar, and the film crew captures the band talking about what to do next. An off-camera “meeting went well, and then fell apart,” Ringo tells Let It Be director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who is looking at the possibilities of real cinema verité. “If we’re hiding, we won’t get as good a documentary,” he says.
They don’t make an appearance, but the Rolling Stones are all over Episode 2. John is holding “Beggars Banquet” during a sequence or two but the film is happening at the same time Lindsay-Hogg is editing “The Rock and Roll Circus,” and he records Lennon’s introduction to the Stones’ performance section in the Apple studio. This becomes a running gag, as does a news report about George leaving a Paris nightclub with Ringo one night, and punching someone. It gets funnier as it goes along. Jackson makes a point of showing how stories about the Beatles have a life of their own. Not only does Harrison make that observation during the episode, but McCartney also uses it as a prose piece over a jam the other three are enjoying.
But that comes later. The documentary ends Day 8 with John leaving his favorite guitar as collateral to promise he will be back the next day. Paul does the same with his Hofner bass, which still has the song list of the last date he played taped to it.
Jackson finds slapstick in some of the most awkward of situations. The Hare Krishna devotees deliver flowers to George, who is not there to accept them because he’s left the band. Later, the props and set for “The Magic Christian” are wheeled onto the sound-stage, a caustically witty reminder that time is running out, along with a visit from its star, the comic genius Peter Sellars, who finds himself at a rare loss for words. But the set gives Jackson an excuse to show Ringo and Paul have a little nonmusical fun. They’ve been crawling the walls waiting, and decide to do it properly. Ringo hoists Paul up on a chain on the set and proclaims they should make a silent movie, which would be an interesting concept for a musical group to do.
George doesn’t return for quite a while, and when he does, he’s not pleased. Magic Alex, a madman inventor who looms in the band’s mythology, conjures an unusable recording console, forcing Glyn Johns to send an SOS to George Martin for EMI to send equipment to Apple’s studio on Savile Road.
This is the last time Jackson gives us a break, because, from this moment, the episode plugs in and turns up the knobs. Not only is George back, and facilities upgraded to the best-sounding room the band has played in, but they get a visit from Billy Preston, a friend from the Hamburg days who’d backed up Little Richard. This impromptu visit, which has always been told as being instigated by George, changes the mood to exhilarating. The Beatles, as individuals, have all said the first time Ringo sat in for Pete Best on drums, they could feel the magic. It doesn’t take but a few bars for Lennon to say Preston feels like “the fifth Beatle.”

The arc of “Get Back,” the song, comes to its conclusion like the guitar lead Lennon works out for it. It is recorded and set as the premiere single for the upcoming album, and the documentary being made about that album and the show which will bring the whole thing home, wherever that will be. Jackson captures the exact moment Lindsay-Hogg and Johns tell Paul the perfect venue. He goes through the roof. We know what’s coming. The full concert, the last time the band played together live in front of an audience. Before he gives us that, however, Jackson makes sure to remind the viewer, a lot of people thought the rooftop might collapse under all the weight of live equipment and a film crew. Cliffhanger? No, just a reminder.

The final installment shows group unity. Harrison fills in chord patterns for Ringo’s newest, “Octopus’ Garden,” John pushes George to finish “Something,” and McCartney wants to push them all off the roof. He and George aren’t really sold on the idea, and Billy Preston is just thrilled enough to be there to risk collapsing under the weight of his electric piano.

When the story kicks in, we are fully engaged, and nothing matters but hearing them make that music. The rest is just fun. Each episode changes the rhythm from the last installment, but you can still dance to it. We get more answers to what broke up the Beatles than 100 “Rolling Stone” magazine cover interviews. The importance of the death of Epstein is explained with a simple newspaper headline. Beatles fans know the history, and newer viewers will understand the impact, because it is told with sound, a very distinctive note. The Beatles are all about sound, and Jackson’s vision is to make even the audio visible. Jackson finds a clear story buried in the mix. He slows down the pace for necessary character study, and answers the question: How many Beatles does it take to keep the lights on? They didn’t actually break up after this. They went on to make “Abbey Road,” as a fitting goodbye. –Tony Sokol

Thursday, November 25, 2021

EP Review: Lingua Ignota "Agnus Dei" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

Artist: Lingua Ignota
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Country: USA
Genre: Electronic, experimental
EP: Agnus Dei
Format: Digital
Label: Independent
Release date: February 5, 2021
Well, here we go again for what I believe is the third time I’ve reviewed her work? None the less it never gets boring or any less interesting so let’s get to it! The latest EP by Lingua Ignota -AGNUS DEI.
So this time around we have an EP consisting of 4 tracks
And as stated above this isn’t my first time listening to this woman, I was curious about her music since her 2018 project ‘All Bitches Die’ which blew my mind in the way she used influences such as
-Baroque Pop
-Noise but brought all of these to a whole new scary level, and then continuing this reign of terror with her 2019 album ‘CALIGULA’ which brought to light the devastating topic of ‘Domestic Abusive’ and till this day I haven’t heard an album bring the devastation of that unfortunate circumstance to the forefront that she did with this, still gives me chills to this day.
But on this EP, believe it or not, this feels like the ‘Aftermath’ or I could be wrong and it could be the calm before the next storm but either way, this album in her presence and vocal performances feels a lot more ‘cerebral’ than it does ‘aggressive’ like her previous albums.
I feel a lot more influence of ‘Noise’ and ‘Classical’ than I have on the other ones, this to me feels like a demented version of those old school operas you’d hear in the 1700s if she took over a classic ‘Beethoven’ overture and just redefined the term ‘avant-garde’ by fusing that sound with chaotic noise and this is what that would sound like.
Even though this album is more contained than the previous efforts, no one should get it twisted this is still a crazy and unforgiving album that can send chills down your spine, Lingua has this uniquely terrifying presence about her and her music that just makes her stand out even amongst the experimental genre and all her contemporaries if she even has any in her ballpark.
Nonetheless, if you want to test your musical limits then this would be a good place to start, because if you can handle this then chances are you might have a chance at enjoying her previous albums, but out of all of them, this is the perfect beginning for anyone who wants a taste of what she’s all about. Corban Skipwith

