Archive for black breath

Neurosis Redux

Posted in Articles with tags , , , , , on January 7, 2013 by Magadh

Owing to technical difficulties,  as well as Washington’s cannabis laws, the footage and review of Neurosis/Tragedy/Blackbreath/Stoneburner from January 5th at Seattle’s Showbox is irretrievable. Suffice to say the line up was mind blowing and nobody feels worse about the loss than me. That said, I did want to address some of the nonsense directed a Neurosis from sections of the local chattering class.

Let me preface the rest of this piece by saying that nobody will accuse me of being  a shameless Neurosis fan boy. Prior to receiving a copy of Honor Found in Decay (an excellent record by the way) from a friend the last Neurosis album I purchased was Enemy of the Sun. I’ve found their more recent material to be most compelling live, so I haven’t made the effort to augment my collection. Still, they’ve always been a band I have tremendous respect for.

My respect for the band is why the misguided ramblings of a few local types can’t be allowed to go unanswered. Specifically, the notion that the band is “out of ideas”, “cashing in with this tour” and “not challenging audiences, just playing what people want”. Where to begin addressing this idiocy?

Firstly, Scott Kelly, Jason Roeder, Dave Edwardson and Noah Landis all spent time living in the New Method Warehouse located in Emeryville. New Method was dirty, bleak, tough, DIY and empowering. Neurosis has embodied those traits throughout its existence. The bands added to the bill for the Seattle Show, Black Breath, Tragedy and Stoneburner, certainly confirm the band remembers its roots. Kelly was quoted as saying that Neurosis is fundamentally based in Black Sabbath and Black Flag. The bands chosen to share the stage with them confirm they are not alone. Further, the evening’s lineup, and indeed the lineups throughout the tour, reflects a strong commitment to supporting the DIY community. In addition, if cashing in is reflected in an 8 show US tour, they seem to be doing things wrong.

Addressing the idea that the band is just, in essence, playing the hits I present the set list from January 5th.

  1. Eye
  2. My Heart for Deliverance
  3. At the End of the Road
  4. Times of Grace
  5. Distill
  6. At the Well
  7. Left to Wander
  8. We All Rage in Gold
  9. Bleeding the Pigs
  10. Given to the Rising
  11. Locust Star

A plurality of tracks were culled from Honor Found in Decay, with the rest drawn from The Eye of Every Storm, Through Silver in Blood, Given to the Rising and Times of Grace. This certainly doesn’t speak to a band pandering to its audience. Rather, the set list is well curated with each track flowing into the other as the band builds to the amazing “Locust Star”. 

Finally, the band’s willingness to part ways with Josh Graham and the visual experience is laudable. I’ve seen the band on the Word as Law, without visuals, as well as during the evolution of the projections from film to digital elements. The visual elements were extremely well selected, enhanced the live performance and became as exulated as the band’s music. This is why I find their decision to strip them away commendable. A band content with the status qua does not make that sort of decision

I’d like to leave you with footage from the show. The band is performing “At the Well” and the power of the performance does more to rebut the nattering of the perpetually discontent  than all of the preceding text.

– Captain of Games

Black Breath, Rabid Hands and Old Iron

Posted in Dispatches, News and Notes with tags , , , , , , , on August 21, 2012 by Magadh

The Seattle Tattoo Expo itself was a bit disappointing (the state of Washington decided they would make up some of the budget shortfall on the back of tattooers) but the events surrounding it were fantastic.

The first day of the Expo ended with a party hosted by the fine people at Super Genius Tattoo. The copious amounts of free whiskey were much appreciated by the boys from Analog and Fulcrum, to say nothing of the excellent company and fantastic artwork on show.

Sufficiently lubricated, it was over to Neumos to see the mighty Black Breath! Even though I’ve seen them several times I was still smarting from missing Southern Lord’s Sound and the Fury showcase in June. As always, they destroyed! Their special brand of Dis-tombed and Slay-charge never disappoints. In addition, they are always appreciative of the audience and openers. Solid dudes and an epic band!

