Atala to Release The Bearer of Light May 21; “Desolate Lands” Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

atala

I haven’t even had a second to check out the video below for “Desolate Lands” yet, but trust me, I’ll get there shortly. New Atala, and new Atala on relatively short notice, is only good news. The desert-dwelling atmosphericists remain aligned to Salt of the Earth Records for The Bearer of Light, which is out May 21, and preorders for the record open this very weekend. If you didn’t hear last year’s Labyrinth of Ashmedai (review here) — also on Salt of the Earth — well, it’s not too late to get into that, but these guys never fail to move forward as a matter of course, so The Bearer of Light is one to anticipate for sure. I’ll hope to have more to come as we get closer to the release.

Guitarist Kyle Stratton had a few choice things to say about it, as per the PR wire:

atala the bearer of light

ATALA: West Coast Desert Doom Trio To Release The Bearer Of Light Full-Length Via Salt Of The Earth Records; “Desolate Lands” Video Now Playing, Tour Dates Announced + Preorders Available 4/20

West Coast desert doom trio ATALA will release their The Bearer Of Light full-length via Salt Of The Earth Records on May 21st.

Returning to their DIY ethos, the seven-track desert voyage was captured and self-produced in just five days at Gatos Trail in Joshua Tree with engineer Jeff Thomas. “It’s a true roller coaster of emotions: sad, angry, confused, lost… but, you can’t help but feel hope as you follow the journey,” notes founding guitarist Kyle Stratton.

“After working with producers who I admired,” Stratton continues of the decision to record The Bearer Of Light on his own, “I felt it was my time to do it my way while implementing some of the tricks they used. I wanted to record live and not overthink the process. I just wanted to capture the moment take by take. It was a learning process for both the band and myself as a producer. I literally had no idea what I was doing but I wanted the record to have a ’90s DIY feel like the stuff I grew up listening to and I think we achieved that.”

In advance of the release of The Bearer Of Light, ATALA is pleased to unveil their video for first single “Desolate Lands.” Issues Stratton of the clip, “‘Desolate Lands’ was written spontaneously in a jam and it was devastatingly heavy. Lyrically, it’s about the desert and our connection to the surrounding landscape and creatures. It’s about understanding that nature is the only true connection we have to any kind of a god or higher power. The video was created by our friend Zak Kupcha at Circulation Media. He did a great job.”

The Bearer Of Light comes swathed in Stratton’s striking cover art and will be available on, CD, LP, and digitally. Preorders begin this Saturday, 4/20 via Salt Of The Earth Records at THIS LOCATION or the ATALA website HERE.

The Bearer Of Light Track Listing:
1. Desolate Lands
2. Upon The Altar
3. Naïve Demure
4. Sun Worship
5. Venomous Lure
6. Won’t Subside
7. Dark Skies

Catch ATALA live in support of The Bearer Of Light on a near-three-week US tour this June alongside Sixes. See all confirmed dates below.

ATALA w/ Sixes:
6/14/2019 O’Malley’s – Mountain View, CA
6/15/2019 Mummer’s – Sparks, NV
6/16/2019 Beehive – Salt Lake City, UT
6/17/2019 Streets Of London – Denver, CO
6/18/2019 The Riot Room – Kansas City, MO
6/19/2019 The Lift – Dubuque, IA
6/20/2019 Reggie’s Music Hall – Chicago, IL
6/21/2019 Mohawk Place – Buffalo, NY
6/22/2019 Café 611 – Frederick, MD
6/23/2019 The Drunk Horse – Fayetteville, NC
6/24/2019 Alabama Music Box – Mobile, AL
6/25/2019 Come And Take It Live – Austin, TX
6/26/2019 Bond’s 007 Rock Bar – San Antonio, TX
6/27/2019 Rockhouse Bar & Grill – El Paso, TX
6/28/2019 House of Bards – Tucson, AZ
6/29/2019 Yucca Tap Room – Phoenix, AZ
6/30/2019 Slidebar – Fullerton, CA

