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|Thursday, June 3rd, 2010|
|Maryland Deathfest 2010
Well, with my head still spinning from the last weekend I’m going to try to translate the events from my memory into text. A fair warning though, unlike last year this is a lot more about business than seeing bands that played.
First off this was an entirely different experience from the last couple of times I’ve been to the Maryland Deathfest, mostly due to being a vendor. I had a similar ride situation since I’ve moved farther away from Lynchburg and getting there was like going to Charlottesville last year to meet my ride to the actual fest. I had to do a lot more preparation, mostly with buying a lot of supplies and getting the distro ready to be transported and displayed. One nice change was that I had a lot more money to bring with me, and while spending a lot sort of endangers my chances of getting to Germany later this year, it was really nice not to have to constantly worry about my funds, and to actually buy alcohol!
The ride up was a ton nicer than last year, not having any traffic jams which was actually kind of weird for Labor Day weekend in Baltimore. We still got there a bit on the later side since Baltimore is a fucking hard city to find your way in due to the curvy one way streets, but at least we still got there a while before they started letting people in and had a chance to set up. We had a fairly tiny presence in the merch room, having only one plastic tub fitting a bit over a hundred Cds, some tapes, vinyl and zines, and even Cathy had about 4 times the stock we had. We did the best the first day, I think, in the initial frenzy of purchasing that went on. The guy next to us was an older guy with boxed of mostly traditional metal and thrash Cds. He did amazingly well, as I guess he buys huge amounts of wholesale cds and many of them sit in his house until they enter one of these boxes. A lot of them are sold out traditional metal cds, like Manilla Road and Saint Vitus stuff , all of which he sold for $5. The guy who ran it and his helpers where all extremely nice, even if he talked a mile a minute, and we helped each other out quite a bit through out the festival.
Sales happened for us pretty much the opposite of how I thought they would. I thought I’d sell the Faustcoven vinyl and the Moribund stuff really well, but really what ended up selling was the obscure labels stuff and the zines. I sold out of pretty much all of my Planet Metal and Dark Decent stuff in the first night. I guess that that people knew about that stuff through word of mouth but not a lot of the labels had it.
Friday night I actually didn’t see any bands. I kind of wanted to see a few, but I was busy with the table and also meeting up with a bunch of friends, which to me was almost worth coming for in the first place. Of course there was Cathy and Eric, and this year we obviously got to talk a LOT more. I got to know Eric a lot better this year, and will hopefully have more contact with him on the net later. The fact that I was doing this with friends and able to talk about metal, beer and anime during our down time was pretty much the only thing that kept me sane. The other important couple to my stay was Jared and Sarah from Terra Caput Mundi, who let me stay in their hotel room, basically for some beer. It was cool that it sort of felt like our “internet friendship” transitioned comfortably into “real life”, which can be said about a lot of the people I know online and only see in person at the MDF.
It was also awesome to meet Vic, Matt War, Matthew (Dodens Grav), Evan of Deathgasm Records, He Wang, and to see Kevin and Zack of Gravewurm, Timpailer, Ian, Jean Pierre, members of Riotor and a bunch of friend from Virginia again, and probably a bunch of others I’m forgetting. Jared dropped off a bunch of copies of the new live Terra Caput Mundi demo that I did the artwork for and Matthew gave me some copies of The Heretic’s Torch, both of which actually sold really well! I actually only have two of the zines left after trades, sales and a give away or two. Fitting, as it turned out great! Very well written, and very in depth interviews and articles. Also did another great VA vs. MI trade with Vic, which I’ll hopefully be doing on occasion from now on. Vic (I think) also dropped off a bunch of Harbinger and Wastelander stuff after we sold out, which continued to do well. I need to send him some disc or money or something for that…
I think out of all the members of awesome bands that I talked to all weekend, the two that I felt where slightly imposing where Jim Sadist of Nunslaughter and John of Incantation. Both where really cool and seemed to both enjoy talking to fans as equally enthusiastic metalheads.
It was also cool that there where a lot of fans of bands that I know and have worked for amongst the attendants of the MDF. Lots of Ares Kingdom shirts, a few Faustcoven patches and even several of the new Countess shirts I did the artwork for (which turned out great!).
I left early to get everything ready, and ended up getting there earlier than any one but the Paragon guys. Of course I set up my tiny distro in about five minutes so I ended up sewing on new patches and talking to the Paragon guys. I’ve had some contact with them before, so it was nice to delve deeper into some subjects. I was also their first customer of the day, as while Mike was talking about people not knowing about certain obscure bands he used the Gravewurm/Suicidal Winds split as an example, which I’ve actually needed for a while, which was a bit amusing.
Saturday I did actually get to see bands! First was The Chasm. They put on a great show, had lots of energy for being balding old guys, but unfortunately suffered from horrible sound. The bass and drums where WAY too loud, and you could barely hear the lead guitar half of the time.
The second band I got to see in the day was Incantation. Unlike The Chasm the had great sound, which I learned was mostly due to them having their own sound guy with them. They’re definitely a fantastic band live, and keep your interest even at the doomiest and repetitive parts of their music, and above all where heavy as fuck. It was a bit surprising when they did two Dio songs, and an even was even more surprised that they actually pulled it off well.
The third and final band of the night for me was Deceased. They totally blew me away! Even though I had little experience with the band beforehand, and they didn’t play what little material I was familiar with (two songs on different old death metal compilations I have, both from The Blueprints For Madness, and have been played over and over again), they music was still easy to get into. King Fowley was a great front man, dramatically acting out everything and running all over the place. At one time he put on a Zombie mask and “ate” the other members while they played a long set of solos. It was a bit amusing to see them trying to fake a reaction to him while still trying to concentrate on their playing. They also played a Dio song, which they did very well.
I wanted to see Portal, but unfortunately Jared and Matt got kicked out and pretty much beaten up for LIGHTING UP CIGARETTES inside of the venue. Lucky Matt kept his wristband, but Jared was not so lucky, and had to buy a day pass for Sunday. I ended up just going back to the hotel room with them so we could start the whole drinking thing. It sucked that the security went off on petty bullshit, but where ignoring people sneaking into the fest and tossing beer bottles at people.
