Eating from a Coffin

Before continuing with the rest of our Nepal journal, we are proud to announce our band (CAUCHEMAR)’s European tour dates – which we have worked on for several months! We are extremely excited to finally play in Europe, and the shows promise to be really killer!! We’re going to play four new songs from our upcoming album – songs that we have written a little bit all over the world.


“Rites Lunaires” tour dates: 

    • Apr. 20 – Berlin, GER – Blackland
      w/Evil Spirit & Serpent
    • Apr. 25 – Nuremberg, GER – Kunstverein
      w/Cosmic Wasteland
    • Apr. 27 – Lauda-Königshofen, GER – Keep it True festival
      w/Portrait, Witchcross, Oz, Anvil, Whiplash and a shitload of killer bands
    • May 1 – Leipzig, GER – Black Label
      w/Black Salvation
    • May 3 – Copenhagen, DEN – Heavy Days in Doomtown festival
      w/Killer stoner-doom metal bands
    • May 4 – London, UK – Old Blue Last
      w/Amulet (Destroyer 666 after-party gig!)
    • May 11 – Brussels, BEL – DNA
      w/Trouble Agency
    • May 12 – Valenciennes, FRA – Long Live Metal!! VI festival
      w/Warhammer, Necrowretch, Bottle Doom Lazy Band
    • May 13 – Paris, FRA – Le Klub
      w/Northwinds, Children of Doom
    • May 16 – Rennes, FRA – Mondo Bizarro
      w/Children of Doom
    • May 18 – Toulouse, FRA – Amanita Muscaria
      w/The Grand Astoria, Goat River, Nuit Noire
    • May 19 – Torreilles, FRA – Le Bistroquet
      w/O.C.D.
    • May 20 – Barcelona, SPA – El Prat de Llobregat
      w/Atonement
    • May 21 – Marseille, FRA – L’Enthropy
      w/Super Timor
    • May 22 – Lyon, FRA – Le Moko
      w/Sanctuaire
    • May 25 – Bologna, ITA – Atlantide
      w/Embers
    • May 26 – Bergamo, ITA – Live Keller
      w/Black Oath, Caronte
    • Jun. 2 – Alvesta, SWE – Muskelrock festival
      w/Manilla Road, Hell, The Devil’s Blood, Grim Reaper, Enforcer, etc..

Tour shirts, CD’s and picture discs (limited edition) of “La Vierge Noire”, as well as Hellbent for Cooking books will be available at every show.

For more information about CAUCHEMAR and the “Rites Lunaires” tour: www.facebook.com/cauchemarmetal.

Bhaktapur
19-03-2012

After kicking back for a week in the lake and mountain-side town of Pokhara, visiting the living museum town of Bhaktapur was a welcoming change. Located about 45 minutes by bus (30 cents!) from Nepal’s capital, as foreigners, we had to pay quite a hefty sum of 13$ to visit its old streets… but we made it worthwhile by spending a few days there. The atmosphere of the town itself was very charming, and you often see locals hanging out on the side of the streets, laughing together, the women knitting and the men playing games… it was really fun walking around and getting lost in there!

The city was founded in the 12th century, and has suffered quite alot during a huge earthquake that devastated the Kathmandu valley in 1936. Nevertheless, Bhaktapur has been since restored to its glorious past state, and has now been declared Unesco world heritage. (Oh man, I wonder how many Unesco world heritage sites we have visited so far on this trip….)

The Durbar (royal) Square in Bhaktapur – you don’t see it very well, but the building on the left has 55 hand carved windows

A small medieval street with the Nyataponal temple, the country’s tallest pagoda temple (built in 1702!)

Dattrateya temple, which has apparently been built from the stem of a single tree... Hmmmm

Details of an entrance

One of the scariest goddesses I’ve ever seen! Details of a door in Durbar Square

The sun setting on one of the town’s squares

There are tons of animals that live side to side with local people. Dogs, cats, goats and chickens are the most popular… and make sleeping a little hard at night (you hear dog fights in the night and roosters crying out in the mornings!!) They are some of the cutest in Nepal though, here are what they look like:

A bitch and her pup

A chicken couple hanging out on a balcony

A doggie patiently waiting for his share of the meat (haha I found that dog so cute!!!)

