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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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

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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)

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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

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ROADBURN 2016 DAY ONE: Cosmic Truth

Posted in Features, Reviews on April 14th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2016 day one (Photo by JJ Koczan)

04.15.16 – 00:16 — Hotel room, Tilburg

Already it seems like Roadburn is in full swing. There’s no sense of the outside world, only Roadburn, which always has and always will. Familiar faces abound, and new ones too. A lot of them. That build-out on the 013 allowed for more tickets sold, so inarguably Roadburn 2016 is the most crowded this event has ever been. That’s saying something. Mostly, it’s saying, “get there early if you want to get up front.”

the poisoned glass 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)I did just that what seems like a million hours ago for The Poisoned Glass starting the day — the first day; my god, it’s still the first day — at Het Patronaat, aka the church. The band is new, but the players involved were clearly known to the early crowd, vocalist/noisemaker Edgy59 and bassist G. Stuart Dahlquist both veterans of widely influential doom extremists Burning Witch. By astounding coincidence, their debut album, 10 Swords, came out this week via Ritual Productions, and they played the vast majority of it and then some, the volume of Dahlquist‘s bass loud enough to vibrate earplugs and dissuade any accusations of minimalism one might try to make.

With Edgy59 switching between harsh screaming rasps and cleaner vocals, it was entertaining to look around the room and see so many smiling faces among those in attendance. Yes, the music is unspeakably dark. Yes, it sounds like your soul in a trash compactor. Doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. Their post-Khanate dystopian oppression found its audience for sure, and it was gripping to watch the seething intensity in Edgy59‘s performance particularly, his movements restless in comparison to the slow motion tempos of the material. They were as heavy in mood as in Dahlquist‘s tone, and inescapable in their rumbling churn. Perfect for the church.

As they were wrapping up, Inverloch were taking the stage in the redone Green Room. I tried to catch some of Mantra Machine, but already the Cul de Sac was full and it would remain so for the duration. I thought about running over to Extase, which is around the other side of the alley behind the Patronaat, to get a sample of Grafir, but wound up marauding through the merch section — like a fucking champ — and back at the church to catch Der Blutharsch and the Infinite Church of the Leading Hand, who, as it turns out, were exactly what I was looking for.

der blutharsch 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)Later on, I’d go back to the merch area to pick up a full copy of their new record, The Wolvennest Sessions, which came out in December, and grabbing 2012’s The Story About the Digging of the Hole and the Hearing of the Sounds from Hell on a whim, basically because that’s how good Der Blutharsch and the Infinite Church of the Leading Hand Were, the Austrian experimentalists celebrating their 20th anniversary with a short tour in the winding-down stage. Their blend of classic krautrock and forward-thinking psychedelia was a joy to take in, and since their stuff is so far out, I didn’t really know what was coming. Anything would’ve been a surprise. With founder Albin Julius on synth and vocals, they spread their sound out over their hour-long set and seemed right at home in the flow.

There seems to be some threat that this is their last tour. Obviously, I don’t know if that’s true or not, and since they’re pretty prolific, I wouldn’t take that to mean they’re done overall — though one never knows — but even if it’s a year or a few years before they get out again, I felt fortunate to watch them play. It’s the kind of thing I’d never get to see anywhere but at Roadburn, something I didn’t even know how badly I wanted to watch, and though I checked out a little early to go catch The Skull on the Main Stage back at the 013Der Blutharsch and the Infinite Church of the Leading Hand left one of the day’s most memorable impressions. Considering the course of the day, that’s saying something.

Yeah, I watched The Skull last night at the Hardrock Hideout (review here). It’s a fact. I thought this was their set of Trouble songs, and there were a few sprinkled in for good measure, of course — “R.I.P.,” “At the End of My Daze,” “Come Touch the Sky” and so on — the skull rb 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)but was awfully Skull-y for being the Trouble set, which as it turns out is late tomorrow night. Go figure. No harm done, of course. Let “A New Generation” and “The Longing” be the worst things that ever happen at Roadburn. They riffed on “I Want You/She’s so Heavy” and tossed “Till the Sun Turns Black” into the set, which was certainly welcome, and after the swinging “Send Judas Down,” which included a nod to “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida,” it was once again the title-track from For Those Which are Asleep (review here) rounding out.

