The Ruins of Beverast is one of those bands whose every release feels like a deliberate exercise in the unpredictable. Its like a black and doom metal gumball machine. You know in general what you’re going to get, but you won’t fully understand the specific flavor, color, and texture of each release until you’ve got the thing in your possession. Candy analogies aside, Alexander von Meilenwald’s career over the past decade as the creator of and solo performer in The Ruins of Beverast, while varied in tone and sonic direction, has been nothing short of exemplary. From the lo-fi catacombs of Rain Upon the Impure to the doom-laden heaviness of Blood Vaults, each release has painted consistently mesmerizing portraits of death, suffering, and mysticism through a unique amalgamation of black and doom metal. While each release by the band has been unique in comparison to its predecessors, it’s been four years since The Ruins of Beverast released a full-length, and 2016’s puzzling EP Takitum Tootem! was a sonic curveball of epic proportions. Equally championed and reviled by fans, the EP not only added confusion as to which sonic direction the band would take with its latest record, Exuvia, but trepidation in some as to whether it would be any good. If you were worried that The Ruins of Beverast is losing its edge, may your fears be assuaged. This is some premium metal.
Foo Fighters aren’t the type of band you associate with breaking boundaries, but their career has seen them unleash eight studio albums that most of us will agree are pretty solid, with a couple that ascends to levels of greatness. Also, as far as modern rock acts go, they don’t come much bigger. Their prolific career has seen them rise to meteoric heights through the release of popular singles, hilarious music videos and a reputation for being some of the nicest dudes in the biz. We don’t just want to support these guys because they know how to appeal to our stadium-sized sensibilities with almighty, but easily digestible, melodic rock, but they’re genuinely likable and good poster boys for music in general. It’s also a testament to their talent that they were able to break out of the shadow of Nirvana and establish themselves as a huge deal in their own right, and at this point in time, you could argue that their legacy is just as magnificent.
When I found out that Ben Hopkins was outed as an abuser and rapist I was heartbroken. I was heartbroken for my friends who loved PWR BTTM. I was heartbroken for all of the queer kids and young queer adults who looked up to this band who (at the time) appeared to really care for their communities. They were activists. They were one of us. They held space for a community of people who didn’t quite fit in anywhere else. PWR BTTM stood up for us. They were just like us, and when people like us are ousted we see ourselves in them and we lash out. We grieve. We process. We take action. We compartmentalize. We move on and hope we won’t have to deal with this again until we do, because this is work that never stops.
This edition of Grind My Gears belongs to an upcoming compilation with a more than deliberate message. A glance at the artwork should give you a clue as to what that message is. Some publications and blogs keep their cards pretty close to their chest when it comes to the burning issue of the day. We don’t. That’s why I’m using my space here to help promote an upcoming compilation from newly founded label Posers Inc. Grind Against Trump won’t solve any of these issues overnight but it’s a start. This compilation of grind, violence and ‘core stands for something when most are content with simply sitting and playing the voyeur. Organiser and label founder Benjamin James took some time out from his day to day life to answer a few questions about the compilation, who it will benefit and why it is a necessary step.