Saturday was a bit more sedate, mostly due to our hangovers. We took in the Tekla Cafe in North Bend, WA which is also the home of Twin Peaks Cherry Pie. It was good little road trip with amazing scenery. The evening saw us down at Under the Needle for a great art show and amazing grub.

 

 

Sunday ended the affair and I was sad to see Jim and Demian hit the road. However, it did provide me a chance to delve into Old Iron, a local metal act featuring amazing tattooers Jerad Shealey (Rabid Hands) and Jesse Roberts (Lucky Devil). They are heading on the road in the next couple weeks, be sure to check them out.

Jerad also put this on me

 

-Captain of Games

Heavy Metal Book Club

Posted in Dispatches with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2012 by Magadh

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Once a month, we sally forth from the bunker and commune with a group of like-minded souls. Our order of the day is sharing songs of the resistance, hymns to the dark powers, and droned invocations of a dark apocalypse.

The playlist from last night’s Heavy Metal Book Club is below. We encourage you to organize one in your town.

Azaghal “Hail the Whore”

Hail Spirit Noir “Pneuma”

1349 “Strike of the Beast (Exodus cover)”

Conan “Satsumo”

Mares of Thrace “The Gallwasp”

Early Graves “Wraiths”

Urgehal “The Necessity of Total Genocide”

Ghost “Ritual”

Pallbearer “An Offering of Grief”

Black Breath “Feast of the Damned”

Misantropic “Man Into Beast”

Nile “Utterances of the Crawling Dead”

Big Business “Easter Romantic”

Anhedonist “Carne liberatus”

High on Fire “How Dark We Pray”

Candlemass “Destroyer”

– Captain of Games

Review: Black Breath

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , on May 23, 2012 by Magadh

Black Breath Sentenced to Life Southern Lord

I have moved around a lot since the year 2000, and I have two major regrets. The first is that I left Portland, Oregon several months before From Ashes Rise moved there. As it was, I never managed to see them, which rankles. The other regret that I have is moving out of Seattle, for a lot of reasons really, but most prominently because I managed to leave town right before Black Breath came on the scene. Sure, they’d been around since 2005 (I left town in 2008) but who really pays attention to what’s going on in Bellingham? Well, not me at any rate.

Since their first EP Razor to Oblivion 2008, Black Breath have gone from strength to strength. Their approach has been consistent and pretty straight forward: up tempo deathmetal along lines similar to early Entombed. True, Black Breath never quite gets the really ripping guitar sounds of Left Hand Path era Entombed, but one would be hard pressed to name anyone who does. This is not to say that Black Breath can be numbered among the legions of Entombed imitators. They create a style that is all their own, both musically and lyrically. The riff structure their songs bespeaks the influence of the metal tinged hardcore and crust of the 1980s and 1990s, particularly in its West Coast incarnations. There is a lot to like here from a pure, headbanging perspective. Chugging guitars thrash along over thudding double bass and the vocals have a tortured quality without descending into incomprehensible guttural gurgling.

Sentenced to Life is the band’s third release with Southern Lord. When the Captain and I first discussed it, his comment was “more Slayer, less Entombed.” He definitely has a point here. Listeners will notice this right from the off. The opening grind on “Feast of the Damned” recalls Hell Awaits, although it is more compact and doesn’t quite descend to the same dark depths. The similarities continue when the song kicks into gear. Once again, this is a matter of positively taking up influences rather than slavish imitation. As the disc continues, the familiar crust influences come to the fore again. It doesn’t seem like there is quite as much single string riffing on Sentenced to Life as on previous releases, although it is by no means absent. The heavier reliance on chordal riffing adds weight to the songs. What certainly has not changed from previous efforts is Neil McAdams’s vocal style, which is still desperate, angry, and vicious.

In this correspondent’s humble opinion, the world needs more Slayer loving hair farmers and these guys fill that bill to a tee. For fans of blistering thrash this disc will be meat and drink.

Magadh