Destroyer of Light Announce Month-Long US Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 8th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

destroyer of light

Austin horror rockers Destroyer of Light have no shortage of work ahead of them in slogging their way coast to coast on what they’ve dubbed the “Howlin’ Across America” tour. The ghoulish death-sludge purveyors hit the West Coast over the summer, but that couldn’t really compare to the month they’ll spend on the road starting Oct. 13 in support of their second record, Bizarre Tales Vol. 2, which came out earlier in the year on Heavy Friends Records.

They’ll make a stop at the Southwest Terror Fest on Oct. 17, and short of Boston and a few cities in the northern part of the Midwest, hits just about everywhere else, so if they’re hitting your town it might be worth showing up and buying some merch, to keep ‘em flying, as the WWII posters used to say.

Info culled from the PR wire:

destroyer of light howlin across america tour

Destroyer of Light Announces Howlin’ Across America Tour ’14

Austin Doom Band To Spend A Month On The Road

Following a successful summer run on the West Coast, doom metal alchemists Destroyer of Light are set to undertake another tour in support of its Bizarre Tales Vol. 2 EP. Dubbed the Howlin’ Across America Tour ’14, the band will spend a month on the road and visit 32 cities. The Heavy Friends Records-sponsored tour starts in their home town Austin, Texas and reaches out to nearly every region in the United States.

On October 17, Destroyer of Light travels to The District Tavern in Tucson, Arizona where they will play Southwest Terror Fest. Goatsnake, Sunn 0))), Neurosis, Pelican and Author & Punisher are a few of the bands billed to play the four-day festival.

The band comments: “We are super excited about this tour and hitting some new cities that we haven’t played before. Also, this is the biggest tour that we have done; so, it is a very exciting feeling to go out and accomplish this.”

Howlin Across America Tour ’14
10/13-Austin, TX @ The Grand
10/14-Midland, TX @ Blue Max
10/15-El Paso, TX @Grynde Bar
10/17-Tucson, AZ @ The District Tavern Southwest Terror Fest
10/20-Alburquerque, NM @ The Launchpad
10/21-OKC/Tulsa, OK @TBA
10/22-Bryant, AR @ M.F. Metal
10/23-St. Louis, MO @ FOAM Coffe & Bar
10/24-Chicago, IL @ Cobra Lounge
10/25-Kalamazo, MI @ Satellite Records
10/26-Columbus, OH @ Carabar
10/27-Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Roboto Project
10/28-Buffalo, NY @ The Lair
10/29-Brooklyn, NY @ The Grand Victory
10/30-Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
10/31-Shepardtown, WV @ Stonewall’s Pub
11/01-Richmond, VA @ 25Watt
11/02- Chapel Hill, NC @ The Cave Tavern
11/03-Johnston City, TN @ The Hideaway
11/04-Nashville, TN @TBA
11/05-Columbia, SC @ Foxfield Bar & Grill
11-06/Jacksonville, FL @ The Burro Bar
11/07-Longwood, FL @Hoodies Saloon
11/08-Pensacola, FL @ The Handlebar
11-09-Atlanta/Savannah/Athens @ TBA
11/10-Birmingham, AL @ The Nick
11/11-Jackson, MS @ OI Tavern/George St.
11.12-New Orleans, LA @ The Beatnik
11/13-Texarkana, AR @ The Silver Dollar
11/14-Fort Worth, TX @ The Grotto
11/15-Houston, TX @ Rudyards
11/16-Austin ,TX @ The Lost Well

Erik Bredthauer created a Tales From the Crypt style animated video for the single “Forbidden Zombi Ritual” taken from Destroyer of Light’s Bizarre Tales Vol. 2 EP. Go HERE to watch the video.

http://destroyeroflight.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/destroyeroflight
https://twitter.com/DoLAustinDoom
http://www.reverbnation.com/destroyeroflight

Destroyer of Light, “Forbidden Zombi Ritual” official video

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The Well Premiere “Refuge” from Debut LP Samsara; Out Tomorrow on RidingEasy Records

Posted in audiObelisk on September 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

the well (Photo by Andy Ray Lemon)

Heavy psych trio The Well make their full-length debut tomorrow on RidingEasy Records with Samsara, a beast of an album rife with rhythmic swing, deep tonal buzz and a balance between classic ’70s worship and more devilish tendencies. The Austin, Texas, three-piece issue the LP as the follow-up to 2013’s First Trip EP and a preceding 2012 7″ titled Seven (review here) that served notice of their interest in malevolent psych pop and heavier rocking swing. There are certainly plenty of both on Samsara, which comprises seven tracks of garage-inflected languid roll — some Witch and Uncle Acid on “Trespass,” and centerpiece “Lucifer Sam” seems to reimagine Ghost‘s propensity for catchy Satanics as a late ’60s Halloween party — but finds its distinctive presence in the dirtied-up elder metal guitar work of Ian Graham, who also shares vocal duties with bassist Lisa Alley, and in the nod punctuated by drummer Jason Sullivan.

They make no bones about where they’re coming from. Classic influences yielding results that I wouldn’t necessarily call retro, but definitely have one ideological foot in the past. The eight-minute riff-roll of “Eternal Well” losesthe well samsara none of the rest of Samsara‘s propensity for strong hooks for its extra runtime, and where a cut like “1,000 Lies” pauses around its middle for a quieter atmospheric stretch, even at its thickest-toned and most raucous, the album keeps a sense of mood at the fore, opener “Mortal Bones” setting a tone of catchy songcraft that broadcasts its structural simplicity in order to sneak in tonal intricacies in the guitar and bass and in the vocal arrangements, The Well working smoothly to make their output sound much easier than it is while providing satisfying fodder for repeat listens. That’s true throughout, but it’s on “Refuge” that the various sides of Samsara‘s personality most come together, and it’s for that reason I’m so glad to be able to host the premiere of that track today.