Track list:
1. In Tongues
2. Sexless/No Sex
3. Where’er You Walk
4. Agnus Dei

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Full Length Review: Darkthrone "Eternal Hails……" (Peaceville) by Dave Wolff

Band: Darkthrone
Country: Norway
Genre: Black metal, heavy metal, speed metal
Full Length: Eternal Hails……
Format: Digital album
Label: Peaceville
Release date: June 25, 2021
While some may argue it doesn’t have the same impact of “A Blaze in the Northern Sky” or “Under A Funeral Moon”, Darkthrone retain their attitude of doing what they feel on “Eternal Hails……”, going the organic route of writing songs with riffs and heaviness in a time when musicians rely more on computers and compressed sounds. That they’ve been active for as long as they have, grown on their own terms and created new directions firmly on the foundation of their roots proves that integrity doesn’t mean limiting oneself.
This album is as raw and uncompromising as anything they’ve done in the past. As they deliberately produce it with a slightly muddy and distorted sound they reinterpret the grimness those abovementioned releases personified. On “Eternal Hails……” they demolish, crush and flatten everything in their path, establishing there’s still a need for albums relying on instruments and love for heavy music. Their affinity for riff-laden songs led them to compose pieces lasting from seven to ten minutes, without a single moment that sounds like filler or becomes plodding or boring. In some ways, I’m reminded of Carnivore’s 1984 demo “Nuclear Warriors” featuring the epic pieces “World Wars III & IV” and “The Subhuman” which held your attention with the pure adrenaline that fueled them.
Via images of deep space, “Total Death” experimented with combining cold, graphic art with cold, raw production. “Eternal Hails……” seems to have perfected this after years of practice. Adorning the cover is David A. Hardy’s “Pluto and Charon”, designed in 1972 and said to be hugely inspirational. Recording at Oslo, Norway’s Chaka Khan Studio with Ole Ovstedal and Silje Høgevold engineering, Darkthrone create an ideal counterpoint to the atmosphere of that piece, breathing life into the vast distance between Pluto and Earth from the moment “His Master’s Voice” transitions from a somber intro to a relentlessly crushing guitar progression to kick things off.
Darkthrone likewise go a long way toward thinning the boundaries between 90s black metal, 80s classic metal and 80s doom metal. Honing their experimental period “F.O.A.D.” began in 2007, they’ve worked hard to find where the pieces of the puzzle fit. Now those pieces fit together tightly, creating a sound for them that’s entirely theirs. In many ways “Eternal Hails……” does for heavy metal what Celtic Frost’s “To Mega Therion” did for it in 1985. There is minimal use of vocal effects, keyboards and synthesizers, but they serve to enhance the impressions of doom and gloom that grow naturally from the core ensemble of guitar, bass, drums, and vocals.
Since the band makes a clear effort to redefine themselves without bending over backward trying to be “versatile”, everything they do with their material here feels right. The guitars and bass complement each other with a nice balance of atmosphere and bottom while the echo-laden vocals fittingly personify the void of space and the drums push the material along without overdoing themselves. Going back to the comparison of Hardy’s science fiction-based art and the songwriting quality, the implied journey from our home planet through the endless reaches of space to the destination of Pluto feels like we’ve discovered an ancient civilization buried under miles of ice but not quite dead yet. It’s an almost indescribable feeling and to experience it fully you have to listen late at night.
Using what they have and believing in the integrity of their work, Darkthrone spawns their finest moment in years, pushing black metal to its boundaries and beyond without the slightest bit of elitism. An essential listen for long-time fans. –Dave Wolff

Nocturno Culto: Vocals, lead guitar, bass, songwriting (tracks 1, 3-4), mellotron (track 1), Moog synthesizer (track 3)
Gylve Fenris "Mohawkwind" Nagell: drums, bass, vocals (additional), additional guitar, lyrics, songwriting (tracks 2, 5), Moog synthesizer (track 5)

Track list:
1. His Master's Voice
2. Hate Cloak
3. Wake of the Awakened
4. Voyage to a North Pole Adrift
5. Lost Arcane City of Uppåkra

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Full Length Review: W.E.B. "Colosseum" (Metal Blade) by Corban Skipwith

Band: W.E.B.
Location: Athens
Country: Greece
Genre: Symphonic extreme metal
Full Length: Colosseum
Format: Digital, compact disc, special edition vinyl
Release date: November 19, 2021
Album review time! And boy do I have a treat for all of you today!
W.E.B. (Colosseum)
So, what we have here today is a new album by the band recorded on 19/11/2021 featuring 9 stunning new tracks to sort through coming at just under 40 minutes in total length.
I must say, this album had me surprised but in the best ways possible because going into this I didn’t really know what to think, which although has a nice element of surprise behind it I can’t lie and say I never have moments where I wish I knew beforehand what I had install for me so I could figure out what to say about earlier and today that is definitely the case.
The one thing I love about this album is how grand and theatrical it feels, the product is crisp, beautiful and prestige while the instrumentation is divine, full proof and immaculate in almost every sense of the words.
This album contains a strong sense of ‘conceptuality’ which I absolutely love, nothing ever feels out of place or done by random, it feels calculated and thought out, carefully planned and strategically mapped out within the 9 tracks not a hair is out of place.
If I had to describe the sound, it sounds very similar to ‘Symphonic Black Metal’ with those above mentioned glossy instrumentation and luscious use of grand production. The one band that screamed at me most as maybe a point of inspiration for them is the band Carach Angren which is a compliment I don’t normally give out since that band to me is the strongest ‘Symphonic Black Metal’ band since Dimmu Borgir or early Cradle Of Filth.
I could go on and on about my love for this record but it’s something that my words just can’t do justice, it’s something you’ll have to experience with your own two ears and heart. It’s fantastic for a short album it really pulls no punches and leaves everything in the record itself, so full of passion and creativity that it really is one the stand out albums of the year! Corban Skipwith

Sakis Prekas: Guitar, vocals
Hel Pyre: Bass, vocals
Sextus A. Maximus: Lead guitar
Nikitas Mandolas: drums

