Nap and Black Lung to Release Split Aug. 28; Preorder Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 2nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

While Baltimore’s Black Lung and Oldenburg, Germany’s Nap both have elements of heavy psychedelia swirling at their core, there are still plenty of distinctions and disparities in their two individual sounds. Thus I can kind of understand why their forthcoming split 12″ on Noisolution might be framed as Black Lung vs. Nap, but it seems to me that — as the info below asserts — it probably works out to be less of a fight between them and more of a showcase of what each brings to the style. Complement more than competition, I guess is where my head is at, but I suppose if you’re putting out a release you have to call it something, and at least Black Lung vs. Nap gets the point across that it’s a split. Maybe I’m overthinking the whole thing.

In any case, the new release will be out by the time Black Lung return to Europe this fall to take part in Desertfest Belgium 2017 as they continue to support last year’s See the Enemy (review here) and for Nap, this split marks their first recorded output since their successful Villa (review here) debut in 2016, so brings all the more intrigue to see where they’re headed.

Info comes from Noisolution via the PR wire:

BLACK LUNG VS. NAP

Limited Split-12″with 6 unpublished tracks. White 180gr vinyl. Artwork by Alexander von Wieding.

Available from 28/08/2017 !!!!

Baltimore vs. Oldenburg.

This mini album documents a clash of two exceptional trios who are not competing but rather complementing one another. No longing to be the better, heavier or darker, but more so a friendly co-existence that turns out to be the perfect match.

A double A-side, if you wanna call it that. A split-mini-album, that more or less just came together by itself. Both bands‘ paths are crossing over and over again: first as labelmates, now on tour this fall and finally also on this shiny snowwhite piece of vinyl!

We got NAP from Oldenburg, Germany on one side, who only just made a great stir with their debut ‚Villa‘ in January. Before you knew it the first pressing was all sold out and gone. Their unique mix of Doom, Kraut and Stoner blended with epic instrumental parts quickly rewarded them with quite a fanbase, critical acclaim and a whole bunch of respect. Now on this new Split 12“ they‘re coming across somewhat more compact, more to the point, still never losing that certain playfulness that defines what became their signature sound. Adding a sprinkle of space rock as well they easily remind one of a darker version of the early Hawkwind. Something is truly growing here and we better keep an eye on what these three gentlemen will have in store for us in the future!

On the other side we got BLACK LUNG hailing from Baltimore, US. At first the band was just considered a side leap of of THE FLYING EYES‘ Adam Bufano and Elias Schutzmann who brought their psychedelic influences and shenanigans over to the new project. But eventually the trio fully established itself and an own dynamic taking over, forming their own unique and recognizable style. Two guitars that weigh down so heavily that there’s no need for a bass anymore. Completed by the hovering feverish vocals of Dave Cavalier who come as a perfect contrast, altogether creating an overwhelming wave of heavy sounds rolling over the clubs and their audience swallowing them both completely. A tiny hint of Pop and especially Soul has always been present on the previous two records. This time showing itself in a fantastic cover-version of Marvin Gayes‘ ‚Inner City Blues‘. Stonerrock mixed with sould mixed with rap: What seems completely incompatible comes together only so beautifully in this track. A truly exceptional track for a truly exceptional band in sound, style and songwriting – and a band who will absolutely blow your mind once again this time.

1. Black Lung – Strange Seed
2. Black Lung – Use This Stone
3. Black Lung – Inner City Blues
4. Nap – Djinn
5. Nap – Vorlaut
6. Nap – Teer

https://www.facebook.com/napband
https://napofficial.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/blacklungbaltimore
https://blacklungbaltimore.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/noisolution/
http://www.noisolution.de/shop/Vinyl/Black-Lung-vs-Nap-12-Vinyl-Strictly-limited-Weisses-180gr-Vinyl-mit-Download-Code::209.html

Nap, “Teer”

Black Lung, See the Enemy (2016)

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Wrapping up #VinylDay2017

Posted in Features on July 26th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Grooves and platters galore. My motivation behind doing Vinyl Day 2017 was simple: I felt like listening to records and sharing that process. It was kind of an off-the-cuff thing. Just an idea I had and ran with it. I figure it doesn’t need to be anything more than that, right? Isn’t putting on an album its own excuse for putting on an album? I tend to think so.

