Posted in Whathaveyou on April 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
I have no confirmation of this — pure speculation on my part — but it seems likely to me that The Body are getting ready to do some recording while they’re on the East Coast. My understanding is they’ve still done stuff in their former hometown of Providence, Rhode Island, since relocating to the other side of the country in Portland, Oregon, and though they’re coming fresh off an appearance at Roadburn and they’ve got a brand new collaborative effort with New Orleans sludge devastators Thou, history has shown the duo are never far off from the next project, album, EP, whatever it might be.
And not that they haven’t spent plenty of time on the road over the course of the last few years anyway, and not that Christs, Redeemersisn’t worth the extra support, but they’re at the St. Vitus Bar on May 8, then they break for nine days, then pick back up in Ithaca on May 17 before heading west and south. Again, I’ve got no solid word on anything, but if they wanted to put something to tape in or around Providence at that time, they’d be able to do so. I guess we’ll see.
Dates and info follow, fresh off the PR wire:
The Body Announces US Dates in May
Christs, Redeemers is out now
The Body have announced a string of US dates following their first-ever tour of Europe and a performance at the famed Roadburn festival, which kick off at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn on May 8th. The avant-doom duo released their third LP, Christs, Redeemers, last October on Thrill Jockey, and have followed it with collaborative one-offs with electronic producer The Haxan Cloak and doom band Thou.
The Body US tour dates Thu. May 8th – Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus Sat May 17th – Ithaca, NY – Just Be Cause Sun May 18th – Pittsburgh, PA – Abandoned Store Mon May 19th – Cincinnati, OH – 3 Kings Bar Tue May 20th – Bloomington, IN – The Bishop Wed May 21st – St. Louis, MO – Apop Records
Posted in Features on April 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
A little over four years ago, when Miami’s Floor reunited for a couple shows to coincide with the release of the 8CD box set, Below and Beyond, on Robotic Empire, I was fortunate enough to interview guitarist Anthony Vialon about the band’s getting back together for what seemed then to be a very limited run. Now, as they prepare to release their new album, Oblation (review here), next week on Season of Mist and embark a day later on a cross-country tour that will place them squarely on the other side of the line between a “reunion band” and a working one, it seemed only fitting to follow-up with Vialon about Floor‘s progress these last several years and how they got to where they are.
Because when they first booked three gigs back in 2010 in Florida and Georgia, the going impression — I think on the part of the band as much as fans — was that was it. Then the response they got was huge enough that it turned into a few more shows, and a tour, and then some more shows, and it kept rolling on until next thing you knew, they had been picked up by Season of Mist and streaming new material. It’s been a few years getting to this point, but for Floor – the trio of Vialon, guitarist/vocalist Steve Brooks (also of Torche) and drummer Henry Wilson (also of House of Lightning) — the progression seems to have been natural, one step taken at a time, building momentum as they might otherwise with a series of crushing bomb-string riffs.
Certainly that seems to be the method on Oblation. Set in the shadow of Floor‘s by-now-legend 2002 self-titled, what could’ve easily been a project doomed from the start — and not in the good way — has turned out to mark not only a successful return on the part of the band, but a creative evolution that gives a sense of where they left off and where they are now. Songs penned and constructed by Vialon, Wilson and Brooks like “Rocinante” and “War Party” call to mind the unabashed pop hooks of Floor‘s first run, while the eight-minute “Sign of Aeth” takes these elements to places they haven’t yet gone, so that Oblationisn’t nostalgic, but looking forward.
Doubtless a good part of Floor‘s legacy will remain linked to the self-titled, but in talking to Vialon yesterday, that only seemed like something for the trio to be proud of. Oblation releases in the EU and elsewhere tomorrow, April 25, and is out in North America next Tuesday, April 29. Floor begin their tour April 30 in Miami and will finish in Atlanta on June 1 (dates here). In the interview, Vialon discusses writing for the band again, the response the reunion has gotten these last few years, his affinity for Rush, and much more.
Enjoy the Q&A after the jump, and thanks for reading.
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
When lead guitarist Eric Clausen left West Coast heavy rockers Snail last summer, he did so with the announcement of his new project, Division Process and its debut album, The Jesus Horses. Recorded by his former bandmate Matt Lynch at his Mysterious Mammal Studios, Clausen is now ready to release The Jesus Horseson May 20 through Dragonwolf Records.
The long-player takes a decidedly darker, more metallic direction than did Snail‘s last outing, Terminus, and as Clausen explains in recapping some of the themes of the record below, that’s no coincidence when it comes to his influences and the point of view from which he was working.
The PR wire has it thus:
DIVISION PROCESS to Release “The Jesus Horses” May 20th
The debut album by DIVISION PROCESS, “The Jesus Horses”, is a narrative of one man’s decent into, and eventual rise out of, his own darkness.
