Quarterly Review: Harvestman, Beastmaker, Endless Boogie, Troubled Horse, Come to Grief, Holy Rivals, Mountain God, Dr. Space, Dirty Grave, Summoned by Giants

Posted in Reviews on July 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-summer-2017

Bonus round! I don’t know if you’re stoked on having a sixth Quarterly Review day, but I sure am. Basically this is me doing myself favors. In terms of what’s being covered and how I’m covering it, today might be the high point for me personally of the entire Summer 2017 Quarterly Review. Some of this stuff I’m more behind on than others, but it’s all releases that I’ve wanted desperately to write about that I haven’t been able to make happen so far and I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be able to do so at last. It’s a load off my mind in the best way possible, and as this is the final day of the Quarterly Review, before I dig in I’ll just say one more time thank you for reading and I hope you found something in the past week that really speaks to you, because that’s what makes it all worthwhile in the first place. One more go.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Harvestman, Music for Megaliths

harvestman-music-for-megaliths

A new Harvestman album, like a harvest itself, is an occasion. Distinct entirely from the solo output released by Neurosis guitarist/vocalist Steve Von Till under his own name, Harvestman’s guitar-led experimentalism and ritualized psychedelia don’t happen every day – the last album was 2009’s In a Dark Tongue (review here) – and with the resonance of “Oak Drone” and the layered, drummed and vocalized textures of “Levitation,” the new collection, Music for Megaliths (on Neurot, of course), lives up to the project’s high standards of the unexpected. Pulsations beneath opener and longest track (immediate points) “The Forest is Our Temple” offer some initial threat, but the electronic beat behind the howling notes of “Ring of Sentinels” and the Vangelis-esque centerpiece “Cromlech” find more soothing ground, and though “Sundown” seems to be speaking to Neurosis “Bleeding the Pigs” from 2012’s Honor Found in Decay (review here) in its atmosphere, the spoken word that tops closer “White Horse” provides a last-minute human connection before all is brought to a quick fadeout. If you told me Music for Megaliths was assembled over a period of years, I’d believe you given its breadth, but whether it was or not, Harvestman’s latest should provide a worthy feast for a long time to come.

Harvestman on Thee Facebooks

Neurot Recordings webstore

 

Beastmaker, Inside the Skull

beastmaker-inside-the-skull

Los Angeles three-piece Beastmaker continue their ascent with their second album for Rise Above Records, the unflinchingly cohesive Inside the Skull. Like its predecessor, 2016’s Lusus Naturae (review here), the quick-turnaround sophomore outing executes a modern garage doom aesthetic and unfuckwithably tight songwriting, this time bringing 10 new tracks that reimagine classic vibes – witness the Witchcraft “No Angel or Demon”-style riff of opener “Evil One” (video posted here) – and touch on some of the same ground pioneered by Uncle Acid without actually sounding like that UK band or sounding like anyone for that matter so much as themselves. They make darkened highlights of “Now Howls the Beast,” “Of Gods Creation,” the crashing “Psychic Visions,” closer “Sick Sick Demon” and the preceding “Night Bird,” which offers some welcome departure into drift prior to the solo in its final minute – all impeccably crisp in structure despite a dirt-caked production – but resonant, memorable hooks abound, and the trio affirm the potential their debut showed and offer a quick step forward that one can only imagine will find them turning more heads toward their growing cult following. They’re still growing, but Inside the Skull is confirmation Beastmaker on a path to becoming something really special.

Beastmaker on Thee Facebooks

Beastmaker at Rise Above Records

 

Endless Boogie, Vibe Killer

endless-boogie-vibe-killer

One can’t help but think there’s a bit of tongue-in-cheekery at play in the inaccuracy of Endless Boogie titling their latest album Vibe Killer. The seven-track/51-minute No Quarter release follows 2013’s Long Island (review here) and is, of course, doing everything but killing the vibe, as the New York-based outfit proffer their nestled-in raw songs crafted out of and on top of improvised jams, the semi-spoken gutturalisms of guitarist Paul “Top Dollar” Major a defining element from the laid back opening title-track onward. Moody rock classicism persists through “High Drag, Hard Doin’” and the more active “Back in ’74,” but the true peak of Vibe Killer comes in the 11-minute “Jefferson Country,” which unfolds hypnotic drone experimentation that’s as willfully ungraceful as it winds up being flowing. Bottom line: dudes know what’s up. Endless Boogie’s languid roll is second to nobody and Vibe Killer is a vision of cool jazz reinvented to feel as much at home in rock clubs of the basement and of the chic see-and-be-seen variety. Very New York, in that, but not at all given to elitism. Everyone’s invited to dig, and dig they should.

