Revelations of Doom
Welcome to Revelations of Doom, Metal Injection's portal into the seedy underworld of extreme metal. Your tour guide is, as always, Grim Kim, and this time around, I've got something for you that's colored a little lighter than the usual sludge fiends and black metal tyrants that populate this column. Imagine the unholy union of Blood Ceremony, Mourn, Jex Thoth, and Dead Meadow- all fuzzy guitars, psychedelic meanderings, hints of '70s sexiness, haunting female vocals, and just enough doomed resolve to keep things firmly on the heavy side of the spectrum. Meet Uzala.
Boise, Idaho isn't exactly the most happenin' city around. The Midwest is a fertile breeding ground for sweet metal bands (see: the Chicago scene as a whole, plus the Indianapolis-bred Coffinworm, Black Arrows of Filth & Impurity, and The Gates of Slumber to start) but I can't think of a single notable band that's come out of Boise (correct me if I'm missing someone obvious). Either way, cheers to Uzala for leading the charge! I discovered this doomed quartet on accident. I reconnected with my friends Chad and Darcy (who are also both killer tattoo artists) at this year's Roadburn fest, and they happened to mention that their band had just finished recording a demo. Of course my interest was piqued, and a few days later, Uzala's maiden voyage into the unknown showed up in my mailbox. My first thought was, "Whoa! Four songs in nineteen minutes? Slow down there, speed racer! Isn't this supposed to be doom?" (more…)
Welcome to Revelations of Doom, Metal Injection's friendly little periodic reminder that there's more to metal than Mastodon and Metallica. Kvlt correspondent Grim Kim toils away ceaselessly in the basements, back alleys, and blogs in which the essence of true underground metal thrives to find the best of the Beast, and, as always, has come back a little dirtier, a little crustier, and bearing gifts of ravishing grimness and unending brutality. This time around, we're heading back down South, past where the iron crosses grow and into the overgrown battlegrounds that once played host to a million doomed souls, that are still stained with the blood of empires. It's not all sludge and Skynyrd down Dixie way, as Richmond's sons of Southern darkness make violently clear…
I've known about Antietam 1862 for awhile now, simply by virtue of their inclusion in the ever-fertile Richmond, Virginia scene that has spawned both modern metal behemoths like Lamb of God and Municipal Waste, and a viciously intense cadre of underground bands like Cannabis Corpse, Battlemaster, Inter Arma, Bastard Sapling, Occultist, Ravn, and tons more, but never took the time to really get into their tunes. Once I finally got around to it, though, I was immediately hooked. What's not to love about the unholy marriage of vintage '90s death metal grooves with bestial black metal, some deliciously chilled Dissection worship, and a decidedly punk-as-fuck attitude? The correct answer is, nothing. it wasn't until I saw them live, though, that the full power of this band's potential hit me like a ton of fucking bricks to the face. Their carefully constructed odes to war and dishonor were meted out with deadly precision, and their filthy black'n'roll tendencies were even more apparent in a live settling. Antietam 1862 are one of the few American black metal bands I've encountered who gave not only accepted the fact that they'll never be as effortlessly grim as their Scandinavian brothers, they have embraced it, as this statement from thir website makes abundantly clear: (more…)
Revelations of Doom returns! As always, this column’s aim is to drag you deeper into the underground, below the lights and where the slime live, and introduce you to some of the most badass bands you’ve never heard. This time around we’re venturing way South of the Mason-Dixon, rolling through rebel territory and heading straight for the swamps and panhandle pathos of Gainseville, Florida. Is you ready, baby?
At this point of my uber-metal-nerd’s existence, it’s a rare event to encounter a band that I haven’t at the very least heard about before (at least on the East Coast) so I was more than a little curious when I strolled into this year’s Heart of Winter Fest in Richmond, VA and bellied up to the stage just in time to catch the second band. My first impression of Hot Graves was “Crusty, thrashy, blackened d-beat with a sassy Southern boy on the mic? Cool.” Five minutes into their set, it was looking more like Armageddon. Cranked-out bestial warlust and gleeful blasphemy were the order of the evening, as frontman Myk spewed raspy Satanic screeds over Nunslaughtering riffs and plenty of toxic sludge and bassist Hutch spent most of his time threatening to propel himself off the monitors onto a crowd of the unwashed. (more…)
Hey kids! Grim Kim has returned to darken your shores once again (i.e. I probably would've gotten kicked out if I'd stayed in the UK any longer – who knew the Border Patrol could be such sticklers about a silly little thing like visas?). To celebrate my inglorious return, I've brought you all a treat: THE BEST BAND (from Indiana) EVER!
