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[sticky post] Review and article archive.

Kickass!
This is the universal archive for all my online journalistic activities, since I can see that if I don't start one, I'm going to lose track of all the things I've written and then I won't be able to reference them if I need to. So, sorted by site, here is a maintained archive of all my articles, interviews, reviews and so on that I've done for official online publications. Hopefully this will help me keep from losing anything! (Dates in brackets are the date the item was posted, rather than the date the thing happened - the date it happened, if applicable, is also listed.)


Destructive MusicCollapse )

Brutal As HellCollapse )

OneMetalCollapse )

One-offs.Collapse )
Valkyrian Music: Warhorns festival review, 21-22 Sep 2012 (second day only, 07 Oct 2012)


Rath

New virtual address

Route 66
Hi guys... just a very quick update to let you all know that I've got a new home! Both internet and real. We've moved to the North York Moors, and the new house is basically so awesome I've started a blog for it: daughterofthenorth.wordpress.com if anyone would like to read. I'm trying to post a mix of local interest, domestic stuff like gardening and baking, and hopefully at some point some craft stuff - be lovely to see you all over there if you fancy coming for a look! :)

Hope everyone is well, anyway... take care...

Love,
Rath

Dec. 11th, 2013

Route 66
I feel like I should post something... somewhere...

Please, everyone, excuse me for a while. My life has gone a bit arse-over-teakettle of late. I'm in the middle of changing a whole bunch of stuff, some of it pretty fundamental - right now I am not quite the person most of you know, and consequently I'm spending a lot of my time somewhere other than my usual haunts. I'm okay - nothing is wrong, nothing is broken, I'm not in danger and I'm not unhappy - I'm just doing some stuff that I have to do, for me, and I think I need to be someone else, somewhere else, for a little while at least while I handle that.

If anyone has missed me, or needed me and didn't know where to find me; I'm sorry, and I am still contactable by email, Facebook message or comment here if you need me for any kind of one-on-one communication (though I may be a bit slow). I'm not sure when I'll be back or exactly what state I'll be in when I return, but please, don't miss me, and meanwhile all of you get on and have a happy Christmas/Wintermass/insert religious or secular holiday of your choice here, and a happy new year, 'kay? From the bottom of my heart, gods bless you all and take care.

See you, guys. <3

Love,
Rath

Be once more upon this land

pagan
So after loving them for about a decade and a half, tonight I finally saw Inkubus Sukkubus live for the very first time.

On the downside, they didn't play any of my greatest favourites - no All Along the Crooked Way, no Pagan Born, no Song to Pan. On the upside, they played a ton of stuff off the most recent albums that I don't have and am now totally in love with and have to get (the title tracks of both The Goat and Queen of Heaven, Queen of Hell are insanely beautiful and I cannot go on without these songs in my life). They looked and sounded fantastic: all of them are in amazing shape and voice, and Candia dances like - well, me, mostly. That "I stop when the beat stops and not before" approach that I recognise and know in every fibre of my being. Absolutely amazing.

And yes, of course I danced too. Every song, the whole set, dodging through the semicircle of camera-wielders that constituted the front row, and even Belladonna and Aconite somehow passed without my falling over my own feet despite being delivered at absolutely hell-bent speed. I seem to remember crying somewhere in the middle of Heart of Lilith and almost losing it completely during Samhain, and I could listen to Tony McKormack play for literally ever because I am absolutely sure that his tone settings were given to him by - *cough* well, SOME aspect or other of the Horned One, anyway. I've never heard anything wilder in this world, and like all my favourite guitarists he solos like he can't make himself stop, like the melody is something external that's earthing itself through his soul and his fingers and he has to carry on, will-he nill-he, for as long as it wants him to. And I'm utterly overjoyed to learn that he plays that way on stage as well as on record. Bless you Tony, thank you so much. <3 And then after the show I actually managed to very shyly sidle up to the band when they were at their merch stall and say "thank you", and Candia smiled at me in reply and told me that she'd seen me dancing. Fantastic.

The rest of my weekend is shaping up to be a bit of a pain in the arse, to be honest. But tonight at least was perfect. Thank you, Inkubus Sukkubus - thank you very, very much. God and Goddess bless you all.

Laters,
Rath

Special friendships

Rock star!
I know some of the people reading this have known me since I was at university, and of those readers, some of you will have visited my room back in those long-ago days. You may remember, if you ever did, being blasted with Iron Maiden, Children of Bodom, Darkthrone, or any of a lot of other things from a black midi stereo system that was invariably to be found somewhere in any space I occupied for longer than about three days.

