Table Of Contents
12: KMFDM – In a rare and candid interview with In- 36: SAMAEL dustrial overlord Sascha Konietzko, decides to crawl out of his crypt to talk with Arceon, about the band’s 25th Anniversary, plus their new album – BLITZ
ABORT™ Magazine Canada’s Counter Culture ISSUE 10
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Staff Photographers: Chris Webber, Scott Alexander, Jamie Sands, Ajani Charles (Toronto).Sarah Hamilton, Amalia Nickel, Grimm Culhane, Chris McKibbin, Arceon Web Design/Graphics: John Allan (www.johnallan.ca) Contributors: Jimmy Lynch, Jeffrey Chan Tin, Taylor Ell, Matt Mernagh, Jonathan Parsons, Sean Cowie, Daniel Bacharach Additional Backgrounds: Blakk Reign Cover Artwork by Dave MacDowell www.macdowellstudio.com ABORT Logo by Ara Shimoon ABORT MAGAZINE is owned and operated by: Abort Media Publishing Corporation (AMP Corp.) 1140 Comox St. Ste 203 Vancouver, BC Canada, V6E 1K5 778.330.7575 Fuck The Fax General Info: firstname.lastname@example.org www.abortmag.com www.abortmagazine.com www.abort.tv www.abortmag.com/abortcast
14: B-REAL of Cypress Hill - Hazed and Konfused,? Maybe you are, but certainly not Cypress Hill’s legendary MC B-Real, as he gets grimy with the road stories and his latest solo effort on Duck Down - Smoke n’ Mirrors 18: CANNIBAL CORPSE. Florida/Buffalo Death Metal Kings Cannibal Corpse are on the road again to support their latest opus Evisceration Plague and Alex Webster takes a bite out of Alxs Ness to give the lowdown on the band’s current activities and well a Canadian Metal history lesson. Knife and fork not included...
Black Metal turns white? Not bloody likely, Cursed to live in a blasphemous lake of fire for and is for bringing up the word “Industrial”, writer Arceon strips out of his Black Robe and goes head to head in a Q&A with...
38: LAMAR ASHE – Up and Coming Soul Deviant from Canada’s Killawatt camp (Red-1, Plazma Crew)
42: VIRUS - Weird , complicated. Beautiful. No we are not describing our UK man on the scene John Norby, but VIRUS main man Crzal, whom John engages in some Heavy Metal Hodgepodge.“Alex, I’ll take Norwegian Church Burning for $666. 44: MUNICIPAL WASTE – After getting raped
22: NAUGHTY BY NATURE Classic timeless
(not literally...well, maybe) by our fine Canadian Border patrol agents, Richmond Virgina’s Municipal Waste (currently on the road with the mighty Lamb of God),get all teary-eyed, until ABORT pampers them with some of BC’s finest medicines. The interview then commences.
24: OHGR - ex-Skinny Puppy vocalist turned actor, turned
by Daniel Bacharach
Hip-Hoppers sound off to ABORT’s Dave “Corvid” McCallum and gets down with the D.M.C to give up the goods on their upcoming release with the all original line-up. man forced to work with Paris Hilton gets ready to pull the trigger but not before confessing his sins to Grimm Culhane on a stormy black night in Vancouver. ‘Scary kids!” - Count Floyd
28: K’NAAN: Multi-talented Somalian/Canadian rapper talks to ABORT’s Amalia J.Nickel. Much to our dismay, there’s actually nothing funny to insert here, not even a pirate joke. He’s a cool head, what can we say. 30: INKSPLOITATION: DJ MUGGS -
Soul Assassin # 1 DJ Muggs from Cypress Hill, gives ABORT photographer Jamie Sands some visual insight into his personal ink from the legendary Mister Cartoon.
34: CLASSIFIED Canada’s new breed of MC, strikes gold with a major label deal and a new perspective on the biz.
46: THE CUTTING EDGE - Russ Foxx Gallery
52: ABORTIST: Rank & File (Banned Art from Russia, Italy, Toronto and Victoria BC) 66: BEHIND THE BOARDS: Drew Correa the man behind the boards for Lil’ Wayne...minus the Nyquil
plus: Shooting Gallery Reviews (Live, CD, DVD, Book, Film) Headphonica Denied! - Kool Keith and Cradle of Filth Audiotopsy – Modulok Tales from the Eastside by Chris Webber
... AND A TON OF SHIT NOBODY CARES ABOUT, AT LEAST NOT THE VANCOUVERITES.
An Open Letter to a Closed Mind this month...
A TESTICULAR TRAVESTY Subject: The Bronx Live Review
Hey Dave, My name is Kai, I play in “A Textbook Tragedy.” I’ve read a plethora of live reviews of my band over our career, some horrible, some great, but never once have I been compelled to respond to the writer. We have always been a band that takes all of our criticism with a grain of salt, understanding that a technical and somewhat ‘spaztic’ style will sometimes garner unfavourable reviews. We were on tour in Canada recently when we got offered an opening spot with the Bronx in Vancouver. It was a basically unpaid show that we knew would wouldn’t be ‘our crowd,’ but we decided to take it anyways. As fans of the Bronx, and Vancouverites who have never played Richards on Richards, we thought ‘lets do it, and just make the best of it!’ Could be a fun time. So yes, as we expected, our brand of heavy music did not rile the crowd up into a frenzy. That’s fine, you can fault us all you want in your live review over the crowd not caring. We played with the fucking Bronx, an amazing, yet simplistic band. We played it for the sake of being able to play with the Bronx; a band we have been fans of for some time. It was fun...we had a good time, despite the fact that it wasn’t ‘our crowd.’ So fast forward to your live review. For someone to put the word ‘songs’ in quotation marks, just because we dont play typical verse/chorus/ style music...to say our ‘songs’ are solely created through ‘ripping off ’ the last 20 years of music? And then somehow including cock rock as a style we ‘steal’ from. That’s some serious shit... Listen man, I won’t sit here and list off our accomplishments like an arrogant moron. I wont rant about us being younger and harder working than most other bands, I wont rant about our dedication to creating interesting heavy music, that doesn’t rely on repetition and form...I don’t expect you to care. I don’t want you to care. I just want to say fuck you. Fuck you Dave. It’s one thing to brush us off, maybe say our music wasn’t your cup of tea, but to trash a hardworking band from your own city. You work for a fucking local mag, and you go out of your way to say the worst things you can say about one of the only heavy bands in vancouver that actually leaves vancouver....fuck man. You couldn’t see past the fact that we were simply on the wrong bill? You really
AND IN THIS CORNER weighing in at 260 pounds (120 of which is his mouth) Dave McCallum Subject: Re: bronx live review You know, nothing personal, but you sound like you’ve never even heard real criticism before. Being primarily a Hip Hop Journalist I rarely cover metal or punk bands, but since I love the Bronx I figured I’d check it out. And it’s not like I don’t know my shit either - I was playing Slayer covers and original thrash/ death metal when you were shitting pablum and my critique of today’s “heavy” music is based on a time when bitch ass wannabes like those filling Richard’s on Richard’s that night would have been left toothless and leaking on stretchers just for the way they were dressed. I have never seen such a fake, fashion whore scene as this pathetic town (in all scenes) and it is my job to call it like I smell it. Honestly I didn’t even dislike your band enough to really care, I just thought you were damn sloppy and boring as hell, and all your pretensions of being “technical” or
more sophisticated than a real band like the Bronx (“simplistic” - what are you a fucking jazz student? probably)make you sound like a real fucking poseur. In my day bands had chops (and hair), played in all downstrokes and didn’t cover their mistakes with shitty distortion and feedback. You guys look like you should be playing Pavement covers. I’m sure you have a dedicated fan base that loves to suck your dicks but for my money “songs” are something retained by the memory and not just so much dross. Sounds like you guys get your anger and frustration from living in Mom’s basement too long, typical white Vancouver suburbanites I’m guessing. Try yoga. And learn to take knocks from a real critic cause if you’re in it for the long haul there will be plenty more. Just because one critic doesn’t like your music doesn’t mean it’s all over - try playing a show in a real town where motherfuckers throw shit, boo and heckle - if you can’t take your lumps you’re not made for this shit, so as we Irish say “don’t be such a big gurl’s blouse!!!” Dave McCallum
think we steal cock rock riffs to create our music? To even go as far as suggest we have no originality or groove or memorable moments. That its all a big fucking waste of time. I hope you choke on your mothers cock. Go write some music, then send it to me. I will go that little extra mile to ruin your fucking day. I don’t care who the band or artist is, you don’t fucking put the word ‘songs’ in quotes like you did to us, when referring to our music. I thought it would be fun to play with a band we dont sound like. Turns out its not worth it. Live Nation should have gotten a 4 chord punk band that you could have grasped more. Something with originality and hooks, right? Die slow, Dave, -Kai
poster by daniel bacharach
To The Point With...
KMFDM KMFDM are the pioneers of industrial rock and one of the most outstanding bands in the history of industrial music. They have been inventing and shaping the genre all they way since its conception and at the same time delivering their individual style - the incomparable Ultra-Heavy Beat. With hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide, KMFDM have always been at the pin-point of both musical achievement and social awareness. Though an amazingly successful act, they have always stayed faithful to their underground roots. Celebrating their 25th anniversary, the one and only Sascha Konietzko, founding member and running force of the band, has recorded a smashing new album BLITZ. He was kind enough to take the time and chat with ABORT Magazine’s Arceon, about past and future achievements, a bit of life philosophy and touring plans. Arceon: If we were to ask whether you think BLITZ is the best album you’ve made to date, you’d probably answer “yes”, as with any other release. But as a quarter of a century passes by, some music gets outdated. Since we all hope KMDFM is going to be around for at least as long, do you feel BLITZ will stand the test of time amongst your fans and/or the industry? Sascha : Of course I would say “yes”. As for the industry, i couldn’t care less, as you would probably suspect anyways. In regards to what KMFDM’s fans will feel in the future about BLITZ, i am confident that, as with other KMFDM releases from way back when, that still enjoy a great deal of popularity, it will be regarded as a “Klassik” for many years to come. Fortunately, tastes are varied, there’s no right or wrong in that department, and as a result any one person may love this or that track the most on any given album, yet the next person feels the opposite and has a different favorite. ABORT: Straight to business. There has been a great deal of speculation about former KMFDM member Tim Skold’s work on the new album. What role has he played?
S.K.: Tim co-produced a number of tracks on BLITZ. Insofar his role was important enough, though he doesn’t perform on BLITZ. Our side-project SKOLD vs. KMFDM is where he and i let it rip on all burners. ABORT: You are one of the most hard-working musicians on the scene. The fans are dying to know more about Skold vs KMFDM. Did Lucia take part in this side-project? Which other surprises might await us later in the year? S.K.: SKOLD vs. KMFDM is strictly Tim and i, nobody else. As for surprises, they wouldn’t be surprising if i preempted them ;-) ABORT: I’m fluent in Russian and naturally was very surprised and pleased with “Davai”. To tell you the truth though, it sounds a bit Soviet. How did you come up with this track? Did you write the lyrics yourself? S.K.: There was a certain gist that i wanted to relate with DAVAI. Naturally, since i am not fluent in Russian, it became an act of balancing the translation from English into Russian, on one hand preserving the simplicity and the starkness, on the other hand mold the lyrics to the track. ABORT: “Davai” is exemplary of KMFDM diversity and ingenuity. Combining entertainment and highly sophisticated and intelligent lyrics, and, better yet, mixing it all in one song has been a trademark of the band since its inception. Did the issues, that you address with your music, change with time? Is “Davai” pointing in a different direction? S.K.: KMFDM is political without leaning towards any mainstream, “party”-politics. The basis of our societies is responsibility. That is something most people are not used to base their lives and their actions upon. If there was a message in KMFDM’s lyrics, condensed it would be: Think for yourself. Consider your actions and their effects. Think ahead ! Realize the impossible, become a better person, be an example to the ones around you. ABORT: If there was one human emotion that you could put out of existence, what would it be? S.K.: greed ABORT: As a pioneer, you have witnessed the growth of the genre. Industrial music is very rich and manifold: we have industrial metal, rock, electro-industrial etc... With that being said, since your sound constantly changes, where does BLITZ put you in this dynamic world?
be painted into any common corner. KMFDM is, was and always will be the only protagonist, the sole acolyte, the inventor and the undertaker of it’s own genre: The Ultra-Heavy Beat. ABORT: Do you have any piece of equipment that you’re particularly happy to work with? S.K.: my mind ABORT: Which countries have you wanted to play in but never got the chance? Speaking of which, can you shed some light on your touring plans? S.K.: There are many places i have never been to, and what better way to visit a country/place than by bringing the gift of rousing sound ! KMFDM will embark on a large tour, beginning in Europe in late spring, coming to the US in early fall 2009. See you there !!
• www.kmfdm.net By Arceon
S.K.: I’ve never been one to genre-hop, nor have i let myself
With his first official debut album Smoke N’ Mirrors now in stores and some festival appearances throughout 2009,the always outspoken B-Real talks with E.S. Day about the recording of his first solo album, signing to Duck Down Records and the upcoming brand new album from the legendary Cypress Hill. ABORT:How did the Audio Hustlaz imprint merge with Duck Down? tell us a bit about that. B-Real: Well back then Audio Hutlaz was really just a production company, it wasn’t really a label, and as I was shopping my demo out there , there were a lot of labels that were really interested, but really they were expecting me to piggyback off of the Cypress Hill name, I didn’t really want to do that I really wanted to create my own thing. ABORT:Right right understandable, now I notice since the Duck Down thing, to me right off the bat you got Buckshot from Boot Camp Clik on the album, then you got the West Coast reppin’ on the album like Snoop, your partner Sen Dog and Too Short ..who is classic, but did any of the East Coast sound seep in during the production of this album? B-Real:Oh definitely, I mean I’m inspired by a lot of East Coast groups, that was our thing when we were coming up, Cypress Hill we had a West Coast influence in our lyrics and an East Coast sensibility in our beats, so yeah I wanted the West Coast flavour on the album but also East Coast, because that’s where my roots were coming up in this game so I thought I’d stick to bit of both
ABORT:Well speaking of roots I’m gonna bring this up, I mean you guys have been in the game at least 20 years in the publics’ eyes and in the mainstream’s eyes, but I’m gonna say for a lot of people growing up - at least my age, that Cypress Hill is a real crossover act, one of the first
(The ABORT Interview)
Rap acts I ever saw on stage at metal shows or what they called “Alternative” festivals back then like Lollapalooza stuff like that. Would it be at all possible that B-Real and/ or Cypress Hill got back to that era a la Judgment Night soundtrack? You know bring that original rapcore feeling back to the game. B-Real: Well the new Cypress Hill album is definitely a hip-hop record, we’re still bringing that flavour back in for the alternative kids, it’s not to say we’ve abandoned that flavor, I mean that flavor is on the album but it’s primarily a hip-hop album but with Cypress’s new album which is on Suburban Noize Records, there’s this one track on the album where that hybrid of hip-hop and rock come together - a track produced by Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine so that should keep people
happy, but that mash up is not as prominent as it was on Skull & Bones
and Sennheiser headphones, it’s pretty well my main endorsement right there.
ABORT: First after Smoke N’ Mirrors you’ll be doing some touring obviously, you recently played it to Paid Dues Festival and got some dates for Rock The Bells coming up will ther be any other ventures coming up?
ABORT: Great, and on the web of course, we can find you at brealonline.com MySpace.com//brealonline, duckdown.com/breal and of course cypresshill.com.
B-Real: Might be working with one of the guys from Psycho Realm, depends how my schedule works out with Cypress. ABORT:How did the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors thing treat you? B-Real:Oh that was great, they treated us is really good plus a really great afterparty.
B-Real: Yeah there’s a lot of Dot Com’s going on (laughs) ABORT: I Want to thank you for your time and good luck with everything, we hope you make it to Vancouver real soon B-Real:Thanks, and I hope to be in Vancouver soon as well, thank you, I appreciate it. By E.S. Day
ABORT: We spoke with Estevan Oriol a few issues back, we were talking to him about Cypress Hill, are you still rocking the Joker Brand clothing? or do you have your own clothing line? What’s coming up? B-Real: I still represent Joker Brand I used to be a coowner. And really, to mix that with my music career I didn’t have as much time for it, got pretty hectic so you know, had to step down but those guys [Estevan and Mister Cartoon] run it, but I still definitely still wear it, I still represent ABORT:I got to ask, is B-Real or Cypress Hill, ever done any charity work? Let’s say maybe for the homeless or HIV/AIDS something like that? B-Real:Yes, actually last year we did something in Chicago you know we’ve been really proactive because with recording so much and touring... once the album’s done definitely be making an effort to give back and get involved in a lot of other things. ABORT:And lastly, speaking about festivals, is there going to be another Smokeout Festival? B-Real: Well, we are working on it right now artists working on the details and trying to iron out the lineup but yet we’re definitely talking about bringing it back ABORT: And before forget what about gear, Gary rock in these days are those who don’t know B-Real: Sennheiser right now I’m rockin’ Sennheiser mics
talking to people. It’s not possible to be in contact with every fan when you’ve got thousands of fans, but if you can even be in contact with some of them then it’s better than nothing. ABORT: Well, you make the effort. AW: Yeah, we definitely try to. ABORT: Any side projects or video game appearances or soundtracks or anything…
The ABORT Interview After 20 years, Cannibal Corpse has earned a long-standing reputation as one of the leading players in Death Metal music. Known for disturbing, gore-filled lyrics, extremely fast, heavy riffs and their consistent dedication to extreme metal, Cannibal Corpse continues to be one of the most important bands of their genre and don’t seem to be letting up any time soon. 2009’s Evisceration Plague marks their eleventh release to date. ABORT Magazine’s Death Metal correspondent Alxs Ness caught up with bassist Alex Webster on the Vancouver stop of their recent tour. Alxs Ness: You guys just released Evisceration Plague 2 months ago. How does it feel to have some fresh material for this tour? Alex Webster: I’m always excited to play the old stuff because a lot the fans react really well to that and you get energy off of that. But for us as players, playing something live that we haven’t done very much or not at all in the past onstage, that’s a lot of fun. It’s exciting. We’re doing five songs off of the new album tonight. In a 20 song set, that’s quite a good size chunk of it. We have 11 albums and when you’re limited to about an hour and 20 mins or so of time it gets to be hard to represent every album, but we will be playing at least one song from each of those 11. ABORT: Is there a music video in the works for this album? AW: We actually did one for the song Evisceration Plague- the title track- and that’s been played on American Headbanger’s Ball and MTV2, but I don’t think it’s been played anywhere else. ABORT: Checking out Cannibalcorpse.net, you have the forum up there and it’s got the “Ask the Cannibals” section and you actually respond to the fans. AW: For awhile I was getting on there about once every 2 or 3 weeks and then lately it’s been more like every few months. I let more questions pile up and then I’ll go on and answer them. Once in a while one of them is directed towards one of the other guys and I’ll get one of them to answer it and then insert it for them. But I’m actually the only guy in the band as far as I know that has a log-in on our forum. At least personally, like tonight after the show, you’ll see that some of us will be hanging around outside
AW: As far as side appearances and stuff, George does some voices for that TV show Metalocalypse with the band Dethklok. He’s not actually one of the band guys; he does some other characters like a couple of minor characters that appear once in a while. And then in that World of Warcraft they named a character basically after him, some NPC character called Gorge the Corpsegrinder which… it can’t be a coincidence. ABORT: Any royalties coming in from that? AW: No. He found out about it after the fact, but it’s no coincidence. He seems happy about it though. He’s the only one in the band who really gets into video games and he loves that World of Warcraft, he plays it all the time. Some guy did an interview with him when we were over in Germany and that interview got kinda popular and I get the feeling that somebody at the company that makes that game saw it and that’s why they put that name to kinda tip their hat to him. That’s pretty cool that they did it. ABORT: Are you guys looking forward to playing the Mayhem festival? Do you have any UK Festival appearances? AW: Um, well we’ve got the Mayhem festival thing going and that’s that tour throughout the United States. There’s only one Canadian date and that’s Toronto.
