Tag: Chelsea Wolfe

Live Footage: Acclaimed Post-Rock Trio BRUTUS Performs “Sugar Dragon” at Handelsbeurs — Ghent, Belgium

Over the course of this year, I’ve written quite a bit about the Leuven, Belgium-based post-rock trio BRUTUS, and as you may recall, with the release of their full-length debut, 2017’s Burst, the Belgian trio, comprised of Stefanie Mannaerts (drums, vocals), Stijn Vanhoegaerden (guitar) and Peter Mulders (bass) quickly developed a national and international presence, despite the fact that they’ve achieved it with a sound shaped by necessity: Mannaerts adopted vocal duties because no one else would. Since Burst’s release, they’ve toured with JOVM mainstay Chelsea Wolfe, Thrice, Russian Circles, and played the major heavy EU festivals. Adding to a growing profile, Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich has proudly championed the Belgian trio.

Their Jesse Gander-produced sophomore album Nest was released earlier this year through Sargent House Records. And while the album finds the band making a concerted effort to write tight songs with an expanded sound, the album also finds the band’s Mannaerts fully embracing her dual roles as vocalist and drummer.  Thematically speaking, the material focuses on the path the trio have taken together to get to the euphoric highs of achieving a lifelong dream.But there’s underlying moments of deep, introspection, in which they all consider the individual choices they’ve made to get there — and the impact those choices had on their loved ones, and those who they’ve left behind.  And as a result, the material possesses a strangely uncomfortable yet necessary friction between wanting to continue their forward progression and a desire to maintain and cherish those connections to all that they love at home. But is that possible when you’ve taken such enormous risks to achieve something extraordinary? And when the things you’ve seen, done and experienced have become so different than those of your peers, can you keep that connection?

I previously wrote about three  album singles: “War,” a track that alternated between dreamy and ruminative showcase and aggressive and forceful thrash metal, with enormous, arena rock friendly hooks; “Cemetery,” a track that found the band effortlessly riding doom metal, thrash metal, shoegaze, hardcore punk and stoner rock; and the concise and force “Django.”  “Sugar Dragon,” Nest’s latest single continues a run of material that manages to simultaneously be intimate and deeply introspective and explosively cathartic; painterly and gorgeous shoegaze that feels like a painter’s brushstrokes across the canvas and pummeling metal with fiery guitar pyrotechnics. And much like its predecessors, the song captures the bleak and raw ache of taking stock of oneself and their lives — completely alone. 

New Audio: BRUTUS’ Forceful and Anthemic “Django”

With the release of their full-length debut, 2017’s Burst, the Leuven, Belgium-based post-rock trio BRUTUS, comprised of Stefanie Mannaerts (drums, vocals), Stijn Vanhoegaerden (guitar) and Peter Mulders (bass) quickly received a national and international presence — and since their full-length debut’s release, they’ve toured with JOVM mainstay Chelsea Wolfe, Thrice, Russian Circles, and played the major heavy EU festivals. Adding to a growing profile, Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich has proudly championed the Belgian trio. And interestingly enough, they’ve achieved this with a sound that was initially shaped by necessity — with Mannaerts adopting vocal duties because no one else would. 

The Leuven-based post-rock trio’s highly anticipated Jesse Gander-produced sophomore album Nest is slated for release later this week through Sargent House Records and the album’s material finds Mannaerts fully embracing her dual roles as vocalist and drummer and while the album’s material reveals the full range of her talents, the band has made a concerted effort to write tight songs with an expanded sound. Thematically speaking, the material focuses on the path the trio have taken together to get to the euphoric highs of achieving a lifelong dream; but there’s underlying moments of deep, introspection, in which they all consider the individual choices they’ve made to get there — and the impact those choices had on their loved ones, and those who they’ve left behind.  And as a result, the material possesses a strangely uncomfortable yet necessary friction between wanting to continue their forward progression and a desire to maintain and cherish those connections to all that they love at home. But is that possible when you’ve taken such enormous risks to achieve something extraordinary. And when the things you’ve seen, done and experienced have become so different than those of your peers, can you keep that connection?

