Sun Blood Stories Premiere “Everybody Loves You” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 14th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

sun blood stories

Slide guitarist/vocalist Amber Pollard of Idaho trio-for-now Sun Blood Stories has been experimenting with videography for a while now in terms of representing the music she, guitarist/vocalist Ben Kirby and keyboardist/drummer Jon Fust bring to life. To wit, “Everybody Loves You” which is premiering below, is at least the fourth clip from their fourth long-player, Haunt Yourself (review here), behind ones for “Up Comes the Tunnel” (posted here), “All the Words in Meaning” (posted here), and “See You on the Other Side” (posted here) and that album only came out last September as the follow-up to 2017’s It Runs Around the Room with Us (review here), which also had its share of moving-picture manifestation. The videos have become another means of exploring atmospherics for Sun Blood Stories, whose particular style of emotive post-psych can be either a salve or caustic depending on where their creative whims take them, and whose commitment to experimentation extends to the music itself as well, as the even-more-recent noise work, Static Sessions: Vol. 1 (discussed here), showcases.

The track “Everybody Loves You,” which finds Pollard very much in the lead vocally atop a rich backing of smoothly unfurled psychedelic undulation, echoing uke and all, comes with a twist. And not to spoil it, but the twist is you have to die first. The chorus of the song, “Everybody loves you, when you’re dead,” is haunting enough on its own to justify the album’s title, and repeated with the backing of Kirby and suitably ghostly harmonies surrounding, it’s one of Haunt Yourself‘s most striking and resonant impressions — which is saying something, since “striking and resonant” is a specialty when it comes to Sun Blood Stories‘ work on the whole. As the video captures tour footage from a Fall 2019 run — keep your eye out for the brainfreeze; it’s in there — and the band inherently turns the consideration of the lyrics onto themselves, essentially putting themselves (from the perspective of the viewer, at least) in the position of being the dead in question, it takes on another level of social and emotional comment, while remaining catchy in its melancholic abide.

Amid the chaos at the dawn of 2020, Sun Blood Stories posted an update promising changes coming to their social media: “We are expanding our membership this year so expect to see more bodies on stage and to hear more lush in our sound.”

It would not be the first time they went beyond the core trio form, and I’ll admit I’m intrigued to see/hear how “more lush” comes to pass in their music, not the least since, particularly if you take even a momentary sample of the video below, you’ll note there’s already plenty of “lush” in their sound as-is. But, to be perfectly honest, Sun Blood Stories are a band whose work has earned my trust at this point, and their idea of “feels right” in the music has only produced material that fascinates and challenges heart and mind alike. Wherever they might be headed, it’ll be worth finding out.

Comment from Pollard and the Haunt Yourself album stream follow the video.

Enjoy:

Sun Blood Stories, “Everybody Loves You” official video premiere

Amber Pollard on “Everybody Loves You”:

Sometime in 2018, “Everybody Loves You” came to form in our basement at 1:00a while we were taking a break from recording “Up Comes the Tunnel.” We had spent an extensive amount of time that evening talking about friends who had taken their lives and the emotions associated with that conversation were fresh and weighing on all our hearts. Jon started messing around with some beautiful chords on the ukulele, Ben hit record, and I started singing. 20 minutes later we were sitting on our back porch listening to the recording, deciding on the song’s structure, and writing down the lyrics (which ended up totaling six pages). We whittled the lyrics down to fit the agreed upon song structure and recorded it.

Flash forward to October 2019: the album had recently been released and we were out on tour for the better part of a month. I started documenting our days from the start but had no plans on what to do with the videos other than to show them to my kid when we got back. When we got home, I compiled and edited together all the footage to make a little tour diary for everyone. It wasn’t until December 2019, that I realized the tour footage (well, a condensed version of the tour footage) might make a good music video for “Everybody Loves You.” Much like the lyrics, I whittled away the excess footage and here we are.

Sun Blood Stories, Haunt Yourself (2019)

Sun Blood Stories on Thee Facebooks

Sun Blood Stories on Instagram

Sun Blood Stories website

Sun Blood Stories on Bandcamp

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My Dying Bride Post “Tired of Tears” Lyric Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 13th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

my dying bride

It seems strange to think of My Dying Bride — a band who’ve been around for 30 years as of 2020 — as prospects, but I really look at their new album, The Ghost of Orion, as one that is particularly rife with potential to be one of this year’s best doom records. And it’s not just excitement for an LP from a good band. It’s different. With their signing to Nuclear Blast, they’ve got a chance to capitalize on new focus and energy and reach different listeners than they otherwise might in a way that could turn new heads in their direction. I’m going to be interested in how it all plays out when The Ghost of Orion arrives on March 6.

