Friday Full-Length: Alice in Chains, Alice in Chains

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Alice in Chains, Alice in Chains (1995)

I’m sure one exists, but I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of a darker pop album than Alice in Chains‘ 1995 self-titled LP, and I just can’t come up with anything. Sure, most of its singles — opener “Grind,” the later “Again” with its inconsistent but catchy “boop-boop” hook, and even the acoustic-led “Heaven Beside You” — were rockers, but is 1992’s genre-defining classic Dirt was an exploration of the pain and longing of addiction, then surely the 64-minute, 12-song Alice in Chains captured something of its depths. Of course, it would be the band’s final album with frontman Layne Staley before the singer’s recession into heroin use and his eventual death in 2002 at the age of 34. That context, and the fact that until guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell, bassist Mike Inez and drummer Sean Kinney released Black Gives Way to Blue in 2009 with then-new frontman William DuVall, it was their last record, period, unquestionably informs the listening experience, and songs like “Brush Away,” “Sludge Factory,” “Head Creeps,” “God Am,” “Nothin’ Song” and “Frogs” are that much darker for it, with the finale “Over Now” originally written by Cantrell about his girlfriend at the time, but seeming to mourn the band itself in the lines, “You know it’s been on my mind/could I stand right there/Look myself in the eye and say that it’s over now?/We pay our debt sometime.” One way or the other, there seemed to be an acknowledgement there that something was drawing to a close.

And so it was. Alice in Chains followed the 1994 EP Jar of Flies, which like the band’s preceding short release, 1992’s Sap (discussed here), was driven primarily by acoustic material — plus one goof track, lest they take themselves too seriously — which had followed the radio success of Dirt singles like “Would?” and “Rooster” with its own string of hits in “No Excuses” and “I Stay Away.” Neither of the self-titled’s harder singles — that’s “Grind” and “Again” — would have the same reach as “Heaven Beside You” or “Over Now,” but whether a given song was loud or quiet or brash and doomed as was “Sludge Factory” or even daring to show a little hope as was the particularly gorgeously harmonized “Shame in You,” which by my estimation is a lost treasure of the band’s discography, not the least for its meandering finish, which is something they rarely let themselves do, Alice in Chains was consuming and dark, varied in its execution but consistent in its message. With Cantrell — who would release his first solo album, Boggy Depot, three years later in 1998 and later tour with DuVall (also of Comes with the Fall) in his band — taking on the bulk of the songwriting duties, the songs had a largely unified perspective, and with Staley‘s addiction to heroin well documented as by then taking its toll on his ability to function in the band and more generally in life, it was the guitarist who stepped in to fill the void, essentially readjusting the balance that had been at work in Alice in Chains since (before) 1990’s Facelift, their debut album. Indeed, especially in light of Boggy Depot and its vastly-underrated follow-up, 2002’s Degradation TripAlice in Chains is very much emblematic of Cantrell‘s songwriting approach in its maturity, which of course would continue to manifest during Alice in Chains‘ second run beginning with their reunion in 2005.

alice in chains self titled

That isn’t to minimalize Staley‘s contributions vocally, however. “Head Creeps” was a six-and-a-half-minute chasm of grim psychedelic impact and tension with his voice overtop, and though its guitar patterning was more indicative of Cantrell‘s poppier work, “God Am” still bore the haunting quality that Staley brought to “Sludge Factory” and “Brush Away” immediately before it, following “Grind” in an opening salvo that seemed to push further into an abyss before “Heaven Beside You” stepped in to provide some measure of respite. Playing that dynamic, and indeed Staley and Cantrell, off each other — with the always-inventive drumming of Kinney and Inez‘s clinic-in-class bass as a foundation — became the push and pull of Alice in Chains, and the material thrived on the overarching conflict. Listening to it nearly a quarter-century later, it does not sound like an easy record to have made, and by all reports, it wasn’t, but its emotional basis, troubled sensibility and sheer level of craft still resonate, whether it’s the manic “So Close” or the sweet melodies corrupted in “Frogs,” which moved from its solidified hook into a wandering nod-off of Staley seeming to predict his own death in mumbles as the instruments behind offered a darker take on “Shame in You”‘s wandering sensibility, this time feeling isolated and almost nihilistic. Is it any wonder that “Over Now” began with a sample of “Good Night” by jazz bandleader Ted Lewis? What else was there to say?

