HORSEBACK Defy Genre with Rarities Collection, A Plague of Knowing

Let’s cut to the chase: HORSEBACK is thoroughly original. No band really sounds like them when they’re in their element. Combining rough and distorted vocals with cosmic, indie-alt production and musicianship, Jenks Miller’s bizarre project defies all identification, priding itself on breaking tradition instead of accessibility. Their latest rarities collection, A Plague of Knowing, over-indulges their sound a bit too much, but still keeps their unclassifiable vibe alive.

HORSEBACK is a very interesting animal in the world of metal. Founded by Mount Moriah guitarist Jenks Miller, HORSEBACK does contain influences from the grindcore vocal world. The rough and growling singing is brutal, but through clever production and subtle uses of atmospheric effects, it sounds spectral and otherworldly, in addition to being heavy. The increased use of distortion adds an almost frightening element to Miller’s vocals; it’s unintelligible, but like many ghosts of horror movies, that lack of coherence makes it even more difficult to understand and more enticing to explore.

From the musical side of things, however, A Plague of Knowing is very un-metal. The heaviness is toned back considerably for progressive rock-influenced ambiance and majestic, ethereal soundscapes. This is a startlingly inventive move that sounds very bizarre at first, but instead shows how to make something intense like growling vocals fit in with one of the least intense fields of contemporary music. Even compared to spacey prog metal like Mastodon’s Crack the Skye of Between the Buried and Me’s Colors, HORSEBACK’s A Plague of Knowing kicks the ambiance into its highest gear, transcending the intense façade and machining its way into higher places. By far, what Miller has truly done with HORSEBACK is abandon all sense of taxonomy; classifying what HORSEBACK is isn’t possible.

A Plague of Knowing is extensive, with 24 tracks composed of live recordings, vinyl songs, demos and rarities from the entire HORSEBACK discography. While seasoned fans will love individual mixes and specific musical endeavors, newcomers aren’t likely to find any specific examples of prowess throughout this collection. A Plague of Knowing is best experienced as a collective and while there aren’t one or two standouts, the entire album is compiled so well as a whole that it’s tough to not get lost in all 24 tracks. For example, “MILH” and “IHVH” merge together well, with spacey production, climbing melodies and the distorted static of Miller’s growls. This storm is quiet, but intense; A Plague of Knowing is so radically different from so many other metal bands that it’s sure to underwhelm the fans of instantly gratifying radio metal. It’s not meant to punch you in the face; it’s meant to slowly weather away the interference before going in for the finisher.

That being said, though, this near-dependence on collectiveness demonstrates a lasting sense of self-indulgence and length. 24 tracks is a lot of music, and with so many of these tracks lasting more than 5 minutes (the closing title track is a whopping 41 minutes long), it can overstay its welcome a bit. It’s very muddled in its continuity; in other longer albums, these extensive passages add a connection and unity between the tracks, telling a bigger story. A Plague of Knowing, however, is no concept album. It’s a rarities collection, so these lengthy songs don’t link together and it can make the longest ones a bit hollow in their meaning. Also, since these songs are already very spacey and atmospheric, A Plague of Knowing isn’t a concentration album, that is, it’s best played in the background and not when you’re actively listening. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing: A Plague of Knowing has a ton of creativity behind its creator. It’s not focused enough to stand out, but really, it doesn’t need to.

HORSEBACK will not appeal to everyone. It’s an extremely slow burn, even next to its progressive anthem-constructing peers, and it will instantly flop with anyone addicted to adrenaline-soaked radio metal. But those with patience will discover something purely original in HORSEBACK. Judging the album itself, however, isn’t as cut and dry. The immense length of the collection and the very broad song construction can make the entire album sound over indulgent and too long to handle. Once again, it’s an album that not only doesn’t demand active listening, but is best to avoid that. It can’t be recommended as a record where you’ll get lost in every second of every track. But it clicks distantly and effectively. For anyone with a penchant for musical journeys (albeit long ones), you’ll find this rarities collection to hold some wonderful enjoyment. Original and chock full of content, A Plague of Knowing won’t make any new fans, but will secure the reverence of anyone already familiar with HORSEBACK.

