Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hopscotch roundup

(Subrosa at Lincoln Theatre)

(Valient Thorr at City Plaza)

(Demon Eye at Lincoln Theatre)

 (Brief Lives at CAM)

(Author & Punisher at Kings)

 (Colossus at Kings)

The Battery Electric at Berkeley Cafe, Sept. 5, 2014 from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Colossus from Mann's World on Vimeo.

As you can see, I haven't posted in a several months. My mother passed away in June, and it's been an incredibly hectic summer trying to deal with the arrangements. Plus, my heart just hasn't been into it. Honestly, I was feeling a bit tired of blogging before mom got sick, but now it's become a very low priority for me. I don't know if I'll eventually get back to posting as often as I did, but for a while I think it's going to be pretty quiet for me.

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to cover Hopscotch, though. As in years past, I saw a lot of great bands, and managed to make a few new discoveries. I particular, I was excited to discover Brief Lives (featuring Herbie from Valient Thorr on vocals) and The Battery Electric, a trash/fuzz-rock group from Asbury Park, N.J. As far as heavy shows go, I ended up surprisingly loving Subrosa. I haven't been able to get into their recordings, so I wasn't expecting much from them live. I ended up being ver pleasantly surprised by how much I liked them.

The two videos were shot using my new GoPro. It's not a perfect camera, but it's light, compact, and records fairly good audio on its own (can add an external mic for about $60 or so). I like the fact that I can control it from my phone, and I plan to get a suction cup for it so I can stick it on a wall or amp and control it from across the room. I know that if I put it on a table again, I'll make sure NOT to get the table in the shot.

Not sure what I'll be seeing coming up. Planning to hit the Carcass show at Lincoln Theatre in November, and I've already scored my Maryland Deathfest tickets for 2015 (can't miss Ufommammut). Perhaps I'll see you out and about.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Photos and video from Earthling, Demon Eye and Corpse Mountain


(Demon Eye)

On Monday (April 28), one of my favorite regional bands, Earthling (from Harrisonburg, Va.) returned to the area for the first time in several months. I had to miss them in September because of Hopscotch, so I think the last time I saw them was about a year ago with Inter Arma at Slims. They played a few new songs that sounded killer. Looking forward to hearing them on record. For the video, I went back to my old camera (decided the audio problems with the G15 were too much for me to deal with). Still debating options for good video. 

Opening were Demon Eye, who always sound great, and Corpse Mountain. This was only my second time seeing Corpse Mountain, and this time around they seemed much doomier. This is definitely a local band to watch.  See more photos here

Earthling - "Dark Path" from Mann's World on Vimeo.
Corpse Mountain from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Photos and video of Spirit Caravan

On Friday, Spirit Caravan played the Pour House with Demon Eye (opening) and COC (headliner). Since I've seen both Demon Eye and COC many, many times, I decided to focus on Spirit Caravan, my personal favorite of Wino's various projects, and the only one I haven't seen. This was a stellar show, and the band played a pretty long set to a packed and very appreciative crowd.

Spirit Caravan - Powertime and Undone Mind from Mann's World on Vimeo.
The video on this one is a little blown out, but, then again, I was standing directly in front of Wino the whole time. See more photos here.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Decibel Tour: Carcass, Gorguts & more at the Masquerade in Atlanta

Last Wednesday (March 19) my friend Brandy and I drove to Atlanta to see this year's Decibel tour, featuring Carcass, Black Dahlia Murder, Gorguts and Noisem. If you've ever made that drive from Raleigh, then you know it's a six and a half-hour slog through an uninspiring landscape on a road that seems to be under constant construction. I don't do it often, but the chance to see Carcass in a club again was too exciting to pass up. I was also looking forward to once again seeing Gorguts without being jammed in Luc Lemay's face

The show was an early one, with Noisem hitting the stage around 6:30 p.m. We got up front and found an empty spot to the extreme left of the stage and managed to keep it all night. I was very impressed with Noisem,  a Baltimore group whose members are super young (some still in their teens). Despite their youth, they put on a ferocious show. Watching them, I felt like I was witnessing a band that just might end up being legendary. You can listen to their debut, "Agony Defined," here.

Gorguts, who, in my opinion, put on the best show of any I witnessed at Hopscotch, were equally pummeling in Atlanta. Their set consisted of several songs from "Colored Sands" followed by the song "Obscura." It was cool to see their bass player wearing  a Confessor shirt. 

Up next were Black Dahlia Murder, the only band on this tour about whom I knew nothing. Actually, one person I know described them as having terrible albums, but an energetic stage show with an engaging lead singer. I can't say if that person's assessment of their albums is true, but they described the live show perfectly. BDM were enjoyable enough, and had a very vocal contingent of fans in the audience, but they kind of lost my attention toward the end of the set as I became more and more excited for Carcass. Brandy, on the other hand, pretty much hated them and spent the set chatting with a group of hardcore Carcass fans from Mexico. I would be curious to know if they had planned to go to Heaven & Hell, the gigantic Mexican metal fest -- including both Carcass and Brujeria among many others -- that was scheduled for last weekend but ended up getting canceled. 

Finally it was time for Carcass. Like at the Deathfest, they came out to a recording of "1985," and then launched into "Buried Dreams."

