Tag Archives: feature

Nidingr Explore Norse Myth on “The High Heat Licks Against Heaven”

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When we catch up with Morten “Teloch” Iversen to chat about his latest album with Nidingr, The High Heat Licks Against Heaven, he’s in the midst of juggling his roles in two bands. It’s not exactly his fault: Nidingr’s first full-length in five years was supposed to arrive shortly after its completion last year, but scheduling conflicts delayed its release to earlier this month. The timing was terrible: Nidingr’s most epic and accessible effort to date hit shelves in the middle of an ongoing, highly-anticipated North American tour by Teloch’s other band, Mayhem, commemorating their classic 1994 album, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Teloch’s been a part of that pioneering Norwegian black metal outfit since 2011, when he filled the vacancy opened by longstanding axeman Rune “Blasphemer” Eriksen.

The 47-year-old Norwegian multi-instrumentalist and producer spent his formative years amidst the country’s black metal renaissance in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and has been playing music in a host of groups for over a quarter-century. It started in his late teens, when he picked up the guitar and bass and began recording on his own, marking his formal entry into the musical dark arts. In 1992, he founded Audr, a one-man venture named for the Old Norse meaning “desolate” or “empty.” But this lone wolf was a pack animal at heart—and so, four years later, his gloomy solo project blossomed into a fearsome, full-bodied band with a new name, Nidingr, similarly plucked from the Vikings (it’s an Old Norse insult, typically lobbed at scoundrels and villains). Five albums and two decades later in 2017, he may be as well known for his work with Mayhem as he is for Nidingr, or his creative partnerships with Amalie “Myrkur” Bruun, the black metal dynamo whose mystery-enshrouded debut M Teloch co-produced alongside another leaden luminary, Ulver founder Kristoffer “Garm” Rygg.

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In Sorority Noise’s Searing Rock, Cam Boucher Grapples With God and Grief

Sorority Noise

Sorority Noise frontman Cam Boucher co-owns a studio in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood on a small street that exists in architectural transition. One side is a massive warehouse; the other is full of row houses. At night, the block is silent. Boucher walks into a nearby metal shop, avoiding equipment to climb the makeshift staircase hidden away on the left wall. The stairs lead to the studio, which he built with Modern Baseball’s Jake Ewald and Ian Farmer. Across the hall is a lived-in room where Boucher mixes recordings. “This is hard to talk about,” he sits. “When I’m writing music, I’m not thinking about talking about it. People can be pretty insensitive, like, ‘Now that you’re not suicidal…’ I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, but it also makes me really uncomfortable.”

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Planning for Burial: The Intimacy of Loneliness

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Thom Wasluck, who makes music as Planning For Burial, is an intensely private person—so much so that on his debut, Leaving, only instruments were listed in the album credits, not names. I didn’t know who he was until a year after I discovered him; at one point, I assumed they were an actual, multi-member band. This solitariness bleeds into the music as well; Wasluck’s songs explore how intimate loneliness can be. He combines doom, slowcore, drone, and goth-pop and uses it to soundtrack meditations on past loves slipping into mist, and watching days become weeks while bedridden with regret. It’s as if Phil Elverum traveled with Sleep’s rig.

After living in Matawan, New Jersey, for just under a decade, Wasluck moved back to his childhood home in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 2014, to pursue an apprenticeship in the International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators Union. Below The House, his third and latest full-length, was recorded in this home. There’s more accessible material on here than his previous work, such as the heavy, Cure-esque “Warmth of You” and the crushing expansiveness of “Somewhere in the Evening.” It feels enclosed and intimate, and even when it drifts into serene drone or tracks colored by somber piano, it never has the spacey quality that the quieter moments on previous albums did. That’s because Wasluck didn’t have much room to move: he felt more isolated when he returned home, and took refuge in whiskey—a lot of it.

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SXSWatch: Wild Wing are Punks Who Love Memes as Much as They Love History

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Wild Wing, SXSW 2017. All photos by Daniel Cavazos.

If you’re looking for a hearty, vulgar laugh, look no further than Los Angeles punks Wild Wing. They’re the goofiest guitar band in the City of Angels, with a deep love of memes, doctored photos, and flipping the bird. Here are but a few of the hilarious highlights: a “The Wild Wing Tour starter pack” (the bare essentials include a pair of crutches with boots on the end, a can of Red Bull, an order of McDonalds’ french fries, a hospital discharge form for a head injury, and an image of a doctor standing next to a pudgy dog with the caption “When they remove your balls because you kept fucking your owner’s wife”); a crude stick-figure Calvin-style drawing impudent to the current US president; there’s even a photo of the group standing with a slightly befuddled Guy Fieri.

But there’s much more to Wild Wing than memetic trolling and guitar-driven tomfoolery. They’re less a rock band than a pack of rock n’ roll non-fiction authors, dead-set on fighting the establishment through carefully-controlled chaos, lengthy history studies (and, of course, jokes).

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The Natural: Jazz Drummer Paal Nilssen-Love’s Many Incarnations

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Photos by Peter Gannushkin

There’s never been a point for Paal Nilssen-Love where jazz drumming wasn’t an integral part of his life. His father, a British drummer who married a Norwegian woman, moved to the small town of Stavanger, where they opened a jazz club. This allowed the young Paal (pronounced Paul) to meet a host of legendary players, one of whom was Art Blakey. “He came to my parents’ house after a gig in Stavanger when I was eight years old or so,” Nilssen-Love recalls. So it should be no surprise that when it came time to choose an instrument in school, he opted for drums and has never looked back.

His first recording was a 1992 session with the Circulasione Totale Orchestra, led by saxophonist Frode Gjerstad. Since then, he’s appeared on literally hundreds of albums with a vast range of partners. He’s probably best known for his work with saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten in the free jazz/garage rock trio The Thing, and with German sax titan Peter Brötzmann in a variety of contexts, ranging from duos to the Chicago Tentet. In recent years, he’s been releasing material on his own PNL imprint.

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