Morbikon, Ov Mournful Twilight (Tankcrimes 2022)

The debut album from blackened thrash band Morbikon is savagely unsettling: Ov Mournful Twilight.

Morbikon is a solo project of Municipal Waste bass player Phil “Land Phil” Hall. While Municipal Waste is a tongue-in-cheek thrash band, this solo project is darker in tone. “Morbikon to me is an opportunity to explore new atmospheres and new realms of extreme metal,” Hall says. “I wanted to fill it with memorable hooks and punishing moments. I am very happy with the result of these songs and hope everyone notices the amount of detail that has been added to every corner of the music. I also have to give Dave Witte a lot of credit for laying down amazing drum tracks that added so much to these songs.”

There are eight meaty tracks on Ov Mournful Twilight. The aptly titled “Consumed By Entropy” starts with noisy clangs and threatening growls. The song moves through patches of heavy catchy grooves next door to sour calamities of musical collision. A platter of digestible hooks is a great way to deliver the more challenging constructions and so the song works well. “Universal Funeral” puts the smooth at the front and the off-balancing warbles are a patch down the road, mixing things up. There is a significant doomish segment that fits the theme and a fine lead break that marks this song for high praise.

“Cursed To March On Shattered Limbs” has the feel of a dark lullaby that turns into blatantly savage shrieking black metal. Lovely. Likewise, “Deaththirst” is brutal in the rhythm section and really shakes you up. In the middle section, the song becomes very dramatic and psychologically threatening. The second half of the record offers the title track and, of them all, this is my favorite song on the album. The musical build in the composition is pure dark theater.

Heading into the last act we hear “In Ritual Isolation,” a cavernous intimation, and “Contagion Borne Of Phantom Vessel,” a dreadful spell cast in the oppressive gloom that makes me reconsider my top spot song rankings. The anchor is “Infinite Pathways to the Earthen Grave.” I expected this song to be especially dreary, but it is not – in fact it begins with high energy and it runs at a penetrating pace. The guitar work is impeccable; the solemn outro is haunting. It is the perfect wrap to this dark delight of an album. Recommended.

Ov Mournful Twilight is out on Friday, October 28th through Tankcrimes Records. You can pick it up through Bandcamp or at the label link below.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://downloads.tankcrimes.com/album/ov-mournful-twilight

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/people/Morbikon/100063566229471/

Tankcrimes Records, https://tankcrimes.merchtable.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Morbikon, Ov Mournful Twilight (Tankcrimes 2022)

Blue Ridge Rock Festival, Alton, Virginia, September 8-11, 2022

I returned to Virginia this year for another round of Blue Ridge Rock Fest. I sure did. The headliners for 2022 were Slipknot, Disturbed, Ghost, and Mudvayne.

Mudvayne

There were a few issues last year at Blue Ridge Rock Fest, and they were widely publicized and discussed. I was there, and, as I wrote at the time, there were rough spots but certainly the line-up was great and the music was fantastic. This year, the festival moved to a new venue to address many of the concerns from the previous year, and, given that earlier experience, one might reasonably expect this year to be a lot better. I have a few thoughts on that. The upshot is that this year’s line-up and music were once again excellent, and there were still a few noticeable problems.

Sevendust

The new venue was not an improvement over the previous one. The biggest problem last year with the venue was parking. It was a tough slog. This year at the Virginia International Raceway, I thought there would be parking lots on location. I had never been to the speedway, so this was just in my imagination. In fact, this time the festival used remote parking locations and shuttle busses. Guess what. There were long lines for the shuttles. Like last year, the first couple of days were the worst and things improved as the weekend went along.

Shadows Fall

Many of the problems from last year were indeed mostly solved this year, and that is good news. The big issue besides the long wait for shuttle was the layout of the venue on the festival grounds. Last year, one of the best things about the festival was that the stages were relatively easy to get to. No so this year. There was a total of five stages. The two main stages were near the entrance and set up side by side. That is a good arrangement. To get to the third stage, you had to trundle up a long sloping hillside. It wasn’t too bad, but it was a bit of a slog.

Alice Cooper

The final two stages were past the third and down a steep hill, lying at a considerable distance across a rutted field. Once you arrived at any of these three separate regions, it wasn’t so bad as long as you stayed there. Moving between stages was very difficult for me. I am an out of shape older dude, so you could say that my complaints are my own fault. Fair enough, but whether it is my own fault or not, it was a situation for me. Anyone with mobility issues would have faced a considerable challenge (you can read Heather Koepp’s discussion of this at the link below). I was at the festival primarily as a photographer, so moving between the stages is what I had to do, all day every day. After a while, I started making choices about which sets to shoot based upon whether I would be able to make it in time or not to the next stage. You always have to do that at a big festival to some extent. At Blue Ridge, it was a bigger than usual problem.

Ghost

What else do you need to know about the Blue Ridge experience? The music was fantastic. Alice Cooper, Down, Halestorm, Tenacious D, Cannibal Corpse, Kittie, Anthrax, Municipal Waste, Baroness, Jelly Roll, and so many more. The headliners were OK, too. You can tell some of my favorites from the photos I have included here. There will be many more to follow in individual photo galleries in the coming weeks. There is also a feature article at Ryze-Up Magazine that uses my photos, if you want to see them (link below).

Down

Oh yeah, the weather. I know I sound like an old man talking about the weather all the time. Guilty. These big outdoor fests are at the mercy and whim of Mother Nature, though, and that’s the truth. There wasn’t any weather that was dangerous enough to affect the program schedule, but wow it did rain on Saturday. Drenching, cold rain. Tough conditions. The music continued to be excellent, even as the conditions worsened the experience, through no fault of the organizers at all. Saturday wiped me out so much that I have only foggy memories of Sunday.

