Slow, V – Oceans: Drawn by the Ebb

Posted in Reviews on November 29th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

slow v oceans

Belgium’s Slow isn’t the first one-man outfit to wade into the aural cess of funeral doom metal by any means, but it goes in particularly resonant fashion. Helmed by multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and recording engineer Déhá Amsg — whose lengthy pedigree of projects includes Clouds, El Camino, Yhdarl and We all Die (Laughing), among a slew of others — the band’s name is properly written as the all-caps acronym SLOW, standing for ‘Silence Lives Out/Over Whirlpool,’ which was also the subtitle of the first full-length I from the project in 2009. The five-track/57-minute V – Oceans is the latest release, issued by GS Productions earlier in 2017 and picked up by Italian imprint Code666 for wider distribution, and it is a gloriously grueling affair.

Funeral doom has never been and will never be for everyone. By its very nature, it is an extreme form of music. With Slow, the pieces on V – Oceans each top 10 minutes, and the only time there’s much of an escape from the ultra-lumbering, churning tempo is in the 14-minute centerpiece “Déluge,” which veers eventually from its piano/keyboard intro into blastbeats. Otherwise, songs like “Ténèbres” and opener “Aurore” carry forth a wrought emotionalism through largely indecipherable echoing growls and dramatic but not necessarily theatrical arrangements, placed in such a way next to each other as to evoke an overarching linearity to which a lyrical narrative is also set — the theme, of course, drawing on the image of the ocean.

This also isn’t exactly new ground for the style — Germany’s Ahab and defunct UK practitioners Undersmile spring readily to mind, but there are many other examples of groups donning watery themes in funeral doom — but the manner in which Slow takes up this charge is emblematic of what distinguishes Déhà‘s work on the whole throughout the album. In the case of the lyrics, it is the specificity of the imagery put to the songs, the thread of plot that gets woven across “Aurore,” “Ténèbres,” “Déluge,” “Néant” and closer “Mort” that helps make it so immersive, just as it is the nuanced depths of the mix and the intricately balanced arrangements of guitar, keys, bass, drums, vocals, etc. that take place therein that so effectively complement the aquatic mindset.

slow

For the first time with the band, Déhà brought in an outside party — Lore Boeykens, with whom he also founded the Ter Ziele blackened doom duo in 2016 — to work with him on lyrics, and the results are stunning and evocative. The first line of “Aurore” is “Moving into deep waters,” and in a way, that’s the story right there. That’s what’s happening in that song and all that follow, whether it’s the hypnotic undulations that cap “Déluge” or the flourish of spoken work in that song and “Ténèbres” before it or the patient unfolding and foreboding piano that starts the dirge march of “Néant” after. It is no coincidence that the tracklisting moves from “Aurore,” translating from French to ‘dawn,’ to “Néant” (‘nothingness’) and “Mort” (‘death’), as that is precisely where the story of V – Oceans winds up. It is a drowning told through poetry.

As beautiful, serene and resolved as it is sonically brutal and punishing, V – Oceans lets Déhà and Boeykens explore this resounding bleakness of spirit with a conceptual splendor, and as “Néant” resigns itself with the lines, “These dark seas now feel almost comfortable/I give in/May this darkness absorb me,” there’s a swell of keyboard melody that has an almost choral effect (just past the 10-minute mark), as if reaffirming the decision that’s been made. This is a crucial moment for Slow thematically, and perhaps the apex of the album, but to call it that is an oversimplification of the work, which is clearly meant to be taken in its entirety and experienced for the fullness of the headphone-worthy wash it presents. “Mort” caps with a post-death vision of one’s body in the water — “Here my remains drift for everyone to see/This wreck/My failure/Begone with the ebb” — following a description of the undersea voices that lured the protagonist/speaker into the sea in the first place set to chugging guitar, and another choral swell to answer that of “Néant” prior arises at about four minutes in to mark the shift into the final phase of V – Oceans, which stands out for its multi-tiered sense of weight and for the sense of conclusion it brings to the proceedings in their entirety.