As always, Revelations of Doom strives to bring you the best of the worst and shed light on the darkest, nastiest, most subterranean corners of the extreme metal underground. If you like your riffs ugly, your church defiled, and your tempos crawling, welcome home. Tune in, drop out, doom on.
It's that time again. Revelations of Doom, Grim Kim's ongoing homage to the raw, the mean, and the devilishly dirty corners of the extreme metal underground, is back to drop some grim-ass knowledge on you fools. This edition sees us delving deep into the heart of winter. No, this ain’t no Immortal cover band: this is Bastard Sapling, Richmond, VA’s deadliest export.
Bastard Sapling was created by ex-Cannabis Corpse guitarist Drew, and was borne of the pathos and frustration that comes from quitting a band and living in squalor. Though they only formed in early 2007, the band quickly took shape, as founder Drew enlisted scene veteran Elway on drums and Mike (Inter Arma) on vocals, with Pete (Battlemaster) holding down the low end, and Shredder Steve (also of Inter Arma) on…well, guess. The band recorded a 'raw rehearsal demo' that was released in limited copies during the Heart Of Winter Festival '08 in Richmond, VA, a copy of which found its way into my greedy little paws when these guys played alongside my boys in Black Anvil, Tombs, and Woe at ABC No Rio last year. Their live performance blew me away – Bastard Sapling are, in all seriousness, one of the best black metal bands I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen far more than my fair share of those. Once I got home and had a chance to pop their charmingly crude CD-R demo on, my long-suffering laptop speakers were powerless to contain the absolute suffocating blackness these five scruffy dudes have managed to conjure up. Reminiscent of Immortal at their best, Destroyer 666 at their most biting, and Ulver at their blackest, those four demo tracks are nothing short of epic, and are also startlingly melodic. Subtle influences ranging from Drudkh to Darkthrone slyly make their presence known beneath a flurry of blastbeats and Mike’s bloodcurdling rasps, leaving an indelible impression of cold, feral misanthropy stamped all over your sorry soul. (more…)
Y'all should know the score by now. I'm Grim Kim, I probably hate your favorite band, and I'm going to spend the next couple paragraphs telling you exactly why you NEED to be listening to whatever band I've decided to write about this time. Got it? Good. I just got back from Obscene Extreme Fest in the Czech Republic, and my need for speed is still in hyperdrive. No time for sludge this week. Less talk, more grind!
Meet Flagitious Idiosyncrasy in the Dilapidation, an originally all-girl (they've recently added a male guitarist) grindcore quartet based outta Tokyo, Japan. These chicks make Angela Gossow look like your sweet Auntie Mabel, and shit all over the idea that "girls can't play metal." (more…)
Crossing an ocean and more than a few international borders in pursuit of the almighty riff has taken up a bit more time than I'd expected, but after a European metal-induced hiatus of sorts, Grim Kim is back to spread the good word about the best bands you've never heard of. I've settled into a lovely little flat in North London (which, oddly enough, looks a helluva lot like my usual West Philly stomping ground) and am comin' atcha fully armed with a slew of deliciously dirty new bands to shove down your throats. Ironically enough, this first-ever European edition of Revelations of Doom focuses on an American band, from the very same East Coast that I (usually) call home. This one's for the old guard – the true sludge freaks, the dedicated doom 'heads, and the diehard amplifiers worshippers out there. Sit back, light up, and get ready for some pain.
