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The Veil Of Secrecy cover art unveiled.

Posted in Deranged Doodlings, Mala Suerte, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 7, 2012 by backstabbath

From Mala Suerte/Uzala split 7".Finally, after many hours of stress and extreme scrutiny, I finally finished the artwork for our side of the upcoming Uzala/Mala Suerte split 7″ which will soon be released by Arizona based King Of The Monsters Records. Our side will feature an older song which we used to play live quite a bit called “The Veil Of Secrecy”. The track was recorded quite some time ago around February and March of 2010 and we planned to release it back then but every band we contacted about doing it with ended up passing for one reason or another. As far as I’m concerned, everything worked out for the best, because after all but forgetting about the recording and resigning it to the vaults, Uzala agreed to team up with us for this release. And I couldn’t be any more pleased with the results, especially considering the haunting quality and monstrous power of their track, “Burned”.

Once plans were made to release “The Veil Of Secrecy” as part of a split 7″  I drew up a pencil sketch for a wraparound cover of two opposing groups of praying monks perpetually leering at each other from their respective sides of the record sleeve. Once Uzala came on board I figured that they’d probably end up using their own design, especially considering the tremendous amount of in-house talent they already possessed in vocalist/guitarist, Darcy Nutt. After receiving an e-mail from Darcy with an attached rough pencil sketch of the artwork for their side, I knew I had my work cut out for me. Even at this early stage, her rendering of goat-footed Pan, god of the wild, playing his flute while surrounded by curling clouds of smoke was truly amazing and inspired. I still haven’t seen the completed drawing but I am sure my haphazard scribblings will pale in comparison to the visual elegance of her finished piece.

After being unable to properly mentally conceptualize a suitable counterpoint or companion piece to Darcy’s Pan, I somewhat reluctantly abandoned the idea of creating an image that would somehow tie in symbolically and/or symmetrically with hers. Instead, I opted to focus on trying to convey the lyrical content of our song in a manner that is fantastical and somewhat esoteric while remaining visually arresting. My initial idea was to have a central figure which appeared to be  your average run-of-the -mill politician/banker/evil/elite/scumbag type holding up either a mask with some sort of blank stare or false smile, or of the type worn at a masquerade ball, in a vain yet not altogether sincere attempt at concealing his true visage, which is ultimately betrayed by the peculiar horns protruding from atop his head. This central figure would be standing in front of a closed curtain or veil which on the insert image or reverse sleeve would be open revealing the robotic masses herded like cattle marching on a road to ruin toward their inevitable death and destruction, brought on by their “benevolent” leader/controller/master who has now removed the mask revealing his true goatish and infernal identity. After creating a thumb sketch of this initial idea and actually trying to draw a much larger version of it, I realized that the proposed image for the inner sleeve would ultimately prove to be much more visually compelling than what was planned for the front so I dropped that concept and tried to think of an idea that would incorporate some of those same themes, but in one image rather than two. In the final drawing I changed the evil corporate master/ruler  into his figuratively true identity of the grim reaper, and the road to ruin and destruction is now a stairway to the mountains of madness. Rather than trying to explain the imagery here, I’ll allow the lyrics to speak for themselves:

The Veil Of Secrecy

The road to utopia is paved                                                                                                                                   With the bones and blood of the common man

On the broken backs of the enslaved

Destiny is shaped by a hidden hand

That controls the fate of all nations

Novus Ordo Seclorum

 

Pull back the veil of secrecy

From this global conspiracy

Expose this occult mystery

On which has formed our history

 

Through manipulation and control

Of the largest corporate entities

The world’s banks and our economies

Entertainment and technology

They regulate our base necessities

Yet somehow we’re still too blind to see

 

Pull back the veil of secrecy

Of this global conspiracy

Subvert this evil treachery

To preserve all life and liberty

 

Rise against those who wish to rule you

Stand and fight those that would subdue you

Open your eyes to what transpires

Crush their system, purge it with fire

 

Down with the Rockefellers

Death to the Bilderbergers

Destroy the Rothschild’s rule

And end the Federal Reserve

 

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March Madness during SXSW…or why I am such an asshole. (Day 1)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 12, 2012 by backstabbath

Once again, as Austinites, we survived another yearly invasion of hipster hordes and industry blowhards as they descended upon our fair city with their skinny jeans, man-purses and entirely overblown senses of self-importance. Normally I look forward to SXSW because there is usually quite a variety of different musical acts that I am excited about catching live. This year, however, left me feeling a little bit underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, as there were some good acts in attendance this year, but many of the showcasing bands, especially those of the metal genre, have played here several times already or do so with such regularity that it made it difficult for me to get too overjoyed. In 2010 SXSW brought us Voivod and last year delivered Saint Vitus and Pentagram. So what incredible acts were in store for us this year? Job For A Cowboy, Devil Driver, and Impending Doom! Oh boy!

