The Native Howl at Piere’s, Fort Wayne, May 19th

The Native Howl is opening for Gwar on the Black Death Rager World Tour.

The Native Howl is a murder folk band that likes to refer to their music as thrash grass – a combination of thrash and bluegrass. They do have a harder edge than, say, Amigo The Devil, with the same general vibe. This band from Detroit had a lot of fans showing up for them last Thursday at the Gwar show, judging from the people I talked to in the long line waiting to get in.

This photo gallery completes the trilogy from that night. Go out and see The Native Howl, Nekrogoblikon, and Gwar this May and June. See the tour poster below for cities and dates.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Gwar, https://gwar.net/

Nekrogoblikon, https://nekrogoblikon.bandcamp.com/

The Native Howl, https://www.thenativehowl.com/

Piere’s Entertainment Center, https://pieresentertainment.com/

© Wayne Edwards

The Native Howl at Piere’s, Fort Wayne, May 19th

Nekrogoblikon at Piere’s, Fort Wayne, May 19th

Nekrogoblikon joins Gwar on the Black Death Rager World Tour.

We are adding this photo gallery to go along with the Gwar article from a couple days ago. Nekrogoblikon is traveling with Gwar on the May and June leg of the new tour, warming the crowd up right before the mighty warriors take the stage. Nekrogoblikon is an LA band that creates music concerning goblins. Heh-heh. It is fascinating guitar-based tongue-in-cheek hard electronic goblin folk rock with twinkling keys. They even have a goblin running around the stage during the live shows. The band released their fifth album just a few weeks ago, The Fundamental Slimes and Humours. Check out the link below to hear it on Bandcamp.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Gwar, https://gwar.net/

Nekrogoblikon, https://nekrogoblikon.bandcamp.com/

The Native Howl, https://www.thenativehowl.com/

Piere’s Entertainment Center, https://pieresentertainment.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Nekrogoblikon at Piere’s, Fort Wayne, May 19th

Gwar at Piere’s, Fort Wayne, Indiana, May 19th

Gwar kicked off the Black Death Rager World Tour on Thursday at Piere’s in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The mighty Gwar. Come on, ladies and gentlemen, that’s a show to see. There is always a lot of deranged mayhem going on at a Gwar show. The Native Howl opened, and Nekrogoblikon middled. There will separate photo galleries for them going up soon at FFMB. Today let’s talk about Gwar.

Gwar started in Richmond, Virginia in 1984. They are a heavy metal band focusing on intergalactic warrior themes and expressing themselves theatrically. The band members have changed considerably over the years, and still the band continues its mission with just as much fervor as ever. They have a new album coming out in a couple weeks – their fifteenth – The New Dark Ages.

The lead-in Black Sabbath music got the crowd ramped up before the interplanetary warriors stepped on the stage. Looking around, you can’t help but notice that most of the speakers have been covered with clear plastic, and there is plastic draped over the soundboards. If you have ever been to a Gwar show, you know why – we were all about the get sprayed with theatrical blood, goo, and other fluids as part of the elaborate stage show the band has developed over the years.

Filled with political satire and tongue-in-cheek social commentary, heavily costumed actors were ravaged on stage during and in between the bands heavy metal performances. Fans were treated to decapitations, eviscerations, and depraved moments better experienced in person than described on the page. Truly, it is an experience.

Opening with “Let Us Slay” and then “Sick Of You,” Gwar rolled through the hits and made room for new songs from the The New Dark Ages, notably the new single “Mother Fuckin Liar” and “Berserker Mode.” This was the first show on the tour and Gwar was already slinging metal in top form. Get out there and see them – check out the tour poster below for dates.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Gwar, https://gwar.net/

Nekrogoblikon, https://nekrogoblikon.bandcamp.com/

The Native Howl, https://www.thenativehowl.com/

Piere’s Entertainment Center, https://pieresentertainment.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Gwar at Piere’s, Fort Wayne, Indiana, May 19th

Predatory Light, Death And The Twilight Hours (20 Buck Spin 2022)

The second full-length album from Predatory Light will shatter your expectations about technical blackened doom: Death And The Twilight Hours.