“Tired of Tears” is the second bit of audio unveiled from the release behind the single “Your Broken Shore” (video posted here), and it comes in the form of a new lyric video, which highlights what seems to be the emotional core from which The Ghost of Orion stems, in the despair and horror felt by founding vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe in relation to his daughter — his only child, as he says below — having her life threatened by illness. It is this raw cosmic wrongness, the child passing before the parent, that “Tired of Tears” puts into poetry and a flowing song structure, and though it’s totally incongruous with the theme, the track itself is damn near a sing-along for its catchiness and the effectiveness which which Stainthorpe self-harmonizes atop the sorrowful riffs of his fellow founder, guitarist Andrew Craighan.

I have not yet heard the entirety of The Ghost of Orion, which means I probably won’t until it’s out, largely I expect because I’m not cool enough, but even if I have to wait for the CD as opposed to a link down the PR wire, the mastery on display here only makes me want to dig in more.

And not at all on a side note, I hope exploring this situation through lyrics at least brought Stainthorpe some strength or clarity or resolve, because it’s one thing to perform despair — and certainly My Dying Bride are no strangers to that — and another thing to live it to the kind of degree he talks about below.

Video follows:

My Dying Bride, “Tired of Tears” lyric video

The cold fingers of “The Ghost Of Orion” reach out for the world to wrap it in desperate misery, heavy melodies and hopeless misery: MY DYING BRIDE release their new album on March 6th via Nuclear Blast.

The track has a particularly special meaning for frontman Aaron Stainthorpe, as he explains:

“The track touches upon the most terrifying, stressful and harrowing period of my entire life – the near death of my only child. I have been down before but it never hurt like this. This was true darkness and I was not sure my mind could take it. My entire world looked like it was going to implode but I was determined to fight all the way. Tired of tears was exactly how I felt. They had been flowing freely from me for months and I was a shadow of my former self. It is sad that this will continue for many others. Innocent people. so very tired of tears.”

Pre-order “The Ghost Of Orion” here:
https://nblast.de/TheGhostOfOrion

My Dying Bride website

My Dying Bride on Thee Facebooks

My Dying Bride at Nuclear Blast website

Nuclear Blast on Thee Facebooks

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Villagers of Ioannina City Post “For the Innocent” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 11th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

VILLAGERS OF IOANNINA CITY

Greek heavy psych rockers Villagers of Ioannina City had a pretty busy 2019 and it’s looking like they’re going to have a busy 2020 as well. Having put out their latest album, Age of Aquarius, on their own last Fall, the band subsequently inked deals with Sound of Liberation for booking and Napalm Records for label-ing (?) and has already begun showing signs of next-levelry to match the progressive intentions of the record itself. As the Greek scene gains long-since-deserved broader recognition across Europe’s underground, the folk-laden style of Villagers of Ioannina City seems to put a positive face on what’s happening in a sonically diverse and still-booming sphere.

And as the faces of the “innocents” featured in the band’s new video for “For the Innocent” from Age of Aquarius begin to flash and meld and come together and all the eyes seem to become one, the message is not lost, even as the camera speeds through a tunnel amid silhouettes of the group themselves, didgeridoo and all. The song itself gives some indication of the scope of the record as a whole, without necessarily spoiling the linear entirety for anyone who has yet to take it on — and if not, go right ahead, it’s streaming in full and has been for months now — but as they get introduced to new audiences via Napalm‘s broader distribution and promotional reach, “For the Innocent” certainly offers a welcome sampling of what Age of Aquarius is all about.

They’ve already announced a Spring tour to coincide with the April 3 arrival of the physical pressing, and they’ll make a stop at the pre-show for Desertfest Berlin as a part of that. I would only expect more to come as we move through the Summer and Fall. Villagers of Ioannina City are stepping up in a big way, and accordingly, it’s going to be a busy year.

Enjoy the video. Credits and tour dates follow:

Villagers of Ioannina City, “For the Innocent” official video

Pre-order “Age of Aquarius” here: https://smarturl.it/AgeOfAquarius-NPR

VILLAGERS OF IOANNINA CITY on “For the Innocent”:
“We are really really happy to present to you our new video clip! Dedicated to all the dreamers, the deviants, the immigrants of life and the wanderers of mind! To all the innocent ones!”

