Bible of the Devil Announce 20th Anniversary Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

bible of the devil

Bible of the Devil are riding high (in the night) coming off the release of their new album, Feel It (review here), and this summer, they’ll put tires to pavement in support of the record and their 20th anniversary on the “Feel it for Life” tour beginning July 25. While that name kind of sounds like a charity event, I’m pretty sure all proceeds go to gas to get to the next gig, and that’s fair enough. If you’ve never had the pleasure of stumbling into a Bible of the Devil gig during a drunken afternoon at SXSW circa 2005 and hearing their two guitars tear classic metal a new ass — just as an example — they’re primed to destroy everything in their path once they hit the stage, and the songs on Feel It should make the perfect ammunition to allow them to do so on this run.

They’re playing with some killer bands throughout — Hey ZeusApostle in SolitudeWolf BloodFreedom Hawk, and so on — so find where they’re gonna be and then find where you’re gonna be and then work to make sure those two places are the same.

Behold:

BIBLE OF THE DEVIL – 20 Year Anniversary Tour Summer 2019

Greetings BOTD fans! Lots of stuff in store for you over the next few months. Our new album, Feel It, came out in March and we appreciate all your support and the great response it has gotten. In honor of this release we’ll be doing a huge show in May at Liar’s Club, then moving on to Indianapolis in June and back to Chicago again for our 20 year anniversary celebration at The Burlington.

This will be followed up by the “Feel It For Life” Tour that begins in Madison on July 25th. For those of you who’ve been with us from beginning, this will be the 29th Bible of the Devil US tour. Feel it.

All shows are listed below. We encourage you to come rock and feel the night with us!

May 24th Fri. Racine, WI @ McAuliffe’s w/Hey Zeus, Callous Wizard
May 25th Sat. Chicago, IL @ Liar’s Club Feel It Album Release Show w/Hey Zeus, Holy Warheads, Ghost Forest

Jun. 28th Fri. Indianapolis, IN @ Black Market Brewing w/The Cocaine Wolves, Apostle of Solitude
Jun. 29th Sat. Chicago, IL @ The Burlington BOTD’s 20 Year Anniversary Show w/The Cocaine Wolves, Mama, Midnight Dice

“Feel It For Life” 20 Year Anniversary Summer Tour 2019

July 25th Thurs. Madison, WI @ Bos Meadery w/Joe Price and the Cost, Ruin Dweller
July 26th Fri. Minneapolis, MN @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge w/United Teachers of Music, Wolf Blood, Nightosaur
July 27th Sat. Omaha, NE @ O’Leaver’s w/Pro Magnum, Jump The Tiger
July 28th Sun. Tulsa, OK @ Mercury Lounge w/Blind Oath
July 29th Mon. San Antonio, TX @ The Limelight w/Over the Top, Thunderhorse
July 30th Tues. Austin, TX @ The Lost Well w/Broken Teeth, Crimson Devils, Hot Crimes
July 31st Wed. Hattiesburg, MS @ The Tavern w/AstroTrain
August 1st Thurs. Atlanta, GA @ 529 w/The Pinx, Dusty Booze and the Baby Haters, Timmy James and the Blue Flames
August 2nd Fri. Wilmington, NC @ Reggie’s 42nd Street Tavern w/Thunderlip, Freedom Hawk
August 3rd Sat. Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506 w/Thunderlip, Knightmare
August 4th Sun. Lexington, KY @ The Green Lantern w/The Vibrolas

Bible of the Devil is:
Nathan Perry: Vocals, Guitars
Greg Spalding: Drums, Loathing
Darren Amaya: Bass, Vocals
Chris Grubbs: Guitars

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Bible of the Devil, Feel It (2019)

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High Priest Stream Sanctum EP in Full; Out Tomorrow on Magnetic Eye

Posted in audiObelisk on April 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

high priest

Rife with melody and a brooding post-grunge atmosphere, High Priest‘s new EP, Sanctum, sees release mere hours from now through Magnetic Eye Records. The April 19 offering is the band’s first for the label and follows a limited 2016 7″ — they added a few more tracks to the download — and is what might be legitimately called their debut EP. If one considers that, the grip the band has on their aesthetic is downright terrifying, balancing as it does classic doom riffing with a harder rock edge in the melodies, all the while without flogging itself into hyper-emotionalism as so many do in these after-Pallbearer times. The band’s pedigree in deathcore mongerers Like Rats isn’t really relevant sonically to what High Priest do throughout the four-track/20-minute Sanctum, but no question there’s a definite comfort level at play. That some of these guys have known each other since they were kids, as the PR wire explains below, isn’t really much of a surprise when one listens to Sanctum. They don’t at all sound like strangers who just wound up in the same band.

