Quarterly Review: Earth, Heilung, Thronehammer, Smear, Deadbird, Grass, Prana Crafter, Vago Sagrado, Gin Lady, Oven

Posted in Reviews on July 1st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

Deep breath. And… here we go.

Welcome to The Obelisk’s Summer 2019 Quarterly Review. You probably know the drill by now, but just in case, here’s what’s up: starting today and through next Monday, I’ll be reviewing 10 records per day for a total of 60. I’ve done this every three months (or so) for the better part of the last five years, each one with at least 50 releases included. Some are big bands, some are new bands, some are releases are new, some older. It’s a mix of styles and notoriety, and that’s exactly the intent. It’s a ton of stuff, but that’s also the intent, and the corresponding hope is that somewhere in all of it there’s something for everyone.

I’ll check in each day at the top with what usually turns out to be a “hot damn I’m exhausted, but this is worth it”-kind of update, but otherwise, if we’re all on board, let’s just get to it. First batch below, more to come.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Earth, Full Upon Her Burning Lips

earth

Finding post-Southern Lord refuge with Sargent House in similar fashion to Boris, Earth seem to act in direct response to 2014’s Primitive and Deadly (review here) with the 10-track/62-minute Full Upon Her Burning Lips, stripping their approach down to its two essential components: Dylan Carlson‘s guitar and Adrienne Davies‘ drums. The former adds bass as well, and the latter some off-kit percussion, but that’s about as far as they go in the extended meditation on their core modus — even the straightforward photo on the cover tells the story — psychedelic and brooding and still-spacious as the music is. Gone are folk strings or vocals, and so on, and instead, they foster immersion through not-quite minimalist nod and roll, Carlson‘s guitar soundscaping atop Davies‘ slow, steady pulse. It’s not nearly so novel as the last time out, but timed to the 30th anniversary of the band, it’s a reminder that if you like Earth, this dynamic is ultimately why.

Earth on Thee Facebooks

Sargent House website

 

Heilung, Futha

heilung futha

It might seem like an incongruity that something so based in traditionalism conceptually would also turn into experimentalist Viking jazz, but I defy you to hear “Galgadr,” the 10-minute opener of Heilung‘s third full-length, Futha (on Season of Mist), and call it something else. Cuts like the memorable and melodic “Norupo” and the would-be-techno-but-I-think-they’re-actually-just-beating-on-wood “Svanrand,” which, like “Vapnatak” before it, is rife with the sounds of battle, but it’s in the longer pieces, “Othan,” 14-minute closer “Hamrer Hippyer,” and even the eight-plus-minute “Elivgar” and “Elddansurin” that precede it, that Heilung‘s dramas really unfold. Led by the essential presence of vocalist Maria Franz — who could hardly be more suited to the stated theme of calling to feminine power — Heilung careen through folk and narrative and full cultural immersion across 73 minutes, and craft something willfully forward thinking from the history it embellishes.

Heilung on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist website

 

Thronehammer, Usurper of the Oaken Throne

thronehammer usurper of the oaken throne

The reliable taste of Church Within Records strikes again in picking up Thronehammer‘s first full-length, Usurper of the Oaken Throne. The project is a dark and warmaking epic mega-doom working mostly in longform material — it’s six tracks/78 minutes, so yeah — conjured in collaboration by the trio of vocalist Kat Shevil Gillham (Lucifer’s Chalice, etc.), guitarist/keyboardist Stuart Bootsy West (ex-Obelyskkh, ex-The Walruz) and drummer/bassist Tim Schmidt (Seamount), that hits with a massive impact from 17-minute opener “Behind the Wall of Frost” into “Conquered and Erased” (11:24) and “Warhorn” (19:12), making for an opening salvo that’s a full-length unto itself and a beast of doomed grandeur that balances extremity with clearheaded presentation. They simplify the proceedings a bit for “Svarte Skyer” and the eponymous “Thronehammmer,” but are clearly in their element for the 15-minute closing title-track, which rounds out one of the best doom debuts I’ve heard so far this year with due heft and ceremony.

Thronehammer on Thee Facebooks

Church Within Records on Bandcamp

 

Smear, A Band Called Shmear

Smear A Band Called Shmear

Smear‘s live-recorded A Band Called Shmear EP is basically the equivalent of that dude getting dragged out of the outdoor concert for being at the bottom of the puffing clouds of smoke going, “Come on man, I’m not hurting anybody!” And by that I mean it’s awesome. The Eugene, Oregon, four-piece get down on some psychedelic reefer madness tapped into weirdo anti-genre tendencies that come to fruition in the verses of “Guns of Brixton” after the drifting freaker “Old Town.” The whole thing runs an extra-manageable 21 minutes, and six of that are dedicated to the fuzzed jam “Zombie” — tinged in its early going with a reggae groove — so Smear make it easy to follow their outward path, whether it’s the surf-with-no-water “Weigh” at the outset or “Quicksand,” which hints at more complex melodic tendencies almost in spite of itself. You like vibe, right? These cats have plenty to go around, and they deliver it with an absolute lack of pretense. Whatever they do next, I hope they also record it live, because it clearly works.

