Posted in Reviews on January 30th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Consolamentum is the fourth full-length from increasingly progressive UK-based doomers The Wounded Kings and also their debut on Candlelight Records. It’s also their most consistent album-to-album lineup in the band since 2010′s The Shadow over Atlantis (review here) followed 2008′s Embrace of the Narrow Housedebut with just the founding duo of guitarist/keyboardist Steve Mills and bassist/vocalist George Birch, who was out following The Wounded Kings‘ 2010 split with Cough, An Introduction to the Black Arts(review here), as Mills constructed a more complete lineup of the band that would be able to play live. The third album, 2011′s In the Chapel of the Black Hand(review here), arrived with a markedly quick turnaround considering that apart from Mills it was entirely new players involved — vocalist Sharie Neyland, drummer Myke Heath, bassist Jim Willumsen and guitarist Alex Kearney – and particularly with Neyland‘s haunting vocal resonance, tapped into dark elements of cult metal to coincide with three extended pieces the doom of which was complete and encompassing. On Consolamentum, all parties but Willumsen return, and though it’s somewhat ironic that with largely the same group they’d also have their longest break between records to date (three years), with Al Eliadis on bass and Chris Fielding producing, The Wounded Kings have created an album that feels like their most band-oriented work yet, recorded live and brimming with atmospheric density.
Like In the Chapel of the Black Hand, Consolamentum finds The Wounded Kings working with and around an extended trinity of songs. Opener “Gnosis” is the longest of the bunch (immediate points) at 13:20, and its complemented by the centerpiece title-track at 9:08 and the penultimate “The Silence” at 12:14. All three work at the hypnotic crawl one might expect from The Wounded Kings‘ past work — though “Gnosis” picks up toward the end and each seems to offer a payoff of its own — but there’s development evident not just in how well the five-piece work together over the course of Consolamentum‘s 47 minutes, but also in where they go. Each of the longer works is complemented by a shorter one, and as “Elige Magistrum” starts with a pickslide that such a perfect port of that from the beginning of Black Sabbath‘s “Into the Void” that I wondered at first if it might be a sample (it isn’t), it becomes clear that not only are The Wounded Kings reveling in the bleak, deep-running murk of their own tones and the ritual elements that Mills brings to tracks like “Lost Bride” with long-held Hammond notes, they’re also having fun doing it. Completely instrumental, “Elige Magistrum” (1:29) is essentially the band jamming on a riff. It just so happens that when The Wounded Kings do it, it sounds like the end of the world. The subdued “Space Conqueror” (2:23) follows “Consolamentum” and while the actual sound of it is minimalist and arguably the most brooding stretch on the record, it’s also called “Space Conqueror,” so, you know, it’s not without a sense of levity.
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Hearty congratulations to UK trio Coltsblood on aligning themselves with Candlelight Records for the release of their upcoming debut full-length, Into the Unfathomable Abyss. They made it pretty clear on their Beyond the Lake of Madness demo tape (review here) that they were in it for a considerable slog, and with the LP recorded by Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studio, they’re likely to emerge with precisely that.
The announcement came through this morning, so by all means, dig in:
Candlelight Records sign UK monolithic doomers Coltsblood
Candlelight Records today announces the signing of UK monolithic doomers Coltsblood.
“Coltsblood is the sound of the past, the voices of ancestors, terrifying legends once roared with passion from around fires beneath open skies, fuelled by mead and ale; it is the darkest depths of the human mind and the great journey into the unknown of which we all face. Like Celts thundering into war, Coltsblood take up their weapons and summon colossal riffs loud enough for their ancient Gods to hear. Somewhere in the past, war drums thunder, there bellows a blood curdling cry, fires roar, terror resonates, there is freedom, death, life, meaning. Coltsblood feels the need to recreate the strength and power of these spiritual memories.
Coltsblood formed in Northern England in 2010 but did not surface until 2013 when a demo tape entitled ‘Beyond the Lake of Madness’ was self-recorded and released. Ulthar Records released this demo on vinyl soon after. Coltsblood spent months pillaging the lands, guzzling mead and sharing the stage with many greats within the UK underground as well as Indesinence, Vomitor and Watain. The band recorded and self-released another cassette tape, a four track split with Crypt Lurker which featured a cover of Celtic Frost’s ‘Procreation (Of The Wicked). During this time, the band earned a storm of reviews comparing the music with all genres from funeral doom to black metal and hailing Coltsblood as monolithic, crushing, filthy, bleak, melodic, devastating, other-worldly and horrific.
On the Full Moon of September 2013, Coltsblood entered Skyhammer Studio with Chris Fielding (Primordial, Winterfylleth, Napalm Death, Electric Wizard) and recorded its first full length entitled ‘Into The Unfathomable Abyss’ over the sacred Autumnal Equinox. The album was mastered by James Plotkin due to his extensive work with bands such as Khanate, SunnO))), Indesinence and Isis. Coltsblood was honoured to ask bassist/vocalist and artist Eric C Harrison to create exclusive artwork for the music due to a long time respect for the band Grief.
In 2014 Coltsblood sign to Candlelight Records for the release of ‘Into The Unfathomable Abyss’.”
“It is a sheer honour to sign to the mighty Candlelight Records and join an incredible roster featuring legends such as Orange Goblin and Emperor alongside many of the greatest bands in the UK and a diverse mix of extreme bands from all corners of the world, many of which we feel a real affinity with. Candlelight has been amazingly supportive and welcoming from the word go and we are looking forward to being a part of such a great label.”
Last year, Corrosion of Conformity‘s Scion A/V-sponsored Megalodon EP continued to win the long-running North Carolina outfit favor in the wake of their 2012 self-titled (review here), their first album as a trio since 1985′s Animosity. As the studio footage of drummer Reed Mullin recording some vocal parts demonstrates, work on a follow-up is underway now.
