Archive for June, 2010

Portal/ Krallice/ Bloody Panda @ The Mohawk (Buffalo NY), May 24 2010

Posted in Concert Reviews with tags , , on June 29, 2010 by Natalie Zed

Here is my review (originally for of the Portal/ Krallice/ Bloody Panda show that took place at The Mohawk in Buffalo, NY on May 24, 2010. You can read the original here, and scope out some spine-tingling photos by Adam Wills.

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I always feel it is important to provide a little bit of context for my reviews. Every review that I write is profoundly coloured by the state I was in when I attended a particular show. Something as simple as how tired I am can deeply impact how willing and able I am to listen; sometimes exhaustion can be a help, sometimes a hindrance. There is nothing objective here; all I know how to do is present the most twisted, bent, personal and subjective interpretation imaginable.

In light of that, it is only responsible of me to tell you that I was possibly in the best mood on the face of the earth walking into this show. I’d spent the day before eating too much and watching horror movies with friends. The day of the show, photographer Adam Wills and I spent several hours at the beach in Port Dover, where I ate strawberry ice cream and frightened people with the preternatural whiteness of my skin (I’m not pale – I’m transparent). We listened to Virgin Black and Primordial during the two-hour drive to Buffalo. The company, the music, the weather had all been perfect, and so I walked in feeling sated, calm and centred. The feeling would not last long.

We had only a few minutes to chat with the other car-load of Toronto metalheads who’d made the trek up to Buffalo before Bloody Panda took the stage. As soon as vocalist Yoshiko Ohara began to wail, my sense of peace was shattered. At once chaotic and urgently rhythmic, her voice tore me apart with its chant-like cadence. She spent the entire show bent nearly double, perfectly straight black hair forming a curtain over her face, rendering her expressionless. This eerie distance only made the aural violence she unleashed that much worse, like the falls of a whip tipped in steel. Gerry Mak’s accompanying vocals were just as challenging; he employs Tuvan throatsinging techniques, which sound both unsettling and wonderful. The rest of the band played their hearts out, matching the two vocalists’ intensity. I was particularly impressed by drummer Lev Weinstein, who delivered a blistering performance and then played a second set (as he also drums for Krallice). By the end of Bloody Panda‘s alien and intimate performance, I felt skinned, wound-raw all over.

Krallice tend to take their time with their sound checks; I needed the few extra minutes their perfectionism allowed to wander dazedly around and try to reassemble myself. However, with the drummer and bass player both serving double duty in Krallice and Bloody Panda, it wasn’t long before I found myself once again in front of the stage, listening, rapt. Krallice poured an intense amount of energy into this performance; Colin Marston, in particular, was positively fiendish. I saw Krallice for the first time back in April, with Ludicra and Empyrean Plague, and was initially unsure how I felt about the unusual, organic way their experimental black metal moves. After spending some time listening to them, and now seeing them live a second time, there is no uncertainly left. I’m in love. They have a way of playing that makes me feel unbalanced, as though my auditory senses have been tilted somehow. I listen to their music as carefully as I listen for thunder after lightning, and still the sound surprises me.

I did my best to prepare myself for Portal. I’d seen photos of their previous live performances, and anticipated that their set would be surreal in a Dali-esque, Cabinet-of-Dr.-Caligari way. I was expecting theatricality, The Curator’s trademark grandfather clock headpiece. I could not have anticipated how fucking terrifying this band is to watch. Every one of the band members wore hoods over their heads, only one of which even had anything approaching eyeholes cut into it. They were also covered head-to-toe in heavy black suits. The Curator wore an all-black cardinal’s robe complete with headpiece, and also wore a blackout/executioner’s mask. Even his hands were covered in thick leather gloves. It was hellishly hot in the Mohawk, which made the heavily-clothed band members look even more oppressive. A few songs into their set, their masks were soaked through at at the eyes and mouth. But it was not just their visual aesthetic that was deeply frightening. The energy that Portal projected, both in their music and their sheer physical presence, was overwhelming. Every gesture that The Curator made was impossibly intense. I spent the entire set staring wildly up at the band, certain that any moment something Very Bad was going to happen. They’re masters at wielding this carefully managed sense of dread. Portal is aptly named; when they were on stage, reality felt somehow thinner than it was before.

