Sunday, May 25, 2008

Albert Witchfinder

So, what happened to Albert Witchfinder after the breakup of Reverend Bizzare? Here are some comments I found in a review of Albert's solo album, The Puritan.:

After the demise of Reverend Bizarre, Albert Witchfinder has not let the tides of doom relent and in the same year as RB's ridiculously amazing finale, has released his solo debut under The Puritan. What's immediately noticeable about The Puritan is how much darker it is than Albert's work with Reverend Bizarre. Rather than song names like "Doom Over the World" and "Fucking Wizard", this EP has "The Sulphur Colored Clouds Are Hurrying Through the Lithium Gates" and "Opposite the Fireplace - The Wall of Shotguns". The music has changed similarily, Reverend Bizarre's fun/rock side is gone; even the beautiful melodies that carried gloomier tracks like "Sorrow" are not present here. The Puritan has retreated to the basics of doom: droning notes that steadily crash out of my speakers like waves on an oceanside cliff. Bleak music. What Albert has carried over to The Puritan from Reverend Bizarre is his ability to channel the misery of the world around him through his bass guitar into soul-purifyingly heavy music.

It's just not as pretty or as fun as when he did it with Reverend Bizarre.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Reverend Bizarre!!

It doesn't get any better than this, folks.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Rules Of Metal By Fat Ed

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wino News

Legendary guitarist Scott "Wino" Weinrich (SAINT VITUS, THE OBSESSED, SPIRIT CARAVAN, PLACE OF SKULLS, THE HIDDEN HAND) has an album's worth of "solo" recordings in the works. Assisting Wino during the sessions are Jean-Paul Gaster (CLUTCH) on drums and Jon Blank (REZIN) on bass. Entitled "Punctuated Equilibrium", the album is being recorded with J. Robbins (producer of THE HIDDEN HAND's "Mother Teacher Destroyer") in Maryland and is tentatively due later in the year via Southern Lord Recordings.

Commented Wino: "'Punctuated Equilibrium' will bring my career into focus."


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Argus Enters The Studio

From Argus:

We enter Soundscape Studios on Friday to begin recording our debut full-length, at this time self-titled. Track listing (no order determined yet) will include:

“Devils, Devils”
“The Damnation of John Faustus”
Bending Time”
“The Effigy Is Real”
“None Shall Know The Hour”
“From Darkness, Light”
As-yet untitled 10+ minute mini-epic

We also expect to include a short instrumental prelude to “Devils, Devils,” as well as a special contribution to “...Faustus” from a good friend... don`t want to jinx it so I won`t announce it until I have the goods in hand.

"Sleeping Dogs" will be exclusive to the 10" vinyl release (entitled Sleeping Dogs). That will be a remastered for vinyl version of our demo, minus "The Effigy Is Real" (time limitations). That is coming out on the Miskatonic Foundation.

“Dogs” is the oldest of the songs in our set and we love the song but those cats have been playing it since before I joined the band and have recorded it two or three times already and weren`t up for recording it again.

We`re hoping to complete all the basic tracks this weekend. Vocals and leads will follow later in the month (as soon as we can get back into the studio). We`re hoping to post some photos and video of the proceedings. I`ll keep ya updated.

More From Iraq

More news from Iraq's only heavy metal band.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Essence Of Doom

For those of you who didn't catch it the first time, pay attention! C'mon! Wake up! Read this! You need to know why doom metal is so fucking cool.

I thought this was an incredible description of doom and one I heartily agree with. Very inspiring.

What Is Doom? (from a statement by John Del Russi of Hierophant)
Doom-metal... probably the most extreme and most misunderstood forms of music. What is doom-metal? Creating a fitting and accurate description can be a long and arduous task, but I shall attempt to give my views on the subject of doom.

Doom, as I've always felt, is something to be experienced; not just a form of music. It is a transcendental experience into the darker, mysterious realms of being; of sorrow and hopelessness, hatred and despair; even a 'gateway' into otherworldly realms. Doom is intrinsically perhaps the most extreme form of music, being both agonizingly slow and monolithically heavy, and therefore has never become a mainstream form of listening among the masses. Its emotionality is such that, for the average person no matter their self-professed darkness, is very often misunderstood for what it truly is, or shunned out of the sheer unnerving atmospheres it evokes. In truth, doom (when done the way it should be) is the darkest, most emotional music on the planet.

