ILSA TO JOIN GEHENNA'S EAST COAST TOUR/INTOXICANTATIONS LP COMING SOON
Washington DC’s occult obsessed crust/doom outfit ILSA will be joining labelmates GEHENNA on select dates on the band’s upcoming east coast tour.
These shows will be a rare opportunity to see both bands together before ILSA releases their highly anticipated ‘Intoxicantations‘ LP (October), and GEHENNA returns home to start work on their first full length since 2003′s ‘Upon The Gravehill‘ LP
Listen to the ILSA track ‘Deadbeat’s Ballad‘ taken from their upcoming 12″
GEHENNA/ILSA EAST COAST ASSAULT 2012
08.09 Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class (*No ILSA)
w/ The Inmates and more
08.10 Brooklyn, NY @ Acheron
w/ Young And In The Way, Psychic Limb, Skin Like Iron
08.11 Baltimore, MD @ The Ottobar
w/ Ringworm, Young And In The Way, Oathbreaker, Eddie Brock
08.12 Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory (*No ILSA)
THIS IS HARDCORE FEST 2012
08.12 Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary
ILSA 'Intoxicantations' 12"/Digital
Comiing October 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Whilst the music isn't as punishing as the aforementioned Cursed, it's just as lyrically scathing; Colohan's signature vocals paint pictures of an infamous Ontario serial killer, political seediness, creationism, and blind patriotism to just name a few. There's no gray areas or fence-walking, just a poetic assault. As caustic as the tone is, underneath everything is a strange level of catchiness especially in tracks like "Made Out Of Apes" and "Karla." And if you want mind-numbingly crushers, Burning Love has you covered with tracks like "Tremors", a near forty-second attack on the senses. After many listens, the sheer depth of the record becomes more and more apparent.
Rotten Thing To Say was a record I wanted to hear for a very long time, being both a fan of BL and Colohan. It took a few listens to fully click, but when it finally did, I realized just how good the band was. Rotten Thing To Say is now available at Southern Lord on both CD and vinyl and I highly recommend picking it up.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
To find out what RIH had up their sleeve for the near future I spoke with POI, guitarist and at times vocalist for the group.
TW: Rot In Hell's sound is very varied, so I'd be curious to hear what influences you? The obvious answer may include the Melnicks & that early Clevo sound, but I feel that's merely scratching the surface.
POI: You are of course quite correct that it would be obvious to cite Integ as musical influences. Other musical influences include Judge, Slayer, Discharge, My Dying Bride and of course the first band I ever saw live; Ratt. But it would equally be remiss of me not to acknowledge Integrity's cultivation of the "cultura animi" in other aspects of RIH. Like Hänsel und Gretel's candy house, without Integrity I would not have delved deeper into the jagged visions of Francis Bacon and Joel Peter Witkin, the eternal martyrdom of Charles Manson, or the stark philosophies of Anton LaVey and the Marquis De Sade, these are but few amongst many other mind-expanding treasures. I feel both blessed and cursed by these glittering gifts given to me by my friend and comrade D.H. Heironymous; the paths and doorways I have seen and tread are both inspiring and horrifying in their potential and impossible to ignore.
TW: It's no secret that the debut full-length As Pearls Before Swine had its delays, but when all is said and done, are you happy with the finished product or would do you do anything different?
POI: Is that a leading question? My paranoia seems to think so. It's hard to tune-in to feelings about that record, it seems like a distant memory. I think it's a great record, I don't know of any others that sound like it. I think there's real light and shade on it and I'm very proud. I think the strings provided by Daisy Thurkettle-Roper are phenomenal and incredibly evocative. I think I was listening to a lot of Asunder and old My Dying Bride when I was writing the songs and my lyrics for that record. And in hind-sight I was probably quite emotionally unstable, I think this is reflected in a more miserable, less angry atmosphere.
TW: I loved the sound on APBS yet it didn't sound quite as raw and rough as the material leading up to it. Was it a conscious decision to go a different route or something did it just turn out that way?