And yeah, I made it a hashtag. Because it’s the future, and hashtags. Instagrammaphone and whatnot. I’m a novice at best when it comes to the social medias, but it seems to me that if you’re going to share a full day’s worth of what you’re listening to, that’s the way to do it. So that’s what I did. If I clogged up your feed or whatever and it pissed you off, sorry.

For anyone who might’ve missed it, it turned out to be nine records of various sorts. Here they are, complete with accompanying audio when I could get it, because it’s the age of instant gratification:

There you have it. Had to be Sleep to end it. Pretty awesome day of music on the whole, and whatever was on your playlist yesterday, if it was this stuff or anything else, I hope you enjoyed. I’m gonna call Vinyl Day 2017 a definite win. Thanks for reading.

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Friday Full-Length: Iron Man, The Passage

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 7th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Iron Man, The Passage (1994)

Originally issued on Halloween 1994 by venerable and long-defunct purveyor Hellhound Records — see also: The Obsessed, Saint Vitus, Count Raven, Wretched, Blood Farmers, Unorthodox and Revelation; woof — the second full-length from Iron Man, The Passage (reissue review here), should rightly be considered among the defining documents of Maryland doom. It is a record so direct in conveying its influence from and love for Black Sabbath, so unabashed in its worship, that it serves as a near constant reminder that guitarist “Iron” Alfred Morris III started the band back in 1988 specifically to pay homage to the metallic overlords. Formed roughly concurrent to the winding down of Morris‘ prior outfit, Force — whose lone long-player was issued in 1991 and whose discography was compiled onto a single limited release earlier this year by Blood and Iron Records (want) — Iron Man made their debut just one year before The Passage showed up, offering an early mission statement in 1993’s Black Night (discussed here; reissue review here).

Morris‘ guitar tone and ultra-Iommic riffing style, even at that most formative stage of the band, was the defining element of the group. That remains the case today, but a key difference between Black Night and The Passage was a swap in frontmen, and where Black Night was vocalized by Rob Levey, who would later found and curate the Stoner Hands of Doom series of festivals, the 11-track/43-minute The Passage brought in Dan Michalak as singer, and introduced a different style to the context of Iron Man‘s Sabbath worship. One doesn’t have to go far to hear it — and by that I mean it’s evident on the first riff of opener “The Fury,” which draws directly from “Neon Knights,” the corresponding launch-cut of Sabbath‘s 1980 LP, Heaven and Hell (discussed here), which was the beginning of the band’s era fronted by Ronnie James Dio. That’s a considerable shout for Iron Man to make, and would’ve been even in 1994 — Sabbath having reunited with Dio for the triumphant Dehumanizer, which seems to be referenced on The Passage in the foreboding synth of the titular interlude that precedes “Iron Warrior,” in 1992 before working once again with Tony Martin to issue Cross Purposes earlier in ’94 — but Michalak‘s lyrical patterning brazenly follows suit from Morris‘ set rhythm. We hear “Ride out,” references to “the night,” “fire,” hidden knowledge, and other Dio-style themes. Throughout the rest of The Passage, the play seems to be intended to fluidly move between the Ozzy and Dio eras. In the second half of “Unjust Reform,” a sudden stop brings a no less full-on take off from “Snowblind,” while the bit of finger and grander unfolding of “Waiting for Tomorrow” recall some of the more epic Dio-fronted tracks ahead of “Tony Stark” — get it? they didn’t call it “Iron Man” — shooting into the void and evil minds plotting destruction in closer “End of the World,” which caps with canned crowd noise to answer that at the beginning of “The Fury.”

These are just a few of The Passage‘s more Sabbathian moments, but they’re by no means the only ones, and even in the general perspective of judgment from which the social commentary of “Unjust Reform” and the later “Waiting for Tomorrow,” “Time for Indecision” and “Freedom Fighters” stems — notions of man’s inhumanity to man, and so on — Iron Man are willfully adopting the methods of their forebears. Yet, The Passage is more than derivation. At a time when their chief inspiration was crisp and overproduced with a huge echoing snare like so many of their era, Iron Man took a grittier approach, and their identity was cast as much in the raw thrust of “Iron Warrior” — a highlight performance there from drummer Gary Isom, whose CV includes stints in Pentagram, co-founding Spirit Caravan and a current position as guitarist in Weed is Weed, among many others — as in the cover art with a lighting effect that seems to show Morris in flames as he plays guitar. I’ll gladly argue that image stands among the most righteous in American doom, every bit worthy of the gray-on-black logo of Saint Vitus‘ self-titled debut or the line-drawing that would adorn Pentagram‘s Relentless album in iconic terms, but the point is that for Iron Man, even the artwork shows what it’s all about. Yes, it’s a full band, with Michalak responsible for conveying the lyrics, Isom pounding away behind the chug of “Time for Indecision,” and bassist Larry Brown (also ex-Force) in the Geezer Butler role anchoring the low end, but it’s Morris‘ project through and through, and he leads the way accordingly.

The guitarist remains among the most pivotal figures in American doom. Though Hellhound Records is long gone, Shadow Kingdom Records has stepped up to reissue many of Iron Man‘s earlier works (it’s their version of The Passage in the Bandcamp player above) and Iron Man released I Have Returned (review here) through the label in 2009 before swapping out singer Joe Donnelly for “Screaming Mad” Dee Calhoun and signing to Rise Above for 2013’s South of the Earth (review here), which remains their latest offering. They got to the UK, playing internationally for the first time to support that album, and continue to perform local shows in Maryland with the lineup of MorrisCalhoun, bassist Louis Strachan and drummer Jason “Mot” Waldmann, but don’t really tour, and a series of health concerns seem to have sidelined larger activity. I’m not 100 percent sure what the situation is there, but obviously one wishes Morris and the rest of the band nothing but the best and a full return to stage and/or studio productivity soon. As anyone who dug into South of the Earth could tell you, Iron Man still have plenty more to say, and in a world that’s finally caught up to their ethic of Sabbathian homage, they’ve never been more relevant than they are now.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading and for listening.

Next week is the Quarterly Review. I’ve been working on setting up the back end for the last few days, and this weekend, as I also travel to the NY/NJ area to see a Yankee game (tonight) and family (tomorrow), I’ll be starting the actual process of digging into the 50 records that will be covered between next Monday and Friday. It’s already been a lot of work but I immediately regret not doing a sixth day this time around and maybe even a seventh. As I’ve been so busy the last couple months concerning myself with things like losing my job and the impending Pecan due in October, there’s a buildup of album folders on my desktop and mail piled high on my actual desk of records that want covering.

I wish I could get to everything. Sincerely.

But I’ll do the best I can and because I’m a flop at scheduling, there’s already other stuff slated for the days early in the week of the 17th where the otherwise extra Quarterly Review days would go. Fair enough, and at least it’s good. I’ve also got a bunch of premieres and whathaveyou slated for this week coming, so here are my notes as they stand now, subject to change without notice:

Mon.: Quarterly Review day 1; Fungus Hill video premiere.
Tue.: Quarterly Review day 2; Demon Eye track premiere/album review.
Wed.: Quarterly Review day 3; Salem’s Bend video premiere.
Thu.: Quarterly Review day 4; Arduini/Balich Six Dumb Questions
Fri.: Quarterly Review day 5.

If I can, I might just give myself a break on that last day and not slate anything else, roll with whatever news I’ll inevitably be behind on by then and the Friday Full-Length post, but we’ll see what comes in. I’m already about two weeks later on the Quarterly Review than I’d prefer to be, but whatever. Nobody cares except me. I have to keep reminding myself of that. Constantly. Nobody knows the arbitrary schedules I try to keep, and even if they knew, it wouldn’t matter. No one cares.

There’s a sad kind of freedom in that.

Speaking of sad freedom, if you’re in the US, I hope you had an enjoyable and safe July 4 celebration and that nobody got their hand blown off, etc. The Patient Mrs., the Little Dog Dio, the impending Pecan and I have been at the beach all week — the plus side of not having a job is being able to get up here and see sunrises like this one yesterday — and though I’m out of clean laundry and will be day-twoing it in these socks, it’s been an utter pleasure. We’ll be here until early Monday morning and then back home to Massachusetts, where no doubt copious errands will need to be run.