Smear on Thee Facebooks

Smear on Bandcamp

 

Deadbird, III: The Forest Within the Tree

deadbird iii the forest within the tree

One hesitates to speculate on the future of a band who’ve just taken 10 years to put out an album, but Deadbird sound vital on their awaited third full-length: III: The Forest Within the Tree (arrived late 2018 through 20 Buck Spin), and with a revamped lineup that includes Rwake vocalist Chris Terry and Rwake/The Obsessed bassist Reid Raley as well as bassist Jeff Morgan, guitarist Jay Minish and founders Phillip (drums) and Chuck (guitar) Schaaf and Alan Short — all of whom contribute vocals — Deadbird emerge from the ether with a stunningly cohesive and varied outing of post-sludge, tinged Southern in its humid tonality but still very much geared toward heft and, certainly more than I recall of their past work, melody. In just 38 minutes they push the listener into this dank world of their creation, and seem to find just as much release in experiments “11:34” and “Ending” as in the crashes of “Brought Low” or “Heyday.” Are they really back? Hell if I know, but these songs are enough to make me hope so.

Deadbird on Thee Facebooks

20 Buck Spin on Bandcamp

 

Grass, Fresh Grass

grass fresh grass

Brooklyn four-piece Grass released a live recording in 2017, but the late-2018 EP Fresh Grass marks their studio debut, and it comprises five tracks digging into the traditions of heavy rock with edges derived from the likes of Clutch, Orange Goblin, maybe a bit of Kyuss and modern bluesier practitioners as well in cuts like “Black Clouds” — the lone holdover from one release to the next — and the swaggering “Runaway,” which veers into vocal layering in its second half in a way that seems to portend things to come, while the centerpiece “Fire” and closer “Easy Rider” roll out in post=’70s fashion a kind of rawer modern take. Their sound is nascent, but there’s potential in their swing and the hook of opener “My Wall.” Fresh Grass is the band searching for their place within a heavy rock style. I hear nothing on it to make me think they won’t find it, and if they were opening the show, you’d probably want to show up early.

Grass on Thee Facebooks

Grass on Bandcamp

 

Prana Crafter, MindStreamBlessing

Prana Crafter MindStreamBlessing

Reissued on vinyl through Cardinal Fuzz with two bonus tracks, Prana Crafter‘s 2017 offering, MindStreamBlessing, originally saw release through Eidolon Records and finds the Washington-based solo artist Will Sol oozing through acid folk and psychedelic traditions, instrumentally constructing a shimmer that seems ready for the platter edition it’s been granted. Songs like “As the Weather Commands” and “Bardo Nectar” are experiments in their waves of meandering guitar, effects and keys, while “Mycellial Morphohum” adapts cosmic ecology to minimal spaciousness and vague spoken word. Some part of me misses vocals in the earthy “FingersFlowThroughOldSkolRiver,” but that might just also be the part of me that’s hearing Lamp of the Universe or Six Organs of Admittance influences. The interwoven layers of “Prajna Pines,” on the other hand, seem fine without; bluesy as the lead guitar line is, there’s no doubting the song’s expressive delivery, though one could easily say the same of the krautrock loops and keys and reverb-drenched solo of “Luminous Clouds.”

Prana Crafter on Thee Facebooks

Cardinal Fuzz webstore

 

Vago Sagrado, Vol. III

vago sagrado vol iii

Heavy post-rockers Vago Sagrado set a peaceful atmosphere with “K is Kool,” the opening track of their third album, Vol. III, that is hard to resist. They’ll soon enough pump in contrast via the foreboding low end of “La Pieza Oscura,” but the feeling of purposeful drift in the guitar remains resonant, even as the drums and vocals take on a kind of punkish feel. The mix is one that the Chilean three-piece seem to delight in, reveling in tonal adventurousness in the quiet/loud tradeoff of “Fire (In Your Head)” and the New Wave shuffle of “Sundown” before “Centinela” kicks off side B with the kind of groove that Queens of the Stone Age fans have been missing for the last 15 years. Things get far out in “Listen & Obey,” but Vago Sagrado never completely lose their sense of direction, and that only makes the proceedings more engaging as the hypnotic “One More Time with Feeling” leads into the nine-minute closer “Mekong,” wherein the wash teased all along comes to fruition.

Vago Sagrado on Thee Facebooks

Vago Sagrado on Bandcamp

 

Gin Lady, Tall Sun Crooked Moon

gin lady tall sun crooked moon

I’m more than happy to credit Sweden’s Gin Lady for the gorgeous ’70s country rock harmonies that emanate from their fourth album, Tall Sun Crooked Moon (on Kozmik Artifactz), from the mission-statement opener “Everyone is Love” onward, but I think it’s also worth highlighting that the 10-track outing also features the warmest snare drum sound I’ve heard maybe since the self-titled Kadavar LP. The Swedish four-piece have nailed their sound down to that level of detail, and as they touch on twang boogie in “Always Gold” or find bluesy Abbey Roadian deliverance in the more riff-led chorus of “Gentle Bird,” their aesthetic is palpable but does not trump the straight-ahead appeal of their songwriting. The closing duo of “The Rock We All Push” and the piano-soother “Tell it Like it Is” are the only two tracks to push past five minutes long, but by then the mood is well set and if they wanted to keep going, I have a hard time imagining they’d meet with complaints. Serenity abounds.