ATALA:
Kyle Stratton – guitar, vocals
Jeff Tedtaotao – drums
Dave Horn – bass

https://www.facebook.com/ataladesertrock/
http://twitter.com/ataladesertrock
http://www.instagram.com/ataladoom/
https://atalarock.bandcamp.com/
https://www.atalarock.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SaltOfTheEarthRec/
https://www.saltoftheearthrecords.com/

Atala, “Desolate Lands” official video

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Yawning Man Set June 14 Release for Macedonian Lines; Preorder Up & Video Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

yawning man heavy psych sounds

Yawning Man are working on a quick turnaround from 2018’s The Revolt Against Tired Noises (review here) to release their new LP, Macedonian Lines, in June on Heavy Psych Sounds, but listening to the album only confirms the experimentalist approach that’s let them do so. Exploring some moodier atmospheres with keys and their inimitable tones, the pivotal desert rock three-piece will use the long-player’s release as the launch point for a European tour in June, so the timing works on multiple levels. They’ve got a video posted for the title-track that shows some of where they’re coming from in terms of sound this time around, and it’s a twist on the established Yawning Man approach that’s made them so widely influential. Take a second and check it out.

Cover art and PR wire whatnot follow, as well as the preorder link, should you want to get in on that.

And you probably should:

Yawning Man Macedonian Lines

YAWNING MAN share details + stunning video off new “Macedonian Lines” album on Heavy Psych Sounds; preorder available now!

YAWNING MAN continue to establish their exceptionally unique approach to rock music on the bands latest album “Macedonian Lines” (Heavy Psych Sounds Records). The follow up to the critically acclaimed “Revolt Against Tired Noises” shows a further maturing of melody, dynamics and emotion in the bands songwriting. Yawning Man’s roots lay at the foundation of the desert rock and stoner rock sub-genres, however the music the band creates is truly organic and visceral, conjuring a flowing imagery and a emotional response. On this release, the band has a darker and massively heavier sound than past recordings as most of these tracks were developed in live performance and then fully realized in the studio. YAWNING MAN returned to Gatos Trail Studio in the Joshua Tree CA desert to record this album and the space and beauty of the surroundings is ever present in every track. Heavy, beautiful, and delicate. Gary Arce, Mario Lalli and Bill Stinson continue to expand and dig deep with every track.

Mario Lalli (bass) says about the new record: “Macedonian Lines represents the spirit of this band beyond the sound and composition. All the elements of this song were created in live improvisations during Yawning Man’s last European tour. The band refined the ideas night after night in front of live audiences. By tour’s end, the composition is what your hear on the new LP…. truly organic. The title comes from the band’s experiences crossing the Eastern European borders during this turbulent time of refugee migrations and political discord, while the music tends to add beauty to these observations.

‘Macedonian Lines’ will be available June 14th in the following formats; preorder at this location: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS105

– 30 Test Press vinyl
– 250 LTD Orange vinyl
– 650 Yellow splatter/Purple/Red vinyl
– Black vinyl
– CD and digital

YAWNING MAN New album “Macedonian Lines”
Out June 14th on Heavy Psych Sounds

TRACK LISTING:
1. Virtual Funeral
2. Macedonian Lines
3. Melancholy Sadie
4. Bowie’s Last Breath
5. I’m Not A Real Indian (But I Play One On TV)
6. I Make Weird Choices

YAWNING MAN LIVE:
13.06.19 Amsterdam | Melkweg
14.06.19 Achterhoek | Manana Festival
15.06.19 Liège | La Zone
16.06.19 Bristol | The Lane
18.06.19 Manchester | Rebellion
19.06.19 Glasgow | Audio
20.06.19 Coventry | The Phoenix
22.06.19 Tunbridge Wells | Black Deer Festival
25.06.19 Hamburg | Markthalle
26.06.19 Köln | Sonic Ballroom
27.06.19 Karlsruhe | Alte Hackerei
29.06.19 Vitoria | Hell Dorado
02.07.19 Barcelona | Rocksound
03.07.19 Bilbao | Satelite T
04.07.19 Bordeaux | Astroshøw Open Air
06.07.19 Leuven | Sojo
10.07.19 Cottbus | Zum Faulen August
11.07.19 Wien | Arena
12.07.19 Salzburg | Rockhouse
13.07.19 Erfurt | Stoned From The Underground
14.07.19 Pleszew | Red Smoke Festival
23.07.19 Munich | Free & Easy Festival
25.07.19 Breitenbach | Burg Herzberg Festival