Track list:
1. Dark Web
2. Murder of Crows
3. Pentalpha
4. Colosseum
5. Dominus Maleficarum
6. Necrology
7. Ensanguined
8. Exaudi Luciferi
9. December 13th

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Full Length Review: Paganfire "Of Deathblades and Bloodsoaked Paths" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Paganfire
Location: Quezon City
Country: Philippines
Genre: Death thrash
Full Length: Of Deathblades and Bloodsoaked Paths
Format: Digital album
Label: Independent
Release date: November 14, 2021
Whose ready for some beautiful end of the week Death Thrash? Let’s go!
Paganfire -Of Deathblades and Bloodsoaked Paths
You know, sometimes an album doesn’t need all the fancy trimmings you would expect from an album by bands like
-Pink Floyd
All though all that stuff is incredible, sometimes nothing beats a great meat and potato’s solid heavy and fast album to get that adrenaline pumping and blood flowing!
This album is fantastic! 6 devastating Thrash tracks to kick you into that second gear that you needed for your day! It’s got all the classic fundamentals of a great Thrash record you’ve got that trademark technical speed combination ripping through song to song leaving no room for error and no bodies remaining, it’s brutal man. It’s one of those albums that can wake you up from only 2 hours of sleep and give you enough fuel to get through even the most heinous of workdays! It’s fanatic in its production, ruthless in its vocal performances, and even more savage in its instrumentation.
A combination like ‘Death Thrash’ can be real hit and miss depending on the band and I can say with full clarity that this band knows what they want, knows both genres (Death Metal and Thrash) very well and knows how to execute the best of both on this project which makes a music addict like me very happy to hear!
I highly recommend this project for all those who love their metal hard and fast! Go check them out and support their music with a share! Corban Skipwith

Alvaro Martin Jr.: Bass, vocals
Nonoy Padrejuan: Guitars, vocals
M.A.: Guitars
Jay Roco:: Drums

Track list:
1. Bloodsoaked Life
2. Poseurdom Shall Fall
3. Karumaldumal! Kasuklamsuklam!
4. Disturbing, Defeaning and Disgusting
5. The Executor is Back
6. False Protector

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Full Length Review: Plastique Noir "Iskuros" (Wave Records) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Plastique Noir
Location: Fortaleza
Country: Brazil
Genre: Darkwave, gothic rock
Full Length: Iskuros
Format: Digital album, limited edition CD (300 copies), limited edition red vinyl (200 copies)
Label: Wave Records
Release date: October 18, 2021
You know, today I woke up, decided to clean the kitchen and clean my room a bit and now on the couch sitting with my dog sleeping next to me I decided to listen to this album for review and I gotta say it’s the perfect album to sit down and enjoy.
-“Iskuros” by Plastique Noir
So this is the latest album by the Brazilian band that came out in October of this year which features 10 tracks all up.
While I was listening to this album, all I could think about was how happy I was that the ’DarkWave’ ’Gothic Rock’ style is back in its prime because I honestly haven’t heard an album in that category this good since bands like Joy Division and HIM.
But let me double down on Joy Division because that’s the strongest influence I hear on this album, more specifically their final album ‘Closer’ and the dark, emotional presence that album brought and how the same similarities are seen on this record.
In fact there are certain areas of this record that have a slight ‘Surf Rock’ feel to it with those reverb-heavy guitars in the background like on the song ‘Upper Waves’ which is ironically titled considering my theory but for the most part, you get that real moody, mental and emotional production you would come to expect from the more emo/goth/dark genres of rock and wave.
When you listen to this record you hear the sadness, you hear the concern. This isn’t just a normal album put together out of random, this is a planned, ‘EXPERIENCE’ that is meant to make you feel a certain way, like a book being read to that isn’t just a random collection of words put together but actually tells a story.
The vocal style is real deep and brooding which is a perfect fit for an album of this caliber because it really highlights the tension in the air, the depressing tones and subject matter, the wailing of the guitars and those drum patterns everything just comes together so well on this record and your completely hooked, unable to escape the sonic grasp that takes place on your mind, heart and soul.
This is honestly one of the best albums I’ve heard all year, it hits on all sides and the creativity, aesthetic, vibe, production, vocal performances all hit hard and precise to your soul. I absolutely loved it and I know you will too! –Corban Skipwith

Airton: Vocals, electronics
Deivy: Bass
Danyel: guitar

Track list:
1. Kinetosis
2. Asleep In The Night Train
3. Times
4. Manifesto
5. Clock
6. Scrying Your Soul
7. Upper Waves
8. Kafé
9. All Cats Shall Celebrate
10. Catedrais Em Chamas

Friday, November 19, 2021

Interview with poet and author Tanner Reiss by Dave Wolff

Interview with poet and author Tanner Reiss by Dave Wolff

You’re hosting the Youtube channel Lone Wolf Poetics where you started posting your work about a year ago. How often do you promote it on social media?
Yeah, it’s been a little over a year on Youtube now. I try and post something on my Lone Wolf Poetics’ Facebook (or is it Meta now?) page at least every day, but usually, it ends up being every other day or so. Unfortunately, I’m not quite as active on Instagram – though I reach a bigger audience on Facebook – as I would like to be.
On my Youtube channel, I post a new video almost every Friday, with occasional videos on Thursday if it’s important.
I also host a radio broadcast on Wednesday nights called Wolf’s Den Wednesday, on the Cosmos Astrum Radio station, where I recite my work and do a deep dive where I talk about each piece’s inspiration, why I decided to write it, how I wrote it, how I interpret the piece and share any funny or interesting stories that happened while writing.

Why did you feel the title Lone Wolf Poetics was fitting for the videos you posted at Youtube?
I had the channel Lone Wolf for years prior to starting to upload actually – just to comment on videos and that kind of thing – and I’ve always been a “lone wolf” in terms of keeping my circle of friends small and enjoying being by myself. So when I decided to start uploading videos – which were poetic in nature – it seemed easiest just to add “Poetics” onto my existing account name. Moreover, tigers and lions may be mightier, but a wolf has never performed in a circus.

