Desertfest Belgium 2019: Church of Misery, Monkey3, Inter Arma, Lord Dying and Lucy in Blue Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 12th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

I saw Church of Misery last year and in case you’re wondering, yes, they’re still a damn good time. They’ll join the sub-headliner ranks of Desertfest Belgium 2019 this Fall in the company of Monkey3Inter ArmaLord Dying and Lucy in Blue, each band representing a different side of what it means to be heavy, from Lord Dying‘s born-again-melodic metal to Inter Arma‘s crush-of-death and Lucy in Blue‘s formative meandering prog rock. Desertfest Belgium wasn’t short on variety before — you got Ty Segall and Bongripper on the same bill, that’s fair enough — but this batch of five only adds to it, and you know, there’s still Sleep headlining. If you need a sure bet, that’s a good way to make one.

Still more announcements to come from the Antwerp-based Desertfest franchise, so keep an eye out. They always seem to manage a few surprises before they’re done.

To the PR wire:

desertfest belgium 2019 new poster

CHURCH OF MISERY at Desertfest Antwerp ’19! Lord Dying, Inter Arma & More

And so again it’s time to reveal another batch of deep cuts for the Desertfest Antwerp festival. First up: Church Of Misery! After their blistering set at our festival two years ago, we knew they would be back sooner or later. Their legacy in doom history is unmatched, and after several turnovers it seems this is the Church’s strongest line-up yet.

Lord Dying and Inter Arma are two of the most adventurous metal bands in the field right now, and we’re delighted you to present them at DFBE’19. Both have just released a new album, and each one boldly defies categorisation. Lord Dying finds new pathways in metal through progrock. Inter Arma has always been fiercely experimental going from strength to strength, always finding new ingredients to add to their melting pot of psych drone and sludge doom. Both come heavily recommended, and both are going to slay you all.

Monkey3 may follow a different path to musical enlightenment, but there are many ways to blow your mind. A psychedelic rock band at the absolute top of their game, just ask anyone who witnessed the headfuck that was their show at this year’s Desertfest Berlin. And finally, for those who want a trip back to the time when Crimson was King, the delicious quirky grooves of Icelandic prog jesters Lucy In Blue will do just that!

This should tide you over until our next batch, and maybe some news in between… stay tuned!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

Church of Misery, Live at the Echoplex, Los Angeles, June 3, 2019

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Desertfest Belgium 2019 Adds Big Business, Un and Sixes to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 29th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Last time I posted about Desertfest Belgium 2019, I apparently got the dates wrong. I was reading off the poster, which is usually pretty reliable, but it turned out to be the wrong poster. The fest is Oct. 18-20. A little slice of my life, folks. Fucking up dates, fucking up band lineups. Just generally fucking up. It’s a good thing I can update these posts later. Otherwise I’m pretty sure the site would’ve imploded from the inaccuracy of it all.

But now that I’ve got the dates straight for Desertfest Belgium 2019, I’m happy to post the update that the festival has added Big Business, Sixes and Un to the bill. It’s becoming increasingly packed, that lineup, but the fest says there’s more to come, so, you know, it’ll be more packed by the time they’re finished.

Here’s the latest announcement:

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

BIG BUSINESS PLAY DESERTFEST ANTWERP! SIXES & UN also added

Hot on the heels of our Pelican announcement from last week, here’s another quick bombshell: the dynamic duo BIG BUSINESS is heading for Desertfest Antwerp 2019!
Of course you’ve all seen them as part of the epic double drums Melvins line-up, but Jared and Coady have been slaving away at their own brand of supercharged metal rock for many years and six albums. They’re definitely a scene favorite, and any BB show is a most joyful thing to look forward to.

On the doom side of things, we have two epic additions to the line-up as well. Sixes is as sick slabdragging occult doom as they come – check their debut album Methistopheles from last year and you’ll soon find out what we mean. Un takes a more spiritual approach to the genre, expanding majestic dirges with blackened vocals and just a hint of melancholy. Fans of Yob and Pallbearer will find much to love here.

Keep your eyes peeled for a very exciting update coming to you very soon!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

Big Business, The Beast You Are (2019)

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Desertfest Belgium 2019 Adds Pelican, Steak, Ungraven & Swan Valley Heights to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

It’s stuff like Desertfest Belgium’s intimate Basement Sessions that goes so far to distinguish it from among the other Fall fests in Europe. Ungraven, the solo-project of Conan‘s Jon Davis has been announced as the first one for 2019, while Pelican will play the fest proper supporting their new album, and Steak and recent Fuzzorama signees Swan Valley Heights have also joined the bill. You know we’re getting closer to the complete lineup when the logos start filling out the poster, but it looks like there’s still plenty more to come from Desertfest Belgium 2019, so well worth staying tuned, especially to see who else will be down in the basement this year.

