Black metal and folk metal, two genres that are pretty damn good separate, and yet I’ve never thought about how it would sound if you combined them both. Thrawsunblat’s new album, “Wanderer on the Continent of Saplings”, is probably the best result you’ll ever get. To be honest, I’ve been a fan of this band ever since I first heard of Thrawsunblat’s first album, “Canada 2010″. Heavily influenced by life and his surroundings, Joel Violette puts together a wonderful album and the musicians he has brought onto this project make everything come together so beautifully. Rae Amitay on drums and Brendan Hayter on the bass make this release such a step up from Canada 2010, it’s as if they had a major label backing them, million dollar producers and engineers putting forth every bit of musical science into the album. However, this band put together a fundraiser and the fans reacted and come together to help fund this album. With the help of the fans and the masterful musicianship from the band itself, it all resulted in one of the most fulfilling metal releases of the year!!!
Growing up in the area that I’m from, we never really had a great music scene. There were talented bands scattered around, but most of them never lasted very long. There isnt really a surplus of musicians. When I was about 15 or 16, I started finding out about some bands from an area about 40min south of the town I live. The musicians in some of these bands were(and still are) some of the best musicians I’ve ever had the chance to know. One in particular is a guitarist by the name of Aaron Carey. At that time he was in a melodic death metal band called Angelrust. I had never heard anything like them yet, and didn’t know how to take their sound at first. But I do remember seeing Aaron play for the first time at my first Tombfest(a local summer metal show that sadly is no more), and to this day he is one of the most impressive guitar players I’ve ever seen.
So fast forward to 2013. Angelrust has been disbanded for quite some time now after writing an INCREDIBLE final album(The Nightmare Unfolds, Link will be at the end of the review). Aaron has moved on and started a project called “Nechochwen”. Blending his infleunces of early 90′s death, thrash and black metal with his Native American heritage, Nechochwen is truley uniqiue and amazing. A sound which I can only describe as Native American Folk Metal. While being a very extremely talented metal guitar player, Aarons acoustic and classical playing is where he really shines. The first album “Algonkian Mythos” is mostly acoustic music, but the metal influence hasnt come into play just yet. Still, Incredible guitar playing. Mythos is followed up by “Azimuths to the Otherworld” which is where metal starts to make its stand. This album is truely incredible and bounces back and forth, while staying closer to the darker metal sound. “OtO” is a natural progression for Nechochwen. Adding into the mix on “Azimuths” is former Angelrust bandmate and engineer Andrew D’Cagna on Drums and Bass, with some vocals as well.
OtO is a hard album to describe using only words. Imagine some metal dudes took a weekend trip to some forests in The Appalachian area. Both guys very talented musicians taking natural influences from culture and heritage of this area. Listening to Nechochwen is like taking a spiritual journey. Not following the pattern of Azimuths, OtO starts off pretty calm and melodic. Focused primariy on the classical guitar parts for the earlier part of the record, the rythym section does a good job of playing tastfully and dynamically giving some of these passages the exact skilled backing they deserve. Electric guitar work is also scattered throughout tastefully and skillfully. As Im writing this, Im about halfway through OtO. Its starting pick up, and is really foreshadowing the epic and powerful music thats on its way. While skillful guitar playing is thing that draws me most into this music, there are also other native wind instruments that I sadly do not know the names of, but rest assured Aaron is also skilled at these as well. Track 5, “Hey Ya Ho Na”, is one of my favorites off the album. Bringing back the extreme metal sound that was all over Azimuths, this track starts off heavy and melodic. All you can do is headbang. Tribal style drums and harmonized vocals chanting along similar to the title of the track make a nice little break in the action and then back to melodic headbanging metal. Continuing you through the musical journey that is OtO. \m/ . The album is closed with the track “Pekikalooletiiwe (instructions; an exhoration)” (dont worry, i dont know how to say that either). Excellent thrashy death metal riffs accompanied again by skilled and tasteful drumming, this album is coming to an extreme and climactic ending. The masterful riffs in this song really carry it. Getting very complex while still sounding intelligent, this is a good song to wrap up the album.
The arrangement of OtO is very important. This is not an album that you just pop one song on and are done with it. The flow is everything. Starting off calm and smooth, while branching into heavier parts towards the end, and bringing it back to the calm native folk sound that you will grow to love. It’s also important to note that this album was written and recorded for vinyl and intended to be heard that way. While the prodcution of the digital version youll more than likely hear is still good, this album can only improve when hearing it as intended. Aarons skilled and disciplined guitar playing deserves to be heard. Please do yourself a favor and add Nechochwen into your personal music collection.