Endless Boogie on Thee Facebooks

No Quarter Records webstore

 

Troubled Horse, Revolution on Repeat

troubled-horse-revolution-on-repeat

There were a few minutes there where one probably wouldn’t have been wrong to wonder if Örebro, Sweden’s Troubled Horse would have a follow-up at all to back 2012’s Step Inside (review here), but with Revolution on Repeat (out via Rise Above), the four-piece led by dynamic vocalist Martin Heppich prove among the most vital of the many heavy rock acts to emerge from their hometown, known for the likes of Witchcraft, Graveyard, Truckfighters and countless others. Heppich, lead guitarist Mikael Linder (also bass on the recording), guitarist Tom and drummer Jonas start with the boogie-fied opening salvo “Hurricane” (video premiere here) and “The Filthy Ones,” and run madcap through the memorable hooks of “Which Way to the Mob” and “Peasants” en route to the mid-paced “The Haunted” and into a second half marked by the semi-balladry of “Desperation” and “My Shit’s Fucked Up.” Soon, the standout chorus of “Track 7” (yup, that’s the title) and the penultimate funk of “Let Bastards Know” lead to a nine-minute epic finish in “Bleeding” – and all the while Troubled Horse hold firm to groove, momentum, poise, crisp production and songwriting as they tie varied landmarks together with an overarching sense of motion, Heppich’s charismatic soulfulness and deceptively subtle flourishes of arrangement to make an absolutely welcome return.

Troubled Horse on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records website

 

Come to Grief, The Worst of Times

come-to-grief-the-worst-of-times

Sometimes you just have to toss up your hands and say, “Well, that’s some of the nastiest shit I’ve ever heard.” To step back and consider them at some distance, Come to Grief aren’t near the most abrasive band on the planet, but when you’re actually listening to their debut EP, The Worst of Times, that’s much harder to believe. Launching with “Killed by Life,” the four-tracker finds the Boston outfit led by former Grief guitarist Terry Savastano – here joined by drummer Chuck Conlon, bassist Justin Christian and vocalist/guitarist Jonathan Hebert – plodding out scream-topped filth that’s actually fuller-sounding than anything Grief did back in their day and all the more devastating for its thickness. The seven-minute “No Savior” is excruciating, and though shorter, “Futility of Humanity” and even the slightly-faster closer “Junklove” bring no letup whatsoever from the onslaught. Think accessible, then go the complete other way, then bludgeon yourself. It’s kind of like that. Absolute brutality delivered by expert and unkind hands.

Come to Grief on Thee Facebooks

Come to Grief on Bandcamp

 

Holy Rivals, Holy Rivals

holy rivals holy rivals

The question of whether noise rock and sludge can coexist is largely one of tempo and tone, and recently-signed-to-BlackseedRecords Pittsburgh trio Holy Rivals’ self-titled debut answers in forceful fashion. Amid more aggro punch of opener “Locked Inn” comes the crust-laden grunge of “Voices,” and whether they’re rolling out the more spacious “Sleep” or sprinting through the post-Bleach raw punkery of “Dead Ender” on their way to the more ambient and patient seven-minute finale “Into Dust,” guitarist/vocalist Jason Orr (also T-Tops), bassist Aaron Orr (whose tone features well on the closer) and drummer Matt Langille – whose adaptability is essential to the Helmet-style starts and stops of “Loathe” that emerge from the preceding roll of “Sleep” – Holy Rivals put a superficial harshness to use as a cover for what’s actually a diverse songwriting process. They’ll reportedly have a new record out in Fall 2017, so this 2016 self-release may soon be in hindsight, but in setting the foundation for growth, it offers exciting prospects caked in an abidingly raw presentation.