Walking out of the venue, preparing for a long drive back to Toronto, I began to giggle hysterically, running down the sidewalk, trying to throw off some of the excess energy. I felt the giddy rush of adrenaline, as though I had just narrowly avoided being hit by a car. I did not just experience this show; I feel like I survived it, and that I am now better, and stranger, for it.


Dark Tranquility/ Threat Signal/ Mutiny Within/ Hallows Die @ The Opera House, May 20 2010

Posted in Concert Reviews with tags , on June 29, 2010 by Natalie Zed

Here is my review (originally for Metallus Maximus) of the Dark Tranquility/ Threat Signal/ Mutiny Within/ Hallows Die show that took place at The Opera House on May 20, 2010. You can read the original here.

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My relationship to metal is most definitely still in the honeymoon phase. Every single time I am on my way to a venue, no matter how many people I am going with, a small vampire bat of anticipation flutters in my stomach. When I first started going to shows regularly, I guessed that this feeling came from nerves, the natural anxiety that comes from doing something new and unfamiliar. I assumed that the more shows I attended, the better acquainted I became with my fellow audience members, the calmer I would become, and eventually the vampire bat would leave my belly. However, months have passed now and still, every time I am on my way to The Opera House, or begin to climb the stairs to The Wreckroom, that stubborn little vampire bat flaps its wings, making me nervous.

It’s a perfectly pleasant kind of nervousness, mind you, and it fades quickly after I walk through the doors; by the time I’ve drained a beer I feel completely at ease again. But it does remind me, every time I go to a concert, that I am still new at this; that I am still learning, still absorbing this music and the community that surrounds it. While this feeling comes over me even if I am familiar with every single band performing at a show, it is particularly strong on a night like May 20th, when (with the exception of Dark Tranquility), I’ve never been exposed to any of the bands before. While I rather enjoy being prepared and pre-informed (as any nerd would), there is something lovely about being able to walk into a venue and experience a show completely fresh.

The first band I was introduced to that evening was Mississauga-based Hallows Die, whose set I thoroughly enjoyed. They nobly occupied their position of first opening band of the night and gave every appearance of having a great time onstage. A great deal of their appeal for me came from guitarist/vocalist Ryan Bovaird’s interaction with the crowd. Generous and charismatic, he charmingly overcame some initial sound issues (a dead mic), made cracks about his home town’s position as “Toronto’s parking lot,” and cheerfully remarked that it was “hot as TITS” up on stage. He also effusively thanked the audience for their support, and gushed about all the other bands Hallows Die shared the stage with that night. Their music was fun and straightforward; I particularly dug “Dreamcatcher,” and my inner nerd squee’d at “Do Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?” Playing a short set, all the band members dumped a ton of energy into each of their songs, and it really showed. Their presence definitely added to the evening, and I would happily see them again.

Next up were Mutiny Within. Their performance was also characterized by a great expenditure of energy, though in a very different and more high choreographed way. They set up several low platforms on the stage, so that their guitarists, bassist and vocalist could frequently jump up and grab the audience’s attention. Something about this set-up felt over-planned to me, and made the band members’ movements on stage seem almost mechanical. This was particularly true for vocalist Chris Clancy, who ran manically back and forth from one platform to the next, giving the impression of a skateboarder riding on a half-pipe. Their sound reached for a balance point between aggressive and melodic, and struck that balance most successfully during this performance with the songs “Forsaken” and “Awake.” Overall, their performance was tightly controlled, carefully managed and manicured – which made it feel, for me, somewhat disingenuous. Their sound, and their image, would benefit from being a little more raw.

Threat Signal then took the stage. The Hamilton-based band delivered their particular brand of industrial-tinged melodic death to an appreciative audience. The crowd really dug the performance, and displayed their approval by throwing off a great deal of cheerfully aggressive energy. In contrast, Threat Signal‘s energy level on stage ebbed and flowed as they played. When they broke out newer material, such as “This Is The Beginning of the End” off last year’s Vigilance, their performance was notably more vibrant and energized; when they performed older songs, they immediately grew more subdued. Whether or not the band was completely enamored with their own material, the metalheads at the Opera House certainly enjoyed it, and bloodthirstily roared their approval for every song.

