Ufomammut Announce Ecate European Release Tour with Conan

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 27th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

ufomammut (Photo by Andrea Tomas Prato)

Not to take credit where I shouldn’t or anything like that, but last month, I was talking about Ufomammut and Conan being in the US around the same time for Maryland Deathfest and how a tour with the both of them would be the heaviest thing in the universe and blah blah blah. Now here we are just weeks later and Ufomammut is teaming up with Conan for the release tour celebrating the arrival of their new album, Ecate, on Neurot Recordings – and it’s happening in Europe. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cool to be anywhere on a planet where this kind of thing comes together, but it sure would be neat to have that bill on the same continent where I live. Call me crazy.

Sound of Liberation sent word of impending destruction:

ufomammut ecate visuals


APRIL 18TH TO 30TH 2015

Few days ago, UFOMAMMUT unveiled details about their upcoming 7th album “ECATE”, which is due out on MARCH 30TH 2015 via Neurot Recordings! Here is their PR company statement, in case you missed it:

“The Italian power trio, known for their almightily heavy capabilities and psychedelic prowess, have as many discernible similarities as they do differences to their formative roots. Never pandering to the easy classification of doom, UFOMAMMUT charge their sludgy output with inimitable energy and wild, wayfaring ambition which is matched by the tightknit musical understanding that flows telepathically between the three members; Poia, Urlo, and Vita.

On their latest album, UFOMAMMUT take a confident step forward with their craft, orchestrating atmospheric processions that take the six songs on the album to places as of yet uncharted, the only guide being that of Ecate (Hecate in English), the three-sided goddess who moves between the realms of the living, the dead, and the gods.

Traditionally associated with matters of the liminal (statues of her can be found at crossroads and city walls, where she would be believed to either bless or curse travellers), she represents the link between the past, the present and the future in a way which resonates true with Ufomammut, and with the name of the band, too.”

Given that, and knowing that you are so looking forward for more information, we are thrilled to present UFOMAMMUT’s “Ecate Release Tour”, from APRIL 18TH to 30TH 2015, highlighted by appearances at both Desertfests!

On many shows, they will be supported by Liverpool’s brain crushers CONAN, for what is going to be incredibly heavy events! Check-out the dates, and be there!

18.04 (Ch) TBA on Feb. 5th
19.04 (Fr) Paris, Glazart (+ CONAN)
20.04 TBC
21.04 (D) Bielefeld, Forum (+ CONAN)
22.04 (D) Wiesbaden, Schlachthof (+ CONAN)
23.04 (D) Munich, Feierwerk (+ CONAN)
24.04 (D) Berlin, Desertfest (+ CONAN)
25.04 (Be) Brussels, AB (+ CONAN)
26.04 (Uk) London, Desertfest (+ CONAN)
28.04 (D) Siegen, Vortex (+ CONAN)
29.04 (D) Stuttgart, Kellerclub
30.04 TBC

Watch also below the first two in a series of video trailers for the album, which we shall be revealing over the course of the next few weeks. These short videos offer a chance to explore the story behind the recording of the album and the roots of their sound, re-affirming the band’s DIY approach to everything they do.


Ufomammut, Ecate Recording Sessions

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Sonny Simmons and Moksha Samnyasin, Nomadic: No Sense in Fighting

Posted in Reviews on January 27th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

sonny simmons and moksha samnyasin

At 81 years old, alto saxophonist Sonny Simmons has overseen a career that spans decades in forward-thinking jazz. The Dec. 2014 Svart Records release, Nomadic, is nonetheless one of two full-lengths Simmons issued last year, the other being Leaving Knowledge, Wisdom and Brilliance on Improvising Beings. For the four songs of NomadicSimmons partners with sitarist Michel Kristof (also Other Matter), bassist Thomas Bellier (also Blaak Heat Shujaa) and drummer Sébastien Bismuth (also Abrahma), who form a trio dubbed Moksha Samnyasin, and explores somehow-primal/somehow-contemplative, unhindered jazz that finds further roots in heavy psychedelia, Bellier‘s bass tone and recording style a recognizable element for anyone who’s heard his band, and Bismuth‘s percussion style itching to nestle into steady grooves as a foundation for Simmons‘ extended wandering pieces. Nomadic is a powerful listening experience, with cover art that calls to mind ’60s-era Miles Davis or Charles Mingus and an aesthetic no less ambitious stretched out over “Help Them through this World” (14:45), “We are Entering a Place of That” (7:58), “I Put it in a Dark Area Where I Don’t Remember No More” (14:18) and “When it Comes, I Don’t Fight It” (8:17), all four recorded by Bellier in 2011 with a feel that, if it’s not live, it’s close enough to it that it hardly matters. A creative spirit brims at the album’s core, whether it’s the dense payoff of the opener or the saxophone’s solo finish to the final two tracks, the last of them as blazing as anything that came before it on the record. By the time they get there, that’s saying something.

BismuthBellier and Kristof together can’t compete with Simmons in terms of resumé, but Nomadic finds them much more than a backing band. Very often, it’s the bass and drums setting the atmospheric foundation for a given movement — stretches bring to mind a faster Om, which Kristof‘s sitar adds to fluidly — a wash of crash cymbal in “Help Them through this World” foreshadowing the spaces Nomadic will inhabit as Simmons seems to breathe out echoing notes in another context would be the stuff of smoke-filled halls but here retain a Eastern flavor in no small part because of their playing off the sitar and the molten grooving around them. A two-sided vinyl-style symmetry holds true even on the CD release, but much of the album’s atmospheric course is set by the time the 14-minutes of the opener are done, Simmons stepping in with Bellier‘s bassline and Kristof‘s sitar atop Bismuth‘s unmistakably heavy drumming, even if its patterns are expanded upon with subsequent tracks. “We are Entering a Place of That” starts off quiet after the high-energy finish of “Help Them through this World,” Simmons easing the sax in amid cymbal wash and the steady bassline as though waking it up. A subtle and satisfying build emerges, but is driven to less of a “finale” than the preceding cut, and instead, as they approach the seventh minute, bass, sitar, sax and drums exit and Simmons talks for a minute or so about being in Egypt, the universal nature of art as a piece of what makes a culture and so on. Less a lecture than an anecdote from him, despite the weight of the theme. It’s brief, but one imagines it is just a tiny sampling of the stories told during the session.


