Review & Lyric Video Premiere: Eternal Black, Bleed the Days

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on August 1st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

eternal-black-bleed-the-days

[Click play above to see the premiere of the lyric video for the title-track of Eternal Black’s Bleed the Days. Album is out Aug. 8.]

Doom prevails in gritty fashion on Bleed the Days, the seven-track debut long-player from New York trio Eternal Black. Self-released through their own Obsidian Sky Records in a digipak that includes a note on its back cover to pay attention to the lyrics and those printed on its inside glossy panels, it is a grimly cast 46 minutes brimming with downer intent as led by the churning-concrete riffing of guitarist/vocalist Ken Wohlrob (also a published novelist and clearly someone for whom words matter) and with significant reinforcement provided by bassist Hal Miller and drummer Joe Wood — the latter also of long-running Long Island rockers Borgo Pass and a former bandmate of mine twice over. Because I consider him among the finest examples of a human being I’ve ever encountered, I’ll note a decided bias on my part in favor of his work here and elsewhere, so if that’s the grain of salt with which you need to take this review, so be it. I won’t fight you.

Either way, Eternal Black‘s full-length ode to downcast nodder traditionalism, recorded and mixed by Joe Kelly and Kol Marshall with mastering by Mos Generator‘s Tony Reed, follows their 2015 self-titled EP/demo (review here) and received a substantial preview earlier this year on the digital offering Live at WFMU (review here), recorded at that venerable open-format radio station in Jersey City, New Jersey, but makes its primary impression in the uniformity of its mood such that even the three-minute centerpiece interlude “Into Nothing” ties to the rest of its surroundings in speaking to the overarching theme of death and the mythology thereof, despite being instrumental. They are nothing if not focused.

But as the saying goes, if you can’t handle brain-crushing singularity of purpose, doom probably isn’t for you, and whether it’s the post-Wino riffing on opener “The Lost, the Forgotten, and the Undying” or second cut “Snake Oil and Coffin Nails,” which is led off by Miller‘s bass in the spirit perhaps of The Hidden Hand circa Mother Teacher Destroyer and shifts into faster gallop in its midsection with a highlight guitar lead, or a slower piece like the lumbering “Stained Eyes on a Setting Sun” (premiered here), Eternal Black do bring a sense of character and a developing sonic persona to the tenets of the style. Wohlrob‘s vocal delivery is a gruff and dudely semi-growl suited to tying the songs together and his lyrics — as one has been advised to regard — grow increasingly vivid as the tracklisting progresses into “Stained Eyes on a Setting Sun,” “Bleed the Days” itself and 11-minute closer “All Gods Fall,” pulling references from Biblical and other Inferno-y sources concerning death.

eternal black photo shane gardner

It’s arguable six of the seven inclusions on Bleed the Days deal directly with the motif — see also: the entirety of Western culture and the human condition — whether it’s the interaction of death and belief on “Snake Oil and Coffin Nails” and “All Gods Fall” or the grim picture-painting of “The Lost, the Forgotten, and the Undying,” “Sea of Graves,” “Into Nothing,” “Stained Eyes on a Setting Sun,” and “Bleed the Days,” but there’s also an underlying use of water imagery. The opener speaks of a ballast of the dead, snake oil is “flooding the plains,” it’s a “Sea of Graves,” bodies are thrown into the sea in “Stained Eyes on a Setting Sun,” walls of rain unleash a river in the title-track, and flames rain down and oceans reabsorb in the finale. Again, that’s six of six tracks with words in them. One can’t help but wonder if that was a purposeful aesthetic choice in the composition of the material or simply a fitting representation of the abyss. In any case, like Wohlrob‘s vocals, the tonal density of his guitar and Miller‘s low end and the ultra-solid push of Wood‘s drums, it is another aspect of Bleed the Days that serves to tie the songs together.

Taking into account Bleed the Days as Eternal Black‘s debut, the album becomes even more impressive in its establishment of theme and aesthetic — well earning the amount of purple on its Joshua M. Wilkinson cover art — and when given repeat listens, further nuance of intent gradually unveils itself, whether it’s the airy flourish of guitar layering buried in the second half of “All Gods Fall” or the force with which the overall trajectory of the trio’s procession leads them to that closer. That shift takes place between the songs themselves, which seem to grow slower from “The Lost, the Forgotten, and the Undying” onward, but “Into Nothing” becomes a crucial divide between the first three cuts and the latter three that follow, which cast a plodding and weighted mire that, even when it picks up a bit in terms of tempo in the title-track, remains enduringly bleak.

Thus “All Gods Fall” can be read as a moment of arrival for Eternal Black and their audience alike, and it meets that task ably in summarizing the atmosphere of what’s come before it, showcasing an avenue for potential forward growth on the part of the band and providing a landing point for the consistently downward push that brings it on. Like the stated subject of death, “All Gods Fall” feels inevitable by the time it hits, and its final lines, “Man faces his eternity/Standing alone,” encapsulate the perspective of Bleed the Days as a whole. There could hardly be a more fitting end for an album that stands so willfully in doomed gruel, and as “All Gods Fall” marches to its fading finish, the sound of crashing waves would seem to provide an answer as to the corresponding watery elements that so much of the material highlighted previously.