Gin Lady on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz website

 

Oven, Couch Lock

oven couch lock

For an EP called Couch Lock — i.e., when you’re too stoned to even stand up — there’s an awful lot of movement on Oven‘s debut release, from the punk thrust of “Get It” to the arrogant sleaze of “Go James” and even the drums in “This Time.” And the nine-minute “Dark Matter” is basically space rock, so yeah, hardly locked to the couch there, but okay. The five-tracker is raw in its production as would seem to suit the Pennsylvania trio, but they still get their point across in terms of attitude, and a closing cover of Nebula‘s “To the Center” seems only to reinforce the notion. One imagines that any basement where they unleash that and the nod that culminates “Dark Matter” just before it would have to be professionally dehumidified afterward to get the dankness out, and an overarching sense of stoner shenanigans only adds to the good times that so much of East Coast-ish psych misses the point on. They’re having fun. You should too.

Oven on Bandcamp

Oven on Thee Facebooks

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Deadbird Stream “Alexandria”; III: The Forest Within the Trees Album Preorders Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Yes. Yes. Yes. New Deadbird. Yes. This. Heavy. Yes. Okay. Good.

Preorders. Shows. New song. PR wire:

Deadbird (photo by Adam Peterson)

DEADBIRD: Arkansas Doom Harbingers Premiere “Alexandria”; Preorders For First Album In Ten Years, III: The Forest Within The Tree, Posted At 20 Buck Spin

Arkansas-based DEADBIRD – containing current and former members of Rwake, Iron Tongue, Pallbearer, and more – is preparing to release their first album in ten years with III: The Forest Within The Tree, through 20 Buck Spin in October. The album’s magmatic new single “Alexandria” has been issued as the label posts preorders for the album.

Recorded in “the ZZ Top Room” at Ardent Studios and at AB Recording, both in Memphis, Tennessee, engineered, co-Produced, and mixed by Alan Burcham, and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege, III: The Forest Within The Tree features vibrant artwork by John Santos (Kylesa, Mutoid Man, Torche, Noothgrush, Catheter).

III: The Forest Within The Tree will see release on LP, CD, and digital formats via 20 Buck Spin on October 12th. Find preorders at the label webshop HERE and via Bandcamp where “Luciferous Heart” is also streaming HERE.

Following their set at Migration Festival in Pittsburgh in July DEADBIRD is booking new live actions in support of III: The Forest Within The Tree, including two record release shows for the album. The band will play two Arkansas shows the week of the album’s release, performing n Little Rock on October 12th and Fayetteville on October 13th. Watch for more tour dates to be announced.

DEADBIRD Record Release Shows:
10/12/2018 White Water Tavern – Little Rock, AR w/ Terminal Nation, Tranquilo.
10/13/2018 Backspace – Fayetteville, AR w/ Bones Of The Earth, Groaners

DEADBIRD:
Alan Short – guitar/vocals
Jeff Morgan – bass / vocals
Phillip Schaaf – drums
Reid Raley – bass / vocals
Chris Terry – synth/samples/vocals
Chuck Schaaf – guitar/vocals

https://www.facebook.com/Deadbird1332
http://www.20buckspin.com
http://www.facebook.com/20buckspin
http://twitter.com/20buckspinlabel
http://listen.20buckspin.com

Deadbird, “Alexandria”

Deadbird, “Luciferous Heart”

Tags: , , , ,

Deadbird to Release III: The Forest Within the Tree Oct. 12 on 20 Buck Spin

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 25th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

About a decade ago, when shows still happened in Manhattan, there was a venue called Lit Lounge. I’m pretty sure it’s closed at this point. Upstairs in back there was an art gallery, in front there was a bar, and downstairs in the basement there was another bar and a few alcoves where you could sit your drunk ass down and get your head together. I saw some incredible shows there. Thing was, Lit Lounge was one of those places that would do a dance club after rock shows in order to actually make some money on a weekend night.

One time, Deadbird were on a bill with I don’t know how many bands, and they were up from Arkansas and playing late, and their set either got cut off or they didn’t get to play. I don’t remember which it was, but it was a fucking scandal, let me tell you. People were pissed. Righteous anger. To the best of my knowledge, that was the last time Deadbird were in New York.

They were supporting 2008’s Twilight Ritual at the time. I interviewed them for that record for Metal Maniacs and asked them if the name of the album meant they were breaking up. When a follow-up didn’t surface, I always felt a little bad about asking that question. Glad they have a new one coming, and they’ll be in good hands on 20 Buck Spin. And while they haven’t announced a tour and certainly not one that will take them back to NYC as of now, they’re playing Migration Fest in Pittsburgh this weekend, and that’s a start.