Division Process is the creation of one man: Eric Clausen. Formerly lead guitarist of Snail, Clausen has been a studio heavyweight for years, and now he’s unleashing his fever dream of crank and nicotine on us all. “It’s about drugs. Or, rather, it’s about my journey through heavy drug use.”
It’s a black portrait of personal loss and disassociation including the inevitable spiral into self destruction. Clausen elaborates: “It’s a very personal record for me as it deals with my former drug use and my excuses for using — disillusionment with my surroundings, the loss of my mother to disease and just how everything suddenly seemed to fall apart. While there is no ‘happy ending,’ there is hope by the end when our hero decides to follow a better path rather than seek his own demise.”
The result is an album that is at once heavy, melodic and dark with big guitars and expansive, layered vocals. Says Clausen: “I’m a huge fan of bands with big vocals, be it Queen, ELO, Alice in Chains or whomever. I also love the guitars of TOOL, High on Fire and Cheap Trick and the writing of Trent Reznor.” This eclectic mix comes together in a potent stew of crushing rock.
Enlisting the help of drummer Darby Todd (Gary Moore, The Darkness) and bassist Collyn McCoy (OTEP, The Ultra-Electric Mega Galactic) ensured that the album’s impressive musical prowess would be evident while retaining musicality. “It was important to me that the music groove and swing and be listenable but still have some moments that just drop your jaw. I wanted it to be aggressive on all fronts, including the players’ abilities, without it being a shredder thing. Those boys definitely pulled that off.”
The first release from Dragonwolf Entertainment’s new label, Dragonwolf Records, “The Jesus Horses” is officially released on May 20 on CD and digital and is available on Amazon.com, iTunes, CDBaby and all the usual digital outlets.
Posted in audiObelisk on April 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Among the highlights of 2014 so far, Mars Red Sky‘s Stranded in Arcadia(review here) is out next week in Europe on Listenable Records (June 10 in North America). The album is the second from the Bordeaux trio of guitarist/vocalist Julien Pras, bassist/vocalist Jimmy Kinast and drummer Matgaz (his first), and it was put to tape in Brazil late last year after plans to tour the West Coast of the US and record in the California desert were undone by American visa troubles. Presumably the TSA saw Kinast‘s beard and assumed he was a terrorist, but I don’t know that for sure.
Either way, listening to Stranded in Arcadia– as I can’t seem to stop doing — the three-piece leaves little doubt that they made the most of their situation. Like their 2011 self-titled debut (review here) and subsequent 2013 EP, Be My Guide(review here), there’s a humility in the sweet melodies that complement the huge fuzz riffs of songs like “Hovering Satellites” and “Seen a Ghost,” but as opener and longest cut at just over eight minutes “The Light Beyond” shows, Mars Red Sky have greatly expanded their sound to include more psychedelic atmospheres. Production-wise, Stranded in Arcadiaunfolds gracefully into a sprawl the largesse of which not only serves to make the tones come across thick and/or echoing, but also to provide the landscape in which the next stage of the band’s songwriting can develop, coming into focus like an old Polaroid photo as “The Light Beyond” bursts to wah-soaked life from its soft, ambient intro.
Like “Join the Race,” “Seen a Ghost,” and the more swaggering “Circles,” “The Light Beyond” is a highlight of Stranded in Arcadia, but for anyone who heard the first record or its follow-up EP, the song also offers firm evidence of how Mars Red Sky have grown in the last couple years. More than that, it’s the kind of track that feels like it’s swallowing you whole as it eases between its verses and jammed-out vibing. Taking both into consideration, there was no way I wasn’t going to stream it when the opportunity arose.
Find and enjoy “The Light Beyond” on the player below, followed by info about Mars Red Sky‘s special May 15 release show in Bordeaux and other tour dates:
Into The Mars Red Sound » may 15th in Bordeaux!
On the occasion of the release of their new album ”Stranded In Arcadia” in Europe on April 28th, MARS RED SKY announced a release party in their hometown Bordeaux on May 15th. The band will perform a classic live set alongside Russian rockers The Grand Astoria, as well as an experimental video and sound creation featuring Julia Al Abed.
Mars Red Sky on tour:
04.26.14 – SAINTES (Fr) Coconut Party 05.06.14 – ESCH SUR ALZETTE (Lux) Rockhal *** 05.07.14 – LAUSANNE (Swz) Les Docks *** w/ Detroit 05.08.14 – AMIENS (Fr) Le Cirque Jules Verne *** 05.15.14 – BORDEAUX (Fr) Barbey, Release Party “Into The Mars Red Sound” 05.17.14 – ANGOULÊME (Fr) La Nef 06.01.14 – PARIS (Fr) La Cigale *** 06.20.14 – CLISSON (Fr) HELLFEST OPEN AIR 06.26.14 – SALLES-ABRUISSANNAS (Fr) Willstock Festival 06.27.14 – VIC LE COMTE (Fr) Festival Alambic 06.28.14 – ÉVREUX (Fr) Le Rock Dans Tous Ses États Festival 07.11.14 – ERFURT (Ger) STONED FROM THE UNDERGROUND FESTIVAL 10.02.14 – PARIS (Fr) La Maroquinerie
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Instrumental heavy pioneers Karma to Burn — who draw the straightest line from here to rock that you’ll ever see –teamed up with UK progressive heavy outfit Sons of Alpha Centauri for a split single back in 2009, and I guess it must have been a pretty pleasant experience. They’ve decided to make a sequel.
