Emerald Haze 2017: Lord Vicar, Church of the Cosmic Skull, Wild Rocket and Witchsorrow Added

Posted in The Obelisk Presents, Whathaveyou on June 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

The second round of announcements from the inaugural Emerald Haze festival in Dublin (presented by The Obelisk, among others) brings further intrigue and anticipation. Also doom of the highest quality, and of course by that I mean Lord Vicar are playing. The Finnish masters released the righteous Gates of Flesh (review here) last year and join a bill already heralding the likes of Dread SovereignAbrahmaTen Ton Slug and Zlanatera. I am unbelievably stoked at the prospect of seeing them live.

Ditto that for Church of the Cosmic Skull, who had one of 2016’s best debut releases in their first full-length, Is Satan Real? (review here), which basked in a lush and classically progressive sensibility marked out by its vocal harmonies and generally fluid approach. Add Wild RocketWitchsorrowElectric OctopusGorilla Pulp and Elder Druid to the mix as well and Emerald Haze 2017 already seems to be taking shape nicely as a diverse, quality bill that, once again, I’m honored to be co-presenting.

And as I said last time, I’m planning on being in Dublin to cover it, so please come and please say hi. I’m super-awkward in person, but always appreciate a chance to shake hands, put faces to names and so on. I hope to see you there.

Here’s the latest announcement from the fest:

emerald haze 2017 poster

Church of the Cosmic Skull, Lord Vicar added to line up for EMERALD HAZE

Rising stars of the UK psych scene Church of the Cosmic Skull and international doom supergroup Lord Vicar are among the bands to be added to the bill for EMERALD HAZE, Dublin’s brand new heavy psych festival on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd September.

Church of the Cosmic Skull, Nottingham’s seven-piece multi-vocal prog/psych superstars in the making and self professed new religious movement will headline the opening night of Dublin’s inaugural EMERALD HAZE.

After gaining widespread critical acclaim with the 2016 release of their debut album “Is Satan Real?”, Church of the Cosmic Skull embarked on a a highly commended headline tour of the UK in April, and will perform at a number of European festivals over the summer including Freak Valley Festival and Desertfest Antwerp.

Lord Vicar – whose international line up includes former members of Reverend Bizarre, Count Raven and Saint Vitus – along with Dublin-based space punks Wild Rocket, U.K. doomsters WitchSorrow, Italian rockers Gorilla Pulp and two more bands from the fertile Northern Irish scene, Elder Druid and Electric Octopus have all been added to the previously announced line up of Sólstafir, Dread Sovereign, Abrahma, Ten Ton Slug and Zlatanera, with more Irish and international acts to be named in the coming weeks.

Early bird tickets are on sale now from www.tickets.ie priced at €35 + €3.50 booking fee.
Direct link: https://secure.tickets.ie/Listing/EventInformation/35248/emerald-haze-dublin

https://www.facebook.com/events/1321221147946613/
https://www.facebook.com/emeraldhazedublin/
https://secure.tickets.ie/Listing/EventInformation/35248/emerald-haze-dublin

Lord Vicar, “Birth of Wine”

Church of the Cosmic Skull, “Black Slug” official video

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The Obelisk Presents: Emerald Haze 2017 with Sólstafir, Dread Soveriegn, Abrahma, Ten Ton Slug, and More

Posted in The Obelisk Presents, Whathaveyou on June 1st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Proud today to announce that The Obelisk is among the presenters for the inaugural Emerald Haze festival in Dublin, Ireland. Set for Sept. 1 and 2 at Voodoo Lounge and On the Rox, the new two-day fest will be headlined by Iceland’s Sólstafir and feature native Irish acts Dread SovereignTen Ton Slug, alongside Northern Ireland’s Zlatanera and other imports like Abrahma (France) and King Witch (Scotland). More groups are still TBA for the lineup, but I’ve seen the list of names, and it is formidable. Further word is expected in the next week or so, so keep an eye out.

In the meantime, this first announcement shows Emerald Haze with an immediate intention toward sonic diversity and a breadth shifting between doom, heavy rock, psychedelia and whatever you’d call Sólstafir at this point — is “sad awesome” a subgenre? — that will only continue as more groups are confirmed and announced in the weeks and months to come. Until then, earlybird tickets go on sale June 5 and it seems entirely the show will sell through, so get them while you can.