Two goats keeping warm

Apparently, Bhaktapur is also the place in Nepal where there are the most temples… every morning we saw people doing offerings and people worshipping their many many gods. School children, even when alone, would tap on some god’s image and then bring their hand to their head in an angelus posture. Hinduism is alive and well here! Perhaps even more than in India!!

Woman with an offering tray. They always offer rice, flowers and eggs. I think eggs are for fertility...

Doing offerings at a Kali temple

Lingas and yonis – basically, penises and vaginas, which are worshipped by pouring on milk and honey!

And speaking of love organs, the temples here (like some in Kathmandu) have some pretty primitive love sculptures. Some scholars say they are a how-to guide, but others mention that they are there to prevent Muslims from destroying the temples (because they apparently loathed erotica and kept away!)

A funny childish scene

Another primitive erotic sculpture

And on another note, the town has its own sacred waters and cremation ghat. Just like in Varanasi, people are getting burnt to dust in public, and then their ashes are being tossed in the water… we sneaked in and I got to take this photo of a burning man and his mourning family. On the higher resolution photo, you can see a foot sticking out! Morbid huh?

Two particular things make Bhaktapur absolutely unique to the rest of Nepal. The first one being its …yogurt! The city is known for its creamy thick yogurt called The King of Yogurts, which tastes like sour custard. It cost less than a dollar for half a litre, and it was truly to die for… a great way of starting up the day:

A personal portion of Bhaktapur yogurt. The yogurt comes freshly made in a pottery dish

The other thing that was quite particular here is a long-time-ago trend, which forever scarred women… leg tattoos! You mostly saw women in their 60’s sporting them; apparently they were meant to be sexy. I thought they looked really cool and I tried catching a few of ‘em on film:

Action shot of an older lady’s leg tattoo. The women here often wear red and black sarees (hindu traditional dress)

Woman with beautiful floral tattoos. She was a bit shy and I think a little bit scared that I would take a photo up her skirt haha

Woman with beautiful floral tattoos. She was a bit shy and I think a little bit scared that I would take a photo up her skirt haha

Bhaktapur is also home to a very particular window, make in the shape of a peacock. It is considered a landmark of Nepalese architecture, and you can buy replicas of it to put on your walls. A bit useless if you ask me, but the original thing was pretty cool:

The peacock window of Bhaktapur

Right beside it was a chicken window, which was way more lo-fi:

The chicken window of Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur might be expensive to get in, but fortunately they had cheap food, which we totally indulged in. The restaurant we visited the most often was a hole in the wall, but had the yummiest, cheapest Nepalese food around… here’s a photo of one of our epic lunches!

Veg pakoda (vegetable tempura), samosas, pancakes stuffed with garlic potatoes and a killer chick pea curry. All of this for 2.25$!!!

We also had a very typical Newari meal, which consists of beaten rice (very hard on the teeth!), potato curry, soy beans, mutton fry, salad and egg. It was a new taste and I really enjoyed it!

Newari beaten rice set

After our three days, it was time for us to move back to Kathmandu for a few days before we head to our next destination…

Kathmandu (part II)
23/03/2012

Returning to Kathmandu felt as if we were going home. It’s kind of sad when spending more than a week somewhere makes us feel like home haha, I guess moving around so much makes us appreciate it a lot when we stay in a familiar place.

We had pretty much only one goal left to do in Nepal… To go to a metal festival called Nepfest! For that occasion, I met up with a friend, Vishal – who brought his own friends along. Vishal plays in a grindcore band and he is a dedicated banger who digs in scenes from all over the world to find killer death and thrash bands. It was really cool to finally hang out with locals – especially ones who share metallic interests!

Vishal (left) and friends at our usual dal bhat tarkari restaurant in Thamel (our neighbourhood).

We then followed the group to the venue… we walked 30 minutes, and then arrived at the entrance of some old school amusement park. They had DIY games (to win bags of chips and cookies) and a really cool hand made haunted house!!!

Old school DIY carnival game

I had no idea what this one was about! Smash a tv and win an ugly plush toy? Haha

The cool haunted house

It only cost 25 cents to enter the haunted house. Look a the cool Sanskrit logo made with bone letters! I wish I had time to go, snif

The gig started around 2PM, and we got there on time to catch the first band, FRACTALS. Unfortunately, they were way too modern for my tastes; they played some kind of metalcore, which I didn’t appreciate at all…

The Nepfest festival ground - how lucky these guys are to have such a cool venue!