Whatever you’re up to this weekend, I hope it’s a great and also safe time. I’ll be writing in the passenger seat along the I-95 corridor if you need me, so yeah, that should be interesting. Thanks for reading and please check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Gateway to Hell Premiere “Tin Roof” from Clovers EP

Posted in audiObelisk on July 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

gateway to hell

Baltimore doom rockers Gateway to Hell make a raucous entry on July 21 with their five-track Clovers EP. The band, currently comprised of vocalist Jerrod Sydnor, guitarist Alex Briscoe, bassist Eric Smythe and drummer Dan Petruccelli, have aligned with Unholy Anarchy Records for the release, which marks their most substantial outing to-date behind their 2014 demo and the subsequent digital-single “Scorched Earth,” which also appears on Clovers as the finale of the ultra-manageable 22-minute run. From the start of the opening title-track (posted here), Gateway to Hell demonstrate a keen sonic blend somewhere between trad metal, doom, burly Southern heavy and — because why not? — sludge, but the material comes tied together through a steady purpose of songcraft and structure, and goes out of its way to create an album-style flow as “Clovers” moves through “Tin Roof,” centerpiece “The Drizzard,” the acoustic interlude “Rain for Days” and the aforementioned capstone.

The interlude is of particular note, and not just because it is well-placed ahead of “Scorched Earth.” By includinggateway to hell clovers even just a sub-two-minute number of layered acoustic plucking, Gateway to Hell — grim in moniker but ultimately more varied in execution and less outwardly abrasive than one might think based on that — signal an intent toward future progression of sound, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find them either adding vocals to something similar (Sydnor could carry an acoustic-backed melody, easily) or working in acoustic layers to a harder-hitting song their next time out. Point is they’re setting themselves up for growth, which is never a bad thing, and they do so amid the thrust of “Tin Roof” and the crisp groove of “The Drizzard”; already showcasing a grip on where they want to be in terms of delivery. I thought on my initial listen to “Clovers” that the balance of the mix was off in putting the vocals too far forward, but to listen again, I’m ready to revise my position. May have just been whatever speakers I had it on the first time through. Certainly by the time “Tin Roof” and “The Drizzard” give way to “Rain for Days” and “Scorched Earth,” if there was an issue at all, it’s no longer a factor.

As you make your way through the track premiere below, pay specific attention to the atmosphere the song conjures — dark and heavy, but still given to motion and created not through self-indulgent flourish but through solid and traditional songwriting and a well-conveyed sense of direction. That holds true for the entirety of Clovers and is among the factors that most bodes well for Gateway to Hell as they move ahead toward their inevitable first full-length.

Unholy Anarchy has preorders up now for Clovers ahead of the July 21 release. That info, more background and some word directly from the band follow the premiere itself, which you’ll find immediately following.

Please enjoy:

Gateway to Hell on “Tin Roof”:

“Tin Roof” is our take on the dread conjured every time you turn on the TV news or pick up a newspaper. There’s an overwhelming sense that society as we know it is on a downward curve and that the ones up top are just completely oblivious as the world crumbles around them.

The title is a shout-out to “Love Shack” by the B-52s. We felt the pause in the song would be the perfect opportunity for Cindy Wilson to belt out the “tin roof, rusted!” from “Love Shack,” so “Tin Roof” was what we named the early demo tracks and it just stuck. We felt it fit thematically — years of neglecting the simple upkeep leading to a full collapse of the house.

This song is about as political as we’ll ever get but we tried to be careful not to be too specific, as there’s nothing more boring than when a singer sounds like they are reading from a newspaper. As always, the riff comes first…

Clovers will come available digitally and on limited edition vinyl July 21 in three color variations (orange/pink merge, clear with blue splatter, and standard black) via Unholy Anarchy Records. Preorders are currently available RIGHT HERE.

Gateway to Hell is:
Jerrod Sydnor – vocals
Alex Briscoe – guitar
Eric Smythe – bass
Dan Petruccelli – drums

Gateway to Hell on Thee Facebooks

Gateway to Hell on Bandcamp

Unholy Anarchy Records on Thee Facebooks

Unholy Anarcy Records website

Unholy Anarchy Records webstore

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Darsombra Summer Tour Starts this Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 3rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

If you’re of the belief that sonic resonance can affect those who experience it on a spiritual level, or if you’re looking to be convinced of same, I can only recommend you open your mind as wide as it will open and then go see Darsombra, as the Baltimore duo stand among the best arguments I can think of in that regard. Further, there are few live acts I’ve had the pleasure of watching who so clearly revel in the process of what they’re creating on stage and presenting what they have created, and accordingly, it’s hard not to be swept up in that joy as it hits in swells and waves of drone and experimentalist guitar, keys, percussion, vocals, visuals, and so on. Simply put, it is something you should witness for yourself if you can.