Naturally, though it seemed like it would be their last record after Staley‘s death, Alice in Chains wasn’t the last music the band produced in this incarnation. In 1996, the live recording of their appearance on MTV Unplugged — I remember watching it on its first airing; it was incredible — became a hit in its own right, and two songs, “Get Born Again” and “Died,” recorded in 1998 for inclusion with the Music Bank box set. They would be the last tracks Staley recorded with Alice in Chains, though he also appeared on a cover of Pink Floyd‘s “Another Brick in the Wall” on a 1998 movie soundtrack as part of the assembled one-off “supergroup” Class of ’99 with Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and members of Jane’s Addiction. It was less than a career highlight.

Last year, Alice in Chains marked the release of their third post-Staley LP, Rainier Fog (discussed here), and the fact that they’ve gone 10 years with three records out with DuVall means they’ve at this point been around longer without him than with and put out as many albums. I won’t take away from the quality of Rainier Fog in manifesting a persona for Alice in Chains having moved forward in a way that even the prior 2013 outing, The Devil Put the Dinosaurs Here, and Black Gives Way to Blue couldn’t, but there are many for whom Staley‘s work in the band remains an essential facet. There are arguments to be made for either side, and frankly, I’m not interested in laying them out or begrudging a band whose work has legitimately changed my life their finding a path and continued success along it. Either way, their ’90s-era recordings stand as testament to the force they were at the time in creativity, performance and presence, and of those, Alice in Chains remains singularly affecting.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

Been up early the last two days. Like 1:45AM. Yesterday I was like, “Duh, I’ll get up and get all my writing done and then I can just relax when the baby naps and that’ll be great because I have infinite energy and I can just sit and read and there’s no way I’ll immediately fall asleep or anything.” Clearly that was dumb. Today was less of a conscious choice. I was just up. I tried to go back to sleep for an hour, read some, and then finally decided to say screw it and start the day. Coffee, Alice in Chains, the whole bit. It’s quarter-after-four now. I had the notion of going to 7-Eleven at around three to buy a bag of ice, but wanted to get this post done first. I may yet head out. It’s like three minutes away. Not such a journey. I used to walk there when I was a kid, probably listening to Dirt or Suicidal Tendencies’ Art of Rebellion or whatever on my Walkman.

We were back in Massachusetts earlier this week. Monday, I guess it was. The Patient Mrs. was giving a talk on campus up there — one of her last duties to Bridgewater State unless you count emptying her office and teaching an online class — so I went up as well and packed vinyl and a bunch of other stuff from the kitchen and around. Most of what’s left is like stuff from closets and furniture. The closing date on that place is in about a month, so hopefully nothing falls through with the buyer between now and then and we can be done with it, get everything else out before we close. We came back down to Jersey on Tuesday and have been here since, are staying here through the impending terrible heat this weekend. No central air, but window units should do the job fairly enough. One hopes, anyhow. There’s a ton to do in this house. Everyone is overwhelmed. Tense. Could probably stand to get laid.

This was my grandmother’s house before she died, we’re buying it from my mother. It’s been cleaned up, but not really cleaned out, so as we’re basically moving a house’s worth of stuff into it from, you know, our house in Massachusetts, there’s a concurrent house’s worth of stuff we’re moving out from here. Some of that has been donated, some my mother has taken, some is stuff my sister was storing here, some is going to my cousin, some we’re keeping, etc., but everything is an emotionally fraught process, and there is a fucking ton of it. Plus we found a leak in the wall upstairs in the rain yesterday and god fucking knows what that portends in terms of repair. Six years ago, when we moved to MA, we just packed our shit and left. This has thus far been much more complicated, and we have a long way to go.

But eventually, that will result in a new dishwasher, and I sincerely look forward to that.

Today at 1PM Eastern is a new episode of The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio. It’s my tribute to Maryland Doom Fest 2019, just playing some of the bands and talking about the festival a bit. It was a good time, so I wanted to highlight that. Call me nostalgic if you must.

