Yawning Man Release Historical Graffiti LP

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 22nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

So uh, hey, there’s a new Yawning Man LP. It’s called Historical Graffiti and it’s out now vinyl-only through Lay Bare Recordings. The legendary desert rockers have stated their intentions toward a new record publicly in a variety of forms and with a variety of lineups, but Historical Graffiti is their first full-length outing since 2010’s Nomadic Pursuits, and its arrival coincides with the band’s upcoming European tour, set to kickoff on Sept. 1 with stops at Reverence Festival and Up in Smoke 2016, among others. The record comes as something of a surprise, as there wasn’t much lead-up –preorders, pre-release hype, etc. — at least that I encountered, but it seems to be out there now and available for purchase, so fucking a. Get on it while you can.

Band announcement, info from Burning World Records and tour dates follow:

yawning man historical graffiti

Yawning Man is proud to announce the release of our new album “HISTORICAL GRAFFITI” on Lay Bare Recordings!!!

Thank you to all our supporters that contributed to help us make this happen.

This unique and influential band from the Southern California desert has left their mark on bands such as Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age, making them one of the defining forces in the desert rock scene for over 20 years both in the U.S. and in Europe. Pinning Yawning Man to a specific genre is difficult, letting the music speaks for itself has fans from all over the rock, indie, psych and alternative spectrum are discovering the passion and dark beauty in Yawning Man’s music.

Throughout the instrumental cinematic rock landscapes of Yawning Man, the post-Ventures, haunting melodies & composition of guitarist Gary Arce are constantly being stretched, up-ended and sent deep into dark Joy Division territory, by the weird chords and heavy bass grooves of Mario Lalli and drummer Bill Stinson. The result is the kind of brooding and thunderous atmosphere that draws you constantly inward.

In this very special recording session done during the bands 2015 South American tour while in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The band was invited to record for one evening at the world famous and legendary ION Studios.The session featured guest appearances by Argentinian tango musicians Sara Ryan on violin and Adolfo Trepiana on bandoneon accordion as well as Malene Arce (wife of Gary Arce) on the Mellotron.

An Argentinian newspaper once wrote that the “condensed history of the nations music“ was to be found behind Ion’s doors, and they were spot-on with this description. Some of the country’s brightest musical legends, such as Astor Piazzolla, have reacted like ions with other musicians, and the energy that was released during this process condensed in the form of numerous classic records.

As the largest and most legendary sound studio in Buenos Aires, Ion remains one of the most remarkable recording venues in the world. It’s energy is evident in the spontaneous edgy beauty created by the band in this collaboration of special artists in a very special place.

01.09.2016 London Borderline UK
02.09.2016 Sint Niklaas Villa Pace Festival BEL
03.09.2016 Rotterdam Baroeg NL
04.09.2016 Karlsruhe Alte Hackerei D
06.09.2016 San Sebastian Dabadaba SP
07.09.2016 Zaragoza La Ley Seca SP
08.09.2016 Gijon Casino Acapulco SP
09.09.2016 Valada Reverence Festival POR
10.09.2016 Madrid Taboo SP
11.09.2016 Barcelona Rocksound SP
13.09.2016 Torino Cafe Liber ITA
14.09.2016 Milano Lo Fi ITA
15.09.2016 Munich Feierwerk D
16.09.2016 Berlin Swampfest D
17.09.2016 Gdansk B 90 Club POL
18.09.2016 Warsaw Chmury POL
19.09.2016 Dresden Ost-Pol D
20.09.2016 Prague Klubovna CZR
21.09.2016 Budapest Duerer Kert HUN
22.09.2016 Vienna Arena A
24.09.2016 Siegen Vortex D
26.09.2016 Wiesbaden Schlachthof D
27.09.2016 Zuerich Rote Fabrik CH
28.09.2016 Innsbruck PMK A
01.10.2016 Pratteln Up In Smoke Festival SWI


Yawning Man, “Rock Formations” Live in Buenos Aires, 2015

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Hornss to Release New Album Telepath Aug. 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 19th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

New Jersey-based STB Records has set an Aug. 27 release date — next week — for Telepath, the second LP offering from San Francisco rockers Hornss. It’s an event the band will celebrate in what can only be called prime style, playing their release show at Psycho Las Vegas alongside Alice Cooper, Sleep, and 100-plus others, and the album follows-up their 2014 debut, No Blood No Sympathy (review here), which found them aligned to RidingEasy Records. They continue to keep good company.

