Black Cobra Announce Feb. 26 Release for Imperium Simulacra

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 25th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

black cobra

There are two ways to approach the prospect of a new Black Cobra record. One is an exclamatory “Fuck yes!” followed by the boarding up of windows, the shoring up of foundations and whatever necessary domicile improvements you might make so that when you finally get your hands on such a thing and play it at the appropriate volume it doesn’t actually destroy the place you live, and the other is, “What’s ‘heavy’?” in which case you’ll probably want to gurd your loins before being introduced. Either way you go, confirmation of a Feb. 26 release for Black Cobra‘s awaited fifth long-player is only good news. If the hatches need battening down, we can get to that later.

Word of Imperium Simulacra comes just days after the two-piece finished a tour with YOB after wrecking their van as they’ve wrecked so many hearts and minds in their nigh on 15 years together, and it brings the first audio from the offering as well in the opening track, “Challenger Deep,” which can be found under the art, PR wire info and links that follow here:

black cobra imperium simulacra

BLACK COBRA announce new album, stream new track

Critically-acclaimed metal duo BLACK COBRA have released new details of their forthcoming album ‘Imperium Simulacra’. The album will see an international release through Season of Mist on Feb. 26 across several CD, LP, and cassette formats.

BLACK COBRA have also released the first track taken from ‘Imperium Simulacra’.

Regarding “Challenger Deep” the band comments, “The song refers to the deepest measured point in the ocean. It’s loosely inspired by the film “Warm Gods of the Deep” as well as our fascination with the extremes of the natural world. We’re very excited to present you with the newest offering from our sonic bestiary. Enjoy.”

The artwork and track list for ‘Imperium Simulacra’ can be found below.

Track list:
1. Challenger Deep
2. Imperium Simulacra
3. Fathoms Below
4. Eye Among The Blind
5. The Messenger
6. Obsolete
7. Dark Shine
8. Sentinel (Infinite Observer)
9. Technical Demise

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Mondo Drag Release The Occultation of Light Feb. 26

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

I’m not saying I’ve heard it yet or anything, or that I wrote a bio for it that I’ll be posting here sooner or later, but Mondo Drag‘s new album, The Occultation of Light, for which you can see the art and tracklisting below, is a pretty significant step forward from where they were on earlier-2015’s much-adored self-titled LP (review here), and while it’s a quick turnaround from the Cali-via-Iowa outfit in terms of releases, it’s worth remembering that the self-titled was actually recorded back in 2012, as well as with a different rhythm section.

The bigger shift is in terms of sound, however. The Occultation of Light pretty brazenly takes on classic prog ideals while holding onto the open, lysergic vibes of its predecessors, and its songs retain the richness that made the self-titled so ready for repeat listens. I’m sure I’ll have more about it before the release — like that bio that I’m not saying I wrote — but here are some preliminaries:

mondo drag the occultation of light

Mondo Drag Release “The Occultation of Light” on Feb. 26 via RidingEasy Records

Mondo Drag, the transplated Bay Area band (originally hailing from Iowa), release The Occultation of Light on Feb. 26, 2016.

“Each of our albums has directional changes in songwriting and this third chapter is no exception,” says vocalist/keyboardist John Gamino. “Since moving to Oakland, we’ve been privy to the large amount of music that flows through a major cultural center. We’ve seen legendary acts like Magma, King Crimson, Goblin, and Yes. We are always trying to expand our sonic range and we definitely explore some new areas on the new album that we’ve not been to before.”

Produced by fellow Bay Area resident Phil Manley (Trans Am, Wooden Shjips), the album was recorded live, tracked and mixed on analog tape at El Studio in San Francisco following a tour with Electric Citizen and Slow Season.

The Occultation of Light track list:
Out of Sight
Rising Omen
Incendiary Procession
The Eye
In Your Head (Parts I & II)
Dying Light
Ride The Sky (Bonus Track)

Mondo Drag is John Gamino (vocals/keys), Nolan Girard (guitar/synth), Jake Sheley (guitar), Andrew O’Neil (bass) and Ventura Garcia (drums).

Mondo Drag, Live at Saint Vitus Bar, July 18, 2015

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Neurosis Announce Sleep and Shellac as Support for 30th Anniversary Shows in San Francisco

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

This news came through the other day, but now that tickets are on sale, I didn’t figure anyone would really mind a retread of the fact that Neurosis have added Sleep and Shellac as openers for their 30th anniversary shows next March in San Francisco. They’ll play two nights at the Regency Ballroom March 4 and 5, doing career-spanning sets that they’ll be taking overseas a month later to perform again at Roadburn 2016. Hard to imagine a career as landmark as theirs being summed up even in two nights, but no doubt that 30 years after the fact, Neurosis know what the hell they’re doing.