Concept:
Villagers of Ioannina City, Stathis Mitsios

Director, Editor:
Stathis Mitsios

Video Shootings:
Stathis Mitsios, Zissis Tsoumpos, Eleftheria Kalpenidou, Yorgos Dellis, Spiros Andromaneskos , Dimitris Zarkadas

Photo Shooting:
Eleftheria Kalpenidou

Assistants:
Georgia Nikoletou, George Asteris, Mitsaki Racoon, Thomas Papathomas, Rosemary Kourouni, Despoina Gazi, Lefteris Mitsios, Magda Togkouri

Starring:
All the innocents

Recorded by Asteris Partalios at Magnanimous Studio, Thessaloniki, GR
Mixed by Keith Armstrong at Pietown Sound, Los Angeles, CA
Mastered by Justin Shturtz at Sterling Sound, Nashville TN

Listen on Spotify and all digital platforms here: https://orcd.co/vic_ageofaquarius

AGE OF AQUARIUS | SPRING TOUR 2020
02/4 – Bucharest (RO) – Quantic
03/4 – Cluj Napoca (RO) – FORM Space
05/4 – Krakow (PL) – Klub Za?cianek
07/4 – Warsaw (PL) – Klub Hydrozagadka
08/4 – Poznan (PL) – Klub u Bazyla
09/4 – Dresden (DE) – Beatpol
11/4 – Jena (DE) – Kulturbahnhof Jena
15/4 – Paris (FR) – GLAZART
16/4 – Aachen (DE) – Musikbunker Aachen
18/4 – Rotterdam (NL) – Podium Grounds
22/4 – London (UK) – The Dome, Tufnell Park
23/4 – Manchester (UK) – Night People & The Twisted Wheel Club
25/4 – Nantes (FR) – La Scène Michelet
29/4 – Hamburg (DE) – Knust Hamburg
30/4 – Berlin (DE) – Lido Berlin
01/5 – Wiesbaden (DE) – Schlachthof Wiesbaden
02/5 – Munich (DE) – Feierwerk
03/5 – Zurich (CH) – Rote Fabrik
05/5 – Zagreb (HR) – Klub Mo?vara
07/5 – Vienna (AT) – ARENA WIEN
09/5 – Novi Sad (RS) – Ritam Evrope
10/5 – SOFIA (BG) – “Mixtape 5”

VILLAGERS OF IOANNINA CITY are:
Alex (guitar/vox)
Akis (bass)
Aris (drums)
Kostantis (clarinet, winds)
Kostas (bagpipe)

Villagers of Ionnina City, Age of Aquarius (2019)

Villagers of Ioannina City on Thee Facebooks

Villagers of Ioannina City on Instagram

Villagers of Ioannina City on Bandcamp

Napalm Records website

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Friday Full-Length: The Wounded Kings, Embrace of the Narrow House

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

From the organ and obscure sample at the start of its three-part opening title-track, there was something different about The Wounded Kings‘ debut album, Embrace of the Narrow House. Arriving in July 2008 through Eichenwald Industries — I was never able to get a full CD copy of the original edition before the pressing sold out; still stings — the seven-track/41-minute initial offering took on atmospheres of cultism in a way that, especially for the time, could only be considered innovative, and embraced a multifaceted approach to the history of British doom that sought not to conform to expectation, but to remake genre boundaries to suit its own purposes. Based in Dartmoor in the UK, begun in 2004 and led by guitarist Steve Mills — who on the first record also played bass, drums and keys and also contributed lyrics and the music alongside the lyrics of vocalist, guitarist and bassist George Birch; they both produced and mixed, while John Macedo mastered — The Wounded Kings would issue five full-lengths total, but Embrace of the Narrow House kept a distinctive place within their catalog, even as they grew beyond it. They were, in the creation of the tonal murk of pieces like “The Hours” and the later “Master of Witches,” or in the attention to ambient detail in the intertwining organ lines of the penultimate interlude “Shroud of Divine Will,” well ahead of their time and what over the next couple years became the cult rock movement, though The Wounded Kings were never a cult rock band. Whatever else they may have been prior to their breakup in 2016, The Wounded Kings were doom, through and through.

