Bible of the Devil Announce 20th Anniversary Tour Dates

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

bible of the devil

Bible of the Devil are riding high (in the night) coming off the release of their new album, Feel It (review here), and this summer, they’ll put tires to pavement in support of the record and their 20th anniversary on the “Feel it for Life” tour beginning July 25. While that name kind of sounds like a charity event, I’m pretty sure all proceeds go to gas to get to the next gig, and that’s fair enough. If you’ve never had the pleasure of stumbling into a Bible of the Devil gig during a drunken afternoon at SXSW circa 2005 and hearing their two guitars tear classic metal a new ass — just as an example — they’re primed to destroy everything in their path once they hit the stage, and the songs on Feel It should make the perfect ammunition to allow them to do so on this run.

They’re playing with some killer bands throughout — Hey ZeusApostle in SolitudeWolf BloodFreedom Hawk, and so on — so find where they’re gonna be and then find where you’re gonna be and then work to make sure those two places are the same.

Behold:

BIBLE OF THE DEVIL – 20 Year Anniversary Tour Summer 2019

Greetings BOTD fans! Lots of stuff in store for you over the next few months. Our new album, Feel It, came out in March and we appreciate all your support and the great response it has gotten. In honor of this release we’ll be doing a huge show in May at Liar’s Club, then moving on to Indianapolis in June and back to Chicago again for our 20 year anniversary celebration at The Burlington.

This will be followed up by the “Feel It For Life” Tour that begins in Madison on July 25th. For those of you who’ve been with us from beginning, this will be the 29th Bible of the Devil US tour. Feel it.

All shows are listed below. We encourage you to come rock and feel the night with us!

May 24th Fri. Racine, WI @ McAuliffe’s w/Hey Zeus, Callous Wizard
May 25th Sat. Chicago, IL @ Liar’s Club Feel It Album Release Show w/Hey Zeus, Holy Warheads, Ghost Forest

Jun. 28th Fri. Indianapolis, IN @ Black Market Brewing w/The Cocaine Wolves, Apostle of Solitude
Jun. 29th Sat. Chicago, IL @ The Burlington BOTD’s 20 Year Anniversary Show w/The Cocaine Wolves, Mama, Midnight Dice

“Feel It For Life” 20 Year Anniversary Summer Tour 2019

July 25th Thurs. Madison, WI @ Bos Meadery w/Joe Price and the Cost, Ruin Dweller
July 26th Fri. Minneapolis, MN @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge w/United Teachers of Music, Wolf Blood, Nightosaur
July 27th Sat. Omaha, NE @ O’Leaver’s w/Pro Magnum, Jump The Tiger
July 28th Sun. Tulsa, OK @ Mercury Lounge w/Blind Oath
July 29th Mon. San Antonio, TX @ The Limelight w/Over the Top, Thunderhorse
July 30th Tues. Austin, TX @ The Lost Well w/Broken Teeth, Crimson Devils, Hot Crimes
July 31st Wed. Hattiesburg, MS @ The Tavern w/AstroTrain
August 1st Thurs. Atlanta, GA @ 529 w/The Pinx, Dusty Booze and the Baby Haters, Timmy James and the Blue Flames
August 2nd Fri. Wilmington, NC @ Reggie’s 42nd Street Tavern w/Thunderlip, Freedom Hawk
August 3rd Sat. Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506 w/Thunderlip, Knightmare
August 4th Sun. Lexington, KY @ The Green Lantern w/The Vibrolas

Bible of the Devil is:
Nathan Perry: Vocals, Guitars
Greg Spalding: Drums, Loathing
Darren Amaya: Bass, Vocals
Chris Grubbs: Guitars

www.facebook.com/bibleofthedevil
https://www.instagram.com/bibleofthedevil/
http://bibleofthedevil.net/

Bible of the Devil, Feel It (2019)

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio Recap: Episode 14

Posted in Radio on April 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

gimme radio logo

No real running theme here other than it’s stuff that’s had my ears for the last couple weeks. I put the playlist together with a few tracks that were premiered here from The Dry Mouths and Cities of Mars, the new single from Astral Hand and a Bible of the Devil track to lead off because their amount of kickassery should most definitely put them up front. Some stuff here I haven’t covered as well. On the social medias I put out a question looking for album of the year suggestions and Elizabeth Colour Wheel were one of the top names that came back, so I included them for sure, and Magic Circle too. And I’ll listen to Lamp of the Universe any chance I get anyway, so having them was a no-brainer. Oh, and new Nebula, because duh.