I do not know how V – Oceans was composed, i.e., whether it was written as a single song or as individual cuts that Déhà and Boeykens subsequently worked to tie together in both the plot and instrumental presentation, but among the album’s most prevalent features is an overwhelming feeling of completeness, of a front-to-back arc — beginning, middle, end — that concludes in heartrending fashion in its final chapter. Maybe this shouldn’t be a surprise coming from an project that’s been around for a decade and released a full-length on every odd year like clockwork since 2009, but it is as realized in concept as in execution, and while it may not be groundbreaking in the grander scheme of the genre, it nonetheless brings forward the elements that can make funeral doom at its best so affecting.

Slow, V – Oceans (2017)

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Slow on Bandcamp

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Code666 website

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Amenra and Boris to Co-Headline Europe and UK Tour in January

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

I think at this point there are few who would challenge the supposition of Amenra‘s dominance when it comes to European post-metal. The strobe-prone Belgian outfit released their latest masterwork, Mass VI, last month through Neurot Recordings and Consouling Sounds, and in the New Year, they’ll team up with Japanese experimentalist heroes Boris for a full run of co-headlining dates in the UK and EU. Boris of course are out supporting their own 2017 offering, Dear (review here), which was issued to coincide with their 25th anniversary, as if they needed an excuse to be brilliant.

For whatever it’s worth — and by my estimate, not much — I’m not the hugest Amenra fan, but their live presentation is a spectacle to behold if you have the opportunity to do so. They’re not strangers to touring in Europe, but the pairing with Boris would seem to make this run all the more of an occasion.

From the PR wire:

amenra boris tour

AMENRA Announces Co-Headlining 2018 European/UK Tour With Boris

Heavy music luminaries AMENRA and Boris have announced co-headlining European and UK tour for early 2018. The two acts will tour from February 14th through March 4th, marking the first full UK tour for AMENRA.

Mass VI is out now on Neurot Recordings. The European version has a different mix and master, as well as different artwork and design than the US version, mixed and mastered by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Oathbreaker) at the Atomic Garden, San Francisco. The deluxe edition 2xLP 45rpm 180-gram album is available in different limited colors. Order Mass VI in the US through Neurot Recordings and via Consouling Sounds in Europe.

AMENRA Tour Dates:
12/01/2017 De Leest – Izegem, BE (acoustic)
1/13/2018 Gaité Lyrique – Paris, FR
1/19/2018 Stevenskerk – Nijmegen NL
1/20/2018 Doornroosje – Nijmegen NL
1/28/2018 Festsaal Kreuzberg – Berlin, DE
1/29/2018 Colos-saal – Aschaffenburg, DE
2/14/2018 Thekla – Bristol, UK w/ Boris
2/15/2018 Heaven – London, UK w/ Boris
2/16/2018 Arts Centre – Norwich, UK w/ Boris
2/17/2018 Rescue Rooms – Nottingham, UK w/ Boris
2/18/2018 Gorilla – Manchester, UK w/ Boris
2/19/2018 St. Lukes – Glasgow, UK w/ Boris
2/20/2018 Brudenell Social Club – Leeds, UK w/ Boris
2/21/2018 Aeronef – Lille, FR w/ Boris
2/22/2018 Drucklufthaus – Oberhausen, DE
2/23/2018 Beatpol – Dresden, DE w/ Boris
2/24/2018 Progresja – Warsaw, PL w/ Boris
2/25/2018 Palac Akropolis – Prague, CZ w/ Boris
2/26/2018 A38 – Budapest, HU w/ Boris
2/27/2018 Kino Siska – Ljubljana, SL w/ Boris
2/28/2018 Locomotiv – Bologna, IT w/ Boris
3/01/2018 Monk – Rome, IT w/ Boris
3/02/2018 Santeria Social Club – Milan, IT w/ Boris
3/03/2018 Jubez – Karlsruhe, DE w/ Boris
3/04/2018 Patronaat – Haarlem, NL w/ Boris
4/06/2018 Depot – Leuven. BE
4/07/2018 Durbuy Rock Festival – Durbuy, BE
4/08/2018 Cactus Club – Brugge, BE
4/13/2018 Eden – Charleroi, BE
4/14/2018 MOD – Hasselt, BE

http://www.churchofra.com
http://www.ritualofra.com
http://www.facebook.com/churchofra
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
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Amenra, “A Solitary Reign” official video

