Over the past several years, Jerry Only has been both lauded for keeping the Misfits alive and demonized for continuing to milk the Crimson Ghost cash-cow. To say that I’ve been skeptical of the Jerryfits would be an understatement; aside from the Project: 1950 covers album, I hadn’t checked any of the band’s post-Michale Graves discography until this year. Sure, Project: 1950 was a fun little experiment, but there was just something about Only continuing to front the band that didn’t sit well with me.
It’s been a few weeks since I saw Melt-Banana at Harlow’s, and for some reason I just can’t get their set out of my mind. Part of this is no doubt due to the fact that I actually got to see Melt-Banana; sure, they’ve toured the states many times, but keep in mind that I was living in the middle of Iowa up until a year ago, not exactly a hotbed for extreme and/or experimental music. Since we’ve moved to Sacramento, I’ve already had the pleasure of seeing a handful of bands I never imagined I’d get the opportunity to see without traveling great distances (Sargeist and Ufomammut immediately spring to mind), and the Japanese duo are probably number one on the “holy shit, I can’t believe they’re actually playing where I live” list so far.
I’ve long had a thing for the gothic/darkwave sound, and although I don’t seek it out as rabidly as I do metal, some great bands in this style have been coming my way of late. Last year saw Ghost Noise releasing a promising debut album and the past few months have been all about Bad Psychic’s stunningly beautiful Soon. Now we have Gainesville, FL trio Ars Phoenix gracing us with yet another must-hear take on the genre in the form of Violent Rain.
In the last few years, Katatonia has become one of my favorite bands. I always liked them well enough, but recently their music has really clicked with me for some reason. The gloomy atmosphere they so effortlessly create is perfect; dark and depressive yet catchy and somehow beautiful. The last time they toured the US, I had the pleasure of watching them steal the show from Opeth, and they’ll be hitting the states with their Swedish brethren again in a little less than two weeks in support of their latest album, Dead End Kings. The fine folks at Fresno Media helped me get in touch with bassist Nille Sandin to briefly discuss the new album and the upcoming tour.
For over three decades now, Canadian legends Voivod have been making a name for themselves as one of the most forward-thinking metal bands to ever pick up instruments. Their sci-fi-damaged punk-thrash has never been copied (though some have tried); they are one of those bands that is truly unique in every sense of the word, thanks to the singular musical alchemy created when its individual members come together. That alchemy seemingly came to a tragic end in 2005 when founding guitarist Denis “Piggy” D’Amour passed from this plane of existence due to a bout with thyroid cancer. The band went on to release two albums welded together using riffs D’Amour had recorded prior to his untimely death (2006’s Katorz and 2009’s Infini), but it appeared for all intents and purposes that the warriors of ice were no more in the wake of the loss of their beloved guitarist.
Every year as Halloween approaches, I begin doing things to put myself in the mood to enjoy that most horrific of holidays; decorate the house with all manner of skulls, queue up a slew of horror DVDs, revisit the literary genius of HP Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos and most importantly, scare up some appropriately creepy tunes to celebrate the Season of the Witch. Though I typically pick out entire albums rather than individual songs, I thought it might be fun this year to compile a morbid mixtape to share with you, my loyal THKD readers. So, grab a handful of candy corn and gather ’round the jack-o-lantern, not for ghost stories, but for a night of unspeakable audio terror. Although there were many tracks from a variety of genres that could’ve been worthy of inclusion, I decided to keep things as much on the metal side as possible, in the true spirit of THKD. The player is embedded directly below this paragraph, followed by an explanation of each track. Enjoy or die.
Utterly embarrassed as I am to admit it, I’m no stranger to bouts of misogyny. Prior to meeting my phenomenal wife, my romantic dealings with the opposite sex were, to put it mildly, less than stellar (I’m sure this surprises no one). From my first “real” girlfriend breaking my heart over a decade ago, to the woman I let repeatedly grind my soul to dust my senior year of college, to countless instances of rejection and other assorted shittiness that would take ages to properly recount, I had been left with a bad taste in my mouth and a fuckload of bitterness before a raven-haired goddess rescued me from the rut I was in. As a result, I treated the few women that dared to try to get close to me like complete shit (this was totally undeserved and my petty way of getting back at the fairer sex as a whole, I reckon) and was generally distrustful and disrespectful towards any woman who wasn’t a blood relative or counted among my inner circle.