Artwork, vinyl details and a link to the track “Atrophic,” which you can stream below, came in STB‘s latest newsletter. Looked a lot like this, only less blue:

hornss telepath vinyl flyer

HORNSS ‘Telepath’ Album Release

This month, we’re all about the brand new full length album from San Francisco’s HORNSS! The album, Telepath, is the follow-up to the band’s acclaimed debut album, No Blood, No Sympathy. Recorded by Tim Green (Saviours, Melvins, KARP, Comets on Fire, Hot Lunch), the band recorded this one directly to analog tape at Green’s Louder Studios in Grass Valley, CA. The new album will be released on vinyl exclusively by STB Records and digitally worldwide by Ripple Music.

ON SALE starting Saturday August 27th 2016 at 12PM EST (USA) through the STB Records webstore at: http://stbrecords.bigcartel.com/.

The band says: “Nick has always been good at finding us interesting labels… he’s responsible for all of the super huge record contracts we’ve had so far. When he brought up STB to me and Mike, it was pretty obvious it was a good match. Goya, Doctor Doom, Wounded Giant… c’mon!

After several drunken chats about tequila, TSOL, deathrock and NYHC, the deal was made… and here we are. Super psyched about this one. STB rules.”

Vinyl Info:
HORNSS: Telepath
• Test Press – 15 units. Available in STB Records exclusive alternate art envelope jacket sealed with a STB Records wax seal.
• Die Hard Edition -100 units. 180g – Black and Pink swirl with heavy duty high gloss case-wrapped jacket with foil stamping and UV print. Co es in a tinted Static bag with printed cover
• OBI Edition – 125 units. 180g – Clear and black vinyl with pink and silver splatter. Comes with exclusive hand numbering alternate art work OBI Series strip. 15th release in the OBI series.
• World Wide Edition – 200 units. Available through Kozmik Artifactz and Underground Records (AU) on date of sale. 180g Hot Pink vinyl
• Standard Edition – 175 units. 180g – Silver and Hot Pink Swirl.
All editions come on a matte machine finish jacket with spot gloss. (Except where noted).

Worldwide Edition also available through Kozmik Artifactz (Europe) / Underground Records (undergroundrecords.com.au) in Australia.

HORNSS will also be performing at the upcoming Psycho Las Vegas festival on Saturday, August 27th. This will be their “Record Release Show”. In addition, STB artists Goya and Shroud Eater will also be performing at the fest. If you’re there, be sure to check them all out!

We are also very proud to see that HORNSS is featured in the newly released Lo Sound Desert documentary. Live performance footage and interviews highlight the band members’ lifelong connection to the famed desert rock scene from the 80’s and 90’s. Available digitally on iTunes and other streaming services, check out more here: https://www.facebook.com/losounddesert.


Hornss, “Atrophic”

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Fatso Jetson Sign to Heavy Psych Sounds

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 19th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

fatso jetson heavy psych sounds

Today, Heavy Psych Sounds is proud to announce it will issue the new album from Fatso Jetson this fall ahead of their upcoming European tour.

It’s been six long years since the Californian desert rock progenitors released their last proper full-length. 2010’s Archaic Volumes (review here) answered the go-anywhere-at-any-time intensity of earlier records like 1995’s Stinky Little Gods and 1997’s Power of Three with a refined sense of groove, always bringing in a sense of experimentalism to their foundation of heavy, punk-infused rock.

Since that album came out, Fatso Jetson have hardly been idle. They’ve toured Europe multiple times over, including with Yawning Man, in which Fatso honcho Mario Lalli also plays, and released splits with Yawning Man, Herba Mate (review here) and, last year, one with Farflung (review here) that marked their first collaboration with Heavy Psych Sounds.