Doom is extremely 'spiritual' in experience; being mysterious, dark and esoteric in its purest form. Doom is, in its own way, a very 'majestic' form of music. With the use of a wide array of accompanying instruments, from violins to keyboards, doom creates atmospheres that no other form of music can offer. Doom is extremely intense, due to its emotionality, atmospheres and heaviness, and should not, despite its sloth-like pace, be deemed as 'boring' or 'simple'. Quite the contrary, doom requires one to be a much 'deeper' soul to fulfill its compositional requirements. It cannot just be simply 'written', but must be composed; the entire artist's personal essence and emotions being expressed through every note. In truth, it is perhaps one of the hardest forms of music to compose and perform, First, to play at such slow tempos can be difficult in the aspect of timing. Second, to keep the atmospheres and emotionality of the music at a level that maintains the 'concept' of the songs is no easy feat. It takes great talent to achieve and maintain the level of power, emotionality and quality that not only express the 'concept' of the composer, but also keep the attention of the listener. Perhaps this will dispel the long insulting and ignorant prospects that doom is 'easy' to play and/or write.

I believe that doom should evoke the deepest of essences through the creation of almost otherworldly, emotion-laden notes utilized in combination with an earth-shattering heaviness that should rarely (if ever) be strayed from. To evoke the deepest emotions and atmospheres possible, I believe is the genuine purpose of doom; to create for the listener and experience like none other.

Though there are, like everything else in life, many people who view things differently, I stand firmly in my resolution that doom should always maintain the earth-shattering heaviness the likes of diSEMBOWELMENT, Evoken, Thergothon etc. While there are those who strive to achieve a more 'serene' form of doom, attempting to express purely the sorrowful side, I find it most lacking in power in the absence of the pulverizing heaviness of the afore-mentioned pioneers of doom. The majesty and mystery, sorrow and despair, I feel are delivered with much more power when backed by the heaviness of the afore-mentioned bands. While I have no qualms with 'calmer' moments throughout the journey of doom, which genuinely add to the atmospheres of doom, I believe there should be a quality of 'brutality' to its composition, which drives deeper the experience (especially as doom is, by definition, a brutal experience in itself). Along the same lines, it should never (or rarely) stray from
the slow-as-death pace that also creates the power and driving force that doom delivers which such punishing relentlessness.

Over all, doom is something to be experienced, as I stated earlier. It IS an experience, in the truest sense of the word. An expression of the 'darker', shadowy sides of the human self, sorrow, despair, mourning, hatred, emptiness, misery and mystery, doom-metal is something one needs to submerge one's self into, as opposed to
simply listening to it. It is perhaps one of the most majestic forms of music in existence, despite of (if not due to) its extreme form of expression of these essences and emotions. A journey through realms, which would otherwise remain unbeknownst to man, doom takes one into the deepest of depths both within themselves and external realms.

Doom shall forever remain a mystery, as that is its nature. It is intrinsically mysterious, and not for everyone. But for those who crave the most extreme experience of the deepest emotionality, atmospheres and essences possible to be expressed through music, doom-metal is the one and only path for the sullen few, who are
truly "evolved" enough to understand it and who are fearless of journeying into unknown realms of darkness.

Mourners in darkness gather, and lament your sorrows through the monolithic force that is doom.
My own inner journey has been influenced much by the experience of doom, since, as a lad of fifteen, I heard the earth-shattering power of Black Sabbath.


Sunday, May 11, 2008


I just discovered another good psychedelic/doom/stoner group called Mammatus. Check them out. They remind me of Earthless, but more stoned. Here is their MySpace page.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Iraq's Only Heavy Metal Band

Acrassicauda claims to be the only heavy metal band in Iraq. I don't know if it's true, but their music is pretty good. I like the name too. Acrassicauda is a Latin term for one of the most dangerous and unique kind of black scorpions lives in the Iraqi deserts. That alone is very cool. They sound a little like Slayer. The song, Massacre, is somewhat doomesque. Check out their MySpace site here. This is from their site:
Born out of a basement rehearsal space in Baghdad, Iraq, Acrassicauda (the scientific name for black scorpion) is the country’s only heavy metal band. Tutored by local guitar virtuoso Saad Say—the Yngwie Malmsteem of the Middle East—and inspired by Western bands like Metallica, Slayer and Slipknot, they began writing and playing their own music in 2001. They quickly learned though, that their simple goal of performing live was going to be no easy task. Original members Firas (bass), Tony (lead guitar), Marwan (drums), Faisal (rhythm guitar) and Waleed (lead vocals) played three shows together before the beginning of the war in 2003. Shortly after the invasion, Waleed fled the country, leaving Faisal to fill the void of lead singer. Because of the security situation in Baghdad, setting up shows or even just practicing together became increasingly difficult. Aside from the basic danger of walking the streets in their hometown, the band received death threats from fundamentalists and insurgent groups who thought they were devil-worshippers or simply didn’t like them playing Western-style music. Eventually, it became completely impossible to find anywhere they could safely play.