Beastmaker Release Coven Born Digital EP to Fund European Touring

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan


Pretty killer European tour that Fresno, California’s Beastmaker will join Ukrainian heavyweights Stoned Jesus for this October, what with the stops being made at Up in Smoke, Desertfest Belgium, Keep it Low and other key positions in London, Paris, Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna and so on. But being awesome don’t pay the bills, and the dollar’s down against the Euro because fuck everything, so the trio — still just months out from the release of their second album, Inside the Skull (review here), through Rise Above — have released a new digital EP culled from material written around the time of their 2016 debut, Lusus Naturae (review here), that never came out.

Worth noting they say in the announcement below snagged from the social medias that they probably won’t keep the thing up for too long, so if you want it, might be the right idea to get it while the getting’s good. Behold:

beastmaker coven born

Beastmaker – Coven Born EP

Digital EP up on Heading to Europe and blood is expensive over there.

Be on the lookout we will be doing a 4 song digital ep of songs that are from the Lusus Naturae era that didn’t get recorded. This will be exclusive to digital and is going up to help support the upcoming European tour. After the tour the tracks are more than likely to disappear possibly forever. Art will be done by Branca Studio Rise Above Records was kind of enough to let us do this for the world to hear. So we’d like to give them a huge shout out for their support.

Coven Born tracklisting:
1. Coven Born 04:24
2. Killing Spree 03:16
3. Amongst The Buried 04:42
4. Whitewood 03:16

BEASTMAKER w/ Stoned Jesus European tour:
Oct 02 Stengade København N, Denmark
Oct 03 Hafenklang Hamburg, Germany
Oct 04 Underground Koln, Germany
Oct 05 Lido Berlin, Germany
Oct 07 Up In Smoke Pratteln, Switzerland
Oct 08 Le Ferrailleur Nantes, France
Oct 09 Petit Bain Paris, France
Oct 11 The Exchange St Philips, United Kingdom
Oct 12 Clwb Ifor Bach Cardiff, United Kingdom
Oct 13 Underworld London, United Kingdom
Oct 14 Desertfest Antwerp, Belgium
Oct 15 Burger Weeshuis Deventer, Netherlands
Oct 16 Westwerk Osnabrück, Germany
Oct 17 Faust Hannover, Germany
Oct 19 ShowBarlang Budapest, Hungary
Oct 20 Arena Vienna, Austria
Oct 21 Keep It Low Munich, Germany
Oct 22 PMK Innsbruck, Austria
Oct 23 Ostpol Dresden, Germany
Oct 24 Schlachtof Wiesbaden, Germany
Oct 25 Werk 2 Leipzig, Germany
Oct 26 007 Praha, Czech Republic

Beastmaker, Coven Born EP (2017)

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Premiere: Moonbow Throw Down Beardly in “War Bear” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan


It’s a beardly, burly, riffly party Moonbow are throwing in their new video for the title-track of 2017’s War Bear. Filmed over what was no doubt a raucous Memorial Day Weekend at the Southgate House Revival in Newport, Kentucky, it’s a stirring reminder in this day and age of anyone-with-a-cellphone-or-a–DSLR-can-make-a-video what a difference a professional production can make. And professional editing. Mean Beard Productions gives a crisp look at the four-piece in action, with a visual complement to the hook of “War Bear” no less dead-on than the memorable chorus itself, and yeah, there’s someone in there in a bear costume. How could there not be?

Moonbow made their debut on Ripple Music with 2013’s The End of Time (review here), and War Bear, despite its cartoon-tits-laden cover art, is every bit a worthy follow-up, fostering as it does a vibe somewhere between Southern and classic heavy rock in its straightforward structures and general no-nonsense attitude. A guest appearance from John Garcia is welcome on “California King,” but it’s the no-nonsense performance the four-piece itself — comprised of vocalist Matt Bischoff, guitarist David McElfresh (Hank III), bassist Ryan McAllister (ex-Valley of the Sun) and drummer Steve Earle (Hermano) — bring to the Mos Generator-worthy melodicism of “Bloodwash,” the blue-collar push of “Drinkin’ Alone” and the ultra-catchy “Sword in the Storm” that serves as the real highlight. Like the video for its titular cut, War Bear is crisp, professional, clear in its intent and making zero effort to hide the fact that it came to rock and rocking is exactly what it’s going to do.

That doesn’t necessary mean it’s unipolar — the slow-rolling first half of “Death of Giants” has a distinctly different feel from the bass-led start-stop chugging of the later “Toward the Sun” — just that it’s Moonbow‘s craftsmanship brought to the forefront and that, fortunately for the listener but not at all a coincidence, the songwriting holds up well in that starring role. Well, as much as anything can be in a starring role other than Bischoff‘s beard, anyhow. One way or the other, War Bear — which closes out with the title-track — brings forth a collection of traditionalist heavy rock tracks that still manage to find their own place in a style as modern as it is classic. If you ever wanted to know what a band sounds like when they know what they’re doing, Moonbow pretty much have that shit on lockdown.