Holy Rivals on Thee Facebooks

Holy Rivals on Bandcamp

 

Mountain God, Bread Solstice

mountain god bread solstice

Around what would seem to be the core duo of guitarist/vocalist Ben Ianuzzi and bassist/keyboardist Nikhil Kamineni, Brooklyn psychedelic post-sludgers Mountain God have undergone numerous lineup shifts en route to and through the release of their debut album, Bread Solstice (on Artificial Head Records). To wit, drummer/vocalist Ryan Smith (also Thera Roya), who appears on the dark, unrelenting and abyss-crafting 40-minute six-tracker, has already been replaced by Gabriel Cruz, and there have been other changes in vocalist, keyboardist and drummer positions even since they offered their 2015 EP, Forest of the Lost (review here) to set the stage for this deeply-atmospheric, it’s-acid-rock-but-with-sulfuric-acid first long-player. In light of that tumult and the overarching commitment to abrasive noise Mountain God make in pieces like the 11-minute “Nazca Lines,” “Junglenaut” or even the brooding tension of airy instrumental “Unknown Ascent,” it’s all the more impressive that Bread Solstice is as cohesive in its cerebral horror as it is, constructing a harsh and churning vision of doom as something worthy of post-apocalyptic revelry. Far from easy listening, but of marked purpose. They should play exclusively in art galleries, no matter who winds up in the band.

Mountain God on Thee Facebooks

Artificial Head Records on Bandcamp

 

Dr. Space, Dr. Space’s Alien Planet Trip Vol. 1

dr-space-dr-spaces-alien-planet-trip-vol-1

Perhaps best known for his work in spearheading the improvisational Denmark-based Øresund Space Collective, modular synth wizard Scott “Dr. Space” Heller weirds out across four cuts on the solo release Dr. Space’s Alien Planet Trip Vol. 1, which both underscores in its scope how essential he is to the aforementioned outfit and oozes beyond that group’s parameters into electronic beatmaking and waves of synthesizer drone. Pulling influence from classic progadelia, Heller unfurls longform tripping on 24-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “5 Dimensions of the Universe” and veers into and out of somewhat abrasive swirl on “Rising Sun on Mars” before landing in the more steady atmosphere of “In Search of Life on Io” and launching once more outward with the five-minute finale “Alien Improv 2.” Just how many alien planet trips the good doctor will be undertaking remains as yet a mystery, but the breadth of this first one makes it plain to the listener that Heller’s sonic universe is wide open and, seemingly, ever-expanding.

Øresund Space Collective on Thee Facebooks

Space Rock Productions website

 

Dirty Grave, So Fall and Crawl Away

dirty-grave-so-fall-and-crawl-away

Brazilian doomers Dirty Grave issue the three-song single/EP So Fall and Crawl Away (bonus points for the Alice in Chains reference) ahead of making their full-length debut reportedly any minute now with an album called Evil Desire. Comprised of two studio tracks in the eight-minute “The Black Cloud Comes” and the four-minute Howlin’ Wolf cover “Evil (Is Going On)” and with the live cut “Unholy Son – Live” as a kind of bonus track, it’s a sampling behind two similar short releases, 2014’s Vol. II and 2013’s Dirty Grave (which featured a studio version of “Unholy Son”), that sleeks through eerie doom loosely tinged with psychedelia and smoked-out vibing. “Evil (Is Going On)” is more uptempo, perhaps unsurprisingly, but is giving a likewise treatment all the same, its final solo shredding into oblivion with stoned abandon. “Unholy Son – Live” is rawer but still carries through its melody in the vocals amid a prevalent crash, and if it’s a portend of things to come on Evil Desire, then So Fall and Crawl Away serves as a warning worth heeding.