And they’re certainly keeping good company. The PR wire has it like this:


NEUROSIS Announces Sleep And Shellac As Support For San Francisco 30th Anniversary Shows; Tickets Go On Sale Tomorrow

NEUROSIS announces the details for the band’s upcoming stateside 30th anniversary performances set to take place in San Francisco this March, including the opening support acts and ticket links.

Passing their thirty-year mark this Winter, NEUROSIS will celebrate this milestone with two stateside performances on March 4th and 5th at San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom, and then two more sets on April 16th and 17th headlining Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, The Netherlands. At these four very special performances, NEUROSIS will deliver a massive two-hour set list, invoking material spanning their entire recorded lineage, from 1987’s Pain Of Mind through 2012’s Honor Found In Decay, with varied set lists at each event. These sets will span the band’s entire career, showcasing the comprehensive evolution, from their primitive beginnings into the seminal, epic outfit of today, as the band’s ever evolving, sonic palette has become a genre-defying template for underground music over the last three decades, avoiding genre classification.

Support for NEUROSIS on Friday, March 4th will be provided by longtime Bay Area comrades and masters of the sonic doom riff, Sleep. Support for Saturday, March 5th will be handled by Steve Albini’s minimalist rock outfit, Shellac, also longtime friends of NEUROSIS through Albini’s involvement in helping capture much of the band’s recorded material since before the turn of the millennium.

Tickets to all of NEUROSIS’ San Francisco and Netherlands 30th Anniversary shows go on sale, Friday, November 20th, at Noon Pacific.

NEUROSIS 30th Anniversary Performances:
3/04/2016 Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA
3/05/2016 Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA
4/15/2015 Hat Patronaat – Roadburn, Tilburg, NL *STEVE VON TILL and SCOTT KELLY solo performances
4/16/2016 013 – Roadburn, Tilburg, NL
4/17/2016 013 – Roadburn, Tilburg, NL

Neurosis, Live at the Saint Vitus Bar, Brooklyn, Aug. 10, 2015

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Saviours on Tour Now with C.O.C., Brant Bjork and Mothership

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 18th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

saviours (Photo by Rick Rodney)

I said at some point after all this madness began that I would probably be posting the same tour dates from the four different perspectives of the four bands involved, and as of this post, I’ve done just that. First was Corrosion of Conformity (posted here), then came Brant Bjork (posted here), the Mothership (posted here), and now Saviours. Think maybe I’m trying to get the point across that this tour is fucking awesome? Yeah, maybe.

As fate would have it, the run is underway now. Saviours are on it supporting their new album, Palace of Vision (review forthcoming), which is out on Listenable Records. They have a couple off-night headlining gigs booked as well, and more dates after the Monsters of Riff is done, so as you peruse the PR wire info below, don’t expect just the same old list.

Dig it:

look at this frickin tour

SAVIOURS: North American Tour With Corrosion Of Conformity Underway

Still building upon the foundation that Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy and Motörhead laid decades prior, California volume abusers, SAVIOURS, enters their second decade in a new partnership with Listenable Records and their long anticipated new full-length, Palace Of Vision.

Rooted in hardcore punk but preferring to cruise in outer space, SAVIOURS have always brought an infectious swing and swagger to their forward-charging heavy metal. The band melds the prime tenets of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, progressive rock, and proto-doom, and delivers it all with a snarling, West Coast hardcore edge. The result is a rugged beast of a sound that is singularly SAVIOURS.

Palace Of Vision is the band’s first proper full-length in four years and picks up where the molten manifestations of 2011’s Death’s Procession left off, spewing forth nine fiery tracks of towering riffs, monolithic rhythms, infectious guitar harmonies and an obsession with the end of times, the occult, psychedelics and the arcane. From fast-paced road ragers to lumbering doom pounders, SAVIOURS’ Palace Of Vision is perpetually hell-bent on taking listeners away to an entirely new dimension of volume abuse.

Following the release of Palace Of Vision, SAVIOURS will kick off a North American Fall tour supporting Corrosion Of Conformity and Brant Bjork And The Low Desert Punk Band. The trek will commence on November 16th and run through December 10th with additional support provided by Mothership. From there the band will level ten more stages from December 11th to December 20th to close out the year.

