Cyanna Mercury Post “Apollo” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 29th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

cyanna mercury

Might at first seem like a curious choice on the part of Athens-based five-piece Cyanna Mercury in picking a track for a video to represent their debut album, Archetypes (review here). After all, they could’ve gone with the heavy blues vibes of opener “Horse Dark as Night” or the organ and folk-ish percussion of the later, soulful “If We Were Blind,” the handclap-laden “Lilith” or even the moody “Ode to Absent Father,” but instead they went with the 90-second “Apollo,” a piano-and-voice piece that, while fair enough in capturing the brooding sensibility of Archetypes on the whole, hardly speaks for the scope of the band’s arrangements throughout. Well, it turns out they already did videos for all the other songs, and “Apollo” is the last one left, so there you go.

Even so, given the sonic variety between the tracks above and the rest that make up Archetypes, Cyanna Mercury don’t really have just one that speaks for the entirety of the album, the 47 minutes record of which fluidly blend Greek folk elements with heavy, psychedelic and classically progressive rock into a sound that’s patient and expressive without veering into being overblown or more theatrical than it wants to be. It’s a balance that would be hard for a more experienced group to strike, but Cyanna Mercury not only make it flow on their debut, but do so without sounding rushed or like they’re fuddling their way through finding their sound. They come across, in other words, like they know what they’re doing.

And hell, maybe they do. In that case, even without knowing all the other clips exist, one might be more inclined to give Cyanna Mercury the benefit of the doubt on a curious choice like giving “Apollo” visuals over some of the other tracks on Archetypes, since clearly there’s a master plan at work. As to how their plan might play out, I don’t know, but one of the hallmarks of Greece’s emergent heavy underground is that its bands have a genuine sense of stylistic adventurousness and that, for the most part, they’re not content to simply carbon-copy the work of others from outside their geographic sphere without putting something of their own into it. “Apollo,” in the span of about a minute and a half, proves Cyanna Mercury are immediately engaged in this as well, and so maybe it was the way to go after all.

Video and credits follow here. Please enjoy:

Cyanna Mercury, “Apollo” official video

Produced by Dimitris Lilis & Cyanna Mercury
Co-produced, Mixed, Engineered by Alex Bolpasis
Recorded at Artracks studios
Mastered by James Plotkin

Video created by Iam Nothe

Music by Diamond Pr & Spyreas Sid
Lyrics by Spyreas Sid

Cyanna Mercury is:
Spyreas Sid – vocals & percussion
Nick Sid – keyboard
Diamond Pr – guitars
Dennis Panagiotidis – drums
Dimitri Georgopoulos – bass

Cyanna Mercury website

Cyanna Mercury on Thee Facebooks

Cyanna Mercury on Bandcamp

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Six Dumb Questions with Eggnogg (Plus Track Premiere)

Posted in Six Dumb Questions on November 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan


I’ll admit that part of interviewing Eggnogg about their new record, Rituals in Transfigured Time stems from an attempt to increase my own limited understanding of what’s happening with the project. It’s been six years since the Brooklyn three-piece issued their last full-length, Moments in Vacuum (review here), and though they followed it with the Louis EP (review here) in 2012, their “next album” has been in the works pretty much since, given the title You’re all Invited and teased across a variety of graphic-arts images and vague story pieces from guitarist Justin Karol.

Karol, joined in the band by guitarist/vocalist Bill O’Sullivan and drummer Jason Prushko, finally manifests what was You’re all Invited as Rituals in Transfigured Time, a massive conceptual/narrative work based as much around visual art as aural sprawl and storytelling. It is being unveiled one piece at a time — you can hear the latest installment at the bottom of this post, and there’s more to come — as the band weaves through a complex sci-fi plotline toward a yet-unknown resolution, following the tale of a character named Gunther Kilgore, green of skin and forced into a journey both physical and existential (maybe?) by a tophat-wearing skeleton robot. Yeah, the details get a bit fuzzy. So do the guitars though, so it’s all good.

Rituals in Transfigured Time, now in its Entr’acte following the Prologue — a single, 14-minute track called “Overture / Wild Goose Chase” (posted here) — and Acts I & II — comprised of the 22-minute “Death Cap” and the 20-minute “Meshes of the Aftetnoon” (sic) — will go on for I don’t know how long, but is set to serve as the final Eggnogg outing. It’s also, unquestionably, the most ambitious, blending heavy psychedelia, the band’s trademark quirky post-grunge riffmaking and a progressive sprawl marked by a sense of groove that is wholly their own. If indeed Rituals in Transfigured Time is to serve as Eggnogg‘s closing chapter when it comes to new music — one never wants to say never — then they go having made a definitive statement of what their potential could have brought to bear in a multi-sensory engagement with their audience and a sense of individuality that goes beyond their lumbering tones and weirdo cartoons to the very heart of who they are as players and artists.