And Darsombra, who tour almost incessantly and released their latest album last year in the form of the two-song Polyvision (review here) via Translation Loss Records, are not stingy when it comes to giving opportunities to do so. This week, they head out across the US and Canada on a month-plus run that will take them through the end of August, and no doubt the next tour is already in the works for when they get back. In the meantime, note the dates in the Pacific Northwest with Thrones (aka Joe Preston) and YOB‘s Mike Scheidt. Righteous company to keep.

Dates follow here, and really, if you can, go:

darsombra photo matt condon

Darsombra – Canada / U.S. summer tour 2017 • 7/5-8/31

Our tour for summer 2017 kicks off [this] week! Please check back closer to dates as changes may occur.

July 5 – Bethpage NY @ Mr. Berry’s w/ Ruckzuck, Claire Raby, Richard Arriaga
July 6 – Allston MA @ O’Brien’s w/ Planet of Adventure, The Modern Voice
July 7 – Manchester NH @ House Show w/ Green Bastard, Lunar Locust
July 8 – Portland ME @ Geno’s w/ All Night, Cadaverette, Apis Malfiore
July 10 – Halifax, NS @ Menz & Mollyz w/ Brett Waye, Hemineglect
July 11 – Moncton NB @ Plan B w/ Gemstonez, The Continuance, Våras
July 13 – Montreal QC @ Casa Del Popolo w/ Pachyderm, Eliza
July 14 – Ottawa ON @ The Record Centre w/ The Visit, Raphael Weinroth-Browne, Heather Sita Black
July 15 – Toronto ON @ The Cavern
July 16 – Sudbury ON @ The Asylum
July 17 – Sault Ste. Marie ON @ New American w/ Pointless, Bizotic
July 19 – Thunder Bay ON @ The Apollo w/ Road Waves
July 20 – Winnipeg MB @ Handsome Daughter w/ Mahogany Frog, Scab Smoker
July 21 – Regina SK @ Cloud 9 w/ The League of One, Robot Hive
July 22 – Saskatoon SK @ Amigo’s w/ Hoopsnake, Black Thunder, The Switching Yard
July 23 – Edmonton AB @ Bohemia w/ Faith Crisis
July 27 – Calgary AB @ Nite Owl w/ Bridal Party
July 29 – Vancouver BC @ 333 Clark (Half Satan)
July 30 – Nanaimo BC @ White Room w/ Crotch, El Hombre Al Aqua
July 31 – Victoria BC @ Vinyl Envy w/ Scars & Scarves
Aug 3 – Olympia WA @ McCoy’s w/ Thrones, Teach Me Equals
Aug 4 – Seattle WA @ Highline w/ Thrones, Teach Me Equals, Noise-A-Tron
Aug 5 – Portland OR @ The Know w/ Thrones, Stöller, Mike Scheidt
Aug 6 – Salem OR @ Fifty Pub & Grub w/ Thrones, Mike Scheidt
Aug 9 – Eugene OR @ Old NIck’s w/ Mike Scheidt
Aug 10 – Bend OR @ Third St. Pub
Aug 11 – Boise ID @ The Shredder w/ Desert Graves, Brett Netson
Aug 12 – Missoula MT
Aug 17 – Bozeman MT @ Filling Station
Aug 19 – Rapid City SD @ Black Hills Vinyl
Aug 22 – Sioux Falls SD @ Total Drag
Aug 23 – Minneapolis MN @ Kitty Cat Club w/ Comets ov Cupid, Magnetic Ghost, RYKYGNYZYR
Aug 24 – Duluth MN @ Red Herring
Aug 25 – Marquette MI @ Women’s Federated Clubhouse w/ Terminal Orchestra, The God Eaters
Aug 26 – Milwaukee WI @ Circle A w/ The Old Northwest
Aug 27 – Chicago IL @ Subterreanean Downstairs w/ Andy Slater, Cascader, Byzmuti
Aug 29 – Detroit MI @ Trumbullplex
Aug 30 – Cleveland OH @ The Magalen w/ Blind Spring, Dead Peasant Insurance
Aug 31 – Pittsburgh PA @ Black Forge w/ Bear Skull, The Van Allen Belt
Sept 22 (rain date Sept 23) – Baltimore MD @ Leakin Park w/ Marian McLaughlin

https://www.facebook.com/events/251836911930646/
http://facebook.com/darsombra
https://www.instagram.com/darsombra/
http://www.darsombra.com/
https://www.facebook.com/TranslationLossRecords/
https://translationlossrecords.bandcamp.com/
translationlossrecords.bigcartel.com/

