Torche to Join Clutch on Annual Holiday Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

torche

Last we left them, Florida sludge poppers Torche were preparing to hit the road on a September tour and had dropped word that their next album and Relapse debut would be out in 2015. They’re on that tour now, playing in Ohio tonight and tomorrow, and as they gear up for the new record, word has just come out they’ll join forces with Clutch on the latter’s annual holiday run in December, which seems longer than usual this year, and, interestingly, doesn’t actually include New Year’s Eve, taking a break on Dec. 30 after the Philly show and picking back up on Jan. 3. Can’t do the same thing every time, I guess.

Here are the current dates and a refresher on the album status:

clutch torche lionize

…The band, who recently signed to Relapse Records, completed recording their newest full-length earlier this year at Pinecrust Studio in Miami, with bassist Jonathan Nunez behind the boards. The album was then mixed by Converge’s Kurt Ballou and will see a release in early 2015 via Relapse.

Sep 23 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups
Sep 24 Akron, OH Musica
Sep 25 Chicago, IL The Promontory
Sep 26 Pittsburgh, PA The Smiling Moose
Sep 27 Brooklyn, NY St. Vitus
Sep 29 Chapel Hill, NC Cat’s Cradle Back Room
Sep 30 Tampa, FL The Orpheum
Oct 01 Orlando, FL Backbooth

Torche will join the mighty Clutch on tour this winter along with LIONIZE. Check out a full list of dates below…

Sat/Dec-27 Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
Sun/Dec-28 Cleveland, OH @ House Of Blues
Mon/Dec-29 Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
Tue/Dec-30 Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
Sat/Jan-03 Atlanta, GA @ Center Stage
Sun/Jan-04 Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House Of Blues
Tue/Jan-06 New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
Wed/Jan-07 Houston, TX @ House of Blues
Thu/Jan-08 Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
Fri/Jan-09 Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom
Sat/Jan-10 Austin, TX @ Emo’s

https://www.facebook.com/torcheofficial
http://www.torchemusic.com/
http://torche.bigcartel.com/

Torche, Live at St. Vitus Bar, Brooklyn, NY

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On the Radar: Hijo de la Tormenta, Hijo de la Tormenta

Posted in On the Radar on September 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

hijo de la tormenta

With their self-released, self-titled full-length debut, Argentinian three-piece Hijo de la Tormenta embark on what they like to call “forest psychedelia,” or “psicodelia del monte” (“mountain psychedelia”). I think the latter might be a more apt desciptor for the Córdoba unit’s sound itself, which balances gracefully wandering passages with dense tonal largesse — big riffs and open spaces brought to bear with a patient sensibility that impresses all the more considering Hijo del la Tormenta‘s Hijo de la Tormenta arrives preceded only by a 2012 EP, Simple 5/12. There isn’t as much a feeling either of foreboding or nature worship that “forest” brings to mind in a musical context, but frankly, wherever Hijo de la Tormenta are spending their time outside, in the forest, the mountains, both or neither, it’s clearly working for them. Their first full-length is engaging and immersive, creating a rich flow early on and running a wide scope in their largely-instrumental material that one gets the sense is only going to get wider as time goes on. Nor do they forget to kick a bit of ass, as songs like “Alienación” and second cut “Dilusiva” showcase.

The latter is about as straightforward and immediate as the trio of guitarist/vocalist Juan Cruz Ledesma, bassist Guido di Carlo and drummer Santi Ludueña get, but even their jammiest and most meandering stretches — a song like nine-minute opener “Viaje de Ida/Viaje de Vuelta” (reportedly based on a poem by Roberto Bolaño) or the two-parter hijo de la tormenta self-titled“Desde la Espesura,” which sandwiches “Dilusiva” on the other side — retain a feeling of motion. A big part of that stems from the fervency of their grooving in a song like “Alienación,” the opening sample of which jars a bit but not enough to really be a misstep, each successive track on Hijo de la Tormenta drawing the listener further into the linear course of the album as a whole. “Desde la Espesura (Lado A)” and “Desde la Espesura (Lado B)” both do an excellent job of that, departing from some of “Viaje de Ida/Viaje de Vuelta”‘s bigger sound to a more hypnotic vibe, and though it has a build, “Sierras del Paiman” continues in this fashion en route to the return to longer-form songwriting on “Alienación,” lead guitar dominating the mix in the second half for an extended, bluesy solo that pushes the song into highlight territory, a rumbling fuzz remaining after the rest of the elements seem to recede.

“Alienación” is paired with “Desalienación,” which opens with Hijo de la Tormenta‘s most forceful riffing since “Dilusiva” and shifts fluidly into a slower, more subdued bass-led groove. That, in turn, progresses smoothly into jazzy snare work, airy guitar strums — offset, of course, by dense fuzz — and late-arriving vocals providing the album’s most singularly Los Natasian moment. That band’s Gonzalo Villagra mastered, and the bulk of Hijo de la Tormenta‘s sound is less Natas-derived than many I’ve encountered in Argentina’s well-populated heavy scene, but it’s also worth noting that the band’s moniker was used as the opening line of the title-track lyrics to Los Natas‘ 2006 album, El Hombre Montaña. Still, the simple fact that Hijo de la Tormenta would position themselves in a heavy rock landscape other than the desert speaks to a burgeoning drive toward individualism, and as they finish out with the psychedelic “Postales del Fin del Mundo” with a heady jam topped by ethereal layers of guest vocals from Laura Dalmasso it seems less like they’ve shown their complete range on what’s nonetheless a cohesive and engaging first long-player. As they continue to refine their sound, expect the geography likewise to come more into focus.

