Puta Volcano & Purple Dino Tour Starts Tonight

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

By the time this post goes live, Puta Volcano and Purple Dino should be well on their way to Romania to begin their tour together tonight at the SoundArt Festival in Timisoara. The two Greek outfits both go supporting 2017 releases — Harmony of Spheres (review here) in the case of Puta VolcanoAnd Now What?! (review here) for Purple Dino — and in the case of the former, it’s to herald a second vinyl pressing behind a first one that’s long since sold out. You can hear both albums at the bottom of this post, because one likes to be thorough, and while I don’t know how many people who see this will happen to be in Romania or Hungary and able to make it out to the shows — if you’re there, leave a comment and let me know — but it’s still cool to see these guys all getting out together on a trip that’s certain to be a blast.

Dates and info follow, courtesy of the PR wire:

Puta Volcano + Purple Dino Tour Poster

Puta Volcano to tour Europe with Purple Dino, announce “Harmony of Spheres” 2nd vinyl pressing

After releasing their second full length album in April 2017, entitled “Harmony of Spheres”, Puta Volcano are ready to tour for the first time outside of their country. ?y their side, Purple Dino, another upcoming hard-rock quartet from Greece, with their newly released album “And Now What?!”. The tour includes dates in Austria, Romania, Serbia, Hungary & Bulgaria.

Puta Volcano’s “Harmony of Spheres” was highly acclaimed from media and listeners across the world, selling out its first vinyl pressing in less than 10 months. Luna’s ecstatic vocals, Bookies’ cement-like bass lines, Alex Pi’s captivating riffs and Steven’s dynamic drum hits enrich the band’s sound with disparate and highly interesting elements, always paying tribute to the desert rock and Seattle ’90s influences on which they grew up, shaping their personal “volcanic rock” sound.

The second pressing comes on white vinyl and is already available for pre-order on their Bandcamp page: https://putavolcano.bandcamp.com/
Listen to the album here: http://radi.al/HarmonyOfSpheres

Greek heavy rock’n’roll newcomers Purple Dino are back in the game with their best endeavour to date! “And Now What?!” is the band’s sophomore full length album and it successfully combines a large palette of influences, varying from the glorious 90’s grunge rock scene and the late 90’s stoner rock movement to Clutch’s boogie / groovy rock’n’roll or even to the haunting -and sometimes bizarre- grooves of bands such as Tool. Being very active tour-wise as well as huge admirers of physical format (the album has already been released in transparent magenta and black LP), Purple Dino not only seem to be in a great shape, but having been scheduled to tour Europe extensively, also seem willing to take their effort to the next level, whatever it may take.

Order your copy here: https://purpledinoband.bandcamp.com/
Listen to the album here: http://radi.al/PurpleDinoAndNowWhat

Tour dates
10/5 SoundArt Festival, Timisoara (RO)
11/5 SoundArt Festival, Cluj (RO)
13/5 SoundArt Festival, Bucharest (RO)
16/5 Music House, Graz (AT)
17/5 Robot, Budapest (HU)
18/5 SKC Fabrika, Novi Sad (RS)
19/5 Live n Loud, Sofia (BG)

Tour powered by Ouga Booga & The Mighty Oug & Crazy Tube Circuits

https://www.facebook.com/putavolcanoband/
https://www.facebook.com/purpledinoband/
https://www.facebook.com/tours/465511563852256/

Puta Volcano, Harmony of Spheres (2017)

Purple Dino, And Now What? (2017)

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On Thorns I Lay Post Lyric Video for “Aegean Sorrow”; New Album out March 12

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 3rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

on thorns i lay

Following an absence of some 12 years, Athens-based outfit On Thorns I Lay returned in 2015 with their seventh album, Eternal Silence. Following behind 2003’s Egocentric, it marked a significant change in style — essentially a goth-death/doom revamp of what had become more of a hard rock approach over time born out of the band’s initial extremity of form in the 1990s. Think of the progressions of groups like Paradise LostAnathema and Katatonia and you’ll probably have some idea, but with On Thorns I LayEgocentric was more straightforward hard rock, even if cuts like “When I’m Gone” retained some darker edge.