dom but you guys been around like what, 20 years? AW: Yea, I mean if seniority and popularity were the same thing, we’d be in really great shape about now. Well it was a great tour and they were a great band to tour with. Great players. We had a great time on that tour and we were happy that we were able to open for somebody because for so long we’ve not had the opportunity to open for bands. If you’re in our position, who are you going to open for? Half the bands either won’t let you, then the other half aren’t big enough. We could co-headline with like maybe Deicide or somebody but we wouldn’t really want to open for them in the same way that I don’t think they’d want to open for us. We’re one of a handful of bands that’s sort of at the ceiling of Death Metal and in order for us to do a tour where we’re opening for someone, we have to go outside of our genre. ABORT: What do you guys think about Spinal Tap, they’re kicking off their reunion tour April 17th in Vancouver? AW: Fuck I’d love to see it. I’ve never seen them live, I‘ve just watched the movie again for about the millionth time. It rings true for so much stuff. It’s such a well done movie that it’s almost like a “Spinal Tap moment”- somebody’ being a little overly pompous or somebody screwed up or you’re having an in-store where nobody shows up. Those things really happen and you know, it’s good that there’s a movie out there like that just because it helps remind musicians, don’t take yourself too seriously or you end up looking really ridiculous like these guys. ABORT: Minus of Course, I’m sure Cannibal Corpse isn’t having the cucumber at the airport problem though? AW: No, no, no. (laughs) No, no package stuffing…that movie’s great. I think as people, you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously. You can take your music seriously without thinking that you’re some kind of super duper serious artist that’s changing the world
or something. Just having fun and if people enjoy our music that makes us happy. ABORT: Stay grounded. AW: Yeah. ABORT: Did you get any backlash for the Evisceration Plague album cover art like previous album covers? AW: Um, you know not really because the last one Kill wasn’t super gory either. I’d say the most brutal looking ones are Butchered at Birth, Tomb of the Mutilated and The Wretched Spawn. Those are the three that we would have the most trouble with. Our band is about music more then it’s about album covers. I mean the album covers need to look great but we don’t feel obligated to one up ourselves like we might have when we were a little bit younger. It’s more important to one up ourselves musically; see if we can write a heavier song or a better song. What we tried to do this time, honestly because there were so many censorship problems and there’s so few record stores you can sell your stuff at anymore, we figured well just to get beyond that problem altogether, we could just have a really cool looking cover that’s not so gory and then on the inside we put the gory stuff. We get to do what we want to artistically and also still not hamstring ourselves from a business side of things. There’s lots of people at all the different labels with the wheels turning trying to think about how can we get around the slump that things have been going through because of the digital downloading problems. One of the big things is putting a bonus DVD which we have. [In America] our new album’s like $10 for a DVD, a CD and two pieces of art. That’s just from Cannibal. They’re making it so almost, you
We’re totally excited about that. Most important thing to us is that it’s a tour with Slayer and that’s been one of our favorite bands for a long, long time. There should be a whole lot of people at those shows, probably the biggest shows we will have ever done in North America. As far as the UK goes, there’s only that one really big festival that I know of over there, the Download festival, and we’re not playing that. We’ve never done a festival in England. We’re a little bit under developed; I guess would be the business term for it, in England. ABORT: You guys are huge over there, technically. AW: I guess huge on a death metal scale definitely. We might be the biggest death metal band in a lot of markets but the death metal scale is still like, if you put it next to a Mudvayne, System of a Down, Korn scale, it’s much much lower. We had a great time the last time we were in the UK. It was opening for Children of Bodom just like two months ago and those were big shows. ABORT: You think they’d be opening for you. No offence to Bo-
won’t bother to steal it. It does make you wonder, I bought a lot of albums in the late 1980s and early 1990s that cost more money then the ones I buy now. ABORT: Especially the imports when you buy the NWOBHM stuff that was $24.99 import. AW: I tell you it’s tough on the mom and pop stores that have the import stuff. They’ve got to really be having a hard time keeping going because that used to be the only way you could get that stuff and now… ABORT: And that was fun back then. AW: Yeah, searching around for stuff. I’d have to go to a like a mom and pop store and say “Man when are you guys getting in whatever, this Repulsion record or Carcass Peel Sessions, when’s that going to be here.” And they’d be like “Oh well we should be getting it in a couple weeks.” It wasn’t like now where you’re like oh, go type it in. It was fun because you could meet a lot of cool people along the way where you’re not really meeting people online in the same manner. ABORT: That’s what metal was all about back in the day. It really was, about musical bonding. AW: Yeah, I mean if I met somebody who was really into the same kind of music I was, I mean I’m still friends with those guys. There’s a guy I know named Tom from Buffalo who had a fanzine way back in like the mid-eighties; I’m still friends with him. My friend Pat Pagan runs Butchered Records now and I’ve known him since like 1988 or something like that. So some of the guys that you met, they were so into it that they never got out of it. It used to take a lot of work to seek out underground music. If it’s so much easier now, it’s also easier to leave it because you didn’t invest as much of your time and passion into it. Hopefully the passion is there; hopefully I’m wrong about that. I hope that people that get into death metal and black metal and the other extreme forms of metal and music are as passionate about it as us older guys who had to go dig, almost literally dig for the shit. ABORT: Do you know of any unsigned bands back home or anything that you think we should listen to?
but that’s going to take a little time because we’re all so busy. When I am home between tours I’ll be working on new material with Ron and hopefully we’ll have an album out in maybe 2 or 3 years from now. It’s a slower process. Ron is the label basically. EclecticElectric is his label. He’s doing a lot of the envelope stuffing and mailing out CD’s to people and that. There’s a chance we might look for a label next time around just to take some of the burden off of him. I’ll keep doing that as long as I can. I loved doing that album. It was one of the musical highlights of my life working with Ron and Charlie. Awesome. ABORT: It’s crazy shit. AW: Yeah, it’s wild. Like I said it’s a huge honor to have jammed with those guys on that album and I want to keep it going as long as they want to. ABORT: We got one last question, the latest, what you’re listening to now, favorite Canadian metal band? AW: I’ve been listening to Neuraxis a lot b/c we’re on the tour with them. I like Gorguts actually all of the Gorguts stuff. The Obscura album, even though it’s about 10 years old or so, I still go back and listen to it. I didn’t ever see Slaughter but I had Strappado, I still have it on vinyl. Sacrifice, I saw them on Forward to Termination. It was awesome. Once them headlining, once them opening for Motorhead. It was Motorhead headlining, Sacrifice in the middle and Goo Goo Dolls opening. ABORT: Get the fuck out!. AW: Seriously. Goo Goo Dolls were like faster punk rock back then and the local promoter Artie was also the manager of the Goo Goo Dolls and he put them on that show. It was at the Riviera Theatre in Tonawanda. I remember it well and it was awesome. Yeah, Sacrifice are fucking amazing. ABORT: That’d be a nice poster to have, just to see that line-up. AW: Yeah. We played with the Goo Goo Dolls a couple times too. First time we ever played with the Goo Goo Dolls and the first time we ever played Canada was in Toronto at the Siboney Club. Who else was good…um...Infernal Majesty! we love them. We hang out with Steve and Kenny whenever we’re up here and Brian. We toured with them in 1998 and I actually saw them play at the Apocalypse club with Kreator and Coroner.
AW: There’s a few good ones but Omneity is my favorite of the bunch, out of Tampa. And that’s some guys who used to be from Diabolic, who are also a killer band from the Tampa area. I highly recommend it to anybody who likes death metal in the vein of say Immolation or Morbid Angel.
ABORT: Anything you want to add before we go?.
ABORT: Are you still involved with Blotted Science?
AW: Yes, Blotted Science is still an active side project that I have with Ron Jarzombek and Charlie Zeleny. We just record in our home studios and we’d like to eventually make it into a live band
By Alxs Ness Photo by Chris McKibbin
AW: Thanks to anybody who supports our band and we hope to see you on tour.
Naughty by Nature ABORT magazine’s Dave “Corvid” McCallum chats backstage with the “Anthem Kings” on their twenty year career, what makes them classic, and Hip Hop’s role in uniting humanity worldwide. Dave: So this year marks the twentieth anniversary of Naughty By Nature, the re-unification of the original lineup with KayGee, and the upcoming release of “Anthem Inc.”. So what’s up with “Anthem Inc.”? What new perspectives after twenty years in the game are you coming out with and what does “Anthem Inc.” mean to you guys? Treach: It’s like, when you come out, and your grandkids... you’re eighteen or something when you have your first child, and you’re thirty something when you have your grandkids, and they do they thing and they grow up and they fresh out of high school, and in the pros. This is like our baby, like...it’s ridiculous! We thought at first that Kay was gonna come out and tour with us, but he got so many projects as far as production that he gotta handle that. So he’s just doing the production so we have those original, banger, Naughty street anthems...sexy anthems, everything is there with the production value. It’s like a class reunion! ABORT: And what does “Anthem Inc.” mean to you Vinnie? VinRock: Well, it’s like a new beginning, getting back in it with Kay and his production team. You know, he’s been doing a lot of R&B, and doing the Naughty stuff...we was listening to a lot of the early Naughty stuff today and it’s just simple loops going round and round and round. Now the production is more diverse so, you know, we went in there man and we got some hot shit. ABORT: You’ve never been a group that has had to rely on guest appearances or collaborations to get your rep, but are there any collabs or guests on this album? VR: We locking ‘em down right now, so we’re not gonna say who until we get em locked down but, we gonna give it another week or two to come to the table. If it’s gonna happen or not, we moving forward. Treach: ...and Naughty’s album ain’t gonna sound like one big collaboration album, you gonna know this is
Naughty’s album! We got a few people that’s family... anyone I rock with or do business with, they my family. ABORT: Tentative release date? VR: Not yet. We gonna get this thing out definitely before the end of the year. We gonna drop a single this summer, and realistically we gonna have it out September/October. ABORT: Distribution? VR: We just shopping the deal now. Treach: We got a few things on the table but we looking for the best deal so we just weighing it out right now. ABORT: In your interview with KaySlay, you mentioned how back in the day, kids grew up in a time when the essence of Hip Hop was intact and vital, and now almost two generations of kids have grown up with that essence becoming more distant. So, is Hip Hop diversifying or degenerating? Treach: You know, I never wanted to be that parent who with my kids was like - “what is that noise you’re listening to?”. I feel as though eighty percent of Hip Hop is hot! It’s talent, it’s different regions, different ways of doing music. So you gotta respect that. VR: I think, with the technology as well, as it evolves the kids who are using it become iller. It might be a little easier for them, but they add shit and do different shit with it that the average person couldn’t do.
ABORT: So working with artists like P.E. and Queen Latifah, these artists have also had twenty-plus year careers, and you actually worked with Tupac back in the day, are there any current artists that you think will have that kind of longevity and is there anybody that strikes you as having that same kind of fire that Tupac had? Treach: I think there’s a lot of them. Like with Tupac, one of the things kids caught onto is the work ethic, like you see how many songs ‘Pac did...and there’s like so many artists, like Lil’ Wayne is on everything, like when does he sleep? VR: And I think with the record companies it’s so commercial it’s like the same seven artists all day, and with the internet you have the next Biggie out there just waiting...I think all that Hip Hop is out there, it’s just that cats that are on the underground don’t get the chance to be commercialized. ABORT: You’re one of the best groups for bridging the street with party tracks, how do you feel about groups that are claiming gangster or street affilitations and may not really have them? Treach: One thing, it’s entertainment for one, so artists’ personal lives and everything - it’s not about the personal life. You get too in depth into the personal thing instead of enjoying the music, the artform and everything else you got to just respect the music more and stop looking behind the scenes.
vultures like, you wanna get paid and then pretend like you ain’t down with it, and put on they bowties and have Grey Poupon. Treach: Like they larger than Hip Hop. but Hip Hop opened the door for them to do what they had to do. (Pauses) I tell you what too...if it wasn’t for Hip Hop, it’d be anarchy here. There wouldn’t be no dreams, it’d be... the streets would be crazy! People are not out there wildin’ out or doin’ other shit ‘cause they be like - “I got a chance, and it’s my dream to come out so I’m not gonna fuck it up!”. VR: And even with different cultures, you know, the different races and cultures, and all of that craziness that the government would instigate, it’s like Hip Hop brought together all of these cultures. Like, what other music really bonds so many people together? Treach: It’s like, we the poetry politicians! We just came from Indonesia, and politicians that represent people... there be car bombs going off and everything and we got Muslims and Christians partying together! So Hip Hop is way more than just music, it’s a global interaction. Hip Hop brings everyone together, for partying and love! ABORT: Thanks so much guys.
• www.naughtybynature.com By Dave “Corvid” McCallum Photo by Amalia J. Nickel
VR: And I do think there’s a bunch of culture vultures in the game right now, meaning a lot of artists. They don’t care about the essence of the culture, they just look at the culture as a paycheque. And then some of these cats are getting on, and nowthey’re above Hip Hop like “I’m not Hip Hop, I don’t do that”. Fuck them culture
Treach: I mean, when we came out we had the honour of touring with Public Enemy, and their music was about Black Consciousness - “stop drinkin’ the forties, get it together”, but we was on the same tour talkin’ about drinkin’ forties! And Chuck D and Flav and all them wasn’t like “Fuck Naughty!”. They embraced us the whole time, so when we came up we looked to P.E. and RUN-DMC and Queen Latifah telling us to do our thing and be ourselves.
The ABORT Interview Like his music, K’Naan is an interesting hybrid. His latest album Troubadour combines rap, reggae and rock, bringing together an unlikely fan base while relaying his own struggles on a deeply personal level. K’Naan’s adaptability means that he can perform for the United Nations and tour with Snoop Dogg without compromising his sound nor his message. He is consistently outspoken and controversial about issues of human rights and oppression; famed for his childhood escape from Somalia he’s risen to hip-hop notoriety and seems to understand the human experience on many levels. Fellow artists react to K’Naan’s honest expressions and Troubadour has collaborations including Chubb Rock, Damien “Jr. Gong” Marley, Adam Levine and Kirk Hammett: a true smattering of genres. He’s come a long way since 2005’s Dusty Foot Philosopher and has no shortage of work, making it onto the bill for the Rock The Bells tour alongside legends like KRSONE and Nas. ABORT’s Amalia J. Nickel caught up with Canada’s hardest working rapper to chat about his latest album, his upcoming tour with Snoop Dogg and his work with the 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Amalia J. Nickel: “If Rap gets Jealous” with Metallica’s Kirk Hammett is attracting rock and metal fans who don’t normally like rap and rap fans who don’t listen to rock: musically, what do you relate to most and what have you learned from mixing in other genres? K’Naan: I don’t know if I really learned anything, cexept a great melody is a great melody no matter what genre. We just want to make good, honest music if it happens to cross over then that’s great. ABORT: Of all the old-school rappers you could have revamped with why did you choose Chubb Rock for the single “ABCs”? K’Naan: The Chubbster….. man it was really about inspiration. When we were in Jamaica working on ABC’s we decided to use the old school drum pattern from Treat em right on the track it worked so perfectly. The once we submitted the track this cat from Cornerstone named Rob Stone was digging it and he recognized the drum and suggested we reach out to Chubb Rock. We were like wow, you can do that? Once he got
the track he loved it and killed the verse. ABORT:You received a lot of exposure for your part in the TV show 4REAL, specifically the “Kenya”episode, besides building up your fan base how did that experience shape your perspective and how is that reflected in Troubadour? K’Naan:Well for me that was a journey home, a reminder of where I come from and a chance to reconnect to the Dusty Foot Philosophers of the world. 4REAL was a great show in that it created dialog in a unique way for people to share a platform and be celebrated for their work in the same way that an artist or celebrity is. For me however it was not such a step outside of myself as I am never separated from this aspect of my life, it is woven into the very fabric of who I am and I am reminded of the importance and relevance if I am in Jamestown or in Mogadishu. ABORT: Songs like “People Like Me” present a voice for the oppressed and in general you’re quite vocal about life in wartorn Somalia. As a child you moved to Toronto, where many immigrants struggle with poverty, prejudice and street warfare - what were your initial difficulties when arriving in Canada? K’Naan:You have to deal with a lot when you come to a new place, you automatically miss home but that is quickly replaced with a social and cultural disconnect. As a child or teenager you are forced to adapt to survive, adults may have the luxury to take a their time but since you are attending school and becoming a point of contact for the family you must adjust in an instant. Obvious other difficulties were language, food and ultimately the lack of an understanding of the place we now lived and our inherent human rights. ABORT: You work a lot with the United Nations, recently performing at the MDG Awards Inaugural Concert, and you’re also part of the 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Are you aware of the controversies surrounding the 2010 Games in Vancouver, especially by the First Nations and homeless populations? What factors shape the choices you make to get on board with these programs? K’Naan:This is always an interesting question in that people are quick to make the assessment of institutions and assume
they are to blame for the massive injustice of the world when in fact they are players in an overall system that we all buy into each and every day of our lives. Do I think that the UN is going to solve the worlds problems, No I have been one of the most vocal critics of the UN and hopefully that is why they asked me to come back and perform a few weeks ago. The platform that they provide for my songs to be heard and my message to be passed on is worth standing on cause it takes the message to the four corners of the earth. As far as the Olympics, I wish that they would take better care of the people who are the stewards of this land and people who don’t have the means to take of themselves but I am not sure that me not being involved would be the best way to “protest” in fact by doing it you’re here asking me about it now. ABORT: You start a tour with Snoop Dogg shortly, which is surprising considering the difference in your musical styles, lyrical ethos and fan bases. How did this come about, and what
adventures do you anticipate when touring with this notorious rapper, actor and producer? K’Naan:Tours are always exciting, Snoop is a legend, a fantastic artist. Overall people just like good music and we can be the Ying to each others Yang. I think that people assume that a guy like me should not be playing with a guy like Snoop. But why is that, why make that assumption? To me that’s shortsighted and just a simple comment from people who just want to hear themselves talk. I am sure we will learn from each other and I look forward to the opportunity. K’Naan’s Troubadour is in stores now
• www.knaanmusic.com By Amalia J. Nickel Photo - Scott Alexander
With..ohGR 21 & Under
Ex-Skinny Puppy vocalist turned actor, turned man forced to work with Paris Hilton, ohGr gets ready to pull the trigger but not before confessing his sins about his latest film and music projects to Grimm Culhane on a stormy black night in Vancouver. T’Scary kids!” - Count Floyd
ABORT: That’s great, good to hear. ohGr: He’s great, ABORT is great. Both: (Laugh)
ABORT: The latest album “Devils in my Details,” obviously you’re happy with it?
ohGr: Hey. Grimm Culhane: …the man… from ohGr. ohGr: (Laughs) From ohGr. How strange is that? Both: (Laugh)
ohGr: I am. For me I finally was able to put down on tape something that represented the experience I was going through. I was lucky enough to have a person who I’ve known for a long time help me with it. ABORT: And that’s Mark Walk?
ABORT: How are you doing tonight? ohGr: I’m doing really good. I’m impressed by the promotions for the show tonight so thanks for that.
ohGr: Mark Walk, yes. We met during “The Process” and have been good friends for years. I first heard of him during “The Process” and he first heard of me during the Pigface sessions for “Notes From Thee Underground.” When I left Skinny Puppy and was held on by American (Recordings) then we started working on the first ohGr record. That went south and they held onto the masters. For five years we really didn’t do anything, then came back and re-recorded those masters for the first album. ABORT: Did you work with Al Jorgenson during that time? ohGr: That kind of came beforehand during the Ministry days. There are a number of pseudo-incarnations of ohGr is and it was originally going to be called “Welt.” There’s a pop-punk band down in California who took that name so it became irrelevant. It actually became the name of the first record. The stuff I was working on with Al we called “Welt” and there’s a rumour of a song coming out from that. I still don’t know if there’s much truth to that, there may have been bed tracks used but there isn’t actually a “Welt” song. Everything goes into a big pool. We did that with Skinny Puppy as well. I think Al took that and maybe turned it into a song called “The Fall.”
ABORT: On this latest release it’s yourself and Mark and our mutual friend Bill Moseley?
over the business because Dad’s got a cough and won’t be around long.
ohGr: Oh yeah, yeah. Awesome guy.
ABORT: Sound’s very Shakesperian.
ABORT: How’d you get hooked up with Bill Moseley, was that through Repo?
ohGr: It’s a classic two act opera. You have the exposition and then shit hit’s the fan in the second act. I feel lucky to be involved with that because, whether you love it or hate it, it’s certainly unique. The kids seem to like it. They seem to be buying into it in a sort of “cultish” way. It’s campy, it’s satirical. We’re actually the comic relief, which is a great thing for me to be able to do. Everything in Skinny Puppy has always been very serious, dark and foreboding, so to be able to be a falsetto singing serial rapist, I mean God, who wouldn’t want to do that?
ohGr: Through “Repo! The Genetic Opera,” yeah. We met on the first days of rehearsals and kind of bonded during the read-throughs. We had parts where we were very involved with each other as brothers so I did the recording with him and Paris (Hilton) and we were separated by blankets. We pulled on the blankets like good brothers and that was the beginning of our friendship. We met a month later in Toronto and he was so gracious and nice enough to take me under his wing. We developed a relationship for the movie, but it went well beyond that because we found we had a lot of similar tastes.
ABORT: Chance of a lifetime. Both: (Laugh)
ABORT: He’s an extremely diverse character.
ABORT: And working with Paul Sorvino?
ohGr: He’s an extremely intelligent man. A Yale educated “twisted sister” in a lot of ways.
ohGr: Yeah, all of my scenes were with Paul basically. Paul played our father, Rotti Largo. Paul got ill on the set with pneumonia and it came time to do my close-ups. One of the assistants said “Paul isn’t feeling very well and he’s asking if you don’t mind if he sits out” and I said “no, no problem.” We’re about to start the take and I hear this cane coming “clunk, clunk” and Paul came on set and said “nope, I’m here, I’m gonna do it with him, I’m gonna deal with it and help him out.” It was totally amazing! It really was a special moment for me. He’s such a God, just so talented, very subtle in everything he does, just being around him was amazing.
Both: (Laugh) ABORT: Right up your alley. ohGr: Right up my alley, yeah. (Laughs) When we were in Toronto he was writing poetry. My girlfriend came to visit and he wrote a poem about us and it was just the darkest, funniest, most thoughtful, touching thing. I was like wow, this is really great! I had this idea of maybe incorporating him so I asked him and he said yeah. When we finished recording he brought in four pieces of poetry with him and laid everything down in one take. The only direction I gave him was the type of voices, that’s all. Do it like crazy, whacky, whatever! He did the whole thing in one take, it was amazing. He lent a sort of cohesive coherency and a kind of abstractness that dealt with the main theme in a lot of ways. ABORT: Tell us briefly about your role as Pavi Largo. ohGr: Pavi Largo is a face stealing narcissist/serial rapist, a wonderful character to play. Stuck under a mask of human skin, always vying for his father’s attention in passive aggressive ways. He’d like to rip his heart out, but he still loves Dad. The whole family loves Dad, except for Paris’ character Amber, so we’re all conniving and vying for Dad’s attention because we don’t really know who’s gonna take
ABORT: Getting back to music, what are your impressions of the state of industrial music now a days? ohGr: I kind of veer in and out of it. After 25 years you don’t really stay abreast of trends. I think a lot of music has been assimilated. Industrial music was something like what this ohGr record is. You can use any type of instrumentation, any sort of affectation, any sort of found sound, anything you can use to make music. Industrial music has got hybridized into metal, which is not a bad thing. It took a lot of the elements and kind of revamped metal in a lot of ways and that became the predominant form, or what a lot of people thought was industrial music. We tailored our music to be more psychedelic, ever evolving and not trying to step on the same ground. For the most part all of our records are quite different, which was to our detriment because people are always expecting you to do that
same record again. We’ve got a lot more praise by people looking back on our stuff and saying “yeah, that was a good record” from a sense of what was going on historically at the time. Anybody can craft anything when it comes down to it. There are lots of technicians, but very few manic, insane people… ABORT souls.
my dream. We’re having a lot of fun. It’s a really good band, it has elements of Skinny Puppy.
ABORT: Thank you very much.
ohGr: Yeah, kind of. The better fit for me is the serial rapist.
ABORT: Skinny Puppy. What’s going on there? Anything new we can look forward to?
ABORT: So more film roles?
ohGr: Yeah, we’re working on a record right now. cEvin’s been working on it and has a number of tracks done. When I’m done this tour I’m hitting right into that and head out and tour within the next year. ABORT: Any chance of working again with Dave Ogilvie? ohGr: I just went and saw him, down here at 100 Powell, for the first time in about 12-13 years. We had a really good time. I won’t say for sure, but he expressed interest. I’m certainly into going back and doing some really heavy music after meeting with him like five minutes ago. That’s some fresh news. (laughs) ABORT: What’s in the future for ohGr?