Lone Wolf Poetics has a handful of subscribers at Youtube at this time. Do you invite people to subscribe as often as you advertise at Facebook? Do you think fewer people are interested in poetry on Youtube or is it the algorithms?
Yeah, I think I have seventeen subscribers right now. If I’m being honest, I think I actually invite people to subscribe to my Youtube channel more than I advertise on social media. I say that, but it’s never been about getting subscribers or becoming monetized or anything. I started my Youtube channel just for the helluvit. I think if I would have started the channel a couple years ago, I might have been able to grow it faster. For some reason, there seemed to be a big boom in spoken-word poetry on Youtube between 2017 and 2019, I’m not really sure why. That being said, I don’t think, that today, it’s a matter of either algorithm or a lack of interest in poetry as a whole. I write about very difficult and unsettling topics in a very raw and emotional way. In today’s society, people don’t want to be confronted with painful truth, which is what I always aim to deliver.

I’ve noticed that people are more comfortable being distracted and pacified by the media, being led to believe they’re with the right causes than being confronted with society as it is. Do you see fewer or more people speaking out?
Well, I think it depends on what you’re classifying as speaking out. If you want to include cancel culture, then yes, there are a lot of people speaking out very strongly. However, if you mean are people speaking out on things that actually NEED to be spoken out about, no, I find there are very few of those people.

What effect do you think the cancel culture is having on communities on and off social media? Have you written about this subject or have you considered writing about it?
I think it depends on what communities you are talking about. If you're talking about communities that need to be talked about cancel culture is having very little effect. If you're talking about communities such as Mr. Potato Head having a gender (ie communities that have no significance whatsoever) cancel culture is having a huge effect. I have written about the topic, in a slam poem called ‘The Dance of the Sheep’.

How long have you broadcasted on Cosmos Astrum Radio? Do you know how many listeners you’re reaching? Podcasting at Youtube generates audiences, so do you think you’d have more listeners posting videos of your program there?
My next broadcast (November 10) will be two months since I started broadcasting on Cosmos Astrum Radio. Unfortunately, I don’t know how many people actually listen in – the first couple of broadcasts I did, but something happened on the system’s – Live365 – end and I haven’t known the numbers for a while now. I actually kind of like not knowing how many people are or are not listening though, I find it takes the pressure off a bit. In terms of doing podcast-style videos on my Youtube channel, yes, it is possible I would reach more of an audience. However, since I read the pieces I’m reciting on-air, off my phone, videoing my broadcasts isn’t something I’m able to do at the time. I also use my phone to shoot and edit all my Youtube videos.

Did you know people at Cosmos Astrum Radio who helped hook you up, or did you find the station searching for outlets to promote your work? Is there an address where people can hear your show?
Yes, I have been friends with Matt and Alyson for a few years now; they are the ones who started Cosmos Astrum Radio. They have always been huge supporters of all my writing. Not just my poetry and spoken word, but my paranormal short story series as well – which I would not have without their amazing insight.

What did you want to write about when you began penning verse? How much more subject matter are you writing about now?
I really started writing poetry in grade nine (so, 2005-ish), and to be honest, my subject matter has not really changed a whole lot since then. I’ve always enjoyed writing about the topics that make people uncomfortable, but that need to be written about and discussed. Mental health, domestic violence, addiction, death, war. The one thing I have started writing about more recently is Indigenous issues, such as systemic racism, poverty, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (or MMIWG), as well as the legacy of Canadian Indian Residential Schools.

How much research have you done on MMIWG and the legacy of Canadian Indian Residential Schools?
That depends on what you classify as research. If you mean looking online and reading articles, none. If you mean listening to stories of Residential Schools and knowing what is being said is true, then about twenty-nine-and-a-half years. That is to say, I am Indigenous and had family members who survived the genocide of Residential Schools. Thankfully, I have never been touched by Canada’s MMIWG, but I’ve known from a young age the reality of it.

Do you remember any poets who inspired you when you first started writing? Or was there something inside you that you felt the need to release?
Not really from when I first started writing. I would definitely say that now, Edgar Allen Poe, Marianne Williamson, and Amanda Gormen are big influences on my writing today.

Edgar Allen Poe’s name often comes up when I ask poets who inspired them. Did anything he wrote, in particular, speak to you? How about Williamson and Gormen? How and why did you resonate with their work?
I don’t think there was a particular work of Poe that really resonated with me, more so just the darkness and creepiness of his work in general. With Marianne Williamson, it was definitely her poem “Our Greatest Fear,” which is something I just kind of grew up hearing – whether in full or just bits and pieces. Amanda Gormen, it was her overall style of writing that wowed me. She uses multiple very complex rhyme schemes in her writing, which gives her work a gorgeous fluidity and ease about it. I’ve tried to imitate her style in poems like “Lone Wolf Poetics” and “Dance of the Sheep” with my own personal twist.

How deeply did you dive into your inspiration when you wrote poems for Rememberance Day? Is the emotional rawness with which you write helpful in illustrating your point?
On special days like Remembrance Day, I will release a video on my YouTube channel even if it isn’t a Friday. This year, for example, November Eleventh falls on a Thursday, but since it is such an important date, my video will be released then, not on Friday this week. But to answer your question, this piece is about PTSD and how soldiers – after returning home from active duty – are oftentimes forgotten and left to fend for themselves. I didn’t really dive too deeply at all. The inspiration actually came from a metal song by Five Finger Death Punch entitled ‘The Wrong Side of Heaven,’ which is kind of about the same topics. ‘Forgotten Soldier’ is an amalgamation of five hip/hop song lyrics that I wrote. I didn't want to take a whole radio broadcast ta recite all five songs, so I decided to combine bits of all of them.

Are the things you usually write about based on personal experiences or things you saw happening in the world around you?
Both actually, I do write lots about my own experiences – Indigenous issues and mental health especially. However, most of my writing and inspiration come from what I see going on around me. I always say, writing is my way of processing – or trying to process – the world around me. I’ve always been able to pick up people’s emotions and I will even physically feel the emotions of others. So, I think when I’m writing about a topic that I don’t know a lot about, I can, on a spiritual level, put myself in that situation, which allows me to understand. It sounds weird, I know, but I never said I was normal. Haha.