From the PR wire:

deadbird iii the forest within the tree

DEADBIRD To Release First Album In Ten Years, III: The Forest Within The Tree, In October Via 20 Buck Spin; Track Streaming + Band To Play Migration Fest This Week

Arkansas-based doom harbingers DEADBIRD return in 2018 with their first new album in over a decade, announcing III: The Forest Within The Tree for October release through 20 Buck Spin. The news strikes with an early debut of the track “Luciferous Heart” as the band makes their way to Pittsburgh to perform at Migration Fest this weekend.

A decade has now passed since the release of Twilight Ritual, the second LP from Little Rock’s DEADBIRD, which features current and former members of Rwake, Iron Tongue, Pallbearer, and more. Though much has changed in the metal world since then DEADBIRD remains steadfast in their ability to sculpt heart-wrenching and gutsy songs from the deepest, darkest places within. Years of toil and scorched southern soil went into the band’s third album III: The Forest Within The Tree resulting in forty haunting minutes of emotive turbulence and resolute grit.

An intense listen from the outset, after “The Singularity” intro the one-two punch of “Luciferous Heart” and “Heyday” carry the weight of the grandiose and the grave, burning with furor and primordial light. At times dipping into quietly morose acoustics and at others crushing with a Neurosis-like magnitude, DEADBIRD offers the scope of the world weary and of sentiment laid bare on compositions like “Brought Low” and “Bone & Ash.”

Ten years is not a short time between albums, but the passing of years have solidified DEADBIRD into an entity well versed in the art of vigilance. The eight tracks comprising III: The Forest Within The Tree are their best to date and signal the awakening of new day for the band. The album is a must-hear release for fans of Rwake, Samothrace, Neurosis, Alice In Chains, Kylesa, Pallbearer, Spirit Adrift, His Hero Is Gone, and El Dopa.

III: The Forest Within The Tree features vibrant artwork by John Santos (Kylesa, Mutoid Man, Torche, Noothgrush, Catheter) and will see release on LP, CD, and digital formats via 20 Buck Spin on October 12th; watch for preorders and additional audio samples to be issued shortly.

III: The Forest Within The Tree Track Listing:
1. The Singularity
2. Luciferous Heart
3. Heyday
4. Alexandria
5. 11:34
6. Brought Low
7. Bone & Ash
8. Ending

DEADBIRD will travel north this week to perform at Migration Festival in Pittsburgh this Friday, July 27th through Sunday the 29th. The band joins the likes of Khemmis, Krallice, Pelican, Panopticon, Mournful Congregation, Bongripper, Zombi, The Cancer Conspiracy, The Ominous Circle, Spirit Adrift, Thou, Yellow Eyes, and more. Watch for additional upcoming tour dates from the band to be announced in support of the new album.

DEADBIRD Live:
7/28/2018 Mr. Small’s Theatre – Pittsburgh, PA @ Migration Fest

DEADBIRD:
Alan Short – guitar/vocals
Jeff Morgan – bass / vocals
Phillip Schaaf – drums
Reid Raley – bass / vocals
Chris Terry – synth/samples/vocals
Chuck Schaaf – guitar/vocals

https://www.facebook.com/Deadbird1332
http://www.20buckspin.com
http://www.facebook.com/20buckspin
http://twitter.com/20buckspinlabel
http://listen.20buckspin.com

Deadbird, “Luciferous Heart”

Tags: , , , ,

Pallbearer Announce Tour Dates with Tribulation; New Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

pallbearer

Is it really even necessarily at this point to mention that Pallbearer are among the most important American doom acts of their generation? Isn’t it kind of a given? I don’t know. Whatever. If you don’t know that, it’s probably because your taste dictates otherwise. That is, if you’re reading this, it’s not like you haven’t heard of them. Especially after last year’s Warning-gone-prog LP Heartless (review here), they’re about as close to household names as doom gets without being Black Sabbath.

It’s not a mistake either. They didn’t just happen into success. They’ve broken their collective ass on the road for the last half-decade-plus, and the thread continues this weekend as they begin yet another European tour. Copious festival dates will round out on Aug. 16 in Germany at Summer Breeze — is it the same Summer Breeze you got all those 1996 bootlegs from? I don’t know, go to Radio Shack and spend $100 on like five CD-Rs and I’ll take two hours trying to burn you copies on my 1x CD-RW drive and we’ll find out. After that, they’ll take it to the streets in the western half of the US and also north up into Canada, this time in the company of Tribulation. Much to do.

And as if that didn’t count as busy enough, they’ve got a new video for “Thorns” at the bottom of this post, and keep an eye out. In the band’s quote below, they talk about “revisiting and adding new dimension” to stuff from their whole discography. True enough they’ve undertaken significant growth in their sound, but to me, that sounds like the kind of thing they might want to represent on a live album somewhere down the line. That’s speculation, of course, but you never know.

Unless they say something. Then you know. But they haven’t said anything. So there.

