Now this is what you call a hollow-body guitar. The Tampa musician calling himself Prince Midnight built this conversation-starter (and ender?) from his uncle’s skeleton fused to the, erm, bones of a Fender Telecaster. And it works.Midnight’s Uncle Filip had died in a 1996 motorcycle accident in Greece, at the age of 26. “After 20 years, he ended up in a cemetery my family had to pay rent on. Like, literally in a wooden box,” Midnight told HuffPost. “It’s a big problem in Greece because the Orthodox religion doesn’t want people cremated.”
With Filip’s parents deceased, the bones — after a couple of decades of being used for research at a college — were sent to Midnight’s mother in Florida.“Uncle Filip was a super metal head,” he told CBC’s As It Happens. “He got me totally into metal when I was a little kid because he was my mother’s younger brother, so he was closer to my age, and took me under his wing.”
As his mother was not interested in paying a storage fee on the remains, nor in buying a burial plot, his nephew stepped in to take care of Filip. Mom was a bit reticent about her son’s project.“When this first started happening, she was really upset,” said Midnight, who is on Instagram as princemidnightx. “She said, ‘It’s sacrilegious. He needs to be laid to rest.’
“And as she was walking away, I was like, ‘You think Uncle Fil would rather be a guitar, or a box of bones?’ She threw her arms up. She goes, ‘Probably the guitar.’” And so his project began.
Knowing Filip had been a metal musician, Midnight wanted to honour him in an appropriate way. “It just popped into my head. I’m going to turn Uncle Fil into a guitar. And I was like, that is the best way to honour him. He would love that idea.”
He had to fuse a steel “spine” to the real spine in order to attach the neck, then he had to ensure it was perfectly straight so the strings would work. The spinal vertebrae gaps had to be filled in for stability, and the ribs were supported by connecting them back to the thoracic spine. Then he had to drill into the hip bone to attach the jack connection, and also connect the two ilium for more stability.
He wanted to use the skull, but it had been damaged over the years. Then he wired it up, using red and blue wires to imitate veins and arteries. Now, he says, “I feel like Uncle Fil is not just here figuratively; he’s here literally too,” he told As It Happens host Carol Off. “I’m literally giving my Uncle Fil hugs while he’s with me, creating, you know, heavy metal riffs.”
“It’s pretty metal to play a guitar made out of skeleton.”
INTRODUCING CRAFT RECORDINGS’ “SMALL BATCH”:AN ALL-ANALOG LIMITED EDITION, ONE-STEP VINYL SERIESOFFERING THE HIGHEST QUALITY LISTENING EXPERIENCE JOHN COLTRANE’S LUSH LIFE TO LAUNCH COLLECTION—AVAILABLE NOW TO PRE-ORDER AND DUE OUT FEBRUARY 19thEXCLUSIVELY THROUGH CRAFTRECORDINGS.COM
Los Angeles, CA (January 14, 2021)—Craft Recordings is thrilled to announce their Small Batch series—a carefully curated audiophile collectiondevoted to creating the highest quality vinyl reissues of legendary recordings from their vast catalog. Each album selected for the series will undergo all-analog mastering, and then be pressed on 180-gram vinyl in a one-step lacquer process—as opposed to the standard three-step process—allowing for the highest level of musical detail, clarity, and dynamics while reducing the amount of surface noise on the record. The limited nature of these pressings guarantees that each record is a true representation of the original lacquer and is as close as the listener can get to the original recording. Authentic sound, distilled to its purest form. Each Small Batch pressing, available exclusively on CraftRecordings.com, will be individually numbered and housed in a foil-stamped, linen-wrapped slipcase featuring an acrylic inset of the original artwork. The vinyl disc—extractable through a unique frictionless ribbon pull tab—will be housed in a reproduction of the original album jacket, complete with tip-on jacket, and protected by an archival-quality, anti-static, non-scratching inner sleeve. New liner notes from some of music’s best educators, historians, and journalists will accompany each title. Launching the Small Batch series will be John Coltrane’s iconic 1961 album, Lush Life—celebrating its 60th anniversary this year—available on February 19thand limited to 1,000 copies worldwide. For this reissue, the original analog tapes—recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’sHackensack, NJ studios—were sent to GRAMMY®-Award winning mastering engineer Bernie Grundman, who utilized a custom tube pre-amp and analog mixing console with discrete electronics—both made in-house—as well as a Scully solid-state lathe with custom electronics. “When it comes to jazz, all you want to do is present the music in a good way. No gimmicks. No extra compression. Just the pure instruments,” explains Grundman. “We’re taking these old tapes and playing them off of equipment that’s similar to what they were recorded on. We want to preserve the sound as much as we can. My goal is to do all of this by hand as it’s playing. It takes a lot of preparation. It takes choreographing.” In the end, Grundman says, “It’s all about trying to optimize the experience for the listener.” Grundman’s lacquers were then sent to Record Technology