Available now on bindrune recordings. Here are a few links to check out.
I give OtO a 4.5 out of 5. Listen to it TODAY!
Thrawsunblat have done it! They met their goals, worked tirelessly to get these new tunes recorded and have released the brand spanking new epic known as “Wanderer on the Continent of Saplings”!!! If you missed the interview with Joel Violette, be sure to catch up on that while you listen to the new album on their bandcamp page. A proper review will no doubt appear on this site soon, but for now I can just say I am loving every single bit of blood, sweat and tears that was poured into this record. The perfect way to start your day, listen to Thrawsunblat!!!!
Go give them a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thrawsunblat?fref=ts
Seriously some of the best music by some of the nicest people in the metal world. Cheers!
Joel Violette, a man I admire. A man with intellect, talent and a desire to continue on after hard times. Joel is the main writer of the Canadian Blackened Folk band “Thrawsunblat” and ex-lead guitarist of Woods of Ypres. Now focusing on Thrawsunblat, we’re going to be seeing new music and much more coming from this band in the near future. I had a couple of questions for Joel and I enjoyed what he had to say. So sit back, relax and enjoy the deep responses this man gives.
Listen to Canada 2010 while you read this. Enjoy.
On this frigid winter morning I bring you a brand spanking new update from the even colder region of Canada!
Chelsea Wolfe: I’m again enchanted by her voice and their music….the music is so moving and her voice is so breathe taking. I’ve never had a voice shake my soul so hard. Songs like “Movie Screen” and “Pale on Pale” are constantly playing in my head and it’s been ten fold this past week. I truly hope you listen to their music and feel the same way you do. Chelsea Wolfe is releasing an acoustic album this fall and I hope it’s as good as their plugged in versions. I mean if the song “Flatlands” is any indication as to how the new album will sound then I think it’s safe to say it’ll be the best “non-metal” album of the year. Pick up their music and get high just listening to their folk/doom sounds with her dark angelic voice over it. I love this shit! You should too. Check out the playlist I have been jamming on for the past week here. Or press play and the video below will automatically play the entire playlist for you. Enjoy.
“Don’t you ever cross that bridge in your mind again. It’s like a movie screen”
Big big big congratulations to Vattnet Viskar!!!! The black metal/doom/ambient soulshaking group from a small town in New Hampshire have really left a great impression on me and I’m guessing the rest of the world because they have blown the fuck up in the last 2 years. Vattnet Viskar takes everything you love about Woods of Ypres, Agalloch, Abigail Williams and other similar bands and blends them into one nice shake that is easy and enjoyable to consume. Their latest release scored amazingly here on Headbang or GTFO and I’m not one to post about “This band signed to so-and-so” but holy fuck I’m so happy for these guys. Century Media will definitely benefit from them. I believe Vattnet Viskar will definitely go places and I hope the pressures of touring and dealing with executive knuckleheads doesn’t fuck with them at all. The absolute best of luck to these guys in the future and now that you’re signed COME TO FUCKING KANSAS CITY, MO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Spread the word. Vattnet Viskar are going to dominate. Congratulations again! I’m drinking a beer for you guys to celebrate!
Be sure to see them live!!!
VATTNET VISKAR live 2012
6/10–Worcester Death Fest (w/ SIX FEET UNDER, DYING FETUS, REVOCATION and more)–The Palladium, Worcester, MA
9/6-8–Hopscotch Music Fest (w/ BARONESS, SUNN O))), ALTAR OF PLAGUES, YOUNG AND IN THE WAW and more)–Raleigh, NC
Check them out online!
Agalloch have officially announced the dates for their summer North American tour below. The trek will see Taurus serve as support. Agalloch will mount the trek in support of their new EP “Faustian Echoes“, which the band will have on band on LP/CD at the shows. A digital release will occur prior to the tours kick off.