Hijo de la Tormenta, Hijo de la Tormenta (2014)

Hijo de la Tormenta on Thee Facebooks

Hijo de la Tormenta on Bandcamp

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Isaak Announce European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

isaak (Photo by Jessica Matri)

Italian heavy rock four-piece Isaak are getting ready to tour in Europe once again. They released their Small Stone label debut, The Longer the Beard the Harder the Sound, last year, and are currently working on a follow-up, though what stage it’s actually in remains a mystery. Still, if you, say, had a post-it note with impending 2015 releases on it so you could remember them for later when you wanted to put together some kind of larger list/feature on the subject, Isaak‘s next record would be another one to add.

Not that such a post-it note exists or is already becoming overcrowded or anything. I can neither confirm nor deny, and so on.

Here’s the news:

isaak logo

*ISAAK* on tour ( Small Stone Records / HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS)

Isaak , born from the ashes of Gandhi’s Gunn, immediately signed a worldwide contract for two albums with the American label Small Stone Records: the critically acclaimed debut “The Longer The Beard The Harder The Sound” released in 2013 and a second one that is going to be recorded very soon. “Having the chance to release two albums for an American label and reaching metal fans all over the world it’s a great honor but also a confirmation: we always thought we had an international sound since the beginning. And you will hear it even more in the new album.”

We also managed to tour in Europe for the first time this year. Thanks to this growth and to our love for bands like Clutch, Big Business, Torche, Red Fang the sound of our next album will be something really special. With the first single “The Frown” from the imminent new album, we tested the reaction of our fans receiving amazing responses. So we realized this was the right direction to follow”.

Isaak, who developed from a stoner rock into a promising international power sound band, are ready for the challenge, determined and strong just like their music. Are you ready?

04/12/2014 IT Rome-Init “HPS Rec Label Party”
06/12/2014 IT Milano-LoFi
07/12/2014 CH
08/12/2014 D
09/12/2014 D Augsburg-Blue Box Skate Park
10/12/2014 CH Winterthur-Gaswerk
11/12/2014 CH
12/12/2014 CH Mühledorf Niedergösgen-No Mute Bandraum
27/12/2014 IT Savona- Officine Solimano Christmas Show

www.heavypsychsounds.com
www.facebook.com/isaakband
https://www.facebook.com/events/577755778996510/
https://smallstone.bandcamp.com/album/the-longer-the-beard-the-harder-the-sound

Isaak, The Longer the Beard the Harder the Sound (2013)

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Northern Crown Debut “A Perfectly Realized Torment” from Debut EP In the Hands of the Betrayer

Posted in audiObelisk on September 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

northern-crown

Floridian trad doom metallers Northern Crown will issue their debut EP, In the Hands of the Betrayer, on Oct. 14. The self-releasing group is comprised of a core duo, guitarist/keyboardist/songwriter Zachary Randall and vocalist/lead guitarist Frank Serafine, and to flesh out the short release, they brought in a variety of guest players from guitarist Sally Gates and bassist Randy Piro of Orbweaver to drummer Josh Brown and keyboardist Roberto Celentano, whose contributions to the overall melody greatly enhance Serafine‘s traditional metal vocal style. They wear their influences on their sleeve — as one might expect for a new band out of the gate either in the process of solidifying a lineup or deciding if that’s how they want to go at all — to the point of making the Candlemass cover “Crystal Ball” the centerpiece of In the Hands of the Betrayer, but even to that well-established classic of the genre they bring an innate edge of their own.

Elsewhere on the release, the opening title-track launches with a galloping groove, and the ambient interlude “Approaching, Encroaching Storm” sets the table for the 11-minute closer “To Thee I Give an Orchid” to plunge into organ-laced doomed expanse. Next to that track, the longest piece on In the Hands of the Betrayer is “A Perfectly Realized Torment” at 7:27, the second cut which northern crown in the hands of the betrayertames the back-and-forth pacing of the opener to a consistent riff-led chug, casually influenced by Trouble but interested in a lushness and fullness of sound, and working with an overarching echo that brings to mind some of Solitude Aeturnus‘ classic drama and emotionally weighted push. The song starts heavy and ends heavy, but there’s a building sense to it as the verse appears and then recedes into the dismal ether of riffing and intermittent keys. In the end, “A Perfectly Realized Torment” relies almost as much on keys as guitar to portray the apex, but however they get there, “A Perfectly Realized Torment” displays a lot of the character of the release as a whole and makes a fitting summary of Northern Crown‘s doom in its early going.

Because of that, I’m happy to be able to host the premiere of “A Perfectly Realized Torment” for your streaming pleasure. Please find it on the player below, and doom on:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Northern Crown‘s In the Hands of the Betrayer was recorded by Zachary Randall and Frank Serafine and mixed by Randall. The EP is out Oct. 14. More info at the links.

Northern Crown on Thee Facebooks

Northern Crown’s website

Northern Crown on Bandcamp

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Brothers of the Sonic Cloth Sign to Neurot Recordings

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

brothers of the sonic cloth

Well, we knew Brothers of the Sonic Cloth were going to end up somewhere. The Tad Doyle-fronted trio had finished mixing their album back in June and their long-awaited debut long-player was closer than ever, but as I understood it, part of the delay in actually getting the record out stemmed from finding a label through which to release it. Neurot handling the release goes in the if-you-gave-me-three-guesses-I’d-have-probably-gotten-it file, but that doesn’t make the news any more welcome, particularly since it means we’re actually that much closer to hearing the record.

That album, incidentally, is set for an early 2015 release. Not sure about the exact date, but the label makes it official below with some comment from Steve Von Till:

brothers of the sonic cloth logo

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth Sign to Neurot Recordings and Plan Long-Awaited Debut Full Length Release in Early Spring 2015

Keeping up a long-held tradition of bringing forth some of the heaviest music from the darkness of the Pacific NW, Seattle’s Tad Doyle (formerly of TAD, Hog Molly), delivers his strongest songwriting and playing with his newest band Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth. This powerful trio of musicians, with Tad on guitar/vocals, veteran bass player Peggy Doyle and drummer Dave French (The Annunaki) shall release their long-awaited debut LP in early 2015 on Neurot Recordings. Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth bring together the collective and extensive rock histories and the experience of the three members in the worlds of punk, hard rock and metal.

