Planet of Zeus Announce November Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 16th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Kind of bummed I haven’t gotten to hear Planet of Zeus‘ fourth album, Loyal to the Pack, which was released this past May. The Athens-based heavy rockers’ third outing, Vigilante (review here), offered burl-grooved thrills in its songwriting, and the group has emerged as one of the forerunners of the fertile Greek underground, along with the likes of 1000mods and jammy upstarts Naxatras. In any case, it’s one I’d kind of like to check out, so I think I’ll probably dig into the Bandcamp stream below. Their description of the record, which I’ve posted underneath the tour dates, makes it seem like there might be some cool stuff in store.

And hey, I like cool stuff as much as the next guy.

Planet of Zeus head out on a European tour in November — one might recall they toured last November as well, alongside Clutch — to support Loyal to the Pack. Dates, info, links and audio:

planet-of-zeus-tour-poster

So, here we go again!

Come November, we’re going to visit some of Europe’s finest cities, as shown below!

Can’t wait to play, once more, in front of old and brand new friends!

See you on the road!!

03.11 Sofia BG
04.11 Novisad RS
05.11 Timisoara RO
06.11 Budapest HU
09.11 Warsaw PL
10.11 Dresden DE
11.11 Berlin DE
12.11 Erfurt DE
13.11 Hamburg DE
14.11 Dusseldorf DE
15.11 Hannover DE
17.11 Munich DE
18.11 Munster DE
19.11 Koln DE
20.11 Utrect NL
22.11 Glasgow UK
23.11 Belfast UK
24.11 Dublin IE
26.11 Bristol UK
27.11 London UK
29.11 Nantes FR
30.11 Paris FR
01.12 Olten CH
02.12 Bolzano IT
03.12 Vienna AT

At a time in which individualism seems to be the ultimate solution for some, Planet of Zeus come back with their highly anticipated fourth album, “Loyal to the pack”, an ode to the benefits of teamwork. Being well known for their never ending signature heavy riffs, gritty vocals and dancing grooves, the band decided to “shuffle their deck of cards” and embark on a new musical direction, encompassing melody, clean, but heartrending vocals and a newly found sense of dynamics.

This mixture seems to establish a signature sound for Planet of Zeus, a sound that takes the listener on a journey throughout the history of heavy music. From Lynyrd Skynyrd to Mastodon, the Allman Brothers Band to Queens of the stone age and AC/DC to Clutch.

http://www.planetofzeus.gr
https://www.facebook.com/planetofzeus
http://ihaveadrum.bandcamp.com/
http://planetofzeus.bandcamp.com/

Planet of Zeus, Loyal to the Pack (2016)

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Desertfest Athens 2016: 1000mods and House of Broken Promises Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 13th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

desertfest athens 2016 header 1000mods

I said when the fest was first announced that I didn’t think you could have a Desertfest Athens and not have 1000mods take part. They’ve become one of the most integral Greek heavy rock bands, have toured almost relentlessly the last several years, pushing themselves to the forefront of the country’s still-underrated scene, and they have a new record in the works that, one hopes, will be out by the time Desertfest Athens 2016 actually rolls around, all the more so since they’re also confirmed (thus far) for Desertfest Belgium and Keep it Low. Do not be at all surprised when/if three weeks of tour dates are announced. That’s kind of how they roll.

They’re one of two new additions to the Desertfest Athens 2016 lineup alongside House of Broken Promises, who’ll arrive in Greece representing the actual Californina desert from whence desert rock sprang. I was fortunate enough to see the trio at Desertfest London in 2013 (review here), and they put on a stellar show, so they would seem to be well chosen for the Athenian task too. Wonder if they’ll tour.

It’s shaping up to be quite a fest:

desertfest athens 2016 new poster

1000mods will land their heavy riffs in Desertfest Athens!!!

Desertfest Athens is shaping up to be a hell of a fest!!!

House of Broken Promises at Desertfest Athens!!

Get your tickets now!!!

Desertfest’s early bird tickets are sold out!!!

After London, Berlin and Antwerp, the Desertfest franchise is keeping up its conquest of Europe by launching the very first Greek edition of the famous stoner, doom and psych festival. DESERTFEST ATHENS will take place over the second weekend of October, as a sister event of the autumnal Belgium edition.

