The Maple Forum

The Maple Forum is a short-run label created with the intent of helping release the music of artists I respect. The focus is not on sales or who can move the most units. This is an in-house operation, geared toward those who still believe in music enough to directly support the people making it. Releases will be limited and sold through The Obelisk, probably on this page. Essentially, this is a new forum for supporting creativity in a way that writing reviews and posting interviews simply can’t accomplish.

There are currently four releases out on The Maple Forum.

Forum010: Roareth, Acts I-VI (SOLD OUT)

The Maple Forum‘s first release is Acts I-VI from Seattle‘s Roareth, coming in July, 2010. The disc will be in a gatefold digisleeve, hand-numbered in a run of 100 copies. The band are set to record with Tad Doyle (Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Tad) at the end of April.

There is something tectonic in the music of Roareth, something cerebrally metallic, but visceral, speaking to a passionate essential nature. The band, comprised of former members of Eshas, Hauler, Shit Gets Smashed, Himsa and Iamthethorn (and many others), have tapped into a line of communication that requires no speech to get its point across; their messages are felt rather than received and processed. They are doom at its bleakest and most rudimentary, but expanded into an encompassing aesthetic that is more than just riffs, crash cymbals and screams. The dynamic nature of the material — of the work — speaks for itself, and The Maple Forum is thrilled to have Acts I-VI as its first release. (more info here). Roareth on MySpace

Click links for hi-res images:
Roareth album cover

Forum020: Kings Destroy, And the Rest Will Surely Perish (SOLD OUT)

Released Nov. 30, 2010. You get your elements of Saint Vitus and Sabbath, but there’s a dirty rock edge to it too, some Church of Misery riffing and this badass ultra-groove that you just have to hear to understand. Sanford Parker did an amazing job bringing out the best in the band (the drum sound is unreal), and there are even some shades of the band’s collective NYHC pedigree in acts like Killing Time and Uppercut. The album comes in a full jewel case with stunningly doomed artwork by Seldon Hunt and, in all honesty, I think it’s the best traditional doom record of 2010.

The first 20 orders come with a thank-you card. No bullshit. I bought thank-you cards, and I have them ready to go. They have a turtle on them. (more info here). Kings Destroy on Facebook

Click links for hi-res images:
Kings Destroy Band Shot 1
Kings Destroy Band Shot 2
Kings Destroy Album Art
Kings Destroy Logo

Forum030: Blackwolfgoat, Dronolith (on sale here)

From Earsplit PR: Blackwolfgoat is a unique, progressive drone project fully performed by Darryl Shepard (Milligram, Hackman, Slapshot). His new album, Dronolith, hypnotizes the listener 46 minutes of rhythmic, ambient drone rock over the course of its six spacious tracks, recorded live at Amps vs. Ohms Studio by Glenn Smith (Lamont, Raw Radar War, Ichabod) and mastered by Nick Zampiello at New Alliance East.

The release is limited to 100 hand-numbered gatefold digi-sleeve copies, and like Blackwolfgoat’s Small Stone Records-released debut, Dragonwizardsleeve, bears cover art by visionary graphic artist Alexander von Wieding (Karma to Burn, Monster Magnet, Trouble, Razor). Blackwolfgoat on ReverbNation.

Click links for images:
Blackwolfgoat Album Cover

Forum040: HeavyPink, HeavyPink 7″

Released Nov. 3, 2011. HeavyPink is the new solo project of T. Dallas Reed, the multi-instrumentalist and driving force behind Port Orchard, Washington, rock revivalists Stone Axe and the guitarist and principle songwriter for Mos Generator, among other acts. Ever self-motivated, Reed performed all the instruments on HeavyPink‘s self-titled debut 7″ and recorded the songs himself at his own HeavyHead Studio earlier this year.

The HeavyPink 7″ is the fourth release on The Maple Forum (forum040) and finds Reed branching out from the straightforward nature of his past offerings and into more psychedelic territory — still maintaining his penchant for memorable verses and choruses, but crafting them into warm walls of sound that are deeply layered and richly toned. HeavyPink is unlike anything Reed has done in the past, and yet definitively his own, bearing the mark of his songwriting through both included cuts, “Flower and Song” and “There is a Light.”

All purchases of HeavyPink‘s HeavyPink 7″ come with a sticker and download card, and included in the download is the bonus track “Long Live the Mellotron,” on which Reed pays homage to the titular instrument and uses it to near-symphonic effect. Whispered vocals and other noises ensure that even those who’ve been a longtime follower of the man’s work are in for a genuine surprise.

Click links for hi-res images:
HeavyPink Photo
HeavyPink Album Art