Next week? Wolf Blood review, I think. With the AIC done, I’m listening to that record now and it’s pretty killer. Then maybe Morass of Molasses and we’ll see about the rest. Lo-Pan have a show in Teaneck next week that I’m going to hit up ahead of seeing them with C.O.C. in August, so I’ll review that — I don’t expect much in terms of lighting — and there are a couple sweet-ass The Obelisk Presents announcements coming as well, so keep an eye out.

The rest is and will be what it is and will be.

Everyone have a great and safe weekend. If you’re someplace warm, stay cool and hydrate. If you’re someplace cool, get some good snuggles going. Who doesn’t like snuggles?

Thanks again for reading. Forum, radio, merch.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk shirts & hoodies

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Sacri Monti, Waiting Room for the Magic Hour: Beautiful Demons

Posted in Reviews on July 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

sacri monti waiting room for the magic hour

It’s been a sneakily long four years since San Diego’s Sacri Monti loosed their 2015 self-titled debut (review here) through Tee Pee Records, and perhaps it’s because they’ve toured steadily — going to Europe at least twice and doing regular stints on the West Coast, etc. — that it doesn’t seem so long. The five-piece also took part in 2017’s Burnout three-way split with Harsh Toke and JOY (review here), so they’ve hardly been absent, but Waiting Room for the Magic Hour telegraphs a sense of anticipation with its title, and the eight-song/45-minute outing lives up to that with organ-soaked classic-style heavy rock that draws away from some of the boogie for which their hometown has become so known as the returning lineup of guitarists Brenden Dellar (also vocals) and Dylan Donovan, bassist Anthony Meier (also of Radio Moscow), organist Evan Wenskay and drummer Thomas Dibenedetto delve deeper into proggy-rocky explorations in cuts like “Fear and Fire,” “Starlight,” “Gone from Grace” and the brief penultimate instrumental “Wading in Malcesine.”

The last of those is more of an interlude — its title referring to a lakeside village in northern Italy that one assumes was a stop on some tour or other or at least an escapist fantasy — but still brings Sacri Monti to a place the first album didn’t dare to go with its post-rock guitar drift and Wenskay‘s synth giving the sub-three-minute proceedings an otherworldly feel. That seems to arrive light-years beyond where they start out with the five-minute opening title-track, which keeps to a more straightforward style that, particularly with the vocal patterning, is bound to remind some listeners of where Earthless were on their own last full-length — also earliest Witchcraft — but still keeps its own identity instrumentally as well and sets up moments like the jabbing surge at the end of side A’s “Starlight,” with organ and guitar winding together in an exciting crescendo that touches on Thin Lizzy and rises out of a more straight-ahead hook, itself led into by the instrumental, guitar-driven interlude/shorter piece “Armistice,” to which side B’s aforementioned “Wading in Malcesine” is something of a mirror.

Flow is essential to a work like this and Sacri Monti make it sound easy. Waiting Room for the Magic Hour, though it can seem rhythmically anxious at times as it shifts through its more progressive stretches, but it’s not without its trail markers as it goes farther out, and the place it winds up in closer “You Beautiful Demon” is a genuine surprise: an acoustic and pedal steel near-twang that still derives from Led Zeppelin, but does so in a way that still serves as a ready example of Sacri Monti‘s drive toward individualism. Amidst all the shuffle and ’70s worship of their crowded scene, Sacri Monti are finding a way to both fit in and distinguish themselves in these songs. They’re establishing a richer, less-bound personality to their songwriting that feels comfortable encompassing psychedelia as much as earthy folk-blues strum — back to back, no less — and most importantly, they’re pulling it off.

sacri monti waiting room for the magic hour back cover

Elements in “Fear and Fire” — the longest inclusion at 9:14 — and “Starlight” or even the more patiently melodic side B opener “Affirmation” will seem familiar to those with an affinity either for classic progressive rock or its modern heavy revisionists, but the fluidity of Sacri Monti‘s craft here and the lack of pretense they bring to their instrumentalism, their tonal warmth and overarching groove, help to give Waiting Room for the Magic Hour a distinguishing presence, and the take-it-as-a-whole feel of the album front to back feels not necessarily like a conceptual piece mandating it be experienced in a certain way, but an invitation issued to the listener to come in and sit down for a while and enjoy finding the places where the band end up. Songs like “Starlight,” “Affirmation,” “Gone from Grace” and even “You Beautiful Demon” — let alone the title-track — seem to speak to ideas beyond the bare physical world, and fair enough, but Sacri Monti succeed in carrying their audience along this sometimes-complex path without getting anymore lost along the way than they want to be. That’s the difference between Waiting Room for the Magic Hour being as engaging as it is and a flat mess, which it is not.