Do you write about socially relevant issues after reading the paper or watching the news or was it more personal? What percentage of what you see on the news these days is truth or falsehood, especially with the Covid pandemic gaining so much attention?
I actually don’t watch the news at all, nor read the paper. A lot of what I write about when I’m writing about socially relevant topics comes from music, and more specifically only a few artists that will speak on controversial topics, but without ever taking aside. As for how much of the news these days is fact or fiction, I honestly think it’s hard to tell. To quote from hip hop artist Tom MacDonald, “We don’t watch the news cuz they lied to us for years, so how we know that this the truth”?

Who is Tom MacDonald and which of his lyrics besides those you cited do you find you most closely relate to? From listening to hip hop and metal lyrics, how many similarities if any do you see between the genres?
Tom MacDonald is a 100% independent artist in every sense of the word. He writes, records, produces, all his own music and lyrics, promotes everything himself, makes, packages, and mails all his own merchandise. His girlfriend shoots all the music videos – the sets for which he builds in his house. He’s also known as “The Most Controversial Rapper” because he talks about what a lot of people think, but won’t say. As I’m writing this, I’m listening to a song of his called “Snowflakes” wherein he says “If you lied to the government, they’ll put you in prison, but when they lie to all of us, it’s called being a politician, you think taking guns away will stop the killing, but your pro-choice, abortion kills way more children.” I think the biggest similarity I see between rap and metal is the attitude towards…well, society for one, but also caring if the lyrics piss people off. Depending on the band, both genres can actually be very poetic as well.

Have you been writing hip-hop lyrics as long as you’ve been writing poems? In what ways does that enhance your approach to verse?
Longer actually, I started off in grade 8-ish writing lyrics. Um, I’m not really sure writing lyrics helps my ability to write poetry, its more that it gives me another avenue to be able to write. Sometimes I’ll intend to write a poem, but will keep hitting walls, however, if I switch to making what I’m writing into a song, the ideas will just spill out of me.

Cite some more poems you’ve recited on Youtube and on Cosmos Astrum Radio, and explain why you chose to share them online.
The broadcast I did for Rememberance Day, I’m doing two songs, both entitled “The Un-Enlisted War” (Part 1 and 2) that have videos already on my YouTube channel. I will also be reciting a satirical essay I wrote a few years ago entitled “Wasteland of Heroes,” which was one of the first videos I uploaded. Finally, I will recite the spoken-word version of “Forgotten Soldier.” I chose these pieces because they all show a very different aspect of war. “The Un-Enlisted War” songs are about how, when a parent goes off to war, how it affects the children. The songs also have a twist that the teacher is also a Veteran. “Wasteland of Heroes” is my take on Jonathan Swift’s satirical essay “A Modest Proposal.” Finally, “Forgotten Soldier” is about a soldier who is discharged – and forgotten – due to PTSD.

When did you first start writing paranormally-themed short stories and where did the inspiration come from in this particular case?
Ugh, I think it was in 2014/2015 around there. I currently have ten stories written front-to-back. If I remember correctly, the inspiration came from watching The Conjuring. Ed and Lorraine Warren have always been idols for me in terms of my love for the paranormal. With my stories, I also incorporate my poetry into the story.

When did you first become interested in paranormal subjects? Did you have any personal experiences with the paranormal or was it mostly a fascination?
Actually in grade nine. I went to a Catholic high school, so I had to do mandatory Christian Ethics classes all throughout. In grade nine the teacher showed us an episode of a show called “Paranormal State.” (which was like the original Ghost Adventures). The episode was about a teenage girl who was being possessed by six demons. It may seem strange, but the teacher’s reasoning was there’s two sides to every story. Shortly thereafter I had my first of many Paranormal experiences, though I didn’t know it at the time. Within the last five or six years or so, I have come to realize that I am an empath and medium so, to have unexplainable experiences is pretty common for me now.

Did you expect your Christian Ethics instructor to discuss the episode of “Paranormal State” in such a way after showing it? Did you come away interested in the series?
Honestly no, not at all, I was amazed she even showed us the episode at all. But, yes, I did get me interested in the series, although the show didn’t last long after that episode.

Looking back on the paranormal experiences you’ve had, what do you think opened you to them? What about those experiences convinced you of your empathic abilities? Are you considering exploring those abilities further?
Honestly, I didn’t even know I had any abilities until my first couple of weeks of college. My roommate and I were in our dorm room just kind of hanging out, each in our own little worlds. I remember I was playing a game on my phone and out of no-fricking-where I felt my heart just SHATTER. I remember I dropped my phone and saying to myself: “Oh my God, [my roommate] is getting a call, someone’s dead.” Within two or three seconds of me saying that his phone rang, and he was told that a close family member was on their deathbed. I have, and continue to explore my abilities both as an empath and as a Medium further and actually really enjoy it. Oddly enough, and maybe this was an early sign of my abilities, but the two sisters in my short story series share my abilities. Kyra (the wife, and younger of the two) is the medium, while Keisha is the empath.

How have you gone about exploring your abilities as an empath and medium?
Honestly, the biggest way I explore them is by paranormal investigating, which isn’t really hard since spirits tend to follow me around haha. My abilities kind of make me like a magnet for spirits. But I’ve also done what I call “readings” for friends and strangers who I’ve offered to help after seeing a post they made reaching out for a medium.

How would you describe The Conjuring to readers who have never heard of it? Where can readers find out more about Ed and Lorraine Warren?
The Conjuring is a whole universe now (I think there are eight or nine movies in the universe now). The original movie is about one of Ed and Lorraine Warren’s most well-known, but also darkest investigations of their illustrious – and controversial – careers, the Perron Family Haunting. It’s also, for my money, one of the best horror movie franchises in recent memory. I’ve seen it probably close to thirty or forty times and it can still make me jump. I would say the best place to learn about Ed and Lorraine Warren would be to get one of their biographies or I think Paramount Network (if not Paramount than Detour [Travel Channel in the States]) did a documentary about the Warrens not too long ago.