I ended up cutting the voice tracks at Boston Logan Airport before my flight to Roadburn, so maybe there’s a little bit of muzak in the background. It was a little weird sitting there at the gate in Logan talking into my phone about how badass Dozer are, but you know, there’s a kind of anonymity in being in public like that too, and I wasn’t exactly projecting my voice. Bottom line is there’s a bunch of cool stuff though, so whatever I needed to to get it done was worth it. Similarly, I’m writing this from the office of the 013 before the show has even aired, so I don’t actually know yet how it’s all turned out [ed. – it sounds like crap]. If I sound like a jackass, we’ll call it par for the course.

Good fun.

Here’s the full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 04.14.19

Bible of the Devil Idle Time Feel It*
Astral Hand Universe Machine Universe Machine*
Cities of Mars Trenches of Bahb-elon The Horologist*
BREAK
Nebula Witching Hour Holy Shit*
The Druids Cruising Astral Skies The Druids*
Pharlee Warning Pharlee*
Magic Circle Valley of the Lepers Departed Souls*
Elizabeth Colour Wheel Life of a Flower Nocebo*
BREAK
Dozer Octanoid Madre de Dios
The Dry Mouths Impromental VII: Moustachette Memories from Pines Bridge*
Lamp of the Universe The Leaving Align in the Fourth Dimension*
Temple of the Fuzz Witch Infidel Temple of the Fuzz Witch*
BREAK
Picaporters M.I. XXIII*
Electric Moon Transmitter Hugodelia*

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio airs every other Sunday night at 7PM Eastern, with replays the following Thursday at 9AM. Next show is April 28. Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Radio website

The Obelisk on Thee Facebooks

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Bible of the Devil, Feel It: Speed of Night

Posted in Reviews on April 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

bible of the devil feel it

Recorded over a period of six months in the band’s native Chicago, Bible of the Devil‘s self-released Feel It arrives some 20 years after the band got their start, and 19 after their debut album, None More Raw. It is their eighth album overall and their first since that debut to be independently issued, the band forming their own Bible of the Devil Recordings imprint to handle pressing after releasing three full-lengths through Cruz Del Sur. Those records, 2006’s The Diabolic Procession, 2008’s Freedom Metal (discussed here) and 2012’s For the Love of Thugs and Fools (discussed here), comprise something of an (un)holy trinity throughout which the band solidified the style they began to develop on 2002’s Firewater at My Command, 2003’s Tight Empire and 2005’s Brutality, Majesty, Eternity, and some seven years after their last outing, Feel It arrives as just the second album of their second decade. They had a split out with Leeches of Lore (review here) in 2017, but compared to the stretch from 2002-2008 in which they issued five LPs, the four-piece’s general lack of output feels striking.

The effect that has, however, is to make Feel It seem all the more like a special occasion. It was hard to know if Bible of the Devil would put out another record, and not only have they done that in this 41-minute nine-tracker co-produced and mixed by Sanford Parker, but they take advantage of the opportunity to tear it up in classic fashion. Emphasis on the word “classic.” The cornerstone of Bible of the Devil‘s sound has long been its dual-guitar attack, and even as guitarist Chris Grubbs makes his debut here alongside guitarist/vocalist Nate Perry, taking on the role formerly occupied by Mark Hoffmann, the essential character of guitar-led, classic metal-influenced heavy rock and roll is consistent, led by the riffs and solos and propelled by bassist/backing vocalist Darren Amaya and drummer Greg Spalding, who is the last remaining founder of the band. Grubbs, whose status as the new guy on Feel It is somewhat tempered by the fact that he’s been in the band for upwards of six years, is of course well-integrated into the mix and paired well with Perry, who readily takes on a frontman role for cuts like “The Downtown Boogie” or the earlier “Ride Steel,” which sweeps in from the intro “The Light” — uh, hey guys, you spelled “night” wrong — and gives Feel It a righteous uptempo kick at the outset that sets the standard for the rest of what follows even as subsequent songs add breadth to the tones and methods established early.

