Friday Full-Length: Dio, Master of the Moon

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Dio, Master of the Moon (2004)

In 2004, legendary vocalist Ronnie James Dio (Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, also Elf) was already 21 years removed from his band’s legendary debut, Holy Diver (discussed here), released in ’83 after a stint fronting Black Sabbath that resulted in two landmark LPs in 1980’s Heaven and Hell (discussed here) and its 1981 follow-up, Mob Rules (discussed here). And what a 21 years it had been. Aside from another brief stint with Black Sabbath for 1992’s Dehumanizer (discussed here), the entirety of that time was devoted to the development and sustaining of the Dio band, which thrived across a holy trinity that Holy Diver began and 1984’s The Last in Line (discussed here) and 1985’s Sacred Heart completed, and survived both the rising of a generation fueled by the adrenaline of thrash and the grunge and nü-metal movements. They might not have been playing arenas across the US and selling millions of albums by the time 2004 came around and the band presented their final studio album, Master of the Moon, but there was no question they — and he — remained in righteous form and had enjoyed a sprawling influence that continues to spread even 15 years later.

Dio released three albums in the 2000s. The millennium was greeted by Magica, a narrative concept piece that reportedly had two more chapters in progress at the time of the singer’s death in 2010, 2002’s Killing the Dragon, and Master of the Moon. In hindsight, the 2002 offering was a landmark. It represented a shift in mindset that saw Dio understanding his place — and I say “his” instead of “their” because it was very much him guiding the direction of the band — in the sphere of heavy metal as a classic act. One might think that automatically obviates relevance, but to listen to Killing the Dragon, the singer and the band around him both sound liberated by it. After struggling in the ’90s to find his identity amid a shifting generational landscape and producing some great material in Lock up the Wolves (1990), Strange Highways (1993) and Angry Machines (1996), but not finding nearly the same audience response attained for his efforts in the mid-’80s, and getting Magica out of his system, Dio was able to be the heavy metal statesman his voice had always been so suited to being. Master of the Moon, a crisp 10-song/46-minute all-pro offering with Craig Goldy on guitar, Scott Warren on keys — mixed low in trad-metal fashion but filling out the sound nonetheless — Jeff Pilson on bass and Simon Wright on drums, may have been the last new studio record the Dio band put out, but it was also emblematic of the new era of the band that Killing the Dragon began. It built on that album and featured memorable songs crafted in a style that didn’t need to play anymore to ideas of modernity and found the singer and the band around him able to do what they did best. And they did exactly that.

dio master of the moonOpener “One More for the Road” is a barn-burner in the “Neon Knights” or “Stand up and Shout” tradition, and the signal it sends is both a dogwhistle to the converted that they should know the formula being put to use and a display of the enduring vitality of that approach. The subsequent title-track deals in feelings of isolation via the kind of epic imagery that was Dio‘s stock and trade. I was fortunate enough to interview him at the time and I asked him about the lyrics to “Master of the Moon” itself, thinking it was an allegory for a kind of post-9/11 political sphere, the booming (literally) War on Terror and all that, but no, he told me he liked that idea but he wrote it for a friend’s teenage son feeling alone and misunderstood. This ability to translate the mundane into grand imagery was an essential facet of what made Dio the larger-than-life persona he was, on record as well as on stage and in the history of heavy metal more generally. As a backdrop for his powerful vocal delivery, songs like “The Man Who Would be King” and “The End of the World” indeed touched on the prevailing mood of the time, but in a vague and roundabout way, so that the stories being told were allegories, personal and otherwise. The swagger in the verses “Shivers” set up a standout hook backed by a theatrically creepy keyboard line, while “The Eyes” tapped into the kind of chugging stomp that made Dehumanizer sound so mechanized, and all the while, images and settings and characters populated the songs to give listeners paying attention something to dig into more than just another hooky melody or another cool riff. That is to say, there may have been a formula at work, but the paint on that canvas was fresh.