Fairly early in the set they started playing "Noncompliance ... " but after the opening riff seemed to get off-track, and it sounded as if at least one person wasn't playing the correct song. The opening riff to that song is probably my favorite moment on all of "Surgical Steel," but I don't think the rest of the song lives up to that riff. When they recorded a short set for the BBC earlier this year, they tacked that opener onto "Carneous Cacoffiny," which I actually thought worked well, so perhaps that was the intent. Regardless, they all stopped, looked at leach other like, "what the hell?" and had a quick band consultation. Jeff came to the mic and blamed "cultural differences," and they moved on to something else. I'd like to know what they've done with that song in other stops on this tour. 

I didn't know what the Masquerade's photo policy was, but apparently it was fairly lax because a couple of videos have surfaced: "Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System," in which you can see yours truly in the bottom left corner, shooting a Vine video and mislabeling it as "A Congealed Clot of Blood." I blame the combination of Patron and Newcastle tall boys for that one. The second video was of "Genital Grinder/Pyosified (Still Rotten to the Gore)/Exhume to Consume," which was probably my favorite song of the set. 

Since I didn't bring a camera, I basically just shot Instagrams all night. Here's the best of what I got. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Shroud Eater, Orbweaver, Irata and Bitter Resolve

 (Shroud Eater)



(Bitter Resolve)

On Friday I checked out three bands I hadn't seen before (Shroud Eater and Orbweaver from Miami, and Irata from Greensboro), all of which prominently feature women. Personally it's really exciting for me to see women taking such a role in metal. I can also say that all three bands completely ruled. Shroud Eater, which sound like a swampier, sludgier Black Sabbath,  were my personal favorite of the night. 

Chapel Hill's own Bitter Resolve, complete with a new drummer, opened the show and debuted some great new songs. 

I shot a couple of videos on my new camera, a Canon G15. I'm still not sure what I think of this camera. The video quality is obviously better than the G9, but the audio quality is significantly worse. I ended up buying an external mic, which makes the sound listenable, but I've found syncing audio and video together to be a painful chore. Besides, my goal was to haul around LESS equipment, not more. Here's video of Bitter Resolve and Shroud Eater from the show. See more photos here

Shroud Eater from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Bitter Resolve from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Videos from Demon Eye, Colossus and Solar Halos

 On Saturday I went to the Demon Eye album release party at Kings with Solar Halos and Colossus, and did something I haven't done in quite a while -- shot video of the bands playing. I didn't really feel like shooting stills with my camera. Honestly, I was pretty tired and had to drag myself to the show, but once I got there, I had a great time. All three bands were in top form. I can honestly say it was the best Demon Eye performance I've seen.

I bought a copy of the new album, "Leave the Light," which is out now on Soulseller records. Apparently they ran out of vinyl, so I was glad I actually scored a copy. The album sounds killer. Much doomier than what I've heard them do live. I'm also pretty excited that the band used my Instagram shot of them from the Maywood. I still think that's one of the best photos I've ever taken.

If you missed the show, Demon Eye will open for Lord Dying, who released an underrated album last year, on Feb. 24 at the Maywood.

Monday, January 27, 2014

New music: Truckfighters and Salvacion

I'm listening to, and thoroughly digging, the new Truckfighters album Universe, which is coming out Tuesday. "The Chairman" isn't my favorite song on the album,  (That would either be "Dream Sale" or "Mastodont") but it's a mighty good one. Check it out, along with other videos from the band, here.

Also on Tuesday, Wilmington traditional metal outfit Salvacion will release God, Gold and Glory, which can be pre-ordered here. They also have a video for "Stroke of Luck"  here.

Friday, January 17, 2014

New Music: Solar Halos, Demon Eye and more

Very glad to start of with TWO local bands who are getting some national/international recognition for their upcoming releases.

Invisible Oranges has a stream of the upcoming self-titled Solar Halos album, plus an interview with singer/guitarist Nora Roger here. Their release party is tomorrow night (Jan. 18) with Irata and Bitter Resolve at Cat's Cradle.

Terrorizer is now exclusively streaming, and has some kind words for, Demon Eye's "Leave the Light" here. Their release party with Colossus and, coincidentally, Solar Halos, is Feb. 1 at Kings.

In semi-local news, if you missed Red Fang's performance on Letterman last week, you can check it out here.

Right now I'm listening to the new Indian release "From All Purity," which is streaming on Pitchfork here. If you need to remain calm and collected for any reason, I suggest you don't listen to this.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

A few things I've been listening to

I'm trying to get back in the swing of posting about new music. In the meantime you really should check out Kim Kelly's new blog, Necrolust, which is a treasure trove of new and obscure heavy music.

Here are a few things that aren't really brand new, but that I've been enjoying:

Noctum: Swedish Old Man Rock that sound equally like Witchcraft and Mercyful Fate. Check out "Liberty in Death" from The Final Sacrifice here.

Indian: The Sludgelord tweeted the other day that they had "survived" listening to Indian's  From All Purity, and that's really the most apt description I've seen. Indian's gnawing, blackened doom sounds like the soundtrack to a particularly brutal murder.  Check out "Rhetoric of No" on Blabbermouth.

No Trust: Ferocious East Bay duo with two brothers (guitar and drums) that sounds a whole lot bigger than it is. Check out their debut, Unfound, on Bandcamp.

Mountain Witch: Classic Doom/Occult Rock from Hamburg, Germany. Check out their second album, Cold River, on Bandcamp.