For what it’s worth, the title Feel It comes across more as an invitation than a command, and while Bible of the Devil are somewhat prone to a tongue-in-cheek presentation — their ongoing penchant for songs about “the night” manifests here with “(Love at) The Speed of Night,” which follows “Ride Steel” — they may have been laughing about it at the time they were recording, but there’s little doubt in listening that they were also into what they were doing, or, feeling it, if you prefer. “Ride Steel” and “(Love at) The Speed of Night” and “Lifeline” form a salvo that puts the emphasis right where it belongs in their sound: on Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy.

bible of the devil

Even as they scale back the pace a bit in the transition from the “(Love at) The Speed of Night” to “Lifeline,” thereby giving Amaya‘s bass a chance to shine in more of a swinging groove, they maintain their communion with their root influences, and as album-centerpiece “Idle Time” moves further into a ’70s vibe and makes its way toward a falsetto-topped crescendo, the NWOBHM energy holds firm even as they shift the balance in their approach from one side to the other. Bible of the Devil have never wanted for chemistry or songwriting, and maybe it’s just been so long since For the Love of Thugs and Fools, but the tightness of the material seems to make Feel It all the more urgent in its affect. As “Iron Ego” turns back more toward the biker metallurgy of “Ride Steel,” and sets its guitars to soar all the while, the good time being had doesn’t undercut the spirit of necessity for what they’re doing. Bible of the Devil didn’t need to put out another record from a business standpoint. It’s not like it’s paying the bills. But this is a record they very clearly felt like they had to make on a creative level, and that sense of this-needs-to-happen is emphasized not only in the faster material like the 2:55 scorcher “Hard Club” that follows “Iron Ego” and precedes “The Downtown Boogie,” but everywhere throughout Feel It. And true to the title, it’s palpable.

Like “Ride Steel” and “(Love at) The Speed of Night” at the outset, “The Downtown Boogie” and closer “Ultra Boys” form a concluding duo of marked purpose, the former standing as one of the most effective Iron Lizzy realizations they’ve ever had and the latter set to a rhythm that’s a hook in itself as Spalding‘s snare seems to beg for an audience to follow along clapping. Gang vocals and a potent hook follow as Bible of the Devil bring the guitars in and out while Amaya‘s bass serves as the foundation of the verses. Leads a-plenty ensue, gang vocals ensue, and they finish in top fashion with heat-blister soloing and a sudden drop to silence that’s only missing the applause after to let the listener know the set is done.

I won’t claim to know what Bible of the Devil‘s plans are, but the fact that Feel It has come together so long after the preceding LP and the lineup change would seem to speak as well to the fact that this is a record they needed to make on a creative level. It may be that it will kick off a new era of productivity for them — they certainly sound like they still have plenty of gas in the tank, as it were — or it may be that these songs have been assembled as their final blowout, one last chance to live up to the title and put everything they have into the music. Either way, Feel It stands as a testament to the force that Bible of the Devil have always been at their best, and its renewed commitment to who they are as a band is as refreshing as their solos are crisp. If in fact they are inviting you to feel what they’re feeling, they’ve absolutely laid it all out and made the most compelling case possible for doing just that.

Bible of the Devil, Feel It (2019)

Bible of the Devil on Thee Facebooks

Bible of the Devil on Instagram

Bible of the Devil on Bandcamp

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Bible of the Devil Finish Work on New Album Feel It

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Chicago heavy rock/metal traditionalists Bible of the Devil issued a split with the sadly defunct Leeches of Lore (review here) in 2017, but it’s been since For the Love of Thugs and Fools (discussed here) in 2012 that the hard-shredding, singing-about-the-night outfit last unfurled a full-length. They’re due. Overdue, if you want to be technical about it, but they’re looking to play catchup a bit with Feel It, which seems by their description to be something of a testament to its own making. There isn’t an exact release date as yet but the album seems to be done, and they’re releasing it themselves through their own Bible of the Devil Recordings imprint, so that means holdups should be relatively few, though they’ve never been a band particularly known for their good luck. Fingers crossed it shows up in my inbox (or better yet, my actual mailbox) sometime soon. It’s been too long.