Perhaps the most personal-seeming of inclusions on Master of the Moon was “Living the Lie,” in which the identifier “I” was only used once. The lyrics dealt with the cloying desperation surrounding fame, and seemed to be as much about those seeking to hold onto the past as those outside trying to get in. The first verse ended, “She was never in the circle, or the round would be a square/And the more she seemed to want it, oh the less they seemed to care,” and the culture of fame was taken into direct observation later on:

If you’re looking at tomorrow
To forget about today
Then the past will be your future
And it’s there you’ll always stay
What about the pictures that smile from magazines
The ultimate temptation, all our kings and our queens

This led to the conclusion: “Such heat and too much pressure, not worth the try/No more for them, now it’s I/And no more living the lie.” There are of course multiple ways to read it, but particularly as “Living the Lie” was backed by the declarative “I Am,” it seemed to be Dio finding strength in self-actualization and having the sing-along chorus to prove it. Its long fadeout probably should’ve been the end of the record, but the trademark woman-as-evil-temptress “Death by Love” and the more doomly closer “In Dreams” follow, the latter tapping some of the keyboard feel of The Last in Line, but not quite living up to the apex set by “I Am.”

I don’t think anyone is going to pitch Master of the Moon as being Dio‘s most essential work. Were he alive, I don’t think Dio himself would make that claim. But the course that Master of the Moon continued coming off of Killing the Dragon showed a way for Dio to move forward and be who they were as a band without cowing to the trend of the day. Of course, after the touring cycle for Master of the MoonRonnie James DioTony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice would have a by-any-other-name Black Sabbath reunion as Heaven and Hell, and Dio‘s final studio performance would be on their 2009 album, The Devil You Know (review here), and his final tours would be to support that release before he ultimately succumbed to stomach cancer, his legacy long since cemented and unmatched among heavy metal frontmen.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

I expect today to be tense. The Patient Mrs. has a phone interview for a professor job in New Jersey at one of her several alma maters, and that kind of thing always defines a day. Of course she’ll nail it — because that’s what she does and the school in question, like any fucking place that has any sense at all, would be lucky to have her, what with the utter brilliance and unparalleled dedication that I so much admire in her — but still, I think she’s nervous. There is no doubt in my mind of her greatness, and she shines in that kind of situation, talking to people about her work, because she’s driven as much by passion as by professionalism. She gets excited and that gets others excited. It’s fun to watch.

However, I won’t be there to watch it. I’ll take The Pecan and roll down to the mall like the old man I am and buy the new record from The Claypool Lennon Delirium at Newbury Comics, because I live in Massachusetts and that’s the place to buy records. Plus there are a lot of colorful things to show the baby and he likes that. I might treat myself to the new Candlemass as well. We’ll see.

Next week will end with shows in Boston and New York as I follow Kings Destroy down the I-95 corridor and maybe sit in with Clamfight for a guest vocal spot, but even before that, it’s a busy time. Here are the notes as they are today:

MON 02/25 Codeia video premiere; Snowy Dunes video premiere.
TUE 02/26 Mountain Tamer single premiere; Volcano review.
WED 02/27 Orbiter track premiere.
THU 02/28 Almost Honest track premiere.
FRI 03/01 Possible song premiere or Hexvessel review.

Some of that will change, obviously, but it’s a start. This week was absolutely slammed. I don’t know if you noticed and I won’t fool myself into thinking you did, but there wasn’t one day this week with anything less than six posts. I think it was Wednesday had eight! It was completely overwhelming and I was out of my mind for much of it, but we got here and it’s done now, so whatever. My inflated self-importance will get a couple hours to recover before I start in again on Monday’s stuff and maybe make a playlist for the next The Obelisk Show, which will air next weekend.

Always something to do. 10 years later.