At six and a half minutes, it’s the longest on the album but for “Eternal Well,” beginning slow with a creeper of a riff that soon gives way to the speedier push of its verse and chorus, a break at the halfway point signaling a change to some of Samsara‘s finest rhythmic sway, Sullivan stomping out a line that Graham and Alley seem to revel in, the former taking a fuzzed-out solo as the jam continues and “Refuge” gradually dissolves. After five minutes in, a final crash would seem to bring things to an end, but what follows is an arrangement of vocals between the guitarist and the bassist that makes the song even more of a standout and emphasizes the subtle shifts that The Well are so able to pull off on their fluid, remarkably cohesive debut record. You can see the part in the waveform below, so don’t cut out early.

And please, enjoy:

The Well‘s Samsara was produced by Mark Deutrom (formerly of the Melvins) and engineered by Chico Jones at Ohm Recording Studio in Austin. RidingEasy Records releases the album tomorrow, Sept. 23, on CD and vinyl. More info at the links.

The Well on Thee Facebooks

The Well on Twitter

Samsara at RidingEasy’s webstore

RidingEasy Records

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Friday Full-Length: The Black Angels, Passover

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

The Black Angels, Passover (2006)

Doing something a little different to close out this week in that The Black Angels is a band about whom I know next to nothing. I’ve seen their name around plenty, especially earlier this year (or was it last year now?) when they supported Roky Erickson on tour, but listening to their 2006 debut LP, Passover, as I type this is the first significant amount of time I’ve ever spent with one of their records. It sounds pretty cool. If this came my way today from a new band, I’d it’s right on heavy psych, so considering it dropped eight years ago, before a lot of this kind of thing really caught on here or in Europe, that’s all the more impressive. Onto the Amazon Wishlist it goes, right next to damn near everything else I’ve ever heard.

Based out of Austin, The Black Angels have four LPs out and a couple EPs as well, so I guess if I want to get caught up, I’ve got my work cut out for me. Stuff is a little chic and has more than a touch of Neil Young – also ahead of the game on that, apparently, though also behind it if one counts the entire decade of the ’90s — but it swings and would do well on the highway late at night, which seems to be where I most listen to music these days, the couch notwithstanding. I’ll dig further and let you know how it goes. One thing that took me so long in checking these guys out was that everything I heard about them had to do with their lightshow, which of course says nothing about the actual music. That’s something of a dogwhistle to me, mostly because The Flaming Lips suck so very hard and all everyone talks about is flashing colors and whatever other bullshit happens when they play live. Anyway, on first impression, Passover is pretty solid. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but if not, and really either way, I hope you agree.

Boogie woogie.

It was either this or the self-titled Alice in Chains to end the week, and if I’m honest that’s way more where my head has been at the last several days — as evidenced perhaps by the fact that I’ve never heard Passover before — but I closed a week with Sap back in January, and it seemed a little soon to revisit the band. To answer your next question, yes, I really do put that much thought into this crap. If you only knew… you’d probably get very sad.

Which is pretty much what I did all week. I put up a day’s worth of posts yesterday without getting out of bed, and since the Yankees were playing a day game, just stayed in bed until about five o’clock, before I made my way all the way downstairs to watch no fewer than five episodes of the Scott Bakula Star Trek spinoff — the Trek kick continues unabated; ask me about the name of the ship in the novel I’m writing in my head — as well as the fifth movie, also arguably the nadir of the film franchise, at least until the second remake. Anyway, I had some shit turn south on me this week after it seemed to not be and it kind of pulled the wind out of my sails. Not worth going into.

I’ve now been unemployed for five months. How about that?

I’m not dealing with it well, but I didn’t last time either, though last time I made this blog and proceeded to let it consume my existence. This time? More of that, I suppose, but also a lot of feeling like a useless sucker, like I sold myself out cheap a decade ago, pointless regret, the usual, very dire melodrama that eats my consciousness alive when I get like this and forces me to step back and remember how easy and how good I actually have it, little help though that is. Anyway, I have family coming north this weekend and I expect that will be chaotic enough to jolt my brain out of this very unfunky funk.

Speaking of things gnawing at my consciousness, I think I’m finally in deep enough with the YOB record to review it. I’ve been trying to get a time to interview Mike Scheidt the last couple weeks as well and it just hasn’t worked. I thought maybe tonight, but I’m gonna head to Worcester to catch a show, so maybe next week, though I’m also interviewing Soph Day from Alunah about their new record, so we’ll see. Anyway, that review will get done.

On Monday, look out for a Snailking track premiere and later in the week one for Old Testament, which is a new project from Jason Simon from Dead Meadow. I’ll also review the show I’m going to tonight and hopefully the Blackwolfgoat record too.

Thanks to everyone for donating to the Small Stone fundraiser this week. Thanks to everyone who shared the Sleep review (particularly the cats from Earthless). Thanks to everyone for reading or listening to the radio or whatever. Thanks to everyone for everything. If I believed in being blessed, I’d consider myself blessed. I am lucky.

Splendid weekend to all, and if you’re in the States, enjoy your Labor Day. Please don’t forget to check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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The Well to Release Samsara on Sept. 23

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Fully baked in primo Sabbathian roll, the new single “Mortal Bones” from Austin trio The Well bodes especially positively for their forthcoming RidingEasy Records debut album, Samsara. That record is out on Sept. 23, though you can order it from iTunes now — link below — and it was recorded by Mark Deutrom, formerly of the Melvins. Not sure if the artwork is by bassist/vocalist Lisa Alley as was the preceding 7″ Seven (review here), but it’s a similar pencil style and striking either way. If you told me it was I’d believe it.

