Posted in Whathaveyou on June 22nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
I don’t recall hearing too many complaints when Oregon visionaries YOB and San Francisco demolition specialists Black Cobra hit the road together last fall in the US, and I don’t imagine they’ll come up against much resistance when they bring the show to Europe this September and October. YOB are still out supporting 2015’s album of the year, Clearing the Path to Ascend (review here), while Black Cobra head out under the banner of earlier-2016’s Imperium Simulacra (review here), for which they’ve already toured in the States alongside Bongzilla, Lo-Pan and Kings Destroy and which offers a broader take on their trademark tumult.
The tour will hit an impressive number of festivals, from Incubate to Smoke the Fuzz to Asymmetry to Up in Smoke to Desertfest Belgium, each one basically providing an anchor with club shows in between. Looks like it’ll be a great time.
YOB announced the tour thusly:
EU FALL TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT: All current festival and show dates for our European tour this fall with black cobra are below.
Check back for more dates and ticket info, as we’ll be updating again soon!
11/09/2016 – Tilburg NL – Incubate Festival – September 2016 12/09/2016 – Dortmund DE – FZW 13/09/2016 – Aarhus DK – Radar 14/09/2016 – Gothenburg SE – Sticky Fingers // Göteborg 15/09/2016 – Oslo NO – BLÅ 16/09/2016 – Copenhagen DK – Pumpehuset 17/09/2016 – Athens GR – Smoke The Fuzz gigs Fest 19/09/2016 – Wiesbaden DE – Schlachthof Wiesbaden 20/09/2016 – Munich DE – Feierwerk 21/09/2016 – Berlin DE – Musik & Frieden 22/09/2016 – Wroclaw PL – Asymmetry Festival 23/09/2016 – Leipzig DE – UT Connewitz 24/09/2016 – Nurnberg DE – Z-Bau 25/09/2016 – Vienna AT – Chelsea 26/09/2016 – Ljubljana SL – Club Gromka 28/09/2016 – Zagreb HR – VintageIndustrial Bar 29/09/2016 – Linz AT – Stadtwerkstatt 30/09/2016 – Milan IT – Lo Fi Milano 01/10/2016 – Pratteln CH – UP in SMOKE indoor festival in Z7 02/10/2016 – Orleans FR – L’Astrolabe – Orléans 04/10/2016 – Belfort FR – La Poudrière – Belfort 05/10/2016 – Paris FR – GLAZART 06/10/2016 – Tourcoing FR – Le Grand Mix 07/10/2016 – Bristol UK – The Fleece Bristol 08/10/2016 – Glasgow UK – The Garage 09/10/2016 – Birmingham UK – The Rainbow Venues 10/10/2016 – Manchester UK – The Ruby Lounge 11/10/2016 – Dublin IRE – Whelan’s 13/10/2016 – London UK – Scala 14/10/2016 – Antwerp BE – DESERTFEST ANTWERP 2016 15/10/2016 – Hannover DE – CAFE GLOCKSEE
Posted in Reviews on June 21st, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Day Two of The Obelisk’s Summer 2016 Quarterly Review — that’s an awful lot of capital letters. I’m not sure if it’s quite such a formal occasion, but perhaps that’s just an effect of staring at some of the names in this particular batch, who from classic heavy rock to post-black metal to stoner riffs, drone, doom and beyond offer a pretty vast range and more than a small measure of profile throughout. It’s a substantial swath, is what I’m saying. If you can’t find something here to dig on, well, I’d say look again, but of course there’ll also be another 10 reviews tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, and there were 10 yesterday as well, so I’m sure something will turn up if it hasn’t yet. Here we go.
Quarterly Review #11-20:
Spiritual Beggars, Sunrise to Sundown
More than 20 years on from their self-titled debut, Sweden’s Spiritual Beggars release their ninth LP, Sunrise to Sundown (on Inside Out Music). They seem to have set themselves to the sole task of making the records that one wishes Deep Purple were making, full of righteous organ-laced classic heavy thrust, driven by top tier songwriting and performance on every level. Founding guitarist Michael Amott (also Carcass) has assembled a lineup of masters, and since 2010’s Return to Zero (review here), frontman Apollo Papathanasio (also Firewind) has provided the soaring voice to add to the keyboard majesty of Per Wiberg (ex-Opeth, Candlemass) on songs like “I Turn to Stone.” The album’s 11 cuts are catchy, universally structured, and varied in their feel enough to carry the listener through fluidly, bassist Sharlee D’Angelo (Mercyful Fate) and drummer Ludwig Witt (ex-Firebird) locking in weighted grooves and underscoring the flow of what comes across like an increasingly collaborative songwriting process. Sunrise to Sundown is the sound of a band knowing what they want to do and how they want to do it and then doing precisely that.