Here’s the latest off the PR wire:

desertfest belgium 2019 new poster

PELICAN and STEAK Play Desertfest Antwerp, Basement Sessions are back!

We are honoured to announce that the majestic PELICAN will play this year’s Desertfest Antwerp! In June the band will release ‘Nighttime Stories’, their first studio album in six years, so expect them to pummel you hard with a set of new songs.
For those who like their rock’n’roll straight and kickin’ shit with two feet forward, we also have Steak from London added to our bill. And for those who seek deep space explorations, look no further than Swan Valley Heights. You all know by know that Germany plus Stoner equals Tripping Balls, so you know you’re in good hands with these Munich dudes.

The Basement Sessions are also back with a vengeance! Last year, these special limited shows were very well received, so we decided to expand on the idea. Practical details are forthcoming, but we can already let you know the first act we got on board for this: Jon Davis (Conan) will do an exclusive set of his solo project Ungraven, channeling the sound of 90s industrial metal.

We’ll have some more for you next week, in the meantime don’t sleep on them tickets! Have you got yours already?

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

Pelican, Nighttime Stories (2019)

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The Progerians Premiere “Destitute” Video; Crush the Wise Men Who Refuse to Submit out Friday

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the progerians

Whatever else might be going on in The Progerians‘ second album, there’s plenty of crushing to be had. The Belgian four-piece will issue Crush the Wise Men Who Refuse to Submit this Friday, May 24, through Mottow Soundz, and as its willfully unmanageable 62-minute run is set out across four sides of a double-LP, the band bask in a more atmospheric roll lent an immediately socio-political context through from the album’s title. I won’t claim to know where the band stands the right-left spectrum — they’re not wearing yellow vests in their press shot, so that’s something, I guess — but the cover art depicting industrialists as devils, the title and the lumbering atmospheric noise rock that pervades the album itself certainly speak to a given perspective, and though they seem to be treading a fine line in the album’s aesthetic as regards Europe’s history of who takes the blame for such things, delving into that particular discrimination does not necessarily automatically follow from an anti-capitalist stance.

Opening cut “Frankie Leads to Death” and the subsequent “Destitute” set the tone for the rest of what follows in a viscous groove and moments of harsher bite, shouted vocals presaging some of the more spoken approach on “Hold Your Cross” The Progerians Crush the Wise Men Who Refuse to Submitbefore the drift of “Oceania” on side B. The most intense moment is reserved for the early going of the semi-title-track “Crush the Wise Men,” but The Progerians demonstrate on the whole a rich take that moves beyond the foundations of noise rock into more complex territory, trading off volume and thrust throughout “Hello World” and “Netjeret” while continuing to stay within the central aggressive mood of “Frankie Leads to Death” — which liquor might be called “Frankie?” — and “Destitute” back on side A. As the album unfolds, it successfully builds a linear course on this, leading to the closer “Your Manifest,” which feels extra weighted despite its melodic vocals and lead guitar cutting through the low-end morass.

Is it very, very heavy? Why yes, it is. Thank you for asking.

And it’s timely, not just for the prior-alluded unrest among Europe’s working populace, but also for the manner in which it presents its take, emphasizing heft and groove but not forsaking melody any more than it wants to in order to do so. It is a consuming offering that by the time it digs into the foreboding layering of guitar in “Hello World” and the subsequent near-mathy chug and big chorus of “Graven” on side C makes its presence felt in a way that would almost seem to indicate The Progerians have outgrown their moniker — they started out as The Fabulous Progerians for their 2015 debut (discussed here) — or at least that they would have were they still not so gosh darn progressive in their approach.

Dig the satisfying brutal blend for yourself on “Destitute” by checking out the video premiere below, followed by more album info from the PR wire.

And please enjoy:

The Progerians, “Destitute” official video premiere

Formally known as ‘The Fabulous Progerians’ and ‘The Mighty Progerians’, the band’s first official release in 2012 was the 6-track EP, Degeneration (Hannibal’s Records). Over the years they worked to hone their sound into a unique sonic signature, one which was crystalized forever more on their 2015 debut album, The Fabulous Progerians. Widely known for their powerful live performances, following the critical success of their debut the band were invited to perform at legendary festivals across Europe, appearing on bills at DesertFest and Roadburn.