Containing Karma to Burn‘s “53″ and Sons of Alpha Centauri‘s “71″ (it was “14″ and “65″ last time around), the new split is out on Germany’s H42 Records. Sons of Alpha Centauri, in addition to the prior split with Karma to Burn, also released a split in 2009 with KTB guitarist Will Mecum‘s Treasure Cat trio, so the two units are no strangers, and for Karma to Burn, this marks the latest in a string of non-album releases since 2012′s Vthat also includes a self-titled 2013 EP, two live records and an instrumental re-recording of their first album, dubbed Slight Reprise.
PR wire details and a video teaser follow:
Karma To Burn/Sons of Alpha Centauri Split 7“ OUT NOW!
H42 Records is very proud to announce the return of two instrumental titans and their ongoing partnership to reinvigorate the hard rock world without words! On 21 April 2014 the ‘Karma to Burn / Sons of Alpha Centauri’ split 7″ enters the stratosphere in the form of a three different coloured vinyls and two brand new tracks ‘Fifty Three’ and ’71′ mastered at Abbey Road Studios!
This is the second 7″ featuring both bands and follows up the immense popularity of the first vinyl and captures the raw energy and driving rock fury of both bands yet again. This release will only be available on vinyl with limited pre-orders available exclusively through H42 Records.
Three different vinyl versions are available as blue/white marbled, orange/black marbled & black heavy release in deluxe design sleeves from ‘Alexander Von Wieding’. The vinyl will also be available on the forthcoming summer European Tour – check back for dates!
This release is only available on vinyl in three different versions: 130 pieces blue/white marbled 130 pieces orange/black marbled 240 pieces black
Posted in On Wax on April 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
On their debut single for Who Can You Trust? Records, Austrian four-piece Pastor – and just to save you the trouble of trying to seek them out on Thee Facebooks, here’s the link — run pretty quickly through a barrage of doom and classic heavy rock influences. Throughout the just-over-eight-minute Wayfaring Stranger b/w The Oath 7″, one can hear traces of early Pentagram‘s post-Sabbath doom rock, metered out with ’70s swing and swagger that makes the most of a catchy, nod-ready groove and immediately strong rhythmic sensibility. It’s worth emphasizing that the A-side is not a cover of the traditional ballad — the most memorable version I can think of for “Wayfaring Stranger” was by 16 Horsepower, but plenty of people have done it, including Johnny Cash – and that the B-side is not referring to the German doom/cult rock outfit so far as I can tell. Both songs are originals and delivered with a brash tossed-off feel that speaks to some roots in punk and keeps a natural, live feel to the recording.
The band is a two-guitar four-piece based out of Vienna, comprised of the first-name-only lineup of guitarist/vocalist Arik, guitarist Shardik, bassist Georg and drummer Alex. Once again, this single is their first release, but arriving in a sleeve that unfolds to show a full piece by Adam Burke on the outside and a picture of the band on the inside, they’ve put together a presentation that stands the two tracks out as something more professional than a demo that got picked up by a label, though the effect is still basically giving an introductory sample to what Pastor are shooting for sonically in their early stages. To that end, “Wayfaring Stranger” greets with motoring stomp, natural echo on the vocals and an underlying grit that pans out in winding riffs, lead/rhythm interplay and a sense of rush in the chorus that’s not actually overly fast, the midsection opening to a groove that would be begging for vinyl pressing if it wasn’t already done. They finish the A-side big — no surprise there — and pick up after the platter flip with more ’70s-stylized hijinks with “The Oath.”
Some of the doomly feel is maintained, but “The Oath” builds on its companion track with even more swagger, shifting near its own middle to a Radio Moscow-esque thrust of heavy psych, Arik donning a similar bluesy inflection to Parker Griggs. Crashing back to the reality of the heavy-landing central groove, Pastor once again seem to turn up as the “The Oath” boogies to its finish, but the blues-by-doom impression is made, and without giving themselves wholly over to the post-Graveyard/Kadavar school of retro worship, the foursome have nonetheless managed to hone an authentic-sounding update of a familiar but still engaging vibe. The vinyl, with the 7″ itself in a white sleeve and the art from Burke surrounding, is pressed in an edition of 500 copies. If you can dig it, you might dig it.
