Metal Dirge - Void Ov Voices & The Human Quena Orchestra

Last night I was at Spaceland for Bohren & Der Club of Gore.  They met all expectations - consummate musicians.  Opening for them was Attila Csihar of Mayhem, doing his one-man show under the name VOID OV VOICES.  Attila is a mammoth figure in the black metal world, and occasional vocalist with SUNN O))) (including on the soon-to-be released Monoliths and Dimensions) and BURIAL CHAMBER TRIO.  This solo performance presented a lot of unknowns.  All I had heard was some clips on the Myspace site.  Attila emerged from behind the shiny curtain cloaked and to little fanfare.  He sat down at his table that was covered with synths and about six small candles all unlit.  They remained that way.  On the floor next to him was a smoke machine.  Lighting was sparse.  He picked up the mic and begin to emit sounds from deep in his throat, at remarkably low frequencies.  I thought it was a sound check, but it did not stop -  slowly, deliberately, it all built up.  The smoke engulfed him.  Vocal tracks were looped, knobs were adjusted, this was it.  I closed my eyes and moved towards the stage until I was up against it, away from those that refused to just listen.  But they were the minority - this was a good crowd.  Despite the name of this project, there were many voices.  Swirling and pulsating distortion.  It was beautiful and meditative.  He was clearly lost in the music.  The movement of his hands and his head was strangely emotive.  His fingers didn't seem real.  His face only occassionally seen.  I've never understood why people pay all that money for massages.  Now for certain people, it makes sense - athletes, those in need of physical therapy, guys with asian fetishes.  I get that.  But the music in those places is unbearable and causes me stress.  There can be no relaxation.  But surrounded by this noise that would be horrific to most, I felt peace.  That says a lot about me.  Laying down would have been nice.  It was one coherent piece, about 20 minutes, and it ended like it started.  Just his voice.  Perfect.  Attila stood, raised his thumbs in approval, and disappeared through the curtain.  Later on I saw Greg Anderson approach him, now in street clothes, and share some kind words.  It was a good night.  And Der Club of Gore had yet to play.  No pictures to share - those who flashed committed a wrong.

As I write this, I'm listening to THE HUMAN QUENA ORCHESTRA's new album, The Politics of the Irredeemable.  It's in a similar vein, though kind of ambient industrial doom with percussion that sounds like bombs falling in the distance, and definitely more unsettling.  Crucial Blast is kindly allowing it to be streamed anywhere, anytime:


If this gets you going, you can check them out Monday for free at Mountain Bar in Chinatown with GERONIMO, a super original drum/bass/electronica band out of East LA.  I picked up their self-titled album about a year ago after reading this description from Aquarius Records, and I can say with confidence that this is a rare chance to catch them live:

Imagine Man Is The Bastard transported back to the early seventies and let loose in This Heat's Cold Storage recording studio, or take the black hypno kraut noise of former aQ record of the week, Aluk Todolo and strip it down to its bare essence, a sound based almost entirely on rhythm. A pounding, Neanderthal groove, pelted with squelches, and laced with a strangled inhuman mewling, huge chunks of grinding minimalism and long swaths of dreamy shimmering bliss, an ultra intense slab of kraut-doom power violence for sure.

Intrigued now?  It will cost you nothing to check the show out, and if it's not you thing, there's always Metal Mondays at Relax Bar not too far away.   

If Santa Likes Metal, His First Stop Will Be the City of Devils


The sales tax is about to increase 1% but we've got more free tix for you.  This week's offerings will appeal to the more eclectic among you.  First up, BOHREN & DER CLUB OF GORE and VOID OV VOICES at Spaceland on Tuesday.  I'm not going to lie.  Der Club of Gore were not on my radar until a few weeks ago when Aquarius Records sent out this review of their newest release on Ipecac, Dolores:

Berlin jazz club. The sound is jazz (electric piano, organ, vibes, sax, double bass, trap kit...) but the feeling is doom. That's our usual shorthand for describing the unique music made by longtime AQ fave, Germany's Bohren & Der Club Of Gore. Here at last is their eagerly anticipated 5th album, Dolores (not named after the San Francisco street near us, presumably). If you're fans like we are, you know what to expect, it's just as ponderously "heavy" as a "jazz" band can be. No, not loud, not harsh, not noisy. The opposite of all that. Rather, whisper-quiet, glacially slow, and spacious, with sparse snare hits keeping time like a wound-down clock ticking off the eternity between 2 minutes to midnight and the witching hour itself. Doomsday so slowly arrives on a velvety bed of somnolent deep bass notes, and the cool slinky tones of vintage Fender Rhodes. Cymbals shiver in a dark haze of ambient drones near to silence. Several of the songs are infused with the warmth of tenor or baritone sax breathes gorgeous expiring breaths. It's all so sad and woeful and achingly beautiful, Bohren nodding off, their fragile melodies trickling like tears, and by the end you may find you have shed a few too.

I usually shed my tears in my office set in a skyscraper in downtown LA, and this record has received much play there over the last few weeks.  It is indeed a quiet, thoughtful record, but it unsettles my co-workers more than any of the other shit I play.  That's a good sign.  They'll be joined by Attila of MAYHEM and his side project, Void ov Voices, which is basically a platform for disturbing synth and spoken word performances without any perceptible words.  Imagine a chorus of demonic frogs.  It's a rare chance to share such an initmate setting with this Hungarian legend of black metal.   

Next up is the space/psych rock of ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE & THE MELTING PARAISO U.F.O. and KINSKI at Echoplex on Friday.  You're never quite sure what you'll get at an AMT show, and its definitely no place for devotees to song structure, but if you just want to blast off for an hour at the end of the week, you'll surely go home satisfied.  Professor Bunkum, who rarely appears at shows of bands still making relevant music in the 21st century, offers this advice to the uninitiated:

Take it slow…hold it in as long as you can…this stuff is heavy…it comes on slow and in waves…it’s imported but it’s legal…it’s miles ahead of the cops, there’s not even a name for it yet…you might feel like you are melting or the floor is moving but stick with it…don’t panic…close your eyes and we’ll ride it out together…see?...all’ll come down, but you’ll never be the same.  

Kinski will open by playing tracks from their unreleased new record, and although they're on SubPop, don't mistake them for an indie pop band.  Randall Dunn (live soundman for Sunn O)))) was at the helm for their stunning last album, Down Below It's Chaos, and I expect more fuzzy, heavy psychedelia to come our way.  Join us in orbit.       

To sum up, here are all the ticket giveways we have going on:

If you would like a pair of tix to any of these shows, contact us here.