Comments Mario Lalli:

This record represents one of the toughest years in my life. To be honest, I barely got it done. It’s a very important record because I’m in a way coming out of a long troubled period in my life, and with lots of love and help from my friends and family I got to a place where I could get back to music and express some of this stuff.

The band spent three days at Rancho de la Luna with Mathias Schneeberger recording and co-producing and writing on some pretty rough ideas. Dino, my son, wrote a lot of the heavier, more angular, intense music, and I was coming from a more melodic, dark vibe… seemed to all come together.

Larry and Tony both wrote music on the album and one of my life-saving buddies Sean Wheeler collaborated on two songs I’m very proud of. Also was awesome having my daughter, Olive Lalli, singing on half the tracks.

The title of the album is straightforward and the record, the contrary action, to faith without works is dead.

We are stoked to do the record with Gabriele [Fiori] from Heavy Psych Sounds. He’s been so supportive of us for years now, a good friend. That’s how this should be.

Fatso Jetson, which features Mario alongside fellow guitarist/son Dino Von Lalli (also BigPig), bassist Larry Lalli and drummer Tony Tornay, begin their European tour on Sept. 23 in Germany.

They’ll be on the road with Sweden’s Greenleaf and will make stops at the Up in Smoke, Fuzzfest, Keep it Low and Heavy Psych Sounds festivals, the latter put on by the label, which also presents the Italian leg of the tour in conjunction with Sound of Liberation.

Fatso Jetson with Greenleaf:
23.09. Aschaffenburg / Colosaal (Ger)
24.09. Regensburg / Alte Mälzerei (Ger)
26.09. Berlin / Cassiopeia (Ger)
27.09. Copenhagen / Loppen (Den)
28.09. Hamburg / Headcrash (Ger)
29.09. Hannover / Chez Heinz (Ger)
30.09. Jena / KUBA (Ger)
01.10. Pratteln / Up in Smoke(Ch)
02.10. Lausanne / Le Romandie (Ch)
04.10. Paris/ Le Backstage (Fra)
05.10. Bordeaux / Void (Fra)
06.10. Nantes / Ferrailleur (Fra)
07.10. Utrecht / DBs (NL)
08.10. Vorselaar / Jeugdhuis (Bel)
10.10. Leipzig / Werk 2 (Ger)
11.10. Dresden / Scheune (Ger)
12.10. Poznan / Bazyla (Pol)
13.10. Katowicze / Kobra (Pol)
14.10. Gdansk / Ucho (Pol)
15.10. Vilinius / Kablys (Lt)
16.10. Warsaw / Hydrozagadka (Pol)
18.10. Zagreb / Klub Attack (Cro)
19.10. Trieste / Tetris (Ita)
20.10. Salzburg / Rockhouse (Aut)
21.10. Vienna / Fuzzfest (Aut)
22.10. Munich / Keep it Low (Ger)

Fatso Jetson Italian tour:
23.10. IT Pisa/Livorno – Stones from the Hill
24.10. IT Zerobranco – Altroquando
25.10. IT Torino – Blah Blah
26.10. IT Roma – Init
27.10. IT Cagliari – La Cueva Rock
28.10. IT Sassari – The Hor
29.10. IT Parma-Mu / HPS Fest 3
30.10. IT Erba – Centrale Rock
31.10. IT Savona – Raindogs


Fatso Jetson & Farflung, Split (2015)

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Friday Full-Length: Kalas, Kalas

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 12th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Kalas, Kalas (2006)

Kalas was a short-lived five-piece fronted by Matt Pike of High on Fire and Sleep. During their time together, which reportedly started in 2003, they released one full-length, self-titled, on Tee Pee Records. They did not tour extensively. I remember seeing them at SXSW 2006 in Austin, Texas, at a day party sponsored by Vice — at the time I had no idea what Vice was, but Witch were also playing, so I wasn’t missing it either way — and watching as Pike rushed through the crowd to get on stage because the band’s set was about to start. It was that kind of thing. Someone would tell me later that Kalas essentially came out of his desire to practice his vocals and expand his range for High on Fire — which the album Kalas most definitely does on songs like “Frozen Sun” and “Mother’s Tears” — but I think the appeal of the record goes further than that.

