Where Wasps Now Nest – David Porter and Gareth Nash of Ageless Oblivion

AO Photo by John See

Ageless Oblivion, photo credit John See

After their triumphant set at Bloodstock 2015, Ghost Cult grabbed Ageless Oblivion’s David Porter and Gareth Nash for a few words about the show itself, the festival, plans for the near future and the new sound in death metal. Oh, and why camping is shit.

The significance of Bloodstock Festival as the biggest genuine metal festival in the UK by some margin, cannot be understated, but despite it’s growth it has never lost track of those in the underground and the cutting edge, truly giving a bit of everything for everyone.

With their festival debut early Saturday afternoon on the Sophie Stage, London based Ageless Oblivion are representative of this notion as they bludgeon the packed tent with their brand of death metal which is thought provoking, and even quite prog, but is still as vicious as the swarms of wasps on site (well, almost).  Catching up with the band afterwards and guitarists David Porter and Gareth Nash both seem very happy.

With Bloodstock in its 10th year, many of the UK’s younger metal bands have more than likely been a part of the festivals audience at some stage, and Ageless Oblivion are no different with Gareth stating he has been coming since 2008.

“It’s awesome to be able to play here,” Nash opines, “especially on the Sophie Stage. I just like the atmosphere here, good bands, just a lot of good times to be had.”

David Porter continues: “Bast were amazing. They are good friends of ours and live, everytime we see them, like when we toured with them back in November they were kick ass then, and they are fucking amazing now.”

Nash: “I checked out Enslaved, we watched Hang The Bastard, Conan…”

Porter: “I think one highlight for me was Raging Speedhorn. When I was 14 they were my band, they were the ones that introduced me to the heavier stuff. Through them I discovered the likes of Iron Monkey, Charger, Will Haven, and then I ended up getting in to death metal, so to see them live again after so long was, for me, quite a lot of fun.”

Gareth Nash https://www.facebook.com/agelessoblivion

Not that festival life is all sunshine and roses for Porter… “I will say this, I think camping is one of the most overrated things in life. I don’t know, if you enjoy going to bed in a fridge and waking up in a fucking oven, being dirty and dehydrated for four days then that’s fine, everyone’s entitled to what they like.” 

With the lineup changes that saw drummer Rich Wilshire out and Noah See join the fold, and now Bloodstock under their belt, it seems things are once again settled. Having the salivating prospect of touring with New Zealand’s underground heroes Ulcerate (alongside Bell Witch) on the horizon clearly excites both of them.

Porter explains how it came about, with a huge grin. “That was a surprise actually. I opened up the band inbox one day and there was an email from Jamie Saint Merat (drummer and founding member of Ulcerate) just saying “We are touring the UK in November, do you fancy joining it?”

And we were like “What?! OK!” Ulcerate for me are a big influence, and Bell Witch as well are just filth, so looking forward to seeing them as well.”

With one of the most tantalizing tour lineups of the tail end of the year, it also highlights a seemingly growing trend in death metal; bands that focus on creating haunting, nauseating atmospherics along with sheer heaviness. Ageless Oblivion are definitely a part of, and share aesthetics with, that group. “I think there is a bit of a movement going on now. There are a lot of death metal bands that create that absolute dread, that complete oppressive, super dark sound. It’s amazing we get put in the same bracket as the likes of Gorguts and Ulcerate,” Porter enthues “but I think the trick is that we just want to create an atmosphere. We play death metal but we are influenced by the likes of Cult Of Luna, Neurosis and on the death metal side Decapitated and Nile.


“We want to create that feeling like when you watch Neurosis live and they are all encompassing. You cannot ignore them, they have that atmosphere and that’s what we are trying to achieve but through a death metal format.”

The upcoming Ulcerate tour also represents a new thing for Ageless Oblivion; a tour where they don’t stick out like a sore thumb, unlike in the past. “This is our problem – we don’t fit in. We can tour with a bunch of fucking, full on death metal bands and some nights you play a show and people love it, other nights they are waiting for that traditional death metal sound which just doesn’t happen with us.

“On the reverse when we tour with Bast we are playing to a lot of doom fans, so when we do the death metal bits it gets lost on people. But again I think that’s one of our strengths, we don’t fit in; it means we are doing something a bit different.”

In fact it is pretty clear how unique a place Ageless Oblivion take on the UK extreme metal scene that they can take such tours with the likes of Bast to straight up death metal bands like Dyscarnate, Hate Eternal and Aeon in their time. Penthos is a prime example of where they take death metal to different, hypnotic and terrifying realms, and is a groundwork that Nash states they are working on further on the under progress third album. “I think by the time this will come out, Penthos would have been out a couple of years so people would have been able to digest that enough to expect something a little but different, and just from the ideas we’ve got. It will be a lot heavier and more diverse and vile.”