The two sides are of roughly equal length, yet I wouldn’t say Nomadic makes a point of its symmetry. The album’s second half begins with “I Put it in a Dark Area Where I Don’t Remember No More,” a build that feels somewhat in conversation with side A’s opener but ultimately proves to be the highlight of the record, Simmons and Moksha Samnyasin finding their most engaging mesh in slower melodic drones, layers of ambient guitar-ish noise, and a gradually unfolding forward march from Bismuth‘s toms brought to full-breadth righteousness just before 10 minutes in only to have Simmons finish off the track on his own, leading to the solo-drums start of “When it Comes, I Don’t Fight It,” the bassline joining first with far-off sitar, electronic swirl and subtle sax notes to add serenity to an otherwise surprising tension. “When it Comes, I Don’t Fight It” hits its mark with Nomadic‘s slowest progression, but Simmons – clearly not fighting it — takes hold and proceeds to belt out a three-minute solo that caps the song and record with a fitting “woo!” and laugh at the end. That laugh in a way really speaks to the crux of what Sonny Simmons and Moksha Samnyasin have on offer with Nomadic, namely an experience rooted in the raw joy of creative exploration. There is a persistent improvised feel to the material, particularly Simmons‘ own parts, and it feeds an overarching spontaneity that makes both individual pieces and the album front to back all the more engaging. Given the span of Simmons‘ career, Nomadic‘s breadth is even more impressive, pushing boundaries where many would otherwise be content to rehash older ideas or rest on the laurels of past glories.

Sonny Simmons & Moksha Samnyasin, Nomadic (2014)

Sonny Simmons’ website

Nomadic at Svart Records’ Bandcamp

Svart Records

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Borracho Headed to California; Split 7″ with Eggnogg Due in March

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 27th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Washington D.C. trio Borracho have some pretty killer shows coming up. First off, they’re headed to the West Coast this week to meet up with Castle for two gigs ahead of an appearance at a Strange Magic Records showcase alongside The Chuck Norris Experiment and others. Upon their return, they’ll hit up a few killer regional gigs, first with Carousel and Joy in their hometown next month and then on a weekender that includes two gigs in PA with Doctor Smoke and Wasted Theory and one night in Baltimore alongside Elder. They’ve got a date in there with Lo-Pan as well. There isn’t one of those shows that isn’t a score from the standpoint of anyone who makes it out to them.

By those March shows, Borracho will also have a new split 7″ out with Brooklyn’s Eggnogg on Palaver Records. You might recall their most recent release was a shared single with Boston’s Cortez that came out last year (review here). Looks like they’re set to give another quick look at some new material ahead of their next full-length outing, whenever that might arrive.

They sent this newsletter down the PR wire:

borracho california weekender

California Bound This Week!

We’re just a couple days away from our first west coast shows. Join us at one of the shows below, or if you’re not in Cali, forward this email to a friend or five who are!

Jan. 29 – Oakland, CA @ The Golden Bull w/ Castle & Heavy Action
Jan. 30 – Los Angeles, CA @ Five Star Bar w/ Castle & Behold! The Monolith & The Love Below
Jan. 31 – Pomona, CA @ Characters w/ The Chuck Norris Experiment, PRV13, and Chango’s Psychotic Garage PLUS Jake Starr

New 7″ Single Out in March

It’s been a little while since we dropped some new music on you. This one has been a little hung up, but we’re excited to announce a brand new split single with Eggnogg on Nashville’s Palaver Records. King’s Disease will appear with Eggnogg’s Slugworth, and we’ll be celebrating its release with a hometown show in DC on March 20 at The Pinch with the riotous Lo-Pan and Against the Grain.

More Shows!

Those of you on the east coast will have a bunch of chances to catch us with some other badass bands over the next couple of months. Check the schedule below. Hope to see you out there!

Feb. 19 – Washington, DC @ Velvet Lounge w/ Carousel, Joy & Caustic Casanova
March 20 – Washington, DC @ The Pinch w/ Lo-Pan & Against the Grain
March 26 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie w/ Doctor Smoke, Wasted Theory & Heavy Temple
March 27 – York, PA @ The Depot w/ Doctor Smoke & Wasted Theory
March 28 – Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery w/ Elder, Fortress & The Convocation


Borracho/Cortez, Split 7″ (2014)

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Live Review: USA out of Vietnam in Providence, RI, 01.23.15

Posted in Reviews on January 27th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

usa out of vietnam 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

It had been more than a month since the last time I was at a show, between holidays, injury and family stuff, and I think I needed it more than I realized until I made my way upstairs in Providence, Rhode Island’s Columbus Theatre. There were two Montreal-based bands on the bill, USA out of Vietnam and The Besnard Lakes, and I was there to catch the former, having dug 2014’s Crashing Diseases and Incurable Airplanes debut and its ambitious,usa out of vietnam 2 (Photo by JJ Koczan) progressive wash of post-rock instrumental melody, moments of doomer heft and harmonized vocals.

The room upstairs at the Columbus was seated. More of a theater space. Somewhere one might put on a one-act play or something of that sort, lots of talking, knowing nods in response, and so on. Lights were low. I took a seat behind what turned out to be the band and waited about 20 minutes for them to go on. It was early, and not that cold out, but I had the dog in the car — she’s gotten pretty bad about being left alone; it’s a longer story than fits here — so time was a factor in my mind anyway. Still, an early show, a band I’d never seen before and Providence itself as a city I’ve come very much to enjoy being in, I felt like I was winning out. Before long, USA out of Vietnam took the stage, guitarist/vocalist/frontman Son of Fogman introducingusa out of vietnam 3 (Photo by JJ Koczan) them as some other band and citing a “radical style change” to illicit the first of several chuckles from the crowd.

