Quarterly Review: CHRCH, Bongripper, King Chiefs, Bonnacons of Doom, Boar, June Bug, Tired Lord, Bert, Zen Bison, Wheel in the Sky

Posted in Reviews on July 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-CALIFORNIA-LANDSCAPE-Julian-Rix-1851-1903

You know the deal by now, I’m sure: 50 reviews this week between now and Friday, in batches of 10 per day. It’s an unholy amount of music, but those who really dig in always seem to find something cool within a Quarterly Review. Frankly, with this much to choose from, I’d certainly hope so. I’m not going to delay at all, except to say thanks in advance for coming along on this one. It’s got some core-heavy and some-not-really-core-heavy stuff all bundled next to each other, so yeah, your patience is appreciated. Okay. No time like the present. Let’s do it.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

CHRCH, Light Will Consume Us All

chrch light will consume us all

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the songs are long. Blah blah blah it’s heavy as whatever kind of construction equipment you could want to name. What’s even more striking about Los Angeles doomers CHRCH’s Neurot Recordings debut, Light Will Consume Us All, is the sense of atmosphere. The follow-up to 2015’s massively well-received Unanswered Hymns (review here) is comprised of three songs presented in descending time order from opener/longest track (immediate points) “Infinite” (20:41) to centerpiece “Portals” (14:50) and closer “Aether” (9:29) and it finds CHRCH refining the unremitting patience of their rollout, so that even when “Aether” explodes in its second half to charred blastbeating and abrasive screams, the ambience is still dense enough to feel it in one’s lungs. CHRCH keep up this level of progression and soon enough someone’s going to call them post-something or other. As it stands, their second album builds righteously on the achievements of their debut, and is a revelation in its bleakness.

CHRCH on Thee Facebooks

Neurot Recordings website

 

Bongripper, Terminal

bongripper terminal

Pressed up as ever in DIY fashion, Bongripper’s Terminal presents two gargantuan slabs – one per vinyl side – that only seem to highlight the strengths in the Chicago instrumentalists’ approach. The tones are huge, the grooves nodding, the impact of each kick drum forceful. Repetition is central, that feeling of aural mass and destructiveness, but neither is Terminal – comprised of “Slow” (25:11) and “Death” (18:15) – lacking a sense of atmosphere. After 21 minutes of grueling pummel, “Slow” devolves into droning layers of noise wash and quiet guitar to finish out, and “Death” seems to hold onto an echoing lead in its closing minutes that accomplishes much the same thing in broadening the atmosphere overall. I don’t know if the two songs were composed to fit together –the titles would hint yes – but they invariably do, and as “Death” unleashes a more insistent punch before turning to a post-YOB gallop, it reconfirms Bongripper’s worship-worthy place in the stoner doom milieu, how their sound can be so familiar in its threat and yet so much their own.

Bongripper on Bandcamp

Bongripper webstore

 

King Chiefs, Blue Sonnet

King Chiefs Blue Sonnet

Born as Chiefs ahead of their 2015 debut album, Tomorrow’s Over (review here), Arizona-based four-piece King Chiefs make their own first outing in the form of the easily-digestible desert rocker Blue Sonnet (on Roosevelt Row and Cursed Tongue Records), comprised of 10 tracks running just under 40 minutes of older-school laid back heavy, swinging easy on cuts like “Surely Never” and “Drifter” while still finding some Helmeted aggressive edge in the riffs of “Slug” and “Walk the Plank.” The overarching focus is on songwriting, however, and King Chiefs hone in cleverly on ‘90s-era desert rock’s post-grunge sensibility, so that their material seems ready for an alternative radio that no longer exists. Such as it is, they do just fine without, and hooks pervade the two-guitar outfit’s material in natural and memorable fashion all the way to five-and-a-half-minute closer “Shrine of the Beholder,” which embraces some broader textures without losing the structural focus that serves so well on the songs before it.

King Chiefs on Thee Facebooks

Roosevelt Row Records website

Cursed Tongue Records website

 

Bonnacons of Doom, Bonnacons of Doom

bonnacons of doom bonnacons of doom

Heavy psychedelic experimentalism pervades the Rocket Recordings-issued self-titled debut album from Liverpool collective Bonnacons of Doom, rife with tripout ritualism and exploration of sound as it is, all chasing light and getting freaky in any sense you want to read it. Five tracks, each a voyage unto itself – even the bass-fuzzy push of shortest cut “Rhizome” (5:55) is cosmos-bound – feed into the larger weirdness at play that culminates in the undulating grooves of “Plantae” (8:39), which is perhaps the most solidified cut in terms of choruses, verses, etc., but still a molten, headphone-worthy freakout that pushes the limits of psychedelia and still holds itself together. If the album was a to-do list, it would read as follows: “Eat mushrooms. Get naked. Dance around. Repeat.” Whether you do or don’t is ultimately up to you, but Bonnacons of Doom make a pretty convincing argument in favor, and I don’t generally consider myself much of a dancer. Among the most individualized psych debuts I’ve heard in a long time.

