Who's Evoken? Oh that's just one of the greatest doom bands on the east coast - no, on the WHOLE COAST of the Americas - and one of the bands Craig Pillard has been involved with over the years. Who's Craig Pillard?
YOU FUCKING KNOW CRAIG PILLARD.
He was part of the Onward to Golgotha crew. (Oh and he's also in Disma.) And if it's OK with everyone I'm going to ignore the fact that he actually lives in Pennsylvania because NJ extreme metal wouldn't be the same without him. OK? OK. [ADDENDUM 11/10/11 - our hero shot me a note to say he actually lives in Central Jersey.]
Anyway we're just getting started.
Let's take the seemingly unrelated (but still New Jerseyan) Ossein. They released one metal album before going all experimental ambient. Not really my cup of tea. I don't have enough patience and/or drugs around to be able to sit through a 32-minute track that wanders from dreary black metal to log cabin acoustics to pot-and-pan atmospherics. But I'm no expert on this band because I've never actually sat through a whole album, not even the metal one. A few dudes have, and just explode from the pant seams about it, so I am just missing something.
Who else played in Seraphim Lament? Shawn Eldridge. See above.
Who else played in Necrofog AND Misanthropy Legion AND Angelcide? Maelstrom - who's currently plucking the strings in Abazagorath.
Okay, okay, you're not convinced this is anything spectacular. Metalcest is no new thing. Metalheads collaborate all the time. I hear you. Now check this out:
So let's explore some highlights in there. I'm going to skip Disma because everyone is talking about Disma and I won't have anything unique to say. Their new album crushes. There, done.
I think there's a little bit in here for everybody. Feelin' a little doomy? Here's the absolutely stellar Evoken. Classic doom styling with an occasional blast beat to make sure you're still paying attention. The discombobulating time signatures, clean picking over a filthy backbone of sonic imperialism, and graceful transitions had me at hello. I can't not love this.
Like filthy, violent, slow-torture death metal? Here's Womb, featuring 3/4 of the Onward to Golgotha era Incantation, including our hero, Pillard. As this Youtuber says, "Excellent gloomy atmosphere contained herein to ruin your day and raise the dead."
Like obscure late-80's rehearsal demos that sound like they were recorded in a windowless, moist, and spidery half-finished basement with someone's uncle's half-broken 4-track, but you know Pillard is in it so you force yourself to like it anyway? You're in luck, here's Carnage!
Like industrial melodic power black metalcore? I'm having a little trouble with it too, but here's Abysmal Gates, featuring bros from all over the NJ map.
So what did we learn today? Well, shit, I have no idea. I feel like DoomUnicorn after his neo-folk post from way back in October 2011. But this is what I found out:
-Craig Pillard is the Kevin Bacon of NJ extreme metal
-Chicks totally dig cool graphs
I'm now dreading the very real possibility that I am overlooking something totally obvious, or am leaving someone really famous out of this. Please feel free to lambast me accordingly in the comments. In the meantime cool off with a few honorable mentions and their respective Pillard Points.
Connection to Pillard? Dripping is on Necroharmonic Productions along with Womb. Craig Pillard is in Womb. 2 Pillard Points, cake!
Connection to Pillard? Okay this one gets a little hairy. Joshua Bowens is a former member of Helcaraxe. He also used to play with Kult of Azazel. Tony Laureano played live with Kult of Azazel and in 1998 played for heavy hitter revolving door Acheron. Kyle Severn is a current member of both Acheron and Incantation. Craig Pillard was in Incantation. 5 Pillard Points (I think...). Regardless, QED!