Boris, “Absolutego” official video

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Desertfest Belgium 2017 Completes Lineup; High Fighter, King Hiss & More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

It was bound to happen sooner or later. Certainly by the time Oct. 13 got here and the fest actually started, but Desertfest Belgium 2017 beat that mark considerably in completing its lineup announcements for the year. Stop me if you’ve heard me say so 50 times already, but the lineup is pretty gosh darn staggering this time around, and last-minute additions of High FighterDÿse, Steak Number EightKing Hiss and A Supernaut, while not necessarily packing the star power of Graveyard or the Melvins invariably do as headliners, only make the proceedings that much fuller, giving show-goers even more exposure to some of the finest wares the heavy underground has to offer. I mean, really, look at this fricking bill.

Imagine spending three days doing this? I can’t wait to see how the schedule breaks down. Until then, kudos to the fest on rounding out the following assemblage:

desertfest-belgium-2017-full-lineup

DF Antwerp 2017: The Last of the Line-Up – Dyse, King Hiss & More

Our last update that completes the line-up for Desertfest Antwerp 2017 is more than just a matter of “filling in the gaps”.

We’ve always tried to offer our very international crowd a taste of what’s good and heavy right here in Belgium, so in closing we want to introduce you to three bands that have been making waves in the national scene for years now. Steak Number Eight and King Hiss are both high profile rock bands that are in high demand at the country’s clubs and festivals, yet their sound remains uncompromising and pounding as fuck. A Supernaut from Brussels serves up more of a loud boogie sound, but the influence of the melting pot town they hail from shines through regardless.

And to close off: Dÿse and High Fighter from Germany are two remarkable bands that we feel you must urgently discover, if you haven’t already.

With all the good news that has been coming, there was bound to be some setbacks as well. Luckily, this year we’ve only encountered one – and here it is: due to unforeseen circumstances, White Hills has been forced to cancel their appearance at the fest.

So there you go, we’d say we’re all set for another killer edition of Desertfest Belgium. We have the headliners, we have the scene favorites, we have the undiscovered gems… now all we need is a crowd and that means YOU! Thank you all so much for your continued support, and we’ll see you in Antwerp, just a little over a month from now!

DYSE

As intricate as Dÿse sound on record, the German noise-rock duo really shines on the stage. For almost 15 years now, Jari and André have been honing their skills and perfecting their music, never losing sight of a keen sense of humour and just the right amount of experiment. If you don’t know them yet, get ready to be surprised!

STEAK NUMBER EIGHT

One of the most respected heavy bands in Belgium, Steak Number Eight landed in the spotlight while still in their teenage years, earning first place in the country’s most notorious rock contest. A decade later, and they manage to bring postmetal and noise to a wider audience while still making no compromises on their sound. A spot at Desertfest only serves them right.

KING HISS

Another mainstay of the national underground rock scene, any Belgian who hasn’t yet seen ’em live must be living under a rock. Sold-out clubs? Check! Festivals, both big and small? Check! Features in all the relevant magazines, off- and online? Check! The new album ‘Mastosaurus’ not only revives the idea of the concept album, it is also a marvelous feat that offers no compromises, no pulling punches. Just 10 times TKO causing maximum damage.