PR wire, take me away:

pallbearer tribulation tour

PALLBEARER ANNOUNCE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR, PREMIERE MUSIC VIDEO FOR ‘THORNS’

See them on the road with Tribulation in September & October

Ascending Arkansas progressive doom quartet Pallbearer will head to European + UK shores next week for a run of shows and festival appearances and today, the band has announced a North American tour with Sweden’s finest metal exports Tribulation this Fall. In anticipation of their forthcoming tour dates, Pallbearer has unleashed a live music video for the track “Thorns”, taken from their recent release, Heartless. The live video was shot during part of the band’s U.S. tour back in February; watch the video for “Thorns” here: https://youtu.be/ooKeykeDsHQ

In regard to the upcoming tours, Pallbearer commented: “After a long period of constant touring behind Heartless, it’s almost time for us to settle in to the cold season and begin crafting our next musical endeavor. But before that, we are heading out once more across North America to bring this chapter to its conclusion. We look forward to stretching out our sets each night on this double bill with Tribulation, revisiting and adding new dimension to material across our entire catalogue.” See all Pallbearer tour dates below.

PALLBEARER, ON TOUR:
July 13 DE Hamburg – Molotow Club
July 14 BE Dour – Dour Festival
July 15 NL Nijmegen – Valkhof Festival
July 16 UK London – Islington Assembly Hall
July 17 UK Glasgow – Stereo
July 18 UK Leeds – Brudenell Social Club
July 19 UK Bristol – The Fleece
July 21 DE Crispendorf – Chaos Descends Festival
July 23 IT Milan – Circolo Magnolia
July 24 SL Tolmin – Metaldays festival
August 3 DK Copenhagen – Vega
August 4 DE Beelen – Krach am Bach Festival
August 5 DE Cottbus – Zum Faulen August
August 7 HR Primosten – SuperUho Festival
August 8 HU Budapest – A38
August 9 CZ Josefov – Brutal Assault Festival
August 10 DE Bad Kotzting – Void Fest
August 12 UK Derbyshire – Bloodstock Festival
August 14 DE Wiesbaden – Schlachthof
August 15 CH Winterthur – Gaswerk
August 16 DE Dinkelsbuhl – Summer Breeze Festival

September 15 – Toronto ON – Lee’s Palace *
September 16 – Detroit MI – Magic Stick *
September 18 – Chicago IL – Bottom Lounge *
September 19 – Minneapolis MN – Turf Club *
September 21 – Denver CO – Bluebird *
September 22 – Salt Lake City UT – Metro *
September 24 – Calgary AB – Dickens *
September 25 – Edmonton AB – Starlite *
September 27 – Vancouver BC – Rickshaw *
September 28 – Seattle WA – El Corazon *
September 29 – Portland OR – Hawthorne *
October 1 – San Francisco CA – Slim’s *
October 3 – Phoenix AZ – Rebel Lounge *
October 5 – Austin TX – Barracuda *
October 6 – Dallas TX – Trees *
October 7 – Houston TX – White Oak *
* w/ Tribulation

Buy tickets: http://pallbearerdoom.com/tour

Pallbearer are:
Brett Campbell | lead vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, synthesizers
Devin Holt | electric & acoustic guitars, vocals
Joseph D. Rowland | electric bass, vocals, synthesizers
Mark Lierly | percussion

https://www.facebook.com/pallbearerdoom
https://twitter.com/pallbearerdoom
https://instagram.com/pallbearerdoom/
https://www.profoundlorerecords.com/
https://profoundlorerecords.com/
https://profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com/

Pallbearer, “Thorns” official video

Tags: , , , , ,

Iron Tongue Post New Single Pallbearer’s Blues

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

iron tongue

I’m assuming that the new Iron Tongue three-songer single, Pallbearer’s Blues, isn’t, you know, about the band’s fellow Arkansas doom brethren in the band Pallbearer. Certainly anything’s possible, but far more likely the title and proximity is a coincidence. Nonetheless, as Iron Tongue follow-up 2016’s long-player, Witches (review here), they show an increasing diversity of sound with vocalist Stephanie Smittle taking lead vocals on “Pallbearer’s Blues” itself and bassist Andy Warr both starting third cut “Darker Still” with an automatically swinging low end groove and stepping up for lead vocals there, while erstwhile frontman Christopher Farris Terry (see also: Rwake) moves to a backing position in both pieces. CT was the one who alerted me to the tracks, which are out now through Spotify and iTunes, where both Witches and the band’s Neurot Recordings-issued 2013 debut, The Dogs Have Barked, The Birds Have Flown (review here). Hard to believe that record’s five years old already. Time, flying and all that.

As to whether the new single precedes a third full-length, I’m not sure, but Iron Tongue would be just about on pace with a release sometime next year, so it’s worth keeping an eye out, and worth checking out the single in the meantime to hear how the band is continually coming into their own. I don’t know if you need a Spotify account to stream the tracks, but since I have a Spotify account, I’d imagine that’s not a problem anyway, since I’m generally the last person on the planet to sign onto that kind of thing after everyone else.

In any case, have at it:

iron tongue pallbearers blues

Iron Tongue is releasing a single for 2 songs, with art from Nate Powell. For the songs Pallbearer’s Blues and Darker Still.