No audio from Feel It yet, but I certainly know I’m looking forward to hearing “(Love At) The Speed of Night,” “Iron Ego” and the rest of what’s apparently coming soon.

Info follows, including a tour teaser:

bible of the devil feel it

Bible of the Devil – Feel It

Greetings and Happy New Year!

Chicago Rock ‘n Roll Metal band Bible of the Devil have announced the completion of Feel It, their seventh full-length record and the first to be released via their own Bible of the Devil Recordings label. This long-awaited follow-up to their 2012 release, For the Love of Thugs and Fools, finds them working once again with the crafty Sanford Parker, who recorded the band at Chicago’s Electrical Audio and Jamdek studios. BOTD’s trademark guitar harmonies and vocal hooks are in full force and fans can expect another collection of classic anthems in the making.

At its core, Feel It is a testament to what it means to keep a band together. These past six years have presented many challenges to the band and this record serves as a conduit for the rock ‘n roll spirit. Expect an early 2019 release with a summer tour to follow in celebration of the band’s 20th anniversary.

Track Listing:
1. The Light (1:29)
2. Ride Steel (4:46)
3. (Love At) The Speed of Night (4:50)
4. Lifeline (4:33)
5. Idle Time (5:51)
6. Iron Ego (5:15)
7. Hard Club (2:55)
8. The Downtown Boogie (5:33)
9. Ultra Boys (5:53)

Bible of the Devil is:
Nathan Perry: Vocals, Guitars
Greg Spalding: Drums, Loathing
Darren Amaya: Bass, Vocals
Chris Grubbs: Guitars

www.facebook.com/bibleofthedevil
http://bibleofthedevil.net/

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Bible of the Devil Announce First East Coast Tour in Seven Years

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 30th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

BIBLE OF THE DEVIL

Bible of the Devil, you say? Coming east, you say? Well, that might be the kind of thing to make a reclusive-type individual get off his fat ass and head to the Bowery Electric on a Sunday night. The Chicago outfit don’t get out of the Midwest that often — they note below the last time they hit the Eastern Seaboard was 2011; a distant memory of a simpler age, despite all that war and whatnot — and I think it’s been even longer than that since I last saw them play, so yeah, I’ve put this one on the calendar. They’ll be at Grub, Sweat & Beers in Boston, but as I’ll be south at that point in NJ or at least CT, it seems like Manhattan is the way to go. Can’t even remember the last show I saw in Manhattan proper. Couldn’t tell you. Could probably look it up. Not going to.

Presumably somewhere along the line either before or after this run — or maybe during? that would be the other option — Bible of the Devil will have their new album out, which I remain dying to hear. Hopefully sooner rather than later, but either way I’m sure when it lands it’ll kick ass and (fingers crossed) have at least one song about the night, which is awesome.

Here’s the latest word from the band:

BIBLE OF THE DEVIL TOUR

Bible of the Devil Spring/Summer Update 2018

Greetings BOTD fans! We’ve been moving right along and have survived yet another winter here in Chicago. We have a barrage of awesome coming at you this spring and summer so get ready. New album is just about there and we look forward to delivering it to your hands later in the year. In the meantime, come see us at our upcoming shows.

BOTD’s “Street Heat” tour covers a much needed return to the east coast where they haven’t been since 2011 and finishes back in Chicago for Alehorn of Power X. These are some amazing shows to be a part of so if you are in the area, please come out and rock with us.

“Street Heat” Summer Tour 2018
July 20th Fri. Pittsburgh, PA @ Cattivo’s w/ Argus, Horehound
July 21st Sat. Allston, MA @ O’Brien’s Grub, Sweat, n Beers Fest w/ Hey Zeus
July 22nd Sun. New York City, NY @ Bowery Electric w/ Hey Zeus
July 23rd Mon. Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter w/ Twisted Tower Dire, Desert Altar
July 24th Tues. Wilmington, NC @ Reggie’s 42nd Street Tavern w/ All Night High, Children of the Reptile
July 25th Wed. Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle Back Room w/ Mega Colossus, Demon Eye, Witch Mountain
July 26th Thurs. Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups w/ Mega Colossus, Beggars
July 27th Fri. Detroit, MI @ Small’s w/ Mega Colossus, Kommander
July 28th Sat. Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s Live Alehorn of Power X w/ High Spirits, Mega Colossus, Ignitor, Owl, Stagecoach Inferno, Zuul