POI: We recorded APBS at the now defunct HD1 studio in Huddersfield. As an aside, The vocally off-key UK indie band Embrace (not the good Embrace) had recorded there previously. It was a great experience to record in a big studio, but perhaps the sound quality did smooth some of the previously (and subsequent) rough edges of our sound. It was a great experience and we have no regrets about using higher production values for that record, but I think we've since realised that a vitally important component of our sound comes from the haunted and charred walls of the Mutiny Compound, a mere stone's throw from the Crossbow Cannibal Stephen Shaun Griffiths' apartment block.
TW: What is the writing process like with RIH?
POI: I write riffs and chord progressions almost constantly, my wife, kids and non-human companions must hate it, then when I've reached a critical mass I cobble them together into something resembling a song structure. We'll fine tunes the compositions at rehearsals and subsequently I'll generally leaf through my comic books and steal lyrical ideas from Mike Mignola and Grant Morrison, or alternatively pilfer prose from Poe.
TW: What is Lheh Ni Tor?
POI: "I am you, and when you can admit that, you will be free. I am just a mirror". It's the mirror in reverse.
TW: How did the acoustic side of Rot In Hell come to be?
POI: The acoustic songs probably grew from intros and interludes between the hardcore songs which the rest of the band encouraged me to make longer; the instrumental Hallways of the Always is a case in point, I wrote it as a 30 second segue but the other lads were into it and suggested we stretch it out. The first acoustic song proper (ie with lyrics) was Now, Today, Tomorrow & Always. That was initially planned as an instrumental, but at the end of the recording session I disclosed that I had written some lyrics for it and the rest of the band encouraged me to give it a try. I was incredibly self conscious about singing and particularly so given the deeply personal subject matter, so I literally sang as quietly as I possibly could, the intention being that no-one would be able to decipher the words. That song in particular was based on chord progressions from a Suede guitar chord book. I became obsessed with the song Little Black Angel by DI6 and tried to emulate that approach in the tracks for the Horders split and the reaction to those songs has been really encouraging. In Gowan Ring/ The Birch Book is the benchmark for me with the non-hardcore songs now. I'm really grateful to people like Dwid, Dom, Mike Cheese, Marcus Endless Quest and current and formers members of RIH for their encouragement with the acoustic stuff. I'm not a self assured individual and I still find it very difficult to believe that anyone genuinely likes them.
TW: Is the creative process different when doing an acoustic piece as opposed to a more hardcore track?
|Rot In Hell @ CTW Fest 2010|
TW: Since Nate's departure, Hans filled in as a temporary front-man, but at one of the UK shows, Lecky (Voorhees, Sick-Fuckin-O) did vocals. Whilst you provide the voice for the Horders split, would you consider taking over as lead singer or would you leave that to someone else?
POI: I never considered taking over vocals for the hardcore incarnation of RIH. I tend to screech rather than shout, for some unknown reason, so my voice would give out altogether after a couple of gigs. To clarify, Lecky is the primary RIH vocalist, I just do the non-hardcore vocals. I still see the non-hardcore stuff as supplementary, rather than the main aspect of RIH. Hopefully we can maintain this line up for a prolonged period. Sam Layzell is our new bass player and he is fucking brilliant. There is absolutely no truth in the vicious rumour we got him in the band just so we can get cheap tattoos from him.
TW: My first exposure to the band was with the semi-discography LP Hallways Of The Always released by Dom @A389. Can you take us through how that record came to be?
POI: We'd begun to amass a substantial catalogue of releases and once again the canadian Tony Victory saw an opportunity to prey upon some fresh limey meat. The additional non-EP tracks on Hallways were actually recorded after the APBS sessions. Seriously though, Dom has gone out of his way for no personal gain whatsoever for this band like no-one else, except maybe Dwid. He's a fantastic person and I can do a great impression of him. Also he lives near where Nicky Sobotka lived, or would have if he wasn't a fictional character.
TW: RIH has done splits with the likes of Integrity, Wayfarer, and most recently Moloch but is there a band or perhaps an individual you'd like to share a record with?
POI: It's probably about time we actually managed to get an E.P. out that we appeared on both sides of. Personally speaking though, The Wolfe Tones, In Gowan Ring, Loop, Woven Hand, Antony & The Johnsons, Thou, or No Tolerance would be cool.