It’s funny to think of a band who’ve been at it since 1982 — and who are back in their original lineup — as having something to prove, but with the C.O.C. audience contingent who can’t or don’t want to move beyond the fact that guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan isn’t in the band at this point and may or may not rejoin them at some future date (he’s in Down if you’re looking for him), the three-piece of bassist/vocalist Mike Dean (also Vista Chino), Mullin and guitarist Woody Weatherman seem to still be pushing against expectations born of their Deliverance era. I’m not going to argue that’s not a great, landmark record, but it was also 20 years ago, and you’re only cheating yourself if you miss out on the quality output from modern C.O.C. – who, again, are also the original C.O.C. – because of Keenan‘s absence.
My two cents. Check out Mullin belting out a new song below, followed by some PR wire info courtesy of the band’s label, Candlight Records and the link to the event page for their upcoming show at The Underworld in London on March 13:
C.O.C., Back in the Studio
Raleigh, North Carolina legends Corrosion Of Conformity are recording their next album, the follow-up to the well-received self-titled record issued via Candlelight Records in late February 2012, the reissue of their “Eye For An Eye” debut, and the released Scion A/V EP “Megalodon”. The forthcoming CD, untitled at this time, will again feature the trio of vocalist/bassist Mike Dean, guitarist Woodroe Weatherman, and drummer Reed Mullin. A new video clip from the studio can be seen below.
The initial work on the new album found the band not long out of the recording studio, having recently completed their “Megalodon” EP. The special EP was included free to all customers to the band’s official webstore. Dean said: “The EP was written, recorded, and released in two months’ time. It really challenged us in a good way.”
Formed in Raleigh in 1982, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY quickly transformed heavy music. Politically charged and socially aware, the band has influenced countless others and today remains humble about their accomplishments. With over 1.1 million albums sold in the United States, the band continues to find new fans via nonstop touring.
Posted in Whathaveyou on December 11th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
That each album by UK doomers The Wounded Kings would sound different from the one before it makes sense — for the most part it’s been a different lineup on all of them. But it goes deeper than that. Founding guitarist Steve Mills has always brought a fervently progressive mentality to his songwriting, since the band’s 2008 debut, Embrace of the Narrow House, and it extended right up to 2011′s In the Chapel of the Black Hand(review here), which was the first LP from the band to feature frontwoman Sharie Neyland. Consolamentum will be the second, and with live-recorded production from Chris Fielding and Candlelight Records behind it, I can’t wait to hear how it’s turned out.
Here’s the release announcement, courtesy of the PR wire:
THE WOUNDED KINGS Deliver The Goods With Consolamentum
Candlelight Records today confirms February 25th as the North American release date of Consolamentum, the label debut from English doom metallers, THE WOUNDED KINGS. Produced by Chris Fielding (Electric Wizard), the album will be available for preorders via iTunes and other digital platforms beginning January 14th.
Discussing the album earlier this year, guitarist and band founder Steve Mills revealed, “this album will be our most expansive and heaviest.” Indeed it is. Consolamentum’s opening song, “Gnosis,” clocks in at a mammoth thirteen minutes. From there it latches on to your soul as it travels a dark and desolate sonic terrain. “The entire album was recorded and mixed in six days during the hottest week of the year in a studio miles from anything in the Cornish countryside,” shares producer Chris Fielding. “Recorded completely live, it captures the natural feel of the band. I find it to be a real step forward musically and very rewarding.”
Overcoming numerous lineup shifts since their formation in 2005, Mills and the KINGS have amazed audiences with their powerful stage personae. To date the Dartmoor-based five piece has released three full-length studio albums and a well-received split album with Richmond, Virginia’s Cough. The band has been finding a growing American audience since the release of their 2011 album, In The Chapel Of The Black Hand. It is the first to feature Neyland.
Consolamentum Track Listing: 1. Gnosis 2. Lost Bride 3. Elige Magistrum 4. Consolamentum 5. Space Conqueror 6. The Silence 7. Sacrifice
THE WOUNDED KINGS is guitarist/keyboardist Steve Mills, vocalist Sharie Neyland, guitarist Alex Kearney, bassist Al Eliadis, and drummer Myke Heath.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 9th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Including a two-show day on Sept. 21 covering the Indianapolis Metalfest III and later that evening in Dayton, Ohio — just a thrilling trip down I-70 away — Sadgiqacea are once again hitting the road in support of their 2013 Candlelight Records debut, False Prism, and they’re bringing along the also-difficult-to-spell-but-in-a-subtler-way Haethen for the trip. It’s a week of shows that start next Wednesday and they’ve aptly called it the “Week Long Tour.” Truth in advertising.
Also sprach the PR wire:
SADGIQACEA: September Eastern US Tour Dates Confirmed
While still unpacking from their massive recent Summer trek which saw the duo occupying more than forty cities across the country with cohorts Hivelords, this week Philadelphia-based spiritualistic sludge duo SADGIQACEA confirms yet another new tour in support of their Candlelight Records debut False Prism.
Originating in Boston on Wednesday, September 18th, the new bout of East Coast performances will take SADGIQACEA on a six-city trek through Washington, Columbus, Indianapolis and Dayton before the final show in Pittsburgh on Sunday the 22nd. SADGIQACEA will be performing alongside their comrades Haethen for all shows except the Indianapolis Metalfest III where they’ll play alongside the likes of Incantation, Decrepit Birth, Byzantine and more, but following their early set at the fest the duo will trek over to Dayton, Ohio to meet back up with Haethen for a second show that day.
SADGIQACEA Fall Tour w/ Haethen: 9/18/2013 Roggies – Boston, MA w/ The Binary Code, Scaphism, Brain Famine 9/19/2013 The Pinch Bar – Washington, DC w/ Caustic Casanova 9/20/2013 The Summit – Columbus, OH w/ Swarm 9/21/2013 Old National Centre – Indianapolis, IN @ Indianapolis Metalfest III (*no Haethen) 9/21/2013 Blind Bob’s – Dayton, OH w/ Half Ghost 9/22/2013 The Smiling Moose – Pittsburgh, PA w/ Dendritic Arbor, Wrought Iron, Dutchguts, Ubasute, Dope Lake
SADGIQACEA draws from a melting pot of influences that together presents a lush yet tension-filled sound. Their debut full-length, False Prism, is a forty-minute journey bearing four mammoth tracks, captured without the use of overdubs to preserve the authentic recording quality of their live performances, recorded and produced by Chris Grigg of Woe. False Prism was released via Candlelight on CD and limited edition vinyl via Anthropic Records in May.