Much like Athens, Georgia, the unassuming little burg called Richmond, Virginia has emerged as an epicenter of sorts for modern metal and hardcore. While most of you are already familiar with some of her more well-known sonic offspring (Lamb of God, Municipal Waste, Cannabis Corpse) it's RVA's lesser-known, underground bands that kids should really be losing their shit over, whether it be Bastard Sapling (who put out the single best demo recording of 2007), Battlemaster, Inter Arma, Ravn, or the subject of this edition of Revelations of Doom – Cough. (more…)
And now, for something completely different… It's that time again! Grim Kim has returned from the frozen South of Georgia (seriously dudes, it's called rock salt; use it next time) to prattle on about massive riffs, Satanic nonsense, and to blow your mind with another one of the best bands you've never heard of. This time around, we'll be speeding things up a tad and heading North of the swampy bayous where my tastes tend to lie, to the City of Brotherly Love itself – Killadelphia, where the music is ugly, the people are uglier, and the threat of the Grim Reaper becomes all too real should you walk too far down Girard Ave at night.
Those who have read my other posts may be surprised to hear that this week's band isn't vicious black metal, and they sure ain't sludge – hell, they're not even doom. This band is something entirely different, and entirely their own.
This edition of Revelations of Doom is proof that even the blackest heart needs to let in a little light from time to time. After all, life can't be all d-beats and dirges! Don't get me wrong; about 98% of my life is, but even I find time for a little melody now and again, and Pennsylvania's The Green Evening Requiem are just what the witchdoctor ordered. Their music is viciously refined; it's obvious that the band have slaved over every note and every word of their songs in search of elusive perfection. (more…)
Welcome to the latest installment of Revelations of Doom; I’m Grim Kim (or Kim Kelly, if you prefer), and I’ll be your guide to this week’s glorious mashup of extreme metal education, barbarian wrath, and highly-biased amplifier worship. Once again, we’ll be walking the doomed path, but this time, our journey takes us down below, past the Mason-Dixon line and into the Devil’s own backyard. It ain’t NOLA, but it’s close enough to smell the whiskey.
Okay – make that Virginia. While it may not be the most southernmost point of the Dirty South, it still gets hot as hell down there, and that oppressive heat fuels the flames of some of the country’s most vital metal bands. It’s not often that a band that falls into one of the genres I love the most manages to fly under my radar for an extended period of time – I’m pretty on top of my game as far as metal-nerding-out goes. That’s why it came as such a shock when I stumbled across Salome, a killer American sludge band that I’D NEVER HEARD OF. My mind was boggled, then blown – this band FUCKING. RULES. (more…)
After a long hiatus of sorts (also known as trying not to fail out of college and gallivanting across the country in search of metal and Kuma's burgers) Grim Kim is back to wish you a br00tal New Year and blow your fucking minds with another slice of pure underground heaven. As usual, I'm indulging in the heavier side of amplifier worship, but this time around, we're darkening our doom with a little folk, a little drone, and a whole lot of blackness…
November is a terrible time to visit Minnesota, unless you happen to be there for a pagan/black metal festival (in which case the mead and ale will keep you plenty warm!). Such was my purpose for braving St. Paul's frigid, inhospitable climes a month or two ago – hitting up the third annual Heathen Crusade metal fest and doing my best to stave off frostbite. During the course of the weekend – most of which was spent knee-deep in booze, beards, and broadswords – I managed to be blown away not once but twice by bands I'd been previously unaware of. An honorable mention goes to Mexico's excellent Viking black metal horde ULVEHEIM, but top honors must be handed to Chicago, IL's VELNIAS, whose mindblowing performance literally stopped me in my tracks and send me scurrying to their merch table as soon as the last lingering chord was struck. (more…)
It’s that time again! Grim Kim is back with yet another underground gem that, thanks to a high-profile spot on the almighty Watain’s first headlining American killing spree, may not remain very unknown for much longer. Pay attention, so that when they blow the fuck up and everyone’s rocking the band’s twisted-ass logo on their jackets, you can out-metal your friends by saying, “Maaan, I’ve been into those Book of Black Earth dudes since their split with Fall of the Bastards came out back in ‘05…”
Borne from the ashes of distortion-happy demons TEEN CTHULU, Seattle’s BOOK OF BLACK EARTH have been kicking up a storm of unlight since 2003. After self-releasing their 2006 opus The Feast, the band was snatched up by Prosthetic Records (in a wise move on the label’s part) and have been tour-menting the nation ever since. After catching their set at New York’s Knitting Factory the other night, I decided it was absolutely imperative that these dudes get some more attention, because godDAMN were they good! Intense, unrelenting, and tight as fuck, this West Coast menace does black/death metal right – effectively pulling together the punishing brutality and decimating hyperblasts of death metal with the cruel rasps and epic atmosphere of black metal, then adding just a touch of doomy melody and more than a little grind (unsurprising, considering their drummer Joe Axler’s crusty past in SKARP & SPLATTERHOUSE).