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PIG DESTROYER Release Never Before Heard EP

Grindcore Masters PIG DESTROYER have released a never before heard EP entitled Mass &Volume. This EP is dedicated to the memory of Pat Egan and to the loving family he left behind. The EP is a Doom EP and the artwork was created by Arik Roper. The EP is available for purchase at http://patlapse.bandcamp.com/album/mass-volume. This is the only format that this EP is available in and all proceeds of this recording will be donated to the college fund of Pat Egan’s daughter Katie.

 

The band spoke about Pat and the EP release:

 

“Pat Egan was a friend and a keystone member of the Relapse family for many of the years we have been involved with it. He devoted his life to supporting underground music and he immeasurably helped develop the bands he worked with. His untimely passing on February 18 2013 shocked the many people that his life and work had touched.”

 

This EP was written and recorded during the final day of the Phantom Limb sessions with unexpected extra studio time and resources. In the following years, with Natasha being released on its own and Brian no longer being in the band, our intentions of releasing Mass & Volume basically evaporated. However, looking back now, Mass & Volume serves as a great epilogue to that particular era of the band.

Less than 2 weeks ago Relapse Records released “Patlapse” in honor of the man who was so instrumental in the success of so many Relapse bands and records, the label has put together a 20 track compilation featuring a collection of his favorite songs and artists, including Mastodon, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Brian Posehn, Red Fang, Death, and many more, including a never-before-released track from Exhumed.

100% of proceeds from the compilation will go towards a college fund for his young daughter Katie.  Relapse thanks each band for contributing each track and waiving their royalty fee to maximize the benefit for Pat’s beloved family.  The compilation is available via Bandcamp at this location for only $5 but friends and fans are welcome to donate as much as they want. Direct contributions may also be made via paypal towellmissyoupat@relapse.com.

 

A memorial event for Pat has been scheduled for Tuesday March 5th from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST at Idle Hands Bar in New York, NY. Everyone is invited to attend as we pay tribute to a dear friend, colleague & family man who left behind an amazing wife and a wonderful daughter. All proceeds from the event will go directly to his daughter Katie’s college fund. More information on the event can be found HERE.

PIG DESTROYER Tour Dates:

March 29    Washington, DC        The Black Cat. Beer release show w/Darkest Hour
May 04 (TBA)    Tilburg,Netherlands    Neurotic Deathfest
May 23 – 26     Baltimore, MD        Maryland Deathfest XI

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The Innervenus Music Collective Releases Two New Projects

  Musicians and labels alike are realizing that the old formula of recording, promoting, and releasing music is no longer sufficient. From the decline of CD sales to the death of radio the music industry has been struggling to define itself for over a decade now. The big-wigs are trying to hold on to an archaic model while more and more bands are realizing that it may be in their best interest to record and release their music themselves. This way they are not caught up in multi-album deals that pressure them into a creative tail-spin, nor are they financially indebted to a label that sinks hundreds of thousands of dollars into promotion. Emerging out of all of this change are multiple options for the independent musician, one of which is the music collective. 

   The Innervenus Music Collective is one such model. Formed in 2001 they offer everything that a label can offer, such as distributing records, booking shows, and creating merchandise. The benefit over a label, though, is the low cost due to the DIY approach. Innervenus uses some outside resources for certain aspects of manufacturing, but most of the support given to their artists comes from Innervenus themselves. In other words, if Innervenus can do it, Innervenus will do it. 

   Perhaps the most notable aspect to Innervenus is that while they do have a board of directors seeing to the business end of things: art direction, distribution, public relations, etc, the bands are just as involved in the success of the collective.  In fact, a few of Innervenus’ bands share multiple members, testifying to the support everyone provides. When asked if this approach tended towards a lack of focus on a particular project, music and art director,Scott Massie, replied, “our connections are more with people than with bands, so it doesn’t matter if they’re in multiple bands. We like it actually. It keeps us closer.”  

   Innervenus is releasing two projects February 12th with a release show scheduled for Saturday, February 16th: Grisly Amputation’s Cannibalistic Tendencies and Lycosa’s self-titled EP. Cannibalistic Tendencies merges the grind metal aesthetic with old school slasher film imagery. The opening track is a gruesome auditory presentation of a murder victim begging that someone get his assailant off of him. As you may guess, the killer wins the day. It’s not all gore and horror, though. Grisly Amputation has some chops and their syncopation is superb. 