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 25th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Well, they said it was coming. Not sure yet if guitarist Joe Hoare will be healed up from his recent Achilles tendon injury (though reportedly he’s doing well and didn’t need surgery), but one way or another, Orange Goblin are once again storming North American shores this fall, this time as headliners on their own tour with Holy Grail and Lazer/Wulf.
Whilst you’re pre-booking your liver transplant, dig the following off the PR wire:
ORANGE GOBLIN To Return To North America This Autumn
Britain’s premier stoner metal band ORANGE GOBLIN will return to perform at venues throughout North America this Autumn. Following the band’s huge success earlier this year as main support for Clutch on their Earth Rocker North American tour, the Brits return for a full headlining run. Kicking off in New Orleans on September 27, the band will visit 38 cities around the United States and Canada before concluding in Nashville on November 9. Support on the tour will come from Holy Grail and Lazer/Wulf.
The trek finds ORANGE GOBLIN continuing a year-long commitment to performances in support of their latest studio album, A Eulogy For the Damned (2012), and first live CD/DVD released earlier this year. This rigorous schedule has seen them perform in over 25 countries across the globe, ensuring that the band is firing on all cylinders and maintaining their reputation as one of the fiercest and most exciting live acts on the planet! In fact, Clutch’s own Neil Fallon was recently seen on That Metal Show wearing an ORANGE GOBLIN shirt and proclaiming them to be one of his favorite bands!
Released March 12, A Eulogy For The Fans/Orange Goblin Live 2012 includes ORANGE GOBLIN’s complete performances from England ’s Bloodstock Open Air and France’s Hellfest. The package’s DVD includes the official Tom Cronin directed videos for “Red Tide Rising” and “Acid Trial,” the latter courtesy of Scion A/V. It further includes the Matt Chance directed “Red Tide Rising” documentary and Gaetan Chataigner directed “Highway to Hellfest” documentary. Art and design was provided by Jimbob Isaac under the direction of vocalist Ben Ward. The live album follows the release of A Eulogy For The Damned, now ORANGE GOBLIN’s highest selling album in North America. Produced by Jamie Dodd and mastered by two-time Grammy-nominated engineer Andy Jackson (Pink Floyd), the album entered the UK charts at position 96 and for the US landed on Billboard Magazine’s Heat Seekers chart at position 38.Tickets for the tour are set to go on sale via all appropriate ticket agencies and venue box offices next week. Confirmed dates are below.
ORANGE GOBLIN w/ Holy Grail, Lazer/Wulf 09/27/2013 One Eyed Jacks – New Orleans, LA 09/28/2013 Red 7 – Austin, TX 09/29/2013 Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX 09/30/2013 Club Dada – Dallas, TX 10/01/2013 Sister Bar – Albuquerque, NM 10/02/2013 Yucca Tap Room – Tempe, AZ 10/04/2013 The Catalyst – Santa Cruz, CA 10/05/2013 The Satellite – Los Angeles, CA 10/06/2013 Soda Bar – San Diego, CA 10/08/2013 The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA 10/09/2013 Oakland Opera House – Oakland, CA 10/10/2013 Oak Street Speakeasy – Eugene, OR 10/11/2013 Fall Into Darkness Festival – Portland, OR 10/12/2013 The Highline – Seattle, WA 10/13/2013 Rickshaw Theater – Vancouver, BC 10/15/2013 The Palomino – Calgary, AB 10/17/2013 The Pawn Shop – Edmonton, AB 10/18/2013 Amigos – Saskatoon, SK 10/19/2013 Windsor Hotel – Winnipeg, MB 10/20/2013 The Aquarium – Fargo, ND 10/21/2013 Triple Rock – Minneapolis, MN 10/22/2013 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL 10/23/2013 Pyramid Scheme – Grand Rapids, MI 10/24/2013 Now That’s Class – Cleveland, OH 10/25/2013 Rockstar Arena – Dayton, OH 10/26/2013 Rex Theater – Pittsburgh, PA 10/27/2013 London Music Hall – London, ON 10/28/2013 The Opera House – Toronto, ON 10/29/2013 Mavericks – Ottawa, ON 10/30/2013 Foufounes Electriques – Montreal, QC 11/01/2013 Empire – Springfield, VA 11/02/2013 Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY 11/03/2013 The Note – West Chester, PA 11/05/2013 Strange Matter – Richmond, VA 11/06/2013 Tremont Music Hall – Charlotte, NC 11/07/2013 Broadway’s – Asheville, NC 11/08/2013 The Earl – Atlanta, GA 11/09/2013 Exit/In – Nashville, TN
ORANGE GOBLIN is vocalist Ben Ward, guitarist Joe Hoare, bassist Martyn Millard, and drummer Chris Turner. The band is endorsed by Fender Guitars, Marshall Amps, Meinl Cymbals, Vater Sticks, Lace Pick Ups, Orange Amps, Natal Drums, Rotosound, and Jagermeister.
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 17th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
A speedy recovery to Orange Goblin guitarist Joe Hoare, who’s forced to sit out live dates after an injury to his Achilles tendon in Italy. Orange Goblin continues their international assault in support of 2012′s punch-you-in-the-face-it’s-so-good A Eulogy for the Damned(review here), and filling in for Hoare on the current round of Euro shows for the London four-piece will be guitar tech Neil Kingsbury.
The band toured the US earlier this year with Clutch and are slated to play Paris next month with Mondo Generator and Eyehategod. No word yet on when Hoare will be able to rejoin the band.
Here’s the latest:
We regret to report that the injury Joe sustained to his Achilles’ tendon yesterday is far more serious than first feared.