Bible of the Devil is:
Nathan Perry: Vocals, Guitars
Greg Spalding: Drums, Loathing
Darren Amaya: Bass, Vocals
Chris Grubbs: Guitars

www.facebook.com/bibleofthedevil
http://bibleofthedevil.net/

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The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Short Releases of 2017

Posted in Features on December 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk top 20 short releases

Please note: This post is not culled in any way from the Year-End Poll, which is ongoing. If you haven’t yet contributed your favorites of 2017 to that, please do.

This is the hardest list to put together, no question. Don’t get me wrong, I put way too much thought into all of them, but this one is damn near impossible to keep up with. Every digital single, every demo, every EP, every 7″, 10″ one-sided 12″, whatever it is. There’s just too much. I’m not going to claim to have heard everything. Hell, that’s what the comments are for. Let me know what I missed. Invariably, something.

So while the headers might look similar, assuming I can ever remember which fonts I use from one to the next, this list has a much different personality than, say, the one that went up earlier this week with the top 20 debuts of 2017. Not that I heard everyone’s first record either, but we’re talking relative ratios here. The bottom line is please just understand I’ve done my best to hear as much as possible. I’m only one person, and there are only so many hours in the day. Eventually your brain turns into riffy mush.

With that caveat out of the way, I’m happy to present the following roundup of some of what I thought were 2017’s best short releases. That’s EPs, singles, demos, splits — pretty much anything that wasn’t a full-length album, and maybe one or two things that were right on the border of being one. As between genres, the lines are blurry these days. That’s part of what makes it fun.

Okay, enough dawdling. Here we go:

lo-pan-in-tensions

The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Short Releases of 2017

1. Lo-Pan, In Tensions
2. Godhunter, Codex Narco
3. Year of the Cobra, Burn Your Dead
4. Shroud Eater, Three Curses
5. Stubb, Burning Moon
6. Canyon, Canyon
7. Solace, Bird of Ill Omen
8. Kings Destroy, None More
9. Tarpit Boogie, Couldn’t Handle… The Heavy Jam
10. Supersonic Blues, Supersonic Blues Theme
11. Come to Grief, The Worst of Times EP
12. Rope Trick, Red Tape
13. Eternal Black, Live at WFMU
14. IAH, IAH
15. Bong Wish, Bong Wish EP
16. Rattlesnake, Outlaw Boogie Demo
17. Hollow Leg, Murder
18. Mars Red Sky, Myramyd
19. Avon, Six Wheeled Action Man Tank 7″
20. Wretch, Bastards Born

Honorable Mention

Across Tundras, Blood for the Sun / Hearts for the Rain
The Discussion, Tour EP
Fungus Hill, Creatures
Switchblade Jesus & Fuzz Evil, The Second Coming of Heavy – Chapter Seven
The Grand Astoria, The Fuzz of Destiny
Test Meat, Demo
Blood Mist, Blood Mist
Sweat Lodge, Tokens for Hell
Dautha, Den Foerste
Scuzzy Yeti, Scuzzy Yeti
Howling Giant, Black Hole Space Wizard Part 2
Decasia, The Lord is Gone
Bible of the Devil/Leeches of Lore, Split 7″

I can’t imagine I won’t add a name or two or five to this section over the next few days as I think of other things and people remind me of stuff and so on, so keep an eye out, but the point is there’s way more than just what made the top 20. That Across Tundras single would probably be on the list proper just on principle, but I heard it like a week ago and it doesn’t seem fair. Speaking of unfair, The Discussion, Howling Giant, The Grand Astoria and the Bible of the Devil/Leeches of Lore split all deserve numbered placement easily. I might have to make this a top 30 in 2018, just to assuage my own guilt at not being able to include everything I want to include. For now though, yeah, this is just the tip of the doomberg.