Bonnacons of Doom on Thee Facebooks

Rocket Recordings on Bandcamp

 

Boar, Poseidon

Boar Poseidon

Poseidon, at six songs and 39 minutes, is the second long-player from Finnish four-piece Boar. Released on vinyl with no shortage of backing — Lost Pilgrims Records, Dissonant Society, Impure Muzik, S.K.O.D., Rämekuukkeli-levyt – it hurls forth a High on Fire-informed vision of noise rock on its opening title-track only to take on a slower roll in the subsequent “Shahar’s Son” and dig into massive crashing on “12.” Using echo to add a sense of depth all the while, they scream in tradeoffs à la Akimbo and boogie in “Featherless” and seem to find a post-metallic moment on “Dark Skies” before closing with the alternately brooding and scathing “Totally out of This World,” the song sort of falling apart into the feedback and noise that ends the album. There’s a persistent sense of violence happening, but it’s as much inward as outward, and though some of Boar’s most effective moments are in that rawness, there’s something to be said for the contemplation at the outset of “Shahar’s Son” and “12” as well.

Boar on Thee Facebooks

Boar on Bandcamp

 

June Bug, A Thousand Days

June bug A Thousand Days

Seemingly unrestrained by genre, the Lille, France-based duo June BugJune on vocals and multiple instruments and Beryl on backing vocals and multiple instruments – dig into some post-punk nudge on early cut “Reasons” from their debut album, A Thousand Days (Atypeek Music) after the folkish melodies of opener “Now,” but whether it’s the fuzzy indie vibes of “Freaks” or the harmonies, electronics and acoustic guitar of “Let it Rest,” or the keyboard-handclaps, lower tones and poppish instrumental hook of centerpiece “Mama,” there’s plenty of variety throughout. What ties the differing vibes and richly nuanced approach together is the vocals, which are mostly subdued and at times hyper-stylized, but never seem to fail to keep melodicism as their central operating method. That remains true on the subdued “Does it Matter” and the beat-laden “Silenced” at the album’s finish and brings everything together with an overarching sense of joy that holds firm despite shifts in mood and approach, making the complete front-to-back listen as satisfying as it might seem all over the place.

June Bug on Thee Facebooks

Atypeek Music website

 

Tired Lord, Demo

tired lord demo

Released by the band last year, the four-song Demo by San Francisco outfit Tired Lord has been picked up for an official cassette issue through From Corners Unknown Records and will reportedly be the only release from the black metal/sludge genre-benders. Presumably that means they broke up, rather than just refuse to ever record again, though the latter possibility intrigues as well and would be meta-black metal. Spearheaded by guitarist Bryce Olson, Tired Lord effectively bring a thickness of tone to charred riffing, and a balance between screams and growls brings a cast of general extremity to the material. So I guess this is the part where I’m supposed to regret their dissolution and wish they’d do a proper release. Fair enough for the brutal chug in “Serpent’s Ascent” and the 7:51 closer “Astaroth,” which one wouldn’t mind hearing fleshed out from their current form. Failing that, one of the 30 tape copies pressed of Demo seems like decent consolation. At least while they’re there for the getting and before Tired Lord go gleefully into that black metal demo tape ether where so many seem to dwell.

From Corners Unknown Records on Thee Facebooks

From Corners Unknown Records website

 

BerT, Relics from Time Zero

bert relics from time zero

Lansing, Michigan, trio BerT – bassist Phil Clark and brothers Ryan (guitar) and Rael (drums) Andrews – broke up. They even put out a posthumous rare tracks release in 2017’s The Lost Toes (review here), so what’s left? Well, another album, of course. Intended as a sequel to the sci-fi narrative of the never-released long-player Return to the Electric Church, the five-track/35-minute Relics from Time Zero is unfinished, sans vocals where they might otherwise be, and basically a look at what might’ve been had the band not dissolved. For those prior-exposed to the once-prolific heavy rock bizarros, some of the proceedings will seem familiar: riffs are plentiful and fluid in their tempo changes from driving rock to droned-out stomp, and there seems to be about 1.5 of them in the four-minute “In the Cave of the Batqueen,” so but for the fact that it’s not done, I’d just about call it business as usual for BerT. I know they’re done and all, but I still wouldn’t mind hearing these songs with some lyrics, let alone the record this one was intended to follow-up. Either way, even defunct, BerT remain on their own wavelength.

