cast a circle of snow and springblood

On the summer solstice, my band Moss of Moonlight released its second album, a creature birthed from the frozen muck that clings to the gnarly roots of Yggdrasil.  We call it Winterwheel.

It’s an EP, though this designation has caused a bit of confusion among listeners, because it’s a FORTY-TWO MINUTE EP.   Nevertheless, we’re sticking by our word.  If Moonsorrow’s Tulimyrsky can be an hour, eight minute and sixteen seconds long, then ours can be forty two minutes.

What we’re saying is that EPs can be defined not only by length, but by concept, too.  Our music is typically geographic in nature (dirty metal?) because we write about our home, Cascadia, and the narratives that stem from its hoary heart (and our own).  However, Winterwheel is a momentary step to the side.  It’s an album, but a ritual, too.  It’s a cyclic study of our past, of Anglo Saxon Paganism, and an attempt to give it meaning in a modern context.  In other words, we aren’t just trying to eat, regurgitate the same shiit, and eat it again–we’re eating the past for perspective, to craft something new.  Did we succeed?  I recommend listening to the album and deciding for yourself.  Because frostbite is fun!

Anyway, the point is that Winterwheel is what it is because it’s a bit different than our usual material.  Forty two minutes it may be, but it’s still an EP.  Which is completely okay, because Wikipedia (that venerable sage of impregnable wisdom) says so:

…the definition of an EP is not determined only by the number of tracks or the playing time; an EP is typically seen as four (or more) tracks of equal importance, as opposed to a four-track single with an obvious A-side and three B-sides…

If you want to know  more about Winterwheel, you can read these interviews, where we run at the mouth and probably sound silly and pretentious (though we really hope not).  Interview #1 is at Sword Chant (you’ll have to scroll down a bit).  #2 is at A Different Shade of Black.

Anyway, people seem to be using their ears properly, gnashing up the snowscapes of Winterwheel with their cochlear tongues and teeth.  Count Blagorath likes it:

And so does Alex Rosenberg:

Also, Sorrow Eternal reviewed Winterwheel, and said good things about us on their 89th podcast. We were also #2 on their Best EPs of 2013 (so far).  There’s a bunch of other reviews, but we’re probably the only ones obsessed enough to read them all.  If you’re curious, I find Google to be quite helpful.  Or you can contact me, because I’m like Smaug, only I have a narcissistic hoard of links, instead of shiny things.

when art just won't leave you alone

When it comes to food, sex and traffic lights, I’m patient.  I don’t get road rage, except in the context of environmental mauling.  But when it comes to art, food, and sex, I’m impatient.  I’ve been working on a shirt design for Moss of Moonlight’s upcoming album, Winterwheel.  This was the first design:

winterwheelshirtdesign015

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Yeah, I know: meh.  The rosehip works great for the album cover, especially since it’s a photo.  What lies above was the result of me riffing on said photo.  I’ll be honest: it’s kind of shiit.  And definitely not something I’d ask people to pay for and wear.  I should have known this before I put it in ink.  But sometimes I get patience and impatience confused with obsession.

So I got as far as the above, even scanned it into Paint Tool Sai, started digitizing the lineart–and woke up.  Got my hand to stop, because I knew all along what I was doing was wrong.  I had to start over.

I slept on it, woke up again, knowing that what I really needed was an elk.  Or elk-inspired, at any rate.  Because Winterwheel has a song about the goddess Hretha, her elkling, and the course of life and death they traverse and make together.

What follows is the lineart for the piece I developed.  The one that, once in hue, will be printed on cloth and worn by real human beings.

winterwheelshirt_lineart

earsex 1

Because I like musical promiscuity.  Sharing.  I’ve got headphones in my ribcage, nestled around my blood-organ.  This is what it’s listening to as of now (also, if you’ve ever wanted to hear me sing, minute 1:43 of the song below):

First.  Cascadia.  Because we just uploaded all of our first album up to youtube (you can buy it here, if you’d like to support our future endeavors).  And because Cascadia’s always been one of my favorites:

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Also, female-fronted power metal with fast-fingered bassist…(and really corny music videos–though I think that’s a must for power metal…)

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And Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody.  This album just makes me grin.

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And finally, Swallow the Sun.  Something about this just…meshes.

no one swims the sea as I can

This review makes me happy:

MOSS OF MOONLIGHT is a two piece Black / Folk Metal band out of Bellingham,
Washington. I was blown away after one listen of this disc. I have become a huge fan of Black /
Folk Metal over the past ten plus years and seek out as many bands playing this style as I can.
MOSS OF MOONLIGHT found me and I am very pleased about this. This two piece consists of
Jenn Grunigan playing drums, percussion (including djembe, tablas, gong, tambourine), all female
vocals & Cavan Wagner doing male growls & clean vocals, guitars, bass, mouth harp, programing
and more. The sound these two produce is unbelievable.
read more.

I like being happy, so many thanks to Beowolf Productions.

Global Metal Apocalypse

Another (excellent) review of SEED, compliments of Global Metal Apocalypse.

When a duo Black / Folk Metal project originates from the USA and they consider themselves as Cascadian, it can only mean that Moss Of Moonlight have released their debut album ‘Seed’, mixing a host of different Folk Music elements with the classic slow sound of Black Metal to produce a truly unique experience, one that should and will captivate fans all round, similar to bands like Winterfylleth and Ancient Rites, Moss of Moonlight dig deep to find their sound that would echo across the land and seas and hopefully will plant the ‘Seed’ for Cascadia to become a nation.

Horns and Moss

Horns and Moss

It’s been awhile. Promoting my band, moving 500 miles are all hungry things, very hungry, with a taste for time. Been working on poems, sending out writing, editing my book. I’ll post more Ekphrastics in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here are the lastest promo photos from my band, Moss of Moonlight. (web-shop|facebook|youtube|last.fm|jango|bandcamp)