As ever, I wish you a great and safe weekend. Forum, Radio, merch at Dropout:

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk shirts & hoodies

Tags: , , , , , ,

We Here Now Sign to Elektrohasch; Touring Europe Later This Year

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

we here now

Earlier this year — so I guess like a month ago — the multinational outfit We Here Now offered up their debut release, The Chikipunk Years, blending elements from rock, South American folk, psychedelic punk and more to a highly individualized style that was intricate and memorable in kind. Swamp Booking has picked up the band for European touring representation, and Elektrohasch Schallplatten — the label of Colour Haze guitarist Stefan Koglek will give the album an official release later this year, in May, which I’d guess is ahead of summer tour plans yet to be unveiled.

The announcements from both were recently made and follow below, as well as the stream of the album from Bandcamp. Have at it:

we here now the chikipunk years

Elektrohasch 179 – We Here Now – The Chikipunk Years

Back to the future: I haven‘t heard anything like this yet – guitar, bass, drums – of course… But: a band with members from Brasil, India and Peru mixing the uneven rhythms of Asia with South-American feel, full of modern twists and breaks, driving it into a furious intensity and lay above all this beautiful relaxed melodies with a twist from the Andes to the Himalaya… finally a truly new, fresh take on Rock! – this should be the future!

I am proud to present the debut of We Here Now on Elektrohasch.

Don‘t miss it – so once you can tell you have been there : )

Swamp Booking: Really happy to announce this new addition to our roster!

The multinational band WE HERE NOW is a young new band from Brasil, India/USA and Perù. An exciting approach to the straight-forward aesthetics of fuzzed-out rock. Different cultural and sonic methods of expression delivered with an unmistakable raw punk attitude.

Their debut album will be released by the German record label Elektrohasch (Colour Haze) next May 17th and they will tour Europe ALL summer, playing like there’s no tomorrow!

https://homemadegiftsrecords.bandcamp.com/releases
www.elektrohasch.de

We Here Now, The Chikipunk Years (2019)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Høstsabbat 2019 Adds Skraeckoedlan to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

hostsabbat 2019 banner

Oh yes. Most certainly yes. Just a week after announcing Papir for its lineup this October, Oslo-based festival Høstsabbat 2019 taps into a different flavor of the progressive with Sweden’s Skraeckoedlan. The Swedish four-piece also recently announced the arrival of a new bassist and a tour with Vokonis (info here), and their third and latest LP, Eorþe (review here), is out now in Fuzzorama and an early-year highlight in tone and execution alike. These guys continue to be underappreciated in my book, and I look forward to seeing them in Oslo for the first time after having been a fan going back to their recently-reissued 2011 debut, Äppelträdet (review here). They’ve done nothing but kill it ever since.

They join a lineup headed by Ufomammut with more still to be announced — like another headliner — and from here on out will be a big reason I’m looking forward to getting back to Norway this Fall.

The fest’s announcement follows, as per the social medias:

hostsabbat 2019 skraeckoedlan

Finally we have the pleasure of welcoming the Swedish giants in Skraeckoedlan to Høstsabbat!

It’s been a long time coming. This band has nothing but gained reputation and following since their debut in 2010. We can’t get away from mentioning their stunning debut album “Äppelträdet”, which already is a classic amongst the fans.

With their recent epos “Earth”, released last Friday, cemented their place as pioneers of spaced out, psychedelic stoner rock. In collab with the Swedish writer Nils Håkanson, they have painted their own universe, with the first half of the album portraying the underworld, and the latter describing what’s happening on the surface of the Earth, amongst mammoths, octopuses and otherwordly creatures.

Make no mistake, this is a masterpiece, and we are proud to have them come play Høstsabbat with this effort in their back pockets. Sweden has proven their magic again.