Joe completed yesterday’s show in Calenzano, Italy and was then taken to hospital in an ambulance where they confirmed that he has completely ruptured his Achilles. He is now in a cast to his knee and is being flown home today where he will require emergency surgery to repair the tendon.
Orange Goblin will endeavour to complete the rest of the summer tour in Europe with guitar tech and good friend Neil Kingsbury filling in on guitar. We thank Neil for taking this on at such short notice and hope you will come out and support him.
We wish Joe a safe journey home, a successful operation and a very, speedy recovery. Please leave him get well messages here to cheer him up.
“What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger in the long run.” – Stand For Something (Orange Goblin)
Orange Goblin, “Stand for Something” from A Eulogy for the Damned (2012)
Posted in Features on March 12th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
…Yeah, I know, 24 is a buttload of records to buy in the span of about a month and a half. To do the division, it would mean buying a new album every 2.04 days. Probably not feasible in terms of time, let alone budget, but hell, it’s a nice thought and seeing the onslaught of new stuff coming between now and the end of April, I thought maybe a list would help keep it all straight. Even if I’m only helping myself, I could probably spend my time in worse ways.
Worth noting that even with 24 albums, presented below in order of release, I feel like there’s stuff I’m forgetting. Frankly, it’s an overwhelming amount of material, so if I’ve missed something or there’s something you’d like to see added to the list, as always, that’s why there’s a comments feature.
Okay. These are numbered just for fun, but listed by date:
1. Orange Goblin, A Eulogy for the Fans (March 12)
My understanding is that London’s foremost doom scoundrels, none other than Orange Goblin, have been selling copies of A Eulogy for the Fans since starting their US tour with Clutch on March 8 in Cincinnati, Ohio, but today is the official release date, and I can think of no better place to start than with the four-piece’s ferocious performance at the 2012 Bloodstock festival, captured audio and video in all its bloodsoaked glory. Not to be missed or taken lightly because it’s a live record. Album review here.
2. Borracho, Mob Gathering 7″ (March 13)
Even though it’s comprised of older tracks, the new Mob Gathering 7″ from Borracho is welcome by me for two reasons: I’ve never heard the songs before and Borracho rocks. The Washington D.C.-based riffers recorded “Mob Gathering” and “Short Ride (When it’s Over)” in 2009 and are set to release the cuts on a limited platter in black and orange swirl through Spain’s Ghost Highway Recordings and Germany’s No Balls Records. They’ve been playing live as a mostly-instrumental outfit while guitarist/vocalist Noah is out of the country on what I can only assume is an awesome spy mission, so if you need a Borracho fix — and it’s obvious from the way your hands are shaking that you do — this might be the way to go. More info here.
3. Inter Arma, Sky Burial (March 15)
Like Windhand below, Inter Arma are recent Relapse Records signees from Richmond, Virginia, and Sky Burial will serve as their first release for the label. Literally and figuratively, the album is expansive, topping 69 minutes and pummeling the whole way through with a genre-transcending concoction of bleakness that’s not so much aligned to any particular heavy aesthetic so much as it is set to its own atmospheric purposes. Through this, Inter Arma emerge terrifyingly cohesive where many others would falter, and their second LP behind 2010′s Sundown (review here) leaves a progressive impression despite an almost complete lack of sonic pretense. Mostly, it’s fucking heavy. Track stream and info here.
4. Clutch, Earth Rocker (March 19)
If 2013 ended tomorrow, Clutch‘s Earth Rocker would be my album of the year. That’s not saying the situation will be the same nine months from now when I actually start putting that list together (already dreading it), but as of March 12, it’s the cat’s pajamas and no foolin’. The long-running Marylanders outdid themselves and put together a surprisingly fast, energetic collection of songs that don’t forsake the bluesy tendencies of their last album, 2009′s Strange Cousins from the West, so much as they put some of the jamming on lockdown in favor of all-out pro-grade heavy rock and roll. The velocity is crucial and the wolfman is out, but it feels like the party’s just starting. Look for them on tour sometime between now and forever. Album review here.
5. Black Mare, Field of the Host (March 20)
Black Math Horseman and Ides of Gemini frontwoman Sera Timms (who’s also recently collaborated with Yawning Man‘s Gary Arce in the new outfit Zun) steps further out on her own with the solo-project Black Mare, from whom Field of the Host is the first album. Due March 20 on LP through The Crossing and on cassette through Breathe Plastic, limited in both cases and sure to be gone shortly after release if they’re not already taken through pre-orders. Fans of Timms‘ past works will be glad to hear the misty wash of melody and dreamy, somehow sad, languid roll of “Blind One,” for starters. Audio and info on the forum.
6. Kvelertak, Meir (March 26)
Short of setting themselves on fire, Norwegian triple-guitar six-piece Kvelertak did just about everything they could to get noticed in support of their 2010 self-titled debut LP (review here), and sure enough, their work paid off in getting signed to Roadrunner Records for all territories outside their native Scandinavia (where Indie Recordings holds sway) and trumpeting up a wave of anticipation for their second full-length, Meir. Their energetic, genre-crossing approach might not be for everybody, but the band have turned a lot of heads and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to find them on bigger tours this year with Roadrunner behind them. More info on the forum.
7. Black Pyramid, Adversarial (April 2)
This is actually the first time the Eli Wood cover art for Black Pyramid‘s Adversarial has been seen in full, so you know. The Hydro-Phonic Records release of the third Black Pyramid album and first to be fronted by guitarist/vocalist Darryl Shepard along with bassist David Gein and drummer Clay Neely punctuates the beginning of a new era for the Massachusetts trio. If the advance listen to closing track “Onyx and Obsidian” is anything to go by, they could very well be at their most potent yet, and though I’d hardly consider myself an impartial observer, as a fan of the band, this is one I’ve been looking forward to for a while now. More to come. Track stream here.