Consider that in 2006, Sleep were still broken up, seemingly permanently. With High on Fire, Pike released Blessed Black Wings in 2005 and would follow it up with Death is this Communion in 2007, indeed having greatly expanded his vocal range. Kalas‘ self-titled is not only a bridge between those two albums, but also a tie to the more purely stonerized riffing of Sleep — or at very least is less maniacally metal than High on Fire were at the time and have only grown to be more so. By stepping back and not playing guitar, Pike gave crucial ground to six-stringers Andy Christ (ex-Eldopa) and Paul Kott (ex-High Tone Son of a Bitch) and led the band, which also included bassist Brad Reynolds and drummer Scott Plumb, in a different way than he ever had before or than he has since. He only played guitar in Sleep, but in Kalas, he only sang (minus a solo on “Frozen Sun”), and that became a defining feature of the group and the album.

Honestly, that would probably be enough to pique interest, but the album continues to deliver quality in the performance of the entire band and the songwriting. It’s not as rampage-prone as High on Fire, but Kalas grooves fluidly across its nine tracks, and the lyrics tackle issues of addiction and the resulting effects on life in a more direct way than Pike ever had before. It became a vibe that, on subsequent releases, might’ve come to develop along a path separate from anything else Pike was involved in, but instead it kind of languished behind the booming popularity of High on Fire — who were in the midst of doing some of their best work to-date — and the reunion of Sleep, which began in 2009. The self-titled would be the only thing they ever put out. Copies still float around, and if you’re lucky you might be able to find one in a used rack somewhere, but it continues to surprise me how little mention Kalas get in the Matt Pike discography, since they were unlike anything he’d done before or would do again. And, again, the songs hold up even a decade later.

More pre-social media heavy seemingly given up to the ages, awaiting reissue. Hope you enjoy.

I lost a little weight recently and so have been digging out some old t-shirts from boxes in the basement in hopes that they might fit. I chose the Kalas record because apparently at some point I purchased a Kalas t-shirt with the album cover on it. Must have been at that SXSW show, though I couldn’t say for sure — it was a long decade ago and I never went to Austin that I didn’t spend the entire half-week bordering on blackout drunk. Or my 20s. Ha.

Anyway, I think I might wear that Kalas shirt to The Obelisk All-Dayer, which is only eight days away. It’s pretty new looking. I might’ve never worn it before.

If you don’t have your tickets yet for The Obelisk All-Dayer, which is Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar, get them here: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1067269

Next week the countdown to that show will continue. Look for exclusive and awesome stuff from Funeral HorseKing Buffalo and Heavy Temple, and maybe a special writeup for the afterparty as well, because I’m really stoked on bringing Walter Roadburn and Adam from The Golden Grass on board to DJ after Mars Red Sky plays. It’s going to be such an awesome day. Please come. Please show up.

Also next week, look out for a review and some kind of audio premiere for the new Second Grave album, Blacken the Sky. To be followed Tuesday (I think) by Wretch and Wednesday by Blues Funeral. There’s more for later in the week, I’m just not sure what it is yet. Doing the All-Dayer countdown has put me way behind on videos as well. Might take a day to get caught up. We’ll see how it goes.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Please get your The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk All-Dayer

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Neurosis Announce UK 30th Anniversary Shows

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 10th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

neurosis (Photo by John Sturdy)

Having been fortunate enough to witness two of Neurosis‘ 30th anniversary sets in-person at Roadburn 2016 earlier this year, I’ll say from personal experience that attendance should be considered mandatory for even the mildest fan of the band. They not only tackle the scope of their entire career — a seemingly impossible feat to blend the raw punk of their earliest work with the groundbreaking experimentalism that followed — they do so with all the on-stage force one could ask of Neurosis, who are among the most dynamic live bands in the world, regardless of genre. Somehow I doubt adding material from their forthcoming 11th studio LP, Fires Within Fires, is going to hurt.