Well, Eternal Silence had no shortage of ‘dark edge’ to it either, but turned the execution on its head with a theatrical blend of melodic and growled vocals. The six-piece’s new offering, Aegean Sorrow, would seem on the impression given by its title-track to be pushing further in that direction as well. I have been and I suspect will always remain a sucker for really well done death metal growls, and those of frontman Stefanos Kintzoglou are particularly choice, and it’s worth noting that the cleaner-toned voice of Eternal Silence seems at least to be sitting this track out. I haven’t heard the entirety of Aegean Sorrow, so can’t comment on whether or not that’s the case for the whole record, but the choice puts On Thorns I Lay squarely in death/doom territory and at least going by these nine minutes — which still feature a piano-led break near the middle — they seem just fine with that.

In any case, it’s some pretty wrenching stuff. Probably won’t be for everyone, but especially in the darkness of January at the outset of a New Year, it hits a downer sweet spot. Aegean Sorrow is out March 12 via Alone Records and The Vinyl Division. Check out the track below, followed by more info from the PR wire.

Enjoy:

On Thorns I Lay, “Aegean Sorrow” lyric video

Greek doom/death classic outfit On Thorns I Lay have just unveiled the first lyric video from their upcoming Aegean Sorrow, out next March 12th, 2018 on cd by Alone Records and limited vinyl version by The Vinyl Division.

“Aegean Sorrow” is the track opening the album, showing in almost nine minutes the band still have much to offer to the metal scene. The video concept was created and edited by Manthos Stergiou for Manster Design.

On Thorns I Lay is:
Stefanos Kintzoglou – VOX
Chris Dragamestianos – GUITARS
Antony – KEYBOARDS
Fotis Hondroudakis – DRUMS
Akis Pastras – GUITARS
Jim Ramses – BASS

On Thorns I Lay on Thee Facebooks

On Thorns I Lay on Instagram

Alone Records on Thee Facebooks

The Vinyl Division on Thee Facebooks

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Cyanna Mercury Post “Apollo” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 29th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

cyanna mercury

Might at first seem like a curious choice on the part of Athens-based five-piece Cyanna Mercury in picking a track for a video to represent their debut album, Archetypes (review here). After all, they could’ve gone with the heavy blues vibes of opener “Horse Dark as Night” or the organ and folk-ish percussion of the later, soulful “If We Were Blind,” the handclap-laden “Lilith” or even the moody “Ode to Absent Father,” but instead they went with the 90-second “Apollo,” a piano-and-voice piece that, while fair enough in capturing the brooding sensibility of Archetypes on the whole, hardly speaks for the scope of the band’s arrangements throughout. Well, it turns out they already did videos for all the other songs, and “Apollo” is the last one left, so there you go.

Even so, given the sonic variety between the tracks above and the rest that make up Archetypes, Cyanna Mercury don’t really have just one that speaks for the entirety of the album, the 47 minutes record of which fluidly blend Greek folk elements with heavy, psychedelic and classically progressive rock into a sound that’s patient and expressive without veering into being overblown or more theatrical than it wants to be. It’s a balance that would be hard for a more experienced group to strike, but Cyanna Mercury not only make it flow on their debut, but do so without sounding rushed or like they’re fuddling their way through finding their sound. They come across, in other words, like they know what they’re doing.

And hell, maybe they do. In that case, even without knowing all the other clips exist, one might be more inclined to give Cyanna Mercury the benefit of the doubt on a curious choice like giving “Apollo” visuals over some of the other tracks on Archetypes, since clearly there’s a master plan at work. As to how their plan might play out, I don’t know, but one of the hallmarks of Greece’s emergent heavy underground is that its bands have a genuine sense of stylistic adventurousness and that, for the most part, they’re not content to simply carbon-copy the work of others from outside their geographic sphere without putting something of their own into it. “Apollo,” in the span of about a minute and a half, proves Cyanna Mercury are immediately engaged in this as well, and so maybe it was the way to go after all.