YAWNING MAN IS:
Gary Arce – Guitar
Mario Lalli – Bass
Bill Stinson – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/yawningmanofficial/
https://yawningman.bandcamp.com
http://www.yawningman.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com

Yawning Man, “Macedonian Lines” official video

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Gozu Announce June Tour Dates to Electric Funeral Fest

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

gozu (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I had the merry occasion last month to see Gozu twice. Once in their native Boston (review here), and the next night in Brooklyn (review here). Both nights, they killed. They were playing with a new drummer, and accordingly, one might’ve expected some lull as they get their feet under them with a new lineup dynamic, but their songs are fucking good that they just locked into them and went for it and the rest seemed to take care of itself. I’d expect that they’ll get even more solid as they go forward — certainly this upcoming tour in June will help that too — but it wasn’t like there was a lull when they played. They’re one of the strongest heavy rock acts to come out of New England in the last 15 years. Seeing them live is never anything but a boon to one’s evening.

They’re hitting some cool places on this tour as well — Lincoln, Nebraska, and Canton, Ohio, among some more expected stops in Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Brooklyn, etc. — so all the better as they make their way toward finishing off at Electric Funeral Fest in Denver, Colorado. Gozu have always put their work in and they continue to, but as I think the video below shows, their command of the stage has never been quite so palpable as it is now.

Their social medias post for the shows went as follows:

gozu june tour

Hitting the road in June and incredibly excited for these upcoming shows leading up to Electric Funeral Fest IV in Denver, CO!!

GOZU Tour
06.07.19 Friday Boston, MA Mid East Up
06.08.19 Saturday Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus
06.09.19 Sunday Canton, OH Buzzbin
06.10.19 Monday Buffalo, NY Mohawk Place
06.11.19 Tuesday Detroit, MI Sanctuary
06.12.19 Wednesday Chicago, IL Reggies (Acid Witch, Against the Grain)
06.13.19 Thursday St. Paul, MN Turf Club
06.14.19 Friday Lincoln, NE 1867 Bar
06.15.19 Saturday Denver, CO Electric Funeral Fest- (Torche, Dead Meadow, Tombs, Call of The Void, Fotocrime, Un, GOZU, BUMMER, TEETH, the Munsens, The Lion’s Daughter, Sun Voyager, Trapped Within Burning Machinery, Chrome Waves, Horseneck, YATRA, Casket Huffer, Dizz Brew, THRA, Red Mesa.)

https://www.facebook.com/GOZU666
http://gozu.bandcamp.com
instagram.com/gozu666
https://twitter.com/GOZU666

Gozu, Live at Saint Vitus Bar, March 2, 2019

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Dune Sea Premiere “Dune Sea” from Self-Titled Debut LP out May 3

Posted in audiObelisk on April 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

dune sea

Dune Sea release their self-titled debut album May 3 through All Good Clean Records. The Norwegian band began as the project of guitarist, vocalist, keyboardist and noisemaker Ole Nogva, who gradually was joined by drummer Erik Bråten and bassist Petter Solvik Dahle, and though their moniker might conjure all sorts of images of retread desert rock riffing, the truth of what they do throughout the nine-track/31-minute Dune Sea is much more complex, drawing from the synth-laced space thrust of closer “Cosmic Playground” and the jangle-into-drift-into-futuristic-push of “Morphine,” which isn’t the first track on the record to be named after a controlled substance, following as it does a few songs behind opener “Pentobarbital and Ethanol.” All around the album, cuts like the eponymous “Dune Sea” and the subsequent brief fuzz wash and stomping rhythm of “Future,” the brief keyboard infusion in “Bounty Hunter” — like a heavy version of proto-New Wave space vibing — and the cosmic command in “Astrodelic Breakdown” lead the listener on a charted but varied course into the greater reaches of the far out, engines burning at warp factor whatever as the stars turn to streaks outside the window.