And even if it does bring about the end of the band, I look forward to seeing how and where Rituals in Transfigured Time ultimately concludes, especially now that Karol has been kind enough to take some time to explain the project, its arc, origins and where it might lead the members of Eggnogg from here.

Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:

Six Dumb Questions with Eggnogg

What’s happening in the story of Rituals in Transfigured Time? Who are the characters? Where are we in the plot? Where is it all leading?

What began as only moments in vacuum turned into six long years adrift in a soundless black void. Our green-skinned protagonist, Gunther Kilgore, had been imprisoned there by mysterious forces in attempt to conceal the secrets of the existence of which Kilgore had been made aware.

Rituals in Transfigured Time is about memories, nostalgia, coincidence, fate, and whether these instances can be manipulated. It centers around a concept I call “Doom Theory,” a quasi-scientific theoretical relationship between heavy or loud sounds or music and unconscious thoughts.

This is the backdrop for Rituals in Transfigured Time, where it is represented by invisible wires or strings that connect all people and things. Kind of like a telephone network, only here the wires connect people’s thoughts and feelings. Each string resonates in waves and can be altered by different sounds or vibrations. They can lay slacked or be wound taut, plucked or strummed to send different moods. But who is pulling the strings?

In the opening Acts, we find the world is ignorant of this, and in bursts of rage and violence, people divide up into cults following the loudest leaders, all connected by a hive-like mentality. Words begin to spread like a disease leading to the final gasp of humanity. If the truth were revealed, the tangled threads could begin to unravel.

Kilgore knows this truth but he is stuck and silenced. He exists neither here nor there, meeting these sort of divine beings who work backstage, revealing how the show is run. His journey seems to take his entire life but he finds that there is no beginning or end to the thread, and the vibrations travel in a loop. He sees that time is cyclical. When he steps out from behind the curtain, he is sent into a time warp.

The next album is called Entr’acte, which means “between acts,” and this ties in musically, visually, and thematically. The time warp leaves us in a far futuristic dystopian city that is inhabited by machines and dictated by pigs. Human population has dropped 99 percent, only the wealthy elite are still around. Pollution has altered the world’s climate so drastically that certain species of animals were forced to speed up their evolution in order to be involved politically and claim their land and resources.

Kilgore arrives here and has to piece together his memory and adjust to the perceived insanity of this new time period. Much of the intentional mystery of the story will be a bit more pronounced this time, with more formal character introductions, such as the divine priestess named Tetra and the skeletal robot with a top hat named Montgomery. Entr’acte will have more of a pulp feel, with parts of the album playing out like a 1930s science fiction radio drama.

How did the idea for such an expansive project come about? What’s the relationship for you between handling the visual art for something like this and writing the songs? Tell me about the songwriting process.

This type of idea had always been in my head, even as early as the formative years of the band when I was around 14, and perhaps even before that. I’ve been drawing and making my own little comic books ever since I was a baby, but I have a distinct memory of when I was around four years old, and my dad showed me the song “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath for the first time. I remember him doing these exaggerated stomps during the opening bass drums and explaining that it was the sound of iron man walking, and when it picks up pace in the second half, that he was running and chasing everyone. The song itself has this story to it, which is a bit different from other popular songs that mostly reflect on feelings.

I started to make this relationship between music and visualizing the scenes from then on with any song I heard. Movies ended up being my true passion because it combines sound and visual so perfectly. So I had been making my own little movies with my friends and timing a lot of scenes to music. Then one weekend I cast a mutual friend in the role of a frightened scientist, and that was Bill O’Sullivan, vocalist and guitarist for Eggnogg. So when we started writing original music, my mind started to go crazy with what kind of stories I could create. Up until then, I had only used other people’s music to accompany the visuals, but creating brand new music opened up many more possibilities.

So even from the earliest days, I was drawing out the potential scenes that went with our songs. Scenes and characters would also influence tones and lyrics. As we went on, certain characters developed and backstories came about, and so this sort of universe began to unfold. Bill and I, and our close friends, talk about the characters and stories often, but no one else has really been made aware of it yet. I was always looking for the right time to start telling this story but never quite knew how to release it and have people try to follow it. Characters and scenes ended up on some album art before, but I felt now was a good time to just go for it. It ties into the idea of the album being the revelation, the truth, the finale, the end all be all.