Indeed, even the name of the record seems to invite speculation as to meaning. What’s the magic hour? Where’s the waiting room? Beginning with stick clicks and a suitably live feel, the title-track would seem to hint that the show is the magic hour, and the waiting room might be the rest of life — the opening line, “Orange haze fall down on me again,” supports this — and given the place-name in “Wading in Malcesine” speaks to reflections on touring as well, but that’s a simplistic narrative to put to it and what feels more important about Waiting Room for the Magic Hour is the places the record takes Sacri Monti‘s sound, rather than the story behind it, and whether it’s the intricacies of “Armistice” and “Starlight” or the direct way the organ at the end of “Affirmation” seems to lead to the opening guitar line of “Gone from Grace,” there’s a natural vibe that ties the material here together and gives the listener all the more to dig into on repeat visits, putting emphasis on the raw dynamic not just between the two guitars or the instruments and the vocals, but the guitar and bass, the bass and keys, the guitar and keys, the drums and everything, and so on.

Though it often winds up being the guitar in the lead, Waiting Room for the Magic Hour stands on the shoulders of each member’s performance and is even more an accomplishment for what those performances produce. In a vast legion of sun-coated West Coast boogie, it builds something of its own from that foundation and highlights a potential that even the self-titled could only touch on in a tentative way. These songs feel more confident and more realized, and if they’re as much a show of potential as of their own manifestation — that is, if Sacri Monti continue to progress from what they achieve here — even if it takes them another four years to put out a follow-up, that LP will be well worth the wait. These cats could’ve played dumb and written a probably-cool-anyway record of capable ’70s-style heavy rock. They very clearly aimed higher, and they very clearly nailed it.

Sacri Monti, Waiting Room for the Magic Hour (2019)

Sacri Monti on Thee Facebooks

Sacri Monti on Instagram

Sacri Monti webstore

Sacri Monti on Soundcloud

Tee Pee Records website

Tee Pee Records on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records on Bandcamp

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Bison Machine Announce Seas of Titan Due Sept. 27; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Even if you go by when the album came out on Kozmik Artifactz, it’s been four years since Bison Machine released their debut LP, Hoarfrost (review here), and that’s plenty long enough. They’ve done copious touring over the course of their near-decade together, and had other offerings out along the way, but if you believe in due, they’re due for a record. Fortunately, Seas of Titan will see release through Small Stone on Sept. 27 as their sophomore full-length, arriving not a moment too soon as far as I’m concerned. The album art pretty much rules, and I’ve been seeing posts on thee social medias about their widely available new t-shirt designs, so all that makes me think they’ll continue to hit the road as they have all along, and that’s only a good thing. They’re streaming the opening track from Seas of Titan now. I suggest you dig in.

PR wire info follows. I know I worked on this bio, but I think it was an update from what was already there rather than something I wrote from scratch. Kind of hard to keep it all straight in my head.

Either way, here it is:

bison machine seas of titan

BISON MACHINE: Michigan Fuzz Rockers To Release Seas Of Titan Full-Length Via Small Stone This Fall; New Track Streaming + Preorders Available

Michigan fuzz rockers BISON MACHINE will release their Seas Of Titan full-length via Small Stone this fall.

Since 2010, BISON MACHINE has been plying their trade in the dank, vinyl-smelling basements of Detroit, Michigan, the birthplace of a rock tradition for brashness and all-in physicality to music that the group lovingly upholds. Seas Of Titan is the band’s first album for Small Stone and a record years in the making. Since getting their start in early 2015 with the critically-lauded Hoarfrost, the four-piece have spent time putting out material in drips and drabs — a video here, a split there — all the while honing their craft on stages throughout the greater Midwest and beyond. This has all been in the name of chipping away at the marble that would become an awaited sophomore outing; a long-player from a band whose reputation already precedes them among the converted and who leave nothing unsaid in their sweating-blood approach to rock and roll.