Enjoy the premiere of “War Bear” below, followed by some comment from Bischoff on the track, the filming and the origin of the title. I’ve also included the full-stream of War Bear from Ripple‘s Bandcamp page at the bottom of the post, because what the hell? One likes to be thorough.

Dig it:

Moonbow, “War Bear” official video premiere

Matt Bischoff on the video:

When we were jamming and writing songs for the new record, we had just been jamming on a riff and when we stopped, Ryan our bass player just says “War Bear” out of nowhere. We all kinda laughed and said hell yeah and we kept messing around with the song. When I got home that night I google searched War Bear for the hell of it and found this amazing story of a Brown Bear called Wojtek who was taken in as a cub by the Polish Army 22nd Artillery. I was inspired and blown away and I wrote the song about it. Check it out online. Awesome story. Crazy how some song ideas transform like this out of nowhere.

We had a blast filming the video with friends and fans at our favorite local venue The Southgate House Revival. Memorial Day cookout, shooting the video and playing a show and filming it all. Special thanks to my Beard sponsor Mean Beard for making it all happen and Jared Barton films for kicking ass at what he does. Also thanks to Todd at Ripple Music for digging our band. Hope you enjoy and give the whole record a listen.

Moonbow is:
Matt Bischoff – Vocals
David McElfresh – Guitars
Ryan McAllister – Bass
Steve Earle – Drums

Moonbow, War Bear (2017)

Moonbow on Thee Facebooks

Moonbow on Instagram

Moonbow on Bandcamp

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

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Carnivore Announce Reunion as Carnivore A.D. & Halloween Show in NYC

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

carnivore a.d.

Go ahead and raise your hand if you can honestly say you saw a Carnivore reunion coming. Yeah, that’s what I thought. Spearheaded by guitarist Marc Carnivore and drummer Louie Beato, the arrival of Carnivore A.D. finds the original members of the legendary Brooklynite outfit welcoming bassist/vocalist Baron Misuraca, who has arguably some of the biggest shoes ever to fill in those of Peter Steele, who of course went on after Carnivore disbanded to found and rise to international stardom with Type O NegativeCarnivore A.D., which will also feature Joe Branciforte on drums part-time, are set to play a Halloween show at Bowery Electric in Manhattan along with the long-running Black Sabbath tribute act, Sabbra Cadabra, and others.

Next time you think about saying “never” in rock and roll, remember this from the PR wire:

carnivore a.d. show flyer

CARNIVORE Re-Forms as “CARNIVORE A.D.” with Original Members Louie, Marc + New Members Baron Misuraca & Joe Branciforte

Halloween “SteeleTacular” Show Announced at Bowery Electric in NYC Featuring CARNIVORE A.D., NJ Thrash Kings BLOODFEAST, L’amour DJ Alex Kayne & More

After an electrifying live performance of Carnivore material at this year’s Black N Blue Bowl pre-party, guitarist Marc Carnivore is thrilled to announce that the band will officially re-form as CARNIVORE A.D., with fellow original member Louie Beato and Joe Branciforte (ex-Darkside NYC, ex-Merauder) sharing drumming duties, and introducing Baron Misuraca (ex-Vasaria) on bass, lead vocals & blood curdling screams! Baron’s debut will take place at the band’s recently announced Halloween show, “A Halloween SteeleTacular”, at Bowery Electric (327 Bowery) in New York City on Halloween night (October 31, 2017). The show is 21+, begins at 7:00 PM, and tickets start at $20. Additional monstrous support will be supplied by NJ’s Bloodfeast, the mesmerizing and magical Black Sabbath tribute band Sabbra Cadabra, Legendary L’amour DJ Alex Kayne, and other special guests TBA. Get tickets here.

The Bowery Electric bash will mark this year’s final, official celebration of the 30th anniversary of Peter Steele’s thrash-core masterpiece, RETALIATION, with provocative tracks, “Jesus Hitler” and “Race War” coming to life to join today’s headlines, just as fresh and topical as the day they were first released in 1987. Official event DJ and longtime friend of Carnivore, Alex Kayne, will create an atmospheric audio-visual tribute to Peter Steele, the early beginnings of Carnivore at L’amour, and of the band’s second rise to prominence during Type O Negative’s golden run.

The show will include an after party with a VIP Meet & Greet available ($40), and feature Kayne spinning danceable heavy tracks by the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie, The Cult, Rammstein, Ministry and more. A “Carnivorous Halloween Costume Contest” will take place, with meaty prizes like Kim Kardashian’s liposuction fat and real live blood from each band member. Rare photographs and “Carnivorous artifacts” (such as Peter Steele’s original handwritten Carnivore lyrics) will be displayed.

