Working on my 6th article now. Maybe issue 10 will have more articles than interviews. While this is happening, I highly recommend checking out one of my best discoveries of this year, Condemnatio Cristi from Slovenia. I'm still unsure of the ideology of the band but At Peace With War and Dreamcrusher are both superb...
Five articles written so far for the next issue. Convivial Hermit will continue to buck the lazy and boring trend of interview-only zines as long as it continues to survive in this cruel and stupid world.
Happy Diwali to all Indian readers! May Kali cleanse this earth!
The Convivial Hermit Facebook page will be deleted permanently this month. Incredibly, FB has made the decision to FORCE people to wait a specified amount of time before doing this, which gives all the more reason to completely leave. I think I can speak for Bertrand when I say that we at Convivial Hermit extend a large middle finger to the face of Mark Zuckerberg and the millions of emo/edgelord trolls, political extremists (both left and right), peddlers of lies and conspiracies, and irredeemable narcissists populating this vile garbage site.
Not only do I support the mask mandate, I'd extend it to a full bag over the head, with a sock in the mouth to prohibit any public cranial air expulsions. All joking (?) aside: I want to thank Owen of Cryptic Murmurings (UK) this day for sending me all 3 issues of his zine. From the pages I've seen so far it seems like a humorous and entertaining creation, suffused with the underground spirit (including a warning that no spellcheck is used!). Mor exploratian to kome...
The 3 Apolion Genocide's demos from the 90s were my favorite discoveries from 2020. Now they are setting up for the next album and it sounds... fucking... great! Listen to it here! My plan is to interview them and Blestema for the next issue... if they both agree, of course! All hail the Colombian gods...
New Funeral preview tracks stink... this is a different band completely from when Einar was involved. And new Mulla album (band whose release topped my Top list for 2020) and single is the worst crap they ever recorded. Rift comeback album was a bore... Apophis a disappointment minus one track and a few riffs on another. Runeshard and Famishgod returns both mediocre. Dornenreich recorded their worst album, Darkthrone down the tubes, Unleashed new album a joke... Mesarthim completely boring copy and paste of the past, Sickle of Dust least interesting album to date... 2021 metal fucking BLOWS...
Slowly zine reviews are adding up for #10 but thus far I have not yet started any interviews. I like to do all of them in quick succession but feel it's not yet time. It's hard to get inspired with so many disappointing reunion albums and comebacks and the generally very low quality of newer bands spilling forth on the market... 2021 has been a total crap year for new music, generally speaking.
Fuck Facebook and social media. As simple as that. I was hoping it would be down permanently... but it went back up. Such a shame.
Convivial Hermit Magazine wishes all readers a happy Blasphemy Day. CFI has set up a page where donations can be made to support the fight against enemies of reality poisoning life on this world today; donations can be made here: Secular Rescue. If you reach a certain threshold you become a member and receive a subscription to Free Inquiry or Skeptical Inquirer magazines, both superb publications challenging false traditional beliefs and intuitions and championing objectivity and scientific facts.
Anyone who has read Convivial Hermit from the beginning knows how much I love Skepticism and the early Finnish metal scene. Today listened to the new Skepticism album and it does not disappoint. Very interesting and eclectic creation pointing to an earlier time and perhaps a parallel dimension when metal did not become so over-saturated and generic as much of it is now. Another achievement, and a victory.
Hells Headbangers have restocked all available issues. I see the rare reprint of the first issue was already snatched up! Makes me wonder whether I should reprint them officially, along with issues 2 and 3...
What a weekend for American black metal... both Wolves In The Throne Room and Woman Is The Earth release new albums, both on the same day. WITE picked up from Thaw (unfortunately) with the same rather sterile execution, mastered by Plotkin now, moving further from their roots... I congratulate them for steering their ship in a new direction to find their voice, but WITE's amped up post-hardcore sound (some say "blackgaze" but I hear Neurosis here mainly) is no longer of interest to me. WITTR, meantime, bring forth what I consider their best album to date. Never feeling the hype of this Olympian band over the years I was uncharacteristically moved by the Mountain Magick song online and the rest of the tracks prove to be of no less epic quality! Relapse obviously invested a lot into this album as shown in the beautiful layout (and in contrast to the bare bones WITE presentation of one panel digipak) and recording quality. Damn nice, overall. Congrats to both of them, even if WITE have now left me behind.