Each side of Embrace of the Narrow House begins with its longest track (double points) in “Embrace of the Narrow House” (8:45) and “The Eighth House” (7:23), the second of which, like the opener, is a multi-part affair. In these two cuts, The Wounded Kings unveil a conceptualism that bleeds into the music itself, declaring in no uncertain terms some 12 years ago that they were a band formed with an expressive purpose, and not at all a let’s-get-in-the-studio-and-see-what-comes-out kind of project. Their aesthetic bears that out in the willful slog and ultra-patient unfolding of a song like “Melanthos,” which caps side A with a leading dirge riff and consuming wash of noise that builds over the course of its six minutes. Birch‘s vocals, more samples, and waves of guitar soloing weave together to create a swell in its second half, but it never lets go of its excruciatingly slow pace, never gives in to the adrenaline it seems to be The Wounded Kings Embrace of the Narrow Housecharging — a glorious moment of restraint that’s all the more rare on a first LP. The track and the first half of Embrace of the Narrow House cap with a gurgling kind of spoken incantation, but “The Eighth House,” which subdivides as ‘i: Transcendence of Agony, ii. Mistress of Beasts,’ is readily hypnotic and sets up a change of structure on the second half, with “Master of Witches” shorter than its side A counterpart “The Hours” and centered entirely around its main riff, and “Shroud of Divine Will” afterward to lead into the finale “The Private Labyrinth.” It is up to the closer to summarize and resolidify some of the preceding fog, and it does that to the extent Mills and Birch ask it to, but does not prove any more interested in dumbing down or capitulating to audience even as its basks in a so thoroughly doomed moodiness.

This was a balance that Embrace of the Narrow House walked better than most. The next couple years after its release would see the growth of a cult rock movement that the band occasionally got lumped into but were never really a part of. At the same time, their style of grueling riffs recalled some of Electric Wizard‘s most glorious slogs, but refused to have more in common with the Dorset kingpins than that. From the beginning, The Wounded Kings were on their own wavelength, dug into their own niche within the niche within the niche, and they would remain that way for the next eight years. As cultish heavy began to (re-)emerge circa 2010, The Wounded Kings issued their second full-length, The Shadow over Atlantis (review here) and a more or less concurrent split with Virginia’s CoughAn Introduction to the Black Arts (review here). Both releases found the band pushing themselves forward without regard for the tropes of genre taking shape around them. They touched on some of it, of course, but only what they needed to continue to do their own thing. The Cough split was particularly notable for being the first The Wounded Kings release with a full-band lineup around Mills and Birch, though the latter would soon depart and be replaced by Sharie Neyland on 2011’s In the Chapel of the Black Hand (review here). It was both a quick turnaround from Mills and an exciting time for the band, who seemed to have momentum on their side with a quickly building catalog and an already-apparent progressive drive to their sound, but they would continue to be plagued by lineup issues. Neyland, guitarist Alex Kearney and drummer Mike Heath stayed aboard between In the Chapel of the Black Hand and 2014’s Candlelight-released fourth album, Consolamentum (review here), but bassist Alex Eliadis was swapped in for Jim Willumsen, so even there there was some change happening.

Kearney moved to bass as Birch rejoined The Wounded Kings on their last album, 2016’s Visions in Bone (review here), which arrived even after they called it quits. At the time, they were already well undervalued for the distinctive qualities of their work, and that hasn’t much changed in the ensuing four years. As the response to Embrace of the Narrow House had been so fervent, it seemed like listeners had trouble keeping up — the slow churn of their tempos notwithstanding — with the shifts in personnel and sound across their various releases, and the band toured to some extent, having put together a full lineup to do so, but were never really a “road act” whose primary concern was building a listenership. They remained true to their own path in progressive, richly atmospheric and immersive doom. The rest be damned.

Embrace of the Narrow House was reissued in 2011 on vinyl through High Roller Records, on CD in 2012 through Eyes Like Snow and on tape in 2015 through Sarlacc Productions (that’s the version streaming above). Most if not all pressings are sold out.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

I got a prescription for xanax, or at least some generic version thereof — I think it’s called Alakazam or something; as in, “Alakazam! You’re not anxious anymore!” like a birthday party magician — this week. It came in the mail on Wednesday and at The Patient Mrs.’ recommendation I took a whole one and it knocked me out. Quite literally, I fell asleep for three hours. Zonked. So maybe half a pill is enough. That’s what I did yesterday and it seemed about right. Enough to let me think one thought at a time for what feels like the first time in three months and not so much that I’m a zombie trying to chase a two-year-old like, “Hey man, could we stop playing in the oven please? Daddy’s trying to roast some cauliflower, duder.”

So, you know.

But no question in my mind that’s a good thing and needed. I take 40mg of Citalopram a day for depression as well and more often than not that does fine for me. Up days and down days, of course. I don’t anticipate the xanax will be an everyday thing long-term, but for a bit to even me out and in certain situations — like leaving the house; ha — it makes sense at this point.

Wednesday turned out to be a good day for me to be so obliterated as well as I’d spent most of Monday and Tuesday freaking out because I thought I’d forgotten a stream, that my notes were wrong. I knew the week had been full because I’d double-booked and moved something else to accommodate what was there, but then I somehow lost track of what that was, couldn’t remember on Monday morning when I should’ve been setting it up, and was losing my goddamn mind. I never did figure it out, but I got pitched the Seven Planets stream later on Monday, and with nothing else in that spot, I took it. Was there something I forgot? Was I never double-booked? I still don’t know.