The material is so expansive. How have these songs come together? Is the complete work recorded and being released piecemeal, or is it still in progress? How much is left to come out and do you have a general timeline for when it will be complete and released?

With Moments in Vacuum, I had sequenced the songs so there was, to me, a clear beginning, middle, and ending. I extended a few pieces in particular to have more musical introductions and interludes so they would sort of flow like scenes. It was a more direct attempt at making a “cinematic” record, as I broke up the songs into a three-act structure. However, it backfired a bit when some friends told me they found the track lengths “too long” or they skipped around and didn’t hear crucial moments that happened further into a track, or listened to the songs out of sequence. Rather than compromise the writing, I wanted to exacerbate the concept even further.

From its conception, the intention was to make a record that consisted of long unbroken takes. This way, you had to follow along from beginning to end. It’s my understanding that this is what an album should be and the song sequencing is a key role. I look at them like scenes in a movie or chapters in a book, and if they are told out of order, you lose the essence of the entire work.

Rituals in Transfigured Time began under the working title of “You’re all Invited,” or my initial pitch, “Mass Suicide: You’re All Invited.” Much of it was recorded six years ago and then scrapped. It was designed as two 20 minute songs, so it would fit exactly on one vinyl record. We tried so frustratingly long to get this version of the album made on vinyl, but just could not secure the funds to do so.

After our fundraiser utterly failed, we tried rereleasing our EPs on physical disc to see what we could generate towards the vinyl but it never added up. By then, our drummer had left the band to go off and star on NBC’s The Voice, and we hunted down Jason Prushko of Mean Little Blanket fame. Jason brought a much meaner style of drumming and so the songs were reworked and expanded upon, hashing out new material as we tested it out live. We took this new version of the album to the studio and laid down the groundwork.

These recordings, however, reflected more of our live set and so the material has been in fine tuning to make it more cohesive. I am tweaking things right up until the release.

Talk about the recording itself. Where and how is Rituals in Transfigured Time coming together as a studio project? How much time has it all taken to make happen and how do you feel about how the results have come out so far?

Right after Moments in Vacuum in 2011, we headed back to our recording space to track demos of the next album, as we had always done every summer since around 2006. Some material would be new, some would be revitalized versions of songs that didn’t make the previous record.

The original version of the album was actually recorded to analog tape. It was an experiment for us but we had heard so many good things. Oh boy, it was a disaster. We could only mic so many drums on this type of machine so we ended up with a very strange and thin sound. The tracks on our Louis EP suffered from a similar fate, as they were recorded right after those sessions.

I was forced to use a digital workflow to help save the drum sound, something on previous records I was against. Moments in Vacuum was done with all full takes and no digital editing of any kind with all of the equalizing and mixing done on a board. So having to go to a computer did not sit well with me at first. I eventually got something workable, but I was never satisfied with it.

Thankfully, we rerecorded everything and more a few years later more professionally, thanks to Steve Schalk of Jupiter 4 Studio, who got us a great clear drum sound. I remember we had it all sort of wrapped up rather quickly and handed it off to other people to mix, which was also new since I usually did the mixing. After many mixes from many sources, something was just not sitting right with me when I listened to it and so I backed away from the project to work on other things.

After about a year of working on films, I returned to the project with a fresh perspective. I really wanted to tie up this loose end and make this thing finally complete. I took the basic recordings we did have and started over conceptually. I outlined the entire thing like I would a film and started building the imagery and tones from there.

So far, the reaction has been positive and so I am quite pleased. There was a lot of worries before release, because I had turned it into this lengthy operatic thing with a story that listeners would not know what to do with it. That may still be partly true, but I am hoping those few fans out there will embrace this different type of album and maybe it will catch on.

I’ve heard rumors this is the final release for Eggnogg. Are you really going to put the band to rest after this? What would you do next? Another band? Focus on graphic art?

For me, this is the final Eggnogg album. Jason Prushko has his own project off in California where he just released an EP titled Sylmar Ave. Bill O’Sullivan is over in Philadelphia working on his acoustic spooky country-western music. He has a whole slew of great material I hope is released soon. And I’m here in New York City twiddling my thumbs. I actually have a lot planned musically but it won’t be released as a band.