MUSIC
SPOTIFY: http://bit.ly/SFskraeck
YOUTUBE: http://bit.ly/YTskraeck

http://bit.ly/HSfestivalpass

NEWSLETTER
http://bit.ly/NLhostsabbat

SPOTIFY PLAYLIST – HØSTSABBAT 2019
http://bit.ly/HS2019playlist

https://www.facebook.com/events/274561413173994/
https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
http://hostsabbat.no/

Skraeckoedlan, “Creature of Doggerland” official video

Tags: , , , ,

Solar Halos Premiere “The Living Tide”; Coiled Light LP Due in May

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on February 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

solar halos

You know, usually when you think of something landing like a brick, it’s not a positive image. Like the thing — whatever it is — should be flying. Well, Solar Halos land like a brick even as they fly. It’s a duel-persona that’s writ large all over their upcoming second full-length, Coiled Light, which will be released in April digitally and May 10 on vinyl through Cursed Tongue Records. Drenched in melody and atmosphere, the release finds the North Carolinian three-piece digging into vibes out of post-metal and heavy psychedelia, but while their tones are thick and their plod considerable thanks in no small part to John Crouch‘s right-upside-the-head kickdrum, the intertwining vocals of guitarist/cellist Nora Rogers and bassist/keyboardist Eddie Sanchez bring a Kylesa-style sense of progressivism to the songwriting, albeit somewhat more patient than that band managed to be during their time.

In cuts like “Personal Levee” and “River of Grass” and the more intense shove of closer “Nebulas,” there’s a lot to dig into and one expects that’s a significant part of what led to the Cursed Tongue pickup, as that label’s taste is only growing more reliable by the release. You can hear “The Living Tide” at the bottom of this post, and as the leadoff track, it does the work of establishing the tone and setting the atmospheric foundation for both the largesse and the impact that follows. I think it was the label said something about “crushing psychedelia.” That’s as good as anything I could come up with.

Enjoy:

Solar Halos Coiled Light

SOLAR HALOS SIGNS TO CURSED TONGUE RECORDS FOR A WORLD WIDE RELEASE OF THEIR NEW ALBUM ‘COILED LIGHT’ ON MAY 10TH, 2019.

Cursed Tongue Records is thrilled to announce the signing of the thunderous and soulful yet equally dark and hypnotic heavy psych rock ensemble Solar Halos, NC. Their sophomore album ‘Coiled Light’ will be released on vinyl May 10th via Cursed Tongue Records, with pre-orders coming early April.

It’s been almost 2 years since the band last released new tunes onto the world and over 5 years since Solar Halos released their self-titled debut album via Devouter Records (UK). The passing of time has failed to dim a great first experience. Still vividly remembering the almost religious awakening that was brought upon Cursed Tongue Records owner back in 2014 when first laying ears to Solar Halos pulsating, ground-shaking and beautifully heavy tunes. Hence, we are not far from a dream come true when being passed the opportunity to work with the band on releasing their follow-up album. The debut never left heavy rotation and the new album ‘Coiled Light’ will sure follow troop.

Behind Solar Halos’ Carrboro, NC practice space there are train tracks and a concrete factory. You feel the rumble of diesel engines and sliding stone as much as you hear it. Like the digestive noises of a nation-sized beast, it jars your teeth. It rattles your marrow. It makes you feel small.

Within Solar Halos practice space, John Crouch (drums and percussion), Nora Rogers (guitar, cello, vocals) and Eddie Sanchez (bass, keys and vocals) take the long view. There is an even larger, more patient, more powerful beast, and it will level the field. “When time awaits / when monuments breathe / when mountains return to the sea,” rings Rogers clear and confident call over nuanced, propulsive sludge. “The calm water hides.”

Human endeavor can rumble and rattle and challenge nature, like the heavy industry all around, or it can tap into forces older and more powerful than anything anthropocene. This is a band that thinks in geological time, and an air of levelheaded patience pervades even the most driving songs. With obliquely poetic lyrics that wax mystical and scientific both, Solar Halos sings to the stones, the grass, the sea, the stars and time itself on their second album ‘Coiled Light’.

Recorded summer 2017 by Kris Hilbert at esteemed Greensboro, NC studio Legitimate Business, ‘Coiled Light’ finds Solar Halos tightening its already impressive structures and expanding its expressive horizons both. On “Nebulas” dual vocalists Rogers and Sanchez adopt a Carl Sagan-esque wonder at humanity’s vulnerability to cosmic forces: “It won’t warn you when it fades to black / it won’t charm you as time yields to mass.”

