Friday Full-Length: Truckfighters, Mania

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

 

It was a put-up-or-shut-up moment for Sweden’s Truckfighters. Time to show who they really were going to be as a band and what their impact would be over the longer term. Their 2005 debut, Gravity X (discussed here), had certainly produced its share of memorable tracks, including “Gweedo-Weedo,” “Manhattan Project,” “Gargarismo” and its essential leadoff, “Desert Cruiser,” which over the years since would become the band’s signature piece. But 2007’s Phi seemed to be in an awkward place, with the Örebro three-piece adding a second guitarist in an experiment that ultimately wouldn’t last. It had been more than five years since they got their start on a split with bassist/vocalist Oskar Cedermalm‘s prior band, Firestone (discussed here), and as with so many third albums, it was time for Truckfighters to determine the direction they wanted their material to manifest.

On some level, conscious or not, they must have known it, because 2009’s Mania (review here) meets the formidable task before it in a way that’s nothing if not head-on. It’s the release by which I’ve judged every Truckfighters release since, and a significant standard to which a record might live up, taking the fuzz and memorable hooks of Gravity X and the somewhat moodier vibe of Phi and bringing them together is a way that showed heavy rock did not have to just be one thing. It didn’t just have to be out there, cruising in the desert. It could be progressive, heavy and energetic all at the same time. It could be richly melodic. It could be weighted and contemplative feeling. And in a quick turn, it could be fun, catchy, and nonetheless clear in its intention to engage the listener. With ManiaCedermalm, guitarist Niklas Källgren and then-drummer Oscar “Pezo” Johansson solidified Truckfighters‘ sound around something that could grow in multiple directions, and thereby helped set the stage for what’s come after, both from them and from a generation of heavy rockers who’ve worked to some degree or other under their influence.

It’s debatable whether Truckfighters‘ greater contribution to heavy rock has been on stage or in the studio. Largely self-recorded and self-released, their fuzzy tones have become a signature that’s recognizable in their work as well as in plenty of other acts, but what they do live is perhaps even more immediately striking. Cedermalm and Källgren, as the two founders and essential figures in the band, have a reputation for onstage physicality that is well earned, and I’ve seen them play sets that look as much like an aerobic workout as an artistic performance. Not every band can or wants to do that, of course, but Europe over the last decade has seen a boom of similarly-inclined heavy rock delivery, in the UK, in Germany, in Greece and elsewhere, and certainly Truckfighters have toured enough in that time — including in North America — to spread their influence across borders.

truckfighters mania

But Mania is also dynamic in a way that extends to being more than just a vehicle for a band to run back and forth and jump off drum risers while they play. Songs like the closer “Blackness,” the relatively mellow but still hooky leadoff “Last Curfew” and most especially the 13-minute “Majestic” and the later “Con of Man” actively, willfully push the Truckfighters sound and style to places it hadn’t yet been, reaching a new level of accomplishment as a result. This happened at the same time the early, drum-led “Monte Gargano” reconfirmed their desert rock mindset, and the subsequent “The New High” acted as a bridge from one side to another ahead of the arrival of “Majestic,” still relatively early in Mania‘s eight-song/50-minute run. The album sets up a back-and-forth dynamic, really from the start but especially from “Majestic” onward, that sees them push and pull between more straight-ahead fare and proggier impulses.

“Majestic” — which every bit lives up to its title via a sprawl the band has tried multiple times to recapture — and “Con of Man” are separated by the four-minute “Monster,” which emerges on revisit as a kind of lost standout. Surely overwhelmed by the sweep of what comes directly before and after, as nearly anything would be, its foundation in acoustic and electric guitar blend is itself a forward step for Truckfighters, and Cedermalm‘s laid back vocal there sets gives the song an all the more sunshiny vibe, only emphasizing the contrast in the severity of “Con of Man,” thereby enhancing the effect of both cuts on the audience. This, as well as the penultimate “Loose” — which seems like a direct answer stylistically and thematically to “Desert Cruiser” and is the shortest inclusion at 3:44 — bring a lightness to the end of Mania to keep it from taking itself too seriously. They remind that, hey, we’re all here to have a good time, and speak to a breadth in Truckfighters‘ songcraft that they’ve continued to develop in the years since.

It would be four years before they’d release anything else, but much of that time was spent touring. They came to America for the first time. They had a documentary made about them in 2012. They were on the road again and again in Europe, helping lead the charge of a booming underground heavy festival scene that continues to develop. An EP, The Chairman (discussed here), arrived in 2013, followed the next year by the Universe LP (review here) that seemed to pick up where Mania left off and present Truckfighters‘ growth as an ongoing process, and of course, more heavy road work. A licensing deal through their Fuzzorama Records imprint with Century Media resulted in wider distribution for 2016’s (review here), and they complemented that with the self-released Live in London (review here) that same year, courting controversy as well for their video for “Calm Before the Storm” (discussed here) from the V album. After weathering that and yet more touring, they announced a “long, long” hiatus in 2018 that lasted just about a year before they got back together and decided to hit the road playing Gravity X in full. “You can’t escape from what you are,” their statement said at the time, seeming almost resigned to the fact. Fair enough.

