Against The Grain

Against The Grain: Ether Coven

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The many sub-genres of rock and heavy music have given us some pretty awesome bands over the years. When a band begins to draw from different areas of influence and inspiration, the end results can often be refreshing. A couple weeks ago, my attention was drawn to a band that has combined bits and pieces of bands like Neurosis and Swans along with a bit of a Type O Negative vibe and that band is called Ether Coven. The bands new album, Everything Is Temporary Except Suffering, is one hell of a way to start off 2020. It’s got all the elements of the bands I mentioned above along with some other surprises thrown in making it quite a very interesting and thought provoking listening experience. Ether Coven is the type of band that can make those “epic” style songs, along with some straight up heavy and doom laden material, which helps to create a sonic diversity in what they do. Plus having their album being produced by Erik Rutan (Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel and so many more) has really packed quite a punch to make sure the end result is pristine. So, break out of your norm, and check out Ether Coven!

 

Ether Coven- Everything Is Temporart Except Suffering:

 

 

 

The Fort Lauderdale natives recently signed to Century Media Records after A&R vet, Michael Alago (signed Metallica and White Zombie) notified Century Media of the band. Born from the ashes of vocalist/guitarist Peter Kowlasky’s (vocals and guitar) former (and occasionally still active) band, Remembering Never, Ether Coven marry the dissonant sounds of Neurosis and Swans, the sumptuous gloom of Type O Negative and the riffing of their home state’s death metal heritage. Helmed by a creative core of Kowalsky and Devin Estep (vocals, guitar), the band has spent the past three years touring clubs and DIY venues across the Eastern seaboard and Canada, performing alongside the likes of The Body, EyehategodCro-Mags and Torche. Now the band is ready to release their new album Everything Is Temporary Except Suffering, which was recorded, mixed and produced by Erik Rutan (Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Goatwhore) with additional mastering done by Alan Douches (Cradle of Filth, Motorhead) at West West Side.

Against The Grain: Vitriol

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Death metal is a very interesting sub-genre. It’s never easy to get into but, when you really sit and listen to some of the bands from that genre, you can hear some pretty amazing things. There is a real technical aspect to playing like that be it guitar, bass, drums or even “singing.” There is a band that is about to release their debut album that has really made me pay attention to the genre. I’d like to introduce you to Vitriol. This trio based out of Portland, Oregon, have made a record that is as explosive and ferocious as something that a band like Morbid Angel might release. The technical veracity that this band plays with along with the neck breaking savagery that is emitted while listening will have you wanting to listen again for the little things that you might have missed. The band which features Kyle Rasmussen (vocals/guitars), Adam Roethlisberger (vocals/bass) and Scott Walker (drums) proved on their 2017 EP “Pain Will Define Their Death” that they are not a band to miss. Their debit album “To Bathe from the Throat of Cowardice” (out Sept 6) is one of the most brutal and heaviest albums I’ve heard all year. I have a feeling that Vitriol will be a name many in the extreme metal circles will be talking about for a long time.

Vitriol- Crowned In Retaliation:

 

Vitriol- Pain Will Define Their Death:

 

 

 

Against The Grain: Destrage

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I love when bands combine genres and the end result is something that kicks ass. Not a lot of bands are able to pull it off especially when mixing progressive music with extreme metal but, Italy’s Destrage have become masters at it. The band formed in 2002 and have been making a name for themselves in the underground since their 2007 debut album Urban Being. The follow up The King Is Fat n Old further cemented Destrage as a force within the metal community. Their 2014 album Are You Kidding Me No was my first introduction to the band and from that point I’ve been hooked. This album saw the band really define their sound and take the heavy up a few notches while at the same time adding a bit of melody to separate themselves from the pack. The most recent album A Means To No End builds on what their previous album started. Destrage are bold and pummeling without losing their focus on the music. Do yourself a favor and delve into this great band.

 

A Means To No End:

 

Are You Kidding Me, No:

 
The King Is Fat N Old:

 

 

Urban Being:

Against The Grain: God Mother

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There is a new force to be reckoned with in the extreme music circles. Hailing from Sweden, God Mother is here to leave you with a severe case of whiplash and change your perception of heavy music. God Mother was founded in 2012 Michael Dahlström (drums), Daniel Noring (bass) and Jonatan Lindgren (guitar). When they formed the band, they sought to combine their influences form hardcore, metal, grindcore and sludge. Until the addition of Sebastian Campbell (vocals) in 2013, drummer Michael Dahlström was the bands vocalist. God Mother have released 2 EP’s and one full length album (so far), that are a very take no prisoners heavy approach to what they do. Most recently though, while The Dillinger Escape Plan was touring through Sweden, they handpicked God Mother to be their support band for those shows. Then when it came time for South By Southwest, Dillinger guitarist Ben Weinman invited the band to be a part of his Party Smasher showcase at the event.

