Kylesa, Red Fang, Howl and The Atlas Moth Announced as Support for Metalliance Tour with Crowbar, Saint Vitus and Helmet

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 31st, 2011 by JJ Koczan

And some support they provide. Kylesa, Red Fang, Howl and The Atlas Moth supporting Crowbar, Saint Vitus and Helmet playing Meantime. I guess the mystery’s solved on what the year’s best American tour is going to be.

Check out the latest from the PR wire and the badass tour poster from Brian Mercer:

The 2011 Metalliance Tour has just announced the complete lineup for their already impressive and highly anticipated tour. The run of dates are now complete and will be supported by metal heavyweights Kylesa, Red Fang, Howl and The Atlas Moth. The tour organizers had the honor of having Brian Mercer also provide all of the visuals and artwork for The Metalliance Tour. He is best known for creating artwork for such bands as Eyehategod, Zoroaster, Black Tusk, Lamb of God and countless others.

Dates have officially been announced:
03/17 Dallas, TX Southside Music Hall
03/18 Austin, TX Dirty Dog / SXSW
03/19 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jacks
03/20 St. Petersburg, FL State Theater
03/21 Orlando, FL Firestone Live
03/22 Greensboro, NC Greene Street
03/23 Springfield, VA Jaxx
03/24 Worcester, MA Palladium
03/25 New York, NY Irving Plaza
03/26 Cleveland, OH Peabody’s
03/27 Joliet, IL Mojoe’s
03/29 Denver, CO The Summit
03/31 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
04/01 Seattle, WA El Corazon
04/03 San Francisco, CA Mezzanine
04/05 Hollywood, CA House Of Blues

$50 VIP tickets will be available courtesy of Artist Arena. This very special package will include:

– A General Admission Ticket
– Access to a Meet & Greet with Metalliance lineup
– A Metalliance hot sauce bottle
– A Commemorative VIP Show Laminate
– An Autographed poster
– 1 Issue of Revolver magazine

One grand prize winner will be randomly selected for a Dinner With The Bands, an autographed Mosh Potatoes cookbook and one t-shirt from each of the bands.

One second-place winner will randomly be selected for a one-on-one guitar lesson with Kirk Windstein from Crowbar and an autographed Mosh Potatoes cookbook.

VIP tickets are on sale now. Click here for more information on this once in a lifetime experience!

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Six Organs of Admittance, Asleep on the Floodplain: To Wake up Underwater

Posted in Reviews on January 31st, 2011 by JJ Koczan

If the Wikipedia count is to be believed, then including 7”s, EPs, full-length albums and the occasional limited-to-100-copies CDR, Asleep on the Floodplain (Drag City) is the 25th release from Six Organs of Admittance. Starting with 1998’s self-titled and weaving his way through a number of multi-album experiments and sonic phases, Californian singer/songwriter Ben Chasny (also of Comets on Fire) has kept a base of neo-folk and acoustic guitar across the Six Organs of Admittance discography, and on the latest, he scales back some of the fuller sounds of his previous album, Luminous Night, and returns to the home-based recording style of records like 2003’s Compathia. The main difference is the growth the ensuing eight years has brought about and Chasny’s depth of melodic range. In atmosphere, despite a contribution from Elisa Ambrogio on “River of My Youth” and some natural-sounding drones accompanying electric strums on “Brilliant Blue Sea Between Us,” Asleep on the Floodplain is lonely. Not empty, and not Chasny‘s most minimal work, but very solo sounding.

The album opens instrumentally with “Above a Desert I’ve Never Seen,” displaying immediately one of Chasny’s greatest strengths in its lyrical guitar lines. He doesn’t use guitar to substitute for vocals where there aren’t any, instead capturing a listener’s attention in a completely different way. His deft fingering has always made Six Organs of Admittance stand out, and that carries over to Asleep on the Floodplain. “Light of the Light” is a shorter, vocal song with a memorable melody that leads well into “Brilliant Blue Sea Between Us.” That three of the first four tracks on the album are instrumental should say something about Chasny’s focus, but the actual feel of Asleep on the Floodplain is so smooth-running that the water-based thematics come off as all the more appropriate. The title of the album, “Brilliant Blue Sea Between Us,” “Saint of Fishermen” and “River of My Youth” all contain some reference to water, and the flow of the songs speaks to that being on purpose. Could just as easily be me reading into it, but the transitions between instrumentals that leads into “Hold but Let Go” – the centerpiece and highlight cut for those craving vocals and structure – is soothing no matter what images you want to place over-top.

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audiObelisk Transmission 013: The Wintry Mix

Posted in Podcasts on January 30th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

aOT13

Pretty self-explanatory, this one. I don’t know what’s going on climate-wise in the part of the world you live in, but here in the Northeastern US, it has snowed like a bastard for the last month, and it’s not showing any signs of letting up. I wanted to capture that feeling of winter where you’re so cold it feels like you’re never going to get warm again. The kind of cold that makes your blood move slower.

Needless to say, there’s a lot of doom.