How much information about the Warrens was provided in their documentary, and where can people watch it if they’re interested?
I the documentary is called “Devil’s Road: The True Story of Ed and Lorraine Warren” and it was a part of the Travel Channel‘s Shock Docs series. The actual run time of the show is a bit under ninety minutes, so it doesn’t cover every single case they did (their careers were fifty-plus years), but it is really informative nonetheless. I’m not really sure where you could find it, unfortunately, maybe Amazon Prime or Netflix. I would think the best way would be thru the Travel Channel streaming app (if it’s available in your Country).

Are there documentaries offering information about other cases involving the Warrens?
I don’t think so, it wouldn’t surprise me though. I know there are books they’ve written about not only the cases that feature in The Conjuring movies but also other famous cases of theirs.

Could you tell us about the ten stories you've written and any details about the plot?
Yeah, so the main plot is about a family of paranormal investigators – husband and wife (yes, inspired by the Warrens) and the wife’s sister. Each story is a new case and in a new location, some of which are completely made up, others like in my second story are set in actual haunted locations. I try and stay very true to how a team of investigators would actually go about an investigation – that’s actually how I met Matt and Alyson Ford, after reaching out to the P.A.S.T. Saskatchewan paranormal team for insight on how the equipment works and how to REALLY investigate. I also, try and combine aspects from different haunted locations into whichever location I’m using for my story. For example, in my fifth story, “Road to Hell” the first third of the story is set on a place I’ve actually investigated here in Saskatchewan called McKim Road. And I use my own experiences as the experiences of the characters. The second third is the team walking through a field that leads to the final setting which is a made-up cabin inspired by the Blair Witch House.

Did you contact Matt and Alyson about insight on investigating paranormal occurrences?
I didn’t contact Matt and Alyson directly, or at all actually since they became part of P.A.S.T later on. But the members of P.A.S.T I did talk to were amazing and more than happy to share their knowledge. And the same goes for Matt and Alyson today.

Who in P.A.S.T. were you in contact with directly for the information you needed? How helpful was the knowledge passed on to you?
It would have been Cory who I actually got in contact with me first. I sent them a message on Facebook I believe, and Cory gave me a call or a message (can’t remember which) within a couple hours.

How many poems have you incorporated into your series, and what was your purpose in including them?
Just to avoid confusion, my short story series is called MPC, or Mortchwood Paranormal Crew. Over the span of my ten stories, I’ve used a total of eighteen unique poems (although I have only made videos for three of them). Normally, I choose which poems I’m going to use before I even start writing because I use the poetry as the demonic antagonist character’s voice. I also like using the poems to present red herrings and small hints the main characters have to figure out – so the poetry is very much a part of the stories narrative.

Who are the main characters of MPC and how do their personalities differ as they interact with each other?
So the series kicks off with just Kyra and Gavin. Kyra – who grew up being haunted along with her elder sister Keisha – is the more experienced of the two in terms of the paranormal. She is also simultaneously headstrong and caring. Gavin is the techy and is logic-minded, though he does believe in the paranormal. Both Kyra and Gavin are very much in love with each other and have an unshakable connection for each other – Not unlike Ed and Lorraine actually. Keisha is the founder and lead investigator of MPC, ever the professional when it comes to MPC, but a very caring and friendly person outside of MPC. As a team, Gavin, Kyra, and Keisha are a dream team together. Keisha may be the lead investigator, but Kyra and Gavin have equal weight in the team. Keisha will pull rank if she has to, but far and away, the three trust and complement each other perfectly. Later on in the series, Gavin’s younger sister Gabriella, or Gabby, joins and she acts as a rookie and skeptic (though she too believes which is a storyline in a couple of the stories). When Gabby joins the team, Gavin becomes more hesitant and protective as an investigator.

As far as you know, has your approach to fiction with poems being an integral part of the narrative been attempted by other writers or are you doing something completely new?
I can’t recall other authors who have used poetry in their fiction off hand, but I know it has been done. From the one or two examples that I’ve read, however, the poetry always seemed unnecessary. That’s why I always try and find some way – even if it’s just one or two lines out of the entire poem(s) – that tie the poetry into the storyline. If nothing else, I make sure the only time I’m using poetry is for the demon’s voice.

Which of your poems incorporated into Mortchwood Paranormal Crew have been released on your Youtube profile?
Now that I think of it, I’ve made videos for four of the poems I use in the MPC series. Those poems are titled: “A College Where Spirits Dwell” (this is the very first video I ever uploaded to YouTube), “Capegoat”, “A Place No Longer Sacred” and “Genesis of Evil”.

Are you planning to write a new installment to your series? Do you have an idea what poems you’ll incorporate next?
Kind of, I’m working on a second MPC series currently where I change up the format and structure of the stories. One of the ways I do that is by NOT including any poetry at all. This is actually my second attempt at this second series. I had to scrap my original idea because it was way too close to the discovery of 250 Indigenous child remains at the sight of a Canadian Indian Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia at the time I was writing it.

Do you know what the new series will be about at this point? How long has it been in development so far, and how many installments are being planned?
Yes, it’s more or less about the same things as my original MPC series. The difference is, however, the new series is based solely in one central location (think a closed tourist resort out in the country that has a bunch of buildings). This series will have five installments, with each story progressively getting darker and more intense. I think it’s been about a year or so since I originally thought of this concept. I had actually written a full first draft and started the second story before I decided to scrap the series. I’m still using the original completed story. So, I’m going through and making the necessary changes to fit this new storyline.

Did you consider submitting your poems to regular publications or publishing them in book form?
I have, the thing that holds me back is a lot of my work has a specific voice or way they are meant to be read. A way that, unless you hear it, you are not going to know exists. Take for example, “A College Where Spirits Dwell”: everyone who reads it, reads it normally – which sounds flat and makes the poem sound horrible, but if you go and watch the video for that poem, the way it’s meant to be recited – which is with a harsh emphasis on every capitalized word, it makes the poem sound eerie and threatening. But, if you’re just reading it on paper, how are you ever going to know that?

