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

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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.

Enjoy:

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

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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

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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

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EYE on Thee Facebooks

Saint Vitus Bar website

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The Obelisk All-Dayer Countdown: Funeral Horse, “Burial of the Sun” Live in Houston

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features, The Obelisk Presents on August 12th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

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Since their inception three years ago, Houston heavy rockers Funeral Horse have proved to have more than enough weirdo edge to match their rolling, classic-style groove. In the fine and long-standing tradition of Bizarro Texas, their material is both strange and familiar somehow, playing smartly off conventions of traditional metal and punk and noise rock, but establishing an experimental undercurrent that assures they’re completely allied to none of the above.

From their first record, 2013’s Savage Audio Demon (review here), onward, Funeral Horse have willfully defied expectation. At the time I confirmed them for The Obelisk All-Dayer, Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar — just EIGHT DAYS AWAY; get your tickets here — I did so in no small part because I thought maybe seeing them live would help explain at least in part just what the hell it is they’re up to. I wound up seeing them this past February and not only did I get a sense of the roots of their offbeat vibe, but was taken aback by their stage presence and the tightness of their performance as well. Bonus.

The song in today’s countdown video is called “Burial of the Sun.” It was filmed in Houston a couple weeks ago and it comes from Funeral Horse‘s impending fourth album, Psalms of the Mourning, which is currently being recorded. I’m stoked beyond all repair to welcome Funeral Horse to The Obelisk All-Dayer and hopefully watch as they blow a few minds and catch a lot of people off-guard, which they’re bound to do even if you think you might know what to expect.

Funeral Horse join Mars Red Sky, Death Alley, Snail, Kings Destroy, EYE, King Buffalo and Heavy Temple on the bill at The Obelisk All-Dayer, Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, NYC. For more info and to get your tickets for under the door price, click here.

Enjoy “Burial of the Sun” below:

Funeral Horse, “Burial of the Sun” Live in Houston

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Funeral Horse on Thee Facebooks

Saint Vitus Bar website

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The Obelisk All-Dayer Countdown: Kings Destroy, “Old Yeller” Live in Sweden

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features, The Obelisk Presents on August 11th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

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I wasn’t there to see it, of course, but I happen to know that this particular show has become something of a legend within Kings Destroy. It was the Getaway Rockfestival in Sweden, part of their 2012 European tour. They’d wind up hanging out with Weedeater — and by hanging out I mean stealing a forklift — and playing on what you can see in the video below is a massive stage to a likewise massive audience. Looks like it was an absolute blast.

Since even before Kings Destroy released their first album through this site’s short-lived record label wing, the New York outfit have been among my favorite bands to write about. They’ve consistently defied expectation — mine for sure, and I think their own as well — and have over the last five years become a highly individualized blend of noise rock, heavier sludge impulses and anti-genre fuckall.

On stage they’re confrontational in a way that was once a staple of their hometown. I’ve been fortunate enough to tour with them twice, and on the East Coast and the West, they’ve left audiences dumbfounded and won over in like proportion. Their third and latest record, Kings Destroy (review here), came out last year on War Crime Recordings and is a triumph of how far into their own they’ve come, full of memorable songs that have made for some genuinely ridiculous live shows. People have been kicked. By other people. On stage. Frequently.

There was basically no way I was going to put on The Obelisk All-Dayer — which is Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn (get tickets) — and not have them involved. I’m glad they said yes. They’ll be the lone New York band on the bill, which they’re sharing with Mars Red Sky, Death Alley, Snail, Eye, Funeral Horse, King Buffalo and Heavy Temple. It’s going to be incredible.

With visions of forklifts in your head, enjoy “Old Yeller” below:

Kings Destroy, “Old Yeller” Live in Sweden

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Kings Destroy on Thee Facebooks

Saint Vitus Bar website

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The Obelisk All-Dayer Countdown: Snail, “Smoke the Deathless” Video Premiere

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features, The Obelisk Presents on August 10th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

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This past weekend, West Coast riff-rollers Snail got together for rehearsal before they come east to play The Obelisk All-Dayer, Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. Nothing weird about that, right? Bands rehearse all the time.

Snail are spread out between Los Angeles and Seattle — and for those of you unfamiliar with American geography, that’s not a minor distance, even for being on the same coast. They don’t always get together to record, let alone practice, so to have the three of them in the same room performing material at all is something special, let alone their traveling across the country to play a gig.