I don’t know if I’d call Bleed the Days a concept album in terms of a singular narrative playing out, but neither would I be surprised if Eternal Black went that route sometime in the future, as there is a decided interest in storytelling here, and pivotally, they back that with quality songwriting that’s no less a foundation than the roll in Wood‘s drums. They’ve left themselves room to grow in terms of branching out arrangements and style, but as doom for doomers by doomers, Eternal Black‘s first album brings a host of depressive delights.

Eternal Black, Bleed the Days (2017)

Eternal Black website

Eternal Black on Bandcamp

Eternal Black on Thee Facebooks

Eternal Black on Instagram

Eternal Black on Soundcloud

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Snail Post “Thou Art That” Live Video from The Obelisk All-Dayer

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

snail photo adam donnelly

I really think Snail should release their set from last year’s The Obelisk All-Dayer. I’ve never started any kind of online petition, and I’m not usually one to go fishing for comments — because I live in terror that I wouldn’t get any — but yeah, you can check out the video of their 10-minute epic roller “Thou Art That” from the show and if you agree with me that the whole set should see at least a digital release or a limited tape or something, please leave a comment on this post. I’m not saying if we hit a certain number of comments they’ll put something out, but it certainly can’t hurt to try. Right?

“Thou Art That” was a highlight of 2015’s Feral (review here), which came out on Small Stone and was the perfect occasion for the trio of guitarist/vocalist Mark Johnson, bassist Matt Lynch and drummer Marty Dodson to hit the East Coast for the first time in their 20-years-plus history. They absolutely killed it at the show, with what seemed to me to be the night’s biggest crowd, and though I’d seen them on a rare tour years before in San Francisco (review here), this was obviously something special. I was lucky they could make the trip to play.

This isn’t the first live video they’ve posted from the All-Dayer either though. They had one for the title-track of 2009’s Blood (review here) that came out at the beginning of the year as well, so “Thou Art That” — shot by David Strayer with board-recorded audio by Jaime Traba and additional production from Matt Lynch — is the second time they’ve teased the prospect of doing something with that material. I already offered to write the liner notes for a tape or any other kind of release. Come on, guys. This one needs to happen.

I’ve been kicking around ideas for a second The Obelisk All-Dayer for the better part of the last year. Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn was on board last I checked, but I’m not sure if it’s something I want to do again, especially with a baby on the way. We’ll see. If you have an opinion on the matter, I’d love to hear it.

Oh, and if you see some schmo down in the front rocking out at the end of “Thou Art That,” well clearly that’s just somebody who very, very much enjoyed the set. Ha.

Dig it:

Snail, “Thou Art That” Live at The Obelisk All-Dayer

The almighty SNAIL playing live at The Obelisk All Dayer in Brooklyn NYC 8-20-2016.

Video: David Strayer
Audio: Jaime Traba
Production: Matt Lynch

Snail, Feral (2015)

Snail on Thee Facebooks

Snail website

Snail at Small Stone Records

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Eternal Black Announce Bleed the Days Due Aug. 8; Premiere “Stained Eyes on a Setting Sun”

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on July 19th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

eternal black photo shane gardner

Go ahead and click play on the Eternal Black track premiere at the bottom of this post and then come back up and read the rest of this. Got it? Okay cool. Now that you’re digging into the lumbering weight of ‘Stained Eyes on a Setting Sun,’ I feel like we can really get down to business. The gruff Brooklynite doom metallers are today announcing that in less than a month’s time — Aug. 8 is the date and preorders are up through their Bandcamp — they’ll make their full-length debut with Bleed the Days.

I’m not gonna be coy here. I’ve heard the record and it’s a banger. Like, someone’s-gonna-pick-it-up-and-put-out-vinyl kind of banger. Playing to classic-minded nod, Eternal Black roll out riff after riff of dead-on, no-frills-needed doom. They’ve got seven tracks of it loaded up and ready to move, and as they build from the accomplishments of their 2015 self-titled EP (review here) and pay off the preview of new material they gave on earlier-2017’s Live at WFMU (discussed here), one would be hard pressed to find a less pretentious execution, and especially as it’s their debut, Bleed the Days shows the Maryland Doom Fest veterans as a band looking to make their mark in the sphere of the East Coast underground.

I’ll have more to come as we get closer to the Aug. 8 release, but for now, click play again and give “Stained Eyes on a Setting Sun” another listen as a portend of good things on the way, and dig into the album announcement as sent down the PR wire. You’re going to want to familiarize:

eternal-black-bleed-the-days

Eternal Black to Release Debut Full-Length Album ‘Bleed the Days’ on August 8

Premieres New Track “Stained Eyes On A Setting Sun”

Brooklyn-based doom band ETERNAL BLACK will unleash their debut full-length album, ?Bleed the Days, on August 8th, 2017. In anticipation of the album’s release, a new track, “Stained Eyes On A Setting Sun” will be available for streaming via SoundCloud and Bandcamp.