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Rumors have been kicking around for a while of Desertfest extending its brand and its reach beyond the confines of London and Berlin. No reason not to, when you think about it. Heavy rock is universal, and there’s really no pocket of Planet Earth where it doesn’t make sense, sonically if not geologically. Even as Desertfest 2014 gets ready to launch this weekend in its two home cities with the likes of Clutch and Spirit Caravan headlining in Berlin while Spirit Caravan, Boris and Kvelertak treat the London crowd to what’s what, the announcement has come through that the fall will bring Desertfest Belgium 2014 — the first incarnation of the festival beyond its initial two locales.
And not only does Desertfest Belgium 2014 exist, but it exists in a big way. Electric Wizard are confirmed to headline — they’ll likely have a new album out by then, having recently inked a licensing deal with Spinefarm — and Swiss instrumentalists Monkey3 and Nashville psychedelic blues upstarts All Them Witches have been added, the latter who will arrive in Europe for the first time after playing Scion Rock Fest in May on the heels of 2013′s stellar Lightning at the Door full-length. That Desertfest Belgium 2014 would start out with such an eclectic and far-reaching lineup only bodes well for what’s to come as more bands are added. Here’s looking forward.
Desertfest Belgium 2014 is set for Oct. 10-12 at Trix in Antwerp. Preliminary info and links follow below, hoisted from the fest’s Thee Facebooks:
Desertfest – the ultimate heavy/rock/psych/doom meeting, expands once more. After previous annual stints in Berlin and London, Desertfest will expand its territory to Antwerp! The ceremony will be held on the 10-11-12th of October at the notorious TRIX!
Expect the world’s best heavy bands, spread over three unique stages drenched in that underground atmosphere we all love. Beware of the sandstorm!
ELECTRIC WIZARD (UK) – New album out later this year on Spinefarm Records. MONKEY3 (CH) ALL THEM WITCHES (USA)
Posted in audiObelisk on April 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
There are many lyricists who delve into occult themes, devil-worship, carnal violence, etc., in their work, but I can’t think of anyone who pushes the boundaries quite as much as Phil Swanson. Noted for his tenures in Hour of 13 and Seamount — as well as the underappreciated Upwards of Endtime, Earthlord and a slew of others — the Connecticut-based singer seems most at home reveling in the taboo, testing and periodically crossing the line between decency and the profane. It’s not the cartoon chainsawing of death metal; there’s something more cerebral and corrupted about his approach. In Vestal Claret, he partners with multi-instrumentalist/engineer Simon Tuozzoli,also of King of Salem, and he seems to have found an avenue for his darkest output yet.
Vestal Claret‘s story is complicated, but in 2013, the three-piece of Swanson, Tuozzoli and drummer Michael Petrucci (also of King of Salem and Curse the Son) released their full-length debut, Bloodbath(review here), after putting the same record out on vinyl with various guests singing in 2011. Now signed to Cruz del Sur Music, the follow-up, The Cult of Vestal Claret, arrives quickly on the heels of its predecessor and furthers the duo’s (Petrucci played drums, but is no longer listed as a permanent member) fetish for psychotic explorations and traditional Sabbathian metal, tracks like “Never Say No Again,” “Piece of Meat,” the startlingly progressive 16-minute “Black Priest” and closer “The Stranger” churning with malevolent riffs, classically-styled lead work and of course Swanson‘s trademark bite.
Handling guitar, bass, organ and backing vocals in addition to the recording, Tuozzoli manages to evoke a full-band feel across The Cult of Vestal Claret‘s nine-song course (the LP has a different tracklisting than the CD, with sundry bonus cuts for each), boldly taking on Black Sabbath‘s “Who are You?” and matching the swing and pace of the original before letting loose one final creep-out with “The Stranger.” The latter track begins acoustically — there are unplugged moments throughout, feeding into the classic metal atmosphere — before moving into one of the record’s most righteous riffs, Swanson‘s vocals arriving with an immediate threat on which the song itself seems to make good, only getting more twisted as it progresses.
They are not looking to sicken simply for shock value, and there is an underlying intelligence and subtlety to what Vestal Claret does, so even if they offend, they’re offending with art and forcing the listener to confront what it is about their material that proves so disturbing. Take a listen to “The Stranger” on the player below and see where you stand:
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
Vestal Claret release The Cult of Vestal Claret on May 6 via Cruz del Sur. More info below, courtesy of the PR wire:
U.S. Occult Heavy Metallers VESTAL CLARET will release The Cult of Vestal Claret through Cruz del Sur Music on May 6 in North America. The album will be available on CD and vinyl LP formats; each with different track listings.