TW: How does it feel to be releasing a record on the legendary Dark Empire?
POI: It's surreal. I'll believe it when I can put my fingers in the wound in Jack Abernathy's side. It's such an honour and whilst the approval of most bipeds is an absolute irrelevance, having Dwid and Max ask us to do this record for them and be patient in waiting for us to complete it feels like a meaningful endorsement for something we've poured our hearts and souls into for the past 6 years.
TW: Thus far, RIH has only one appearance in the former colonies. How did that show come to be?
POI: We were asked to support Converge at a secret gig in London and we had no records in print at that time so we thought we'd use the live Saddleworth recording and put it on tape for the secret gig. As it turns out the tapes weren't ready in time and the gig was an absolute debacle. On the other side of the world Dom Romeo of A389 heard about the tape and suggested putting it on a limited one sided 12" and using the proceeds to pay for our flights. The gig was brilliant; Boardy's nob fell out of his shorts when we were playing.
POI: I think that's absolutely true, Mike certainly has a way with words that is inversely proportional to the quality of his choice of English football teams. Perhaps there's an element of modesty about it too for us.
TW: One of the things that I immediately connect with your sound is the accompanying art-work, especially Give Up's. How did the relationship between GU and RIH occur?
POI: We were all floored when we saw Give Up's work. Personally I'd never seen anything like it. The guerrilla element of his work including his usual "exhibition" environment, coupled with the processes he uses to develop his pieces is fascinating and I think synthesises seamlessly with what we're striving for in the songs we construct. It's by no means a transient contractual business arrangement, when Give Up does work for us it feels more like having someone contribute directly to the music itself. I have the utmost respect and admiration for Give Up. For me, his work is the perfect manifestation of Holy Terror.
TW: Is there a particular piece of art, whether an album cover or insert (Even a t-shirt for that matter) that you're particularly proud of?
POI: Predictably, Give Up's artwork for Hallways immediately comes to mind. I love the abstract nature and symmetry of it, along with its bleak dichotomy. It's a real shame there was a fuck up and a low res version ended up being used for the finished artwork. Definitely purchase some of Give Up's art, for better or worse, it will change the way you look at your existence.
TW: What's next for Rot In Hell?
POI: The aforementioned "Termini Terrae" E.P. on Dark Empire and the Iron Column skateboard are imminent. We also have an exciting and audacious split to announce, our side of which is 75% completed. Part 2 of the box set and part 2 of Hallways are shimmering on forever's horizon. At the time of writing we have one gig booked in Leeds with Coke Bust. Other than that, I have yet to consult my scrying glass.
TW: Any final thoughts?
POI: "Croak not black angel: I have no food for thee".
Feast Of Tentacles
"A Parallel Hell" wastes no time in throwing the listener into the maelstrom with a vicious black-metal infused hardcore track. At times this sounds like SangRaal (As does the final track) but it has that underlying savagery that makes Gehenna a cut above the rest.
"Amphetamine Psychosis" begins by absolutely crushing ear-drums, building up into a violent rage as Mike Apocalypse's vocals take over. Lyrically an ominous picture of drug abuse is painted by quick phrases and references. The final two minutes then transforms into a malevolent dirge that brings back that black-metal feel of the opening track. As moments turn into minutes, I get the same nihilistic sound that oozes from the latest Kickback record. It's the soundtrack of depravity and chaos.With these two tracks, once again I anxiously await the new full-length currently in the works.
"I Know Where Everyone Lives" slowly invites you in before Orr's signature sound dominates. As the track progresses, there are moments of a great Motorhead & G.I.S.M. fusion... combined with Dwid's harsh vocals, "I Know Where Everyone Lives" is another Integ classic. Something I really enjoyed about this number was that there was a subtle blues feel hidden amongst the metallic hardcore, giving it a deeply layered delivery.
Each side provides a different approach and overall feel, but together they form a very solid listen that will please both fans, new and old. The Holy Terror web store has this split available right now on blue vinyl, limited to a mere 666 pieces, so don't sleep. If you're willing to wait and are located on the East Coast, snag an exclusive clear copy from Gehenna during their August tour.
Monday, July 2, 2012
In the mean-time, listen to Moloch and destroy shit.