‘Coiled Light’ is psych-metal for naturalists, for philosophers and for listeners willing to take the long view, to accept our species’ impermanence and to walk paths that fade in the light of day.

It’s our anticipation and hope that many more ears will be opened to this truly unique and magnificent band and the heavy underground scene will learn of this phenomenon of nature. “We are happy to help bestow a second sonic revelation upon the Earth’s inhabitants”, the label owner notes.

So get ready to travel through chilled and dimly lit climes brought through an ever shifting provocative aural landscape. Utilizing a doom like weight, Solar Halos finds a radiant and transfixing resourcefulness through varied textures and sounds making their second album an enthralling and intensive examination of and feast for senses and emotions.

Once more Earth will tremble under the soundscapes that emanates from Solar Halos when ‘Coiled Light’ releases digitally on their Bandcamp page April 12th, 2019. It’s a journey you won’t want to miss!

CTR-021: SOLAR HALOS – ‘COILED LIGHT’, vinyl official release date: May 10th, 2019 (Digital release April 12th)

Written and arranged by Solar Halos
Engineered and mixed by Kris Hilburt at Legitimate Business, NC
Mastered by James Plotkin
Drawings & photos by Nora Rogers
Layout & design by Michael Andresakis

Track listing:

side A
1. The Living Tide
2. Personal Levee
3. Ground the Fire

side B
4. River of Grass
5. Conduit
6. Coiled Light
7. Nebulas

Solar Halos is:
John Crouch – drums, percussion
Nora Rogers – guitar, cello, vocals
Eddie Sanchez – bass, keys, vocals

https://www.facebook.com/SolarHalos/
https://www.instagram.com/solar.halos
https://solarhalos.bandcamp.com/
http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords
https://www.instagram.com/cursedtonguerecords

Tags: , , , , ,

Candlemass, The Door to Doom: Welcome Company

Posted in Reviews on February 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

candlemass the door to doom

It’s not that having Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath do a guest spot on guitar with Candlemass isn’t a big deal. And the solo he donates to “Astorolus (The Great Octopus)” is true to form in its multiple layers and ensuing doomly vibe. He’s Tony Iommi, and if his presence turns heads to The Door to Doom, which is Candlemass‘ 12th studio full-length and second for Napalm Records, then all the better. But as the Swedish epic doom progenitors return with their first LP since 2012’s Psalms for the Dead (review here) — though they’ve also had live outings out since and two EPs in last year’s House of Doom (discussed here) and 2016’s Death Thy Lover (review here) — the focus on that one guitar solo takes away from the real lead of the record when it comes to narrative, which is the return of vocalist Johan Längquist to the fold.

Since the band’s reunion from the abyss of hiatus 14 years ago with their self-titled eighth album, they’ve worked with three frontmen. On that outing was Messiah Marcolin, a frontman’s frontman, whose voice helped propel Candlemass to their legendary status in the late ’80s. He didn’t last. By the time the follow-up came around, it was Robert Lowe of Solitude Aeturnus in the singer role, fronting the hurried-but-righteous King of the Grey Islands in 2007 and 2009’s Death Magic Doom (review here), which was positioned at the time as the band’s last album.

It wasn’t. Lowe split circa 2012 and on Death Thy Lover it was journeyman vocalist Mats Levén — who’d been in the running for the job when Lowe came aboard in the first place — taking on the role. However — and that’s a big “however” — Candlemass in celebration of the 25th anniversary of their debut album, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, reunited with Längquist for a one-off show playing the LP in full at Roadburn in the Netherlands. The set was later released on vinyl through Svart as Epicus Doomicus Metallicus: Live at Roadburn 2011 (review here). I was there. It was a glorious show, with Lowe starting out on some newer stuff and then Längquist arriving to take over, and no disrespect to Lowe — whose voice is of Dio-esque caliber; not a compliment I hand out lightly — but Längquist was such a perfect fit with the rest of the band that the obvious question even as they were playing was, “Why the hell isn’t this guy in this band?”

Well, with The Door to Doom, he is. Steering Candlemass, as always, is Leif Edling. The band’s founding bassist and principle songwriter, he’s responsible over the course of more than 30 years for some of doom’s most resilient landmarks. He’s the reason they’ve survived so much tumult as regards frontmen, and his craft is on high display here, from opener “Splendor Demon Majesty” through the final lumber of “The Omega Circle.” And the story of The Door to Doom, even more than the 60 seconds dominated by Iommi, is the reunion between Längquist and Edling.

That’s not to take away from the contributions of guitarists Mats “Mappe” Björkman (rhythm) and Lars “Lasse” Johansson (lead) or drummer Jan Lindh — all of whom have been in the band at least three decades for as much as there’s been a band to be in — but the performance Längquist gives atop the grand riffing of “Under the Ocean” or the quiet and moody “Bridge of the Blind,” which provides a comedown moment coming out of the appropriately massive “Astorolus (The Great Octopus),” is nothing if not the standout it’s intended to be, and Edling‘s songwriting also seems to rise to the occasion, be that in the catchy side B launch “Death’s Wheel” or “Splendor Demon Majesty” at the outset or “House of Doom,” repurposed here (and re-recorded, obviously) from the EP of the same name to serve as the penultimate, organ-topped nodder ahead of “The Omega Circle,” which rounds out.

candlemass (photo Anders Palsson)

And not for nothing, but the solos Johansson adds to “House of Doom,” “Death’s Wheel” and the particularly Dehumanizer-esque “Black Trinity” go toe-to-toe with that on “Astorolus (The Great Octopus),” and I know there’s only one Tony Iommi, but there’s only one Candlemass as well, and they’re absolutely on fire in these tracks. The Door to Doom sounds revitalized and fully charged, and even as the cover art ties it directly to Epicus Doomicus Metallicus with its iconic impaled devil-skull design, the band seems only ready to move forward.

They’re not trying to recapture 1986 — and they don’t need to. They’re relishing their position as overlords of what doom has become in their wake. They take their time through the quiet intros to “Under the Ocean” or “The Omega Circle,” knowing their own strength in setting a mood for the epic riffing to come, and when that closer hits, it’s about not even about Edling or Längquist, but about the entire band. There’s a reason why the cliché is “firing on all cylinders,” and The Door to Doom gives a fervent example of what that sounds like. It has the poise and stately feel of Candlemass‘ experience and long-since-attained maturity of approach, but even as it taps into classic styles, dipping to acoustic in the midsection of “The Omega Circle” to mirror “Bridge of the Blind” at the end of side A in summary of the album as a whole, its overarching feel is refreshed and refreshing in kind. No question that when 2019 is done, The Door to Doom will stand among its finest doom albums.

The danger, of course, is that it’s Candlemass‘ last. That’s always the danger with Candlemass, and sometimes it happens. It’s worth nothing that the break between full-lengths between Psalms for the Dead and The Door to Doom, at seven years, is longer than when they “broke up” after 1999’s From the 13th Sun and didn’t put out another LP until Candlemass in 2005. Change has long been a factor for the band, but that’s all the more reason to enjoy the triumph that is The Door to Doom — because it might not last. It might be a one-off with Längquist, and it might be more than half a decade before they put out another record, if they do at all. Something about the idea of “coming full circle” and reuniting with their first singer seems very much in Edling‘s wheelhouse in bringing the band to close.

Listening to these songs, one only hopes that’s not how it plays out, and Candlemass continue to explore the doomed reaches with their original frontman, adding an essential and unexpected chapter to their story that they’ve given such a righteous beginning here. Recommended.