The classic “RETALIATION line-up” of the band is re-forming as Carnivore A.D., out of great respect to Peter Steele’s legacy while simultaneously distinguishing themselves from past incarnations of the band. Marc Carnivore states: “Last May, I was very fortunate to perform Carnivore music live again for the very first time in over 20 years. The jubilant and humbling reception I received confirmed to me that Peter Steele is gone, but his epic legacy is not forgotten. So this Halloween the two remaining original members of Carnivore, myself and Louie Beato, will open up the next chapter in the band’s ever evolving history. We will introduce the mighty Baron Misuraca, who’s stature and beastly growls have already awakened Peter Steele fans across the globe. A new official line-up of Carnivore will be introduced: “Carnivore A.D.”, a Carnivore for the 21st century. Everyone is invited to join us in this celebration, and to mark the 30th anniversary of Carnivore’s final LP, RETALIATION. I am also very pleased to have the honor of presenting this distinguished performance of Peter and Keith’s music to their own friends and family members here in the greatest city in the world, at New York’s Bowery Electric club. The “Carnivorous Negative family scene” is finally whole once again, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.”

Right now, Marc Carnivore is also personally auctioning his legendary Carnivore guitar, hand-painted by Peter Steele for the band’s infamous 1995 “Soviet Invasion” show at NYC’s Limelight club. This guitar was used to record every single guitar track on RETALIATION and was a mainstay at classic Carnivore shows between 1986-1996. Any bid above $10,000 will additionally garner Steele’s original, handwritten lyrics to “Inner Conflict”, and a private guitar lesson. To make a bid, contact

Otherwise, Marc is currently busy with his new band, Circus of Steele – an all-original group formed in tribute to his fallen ex-bandmate & lifelong mentor, Lord Petrus Steele. Circus of Steele are currently promoting their new single, “The Downfall” (check out the video here), which cracked the “Metal Contraband” Top 50 radio charts. The single can be found on the band’s upcoming six-track EP, entitled The Zombies Rise, which will hit iTunes this fall, after the band’s first ever mainstage appearance, opening up for Sacred Reich at NYC’s premier metal venue, The Gramercy Theater. The band is currently negotiating a record deal, so visit for updates on this news and more.

Circus of Steele, “The Downfall”

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Biblical Premiere “The Last Thing I Remember”; The City that Always Sleeps Due Sept. 15

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on August 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan


Toronto heavy space rockers Biblical release their new album, The City that Always Sleeps, Sept. 15 via Tee Pee Records. The band’s second full-length behind 2014’s Monsoon Season and a prior 2012 self-titled EP (review here), it is an eight-track/37-minute excursion that makes mincemeat of various heavy vibes, here explosive in its noise-punker tension, there serene with flowing piano and fluid rhythmic push, shifting into languid drifts of space-bound guitar, Floydian grace and Hawkwindian thrust meeting head-on with harsher impulses as led by vocalist/bassist Nick Sewell. Dynamic in sound and genuinely broad in its reach — that is to say, it’s not just heavy and heavier riffs; there’s real variety between songs like “Regicide” and “Gallows Humor” and “Spiral Staircase” and “House of Knives” — it lets pieces like the penultimate title-track hold a feeling of expanded consciousness and expanded spaciousness while still remaining relatively compact in the actual delivery.

That cut, on which Sewell‘s vocals emerge and recede like an effects-laden ghost of humanity washing up on some abandoned shore, find the bassist as well as guitarist/synthesist Andrew Scott, guitarist Matt McLaren and drummer Jay Anderson (also of Tee Pee labelmates Comet Control) easing their way toward a dramatic pinnacle that gives into feedback and keyboard textures before transitioning into closer “House of Knives,” touching off a subtle cast of progressive New Wave that’s foreshadowed in “Regicide.” No song passes the six-minute mark — the title-track is closest at 5:57 — but the amount of ground Biblical cover throughout is nothing short of staggering, and the confidence behind their delivery makes it so that wherever they tread in a given section, as shown in the one-two punch of blistering/howling opener “Mature Themes” and the drifting, dreamily cascading second track “The Last Thing I Remember,” they carry the listener with them on this outward journey of such righteously cosmic proportion.

biblical the city that always sleepsLikewise, no single song speaks for the entirety of The City that Always Sleeps. With its proggier initial bounce, harsher vocals, emergent wash of noise and antigravity-feedback finish, “House of Knives” might come close, but even that doesn’t necessarily convey the patient spirit Biblical demonstrate in “Fugue State” — arguably their most space-rocking installment, brilliantly paying off early drum tension with a triumphant second-half guitar solo from McLaren — or the hypnotic melodicism of “The Last Thing I Remember,” let alone the Farflung-style, could-go-anywhere desert jangle of “Gallows Humor,” on which a far-back vocal from Sewell echoes out behind a vast landscape of guitar, bass, drums and keys. It wouldn’t be right to call Biblical experimental, because while they may have those roots in their composition, they’re not just throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks; their songs feel meticulously constructed, detailed down to the balance of the guitar squibblies, strum and keyboard notes that cap the aforementioned “Gallows Humor” and lead the way into the piano-over-waves start of “Spiral Staircase,” and that impression remains consistent no matter where an individual part finds them.

In fact, that might be what most ties the material together on The City that Always Sleeps and lets the album flow as a single work. While there’s no question Biblical convey an exploratory sensibility, their overarching purpose still lies in songwriting. It just so happens to be they’re capable of multi-tiered expression through that on a level that, simply put, not every band can or does reach. No doubt The City that Always Sleeps will fly under the radar for many. It’s not Tee Pee‘s highest-profile release of 2017 by any stretch, and it’s easy to imagine the complexity across its span requires a level of engagement and attention that not everyone will be willing to give it. That doesn’t mean Biblical aren’t having a conversation with their listeners here, just that it’s an intelligent one and that they’re asking questions in addition to laying out declarations in the songs. In other words, it’s worth staying awake for it. For those who do take the record on and give it its due, the results should be accordingly satisfying, as the band hone a sonic persona that is truly their own and offer a style bold in reach and tightly executed. There isn’t a moment here that doesn’t brim with the fullness of its realization.

Below, you can hear the premiere of “The Last Thing I Remember,” followed by some comment from Sewell on the track’s panned drums and inspirations. One more time, Biblical‘s The City that Always Sleeps is out Sept. 15 on Tee Pee.

Please enjoy:

Biblical, “The Last Thing I Remember” official premiere

Nick Sewell on “The Last Thing I Remember”:

“The Last Thing I Remember” ended up being one of my favorite songs on the record. But sometimes it’s tough to figure out what a song wants to be. We actually toyed with keeping this song instrumental, but once we got the idea for those creepy group vocals with the repeating delay we knew we had the missing ingredient — like a cult, chanting.

The mix was also challenge. With rock records, there’s a tendency to go with a very symmetrical mix where you double track everything and pan it out. While that can give you a solid mix, it can also be a little bland. We decided to take chance and hard pan the drums opposite those big minor chords to give it an early ’60s vibe. We’re all big David Axelrod fans, so that was a little nod to him.

Lyrically, the song is pretty much exactly what the title implies: rummaging through memories, picking up individual shards and holding them up to the light.

Biblical on Thee Facebooks

Biblical on Twitter

Biblical on Bandcamp

Biblical website

Tee Pee Records website

Tee Pee Records on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records on Twitter

Tee Pee Records on Bandcamp

The City that Always Sleeps preorder at Tee Pee Records

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House of Broken Promises Announce European Tour; Twisted EP out Oct. 6

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

house of broken promises

Well, with previous announcements that House of Broken Promises would take part in Desertfest Belgium 2017 in Antwerp (info here) and Keep it Low 2017 in Munich (info here), it seemed only fair to expect a fuller European tour was in the cards, but the news that the Indio, California, three-piece have hooked up with Heavy Psych Sounds for booking a month-long run and the corresponding Oct. 6 release of a new EP, Twisted, is admittedly more than was anticipated.

For one thing, any kind of new studio offering from House of Broken Promises? Yeah, hard to see that coming. It’s been nearly whole eight years since they released their debut full-length, Using the Useless (review here), on Small Stone, and though they’ve spoken for years about a follow-up, just about nothing has surfaced — though did you know they released their set from Desertfest London 2013 as a CD-R through CDBaby? It’s here. Man, nobody told me about that shit. I was at that show. They killed it. Wish I had known that was out.

Anyway, sidetracked. Point is the new EP has some older outtakes and covers and this-and-thats, but it’s still something new from House of Broken Promises and all the more commendable that they’re both putting it out and hitting the road so fervently to support it. Could it mean more new stuff to come in 2018? Hard not to immediately get greedy when it comes to Arthur Seay riffage.

From the PR wire:

house of broken promises tour

Desert metallers HOUSE OF BROKEN PROMISES to tour Europe this fall; new EP coming on Heavy Psych Sounds!

Indio, CA’s stoner metal veterans HOUSE OF BROKEN PROMISES have announced their return to the Old Continent, with a full European tour and a new EP coming this fall.
Heavy/stoner rock trio from Indio, California HOPB is back with their new “Twisted” EP, which features two unreleased covers (Black Sabbath and Billy Squire) plus a bunch of outtakes and live songs for a total of 30 minutes of heavy music.