A five-piece with made-up names — El Tigre, Rockhard, Fogman, Blankie, Son of Fogman — and four vocalists, they were a lot for the acoustics in that room to take, but it was easy enough to get a sense of what they were going for in bringing Crashing Diseases and Incurable Airplanes to life. In the heavier moments, a song like “Asphodel I/1322″ bordered on crushing, and the wash in “Leg of Lamb” (please forgive me if I have the songs wrong) was suitably consuming. Son of Fogman proved more of a frontman usa out of vietnam 4 (Photo by JJ Koczan)presence live than on the album, belting out parts where the lead vocals are mixed further behind the guitar, bass, keys and/or synth, and while the dynamic felt nascent, it was also plain to see USA out of Vietnam‘s gelling process underway in both how they approached parts of the songs themselves and how they interacted with each other on stage.

What worked primarily was the smoothness with which the fivesome made the shifts between softer moments of contemplation and nod-inducing, pedal-stomped tonal weight. They’d hardly be the first to lull listeners into a false sense of security and then clobber them over the head with a heavy riff, but there was more of a decided shift live than on the album, where everything is coated in melody, and the crunch fit them well. Son of Fogman thanked the room profusely and noted how fortunate they were to play there, usa out of vietnam 5 (Photo by JJ Koczan)some good-natured ribbing of sound-guy Ryan ensued, and they closed out with more sprawl to make way for The Besnard Lakes. It was still pretty early.

Late enough for me, however. I probably could’ve stayed and enjoyed the headliner, but particularly with the dog in the car and it being January, I thought it better to roll out. Was good to be out and about, even if for just a little while, though, and satisfying to watch USA out of Vietnam present their material live. Something tells me it won’t be the last time I run into them.

No extra pics because I wasn’t really comfortable getting up in front of everyone else seated to go up front and take them, but thanks for reading anyway.

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Goatsnake Announce European Tour Dates; New Album Details Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 27th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s hard not to get all dorked out every time the prospect of new Goatsnake music is mentioned. Sometimes, I’ll admit, I don’t even try. But it’s been five years now since Goatsnake played their first reunion shows, and that’s no small amount of time for the band to put music together. When I step back from that so-easily-leapt nerd precipice, though, I have to wonder what this record is actually going to sound like. Nick Raskulinecz is a much different producer today than when he recorded Flower of Disease, and I guess my only apprehension comes from how special those two Goatsnake records are. It won’t be easy to add a third to that canon.

But I guess that might be part of why it’s taken half a decade for this record to come together. No doubt in my mind they can pull it off — if they didn’t think they could do it, I can’t imagine they’d bother trying — I’m just anxious to hear the results of this sessions and if the natural, easy-greasy vibe is still there. Fingers crossed we get some audio soon.

Until then, here’s Euro tour dates and some teaser text, fresh off the PR wire:



Los Angeles, California’s Goatsnake have announced further live dates in Europe, kicking off at the end of May with their set at Temples Festival, and taking the band through territories new to them. This comes in the light of the news of a brand new album from the band, which they have just completed recording, and will see release on Southern Lord this summer.

The new album will feature the familiar faces of Greg Rogers (The Obsessed, Sonic Medusa), providing drums, Greg Anderson of Sunn O))) taking care of the riffs, Pete Stahl (Scream, Wool, Earthlings?) on vocals, and new bassist new and Cape Fear North Carolina legend Scott Renner (Brickbat, Sourvein, Sonic Medusa). On production duties is Nick Raskulinecz, who, since being introduced to Dave Grohl during the recording sessions of Flower of Disease, has gone on to work with seminal artists such as Rush, Alice in Chains, Mastodon and Ghost, and has won Grammys with the Foo Fighters. United again, he and the band are sure to serve a menacing cut of the time-honoured ultra-heavy rock they are infamous for.

Further details of this are to come, meanwhile Greg Anderson did offer this insight, “We are beyond stoked about the new Snake album. We all rose to the occasion and with the help of Nick and the state of Tennessee delivered the fucking goods. More soul, more power, more balls.”

Here are the dates:

30/05/2015 – UK, Bristol – Temples Festival
01/06/2015 – BE, Kortrijk – De Kreun
02/06/2015 – NL, Amsterdam – Melkweg
03/06/2015 – DE, Berlin – SO36
04/06/2015 – DE, Siegen – Freakvalley Festival
06/06/2015 – GR, Athens – AN Club


Goatsnake, Live at Southwest Terror Fest III, Oct. 2014

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Eye of the Stoned Goat 5: White Dynomite and Weed is Weed Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 26th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Lineup announcements have started coming through for the previously revealed The Eye of the Stoned Goat 5 festival, which will take place June 12 and 13 in Amityville, NY. It’s looking like a pretty tight assemblage of bands hitting Long Island for the fest, with Lord Fowl and John Wilkes Booth leading the charge as the first two announcements a couple weeks ago and Weed is Weed and White Dynomite just added last night to a bill that already also includes KingsnakeGozuIt’s Not Night: It’s Space, Brimstone Coven and Ol’ Time Moonshine.

If you’ll indulge me, I’ll get caught up on the announcements, including those for Weed is Weed and White Dynomite, just so we’re all on the same page going forward.

Here they are going all the way back:

Alright folks, it’s time to drop a couple heavy hitters on ya!

We are extremely proud to announce, appearing at this year’s festival is Massachusetts Rock n’ Roll time bomb White Dynomite!

Also, a band that truly needs no introduction, with former members of Pentagram, Spirit Caravan and Earthride… the almighty Weed is Weed!!!

We’ve been trying to get these guys on the ‘Stoned Goat for years, this year the planets all aligned in our favor.. Bringing their tough-as-nails, working class grooves to Long Island this year is none other than Philadelphia’s own Kingsnake!!!