If all goes according to my evil plan, I will be there covering. Here’s the info from the fest:

emerald haze 2017

EMERALD HAZE – Dublin, Ireland, Sept. 1-2, 2017

SÓLSTAFÍR to headline EMERALD HAZE, Dublin’s new heavy psych festival.

Iceland’s SÓLSTAFÍR return to Dublin for the first time since their sold out 2014 Irish tour to headline EMERALD HAZE, Dublin’s brand new heavy psych festival, on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd September, 2017.

EMERALD HAZE takes place on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd September 2017 over two adjacent venues – Smithfield’s Voodoo Lounge and On The Rox. Performers will be a mix of Irish and international headline acts, alongside established and emerging talent from Ireland and abroad. EMERALD HAZE is a not-for-profit venture, supported by Dublin City Council.

SÓLSTAFÍR’s unique blend of metal with beautiful melodies, psychedelic moments and a strong undercurrent of hard/classic rock comes as varied and at times appealingly bizarre as the landscapes of their native Iceland. Their latest album “Berdreyminn” was released through Seasons of Mist on May 26th 2017 and a European tour in support of the album begins on June 10th at Download, Paris.

Irish acts Dread Sovereign and Ten Ton Slug, France’s Abrahma, Scotland’s King Witch and Northern Ireland’s Zlatanera are among the first names confirmed to appear, with more Irish and international acts to be announced in the coming weeks.

Early bird tickets priced at €35 are available from Monday 5th June from www.tickets.ie

https://www.facebook.com/events/1321221147946613/
www.facebook.com/emeraldhaze

Sólstafir, Berdreyminn (2017)

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Days of the Doomed Fest Announces ‘Tour of the Doomed’

Posted in The Obelisk Presents, Whathaveyou on April 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Today I’m proud to count The Obelisk among the presenters for the Tour of the Doomed — the traveling incarnation of the Wisconsin-based festival Days of the Doomed set to take place this summer. I had some great times out in Cudahy at Days of the Doomed, so it’s awesome to see Mercyful Mike Smith take his game to this important next level, and all the better for the fact that the week-long run will head east, starting out at the fest’s home base of The Metal Grill — formerly The Blue Pig — and finishing in Brooklyn at the Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn.

The lineup is three bands strong with Sheavy headlining and supported by Beelzefuzz and Spillage, covering a swath of heavy from the doom-tinged Chicago-style deep-dishery of Spillage through the progressive oddness that always emanates from Beelzefuzz on stage to the we’ve-long-since-mastered-this riff rock Sheavy have been proffering for more than the last 20 years. Not a doubt in my mind the shows will be killer and there might be a few surprises in store along the way as well, so stay tuned for more as we get closer to August.

Poster and announcement from Mercyful Mike himself follow:

tour of the doomed 2017

After a much needed break to focus on work, family, and life in general, 2017 has presented itself as a fine time to bring back Days Of The Doomed Fest. That being said, I wanted to do something different this time around, so I revisited something I had been working on since late 2011. The planets had never lined up for this to happen before, but again, 2017 presented itself as the perfect time for this to work out.

So… prepare yourselves because we are taking Days Of The Doomed Fest on the road!!! I give you TOUR OF THE DOOMED! I am absolutely ecstatic to announce that this tour will be headlined by a legendary band that will be making its first official visit to the US! The one and only… SHEAVY! Stephen Hennessey (lead vocalist) and I have been in touch for the past 6 years trying to make this happen, and we are both stoked to finally make this a reality. Through the years of doing Days Of The Doomed Fest, sHeavy has always been one of the most mentioned bands to be added to the roster. I am so happy to now be able to honor those requests!

Direct support for the tour will be supplied by the undeniably unique, heavy riffs of the mighty Beelzefuzz, and the brilliant, “bluesy-doom” sounds of Chicago’s own Spillage! But that’s not all! Each date on the tour will feature more support acts that make Days Of The Doomed Fest what it is. You will see some favorite alumni acts along the way, and of course be witness to the new crop of riff-worshiping bands as well!

The tour kicks off on 8/12 in Milwaukee, WI, and in true Days Of The Doomed Fest style, I promise you an absolutely insane line up to literally “get the show on the road”! Rosters for each date of the tour will be announced next week, so keep an eye out!

