Miss Lava Post “The Silent Ghost of Doom” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 28th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

miss lava

I’m not entirely sure what Miss Lava are railing against in the start of their new single — the general state of culture, maybe; people staring at their tvs and phones instead of rocking out — but I won’t question the Lisbon outfit’s conviction. They’re gearing up to issue their new album, Sonic Debris, as the follow-up to 2013’s Red Supergiant, via ultra-respected purveyor Small Stone Records, and if nothing else, “The Silent Ghost of Doom” is definitely working against any sense of apathy the band might perceive in this age of bought-and-sold wonders. Clocking in at an efficient 4:20, it’s a kick in the ass run from front to back, its initial rant building into a careening heavy rock riff met with a catchy hook that only pushes the momentum further forward.

Sonic Debris is out May 20, and “The Silent Ghost of Doom” is the second track to be featured from it behind the grander opening salvo “Another Beast is Born” (posted here), and as it’s also the second track on the record itself, it shows the kind of one-two punch with which Miss Lava are starting their latest outing, shifting from a larger-sounding roll and melody into the rush of “The Silent Ghost of Doom.” One doubts that’s the entirety of the scope of the album, but as the already-noted intro of “The Silent Ghost of Doom” (performed in a guest spot by Rui Guerra) demonstrates, the band are clearly given to offering a surprise or two along the way. For what it’s worth, neither of the two cuts that have made their way to the public so far has stopped me from wanting to hear more of the album.

Hopefully you feel the same. PR wire info follows “The Silent Ghost of Doom” below.


Miss Lava, “The Silent Ghost of Doom” official video

Portugal’s volume merchants, MISS LAVA, will drop the deliciously riff raging sounds of their Sonic Debris full-length via Small Stone Recordings next month.

As a precursor to its release comes the visual accompaniment to “The Silent Ghost Of Doom.” The second single from Sonic Debris, “The Silent Ghost Of Doom” clip was directed by Bruno Simões with direction of photography by Mr. Ivo Cordeiro (the team behind MISS LAVA’s “Black Rainbow” video). “To shoot this video, we went to Lisbon’s old athenaeum — the Ateneu Comercial de Lisboa,” elaborates drummer, J. Garcia. “The historic scenery set the right vibe for the song.”

“This is a loud one that shouts about freeing yourself from tedium, apathy and past time glories,” adds vocalist Johnny Lee. “The broken mirror sights the silent ghost of doom.”

Sonic Debris will be released May 20th and come available on CD and 180-gram light blue vinyl limited to 500 units. For preorders go to THIS LOCATION where you’ll also hear a stream of opening track “Another Beast Is Born.”

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Miss Lava at Small Stone Records

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Stone Machine Electric Premiere “I am Fire” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 27th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

stone machine electric

Wade patiently into the murky depths of Stone Machine Electric‘s first single from their new album, Sollicitus es Veritatem, and imagine that the Texas two-piece are setting the stage on which, as the title indicates, nightmares might become reality. Of course, the nightmare they’re talking about — at least if the album artwork is anything to go by — is 30-plus years of Republican anti-government rhetoric coming home to roost, but that otherworldly sense of darkness is evident in the opening of “I am Fire” as well. And as much as Stone Machine Electric — the duo of guitarist/vocalist William “Dub” Irvin and drummer/vocalist/Thereminist Mark Kitchensstone-machine-electric-posterteased jammy vibes with their late 2015 EP, The Amazing Terror (review here), “I am Fire” does wind up with a hook to go with its rolling groove, centering the nightmare in a real-world structure.

As much as this is the real world, anyway.

As previously announced, The Obelisk is presenting Stone Machine Electric‘s release show for Sollicitus es Veritatem, which takes place at The Grotto in Fort Worth on May 27 and finds Dub and Kitchens joined by FoggThinman Conspiracy and The FTW. My reasoning for climbing on board for said event was pretty simple: I dig Stone Machine Electric a lot. Their material has always kind of a weirdo underpinning, whether they’re working in open structured jams or more grounded songcraft, and in combination with a richness of tone often captured by Wo Fat‘s Kent Stump, the appeal is that you never quite know what Stone Machine Electric are going to do next. You’ll know what I mean as “I am Fire” jumps from its intro into the nod of the first verse. They’re still able to catch their audience off guard. I like that.