All the better then that bassist Justin Pence would so righteously high priest sanctumtap into his inner Cornell on opener “Descent” — and, more impressively, pull it off — or that guitarists Pete Grossmann and John Regan would so fluidly wrap their tone around the subsequent “Creature” while drummer Dan Polak thuds away behind as though his toms spent a week telling yo-mamma jokes and he’s finally getting payback. The final track of the four, “Offering,” is longer at seven minutes flat, and ties together a lot of what High Priest — who of course are not to be confused with L.A.-based High Priestess, on Ripple; though they should tour together — are doing throughout the EP, but even the NWOBHM twist in the guitars of “Paradigm” just before seem to add something new to the proceedings when the four-piece have otherwise established their modus. “Paradigm” also boasts a significant hook, but is ultimately less of an outlier for that among “Descent” and “Creature,” both of which evoke burl without getting lost in chestbeating cliche and seem to reside easily in a place where metal meets rock, rock meets doom and kick meets ass.

But not to harp on it, but the really striking factor here is the newness. Sure, that prior single came out three years ago, so High Priest have been at it for a bit, but Sanctum is still ostensibly their first EP, and while I might want to hear them get a little weirder with melody across a full-length release and change up arrangements as they hint toward between “Descent” and “Creature” here — with the guitars giving up lead position instrumentally to the bass and drums going from one song to the next — there’s no question in listening through that High Priest sound ready to give it a shot. If taking their time was what let them come up with these songs, then keep doing that, but otherwise, the sooner the better works fine for me, thanks. Oh, and make that High Priest/High Priestess tour happen too. How could you not?

Stream Sanctum in its entirety on the player below. Beneath that, you’ll find some quick comment from the band and more background off the PR wire. You know how we do.

Enjoy:

High Priest on Sanctum EP:

“This band started as an excuse to do something fun. What would all our weird influences sound like if we mashed them together? I think this record is a perfect amalgamation of that. Our only goal is for people to hear it and hopefully have as much fun listening as we have playing it. We also hope people are moved to go out and buy deep cut Thin Lizzy records and headbang to Mercyful Fate. If this record inspires one person to make something, or gets someone excited the way those records make me feel, that’s the biggest compliment we could ever get. We’re so excited for ‘Sanctum’ to see the world!”

Order Link: https://highpriestchicago.bandcamp.com/album/sanctum-ep

Although they formed in 2016, the members of Chicago’s HIGH PRIEST have known each other for a good portion of their lives. Guitarists Pete Grossmann and John Regan, singer/bassist Justin Pence and drummer Dan Polak have been playing together in various bands for over 15 years, with Grossman and Polak’s friendship going back to actual childhood (Pete remembers Dan getting the training wheels off his first bike).

Dan and John were already playing together in Southern Lord death/hardcore fusion outfit Like Rats when, during a night out seeing Electric Wizard, John yelled to Dan, “we should do a band like this!”

High Priest Sanctum was produced, engineered and mixed by guitarist Pete Grossmann at his Bricktop Recording studio in Chicago. The 4-song EP contrasts dark, soulful doom with massive riffs and delicate undertones, bringing to mind the juxtaposition of despair, hope and resignation across a foundation of churning heaviness that bands like Alice in Chains and Trouble make so appealing.

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Pelican Announce New Album Nighttime Stories out June 7; New Single Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Pelican (photo by Marfa Capodanno)

I’m curious to know who did the cover art for Pelican‘s upcoming long-player, Nighttime Stories, as I’d like to put it in my notes for some of the best album artwork of 2019. I’m not big on posters from the merch table, because who the hell wants to carry a cardboard tube around for the rest of the show — or worse, not have the cardboard tube and just the naked poster dodging everyone’s beers — but I’d look long and hard at one with that cover on it. It’s gorgeous. It’s been a whopping six years since 2013’s Forever Becoming (review here), which was the last Pelican full-length, and the new streaming single “Midnight and Mescaline” only further piques interest at what these guys might have going nowadays. As the PR wire tells, they’ve been through some ups and downs in the last half-decade-plus, and they’ve always been able to portray an emotional presence in their work, despite the vast majority of it being instrumental.

This is a band people will like forever. Pelican were never going to capture the biggest fanbase in the world, but the enduring affection for their work runs deep among the converted. I’ve considered myself a fan for a long time, so take it with a grain of salt, but they have been and remain something special, and their influence is greater than they get credit for it being.

Nighttime Stories is out June 7 on Southern Lord.

[Update: the art is by Aaron Turner. Should’ve known.]

From the PR wire:

pelican nighttime stories

PELICAN Announces New LP, Nighttime Stories, Set For June 7th Release Via Southern Lord Recordings; “Midnight And Mescaline” Now Streaming

PELICAN, the instrumental quartet whose singular vision of heavy music eschews classification, has announced their first full-length in six years, Nighttime Stories, is due June 7th via Southern Lord Recordings. The album’s lead single, “Midnight And Mescaline,” is out now digitally and hitting stores as a 7″ with exclusive B-side track “Darkness On The Stairs” as a Record Store Day exclusive last weekend.