The PR wire has info for the record and some backstory on the band if you want to get caught up, and the stream of “Mortal Bones” follows. If you skip to the song first and then go back, I think that might be a good way to go here. The proof is in the riffing:

Austin power trio THE WELL to unleash debut album SAMSARA this September

Texans to release eagerly anticipated album on 23rd September 2014 via RidingEasy Records

With a progressive sound that stems from a nostalgic desire to blend different musical styles as diverse as Joy Division and Blue Cheer, Austin-based power trio The Well redefine heavy rock by merging massive riffs with sophisticated melodies.

The group blossomed when guitarist/vocalist Ian Graham was fired from his previous band. Determined to redirect his musical focus, Graham hooked up with bassist Lisa Alley and the two began picking out riffs in their east-side garage. Rounding out their sound, they stole drummer Jason Sullivan from Graham’s old band in a tale of vengeance and karma. His solid groove and reckless tribal beat gave the three-piece their ideal primal attack.

Due to their psychedelic doom edge, The Well reaps comparisons to Black Sabbath, Sleep, Electric Wizard and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. As fans of cult horror films, they embrace the sinister, revel in dark themes and find inspiration in haunting echoes. The dual vocals of Graham and Alley evoke an ancient language that carries a mystic spell. Daunting rhythms and heavy guitars often accentuate their chilling chants. In the spring of 2012 The Well’s first studio experience was to record their debut 7? at the Barbeque Shack with Tia Carrera’s Jason Morales. Limited to 300 copies, Seven was pressed on mixed vinyl with several cover options featuring hand-drawn art that emulated a few of the band’s favourite album covers. Nicknamed the “rip-off” series, the single sold out quickly becoming a favourite among European collectors.

By the fall of 2012, The Well were back in the studio again, this time at Ohm Recording Facility with Producer Mark Deutrom (Melvins, Sun O)))) and Engineer Chico Jones to record their debut album. However, an opportunity to record with Converse Rubber Tracks during SXSW 2013 resulted in the epic track ‘Eternal Well’ and sparked the idea of an EP. First Trip was pressed with a handful of songs from the Ohm sessions together with ‘Eternal Well’ just in time for their West Coast Summer Tour. Due to the energy and excitement of their live shows, the vinyl sold out quickly. With each repressing, a different hand-screened cover was printed until all four limited editions sold out. One of their most rabid fans was RidingEasy Records label boss Daniel Hall who recently signed the band.

Inspired by early ’70s psych, heavy rock, blues and proto-metal, The Well has created a sound that reflects doom, punk and horror all rolled together into one ghostly rock soundtrack. Their full-length debut Samsara is their strongest collection of songs to date. Produced by Mark Deutrom and released through RidingEasy Records, the masterwork is a stripped down, electric blues fuzzfest and begs to be heard live. After a steady touring schedule that’s seen the band share the stage with international acts such as: Kadavar, Orchid, Fu Manchu, High On Fire, NAAM, Orange Goblin, Pentagram and Dead Meadow guarantees The Well are contenders.

“Writing dark, ominous music is how I deal with life,” admits Ian. “When we play live it’s like expelling the demons.” At a time when rock music is fading among the masses, The Well injects an intoxicating dose of raw adrenaline into a fatigued genre. Their nostalgic reverence, simple structure and modern expression put them at the forefront of today’s heavy rock.

Samsara is released via RidingEasy Records on 23rd September 2014.

Mortal Bones 7″ single - http://ridingeasyrecords.com/product/well-mortal-bones-7/

iTunes pre-order - https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/samsara/id903208953?ls=1

The Well:
Ian Graham – Guitarist/Vocalist
Lisa Alley – Bass/Vocalist
Jason Sullivan – Drums

thewellband.com
thewellaustin.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/thewellband
twitter.com/thewellband
instagram.com/thewellband

The Well, “Mortal Bones” from Samsara (2014)

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Destroyer of Light Announce West Coast Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Austin sludge rockers Destroyer of Light are heading west beginning June 13. The riff-crunching Texan four-piece released their sophomore outing, Bizarre Tales Vol. 2, earlier this year on vinyl through Heavy Friends Records, and previously toured in the Southeast this past April in support of the album. Neither that tour nor this one heads very far north, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the second half of 2014 held more to come from the band, who skillfully blend elements of doom, sludge, thrash and stoner shuffle into a dark-sounding brew of semi-psychedelic potency.

Dates and info come courtesy of the PR wire:

DESTROYER OF LIGHT announce summer U.S. tour

Austin-based doom band DESTROYER OF LIGHT has announced a U.S. tour spanning from Texas to the West Coast in June.

Destroyer of Light formed in Austin, Texas the beginning of 2012. Each member coming from different bands wanted create slow, heavy, riff-induced music and wield it toward the masses. Gathering influences from a variety of different styles, each member brings their flavor to the table, and the music speaks for itself. Destroyer of Light is a 4-piece band consisting of Steve Colca on guitars/vocals, Keegan Kjeldsen on lead guitar, Jeff Klein on bass, and Kelly “Penny” Turner on drums. As of now, their second EP, Bizarre Tales Vol. 2 has been released both digitally and on vinyl through Heavy Friends Records. May the power of the riff compel you!