Announcing the next two artists joining the Amityville Music Hall stage at ESG5 this June…. Small Stone Records and local New York Psych-Rock trio It’s Not Night: It’s Space!!!

Also, hailing from the depths of Toronto Canada, the demon-rock peddlers Ol’ Time Moonshine!!!

Alright folks, it’s time to kick things up a notch! Joining us on this year’s ESG5 installment is none other than Small Stone Records and Desertfest 2014 alums GOZU!!!

Next up…. We are thrilled to announce that appearing at ‘Eye of the Stoned Goat 5″ on June 12-13th is Long Island’s very own Moon Tooth and Metal Blade Records Occult Rock Dealers Brimstone Coven!!!

Eye of the Stoned Goat is proud to announce the first two bands appearing at ESG5 in Long Island, NY June 12-13th are none other than former ESG alums- LORD FOWL and John Wilkes Booth!


White Dynomite, White Dynomite (2014)

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Karma to Burn Debut Two Making of Arch Stanton Behind-the-Scenes Videos

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 26th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Today, Jan. 26, is an off-date for Karma to Burn‘s current North American tour. Last night, they were in Dallas for show number 18 of the 33-date run. Tomorrow, they’ll be in Albuquerque, New Mexico, alongside Sierra, with whom they’ve been touring in support of the US release of their latest album, Arch Stanton (review here). The instrumental trio, whose roots trace back to guitarist/founder Will Mecum‘s origins in Morgantown, West Virginia, have always done it the hard way, and this stint I’m quite sure is no exception.

But then, there’s always been something argumentative at the heart of Karma to Burn. Since the original lineup of the band came roaring back in 2010 with their fourth full-length, Appalachian Incantation (review here), Karma to Burn have reminded both friends and foes of their uncompromising position when it comes to straight-ahead riffing and the vision at the heart of their project. Mecum, who leads the trio now comprised of himself, drummer Evan Devine and bassist Eric Clutter, is the driving force behind Karma to Burn‘s no-frills heaviness, and half a decade after the group’s rebirth, there’s as little room for argument as ever.

Switzerland-based Snakehill Productions has put together a series of behind-the-scenes videos interviewing Karma to Burn about some of their life on tour and their general feelings and attitudes on being in the band at this point. It’s called “The Making of Arch Stanton,” but the vibe is really more about getting into what it’s like being Karma to Burn than about which amps were used to record “54” or anything like that. Either way, it’s a cool chance to hear MecumDevine and Clutter talk about what they’re listening to and what they dig about playing different songs, as well as their picks for the next in the band’s line of intermittent vocalists.

Remaining tour dates follow the clips below. Enjoy:

Karma to Burn, The Making of Arch Stanton Pt. 3 & 4

Pt. 1 & 2 can be viewed here.

KARMA TO BURN & SIERRA North American Tour

Remaining dates:
1/27/2015 Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
1/28/2015 The Nile Theater – Mesa, AZ
1/30/2015 Loaded – Hollywood, CA
1/31/2015 Bottom of the Hill – San Francisco, CA
2/01/2015 Starlite Lounge – Sacramento, CA
2/03/2015 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
2/04/2015 Rickshaw Theatre – Vancouver, BC
2/06/2015 Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR
2/07/2015 The Shredder – Boise, ID
2/08/2015 Area 51 – Salt Lake City, UT
2/09/2015 Lost Lake Lounge – Denver, CO
2/10/2015 Replay Lounge – Lawrence, KS
2/11/2015 Fubar – St Louis, MO
2/12/2015 Red Line Tap – Chicago, IL
2/13/2015 123 Pleasant Street – Morgantown, WV

Karma to Burn’s website

Karma to Burn on Thee Facebooks

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Colour Haze and Radio Moscow Kickoff Up in Smoke V Tour on Feb. 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 26th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

colour haze

Colour Haze and Radio Moscow on the bill. Given enough time, I’m quite sure I could come up 100,000 things I’d want to see less than that. Start with “anything” and work your way back from there. It might take a few minutes, but given how high that show would be in this hypothetical hierarchy of stuff-I’d-like-to-see, there’s plenty of room for monuments, mountaintops, oceans, and so on. We’d hit the 100,000 mark no problem. I’m sure of it.

The two acts will begin headlining the Up in Smoke Volume 5 tour — actually they call it a “psychedelic roadfestival,” which I like — on Feb. 27, joined for a stretch by Cherry Choke, whose new album, Raising the Waters, is due out next month on Elektrohasch, and meeting up along the way with The Sun and the WolfMars Red SkyThe Midnight Ghost Train and others. Watching Colour Haze play a hometown show in Munich with Radio Moscow and Mars Red Sky? Yeah, I’d catch that if the opportunity were to present itself.

PR wire info comes courtesy of Sound of Liberation, who put the whole thing together:

colour haze radio moscow up in smoke v tour

COLOUR HAZE – Up In Smoke Tour (with RADIO MOSCOW and guests) kicks off in 1 month – Check Videotrailer, Dates and News

2011 seems like yesterday when we decided to pack up 3 to 4 awesome bands in a bus to tour Europe and rock your ears! 4 editions have gone by, 2 packed indoor festivals have witnessed your love for the music and the concept, so ladies and gentelmen, get ready!

In a month, we will write a new volume in the UP IN SMOKE history, and it will be a blast!! The fifth edition of your favorite roadfestival will feature 3 awesome bands for your pleasure:

Europes most well known psychedelic institution COLOUR HAZE which have their brand new album “To the Highest Gods we Know” in their suitcase!

America’s most heavy blues machine RADIO MOSCOW whose last album “Magical Dirt” (released in June 2014) sent all of us on another trip into heavy psychedelic headphone heaven.

UK’s fuzz driven psych rockers CHERRY CHOKE (from March 1st to 7th only) whose new album “Raising The Waters” will be released in the next weeks! Stay tuned for updates, you don’t wanna miss it!

