OBSERVE: Fastcore Fest 6

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IMG_2592 copyYes Fastcore Fest has come and gone again. This year British Columbia is a little bit on fire so in order to avoid potentially burning even more of it the usual forest grindcore hoedown in Squamish was moved to two separate shows in Vancouver.

Under a bridge isn’t exactly like a forest but it wasn’t any less loud or fun. Less chance a soggy bun fight might break out, certainly less bugs, and definitely more cops. The change of setting was a slight upset for some but the show went on and with success thanks to the hardworking people behind the fest, and of course the terrific bands.

Make the jump for some quick impressions, photos and video of Fastcore Fest 6.

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AHNA – Perpetual Warfare (2015) — 12″ EP REVIEW

IMG_2305 copyCrusted, charred death metal mixes with the stench of doom, punctuated with mordant battle cries that scar the psyche. Ahna’s recent incarnation on their Perpetual Warfare EP is a ruthless slog through a massacre. Morbid accounts of a ceaselessly rotting humanity are animated by a vocal onslaught unlike any others who attempt this style.

A release from Choking Hazard Records and Neanderthal Stench this is some of Ahna’s most poisonous material yet. Stream it and read on!

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OBSERVE: Endorphins Lost / Osk / Terminal Sequence / Tenchu / Altercation

IMG_2147 copyHere’s another brief write-up. This time on a recent Victoria grind show I attended: Endorphins Lost was on a mini tour, and locals Osk, Terminal Sequence, Tenchu, plus a new two-piece Altercation come out in support.

Everything went smoothly and loudly. Six Brew Bantha was originally on the bill as well and were technically there, but not to perform.

After the break footage and stuff.

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OBSERVE: Vancouver Noise Festival V

IMG_1879 copyAnother noise festival has been visited upon Vancouver.

This was the fifth iteration, the second that I’ve attended, this year with a slightly larger line up necessitating the performances be split between two venues as the afternoon transformed into evening.

Some words, photos, and footage of this year’s Vancouver Noise Festival after the break.

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Adversarial / Paroxsihzem – Warpit of Coiling Atrocities (2014) — CD REVIEW

IMG_1661By way of Canada a rising scourge and a notorious plague birthed from death coalesce on this split CD from Vault of Dried Bones, the resulting malady of Warpit of Coiling Atrocities is unquestionably savage.

This is a long-awaited dose of Adversarial which thrills, and if you haven’t been introduced to Paroxsihzem there will be no forgetting following this release. Read on.

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UPDATE: Night Heir – A Maze Of Evenings (2013) — CS REVIEW

IMG_1659Back in heydays of Equivoke I was fortunate enough to be contacted by Night Heir, when their debut Wind In My Dream Mist In My House got a limited release on tape. What became acutely obvious to me after digesting the record was that this group were clearing new paths between genres and made it interesting, honestly toiling in a dark corner among friends in a manner I and others should be aware of.

Since that time their clandestine progression around the edges of black metal has never left my radar. Their 2013 follow-up showed their well of potential was indeed deep, their sound unfurling comfortably for a longer, increasingly profuse experience.

However there was no physical press in the works upon A Maze Of Evenings’ release. In fact the last I heard from Sean Barry (late 2013) A Maze Of Evenings was being shopped for an analog release, following a remastering by James Plotkin who’s veteran touch has been felt on many records readers have encountered no doubt, one example being a recent favorite of mine Accidents Grotesque by Great Falls.

This  reformation brought their ever inquisitive sound into a richer bloom than even the initial release. Patience held strong it seems because Night Heir now have copies of A Maze Of Evenings on tape pressed through Bough House. I strongly recommend that those who are interested in this get in contact with the band.

Follow after the break.

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FOCUS: YEAR END — 2014

CHAINEDDARK_2014yearend_cln11 copyLate again. This list came out far leaner compared to 2013. There is much I haven’t heard from 2014 but fuck it, what else is new right? I’ll get to that later.

There’s an honorable mentions and missing in action section but this is largely about the releases I spent the most time with in 2014. Many of which I’ve written about in the course of the year.

It’ll be short so read on after the break.

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OBSERVE: FASTCORE FESTIVAL 5

It hasn’t been that long since the last Fastcore Festival, but once again Vancouver and Squamish was overrun by grind of all stripes for the fifth time in a row on the fourth of July weekend. It was a blast on all accounts.

This was my second time attending and I had an excellent watching nearly thirty absurdly fast, filthy bands coalesce in the wilderness once more. I was a better prepared for the stay this time, the turn out at least felt smaller, there were quite a few groups that weren’t on last years bill that slayed hard; oh and of course there was a slew of weird and hilarious moments.

Organized and accommodated by locals and DIY as all hell. Read on below to see some of the grind madness that I experienced that weekend in photos and video, as well as some decent stories and shit in between the sets.

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OBSERVE: Vancouver Noise Festival IV

IMG_8748 copyLast Saturday on the rainy Vancouver coast there were several good shows being organized. Two in particular were my focus and unfortunately would be happening simultaneously. You can see plainly which of these I attended, Vancouver Noise Festival IV, while the other was an occult death metal gathering headed by Mitochondrion and Ævangelist during the Wacken Metal Battle in the same city.

