Shadow Woods Metal Fest IV (September 2018, White Hall MD)

 

Shadow Woods Metal Fest IV

Thursday 13 September through Saturday 15 September 2018

at Camp Hidden Valley, 4722 Mellow Rd, White Hall MD 21161

Weekend pass $130; single-day tickets $30-60 each; tent or cabin camping available for an additional charge.

 
Shadow Woods Metal Fest, the Mid-Atlantic’s only open-air camping heavy metal gathering, is back for a FOURTH year, featuring “over 40 of the underground’s leading bands, representing many genres and subgenres of heavy metal, folk, rock, experimental, and noise” on three alternating stages with no overlap.

After the fate of the festival was up in the air for a while following the sale of the summer camp that has been its home for the past few years, and (apparently) some issues ironing out details with a new venue, the folks at Shadow Woods are pleased to announce they will be returning once again to Camp Hidden Valley. Full line-up for the three-day fest can be found below.

 
More details: website | Facebook event page | Tickets

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Imperial Triumphant – Part II (2015-2018)

Imperial TriumphantAbyssal Gods (Code666, 10 March 2015)

 

Imperial TriumphantInceste (CD and digital Redefining Darkness Records, 15 April 2016 / vinyl Temple of Torturous, 23 March 2018)

 
[NOTE: this is the second of a two-part series on NYC black metal crusaders Imperial Triumphant. If you’ve missed the first part, check it out here.]

As I’ve mentioned, Imperial Triumphant have become known for producing unique and unpredictable music, which is dense and complex and really requires some commitment of time and attention from the listener to really be able to unpack and grasp everything that’s happening. The same could be said of the two releases we’ll be discussing in this article, their second full-length (released in early 2015, just two months before I finally got the opportunity to experience this band in person) and another EP that will be turning two years old this weekend (which just last month was given the vinyl treatment with several bonus tracks). Let’s dig right in!

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Imperial Triumphant – Part I (2012-2014)

Imperial TriumphantAbominamentvm (self-released, 05 September 2012)

 

Imperial TriumphantShrine to the Trident Throne (Code666, 23 June 2014)

 
Introduction:

Our story begins “in early 2011,” according to the narrative I first started composing sometime between late 2012 and early 2013 (and which has been stored as a draft on this website until today). As such, apparently I’ve been a big fan of NYCBM hellions Imperial Triumphant for quite a while: since prior to my taking up music-writing as an unpaid side profession, and (clearly) since I used to have spare time to read what others were writing about music. In the interim, I’ve accumulated a bit of a stockpile of this trio’s releases, intending to write something meaningful enough to suit the innovative and interesting music contained therein — a task that has seemed more daunting with each passing year.

Anyway, I’ve finally concluded that enough is enough, here are my ramblings and musings on this band’s output over the past five and a half years. It will be broken into two halves, and don’t forget (once you’ve finished wading through all this nonsense) you can catch Imperial Triumphant in Pittsburgh TONIGHT alongside Vile Creature at the album release show for Slaves BC‘s latest, Lo, and I am Burning.

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Black Anvil – Hail Death (2014), As Was (2017)

Black AnvilHail Death (Relapse Records, 27 May 2014)

Black AnvilAs Was (Relapse Records, 13 January 2017)

 
Recently I was reminiscing about the last Winter’s Wake festival in Pittsburgh, partly because we’ve been reporting the news about this summer’s Migration Fest which will also be taking place in this area, but also because we’ve just (well, a little over a month ago) hit the five year anniversary of Winter’s Wake. This also had me thinking about Black Anvil.

They’d been around for a few years by that time and had already released a pair of albums, so I’m sure I had heard a song or two at some point, or at least was vaguely aware of their existence within the realm of domestic black metal bands. But that show — which was immediately preceded by a series of “getting to know you”-style interviews I’d conducted with nearly all of the performing bands (I’d missed a couple, due to timing issues or communication breakdowns, but as I recall, Black Anvil were the only ones who had outright declined to participate in the interview process) — was the first real exposure I’d had.

