Battle of Mice to Release All Your Sympathy’s Gone Discography 2LP Dec. 23

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 27th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


Brooklyn post-metallers Battle of Mice had three releases out between 2006 and 2008. There was their stunning debut full-length, A Day of Nights (discussed here), which in my opinion continues to stand as one of the finest outings of its genre, offering a rare emotional resonance often cast aside in favor of ultra-cerebral chug and ambient interplay, as well as a preceding split with Red Sparowes and Made out of Babies and a following 2008 split with Jesu. That’s it. The band came to an unceremonious finish, and they were done. No talk of a reunion. No farewell show. No second album. Nothing. It was a cold ending.

Belgian imprint Consouling Sounds gives Battle of Mice their (over)due with All Your Sympathy’s Gone: The Complete Recordings, a 2LP that takes its title from the first lyric of A Day of Nights opener “The Lamb and the Labrador” and will be out Dec. 23. The package, which you can see above, is available now to preorder and for me, I’m just happy to have the excuse to revisit the band’s work, which though it’s a shock to think it’s been a decade since it came out, remains as powerful as it was when it was first released.

Info follows. Don’t miss this one:


It’s with tremendous pride we can announce the preorder for “All Your Sympathy’s Gone | The Complete Recordings”, collecting all of Battle of Mice’s music on a lavish gatefold double vinyl set.

It has been 10 years that Battle of Mice released their groundbreaking album “A Day of Nights”. The band, consisting of Josh Graham (A Storm of Light, IIVII, ex- Neurosis, ex- Red Sparowes), Julie Christmas (ex- Made Out of Babies), Joel Hamilton (Book Of Knots), Tony Maimone (Book of Knots, Pere Ubu (Official)) and Joe Tomino (Fugees, Dub Trio, Peeping Tom), was heralded as a post-metal supergroup. Battle of Mice unfortunately existed only a few years, but their musical legacy is tremendous. The album, previously released on Neurot Recordings, never saw a vinyl release. For this 10th anniversary, Consouling Sounds wants to pay homage to this seminal album by releasing it on vinyl for the very first time, augmented with the music from their split album, collecting all of Battle of Mice’s music on a lavish 2LP set.

The music has been especially remastered by Doug Henderson (also Swans, The Necks, Insect Ark, …), who revisited the original master recordings for this vinyl reissue.

To commemorate this special occasion, none other than Dehn Sora designed a special shirt. You can get this shirt from size S to XXL as a stand-alone order, or you can buy it as a package deal together with the 2LP.

Preorder now for a December 23 release here:

Battle of Mice, A Day of Nights (2006)

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Kings Destroy Touring Europe in Nov. with The Skull

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 15th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Brooklyn’s Kings Destroy will head to Europe this fall. The genre-defiant five-piece will head overseas with Chicago’s The Skull for the first time since the release of their 2015 self-titled third album (review here), which was released by War Crime Recordings, who, in the interest of full disclosure, also pressed up my book. I’ll confess I was invited to go along with Kings Destroy on this tour as I did twice in the US circa 2014, but the basic fact of the matter is those kinds of things are way easier to do when you’re out of work, which, at the moment, I’m not. Unless I get canned between now and then. If that happens, I’m fucking there.

The Obelisk All-Dayer veterans will be keeping good company one way or another, both in touring with The Skull and in bringing aboard none other than the Mayor of Boston Heavy, Darryl Shepard (Kind, The Scimitar, Hackman, Milligram, Blackwolfgoat, so many others) himself — to play bass no less. Shepard had a few words about filling the low-end position this time out, and you’ll find those, Kings Destroy‘s announcement, the dates, and the stream of the self-titled below, because I’m thorough like that when I like a band this much.

Have at you:


Excited to announce that Kings Destroy will be joining The Skull for the majority of their British/European tour in November! Some additional German KD-only dates TBA. See you on the road!

Darryl Shepard on touring with Kings Destroy:

When Kings Destroy ask you to play bass for them on their European tour, you say yes. I’m very honored and excited to be joining these guys on bass for their tour with The Skull in November.