The compact disc edition includes newly recorded versions of four previously released tracks from the split with Ungod, and the long suite “Black Priest” (a different, re-recorded version from the one present on the split with Indian band ALBATROSS). The CD also contains two unreleased songs, a cover version of BLACK SABBATH’s “Who Are You?”, and an exclusive CD-only track titled “Great Goat God.” The vinyl LP includes two songs from the Ungod split, the two unreleased tracks, and an exclusive vinyl-only track titled “So Mote it Be.”
Track List CD 1. Never Say No Again 2. Three and Three Are Six 3. The Cult of the Vestal 4. Great Goat God 5. The Demon and the Deceiver 6. Piece of Meat 7. Black Priest 8. Who Are You 9. The Stranger
Vinyl LP 1. Never Say No Again 2. Three and Three Are Six 3. The Cult of the Vestal 4. The Stranger 5. So Mote it Be 6. Black Priest
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Slovenian doom five-piece Mist have announced a string of tour dates for this summer supporting their debut release, Demo 2013(review here). The ladies-only outfit have already made an impression with both their demo and their live performances, and after sharing the stage with the likes of Uncle Acid and Helstar, they’ll perform alongside Saint Vitus, Trouble and many others at the Hammer of Doom festival in Germany. They’re also booked for the Malta Doom Metal Festival, where they’ll play with Reino Ermitano, Manilla Road and more, so expect to hear more about Mist as the next few months play out.
For now, the PR wire offers the following:
MIST announces European tour dates
Slovenian doom metal ladies MIST, which returns to the live stage after a short absence, are set to embark on their first ever European mini-tour by the end of May. For now scheduled shows are booked in Belgium and The Netherlands. Before that they will appear at Doom Fest 2014: Night Of The Fallen Angels II in Italy and also support heavy metal veterans Helstar, led by the legendary James Rivera (Sabbath Judas Sabbath, Distant Thunder, Malice) in their hometown, Ljubljana. MIST have also been confirmed for the Malta Doom Metal Festival 2014 and Hammer Of Doom Festival in Germany.
MIST is a new all-female doom metal band from Ljubljana, formed in July 2012. They build their music on the legacy of legendary bands like Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Candlemass, Coven, Saint Vitus and others. With the premiere live show at the end of September 2013 the girls without a doubt demonstrated, that such a specific genre of music is not necessarily just a mens domain. MIST released their first demo simply entitled “Demo 2013″ in November last year, which was re-issued only 2 weeks later due the large interest. Their demo also received many promising reviews and radio airplays from all over the globe. Even though they are a young band they already had a chance to support Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats in Vienna, Austria.
MIST tour dates: 01.05. Maribor (SLO), Gustaf w/ Handful Of Hate, Verminate 10.05. Brescia (ITA), Circolo Colony – Doom Fest 2014: Night Of The Fallen Angels II w/ Officium Triste, Ophis, Lacrima,… 15.05. Ljubljana (SLO), Orto Bar w/ Helstar, Classified 16.05. Kranj (SLO), Trainstation Squat – Season Of The Witch (special DJ set) 23.05. Tilburg (NL), Little Devil w/ Cauchemar, Akelei 24.05. Brugge (BE), Wall Of Sound w/ Tyrant’s Kall, Hootka, Trip Hazard 30.05. Velenje (SLO), eMCe Plac – Sound Arson w/ Home Bug, Harry, Umor,… 31.05. Ljubljana (SLO), Gromka w/ Universe217, The Blues Against Youth,… 13.06. Zagradec (SLO) – Bloody Friday w/ Soulcharger (ex-Dead Dildo Drome),… 23.-25.10. Malta (MT), Chateau Buskett – The Malta Doom Metal Festival 2014 w/ Manilla Road, Officium Triste, Reino Ermitano,… 15.11. Würzburg (DE), Posthalle – Hammer Of Doom 9 w/ Saint Vitus, Avatarium, Mount Salem, The Ruins Of Beverast,…
I wasn’t fortunate enough to catch Spirit Caravan‘s reunion tour. Missed the Providence show by a couple hours as I was coming back from Roadburn — not at all a hardship — and as such, I was hoping the venerable Frank Huang would be on hand in Brooklyn to film the closing night of the tour at the St. Vitus Bar. As it happens, he got the whole set in glorious high definition, and the band looks and sounds killer running through classic Spirit Caravan material on the final evening of a long slog alongside doomly up-’n'comers Pilgrim.
The circa-35-date tour began in Maryland, fittingly enough for a band native and so pivotal to the underground there, but I can think of few places in the country as appropriate for it to wrap than at the Vitus Bar. As you can see in Huang‘s clip, the crowd is into it, the trio of Scott “Wino” Weinrich, bassist Dave Sherman (in an Earthride hat, killing it) and drummer Henry Vasquez sound as tight as one could ask for a band who’ve been on the road for more than a month across the country, and if ever there was a Wino Wednesday video to put on full-screen and groove to front to back, this one might be it.
