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Photos by Michael R. Batchelder
“…Mugwort comes bursting from the gate with their debut release… the desolate soundscape is composed, not so much by the lack of complexity and movement, but more so with the dissonance of the chord structures and tonality… The primal shrieks come riding in on the wings of fast trilling guitar in a higher register, causing the piece to turn from a driving sludgefeast to something more along the lines of early black metal… ” – Dylan Greene, The Portland Phoenix
Mugwort headline the evening at EMPIRE after a week-long tour in the northeast with Portland’s deathnoise unit, Nycterent.
“Sure, it may be Latin for “forest of trees,” but Sylvia more readily conjures some wiseacre aunt, not a burly group of veteran musicians trying to carve new notches in well-trod forms of heavy metal. On their 30-minute debut album, Sylvia act as a bridge between the cultures of riff-driven, mid-tempo heaviness that any pub-goer would crush a few to, and the more recent, thought-provoking strains of doom and black metal that have permeated US circles. This tension is constant over the self-titled album’s eight songs, pitting metal’s established elements — protracted riff-y buildups, moshy ripostes, and galloping bridges — against its newer, more dynamic ideas.” – Nicholas Schroeder, The Portland Phoenix
ALL NIGHT (Maine)
Although a new outfit to the Portland music scene, All Night is comprised of members who are veterans to heavy & dynamic rock/metal in Maine. Featuring Eric Brackett on guitar (formerly the drummer for Ocean), Sean Hadley on bass (of Conifer) and Michael Hutchins on drums (guitarist of Adamo and Lynx). Given the strength and vision of their roots, All Night promises not to disappoint.
NYCTERENT [NIK-tur-int] (Maine)
From the ashes of power electronics unit Erroraeon emerges Portland’s J.Morse with a reconfigured approach as Nycterent. This new format presents an overwhelming visual/lighting stimulus synchronized with its eclectic noise/sampling audio component – embraces a ritualistic presentation – while engaging concepts of paranoia, claustrophobia and irretrievable loss. Nycterent’s debut – a split recording with Portland dark ambient outfit Scrotal Tear – will see release this autumn via a joint effort by Slave Indvstries Collective and Last Mercy Emissions.