SAVIOURS w/ Corrosion Of Conformity, Brant Bjork And The Low Desert Punk Band, Mothership:
11/18/2015 Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
11/19/2015 High Water Marl – Portland, OR * SAVIOURS only
11/20/2015 Venue Nightclub – Vancouver, BC
11/21/2015 Neumo’s – Seattle, WA
11/23/2015 The Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO
11/24/2015 The Riot Room – Kansas City, MO
11/25/2015 Mill City Nights – Minneapolis, MN
11/27/2015 Rtr 20 – Racine, WI
11/28/2015 The Odeon – Cleveland, OH
11/29/2015 Underground Arts – Philadelphia, PA
11/30/2015 Firehouse Saloon – Rochester, NY * SAVIOURS only
12/01/2015 Opera House – Toronto, ON
12/02/2015 Machine Shop – Flint, MI
12/03/2015 Altar Bar – Pittsburgh, PA
12/04/2015 Gramercy Theater – New York, NY
12/05/2015 Brighton Music Hall – Allston, MA
12/07/2015 9:30 Club – Washington, DC
12/08/2015 Orange Peel – Asheville, NC
12/09/2015 Shaka’s Live – Virginia Beach, VA
12/10/2015 Lincoln Theatre – Raleigh, NC

SAVIOURS Headlining Dates:
12/11/2015 The 529 – Atlanta, GA
12/12/2015 The Nick – Birmingham, AL
12/13/2015 Siberia – New Orleans, OR
12/14/2015 Boondocks – Houston, TX
12/15/2015 611 E. 7th – Austin, TX
12/16/2015 Three Links – Dallas, TX
12/18/2015 Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
12/19/2015 Flycatcher – Tucson, AZ
12/20/2015 All Star Lanes – Los Angeles, CA

Since the 2005 release of their debut EP, Warship, SAVIOURS has worked relentlessly, touring North America, Europe, and Japan with the likes of Mastodon, Corrosion Of Conformity, The Sword, High On Fire, Saint Vitus and Clutch. In just a few short years, SAVIOURS had risen to become stalwarts of the world’s metal scene, ambassadors of an aggressive-yet-stoned West Coast vibe, inspired by the ‘70s but totally real and relevant in 2015.

Palace Of Vision was captured at Type Foundry in Portland, Oregon with Billy Anderson (Neurosis, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth, Eyehategod, Taurus, Ommadon etc.) and comes sheathed in the fittingly dark, intricately transfixing cover renderings of Derrick Snodgrass (Obliterations, Lecherous Gaze).

Saviours, “Palace of Vision”

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High on Fire Touring Australia/New Zealand in Feb.; North American Dates Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

high on fire (Photo by Jimmy Hubbard)

In about two months’ time, High on Fire will cover ground on two sides of the planet. It’s not their first time in either territory, of course, but a pretty impressive feat when one considers the amount of geography they’re taking on and the fact that 18 years on from getting together, they continue to tour like 20-year-old punk rockers. Their latest, Luminiferous (review here), is out on eOne Music, but you’re already well aware of that, because it’s High on Fire. They may be a known quality, but that doesn’t make their live show any less devastating.

They hit Australia and New Zealand in February, and are back in the US in March to take part in the Decibel tour with Abbath. I cobbled together details from the PR wire:

high on fire tour

HIGH ON FIRE to Join 2016 Decibel Magazine Tour; Lineup + Dates Announced

Legendary California Metal Band, Abbath, Skeletonwitch and Tribulation Unite for All-Star North American Trek

Life is Noise presents: AUSTRALIA + NEW ZEALAND TOUR FEBRUARY 2016

Heavy music giants HIGH ON FIRE will tour North America as part of the 2016 Decibel Magazine Tour, set to launch March 17 in Baltimore, MD. Joining HIGH ON FIRE on the bill will be Sweden’s Tribulation, Ohio’s Skeletonwitch and Abbath (former frontman of Norwegian black metal legends, Immortal). The month-long trek will run through April 15 in Philadelphia, PA.

High on Fire have always been a band best consumed in the flesh. Their live show is an invigorating display of three world-class musicians at their creative peak. These songs erupt with unparalleled ferocity on stage. Pike’s mastery of the guitar is a sight to behold – he’s the kind of talent we’ll be talking about in the heavy metal canon for decades to come. Don’t miss your chance to see one of the most powerful live bands on the planet.

See High on Fire crush skulls and melt faces on the following dates:
Perth – Rosemount Hotel – Wednesday, February 17
Adelaide – Fowler’s – Thursday, February 18
Melbourne – Max Watt’s – Friday, February 19
Sydney – Manning Bar – Saturday, February 20
Brisbane – Crowbar – Sunday, February 21
Auckland – Kings Arms – Tuesday, February 23
Presented with Under the Radar.

