Rickter scale of doom.
UFOMAMMUT Lucifer Songs (Rocket)--The mammoth of doom drone has returned with Ufomammut's thickest monolith yet. Their spacey, low ended distortion rumbles and crawls through decayed and haunted woods. Their previous works, Snailking and Godlike Snake, are just the tip of the iceberg compared to the holy mother of doom that piece of doomed brilliance offers. This beautifully hand silk-screened Malleus cover, two-CD set is limited to a 1,000 copies with bonus DVD features of three videos and six soundscapes.
Yeah, there are tons of contemporary artists that inspire me constantly, and not only in terms of music. For example, touring is a pretty new thing to me, so I'm always looking up to bands whose lifestyle is one of being on the road all the time. It's something I want to be able to do more than just once a year. I think any time you see someone doing what you want to do you look up to them in that way. As far as name dropping a few contemporary bands or musicians whose music I find inspiring, here goes: Gaza, Dysrhythmia, Esoteric (UK), Bjork, Corrupted, Khanate, Blonde Redhead, John Zorn, Cerberus Shoal, Ho-Ag, Antony and the Johnsons, the Enablers, Chien-Yin Chen, Ennio Morricone. I'm sure there are tons others also.
You guys recently finished your second United States tour. How is it playing such abstract, complex music in a live setting, where often times you're playing alongside rock, metal, and hardcore bands? Where do you find the greatest fulfillment, in the writing process or onstage?
Well, we still make at least one mistake each show; there's just so much going on between so many people that it's pretty difficult to manage, even though the music isn't really technically difficult. And sound issues have always been a huge thorn in our side, again, because of the amount of stuff going on and the large dynamic range of our music. Playing alongside a good metal or hardcore band is really fun; the only problem comes in when the audience is a meathead, racist, homophobic, or otherwise close-minded metal crowd. We've done shows with every kind of band you could think of, and these days we usually tailor our set to fit the room, which hasn't always been the case. In the past, we were probably trying to prove something by playing "Wayfarer" at a Dillinger Escape Plan show or "Blight of River Systems" at Milwaukee Metal Fest, but I don't think we would try that now. There doesn't seem to be all that great a point to pissing off the audience anymore, and the shows are always more fun for everyone involved when you play to the room. I think at this point in time, I'd say the fulfillment level is equal between writing, recording, and playing live. I love all three! My opinion changes, though, depending on the day. Sometimes we have a really bad show; sometimes we have a really unproductive day at rehearsal. We learn to deal with it.
1349 Hellfire (Candlelight)--One of the best black thrash outfits I know of, 1349 hails from Norway and features Frost on drums and other well-know legends. This is their third album, which I felt compelled to mention due to the speed and might it so well brands. This totally burns, and I think is their best effort.
AKIMBO Forging Steel and Laying Stone (Alternative Tentacles)--The Northwest's leader of the rock hardcore profession unleashes its fifth LP. I really appreciate their sludgy and doomed toxic cirrhosis. Live, they're incredibly funny and they swallow their audiences whole Guitarist Burke melds in a caustic '70s nostalgia amidst their bombastic assault, and Nat's drumming crushes all.
VALKYRIE S/t (Twin Earth)--Impressively doomed debut by this Harrisonburg, VA, outfit mixes pentagram with Hawkwind influence. Pete and Jake Adams belt out some of the strongest soloing I've had the pleasure of hearing in a long time, mixed with that epic spacey feel. The material doesn't get stuck in plodding riffs and it kept my full attention. Get it, you won't regret it.