Sollicitus es Veritatem is out May 17 — though if you’re in Europe, you can apparently buy copies from Wo Fat‘s merch table now — and you can find the premiere of the “I am Fire” video below.

Please enjoy:

Stone Machine Electric, “I am Fire” official video

The Obelisk presents “I Am Fire” – the first track off Stone Machine Electric’s anticipated album “Sollicitus Es Veritatem”. The new album is set to be released May 17th, 2016.

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Dinosaur Eyelids Post “Vernal Equinox” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 26th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

dinosaur eyelids

New Jersey-based heavy rockers Dinosaur Eyelids are currently in their seventh year and working on their fifth album. Their last offering, Bypass to Nowhere — even as I know the exact bypass they’re talking about I can’t help but wonder why it always comes back to highways with New Jersey — was released in 2014 and among its featured tracks is the spacey, jammy “Vernal Equinox.” And it just so happens that Dinosaur Eyelids have a new video for that song put together with satellite/ISS views from space, performance footage that I’m pretty sure comes from the Court Tavern in New Brunswick, some cool sunspots and so on.

Point is I doubt it’s anything you’d see paired with the track itself and think it’s out of place. While I think I’ll always hear an underlying edge of aggression in anything from my formerly beloved Garden State, Dinosaur Eyelids are at very least toning it way down here, I guess leaving the crunchier vibes for album cuts like “Halo Judgment” and “Talkin’ to Me” while the bulk of the record basks in a post-grunge alternamelodic looseness, and if it’s disaffection, well, at least it’s disaffection in the summertime humidity. These guys have always been right on the line between what I think fits around here and what doesn’t, and I won’t speak for their currently-in-progress next record, but at least this song works.

Find the “Vernal Equinox” video below, and enjoy:

Dinosaur Eyelids, “Vernal Equinox” official video

Official music video from the album “Bypass to Nowhere”

We’d like to take a moment to clear up some of the rumors currently circulating in the media. Yes, we are in the studio working on our fifth album. Yes, it is better than anything we’ve ever done. Yes, we are working with music legend Ed Wilson as our producer. Yes, Mark has impregnated all of the Kardashians.

We hope this clears things up.

Thanks to everyone who came out to our ALS Benefit Show at John in Peter’s (New Hope, PA) in December! We raised almost $1,000 for a very good cause. Thank you also to everyone who came to our big return to the Court Tavern (New Brunswick, NJ) on March 4th. It was our 20th show in the basement and definitely one of the best.

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Atavismo Premiere “El Sueño” Live Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 25th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


Over the last several weeks in Madrid, Nooirax Producciones has celebrated its eighth anniversary with a series of festival-type showcases featuring the likes of Atavismo, Wooly Mammoth Rebellion and Arabrot. The promotion company/record label continues to thrive with new offerings and a rich scope of bands from Spain and beyond, and for Atavismo, it gave the Algeciras trio an outlet to show off some new material as they make ready to follow-up their 2014 debut Desintegración (review here), which continues to offer sunshiny warmth regardless of the actual listening conditions.

Not much is known about Atavismo‘s second album at this point — things like its title, when it’s going to be recorded or if it already has, how many songs will be on it — the debut had four, each one a gem — and when or if it will be out before the end of the year, but listening to “El Sueño” those things matter far less than they otherwise might. What the three-piece of guitarist/synthesist/vocalist Jose “Pot” Moreno, bassist/backing vocalist Mateo and drummer/backing vocalist Sandri Pow affirm with the new clip is that the hypnotic motion of the debut remains intact and that the chemistry of that material has only grown in the two years since Desintegración first came out (it was also released on LP last June).

That’s invariably good news to anyone who, like me, was and continues to be a nerd for that record, and with the space rock-style push Atavismo had for their recent split with Grajo in the song “Haribo” (info here), I’m intrigued to find out how it all ties together with the progressive, lush psychedelia on offer last time around. I have the vague feeling it’s going to be an impatient wait for their second album, and it seems like it’s time to get that wait started.

Congrats to Nooirax on eight years and thanks to them and to Atavismo for allowing me to host the premiere of this live version of “El Sueño” below.