Notes

To be totally honest with you, that Lo-Pan EP came out Jan. 13 and pretty much had the year wrapped up in my head from that point on. It was going to be hard for anything to top In Tensions, and the Godhunter swansong EP came close for the sense of stylistic adventurousness it wrought alone, and ditto that for Year of the Cobra’s bold aesthetic expansions on Burn Your Dead and Shroud Eater’s droning Three Cvrses, but every time I heard Jeff Martin singing “Pathfinder,” I knew it was Lo-Pan’s year and all doubt left my mind. Of course, for the Ohio four-piece, In Tensions is something of a one-off with the departure already of guitarist Adrian Zambrano, but I still have high hopes for their next record. It would be hard not to.

The top five is rounded out by Stubb’s extended jam/single “Burning Moon,” which was a spacey delight and new ground for them to cover. The self-titled debut EP from Philly psych rockers Canyon, which they’ve already followed up, is next. I haven’t had the chance to hear the new one yet, but Canyon hit a sweet spot of psychedelia and heavy garage that made me look forward to how they might develop, so I’ll get there sooner or later. Solace’s return was nothing to balk at with their cassingle “Bird of Ill Omen” and the Sabbath cover with which they paired it, and though Kings Destroy weirded out suitably on the 14-minute single-song EP None More, I hear even greater departures are in store with their impending fourth LP, currently in progress.

A couple former bandmates of mine feature in Tarpit Boogie in guitarist George Pierro and bassist John Eager, and both are top dudes to be sure, but even if we didn’t have that history, it would be hard to ignore the tonal statement they made on their Couldn’t Handle… The Heavy Jam EP. If you didn’t hear it, go chase it down on Bandcamp. Speaking of statements, Supersonic Blues’ Supersonic Blues Theme 7″ was a hell of an opening salvo of classic boogie that I considered to be one of the most potential-laden offerings of the year. Really. Such warmth to their sound, but still brimming with energy in the most encouraging of ways. Another one that has to be heard to be believed.

The dudes are hardly newcomers, but Grief offshoot Come to Grief sounded pretty fresh — and raw — on their The Worst of Times EP, and the Massachusetts extremists check in right ahead of fellow New Englangers Rope Trick, who are an offshoot themselves of drone experimentalists Queen Elephantine. Red Tape was a demo in the demo tradition, and pretty formative sounding, but seemed to give them plenty of ground on which to develop their aesthetic going forward, and I wouldn’t ask more of it than that.

Eternal Black gave a much-appreciated preview of their Bleed the Days debut long-player with Live at WFMU and earned bonus points for recording it at my favorite radio station, while Argentine trio IAH probably went under a lot of people’s radar with their self-titled EP but sent a fervent reminder that that country’s heavy scene is as vibrant as ever. Boston-based psych/indie folk outfit Bong Wish were just the right combination of strange, melodic and acid-washed to keep me coming back to their self-titled EP on Beyond Beyond is Beyond, and as Adam Kriney of The Golden Grass debuted his new project Rattlesnake with the Outlaw Boogie demo, the consistency of his songcraft continued to deliver a classic feel. Another one to watch out for going into the New Year.

I wasn’t sure if it was fair to include Hollow Leg’s Murder or not since it wound up getting paired with a special release of their latest album, but figured screw it, dudes do good work and no one’s likely to yell about their inclusion here. If you want to quibble, shoot me a comment and quibble away. Mars Red Sky only released Myramyd on vinyl — no CD, no digital — and I never got one, but heard a private stream at one point and dug that enough to include them here anyway. They remain perennial favorites.

Avon, who have a new record out early in 2018 on Heavy Psych Sounds, delivered one of the year’s catchiest tracks with the “Six Wheeled Action Man Tank” single. I feel like I’ve had that song stuck in my head for the last two months, mostly because I have. And Wretch may or may not be defunct at this point — I saw word that drummer Chris Gordon was leaving the band but post that seems to have disappeared now, so the situation may be in flux — but their three-songer Bastards Born EP was a welcome arrival either way. They round out the top 20 because, well, doom. Would be awesome to get another LP out of them, but we’ll see I guess.