Dirty Grave on Thee Facebooks

Dirty Grave on Bandcamp

 

Summoned by Giants, Stone Wind

summoned-by-giants-stone-wind

If you have a convenient narrative for what West Coast heavy rock has become over the last decade, Summoned by Giants’ debut album, Stone Wind, is probably too aggressive on the whole to fit it neatly. Their cleaner parts, the rolling second cut “Diamond Head” and samples throughout have aspects of that post-Red Fang party vibe, but to listen to the rawness of the bass tone that starts “Return” or closer “I Hate it When You Breathe,” or even the slurring “come at me, bro”-style rant sampled at the seven-track/27-minute album’s launch, a will toward violence is never far off. Couple that with the thickened noise punk of “Saturn” and the Weedeater sludge of the penultimate “Dying Wish,” and Summoned by Giants – guitarist/vocalist Sean Delaney, guitarist Jordan Sattelmair, bassist/vocalist Patrick Moening and drummer Mel Burris – seem more interested in doling out punishment than kicking back, making a silly video and having a good time. Well, maybe they’re having a good time, but they’re doing so while kicking your ass.

Summoned by Giants on Thee Facebooks

Summoned by Giants on Bandcamp

 

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Mountain God Announce July Weekender Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

New York doom crunchers Mountain God apparently haven’t taken the stage in a while, and by ‘a while’ I mean a couple years. In the interim, they signed to Artificial Head and released their debut album, Bread Solstice — which I’m already months late on reviewing, because I suck at this — which brought forth due sonic devastation after a couple of darkly portentous short offerings. Lineup shifts have been a regular feature of the band, at least around guitarist/vocalist Ben Ianuzzi and bassist/noisemaker Nikhil Kamineni, and the trio that now includes drummer Gabriel Cruz have apparently already set to work on their next batch of material. Clearly I’d better get my ass on that review. Noted.

The PR wire brings word of a weekender tour for next month in the Northeast that will mark their return to the stage. Goes like this:

mountain god photo greg christman

Mountain God – July Tour

This July, experimental doom/sludge behemoths Mountain God return to the stage after a nearly 2 year absence from live performances. Led by founders Ben Ianuzzi (guitars, vocals) and Nikhil Kamineni (bass, synths, noise), the duo is joined by new drummer Gabriel Cruz (Hollow Senses). Their 2017 dates include shows in Brooklyn, Washington D.C, Elizabeth and Philadelphia, with more shows planned for the fall.

Having formed in 2012, Mountain God is a familiar name within the underground metal scene, known for a unique blend of doom, psych, noise, and all around heavy riffing. Each of their releases, including “Experimentation on the Unwilling” (2013), “Forest of the Lost” (2015), and most recently, their first full length entitled “Bread Solstice” (Artificial Head Records, 2017), have seen the band continue to evolve and transform into a powerful, scathing, visceral entity that is thoughtful in its process and uncompromising in its musical vision. With the addition of Cruz on drums, the band has been steadily working on new material that is darker, heavier, and noisier than anything the band has done to this point. Entitled “Psychic Driving”, (an allusion to 50s and 60s government mind control programs run by the CIA) Mountain God looks to create an atmosphere that is numbing, deconstructive, and terrorizing, the same emotions felt by the various test subjects whose lives were ruined by the work of men such as Dr. Ewen Cameron.

This tour will see the band perform one of these new tracks along with choice cuts from their back catalogue. If you’ve never seen them, Mountain God is a punishing band in a live setting. Their sound, honed since the bands inception, is a sum of all its parts, including Ianuzzi’s trademark Monson guitar crunch and distorted, terrifying vocals, coupled with Kamineni’s hypnotic, thick, fuzzed out bass tones that dance and weave throughout the songs. The band is all the more strengthened by the ferocity of Cruz’s drumming, as well as synth textures, provided by noise guru Kamineni, that bring the Mountain God trademark sound to life. This tour will see the band reconnect with friends in Godmaker and Foehammer, as well as other peer bands including Trunk and Hyborian.

Having shared the stage with acts such as Yob, Ufommamut, Primitive Man, Opium Lord, and many, many others, the future of the band is bright, with plans to take its music to new places and venues. One reviewer stated, “the demented sounds and sheer majesty of Mountain God suggest that this is a band with the potential to become a major driver in the doom metal scene. They have a sense of forward motion that many of their peers lack, but they are unafraid to ease back on the throttle and merely revel in the power of a great riff. Mountain God are a head and shoulders above many of their peers in this scene and Bread Solstice is a veritable statement and one that I sincerely hope will stand the test of time”.