Imagine that – an extreme metal band that uses keyboards, but… DOESN’T suck (I know, I could hardly believe it either, but ladies and gentlemen…they exist)! Imagine a young EMPEROR jamming with the dudes from AT THE GATES and an even younger DISMEMBER, clean up the guitar tone a bit, add in some ashes from a burned-out church, and you’ve got a pretty clear-cut idea of how fucking awesome Book of Black Earth sounds.
Currently making the rounds on the Black Metal Magic tour supporting labelmates WITHERED and blood-chucking black metallers WATAIN, BOOK OF BLACK EARTH very well may be coming to a city near you – unless you already missed ‘em, you sorry fuck. They’ve got a new record out on Prosthetic, which is entitled Horoskopus and is, apparently, a concept album about
“the hidden astrological elements of the Christian church. From its origins as a state sponsored religion in the fourth century to the present day, it has been guided by astrological concepts conceived centuries before Jesus Christ was mythologized as the ‘Sun’ of God,” according to vocalist / guitarist T.J. Cowgill.
Check that shit out…
Round Three! Grim Kim's back (in black?) to spread the word on her latest obsessions and open yer ears to some of the best bands that the uber tr00 underground metal scene's got to offer. This time around, we're slowing it down and uglying it up a bit. Crack open another beer, spark up a fatty, and come on in. Welcome to Revelations of…Doooooooom.
It takes a lot to make me go out on a limb and replace Dopesick with something new and untested; luckily for me, one of those things happens to be seeing the 20 Buck Spin logo on an alien CD. If you haven't heard of 20 Buck Spin by now, you're truly missing out; they put out amazing records by amazing bands, and I'd confidently place them amongst the creme de la creme of underground independent labels right now (hell, if only for that Coffins/The Arm and Sword of a Bastard God split they released last year). Anyway, I now owe them an even bigger slice of my soul for sending me the debut album from SAMOTHRACE.
Samothrace hail from Lawrence, Kansas, and play bluesy, crippled doom, steeped in Midwestern pathos and heaped with layers upon layers of crushing distortion and sinewy melodies that recall Neurosis at their best and Across Tundras at their darkest. Harsh vocals rattle in a bourbon-soured throat and spin tales of naked desperation and lonesome nights overtop mammoth riffs and painful dirges. Menacing yet delicate, captivating and hypnotic, Life's Trade's advance is as slow and unstoppable as the tides themselves.
This band…is…SO…GOOD. I'm blown away. You know that rare, magical moment when you put on a new album and fall so deeply in love with it that you've inadvertently become a lifelong fan by the time the first chord's been struck? This is that kind of album. Life's Trade might just be the best release of 2008 (or at least has earned a spot in my Top Ten). I'm well aware that I'm gushing away like a schoolgirl with a crush, but really, I am dead fucking serious – you NEED to hear this band.
Their debut album was recorded and mixed by Sanford Parker (Buried At Sea, Pelican, Nachtmystium); Life's Trade is out now on 20 Buck Spin. Buy their records, wear their shirts, go see them on tour (they're playing 70 dates – 70 DATES. You have literally no excuse to miss them when they roll through your town). Above all, listen to this band; you owe it to them, and goddamn, do you owe it to yourself.
Welcome once again to Revelations of Doom, Grim Kim's guide to all things ugly, obscure, and awesome in the good ol' extreme metal underground. This time around, the spotlight comes to rest upon a genre quite near and dear to my heart – nasty, blasphemous, and raw-as-fuck black metal. Welcome to hell.