What got moved was a premiere for Kungens Män, which’ll be up early, first thing on Monday. Tuesday, a Pale Mare premiere. Wednesday, Shadow Witch LP stream. Thursday, Sleepwulf track premiere. Friday, Sun Blood Stories video premiere. There’s no Gimme Radio show this week, but next Friday (Feb. 14) it moves to the new timeslot at Friday 5PM Eastern. I just turned in the playlist for that and it’s a two-hour tribute to Reed Mullin, so a full two hours of C.O.C. I’ll plug it again next week, but keep an eye out for it.

Also this past Wednesday I met up with Dylan Gonzalez from the Diary of Doom podcast and he interviewed me talking about this site and heavy music and whatnot. That was fun, and I was nervous about it, so the xanax helped, and so did the extra sleep, as the interview went past 9:30PM, well beyond my normal bedtime. Hell, by the time I got home and ate the pizza-place salad I’d picked up en route back for a late dinner, it was nearly 10. More often than not, that’s when I’d be getting up (For the first time; I’m well hydrated) to use the bathroom. Middle of the damn night.

But the interview was cool (I hope) and Dylan was kind to ask me to do it. He’s on Instagram @diaryofdoom and posts cool stuff.

This weekend I’ll be sorting out Weirdo Canyon Dispatch for Roadburn as well as hopefully getting my flights booked for Freak Valley. There’s some trouble booking international whatnot this year, I assume as a result of my country’s fascist lockdown, but either way, it’s hardly convenient, even when you discount the decay of ideology, ego cult, locking immigrants in cages (still happening, btw) and so on.

But The Pecan is getting up and it’s about time I started chasing him around the house the way I do and start the day properly (just after 6AM at writing time). I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Have fun, be kind, watch Star Trek: Picard so they keep making more of it, and thank you as always for reading.

FRM: Forum, Radio, merch at MiBK.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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The Hazytones Premiere “The Hand that Feeds” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the hazytones

Just as the skeletal hand grabs the giant floating joint and the bigger riff kicks in and the nuclear bomb goes off, that’s probably when the new video from Montreal four-piece The Hazytones most gets its message across. The song “The Hand that Feeds” is taken from 2018’s II: Monarchs of Oblivion (review here) on Ripple Music and is a fitting showcase of the band’s druggy garage doom style, thicker in its riffing than some and not as lumbering as others, but able to go where it wants when it, you know, decides it’s time to move. But maybe it’ll just kind of sit around for a while instead, man. Anyway, what’s your rush?

Shenanigans ensue in the video, and hey, that’s awesome. I’m a big fan of shenanigans, and stonerly charm as presented in things like dimensional portals, skeletons, green-screen desert backgrounds, nuclear bombs and giant floating doobers is nearly always welcome as far as I’m concerned, but it doesn’t manage to outshine the hook of “The Hand that Feeds” itself, and the ability to write songs so catchy is one of The Hazytones‘ most powerful assets. They’ve been through some lineup changes along the way around guitarist/vocalist Mick Martel, but as they look to embark on a tour of Europe that includes an already-announced stop at Desertfest London — it’ll be their first time in the UK — that’s no doubt an experience that will only serve to further hone what they do in terms of style and structure.

Those dates are forthcoming, but y0u can see the premiere of “The Hand that Feeds” on the player below, followed by some more background from the PR wire, and the Bandcamp stream of the album just for the hell of it.

Please enjoy:

The Hazytones, “The Hand that Feeds” official video premiere

Ripple protégés THE HAZYTONES (psychedelic rock / MTL) deliver their trip-inducing new video “The Hand That Feeds.” The song is taken from their latest 2018 album ‘Monarchs of Oblivion’.

Formed in 2015, The Hazytones’ shadowy sound is the epitome of a “hazy tone”. The band’s black acid-drenched shock rock drips with harmonies that harken back to the trippiest of late 60’s psych and its chained-to-the brain hooks bleed with a palpable, eerie energy that surges and swings in equal measure. Live is where the band really finds its swagger, flinging themselves around the stage and converting new disciples with each and every performance. With full European and North American tours already under their belts, The Hazytones are a developing band on the rise, who delivered a sweeping salvo with the release of their substantial sophomore LP, II: Monarchs of Oblivion.

The band will announce their European tour very soon!