Although this will be the final Eggnogg album, there is still a potential of older material being remixed and remastered, and maybe even given the same treatment as Rituals by adding more illustrations. This depends heavily on the fans.

The Rituals project is a blueprint for how I am going to continue post release. I have other stories and scripts that will have a musical accompaniment along with the visual. After the release of Rituals in Transfigured Time, I will be preparing to make a feature-length film. The film happens to be about a struggling doom metal band in Brooklyn and will feature a fairly in-depth original score that those few loyal Eggnogg fans will surely appreciate.

Any other plans or closing words you want to mention?

Rituals in Transfigured Time is set of albums that follow a narrative, starting with the Prologue, into Acts I & II, and next up the Entr’acte. Following this will be Acts III & IIII. It’s being released as installments because, well, it’s a lot of material! I encourage those who care to listen to also view the illustrations and lyrics to get the full experience. There are many hidden meanings within the story. It is my hope that at least one person out there will pick up on it and feel illuminated and inspired.

There is something unique to this type of music, in that it gets everyone, the players and the audience, all moving in unison. Simple melodies and primal rhythms, it’s as if we are all connecting through some type of ancient language that the soul remembers even if we don’t. Slowly nodding along as if our minds were all connected by some kind of invisible thread.

Thank you to anyone who stumbled across our music!

Eggnogg on Thee Facebooks

Eggnogg on Twitter

Eggnogg on Instagram

Eggnogg on Bandcamp

Eggnogg website

Justin Karol website

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The Atomic Bitchwax Post “Houndstooth” Video; Force Field out Dec. 8

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the atomic bitchwax

Gearing up to start a European tour with Greenleaf and Steak on Dec. 1, New Jersey heavy rock forerunners The Atomic Bitchwax will issue their seventh album, Force Field, via Tee Pee Records on Dec. 8. I’ll have a review up one way or the other before the record lands, but the short version is it’s a blazing follow-up to to the aggro charge of 2015’s Gravitron (review here), only further tightened by a renewed commitment to touring that’s seen the power trio tearing ass across Europe, North America and South America. They have bordered on relentless.

The new album does likewise. It’s longest track is “Alaskan Thunder Fuck” at a whopping 3:48 and even that has not a moment to spare in its pursuit of dizzying turns and the band’s trademark winding riffing. With vocal trades between founding bassist Chris Kosnik and guitarist Finn Ryan atop the propulsive drumming of Bob Pantella, the Bitchwax haven’t lost the melodic sensibility that emerged amid the mid-paced fare of records like 2005’s 3 (discussed here) or 2008’s TAB4, but ever since 2011’s single-song instrumental outing The Local Fuzz (review here), the band has gotten faster, meaner and Force Field is rawer in its approach, unafraid to say “fuck” when it wants to, and it rocks with a show-’em-how-it’s-done efficiency that easily distinguishes their boogie from just about everything else the Eastern Seaboard of the US has to offer.

Seriously. Check out their new video for “Houndstooth” below and find me another band on the East Coast who does this kind of thing better than the Bitchwax do it. I dare you.

They just don’t exist.

Again, more to come on Force Field sometime in the next week, but for now, you can dig into the sunglasses-on vibes of “Houndstooth” below, followed by more info from the PR wire and those European tour dates, which are presented by Sound of Liberation.

Please enjoy:

The Atomic Bitchwax, “Houndstooth” official video

Featuring the powerhouse rhythm section from legendary space lords Monster Magnet, The Atomic Bitchwax plays balls-to-the-wall rock ‘n’ roll that smashes space rock and proto-metal into a towering celebration of the riff. The New Jersey power trio (aka TAB) will release its seventh full length LP, Force Field, on December 8 via Tee Pee Records.

Recorded at the Freakshop in Keyport, NJ , mixed at The Panic Room in Ocean, NJ and mastered by Alan Douches (Chelsea Wolfe, Tombs, The Obsessed), The Atomic Bitchwax’s high energy, scale-based guitar mangling hits astronomical levels on Force Field, with full stack amps pushing out dangerous levels of blown-out metallic mayhem. An awe-inducing tumult of head-down forward drive and top tier hard rock, Force Field mashes Sci-Fi and Hi-Fi, rocketing The Atomic Bitchwax into the outer reaches of the modern day heavy music universe.