One hopes that nothing too egregious was left off, but one again, if there’s something you feel like should be here that isn’t, please consider the invitation to leave a comment open and let me know about it. Hell, you know what? Give me your favorites either way, whether you agree with this list or not. It’s list season, do it up. I know there’s the Year-End Poll going, and you should definitely contribute to that if you haven’t, but what was your favorite EP of the year? The top five? Top 10? I’m genuinely curious. Let’s talk about it.

Whether you have a pick or not (and I hope you do), thanks as always for reading. May the assault of short releases continue unabated in 2018 and beyond.

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Bible of the Devil Record New Album for 2018 Release

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 19th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

It’s been half a decade since Chicago’s Bible of the Devil released their last record, For the Love of Thugs and Fools (discussed here), and I don’t care by what scale you’re measuring — law of averages, Murphy’s law, law of dudes having real jobs and real lives, etc. — that’s way too long. Over the summer, the dual-guitar wizards issued a split with defunct desert weirdos Leeches of Lore (review here) that one hoped was a portend of further activity to come, and it turns out that was pretty much exactly the case.

Bible of the Devil hit the studio earlier this month with Sanford Parker at the helm to track the long-awaited follow-up to For the Love of Thugs and Fools, and while details on the outing are minimal at this point with no title, artwork, tracklisting, or release date yet unveiled, I’m already looking forward to hearing what they’ve come up with after so long an absence from album-creation, and you should be too. At least, you know, if you like awesome classic metal and heavy rock, songs about the night, and stuff that kicks ass in general. Which I think you do or you probably wouldn’t still be reading this. So yeah, get stoked.

I’m not sure if Bible of the Devil are still signed to Cruz del Sur, which put out For the Love of Thugs and Fools, but either way, hopefully more info will surface soon on the impending long-player. Will say something when I see something, as the propaganda posters tell me to do.

Dig:

bible-of-the-devil-Photo-Trevor-Weston

Bible of the Devil Update Fall 2017

Greetings! BOTD has been busy this fall! Coming off the successful “High In The Night” tour this summer with our friends High Spirits, we spent the first weekend in October recording at Electrical Audio here in Chicago. This will be our 7th studio album and follow-up to the 2012 release For the Love of Thugs and Fools. Sanford Parker, who previously produced Firewater At My Command, The Diabolic Procession, and the critically acclaimed Freedom Metal, is behind the controls once again. Expect a rocker of the most epic proportions to be released in 2018.

BOTD also has one show to close out 2017 that will be happening next Saturday, October 21st. Details are as follows:

Oct. 21st Sat. Chicago, IL @ Live Wire

Doors 8pm
Tix $8 adv/$10 dos

BOTD 12am
Witchcryer (Austin, TX) 11pm
Arriver 10pm
Reivers 9pm

In addition, BOTD will also be re-releasing the seminal 2003 album, Tight Empire, on vinyl with its original artwork in the Winter of 2018. Pre-orders can be sent through PayPal at botdmusic@gmail.com and are $20 + $5 shipping.

Stay tuned for the announcement of RAWfest3, Alehorn of Power X, and some select dates in the Summer of 2018.

Bible of the Devil is:
Nathan Perry: Vocals, Guitars
Greg Spalding: Drums, Loathing
Darren Amaya: Bass, Vocals
Chris Grubbs: Guitars

www.facebook.com/bibleofthedevil
http://bibleofthedevil.net/
http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/

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Review & Full Stream: Bible of the Devil and Leeches of Lore, Split 7″

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 30th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

bible of the devil still on top

[Click play above to stream the new split single from Bible of the Devil and Leeches of Lore. Copies are available now from the bands.]

“Got no time to lose” is one of the lines tossed out in the call and response hook to Bible of the Devil‘s “Still on Top,” which is their contribution to a new split 7″ single with Albuquerque’s Leeches of Lore. It might be true in the case of both bands, but for the Chicago outfit it seems especially so. After years of road-dogging, the antic-prone two-guitar four-piece have played it decidedly lower key since the release of their most recent album, For the Love of Thugs and Fools (discussed here), via Cruz del Sur in 2012. They’ve done periodic tours in the Midwest and hit local fests like Alehorn of Power, but where the aughts and early ’10s found them belting out album after album, tour after tour, and a succession of splits with the likes of ValkyrieSlough Feg and Winterhawk, the half-decade since the last full-length has been comparatively quiet.