Video and credits follow here. Please enjoy:

Cyanna Mercury, “Apollo” official video

Produced by Dimitris Lilis & Cyanna Mercury
Co-produced, Mixed, Engineered by Alex Bolpasis
Recorded at Artracks studios
Mastered by James Plotkin

Video created by Iam Nothe
https://www.facebook.com/IamNotheDesign

Music by Diamond Pr & Spyreas Sid
Lyrics by Spyreas Sid

Cyanna Mercury is:
Spyreas Sid – vocals & percussion
Nick Sid – keyboard
Diamond Pr – guitars
Dennis Panagiotidis – drums
Dimitri Georgopoulos – bass

Cyanna Mercury website

Cyanna Mercury on Thee Facebooks

Cyanna Mercury on Bandcamp

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The Road Miles Premiere Video for “The Third Man”; Ballads from the Wasteland out Oct. 23

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the road miles

Athens-based rockers The Road Miles are preparing to release their new full-length, Ballads for the Wasteland, later this month. Their second long-player, it’s also the second offering from new imprint Archaeopia Records, which just last month introduced itself with the limited compilation The Sun, The Moon, The Mountain: A Passage Through Greek Psychedelia (review here). You might recall The Road Miles were featured on that release as well and made an immediate impression with their track “600 Miles.” That song shows up among the seven inclusions on Ballads for the Wasteland too, and proves to be part of an overarching narrative drawing from Western storytelling traditions and specifically the otherworldly thematic of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower.

That focus makes the role of frontwoman Afroditi Tavoulari all the more central to the band’s aesthetic. Atop creative arrangements of guitar from Epameinondas 

the-road-miles-ballads-for-the-wasteland

Koutsoumpas and Michael Chrysos, Yannis Efthymiou‘s bass, Alex Darmis‘ keys and Anargiros Pantazis‘ drums, it’s Tavoulari who takes on the task of narrating the storyline progression that crosses through tracks like “Where I was Born, There I Will End,” “The Last Western Myth” and “Filthy Air,” serving as a steady presence in a vast soundscape of organ-laced classic heavy Western-style psych blues. Blink and you’re out in the desert amid some lost nighttime ritualism. The immersion happens quick with “Where I was Born, There I Will End” as the leadoff and longest track (immediate points), but it only builds from there across the record’s flat, sandy span, and under imagined stars, The Road Miles conjure demons a-wanderin’ and put spurs to the listener to charge deeper into the moodiness of the semi-title-track “Ballad for the Wasteland’ ahead of “The Third Man,” which provides the apex of the storyline ahead of instrumental epilogue closer “Wolves.”

A tense drum progression, sustained organ notes and jazzy guitar and bass give Tavoulari her backdrop, but come and go and come again effectively through repeated verses as the four-minute cut unfolds, not hurried but a definite pickup from “Ballad for the Wasteland” before it. The rise of a fuzzy guitar at the midpoint signals a move toward the apex to come, and sure enough, just before the three-minute mark, “The Third Man” bursts to life like a snake springing out from its coil and caps Ballads for the Wasteland with a brief but effective crescendo that would seem to deliver its poison well enough to let the audience know why exactly the “Wolves” are showing up at the end and just whose bones it is being picked.

Today I have the pleasure of hosting the premiere of The Road Miles‘ new video for “The Third Man,” which you can see below, followed by more info from Archaeopia Records via the PR wire about Ballads for the Wasteland, which again, should be out by the end of this month.

Please enjoy:

The Road Miles, “The Third Man” official video premiere

“The Third Man” is the sixth track in order from The Road Miles sophomore album “Ballads from the Wasteland”.

Composed//Arranged//Lyrics by: The Road Miles
Produced by: Alex Bolpasis
Engineered//Mixed by: Alex Bolpasis @Artracks Studios
Mastered by: Yiannis Christodoulatos @ Sweetpot Studios
Video written and directed by : Danai Simou

Here lies The Road Miles’ sophomore album. The roots of its narrative can be found somewhere between the deathly Mid-World of The Dark Tower, the mystifying Thebes of Oedipus Rex and the cursed Clarksdale Crossroads where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil.

Ballads for the Wasteland tracklisting:
1. Where I was Born, There I Will End
2. The Last Western Myth
3. 600 Miles
4. Filthy Air
5. Ballad for the Wasteland
6. The Third Man
7. Wolves

In their sophomore album, The Road Miles adopt an almost cinematic approach to their sound, transferring the auditor straight to the heart of that very desert. Here, every twist and turn of a desert travelogue can be experienced through music: the wearing route, the mortal hazards, the otherworldly delusions. Skillfully maneuvering from electrifying blues to nostalgic Americana and explosive heavy psych to wistful spoken word, the band perfectly captures the feeling of being adrift in such vast wastelands, in a psychedelic loop of fantasy and death.

With Ballads for the Wasteland, The Road Miles unveil their own distinctive narrative. A thrilling narrative, developed through seven heartfelt, esoteric mantras. A narrative of hollow outbursts and deafening silences. A narrative built with the same raw materials as every western myth: a gun, the dust and the open horizon.