Track listing:
1.) Hippie Speedball
2.) Earth Shaker (Which Doobie U Be)
3.) Alaskan Thunder F*ck
4.) Shocker
5.) Crazy
6.) Fried Dyed And Layin To The Side
7.) Shell of a Man
8.) Houndstooth
9.) Tits and Bones
10.) Humble Brag
11.) Super Highway
12.) Liv A Little

Pre-order Force Field at this location.

The Atomic Bitchwax w/ Greenleaf & Steak:
01.12.17 – London | Underworld
02.12.17 – Brussels | Magasin 4
03.12.17 – Hamburg | Markthalle
04.12.17 – Cologne | Luxor
05.12.17 – Wiesbaden | Schlachthof
06.12.17 – Leipzig | Werk2
07.12.17 – Munich | Feierwerk
08.12.17 – Olten | Schuetzenhaus
09.12.17 – Linz | Posthof
10.12.17 – Vienna | Arena
11.12.17 – Stuttgart | Universum
12.12.17 – Saarbruecken | Garage
13.12.17 – Nijmegen | Doornroosje
14.12.17 – Paris | Glazart
15.12.17 – Dortmund | JunkYard
16.12.17 – Berlin | Bi Nuu

The Atomic Bitchwax on Thee Facebooks

The Atomic Bitchwax website

Tee Pee Records on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records website

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Nick Oliveri: Preorders for N.O. Hits at All Vol. 4 Start Dec. 5

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Though it’s barely been a month since the release of Nick Oliveri‘s N.O. Hits at All Vol. 3 (review here), the former Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age bassist has set a Feb. 23 issue date for the next and final installment in what’s apparently a four-part series. Preorders are set to begin on Dec. 5 through Heavy Psych Sounds, the Italian imprint that’s put out each of the collections over the course of this year, and the last one will boast tracks from Oliveri‘s acoustic incarnation, his solo band The Uncontrollable, and The Dwarves, among others.

One can only wonder when the limited edition comp boxed set might be set to land. Haven’t heard anything about one in the works, but it seems like a prime opportunity for such a thing, even if they only make a couple. Something to chew on.

And while we’re chewing:

nick oliveri no hits at all 4

Heavy Psych Sounds to issue the final episode of NICK OLIVERI’s “N.O. Hits At All” series this February 23rd!

Here it is, folks! The last episode of the “N.O. Hits At All” compilations, that put together the very best as well as some exclusive, unreleased tracks from NICK OLIVERI’s numerous projects and collaborations over 20 years of career. It will land on February 23rd through HPS Records.

Following the successful issuing of his “N.O. Hits At All Vol.1”, “N.O. Hits At All Vol.2” and “N.O. Hits At All Vol. 3” compiling rare an unreleased songs from his numerous projects and collaborations over the past 25 years (QOTSA, Dwarves, Kyuss Lives!, Death Acoustic, Winnebago Deal, Royale Deamons with Wino and Joey Castillo…), NICK OLIVERI returns next February 23rd with the final episode of the series, comprising tracks by The Dwarves, Death Acoustic, Rattlin’ Bones and Loading Data!

“N.O. Hits At All Vol.3” will see a black/colored vinyl, CD and digital release. Pre-orders for the physica copies will start on December 5th on HPS Records website.

NICK OLIVERI “N.O. Hits At All Vol. 4”
Out February 23rd on Heavy Psych Sounds
Pre-orders available from December 5th here

1. “WALK ON” (written by The Uncontrollable)
2. “IDENTIFY, ISOLATE, MANIPULATE” (written by biblical proof of UFOs)
3. “ENDLESS VACATION” (written by Ramones and performed by DEATH ACOUSTIC)
4. “HANGING LOW” (written By Loading Data)

1. “FUCK YOU UP AND GET HIGH” (written by The Dwarves)
2. “SUPER HERO” (written by He Who Can Not Be Named)
3. “DONT BELIEVE” (written by Rattlin’ Bones)
4. “SUSY IS A HEADBANGER” (written by Ramones)

Nick Oliveri, “Endless Vacation” live

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Amenra and Boris to Co-Headline Europe and UK Tour in January

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I think at this point there are few who would challenge the supposition of Amenra‘s dominance when it comes to European post-metal. The strobe-prone Belgian outfit released their latest masterwork, Mass VI, last month through Neurot Recordings and Consouling Sounds, and in the New Year, they’ll team up with Japanese experimentalist heroes Boris for a full run of co-headlining dates in the UK and EU. Boris of course are out supporting their own 2017 offering, Dear (review here), which was issued to coincide with their 25th anniversary, as if they needed an excuse to be brilliant.