But it’s not all downers. Occasionally winter can offer small triumphs — snow days, good soup, an extra excuse not to leave the house when you didn’t want to anyway — and there are some songs in this 13th audiObelisk Transmission that embody that idea: Scissorfight, Lords of the North, Grand Magus, but basically, I wanted this month’s podcast to sound cold. Some of these bands are here because they’re from cold places (Celtic Frost, Yearning, Candlemass), and others just sound like winter to me (Neurosis, The Awesome Machine, Anathema). Hopefully my personal seasonal associations carry over. I think they do, but I’m hardly unbiased.

Most of this stuff is pretty recent. There are a couple deeper cuts, but the majority is from the last decade at least. I didn’t realize it while I was picking out bands and albums, but 2008 features heavily for some reason. Maybe it was especially cold that year, or maybe I just listened to a lot of music that winter. Who the hell knows.

Like last month’s podcast, I hid a couple off-kilter picks toward the end. That’s where you’ll find Celtic Frost, Bathory, Enslaved, Primordial. I like the thought of changing things up to finish. All told, the podcast is 30 songs, just over three hours’ worth of material. Certainly long enough for you to revel in your wintertime malaise as I did while putting it together this afternoon. As always, I hope you enjoy.

Full tracklist is after the jump. To listen, click on the player above, follow this link, or grab the file by clicking the banner.

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Frydee Vinum Sabbatum

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 28th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Earlier this afternoon, I got in a link exchange/battle with our very own/very dear Mike H., in which we tried to out-retro occult doom each other. He wisely played Sweden‘s Långfinger, which was a solid move, and I countered with the Finnish Vinum Sabbatum, — who you’ll see above — before he broke out some band from Ohio and I bitched about the vocals being too high in the mix and ruined the game. My fault entirely.

New Podcast Alert. There is a new podcast coming this weekend.

The collective that involves The Patient Mrs. and I — we were calling ourselves Our Dichotomy Opens the Combat for a while, but that faded — is out tomorrow night for social obligation, and Sunday evening is my nephew’s birthday, but. There. Will. Be. A Podcast. This. Weekend. So help me Robot Jeebus.

And next week! Next week will rule. I will be reviewing new albums from American Heritage, Crowbar (fucking finally) and Six Organs of Admittance and I’ll have an interview posted that I did earlier tonight with Scott “Wino” Weinrich himself. That’s right. The fucking man. We had a good chat this evening in advance of his acoustic tour with Scott Kelly and I’m fucking thrilled to say it’ll be posted next week.

We’ll also wrap up the numbers for January (of course they’re down from December, but that’s understandable) and give the latest forum statistics. If you haven’t yet, please feel free to register for the forums, because we’re this close to 500 users, and I’d like to get there before this month is out. Pure egotism on my part. What a jerk. Ha.

Be sure to check in this weekend for that new podcast, and until then, have fun, have a few drinks and please be safe. This week was a tough one with the weather and school and whatnot, but there’s good stuff to come, so stay tuned.

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Buried Treasure and the Ass up Los Natas’ Sleeve

Posted in Buried Treasure on January 28th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

I’m not really sure what my delay on this one was, but I found out a few months ago about the 2010 split between Argentinian mega-trio Los Natas and more metallic side-project Solodolor. It’s the second one the two bands have done — small wonder since they share guitarist Sergio Chotsourian in common — and with Solodolor vocalist El Topo Armetta (also Dragonauta and Eight Hands for Kali) singing on three of Los Natas‘ total seven tracks, the effect the split has is more like a family/semi-collaboration than the usual one band on this side, one on the other. Because Los Natas‘ music is so fluid tonally anyway, it works.

Solodolor get the last three tracks. The lineup of Chotsourian, El Topo, drummer Gustavo Rowek and bassist Billy Anderson (yes, that Billy Anderson) showed the same three songs on the last, vinyl-only split, so it’s basically a chance for anyone who didn’t hear them then to do so now. They’re heavier than Los Natas in the traditional metal crash and bash sort of way, more High on Fire than desert rock, but even the unhinged feel of “The Battle of Mocha Poo” meshes well with the surrounding material.

Five of the seven Los Natas songs are covers, and the hardest part about them is choosing a highlight. For original material, they do new versions of their own “Soma” from the first album and “Rutation” from the second, but with “Thumb” and “Green Machine” by Kyuss, T.S.O.L.‘s “No Time,” Danzig‘s “I Don’t Mind the Pain,” and a Spanish-language take on the all-time classic of classics, “Ace of Spades” by Motörhead — redubbed “El Ass de Espadas” — it’s the covers that win the day. And that new “Soma” rules, don’t get me wrong, but come on, Los Natas playing the opening riff of “Thumb?” Life doesn’t get much better than that.

The only drawback to the covers is that it isn’t Chotsourian singing. He still plays guitar, and he, bassist Gonzalo Villagra and drummer Walter Broide are as tight as ever instrumentally, but a host of vocalists are brought in to cover duty. El Topo was already mentioned, and he does well on the Kyuss songs and “I Don’t Mind the Pain” — which might be my pick of the bunch, depending on my mood — while Argentinian singer Boom Boom Kid makes the T.S.O.L. song work surprisingly well and Ricardo Iorio (V8) manhandles “El Ass de Espadas.” It’s pretty clear Los Natas chose friends and people they wanted to work with, and it’s hard to fault them that.