July Tour Dates:
July 28th- The Well, Brooklyn, NY with Godmaker, Hyborian, and Somnuri
July 29th- The Pinch, Washington DC with Foehammer, Myopic, Ashes of Mankind, Ash Prayer
July 30th- Cianfano’s Bar, Elizabeth, NJ with Galare, Trunk, TBA
July 31st- Kung Fu Nektie (upstairs), Philadelphia, PA with Trunk, TBA

https://www.facebook.com/MountainGodBand
https://mountain-god.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ArtificialHead
https://artinstitute.bandcamp.com/

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Cursus to Release Self-Titled Debut April 28; New Song Streaming

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

cursus

At any given second, there is nothing about the new streaming Cursus track that doesn’t seem to want to be as heavy as it can possibly be. One can hear the Neurosis influence noted by the PR wire in “Waters of Wrath,” which is the first audio to come from the San Antonio, Texas, two-piece’s self-titled debut, but less so the likes of Om or YOB, at least as regards an immediate ritualistic or cosmic impression — though after listening to the band’s 2013 Summer Solstice Sessions demo (available name-your-price at their Bandcamp) neither would I count on “Waters of Wrath” to speak for the entirety of the album.

An April 28 release has been set through Artificial Head Records, the label helmed by Funeral Horse guitarist/vocalist Walter Carlos, and I’ll be interested to find out what it has in store to go with the forceful churn Cursus showcase initially. For now, they certainly seem to know how to make a first impression.

Cover art and album details follow:

cursus self titled

CURSUS: Texan doom-duo crush worlds on colossal debut | Listen to new song ‘Waters of Wrath’

Cursus will be released on vinyl/digital on 28th April 2017 via Artificial Head Records

Artificial Head Records is pleased to announce the signing of psychedelic sludge band Cursus and with it the release of their self-titled debut album this April.

Taken from the Latin word meaning “course” – specifically the mournful paths our ancestors once took to bury their dead – the San Antonio-based paring of guitarist/vocalist CJ Duron and drummer Sarah Roork first came into being in the winter of 2013 with the release of their Summer Solstice Sessions demo. Influenced by the likes of Om, Neurosis, YOB and Ufomammut, and deep in experimentation with different sounds, instruments and drone frequencies, the demo slowly unfurled colossal riff driven soundscapes that permeated and punched in equal measure.

Released through Bandcamp it quickly caught the ear of label boss and fellow Texan, Walter Carlos, who signed Cursus on the spot to his Houston-based label Artificial Head Records.

“I had toured with Cursus a few times over the years and I’ve always admired their massive sound. Their ability to crush bodies in the room with their songs is uncanny,” explains Carlos. “Initially, we were going to release a live cassette by the band from recordings they made while on tour. But as the project kept going, we decided that a full-length studio album would be better and we’re proud to have Cursus as part of our family.”

Three years on from the release of Summer Solstice Sessions and Duron and Roork have their debut album loaded. Produced in a basement-recording studio by close friend Chris Dillard, over six devastating songs Cursus summons personal and spiritual pains and turns each into amplified dirges packed with riffs, hypnotic string arrangements and spellbinding percussion. With the power of cosmic doom burning brightly, distortion slams hard into 6/8 rhythms as the Duron and Roork charter a longboat through a magnificent storm of ethereal destruction.

Cursus’s self-titled debut album will be released on vinyl/digital on 28th April 2017 via Artificial Head Records.