BerT on Thee Facebooks

BerT on Bandcamp

 

Zen Bison, Krautrocker

zen bison krautrocker

Classic-style heavy rock riffing pervades opener “Blow My Mind” (5:47) and the subsequent “Backseat Lovers” (5:15) – somewhere between Stubb and Radio Moscow — on Zen Bison’s debut LP, Krautrocker, but as the five-track/42-minute self-release moves into the 11-minute title-track, guitarist/vocalist Philipp Ott, bassist Steffen Fischer and drummer Martin Konopka – joined by organist Hans Kirschner and percussionist Bobby Müller –move into deeper-grooving and more psychedelic fare. That turn suits the mostly-live-recorded outfit well on the longer instrumental piece, and that leads to a side B with the likewise-sans-vocals “La Madrugada” (9:56) and the closing cover of Don Nix’s blues rocker “Going Down” (10:24), jammed out at the end in its middle and end with quick return to the chorus between. There isn’t much on Krautrocker one might actually consider krautrock in the traditional sense, but there’s certainly plenty of rock to go around on the impressive and varied first offering from the Rostock trio.

Zen Bison on Thee Facebooks

Zen Bison on Bandcamp

 

Wheel in the Sky, Beyond the Pale

wheel in the sky beyond the pale

From opener “Rivers of Dust” onward, Wheel in the Sky’s second album, Beyond the Pale (on The Sign Records), proffers classy and classic digs, informed by a heavy ‘70s uptempo spirit on its title-track and moving into more complex volume and arrangement shifts in “Burn Babylon Burn” (video premiere here) and a poppy, goth-informed hook on “The Only Dead Girl in the City,” all the while held together through a quality of songwriting that even the band’s 2015 debut, Heading for the Night (review here), seemed to hint toward. It’s a mover, to be sure, but Wheel in the Sky execute their material with poise and a sense of clear intention, and no matter where they seem to go, their tonality and natural production assures the listener has an easy time tagging along. Might be a sleeper for some, but there are going to be people who really, really dig this album, and I’ve got no argument with them.

Wheel in the Sky on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records website

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CHRCH Announce West Coast Tour Dates with YOB & Acid King; On the Road Next Week to Austin Terror Fest

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Californian hyperbole-inspiration specialists CHRCH head out on a tour next week that will take them to Austin Terror Fest the lineup for which indeed looks duly terrifying. Perhaps even scarier than that is that CHRCH in September are on a three-band bill with YOB and Acid King and there’s just about no way in hell I’m going to see any of those shows, let alone follow along the entire tour as it makes its way through the Southwestern desert, which to be perfectly honest seems like a pretty badass way to spend a week, even basically one coming right off of Psycho Las Vegas. Seriously, how could you go wrong with those three bands at a show? Goodness gracious.

CHRCH‘s new album (review pending) is out now on Neurot. The PR wire brings daydream fodder:

chrch photo hannah stone

CHRCH To Kick Off Mini-Tour Next Week + West Coast Fall Shows With Yob And Acid King Confirmed; Light Will Consume Us All Out Now Via Neurot

Sacramento’s favorite doom practitioners CHRCH will kick off a short run of live dates next week. Set to commence on June 11th in Fullerton, California and run through June 21st in Reno, Nevada, the journey includes performances with Body Void, Trapped Within Burning Machinery, Ugly, Hist, Bird Violence, and The Ditch And The Delta on select shows, as well as a stop at Austin Terror Fest June 16th with Exhorder, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Come To Grief, Cough, and many more. CHRCH’s latest journey follows a recent European jaunt with Fister. Additionally, the bandwill take on a week-long west coast trek supporting Yob and Acid King this September. See all confirmed dates below.

CHRCH’s Light Will Consume Us All is out now on CD, vinyl, and digital formats via Neurot Recordings. For physical order bundles visit THIS LOCATION. Desirers of the the digital edition can go HERE where the record is also streaming in full.

CHRCH:
6/11/2018 Slidebar – Fullerton, CA w/ Body Void, Trapped Within Burning Machinery
6/12/2018 Garage Rock Bar – Tijuana, MX
6/13/2018 The Rogue – Phoenix, AZ w/ Body Void, Ugly
6/14/2018 Cans – Tucson, AZ w/ Body Void, Hist, Bird Violence
6/15/2018 Neon Rose – El Paso, TX w/ Body Void
6/16/2018 Austin Terror Fest – Austin, TX w/ Exhorder, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Come To Grief, Cough, more
6/17/2018 Reno’s – Dallas, TX w/ Body Void
6/18/2018 Hi Dive – Denver, CO w/ Body Void
6/19/2018 Metro Music Hall – Salt Lake City, UT w/ The Ditch And The Delta
6/21/2018 Holland Project – Reno, NV

w/ Yob, Acid King:
9/06/2018 Harlow’s – Sacramento, CA
9/07/2018 Catalyst Atrium – Santa Cruz, CA
9/08/2018 Pappy & Harriet’s – Pioneertown, CA
9/09/2018 Teregram – Los Angeles, CA
9/12/2018 Sister Bar – Albuquerque, NM
9/13/2018 Club Red – Phoenix, AZ
9/14/2018 Brick By Brick – San Diego, CA
9/15/2018 Oakland Metro – Oakland, CA