Fast forward to 2019 and with the help of Mottow Soundz – another Belgian rock institution and home to heavyweights like My Diligence and cult rockers, La Muerte – The Progerians will serve their second and most ambitious record to date. Standing on the shoulder of sheer ambition, Crush The Wise Men Who Refuse To Submit, invites listeners on a hour-long journey, deep into the depths of spirit and substance in an attempt to sever all ties with inner demons. In no uncertain terms, it’s a devastating record and one you’d be crazy to miss.

Crush The Wise Men Who Refuse To Submit, the brand new album from The Progerians is released on 24th May 2019 on Mottow Soundz and can be pre-ordered here – https://www.mottowsoundz.com/music/progerians-vinyl

THE PROGERIANS:
Fabe – Vocals, Guitar
Piotr – Vocals, Bass Guitar
Thomas – Vocals, Drums
Barto – Guitar

The Progerians on Bandcamp

The Progerians on Thee Facebooks

Mottow Soundz website

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Desertfest Belgium 2019 Adds Ty Segall & The Freedom Band, The Obsessed, ASG, Toundra, Yatra, and Sunnata

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I know people’s schedules can be weird and sometimes you have to work on a weekend or you have a family thing or whatever it might be, but I don’t really get the day-ticket thing. If you’re going to go to a festival, don’t you want to be there for the entire event if you absolutely can? I mean, if monetarily it’s one day or nothing, that’s one thing, but if you have your choice between one day or three, who would just choose one? Isn’t part of the appeal of the thing that there’s so much going on? Again, if that’s how it has to be and there’s one band you absolutely need to see or something like that, fine, but would you really choose to only see one day of a fest like Desertfest Belgium 2019 if you could see all three?

The autumnal edition of Desertfest has a few new lineup announcements, including the surprise headliner of Ty Segall & the Freedom Band. They’re right. I didn’t see that one coming:

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

DFBE19 NEW HEADLINER: TY SEGALL & THE FREEDOM BAND! Day Tickets available 15/05

Guess you didn’t see this one coming! And yet here it is: Ty Segall & The Freedom Band will perform a highly exclusive set of European shows this fall, and we are honoured to host one of these as a headliner at this year’s Desertfest. More details are forthcoming, but Ty’s performance has never been anything less than blistering – and The Freedom Band sees him in his most ambitious setup yet.

A completely different strand of melodic heavy rock will be brought in as ASG hits the stage. The North Carolina riff-rockers certainly need no introduction to our crowd and have become a perennial fan favorite, and with good reason. Coming in from Madrid, Toundra is an experimental instrumental post-rock outfit with a vibe that is entirely in its own plane of existence.

As far as stoner doom legends go, you can’t get much more legendary than Wino. His most beloved outfit The Obsessed has been back with a vengeance since 2016, so it’s high time they make an appearance on our festival! And finally, we present you with two highly original doom bands to complete this batch of names. Yatra offers up a spiritual blend of doom, sludge and blackened vocals, straight from the Maryland forests. Sunnata hails from Poland, working towards a highly acclaimed sound that incorporates psychedelia with grungey harmonies and severe riffing.

DAY TICKETS ARE IMMINENT

If for some reason you don’t want to go the entire length, and would prefer to limit your DF intake to 1 day – we have just the ticket for you!

Or rather: we soon will have. On Wednesday 15/05 at 1pm sharp we will start selling day tickets for this year’s festival. From that point, we will also publish the line-up per day so far on our website. These tickets will be highly limited, so get them while you can!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/
https://twitter.com/DesertfestBE

Ty Segall & the Freedom Band, Deforming Lobes (2019)

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Desertfest Belgium 2019: Eyehategod, Bongripper, Nebula, High Reeper, Fireball Ministry and Crypt Trip Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 1st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

I went back and looked, and on the posters for Desertfest Belgium 2018, every band’s logo appeared. It looked pretty crowded by the time their full lineup was announced, but that’s how it was. This year, it’s the second announcement for 2019, and already they’re showing some names written out in regular, non-logo letters. What does this tell you? Well, it might mean they’re going to add even more bands than last year. It might mean they want to highlight some of the bigger names, like Sleep, Eyehategod, Bongripper, Nebula, and so on. Or it might just be that they got someone new in to do the graphic design and that’s how they wanted to do it. Always possible to be reading too much into anything. Or everything, as it were. Hi. I look at a lot of festival posters. One tends to notice these things.