ABORT: Your partner in crime with ohGr, Mark Walk, he does a lot of film and television scores. Is that something you yourself would get into?
ohGr: More film roles and stuff. Actually I really enjoy, and a lot of actors don’t because they want face time, but I really enjoy being under make-up. I pursue that in a lot of ways, I have a lot of contacts in that regard. ABORT: Well ohGr we certainly appreciate your time today. It’s good to meet you. ohGr: My pleasure, good to meet you too and thanks very much for your help and support.
• www.ohgr.org By Grimm Culhane Photo by Arceon
ohGr: I haven’t toured this band since 2001, so we’ll see after this round of shows. I really want to take it to Europe, that’s
CLASSIFIED ABORT Magazine’s Dave “Corvid” McCallum talks with Canada’s East Coast Hip Hop Ambassador Classified, about signing with the majors, life on the road and his childhood reading habits.
ABORT: You recently signed to Sony Music, how has the transition to a major label been? Classified: You know, running my own label Halflife I had to really be on top of all the business and planning and all that, and I always really just wanted to be making the music. So to have someone come in there and be like “we know what you’re doing, we like it and we’re gonna support it and make it happen any way we can” is really great, like - “you do the music and we’re gonna pay for everything and handle the business side of it. ABORT: You really made your name around Canada by touring, and in a lot of places you were doing the first real Hip Hop shows
that some of these kids have seen in their own towns, or at least in a long time. How has that molded your career and music? Class: I guess I just found my niche in doing that, like just keep going across, keep doing those shows. We started performing to like fifteen people and now we fill five hundred to a thousand seat venues! It’s been a long road but I’ve seen it just keep climbing, so just to be able to keep doing it is great! ABORT: How did the tour with D12 and Royce Da 5’9” come about? Class: I was just wrapping up the album actually when Royce’s manager called me. I’ve know Royce for a few years, we did a track together and I’m always trying to send beats to those guys. His manager called and said that Obie Trice couldn’t get across the border because of some shit and they needed someone on the tour, so they asked me if I wanted to jump on as a favour to them. I mean I never got paid much for the tour, it was just kind of like “jump on the tour bus and let’s go!”. In return they promised to take me to Europe, so we’re going next week! ABORT: Let’s talk about the new album “Self Explanatory”. First of all, what inspired the “Choose Your Own Adventure” concept on the album? Class: Well, as a kid they were really the only books I read ! I mean, like on the last album on “Beatin’ It”, I played around with
a more abstract concept, getting away from just verse and chorus, and I wanted it be more like interludes, or like a day in the life of Classified.
Classified’s newest LP “Self Explanatory” is in stores on Sony Music Canada. Classified performs April 23 in Vancouver at Richard’s on Richards.
ABORT: You definitely have that “everyman” kind of personality... Classified: Yeah, and I wanted to make it authentic, so like those are my real friends, my real girlfriend that you hear on the album. I wanted it to be more about like real life - like after a while you can only make so many songs about killing it on the mic or whatever, and you know, I wanted to make something people could relate to. I live a real life! Like nowadays - I’m not a baller but I’m not broke either, and I try to go in the studio nine to five, eat dinner with my family, whatever. ABORT: As far as the East Coast influence, what is it do you think that sets you apart? Class: Well, we have a more hardworking attitude and we’re just generally down to earth people, you know? ABORT: With the guest appearances on the new album, you managed to showcase some of the best Canadian talent from the Old and the New, how did that all come together? Class: Just from touring all over, I’ve met so many great artists and I just wanted to put together people who I thought really were doing something, so for me Maestro, Choclair and Moka Only are three of the biggest names in Canada, and then you’ve got the newer cats like DL and D-Sisive, so I really tried to pull together the best of the best that Canada has to offer! By Dave “Corvid” McCallum
the ABORT interview In the beginning of 90’s, the original meaning of Black Metal has been changed by a number of notable artists, now known as the second wave of Black Metal. Even though Venom laid the foundation, the modern style has become very different, reshaped and carved into what has become essential by the likes of Mayhem, Darkthrone, Burzum, Emperor and Immortal. While it seemed that at that point the genre could only have been referred to as strictly Norwegian, Switzerland’s Samael have proven the opposite, becoming an icon of Black Metal and developing a unique style over a course of two decades. Never afraid to experiment and explore their imagination to the fullest, they have been producing acclaimed albums, not burdened with genre restrictions. Incorporating industrial elements in their music they have created an impressively “true” and at the same time diverse fanbase, which in between 2004 and 2007 has observed the band’s detachment from black metal into the industrial world. In March 2009 their new album “Above” marks a return to their roots. ABORT Magazines’ Arceon had a chance to chat with Vorph, founder and leader of Samael about experimentation, influences, genre exploration and even cinema.”
ABORT: To many people black metal in its original sense is tightly tied with supernatural dark powers. Your lyrics have always been a bit detached from those topics, dwelling in a deeper philosophy, operating in terms much more profound than burning churches and inverted crosses. Nevertheless, the concept was always infernally dark, an abyss of thoughts exposed in particular on your industrial albums. “Above” on the other hand seems to be more socially oriented, an example of which would be “Under One Flag”. What put you in this direction? V.: I wrote the lyrics of “Above” when I got the music from Xy and I didn’t spend much time on them, I wanted to have something spontaneous that would fit with the music. This is pretty much the same topics I worked on since “Eternal” but with a less metaphorical approach. A song like “Under One Flag” is very close to the song “Solar Soul”, it is build around the idea of unity and the desire to move forward.
Arceon: Congratulations on the new album! “Above” came as a surprise to many fans, some of them would even say, as a relief. “Era One” and “Solar Soul” were an unusual path to take and is “Above” a sign that the industrial experimentation is over?
ABORT: With such a vast style diversity, what will Samael’s live sets look and sound like in the future? Will black metal prevail again?
Vorph: I wouldn’t say that. “Era One” was clearly a project which ended up being release under the S A M A E L catalogue for contractual reason but I don’t think “Solar Soul” was very experimental, it embedded a lot of different influences we had during the last decade and it well represent the band. On the other side “Above” was first meant to be side project, we wanted to do an album that would be 100% metal, faster and more aggressive than anything we ever did with S A M A E L but when everything was done we thought it would be nice to play some of that material live and we decided to make it as our new album.
V.: We’ll try to make sense with the songs we’ll include in our set list but I’m not so worried about it. As much as “Infra Galaxia” is different from “Black Hole” they can be play in the same
set, they can even be played after each other to create a bigger contrast. Those who attended our concerts on the latest tours know we sound a lot heavier live than on record, which helps providing a unity to our shows. ABORT: What styles of music influenced you most? Is that a trace of punk we hear on “Above”? V.: I’m open to any kind of music and I find good things in a lot of different genre, it all depends on what we want to express when we work on a song. “Above” have strong reminiscence of our early influences, bands like Motörhead, Slayer or Venom had some punk elements in their music and I think they mix well with metal. ABORT: Despite being officially the second wave of black metal, Samael is still one of the earliest bands in the genre. You watched it evolve, you innovated and reshaped the style with your own hands. It’s 2009 now, what do you think about the fellow pioneers that made it into the 21st “century and future black metal perspective in general? V.: We’re not so concern with labels, we know where we’re coming from and “Above” is a good reminder of that. Metal is the foundation of our sound and we’ve always try to build something from there. A lot
of bands who started as black metal acts have moved toward common genre, thrash, heavy or goth metal. We’re the only one who got a style of our own. ABORT: If there was one human emotion that you could put out of existence, what would it be? V.: fear ABORT: Name one band that you’ve always wanted to play alongside live, but never got the chance. V.: They’re plenty, KISS, AC/DC, Black Sabbath (with Ozzy) you name it… ABORT: We know you are a movie fan. What’s your favorite one? Did any films influence your creative work? V.: Some of my favorite recent movies are “No Country for Old Man”, “There Will Be Blood” or “Eastern Promise” but I no longer watch the same movie a few times like it had been the case for “The Exorcist”, “The Wall” or “Dune”. It’s hard to know to which extend a movie could have an influence on the lyrics that I wrote, I usually make my own picture when I try to visualize something. ABORT: When can Canadian fans expect to get their eardrums destroyed by Samael? V.: As soon as we get invited to come over… we discus the possibility of a tour in North America this fall, hopefully we’ll get the chance to play Canada once again.
• www.samael.info By Arceon
Fresh off a performance at Maestro Fresh Wes’ birthday bash, ABORT Magazine’s Amalia J. Nickel; caught up with rising R&B and soul sensation Lamar Ashe to talk about his tour with K’Naan, his upcoming album and what R&B means in Canada.
Amalia J. Nickel: Hi Lamar, you just performed with your Killawatt Records family, how long have you been on Red 1’s label? LA: We’ve been working together for approximately 5 years, the foundation started with the Rascalz obviously and since then we’ve been just trying to build off the soul roots of doo-wop music. I was discovered by Red 1 in Nova Scotia and he asked me to record a song for him when I was still in high school. He always made sure that I was representing for myself and my culture, he recognized that I was trying to do a big thing as far as music. It’s more about the music than it is about the hype. ABORT: How did you first get into music? LA: I started in Nova Scotia, born and raised in a community of people who had been deprived by slavery. They all have a part in what I do because there was a lot of support for music to bring up the people. I try to be in all genres: music is music so if I can bring myself out in any genre that’s appealing, I just want to represent myself as a musician as opposed to a trend. I play guitar, I don’t want to be a fraud or do music in vein. I just give it to the people that really appreciate it. ABORT: Your recently came off a tour with K’naan, he’s really blowing up right now with his album Troubadour: how did that go? LA: Troubadour really represents a traveler, and for me to be a part of that travel was a blessing, an opportunity for me to expose my music and what I do to communities that want to bring up the foundation. I learned that it’s possible to be a Canadian and still succeed in the urban world, still create a new sound and to have that confidence to actually succeed. I got to see how he’s focused and how he stays sane and
healthy on tour. The routine of being on time, always working on music, recording albums while doing sold out shows every day, it’s hard work. His music is his way of talking to the masses and that’s why people listen. He gave me feedback, he said to work on the tracks but to always do live music, acapella. That’s how to get people wanting to learn, who you can then inspire through your music. ABORT: I heard a rumor that when you were 17 years old you were on an episode of Street Cents, the Canadian CBC show for youth, how did that come about? LA: To explain Street Cents, it was founded by Nova Scotians to represent culture and what people do with their money, their street cents. I got on by popular demand, not trying to act like I’m boasting. I was performing with Red and Shawn Desman and Snow on the HipHop Flavor tour which really opened up doors for me. A lot of other people recognized what I was doing and they embraced it. Jono was there, and he’s from Nova Scotia and I always holler at him, he’s on Trailer Park Boys now, I watch the show every day. ABORT: Are you working on an album now? LA: My album is called “Louder Than Words,” coming out in July 2009. The Rascalz’ Red 1 is executive producing it exclusively and I’ve been working on it for the past four years. It’s an opportunity for me to show what R&B has in Canada. As Canadians we haven’t really established a sound, we always try to find different roots to go to. I’ve been working with Red1 and the whole Killawatt crew to establish who I am as an artist; we live in a society that just demands what’s hot but I’m here to bring what I feel is proper for this time. Killawatt isn’t just a moment in time, it has longevity and I plan to bring what I have continuously, to evolve what’s going on in our culture. I have so much music that I want to bring out but as a debut artist I want to establish what people want. ABORT: Any collabos on the album?
LA: I do. I have a collaboration with Kardinal Offishall which is a blessing for me because Kemo just produced his song “Dangerous”. It’s been number one on the charts so I’m blessed to have Kemo as a producer on my album to help me build what I have. I collaborate with Kemo, Kardinal, Red1, Chin from the old group Bass is Base, working with Dank from Frank n Dank, some collaborations with J Dilla’s artists and people inspired through him. Santogold is amazing to me and I’ve worked with her affiliates Trouble Gang. It’s more of a blessing to me to be recognized by real musicians, I’m at the bottom of the list right now but I’m trying my best to have people recognize that I’m there. ABORT: Your songs are pretty sentimental, are you a sentimental guy? LA: You can listen to my music and figure out what kind of person I am, when I write music I just bring out who
I am. When I feel sentimental I just play my songs and if I’m mad or in a bad mood I can listen to opera or something uplifting that encourages me to be better as a person. There’s nothing that brings you up as a person more than music. ABORT: Thanks Lamar, good luck with your album. Where can your audience get at you online? LA: They can hit up my myspace at www.myspace.com/lamarashemusic. ABORT: Thanks. LA: Thank you.
By Amalia J. Nickel Photo by Kassandra Guagliardi
Design by N.A.
Norway has produced some of the finest offbeat metal bands in the last couple of decades and, with that, comes its fair share of offbeat metal musicians. One such enigma is Carl-Michael ‘Czral’ Eide, founder member of the infinitely unclassifiable Ved Buens Ende and member / past member of some of the country’s most noted metal luminaries – Aura Noir, Infernö, Dødheimsgard to name but a few. Czral took time out of a damn hectic schedule to talk to Abort’s John Norby about writing music, the Norwegian scene, and Virus, his latest band to challenge the boundaries of conventional music.
JN: I believe that some of the songs intended for the VBE album wound up on The Black Flux.
John Norby: You have quite the legendary history in the extreme music scene. Do you think that having been a part of so many projects has enabled you to arrive at a sound that defines your history in the scene?
C: I’ve grown up with music of all sorts. When I started discovering music on my own in my teenage years, it was the old thrash metal thing that got to me. But alongside that, I always had a thing for the avant garde. Twisted stuff. Difficult music. I like that. And I started blending it in with metal at some point when I started making music and playing in bands. I wanted to do something unusual.
Czral: Of course, I’ve had my fair share of experience, but it’s an instinctive thing for me to make music. If the experience is a part of my sound, yes, it must be, but the effect of it that I’m aware of regards the practical things. How it turns out sounding is just something that happens by itself. I’ve always made music. How the world defines it, though, is for the world to decide. I’m in it too deep to define it myself. JN: You have indicated in the past that Ved Buens Ende has always been at the core of your heart. Why did you decide to reform VBE after such a long break? C: We never formally quit. We used to talk about continuing for years, and I thought after the accident that this would be the time to actually do it. It was actually quite frustrating for me that we never either continued as a band or just broke up for good. I’ve always had the need to make avant garde music, and I withheld a lot of music and creativity out of commitment to VBE for many years. Carheart (Virus debut) was more of a concept album dealing with musical absurdities, so the riffs I made for that album had some intentions. Back in the days of VBE, and now on this new Virus album, I turn myself loose to do something “deeper”. JN: So why did you decide not to follow through with the reformation? Might we hear something from VBE in the future? C: Nope. We were at the point where it’d either work or fail, and it failed. Now VBE’s over for good. Sorry about that.
C: Yes, all the material I have made for VBE after Written in Waters has wound up on The Black Flux. One of the riffs on the album is 15 years old. JN: How do you go about writing such offbeat songs for a band like Virus?
JN: Do you find it difficult to fluently cross genres so that the music doesn’t sound too contrived? Certainly, the music you have written in VBE and Virus doesn’t sound at all forced, but more like it has almost been emitted from your subconscious. Part of you, if you will. C: Yes, it is. It’s an intuitive thing. I don’t have any plans or ambition for it to sound like it does, it just comes out like this. It’s of course the obvious thing to say, and it’s a cliché, but there you go. When you get old, you start using clichés a lot. JN: I remember getting a call from a mutual friend the night of your accident in ‘05. He was pretty freaked out about what happened. Can you explain your memories of that night, if you don’t mind. C: The incident startled a lot of people indeed, and I can’t imagine how it affected those close to me. When you’re in a situation where you have to build yourself up from scratch, it’s all about you, and you become very egocentric. I feel guilty for not being able to see it from their point of view, and to appreciate how they must have felt. That’s one of the reasons why I feel that it would be disrespectful to talk about it in an interview. JN: Did it have much bearing on your future outlook on music?
entered the studio with half-arranged songs and took it from there. Most of the bass-lines and the vocals were improvised. JN: Do you think that with such an active scene in Norway for all these years it’s more difficult to remain original or get some sort of recognition?
C: I have more focus than ever now. I’m making a lot of music. In that aspect, the limitations I’m left with after the accident is positive. I can’t play drums in other people’s bands anymore. There used to be a huge demand for drummers, and I was spreading myself thin playing drums in other people’s bands. Now I’m cultivating my own sound. Which is something I should have always done. JN: On life itself? C: On life…that’s a big question. Let’s say that I’ve grown up a bit. JN: What would you say helped you most though the long rehabilitation process? C: Doctors, family, friends, music. They’ve been good. JN: Of all your musical endeavours, which would you say is closest to your heart and most proud of? C: Every time someone asks me this, I always seem to answer that the latest release is the best, since it’s always the latest work that I’m the most happy with. I’m never able to listen to any of our old albums without getting embarrassed. Of course, I play in two very different bands now, so since I’m such a split musician, I can’t mention one without mentioning the other. So, yes; The Black Flux and Hades Rise. But the coolest album I’ve participated on is Infernö’s Downtown Hades.
C: Almost everybody over here is very supportive of each other. But I’ve become a recluse these latest years, so I’m not out there anymore, meeting people at festivals and so on. Anyway, I’ve always had a problem grasping what “scene” actually means. I visualise a gang of musicians gathering, and/or constantly being in touch with each other in some way or another. But that’s not the case here anymore. We used to be a pack of thrashers hanging out at Elm Street (legendary Oslo metal hangout) in the earlymid nineties drinking. Plus some tapetrading, letters, so on. That’s what I can remember as being part of a scene. Apart from that we’ve always gotten recognition from all the other bands. Actually, most of our true fans are other musicians. We fail to appeal to the masses, but we get a lot of credit from people we respect. JN: How would you say the Norwegian scene has developed from the early days until now? C: Eeeh… I just can’t give you a proper answer on that one. Other than that it is very different. It was very strict in the early nineties, while now it’s kinda anarchic in respect to what’s “allowed” to do. JN: Where do you see Virus’ position in the grand scheme of the Norwegian scene? C: We’re the weirdos. The only avant garde heavy metal band. JN: The future for Virus? The future for Carl-Michael? C: We’re very focused now. We’ve already started to rehearse new material for the next Virus album, and in a couple of weeks I’m going up north-east to Apollyon’s place to record a Voivod cover song. Slaughter in a Grave!
• www.myspace.com/czral VIRUS’ THE BLACK FLUX is out now on Season Of Mist.
JN: What inspires you to write music these days? Do you draw from different inspirations or experiences when writing for Virus that you do when writing for Aura Noir, for example? C: In Aura Noir we create music out of what’s in our bloodstream. We grew up with this kind of genre in the eighties, and we’re completely on the same wave-length on how we want our music to sound. It has to feel right in the end, that’s for sure. But that regards everything. It’s not easy to explain how the Virus music comes about. It’s made purely out of instinct and feel. The vision of how the song shall end up takes shape along the way. The Black Flux kinda took on a lifeform of its own after a while. We
21 & under with
Old school thrash/punk hooligans Municipal Waste hooked up with fellow Richmond, VA locals Lamb of God for the latter’s No Fear Energy tour. Having already toured with Gwar, The Haunted and Suicidal Tendencies to name a few, this young four piece are steadily building up a reputation as leaders in the mid-80’s crossover revival scene. ABORT’s Alxs Ness met up with vocalist Tony Foresta, guitarist Ryan Waste and bassist Landphil to chat about adventures in border crossing, being accepted into the metal community and Ryan’s newest prized possession, the MW AX.
ent from the other bands on this tour, what has been the reception so far?
Alxs Ness: How are you guys doing?
RW: I heard it’s like acceptance sometimes, the middle finger’s like acceptance in the weird metal community.
ABORT: As long as it’s not followed by a bottle.
ABORT: I was actually going to ask you [Ryan Waste], can you tell us a bit about the MW AX, the custom guitar?
Tony Foresta: Pretty good, we had a rough day. We had to go through your border crossing which is always a really fun time. ABORT: Yeah, we get a lot of really good stories from that border, what was your experience like?
RW: It starts with a middle finger and slowly goes into a fist and the fist starts pumping. Because they don’t know what’s going on until we tell them that we just played fast. That’s how it should be. There might be still some middle fingers out there. ABORT: Hey, that’s metal.
TF: Exactly. RW: The show is usually followed by a bottle.
TF: Today was, ah you never know what to expect. We always get there real early. It wasn’t that bad this time but the fact that he has problems some times getting through (points at Landphil).
ABORT: How did you guys get on this tour?
Ryan Waste: Juvenile delinquent.
TF: They must’ve known us for a while. I know Chris Adler used to go to our shows when we first started . They’ve been fans of ours for a long time and friends of ours. We see them around. We never see each other as often as we should because they’re always on tour but it’s always good to see the Richmond metal dudes around.
TF: From his mischievous past. (laughs) ABORT: So no real hassles, just held up for a couple hours, something like that? TF: It took a while, they ended up questioning him.
RW: We’re actually friends with Lamb of God, we’re from the same town so they took us under their wing.
RW: We paid our way in basically.
ABORT: Well that’s one good way to keep in touch with them is just to go on tour. Do you guys have a date set for the follow up to the Art of Partying?
ABORT: Well considering that your sound is pretty differ-
RW: Late August. It’s called Massive Aggressive. It’s a
RW: A friend of mine in L.A, his name’s Andy Strangio he’s a master Luthier, I was selling a couple of my guitars and he asked me if I wanted a custom guitar. As a joke I was like yeah maybe one in the shape of the M and the W and he goes ok. So we just designed it and it went from there. It’s my baby. It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever owned. ABORT: Wicked. RW: Yeah, chops heads off too. It’s very dangerous.
TF: yeah, Aerosmith gave me rags. Someone gave me feathers. What band was that? RW: Oh, Anthrax. Most kids just give us drugs and alcohol. ABORT: Anything else you guys want to add before we wrap this up? RW: It’s good to be back in Canada. TF: I was going to say the same thing I love it over here. LP: As long as we can get through, we’re cool.
ABORT: You guys have any endorsements that you want to plug?
RW: We just got Ernie Ball strings, just got Randall amps.