Dates are as follows (TBA dates to be updated next week):

June 13th – Austin, Tx @ Holy Mountain
June 14th – Midland, TX @ VFW Hall
June 15th – Las Cruces, NM @ The Trainyard
June 16th – Albuquerque, NM @ TBA
June 17th – Tuscon, AZ @ The Rock
June 18th – Tempe, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room
June 19th – Spring Valley, CA @ The Bancroft
June 20th – LA @ TBA
June 21st – San Bernadino, CA – Black Flame Collective
June 22nd – San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern
June 23rd – Oakland, CA @ Eli’s Mile High Club
June 24th – Fresno, CA @ TBA
June 25th – Las Vegas, NV @ Cheyanne Saloon
June 26th – SLC @ The Shred Shed
June 27th – Colorado Springs, CO @ TBA
June 28th – Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
June 29th – Haysville, KS @ KC’s Too
June 30th – Texarkana, TX @ Silver Dollar
July 1st – Dallas, TX/Fort Worth, TX @ TBA

facebook.com/destroyeroflight
destroyeroflight.bandcamp.com
heavyfriendsrecords.com
facebook.com/pages/Heavy-Friends-Records/1396186950655438

Destroyer of Light, Bizarre Tales Vol. 2 (2014)

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Scorpion Child Announce Headlining North American Tour with Crobot

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Boozy Texan rockers Scorpion Child are getting ready to follow their recent European tour with a run across the eastern half of North America that’ll go from the end of May into June, hitting major markets along the way with company from Crobot. Both bands have in common that they’ve opened for Clutch, so at least you know they’ve been to school, and Scorpion Child also took part in that monstrous five-band bill last year with Kadavar, Mothership, Gypsyhawk and Wilson. For Scorpion Child, who’ve hardly let their livers recover since making their self-titled debut on Nuclear Blast last year, this next stint will begin at the Rocklahoma festival on May 24, from which they’ll swing back south into Texas before looping up the East Coast.

It’s a considerable undertaking from the road-dog-in-the-making four-piece, and the PR wire has the details below:

SCORPION CHILD ANNOUNCE HEADLINING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR

Ready to blaze back into North America with appearances at this year’s Rocklahoma & River City Rock festivals after their all-out assault through Europe, kick-ass hard rockers SCORPION CHILD from Austin, Texas will launch a headlining tour this spring with Pennsylvania’s space rockers CROBOT supporting. The trek will start off on May 26th in Dallas, Texas, includes two shows in Canada, and ends in Nashville, Tennessee on June 8th.

Checking in from Berlin, Germany, SCORPION CHILD vocalist Aryn Jonathan Black shares the following about their return home:

“We are enraptured to set out on our blitzkrieg U.S. tour of the Right Coast, Midwest, and Canada next month along with CROBOT. Do not miss this hard package!”

Tour dates are:

05/24/14 Rocklahoma Festival – Pryor, OK
05/25/14 River City Rock Fest – San Antonio, TX
05/26/14 Gas Monkey – Dallas, TX
05/27/14 The Station – Lafayette, LA
05/28/14 Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
05/29/14 The Hive – Charleston, SC
05/30/14 Metro – Baltimore, MD
05/31/14 North Star Bar – Philadelphia, PA
06/01/14 Studio at Webster – New York, NY
06/02/14 Brighton Music Hall – Boston, MA
06/03/14 Il Motore – Montreal, QC – CANADA
06/04/14 Coda – Toronto, ON – CANADA
06/05/14 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
06/06/14 Buster’s – Lexington, KY
06/07/14 Fubar – St. Louis, MO
06/08/14 The End – Nashville, TN

Described by Aryn Jonathan Black as “a sonic landscape of a 24-hour period” and joining the elite ranks of rock’s present day flag bearers such as Graveyard, The Sword, Wolfmother, and Rival Sons, SCORPION CHILD‘s self-titled debut album was produced and arranged by Chris “Frenchie” Smith (The Answer, Jet, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead) using analog technology.

Scorpion Child debuted at #26 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart & at #99 on the Hard Music Album chart the week following its June 2013 release. Shortly after the announcement that the band would headline Rockstar Mayhem’s Sumerian Stage last summer, their single “Polygon Of Eyes” was selected as the iTunes “Single of the Week.”

SCORPION CHILD has toured with CLUTCH and KADAVAR, showcased multiple years at the SXSW Music Festival, and performed on the Shiprocked Cruise in January. This will be their second appearance at Rocklahoma.

Scorpion Child can be purchased from the Nuclear Blast USA Webshop. Buy the album digitally on iTunes and receive two bonus tracks: http://bit.ly/scorpchild-st-itunes.

www.facebook.com/SCORPIONCHILD
Twitter.com/SCORPIONCHILD
www.youtube.com/SCORPIONCHILDMUSIC

Scorpion Child, “Liquor” lyric video

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The Well to Release New Album Monomyth on EasyRider Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Last I heard of Austin trio The Well was their 2012 single, Seven (review here), which apparently means I have some catching up to do on their 2013 First Trip EP, already in its third pressing. While I ponder whether or not that means it’s actually the third trip, the three-piece have inked a deal to release their full-length, Monomyth, through ascendant imprint EasyRider Records. They join an impressive and growing roster of acts, from Hornss and Salem’s Pot to Electric Citizen and Sons of Huns. Solid company to keep.

Here’s looking forward to the arrival of Monomyth (perhaps the band Monomyth can name their next album The Well). If you happen to be in Texas this week for SXSW, they’re playing several showcases. Details on that, the announcement of the signing, background on the band and the stream of First Trip follow, should you like to familiarize:

THE WELL signs with EasyRider Records

The Well Signs with EasyRider Records, Catch them at SXSW this week!

EasyRider records is very excited to welcome Austin’s Hottest Export The Well to the EasyRider family. Their upcoming full length “MONOMYTH” will release in late summer of 2014! The Well is a 3 piece out of Austin TX, that captured my attention a few months ago. The sound is raw and big and extremely catchy. The are a hard working band from Austin that have come a long way and are excited to hit the road and support this beast of a record. They will be ALL over SXSW this week here are the dates and shows….

SXSW
3/12- RoadHouse Management/Nuclear Blast Official Showcase @ Red 7
3/13 – Unofficial Showcase Sons of Huns Orchid, Scorpion Child and Mothership. @ Wonderland.
3/14 – Texas Rock ‘n Roll Massacre – Sons of Huns Orchid, Scorpion Child and Mothership. @ Spider House Ballroom.