The Skull & Kings Destroy Nov. 2016 European tour:
03.11.2016 GB London @ Koli’s Night Club
04.11.2016 GB Bristol @ Exchange
05.11.2016 GB Milton Keynes @ Crauford Arms
06.11.2016 GB Birmingham @ The Rainbow
07.11.2016 NL Tilburg @ Little Devil
08.11.2016 NL Utrecht @ DBs
09.11.2016 DE Karlsruhe @ Jubez
10.11.2016 AT Vienna Doom Over Vienna Festival @ Viper
12.11.2016 NL Nijverdal @ Cult-Art Shop
13.11.2016 NL Drachten @ Iduna
14.11.2016 DE Wiesbaden @ Schlachthof
15.11.2016 DE Kassel @ Schlachthof
16.11.2016 DE Hamburg @ Hafenklang

Kings Destroy, Kings Destroy (2015)

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The Obelisk All-Dayer — THANK YOU!

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on August 22nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


I honestly can’t remember the last time I was so tired. Pure physical and mental exhaustion. By the end of the day I could barely stand up, keep my head up, or down one last cup of coffee while watching Mars Red Sky close out the show. It’s been three days. I’m still not sure I have the mental faculties to write this post.

I hereby dub the first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer a success.

The day started with The Patient Mrs.’ car breaking down on I-95 in Connecticut on the way south to Brooklyn and continued through flash floods, the first two bands running late (both got there on time, but my nerves were already frayed from being late myself), my camera breaking – again – during Funeral Horse, Death Alley blowing a tire on their way up from Philly, and so on, but there were tacos, the day ultimately ran on time, and everybody killed.

Absolutely killed. I mean it. Front to back. What a show.

From Heavy Temple bringing it for an early 2:30 start through Mars Red Sky dipping back to their first record for a rendition of “Strong Reflection” that nearly brought a tear to my eye, and everything in between. King Buffalo? Funeral Horse? Fucking EYE? Kings Destroy? Snail? Death Alley’s absolute ownership of the room? There wasn’t a dud in the bunch.

Most importantly, it seemed like everybody there had a good time. The tacos went. We wound up with about 170 people in the door, not counting bands and guests, and with the professionalism of the Saint Vitus Bar staff, the show ran smoothly the whole time, changeovers were easy, and my sincere hope is that everyone who came felt welcome, because they absolutely were.

On that note, I’ll say that I’m not going to review the show. Just doesn’t feel right. But I did want to say thank you to a few people who helped make the day so incredibly special.

First to The Patient Mrs., who not only handled money at the end of the night, but sold posters and patches, kept me sane as we stood on the side of the highway and waited for the tow truck, reminded me to eat, and got me that aforementioned last cup of coffee to get me through the last part of the show. She was there (almost) the whole day and it was deeply meaningful to me to have her around.

Thanks to Walter Roadburn, who left the comforts of home to come and co-DJ the afterparty, sat in traffic with The Patient Mrs. and I on the trip from Boston to Connecticut, Connecticut to Brooklyn, and back again. The time we got to spend talking about music, about what he does with his festival, and his insights on the show are memories that I imagine I will continue to treasure for as long as I can remember anything at all. Highlight of the weekend, without question. And thanks to Esther, who convinced him to come.

Thanks to David Castillo, George Souleidis, Sound Guy Jeff and the staff at the Saint Vitus Bar, which leaves absolutely nothing to question as to why it has the reputation it has. The generosity they showed in welcoming the All-Dayer into their rightly-hallowed space, the accommodation of the weird schedule, and just the sheer slog of the hours put in – all handled with professionalism beyond enviable. Other venues should aspire to run such a ship. It was staggering to see it from the end of someone organizing a show. Thank you so much.

Thank you to Steve Murphy for the endless, thoroughly unjustified belief in my being able to pull this whole thing off, for the tacos and for the support across the board. Thank you for your friendship, your kindness, and for your threat to print up bootleg Obelisk t-shirts to give away at random. I hope that works out.

Thanks to the bands. Mars Red Sky coming from France to play, Death Alley from the Netherlands, Snail from the West Coast, Kings Destroy giving New York due representation with a special set – “Planet XXY?” who knew? – EYE from Ohio, Funeral Horse from Houston, King Buffalo from Rochester and Heavy Temple from Philly. And to Walter and Adam Otracina for helming the afterparty. Whether they were coming from near or far, it really felt like everybody put something extra into the show and I was continually humbled and blown away by what I saw and heard all day and into the night. People loaning each other gear, making adjustments on the fly, starting and ending on time, everything came together better than I could’ve hoped, and it was just wonderful to see. I am deeply grateful.