Sunday (well, really the whole weekend) blurs into more sales, socializing, drinking, buying and waiting in line to take a piss, but I’m sure more and more individual moments will come to me later when I’m totally recovered.
I saw one band on Sunday which completed my list of must-see bands for the weekend, which was Entombed. They played a lot of their older stuff which was cool, although I like their death ‘n roll stuff to a lesser degree and even more so live.
Did a lot of trading later in the evening with Deathgasm, Paragon, Old Cemetery, Dave (the guy beside us, who’s business name I’m not sure on but is Dave’s Metal something), Butchered Records, a musician or two in the crowd and to my surprise, Earache.
We ended up doing fairly well, doing a bit better than breaking even, and I think Cathy did a lot better. I’m pretty sure we’ll be back next year. Thanks to every one involved for a great weekend!
Note that this has taken around two hours to remember and write, and my brain is a little fuzzy. I might have to come back and add to this later.
|Monday, February 1st, 2010|
|The Heart of Winter Festival II
Well, in the past I have been pretty disappointed with shows in Richmond. Really there's been five so far, and every one besides the GWAR show sucked in some way, mostly due to a shitty crowd of indie and metalcore kids. I've found a lot of new faith in Richmond through the Heart of Winter fest though.
Things where a little hairy getting into town. I had to have Anne and Renee take me parts of the way, and since I had no concrete idea where it was it was a bit difficult getting there. I was also a little nervous being in Richmond on my own for any length of time, and staying there, which I have never done before. Also not helping is the fact that Alley Katz is indeed in an alley, and I almost passed right by it when I was in the actual Alley.
After I found the place I gave Kim a call, since she was supposed to pretty much hook me up with being able to stay in Richmond. She happened to be right around the bend with Benighted in Sodom, and after we hooked up we pretty much became a single unit through the fest. Those guys where all a blast to hang out and raise hell with, being people with an equal array of quirks and talents.
It was decided that we should get something to eat, get the booze and see the hotel before the show. We stopped at an awesome little greasy pizza place downtown that had awesome food, which was full of people from the fest (although that wasn't saying much given the size of the place). We spent quite a while trying to find an open ABC store, as the first one wasn't open for some retarded reason. The hotel was nice, being very small and all of us being on the 2nd floor of a separate building from the main one, which was a very good thing in hindsight.
We got back from to the venue in time to catch Hot Graves, but missing Windhand unfortunately. Hot Graves was one of those bands that you really wish would shut the fuck up and play. Their music was alright, but they had way too much random banter in between the songs that it made it fairly difficult to enjoy them. Castevet was pretty good, and I wasn't too unimpressed or impressed with them. Probably the most noisy band there though, which I think was the point.
Battlemaster was one of the main reasons I previously wanted to come. They opened up for GWAR at the first metal show I went to, and really impressed me right there and then. While I love their recorded stuff, it's their live show that's really something to behold, and it was really the only time a band got a true heavy metal reaction during the entire festival. Headbanging, crowd surfing and moshing in abundance. The only thing I was really disappointed with was the fact that they pretty much only played brand new stuff and not anything from the demos or album besides the last track of the full length. But their new stuff is awesome as well, I just don't know the lyrics and such. They also played a D666 cover, Satanic Speed Metal, and earned even more points in my book.
Shadow of the Destroyer where really good, and where fortunate enough to have had probably the best sound that any of the bands got at the entire festival, with clear instrument sound and a really good mix. They where one of the most straight forward European styled (Markuk, Mayhem, Immortal, ect) black metal bands there, I think, with no real overt death/punk/ambient etc influences but played very well. The singer was a little over the top with his makeup and performance though, and it kind of detracted from their show. It took his until the end of the night while we where partying to relax at all, which was a bit strange given that the rest of his band was extremely relaxed and friendly. I would like to check the band out again though, especially when I can find some recorded material.
Woe where really good black metal with some pretty interesting structures. I was surprised to learn that a lot of their members are in The Green Evening Requiem, which is a LOT less straight forward than Woe and more in the progressive Agalloch/Enslaved vein. Their sound suffered from a little muddiness though.
After the show was the afterparty at the hotel. This is where Kim really hooked me up as it added a whole other dimension of awesomeness to the weekend. We basically wandered through all of the bands rooms getting into conversations and trying to find booze. The liquor we got went very quickly, and very few people had beer since the show got out well after midnight. I'll tell you this, running out of beer half way through a party with a hotel full of metalheads is a horrible thing. I managed to smoke some weed without going into a panic attack though, and it was great to get high with Andy from Battlemaster and talk about out Warhammer armies. I talked with Elway a bit, who was one of the guys that set up the show, as I thought he had kind of given me the shaft when I tried to talk to him about booking and vending earlier this year, but I realized that it was probably my lack of persistence, especially since he's probably been very busy communicated with all of the bands through out the year.
The night ended pretty much with Chase from Benighted in Sodom arm wrestling pretty much every one who was still awake. It took around 9 or so people to finally beat him, with my own defeat being particularly humiliating. Fucking Canadian lumberjack man. Some time after that I found a good place on the floor and got about an hour of sleep. I woke up around 7:30, found Chase and went over to Waffle House for the first time that day. It was a bit difficult, as it was already snowing heavily, but nothing compared to later in the day. Still drunk as fuck, we fucked around with the waiters and ate hearty, greasy breakfast in an attempt to avoid the oncoming hangover. Unfortunately I was the only one that was successful in that effort.
The next half of the day was spent waiting for people to wake up. I went out to Waffle House with another two groups of people throughout the day. It was nice being with a bunch of other people that can ramble on about music and bands they like for hours. As we walked back and forth between Waffle House and the hotel we watched as the roads became increasingly worse. After lunch with Benighted in Sodom the journey to get a few items at a music shop began, which sounded easy as it was only a little ways down the street. Unfortunately, due to the snow we where turned around a few times, stuck probably over a dozen times (which increased through out the entire day), spun out on an on ramp and got stuck in the middle, and rear-ended another vehicle. And to finish it off, the shop was closed.