Steve Von Till says of the signing: “All of us at Neurot Recordings are so incredibly fired up about having the opportunity to be a part of this release. For me personally, Tad has been responsible for some of my favorite guitar driven noise of our generation not to mention the fact that it is an absolute pleasure to be working together with such great human beings. Witness the return of Tad with Brothers of the Sonic Cloth! “

We shall be revealing more album details over the coming months, as well as audio samples from the album. Stay tuned for more news soon…

Find Brothers of The Sonic Cloth on:
Facebook - facebook.com/pages/Brothers-of-the-Sonic-Cloth
Twitter - @TadDoyle_Tad
neurotrecordings.com

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, “I Am”

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Live Review: Elder, Rozamov, Summoner and SET in Cambridge, MA, 09.19.14

Posted in Reviews on September 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

elder (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Of the more-than-several local shows I’ve been to since moving to New England now more than a year ago, this one had probably the strongest front-to-back bill. It was Elder‘s return gig to US soil. They and Rozamov and Summoner would head south the next day to appear Brooklyn’s Uninvited festival, and partnered with Worcester four-piece SET, it was night at the Middle East‘s upstairs room that highlighted some of the best Boston’s next-gen has to offer. Phrases like “all killer, no filler”SET (Photo by JJ Koczan) were invented for evenings such as these.

To put a personal spin on it, I’ll say as well that it was a cap for me for my first year of living here. 13 months ago, I attended Elder‘s farewell at the Great Scott prior to their going on hiatus (Rozamov played that as well). I had lived in the area for barely two weeks, it was my first show in town as a resident. I was confused and uncomfortable in more than just that I’m-out-of-the-house kind of way. I’m not sure I’d have found the Middle East without the Maps on my phone, but at least when I got to Cambridge, I knew what to expect and where I might find parking. A work in progress, yes, but little things make a difference.

SET opened, and went on a couple minutes after 8:30, kicking off in raucous form. I wasn’t the only one who knew to show up early — upstairs at the Middle East isn’t a huge room, Summoner (Photo by JJ Koczan)but it’s big enough that if you weren’t going to draw, it would look empty — and SET pulled a decent crowd. It was my third time seeing them behind shows at the Dragon’s Den (review here) and the Stoned Goat fest in Worcester (review here) and I was pleased to be more familiar with songs like “Valley of the Stone” and “Wolves behind the Sheep,” the balance of thrash and heavy rock within which threw down a heavy gauntlet for the other three bands to pick up. If they played it, I didn’t catch “Sacred Moon Cult,” the closer from their spring 2013 Valley of the Stone outing, but seeming to decide to do so off the cuff, they finished out with a convincing take on Pentagram‘s classic “Forever My Queen,” giving double-guitar thrust to the rawness of the original’s riffing.

In addition to being a strong bill, it was also fairly diverse within a heavy scope. That became apparent as Summoner, who played next, made ready to take the stage with both a sound and a character far disparate from that of SET, trading out that’s band’s harsher edge and grittier presence for smoother, more progressive heaviness. What the two bands had in common was a clear thread of tonal heft — Rozamov and Elder followed suit in that regard as well — but Summoner‘s influences, more in the Mastodon/Baroness vein, were spaced out wide enough from the Rozamov (Photo by JJ Koczan)preceding act that they were immediately distinguished. This was also the first I’d seen them since the release of their second album, 2013’s Atlantian, on Magnetic Eye Records, and while I knew from prior experience they delivered live, it was interesting to see them do so as a more mature, established outfit than they were late in 2012 when I caught them in New York.

They pummeled and stomped and dug themselves into their material neatly, clearly enjoying the process as well, guitarists AJ Peters and Joe Richner tilting their heads back across various leads and riffs while vocalist/bassist Chris Johnson kept a consistent, sincere smile across his face no matter how hard he also happened to be slamming the song at the time, and behind, drummer Scott Smith propelled their neo-metallic stomp. Much of what they played came from their 2012 debut, Phoenix, but “Horns of War” represented Atlantian well and “The Interloper” and “Winged Hessians” seemed to rouse no complaints from the increasingly full room there to watch them. When Rozamov went on, the trio would be a turn back toward darker, rawer vibes, but a propensity for big tones remained firm. I stood in front of bassist Tom Corino and could just about have swam through the density oozing out of the speaker cabinet.

Rozamov (Photo by JJ Koczan)It was a bit much, apparently, since part-way through the Rozamov set the bass cut out, leaving drummer Will Hendrix and guitarist/vocalist Matt Iacovelli to fill the time while the problem was discovered, analyzed and ultimately remedied. Blown tube. It didn’t take long, but Rozamov‘s dark, thickened-thrash had built a good head of steam by then and they essentially had to put their momentum back together from scratch. To their credit, they did. By the end of their set, which was a little longer than SET or Summoner‘s had been, it was easy to forget there had been an interruption at all. Much of their material seemed newer than 2013’s Of Gods and Flesh EP, and I’m not sure what they might have in the works, but I think the only Boston band I’ve seen more in the last year is Gozu, and I’ve yet to emerge from a Rozamov set less than impressed.

And Elder. Well, Elder are world-class at this point. They hadn’t played in the States since that farewell show last August, but they did a run of European gigs and their third album is reportedly in the can headed for a 2015 release. One might expect a band in their circumstance to be a little rusty — guitarist/vocalist Nick DiSalvo, bassist Jack Donovan and drummer Matt Couto all Elder (Photo by JJ Koczan)live in different states as well — but there wasn’t anything I could’ve asked from Elder‘s set it didn’t deliver, including a glimpse at their new stuff. The song “Compendium” from the new record was the only new one aired, the rest of what they played drawn from 2012’s stellar Spires Burn/Release EP (review here) and 2011’s Dead Roots Stirring (review here), but it offered a sense of progression nonetheless, a forward motion in its central riff acting as a kind of launch point from which the trio boomeranged, pushing as far as they could before snapping back to the initial movement in the manner that has become as much a part of their style as Donovan‘s head-spinning bass fills or Couto‘s unmitigated swing.

