Michael Kadnar is a busy guy. As a musician, he spends his time drumming for NY/NJ experimental metal band Black Table, as well as German post-metal/black/neocrust unit Downfall of Gaia. He also runs a forward thinking boutique record label called Silent Pendulum Records, that already has a short string of solid releases under its belt. I spoke with Mike about balancing the duties of being in several bands on two different continents, pushing a label forward, booking a fest, and about the musical landscape as he sees it. The label’s latest release is a reissue of the s/t record from Australian band Hope Drone:
Our effect on the Earth has been, undoubtedly, a damaging one, and our actions will bring about our own destruction. These painful facts are what drive Locrian’s newest record, Infinite Dissolution. The Chicago/Baltimore-based experimentalists’ follow-up to the well-received Return to Annihilation, forces the listener to confront the harsh realities of our planet’s current state through its poignant lyricism and expansive soundscapes. The record is one of the more thought-provoking and forward-thinking releases of the year. American Aftermath caught up with the band to discuss the new album and the inevitable end of our species.
[photo by Jimmy Hubbard]
NJ quartet Sunrot identify themselves with the descriptor Compulsive Post Noise Power Sludge. In listening to the songs of the group’s recent split with fellow NJ crust apostles Inertia, I found that description to be weirdly accurate. Sunrot embrace the legacy of bands like Godflesh without being overt worshippers at the altar of typical industrial doom. There is a patina of grit and static overlaying every song, with vocalist Lex’s distorted shouts bringing to mind a lone survivor calling for help over the last functional radio frequency in some post-apocalyptic city. Samples and drones and harsh noise make appearances alongside thick walls of guitars and pounding low end throughout the band’s catalog, but the sound never gives way to the machine rhythms and clockwork precision of an industrial aesthetic. There is something refreshingly organic about Sunrot’s approach to noisy, crusty doom, and so I asked the band some questions about their sound and approach to heaviness.
The evolution of Tidemouth has been staggering, to say the least. The California quartet came into existence in 2008 and crafted an erratic, violent form of screamo. Fast-forward seven years later and the band have altered their sound in a surprising way that yields positive results. A screamo heart can still be found within this vessel of theirs, but the outer shell is now more in-line with goth and apocalyptic post-punk. It seems that with their new full-length, Velvet and Stone, Tidemouth have found their niche. American Aftermath recently caught up with guitarist Ryan Corbett do discuss the new album, the band’s beginnings and what’s to come.
NY/NJ Experimental metal band Black Table turned a lot of heads with the release of their first EP Sentinel in 2012. However, they have been seemingly dormant for nearly two years, after finishing up their last round of shows – a full US tour with Germany’s Downfall of Gaia, in fall of 2013. Despite outward appearances the group remained active, meticulously crafting a debut full length record intense and jagged enough to saw through your bones. The forthcoming work, entitled Obelisk is a testament to their painstaking attention to detail and ability to craft complex and dynamic sonic textures that few other bands are capable of. Today, they have released their first teaser for the album, in the form of a two minute long video featuring an excerpt of the track Cromagnon. We were fortunate to speak with vocalist and guitarist Mers Sumida about Obelisk, and the making of the video, which can be viewed here:
Syracuse, NY’s Bleak are set to release their debut full-length, We Deserve Our Failures, shortly through Hex Records. The album takes their violently heavy, despondent sound to a darker, more aggressive level and captures the chaotic, visceral fury that encompasses their brand of sludge-infused metallic hardcore. In this recent American Aftermath interview, the members of Bleak discuss We Deserve Our Failures, the band’s inception, their eluding sound and more. Continue reading
New York grind outfit Yesod is equal parts smart and scathing in their approach to heaviness. Their debut effort Divine Coma was released earlier this year and tears through seven tracks of vicious, gritty grindcore followed by a half hour of noise and abstraction over the course of its five additional offerings. We spoke with bassist/vocalist Tony about the band’s inception, mysticism, magic, and the themes of Divine Coma. Listen to the record here:
Alright, kiddos. You know I love my hardcore. There are tens of thousands of bands out there who play the genre and play it well, but one of my favorites has the dude I interviewed standing out front. Everything Went Black are a punishing, thundering band out of St. Louis and their music makes me want to bash faces into walls. In this interview, we talked about EWB‘s new EP Night Terrors, horror movies and a lot of real talk. Oh yeah, we are also premiering a new track off of Night Terrors! So check all of that out after the jump. Continue reading
Baltimore, MD’s Corpse Light have just released their latest EP Without Form. It is a dynamic set of songs that unfurls in an array of sonic textures over the course of about 30 minutes. It drones, swirls, crashes, and cascades in equal measure, gifting the listener with both primal heaviness and intelligent complexity. We were fortunate to be able to speak with Aurora and Larry from the band regarding the history of Corpse Light, and the process of making the EP, which you can listen to below.
How did Corpse Light come together, can we get a little history of the band up to this point?