The trip back to the venue was a bit better. It was a fucking nightmare to get out, and we got stuck a few more times, but not as bad as the clusterfuck to the guitar shop. I got in for free this time as the ticket guy assumed I was with the band, which actually turned out to be correct as I spent most of the night at the merch booth. I wish I was more successful, though, although it seemed that Chase did a bit more when he took over later in the night.
Unfortunately due to the weather two bands dropped out, Neckbrace and Infernal Stronghold. Infernal Stronghold was another band that I wanted to see despite my lack of experience with them. Earthling where pretty good, being mostly sludge/doom/thrash metal with some harsh vocals every here and there. Mutilation Rites where surprisingly good, the band being pretty new and early on the bill, but played some awesome and dynamic black/death with a wide variety of riffs, ranging from very aggressive and old school to very complex and melodic. I was kind of disappointed that they didn't have any kind of merch.
It was kind of funny that even though I hung out with Benighted in Sodom all weekend, I hadn't listened to their music until right before the show. I later found out that they had added me on Myspace a while back, but pretty much got lost in the sea of bands there. They play very intense depressive black metal using a lot of complex layered riffs/rhythms/vocals that does quite well at leaving one feeling very uneasy. Live was a LOT more intense, being a massive wall of sound for about half an hour with minimal conversation between the songs with Reuben and the crowd. They had a timing issue for about half the set, mostly due to it being the first show on a tour with session members (it's normally a 1 man band) and the fact that the monitors where too quite, so no one could hear each other. It was very hard to pick out though, mostly due to how intense and thick the music was, and in parts almost seemed like it was deliberate, like they where using a strange time signature like the ones that Immolation does. They ended by ripping up a bible, which have been done, but gets a nod of appreciation from me when I see it.
Morne was really good sludgy doom metal. They actually used some keyboards extensively but very tastefully. That's pretty much all I can say...
Bastard Sapling was very interesting, and surprised me a bit. They seem to go for the extensive atmospheric trem picking for a lot of their songs, but right before it sounds like it's going to be too much they break into an actual riff, which varied quite, such as going into a more punk/trash oriented riff or a heavy death metal one. It takes some attention and concentration to listen to them, and would have probably been enhanced with a few glasses of wine. I was pretty impressed, and will look forward to seeing them again at other Richmond shows.
Evoken where awesome, and a band that I'm really surprised that I haven't heard before. HEAVY death/doom. And doom as in funeral doom, and with nicely used keyboards. Their only flaw was that the set carried on for a bit too long, and you could see people leaving through out their set when it got to be around 1:00. Apparently one of the guys shares several friends with me in the metal community, including Blaash from Bahimiron/Towards Global Holocaust and even had a Towards Global Holocaust CD in his distro. Kind of weird that a CD on our Virginia label got from Blaash in Arizona to them in New Jersey and back here to Virginia.
The night ended a lot more toned down than the first night, mostly spent eating junk food, drinking some of the remainder of the whiskey and joking around. We decided that the female celebrity I am most like is Rosanne. I ended up falling asleep on one of the beds next to Carter, but some how when I woke up (due to one of my powerful farts) we were both on the floor and the girl from Iceland that came back with up was alone on the bed. I have no idea how that happened, but was probably a result of some very sleepy chivalry. I did get a lot more sleep than the previous night though, and after I woke up I made the call to be picked up so I could get home.
Now I have to track down a lot of the merch I couldn't afford there. I picked up some Battlemaster merch (although I'm still very upset that they didn't have their new 7") and a few dirt cheap items from Evoken's distro. The rest of my cash was spent on food, booze, the cab, getting into the show and on various other little things. $100 while staying in Richmond for a weekend doesn't go all that far I guess, and I missed out on getting Morne, Woe and Benighted in Sodom CDs and LPs (although they hooked me up with the 7" and some other CDs, thanks Chase!), which I'll have to purchase online when I have the money. It just sucks as it helps out a lot more when a band's on tour.
Kudos to Winter, Renee and Anne for getting me to and from Richmond and financing the adventure, to Kim for hooking me up with a place to sleep and introducing me to a bunch of cool fuckers, to Benighted in Sodom for being one of the coolest random bands I've partied with, to the organizers for setting up a show in Richmond that didn't suck or attract a bunch of indie turds, and to the bands for being awesome and getting drunk with me.
Now time to recover. http://www.myspace.com/heartofwinterfestrvahttp://www.myspace.com/benightedinsodom Current Mood: tired
|Monday, January 25th, 2010|
There's a lot going on in my life at the moment. First off, I've moved in with my friends on their farm in Cumberland. It's been going fairly well, as I can work of my rent with barn work and baby sitting, although I've been a bit isolated since I moved here. It's a lot closer to Richmond, and in theory I should be able to hang out there a lot more often now and get to shows, although every ones hectic schedules have made that difficult. I hope to eventually get a job there.
Well, really to get a job there I need to FINALLY get my license. I made a brief effort to get used to driving on public roads, but a couple weekends ago while driving my mom home a cop pulled us over and let me know that my learners was expired. It takes a LONG time for that to happen, and showed my that I have really been using my anxiety as an excuse for way too long. Now I have to go through the extra effort of renewing my learners and then getting my license. Fuck me if I'm going to do that in Richmond though, at least the driving test part. I haven't even become used to walking around that city.
Things have been going well with my illustration career. The first LP with my artwork has been recently released, and man is it extravagant! The LP in question is the new Ares Kingdom LP/Pic LP. The regular is a gatefold with a poster and an 8 page LP sized booklet (the booklet has one of my illustrations) and the die hard comes with all of that, a pic LP, a slipcase (with my artwork as well), a sticker and a full size backpatch. On top of that the album is definitely my top release of 2009/2010, and probably one of the best death metal albums of the last decade. I'm really proud that a band of this quality showed interest in my work, especially since Chuck is an art dealer and historian. http://www.nwnprod.com/
The finishing layout work is being done for both the Faustcoven LPs and the Redimoni/Graveyard split. Hopefully both will be out in the next few months.