On the other shows, Colour Haze and Radio Moscow will go with other outstanding special guests. Watch the amazing TRAILER made by Stonnerrock.eu, and check-out the listing below for details and tickets’ links. We invite you to join the trip! Come on and blow up your mind at the UP IN SMOKE ROADFESTIVAL!

Colour Haze & Radio Moscow
Plus Special Guests

27.02 (D) Stuttgart, Universum (w/ The Sun & The Wolf)
28.02 (D) Cologne, Live Music Hall (w/ The Sun & The Wolf)
01.03 (UK) London, The Garage (w/ Cherry Choke)
02.03 (FR) Paris, Le Divan du Monde (w/ Cherry Choke)
03.03 (BEL) Brussels, Magasin 4 (w/ Cherry Choke)
04.03 (D) Hamburg, Markthalle (w/ Cherry Choke)
05.03 (D) Berlin, SO36 (w/ Cherry Choke)
06.03 (A) Vienna, Arena (w/ Cherry Choke)
07.03 (A) Salzburg, Rockhouse (w/ Cherry Choke)
08.03 (D) Leipzig, Taubchenthal (w/ Kalamahara)
09.03 (D) Munich, Feierwerk (w/ Mars Red Sky)
10.03 (IT) Milano, Lofi (support band tba)
11.03 (D) Frankfurt, Das Bett (w/ The Midnight Ghost Train)
12.03 (NL) Tilburg, 013 (support band tba)
13.03 (D) Würzburg, Posthalle (w/ The Grounding)
14.03 (D) Hannover, Faust (support band tba)


Up in Smoke V tour trailer

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Shepherd Premiere “Turdspeak” from Stereolithic Riffalocalypse

Posted in audiObelisk on January 26th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Sludge rock trio Shepherd are set to release their debut long-player, Stereolithic Riffalocalypse (spoiler alert: it’s heavy), on March 7. The Bangalore, India-based three-piece — who are not to be confused with the defunct German doom outfit of the same name — have shared stages with countrymen acts like Bevar Sea and Djinn and Miskatonic, among many others, and their first album follows behind demos released in 2011 and 2012 and the 2012 live offering, Live at Kyra (18-02-12) (also apparently known as Open Mic Surgery and pressed in a limited CD edition under that title), all three songs from which also appear on the upcoming record, which basks in classic heavy riffage in a manner befitting the name they’ve given it.

Today I have the pleasure of unveiling “Turdspeak” from Stereolithic Riffalocalypse, the second track on the album. Its low-end-rooted groove relies effectively on bassist/vocalist Abhishek Michael for its foundation, but the steady roll in guitarist/vocalist Namit Chauhan‘s riffs are always in charge, a noisy solo emerging late in the song to add to the nod punctuated by drummer/vocalist Deepak Raghu asshepherd-stereolithic-riffalocalypse the song’s speedier and unpretentious finale plays out having taken off from the more lurching, effects-laden beginning it’s given. “Turdspeak” effectively showcases the core impulses under which Shepherd are working — a mash of stoner groove and punk intensity. With all three members sharing vocal duties, they’re able to add variety in a way that a lot of sludge acts can’t, and as you can hear, the Echoplex-driven tones they bring to bear on “Turdspeak” are nothing if not dense.

Preorders for the album start on Feb. 1, and you can keep an eye on Shepherd‘s doings at any of the links below — their demos and Live at Kyra are available as name-your-price downloads. Reading over their bio, which follows the track here, one gets a sense both of the band’s desire to stand out in the style and their acknowledgement that India’s heavy rock scene is really just beginning to come together. Phrases like “out to make sure 2015 is their year” speak to ambition, and at the same time, they also refer to themselves as “the only band of its kind in India,” which at least to my ears seems kind of lonely. Nonetheless, they do stand out, and for more than their point of origin.

Take a listen to “Turdspeak” below, and enjoy:

Bangalore, India-based sludge/heavy rock band Shepherd is out to make sure 2015 is their year. After two years of writing, recording and several gigs at clubs and festivals in Bangalore, Shepherd is ready with their mammoth debut album, aptly titled ‘Stereolithic Riffalocalypse’, slated to release on 7th March 2015.

To kick things off, they’re giving fans a taste of the album by premiering the song “Bog Slime” on Rolling Stone India, along with revealing the tracklist and album art to Stereolithic Riffalocalypse. Formed in 2011, Shepherd is probably the only Bangalore-based sludge/heavy rock band from India. The band has been making waves in the underground, drawing Influence from the guitar-driven sounds of early 90’s hard rock (Soundgarden, The Melvins, Eyehategod) and the aural assault of 80’s hardcore punk (Black Flag, Discharge, Fear), the band has built a reputation for itself as an ever-evolving and unpredictable heavy rock entity. You don’t need more proof of that than just one listen to the nine tracks that feature on Stereolithic Riffalocalypse, which was recorded at Bangalore’s Area 51 Studio and mixed by Rahul Ranganath and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege, who has previously worked with the likes of YOB, Obituary, Sourvein and Old Man Gloom.

Despite a setlist that keeps growing with every gig under its belt, the band takes it a step further by introducing improvisational elements into their music – sort of a rarity in heavy music. Shepherd being the only band of its kind in India has been slowly building a reputation as one of the loudest, heaviest three-piece band to watch out for, ready to take on the rest of the country, and the world.