I’m really excited to be bringing Days Of The Doomed Fest to all of you, so come on out and get heavy with us!!! See you in August!!!
–Mercyful Mike

https://www.facebook.com/daysofthedoomedfest/
www.daysofthedoomed.com

Sheavy, “0000011111”

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The Obelisk Presents: Godmaker, Rozamov, Hush & Husbandry at The Well, Brooklyn, NYC, March 8

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on February 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-presents-godmaker-rozamov-hush-husbandry-the-well

Fancy a little mid-week slaughter? Sure, we all do. All the more reason I’m proud to have The Obelisk present GodmakerRozamovHUSH. and Husbandry on March 8 at The Well in Brooklyn for an evening that will boast both kinds of music — crushing and pummeling.

Okay, you’ve seen the names. Before we get into it, just go ahead and get your tickets here.

Headlining are Brooklyn’s own Godmaker, who are now more than two years past the Aqualamb release of their self-titled debut (review here) and who in the time since have added guitarist/vocalist Carmine Laietta to their lineup. Somehow I doubt bringing the former Hull axe-slinger on board has dulled their scathing, blister-raising noise rock approach. They have new music in the works that as of a couple weeks ago was in the mixing stage, so it seems likely we’ll be hearing from them again sooner than later. Not a complaint.

As for Rozamov, this gig at The Well follows the March 3 hometown release show in Boston for their long-awaited debut album, This Mortal Road (review later this week), on Battleground and Dullest Records, and marks the beginning of a tour (info here) that spans both coasts and includes time at SXSW to play the Austin Terror Fest. The three-piece have put in significant road time already as a band, but with the record coming out, there are going to be a lot of people turned onto their post-sludge roll and doomed atmospherics.

I was fortunate enough back in 2015 to see all-caps, punctuation-inclusive NY doomers HUSH. open for Conan (review here) in Brooklyn, and if they could stand up to that kind of massiveness on stage — which they did, and admirably — they can conquer just about anything. Their 2016 EP, Nihil Unbound, was recently issued on vinyl through Fuzz RecordsDullest (making them partial labelmates to Rozamov) and Silent Pendulum, and is gone, though they might have a few copies on-hand for the merch table. Won’t know if you don’t show up.

And rounding out the bill are Husbandry. Also native to Brooklyn, the four-piece released their debut album, Fera, on Aqualamb — making them labelmates to Godmaker; I love a lineup with comrades and symmetry — and though they label themselves as post-hardcore and certainly that tells part of the tale, it hardly accounts fully for the charge of a song like “Grab Twist Pull” or the alt-minded infectiousness of “Hymn to Tourach.” Still, gotta call it something I guess. Expect a riotous kickoff to a show that only gets meaner as it goes on.

Rozamov bassist Tom Corino had this to say about the night: “The lineup for this show is heavy, diverse and incestuous. The crushing and bleak Hush are joining us for the first couple dates of this tour and will are Dullest Records lablemates with Godmaker and ourselves. We’ve played with Godmaker a bunch of times, and they’ve become our brothers in ‘loud.’ The ‘oddball’ of the group is Husbandry, a mathy-post hardcore band that will melt your mind and tantalize your senses. See you soon Brooklyn!”

It’s going to be a stellar, ridiculously heavy night, and I’m honored to join Tone Deaf Touring in presenting it.

Here’s the raw data:

Godmaker, Rozamov, Hush and Husbandry at The Well

Wednesday, March 8

The Well
272 Meserole St, Brooklyn, New York 11206

Loudest, heaviest show of the spring, in Brooklyn.
Quote us on that.

7pm doors, 8pm music – 21+
$10 adv//$12 at the door.

Tickets at Ticketweb

Event page on Thee Facebooks

Godmaker on Bandcamp

Godmaker on Thee Facebooks

Rozamov on Thee Facebooks

HUSH. on Thee Facebooks

Husbandry on Thee Facebooks

The Well website

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The Obelisk Presents: Burnin’ Turf II at Parisville Saloon, Ruth, MI, on June 3

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on February 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I’m thrilled to count The Obelisk among the slew of sponsors for Burnin’ Turf II at Parisville Saloon in Ruth, Michigan, this June 3. After seeing the first installment come together last year and look like such a damn good time and catching wind of this year’s formidable lineup, it was a no-brainer to get involved in this small way immediately upon being asked, and between the chopper show, the van show, and the show-show itself, the event put together by the dudes from Bison Machine — who are also playing — looks like it’s going to be a killer party and something really special in a sense of more than just a show-up-and-stand-there-bands-changeover-gear kind of fest. All the better.