If it’s desert rock, then, it’s a desert on some distant undiscovered world waiting for the most intrepid of explorers.

But let’s leave the moniker behind much as the penultimate “Awake” leaves the ground. Dune Sea play dune sea cosmic playgroundfully-activated cosmic heavy rock. It’s an amalgam ultimately of space, psych and progressive styles, but their debut full-length — and when you listen through and think about that, that’s really the scary part; this is their first record — careens between them with such a fluid playout that it’s nearly impossible to pin down where one element ends and the next begins. Tones and grooves are hypnotic, melody is pervasive, and the spirit and energy with which Dune Sea handle the turns from one piece to another, as on the absolutely-drenched-in-acid classic psych rocking centerpiece “Green,” are infectious to the point of entering the bloodstream. That starts right from the ultra-swing at the apex of “Pentobarbital and Ethanol,” with a full album’s worth of swagger packed into about 35 seconds that lead the way into the rest of Dune Sea with an assured push that sets up the rest of the madness to follow. Dudes are right off the wall. I mean really. We’re talking about the snozzberries tasting like snozzberries, here. It’s a trip that should come with a warning label: “This machine alienates squares.”

And it’s 31 minutes. Short for an LP, but that too becomes a strength on the part of the band, because they manage to pack so much into that time. It’s condensed, but somehow when you listen, it feels like the songs unfold over a much more spacious scale than they do. That’s credit to the mix, which is packed with layers of lysergic detailing, but there’s a constant melodic presence as well through even the various vocal effects that helps the listener along this purposefully bumpy path, and that only makes the record all the more of a joyful undertaking. I’m saying that if you think you can get down, you should.

To that end, I’m thrilled to host Dune Sea‘s “Dune Sea” from Dune Sea as a premiere for your streaming pleasure below. Second of the nine inclusions, the eponymous song on any band’s record can serve as a crucial statement of intent and who they are, and as Dune Sea cry out for freedom in the track, they would seem to be making precisely that statement. Crack open your skull and pour this one in. Somehow I doubt you’ll regret it.

Enjoy:

Dune Sea is a power trio from Norway playing a stoner rock mixed with shoegaze and space rock. The Trondheim based group are often compared with bands like Hawkwind and Queens of the Stone Age.

The Dune Sea album features nine tracks that range from stretched out psychedelic sci-fi soundscapes to synth based monolithic riffs. The sound unfolds within a cinematic universe, which is both retro and futuristic.

The band started out as Ole Nogva’s solo project back in 2012. Drummer Erik Bråten joined Ole in the spring of 2017 to record drums for the EP “All Quiet Under The Suns”.

In early 2018 bassplayer Petter Solvik Dahle became a permanent member of Dune Sea and the recording process of their self-titled debut album began. The album is recorded and produced by the band themselves in various locations in Trondheim and will be released through All Good Clean Records on May 3rd 2019. The mastering is done by Rhys Marsh at Autumnsongs Recording Studio.

Dune Sea on Thee Facebooks

Dune Sea on Soundcloud

All Good Clean Records on Thee Facebooks

All Good Clean Records website

All Good Clean Records webstore

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Pelican Announce New Album Nighttime Stories out June 7; New Single Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Pelican (photo by Marfa Capodanno)

I’m curious to know who did the cover art for Pelican‘s upcoming long-player, Nighttime Stories, as I’d like to put it in my notes for some of the best album artwork of 2019. I’m not big on posters from the merch table, because who the hell wants to carry a cardboard tube around for the rest of the show — or worse, not have the cardboard tube and just the naked poster dodging everyone’s beers — but I’d look long and hard at one with that cover on it. It’s gorgeous. It’s been a whopping six years since 2013’s Forever Becoming (review here), which was the last Pelican full-length, and the new streaming single “Midnight and Mescaline” only further piques interest at what these guys might have going nowadays. As the PR wire tells, they’ve been through some ups and downs in the last half-decade-plus, and they’ve always been able to portray an emotional presence in their work, despite the vast majority of it being instrumental.