How many records does Ode to a Black Hole make it for Danish improve spacelords Øresund Space Collective? I honestly don’t know. Their Bandcamp lists 52 releases. Granted, not all of them are full-length studio LPs, but they jam whether they’re live or in the studio, so after a point it’s kind of moot. However many in the ultimate tally, Ode to a Black Hole is somewhat unique among them, exploring the darker side of the cosmic reaches in a bleaker, droning psychedelia spread across two instrumental tracks put to tape at the same time as 2015’s triple-LP Different Creatures (review here). Of course, it’s Øresund Space Collective, so there is still plenty of synth and effects swirl to be had, but it’s a slower galaxial movement as “Ode to a Black Hole Part 1” feeds directly into “Ode to a Black Hole Part 2.” Whatever their method of getting there, Øresund Space Collective prove once again how apparently boundless their scope has become with nuance of guitar and key flourish beneath the surface of the mix to let the listener know there’s life out in the expanse.
Phoenix, Arizona’s Goya continue their forward march with The Enemy EP (on STB Records). Still fair to say Electric Wizard are a primary influence, but as shown on their last full-length, 2015’s charmingly-titled Obelisk (review here), the trio are increasingly able to put more of themselves into their sound. In “The Enemy,” “Last” and “Light Years,” that shows in tighter songwriting, some vocal harmonies on “Light Years,” and a harder overall tonal impact than the tenets of post-Witchcult Today doomery might lead one to expect, reminding in parts of the raw in-room feel that Egypt have come to proffer, burly but more about groove than attitude. The EP closes with a nine-minute take on “The Enemy” itself, adding more harmonies, some screams at the end, and a lengthy midsection jam to flesh out its extra four minutes. Goya have been and still are a bright spot (existentially, if not in mood) in up-and-coming US doom, and The Enemy might be a stopgap coming off of Obelisk, but it reminds listeners of their growth very much still in progress.
In a universe full of pretenders to the throne of Eyehategod, German six-piece Black Shape of Nexus prove there’s room for genuine creativity in sludge. Their fourth offering, Carrier (on Exile on Mainstream), finds them past the 10-year mark and lumbering their way through five varied originals, from the cavernous opener “I Can’t Play It” through the droning “Lift Yourself” and the utter spacecrush that ensues in “Facepunch Transport Layer” before the villainous laughter at the end of “Sachsenheim” leads to a 12-minute take on Hellhammer’s “Triumph of Death,” which closes. It feels like no coincidence that of the Black Shape of Nexus-penned inclusions “Sand Mountain” is the centerpiece; the tortured screaming, claustrophobic riff and blend of rawness and lush depth speak to the originality at the core of their approach. There’s a firm sense of fuckall here, and my understanding is making Carrier was something of a trial, but the results are perhaps only more vicious for that, and thus stronger.
Six years and the ascent of an entire movement of similarly-minded acts later, Cough ooze back to activity with Still They Pray (on Relapse), their dirt-caked third full-length. That movement, by the way, includes fellow Richmonders Windhand, with whom Cough now share bassist Parker Chandler and whose Garrett Morris recorded here along with Jus Oborn of Electric Wizard, who remain a major influence in Cough’s grueling, nodding filth, brought to bear over eight tracks and a purposefully unmanageable 67-minute runtime. Stylistically it’s not so far from where Cough were on 2010’s Ritual Abuse (review here), the bleak anarchistic lurch and tonal immersion still very much at the fore of “Possession,” “Dead Among the Roses” and the organ-inclusive “The Wounding Hours,” but though they can play slow enough to make “Masters of Torture” seem positively thrashy by comparison, they never lose their sense of atmosphere, as the acoustic-led closing title-track makes plain in fashion no less heavy than the punishment meted out before it.