Aurora: I’d originally placed an ad on Craigslist listing every obnoxiously obscure drone-y,
spaced out doom band I could think of as influences, believing that no one would bite. It felt
pretty significant to me that I was shortly thereafter contacted by Jim, who was at the time
playing in another band with Keiran and our former drummer Alex. We met up to see where
things might go, ended up clicking really well and formed our first incarnation, Ophidian, in late
2011; our name changed a couple of years later after we learned that there a number of other
similarly named bands, including a high-grossing musician out of the UK whose name popped up
everywhere on searches. Larry came in to replace Alex in spring of 2014, and after a work injury
left Jim unable to play guitar, Don joined us in late 2014.
Larry: I first saw the band as Ophidian back in late 2013. I was quite impressed with the sense of
atmosphere they created. A few months later I saw a Facebook post about how they needed a
drummer and we set up a jam session. A lot of stuff pretty much clicked immediately. I feel very
free to be myself as a musician with Aurora, Don, Keiran and Jim. I became an “official” member
of the band in May of 2014 and so far it has been quite a great year.
Corpse Light draw influences from all over the heavy music map, with little flourishes of
post-metal, crust, doom, sludge and stoner metal, but no one clear genre pigeonhole. Is this
purposeful or just a natural manifestation of combining the members’ individual
songwriting approaches and inclinations?
Aurora: I don’t think much of our sound is purposeful in the sense of being contrived; song-
writing has always been a really organic process for us, involving each of us in different ways at
different times, and I think the varied influences come through because of that. I really like that
you can’t pin us down in one genre – if there is any intention in my own approach to song writing,
it’s to prevent being stuck in one specific sound or direction. My biggest musical influences are
Neurosis, Bauhaus, and Cop Shoot Cop and I love being in a band where there is space to draw
on any/all of what moves me.
Larry: I am definitely a fan of all the genres that you have mentioned but what inspires me to be
involved is the vast array of influences as a unit and that is not always necessarily something
considered “heavy”. We always have conversations about new records, upcoming shows, etc. Our
tastes do not always agree but there is a ton of territory that we do agree upon. Neurosis is a band
that gets mentioned quite a bit. I cannot speak for everyone but they are a huge source of
inspiration for me. Chelsea Wolfe, King Woman, Terra Tenebrosa, Cult of Luna, Youth Code and
many other things heavy on the atmosphere are getting listens from me currently. I would say the
end result for me is very purposeful. It starts naturally and I try to capture that in a focused
manner. A few of these songs were already written when I joined the band and it took quite a bit
of thought to find where I really wanted to go.
Without Form comes across as a cohesive set of songs despite covering a lot of ground
sonically. Is there one main theme, musically/lyrically governing the songs on this EP?
Aurora: Corpse Light refers to the energy/light/spirit/whatever you want to call that which
emanates from bodies after death; I feel like that concept is found a lot in our music, both
thematically and energetically.
I feel like every band has some specific set of environmental factors that help shape their
sound and aesthetic; for some its a strong sense of place, where a rural or urban setting can
make its presence felt in the stylistic elements of the music, for example. For Corpse Light,
is that a thing? If so, how does your home setting manifest itself in the music?
Aurora: I feel like my internal environment informs my writing more than my external
Larry: I am an hour away from the Baltimore/DC area. I think growing up in a small town where
there is not a lot to do, music became everything to me. I have spent countless hours absorbing
records and finding things about them that inspire me. I am drawn to pretty simplistic, textural,
melodic music and I feel that is definitely apparent as an influence.
You recorded the EP with Noel from Grimoire Records, and they are also releasing the
album on cassette/cd, correct? How did that come to be, and what was the process like?
Aurora: We’d had a couple of failed recording attempts in the past and were feeling pretty down
on the idea of having someone else come in and mess with our sound, but working with Noel has
been a pleasure. He came into our space and let us do our thing rather than falsely orchestrating
separate and disconnected performances; I feel like he managed to bring out each of our subtleties
while still maintaining the overall integrity of the music. I’m stoked to have our music on CD,
though we’re also really hoping to find someone to help us put Without Form out on vinyl…
Larry: Yes. The record is available on cassette, cd and you can download it as well. I would say
working with Noel is pretty much the ideal situation if you are a working musician. It was so easy
going and comfortable. I recorded my drums at home; it does not get any more comfortable than
that. I have never been so pleased with a drum sound. The production overall is just top notch.
Very crisp and lively sounding. I would work with him again without hesitation.
What are your plans for this release; is it a prologue to a full length release in the near
future? Are there any tours in the works?
Larry: Personally, I think we all would like to see the record released on vinyl. It would be cool to
get a variety of formats covered. We have started working on new ideas and it is really hard to
say exactly where that is gonna go. A tour would be great but nothing is currently set up. We do
have some really cool shows coming up though.
Wednesday, June 3rd 2015
Corpse Light, Asthma Castle, Jucifer
Metro Gallery Baltimore, MD
Friday, June 12th 2015
Heavy Temple, Stones Throw, Corpse Light, Oak
Del-Mar Inn Hagerstown, MD
Saturday, June 13th 2015
Horehound, CANT, Corpse Light, Oak
The Smiling Moose Pittsburgh, PA
Friday, July 17th 2015
Ratscape featuring Curse, Elagabalus, Corpse Light and many others
Hour Haus Baltimore, MD
The Baltimore/DC area (if I may lump them into one scene) seems to have some great heavy
bands active at the moment. What’s your perspective on shows there, and what are some
highlights in the area for you guys, band/show wise?