8. Moss, Horrible Night (April 2)
I’ve yet to hear the complete album, but UK trio Moss seem poised to surprise with a cleaner vocal approach on Horrible Night, their first offering since 2008′s impressive Sub Templum LP and two EPs in 2009, so in addition to wondering how they’ll pull it off, the level of the shift remains to be seen. That is, how big a deal is it? Should I call my mom? Is this something grandma needs to know about? Time will tell, but for it having been five years since the last time a Moss record reared its doomly head, it seems only fair to give the band a little breathing room on their evolution. More info and video here.
9. Mars Red Sky, Be My Guide EP (April 8)
How glad am I that French fuzz rockers Mars Red Sky have a new EP coming? Well, I’m not as happy that it’s coming as I am that it’s frickin’ awesome. The trio keep the weighted bass tones that gave so much depth to their 2011 self-titled debut (review here), but they’ve also clearly set to work expanding the formula as well, adding stomp to second track “Seen a Ghost” and an eerie repetitive sense to side B closer “Stranger,” while also broadening their melodic reach and taking claim of whichever side of the line they want between fuzz rock and heavy psychedelia while remaining so much more to the ears than either genre descriptor can offer to the eyes. At half an hour, my only complaint with it is it’s not a full-length album. Video trailer and info here.
10. Blaak Heat Shujaa, The Edge of an Era (April 9)
A sample of the poet Ron Whitehead — who also featured on Blaak Heat Shujaa‘s late-2012 debut EP for Tee Pee Records, The Storm Generation (review here) — comes to clarity just in time for the gonzo Boomer poet to let us all know that, “America is an illusion” (that may be, but it’s an illusion with an army of flying killer robots), and from there, the youngin’ desert transplants embark on a low-end-heavy freakout topped with sweet surf rock guitars and set to use in intricate, sometimes surprisingly jagged, rhythmic dances. Mario Lalli of Fatso Jetson guests, Scott Reeder produced. Review is forthcoming, but till then, there’s more info here.
11. Devil to Pay, Fate is Your Muse (April 9)
Fate is Your Muse serves not only as Indianapolis rockers Devil to Pay‘s Ripple Music debut, but also as the double-guitar foursome’s first outing since 2009′s Heavily Ever After. With tales of lizardmen attacks and the alleged end of the world, it’s got its fair share of personality, and set to the chugging riffs, melodic vocals and straightforward heavy grooves, that personality still goes a long way. I’ll have a review up before this week is out (I hope), but still, I wanted to make sure to include Devil to Pay here too, since their songs command both attention and respect. To wit, I just can’t seem to get “This Train Won’t Stop” out of my head. Video and info here.
12. Cough & Windhand, Reflection of the Negative Split (April 15)
Virginian doomers Cough and Windhand share a hometown in Richmond, a love of volume, a bassist in Parker Chandler and now a label in Relapse Records, so yeah, a split makes sense. Reflection of the Negative will be Windhand‘s first release through Relapse ahead of their sophomore full-length, scheduled for later this year (info here). For Cough, this split marks their first outing since 2010′s An Introduction to the Black Arts split with UK masters The Wounded Kings (review here), and they’ll present the 18-minute “Athame,” while Windhand bring forth “Amaranth” and “Shepherd’s Crook.” More info here.
13. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Mind Control (April 15)
What the last Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats album, 2011′s Blood Lust (semi-review here), did so well was capture the atmosphere and the grainy imagery of late ’60s/early ’70s psychedelic horror and put it into audio form. For that, Blood Lust earned massive praise, but I still think that without the central core of songwriting underneath the genre trappings, it would’ve fallen flat. When it comes to Mind Control, the question waiting to be answered is if the band wants to stick to the blueprint they’ve established or go brazenly into uncharted weirdness. I’m not really sure they can lose, either way. Info and music here.
14. Kadavar, Abra Kadavar (April 16)
Their debut on new label Nuclear Blast and the quick-arriving answer to my pick for 2012 debut of the year, Abra Kadavar arrives with plenty of anticipation leading the way. The retro-rocking German trio have their work cut out for them in following that self-titled, but however it turns out in the comparison, it will be fascinating to learn how Kadavar develops the band’s sound and whether or not they prove able to push the boundaries of their aesthetic while simultaneously setting a new standard for promo photos. New video here.
15. Spiritual Beggars, Earth Blues (April 16)
I guess when it comes to these long-running Swedes, everybody’s got their favorite lineup, their favorite tunes, etc., but for me, I’m just impressed that Michael Amott — now more than 20 years on from starting Spiritual Beggars as a side-project while still in grindcore pioneers Carcass — still has any interest in keeping the classic rock Hammond-loving outfit grooving. Their last outing, 2010′s Return to Zero (review here), was the first to feature vocalist Apollo Papathanasio, formerly of Firewind, and though those songs were solid, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re more settled in on Earth Blues when it drops via InsideOut Music on April 16. More info on the forum.
16. Beastwars, Blood Becomes Fire (April 19)
Alternating between periods of brooding intensity and all-out crushing heaviness, the second full-length from New Zealand’s Beastwars, Blood Becomes Fire, is nasty, nasty, nasty. It’s nasty when it’s quiet and it’s nasty when it’s loud. It’s the kind of record you put on and you’re like, “Damn that’s nasty.” And you’re not wrong. The four-piece — touring shortly with Unida — upped their game even from 2011′s self-titled debut (review here), and for anyone who heard that record, you know that’s saying something. I’m still in the “getting to know it” phase, but so far all that nasty feels pretty right on. More info here.
17. Ghost, Infestissumam (April 19)
Man, this one just kind of happened, huh? I suck — and I mean S-U-C-K suck — at keeping up with band hype. I’m the dude who hears the record three months later and goes, “Yeah, I guess that’s cool,” as countless reviews here can attest, including the one for Ghost‘s 2010 debut, Opus Eponymous, but with the Swedish cult heavyweights, all of a sudden I turned around and blamo, major label deal, semi-name change to Ghost B.C., and enough slathering over the impending Infestissumam to make the first album seem like less than the hyperbole it was treated to initially. Funny how that happens. Out in April? I’m sure I’ll review in June and go, “Yeah, I guess that’s cool.” More info on the forum.