Unless you don’t bring earplugs, that is.

The PR wire brings details of the two 30th anniversary shows that Neurosis will play in the UK this November. They’re also in Europe starting tomorrow. Words:

neurosis london shows

NEUROSIS Reveals Two Special UK Shows To Mark Their Thirty-Year Anniversary And Celebrate The Release Of Fires Within Fires

With NEUROSIS having marked their thirty-year milestone with three shows in San Francisco, two shows at the respected Roadburn Festival, and a Summer of touring across Europe on the horizon, the anticipation for something special in the UK is palpable. It therefore comes with great pleasure to announce two London shows in November this year with thrilling, and unexpected, special guests.

On Monday, November 7th, NEUROSIS shall be joined by Earth, and on Tuesday, November 8th, they will be joined by Discharge and Subhumans. These bands represent perfectly the cross-section of music which NEUROSIS as a collective deeply admire and relate to, which makes these two shows all the more important in this milestone year. Tickets go on sale today.

Prior to the UK shows, on September 23rd, NEUROSIS takes a dominant leap with their eleventh full-length, Fires Within Fires. Three decades in the making, and following 2012’s Honor Found In Decay, the album is a testament both to the history and future of Neurosis. In true Ouroborean style, Fires Within Fires gives due to its predecessors while progressing forward into the unfamiliar and formidable. Striking the band’s signature balance between light and dark, beauty and repulsion, dense sonic heaviness and reflective space. Fires Within Fires is succinct, raw and deeply soulful, an all-encompassing reminder that transfiguration in sound remains their most commanding and inimitable strength. Our first and only glimpse of the music on this record, prior to release date, is sampled in a new video which showcases the exquisite album artwork from the renowned Thomas Hooper.

The journey of their music has found the band relishing the unpredictable, embracing the unknown and exploring the possibility of where the music was capable of taking them. Going beyond the remarkable, NEUROSIS has become unforgettable. Fires Within Fires is the next powerful step towards a destination that has long been and continues to be the very heart of “becoming” for NEUROSIS.

Neurot Recordings will release Fires Within Fires on September 23rd worldwide. Preorders are now being taken via the Neurot webstore RIGHT HERE.

NEUROSIS Tour Dates:
8/10/2016 Brutal Assault Festival – Jaromer, CZ
8/11/2016 Festa Radio Onda D’Urto – Brescia, IT
8/12/2016 Rock Altitude Festival – Le Locle, CH w/ Tesa
8/13/2016 Oya Festival – Oslo, NO
8/14/2016 Arena – Vienna, AT w/ Ufomammut, Tesa
8/15/2016 UT Connewitz – Leipzig, DE w/ Tesa
8/16/2016 Gruenspan – Hamburg, DE w/ Tesa
8/17/2016 Patronaat – Haarlem, NL w/ Tesa
8/18/2016 Pukkelpop Festival – Hasselt, BE
8/19/2016 Substage – Karlsruhe, DE w/ Tesa
8/20/2016 Motocultor Festival – St. Nolff, FR
8/21/2016 Amplifest – Porto, PT w/ Tesa
11/07/2016 Koko – London, UK w/ Earth
11/08/2016 Koko – London, UK w/ Discharge, Subhumans

8/10/2016 007 – Prague, CZ
8/22/2016 Passos Manuel – Porto, PT @ Amplifest


Neurosis, Fires Within Fires album teaser

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Zed Premiere Video for “Royale”; Trouble in Eden out Aug. 26

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 4th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


San Jose aggro heavy rockers Zed will head out this October on a run down the West Coast in order to promote their new album, Trouble in Eden. The record drops Aug. 26 via Ripple Music, and the four-piece of guitarist/vocalist Peter Sattari, guitarist Greg Lopez, bassist Mark Aceves and drummer Rich Harris have a new video for the track “Royale,” which leads off the album, providing and opening punch from which they can build moving through the tracks. Like a lot of what they do, it has a straightforward, stripped-down appeal driven by its energetic delivery and rhythmic thrust, which comes accompanied by a solid chorus.