A SUPERNAUT

What is A Supernaut? It’s Rock, it’s soul, it’s Psychedelia and it’s pure love. It’s beautiful, it shakes you up, it reminds you of ZZ Top without the beards, or GrandFunk Railroad that’s slightly derailed. But above all, it’s Brussels – city of their untamed rock ‘n roller hearts, and their music serves as a dark and magic homage to their hometown.

HIGH FIGHTER

High Fighter was formed in the summer of 2014 by former band members of A Million Miles, Buffalo Hump and Pyogenesis. They offer a volatile cocktail of heavy as hell riffs fuelled by beer and the mighty weedian riffs. Add a heavy dose of the blues as well as some deadly schizophrenic vocals, and it is clear why the band got thumbs up by John Garcia and Conan!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/264364590656095/
https://twitter.com/DesertfestBE

High Fighter, Scars and Crosses (2016)

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Desertfest Belgium 2017: Lowrider, The Vintage Caravan, Mantar, -(16)-, Grime, Partisan and Spirit Valley Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 4th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Hasn’t been a week since the last update from Desertfest Belgium 2017, and the Antwerp-based fest comes out swinging yet again with another batch of heavy-hitters in what’s purported to be the second-to-last update to its bill. This time? The primo heavy rock of Lowrider and The Vintage Caravan meets the extremity of Mantar and the sludge of -(16)-, the neo-psych of Spirit Valley and the abrasion of Partisan. Once more, the story of Desertfest Belgium 2017 is one of the festival branching out in multiple directions all at once, expanding its reach in style and profile alike. Can’t help but wonder what the final update will bring. I mean, look at this thing. In what way would you call it incomplete?

The latest announcement follows, courtesy of the PR wire:

desertfest-belgium-2017-poster

DF ANTWERP 2017 LINE-UP SECOND LAST UPDATE – NEARLY DONE!

We are nearing the completion of the Desertfest Antwerp 2017 line-up. After this, there’s just one more announcement to go and we’re in the straight line to the Fest! You all better come prepared because it’s gonna be massive. Massive we tell you!

We think we’ll be pleasing many stoner heads with the addition of classic Desert rockers Lowrider to the Friday line-up. Their show at Desertfest Berlin was epic, and we’re convinced they’ll repeat such a feat at the Belgian edition.

Equally iconic is -(16)-, a band whose name is as enigmatic as their pioneering sludge is a straightforward boot to the face. More pummeling riffs are to be expected from Germany’s Mantar and Grime from North Dakota. For more eclectic rock inspired grooves, look no further than The Vintage Caravan and Spirit Valley. And finally, we’re pleased to have Partisan on the bill, a Belgian band on Hypertension Records featuring members of renowned national rock bands like Rise and Fall and Oathbreaker.

That’s it, one more announcement to go which you can expect very soon!

LOWRIDER

Sweden’s answer to the American brand of rocky-funky-gritty Desert rock, Lowrider’s impact on both their native scene and the international underground in Europe and beyond cannot be ignored. Their 2000 album “Ode to Io” is a true scene gem of the purest, hardest and brightest rock. After a long retreat, the band reformed in 2013 for a reunion set at Desertfest Berlin. Since then, the band has been on the road again and killing it live, including another legendary performance at DF Berlin this year!

THE VINTAGE CARAVAN

Despite their young age, The Vintage Caravan only took a few years to garner a mighty reputation on stage, playing hundreds of shows on European stages with ever-growing audiences delivering standing ovations after each show. Their musical influences are very diverse but their main focus is the classic hard rock of the 60’s and 70’s. Though this may suggest a glorified retro-type band, The Vintage Caravan make it their own with a powerful attitude and a modern twist..

MANTAR

The band describe themselves as a “two-piece monster from North Germany”, and indeed it is hard to believe this kind of infernal noise could come from only two musicians. But yet here we are, and if their debut album ‘Death By Burning’ broke down doors, the follow-up ‘Ode To The Flame’ and this year’s ‘The Spell’ EP (both on Nuclear Blast) burned down the house. No gimmicks, just true battle hymns and sinister sounds of darkness!

