Nekrogoblikon – Power (2013), Dethlehem – Destroyers of the Realm (2015)

POWERLowRes

NekrogoblikonPower (self-released, 27 August 2013)

 

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DethlehemDestroyers of the Realm (self-released, 06 January 2015)

 

Hey, folks. Today’s theme is going to be fantasy-RPG-inspired metal. I know that sounds oddly specific, but there are a couple bands in that realm I’d like to discuss, and they both just happen to be playing a show together later this week. First, Californian horde Nekrogoblikon, as you may have guessed, write songs that are based on goblins — those devilish inhabitants of folklore, who in this instance resemble the nasty green creatures of Warhammer and later fantasy games, more so than the bumbling little muppets from Labyrinth, for example. The band has been around for a few years — the EP I’ll soon talk about was released nearly three years ago, in fact — but since they’re currently on a raid across the country, it seemed like as good of a time as any to share their music with you today. Nekrogoblikon‘s tour will be storming through Pittsburgh in just a few days (accompanied by Urizen from Fort Worth), and when it does, rest assured that a ragtag band of local heroes will be ready for them.

Regular readers of this website are already familiar with Pittsburgh’s own Dethlehem, perhaps from the time we did an interview with them, or from any number of other times the band has been mentioned here. For those who somehow managed to miss out on these guys previously, imagine a group of musicians who have gathered together in precisely the way a typical Dungeons & Dragons adventuring party would: someone who has good fighting skills, someone who knows magic, people who can specialize in lead guitar or rhythm guitar or bass guitar, someone who is good at sneaking around quietly and gathering information or stealing things, folks with vocal skills and drumming know-how, and so on. Basically, a group of people whose strengths and weaknesses can complement each other, and who can work together harmoniously.

 

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THE TROLLS ARE COMING!! (Finntroll and TrollfesT Announce North American Tours)

trolls

THE TROLLS ARE COMING!!

 
Specifically, the Finnish masters of “humppa” style folk metal, Finntroll, and the originators of “True Norwegian Balkan Metal”, TrollfesT, are both coming to North America later this year — separately, although each of them will be part of a tour package that will surely have any fan of folk/pagan metal salivating with anticipation! Even better, both bands will be making a stop in Pittsburgh!!

 
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VOS Videography 2013: A Mid-Year Retrospective (Part 18)

VOStube

 

The Smiling Moose (South Side / Pittsburgh, PA), 31 May 2013

 
Dethlehem – “Valley of the Blades” and “Oathbound” (New Song)

 
The week of this show marked the birthdays of two of the band’s members (drummer Overlord Brom and guitarist Hildor), so the audience joined in singing to them. Here’s a video of that, plus the song “Sky Palace of the Dragonriders” (with a guest appearance by former vocalist Lord Bonecrush, currently a member of Supervoid):

 
Save Us from the Archon – “3b. So you had a dream about this place.”

Invader – “A.C.R.R.”

 

Gooski’s (Polish Hill / Pittsburgh, PA), 01 June 2013

 
Iron Gavel – “Song Three”

 
Falcifer

 
Wrought Iron also played at this show, and I swear I got video of one, maybe two, of their songs. But apparently those haven’t been uploaded to YouTube. I’ll have to search for them and make sure they didn’t just disappear into the ether or something…

 

Valley of Steel private picnic event (South Park, PA), 08 June 2013

 
Reflections – “Forest of Whispers”

 

Gooski’s (Polish Hill / Pittsburgh, PA), 20 June 2013

 
Low Man – “Migraine”

 
Low Man – “Snake Farmer”

 
Cultivator – “I Can Relate”, “You Bring Me Down”, and “Where You Been”

Slow Mover

 
NAVIGATION
 
Part 1 (28 December – 18 January)
Part 2 (01 – 09 February)
Part 3 (16 February)
Part 4 (22 February)
Part 5 (23 February)
Part 6 (02 – 09 March)
Part 7 (10 March)
Part 8 (14 March)
Part 9 (16 March)
Part 10 (22 – 24 March)
Part 11 (28 – 29 March)
Part 12 (02 – 11 April)
Part 13 (12 – 19 April)
Part 14 (20 – 26 April)
Part 15 (04 – 05 May)
Part 16 (11 – 17 May)
Part 17 (18 – 27 May)
 
Part 19 (23 – 30 June)

The Secret Dethlehem Code, Deciphered (FOR REAL This Time)!