The eight-song set on Nighttime Stories marks PELICAN’s first release written front to back with guitarist Dallas Thomas, who took over guitar duties upon founding member Laurent Schroeder-Lebec’s departure in 2012. In the process of writing the album the quartet endured a slew of realizations, tragedies, and glimmers of optimism that guided the creative process to the most potent work of their nineteen-year career. Though the new material veers towards the darker tone characteristic of PELICAN’s early songwriting, it’s hard to imagine a previous incarnation of the band writing songs as meticulously crafted and detail-oriented as those within Nighttime Stories, where the compositions recall everything from the triumphant call-to-arms of classic Dischord, to the vicious troglodyte battery of the Melvins, to the dynamic interwoven melodies of bottom-heavy indie cult heroes Chavez. Nowhere is this evinced as clearly as on initial album single “Midnight And Mescaline,” the album’s lead single.

Nighttime Stories was an album title initially proposed for Tusk, the hallucinatory art-grind band that included PELICAN members Trevor Shelley de Brauw, Larry Herweg, and Schroeder-Lebec, in addition to vocalist Jody Minnoch. The writing of Nighttime Stories was instigated shortly after Minnoch’s unexpected death in 2014, and some of the dissonant viscera and dark psychedelic structures that were characteristic of Tusk’s sound began to unconsciously inform the album’s direction. In homage to their departed colleague, PELICAN applied the previously discarded title and pulled many of the song titles from notes Minnoch had sent to inspire the direction of the unrealized album. As the writing of Nighttime Stories progressed, Thomas also experienced a heavy loss with the passing of his father, to whom the album pays tribute on opening track “W.S.T.” (on which Dallas performed his guitar parts on his father’s Yamaha acoustic).

PELICAN has always excelled at vacillating between the savage sounds of various niches of metal underground and the more delicate and nuanced sounds of Midwest’s cerebral indie community, proving that they can make either end of the spectrum more vibrant and compelling through the art of contrast. With Nighttime Stories, the pendulum has swung back to the angst and ire of their younger years while delivering it with the nuance and wisdom that’s come with nearly two decades of writing and performing. PELICAN heads out on a ten-city US tour in June with more dates in the works for later in the year.

Nighttime Stories Track Listing:
1. WST
2. Midnight And Mescaline
3. Abyssal Plain
4. Cold Hope
5. It Stared At Me
6. Nighttime Stories
7. Arteries Of Blacktop
8. Full Moon, Black Water

PELICAN w/ Cloakroom:
6/20/2019 Loving Touch – Ferndale, MI w/ Greet Death
6/21/2019 Lee’s Palace – Toronto, ON
6/22/2019 Bar de Ritz – Montreal, QC
6/23/2019 Great Scott – Boston, MA
6/24/2019 Brooklyn Bazaar – Brooklyn, NY w/ Planning For Burial
6/25/2019 Boot & Saddle – Philadelphia, PA w/ Planning For Burial
6/26/2019 Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
6/27/2019 Club Café – Pittsburgh, PA
6/28/2019 Northside Yacht Club – Cincinnati, OH
6/29/2019 Metro – Chicago, IL w/ Young Widows

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Pelican, Nighttime Stories (2019)

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Bible of the Devil, Feel It: Speed of Night

Posted in Reviews on April 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

bible of the devil feel it

Recorded over a period of six months in the band’s native Chicago, Bible of the Devil‘s self-released Feel It arrives some 20 years after the band got their start, and 19 after their debut album, None More Raw. It is their eighth album overall and their first since that debut to be independently issued, the band forming their own Bible of the Devil Recordings imprint to handle pressing after releasing three full-lengths through Cruz Del Sur. Those records, 2006’s The Diabolic Procession, 2008’s Freedom Metal (discussed here) and 2012’s For the Love of Thugs and Fools (discussed here), comprise something of an (un)holy trinity throughout which the band solidified the style they began to develop on 2002’s Firewater at My Command, 2003’s Tight Empire and 2005’s Brutality, Majesty, Eternity, and some seven years after their last outing, Feel It arrives as just the second album of their second decade. They had a split out with Leeches of Lore (review here) in 2017, but compared to the stretch from 2002-2008 in which they issued five LPs, the four-piece’s general lack of output feels striking.

The effect that has, however, is to make Feel It seem all the more like a special occasion. It was hard to know if Bible of the Devil would put out another record, and not only have they done that in this 41-minute nine-tracker co-produced and mixed by Sanford Parker, but they take advantage of the opportunity to tear it up in classic fashion. Emphasis on the word “classic.” The cornerstone of Bible of the Devil‘s sound has long been its dual-guitar attack, and even as guitarist Chris Grubbs makes his debut here alongside guitarist/vocalist Nate Perry, taking on the role formerly occupied by Mark Hoffmann, the essential character of guitar-led, classic metal-influenced heavy rock and roll is consistent, led by the riffs and solos and propelled by bassist/backing vocalist Darren Amaya and drummer Greg Spalding, who is the last remaining founder of the band. Grubbs, whose status as the new guy on Feel It is somewhat tempered by the fact that he’s been in the band for upwards of six years, is of course well-integrated into the mix and paired well with Perry, who readily takes on a frontman role for cuts like “The Downtown Boogie” or the earlier “Ride Steel,” which sweeps in from the intro “The Light” — uh, hey guys, you spelled “night” wrong — and gives Feel It a righteous uptempo kick at the outset that sets the standard for the rest of what follows even as subsequent songs add breadth to the tones and methods established early.

