DZSTRKRFT – Disaster Craft

DZSTRKRFT - Disaster CraftFollowing in the footsteps of extreme metallers who went on to explore the electronic-based side of the music universe (i.e. Justin Broadrick with TECHNO ANIMAL, ULVER, Tom G. Warrior with APOLLYON SUN, and Svein Egil Hatlevik (FLEURETY/ex-DODHEIMSGARD) with ZWEISS), roycifer (AKA Royce Hsu) of the defunct Los Angeles black metal band SANCTUS explores these realms with DZSTRKRFT.

Pulling from various electronic dimensions, such as breakbeats and dub, the Disaster Craft EP offers different looks in each song. The backbone is the (programmed) percussion, which fills both channels with the perfect array of ear candy. And of course, the black metal spirit tenet of atmosphere is omnipresent.

The title track sounds like something that would be blasted in a nightclub in the futuristic classic, Bladerunner. Second track, “Machines, Tapes, Electronics/Morrison Dub,” switches to a mellower but no less percussive gear. A sample of Jim Morrison describing the future of music graces the track as the main guitar riffs echoes in and out. “Craft Work (Contra Break)” gets heavy and darker with low end bass rumbling through its cyclical rhythms.

The absolute gem of the EP is closing track, “Audible.” Sleek in its darkness and absolutely emotive, the track glides through the night with a build and flow that is perfect. Have ULVER give it a listen and they’d wish they wrote it. Bloody great song.

With DZSTRKRFT‘s best release to date (three total within one year), the future only holds great things.

P.S. Disaster Craft is available for free download.

(self released)

TRIPTYKON – Melana Chasmata

The great TRIPTYKON redefine darkness once again with their second full-length album.  Melana Chasmata is a multi-dimensional exploration of darkness colored in different atmospheres.

TRIPTYKON masterfully utilize a full repertoire – three different vocalists, a wide range of riffing styles, violent and solemn atmospheres, and more.  It’s a great lesson in musicality and serves as a foil to simple, formulaic songwriting.

Each song on Melana Chasmata is its own unique journey. Some are desolate, ominous, and naked like “Boleskine House” and “Aurorae.” Others have an unnerving feeling of instability and doom like “Altar of Deceit.” “Breathing” is just devastating in its heaviness when it picks up the speed. Starting from the sixth track, “Demon Pact,” Melana Chasmata enters a lucid nightmare, which is as vivid as any conscious experience.

Few bands create such powerful and compelling atmospheres, and no band does it like them. TRIPTYKON triumphantly prove why they are pioneers. Mandatory. (Century Media Records)

Video of the Day: TRIPTYKON Bring the Darkness in “Aurorae” Video

The new TRIPTYKON video for “Aurorae” just came out and it’s a fine video.  Every video that Tom G. Warrior has been apart of, whether it’s CELTIC FROST‘s return or TRIPTYKON, has done a great job in perfectly capturing the feel and meaning of the respective songs.  The video for “Aurorae” is no different as it conveys the darkness and desolation of not only the song but of the entire album, Melana Chasmata.

Industry Profile: Ian Christe

Ian Christie
In APESHIT‘s ongoing quest to speak with the people who work behind the scenes to make it all happen, we caught up metal renaissance man, Ian Christe. Starting out with the familiar starting point of a zine, he moved onto freelance writing for a wide variety of music publications as well as writing music.  His band DARK NOERD THE BEHOLDER appeared on the very cool soundtrack for the uber disturbing Gummo movie.  Currently, heavy music fans can catch his radio show, Bloody Roots, on Sirius XM Radio as well as read the insightful books that his publication company, Bazillion Points Publishing, is putting out.  Ian gives us the inside scoop on some of his coolest projects, including the upcoming books from Bazillion Points.
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YAKUZA Recording New Album; Documentary in the Works

YAKUZA are currently at Engine Studios in Chicago to craft their sixth studio effort, which will be released later this year via Profound Lore Records.

Mainman Bruce Lamont comments, “There is one common thread in YAKUZA records – we thrive on VARIETY. We try to go to places we’ve never gone before and create open space – being experimental so to speak, but we still have a love for a good melody. Sanford [album producer]is a big help bringing the sounds together.  Lyrical themes focus on life and death, the light and the dark. Our last record was a reaction, somewhat of a warning call  for what has been happening globally and spiritually but not in a religious sense. This album is the aftermath, the balance between the light and the dark. And as dark as it gets, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.”

YAKUZA is also preparing a brand new visual offering. Director Justin Baron has filmed a documentary on the band’s history and unique sound. Be That As It May: Yakuza’s Seismic Consequence will be released later this year and features appearances by members of MASTODON, NACHTMYSTIUM, TRIPTYKON/CELTIC FROST‘s Tom G. Warrior and many more. Director Justin Baron is in need of funds to finish the project and has launched a Kickstarter in support of the film here.