2016 DECIBEL Magazine Tour Dates
Featuring Abbath, High on Fire, Skeletonwitch and Tribulation
March 17 Baltimore, MD Baltimore Soundstage
March 18 Charlotte, NC Amos’ Southend
March 19 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
March 20 Ybor City, FL The Ritz Ybor
March 22 Dallas, TX Gas Monkey Live!
March 23 Austin, TX Emo’s
March 25 Scottsdale, AZ Live Wire
March 26 San Diego, CA The Observatory North Park
March 27 Santa Ana, CA The Observatory
March 28 Los Angeles, CA The Regent Theater DTLA
March 29 San Francisco, CA The Regency Ballroom
March 31 Portland, OR Roseland Theatre
April 1 Seattle, WA El Corazon
April 2 Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom
April 5 Denver, CO Gothic Theatre
April 6 Lawrence, KS Granada Theater
April 7 Minneapolis, MN Mill City Night
April 8 Chicago, IL – Metro
April 9 Cleveland, OH Agora Ballroom
April 10 Toronto, ON The Opera House
April 12 New York, NY Webster Hall
April 14 Boston, MA Royale
April 15 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer

High on Fire on Spotify

High on Fire, Luminiferous (2015)

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Black Cobra Roll Van, Roll On

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

black cobra 1

If you’ve ever heard one of their records or especially if you’ve ever seen them play, you know San Francisco two-piece Black Cobra sound pretty indestructible, but you’d rather not see it put to this kind of test. In the home stretch of their tour alongside YOB, which is headed west to finish out now after hitting the Midwest and the East Coast since starting Oct. 22, the duo flipped their van, and as you can see in the photos above and below, the damage was pretty severe.

Rock and roll is littered with these kinds of stories and many times they turn out much worse than this one. Guitarist/vocalist Jason Landrian and drummer Rafa Martinez were uninjured apart from some reported scratches, and they’ll continue on and conclude the remaining four dates of the tour traveling with YOB. Obviously it sucks that Black Cobra‘s van got totaled, but the excellent news is that neither member was seriously injured. No doubt shook up, but pressing on nonetheless and able to play the last several shows. Much respect, happy van shopping, and sigh of relief.

Black Cobra are due to release their fifth full-length, Imperium Simulacra, on Feb. 26, 2016, as their label debut on Season of Mist after two records on At a Loss and two on Southern Lord. Their update went like this:

black cobra van

We just had a pretty crazy accident in the middle of Texas, but after a couple van flips, we made it out alive and pretty much unscathed except for a couple scratches. We are now rolling with the amazing gents in ?#?Yob? and will be finishing out the remaining tour dates with them. Thank you to everyone who has sent their thoughts our way. Remember to wear your seat belts…

Black Cobra and YOB remaining dates:
11/18 – Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
11/19 – San Diego, CA – Brick by Brick
11/20 – Los Angeles, CA – Echo
11/21 – Oakland, CA – Metro

Black Cobra, Invernal (2011)

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Saturday Full-Length: Eagles of Death Metal, Peace, Love, Death Metal

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 14th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Eagles of Death Metal, Peace, Love, Death Metal (2004)

I don’t believe in an afterlife. The body functions as a series of chemical reactions, and when that stops, it stops. Consciousness, our being, our soul, is not separate from that. We decay and our matter supports future life in an ongoing universal cycle. It is a process beautiful enough that a religious idea of heaven seems redundant.

Some might tell you that without god — really any god will do, but there are certainly individual teams out there touting their own over the others — anything becomes morally permissible. I’d counter that the events in Paris last night and many in the past demonstrate clearly that anything is morally permissible anyway, and that over the course of our history as a species, this chaos is not an aberration, but an ever-present norm. And that, since belief in the afterlife reward for “being good” while we’re alive hasn’t worked, maybe it’s time to try something else.

That’s not an especially persuasive position, but if you think you’re going to try to reason someone away from their deity, you’re wasting your breath anyhow, and it’s in times like this that it gives me comfort to know that even in the best of cases, life is short, and then over. It means that all we have while we exist is each other. Rather than ultimate spiritual anarchy, it means we need each other even more, to hold onto in this expanding void that only makes us smaller as it goes. It’s all the more reason to be as good, willfully kind, passionate and loving as we can possibly be, because the only ones who can help us through is us. We are all we have.