More About The Well -
Austin based Power trio The Well formed in early 2011 lead by Guitarist/vocalist Ian Graham. Seeking a sound that grew from his own nostalgic desire, Ian sought a return to the musical memory of his youth. He began crafting songs that emulated the classical heaviness of his childhood heroes. Riffs the size of mountains, distorted and cuttingly sharp—slow, patient, dominating and heavy. The kind of sound that smashed open the doors and let loose the darkness. To help him capture the tonality of the sound inside his head, he enlisted the talents of bassist Lisa Alley and drummer Jason Sullivan.

In the Spring of 2012 The Well began working with Tia Carrera’s Jason Morales and recorded their debut 7? at the Barbeque Shack. By the fall, the band was back in the studio, this time at Ohm Recording Facility with Producer Mark Deutrom (The Melvins and Sun O)))) and Engineer Chico Jone working on a full length LP. The Well recorded with Converse Rubber Tracks during SXSW 2013, and put the resulting track, “Eternal Well” with a handful from the Ohm sessions together to form their EP entitled, “First Trip”.

The end of that year would see The Well performing alongside such acts as NAAM, Orange Goblin, Holy Grail, Lazerwulf and Dead Meadow. Sonic Vault Austin named The Well their 2013 Metal Band of the Year and the Austin Chronicle invited the band to be their showcased artist in their PaperCuts Series for February of 2014.

With ever growing press both locally and nationally, a 2014 SXSW Nuclear Blast showcase alongside the likes of Orchid and Kadavar, the band is ready for a busy year of touring and promoting their upcoming release.

http://thewellaustin.bandcamp.com/
www.instagram.com/thewellband
https://www.facebook.com/thewellband

The Well, First Trip EP (2013)

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audiObelisk: I am the Albatross Premiere “Strugglin'” from Debut EP

Posted in audiObelisk on February 12th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

You could call “Strugglin'” from I am the Albatross‘ forthcoming self-titled EP efficient not necessarily because it sounds so clean or its structure comes across so clearly. Certainly the hook is right there and plenty sharp, but even more than that, “Strugglin'” shows its down-to-business mentality in conveying such a wide swath of influence, moving in under five minutes’ time from Hank Williams-style country melancholy to all-out gypsy punk, resulting in a kind of spaghetti western speed rock that winds up held together even as it seems intent on tearing itself apart by an underlying quality of songwriting from the Austin-based trio of guitarist/vocalist Jesse Berkowitz, bassist/vocalist Giuseppe Ponti and drummer Marc Henry.

It’s not the kind of thing you hear every day around here, or anywhere else for that matter, and that ultimately was what appealed to me about the track, which as the title would indicate takes on hard times, drinking in motel rooms and the hope of their actually being another side. And not only does the song establish this wide stylistic range, but it builds smoothly from one end to the other, and when it’s at its tensest and most unbridled, the band shift into a waltz before cutting back to a solo and the last verses and chorus, even then keeping hold of the song which by then is full throttle with its fire and brimstone. I am the Albatross will self-release their debut EP on March 4.

Please find “Strugglin'” on the player below, followed by more info on the release, and enjoy:

I Am The Albatross – “Strugglin'”

“Strugglin’“ is the first single from the debut EP by the trio of Austin-based musical veterans that collectively form I Am The Albatross. The song begins as a stumbling, lost soul’s barroom lament before exploding into a blistering barn-burner, with a protagonist who dejectedly sneers at the hopelessness of the apocalyptic times he has found himself in. “Strugglin’“ propels itself forward on a high-speed, borderline polka, gypsy groove and eventually bursts into full on punk-rock fury.

“The song is an exaggerated expression of the feelings of imprisonment and tension that we all experience in times of financial and emotional insecurity. Everyone at some point in their life may find themselves trapped in a dark, windowless room (figuratively, hopefully), just searching for a crack in the wall where a tiny bit of light might be shining through,” explains band leader, Jesse Berkowitz. The debut self-titled EP from I Am The Albatross arrives on March 4th, 2014.

I am the Albatross on Thee Facebooks

I am the Albatross on Bandcamp

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On Wax: Tia Carrera, Cosmic Priestess

Posted in On Wax on December 10th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Austin jammers Tia Carrera were probably a little ahead of their time when they got going and started playing happy hours and pressing CDRs in the middle of the last decade, but certainly by the time they got around to releasing Cosmic Priestess (review here) in 2011, an improv-based heavy psych jam unit wasn’t unheard of. Yet their name is rarely in the conversation when it comes to this kind of psychedelia. That might be in part because they don’t really tour, but I think it has something to do with how much of a standout they are even in their hometown, which boasts plenty of heavy rock and plenty of jamming, but very little crossover. Veterans of course of SXSW, the trio has also jammed out at Roadburn and everything they recorded for Cosmic Priestess – which was their second offering through Small Stone after 2009’s The Quintessential (review here) — was improvised and recorded live to 1″ tape in 2010 with the lineup of guitarist Jason Morales, bassist Jamey Simms and drummer Erik Conn.

The sum total of the four tracks on the CD version of the album stood at 64 minutes, and to this day, the CD version of Cosmic Priestess is a considerable undertaking. Even if you’re just going to put it on to trip out to the echo and wah and lose yourself in whichever of the four extended jams, it’s a commitment in time and attention. They could’ve probably released the 33-minute “Saturn Missile Battery,” which was mixed by the band with Mark Deutrom (ex-the Melvins), on its own as a full-length and no one would’ve blinked, but the ambition in Tia Carrera‘s improvisational project finds its mirror in the amount of output they have to show for it, which of course is more than a single 12″ LP can hold.