I can just vaguely remember that night — this was Friday, the first of two days full of music, and they were the second-to-last band to play, after we all had been standing for hours in this cramped loft-sized space breathing in the toxic fumes rising from the nail salon down at ground level. That was the atmosphere through which the band members pushed and shoved their way, each dripping with blood, to ascend to a stage hazy and thick with fog machine discharge — and instantly exploded into a maelstrom of blackened death fury.

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Slaves BC – Lo and I am Burning (2018)

Slaves BCLo and I am Burning (The Fear and the Void Recordings, 16 March 2018)

The new record from Pittsburgh’s blackened hardcore doom juggernaut Slaves BC officially hit the streets about a week and a half ago. Considering this writer’s lengthy history of covering the band, it’s pretty shameful that I haven’t gotten around to writing about this one much sooner. Especially in light of their last album All is Dust and I am Nothing landing so high on my list of 2016’s top releases. And yet, “The world is an ugly, ugly place. Virtually everything and everyone in it is awful.” I used that line in a different review just a few days ago, but that axiom is a terrific way to succinctly summarize why I haven’t managed to write more often over the past few months.

Coincidentally, it also describes Lo and I am Burning to a “T” (as well as the general underlying themes upon which the album is based). Two quick spoilers: first, Lo marks a huge step forward for a band that has essentially dropped all the other descriptors that used to follow “blackened”; and also, this is going to be a strong contender once again when year-end rolls around. Here, we’ll take a look at the album in slightly more detail, and that’ll be followed by the info about the band’s record release show — which will be coming up in just a couple weeks here in Pittsburgh, featuring Vile Creature (whom we’ve also discussed quite recently) and Imperial Triumphant (who you can expect to hear much more about on this site in the near future)!

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Anicon – Exegeses (2016)

relic78

AniconExegeses (vinyl Gilead Media / CD Avantgarde Music, 08 July 2016)

 

Good morning, reader — hope you’re having a good, relaxing weekend! Normally this would be my time away from writing, too, but I just realized that Anicon are coming to Pittsburgh tonight. And I realized that last year when these blackened Brooklynites came to town, I had their 2015 EP Aphasia on my to-do list, but something came up that prevented me from attending that show or even getting a chance to write about the band’s most recent release. (I eventually did get around to it earlier this year, but I still felt bad for my negligence.)

So this time around, the band has a brand-new album which just came out earlier this month, and — even though, due to some rotten luck, family obligations will prevent me from being able to see this fantastic band perform again — I definitely did not want to miss the opportunity to share this with you people before tonight.

For those of you in the Pittsburgh area, The Smiling Moose on the Southside is the place to be; here are all the details. For those living elsewhere, the band’s scheduled dates can be found here, and in either case, keep reading to check out their newest record …

 

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Krakow – diin (2012), amaran & genesis (2015)

diin

Krakówdiin (Dark Essence Records, 14 September 2012)

 

amaran

Krakówamaran (Dark Essence Records, 09 February 2015)

 

genesis

Krakówgenesis (Dark Essence Records, 07 August 2015)

 

Hey, folks. So last week as you may have noticed, we had a bit of a blast from the past: I wrote about an album that came out in the latter part of 2012, one which I have enjoyed listening to immensely since I first heard it, and one that likely would have found its way onto my list of that year’s best releases if I had just gotten around to hearing it sooner. Well today, we’ll be taking a look at another album that also came out around the same time — late 2012 — and has become one of my favorite things to listen to since I first discovered it. That album is called diin, and was the second to be released by Norwegian post-rockers Kraków. Today we’ll also discuss that band’s third record amaran (and the EP that closely followed, genesis) — and since I’d made the mistake of finding that earlier album too late and excluding it from my 2012 list, I made sure to rectify that when it came time to put together my list for 2015, since those two (jointly) happened to rank among the best things I heard last year.

Anyway, that’s surely enough in the way of introduction — you can just expect that we’ll be covering several entries from this band’s discography — part of which I was sorry to have missed once, and all of which you would be wise not to miss now!

 

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