It has been six years since Predatory Light released their self-titled debut long-player. That is a tough wait for fans, but they have truly come through on the new one, which is one of the best albums I have heard so far this year. The musicians in the band seem to prefer going by initials alone, so we don’t know that much about them, except what we can discern by listening to their compositions. When we do we find elements of black metal, doom, and technical expressions that cannot be achieved by just anyone. The alchemy they practice is rare indeed.

“The Three Living And The Three Dead” is like a walk through a deadly carnival. Bright lights and dark delights splash at you at first, but eventually you see deeper in and the doom descends. The metal does not relent despite the nearly fourteen minute running time. This is a decadent suite of sinister wonders. The next track, “Wracked By Sacred Fires,” is very different in tone and execution, even though the first bars seemed like a callback. It is more explicitly in the black metal mold, and still the differences that Predatory Light own are astonishing. The music is aggressively engaging, but not with hooks or even riffs, really. Still, it is the construction of the guitar parts that pushes the songs to the next level.

“Death And The Twilight Hours” rolls out the doom at the front with sweeping, lead-heavy riffs and ponderous percussion. A minute and a half deep, the growling comes in and that indefatigable guitar, asserting and claiming new ground. The doom does return but does not overtake the established reality for long. And then there is the final track, “To Plead Like Angels,” which commits at the jump to pace and ingenuity. This exceptional album surprised me at every turn, on each and every one of its four tracks. Excellent. Highly recommended.

Death And The Twilight Hours is out today, Friday, May 20th through 20 Buck Spin. The quick snap is Bandcamp, and you can also get it at the label’s website. Links below.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://listen.20buckspin.com/album/death-and-the-twilight-hours

20 Buck Spin, https://www.20buckspin.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Predatory Light, Death And The Twilight Hours (20 Buck Spin 2022)

Assumption, Hadean Tides (Sentient Ruin 2022)

Death-doom metal band Assumption return with a tale as old as time on Hadean Tides.

Beginning ten years ago in Palermo, Sicily, Assumption is a doom metal band that works with death metal intonations and classic metal influences to produce thought-provoking and sometimes esoteric heavy music. The release of a demo and subsequent EP lead finally to the debut full-length album Absconditus in 2018. Hadean Tides is their second long-player.

The concepts behind the music are indeed hoary and mysterious. The band comments about it on their Bandcamp page as follows. “‘Hadean’ is the informal name given to the first geological era of our planet. It can be seen as a non-time of continual accretion, liquefaction, destruction and dissolution of a barely formed globe. Today only a few, 4+ billion years-old zircons from the Hadean have been found. These represent a silent witness to a mysterious eon that no sentient being would ever endure, in no way, on a physical plane. This ancestral magmatic dimension, intertwined with the symbolic influence of poems by William Butler Yeats, Dylan Thomas, Thomas Stearns Eliot and Rainer Maria Rilke … informs the ideas, sounds and intentions contained within this new album.” If you are looking for meaning, this is the place to start.

The music is as advertised: doom and death metal. In the slower, doom-oriented moments that dominate the album, the compositions place size and scale in priority positions, ladling drama heavily upon the boiling stew. This is evident from the very beginning with “Oration” and is demonstrated repeatedly throughout. “Submerged By Hadean Tides” is created particularly adeptly, lacing classic metal homages in the layers and building mighty walls with granite riffs. “Daughters Of The Lotus” is set at a funeral doom pace in its first half. At the five minute mark the music breaks loose in an overwhelming flood energetic emotion, then folds back into the doom. Darkly, beautifully done.

“Breath Of The Dedalus” is a mood piece, and what a dreary mood it sets with the effective use of eerie choral. “Triptych” is creepy and bizarre, with spare, clear spoken words that stands in contrast to the usual gruff vocalizations on the record. The final song is the fifteen-minute epic “Black Trees Waving.” It is an unsentimental journey into the abyss of distant time. The expressed ideas cling to you as they roll along, laying claim to your attention and consciousness. It is a wakening experience. Highly recommended.

