Sounds from the darkness ( Deathwinds at Covenant Festival 2015)

Choice Cuts from the Shadows: Playlists for a Festive Weekend in Dark/Heavy Music

Sounds from the darkness ( Deathwinds at Covenant Festival 2015)

Sounds from the darkness ( Deathwinds at Covenant Festival 2015)

Today marks the official commencement of Vancouver’s Covenant Festival, an independent, community-focused celebration of underground heavy music and culture, now in its second year. Time has been in short supply here on the factory floor and our playlist of Covenant artists couldn’t come together in time; however we are happy to point readers to a pair of excellent playlists that should stoke the fires of their unholy enthusiasms:

The June 11, 2016 edition of CITR (101.9 FM)’s long-running Powerchord radio program highlighted several artists appearing at Covenant Festival, including Mystifier (technically a Covenant pre-show, but the band’s historic appearance with support from Tyrants Blood, Fornication, and Reverend Kill was clearly the unofficial festival launch.) Host Serena dutifully featured the new Auroch/Mitochondrion 7” split in its entirety and one’s anticipation for their sets this weekend is high after their successful east coast tour and appearance at Maryland Deathfest. (Tonight’s lineup at The Hindenburg also includes a pair of special performances on the basement stage, beginning at 8 p.m. with Harrow vocalist Ian Campbell’s solo project Crooked Mouth and then delving further into darkness with Randall Collier-Ford’s spectral ambient endeavor.)

Powerchord Radio

CITR’s Powerchord Radio program

Evidently nocturnal songstress Chelsea Wolfe also has a monthly podcast of her own on, called Hypnos Hour. The latest episode, Tung (Norwegian for “heavy music”) is a compelling survey of innovative heavy music acts from Neurosis to Sunn O))) (and our compliments for her inclusion of the latter’s “It Took the Night to Believe”, which remains a personal favourite of ours from the seminal Black One album.) Naturally what distinguishes this program from so many like it is Wolfe’s narration; those who have witnessed her live show can attest to the intangible nature of her stage presence so it is a novel experience to hear the artist up close and personal, as it were. Fortunately there is also real substance and inspired curation underlying the celebrity face of the program – Wolfe clearly has good taste in heavy music – with tracks from Sumac, Youth Code, and Helms Alee adding some fresh grit to the mix, Hypnos Hour is worth checking out.

Chelsea Wolfe's "Hypnos Hour" on RBMA Radio.

Chelsea Wolfe’s “Hypnos Hour” on RBMA Radio.

Stay tuned for photos and reviews of several recent gigs (Iron Kingdom, the inaugural Murderhaus show, Mystifier, Zoloa) as well as our coverage of the entire Covenant Festival weekend, coming up soon!