Finally received the new version of Convivial Hermit #9 from England and it looks spectacular! The A4 format is unquestionably superior to the American 8x11 letter format in multiple ways. I suppose I'll enumerate the pros and cons. Cons first, all minor: no glossy cover and not as much clarity in the fonts as in the original, but larger fonts cancel this out; paper is also thinner than I expected. Not a big deal. Pros: thicker and deeper black ink, larger pages, a good 30 grams lighter, all of the improvements discussed before with images and text. Pros outweigh the cons for sure, and it's only to be expected that every printer is a little different than the other. I'll say it again, if you are in the UK or ordering from CND, check it out. Great job to the printers and Dayal for all of his work, thank you.
I despise summer and cannot wait for it to end. I'm counting the days until the cold winds blow and the noisy meat outside is sucked back indoors. In the meantime, for an autumn mood I highly recommend to my follow hermits to check Ornamentos del Miedo's 2nd album here. Quite a worthy follow up from this great band! I recommend it!
Restock at Hell's Headbangers of issues 9, 8 and 7 (last copies) coming in a week or two. There will also be a copy of the rare issue 1. Ask them to reserve if you are interested.
Issue #7 is now officially sold out from my side. Thanks to everyone for your support!
Just discovered this old release from 1996. I cannot recommend this enough... somehow Arcturus's Aspera Hiems Symfonia comes to mind, maybe with a bit of Hieronymous Bosch. Newer bands wish they could write one riff that this band writes a hundred of in this album. Friggin' awesome...
A lot of news this week. The latest today is that all available issues of Convivial Hermit will soon be in stock in Sunshine Ward Recordings in New Jersey. This is a fairly young American label with a very decent selection of cassettes and other formats at good prices. Check it out and support them!
2nd print run of Convivial Hermit #9, in A4 format, is now available from Cult Never Dies in the UK! This is a new version with larger fonts and images, typo fixes, several layout improvements and the missing Infernal Curse interview. Order now here! I will update the latest issue section later with a link.
Brand new interview (in French) with Convivial Hermit has just been published in Obskure Magazine . Greetings to all French readers! The saga continues, tout à fait...
As we continue to review new zines we are excited to report that Waldhalla has made a return with issue 5, one of the finest German zines around! We encourage all our German readers to pick up this excellent magazine now - Bestellt sofort, ihr Arschlöcher!
Drakkar Records in France have agreed to stock Convivial Hermit issues 8 and 9. Thanks to Noktu for a very simple and easy transaction. The issues should be available in several weeks in his distro. Merci Noktu, et Vive la France!
While the new edition of Convivial Hermit #9 is rolling in the print shop, I want to make several new recommendations to my readers:
The new Dimentianon "Dreaming Yuggoth" from my friend Mike from Paragon Records is easily the best recording the band has ever made, recalling the best atmospheric US death metal works from the 90s with a touch of old Gathering (Netherlands). I highly recommend it!
Also I have been completely absorbed with Blestema and Animas Defunctorum from Colombia (both headed by the same person). I have rarely heard BM sound as genuine and beautiful as this in recent years! This is pure BM, no bullshit, early second wave worship on steroids with vocals reminding of fucking Xharathorn from Spain, one of my faves from the mid-90s. Huge recommendation.
After many years of losing touch I am back in contact with my old brother in metal Ray Miller of Metal Curse Zine/Cursed Productions/Adversary. Ray published my first ever interview in Metal Curse back in 1997 or so. After so long I was glad to see that he is alive and well and still listening to the good stuff. Go check out his page and catalog, it hasn't been updated in a while but it is all up to date, you might find something rare and interesting: http://cursedproductions.com/
P.S. Files for Convivial Hermit #9.0.1 (A4 Edition) have been approved and are on their way to the shop in the UK!