It feels factually inaccurate to call something so wilfully charred “vibrant,” but Oranssi Pazuzu’s fourth long-player, Värähtelijä (on Svart and 20 Buck Spin), not only finds light in its overarching darkness, but makes it a pivotal aspect of the album’s 69-minute course. Open structures, an enviable depth of mix between far-off guitar, keys, organ, various layers of screams, etc., songs like 12-minute opener “Saturaatio” and the later 17-minute chaoswirl of “Vasemann Käden Hierarkia” offer stylistic breadth as much prog as they are psychedelia or black metal, perhaps the next phase of the latter’s cosmic wing come to fruition. Relatively speaking, the more straightforward “Havuluu” offers listeners a moment to catch their breadth, but the organ-led experimentalism of 10-minute closer “Valveavaruus” gurgles in an exploration of ambient downward plunge. One of the most adventurous black metal releases of 2016, if you can still even tag a genre to it, which I’m not sure you can. A band doing pivotal and forward-thinking work.
Though they just got off a lengthy US run, the fact that Karma to Burn’s webstore offers their new Mountain Czar EP in euro instead of dollars could easily be taken as a sign of where the band’s general priorities lie. I don’t know if founding guitarist Will Mecum is actually living abroad or remains in West Virginia, but their label, Rodeostar Records, is European, they maintain a close relationship with German artist Alexander Von Wieding, and their tour schedule keeps a definite continental focus. So be it. Mountain Czar brings five new cuts, three by-the-numbers Karma to Burn instrumentals, the highlight of which is patient, jangly-guitar closer “63,” and “Uccidendo un Sogno,” an Italian-language cover of Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ down a Dream” sung by guest vocalist Stefanie Savy and featuring Manuel Bissig of Switzerland’s Sons of Morpheus on guitar. Karma to Burn very much remain Karma to Burn throughout, Mecum joined by drummer Evan Devine and bassist Eric Clutter, but they’re changing what that means in interesting ways.
Comprised solely of guitarist/vocalist Sleaze and drummer Izz, German Southern metallers Black Mood begin their seven-song sophomore outing, Squalid Garden (on Daredevil Records) with a sample of Cornelius from Planet of the Apes quoting the Lawgiver to “shun the beast man,” and so on. By the time they get around to the chugging and warbling “Ohh, save my soul” in second cut “IWNAR,” the Down/Crowbar vibe has been laid on so thick that it’s unmistakable. It’s been seven years since Black Mood made their self-titled debut in 2009 – they had an EP, Toxic Hippies, out in 2012 – but their chestbeating, dudely vibes are easily sourced, even in faster, more Pantera-style moments in “Reflected,” “100 Squalid Garden” or closer “Side,” making the album ultimately a matter of taste for anyone who’d take it on. For me, some aspects ring derivative, others show flashes of individualism, but it’s a very specific vision of Southern metal at work here, and it’s not going to be for everyone.
Newcomers Nebula Drag join the ranks of a crowded heavy psych scene in their native San Diego via their self-titled, self-released debut, but the trio distinguish themselves immediately with a solidified underpinning of punkish intent, so that the airy vocals of “Sano” float over an insistent, noisy crunch. That blend is toyed with in one direction or another throughout the release, the five-minute “So Low” finding some middle-ground in grunge push, but as the subsequent “Up and Down”’s Melvins-style roll and the hardcore-style drive of “Lost Time” play out, Nebula Drag seem far less tied to any single approach. It’s a dynamic that serves them well throughout the album’s 10-track/37-minute run, and they maintain a sense of rawness in the almost thrashy breakdown of “I Can Not Explain” that speaks to a lack of pretense to go along with their potential for development. Will be curious to hear if one side or the other wins out in their sound over the long-term, but in a town where so many bands are geared on being the most laid back, it’s refreshing to hear a group with a more forceful tack.