Ticket presale starts on April 20, but today marks the official unveiling of the lineup, which you can see in the announcement below, which the festival sent down the PR wire.

One more time, let me say out loud how much I appreciate being involved in this. Thanks to Anthony Franchina and all at work behind the scenes on making it happen.

Here goes:

burnin turf ii poster

BURNIN’ TURF II – June 3rd 2017 Parisville Saloon – Ruth, MI

“We wanna be free! We wanna be free to do what we wanna do. We wanna be free to ride. We wanna be free to ride our machines without being hassled by The Man! … And we wanna get loaded. And we wanna have a good time. And that’s what we are gonna do. We are gonna have a good time… We are gonna have a party.” -Russ Tamblyn (The Wild Angels)

The Gassers R/C, Parisville Saloon and Bison Machine want you to hop on your bike, pack up your van, grab your friends, grab your tent, leave everything else behind and head up to Parisville for one of the best parties of the year. Burnin’ Turf has returned and its bigger than ever. Seven bands, chopper games, raffles, prizes, drink until you can’t stand because no one needs to leave. Set up camp and live it up because you came to the right place. Everyone is here for the same reason.

Pre-sale goes live on April 20th 2017
More info to come!

LINE-UP
Bison Machine
BoneHawk
Wild Savages
Red Stone Souls
Dead Feathers
Gear Jammer
Rip Vanripper

Heavy boogie vinyl spun by DJ Smoak

SPONSORS
Lowbrow Customs
Small Stone Records
Rerun Cycle Works
The Obelisk
Bombs Away Moto Works
Lucifer’s Death Squad
Strange Cycle
Moto Cantina
Rumbleville
Wonderland Tattoo

https://www.facebook.com/events/985074104958214/
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2870480
https://bandsintown.com/event/13873337-burnin-turf-ii-pre-sale-ruth-parisville-saloon-2017?artist=Burnin%27+Turf+II+Pre-Sale&came_from=192

Bison Machine, Live at Culture Clash Records, May 2016

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Conan Return to North America in May; Playing Maryland Deathfest and More

Posted in The Obelisk Presents, Whathaveyou on February 1st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Everyone’s favorite plunderers-of-riff, Conan, are coming back to North American shores this May for a coast-to-coast run that includes stops at Maryland Death Fest 2017 in Baltimore and 71 Grind in Colorado Springs. The UK trio will of course be over supporting their battle-axe-to-the-side-of-the-head third album, Revengeance (review here), on Napalm Records, who present the tour alongside respected booker Nanotear.

Yours truly also has a logo on the poster, though I can’t actually take credit in terms of making any of it happen. Still, humbling to be involved at all in something that will be so god damned heavy. I feel compelled to note in the interest of full disclosure that no money exchanged hands as a part of this process — Conan frontman Jon Davis asked me if I wanted the logo on there and because I highly support the cause and because I’m no dope I said a quick hell yes. This content isn’t sponsored in any way. It just kind of came together, and again, I’m humbled and appreciative that it did.

The run begins on the West Coast this May 10 and goes through June 4, ending in Tucson. They’ll hit Canada for shows in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, and cover both sides of the US and in between, hitting major markets and suitably killer venues in the company of North.

Full list of dates follows the poster below. Check the bottom right corner. Dig it:

conan revengeance tour

Conan Revengeance Tour 2017

w/ North

05.10 Glendale CA Complex
05.11 Oakland CA Metro
05.12 Portland OR Dante’s
05.13 Vancouver BC Astoria
05.14 Seattle WA Highline
05.16 Minneapolis MN The Triple Rock
05.17 Chicago IL Beat Kitchen
05.18 Indianapolis IN 5th Quarter
05.19 Cleveland OH Now That’s Class
05.20 Pittsburgh PA Smiling Moose
05.21 Toronto ON Garrison
05.22 Montreal QC TBA
05.23 Boston MA TBA
05.24 Brooklyn NY Knitting Factory
05.25 Baltimore MD Ram’s Head – Maryland Deathfest*
05.26 Raleigh NC Kings
05.27 Atlanta GA 529
05.28 New Orleans LA Siberia
05.29 Houston TX White Oak
05.30 Austin TX Sidewinder
06.01 Denver CO Hi-Dive
06.02 Colorado Springs CO 71 Grind
06.03 Albuquerque NM Sister
06.04 Tucson AZ Club Congress
* = no North

https://www.facebook.com/conancavemanbattledoom/
http://www.hailconan.com
napalmrecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/napalmrecords/
https://www.facebook.com/Nanotear/
http://knowwave.com/nanotear/

Conan, Live at Void Fest 2016 in Germany

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The Obelisk Now Sponsored by All That is Heavy

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on January 3rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk cavum logo

I’m proud to announce The Obelisk is now sponsored by the All That is Heavy webstore.