The timing couldn’t have been better to have bassist/engineer Matt Lynch record some of their time together and put it in a video clip for “Smoke the Deathless.” Comprised of Lynch, guitarist/vocalist Mark Johnson and drummer Marty Dodson, Snail come to The Obelisk All-Dayer on the heels of their finest work to-date, 2015’s Feral (review here), which was released by Small Stone.

It’s the third album they’ve put out since 2009, but their fourth overall. Their debut came in 1993 and was followed by an EP and a 16-year disbanding. Even since coming back, they’ve toured only sparingly, so I cannot emphasize this enough — if you ever want to see these guys, take advantage of this opportunity. It may or may not ever come again, let alone on a bill shared with Mars Red SkyDeath AlleyKings DestroyEyeFuneral HorseKing Buffalo and Heavy Temple.

Thanks to Snail for making the trip to Brooklyn on Aug.20 to play The Obelisk All-Dayer and the trip to get in a rehearsal beforehand. You can check out the video from their session of “Smoke the Deathless” below in tripped-out style, then pick up your All-Dayer tickets at Ticketfly. Do that. Really.

Snail, “Smoke the Deathless” official video

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Snail on Thee Facebooks

Saint Vitus Bar website

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The Obelisk All-Dayer Countdown: Death Alley Debut “Supernatural Predator” Live Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features, The Obelisk Presents on August 9th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

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True, it hasn’t been all that long since Amsterdam full-charge rockers Death Alley posted up a new clip for the title-track of their most excellent 2015 Tee Pee Records debut, Black Magick Boogieland (review here). Their doing so prompted something of a rant on my part — well fucking justified, from where I sit — about how god damn awesome they are live and how anyone in the US lucky enough to see them for the first time doesn’t even know the kind of right-past-the-next-level-and-onto-the-level-after-that-one show they’re in for.

Naturally, in bringing them aboard for The Obelisk All-Dayer, Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn (tickets), it’s a sentiment by which I wholeheartedly stand.

All the better that as part of our countdown to The Obelisk All-Dayer, which is a mere 11 days away now, they should check in with a live video, as if to give any unsuspecting parties all the more reason to show up in-person. The clip is for “Supernatural Predator,” the epic and hypnotic space-infused closer from Black Magick Boogieland, and it was filmed this past June at Hellfest 2016 in Clisson, France.

Death Alley shared the Valley stage that day with Kadavar, Lecherous Gaze, Unsane and Puscifer, among others, and watching “Supernatural Predator,” it’s abundantly clear what a force they’ve become on stage. They come to The Obelisk All-Dayer to join forces with Mars Red Sky, Snail, Kings Destroy, Eye, Funeral Horse, King Buffalo and Heavy Temple as part of a short US tour that no doubt will spread their name farther than the cities they happen to be hitting along the way.

Thanks to the band for letting me host this premiere, and for playing in Brooklyn on the 20th as well. I can’t wait.

Enjoy:

Death Alley, “Supernatural Predator” live at Hellfest 2016

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Death Alley on Thee Facebooks

Saint Vitus Bar website

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The Obelisk All-Dayer Countdown: Mars Red Sky Premiere “Seen a Ghost” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features, The Obelisk Presents on August 8th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

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The countdown is on! We’re less than two weeks out from The Obelisk All-Dayer, Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, NYC (get your tickets here) and it’s time to get stoked for what’s sure to be a really special day. The lineup is insane — Mars Red SkyDeath AlleySnailKings DestroyEyeFuneral HorseKing BuffaloHeavy Temple — the room couldn’t be more perfect, and we’re not even there yet and I’m so into the vibe I can hardly even talk about it without getting choked up. To say I’m anticipating it is underselling the facts. I’m already losing sleep.

For the next two weeks, I’ll be featuring a different band on the lineup every day in this space. Some will have premieres, and that’s the case today as we start the series with Mars Red Sky. Their song “Seen a Ghost” first arrived on 2013’s Be My Guide EP (review here) that preceded the 2014 release of their second album and Listenable Records debut, Stranded in Arcadia (review here), on which it also appeared.

The album version neatly summarizes the progressive jump the Bordeaux trio made between their 2011 self-titled debut (review here) and the subsequent full-length. Its march and its flourish combine perfectly with the breathy vocal melody from guitarist Julien Pras, and it has all the swirl of the first record while also clearly a building more individualized persona on top of that.

Mars Red Sky made a video for “Seen a Ghost” that’s never been shown anywhere until now, and I’m thrilled to be able to host the premiere of the clip. I have it on good authority — i.e. bassist Jimmy Kinast told me — they’ll be playing the song as part of their headlining set at The Obelisk All-Dayer as they have on select few occasions, and to my ears that only makes the whole thing more special.