It was an odd thing, that stereo. A cheap budget Alba that had a weird volume control that I would never allow anyone else to touch (because it used a twitch-and-recentre mechanism rather than a simple twist one, and I didn't want anyone unwittingly wrenching it off the fascia) and that kicked out a sound that made up in genuinely startling power what it admittedly lacked in high-fidelity finesse. It had a crude three-band equaliser, which was usually set in a configuration that would've made most audio buffs weep in bewilderment; and, from time to time, a blu-tack weight on top of the arm on the record player so it could claw its way past the scratches on my favourite eighties-metal relics. It was a raw-boned, hard-bitten, stubborn, viciously loyal little thing that possessed no more social grace than its owner and apologised for nothing. The model number was MS5290HCD. Google that now, and you won't even find a picture of one. It was definitively supposed to be disposable technology.

But me and that little midi system went back way further than Cambridge. It was a gift from my parents somewhere in my middle teens - I can't even remember exactly when or why, though I want to say it was a birthday present somewhere around fifteen or sixteen. And it stayed with me in constant service for almost a decade and a half. I only decided to replace it about two or three years ago because the tape decks were getting dangerously temperamental and I was afraid they were going to start chewing up my favourites. koilungfish was kind enough to offer to buy me a replacement next time I was due for a present.

I had a devil of a time finding one. Nobody makes decent, cheap midi systems that can handle both vinyl and tape any more, apparently. You can usually get one but not the other. I settled on a Steepletone machine that claimed to do both, plus CD, plus USB and mp3. Sounded perfect.

At this point any normal person would've dumped the old Alba in the nearest municipal recycling facility. Given that it only cost about a hundred quid new and was well over a decade in age, it owed nobody anything and was clearly not going to have any resale value. And I had a shiny new replacement, right?

Wrong, because this is me. That Alba had been with me every step of my career as a metal fan. It had discovered all those treasures from the 25p vinyl bins in the Bradford record stores with me. It had patiently endured endless amounts of fast-forward and rewind as I assembled compilation tapes to play on my old Walkman or give as hopeful mating gifts to beautiful boys. It had been used to test-play my band's demos. It had kept me company on a thousand hopeless, broken, lonely nights and never judged me, just faithfully kept spinning the songs that were keeping me alive. It had woken up my neighbours and rocked me to sleep. It might be down for the count but throwing it away would have broken my heart. So into storage in the back of my room it went, with some vague thought that I'd find a worthy use for it some day. Maybe as a base for some kind of found-media art piece or something.

Well, I'll tell you what, that Steepletone system has been a diva pain in the ass. The USB/mp3 function packed up altogether the first time I tried to use it, the tape decks didn't do much better (one of them ate my cherished copy of the Last Action Hero soundtrack as one of its very first acts, wtf) and now the CD deck has glitched to the point where it takes about three reloads of any given disc to get it to play without rattling and skipping to distraction. Okay, the turntable still works, but I have had it up to here with that system. But the thought of buying another one...

So I went and googled "tape deck repair". Turns out there's a surprising amount you can do with an old deck, no matter how defunct it appears. And so, tonight, I pulled out the old Alba from its retirement, set it up, said a prayer, and decided to see how bad the situation really was.

It powered up, and both speakers hummed conspicuously the way they always used to. The left one cracked and spat when I fiddled with the graphic equaliser, but that's not a major complaint. The radio? Tuned in and worked. Check one.

The CD player? Loaded smoothly without a whisper or a hint of a rattle, played fine. Forward and back skip and search buttons appeared to be all okay. Check two.

Vinyl? At this point my fingers were crossing tighter as I broke out my copy of Black Sabbath's "Heaven and Hell" (a record both I and the Alba know by heart). But... it played. Maybe a fraction slow, but a new drive belt wouldn't be a lot to ask for at this point, and wouldn't be the first one either. Check three.

And finally, those tape decks. The fingers were crossed so hard they were turning white at the tips. I pulled out my old, home-copied Metallica "Black Album" - which is on a 100-minute cassette that was recorded in 1995, so if that would still play, anything would.

And... B-deck handled it. A-deck was a little less certain and had a noticeable bit of drag on the sound, and I'd forgotten that one of the spindles always sticks when you try to take a tape out of that deck, but... basically, it worked. Worked well enough that some intensive maintence would probably fix it completely, anyway.

Check four. My oldest and best friend after my teddy bear was impossibly, miraculously still with me.

At that moment I literally knelt there on the floor with my arm wrapped around the casing and my cheek pressed to the corner of the turntable mounting, almost crying with mingled joy and remorse. I am so sorry, baby. I am never going to replace you again until the day you fall truly silent and I am absolutely certain there is no repairing you. Thank you so much for somehow coming through for me after everything I've done to you - I appreciate that all those trips in the car over the years must have misaligned everything that's capable of being jolted loose, and that your insides are probably full of more dust than I even want to think about. I'm sorry and I will do my best to fix all of that. But I am so glad you're alive, and that is it: even with those creaky tape decks, you are reinstated as of right now.