Spirit Caravan are in Europe now getting ready to headline this weekend at Desertfest in Berlin and London. There are other shows booked throughout Europe for the summer and hopefully they do more in the US as well, if not 35 shows in a row. Though if they did, all the better to nail down the dynamic and the better chance of putting together a new studio album. Of course, I’d take a live record in the interim, but until that shows up, I’m even gladder to have footage like this of them at the top of their game on stage.
Enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday:
Spirit Caravan, Live at St. Vitus Bar, April 15, 2014
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Boozy Texan rockers Scorpion Child are getting ready to follow their recent European tour with a run across the eastern half of North America that’ll go from the end of May into June, hitting major markets along the way with company from Crobot. Both bands have in common that they’ve opened for Clutch, so at least you know they’ve been to school, and Scorpion Child also took part in that monstrous five-band bill last year with Kadavar, Mothership, Gypsyhawk and Wilson. For Scorpion Child, who’ve hardly let their livers recover since making their self-titled debut on Nuclear Blast last year, this next stint will begin at the Rocklahoma festival on May 24, from which they’ll swing back south into Texas before looping up the East Coast.
It’s a considerable undertaking from the road-dog-in-the-making four-piece, and the PR wire has the details below:
SCORPION CHILD ANNOUNCE HEADLINING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR
Ready to blaze back into North America with appearances at this year’s Rocklahoma & River City Rock festivals after their all-out assault through Europe, kick-ass hard rockers SCORPION CHILD from Austin, Texas will launch a headlining tour this spring with Pennsylvania’s space rockers CROBOT supporting. The trek will start off on May 26th in Dallas, Texas, includes two shows in Canada, and ends in Nashville, Tennessee on June 8th.
Checking in from Berlin, Germany, SCORPION CHILD vocalist Aryn Jonathan Black shares the following about their return home:
“We are enraptured to set out on our blitzkrieg U.S. tour of the Right Coast, Midwest, and Canada next month along with CROBOT. Do not miss this hard package!”
Tour dates are:
05/24/14 Rocklahoma Festival – Pryor, OK 05/25/14 River City Rock Fest – San Antonio, TX 05/26/14 Gas Monkey – Dallas, TX 05/27/14 The Station – Lafayette, LA 05/28/14 Masquerade – Atlanta, GA 05/29/14 The Hive – Charleston, SC 05/30/14 Metro – Baltimore, MD 05/31/14 North Star Bar – Philadelphia, PA 06/01/14 Studio at Webster – New York, NY 06/02/14 Brighton Music Hall – Boston, MA 06/03/14 Il Motore – Montreal, QC – CANADA 06/04/14 Coda – Toronto, ON – CANADA 06/05/14 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL 06/06/14 Buster’s – Lexington, KY 06/07/14 Fubar – St. Louis, MO 06/08/14 The End – Nashville, TN
Described by Aryn Jonathan Black as “a sonic landscape of a 24-hour period” and joining the elite ranks of rock’s present day flag bearers such as Graveyard, The Sword, Wolfmother, and Rival Sons, SCORPION CHILD‘s self-titled debut album was produced and arranged by Chris “Frenchie” Smith (The Answer, Jet, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead) using analog technology.
Scorpion Child debuted at #26 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart & at #99 on the Hard Music Album chart the week following its June 2013 release. Shortly after the announcement that the band would headline Rockstar Mayhem’s Sumerian Stage last summer, their single “Polygon Of Eyes” was selected as the iTunes “Single of the Week.”
SCORPION CHILD has toured with CLUTCH and KADAVAR, showcased multiple years at the SXSW Music Festival, and performed on the Shiprocked Cruise in January. This will be their second appearance at Rocklahoma.
Seems odd to say it, but Crowsisn’t the first 18-minute single that Netherlands-based post-metal four-piece Ortega have released in their time together. The last one was late-2012′s The Serpent Stirs(review here), and as the follow-up to that and reportedly the precursor to a new full-length album, Crowswinds up making a lot of sense with its limited tape release through Tartarus Records, a black-ink-on-grey-box unfolding with a handmade feel to match the Groningen group’s intricate heavy/ambient tradeoffs throughout the song’s 18 minutes. The program repeats on both sides of the tape, which has crows and branches printed on it, and for what’s purported to be a demo track, the sound is awfully full and the band is awfully tight, leaving me to wonder what they might look to change going into the album — that is, how much more there is to build on from what they have here. It’s almost unfair to use the word “cassingle” for a song that’s en EP unto itself, but technically I suppose that’s what Crows is.