Whatever happens with, to or for them next, Mania 10 years later still holds up as a high point of their output to-date. I won’t take anything away from their other studio releases, but no question this was a special moment, and in a put-up-or-shut-up scenario, they every bit exceeded all expectations and helped reshape what fuzz rock could be.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

That it? Is the week done? Is it ever really over? Nah, not these days.

Whatever.

Life with The Toddlerian Pecan — this strange pain-in-the-ass alien who’s replaced the gorgeous chubby-cheeked baby who was my son mere months ago — continues to provide an assortment of thrills and spills. The Patient Mrs. has had to work all week, as one will when one has, you know, a job — she gotta bring home that bacon to support my ever-expanding blogger-ass — and so it’s been me and him. Me vs. him. I forfeit. He wins. I used to say that if I died in the house by myself, I was cool with The Little Dog Dio eating my face to survive. I don’t know in what scenario it ever would’ve happened like that, but you know, yeah. Well, I’m pretty sure The Pecan is getting ready to eat my face while I’m still alive and then cha-cha-cha stompy-foot dance on my exposed skull. Laughing his adorable laugh all the while.

I’ve never done heroin, but I imagine that laugh is what it’s like.

So it was that kind of week. Especially yesterday morning, which was h-a-r-d. I know I’m not exactly doing the world a favor by having a kid in the first place. Great. One more white dude. That’s bound to make everything better. But man, some days it sure feels like I’m doing him a favor by not opening the door and telling him to go live in the woods. You like squirrels so damn much? Off you go!

He’d go, too. Probably build himself a treehouse, the little fucker.

He’s not yet two. That’s next week.

So. So, so, so.

Speaking of next week, I think I’m gonna go see The Well at the Vitus Bar on Wednesday. Could stand to get out for a bit, and that’s probably just enough traffic to set me right. Also look for reviews of the new Om live LP, an interview with Colour Haze about their new LP (that’s on Monday), a premiere of The Lone Madman and a review of the new Year of the Cobra. That’s your week, right there. I’m sure there will be other stuff. I can’t seem to get through laying out a week on a Friday lately without something changing that day.

Today, for example, my initial plan was the Ogre stream. Then the Bible Black Tyrant premiere came together. Fine. Then last night, the Via Vengeance premiere came together last-minute. Well, okay. So yeah. One day, three premieres, six posts, one of which is this already-gone-on-too-long chicanery. Call it madness, because it is.

Ah shit, Pecan’s awake. 6:20, for the record. I got up at 4, as ever.

Real life.

Not that fake life.

Real life.

Great and safe weekend. Forum and radio. I swear there’s new merch coming soon.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk shirts & hoodies

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Via Vengeance Premiere “Haunt” Video; Diestractions from the Truth Preorders Available Today

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

via vengeance
Next time you want to piss off your autocorrect, try sending a text about the new Via Vengeance record, which has been dubbed Diestractions from the Truth and is due out Nov. 15 through Salt of the Earth Records. Preorders are open as of noon Eastern today from the label, and to mark the occasion, Shane Ocell, who comprises the entirety of the lineup, has a new video premiering for “Haunt,” which is also the first audio to be made public from the album. The title, carrying that implication likening distractions and death, isn’t the first instance of Ocell (who also drums for Sorxe) using that particular wordplay; Via Vengeance‘s 2007 debut, Dieography, was the project’s only release until 2016’s also-aptly-named Harsh Conditions, which, rest assured, had its own body count going by the time it got to closer “In the End Nothing Goes to Waste.” Fair enough. I don’t think you start a one-man sludge band unless you have a few things to get off your chest.

And Via Vengeance is a solo outfit in the truest sense. I’ve never seen him live, but by all accounts, Ocell handles via vengeance bannerit all on stage, drums, vocals, guitar, and the ethic would seem to extend to the studio as well. Can you hear the difference on a recording? I don’t know. What would “Haunt” sound like with a full band instead of one person doing it all? Maybe it’d be a huge difference. Maybe it’d be no different at all. Point is he’s doing it, so that’s what you get live and on the LP.

You can see a bit of it in the video — or at least the second half of it. For the first minute-plus, Ocell toys with the notion of there being multiple members of the band, wearing a couple different disguises as he separately plays drums and guitar and sings. The swap happens at 1:23 and for the rest of the 3:14 clip you can see Ocell holding a drum stick in between his ring finger and pinky while strumming his guitar to the rhythm of his own making and yelling out verse lines to top the march. As compared to Harsh Conditions, there’s a general uptick in production value and his shouts seem more noise rock than the gutturalism of the last album, but I wouldn’t necessarily expect “Haunt” to speak for the entirety of Diestractions from the Truth either, though I won’t argue with the first impression it makes.

Premiere is below, followed by the preorder link.