My current schedule for illustration work is-
-Very last finishing touches on the layout work for both the Countess and Warhorde CDs. http://www.barbarianwrath.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=239
-Layout for Gravwurm's 20th anniversary album, "Blood of the Pentagram".
-Drawing for Terra Caput Mundi's live tape demo. The B&W drawing is done, but it being upgraded to color. The nerdiest thing I have ever done... http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v401/savageultama/TCMTape.jpg
-Drawing for a t-shirt for the German label Witches Brew.
-Album cover for the new Deathhammer(NOR) album.
-Illustration for the new Faustcoven, which should be pretty extravagant. I'll be spending a long time on it while Gunnar works on the album.
Other than that I've been watching a lot of Anime DVD's lately, and almost no television at all. Anime is pretty much the highest form of escapism I know of, and I have to watch how many hours I spend watching it.... but I think about 1 series a week is good. Favorites so far are The Slayers (which has been so since I was a kid, but I haven't really watched all of seasons 1&3 until now), Martian Successor Nadesico and Desert Punk. Bubblegum Crisis 2041 was pretty good, and Sorcerer Hunters become OK about half way through.... I'm working my way through a lot of the "classics" as well as suggestions. I think while my friends are letting me borrow stuff out of their massive DVD collections I'll be pretty entertained for the next year or two.
Lastly, there should be several very important items of news for the record label soon!
|Friday, December 25th, 2009|
Merry Yule every one.
Getting into the booze, eating and listening to King Diamond's "No Presents for Christmas" with the family.
What's every one else doing?
|Friday, December 4th, 2009|
Life's been a bit crazy lately...
First off, we lost a dear friend of the family. Ingrid Trimmer passed away last week from cancer, which was a huge blow to every one. Fate was cruel enough to take her before the earliest estimate made.... but even in her last moments of agony she never complained and always focused on those around her. She lead a difficult life that few could understand and developed a stoic attitude unmatched by any other human being I have ever met. We will miss her.
A lot of my time lately has been over to the Colbey's helping around the house. Ingrid did a lot with the horses and looked after the children, so there's been a huge gap that multiple people are now trying to fill there. It's a possibility that I'll move over there and work off rent, which will also mean some sacrifices and possibilities happening.
We're also dealing with a bear at home, who has been getting into our bee hives. So far he had destroyed four of them, leaving us with three with viable colonies, although I'm unsure if they'll make it through the winter. Two years of work pretty much down the drain... I've been waiting outside all night with a rifle trying to catch it in the act, but it always seems to know that I'm there. At least we've been lent a 30-06 rifle, which is a vast improvement over our 22. Even though the 22 is semi automatic with an 8 round clip, it will pretty much just piss a bear the fuck off unless you get an absurdly lucky shot. I think a black bear can even take a 22 round to the head and just be rattled, as I think I hit it beforehand. I was a bit surprised with the difference of the caliber though (I'm not too versed in firearms) of the 22 and 30-06, as one is the size of one is the size of your fingernail and the other the size of a middle finger (which is appropriate). I'll keep watch, and if I can score a couple hundred pounds of bear meat it will all be worth it.
|Tuesday, October 6th, 2009|
|Label, birthday and other going-ons
Well, it's been an interesting couple of weeks. My friends' mother/in law fell down the stairs a couple of weeks ago, resulting in a partial hip replacement. I was called upon to help get a huge wheelchair ramp up in time, which was only a few days. It was good to work my ass off for once though, and I did get compensated with money and beer, as they have a kegerator that's always stocked in the house. Sometimes it's good not to have a job though, as it allows me to be suddenly allocated elsewhere for an indeterminate amount of times when needed for emergencies and such.
The money is going fast though, as I had quite a bit of debt (and it's good to get rid of it, especially getting Andrew the little money that the distro has earned), took some friends out for food that have been generous with me when I don't have money (never) and indulged in some Vinyl purchasing at Hells Headbangers (Hail, Nifelheim, Averse Sefira and the new Funeral Mist).
I was tasked to convert IDIB's layout files from photoshop to Adobe InDesign (or similar program), but it wasn't the right dimensions, so we're delayed even further with the new IDIB album. It might give us a bit more time to perfect some things though, although the music itself sounds great and surpasses their earlier efforts, but I still am optimistic that it will be released by the end of the month.
I did more or less finish the painting for the new Countess cover (I think I can say that publicly as Hart has certain places on the net). Very, very proud of it!!! It might need a few changes after both Hart and Orlok review it, but this is mainly due to the fact that it will be the first Countess full length to be released on vinyl! That's pretty impressive, I think, as this will be album number 13.
Evan, Ivy and myself had a joint birthday party last weekend. Quite a few people attended, and one of our friends brought a keg. Between that and the extra beer and liquor my friends brought over later, we where able to get pretty wasted. I think my mom was getting there towards the end as well... It's kind of nice to get blasted once in a while without making a complete fool of myself...
Back at my friends place to help with the finishing touches on the ramp and with a few other things. Celebrating my birthday right quietly with frequent trips to the in-house keg and looking forward to some promised pizza.
|Tuesday, September 1st, 2009|
|Phone and Internet
I now have my own phone and internet access at home. I think this will lead to a lot of things being easier, moslty coordinating with my family, friends and doing buisness. Certain people will get my number when I get it switched (I got my mom's old phone) but not many that are not local. I hate using the phone in general, and to me it is a necessary evil.