Larry: The shows in the Baltimore/DC area always feel really great. I am lucky enough to have
many friends in the area who are passionate about their work. The biggest highlight so far would
be putting out a record. Noel and Phil at Grimoire Records are truly unique in their approach to
releasing music. We are a part of a really cool roster of bands including Dweller in the Valley,
RHIN, Foehammer and Dendritic Arbor to just name a few. The Mid-Atlantic in general has great
energy right now.
Aurora: I’m really proud to be part of the Baltimore scene – there is almost always something, if
not several somethings, going on at one of many venues on any day of the week.
Thank you to Larry and Aurora for their time. Corpse Light’s new EP Without Form is out
now via Grimoire Records and is available for purchase at:
Recently I was introduced to a new band with some familiar faces. Those faces belonged to Bo and Chris from the band Harm’s Way, whom I adore. This time around, these dudes came in the form of Wolfnote, a rad new band with a completely new sound for these guys. I reviewed the bands debut EP recently (see here) and I wasted no time to hit up Bo Leuders, vocalist and guitarist of Wolfnote and got down to the nitty. Check out my full interview after the jump where we talk about the band, Bo’s IMDB profile and more. Continue reading
Salt Lake City, UT project Team Dead have released their stellar debut EP, titled Whale Bones and Tin Foil, today (April 21). Featuring guitarist Chris Clement (ex-Gaza, Bird Eater, Day of Less, Pilot This Plane Down), the band offer up a jarring maelstrom of sludge-infused hardcore/mathcore, combining dissonant tones and angular guitar work with super heavy rhythms and bleak vibes. In this American Aftermath interview, Clement discusses Team Dead’s inception, the making of Whale Bones and Tin Foil, the EP’s stunning artwork and more. Continue reading
Criminally underrated yet undeniably influential, Philadelphia’s metal legends Starkweather have maintained a quiet pulse within the community. While releases have been infrequent over the years, each one has pushed the envelope further and tested the boundaries of heavy music. But it looks as if the collective will emerge from their “hibernation” with a slew of new releases that will undoubtedly further solidify their place as some of metal’s most forward-thinkers. First, Translation Loss will unleash a remastered double-disc package containing the group’s first two releases, Crossbearer and Into the Wire. These two releases have made huge impacts on a number of bands, most notably Converge. On April 21, the release will be available to long-time fans and will hopefully grab the attention of potential new ones. Second, Starkweather have announced plans to release not one, but two new full-lengths. These albums will follow their 2010 full-length This Sheltering Night and their 2013 split with Overmars. American Aftermath was able to track down frontman Rennie Resmini to gain a little bit more insight into the upcoming remaster and new albums, as well as the inner workings of the band itself.
[Photo by Fred Pessaro]
Today (March 3), Dallas, TX quintet Kaliya release their new self-titled record, following years of on-and-off activity. The album was recorded by Garry Brents (Cara Neir) and mastered by Proscriptor of Absu, and showcases the band’s dark and intense grind-infused, Swedish death metal influenced sound. In this interview with American Aftermath, guitarists Ben Cooper and Thomas Booe discuss the album and how it represents a new beginning for Kaliya, as well as how the band has evolved over the years, their Scandinavian influences and more. Continue reading
Lifeless are a band out of New Jersey specializing in bleak, heavy as shit, memorable metallic hardcore. I first heard of the band through a b9 hate thread criticizing their excessively violent shows and fans. Being a fan of ignorant shit live and on record, I knew instantly that they were going to be at best, one of my favorite bands and at worst, at least an enjoyable listen. They quickly settled into the former category and I finally had the chance to see them live at last year’s This Is Hardcore Festival wherein news was ruminating of a new LP. That LP, DREAM, is now in sight, set for the release date of March 24th on Fast Break! Records. I had the chance to speak with frontman Jeremy Tingle about the new record, DIY tour horror stories, chilling with Fury Of Five, the time rumors spread that Jeremy had been beaten to death with his own torn off leg, our mutual interests in DOOM and The X-Files and lots more. Check it all out along with an exclusive premiere of the band’s new single “Surrender” below, follow Lifeless on Facebook here and pre-order DREAM via Fast Break! Records here.
Toronto, ON’s Six of Swords are set to release their debut EP, Polar Vortex, on February 23 through Sorrow Carrier Records. It’s an exceptionally solid release, anchored with brutality, harsh intensity and bleak atmosphere, showcasing the band’s take on modern death metal, which fuses their classic influences with elements of doom, sludge and hardcore. Guitarist Steve Parkhill and vocalist Josh Gordon recently caught up with American Aftermath to discuss the EP and how Six of Swords have evolved over the past few years, as well as the impact of having straightedge members in the band, and more. Continue reading