Bleed the Days is the band’s third release, following their 2015 self-titled EP and a live recording from 2017, ?Live at WFMU? . According to the band, “Sonically, we were aiming for somewhere between Black Sabbath’s ?Master of Reality and The Obsessed’s ?Lunar Womb. We wanted the album to be an obvious step forward in the progression of our sound. Darker and heavier than anything you’ve heard from us before, with the grit of old school Doom.”

Eternal Black again worked with Joe Kelly and Kol Marshall (Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Ministry), who produced and mixed the album. It was mastered by none other than Tony Reed of Mos Generator. Joshua M. Wilkinson of The Company (Curse the Son, Doctor Doom, Keef Mountain) designed the cover and album art.

Bleed the Days will be released on August 8th, 2017 on CD and digital formats. Preorders can be placed via ?Eternal Black’s Bandcamp page?. A double-LP vinyl version with be available in Fall 2017 with limited edition variations.

Formed in late 2014, Eternal Black is made up of Joe Wood on drums (Borgo Pass), Hal Miller on bass, and Ken Wohlrob on guitar and vocals. The group came together out of a desire to create dark songs driven by fuzz-drenched riffs and old-school heavy grooves.

Bleed the Days tracklisting:
1. The Lost, The Forgotten, and The Undying
2. Snake Oil and Coffin Nails
3. Sea of Graves
4. Into Nothing
5. Stained Eyes on a Setting Sun
6. Bleed The Days
7. All Gods Fall

Eternal Black live:
JUL 20 Eternal Black, Curse the Son, Clouds Taste Satanic, Leeds Point
Lucky 13 Saloon New York, NY

AUG 5 Eternal Black, Reign of Zaius, Goat Wizard, & Begotten
Arlene’s Grocery New York, NY

SEP 23 Eternal Black, Thunderbird Divine, Goat Wizard, & King Bison
Century Philadelphia, PA

OCT 7 NY Invades MD! w/ CLOVER/CLOUDS TASTE SATANIC/ETERNAL BLACK/FAITH IN JANE
Guido’s Speakeasy Frederick, MD

http://eternalblackdoom.com
https://eternalblack.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/blackhanddoom
https://instagram.com/eternalblackdoom/
https://soundcloud.com/eternalblackdoom

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Quarterly Review: Harvestman, Beastmaker, Endless Boogie, Troubled Horse, Come to Grief, Holy Rivals, Mountain God, Dr. Space, Dirty Grave, Summoned by Giants

Posted in Reviews on July 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

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Bonus round! I don’t know if you’re stoked on having a sixth Quarterly Review day, but I sure am. Basically this is me doing myself favors. In terms of what’s being covered and how I’m covering it, today might be the high point for me personally of the entire Summer 2017 Quarterly Review. Some of this stuff I’m more behind on than others, but it’s all releases that I’ve wanted desperately to write about that I haven’t been able to make happen so far and I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be able to do so at last. It’s a load off my mind in the best way possible, and as this is the final day of the Quarterly Review, before I dig in I’ll just say one more time thank you for reading and I hope you found something in the past week that really speaks to you, because that’s what makes it all worthwhile in the first place. One more go.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Harvestman, Music for Megaliths

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A new Harvestman album, like a harvest itself, is an occasion. Distinct entirely from the solo output released by Neurosis guitarist/vocalist Steve Von Till under his own name, Harvestman’s guitar-led experimentalism and ritualized psychedelia don’t happen every day – the last album was 2009’s In a Dark Tongue (review here) – and with the resonance of “Oak Drone” and the layered, drummed and vocalized textures of “Levitation,” the new collection, Music for Megaliths (on Neurot, of course), lives up to the project’s high standards of the unexpected. Pulsations beneath opener and longest track (immediate points) “The Forest is Our Temple” offer some initial threat, but the electronic beat behind the howling notes of “Ring of Sentinels” and the Vangelis-esque centerpiece “Cromlech” find more soothing ground, and though “Sundown” seems to be speaking to Neurosis “Bleeding the Pigs” from 2012’s Honor Found in Decay (review here) in its atmosphere, the spoken word that tops closer “White Horse” provides a last-minute human connection before all is brought to a quick fadeout. If you told me Music for Megaliths was assembled over a period of years, I’d believe you given its breadth, but whether it was or not, Harvestman’s latest should provide a worthy feast for a long time to come.

Harvestman on Thee Facebooks

Neurot Recordings webstore

 

Beastmaker, Inside the Skull

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Los Angeles three-piece Beastmaker continue their ascent with their second album for Rise Above Records, the unflinchingly cohesive Inside the Skull. Like its predecessor, 2016’s Lusus Naturae (review here), the quick-turnaround sophomore outing executes a modern garage doom aesthetic and unfuckwithably tight songwriting, this time bringing 10 new tracks that reimagine classic vibes – witness the Witchcraft “No Angel or Demon”-style riff of opener “Evil One” (video posted here) – and touch on some of the same ground pioneered by Uncle Acid without actually sounding like that UK band or sounding like anyone for that matter so much as themselves. They make darkened highlights of “Now Howls the Beast,” “Of Gods Creation,” the crashing “Psychic Visions,” closer “Sick Sick Demon” and the preceding “Night Bird,” which offers some welcome departure into drift prior to the solo in its final minute – all impeccably crisp in structure despite a dirt-caked production – but resonant, memorable hooks abound, and the trio affirm the potential their debut showed and offer a quick step forward that one can only imagine will find them turning more heads toward their growing cult following. They’re still growing, but Inside the Skull is confirmation Beastmaker on a path to becoming something really special.