Feeling pretty stagnant again. I really need to get a job so I can pay for things like food and label stuff. Unfortunatelly my parents use me constantly for all kinds of unskilled labor and only want me to get a job with my degree. I also haven't been to a show since the MDF other than the local show I helped set up. At least I'm busy with commissions for metal illustration. The new Ares Kingdom will be out next month, and my artwork will be featured more prominantly on it than origionally planned!
|Thursday, July 9th, 2009|
Had two paintings for commissions photographed today, and should be ready to go with print-resolution files. Both are for bands that I am very excited about having my work slapped on an LP sleeve for.
Inner illustration for the upcomming Ares Kingdom LP/CD/possibly shirt
Cover for the upcomming Redimoni/Graveyard split 7" EP
In Death I Become/The Day of the Beast/others show in Charlottesville tomorrow. I still have to work out a ride for it. It would be a bit embarrasing if I couldn't show up to a show I helped set up....
|Wednesday, June 17th, 2009|
|Monday, June 1st, 2009|
|Wolves in the Throne Room
Well, since I missed Wolves in the Throne Room when they played at MDF, I took the chance of seeing them in Richmond last Friday. Well actually, my sister did and had me come with her, as I couldn't have afforded it if she didn't loan me the money. The trip was extra pleasant with Paul and Manda, as I guess we each paired up into conversations.
I have never seen such a non-metal crowd for a metal show in my life. Not even Amon Amarth was this bad. About 2/3 of the crowd where indie hipsters, sporting tight pants and ironic t-shirts/facial hair. Man, I'm one to talk about having a beard, but it's a weird trend right now to have a beard and short hair that makes you look like a middle aged college professor! Luckily there where a few people there to talk to, including Andy from Battlemaster, Austin and Logan. I might officially offer to do the cover for Battlemaster's new MCD, but I'm still not sure about the direction they're taking. Some thing about a wizard blowing his brains out with a blunderbus... There's a fine line between awesome comedy/over the top themes and ridiculous irony, but whatever.
The first band was going ok until the guy opened his mouth. I actually like shoegaze music, but if there's vocals added it usually sounds way too faggy for me to handle. Leave effeminate and whiny screaming to the other music genres, not "metal". :(
The next band was pretty cool. Kind of like, as my sister put it, Tool on tranquilizers. Indy as fuck (I bet they sell waaay more vinyl than cds) but still cool. Probably better with some weed and wine, though, in a dark and dingy basement somewhere.
The second to last band was a bit better. Black metal, of sorts, played by a bunch of musicians from other bands totally different from black metal (such as the guitarist from Behold... the Arctipus). I didn't think it would be that great, but it was a bit different, using a bunch of droning guitar tones and wierd trem-picked riffs and rythems. Kind of like a more experimentational Transelvanian Hunger type black metal, which is ok as long as you think of it as almost not being metal. Long ass songs (two song set) with very, very few vocals.
Wolves in the Throne Room kicked ass. Long, long songs with again the more atmospheric trem picking used, with interesting tones and leads overtop. One thing that really adds to it is really good and varied drumming, which can almost make up for a lack of solid riffs. Their music also has a much bigger impact live when you can feel the guitars work their way into your guts. Probably one of my favorite bands in a subgenre of black metal I'm not too fond of as a whole.
|Tuesday, May 26th, 2009|
|Maryland Deathfest VII
Well I'm sore and still a bit overstimulated after getting back from Baltimore. The year's Deathfest was above and beyond better than the last time I went in 2007, some what due to the bands, but mostly due to the people.
Kim had agreed to let me ride along with her into Baltimore, so we planned to meet up Thursday and leave some time midday Friday. I was surprised that there was a show in Charlottesville Thursday, but even more surprised when all of the bands turned out to be awesome sludge/instrumental metal bands. It was a pleasant ride up there with my parents, who waited around long enough to eat at the kabob place in the same building complex as the Outback. The show was great, with all of the bands kicking ass and plenty of people to chat with. My long time friend Amelia Little came to my surprise, and I probably spent a good deal of the show trying to juggle catching up with her and watching the bands. I was also able to talk with the show organizer of the Outback Lodge, and I might just be able to set up an In Death I Become cd release show there in the next couple of months. If so, expect a show of ear fucking black, death and doom metal in Charlottesville! I also was able to chat with a couple of the musicians, including one of the guitarists from Suzukiton who turned out to also be one of the guitarists from Twisted Tower Dire, an awesome power metal band from Virginia that's been around for a while and is playing later at the Outback with This Means You.
The after party at Kim's was pretty relaxed and all of the guys in Kylesa where cool. We mostly stayed upstairs listening to vinyl and talking about movies, and how one of the dudes from that band has apparently seen a bunch of B movies but has never seen Star Wars or Indiana Joans. I drank just enough to make the floor very comfortable and actually got part of a good night's sleep. I guess bands on tour need to balance the party thing with retaining enough energy to keep on going.
It took a while to get into Baltimore due to retarded traffic, but that wasn't too much of a problem due to having awesome metal and the fact that most of the bands sucked on Friday. I only really wanted to see the last three bands who where playing outside, Mayhem, Marduk and Asphyx. Marduk was one of the bands I wanted to see the most in the whole festival, so it fucking sucked that they couldn't get their paperwork in order to get into the country. Mayhem was pretty mediocre and mildly entertaining, and Asphyx kicked ass. I really need to get some of their albums.
Most of my effort Friday was spent finding people, many of whom I've never met before. I first ran into Steve from The Day of the Beast, who had the new t-shirt I did the artwork for. I also ran into Sven, Bill from the Wolves, Rockin' Ruby, Andrew from my label and several others that I know from around Virginia. I've known Cathy from the Basar North America, Jared and Sarah from Terra Caput Mundi, Kevin from Gravewurm, Will Towels and Tim from Diabolic Distribution for varying amounts of time, some as long as a couple of years now, but this was the first time I've met them face to face. I probably spent most of my time around Cathy, her boyfriend, Jared and Sarah through out the festival, geeking out on metal, Warhammer 40k, heathenism and various other topics. I managed to get a bit drunk several times through out the festival, as people constantly offered me beer from the bar and their trunk (and some good mead!). My good friend Nate hooked me up considerably through out the whole festival, as he let me stay in his hotel room and took me to a bar Saturday. I wouldn't have been able to go if it wasn't for him and Kim.