Now, God Mother are gearing up to unleash the fury that is their upcoming album Vilseledd. I’ve had the opportunity to hear this album and it is absolutely crushing and heavy in all the right places. You can just tell from the couple songs they’ve released that God Mother are here and are taking over. Even Ben Weinman has said “God Mother is an undeniable force majeure that demands attention like bands did in the old days, by just being that f—king good. Torch, officially passed!”

So do yourselves a favor and check out God Mother and all they bring to the table. Your ears and your CD/Record/Digital collection will thank you!

 

God Mother- Weak:

 

God Mother- By The Millions:

 

God Mother- De Ovälkomna:

 

God Mother- Tar Mirror:

 

God Mother- Between Voids:

 

God Mother- Maktbehov:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Against The Grain: Shroud Of The Heretic

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When I listen to heavy/extreme music one of the things that really gets my attention are the lyrics and rhythms. There is something truly hypnotic about a pummeling drum beat that hits you the right way. It’s as though that beat puts you in “the zone” and allows the listener to become engrossed by the waves of music coming at you. There is a band from Portland, Oregon called Shroud Of The Heretic that combines the ferociousness of death metal and the subtle undertones of doom metal. The lyrics touch on different topics such as mythology, the elements, and mysticism, providing an extra layer of darkness to their already heavy tones. The rhythm section of vocalist/bassist Thom and drummer Lauren is bursting with thunder and drive that makes you feel the intensity that is walloping in your ears. Their most recent album Unorthodox Equilibrium is a profound statement on where you can take death metal. Portland has quite the band on their hands with Shroud Of The Heretic. Take a closer look at this band!

 

Shroud Of The Heretic- Unorthodox Equilibrium:

Against The Grain: Cult Leader

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A few months ago when The Dillinger Escape Plan came through town on their recent tour, they brought with them Cult Leader as an opener. I had really been looking forward to seeing them. After listening to their latest album Lightless Walk, I knew I was going to be in for a treat. Needless to say, their performance left me in awe, and inspired. Cult Leader is the type of band that will steal the show, and leave the audience in a state of astonishment.

Formed in 2013, following the break up of their former band Gaza, Anthony Lucero, Casey Hansen, and Mike Mason decided to continue to make music together. They then recruited Sam Richards to join them. After spending time working on new music and releasing two EP’s, Nothing For Us Here and Useless Animal, it was time for the band to begin work on their first full length. Lightless Walk was produced by Converge’s Kurt Ballou. The album is a righteous slab of metal, hardcore and punk with bits of ambiance properly placed to give the songs the proper dynamics they need to be powerful. With songs like “Great I Am,” The Sorrower,” “A Good Life,” “How Deep It Runs,” and “Lifeless Walk,” it’s no wonder that Cult Leader has become one of the best bands in the genre of heavy music. Their live performances are intense, aggressive and hypnotic. I highly recommend seeing Cult Leader when they come though your town.

Take a moment and expand upon your musical palate… Listen to Cult Leader!!!

Cult Leader- Lightless Walk:

Cult Leader- Live (10/30/16 @ The Regent Theater with The Dillinger Escape Plan):

 

Against The Grain: Scour

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There are certain genres of heavy music that most people just don’t get. In fact most people would give you “the look” if they heard what you were listening to. One of the best things about being into heavy music is the matter of not caring what people think about what you listen to. Which brings me to Scour. This band is a “supergroup” consisting of Philip H. Anselmo (Pantera, Down, Superjoint, etc) – vocals, Derek Engemann (CATTLE DECAPITATION) -Guitar, Chase Fraser (ANIMOSITY) – Guitar, John Jarvis (PIG DESTROYER) – Bass, and Jesse Schobel (STRONG INTENTION) – Drums. Their debut E.P. sounds nothing like their main projects. Their sound can be derived from influences of the  ’90s Scandinavian black metal movement. The six songs that appear on the E.P. are nothing short of heavy, dark, and pummeling. The songs “Dispatched,” “Clot,” “Codes,” and “Tear Gas,” all exemplify what modern day black metal with a bit of thrash should sound like.

For all his faults and tendencies to put his foot in his mouth, Philip Anselmo, has delivered one of his best vocal performances on an album in some time. His ferocious growls and screams are right in line with how black metal vocals should sound. Musically this band is top notch. I for one would love to see them have time to really work together and create a full length album.

So if you are looking for something different and heavy, then Scour is what you need.

 

Scour- The Grey EP: