PODCAST: The Forest Passage 17: Judgements and Juries (Raflum, Batushka)

Having been a month since our last episode we get caught up on what we’ve been up to since then. Your hosts have a few drinks while talking about experiences with the US jury system, getting over kicking boxing injuries, and discuss recently published reviews on Heathen Harvest, Black Ivory Tower, and Nine Circles. We discuss Chinese folk band Raflum, the challenge of meaningful power electronics, Batushka’s orthodox troubles in Russia and what that means to black metal as adversarial music, and more.

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PODCAST: Chaos Sedated #169 (Awen, Der Blutharsch, Rome)

Chaos Sedated returns with a new mix of industrial, dark ambient, and apocalyptic folk featuring Awen, Der Blutharsch, Rome, and more.

From the Heathen Harvest review of Awen – Grim King of the Ghosts:

Grim King of the Ghosts is the second album from the American neofolk project Awen after their 2009 debut The Bells Before Dawn, though the band has had much activity in the intervening years with limited singles and compilation appearances. The album was released on the Italian Old Europa Café label in a digipak format with a pressing of 300 copies. It contains thirteen tracks, totaling fifty minutes of music that straddles the neofolk and martial genres, with hints of dark ambient/industrial.

This is a concept album, and per the promotional text it “stands as a sonic dedication to the ties that bind this world to the spectral” and is “rooted in the concept of the Grim Grey King.” The music and songs which Awen employ on Grim King of the Ghosts is successful at bringing this concept to fruition, with the overall album showcasing musical acumen, standout songs, memorable lyrics (in a variety of languages), and vocals that range from bombastic to seductive. Awen, helmed by Erin Powell and Katrin X—along with a plethora of other musicians including b9 InVid (from Et Nihil and the now-defunct, infamous industrial project Luftwaffe)—brings a musical diversity to Grim King of the Ghosts which ranges from haunting and unnerving to militant, mystic, and folky, while managing to keep each track’s sounds canonical for the entire experience.

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PODCAST: The Forest Passage 16: Echoes From Siberia (Isa)

Spring has arrived and, appropriately, this latest podcast episode is a doozie. The Siberian folk/metal/darkwave band Isa has been so kind to grant us the opportunity to premiere two of their brand-new songs. In addition, we can also reveal more information about their upcoming new album –titled Echo– including the cover art featured below. Isa may still be an obscure name in the international underground, but seeing as both their previous album and a split they appeared on made it into my top 3 of 2015, this is THE band to watch when it comes to new talent emerging from the Eastern scene. In this podcast, we take you through Isa’s work so far, introduce you to their new songs and discuss the guiding themes. Yep, it’s Spring alright!

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PODCAST: The Forest Passage 15: Osuna y Leña Interview

In our latest episode we take another trip down interview lane. This time our victims are Antonio Espinosa and Francisco Fernández of the Colombian folk/post-rock band Osuna y Leña. Our conversation touches upon such topics as the difference between this new project and their metal formation Cóndor, their use of the Spanish and Galician languages, the paradox of international recognition preceding local fame, their first live show, and the tragedy of having to bail on a Snoop Dogg concert. So start sippin’ on Gin & Juice and join La Raza in this latest episode of The Forest Passage.

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PODCAST: Chaos Sedated #168 (Arditi, Et Nihil, Death in June)

Back when this show first premiered it was my intention to focus on martial industrial, apocalyptic folk, and dark ambient music. Over time the material broadened and I included everything from power electronics to drone metal, based on whatever caught my interest at the time. This week I’m tapping into the martial and apocalyptic folk genres with some classic and new music from Arditi, In Slaughter Natives, Death in June, Et Nihil, Nature and Organisation, and more.

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INTERVIEW: Bone White Glory – Michael Cashmore of Nature and Organisation

When people first discover neofolk, they’re quick to come across the work of Death in June, Current 93, and Sol Invictus, if indeed the work of these founders isn’t what led them there in the first place.  However, it usually isn’t long before the work of Michael Cashmore comes into focus, who has arguably been every bit as important to the development of the genre.  This long-time Current 93 collaborator has long been considered a legend through his work as Nature and Organisation, releasing one of the most unique and instantly distinguishable albums that the genre has to offer in 1994 with Beauty Reaps the Blood of Solitude before allowing the project to grow dormant several years later after the release of the unfinished album, Death in a Snow Leopard Winter.

After many years of silence, however, Trisol—likely known to our readership for recent releases ranging from Rome’s A Passage to Rhodesia to Sopor Aeternus’s Mitternacht—has convinced Cashmore to finally reissue both of Nature and Organisation’s albums, along with two bonus tracks, under the banner of Snow Leopard Messiah.  Michael was kind enough to grant us an interview to speak about the project’s past, the reason for bringing these albums back to print for his fans, and his need to evolve as a person today.

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Chaos Sedated #167 ( Of Earth And Sun, Trepaneringsritualen, Chelsea Wolfe)

The past year has been quite a busy time for your host. I’ve been doing some more writing, editing, and working with my partners at Heathen Harvest on The Forest Passage podcast. But I’m now putting some focus back on Chaos Sedated and recorded a few episodes to get the ball rolling for the next few months. This episode is full of new music from Jarl, Yen Pox, Earth & Sun, Author & Punisher, Chelsea Wolfe, and more. See the gallery of selected album art and links below for more from the artists featured on the episode.

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INTERVIEW: Infernal Reasonances – Carl Abrahamsson

It was 1998, in an underground—literally, it was in the basement of an apartment building—NYC book and magazine shop called See Hear where my interest in both Satanism and Abrahamsson’s work emerged. As a voracious reader of the occult and counter-culture, I devoured everything the shop had to offer and settled on two prevailing interests, industrial music and Satanism. One day I was picking out some fanzines featuring Psychic TV and Throbbing Gristle along with the Anton LaVey Memorial Issue of The Black Flame when another patron noticed the intersection of interests. He pointed out that The Black Flame issue contained an article by a member of Psychic TV who had his own industrial band called White Stains (a reference to Crowley’s collection of poetry). And yes, the issue contained a touching memorial of LaVey by Mr. Carl Abrahamsson, the Satanist of Letters. That same night I went to one of the local record stores and, lo-and-behold, a used copy of Why Not For Ever? was waiting for me in the bin where all the out-of-print industrial/experimental records were held. That album and other White Stains releases would provide me with a soundtrack through many forbidden late-night excursions and remain a lasting influence in my taste for experimental rhythmic music (the tracks ‘Time, Gentleman‘ and ‘Soft Explosion‘ in particular).

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INTERVIEW: Architects of the Abyss – Sutekh Hexen

Sutekh Hexen first popped up on my radar when going through the lineup for the Stella Natura festival in 2012. They were easily one of my dark horse favorites from the event, and over the years I’ve made sure to keep up with their unearthly brew of black metal, cacophonous noise, and occult ambiance. This past June I was able to catch an intimate performance in Los Angeles as they toured up the US West Coast and bore witness to a moving sonic ritual. Shortly afterwards I had the pleasure to catch up with the band’s mastermind, Kevin Gan Yuen, and talk about the tour, collaborations, the convergence between extreme metal and noise scenes, tapes, ritualistic performances, and upcoming plans.

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PODCAST: Chaos Sedated #166 (Cut Hands, Burial Hex, Yen Pox)

Featuring a mix of dark ambient, industrial noise, and infectious rhythms from Deutsch Nepal, Cut Hands, SPK, new music from Burial Hex, Yen Pox, Tho-So-Aa, Dagda Mor, Satori, and Beyond Sensory Experience. Special thanks to Cold Spring Records for their support, go to their web store to find a number of artists featured on this show and more.

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