Beastmaker on Thee Facebooks

Beastmaker at Rise Above Records

 

Endless Boogie, Vibe Killer

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One can’t help but think there’s a bit of tongue-in-cheekery at play in the inaccuracy of Endless Boogie titling their latest album Vibe Killer. The seven-track/51-minute No Quarter release follows 2013’s Long Island (review here) and is, of course, doing everything but killing the vibe, as the New York-based outfit proffer their nestled-in raw songs crafted out of and on top of improvised jams, the semi-spoken gutturalisms of guitarist Paul “Top Dollar” Major a defining element from the laid back opening title-track onward. Moody rock classicism persists through “High Drag, Hard Doin’” and the more active “Back in ’74,” but the true peak of Vibe Killer comes in the 11-minute “Jefferson Country,” which unfolds hypnotic drone experimentation that’s as willfully ungraceful as it winds up being flowing. Bottom line: dudes know what’s up. Endless Boogie’s languid roll is second to nobody and Vibe Killer is a vision of cool jazz reinvented to feel as much at home in rock clubs of the basement and of the chic see-and-be-seen variety. Very New York, in that, but not at all given to elitism. Everyone’s invited to dig, and dig they should.

Endless Boogie on Thee Facebooks

No Quarter Records webstore

 

Troubled Horse, Revolution on Repeat

troubled-horse-revolution-on-repeat

There were a few minutes there where one probably wouldn’t have been wrong to wonder if Örebro, Sweden’s Troubled Horse would have a follow-up at all to back 2012’s Step Inside (review here), but with Revolution on Repeat (out via Rise Above), the four-piece led by dynamic vocalist Martin Heppich prove among the most vital of the many heavy rock acts to emerge from their hometown, known for the likes of Witchcraft, Graveyard, Truckfighters and countless others. Heppich, lead guitarist Mikael Linder (also bass on the recording), guitarist Tom and drummer Jonas start with the boogie-fied opening salvo “Hurricane” (video premiere here) and “The Filthy Ones,” and run madcap through the memorable hooks of “Which Way to the Mob” and “Peasants” en route to the mid-paced “The Haunted” and into a second half marked by the semi-balladry of “Desperation” and “My Shit’s Fucked Up.” Soon, the standout chorus of “Track 7” (yup, that’s the title) and the penultimate funk of “Let Bastards Know” lead to a nine-minute epic finish in “Bleeding” – and all the while Troubled Horse hold firm to groove, momentum, poise, crisp production and songwriting as they tie varied landmarks together with an overarching sense of motion, Heppich’s charismatic soulfulness and deceptively subtle flourishes of arrangement to make an absolutely welcome return.

Troubled Horse on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records website

 

Come to Grief, The Worst of Times

come-to-grief-the-worst-of-times

Sometimes you just have to toss up your hands and say, “Well, that’s some of the nastiest shit I’ve ever heard.” To step back and consider them at some distance, Come to Grief aren’t near the most abrasive band on the planet, but when you’re actually listening to their debut EP, The Worst of Times, that’s much harder to believe. Launching with “Killed by Life,” the four-tracker finds the Boston outfit led by former Grief guitarist Terry Savastano – here joined by drummer Chuck Conlon, bassist Justin Christian and vocalist/guitarist Jonathan Hebert – plodding out scream-topped filth that’s actually fuller-sounding than anything Grief did back in their day and all the more devastating for its thickness. The seven-minute “No Savior” is excruciating, and though shorter, “Futility of Humanity” and even the slightly-faster closer “Junklove” bring no letup whatsoever from the onslaught. Think accessible, then go the complete other way, then bludgeon yourself. It’s kind of like that. Absolute brutality delivered by expert and unkind hands.

Come to Grief on Thee Facebooks

Come to Grief on Bandcamp

 

Holy Rivals, Holy Rivals

holy rivals holy rivals

The question of whether noise rock and sludge can coexist is largely one of tempo and tone, and recently-signed-to-BlackseedRecords Pittsburgh trio Holy Rivals’ self-titled debut answers in forceful fashion. Amid more aggro punch of opener “Locked Inn” comes the crust-laden grunge of “Voices,” and whether they’re rolling out the more spacious “Sleep” or sprinting through the post-Bleach raw punkery of “Dead Ender” on their way to the more ambient and patient seven-minute finale “Into Dust,” guitarist/vocalist Jason Orr (also T-Tops), bassist Aaron Orr (whose tone features well on the closer) and drummer Matt Langille – whose adaptability is essential to the Helmet-style starts and stops of “Loathe” that emerge from the preceding roll of “Sleep” – Holy Rivals put a superficial harshness to use as a cover for what’s actually a diverse songwriting process. They’ll reportedly have a new record out in Fall 2017, so this 2016 self-release may soon be in hindsight, but in setting the foundation for growth, it offers exciting prospects caked in an abidingly raw presentation.