The former Unida musicians reiterate their successful formula with Mike Cancino’s powerful drumming, guitarist and producer Arthur Seay’s wall of riffs, and Joe More wonderful John Garcia-esque vocals. “Twisted” was recorded at Arthur Seay’s studio in Indio, near the Joshua Tree area who inspired so many stoner/desert rock bands. Artwork was designed by Italian artist and HPS favorite Solo Macello.

HOUSE OF BROKEN PROMISES new EP “Twisted” is out October 6th on Heavy Psych Sounds Records. Presale start September 1st at this location.

29.09.2017 IT Pescara – Scumm
30.09.2017 IT Savona – Raindogs
01.10.2017 IT Parma
02.10.2017 IT Zerobranco – Altroquando
03.10.2017 IT Milan
04.10.2017 FR Chambery – Le Brin Du Zinc
05.10.2017 FR Montpellier – The Black Sheep
06.10.2017 SP Barcelona – Monasterio
07.10.2017 SP Madrid
08.10.2017 SP Santiago De Compostela – Sala Moon
10.10.2017 SP Gijon – Sala Acapulco
11.10.2017 SP Bilbao – Wombat
12.10.2017 SP Saragoza or San Sebastian
13.10.2017 FR Nantes – La Scene Michelet
14.10.2017 BE Antwerp – Desertfest
16.10.2017 DE Koln – Lime*
17.10.2017 DE Munster – Rare Shop Guitar*
18.10.2017 DE Bielefeld – Potemkin*
19.10.2017 CH Basel – Hirschneck*
20.10.2017DE Frankfurt – Yachtklub*
21.10.2017 DE Munich – Keep It Low*
22.10.2017 AT Salzburg – Rockhouse*
24.10.2017 DE Wien – Viper Room*
25.10.2017 DE Dresden – Chemofabrik*
26.10.2017 DE Erfurt – Tiko*
27.10.2017 CH Olten – Coq D’Or*
28.10.2017 DE Siegen – Vortex*
* dates with Black Bone

HOUSE OF BROKEN PROMISES is guitarist Arthur Seay (Unida, ApeSh!t), bassist/vocalist Joe Mora (HDR, Street Drugs DTLA, The Addicts) and drummer Mike Cancino (Unida, Lynch Mob). Formed on the ashes of Unida (which also featured Kyuss legend John Garcia), their Small Stone Records debut “Using the Useless”, led the charge in a more refined stoner metal approach than the standard stoner rock sound of similar scene bands.

House of Broken Promises, Using the Useless (2009)

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Emerald Haze 2017 Trip Pt. 1: Mystery

Posted in Features on August 30th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

laptop charger

08.30.17 – 7:46PM Eastern US – Wednesday evening – T.F. Green Airport, Warwick, Rhode Island

Before I even start, I’d like to dedicate the next several days’ worth of posts in this series to the memory of my material grandmother, Florence Peterson, who passed away yesterday morning at the age of 102. She was among the strongest, fiercest individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure to know, and someone who absolutely refused to compromise, even when doing so probably would’ve made her own existence easier to stomach. I could go on, but the bottom line is I wouldn’t be here without her.

I owe thanks to my family up-front as well for sending me off across an ocean to rock and roll when where I should be is in New Jersey, being solemn. I do not deserve to have the wonderful people in my life that I do.

Also, I don’t deserve to be making this trip. I said that the other day, yes, but I stand by it. In about an hour and 20 minutes, I’ll be on a plane waiting to head to Dublin for Emerald Haze 2017, the inaugural edition of a festival for which I somehow wound up presenting the main stage, headlined on its first night by Church of the Cosmic Skull and on its second night by Sólstafir. This is utterly absurd to me. I shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near this thing, let alone have The Obelisk’s logo stamped on the poster up around the city of Dublin. It may honestly be years before I wrap my brain around it, but I am incredibly grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime chance to be in the position I’m in.

Perhaps then it’s a bit of unconscious penance that my voyage has started out so utterly amateur-hour. I’ve never flown out of Providence before, so there was an added bit of anxiety there, and apparently that manifested itself in my starting to pack more than 36 hours in advance and still — yes, still — leaving my laptop charger at home. They had a universal one at one of the airport stores for $60. Those things cost like $20 on Amazon, but it’s the by-the-balls premium, and that’s precisely how they had me. So it goes.

Couple that with the fact that I’ve already cut the trip short — I leave Dublin on Sunday instead of Wednesday, as was originally intended to give me some time to actually see the place outside of the festival — and the way-above-my-pay-grade notion of somehow coordinating reconvening with The Patient Mrs., who is in San Francisco for a work conference and also returning on Sunday, only without a car, before we head south to be with my family in New Jersey, and yeah, it’s all kind of a wreck in my brain. Dinner was a protein bar. Lunch was a shake. I must be traveling.