Hadean Tides is out on Friday, May 20th. Many formats are available from Sentient Ruin Laboratories in the US and Everlasting Spew Records in Europe. Links below.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://assumption.bandcamp.com/album/hadean-tides

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/assumptiondoom/

Sentient Ruin Laboratories, http://sentientruin.com/main

Everlasting Spew Records, https://everlastingspew.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Assumption, Hadean Tides (Sentient Ruin 2022)

Bog Body, Cryonic Crevasse Cult (Profound Lore 2022)

Bog Body brings forth their first full-length album, Cryonic Crevasse Cult.

Not your typical death metal band, Bog Body is made up entirely of vocals, bass, and percussion generated from two musicians. Putting out a demo in 2018, Through the Burial Bog, and a split with Primitive Warfare in 2020, The Gate Of Grief, you might wonder if they have anything else to say. It turns out that’s a yes.

Think about it for a minute. Bass and drums and vocals. Is that enough? It is certainly a lane, and the limiting choice of instruments narrows the avenues for expression. Then again, it requires the composers to be especially creative if they are to achieve anything fans want to hear. I think they have done it.

The music is death metal, heavy on the sludge, and it leans toward black metal sentience, metered down a bit. The bass lines are doing some heavy lifting here, as you might expect. Speed comes from the percussion first in the absence of guitar, and the bass line keeps up. The vocals exist in a muted blackened doom metal realm.

There is a welcome variety in the music as we roll through. “Ice Stained Kurgan” has a deep, mysterious formulation to it, while songs like the title track are high velocity poundings. The set opens on “Paralytic Pit of Swallowed Graves” and closes with “The Graveyard Of Dead Cratons,” two songs that, musically, stand well apart. Indeed, while “Paralytic” is a mood-setter and serves to orient expectations for the rest of the album, “Graveyard” is my favorite track for its firm stance on its own identity. The commitment to heavy music is present throughout, and I can say no other band sounds quite like Bog Body. Recommended.

Cryonic Crevasse Cult is out on Friday, May 20th through Profound Lore Records in digital and on CD.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://bog-body.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/bogbodyofficial

Profound Lore Records, https://profoundlorerecords.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Bog Body, Cryonic Crevasse Cult (Profound Lore 2022)

Blasphematory, The Lower Catacombs (Nuclear Winter 2022)

New Jersey death metal band Blasphematory drive up the demons on their second album, The Lower Catacombs.

Blasphematory came together by happenstance, the story goes. After compiling a demo, they released the full-length Depths of the Obscurity as a duo in 2019. Expanding the line-up by fifty percent, the sound honed in to what we hear today on the new album. It is classic death metal with notable doom leanings and an ear for perpetuity. The band includes veteran musicians Joe Aversario (bass, guitar, vocals), Chris Warhead (drums), and Tom Deceiver (guitar).

Seven savage tracks make up the new set. “Cruciform Shadows” begins with what sounds like a warning – a creepy, warbling ramp that peels off to reveal the shaggy darkness behind the veil. “Unclean Eulogies” is transportative, welling up in deliberation and with purpose, and slow-stomping the black earth with massive musical paws. “Key to the Furnace” steps back a touch, lays in on the grind then ramps up the tempo. This opening triad shows clearly the world you have ventured into by dropping the needle.

There is much to admire in every corner of this record. “Perpetual Despair” is heavy doom, sounding very much like it indeed comes from the lower catacombs. It is my favorite track on the album, the crushing hopelessness is what appeals to me. “Flooded Graves” has a feeling of deep mystery to it in the melody and in the rumbling percussion. And then there is the title song. “The Lower Catacombs” is the longest track and the anchor to the set. You feel the weight of the world – and the underworld – descend upon you from the very beginning. New looks and perpetrations roll over you as the music continues, and you want it all to happen. The guitars are mournful and unrepentant. The vocals deep and unwelcoming. The music is murky dank darkness. Recommended.