Darsombra, Polyvisions (2016)

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Gateway to Hell Set July 21 Release for Clovers EP

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 29th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

gateway to hell

Baltimore’s severely-named Gateway to Hell will issue their debut five-track EP, Clovers, via Unholy Anarchy Records on July 21. The band have posted the grim-looking cover art by Ru Gomez and the tracklisting, as well as the opening title-track, which you can stream at the bottom of this post, and which leaves little to wonder about where the PR wire’s noted Danzig influence stems from.

“Clover” isn’t quite Maryland-style doom, and by that I mean it doesn’t necessarily sound like The Obsessed, and while I can’t speak for the rest of the EP, the roll in the title-cut seems to work well for the band. Dig in and see what you think. You’ve got a couple minutes to spare.

Art, info and audio from the PR wire:

gateway-to-hell-clovers

GATEWAY TO HELL: Baltimore Doom Metal Unit To Release Debut EP Via Unholy Anarchy Records; New Track Streaming

Baltimore doom metal unit GATEWAY TO HELL – fittingly self-described as a, “groovy, ghoulish mix of doom metal and the laughter of ugly children, with a touch of inebriation and shame – will release their debut EP next month via Unholy Anarchy Records.

Slated to drop on July 21st, the five bottom-heavy ragers comprising Clovers were captured at Developing Nations with Kevin Bernsten on their home turf and douses its listeners with heavy riffs, an exceptional vocal attack, and sheer, unrepentant catchiness. The Maryland four-piece conjure loud music about things that matter. Whether it’s a slow burning, existential lament or a fast-paced scorcher about regrettable, late-night, drunken food orgies, GATEWAY TO HELL draws influences from all over the musical spectrum including Deep Purple, Danzig, and of course, Black Sabbath.

Clovers will come available digitally and on limited edition vinyl in three color variations (orange/pink merge, clear with blue splatter, and standard black). Preorders are currently available RIGHT HERE.

Clovers Track Listing:
1. Clovers
2. Tin Roof
3. The Drizzard
4. Rain For Days
5. Scorched Earth

GATEWAY TO HELL was forged in 2013 when drummer Dan Petruccelli and bassist Rudy Gomez started jamming in the basement of an otherwise reputable Baltimore cake shop. Taking cues from John Carpenter soundtracks, Type O Negative, and Ministry, they realized they were onto something fun and brought in Jerrod Bronson on vocals and Jo K. on guitar to complete the initial lineup. The band released a self-recorded demo in October of 2014 and shows with the likes of The Skull and Crypt Sermon ensued.

By 2015, Gomez moved to Austin, Texas but remains an integral part of the band as the painter responsible for much of the band’s artwork. Eric Smythe was brought in on bass and later Alex Briscoe joined as a second guitarist. Together, they played shows regionally opening for Valient Thorr, The Bronx, Mac Sabbath, and Mondo Generator. In the spring of 2016, they recorded the soon-to-be-unleashed Clovers EP featuring five songs of atmospheric and crushing metal that fuses their many metal and punk influences. Later that year, Jo K. fled the band to pursue new projects. The band remains a four-piece. GATEWAY TO HELL’s catalog includes a self-titled demo, one single titled “Scorched Earth,” and their upcoming 2017 debut EP Clovers. The band is currently writing new material for their next album.

Gateway to Hell is:
Jerrod Sydnor – vocals
Alex Briscoe – guitar
Joe Koffler – guitar
Eric Smythe – bass
Dan Petruccelli – drums

http://www.facebook.com/Gatewaytohellbmore http://www.gatewaytohell.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/Unholy-Anarchy-Records-Distro
http://www.unholyanarchy.com
http://www.unholyanarchy.aisamerch.com

Gateway to Hell, “Clovers”

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Serpents of Secrecy Sign to Salt of the Earth Records; New Singles Posted; Playing Maryland Doom Fest

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

serpents-of-secrecy-Photo-by-Shane-Gardner

The path to a debut release from Baltimore-based supergroup Serpents of Secrecy has been particularly fraught. And granted, if you asked them, I doubt that’s what the band would want to focus on, but between lineup changes, legal threats, dissolved reunions of other outfits, the usual writing and recording travails, and medical issues that even this month threatened to derail their impending performance at Maryland Doom Fest 2017, they’ve been through their dose of shit and then some. It’s been half a decade since guitarist Todd “T.I.” Ingram of King Giant got together with bassist Rev. Jim Forrester of Sixty Watt Shaman (who’s also joined Foghound in the interim) and started writing, and this weekend, at the aforementioned Maryland Doom Fest, they’ll issue Uncoiled – The Singles, a limited-run two-song CD, as a celebration of signing to Salt of the Earth Records. It’s great news, but the timeline is telling.