After this was THE EXORCIST, a Cannibal Corpse worship band which I wasn’t into either, and then came GARUDH – probably the best band of the day for me. They played Scandinavian style Black Metal, which reminded me a lot of old SATYRICON. If they had no keyboard, they would have sounded really evil, but unfortunately they had to have really loud keyboard on each song!!

GARUDH. Vocalist had a MAYHEM shirt! They did a "Mother North" cover, which was butchered but their originals were better!

People watching GARUDH, sitting patiently in the sun hehe

Next was 11, a “slamcore” band, which I wasn’t into either (good musicians, but really not my cup of beer), so we indulged in metal momo’s and beer. You could get a huge plate of buffalo momo’s for 90 cents, and they were really killer. We ate three of them hahaha

François and myself eating our delicious momo's

What they looked like before the massacre

A little bit later was KALODIN, which were Cradle of Filth style metal, with heavy heavy heavy keyboards. Not my style of stuff either! Then played ANTIM GRAHAN – Nepal’s oldest extreme metal band. They had some good riffs, and the crowd reaction from them was really strong!!!

ANTIM GRAHAN. Unfortunately, due to Kathmandu's limited electricity - the band suffered a power cut right in the middle of their set! Funnily enough, their keyboardist wore a BEHERIT shirt - probably the "cultest" shirt in the fest

A really excited crowd! There was a lot of dust in the air - like everywhere in Kathmandu really haha

The fest finished with X-MANTRA, which sounded too modern for my tastes. There was really cool light effects though!

Super cool light effects at Nepfest

Overall, the sound quality was very good, and the bands were quite tight, but the music they played weren’t the best – or most original… Nevertheless, it was really fun to be there and to get a feel for the Nepalese metal scene!

When the gig was over, we walked back to Thamel, and passed for one last time in the streets of old Kathmandu… walking there in almost complete darkness was really fucking cool. We passed in front of a huge demon god, which I absolutely needed to take a photo of:

Demon god worship

Right now, I’m sitting in the sofa of our Barcelona hostel. In two days, my parents are going to fly and stay with us for two weeks! It’s going to be their first time in Europe so they are very excited!!! We’re spending a week in Barcelona and then a week in the French Pyrénées. After that, we’re flying to Berlin where we will stay with a friend for a few days and then meet our CAUCHEMAR band members to rehearse for our tour… OK, gotta go explore the local record shops. Hear from us in two weeks!!!

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6 responses to “Eating from a Coffin

  • Brenda

    Annick! I will be in Germany during the time of your Berlin gig. I’ll try to find out if I can meet you somewhere along the line!

  • VoiceOf Forest

    Glad to read about us and the \m/etal… 🙂 Best Wishes for ur European Tours and Gigs \,,/

  • Véro

    Heyyy. Félicitations et bonne chance avec votre tournée, c’est super cool. Nitpick, j’ai trouvé une petite erreur: tu as écrit “Woman with beautiful floral tattoos” deux fois, je pense que tu voulais une autre caption pour l’autre photo.

    Les Pyrénées hein? Tu devrais faire un split avec Stille Volk… hahaha. xD

    Amuses-toi bien en Europe!

  • marsineraTOR

    hey! so what happened – no more nice digi camera for you?????

    sucks 😦 but i think your photos are still cool!

    i think you should specialize in travel foodography and pet photography!
    hehe

    enjoy europe and time with your parents! wish I could catch you guys on tour, but ill be hittin up europe later on in the summer :/

    boo!

    take it sleazy…

    ~m

    • intothevoid

      I’m actually getting a new digi cam tomorrow – the same one as I had before! Yay! Thanks for the compliments. Haha, food and animals are easy to take because I love them I guess. But I’m no pro photographer…

      So where are you going in Europe? 🙂

      • marsineraTOR

        I’m going to be in Italy and will try to go to Denmark for that killtownfest in August but still unsure if my funds will permit it.
        it would be sweet if I met up with you in europe, eh?
        :/
        I’m sure i’ll be seeing you sooner or later! yay!

        take care and keep the posts coming at your convenience, it’s the only thing online i regularly check as i live through them vicariously! hehe

        au revoire 🙂

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