The Hazytones are:
Mick Martel
Gabriel Prieur
Ben Dennis
John Choffel

The Hazytones, II: Monarchs of Oblivion (2018)

The Hazytones on Thee Facebooks

The Hazytones on Instagram

The Hazytones on Bandcamp

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

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Dwaal Premiere “Like Rats” Video; Gospel of the Vile Due March 6

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

dwaal

Oslo-based six-piece post-doom outfit Dwaal will issue their debut full-length, Gospel of the Vile, on March 6 through Dark Essence Records, and it is a record that immediately repositions the listener to suit its own purposes. With a strong tonal wash, overlaid vocal and synthesizer melody, “Ascent” unfolds basically as an intro for the first six minutes of the album. The track is perhaps wrongly titled for not being called “Immersion,” but it’s hard to hold that against it, particularly when it’s intended as a bookend with 16-minute closer “Descent.” What it doesn’t do, however, is prepare the listener for some of the shifts presented in “Like Rats” and the four cuts that follow, mostly notably the massive nod that ensues and the undercurrent of classic emotive death-doom that permeates. Guttural growls and lyrical introspection take hold across the second track and with an ultra-slow progression, Dwaal find a niche between styles, thoughtful on multiple levels of its execution and nigh on lush at times in how it’s produced, but still with a feeling of raw humanity coming through in those vocals and the sheer lumber of the rhythm.

Tonal largesse and rhythmic lurch are essential throughout Gospel of the Vile, but as Dwaal — who appeared at Høstsabbat in 2018 (review here) and released their debut EP, Darben, in 2017 — roll out these massive, crawling grooves, the emotional crux in the guitar and vocals is no less crucial, and neither is the sense of atmosphere. With an especially memorable guitar figure that emerges just before two minutes into its total 13:50, the title-track brings these different sides together well in such a way as to build off what seemed to be separate in “Ascent” and “Like Rats” between the ambience on one side and the extremity on another. The band flourish over their longer-form presentation, with the growls returning to highlight severity in transition from more standard shouting, and after a contemplative stretch, “Gospel of the Vile” offers some of the most humongous plod on the record that shares its name, finishing with fading amp noise into the Amenra-style tension at the start of “Obsidian Heart Burns,” which builds up over the first two minutes or so into a gruesome unfurling, willfully harsh and biting even as it maintains a deceptive patience.

dwaal gospel of the vile

That patience pays off in the midsection of the song, which layers airy guitar overtop all the crushing tone and churn, and, as the title line is delivered, sets up a righteous explosion back into the max-weight impact. Brutal. The penultimate “The Whispering One” is the shortest inclusion besides “Ascent” at just under seven minutes, but uses that time to unleash a distinctively dramatic vision of doom, a wash that isn’t at all chaotic or fast but permeated by some high-pitched frequency in its second half — is that synth? effects noise? — that adds an almost subliminal feeling of alarm or panic. It starts at 4:33. Keep an ear out. I’m not even sure if it’s supposed to be there or if it’s some glitch in the stream I was given, but it’s curious either way. It does not stop “The Whispering One” from easing smoothly into the quiet opening of “Descent,” which again, at 16:26, is something of an album unto itself, or at very least a summary and expansion on what the rest of Gospel of the Vile has to offer. The floating guitar lines, the deathly growling, throaty shouts and emotional crux both quiet and extreme come through even before the piece is halfway through, and just before eight minutes in, cleaner vocals return in fitting answer to those at the record’s outset.

They’re swallowed up soon enough by the encompassing darkness, but even as the last five minutes of “Descent” play out in slow-stomp and a subtly-constructed payoff wash of noise, the message remains that Dwaal have yet perhaps to reveal the full breadth of their sound. Obviously conscious of the presentation of their craft, I’d expect purposeful growth their next time out — that is, they sound like a band who will want to move forward from release to release, and Gospel of the Vile would essentially be the starting point of that, the prior EP notwithstanding — but the impact and ambience they bring to this six-songer isn’t to be undervalued in its own right. Still, as they move forward and refine their sound and lyrical perspective, one hopes the heft and rawness can be maintained within their subsequent work, whatever form it might take, since they do so much to make this debut hit as hard as it does.

If you’re sensitive to flashing lights and general visual chaos, watch out for the “Like Rats” video below — you might want to avert your eyes or just listen to the song and look at something else — but otherwise, dig in and enjoy. Album is out March 6.

PR wire-type info follows:

Dwaal, “Like Rats” official video premiere

From the upcoming album “Gospel Of The Vile”, to be released on Dark Essence Records on March 6th 2020

Single and album covers both made by Anders Johnsen. Video by Eigil Dragvik. Band photos by Endre Lohne.