Convivial Hermit #9, A4 edition will be available this summer via Cult Never Dies, pre-order available now here: Convivial Hermit #9! Photos pictured are from the old version which is smaller than the new one. New version has not been printed yet! Will put a notice up as soon as it's available.
A small update on the most depressing day of the year with the beginning of dreaded summer in the northern hemisphere. Our list of reviewed zines is growing, with a big pile of zines still waiting to be read. I am still working with Dayal on the technicalities of printing up the A4 version. It seems like it's still a go but facing delays. Listening to Agalirept's 1997 and 1999 demos, Thor's Hammer discography, Norden and the new Graveland to get me in a wintry mood... though before long I'll probably be putting on Disgorge and Deeds of Flesh as my regular summer listening... the higher the temperature, the more brutal the sound must be, naturally!
Updated the distro list which has been out of date for a while.
Completed the A4 version of Convivial Hermit 9. The layout has been reshaped for the taller pages, missing Infernal Curse interview incorporated, a few interview layouts revamped, several typoze fixed, contents page fixed, fonts made larger throughout all pages, a few of the full page ads updated, web site address added to the CH ads - an overall better presentation, I think. Probably will have to do some changes to the covers or border image before it gets accepted in the shop in England, we'll see...
Rest In Peace to Jack at Noise Pollution in downtown Philly. He was a fighter to the end, always kind to me when I dropped in with my shit to sell. Hopefully the legacy lives on in some way or other in the future and the space is not converted to some trendy Yogurt shop or phone store.
A bit shocked to see that Darkthrone is preparing on their next album to rip off the art from Zephyrous's timeless 1994 classic, Entrance and Wandering on the Seven Zones! Sure, given enough time another artist would have blindly made use of this image, but Darkthrone must have been aware of its antecedents? To see this art on another moronic improvised/drunken Motorhead/Celtic Frost rip off album of sloppy crap riffs with asinine lyrics about graves of the 80s and minimum wage working class is too much for me to bear... at the very least I can hope that they return to some semblance of their 2nd wave roots? Though I think that is next to impossible. Did I just alienate everyone reading this? How about this: Darkthrone hasn't recorded a good album in 20 years and should have done what Zephyrous did in the late 90s and quit before it got any worse, which it did.
2021.01.19The limited Convivial Hermit #9.1 booklet is sold out as of today. I've put a link in the Latest Issue section for those who'd like to download the PDF.
2021.01.18Received an amazing new package from one of my favorite labels, Pest Productions from China! Already listened to half of the material and even the stuff that I don't like tends to be interesting! New Holyarrow is KILLER and finally have the last Zuriaake and Pilgrim Soul In You (my favorite neofolk find from last year) on CD which makes me happy. Was impressed also with Dopamine, Vengeful Spectre and (surprise) the final Tengger Cavalry album. So much superb stuff... a good part will be reviewed. Deng, never give it up, my brother! Find the Pest site here: Pest Productions
2021.01.09As the country rebounds from a failed coup attempt, and we all slide deeper into the bowels of insanity, we bring news just a tad brighter: Hell's Headbangers will soon be restocking issues 1, 7, 8, and 9, and Klaxon Records from California has just placed an order (the check en route to us for months!) for the latest issue. We thank these Proud Patriots for their service. We love you. You're very special!
2021.01.01Happy new year to all readers! We won't complain about 2020; instead, we'll offer our list of top albums which you can catch in the About section.
2020.12.16Got an amazing package today in the mail from Waldemar of Morbid Chapel Records. This is one of the truly old-school dudes with real integrity and fire for the underground. You don't get that often now with all of the fakes and corporate whores on every corner. Check out the label when you can!
2020.12.14Discovered today that Tyranny from China, interviewed in issue 9, released a new collaboration EP with the Silent Elegy vocalist. If you are as much a weakling for Asian melodic metal and vocals as we are, you will agree that it is beautiful. Listen to it here 枉凝眉 , and check out the entire Coldwoods roster while you are at it, particularly Holyarrow and Rerthro!
2020.12.13Added some of my art to the gallery page, including a few images unpublished in early Convivial Hermit issues. A lot of this stuff is old, outside of the Nietzsche Hummer, which is dedicated to Justin Ward, wherever he is. BTW, a big thank you to Joe at Digital Ferret again (I can't thank him enough) for the recent restock in downtown Philly!
