Conan Announce Revengeance Release Date; Cover Art Unveiled

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 15th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Liverpudlian destroyers-of-riff and purveyors of quality garments worldwide Conan have unveiled the title, cover art, tracklisting and release date for their third album, Revengeance. The three-piece announced exactly a month ago that they’d finished recording the six-track LP, and today it’s been given a Jan. 29, 2016 issue date by Napalm Records, which also handled Conan‘s last offering, Blood Eagle (review here). This will mark Conan‘s first outing with longtime-producer Chris Fielding handling bass and vocal duties and Rich Lewis handling drums alongside founding guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis, and in the new songs they’ve been playing live — if I’m not mistaken, it was “Thunderhoof” and “Revengeance” they played when I saw them in Brooklyn this May — they showed how far they’ve refined their attack to be one of the most lethal in underground heavy.

A quake in the distance. Sounds like footsteps coming closer. Must be new Conan on the horizon:

conan revengeance

CONAN Unveil Details Of Upcoming Album

CONAN’s upcoming album Revengeance kicks in with warm, fuzzy, low-tuned guitars. This UK-based three-piece is capable of unleashing a raging maelstrom of sludge, crust-caked doom, and mammoth droning. Even though they are on their third album, CONAN remain as pissed off as ever. The album is the end result of mixing monolithic bad tempers, powerhouse eternal riffs, and arson-like vocals – Revengeance will be released worldwide on January 29th 2016!

The band comments:
“REVENGEANCE is a collection of songs that we (Jon, Chris and Rich) are really proud of. These tracks were written in the period between October 2014 and September 2015 and we’re excited to get them out into the open. The album will contain one or two surprises but one consistent factor is our eternal devotion to heaviness. We are looking forward to playing these songs live at a venue near you, see you there……”

Revengeance track listing:
1. Throne Of Fire
2. Thunderhoof
3. Wrath Gauntlet
4. Revengeance
5. Every Man Is An Enemy
6. Earthenguard

For More Info Visit:

Conan, “Beheaded” (Remastered)

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Conan Complete Recording New Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 15th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

UK-based riff destroyers Conan have been posting regular updates from the studio the last couple weeks as they’ve set about tracking the follow-up to their 2014 sophomore outing and debut on Napalm Records, Blood Eagle (review here). They’ve been through the whole process — Rich Lewis‘ drums, Chris Fielding‘s bass, Jon Davis‘ guitars and then his and Fielding‘s vocals — all with Fielding at the helm at DavisSkyhammer Studio, and the latest word from the band is that the recording for the new album is finished and Conan are on to the mixing stage.

That will also be handled by Fielding prior to mastering by James Plotkin, and both his and Lewis‘ inclusion in the band for Conan‘s third full-length and the short stretch of time between Blood Eagle and whatever they wind up calling it are indicative of just how busy a year-plus it’s been for Davis and company, who’ve also toured Europe and the US, set up various merch enterprises and solidified their position as one of doom’s most devastating acts. With Davis as the remaining founding member, Conan enter their third offering a different band than they were in more than just their rhythm section, and the results of their push toward self-sufficiency in streamlining the recording process and furthering their own marauding cause on tour will be felt in the record upon its arrival.

Looking like 2016 for that, so if you’ve got a running list of albums to watch for in the New Year, it might be worth adding CONAN in all-caps. Here’s their announcement:



Recording is now complete on our follow up to Blood Eagle. We recorded this at our studio with our long term producer Chris Fielding (who also plays bass and sings). Chris is now mixing, and we’re almost ready to send the tracks to James Plotkin for mastering.

Conan, Live at Bannerman’s

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Desertfest London 2016 First Announcements: Electric Wizard, Conan, Elder, Witchsorrow and Raging Speedhorn Confirmed

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 2nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Desertfest London 2016 will be held April 29 through May 1 in the (black) heart of London: Camden Town. This is the fifth year the fest has been held, and while I’m not sure that was on their minds when they decided to open their season with an opening shot of five band announcements, it works out nicely all the same.