Candlemass, The Door to Doom (2019)

Candlemass on Thee Facebooks

Candlemass on Instagram

Candlemass website

Napalm Records website

Tags: , , , ,

Intra Premiere “Storm” Video; Debut Album The Contact out March 1

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

intra (photo by Petra Nagy NPP Photography)-1400

The new video below arrives as the third and likely final song to lead the way into the release of Austrian trio Intra‘s debut full-length, The Contact. Set for official issue on March 1 through StoneFree Records, the long-player follows behind a 2016 self-titled EP, and “Storm” — the aforementioned video premiering here — answers back the immediate thrust of first single “Uninvited Roomer” and the melo-grunge thickness of “Spiral Down” with a broader sense of mood, digging into prog-metal starts and stops in its second half after a more traditional-sounding hook is established early on.

The Contact, in its nine-song totality, likewise has no trouble playing to multiple sides or sounds. Songwriting is a focus — as far out as “Storm” goes, it returns to the hook — and whether it’s the gruff opening they give with “You Had Better Take Care” or the touch on beefed-up power-pop in centerpiece “F.d.i.K” or the bright-toned grand finale of “Point of View,” the three-piece maintain a consistent quality of work that challenges the notion of The Contact as a debut.

intra the contact-1400They rock like professionals, to put it another way. Bassist Bianca Ortner holds a strong vocal presence in the material, making the most of each chorus while backed by Hannes Pröstler, also guitar, and drummer Lukas Aichinger. The latter’s performance is especially telling because he comes across very clearly as a precision drummer in how he plays. Having also released an album last year with jazz trio Znap, one can hear some of that style of intricacy brought to bear throughout The Contact as well, up to and including the tension builds on toms and the deft cymbal work in the bridges of “Storm.”

Pröstler and Ortner have no trouble keeping up, of course, and Intra sound nothing if not ready to hit the road across The Contact‘s span. They’ve got a collection of well-crafted, well-executed tracks behind them, an accessible sound that borders on commercial without losing its edge, and the ability to tap into a feeling of urgency seemingly at will. As they bridge between metal, punk, rock and wider-reaching outside-genre fare through cuts like the mid-energy “Homebound” and the more brash finish of “Illusion,” there doesn’t seem to be any of it that threatens the sureness of their grasp.

It’s a first record, so their style might branch into any number of directions ultimately, but The Contact is an interesting mix of sounds, and their ability to manifest such a range of ideas bodes as well as the results they get from doing so.

PR wire info follows the “Storm” video below.

Enjoy:

Intra, “Storm” official video premiere

The official music video for “Storm” of the upcoming debut album “The Contact” (2019) by INTRA.

Director & Editor: Michael Winiecki
1st AD: Sonja Aberl
Cinematography: Cornelia Ohnmacht
1st AC: Markus Wastl
Gaffer: Christopher Eberle
Set & Costume Design: Michael Winiecki

It was obvious from the get-go that INTRA were here to stay. After dropping their first self-titled EP in 2016, the band celebrated immediate success playing close to 100 club shows, winning the Austrian Newcomer Award, and releasing their highly acclaimed debut music video “Down the Roof” all in the same year.

The Austrian Power-Trio is on a mission to break musical boundaries, open up and explore new territory, while still honoring the true grit of the Stoner-Rock legacy. Deep, dirty superfuzz, bone-dry rock punch, intricate yet catchy songwriting, and a sweet pinch of pop.

Members:
Bianca Ortner – Lead Vocals, Bass
Hannes Pröstler – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Lukas Aichinger – Drums

Intra on Thee Facebooks

Intra on Instagram

Intra website

Intra on Bandcamp

StoneFree Records on Thee Facebooks

StoneFree Records website

Tags: , , , , ,

Cloud Catcher Call it Quits; Final Show March 9

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

cloud catcher

Some bands, they run their course, and that’s how it goes, and when they’re done, they’re done. With Cloud Catcher, I feel like the Denver trio never even got to fully realize their potential before their end, which was just announced the other day. Their Trails of Kozmic Dust (review here) full-length, which was their second and first for Totem Cat Records showed the classic power trio force they were becoming, and it’s sad to think they’ll cut off their growth without giving it a proper follow-up LP and leaving behind the question of what might have been. I’m glad to say I got to see them one time, but wish it could’ve been more.