-(16)-

SoCal sludge stalwarts -(16)- are among the most consistent and most underrated purveyors of the heavy riff. They started out in 1991 and through many line-up changes and other rock’n’roll adventures they finally got the credit they deserve with last year’s ‘Lifespan Of A Moth’, the band’s heaviest, darkest, and most complex material to date! If you dig Eyehategod and Acid Bath, don’t miss out on these pioneers of sludge metal.

GRIME

Taking cues from both grunge (Soundgarden and Alice In Chains) and rock legends like Led Zeppelin and Rush, Grime have formed their own brand of heavy metal thunder. Grime independently released their debut EP, ‘Hitch-Hiking Prohibited’, in September 2015. The four songs are a perfect snapshot of their varied and creative approach to metal.

SPIRIT VALLEY

Dave Spirit and Chris Valley formed the duo outfit Spirit Valley in Australia, but moved to Amsterdam in 2015 to tour Europe. Their own term for the kaleidoscopic mix of styles they present is ‘Doomshine Boogie’, a raw brand of psychedelic rock inspired by bands like The Black Angels, Murder City Devils, Japandroids and Explosions in the Sky.

PARTISAN

Partisan’s collective members are known for renowned Belgian HC and metal-derived bands such as Rise and Fall and Oathbreaker, but they are far from being a mere extension of their predecessors. With their post-punk inspired sound, Partisan channel influences from their collective musical pasts into songs that deliver their power and urgency through texture, dynamics and dark melody.

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/264364590656095/
https://twitter.com/DesertfestBE

Lowrider, Ode to Io: Deluxe Edition (2017)

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Desertfest Belgium 2017: Dool, Troubled Horse, House of Broken Promises, Caronte & Redd Kross Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 30th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

2017 might be the year that Desertfest Belgium really pushes outside the titular desert. I mean, yeah, the latest round of lineup additions includes House of Broken Promises, and they’re actually from the sands of Southern California, but look at the rest of the lineup. To bring in the goth-tinged Dool from the Netherlands, or even boogie rockers like Troubled Horse, or doomers Caronte and the long-running Redd Kross and set them up alongside GozuSatan’s SatyrsRadio MoscowSaint Vitus and Conan? It’s all over the place. Shit, to even have Monolord and Unsane on the same bill would be enough, but then you toss in KadavarChurch of Misery and All Them Witches! The fest is right when it says this one is going to be something special. It really looks like it is. I post about a lot of fests. This is the real deal.

Here’s the latest update, courtesy of the PR wire:

desertfest-belgium-2017

Desertfest Antwerp line-up nears completion: DOOL, RED KROSS and more added

Summer’s nearly done, but in this case that’s not bad news – it means Desertfest Antwerp is almost upon us! Hope you all got your tickets, because this one’s going to be the one that you tell your grandchildren about.

You can find the daily line-up on our website, but there still were some holes to fill in the program. We have a bunch of names to seal the deal, beginning with Dutch industrial psychedelic metal combo DOOL.

Furthermore, the Swedish riffsters Troubled Horse will certainly delight all fans who are already present for Graveyard, and we’re equally excited to have the legendary and pioneering LA punk-not-punk band Redd Kross. Finally, with the occult acid doom of Caronte and the desert-stoner of House of Broken Promises, we have another two acts that put the “desert” in Desertfest in their own unique way.

And with that, our line-up is almost completed… start planning your trip to Antwerp!

DOOL

From the industrial underbelly of Rotterdam comes DOOL, bringing you a blend of dark rock, gothic pop and just a hint of psychedelic metal. Featuring members from the legendary Dutch doomsters The Devil’s Blood, Dool bends the influence of bands like Sisters of Mercy and Sonic Youth into a creation that is very much their own unique identity. All those who wander are DOOL!.