Shepherd is:
Deepak Raghu – drums/vocals
Namit Chauhan – guitars/vocals
Abhishek Michael – bass/vocals

Stereolithic Riffalocalypse tracklist:
1. Spite Pit
2. Turdspeak
3. Crook
4. Black Cock of Armageddon
5. Stereolithic Riffalocalypse
6. Bog Slime
7. Wretch Salad
8. Stalebait

Recorded at Area 51 by Premik Jolly
Mixed by Rahul Ranganath,
Mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege
Album artwork by Sonali Zohra (Dangercat Studio)

Shepherd on Thee Facebooks

Shepherd on Twitter

Shepherd on Bandcamp

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Electric Moon Reissuing Inferno on Feb. 21

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 26th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

electric moon (Photo by Ralf Ginter)

If you’ve encountered Electric Moon‘s 2011 full-length, Inferno, before, it was probably via YouTube, where its plays number in the hundreds of thousands. Not bad for a self-released CDR of instrumental jams that has two songs and is over an hour long. The German trio are set to give Inferno a proper CD release in no small part because of this life-of-its-own the album has taken on, meeting popular demand with quality product. Set to release Feb. 21 through Electric Moon guitarist Dave “Sula Bassana” Schmidt‘s own Sulatron Records imprint, the new version of Inferno boasts redone art from bassist Komet Lulu.

The following info jammed its way down the PR wire:

electric moon inferno

NEW CD-ISSUE with new Artwork!

Electric Moon are unstopable! Many live shows and releases make Electric Moon be Germany’s most productive band while being a real high flyer file under Psychedelia.

Interno is a deep journey to your inner worlds… 2 „songs“, together more than 66 minutes, pierce deep into your subconsciousness, while the music stopps being only music…

Recorded in the beginning of 2011 and released in small quantities as CD-R once, this album now sees the world’s light as official release. Komet Lulu (bass, effects, artwork), Sula Bassana (guitar, effects, organ, recording) and Alex (drums), have captivated a meditative and ecstatic trip – on a record.

„Mental Record“ indicates with it’s more than 14 minutes, where the trip „Inferno“ will take you. „Inferno“, the yet longest official Electric Moon track. The listeners on youtube were asking so hard for this release that we decided just to do it – so here you are: INFERNO! More than 600.000 (!) plays on youtube were reason enough…

So fasten your seatbelts and enter this spaceship – but be careful, you’ve been addicted right now…

Recorded and mixed by Sula, mastered by Eroc, artwork by Lulu Artwork!

1. Mental Record 14:22
2. Inferno 51:54


Electric Moon, Inferno (2011)

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Friday Full-Length: Motörhead, Overkill

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Motörhead, Overkill (1979)

Thirty-four of the most bullshit-free minutes ever pressed to a record. There are a lot of reasons to dig Motörhead, and they’re just about all accounted for at one point or another on Overkill, their 1979 sophomore album and one of three records (granted one of them was prior-recorded) they’d have out that year in the wake of the success of their 1977 self-titled debut. Too metal for punks and too punk to really be metal, Motörhead would nonetheless become a pivotal name dirtying up the cleaner, classier intentions of the NWOBHM in the early ’80s, and Overkill helped set the stage for that. Its raw power and full sprint were pivotal in the development of thrash as well, and as much as Motörhead – then the lineup of bassist/vocalist Lemmy Kilmister, guitarist Fast Eddie Clark and drummer Philip “Philthy Animal” Taylor — are forever bound to the landmark property that is “Ace of Spades,” songs like “Stay Clean,” “Overkill,” “No Class” and “Metropolis” are every bit as essential, and from the bruiser rock of “(I Won’t) Pay Your Price” to the could-have-been-Hawkwind “Capricorn” and the swaggering “Limb from Limb,” Overkill is a whiskey-drunk, balls-out classic that’s every bit the “they don’t make ‘em like this anymore” album its reputed to be.

Motörhead don’t get much coverage around here, unless you count bands doing covers or Woody‘s column, the title of which is in reference to this LP, and I have my reasons for that. Their insurmountable history is one — more tours and records than just about anyone could count — and the fact that they’re more or less a given is another. You might be familiar with Overkill and you might not, but there’s just about no way you’re going to click play on the YouTube video above and it’s the first time you’ve ever heard Motörhead. Shit, they have their own cruise! It’s not like they’re hurting for press or there’s much left to say about them that’s never been said. You might as well write poetry about the moon.

But of course, plenty of people do that as well. I hope you enjoy Overkill. This is the 1996 reissue, so some bonus tracks kick in at the 34th minute. Listen to them or don’t. More Motörhead never hurt anybody, unless you count tinnitus.

Kind of a quiet week, at least on a personal level. That suits me at this point. My ankle is just about healed up save for some pretty specific flexibility issues, and my grandmother seems to be getting stronger physically after last week’s scare. She’s 99, so it’s not like she’s gonna go out and do a six-minute mile, but standing up is progress. I also left the house yesterday and didn’t get pulled over by any cops, which was a welcome change from the norm.

Of course, I live in terror even saying such things that a piano will magically fall from the sky as I walk to the mailbox or something, but my point is it was a stressful couple weeks to start 2015 and I’ll take what I can get as regards moments to catch my breath. I’m going to a show tonight in Providence to see USA out of Vietnam, and I’ll have a review of that early next week. Monday, an audio premiere from India’s Shepherd and a premiere of two behind-the-scenes Karma to Burn clips, so plenty going on one way or another.

Also planning on having a new podcast up before next week is out and I’ll review Sonny Simmons and Moksha Samnyasin and Torche albums and the second Black Moon Circle LP if there’s time. The radio stream has been running on the backup server most of this week, so I didn’t do a round of adds, but I should hopefully have something going in that direction by next Friday. Fingers crossed.

Hope you have a great and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Freak Valley 2015: Blues Pills Added as Thursday Headliner

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

freak valley 2015 banner

The ties between Blues Pills and the Freak Valley festival run pretty deep. For one thing, the band is named after fest-founder Jens Heide‘s old ‘zine, and my understanding is they’ve been tight all along as Blues Pills have ascended to such high profile over the last couple years, leading to the release of their massively-well-received 2014 self-titled full-length debut. Blues Pills played the fest last year and they’ll be at Freak Valley 2015 as well, headlining Thursday night, June 4, and their 2014 set will be released in limited vinyl/CD fashion. Presumably copies will be on hand in Netphen, Germany.