Earlier this year, I wrote about, the expansive “War,” a track that alternated between dreamy and ruminative showcase and aggressive and forceful thrash metal, with enormous, arena rock friendly hooks and even larger power chords. Possessing a painterly quality in which the song’s musical layers are much like brushstrokes adding detail and texture to the canvas, the song evokes the raw ache of isolation and the bleakness of taking stock of oneself — completely alone. “Cemetery,” Nest‘s second and single effortlessly bridged doom metal, thrash metal, shoegaze, hardcore punk and stoner rock with an arrangement featuring thunderous drumming, blistering and enormous power chords, and Mannaerts howled vocals. “Django,” Nest’s third and latest single will further cement the Belgian trio’s reputation for crafting a huge, arena rock-like sound, as the track is centered around Mannaerts thunderous drumming, Vanhoegaerden’s towing power chords and Mulder’s rumbling low end — but the song may arguably be the most concise and forceful song on the album. 

New Video: BRUTUS Releases Hallucinogenic and Uneasy Visuals for Blistering Album Track “Cemetery”

With the release of their full-length debut, 2017’s Burst, the Leuven, Belgium-based post-rock trio BRUTUS, comprised of Stefanie Mannaerts (drums, vocals), Stijn Vanhoegaerden (guitar) and Peter Mulders (bass) quickly received a national and international presence — and since their full-length debut’s release, they’ve toured with JOVM mainstay Chelsea Wolfe, Thrice, Russian Circles, and played the major heavy EU festivals. Along with that Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich has championed them. And they’ve managed to do so with a sound that was initially shaped by necessity — in particular, Mannaerts adopted vocal duties because no one else would. 

Now, as you may recall, the Belgian post-rock trio’s highly-anticipated, Jesse Gander-produced sophomore album Nest is slated for a March 29, 2019 release through Sargent House Records. Their sophomore effort reportedly finds Mannaerts fully embracing her dual roles as vocalist and drummer, with the album’s material revealing the full range of her talents — while the band has made a concerted effort to write incredibly tight songs with an expanded approach and sound. Thematically, the album focuses on the path they’ve all taken together, including the euphoric highs of achieving a lifelong dream and attaining success; but there’s underlying moments of reflection in which they all consider the choices they’ve made to pursue their dreams, and the impact those particular choices had on those who they eventually had to leave behind. And as a result, the material possesses a strange yet necessary friction between their forward momentum and their desire to maintain connections to those they love back home. But there are much larger questions to ask: is that possible, when you’ve taken such enormous risks to get where you are right now? And when the things you’ve seen, done and experienced have become so different than those of your peers, can keep that connection? Is it as important and necessary as you may think? 

Earlier this year, I wrote about, the expansive “War,” a track that alternated between dreamy and ruminative showcase and aggressive and forceful thrash metal, with enormous, arena rock friendly hooks and even larger power chords. Possessing a painterly quality in which the song’s musical layers are much like brushstrokes adding detail and texture to the canvas, the song evokes the raw ache of isolation and the bleakness of taking stock of oneself — completely alone. “Cemetery, Nest’s second and latest single is centered around a sound that effortlessly bridges doom metal, thrash metal, shoegaze, hardcore punk and stoner rock with an arrangement featuring thunderous drumming, blistering and enormous power chords, and Mannaerts howled vocals. And while bearing a resemblance to its immediate predecessor, the song possesses a feral and unhinged immediacy. 

.Directed by Mitch Wells, the recently released video stars Jarrett Sleeper, who expressively stomps, struts, dances and howls about to the song — with Sleeper looking as though he were under the influence of hallucinogens

Live Footage: Up-and-Coming Belgian Post-Rock Act BRUTUS Performs “War” at Rain City

With the release of their full-length debut, 2017’s Burst, the Leuven, Belgium-based post-rock trio BRUTUS, comprised of Stefanie Mannaerts (drums, vocals), Stijn Vanhoegaerden (guitar) and Peter Mulders (bass) quickly received a national and international presence — and since their full-length debut’s release, they’ve toured with JOVM mainstay Chelsea Wolfe, Thrice, Russian Circles, played the major heavy EU festivals. Along with that Metallica’s Lars Ulrich has championed them. 

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the Belgian post-rock trio’s Jesse Gander-produced sophomore album Nest is slated for a March 29, 2019 release through Sargent House Records. Interestingly, the members of the band will openly admit that the formative sound of the band was shaped by necessity: Mannaerts adopted vocal duties initially because no one else would. But with Nest, Mannaerts reportedly fully embraces her role as vocalist and drummer, with the album’s material revealing the full range of her talents  while the band as a whole has expanded upon and tightened their sound and approach. Thematically, the album focuses on the path they’ve taken — the euphoric highs of achieving a lifelong dream and success; but underlying all of that are moments of reflection, in which they all consider the choices they’ve made to pursue their dreams, and the impact those choices had on those, who they had to leave behind. The material focuses on the strange yet necessary friction between the band’s forward momentum and their desire to maintain connections to those back at home. But are such things possible when the things you’ve experienced, the things you’ve seen and done have become so different than those of your peers — and when you’ve taken such enormous risks to get to where you are at this moment? 