Unless I have the time zones wrong, which I’ve precious little doubt that I do, the flight will be about seven hours. It takes off at 9:10PM Eastern — allegedly — and thus puts me into Dublin at 08.25 GMT, which will be about 4:30AM to my brain. Should be interesting. I hope Ireland has a lot of coffee, because I’m afraid I’m going to need all of it.

The full schedule for Emerald Haze 2017 is posted here, and here are the posters for the two stages across the two days:

Once again, I can’t believe how lucky I am to be on my way to this thing. I’ve got plenty of writing to keep me busy as well for the next couple days, so keep an eye out into Friday for news, streams and the regular bit of whatnot, but fest coverage will probably start Saturday and continue through the weekend, so please stay tuned. I hope to see as much as I can see and write as much as I can write. If you get to follow along with any of it, please know you have my deepest appreciation.

Almost time to go.

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Six Dumb Questions with Destroyer of Light

Posted in Six Dumb Questions on August 30th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

destroyer of light

Name your band Destroyer of Light and you’re setting up some pretty serious expectations on the part of your audience. The Austin-based outfit — veterans of Psycho CaliforniaFreak TulsaElectric Funeral in Denver and others — have never tackled those expectations as head-on as they do with the newly-released Chamber of Horrors, their third album. Songs like “Into the Smoke” and “Luxcrusher” bring a refocused approach on grim, rolling doom even from what the band presented on 2014’s Bizarre Tales Vol. 2, and the chugging, driving, lumbering pummel suits them remarkably well, coming as it does complemented by a persistently bleak atmosphere summarized in the title. More than they ever have before, Destroyer of Light are putting their listeners in a specific place. And it’s pretty damn horrific in there.

Brought to the blinding light of day by guitarist/vocalist Steve Colca, guitarist Keegan Kjeldsen, drummer Penny Turner and bassist Jeff Klein (who seems to since be out of the band), Chamber of Horrors may be playing more toward the heft Destroyer of Light are known for in their live performances, but that doesn’t mean it’s all raw or wanting for a sense of purpose in its vibe as a studio album. Rather, the murk conjured by songs like “Prisoner of Smoke” and “The Virgin” and the ambient threat that lingers from the moment the chamber door opens at the start of intro “Whispers in the Threshold” till the moment it closes at the end of 10-minute finale “Buried Alive” resound with doomed directionality, the finisher especially punishing in its tempo and uncompromising in its trades between creeping, The Gates of Slumber-esque verses and Electric Wizardly swirl in its marching hook.

The whole record carries the stink of death, and Destroyer of Light have never sounded so alive as they do reveling in it.

As Destroyer of Light set themselves to the task of a 2018 that will be spent largely supporting Chamber of Horrors as well as a follow-up two-song EP that’s set to arrive in the coming months via the band-affiliated Heavy Friends Records — see also: Heavy Friends Booking, which handles their touring end — as well as perhaps finding a new bassist if they haven’t yet, I wanted to talk to them about how their experience on the road already has affected their sound this time in the studio, how they developed the ideas that became Chamber of Horrors and how they see themselves continuing to grow as they move forward from here. Fortunately, both Kjeldsen and Colca were willing to discuss these subjects and more, and you’ll find the results below.

Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:


Six Dumb Questions with Keegan Kjeldsen and Steve Colca of Destroyer of Light

Talk about writing Chamber of Horrors. The album is a pretty significant change for the band in terms of sound. How did that come about? Was there something you wanted to consciously shift in your approach, or did it just happen in the writing process?

Keegan Kjeldsen: We knew before we started writing it that we wanted to make a very heavy record, which may sound like a cliché. But the previous material was sludgier and usually more up-tempo, and we experimented a lot. For the self-titled release, we’d had some pretensions of getting a ‘vintage, lo-fi’ sound. That kind of sound wasn’t really right for us, though, and our goal shifted to creating a record with the kind of powerful, crushing experience that audiences were getting live. We heard a lot over the years, “The album is cool and all, but you guys are so much heavier live!” We took it as a compliment, but it taught us that the shows were selling the recordings, the recordings weren’t really selling the shows. So we wanted to push it to the limit in terms of both quality and volume. Thankfully, our engineer Matt Meli outdid himself this time. We also included elements of our live shows: lengthy feedback, melodic interludes, sample clips from old horror movies. But from the start, our core has always been doom metal, so the natural thing for our goal of making a heavier record was to focus on that.