Cursus:
CJ Duron – Guitar and Vocals
Sarah Roork – Drums

Album art by Javier “Warhorse” Luis
Artist: Cursus
Title: Cursus
Release Date: 28th April 2017
Label: Artificial Head Records
Formats: Vinyl/Digital

https://www.facebook.com/cursusdoom/
https://cursus.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ArtificialHead
https://artinstitute.bandcamp.com/

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Mountain God to Release Bread Solstice March 24: “Karmic Truth” Streaming Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

mountain god

Going from zero to absolute abrasion in about three seconds, it seems only fair to note the quick impulse toward the scathing that the first audio from Mountain God‘s forthcoming debut album, Bread Solstice, elicits. The track is called “Karmic Truth,” and as you can hear at the bottom of this post, it brings the bite of Godflesh together with a brutal, tonally-dense churn, atmospheric and pummeling both. These guys have been included in my most-anticipated lists for the last two years running (see here and here), so yes, I’ve been looking forward to the record for a while. Pretty much since that time their Forest of the Lost EP (review here) tore my face off in 2015. It’s cool. I wasn’t really using it.

March 24 is the release date, and it’ll be out through Artificial Head Records, the label helmed by Walter Carlos of Texas weirdo rockers Funeral Horse. The PR wire has details:

mountain-god-bread-solstice

MOUNTAIN GOD: Brooklyn-based doom trio share psychedelic debut | Listen to new song ‘Karmic Truth’

Bread Solstice will be released on vinyl/digital through Artificial Head on 24th March 2017

Artificial Head Records is thrilled to announce the signing of Brooklyn-based trio Mountain God and with it the release of their debut album Bread Solstice.

Formed in May 2012 by guitarist/vocalist Ben Ianuzzi and drummer Ian Murray, along with former Alkahest members Nikhil Kamineni and Jon Powell, as one of 2017’s most exciting new prospects Mountain God’s time is almost upon us.

Experimenting with raw concoctions of doom and ’70s psychedelic influences, their commitment to channeling ill feeling, heavy rock, deep meaning and dark subject matter is unwavering. In 2015 Mountain God followed the release of their five-song EP Experimentation On The Unwilling (2013) with the sprawling concept track ‘Forest Of The Lost’; a devastating, doom-infused laudation of distorted sludge, ambient noise and stoner rock.

Following the departure of Powell and Murray, Thera Roya drummer Ryan Smith was drafted in as the trio set to work recordings that would form the basis of Bread Solstice, their full-length debut and first outing for the Houston-based record label Artificial Head.

“While some of the songs date all the way back to 2013, we didn’t begin rehearsing them regularly until Summer 2015,” explains guitarist Ianuzzi. “We started out demoing, writing, and tearing apart the ideas until we had things we liked. We definitely wanted to push the envelope with more nuanced effects and fewer 4/4 time signatures.”

Around this period the band also became a steady fixture on the NYC metal scene performing shows with the likes of Ufomammut, YOB, Primitive Man, Naam and Kings Destroy. Threatening spaced out and progressive paeans in the mold of Wolves in the Throne Room, Neurosis and Candlemass, as angry and complex a beast as Bread Solstice is it’s also deeply immersive and hypnotic in its atmospheres. Much like their early EPs and recordings, while creeping keyboards swell on tracks like ‘Unknown Ascent’, elsewhere riff-heavy tracks like ‘Nazca Lines’ and ‘Junglenaut’ hammer down hard with an iron fist. As Artificial Head founder Walter Carlos points out:

“I just knew I wanted to work with the band on a release. Their music reminds of the sludge and experimentation of bands such as Skullflower, Splintered, and Ramleh. Big, crushing emptiness with grinding tempos. Their new album, Bread Solstice, continues in that epic darkness.”

Mountain God:
Ben Ianuzzi – Vocals, Guitars, Noises
Nik Kamineni – Bass, Synth/Keys
Ryan Smith – Drums, Vocals

https://www.facebook.com/MountainGodBand
https://mountain-god.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ArtificialHead
https://artinstitute.bandcamp.com/

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Funeral Horse Premiere “Underneath all that Ever Was” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

funeral horse

With their new video, Houston bizarro heavy rockers Funeral Horse are more or less saying goodbye to their 2015 album, Divinity for the Wicked (review here), but true to form, that’s hardly all they’re saying. The clip premiering below for “Underneath all that Ever Was” starts off with a Stranger Things reference, digs into a narrative about a downer bureaucrat — played by drummer Chris Bassett — working a suicide prevention hotline and not caring, cuts suddenly to guitarist/vocalist Walter “Paul Bearer” Carlos on his phone waiting to shoot for his solo, and then goes back to Bassett‘s character drinking at his desk, only to be visited by Death, who very cleverly high-fives him, ending his life, and leaving a slew of distraught people on the other end of the suicide hotline.