Small Stone has pressed Cosmic Priestess to a 12″ platter, however — 250 copies on black wax and 250 in a yellow record with black and red swirl, both on 180 gram vinyl in a gatefold package that highlights the oh-hell-yessery of Alexander von Wieding‘s turn-it-sideways cover art — and the solution for making it fit has been to edit the songs. CD closer “A Wolf in Wolf’s Clothing” is out entirely, while opener “Slave Cylinder” remains untouched at 7:32. The real difference comes in middle pieces “Sand, Stone and Pearl,” which is 15:10 on disc and 11:40 on vinyl, and “Saturn Missile Battery,” taken from 33:40 to 20:48. Both still give plenty of time for Tia Carrera to make their point, of course, but it’s a change in how the album itself is presented, with “Saturn Missile Battery” occupying all of side B while side A has two relatively neat jams that run roughly the same amount of time. It changes the structure of the album, and I don’t think it’s for the worse.

It’s a hard thing to say you’re in favor of editing a band’s output, and I’m not going to say I am, only that Cosmic Priestess sounds really fucking good on vinyl, and if trimming off some of the material was how that happened, then it’s a fair enough trade from a listening standpoint. I put headphones on and was immediately sucked into the unfolding course of “Slave Cylinder,” and Conn‘s drumming on “Saturn Missile Battery” came across as all the more righteous, the subtle hiss of my record player adding complement to the band’s analog worship and classic heavy sensibilities. They’re still jamming the living hell out of the tracks, and while the LP edition of the album is shorter, the trade there is it’s also more accessible. By the time side B comes to its finish, I want Tia Carrera to keep going, and that’s just how it should be.

To the best of my knowledge, the three-piece hasn’t done anything in the studio since Cosmic Priestess, and members have other projects going, but they’ll still play shows in and around Austin every now and again. In light of the emergence of a more jam-minded heavy psychedelia over the last couple years, both in the US and in Europe, it would be interesting to see how a new Tia Carrera album fared upon release. Whether or not that’ll happen, I don’t know, but Cosmic Priestess has easily proved worth a vinyl revisit.

Tia Carrera, Cosmic Priestess (2011)

Tia Carrera on Thee Facebooks

Small Stone Records

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audiObelisk: Lions of Tsavo Stream New Album Traverser in its Entirety

Posted in audiObelisk on November 8th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Homebrewing a genre blend that’s no more indebted to Georgia than to Norway or to the Bay Area, the Austin, Texas, trio Lions of Tsavo concoct a vicious complexity with their third full-length outing, Traverser. Varied in spirit, complex in mood and capable at a moment’s notice of unleashing cathartic blasts that even at their most brutal hold firm to a sense of atmosphere, the album is released this week on Toxic Assets and was recorded by the band as the follow-up to 2009’s Swarm of all the Unholy and 2008’s Firelung LPs. They’re on tour to support it now.

That’s simple enough to say, but it becomes a more difficult concept with a record as diverse as Traverser actually is. Though it maintains a cohesiveness of sound and Lions of Tsavo carve an identity out of their sundry changes and violent churn, Traverser hardly seems like it’s waiting for easy summation. Whether it’s the Remission-style tension twisting of “Berlahars” that later get a blackened revisit on the semi-title-track “Traverser of Guriin” or the post-metallic chugging and smooth shift to ambience of “Chemotrophs,” Lions of Tsavo‘s third outing is less about picking out individual hits than about the overarching 52-minute whole journey, bookended by the brooding intro “Circuitous” — which also finds a heftier mid-album companion in the short instrumental “Circuital” — and outro “Negentropy,” named for a measure of bringing chaos to order.

If that’s the intent behind the bookend, it’s a noble enough aim, and the semblance of structure adds to the feeling of consciousness at work across the 11 songs of Traverser – the band would also seem to be aware of the “album as journey” factor, given the title — but as always, the crux is in the trip itself more than the destination. From the progressive heaviness of “Permafrost” to the nonetheless melodic raging apex of “Sea of Crises” that serves as fitting payoff for the record in its entirety, guitarist/vocalist Ryan Chamberlain rasping out some of his most charred screams over top of the swirl created by his own layers of riffs, the bass of Daine Vineyard and Josh Dawkins‘ drums, it may require a few listens to sink in just how much Traverser is Lions of Tsavo‘s own sonically, but the brazen individuality is one of its most satisfying and lasting impressions.

In honor of the official release, I have the pleasure of hosting the entirety of Traverser for streaming. Please find it on the player below, followed by the remainder of Lions of Tsavo‘s current tour dates, and enjoy:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

LIONS OF TSAVO Traverser Tour:
11/08/2013 Blue Nile – Harrisonburg, VA w/ Valkyrie
11/09/2013 TBA – Charleston, WV w/ Hericide
11/10/2013 Tree Bar – Columbus, OH w/ Dark Twin, Earthburner
11/11/2013 Butt Temple – Bloomington, IN w/ Torturess, Boddicker, Agakus
11/12/2013 New Vintage – Louisville, KY w/ Coliseum
11/13/2013 The Boro – Murfreesboro, TN w/ Black Thai, Black Tar Prophet, Behold The Slaughter
11/14/2013 Buccaneer Lounge – Memphis, TN w/ Shards of Humanity, Treeburner, Thetan
11/15/2013 Fatty Arbuckle’s – Shreveport, LA w/ Wartrodden, Cloudbreather
11/16/2013 606 Congress – Denton, TX w/ Baring Teeth

Lions of Tsavo on Thee Facebooks

Lions of Tsavo on Bandcamp

Toxic Assets Records

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audiObelisk: Mark Deutrom Premieres “A Shaky Rabbit” from Brief Sensuality and Western Violence

Posted in audiObelisk on September 18th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