Nonetheless, to listen to “Warbird’s Song” and “The Cheat” from the burl-rocking five-piece’s recording session with J. Robbins at the Magpie Cage, they hardly sound bogged down. With vocalist Mark Lorenzo at the fore with a throaty delivery, the propulsive drumming of Chuck Dukehart III (also ex-Sixty Watt Shaman/current Foghound), and the additional tonal boost from guitarist Steve Fisher (also of Borracho), Serpents of Secrecy come across as vibrant and charged. The mission and the songwriting are aligned: kick ass, take names, forget the names, kick more ass. “The Cheat” is a little more laid back in its roll, but works well to show a dynamic long-established between Forrester and Dukehart in the rhythm section around which the others have positioned themselves, riffs and vocals creating a mood over the solid foundation that’s at once emotionally resonant and rife with dudely push.

Either later this year or early next, Serpents of Secrecy will issue their first album, Ave Vindicta, via Salt of the Earth, as fitting labelmates for the likes of EarthrideCortez and Scissorfight. As an initial public offering, Uncoiled – The Singles makes a righteous impression in groove and force, and those fortunate enough to catch them either at Maryland Doom Fest this weekend or elsewhere between now and whenever the record surfaces would do well to heed the warning. They’ve been a long time coming, but it would seem Serpents of Secrecy are finally ready to arrive.

Forrester and Ingram comment on the signing below, and here’s more background as well on the band’s origins, along of course with the streaming tracks:

serpents-of-secrecy-uncoiled-the-singles

SERPENTS OF SECRECY signs with Salt of the Earth Records!

Rev. Jim Forrester on Serpents of Secrecy & Salt of the Earth:

Well over four years ago, Todd and I started writing this material, Chuck finding the swing and us orchestrating this beast. We’ve been through a lot of personal hardship and tragedy, most of the material coming out this first wave and upcoming album was born of tumultuous times, a lot of emotion, anger, and pain, as well as strength and perseverance. It was a long road to get to this point, but as Steve and Mark joined the fray, it all started taking shape. This is more than a band. We’ve become a family, with powerful music and a message of never giving up, barreling everyone’s way. I couldn’t be happier. It’s a culmination. It’s time.

I can say with great pride and certainty that Scott Harrington (SALT OF THE EARTH RECORDS owner) has been a true friend and brother to me over the years, stood by me through some truly trying times, and was very instrumental in the creation of Serpents of Secrecy in its formative stages. It makes complete sense that Salt of the Earth Records is where we call home now and staked our claim to bring this first collection of songs to the world.

Todd Ingram on Serpents of Secrecy:

No matter what circumstances or events threatened to derail this band, as many times as we’ve had to start over, Jim and I persevered because we believe in these songs. And now with the addition of Mark and Steve the chemistry, work ethic and attitude have only opened more possibilities and accelerated the writing process. We’re wrapping up the final touches to album number one. So now our biggest problem is the getting the songs we’re writing now recorded. It’s a good problem to have.

Serpents of Secrecy – Uncoiled at Maryland Doom Fest

“Uncoiled – The Singles” contains two tracks, “Warbirds Song” & “The Cheat” from the upcoming SALT OF THE EARTH RECORDS release “Ave Vindicta.”

CD SINGLE release: 6/24/17 at Maryland Doom Fest 2017, Cafe 611, Frederick, MD.

Album Release: Winter late 2017/early 2018

Produced by J Robbins & Serpents of Secrecy. Recorded at Magpie Cage Studios Baltimore, MD. Keyboard tracking at Empire Studios,Windsor Ontario Canada.

Mixed at Magpie Cage Studios, Baltimore, MD. Mastered by Dan Coutant at Sun Room Audio, New Windsor, NY.