Over the years, DESERTFEST has become one of the most popular events in Europe for everything heavy, stoner, doom and psyche. “Made by fans for the fans”, the festival gathers thousands of people from across the globe each year by hosting the finest headliners, while also constantly stretching the limits of its own niche with dozens of quality live acts throughout a weekend. Nurturing a friendly atmosphere since the very beginning, DESERTFEST is a urban festival that has won the loyalty of heavy music lovers, so expect your Greek holiday to be a unique and memorable music and human experience!

https://www.viva.gr/tickets/music/iera-odos/desertfest-athens/
www.detoxevents.gr
https://www.facebook.com/Desertfest-Athens-189161564797514/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1530177053945310/

1000mods, “Claws” official video

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Desertfest Athens 2016: Red Fang to Headline First Night; Black Rainbows Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 1st, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

desertfest athens 2016 header

Here we are just barely a week removed from the last batch of announcements for Desertfest Athens 2016, the inaugural edition of the Desertfest‘s Greek brand extension, set to take place Oct. 7 and 8 in the birthplace of Western democracy, and already the festival has followed up with not only two more bands, but one of them as the headliner for its first night. Working quick there, Desertfest Athens. So be it. This time around, it’s Portland’s number one riffy export, Red Fang, who’ll head abroad to Europe this fall in support of a new album the title of which is still to be announced. They headline Oct. 7 at Desertfest Athens 2016, while Italian heavy psych forerunners Black Rainbows will also take part in the festivities on one day or the other.

Now, last time I put up a post from Desertfest Athens 2016, they added another band before it went live, so I’ll be keeping an eye out to see if the same thing happens this time, but even if it winds up just being these two for this round, they’re both significant additions to the bill. More to come, either way, I’m sure.

Info follows:

desertfest athens 2016 new poster

RED FANG will headline the first day of Desertfest Athens!!

Kids, you’re under fire!!!

BLACK RAINBOWS at Desertfest Athens!!

Get your tickets now!!!

Desertfest’s early bird tickets are sold out!!!

After London, Berlin and Antwerp, the Desertfest franchise is keeping up its conquest of Europe by launching the very first Greek edition of the famous stoner, doom and psych festival. DESERTFEST ATHENS will take place over the second weekend of October, as a sister event of the autumnal Belgium edition.

Over the years, DESERTFEST has become one of the most popular events in Europe for everything heavy, stoner, doom and psyche. “Made by fans for the fans”, the festival gathers thousands of people from across the globe each year by hosting the finest headliners, while also constantly stretching the limits of its own niche with dozens of quality live acts throughout a weekend. Nurturing a friendly atmosphere since the very beginning, DESERTFEST is a urban festival that has won the loyalty of heavy music lovers, so expect your Greek holiday to be a unique and memorable music and human experience!

https://www.viva.gr/tickets/music/iera-odos/desertfest-athens/
www.detoxevents.gr
https://www.facebook.com/Desertfest-Athens-189161564797514/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1530177053945310/

Red Fang, Live at Hellfest 2015

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Desertfest Athens 2016 Adds Torche, My Sleeping Karma, Steak and We Own the Sky to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 25th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

desertfest athens 2016 header

At first, it seemed this was the first announcement to come from Desertfest Athens 2016 that didn’t feature a band from Greece, but when We Own the Sky came aboard, that took care of that. One suspects it’s more happenstance than anything else either way — and there have only been three rounds of lineup adds so far; October’s still a ways off — but it makes sense that the inaugural edition of the Athens brand extension would look to pursue an international reach the same as its compatriots in Antwerp, Berlin and London. This time around, in addition to We Own the Sky, we get My Sleeping Karma from Germany, Torche from the US and Steak from the UK added to the bill alongside Colour HazePentagram and others, and though the announcements were brief from the fest, what each band brings to the event as a whole speaks volumes to the kind of range it will have by the time it’s ready to roll out.

I’ve been seeing word The Atomic Bitchwax will open for Pentagram on their European tour (at least confirmed in Ireland so far). Have to wonder if an announcement for them is in the cards soon. In the meantime, exclamations:

desertfest athens 2016 poster no bands

Torche join Desertfest Athens!!!

