Welcome once again to the Metal Mortuary Podcast. Pardon the length since the last podcast. I promise to make an effort to put one of these together every couple of weeks. Right now, with the other two podcasts we do over here at the Labs, time is very restrictive. Anyways, enough belly aching, here's metal for your face!
Welcome to the all new, moderately improved Metal Mortuary. This is the very first edition of the reboot podcast that I'll be assembling and releasing on some form of schedule. What that schedule is, I can't say yet, but there will be one. Anyways, it's October, which is perfect for some Death and Black Metal. Check it out, download the podcast and share it with your friends. Most importantly, go support these bands. More than any other thing I do on this site, this is for the creators. The little amount of work I might do putting this together PALES in comparison to those creating the content and busting their asses to make the most underappreciated and most maligned music out there.
Support Metal. Support the community. Buy a record.
Decomposed - Submerged
Swedish Death Metal
"Wither" available 10/03/2016 on Chaos Records
Dehumanized - PCCR
NY Brutal Death Metal
"Beyond the Mind" available 10/28/2016
Vultures Vengeance - And the Wind Still Screams His Name
Italian Heavy Metal
"Where the Time Dwelt in" available October, 2016
Face of Oblivion - Irreconcilable Differences
Technical Death Metal from Mn.
"Cataclysmic Desolation" available 11/11/2016
Northern Crown - With Malicious Eye
Epic Doom Metal from Fl.
"The Others" out now!
Old Chapel - Leaving a Body
Death Metal from Russia
"Visions From Beyond" out 11/07/2016
Narthraal - Million Graves to Fill
Old School Death Metal from Iceland
"Chainsaw Killing Spree" ep. out now!
Vimur - Memory of Heathen Reign
Black Metal from Atlanta, GA
"Exegsis" 12" ep. out now!
Blasphemer - Antichristian Extremism
Brutal Death Metal from Italy
"Ritual Theophagy" out now on Comatose Records
Hellgoat - Inner Sanctum Ablaze
Black Metal from Atlanta, GA
"Eden in Flames" ep. out now!
Recently, I had the chance to catch up with the mysterious and elusive Louisiana-based band, CRETUS. Their new EP, Dux Mea Lux just dropped Sept. 4th, on Pavement Entertainment. While very little is known about this masked collective, it was my hope to shed a little light on this enigmatic ensemble.
According to their press information:
"While it is unknown exactly when or where CRETUS formed, they began publicly spreading their message through music in 2014, with the group rapidly gaining strong support after their first show opening for legendary metal band DOWN in New Orleans. Devout followers of CRETUS pack into shows wearing the group's signature black masks and cloaks, bobbing their heads in support as hypnotic lights pulse and dense fog surrounds them, becoming a raving heavy metal congregation unable and unwilling to escape the dark energy emanating from the speakers. Multi-sensory performance rituals such as sacrificial demonstrations and strange pagan rites add an even more ominous tone to the already frightening spectacle of the four masked figures destroying the stage. Heavily symbolic imagery, esoteric subject matter, and poetic lyrics give listeners something deeper to latch onto with CRETUS, and Pavement Records is proud to be releasing their debut EP Dux Mea Lux, worldwide on September 4, 2015."
Needless to say, after listening to their newly released EP, I was profoundly curious to know a bit more about CRETUS. Without further ado, here's our conversation:
Utility Muffin: I’ve investigated Cretus online, and there’s an obvious shroud of mystery that surrounds your band. For the uninitiated, please explain how and why your band came about.
Cretus: Cretus is a group that has been around for many years in the United States. The band is a new form of outreach that will enable us to spread our message to people of a similar intellect on a much wider scale than in the past. Traditionally we have been very selective with sharing our knowledge, but we feel it's important, especially with the current state of things, to take a much more aggressive approach to spreading the message.
UM: Tell me why you’ve chosen to keep your identities obscured, and how the symbolism you’ve chosen plays into the message you’re trying to send.
C: Individuality is ego. Ego is meaningless. We do not wish to achieve celebrity. Those who seek fame do not seek truth. We only wish for our message to be heard. Our message is really about the search for truth. As for our symbolism, it has much to do with nature and the nature of the Universe. We are just animals in this world, each representing a different truth about the natural order of things.
UM: Have you noticed any backlash from religious groups because of your image or message?
C: It is not our duty to make the unwilling become willing. There will always be those who do not understand. Only those that seek out the truth may find it.
UM: Tell me about how your geographical location has played into the sound of your music, as well as how it may have played into the iconography and ideology of your movement.
C: Our land is beautiful, full of life and vibrancy while at the same time, next to the edge of destruction and extinction. Our music is similar to that natural truth, as are a lot of other groups from this area. We do find most musicians and groups have similar thoughts as us, a common ideology, even if they do not embrace our exact followings.
UM: Tell me, if you could, about robincomehome.com – What’s going on in the woods of southeast Louisiana?
C: We all make our own decisions. This is truth.
UM: Tell me a little bit about the production for your music video for “The Price of Immortality.” How did that video come about, and was it a difficult process to create?
C: CRETUS, as a whole, is very pleased with the video. We were only asked to perform in it for the musical performance. Director Andrew Michael Stubbs took some liberties with his portrayal of CRETUS obviously, but we recognize the entertainment value and necessity in this day and age to capture a young audience’s attention. If it helps with our outreach program we are willing to participate.
UM: How do you, as a band/group/collective, reconcile science with spirituality? Generally, for most people, the two tend to be vastly distinct entities unto themselves. How is this different for Cretus and your collective concepts of “known truths?”