This is a band people will like forever. Pelican were never going to capture the biggest fanbase in the world, but the enduring affection for their work runs deep among the converted. I’ve considered myself a fan for a long time, so take it with a grain of salt, but they have been and remain something special, and their influence is greater than they get credit for it being.

Nighttime Stories is out June 7 on Southern Lord.

[Update: the art is by Aaron Turner. Should’ve known.]

From the PR wire:

pelican nighttime stories

PELICAN Announces New LP, Nighttime Stories, Set For June 7th Release Via Southern Lord Recordings; “Midnight And Mescaline” Now Streaming

PELICAN, the instrumental quartet whose singular vision of heavy music eschews classification, has announced their first full-length in six years, Nighttime Stories, is due June 7th via Southern Lord Recordings. The album’s lead single, “Midnight And Mescaline,” is out now digitally and hitting stores as a 7″ with exclusive B-side track “Darkness On The Stairs” as a Record Store Day exclusive last weekend.

The eight-song set on Nighttime Stories marks PELICAN’s first release written front to back with guitarist Dallas Thomas, who took over guitar duties upon founding member Laurent Schroeder-Lebec’s departure in 2012. In the process of writing the album the quartet endured a slew of realizations, tragedies, and glimmers of optimism that guided the creative process to the most potent work of their nineteen-year career. Though the new material veers towards the darker tone characteristic of PELICAN’s early songwriting, it’s hard to imagine a previous incarnation of the band writing songs as meticulously crafted and detail-oriented as those within Nighttime Stories, where the compositions recall everything from the triumphant call-to-arms of classic Dischord, to the vicious troglodyte battery of the Melvins, to the dynamic interwoven melodies of bottom-heavy indie cult heroes Chavez. Nowhere is this evinced as clearly as on initial album single “Midnight And Mescaline,” the album’s lead single.

Nighttime Stories was an album title initially proposed for Tusk, the hallucinatory art-grind band that included PELICAN members Trevor Shelley de Brauw, Larry Herweg, and Schroeder-Lebec, in addition to vocalist Jody Minnoch. The writing of Nighttime Stories was instigated shortly after Minnoch’s unexpected death in 2014, and some of the dissonant viscera and dark psychedelic structures that were characteristic of Tusk’s sound began to unconsciously inform the album’s direction. In homage to their departed colleague, PELICAN applied the previously discarded title and pulled many of the song titles from notes Minnoch had sent to inspire the direction of the unrealized album. As the writing of Nighttime Stories progressed, Thomas also experienced a heavy loss with the passing of his father, to whom the album pays tribute on opening track “W.S.T.” (on which Dallas performed his guitar parts on his father’s Yamaha acoustic).

PELICAN has always excelled at vacillating between the savage sounds of various niches of metal underground and the more delicate and nuanced sounds of Midwest’s cerebral indie community, proving that they can make either end of the spectrum more vibrant and compelling through the art of contrast. With Nighttime Stories, the pendulum has swung back to the angst and ire of their younger years while delivering it with the nuance and wisdom that’s come with nearly two decades of writing and performing. PELICAN heads out on a ten-city US tour in June with more dates in the works for later in the year.