Nate Powell did the art. Come Again, March books 1-3, Any Empire, Swallow Me Whole…

Also, Stephanie Smittle takes lead on the first song, and our bass player Andy is doing lead vocals on the 2nd song. I [CT] sing back up all over it.

Tracklisting:
1. Pallbearer’s Blues
2. Mark’s Diddy
3. Darker Still

Iron Tongue is:
Mark Chiaro – Guitar
Andy Warr – Bass
Stephanie Smittle – Vocals
Stan James – Drums
Chris Terry – Vocals
Adam Faucett – Guitar
JR Top – Keys

https://www.facebook.com/Irontongue/
https://irontongue.bandcamp.com/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/2Ow4SVdhK4jN8jsxX4HmWU

Tags: , , , , ,

Pallbearer Tour Starts Tonight; “Dropout” Documentary Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Arkansas doomers Pallbearer head out on a month-long tour tonight in the company of classic death metallers Obituary, darkthrashers Skeletonwitch and Dust Bolt. They’ve got dates booked as well for July and August — yes, they’ll be at Psycho Las Vegas — as they continue to support last year’s Heartless (review here) full-length, and a new single issued through the Adult Swim Singles Program called “Dropout” that pushes them into some new and surprisingly psychedelic sonic territory.

Not that Pallbearer‘s tones haven’t always been spacious, just that they’ve never been used in quite this way. Could be a one-off or could be portentous of future stylistic evolution, but the song is cool either way and the band have a short documentary up about its making that you can see below. No reason not to get on that.

From the PR wire:

pallbearer (Photo by Diana Lee Zadlo)

Ruminant progressive doom quartet Pallbearer recently premiered a new track entitled ‘Dropout’ as the 53rd installment of the Adult Swim Singles Program. The song, which is available digitally, represents a subtle expansion of the singular doom-prog metal sound the quartet is known for.

To coincide with this release, the band have also made an accompanying mini documentary which gives a behind the scenes look at the recording of ‘Dropout’ – recorded at Fellowship Hall Sound in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Pallbearer comments on the single: “We have almost always written music intended to exist as part of an album, with common musical and lyrical threads that tie many elements together into one release. Being freed from those confines in recording this song allowed us to explore themes and immediacy that might not have been uncovered in our more typical “large format” composition process.”

Pallbearer are undoubtedly road warriors, and they will continue to uphold that titled with their forthcoming North American tour dates. Along with a freshly announced batch of headlining gigs, the group is gearing up to support Obituary on an expansive U.S. tour in the coming month.

PALLBEARER, ON TOUR:
May 2 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade *
May 3 Greensboro, NC @ The Blind Tiger *
May 4 Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts *
May 5 New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre *
May 6 Boston, MA @ Sinclair *
May 8 Toronto, ON @ Opera House *
May 9 Montreal, QB @ Club Soda *
May 10 Rochester, NY @ Main Street Armory *
May 11 Cleveland, OH @ Agora Ballroom *
May 12 Detroit, MI @ Majestic *
May 13 Chicago, IL @ Metro *
May 15 Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s *
May 16 Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room *
May 18 Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre *
May 19 Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall *
May 21 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre *
May 22 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon *
May 23 Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre *
May 25 San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge *
May 26 Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse *
May 27 Phoenix, AZ @ Club Red *
May 29 Austin, TX @ Barracuda *
May 30 Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Bar & Grill *
May 31 Houston, TX @ Scout Bar *
Jun 1 Pensacola, FL @ Vinyl Music Hall *
Jun 2 Orlando, FL @ The Haven Lounge *
Jun 3 Miami, FL @ The Ground *
Jun 17 Little Rock, AR @ Mutants of the Monster Festival
June 22 Tulsa, OK @ Guthrie Green
July 26 Hamden, CT @ The Space
July 27 Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
July 28 Montreal, QC @ Heavy Montreal
July 29 Bangor, ME @ Impact Festival
July 30 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus +
July 31 Amityville, NY @ Amityville Music Hall
Aug 18 Las Vegas, NV @ Psycho Las Vegas
Oct 13 San Bernardino, CA @ Glen Helen Amphitheater ^

* w/ Obituary, Skeletonwitch, Dust Bolt
^ w/ System Of A Down, Incubus
+ Kerrang! presents

PALLBEARER is:
Brett Campbell | lead vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, synthesizers
Devin Holt | electric & acoustic guitars, vocals
Joseph D. Rowland | electric bass, vocals, synthesizers
Mark Lierly | percussion

Pallbearer, “Dropout”

Pallbearer, The Making of “Dropout”

Tags: , , , , ,

Sumokem Premiere “Ogama” from The Guardian of Yosemite; Announce Signing to Cursed Tongue Records

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on October 4th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

SUMOKEM

This Friday, Little Rock, Arkansas, sludge-doomers celebrate the release of their sophomore full-length, The Guardian of Yosemite, at a hometown show at The Rev Room with Napalm Christ, Auric and Headcold. Before they even get there, however, the four-piece announce today that they’ve inked a deal for a vinyl issue for the album through Cursed Tongue Records. Booking your next release before the first release party? I think once you get a load of the track “Ogama” below, you might come to understand how that kind of thing can happen.