Progressive and intense, the eight smoking tracks that comprise Seas Of Titan finds BISON MACHINE melding the best of classic heavy rock a la Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Captain Beyond, and MC5 with a forward-thinking style that is as much class as it is likely to show up in a loincloth. Rooted now in Hamtramck, Michigan, the band are hungry to the point of starving and bring a spirit to their latest work that serves to remind why they made guitars electric in the first place. Seas Of Titan was recorded by Al Sutton (Five Horse Johnson, Don Cabellero) and Steve Lehane (Sasquatch, Luder, The Black Dahlia Murder) at Rustbelt Studios, mastered by Chris Goosman (La Chinga, Gozu, Acid King, The Glasspack) at Baseline Audio Labs and features artwork by Alan Forbes (The Black Crowes, Lucifer, Earthless, Ghost). 

BISON MACHINE’s Seas Of Titan will be released September 27th on CD and digitally via Small Stone. A limited-edition vinyl edition will also be released through Kozmik Artifacts in conjunction with Small Stone. Preorders are available at the label’s Bandcamp page at THIS LOCATION where first single, “The Tower,” can be streamed.

Seas Of Titan Track Listing:
1. The Tower
2. Knights Of The Stars
3. Cloak & Bones
4. Echoes In Space
5. Seas Of Titan
6. Star Child
7. Electric Eliminator
8. A Distant Sun

BISON MACHINE:
Casey O’ryan – guitar
Anthony Franchina – bass, moog
Breck Crandell – drums, percussion
Tom Stec – vocals

https://www.facebook.com/bisonmachinedetroit
https://www.instagram.com/bisonmachine/
https://bisonmachine.bandcamp.com/
http://www.smallstone.com
http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords
http://www.smallstone.bandcamp.com

Bison Machine, Seas of Titan (2019)

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Snow Burial Sign to Prosthetic Records to Release Ostrava Sept. 20

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

snow burial (Photo by Aaron Ehinger)

No full songs yet, but we’re about two months out from the release, so we’ll get there. Chicago-style deep-dish post-metallers Snow Burial will offer up their second long-player, Ostrava, as their label debut on Prosthetic Records, and tour to support it. They have a couple weekenders currently listed, and I’m not sure if the actual tour that will follow the Sept. 20 release is properly announced yet or not, but the dates are included in the teaser clip for the record, so there you go. Plus if you watch that you get a little snippet of what I’ll assume is a strobe-laden official video to follow, and of course some music as well, so, you know, they really pack the info into that 30 seconds. One doesn’t generally think of post-metal as having such efficiency.

The band are new to me — I’m sure they’re not new to you; I’ve said this before, but you’re way cooler than I am — so I’ve also included below song from their Bandcamp that featured on a split last year with Aseethe. Bonus points to them for the Richard Nixon sample and the Isis-meets-Souls at Zero-ness all around.

To the PR wire:

snow burial ostrava

Prosthetic Records Sign Snow Burial – New Album & Tours Imminent

Prosthetic Records is thrilled to announce the signing of Chicago’s SNOW BURIAL. The doomy three-piece will release their second full length album – titled Ostrava – on September 20. Pre-orders are now available HERE.

Of the signing, SNOW BURIAL’s Ben Bowman comments:

“We are so excited to team up with Prosthetic Records and release Ostrava on their label. This album means the world to us and to be able to work with this team is a dream come true. Joining a label with so many friends and bands we love makes it all the better.”

SNOW BURIAL will celebrate their signing to the label by hitting the road this week with Aseethe. The two bands released a split EP together last year and their dual pronged trail of audio destruction kicks off this Thursday. Full dates are below.

Recorded in early 2019 at Electrical Audio, Chicago with Shane Hochstetler at the helm, Ostrava maps where life’s beauty and terror collide. Born from their defining experiences at home and on the road the unifying theme of Ostrava is one of duality – failure and triumph, celebration and mourning, isolation and family. Taking inspiration from the likes of Radiohead as much as any metal act; SNOW BURIAL craft polished songs with the whirring machinery hidden just below the surface. Their blend of melody and aggression delivers a sound that dredges the depths of doom and sludge and marries it with rock ‘n’ roll sensibilities.