The Road Miles is:
Afroditi Tavoulari / Vocals
Alex Darmis / Keys
Anargiros Pantazis / Drums
Epameinondas Koutsoumpas / Guitar
Michael Chrysos / Guitar
Yannis Efthymiou / Bass

Produced, engineered and mixed by Alex Bolpasis at Artracks Studios
Mastering by Yannis Christodoulatos at Sweetspot Studios
Artwork/Layout by George Gkousetis www.goographix.com/semitonelabs
Recorded during the summer of 2016 at Artracks Recording Studios in Athens, Greece

The Road Miles on Thee Facebooks

The Road Miles on Instagram

The Road Miles on Bandcamp

The Road Miles website

Archaeopia Records on Thee Facebooks

Archaeopia Records on Twitter

Archaeopia Records on Bandcamp

Archaeopia Records website

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Desertfest Athens 2017: Black Rainbows & Mos Generator Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

desertfest athens 2017

An already formidable bill for Desertfest Athens 2017 only becomes more so with the additions of Italian heavy psych mavens Black Rainbows and US-based heavy rock purveyors Mos Generator. The two acts join the ranks of headliners Graveyard and Saint Vitus, as well as native Greek acts like Planet of ZeusMahakalaBusSadhusPuta VolcanoAllchiria and Krause, who along with stalwarts Orange GoblinChurch of MiseryStoned Jesus and Colour Haze will comprise the two-day event at Iera Odos early in October. More bands are reportedly still to be announced, so stick around.

In the meantime, Black Rainbows and Mos Generator would seem to have plenty in common at this point. Both have issued new singles this year — the former’s “The Red Sky Above” (posted here) landed as part of a Heavy Psych Sounds compilation, and the latter’s “The Dance of Red” (posted here) combining Mahavishnu Orchestra and King Crimson — and both have spent much of the last couple years banging out as many records and as many tours as possible. To wit, Mos Generator may or may not have a new full-length in the can that’s set for an early-2018 release, and though Black Rainbows frontman Gabriele Fiori is currently at work on the second LP from his offshoot project Killer Boogie, he’s been known to multitask before, and thankfully a new Black Rainbows release is never too far off. Again, stick around.

You might recall as well that Mos Generator‘s appearance at Desertfest Athens 2017 was hinted at when it was confirmed they’d support Saint Vitus‘ upcoming European tour (dates here). Nice to know for sure, either way. Announcement from the fest follows here:

BLACK RAINBOWS for their sophomore appearance at Desertfest Athens 2017!!! Do not miss them !!!

Mos Generator are coming to take over Desertfest Athens 2017!!!!

The two-day program of Desertfest Athens 2017 is:

Day1
Saint Vitus
Orange Goblin
Church of Misery
Stoned Jesus
Black Rainbows
Mos Generator
Mahakala
Bus

Day2
Graveyard
Planet of Zeus
Color Haze
Radio Moscow
Sadhus
Puta Volcano
Allochiria
Krause

Ticket prices are as follows: one-day tickets cost 30 euros and two days 55 euros until September 2.

Soon, many more names will be announced from Desertfest Athens 2017.

tickets
Single day: 30 Euro (up to 2/9)
Doubleday: 55 Euro (up to 2/9)

https://www.viva.gr/tickets/music/acro/desertfest-athens-2017/
https://www.facebook.com/events/141861139680368/
https://www.facebook.com/Desertfest-Athens-189161564797514/

Black Rainbows, “The Red Sky Above”

Mos Generator, “The Dance of Red”

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Quarterly Review: Ecstatic Vision, Norska, Bison, Valborg, Obelyskkh, Earth Electric, Olde, Deaf Radio, Saturndust, Birnam Wood

Posted in Reviews on July 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-summer-2017