TRIPTYKON – Shatter EP

Not knowing what to expect after Tom G. Warrior laid CELTIC FROST to rest, TRIPTYKON was born and released their ultra heavy, brutal, and doomy debut, Eparistera Daimones. Armed with a few tasty leftovers from the Eparistera recording session and adding a few live cuts equates to the well delivered Shatter EP.

Shatter starts off slow and doomy, the way you would expect this EP to be. The basic, but heavy drum beats with the sludgy bass of Vanja Slajh results in a depressing opening track, fused with the blessings of longtime friend, Simone Vollenweider, and her angelic voice. The heaviness is amplified in “I am the Twilight,” with CELTIC FROST inspired simplistic riffs, but achieving maximum brutality without the need for thrashy riffs or blast beats. These sludgy tunes would have fit very well with the entire feel of the Eparistera album, and “Crucifixus” is a somber and moody instrumental that fills the gap to segue into the live tracks. As “Circle of the Tyrants” is one of the most covered songs in metal history, this track, along with “Dethroned Emperor” is a must. Lending out his talents on the live version of “Dethroned Emperor,” is none other than the grim, frostbitten one, Nocturno Culto (DARKTHRONE), and he nails the vocals perfectly.

EP releases are usually teasers, and Shatter is just that. The next TRIPTYKON album will be highly anticipated, but this release should whet the appetite for now. There is no denying that TRIPTYKON is continuing where CELTIC FROST should have gone, and the music needs to be listened to at maximum volume to be fully enjoyed. (Century Media)

[blipfm 57277389]

1349 – Demonoir

1349 is a band that has flown under the radar for years now, despite having one of the most skilled drummers in the world – Frost of SATYRICON fame. Even their Norwegian brethren KEEP OF KALESSIN have grown more popular than these blast masters. While 1349 turned off a large percentage of their fan base with the experimental Revelations of the Black Flame album, Demonoir returns to proper form with unrelenting, ugly black metal, the way it’s supposed to be.

As with Revelations of the Black Flame, Demonoir features ambient tracks, but the ambient passages on this album should be looked at as completely separate “music” from the actual songs. This works to 1349’s advantage as the flip flop of ambient tracks and regular songs breaks up the speed and intense battery of Frost’s hellfire to avoid the monotonous blast formula as evidenced on some MARDUK releases. Demonoir consists of seven ambient parts which alone make up an amazing horror soundtrack, as well as the six actual songs to assault the ears with.

Atomic Chapel” starts the chaos with blazing double bass and blasts reminiscent of Hellfire with SATYRICON riffs thrown in. The intense non-stop blast fest of “When I Was Flesh” pushes speed and beats per minute (bpm) to the limit before peaking with “Psalm 7:77,” which incorporates a thrashy main riff, insane drum fills, and can be best described as “controlled chaos.”

Hints of Beyond the Apocalypse and Hellfire can be found in “Pandemonium War Bells,” but these riffs still sound fresh and Frost’s use of the high hat and ride cymbals are best heard when listened to at maximum volume. “The Devil of the Deserts” shows where SATYRICON would be if they continued with the style of writing as witnessed on Nemesis Divina – great riffs, balanced with the brutal machine gun blastbeat attack is definitely not for the faint of heart. Although the piano piece is oddly placed at the end of the track, it creates an atmosphere fitting to lead into the last track, “Demonoir.” The final opus slows down the pace, and takes the approach of latter SATYRICON-era riffs – the simplistic yet heavy riffing that would make even Satyr jealous.

Demonoir can be characterized as the typical fast Norwegian black metal album, but 1349 is still underrated and underappreciated in the extreme metal circuit. As always, the best part of 1349’s albums is the fury that Frost unleashes, and unlike being told what drum beats to play, like for the OV HELL project, he doesn’t hold back this time around. Demonoir is uncompromising, raw, with no pretty melodies, and anyone opposed to that style should stay clear of this brilliant piece of work. (Prosthetic Records)

Stream 1349’s Demonoir in its Entirety

Demonoir, the fifth full length from Norwegian black metal titans, 1349, is now streaming in its entirety here. The album will be released in North America on April 27th via Prosthetic Records and was recorded at Studio Nyhagen, deep in the woods in Norway with Tom G. Warrior serving as co-producer.

1349 are currently on tour with CANNIBAL CORPSE in North America.

CELTIC FROST: The Emperor’s Return

The evolution and development of extreme music would not be where it is today without the revolutionary, forward thinking of Switzerland’s CELTIC FROST. Not only did they help shape death and black metal in its earliest stages as well as provide a profound influence on hardcore, they arguably created the blueprints for which all avant-garde metal would follow years later. After a decade plus in perpetual slumber, CELTIC FROST made a mighty return in their darkest album yet, Monotheist. However, the return of the band was a very tough and hard fought road as APESHIT learned after meeting up with vocalist/guitarist Tom Gabriel Fischer (a.k.a. Tom G. Warrior) before one of their shows during the first half of their U.S. tour.

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