Anyway, six new bands added to Desertfest Belgium 2019 and nary a clunker to be found in the bunch. Info came down the PR wire:

desertfest belgium 2019 poster

DFBE’19 NEW NAMES! EYEHATEGOD, BONGRIPPER, NEBULA & MORE

We’re back, kickin’ butt and dropping names!

We have a couple of hard-hitting sludge and doom monsters added to our line-up, beginning with the absolute trailblazers of them all: EYEHATEGOD from New Orleans has been at it for over thirty years, and their most recent tour showed them in prime form. We’re excited to welcome them to our Antwerp Fest for the first time! Hailing from Chicago, BONGRIPPER is not a band of many words but their colossal and thoroughly evil riffage speaks big and loud volumes. And to complete this Unholy Triad, how about the legendary NEBULA who are back in the game with a new album that will be aptly named ‘Holy Shit’, and we have nothing further to add.

But of course, that’s only half the story… if you’re looking for some straight-up no-frills rock with killer hooks and catchy shout-along choruses, FIREBALL MINISTRY is your ticket – classic hard rock done right! And since no Desertfest would be complete without some proper Sabbath worship, we’re delighted to have HIGH REEPER on board, the proto-metal alliance from Reeperville (or so they claim). And finally, the glorious sound of the West Coast will be revived with CRYPT TRIP, sweet grooves and harmonies with just a touch of classic Dead.

Some old, some new, all fresh… we think this is is shaping up to be another DFBE line-up for the books, and we hope you all agree! More to come in 2 weeks time, stay tuned…

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/
https://twitter.com/DesertfestBE

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Desertfest Belgium 2019: Sleep, Truckfighters, Temple Fang, Monomyth and 30,000 Monkies to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

Even as the first-ever Desertfest New York gets ready to roll out next week and Desertfest London and Berlin prepare to follow soon thereafter, the autumnal incarnation, Desertfest Belgium 2019, has begun to unveil its lineup for this October. They had their work cut out for them in topping the 2018 lineup, but let’s face it, if you’re going to do that, announcing Sleep as a headliner right out of the gate is probably the way to go. It’s like, “Oh, well, that settles that, then. This’ll rule.” Not that the reunited Truckfighters, Monomyth, Temple Fang or even 30,000 Monkies are anything to sneeze at, but let’s face it, you don’t announce Sleep first unless you’re trying to make an impression. Mission accomplished. Impression made.

This of course will be the first of many Desertfest Belgium 2019 announcements, and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if by the time October gets here, Desertfest London and Berlin are back revealing their respective lineups for 2020. The cycle is ongoing. Cyclical, you might say.

Here’s word from Antwerp:

desertfest belgium 2019 first poster

The moment you have all been waiting for! The first thing we can tell you about DFBE ’19 is that YES, your prayers have been answered. The Mighty Sleep will be headlining our Fest this year!

Of course, that’s just the first of many names. We are equally delighted to welcome back Truckfighters and the cosmic Monomyth to our stage. For more Northern heavy pysch grooves, look no further than Temple Fang. And finally, we want to introduce you to the first Belgian homebrew act for this year’s Fest: 30,000 Monkies.

And with that, the ticket sale is ON! Reduced Combi Tickets are available for a limited time only for €100, all costs included. We have also brought back the Hotel Accommodation deal, find the details on our website. Be swift to avoid disappointment, go get them tickets!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/
https://twitter.com/DesertfestBE

Sleep, “Sonic Titan” live at Roadburn 2019

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Review & Full Album Stream: Cowboys & Aliens, Horses of Rebellion

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 6th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

cowboys aliens horses of rebellion

[Click play above to stream Cowboys & Aliens’ Horses of Rebellion in its entirety. Album is out March 15 on Polderrecords.]

It’s been more than 20 years since Cowboys & Aliens got their start in 1997 with the long-out-of-print League of Fools, and as with anything, some stuff has changed and some hasn’t. The Bruges-based four-piece still put groove front and center of their approach, and one can still hear traces of Kyuss and earlier Astrosoniq in their approach, but as they release Horses of Rebellion through Polderrecords, the band’s melodic foundation remains strong, but they deliver their material with something of a sharper edge. To listen to songs like “Take a Good Look Around” or even the initial push of “Soaking,” the sound is still right in line with that initial wave of European late ’90s heavy rock, and Henk Vanhee‘s post-John Garcia vocal style speak to that timeframe as well, but the tones of guitarist John Pollentier are as hard as they are heavy, and with the fervent push of Peter Gaelens on drums and Tom Neirynck‘s bass, the album retains a metallic feel to coincide with its foundations in the riffy ways.