To that, I’ll just note that, including this show, I’ve seen Couto play drums in three different bands/iterations in the last month — with Kind in Worcester, with Darryl Shepard‘s Blackwolfgoat in Allston, and here — and while those were a formative act and a sit-in jam, I think it’s still worth pointing out that with Elder, it was a different level of performance entirely. Locked in Elder (Photo by JJ Koczan)with Donovan and DiSalvo, he seemed decidedly in his element, and that goes for the other two members of Elder as well, the three of them air-tight on the expansive “Release” and Dead Roots Stirring‘s “Knot,” which rounded out the album and this set alike. It seemed we might get an encore, but I think venue curfew was a factor — it was getting on midnight, and it’s not like it was a Tuesday or anything — and the house lights came up in the universal sign of get-the-hell-out. I’d wanted to pick up a copy of Elder‘s Live at Roadburn, since I hear one or two of my photos is included, but it was packed over there and I had writing to do, so I split into the fall air to start the not-inconsiderable hike back to my car and home.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

Read more »

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The Dead-End Alley Band Release New Album Odd Stories

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

the dead-end alley band Photo by Malcorazon

Organ-laced heavy psych rockers The Dead-End Alley Band have released their second album, Odd Stories. It’s the follow-up to 2012/2013’s debut, Whispers of the Night (review here), and sees the Peruvian four-piece continue their adventurous psych explorations, dipping into surf tonality on “Devil’s Mask” and vibing out long-form on the eight-minute “Lost Again,” a strong current of Floydian progressivism emerging from the start of opener “The Nightmare Goes On” and serving as a unifying theme throughout several of the tracks. Vinyl and CD are apparently out now through a variety of labels — CD through Tóxiko Records and Inti Records in Peru, vinyl through Nasoni in Germany — and the band has also made Odd Stories available for front-to-back streaming on their Bandcamp page. Because it’s the future, and that’s how it goes.

Downloads are cheap, and if you need impetus to hit play on the embedded doodad below, Javier Kou‘s bass tone should serve nicely:

the dead-end alley band odd stories

People, our 2do Disco ‘ odd stories ‘ is already in Europe, in the format vinilo. But if you do not have tornamesa or you can not wait to come to the records, you can hear you toditititititiiiiiito here. :D to see what you think.

‘Odd Stories’ (2014) is the second studio album of Peruvian psychedelic rock band ‘The Dead-End Alley Band’. It was recorded and produced in Lima, Peru, by Javier Kou, Sebastian Sanchez-Botta and Chino Burga. Edited, manufactured and released on vinyl in Europe by Nasoni Records (Germany) and on CD and tape in Peru by Tóxiko Records and Inti Records (Peru).

This new album is loaded with more heavy, fuzz and stoner scents, that gives the band a new unabashedly sound. An eternal lone and mad trip, through a neverending odd nightmare.

released 20 September 2014

The band:
Javier Kou (Guitars / Bass / Vocals)
Sebastian Sanchez-Botta (Vocals / Organs / Piano)
Leonardo Alva (Lead Guitar at ‘The Cosmic Cry Out’)
Jaime Diaz (Drum)

The staff:
Chino Burga (Producer)
Hans-Georg (Nasoni Records CEO)
Marco Marin (Toxiko Records CEO)
Diego Valdivia (Inti Records CEO)
Jaime Diaz (Drums edition)

https://deabperu.bandcamp.com/album/odd-stories
https://www.facebook.com/deabperu
https://soundcloud.com/deabperu
https://www.facebook.com/ToxikoProducciones
https://www.facebook.com/IntiRecordsPeru
http://www.nasoni-records.com/

The Dead-End Alley Band, Odd Stories (2014)

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Latitude Egress Stream “To Restore the Pride to Petravore” from New Album To Take up the Cross

Posted in audiObelisk on September 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

latitude egress

To Take up the Cross is a debut, of sorts. For German one-man outfit Latitude Egress, it marks a significant change. Formerly known as Licht Erlischt, the band released two albums of depressive black metal, moving away from the conventions of the subgenre over the course of 2009’s The Narrow Path and 2012’s …And Below, the Retrograde Disciples until, with To Take up the Cross, the shift required a name change. So, To Take up the Cross arrives as the first Latitude Egress offering, released on Oct. 27 via Art of Propaganda, comprising seven stylistically varied songs named in thematic keeping with the album’s title that hold firm to a rich, emotionally resonant drama while consistently defying expectation.

The roots are in black metal. Some of the underlying bed of guitar distortion from multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Niklas “Nerrath” Thiele (Horn, ex-Chemosh) gives that away, but Latitude Egress is stubborn in its refusal to be easily pigeonholed. In its pacing and melancholia, it’s no less indebted to classic European doom, and shades of death/doom appear alongside Thiele‘s synth theatricality latitude egress to take up the crossand clean, commanding, at times Nick Cave-esque singing style. Earlier cuts like “To Take up the Cross When through it You Can Win a Kingdom” and “To Cast a Spot upon the Death of Your Death” might bring to mind some of Primordial‘s post-blackened impulses, but the personality and mission behind Latitude Egress is different, and songs move fluidly between raging and contemplative quieter passages, never quite departing a full-band feel but giving a sense of personal expression from Thiele all the same.