The feeling in the room changed profoundly as the audience waited for Dark Tranquility to take the stage. Whereas the Opera House had been filled with scrappy, almost pleasantly thuggish energy for the first three bands, now the tension took on a hushed, taut, tightly-wound quality. A projector flickered above the audience, casting an eerie, uneven white light over the crowd. When Dark Tranquility finally walked on stage, the room released that tension in a rush that was at once hysterical and incredibly receptive.

Dark Tranquility‘s set drew heavily from their latest album, We Are The Void, as they are currently on tour to support it. However, to the crowd’s delight, they also played a wide selection of older material, including “The Gallery.” I was also thrilled to hear them perform “Focus Shift” and “Final Resistance.” About two-thirds of the way through the set, Mikael Stanne announced that they would not be coming on for an encore, but that instead “we’re just going to play until we are done.” They performed for nearly a full two hours, and played their hearts out the whole time. A friend remarked that Mikael Stanne (who paced and grinned and dove across the stage all night) looked like there was no where else in the world he would rather be than on that particular stage on that particular night, and I couldn’t agree more. They ended the evening by playing “Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive);” by the time the song finally ended and the initially rapturous applause died down, I am not sure I could have begged for an encore if pressed – not because I had not enjoyed myself, but simply because in giving so much to the performance, Dark Tranquility demanded a great deal in return. Their performance exhausted me, and I was profoundly grateful for it.

3 Inches of Blood/ Goatwhore/ Burning The Day at The Mod Club, May 13 2010

Posted in Concert Reviews with tags , on June 13, 2010 by Natalie Zed

Here is my review (originally for of the 3 Inches of Blood/ Goatwhore/ Burning the Day show that took place at The Mod Club on May 13, 2010. You can read the original here.

Lily the Pirate also created a hilarious cartoon to accompany this review, which you can take a look at here.

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This may be a strange beginning, but I almost didn’t go to this show. After an afternoon where absolutely nothing had gone the way I had hoped, I was sorely tempted to just give up on having a day, pour myself some whisky, and watch a Deadliest Catch marathon. There’s always an ugly voice lurking at the edges of my consciousness when things go poorly, a voice that loves to give me excuses, think up ways that I could give up or lay down. It’s the most seductive voice in the entire world. “It’s raining. You’re tired. Come on, let’s go home. Tell me all about it.” Luckily, I am stubborn, particularly when I have any kind of job to do. Also luckily, there is no surer way to drown out that voice, and no more fool-proof mood-booster for me, than heavy metal. So I found my way to The Mod Club only a little late, ready to bruise my eardrums and soothe my brain.

Before I get on to the bands, though, I have to acknowledge the sheer organizational badassery of Inertia Entertainment and Noel Peters. Every single Inertia show I have ever been do is well-staffed (meaning not just that staff is present, but that they all really know what the hell they’re doing) and meticulously organized. Oh, and is also a flat-out fucking great time. There’s a positive vibe in the room at every Inertia Entertainment show I’ve had the pleasure of attending; those folks deserve to feel some love for their labour.

By the time I walked into The Mod Club I’d missed Remain entirely; Lily the Pirate and I had just enough time to buy some horrifyingly-expensive beer before Burning the Day began. The crowd was still somewhat thin while they were on stage, though you never would have known it by the way they played. I was not blown away by their musicianship (though the drumming did impress me) or their stage presence, but I was thoroughly pleased with their attitude. Burning the Day poured positive energy into the room, were grateful for all they got back from the crowd and were extremely gracious to all the other bands they shared the stage with. Their set was clean and concise, and served as a perfectly enjoyable aural appetizer.

Goatwhore‘s performance was the highlight of the night for me. They managed to project an incredibly dark and intense presence, all while having a fucking blast. Louis Falgoust roamed all over the stage, frequently punching at the audience’s raised fists and vigorously shaking hands between songs (once lifting me clean off the ground in the process). Drummer Zack Simmons played with a serene, almost meditative expression on his face, wonderfully at odds with the auditory onslaught he produced. Goatwhore composed their setlist of material from all four of their albums, drawing most heavily from Carving Out The Eyes of God. The crowd loved what they were being given, positively lapped it up, ecstatic when each new song title was called out. I spent their whole set feeling the burn in my neck muscles and screaming my lungs out. If Satan ever has a bachelor party, Goatwhore will have to play the gig.