Ingested – The Architect of Extinction


Ever since they emerged onto the UK death metal scene back in 2006 like a hungry chest-burster from the Alien films, Manchester’s Ingested have been the band to turn to for straight-up brutality. After early flirtations with deathcore on debut album Surpassing the Boundaries of Human Suffering and the slightly weak follow-up The Surreption, the band seem to have nailed a truly killer sound on third full-length The Architect of Extinction (all Siege of Amida Records).

Opening tracks ‘The Divine Right of Kings’ and ‘Narcissistic Apathy’ are both finely tuned monstrosities that are solely interested in repeatedly smashing you over the head with a selection of vicious, pacy riffs and clattering blasts of percussion. The main influence here is strictly the new school of death metal with an appreciation of Aborted and Whitechapel evident in the songwriting. This is further demonstrated by the barely restrained fury of ‘Endless Despondency’ which utilises every trick in the book to get heads banging and roundhouse kicks flying in equal measure.

While this ‘more is more’ approach is undeniably a forceful one, there is always the danger that this method can render proceedings dull as atmosphere and nuance gets sacrificed for the sake of bludgeon. Thankfully Ingested avoid falling into this trap by varying things up a bit such as on the moody ‘I, Despoiler’ and post-metal flavoured instrumental ‘Penance’ which provides an interesting sidestep into more leftfield territory. However, the searing heaviness returns with a vengeance on later tracks such as ‘Extinction Event’ which really allows powerhouse drummer Lyn Jeffs to show off his chops.

For those seeking an instant way to blow away their New Years hangovers, Ingested are the perfect tonic. They’re the equivalent of a kebab shop stabbing; horrible, shocking and over before you know it and The Architect of Extinction is as vicious as anything else out on the street right now.



Ingested on Facebook



The Official Ghost Cult Writers Albums of the Year Top 50: 40-31

The countdown to the Official Ghost Cult Magazine Album of the Year for 2014 continues. Please consume and enjoy the results of our 2014 Writers’ Poll. We hope it will introduce you to some of the incredible works of art you may have missed that we have had the immense pleasure of listening to and writing about this year.

In our second installment we bring you albums 40 through to 31


jfac-new-album-cover-400x40040. JOB FOR A COWBOY – Sun Eater (Metal Blade) 

“Evolution from deathcore to a more compact, yet technical, death metal…  complex and melodic structures accompany a diversified approach” DIOGO FERREIRA 7/10 Full review here





39. AGELESS OBLIVION – Pethos (Siege of Amida / Century Media)

Marrying both technical and atmospheric forms of Death Metal, Ageless Oblivion create their own brand of chilling yet punishing aggression, presented in a show of impressive progression.





Killer-Be-Killed-Killer-Be-Killed-400x40038. KILLER BE KILLED – Killer Be Killed (Nuclear Blast)

“Cavalera, Puciato, Sanders, and Elitch put their stamp on this recording, making a memorable, political-flavored, heavy album that certainly lives up to the hype” KEITH ‘KEEFY’ CHACHKES 8.5/10 Full review here





37. AEVANGELIST – Writhes In The Murk (Debemur Morti)

“If you’re able to get past the initial disorientation and look inside, you’ll find an album that follows its own perverse ambition flawlessly, with not a shred of compromise, dilution or failure” RICHIE HR 10/10 Full review here





36. FEN – Carrion Skies (Code666)

“Fen are the rawer, rockier, more achingly human cousin to Tombs’ Neurosis-driven thunder, and among the richest and most emotionally expressive Metal albums of 2014” RICHIE HR 9/10 Full review here





35. JUDAS PRIEST – Redeemer of Souls (Epic/Columbia)

“Judas Priest has released a retrospective that nods to their career, recalling everything that has made them genuine legends of our metal world, Redeemer Of Souls has a beautifully warm and classic Priest feel”. STEVE TOVEY 8.5/10 Full review here



CW_418_lowRes-630x63034. COFFINWORM – IV.I.VIII (Profound Lore)

The phrase “Doom” doesn’t do justice to the ugly, polluted, measured sludgy bludgeon of IV.I.VIII; a beautifully horrible record of nihilistic malevolence, that dissolves doom, death, black and sludge in its fetid path.




trap-them-blissfucker-400x40033. TRAP THEM – Blissfucker (Prosthetic)

“My advice? If you have never listened to Trap Them, get on this bandwagon before these guys run you over with it”. TIM LEDIN 8/10 Full review here



yaitw_album32. YOUNG AND IN THE WAY – When Life Comes To Death (Deathwish Inc)

The hardest of hardcore punk fused with the blackest of Darkthrone’s black metal offspring, creating a crusty hell in aural format.



against-me-transgender-dysphoria-blues31. AGAINST ME! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues (Total Treble)

The gutsy pop-punk outfit release a cathartic biographical concept album of frontwoman Laura Jane Grace’s experiences for their sixth album.