TROUBLED HORSE

Formed in 2003 in Örebro (home of fellow rockers Witchcraft) Troubled Horse erupted into the consciousness of riff-worshippers everywhere with their debut Step Inside (2012) and follow-up Revolution On Repeat (2017). Their music is an invigorating whirlwind of spiky garage rock, propulsive psychedelia and thunderous, overdriven soul-meets-doom riffing with little interest in current or nostalgic trends. Despite a gloomy view of humanity, Troubled Horse are never anything less than 100% inspirational.

REDD KROSS

Founded 34 years ago during the first wave of LA punk rock, Redd Kross brought together different styles with an intuitive and eclectic sense of experiment. Crossing the lines between the Partridge Family and the Manson Family, the Beatles and Black Sabbath, The Osmonds and the New York Dolls, Redd Kross certainly was a band ahead of their time. Now in their reunion setup since 2012, they are exactly right on time!

CARONTE

Caronte formed in Parma, Italy, in 2010. The three brothers Dorian, Henry and Tony Bones were joined by eccentric drummer Mike De Chirico to produce a kind of heavy acid doom metal inspired by drugs, alcohol abuse, death, black masses, sex, esoterism and mysticism. At DF Antwerp they will showcase their upcoming album ‘Yoni’ (out 27/10), which they promise will be “the most magic filled work the band has ever written”.

HOUSE OF BROKEN PROMISES

An Indio (CA) based desert-stoner band, formed from the ashes of UNIDA which also featured John Garcia. Biting songs about drug abuse and social upheaval are delivered through bombastic drum beats, guttural vocals and tuned-down guitars. Their debut “Using the Useless” (2009) is considered a minor classic in the scene. After a number of European tours during the last years, the world eagerly awaits their second release.

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/264364590656095/
https://twitter.com/DesertfestBE

Dool, Here Now There Then (2017)

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Desertfest Belgium 2017: Unsane, Mos Generator and Black Lung Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 5th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

New York noise rock stalwarts Unsane recently announced they’ll release a new full-length, titled Sterilize, via Southern Lord in September following a couple weeks on the road this month with Fashion Week. Looks like the trio are headed to Europe this Fall, as they’ve been confirmed to take part in Desertfest Belgium 2017 in the latest round of lineup additions from the festival, along with Port Orchard, Washington, heavy rockers Mos Generator and Baltimore psych-blues aficionados Black Lung.

As it turns out, both Mos Generator and Black Lung have new records in the works as well, though I’m not sure on the timing of either in terms of the actual recordings, release dates, etc. Either way, seems likely all three acts will have new material in tow when they hit Antwerp in October, keeping markedly righteous company with the likes of Saint VitusRadio MoscowGraveyard, the Melvins, All Them Witches, and so on.

From the PR wire:

desertfest-belgium-2017-poster

DF ANTWERP 2017 ADDS UNSANE, MOS GENERATOR AND BLACK LUNG

Here’s a short and quick one, but still packed full of goodness.

UNSANE is one of those bands that probably influenced a good deal of what you hear and see on our stage, so it seemed only fitting to put them on the bill. Noise rock doesn’t come any purer than this!

We are also happy to have MOS GENERATOR display their fine stage craftmanship at DF Antwerp 2017, a band that truly infects their crowd with the joy of playing music. And for some bite, we added the razorsharp groove machine BLACK LUNG to the line-up. Twin guitar power riffing – what’s not to love!

We’ll keep ’em coming, but we hope you’ll like this short update from the DF office. We’ll be back soon for more!

UNSANE

Loud, violent and in your face. Ask any nineties survivor about their recollection of an Unsane live gig, and inevitably one of these terms will drop sooner rather than later. They are also one of those bands that inspired a devoted cult-like following in the scene, giving birth to countless noise-metal bands in the process. For this and many other reasons, we are honoured to welcome them to the Fest.

MOS GENERATOR

Night after night, Mos Generator defines the word “chemistry” on stage. Just the right amount of swagger and groove, augmented by just enough improvisation to keep the songs feeling fresh each and every time. Their hefty discography shows a dedication to continually push the core heavy rocking sound of the band into exciting new directions, finding just the right mix between hard and soul.