Enjoy:

Via Vengeance, “Haunt” official video premiere

VIA VENGEANCE
“Diestractions From The Truth”
(VINYL / CD / Digital Download)
Release Date: 11/15/19

Preorders Start Today!!
**Friday (10/18) @ 12 PM (Eastern)**
www.SaltOfTheEarthRecords.com

From the deepest recesses and abstract corners of Shane Ocell’s (Sorxe) mind comes A one man juggernaut of unbridled heaviness…prepare to have your senses altered as the bar of creativity is raised to new heights. This is audio warfare.

The unrelenting Phoenix AZ based Sludge band known as VIA VENGEANCE was formed in 2006 by Shane Ocell with exploring the concept of being a one-man Sludge band being the ultimate mission… And he has been crushing solo ever since.

VIA VENGEANCE use no loops and Shane records all his tracks while playing both guitar and drums simultaneously. Combining both a finesse and a reckless audio abandon that must be heard, and felt to truly appreciate.

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Salt of the Earth Records website

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Review & Full Album Stream: Ogre, Thrice as Strong

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on October 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Ogre Thrice as Strong

[Ogre release Thrice is Strong on Oct. 25 through Cruz Del Sur Music. Stream the album in full on the player above.]

Though their tenure has been interrupted by periods of inactivity and on-again-off-again hiatus, 2019 marks 20 years of Ogre, who celebrate their doom-meets-classic-heavy-rock with the new LP Thrice as Strong. It is their first offering since 2014’s The Last Neanderthal (review here), and as the Maine-based trio of bassist/vocalist Ed Cunningham, guitarist Ross Markonish and drummer Will Broadbent dig into the seven-track/43-minute push-pull of early Sabbathian bluesy purity, they’re likewise unafraid to add touches of ’80s proto-NWOBHM to songs like the centerpiece “Judgement Day” or to find their way along a Motörhead-style swing-and-thrust in the early cuts “Hive Mind” and “Big Man” while saving broader-reaching fare for side B’s longer tracks “Blood of Winter” and the closer “Cyber-Czar,” both over eight minutes.

Thrice as Strong, the full title on the cover of which — with art by Will Broadbent; spoiler alert: their heads are on pikes — is listed as In a Doomed World They Must Remain Thrice as Strong, is the three-piece’s first release through Cruz del Sur Music and though their work has always been concerned with a kind of primitivism across releases like their 2003 debut, Dawn of the Proto-Man (reissue review here), 2006’s Seven Hells (reissue review here) and 2008’s Plague of the Planet (review here), their latest collection finds them no less engaged with the present we’re living in. Certainly there’s plenty of fodder there for doom, and Ogre duly revel in it, with cuts like “The Future,” “Hive Mind,” and even “Cyber-Czar” taking on the modern age and its many futuristic and technological horrors/wonders — the latter with a particular Dehumanizer bent in its later moments closing out the album — even as “Blood of Winter” and the penultimate “King of the Wood” tap into Ogre‘s more classic fare of pulp-style epic comic books and so on. In other words, on Thrice as StrongOgre delve into both kinds of lyrics: sci-fi and fantasy. They are no less at home in the one than the other.

That leaves “Big Man” as an outlier, thematically, and maybe it is. I haven’t had the benefit of a full lyric sheet, those familiar with Ogre‘s past albums might consider “Big Man” something of a spiritual successor to “Nine Princes in Amber” from The Last Neanderthal. It is the shortest track on Thrice as Strong at just under four minutes, and the purest of the boogies on offer as well. “The Future” opens melodic and catchy in trad-metallic grandeur — at least relatively — touching on some Iron Maiden influence in Cunningham‘s bassline beneath Markonish‘s solo, and Broadbent adds to the momentum early by double-timing on the hi-hat during the verse, and “Hive Mind” has its shove in the first half before hitting the brakes in the second and picking back up to round out. “Big Man,” by contrast, holds its speedier pace for the duration and is a standout from the surrounding cuts, much as the aforementioned piece from the prior album was in its own context. I don’t think the one song is a direct answer to the other — different themes, different sound — but perhaps on some level manifesting a similar impulse in songwriting toward self-contradiction and flying in the face of “doom needs to be slow” or other such ultimately unnecessary genre tenets.

ogre

One way or the other, Ogre sound like they’re having a blast there and elsewhere. Cunningham is a vocalist for all or at least most seasons, singing clean, shouting, screaming occasionally, all with personality, a touch of echo and a classic feel, but at the same time he comes across as natural even in layers on “The Future,” and never sounds like he’s taking the proceedings too seriously, which would only imperil the album as a whole in terms of atmosphere. Recording-wise, part of Ogre‘s traditionalism has always been a relatively barebones production style. They’ve never veered too far from presenting themselves with something close to their live sound, and for what they’re playing that’s always worked. It does on Thrice as Strong too. That would seem to put extra pressure on Cunningham as a singer in fronting the band not only to carry that energy forward to the audience hearing the record, but simply in pulling off changes like those of “Judgement Day” where he goes from growling out one line to soaring in the next, and it seems to be no challenge whatsoever for him. That is only fortunate for all parties involved.