Sumokem make short work of a number of different genre barriers throughout the seven-song offering — the digital version of which pushes into eight tracks/61 minutes when one adds the bonus cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Emerald” — and from opener “Attack of the Mammoth,” there’s little between epic metal, doom and sludge that isn’t in their grasp. Grooves unfold fluidly from the outset, and as “Warning” is the shortest inclusion at just under seven minutes, there’s plenty of time for them to do so. CT from Rwake steps in for a guest spot on “War Pipe / Rite of the Calumet,” which adds bite and allows “Ogama” to earn its place as the centerpiece of the album proper with its gracefully progressive rollout offering a melodic highlight even with a peaceful stretch between onslaughts still to come in “Tisayac,” a soaring crescendo of lead guitar in “Mescalito / Meeting of the Half Moon” and a resolved post-Pallbearer expressiveness in 10-minute closer “Nantucket.” There are twists and turns a-plenty even before Sumokem get around to thickening up a classic Phil Lynott progression, and though one wonders how they might all fit on a 12″ platter, there’s no doubt as to the worthiness of the cause.

Speaking of: next Spring has been set as the ballpark release date for Cursed Tongue‘s vinyl. The label sent over the following announcement about picking up the band and provided further background, which you can see below, as well as the cover art by Adam Burke, track and lineup info, and links to the release show’s event page and more besides — as well of course as the premiere of “Ogama” itself, which I hope you enjoy.

So yeah. Enjoy:

sumokem-the-guardian-of-yosemite

SUMOKEM SIGNS TO CURSED TONGUE RECORDS FOR WORLD WIDE RELEASE OF ‘THE GUARDIAN OF YOSEMITE’

It’s with utmost pleasure that we can reveal the signing of Little Rock, Arkansas progressive sludge/doom rock titans in SUMOKEM. Follower of Cursed Tongue Records will find it of little surprise to see this collaboration as we hold this band in really high regard and are long time fans of this unique and hard hitting doom metal ensemble. Ever since the digital release of The Madness Of Lung Shen Ti: Vol 1 back in early 2015 we have been keeping a watchful eye out for this band as we new instantly that they would have the format and ideas to take it far and high.

This is exactly what SUMOKEM have done with The Guardian Of Yosemite, that in our opinion arm-wrestles with all the worn-out, tried-to-death, conformist monotony that most modern doom and stoner releases these days suffer from. SUMOKEM serve up seven mammoth sized tracks drawing from influences ranging from sludge rock, death metal, classic doom, progressive metal and grunge. How is that even possible you may ask, well it’s been quite some time since we have laid ears to such a vast and complex album both musically and emotionally. Especially emotions and feelings is something that The Guardian Of Yosemite is strong on – you can literally feel the story told on this conceptual album.

We recommend The Guardian of Yosemite to all stoner and doom heads that want their music to stand out from the normal and who are willing to invest time in a more demanding album that in return will pay you back with hours and hours of unwaning musical bliss. Fans of Pallbearer, Khemmis and Yob will find plenty to enjoy here, but rest a sure this band can not be confined within the realm of these comparisons.

SUMOKEM was founded by vocalist/rhythm guitarist Jacob Sawrie in January of 2013, with Josh Ingram (lead guitar) and Drew Skarda (drums), later adding Alan Wells (Shitfire, Napalm Christ) on bass guitar.

SUMOKEM have released a digital single as part of the Mutants of the Monster/Handshake Inc/Alternative Tentacles 2013/2014 Compilation, as well The Madness of Lu Shen Ti: Vol. 1 EP on Handshake, Inc, and received attention from Steel for Brains, Meat Mead & Metal, and Gaffa Magazine (Sweden).

Founding lead guitarist Josh Ingram passed away on May 9, 2015. Shortly after, SUMOKEM parted ways with Alan Wells. In June 2015, Tyler Weaver and Dustin Weddle (Snakedriver/Seahag) joined the band, and SUOMEKM are now ready to drop their first full length, The Guardian of Yosemite, on the unprepared World. The album is set to release digitally and on CD October 6th, 2017 with a full blown 2LP vinyl worldwide release slated for early spring 2018 via Cursed Tongue Records.

CTR-006, SUMOKEM – The Guardian Of Yosemite, official release date: Spring 2018

The Guardian of Yosemite is dedicated to Josh Ingram.