Got all that? If so, you’re one up on me. Fortunately, director Larry Czach — who also worked with the band on their video for “There will be Vultures” (posted here) — was on it, but suffice it to say it’s very much Funeral Horse‘s thing to be on their own wavelength, so they’re right at home in “Underneath all that Ever Was” in addition to being part of a longstanding tradition of weirdo Texan noisemakers. The three-piece have a few live dates in the Lone Star State this month at which they’ll introduce new bassist Clint Rater, and then it’s back to preparations for their next full-length, which will presumably be out sometime before the end of the year, likely on Artificial Head Records. I’d make a prediction as to when specifically, but I think both the song and video below bear out the futility of trying to predict anything when it comes to Funeral Horse.

A few words from Carlos and Bassett follow, as well as the tour dates.

Please enjoy:

Funeral Horse, “Underneath all that Ever Was” official video

Walter Carlos on making the video:

Working on this video was an intense experience in that it was more like a movie production. We purposely wanted to make something that had more of a cinematic quality to it rather than standard band footage. At one point, we did have some live shots of the band, but that got scrapped in production in favor of the guitar diva scene. We decided on the song “Underneath All That Ever Was“ because it’s not only one of our favorites to play live, it’s one of our darkest topics… which fit with the theme of the failed suicide prevention consultant from the video.

This marks the second collaboration between the band and Larry Czach –- who produced the video for “There Shall Be Vultures” –- also from the current record. Larry has a long history in the Houston music scene -– going back to 1970 when he ran lights for psychedelic rock bands that came to town.

Chris Bassett on making the video:

It was a blast working on this video! We got to work on a lot of ideas to help bring the story to life. Working with Larry was a breeze. He listened to our ideas but also had some neat tricks up his sleeve for capturing the essence of what the story was all about. I think it worked out quite well.

Funeral Horse January Texas Tour (with Shadow Giant from Louisiana)
01/25 Satellite Bar (Houston, TX)
01/26 Black Monk (Corpus Christi, TX)
01/27 TBA (McAllen, TX)
01/28 Faust (San Antonio, TX)

Divinity for the Wicked preorder

Funeral Horse on Thee Facebooks

Artificial Head on Bandcamp

Artificial Head on Thee Facebooks

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The Obelisk All-Dayer Countdown: Funeral Horse, “Burial of the Sun” Live in Houston

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features, The Obelisk Presents on August 12th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk all-dayer

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

Since their inception three years ago, Houston heavy rockers Funeral Horse have proved to have more than enough weirdo edge to match their rolling, classic-style groove. In the fine and long-standing tradition of Bizarro Texas, their material is both strange and familiar somehow, playing smartly off conventions of traditional metal and punk and noise rock, but establishing an experimental undercurrent that assures they’re completely allied to none of the above.

From their first record, 2013’s Savage Audio Demon (review here), onward, Funeral Horse have willfully defied expectation. At the time I confirmed them for The Obelisk All-Dayer, Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar — just EIGHT DAYS AWAY; get your tickets here — I did so in no small part because I thought maybe seeing them live would help explain at least in part just what the hell it is they’re up to. I wound up seeing them this past February and not only did I get a sense of the roots of their offbeat vibe, but was taken aback by their stage presence and the tightness of their performance as well. Bonus.

The song in today’s countdown video is called “Burial of the Sun.” It was filmed in Houston a couple weeks ago and it comes from Funeral Horse‘s impending fourth album, Psalms of the Mourning, which is currently being recorded. I’m stoked beyond all repair to welcome Funeral Horse to The Obelisk All-Dayer and hopefully watch as they blow a few minds and catch a lot of people off-guard, which they’re bound to do even if you think you might know what to expect.

Funeral Horse join Mars Red Sky, Death Alley, Snail, Kings Destroy, EYE, King Buffalo and Heavy Temple on the bill at The Obelisk All-Dayer, Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, NYC. For more info and to get your tickets for under the door price, click here.