Slotted as the penultimate inclusion, sixth of the seven, “To Restore the Pride to Petravore” builds over its first couple minutes subtly behind Thiele‘s vocals and guitar until at last boiling over to a push of shouts and distortion that, topped with a mournful lead guitar, serve as a fitting emblem of To Take up the Cross‘ doomed side, a memorable airiness of tone seeming sentimental for former glories until the piece seems to collapses, resigned, into itself and ends, giving way to closer “To March along the Desolate Peripheries of Mind,” which enacts the final stretch of bleakness in Latitude Egress‘ heavy-hearted salvo.

As much a work of emotional as sonic weight, you’ll final “To Restore the Pride to Petravore” on the player below. Please enjoy:

Latitude EgressTo Take up the Cross is due out Oct. 27 on Art of Propaganda. More info at the links.

Latitude Egress on Thee Facebooks

Art of Propaganda’s website

Art of Propaganda on Bandcamp

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Thank You to Everyone Who Took Part in the Small Stone Fundraiser

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

small stone records office

Look, I could tell you how much I appreciate everyone giving up a little bit of their hard-earned to help out Small Stone in the label’s time of need, but the fact is it’s not about me. It’s about Scott Hamilton, who runs the label, being able to continue putting out some of the finest heavy rock and roll the world has to offer, him worrying more about getting the Lo-Pan pressing back from the plant in time for the October release rather than if his basement is going to have mold in it leftover from the flood. Priorities. Getting things to where they need to be.

All told, the Small Stone fundraiser brought in over eight thousand dollars, and that wouldn’t have been possible without your help, so thank you. If you donated, that’s amazing. Some gave $100 at a clip, some gave $5, but what really matters is that when it came to it and someone who has been a major contributor to this weird, pan-global community required assistance, people stepped up and pulled together and showed they were willing to support somebody who needed it when they needed it. I know there have been crossover bands and every now and then some mainstream entity deigns to not completely ignore this genre, but heavy rock and roll is still a very underground phenomenon, and if we don’t help each other, it’s not like there are a million people lined up outside to pick up the slack.

So thank you for being a part of this. Even if you didn’t get to donate and you just spread the link around, that’s huge. I know Scott‘s repairs are ongoing after the flood, but the water’s gone and he’s got a desk and a shelf for label product and his amps and gear set up down there, and that’s definitely a start. As somebody who’s spent years nerding out on Small Stone‘s output, I’m just happy to know I’ll be able to keep doing that.

Now bring on the Snail record!

Small Stone Records

Small Stone on Thee Facebooks

Small Stone on Bandcamp

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The Well Premiere “Refuge” from Debut LP Samsara; Out Tomorrow on RidingEasy Records

Posted in audiObelisk on September 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

the well (Photo by Andy Ray Lemon)

Heavy psych trio The Well make their full-length debut tomorrow on RidingEasy Records with Samsara, a beast of an album rife with rhythmic swing, deep tonal buzz and a balance between classic ’70s worship and more devilish tendencies. The Austin, Texas, three-piece issue the LP as the follow-up to 2013’s First Trip EP and a preceding 2012 7″ titled Seven (review here) that served notice of their interest in malevolent psych pop and heavier rocking swing. There are certainly plenty of both on Samsara, which comprises seven tracks of garage-inflected languid roll — some Witch and Uncle Acid on “Trespass,” and centerpiece “Lucifer Sam” seems to reimagine Ghost‘s propensity for catchy Satanics as a late ’60s Halloween party — but finds its distinctive presence in the dirtied-up elder metal guitar work of Ian Graham, who also shares vocal duties with bassist Lisa Alley, and in the nod punctuated by drummer Jason Sullivan.

They make no bones about where they’re coming from. Classic influences yielding results that I wouldn’t necessarily call retro, but definitely have one ideological foot in the past. The eight-minute riff-roll of “Eternal Well” losesthe well samsara none of the rest of Samsara‘s propensity for strong hooks for its extra runtime, and where a cut like “1,000 Lies” pauses around its middle for a quieter atmospheric stretch, even at its thickest-toned and most raucous, the album keeps a sense of mood at the fore, opener “Mortal Bones” setting a tone of catchy songcraft that broadcasts its structural simplicity in order to sneak in tonal intricacies in the guitar and bass and in the vocal arrangements, The Well working smoothly to make their output sound much easier than it is while providing satisfying fodder for repeat listens. That’s true throughout, but it’s on “Refuge” that the various sides of Samsara‘s personality most come together, and it’s for that reason I’m so glad to be able to host the premiere of that track today.

At six and a half minutes, it’s the longest on the album but for “Eternal Well,” beginning slow with a creeper of a riff that soon gives way to the speedier push of its verse and chorus, a break at the halfway point signaling a change to some of Samsara‘s finest rhythmic sway, Sullivan stomping out a line that Graham and Alley seem to revel in, the former taking a fuzzed-out solo as the jam continues and “Refuge” gradually dissolves. After five minutes in, a final crash would seem to bring things to an end, but what follows is an arrangement of vocals between the guitarist and the bassist that makes the song even more of a standout and emphasizes the subtle shifts that The Well are so able to pull off on their fluid, remarkably cohesive debut record. You can see the part in the waveform below, so don’t cut out early.

And please, enjoy:

The Well‘s Samsara was produced by Mark Deutrom (formerly of the Melvins) and engineered by Chico Jones at Ohm Recording Studio in Austin. RidingEasy Records releases the album tomorrow, Sept. 23, on CD and vinyl. More info at the links.