If the existence of our current Commander in Chief isn’t enough proof that the Lonestar State is a veritable breeding ground for pure evil, take an ear to some of its more sinister musical exports and you’ll find proof enough. After all, the likes of AVERSE SEFIRA, BROWN JENKINS, RIGOR MORTIS, and the mighty ABSU all hail from this conservative stronghold. For those of you that like your black metal as raw and diseased as the bloody meat that WATAIN tends to chuck at their crowds, allow me to introduce you to BAHIMIRON, Christraping progenitors of the next great Texas chainsaw (gutsfucking) massacre.
BAHIMIRON have been spreading their own particular brand of aural terrorism throughout the underground for years, releasing a string of cult demos and coming together with like-minded hellraisers SARGEIST on a 2006 split release. Their sound is brutal, ugly, and mean; positively nasty basslines (lain down by Jenoside, who also injects a rare shot of estrogen into this very male-dominated genre), appropriately rough-edged riffs straight outta circa-1994-Norway, a vocalist who sounds like he’s gargling a cathedral’s worth of broken stained glass, and a drummer who perpetually sounds as if he’s seconds away from losing all control and descending into outright chaos all lend a hand in making up the sonic maelstrom that is BAHIMIRON. This shit is fucking bestial.
The fine folks at Moribund just released Southern Nihilizm, Bahimiron’s first album of all-original material, this past August. Fans of BEHERIT, HORNA, BEHEXEN, and DARKTHRONE take note – if you haven’t already been worshipping at BAHIMIRON's blackened altar, it’s well past time for you to start.
I'm sure those of you who actually bother to read the itty-bitty tags sprinkled across these pages are wondering,"Who the fuck is Grim Kim, and why is she insulting my place of residence in such a worrisomely profane manner?"
Fear not, I come in peace (well, sort of). I'm going to be helping the MI dudes update the news section and, with my brand-new Revelations of Doom column, will also be doing my damnedest to introduce you guys to some of the best bands you've never heard of – killer underground/overlooked projects, & up 'n' coming acts that aren't getting the sort of attention they so richly deserve.
My tastes run towards the most extreme ends of the metal spectrum, so suffice it to say, it'll be a cold day in Hades before you see me raving about the new Disturbed record on here. I'm more of an Eyehategod/Drudkh/Satanic Warmaster/Hellbastard kinda gal (ten metal points to whoever can spot the Hellhammer reference in this paragraph!).
Speaking of Drudkh, their influence seems to be reaching far past the borders of their Ukrainian homeland, this time crossing the English Channel to take hold of an ambitious young band who named themselves for the October moon…
WINTERFYLLETH (or "Winter Full Moon" if ye happen to speake Olde English) hail from the dreary Northwest of England, the birthplace of heavy metal and home to more misbehaving royals and shoddy dental work than I care to think about. Unlike the squeaky-clean commercial heights and frighteningly extreme depths to which countrymen CRADLE OF FILTH and AANAL NATHRAKH (never thought you'd see those two mentioned in the same breath, eh?) have taken black metal, WINTERFYLLETH choose to walk a different path.
Marrying the grave-robbing grimness of old ENSLAVED or ULVER with the ethereal woodland ambiance and atmospheric folk touches of DRUDKH and ISENGARD, WINTERFYLLETH have made considerable headway in carving out their own niche within the sparse but rabidly dedicated sub-subgenre of black/folk metal. As a purely English band, they choose to create their music using their ancestral Anglo-Saxon history for lyrical fodder, dubbing themselves "English Heritage Black Metal." Also inspired by the natural beauty of the English countryside, they delve into tales of blood, valor, and battle, telling the stories of those who came before them and died for the glory of England.
One of my favorite labels, Profound Lore, snapped these guys up and will be releasing WINTERFYLLETH's debut album, The Ghost of Heritage, come fall (October 14, to be exact), as well as a split with related project WODENSTHRONE (who also rule!). Check 'em out, and prepare to be conquered!