Ghost Cult ‘Albums Of The Year’ 50-41 here

Compiled by Steve Tovey

Hang The Bastard – Sex in the Seventh Circle




Picture the scene. It’s a slate grey sky and a howling wind. It’s a Saturday lunchtime and you have a hangover straight out of the lower reaches of Hades. Going to watch a band might be the last thing on your mind. But this is what I’m doing at the UK Hammerfest Festival in North Wales. And what a great decision this was. The band in question were Hang The Bastard who proceeded to tear me and all the lucky souls who had clambered out of their sleep pits a proverbial new one, rip our collective faces off and send our hangovers back to their sulphuric origins. Marvellous stuff.

It’s these fond memories of face-ripping and adrenaline surges that preface the listening of this new opus and this fledgling band’s second full length album. The charmingly monikered Sex in the Seventh Circle (SOAR/Century Media) is as pumped up as a steroid doping muscleman, as gnarly as an old tree branch and full of gusto and effervescent promise. If you wanted a decent example of what heavy metal sounds like today then you could do much worse than land here.

Sex in the Seventh Circle is respectful of its heavy metal lineage but not to the extent that it is a mere facsimile of a Black Sabbath album; on the contrary, there are more riffs here than you can shake a particularly sticky stick at; riffs that Crowbar or Down would be very pleased to call their own but there’s loads more going on than praying at the Iommi altar.

On the opening track ‘Keeping Vigil’, the band conjur such a spectacular cacophony of noise and bludgeoning intent that you worry that by throwing everything, including (if you listen hard enough) the kitchen sink, into four minutes of throat grabbing attention that they won’t have anything left for the rest of the album.

Ye of little faith, listener. Whilst ‘…Vigil’ is a serious statement of intent, it is by no means the high point of the record. The aural swampy stew that is ‘The Majestic Gathering of Goetia’ wears its New Orleans sludge like a freshly inked tattoo whilst I dare you – I absolutely double and triple dare you – not to headbang during the glorious title track. There, I can see you doing it already.

It would not be responsible of me to pass up this review without making comment on Tomas Hubbard’s astonishing vocal performance. To say it is marmite is an understatement. It is probably the defining sound of the record but also the element that will enrage as many as it delights. From guttural roar through to black metal-esque screeching, one can be in little doubt that there are not many bands that sound like this. To these ears, that is part of this band’s charm. It would be really easy to put together a record with plenty of clean singing, big choruses and so forth but then Hang The Bastard would end up sounding like every other band around who have a copy of Never Say Die.

It is testimony to their self-belief and their ambition that they have created a record that sounds this distinctive and so self-evidently contentious. It’s clear that Hang The Bastard want to sound like one band only- and that’s Hang the Bastard. ‘Sex in the Seventh Circle’ has echoes of stoner, doom, sludge and classic metal easing through its grooves- so what? At the end of the day ‘Sex in the Seventh Circle’ is, labels aside, proper, heavy, grown up fun.



Hang The Bastard on Facebook



Malevolence – Reign Of Suffering


They present themselves as being one of UK’s fastest rising crossover bands and by that they mean: “the hype around our band made us go up a few stair steps and that was translated to loads of pressure for our debut full length”. Being that the “circus” surrounding the release of Reign Of Suffering (Siege of Amida Records), their debut album, there was an expectation and important question that needed to be asked: will the album justify all the hype? The answer for that question is… No! The quintet from Sheffield is far from being what we were expecting.


These eight tracks, with 35 minutes of pure groove and technicality, are, for the most part, just a simple emulation of their influences with little hints of hope, because of the evident talent that they carry and offer. Showing mad love for bands like Hatebreed, Lamb of God, Terror and At The Gates, the band made a record that’s an amalgam of their most direct influences, ruling out the possibility of Malevolence having a sound that truly stands out of the crowd. Even their most compelling and exciting track, the seven minutes epic that’s ‘Turn To Stone’, has other bands names written all over the place. This time we can talk about Pantera and Down. Basically with Reign of Suffering we have a band with talent that’s trying to find the character that will be essential if they want to be the leaders of the metal-hardcore-crossover genre. They need time to mature, that’s for sure.


Malevolence on Facebook

Tiago Moreira