MY SLEEPING KARMA – OFFICIAL will blow your mind at Desertfest Athens!!!

Straight from Uk to Athens, Steak live at Desertfest Athens!!!

we.own.the.sky join Desertfest Athens 2016!!!

Get your tickets now!!!

Desertfest’s early bird tickets are sold out!!!

After London, Berlin and Antwerp, the Desertfest franchise is keeping up its conquest of Europe by launching the very first Greek edition of the famous stoner, doom and psych festival. DESERTFEST ATHENS will take place over the second weekend of October, as a sister event of the autumnal Belgium edition.

Over the years, DESERTFEST has become one of the most popular events in Europe for everything heavy, stoner, doom and psyche. “Made by fans for the fans”, the festival gathers thousands of people from across the globe each year by hosting the finest headliners, while also constantly stretching the limits of its own niche with dozens of quality live acts throughout a weekend. Nurturing a friendly atmosphere since the very beginning, DESERTFEST is a urban festival that has won the loyalty of heavy music lovers, so expect your Greek holiday to be a unique and memorable music and human experience!

https://www.viva.gr/tickets/music/iera-odos/desertfest-athens/
www.detoxevents.gr
https://www.facebook.com/Desertfest-Athens-189161564797514/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1530177053945310/

My Sleeping Karma, “Prithvi” official video

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Desertfest Athens 2016: Colour Haze, Pentagram, John Garcia, Karma to Burn, Beggars, Automaton, Black Hat Bones and Sadhus Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 5th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

desertfest athens 2016 header

If you were hoping to get early-bird tickets for Desertfest Athens 2016, tough turkey — they’re gone. It didn’t take more than an initial lineup announcement to move them all out the door, so I guess if there was any question there was enough interest in Athens to warrant holding a fest under the Desertfest banner, that’s gone too. As for the first acts joining the bill, it’s an impressive assemblage, with Colour HazePentagramKarma to BurnBeggars and Sadhus, the latter two local to Athens and supporting an international cast that’s only going to increase in scope as we get closer to October.

As noted yesterday, Desertfest Athens 2016 is part of a string of European festivals happening on successive weekends, preceded by Up in Smoke and followed by Desertfest Belgium and Keep it Low. I don’t know about you, but if ever there was a time to drop out of life and go bum around Europe for a month, this would seem to be it. If you need me, I’ll be daydreaming about same.

Just before this post went up, I noticed Greek outfits Automaton and Black Hat Bones have also newly joined the bill. Seems like it’s fair to expect Desertfest Athens will be highlighting the booming Greek heavy rock scene in its lineup, and I won’t argue with the mission. Feels like a long time coming.

Info courtesy of the fest:

desertfest athens 2016 poster

First line up announcement for Desertfest Athens 2016!!!

Colour Haze
Pentagram
John Garcia
Karma to Burn
BEGGARS
Sadhus “The Smoking Community”

Automaton are the next band to be announced for Desertfest Athens!!!

Black Hat Bones join Desertfest Athens too!!!

Get your tickets now!!!

Desertfest’s early bird tickets are sold out!!!

After London, Berlin and Antwerp, the Desertfest franchise is keeping up its conquest of Europe by launching the very first Greek edition of the famous stoner, doom and psych festival. DESERTFEST ATHENS will take place over the second weekend of October, as a sister event of the autumnal Belgium edition.

https://www.viva.gr/tickets/music/iera-odos/desertfest-athens/
www.detoxevents.gr
https://www.facebook.com/Desertfest-Athens-189161564797514/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1530177053945310/

Colour Haze, To the Highest Gods We Know (2014)

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Desertfest Athens 2016 Set for Oct. 7 & 8; Tickets on Sale

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 28th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

The first edition of the newest Desertfest expansion, Desertfest Athens 2016, is set for Oct. 7 and 8 at Iera Odos 18-20, just down the hill from the Acropolis. No bands have been announced yet, but early bird tickets are on sale now, and it’s looking like Desertfest Athens will be a complement to Desertfest Belgium in much the same way Desertfests Berlin and London interact with each other, share certain bands and headliners while also each focusing on their own local scene.