The Well on Thee Facebooks

The Well on Twitter

Samsara at RidingEasy’s webstore

RidingEasy Records

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Friday Full-Length: Acrimony, Tumuli Shroomaroom

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 20th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Acrimony, Tumuli Shroomaroom (1997)

Who doesn’t want to get down with a little Acrimony? In the thrilling world of demographic research, there is a class of people known as “early adopters.” As a group, they want to be the first with a new piece of technology, new gadget, etc. They embrace new ideas and ways of thinking. I can’t come up with a better phrase than that to position UK outfit Acrimony when it comes to stoner rock’s ’90s heyday. While Electric Wizard wouldn’t release their self-titled debut until 1995 and Orange Goblin‘s Frequencies from Planet Ten didn’t surface until 1997, Acrimony issued their Hymns to the Stone debut in 1994. Yeah, it’s produced like a metal album — that was very much Acrimony‘s background; not a coincidence they wound up on Peaceville Records — but by the time they got around to 1997’s sophomore outing, Tumuli Shroomaroom, that metallic bite had smoothed out to a killer heavy rock and roll vibe, and Acrimony‘s groove help set the high standard to which the UK underground continues to aspire, songs like “Million Year Summer,” “Find the Path” with its “give me some Valium” urgings and the all-over-10-minutes closing trio of “Motherslug (The Mother of all Slugs),” “Heavy Feather” and “Firedance” consuming listeners with brilliantly executed nod that, if it showed up in my mailbox this week, I’d still be stoked on it.

Acrimony were also way more unabashedly stoner rock than many of their contemporaries. Their final release, a compilation titled Bong on – Live Long! came out in 2007, preceded by a 2003 split with Church of Misery, and while Acrimony may have been ahead of their time, Tumuli Shroomaroom is a record whose legend has continued to grow in spite of the band’s dissolution. Most of Acrimony – guitarist Stuart O’Hara, bassist Paul Bidmead and drummer Darren Ivey — can be found these days in Sigiriya, whose second offering, Darkness Died Today, was released earlier this year as their Candlelight Records debut following 2011’s re-debut, Return to Earth. Still, Acrimony‘s work stands out for what they did, how well they did it, and when they did it. They didn’t invent stoner rock, but they sure as hell got the gist of it quickly. I know these guys are at the top of a lot of reunion wishlists, and I wouldn’t complain about seeing them live at some point, but particularly with Sigiriya kicking around, I’m content to leave Acrimony‘s legacy untouched if that’s what the band would rather do. This record’s gonna kick ass forever one way or another.

Hope you enjoy.

Late night, right? I got back a bit ago from seeing Elder‘s return show in Cambridge. It was ElderRozamovSummoner and Set, which is quite possibly the best all-local lineup I’ve seen since I moved here. I’ll have to go back and check the archive on that one to be sure, but it certainly felt like it when I was at the show. I’ll have a review on Monday with some pictures from the so-dark-it-made-everyone-look-grim-and-black-metal Middle East Upstairs, but the quick version is it was an excellent time.

Also Monday, look out for a track premiere from Latitude Egress as they cross the line between blackened doom and doomed black metal, and later on in the week, new tracks from Larman Clamor and Angels of Meth, whose demo is being reissued — the band became Phantom Glue – on tape. Also hoping to get to see Earth on Tuesday and Uncle Acid on Thursday, so it’s going to be quite a week. Somewhere in there, I’d also finally like to give All Them Witches‘ Lightning at the Door a proper review, since they’ve now given it a proper release, but we’ll see how it is with hours in the day, there being only so many of them and whatnot.

Thanks to everyone who checked in for Vinyl Week this week, took a look at the records, entered a contest (or two), etc. It was a lot more work than I thought it was going to be, but a good time on the whole, so I appreciate you indulging me. I still have a bunch more vinyl to write about, so the week may be over, but the pile remains. More to come.

But not tonight. It’s well after 2AM here — early Saturday morning in the UK; I’ll confess I had GMT in mind when I picked Acrimony to end the week — and that’s time to put on some Mystery Science Theater 3000 and call it a night. If you’re in New York and attending the Uninvited festival this weekend, you have my jealousy, but wherever you might be and whatever you might be up to, I hope it’s fantastic. Be safe, have a blast, and we’ll see you back here on Monday.

Please don’t forget to check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

 

 

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Nick Oliveri’s Leave Me Alone Release Date Moved

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

nick oliveri

Originally slated for release this month, Leave Me Alone, the debut album from Nick Oliveri’s Uncontrollable is now set to arrive on Oct. 28 courtesy of Schnitzel Records. The new band, as it were, is essentially Oliveri. He plays everything on the record but lead guitar, for which he enlisted a number of comrades and friends as guests. Not a bad way to go when you happen to be buddies with Phil Campbell from Motörhead. That’s a good friend to have.

The PR wire has details and more on Leave Me Alone:

nick oliveri's uncontrollable leave me alone cd

release date of Nick Oliveri solo album moves from Sept. to October

Nick Oliveri’s debut solo album, Leave Me Alone, is having its U.S. release moved from September to late October. The album gives powerfully captivating proof of his mastery of multiple instruments while boasting some of the most intensely visceral, hard-rocking music he’s made – no small achievement for someone who’s served time in the ranks of Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, and The Dwarves, not to mention his own band Mondo Generator…among others.. Produced by Oliveri himself, recorded by Harper Hug and Trevor Whatever, and mixed by Mathias Schneeberger Leave Me Alone will be released on Schnitzel Records October 28.

Many artists struggle to establish their musical identity; Nick Oliveri has forged his through a long career of hard work and full command over his craft and his music. Recording at Thunder Underground Studios in his longtime haunt of Palm Springs, CA, Oliveri sang and played drums, guitar and bass — all the instruments on every track save the guitar solos. The solos were provided by an array of distinguished guests including Phil Campbell from Motorhead, Mickey Melchiondo (a.k.a. Dean Ween) from Ween and Moistboyz, Stephen Haas from Moistboyz, Mike Pygmie from Mondo Generator, Marc Diamond from The Dwarves and Bruno Fevery from Kyuss Lives!/ Vista Chino; mostly once and future bandmates. There’s also a guest vocal by Blag Dahlia from The Dwarves.