For what it’s worth, the title Feel It comes across more as an invitation than a command, and while Bible of the Devil are somewhat prone to a tongue-in-cheek presentation — their ongoing penchant for songs about “the night” manifests here with “(Love at) The Speed of Night,” which follows “Ride Steel” — they may have been laughing about it at the time they were recording, but there’s little doubt in listening that they were also into what they were doing, or, feeling it, if you prefer. “Ride Steel” and “(Love at) The Speed of Night” and “Lifeline” form a salvo that puts the emphasis right where it belongs in their sound: on Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy.

bible of the devil

Even as they scale back the pace a bit in the transition from the “(Love at) The Speed of Night” to “Lifeline,” thereby giving Amaya‘s bass a chance to shine in more of a swinging groove, they maintain their communion with their root influences, and as album-centerpiece “Idle Time” moves further into a ’70s vibe and makes its way toward a falsetto-topped crescendo, the NWOBHM energy holds firm even as they shift the balance in their approach from one side to the other. Bible of the Devil have never wanted for chemistry or songwriting, and maybe it’s just been so long since For the Love of Thugs and Fools, but the tightness of the material seems to make Feel It all the more urgent in its affect. As “Iron Ego” turns back more toward the biker metallurgy of “Ride Steel,” and sets its guitars to soar all the while, the good time being had doesn’t undercut the spirit of necessity for what they’re doing. Bible of the Devil didn’t need to put out another record from a business standpoint. It’s not like it’s paying the bills. But this is a record they very clearly felt like they had to make on a creative level, and that sense of this-needs-to-happen is emphasized not only in the faster material like the 2:55 scorcher “Hard Club” that follows “Iron Ego” and precedes “The Downtown Boogie,” but everywhere throughout Feel It. And true to the title, it’s palpable.

Like “Ride Steel” and “(Love at) The Speed of Night” at the outset, “The Downtown Boogie” and closer “Ultra Boys” form a concluding duo of marked purpose, the former standing as one of the most effective Iron Lizzy realizations they’ve ever had and the latter set to a rhythm that’s a hook in itself as Spalding‘s snare seems to beg for an audience to follow along clapping. Gang vocals and a potent hook follow as Bible of the Devil bring the guitars in and out while Amaya‘s bass serves as the foundation of the verses. Leads a-plenty ensue, gang vocals ensue, and they finish in top fashion with heat-blister soloing and a sudden drop to silence that’s only missing the applause after to let the listener know the set is done.

I won’t claim to know what Bible of the Devil‘s plans are, but the fact that Feel It has come together so long after the preceding LP and the lineup change would seem to speak as well to the fact that this is a record they needed to make on a creative level. It may be that it will kick off a new era of productivity for them — they certainly sound like they still have plenty of gas in the tank, as it were — or it may be that these songs have been assembled as their final blowout, one last chance to live up to the title and put everything they have into the music. Either way, Feel It stands as a testament to the force that Bible of the Devil have always been at their best, and its renewed commitment to who they are as a band is as refreshing as their solos are crisp. If in fact they are inviting you to feel what they’re feeling, they’ve absolutely laid it all out and made the most compelling case possible for doing just that.

Bible of the Devil, Feel It (2019)

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Quarterly Review: Bellrope, Cracked Machine, The Sky Giants, Sacred Monster, High ‘n’ Heavy, Warlung, Rogue Conjurer, Monovine, Un & Coltsblood, La Grande Armée

Posted in Reviews on March 25th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Day Six. Not that there wasn’t a bit of a crunch along the way, but I definitely think this Quarterly Review was aided by the fact that I dug so much of what I was writing about on a personal-taste level. You get through it one way or the other, but it just makes it more fun. Today is the last day and then it’s back to something approaching normal tomorrow, but of course before this thing is rounded out I want to thank you as always for taking the time and for reading if you did. It means a tremendous amount to me to put words out and have people see them, so thank you for your part in that.

This could’ve easily gone seven or eight or 10 days if scheduling had permitted, but here’s as good a place to leave it. The next one will probably be the first week of July or thereabouts, so keep an eye out.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Bellrope, You Must Relax

bellrope you must relax

How much noise can your brain take? I don’t mean noise like start-stop riffs and dudes shouting. I mean actual, abrasive, amelodic noise. Bellrope, with ex-members of the underrated Black Shape of Nexus start their Exile on Mainstream-delivered debut album, You Must Relax, with three minutes of chaff-separation they’re calling “Hollywood 2001/Rollrost.” It’s downright caustic. Fortunately, what follows on the four subsequent extended tracks devotes itself to lumbering post-sludge that’s at least accessible by comparison. “Old Overholt” is the only other inclusion under 10 minutes as the tracks are arranged shortest to longest with the 17:57 “CBD/Hereinunder” concluding. The thickened tones brought to bear throughout “Old Overholt” and the blend of screams and growls that accompany are more indicative of what follows on the centerpiece title-track and the penultimate “TD2000,” but the German four-piece still manage to sound plenty fucked throughout. Just not painfully so. There’s something threatening about the use of the word “must” in the album’s title. The songs realize that threat.

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Cracked Machine, The Call of the Void

Cracked Machine The Call of the Void

Here be dragons. Though its core tonality is still within the bounds of heavy rock, Wiltshire, UK, four-piece bring a far more atmospheric and progressive style to fruition on their second album, The Call of the Void, than it might at first appear. With post-rock float to the guitar of Bill Denton, keyboard textures from Clive Noyes, and fluid rhythms carried through changes in volume and ambience from bassist Christ Sutton and drummer Blazej Gradziel, the PsyKA Records outfit present a cerebral seven tracks/47 minutes of immersive and seemingly conceptual work, with opener “Jormungandr” establishing the context in which each song that follows is named for a different culture’s dragon, whether it’s the Hittite “Illuyanka,” Japan’s “Yamata No Orochi” or the Persian “Azi Dahakar.” Cracked Machine use this theme to tie pieces together, and they push farther out as the record unfolds late with “Typhon” and “Vritra” a closing pair of marked scope. The shortest cut, the earlier 5:14 “Kirimu,” has probably the most straightforward push, but Cracked Machine demonstrate an ability to adapt to the needs of whatever idea they’re working to convey.

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The Sky Giants, The Shifting of Phaseworld

the sky giants the shifting of phaseworld

Taking cues from psychedelia almost as much as jangly West Coast noise and punk, Tacoma, Washington’s The Sky Giants offer the 10-track sophomore outing The Shifting of Phaseworld, which finds a balance in songs like “Dream Receiver” between progressive heavy rock and its rawer foundations. The trio of guitarist/vocalist Jake Frye, bassist Jessie Avery and drummer/vocalist/engineer/graphic artist Peter Tietjen are comfortable tipping from one side to the other between and within songs, starting off with the shove of “Technicolor Kaleidoscope” and getting mathy on the later “Half Machine” ahead of the chunkier-riffed “Rhyme and the Flame,” which somehow touches on classic punk even as it hones a wash of distortion that that has to cut through. Closing each side with a longer track in the rolling, airy “Solid State” (6:53) and the frenetic ending of “Simian” (7:38), The Sky Giants stake out a sonic terrain very much their own throughout The Shifting of Phaseworld and only seem to expand their territory as they go.

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Sacred Monster, Worship the Weird

sacred monster worship the weird

Topped off by the ace screams of vocalist Adam Szczygiel, who taps his inner Devin Townsend circa Strapping Young Lad on “High Confessor” and “Re-Animator,” Sacred Monster‘s debut album, Worship the Weird would seem to cull together elements of Orange Goblin and Bongzilla for a kind of classic-metal-aware sludge rock, the riffs of Robert Nubel not at all shy about digging into aggressive vibes to go with the layers of growls and throatrippers and the occasional King Diamond-esque falsetto, as on “Waverly Hills,” as bassist Guillermo Moreno and drummer Ted Nubel bolster that feel with tight turns and duly driven bottom end. I’ll take “Face of My Father” as a highlight, if only for the excruciating sound of Szczygiel‘s screech, but the swing in closer “Maze of Dreams” has an appeal of its own, and as a Twilight Zone and a Shatner fan, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” offers its own charm.

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High n’ Heavy, Warrior Queen

high n heavy warrior queen

Shades of grunge and skate-fuzz fuckall pervade the Sabbathian grooves of High n’ Heavy‘s second album, Warrior Queen, as guitarist John Steele works some doomly keys into second cut “Shield Maiden” and vocalist Kris Fortin moves in and out of throaty shouts on side B’s “Lydia.” They thrash out in the noisy “Catapult” and Nick Perrone‘s drums seem to bounce even in the longer-winded “Lands Afar” and closer “Smell of Decay / Wings and Claw,” on which Mike Dudley‘s rumble backs classically metallic shred in the lead guitar after offering likewise support to the piano in the early going of “Join the Day.” Released through Electric Valley Records, the eight-song/36-minute LP comes across as raw but not without purpose in that, and its blend of tonal thickness and the blend of thrust and nod does well to ensure High n’ Heavy remain unpredictable while also living up to the standard of their moniker. There’s potential here that’s worth further exploration on the part of the band.