Saturday was a ton better music wise. Hail of Bullets was very impressive, and when I can get into a band that much having never had heard them before it usual means that my record collection is missing a few things... Immolation put on an awesome set as usual. They're sort of a working mans death metal band, never really getting too crazy with their performance and always focus on nailing their music. I wanted to see Birdflesh but it overlapped with Immolation and they won out. Atheist and Napalm Death provided good background music while many of us went out into the parking lot to drink. They're actually bands that I might not mind seeing live, but there's so many good bands playing that some get sacrificed for many of the other things that I wanted to do there. Bolt Thrower was the first band that played that was actually a "must see" band for me. They did not disappoint at all. I guess only playing a couple of shows a year keeps you from burning out, and their musicianship, vocals and live show was spot fucking on. They played an excellent set that spanned much of their discography well. It was also cool that they played World Eater, as I thought they had said that they don't play much of the Realm of Chaos stuff any more, and other than that For Victory was probably the high point of their set.
After Bolt Thrower was too tired to see any more bands. I felt like I should stop screaming and headbanging halfway through Bolt Thrower, but that groove commanded me to go on, and my body protested. Too bad, as I really wanted to see General Surgery and Wolves in the Throne Room, but in the end I chose to sit outside and talk with Jared, Sarah and a few other friends.
It was fun looking at ever one elses' vests, and I quickly noticed that the Sauron patch was pretty common there. I met several other enthusiasts of Witches Brew and Barbarian Wrath bands, and was glad to meet several people who owned Faustcoven's "Rising From Below the Earth", which means that they have my artwork some where in their house.... I hung out with a couple of the guys I met this way through out the entire weekend, namely Ian and John Pierre, both really cool dudes.
Sunday was a bit more relaxed. I again stuck to the outside stage, avoiding The Red Cord opening up out there. Absu was great, and I got into the songs in varying degrees due to a broad range in quality. It might be that I've only listened to the new album though. Abscess and Aura Noir where again nice to listen to but not bands that I had to watch, but that might again be due to the fact that I'm inexperienced with them. Then came Destroyer 666, which was another of the main reasons I was there along with Bolt Thrower, and like Bolt Thrower they did not disappoint me. They nailed their songs, put on a vicious stage show and played a song off the new album which has me very excited. They didn't get to play as long as they wanted to, however, and where cut off around 10 for some reason. They played most of the ones I wanted to hear, but to my dismay didn't play Raped and probably my favorite song period, Lone Wolf Winter. The crowd got pretty rough during their set, which was almost to be expected, and mosh pits where breaking out in several spots through out the entire crowd. There where some particularly annoying (and drunk) people right by us, and it was a bit distracting trying to avoid getting an elbow in face or letting one of the moshers run into Cathy.
It sucked that Pestilence also had to cancel (and I only found out how much I was missing listening to them for the first time on the way home), but it was a treat seeing Bolt Thrower for a second time! I only wish they played a some what different set than Saturday's performance. I have to disagree with Cathy on the sound though, as I preferred the outside's sound to the venue's, even if the Outside stage wasn't in the best place for it. Not really the reason I kept away from all but two of the inside bands though. I don't really like most grindcore... I actually stayed for the very last band inside, which was Sigh, which didn't plan on. I was trying to find people to say goodbye, but after hearing a couple of their songs with the keyboards way down in the mix they convinced me to watch the rest of their extremely over the top set. And to end the entire festival, they chose to cover Venom's Countess Bathory and finally Black Metal, which set off the entire place. What a way to end things!
On the social part of Sunday I again mostly hung out with Cathy, Jared and Sarah, cycling through my other friends. I also found Kevin from Gravewurm, easy to spot wearing their shirt I did the art for. He was really cool and friendly, and we pretty much chatted about the same stuff we've been talking about on the internet. I also met Zach of Gravewurm and one of the guys from Paragon records, which I guess has been talking to some of the guys in the Wolves of Vinland and will coming down to Lynchburg at some point (with some of his distro...). I also helped Cathy sell a few more cds (I think...) although it was surprising how hard it was to attract attention to a small box of cds even though they probably didn't have as many distros as they could have there. She probably could have also done better with some more Faustcoven, Sauron and Deathhammer discs. We talked about maybe going in half each on a vendors stall next year, as I'll have hopefully built a good sized distro and have several more releases out on the label.
I was also able to do some trading with bands and distros. I have been contacted several times from a band called Crucifier, who have been kind of strange in their communication but alright, so I talked to their label Ibex Moon about it and they traded me a couple cd's, saying that they'd give one to the band, who's in Greece. I also traded with Butchered Records, one of my favorite death metal labels, Rioter, a thrash metal band from Canada (French-Canadian accents+load music=half understood conversations, heh), and Forever Plagued Records. When I was trading with FPR the person recognized our album and ended being Timpailer from Diabolic Distrobution, whom we've traded with before and I've talked to a bit. We chatted and he ended up having the other item I was specifically looking for, Nocturnal Graves "Satan's Cross", but had it at home. I paid for it and he'll be sending it this week!
The merchandise for sale was overwhelming, and you couldn't even look through it all, let alone buy every thing you wanted. I got quite a bit, mostly due to deals, even with some of my measly $200 (I thought this would be enough to get me through a weekend in Baltimore comfortably, but I was wrong, and only ate a meal a day so I could buy more shit!), and got a few things I really wanted. I had asked Cathy to bring a small order with her, but she had even more great stuff that I had to buy, including an album that is now pretty rare. If people knew exactly what they where looking at in that little bin, she wouldn't have had anything left to take back home. I also got a couple of copies of the new Putrid Pile (Paul has been looking for it for a while), the Blaphemerian MLP and Nightbringer's debut album as a 3LP boxed set (pretty over the top for a debut). Also added a few patches, including a Gravewurm one Kevin gave me, to my vest which is getting pretty well covered.