Last up were the Vancouver-based 3 Inches of Blood, who continued to show every sweaty body packed into the Mod Club a damn good time. There is something solid, straightforward, almost wholesome about their brand of traditional heavy metal that is particularly satisfying. Cam Pipes sang about orcs and hammers while unleashing a series of throaty old-school wails—what was there not to love? While my own personal tastes placed 3IOB in the honourable position of runner-up for most kickass performance of the night, they certainly tore the place up. Lily the Pirate would disagree with me in this regard; she loves traditional metal, and certainly would have crowned 3IOB the night’s champions. All hierarchies of awesome aside, there was no mistaking the fact that a great time was had by all. The denizens of the pit were bloodied and bemused by the time 3IOB were finally done with them.

There was one more thing that occurred at this show that really made it stand out for me: about halfway through 3 Inches of Blood‘s set, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Sammy Duet, the guitarist/vocalist for Goatwhore, beckoned me and Lily to follow him towards the set of doors that led backstage. I felt myself beginning to bluster; I was certain I was about to get in trouble for something (though what, I could not possibly imagine). Between the volume and my own obliviousness, it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out what was going on. Finally, it sank in: we were being invited to go backstage. I felt myself suddenly grin and blush, become giddy; I explained (as best I could next to an amp) that I was covering the show, and had to watch the rest of the performance. Sammy shrugged, kissed Lily’s hand, and retreated backstage. I spent the rest of the night feeling at once flattered, awkward, and like the biggest nerd on earth, having cheerfully turned down an opportunity for groupie-dom to take live review notes on my phone.

I wished I could have had the chance to explain a little more fully: “Listen, Goatwhore, I am sure you’re very nice. But, really, I am here for the music; if I follow you backstage, I am going to miss what’s happening out here. And while I am sure that we would have An Adventure, in the name of Journalism (and, er, Virtue), I must remain on this side of those doors.”

Postscript: As we were leaving, we saw a young man buying his girlfriend a pair of Goatwhore panties. His girlfriend was most definitely not with him that evening. Odds that he got in serious trouble for presenting her with a pair of undies with Goatwhore written across the ass: 100%.

Porcupine Tree at The Sound Academy, May 8 2010

Posted in Concert Reviews with tags , on June 13, 2010 by Natalie Zed

Here is my review (originally for of the Porcupine Tree show that took place at The Sound Academy on May 8, 2010. You can read the original here, completely with spiffy photographs by Adam Wills.

The review also appeared on the Roadrunner Records Canada website, and was mentioned on the official Porcupine Tree website.

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In order for me to discuss this show, I need to first visit The Incident. In an interview, Steven Wilson expressed his dismay with the phrase “the incident” and the way the phrase was often deployed to distance and dehumanize. He was troubled by the way that word is used to transform traumatic, “seismic” events into something sterile and reportable. It is also an empty word, a placeholder, a euphemism that retains a sense of ominousness but that does not actually do any writing itself. “The incident” is all signifier, no signified, nothing being inscribed. So, in retaliation, Porcupine Tree took this word, this empty word and filled it: with sound, with images, with contexts. Whereas the phrase “the incident” seeks to erase and expunge specific, human details from events, The Incident reintroduces those details.

I have been listening to The Incident on and off since September; it is haunting. And I do not use the word “haunting” here in a purely descriptive or abstract way, either. This album has been a smell that will not leave my clothes, a sense of being followed, a few bars I hum over and over for days. As such, I have a deep affection for it, but also a sense of unease. The Incident has a knack for putting an aural finger on whatever sore spot I am carrying around at the time. This is not an album that grants me any peace (despite it’s apparent tenderness). I went to this show because I was genuinely excited to see a band whose music I enjoy; I also went in an attempt to better understand this album, and to hopefully exorcise some of the power it holds over me.

I was prepared. I went with other people. I was fuelled by red meat and enough beer to make me brave but not so much I’d let my guard down. And still. And still this concert slammed into me. Like I’d worn water wings, expecting they’d protect me against the force of a Tsunami.