Ostrava Track List
1. Tyranny
2. Sever The Bloodline
3. The Afterneath
4. T?inec
5. Ostrava
6. Gaping Wounds
7. Burn Down The Crown
8. The Lost
9. The Unforgiven

SNOW BURIAL upcoming live shows:
18 July – Milwaukee, WI @ Walkers Point Music Hall
19 July – Madison, WI @ Barley Pop
20 July – Minneapolis, MN @ Hexagon
08 August – Des Moines, IA @ TBA
09 August – St Louis, MO @ Sinkhole
10 August – Louisville. KY @ Mag Bar (no Aseethe)
11 August – Dubuque, IA @ The Blu Room

Release show:
20 September – Chicago, IL @ Cobra Lounge (w/Scientist + These Beasts)

https://www.facebook.com/snowburial
https://www.instagram.com/snowburial/
https://snowburial.bandcamp.com/
https://www.snowburial.com/
http://prostheticrecords.bandcamp.com/

Snow Burial, Ostrava album teaser

Snow Burial, “Sever the Bloodline”

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Goatess Set Sept. 27 Release for Blood and Wine

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

goatess

It’s a different Goatess this time around. Since the arrival of 2016’s II: Purgatory Under New Management (review here), the Swedish doom traditionalists have swapped out bassists and frontmen, and the Sept. 27 release of Blood and Wine will be their first record with Karl Buhre on vocals and Samuel Cornelsen (also Count Raven) handling low end. Buhre in particular has some rather sizable shoes to fill — those of Christian “Chritus” Linderson — but certainly guitarist Niklas Jones and drummer Kenta Karlbom have established a presence of their own over the course of the band’s two full-lengths to-date, so I look forward to digging into the new one and hearing what the personnel swap turns up in terms of their overall dynamic. The PR wire hints toward some desert rock vibes, which only has me more curious.

No audio yet, but here’s art and info and the always-coveted preorder link:

Goatess Blood and Wine

GOATESS set release date for new SVART album

Svart Records announces September 27th as the international release date for Goatess’ highly anticipated third album, Blood and Wine, on CD and vinyl LP formats.

Goatess summon the frenzy and religious ecstasy of a Bacchus cult with the aptly titled Blood and Wine. Riffs of biblical, Cecil B. DeMille magnitude part the Red Sea and chariot their way across the dunes like a relentless raging Roman legion. Expert songwriting by modern veterans of the scene, Sweden’s Goatess take the traditional doom metal foundations of Saint Vitus, Trouble, and early Cathedral out to the desert and mold it into a set of arid, hypnotic stoner grooves. Bringing to mind modern classics of desert rock like the catchier moments of Kyuss’ Sky Valley and Corrosion Of Conformity’s Blind albums, Blood and Wine is a thirst-quenching refreshment in a parched dust bowl. The revitalized lineup of Kenta Karlbom (drums) and Niklas Jones (guitar) with new initiates Karl Buhre (vocals) and Samuel Cornelsen (bass) have struck a mother lode of gold with their rich doom pedigree and a newfound lifeblood in their chemistry. Having already tread the hallowed boards of sonic temples all over Europe several times, Blood and Wine will see the Goatess cult of doom enthusiasts drawn in anew and the Bacchanalia cult swelling in their hooded numbers.

Nine doses of intoxicating mesmerism that showcase seasoned and masterful command of doom-craft, this album marks Goatess finding a stride in their cloven hooves. Captivating and subtly epic songs steamroll a slow descent into the underworld deserts of your mind, providing a suitable companion to nights of group debauchery or solo excursions to the soul’s outer limits. Giving in to the Bacchanalia at the heart of this record induces a mythical orgy of sonic Sabbathian riff-worship that’s impossible to deny. Once you pop the cork on this barrel-fermented vintage cask, you will enjoy and savor every heavy gulp until the very last drop.