Please enjoy:

Atavismo, “El Sueño” Live at Nooirax Eighth Anniversary

“El Sueño” (The Dream) is the name of this song that will be part of the second opus from the andusian power trio that will be released next year. Triana meets Motorpsycho and Camel in this easy-driven prog-groovie melting pot…

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Friday Full-Length: Grayceon, All We Destroy

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 22nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Grayceon, All We Destroy (2011)

One of the most underrated albums of this decade, hands down. Aside from boasting cellist/vocalist Jackie Perez Gratz — whose formidable CV includes entries for Neurosis and Om guest spots in addition to her own other bands, Amber Asylum and Giant Squid among them — Grayceon‘s 2011 third outing, All We Destroy (review here) offered a richness of scope, progressive complexity and vibrant emotionalism across its span that from where I sit you can just about count on one hand the records that have come along in the last half-decade that can stand up to it. I was a fan of it at the time too, and in the years since it’s one of those albums to which I’ve returned over and again, some memory pushing forward in my consciousness that leads me back to it. As with the best of anything, it has lasted through this test of time and continues to resonate even now, where so many others have fallen by the wayside since.

Released through Profound LoreAll We Destroy comprises six tracks — interestingly the Bandcamp stream switches “Dreamer Deceived” and “Shellmounds” at the open — and lasts a substantial pre-vinyl-explosion 50 minutes, but it’s the grandeur of the thing that’s ultimately so striking, its blend of classicism and extremity, and the fluidity with which Grayceon are able to shift from one side to the other, here thrashing mad before the first galloping verse of “Shellmounds” and there quiet and folkish to gracefully unfold the start of “Once a Shadow.” Together with guitarist/vocalist Max Doyle and drummer Zack FarwellGratz courses gracefully along a path that’s doom and yet very much not at the same time in “Dreamer Deceived,” the song’s interplay of guitar and cello given firm foundation through the drums, though truth be told, it’s all viciously creative. It just also happens to be that Grayceon are able to hold the material together even as they seem to be spinning off in different directions at various points, toward blackened screams, multi-layered cello solos, or crushing sludge riffs. Oh yeah, and all that happens in about 30 seconds too.

I won’t take away from “A Road Less Traveled” or “War’s End” as the closing duo or “Once a Shadow”‘s weary melancholy, or the frantic mournfulness of “Shellmounds,” but All We Destroy‘s crowning achievement is undoubtedly “We Can,” a 17-minute album-unto-itself that pulls together the best of what works in all Grayceon‘s other tracks and executes a flawless tiered build through distinct movements, each of which flows into the next, but all of which make a memorable impression. It was my pick for the best song of 2011, and that’s something I stand by five years later. For an record that seems to have war as its underlying theme, All We Destroy has so much life in it, and “We Can” envisions a distinctly feminine struggle at the center of the record in a manner both insightful and emotionally gripping — the play of screams back and forth, “We can — build — nothing,” a brilliant reverse reminder of the album’s title.

All We Destroy followed Grayceon‘s 2008 sophomore album, This Grand Show, and their 2007 self-titled debut, as well as a split with Giant Squid (2007’s The West) and was answered in 2013 with an EP, Pearl and the End of Days. As of January 2015, they were at work on a fourth full-length, but I haven’t seen any word of further progress than that. Doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen or that it is, just that it hasn’t been announced. Maybe by the time it shows up I’ll have finished digesting this record, though somehow I doubt it.

Hope you enjoy.

My book, Electroprofen, is out now. You can buy it from War Crime Recordings here: http://warcrimerecordings.bigcartel.com/product/electroprofen-by-jj-koczan

It’s limited to 300 copies. If you pick one up, I hope you dig it. And thank you.

That alone would be enough to make this a busy week, but add in stuff like the Wo Fat review yesterday, making the podcast that went up a bit ago, and that Wren stream today, it was pretty packed even before you consider book releases and/or the big comedown after being at Roadburn last weekend, traveling all day Monday, the development of the annual post-Roadburn cold, announcing EYE for the All-Dayer, job stuff, and everything else that life presents in its assault. It was madness, to be honest with you. I’m very, very tired.

Almost through the day though and looking forward to a phone call in a bit and then a hopefully laid back weekend in Connecticut. Two hours to get there, two hours to get back, but screw it, that’s worth that trip and the DayQuil will kick in sooner or later and I’ll be grooving.