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Warlung, Immortal Portal

Warlung Immortal Portal

Houston, Texas, four-piece make a quick case for the attention of Ripple Music on their sophomore outing, Immortal Portal, which is slickly-but-not-too-slickly produced and sharply-but-not-too-sharply executed, a professional sensibility in “Black Horse Pike” and the subsequent “The Palm Reader” — which manages to be influenced melodically by Uncle Acid without sounding just like them — ahead of the ’80s metallurgy of “Heart of a Sinner” and the reference-packed “1970.” “We All Die in the End” gives an uptempo swing to the opening salvo ahead of the more brooding “Between the Dark and the Light,” but Warlung hold firm to clearly-presented melodies and riff-led rhythms no matter where they seem to go in mood or otherwise. That ties the drift of the later “Heavy Echoes” to the earlier material and makes the harmony-laced “No Son of Mine” and the organ-ic proggy sprawling finale “Coal Minors” all the more effective in reaching beyond where the album started, so that the listener winds up in a different landscape than they started, still grounded, but changed nonetheless.

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Rogue Conjurer, Of the Goddess / Crystal Mountain Lives

rogue conjurer of the goddess

Originally released digitally by the Baltimore-based unit in 2017, the two-songer Of the Goddess / Crystal Mountain Lives sees pressing as an ultra-limited tape via Damien Records and finds the three-piece of guitarist/bassist/vocalist Tonie Joy, drummer Colin Seven and organist Donny Van Zandt — since replaced by Trevor Shipley — honing a psychedelic take on doomly riffs and groove. “Crystal Mountain Lives” has a more distinct nod to its central progression, with a wah-drenched break and greater overall largesse of fuzz, but “Of the Goddess” brings an effective almost shoegazing sense to its downer spirit. The first track is also longer, so it has more time to move from that initial impression to its own payoff, but either way you go, Rogue Conjurer bring out their dead ably on the tape, showing influences from heavy psych and beyond as “Of the Goddess” winds its way to its close and “Crystal Mountain Lives” begins its fade-in all over again. No pretense, but a broad range that would allow for some if they wanted.

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Monovine, D.Y.E

monovine dye

Athens heavy rockers Monovine wear their grunge influence proudly on their third full-length, D.Y.E, issued late in 2018 digitally with an early 2019 vinyl release. It’s writ large in the Nirvana-ism of the slurring “Mellow” at the outset and remains a factor through the melodies of “Void” and the later punkery of “Messed Up” or “Ring a Bell,” as well as the toying-with-pop “Me (Raphe Nuclei)” and “Your Figure Smells,” but where Monovine succeed in making that influence their own is by filtering it through a fuzzier presentation. The guitar and bass tones keep a modern heavy feel, and as the drums roll and crash through songs like “For a Sun” and “Why Don’t You Shoot Me in the Head,” that makes a difference in the overall impression the album leaves. Still, there’s little question as to their central point of inspiration, and they bring it out in homage and as a fairly honed mode of expression on closer “Haunt,” which teases an explosion in its melancholy strum and then… well, don’t let me spoil it.

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Un & Coltsblood, Split

un coltsblood split

A festering 42 minutes of lurching agonies, Un and Coltsblood‘s split taps the best of modern death-doom’s emotionalism and bent toward extremity. Billed as a “tribute to grief: the final act of love,” it brings just two tracks, one per band, as Coltsblood open with “Snows of the Winter Realm” and Un follow with “Every Fear Illuminated.” Both bands proffer a terrifyingly weighted plod and offset it with a spacious ambience, whether it’s Un departing their grueling nod after about six and a half minutes only to build back up over the next six and grow more ferocious until devolving into noise and slamming crashes ahead of an outro of echoing, needs-a-tune-sounding piano, or Coltsblood fostering their own tonal brutalism and casting their lot with death and black metal while a current of airy guitar seems to mourn the song even as it plays out. Each cut is a monument built to loss, and their purpose in conveying that theme is both what unites them and what makes their work so ultimately consuming, as grief is.

Un on Thee Facebooks

Coltsblood on Thee Facebooks

 

La Grande Armée, La Grande Armée

La Grande Armée La Grande Armée

The blend of drifting guitar and psychedelic wash on opener “El Canto de las Ballenas” earns La Grande Armée‘s self-titled debut three-song EP immediate favor, and the patient execution they bring to the subsequent “Tripa Intergaláctica” and “Normandía,” particularly the latter, only furthers that appeal. The Chilean trio keep a decidedly natural feel to the exploratory-seeming work, and if this is them finding their sound, they seem happy to do it by losing themselves in their jams. All the better someone thought to press record, since although there’s clearly some trajectory behind the progression of songs — i.e., they know at least to a degree where they want to end up — the process of getting there comes across as spontaneous. Guitar pans channels as bass and drums hold down languid flow, and even in the more active midsection of “Tripa Intergaláctica,” La Grande Armée there’s a sense that it’s more about the space being created than the construction under way. In any case, wherever they want to head next, they would seem to have the means of travel at their disposal.