CHRCH:
Eva Rose – vocals
Chris Lemos – guitar, vocals
Ben Cathcart – bass
Adam Jennings – drums
Karl Cordtz – guitar, vocals

http://www.facebook.com/chrchdoomca
https://churchdoom.bandcamp.com/releases
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

CHRCH, Light Will Consume Us All (2018)

Tags: , , , , ,

CHRCH to Release Light Will Consume Us All April 27; Album Details Revealed

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

chrch hannah stone

Yeah, the dark cover art is cool, and it’s nice to know that immediately upon releasing their new album, CHRCH will make a break for European shores to tour with 2017 splitmates Fister, but what I really like to see about Light Will Consume Us All, which is the Sacramento megadoomers’ Neurot Recordings debut and sophomore long-player behind 2015’s Unanswered Hymns (review here), is that it has three songs on it. That was the case as well with the first record — three-song full-length — and as the band also went back to Earthtone Studios to work with engineer Patrick Hills, it would seem they’re following an impulse not to fix what wasn’t broken in their sound.

Needless to say if you heard Unanswered Hymns, but that is very much the right fucking move.

The PR wire brings that tracklisting and the foreboding cover and tour dates and so on, and if you’re not yet looking forward to this one, you should be. A band like this doesn’t sign to Neurot and then not deliver, and in the case of CHRCH, it could mean a real monster is on the way.

Dig:

chrch light will consume us all

CHRCH: Sacramento Doom Bringers To Release Light Will Consume Us All This April Via Neurot Recordings; Artwork + Track Listing Revealed

Light Will Consume Us All, the impending second full-length from Sacramento, California-based doom bringers CHRCH, is set for release this April via Neurot Recordings.

Standing at a crossroads of light and dark, CHRCH wields epic, lengthy songs, massive low end, and an occult vocal presence in a perfect blend of height and depth. CHRCH has been hard at work crafting their particular sound since late 2013. There is no image or campy gimmick to uphold, only the humble glorification of their fundamental musical elements

This purity and honesty comes across in a striking manner on the band’s 2015 debut Unanswered Hymns, a sprawling roller coaster of an album. Long form songs build and heedlessly dismantle as the band reaches sonic heights and beautiful plateaus. Severe, sometimes unrelenting, vocals contrast melodic singing; massive fuzz gives way to clean guitar parts; its warm, organic tone draws the listener in with a sound influenced by traditional doom, psych rock, drone, and ambience.

Light Will Consume Us All carries with it the same quality of songwriting that caught the attention of fans worldwide on their debut. Building upon this unyielding foundation, Light Will Consume Us All continues CHRCH’s narrative, traversing life’s epic journey of loss, reclamation and, ultimately, finding hope within the darkness.Minimalist, indulgent, or straightforward; the music of CHRCH calls the listener to inhabit it, allowing enough room for its transmutation into anything one desires of it. Light Will Consume Us All was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Patrick Hills (King Woman, Bog Oak, VRTRA) at Earthtone Studios in Sacramento.

CHRCH’s Light Will Consume Us All will see release on CD, vinyl, and digital formats via Neurot Recordings April 27th with preorders to be announced shortly.

Light Will Consume Us All Track Listing:
1. Infinite Return
2. Portals
3. Aether

Surrounding the release, CHRCH will bring their sonic alchemy to the stage with a handful of west coast shows including an appearance at Days Of The Loud before heading to Europe this May with St. Louis doom cult, Fister. With shows still to be announced, the band’s European trek includes performances at Northern Discomfort in Copenhagen and DesertFest London.