Clocking in at a little under 5 minutes and centered by Mannaerts’ expressive and emotional falsetto, Nest’s first single is the expansive “War,” a track that alternates between dreamy and ruminative shoegaze, aggressive and forceful thrash metal, complete with enormous arena filling hooks and even more massive power chords. Sonically, the song has an underlying painterly quality — with the song’s layers feeling like brushstrokes adding detail on the canvas; however, the track evokes the raw ache of isolation and the bleakness of taking stock of oneself — fully alone. 

The live footage captures the band perfuming “War” at Rain City and it captures the unique bond the musicians have while evoking the song’s raw and heartfelt emotions. 

 

Currently comprised of primary songwriting and founding duo Laura Fisher (vocals) and Jeremy Marx (guitar), along with Jonathan Arcenueax (drums), who has played with Toonces, Julie Odell and Debuache; and Devin Kerrigan (bass), who has played with Toonces, Bionica, Gravity A, the New Orleans-based indie rock act Tranche have developed a reputation locally and regionally for a sound that meshes elements of dream pop, shoegaze and grunge in a way that’s dark and moody yet familiar. In fact, their anthemic, mid-tempo “Wishing on the Water” brings to mind Concrete Blonde, JOVM mainstay Chelsea Wolfe, PJ Harvey and others, as the track is centered around shimmering, delay and distortion pedal fed guitar, four on the floor drumming, a soaring hook paired with Fisher’s powerhouse vocals, expressing a profound yearning.

Interestingly, as the band’s Laura Fisher told me through email, “‘Wishing on the Water’ is born of deep and relentless reflections on the current state of our world, in all of it’s dark dystopian inclinations and tragic beauty; in particular I explore the separation and perception of reality vs. mind. Sometimes I feel like our most modern technologies purposefully breed paranoia and dissociation. Or maybe those are just inherent parts of human nature?

When I asked Jeremy for his input, he noted that the song isn’t so much a story as it is a ‘literary wishing well.’ Which I love. It’s also super accurate considering I was greatly inspired lyrically by the images conjured in Marlon MacAllister’s novel Meld Resistance (as well as it’s illustrations by Yona Yurwit). Musically, I think the riff just came to Jeremy and we played with it, developing the hook together. I wrote the verses. It felt like channeling all of our favourite grunge anthems into something new and for 2018.”

Anne Malin is an Interlochen, MI-born, South Bend, IN-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, autoharp), who along with her collaborator, multi-instrumentalist William Ellis Johnson (electric guitar, classical guitar, Lowrey organ, banjo and synth) have received praise from Bandcamp and NPR for a unique meshing of spoken word poetry and music that’s been described as “deceptively rich” and “unsettling.”

Slated for an October 12, 2018 release, the duo’s forthcoming Fog Area was conceived while Malin and Johnson drove past multiple fog area road signs on an emotionally fraught move from Massachusetts to Indiana — and thematically, the album touches upon desire, political and social injustice and prophetic reconciliation with each song on the album denoting a psychic and sonic space as the album’s material draws from and possesses elements of folk, rock and noise, centered through a deeply meditative lyricism. Fog Area‘s first single is the hauntingly gorgeous “In Waves,” a track centered around a spectral and intimate arrangement of shimming guitar, brief bursts of organ, and a soaring string arrangement paired with Malin’s tender and plaintive vocals — and while nodding at Chelsea Wolfe and others, the song’s yearning, intimate and confessional nature makes the song feel as though Malin is singing directly to you and only you.

 

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Chelsea Wolfe Releases Sensual and Hellish Fever Dream-like Visuals for Album Single “Spun”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across a series of posts featuring the California-born and-based singer/songwriter guitarist and JOVM mainstay artist Chelsea Wolfe. And as you may recall, with the release of her four previously released albums. 2010’s The Grime and the Glow, 2011’s Apokalypsis, 2013’s Pain Is Beauty and 2015’s Abyss, Wolfe received attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere for an imitable sound that draws from gothic rock, folk, neo-folk, electronica and metal with a moody and cinematic quality — while thematically focusing on burrowing beneath the world’s brutality, ugliness, messiness and hurt to get at a profound sense of beauty. 