The circumstances of the “Royale” video’s arrival are also pretty true to who they are as players. Comprised of performance footage filmed on an iPhone, a DSLR and a GoPro and edited in Final Cut Pro X, Aceves describes it below as “fully DIY,” the band having hired a director who wound up unable to make the gig. Fair enough for making the most of what they had to work with. The clip winds up benefiting from the change in camera-type, and in the spirit of Zed‘s music, it offers more than a superficial glance can really tell. Doesn’t hurt either that the track is so damn catchy.

Zed play the release show for Trouble in Eden on Aug. 19 in San Francisco at Bottom of the Hill. Info for the rest of their dates and the aforementioned comment from Aceves follow the “Royale” video, which you’ll find below.

Please enjoy:

Zed, “Royale” official video

Mark Aceves on “Royale”

“The video was filmed in mid-July and it was a fully DIY effort in that we were slated to work with a producer/director who at the last minute had some family issues come up and he just disappeared, so we decided to take things into our own hands. We had the room booked, so we invited some friends to come hang out who help set up and we filmed it in one afternoon, and I think it came out pretty good! We chose this song as it is the opening song on the album and it comes out with a bang! I think it really captures the essence of ZED, which is big riffs and hooks, being both heavy and groove oriented at the same time. This one’s a real head bobber and ass shaker!”

Trouble In Eden will be officially released on 26th August through Ripple Music.

Zed live:
19 August Bottom of the Hill San Francisco, CA (RECORD RELEASE PARTY!)
10 September The Uptown Oakland CA
2 October The Caravan San Jose, CA
13 October Black Water Portland, OR
14 October Skylark Seattle, WA
15 October Black Forest Eugene, OR
20 October Viper Room Los Angeles, CA
21 October Til Two San Diego, CA
22 October Dive Bar Las Vegas, NV
19 November Uptown Oakland, CA

Zed on Thee Facebooks

Zed website

Ripple Music website

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Brant Bjork Announces Fall European Tour; Streams New Track “Dave’s War”

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 1st, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Uh, hey Europe. Go see Brant Bjork. That’s probably not something you really need me to tell you, Entire Continent of Europe, or one assumes Brant Bjork wouldn’t be headed over in the first place, but I will anyway. His new album, Tao of the Devil, is fucking awesome, has seriously screwed up my under-construction Albums of the Year list, and will be out Sept. 30. For a sampling of the kind of jammy finery with which Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band get down this round, they’ve got the new song “Dave’s War” streaming now in its nine-minute glory. Go on and dig in, whatever continent you might live on. Shit’s all imaginary anyway. Borders and whatnot.

The impending run is presented by Sound of Liberation, who sent the following info along the PR wire:


Brant Bjork joins the SOL roster! Album & Tour coming this fall

Low Desert Punk Brant Bjork is back on the SOL Roster!! The king of the sweetest flow and forever kissed by the burning sun of Southern Cali comes to Europe in November to promote his amazing new album “Tao of the Devil”. The release date for the new album is set for September 30th via Napalm Records. Pre-orders can be done here! Check-out the first video here, check-out the tourdates below and don´t miss his show full of “Sweetest flows, groovy stoner sounds with a healthy dose of 70’s style greatness”!

03.11.16 | DE | Osnabrück | Bastard Club
04.11.16 | NL | Deventer | Burger Weeshuis
05.11.16 | DE | Erfurt | Stadtgarten
06.11.16 | BE | Hasselt | Mod
07.11.16 | UK | London | Garage
08.11.16 | FR | Paris | Divan Du Monde
09.11.16 | DE | Wiesbaden | Schlachthof
10.11.16 | DE | München | Backstage
11.11.16 | AT | Graz | PPC
12.11.16 | GR | Athens | An Club
14.11.16 | AT | Vienna | Arena
15.11.16 | CH | Zürich | Rote Fabrik
16.11.16 | DE | Karlsruhe | Substage
17.11.16 | DE | Köln | Live Music Hall
18.11.16 | DE | Dresden | Beatpol
19.11.16 | DE | Berlin | Columbia Theater
20.11.16 | DE | Hamburg | Logo