And taken on the level of a single, it’s a strikingly cohesive one, with guitarists Alex Loots and Richard Postma trading between thick waves of riffing and sparse atmospherics, ambient squigglies floating into the sonic space of a mix that, again, is done little justice by being designated as a demo. Bassist Frank de Boer distinguishes himself in the song’s midsection with a surprisingly warm tone, while drummer Sven Jurgens manages to keep the proceedings fluid for the most part without falling into the trap of the Isis drumbeat (you know the one!), which is one of the core challenges at this point of post-metal percussion styles — how to make it not sound like Panopticon. Postma handles vocals as well when they arise, his assured growl topping the later payoff of a fervent instrumental build playing out in a rising tide of start-stop chugging; a measured, restrained groove finally letting loose just in time for the growls to reemerge. For those familiar with the style, Ortega‘s take won’t be wholly strange, but Crows remains asolid execution of the progressive aspects of post-metal and even over its extended course doesn’t dull the attention more than it intends to do with hypnotic repetition of parts.
It’s easy to imagine “Crows” paired with another piece of similar length as opposing vinyl sides as Ortega‘s next long-player, but I guess we have some time yet before we get there. Fair enough. Maybe by then I’ll have it figured out what exactly makes Crowsa demo.
Following up on a Heavy Psych Sounds reissue of their 2007 Come Heavy Sleepdebut, Swedish heavy rockers Deville have a new video for the song “The Knife.” The track comes from the Malmö four-piece’s 2013 full-length, Hydra (review here), which was also their first release on Small Stone Records. As timing would have it, Deville head out on a European tour this week, having finalized the dates at the start of April, and “The Knife” makes a solid argument for showing up to see them if you happen to be in that part of the world. One doubts they’ll be playing on top of a giant guitar or that there will be huge spinning blades — probably for the best — but as Deville stand in a fine tradition of their country’s heavy rock without bowing to the retro pressures of the current scene, they only make themselves more individualized for their efforts.
Between that conceptual appeal and the actual fruit of Deville‘s songwriting, it doesn’t seem like a way to lose out. “The Knife” was among the most memorable cuts on Hydra, so whether you caught wind of the album or not last year, it’ll be worth either the refresher or the initial exposure to check it out. Rock and roll:
Deville, “The Knife” official video
Music video by Deville performing The Knife. Taken from the album “Hydra” Small Stone Records 2013. Directed by: Henrik Christoffersson Filmed by: Henrik Christoffersson & Peter Tarpgaard Edited by: Henrik Christoffersson
Europe spring tour is up! New dates added!
25/4 GER Duesseldorf-Pitcher 26/04 CH Lugano TI/STREET/ART Festival 27/04 IT Pescara-Orange Rock Cafè 28/04 IT Roma-Sinister Noise 29/04 IT Santa Croce Sull’ Arno-Rock City 30/04 IT Montecchio Maggiore-E20 01/05 IT Piacenza-Cuncertass Festival 01/05 IT Seregno-Sala Malasangre 02/05 CH St Gallen-Rumpeltum 03/05 IT Torino-Cafè Liber 04/05 FRA Lyon-Le Moko 05/05 FRA Draguignan-Bucephale 06/05 IT Padova-Sotterranei 07/05 FRA Besanqon-Les passagers du Zinc 08/05 BEL Hasselt-Carpe Diem 09/05 GER Munster-Rare Guitar 10/05 GER Berlin-Jaegerklause
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Yeah, you read that right. 24 albums. Uriah Heep have come a long way, temporally and sonically, since they were Very ‘eavy Very ‘umble, and this June the long-running UK outfit led by guitarist/founder Mick Box will release their 24th studio offering in the form of Outsider on Frontiers Records. Their last record was 2011′s Into the Wild, and for Heep‘s consistent fanbase, the latest work stands out because it’s the first since the death of longtime bassist Trevor Bolder, who passed away last year.
The PR wire brings comment from Box on the acquisition of new bass player Dave Rimmer and the direction of the material on Outsider:
URIAH HEEP RETURNS WITH POWERFUL NEW RELEASE: OUTSIDER
URIAH HEEP is: Mick Box: Guitars, Vocals Phil Lanzon: Keyboards, Vocals Bernie Shaw: Lead Singer Russell Gilbrook: Drums, Vocals Dave Rimmer: Bass, Vocals
Uriah Heep, one of the pivotal hard rock groups to emerge from England in the late 1960s returns with Outsider, its 24th studio album, and the first since 2011’s critically acclaimed Into the Wild album. Outsider will be released on June 6th in Europe, June 9th in the UK and June 10th in North America on Frontiers Records.
“We are very proud of our history” says founder/guitarist Mick Box, “but it is equally important to keep producing new material. This new album, Outsider, is very much a rock album in true ‘Heep’ style. It shows that we still have the same passion and energy for our music that we have always had.”
From the opening chords of the album’s hard driving rocker, “Speed of Sound”, to the more introspective closer, “Say Goodbye”, Outsider proves that Uriah Heep has remained a musical powerhouse, and one that can effectively balance its legendary sound with a distinctly contemporary approach. The record, which was produced by Mike Paxman (Asia, Status Quo), also introduces bassist Dave Rimmer, who joined the band last summer after the untimely death of long time member, Trevor Bolder.