Amid the anger, the ongoing brutalities of war, the unquestioning of violence, it is imperative that we remember how much the same we are. How among us there is no “other,” and that any loss of life in a situation like that in Paris last night, whether the innocent person attending the Eagles of Death Metal show at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, or someone out to dinner at a cafe, or at a football match, or a refugee falling out of a raft and drowning, or someone killed in a drone strike, or someone whose family has been murdered by a state, or someone driven to the point of suicide bombing or indiscriminately firing automatic weapons into an assembled crowd, is a tragedy. It’s not “us” and “them.” It’s just us.

The day when we can act on that belief as one people, all one voice, will probably never come. We have existed in conflict since before apes set up hierarchical social structures and I expect we will until there are none of us left. More reason to huddle together as much as possible and love those near you with everything you are.

When the history of these attacks is written — and it will be written about endlessly, and soft voices will wonder where the perpetrators got their funding and AK-47s and explosive devices, while loud voices actively do not — music will likely be a footnote. Eagles of Death Metal the same. A happenstance setting of a drawn, contained crowd rather than a causal factor. Nonetheless, these attacks now define the lives of everyone there, the band included, and those who survived will carry that with them for as long as they continue to live. For many, that feeling of shock and horror and that image of their compatriots being murdered will have a permanent fix on their being.

This makes it harder to ask someone to throw away their tradition and comfort in the notion of an eternal life for a blank-stare meaninglessness that requires us to create our own warmth in each other when over and over we show ourselves to be so mercilessly cold. But that is all we’ve ever had in the first place.

Love and strength to all of those affected by last night’s events. Vive la France, and please, peace.

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Mondo Generator Announce Fall 2015 European Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 13th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Sometimes you just gotta get out, and get right. Following up on a summer solo acoustic run and a US stint with Peter Pan Speedrock, Nick Oliveri (you fucking know who he is, you don’t need the list of bands) will be taking Mondo Generator on the road in Europe starting on Nov. 21 at Speedfest in gorgeous, lives-in-my-dreams Eindhoven. The band has gone through a notable lineup shift with guitarist Ian Taylor departing and with the swap-out of drummer Hoss Wright for Jeff Bowman, but this new trio incarnation of the band has entered writing mode, and it looks like they’ll have a follow-up in the works next year for 2013’s Hell Comes to Your Heart. Oliveri, of course, also released the solo album, Leave Me Alone (streamed here), last year under the working band moniker Nick Oliveri’s Uncontrollable.

The PR wire fills in on the latest:

mondo generator

Mondo Generator announce dates for 2015 Fall European Tour and enter writing mode for new album.

Mondo Generator is: Nick Oliveri – Bass/Lead Vocals, Mike Pygmie – Guitar/Backing Vocals, Jeff Bowman – Drums

Southern California based hybrid metal/punk veterans Mondo Generator return to the Old World for a three week long tour across the European continent in late November that begins at Speedfest in Eindhoven, Netherlands and concludes in Paris, France in December. Having just recently finished a US tour with Peter Pan Speedrock, Mondo Generator big chief Nick Oliveri has this to say about their return:

“I feel great knowing that Mondo Generator is returning to Europe a faster, heavier machine than ever before. Expect a slam pit and we expect you to be in it.”

Mondo Generator recently had a lineup shift with the departure of both longtime guitarist Ian Taylor from the fold and drummer Hoss Wright. They’ve recently recruited and welcomed desert native and long time friend Jeff Bowman (Unsound/Uncontrollable) on the drums and are currently in writing mode for their fifth full length. Europe has always been good to Mondo Generator and this return marks their first trip back since 2013’s European run in support of Hell Comes To Your Heart.

Mondo Generator European dates:
21/11 – Speedfest (Eindhoven, NL)
22/11 – Iduna (Drachten, NL)
23/11 – Black Heart (London, UK)
24/11 – Voodoo Lounge (Dublin, IR)
25/11 – Limelight 2 (Belfast, UK)
26/11 – Portland Arms (Cambridge, UK)
28/11 – Lo Fi (Milano, Italy)
29/11 – Raindogs House (Savona, Italy)
30/11 – Init (Rome, Italy)
1/12 – Freakout Club (Bologna, Italy)
2/12 – Viper Room (Vienna, Austria)
3/12 – Orangehouse (Munich, Germany)
4/12 – Kammgarn (Schaffenhausen, Germany)
5/12 – Dietrich (Giessen, Germany)
6/12 – Kavka (Antwerp, Belgium)
7/12 – La Pinche (Lille, France)
8/12 – Stoned Gathering (Paris, France)

Mondo Generator, Live in Fullerton, CA, March 23, 2015

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