I’ll stop short here without going into full review-mode and just say that if like me you’ve waited to check out the Los Natas/Solodolor split, consider that time wasted for not having a voice in stuck your head constantly yelling “El ass de espadas! El ass de espadas!” Awesome.

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Sandia Man Rock the Mountainside

Posted in Reviews on January 28th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

On their first, self-titled, self-released full-length, the Albuquerque, New Mexico, trio Sandia Man skirt the line between desert rock and doom metal — they call it “caveman rock” — following the riff across six heavy tracks that owe equal allegiance to Clutch and The Obsessed. There isn’t much in terms of flair to the overall style, but Sandia Man nail down some surprisingly memorable songs, starting with a lengthy spoken word intro to “Skins of the Fathers” based on a Clive Barker short story of the same name. For first-time listeners, the first 1:40 of Sandia Man’s Sandia Man are probably going to be a stumbling block, but after a couple times through you get used to it. Guitarist/vocalist Alan Edmonds (he’s the skeleton with the cool hat and the guitar on the cover above) forces his voice caveman low for nearly the entirety of the album, so once you hear that, that he does it in the beginning too is going to seem like much less of a surprise.

As a trio, Sandia Man have a classic riff-heavy chemistry between them. Edmonds takes a few done-right solos throughout, but his playing isn’t showy, and bassist Steven “Sven” Esterly and drummer Jon Knutson have no trouble following his trail of smoke to the proverbial riff-filled land. Knutson and Edmonds formerly played together in the New Mexican incarnation of Devil Riding Shotgun (now based out of Portland, Oregon), so their ability to march lockstep should come as no surprise. The start-stop progression of “Skins of the Fathers” is just the first of several distinctly Clutch-esque elements, Edmonds’ vocals being a key contributor to that as well, but the chorus moves in a different direction and is catchy in a doomier way. Likewise, “The Crows” follows a similar pattern, the Wino influence showing through in the guitar. Esterly’s bass comes on thick throughout, but perhaps most so on second cut “The Crows,” which seems to be led more by its vibrating low end than even by the riff. When Edmonds takes his multi-layered solo especially, Esterly makes sure the song doesn’t lose its ground, and when the riff kicks back in for the faster closing movement, the change is all the more effective for the bass work.

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New Colour Haze Album Delayed Indefinitely; Title Revealed

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 27th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Well, the follow-up to Colour Haze‘s brilliant All is called She Said, but as guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek explains in the latest newsletter for his label, Elektrohasch Schallplatten, no one quite knows when the hell it will be out. The difficulties, as it goes, are technical, and it’s a definite bummer, but better that they hold it back than release something they’re not 100 percent behind.

Here’s the latest from Koglek via the PR wire:

Since June 2010 we are working on our new album. Due to several private and artistic reasons, we needed to build up our own analogue studio for this, which we did since March 2010 with great effort. Temporally and financially we went far over the actual maximum of our possibilities, totally nuts – but the world already suffers enough from reasonable economic decisions ; ) – We think that with this creatively and artistically we made a great step onwards and recorded our best, most sophisticated and most psychedelic album so far.

Unfortunately on the one hand we also had a cascade of bad luck with the gear, so all the time (expensive…) technical problems had to be solved. Furthermore because of a nearly unbelievable chain of acoustical problems on the recording side – a seemingly okay sounding room which caused some problems in the background and a basically correct but in combination difficult mic-ing – and nobody heard it all the time, several studied audio-technicians had the stuff on their ears over the course of months – all our well played and in the single signals beautifully recorded music resisted every attempt to mix it down properly yet – I invested five weeks of 11-14 hours behind the console so far – well with high-end gear you can also cause high-end problems ; ) … In the last days we analyzed the material digitally and found a few things which might work and haven’t been tried yet.

We gave everything – and everybody who knows us knows that we always try to give our very best – and with our attitude of unconditional giving we achieved so much over the years, not only for ourselves… but at the moment we came to a dead end with the new album.

Therefore we delay the release to an uncertain point later on this timeline ; ) – we won’t give up for sure – but we have to work it out now calmly, without time pressure and with deliberation…

In the meantime, you lucky European types can catch Colour Haze on the Up in Smoke tour. More info on that here.

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Ride the Sun: Come on and Take a Free Ride

Posted in audiObelisk on January 27th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

With riffs for a week and a ’70s-boobage EP cover that’s bound to get them in trouble on one or all social media networking sites, San Diego trio Ride the Sun are flying high the flag of genuine stoner rock. Hard not to dig into their debut Ride the Sun EP. I bought some mp3s from the Doommantia store (kinda thought I was buying a disc, but for $5, I’ll take what I can get), and while that puts it in the “not gonna review this” pile, I still wanted to give interested parties a chance to listen and check out a band who are clearly worth the time.

Fortunately, Ride the Sun has posted the whole EP on their Bandcamp site. In the spirit of spreading the word and blogaraderie, here’s Ride the Sun‘s Ride the Sun EP.

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