Says Box of his late friend, Bolder: “We lost a world class bass player, singer, songwriter and friend. While Trevor was ill, he wanted us to continue working, so we used a bass player called Dave Rimmer, who Trevor approved of. It was only natural that Dave carried on with the band.”
After major tours of Europe, Scandinavia, Russia and South America, upon the release of Outsider, Uriah Heep will launch a world tour that will take in many continents as the band promotes the new album to an eager international audience.
Formed in London in 1969 by guitarist Mick Box and late singer David Byron as “Spice”, the group evolved into Uriah Heep (the name was taken from a character in Charles Dickens’ novel David Copperfield) when they began conceptualizing the first record. The album Very ‘eavy, Very ‘umble, launched the band’s distinct sound in 1970, one that was built around layered harmony vocals, swirling keyboards, and heavy guitar riffs. Current lead singer Bernie Shaw and keyboardist Phil Lanzon have been ever present since the mid 1980s, and drummer Russell Gilbrook joined Uriah Heep in 2007.
The band’s repertoire features hits over five decades from the 70s through to the present day including tracks such as; “Gypsy”, “ Easy Livin’”, “July Morning”, “Look At Yourself”, “Stealin’” and “Lady in Black”, which went to #1 in Germany on three different occasions, and once stayed at #1 for 6 months. They have gone on to sell 40 million records, and have toured globally for 5 decades, visiting no less than 56 countries, headlining numerous festivals and arena tours, including being the first western rock band to play Russia, in 1987. Founder Mick Box has remained throughout.
Track listing for Outsider: Speed Of Sound, One Minute, The Law, The Outsider, Rock The Foundation, Is Anybody Gonna Help Me?, Looking At You, Can’t Take That Away, Jessie, Kiss The Rainbow, Say Goodbye
Posted in Reviews on April 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
It’s been just over four years since Miami trio Floor played a one-off reunion show that warned, “One show. One chance. Don’t blow it,” and it’s been a decade since the band’s sophomore outing, Dove, was released in 2004. Since that time, the band has spawned a family tree rivaled by few, members of the lineup throughout their 12-year initial run going on to play in acts like Torche, Dove, House of Lightning, MonstrO, Holly Hunt and Cavity (the latter of whom ran concurrent to Floor and who seem like fodder for a reunion of their own), among others. The biggest impact in terms of audience has unquestionably been by Torche, who, led by guitarist/vocalist Steve Brooks, inherited much of their pop-meets-bomb-drop-sludge-riffing ethic directly from Brooks‘ work in Floor, continuing to refine those methods and ultimately creating something new from them. Both bands now active, Floor release their first album since Doveand first new material since their reunion — 2009′s 8CD discography box set Below and Beyondnotwithstanding — in the form of Oblationon Season of Mist. Its title refers to “an offering,” and that may well be what Floor have in mind, but while the core focus on tone and pop melody remains intact, there have been some very distinct changes in the approach of Floor – the trio of Steve Brooks, guitarist Anthony Vialon (2010 interview here) and drummer Henry Wilson — since they issued their landmark 2002 self-titled debut and they show up audibly in the listening experience of Oblation.
That’s to be expected, right? It has been a decade. To expect Floor to get back together and release Floor Pt. 2seems unreasonable and unfair. As righteous as that album is, for Brooks, Vialon and Wilson to have come in with the intent of recapturing that magic — and it is the self-titled lineup that’s reunited — would be shooting themselves in the foot before they started. No. Oblationis a collection of songs poised not to surrogate the hooks of old, but to serve as a beginning for this new stage of the band. In short, Floor have grown up. Oblation is not the work of a three-piece experimenting with their sound and happening into brilliance. There is poise, confidence, and awareness at its root, and whether it’s the ultra-thick underlying chugging of the spacious opening title-track or the ensuing upbeat rush of “Rocinante” — one of Floor‘s sonic gifts was to not only have tones so thick, but to make them move, and that remains the case here — or the standalone megastomp of “Love Comes Crushing,” the band offer crisp, assured songcraft and a defining clarity of intent. While the songs remain exciting well beyond the simple novelty of their existence, a new Floor album seeming like an impossibility for years, that clarity necessarily comes in trade for the spontaneous sensibility of their earlier work. That’s the nature of creative progression — once you know what you’re doing, your approach to it changes. The middle section of Oblationthat runs from “New Man,” through “Sister Sophia,” “The Quill” and the aforementioned “Love Comes Crushing” before getting to the catchy “War Party” still works as a fitting summary for Floor‘s aesthetic — thick, at times lush, alternately crawling, running, but always moving, etc. — but it does so more in triumph at its level of execution than in raw punkish urgency.