Wolfe’s recently released sixth full-length album Hiss Spun is reportedly inspired by a Henry Miller quote —  “What I want is to open up. I want to know what’s inside me. I want everybody to open up. I’m like an imbecile with a can opener in his hand, wondering where to begin — to open up the earth. I know that underneath the mess everything is marvelous. I’m sure of it.” And unsurprisingly, the material finds the renowned California-born and-based singer/songwriter and guitarist adopting Miller’s quest to become truly empowered by embracing the complete, messy self and to control the tumult within one’s soul — in the hopes of reigning in the chaos of the surrounding world. 

Ironically, as Wolfe explained in press notes, when she started working on the album, she had initially wanted to write escapist music with songs about being in your body and getting free; but “you’re just bombarded with constant bad news, people getting fucked over and killed for shitty reasons or no reason at all, and it seems like the world has been in tears for months, and then you remember that it’s been fucked for a long time; it’s been fucked since the beginning. It’s overwhelming and I have to write about it.” Of course, as you may recall, Hiss Spun was recorded by Kurt Ballou in Salem, MA earlier this year, during a brutally (and perhaps prototypical) New England winter, several major upheveals in Wolfe’s personal life, her coming to terms with years of conflicting feelings of vulnerability, anger and self-destruction, and a dark family history that has managed to weigh heavily in her life.  And as a result, the material on Hiss Spun may arguably be the heaviest, darkest and most forceful material she has written to date. Additionally, long-time collaborator Ben Chisholm contributes swaths of sound collages recorded while Wolfe and her backing and were on tour — the rumble of street construction while they were on tour in Prague; the howl of a coyote outside Wolfe’s home; the scrape of machinery on a floor of a warehouse at a down-and-out friend’s workplace, as well as samples from the bomb blasts of the Enola Gay, the shrieks and mating calls of primates, the fluttering pages of a book of Walt Whitman’s poetry are all manipulated and seamlessly placed within the music.

With the release of the album’s first two singles — the brooding  Tool and A Perfect Circle meets PJ Harvey-like cathartic, emotional purge of “16 Psyche” and the atmospheric and moody “Offering,” Wolfe has managed to reveal herself as a restlessly chameleon-like artist and songwriter, actively pushing her sound to new directions while crafting material that possesses a fearless, unvarnished honesty.  And the album’s latest single “Spun” continues in the same vein as its predecessors as Wolfe and her backing band pair enormous power chords, some dexterous and blistering guitar work and pummeling drumming in a slow-burning, sludgy dirge — but Wolfe’s ethereal crooning and wailing brings an plaintive and urgent yearning to the song.

Directed by Wolfe and shot in Sacramento, CA, the video is a dark, sweaty, yet sensual fever dream that manages to have an empowering quality as its female leads — Wolfe and pole dancer, Felicia Drake possess an cool, self-assuredness, although Drake in many ways is a siren through a tense and fucked up journey through one’s own memories and dreams. And as a result, the video manages to have a lingering, almost sickening quality of life’s very real ghosts. 

Niko Antonucci is a Prague, Czech Republic-born, Los Angeles, CA-based multi-instrumentliast, singer/songwriter, producer and electronic music artist, who can trace the origins of her music career to when she received piano lessons when she was 6. As teenager, the Prague-born, Los Angeles-based artist began stealing her father’s guitar as a teen — and when she turned 15, she had cut her first demo and began singing and playing in a number of local bands for a number of years. But at a young age, Antonucci recognized that in order to get the exact sound she wanted, she would need to do it herself and she began producing herself.

With her solo, downtempo/industrial electronica project Resin, Antonucci’s sound is inspired by many of the influences that have been a part of her creative life including Nirvana, Portishead, Nine Inch Nails , The Cure, Chelsea Wolfe, as well as ambient electronica and classic music, while thematically focusing on spirituality, dark magic, being an outsider. and so on. And with “Hoarse,” the first single off her self-produced full-length effort Fidget, Antonucci pairs swirling electronics, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, stuttering drum programming and a soaring hook with her sultry yet achingly vulnerable vocals — and while clearly nodding at Nine Inch Nails and Portishead, the single also manages to remind me of Version 2.0-era Garbage.