Steve Colca: Like Keegan said, we did go in wanting this record to be more heavy sonically and closer to what we sound like live. However, when we wrote the music for this album, we didn’t have the intention of how the songs would take shape. Obviously, it still sounds like us at the core, but our songwriting keeps improving and our palettes progress over time to add different touches to our sound that maybe we didn’t show previously. As you grow as musicians and songwriters, it definitely helps with your confidence and allows the ability to try new, different things.

You’ve done significant touring the last several years. Do you feel like that was a factor in how this record took shape? If so, how?

KK: Touring will whip you into shape. You’re effectively practicing the same set every single night for a month. After playing some of our material live so frequently and consistently, we’d find that a year after we recorded something, it was sounding very different on stage. Sometimes it was just little nuances or flourishes that one of us didn’t come up with until months of playing the song live. But sometimes the whole tempo would change, or parts would be extended or added. We were determined to let the songs for Chamber of Horrors breathe. After we recorded them for a pre-production demo, we played the whole album from start to finish on a six-day tour through Texas. By the time we were recording the album proper, we felt like the songs had developed enough that we could call them finished.

SC: Yeah, I believe doing a six-day run just playing the album front-to-back live really gave these songs the energy and final touches that they needed. We always found previously that after playing the songs live that we would change things here and there. To add, extensive touring also improved our playing as musicians and we become more confident in our abilities as songwriters. For me, vocally, all the touring and learning to deal with my vocals helped a lot on this record.

Is there a concept at work behind the album? What’s the story being told in these songs?

KK: It’s a loose concept album. Most of the storytelling and symbolism can work on multiple levels, so it’s up to the audience as to what you want to take from it. The album begins with the opening of a large, heavy door, and ends with it slamming shut. There are also whispering voices in both the first and last song. We were playing with the idea of the line between dream and reality being blurred. I was thinking a lot about Carl Jung at the time, and how there really isn’t much difference in what we mean by the word ‘hell,’ and a psychological hell that a person creates for himself. People make themselves suffer because of the things they pursue, and sometimes the private torment they undergo is more real than anything else in their lives.

So, the song “Into the Smoke” – on one level it’s about a protagonist who goes down into a cave, searching for something valuable, but is possessed by a monster made of psychedelic smoke that permeates him and enslaves him, sending him on a bad trip that lasts forever. On another level, it could be a song about drug addiction. But more archetypally, it’s a song about the feeling of being powerless, driven by forces beyond your control into a mental underworld. It’s opening the door to the unconscious part of the psyche and getting consumed by the shadow. The Twilight Zone was also a huge influence on both Steve and myself in writing these horror stories, or alternatively, private hells within the chamber of horrors, since a lot of Rod Serling’s stories deal with a character trait, usually a flaw, that becomes a real, physical phenomenon in the character’s life.

SC: I was also thinking along the lines of In the Mouth of Madness. As every song has its own individual theme and story, they all tie into the question, is it a dream or reality? There is a lot of ugliness in the world, and sometimes you don’t want to believe it and want to stay naive to the whole possibility. However, you read the news and papers, and some of these stories really happen.

You seem to be trying a lot of new things vocally in particular here. Tell me about changing your voice to fit a certain part in a given song. What makes you feel like “Luxcrusher” needs a different approach than “The Virgin?”

KK: In the case of “Luxcrusher,” I wrote that song, and really wanted to sing a significant part of the lyrics because of how personal they were. I’ve usually had one or two vocal parts on each recording, but I think that’s something I’m going to move away from. I feel like I’m at the point where I’m getting worse, whereas Steve gets better on every record. The lyrics are actually about being in a doom band and touring – when I’m talking about “midnight worship at the shrine” and my body being throttled every night, being ravaged by sound. But the lyrics also take a nihilistic turn because that’s how I was feeling at the time.

The placement of that song on the album was something that unconsciously worked really well with the concept, because the lyrics ended up recounting the subject matter of the first half of the record – talking about human sacrifice, or about being pulled into a haze. It was unintentional, but I think of it now as if “Luxcrusher” is the voice of the devil that was summoned in “The Virgin.” As far as the different approaches in general, I think the narrative structure of the songs sometimes lends itself to different voices in a variety of styles, as if they’re different characters or personas. Suzy does this on “The Virgin.” It was a Fleetwood Mac kind of attitude – we had three vocalists on this record, lending different styles where it was appropriate.

SC: Back to extensive touring throughout the years, I have become more comfortable and confident in my vocal ability. Which has allowed me to try and do different things. Vocal melodies have always been very important to us. Also, from the start of this band, we wanted to incorporate screaming and growling as I used to be in a death metal band and a heavier sludge band before this. Whatever vocal style the song requires, we want to be able to do it. No need to be tied down to one particular sound or style. That’s the beauty of writing music, no limitations… unless it is completely out of your capability.

I know it’s early, but where do you see Destroyer of Light going from here sound-wise?