This week marks the digital release of Mark Deutrom‘s fifth solo album, Brief Sensuality and Western Violence. Its title is a self-aware warning — one almost imagines the former Melvins bassist got it from a movie rating — that hints at some of what the full-length has on offer, as Deutrom embarks on wandering progressions of spaciously concocted jazzy, minimalist guitar and complements with a soft vocal delivery only to hit striking contrast with bouts of fuller distorted buzz or tonal crush, whether it’s the 20-minute opener (immediate points) “Dick Cheney,” which unfolds in movements of varied spirit, or “Venerate the Relic,” which seems to encapsulate the somewhat bipolar feel in its two evenly split halves. Elsewhere, Deutrom, who’s joined on drums and a variety of other noisemaking apparatuses by Arron Lack and who recorded Brief Sensuality and Western Violence in Austin, Texas, with Chico Jones at Ohm Recording Facility, is more driven not to separate, but bring the two seemingly at odds ideas together.

“Sky Full of Witches” has fuzz enough to make the Tee Pee Records roster blush, while the two-part “Temple Smasher/Other Gods” recalls some of the weirdo crunch of records like Stoner Witch and Stag — both of which Deutrom played on — before moving into one of the album’s most open and gleefully bizarre ambient stretches, the vocals keeping it somewhat grounded amid subtle oompah and amplified construction. Where the earlier “Winter Haystacks at Twilight” backed straightforward singer-songwriter peacefulness with progressively echoing leads (you can think Damnation-era Opeth for a frame of reference, but I doubt they’re an influence here), and closer “Turn Toward the Sun” provides fittingly hopeful canyon-icana, it’s ultimately “A Shaky Rabbit” that most coalesces the demon jazz and creeping intricacy that Deutrom has on offer. Like several of the other pieces, it’s split in half, but there’s a cohesion in theme and a steadiness of atmosphere that speaks to Deutrom‘s mastery of the form.

Cryptically, he describes the track thusly:

The world is really really scary for a scared rabbit, and then a wizard makes it even more more scary
with a funk swamp.

Fair enough. Brief Sensuality and Western Violence is available to download now ahead of a vinyl release early next year. There are a couple tracks streaming on Deutrom‘s Bandcamp page, but the chance to highlight “A Shaky Rabbit” wasn’t something I was going to pass up.

Check it out on the player below and please enjoy:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Mark Deutrom‘s Brief Sensuality and Western Violence is available now on CD Baby, Bandcamp and iTunes.

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Ancient VVisdom Announce Summer Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 3rd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Truth be told, I go back and forth on Austin acoustic metallers Ancient VVisdom. They’re very good at what they do, and when I saw them earlier this year in NYC out supporting their new album, Deathlike, they surprised me in how effectively they were able to carry across a sense of atmosphere and maintain a presence on stage, not being wholly lost to ambience or making their unplugged, semi-pagan aesthetic seem entirely like schtick.

On the other hand, they’ve never managed to grab with the same kind of authority as a band like Anathema could in what’s now their mid-period. But I’m not sure that’s a fair standard or comparison. Like I said, I go back and forth. Maybe I’ll go hit up their show on this freshly-announced headlining tour and make up my damn mind.

Here they are, lookin’ spooky:

ANCIENT VVISDOM ANNOUNCE HEADLINING TOUR DATES

Austin-based heavy occult rock group ANCIENT VVISDOM have just revealed plans for a upcoming U.S. headlining trek, the “Pagan Summer Tour,” which will also feature psychedelic rockers The Saint James Society with select appearances from fellow occult rockers Bloody Hammers. A trailer for the tour can be viewed below.

“PAGAN SUMMER TOUR” rituals:
8/4 Houston, TX – Fitzgeralds #
8/5 New Orleans,LA – Siberia #
8/6 Atlanta, GA – Purgatory ^
8/7 Nashville, TN – Exit In ^
8/8 Richmond, VA – Strange Matter ^
8/9 Baltimore, MD – Side Bar ^
8/10 New York, NY – Saint Vitus ^
8/12 Burlington, VT – Metal Mondays @ Nectar’s #
8/13 Montreal, QC – Divan Orange #
8/14 Boston, MA – Great Scott #
8/15 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie #
8/16 Cleveland, OH – Now That’s Class #
8/17 Columbus, OH – Double Happiness #
# with The Saint James Society
^ with The Saint James Society & Bloody Hammer

For tickets & more information, please visit: www.facebook.com/AVVFB

Ancient VVisdom, 2013 Summer Tour Promo

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The Obelisk Radio Add of the Week: The Unmothered, The Unmothered

Posted in Radio on March 27th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

A few years back, Prosthetic Records seemed to get an itch for extreme metal that took some of the tropes of black metal and added elements of hardcore, doom and thrash. The result was a slew of albums from the likes of Book of Black Earth, Withered and The Funeral Pyre, each of which seemed bent on taking on black metal from a different angle. Austin trio The Unmothered appear to be on a similar kind of trip with their 2012 self-titled debut EP, but the conviction and thickness with which they carry across their ideas puts them in line as well with the newer class of post-His Hero is Gone “dark hardcore” — the main difference being The Unmothered come off as better at actually bridging the gap between that sound and doom than most others, who like to pretend they’re bridging it while playing redundant metalcore riffs in a Venom t-shirt.

It’s not in every song, but take a listen to “Leviathan,” which is tense to the point of breaking open even as it rolls out the groove of its verse. Unmothered drummer Matt Moulis sat in with The Hidden Hand on their last tour, and there’s some swing in the earlier “The Awakening” to show for it, but together with Matt Walker and Joseph Barnes, the three-piece draws more on later, rocking Carcass than anything so definitively fuzzed. Even the later post-black metal soloing of “Spectre” takes a vehement position rather than give itself up to psychedelic posturing for the sake of including one more genre in the mix, and with the Godflesh-y tone of “Solstice” and the gallop late into opener and longest cut “Gravitons,” it’s not exactly like The Unmothered have skimped on the variety anyhow.