How much more effective does emphasizing capitalized words make your poems as opposed to reading them “normally”? Maybe an audiobook or spoken word CD would work?
Well, to answer the first part of your question, I think you need to go and watch the video for “A College Where Spirits Dwell.” It really is a night-and-day difference though. That technique however, has only ever been used for that poem. I do have another piece entitled “Voiceless Tongues,” which is about rape that uses different capitalization, italicizing, bolding, and underlining for different voices. The prose for that one is powerful even read normally, however the in order to get the real intention of the piece, the different voices is key. Something like an audio book or CD is an interesting idea, though. I’m lost on how to go about creating something like that, but it is an interesting idea.

What other projects involving your poem and/or fiction writing would you consider taking on?
That’s a great question actually. Honestly, I don’t even know really haha. I’ve always wanted to get the original MPC series published – I knew that when I started writing “The Curse of Satan’s Baptist,” other than that though, yeah, I have no idea.

How would you feel about having your work recognized aboveground if this were ever to happen?
I think it would be amazing to be recognized in a more mainstream way. That being said, as much as I want the recognition, “Take heed my advisory, I wish NOT to be legendary!” recognition from mainstream yes, fame and celebrity status, no.

How would you want to be known and/or remembered for your writing, today or in the future?
I love this question, all of your questions actually. This has been a really enjoyable experience, so thank you for that. To answer your question though, I would love to be known for never being afraid to write about hard topics. For sparking conversations and shattering misconceptions. For giving a voice to the voiceless and for doing it my way – regardless of whether it was the “right” way or the “popular” way. I know this might sound weird, but I honestly do not care if people remember the words I write, as long as they remember the IMPACT my words had. To quote Kid Rock: “If it looks good, you’ll see it. If it sounds good, you’ll hear it. If it’s marketed right, you’ll buy it. BUT…if it’s REAL, you’ll FEEL it.”

-Dave Wolff

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Full Length Review: Bestial Invasion "Divine Comedy: Inferno" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Bestial Invasion
Location: Zhytomyr
Country: Ukraine
Genre: Technical thrash metal
Format: Compact disc, digital album
Label: Independent
Release date: November 14, 2021
We are back! Another day another album review and this time we are taking a trip down memory lane to when things were fast, heavy and groovy with a taste of ‘Thrash’ let me introduce you to the latest album by
Bestial Invasion Divine Comedy: Inferno
So this album came out on the 14 of November this year and ranks as their 4th album but the 1st for my ears!
What’s interesting is as the band’s name suggests they are called ‘Technical Thrash’ but to me honestly I get more of an 80’s Hair Metal vibe mixed with New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. I mean yes you could argue they are representing the old school very early era of 80’s Thrash more in line with albums like
Anthrax –Fistful Of Metal
Slayer -Show No Mercy
So that’s most likely the era they are defining themselves as with more emphasis on the technical instrumentation which really does set them apart regardless which genre they were inspired by as they rank more skilled (in my opinion) with the playing then most of all three influences.
To me, when listening to this album I felt a rush of nostalgia, this felt like the first time I heard bands like Dio, that amazing and passionate vocal performance, the heartfelt and intense guitar work I mean I feel these things are just lost in time.
See, it’s one thing for a band to be able to ‘play fast’ or ‘sing good’ but how many new artists or bands really put their heart and soul into it like they did back then? How many Princes are left in the world? Where every song/album was saturated with emotion, passion, energy, charisma, style, swagger, creativity, originality I mean it’s unfortunate a lost art but these guys are bringing that era back! I love the raw aesthetic this album brings, it’s as if this band had only one goal in mind when making this album.
‘Let’s make a kickass album and let’s put all of our mind, body and soul into it’ and honestly with just a mindset like that you can strike gold. These 9 tracks aren’t just independent tracks of music they all represent one big narrative, every song feeds into each other with so much grace, power and totality that you couldn’t imagine taking even one minute out of any track let alone any one song! Everything that’s on this album is here for a reason and that’s what will make this album stand the test of time in my opinion.
What more must I say? This is a badass record and it deserves all the attention coming its way. –Corban Skipwith

Vakhtango Zadiev: Vocals
Serg MP (Metal Priest): Bass
Alexander Klaptsov: Rhythm guitars, acoustic guitars
Denis Shvarts: Solo guitars, keyboards
Andrey Ischenko: drums

Track list:
1. Limbo
2. Lust
3. Gluttony
4. Greed
5. Anger
6. Heresy
7. Violence
8. Fraud
9. Treachery

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Full Length Review: Whitechapel "Kin" (Metal Blade) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Whitechapel
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Country: USA
Genre: Deathcore
Full Length: Kin
Format: Digital
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release date: October 29, 2021
I feel before giving my review on this album I have to take you all back a decade or more possibly
When I was in high school all my closest friends were listening to Whitechapel as well as other bands like
-Motionless In White
-Asking Alexandria
-Parkway Drive
What’s interesting is even at such a young age I had skipped those types of bands and went straight to Death Metal, Black Metal and was lightly dabbling in Grindcore so when all my friends would recommend me these bands I would just shrug them off because (at the time) I felt I needed heavier metal
So technically this will be my first full album experience with them and I’m excited to finally give you my thoughts on a band that has eluded me all these years!
So this is the latest album by Deathcore band Whitechapel.
After listening to this record I can safely say I sure did miss out on some amazing music because what you get amongst these 11 tracks is an experience that is equal parts METAL and MELODIC
I absolutely love how this album can swing between the two different styles so easily and even blend them together when need be, it’s such an awesome thing to hear!
For me the production is really reminiscent of the era where these bands were in their prime! Not to say anything come out since is bad because this album is a clear testimony against that but it feels like they would be sticking to their strengths and making an album that their core fans would want to hear and that’s the analysis I get off this record.
It shines 2000’s Deathcore with a subtle note to the ‘Screamo’ era as well with that groovy yet heavy instrumentation, the way that the band can utilise the heavier moments and the softer more mellow moments for a more emotional context and feel make it feel nostalgic to me.
The vocals on this thing as well are absolutely amazing! What a performance by Phil Bozeman! I honestly at first listen assumed it was two singers (which isn’t too uncommon) where one does the death growls and screams and the other the clean vocals but nope, this is all him he’s going the Trivium, Of Mice and Men route which is badass!
Every time he switched the style up to a more melodic harmony I could physically feel the emotion of the words he was speaking and
the energy and passion he was giving off.
Now I don’t know if this how he regularly performs on albums but if it is then all the praise they got for the past decades are well earned and deserved! This thing has metal chart climber written all over it! For most of you, the recommendation to listen to a ‘Whitechapel’ album is as useless as someone telling you it’s time to eat when dinner is already on your plate, it’s self-explanatory. But for those who are like me and never listened to this band before, they are the real deal!
Link is above and trust me you won’t regret it! –Corban Skipwith