Which is why I'm sitting on the floor of my room listening to Paradise Lost's One Second playing ever so slightly slow on tape, feeling about the same way most people would after getting back into contact with an old flame or an estranged sibling. I am probably ridiculous, but I really don't care.

Laters,
Rath

PS and here is a photo of the Alba as of right now, for both those who remember and those who never met it. Yes, sadly, that is the turntable lid lying on the floor in two pieces at the front of the pic. It got broken while it was in storage, to my eternal shame, though I'm hoping I can glue that...

Rath stereo

Warhammer clearout!

Kickass!
Due to extreme poverty, have had a clearout and am selling some of my Games Workshop gear. Some cool old/rare/OOP minis here from Warhammer 40K, Warhammer Fantasy, Lord of the Rings and Blood Bowl, plus assorted odds and ends - please comment or message me if you're interested in any of these.

Read more...Collapse )

Cheers!
Rath

Review: Last July, A True Story Of A Lie

Kickass!
Just dropping in to post this review I wrote for Last July's first album, since I don't currently write for any darkwave/goth type sites so haven't got an obvious place for it. Great album though so it deserves to be plugged somewhere...

***
ReviewCollapse )
***

Laters,
Rath

CD clearout sale!

Kickass!
Boys and girls! I have some CDs for sale. Want any of these? Comment, message or email me. UK postage will be £1 if you're only buying one, 50p extra per CD for up to 4, more than that I'll work it out and quote you. Exception is the Eurythmics box set which is £5 postage because it weighs a ton. Also, that and Terria will both be sent recorded delivery due to their value. (If you want recorded delivery on anything else, this can be arranged, please enquire; likewise, international postage negotiable on a per case basis.)

Thankyou! ^_^
Rath

Rarities and valuables:

Eurythmics - Boxed - £60 (all eight albums remastered in shiny digipacks, 43 bonus tracks and a ton of liner notes)
Devin Townsend - Terria (original 2001 limited edition enhanced version) - £100 (no shit, this is the going rate on Amazon right now. I was as surprised as you, trust me. O_O)

Regular:

The March Violets - The Botanic Verses - £6
Christian Death - Best of ft. Rozz Williams - £10
The Devin Townsend Band - Accelerated Evolution (special edition) - £15
Devin Townsend - Physicist - £15
Ministry - The Land of Rape and Honey - £2
Ministry - Dark Side of the Spoon - £2
Ministry - The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste - £2
Mendeed - This War Will Last Forever - £2
Immolation - Unholy Cult - £4
David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust - £2
David Bowie - Aladdin Sane - £2

Pink Floyd - The Wall (old-style double-depth CD case, two discs) - £6
Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue - Where the Wild Roses Grow (digi single) - £3
Jerry Cantrell - Boggy Depot - £3
Cyclefly - Generation Sap - £3
America - America - £2
Toto - IV - £2
Foreigner - 4 - £2
Styx - The Best of Times (the best of Styx) - £5
Various - Howard Stern: Private Parts soundtrack CD - £2
Various - Fantastic 4 the album (songs from/tied in to the movie) - £1
Various - Music from & Inspired by Natural Born Killers - £5

"What the fuck is this doing in my house get rid of it" category:

Annie Lennox - Medusa - £2
Prince (Artist formerly known as etc) - Emancipation (old-style double-depth CD case, three discs) - £2
Babylon Zoo - King Kong Groover - £2
Babylon Zoo - Animal Army - 50p
Babylon Zoo - The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes (single, CD1) - £2

I am just chronicling this for posterity.

Abyss - believe in monsters
Okay. So yesterday, April 11th 2013, was the tenth anniversary of House of 1000 Corpses. I wrote an article about it for Brutal As Hell. I was pretty happy with that article, all things considered. Proud of it, even.

I tweeted a link to Rob Zombie's official Twitter, just because, and linked it up on Facebook.

He retweeted me. And linked the article on his Facebook.

The article's tracker just went past eleven thousand Facebook likes and still climbing. Not all of those are page hits, some are just likes on Rob's post, but. That's eleven likes per corpse and still going.

Rob Zombie just made me internet famous, you guys. I don't even.

And the best thing of all is knowing that this probably means he read that article his actual self. Which means I got to thank him practically in person for that movie and everything it meant to me and the rest of my crazy friends at the time. Thanks for everything, Uncle Rob! <3 \m/

Laters,
Rath

The aliens have guitars.

Rathnest, lurking
I just woke up from a dream in which one of those listening-telescopes that's scanning the galaxy for signs of alien life had detected someone on another planet playing doom metal. The scientific community went nuts, and the metalheads were all going crazy demanding to hear the recordings.

Then we realised the aliens must be monitoring us right back because we heard them playing Black Sabbath. XD

Laters,
Rath

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