CHRCH:
3/08/2018 Cooper’s Ale Works – Nevada City, CA w/ Khemmis
3/11/2018 Brick By Brick – San Diego, CA w/ Wolves In The Throne Room, Abyssal
3/24/2018 The Golden Bull – Oakland, CA
3/30/2018 Blue Lamp – Sacramento, CA w/ Usnea, Un, Occlith
3/31/2018 Days Of The Loud @ Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor – Reno, NV
w/ Fister:
5/02/2018 Bar Loose – Helsinki, FI
5/03/2018 SubScene – Oslo, NO
5/04/2018 Northern Discomfort – Copenhagen, DK
5/06/2018 DesertFest – London, UK
5/07/2018 Fuel – Cardiff, UK
5/08/2018 Nice N Sleazy – Glasgow, UK
5/09/2018 Head Of Steam – Newcastle, UK
5/10/2018 Temple Of Boom – Leeds, UK
5/11/2018 Magasin4 – Brussels, BE
6/15/2018 Austin Terror Fest – Austin, TX w/ Exhorder, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Come to Grief, Buzzov*en, more

CHRCH:
Eva Rose – vocals
Chris Lemos – guitar, vocals
Ben Cathcart – bass
Adam Jennings – drums
Karl Cordtz – guitar, vocals

http://www.facebook.com/chrchdoomca
https://churchdoom.bandcamp.com/releases
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

Fister & CHRCH, Split (2017)

Tags: , , , , ,

Desertfest London 2018 Lineup Complete: Hawkwind, Radio Moscow, Wino, Sourvein, Monolord, Kind & Many More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

A well-earned slow clap for Desertfest London 2018 on the occasion of completing what is unquestionably its broadest, biggest and most staggering lineup to-date. The festival has been outdoing itself every year since it got going, but this is a different league entirely. Kudos all around to the Desertfest London team. I really feel like there’s nothing else to say about it. It’s just amazing what these people have put together and I hope that those who are fortunate enough to be there realize the special event to which they’re bearing witness, because that’s what this is. Truly something special.

Here’s the final lineup update:

desertfest london 2018 square

Psych legends Hawkwind + complete lineup announced for DESERTFEST LONDON 2018!

DESERTFEST LONDON announce the final acts for its 2018 edition on May 4-6th in Camden, including psych legends HAWKWIND, plus The Quietus, Human Disease Promo & Nightshift Promotions stages all revealed.

Yes, you read that title correctly. Desertfest are honoured, thrilled, losing our minds, quivering in our boots to reveal that one of the most influential English bands in heavy musical history are gracing us with our presence this May, seminal space-rockers HAWKWIND will return to the hallowed ground of The Roundhouse to play a very special performance as main support to Monster Magnet. Hawkwind require no real introduction – genre-defining mavericks since 1969, it’s safe to say most of your favourite bands wouldn’t exist without Hawkwind; their legend precedes them, expect a life affirming, life altering show. We are beyond excited.

Yet more Carolina goodness is coming Desertfest’s way, underground skater heroes ASG will make their psych riddled, post-punk sound heard across London, earplugs recommended, party times guaranteed. 70’s blues-soaked hard rockers RADIO MOSCOW will also make their return, following a recently sold-out performance at The Borderline – this trio of psychedelic power are being met with hugely high acclaim and for a damn good reason. They’re groovy, heavy and damn near perfect.

No strangers to the Desertfest, doom heroes MONOLORD are back to offer up some of the finest riffs to have ever come out Sweden’s smoke. Fuelled by bongs and black coffee, they are one of the favourite returning acts for the fest – y’all better get in the queue now if you don’t want to miss it. Another act from the dirty South comes in the form of SOURVEIN, sludge and crust blended together in perfect guttural harmony. Leading man T-Roy’s been fighting the good fight for over two decades and the band are now easily at their strongest. Not one for the faint hearted.

Alongside his performance with The Obsessed, leading man WINO will perform an acoustic set across the Desertfest weekend. Last time we had the frontman play an acoustic set at DF the queue was out the door, it’s stripped back but still totally heavy. Belgian bulldozers STEAK NUMBER EIGHT are making a long awaited appearance at Desertfest London, a postmetal powerhouse their live performances have been met with high praise around Europe. A hypnotic haze will fall when the mighty DOPELORD take the stage, sickeningly smooth vocals hit the good spot whilst thunderous riffs and a mind altering magnitude of heavy rattle your core.

Also filling up the final line-up are newcomers DEAD WITCHES, psychedelic New York masters KING BUFFALO, out of this world riff rockers KIND, British noise rockers CATTLE plus NECROMANCERS, CRUMPET, SOLLEME, LIONIZE, LNN, CHRCH, MASTIFF, TUSKAR, TOM CAMERON and LO CHIE

ALSO RECENTLY ANNOUNCED:

The Quietus stage

The Quietus Stage usually brings some of the more diverse bands to Desertfest and this year is no different. Headlining the stage at The Black Heart on Friday 4th May are WHITE HILLS whose concentrated blasts of interstellar noise with a tank load of psychedelic glam makes them the truest space rock goliaths of our time. They’ll be joined by GHOLD, SNAPPED ANKLES, MELTING HAND, CASUAL NUN and SWEDISH DEATH CANDY.