While all this insanity was happening Sunday, my sister went into labor and had her baby! I'm pretty excited as it's the first boy in their generation after 3 girls. Since Andrew lives in Lynchburg and I needed to get their ASAP, I waited in the hotel lobby for him and messaged Kim telling her I wouldn't be riding along. This was nice as Andrew and I had a lot to talk about, mostly on the label and the bands. I got to the hospital with my mom late Monday afternoon to visit my sister and the new baby, who is healthy and came in at 9 1/2 pounds.
What a fucking blast! Nothing like the last time I went, having better bands and tons of my friends from around the country. The only thing that was missing was a few people I wish could have gone (save you fucking pennies and ask off early!!!!!) and a couple of canceled bands. Special thanks to Kim and Nate for making it possible for me to be there period (and the booze!!!), Andrew for getting me back, Bill for offering to help with certain things and to Jared, Sarah, Cathy and Kevin for the finally meeting face to face (and not to mention the stuff, that Splatter Whore cd is fucking tits!).
It's going to be even better next year, I can feel it. ( PicturesCollapse )
|Sunday, May 17th, 2009|
This was a pretty big departure for our normal show rotation, as Paul, Manda and I went to Raleigh, NC to see the show at a place called the Volume 11 tavern. It ended being a much shorter trip than to the Jaxx, and the tickets actually cost quite a bit less there. I was really suprised with the place itself. It's located on the outside of the city in an industrial park, so you don't have to drive through horrible city traffic and it's pretty easy to find parking. The venue itself is very small, maybe a third of the size of the Jaxx if that. I thought that it would mean that it would be really fucking crowded, but the venue managed to be completely full without being too difficult to get around. It also ment that even in the back of the floor space you still got a really good veiw of the bands.
Epicurian opened, and dispite having an awesome name and great musicians, they still managed to suck dick hard, mostly due to them being metalcore and their singer sounding very homosexual at times.
Warbringer was awesome, even better than when I saw them with Finntroll. Like with most of the bands, I think the size of the venue infused them with a lot of energy, and their set was particularly violent. This is whenI relalised that there was crowd surf allowed, the first venue I've been to that did so and actually had enough people to make it happen often. Warbringer's new album comes out Tuesday, but they thankfully had it there last night, and I couldn't resist that Dan Seagrave cover on the LP. The album is quite an improvement on the last, where the band starts to develope a little more of their own personality, and is also played with a higher degree of musicianship.
Belphegor played their best set that I've seen them do in the now four times I've seen them. No major fuckups, the band seemed more into playing, good sound and the humor was a bit funnier and relevent. The set was short and consisted of Lucifer Incestus, a song from Goatreich-Fleshcult, two from Pestapokalypse and two or three from Bondage Goat Zombie, which sound a lot better live as one would expect. This made up for only sort of seeing half their set with Amon Amart from the back of the Jaxx.
Exodus was excellent, and Rob Dukes suprised me with how energetic and beligerant he was. A thrash metal band needs a front man with over the top energy if all of the rest of the band are stationary old guys. They played a good mix of old and new material, and put on quite a long set. The highlight was probably when Rob dukes helped Gary Holt play his guitar...
We only stayed for three Kreator songs out of what they said would be their 70 minute set. A bit a dissapointment, but Manda had to work this morning, and even when leaving early she probably only got a few hours of sleep.
|Friday, May 15th, 2009|
I finally walked and received my associates degree in Communication Design last night. I probably should have done so last year as I had the credits, but I waiting in vein to re-take one or two of the classes I did badly in to push my GPA over 3.0 (it's 2.98 now) and graduate with honors. I'll just have to do so at VCU...
More pictures soon.
|Wednesday, May 6th, 2009|
Things seem to be working out in may favor. I have my cap and gown now to graduate, which is happening next week! I'm pretty glad it's finally finished, and I can now look into going to VCU.
I was able to order a Maryland Deathfest ticket! I didn't think that I was going to be able to, as MDF was doing several things to try to increase capacity and where only re-offering Sat and Sun passes for a while, but every thing worked out. I think I have every thing planned out for how i'm going to get there, and it should be a weekend of heavy metal indulgence and hanging out with a lot of awesome friends!
|Tuesday, April 28th, 2009|
Finally done with helping my dad drive around 900 packages of bees from Georgia to Chatham, Va. I can't believe that I wasn't stung once the entire trip, even though my dad and Sam where stung several times and my father even had to go to the hospital from being stung on the jugular vein. I was finally stung for the first time this year this morning while feeding my own beehives with sugar water. Not too bad, if you can scratch the stinger out soon enough... They're barbed and tear out the bee's entrails with a nice big poison sack that continues to pump venom into your body.
One of the ways that my dad was supposed to pay me for all of this work (plus a bunch of warehouse work over the last 6 months or so) was sending me to the Maryland Deathfest this year. Of course, he waited too long to order my ticket, so they're sold out now. IF ANY ONE KNOWS WHERE I CAN GET A MARYLAND DEATHFEST TICKET
, let me know please. It's going to really, really suck if I can't go.
|Wednesday, April 1st, 2009|
Well, as some know the record label, Scatted to the Winds Productions, is up and running. It's quite an oppertunity for me, as the guy I'm working for, Andrew of Towards Global Holocaust, is providing the resources, while I am providing interaction between other labels and bands. I've been doing quite a bit of trading lately, which has been really cool and made me a lot of contacts with some awesome bands and labels. My cd collection is also building just from taking single copy of titles I trade for.
We have a single MCD from TGH out currently, which I've been trading, and Andrew is paying for a full studio recording of In Death I Become's new album, which is being done as we speak. I really think once we get IDIB's full length out we are going to attract a lot more attention and get a lot back financially.
We're also going to be putting out some merchandise for both bands (patches/stickers/t-shirts ect) which will be especially nice for IDIB, since they've been lacking in that department. I was going to handle the art/layout for every thing, but it seems that they are taking it apon themselves, so we'll see how that goes.