After a series of numbered full-lengths, Glasgow consciousness-stompers Ommadon offer their self-titled sixth album through Dry Cough Records, Burning World Records and Medusa Crush Recordings. Doubtless the three labels were needed in order simply lift the 41-minute, single-song release, which is so unspeakably and ridiculously heavy as to warrant comparison to Buried at Sea’s Migration. Its retching lumber is superlative, and in giving it their name, Ommadon signal (and say outright) that it’s the work they’ve been driving toward all along. Fair enough. There is no moment of relenting from the abysmal intentions of “Ommadon” itself, and if this is to be the piece that ultimately defines the band, it’s one worthy of consideration for the outright extremity it brings to doom, sludge and drone, as well as the methodical nature in which it unfolds. Whatever its ultimate impact, Ommadon have pushed themselves forward and crafted an excruciating contribution that feels like a monolith bent to their will.
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 21st, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Neurosis have set a Sept. 23 release date for their new album, Fires Within Fires, via their own Neurot Recordings. It’s fitting that, four years after issuing their last outing, Honor Found in Decay (review here), the occasion should also come at a time when the band are continuing to mark their 30th anniversary, as they did earlier this year with special sets in San Francisco and at Roadburn 2016 (reviews here and here). Fires Within Fires was once again recorded with the band’s longtime producer, Steve Albini at Electrical Audio Studio in Chicago.
Not much more info at this point beyond the title and release date — no art, tracks, audio, or other teasers at this point — but this is my most anticipated album for the remainder of 2016. The fall season is still taking shape, but everyone who knows Neurosis knows that each record is a landmark.
So says the PR wire:
NEUROSIS Reveals Initial Information About Their Eleventh Album; Additional European Live Dates Revealed
As the key events of their thirty-year milestone unfold, NEUROSIS officially announces the name and release date of eleventh full length, Fires Within Fires.
The new album will be released worldwide on September 23rd via their own Neurot Recordings. The announcement of more specific details of Fires Within Fires is imminent, but in the meantime NEUROSIS announces a dozen new live performances across Europe in August, where they will be joined on select dates by Latvia’s fascinating experimental trio, Tesa.
NEUROSIS is in fine form following recent and rapturously received shows in San Francisco and Roadburn, celebrating their thirty-year anniversary. Stand by for further info on Fires Within Fires to be released in the weeks ahead.
NEUROSIS Live 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
Posted in Reviews on June 20th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Well here we are. Standing on the precipice of a week of 50 reviews, looking out together at the geographic and sonic expanses that will be covered. I never know entirely what a given Quarterly Review is going to bring. Some have been smooth, some not. This one is being put together very little pre-production in terms of chasing down band links and that sort of thing, so I expect it’s going to be an adventure one way or another. I’ll keep you updated as we go as to my mental state and the deterioration thereof.
If you don’t know the drill, The Obelisk’s Quarterly Review is a week every three months in which I review 10 albums per day, Monday through Friday. Some of it was released in the prior three months, some of it is brand new, some of it probably isn’t out yet, some of it is probably older. It’s all relevant one way or another. I hope you find something you enjoy.
Quarterly Review #1-10:
Sourvein, Aquatic Occult
Looking at the makeup of Sourvein’s much-awaited fourth album, Aquatic Occult (on Metal Blade), it’s understandable why it might’ve taken five years to put together. Yes, they had splits out in between, as they do, but the band’s last full-length was 2011’s Black Fangs (review here), and though the 14-song/42-minute Aquatic Occult is manageable, with a host of interludes to carry the listener along its thick-toned, undulating waves, a swath of guest appearances no doubt played havoc with logistics. Fortunately, Sourvein’s figurehead, vocalist T-Roy Medlin, seems to thrive on chaos. Working with producer Mike Dean (C.O.C.), and a revolving-door lineup that here features Lou Gorra of Halfway to Gone, Medlin brazenly explores a more melodic dynamic than he ever has. It’s a rare band looking to experiment after 20 years, a rarer band still that pulls it off so well. There’s still some sludgy rasp and guest growling, but Sabbathian roll is the order of the day ultimately and Medlin’s homage to his home in Cape Fear, North Carolina, establishes a breadth unheard before from Sourvein that’s worthy of the years and obvious effort that went into its making.