Greece certainly has a scene worth highlighting. Again, nothing’s been made official, but I’m not sure you could have an inaugural Desertfest Athens without getting 1000mods to take part, and we know from the lineup for Up in Smoke that Elder, Yawning Man and others will be on the road in Europe around that time, so I’ll be very interested to see what shakes out in the birthplace of Western democracy for this fall.

More to come as I hear it. Until then, the PR wire brings the initial announcement and ticket links:

desertfest athens 2016 poster

DESERTFEST ATHENS 2016

October 7-8th in Athens, Greece
IERA ODOS (Iera Odos 18-20)

FIRST EDITION OF DESERTFEST ATHENS TO TAKE PLACE THIS OCTOBER!

Early birds on sale now!

After London, Berlin and Antwerp, the Desertfest franchise is keeping up its conquest of Europe by launching the very first Greek edition of the famous stoner, doom and psych festival. DESERTFEST ATHENS will take place over the second weekend of October, as a sister event of the autumnal Belgium edition.

Over the years, DESERTFEST has become one of the most popular events in Europe for everything heavy, stoner, doom and psyche. “Made by fans for the fans”, the festival gathers thousands of people from across the globe each year by hosting the finest headliners, while also constantly stretching the limits of its own niche with dozens of quality live acts throughout a weekend. Nurturing a friendly atmosphere since the very beginning, DESERTFEST is a urban festival that has won the loyalty of heavy music lovers, so expect your Greek holiday to be a unique and memorable music and human experience!

Lineup to be announced shortly

Early birds on sale now.

TICKETS
Presase: 2-day tickets: 45 euros (early bird), 60 euros (until 31/08)
Ticket presale here: www.viva.gr, Public, SevenSpots, Ianos.

Ticket resellers charge booking fees.

https://www.viva.gr/tickets/music/iera-odos/desertfest-athens/
www.detoxevents.gr
https://www.facebook.com/Desertfest-Athens-189161564797514/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1530177053945310/

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Quarterly Review: Jess and the Ancient Ones, Iguana, Seamount, Gentlemans Pistols, Wired Mind, Automaton, Sideburn, Year of the Cobra, Drive by Wire, Akris

Posted in Reviews on January 4th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk quarterly review winter

And so it begins again. It had been my original intention to launch this latest Quarterly Review last week, but as that would’ve had me basically walking out on the holidays with my family, it seemed somehow prickish to be like, “Uh, sorry dudes, riffs call” and split, particularly when there are hours of driving involved. Still, though it’s already running late by the arbitrary calendar in my mind, I’m glad to be able to tackle a batch of releases that both looks back on the last part of 2015 and to the New Year we’ve just entered. As ever, there is a lot, a lot, a lot of ground to cover, so I won’t delay except to remind of what the Quarterly Review actually is:

Between now and this Friday, I will post 10 reviews a day in a single batch grouped like this one. The order is pretty much random, though something higher profile is usually first. It is my intention that each post covers a range of styles, and hopefully within that, you’re able to find something that speaks to you. Many of these releases were sent to me as physical product, and before I start, I want to extend thanks to those groups for undertaking the time and expense of giving me the full representation of their work to hopefully better do mine.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Jess and the Ancient Ones, Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes

jess and the ancient ones the second psychedelic coming

Finnish six-piece Jess and the Ancient Ones pay homage to psych cultistry on their sophomore full-length, Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes (on Svart), and while one might argue with the band marking this out as the “second coming” of psych – I’d say the third, generationally-speaking – the paean to late-‘60s sonic spaciousness in “In Levitating Secret Dreams” is unmistakable, the songwriting of guitarist Thomas Corpse conjuring fervent swirl behind the soulful Grace Slick-isms of vocalist Jess. At 65 minutes, it’s a classic double-LP, but Second Psychedelic Coming seems most engaged in its longer pieces, the eight-minute “Crossroad Lightning,” which pulls back from the urgency of earlier cuts “”The Flying Man” or the opening “Samhain,” and the 22-minute closer “Goodbye to Virgin Grounds Forever,” which has an arrangement to match its scope that unfolds no less gracefully. Some of the more frenetic parts seem to be arguing with themselves, but the overarching vibe remains satisfyingly tripped out and that closer is their to-date masterpiece.