To see them on such a huge stage less than 24 hours after seeing them in a club that holds about 200 people was something of a trip, but The Skull were no less in command of the cavernous space than they were the tiny Cul de Sac, where New Keepers of the Water Towers were going on shortly. I ran over quickly to see if there was any room in the building. There was enough for me to buy a copy of their new album, Infernal Machine (review here), but by the time you walked to the bar in the much-longer-than-it-is-wide venue, there was basically no passage through the throng of humanity. Buying the record seemed like the least I could do for having made the attempt to see them and failed, and once I got it, I headed back to the Main Stage to watch The Skull finish and to wait for Hexvessel, who were one of my most anticipated bands for the entire fest, to take the Main Stage.

I said as much in today’s Weirdo Canyon Dispatch (issue here) but nature-worshiping Finnish outfit Hexvessel‘s new record, When We are Death (review here), stands among the best albums of 2016 so far. Before they went on, I ran over to the merch area — more hexvessel 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)of a waddle, really — and picked up the artbook edition of the album as well as a patch with a fish head on it. They also had owls and bears and several other wildlife options, but you don’t see a lot of fish in underground heavy, so I was all about it. No idea what I’ll do with the thing, not being the battle-vest type, but whatever. For three euro? Sold. Their set more than justified both purchases, focused heavily on the new album and a huge shift in dynamic from when they were here in 2012, having departed from their folkish roots on the strength of infectious, progressive and deeply nuanced songs like “Mushroom Spirit Doors,” a set highlight, and “Cosmic Truth,” which frontman Mat McNerney prefaced by saying it was about, “true love and spaceships.” Needless to say, right up my alley.

Quietly percussive, “Hunter’s Prayer” finished off what seemed to be Hexvessel‘s regular set, after “Cosmic Truth,” “Mushroom Spirit Doors,” “Transparent Eyeball,” “Teeth of the Mountain,” “Mirror Boy,” and “Sacred Marriage” and the earlier “Woods to Conjure” from 2012’s No Holier Temple, but the band did an encore of sorts with “Earth over Us” and “When I’m Dead” back to back, both maddeningly catchy, the former delivered with surprising heft from the stage, before closing with “Invocation Summoning” from their 2011 debut, DawnbearerMcNerney encouraging the crowd to sing and clap along, which of course it did.

Timing worked out that as Hexvessel were finishing, Bang were starting in the Green Room, so I hobbled over there and waited for the Franks and Jake to follow-up their Hardrock Hideout set with another runthrough of their heavy ’70s lost classics. They did not disappoint, and their warm, laid back take on heavy rock continues to thrill. I’ve seen the band I don’t even know how many times at this point — let’s say circa 15 — but their vibe is always right on, and I don’t think I’ve heard bassist Frank Ferrara‘s tone sound as full and inviting as it has last night and tonight. He and guitarist Frankie Gilcken founded the band in 1969 and their self-titled debut was released two years later, and Ferrara remarked from the stage that their first European appearance — this one — was 46 years in the making. Time flies.

bang 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)Much to their credit, they lived up to the occasion, and though he’s far from being an original member of the band, Jake Leger‘s drums have become essential to Bang‘s live presence. Maybe they’ll do another record, maybe they won’t, but with Leger swinging away behind, Gilcken and Ferrara are that much more able to nail that spirit every time out. “Lions, Christians” was a highlight, and of course “Our Home,” both from the self-titled, but in the live setting, the much newer “The Maze” is no less vintage-sounding. I think Leger is a big part of that. A third in the power trio, at very least. As they always do, Bang looked to be genuinely enjoying making their European debut, and a crowd that already knew their songs made it seem all the more overdue.

Back on the Main Stage, Converge were finishing up their set playing 2001’s Jane Doe in full: The album that launched 100,000 metalcore bands who were nowhere near as interesting as Converge ever were. Hard to hold that against it, I suppose. I caught the tail end of the set, which was as furious as it would have to be, and the four-piece of vocalist Jacob Bannon, guitarist Kurt Ballou, bassist Nate Newton and drummer Ben Koller brought out former bassist Stephen Brodsky (also Cave In) to join them on guitar and melodic vocals for the closing title-track from Jane Doe, its sweep well on the other side of epic. Not really my thing stylistically, but people were jammed into the Main Stage space for them, and I watched as dudes had to be helped out of the front for what I guess was a rare Roadburn pit — unless someone just stepped on that guy’s foot, which would be sadder somehow — so it was clear the room was making the connection to the off-genre elements Jane Doe brought to hardcore, or more likely, they made that connection 15 years ago. Either way.