BLACK LUNG

Black Lung emerged from the underbelly of Baltimore with unheard amounts of volume. The trio toes the line between sonic pain and psychedelic bliss, with influences ranging from raw edged blues-rock to stoned-out riffage. Don’t let the absence of a bass guitar fool you – Black Lung packs an unholy amount of bottom-heavy grooves to go with the washed-out vocals and swirling feedback.

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/264364590656095/
https://twitter.com/DesertfestBE

Unsane, “Fix It”

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Desertfest Belgium 2017: Graveyard, White Hills, Elephant Tree, OHHMS, Minami Deutsch and Kaleidobolt Join Lineup

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

As predicted at the outset, the poster showcasing the lineup for Desertfest Belgium 2017 has become very, very crowded. I don’t think they’re done, either. Where will the next batch of bands squeeze, what with the sizable logo addition of Graveyard here along with OhhmsElephant TreeWhite Hills and so on? I don’t know. It’s a problem for a graphic designer to tackle that’s well beyond my depth, to be sure. But they’ll sort it out. They always do.

The Fall festival season — there are many, you know the names and don’t need me to recount — by now rivals Spring. It might even surpass it in terms of the sheer one-into-the-next-into-the-next-into-the-next style proceedings from country to country, weekend to weekend. It’s astounding how strong and sustaining the European underground has become over the last several years. Desertfest, the growth of the brand in general and in its autumnal incarnations in Antwerp and Athens, has been a big part of that, and accordingly, Desertfest Belgium 2017 stands among the best lineups one is likely to find on the continent this Fall.

To wit:

desertfest-belgium-2017-poster-graveyard

GRAVEYARD PLAYS DF ANTWERP 2017 – White Hills, Elephant Tree & more announced

So here it is – Karma strikes, part two!

Last year we were gutted when GRAVEYARD decided to call it quits, moments before their appearance at Desertfest Antwerp. Fortunately, their breakup turned out to be short-lived, and the band announced their return with a new drummer in January 2017. So naturally, we had to put ’em in a headliner spot again to make it up to you guys!

We’re also very glad to announce the appearance of WHITE HILLS, possibly the coolest band in the universe. With OHHMS and ELEPHANT TREE, we present you with two of the hottest bands from the UK heavy scene at the moment. Going worldwide, let’s throw in Oriental Krautrock with MINAMI DEUTSCH from Tokyo, and the psychedelic jazz-prog of KALEIDOBOLT from Helsinki.

From where we’re sitting, Desertfest Antwerp is starting to look pretty good… and we’re still not done!

GRAVEYARD

After the breakup of 2016, Graveyard did what every great classic rock band should do: take some time off to recollect the good spirit, and then come back with a mighty vengeance. And so here they are: the Swedish rock giant is back in the saddle with a new drummer, and ready to kick ass in 2017! We can only imagine what awesomeness they’ll bring to make it up to the DF crowd…

WHITE HILLS

White Hills are proponents of psychedelia as transformation. The music made by Dave W. and Ego Sensation is risky and cutting edge, rooted in dystopian futurism and hyper-conscious of our constant desire for a new and better drug. On their new album ‘Stop Mute Defeat’, White Hills has flipped the script with an industrially-charged record that pulsates unlike anything you’ve heard of them before.

OHHMS

OHHMS (written “((OHHMS))”) are a Canterburian metal band who are quickly becoming the buzz of the UK doom scene. They’ve established a reputation of playing extremely loud, delivering long and complex tracks at a deafening volume. Their first album release ‘The Fool’ is earning accolades across the scene, winning over crowd and critics alike.

ELEPHANT TREE

Another big promise from the UK, Elephant Tree came out with one of the best damn albums from 2016. Combining clear vocal harmonies with insanely heavy riffs, and switching it up with sudden mood shifts and slow-burning grooves, their debut album is truly something special that you should seek out immediately. Word from Desertfest London & Berlin is they easily hold their ground on the stage.