It turns out that, yes indeed, I will be able to add another day to the Quarterly Review this coming Monday. Stoked on that. Means I’ll be trying to cram another 10 reviews into this coming weekend, but that’s not exactly a hardship as I see it, and the stuff I have picked out for it is, frankly, as much of a bonus for me as it could possibly be for anyone else, so yeah, look out for that. In the meantime, we wrap the Monday-to-Friday span of 50 records today with another swath of what’s basically me doing favors for my ears, and I hope as always for yours as well. Let’s dig in.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Ecstatic Vision, Raw Rock Fury

ecstatic-vision-raw-rock-fury

Hard touring and a blistering debut in 2015’s Sonic Praise (review here) quickly positioned Ecstatic Vision at the forefront of a Philadelphia-based mini-boom in heavy psych (see also: Ruby the Hatchet, Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlsome Bells, and so on), and their Relapse-issued follow-up, Raw Rock Fury, only delves further into unmitigated cosmic swirl and space-rocking crotchal thrust. The now-foursome keep a steady ground in percussion and low end even as guitar, sax, synth and echoing vocals seem to push ever more far-out, and across the record’s four tracks – variously broken up across two sides – the band continue to stake out their claim on the righteously psychedelic, be it in the all-go momentum building of “You Got it (Or You Don’t)” or the more drifting opening movement of closer “Twinkling Eye.” Shit is trippy, son. With the echoing-from-the-depths shouts of Doug Sabolik cutting through, there’s still an edge of Eastern Seaboard intensity to Ecstatic Vision, but that only seems to make Raw Rock Fury live up to its title all the more. Still lots of potential here, but it’ll be their third record that tells the tale of whether they can truly conquer space itself.

Ecstatic Vision on Thee Facebooks

Ecstatic Vision at Relapse Records website

 

Norska, Too Many Winters

norska-too-many-winters

Issued through Brutal Panda, Too Many Winters is the second full-length from Portland five-piece Norska, and its six tracks/48 minutes would seem to pick up where Rwake left off in presenting a progressive vision of what might be called post-sludge. Following an engaging 2011 self-titled debut, songs like the title-track and “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” churn and careen through Sourvein-style abrasion, vaguely Neurosis-style nod and, in the case of the latter or closer “Fire Patience Backbone,” soundscaping minimalism that, in the finale, is bookended by some of the record’s most intense push following opener “Samhain” and the subsequent “Eostre.” That salvo starts Too Many Winters with a deceptive amount of thrust, but even there atmosphere is central as it is to the outing as a whole, and a penultimate interlude in the 2:22 “Wave of Regrets” does well to underscore the point before the fading-in initial onslaught of “Fire Patience Backbone.” Having Aaron Rieseberg of YOB in the lineup with Jim Lowder, Dustin Rieseberg, Rob Shaffer and Jason Oswald no doubt draws eyes their way, but Norska’s sonic persona is distinct, immersive and individualized enough to stand on its own well beyond that pedigree.

Norska on Thee Facebooks

Norska at Brutal Panda Records website

 

Bison, You are Not the Ocean You are the Patient

bison-you-are-not-the-ocean-you-are-the-patient

Think about the two choices. You are Not the Ocean You are the Patient. Isn’t it the difference between something acting – i.e., an object – and something acted upon – i.e., a subject? As British Columbian heavy rockers Bison return after half a decade via Pelagic Records, their fourth album seems to find them trying to push beyond genre lines into a broader scope. “Until the Earth is Empty,” “Drunkard,” “Anti War” and “Raiigin” still have plenty of thrust, but the mood here is darker even than 2012’s Lovelessness found the four-piece, and “Tantrum” and closer “The Water Becomes Fire” bring out a more methodical take. It’s been 10 years since Bison issued their debut Earthbound EP and signed to Metal Blade for 2008’s Quiet Earth, and the pre-Red Fang party-ready heavy rock of those early works is long gone – one smiles to remember “These are My Dress Clothes” in the context of noise-rocking centerpiece “Kenopsia” here, the title of which refers to the emptiness of a formerly occupied space – but if the choice Bison are making is to place themselves on one side or the other of the subject/object divide, they prove to be way more ocean than patient in these songs.

Bison on Thee Facebooks

Bison at Pelagic Records website

 

Valborg, Endstrand

valborg-endstrand

With its churning, swirling waves of cosmic death, one almost expects Valborg’s Endstrand (on Lupus Lounge/Prophecy Productions) to be more self-indulgent than it is, but one of the German trio’s greatest assets across the 13-track/44-minute span of their sixth album is its immediacy. The longest song, “Stossfront,” doesn’t touch five minutes, and from the 2:14 opener “Jagen” onward, Valborg reenvision punk rock as a monstrous, consuming beast on songs like “Blut am Eisen,” “Beerdigungsmaschine,” “Alter,” “Atompetze” and closer “Exodus,” all the while meting put punishment after punishment of memorable post-industrial riffing on “Orbitalwaffe,” the crashing “Ave Maria” and the noise-soaked penultimate “Strahlung,” foreboding creeper atmospherics on “Bunkerluft” and “Geisterwürde,” and landmark, perfectly-paced chug on “Plasmabrand.” Extreme in its intent and impact, Endstrand brings rare clarity to an anti-genre vision of brutality as an art form, and at any given moment, its militaristic threat feels real, sincere and like an appropriate and righteous comment on the terrors of our age. Fucking a.