That’s true in no small part because of the bands announced. For a first headliner, Desertfest London 2016 unveils Electric Wizard, and they’re joined by a considerable battalion comprised of Conan, Elder, Witchsorrow and reactivated sludge rockers Raging Speedhorn, whom I once saw play — true story — in a hotel bar way off the beaten path at SXSW in Austin, Texas, maybe 2005 or 2006? I mean that show was so far out it might as well have been in Houston. Long walk. They were worth it though, and I don’t think they ever came back to the US, which is fair enough. Hard to beat “Fuck You, Pay Me.”

Anyhoo, of course we’ll have a ton more to come on Desertfest London 2016 by next April, though for now it’s cool to see Elder will apparently be making their way back to Europe. Very interested to find out how London’s lineup will interact with that of the Berlin-based Desertfest. When I see something, I’ll say something.

For now:

desertfest london 2016 banner


Hello all! We at Desertfest HQ hope you’ve had a great summer so far and as we sidle into September we’re thrilled to bring you some great news about the fifth annual Desertfest in Camden this coming April. Our first headliner to creep out of the shadows are those mighty legends of true British doom Electric Wizard! Marching behind the standard they bear for us all come Liverpool’s battle-hardened warriors Conan, Boston’s heralded masters of heavy psych Elder, the UK’s blackened doomsters Witchsorrow and those heroes of sludgy hardcore Raging Speedhorn!

Head over to our new-look website to find out more about these incredible bands and stick with us in the coming weeks as we bring you yet more of the world’s greatest doom, psyche, stoner, sludge and all things in between this April in Camden!

Conan, Live at Desertfest London 2013

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Conan Announce New Live LP Live at Bannermans

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Online shopping for Conan merch has always been a matter of timing. As in, “Can you manage to get your order in before the item in question has sold out?” The answer, usually, is no. The UK trio have earned much loyalty the last half-decade or so, and that loyalty has shown itself in a money-where-your-mouth is swath of t-shirt and vinyl purchases that have gone toward funding things like guitarist/vocalist Jon DavisSkyhammer Studio, at which one is likely to find Conan bassist/backing vocalist Chris Fielding at the helm, as well as the label Black Bow Records.

That label, which has done pressings for Conan, Undersmile, Intensive Square — which features Conan drummer Rich Lewis — and others, will issue the new live outing from Conan, Live at Bannermans, in Oct., with preorders available now. For those whose timing and/or shipping budgets might falter, the band has recently set up a new merch store specifically for US orders that bodes well for future touring incursions on these shores as well. If they weren’t interested, they probably wouldn’t have bothered.

If it needs to be said — and hopefully it doesn’t — the clip below of “Satsumo” from Bannermans in Aug. 2012 is obviously not the same source as the live album itself. I very much doubt Conan would press up a cellphone recording to vinyl.

Here’s the info:

conan live at bannermans


LIMITED RUN of 100 copies of this live set from the historic Bannerman’s venue in Cowgate Edinburgh.

Mixed and mastered by Stu at Wall of Sound.

Order here if you live in the US or Canada.

This recording was taken from Conan’s short run of shows with Slomatics in August 2012.

Running order –

Hawk As Weapon
Battle In The Swamp
Headless Hunter
Sea Lord

Black heavyweight vinyl.

Pre order starts now, shipping commences end of October.

Conan, “Satsumo” Live at Bannermans, Aug. 2012

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Live Review: Conan, Mantar, Black Pussy and Hush in Brooklyn, 05.22.15

Posted in Reviews on May 25th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Conan (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I had almost forgotten the glorious trials that NYC traffic could provide. The opportunities to see oneself as being on a great, grueling journey, near-Homerian. A quest undertaken on foot, dragging a cart on your back, covered in shit and mud, sweltering in the sun. Maybe an extreme vision, but the A/C in my car was on the fritz, and it’s summer south of the wall, so it wasn’t exactly an easy drive. Got to Brooklyn in time to have a burrito at the Acapulco Deli next to the Saint Vitus Bar, however, ahead of the start of a four-band bill with Albany five-piece Hush (also stylized as Hush., with the punctuation), Portland, Oregon’s Black Pussy, German duo Mantar and UK destroyers Conan, the latter two wrapping up a coast-to-coast tour that also included stops for Conan at Psycho California and, just the night before, at Maryland Deathfest.