Nighttime Stories Track Listing:
1. WST
2. Midnight And Mescaline
3. Abyssal Plain
4. Cold Hope
5. It Stared At Me
6. Nighttime Stories
7. Arteries Of Blacktop
8. Full Moon, Black Water

PELICAN w/ Cloakroom:
6/20/2019 Loving Touch – Ferndale, MI w/ Greet Death
6/21/2019 Lee’s Palace – Toronto, ON
6/22/2019 Bar de Ritz – Montreal, QC
6/23/2019 Great Scott – Boston, MA
6/24/2019 Brooklyn Bazaar – Brooklyn, NY w/ Planning For Burial
6/25/2019 Boot & Saddle – Philadelphia, PA w/ Planning For Burial
6/26/2019 Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
6/27/2019 Club Café – Pittsburgh, PA
6/28/2019 Northside Yacht Club – Cincinnati, OH
6/29/2019 Metro – Chicago, IL w/ Young Widows

http://www.pelicansong.com
http://www.facebook.com/pelicansong
http://www.twitter.com/pelicansong
http://www.instagram.com/pelicansong
http://www.southernlord.com
http://www.southernlord.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/SLadmin
http://twitter.com/twatterlord

Pelican, Nighttime Stories (2019)

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Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight Post “Evil” from Movin’ On Sessions

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

trippy wicked

With an opening riff that channels Phantom of the Opera, Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight dig back into their past to unveil “Evil.” It’s not a Willie Dixon cover, which was my first thought — you might recall Cactus‘ version of that song on Restrictions, among many others — but the seven-minute piece comes from the sessions of 2009’s debut full-length, Movin’ On (review here), and in honor of the record’s 10th anniversary and the recently announced reformation of that lineup, they will post a series of lost tracks from that era. There are three of them and “Evil” is the first. The next, I’m sure, will be posted as soon as this goes live — because that’s how good my timing usually is in terms of making sure I’m constantly behind on everything — but until then, you can enjoy “Evil” at the bottom of this post. Nostalgia achieved, gents.

And that’s a quick 10 years.

From the PR wire:

trippy wicked evil

Trippy Wicked release previously unreleased track “Evil” from Movin On recording sessions

Trippy Wicked & the Cosmic Children of the Knight recently announced original drummer Chris West is back in the band after a five-year departure. Given that the band also announced they were writing new material, you would be forgiven for asking why they are now releasing material from a decade ago.

Well, October 2019 marks the 10-year anniversary of the band’s debut album, Movin On. During the recording session at Chuckalumba Studios (most noted for being the studio Electric Wizard recorded Dopethrone and Let Us Pray), Trippy Wicked recorded some songs that either didn’t get an official release or have never been heard.

To mark the anniversary Trippy Wicked are releasing these songs as singles and the first of these comes in the form of “Evil’. The song had appeared on an earlier demo but this version gets the full ‘blown out amps committed to tape’ treatment that Chuckalumba does so well.

Singer Pete Holland commented on the inspiration behind “Evil”:
“Evil is about the oppression from forces that try to dictate how you should live your life, and trying to break that train of thought to be free to imagine the life you want.”

Listen to the song on all major platforms here: http://smarturl.it/TrippyEvil

https://www.facebook.com/trippywicked
https://www.instagram.com/trippywicked
https://www.twitter.com/trippywicked
https://trippywicked.bandcamp.com/
https://www.trippywicked.band/

Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight, “Evil”

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Salem’s Bend Release Supercluster Next Month; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

salems bend

Take five minutes out of your busy day and get introduced to Salem’s Bend‘s new record, Supercluster, by streaming the track “Spaceduster” at the bottom of this post. It’s right on classic-style heavy rock, with natural tones and melodies and a vibe that stretches way outside the confines of its runtime. It is — as the kids once said — way cool, and its May 24 arrival will be preceded by a run of dates around the Los Angeles trio’s appearance earlier in May at Desertfest London 2019, for which they’ll join a lineup that itself is way outside the confines of the fuckwithable. Breaking free of confines all around it seems, and the hypnotic jammy feel of “Spaceduster” suits that intention well. It’s not long, and it doesn’t get lost in itself, but yeah, if you’ve got five minutes, do yourself a favor. These guys might just really be onto something here.

Dig it:

salems bend supercluster

SALEM’S BEND: LA-based Psych Trio to Release New Album, Supercluster | European Tour Kicks Off Next Month

Supercluster by Salem’s Bend is officially released on 24th May 2019 on Ripple Music

Ripple Music is thrilled to announce the release of Supercluster, the brand-new album from LA-based rock trio Salem’s Bend.

Cutting their teeth in various outfits over the years, after idly deciding to crawl into a garage one day, three unassuming dudes emerged into sunlight as a mighty hard rock triumvirate skilled in the execution of maximum Sabbath, Priest and Zeppelin worship…

…for on this day, Salem’s Bend was born.

Running an aural gamut of ’70s-sounding classic rock with the influence of melodic heavy-hitters from the contemporary realms of desert, doom metal, psych and stoner rock, the band coalesced in the summer of 2014 with the intention of turning heavy riffs into the catchiest of tunes. With seven songs eventually making the cut on what would become their self-titled debut, the trio earnestly self-released their efforts via Bandcamp, and in doing so caught the ear of Ripple Music. Garnering some early praise one reviewer commented on just how well the band managed to, “Forge their own searing, raucous guitars; intense, deep bass; and athletic, punctuated stickwork around some of the most intelligently interesting melodies to float through the stonersphere in quite some time.”

Salem’s Bend subsequently signed with Ripple, who gave their debut a worldwide release on vinyl, CD and digital in 2016. Since then, they have been taking their hard-hitting live performance on the road, touring every few months around the Western US and Canada and playing festivals such as SXSW, More Beers in Hell, Vantopia, and many more.

This May, thanks to the good folk and fellow Californians at Ripple, Supercluster – Salem’s Bend eagerly awaited follow-up to Salem’s Bend – will receive an official worldwide release on 24th May. In the meantime, you can stream and share new song ‘Spaceduster’ via Ripple Music and catch the band across Europe (see dates below) as they tour in support of the new record.

SALEM’S BEND EUROPEAN TOUR:
02/05 – TBA – Leeds, UK
03/05 – TBA – Birmingham, UK
04/05 – Desertfest – London, UK
08/05 – Muziekcentrum Kinky Star – Ghent, Belgium
09/05 – Don’t Panic Essen – Essen, Germany
10/05 – MTS Records – Oldenburg, Germany
11/05 – Stereo Wonderland – Cologne, Germany
12/05 – Db’S Utrech – Utrecht, Netherlands
13/05 – Pallieter Cafe – Herselt, Belgium

TRACK LISTING:
1. Spaceduster
2. Ride the Night
3. Catamount
4. Heavenly Manna
5. Winds of Ganymede
6. Show Me the Witch
7. Thinking Evil
8. Infinite Horizon

SALEM’S BEND:
Bobby Parker – Guitar, Vocals
Kevin Schofield – Bass, Vocals
Zach Huling – Drums

http://www.facebook.com/salemsbend
https://salemsbend.com/
http://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/products

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Fatal Curse Stream Debut Album Breaking the Trance in Full

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

fatal curse

New York-based classic metal trio Fatal Curse release their debut full-length on April 19 through the venerable Shadow Kingdom Records. By and large, it is a ripper. Sure, they cut the pace a bit on “Priestess of Fire,” which is also the longest inclusion on the record at 5:39 and appears right ahead of closer “Eyes of the Demon,” but for the greater majority of its seven tracks and 28 minutes, Breaking the Trance is more about the three-piece tearing through their material with righteous velocity and headbanging intent. It is not an overly complex aim, but a noble one particularly when it comes to homage to the metal of yore. One could rattle off a list of reference points of varying obscurity, but at this point, the style of classic metal, whether it’s infused with retro thrash or NWOBHM pomp or as in the case of Fatal Curse some combination thereof, has become its own aesthetic. Fatal Curse seem less outwardly committed to the style than some — at least going by their press shot, you wouldn’t look at them and say they’re “in costume” as others might be — but their bleed-for-metal ideology is writ large all throughout the brief, intense and well stated long-player.