Born in Los Angeles, Oliveri began his musical career in the late 80’s with Katzenjammer whose personnel would eventually gain worldwide recognition under the name Kyuss. Appearing on their Wretch and Blues for the Red Sunalbums, Oliveri left the group and joined The Dwarves. He eventually rejoined Kyuss guitarist Josh Homme forming Queens of the Stone Age. Nick would go on to front his own band Mondo Generator and collaborate onstage and in the studio with a wide variety of distinctive, oftimes extreme outfits including the Mark Lanegan Band, Masters of Reality, Turbonegro, Moistboyz, Bl’ast, and Kyuss Lives!/Vista Chino to name but a few.

https://twitter.com/NICKOLIVERI
https://www.facebook.com/rexeverything666
https://www.schnitzel.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/schnitzelrecords
https://twitter.com/SchnitzelUK
http://instagram.com/schnitzel_records

Nick Oliveri, “Too Tough to Die” (Ramones cover) live in Paris, July 21, 2014

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Mars Red Sky Post New Video for “Join the Race”; European Tour Starts Sept. 24

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

mars red sky

I’ll be honest with you, I’m not sure I have much insight to offer as regards Mars Red Sky‘s new video for “Join the Race,” the track taken from their 2014 sophomore LP and Listenable Records debut, Stranded in Arcadia (review here), but the short version is I get warm feeling whenever I listen to this song and the fucking band is great. They’re going on tour in Europe again, having just played the Reverence Festival, and man, I’d love to get to see them play again. Anywhere, really. Here, there, wherever. I don’t think another record has come out this year that I’ve gone back to as much as Stranded in Arcadia, and I’d relish a chance to hear the material live. Maybe next year.

The video for “Join the Race” is pretty much just compiled archive footage, grainy shots of the woods and train tracks put through psychedelic manipulations, but the point is the song itself. If you haven taken a second yet to get to know these guys, you’re missing out on some of the best heavy psych rock that’s out there right now.

And that’s that.

Dig:

Mars Red Sky, “Join the Race” official video

Following their spacey second effort “Stranded In Arcadia”, French stoner rockers MARS RED SKY recently presented their brand new video for “Join The Race”. In their own inimitable trippy style, the trio takes you along a kaleidoscopic journey across North America’s dusty deserted landscapes and railways. Sticking to the band’s DIY ethos, the video was exclusively made from archive images and edited by long time friend and video director Colin Manierka.

This fall, MARS RED SKY will keep on delivering fuzz to the European masses by playing an extensive serie of shows, which started last week with a smashing performance at heavy psych festival Reverence Valada in Portugal. Dates have already been locked in the UK, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, as well as in France where they will share the stage with national doom heroes Year Of No Light. Expect more cities to be announced in the next couple of weeks.

UPCOMING SHOWS:

24.09 LILLE (59) L’Aéronef Club
25.09 LONDON (UK) The Black Heart
26.09 CORBIE (80) Festival Rockin’ the Docks
27.09 CAEN (14) Le Bocal
01.10 TOURS (37) La Belle Rouge
02.10 PARIS (75) La Maroquinerie
03.10 CHAMBÉRY (73) Blizzard Mountain’s Fest
04.10 PRATTELN (SWZ) Up in Smoke Festival
05.10 FELDKIRCH (AT) Graf Hugo
06.10 ERBA (IT) Rock Pub Centrale
08.10 VIENNA (AT) Arena
09.10 WÜRZBURG (GER) Immerhin Würzburg
10.10 ESSLINGEN (GER) Klub Komma
11.10 LINZ (AT) Kapu
12.10 BERLIN (GER) Bassy Club
13.10 SIEGEN (GER) Vortex Musikclub
15.10 KOHLN (GER) Underground Cologne
16.10 KARLSRUHE (GER) Alte Hackerei
17.10 FRANKFURT (GER) Sky High Festival
18.10 MUNICH (GER) Keep it Low Festival
19.10 MILANO (IT) Arci Lo-Fi
07.11 CLERMONT FERRAND (63) Le Raymond Bar
08.11 SAVIGNY LE TEMPLE (77) L’Empreinte
20.11 NANTES (44) Le Ferrailleur ***
21.11 BIARRITZ (64) L’Atabal ***
22.11 TOULOUSE (31) Le Connexion ***
10.12 POITIERS (86) Le Confort Moderne ***
12.12 STRASBOURG (67) La Laiterie ***
13.12 LYON (69) Le Marché Gare ***
18.12 BORDEAUX (33) Le Krakatoa – MRS & Friends ***
*** With YEAR OF NO LIGHT

https://twitter.com/marsredsky1
http://instagram.com/marsredsky
http://marsredsky.bandcamp.com/
http://marsredsky.bigcartel.com/
http://www.youtube.com/marsredsky

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VINYL WEEK: Flood, Oak

Posted in On Wax on September 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Five years after making their debut on MeteorCity with the cave-riffed 2009 first album, Native (review here), San Francisco stoner plod trio Flood reemerge with Oak, their second long-player. Released by Volcom as a 12″ platter with green-swirl vinyl, it’s the second time the label and band have worked together behind a 2010 split with Wildildlife that included the track “The Gate to the Temple of the Ocean King.” That track doesn’t appear on Native or either of Oak‘s two sides, but as the six included tracks show, it’s not exactly like Flood are short on riffs. Some of their methods are consistent on Oak – as with the first album, they earn immediate points by opening hereSide A. with the longest track, “Perihelion,” though it’s worth noting that at just under 11 minutes, it’s still considerably trimmed down from “Aphelion”‘s 18:29. The two titles relating to orbital positions of planets in relation to the stars around which they’re revolving — perihelion is the closest point, aphelion the farthest — the two seem to be in direct conversation with each other, the newer track answering the lumbering thud of the older one with its own stomp and rumble, vocals echoing over slower riffing that picks up after about halfway through, if momentarily, to remind that somewhere along the line, Flood picked up a Fu Manchu influence.

