Originally written by old guard member Jordan Campbell.
Summer is boring.
Actually, scratch that. Here in the northern Midwest, summer is quite excellent; we pack an entire year’s worth of social activity into a four-month block. It’s madness by necessity, because for the majority of the year, going outside makes your skin hurt.
Not-so-coincidentally, these are lean times for heavy metal. Sure, bands are on tour, but for the homebound, the trickle of new releases is at a bit of a crawl. There’s been some gems from more prominent acts such as Boris and Pallbearer, but the promotional feed for upstarts and indies has slowed to a crawl. (And, as such, so has our posting rate.)
That’s not to say we couldn’t be trolling the depths for fresh metals that are being released without the assistance of the usual PR pimps, but if I’m being honest, I’ve been more enthralled with Jawbox and Born in the USA than discovering the 433rd “pretty good” death/black/thrash metal record of 2014.
But, lo! Two announcements have shattered the silence! The final slate of MDF 2015 announcements, and…the first glance at Blut Aus Nord‘s Memoria Vetusta III…?
• • •
A comprehensive breakdown of the final slate of bands announced for next year’s Maryland Deathfest can be found at Invisible Oranges, but lemme just say that there are some insaneselections here. Agoraphobic Nosebleed could be the greatest thing ever or a total shitshow. Bloodbath is gonna pull a few grand to play “Eaten” with some rando behind the mic. And Mantar is gonna rock harder than everything ever, ’cause two-piece bands are the new bacon.
But besides the Edison Lot nostalgia trip / panderfest (though Amorphis and Inverloch‘s retrospective sets are already a lock to trump the rickety-ass tag-team of Nocturnus and Cancerfrom last year), there is an insane amount of killer grind, punk, and powerviolence on tap. This is just part of the Soundstage stable:
Chainsaw to the Face
Flagitious Idiosyncrasy in the Dilapidation
Full of Hell
That’s some wild business, friends. The new Martydod is pure fire, that last Wolfbrigade record was their best since they ditched the ‘pack, and F.I.D is exponentially cooler than their name suggests (because Japan).
One of the more entertaining aspects of MDF is the people-watching, in which the predominant internal questions are variations of “I have a job, what am I doing here?” The Edison lot crew is largely comprised of scraggly heshers draped in colorful patchwork, salivating over Bolt Thrower’d boobs and sprinting from the portable johns to the stagefront with alarming unathleticism.
The Soundstage crew is the same, but different: The patches are white-on-black, probably pinned. Hair is carefully coiffed, jeans are carefully neglected, organic American Spirits are chain-smoked.
I’ll be with Team Haircut this year.
• • •
MEMORIA VETUSTA III
Since the high-profile 777 trilogy, Blut Aus Nord has been plunking around in the shadows, releasing a series of EPs, that, despite Debemur Morti’s loving care, seem almost tossed-off. There hasn’t been a BAN event in what seems like ages, but after years of hinting, Vindsval is about to correct that with Memoria Vetusta III.
Yes, the top prizefighting promoter in black metal is putting together another trilogy, and it’s one one everyone was clamoring to hear. Memoria Vetusta II is universally cited as a top BAN record, though it’s usually in conjunction with The Work that Transforms God, ’cause you can’t possibly state that a band’s hyper-melodic, more-accessible outlier is their best record.
Well, it is their best record. And the MV iteration of BAN is a treasure. This teaser clip is like a homecoming, comforting, cozy, and…clean?
Nice to hear you’ve waxed those pipes, V.