4 13 13

 

I WAS SO CLOSE!

 
 
…by which, of course, I mean that my article from a few days ago analyzing Dethlehem‘s mysterious image (above) speculated that the answer had something to do with Dethlehem doing something. That much of it turned out to be absolutely 100% accurate. (The rest of what I wrote, not so much. Although those who are interested in the ins and outs of the recording process still can benefit greatly by visiting producer Patrick Lammie‘s blog as he details the creation of the band’s third full-length album!)

So what I thought was a crazy eye thing actually turned out to be a representation of a magical portal; the fact that the middle part of the “eye” looks like the number zero wasn’t just a coincidence; the other numbers superimposed on the image, surprisingly, had NOTHING to do with an encrypted message, but rather they indicated a significant date. That date, 04.13.13, was this past Saturday — and at some point during that day, the band uncovered a really exciting secret project…..

 
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The Secret Dethlehem Code, Deciphered!

4 13 13

 

What the hell is Dethlehem up to??

 
I’m sure that is the question that’s foremost on everyone’s mind this week. Recently, the above image — some kind of creepy hypnotic eye thing, with a cryptic numeric code imprinted in front of it — mysteriously surfaced on the internet, leading to a huge flurry of speculation from all over the place.

Some people are hazarding guesses about what these symbols mean and have even gone so far as to speculate that they represent a specific date — on which something new and exciting will be revealed to us. Like, “A new video, perhaps? The first single from the upcoming album? An update on Overlord Brom’s beard growth?”

Not bad, GeekDad. But those are all the sort of things the band probably wants us to think about — anything that will keep us off the scent of their TRUE plot! But through painstaking and fastidious research, I have uncovered the real meaning of the numeric code in the mystical JPEG sigil!

 

Dethlehem at The Foundry (Lakewood, OH) in November 2012.  Photo courtesy The World's Worst Camera Phone Ever.

Dethlehem at The Foundry (Lakewood, OH) in November 2012. Photo courtesy The World’s Worst Camera Phone Ever.

 
As you surely recall from the last time we spoke with the RPG-metal band, following a couple line-up changes and the occasional dragon-slaying quest, they were soon intending to get to work writing and recording their third full-length album, the as-yet-untitled follow-up to The Ghorusalem Codex Vol. 1: Enthroned Upon a Spire and The Ghorusalem Codex Vol. 2: Of Magick & Tyranny.

Well, apparently the writing process has concluded, because over the past month or so the band has started on the actual recording. I know this because their producer/engineer Patrick Lammie began tracking their progress in a studio blog.

BUT SUDDENLY with a blinding flash of TRUTH, it hit me. What is disguised as an innocent commentary on recording gear and microphones and stuff, is actually the solution to the whole mystery! One of the oldest known tricks for encoding information is to write a bunch of nonsense words and hide the REAL message in the middle of it, totally undetected to anyone who doesn’t have the decryption key. OBVIOUSLY the scary green eye holds that answer: the numbers 4, 13, 13 are a key to deciphering the hidden meaning among the (otherwise nonsensical) technical jargon in that studio report!

 
So without any further ado, I give to you:

 

TO HERE ON ALBUM
GHORUSALEM VOL. AS WITH ON ENTER
THIS I BLOG
TO ONLY MAKE COURSE OF REGRET OF MIXERS
SO THAT BE WHAT
IN THAT’S EVERYTHING RECORDING TALK
AND SPEND IT CHOSE
TRY PROVIDE THE DON’T YOU AND SWEETWATER
WANT IF THEM OFFER
NEEDING WOULD TO SCORE

HAVE CAN AT SO
HAVE THIS ENTIRE
WHEN THE UP EVERYTHING DETAILS
THE HAVE XLR
WHAT PATCHES IT WHILE
PLACE THEN OF EQS OUT
TO GO SNAKES ARE SNAKE
NOTHING IF A AROUND AND EITHER
OUT A ANY PROJECT
IF AND MY TEST
TAKE SO REPLACEMENTS TRACKING

 
It goes on and on like that, but I think you get the general idea. Really earth-shattering stuff, huh? I mean, you still have to read between the lines a bit to get the actual meaning they are trying to get across — it’s pretty deep and metaphoric, and requires a bit of extra thought to make it out. But I’ve already done most of the hard work for you, right? That makes everything an awful lot clearer at least, doesn’t it?