By Alxs Ness
TF: I got Eddie Vedder mic stands…
Photo by Scott Alexander
RW: He got Aerosmith rags that go on the mic.
Behind The Boards With
Originally hailing from Florianopolis Brazil, producer Andrew “Drew” Correa is now based in Miami, Florida and he has struck gold. At the ripe age of only 25, he’s already earned a Grammy award and bragging rights as Lil’ Wayne’s “main man” behind the boards. In an exclusive interview with ABORT Magazine, E.S. Day talks to Drew Correa from Miami about his newfound fame and being the man responsible for the number one hip-hop artist in the world right now. ABORT:With the rock-inspired first single produced by yourself entitled ”Prom Queen”, was this a nudge from yourself or a collective agreement by both you and Lil’ Wayne to put out a rock track or was this strictly Wayne’s idea? Drew Correa: Well as you know, Wayne stated a couple months ago that he officially wanted to start a rock project, so one day he basically just called me up saying “I want you to come to the studio to work on something”. So I called up Infamous (Drew’s partner), rolled up there with Wayne and he just said - “I want to start working on a rock record”. So I just started messing around some of the drum patterns, and Wayne started messing around with the guitar and Infamous start messing around with the guitar, and next thing you know we were there till seven in the morning. We actually ended up making two records that night, but it was just instrumentals and we didn’t really think anything of it .Then we went back a few days later to listen to it, and all three of us were really blown away by what we made, and that’s when Wayne said that this was going to be the single, and we were really in shock. We didn’t really believe it at first. ABORT: Did it seem strange at the time, as if the label wanted to put out a rock album looking at it more like a novelty act, or did they see something on the horizon here, as in technically you’re a hip-hop producer and here you are making a rock record? I mean with Wayne’s pull he’s got enough money that he could’ve brought in any of the heavyweight rock producers out there today, but he decided to keep it within the family so to speak. So were they taking this seriously - and it’s obvious they do because the album’s coming out, but at the time were they fully behind this based only on the fact that he was Grammy bound? DC: Well, I mean, you know Wayne really likes my stuff... ABORT: Yeah, we noticed!!! (laughs) DC: (Laughs) You know in the end I don’t think he even expected this to come out!
ABORT: So it was a real spontaneous thing?
DC: Very spontaneous! To tell you the truth I really thought I was going to make a hip-hop album but to answer your question, yes the label was really behind it in that Wayne’s a trendsetter right now and they gave us their full support.
DC: Phantom keyboard... the Phantom keyboard for sure ABORT: Alright sounds good. Up-and-coming artist unsigned from your hometown that you would recommend that doesn’t have a record deal, that nobody knows about that they should know about? Oh, and before I forget, did you not work with Pitbull from Miami? DC: Yeah I did. ABORT: Well what the fuck happened to him?
ABORT: So how old are you again?
DC: I think it was some sort of label situation and...
DC: I am 25
ABORT: Ah, of course, the fucking labels once again, Jesus Christ.
ABORT: Only 25? you son of a bitch! ( laughs) DC: (Laughs) Yeah, I know, it still all hasn’t settled in yet, it’s pretty overwhelming! I mean I’ve been making beats for years but this is my first official placement[in the industry] so I’m kind of fucking blown away! ABORT: Let me ask you this, has there been a track that you guys were fucking around with that never got any love on the radio or never made it to an album? DC: Actually there was this one record that Wayne recorded on one of my beats during the “Carter III” sessions. Out of the five tracks I contributed to “The Carter III”, the track “Mr. Carter” with Jay-Z was the only one that made it. I have no clue what he called it because the record was so crazy - it was him just rapping straight through with no chorus really. The beat was really weird, it just kept changing up every four bars, and Wayne put some really “out there” spacey shit on it. ABORT: Fair enough. Can an artist or group approach Drew Correa at this point? I mean I know your price shot up after winning the Grammy, so are you exclusively only dealing with the bigger artists now? Or do you still show love to the little guys, you know...the underdogs. DC: I am approachable like that, I just have to really dig it. ABORT: So if you hear talent you might just give them a break? DC: Yes I am negotiable (laughs) ABORT: 5 Items you can’t live without in the studio, gearwise , not cigarettes/food etc..? DC: Definitely have to have the ProTools definitely have to have my MPC, Logic - I need Logik, ummm...Motif keyboards, that’s four, is that four already? ABORT: Yes.
DC: Yeah you know how it goes. ABORT: Alright, so what do you have on deck next, and is the project entitled “I Can’t Feel My Face” in fact a reference to some really good cocaine? (laughs) DC: (Laughs) That was a thing Lil’ Wayne came up with, meaning the album was gonna be so dope you wouldn’t be able to feel your face. As far as projects coming up, I was in the studio last night with Fat Joe and... ABORT: Oh? Joey Crack? no way! Wicked! DC: Yeah, Joey Crack is back! I got a crazy record with him ABORT: He moved over to KOCH now, did he not? or I guess it’s called E1 now DC: Yeah he’s independent now. ABORT: Good! and so he should be. So what else? DC: Travis from Gym Class Heroes, I got some tracks with Lupe Fiasco , I got a couple of joints on the new Young Money with Little Wayne, he’s releasing Young Money ABORT: Oh yeah, what’s that like a Hot Boyz type thing? DC: Young Money is a label/group type thing it’s Wayne plus some other new cats that he has had behind him, and I’m about to start some stuff with Rihanna I have some new stuff from her. ABORT: ...and getting back to the earlier question, who would you like to drop a dime on that’s unsigned that’s not getting any love that you want our readers to know about? DC: Definitely Brisco he just signed to Cash Money [Records], he’s really, really dope.
ABORT: So where can we find you, what’s your presence on the web? DC: You can hit me up sometime www.myspace.com/drewcorrea you can hit me up for beats or whatever ABORT: Are you actually checking your MySpace messages? (laughs) DC: I actually check them every day or every other day, or whenever I can. ABORT: Perfect. Okay then, well much love and continued success with your career and thanks chatting with us, we’ll be looking out for your latest joints soon DC: Thanks very much, thank you, much appreciated
• www.myspace.com/drewcorrea By. E.S. Day Photo by Mike Montola
Destruction Photos by Sean Cowie
Live Review - K’naan w/ Esthero Wednesday, March 11, 2008 Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC
It’s always a little astounding when a sea of divergent people find common ground through music: K’naan packed the Commodore Ballroom with rap fans, rocks fans, and even the odd granny. Playing mostly songs from the recently released “Troubadour” with a few Dusty Foot favorites thrown in, K’naan took the crowd on a sentimental journey, recalling tragedies of his Somali childhood and revealing how these things have shaped him.
• knaanmusic.com By Amalia Nickel
K’naan’s set had a classic big band feel to it, complete with horns, keys, guitar and drums. The rapper himself had a drum in tow and the subsequent layers of beats, brassy riffs and electric refrains served to intensify his off-kilter flow. The heavy guitars and pounding bass of “Soobax” filled the space as the crowd sang along enthusiastically. The single “ABCs,” a collaboration with Chubb Rock, brought up the energy with its upbeat instrumentation and clever rhymes - “your style got no button it’s so old” - while criticizing a system wherein guns precede education.
K’naan somehow speaks for all people, his wide-eyed sincerity universalizing the human experience and his music forcing feet to move. K’naan’s overtly political lyricism is candidly personal and the encore “Fatima” summed his story up best: “Damn you Country so good at killing/ Damn you feeling, for
There are a number of stereotypes in circulation amongst outsiders about the electronic music scene. For some it’s all about the DJ and the drugs. In many ways these stereotypes are proven. Take, for example, the number of times I was asked if I was slangin’ pills before the first DJ had even finished her set. Ahem,‘tis quite the tally. Nevertheless, the days of the allpowerful DJ are leaning towards a partial dusk with the emergence of a new breed of electronic music that is being mastered by a few envelope pushers. The cards have been slipping from the hands of the DJ and into the nimble fingers of the dance driven instrumentalists in bands like London Elektricity, Jaga Jazzist, Nerve, Epoch Live, and of course, Pendulum.
(Photo - Scott Alexander )
had been re-installed they were bending so much under the pressure of the massive hop. You could stand still and be moved by the groove. Pendulum was down-right exciting to witness. Like the bands the rocked the sock-hops in the 50’s and the disco bands in the 70’s, Pendulum is re-inventing the dance party.
• Pendulum.com By Ninjoelspy (Photo - Chris McKibbin )
Live Review - Destruction w/ Krisiun, Mantic By no means Ritual and guests should we dis- Thursday, March 19, 2009 credit the DJ, The Red Room, Vancouver, BC Canada
however. The power of technology today has given many people the power to produce amazing music and many DJ’s now spin original tracks. This gives DJ’s an unprecedented influence over what gets spun at the best parties. Excision, hailing from the Okanagan region of BC, is a prime example of this. His dubstep remix of Pendulum’s track “Showdown” earned him a spot on the bands MySpace player and the supporting slot for the show where he unleashed his beats on the unsuspecting masses. The massive darkness of Excision engulfed the crowd like a cloud of wicked.
Esthero opened the show, her performance of “Wikked Lil’ Grrrls” bringing some sass to the stage with its 1920’s striptease beat and cheeky warning to “keep an eye on your boys and lock em up tight.” Her slower, breathy sounds caused a calm to settle upon the crowd and set the mood for the serious sounds of K’naan.
A string of newer songs brought the expected reggae-inspired styles: recording at Bob Marley’s house must surely infuse music with some of his spirit. “America” uses a 1965 Ethiopian jazz dub while “Fire in Freetown” takes a more roots approach with acoustic guitar and drum. Perhaps the highest point of the night came with an a capella “Somalia,” the hook sung raw and the verses spit emotively: “It can’t be healthy just to live with such a steep emotion/ And when I try and sleep, I see coffins closin’.”
Live Review - Pendulum w/ Excision and Breo Friday, March 6th, 2009 Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC
Despite the DJ’s dominance of parties for the last two decades or so, one cannot deny that there is something much more tangible and exciting about watching a full band perform. There is a different energy there. So when you take the party power of drum ‘n bass and put it in the hands of an entire band, you get Pendulum. They put on a hell of a show. Tracks from their latest release, In Silico, that may seem to fall short of the glory days of Pendulum party yore, really carry through deep and heavy in a live environment. It felt as if the trampoline-like floorboards of the old Commodore Ballroom
The thrash revival is in full force these days and a killer package swung through the city featuring both the old-school and the new-school battling it out for dominance. Headlining the bill saw none other than one-third of the Teutonic thrash triumvirate Destruction with Brazilian merchants of Armageddon, Krisiun, slotted in the middle and Pennsylvania-based youngsters, Mantic Ritual (formerly known as Meltdown), picking up the rear.
After I completely missing the opening band, Juvenile Assassins (and apparently not missing much by all accounts), Mantic Ritual took to the stage but faced a hesitant crowd. Technical problems hampered vocalist/guitarist Dan Wetmore for set opener “One By One” but he quickly threw caution to the wind and, allowed the freedom of not having a guitar in his way, headbanged like a possessed epileptic. A troublesome, out-oftune guitar seemed to plague Wetmore throughout by he never let it get him down and the entire band took it in stride. This certainly warmed the crowd to Mantic Ritual (a ripping cover of Venom’s “Black Metal” helped, as well) and by
the end of the band’s half-hour set, most people were near the stage and showing much appreciation. Krisiun’s humility and grace can be very surprising, especially when one looks at the anti-religious, pro-war sentiments that have filled the band’s songs since 1993’s UNMERCIFUL ORDER E.P. first emerged. With fellow Brazilian bands like Sepultura and Sarcofago shaping Krisiun’s sound, the threepiece act of brothers never forget what it was that got them to where they are today: the fans. Forever thankful and genuine, vocalist/bassist Alex Camargo carries the band with a charismatic “everyman” vibe but once Max and Moyses Kolesne jump in, the devastating force of Krisiun materializes. Cruising through eight songs in a mere 35 minutes, the blackened winds of “Bloodcraft” (dedicated to Vancouver’s own, Blasphemy) mixed with the pummeling grooves of “Refusal,” the shredding solos of Moyses Kolesne and the merciless blastbeats of Max Kolesene left the rabid crowd hungry for more…but the main course was still to come. On this visit, only their third trip to Vancouver in the band’s twenty-five year history, Destruction frontman/bassist Marcel “Schmier” Schirmer promised fans that they had a long set ahead and for ninety minutes, the thrash legends barely let the sweaty moshers take a breather. Upon The Red Room’s small pulpit, the towering Schmier appeared even more ominous as he moved between the three microphones positioned across the front of the stage. Scolding one eager fan for touching his bass (“I don’t touch your woman…don’t touch my bass!”) and tearing a strip off another for hurling a beer on stage, Schmier shows no signs of slowing down as he approaches his midforties. The upper-range screams of “Bestial Invasion” and “Eternal Ban” seem like they take a little more effort these days but for the godly encore that concluded with “Mad Butcher” and “Total Desaster” from 1984’s SENTENCE OF DEATH E.P., the band was simply on fire. Whether dishing out melodic leads on “Devolution,” carrying a crushing groove on “Soul Collector” or going for the throat with a dizzying barrage of classic thrash riffs on “Curse The Gods,” guitarist Mike Sifringer (one of the most underrated axemen in metal to these ears) defies his diminutive stature with a powerhouse sound. The soundman got a well-deserved tip of the hat from Schmier (Alex Camargo also gave a shout-out during Krisiun’s set) for breaking the carnage and muddling through the ear-splitting volume to create a wickedly clear and full sonic presentation for the 350 or so people on hand to get their mosh on. With Kreator coming through town in a mere five weeks, Destruction certainly gave their countrymen a challenge to top this night for overall metal fortitude. There is better time than to strike while the iron is hot and with Destruction doing a bang-up job of carrying the torch of old-school thrash into the pit, fans both new and old saw firsthand just what all the fuss is about.
Soul Collector Bestial Invasion Devolution Eternal Ban Life Without Sense Urge (The Greed of Gain) Metal Discharge Death Trap Thrash ‘Til Death Medley: Black Mass/Antichrist/Release From Agony Vicious Circle - The Seven Deadly Sins ~Drum Solo~ Tormentor Medley: The Damned/Cracked Brain/Reject Emotions Invincible Force The Butcher Strikes Back ~ENCORE~ Curse The Gods Nailed To The Cross Mad Butcher Total Desaster
• destruction.de • krisiun.com.br • myspace.com/manticritual Review & Photo by Sean Cowie Live Review - Elements of Hip Hop Vol. 1: Feat. Rahzel, DJ Muggs, Supernatural, DJ JS-1 and QBert Thursday, March 26th, 2009 Gossip Nightclub, Vancouver First of all, Gossip Nightclub should be called “Interrogation Nightclub” this lame, chi chi club whose dress code prohibits ball caps etc…is out of their fucking mind. To be frisked at the door like you’re going to trial, then have your ID scanned and photo snapped by a security camera, (Are we to assume a bottle in the face at Richards on Richards is the preferred check-in? -Ed) only to enter the venue (whose decor is more suited to an “All-male environment) to the opening verse of “Sound of Tha Police” is a clear sign that Hip Hop has come so full circle that it’s head is not only up it’s ass, but coming out it’s mouth. And from the pallid, decidedly non Hip Hop crowd dancing
rhythmically on the lit up floor, it was immediately apparent that the marketing of Hip Hop culture to the masses has commodified it to the point where the rebelliousness and energy at it’s core are nothing more than optional flavours to those raised on radio “Hip Hop lite”. It was comforting and unbelievable all at once when Muggs and Supernatural were subjected to the same treatment at the door, Muggs finally losing it when they asked him for ID, saying - “I’ll fucking walk out of here!!!” Despite these hurdles, the artists came to put on a show, and perform they did. Most in attendance were surely well acquainted with Muggs’ cinematic hardcore productions for Cypress Hill, but few knew the level of skill he possesses on the Wheels of Steel - let’s just say the man’s nice with the hands. Tearing into a set that mixed Cypress with Led Zeppelin and Nirvana, to Rage Against the Machine, juggling beats with unerring accuracy, and scratching it up like a murderous jungle cat backwards, frontwards, with his crotch…A flawless ear for flow combined with a pummeling and unstoppable downbeat made for a demonstration of DJ skills that was heavy, mind blowing and danceable all at once. Representing for the Soul Assassins family, Muggs lived up to the name by murdering the decks and slaying all in attendance, leaving dropped jaws and gaping mental wounds in his wake. Possibly the world’s greatest freestyler - Supernatural followed with a short set demonstrating his ability to rock lyrics off the top spontaneous, with serious crowd control skills and mad energy. Using his technique to explain his art through flow, Supernat rocked on topics provided by the audience and anything at hand, weaving seamless lines in a mostly East Coast Boom Bap cadence with his characteristically spiritual vibes and cherubic grin. A scientist of mental elevation, Supernatural represents for the highest aspects of emceeing. Rahzel, the “Godfather of Noyze” took the stage like a prizefighter, a large and mysterious presence slowly emerging through the sound system as the mix was adjusted to register the full range of his talent. Repping tracks from his 2000 solo album “Make the Music” and 2004’s “Rahzel’s Greatest Knockouts”, he confirmed that his skills are not only intact, but
ever developing into a wider range of sound. Able to reproduce nearly all of the elements of Hip Hop beats, (sometimes including the vocal line), Rahzel has elevated one of Hip Hop’s original elements into an art worthy of worldwide respect. With DJ JS-1 from the Rocksteady Crew holding it down between sets, this showcase had some great moments of inspired artistry. Next time let’s see it somewhere that real heads can feel at ease without the threat of corporate promoters. (like the ones who just merged with Tickemaster? - Ed) Honourable Mentions go out to: DJ Brukout, Silverwaters, Emotionz and the ABORT TV crew
• • • • • • • • •
myspace.com/therealrahzelpage djmuggs.com myspace.com/mcsupernatural djjs1.com myspace.com/djqbert
(Our apologies to DJ Q-bert whose set we missed due to us being double booked that night. He played last on the bill and from what we heard, absolutely killed it live! - Ed) By Dave “I love a good pat-down” McCallum (Photo - Jamie Sands)
Live ReViEws 97
Live Review - GZA (The Genius) w/ Red 1 and guests Tuesday March 24 2009 Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC
styling on stage and representing Van City on his purple profit cap. The collaboration was typical of GZA’s spur of the moment performance style and was wildly appreciated by the crowd.
temporal tour of hip-hop history starting with Kanye and moving backwards through crowd-pleasing snippets of Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Biz Markie and back to Motown. He also dropped the darkly political “The Reporter,” further proof of his creativity and ability to flow.
An above average Tuesday brought legendary lyricist The GZA to a crowd of mellow hip hop heads at the Commodore Ballroom. His on-point and thought provoking lyricism on striking beats is the reason this MC is called the Genius. With help from Red1 and the Killawatt crew the evening was saturated with energetic and entertaining performances. The hype was certainly present as Red 1 and his crew brought good vibes and intense stage presence. The rotation began as Red 1 featured the whole Killawatt family: Joose and TalkS.I.K. of Plazma Crew, Heatwave and the next Killawatt artist to break out - Lamar Ashe. These boys have such a unique and creative sound individually that when they come together the energy is pure fire. Lyrical intermission was necessary as a b-boy crew got it on with fierce break moves and crazy synchronized head spins. Sure fire hits from Red’s latest to date release Beg for Nothing (his best to date) Some of the Rascalz’ most popular tracks echoed through the spot as the boys accompanied Red in verses from “Top of the World” which got the crowd stoked and fully singing along. Repping T-Dot to Van City, the boys were a delicious musical appetizer for the evening. The crowd chanted “Wu-Tang!” through a cloud of weed smoke while waiting for the The GZA to make his appearance. Fans threw up their digit W’s in respect for The Genius as he stepped on stage in full swagger, opening the show with “Liquid Swords”. Making sure to include a variety of tracks from solo albums and works of The Clan, GZA kept it real for his die-hard fans. “Gold” and “Protect Ya Neck” were delivered with energy and brilliance, not to mention a lot of help from the crowd. When the beat stopped, GZA spit chaotic poetry with his signature style that is both raw and intelligent. After “Paper Plate” GZA stated that “No one man is greater than The Clan” and proceeded with typical “Fuck 50 Cent” antics before finally breaking into “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”, a tribute to the late Ol`Dirty Bastard. Conscious rapper Talib Kweli made an unexpected guest appearance free-
Live Review - Killawatt Records Release Party feat. Red-1, Plazma Crew, Heatwave, Lamar Ashe w/ guests Thursday, February 19, 2009 The Hennessey Lounge, Vancouver BC Thursday night saw the launch of HeatWave’s The Masses Volume 1 mixtape as well as Touch Thursdays, a new hip-hop night at the Hennessey Lounge. And if there’s one thing that Killawatt -the label owned and operated by Red 1 of The Rascalz - proved, it’s that it knows how to throw a party. From the quality hip-hop to the red shots sent out to all the ladies by Red 1, it was a classy affair.
GZA signed autographs in between tracks after stating that “if you hook me up with a ballpoint with the cap off, I’ll sign your shit”: All in all, he kept the people engaged while managing to put on a solid performance.
• Myspace.com/gza • red1music.com By Kassandra Guagliardi (Photo - Amalia J. Nickel)
Live Review - Kardinal Offishall with Shaun Boothe Saturday, February 21, 2009 Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC Kardinal’s latest album of collaborations did not necessarily translate well into a live set, and though it was a little choppy, there was still a fine dance party to be had at Kardinal Offishall’s “Tour Of Duty” in support of his latest release “Not 4 Sale” (UMG). Alongside Black Jays members Solitaire and Ro Ro Dolla, the Kardinal sang, danced and represented the Caribbean sounds of T-Dot. Toronto’s Shaun Boothe opened the show with some nationalistic sentiments and a version of Canada’s anthem which was probably supposed to be moving but was just too cheesy. Alternately, Boothe’s Unauthorized Biography series is a rather ingenious collection of songs about Africandescent icons and the crowd was privy to Bob Marley’s brassy, upbeat story. Alongside his own jams, Boothe took a
Kardi hit the stage in dramatic fashion as he and his boys rolled out to monotone narration with balaclavas, white tees and low Camo-pants. The performance was pretty organized for a hip-hop show: it’s rare to see choreography, rapping, singing and harmonizing come together so easily but the the calland-response was laid on a little thick and it would have been nice to just hear a straight song instead of constantly needing to be yelling about something. The crew went straight into the hits: Everyday Rudebwoy and Money Jane sandwiched a rendition of M.I.A’s “Paper Planes” and had the crowd immediately hyped. Though Lindo P. was absent, Burnt was still a treat and encapsulated the quintessence of Toronto sound: rough around the edges but melodic with a dancehall beat. The fans were ready for Numba 1 and responded accordingly, singing along with the original dub until the beat and an absent Keri Hilson’s vocals kicked in. The party was complete as Kardinal handed poured rum for the front row in honor of his West Indies heritage then downed a bottle of Vodka in honor of “the real drinkers out there.” This eventually led into a touch of the North as Red 1 came out to an enthralled audience but failed to perform from the 1997 Razcalz collaboration with Kardi.