18. One Inch Giant, The Great White Beyond (April 19)
Now signed to Soulseller Records, Swedish heavy rockers One Inch Giant will unveil their debut full-length on April 19 and as three of my favorite words in the English language are “Swedish heavy rockers,” I’m excited to find out how this Gothenburg four-piece follow-up their Malva EP, and if they can capture some of the extreme dynamic they brought to their live show when they toured the US last summer — a run of shows that included a stop at SHoD. Hard not to pull for a band after they come over to play club dates. More info and music here.
19. The Heavy Co., Midwest Electric (April 20)
It was actually the other day writing about The Heavy Co.‘s Midwest Electric that I had the idea for this feature, so however high the profile might be for some of these albums — Ghost walks by on their way to cash a check — it was these unpretentious Hoosier rockers and their new outing, Midwest Electric, that started me off. From what I’ve heard so far, the new collection sounds a little more confident in exploring psychedelia than did the trio’s 2011 debut EP, The Heavy (Please Tune In…) (review here), so I’m looking forward to hearing if and how that plays out over the course of the whole thing. Video trailer here.
20. Gozu, The Fury of a Patient Man (April 23)
I have an interview slated for later this week with Gozu guitarist/vocalist Marc Gaffney, and I’m even more excited for this time than I was when we last spoke, around their 2009 Small Stone debut, Locust Season (review here), since in everything but its goofball song titles, the sophomore outing marks a huge developmental step in the band’s melodic reach and songwriting chemistry. Stay tuned for that interview and check out the Bandcamp stream included with the album review here.
21. Yawning Man & Fatso Jetson, European Tour Split 7″ (April 26)
Note: I don’t actually know that April 26 is the day that what’s sure to be 2013′s most desert-rocking split is due to arrive, I just know that it’s Fatso Jetson and Yawning Man‘s European tour split, and that’s the day the Euro dates start — with performances at Desertfests London and Berlin, to be more specific. Given both the greatness of Fatso Jetson‘s last record, 2010′s Archaic Volumes (review here), and of Yawning Man‘s own 2010 outing, Nomadic Pursuits (review here), the bands’ shared lineage and the relative infrequency of their touring, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to hope that, even for a single, they pull out all the stops. And starts. And riffs. More info on the forum.
22. Serpent Throne, Brother Lucifer (April 29)
Philly-based instrumental heavy rockers Serpent Throne will follow-up 2010′s White Summer/Black Winter (review here) with Brother Lucifer, and while no one can ever really know what to expect, it’s a safe bet that the dual-guitar outfit will have the solos front and center once again. Having seen them do a couple new songs back in December, I can’t blame them in the slightest. Looking forward to letting these songs sink in for a while and having those solos stuck in my head. Track stream here.
23. Melvins, Everybody Loves Sausages (April 30)
Hey wow, a Melvins covers album. Finally, an opportunity for the band to let their hair down and go wild a bit, right? I mean, at long last, they can really feel free to indulge a little and explore their musical roots in a free and creative way. Okay, you get the point. In all seriousness, it’s a pretty cool idea and anything that teams the Melvins with Scott Kelly to do a Venom song is probably going to be a worthy cause. The most amazing part of it is they haven’t already done a version of “Black Betty.” More info on the forum.
24. Revelation, Inner Harbor (April 30)
Their most progressive outing yet and their first album since 2009, Revelation‘s Inner Harbor (review here) is bound to surprise some who thought they knew what to expect from the Maryland doom stalwarts who double as the classically rocking Against Nature. Good thing Inner Harbor had a digital release last year through the band’s Bland Hand Records to act as a precursor to this Shadow Kingdom CD issue. Rumor has it vinyl’s on the way as well, so keep an eye out, since John Brenner‘s guitar tone should be heard on as natural-sounding an apparatus as possible. More info here.
Okay, so you’re saying to yourself, “Golly, that’s a lot of stuff.” You’re absolutely right. But even as I was typing up this feature, I got word of a new Queen Elephantine full-length coming in April, so even as much as this is, it’s not everything. And that’s not even to mention May, which will bring a new Shroud Eater EP, a new Kylesa record and a new Mark Lanegan collaboration, among however much else. Tons of stuff to keep your ears out for, and like I said way back at the top of this thing, if you have something to add, a comment’s always appreciated.
Posted in Reviews on February 27th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
The immediate implication in the title of Orange Goblin‘s new live record, A Eulogy for the Fans, is that the fans in question — those who attended the Bloodstock festival on Aug. 11, 2012 — are dead. More specifically, that Orange Goblin killed them. An actual death toll for Bloodstock 2012 has yet to be released to my knowledge, but at least figuratively, over the course of their hour-long set, the British riff brutalizers did in fact hand the festival its own ass — thus “killing,” thus requiring a eulogy, thus making the title even more of a clever play on words than its relation to the band’s 2012 opus, A Eulogy for the Damned(review here). Brash and drunk as they might be, never let it be said Orange Goblin aren’t also up for a good pun every now and again.
This one comes especially well timed. A Eulogy for the Damned, which was the foursome’s first studio outing in half a decade following 2007′s righteous Healing through Fire(it provided little healing, but much fire), marked a resurgence point for Orange Goblin, who’d been hinting at their own demise more or less from the moment they got through the touring cycle. Aligned to new label Candlelight Records, the band — vocalist Ben Ward, guitarist Joe Hoare, bassist Martyn Millard and drummer Chris Turner — emerged as forerunners of a potent UK heavy rock underground, their influence spread wide in their absence, and hit the road hard to support the album, which was their most sleekly-produced to date and full of landmark choruses like that of “The Fog” and the anthemic “The Filthy and the Few.” At Bloodstock, at Desertfest, and elsewhere, Goblin met an enthusiastic response and so, arriving just as they get ready to hit the road in the US alongside Clutch, A Eulogy for the Fans(also released by Candlelight) couldn’t be better timed.