For whatever it’s worth — and by my estimate, not much — I’m not the hugest Amenra fan, but their live presentation is a spectacle to behold if you have the opportunity to do so. They’re not strangers to touring in Europe, but the pairing with Boris would seem to make this run all the more of an occasion.

From the PR wire:

amenra boris tour

AMENRA Announces Co-Headlining 2018 European/UK Tour With Boris

Heavy music luminaries AMENRA and Boris have announced co-headlining European and UK tour for early 2018. The two acts will tour from February 14th through March 4th, marking the first full UK tour for AMENRA.

Mass VI is out now on Neurot Recordings. The European version has a different mix and master, as well as different artwork and design than the US version, mixed and mastered by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Oathbreaker) at the Atomic Garden, San Francisco. The deluxe edition 2xLP 45rpm 180-gram album is available in different limited colors. Order Mass VI in the US through Neurot Recordings and via Consouling Sounds in Europe.

AMENRA Tour Dates:
12/01/2017 De Leest – Izegem, BE (acoustic)
1/13/2018 Gaité Lyrique – Paris, FR
1/19/2018 Stevenskerk – Nijmegen NL
1/20/2018 Doornroosje – Nijmegen NL
1/28/2018 Festsaal Kreuzberg – Berlin, DE
1/29/2018 Colos-saal – Aschaffenburg, DE
2/14/2018 Thekla – Bristol, UK w/ Boris
2/15/2018 Heaven – London, UK w/ Boris
2/16/2018 Arts Centre – Norwich, UK w/ Boris
2/17/2018 Rescue Rooms – Nottingham, UK w/ Boris
2/18/2018 Gorilla – Manchester, UK w/ Boris
2/19/2018 St. Lukes – Glasgow, UK w/ Boris
2/20/2018 Brudenell Social Club – Leeds, UK w/ Boris
2/21/2018 Aeronef – Lille, FR w/ Boris
2/22/2018 Drucklufthaus – Oberhausen, DE
2/23/2018 Beatpol – Dresden, DE w/ Boris
2/24/2018 Progresja – Warsaw, PL w/ Boris
2/25/2018 Palac Akropolis – Prague, CZ w/ Boris
2/26/2018 A38 – Budapest, HU w/ Boris
2/27/2018 Kino Siska – Ljubljana, SL w/ Boris
2/28/2018 Locomotiv – Bologna, IT w/ Boris
3/01/2018 Monk – Rome, IT w/ Boris
3/02/2018 Santeria Social Club – Milan, IT w/ Boris
3/03/2018 Jubez – Karlsruhe, DE w/ Boris
3/04/2018 Patronaat – Haarlem, NL w/ Boris
4/06/2018 Depot – Leuven. BE
4/07/2018 Durbuy Rock Festival – Durbuy, BE
4/08/2018 Cactus Club – Brugge, BE
4/13/2018 Eden – Charleroi, BE
4/14/2018 MOD – Hasselt, BE

Amenra, “A Solitary Reign” official video

Boris, “Absolutego” official video

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Battalions Sign to APF Records; New Album out in 2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Emergent UK imprint APF Records continues to gobble up countrymen sludge outfits with the signing of Battalions to its growing roster. The Hull natives released their second long-player, Moonburn, this past summer, and will reportedly follow-up with a third sometime in 2018, touring as well alongside Pist and no doubt others in the crowded sphere of resurgent English sludge metal. Their next record will be their first as a four-piece after parting ways with guitarist Mark Wood following Moonburn, which was produced by Conan‘s Chris Fielding and which you can hear in its entirety streaming below.

In signing with APF, Battalions join the ranks of Desert Storm, the aforementioned Pist, Mastiff, BongCauldron, Diesel King, Tronald and Ba’al, among others as the imprint quickly moves into setting the standard for sludge mayhem coming out of the British Isles.

From the PR wire:



APF RECORDS is delighted to announce that it has signed Hullensian sludge-metal titans BATTALIONS to the label. We will be issuing their third, as yet untitled, album worldwide during mid-2018.

Battalions was formed in early 2010 in the coastal city of Hull, UK. Their fanbase and support has steadily grown through incendiary live shows throughout the UK including high-profile support slots with Conan, Church Of Misery, Sworn Enemy, Ohhms, Slabdragger, Samothrace, Dopethrone and Vinnum Sabbathi. In 2017 they played on the Hobgoblin Stage at Bloodstock Open Air Festival, and headlined the Motorhead Roadcrew Stage at the 30,000-capacity Humber Street Sesh.