Jess and the Ancient Ones on Thee Facebooks

Jess and the Ancient Ones at Svart Records

Iguana, Cult of Helios

iguana cult of helios

No big surprise that a record called Cult of Helios would seem to so unabashedly bask in sunshine. The four-track/32-minute sophomore full-length from German heavy psych four-piece Iguana has its driving moments, some in opener “Josiah” but more in the subsequent melodic thriller “Albedo,” but the prevailing sensibility is toward tonal warmth and steady groove. The band – vocalist/guitarist Alexander Lörinczy, guitarist Thomas May, bassist Alexander May and drummer Robert Meier – debuted in 2012 with Get the City Love You (review here), but Cult of Helios is a more cohesive, individualized release, whether it’s the hook of “Albedo,” the Beatles-gone-fuzz of “A Deadlock Situation” or the lush, flowing 15-minute jam of the closing title-track. Iguana’s propensity for blending underlying structure with a wide-open, welcoming atmosphere is writ large over Cult of Helios, and the album shines in a manner befitting its inspiration. A sleeper that begs waking.

Iguana on Thee Facebooks

Iguana website

Seamount, V: Nitro Jesus

seamount v nitro jesus

Most long-distance projects fizzle out after a record or two. With a lineup split between Bavaria and Connecticut, doom rockers Seamount have managed to sustain a remote collaboration, the German band of bassist Markus Ströhlein, guitarist Tim Schmidt and drummer Jens Hofmann working with New England-based vocalist Phil Swanson (ex-Earthlord, ex-Hour of 13, Vestal Claret, etc.). The excellently-titled Nitro Jesus (on The Church Within) is their fifth full-length since 2007, and boasts a refined blend of doom, NWOBHM and dark thematics common to Swanson’s lyrics. Tonally crisp but immersive, slow crawlers like “Can’t Escape the Pain” are offset by the ‘80s metal swing of “Beautiful Sadness,” and each side caps with a longer track, whether that’s the seven-minute “Scars of the Emotional Stuntman,” the most singularly sweeping movement here, or the closer “No One Knows,” which has a moodier feel, the guitar recalling Don Henley accompanied by piano as the finale hits its apex. For those who like their metal of tried and true spirit and individual presentation, Nitro Jesus delivers in more than just its name.

Seamount on Thee Facebooks

The Church Within Records

Gentlemans Pistols, Hustler’s Row

gentlemans pistols hustler's row

Every now and then you hear a record that reminds you what you love about rock and roll in the first place. It doesn’t need to be the most complicated thing in the world, or the most expressive, or the heaviest or the most whatever of anything else, but like Gentlemans Pistols’ third LP, Hustler’s Row (on Nuclear Blast), if it locks in a special chemistry between its players, that’s more than enough to carry it through. That the UK four-piece are ace songwriters and bolstered by the lead guitar chops of Bill Steer (Firebird, Carcass) for the Thin Lizzy dual-solos – vocalist/guitarist James Atkinson on the other end – helps plenty as well, but with the tight, classic-style grooves brought to across Hustler’s Row by bassist Robert Threapleton and drummer Stuart Dobbins, Gentlemans Pistols give essential heavy rock a non-retro modern interpretation that might leave one wondering why so many people try to ape a ‘70s production to start with.

Gentlemans Pistols on Thee Facebooks

Gentlemans Pistols at Nuclear Blast

Wired Mind, Mindstate: Dreamscape

wired mind mindstate dreamscape

Each side of Wired Mind’s Mindstate: Dreamscape LP (on HeviSike Records) gracefully unfolds a lushly-toned, warm, engaging heavy psychedelic sprawl. The chief influence for the Hannover two-piece of guitarist/vocalist Mikey and drummer Chris is their countrymen godfathers Colour Haze, but the duo make their presence felt early on “Road,” the opener and longest-track at 11:01, which balances serene and spaced exploration with post-Kyuss “Thumb” shuffle, all the more enticing for having been recorded live, conjuring Echoplex spaciousness around the repeated line, “All we gotta do is love.” Both sides work on the same structure of a longer track feeding into a shorter one, “Road”’s considerable amassed thickness giving way to the winding groove of “Jennifer’s Dream of a Switchblade” while the Duna Jam-ready vibes permeating from “Wired Dream” finding a moving complement in closer “Woman,” which effectively captures desert rock rhythmic propulsion. As their debut, Mindstate: Dreamscape feels conceptually and stylistically cohesive, and sets Wired Mind up with a sonic breadth on which to continue to build.