Nightshift Promotions stage

The melodic tones of DARKHER will be headlining this year’s Nightshift Promotions stage at The Dev at Desertfest 2018. They’ll be joined by a diverse, but equally dark lineup which brings post-metal from TELEPATHY and SNOW BURIAL, the experimental noise of CROWD OF CHAIRS, blackened doom from MONOLITHIAN and the sludge of THE MOTH.

Human Disease Promo/When Planets Collide stage

This year the Human-disease Promo and When Planets Collide Stage has gone for an all out colossus of weighty heaviness for Desertfest 2018. Headlining the stage are WEEDEATER, making their second appearance of the weekend with a special early years set. They’ll be joined by Denver’s most crushing PRIMITIVE MAN, Canadian bruisers BISON, Swedish heaviness from SUMA, St Louis filthsters FISTER, Notts nasties MOLOCH and heavyweight duo BISMUTH.

http://www.desertfest.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestLondon
https://www.instagram.com/desertfest_london/
https://twitter.com/DesertFest
https://www.instagram.com/desertfest_london/

Hawkwind, Warrior on the Edge of Time (1975)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CHRCH Sign to Neurot Recordings; Light Will Consume us All Due Spring 2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 5th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

If there was any doubt that Sacramento megadoomers CHRCH made an impression with their 2015 Battleground Records debut album, Unanswered Hymns (review here), that might’ve been leftover after they hit the road last year in Europe and played Roadburn 2016 (review here) before returning to the US for Crucialfest and just about everywhere else with enough structural integrity to handle their voluminous and atmospheric smothering, let it be dispelled by the fact that they’ve been picked up by Neurot. Got that endorsement from Neurosis. By my estimation there are few that carry even a tenth of that much weight.

CHRCH will release their second album, Light Will Consume us All, this coming Spring via Neurot Recordings. I know I’ve said this before, but this band is the real fucking deal. Onto the most-anticipated-of-2018 list they go. Seems fair to expect that no matter what else comes out, this will be one of the heaviest releases next year has to offer.

From the PR wire:

chrch hannah stone

CHRCH: Sacramento Doom Quintet Joins Neurot Recordings; Band To Release Second Full-Length This Spring

Sacramento, California based doom quintet CHRCH has joined the Neurot Recordings family for the release of their forthcoming full-length, Light Will Consume Us All, slated to drop this spring.

Comments the band: “We are very excited to be working with Neurot for our next record. To be able to share the continuation of our narrative with the world through them is thrilling. Neurosis is the apex of integrity in music to us and it’s an honor to work with like-minded individuals for this release.”

Standing at a crossroads of light and dark, CHRCH wields epic, lengthy songs, massive low end, and an occult vocal presence in a perfect blend of height and depth. CHRCH has been hard at work crafting their particular sound since late 2013. There is no image or campy gimmick to uphold, only the humble glorification of their fundamental musical elements.

This purity and honesty comes across in a striking manner on the band’s debut Unanswered Hymns (Battleground Records, 2015), a sprawling roller coaster of an album. Long form songs build and heedlessly dismantle as the band reaches sonic heights and beautiful plateaus. Severe, sometimes unrelenting, vocals contrast melodic singing; massive fuzz gives way to clean guitar parts. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Patrick Hills at Earthtone Studios in Rocklin, California, it exudes a warm, organic tone that draws the listener in with a sound influenced by traditional doom, psych rock, drone, and ambience.

CHRCH teamed up with Fister to release a split 12″ via Battleground Records/Crown And Thorne LTD, earlier this year. Their track, “Temples,” displays the increasing subtlety and intensity of CHRCH’s songwriting. Intricate melodies and composition build on the band’s thunderous drums, strong vocals, and gargantuan riffs.

The band’s second full length, the impending Light Will Consume Us All,carries with it the same quality of songwriting that caught the attention of fans worldwide on their debut. Building upon this unyielding foundation, Light Will Consume Us All continues CHRCH’s narrative, traversing life’s epic journey of loss, reclamation and, ultimately, finding hope within the darkness.

Minimalist, indulgent, or straightforward; the music of CHRCH calls the listener to inhabit it, allowing enough room for its transmutation into anything one desires of it.

Stand by for further info on Light Will Consume Us All to be announced in the weeks to come.