C: As long ago as Avicenna's Floating Man experiment humans have been capable of understanding that consciousness and the body are independent of one another. Understanding their relationship and purpose is key to understanding all truth. How could you look at one without the other and claim to have any sort of knowledge of the world? Those who are seeking more may begin their search in the "Resources" section of our website, FollowCretus.com.
UM: You’ve said in a recent interview that “We’ve been misunderstood and our words taken out of context, so we are very hesitant to whom we speak with about this program…” when asked about your production process. Can you elaborate on how you’ve been taken out of context, or perhaps set the record straight on these misunderstandings?
C: You cannot tell the history of a tree simply by looking at its bark. You've got to cut it open and kill it to count the rings, don't you?
UM: Can you share the names of any bands you’d want to tour with, that perhaps may have an ideology you’d find consistent with your own?
C: We have many favorites, but we welcome any chance to play with any band or group as long as they are open to us sharing our message with the audience.
UM: Finally, do you have any plans to tour nationally, and can you share any information about how fans can learn more about your music and message?
C: Yes, we are setting up outreach dates now for 2016. You can learn much about our universe at www.followcretus.com
Check out more on Cretus at the following internet locations:
Tumblr - FollowCretus.tumblr.com
Twitter - twitter.com/FollowCretus
Facebook - www.facebook.com/DeathToCretus
Instagram - instagram.com/FollowCretus
Forged out of the icy wilderness of the north, this beast of Helsinki/Philadelphia composes odes of cold subsonics and frigid atmospheres. Inspired by founder Mika Mage’s Finnish heritage, the band showcases Ambient Black Metal visuals and atmospheres. Cold, grim, and strangely uplifting, Nihilistinen Barbaarisuus are masters of melancholy...
Before I start this review, I want to say, I’m a sucker for physical media. I just received my copy of The Child Must Die today. First, I love the Digipak and the vivid artwork. The front and back cover are illustrated with evocative imagery that harkens to early classic Black Metal albums like Emperor’s In the Nightside Eclipse and Dark Funeral’s Secrets of the Black Arts. It’s filled with deep purple, green and blue hues, invoking that feeling of something dark and ancient. The cold color scheme has to be intentional, because it’s a subtle advisory of what’s to be found in the music within.
The Child Must Die is basically, from my understanding, a concept album. With the exception of the title track, the lyrics are adapted from The Kalevala, a compilation of epic poetry from Finnish oral folklore and mythology. This is serious North American Black Metal that is deeply rooted in the thematic concepts of Northern European paganism and heathen creation myth.
Lyrical concepts aside, this is a velocious, frigid and ferocious album.
Many black metal bands use or have used keyboards, synths and other atmospheric tools to varying degrees of success (including this band in previous releases). Quite a few bands only manage to detract and distract with atmospheric keyboards. As I listen to The Child Must Die, I only hear it improve the frigid textures of the music.
These songs are hard, bleak and forceful. This album starts with the song, Wondrous Sampo, which without warning, thrusts the listener headlong into aural abuse. Väinämöinen, in particular, throttles forward with blistering blast beats, while the keys help to evoke a rich layer of atmosphere. These elements perfectly complement the stark, throaty wails of the vocalist, Joel Robert Thompson. The production of this album craftily combines a classic, raw style, with a crispness that belies the skill and musicianship of Mika Mage’s obvious perfectionism.
I don’t know if this album is going to break new ground for any black metal fans, and I don’t know if it needs to. This album does exactly what it’s supposed to do: be really fucking brutal Atmospheric Black metal. In that sense, it is a work of perfection. The Child Must Die is unmistakably unique in that this album doesn’t sound like anyone else, but it still fits comfortably within the confines of the genre.
If you are a fan of raw, cold, atmospheric Black Metal, Nihilstinen Barbaarisuus’ the Child Must Die is required listening. It’s a savage, 33 minute journey that will beg additional listens. This is my favorite release so far this year, and one of the best USBM albums I’ve heard in a while. Do yourself a favor and get a copy.
"Deathkings is a 4 piece band from Los Angeles, California combining elements of doom, sludge, post-rock and ambience in their music. In 2012, the album "Destroyer" was co-released with Midnite Concoctions (Midnite Collective)"
Released March of 2016, All That Is Beautiful is an epic undertaking. Consisting of only four songs, all over ten minutes in length, you'd anticipate that this album would have moments of drudgery. You'd assume that you could just sort of let the music fade into the background while you wash dishes or build a Lincoln Log house.
Thankfully, this is not the case.
All that is Beautiful is my first experience with Deathkings' music, so I'm not familiar with how they got to where they are. That being said, I like the geography they occupy. Deathkings give themselves room to breathe on this album. The songs take on a natural flow, creating deep, atmospheric spaces. As these songs percolate, the landscapes they conjure keep you drawn to listen further. There are slow, sludgy doom elements throughout, but the tempos change just when you need it most. Vocally, harsh elements permeate these tracks, complimented by clean, melodic, somber interludes.
Deathkings clearly didn't set out to make a standard metal album, and the quality of the tracks presented are evidence of that. All that is Beautiful is a dark, powerful work of art. You will need to give it multiple listens to fully appreciate the music that's been created here. If you are a fan of heavy, complex, moody, experimental and maybe even slightly depressive metal, I strongly advise giving this album a try.
I give this album 4 out of 5 savage brain hemorrhages.