Next week looks like this so far: Monday a live video premiere of some new Atavismo — awesome — and a track premiere/review of new Samavayo. Tuesday a show announcement from Gozu. Wednesday a video premiere from Stone Machine Electric and full-album stream from Joy. Thursday not sure yet but I sure would like to review that Beastwars record or the Supervoid and Red Desert split, but we’ll see what time allows. Also have a Crypt Sermon interview waiting to be posted, so that’ll be up sometime in there as well. Maybe next Friday.

That’s how it’s in the notes now, though of course any of that could change between today and when we get there.

I’ve also started planning the next Quarterly Review — just in case you were wondering how much time actually goes into those things. The answer is a lot. It’ll start at the end of June/beginning of July.

Thank you for reading.

And please have a great and safe weekend.

And please check out the forum and the radio stream.

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Desert Storm Post “Signals from Beyond” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 22nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

desert storm

UK heavy rockers Desert Storm will release their new split with Suns of Thunder next weekend at Desertfest Berlin. Released through H42 Records, the split 7″ (review here) brings together one track from each band, and for Desert Storm, follows up their 2014 third album, Omniscient (review here), it refines their burly take on post-Orange Goblin heavy grooves and brash riffing, booze-ready and sonically forceful. Crisp and clearheaded in its intent, “Signals from Beyond” nonetheless carries the swagger of Desert Storm‘s earlier offerings forward as it moves through its quick four minutes.

As a result, they sound like they know what the hell they’re doing. And well they should with three albums under their belt, an appearance last year Desertfest London, a tour upcoming with Honky (dates here), Berlin next weekend and so on, but it stands as a demonstration of what a few years of kicking around a busy scene can really bring out in a band. Desert Storm made their debut in 2010, and since then, they’ve worked steadily to progress their take across shows and albums, garnering a fanbase the old fashioned way: with songs and on-stage effort.

I wouldn’t look for that to change. Desert Storm seem to have found their niche and have set about developing in it. Not sure what they’re up to after their summer tour, but a fourth long-player for 2017 doesn’t seem like an unreasonable expectation.

Until then, enjoy “Signals from Beyond” on the player below, followed by more info on the Desertfest split from H42 Records:

Desert Storm, “Signals from Beyond” official video

Check out our new video for our track ‘Signals From Beyond’. This track is on our new split 7″ with our friends Suns Of Thunder which gets officially released at Desertfest on 29th April. Cheers to H42 Records and Winwood Media for the video.

Limited up to 350 copies
100 on clear ree vinyl with red artwork
100 on clear yellow vinyl with yellow artwork
100 on clear green vinyl with green artwork
50 on clear vinyl with blue artwork (DESSERTFEST Berlin edition and only available at the festival)

Limited Up to 350 copies (H42-031, H42 Records)
100 on clear red vinyl with red artwork
100 on clear green vinyl with green artwork
100 on clear yellow vinyl with yellow artwork
100 on clear vinyl with blue artwork (DesertFest Berlin Edition and only available at the festival)

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Desert Storm/Suns of Thunder at H42 Records

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Arcana 13 Premiere “Hell Behind You” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 21st, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

arcana 13

Italian horror-themed doom rockers Arcana 13 released their debut album, Danza Macabra, last month via Aural Music, and their new video is comprised of footage from Dario Argento‘s 1980 film, Inferno. Not exactly small potatoes in terms of what they’re taking on to accompany the track in question, “Hell Behind You,” but the scale of the song works on a likewise ambitious scale, culling the raw classic doom of Pentagram and the more poised approach of Candlemass and setting it to a modern swing that’s not quite indebted to Uncle Acid, but definitely aware of the rise of garage doom this decade has wrought. It’s as much traditional as it is forward thinking, and while the roots are metallic, “Hell Behind You” finds the Ravenna foursome with a corresponding heavy rock sensibility.

That comes through especially in the solo section of “Hell Behind You” and in the drumming of the chorus, but as the horror show plays out in the video, the song develops a strong rhythmic push with cinematic elements of its own, layers of effects or keys and dramatic tempo changes, opening to crash cymbals and a brooding setup for the grand finale that ends out just as Inferno seems to be most living up to its title. If you’re not familiar with the movie, it’s got witches, murder, bizarre rituals, of course fire — pretty much everything one could ask, and the video does a good job of setting its timing to the song. Which you could find out for yourself easily enough just by watching the thing.

