We’re Gonna Need More Power
Alehorn Of Power is back. Promoter Greg Spalding took last year off for a number of reasons, including the hectic schedule of his own band, Bible Of The Devil. He admits, though, much of Alehorn’s 2010 shelving was the fact a solid start-to-finish lineup never materialized. “I am a fan of quality,” he says, “and if it’s something that I know could potentially suck, I won’t do it. I don’t need to contribute to more bad shows, there are plenty of them already.
“Every band needs to bring down the house,” he continues. “How many shows have you been to where there’s five or six bands and all of them suck but the one you want to see? It gets real old, and you shouldn’t have to make the audience suffer like that.”
People won’t suffer, and bands won’t suck on June 6th at Alehorn Of Power V. Not possible with a roster of Orange Goblin, Nachtmystium, Bible Of The Devil, Solace, Buried At Sea (first show since 2004), and Zuul. Besides being the festival’s first year back, it’s also its return to Double Door, which hosted the first three Alehorns before losing it to Cobra Lounge in 2009 (Slough Feg, Hammers Of Misfortune, Bible Of The Devil, Ludicra, Superchrist, and Argus). Securing Orange Goblin was obviously Spalding’s (he does most the heavy lifting of Alehorn’s lineup, but also collects advice from “trusted rock folks” and his BOTD bandmates) main goal. Once the U.K.’s stoner icon was confirmed, the other pieces fell into place, he says.
Alehorn’s triumphant return got me thinking about Chicago Powerfest, which, like AOP, was a no-go last year. So “Mosh” hit up Chris Lotesto (the C in CRJ Productions, the team that books Powerfest) and received good and bad news. The bad is that Powerfest may not happen this year, either — it’s still up in the air. The good is Lotesto, who plays guitar in Ion Vein, insists Powerfest isn’t dead. CRJ is regrouping (the closing of Pearl Room, Powerfest’s longtime venue, sent things into a tailspin), rebuilding, and re-strategizing. A gaggle of notable acts, including Tad Morose, Agent Steel, Atheist, Testament, Novembers Doom, and Iced Earth played Chicago Powerfest during its seven-year run (2000, 2004-2009). Look for updates and announcements at Chicagopowerfest.com.
RANDOM VIOLENCE: This is how Megadeth’s 12 studio albums rank, best to worst. I won’t entertain dissenting opinions.
1. Rust In Peace
2. Peace Sells . . . But Who’s Buying?
3. Killing Is My Business . . . And Business Is Good
4. Countdown To Extinction
6. So Far, So Good . . . So What! (a.k.a. the third in the “ellipses trilogy”)
7. Cryptic Writings
8. The System Has Failed
9. United Abominations
11. The World Needs A Hero
HE AIN’T HEAVY, BROTHER: Recently, at my day job (weird I don’t making a living off this column, right?), my fellow employees and I were asked to jot down our biggest pet peeves and give the slip of paper to the supervisor. He then stood at the front of the room and read them out loud while we tried to match complaint to complainer. It was actually fun. Plus, now I know exactly how to annoy the daylights out of my colleagues. Anyway, point is, my thing that annoys me more than any other thing in the whole wide world has already changed since that day, and it’s because of “Caught In A Mosh.” I’m sick of being tricked into listening to records like Earth’s Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light 1 (Southern Lord) and True Widow’s High As The Highest Heavens And From The Center To The Circumference Of The Earth (Kemado) under the assumption they are “heavy.” No. Not in any way, shape, or form. If the album titles don’t spill the beans, Earth and True Widow play shockingly pretentious, artsy-fartsy, shoe-gazing, post-boredtotears rock. Fine. Whatever. I’m O.K. with this music existing. The point isn’t to dispute whether acts like Earth and True Widow are good, it’s to dispute whether they’re heavy. Not metal, mind you. “Caught In A Mosh” is technically a heavy-music column, and I listen to every single album sent based on the fact the person who sent it knows and respects the word heavy as it pertains to music. Eye of the beholder, you say? Not here, Buster. In this column, heavy means one fucking thing: HEAVY. Earth and True Widow ain’t heavy, dude.
BUY AMERICAN: Heard the new American Heritage record, Sedentary (Translation Loss)? If not, you’re listening to the wrong shit ’cause this thing is a terror. Straight up. I interviewed guitarist/frontman Adam Norden — for IE’s first-ever Metal Issue! — in 2006 after American Heritage released Millenarain, but I can’t say I was sold on his band. To me, American Heritage was one of those good-at-what-it-does-but-not-my-thing groups. I love riffs as much as the next metalhead, but 200 per song is just exhausting. Plus, you couldn’t understand a GD thing Norden sang/said/scream-ed/yelled, something he joked about during our interview by offering anyone able to transcribe “Piss Engine” the opportunity to write the lyrics to an American Heritage track. No idea if anybody took Norden up on it, but five years later I’ve been proven very wrong about American Heritage because Sedentary is a monster album, one of the best so far this year. (That’s only the first time I’ve said that in 2011, thank you.) Bassist-less during recording (Erik Bocek joined afterward), the 11 songs are four-stringed by the likes of Sanford Parker, Botchy Vaquez (Sweet Cobra), Rafa Martinez (Black Cobra), and Bill Keliher (Mastodon), to name a few. Keliher also rips off a guitar solo and screams “eat my fuck” on “Fetal Attraction” and is therefore credited in the liner notes as bass, guitar, and fuck eating. What Norden (the band is completed by Bocek, guitarist Scott Shellhammer, and drummer Mike Duffy) is doing nowadays with American Heritage isn’t so unlike his work in Heaving Mass, come to think of it. That band has a three-song self-titled EP out, and if you’re down with the Heritage, you’ll likely enjoy the Mass, too.
RECENT RELEASES AND ONE SENTENCE ABOUT THEM: Nunslaughter Demoslaughter (Hells Headbangers): Nunslaughter deserve nothing but respect, however, these are truly some of the worst-recorded demos ever . . . Believer Transhuman (Metal Blade): But Gabriel was so good! . . . Cruachan Blood On The Black Robe (Candlelight): Irish, but not the new Primordial . . . Pentagram Last Rites (Metal Blade): No comment.
MOSH WORTHY: Indian Guiltless (Relapse); Acid Witch Stoned (Hells Headbangers); Dripping Slits Short Skirts & Long Nights (Thinker Thought); Tyr The Lay Of Thrym (Napalm); Agoraphobic Nosebleed/Despise You And On And On . . . split (Relapse).
MOSH WORTHY . . . LIVE: Holy Grail (5/7; Subterranean); Rammstein (5/10; Allstate Arena); Novembers Doom, Kommandant (5/13; Reggie’s); Reptoids, Chapstik (5/28; Red Line Tap); Marduk, Black Anvil (5/31; Reggie’s).
– Trevor Fisher
About the Author: