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Elephant Bell Announce April 28 Release for Gates of Dawn

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

elephant-bell

So here’s my understanding of what’s going on with Elephant Bell‘s Gates of Dawn. The Finnish four-piece — not to be confused with emergent UK heavy rockers Elephant Tree — have been issuing short releases since the early aughts. Demos and EPs. In 2011, they offered up a self-titled full-length debut. That album was initially announced as being reissued through Argonauta last fall, and at the time, it could still be streamed from Elephant Bell‘s Bandcamp page. Okay.

You’ll note the player in that news post is now empty. As I read the below, what seems to be the situation is that Elephant Bell‘s Elephant Bell has been reworked to some degree as Gates of Dawn and will now be out April 28 via Argonauta. There’s a new video for “Come to the Show” that you can see at the bottom of this post. Just how much as been done to it versus the form the self-titled took five years ago, I’ve no idea, but that’s my interpretation of what’s happened here. I could be completely wrong. It could be a completely new album. I’m doing the best I can.

Either way: Elephant Bell. April 28. Gates of DawnArgonauta. Sometimes I don’t know why I bother trying to think.

PR wire:

elephant-bell-gates-of-dawn

Finnish Stoner Rockers ELEPHANT BELL release cover artwork and first single from their highly anticipated debut album.

The official video-clip of the song “Come to See the Show” is available here.

Featuring LOWBURN member Tomi Mykkanen and mastered by Karl Daniel Lidén (GREENLEAF and DOZER) , “Gates of Dawn” (the revamped version of the “self-titled” one previously available digitally) is a colossal album influenced by the first ‘stoner’ era and by bands as Monster Magnet, Fu Manchu, with a touch of grunge-like sonorities as Soundgarden.

ELEPHANT BELL “Gates of Dawn” will be released in CD by Argonauta Records and available from April 28th, 2017.

Preorders run here: http://bit.ly/2lURp16

TRACKLIST:
1. So Pure
2. Demon Seducer
3. The Sun Is Going Down
4. Come To See the Show
5. Escape
6. Dreamwheel
7. Bug In the Soup
8. The Sweet Babylon
9. Mojo Filter
10. Straight to Hell
11. The Last Scene

Elephant Bell is:
Tommy Waits – vocals, guitar
Tom C. Johnson – guitar, vocals
J.J. Strangler – bass, vocals
Migis Thunderthrone – drums

www.facebook.com/elephantbell
https://elephantbell.bandcamp.com/
www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords

Elephant Bell, “Come to See the Show” official video

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Otus to Release 7.83Hz March 20 on Argonauta Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

If a three-part concept record feels like an ambitious rollout for a full-length debut, you’re right, it is. Roman post-metallers Otus issued 7.83Hz last year, digitally and as a gorgeously-packaged, limited run of CDs. On March 20, they’ll follow-through with a pressing via Argonauta Records, whose diverse roster only continues to expand at a rate with which it’s nigh on impossible to keep pace. 7.83Hz tops an unmanageable 77 minutes in its original form, and one doesn’t imagine it’s been pared down for this reissue, but as you can hear in the Bandcamp stream below, Otus have a lot of ground to cover in that time and, well, sometimes swallowing your listeners whole takes a while. Needless to say, much crushing ensues.

Info follows, culled from Argonauta and Otus‘ Bandcamp page:

otus 7.83hz

Italian Doom Sludgers OTUS reveal cover artwork and first single from their forthcoming album.

Born in 2012, OTUS takes elements of post-metal/sludge bands as Isis and Cult of Luna, passing through the Black Sabbath’s doom up to the experimental music of Tool, Om and Sunn O))). The band enrich their sound playing ethnic instruments, building their own synthesizers, chanting mantras and taking particular care of their visual and symbolic identity, from poster art to visual projections.

7.83Hz is a concept album divided in 3 chapters and inspired by Timothy Leary’s quote: Turn on, Tune in, Drop Out.

This musical journey intends to be more empirical and scientific rather than religious/orthodox, showing a possible way to reach the “Doors of Perception”, to tune in with the Universe and finally to reach a lucid detachment.

The conscious “Emptiness” reached through spiritual practices such as meditation and recitation of mantra, takes shape in the 70 minutes of musical solutions contained in this record, reaching their fulcrum at the frequency of 7.83 HZ also known as “Buddha’s frequency”. Surprisingly, when analyzing the frequencies given in response by an electroencephalogram of a person in deep meditation (Alpha & Theta waves), it turns out the coincidence that the earth’s magnetic field happens to be also 7.83 HZ as discovered by the German physicist Winfried Otto Schumann.

If meditation is a way to tune in with what surrounds us, Schumann’s resonance frequency seems to emphasize this concept even more and make it concrete.

OTUS “7.83Hz” will be available in two editions: limited digipack CD with exstensive graphic and digisleeve CD. To be released by Argonauta Records and available from March 20th, 2017.

Preorders run here:
DIGICD LTD: http://bit.ly/2k71ueN
DIGISLEEVE CD: http://bit.ly/2k7Bpr2

TRACKLIST:
1. Avidya
2. Last of the Four
3. Echoes and Evocations
4. Phurba
5. Theta Synchrony
6. 7.83Hz
7. Black Lotus
8. Alpha Phase
9. Res Cogitans, Res Extensa

http://www.otusband.com
http://otus783.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/Otus7.83Hz
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords
http://www.argonautarecords.com

Otus, 7.83 Hz (2016/2017)

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Rhino Post “Grey” Video; New Album The Law of Purity out Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

rhino

Yesterday marked the official release date of the first Rhino album, The Law of Purity. Issued via Argonauta Records, it finds the Italian five-piece — who are not to be confused with the Spanish sludge-crushers who operated for a time under the same name before switching to Horn of the Rhino and ultimately disbanding — marching head-on into the sandy sounds of desert rock accompanied by just a bit of grunge’s thicker dirt-cake.

Listening to “Grey,” for which the band took to their rehearsal space to craft the video you can see below, one hears the still-laid-back push of Kyuss and/or Unida and undertones of more aggressive fare. Following up their 2013 self-titled EP, it’s from this foundation that Rhino seem to be staking their sonic claim.

Fair enough. They had some lineup shifts after the EP came out, as noted below, so The Law of Purity — let’s just assume they’re talking about beer — is a debut in more than one respect, but there’s nothing in what I’ve heard of it might be called flailing. With a fervent rhythmic drive and straightforward port of their influences, they set themselves on a path toward future growth and belt out a couple kickass chorus in the meantime. Nothing wrong with that from where I sit.

And true to the abiding lack of frills, the video for “Grey” is pretty straightforward as well. It’s the band in what seems to be their jam room playing through the song. There’s some other footage spliced in, and various parts are run through effects one way or another — watery here, made to look like a security camera there — but the star of the thing is the song itself, which is probably how it should be for something like this, where, you know, the song stands up.

More background follows the clip below, courtesy of Argonauta.

Please enjoy:

Rhino, “Grey” official video

The official music video for RHINO’s song “Grey”, taken from the studio album “The Law Of Purity” out on February 13th 2017 via Argonauta Records.

Rhino is a combo from Catania, that mixes elements of 70s and 80s hard rock, filtered by a common fascination for 90s desert stoner rock and the sulfurous influence of the Etna volcano.

The band was formed in 2012 by bassist Frank ‘The Door’ and Guitarist ‘Red Frank’. They were immediately joined by the drummer ‘Lord J. Frank’. After a couple of lineup changes, and the departure of guitarist ‘Frank Sinutre’ at the beginning of 2015, the band found its balance with the inclusion of two new members: singer Frank ‘The Doc’ and guitarist Frank ‘Real Tube’.

Rhino on Thee Facebooks

Rhino on Bandcamp

Argonauta Records website

Argonauta Records on Thee Facebooks

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Hollow Leg, Murder EP: Dark Skies Ahead (Plus Track Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on February 2nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

hollow leg murder

[Click play above to stream the premiere of ‘Raven’ from Hollow Leg’s new EP, Murder. Release is March 3 via Argonauta Records.]

About three years ago, Floridian sludge metallers Hollow Leg issued a single called “God Eater” (posted here). It was a one-off, kind of something to hold over between 2013’s Abysmal (review here) and Crown (review here), which would eventually arrive in 2016. And it was only ever a single-song digital-only deal, but it showed a marked shift in approach on the part of the band, backing off on some of their earlier rawness in favor of glimpsing melody and Southern metal groove. That song has stayed with me to some degree since 2014, and I only bring it up because it was the last time the Jacksonville four-piece had a short release out, so naturally, going into their new Argonauta Records two-songer, Murder — positioned as an EP rather than a single; fair since I don’t know if it’d fit on a 7″ for runtime — I couldn’t help but wonder in what ways they’d try to build on what Crown accomplished.

And to that — Crown accomplished plenty. Hollow Leg have always had a root in sludge metal, and the aggression in vocalist Scott Angelacos‘ roar will remain a defining aspect to anyone who takes on the Murder EP, but their last album opened new doors of their creative development and the band stormed through them with their usual brash plunder. Plenty about it was familiar going back to their 2010 debut, Instinct, but Angelacos, guitarist/vocalist Brent Lynch, bassist Tom Crowther and drummer Tim Creter were very obviously working to push themselves forward in their sound as well.

Fortunately, Murder continues this process. It also marks a personnel shift, bringing in drummer John Stewart, also of Orlando’s Caribou King, in place of Creter. That in itself could be enough justification for the release — Creter was a founding member, so it could be that Hollow Leg were looking to try out the new lineup in the studio and are happy enough with the results to make them public — but either way, Stewart fits well in the role and his arrival does nothing audible to hold up the stylistic progression within Hollow Leg, who between the two tracks “Murder” (7:25) and “Raven” (5:33) showcase continued instrumental growth. The opener begins at a shuffle that seems to be in direct conversation with “Electric Veil” from Crown, more upbeat than one has necessarily come to expect from Hollow Leg, but still fluid in its groove and molasses-thick in tone.

hollow leg

At about the halfway point, they turn the tempo somewhat on its head and ride out the nod, but in Lynch‘s riff early and Crowther‘s accompanying bass — which gets a particular moment to shine just before five minutes in — there’s a feeling of departure similar to what “Electric Veil” brought to the full-length, as though somebody in the band had been listening to Uncle Acid and sought to bring some of that garage-style boogiecraft into the context of what Hollow Leg does. On paper, it shouldn’t work. The reality of “Murder,” on the other hand, is a satisfying push of sludge that expands the dimensions of Hollow Leg‘s comfort zone to include another aspect of stylistic nuance. They finish by bringing back a heavy rock thrust, crashing out and letting the amp-rumble take them into “Raven,” which begins with Stewart‘s drums at an immediate strut.

Quick pause and they’re into the first verse of “Raven” — full blast in terms of tone, growl, crash and riff. The second cut on Murder feels a little more like the core Hollow Leg have developed and built on, but however they go, they go angry. Angelacos‘ unwavering gutturalism arrives in layers for the chorus (unless that’s Lynch backing him, which is possible), and the roll of the guitar, bass and drums behind him makes the song seem even shorter than its under-six-minute run actually is. Another shift takes place about halfway in, moving to chugging met with tom hits and a punctuating snare, eventually crashing in rhythm behind the vocals before returning to build yet more tension for the next round, from which they open up to a guitar lead and then chug their way out to finish, a kind of back and forth play working its way through efficiently measure by measure.

They’re not inexperienced with this sort of fare, but the clarity of purpose behind “Raven” and its subtle catchiness are further emblematic of just how tight Hollow Leg have become at this approach and how much they’ve made their sound their own over the course of this decade. That’s the main lesson their Murder EP (you’ll note the crows circling on the cover art): that even with the lineup change, they’re still very much able to bring together an offering that moves them stylistically forward from where they were even just a year ago while also reaffirming the underlying pissed-off sludge that’s been their righteous cause since they got going. Murder might be Hollow Leg testing the ground for a new lineup, and it might be an outlet for a studio experiment, but with the songwriting tenets they’ve developed over time, there was ultimately little chance it wasn’t going to work — and so it does.

Hollow Leg on Thee Facebooks

Hollow Leg on Bandcamp

Argonauta Records website

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Green Meteor to Release Consumed by a Dying Sun on Argonauta Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 25th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Golly. With all this talk about moon valkyries and two-wheeled space cowboys, you’d almost think Green Meteor were weedian as fuck. Oh wait, they are. The Philly outfit have been trying to find a label home able to compensate for the bizarro riffery of their debut album, Consumed by a Dying Sun, since they announced their Fall tour last October, and it seems Italian imprint Argonauta Records is the one bold enough to take on the task. No solid release date yet, but it’ll reportedly be sometime this year — the label has an increasingly full schedule emerging, and keeps adding bands to it — and that works for me. Wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Green Meteor hit the road again in 2017 as well, as their kind of volume and weird ritualizing is best enjoyed with friends.

Argonauta sent the following along the PR wire:

green meteor

GREEN METEOR sign to Argonauta Records

We’re excited to announce we inked a deal with Philadelphia sonic space warriors GREEN METEOR.

Green Meteor blends influences old and new into their heavy brand of space rock. Fuzz-saturated rhythms and cosmic soundscapes are charged with melodic vocals to create the perfect sonic accompaniment to their live visual experience.

On working with Argonauta: “When Gero, the high-command of Argonauta Record,s sent us a transmission about a rendezvous between Green Meteor and Argonauta Records in which we would create an international alliance with intent of reducing the cosmos to space haze via super-sonic assault, we were thrilled. Our vision and his aligned and thus the journey has begun! We are pleased to be a part of the roster and we are very confident that great things will come from this partnership.”

GREEN METEOR sound was formed in a space vacuum that managed to escape in 2015 and find its way to the stage 2016. The cosmic tribe was formed by Algar-a two wheeled space cowboy fueled by black hole bass fallout, 2T-a highly advanced killing machine turned drummer and space sound database, Amy-a moon Valkyrie mastered in the art of crushing sonic sound, and Leta-a shamanic space cheetah. Together they complete the space ritual known as Green Meteor.

New album to be released during 2017, a must-have for fans of of Kyuss, Acid King, Bongzilla and Hawkwind.

Picture by Sam Pinola.

Green Meteor:
Leta: Celestial Summonings & 6th Level Sonic Complexities
Amy: Explorations of the 6 Degrees of Freedom
Tony: Anti-Gravitational Percussive Reverberations Through Time Space Continuum
Algar: Anti-Cosmic Astral Verses & Journeys into the 4th Dimension

https://www.facebook.com/Green-Meteor-183210485410192/
https://greenmeteor.bandcamp.com/releases
www.argonautarecords.com
facebook.com/argonautarecords

Green Meteor, “Acute Emerald Elevation”

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Dee Calhoun to Record Second Solo Album this Winter

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I’ll admit I had to look up which Klingon it was that Captain Kirk told to ‘go to the devil.’ It was Kang. As I recall it was a censorship thing, because in 1968, when that episode of the original Star Trek aired, you couldn’t tell someone to go to hell on network television. I don’t know if Iron Man frontman Dee Calhoun had Trek specifically in mind when he picked Go to the Devil as the working title of his soon-to-be-recorded second solo full-length, but it was certainly where my brain went in terms of the reference. Not everyone will have the same response, I suppose.

Whatever it’s ultimately called, Calhoun‘s sophomore outing, which as noted below will also feature Iron Man bassist Louis Strachan, will arrive at a quick turnaround from last year’s Rotgut (review here). That record was among 2016’s best debuts, so it’s only fair to say the follow-up will arrive with some anticipation behind it. After seeing the two perform together at Maryland Doom Fest last year (review here), I’ll look forward to hearing what Strachan brings to the studio material as well.

I could go on. Here’s the news:

dee calhoun

DEE CALHOUN announces second solo album; to include Louis Strachan (Iron Man)

Argonauta Records is happy to announce that Iron Man frontman Dee Calhoun will soon begin production on his sophomore solo album, the follow-up to 2016’s “Rotgut.” Recording will commence in late winter, mostly at Dee’s home studio The Dustbuster.

“The response to ‘Rotgut’ was so amazing, much more than I had ever hoped for,” Dee said. “People identified with the album’s honest simplicity, the honest messages within each song. Those good vibes kept the creativity flowing, and this follow-up will be the result.”

On this album, tentatively titled “Go to the Devil,” Dee will be joined by his Iron Man bandmate Louis Strachan, who will be handling bass guitar duties. “Lou is such a positive force, and has been such a great addition to live shows, it is a no-brainer to have him play on this CD” Dee said. “The material will still have the raw, stripped-down feel that the songs on ‘Rotgut’ had, only with the addition of those great, bouncy bass lines underneath.” Dee also indicates that the album’s themes will continue to follow his “I write what I feel” approach, mixed in with some storytelling elements.

“Go to the Devil” (again, the tentative title) is targeted for a late 2017 release.

http://www.screamingmaddee.com/
https://www.facebook.com/dee.calhoun.7
http://www.argonautarecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/

Dee Calhoun, “Rotgut” official video

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Tomorrow’s Dream: 200+ of 2017’s Most Anticipated Releases

Posted in Features on January 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

tomorrow's dream 2017

Looks like it’s going to be another busy 12 months ahead. It’s been a busy better-part-of-a-month already, so that stands to reason, but you should know that of the several years now that I’ve done these ‘Tomorrow’s Dream’ posts, this is the biggest one yet, with over 150 upcoming releases that — one hopes — will be out between today and the end of 2017.

Actually, at last count, the list tops 180. Do I really expect you to listen to all of them? Nope. Will I? Well, it would be nice. But what I’ve done is gone through and highlighted 35 picks and then built lists off that in order of likelihood of arrival. You’ll note the categories are ‘Gonna Happen and/or Likely Candidates,’ ‘Definitely Could Happen’ and ‘Would be Awfully Nice.’

Beyond that last one, anything else just seems like speculation — one might as well go “new Sabbath this year!” with zero info backing it up. The idea here is that no matter where a given band is placed, there has been some talk of a new release. In some cases, it’s been years, but I think they’re still worth keeping in mind.

Another caveat: You can expect additions to this list over the next week — probably album titles, band names people (fingers crossed) suggest in the comments, and so on — so it will grow. It always does. The idea is to build as complete a document as possible, not to get it all nailed down immediately, so please, if you have something to contribute and you’re able to do so in a non-prickish, “You didn’t include Band X and therefore don’t deserve to breathe the same air as me,” kind of way, please contribute.

Other than that, I think it’s pretty straightforward what’s going on here and I’ll explain the category parameters as we go, so by all means, let’s jump in.

— Tomorrow’s Dream 2017 —

Presented Alphabetically

1. Abrahma, TBA

Late last year, Paris heavy progressives Abrahma announced a new lineup and third full-length in progress. No reason to think it won’t come to fruition, and a follow-up to 2015’s Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird (review here) is an easy pick to look forward to. Even with the shift in personnel, it seems likely the band will continue their creative development, driven as they are by founding guitarist Seb Bismuth.

2. All Them Witches, Sleeping Through the War

all them witches sleeping through the warIf 2017 ended today, Sleeping Through the War would be my Album of the Year. Of course, there’s a lot of year to go, but for now, Nashville’s All Them Witches have set the standard with their second album for New West Records behind 2015’s Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (review here) and fourth overall outing. They’ve got videos up so far for “3-5-7” (posted here) and “Bruce Lee” (posted here). Both are most definitely worth your time. Out Feb. 24. Full review should be later this week.

3. Alunah, Solennial

Seems like UK forest riffers Alunah are on this list every year. Wishful thinking on my part. Nonetheless, their fourth LP and Svart Records debut, Solennial, is out March 17, and if the tease they gave already with the clip for “Fire of Thornborough Henge” (posted here) is anything to go from, its Chris Fielding-produced expanses might just be Alunah‘s most immersive yet.

4. Arbouretum, TBA

I asked the Baltimore folk fuzzers a while back on Thee Facebooks if they had a new record coming in 2017 and they said yes, so that’s what I’m going on here. The last Arbouretum album was 2013’s Coming out of the Fog (review here), and even with frontman Dave Heumann‘s 2015 solo outing, Here in the Deep (review here), factored in, you’d have to say they’re due. Keep an eye on Thrill Jockey for word and I’ll do the same.

5. Atavismo, Inerte

This is another one that already has a spot reserved for it on my Best-of-2017 year-end list. Spanish heavy psych rockers Atavismo up the progressive bliss level with their second full-length, Inerte, without losing the depth of style that made 2014’s Desintegración (review here) so utterly glorious. It probably won’t have the biggest marketing budget of 2017, but if you let Atavismo fly under your radar, you are 100 percent missing out on something special.

6. Bison Machine, TBA

In addition to the video for new track “Cloak and Bones” that premiered here, when Michigan raucousness-purveyors Bison Machine put out the dates for their fall 2016 tour, they included further hints of new material in progress. As much as I dug their earlier-2016 split with SLO and Wild Savages (review here) and 2015’s Hoarfrost (review here), that’s more than enough for me to include them on this list. Killer next-gen heavy rock.

7. Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, TBA

News of a follow-up to Brothers of the Sonic Cloth‘s 2015 Neurot Recordings self-titled debut (review here) came through in October, and it remains some of the best news I’ve heard about 2017 doings. Took them a while to get the first record out, so we’ll see what happens, but it kind of feels like looking forward to a comet about to smash into the planet and cause a mass extinction, and by that I mean awesome. Can’t get here soon enough.

8. Cloud Catcher, Trails of Kosmic Dust

cloud catcher trails of kosmic dustOkay, so maybe I jumped the gun and did a super-early review of Denver trio Cloud Catcher‘s second long-player and Totem Cat Records debut, Trails of Kosmic Dust, but hell, no regrets. Some albums require an early-warning system. Their 2015 debut, Enlightened Beyond Existence (discussed here), was a gem as well, but this is a band in the process of upping their game on every level, and the songwriting and momentum they hone isn’t to be missed.

9. Colour Haze, TBA

I’ve gotten some details on the upcoming full-length from Colour Haze. They do not include a title, artwork, audio, song titles or general direction. Less details, I guess, than word that the CD version of this answer to 2015’s To the Highest Gods We Know (review here) is set to come out next month, as ever, on Elektrohasch. That puts it out in time for Colour Haze‘s upcoming tour with My Sleeping Karma (announced here). Fingers crossed it happens. Colour Haze are perpetual top-albums candidates in my book.

10. Corrosion of Conformity, TBA

Signed to Nuclear Blast after being rejoined by guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan, North Carolina’s C.O.C. have been in the studio since last year. The lineup of Keenan, bassist/vocalist Mike Dean and guitarist Woody Weatherman and Reed Mullin on drums is the stuff of legend and last worked together on 2000’s America’s Volume Dealer, so no question this reunion makes for one of 2017’s most anticipated heavy rock records. They nailed the nostalgia factor on tour. Can they now add to their legacy?

11. Elder, TBA

I was incredibly fortunate about a month ago to visit progressive heavy rockers Elder at Sonelab in Easthampton, MA, during the recording process for their upcoming fourth album. I heard a couple of the tracks, and of course it was all raw form, but the movement forward from 2015’s Lore (review here) was palpable. That LP (on Stickman) brought them to a wider audience, and I expect no less from this one as well, since the farther out Elder go sound-wise, the deeper the level of connection with their listeners they seem to engage.

12. Electric Wizard, TBA

Could happen, could not happen. That’s how it goes. Announced for last Halloween. That date came and went. Word of trouble building their own studio surfaced somewhere along the line. That was the last I heard. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up tomorrow, if it showed up in 2018, or if the band broke up and never put it out. They’re Electric Wizard. Anything’s possible.

13. John Garcia, The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues

Out Jan. 28 on NapalmThe Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues (review here) is the first-ever acoustic album from former Kyuss frontman John Garcia, also of Unida, the reunited Slo BurnHermanoVista ChinoZun, etc. — basically the voice of desert rock. He does a couple Kyuss classics for good measure, but shines as well on the new/original tracks, and while it’s a piece for fans more than newcomers — that is, it helps if you know the original version of “Green Machine” — his presence remains as powerful as ever despite this new context.

14. Goya, Harvester of Bongloads

Riffs, dude. Goya seem to have them to spare. The Arizona-based wizard doomers have set a pretty prolific clip for themselves at this point, with at least two short releases out in 2016, one a 7″ of Nirvana covers (review here), and the The Enemy EP (review here). Set for a March 3 release through their own Opoponax Records imprint, Harvester of Bongloads continues the march into the abyss that 2015’s Obelisk (review here) and 2013’s 777 set in motion, finding the band coming more into their own as well. Creative growth — and bongloads! The best of both worlds.

15. Ides of Gemini, TBA

Ides of Gemini are set to record their yet-untitled third album with Sanford Parker early this year, and it will also mark their debut on Rise Above Records upon its release. They’ve also got a new lineup around vocalist Sera Timms and guitarist J. Bennett, so as they look to move forward from 2014’s Old World New Wave (review here), one can’t help but wonder what to expect, but to be honest, not knowing is part of the appeal, especially from a band who so readily specialize in the ethereal.

16. Kind, TBA

Three-fourths of Kind feature elsewhere on this list. Bassist Tom Corino plays in Rozamov. Drummer Matt Couto is in Elder. Vocalist Craig Riggs is in Roadsaw. And for what it’s worth, guitarist Darryl Shepherd has a new band coming together called Test Meat. How likely does that make Kind to release a second LP in 2017? I don’t know, but their 2015 Ripple Music debut, Rocket Science (review here), deserves a follow-up, and I know they’ve demoed some new songs. If it happens, great. If it’s 2018, at least these dudes will be plenty busy besides.

17. Lo-Pan, In Tensions

lo-pan in tensionsYes, Lo-Pan‘s In Tensions (review here) has already been released — CD/LP with an artbook on Aqualamb. It’s out. Limited numbers. You can get it now. Why include it on a list of most anticipated releases? Because that’s how strongly I feel about your need to hear it. The fruit of a shortlived lineup with guitarist Adrian Zambrano, it distinguishes itself from everything they’ve done before in style while still keeping to the core righteousness that one hopes the Ohio outfit will continue to carry forward. It’s more than a stopgap between albums. Listen to it.

18. The Midnight Ghost Train, TBA

It seems to have been a rough ride for hard-boogie specialists The Midnight Ghost Train since their 2015 Napalm debut and third album overall, Cold was the Ground (review here). They’ve never taken it easy on the road or in terms of physicality on stage, and between injuries and who knows what else, their intensity at this point veers toward the directly confrontational. Nonetheless, they’ve been writing for album number four, may or may not have started the recording process, and I expect that confrontationalism to suit them well in their new material.

19. Monster Magnet, TBA

I have it on decent authority that NJ heavy psych innovators Monster Magnet were in the studio this past autumn. I’ve seen no concrete word of a new album in progress from Dave Wyndorf and company, and I wouldn’t necessarily expect to until it was time to start hyping the release, but after their two redux releases, 2015’s Cobras and Fire (review here) and 2014’s Milking the Stars (review here), their range feels broader than ever and I can’t wait to hear what they come up with next.

20. Mothership, High Strangeness

A pivotal moment for Mothership arrives with High Strangeness, and the heavy-touring, heavy-riffing Texas power trio seem to know it. Their third record on Ripple Music pushes into new avenues of expression and keeps the energy of 2014’s Mothership II (review here) and 2012’s Mothership (review here), but thus far into their career, it’s been about their potential and what they might accomplish going forward. 2017 might be the year for Mothership to declare a definitive place in the sphere of American heavy rock.

21. The Obsessed, Sacred

On Halloween 2016, founding The Obsessed guitarist/vocalist and doom icon Scott “Wino” Weinrich announced a new lineup for the band, with his former The Hidden Hand bandmate Bruce Falkinburg on bass/vocals, Sara Seraphim on guitar and Brian Costantino continuing on drums. A genuine surprise. Their first album since 1994, Sacred (due on Relapse) was tracked as the trio of WeinrichCostantino and bassist/vocalist Dave Sherman, but clearly they’ve moved into a new era already. Wouldn’t even guess what the future holds, but hopefully Sacred still comes out.

22. Orange Goblin, TBA

When it was announced that London’s Orange Goblin were picked up by Spinefarm as part of that label’s acquisition of Candlelight Records last Spring, the subheadline from the PR wire was “Working on Ninth Studio Album.” I haven’t heard much since then, but even as 2014’s Back from the Abyss (review here) pushed them deeper into metallic territory than ever before, their songs retained the character that’s made the band the institution they are. Always look forward to new Orange Goblin.

23. Pallbearer, Heartless

pallbearer heartlessDoomers, this is your whole year right here. I haven’t heard Pallbearer‘s third album, Heartless (out March 24 on Profound Lore), but I have to think even those who haven’t yet been won over by the Arkansas four-piece’s emotive, deep-running style have to be curious about what they’ve come up with this time around. I know I am. These guys have been making a mark on the genre since their 2012 debut, Sorrow and Extinction (review here), and there’s little doubt Heartless will continue that thread upon its arrival.

24. Radio Moscow, TBA

Fact: Radio Moscow stand among the best classic heavy rock live acts in the US. They’re the kind of band you can watch upwards of 15 gigs in a row — I’ve done it — and find them putting on a better show night after night, in defiance of science, logic and sobriety. Word of their signing to Century Media came just this past week and brought with it confirmation of a follow-up to 2014’s stellar Magical Dirt (review here), and for me to say hell yes, I’m absolutely on board, seems like the no-brainer to end all no-brainers. Can’t wait.

25. Roadsaw, TBA

Nearly six full years later, it’s only fair to call Boston scene godfathers Roadsaw due for a follow-up to their 2011 self-titled (review here). Granted, members have been busy in KindWhite Dynomite, and other projects, but still. Their upcoming outing finds them on Ripple Music after years under the banner of Small Stone Records, and though I haven’t seen a solid release date yet, my understanding is they hit Mad Oak Studio in Allston, MA, this past fall to track it, so seems likely for sooner or later. Sooner, preferably.

26. Rozamov, This Mortal Road

Speaking of albums by Boston bands a while in the making, This Mortal Road (out March 3 on Battleground Records and Dullest Records) is the debut full-length from Boston atmospheric extremists Rozamov. Haven’t heard it yet, but I got a taste of some of the material when I visited the band at New Alliance Audio in Aug. 2015, and the bleak expanses of what I heard seem primed to turn heads. I’m a fan of these guys, but in addition, they’ve found a niche for themselves sound-wise and I’m curious to hear how they bring it to fruition.

27. Samsara Blues Experiment, TBA

It’s been a pleasure over the last couple months to watch a resurgence of Berlin heavy psych trio Samsara Blues Experiment take shape, first with the announcement of a fourth album in October, then with subsequent confirmations for DesertfestRiff Ritual in Barcelona, and a South American tour. Reportedly due in Spring, which fits with the timing on shows, etc., the record will follow 2013’s righteous Waiting for the Flood (review here) and as much as I’m looking forward to hearing it, I’m kind of just glad to have these guys back.

28. Seedy Jeezus, TBA

Work finished earlier this month on Melbourne trio Seedy Jeezus‘ second full-length. As with their 2015 self-titled debut, the band brought Tony Reed of Mos Generator to Australia to produce, and after their blissed-out 2016 collaboration with Earthless guitarist Isaiah MitchellTranquonauts (review here), it’s hard not to wonder what experimentalist tendencies might show in the trio’s style this time out, and likewise difficult not to anticipate what guitarist Lex “Mr. Frumpy” Wattereus comes up with for the cover art.

29. Shroud Eater, Strike the Sun

Not to spoil the surprise, but Feb. 1 I’ll host a track premiere from Florida’s Shroud Eater that finds them working in a different context from everything we’ve heard from them to this point in their rightly-celebrated tenure. They also recently had a split out with Dead Hand, and their second long-player, Strike the Sun, will be their debut through STB Records. It’s been since 2011’s ThunderNoise (review here) that we last got a Shroud Eater album, so you bet your ass I’m dying to know what the last six years have wrought.

30. Sleep, TBA

If Sleep were any other band, they’d probably be in the “Would be Awfully Nice” category. But they’re Sleep, so even the thought of a new record is enough to put them here. The lords of all things coated in THC are reissuing their 2014 single, The Clarity (review here), on Southern Lord next month, but rumors have been swirling about a proper album, which of course would be their first since the now-legendary Dopesmoker. If it happens, it’ll automatically be a heavy underground landmark for 2017, but it’s one I’m going to have in my ears before I really believe it.

31. Stoned Jesus, TBA

Even as they tour playing their second album, 2012’s Seven Thunders Roar (review here), to mark its fifth anniversary and continued impact, Ukrainian trio Stoned Jesus are forging ahead with a fourth record behind 2015’s The Harvest (review here). The capital-‘q’ Question is whether or not looking back at Seven Thunders Roar and engaging that big-riffing side of their sound will have an impact on the new material, and if so, how it will meld with the push of The Harvest. Won’t speculate, but look forward to finding out.

32. Stubb, TBA

Since reveling in the soul of 2015’s Cry of the Ocean (review here) on Ripple, London trio Stubb have swapped out bassists, and they were in Skyhammer Studio this month recording a single that may be an extended psychedelic jam. I’ll take that happily, but I’m even more intrigued at the prospect of a third LP and what guitarist/vocalist Jack Dickinson, bassist/vocalist Tom Hobson and drummer Tom Fyfe might have in store as the band moves forward on multiple levels. Might be 2017, might not.

33. Sun Blood Stories, It Runs Around the Room with Us

sun blood stories it runs around the room with usIt Runs around the Room with Us seems to find peace in its resonant experimentalist drones, loops, open, subdued spaces, but there’s always some underlying sense of foreboding to its drift, as if Boise’s Sun Blood Stories could anticipate the moment before it happened. Toward the end of the follow-up to 2015’s Twilight Midnight Morning (review here), they execute the 90-second assault “Burn” and turn serenity to ash. Look for it in April and look for it again on my best of 2017 list in December.

34. Ufomammut, TBA

Any new offering from the Italian cosmic doom magnates is worth looking forward to, and while Ufomammut have left the 15-year mark behind, they’ve never stopped progressing in style and form. To wit, 2015’s Ecate (review here) was a stunner after 2012’s two-part LP, Oro (review here and review here), tightening the approach but assuring the vibe was no less expansive than ever. They started recording last summer, finished mixing in November, so I’m hoping for word of a release date soon.

35. Vokonis, The Sunken Djinn

Born out of Creedsmen Arise, whose 2015 demo, Temple (review here), offered formative thrills, Swedish trio Vokonis debuted with last year’s Olde One Ascending (review here) and proved there’s still life in post-Sleep riffing when it’s wielded properly. They signed to Ripple in November and confirmed the title of their sophomore effort as The Sunken Djinn, as well as a reissue for the first album, which will probably arrive first. I don’t know how that will affect the timing on this one, but keep an eye out anyway.

Gonna Happen and/or Likely Candidates

Obviously some of these are more likely than others. Some have solidified, announced release dates — Dopelord‘s out this month, Demon Head‘s out in April, etc. — and others come from social media posts of bands in studios and hints at upcoming releases and so on. A big tell is whether or not a band has an album title with their listing, but even some of those without have their new albums done, like Atala and Royal Thunder, so it’s not necessarily absolute.

Either way, while I’m spending your money, you might want to look into:

36. Against the Grain
37. Amenra
38. Atala
39. Attalla, Glacial Rule
40. Ayahuasca Dark Trip, II
41. Beastmaker
42. Beaten Back to Pure
43. Blackout
44. Bretus
45. Buried Feather, Mind of the Swarm
46. The Clamps
47. Cold Stares
48. Coltsblood, Ascending into the Shimmering Darkness
49. Come to Grief, The Worst of Times EP
50. Cortez
51. Cruthu, The Angle of Eternity
52. The Dead-End Alley Band, Storms
53. Dead Witches, Dead Witches
54. Dealer
55. Death Alley, Live at Roadburn
56. Demon Head, Thunder on the Fields
57. The Devil and the Almighty Blues, II
58. Devil Electric
59. Doctor Cyclops, Local Dogs
60. Dool, Here Now There Then
61. Dopelord, Children of the Haze
62. Doublestone, Devil’s Own/Djævlens Egn
63. Dread Sovereign, For Doom the Bell Tolls
64. Drive by Wire
65. Elbrus, Elbrus
66. Electric Age
67. Electric Moon, Stardust Rituals
68. Endless Floods, II
69. Five Horse Johnson
70. Forming the Void, Relic
71. Funeral Horse
72. Greenbeard
73. Green Desert Water
74. Greenleaf
75. Grifter / Suns of Thunder, Split
76. Hair of the Dog, This World Turns
77. Heavy Temple, Chassit
78. Here Lies Man, Here Lies Man
79. Hollow Leg, Murder EP
80. Holy Mount, The Drought
81. Hooded Menace
82. Horisont, About Time
83. Hymn, Perish
84. Lecherous Gaze
85. Magnet, Feel Your Fire
86. Mastodon
87. Merlin, The Wizard
88. Merchant
89. Mindkult, Lucifer’s Dream
90. Mirror Queen
91. Moonbow, War Bear
92. Mos Generator
93. The Moth
94. MotherSloth
95. Mouth, Vortex
96. My Sleeping Karma, Mela Ananda – Live
97. Orango
98. Papir
99. PH, Eternal Hayden
100. Psychedelic Witchcraft, Magick Rites and Spells
101. Royal Thunder
102. Saturn, Beyond Spectra
103. Season of Arrows, Give it to the Mountain
104. Siena Root
105. Six Organs of Admittance, Burning the Threshold
106. Six Sigma, Tuxedo Brown
107. Sólstafir
108. The Sonic Dawn, Into the Long Night
109. Spelljammer
110. Spidergawd, IV
111. Steak
112. Stinking Lizaveta, Journey to the Underworld
113. Sula Bassana, Organ Accumulator
114. Summoner
115. Sun Voyager, Sun Voyager
116. Sweat Lodge, Tokens for Hell EP
117. Thera Roya, Stone and Skin
118. Toke
119. Troubled Horse, Revelation on Repeat
120. VA, Brown Acid The Third Trip
121. Weedpecker
122. Youngblood Supercult, The Great American Death Rattle

Definitely Could Happen

Maybe a recording process is upcoming (Gozu, Cities of Mars, YOB), or a band is looking for a label (The Flying Eyes), or they’ve said new stuff is in the works but the circumstances of an actual release aren’t known (Arc of Ascent, Dead Meadow, High on Fire), or I’ve just seen rumors of their hitting the studio (Freedom Hawk, La Chinga, Ruby the Hatchet). We’ve entered the realm of the entirely possible but not 100 percent.

So, you know, life.

Dig it:

123. The Age of Truth
124. Ape Machine
125. Arc of Ascent
126. At Devil Dirt
127. Bantoriak
128. Bask
129. BCAD
130. BoneHawk
131. La Chinga
132. Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters
133. Cities of Mars
134. Crypt Sermon
135. Dead Meadow
136. Death Alley (Studio LP)
137. Dee Calhoun
138. Destroyer of Light
139. Devil
140. Devil Worshipper
141. Duel
142. Dustrider
143. Egypt
144. Electric Moon
145. Elephant Tree
146. Farflung
147. The Flying Eyes
148. Freedom Hawk
149. Gozu
150. The Great Electric Quest
151. Green Meteor, Consumed by a Dying Sun
152. High on Fire
153. Horrendous
154. Insect Ark
155. In the Company of Serpents
156. Iron Monkey
157. Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus
158. The Judge
159. Killer Boogie
160. King Dead
161. The Kings of Frog Island
162. Lords of Beacon House, Recreational Sorcery
163. Mangoo
164. Mondo Drag
165. Monolord
166. Mountain God
167. The Munsens
168. Naxatras
169. Never Got Caught
170. Ommadon
171. Orchid
172. Ordos
173. Pilgrim
174. Poseidon
175. Purple Hill Witch
176. Ruby the Hatchet
177. Sasquatch
178. Satan’s Satyrs
179. Serpents of Secrecy
180. Shabda
181. Shooting Guns
182. Sleepy Sun
183. Slow Season
184. Snowy Dunes, Atlantis
185. Spectral Haze
186. The Sweet Heat
187. Switchblade Jesus
188. Superchief
189. Tÿburn
190. YOB
191. Zone Six

Would be Awfully Nice

This last category is basically as close as I’m willing to come to rampant speculation. Endless Boogie have hinted at new material, and Queens of the Stone Age have talked about hitting the studio for the last two years. There were rumors about Om, and though Kings Destroy just put out an EP, they have new songs as well, though I doubt we’ll hear them before the end of 2017. I’ll admit that Across Tundras, Fever Dog, Lord Fowl, Lowrider and Hour of 13 are just wishful thinking on my part. A boy can hope:

192. Across Tundras
193. Eggnogg
194. Elephant Tree
195. Endless Boogie
196. Fever Dog
197. Fu Manchu
198. Halfway to Gone
199. Hour of 13
200. Kadavar
201. Kings Destroy
202. Lord Fowl
203. Lowrider
204. Masters of Reality
205. Om
206. Orodruin
207. Queens of the Stone Age

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. Whatever this year brings, I hope it’s been great so far for you and I hope it continues to be so as we proceed inexorably to 2018 and all the also-futuristic-sounding numbers thereafter. At least we know we’ll have plenty of good music to keep us company on that voyage.

As always, comments section is open if there’s anything I’ve left out. I’m happy to add, adjust, etc., as need be, so really, have at it, and thanks in advance.

All the best.

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Void Cruiser Confirm Feb. 27 Release for Wayfarer; New Single Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

void cruiser

Originally set for issue this past Autumn, the sophomore full-length from Finland’s Void Cruiser has been given a firm release date of Feb. 27 through Argonauta Records. Preceded by the art and track info that you can see below as well as the cumbersomely-titled new single, “I Didn’t Lie but I Know Now that I Should Have,” the album is named Wayfarer and upon digging into the track, one finds an engaging blend of heavy psychedelia and grunge that seems to invite further inspection. A little bit the song brings Dwellers to mind, but is on an altogether more tripped-out wavelength, though how that might play across the whole release I don’t actually know. Haven’t heard it yet.

So it goes. In any case, at well over eight minutes, “I Didn’t Lie but I Know Now that I Should Have” is more than a snippet and should be plenty to dig into, so yeah, have at it. You’ll find the song under the info below, which came down the PR wire:

void cruiser wayfarer

VOID CRUISER reveal cover artwork and first single from their anticipated new album

Finnish cosmonauts VOID CRUISER reveal cover artwork and first single from their new album “Wayfarer”. The song “I didn’t lie but I know now that I should have” is available at this address: https://youtu.be/s0n5zTSWpXs

The band says: “This single track release is a taste from the upcoming album “Wayfarer”. The song ‘I Didn’t Lie But I Know Now That I Should Have’ was among the first two composed songs for the record and it became benchmark for the rest of the song writing progress. People who have listened to our debut album will realise that this time we have cruised deeper into the sonic unknown and tamed some of the previously unencountered euphonious anomalies. We hope that this track, having such a deep meaning for us, will also be meaningful for all of you.”

VOID CRUISER “Wayfarer”, a massive Heavy Space/Fuzz related Metal work, will be released in CD/DD by ARGONAUTA Records and available from February 27th, 2017. Preorders run here: http://bit.ly/2iglk1d

TRACKLIST:
1. A day on which no man was born
2. I didn’t lie but I know now that I should have
3. As we speak
4. Madonnas and whores
5. Seven years late
6. All over nowhere
7. Maailman kallein kaupunki

www.facebook.com/voidcruiser
https://voidcruiser.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
www.argonautarecords.com

Void Cruiser, “I Didn’t Lie but I Know Now that I Should Have”

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