Holy Rivals on Thee Facebooks

Holy Rivals on Bandcamp

 

Mountain God, Bread Solstice

mountain god bread solstice

Around what would seem to be the core duo of guitarist/vocalist Ben Ianuzzi and bassist/keyboardist Nikhil Kamineni, Brooklyn psychedelic post-sludgers Mountain God have undergone numerous lineup shifts en route to and through the release of their debut album, Bread Solstice (on Artificial Head Records). To wit, drummer/vocalist Ryan Smith (also Thera Roya), who appears on the dark, unrelenting and abyss-crafting 40-minute six-tracker, has already been replaced by Gabriel Cruz, and there have been other changes in vocalist, keyboardist and drummer positions even since they offered their 2015 EP, Forest of the Lost (review here) to set the stage for this deeply-atmospheric, it’s-acid-rock-but-with-sulfuric-acid first long-player. In light of that tumult and the overarching commitment to abrasive noise Mountain God make in pieces like the 11-minute “Nazca Lines,” “Junglenaut” or even the brooding tension of airy instrumental “Unknown Ascent,” it’s all the more impressive that Bread Solstice is as cohesive in its cerebral horror as it is, constructing a harsh and churning vision of doom as something worthy of post-apocalyptic revelry. Far from easy listening, but of marked purpose. They should play exclusively in art galleries, no matter who winds up in the band.

Mountain God on Thee Facebooks

Artificial Head Records on Bandcamp

 

Dr. Space, Dr. Space’s Alien Planet Trip Vol. 1

dr-space-dr-spaces-alien-planet-trip-vol-1

Perhaps best known for his work in spearheading the improvisational Denmark-based Øresund Space Collective, modular synth wizard Scott “Dr. Space” Heller weirds out across four cuts on the solo release Dr. Space’s Alien Planet Trip Vol. 1, which both underscores in its scope how essential he is to the aforementioned outfit and oozes beyond that group’s parameters into electronic beatmaking and waves of synthesizer drone. Pulling influence from classic progadelia, Heller unfurls longform tripping on 24-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “5 Dimensions of the Universe” and veers into and out of somewhat abrasive swirl on “Rising Sun on Mars” before landing in the more steady atmosphere of “In Search of Life on Io” and launching once more outward with the five-minute finale “Alien Improv 2.” Just how many alien planet trips the good doctor will be undertaking remains as yet a mystery, but the breadth of this first one makes it plain to the listener that Heller’s sonic universe is wide open and, seemingly, ever-expanding.

Øresund Space Collective on Thee Facebooks

Space Rock Productions website

 

Dirty Grave, So Fall and Crawl Away

dirty-grave-so-fall-and-crawl-away

Brazilian doomers Dirty Grave issue the three-song single/EP So Fall and Crawl Away (bonus points for the Alice in Chains reference) ahead of making their full-length debut reportedly any minute now with an album called Evil Desire. Comprised of two studio tracks in the eight-minute “The Black Cloud Comes” and the four-minute Howlin’ Wolf cover “Evil (Is Going On)” and with the live cut “Unholy Son – Live” as a kind of bonus track, it’s a sampling behind two similar short releases, 2014’s Vol. II and 2013’s Dirty Grave (which featured a studio version of “Unholy Son”), that sleeks through eerie doom loosely tinged with psychedelia and smoked-out vibing. “Evil (Is Going On)” is more uptempo, perhaps unsurprisingly, but is giving a likewise treatment all the same, its final solo shredding into oblivion with stoned abandon. “Unholy Son – Live” is rawer but still carries through its melody in the vocals amid a prevalent crash, and if it’s a portend of things to come on Evil Desire, then So Fall and Crawl Away serves as a warning worth heeding.

Dirty Grave on Thee Facebooks

Dirty Grave on Bandcamp

 

Summoned by Giants, Stone Wind

summoned-by-giants-stone-wind

If you have a convenient narrative for what West Coast heavy rock has become over the last decade, Summoned by Giants’ debut album, Stone Wind, is probably too aggressive on the whole to fit it neatly. Their cleaner parts, the rolling second cut “Diamond Head” and samples throughout have aspects of that post-Red Fang party vibe, but to listen to the rawness of the bass tone that starts “Return” or closer “I Hate it When You Breathe,” or even the slurring “come at me, bro”-style rant sampled at the seven-track/27-minute album’s launch, a will toward violence is never far off. Couple that with the thickened noise punk of “Saturn” and the Weedeater sludge of the penultimate “Dying Wish,” and Summoned by Giants – guitarist/vocalist Sean Delaney, guitarist Jordan Sattelmair, bassist/vocalist Patrick Moening and drummer Mel Burris – seem more interested in doling out punishment than kicking back, making a silly video and having a good time. Well, maybe they’re having a good time, but they’re doing so while kicking your ass.