MINAMI DEUTSCH

Minami Deutsch is a Krautrock band from Tokyo. Starting off playing live music on the city streets, they got picked up for a spot at the Tokyo Psych Fest. In September 2015, they released their first record through the English cult label Cardinal Fuzz Records, as well as Japanese psych label Guruguru Brain. Expect motorik kraut grooves with a distinct Oriental flavour!

KALEIDOBOLT

Kaleidobolt is a power trio from Helsinki, blending loud guitars with furious jazz moves. Their music is a dizzying maelstrom of progressive song structures, crushing riffs and loose psychedelic soundscapes, delivered with joy and ferociousness. Working since 2014, they’ve released two albums to much acclaim, and toured with the likes of Radio Moscow and Samsara Blues Experiment.

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
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Desertfest Belgium 2017: The Melvins, Gozu, Beastmaker and Big Fat Lukum Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Okay, yeah, so the Melvins will be one of the headliners for Desertfest Belgium 2017 this October. Fair enough. That seems appropriate. They’ll have a new record out and will be touring like they do and, yeah, the stop makes sense. You’ll pardon me though if I think the real news here is a return trip to Europe for Gozu this fall. One has to wonder which of the other autumnal fests the Boston four-piece will be added as they go, but they’re certainly keeping good company with this first announcement. When and if I see the rest of the dates, I’ll let you know.

Beastmaker, who’ll be on the road with Stoned Jesus, and Belgium’s own Big Fat Lukum have also joined the Desertfest bill, as the PR wire confirms:

desertfest-belgium-2017-poster-melvins

THE MELVINS WILL PLAY DF ANTWERP 2017, HELL YES – Gozu, Beastmaker & others

Remember last week, when we were promising “very exciting headliners”?

We tend to keep our promise, and so it has begun.

We’re delirious with excitement to announce that THE MELVINS – yes, that’s THE. FUCKing. MELvins – will headline Desertfest Antwerp this year. We had ’em once, then we lost ’em, and now we’ve got them good. It’s on!

But let’s not forget you want to have a bloody hell of a good time the rest of the time as well, and for this we have added some more class acts to the line-up: we bring you GOZU for some good time stoner rock’n’roll. BEASTMAKER is touring with Stoned Jesus, so they’ll bring them along to the Fest. And finally, BIG FAT LUKUM will provide the obligatory touch of local Belgian stoner.

How do you like that! And remember: we are still not done. Join us soon for another round of awesome news!

THE MELVINS

It seems like nothing we can say about The Melvins will properly convey the profundity of their legend. For over 30 years now, King Buzzo and his cohorts have ruled the planet with a sound that has been all over the place and back, all the while remaining unmistakably and utterly Melvins. They’re releasing a new double album in July, so who knows what unholy sound will pummel your brain come October!

GOZU

Gozu’s sound is tailor-made for blasting out the car speakers via international radio airwaves. Over 3 albums, they’ve condensed their Bostonian no-bullshit stoner rock into something that feels like bigger than the sum of its parts. Live they’re no slouch either – in 2016 they managed to hit seven countries for 20 shows in 20 days. Now that’s the kind of attitude we love to welcome to the DF stage!

BEASTMAKER

Bands Beastmaker likes: Black Sabbath, Danzig. You like them too? Then you’ll love Beastmaker! But make no mistake: their brand new album ‘Inside The Skull’ expands beyond the riff worship to offer a venomous slab of wildly creative but spiritually pure doom devastation. Beastmaker is a band that proudly wears its bloody heart for the tradition on its sleeve, and it shows.

BIG FAT LUKUM

Big Fat Lukum hails from Namur, Belgium. The band has a history of playing extreme and loud from punk to metal in the past, but nowadays they’re on a steady diet of desert and stoner rock.

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Gozu, “Lorenzo Llamas” Live in Seattle, April 2017

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