Phil Bozeman: Vocals
Ben Savage: Lead guitar
Alex Wade: Guitar
Zach Householder: Guitar
Gabe Crisp; Bass
Alex Rüdinger: Drums

Track list:
1. I Will Find You
2. Lost Boy
3. A Bloodsoaked Symphony
4. Anticure
5. The Ones That Made Us
6. History Is Silent
7. To the Wolves
8. Orphan
9. Without You
10. Without Us
11. Kin

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Single Review: Ghastly Shadows "We Belong To The Night" (Independent) by Corban Skipwith

Band: Ghastly Shadows
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Country: USA
Genre: Darkwave, goth
Format: Digital
Label: Independent
Release date: November 4, 2021
Well oh well, after a whole six days of singles I swear we end things on a 2 track double single? Going from singles to the ultimate duo! (quite ironic) but regardless I want to end the week with the two tracks
-We Belong To The Night
By Ghastly Shadows
So, let’s talk about it! Because as is often the case with my review this is my first time experiencing this group and what I’ve heard of them based on this is quite interesting.
Because what you get is a combination of Electronic/Gothic or I suppose more specifically Horror based influences throughout the track.
For the base of the two tracks you have those electronic keys and pattern on loop but with a more subtle tone then what you’d expect say from a Skrillex, DeadMau5, David Guetta, no this is more ominous and calculating which can really (in the right time and place) fine tune the perfect atmosphere for a haunting and deadly evening for someone whose looking for that ‘frightening’ touch of electro.
As far as the Horror influences go, you can definitely hear those cliché chords that you would normally get in those classic B Side Horror movies
(Ever realized it’s always the B-Side, Straight to DVD style Horror that’s always used?) Anyway it’s a straightforward nod to that scene and since it has its place in cinema and cultural history it’s not a bad thing.
What I find most interesting are the vocal performances because they sound more like ghostly whispers oppose to actual singing, I suppose when paired up with those menacing production sounds and those above mentioned Horror vibes it only makes sense that you’ll want the vocals to match the sonic aesthetic it’s just something I wasn’t expecting going into these two tracks.
Regardless, it’s a fun and spooky ride that I think anyone can enjoy if in the right mood, it’s something different and at the end of the day why go into making music if you’re not going to try stand out and make something unique? That’s my theory anyway and these guys prove why they should be noticed in the industry! –Corban Skipwith

John McLaren: Vocals, all instruments

Track list:
1. We Belong To The Night
2. Exhume

Saturday, November 13, 2021

EP Review: Chesty Malone and the Slice 'Em Ups "Turn To Crime EP" (1332 Records) by Dave Wolff

Location: Brooklyn, New York
Country: USA
Genre: Punk, metal
Format: Digital, 7” vinyl
Label: 1332 Records
Release date: October 31, 2021
This zine has extensively covered Chesty Malone and the Slice 'Em Ups for about as long as it's been online. Not only by me, but also by staff writers Frank Garcia, Kaya Chaos, Robert Uller and Abyss Forgottentomb. Despite our differing interpretatiobs on this band, the popular consensus is that they are a blatantly good representation of New York punk. Comparisons have been made between this band and the Misfits, Motorhead, Cycle Sluts From Hell, Murderdolls, Plasmatics, Nausea, Toilet Boys and Warzone; if you like any of those artists you should give Chesty Malone and the Slice 'Em Ups a listen.
Since I last heard from them, it's been a couple years, but they are still going strong with a new EP "Turn To Crime" and a promotional video they made to accompany it. Hearing this reminded me of what hooked me about their album "Now We're Gonna See What Disaster Really Means" and the joy of discovering new punk bands locally and nationally. After the new EP, I listened again to their older material including their 2020 EP "Covered in Blood! Quarantine Covers" wirh its reworked versions of songs by Madonna, Discharge, Venom, Void, 4 Skins and Slayer.
Their newest compositions “Turn To Crime" and "I Like Killing" are a perfect fit with any of those releases. They still brewing with raw energy and the horror punk attitude we've come to expect from them while relying more on the metal edge they've consistently added. Thanks to the work they and John "JB" Bechdel put into the recording process the band is given more space to showcase their dirty, gritty, chaotic side. It's presented with such clarity it feels as if you're watching a professionally made Blu Ray release that captures all the sweat, sexuality and angst of Manhattan subculture.
The promotional video they made for “Turn To Crime”, as usual, tells a short story in the space of a few minutes to illustrate the lyrics. It basically shows guitarist Anthony Begnal and vocalist/anti-diva Jaqueline Blownaparte menacing you the homeowner through what appears to be a wide angle lens, wanting to break into your home and rob you blind. No Echo reports the song was inspired by the mass closings of businesses due to the pandemic, and the extensive inactivity that came with it.
Whether or not they intended to, the band composed a song that reflects the general sense of tension permeating the whole country for the last couple of years. You need look no further than Youtube for examples of this, and both these songs seem to reinforce the angst of 70s and 80s punk. The way the video gives perspective to clips from a Lucky 13 Saloon show the band played in 2020, reflecting the unrest in response to the "Quality of Life" agenda of the late 90s. Still I think the band is expressing things from a personal perspective instead of writing something overtly political.
At any rate, check out the band's Youtube clps and the links to reviews, interviews and coverage of their other projects. –Dave Wolff

Jaqueline Blownaparte: Vocals
Anthony Begnal: Guitar
Diablo Rodriguez: Bass
Angel Cotte: Drums