2020.12.01Siren Records in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, is now stocking copies of Convivial Hermit #9. Siren is a great store in a nice town that demands a visit if you are ever in the area, about an hour drive from downtown Philadelphia, just across from the great County Theater which will hopefully open again next year. Thanks to the owner, Blair, who has supported our work for many years. You will not be forgotten in the halls of our eternal march to glory.
2020.11.25Today visited the Cave of Kelpius in Philadelphia, the so-called Hermit's Cave where a group of doomsday cultists supposedly congregated in the late 17th century. I'll be writing about it in an article in the next issue.
2020.11.22Feeling unusually misanthropic... even more misanthropic than I usually am, at the tail end of this weekend. Bouvet Island and Tristan da Cunha seem particularly charming right now. But while my dream of ending my contact with civilization will probably not come to pass today, this weekend, or indeed ever, we have some good news: Black and Read in Colorado will soon be stocking the 9th issue of Convivial Hermit. Thank you to Kari and Derek for their investment in what will prove to be an ingenious addition to their stock portfolio. Owen, I will reach out to you when it is there. Finally the redemption is in sight.
2020.11.12For readers in New Zealand, Convivial Hermit #9 is now being distributed domestically in Centennial Conflict. Thanks, Ross!
2020.11.07Hells Headbangers is finally stocking Convivial Hermit #9, find it here. This one we were unsure of for a long time as there are some really, really obnoxious and unfriendly people working in their warehouse (by the name of Justin, watch out for this prick if you talk to anyone there). Not sure if we will work with HH in the future for this reason but it's in stock there now for anyone interested.
2020.11.02On this fearful day we are proud to announce that Convivial Hermit #9 is now available officially in France from Dead Seed Productions. Please check it out: http://store.deadseedproductions.com/products/683446-the-convivial-hermit-issue-9-en?fbclid=IwAR3irx5GdIhx86ac8dkifNOk-IRYe1EFJ9TlnixYDpY4WmQGitG-ZYTVy1g
2020.11.02A pair of good news today. After a long wait Convivial Hermit #9 is now officially available for worldwide distribution from our fine-feathered friends at Bleeding Heart Nihilist Productions! You can find it here: https://www.bleedingheartnihilist.de/books/de/shop/fanz . Also, Cult Never Dies has received copies and is now ready to spread the gospel in and around the British isles: https://cultneverdies.myshopify.com/collections/fanzines-magazines/products/the-convivial-hermit-issue-9-underground-metal-and-culture-publication
2020.10.30Sound Exchange in Houston Texas is now stocking issue 9! Thanks to Kurt and others for their support of our strange scribblings!
2020.10.12Issue 9 is now stocked at Noise Pollution Records in downtown Philadelphia. We send our best wishes to Jack who is undergoing chemo for cancer and thank him for his support.
#2 If anyone has been wondering about the missing Infernal Curse interview, we've uploaded a link to it here - Infernal Curse Interview TCH9 and are working on printing up the pages professionally and including them as an insert in future mailings. We apologize to this great unholy band and anyone who was paying attention!
2020.09.27Read an old interview with me conducted by our friend Brad of Nocturnal Cult Magazine here: http://www.nocturnalcult.com/Convivialhermitint.htm
2020.09.26Thanks to Joe and Chris at Digital Ferret in downtown Philadelphia Convivial Hermit #9 is now being stocked in the store. If you're in the area, put on your mask, down a bottle of Chlorox and get over there!
Includes shipping, free color poster and a bonus booklet with reviews and more weirdness! Overseas ordering coming soon via Bleeding Heart Nihilist Productions. It may still be possible to order in other countries, just pricey. Get in touch!
2020.09.22Final copies of issue #9 will be retrieved from the print shop this week! American customers will be able to order through me directly very soon. Orders from other countries will unfortunately have to wait a bit longer as I get issues over to my distributors abroad. We have many issues we're dealing with.
2020.09.21Remember to practice antisocial distancing.
2020.09.17First version of website launched. Welcome to this solitary kingdom.