KK: More melody, and even heavier. It’s not as early to talk about it as you might think. We have an EP that we plan on releasing soon, I can’t say anything about when exactly, but it’s already recorded. It’s two songs that are tuned even lower, with a more pounding, guttural tone. We did one of the slowest songs we’ve ever done. All the space you get when you play a really slow, plodding song allows you to fill the void with harmony, melody. I’ve been listening to a lot of drone music, maybe you could even call it post-doom, stuff like later-era Earth, OM, Grails. Steve’s love for Alice in Chains came out, also. I think the next full-length will head even further in that direction. Me and Steve have also been jamming some of our favorite stuff from the ‘80s recently, like The Cure, Tears for Fears.

SC: We’ve already started writing of a few songs for the follow-up. It is a continuation of where the last album left off. Like Keegan said, the music will be heavy, but probably more of a focus on melody. Like I said, no limitations. We do plan on incorporating some different approaches because of some of our other influences coming out in the songwriting. I’ve been listening to a lot of Alice in Chains, The Cure, Depeche Mode, and Helmet. A lot of bands that I grew up listening to when I first started learning guitar. So, we shall see where some of this will take us. However, the two-song EP that we release down the line will give you a taste of our direction.

How much will you tour for Chamber of Horrors? Any other plans or closing words you want to mention?

KK: We’re going to tour for the foreseeable future. We have some short jaunts planned, but next year we’ll be hitting the road a lot harder. This year has been relatively slow for us. It’s great to finally put this album out, and take a breather before we dive headfirst into it again. I guess, on that note, the only closing words I have is a thank you to all the fans and friends who have let us stay with them, made us food, or even just bought a shirt or bought us a shot of whiskey. You guys are the reason why we’re able to go on the road, and we love y’all.

SC: We have a few short runs lined up to finish the year. I think more of the extensive touring for Chamber of Horrors will begin in 2018. This year, where it may have been the slowest year for the band; albeit, a couple tours, recording of a two-song EP, and an album release. Our personal lives have been very busy. So, it’s been nice to have a somewhat, casual year, but it’ll be nice to get back out there and do what we do. Thanks to everyone that has bought and said some very nice things about Chamber of Horrors. Very proud of this record and glad to see a lot of you agree with us on it. See you again soon on the road, I can’t wait to see you! Much love!

Destroyer of Light, Chamber of Horrors (2017)

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Cybernetic Witch Cult Announce UK Tour with Sail

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 30th, 2017 by JJ Koczan


UK-based doom bums Cybernetic Witch Cult released their third album, Troglodithic Trip (discussed here), earlier this year and set about playing a string of UK dates throughout the Spring and Summer that included a run with Italian boogie-bringers Doctor Cyclops. Sticking with the theme of keeping good company, the Cornwall trio will head out once again this October alongside Taunton’s Sail  on a nine-date run. There are still a few shows TBA for the tour, which heads north from Exeter and hits Edinburgh before circling back down to let Cybernetic Witch Cult finish on their own in London, so if you can help out, do that, but either way it looks like a cool string of gigs, so if you’re in its path, you know, do the thing and show up.

Info from the PR wire and a tour promo clip follow here:



Two bands of the doomy/sludgy/stonery/proggy persuasion tour the UK this October.

19/10/17 Exeter, The Cavern
20/10/17 TBC
21/10/17 Manchester, Rebellion*
22/10/17 Sheffield, The Churchouse
23/10/17 Nottingham, The Chameleon
24/10/17 Edinburgh, Opium
25/10/17 TBC
26/10/17 Coventry, The Arches Venue
27/10/17 Southampton, The Hobbit
28/10/17 London, Camden, The Dev*
* CWC Only

Formed late in 2013, Cybernetic Witch Cult started off playing Cathedral inspired, riff-laden Doom metal around the southwest. They quickly found their sound by fusing elements of Stoner, Doom, Prog and balls-out Hard Rock, filling what they perceived to be a void in the local music scene. Inspired by the likes of John Carpenter, Sam Raimi and other old-school Sci-fi/Horror masters, the band set about crafting an image and theme that treads the fine line between the fascinating and the ludicrous, with the aim to bring something truly memorable and engaging to stages across the country.

Alongside the critically acclaimed follow up, ‘Spaceous Cretaceous’, and a full UK tour with Welsh rising stars Lacertilia, the band have been exponentially gaining steam and show no signs of stopping. With the latest release ‘Troglodithic Trip’ on the horizon, Cybernetic Witch Cult will be taking their signature blend of heaviness to larger audiences across the country, with their sights firmly set on the rest of Europe.

Cybernetic Witch Cult is:
Alex Wyld – Vocals, guitars
Kale Deane – Bass, vocals
Lewis May – Drums

Cybernetic Witch Cult / Sail UK tour promo

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