Alongside Elite Player Entertainment, Killawatt’s roster rotated on the stage and featured performances by Joose and Talk S.I.K. of Plazma, Lamar Ashe, HeatWave and of course Red 1 himself. Conspicuously absent were Narai Dawn and Jeff Spec, who’d been promoted on the fliers but mysteriously were nowhere to be found at the show. Elite Player Faze opened the show with a set lacking in stage presence but satisfactory nonethless. Faze is a great supporter of the Vancouver hip-hop scene and has some culturally interesting beats, often sampling Bhangra and Bollywood pop styles. Plazma Crew’s intensely energetic set featured “The Grid”, a new track with an industrial beat and aggressive lyrics: “And I’ve got my clothes packed, and I’m never coming back/ Let me make myself clear, I’m the fuck up outta here…” Joined by Lamar Ashe, the party continued with some sweeter tunes as Ashe’s flawless descant filled the space serenely. By this time half the crowd were on the stage, making the show highly interactive with dozens of hype men.
It was a fun party and the music was great. It’s always encouraging to see Canadian artists who have made it without selling their souls and Kardi has stuck to his trademark styles and represents his people well.
• kardinaloffishall.com By Amalia Nickel (Photo - Scott Alexander)
HeatWave found his way through the pressing collective and dropped several tracks from his new mixtape including the single “Take a Look at My Girl”. HeatWave’s tracks are on the commercial side and he has a large underground following: his entrance to the mainstream is inevitable. After all, what teenage girl can resist a charismatic man rapping about how his girl is “so sexy” and bragging about how his property is better than
“Say the Word’, featuring Red and Ashe to form a triumvirate of sound which climaxed the evening. All in all, a feel-good night: good music, fine company and a chill venue. The Killawatt clique are still the top dogs to watch for in ‘09 .
• myspace.com/killawattrecordsvancity Review & Photo by Amalia Nickel
Live Review - Kool Keith w/Kutmasta Kurt Thursday, Vancouver, Feb 19, 2009 Richards on Richards, Vancouver BC Doctors Octagon, Dooom, and the Black Elvis all made special appearances through the form and utterances of the one and only “Kool” Keith Thornton, Hip Hop’s original extraterrestrial ambassador and most eccentric genius. With a gold sequined headwrap (which he later referred to as his “curtains”), dark shades, a killer hype-man and the respirator-equipped Kutmasta Kurt tearing it up on the decks, this time it was as if the mothership had finally landed. Of course a performance of this calibre does not necessarily merit a proportionate response from a stoned and apathetic Vancouver audience, and while the hoochie girls where there to get nasty the dorky “underground” heads were there to stand and gawk like the college students and Anticon drones that they mostly were. Yet the effortless cadences of Kool Keith poured from his mic like pearls before swine eating devils, wrapping the collective psyche in a blistering torrent of graphic sexual imagery and medical horrorshow, with the constant threat of alien abduction looming like an off key synth loop. Sounding as eager, childlike and maniacally possessed as ever he did in his Ultramagnetic MC days, Keith’s swagger belied his nearly twenty-five years in the game, the founder of horrorcore, acid rap and sci-fi styles still fully ensconced in a bizarre world of his own creation. For those with third eyes wide open ready to hump, Keith brought the needed brainfood
to carry us through yet another week of VanCity’s funcrushing bourgeoisie. Galaxy rays, powerful. koolkeith.co.uk myspace.com/kutmastakurt By Dave “Corvid” McCallum (Photo- Chris Webber)
Live Review - Meshuggah w/ Cynic and DJ Sludge King Sunday, February 8th 2009 The Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC The Commodore in Vancouver was abuzz as local metal DJ Sludge King dropped classic metal dimes to set the mood for concert goers from all walks of rock. The canned music went on for an extended period due to the lack of The Faceless, who failed to make it over the border into Canada. Cynic, in case you may not have heard of them. The Florida based outfit Have actually been around 15 years or so if I am not mistaken. Their textbook progressive jazz metal mix was tight, waxed and polished, not unlike a pristine living room that no one ever sits in. Let’s not be fooled, they have dialed their dynamics and sound to be flawless, and their ideas are far from simple or boring, but there seemed to be no spirit emanating from them. Perhaps it was because the predominantly melodic vocals were a little buried in the mix, as was the screaming, and this softened their heavier elements. The bathroom banter between a few Neanderthal, monosyllabically endowed critics after Cynic’s set was indicative of the metal public’s (You mean Vancouver – Ed) distaste for their style. But what do drunk redneck metalheads know about complicated song arrangements and progressive, innovative music anyways? Not much. And on that note what are they
doing at a Meshuggah show? The answer to that is simple: Meshuggah. They have found a way to take incomprehensible music and make it groove for listeners of all musical abilities.
but powerful kind of way. Based out of Seattle, Cap Lori joined MCD for the Seattle and Vancouver dates only but was undoubtedly able to recruit some fans from these two shows.
Meshuggah is a band that has stayed true to their roots. Every time they play they leave no stone unturned when unearthing all the works of their hands and minds. The repertoire they ploughed through spanned their illustrious career. This tour featured the long awaited return of Chaosphere’s New Millenium Cyanide Christ to the set list, which had the masses screaming “DISCIPLE!” with more fervor than the fairy tale 5000 plus mob fed by Jesus with 5 loaves of bread and two fish. The nefarious breakdown of Humiliative from the rare None EP, (which was recently re-released in two parts on reloaded versions of Contradictions Collapse and Destroy Erase Improve), shocked everyone into fits of fist flailing.
When Past Lives hit the stage, their fast-paced, high-energy sound was quite a shock after Cap Lori’s soothing acoustic set. Although the transition was abrupt, it took less than a minute for the crowd to start moving. A five-piece consisting of Jordan Blilie (vocals), Devin Welch (guitar), Morgan Henderson (guitar, keyboard) and Mark Gajadhar (drums), Past Lives got the attention of everyone in the venue- which by now had finally started filling up. Also based out of Seattle, these young guys rocked the stage like seasoned pros; definitely an act you’ll want to check out for yourself.
Body hammers smashed one another as the Future Breed Machine manifested itself in the sweaty mire amongst mind benders from Nothing and the epic Catch 33. And of course Meshuggah put their latest efforts from ObZen to the test on the crowd with Bleed and Combustion amongst others. The experiment yielded positive results. Meshuggah have spent the better part of a life time crafting an aural psychological test-picture of what free music should be, and exposing it to the masses has proven that it is a powerful and suggestive tool of artistic inspiration.
• Meshuggah.net • cyniconline.com By ninjoelspy (Photo - Mike Chow)
Live Review - Murder City Devils Friday, February 13, 2009 The Commodore Ballroom- Vancouver, BC. What better way to spend Friday the 13th then to watch the Murder City Devils tear through a full set of their dance-floorriot inducing rock. Although it’s been 2 years since their last reunion tour (8 since they ceased playing full-time) and despite the fact that they’ve mainly been a DIY-type underground act, they are still putting out a kick ass live set and managed to sell out nearly every show on this tour. One woman band Cap Lori kicked the show off with her beautiful voice, calming acoustic guitar work and mesmerizing cuteness. It was definitely an unexpected start to what would be a mayhem filled night, but well received none the less. Although not so well known (yet), she owned the stage in a quiet
Murder City Devils lurched onto stage and broke into their oldschool classic “Get off the Floor”; a definitive command to all those present to dance. Seriously, it is not possible to attend one of their live shows without getting completely shitfaced and shaking your ass. By the look of the audience no one tried to fight it and half way through the first song the party was well under way. Spencer Moody stirred things up with his unique vocal style and a quick PDA session with guitarist Dann Gallucci. With plastic cups lovingly hurled towards the stage, the Murder City Devils tore through some more ‘classics’ including “Idle Hands”, “Dance Hall Music” and “18 Wheels”. The only down side to this show, was that it seemed to go by much too fast. Rocking their 1-2min long songs without holding anything back, MCD left everyone in a daze and wanting more. Although Spencer let us all in on the personal conflicts and difficulties that came along with reuniting as a band (this was the third night of the tour), as well as declaring that it’ll probably be a very long time before they do it again, they managed to hold it together and play the killer set that we had all gone there to see.
• myspace.com/pastlivesmusic • themurdercitydevils.com By Alxs Ness (Photo - Chris McKibbin)
Live Review - Naughty by Nature w/ Maestro when I smoke, you smoke…when I fuck, you fuck…”, on the following “Uptown Anthem” one could honestly say that when Fresh Wes and guests Treach rapped, Pac rappped. Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009 Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC Like resurrected pharaohs back to claim the crown from Canada’s Original Hip Hop Statesman, Maestro took the stage in a manner belying his 20+ years in the game and 41 years of age, cavorting with his hype man through a searing set of classic bangers, from “Let Your Backbone Slide” to “Drop the Needle”, even going so far as to include the absent Classified’s verse on the bumping “Hard to be Hip Hop”. The crowd warmed to the vibe of classic, early Nineties era beats and rhymes and gradually transformed into a moving mass of waving arms and sweating bodies.
didn’t seem to change from city to city. It was great to hear some old shit from these guys. The recent return of Peter Wichers must have felt right at home playing “The Chainheart Machine” to a couple hundred metalheads, busy going nuts in one of the biggest circle-pits the venue has seen. With such sound Björn Strid’s vocals were difficult to percept and it was is if he understood that and compensated by fueling a mad drive, running on the stage and grooving like mad. The magic of seeing Soilwork in a small venue is the ability to connect with the musicians and vice versa: Bjorn communicated with fans almost after each song. Sweat, spit and “Speed” were flying around, in tune with orgasmic fan singing, surfing and stage diving.
usurpers, Naughty By Nature reminded Vancouver that Hip Hop can be street as fuck and still all about a party, and with mindless violence still rearing its ugly head around the club scene, it’s good that some of the best Old School artists have not only survived, but have seen their work come full circle, with two generations of hungry fans giving respect to the originators.
Closing the eyes on technical problems, this was a memorable and outstanding show in every respect.
By Dave “Corvid” McCallum (Photo - Chris Webber)
Live Review – Soilwork, Darkane, Swallow the Sun Sunday, March 01, 2009 Richards on Richards – Vancouver, BC. To many, Treach and Vin Rock represent a nearly lost era of Hip Hop excellence, when the essence of the culture was an immutable pulse with the strength, vitality and audacity to last for generations to come. In his own words, “Hip Hop ain’t gon’ die, it gon’ diversify…” Treach anticipated the flourishing industry and multiple elements of a fully Hip Hop world. Still, after twenty years of advanced lyricism, crowd moving beats and athletic performances, the Anthem Kings rocked the Commodore stage like yet another episode in a career trajectory that shows no signs of stopping. Of course, the requisite hits, from “Hip Hop Hooray”, to “O.P.P.” got fleshed out (sometimes more than once) to mad crowd response, but Treach and Vin tore through the tracks from the forthcoming “Anthem Inc.” with the full fury of their 90’s selves, paying tribute to the golden era with a montage of classics from Leaders of the New School, to House Of Pain. With the bling and swagger of Hip Hop royalty, Treach had the audience in the palm of his hand, while the often less prominent but equally skilled and often more hype cohort Vin Rock worked the front rows into a vibe befitting an Old School Block Party. Shirtless and swilling Henney straight out the bottle, Treach poured a little out for Tupac on the tattoo on his forearm, proclaiming that “when I drink, you drink…
In a recent couple of months Vancouver has been steadily receiving a healthy dose of Scandinavian brain-smashing death metal delivered by no less than icons of the genre like In Flames and, now, Soilwork. One of the openers – Warbringer, didn’t make it into the country and it was all up to Europeans to tear Richards on Richards apart on Sunday night and they definitely accomplished the task. For the first time in a decade old-time friends Soilwork and Darkane got together for a North American tour, bringing the rising Finnish doom/death act Swallow the Sun on board. And so on the first day of spring a packed Richards on Richards witnessed and took part in an outstanding performance, crazy headbanging, but shitty sound. Swallow the Sun delivered a heavy, yet melodic doom metal, the quality of which turned out to be the best of the evening. Apart from a couple of obvious fans the crowd wasn’t familiar with the band’s work. Nevertheless they were greeted very well by the public and their performance, albeit short, left a
memory. They only played five songs, all of which are definite hits, both old and new. “Through Her Silvery Body” and “Don’t Fall Asleep” sounded great but the possible new album still remains a total mystery. By the time Darkane hit the stage, the venue was almost full. This evening Darkane compensated for the absence of Warbringer, performing for close to a full hour, hitting the hungry crowd with a blast of solid Swedish death metal. The band is promoting the new album on this tour and Vancouver was able to assess the new material in form of smashing hits “Leaving Existence” and “Execution 44”. This got the mosh-pit going all right, one could see some people came to the show for Darkane alone. The new front-man Jens Broman was spitting pure energy and not-so-pure vocal parts. The act’s music perception changed a bit with him on Demonic Art and it was hard not to notice that he doesn’t sound as good live. But not to put all blame on the performer, a couple of words must be said about the sound engineer. The sound began to degrade during Darkane’s set and by the time we got to Soilwork it was already atrocious. This is not the way to do sound with any band, let alone Swedish icons.
Set-list: Follow The Hollow – (2002 – Natural Born Chaos) Like The Average Stalker – (2001 – A Predator’s Portrait) Exile – (2007 – Sworn To A Great Divide) Needlefeast – (2001 – A Predator’s Portrait) Rejection Role – (2003 – Figure Number Five) Black Star Deceiver – (2002 – Natural Born Chaos) 20 More Miles – (2007 – Sworn To A Great Divide) Song Of The Damned – (2002 – Natural Born Chaos) Shadowchild – (2001 – A Predator’s Portrait) Sworn To A Great Divide – (2007 – Sworn To A Great Divide) Distortion Sleep – (2003 – Figure Number Five) The Chainheart Machine – (2000 – The Chainheart Machine) Light The Torch – (2003 – Figure Number Five) Stabbing The Drama – (2005 – Stabbing The Drama) Encore As We Speak – (2002 – Natural Born Chaos) The Pittsburgh Syndrome – (2007 – Sworn To A Great Divide) Nerve – (2005 – Stabbing The Drama)
• soilwork.org • darkane.com • swallowthesun.net By Arceon (Photo - Chris McKibbin)
This time around Soilwork played a fan-voted set-list, which
Live Review - The Bronx w/ A Textbook Tragedy Wednesday, April 1, 2009 Richards On Richards, Vancouver Local openers A Textbook Tragedy at least have one thing right - their name. Clever (and well illustrated) T-shirts notwithstanding, their nearly indistinguishable “songs” seem to be composed with the sole intent of cramming as many riffs and ripped-off styles from the past twenty years of Metal and Heavy music in general into five minutes of sloppy mish-mash, 100% hook free tracks. The result is a product that links grindcore with emo, thrash with cock rock, and leaves absolutely nothing nearly original or catchy enough to remain in the memory for even an instant. This of course produced next to no response from the comatose audience.
And zombies they must truly be, for when LA’s The Bronx took the stage, launching into “Rape Zombie” with a murderous vengeance, the crowd response was as delayed as a shambling gas station attendant in a bad Sam Raimi flick. Three or four songs including “Knifeman” from their latest LP, with the pummeling angst of “Shitty Future” ( from The Bronx II) hurling pure venom in their faces, kids finally started a frantic pit which culminated in singer Matt Caughthran coaching folks on the finer points of stage diving and critiquing the more feeble attempts. Soon enough he was singing from a comfortable perch on the shoulders of the front row, while his bandmates beat their instruments senseless. Drummer Jorma Vik is clearly the heart and soul of the band, and his relentless, ’80’s era beats propelled The Bronx ever onward like a monstrous diesel truck. Despite a rather muddy mix that had Caughthran’s focused scream riding just high enough to be coherent, the band conjured the spirit of classic hard rock - despite always being labeled as a hardcore band it seems at times like they are more rooted in the revolutionary late ’60’s/’70’s sounds of Blue Cheer and the MC5. And yet every song, as similar as it may be to the previous sounds fresh and new, a blistering platform for Caughthran’s inspired and acerbic lyrics, the burning vitriol of which may well have been lost on many of the fashion-whore hipsters in attendance, but not the scorching fury and over-
whelming vitality that is the Bronx. From LA…
• thebronxxx.com By Dave “Corvid ” McCallum (Photo – Jamie Sands)
Despite bad sound and the limitations of a sit-down environment, Tricky managed to motivate at least half of the audience up onto their feet, filling the stage-front with hypnotized Vanhumanoids eager for the rush of spring but swamped by heavy rains. Moody music for moody times, Tricky proved he still has the power to turn pain into beauty.
• trickyonline.com • myspace.com/trickola
Live Review: Tricky w/ guests Monday, March 30, 2009 Vogue Theatre, Vancouver BC An evening of rain so torrential it made the city seem subaquatic drew a morosely damp crowd to the Gothic cavern of the Vogue Theatre to witness the latest incarnation of the eclectic shape-shifter known as Tricky. With the outside weather conjuring a Londonesque atmosphere, the audience reflected a somber and serious vibe, as if carrying the psychic weight of another long RainCity winter on their scrawny padded shoulders. Whoever the opening act was, they only merit mentioning for the desperately purposeful plodding of their now almost twenty year old “Trip-Hop” shtick, distilling all of the most blasé elements of a style mostly discredited by its founders into a colourless, flavourless, odourless gruel of murky emotions and sleep-inducing doldrums. Tricky’s art has always been one of subtlety, building tension gradually to a climax of rawness, and he began his set in high style – back to the audience, enraptured in the swirling smoke of a King-sized spliff, while his band worked up a pulsing, bass heavy groove thick with a characteristically British sense of yearning and desperation. His trademark, whispered, halfsung half-rapped style largely lost in the cavernous expanses of the Vogue, the effect was more atmospheric than literal. Exploring his punk rock side on tracks like “Council Estate” from his latest release “West Knowle Boy”, Tricky flailed his dreadhawk in Marley-esque style, a veritable soul goblin in the throws of cannabinoid possession, howling at the chains society throws at him.
By Dave “Corvid” McCallum (Photo - Sarah Hamilton)
At 10:15pm Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” started blasting through the speakers, followed by the Canadian National Anthem.The crowd went insane. Usually not the kind of reaction you’d get for a Patsy Cline song, but what the hell, we knew what was coming. BLS walked onstage and immediately broke into “Black Mass Reverends.” Doing a quick guitar change after the first song, they followed with “Destruction Overdrive.”
Live Review- Black Label Society w/ Dope and Archer With huge Marshall stacks on either side of the stage, the band Sunday March 15, 2009 looked epic. They sounded great too. Highlights included the Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC Dimebag tribute with “In This River” and fall-away banners Black Label Society’s sold out show Sunday night is proof that the legendary axe man is still considered one of the best shredders in the world. After seven albums and 11 years with BLS, Zakk Wylde’s reputation as a hard living, hard drinking, mean guitar playing son of a bitch is as strong as ever. Evidenced in the extra security at the entrance to the venue as well as the use of metal detectors, it’s clear that BLS fans are notorious in their own right. Bleed Black Label! First band of the night, Santa Cruz’s Archer hit the stage at 8pm sharp. At this point, there was already a pretty decent crowd, but they were not so receptive. Perhaps it was damage done from the night before or the cold, grey Vancouver weather but the audience looked like a crowd of zombies staring at the stage. This didn’t seem to faze Dylan (guitar, vocals), Tyler (drums) or Isaiah (bass) at all as they played their solid set of hard-rock/metal with as much passion and energy as they would to a sold out arena. Next, 90’s alt-pop-metal band Dope took the stage. Following Archer, who bore quite a resemblance to BLS in both sound and showmanship, Dope really seemed like the odd band out on this tour. To their credit, they did a great job of riling up the crowd with chorus chants from their hit “Die Motherfucker Die” and their cover of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” and NWA’s “Fuck Da Police”. As for original songs, their formula - fairly mediocre tracks written around catchy choruses, was exactly what we needed at that moment; easily digestible, straightforward music with its one purpose: to get everybody warmed up for BLS.
that revealed giant pictures of Dime, as well as Zakk’s signature 20min solo following “Fire it up.” Their choice to close the night with “Blessed Hellride” and “Stillborn” left everyone feeling satisfied, having heard a decent mixture of old and new material. Any rumors that the show might be a bit more subdued than normal due to the recent tragic loss of Zakk’s father, were immediately dispelled. There was no hesitation, they were there to put on a solid show and rock the fuck out…and they did just that.
• blacklabelsociety.com • dopearmy.com • archernation.com By Alxs Ness (Photo - Mike Chow)
cD ReViEws CD Review - Big B American Underdog Suburban Noize Records
Straight out of Las Vegas, Big B brings back the white trash vibes with his fourth album American Underdog.Weighing in at 330 pounds and covered in tattoos, this a l l - A m e r ican boy combines an interesting selection of rap and punk rock mash-ups, melodic song writing, reggae jams and country hip-hop. “Hey baby, don’t say maybe,/ this white boy will drive you crazy” Big B advises on “To the Moon,” his first track with a southern country style and almost certainly a warning for the rest of the album. While his lyrical content can be entertaining the quick changes in style from one track to the next make this album hard to wrap your head around. “Life Lessons” relays the consequences of excessive sex, drinking and drugs over a brassy beat while “Drink More” has Johnny Richter rhyming “I’m gonna drink more, fuck , fight more” on stringy rock and roll . Some influential life lessons indeed. Big B gets a little more hardcore screaming over punk rock riffs on “Born to Ride,” which features Jared of Hed PE, then slows it down on “Trouble” with a Latin guitar beat that would be easier to listen to without B’s raspy rhyming. “Sinner” is a melodic love song featuring Scott Russo which carries the sweet message “I don’t expect you to bail me out again, but right now you’re my only friend” to the one that got away. Big B is a simple man with a contradiction of sounds and lyrical content that is pretty amusing the first time around.