Thanks to Jaime Traba for recording the audio of the sets. More on that hopefully soon. Thanks to Frank Huang for capturing video. Steve Truglio, Randy Blood, Harry Booth and others for getting photos. Like I said, my camera died, so knowing that there were plenty of others around was a great comfort.

Thanks to Skillit for the amazing poster and logo design, and to Dave from Made in Brooklyn for printing the patches. Thanks to my family, Suze Wright, Andy Wright and Rob Jones, for coming and helping sell merch. Thanks to Slevin and Ralph. Thanks to Liz and Dave from Earsplit and Becky Laverty for the plugs. Thanks to Postman Dan for buying tickets even though he couldn’t make it. Thanks to Randy and Laura Blood, Juan Lopez, Jen Hendrix-Johnson, Kenny Sehgal, Phil Moon, Adam Sawford, Nico Liengme and Laurel Jane May, Earl Walker Lundy, Seibert Lowe, Paul John Shaft, Lisa Hass, Melanie Streko, Ron, Jill Lavilette, Brian Schmidt, Ross Colombo, Alex Jakstas, Natasha Padilla, Tad Proshansky, Zack Kurland, Greg Aramini, and many, many others who came out, everyone who had a kind word about the site, the band selection, my book, everything. I’m quite sure I’ll add to this list as I regain even my usual limited use of my mental faculties, but this is for starters and please know that whether you were there in-person or if you shared a link or saw a post about it and liked it or bought tickets in advance or just read the site generally. Thank you. Thank you all so much. Thank you.

Thank you.

I’m going to take a couple weeks and really think about whether this is something I want to do again, but if I do, I know it won’t be an annual thing. Whatever happens moving forward, I want you to know how unbelievable this night was for me and I hope for everyone who attended as well. One more time, thank you.

I don’t have photos of my own, Steve Truglio was kind enough to send me shots of each band who played, and you’ll find them after the jump.

Read more »

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The Obelisk All-Dayer Countdown: Afterparty with DJ Adzo & Walter Roadburn

Posted in Features, The Obelisk Presents on August 18th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk all-dayer

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

It’s going to be a long day. I know it, you know it. That’s kind of the idea. Some all-dayer it would be if it was a three-hour gig. Nonetheless, I urge you to stick around when The Obelisk All-Dayer is done this Saturday at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, NYC, because the afterparty is going to be ridiculous in all the right ways.

Even after Mars Red Sky finish. After Death Alley, Snail, Kings Destroy, EYE, Funeral Horse, King Buffalo and Heavy Temple are done, the show will go on. The first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer (just buy your goddamn tickets already) is proud to welcome DJs Walter Roadburn and Adzo for a vinyl-spinning set after the last band to cap the night with a final reinforcement of the show’s party vibe.

All are welcome.

I am thrilled and honored to have Walter Roadburn coming over for the fest. Over the last seven-plus years, there is no single individual who has inspired me more through his passion and relentless work ethic. As the organizer of the Roadburn Festival held annually in Tilburg, the Netherlands, he’s helped shape European and worldwide underground heavy rock in ways I don’t think he’d ever admit to, and the creativity he puts into what he does is second to none. He is someone who has turned “putting on a show” into an art form, a genuine expression of love and reverence that only continues to grow and develop with each passing year. It will be humbling to have him there, let alone picking tracks.

He’ll be joined by DJ Adzo, aka Adam Kriney, drummer/vocalist of Brooklyn natives The Golden Grass. That outfit has been one of the highlights of a Brooklyn psych scene over the last couple years, tapping into a vein of proto-heavy that encompasses a positivity few bands would dare go near. Their unabashed joy for what they do comes through in their recorded output and live shows, and they’re the kind of group you just know has some killer taste. Kriney has made numerous DJ appearances around NYC over the last several years as DJ Adzo, and I can’t wait to hear what he spins as Saturday night creeps into Sunday morning at the Vitus Bar.

That’ll do it for the countdown. Show is the day after tomorrow, and quite frankly, you need to be there. I hope you’ll come. I’ve worked hard to make it a special day front to back, and while I know not everyone will be there from start to finish, my hope is that everyone who shows up gets something memorable out of the experience.

Thank you.