Apocalyptica

I am on the fence about whether to go back next year. We’ll see. For able-bodied fans who aren’t seeking a physically comfortable experience, Blue Ridge Rock Fest offered great music this year and will probably do the same next year, too. After two years of experience under my belt with this festival, it is coming down to a question of stamina for me. I’ll just have to wait and see which way the wind is blowing in 2023.

Municipal Waste

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Blue Ridge Rock Festival, https://blueridgerockfest.com/

Rival Magazine article by Heather Koepp, https://www.rivalmagazinela.com/live-show-reviews/what-went-wrong-at-blue-ridge-rock-festival-2022

Ryze-Up Magazine feature, https://www.ryze-up.com/ryze-up-magazine-current-issue/ryze-up-magazine-october-2022/

© Wayne Edwards

Blue Ridge Rock Festival, Alton, Virginia, September 8-11, 2022

Municipal Waste, Electrified Brain (Nuclear Blast 2022)

The seventh album from Richmond, Virginia’s Municipal Waste is Electrified Brain.

Municipal Waste just passed the twenty-year mark in their career, and they are just as irreverent and rowdy as they were at the beginning. Tony Foresta (vocals), Ryan Waste (guitar), Philip “Landphil” Hall (bass), Dave Witte (drums), and Nick Poulos (guitar) return now for the seventh long-player amongst the long list of splits and EPs they’ve sown over the years. I always geta kick out of listening to a Municipal Waste record and seeing them live is a party every time. Looking over a few photos of the last show of theirs I attended, I could tell where it was by the brand of beer can flying through the air in half the pics. Carling’s Black Label – name that festival!

There are fourteen short and tight tracks on the new album. Every one of them packs a punch. You just never know from which direction it’ll be coming. The title track is the first song, and the punk and thrash are strong in it. Ripping pace and blistering lead guitar complement perfectly Tony Foresta’s urgent singing. The pace shifts to a groove hook toward the end and lays down an homage. Great start. “Demoralizer” continues without missing a beat on a different thrash trajectory, and “Last Crawl” feels like a high-speed chase. We are rolling now.

Every song is a new crack and always a good ride. Look out for “Ten Cent Beer Night,” “Putting On Errors,” “High Speed Steel,” and “Restless And Wicked.” These are the ones that stood out for me, but you might find you have other favorites instead. We can debate it at the next show.

Municipal Waste at Pure Filth Festival 2022

This new album is one of their best – a great Municipal Waste set. Highly recommended.

Electrified Brain is out on Friday, July 1st through Nuclear Blast Records.

Municipal Waste at Pure Filth Festival 2022
Municipal Waste at Pure Filth Festival 2022

Band photo by Corey Davenport. Live band photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://municipal-waste.bandcamp.com/

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

Municipal Waste website, https://www.municipalwaste.net/

Nuclear Blast Records, https://www.nuclearblast.com/eu/band/municipal-waste

© Wayne Edwards

Municipal Waste at Heavy Montreal 2019
Municipal Waste at Heavy Montreal 2019

Municipal Waste, Electrified Brain (Nuclear Blast 2022)

Pure Filth Festival, Sharkey’s, Liverpool, New York, June 18th 2022

The Pure Filth Festival went down at Sharkey’s Event Center in Liverpool, New York last weekend. What a day. I tell you all about it in an up-coming Ghost Cult Magazine article (link below). Meanwhile, here are a few photos to whet your appetite. The bands were Year of the Cobra, Savage Existence, Bewitcher, Extinction A.D., Carnivore AD, Integrity, Voivod, Municipal Waste, and Exodus. There are one or two (or three) photos of each band that won’t be in the Ghost Cult article. Links to info for each band are at the bottom of the post.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Year of the Cobra
Year of the Cobra
Savage Existence
Bewitcher
Bewitcher
Bewitcher
Extinction A.D.
Extinction A.D.
Carnivore AD
Carnivore AD
Integrity
Integrity
Integrity
Voivod
Voivod
Municipal Waste
Municipal Waste
Municipal Waste
Municipal Waste
Exodus
Exodus
Exodus
Exodus

Links.

Ghost Cult Magazine article, https://www.ghostcultmag.com/festival-review-pure-filth-festival-at-sharkeys-event-center-liverpool-new-york/

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

Municipal Waste, https://www.municipalwaste.net/

Voivod, https://www.voivod.com/

Integrity, https://www.facebook.com/INTEGRITY.HT

Extinction A.D., https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionAD

Bewitcher, https://www.bewitcher.us/

Savage Existence, http://savageexistence.com/

Year of the Cobra, https://yearofthecobra.com/

Sharkey’s Event Center, https://sharkeysbarandgrill.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Pure Filth Festival, Sharkey’s, Liverpool, New York, June 18th 2022

2019 In Review, Gallery Days 8-15

Day 15 — Perdition Temple at Higher Ground Ballroom
Day 14 — Bring Me The Horizon at Aftershock
Day 13 — Korn at Aftershock
Day 12 — Halestorm at Aftershock
Day 11 (matinee) — Cancer Bats at Heavy Montreal
Day 11 — Municipal Waste at Heavy Montreal
Day 10 — Cleopatrick at Sonic Temple
Day 9 — Chevelle at Aftershock
Day 8 — Spirit Adrift at Aftershock

All photos by Wayne Edwards.

© Wayne Edwards.

2019 In Review, Gallery Days 8-15