“Like Rats” is the second single from the upcoming album Gospel Of The Vile.

Gospel of the Vile is the first full length album from this six-headed monster from Oslo, Norway, following their self-released EP Darben (2017). The music is definitely rooted in Doom Metal, bearing also clear inspiration from Post-rock, traditional Metal and the ambience of Black Metal – Resulting in a massive sound, with moments of both brutality and beauty.

The concept of the album is depicting humanity’s embracing of its inner darkness and the decline into a more primal state, with songs like “Gospel of the Vile” and “Obsidian Heart Burns” at the center of the lyrical universe. Gospel of the Vile is an album that challenges you to endure its every movement.

Dwaal is:
Bjørnar Kristiansen – Vocals
Eigil Dragvik – Guitar & Backing vocals
Rikke Karlsen – Guitar
Stian Hammer – Bass
Siri Vestby – Synth
Anders Johnsen – Drums

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The Fizz Fuzz Premiere “Hereby” Video from Debut Album Palmyra

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the fizz fuzz

The roots of The Fizz Fuzz are in the desert in terms of sound, but the collaboration of Dandy Brown and Dawn Brown (née Rich) stems of course from the fact that they’re married. One can hear in the lead single from their debut album, Palmyra, that the two-piece have a musical connection as well as the obvious interpersonal relationship. Dandy Brown is known for his work with John Garcia through various incarnations in Hermano and in the former Kyuss singer’s solo work — the track “Dark Horse II,” which appears on Palmyra, was recorded first by Garcia — but has never shied away from stepping up to the microphone himself, and joined in the endeavor by Dawn, the melodies only become that much richer. Likewise, their two guitars function together to bring a satisfying wash of fuzz to the Slush Fund Recordings/Taxi Driver Records release, lending elements of heavy post-rock to fluid pieces like “Collapse” and the mellower “Shame,” as well as a riffer like “Dear Old” and the penultimate “Loose Lips.”

As regards “Hereby,” it is arguably the most straightforward of the eight tracks on Palmyra, and one could debate how representative it therefore is overall of the larger work. Certainly by the the fizz fuzz palmyratime they get through “Collapse,” “Dark Horse II” and “Shame,” which appear in succession immediately following, the palette has broadened, and as they move toward the acoustic closer “Sunkissed,” The Fizz Fuzz only continue to push into different vibes, whether it’s the unabashed sweetness in the shimmering melody of “Conditional Love” or the more weighted tonal density of “Dear Old.” That said, one can hear Dawn‘s guitar playing off the central riff Dandy brings forth, and the catchiness of the hook is nothing if not a suitable introduction to the record as a whole, however more complex the proceedings might and do ultimately wind up.

The video is kind of a goof, but a fun one. They’re dancing with, of course, the kids as judges while the song plays. Parts of the clip would seem to come from a live performance video of “Hereby” Dandy and Dawn filmed and posted in April of last year. That’s obviously not the album version of the track — no drums, for one thing — but it’s another opportunity to hear how their guitars work together, and though “Hereby” doesn’t bring Dawn‘s vocals in nearly as much as, say, “Conditional Love,” on which she sings lead, there’s still plenty of the fuzz from which the project would seem to take its moniker and the spirit is nothing if not welcoming to the listener. They’re pretty much inviting you into their home. Wipe your feet before you go in, the place looks pretty nice.

Palmyra is out March 1 with preorders up now.

Video and more info follow. Please enjoy:

The Fizz Fuzz, “Hereby” official video premiere

Coming together for the first time in the high desert of southern California during the fall of 2017, the FIZZ FUZZ are a blues-rock band formed by Dandy and Dawn Brown.

Dandy Brown is a producer, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work with the bands Hermano, Orquesta del Desierto, John Garcia, Alice Tambourine Lover, Yawning Sons, and his solo releases. Dawn Brown is a multi-media artist, guitarist and vocalist widely recognized as a member of the new generation of groundbreaking visual artists in the northern California Bay Area.

Relocating to northern California in the winter of 2017, the Browns immediately began to write a new collection of songs that they debuted during their first European tour in the spring of the following year. Recording and performing throughout 2018 and 2019, the FIZZ FUZZ have a new album that is set for release on Taxi Driver Records (Europe) and Slush Fund Records (worldwide) on March 1, 2020.

Titled Palmyra, the FIZZ FUZZ album features performances by David Angstrom (Hermano/Luna Sol), Steve Earle (Afghan Whigs), Mike Callahan (Hermano/Earshot), Alice Albertazzi and Gianfranco Romanelli (Alice Tambourine Lover), and Mark Engel (Orquesta del Desierto).