One single, of course, isn’t going to make up for lost time, but “Still on Top” comes across very much as a song with a message, taking a workingman’s rocker perspective and assuring both the listener and the band that yes, they’ve still got it. Interestingly, it comes accompanied by Leeches of Lore‘s “Mountain of Mom,” which may or may not be the final recorded output from a group who recently and willingly gave that same “it” up. Following their to-date pinnacle work in 2015’s Toshi Kasai-produced Motel of Infinity (review here), the avant rockers led by guitarist/vocalist Steve Hammond played what was to be their last shows in May 2017, making this, at least technically, a posthumous offering. For what it’s worth, they hardly sound dead at all.

So in terms of communication, what Bible of the Devil and Leeches of Lore present in “Still on Top” and “Mountain of Mom” is — at least potentially — hello and a goodbye. One hesitates to speculate on the future of either group, particularly since the latter have said they’re done and since it’s been so long since the former had any other output, but that’s how it looks on the surface, and for a release that runs neatly under the nine-minute mark and comprises just two tracks, it’s a pretty efficient check-in. Accordingly, both groups play solidly to their strengths.

For Bible of the Devil, that means a classic-sounding blend of rock and metal, with guitar work by Nathan Perry (also vocals) and Chris Grubbs in the spirit of the NWOBHM as most informed by Thin Lizzy-style good times, and an upbeat hook propelled by the rhythm section of drummer Greg Spalding and bassist/vocalist Darren Amaya. On the basic level of its approach, it could hardly be more their own if it was about “the night,” but while the method and structure may be familiar, a rawer production than one necessarily might expect from Bible of the Devil after For the Love of Thugs and Fools or the preceding 2008 triumph, Freedom Metal, gives a live feel to the proceedings such that there’s almost a garage sensibility to the initial chug and the verse, before the background vocals or harmonized guitar lead take hold.

This might make “Still on Top” an even more fitting complement to “Mountain of Mom,” as Leeches of Lore have always been (or “always were,” depending on the tense in which one wants to categorize them) a rawer band, even under the guidance of Kasai, taking cues from noise rock, punk, country, extreme metal and the great anti-genre beyond where few dare to tread. Their final lineup consisted of HammondKris KerbyNoah Wolters and Andy Lutz, but whether or not that’s who appears on the single I don’t actually know. In any case, like Bible of the Devil before them, Leeches of Lore are very much at home in the 4:09 “Mountain of Mom,” working quickly even with the title to make the listener ill-at-ease as only good art can in terms of just what the hell they’re talking about and whether or not it actually has anything to do with the song itself.

That’s a question that remains as Hammond moves vocally between cleaner singing, falsetto, and harsher shouts and the band around him between circuitous lumbering marked out by its transitional drum fills and sustained pulls of guitar and a last-minute delve into lead guitar and organ that comes close enough to punk rock cabaret to recall some of Leeches of Lore‘s more offbeat aesthetic aspects, even if the basic structure it keeps to is relatively straightforward. If indeed it is their final output — again, one never says never in rock and roll — it’s a suitable weirdo-metal farewell with early screams leading to talk of the end of the world and traffic jams and so on. One might call it “the usual,” but in the grander scheme, there’s hardly anything usual about it, and of course that’s a big part of the fun.

Like much of Leeches of Lore‘s work during their time together, “Mountain of Mom” benefits from longer-term digestion over multiple listens, but those repeat visits are well-enough earned by the quickened feel and the front-to-back linear transition the band undergoes. As was the case throughout their tenure, their reach remains underrated and underappreciated, and despite a more immediate take, the same could easily be said of Bible of the Devil, the quality of whose work has always made them something of a well-kept secret within the American Midwest. If there’s anything tying the two bands together, it’s probably that most of all, but neither should one discount the fact that throughout their careers — one maybe restarting, the other maybe over — neither of them has been willing to compromise who they are at their root or give up exploring outward from their sonic foundation. Their split may be short, but there’s no lack of substance whatsoever.

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Bible of the Devil website

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Leeches of Lore website

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