Incorporated (RTI) for plating using the plant’s one-step process, as described above, where the lacquers are used to create a “convert” that becomes the record stamper. Utilizing Neotech’s VR900 compound, Lush Life was then pressed on to 180-gram vinyl. Preview the full package via the unboxing trailer, here. Recorded in three sessions over 1957 and 1958, Lush Life finds Coltrane on the verge of a career breakout. Though he was still a few years away from emerging as an influential and boundary-pushing bandleader, the saxophonist’s mature and complex sound was beginning to grab ears and sell records. Here, he’s accompanied by an all-star lineup of talent, including Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, Donald Byrd on trumpet, and Art Taylor on drums. The tracklist, comprised of standards and popular tunes of the day, offers a wide range of moods. Highlights include Cole Porter’s “I Love You,” the Jimmy Van Heusen/Johnny Burke hit “Like Someone in Love,” and one original—“Trane’s Slo Blues.” In the package’s new liner notes, GRAMMY® Award-winning writer Ashley Kahn points out that the Billy Strayhorn-penned title track—now a jazz standard—was an unusual choice at the time. In the late ‘50s, “Lush Life” was “more of a specialty tune…known primarily by a coterie of jazz players and dedicated fans.” Kahn adds, “One could not with any confidence call it a jam session, hoping that all the players would know the changes and the singer would have a handle on the lyric. Its harmony was complex and unusual, and it did not fit the 32-bar structure most songs followed…How bold it must have been for a John Coltrane album to not only bear the title of Strayhorn’s off-center song, but feature a fourteen-minute interpretation as its centerpiece. This is truly a band version of ‘Lush Life’—arguably the first—that builds steadily in intensity and offers a variety of textures through its free-wheeling duration.” Upon its release, Lush Life was a critical and commercial success, garnering a rare five-star review from Downbeat. The album continues to be counted as a standout recording in Coltrane’s all-too-short career. In recent years, AllMusic listed Lush Life “among John Coltrane’s best endeavors on the Prestige label,” while All About Jazz praised that “the record documents Coltrane’s rapid growth over a short period of time while also showcasing how great a talent Coltrane was, even at this early stage.” In his notes, Kahn affirms that the recording “serves to capture the already expansive nature of Coltrane’s approach in late ’57 and early ’58: the love of melody and that melancholy, searching spirit. The restless embellishing, and those sheets of sound just as they began to unfurl.” Subscribe at CraftRecordings.com for news first on future Small Batch pressings. For more information and to pre-order Lush Life, visit CraftRecordings.com/SmallBatch.
Tracklist – Lush Life: Side A:1. Like Someone in Love2. I Love You3. Trane’s Slo Blues Side B:1. Lush Life2. I Hear a Rhapsody
About Craft Recordings:Craft Recordings is home to one of the largest and most prestigious collections of master recordings and compositions in the world. Its rich and storied repertoire includes legendary artists such as Joan Baez, Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Vince Guaraldi, John Lee Hooker, Little Richard, Nine Inch Nails, Thelonious Monk, Otis Redding, R.E.M. and Traveling Wilburys, to name just a few. Renowned imprints with catalogs issued under the Craft banner include Concord, Fania, Fantasy, Fearless, Milestone, Musart, Nitro, Prestige, Riverside, Rounder, Specialty, Stax, Sugar Hill, Vanguard, Vee-Jay and Victory, among many others. Craft creates thoughtfully curated packages, with a meticulous devotion to quality and a commitment to preservation—ensuring that these recordings endure for new generations to discover. Craft Recordings is the catalog label team for Concord Recorded Music. For more info, visit CraftRecordings.com and follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,YouTube, and Spotify.
DARK NIGHTS: DEATH METAL – BAND EDITION: CRANKING IT UP TO 11 FOR THE HIT COMIC BOOK SERIES’ WORLD TOUR THIS MARCH
BURBANK, CA (February 1, 2021) – In anticipation of the international launch of DC’s runaway 2020 hit limited series, Dark Nights: Death Metal, the publisher announced today plans to collaborate with seven of the most renowned metal music bands for Dark Nights: Death Metal – Band Edition.
Representing a cross-section of metal music from across genres and generations, each special edition will feature a variant cover spotlighting a different metal band, an introduction from the band and exclusive interview. The lineup includes:
Issue #1: Featured band: Megadeth Cover artist: Juanjo Guarnido
Issue #2: Featured band: Ghost Cover artist: Werther Dell’ Edera
Issue #3: Featured band: Lacuna Coil Cover artist: Timpano / Antonio Fuso
Issue #4: Featured band: Opeth Cover artist: Mathieu Lauffray
Issue #5: Featured band: Sepultura Cover artist: Albuquerque / Pedro Mauro
Issue #6: Featured band: Dream Theater Cover artist: Santi Casas
Issue #7: Featured band: Ozzy Osbourne Cover artist: Marco Mastrazzo
The Dark Knights: Death Metal seven-issue series event will launch in 13 countries internationally in March and rollout throughout 2021.
Dark Nights: Death Metal, from the bestselling team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo, launched in the U.S in June 2020. Dark Knights: Death Metal is the sequel to the smash-hit 2017-18 series Dark Nights: Metal, which brought widespread changes to the DC universe and introduced fans to the Dark Multiverse and a runaway-hit villain, the Batman Who Laughs.
When the Earth is enveloped by the Dark Multiverse, the Justice League is at the mercy of the Batman Who Laughs. Humanity struggles to survive in a hellish landscape twisted beyond recognition, while Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman, who have all been separated, fight to survive.
The seven single issues with the Band edition variant covers will be published monthly in eight countries: France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Turkey.
For the Collectors’ Omnibus Edition featuring additional bonus content, these eight countries will be joined by Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Korea and Japan.
DC’s international publishing partners from each participating country will announce their respective release dates with press releases soon, so check out their social media for the latest information.
DC, a WarnerMedia Company, creates iconic characters, enduring stories, and immersive experiences that inspire and entertain audiences of every generation around the world and is one of the world’s largest publishers of comics and graphic novels. As a creative division, DC is charged with strategically integrating its stories and characters across film, television, consumer products, home entertainment, interactive games, DC UNIVERSE INFINITE digital subscription service and community engagement portal. For more information visit dccomics.com and dcuniverseinfinite.com.
This story broke out Monday February 1st 2021 and is all over the internet that Marilyn Manson abused Evan Rachael Wood during their relationship. The actress took to her Instagram feed and this is what she had to say.
Not long after her post his record label Loma Vista Records dropped him and erased his existence from their website.
In a statement, Loma Vista wrote: “In light of today’s disturbing allegations by Evan Rachel Wood and other women naming Marilyn Manson as their abuser, Loma Vista will cease to further promote his current album, effective immediately. Due to these concerning developments, we have also decided not to work with Marilyn Manson on any future projects.”
Manson began working with Loma Vista for his 2015 record, The Pale Emperor, inking a deal that allowed the musician to retain the rights to his music while Loma Vista would distribute it. The arrangement remained similar on Manson’s next two albums — 2017’s Heaven Upside Down and last year’s We Are Chaos — with Manson retaining the copyright while granting Loma Vista an exclusive license.
His guest appearance in Starz drama American Gods will also be removed.
Manson was due to be seen in an upcoming episode but the US TV network Starz said in a statement: “Due to the allegations made against Marilyn Manson, we have decided to remove his performance from the remaining episode he is in, scheduled to air later this season. Starz stands unequivocally with all victims and survivors of abuse.”
Additionally, AMC’s Shudder has pulled Manson’s episode of the horror anthology series Creepshow, according to Deadline. He appears in an upcoming episode of the show’s second season and his segment will be replaced, the outlet reports.
Manson has since denied the allegations of abuse on his Instagram account stating that his intimate relationships were all consensual with like minded people.
Manson has been portrayed as highly controversial and satanic due to the lyrical content of his music for years.
On April 20th 1999 there was a Columbine Highschool Massacre and it was blamed on Marilyn Mansons music.
Shortly after Columbine killers Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris committed the grisliest high school shooting in history, the town tried to ban Marilyn Manson’s music.
Manson took it upon himself to cancel his remaining concert dates around the country out of respect for the Columbine victims. He did not show his face in Denver for several years, in fact.
A month after Columbine, Manson wrote an article for Rolling Stone titled Columbine: Whose Fault Is It?
It’s quite an articulate and provocative essay, considering it’s written by a man the media portray as nothing more than a Satan-worshipping androgynous freak. He argued that people are outraged when these things happen, but it’s an empty outrage.
In March 2018 Evan Rachel Wood testified in front of Congress and detailed a harrowing account of sexual and physical abuse with an intimate partner. The heart-wrenching testimony was part of a push for more states to adopt the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act. Sitting among fellow activists against sexual violence, Wood courageously told the congressional committee, “I was not fine, and I am not fine.”
At this point she didn’t name Marilyn Manson publicly as her abuser.
“The song ‘I Want to Kill You Like They Do in The Movies’ is about my fantasies,” Marilyn Manson told a Spin reporter in 2009. Responding to a question about his relationship with ex, Evan Rachel Wood, Manson continued, “I have fantasies every day about smashing her skull in with a sledgehammer.”
He was being asked about his new album and was asked: ‘It sounds like the period after you and Evan Rachel Wood broke up was really tough. What was your lowest point?’
He replied: ‘My lowest point was Christmas Day 2008, because I didn’t speak to my family. My walls were covered in scrawlings of the lyrics and cocaine bags nailed to the wall.
‘And I did have an experience where I was struggling to deal with being alone and being forsaken and being betrayed by putting your trust in one person, and making the mistake of that being the wrong person. And that’s a mistake that everyone can relate to. I made the mistake of trying to, desperately, grasp on and save that and own it. And every time I called her that day — I called 158 times — I took a razor blade and I cut myself on my face or on my hands.
‘I didn’t want people to ask me every time I did an interview, “Oh, is this record about your relationship with your ex-girlfriend?” But that damage is part of it, and the song “I Want to Kill You Like They Do in The Movies” is about my fantasies.
‘I have fantasies every day about smashing her skull in with a sledgehammer.’ The interviewer replied: ‘Wow’. He replied: ‘Merry Christmas’.
Manson and Wood got engaged after the interview and did not break up for another year after it took place.
In November 2020, the comments resurfaced. Then, his reps played them down as him being a ‘theatrical rockstar’.
Around the same time, four other women posted similar statements on Instagram.
They are Ashley Walters, Sarah McNeilly, Ashley Lindsay Morgan and a woman who gave her name only as Gabriella. Two are models, one is a photographer who then worked as Manson’s assistant and the fourth is an artist.
Not all of them gave dates for when they met Manson or how long they spent with him. They all allege a variety of misconduct and abuse by Manson including being subjected to ‘gaslighting and violence’.
Some said he subjected them to sleep deprivation. McNeilly also claimed he ‘threatened to bash my face in with a baseball bat.’
It’s unclear why they all decided to speak out on Monday or if any of them have taken their claims to the police.
Wood also posted screenshots of tweets written by Dan Cleary – Manson’s former assistant in December 2020. He said in them that he knew Wood when she was with Manson and that by the end of their relationship, he had ‘broken’ her.
Actress Rose McGowan, who was engaged to Marilyn Manson supports Evan Rachel Wood and the additional women who have accused the shock rocker of abuse.
Manson and McGowan dated in 1999, and became engaged before announcing their split in 2001. McGowan hasn’t publicly accused Manson of abuse during their relationship although the actress is a prominent #MeToo advocate and is supporting the women who’ve spoken out.
In a statement posted to Instagram, the ‘Charmed’ actress wrote: “My statement: I am profoundly sorry to those who have suffered the abuse & mental torture of Marilyn Manson. When I say Hollywood is a cult, I mean the Entertainment industry including the music industry is a cult. Cult’s protect the rot at the top.
Wood reconciled with English actor Jamie Bell after her romance with Manson ended in 2010. She and Bell had one son together before splitting in 2013. She then revealed she was bisexual and dating a non-binary partner in 2019, but she did not reveal who they were.
Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Jazz Week,” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!
October 21, 1917 Cheraw, South Carolina
January 6, 1993 (aged 75)
Englewood, New Jersey MOVEMENT / STYLE
Big Band Style
AWARDS AND HONORS
Polar Music Prize (1993)
Grammy Award (1991)
Kennedy Center Honors (1990)
Grammy Award (1975)
Dizzy Gillespie, byname of John Birks Gillespie, (born October 21, 1917, Cheraw, South Carolina, U.S.—died January 6, 1993, Englewood, New Jersey), American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader who was one of the seminal figures of the bebop movement.
Gillespie’s father was a bricklayer and amateur bandleader who introduced his son to the basics of several instruments. After his father died in 1927, Gillespie taught himself the trumpet and trombone; for two years he attended the Laurinburg Institute in North Carolina, where he played in the band and took music classes. His first professional job was in Frankie Fairfax’s band in Philadelphia; his early style showed the strong influences of his idol, trumpeter Roy Eldridge. Gillespie’s penchant for clowning and capriciousness earned him the nickname Dizzy. In 1937 he was hired for Eldridge’s former position in the Teddy Hill Orchestra and made his recording debut on Hill’s version of “King Porter Stomp.”
In the late 1930s and early ’40s, Gillespie played in a number of bands, including those led by Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Earl Hines, Duke Ellington, and Billy Eckstine. He also took part in many late-night jam sessions at Minton’s Playhouse, a New York City nightclub, and was among the club’s regulars who pioneered the bebop sound and style (others included Charlie Parker, Charlie Christian, Thelonious Monk, and Max Roach). In 1944 the first bebop recording session included Gillespie’s “Woody ’n’ You” and featured Gillespie and Coleman Hawkins. Ultimately, Charlie Parker and Gillespie were regarded as cofounders of the bebop movement; the two worked together in several small groups in the 1940s and early ’50s. Although Parker was easily irritated by Gillespie’s onstage antics, their musical relationship seemed to benefit from their personal friction and their competitive solos were inventive, even inspired.
Gillespie formed his own orchestra in the late 1940s, and it was considered to be one of the finest large jazz ensembles. Noted for complex arrangements and instrumental virtuosity, its repertoire was divided between the bop approach—from such arrangers as Tadd Dameron, John Lewis, George Russell, and Gillespie himself—and Afro-Cuban jazz (or, as Gillespie called it, “Cubop”)—in such numbers as “Manteca,” “Cubano Be,” and “Cubano Bop,” featuring conga drummer Chano Pozo. Gillespie formed other bands sporadically throughout the remainder of his career, but he played mostly in small groups from the 1950s onward.
To many, Gillespie ranks as the greatest jazz trumpeter of all time, with the possible exception of Louis Armstrong. He took the saxophone-influenced lines of Roy Eldridge and executed them faster, with greater ease and harmonic daring, playing his jagged melodies with abandon, reaching into the highest registers of the trumpet range, and improvising into precarious situations from which he seemed always to extricate himself. Gillespie helped popularize the interval of the augmented eleventh (flat fifth) as a characteristic sound in modern jazz, and he used certain stock phrases in his improvisations that became clichés when two generations of jazz musicians incorporated them into their own solos. His late 1940s look—beret, hornrim glasses, and goatee—became the unofficial “bebop uniform” and a precursor to the beatnik styles of the 1950s. Other personal trademarks included his bent-bell trumpet and his enormous puffy cheeks that ballooned when playing. Gillespie was also a noted composer whose songbook is a list of bebop’s greatest hits; “Salt Peanuts,” “Woody ’n’ You,” “Con Alma,” “Groovin’ High,” “Blue ’n’ Boogie,” and “A Night in Tunisia” all became jazz standards.
Although his most innovative period was over by the end of the 1950s, Gillespie continued to perform at the highest level. During the 1970s he made several big band, small-group, and duet recordings (with such players as Oscar Peterson and Count Basie) that rank among his best work. As an active musical ambassador, Gillespie led several overseas tours sponsored by the U.S. State Department and traveled the world extensively, sharing his knowledge with younger players. During his last few years, he was the leader of the United Nations Orchestra, which featured such Gillespie protégés as Paquito D’Rivera and Arturo Sandoval. Gillespie’s memoirs, To Be, or Not…to Bop, were published in 1979.
King Ov Wyrms comes from Tucson, Arizona and with them, brings a wave of old school death metal, intertwined with black metal, an abusive assault of aggressive music exemplified in the new album “Lord Ov Thornes” arriving on November 20, 2020.
The latest single off this upcoming release is “Lechery”, the first song that Michael Sanchez wrote under the moniker King Ov Wyrms. Sanchez cites his inspiration that comes through in the upcoming offering:
“I’ve always been a big fan of old school death metal and black metal, the pure intensity and the power it holds has always grabbed my interest. A lot of influence I drew while writing this material came from the music I listened to as a teenager which was a lot of 80s thrash metal and death metal, the satanic and brooding content of black metal, and even a bit of tech-death simply because of just how overwhelming it could be at times.”
In a spell of writing, Sanchez was unsuccessful in finding a vocalist to fulfill the vision for the album, and this is the first time his vocals have been recorded. The result is a non- stop assault on the senses, no-frills, just a pure old school death metal onslaught.
The lyrical contents for the single changed about three times before Sanchez ended up deciding on just exploring the gluttonous side of sin and ultimately lechery.
Recommended for fans of Enthroned, Vader, and Dark Funeral, King Ov Wyrms will no doubt intrigue metal fans around the world with this debut.
The third single “Lechery” can be heard via its premiere on the TheCirclePit’s YouTube channel HERE.
Track Listing: 1. Threnody (5:48) 2. The Great Sleeper (7:31) 3. Hell’s Breathe (5:40) 4. From Below (5:51) 5. The Maggots That Crawled From The Wounds (8:57) 6. Lechery (4:24) 7. Thorne Bearer (4:18) 8. Ascendance Of A Continual One (8:53) Album Length: 51:26
King Ov Wyrms is homage to classic death and black metal acts of the late ’80s/early ’90s with a touch of modern aggression.
Formed in Tucson, AZ. King came from the want of a more aggressive act when the main band of Michael Sanchez, Pain Patterns, started taking its roots in early 2015. He loved the music he was creating but felt that the band couldn’t fulfill his desire for a purely aggressive musical venture.
The project went through many different lineup changes only to be consistently held together by Sanchez. Having studied classical music and jazz to a degree while growing up, it gave him the tools to write comfortably on his own even in the concept of metal music. He starts out with a basic riff or a small melody line off of a piano and just adds on and on until it manifests into some sort of abomination of sound.
In early 2020 upon Sanchez’s departure from the power metal act Judicator, he decided to pull King out of hiatus but only as a solo effort to produce a full-length album. Over the span of several months, Sanchez was able to completely record all of the songs previously written for King as a full lineup, this time all the music was performed and written solely by him.
King Ov Wyrms will release its debut album “Lord Ov Thornes” on November 20th, 2020, and it will feature lyrical themes encompassing the occult, and a deep love for Lovecraftian horror.
“Fury does indeed radiate from the music in violent waves. The song (Thorne Bearer) takes flight through rapid-fire drum battery and deep, dismal, heaving tremolo’d riffing that climbs and flares in manifestations of madness and misery, and squalls in blasts of vicious, mauling cruelty. Sanchez contributes his own vocals to the melee, venting horrid growls and scorching screams, which add to the music’s enraged and ferocious striking power. The song’s urgent pace never relents, but the drum patterns morph, as do the riffs, which feverishly squirm and flail as well as jolt and jar in savage, pulsing fashion. The jet-fueled energy and barbarous intensity of the music are both intense and captivating, and they’re joined in the red zone by sensations of rage and maniacal menace.” – No Clean Singing
Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Spooktober Edition” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!
Vlad The Impaler By Kasabian, Album: West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum (2009)
Before Bram Stoker transformed folklore into mainstream pop culture, before Lestat made women the world over long for bloodthirsty demon lovers, and long before immortal high school students sparkled in the sun, the ruthless 15th Century ruler of Wallachia, Romania, gave rise to the legend of the vampire: Vlad Dracul III. Bram Stoker borrowed this man’s Romanian name, Dracul, meaning devil or dragon, and turned it into his blood drinking fiend, Count Dracula. But the real Count Dracul, dubbed Vlad Ţepeş, Vlad the Impaler, earned his gruesome moniker by means far more grotesque than iterated in fiction.
Vlad the Impaler ruled at a time when the Balkans were under constant threat of conquest by the Turks and Ottoman Empire. Vlad took sadistic pleasure in the torture and execution of both prisoners and rivals. Rumoured to have set an entire banquet hall alight, roasting conspirators and traitors alive, Vlad’s preferred method of execution was impalement. This often resulted in veritable forests of dying men on spikes, which served as both punishment and warning, deterring many would-be attacks. Legend has it that Vlad was particularly partial to these macabre displays and that he often enjoyed a meal while watching the prisoners die in agony on their spikes, and that he dined while observing the dismemberment of prisoners by his executioners. It is perhaps these grisly past-times that cloaked Vlad Dracul in dark, vampiric legend.
Although there is little to connect Vlad to Castle Bran, just outside Braşov, this fortress-like edifice built on the Transylvania-Wallachian border has become the home of the legend and a popular tourist destination, complete with rooms documenting the lore and culture of vampirism from Vlad Ţepeş to Tom Cruise & Brad Pitt, Vampires have become a cultural phenomenon, the brutal creatures warped by fiction writers into pretty pin-ups, objectified and lusted after. These immortal blood-drinkers have inspired numerous art forms from filmmakers to writers and musicians. Kasabian, the English rock band from Leicestershire, is no exception.
The song, “Vlad the Impaler,” begins with a warped guitar riff and is soon joined by thumping drums. The epileptic song is peppered with weird effects, lending it the necessary dark and spooky atmosphere, conjuring blood drenched images of psychopathic vampires haunting the dank corridors of crumbling castles. The odd glissando vocals also contribute to the more bizarre soundscape as do the lyrics which seem to be documenting a more contemporary murderous situation with an oblique reference to one of the darkest comic book characters in the DC universe, The Joker from the Batman series.
“Vlad the Impaler” is the seventh track on the album West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, a concept album of sorts in which each track represents an inmate at the titular asylum, a real group of mental institutions in West Yorkshire. Given the inspiration behind the album, it’s no wonder Vlad makes an appearance on an album dedicated to those of questionable sanity.
Whether Vlad Dracul III really did enjoy sipping on type O negative or not, his unwavering brutality and sadistic pleasures laid the foundation for a cultural phenomenon that has persisted for centuries.
The song pays tribute to the late Dark Knight actor Heath Ledger through the line “Joker, see you on the other side.” Vocalist Tom Meighan explained to The SunMay 22, 2009: “When Heath Ledger died, Serge had just written Vlad The Impaler so he added that line to pay respect.” Guitarist Sergio Pizzorno added: “He’d just finished this amazing film and his life was over. I identified with him. I know so many people who get off their heads and then can’t sleep so they have a sleeping pill. I thought ‘That could have been anyone I know. It’s just such a waste of a great man’s life.”
Pizzorno told the New Musical Express January 17, 2009: “The timing is strange and the vocals are in and out because it’s a rant. I wanted that Beastie Boys, Clash feel, giving Tom a song to sing where he can rant, because that’s when he’s at his most genius.”
Pizzorno said to the NME June 13, 2009: “I knew the moment I wrote the riff it was going to be massive.” he added: “I like that Tom and my voices swap over.”
A video was made for this song starring English comedian Noel Fielding as a vampire slayer. Pizzorno told the NME: “Doing the video with Noel Fielding was outrageous, him running around a country house impaling people.”
With only 14 days left until one of the most important elections in American history, MINISTRY‘s Al Jourgensen is encouraging fans to “Git Up, Get Out ‘N Vote” by whatever means necessary ahead of the November 3 deadline. Today, MINISTRY releases a brand-new video to spread the message, using the music and lyrics from the notorious song that originally appeared on the band’s 2012 release “Relapse”.
Stay tuned to MINISTRY‘s official social media accounts (@WeAreMinistry) the next two Tuesdays (October 27 and November 3) for additional surprises that will launch leading up to Election Day.
To provide the perfect soundtrack to get fans engaged in the upcoming voting season, MINISTRY has also created a new playlist, “The Soundtrack To Your Election”, available now on Spotify. With 30 powerful selections, the playlist features personal favorites of Jourgensen as well as MINISTRY‘s own rally cries including new single “Alert Level” and tracks from the highly politicized album “AmeriKKKant”, the band’s most recent full-length release.
Jourgensen has spent decades using his music to rally fans and listeners to the fight for equal rights, restoring American liberties, exposing exploitation and putting crooked politicians in their rightful place. Songs like “Thieves”, “Lies, Lies, Lies” and “N.W.O.” have taken on political corruption and the societal constructs that led to historic events like 9/11 and the 1992 Los Angeles riots while the George W. Bush administration spurred an entire trilogy from the industrial godfather.
With America still on the brink, Jourgensen has re-entered the studio to create his missives that will become material for a to-be-announced new album on Nuclear Blast Records. The first taste, “Alert Level” was released in April, and asked fans to be part of the larger conversation by answering the question posed by the song, “How concerned are you?” Many of the videos have been shared across MINISTRY‘s social media pages as the band and Jourgensen encourage fans to remain engaged and informed in 2020.
Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Spooktober Edition” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!
Totengott By Celtic Frost, Album: Monotheist 2006
I chose the song Totengott for todays Spooktober edition because of its disturbing sound and haunting lyrics. While the band doesn’t host a myriad of tragedy in their past they do posses an interesting history, originality and collective talent.
The influence of Celtic Frost (/ˈkɛltɪk frɒst/) on the extreme metal scene is undeniable. Since forming, the Zürich band – led by Thomas Gabriel Fischer (then opting for the surname Warrior) – released six albums and two EPs.
Celtic Frost and their primordial predecessor, Hellhammer, have long been an immutable part of early extreme metal’s most unholy triumvirate (alongside Bathory and Venom). From the earliest, messiest days of Hellhammer up to and including the band’s weighty final statement, Monotheist, Celtic Frost consistently and fearlessly seared their black mark upon rock ‘n’ roll history. Whether they were busily introducing the avant-garde to metal or simply hammering out one of those goddamn riffs, it may sound hyperbolic to say, but there’s no denying it: Celtic Frost changed the world.
Contrary to popular belief, Hellhammer never changed its name to Celtic Frost, even though the band formed very quickly after Hellhammer’s demise.
They first disbanded in 1987 but six months later Warrior reformed the band. When they reformed in 2001, they founded their own record label called Prowling Death Records and their own publishing imprint called Diktatur des Kapitals, to gain absolute control over their music. Later, Celtic Frost and Prowling Death Records signed a worldwide licensing deal with Century Media Records, so the rights for their new material is their own and is released by Century Media.
A demo tape called Prototype exists. Among other tracks, it contains two Apollyon Sun tracks, “Relinquished Body” and “Deep Inside”.
Cold Lake is largely different from anything else they have ever recorded. The band has repeatedly disowned this release and attribute the shocking change in style to pressure from the record company.
Singer and guitarist Tom Gabriel Fischer announced his departure from Celtic Frost on 9th of April 2008, due to “the unresolvable, severe erosion of the personal basis so urgently required to collaborate within a band so unique, volatile, and ambitious.” It was confirmed in a joint statement by Fischer and Martin Ain in September of that year that Celtic Frost had disbanded again. Fischer later founded a new band called Triptykon and Ain planned to carry on with a new project with drummer Franco Sesa.
Monotheist is the fifth and final studio album by the Swiss extreme metal band Celtic Frost. The album was released in May 2006 and was the first new recording released by the band in sixteen years. Upon its release, the album was met with critical acclaim.
Celtic Frost’s earlier work melded elements of thrash metal and black metal. The sound of Monotheist has been described as difficult to reduce to specifics, as the songs vary from doom metal to “blackened thrash” to gothic metal to symphonic metal. The result is a wide-ranging but very dark heavy metal experience. Don Kaye at Blabbermouth called it “a monstrously heavy and oppressive slab of metal” which goes “into even heavier, blacker territory” than previous albums. Adrien Begrand of PopMatters said that the album was nearly a masterpiece of “brutally heavy” metal, “completely devoid of light.” Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic noted more subtle touches such as the “instantaneously infectious melody” of “A Dying God Coming into Human Flesh”, and the “haunting female voices” heard in duet with bandleader Tom Warrior on “Drown in Ashes”.
According to Fischer, some of the lyrics were influenced by the writings of the English occultist Aleister Crowley. This influence manifests itself in tracks such as “Os Abysmi Vel Daath”, which is the partial name of one of Crowley’s books.
In an interview with Louder Sound, Fischer would speak in detail on the culmination of the album based on artistic merit and the “spark” to close out their career on a high note:
“Celtic Frost eventually dissolved in the early 1990s and I think both Martin and I felt that on the one hand we didn’t want to have anything to do with Celtic Frost at the time because of the way that it ended, but at the same time, given that these last two albums of Celtic Frost were such failures, we always felt that not everything had been said. We always said, this cannot be how Celtic Frost ends. I think we always carried that little spark in ourselves. We always knew that one day we would probably have to talk about it, whether it should be the end or whether we should attempt to resurrect that. But we weren’t in the mood throughout the 1990s, and that was a good thing. We received sometimes incredibly lucrative offers to reform the band for certain festivals. There was this one offer particularly that was monstrously big, and Martin and I talked about it and we decided we were not going to reform Celtic Frost for money. If we ever reform it, it has to be for artistic reasons, and I’m very proud we did this. So we waited a few more years, but eventually in 2001 we met for dinner in Zürich, and we just said, look, we have to attempt at least to provide some kind of artistic conclusion to Celtic Frost that is worth the name. That’s really when Monotheist became a reality from having been in the back of our minds as a concept for many years, but that’s when it became a reality.
“It’s the album that should have followed Into The Pandemonium really. To me it’s different from the other Celtic Frost albums, but then every album is different to the other Celtic Frost albums, that is why it’s a Celtic Frost album. And to me, Monotheist counts as one of the important Celtic Frost albums. To me, there are four albums that Celtic Frost did that are crucial to the band’s history and those are the first three and Monotheist. And I’m extremely glad that we have the guts to do this and we had the patience to work for five-and-a-half years on that album to make it right.”
— Thomas Gabriel Fischer, Louder Sound
On 15 September 2006, Century Media released a music video for “A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh”.
What would follow would be the band’s most extensive touring cycle of their entire career, with over 120 shows spanning over the course of two years. Even more notable is the band managing to perform more live shows in these two years than in the entirety of their initial run.
Adrian Winkler and a team of camera crew followed the band on these tours, filming for a documentary entitled Celtic Frost – A Dying God. The documentary aired on Sunday, 16 November 2008 on Swiss national TV station SF1 (After the band’s demise.)
In May 2008 Fischer would form a new band in Triptykon with former Freitod bassist Vanja Slajh, Dark Fortress guitarist V. Santura and former Celtic Frost drummer Reed St. Mark (though he would be replaced the same year). This new band would evoke a similar sound as to what was displayed on Monotheist, with the band also performing classic Celtic Frost and Hellhammer songs live.
This new band has two studio albums and an EP released to date with a third on the way.
Notably in 2018 Fischer would begin involvement in two new musical projects: Niryth (A triple-bass project whose music has yet to be revealed and thus “Unclassifiable”.) and Triumph of Death (A Hellhammer tribute band with a host of festival appearances set for 2019.)
Martin Eric Ain stopped actively playing music entirely and owns a DVD shop and a bar in Zurich called Acapulco. He is also a co-owner of the music club Mascotte, which has become well known for hosting upcoming international bands. He would however perform spoken word on occasion and contribute his voice to a handful of releases. Ain would pass away from a heart attack on 21 October 2017.
On 30 March 2010 Bazillion Points Publishing would release a book of Hellhammer and early Celtic Frost entitled Only Death Is Real: An Illustrated History of Hellhammer and Early Celtic Frost 1981–1985, featuring an introduction by Nocturno Culto of Darkthrone and a foreword by author Joel McIver. Two follow-up books have since been announced in the works: A revised version of Are You Morbid? detailing the entirety of the band’s first run and a book detailing the band’s reunion and Triptykon.
In the fall of 2016 BMG would acquire the Noise Records catalog with plans to do expanded reissues of many classic albums among the label, with Celtic Frost being among those artists. BMG would approach Fischer about participation in the reissue project to which he would contribute to it, including unheard bonus tracks, new liner notes, photos and a re-mastering by Fischer and V. Santura. Cold Lake would once again be omitted as Fischer considers it “an abomination”. However on 17 May 2017 Fischer would announce that due to censoring and editing of proposed liner notes he would no longer endorse the reissues.
New exponents of brutality Focal Dystonia will release their debut album Descending (In)Human Flesh through Comatose Music on December 11th.
From out of nowhere comes one of the most devastating brutal death metal assaults you will ever hear! Focal Dystonia’s debut album, Descending (In)Human Flesh is a terrifying tsunami of raging riffs and an unrelenting drum battery of staggering speed and heaviness. This is the sound of rage beyond control, of vengeance unleashed and opposition pulverised into non-existence. No more holding back in the face of slights and disrespect, just absolute bloody and beautiful annihilation!Focal Dystonia was created by multi-instrumentalist Floor van Kuijk (Korpse/Carnifloor) and drummer Florent Duployer (Anachronism/Kakothanasy) in early 2020. Due to their innate understanding of the essence of brutal death metal, the project progressed at hellish speed. Soon they had ten songs that epitomised the genre, in all its gaudy, violent extremes and next set about assembling an incredible line-up of international vocalists to give voice to their macabre creations. In total, twelve of the underground’s most renowned proponents of throat-ruining vocal savagery contributed to the recording of Descending (In)Human Flesh – an unprecedented collective of demonic vocalizing. For now these bestial names are being kept secret, to be revealed as the days and weeks pass and the December 11th release of Descending (In)Human Flesh grows nearer.
It is, of course, Comatose Music that will be responsible for spreading the plague of Focal Dystonia worldwide – no other label being equipped to handle such a diabolical expulsion of frenzied barbarity. Descending (In)Human Flesh is not just a masterful display of domineering power, it is also a horrifying love letter to the brutal death metal scene; everything that a dedicated fan could wish for in their warped dreams. Expect no mercy when this beast is unleashed!