 
*
 
*
 
*
 
*

Okay, okay. I hate to admit it, but it looks like I was wrong. It seemed like such a brilliant idea, too, but I guess in truth I’m just as clueless as the rest of you. To be honest, I think I wrote the title of this article a bit prematurely, and once that was set in place, I had to really try and sell the concept, to avoid being totally embarrassed. But it looks like it didn’t work out that way.

Anyway, it seems as though we’ll all just have to sit here and wait til the brave warriors of Dethlehem decide to tell us all what they’ve been dropping hints about!

 
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Dethlehem: website, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, webstore

The Top Ten Shows I’ve Seen This Year: A Supplemental Video Guide

This was me on Christmas Eve.  In a couple hours, this'll most likely be me again.

This was me on Christmas Eve. In a couple hours, this’ll most likely be me again.

 
Good afternoon, Dear Readers, and a Happy Fucking New Year to you all! I hope you enjoyed the collection of top-ten lists I published yesterday!

Before we finally put 2012 to bed, though, here’s a quick supplemental post to go along with my personal contribution to that conglomerate of lists. I’m calling it…

 

The Top Ten Shows I’ve Seen This Year:

A Supplemental Video Guide

 
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Supervoid – Endless Planets EP

 

SupervoidEndless Planets EP (self-released, 11 November 2012)

Good afternoon, all you fine people! How are things where you are? Here it’s been rainy and nasty, and of course it’s Monday which is never good, but I’m actually feeling pretty good. For one thing, the day’s over, which means I get to go home. But mostly, I’m starting to feel healthy again!

You may have noticed things have been quiet around here for a while. Part of the reason is all the normal crap that keeps me busy and unable to write as often as I’d like to. But a bigger part — at least for the past two weeks or so — is the fact that I have felt like absolute garbage. My normal yearly sinus infection, which tends to completely drain my energy and make my whole body tired and sore for a few weeks (plus my chest, throat, nose and sinuses feeling congested and clogged — which is miserable enough as it is, but also makes it tough for me to listen to music because my ears don’t work right and my head hurts from feeling stuffed up and in general I’m in a very foggy and cloudy state). But I’ve been to the doctor and got some antibiotics, and they’ve finally started taking effect over the past day or two, so I definitely feel like I’m on the road to recovery.

I’m still pretty exhausted and blah, but no more than on any other workday. So, hooray for just feeling marginally lousy, rather than completely and utterly terrible! BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME.

With a few exceptions, I’ve really been slacking as far as writing anything here, and I’ve been especially remiss in my duties to share new music with you readers. Here it is, nearly the end of the year, and I’ve got a virtual stack of music I’ve yet to write about, which figuratively is towering over me as I sit here. I’d better get moving!

***

Here, for example, is something that I’ve been hanging onto for the past few weeks, and kept meaning to write about and share with you — because it’s a really incredible discovery, and I sure hope you all aren’t upset that I didn’t tell you about it sooner!

Endless Planets is the debut release from a relatively new band from the Pittsburgh area called Supervoid. Formed in 2011 by a couple Dethlehem ex-pats, and current and/or former members of several other bands across the region, the band decided to take time to perfect their style of space-rock/stoner/psychedelic/prog-metal before revealing themselves to the public. (By the way, check out this interview with The Sludgelord for more information about the band’s formation and their journey up to this point in their career.)

They had their debut performance at the end of August, and a few more shows since then, attracting a good bit of attention in the local music scene along the way. During that time, the band got together at Pittsburgh’s Treelady Studios to lay down some demo tracks — which they then decided to release in the form of this two-song EP.

Clocking in at around sixteen minutes, Endless Planets serves as a great introduction to Supervoid, as it showcases the band’s talent and is representative of the range they span as performers and songwriters. Plus, it’s available to download for free, so you have no reason not to grab yourself a copy — and once you do, you’ll understand why everyone who has seen this band has been so impressed, and you’ll find yourself anxiously watching to see where this quintet is heading next…

 
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