Valborg on Thee Facebooks

Valborg at Prophecy Productions website

 

Obelyskkh, The Providence

obelyskkh-the-providence

Probably fair to call the current status of German post-doomers Obelyskkh in flux following the departure of guitarist Stuart West, but the band has said they’ll keep going and their fourth album, The Providence (on Exile on Mainstream) finds them capping one stage of their tenure with a decidedly forward-looking perspective. Its six-song/56-minute run borders on unmanageable, but that’s clearly the intent, and an air of proggy weirdness infects The Providence from the midsection of its opening title-track onward as the band – West, guitarist/vocalist Woitek Broslowski, bassist Seb Fischer and drummer Steve Paradise – tackle King Crimson rhythmic nuance en route to an effects-swirling vision of Lovecraftian doomadelia and massive roll. Cuts like “Raving Ones” and 13-minute side B leadoff “NYX” play out with a similarly deceptive multifaceted vibe, and by the time the penultimate “Aeons of Iconoclasm” bursts outward from its first half’s spacious minimalism into all-out High on Fire thrust ahead of the distortion-soaked churn of closer “Marzanna” – which ends, appropriately, with laughter topping residual effects noise – Obelyskkh make it abundantly clear anything goes. The most impressive aspect of The Providence is that Obelyskkh manage to control all this crunching chaos, and one hopes that as they continue forward, they’ll hold firm to that underlying consciousness.

Obelyskkh on Thee Facebooks

Exile on Mainstream Records website

 

Earth Electric, Vol. 1: Solar

earth-electric-vol-1-solar

Former Mayhem/Aura Noir guitarist Rune “Blasphemer” Ericksen leads breadth-minded Portuguese four-piece Earth Electric, and their devil-in-the-details Season of Mist debut, Vol. 1: Solar, runs a prog-metal gamut across a tightly-woven nine tracks and 35 minutes, Ericksen’s vocals and those of Carmen Susana Simões (Moonspell, ex-Ava Inferi) intertwine fluidly at the forefront of sharply angular riffing and rhythmic turns from bassist Alexandre Ribeiro and drummer Ricardo Martins. The organ-laced push of “Meditate Meditate” and “Solar” and the keyboard flourish of “Earthrise” (contributed by Dan Knight) draw as much from classic rock as metal, but the brew Earth Electric crafts from them is potent and very much the band’s own. “The Great Vast” and the shorter “Set Sail (Towards the Sun)” set up a direct flow into the title cut, and as one returns to Earth Electric for repeat listens, the actual scope of the album and the potential for how the band might continue to develop are likewise expansive, despite its many pulls into torrents of head-down riffing. Almost intimidating in its refusal to bow to genre.

Earth Electric on Thee Facebooks

Earth Electric at Season of Mist website

 

Olde, Temple

olde-temple

After debuting in 2014 with I (review here), Toronto’s Olde return via STB Records with Temple, proffering sludge-via-doom vibes and a center of weighted tonality around which the rest of their aesthetic would seem to be built, vocalist Doug McLarty’s throaty growls alternately cutting through and buried by the riffs of guitarists Greg Dawson (also production) and Chris “Hippy” Hughes, the bass of Cory McCallum and the rolling crashes of drummer Ryan Aubin (also of Sons of Otis) on tightly constructed pieces like “Now I See You” and the tempo-shifting “Centrifugal Disaster,” which reminds by its finish that sometimes all you need is nod. Olde have more to offer than just that, of course, as the plodding spaciousness of “The Ghost Narrative” and the lumbering “Maelstrom” demonstrate, but even in the turns between crush and more open spaces of the centerpiece title-track and the drifting post-heavy rock of closer “Castaway,” the underlying focus is on capital-‘h’ Heavy, and Olde wield it as only experts can.