Freak Valley 2015 runs from June 4-6:

freak valley 2015 blues pills


While BLUES PILLS say “thank you” to Freak Valley Festival with the release of a superlimited Live @ Freak Valley Festival 2014 album on Vinyl and CD we are proud and more than happy to announce that Blues Pills will return and headline Thursday June 4th!!

We are totally thrilled and honoured about these two massive news!

Thank you so much Elin, Zack, Dorian & André. We’ll never forget!

The mindblowing poster beauty is done by Mr-Frumpy Frumpedia

Tickets are running low already. Please make sure you get yours in time!!

FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL – 4th-5th-6th June 2015
www.freakvalley.de - www.rockfreaks.de

FVF tickets are selling like KADAVAR vinyls already – get yours in time – the first 3 editions have been sold out early!! We are selling tix to all parts of this planet!!

Tickets: www.freakvalley.de | Only 66€ for 3 days incl. Camping!!

Hardtickets @ our onlineshop: http://shop.rockfreaks.de/

Also: http://kozmik-artifactz.com/ | Kozmik Artifactz

Also: At our Club shows @ Vortex Surfer Musikclub (next show Saturday Jan. 24th w/ Vibravoid Official, HARSH TOKE & Comet Control

FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL: No Fillers – Just Killers
Blues Pills – Orchid – Eyehategod – Earthless – Goatsnake – Crippled Black Phoenix – Horisont – The Vintage Caravan – Electric Moon – Gas Giant – Monkey3 – Danava – Egypt – Siena Root – Bröselmaschine – Sigiryia – Kamchatka – Purson – Dead Man – Freedom Hawk – Mountain Witch – Tuber – Valley of the Sun – Tombstones – Travelin’ Jack – more tba soon!!


Blues Pills, Blues Pills (2014)

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Desertfest Berlin 2015: The Sun and the Wolf Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

the sun and the wolf (photo by Katarzyna Borelowska)

Desertfest Berlin 2015 isn’t letting the week end without adding another band to the mix, and this time around it’s The Sun and the Wolf, who’ve recently released their second album, Salutations, on World in Sound. Based in Berlin now but originating in Auckland, New Zealand, The Sun and the Wolf join a blazing Desertfest lineup that already features Orange GoblinRed FangAcid King and Brant Bjork, among many others, and the fest is set to take place April 23-25 at the Astra Kulturhaus, which I hear kicks all kinds of ass. Wouldn’t mind finding out for myself one of these years.

Info follows, complete with The Sun and the Wolf‘s bio from World in Sound, in case you’d like to familiarize before you get lost in the stream of Salutations:

the sun and the wolf desertfest berlin 2015

It’s time for a new announcement! We are pleased to tell you that the Berlin-based outfit The Sun And The Wolf are now confirmed for DesertFest Berlin 2015!

They freshly released via World in Sound their second album “Salutations”, gladly made to fans of psychedelic music and adventures in sound! Stream it here, it’s a killer, and get your ticket to attend the festival on www.desertfest.de/tickets! (85€ + taxes)

World In Sound presents its first release with Kiwi roots with the young and ambitious quartet “Sun and the Wolf”. Salutations is their return, the second full length album which opens the gates to a psychedelic soaked wonderland. The nine analog recorded cuts are dynamically arranged continuing on from the explosive and overdriven rhythm and blues that their debut LP “White Buffalo” boasted, while exploring darker realms of fuzz driven psychedelia with catchy riffage and splashes of The Beatles´ lysergic era. Tales of heartbreak, debauchery and deceit echoing from a far away room, the guitar driven sound shows a band soulful and haunted in their delivery, live and on record.

The group relocated from Auckland to Berlin in late 2008 leaving behind a band formerly known as “The Have”. Formed in their teens, the band carved its name upon the New Zealand rock’n’roll scene. There they experienced commercial radio and television success, were invited to SXSW in Texas twice and had their debut album produced by Barrett Jones who worked with Nirvana and The Melvins. They have shared stages with likes as Sleepy Sun, Kasabian, Wolfmother, Dead Meadow, A Place To Bury Strangers and standout festival performances at the notorious Fusion Festival. Salutations creates an exciting and unexpectedly colourful spectrum throughout its duration!

DESERTFEST BERLIN #4 – APRIL 23th, 24th, 25th 2015
www.desertfest.de - www.soundofliberation.com

Red Fang + Orange Goblin + Brant Bjork & The Low Desert Punk Band + Acid King + Ufomammut + My Sleeping Karma + Conan + Black Pyramid + Karma To Burn + Brutus + Dopethrone + The Atomic Bitchwax + Lo-Pan + The Picturebooks + Toner Low + Dirty Fences + Heat + Mountain Witch + Mother Engine + The Sun And The Wolf + Riff Fist + Travelin Jack + many more acts


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Slomatics, Estron: And Yet it Moves

Posted in Reviews on January 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

slomatics estron

Dual-guitar riff excavators Slomatics released their fourth full-length, Estron, last year on Burning World Records, and for those who’d worship at an altar of tone, it makes a suitable icon. The Belfast, Northern Ireland, trio roll out sans bass but want nothing for low end, Chris Couzens and David Majury contributing tectonic force on songs like “Tunnel Dragger” and “Lost Punisher” while drummer/vocalist Marty Harvey (also of War Iron) sets the lurch in motion, his voice echoing deep from within the band’s well-honed morass. Songs are spacious but consuming and full, and on the 38-minute offering there’s really only one moment of letup: the two-minute ambient interlude “Red Dawn” that precedes closer “The Carpenter” (also the longest track at 10:26). Beyond that, Slomatics offer few opportunities (some, but few) to let the air back into their listeners’ lungs, and that’s clearly the idea. Estron marked not only their fourth long-player, but also their first decade in the band, Couzens and Majury having started Slomatics in 2004 and Harvey joining in 2011 between their breakout split with Conan (review here) and 2012’s A Hocht full-length, released on Head of Crom. In that decade, and in any case well before they got around to EstronCouzens and Majury figured out what they wanted from their assault, and Estron bears the fruit of their hammering-out. Though slow-moving, the album is fluid front to back, and it thanks in no small part to Harvey‘s vocals, it has a sense of melody to complement its crushing, nigh-on-claustrophobic tonality.