La Grande Armée on Thee Facebooks

La Grande Armée on Bandcamp

 

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Black Road Post “Blood on the Blade” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 6th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

black road live

It starts with a slow-mo Wes Anderson-style walk off an elevator, and soon enough, Black Road‘s new video and single unfold with attitude-laced bluesy vibes and an underpinning of heavy rock grit. And of course, by the end of the video, there is indeed “Blood on the Blade.” There was a moment there where I thought frontwoman Suzi Uzi was carving up the rest of the band, but that’s not the way it goes. Maybe next time. The Chicago outfit will, like the rest of the universe, head to SXSW this month to play the SX Stoner Jam, and they’ve also got shows booked around that with Wisconsin’s Attalla that you can see presented in the at-sign language of Instagram under the video itself below. If you’re headed that way, consider yourself lucky. That’s going to be a special time, and cheers to Black Road for taking part.

Uzi and cohorts Tim M. (guitar), Casey Papp (bass) and Robert Gonzales (drums) are teasing the impending prospect of their first full-length with the new song. You might recall they also issued the single “Witch of the Future” (posted here) way back in November, and of course that may or may not wind up on the same record. Their eagerness to get their songs out to the public is justifiable beyond even the band-releasing-their-debut-album standard antsy-ness. Set for issue through DHU Records and BloodRock Records, whenever it arrives and whatever it’s called will see the band having already worked to build considerable momentum, not only with the show at SXSW, but also at New England Stoner and Doom Fest II in Connecticut this May, among others, and having already garnered much hyperbole around their 2017 self-titled EP (discussed here), which was fairly enough earned.

“Blood on the Blade” does little to make me think the pattern won’t hold when the album eventually shows up, and of course that’s the whole point of an advance single. I won’t predict how the whole record is going to play out based on one song, but the rolling groove here, the on-the-couch guitar solo, and the brooding overall vibe suit the band well.

PR wire info follows, as well as those live dates.

Please enjoy:

Black Road, “Blood on the Blade” official video

Chicago, Illinois Doom rock outfit Black Road surprised everyone Saturday with a release of a brand new video and song titled “Blood on the Blade” of the upcoming, as of yet untitled, debut full length.

“Blood on the Blade” is the first track taken from the new Black Road album and is a sassy Blues Rock anthem which trudges in a half tempo blues beat while being told a short story of ‘who can you trust’. The video was filmed/edited and directed on location by Don Corthier and Liza Moon

The debut album will feature 7 brand new heavy hitting rock anthems and will be nothing short of an instant classic!

Watch out for the Limited Edition vinyl and cassette through DHU Records and CD on BloodRock Records in 2019.

Black Road live:
Wed March 13 @rudyards_htx with @mtntmr @salemsbend @attallawi
Thurs March 14 @spiderhouseatx for #sxstonerjam19
Fri March 15 @89thstreetokc with @croboneband @kingcaravan @attallawi
Sat March 16 @dgstaphouse with @sonofthemorningband @attallawi .

Black Road:
Suzi Uzi (vox/lyrics/piano)
Tim M. (guitar)
Casey Papp (bass)
Robert Gonzales (drums)

Black Road on Thee Facebooks

Black Road on Instagram

Black Road on Bandcamp

DHU Records webstore

DHU Records on Thee Facebooks

DHU Records on Bandcamp

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Pelican Announce New Single Midnight and Mescaline out in April; Touring in June

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 28th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Pelican (photo by Marfa Capodanno)

One night, more than several years ago, I saw Pelican and Scissorfight on the ‘Champions of Sound’ tour put together by Hydra Head in Manhattan at the old Knitting Factory. They played in the mid-level room — there were three; top, middle and basement — and with the ceiling overhead and the stage kind of tucked into the corner of that dark space, it was the moment where the band really clicked for me. I’d dug Australasia well enough, but seeing the power and presence they brought to the material live was another thing entirely, and while I’d have called myself a fan before, ever since I’ve measured that in a different way.

I’ve seen Pelican a few times since then, of course, and they’ve broadened their sound immensely since that landmark — though it’s been a minute, their most recent offering was 2013’s Forever Becoming (review here), newly remixed and remastered — but as they get ready to release the new 7″ Midnight and Mescaline, I think about the split 7″ I was so happy to pick up at that show and I have to give a little smile thinking someone might have a similar experience at their run of dates this June. Though the room will probably be bigger.

From the PR wire:

pelican midnight and mescaline

PELICAN To Release Midnight And Mescaline 7″, Band’s First New Music In Six Years, As Record Store Day Exclusive; June Tour With Cloakroom Booked + Remixed & Remastered Version Of Forever Becoming LP Out Now

PELICAN, the instrumental quartet whose singular vision of heavy music eschews classification, is set to release their first new music in six years via a two-song 7″ on Southern Lord coming as an indie exclusive on Record Store Day (April 13th, 2019 #RSD2019). The band’s penchant for commanding live performances will be apparent when they head out for a run of US tour dates this June, accompanied by Midwestern masters of thunderous slowgaze Cloakroom.