Along with an audio CD of the Bloodstock set — which, as advertised, is a killer — A Eulogy for the Fansalso includes a DVD with complete video coverage of that, their set at the 2012 Hellfest in France, the promo clip for A Eulogy for the Damnedleadoff track “Red Tide Rising” — which also starts the set here — and a behind-the-scenes look at making that video, playing Hellfest. There’s also reportedly a photo gallery and other content included, but because we live in an age of digital wonder, I have no idea about any of that stuff and can only speak to the audio of the thing. If it’s any consolation (it isn’t), here are a few things I’m sure one would notice on the DVD: Ben Ward is tall and spends a lot of time with his arms raised, the Bloodstock crowd loved Orange Goblin, and the band very much enjoy the taste of liquor. I’d love to do a tally of how much is actually consumed throughout the DVD, but again, digital wonder. Did you know my cellphone keeps tabs on where I buy pants? Digital wonder.
I’m not sure there was any question of Orange Goblin‘s destructive force in the live arena, but as they’ve gone more than 15 years since their first LP, Frequencies from Planet Ten, was released without showing official documentation of it, A Eulogy for the Fansis probably overdue. Nonetheless, there’s more to the band’s presentation at this stage of their career than simply bashing either the crowd at Bloodstock or you, the vigilant consumer listening or watching at home, over the head with their riffs, grooves and gruff vocals. Opening with a blistering trio of rockers in “Red Tide Rising,” “The Filthy and the Few” and “The Ballad of Solomon Eagle” (the latter culled from Healing through Fire), Orange Goblin use that initial burst of energy as setup for a comedown groove that commences with “Time Travelling Blues” — the title-track of their 1998 second album — before running an up/down course with “Some You Win, Some You Lose” from 2004′s Thieving from the House of Godand “The Fog” from A Eulogy for the Damned, which Ward rightly announces as a doom number, though to a certain extent the same could be said about everything Orange Goblin play and probably when they walk down the street to get a sandwich. Pretty much everything they do is doom.
“Some You Win, Some You Lose” is a longtime personal favorite, but I won’t discount the sing-along appeal of the ending to “Time Travelling Blues” or “Round up the Horses,” which follows “The Fog.” By that point, Orange Goblin are in the thick of their set, Hoare giving an especially raging performance while Turner‘s drums have that sound only heard at pro-recorded fests, somewhere between tinny in the snare and the fullness one might hear at a studio — better than most live recordings but still not quite all the way clean — and Millard runs circles around the central riffs in Sabbathian tradition. Not as immediate as some from A Eulogy for the Damned, “Acid Trial” proves a highlight of A Eulogy for the Fans, well-suited to the inherent grit of a live album and played perhaps slightly faster than it might be on the studio version. Hoare‘s solo and lead lines shine through again, and Ward rides the groove and eggs the audience on to do the same — paying off some of the between-song “Go fuckin’ crazy”-type banter — leading to “They Come Back,” which is shouted out to fans of zombie movies.
Actually, the line there is, “Let’s hear it for zombie movies!” and indeed, if it’s zombie movies that brought to life the chorus of “They Come Back,” then let’s hear it for them. That song, also a highlight of Healing through Fire, signals the final stretch of A Eulogy for the Fans, Ward going to his most guttural delivery for the line “The dead cry out in hellbent misery” before giving Lee Dorrian‘s horror-scream a run for its money in the bridge on the way to the final verse and chorus. From there, Orange Goblin depart from recent triumphs to answer back the fresh-faced material they began with by dredging up the time-hewn sludge revelry of “Blue Snow” — “‘Cos when the dream is over/Blue snow will fall on you” — from Time Travelling Bluesand “Quincy the Pigboy” and “Scorpionica,” the opening duo (presented in reverse order) from 2000′s landmark third full-length, The Big Black. In perspective almost as much as their sound, these songs summarize the crux of what Orange Goblin does, and though they’ve just spent the better part of an hour delivering at top speed, Ward, Millard, Hoare and Turner can’t help but give their closing argument its due adrenaline.
It’s probably a good thing Orange Goblin were headlining the Sophie Lancaster Stage that night (Machine Head and Testament were reportedly on the Ronnie James Dio Stage; woe to Machine Head if they played following), as I can’t imagine anyone getting on stage after them and saying, “Okay, now here’s this.” The crowd chanting their name as they take the obligatory onstage photo following “Scorpionica,” the band prove victorious yet again, perhaps with a few nicks in their battle-axes, but only from so many beheadings. As anyone who’s seen them will probably tell you louder than you want to hear it, Orange Goblin are an unfuckwithable live act, and even though they don’t really need to prove that at this point in their career, it’s handy to have A Eulogy for the Fansas a means of serving notice to the not-yet converted or those who’d simply like to revel in their riffery one more time. Like me, as I press play for another run through this Bloodstock set. Fucking right on.
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 5th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Last heard from in their 2011 split with Ominous Black, Philly duo Sadgiqacea will release their Candlelight Records debut, False Prism, on May 7. The two-piece are gearing up to hit the road as well, so keep an eye out for much more to come. Till then, the PR wire has it thusly:
SADGIQACEA Album Confirmed For Release
Candlelight Records today confirms May 7 as the North American release date for False Prism, the debut full-length from SADGIQACEA. Produced by Chris Grigg (Woe), the album’s four mammoth songs will pummel listeners for close to 40-minutes. The album follows their 2011 EP, Submerged in Manichea (Horror Pain Gore Death Productions) and two regarded split recordings with Ominous Black and Grass (Anthropic).
Heavy Planet says, “While destroying everything in their path, Philadelphia-based SADGIQACEA creates an inspiring assault of devastation. Crushing riffs and ambient beauty swirl as the vocals bark… epic and full-on sludge.” Fueled by the duo of Evan Schaefer (vocals/guitar) and Fred Grabosky (vocals/drums), the band has already proven themselves road savvy. Plans are already in order to return to the road for the album’s springtime release. “We are honored to be working with Candlelight Records and ready to spread our music to masses with their support,” says the band. “We are currently planning our second full American tour with our Philadelphia brothers Hivelords for Summer 2013.”