This has been a while in the making. Over the years I’ve had various people ask me about buying ads on the site and things like that. Coming from print media, it’s never been something I’ve wanted to do — in fact, part of the appeal of running a site like this is that I’ve never been beholden to outside companies or advertisers in the same way I was during my time in print.

I’ve known Dan Beland from All That is Heavy for nearly a decade, back to his days running StonerRock.com, as well as MeteorCity and of course All That is Heavy itself. He’s someone I’ve felt strongly about supporting in the past — there are numerous Buried Treasure posts dedicated to purchases made from his store — and I still find new bands from All That is Heavy, just as I’ve always done. He’s someone with a deep knowledge of the community he serves. Plus, in not dealing directly with a record label, it’s not like Dan is going to reach out to me and say, “Hey, I’ve got 50 new releases in the store this week and you need to review them all or I’m pulling my ad.” That’s just not the way this is going to work.

We run in the same sphere enough that of course there will be overlap between what I cover and what he carries — the partnership wouldn’t make any sense otherwise — but the editorial integrity of this site is paramount to me and I have it in writing from Dan that there will be no pressure toward anything in particular from that end. Truth is he doesn’t really have time for it and neither do I. We’re both one-man operations trying to make our day as productive as possible. To wit, he doesn’t know I’m putting this post up and I doubt very much he’d care either way if he did. In all likelihood, this will be the last time I post about it, but I thought you should know what was up.

You may have noticed the link at the top of the page that looks like this:

The Obelisk is proudly sponsored by All That is Heavy

Click through on that and you’ll get a code allowing you 15 percent off anything you order from All That is Heavy.

We’re on a six-month trial and either of us can back out at either time, so maybe this’ll last and maybe it won’t. I’ve always tried to do new things with The Obelisk. This is another extension of that, and like all the rest, we’ll see how it goes.

Thank you for your continued support and all the best,
JJ Koczan

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GIVEAWAY: Win a Signed Copy of Fox 45’s Ashes of Man LP!

Posted in Features, The Obelisk Presents on October 20th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

fox-45-ashes-of-man-giveaway

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win.]

Free signed record. Boom. Post over. Who said I wasn’t a salesman?

Oh wait. I say that. All the time. And while that’s true, I honestly don’t think it should take much convincing to get you on board with entering this giveaway for an LP copy of Fox 45‘s Ashes of Man hand-signed by the Rochester four-piece. Their debut album following a 2014 EP, it was released earlier this year via Twin Earth Records.

You can stream the record in full via the label’s Bandcamp below, and for giveaways I like to keep the posts pretty short — in hope that people will, you know, actually read them — but I’ll say that while it took me a little time to catch onto Ashes of Man, the band do make a striking debut. Raw in the spirit of grunge but unafraid to indulge a bit of boogie on a song like “Coup d’Etwat” — only one of several clever wordplay titles — or some doom on “Snake Oil,” it preaches righteously in a manner that the converted should have no problem hearing.

ode-to-doom-nov-16Particularly when it’s coming in the form of FREE FRICKIN’ SIGNED VINYL, so get on that.

Fox 45 will join Eternal Black, Clouds Taste Satanic and Goat Wizard at the second Ode to Doom show presented by Freebird Productions and The Obelisk at Arlene’s Grocery in Manhattan on Nov. 16, 2016.

You can find more info about the gig at the link below, which will open in a new tab. That’s convenient because you can still enter this giveaway; something I cannot encourage you enough to do.

Thanks to all who participate, to the band, to Ode to Doom and to Twin Earth Records. Winner will be picked at random one week from today and contacted at the email provided, which of course will never be shared. One more time, the prize is a signed copy of Fox 45‘s Ashes of Man on vinyl.

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win.]

Fox 45, Ashes of Man (2016)

Fox 45 on Thee Facebooks

Twin Earth Records on Bandcamp

Ode to Doom at Arlene’s Grocery, NYC, Nov. 16 event page

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