Enjoy “Burial of the Sun” below:

Funeral Horse, “Burial of the Sun” Live in Houston

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

Funeral Horse on Thee Facebooks

Saint Vitus Bar website

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Mountain God Sign to Artificial Head; Debut Album in 2017

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 19th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Last we heard from destructive New York heftmongers Mountain God, the Brooklyn three-piece were unveiling their 2015 single-song EP, Forest of the Lost. The trio have been keeping plenty busy, it would seem, as they’ve now been announced as signing to Artificial Head for the release of what will be their debut full-length after the EP and the prior 2013 demo, Experimentation on the Unwilling (review here). They’ll record in August, reportedly, and the album has been given a tentative release date of Feb. 2017 from Artificial Head, the dead of winter seeming appropriate for the disaffected malevolence in which Mountain God revel.

Vinyl will be limited to 400 copies. Expect more to come in the months ahead regarding preorders, titles, artwork, tour dates and all that other happy this-and-that that goes into releasing records these days. I’m very much looking forward to hearing what they come up with for this album. Keep your fingers crossed for creepiness:

mountain god

ARTIFICIAL HEAD RECORDS WELCOMES MOUNTAIN GOD!!!

New York stoner sludge metal band Mountain God have signed with Artificial Head Records for their debut vinyl release!

Formed in 2012, the band has taken their time to unleash two releases of their sound: 2013’s “Experimentation on the Unwilling” and 2015’s “Forest of the Lost”. Both releases have rightfully earned the band its solid reputation for creating a unique style of dark, heavy psychedelic music.

Mountain God is fronted by Ben Ianuzzi (guitar, vocals) along with and Ryan Smith (drums) and Nikhil Kamineni (bass, synths).

Details on the new album are being held close to the vest — but we can reveal that:
• Album is slated to be released in February 2017
• Vinyl only release of 400 copies
• Bonus lathe cut 7” to be included with initial orders
• Exclusive artwork to be created by New York artist, Max Kahan (maxkahan.com)

Recording for the new album will be completed this August with news on touring and more this Fall.

http://artinstitute.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MountainGodBand
http://mountain-god.bandcamp.com/

Mountain God, Forest of the Lost (2015)

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Funeral Horse Sign with Total Volume Booking Agency

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 1st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Fascinating news out of Houston and Paris in that Funeral Horse have inked a deal to work with the French booking agency Total Volume and have intentions toward European touring next year. According to the agency, the band will, “hit Europe hard this festival season.” I don’t know if that means spring fests — Roadburn, Desertfest London and Berlin, etc. — or summer fests — Freak Valley, Stoned from the Underground, etc. — but I expect it won’t be all that long before we find out, steeped in announcement season as we are. I also dig the part where they note increased American road presence as well. Perhaps that extends to the Eastern Seaboard?

Funeral Horse released their third album, Divinity for the Wicked (review here), and with it took another step forward into the strange world of stoner noisemaking they’ve been inhabiting since they got going a couple years go. By every standard, they’ve worked quickly, so I’m interested to see how that pans out in the New Year’s tour plans.

Total Volume announced the collaboration thusly:

funeral horse

Welcoming a new exciting band to the roster: Funeral Horse (USA)

Funeral Horse is a brilliant mix of punk-esque tempo changes paired with fat, throw back, pump your fist in the air style heavy metal riffage. These garage influenced doomsters have been hard at work, with their sinister riffs gaining them notice in the American stoner underground since 2013. The band plans to hit Europe hard this festival season in the tradition of other great Texas groups before them.

With the release of their third album “Divinity for the Wicked”, released by Artificial Head Records and distributed by Ripple Music, the band hopes to make an impact with their first European tour in spring 2016 coming on the heels of festival appearances in America in later this winter. We’re happy to help this amazing band take this next monster step.

https://www.facebook.com/FuneralHorse/
https://funeralhorse.bandcamp.com/album/divinity-for-the-wicked
https://www.facebook.com/totalvolumebackline/
http://www.totalvolumeagency.com/

Funeral Horse, Divinity for the Wicked (2015)

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