Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fell Voices

Fell Voices bear the elite distinction of being one of a handful of bands in the last ten years or so to remind me how absolutely religious and cathartic just seeing a band can be. They are indeed special and have elicited much gushing on my part. They hail from Santa Cruz, California and play mesmerizing Black Metal. They opt for a luddite approach favoring rickety gear, a simple three-piece line up, and an aversion to CDs, labels, and press.When they play live they don't use vocal microphones, Mike the drummer just howls into the air immersed in an unseen Oskorei. They may not even be keen on being featured here on my trendy blog, but fuck it, I love them too much to let them fade into a self-imposed obscurity. Art this beautiful demands to be shared. Here is their full length EP. You can argue their kvlt credentials all day, you can have your pithy debates as to whether they are "hipster" or not (although this isn't Last FM,) doesn't change the fact that a thousand corpse- painted clowns could never make something this deep. I have spoken.

34 comments:

Micki Foster said...

fuck yes!
i feel lucky to have gotten the chance to play with them and to see them grow more and more into this realm of complete greatness. Quite possibly the best current american black metal band and all around amazing, simply amazing.

Meatbreak said...

This band are incredible. True trance music, beyond anything else.

ido said...

Wow.

Mr. Jonathan said...

I have two friends that wrote this band off as hippie scum only later to be won over by their live show.

A great record.

billias said...

leeching the hearse has always been a pleasure of the senses. welcome back aesop

Chairmaker said...

This is excellent, thanks.

Anonymous said...

I agree on the last point. Corpsepaint does not equal intensity. Great to have you back. I put a couple videos up of the Macs gig on Youtube (searcg: Lasning Ludicra). - Hordes guy

Krumbled Kookie said...

Great post, Aesop. I've been loving these guys for months, and the LP is on constant rotation on my turntable. I'd kill to see them live - especially on that tour with Ash Borer, who are equally unbelievable.

Shelby Cobras said...

Well said. Fell Voices indeed possess a rare cathartic aura long absent from the "scene" (ugh). Their opening set was something special the other night, although i can't help but wish the venue was something more akin to a basement or living room... I've heard tales of FV playing such spaces, and I imagine the cramped quarters would amplify the intimate and harrowing nature of their music tenfold...

gooniestorm said...

thank you aesop, this band blew my mind the other night.

cdg said...

thanks for this and the necrophobic and welcome back.

Damien said...

Black metal mysticism. One of the best albums of its kind.

macumbista said...

This totally took me away! Thanks!

Erik said...

Really excited to hear this! You sold me on these guys when you told me of them outside of Geno's.

Welcome back.

Grk! said...

I'm moved by this one. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

After you posted the Sleepwalker release, I track these guys down bought a copy! I also traded them some Jabladav material for this record. Glad to see you are back. Regards-J

Clint B said...

My band Acts of Sedition has played so many shows with the drummer of Fell Voices other (hardcore) bands in the past. Then one night at the Hazmat in Oakland, I saw he could pull off 20 mins straight of blast dirge metal. What endurance! What a guy!

Anonymous said...

is your email down?

nano247 said...

fucking amazing opening set, i feel super lucky to have been there.
Thanks for the UL

Kevin Gan. Yuen said...

intense live performances and nice guys - I will be picking this up at their next show..

EAO said...

I wish I could have been suspended in pitch black water while listening to this last night. Thank you for sharing! Wonderful structure. Welcome back Aesop!
Cheers from Portland OR!

Jimbo said...

I can see why you would rave about this band, they certainly do not have the MTV production values or even that much complexity, but they get the important stuff right which is so much more than so many others. A worthy adition.

brandi said...

These guys are my newest favorites from 'round these parts. The times that I've seen them live, they've completely killed me. I love that.

AG said...

Seeing Fell Voices was a real lifesaver for me a couple summers ago while on a 6-week cross-country tour. Sometimes sharing bills with hundreds of crust-clone hardcore bands can dampen my spirits, but they were the light at the end of the tunnel.

The drummer also plays in Mohoram Atta, a great hardcore band that my band was fortunate enough to release a split 12" with.

Jake said...

Wow, this is some incredible stuff. Thanks for putting this up, Aesop, as it's likely I would have never been able to hear it otherwise. I'll be honest, I didn't grow up in a time when vinyl was prevalent, and I don't really have the money to invest in buying vinyl records at this point in my life. I get the love for it, and I wish I could have a giant wall of LPs, but the reality is that it's hard for someone like me to get music from some bands outside of the digital realm. It's kind of disheartening to see bands like Fell Voices, who make such great music, embrace this sort of "fuck you, we only release on vinyl" attitude in an age where it's become pretty easy to get your music out there digitally without compromise (bandcamp comes to mind). If I could get a high quality download (or even a CD) of this LP I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Personally, the only band that has gotten it completely right that comes to mind is Thou. All their music is hosted on their own personal site, and they release their stuff in a number of different formats. More bands should take this route, it's entirely possible to use the internet without selling out!

Krumbled Kookie said...

Jake I think you misunderstand the position that Fell Voices takes on the internet and mp3's. Their myspace page states that they do not support the culture of instant gratification, and that's what mp3's represent. I had a conversation with Micheal from the band, via email, and he said this:

"we are not necessarily adverse to the listening of our songs on mp3 format; we simply hope that the listener would exert some effort on their own part to obtain the songs, i.e. reaching out, communicating, or even simply asking. I would hope that someone would actually want to listen to our music, rather than casually download it, skip through the tracks, and impatiently disregard it. While the auditory fidelity of vinyl is certainly unique, to me, the real value of it lies in the ritual involved in listening to a record. The conscious engagement (however minute it may be) necessary to flip a record over, midway through, and to lift the needle up at the end, are often helpful in forcing the impatient to devote some time and thought to an album. That said, if one's patience and genuine interest are evident in their communication and requests to hear the music via other means, then mp3s are just as suitable an avenue."

They simple prefer their music to be engaged rather than casually played, and considering the music they make, that makes all the sense in the world.

They're an amazing band, and of a different breed than most bands these days.

Micki Foster said...

Jake, Mohoram Atta released a split with Thou within the last year. Which has mike from fell voices in the band. small sound world.

also, with fell voices, it's not even about listening to their captured sound. they do what is rare these days and create an atmosphere far greater than anything captured and recorded, during their live rituals and performances. That is what they intend to do, to reach you whilst engulfing you in their actions during the moments in which they play in real life situations. as opposed to being another shitty pro-tools band of the current boring in the thrones room era of black metal garbage that's floating around. they're the real deal, a band that's great outside of the recording studio.

Jake said...

@KK, you're right, I did misunderstand their stance on MP3s. I totally get the idea behind the "ritual" involved in playing vinyl and why they wouldn't want that meaning to be completely compromised. So it's nice to hear that they aren't adverse to MP3s as long as there's sincerity in obtaining the music.

And Micki, trust me, I would love to see these guys live. For the moment though, this mp3 download is what I've got.

Anonymous said...

HIPSTER CRAP. FALSE.

SvartStøy said...

Awesome Record lucky enough to have picked this one up at a show.
THanks

Abandoned Grave said...

Fell Voices is playing a show upon a mountain top in the modest city of San Luis Obispo on August 28th. Email me at morktkvelden@gmail.com for more details.

Chris said...

If this is one of a handful, I'm very into what the rest of the hand contains?

Daniel said...

Muchos Gracias.

Romilar said...

Hi AESOP, the link is dead, please could you re-up ?
thanks!