Brooklyn was the second to last stop on the tour, with Philly the next night and then flights out, but I didn’t get a sense of any post-MDF comedown from the band. The Vitus Bar has enough of a reputation at this point that it has become a destination in itself for bands on tour, and for me, seeing Conan there was no less an event. This was their first time in the States, and while I had an advantage in having seen them twice at Roadburn (in 2012 and in 2014) and at Desertfest London in 2013, the prospect was still exciting, not the least because it was a new lineup. I parked myself near the front a couple minutes before Hush went on:


Hush (Photo by JJ Koczan)

One could probably call Hush.‘s style death-doom, but I always ascribe a certain sense of emotional drama to that, and the Upstate fivesome were light on that and heavy on just about everything else. More megasludge than death-doom, but plenty extreme one way or another. Vocalist C. Cure set up in front of the stage, and no wonder. Space was at a premium with the mountain of amps backlined, and Hush.‘s own contributions to that pile of equipment were as considerable as the tones that emanated from them. Slow-sounding even in their faster stretches, their lurch was pervasive and Cure‘s growls met the tide head-on, spit or some other manner of regurgitation flying out of his mouth as he headbanged near the front of the stage such that I thought it might be hitting guitarist Jeff Andrews (also of heavy rockers Ironwweed) in the leg. If he did, Andrews gave no sign of it. With an emphasis on tonal crush running throughout, they tossed in some new material along with “We Left Like Birds” from last year’s Unexist debut full-length, and while they were somewhat unipolar in their overall affect — that is, all heavy, all the time — they gave the evening a vicious, intense start and bludgeoned ferociously as if throwing down a gauntlet to anyone who might dare pick it up, earning their punctuation all the while.

Black Pussy

Black Pussy (Photo by JJ Koczan)

To be perfectly honest, I was kind of dreading seeing Oregon’s Black Pussy again. Not because they suck. Actually, just the opposite. If they sucked, fine. You write them off as a shitty band with a shitty attention-grab of a name and you move on. But because they’re actually good, and because they put so much attention into the details of their presentation — from drummer Dean Carrol‘s near-manic smile as he plays to the all-Sunn backline, to bellbottoms and vintage shirts on guitarist Ryan McIntire, organist Chief O’Dell and bassist Aaron Poplin, to guitarist/vocalist Dustin Hill‘s sunglasses and apparent unwillingness to keep his tongue in his mouth while he sings — you can’t just ignore them. I decided early in the set that from here on out I’d refer to the band as Five White Dudes in a Band Called Black Pussy, and so I will. Five White Dudes in a Band Called Black Pussy were solid, and I recognized several tracks from earlier-2015’s Magic Mustache (review here), the Queens of the Stone Age-style bounce and warm but still heavy roll, but you pretty much have to put a douchebaggery-filter on to watch them and get any sense of enjoyment out of it. At least if they’d called themselves White Cock you’d be able to say it was vaguely subversive. As it is, they’re just a bummer, and the more I see of them, the more that becomes a palpable reality. Don’t think it’s a racist or sexist name? Think it’s cool and ironic and not at all reinforcing white supremacy or the colonization of black bodies? Think the internet is populated by overly PC “social justice warriors?” Fine. You’re wrong and I don’t give a fuck. Think for a second about what you’re defending. Or don’t. Start your own website instead, and pine for the days when white people could be blatantly racist without being told they should feel bad about it. Have fun with that.