• feedbigb.com By Kassandra Guagliardi
CD Review - Black Water Rising Self-titled Independent
Brooklyn based Black Water Rising is a straight up, hard rock powerhouse. Armed with heavy riffs, melodic yet powerful vocals and an overall huge sound, these guys deliver the kind of speaker shattering rock that will have you hooked after the first track. Their self-titled debut, set to hit the shelves April 7th, 2009, reflects the drive, ambition and solid talent of a band truly dedicated to their craft. Although they are unsigned, Black Water Rising has garnered a substantial and loyal fan base. After listening to tracks like “Black Bleeds Through”, “The River” and “Brother Go On,” it becomes apparent why. These tracks, although definitely geared towards a broad audience, have a heartfelt quality to them. Perhaps it stems from the members’ collective longtime, involvement in music or just a general desire to take an unpretentious, what-comes-natural approach to songwriting. Either way, they have managed to create music that is both radio friendly and passionate; a feat which many bands have seemingly failed to achieve in the last ten years. With a sound that could be best described as a cross between Soundgarden, Black Label Society and Queens of the Stone Age, Black Water Rising is able to merge heaviness and melody while maintaining the integrity of both rock and metal genres. While there are sure to be those unhappy with their inherent blending of styles, BWR’s powerful sound is sure to get the attention of those looking for something heavy but still easily digestible.
• myspace.com/blackwaterrising By Alxs Ness
CD Review - Candlemass Death Magic Doom Nuclear Blast
CD Review - Classified Self - Explanatory Sony Music Canada
In 1985 Candlemass recorded “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” and set a standard for the whole doom metal scene with their unmistakable “epic” sound. It turned out to be a sign of what was coming in less than two years. The original vocalist Johan Langqvist left the band and his successor Messiah Marcolin has marked a new era for the band and the genre appearing on the even more epic, popular and by now legendary and iconic “Nightfall”. The monk’s vocals and style have shaped the future of Candlemass and set it apart from anything else on the scene for years to come. Messiah also turned out to be the unstable part of the band leaving and causing general hiatus in 1990. The band kept recording albums of various levels of popularity and saw Messiah’s return all the way in 2002. Together they recorded a self-titled Swedish Grammy winner “Candlemass” in 2005. Despite the past times of uncertainty and inactivity Candlemass are widely recognized as an undisputed icon of doom metal. In 2007 Messiah Marcolin has parted ways with the band for good, and the frontman of Solitude Aeternus, Robert Lowe debuted on “King of the Grey Islands”. His performance raised a dispute among fans and their newest release “Death Magic Doom” gives us all yet another chance to decide what has become of Candlemass. Robert Lowe is an amazing vocalist, his work on both albums is captivating. The band got a chance to show off their skills and delivered stunning riffs, solos and in general; a remarkable example of doom metal, which isn’t marked with genre constraints, having a touch of sludge and leaning a bit towards death/doom. “The Bleeding Baroness” is the heart of epic, the “Hammer of Doom” speaks for itself, while the “Demon of the Deep” drops you into a mythological abyss. At times you feel a trace of the old “Nightfall” sound nostalgically lurking behind what is a brilliant album but just isn’t Candlemass anymore. So instead of going for the old-school brand, don’t mind the name and enjoy one of the best doom albums of the year.
Canada’s East Coast Hip Hop ambassador Classified drops his thirteenth studio release with “Self Explanatory”, and like “Hitch Hiking Music” before it, the album showcases Class’s ever evolving beat production skills, and a lyrical flow that manages to be skillful and clever, down to earth and funny, self-reflective and insightful. Over the course of twentytwo tracks, Class takes the listener on a highly entertaining journey through a day in the life of this everyman MC, with six of the tracks incorporating a “Choose Your Own Adventure” theme that makes listening to the album a fully interactive experience. With a hand selected cohort of Canada’s finest MC’s, the man known to his parents as Luke Boyd gives props to the best of the Old and New Schools, with collaborators ranging from Maestro and Choclair to Saukrates, D-Sisive and DL Incognito. “They Call This (Hip Hop)” features D-Town hard rhymer Royce Da 5’9” and protegee B.O.B dropping some deranged shit atypical of the rest of the album. “One Track Mind” has Class rhyming faster than ever over a track by East Coast popster Joel Plasket. The consistently funny back story with its optional outcomes allows Class to dwell briefly on every topic he can squeeze in, from national pride (”Oh…Canada”), to “Inspiration”, to relationship dynamics (”Breaking Up”), never lingering too long in one mood, and maintaining a consistently sunny yet cynical disposition, ending with the promise of a new day. “Self Explanatory” marks Classified’s true emergence as a fully matured artist in control of every aspect of his craft, from lyrics to production, to maintaining the clarity of a greater vision throughout twenty-two tracks. Having toured Canada more extensively than any other Hip Hop artist, he now looks forward to taking his top-notch, crowd rocking stage show to a wider audience overseas.
• candlemass.se By Arceon
• myspace.com/hiphopclassified • classifiedofficial.com By Dave “Corvid” McCallum
CD Review - Deadlock Manifesto Lifeforce Records
CD Review - Dragon Fli Empire Redefine Makebelieve Records/Urbnet
CD Review - Duff McKagan’s LOADED Sick Century Media Records
other interesting chapter in his long and storied career.
North America is getting a taste of the third LP by Deadlock, two months later than the rest of the world… and is well worth the wait. For some people, East Bavaria in Germany may associate with excellent sausage and beer, but the metal community knows it as the birthplace of a band that brings together the seemingly incompatible melodic death metal and clean female vocals with a techno influence and still delivers serious headsmashing sound. With each consecutive release Deadlock’s music is more and more atmospheric, profound and so-to-say aerial. The best part is that those adjectives apply perfectly to the extremely heavy melodic death metal, flawlessly performed by Tobias Graf, Thomas Huschka, Sebastian Reichl and Gert Rymen. Sabine Weniger’s vocals are perfectly in place alongside Johannes Prem’s deep growling, as much as the modern metalcore elements are with melodic death metal and symphonic parts. These days there’s a tendency to label everything in metal that has clean female vocals as “Emo”, but this is not the case, so don’t even try. This record will keep your attention up to the last track and you will find yourself very surprised at times. You don’t expect tracks like“Deathrace” in this genre. Ambivalent feelings are guaranteed as well as the appreciation for the quality of the release and the skilled delivery of complex solos and heavy riffs. Manifesto is like Sonic Syndicate and Killswitch Engage combined in a wicked but pleasant way. You have never heard anything quite like it before. Don’t believe it? Wait till you hear the saxophone.
Anyone who didn’t know Calgary had a hip-hop scene might be surprised to find something so fresh coming from Cowtown. Dragon Fli Empire is comprised of MC Teekay and DJ Cosm, a duo whose initial collaboration in 2002 has led to several albums, the latest of which is Redefine. Their sound is eclectic, a mish-mash of classic rap samples, jazzy funk instrumentals and somewhat solemn rapping. Dragon Fli Empire sounds live: it’s easy to imagine a song like “Outside Inn,” which features Cadence Weapon and Lynn Olagundoye, being performed with a bassist, drummer and guitarist in tow. Olagundoye’s soul-singing adds to this live feel; the depth and tone of her voice nicely contrast the monotonos, matter-of-fact flow of Cadence Weapon. “Watch Ya Front” with Josh Martinez is a little grittier: dynamic basslines and a shrill, raspy hook, make this song kind of mysterious as Teekay and Martinez relay the woes of performing in the “hillbilly complex” town. “Rise” with Masta Ace has a haunting beat, a simple looped melody played against other a variety of synth sounds at differing pitches and cymbal-heavy drums. It’s an anthem of sorts, a call to “learn the puzzle to solve this everyday struggle,” a theme which reappears in the Ohmega Watts jam “To The Sky,” where Velben sings beautifully of looking to the sky in an attempt to find answers. Admittedly, Redefine can come off a little trite, with lyrics like “got beef? nah, but we got fresh cuts” on plucky basslines and groovy keys. Its strength lies in the mixture of many elements, not just cliches of funk but storytelling, collaborations, interactive hooks and positive lyricism.
In between his work with such lowprofile underground groups as Guns ‘n Roses and Velvet Revolver (maybe you’ve heard of them?), Duff McKagan formed a sideproject comprised of local Seattle musicians that cranked out a pair of albums under the name, LOADED. Putting the band on ice for several years, McKagan has reformed LOADED for Sick, the follow-up to 2001’s Dark Days. Rooted firmly in melodic hard rock but with some Stooges-style attitude, Sick finds McKagan taking on lead vocals and guitar duties for the thirteen tracks under the re-dubbed moniker of DUFF MCKAGAN’S LOADED. A worldwide deal with indie powerhouse Century Media Records will certainly get the album out there and with McKagan’s name now atop the marquee, Sick could be a record that will catch many by surprise. McKagan himself spent his pre-Guns days toiling in a series of Seattle-area punk bands and his roots shine through in several spots, most notably the title track that kicks off the record. Dripping with a youthful brashness that defies McKagan’s 45 years, “Sick” and others like “Sleaze Factory” are punk-fuelled gems that the heshers can grab on to. Others like “No More,” “Flatline,” “No Shame” and “Translucent,” a song that could easily be mistaken for a Foo Fighters track, are so unapologetically melodic, proper marketing could get them on to modern rock radio in a heartbeat. Embracing his inner Bowie, McKagan croons like The Thin White Duke himself on “Mother’s Day” for a heartfelt ode to a woman’s choice of drugs over her own child. With the addition of a horn section amid the southern twang, “Blind Date Girl” takes a bit of a left turn, drifting into Exile On Main Street-era Rolling Stones territory. In other words, McKagan is not afraid to take some chances and explores many different avenues on Sick. While some might look at this as being unfocused, it seems more like a mature artist unwilling to be boxed in to a specific genre or resorting to clutching at trends. Sick will undoubtedly generate interest based solely on McKagan’s name but he doesn’t rest on his reputation and turn in a half-assed record, either. This album has enough solid material to stand on its own and the fact it bridges several genres without sounding forced is a feat unto itself. No one can question Duff McKagan’s musical pedigree and LOADED is an-
by Sean Cowie
• xdeadlockx.com • lifeforce-america.com
By Amalia Nickel
CD Review - Finale A Pipedream and a Promise iM/Fontana/Universal As the next MC from Motor City to prove that everything coming from the D is dope, Finale flows over Dilla-esque beats with an every man’s perspective and an engineers precision. As a former automotive engineer for The Big Three in Detroit, Finale focuses the same deliberate intensity on his rhymes. Featuring productions by Black Milk and J Dilla himself, “A Pipedream and a Promise” takes one on a journey into the mind of a hustler - not on the streets selling drugs but on the mic with lyrics, and the real life hard work struggles of real people. “The Waiting Game” portrays the stresses of the music industry, with some great commentary by the legendary Whippa Whip of the Cold Crush Brothers. The Dilla produced “Heat” simmers with bumpin intensity, with Finale’s flow approaching the seamless greatness of Elzhi. On “The Senator”, someone finally had the sense to properly sample Clive Davis from “The Wire” on his extended “sheeeeeeeeeet!”, incorporating it into the beat and theme of the song. Bonus Track “Paid Homage (RIP JDilla)” honours the man whose vision laid the foundation of this whole Detroit style. With skills to rival the D’s finest, Finale’s everyman content will appeal to those who want grittiness but are tired of overblown crime fiction. With a uniquely agile flow and backed by some of Detroit’s best behind the boards, “A Pipedream and a Promise” is another welcome chapter in Motor City greatness.
• myspace.com/finale By Dave “Corvid ” McCallum
CD Review - Hemoptysis Who Needs a Shepherd? Independent
CD Review - Inward Eye EP J Records/SonyBMG
CD Review - K’Naan Troubadour A&M/Octane/UMG
CD Review - Keelay & Zaire Ridin High MYX Music Label
Arizona based Hemoptysis’ debut EP, Who Needs a Shepherd? is one of those demos that immediately sets itself apart from all the rest. Masaki (vocals), Jack (lead guitar), Ren (bass) and Travis (drums) certainly did not cut corners as far as production, songwriting and musical skill are concerned. For a five song debut, this one tears the shit out of standard, quickly thrown-together basement recordings; a sign that this young, up and coming thrash/death metal band not only has the ambition but also the competence to rise from the masses. Opening track “Shadow of Death” starts off with a thrash riff that quickly leads into an epic verse. At this point in the album it becomes clear that Hemoptysis have put in an ultimate effort to write a track that can stand up over time. This one most certainly will. Although “Shadow of Death” reveals its possible Amon Amarth/Arch Enemy influence, they have taken just enough of the established elements in death and thrash metal to concoct their own metal brew. By employing their own unique interpretation, they have managed to progress from where their influences left off rather then regurgitate a popular style. Who Needs a Shepherd? is currently available worldwide. Be sure to check out the band’s MySpace and show some love for an unsigned, up and coming metal band.
Winnipeg boys Inward Eye have taken the idea of forming a band and turned it into a family affair. Brothers Dave, Kyle and Anders created the punk rock band Inward Eye; drawing influence from classic groups like The Clash, Green Day to The Rolling Stones and of course The Who, for whom these Winnipeggers scored an opening slot last year. All blended together forms a solidified “New School Punk” sound. Recently releasing their EP of the same name, through J Records, Inward Eye has already begun to take over the air waves with their first single “Shame”. Easily a hit, you can’t help but tap your foot along with this song. Definitely a top ten hit for radio. The gents entice the listener with swinging guitar riffs and drum solos, plain and simple; Inward Eye covers all the basics. Keeping their sound very personalized, the whole EP is the perfect prelude to a full- length. Inward Eye developed tracks that grab you from the beginning. They have managed to make the riffs get stuck in your head embed some hook-filled lyrical chants. Vocalist/Bassist Dave takes his talent to the limits, changing his pitches to new highs. Alongside brother Erik (on guitar and backup vocals), the pair project a true traditional “Rock Guitar” sound Keep your eye out (no pun) on Inward Eye, hopefully the boys will have a hand in keeping straightforward Canadian Rock & Roll alive and well in ‘09
The Somali born, Toronto resident MC and “Dusty Foot Philosopher” K’naan, was given the honour of recording his second full-length album “ Tr o u b a d o u r ” at the legendary Tuff Gong studios in Kingston, Jamaica, and was actually given the keys to Bob Marley’s house for three inspirational months. Thanks to his close personal connections with Damian and Stephen Marley, K’naan managed to dig deep into the roots of his unique poetic vision, recounting with renewed insight his journey from one of the world’s most damaged countries to one of the most privileged. This time, K’naan brings along a diverse crew of collaborators, from Old School relic Chubb Rock’s edutainment verses on the anthemic “ABC’s”, which also features a children’s choir on the haunting chorus, to Maroon 5’s Adam Levine on the more pop oriented “Bang Bang”. Damian Marley brings the fire on “I Come Prepared”, and Metallica’s Kirk Hammett shreds all over the remake of “If Rap Gets Jealous”. The standout “America” features K’Naan rapping in Somali over a funky African guitar loop, with Mos Def and Chali 2na’s baritone flows weaving through the track like lyrical molasses on the plight of the African diaspora. The heavy Afrobeat influences of “The Dusty Foot Philosopher” have morphed into a more diverse sonic palate on “Troubadour”, with beats ranging from dancehall, to Old School Hip Hop, to all out guitar rock. The fact that he can transform his life experiences in the gun filled streets of Mogadishu into music filled with beauty, hope and humour, rich in metaphor and sound is a testament to the strength of his spirit and an affirmation of his inheritance of the great poetic tradition of his war-torn but culturally rich homeland.
It’s rare to find a rap track nowadays that isn’t a collaboration; hip-hop tracks which feature a crew of musical allies are at the height of popularity. So when East and West come together, they roll a blunt and invite their friends for a cruise, the outcome: Keelay and Zaire’s debut LP Ridin High. These cats began their musical affair on the internet from opposite coasts, exchanged beats and eventually produced an LP that was a match made in message board heaven. All 15 tracks feature at least one guest artist but Kyle “ Keelay” Pierce and Tim “Zaire” Lewis are truly the soul of this bi-coastal production. With West coast vibes and East coast flavour, the two artists bring diversity to every track. “Kee and Zee” don a flexible and relaxed style, ranging from soul and funk-influenced to smooth jazz beats. A sample from Sonny and Cher’s “A Cowboy’s Work is Never Done” infuses gritty rapping to make up the unique and unrefined track “I Used to Ride”. Tracks like “Alright with Me” bring an R&B vibe while “I’m on Swerv” features Tash of Tha Alkaholiks to satisfy a craving for a straight-up bad boy anthem. With the crew’s individual flair paired with numerous guest affiliates, every track is complemented with a distinct and significant sound. This multi-talented team establishes that they know how to cross the boundaries of what is expected from hip-hop albums today.
• myspace.com/hemoptysismetal By Alxs Ness
• inwardeye.com By Taylor Ell
By Kassandra Guagliardi
• knaanmusic.com By Dave “Corvid” MCallum
CD Review - KMFDM BLITZ Metropolis Records
CD Review - Lamb of God Wrath Epic/Sony
CD Review - Mastodon Crack the Skye Reprise /Warner Bros.
CD Review - N.A.S.A. The Spirit of Apollo ANTI
KMFDM needs no introduction. Sascha Konietzko’s contribution to the genre (if not conception) is impossible to underestimate. The bands history spans a whole quarter of the century and features rises and falls, talented people, groundbreaking music and a… hiatus. No matter what, they keep delivering albums, that shake walls and hit us in the head each and every time. The year 2009 is no different and March will see KMFDM’s 17th full-length album release on Metropolis Records. BLITZ features the familiar beautiful vocals of Lucia Cifarelli, Sascha Konietzko and a couple of surprises, namely Cheryl Wilson and last, but definitely not least, an unexpected appearance of Tim Skold helping with the production and instrumentation. Though there’s no indication whatsoever that Tim has returned to KMFDM, in the view of future Skold vs KMFDM release, there’s certainly some ground for speculation. When the human talent meter reads off scale the only thing we can expect is an album like BLITZ: diverse, energyspitting, dance-infusing, freakishly intelligent and KMFDMesque to the bone. The polyglot in Sacha Konietzko spoke up again, surprising us all with all Russian-lyrics song “Davai”. Your humble servant happens to speak Russian and “Davai” just might be the song that best illustrates KMFDM’s brilliant combination of serious and humorous attitude. Returning to the conceptual 5-letter name format is another thing worth noting, a yet another symbol of KMFDM at its best, be it the potential dance hit “Never Say Never” or a terrifyingly playful “Being Boiled”. Only this band can combine conceptually and musically heavy songs like “Potz Blitz” and “Strut” on one album and get away with it. After all, that’s what’s been making their work genius.
It’s been three years since Lamb of God released Sacrament; the most acclaimed album of their 15 year career. Since then anticipation has been building among die hard fans and newbies alike, all posing the question: What comes next? The answer is rooted in the fact that despite their recent fame, these guys have remained serious musicians, not simply a band of celebrities. Wrath stands as definitive proof that L.O.G has resisted the complacency that often accompanies success. Instead they continue to work hard at evolving their sound and converting metal heads all over the world to the brutality of pure American metal. With an acoustic intro, Wrath’s first track is not what you would expect from the guys that brought us “Ruin”, “Laid to Rest” and “Walk With Me in Hell”. While some may criticize this uncharacteristic move, it really adds a new dimension to their sound. It’s great to see that Willie (guitars), Chris (drums), John (bass), Mark (guitars) and Randy (vocals) are not afraid of genre experimentation; deviating from their established balls-to-the-wall formula by throwing in some unexpected elements. After we are thoroughly intrigued by the shock of the new, “In Your Words” blasts through the speakers giving us an instant dose of the Lamb of God signature sound we’ve come to love. Despite the familiarity of the first riff, “In Your Words” also introduces some new elements, both which recur throughout Wrath; primarily Chris Adler’s use of blast beats and Randy Blythe’s improved (since Sacrament) clean vocal technique. Lamb of God is one of those permanent staples in the metal scene; consistently managing to evade the all too common fate of burning out or fading away. Now with Wrath they have shown that the best can get better and the truly dedicated will not stop at finding ways to perfect their craft.
Mastodon are easily the most popular technical metal band around. It works the other way around too, they are one of the most skillful and technical bands of such of order of popularity. Formed in late 1999 in Atlanta, Georgia, Mastodon have produced 3 albums in 9 years, and have risen sky-high with their trademark progressive metal sound. A Grammy nomination and an influence and inspiration to many, each piece of their work is highly anticipated and always a huge event for the industry. Their latest effort Crack the Skye is no different. It’s the most solid release they’ve made to date: it feels like they recorded it with their breaths held. A captivating tale reveals itself throughout the album, rich in metaphors, philosophy, alternate reality and out-of-space-and-time concept. The epic four-part track “The Czar” would be the very definition of the parallels drawn between the epic saga and real everyday lives of people, and perhaps the musicians themselves. Mastodon might be slightly less heavy than usual, but it’s so much more progressive, even though calling this album prog rock/metal would not be entirely correct. Being at the peak of their creative potential, the band delivered the most complex and breath-taking musical accomplishment possible. The sound is so rich and full of energy that it encompasses you completely and life around you ceases to exist for a magical hour. Add the intricate lyrics to that and you get a connoisseur album. What’s amazing is that a release that profound would normally be difficult to digest. This is not the case here, because “Crack the Skye” carries an almost rock’n’ Roll like drive, heavy, igniting and contagious. The more you listen you to it, the more it grows on you and you already dream of hearing it live.