When they first put out word they were done, the plan was to play the tour for the upcoming The Whip EP, then be done after a gig in May. They followed that by nixing the tour, so their last show will be March 9 at Tooey’s Off Colfax. That date was also set as the release show for their The Whip EP — interestingly, they also canceled a ‘The Whip Tour’ in 2017 — and I’d assume the EP is still coming out, because why not, but will go unsupported as their swansong.

It’s too bad. These guys were really onto something.

Their social media announcements follow, slightly adjusted for continuity:

cloud catcher tour canceled

Hey friends, it is with much sadness and optimism which we are announcing that… we will finally be laying the band to rest. The last 6 years have truly been a blast, and we have loved every minute of it, even in the difficult times that all humans must endure. Thank you to everyone who has helped us out along the way… even the 3 people we played to in Eugene, Oregon back in 2016 haha. With this being said we are prepared to rip up for the last [show] of our existence. We hope you will all come out and hang your heads one last time!! See you all in a few weeks!!

Due to circumstances out of our control the Midwest Marauders tour has been cancelled. This absolutely sucks to deal with, and we are very sorry to those of you who planned on coming out to see us. Our final show is going to be March 9th in Denver at @tooeysoffcolfax After this show all of our new merch and the new EP will be available on our bandcamp at a discounted price. Thanks for your time.

Cloud Catcher:
Rory Rummings – Guitar/Vocals
Scott Schulman – Bass
Jared Handman – Drums

https://cloud-catcher.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/cloudcatcherco

Cloud Catcher, “Beneath the Steel”

Tags: , , , , ,

Destroyer of Light Announce First-Ever European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

destroyer of light

As per the social medias, the artwork for Destroyer of Light‘s next full-length, which will also serve as their first for Argonauta Records, is currently in progress. I don’t know if that means the album itself is done or not, but there’s work being done. That’s good news. Also on that theme comes word that after doing a few shows in their hometown of Austin, Texas, next month for SXSW, the band will head to Europe in May for the first time. You might recall they did a hefty amount of touring last Fall to support their Hopeless EP (review here) and to continue to spread the gospel of 2017’s Chamber of Horrors (review here), but even if not, suffice it to say that was by no means their first lengthy stretch either.

In comparison, the upcoming swath of Euro dates is much more an initial incursion at 14 shows/15 nights, but a band who tours like they do, it’s highly likely this’ll be the last time they get their passports stamped. Happy travels.

Dates follow:

destroyer of light tour

Here it is ladies and gentlemen. Europe is finally taking us in. We will be out with our label-mates, Hell Obelisco for most of the dates, and another support for the remainder of the dates. Thank you to Argonauta Records and Leynir Booking for setting up this adventure for us. Stay tuned for more news!

Destroyer of Light March Madness:
March 2nd – Shreveport, LA @ Bear’s
March 9th – Austin, TX @ Lost Well*
March 14th – Austin, TX @ Lost Well*
March 15th – Austin, TX @ Lost Well*
*all different sets of songs from old to new

Destroyer of Light Euro tour:
10.05 Italy Bologna*
11.05 Italy Vercelli*
12.05 France Lyon*
14.05 France Strasbourg*
15.05 Germany Dresden*
16.05 Germany Berlin*
17.05 Denmark Aalborg*
18.05 Sweden Stockholm*
19.05 Sweden Gothenburg*
20.05 Sweden Malmoe
22.05 France Metz
23.05 Germany TBC
24.05 Italy Milan
25.05 Italy Treviso
* Hell Oblisco support

Destroyer of Light is:
Steve Colca – Guitar, Vocals
Nick Coffman – Bass
Keegan Kjeldsen – Guitar, Synth
Penny Turner – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/destroyeroflight/
http://www.instagram.com/destroyeroflightofficial/
http://www.twitter.com/DoLAustinDoom
http://destroyeroflight.bandcamp.com/
www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
https://twitter.com/argonautarex
https://www.instagram.com/argonautarecords/

Destroyer of Light, Hopeless EP (2018)

Tags: , , , ,