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

Saint Vitus Bar website

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Tombs Sign to Metal Blade; Announce US Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 17th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

tombs (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Brooklyn’s Tombs will release their next full-length, as yet untitled and unrecorded, through Metal Blade Records. The semi-blackened genremashers released their last album, Savage Gold (discussed here), in 2014 via Relapse Records, and before they get to the studio for the next one, they’ll head out in November on a round of US tour dates that will take them to the West Coast and a goodly portion of the way back, accompanied by Wolvhammer. Just about everything Tombs touch is massively acclaimed, but Savage Gold was their third outing through Relapse, so it seems entirely likely their contract was simply up and they wound up with a deal from Metal Blade. Really any label would be lucky to have them.

The PR wire brings news, tour dates, and some new video:

tombs tour poster

Tombs signs worldwide deal with Metal Blade Records; announces USA headlining tour with Wolvhammer; launches official YouTube channel with director’s cut and behind-the-scenes videos for “V”

Metal Blade Records is proud to announce the worldwide signing of Brooklyn-based experimental metal outfit Tombs! Blending bleak, post-punk minimalism with the ferocious attack of sludge and traditional black metal, Tombs has established themselves as an act that’s as committed to consistency as it is to growth, developing smoothly (but never predictably) over the course of their career, and earning a multitude of accolades along the way. In addition to their acclaimed releases, Tombs has also become revered for their captivating live shows, touring extensively with an array of artists such as Eyehategod, Pelican, Isis, Wolves In The Throne Room, The Secret, Ulcerate, and 1349, plus appearing at renowned festivals: Roskilde Festival in Denmark, Roadburn in The Netherlands, and Psycho California and Maryland Deathfest in the USA. Now, having joined Metal Blade’s roster, the quintet is poised to continue the momentum that’s been building since their formation in 2007.

Mike Hill (guitar/vocals) comments: “Metal Blade is a legendary label that has put out legendary records by legendary bands. It’s an honor to be part of the organization.”

Tombs will begin writing their fourth full-length and Metal Blade Records debut after their USA headlining tour this fall. Kicking off November 7th, the trek also features Wolvhammer as support. See below for all upcoming dates!

Tombs tour dates
w/ Wolvhammer
Nov. 7 – Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506
Nov. 8 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
Nov. 9 – New Orleans, LA – Siberia
Nov. 10 – Houston, TX – Rudyards
Nov. 11 – Austin, TX – Barracuda
Nov. 12 – Dallas, TX – Three Links
Nov. 13 – San Antonio, TX – Korova – downstairs
Nov. 15 – Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad
Nov. 16 – Scottsdale, AZ – Pub Rock
Nov. 17 – Los Angeles, CA – Complex
Nov. 18 – San Diego, CA – The Merrow
Nov. 20 – San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge
Nov. 22 – Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Bar – SLC
Nov. 25 – Indianapolis, IN – Kumas Corner
Nov. 26 – Dayton, OH – Rockstar Pro Arena

Tombs will be touring in support of their recently released All Empires Fall EP – a crushingly heavy record that confirms the band as one of the leaders of American – and international – black metal. For a preview of All Empires Fall, fans can visit the new Tombs official YouTube page, where director’s cut and behind-the-scenes videos for the album track, “V”, can be viewed:

Tombs line-up:
Mike Hill – Guitar/Vocals
Charlie Schmid – Drums
Ben Brand – Bass
Evan Void – Guitar
Fade Kainer – Synth / Vocals

Tombs, V (Directors Cut)

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The Obelisk All-Dayer Countdown: Heavy Temple, Chassit Teaser

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features, The Obelisk Presents on August 17th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk all-dayer

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

I’m gonna need you to take my word for it on this one. Really. You don’t want to miss Heavy Temple as they kick off The Obelisk All-Dayer this Saturday at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. You just don’t. They start the show at 2:30PM, and whether or not you caught onto their first, self-titled EP (review here), it doesn’t even matter because their new stuff blows it out of the water. Bassist/vocalist High Priestess Nighthawk — who needs real names, anyway? — has assembled a lineup of righteous compatriots and as a hard-fuzz power trio, they’re absolutely scalding on stage. Heavy nod, psych flourish, rhythmic density, memorable hooks and the occasional soaring moment that is absolutely bound to leave an impression.

Part of the reason I ask you to take my word for it is that the teaser below doesn’t actually give much of a taste of their upcoming next release, Chassit. The Philly three-piece will have a tape out via Tridroid by November, and presumably some more audio will precede before then, but the bit of noise and feedback proffered by Nighthawk, guitarist Arch Bishop Barghest and Siren Tempestas — who leads the march kicking into the track “Ursa” shortly hereafter — is the first audio to come from Heavy Temple since the self-titled and at very least it lets you know the kind of filthy tonality they’re getting down with these days. Way down.