Olde on Thee Facebooks

STB Records webstore

 

Deaf Radio, Alarm

deaf radio alarm

Based in Athens and self-releasing their debut album, Alarm, in multiple vinyl editions, the four-piece of Panos Gklinos, Dimitris Sakellariou, Antonis Mantakas and George Diathesopoulos – collectively known as Deaf Radio – make no bones about operating in the post-Queens of the Stone Age/Them Crooked Vultures sphere of heavy rock. To their credit, the songwriting throughout “Aggravation,” “Vultures and Killers” and the careening “Revolving Doors” lives up to that standard, and though even the later “Oceanic Feeling” seems to be informed by the methods of Josh Homme, there’s a melodic identity there that belongs more to Deaf Radio as well, and keeping Alarm in mind as their first long-player, it’s that identity that one hopes the band will continue to develop. Rounding out side B with the howling guitar and Rated R fuzz of the six-minute “…And We Just Pressed the Alarm Button,” Deaf Radio build to a suitable payoff for the nine-track outing and affirm the aesthetic foundation they’ve laid for themselves.

Deaf Radio on Thee Facebooks

Deaf Radio on Bandcamp

 

Saturndust, RLC

saturndust rlc

The further you go into Saturndust’s 58-minute second LP RLC, the more there is to find. At any given moment, the São Paulo, Brazil-based outfit can be playing to impulses ranging from proggy space rock, righteously doomed tonal heft, aggressive blackened thrust or spacious post-sludge – in one song. Over longform cuts like “Negative-Parallel Dimensional,” “RLC,” “Time Lapse of Existence” and closer “Saturn 12.C,” the trio cast a wide-enough swath to be not quite genreless but genuinely multi-tiered and not necessarily as disjointed as one might expect in their feel, and though when they want to, they roll out massive, lumbering riffs, that’s only one tool in a full arsenal at their apparent disposal. What tie RLC together are the sure hands of guitarist/vocalist Felipe Dalam, bassist Guilherme Cabral and drummer Douglas Oliveira guiding it, so that when the galloping-triplet chug of “Time Lapse of Existence” hits, it works as much in contrast to the synth-loaded “Titan” preceding as in conjunction with it. Rather than summarize, “Saturn 12.C” pushes far out on a wash of Dalam’s keyboards before a wide-stomping apex, seeming to take Saturndust to their farthest point beyond the stratosphere yet. Safe travels and many happy returns.

Saturndust on Thee Facebooks

Saturndust on Bandcamp

 

Birnam Wood, Triumph of Death

birnam wood triumph of death

Massachusetts doomers Birnam Wood have two prior EPs under their collective belt in 2015’s Warlord and a 2014 self-titled, but the two-songer single Triumph of Death (kudos on the Hellhammer reference) is my first exposure to their blend of modern progressive metal melody and traditional doom. They roll out both in able fashion on the single’s uptempo opening title-track and follow with the BlackSabbath-“Black-Sabbath” sparse notemaking early in their own “Birnam Wood.” All told, Triumph of Death is only a little over nine minutes long, but it makes for an encouraging sampling of Birnam Wood’s wares all the same, and as Dylan Edwards, Adam McGrath, Shaun Anzalone and Matt Wagner shift into faster swing circa the eponymous tune’s solo-topped midpoint, they do so with a genuine sense of homage that does little to take away from the sense of individuality they’ve brought to the style even in this brief context. They call it stoner metal, and there’s something to that, but if we’re going on relative balance, Triumph of Death is more doom-stoner than stoner-doom, and it revels within that niche-within-a-niche-within-a-niche sensibility.

Birnam Wood on Thee Facebooks

Birnam Wood on Bandcamp

 

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Desertfest Athens 2017 Announces Church of Misery, Stoned Jesus & Mahakala for Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

desertfest-athens-2017-banner

Desertfest Athens 2017 continues to take shape on its own terms, adding to its quality-plus-quantity lineup with Japanese/American doomers Church of Misery, Ukrainian trio Stoned Jesus and hometown metallers Mahakala. The three acts vary pretty widely between them, as does the bill of the second Desertfest Athens overall, with the legendary doom of Saint Vitus, the boogie-thrust of Radio Moscow (who’ll have a new album out, remember), the groundbreaking heavy psych of Colour Haze, the hooch-swilling pummel of Orange Goblin and the revamped soul of Graveyard at the top of the lineup, but one could hardly accuse it of not making sense. The more the merrier, and with Greek outfits like Puta Volcano, Sadhus and Allochiria already included, it seems like the fest as a whole is only getting bigger this time around.

