EYE OPENED ON AGALLOCH’S NEW RECORD ‘THE SERPENT AND THE SPHERE’

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Acclaimed Pacific Northwest metal band Agalloch released yesterday the new album “The Serpent & The Sphere,” a follow-up to 2010’s “Marrow Of The Spirit.”
This new record sees the band take their progressive musical oeuvre to another level, all while maintaining the classic Agalloch sound. It is an album that reveals the band’s darkest, most meticulously crafted, and atmospherically surging work of their seventeen-year career.
Captured by legendary producer/engineer Billy Anderson at Cloud City Studios in Portland, Oregon (and mixed by Anderson likewise at Everything Hz), “The Serpent & The Sphere” represents the most glorious sounding Agalloch album to date. Making a guest appearance is guitarist Nathanaël Larochette of Canadian neo-folk band Musk Ox who wrote and provided the album’s acoustic interludes.

Profund Lore Records.com

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‘METAL CATS’ BY ALEXANDRA CROCKETT

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Metal Cats combines two amazing subjects: the extreme personalities of the metal music scene and their adorable kitties. These incredibly cute and fluffly felines have been photographed with their loving owners in and around the dark abodes of over 100 musicians, fans, and promoters of metal including members of the bands Black Goat, Thrones, Isis, Lightning Swords of Death, Winterthrall, Wizards of Wor, The Cauterized, Book of Black Earth, Skarp, Harassor, Akimbo, Aldebaran, Atriarch, Oak, Ghoul, Ludicra, Holy Grail, Xasthur, Cattle Decapitation, Murder Construct, Exhumed, Anhedonist, Morbid Angel, Municipal Waste, Skeletonwitch, Gypsyhawk, Nausea, Phobia, Napalm Death.

The metal scene is known for its love of dark, depressing, and disturbing imagery and ideas, and its fans are often characterized as violent, hateful, and misanthropic. Metal Cats is hard evidence that while the music may be brutal, the people in the scene are softies for their pets just like everyone and sometimes more.

A portion of the proceeds from this book and a series of benefit shows held along the West Coast will go towards one no-kill shelter in each of the four main cities visited.

Alexandra Crockett is a freelance photographer and jeweler based in Seattle. Originally from southern New Jersey, Alexandra has photographed people in the metal scene up and down the West Coast. She studied at university in Sweden as well as the United States, and has a dual life in both the art and music scene and academia.

BUY ‘METAL CATS’ NOW

PowerhouseArena.com

BUZLUDZHA THROUGH THE LENS OF ROMAIN VEILLON

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Roman Veillon is a photographer obsessed with disuse and abandonment. A previous journey took him to the sand-ridden Namibian ghost town Kolmanskop, and his website is awash with photos of theme parks left to ruin and industrial sites worked into submission.

Last month he visited the Buzludzha Monument, a building built in 1981 by Bulgarian communists. It sits atop a 1441 metre peak in the Balkan mountains, surrounded by open space, hilly terrain and miles and miles of nothingness. The monument itself looks straight out of old sci–fi – a beacon of an intended future and a place evidently designed to represent a future greatness.

This monument is the biggest ideological building in Bulgaria. Several access roads were built (today in a really bad shape) from Shipka and from the main road Stara Zagora – Roussée. The road exit for Buzludzha is a gigantic statue of Dimitar Blagoev).
The construction was made possible thanks to government funds and supporters’ donations for an amount of around 14.186.000 leva (actual 7.000.000 €). The site was built by civil engineering troops from the Bulgarian army and volunteers. The master builder was General Delcho Delchev who was in charge of the Stara Zagora civil engineering section. The author of this project was the architect Guéorguy Stoilov. Several famous painters and sculptors have participated to the decoration.
Ever since the superseding of Bulgarian president Todor Givkovand and the political changes that occurred in Bulgaria from 1989, the state of the monument has been worsening. portraits of Ludmila and Todor Givkov have been voluntarily destroyed. The copper adornments have been stolen. The building is slowly disintegrating; marauders are consistently breaking windows and stealing mosaics and ornaments. Nowadays, the monument is abandoned and no public institution seems to be concerned by the conservation of renovation of the buildingThe Bulgarian socialist party itself is not taking any action towards the maintenance of its most important symbol.The big star has been perforated by gunshots because it was thought to be made out of ruby.
Doors are now closed to the public. Legend has it that buried somewhere within the Buzludzha Monument’s concrete structure is a time capsule that outlines its significance for any future generations who are wondering why their ancestors built a building so surreal in design.

Roman Veillon main site

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