Hamburg duo Mantar’s blend of thrash, sludge and blackened doom is brash, righteously punkish and thus far uncompromised in its malevolent intent. On their second album and Nuclear Blast debut, Ode to the Flame, songs like “Era Borealis” swagger as much as they sneer, the middle-finger-up arrogance becoming part of the appeal. “The Hint” offers some tinge of melody and “I Omen” some organ-laced atmospherics, but Mantar, who debuted in 2015 with the also fire-minded Death by Burning (review here) on Svart, carry their extremity forward like the next logical step of the same impulses that High on Fire once brought forth. Their tempo shifts, from blazing squibblies to outright lumbering, are pulled off with due fuckall, and the shouts from guitarist/vocalist Hanno and drummer/vocalist Erinc are spit forth in a manner near-indecipherable but still have no trouble getting their point across. Mantar are positioning themselves to be the kick in the ass that the underground needs. The next few years (and albums) will see how that pans out, but for now they have two scorchers under their collective belt.
There is a stylistic restlessness to stretches of Elevators to the Grateful Sky’s second record, Cape Yawn (on HeviSike), that becomes the uniting factor between the adrenaline-amped opening with “Ground” and “Bullet Words” and the later dream-surf Yawning Man-meets-sax unfurling of the title-track. The Palermo, Italy, outfit have stated their intention as capturing a blend of ‘90s alternative and modern heavy. Fair enough, but hearing that play out on the penultimate “Mountain Ship” in a mix of weighted riffing and laid back vocals giving way to shouts, it seems that to me that next time out, Elevators to the Grateful Sky should probably just start saying they sound like themselves, because they do. Granted, they’re pulling elements from familiar sources – Soundgarden, Kyuss, etc. – but in giving them new context, the four-piece are defining their sound as moving fluidly between the various styles, and that’s to be commended. The more you put into listening, the more you’ll get out of it.
Representing a 50 percent reunion of Burning Witch, the droning contemplations and hellish atmospherics of The Poisoned Glass’ Ritual Productions debut, 10 Swords, pique immediate interest. And bassist/percussionist/etc.-ist G. Stuart Dahlquist and vocalist/keyboardist Edgy 59 do not disappoint. With unspeakable patience, they execute six grueling and cinematic pieces that seem to find comfort in tortured expression and that feel claustrophobic even as they continue to expand outward and downward through “Plume Veil” and “Toil and Trouble” into the extended closing duo “Silent Vigil” – spoiler alert: not actually silent – and “Low Spirits,” which moves from minimalist stillness through far-back screams and into a wash of synth before its seven minutes are up, covering more ground in one track than some bands do in their entire career. Fair to say on the whole 10 Swords is an immersive listen, but the prevailing vibe is much less “diving in” than “being swallowed whole by some obscure medieval terror.” So, you know, watch out for that.
Los Angeles newcomers Spirit Collector make their debut with the self-released, three-song Owls to Athens EP, clear in its intent and brimming with airy, post-rock-derived guitar atmospherics. A particularly telling moment arrives with the Terence McKenna sample in centerpiece “Reclaim Your Mind,” which speaks of casting off the culture of celebrity worship for a richer human experience, but it’s in the extended closer “Theosophy” (7:57) that Spirit Collector find their footing someplace between a doomed plod and thoughtful psychedelia, picking up a chugging momentum as they push through toward the almost blackened finish, having come a surprising distance since their eponymous opener set the tone for expanse. An encouraging first offering if somewhat familiar superficially as instrumental heavy post-rock (think Explosions in the Sky, Russian Circles, Red Sparowes, etc.), and there’s nothing in Owls to Athens to make one think Spirit Collector can’t move forward and develop the experimental drive they begin to show here.
Vieh, the debut full-length from Colonge-based desert rocking foursome Phiasco, takes its name from the German word for “cattle.” The band owe some of their fuzz to Truckfighters and some of their psychedelic wash to Sungrazer, but the attitude in songs like “Ultimate Warrior” – comprised largely of riffs topped with an extended sample from the titular professional wrestler – and “Sunndown” is their own, as is the we’re-still-having-a-really-good-time-while-we-make-this-15-minute-song closer “Phisco” (sic), a highlight of the live-recorded full-length, which across its span is light on pretense and heavy on bounce. Cuts like “Old Town” and opener “Back to the Future” – hey, that’s a movie! – bring catchy hooks, and the uptempo “Erasing Rabbits with My Phaserlight” winds up as harmonized as goofed out, and thus is all the more engaging. There’s a certain amount of getting by on charm here, but Phiasco have a capable, varied songwriting process that’s given due fullness and clarity in these eight tracks.