The shift into “Blood of Winter” represents something of a sea change in Thrice as Strong — it’s very likely the start of side B — with a broader and more doomly scope, but Ogre excel at this kind of storytelling, and together with the swing-and-nodder “King of the Wood,” “Blood of Winter” very much plays to their strengths and reminds of how underrated they’ve always been. A languid groove in “King of the Wood” turns to shuffle late and fades to silence ahead of “Cyber-Czar,” signaling a marked turn as Broadbent‘s drums lead the way on a fade-in that’s particularly militaristic. The closer itself is seven-plus minutes long, but there’s a robot-voice spoken part at the end and a howling sirens and other sounds of conflict over the fading final hits, wind and distant explosions, etc., to round out the atmosphere following the track itself, which is a fitting if deceptively speedy summation of the crux of the record.

Of course, no matter where they go, the underlying message of Thrice is Strong is the same, and caveman battles or futuristic warfare, that’s ultimately what the album is about. It’s about them — the band — together. It’s about Ogre looking back on two decades as a group and not just knowing who they are as a band, as one would expect to be a largely settled issue by anyone’s fifth record — at least as much as any band ever settles that issue — but also appreciating the special aspects of the whole that each member brings. The theme of Thrice as Strong may be struggle in terms of the lyrical narrative, but the album is little short of a commemoration of their methods and their accomplishments as songwriters. The arrival of a new Ogre album, any Ogre album, is noteworthy — it’s just not something that happens every day — but with Thrice as Strong, the acknowledgement of a special occasion seems to extend to all levels. CunninghamMarkonishBroadbentOgre. That’s the story here.

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Cruz del Sur Music website

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Forming the Void Tour with Witch Ripper Starts Tonight; Playing Heavy Mash Tomorrow

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

forming the void

This very evening marks the beginning of Forming the Void‘s West Coast-bound latest round of tour dates. Joining them in the endeavor are Witch Ripper, from Seattle, and of particular note is the appearance this weekend at Heavy Mash in Arlington, which is co-presented by this site and for which I can only recommend attendance. Make a day of it. Make two days of it. Do whatever you want. Follow the bands on tour. But you know, tell them you’re doing that. Don’t just randomly show up and lurk at each gig. I think at that point you could probably say hi and it’d be cool.

Forming the Void were originally slated and I think I mentioned around here at some point — yup, sure did — that they had studio time booked to record their next album. Well, plans change. They’ll reportedly knuckle down after this run and get to work on the thing, but in the meantime will take part in Magnetic Eye Records‘ tribute to Alice in Chains, the Dirt [Redux], as part of a busy slate next year that will also see them play their first show on the other side of the Atlantic, appearing at Edinburgh’s Red Crust Festival in May (info here). Should make a day of that too, maybe. Or three.

Current tour dates follow. Go see this band:

forming the void tour

Forming the Void & Witch Ripper – Void Ripper Tour Dates

We’re heading out west with Witch Ripper! Let’s hang!

10/18 Baton Rouge, LA – Phil Brady’s
10/19 Arlington, TX – Heavy Mash at Division Brewing
10/20 Wichita, KS – Elbow Room
10/21 Denver, CO – Tooey’s
10/22 Salt Lake City, UT – Greek Station
10/23 Boise, ID – The Olympic Venue
10/24 Spokane, WA – Red Room *
10/25 Seattle, WA – Funhouse *
10/26 Olympia, WA – Le Voyeur *
10/27 San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge *
10/29 Santa Cruz, CA – Blue Lagoon *
10/30 Los Angeles, CA – Redwood *
10/31 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar*
11/1 El Paso, TX – RCBG @ Thunderbird
11/1 Berkeley, CA – The Five and Dime +
11/2 San Antonio, TX – Faust
11/2 Eureka, CA – Sirens’s Song Tavern +
11/3 Portland, OR Twilight +

*w/ Witch Ripper
+ No Forming the Void

Forming The Void:
James Marshall – Guitar/Vocals
Shadi Omar Al-Khansa – Guitar
Luke Baker – Bass
Thomas Colley – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/formingthevoid/
https://www.instagram.com/forming_the_void/
https://formingthevoid.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Forming the Void, Rift (2018)

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Bible Black Tyrant Premiere “Valorous”; Announce New Album Encased in Iron

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on October 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

bible black tyrant

Like their 2018 debut, Regret Beyond Death, Bible Black Tyrant‘s second album, the forthcoming Encased in Iron is a lesson in the sense of claustrophobia that post-metal can evoke when taken to a crushing extreme. Due out almost exactly two years to the day (just off by 12 days) from the issuance of its predecessor, on Feb. 28, 2020, through Argonauta Records, the Portland, Oregon, two-piece’s sophomore offering brings together five tracks of inhuman(e) punishment at the behest of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Aaron D.C. Edge, whose history in sundry acts is documented enough around these parts that I don’t feel like I need to rattle off the list of bands he’s been in — a small sampling is in the PR wire info below anyhow — but Bible Black Tyrant are distinguished through the sheer intensity of the material and the atmospherics conjured. It is an intense presence brought to bear by Edge and drummer Tyler Smith (also of Eagle Twin), and all the more focused the second time around.

