Haze Mage Premiere “Storm Blade” from Debut Album Chronicles out April 19

Haze-Mage-photo-by-Shane-Gardner

Baltimorean double-guitar five-piece Haze Mage will issue their debut full-length, Chronicles, through Grimoire Records on April 19. Comprised of a briskly captured eight tracks and 45 minutes of material produced by the label’s own Noel Mueller, it is the band’s first outing since they changed their name from Blood Mist following the 2017 release of what was then their self-titled debut EP (review here), but which now you can probably just call Blood Mist. Either way, Chronicles brings the arrival of Haze Mage — the lineup of vocalist Matthew Casella, guitarists Nick Jewett and Kevin Considine, bassist Scott Brenner and drummer John De Campos — as a force to contend with in terms of their blend of classic metal, traditional doom and heavy rock and roll, parts of the eponymous opener and “Storm Blade”, which follows, reminded of Saint Vitus on a bender with Pentagram while “Bong Witch” is more purely self-aware stonerization and “Fire Wizards” asks the inevitable question of what might’ve happened if the NWOBHM had been infiltrated by operatives from Big Muff. So yes, it’s awesome.

And that’s really just the start. “Corpse Golem” teases out more complex vocal arrangements and in so doing serves notice of growth yet to come on the part of the band, all the while rolling forth the record’s most satisfyingly lumbering groove, right into “Priest of Azathoth” haze mage chronicleswhich fuzzes a kind of semi-shuffle that’s part Zeppelin preen and part Sabbathian cultistry but all righteous, right up to the laughter on the other side of the halfway mark and the riff-led bounce that follows. If you’re wondering where the blastbeats are hiding, that’d be in “Harbinger,” which starts out like a theatrical, grandiose classic metaller until it suddenly flips its wig with layers of growls under Casella‘s prominent clean vocals and, indeed, a bit of blast. They do it twice, and the second time, it’s screams layered on growls, just like Deicide used to make. Life is full of surprises. They summarize their findings effectively in the 10-minute finale — yeah, there’s some more blastbeating in there too — starting off with a patience that suits them and ending up in much the same place, but in between following a winding course to get where they’re going and executing the song with due drama wielded with a sense of control that seems greater than a first record should generally hold.

What does that mean? Could be a foreshadow for future progressivism in their songcraft, or it could just be a fluke, but what’s more important for the moment is that with ChroniclesHaze Mage establish a metallic hold on the tenets of heavy and traditional doom. And not only to do they do so, but they then essentially put the varying styles in their grasp to work as their plaything — because Chronicles is more than just one-sided, and a lot of it is unabashed fun — from Casella‘s over-the-top Danzig style to the bubbling over the drums that starts “Bong Witch” and the extra-right-on bassline that follows. Haze Mage know what they’re doing, as shown on multiple levels with the characters in their songs as depicted on the cover art and the hooks of “Storm Blade” and “Dread Queen.” That isn’t to say they don’t have room for refinement coming off this collection en route to whatever’s next, but it says that especially as their first record, Chronicles is a warning of what might follow and it’s a warning well worth heeding.

Get yourself impaled with “Storm Blade” via the player below. Comment from the band follows, as well as some PR wire this-and-that.

Enjoy:

Haze Mage on “Storm Blade”:

Forged in lighting, the Storm Blade is an ancient cursed blade which while powerful and deadly to anything in its path, it corrupts the mind of the wielder. To hold it is to release one’s self from mercy, to abandon choice and become an unstoppable, frenzied maniac christened in bloodshed while only a whisper of your own will remains. The Storm Blade, it thunders to kill.

We enjoy diving into the wide spectrum of stoner/doom sub genres and want each song on the album to take the listener to a different place while still feeling like each one belongs as part of the whole experience. Embodying the chaotic and hectic mental state of a person possessed by the Storm Blade, we allowed our mutual admiration for ’80s era UK heavy metal to let loose. With a decidedly doomier approach informing much of this album it was important to us have at least one biting ambush of a song. Frenetic, frantic, and an in-your-face fuel for a fight, Storm Blade is that song for us.

Chronicles will see release on limited edition CD, and digital download via Grimoire Records on April 19th. Preorders have been posted HERE.

Chronicles was recorded, mixed and mastered between fall 2018 and winter 2019 by Noel Mueller. Album art was created by John De Campos/Ghost Bat Illustration, with additional layout work by Noel Mueller, and photography by Shane Gardner. © 2019 Grimoire Records.

HAZE MAGE Live:
4/20/2019 Ottobar – Baltimore, MD @ Grim Reefer Fest

HAZE MAGE:
Kevin Considine – guitar
Nick Jewett – guitar
John De Campos – drums
Scott Brenner – bass
Matthew Casella – vocals

Haze Mage on Instagram

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Haze Mage on Bandcamp

Grimoire Records website

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3 Responses to “Haze Mage Premiere “Storm Blade” from Debut Album Chronicles out April 19”

  1. […] Unsheathe HAZE MAGE’s “Storm Blade” only through The Obelisk RIGHT HERE. Chronicles will see release on limited edition CD and digital download via Grimoire Records on […]

  2. […] Streaming exclusively via The Obelisk. […]

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