Having just shared the stage with the likes of Venomous Maximus and Mala Suerte at SXSW in their native burg, and caught a fair amount of attention there, The Unmothered have a solid first showing to fall back on in their self-titled and a foundation to expand on in any number of directions. You can listen to the self-titled now as part of the playlist on The Obelisk Radio, and check it out via the stream below, hoisted from the Unmothered Bandcamp:

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Scorpion Child Sign to Nuclear Blast; Self-Titled Debut Due in May

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 22nd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Interested to get some thoughts on this one, if you’ve got a minute. Austin, Texas, natives Scorpion Child have signed to Nuclear Blast for the release of their first album, about which you can find the details below. Record’s due in May, like the headline says.

Below that, you can see a lyric/performance video of the cut “Polygon of Eyes,” from the record. The band certainly seems to fit with Nuclear Blast‘s recent splurge of ’70s-worship worship, with a vintage metal sound, rightly compared to Rainbow, Zeppelin, etc. I guess I’m on the fence after just hearing the one track and will have to hear the full LP to make up my mind, but if you’ve got an opinion, please feel free to share.

Here’s the info and clip:

SCORPION CHILD SIGNS TO NUCLEAR BLAST ENTERTAINMENT; ANNOUNCES DEBUT ALBUM DETAILS

Attributes in music are known to be cyclical. Every few years, a band comes along who borrows just enough from the revered past to bring a new infusion of vitality to the musical present. SCORPION CHILD’s sound invokes a time when guitar-driven rock ruled radio’s airwaves, when being hypnotized by a frontman and his bandmates in a concert arena was one of life’s ultimate main events. A five-piece from Austin, Texas, SCORPION CHILD have spent the last few years perfecting both their songwriting and stage show. Guitarists Chris Cowart and David Finner deliver their finessed twin guitar attack with experience older than their years; bassist Shaun Avants and drummer Shawn Alvear are steadfast sentinels of their driving rhythm section; and lead singer Aryn Jonathan Black fronts the psychedelic rock cavalry with a passion & voice reminiscent of the early eras of Robert Plant and Ronnie James Dio.

“I’ve always wanted to hear new musical ingredients within a classic heavy sound,” states vocalist AJB. “It’s great to witness captivating performances where both the live show and the band’s recorded material can complement one another. The heavy-prog sounds of Uriah Heep, Hairy Chapter, and the epic delivery of early Rainbow showcases these crossovers brilliantly and gave us all honest – yet relentless – sonics to aspire to.  That’s why it’s important for us as a band to maintain spontaneity while putting a special emphasis into integral hooks.”

This May, Nuclear Blast Entertainment will release SCORPION CHILD’s self-titled, full-length debut. Produced and arranged by Chris “Frenchie” Smith (The Answer, Jet, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, The Toadies, Dax Riggs), the album uses analog recording technology to organically capture a hybrid of nine, hook-filled chapters of heavy psych rock.  The goal?  To breathe new life into a neglected yet still important musical heritage.

Dangerous guitar riffs, soul-ridden bass lines, and thunderous drums with powerful rock vocals as lead conductor convey the on-stage swagger of SCORPION CHILD and will prepare you for the live experience awaiting you when the band tours the U.S. and Europe throughout 2013.

To watch the lyric video for “Polygon Of Eyes” or to stream the song, visit SCORPION CHILD at www.facebook.com/scorpionchild

Scorpion Child track listing is:

1. Kings Highway
2. Polygon Of Eyes
3. The Secret Spot
4. Salvation Slave
5. Liquor
6. Antioch
7. In The Arms Of Ecstasy
8. Lover’s Leap
9. Red Blood (The River Flows)

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Small Stone Finalizes SXSW Showcase Lineup; Poster Revealed

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 21st, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Truth be told, they’ve been putting on shows during SXSW since 1997, but 2013 makes it a full decade that Small Stone has been doing an official SXSW showcase, and the venerable Detroit imprint are celebrating in style. I always get a little wistful thinking about my days in Austin at these parties — I went four years from 2003-’07 — and from seeing Suplecs touring on the strength of a post-Man’s Ruin demo to watching Sasquatch and The Brought Low lay waste to the room. Good friends, cheap beer, occasionally Mexican food. Some of the best times I’ve had at shows were at those things, and not just for the refried beans.

I won’t be making the trip this year, but consider it highly recommended nonetheless if you can get down that way. Brian Mercer has once again provided the poster for the shindig, which is below, followed by the lineup and set times:

Also available in purple.

Marking 10 years of official SXSW showcases, Detroit’s Small Stone Records returns to Headhunters (720 Red River) on March 14 with some of the finest in heavy rock. This year’s Small Stone showcase is headlined by New Orleans veterans Suplecs and Connecticut upstarts Lord Fowl, and features Virginia’s Freedom Hawk and Texan natives Wo Fat along with Luder, Supermachine and Mellow Bravo. For lovers of classic guitar and motor-ready grooves, it gets no better than Small Stone, and with a decade under their belts, they still throw a party like none other. Expect the epic.

Date: Thursday March, 14th, 2013
Venue: Headhunters – 720 Red River – Austin, TX – 78701
1 am: Suplecs (New Orleans, LA)
12 mid: Lord Fowl (New Haven, CT)
11pm: Freedom Hawk (Virginia Beach, VA)
10pm: Wo Fat (Dallas, TX)
9pm: Luder (Ferndale, MI)
8pm: Supermachine (Dover, NH)
7pm: Mellow Bravo (Boston, MA)

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