The fact that there even is a second album should tell you something, as generally Aaron Edge goes through bands the way most bands go through records, but one way or the other, Bible Black Tyrant‘s continuance has resulted in an all-the-more devastating aural havoc. It’s too methodical to call chaotic, but the churning intensity is undeniable, as the premiering track “Valorous” at the bottom of this post readily demonstrates. The word “tortured” gets thrown around a lot when it comes to heavy music. This or that sounds “tortured,” or “agonized,” etc. It’s a cliché of which I’m certainly guilty as well — I’m tortured about it, rest assured — but listening to Encased in Iron and then reading Edge‘s comments on the record (also below) wherein he says, “we are mistreated and then forgotten; that is the human experience,” the usage only seems to be appropriate. This record is fucking tortured. It is agonizing. It is brutal. I don’t think you could hear a song like “Panic Inducer” or even the drone-laced finale “Sickening Thrum” and say otherwise.

It’s a quick listen at 25 minutes, but don’t expect much by way of mercy in that time.

Here’s info and audio and links:

Bible Black Tyrant Encased in Iron

BIBLE BLACK TYRANT (feat. Lumbar’s Aaron Edge & Tyler Smith of Eagle Twin) Reveal Album Details And Unleash First Single Of Sophomore Record!

Encased in Iron due out in February 2020 on Argonauta Records!

Their sound pummels, you feel it in your guts. It disturbs your mind but gives you the chills to the same time. It’s the apocalypse and pure perfection of all that is heavy: Noise Doom duo BIBLE BLACK TYRANT, featuring masterminds Aaron D.C. Edge and Tyler Smith – renowned members of bands such as Eagle Twin, Lumbar, Ramprasad, Form of Rocket, Minor Fret, Canyon of the Crescent Moon and Hellvetika – returns with their sophomore album, Encased in Iron, on February 28th 2020 with Argonauta Records! Following their highly acclaimed, 2018-debut album, Regret Beyond Death, today the heavy music veterans have revealed the hotly anticipated details of their second, full-length album, and unleashed a first single!

“‘Encased in Iron’, Bible Black Tyrant’s second release, focuses on the torture that is human existence.” Aaron Edge comments. “A black curse, whispered perverse by loved ones that spit on us. Tasting bile, and the salt of our own tears in this vault. Savoring our own severed tongues. Trying to utter sounds while boiling. Do you know how you taste while trapped and locked in a box? As the steel heats, bravery is replaced with fear. Life in the iron cage, with little air to breathe, starving. We are mistreated and then forgotten; that is the human experience.”

Encased in Iron Tracklisting:
1. A Snowflake of Death’s Denial
2. Valorous
3. Panic Inducer
4. Infinite Stages of Grief
5. Sickening Thrum

BIBLE BLACK TYRANT’s upcoming album was recorded by Aaron Edge at Myelin Studio, while the drums were documented and mixed by Andy Patterson at The Boar’s Nest. With a final mix and mastering by Eric Leavell at Husk Recording, the pre-sale for Encased in Iron – available on LP, CD and Digital formats February 28th 2020 – has just begun via the Argonauta Records store at THIS LOCATION. Highly recommended for fans of Iron Monkey, Eyehategod, Cursed, Indian, Keelhaul, and Cavity!

BIBLE BLACK TYRANT is:
Aaron D.C. Edge: Guitar / Bass / Cello / Midi / Vocals
Tyler Smith: Drums

Bible Black Tyrant, “Valorous” official track premiere

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Bible Black Tyrant on Bandcamp

Argonauta Records website

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Roadburn 2020: Oranssi Pazuzu to Present New Album; Crypt Sermon, Blanck Mass, Hangman’s Chair & More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2020 new banner

So three-quarters of the tickets for Roadburn 2020 are gone. I have to wonder what the corresponding percentage of the lineup has been unveiled. Maybe a third? Maybe? I doubt half. There are still smaller rooms to fill out and other this and that-type happenings. It’s amazing the culture around this festival though. Just look at these adds. Lana Del Rabies and Crypt Sermon. How does that even happen? And somehow, Roadburn pulls it off, year after year after year. It’s because people want to add to that culture, to be a part of it. It’s like nothing else. Like this joint art project that everybody there becomes a piece of. And if that description sounds totally unbelievable, then good. It is unbelievable. And yet, here we are. Year after year after year, on Planet Roadburn, Tilburg, The Netherlands.

I don’t know what else to say except that, as always, I hope we do the ‘zine again. Seems like there’ll be a lot to talk about this time around.

From the PR wire:

roadburn 2020 oranssi pazuzu

Roadburn 2020: Further announcements; over three quarters of tickets sold

– Over 3/4 of weekend tickets are already sold
– Oranssi Pazuzu will present their new album as part of James Kent’s curation
– Further additions to both James Kent and Emma Ruth Rundle’s curated events.

With over three quarters of weekend tickets already sold (three-day tickets are completely sold out), and many more bands still to announce, Roadburn’s Walter Hoeijmakers comments:

“I am absolutely overwhelmed by the faith that people have put in us to deliver an exciting line up. We will honour that faith and Roadburn 2020 will be one for the history books. Sincere thanks to everybody who has picked up a ticket so far, it’s an incredible feeling..”