Right now I want to raise some funds for a couple of my own releases, namely a couple of 7" splits. I thought that 7" vinyl was within my resources to do some time soon, but it seems that it's a bit more expensive than I though, especially if you want to do anything of mid to high quality. So I'm probably looking at raising a grand or so for about 500 discs... which might be possible within the next 6 months if I can attract enough paid commissions. Might be easier if I didn't have the Maryland Deathfest and Adobe CS4 to worry about.
As far as art goes, things are going very well on a fairly small scale. I finished the Faustcoven LP work, which was a pretty big job. Well worth any work I put into it though, as they'll be released as beautiful gatefold DLP's with a bunch of extras, as well as having a very good designer (Annick of Morbid Tales zine fame) doing the layout design.
I have a couple more logos to do (re-doing the current label one which sucks balls) and then I'm off to work on the Ares Kingdom illustration exlusively until it's done. This band is one of the best bands I've worked for, and a personal favorite of mine.
Also, I got every thing worked out and it seems that I am indeed graduating this semester!
|Thursday, March 5th, 2009|
|SheVaCon and more
SheVaCon was a bit of a letdown this year. Very little gaming (although I tend to stay away from gaming with strangers) and much, much worse, most of the regular artists did not show. The exceptions where Malak and Daniel Trout, so I tried to run into them as much as possible. The only new artist that actually hung out was Cynthia Sheppard (www.sheppard-arts.com), who was arguably the best artist there, with her husband. Jaw dropping digital and oil paintings, and I guess we have a few mutual friends since she used to be in an industrial band (played a show with This Means You at some time).
Other than that I just hung out with my friends from Appomattox. Played games, went out to eat and got drunk. It was amusing seeing Kris drink almost an entire bottle of Sake, as he rarely drinks to excess. It was also funny that he was practicing Lent, but he was only specifically giving up sweets. I also spent WAY more money than I planned to, almost entirely on food and drink, but the weekend was about enjoying myself and it was worth it.
Yesterday I received a letter stating that I do not have all my required courses to graduate from CVCC. I'm very confused at this point, as the letter states that I have 66/69 credits, and my transcript states that I have 72. It also states that I need the class ART 140, which DOESN'T SEEM TO EXIST. I need to go into the school tomorrow and get this shit straightened out. I've waited far too long to graduate with an associate’s degree, and it's time to move on, NOW.
|Tuesday, February 24th, 2009|
|Monday, January 12th, 2009|
A bit late as usual, but I feel the need to do this.
2008 was a bit of a turbulant year for me. A lot of good and bad events transpired, but regardless of the positive or negative connotations to the series of events that made up this year it was a more intense year in general.
So here's some highlights of this year-
I went to see a lot of good bands, a lot more than I thought before I started to compile them all, including Rotting Christ, Behemoth, Immolation, Vader, Amon Amarth, Watain, At War, Finntroll and Belphegor twice, plus many more. I also know a lot more of the metal heads that frequent the main venues in Virginia, which makes shows a lot more enjoyable.
I set up two shows in Lynchburg, both of which turned out moderately well. It allowed me to watch and hang out with two of my favorite bands in Virginia- The Day of the Beast and Antietam. It also gave me a chance to see Lynchburg's only real extreme metal acts, IDIB and Serimortem, in shows that where geared only towards extreme metal, which was a first in Lynchburg. I am also now an official gig promoter and organizer as well as a band manager, although on a very, very small scale.
I actually got an album cover out world wide with Faustcoven. It is now in the hands of many, and the album is being hailed by many as one of the best from 2008, expecially within the old school extreme metal circle. I also completed several other commissions for t-shirts and logos, including for The Day of the Beast, Gravewurm and Withersoul. Momentum is building in my career. I had my first exprience with a commission that was turned down, however, which is a bit disheartening, but I still maintain a professional relationship with the band.
I started getting into beekeeping, some thing our family has been doing for years. Didn't do so well this year, mostly on account of the bear getting into our hives. Because of that I've been stung multiple times more than I have been in my life collectively, probably over a hundred times. I also now know that if you've been stung enough times at once your body reacts to the venom whether you are allergic or not, and that benedril sucks. I went out looking for the bear with a rifle for revenge (and very tasty meat) but had no luck.
I drank a lot, but probably not nearly as much as 2006-2007 while the Morgue was still operational. Still an abundance of hilarious and what should be embarrasing stories to tell.
Lost some friends due to their own choices, in particular one. Even though I believe I have a good understanding of people, better than most, they still shock me with their actions.
And finaly, I decided to leave the Wolves of Vinland. I didn't do so in the best fashion, as I was drunk, but I feel that it is better for me not to be a member. It started out as some thing I felt comfortable being a part of, and slowly turned into some thing that I can't relate to enough to be a part of. I still wish the WoV success, and very little has changed with my personal friendships with every one. I know now that I should not attempt to fit in with any religious or idealogical organizations from now on, or any organizations period.
With all that behind me I am now planning several goals for this year, including-
New artwork for Faustcoven's 1st album. Both albums will be re-release on double gatefold vinyl on what is probably the worlds best vinyl label, Nuclear War Now. The albums will also be released as die-hards, which will include patches, stickers and either picture discs or colored vinyl. The standard and die hard versions will each include a poster, so this is by far the best format for showing off my artwork.
Gathering funds for either my own small record label or starting one with Andrew from Towards Global Holocaust. My first releases planned are a proper In Death I Become t-shirt, a 7" slit between them and Withersoul and hopefully it will all lead up to releasing the new In Death I Become full length album.
Getting a part time job to help fund my asperations.
Losing at least 50 pounds.
Trip to Iceland, and maybe Germany.
|Friday, October 24th, 2008|
Show up to this! It's going to be an awesome time, with a ridiculous after party as usual. This is my second time setting up a show, and if this goes well, I hope to do another one (hopefully with Gravewurm) some time around January.
Hopefully I don't loose too many people to Horna.... although I might have tried to reschedule if any of the three bands I know some one from on this tour where playing the date in Virginia.