The Fizz Fuzz, “Hereby” live promo video

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Desert Storm Premiere “Black Bile” Video from New Album Omens

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

desert storm

Just last night at the Waterloo Music Bar in Blackpool, UK sludge metallers Desert Storm wrapped up a tour with veterans of the form Raging Speedhorn that began on Jan. 25, and with their new video for “Black Bile,” they bring word of a follow-up to their 2018 third album, Sentinels (review here). The new LP is called Omens and will be out May 1 through respected Britriff purveyor APF Records.

They’ll celebrate, naturally, with more shows. They play Desertfest London that weekend — it wasn’t on their list of tour dates I think because the fest hasn’t announced its day-splits yet, but since they’re booked elsewhere for May 1 and 2, I surmised they’d be in London on the third; apologies if I’m in error — and they’ll also headline the first night of Southwest Heavyfest 2020 with Sail and a bunch of bands with markedly-less-readable logos. There’s also a European tour in May and June (dates below) and a Fall tour of Europe in the works and they won’t by any means be the first for the Oxford five-piece, who appeared at Keep it Low in Munich this past October and have brought their hard-burl riffing hither and yon for over a decade at this point. You’ll note I called Raging Speedhorn veterans in the paragraph above. Four LPs and going on 13 years deep into their tenure, one can only say the same about Desert Storm themselves. They’ve been around.

Omens was recorded by Steve Watkins at Woodworm Studios, who also did some work on Sentinels, specifically on that album’s opener “Journey’s End.” One can hear some of the same tonal sensibility emerge in “Black Bile” in the new video, and though Desert Storm aren’t strangers to incorporating melodic vocals alongside the more gruff approach of Matthew Ryan, they bring that to a different place in the new track, more fluid with the rest of what surrounds and naturally integrated into the songwriting. That bodes well for Omens as a whole, but they’ve ever been a band to just do one thing straight across the entirety of a release, so it’s a wait-and-see kind of thing for how it’ll all play out.

May 1 it is.

As for the video: Cinematic in its photography, directed by Josh Horwood. It’s plague beaks and ominous running through the woods, being taken over by evil, murder, and so on. You know how it goes. Apparently this kind of thing just happens all the time in the UK. Good thing they have the NHS.

Enjoy the clip:

Desert Storm, “Black Bile” official video premiere

Elliot Cole on “Black Bile”:

“Black Bile lyrically is based around the idea of the black plague. In the video the plague doctor is also represented as a grim reaper / Freddy Kruegger type menace…haunting the sick in their dreams. Musically the song is one of the heaviest, yet most progressive songs we have written.”

Taken from the album Omens, released by APF Records 1st May 2020.

Order the album from:
https://desertstorm.bandcamp.com/
https://apfrecords.co.uk/shop

Recorded & mixed by Steve ‘Geezer’ Watkins at Woodworm Studios between August – December 2019.
Mastered January 2020 by Tim Turan @ Turan Audio.

Video by Josh Horwood

Desert Storm have been making a name for themselves since they formed in late 2007. From the beginning the band have worked hard…with 3 albums and relentless touring of the UK & Europe with the likes of Karma To Burn, Nashville Pussy, Peter Pan Speedrock, Honky and Hang The Bastard as well as support slots to the likes of Orange Goblin, Red Fang, American Head Charge, Weedeater, Crowbar, Mondo Generator, The Atomic Bitchwax and festival appearances at Bloodstock Festival, Hammerfest, Hard Rock Hell, Giants of Rock, The Bulldog Bash, Desertfest (UK/DE) & Roadkill Festival.

In early 2018 Desert Storm released their fourth album, Sentinels, on APF Records and spent much of the next two years playing live in support of it – including tours with Karma To Burn, Boss Keloid and Raging Speedhorn and support slots to Corrosion of Conformity, Skindred and Komatsu.

The quintet entered the studio again in late 2019 and return on 1st May 2020 with their fifth album, Omens. To celebrate the release they play at Desertfest London before heading out on a European tour with UK dates to follow in November.

desert storm tour

Desert Storm release shows:
MAY 1 Firehouse, Southampton, UK w/ The Earl of Mars, Under, Grand Mal
MAY 2 Southwest Heavyfest 2020 The Cobblestones, Bridgwater, UK
MAY 3 Desertfest London, London, UK

Desert Storm is:
Matthew Ryan – Vocals
Ryan Cole – Guitar
Chris White – Guitar / Bass / Keyboards / Backing Vocals
Elliot Cole – Drums
Chris Benoist – Bass

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