JAMES KENT’S CURATION:

ORANSSI PAZUZU
There are so many pieces of the puzzle that will fall into place between now and next April, and we’re sworn to secrecy on just about all of it. But what we can tell you is that Oranssi Pazuzu will be performing their as-yet unnamed new album in full at Roadburn 2020, as a part of James Kent’s curated event. It seems incomprehensible that Oranssi Pazuzu may have evaded your attention at this point. But we’re sure there’s a few of you out there – the uninitiated. Begin preparations immediately, as come April 2020, there will be dark forces at work here in Tilburg. A magical, mind-melting mangle of psychedelic avant-garde spirits will cast a spell over us all.

BLANCK MASS
Among the list of achievements that Blanck Mass can be proud of is soundtracking the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony in London – and come April 2020, Benjamin John Power will also be able to say he played Roadburn! Whilst we might not have an audience of 900 million watching what goes down in Tilburg that day, we can be sure to give Blanck Mass a customary Roadburn welcome. Soundtracking the emotions that accompany personal and societal loss, intimate and global grief – his latest album, Animated Violence Mild, is direct, honest and absolutely drenched in melody.

HANGMAN’S CHAIR
Making a return to Roadburn – this time under the curatorship of James Kent – is France’s Hangman’s Chair. The cathartic doom/post-punk combination will be familiar to Roadburners who witnessed them back in 2016, but the intervening years have only seen the four-piece pick up the pace. Their 2018 album Banlieue Triste (which featured James in his Perturbator guise, and Wolvennest’s Marc de Backer) will be played in full during their Roadburn performance. Sink into the melancholic explorations of some of the darkest places they have been.

EMMA RUTH RUNDLE’S THE GILDED CAGE:

MIZMOR
Mizmor’s latest album, Cairn, is a mesmerising piece of work. Back in 2016, we were bowled over by Yodh – Mizmor’s previous offering – and we invited multi-instrumentalist, A.L.N, to bring his project to the Roadburn stage in 2018. The set proved to be a defining element of Roadburn that year for all who witnessed it. Cairn is a continuation of Yodh – yet somehow more personal, more intense and more captivating. It’s not necessarily an easy journey, but it’s one we went on willingly. So, it is with enormous pleasure that we announce Mizmor’s return – performing Cairn in full at Roadburn 2020.

CLOUD RAT
We already announced that Cloud Rat would be playing Roadburn 2020, but we’re delighted to announce that they have agreed to a second show. There are dozens of reasons why their latest offering, Pollinator, stands head and shoulders above many other 2019 releases, and just one of them is the accompanying EP that was released at the same time. Performing tracks from this EP, as well as a couple of cuts from elsewhere in their catalogue, Cloud Rat will be showing off a different side to themselves. In order to do justice to the songs in a live setting, the band are enlisting the help of a familiar face and dear friend of Roadburn – Thou’s Andy Gibbs.

SRSQ
The haunting, sorrow-tinged melody that envelopes SRSQ’s debut album, Unreality, gives a big clue of what to expect when Kennedy Ashlyn takes to the Roadburn stage next April. Formed after her previous project, Them Are Us Too, ended due to the tragic death of Kennedy’s collaborator, Cash Askew, SRSQ (pronounced Seer-skew) retains much of the magic that made TAUT so compelling. The soaring synths and layers of swirling emotion are still present, as of course is her lullaby-esque dreamy vocals.

FVNERALS
Their 2016 album, Wounds, is a creeping, eerie voyage through some incredibly dark shadows. Dripping with lethargic menace and hazy atmospherics, Fvnerals paint a sonic landscape that feels devoid of sunlight, absolute desolation pervades. News has reached us that writing will soon commence for their next opus due out in late 2020. Whilst Fvnerals are not a cheery prospect, they are a strangely alluring one. We’re delighted to welcome them to Roadburn 2020.

ALSO ANNOUNCED…

BIG BRAVE & JESSICA MOSS
Big Brave are a modern wonder – a trio of musicians that have seemingly created their own little universe, with no need for our earthly categorisations, no need for our restrictive genres, and no need to stick to any kind of formula. A joy to witness live at any point, but especially so when they’re joined by a special guest. Jessica Moss featured on the Big Brave albums, Au De La and Ardor, performing violin, and on extremely infrequent occasions she has performed with the band live. We’re thrilled to announce that this unholy union will be sharing a stage at Roadburn 2020; the stars in the Roadburn universe have aligned and we’ve captured this most rare of beasts.

JESSICA MOSS
As well as performing alongside Big Brave, Jessica Moss will take to the stage a second time at Roadburn 2020 to perform her own set. Her captivating sonic experimentation and ethereal violin playing will be an all-consuming musical journey for Roadburners lucky enough to witness it live. For those who appreciate the intricacies of quiet moment found at Roadburn – Jessica Moss is the show for you.

