black metal

Book review – Only Death is Real: An Illustrated History of Hellhammer and Early Celtic Frost 1981–1985

Like many pioneers, Hellhammer took their lumps from everyone, including its own members. They were hobbled by geography and underdeveloped talent, but they built a great mystique around themselves as they toiled to spread their malodorous gospel, only to be sent back to the drawing board after every recording session and demo release. This unlikely but glorious book celebrates their restless existence and enduring influence. It all goes to prove that history—this little slice of history, anyway—is written by the victors.

Rob Hughes reviews the new Hellhammer photo/history book, Only Death Is Real, released recently by Bazillion Points.

3 Inches of Blood/ Goatwhore/ Burning the Day @ Mod Club, Toronto ON, May 13, 2010

There is something solid, straightforward, almost wholesome about 3 Inches of Blood’s brand of traditional heavy metal that is particularly satisfying. Cam Pipes sang about orcs and hammers while unleashing a series of throaty old-school wails—what was there not to love?

Natalie Zed reviews the May 13th Toronto performance by 3 Inches of Blood and Goatwhore at the Mod Club

Orphaned Land: The Hellbound Interview

“Israel is not an easy place for a normal life, but OL’s music can emerge only from a place such as the Holy Land. The multi cultural life here, being a spiritual center, a center of religious wars and conflicts and even being a Jewish back to his homeland after 2,000 years. I’m in a heaven of inspiration.

Being an artist is always a struggle, especially in a country where the army is needed much more than art. Sometimes it’s very hard for us to get support or any attention to what we have to say. It’s a sacrifice and a choice we took, so we don’t complain. At the end of the day, I feel lucky to have a band and to give people some hope and moments of happiness.”

Adam Wills in conversation with Orphaned Land mastermind Kobi Farhi about their latest album, The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR.

Alcest/ Monarque/ Thantifaxath @ Hard Luck Bar, Toronto ON, April 23, 2010

For the first time in a great many shows, I actually sat down during a performance. I sat not because I was bored, not even because I was tired. I sat because the energy it took to operate my legs felt like energy I could be directing towards my ears. I sat on a table top with my eyes closed, rocking back and forth unconsciously, entirely consumed.

Natalie Zed reviews the April 23rd Toronto debut of France’s Alcest. Also sharing the bill were Quebec black metallers Monarque and Thantifaxath.

Rotting Christ: Discussing 20 Years Of Cult

“Our band’s name has closed many doors for bigger success,” admit Sakis. “Some of our shows have been canceled, some of the distributors didn’t accept our albums due to our name, we’ve even received death threats…but we keep on rocking with this song. We keep on punching conservative ideas and opening new paths in the name of freedom. And do you know something? I think that it’s better that we didn’t get more success and become commercial! That would mean that we would have betrayed our roots and betrayed ourselves…and this is a vanity.”

Metal George Pacheco in conversation with Rotting Christ frontman Sakis Tolis about their first twenty years as Greece’s most well-known black metal band.

Ludicra / Krallice / Empyrean Plague @ Rancho Relaxo, Toronto ON, April 14, 2010

I don’t want to in any way cheapen Ludicra’s performance here by saying that they performed “admirably under the circumstances.” They flat-out fucking rocked. They are tough, tenacious, and have a mind-blowing stage presence. Their vocalist, Laurie Sue Shanaman, filled the meagre space with her otherworldly voice.

Natalie Zed reviews the April 14th Toronto performance by Ludicra, Krallice and Empyrean Plague, which took place at Rancho Relaxo

KEVI METAL’S RIMSHOTS v.2 #3

The music world is filled with similar smoke and mirrors acts. We’re told over and over and over again that so-and-so’s new album is the one that’ll re-define the genre. How many times have you heard in the last couple years that this-and-that’s “stunning” comeback album is “highly anticipated” and their best yet? Better than Bonded by Blood? Not bloody likely! The lies haven’t stop piling up since the music industry released its ad campaign for Elvis’ second record and this month’s Rimshots lifts the veil, cuts through the crap and saves you some money and/or hard drive space.