Channeling the visceral intensity of their live shows, PELICAN’s “Midnight And Mescaline” is an unrelenting riff marathon, careening from eviscerating heaviness to metal-infused fretboard frenetics to cathartic melody in a compact five-minute sprint. Paired with B-side “Darkness On The Stairs,” the new release taps into the band member’s shared roots in the late ’90s DIY music scene, reinvigorating the quartet with impassioned punk ferocity.

In conjunction with the 7″ and tour announce, Southern Lord has just digitally released a deluxe reissue of the quartet’s 2013 album Forever Becoming, featuring vastly improved mix and mastering of the original songs replete with a revised version of the previously Japan-only bonus track “Bardo.” Initially recorded by Chris Common under optimal conditions at Chicago’s Electrical Audio, Forever Becoming was mixed in less-than-ideal circumstances at a makeshift studio in Los Angeles, yielding mixes that varnished the incredible tones generated during tracking. When the subject of a vinyl repress came up, Common, now helming his own proper studio, asked for another crack at mixing the album. The result brings a new level of low-end depth, atmospheric clarity, and tight, punchy heaviness to the album. Vinyl pre-orders are coming soon and is available from all digital retailers and streaming services now.

Across almost twenty years, five full-lengths, seven EPs, and hundreds of live shows, PELICAN has cultivated a chemistry that borders on telepathy, catapulting the band from basement shows in their native Chicago to outlier appearances at international music festivals including Primavera, Roskilde, Pitchfork, Bonnaroo, Roadburn, and Maryland Deathfest, and headlining tours across four continents.

Watch for additional tour dates and music announcements from PELICAN to be posted shortly.

PELICAN w/ Cloakroom:
6/20/2019 Loving Touch – Ferndale, MI w/ Greet Death
6/21/2019 Lee’s Palace – Toronto, ON
6/22/2019 Bar de Ritz – Montreal, QC
6/23/2019 Great Scott – Boston, MA
6/24/2019 Brooklyn Bazaar – Brooklyn, NY w/ Planning For Burial
6/25/2019 Boot & Saddle – Philadelphia, PA w/ Planning For Burial
6/26/2019 Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
6/27/2019 Club Café – Pittsburgh, PA
6/28/2019 Northside Yacht Club – Cincinnati, OH
6/29/2019 Metro – Chicago, IL w/ Young Widows

http://www.pelicansong.com
http://www.facebook.com/pelicansong
http://www.twitter.com/pelicansong
http://www.instagram.com/pelicansong
http://www.southernlord.com
http://www.southernlord.bandcamp.com
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http://twitter.com/twatterlord

Pelican, “Deny the Absolute (2019 Version)” official video

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Bible of the Devil Finish Work on New Album Feel It

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Chicago heavy rock/metal traditionalists Bible of the Devil issued a split with the sadly defunct Leeches of Lore (review here) in 2017, but it’s been since For the Love of Thugs and Fools (discussed here) in 2012 that the hard-shredding, singing-about-the-night outfit last unfurled a full-length. They’re due. Overdue, if you want to be technical about it, but they’re looking to play catchup a bit with Feel It, which seems by their description to be something of a testament to its own making. There isn’t an exact release date as yet but the album seems to be done, and they’re releasing it themselves through their own Bible of the Devil Recordings imprint, so that means holdups should be relatively few, though they’ve never been a band particularly known for their good luck. Fingers crossed it shows up in my inbox (or better yet, my actual mailbox) sometime soon. It’s been too long.

No audio from Feel It yet, but I certainly know I’m looking forward to hearing “(Love At) The Speed of Night,” “Iron Ego” and the rest of what’s apparently coming soon.

Info follows, including a tour teaser:

bible of the devil feel it

Bible of the Devil – Feel It

Greetings and Happy New Year!

Chicago Rock ‘n Roll Metal band Bible of the Devil have announced the completion of Feel It, their seventh full-length record and the first to be released via their own Bible of the Devil Recordings label. This long-awaited follow-up to their 2012 release, For the Love of Thugs and Fools, finds them working once again with the crafty Sanford Parker, who recorded the band at Chicago’s Electrical Audio and Jamdek studios. BOTD’s trademark guitar harmonies and vocal hooks are in full force and fans can expect another collection of classic anthems in the making.

At its core, Feel It is a testament to what it means to keep a band together. These past six years have presented many challenges to the band and this record serves as a conduit for the rock ‘n roll spirit. Expect an early 2019 release with a summer tour to follow in celebration of the band’s 20th anniversary.

Track Listing:
1. The Light (1:29)
2. Ride Steel (4:46)
3. (Love At) The Speed of Night (4:50)
4. Lifeline (4:33)
5. Idle Time (5:51)
6. Iron Ego (5:15)
7. Hard Club (2:55)
8. The Downtown Boogie (5:33)
9. Ultra Boys (5:53)

Bible of the Devil is:
Nathan Perry: Vocals, Guitars
Greg Spalding: Drums, Loathing
Darren Amaya: Bass, Vocals
Chris Grubbs: Guitars

www.facebook.com/bibleofthedevil
http://bibleofthedevil.net/

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