CRYPT SERMON
Confidently lassoing all that is great about traditional heavy metal, straddling it and whipping it into shape for a contemporary audience, Crypt Sermon may just have concocted a magic formula that pays tribute to those who have paved the way, whilst simultaneously forging a new path. It’s time to break out your leather jacket – or if you’re feeling bold, the double denim – and get ready to rock out: Crypt Sermon are heading straight for Roadburn 2020 to play their new album The Ruins of Fading Light in full.

LANA DEL RABIES
The origins of Lana Del Rabies may have a connection to her namesake, but since those early days of paying a droney tribute to the pop star, Lana Del Rabies has taken a life of its own. The project and pseudonym of Phoenix, Arizona resident, Sam An, blends synthesized electronics, drone/noise elements and industrial heaviness into an atmosphere of existential abreaction and an exploration of the occult.

RED KITE
For Roadburn 2020, we will continue our quest to bring you some of the most exciting prog bands around. Championing the burgeoning Norwegian psych-prog-jazz scene is Red Kite. Their self-titled debut is a master class in progressive jams and hypnotic soundscapes, hence inviting them for Roadburn.

ROADBURN 2020 TICKETS

Weekend tickets for Roadburn are on sale now (3-day tickets are sold out, 4-day tickets remain on sale). More information about tickets and accommodation options can be found HERE.

Already announced for Roadburn 2020 is: Emma Ruth Rundle and James Kent as curators, commissioned projects from James Kent & Johannes Persson, Jo Quail, and Vile Creature & Bismuth, the return of Julie Christmas, Red Sparowes, Russian Circles, Torche, Brutus, Bada, Dool, Health, Hide, She Past Away, and two Artists In Residence: Full of Hell and Lingua Ignota. Check the full line up HERE.

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http://www.roadburn.com

Oranssi Pazuzu, Live at Roadburn 2017

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Freak Valley 2020 First Announcement: Fu Manchu, Endless Boogie, Slomatics, Monomyth and Temple Fang

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

All I know is this: 2020 is my year for Freak Valley. I’ve been invited for years. In 2020 I’m going. And further, I’m saying it now. Normally I don’t commit really to anything that involves even a modicum of traveling until after all the plans are locked in and I’ve checked in at the airport, but Jens Heide at the fest passed along the invite once again, as he’s patiently done for a while now, and unless a piano falls on my head between now and then or my flight to Siegen crashes into the Atlantic, I’m gonna be there. Hell or high water, as it were.

I wrote the lineup announcement below, as I’ve done for the fest for a couple years now, and happily. It’s a great first round showing international reach and a range of styles, but of course look out for much more still to come. Freak Valley over the last few editions has begun to branch out in some fascinating ways, and I’d expect that to continue while also retaining its heavy core.

I can’t wait to get over there for it.

freak valley 2020 fu manchu

Freaks, the time is nigh!

Did you miss us? We missed you. Tickets go on sale TOMORROW (10/18) for Freak Valley 2020 and we couldn’t be more excited to bring you the first lineup announcement for next year’s fest! Get your calendar marked for 11-13 June and remember this is just the beginning and over the next couple months we’ll have so much more to come in terms of bands and other happenings for you. 2019 was our best year yet and we’re looking forward to topping it once again!

Tickets are officially on sale at our Freak Sabbath Vol.5 // Freak Valley Ticket Sale Kick Off, with Church of Misery and many more, but it’s time to dig into the first bands for Freak Valley Festival 2020 and we think you’ll agree it’s a great way to start.

FU MANCHU (30th Anniversary)

30 years of the Fu! Fuzz legends and heavy rock mainstays Fu Manchu are one of the most influential riff purveyors of all time. From the original stoner rock era in the ’90s through their modern takes on punk and spacey groove, Fu Manchu are, simply put, one of the most essential live bands you’ll ever see. They’ll mark three full decades of rock in 2020, and bringing them to Freak Valley was an absolute must. Of course we’re all huge fans and to have them on our stage is an honor no matter what the occasion, but this one is even more special considering their celebration. Happy birthday, Fu Manchu! Welcome to Freak Valley!

SLOMATICS

It was something of a tragedy in 2019 when our plan to bring Northern Ireland’s Slomatics over to play was cut short because of airline difficulties. That’s no way to go. We knew immediately we’d invite them back for 2020 and try it again and we’re glad to report that the band is on board as well. They’ll still be supporting their 2019 album, ‘Canyons,’ but where it was going to be brand new when they played this year, we’ve all had a little time to digest the massive riffs and wide-sprawling vibes that make their sound so distinctive. 2020 is the year! We can’t wait to finally see this band.

ENDLESS BOOGIE

There’s nothing better than a band with the perfect name, and New York-based mellow jammers Endless Boogie most certainly have that. The band are masters of hypnotic and class-style jams brought to life not with a wash of effects, but through sheer repetition and builds that are subtle in their dynamic but seem able to cover an infinity of ground that goes however far they choose at any given moment. Even among heavy and psychedelic rock, there’s nothing quite like them in terms of the character they bring to how they play. With onstage charisma, periodic improv vocals, and righteous jams, they’ll come to Freak Valley 2020 as one of our most anticipated acts.