The two-part “Holy Astro Shaman” follows on side A, and side B continues the heavy roll with “Beryllus” (also the longest song on its side at 8:14), “Baphomet Sermon” and “Lake Nyos,” proffering distortion largesse, echoing shouts and resonating percussive march in a post-Mastodon stoner metal with deep-running Sabbath/Sleep elements. The recording on Oak is rawer than was Native – the newer LP tracked by Bart Thurber at House of Faith Studio in Oakland — but in a way that sounds probably closer to Flood‘s live show and that brings out an extra edge from the material. In any case, the sound remains clear enough for the three-piece of guitarist Fozzy, bassist/vocalist Fink and drummer Eli to get their weighty message through. Side B.Periodic tempo shifts, as those in “Perihelion” and “Holy Astro Shaman Pt. II,” go a long way in changing up the feel. Longer than it might at first seem, even, since so much of what Flood does is consistent in its push and focus on tone, riffs, groove, but the two-part “Holy Astro Shaman” enacts a solid build across its span and, paying off that build about halfway into its second part, uses the remainder to explore a drum-led jam that fades out to cap side A.

Side B starts “Beryllus” with feedback and more consume-the-room riffing, a long Dopesmoker-style drum build opening not to riotous explosive heaviness, but to more jamming exploration prior to the first verse. Flood don’t sound like a patient band, but they are, albeit in a subtle way.  Throaty vocals shouting from deep in the mix, the guitar and bass work well together across the Side B opener, which gives way to the familiar chugging of “Baphomet Sermon,” which breaks in the middle with some highlight bass work from Fink, but otherwise sticks mostly to its central riff, leaving some atmospheric vocals to do the work of distinguishing it in the first half while arriving at a verse only later on, when the rollout is more established. Closer “Lake Nyos,” which takes its name from a body of water in Cameroon on top of a volcano that, in 1986, emitted a cloud of carbon dioxide responsible for the deaths of 1,700 people, starts with an appropriate sense of foreboding, the bass and drums setting a doomed ambienceFLOOD-OAK-BACK-COVER to be joined soon enough by the guitar, a siren in the background signaling the transition into the next stage of the build that will run a line throughout its seven minute runtime, Fink‘s vocals cave-shouting from under the guitar and bass while Eli‘s fills shift between slow-moving measures, leading to a gradual disintegration. The guitar and bass chug out, the drums thud, and Flood‘s Oak caps its final movement with a couple last hits and a quick shot of feedback.

Working greatly in the band’s favor is their utter lack of pretense. Flood did not take five years to put out their second record because they were trying to conquer the world or write a progressive masterpiece. They got around to it when they got around to it. That wouldn’t work for everyone, but it suits them and what they do, keeping their approach relatively simple while adding flourish in moments of experimentation without losing track of the heaviness they’re looking to convey. Dudes riffing out. I don’t know what it was that took them so long to get the album together, but Oak shows — like a second debut, almost — that Flood‘s worship continues to provide a fix for those who might need one. It’s the kind of heavy that makes squares show their corners.

Flood, Oak (2014)

Flood on Thee Facebooks

Volcom Entertainment on Bandcamp

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Amplifest 2014 Announces Finalized Lineup and Runtimes

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Here’s a thing that’s happening. I won’t get to go, but it looks like a killer weekend, and seeing the finalized schedule — which you can click to enlarge below — I already made out my plan for each of the two days of Amplifest 2014. Will that do me any good when I’m sitting on my ass and not in Porto, Portugal, on Oct. 4 and 5? No, but it’s fun to pretend.

I like the flow of this festival. YOB before Marissa Nadler and SwansConan before Wovenhand. There’s a clear aesthetic there that I find admirable. The lineup’s ready to roll and they’ve got film screenings, listening sessions and a whole lot of etc. doing as well, so dig in:

amplifest 2014

AMPLIFEST 2014

OCTOBER 4th & 5th

PORTO, PORTUGAL

Amplifest has been a fantastic ride since its inception in 2011. In the three past editions, we had the pleasure of sharing many unforgettable moments with all of you who joined us: Godflesh in one of the first shows since their reunion; the long awaited return to our country of Godspeed You! Black Emperor; the first time in Portugal of bands like Amenra, Bohren & Der Club of Gore, Ufomammut, Chelsea Wolfe, Jesu and many more, all of them giving all their energy to stun the audience; the art exhibitions at Hard Club; the engaging Amplitalks at O Meu Mercedes; the bonding between artists and audience in between shows.

These are just a few examples – if you have been here before, we’re sure you have your own highlights and special memories. If you haven’t, well, this will be the year. Amplifest will be back in 2014 in the weekend of 4 and 5 of October, taking place in the city of Porto, which was recently elected as European’s Best Destination. This will be Amplifest’s most ambitious edition to date: expect a challenging and eclectic lineup, expect an event from and to music lovers. This will be an edition with a lot of heart so let’s keep riding together – the path is upwards. Thank you for joining us.

Alhousseini Anivolla
Ben Frost
Black Shape Of Nexus
Bosque
Conan
Cult Of Luna
Hexis
Marissa Nadler
Pallbearer
Peter Brötzmann & Steve Noble
Pharmakon
Swans
Urfaust
Vvovnds
?
Wolvserpent
Wovenhand
Yob
David D’andrea
Chelsea Wolfe: Lone
March Of The Gods: Botswana Metalheads
Terminal Tower

Amplifest is more than a festival, it’s an experience. It is due to happen in Porto, Portugal, on the 4th and 5th of October. Tickets available at AMPLISTORE:
2-day passes: 65 euros
1-day pass: 35 euros

https://twitter.com/amplificasom
https://www.facebook.com/Amplificasom
http://amplificasom.com/amplifest/2014/

YOB, Live in Glasgow, Scotland, Sept. 6, 2014

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