Man, who gives a shit about anything else when Glaswegian five-piece The Cosmic Dead are enacting their hypnotic swirl? Their latest instrumental invitation to watch existence melt is called Rainbowhead and it arrives through Paradigms Recordings (CD) and Blackest Rainbow Records (LP) with four tracks that serve as the band’s first full-length since 2014’s EasterFaust, though they’ve had splits in between to keep a prolific rate of offerings fitting for their explorational heavy psych/space rock. The bulk of Rainbowhead is engagingly upbeat as side A plays out across “Human Sausage,” “Skye Burial” and the 13-minute “Inner C,” and side B’s 18-minute title-track follows suit as The Cosmic Dead seem to have found a similar niche between progressive rock and psych to that which Mammatus proffered on their most recent outing. It suits The Cosmic Dead, and they keep an improv vibe prevalent as ever, grasping the subconscious with trip-on-it lysergic pulsations.
Deeply textured and lush in its construction around guitar arrangements, percussive and keyboard-laden melodic flourish, Postures’ second full-length, Halucinda (on World in Sound), plays back and forth between prog and heavy rock impulses. The Gothenburg, Sweden, five-piece seem most at home in extended tracks like “Myriad Man,” “Every Room” and the jazzy 10-minute “Wavemaker,” but even the acoustic-led centerpiece interlude “A Million Sequences” invites the audience to turn up the volume for maximum wash effect. Paulina Nyström delivers a powerful, commanding and fluid vocal performance, and while the rhythm section of bassist Per Pettersson and drummer Isak Björhag are the foundation on which these complex structures play out – Viktor Andersson and Benjamin Watts handle guitar; Madeleine Sjögren is credited with backing vocals/keys and Margit Gyllspång percussion/backing vocals – there’s no angle from which Postures don’t come across rich and vital in their winding but well-plotted course, one song feeding fluidly to the next until the dreamy “In the Dark” rounds out with the emotional apex of the record.
What else to call a stoner band from Estonia? Estoner’s appeal, however, goes well beyond their moniker. The Tallinn-based outfit’s second album, Lennud Saatana Dimensioonis, arrives in a handmade hexagonal CD package, heat sealed, as well as with complete visual accompaniment on limited VHS and cassette via Golem Records. The music is no less relentlessly creative, running a gamut between prog, black metal, heavy rock, psychedelia, space rock and probably a few others in its seven-track course. A song like “Teleporteerumine” conjures darkened swirl and “Reptiloid” follows through with foreboding threat, but Estoner plunge even deeper as they go, proferring aesthetic reach that makes seemingly disparate elements work together fluidly on “Hüvasti, Kosmiline Monoliit” and the 10-minute closing title-track. Perhaps the highest compliment one can pay to Lennud Saatana Dimensioonis is to call it Svart-worthy, as its diverse means of engulfing the listener speak to a forward-thinking approach that one can only hope Estoner continue to develop.
Extra points to Swedish troupe The Black Explosion for opening their third album, the space-fuzzed out Atomic Zod War (on Metalville Records), with its longest track, the 13-minute “Paralyzed.” That song offers a languid voyage through uncharted jammy reaches, and that sets an open, laid back expectation that the rest of the album seems only too glad to build on, from the Nebula-via-Monster Magnet blown out vibes of “Ain’t Coming Home” to the semi-garage buzz of “Going Down,” a highlight groove that emphasizes the natural, raw tones at play leading into “Get My Mind Together” and the finisher “Devil Inside,” which brings the guitar of Chris Winter (also Dollhouse) forward with backing from bassist Simon Haraldsson and drummer Andreas Lindquist that feels born of the new West Coast tradition but is likely playing off of older impulses. But for its hey-look-it’s-tits cover art, the grit Atomic Zod War offers comes through organically and draws the listener in with its live feel and underlying boogie.