CHRCH is:
Eva Rose – vocals
Chris Lemos – guitar, vocals
Ben Cathcart – bass
Adam Jennings – drums
Karl Cordtz – guitar, vocals

http://www.facebook.com/chrchdoomca
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

Fister & CHRCH, Split (2017)

Tags: , , , , ,

CHRCH & Fister Release Split LP Tomorrow

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Do you love atmospherically switched on and utterly skull-cleaving extreme doom? Sure, we all do. One should therefore take note of tomorrow as the release date of the new split between Los Angeles soulcrushers CHRCH and their bet-we-can-write-an-even-longer-song scathing compatriots in Fister. Because, you now, with the cleaving and whatnot. Issued through respected purveyor Battleground Records and Crown an Throne Ltd., it’s just two tracks, but that’s frankly all you need and even franklier probably all you could stand anyway from these two litmus test outfits pushing the limits of hyperbole-worthy viciousness. Get it, get doomed.

The PR wire delivers humbling brutality:

chrch fister split

On November 17th 2017, the stunning new split by CHRCH & Fister will be released The album consists of two tracks and will be released on limited edition vinyl via Crown and Throne Ltd and Battleground Records.

CHRCH have been hard at work crafting their particular brew of sound since late 2013. There is no image or campy gimmick to uphold, only the humble continuation and glorification of those fundamental musical elements that first built and then sustained the genre and it’s offshoots over the course of decades.

This purity and honesty comes across in a striking manner on the band’s debut ‘Unanswered Hymns’, a sprawling roller coaster of an album that plumbs the heights and depths of emotion, whether be it sorrow, loss, or redemption. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Patrick Hills at Earthtone Studios in Rocklin, CA, the recording exudes a warm, organic tone that draws the listener in to music heavily influenced by traditional doom, psych rock, drone, and ambience. CHRCH cannily wields dynamic songwriting, musicianship, and raw power to spin a spellbinding tale of occult darkness that clashes with illuminating melodies and riffs drenched in grimy reverb. Minimalistic, indulgent, or straightforward, the music of CHRCH is simply whatever the listener wants it to be.

Fister, coming off their recent reissue of “Gemini” on vinyl (Encapsulated Records), their split 7″ with TEETH (Broken Limbs Recordings), and of course their last 12″ “IV” (Crown and Throne Ltd.), continues to incorporate heavy influences from the black and death metal genres into a depressing sludge spewing heaviness that many have attempted, but few have mastered.

CHRCH: Eva Rose, Chris Lemos, Adam Jennings, Ben Catchart, Shann Marriott Jr.
Fister: Kenny Snarzdk, Marcus Newstead, Krik Gatterer

https://www.facebook.com/chrchdoomca/
https://www.facebook.com/fisterdoom/
http://crownandthroneltd.bigcartel.com/product/fister-chrch-split-12/
https://www.facebook.com/crownandthroneltd/
https://crownandthroneltd.bandcamp.com/
http://www.battlegroundrnr.com/product/chrch-fister-split-album
https://www.facebook.com/battlegroundrecords/
https://soundcloud.com/battleground-records

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Northwest Terror Fest 2017: Coven and John Haughm Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Losing Warning is a bummer, but Northwest Terror Fest 2017 is taking it in stride and taking its game to another level entirely by adding Coven to the bill for their first US show in 27 years. I had the good fortune of watching Coven play at Roadburn in April (review here), and their classic sound has never been more relevant than it is today, and Jinx Dawson remains a mystifying presence as frontwoman, even nearly five decades after the band issued their landmark 1969 outing, Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls, which you can hear in full below. The point of that massive fucking run-on sentence? Go see Coven if you can. There. I made it simple. I hear that’s what you’re supposed to do on the internet.

John Haughm of Pillorian and Agalloch will also play an acoustic set as part of the packed lineup, and as a side note, tomorrow I’ll have a Six Dumb Questions interview posted with David Rodgers of Godhunter, who organizes this fest as well as other Terror Fest incarnations like the Austin Terror Fest at SXSW and Southwest Terror Fest in Arizona. Dude breaks his ass in making these things happen, and you’ll note Godhunter aren’t on this bill, so it’s clearly not about just putting together an event to promote his own doings. Just something to keep an eye out for.

Northwest Terror Fest 2017 runs June 15-17. Here’s the latest from the PR wire, including the full schedule:

northwest-terror-fest-2017-poster

COVEN, JOHN HAUGHM JOIN NORTHWEST TERROR FEST

NORTHWEST TERROR FEST – SEATTLE JUNE 15-17

Due to matters out of control of Northwest Terror Fest, we regret to inform that Warning will no longer be able to perform during this specific weekend. But at the end of the darkness is light as we are proud to announce that the legendary Coven will be playing on the evening of Saturday June 17th in what will be their first stateside show in 27 years!

While its widely disputed that some have cited Coven as the first band to brandish the sign of the horns, their occult laced tunes have laid down an irrefutable influence on the world of metal and doom beginning with their mystic debut album, 1969’s Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls.

John Haughm of Agalloch will be performing an intimate set.