Which, if you’ve been paying attention for the last half-decade or so, you already know is how it goes with Desertfests. That’s been the tale of Berlin and London all along, and Belgium too. As the youngest incarnation of the festival, Athens has its work cut out for it in getting to the point where the others find themselves, but Greece has one of the most active heavy undergrounds in Europe right now and I’ve no doubt that with a lineup as strong as this one already is, they’ll absolutely get there.

Fest is set for Oct. 6 and 7. Here’s the latest:

desertfest-athens-2017-new-poster

2ND DESERTFEST ATHENS

ACRO
06-07.10.2017

Graveyard
Colour Haze
Orange Goblin
Radio Moscow
Saint Vitus
Church of Misery
Stoned Jesus
Mahakala
Sadhus: The Smoking Community
Allochiria
Puta Volcano

Stoned Jesus are back in Greece!!!! They will join this year’s edition of Desertfest Athens!! Here come the Robots!!

Mahakala, Satan’s finest, will deliver their sophomore album, “The Second Fall”, in front of the Desertfest Army!!! Beware!!

Church of Misery Official live at Desertfest Athens!!! The Japanese Doomsters are the last announcement for today, but at the same time one of the most exciting additions to this year’s line up!!!

Early-bird tickets are exhausted. Now only two-day tickets are sold for 50 euros.

https://www.viva.gr/tickets/music/acro/desertfest-athens-2017/
https://www.facebook.com/events/141861139680368/
https://www.facebook.com/Desertfest-Athens-189161564797514/

Stoned Jesus, “Here Come the Robots” official video

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Black Hat Bones Sign with Total Volume Booking

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 26th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Greek heavy rockers Black Hat Bones released their second album, Born in a Thunder, in March, and it looks like they’ll soon enough be taking to the streets to support it. The Athens-based four-piece have inked a deal to work with Total Volume Booking (Geezer, Naxatras, Green Yeti, etc.) to bring their crisp energy to stages around Europe, and while dates haven’t been announced yet, the band hasn’t exactly been shy about getting out in Greece, playing Desertfest Athens last year and more besides.

If you didn’t hear Born in a Thunder, it’s basically a parade of high-energy hooks served straight up like a cold shot of AC/DC-style songwriting, and it’s streaming in full at the bottom of this post from their Bandcamp, so, you know, dig in.

From the PR wire:

black hat bones

Black Hat Bones (GR) joining forces with Total Volume

Hailing from Sparta, but currently residing in the Greek capital, we present to you Black Hat Bones!

If highly energetic performances, screaming solos, growling bass and a vocalist from which you can’t get your eyes off, are your kind of thing, then you’re in for a treat! After partying in well-known stages throughout Greece, but also taking part in notable festivals like Rockwave Festival, Desert Fest Athens, Fuzztastic planet, as well as the upcoming Ejekt Festival, it’s time for these dudes to cross the borders and spread their high-energy rock ‘n’ roll to the masses!

With their latest work, “Born in a Thunder”, already released in both digital and physical format through the band’s bandcamp, get ready to witness a, what now the guys call, “adrenaline fueled POP music party”.

Bio:

We are Black Hat Bones, a high energy / heavy rock band from Sparta(Greece) formed back in 2009. Since 2011, we moved to Athens(Greece) and we managed to release our first Ep, a digital single and our debut full length album “High Gain Devil Rockers” through Trailblazer Records. All these received some incredible feedback (zines, blogs, radio / tv stations ) from all over the world (Canada to France, UK, Italy , Poland, Netherlands, Sweden, Greece). Our latest album called “Born in a Thunder”is out now in digital & physical format (vinyl 180gr) and we’re currently touring Greece spreading rock ‘n’ roll to the masses, looking forward to cross the borders!

Long story short, we’ve been rockin’ this place for quite some time now, and we’re looking forward to come to your place! So, if you’re still reading this, press one of the links below, and let’s book a show so we can meet, dance, drink, and headbang!

https://www.facebook.com/BlackHatBones/
https://www.instagram.com/blackhatbones/
https://blackhatbones.bandcamp.com/album/born-in-a-thunder-2017
https://www.facebook.com/totalvolumebackline/
http://totalvolumeagency.com/

Black Hat Bones, Born in a Thunder (2017)

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