   Lycosa describes themselves as “new school meets old school mayhem.” The description is apt. The grindcore vocals are almost melodic, pulling the listener in to witness the song’s narrative that at first seems buried under an ocean of energy.  With post-punk production and guitar riffs inspired by metal pioneers such as a Megadeth, Lycosa presents something new and interesting yet still recognizable. 

   Steel Town metal heads should be proud of Pittsburgh’s metal heritage and would be wise to check out Innervenus’ projects. With over a decade in the game, Innervenus is now raising the next generation of metal artists. Supporting them means changing the industry and being a part of the collective. 

http://innervenus.org/artists/lycosa/

http://innervenus.org/artists/grisly-amputation/

Ahleuchatistas to Tour with Buke & Gase in Support of Heads Full of Poison

With a moniker that screams “enigma,” Asheville, North Carolina instrumental rock duo Ahleuchatistas belong to the beyond-category sector of such iconic, genre-flouting combos as John Zorn’s Naked City, Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band, Swans, Tortoise, and Sun City Girls. The duo of Shane Perlowin (guitar and bass) and Ryan Oslance (drums) combine wicked precision with intense abandon, droll humor with analytical construction, and a sly gregariousness with uncompromising vision. This pair interweaves elements of punk rock, jazz, classical music, speed metal, grindcore, progressive rock, noise, folk musics from Asia and North Africa, electronic music, and ambient aesthetics, along with volatile, unpredictable improvisation, flowing organically in a virtual world of their own. Cerebral but never ponderous, Ahleuchatistas make immediate music that reaches for the mind, heart, and gut.

Ahleuchatistas kick off a tour of North America supporting Buke & Gase in support of their seventh album, Heads Full of Poison, out now on CD/digital via Cuneiform Records and as a double LP on Harvest Records. On stage and throughout the album, Perlowin and Oslance perform with a rare unity of purpose, without any self-indulgence or water-treading, displaying a virtually orchestral palette.

AHLEUCHATISTAS TOUR DATES:
(all shows with Buke & Gase)
Wed. Jan. 30 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Thu. Jan. 31 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
Fri. Feb. 1 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Sat. Feb. 2 – Washington, DC @ DC 9
Mon. Feb. 4 – Montreal, QC @ Il Motore
Tue. Feb. 5 – Toronto, ON @ The Drake
Wed. Feb. 6 – Detroit, MI @ Pike Room
Thu. Feb. 7 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
Fri. Feb. 8 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Sat. Feb. 9 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Mon. Feb. 11 – Denver, CO @ Walnut Room
Tue. Feb. 12 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
Thu. Feb. 14 – Vancouver, BC @ Media Club
Fri. Feb. 15 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza
Sat. Feb. 16 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
Mon. Feb. 18 – San Francisco, CA @ Café Du Nord
Tue. Feb. 19 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
Wed. Feb. 20 – San Diego, CA @ The Casbah

AHLEUCHATISTAS SHARE “LIGHTED STAIRS” VIDEO

With a moniker that screams “enigma,” Asheville, North Carolina instrumental rock duo Ahleuchatistas belong to the beyond-category sector of such iconic, genre-flouting combos as John Zorn’s Naked City, Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band, Swans, Tortoise, and Sun City Girls. A duo armed only with guitar and drums, Ahleuchatistas combine wicked precision with intense abandon, droll humor with analytical construction, and a sly gregariousness with uncompromising vision. This pair interweaves elements of punk rock, jazz, classical music, speed metal, grindcore, progressive rock, noise, folk musics from Asia and North Africa, electronic music, and ambient aesthetics, along with volatile, unpredictable improvisation, flowing organically in a virtual world of their own. With a devoted international cult following, Ahleuchatistas is considered by many to be one of the most innovative and ever-developing instrumental groups of the past decade. Cerebral but never ponderous, Ahleuchatistas make immediate music that reaches for the mind, heart, and gut.