Danza Marcabra is out now. More info follows the clip itself, which you’ll find on the player below.


Arcana 13, “Hell Behind You” official video

ARCANA 13 – “Hell Behind You” official video from the album DANZA MACABRA with images taken from Dario Argento’s masterpiece “Inferno” (1980). Order DANZA MACABRA NOW (LTD MUSIC BOX / Digipak CD / 2xLP): http://www.auralwebstore.com

Italy-based Heavy Occult Rock legion ARCANA 13 unveil their Italian horror inspired debut album featuring cover artwork by legendary Enzo Sciotti. Imagine the ominous mystique of Lucio Fulci’s classic The Beyond or Dario Argento’s Inferno set to a Black Sabbath or Pentagram-inspired soundtrack: this is ARCANA 13.

Out March 11th 2016 on Aural Music.

Arcana 13 website

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Aural Music

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Mantar Post “Cross the Cross” Video; German Tour Starts Tonight

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 20th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


It seems reasonable to assume that German duo Mantar filmed their new video when they were in New York last year on tour with Conan (review here). Considering that their new album, Ode to the Flame, was just recently released — it’s their first for Nuclear Blast, second overall behind a 2015 debut, Death by Burning (review here) — it’s a point of interest because that would mean that at very least the song was in the can since last May, when the show was at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. Seems like kind of a long time to hold onto it. One doesn’t usually think of patience when it comes to Mantar, but maybe we should.

The song is “Cross the Cross,” and it’s telling that the very first thing you see in the video is the cover of Illmatic by Nas. As the two-piece get followed around by Death — two Deaths, actually — the clip itself owes a lot of its look and feel to classic hip-hop. Directed by Dave Barbaree is has the wide-angle walking shots, gestures and stuff being thrust at the camera that one might’ve seen on MTV 20-plus years ago. I’m not sure what happens in rap videos these days, if that’s a still a thing, but it’s kind of hard not to be reminded of stuff like Biohazard from that era that also basked in hip-hop culture and translated some of those aesthetics to a heavy aggro push.

I guess the key difference there is Biohazard also borrowed liberally from rap in their music at the time, whereas Mantar remain as fire-spewing as ever, if not quite as rawly produced.

It’s an interesting clip. Makes me miss New York. Check it out below, followed by Mantar‘s German tour dates, which start tonight. They’re also playing all the festivals. Yup, all of ’em.


Mantar, “Cross the Cross” official video

Ode To The Flame is the nihilistic new full-length from Northern Germany-based infernal metal duo, MANTAR. Out now on Nuclear Blast, the record is currently available in CD, vinyl (black and gold – the latter of which is only available from the Nuclear Blast Mailorder), and digital formats HERE.

MANTAR will inundate their native Germany with an exclusive run of shows this month which kicked off this past weekend. The band will also level the stages of several festivals throughout the Summer months and make its way to North America with confirmed appearances at Heavy Montreal, Psycho Las Vegas and California Deathfest. Additional live infiltrations are in the plotting stages.

4/20/2016 FZW Club – Dortmund, DE
4/21/2016 Schlachthof – Wiesbaden, DE
4/22/2016 B58 – Braunschweig, DE
4/23/2016 Stockrock – Hagen, DE
4/28/2016 Desertfest – Berlin, DE
4/29/2016 Desertfest – Berlin, DE
4/30/2016 Desertfest – London, UK
5/05/2016 Beta – Copenhagen, DE
5/07/2016 Volksbad – Flensburg, DE
5/13/2016 Post Valley – Gießen, DE
5/14/2016 Doomed Gatherings @ Glazart – Paris, FR
5/27/2016 Freak Valley Festival – Siegen, DE
5/28/2016 Visbek Rockt – Visbek, DE
6/03/2016 Metalhead Meeting – Bucharest, RO
6/05/2016 Metalfest Open Air – Plzen, CZ
6/18/2016 Hellfest – Clisson, FR
7/01/2016 Tuska – Helsinki, FI
7/16/2016 Gefle Metal Festival – Gävle, SE
8/07-09/2016 Heavy Montreal – Montreal, QC
8/17-20/2016 Summer Breeze – Dinkelsbühl, DE
8/26-28/2016 Psycho Las Vegas – Las Vegas, NV
10/14-16/2016 California Deathfest – Oakland, CA

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Mantar at Nuclear Blast

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