Formed in 2010, SADGIQACEA (pronounced sad-juh-kay-sha) forge a diverse sonic palette that has been likened at times to Neurosis, Intronaut, Weakling, and Kylesa. Musically and artistically, the band draws from a melting pot of influences that together presents a lush yet tension-filled sound. They call it, “music for our trodden minds and sodden souls.” SADGIQACEA has performed alongside 40 Watt Sun, Floor, Cough, Weedeater, Fight Amp, Mose Giganticus, ASG, Funeral Pyre, Hull and countless others in their still short history.
Recorded early September 2012 at Gradwell House in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, False Prism features sparring use of overdubs; the band wishing to preserve the authentic recording quality of the live performance. Writing and performing as a duo, the unique band is committed to their craft. Discussing the album SADGIQACEA says, “The album has themes of inner struggle, spirituality, and our own reflections on the dualistic nature of the evil that we all see and experience in our lives.”
Falm Prism will be released on CD and vinyl (under license to Anthropic Records).
It’s probably fortunate that Orange Goblin decided to release their upcoming A Eulogy for the Fans CD/DVD/LP/8-track/Reel-to-Reel/Edison cylinder/etc. live collection in March, since as soon as they hit the road alongside Clutch they’re going to kill us all anyway. What a way to go. The British destroyers have this fine evening made public a video-type trailer for the release, which will be out on Candlelight and cull material from their 2012 performances at Bloodstock Open Air and Hellfest.
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 7th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Okay, so in addition to embarking later this month on a stomp-your-ass UK tour before returning to the States for a stomp-your-ass run of shows supporting Clutch, London-based ass-stompers put out word today that they’re getting ready to — you guessed it — release a stomp-your-ass live album. Dubbed A Eulogy for the Fans, the CD/DVD set captures their Bloodstock performance from last year and is due out on Candlelight on March 11. Hot damn.
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 28th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Kudos to Vegas doomers Demon Lung on signing with the venerable Candlelight Records for the release of their next album. Their debut EP, Pareidolia (review here), crawled forth earlier this year and for the follow-up full-length, the four-piece have enlisted Billy Anderson to produce. Not too shabby.
One more to look forward to in 2013. Until then, I leave it in the informative hands of the PR wire:
DEMON LUNG Signs To Candlelight
Candlelight Records today confirms the worldwide signing of DEMON LUNG. The Las Vegas-based quartet, featuring guitarist Phil Burns, bassist Patrick Warren, drummer Jeremy Brenton, and vocalist Shanda Fredrick, is scheduled to begin recording of their full-length debut at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California with producer Billy Anderson (Sleep, High on Fire, Eyehategod) in the coming weeks. It is anticipated for a Spring 2013 release date.
Metal Hammer called the band’s self-released 4-song demo Pareidolia, “earthy yet horror-themed doom metal a la Candlemass with an Acrimony Groove.” The magazine calls Fredrick a “wild-eyed, satanic songstress.” Popular music and film site Ave Noctum notes, “DEMON LUNG has a deft touch and solid sound. Their music is clearly from the soul. Fair to say they are a welcomed addition to the ranks of the doomed.” Teeth of the Divine adds, “Fredrick has the requisite sultry pipes that keep a steady, hazy tone. She has a deep, bluesy voice that fits the languid music perfectly.”
The band comments, “we are very honored to join the Candlelight roster. To be included among such talented artists is very humbling, and we thank the great people at Candlelight for giving us the opportunity.”
DEMON LUNG has shared the stage alongside Pentagram, High on Fire, Jucifer, Witch Mountain, and Castle and will resume performing once recording has been completed.
A video for the song “Lament Code’ is available. The clip was directed by Dustin Mills, the mastermind behind The Puppet Monster Massacre.
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 1st, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Something tells me that the next year or so is going to bring a lot of Orange Goblin tour news. Nothing wrong with that. As reported last week, the UK’s drunkest will head out starting late in January 2013 on a UK tour that will begin the full onslaught in support of 2012′s A Eulogy for the Damned and will mark Orange Goblin‘s emergence as a full-time band. Wild stuff.
Here’s the latest:
ORANGE GOBLIN ANNOUNCE UK & IRELAND TOUR FOR JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2013
Following ORANGE GOBLIN’S amazing shows supporting DOWN across the UK we are happy to announce that the band will be hitting the road for a full UK & Ireland headline tour in January and February 2013. Dates are as follows:
January 26 – Dublin, Workman’s Club 27 – Belfast, Limelight 2 30 – Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach 31 – Brighton, The Haunt
February 1 – Southampton, Talking Heads 2 – Plymouth, White Rabbit 3 – Bristol, Fleece 5 – Norwich, Waterfront Studio 6 – Wolverhampton, Slade Rooms 7 – Sheffield, Corporation 8 – York, The Duchess 9 – Manchester, NQ Live 11 – Glasgow, King Tuts 12 – Liverpool, o2 Academy 2 13 – Nottingham, Rock City Basement 15 – London o2 Academy Islington
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 24th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
It’s a pretty ballsy move after 17 years in the game to leave the comforts of love and life behind and hit the road full-time, but if Orange Goblin have ever been anything, it’s ballsy. The London-based four-piece just got off the road with Down, and if the photo above from this year’s Bloodstock festival didn’t tip you off, their momentum has never been higher.Well fucking earned.
Frontman and occasional Obelisk contributor Ben Ward posted the following tour dates and info on his Thee Facebooks this morning, and it seemed the least I could do to share. They’ll hit the road starting in January on their first headlining run through the UK.
I’ve been banging on for years that Orange Goblin fans are the best in the world. Now it’s time to prove me right people, please go out and buy your tickets and let’s sell out this first tour as a full-time band. Get all your mates and mates, mates to buy them as well! That would rule!
All venues are on sale now except Liverpool, which goes on sale at 9am on Friday!
Within the next couple of weeks we will also be announcing dates in Ireland, the USA and Canada, then a full European touring and festival schedule will be announced in 2013.