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 17th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
With two members of The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic in tow, one might expect Aboleth to have a kind of spaced-out aspect to their sound, but it’s a different band for a reason. As the newcomer trio’s first EP, suitably titled EP I, shows, Aboleth‘s is a bluesier take, more earthbound and doomed, like those moments when Witch Mountain enacted some shuffle to go with their lumber. Baguitarist (what’s a baguitar anyway?) Collyn McCoy and vocalist Brigitte Roka are joined by drummer Dan Joeright (who also played for UEMG live), for the initial outing, which features three tracks in demo-style introductory handshake form and will reportedly be out on cassette next month.
They sent word down the PR wire about the release:
L.A. DESERT DOOMERS ABOLETH PREMIERE DEBUT EP
AVAILABLE JUNE 17th AS DIGITAL DOWNLOAD AND LIMITED-EDITION CASSETTE
Los Angeles trio ABOLETH releases its debut three-song digital EP on June 17th care of the band’s Bandcamp page. In addition to the digital release they are taking pre-orders for a limited-edition cassette with artwork by the band’s vocalist, Brigitte Roka.
Recorded in Yucca Valley, CA at drummer Dan Joeright’s studio, Gatos Trail (Big Business, Behold! The Monolith), the trio meld melodic doom with metal, blues and murder rock. The EP was mixed and mastered by Matt Lynch (Snail) at his Mysterious Mammal Studios.
Aboleth could almost be considered an Ultra Electric Mega Galactic splinter cell. Joeright was touring drummer for UEMG when the instrumental psych-rockers visited Europe in 2014. UEMG bassist Collyn McCoy is also here on “baguitar” (a bass/guitar hybrid previously utilized in his band Trash Titan). But the pièce de résistance is singer Brigitte Roka, a 20-year-old siren with a voice that is equal parts Janis Joplin and Chris Cornell.
Per McCoy: “UEMG started working with Brigitte last summer, incorporating vocals into our traditionally instrumental format. Meanwhile, I was writing material for a new Trash Titan record. I asked Brigitte to contribute vocals on a few songs, which lead to us writing together, which lead to a sound that was much heavier, doomier and metallic than the swamp blues of Trash Titan. So we figured why not just spin this off into its own thing?”
Joeright, who’d previously played drums in New York avant-noise bands Sulfur and A/N (featuring Algis Kizys and Norman Westberg from SWANS), was the perfect complement to their nascent sound. Drawing from their desert environment for inspiration, the trio’s stripped-down take on heavy rock melds sludge metal riffs with Allman-esque slide guitar and Roka’s distinct whisky-worn-yet-soaring vocals. The resulting EP will sit nicely fans with of Black Mountain, Witch Mountain, and mid-period Soundgarden.
The trio will return to the studio later this summer to record a second EP, with a full length to follow later in the year.
Los Angeles burl-riffers Ironaut last week took part in something called the SoCal and NorCal Stoner Metal Summit. It was a show, essentially, with bands from Oakland, L.A., and San Diego, but one could only imagine the issues that would be discussed if it had been a real conference-style event, panels and whatnot asking hard questions like “How much fuzz is too much?” and “What to do when someone calls your stoner band hipster.” Sadly, we don’t live in that world. Also the answer to that fuzz question is never too much.
If you, like me, got sidetracked at the notion of a stoner metal summit, Ironaut‘s “Acid Wash” should bring you duly back to ground with its post-C.O.C. riffing and the dudely delivery of bassist/vocalist Erik Kluiber, joined in the band by guitarist Patrick McHugh and drummer Ivan Najor. What may or may not be a paean to denim fashions of eras gone by, “Acid Wash” was the centerpiece of Ironaut‘s self-titled 2015 debut EP, and boasts a hard-edged tone, plenty doomed in its intent but with a sludge rock push behind it. To call it “stoner metal,” well, if they’re cool with it, I wouldn’t argue.
The “Acid Wash” video brings together performance footage from earlier this year. You’ll notice the Pentagram banner features heavily; Ironaut opened the L.A. date of the doom legends’ recent controversial West Coast run, and even more recently than that shared the stage with The Obsessed and Karma to Burn as they continue to support the Ironaut EP and prepare for the inevitable what-comes-next. Spliced in with the performance footage is old movie clips — O.J. Simpson shows up momentarily — and a host of other space-themed visuals to add atmosphere to the song’s straightforward thrust.
Video follows below. Please enjoy:
Ironaut, “Acid Wash” official video
Acid Wash Official Bootleg Video by Chris D Honoway.