The origin of SERPENTS OF SECRECY dates back to 2012. With the original lineup consisting of Rev Jim, Chuck Dukeheart III, Todd Ingram and Johnny Throckmorton (Alabama Thunderpussy) on vocals and also Aaron Lewis (Buzzard Canyon/when the deadbolt breaks) on guitar.

The Rev got sick and for awhile and Serpents Of Secrecy was just Rev and Todd writing material. This is when the Sixty Watt Shaman reunion shows came calling, so SoS was put on hold in order to support those shows. But when Sixty Watt Shaman failed to sustain itself, Serpents Of Secrecy was reignited. After months of writing and recording with a well known vocalist at the helm, the physical distance between the singer and the bands respective countries proved to be too big of a hurdle and the vocalist resigned.

Lots of musicians would be deterred by the setback, but Serpents Of Secrecy used this to feed their creative fire, and that’s when Mark Lorenzo was discovered. Amazing voice, great songwriting and one helluva stage presence… Mark has indelibly carved his spot out in SERPENTS OF SECRECY. The band now rounded out with the addition of master riff slinger Steve Fisher (Borracho) to form a must see dual guitar team… and SERPENTS OF SECRECY is ready to take over.

Serpents of Secrecy is:
Rev. Jim Forrester – Bass
Todd Ingram – Guitar
Chuck Dukehart III – Drums
Mark Lorenzo – Vocals
Steve Fisher – Guitar

https://www.facebook.com/serpentsofsecrecy/
https://serpentsofsecrecy.bandcamp.com/album/uncoiled-the-singles
saltoftheearthrecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/SaltOfTheEarthRec/

Serpents of Secrecy, Uncoiled – The Singles (2017)

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Arbouretum Post “Fall from an Eyrie” Video; UK & Euro Tour Starts Next Week

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

arbouretum

Baltimore heavy folk rockers Arbouretum recently completed a quick round of domestic dates in support of their 2017 album, Song of the Rose (review here), which is out now on Thrill Jockey, and before they head to Europe and the UK next week to play the Freak Valley and Supersonic festivals, as well as other gigs surrounding, they’ve posted a new video for the track “Fall from an Eyrie.” The song, which appears in the second half of Song of the Rose, is a standout from the record in both its purpose and melody, and as much as the lyrical theme seems to center around the effects of gravity, the cut itself does nothing but soar.

As to what it might have to do with boxing, on the other hand, I’ve no idea. But that’s where the video goes nonetheless, swapping back and forth between footage of two dudes pummeling each other and shots of the band in what would seem to be their rehearsal space performing the track. These disparate visuals tied together by director Gabriel DeLoach using a kind of pastel effect that’s well suited to the song’s own sonic color scheme and tonality, and we do get some resolution to the boxing match — spoiler alert: somebody gets punched very hard in the head and falls down — as the “Fall of an Eyrie”‘s immersive wash hits its apex.

Great song, underrated band, excellent album. You know the drill. I’m a nerd for these guys so you’re damn right I’m posting the clip.

Tour dates follow the video. Hope you enjoy:

Arbouretum, “Fall from an Eyrie” official video

Knock yourself out with Arbouretum fans favorite the epic ‘Fall from an Eyrie’ taken from new LP ‘Song of the Rose’

The band perform at a host of dates across the U.S & Europe this summer

Don’t be square!

Jun 6 | The Prince Albert, Brighton UK
Jun 8 | Het Bos, Antwerp BE
Jun 9 | Tsunami Club, Cologne DE
Jun 10 | Musik & Frieden, Berlin DE
Jun 11 | Beatpol, Dresden DE
Jun 12 | Klub 007 Strahov, Prague CZ
Jun 13 | fluc + fluc wanne, Vienna AT
Jun 14 | Club Manufaktur, Schorndorf DE
Jun 15 | FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL, Netphen-Deuz DE
Jun 17 | Supersonic Festival, Birmingham UK
Jun 18 | Brudenell Social Club, Leeds UK
Jun 19 | The Black Heart, London UK
Jun 20 | La Zone, Liège BE
Jun 22 | Post Tenebras Rock – L’Usine, Geneva CH
Jun 24 | Cascina Bellaria Music Club, Sezzadio IT

Video by Gabriel DeLoach.

Arbouretum on Thee Facebooks

Arbouretum on Bandcamp

Song of the Rose at Thrill Jockey

Thrill Jockey on Thee Facebooks

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