First track premiere to be revealed shortly. Preorder info can be found HERE. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for Goatess’ Blood and Wine
1. Goddess
2. Dead City
3. What Lies Beneath
4. Black Iron Mark
5. Dark Days
6. Dunerider
7. Jupiter Rising
8. Stampede
9. Blood and Wine

https://www.facebook.com/baldersounds
http://www.svartrecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/svartrecords

Goatess, II: Purgatory Under New Management (2016)

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Et Mors Announce October Tour Supporting Lux in Morte

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

ET MORS

The Chesapeake duo (Maryland and Virginia) Et Mors will tour this October supporting their grit-caked Lux in Morte (review here) release, which kind of skirts the line between an EP and a full-length but is ultimately three records’ worth of nasty all on its own. They issued the beast at the end of May, having recorded it as a four-piece with their last lineup, and they’ll get out in their new incarnation and presumably bring at least a somewhat different vibe to the material. In addition to shows with Dour and Fistula there are a few dates on here that are TBA, so if you happen to be in that part of the world — come on Stroudsburg, PA, you can fill that Oct. 14 show! — you should make it happen. Not just because it’s the right thing to do. Not just because the band is heavy. But because it’s the right thing to do and the band is heavy. Crazy persuasive, right? So do it up. Make pie and have them play your house. I bet it’ll be a blast.

I think I’ve made my point.

Here are the dates:

et mors tour

Et Mors – Tombswayer Tour

Tombswayer tour for October 2019 is starting to really come together. We have 3 dates with Fistula and 8 dates with DOUR. Still some unknown venues to be filled in…

Et Mors Tombswayer Tour October 2019:
10/10 Richmond VA Wonderland
10/11 Philadelphia PA Century Bar
10/12 Allentown PA Alternative Gallery
10/13 Wilkes Barre PA Curry Donuts*
10/14 UNKNOWN TBA
10/15 Pittsburgh PA Howler’s
10/16 Youngstown OH Westside Bowl^
10/17 Canton OH Buzzbin^
10/18 Columbus OH Summit
10/19 Dayton OH TBA
10/20 Indianapolis IN State Street Pub
10/21 Fort Wayne IN TBA
10/22 Cleveland OH TBA
10/23 Ithaca NY TBA*
10/24 Rochester NY Bug Jar*
10/25 Albany NY Pauly’s Hotel*
10/26 Wocester MA Ralph’s Rock Diner Terry’s Bday Show w/ Come to Grief*
10/27 Providence RI TBA*
10/29 Montclair NJ Meatlocker*
* with Dour ^ with Fistula

Et Mors is:
Z.S – Guitar. Vocals
A.A – Drums, Vocals

https://www.facebook.com/EtMors/
https://etmors.bandcamp.com/

Et Mors, Lux in Morte (2019)

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Elektric Mistress Stream Self-Titled EP in Full; Out Friday

Posted in audiObelisk on July 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

elektric mistress

This Friday, July 19, marks the release of the self-titled debut EP from Nova Scotia five-piece Elektric Mistress. The outing is a 16-minute three-songer, about half of which is dedicated to the eight-minute opener “Turn to Grey,” with its mellow, bluesy procession, lyrical introspection about aging — the early line, “Trees are dying and the leaves are on their own,” feels particularly layered with meaning in a about-more-than-just-hair kind of way — steady organ and basslines, flowing guitar and duly moving drums. Soon enough they’ll get down to drinking in the tropics with frontman Steve Poole calling out drink orders in “Cuba Time” while the band behind — guitarist Kyle Cantfell, bassist Kieran Richardson, drummer Victor Canales and keyboardist Riley MacDonald — execute more of a classic shuffle, but the impression of the opener remains crucial, not just because it’s longer, but because it sets such a fine balance between its atmospheric and rocking elements. Make no mistake, Elektric Mistress are a heavy rock and roll band and they’ve got the ‘k’ in “electric” to prove it, which isn’t to mention the EP’s eyeroll-worthy naked-chick-in-a-feather-headdress-holding-a-bong artwork (well enough drawn, but really?), but part of the value of putting the longest song first is that it immediately changes the context in which “Cuba Time” and closer “Meeting of the Minds” appear. That works well in Elektric Mistress‘ favor on this first offering.