It was difficult deciding which to attend honestly. The days before this I believe Behemoth, Inquisition, Goatwhore, Tyrants Blood, as well as Nile, Infernal Majesty, and Auroch were all in B.C. so there was that as well.

Anyway it turned out in the week leading up to all this Ævangelist cancelled their appearance (replaced by Dire Omen) which also meant a friend and fellow writer/musician I was meeting wouldn’t be able to make the journey either.

As much as I love Mitochondrion I chose to attend the fourth Vancouver Noise Festival. It was a good choice and I suggest showing up at fests like this even if, like me, you have novice-level experience with the noise/power electronics/death industrial realm.

After the break check out photos and even a few full sets as a sampling of the striking, corrupted, and very loud sounds of the evening.

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SHIT LUCK – Self-Inflictive. Self-Destructive. (2014) — REVIEW

SHIT LUCK - 2014 JGIt was early 2013 when Floridian SHIT LUCK first impressed me with their demo SLOW DEATH. Ultimately their blackened crust was on point in most regards: a rusted maelstrom whose success when blending abused styles was engaging, memorable and quite loud.

It was like a decrepit engine roaring as it tears itself apart, unhinging from the struts and shearing metallic grime from it’s pieces. The tape itself had some quality issues, or at least mine did. However I enjoyed the shit out of the digital copy all of 2013.

This year they’ve released a two track EP through bandcamp. Unexpectedly nuanced while remaining weighty, desolate and urgent Self Inflictive. Self Destructive. brings out new shades that are nested well within ripe ideas from SLOW DEATH.

These guys also have been nice enough to put it up for free, so you don’t have an excuse to miss out.

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OBSERVE: Head Hits Concrete / Cetascean / Ahna / Cooked And Eaten / Soot

HEAD HITS CONCRETE_8290 copyThis is the second post in the hopefully on-going series of live show write-ups. This time the focus is a gathering of Vancouver and Winnipeg bands on the mainland, getting my ass of the island for the first time in a few months.

After spending a little time at the New Amsterdam Cafe in the afternoon I walked to the show. The lineup included the dissonant legends Head Hits Concrete who wrecked shit and injected potent socio-political energy into the city. They alongside Cetascean, whom toured from Manitoba with them, the evolving doom-death-grind entity AHNA, Cooked And Eaten which brings some serious grindcore, and a new blackened death formation known as Soot gave a  formidable battering to those in attendance

If you’d like a glimpse into one of the stops on their tour, read on after the break.

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OBSERVE: BUNGUS / 30XX / AMNESIAN / WAKE

BUNGUS_7644 copyI managed to peel myself away from work in Parksville this past Monday and get some grinding in. The first show I’ve attended in 2014 and a good place to start a series of live show articles that will no doubt be strewn about The Plow Behind You.

On February 17th two local grinders Bungus and Amnesian came out to lend support to Calgary’s WAKE on their recent tour; and cyber-dance-grinders 30XX jumped in to mix shit up as well. All four and a bunch of islanders packed into Logan’s Pub for a good thrashing playing into the damp and cold Victoria night.

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FOCUS: YEAR END — 2013

SUPINE__newdo_logoraw_FINALGuess who wins the “latest 2013 year end list” award.

2013 was pretty good. Somewhat surprising, maybe a little disappointing but in the end it rounded out nicely. At least in terms of what I heard. Admittedly my listening time took a nosedive for a portion of this year and those records I did enjoy were often on the faster/shorter end of the spectrum; demos and splits and such.

This is a breakdown on the year from my view and then a few small lists I’ve made surrounding the releases of 2013 that I enjoyed the most, sort of. There’s a good amount of records that probably should be included here but weren’t. Some I didn’t get to, some I was disappointed with (no one cares!), some I missed altogether.

Further explanations will be laid out later, and you can guess ahead of time that there’s some Canada bias. Let’s dig into it after the break.

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Monomaniac – Vol. 1 | Vol. 2 + 3 — EP / LP REVIEW

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Panos Agoros, voice of the unmatched astrogrinders Dephosphorus, had his hand in the compiling of minute-or-less song-crafting by a broad collection of tormentors in the underground metal hordes.

His compilation series released though Blast Beat Mailmurder/Productions is titled Monomaniac and has currently stepped into it’s second and third volume.

As stated, Monomaniac is “a bold discographic operation uniting international artists from all over the spectrum of extreme underground music… the challenge is that each unit offers approximately one minute of exclusive/unreleased noise!

An interesting challenge to say the least, especially when reviewing the varied roster of bands on all three volumes; some well know to me and others this series is introducing me to.

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Iniquity – Entering Deception / Promo 93 — LP REVIEW

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The Danish group Iniquity without question is my most loved death metal band not just of the 1990’s but of all time. I could pile on the reasons and have in past writings. Their style is distinct and their unmatched might mixed with complex, soulful writing remains impressive no matter who they’re juxtaposed with.

I’ve heard virtually all their material hundreds of times over, I own all their records and obsess over their 1996 debut Serenadium to an unhealthy degree. So when I found out the line-up from their second greatest release The Hidden Lore had reassembled and was planning a series of tours, I was floored. I was too young to even be aware of them or the genre when they were active, let alone get into a show. I was also on the wrong continent.

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