MONOMYTH

From Den Haag in The Netherlands, Monomyth are a beacon of heavy progadelic instrumentalism. Their latest opus is ‘Orbis Quadrantis’ on Suburban Records, and its lush melodies and exploratory vibe carry the listener across its span with all the grace of masters of the form. They’ve been kicking around Europe and the festival scene for the last six years since their self-titled debut came out, and it feels only overdue to have them at Freak Valley as part of our 2020 lineup. Just look for the sea of nodding heads in front of the stage and you’ll know you’re in the right place. They are one not to miss.

TEMPLE FANG

Space, as ever, is the place, and Amsterdam’s Temple Fang are sure to take us there as they come to Freak Valley for the first of what we hope will be many happy returns. With former members of Death Alley and the vastly underrated Mühr, Temple Fang set out on a new voyage of their own last year, and while we anxiously await a debut release, the chance to bring them to Siegen to play was too good to pass up. Maybe you’ve heard them yet and maybe you haven’t, but trust us when we tell you that these guys are up to something special and this is a band you want to see or you’ll regret it later. We promise.

Many more to come!

Tickets will be available at these booking offices by Monday morning Oct 21st: Die Tintenpatrone & Siegener Zeitung

Online Tickets (print at home and Hardtickets) will be available Wednesday Oct 23rd 6pm cet

Ticketprice will be €95 for all 3 dayz incl. camping.
Camping will be possible from Wednesday June 10th next year!

FREAK VALLEY 2020
No Fillers – Just Killers

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Temple Fang, “Not the Skull!” live in Haarlem, March 2019

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Lucifer Announce Southern Tour; Lucifer III Due in March

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

lucifer

You know, with the reception Lucifer have gotten over their time together, you’d think Nicke Andersson was in The Hellacopters or something. Or that vocalist Johanna Sadonis came out of hotly-tipped but ultimately shortlived cult duo The Oath or whatever. Oh wait. Okay, so maybe it’s not much of a mystery while the heavy underground has embraced them with open arms, but the work they’re doing speaks for itself. First and foremost, they’ve busted their collective ass touring in Europe and North America, and their records — the latest being last year’s Lucifer II (review here) — have only been met with increasing fervor. Gosh. Maybe they’re a good band or something.

New record, Lucifer III, will be out in March 2020 through Century Media, but somehow I’ll always think of them as a Rise Above band. Maybe that’s just me.

Info from the PR wire:

lucifer tour

LUCIFER ANNOUNCE NORTH AMERICA PART III HEADLINE TOUR

Heavy-rock band LUCIFER have just announced their third and final leg of their North American headline tour today. The band will hit the road starting on January 15th in Memphis, TN and ending on January 26th in Tampa, FL. For more information and to purchase tickets for the band’s upcoming tour dates, visit LUCIFER’s Facebook page.

LUCIFER has been touring nonstop in support of their recent full-length album Lucifer II. The band recently wrapped a tour with The Hellacopters for select European shows in May and their first two North American headline tours. Additionally, the band has performed at festivals like Metal Days, Bukta Festival, and Beyond The Gates. They have previously performed at KISS Cruise, Psycho Las Vegas, Desertfest, Hellfest, Muskelrock, Sweden Rock, and Freak Valley.

The group, led by Johanna Sadonis and Nicke Andersson, celebrated massive success in 2018 with the release of Lucifer II, turning heads with their addictive Sabbath-ian hard rock. The album charted at #40 on the German charts, #1 on the Swedish vinyl and hard rock charts, and #2 on the physical album charts. The record is available on vinyl, CD and digitally HERE.

“Oh my Lord! We are incredibly thrilled to announce that the mighty Philip Shouse (bass for Ace Frehley / guitar for Gene Simmons) will join LUCIFER on bass in the US on our upcoming Southern tour! What a legend! Don’t miss this! Tickets go on sale this Friday.”

LUCIFER have commenced work on Lucifer III, which is set for release March 2020. Stay tuned for more details on the forthcoming release.

LUCIFER NORTH AMERICA PART III TOUR 2019
January 15 – Memphis, TN – The Hi Tone
January 16 – Dallas, TX – Three Links
January 17 – Austin, TX – Come And Take It Live
January 18 – Houston, TX – Secret Group
January 19 – New Orleans, LA – Santos
January 21- Birmingham, AL – The Nick
January 22 – Atlanta, GA – 529
January 23 – Tampa, FL – Crowbar
January 24 – Jacksonville, FL – 1904 Music Hall
January 25 – Miami, FL – Churchill’s Pub
January 26 – Orlando, FL – Will’s Pub

LUCIFER is
Johanna Sadonis – vocals
Nicke Andersson – drums
Alexander Mayr – bass
Martin Nordin – guitar
Linus Björklund – guitar

https://www.facebook.com/luciferofficial/
https://www.instagram.com/lucifertheband/
https://kingsroadmerch.com/lucifer/
http://www.centurymedia.com/
https://www.facebook.com/centurymedia

Lucifer, “California Son” official video

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