With all the hype and hoopla that SXSW has managed to generate over the years it seems only natural that the festivities gradually begin to start sooner and encompass more days than before. What used to span only a few days has now begun to take over the entire week and this year it was certainly more apparent than ever. On Sunday, March 11th immediately after band practice, Vincent and I decided, since it was an incredibly beautiful day, to walk downtown and check out the scenery…er, douchebaggery. Seriously, what reason could there possibly be for so many men to be walking around with purses? What could they possibly need to carry around that they cannot fit into their pockets? More hair product and a couple of changes of clothes? Ten more pairs of skinny jeans? My mind recoils in horror at the thought. The only person that has ever looked cool with a purse is Indiana Jones, but he fought the fucking nazis fer chrissakes…and he had to have somewhere to put that goddamn golden Fertility Idol that he snaked from the Chachapoyan temple before being chased by that giant boulder in Raiders Of The Lost Ark.

Initially, my plan was to head downtown to Headhunters later that night for the Ossuary Industries showcase, but since my friends in San Antonio sludge band, Pillcrusher, informed me that they had to drop off of the bill at the last-minute, the idea of witnessing a whole night of brutal death metal seemed like more than my already volume-damaged hearing could handle. After walking by Headhunters to survey the scene of black-attired longhairs, Vincent and I milled around for a bit on Red River and then made our way towards 6th Street. Just outside of the old Emo’s location we were stopped by a girl holding a stack of flyers. “Do you guys like metal?”, she glibly inquired. To which her friend retorted, “They ARE metal!” Once on 6th, I ate a hotdog and we decided that it was time to quench our ever-increasing thirst. If we were going to subject ourselves to the onslaught of the hipper than thou throng then many cold libations were definitely well in order. We opted for the decidedly unhip surroundings of the Dirty Dog Bar due in no small part to the fact that there was no cover charge to enter said establishment, but after a couple of beers and several minutes of gratingly mind-numbing modern metal miasma we hastily opted to depart the premises. Next up was Bull McCabe’s Irish Pub. We figured we’d have a couple more brews here and since we were only two bars away from Headhunters it would be the ideal spot to meet up with the two Pillcrusher members that still chose to make the trip to Austin for their label showcase. After a quick text message we were joined by Pillcrusher bassist, Marilyn, vocalist, Beer Reebs, and our mutual friend, Jaylen. Hugs and verbal jabs were exchanged and before long a general agreement was reached to repair to other more happening digs.

Apparently, those more happening surroundings happened to be found at The Jackalope on 6th. This place is a good spot for hipsters and punk rockers to converge and make fun of each others hairstyles, and there is usually a fair amount of lovely young ladies in attendance, though I am far from being hip or punk enough for it to make any difference. After a couple more drinks Vincent decided to call it quits for the evening, as he had to work early the next day, and not long after Jaylen decided to return to Headhunters for a good ol’ ear-raping.  I walked with her back to Headhunters and decided that the $10.00 cover was more than I wanted to pay for a night of blast-beats, buzzsaw guitars, and pig squeals, so I opted instead for the show at across the street and a couple of bars over at Beerland.

My good friend and guitarist/vocalist for The Blood Royale, Tim Corken, was working the door at Beerland so I talked to him a bit before venturing inside. Apparently, since I was too drunk to remember and I was primarily there just to check out the band Entropist, the bill consisted of Immerse, Entropist, Fed of Me, and Adamastor. I don’t know anything about the other three bands so therefore I have nothing more to say about them. Once inside I had just enough time to order a beer and a shot for myself and Tim before Entropist started their set. I believe that this was their second live performance and for such a new band they did a fine job. In contrast to the extreme and unrelenting brutality that was on display across the street, Entropist displayed a much more old-school approach to their death metal and it showed in their very riff oriented style of writing. Vocalist, Oscar Martinez, delivered the death proclamations competently and guitarist, James Hardin, is an excellent lead player, though I think his guitar was a bit too loud in the mix. All in all I was fairly impressed with the band and I will definitely try catch them again at some point when I am less inebriated.

Finally, after Entropist’s set I retired directly across the street to Valhalla for last call. After chatting with my friend Mel over a beer it was time to head out the door. A few people did come over for a bit of after hours festivities before I finally called it a night. It was going to be a long week and I definitely needed some rest. Though, as I expected, I was going to be getting very little of it.

Dark Sonic Rituals

Posted in flyers, Mala Suerte, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 24, 2012 by backstabbath

It has been a while since we’ve ventured outside of Austin for any live performances so next weekend we’ll be headed South for a two-day excursion. On Friday, March 30th we’ll be playing at Nightrocker Live in San Antonio with fellow Austin bands Ancient VVisdom, Watching The Moon, and Curse The Heavens along with Venomous Maximus from Houston, TX. San Antonio has always been somewhat hit or miss for us as far as live shows are concerned so if you live in the area please help us spread the word. This should ultimately prove to be an interesting show as all the bands on the bill have quite varied styles and will provide their own separate take on the dark sonic arts.The following day on Saturday, March 31st we’ll be joining Curse The Heavens for our first ever gig in Corpus Christi, TX. at TFC Rehearsal Studios. Also on the line-up are locals, Bertha and Prison Moon from ATX. We are really looking forward to playing for and meeting a lot of new people on this jaunt, so as I stated before please help us spread the word. We’ll see you all next weekend!