The band’s first two albums, 2016’s “Nothing To Lose” and this year’s Chris Fielding-produced “Moonburn” received universal critical praise. Since the writing of the latter the band has slimmed down from a quintet to a 4-piece, and since its release has continued to play live across the UK, and in the first half of 2018 will do the same – including on a full countrywide tour with label-mates Pist in April.

A warm welcome to Battalions from all at APF.

Battalions is:
Phil Wilkinson – Vocals
Peter Cross – Guitars
Matthew Dennett – Bass
Matt Walker – Drums

Battalions, Moonburn (2017)

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Conan to Release New Album Early Next Year; North American Tour Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

UK sonic pummelbringers Conan have announced a round of North American touring beginning Feb. 9. They’ll be joined in the endeavor by The Ditch and the Delta and are set to release a new album in early 2018 via Napalm Records. I don’t know if the album will actually come out while they’re on this run or not, but as the band has made touring the US a priority over the last couple years, it would make sense.

Either way, they’ll be playing new material on the road, so if you want a preview of the follow-up to 2016’s Revengeance (review here) — whatever it might be called — before it comes out, that’s another reason to show up beyond the standard having your ass handed to you by Conan, which was going to happen one way or another.

Just off the PR wire:

conan tour poster

CONAN Announces 2018 North American Tour

New Album Coming Early Next Year Via Napalm Records

British Doom Metallers, CONAN are currently hard at work, on the follow up to their 2016 release “Revengeanance,” which is due out in early 2018. In anticiapion of the new album, CONAN has announced a full North American headline tour beginning in February 2018. The tour features support from The Ditch and The Delta, and starts February 9th in Calgary, AB and wraps up March 13th in Denver, CO. A complete list of dates can be found below.

“We are very happy to announce this US tour with The Ditch and The Delta, our fourth US tour in as many years. This tour is slightly different though, we will be playing material from our new album – to be released in 2018 at Napalm Records. See you at the front,” says CONAN frontman Jon Davis.

CONAN are as heavy as interplanetary thunder amplified through the roaring black hole anus of Azathoth. Remember that sentence, for it is writ large in virgin blood on the walls of the forgotten temple of Bol-Krastor, deep in the steaming forests of forgotten Lemuria. CONAN, a monumentally brutal three piece (in the grand tradition of all the hallowed three pieces through time) hold a sinew-tight line and an iron-grip command over the uber-synchronised powerchord changes and tempo-shifts of the anti-holy trio of bass, drums and guitar. Two weary yet defiant men have the task of vocalising wretched thoughts over the turgid weight of Conan’s metalized bombast. They bear it well, for the task is immense.

Hear the roar of battle. Smell the stench of split blood. A thousand heads piled high like a grim mound of suffering – a blasphemy to nature. HAIL CONAN!

CONAN W/ The Ditch and The Delta
2/9/18: Calgary, AB @ Palomino*
2/10/18: Edmonton, AB @ Brixx*
2/12/18: Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
2/13/18: Boise, ID @ Neurolux
2/15/18: Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey
2/16/18: Portland, OR @ Sabertooth Fest*
2/17/18: Eugene, OR @ Old Nicks
2/18/18: San Francisco, CA @ Thee Parkside
2/19/18: Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
2/20/18: Phoenix, AZ @ Yucca Tap
2/21/18: Albuquerque, NM @ Sister Bar
2/22/18: El Paso, TX @ Neon Rose
2/23/18: Austin, TX @ Lost Well
2/24/18: Little Rock, AR @ White Water Tavern
2/25/18: Memphis, TN @ Growlers
2/26/18: Knoxville, TN @ Pilot Light
2/27/18: Atlanta, GA @ The 529
3/1/18: Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
3/2/18: Washington, DC @ Atlas Brew Works
3/3/18: Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
3/4/18: Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
3/5/18: Providence, RI @ Alchemy
3/6/18: Boston, MA @ Middle East Upstairs
3/7/18: Rochester, NY @ Photo City
3/8/18: Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
3/9/18: Lexington, KY @ Cosmic Charlies
3/10/18: Chicago, IL @ Reggies
3/11/18: Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry
3/12/18: Omaha, NE @ Lookout Lounge
3/13/18: Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive

Conan, “Throne of Fire” official video

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Carlton Melton to Release Mind Minerals Feb. 2

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

carlton melton

You ever run into a band who are so good you’re almost scared to listen to them because you know if you do you’re going to want to immediately own whatever it is you just put on? Like, you know you don’t really have the money to spend, but you’re going to hear whatever release it is and be like, “Well shit, now I need this.” That’s me and NorCal psych weirdos Carlton Melton. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a track from the band that didn’t make me feel like I should purchase their entire discography, and that this point, that would be no minor undertaking. Still, as pursuits go, noble.