My second failure at Cul de Sac came after Converge were done when I ran over to try to see the reunited Gomer Pyle. No luck. Same as with New Keepers: I bought a CD and that was about as close as I could get. Fair enough. By this time, I was reconciling myself to the fact that I’d probably not get in to see either Zone Six at Cul de Sac or CHRCH at Extase, both of which were bigtime mental bummers. Still, as consolation, Paradise Lost playing their defining 1991 opus, Gothic, in its entirety ain’t bad. That album turns 25 this year, has been reissued multiple times over, and its paradise lost 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)influence continues to spread, now feeding a new generation a blueprint of how to do death/doom so very, very right.

It would’ve been an event to see Paradise Lost play anything, but “Gothic,” “Shattered,” “Dead Emotion” — this is the stuff of which doom extremity is made. I stayed a while to pay my respects and then did decide after all to not be a defeatist jerk and see if I could get in for Zone Six after all. I could. The key was to be early as hell. That’s an old Roadburn trick. The German space jammers, who feature in their ranks Dave “Sula Bassana” Schmidt and Komet Lulu, both of Electric Moon, played as a trio with Rainer Neeff on guitar, which meant that synth specialist Modulfix was missing, but the jams were happening either way. I dug the gosh darn heck out of last year’s Love Monster (review here), and they were another act where the safer assumption probably would’ve been that I’d never get to watch them do a set save at Roadburn. I am very, very fortunate to be here.

Zone Six played in the dark. I mean it. Cul de Sac isn’t exactly bright to start with, and Lulu asked before they went on to have the lights turned down so it was like shooting a show in Boston in there. With Sula filling in on synth, their swirl was certainly colorful enough that it would’ve justified a bit of brightness, but I’ll take what I can get and the pictures can work themselves out. I got to see Zone Six. That’s a win. And since I had a hot streak going, I thought maybe I’d give Extase a shot for CHRCH to round out the night on a bludgeoning note of tonal mass, their Unanswered Hymns (review here) debut album on Battleground Records continuing to resonate as one of 2015’s best. As fate would have it, my luck held.

My two gotta-sees for today were Hexvessel and CHRCH. I wish I could say I stayed for the latter’s full set, but between the fact that it zone six 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)was getting on midnight and I had writing to do and the full-crowd press up against the stage in Extase bringing on a need for breathable air that smelled like something other than beer sweat, I indeed did not. Was enough to see them play “Unanswered Hymns” though to justify my anticipation. The Sacramento five-piece are touring to support the aforementioned first LP, and they’re doing numerous fests in the US as well as putting in this abroad road time, so it probably won’t be the last time in my life I run into them, but I was extraordinarily glad I did. Partially veiled frontwoman Eva played up a ritualistic sensibility with incense at the front of the stage, but really, so much of what they did was about absolutely crushing everything in their path — which is a kind of ritual, granted — that their primary impression was one of sheer impact. Switching between screams and cleaner croons, Eva shared vocal duties with guitarist Chris, whose growls underscored the death/doom aspects of CHRCH‘s sound, making them all the more crushing.

Listening to Unanswered Hymns, it was clear CHRCH (who were called Church at the time) were onto something that could be really special. After watching them bring that material to life, I feel no less vehement in my appreciation for just how on-the-right-path they absolutely are. Their second offering will be a big tell. I can’t wait to hear what it has to say.

When it was time to go, I fought my way through the wall of humans at Extase and eventually out into the street wherechrch 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan) some non-Roadburn-type tourists were taking their picture in front of the big cathedral. Dudes were plastered. I took their picture with one of their phones and told them to have a good night. Theirs might’ve just been beginning, and I suppose in a way mine was too, but with Day One of Roadburn 2016 down, I felt like something really substantial had been accomplished even as I looked at the schedule for tomorrow and Saturday and Sunday and knew that there remains so much more to come.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

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