SUMOKEM is:
Jacob Sawrie – Rhythm/Vox
Drew Skarda – Percussion
Tyler Weaver – Lead
Dustin Weddle – Bass

Engineered/Mixed by Mark Colbert at Fellowship Hall Sound and Capitol View Studios
Mastered by Brad Boatright at AUDIOSIEGE
Cover art by Adam Burke
Guest vocals on War Pipe by C.T. (Rwake)
Music and Lyrics by Sawrie
All songs arranged by SUMOKEM

Track listing:
1. Attack of the Mammoth
2. Warning
3. War Pipe/Rite of the Calumet
4. Ogama
5. Tisayac
6. Mescalito/Meeting of the Half-Moon
7. Nantucket

https://www.facebook.com/events/124466121507962/
https://sumokem.bandcamp.com/album/the-guardian-of-yosemite
https://www.facebook.com/SUMOKEM/
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords/
https://www.instagram.com/cursedtongue
http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/

Sumokem, “Ogama” official premiere

Tags: , , , , ,

Pallbearer Announce Headlining West Coast and Midwest Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 4th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Arkansas doom forerunners Pallbearer begin a European tour tomorrow supporting their new album, Heartless (review here). That tour will culminate with a stop April 23 at Roadburn 2017 in Tilburg, the Netherlands, and the band will follow it with a US headlining run. You can go ahead and be surprised by this news if you want, but frankly, Pallbearer touring is about as shocking as the sun coming up and going back down. It happens, is what I’m saying. Dudes get around.

The difference? Well, to see the band headline in spaces like Union Transfer in Philly — last time I was there, it was to see High on Fire — is something that shows how far they’ve come in moving to the head of the class in the current generation of doom, and they’re certainly showing some range in the bands with whom they’re sharing the stage. I took the dates out because they already happened, but in addition to the acts listed below, they recently did some shows with Marissa Nadler and others in the Midwest and on the Eastern Seaboard.

You know what I enjoy? Seeing a good band who work really hard get popular and then continue to work really hard.

From the PR wire:

pallbearer

PALLBEARER ANNOUNCE U.S. HEADLINE TOUR IN MAY & JUNE 2017

In support of their newly released magnum opus Heartless, genre-defying giants Pallbearer will canvas North America in May and June on a headline tour featuring support from Gatecreeper, Pinkish Black, Venomous Maximum, and Inter Arma on select dates. This run will follow Pallbearer’s late-March U.S. jaunt and their forthcoming European tour in April. Pallbearer’s full tour routing can be found below.

Released last Friday on Profound Lore in North America (and Nuclear Blast in Europe), Heartless is a 7-song album grander in scope than anything Pallbearer have released prior, showcasing a natural progression that melds higher technicality and more ambitious structures. Heartless was recorded straight-to-tape with Joe Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age, Tool, Melvins, Soundgarden) manning the board, making for the band’s most pummeling, ambitious, and virtuosic work to date.

“Instead of staring into to the void—both above and within—Heartless concentrates its power on a grim reality,” the band explains. “Our lives, our homes and our world are all plumbing the depths of utter darkness, as we seek to find any shred of hope we can.”

See Pallbearer on the road through June 2017:
April 5 Brussels, Belgium @ Botanique !
April 6 London, UK @ Underworld !
April 8 Bristol, UK @ Thekla !
April 9 Manchester, UK @ Ruby Lounge !
April 11 Hamburg, Germany @ Hafenklang !
April 12 Goteborg, Sweden @ Sticky Fingers !
April 13 Stockholm, Sweden @ Kraken STHLM !
April 14 Aarhus, Denmark @ Atlas !
April 15 Copenhagen, Denmark @ Pumpehuset !
April 16 Hanover, Germany @ Cafe Glocksee !
April 18 Köln, Germany @ Underground !
April 19 Berlin, Germany @ Musik & Frieden
April 20 Leipzig, Germany @ Doom Over Leipzig
April 21 Zurich, Switzerland @ Rote Fabrik
April 22 Karlsruhe, Germany @ Dudefest
April 23 Tilburg, Netherlands @ Roadburn
May 11 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live — Studio ^
May 12 Dallas, TX @ Curtain Club ^
May 13 Austin, TX @ Barracuda ^
May 15 Phoenix AZ @ The Rebel Lounge %
May 16 San Diego, CA @ Casbah #
May 18 Los Angeles, CA @ The EchoPlex #
May 19 Oakland, CA @ The New Parish #
May 20 Reno, NV @ Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor #
May 22 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge #
May 23 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater #
May 25 Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room ^^
May 26 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry ^^
May 27 Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews ^^
May 28 Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon ^^
May 30 Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups ^^
May 31 Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theater ^^
June 1 Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel ^^
June 2 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer **
June 5 Harrisonburg, VA @ The Gameolden Pony ^^
June 6 Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar ^^
June 7 St. Louis, MO @ Fubar ^^

! w/ Pinkish Black
^ w/ Gatecreeper, Pinkish Black
% w/ Gatecreeper, Spirit Adrift
# w/ Gatecreeper, Venomous Maximus
^^ w/ Gatecreeper, Inter Arma
** w/ Baroness, Nothing

Pallbearer is:
Brett Campbell – guitar, vocals
Devin Holt – guitar, vocals
Mark Lierly – drums
Joseph D. Rowland – bass, vocals

https://www.facebook.com/pallbearerdoom
https://twitter.com/pallbearerdoom
https://instagram.com/pallbearerdoom/
https://www.profoundlorerecords.com/
https://profoundlorerecords.com/
https://profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com/

Pallbearer, “I Saw the End” official video

Tags: , , , , ,