It runs a clean 11 songs/43 minutes all told, and makes a centerpiece of its catchiest hook in the title-track, but whether it’s a bruiser like “Morning Again” or the slower early going in “Sheep Bloody Sheep,” Cowboys & Aliens bring an efficiency to their delivery that speaks to their maturity as a band. It’s been a minute, though. While their landmark and widest-known release has always been 2000’s A Trip to Stonehenge Colony (on Buzzville), their last full-length was 2005’s Language of Superstars. In the intervening 14 years, the band broke up and (obviously) got back together, releasing two EPs earlier this decade in 2011’s Sandpaper Blues Knockout and 2013’s Surrounded by Enemies. Both of those releases continued to tap into fuzzier tonality and more of a rocking feel, not quite laid back, but not quite as on top of the beat as a cut like “Refuse” finds them here.

So why the change? Hell if I know. These are troubled times, and perhaps it’s some reflection of that, though songs like “Two Time a Man,” “Hollow,” and the closing duo of “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” and “Splendid Isolation” seem to speak to a more personal perspective than some broader social comment. Even “Refuse,” in the track itself, is preceded by an “I.” Fair enough. One way or the other, it seems safe to assume that the shift in approach — and it’s a shift more than a leap; something notable, but not drastic; they’re not suddenly djenting by any means — is purposeful given the band’s established tenure and the fact that Horses of Rebellion is their fifth long-player. It is very much a collection of songs rather than something composed as a full-length concept or thematic piece, but it flows well throughout its aggressive take, and is malleable in terms of tempo and general mood even though it stays on point as “Soaking” and “Still in the Shade” careen outward in a brisk seven-and-a-half-minute opening salvo that sets the vibe for the rest of what follows.

cowboys and aliens

“Two Time a Man” gives Neirynck‘s bass a well-earned showcase, and presents a more open verse, pulling back the throttle somewhat from the initial launch, but they hold firm to a hook and still have room at the end for a quick crescendo guitar solo ahead of “Sheep Bloody Sheep,” which is a foreshadow of the melodic highlight to come in the title-track and the longest inclusion at just over five minutes, still hitting hard, but doing it slower. Gaelens starts “Take a Good Look Around” and the first two minutes of the song build through a resonant chorus kept on point by a steady kick drum while Pollentier seems to bend the riff around the central groove, never losing it but walking the edge as he goes. When it comes at the start of side B, the subsequent title-track has more of a classic take and a hook made for sticking to the brain complemented by a start-stop verse riff and a swagger that much of Horses of Rebellion avoids. They rightly lean into that chorus even toward the end of the song, but it’s telling that when it’s over, the turn to “Morning Again” is immediate.

That is, there’s a beat of a pause, but that’s it. Only a beat. And even on a record full of relatively smooth transitions, that one stands out as capturing a live feel on the part of the band. Being as crisply produced as they are here, I don’t know how much Horses of Rebellion represents their onstage character — I’ve also never seen them, so that doesn’t help either — but that changeover certainly comes across as show-ready, and it works to keep the energy of the title-track going into “Morning Again,” which has a bounder of a riff at its core and works to keep the momentum going into “Hollow” and “Refuse,” which respectively pull back and push forward in terms of thrust, the latter being the most intense moment on the record since the opening and maybe overall as well. They follow with the solid groove and layered harmonies of “Walk a Mile in My Shoes,” mellowing out a bit in its second half but still keeping the proceedings to a tight four-minutes.

And they close out with “Splendid Isolation,” which — and I mean this in the best, laughingest way possible — is kind of a jerk move. At 2:20, the finale is naught but tense guitar strum and vocal lines. It’s building, you see. At any second, the listener is waiting for the song to absolutely explode, but it never does. Cowboys & Aliens are simply toying with their audience, putting what might otherwise have been first or at the beginning of a live set at the end of the record instead. The message, of course, comes through clearly enough: They’re just getting started. And for a band 22 years on from their debut, that’s no minor message to deliver as effectively as they do, but perhaps the intensity in some parts of Horses of Rebellion is mirroring an urgency behind the album’s creation in the first place, and if that’s so, one seriously doubts it will be another decade and a half before they’re heard from again. As much as their roots remain in the heavy rock of their initial era, their will to move forward is writ large in these songs.

Cowboys & Aliens on Bandcamp

Cowboys & Aliens on Thee Facebooks

Polderrecords website

Polderrecords on Thee Facebooks

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