LISTEN TO AHLEUCHATISTAS’ “WISPS”

On their seventh album, Ahleuchatistas’ Heads Full of Poison is a sonic brew that reveals new flavors, new spices with every aural taste. Now a duo of charter member Shane Perlowin (guitar and bass) and Ryan Oslance (drums), Heads Full of Poison was developed over a two-year period, road-tested and honed with numerous performances, including nearly 100 in Europe. It combines highly detailed composition with a looseness that encourages a range of interpretation. Throughout the album, Perlowin and Oslance perform with a rare unity of purpose, without any self-indulgence or water-treading, displaying a virtually orchestral palette.

PIG DESTROYER Premiere New Video for “The Diplomat”

Described by MetalSucks as “the best metal album of the year”, PIG DESTROYER’s long awaited new album Book Burner was released earlier this week on Relapse Records. The reigning grindcore champions razor-sharp fifth-full length was recorded at guitarist Scott Hull’s Visceral Sound Studios.

Today PIG DESTROYER is premiering their new video for the song “The Diplomat”. The video was directed by Phil Mucci (High on Fire, Opeth, Korn) and can be viewed here courtesy of Noisey.

PIG DESTROYER to Debut New Song on Sirius / XM Liquid Metal

Reigning grindcore champions PIG DESTROYER are gearing up for the release of Book Burner, the band’s razor-sharp fifth-full length and first album in over five years was recorded at guitarist Scott Hull’s Visceral Sound Studios.
Tonight Sirius / XM’s Liquid Metal will be premiering another new track from Book Burner. The song entitled “Baltimore Strangler” can be heard tonight at 10:00 PM EST and again at 2:00 AM EST. This is the second full length song that has been released from Book Burner, the first “Burning Palm” was released as a lyric video:

PIG DESTROYER recently completed a tour of Japan and while they were there filmed an exclusive tour diary which can be seen HERE, courtesy of Metal Injection.

Book Burner will see a October 22nd release via Relapse Records and features 19 tracks with a return to the band’s raw, misanthropic sound. Book Burner will be available on multiple formats including CD, Deluxe 2xCD, LP, Deluxe 2xLP, Cassette and Digital. Pre-Orders for all of the editions are available via Relapse Records here and iTunes here.

The deluxe editions will each contain a bonus disc of punk covers and a short story, titled The Atheist, penned by frontman JR Hayes. The Atheist is a post-apocalyptic tale about a decaying world taken over by the violence of religion that showcases the renowned lyricists’ unsurpassed style for the first time as prose. The deluxe 2xLP will also contain an etched b-side featuring artwork by Wormrot frontman Arif Rot. A complete tracklisting is included below.

In support of Book Burner, PIG DESTROYER will be making special appearances at various festivals and shows throughout the year, including Calgary’s Noctis Fest, the UK’s Damnation Festival, The Metal Sucks/Metal Injection CMJ Showcase, Decibel Magazine’s 100th Issue Anniversary Show and Maryland Deathfest 2013.

PIG DESTROYER: Book Burner Tracklist
Disc 1: Book Burner
1. Sis
2. The American’s Head
3. The Underground Man
4. Eve
5. The Diplomat
6. All Seeing Eye
7. Valley of the Geysers
8. Book Burner
9. Machiavellian
10. Baltimore Strangler
11. White Lady
12. The Bug
13. Iron Drunk
14. Burning Palm
15. Dirty Knife
16. Totaled
17. Kamikaze Heart
18. King of Clubs
19. Permanent Funeral

Disc 2: “Blind, Deaf, and Bleeding” (Deluxe Editions Only)
1. Depression (Black Flag)
2. Wolfs Blood (Misfits)
3. Lights Out (Angry Samoans)
4. Can’t Tell No One (Negative Approach)
5. Deny Everything (Circle Jerks)
6. Betray (Minor Threat)
7. Who Are You? (Void)

“Pig Destroyer’s Book Burner is the best metal album of the year”
– 5/5 Metal Sucks

“skull-crushing”
– MTV.com

“The kings of bludgeoning art grind…a fucking phenomenal extreme metal band”
– KERRANG!

“They continue to create some of the most interesting, challenging, and indelible grind of the last decade.”
-Decibel

“a quantum leap for the whole goddamn genre.”
– Pitchfork

“their most manic album yet”
– CMJ

“A sound that is among the most extreme ever created.”
– Allmusic