Were this simply an auditory barrage (which I am more than familiar with), I might have had more resistance. But it was much more than that. This show was a carefully orchestrated, beautifully curated performance. The video accompaniment interesting and tasteful, and varied enough that I was never able to settle fully into it or anticipate what was coming next. The images were sometimes strange and dream-sequence-like, at other times more like a classical music video, and again sometimes simply an accompanying image—like a spray of stars during “Stars Die.” The lighting effects dovetailed beautifully with the video, such as when strobe effects were used to emphasize choppy, disorienting quick-cuts, or a steadily brightening white light used to intensify the effect of a train barrelling towards the audience. Despite the visual interest of the show, none of the effects detracted from or overshadowed the music. All the other effects served the sound and made the audience more receptive.

The performance was dominated by The Incident, which the band played in its entirety (barring a couple of tracks from the second, “bonus” disc). The performance therefore took on the character of this album: a combination of urgency and tenderness with a strong undercurrent of discomfort. Highlights from this intense first section were: “Drawing the Line,” the driving rhythm of which provided some breathless relief from pent-up anxiety; and “I Drive The Hearse,” which is even more gently devastating live than it is on the album. The band took a ten-minute break after The Incident; for the ten minutes they spend offstage, a digital countdown was projected onto the video screen. After the intense discomfiture and awful sweetness of the first section, I felt as unnerved as the building was wired to explode when the clock reached zero.

The second half of the performance featured representation from Lightbulb Sun, Fear of a Blank Planet, and The Sky Moves Sideways. The energy in the room was more scattered, almost schizophrenic during this part of the show. After the unified aesthetic of the first half, this section of the performance felt less focussed—though mercifully so. The variation also served to make the experience less overwhelming. I particularly enjoyed “Anaesthetize,” “Way Out Of Here,” and “Normal.” Both pieces from the encore came from In Absentia: “Blackest Eyes” and “Trains.”

The audience response to this entire show, but especially the encore, struck me as strange, at first. Everyone was almost unnaturally still, with the exception of some manic swaying and head bobbing (and one memorable tribal dance performed by a young man who had long since abandoned his sobriety). While it would hardly have been appropriate for a circle pit to form, it still added to my rather delicious sense of unease about the entire performance. Then, near the end, as a train on the screen drew closer and a stark white light grew brighter, it hit me. We were all as stunned as animals caught in a truck’s headlights, unable to save ourselves, unwilling to move ourselves out of the way. About to be struck, we could only stare in awe. Because, despite the damage the impact could cause, it was still beautiful. Disarmingly, awfully beautiful.

and good will toward

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on June 12, 2010 by Natalie Zed

Damn it. My first real, non-archiving, blog-ish post here and it’s going to be about my feelings.

It’s been an excellent week in Poetry for Natalie Zed. Wednesday night, I read at the 7th installment of the NOW HEAR THIS! Hear/Hear reading series with Angela Szczepaniak and Elisabeth De Mariaffi. The back room we inhabited at the Free Times Cafe was filled with a happy, responsive crowd. Angela and Elisabeth read beautifully; both of them produce (very different) work that is disarmingly funny and devastating by turns. All our work dovetailed together  into a performance that felt successful and coherent. I had a blast sharing the stage with them.

After the performance, we stayed for hours drinking cheap Creemore pints and talking about…vaginas, mostly. Popowich was incredibly patient while about half a dozen women volunteered complex opinions on placentas and the art of pubic hair topiary. By the end of the night, we’d made some solid, hilarious plans for future shenanigans involving retractable high heels and public bath houses.

Last night, I attended the launch of Sweet, the second volume of poetry by the incomparable Dani Couture. The event also served at the launch for Perter Darbyshire‘s newest novel, The Warhol Gang, and the latest issue of Taddle Creek. There were friends and veggie burgers, and free beer handed out by the friendliest Steamwhistle employee in the world. We were ambushed by a terrible hipster-folk band, and I threatened to fight someone much, much smarter than me on the topic of French heavy metal. There may have even been a huge animatronic bear.

And here is where the feelings come in: I love this. I love spending time with smart, hilarious, talented people who care deeply about things. I love that one of my poems may end up in a vending machine. I love waking up with a headache and band names written on my arm in sharpie. Every now and again, I have a week that reminds me exactly why I love what I do; this was one of those weeks.

Postcards from Natalie Zed: Part Three

Posted in CD reviews with tags , on June 5, 2010 by Natalie Zed

I write a series of postcard-length album reviews for This is the third installment. You can read the original here.