N.A.S.A. is the collective title given to the work of producers Squeak E. Clean and DJ Zegon, and the staggering collection of collaborators who pepper “The Spirit of Apollo” with the type of rare gem performances that should get more attention than they most likely will. N.A.S.A. stands for North America/South America, and the unity of such diverse artists as this album contains is a testament to the power of their vision. Even though David Byrne is still tuneless and annoying he still doesn’t manage to completely ruin “People Tree”, also featuring Chali 2na, Gift of Gab and Z-Trip; and the following “N.A.S.A. Music” featuring E40, Method Man and DJ Swamp completely erases any lingering bad taste with it’s thumping chorus. In fact, the collaborations on this album are so mind boggling it’s best to just name a few - RZA, KRSONE, Tom Waits, Ghostface, Del, George Clinton, M.I.A…. fuck! And if that wasn’t enough, ” Strange Enough” matches Karen O of the Yeah. Yeah, Yeahs with Fatlip and, believe it or not, Old Dirty Bastard’s last song ever recorded! Linking Squeak’s NYC sensibilities with Zegon’s Brazilian Baile Funk and Latin percussion influences, the sonic palate of “Apollo” is continuously surprising and colourful, with splashes of sample collage invoking some high tech space launch program gone mad. With a forthcoming live show promising dancers, live percussion, and turntable madness, the N.A.S.A. movement is a whole that is greater than the sum of it’s incredible parts. For true music afficionados, “The Spirit of Apollo” is one of those rare records that will merit continuous repeated listens, and stands as a unique showcase of an era’s brightest talents and most eccentric personalities.
• lamb-of-god.com • epicrecords.com
By Alxs Ness
• myspace.com/nasa By Dave “Corvid” McCallum
CD Review - Over the Coals Closed Eyes at Sunrise Independent
CD Review - Samael Above Nuclear Blast
CD Review - The Bronx The Bronx III White Drugs/Distort
Vancouver has carved itself a huge and impressive niche in the Heavy Metal scene over the last few years. Bands like 3 Inches of Blood, Bison B.C. and Ninjaspy are fueling the proverbial fires with some of the most impressive releases to hit fans’ ears in some time. Add this second effort from Vancouver’s Over the Coals to the pile (entitled Closed Eyes at Sunrise) and you’d be hard pressed to find another Canadian city with the long haired Heavy Metal might and majesty of our own mosh hungry cosmopolitan. Following 2007’s Declaration with this 14 track opus, Over the Coals have produced more of the melodic metal/ thrash mastery their fans have come to expect. All the grit and “GRAWR” of their live shows is here, expertly produced and packaged, whittled down to the most essential of listening experiences. Blending metal and melodic elements, Over the Coals will both impress and surprise you with this offering. Instrumental interludes such as “Intermission” take the listener on a decidedly “otherworldly trip” before crashing them back down again in “Shadows,” “Clean Slate” and “Better Days” to name a meager few. Two of the myriad of outstanding elements found in this album include Over the Coals use of harmonies (“Dirt Nap”) and the consistency of the songwriting. There is not a single “lesser” song on this entire disc and for an album boasting 14 tracks that’s an impressive feat. Staying true to Heavy Metal sensibilities and keeping it fresh is no easy task. Over the Coals manages to not only do that, but also instills a lot of heart into what they play. When the musicians really care about what they do it’s evident in their music and here it comes out in spades! Closed Eyes at Sunrise may be too late to put Vancouver on the map as far as Heavy Metal is concerned, but it’s certainly going to go a long way in keeping it there!
Switzerland’s Samael have always been keen on surprising the audience with unusual style turns. Even though they became famous from being of the best bands from the second wave of black metal, at least one third of their creative work is industrial-oriented. To be more precise, Era One (2006) and Solar Soul (2007) are clear examples of their experimentation in the genre of industrial metal. Some fans did enjoy these efforts, but frankly; apart from a potential brand new audience, nobody got it. Maybe the band noticed the fan reaction and decided they had enough with industrial, or maybe they just got tired of experimenting with the other side of their musical personality. Either way, to a great surprise and long-awaited satisfaction of their old-school hungry fans, Samael are ready to unleash their new album on April 4. A straight-forward and braindisintegrating return to their roots, “Above” is an album that only 22 years worth of experience could produce. It presents a level of musical skill and excellency at which every song on the disc is perfect in its own respect, well-composed, arranged, performed, chewed upon, spat upon and polished to bliss. On “Above” two major tar pits have been avoided by the band: the bliss of perfection somehow isn’t boring and the many angles it presents make it interesting for people outside the genre. Black metal’s current popularity is concentrated within talented, yet very underground bands. Samael gives you solid material and adds professionalism of the highest order. Samael latest Nuclear Blast release features an impressive booklet with lyrics you will have to dig into to understand who or what, exactly fights in a “Virtual War” and where is the “Dark Side”. The very first track, “Under One Flag” gives you a jolt right away and later on you find yourself mumbling “Conquer…Conquer it all!”. In a nutshell:s ympho-black at its best and everything a Samael fan could wish for.
It’s amazing just how refreshing a straight up, balls out “Rawk” band like the Bronx is, while at the same time being so rooted in the conventions of 70’s Rock and 80’s Hardcore. With their third consecutive selftitled album baffling critics who seek a title to distinguish it from the other two, the band from the other side of the continent than the actual Bronx rocks harder than ever through all eleven tracks. This is exactly the kind of album that late eighties punks would throw on the turntable over and over until age, ashes and spilt beer made it unplayable. Clearly paying homage to the kind of upbeat, motivational Hardcore (not straightedge…) that represented the west coast for over ten years, their clearest single influence must be the MC5 - both in the relentless two guitar sonic assaults, singer Matt Caughthran’s still melodic scream, and Jorma Vik’s frenetic drumming, full of splashy fills and Muppet Show Animal intensity. Opening track “Knifeman” announces the onslaught with a simple two note guitar riffs that builds to a swaggering chorus of almost Cock Rock proportions, while Caughthran’s uncommonly clever lyrics tear into the fakeness of the art world and the rawness of the rock and roll life. “Six Days a Week” sounds like a classic Black Flag track, verging on a Dead Boys vibe of self destruction. The closing track “Digital Leash” doesn’t back down for a second, with Caughthrall screaming like a pit bull on a short chain ready to snap chunks off of whatever passes. A band of such uncommon intensity is rare in this age of weak, pallid clones, and the Bronx approach a place in Hardcore that is so Classic it’s as if you know the songs as soon as they are first heard, and yet there is no question of mimicry. This is a truly original band who pay tribute to classic Hard Rock and Punk by keeping it as alive and authentic as possible. As with any musical form, when it’s from the heart and soul it always feels right, and there is so much heart and soul on this album that it practically leaves bloody spit all over your face, straight from the singer’s lungs.
• myspace.com/OverTheCoals By Grimm “Bombs Away” Culhane
• samael.info • nuclearblastusa.com By Arceon
vCD Review - The Prodigy
Invaders Must Die Cooking Vinyl
Not really sure what the title is referring to, hopefully it’s in reference to American soldiers in Iraq and not the resurgence of the National Front in England. While The Prodigy have alway courted controversy with their bizarre imagery and song titles like “Smack My Bitch Up”, the only thing offensive about “Invaders Must Die” is the fact that they still seem mired in the early to mid 90’s breakbeats, annoying buzzy synths and simplistic vocals that they have always been known for, without once diverging from a formula that has long been stale and dated. Perhaps there are still those whose cocktail of cheap synthetics would have them bopping their K-holed heads along to the opening title track, building it’s simplistic groove over a monotonous synth pulse, but it gives one the willies to think of Keith Flint with his tri-hawks and guyliner shouting out choruses like “It’s an Omen!” or “Watcha gonna do when the hounds are calling?” over tracks that sound like outtakes from a mid-nineties Ministry session when Al Jourgenson slid too many tabs of brown acid under his eyelids. If the scene from which this band emerged still exists in any form (that doesn’t have too much crystal backed up in their spines to move, that is…), it will love the shit out of this coal nugget - not one sound produced on this album dates from any later than ‘97, including the tortured vocalizations of Flint and MC Maxim’s ongoing journeying down a wormhole best left to teenagers and Glastonbury Festival. Better get back to the Dirtchamber and try again, because “Invaders Must Die” is an unambitious, ambiguous and seemingly pointless exercise in maintaining relevance that lacks the true venom and menace of the earlier work that made their name.
• theprodigy.com By Dave “Corvid “McCallum
• thebronxxx.com By Dave “Corvid” McCallum
CD Review - The Rabid Whole Autraumaton Synthetic Sounds
CD Review - X-Clan Mainstream Outlawz Suburban Noize
CD Review - ZION I The Takeover Goldust Media
CD Review - Hidden Fortress Self -Titled Independent
Industrial/cybermetal has been around for quite some time and we have seen its rise all the way from the beginning of the 90’s with landmark acts like Nine Inch Nails and Ministry. The twentieth century exhibits an evolution of the genre and the name “cyber-metal” is a bright example. Combining heavy guitar sound with an abundance of samples generated new big names and smashing hits. Deathstars and Dope Stars Inc. are exemplary in this respect and now…more are to follow. Leaning towards the electronic side is Saskatchewan based outfit The Rabid Whole, who also manage to keep it heavy and catchy, a good recipe for popularity. As with most bands in the genre, essentially a one man effort, The Rabid Whole quickly grew and showed serious talent, self-releasing a debut album Autraumaton only two years after conception. The band’s current line-up is Andreas Weiss (Writing/Vox/Guitar/Programming), Sheenah Ko (Keys/Backup Vox), George Radutu (Guitar/Backup Vox) and James McKenzie (Percussion/Keys/Programming/Visuals). There isn’t anything conceptually new in their music (and there can’t be), but they have everything worked out perfectly. They recorded a fresh, catchy and energetic album, not falling into the mainstream pit, even though some of the songs have a 30 Seconds to Mars-ish feeling to them. The Rabid Whole doesn’t make template-based music, exploring both the heavy and electronic side, combining heavy riffs, groovy beats and atmospheric samples along with screeching synthesizer sound. They hit you right away with “All the Same” and you sit there through the whole album with your mouth open, wondering: is this Canadian Zeromancer?
Brother J and the ‘vanglorious’ soldiers of the X-Clan bring the next installment of their righteous lyrical science and hard hitting beats with “Mainstream Outlawz” - a direct assault on the fortress of corporate Hip Hop and rap “fusion” music that has diluted the original substance of raw Hip Hop. Since their triumphant “Return From Mecca” on the last album, dropping the wisdom of the ages with a renewed vigour and updated sound, Brother J’s experiences living in Houston TX have inspired a new round of lyrical dissections of society and the state of Hip Hop culture. Bun B of the legendary UGK drops some OG hood knowledge on “Thru My Eyez”, an enlightened ride through the ghetto, while tracks like “Prime Time Lyrics” present J’s sometimes obscure cypher over bumping, club worthy beats. “Still in the Game” feat. Poppa Doc and I-Napp, further establishes X-Clan’s street cred with hard lyrics and street politics. “Keys to Ur City” features underground Queen Medusa repping for the hood, and the outstanding “Armageddon DNA” features the amazing Supanatural on some extremely deep shit. With the swagger of an OG and the righteous lyrical science of an ancient man of wisdom, Brother J represents the Tru-school of Hip Hop, obscured but not destroyed by the machinations of corporations who have worked to extract the marketable qualities of the music and use it as a tool of oppression. Hip Hop was always meant to uplift, regardless of the ferocious intensity of the lyrics, which serve to reflect the desperate conditions of our cultural wasteland, and Brother J manages to tread the perfect balance between street poetry and metaphysics, bridging the gap between “conscious” and “gangster” rap. For those who love real Hip Hop, but want something with more depth and maturity than the norm, “Mainstream Outlawz” is the antidote to a world of self-destruction and illusion. Vanglorious!!!
It’s rare to find true mutuality between producer and MC but nearly ten years after the Oakland duo’s unfiltered conciousness hit the hiphop scene, Zion I continue to evolve together. Although The Takeover leans heavily on AmpLive’s party tracks and diverse dance rhythms MC Zumbi sacrifices little in content; obviously it’s okay to bounce your booty and be discerning at the same time. The Takeover’s beats are no less interesting than past releases but their inner consistency is a little off. Heavy southern styles are used on tracks like “Juicy Juice” while tribal, earthy rhythms accompany “Geek to the Beat.” “DJ DJ” hearkens back to early electronic beats with robotic vocals and a drum machine gone wild while “Country Baked Yams” features Devin the Dude flattering the ladies on a bouncy synth. Each song is rather ingenious in and of itself, but there’s something to be said for an album which leaves a holistic impression. The highlight of the album is the Cab Calloway-style title track wherein a sexy backbeat and grinding vocal loops accompany reflexive reactions: “they call me starving to grimy, conscious to Cosby, hyphy to hip hop, I’m happy I’m sorry.” Brother Ali joins Zumbi for “Caged Bird Part 1,” a sweetly stringed track with gospel undertones and an affinity for the poor of spirit; “Here both of us are, linked to the song/ and when you hear a caged bird, sing along.” Zumbi’s conscious sentiments might seem a little gushy if they weren’t accompanied by the heavy bass and rapid snares of AmpLive’s solid production. Instead, form and content reflect each other, the depth of the beats amplifying the emotion of the lyrics without taking over the tone. Another great release from Zion I.
Hidden Fortress are to horrorcore rap what Sam Raimi’s “Army of Darkness” is to horror films: intelligently integrated in the genre without taking it all too seriously. Sure, the beats sound like they were produced in a cave and the blood and guts storylines are all in place, but DJ UsdNeedls and MC nofutureface use the genre as a platform to express poignant thoughts rather than twisted desires. Their self-titled debut is conceptually over-the-top enough to have humor but musically it demands to be taken seriously. UsdNeedls’ clean breaks are layered with dark synth bass and somewhat random samples which give the instrumentals a scattered sound. Nofutureface’s monotones echo against these untamed beats, a wild storyteller weaving tales of cadavers, braineaters and burning hot lava. But between the lines of bloody lyrics - When i bite in the results are clear and the blood that spills travels far from here - are sobering ideas. “I, Braineater” may talk about eating, well, brains but its depth lies in philosophical meanderings like Can’t really cope with times, wonder if the thoughts in your head are mine/ or they might be ours in the plural sense, so if the gates close shut then we scale the fence. Hidden Fortress may just be 2 guys from Vancouver but there’s something to their sound: having toured Japan with DJ Krush and soon to release their first full-length album, they are surely a force to be reckoned with in Canada’s underground hip-hop scene.
• therabidwhole.com By Arceon
• zionicrew.com By Amalia Nickel
• the-hiddenfortress.com • myspace.com/hiddenfortress By Amalia J. Nickel
• xclanmusic.com By Dave “Corvid” McCallum
CD Review - The Irish Front Universe Ferret Records The Irish Front is a young, up and coming experimental death metal band based out of Arizona. Their first full length release Universe contains 14 A.D.D inspired, genre-blending, mind-fuck inducing tracks that are sure to leave you bloody and disoriented. What sets these guys apart is their non-stop intensity combined with an extremely low attention span approach to song-writing. Top that off with the added dynamics of two vocalists –Cameron Martin and David Crow- and you have thirty-seven minutes of the most confusing yet calculated controlled chaos around. Track seven, titled “Urethra Franklin vs. Queef Latifah” has got to be one of the shortest songs in metal history at 18 seconds in duration. Somehow though, with the Irish Front’s intermittent style of writing –lots of pauses in between riffs and in breakdown spots- this track sounds like it could have been dissected from almost any track off the album. In other words, many of their songs, though distinct in some ways sound quite similar to one another. This seems to mainly be caused by the repeated use of break down riffs and the sometimes grating, incessant higher vocals. It seems that keeping the intensity cranked to 10 without any build ups or anticipation can actually takes some power out of the songs. Despite the criticisms, the level of musicianship on this album is really impressive. Alex Huizar (guitar/bass) and Brian Lopez (drums) have already developed a level of playing that seems to take many bands at least a decade to reach. Their use of crazy time changes and an overall experimental approach to composition definitely makes them a band worth listening to and keeping an eye on in the future.
• myspace.com/theirishfront • ferretstyle.com By Alxs Ness
When it comes to marijuana & medicine,
The Faces of Compassion may not look the way you expect Illness and disease strike across all social boundaries. So should our Compassion. Medical research continues to confirm the benefits of Cannabis to human health. Aren’t we ready to end the stigmatization and criminalization of those who are ill?
Marijuana is Medicine. Compassion Clubs-Helping People Heal
Promoting A Holistic Approach to Healing and Living
BC COMPASSION CLUB & Wellness Centre by practitioner referral
w w w. t h e c o m p a s s i o n c l u b . o r g
bOoK ReViEws Book Review - Dracula’s Heir: An Interactive the book as well as the first page, this statement, which might at first seem to be a tongue in cheek attempt at intimidation, Mystery in hindsight reveals itself to be an ominous warning. Dare to By Sam Stall commence this dark tale and you may just find yourself privy Quirk Books to knowledge that is both menacing and supernatural. Dracula’s Heir is one of those books that peaks your interest from the moment you look at the cover. All old adages about book covers and judgment aside, the embossed detailing and meticulously designed artwork on the front of this one betray the effort and time that went into producing it. Besides the eye-catching design, the interactive quality is what truly sets it apart; notes, a newspaper clipping and the ‘missing’ chapter from Bram Stoker’s Dracula (to name a few features) all act as clues that not only make it near impossible to put the book down, but also keep the reader guessing until the very end.
Dracula’s Heir takes place 10 years after Stoker’s original Dracula tale and is largely based on the characters and events therein. With a modern twist it ties itself to the present through the narration of one of the protagonists Jon Kelso. When Kelso comes into possession of some mysterious documents left to him through the will of a woman he has never met, he finds himself pulled into the middle of a strange and frightening tale- one that becomes more and more real with each turn of the page. Author Sam Stall leaves it up to the reader to decipher the clues and solve the mystery that has befallen poor Jon Kelso before it’s too late. “Enter freely and of your own will;” Etched onto the back of
is quite satisfying. Not to be outdone by the metal overlords alone, Neil does not leave out modern day punk brats like Green Day, The Donnas and Blink 182 and throws in classics like the illustrious Stiv Bators, showing that they truly are “# 1” So sit back, put on a pot of java, roll one up and you’ve got yourself a lovely little coffee table book that might make your guests think twice about reaching for the scones without asking. Available through Chroniclebooks.com or at your favorite Fücking retailer.
live twice as fast, love twice as loud and feel twice as deeply. For all wandering souls lost in the shuffle of pointless modern contrivances, for the sexually curious and the sexually furious alike and for anyone who regards life as both a challenge and a victory, Bad Habits: A Love Story puts a mirror up to present day existential angst and shows the reader what really matters; friends, self love and access to GOOD DRUGS!
• CRoadCore.org • SoftSkull.com By Grimm “Transgressive” Culhane
By E.S. Day
• quirkbooks.com By Alxs Ness
Book Review: Fück Yöu - Rock and Roll Portraits By Neil Zlozower Chronicle Books Given the fact that the 80’s metal scene was destined for doom (especially when the pregrunge era started to seep in) you’ll see photographer Neil Zlozower has stuck through the music change ups through thick and thin, with his latest effort - Fück Yöu - Rock and Roll Portraits, and it’s exactly that: a major middle finger through the eye of his lens. Chock full of “Fuck You” from glam metal gods like Poison and Ratt, to mainstream acts like Van Halen and AC/DC, right up through the ages to thrashers like Pantera and Meshuggah, “Zloz” (as he’s known to friends) has captured the essence of what rock ‘n roll has always truly been about , a middle finger to the establishment. Along with Mark Weiss, Neil Z. has been at the forefront of rock ‘n roll photography for almost 40 years. Many of us older folk, have witnessed his photography catapult him into the newsstands amongst the pages of Metal Edge, Kerrang!, Metal Forces, Rip, Hit Parader and others, throughout the years. The reader will also find a few rock stars nestled in these pages that have passed on. To see them sticking out their middle finger in their prime (that includes Steven Adler pre-dope sick) s
Book Review – Bad Habits: A Love Story By Cristy C. Road Soft Skull Press Thank fuck that not all love stories revolve around flowers, church bells and pastoral setting as Cuban-American illustrator and author Cristy C. Road demonstrates with her latest semi-autobiographical novel entitled Bad Habits: A Love Story. Set in New York City (with a short sojourn in Miami), this is the tale of Carmencita (a.k.a. Car) whose hard living, hard loving lifestyle plays out like a diary of delight and despair, a feminist treatise on the New York hippy/hipster philosophy delivered from the vantage of a bipolar, sexually liberated drug enthusiast. The love story here is not only between Car and her environment, (namely New York City), nor is it simply a love story involving the various people she meets at parties, crash pads and street corners. The true test of love here is between Car and herself, getting over abusive relationships and rekindling the love between herself and her vagina. Heady stuff treated with honest insight and much humour. Ms. Road’s fills the pages of this book with her own distinct and detailed illustrations, giving the characters and situations contained within it a much more “real life” feel. As a talented illustrator in her own right, Cristy’s pictures go a long way in helping visualize the chaos, angst, realizations and downright bizarre (yet strangely poignant) antics of her characters who
Book Review – Posters for the People: Art of the WPA Written by Ennis Carter Quirk Books They say one who doesn’t know his own past is doomed to relive it. Irony is apparent when you hold a book like Posters for the People in your hands. A collection of posters, effort of the artists hired by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression of the 30’s is more than appropriate in our time. Set in motion by Franklin D. Roosevelt, WPA’s undertakings amount to an impressive 35 thousand posters designed to spread propaganda and inspire action in a time of grave economical disaster. A work of a good anthropologist or historian is all about looking at past events from various angles, gathering information from unusual sources and being able to make observations and conclusions based on that information. Posters of the WPA are a rare medium and it is a very unusual and interesting window to look through. 35000 is an impressive number but unfortunately these exhibits of fine American art have not been archived and preserved properly. The Library of Congress gathered close to 900 posters and considered it to be sufficient for their records. All remaining ones were scattered across America in private and institutional collections. Raincoast.com Chroniclebooks.com By Arceon
Breaking Artist to Watch- Spin Magazine Troubadour is K’naan’s brand new album, armed with classic beats, live instrumentation and innovative rhymes. Featuring the hits “ABC’s” and “If Rap Gets Jealous” Ft. Kirk Hammet of Metallica.
IN STORES AND ONLINE NOW
Dvd ReViEws DVD Review-Brave New York/ Sway Dir. Richard Sandler Scorpio Dogs Productions/Brink From the visionary director who brought you “The Gods of Times Square” - Richard Sandler brings this triple feature of hallucinatory realist documents of NYC’s strange and brilliant street life, and the changes brought about by Rudy Giuliani and 911. We get brief glimpses into the lives, worlds and innermost thoughts of people like the Urban Indigenous - Lone Wolf the proud hunter with nowhere but the sidewalk to sit, and BigFoot, who declares truthfully “I’m the Landlord!!!”. We see “Wigstock ‘92, with assorted transsexuals in their finest declaiming their perspectives to flocks of flying birds. The timeline is fluid and nonlinear, over a soundtrack of assorted beats, melodies and fragments that tell a tale no words could describe. Activists storm Starbucks and rail against Rudy Giuliani, a self-effacing “old man with nothing” he humbly bemoans the theft of his bike, like - “easy come, easy go…”. We watch the towers fall again, but from a different angle this time. Crusty punks taunt the influx of bourgeois yuppie-dom, a community garden is bulldozed to make way for condos. The climax, if you want to look for one in an abstractly existentialist film, is the conversation between Duke and his unnamed friend - two urban Dreads reasoning from opposite but complementary perspectives while making the wreckage of Empire into something useful (binning). Was 911 the end of Paradise? Was the Paradise all an illusion? Of course, but
America is built on illusion, and in the images and words of the people in this film, one glimpses into the deeper, richer, far more meaningful world of culture and experience that exists simultaneously and in the same place as “America”, but is more ancient and wild than any city. “Sway” is an even more free form composition of footage taken from fourteen years of filming on the NY subway in all its various customs and conventions. “Subway to the Former East Village” expands on the premise of “Brave New York” with more urban randomness. In all, a thoroughly engaging collection of docs that flow like music and depict NYC as a kind of ragged wonderland.
• brinkdvd.com Dave “Corvid” McCallum
DVD Review-Burn After Reading Directed by Ethan and Joel Coen Focus/Alliance
DVD Review-The American Ruling Class Director John Kirby Alive Mind/KOCH
The work of Ethan and Joel Coen is either an object of disgust or praise. There seems to be no middle ground: you either like it or hate it. But in case of Burn After Reading Coen brothers summoned a different kind of emotion. Following No Country of Old Men, a classic representation of the dark side of Coen style, BAR is a completely different beast, worth attention and, paradoxically, spawning apathy. As with any of their pictures, this one is featuring the best cast, production, filming and pretty much best everything money can buy. The Coens don’t make low-quality cinema and they definitely never write bad scripts. The screenplay in BAR is as intricate, crazy and “Coenly” as it can be, yet with a striking detail. In the Bonus Features of the DVD, Joel and Ethan openly admit writing the characters with specific actors in mind with an attitude like: let’s make Brad Pitt look and act like a dork, because of his role in a TV commercial. How’s that for intricacy? BAR is a black comedy about spy stuff combined with middle-age crisis and stupid people – an alchemists recipe for a box office hit. Only it’s not that funny at all and unless you aren’t a lonely 45-year-old woman without children and a sexual insufficiency and are a fan of a specific actor, this movie is of no real interest to you. So what is it? A sign that Coens are losing it or that their habit of writing two scripts at the same time doesn’t exactly pay off if the other script is about a guy who kills people with an air-gun like cattle? The starry cast draws your attention, the twists keep it alive all the way until the end. You have a couple of laughs, maybe even a hearty one at some point. You admire the perfect filming quality and for a couple of hours you are pondering over questions that might concern yourself. Then you start thinking – there must have been something I missed, it’s a Coen movie after all. You watch the ridiculous Bonus Features on the DVD and discard the idea altogether. And a memory how genius The Big Lebowski really is comes to mind. Watch it once, for the record, then throw it away.
In this bizarre and entertaining “docu-drama”, Lewis Lapham guides us on a tour through the halls of American power through the eyes of two recent Harvard graduates - one entering a lucrative career in corporate finance and the other a struggling writer who waits tables. The existence of a semiconcealed ruling elite is revealed through their encounters with real life figures such as Robert Altman, Walter Cronkite, Kurt Vonnegut, Howard Zinn and many others who elucidate the realities of the American power structure from all political perspectives from murderous republicans to cynical proggressives. A strange yet spellbinding production, Lapham’s script takes us from the world of service industry workers unable to afford housing to the homes, offices and hangouts of entertainment magnates, political pundits and military-industrial heavyweights, whose tunnel vision views of American foreign policy are positively schizophrenic. Interspersed with skits, mini-movies and song and dance numbers with a recurring theme, the end result is part Michael Moore, part Monty Python. Those accustomed to serious conspiracy theory flicks involving Babylonian dynasties, reptilian aliens and giant stone owls will find none of this here, just a concerned, good natured look at the contradictions of American “morality” seen through a patriotic, if critical lense. The elite’s founding principal that financial success is tantamount to moral goodness is summed up in the Medici family motto - “money to gain power, power to protect money”. As Lapham says, life’s a lot easier on the inside lane, so long as by doing well one means that one is doing good. Eat the rich motherfuckers!!!
• alivemindmedia.com By Dave “Corvid” McCallum
• burnafterreading.com By Arceon
DVD Review - The Deadly Art of Survival Directed by Charlie Ahearn Brink DVD “Wild Style” director Charlie Ahearn’s incredible debut “The Deadly Art of Survival” is a rare artifact - so truly ghetto in it’s quality and approach, and so naively sincere in it’s authenticity and anticipation of the emerging Hip Hop culture that it encapsulates a time few can now recall or relate to. A time when the casual violence and poverty of the NYC streets was counterbalanced by the intense youthful energy of a new generation fueled on Funk music and Saturday morning Kung-Fu flicks. Inspired by the vitality of this nascent cultural landslide, Ahearn picked up his Super 8 camera, rounded up the local ruffians, and started filming a largely improvised script. The real hero of course is Nathan Ingram, a real life Kung-Fu warrior who choreographed all of the fight scenes, and whose skills and community involvement are showcased throughout. His adversary is the comically stylish “Handsome Harry”, whose “Disco Dojo” exploits the local youth by first charging them exorbitant fees for their gear and training, and then brainwashes them into joining his personal army of mini-thugs. By far the best scene in the film has Harry first throwing on some funky tunes, then having his right-hand man light a massive spliff from which he blows smoke in all the kids’ faces, then has them spar it out with each other. Perhaps unintentionally funny, Ahearn and Ingram reflect in the bonus interview about their intention to portray the negative sides and false teachers of the true Martial Arts, which are grounded in spiritual practice. With the subplots stretching the premise to ridiculous extremes - at one point two Hip Hop Ninjas steal Nathans hat, his lunch, then even his baby - it definitely watches like a homemade production. But this is far more entertaining than anything churned out by High School hacks, involving a full cast of characters, clever fight scenes and prop gags, and classic 70’s beatdown lines like “I’m gonna take my fist and I’m gonna bust you into a million pieces!!”. Ingram has since gone on to become a true hero to his community, training fully two generations of youth in self-defense, and the discipline of mind, body and spirit. It’s actually quite inspiring to see that the wide-eyed hope that the culture of
Martial Arts and Hip Hop offered to the youth of the late 70’s bore fruit not only in music, fashion and language, but in a continuous commitment to bettering one’s community. Survival still is, and will always be a deadly art, and looking back at how far Hip Hop culture has come, it’s good to see that we are equipped to survive well into the future.
• brinkdvd.com By Dave “Corvid ” McCallum
DVD Review - Nine Inch Nails and the Industrial Uprising Executive Producer – Rob Johnstone Chrome Dreams Media Ltd./MVD Even though the original concept of industrial music is to be as underground and non-conventional as it can, there is a number of notable artists, who made it possible for the genre to find its way into the general public eye and influence the music industry in a profound way. Nevertheless there really aren’t many documentaries on industrial music, its origin, history and associated culture. As with any other genre of music old enough, there is more than one generation of people, who call themselves fans of industrial. In this particular case, the difference in perception of the movement between younger and older fans is so drastic, they would probably consider themselves parts of different subcultures. This is where “Nine Inch Nails and the Industrial Uprising” DVD comes to the rescue. Almost two and a half hour worth of priceless information will leave both generations satisfied. The old-school fans will probably find themselves raising an eyebrow here and there, but generally approving and feeling a bit nostalgic, looking for the old Einstürzende Neubauten record. The younger generation might learn something astoundingly new about industrial and get closer to the heart of the movement. A great deal of the film is about Nine Inch Nails and, in particular, Trent Reznor, his contribution to the genre and detailed history of the band. Every single person interviewed about NIN is constantly praising each and every album, one after another, in different ways and generally trying to acknowledge Trent’s indisputable genius.
It can only be speculated, but this might be the reason Reznor did not officially approve the DVD. He does not appear on it as a recent interviewee either. Nine Inch Nails is a unique and outstanding band, its impact is global and shouldn’t be underestimated, but if you take a look at the values and origin of the industrial movement, Nine Inch Nails isn’t exactly a vivid example of true industrial ideals. The good thing about this documentary is that a substantial part of it in itself represents a meticulous and thorough narrative on the history of industrial in general, through the eyes of both original artists and renowned journalists. The DVD presents interviews with Genesis P. Orridge from Throbbing Gristle, Chris Vrenna and Richard Patrick, Nine Inch Nails Biographer and Classic Rock journalist Tommy Udo, Jon Wiederhorn from Revolver magazine, Chemlab’s Jared Louche and many others. A detailed walk-through all the way from the early roots in 1975 to present day is fortified by solid extras, rare footage, music and a sheer acknowledgment and appreciation of all the pioneers and their work, which created foundation and inspiration for generations to come.
• nin.com • mvdb2b.com By Arceon
Film ReViEws Film Review – Ballast Directed by Lance Hammer Alluvian Film Company
Ballast is the highly acclaimed picture by Lance Hammer, which won the Directing and Excellence in Cinematography Award at Sundance Festival in 2008. His second film, Ballast is selfdistributed and miles away from the influence of Hollywood and mainstream cinema in general. Exemplary for independent cinema, every point in the film is delivered in alternative ways, intentionally difficult to swallow without extensive chewing upon. But what makes it award-winning and is it really that good? The decision to invite people without any acting background to play some of the parts is ambitious and at times allows us to see the story through eyes very much like our own. This is why many people will relate to characters and emotions they experience. Depending completely on ambient sounds and filming at unexpected angles gives credit both to the director and camera operator, as they manage to provide an un-movie like feeling to what we see on screen. It is as if we look at what’s happening through a small window, rather than an interpretation of film maker’s ideas. As any good independent picture, it requires a great deal of attention and analysis to grasp the story. Ballast is full of graphic metaphors and at the same time as straight-forward as it can get. The problem with the movie though is the fact that it leaves you with uncertain conclusions and a wide range of feelings, from apathy and incompleteness to appreciation and at the same time dislike. While it is very clear that great work has been done by Lance Hammer and virtually everybody involved, the origin of negative feelings is in the story, which, by the way could have ended at any random point in the last 30 minutes and still look the same.
The tragic events, the personal drama and the road to reconciliation and, maybe, redemption does make up for a great script, portraying some very real problems in a location such as the Mississippi Delta, but is also full of cliché characters. It is good that Lance Hammer puts the America some people might not even know about right in front of our noses and wipes our faces in it, but to make a point to the general public the movie can’t be that dry. People who can understand the point in this format already realize and are concerned about what is going on in public schools in “bad” neighborhoods, underage drug abuse and about people who barely make ends meet in such a rich country. People who have no time to even think about the American Dream. But Lance Hammer obviously wanted to touch a different audience and this is where he failed. His attempt to break the huge wall of indifference wasn’t successful and not for the lack of trying.re Well, if we keep knocking, somebody will open. By Arceon
Film Review – Knowing Directed by Alex Proyas Escape Artists/Summit Alex Proyas has made a stunning career occasionally throwing scifi gems at us. A little more than a dozen wide-screen releases in almost three decades suggest great elaboration and preparation on the subject. A very diverse director, Alex Proyas is good both at nearly flawless adaptation as in “I, Robot” and creation of surrealistically captivating fusion of dark-noir and science-fiction like “Dark City”. His most recent effort, “Knowing” is to hit the theaters today (March 20) and has been the pinpoint of interest since the beginning of 2009. After all this is a new endeavor of a talented film-maker after a 5-year break in doing fiction cinema. It is also a new film starring Nicholas Cage, an actor, whose
McGuigan have proven him to be a director capable of creating quality cinema in a variety of genres, be it a spectacular and wicked love story like Wicker Park or an iconic criminal drama like Lucky Number Slevin.
recent performances have raised some rather controversial opinions. To cut to the chase, Nicholas Cage’s acting was as good as completely ignorable. His appearance didn’t make any difference, although he does portray a credible MIT professor. Yet another miss for Cage on good scripts, showing absolute tastelessness. On to the story, the stumbling stone of the genre. Alex Proyas who has proven in the past to be able to easily jump over the damned rock on a white horse this time landed in a pile of smelly substance. Most people will find the story difficult to follow and that would sound like praise comparing to what you might hear from those who’ll actually try to find any sense in it. An attempt to connect the ending to the beginning will give you “brain arthritis”: the amount of discrepancies, inconsistencies and plain absence of common sense will make your nerve joints hurt! A master of genre fusion, Proyas completely went over his head in “Knowing”. The story is ridiculous and it’s incredible how a man of his vision doesn’t see this. The movie starts as a promising mystical thriller growing into a mediocre action sequence ending with non-credible fantasy. Close to a decade into the 21st century, the audience is not going to be much surprised with special effects and computer graphics and certainly not happy with template-based end-of-the-world movies with a scientist, whom nobody believes, a stubborn companion, who never listens and a couple of moments of housewife targeted melancholy. Alex Proyas has tried to get away with an ending which is neither happy nor sad, but the Biblical parallels are simply unbearable. You almost can’t believe this is the man who made “Dark City”. The best performance is by the guy who doesn’t say a word the whole movie. All good metaphors and hidden philosophy between the lines , are buried under a pile of rubbish which this script is. Three genres in one movie, none complete. Masochists are welcome.
• knowing-themovie.com By Arceon
Film Review – Push Directed by Paul McGuigan Summit Ent. Paul McGuigan started his career as a director with a stunning blow to our minds with The Acid House back in 1998. Beautifully adapted story by Irving Welsh, it left no one indifferent. It also set him out as a unique filmmaker with an eye for unusual and thrilling stories. The last two movies of Paul
His most recent work, Push, is a stride into yet another direction, science-fiction thriller. Now, with such an eye for good screenplays how did he even touch this one without frowning? The script does carry some of McGuigan’s favorite trends: the background love story is present as always and the twists are captivating, but the whole movie is an abomination of the genre. It looks like a comic adaptation, but not being one, it isn’t serious enough to stand on its own right. If you close your eyes on the story for a second Push will become a pleasant and entertaining movie to watch, as long as you leave your brain at home. The actors are well-cast and the overall filming quality is high by Hollywood action flick standard. Being filmed mostly in Hong-Kong, the picture renders an out-of-this-world feeling, which is very necessary in sci-fi. But no matter how much you want to enjoy it just like that, sci-fi requires and attracts fans for the story at least as much as for everything else. And this one makes zero sense. Not wanting to give spoilers it is still safe to say that whenever you have to deal with unclear and uncertain things like future prediction and psychic abilities, which the movie is all about, you must take specific care not to screw it up completely. For crying out loud, it must make some basic sense and feel at least partially complete. It doesn’t, and once you start thinking further and deeper you get totally lost in the numerous twists, goofs and entwined story lines. Without destroying the mystery and choosing from hundreds of questions that come to mind, the most important just might be this: if the Division has, quote, “20 of the finest watchers” at work during the whole thing, how come they don’t know where…well, just go watch the movie and you’ll get what this is about – it’s worth it!
• push-themovie.com By Arceon
Film Review – RiP: A Remix Manifesto Directed by Brett Gaylor EyeSteel Film and National Film Board At first sight RIP – A Remix Manifesto is just another privacy-promoting film, of course in the eyes of people who never even try to consider what they are being told to believe is really true. To add to the confusion, filmmaker Brett Gaylor refers to the picture an an “open-source documentary”. People in the computer industry will not get what they expect in it, and people who are not familiar with the term “opensource” don’t even know what to think. Too bad, because RIP – A Remix Manifesto is one of the most well-made documentaries you could ever encounter. Being officially backed up by the Canadian government, you will be astounded by what you see and what is openly discussed in this picture. The concern on matter of copyright in the United States (in particular), dates back at least 200 years and the whole idea of copyright has been evolving throughout the 20th century. If you look at history, you might notice the copyright battles of epic proportions come hand-in-hand with appearance of new mediums as a form of technological revolution. Animation in the 30’s, rock music in the 60’s, home-video in the 80’s, and finally, the biggest of all – the personal computer and the Internet in the 90’s – all of these inventions triggered a wave of corporate wrath. As people get easier access to information, apart from all other consequences, there is one that is very important to the concept of RIP, and it is the fact that people can get a full picture of what the world has to offer, which in turn serves as an underlying moving force of creativity. While some concentrate on reinventing the wheel (with and, much more often, without success) many draw inspiration from artists of the past and instead of inventing new pieces, rearrange the existing ones to create a mosaic of art novelty. A typical example of a contemporary artist, who does that, is Gregg Gillis from Girl Talk. A Canadian born mashup artist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania specializes on remixing unauthorized samples from dozens of songs to create new ones. And no doubt, in terms of law, he is a criminal. A famous Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein has spent his life contemplating on the nature of philosophy and its connection to language. He came to the conclusion that could be summarized as: “All philosophical debate is caused by semantics and interpretation of the language”. Before we condemn privacy, let’s ask ourselves. What is the real meaning of the word? Why does it even exist? Are sharing
and inspiration crimes? The law, represented with language, can’t keep up with notions technology provides us with in 21st century, let alone formulate a way to make them illegal. It can’t even define them well (think “Napster” and “torrents”). When that happens, the interests of corporations are protected in the most strict manner by the Cerberus of the industry, be it RIAA or MPAA. They pull the plug. They just cut the Damoclean Knot, leaving us with songs like “Happy Birthday” copyrighted and sealed, protecting only businesses, not people. A form of art can only make it into the public domain 70 years after the author’s death, and by that time its actuality and credibility might be lost. The amount of information in RIP is overwhelming. Hundreds of examples, dozens of people, who suffered from copyright litigation, outrageous cases and proof that the so-called “original” acts were copyright infringers of their own. Still, Brett Gaylor believes this world has a chance, giving us a glimpse on people working on the Copyleft Revolution, be it the Creative Commons founder, Lawrence Lessig, Brazil’s Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil or pop culture critic Cory Doctorow. This isn’t justifying piracy. This is a must-see for every single person. No exceptions. By Arceon
Film Review – Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired Directed by Marina Zenovich THINKFilm, HBO “Documentary film is a broad category of visual expression that is based on the attempt, in one fashion or another, to “document” reality.”  “Reality” is a very subjective word and there are always different views on it. It is more than true in case of Roman Polanski. Marina Zenovich’s new documentary is a highly acclaimed awardwinning examination of the tragedy and public scandal in the life of the famous director and the events that led to his departure from the United States. Praised and prized by Sundance Film Festival 2008 (Best Editing) and selected by Cannes Film Festival 2008, the status is flashing before ones eyes, unfortunately capable of deflecting the perception. Before anything else, telling Roman Polanski’s story without taking a side is like taking a shower without soap: you realize you can’t get clean enough anyway, and afterwards your hair
suggests that you shouldn’t have even tried in the first place. That being said, while it is clear throughout the picture that the main theme is what it is supposed to be – is Roman Polanski guilty or not – paradoxically Zenovich never actually touches it in a direct way. It is crystal clear that it was not the director’s job to reevaluate or re-conduct the investigation but a much deeper analysis of the existing evidence of the case could be expected. The profound, and to be honest very impressive analysis is indeed there, but it is about quite a number of other topics in Polanski’s life, adjacent, very important and interesting, but different. The point of the documentary of course should be and by all means is much deeper than just whether or not Polanski has committed the crime, the consequences of which dramatically changed his life. It is about his character, his genius and the unique ability to recover and start anew. Where most people would have collapsed, Polanski, despite all media abuse, criticism, misfortune and tragedy, managed to survive and live further in Europe, bringing us cinematic masterpieces of epic influence and importance. Back to Marina Zenovich’s original intent, it seems that while she tried to do the impossible and show the story in a totally unbiased manner, instead, we are meticulously walked through the personal life and professional actions of judge Laurence J. Rittenband. Three quarters of the film are dedicated to the director’s point that Roman Polanski has not (and could not have) received a fair trial. A collection of unique material and interviews are gathered to prove, among others, this particular point of view, without actually digging into the story behind the case itself. If there was no intention to take anybody’s side – then at least there should have been enough information for the audience to make the decision for themselves. There are no i’s dotted and t’s crossed here, the “wanted” part is fully depicted and left open for heated discussion. Thirty years after the events the intention to leave this open is at least strange. It is unfortunate and a little unfair though, that the “desired” part was almost completely left aside. Roman Polanski deserves better than that.
a pass into the world of a true patriotic act of Ian Hamilton, a young student that made a mark in the history of Scotland and Great Britain in general. The notion of patriotism has been researched, discussed and fought over but only through selfless actions and heroic endeavors we can experience how much the country means for its people. In 1296 the Stone of Destiny was captured by Edward I as spoils of war and taken to Westminster Abbey, where it was fitted into a wooden chair, known as St. Edward’s Chair, on which all subsequent English sovereigns except Queen Mary II have been crowned. A symbol of Scottish pride and freedom, the Stone also became an effective symbol of English rule over Scotland. In 1950, while the Covenant Movement in Scotland kept trying to get acknowledged by the British government, a group of students lead by Ian Hamilton set off to return the most valued relic and revive the spirit of Scottish people. The movie is based on true events and although major differences in the story are present, the director successfully shows the main point – it takes great courage to light that only spark that starts the fire in the subdued souls. An example of true love for the motherland, the Stone of Destiny is an adaptation of a story important to know about for each and every one of us. The movie is a great work of both actors and the filming crew. While not a life-changing experience or a ground-breaker, it is nevertheless incredibly funny, informative, captivating and rich on edge-of-the-seat moments that can handicap most heist flicks out there. And if for some reason the main subject of the movie is of no interest to you it still is two hours of your life well spent. Not to mention hours of chewing on food for thought afterwards. By Arceon
Film Review – Stone of Destiny Directed by Charles Martin Smith Alliance Films History is cruel in burying memories of events, no matter how crucial they can be for even a whole nation. The story of Ian Hamilton (Charlie Cox) is a remarkable example of nationalist spirit and almost every Scottish man is aware of it to some extent, but outside time and place it is completely lost. Charles Martin Smith gives us