Tag Archives: Metal

Call of the Void Pursue Heaviness by Any Device

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Call of the Void aren’t exactly a by-the-books grindcore outfit. Though their sound is rife with blast beats, nihilism, and chaotic fury, there are unbelievably heavy sludge riffs, thunderous crust-metal polyrhythms, and bit of the brash aggression of ‘80s hardcore mixed in too.

Founding member Patrick Albert attributes their sound to the fertile scene of extreme bands located in the Denver/Boulder region that have inspired him to draw from several different subgenre wells. Like-minded members of Call of the Void’s cohort—Primitive Man, Blood Incantation, and Vermin Womb—have never colored fully inside the genre lines, interested more in the pursuit of heaviness and intensity by any device necessary. Call of the Void’s newest EP, AYFKM (produced by go-to metal engineer Dave Otero),  continues to polish the sound they developed on their previous releases,  Dragged Down a Dead End Path and Ageless.

We spoke to them about all the elements that came together on AYFKM, including their punk influences, and keeping the flame burning without burning out.

You mention punk rock quite a bit, is that an influence?

There’s a part in this stoner rock documentary called Such Hawks, Such Hounds where they talk about being old punk dudes that just slowed down punk songs and then became a doom band. That really resonated with me. It really is all just the same music just played at different tunings and different speeds. A lot of people call us grindcore, but none of us really listen to grindcore music whatsoever. We have blast beats but that’s about it.

Punk riffs are the best riffs; timeless classic music. We wanted to do all versions of that. The first song [on AYFKM], “Get in the Van,” is obviously an homage to Henry Rollins. The whole concept of that song is that I wanted to take a sludge riff at the beginning, so a little homage to Carnivore and Sleep’s Dopesmoker and then use it again as the chorus just played faster. That’s pretty much what we do: we like the sludge and then we play it at punk speeds.

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The Tuba-Driven Doom Metal of Dan Peck

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Dan Peck by Peter Gannushkin

Just last week, Jon Wiederhorn meticulously traced the history of doom metal in his Bandcamp Daily piece, Doom Metal: A Brief Timeline. As that story proved, the subgenre is vast, with plenty of room for both genre traditionalists and left-field outliers.

Brooklyn-based tuba player Dan Peck falls squarely into the latter camp. For roughly the last five years, he’s been melding doom’s slow-crawling bludgeoning with elements of jazz, minimalism and noise. And while “tuba” isn’t exactly the first word doom metal brings to mind, Peck—with his trio The Gate, his solo tuba record, and a hodgepodge of other releases on his label, Tubapede—has managed to deconstruct the genre, working within an unconventional setup without relinquishing any of doom’s heaviness and brutality. Call it doom-jazz.

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Doom Metal: A Brief Timeline

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Sleep “Dopesmoker”

The core sound of doom metal is instantly recognizable—and has been for more than 45 years. No one’s going to confuse doom with death, thrash, or black metal. And even though modern practitioners of the form have modified the structure, blended it with other subgenres, and sped up or slowed down the tempos, doom will always have its place in the lexicon of metal.

The structure of the music is rooted in the same scales as the blues, and doom’s emotional impact parallels the drained, downcast spirit of artists like Robert Johnson and Son House. But the sound is amped up and magnified so the tone isn’t just sad, it’s mean and disconsolate too. From the moment Black Sabbath broke through with their self-titled debut in 1970—essentially defining metal in the process—they laid the foundation for doom.

Doom affects the gut and the psyche, conveying sensations of darkness and foreboding with fuzzed out guitars, mid-paced tempos and generally morose vocals. Groove is paramount, as is a certain amount of repetition, generally achieved with crunching, palm-muted guitar chords complimentary, minor key melodies and rhythms that wax and wane, only to rise again. Sometimes there are organs, samples, and variations in musical complexity. These sonic shifts are what have helped sustain the genre from one generation to the next. But even without the musical modifications, doom is forever because dread and grief are universal—and musicians will always be drawn to express universal feelings of anger, hopelessness, fear, and sadness.

Once bands in the ‘70s heard Black Sabbath and Paranoid (which came out later that same year),  they were indelibly impacted; some started tuning down their guitars, plugging into overdriven distortion pedals and writing the loudest and ugliest dirges they could conceive of. Between the substances they were consuming, the wave of occult literature they were drawn to by Anton Szandor LaVey, Aleister Crowley, and Austin Osman Spare, and popular films like Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, a sinister, depression-fueled spirit spread through the counterculture and stoked the growing flames of metal. And once doom had a foothold in the music form it would never be the same.

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Today, Stand with Bandcamp in Support of Immigrants/Basic Human Values

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Like 98% of U.S. citizens (including the President), I am the descendant of immigrants—my great-grandparents came to America from Russia and Lithuania as teenagers and worked in sweatshops until they were able to afford to bring the rest of their families over. Most everyone you speak to in this country has a similar story to tell, because we are, in fact, a nation of immigrants, bound together by a shared belief in justice, equality, and the freedom to pursue a better life. In this context, last week’s Executive Order barring immigrants and refugees from seven Middle Eastern countries from entering the United States is not simply immoral, it violates the very spirit and foundation of America.

Contrary to the assertions of the current administration, the order will not make us safer (an opinion shared by the State Department and many members of Congress including prominent Republicans). Christian religious leaders have denounced both the ban, as well as the exception prioritizing Christian immigrants, as inhumane. It is an unequivocal moral wrong, a cynical attempt to sow division among the American people, and is in direct opposition to the principles of a country where the tenet of religious freedom is written directly into the Constitution. This is not who we are, and it is not what we believe in. We at Bandcamp oppose the ban wholeheartedly, and extend our support to those whose lives have been upended.

And so all day today (starting at 12:01am Pacific Time), for any purchase you make on Bandcamp, we will be donating 100% of our share of the proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union, who are working tirelessly to combat these discriminatory and unconstitutional actions.

As another way of showing solidarity with the immigrants and refugees from the seven banned countries—as well as those impacted by the construction of the Mexican border wall—we’ve compiled a list of albums made by artists from the affected countries (Bandcamp may be incorporated in the United States, but we host artists from every corner of the world). We believe that knowledge and empathy are crucial weapons against fear and intolerance. We hope that, as you listen to these albums, you’ll not only discover some great new artists, but will also gain a further appreciation and understanding for the way music transcends all borders, and remember that, even in the darkest of times, there is more that unites us than divides us.

— Ethan Diamond, Bandcamp Founder & CEO

(Updated Feb. 2: Since our announcement, over 150 bands and labels have volunteered to donate their proceeds to the ACLU and other organizations as well. You can see that list here.)

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Weltesser Use Metal to Release Pain

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Weltesser are something of a band of brothers; Nate Peterson (age 22), Ian Hronek (age 26) and Mike Amador (age 31) grew up, matured, and seasoned their chops together in the Florida punk scene. As their peers fizzled, the trio began bulking up their sound. And while punk is still at the core of their debut album, it’s more metal-leaning on the whole than its members’ previous efforts, a sludgy, dissonant hardcore record that allows them to work out their inner demons through sharp screams and driving rhythms. To put it another way: Crestfallen is the release of years of personal anguish and anxiety.

We sat down to chat with the trio about their personal backgrounds, regret as anxiety’s core, making music in oppressive climates both environmental and situational, and about why their musical journey is also something of a spiritual journey.

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