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Keep of Kalessin – Kolossus (Nuclear Blast 2008)

The sheer grinding force of Kolossus‘ sound evokes lightning-blasted rock, a well-orchestrated sonic avalanche. Even more than the sound, the vocals hooked me. Whether screams or growls, black or death, every word with still clarion-clear. The meaning of the lyrics, clearly audible and comprehensible, and the force of the voice delivering those lyrics was a killer combination. Thebon has the voice of a dragon.

Trinacria – Travel Now Journey Infinitely (Season of Mist 2008)

Alchemy, the medieval pseudo-science that blended magic and chemistry, attempted to combine various elements to create something new – to turn iron into gold. The Trinacria (or triskelion) is an alchemical symbol representing movement and multiplicity. Alchemy is a perfect metaphor for this combination of Enslaved and Fe-Mail, taking disparate elements to make something new. While the end result is not exactly gold, it is rough and ugly and noisy and definitely magical.

Birds of Prey – The Hellpreacher (Relapse Records 2009)

This album is ugly. Some stories can’t progress, some protagonists cannot triumph, and the primary voice of this album is a voice that does not really have a chance. From the first line of this concept album, there is no respite, no out. The lyrics were difficult for me – especially “Juvie.” There is no way to navigate out of this maze of horrors , and the destruction of the voice is inevitable. It left me wrung out and thankful that, for all the ugliness I have seen, I have come out relatively clean.

Bonafide – Something’s Dripping (Black Lodge 2009)

Something’s Dripping may be one of the most comforting albums I have listened to in a while. Right out of the gates I knew what to expect, and BONAFIDE delivered my expectations every time. Listening was like stepping into the most worn and comfortable jeans that I own. You know what? I have never gotten laid once because I was wearing my lazy Sunday jeans. I prefer to be surprised.

Beneath The Massacre – Dystopia (Prosthetic Records 2008)

Sometimes I wonder if I see things that aren’t there, if my background in literature makes me see the world through dork-tinted lenses. Sometimes there is no doubt in my mind that I am on to something (I’m looking at you, KEEP OF KALESSIN – I’ve read Ursula LaGuin’s Earthsea novels too), and sometimes I am less sure. Are BENEATH THE MASSACRE referring to T.S. Eliot with a song titled “The Wasteland?” Or Edgar Allen Poe with “Nevermore?” Whether the references are intentional or not, I am willing to draw the parallel here, if only because the brutality of Dystopia seems perfectly in line with the bleakness of modernism. Shit – I feel like giving myself a wedgie for this one.

Kittie – In The Black (E1 Music 2009)

I’m honestly not sure if I dig this or not. I certainly dig female-fronted metal, and Morgan Lander has some pipes. I also dig the packaging – this incarnation is KITTIE is sleek and slick and cool. Even their photography is great. And still. Something about In The Black leaves me hungry.

Job For A Cowboy – Ruination (Metal Blade 2009)

Alright, JOB FOR A COWBOY. I have some aggression to work out too; if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here. But sometimes you don’t have to go straight for the viscera. Sometimes you can just drink a bottle of wine and eat Oreos in the bathtub.

El Grupo Nuevo De Omar Rodriguez Lopez – Cryptomnesia (Rodriguez Lopez Productions 2009)

First, let me just say that I think THE MARS VOLTA is the shit. My lady parts were all a-quiver when I saw this particular album was included in my loot, and I am pleased to say I was not disappointed. The sound is strange and alien, but never alienating. For all the experimentation and aural collage and raw noise, Cryptomnesia retains a plaintiveness and kept me rapt.

U. D. O. – Dominator (AFM 2009)

So, maybe it’s a little bit cold. Not bitterly cold, just a bit rainy and drizzly, so the city is chilled and asphalt-grey. You’ve been running ragged lately, too many deadlines, a bit underslept. Maybe you even go to the gym, and put in a good workout, so your body is tired as well as your mind. Then, and the end of this busy, cold, wet, just slightly shitty day, you come home to a warm apartment and find a rare steak and a bottomless glass of red wine waiting for you. Can you imagine a more satisfying meal, the perfect sensation of bloody meat between your teeth? That’s exactly how satisfying Dominator is.

The Gathering – The West Pole (Season of Mist/Psychonaut Records 2009)

Come on, ovaries.