Brant Bjork, “Dave’s War”

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Swamp Witch Premiere “Slither into the Circle” from The Slithering Bog LP

Posted in audiObelisk on July 25th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

swamp witch

The forthcoming LP edition of Swamp Witch‘s The Slithering Bog — out soon on Tribunal of the Axe — isn’t technically a reissue. Though the Californian death-doom outfit’s second full-length was released on cassette in 2015 via Transylvanian Tapes, the new version, mastered for vinyl and encompassing in its atmospheric density such that it makes even the air it fills seem heavier, is the first on a vinyl format. Built of two songs on its first side and four on its second, it’s a record that revels in the seemingly wretched. Cave-echo growls, lumbering riffs, and fervent plod are conjured with a depth of low end that feels sludged in its roots, but has turned to something even more rotten and vicious and crawling, and as the rolling “Strange Cults” leads the way into the trenches that follow, it is the utter hopelessness of the thing that stands out most. It’s like that part of the sea where the fish had to evolve their own light because the sun couldn’t get down that far.

Currently comprised of vocalist James, guitarist Ben, bassist Jacob and drummer Phil, Swamp Witch recorded The Slithering Bog two years ago in July 2014. They made their debut with Gnosis in 2011, but the second album, as it should, expands intensely on the first, digging into more of a classic death-doom style, as heard in the mournful guitar swamp-witch-the-slithering-bogof “Marsh of Delusion,” or the depressive buzz that emerges as “Slither into the Circle” leads off side B. The play from side A to B in the vinyl — moving from longer tracks to shorter ones — isn’t to be ignored, as it signals intent on the part of Swamp Witch essentially to overwhelm their listenership as much as possible at the outset and then move outward stylistically from there. To wit, the snare work on “Slither into the Circle” adds a subtle bounce cutting through all the decay and crash surrounding, and though it cuts the pace seemingly in half (actual percentages unknown), the subsequent “Bayou Tomb” lurches out some of the hugest and most engrossing tones The Slithering Bog has to offer, not necessarily moving away from the other material atmospherically, but expanding the context of the release overall and adding a sense of dynamic to the consistent, obscure ambience.

That context is pretty much set by the time Swamp Witch get down to the closing duo of “Dead Root” and “Lost Symbols,” but especially the latter continues to add layers of personality to The Slithering Bog through some post-Aldebaran or even earlier Novembers Doom-style guitar melody, not quite as emotionally wrought as the latter, and still a good deal rawer in overall approach, but potentially on a like-minded sonic path, though I’m not sure I’d trade the utter brutality of low-end they bring to bear across The Slithering Bog in favor of existential woes — it would obviously depend on how their songwriting continues to develop and the lineup takes shape and/or continues to discover its chemistry. In any case, Swamp Witch‘s second LP carries with it a tome-style impression and so feels worthy of the vinyl treatment it has received. No doubt its plunge will be too deep for many to take, but that’s precisely the intent, and The Slithering Bog lives up to it with artistry and without compromise.

The decaying sounds of The Slithering Bog were captured during July 2014 at Earhammer Studios in Oakland, California by Greg Wilkinson (Brainoil, Annihilation Time, Noothgrush, et al) and mastered at Trakworx in San Francisco by Justin Weiss (Ludicra, Slough Feg, Cormorant, et al). Initially released on cassette last year via Transylvanian Tapes, the collection of nightmare rituals that made this release so necessary and bizarre has finally oozed its way onto vinyl on three color variants (black, purple haze and swamp green) thanks to Tribunal Of The Axe Records who will unleash the offering later this month.

The Slithering Bog Track Listing:
Side A:
1. Strange Cults
2. Marsh Of Delusion
Side B:
1. Slither Into The Circle
2. Bayou Tomb
3. Dead Root
4. Lost Symbols

Swamp Witch on Thee Facebooks

Preorder at Tribunal of the Axe

Tribunal of the Axe on Thee Facebooks

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