Rest assured, there will be more to come on Chassit as we get closer to and through the release of the tape, but in the meantime, catch Heavy Temple this Saturday at The Obelisk All-Dayer with Mars Red Sky, Death Alley, Snail, Kings Destroy, EYE, Funeral Horse and King Buffalo. If you haven’t gotten tickets yet, get them here.

Thank you and enjoy:

Heavy Temple, Chassit teaser

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

Heavy Temple on Thee Facebooks

Saint Vitus Bar website

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The Obelisk All-Dayer Countdown: King Buffalo, “Goliath” Live

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features, The Obelisk Presents on August 16th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk all-dayer

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

In today’s The Obelisk All-Dayer countdown post we see Rochester, New York’s King Buffalo laying blissful waste to the venue at which I was first fortunate enough to watch them play: The Living Room in Stroudsburg, PA. This clip is from this past April, and I wasn’t at this show, but having seen the band as recently as June, I can vouch for the righteousness of the textures they inhabit.

They’ll play second at the first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer, this Saturday at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, NYC (if you haven’t, get your tickets now), joining the bill with Mars Red Sky, Death Alley, Snail, Kings Destroy, EYE, Funeral Horse and Heavy Temple, as well as aftershow DJs Walter Roadburn and DJ Adzo (aka Adam from The Golden Grass).

The three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Sean McVay, bassist Dan Reynolds and drummer Scott Donaldson come to The Obelisk All-Dayer on the heels of releasing their first full-length, Orion (review here), which continues to unfold on repeat listens and has only come to stand taller among the finest of 2016’s many debut albums. Already they’re no strangers to touring, and this gig will wrap their latest stint directly supporting Orion coming out.

If you haven’t heard the band before, get to the Vitus Bar early. I mean it. Not only are you going to want to see Heavy Temple, but King Buffalo‘s blend of psychedelia and heavy blues is second to none, and they’re precisely the kind of tripped-out and welcoming vibe I want to emphasize with this show, proving that just because something is heavy and has a presence doesn’t mean it needs to be pissed off at nothing or full of testosterone chestbeating. Dig in and look forward to the live immersion.

Special thanks to Steve Truglio of PA’s My Show for the clip. To see the entire gig, click here.


King Buffalo, “Goliath” live in PA, April 16, 2016

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

King Buffalo on Thee Facebooks

Saint Vitus Bar website

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The Obelisk All-Dayer Countdown: EYE, Vision and Ageless Light Album Trailer Premiere

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features, The Obelisk Presents on August 15th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk all-dayer

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

My understanding is that the release date for EYE‘s long-awaited third album — actually not that long, it just feels that way — has been pushed back to November. When it arrives, Vision and Ageless Light will be the Ohio space-psych rockers’ first outing for new label home The Laser’s Edge, following 2013’s Second Sight (review here) and their 2011 debut, Center of the Sun (discussed here and here).

The trailer premiered below marks the first audio to be made public from Vision and Ageless Light, as well as the debut of the cover art, and it comes so far ahead of the release date in honor of the band’s appearance at The Obelisk All-Dayer, THIS SATURDAY, Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. Five days from now. If you’re not excited for it yet, I double-dog-dare you to click play below and not buy a ticket immediately to witness this Moog-y majesty in person.

EYE were the final band to be added to the first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer, and what they bring to the lineup is something distinct from every other group involved. Their lush, melodically rich progressive psychedelia is utterly spaced in its atmosphere, but still maintains an emotional crux, as the swirling synth and guitar, vocal harmonies and contemplative rhythms display across their first two albums leading up to this one. If I wanted to, I don’t think I could be more thrilled to have EYE as a part of this show, and the fact that they come on the eve of issuing their new album with the prospect of playing new material only enhances that enthusiasm.

Joining EYE at The Obelisk All-Dayer are Mars Red SkyDeath AlleySnailKings DestroyFuneral HorseKing Buffalo and Heavy Temple, as well as DJs Adzo and Walter Roadburn, who’ll handle aftershow duties. It’s going to be incredible. Don’t miss it.

Enjoy this sample of Vision and Ageless Light and get your tickets for Aug. 20!

EYE, Vision and Ageless Light album trailer

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

EYE on Thee Facebooks

Saint Vitus Bar website

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