Ironaut: Patrick McHugh – Guitar Erik Kluiber – Bass/Vocals Ivan Najor – Drums
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 10th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Good show. I can’t think of any other way to say it. Pitting Swedish heavy rockers Greenleaf — who premiered their new video here earlier this week — and desert legends Fatso Jetson against each other for a European stint? Yeah, that’s a good show. Greenleaf of course are out supporting 2016’s excellent Rise Above the Meadow (review here), while Fatso Jetson‘s latest outing was a 2015 split with Farflung (review here) on Heavy Psych Sounds.
Both groups were previously announced for the Up in Smoke 2016 and Keep it Low 2016 festivals — both of which are put together by Sound of Liberation — so that they’d head in similar directions makes sense, but still, for anyone who happens to be in their path on a given night, this is an awesome two-band bill that one imagines will be joined nightly by choice locals wherever it goes. Run starts Sept. 23 and ends at Keep it Low on Oct. 22. Badass.
Greenleaf also have other select live dates coming up in the next couple months. You’ll find those listed with the shows for this tour below, as culled from the social medias:
Sound of Liberation UG presents Greenleaf – Rise Above The Meadow Tour 2016 (*/support by FATSO JETSON) 25.06. Finowfurt / Roadrunner’s Paradise & Race 61 Fest (Ger) 22.07. Trömso / Bukta Festival (Nor) 29.07. Aschaffenburg / Mühlbergfest (Ger) 30.07. Breitenbach / Burg Herzberg (Ger) 05.08. Beelen / Krach am Bach (Ger) 12.08. Turku / Kiarama (Fin) 14.08. Geel / Yellowstock (Bel) 21.09. Kiel / Schaubude (Ger) 22.09. Kassel / Schlachthof (Ger) 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)*
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 6th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
This is one of those tour-to-end-all-tours tours. Beginning in Austin on Sept. 27, including a stop Oct. 14 at Erosion Fest and culminating Oct. 23 at Southwest Terror Fest, the newly-announced tour with Saint Vitus, The Skull and Witch Mountain also covers both coasts in nearly its month-long stretch. I’ll admit the prospect of seeing these three bands together at the Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn has my arm hair standing on end, remembering the Vitus-at-Vitus gig from 2012 (review here) as one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, at that venue or anywhere else. It’ll be a different lineup of the band this time, with original vocalist Scott Reagers back in that position as the Die Healing-referential poster art indicates, but they’re keeping excellent company in The Skull and Witch Mountain as well, so kudos all around, including to Nanotear, which put the package together.
Witch Mountain have a couple dates as well en route to meeting up with the others. Find the complete routing, including those shows, below:
SAINT VITUS tour dates All dates with THE SKULL, WITCH MOUNTAIN Sept. 27 Austin, TX @ Midway Field House Sept. 28 Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Dallas Sept. 29 San Antonio, TX @ The Mix Sept. 30 Shreveport, LA @ Riverside Warehouse Oct. 1 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack’s Saloon Oct. 2 Atlanta, GA @ The EARL Oct. 3 Raleigh, NC @ Kings Oct. 5 Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts Oct. 6 Boston, MA @ @Middle East Oct. 7 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus Bar Oct. 8 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop Oct. 9 Indianapolis, IN @ 5th Quarter Lounge Oct. 10 Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s Bar Oct. 11 Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon Oct. 12 St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club Oct. 14 Missoula, MT @ Erosion Festival Oct. 15 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon Oct. 16 Portland, OR @ Star Theater Portland Oct. 18 Sacramento, CA @ Starlite Lounge Oct. 19 Oakland, CA @ Oakland Metro Operahouse Oct. 20 Costa Mesa, CA @ Wayfarer. Oct. 21 Los Angeles, CA @ The Viper Room Oct. 22 San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick Oct. 23 Tucson, AZ @ Southwest Terror Fest
Witch Mountain shows on the way to meet up with Saint Vitus + The Skull: 9/22 Portland, OR – Dante’s (WM only) 9/23 Boise, ID – Neurolux (WM only) 9/24 Salt Lake City, UT – Metro (WM only) 9/25 Denver, CO – Hi-Dive (WM only)