The Lower Catacombs came out on Friday the 13th through Nuclear Winter Records on digital, CD, and vinyl. You can get it now.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://blasphematory.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/blasphematory

Nuclear Winter Records, https://nuclearwinterrecords.com/shop/

© Wayne Edwards

Blasphematory, The Lower Catacombs (Nuclear Winter 2022)

Cauchemar, Rosa Mystica (Temple Of Mystery 2022)

Canadian heavy metal band Cauchemar release their third full-length album, Rosa Mystica.

Cauchemar is from Québec and have been together since 2007. They have a very traditional metal approach to their music that works as a starting point. From there they steep their work in doom and manifest fascinating creations. They released an EP in 2010, La vierge noire, followed by two long-players, Tenebrario (2013) and Chapelle ardente (2016). Each new album is a step toward the vanishing point as the band hones its sound and compositional constitution through comparative gradation. The new album is their best so far. Cauchemar is Annick Giroux (vocals), François Patry (guitar), Andres Arango (bass), and Joël Ladouceur (drums).

There are eight tracks on Rosa Mystica, beginning with “Jour de colère.” The opening bars are menacing, turning toward the mysterious. About one minute in, the guitars kick in, lifting the discourse to pursuit, and now we are on an adventure. Giroux, singing in French, facilitates a dark mood in a misty wood. “Rouge sang” follows and is ambitious at the jump, with immediate accelerant in the tempo and urgency in the vocals. “Notre–Dame–sous–Terre” is ponderous, accentuating the doom aspects and elements Cauchemar does so well. It is a beautiful, dark treatise.

Listening to the first few songs, I had Fates Warning flashbacks, and maybe Omen, from the 1980s. Also Demon. That is good for me because I love that music. What is particularly different about Cauchemar’s music that lifts it beyond homage is the integration of doom and their unique compositional perspective, as in the title track, for example. Juxtapose those ideas with more active and ranging songs such as “Le tombeau de l’aube” and then the album, taken as a whole, has a more profound impact. Recommended.

Rosa Mystica is out today, Monday, May 16th through Temple Of Mystery Records. You can pick it up at Bandcamp or through the label’s website. Links below.

Band photo by Chany Pilote.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://cauchemar.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/cauchemarmetal

Temple Of Mystery Records, https://templeofmystery.ca/product-category/cauchemar/

© Wayne Edwards

Cauchemar, Rosa Mystica (Temple Of Mystery 2022)

Testament at The Newport Music Hall, Columbus, Ohio, May 11th

The Bay Strikes Back Tour is in full force. An article I wrote and photo gallery of my images is going up soon at Ghost Cult Magazine. For now, I am posting a few photos that are not in that article, taken at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio on May 11, 2022. Death Angel first, then Exodus the next day, then Testament. A link to the Ghost Cult article is below.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Ghost Cult Magazine Full Article, https://www.ghostcultmag.com/concert-review-the-bay-strikes-back-tour-testament-exodus-death-angel-live-at-newport-music-hall/

Exodus, https://exodusattack.com/site/

Newport Music Hall, https://promowestlive.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Testament at The Newport Music Hall, Columbus, Ohio, May 11th

Exodus at The Newport Music Hall, Columbus, Ohio, May 11th

The Bay Strikes Back Tour is in full force. An article I wrote and photo gallery of my images is going up soon at Ghost Cult Magazine. For now, I am posting a few photos that are not in that article, taken at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio on May 11, 2022. Death Angel first, then Exodus the next day, then Testament. A link to the Ghost Cult article is below.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Ghost Cult Magazine Full Article, https://www.ghostcultmag.com/concert-review-the-bay-strikes-back-tour-testament-exodus-death-angel-live-at-newport-music-hall/

Exodus, https://exodusattack.com/site/

Newport Music Hall, https://promowestlive.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Exodus at The Newport Music Hall, Columbus, Ohio, May 11th