Wired Mind on Thee Facebooks

Wired Mind at HeviSike Records

Automaton, Echoes of Mount Ida

automaton echoes of mount ida

Greek heavy rollers Automaton revisit their 2013 debut full-length, Echoes of Mount Ida, for a limited vinyl release. The four-track offering initially surfaced coated in burl and massive riffing, but a remix adds psychedelic edge to the lumbering fervor of “Fear,” on which the Athenian five-piece are joined by Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective for added synth and swirl. He delivers, and the opener also adds guest vocals from Nancy Simeonidou, but the remix keeps things consistent as Automaton transition into the chugging “Beast of War,” a complex near-djent rhythm (which will find complement in the end of “Echoes of Mount Ida” itself) smoothly met by drummer Lykourgos to finish side A of the LP while the locked-in nod of “Breathe in Stone” bleeds into the closing title-track as Automaton offer riffy largesse set in a spacious backdrop like mountains in the distance. Interesting to see if the semi-reboot of their debut is indicative of some overall shift in direction, but at least on the vinyl offering, it makes their sound that much broader.

Automaton on Thee Facebooks

Sound Effect Records

Sideburn, Evil or Divine

sideburn evil or divine

Between Martin Karlsson’s keys (also bass) and vocalist Dimitri Keiski’s propensity to soar, the mood turns epic pretty quick on Sideburn’s fifth album, Evil or Divine (on Metalville Records). The Swedish foursome’s latest shares more than just its titular reference in common with Dio — who, in addition to the lyric from “The Last in Line” had a live record with the same title – but keep a foot in doom territory throughout, drummer Fredrik Haake playing with metallic precision and an edge of swing as Morgan Zocek pulls out leads over “Sea of Sins.” The later “The Day the Sun Died” is particularly post-Ozzy Iommic, but Evil or Divine benefits from the kick in the ass that the penultimate “Evil Ways” seems only too happy to provide before “Presence” finishes on a hopeful note. Definitely more fist-pump than nod, Evil or Divine cries out to legions of the brave who want a thicker groove than modern metal is willing to provide without giving up the occasional cause to headbang.

Sideburn on Thee Facebooks

Metalville Records

Year of the Cobra, The Black Sun

year of the cobra the black sun

Seattle-based bass/drum duo Year of the Cobra had two labels pick up their debut EP, The Black Sun, between Devil’s Child Records and DHU Records, and they’ve signed to STB Records for the follow-up, so it seems safe to say their three-track outing has gotten a solid response. The songs make a compelling argument for why. With vocals that recall Soph Day from Alunah on opener “White Wizard” before delving into faster, more punkish fare on “The Black Sun” itself, Year of the Cobra serve immediate notice of a breadth in their sound, and the seven-minute wah-bass finale “Wasteland” enacts a low-end swirl that pushes even further out while keeping hold of itself via steady, tense drumming. That finisher is a particular high point, with bassist/vocalist Amy Tung Barrysmith self-harmonizing in layers over the steady build and drummer Johanes Barrysmith making sure the considerable tone keeps moving forward. Easy to hear why they’ve found such support in such a short time.