The nod is persistent, and even on the airier “And Yet it Moves” — something you might say about the band’s sound itself — you wouldn’t be wrong to call it brutal, but there’s a human presence in the material as well, and I have a hard time thinking that as Slomatics wreak all this aural havoc they’re not also having a really good time doing it. That’s not to say there’s some element of irony here, just that MajuryCouzens and Harvey seem to revel in the harsh riffscape they create. And why not? “And Yet it Moves” is a highlight for the interplay of lead and rhythm lines, but even when Couzens and Majury are locked into simultaneous plod-riffing à la “Futurian” or the opening “Troglorite,” the output is righteous in its heaviness — the opener particularly indebted to Floor but darker in atmosphere — and exciting in its delivery. Estron works cleanly in two sides, four tracks on side A, three on side B, and the transitions between songs are direct bleeds, usually via feedback, but the resultant over-arching flow isn’t to be understated, and on the CD version, even “Lost Punisher,” which would close out side A of the vinyl, moves right into “And Yet it Moves,” which would otherwise come after the flip to side B. It’s emblematic of Estron being a well-thought-out release, rather than a happenstance collection of badass riffs, and it serves to inform about Slomatics approach as a whole. Their songwriting is likewise purposeful, whether it’s the hook of “Troglorite” or the sparse, minimal opening of “The Carpenter” that emerges from “Red Dawn” and builds to a gradual head over the track’s first four minutes. In between, Slomatics offer variety of pace, shift between levels of aggression, and keep a strong sense of atmosphere in moments like the midsection break of “Tunnel Dragger,” which drones out a hypnotic ambience before moving back in for the next round of pummeling.


And make no mistake, many of Estron‘s finest stretches arise from those pummeling moments, be it the shorter barrage on “Futurian” and the CD-centerpiece “Lost Punisher” or the album’s immersive second half, with “And Yet it Moves,” “Red Dawn” and “The Carpenter.” Either way Slomatics go, they carefully manage a balance of heft and spaciousness throughout while sounding anything but careful. It’s a deceptive record in that one might put it on for the first time, hear Couzens and Majury‘s tones and say, “Okay, I got it,” but though the impact of the guitars is a big part of Slomatics‘ approach, it’s really just one piece of a larger, more dynamic picture, working in concert with the drums and vocals, the largesse, the periodic, well-placed breaks and so on for a complete and engrossing effect. Estron is remarkably cohesive even from a band who’ve been around for a decade, and while Slomatics have clearly established a wheelhouse for themselves in which to work, what they bring to that context is a sense of progression and a willfulness to create a whole album, not just a roundup of songs or parts. In this, they are resoundingly successful. Worth noting as well that CouzensMajury and Harvey have already issued a follow-up to Estron in the form of a split single with Floridian tone-and-crashers Holly Hunt, who make a fitting companion. It would seem Slomatics are content to keep moving forward and pushing their sound along with them — and yet it moves… — and that is an ethic worth celebrating, because honestly, if they wanted to, they could probably just sit around, bang out cheapo riff grooves and get by just on the badassery of their tones. That they aspire to and are able to create something deeper and more resonant is ultimately what stands them out from any like-minded peers.

Slomatics, Estron (2014)

Slomatics on Thee Facebooks

Slomatics on Bandcamp

Burning World Records

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Garden of Worm Announce March 6 Release for Idle Stones

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

garden of worm ice

Five years after making their full-length debut on Shadow Kingdom with their self-titled (review here), Finnish doomers Garden of Worm are set to issue Idle Stones, their second album. The four-song/42-minute long-player promises some shifts in style from the debut, and after half a decade, I believe it. Svart will have the new record out on March 6.

On a side note, the press release below mentions Träd, Gräs, och Stenar. I recently got a copy of their self-titled on CD and it’s awesome. If you have the chance to chase it down, it’s well worth the effort. The name being dropped makes me look forward even more to finding out what Garden of Worm have going for their sophomore outing. When the titles of songs start “including” other songs, you know it’s progressive.

To the PR wire:

garden of worm idle stones

GARDEN OF WORM set release date for new SVART album?

Today, Svart Records sets March 6th as the international release date for Garden of Worm’s second album, Idle Stones. Garden of Worm is a trio operating in Tampere, Finland. Having played progressive rock in various groups, in 2003, the group decided it was time to play simple & basic doom metal. Thus, the Worm was born. After several releases on several metal labels, the latest being the successful self-titled debut album for Shadow Kingdom Records in 2010, the band went into hibernation.

Garden of Worm’s debut for Svart, Idle Stones is a product of this long period of quiet life. After the ambitious debut full-length, the band were unsure for a time regarding the direction their art would take next. Slowly, the doomier, grimmer material allowed improvisation to creep in, and the entire work has a newfound sense of spontaneity.

In 2015, Garden of Worm is a different beast than the creature of the early days. The band sounds more inspired and relaxed than ever. The doom metal base is still present, but there’s also psychedelic warmness to the sound as well as freedom, like witnessed in the work of improvising rock units such as Amon Düül II, Träd Gräs, and Stenar. The freedom also adds to the intensity of the live performances: even though there are always composed songs in the set, the improvisational passages keep the band focused on the moment. Anything can happen. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for Garden of Worm’s Idle Stones
1. Fleeting are the Days of Man
2. Summer’s Isle
3. Desertshore
4. The Sleeper including Being Is More Than Life

SJ.Harju – Vocals, bass
JM.Suvanto – Drums
EJ.Taipale – Guitars, vocals


Garden of Worm, “Hollow”

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