07/11 Portland, OR – Branx (feat. Eight Bells)
07/12 Seattle, WA – The Crocodile(feat. Eight Bells)
07/13 Vancouver BC – Rickshaw Theatre (feat. Eight Bells)
07/14 Spokane, WA – The A Club(feat. Eight Bells)
07/15 TBA – TBA
07/16 TBA – TBA
07/17 Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
07/18 Omaha, NE – Waiting Room
07/19 Milwaukee, WI – Miramar Theater
07/20 Chicago, IL – Reggie’s
07/21 Ann Arbor, MI – Blind Pig (feat. Musk Ox)
07/22 Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
07/23 Toronto, ON – Opera House (feat. Musk Ox)
07/24 Montreal, QC – Petit Campus (feat. Musk Ox)
07/25 Boston, MA – Middle East
07/26 Brooklyn, NY – Williamsburg Music Hall (feat. Musk Ox)
07/27 Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts
07/28 Springfield, VA – Empire
07/29 Raleigh, NC – King’s Barcade
07/31 Tampa, FL – Orpheum
08/01 Atlanta, GA – The Earl
08/02 Birmingham, AL – Bottletree (feat. Pallbearer)
08/03 New Orleans – One Eyed Jack’s (feat. Pallbearer)
08/04 TBA – TBA
08/05 Austin, TX – Red 7
08/08 TBA – TBA
08/09 San Diego, CA – The Casbah (feat. Author & Punisher)
08/10 TBA – TBA
08/11 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
09/29 Calgary, AB – Noctis V Metal Fest (no Taurus)
Amazing music. A beautiful voice. Droning riffs, ambient electronic work, a perfect bland of doom/folk and sometimes psychedelic surf with acoustic/electronic instruments….it serenades my soul each and every time I listen to it. Chelsea Wolfe is a band that doesn’t fit in with anything I usually listen to. So taking a break from horrid screams and blast beats and indulging in this is such a treat. It’s hard to explain how much I truly enjoy this. It’s something I feel, it is something that strikes a chord with me and I just dig the hell out of it. Don’t believe me? Listen to my playlist or just press play on a couple of the videos below. Enjoy.
Communic, a new band to me….sounds like a blend of Black Label Society and Nevermore. I’m digging this! Check it out.
Well it’s happened. Possibly the worst thing I’ve heard this year. I got half way through the album and just turned it off and I’ll go into why soon enough. Countess is a black metal band hailing from The Netherlands and their music is a test of aching endurance. On Wings of Defiance is not listenable and that’s saying it as nice as I can. The production values are bad but that is the norm for black metal…so that is not what makes it bad. It’s the shitty guitar tone…I had better tone coming out of my 15 watt amp and beginner guitar when I pulled it out of the box. It’s one of the worst tones I’ve ever heard and the timing is all wrong at times. Like they forgot how to play their own riffs it seems. Bass guitar and drumming isn’t all that bad, production kind of makes the drumming sound programmed. The vocals are laughable and the lyrics are just cheesy as hell. The whole concept of this band/album is just cartoonishly bad. It’s as if Trey Parker and Matt Stone got stupid wasted and recorded an album in one night, being as cliched and goofy as possible.
On Wings of Defiance has NO redeeming qualities…even if they are trying to be goofy….it’s just not. Don’t waste your money, don’t waste your time. This album is horrid and offensive to the ears.
Pros: When you turn it off, that’s the best part of the album
Cons: 100% pure garbage
0 out of 5
This week I want to feature Thrawsunblat for the Wreckommendation of the week. If you’re a fan of black metal, folk metal or whatever it is that makes Woods of Ypres & Agalloch so special, then you’ll abso-fucking-lutely love Thrawsunblat. Oh and Joel Violette & David Gold from Woods of Ypres are on this, maybe that’s why it’s so damn good. I wrote about this band early on when this blog started and it doesn’t lose it’s charm. I could try to chat you up on how good this is but you should just listen to it instead. Check them out on Bandcamp and Facebook! Enjoy Thrawsunblat.
This week we tone down the guitars, slow down the percussion and tell the mad vocalist to take a hike and replace them with incredibly talented singer/guitarist/song writer Chelsea Wolfe. Her style may not be exactly “metal” but she has this goth/doom presence about her and the music she puts out is unlike anything else that I listen to. Her voice is simply, beautiful. It’s gives you goosebumps, it makes you feel the music and if you are like KeepItWolfSon, it makes you fall in love over and over.
Enjoy Chelsea Wolfe. Grab a cup of coffee, smoke a bowl and kick the fuck back. Grab a loved one and dance around. Feel the music…it’s very unique. Visit her Facebook and Twitter for updates, news and random shit. Also, visit her official site!
If the title doesn’t explain it well enough, then head over to their bandcamp and enjoy the music they are offering. Then buy the album!
I’m currently listening to this as I type it and I am really digging it! I just listened to the album in full and IT IS FUCKING GOOD!!! I like their approach to folk metal. It’s the best adaptation I’ve ever heard of this genre, quite frankly.