Enjoy:

Mars Red Sky, “Seen a Ghost” official video

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Mars Red Sky on Thee Facebooks

Saint Vitus Bar website

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Friday Full-Length: Hull, Beyond the Lightless Sky

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 29th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Just five years after its release and about 18 months since the Brooklyn outfit called it a day, it’s probably early yet to start enshrining Hull‘s second album, 2011’s Beyond the Lightless Sky (review here), but I think it was safe to say even when they were still together that Hull was among the most underrated metal bands New York ever produced. I mean that, and especially if you listen to this record it holds up. Their 2009 debut, Sole Lord, felt insular in its production and dense narrative, but by the time they got around to this consuming 57-minute offering it was clear they’d learned valuable lessons in the two-year interim.

Released through The End RecordsBeyond the Lightless Sky was stunning in its complexity and reach and structure, bringing together ambience and intense, fierce drive in a way that few bands could or would dare to try, sounding aggressive but not necessarily angry, desperate for knowledge in that way Neurosis sometimes seems to be, but only using post-metal as one among many stylistic influences — that is to say, Beyond the Lightless Sky was no more post-metal than it was thrash or doom or sludge.

In the end, it was one of those records you just kind of had to tag as “progressive” and leave it at that, both because it was a legitimate progression from where they’d been before and because nothing else quite captured the scope of what they accomplished even in 11-minute opener and longest track “Earth from Water,” let alone in songs like “Fire Vein,” “False Priest” or the title cut.

And when it came to the response, I think maybe it was the broadness of Hull‘s songwriting that held some listeners back from fully appreciating the entirety of the record. As I recall, Beyond the Lightless Sky was well reviewed and the response generally positive, but I never thought it got quite as huge as it should’ve.

I mean, here comes a band who basically offer up the next stage of what Mastodon should have become. They toured to support it multiple times on multiple continents, but maybe were too aggro for bigger labels — though where Relapse was on picking them up, I couldn’t say — and always resided somewhere between a heavy rock/sludge scene that embraced them initially and the wider spectrum of metal, which had too easy a time casting them in the light of being a stoner act, which I really don’t think they ever were, on Sole Lord or the Viking Funeral demo that preceded.

I kind of keep my fingers crossed that they will just announce one day they have a new record done and mastered and ready to launch, but I think even in the best case scenario, we have a ways to go before we get there, and the further we move in time from Beyond the Lightless Sky — which I still feel like I get something new from every time I hear it — the clearer it becomes just how special a document Hull left behind before they went their separate ways.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Had this one on my mind after reviewing the Phantom Glue record earlier this week and being reminded of how awesome the drums sounded on it. Figured all the better to close out with it since between that and High Fighter‘s Scars and Crosses (review here), it was pretty metal around here this week, though the Nathanael Larochette on Tuesday and King Buffalo record today provided some counterbalance, which I like. A little of this, a little of that. In any case, thanks for reading.

Have you gotten your tickets yet for The Obelisk All-Dayer, Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar??? They’re going. Get them here.

No, really. Do it.

I don’t mind telling you that last week was one of the worst I’ve ever had. I might write about it at some point, I might not, but yeah. Truly abysmal on a life-altering scale. It’s been a tough time, particularly for the last month — though starting a new job has been a largely positive experience — but I’m feeling better this week than I was last week and I’ll get through whatever I need to get through. I feel fortunate to have things like this site and The Obelisk All-Dayer in my life, both to provide distraction and to provide support when I need one or the other. And of course thank you to my wife, The Patient Mrs., for her boundless wisdom and love.

Next week? Let me check the notes…

Okay, gonna review the Bonehawk/King Nomad split from Ripple and hopefully Beelzefuzz if no other streams come through (there are a couple that might), but I’ve got a track stream and review planned for Church of the Cosmic Skull, who are kind of a new band who do a very lush classic prog, super-harmonized in the vocals with organ to match. Very cool sound. That’ll be up next Thursday, so look out for it. Also videos from Howling Giant and Lava Moth, which features former members of 500 ft. of Pipe, all the news that’s fit to cut, paste and put in blue typeface, and anything else I can think of along the way.

Headed to the beach this weekend, and though it’s raining today, I’m looking forward to watching the drops fall on the water and don’t at all mind a lack of pre-August overwhelming sun-assault. The Patient Mrs. and I have some friends coming north from Maryland, and I expect great times and great vibes to abound. I hope whatever you’ve got planned, you have a great and safe weekend.

Please check out the All-Dayer, the forum and the radio stream.

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