Carlton Melton fucking rule, I guess is my point.

Their new album, Mind Minerals, is out Feb. 2 on Agitated Records, and onto the list of 2018’s most anticipated records it goes. If you need to ask why, see the paragraph immediately above.

Info and tour dates from the PR wire:

carlton melton mind minerals

Announcing CARLTON MELTON new album “Mind Minerals” on Agitated Records

Release date: 2nd February 2018

This will be Carlton Melton’s first full length release since 2015’s widely lauded “Out To Sea” double opus, itself a languid drifting of drones and psychedically enhanced riffmongering. Sure, there’s been some long EP releases since… Hidden Lights in 2017 (featuring the immeasurable drone sike float on “Rememory”) and Aground in 2016 (a companion, the Desert Island weather beaten psych-flow follow up to Out To Sea), now its time to soak up… Mind Minerals.

Mind Minerals finds Carlton Melton in fine fettle, all the songs were recorded and engineered at El Studio in San Francisco by Phil Manley on September 3rd and 4th 2016 (except ‘untimely’ – recorded at the Dome by Brian McDougall), the studio setting suits them — a logical progression from a weekend’s recording out at the Dome.
Under Manly’s watchful ear/eye, Carlton Melton have created a futurescape soundtrack.., a “3001 Space Oddyssey”. The drums are more pounding and direct than before, the constantly re-assuring bass creates a helping hand to propel you through the clouds of static and shards of electrifying guitar dazzling your horizon. Synths help soothe the sharp edges and lull you into some out of body experience whilst and orchestrated calamitous scree pulls you back…. This is a breathless, yet deep breathing album. It demands full immersion…

Searing guitar piercing the drone with relentless power, the core trio of Carlton Melton; Andy Duvall (drums/guitar), Clint Golden (bass guitar), and Rich Millman (guitar/synth), have some alchemical bond that’s helped them create a post-rock / psychedelic / freeform organic slab of American Primitivism / space drift , this is unashamed head-music from the melting pot of Northern California.. 5 decades ago this album would have been released on the ESP Disk Label or even Apple.. .there would have been no helter skelter if the desert Hippies had locked onto these vibes, plug in, turn on, tune out..float free.. Carlton Melton can provide your own aural microdose to reset your Mind / Psyche!!

Andy Duvall plays juno synth on ‘the lighthouse’

Special guests:
Phil Manley – juno synth on ‘snow moon’ and ‘sea legs’ / Guitar on ‘eternal returns’ and ‘psychoticedelicosis’.
John McBain – guitar on ‘electrified sky’ and ‘way back when’ / synth/mellotron/guitar on ‘atmospheric river’.

All songs mastered by John Mcbain at JPM mastering.
Cover artwork is “Walls” (2013) by Andy Vogt

1. Untimely
2. Electrified Sky
3. The Lighthouse
4. Eternal Returns
5. Snow Moon
6. A Basketful Of Trumpets
7. Sea Legs
8. Way Back When
9. Climbing The Ladder
10. Atmospheric River
11. Psychoticedelicosis

Carlton Melton will BE TOURING next year! Confirmed dates below:
08/02 NL Groningen – Vera
09/02 DE Wurzburg – Immerhim
10/02 DE Berlin – Noise Testament
11/02 DE Oldenburg – MTS
12/02 DE Bamberg – Pizzini
14/02 AT Wien – kramladen
15/02 ITA Treviso – AltroQuando
16/02 ITA Torino – Magazzino Sul Po
17/02 ITA Fidenza (Parma) – Arci Taun
19/02 FRA Paris – Instant Chavires
20/02 UK London – The Shacklewell Arms
21/02 UK Todmorden – Golden Lyon
22/02 UK Glasgow – Nice n Sleazy
23/02 UK Manchester – Soup Kitchen
24/02 UK Brighton – Hope &Ruin
25/02 UK Salisbury – The Winchester Gate
26/02 UK Northwich – The Salty Dog
27/02 UK Leeds – Wharf Chambers
28/02 BE Antwerp – Het Bos
03/03 NL Nijmegen – Doornroosje

*More dates to be announced*

Carlton Melton, Out to Sea (2015)

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