Summoned by Giants on Thee Facebooks

Summoned by Giants on Bandcamp

 

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Spotlights Release Seismic Oct. 6; New Song Streaming; Touring with the Melvins

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

spotlights

As massive as the response has been to Brooklyn post-heavy rockers Spotlights, it’s not like the band aren’t putting their work in. To wit, take a gander at the list of tour dates for which the NYCers are accompanying the Melvins — the tour began July 5 — and tremble as they no doubt are with concern as to when they’ll next be able to do laundry. An Oct. 6 release through Ipecac Recordings has been set for their second album, Seismic, and as they herald its arrival on stages across North America — can Europe be far off? — basically from now until release day, they’re also marking the beginning of preorders by streaming the new track “Learn to Breathe.” Let’s hope they do.

From the PR wire:

spotlights seismic

SPOTLIGHTS RELEASE NEW ALBUM, SEISMIC, ON OCT. 6 VIA IPECAC RECORDINGS

TOUR WITH THE MELVINS THIS SUMMER

PRE-ORDERS AVAILABLE NOW
http://smarturl.it/Spotlights

Spotlights, the Brooklyn-based husband and wife outfit of Mario and Sarah Quintero, release their Ipecac Recordings’ debut, Seismic, on Oct. 6.

“Seismic came out of a reaction to the current state of humanity and the inevitable consequences we will have on this earth and ourselves,” explains Mario. “There’s an odd sense of beauty that comes with destruction, and we tried to capture that musically on this album.” Seismic was produced by Aaron Harris (Isis/Palms) and recorded this spring in Los Angeles. Pre-orders for the 11-track album are available now: (http://smarturl.it/Spotlights).

Spotlights’ previous release, Tidals, earned the band a wide sweep of accolades. The word-of-mouth about the intoxicating album led to the band being handpicked to join Deftones and Refused for their Summer 2016 tour.

The pair, who primarily tour as a three-piece, will join the Melvins for an extensive, 12-week North American tour, launching this evening at the Casbah in San Diego. The full routing is listed below.

Seismic track listing:
1. Seismic
2. Learn To Breathe
3. The Size of the Planet
4. Ghost of a Glowing Forest
5. Under the Earth
6. A Southern Death
7. The Opening
8. What Is This, Where Are We
9. Hollow Bones
10. Hang Us All
11. The Hope of a Storm

Tour dates (all dates with the Melvins):
July 13 Seattle, WA The Showbox
July 14 Vancouver, BC Venue Nightclub
July 17 Edmonton, AB Union Hall
July 18 Calgary, AB The Marquee
July 19 Regina, SK The Exchange *
July 20 Winnipeg, MB Pyramid Cabaret
July 21 Fargo, ND The Aquarium
July 22 Minneapolis, MN Grumpy’s Bash
July 24 Milwaukee, WI Turner Hall Ballroom
July 25 Chicago, IL The Metro
July 26 Grand Rapids, MI The Pyramid Scheme
July 27 Detroit, MI El Club
July 28 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
July 29 Columbus, OH A&R Music Bar
July 31 Pittsburgh, PA Rex Theater
August 1 Syracuse, NY The Westcott Theater
August 2 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
August 3 New York, NY Irving Plaza
August 4 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer
August 5 Asbury Park, NJ The Stone Pony
August 6 Baltimore, MD Ottobar
August 7 Harrisburg, VA The Golden Pony *
August 8 Richmond, VA The Broadberry
August 9 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle
August 10 Knoxville, TN The Concourse
August 11 Louisville, KY Headliner’s Music Hall
August 12 St. Louis, MO The Ready Room
August 13 Lawrence, KS The Bottleneck
August 15 Englewood, CO Gothic Theatre
August 17 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge
August 20 San Jose, CA The Ritz
August 21 Santa Cruz, CA The Catalyst
August 22 Los Angeles, CA The Echo
September 5 Phoenix, AZ Crescent Ballroom
September 6 Tucson, AZ 191 Toole
September 8 Austin, TX The Mohawk
September 9 Dallas, TX Tree’s
September 10 San Antonio, TX Paper Tiger
September 11 Houston, TX Warehouse Live (Studio)
September 13 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jack’s
September 14 Pensacola, FL Vinyl Music Hall
September 15 Jacksonville, FL Jack Rabbit’s
September 16 Tampa, FL The Orpheum
September 17 Ft. Lauderdale, FL The Culture Room
September 18 Orlando, FL The Social
September 20 Athens, GA 40 Watt Club
September 21 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade (Hell Stage)
September 22 Nashville, TN 3rd & Lindsley
September 23 Memphis, TN Hi-Tone
September 25 Madison, WI High Noon Saloon
September 26 Rock Island, IL Rock Island Brewing Co.
September 27 Des Moines, IA Wooly’s
September 28 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room
September 30 Ft. Collins, CO Aggie Theatre
October 2 Albuquerque, NM The Launchpad
October 3 Flagstaff, AZ The Green Room
* Spotlights only