Inspired by Cormac McCarthy, Ennio Morricone, Neil Young’s “Dead Man” soundtrack, and the renegade years of the American old west, John Haughm’s solo performance is a haunting and sonic 30 minute journey through dystopian wastelands of the past. It is a bleak, atmospheric, and powerful droning Western soundscape in steadfast spirit of the years 1865 – 1895.

Northwest Terror Fest Schedule:

THURSDAY 6/15
Neumo’s:
10:10 – END – Wolves In The Throne Room
8:50 – 9:30 – Samothrace
7:35 – 8:10 – King Woman
6:30 – 7:00 – Lycus
5:30 – 6:00 – Uada

Barboza:
9:30 – 10:10 – Graves At Sea
8:10 – 8:50 – Take Over And Destroy
7:00 – 7:35 – Void Omnia
6:00 – 6:30 – Barghest
5:00 – 5:30 – Witch Ripper

THURSDAY AFTER PARTY

Highline:
1:00 – END – John Haughm
11:50 – 12:40 – Aerial Ruin
11:00 – 11:30 – Crowhurst

FRIDAY 6/16

Neumo’s:
10:10 – END – Cephalic Carnage
8:50 – 9:30 – Goatwhore
7:35 – 8:10 – Noisear
6:30 – 7:00 – Nomads
5:30 – 6:00 – Fucked And Bound

Barboza:
9:30 – 10:10 Cult Leader
8:10 – 8:50 – Call Of The Void
7:00 – 7:35 – Transient
6:00 – 6:30 – Endorphin’s Lost
5:00 – 5:30 – Recluse

FRIDAY AFTER PARTY

Highline:
12:40 – END – Usnea
11:50 – 12:20 – Burials
11:00 – 11:30 – Sol

SATURDAY 6/17

Neumo’s:
10:10 – END – Coven (First US Show in 27 years)
8:50 – 9:30 – Yob
7:35 – 8:10 – Marissa Nadler
6:30 – 7:00 – Young And In The Way
5:30 – 6:00 – Infernal Coil

Barboza:
9:30 – 10:10 – Bell Witch featuring Aerial Ruin
8:10 – 8:50 – Forn
7:00 – 7:35 – CHRCH
6:00 – 6:30 – Hands Of Thieves
5:00 – 5:30 – Cliterati

SATURDAY AFTER PARTY

Highline:
12:40 – END – Heiress
11:50 – 12:20 – Rhine
11:00 – 11:30 – Old Iron

www.facebook.com/northwestterrorfest
https://www.facebook.com/events/1741333786182206/
www.neumos.com
www.thebarboza.com
www.highlineseattle.com

Coven, Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls (1969)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Roadburn 2016 Audio Streams: CHRCH, Bliksem, Chaos Echoes, Yodok III, Daniel Payne, Hell & Naðra

Posted in audiObelisk on May 30th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

CHRCH at Roadburn 2016 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

This invariably happens every year. I’ll grant that the audio streams from Roadburn 2016 seem especially quick in arriving — the last batch was only 10 days ago — but at some point every year there’s a round during which the majority of the bands are ones that I didn’t see. The catchphrase here is “Roadburn means hard choices.” You can’t be everywhere at once, and usually my agenda involves trying to focus on things I’ve never seen before and might not again. Fortunately there’s always plenty of that to go around.

Out of the seven bands included in this third batch of Roadburn 2016 streaming full sets, I only caught one band, and that was CHRCH. Frankly, if it was only going to be one, I’m glad it was them. The West Coast extreme doom powerhouse made their debut through Battleground Records in 2015 with Unanswered Hymns (review here) and received due praise for their efforts, and they were among my most gotta-see bands for this year’s fest, playing in the smallest venue, Extase, around the corner from the 013 proper. They packed that room out through the hallway and just about out the door and closed out my first night of Roadburn 2016 with resonant, swirling darkness that I’m glad to have the chance to revisit.

And of course, getting to hear some of what I missed elsewhere is always part of the fun of hosting these streams, so if you need me, I’ll be digging in. I hope you’ll enjoy doing the same.

Much audio follows:

Bliksem – Live at Roadburn 2016

Chaos Echoes – Live at Roadburn 2016 (Transient in its entirety)

CHRCH – Live at Roadburn 2016

Hell – Live at Roadburn 2016

Naðra – Live at Roadburn 2016

Daniel Payne – Live at Roadburn 2016

Yodok III – Live at Roadburn 2016

Gratitude as always to Walter for letting me host the streams. To hear the first batch of Roadburn 2016 audio streams, click here, to hear the second one, click here, and for all of this site’s coverage of Roadburn 2016, click here.

Roadburn’s website

Marcel Van De Vondervoort on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,