So maybe cuts like the opening title-track and subsequent “Blade in the Dark” are about fist-pumping, neck-breaking metal for metal’s sake, but the production on Breaking the Trance — and indeed the cassette-ready thrash-rasp of vocalist Mike Bowen when he’s not soaring over the razor-edged riffs of guitarist Dave Gruver and the rush of Chris Bowen‘s drums — gives a sense Fatal Curse Breaking the Tranceof rawness that doesn’t tip over to retroism in terms of trying to sound like it’s 1984, but neither comes across as overblown in such a way that would detract from the naturalism at heart in the material. It’s not quite garage thrash, but if you’ve got a garage, and they could play there every now and again, that’d be really cool, man. “Gang Life” follows the opening salvo and continues the energy with a catchy chorus and a oh-hello solo in its second half that works in stages and works its way toward blisters one way or another before bass gallop reignites the charge for the full band, soon enough joined by a blazing motor-riff. I’m just going to go ahead and give heavy metal bonus points — for those of you keeping score at home — to the band for calling the centerpiece of their debut album “Can’t Stop the Thunder.” Somewhat shockingly, they don’t have any songs specifically about “the night” — “Blade in the Dark” might count; I’d have to see a lyric sheet — but at an all-go 2:49, “Can’t Stop the Thunder” is as charged as Fatal Curse get on Breaking the Trance, and the method suits them, to put it mildly.

The sense of precision there underscores how crucial it’s always been for a band like this to be tight. In some respects, heavy metal has always been a test — can you play this fast? can your ears take this? do you get it? — and those who’ve passed have been all the more loyal for it, but there’s no pretense on Breaking the Trance, and while Fatal Curse have their chops, at least on their first record there’s no condescension in their songwriting or grandiosity in their approach. The vibe throughout is that these are dudes who love metal and just want to manifest that. It’s not about picking out which riff sounds like which one from which year — though that’s fun too, and I’m sure there’s plenty of fodder for it throughout — but about celebrating the release that metal was in its adolescence. Fatal Curse careen and chug their way through “Chains of Eternity” before “Priestess of Fire” and the mosh-shove of “Eyes of the Demon” cap off, and even then, their style remains brash but not conceited. They very clearly take what they do seriously, but that never had to come at the expense of a good time, and it doesn’t here either.

I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating that Shadow Kingdom has an ear for classic metal and doom that is simply unmatched in its reliability. Fatal Curse aren’t reinventing metal or classic metal their first time out, but Breaking the Trance is all-heart, front-to-back, and even more than how well the songs come together or the band’s performance, it’s the heart behind it that makes it so prime for repeat listens.

To that end, I’m thrilled today to host the full stream of Breaking the Trance ahead of the release on Friday. Please find it below, followed by more from the PR wire.

Enjoy:

SHADOW KINGDOM RECORDS is proud to present FATAL CURSE’s striking debut album, Breaking the Trance, on CD, vinyl LP, and cassette tape formats.

Hailing from New York, FATAL CURSE are a veritable throwback to earlier, simpler times. Theirs is a roots-oriented sound squarely focusing on early speed metal on both sides of the Atlantic and America’s contemporaneous power metal movement. No thrashing like a maniac here: FATAL CURSE create classy ‘n’ cruising anthems of ageless heavy metal might on Breaking the Trance!

Indeed, much of FATAL CURSE’s flash ‘n’ finesse stems from their power-trio lineup, with each member locked in to the other and pumping out seamless, gleaming-chrome odes to such timeless topics as “Blade in the Dark,” “Priestess of Fire,” “Chains of Eternity,” and “Eyes of the Demon,” among others. Nope, you “Can’t Stop the Thunder” here, especially those lightning-explosive yet narrative leads at the hands of guitarist Dave Gruver.

From later Thin Lizzy to Tokyo Blade in the prime, early Virgin Steele to early Jag Panzer, Borrowed Time-era Diamond Head to Witch Cross’ Fit for Fight, Liege Lord to Omen to Helstar and beyond: step onto the wayback machine with FATAL CURSE and start Breaking the Trance!

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Shadow Kingdom Records website

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