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www.spotlights.bandcamp.com
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ipecac.com/
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https://ipecacrecordings.bandcamp.com/

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Eggnogg Reveal First Track from New Album Rituals in Transfigured Time – Prologue

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

eggnogg iapetus

While most of the US was grilling out and getting loaded yesterday in an effort to pretend everything’s just the same in 2017 as it’s always been, Brooklyn three-piece Eggnogg decided it was a good time to unveil a track from their first long-player in six years. The song is a 14-minute two-parter called “Overture / Wild Goose Chase,” and it breaks down into another component three-pieces — ‘Iapetus,’ ‘The Eggnogg Requiem’ and ‘Wild Goose Chase’ — and the album it comes from seems to be part of an intended series as well. Long thought to be called You’re all Invited, it has apparently been dubbed Rituals in Transfigured Time – Prologue and given narrative and visual accompaniment by guitarist Justin Karol, who lends his distinctive cartoon style to each section of the track, introducing the audience to the characters who may or may not play out a story across the album or albums. It’s all pretty nebulous, but there’s more about it on Karol‘s personal website.

I’m not sure what Eggnogg‘s plan for releasing Rituals in Transfigured Time – Prologue actually is, whether they’ll dole it out one song at a time or eventually have a physical version out via their longtime label Palaver Records. Their last offering was 2015’s Sludgy Erna Bastard split with Borracho (review here), which was preceded by the 2012 Louis EP (review here) and their last proper full-length, 2011’s Moments in Vacuum (review here).

Though it winds up in the kind of stomp and swing that’s become a hallmark of Eggnogg‘s sound, “Overture / Wild Goose Chase,” particularly in its patient initial unfolding minutes, seems also to signal progressive impulses that are new to the band. You can hear the song in its multi-faceted entirety at the bottom of this post, and the cover art — I’m guessing that’s Karol‘s manga-informed vision of death with the scythe, though no word on how she’ll play into the story arc — and recording info follow here.

Dig:

EGGNOGG-Rituals-in-Transfigured-Time-Prologue

Big Snuff Studio Presents: Rituals in Transfigured Time – Prologue

MUSIC WRITTEN BY EGGNOGG
JUSTIN KAROL, WILLIAM O’SULLIVAN, and JASON PRUSHKO

DIRECTED BY
JUSTIN KAROL

1. Overture / Wild Goose Chase 13:51

eggnogg rituals in transfigured time prologueOVERTURE
Iapetus (00:00-04-20)
The Eggnogg Requiem (04:20-06:02)

-WILD GOOSE CHASE
Wild Goose Chase (06:02-13:51)

released July 4, 2017

WRITTEN by JUSTIN KAROL, WILLIAM O’SULLIVAN, JASON PRUSHKO
LYRICS by WILLIAM O’SULLIVAN

PERFORMANCES by JASON PRUSHKO (drums, percussion),
JUSTIN KAROL (electric guitar, electric bass, keyboard),
WILLIAM O’SULLIVAN (vocals, electric guitar, electric bass)

RECORDED at JUPITER 4 STUDIO – LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK
ENGINEERED by STEVE SCHALK
RECORDED at 286 MESEROLE – BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
RECORDED at CHAPMAN FARM – TOWN OF MARSHALL, NEW YORK
RECORDED at BIG BEVERAGE STUDIO – NEW YORK, NEW YORK

MIXING & MASTERING by BIG BEVERAGE STUDIO – NEW YORK, NEW YORK. ARRANGEMENT by JUSTIN KAROL. ILLUSTRATED by JUSTIN KAROL. PRODUCED by K.W. KOGUT & RON BORRUSO.

https://www.facebook.com/eggnoggmusic/
http://www.twitter.com/eggnoggmusic
http://www.instagram.com/eggnoggmusic
http://www.thenogg.com/
http://www.justinkarol.com/2017/07/rev20170704a.html

Eggnogg, “Overture / Wild Goose Chase”

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Blackout Post Video for “Graves”; The Horse out Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 4th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

blackout

When Brooklyn trio Blackout announced the release of their third album, The Horse (review here), they accompanied word of their new lineup and more aggressive-in-the-New-York-tradition sonic take with a stream of the track “Graves,” and now that it’s out as their second offering through RidingEasy Records, they’re following up with a video for the same song. Clearly it’s one they believe in, and in the clip, they’ve given it colorful, near-frenetic, meaty and thoroughly fucked visual accompaniment, taking the notion of what a “stoner rock” video might be and pushing it completely over the top as one could only hope they would.

I don’t know if they’re ultimately anymore aggro on The Horse than they were on their 2015 self-titled (review here) or the preceding 2013 self-release, We are Here (review here), but they’ve for sure come into their own in terms of aesthetic and songwriting, and yeah, I guess there’s an intensity to “Graves” — certainly as one sees it here — that one could attribute to Nor’easter origins. But dig into the accompanying swirl of effects in the vocals from guitarist Christian Gordy, who emerges in this clip as a kind of barbecue-driven evil cosmic guru, and there are clearly multiple impulses playing out across the song’s five-minute stretch.

Gordy is joined in Blackout by bassist Justin Sherrell and drummer Adam Taylor, who prove across The Horse to be a powerhouse of heavy nod, and “Graves” represents that well too in addition to giving a sense of the group as a whole’s offkilter persona. Clearly they’re ready to get weird, and the only question is if you’re ready to follow them down this bizarre Wonka path of low-end stomp and nightmarish psych freakout. I think you are. You probably think you are. So fucking a. Go for it.

Enjoy:

Blackout, “Graves” official video

NYC trio Blackout premiere the first video from their newly released album The Horse. The utterly insane video for “Graves” is like a bad acid trip sci-fi BBQ voodoo party gone totally right.

The Horse was recorded over 4 days in September 2016 at Spaceman Sound in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood, which the band describes as “a whirlwind session laced with loads of buds, Petey’s burgers and lipstick.”

The Horse is available on LP, CD and download as of June 23rd, 2017 via RidingEasy Records.

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Mountain God Announce July Weekender Tour

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

New York doom crunchers Mountain God apparently haven’t taken the stage in a while, and by ‘a while’ I mean a couple years. In the interim, they signed to Artificial Head and released their debut album, Bread Solstice — which I’m already months late on reviewing, because I suck at this — which brought forth due sonic devastation after a couple of darkly portentous short offerings. Lineup shifts have been a regular feature of the band, at least around guitarist/vocalist Ben Ianuzzi and bassist/noisemaker Nikhil Kamineni, and the trio that now includes drummer Gabriel Cruz have apparently already set to work on their next batch of material. Clearly I’d better get my ass on that review. Noted.

The PR wire brings word of a weekender tour for next month in the Northeast that will mark their return to the stage. Goes like this:

mountain god photo greg christman

Mountain God – July Tour

This July, experimental doom/sludge behemoths Mountain God return to the stage after a nearly 2 year absence from live performances. Led by founders Ben Ianuzzi (guitars, vocals) and Nikhil Kamineni (bass, synths, noise), the duo is joined by new drummer Gabriel Cruz (Hollow Senses). Their 2017 dates include shows in Brooklyn, Washington D.C, Elizabeth and Philadelphia, with more shows planned for the fall.

Having formed in 2012, Mountain God is a familiar name within the underground metal scene, known for a unique blend of doom, psych, noise, and all around heavy riffing. Each of their releases, including “Experimentation on the Unwilling” (2013), “Forest of the Lost” (2015), and most recently, their first full length entitled “Bread Solstice” (Artificial Head Records, 2017), have seen the band continue to evolve and transform into a powerful, scathing, visceral entity that is thoughtful in its process and uncompromising in its musical vision. With the addition of Cruz on drums, the band has been steadily working on new material that is darker, heavier, and noisier than anything the band has done to this point. Entitled “Psychic Driving”, (an allusion to 50s and 60s government mind control programs run by the CIA) Mountain God looks to create an atmosphere that is numbing, deconstructive, and terrorizing, the same emotions felt by the various test subjects whose lives were ruined by the work of men such as Dr. Ewen Cameron.

This tour will see the band perform one of these new tracks along with choice cuts from their back catalogue. If you’ve never seen them, Mountain God is a punishing band in a live setting. Their sound, honed since the bands inception, is a sum of all its parts, including Ianuzzi’s trademark Monson guitar crunch and distorted, terrifying vocals, coupled with Kamineni’s hypnotic, thick, fuzzed out bass tones that dance and weave throughout the songs. The band is all the more strengthened by the ferocity of Cruz’s drumming, as well as synth textures, provided by noise guru Kamineni, that bring the Mountain God trademark sound to life. This tour will see the band reconnect with friends in Godmaker and Foehammer, as well as other peer bands including Trunk and Hyborian.

Having shared the stage with acts such as Yob, Ufommamut, Primitive Man, Opium Lord, and many, many others, the future of the band is bright, with plans to take its music to new places and venues. One reviewer stated, “the demented sounds and sheer majesty of Mountain God suggest that this is a band with the potential to become a major driver in the doom metal scene. They have a sense of forward motion that many of their peers lack, but they are unafraid to ease back on the throttle and merely revel in the power of a great riff. Mountain God are a head and shoulders above many of their peers in this scene and Bread Solstice is a veritable statement and one that I sincerely hope will stand the test of time”.

July Tour Dates:
July 28th- The Well, Brooklyn, NY with Godmaker, Hyborian, and Somnuri
July 29th- The Pinch, Washington DC with Foehammer, Myopic, Ashes of Mankind, Ash Prayer
July 30th- Cianfano’s Bar, Elizabeth, NJ with Galare, Trunk, TBA
July 31st- Kung Fu Nektie (upstairs), Philadelphia, PA with Trunk, TBA

https://www.facebook.com/MountainGodBand
https://mountain-god.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ArtificialHead
https://artinstitute.bandcamp.com/

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