The closer, a couple The Doors references later, is about playing a show, the tension and anticipation before and the satisfaction of hitting a stage. Nothing wrong with that, of course, and the middle-range tempo and general activity level draws a line between “Turn to Grey” — which does pick up in the middle and get loud, but still does so as part of a larger purpose of mood — and “Cuba Time,” which has more libidinous ends, with the mojitos and the “señoritas” and all. Still, Elektric Mistress — and if they really want to throw people for a loop their next time out, they should call whatever they release next Electrik Mistress, just to be subtle and screw with anyone only paying casual attention — gives three distinct looks at the band’s approach and for a first release and even more so for a first EP, there’s nothing else one could reasonably ask of it than that. There are some production/mix kinks to work out, but hell if I know any big-time New Scotland heavy rock engineers to suggest, and I make it a policy not to rag on self-releasing bands getting their start whether that’s a “debut EP” or a “demo” as it used to be called, so particularly as everything comes through clear and seems to convey their purpose well, I’m not inclined to quibble. And as regards their purpose, these guys aren’t changing the world, and I don’t think they’re trying to, but they’ve got their hearts in the right place as regards rock and an obvious focus on traditional songwriting that makes the most of their choruses.

You can stream the EP in its entirety on the player below. Official release date, once again, is tomorrow, and they’ll have it up on Bandcamp and all the rest.

Please enjoy:

Elektric Mistress, Elektric Mistress EP full stream premiere

Elektric Mistress on self-titled EP:

“Our self-titled EP is the band’s first studio recording. Influenced by the members’ psychedelic and stoner rock roots, each track has a unique sound and showcases their varied influences and songwriting abilities. With riffing low guitar/bass chug fused with B3/Rhodes/Synth sounds, the EP recaptures the retro rock sound of the 70s with a modern tinge, and stands as a tribute to the bands’ early influences.”

The first studio release from Elektric Mistress!

ELEKTRIC MISTRESS is face punching psychedelic rock firmly rooted in what has come before. Channeling the energy of inspirations such as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Pink Floyd the stoner rock quintet is all about the groove.

Each track on the EP has a unique sound and showcases their varied influences and songwriting abilities with riffing low guitar/bass chug fused with B3/Rhodes/Synth sounds, the EP tries to recapture the retro rock sound of the 70s with a modern tinge and stands as a tribute to the band’s early influences.

Elektric Mistress are:
Steve Poole: Vocals
Kyle Cantfell: Guitars
Riley MacDonald: Keys
Kieran Richardson: Bass
Victor Canales: Drums

Elektric Mistress on Thee Facebooks

Elektric Mistress on Instagram

Elektric Mistress on Bandcamp

Elektric Mistress website

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Victor Griffin Announces New Project Pistonhead; Live Debut Next Month

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

Some of the material on Victor Griffin‘s solo collection Late for an Early Grave — originally released in 2005 but newly reissued through Stone Groove Records — also showed up on the 2013 self-titled debut from In~Graved (review here), an ultimately short-lived project that coincided with his touring with Pentagram. They’re Griffin‘s songs, either way, as either of those records made plain enough, so to have him playing the material live with his new outfit, Pistonhead, isn’t such a surprise, especially as the band seems too new to have its own full set of material yet.

The new Griffin-fronted trio will make their live debut next month in Atlanta, playing alongside Royal Thunder, and finds Griffin joined by bassist Lee Abney — with whom he also worked in Death Row and Place of Skulls — and drummer Andrew Bryant (also of Wampus Cat). I have no idea what the plan is for the band, whether they’ll eventually get around to recording or when that might happen, or if new songs are in progress as well as playing the Late for an Early Grave stuff live — one imagines Griffin has a trove of riffs to draw from at all times, but that’s different than a finished song that all three members know and to which they’ve contributed their own parts — but a new Griffin band is only good news as far as anyone who appreciates tone should be concerned, and with the dude’s track record, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt in terms of knowing what he’s doing with the riffs and the doom and all that.

Griffin posted the show info thusly:

victor griffin pistonhead

In support of the recently reissued ‘Late For An Early Grave’ CD and new vinyl version coming soon, Pistonhead will bring it live along with a few choice Griffin penned classics to motorize the doom vibe!

Once again teaming up with bassist Lee Abney along with Andrew Bryant on drums, our first show will be at the 529 in Atlanta, GA on August 23, 2019.

So get your motor runnin’ to Hotlanta for the lightning of Royal Thunder, Pistonhead, & Hot Ram!

(A. Rippin’ Production)

Godspeed,
Victor

Order ‘Late For An Early Grave’ @ Stone Groove Records

https://www.facebook.com/VictorGriffin.official/
https://stonegrooverecords.storenvy.com/

Victor Griffin, “Late for an Early Grave”

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