Year of the Cobra on Thee Facebooks

Dark Hedonistic Union Records

Devil’s Child Records

STB Records

Drive by Wire, The Whole Shebang

drive by wire the whole shebang

The third long-player from Dutch four-maybe-five-piece Drive by Wire, The Whole Shebang gets more complex as it goes. Its first couple tracks, “Kerosine Dreams” [sic], “Woodlands,” “The Whole Shebang” and “Five Ft. High” are deeply indebted to desert rock circa Songs for the Deaf, tonally and even in some of Simone Holsbeek’s sing/talk call and responses on “Woodlands.” From there, “Rituals,” “In This Moment” and the moody “River Run” and “Promised the Night” push into more individual ground, and even though they tie it back together in the album’s third and final movement with “Rotor Motor,” “All Around” and “Voodoo You Do,” the context has changed, and by the time guitarist Alwin Wubben swells lead lines behind the verse of the closer, the fuzz of “Kerosine Dreams” is a distant memory. Completed by bassist Marcel Zerb and drummer Jerome Miedendorp de Bie, Drive by Wire wind up on a considerable journey, and while the title at first seems off-the-cuff, it works out to be a whole shebang indeed.

Drive by Wire on Thee Facebooks

Drive by Wire webstore

Akris, Fall EP

akris fall ep

Relaunched as a trio in the first half of 2015, Virginia trio Akris made a studio return with the four-song/32-minute Fall EP, which probably should’ve been called a full-length and probably should’ve been pressed to vinyl (paging Tony Reed to master and STB Records to release…), but the digital-only offering finds Akris and particularly founding bassist/vocalist Helena Goldberg anything but apprehensive as she, guitarist/vocalist Paul Cogle (Nagato, Black Blizzard) and drummer Tim Otis (Admiral Browning) follow-up the band’s raucous sans-guitar 2013 self-titled full-length debut (review here), balancing plodding grooves, melody and abrasion deftly atop rumble and riffs in “Forgiven” as Goldberg swaps between screams and grunge-styled croons. The subsequent “People in the Sky” is less patient, and caps its nine-minute run with a barrage of noise rock synth that continues at the start of closer “Alley Doorway” but ultimately recedes (momentarily) to let that song establish its own course of loud/quiet tradeoffs and resonant exploration. Unless Akris are planning a series of seasonal short releases, I see no reason why Fall EP shouldn’t be characterized as a second long-player and heralded for the bold expansion of the band’s approach it represents.

Akris on Thee Facebooks

Akris on Bandcamp

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Godsleep Release Thousand Sons of Sleep Vinyl on Rock Freaks Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 29th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

godsleep

Greek heavy rockers Godsleep have released their debut LP, Thousand Sons of Sleep (review here), on vinyl through Rock Freaks Records. The album was initially offered up by the band earlier in 2015 digitally and on CD, and the pickup by Rock Freaks, which is the record label associated with Freak Valley festival, has some pretty obvious implications as to how the Athens foursome might be spending at least part of their summer. Maybe that’s jumping the gun, as, admittedly, I’m prone to do in this kind of case, but whether they wind up on that fest or not, Godsleep‘s debut showed considerable promise, and right down to its artwork, earned a vinyl release all the way. Kudos to the band and label on joining forces.

Rock Freaks had the news and release particulars like this:

godsleep thousand sons of sleep

Rock Freaks Records proudly presents the 2nd label release: Godsleep – THOUSAND SONS OF SLEEP!

With their debut these guys from Athens, Greece, created a mixture of powerful throaty vocals colliding with thick-sounded, fuzz fuelled heavy rock, accompanied by extended solos.

Poaching in the deep covert of sludge, stoner and psychedelic rock this foursome leads you from the muddy woods of Lousiana to the dusty sands of Arizona. This sounds crazy. And it is crazy. Available now on heavy 180gr vinyl and inside-out print you can choose between three colors: traditional black (limited and handnumbered to 150 pieces), silver (130) and gold (110).

Get your special „die-hard-edition“ next saturday at the FREAK-VALLEY-X-MAS showcase including the golden vinyl plus a ROCK FREAKS RECORDS patch. The black edition is available at GODSLEEPS show on saturday 19th in Athens.

All colours available next week in our shop and on the forthcoming GODSLEEP-tour. There are still dates for april 2016 available, so if you want them to stop by or if you know a cool place that they should fill with some heavy tunes, please contact Stef : stef@totalvolumeagency.com.

www.rockfreaks.de
https://www.facebook.com/freakvalley/
https://www.facebook.com/Godsleepband
http://godsleep.bandcamp.com/releases

Godsleep, Thousand Sons of Sleep (2015)

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