Mantar (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Hamburg duo Mantar — vocalist/guitarist Hanno and drummer/vocalist Erinc — arrived in Brooklyn having already made an impression on this tour. I’d heard from several people in other cities who’d been pleasantly surprised by the two-piece’s blend of thickened doom tone and raw metal. They had some technical difficulties at the beginning of the set, something about the power cable into the D.I. box, but once they started, they were zero-to-100 almost immediately, Hanno spitting his lyrics at Erinc from across the stage while the drummer, arranged with his side to the crowd, crashed and slammed away a propulsive course. There were elements of Celtic Frost at their roughest, and a touch of High on Fire and the Melvins in “Astral Kannibal,” but wherever they went sonically, the core of what they were doing was the punishment of their delivery, veins popping out on Hanno‘s neck as he shouted up to his microphone. With just the two of them on the stage, there was plenty of room to thrash around, and Hanno took advantage, switching between different channels in the backlined rig, Orange heads and cabinets set up on both sides of the stage, revealed when Five White Dudes in a Band Called Black Pussy removed their Sunns — it was an evening of expensive-looking gear — used to get both bass and guitar tones out of the guitar. It was unfortunate that their set got cut short and they were visibly frustrated, but assured the room they would be back and would hopefully be able to play longer next time around. I couldn’t imagine it had been an easy tour with routing that basically took them across the country and back, but Mantar did well in the direct-support slot and the punk-rooted dynamic between Erinc and Hanno was evident even as I was relatively unfamiliar with the band.


Conan (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Word was that at least some of those Orange stacks had been used in Sleep‘s recent Atlanta show. To have them subsequently carried by Conan on their first run through the US — it surely won’t be their last — seems a fitting inheritance. Conan guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis is the sole remaining founder of the band, and over the course of 2014, he brought on bassist/vocalist Chris Fielding, also producer for not only Conan but also the likes of Electric Wizard, Primordial, etc., and drummer Rich Lewis, so while Conan released their second album last year in the form of their Napalm Records debut, Blood Eagle (review here), they’re essentially a new band. Lewis, who is a man of many cymbals, is the latest addition, but they’ve toured with this lineup before, and coming toward the end of this stint as well, they were duly crisp in their delivery of what has developed into one of the heaviest aesthetics in the world. Hyperbole? Yes, but Conan warrant speaking in absolutes. Opening with “Crown of Talons,” they immediately set the place to a steady rumble and did not relent for the duration of their time on stage, Blood Eagle cuts like “Foehammer” and “Total Conquest” joined by “Hawk as Weapon” from 2012’s Monnos (review here) and “Satsumo” from their landmark 2010 Horseback Battle Hammer EP (review here), as well as a new song that worked in a middle pace to further the overbearing impression of their riff-led pummel. Davis and Fielding traded shouts, the latter almost with a Godfleshy burl, and managed to cut through the tones while Lewis nailed the snare work and quick changes in “Foehammer.” My usual modus is to hang out up front for a couple songs, take pictures and then fall back and enjoy the rest of a set from in back of the crowd, but Conan held me front and center for the duration, headbangers to the left of me, drunken staggering to the right, volume over top and crushing down. It was a brutal push through some of the highlights of their growing catalog, but their set also got cut short on curfew accounts. They wrapped up amid calls for one more song, thanked the crowd, said they’d be back, and took centerstage for a quick photo to mark the occasion, urged by some jerk who’d been taking pictures the whole time.

Speaking of, I owe a particular thanks to respected videographer Frank Huang. At the start of the show, I turned on my camera only to find I had no memory card in it, and Frank came to my rescue by letting me borrow a spare. When the show was over, I immediately dumped the photos onto my laptop, which I had in my car because I was slated for a post-gig two-hour drive to Connecticut, where I’d be crashing for the night to continue to Massachusetts on Saturday. Epic in a whole different way. I got in around 3AM with the lumbering “Crown of Talons” still stuck in my head, where it has remained since.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

Read more »

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Conan’s US Tour Starts Tonight

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 6th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


If you feel the ground shaking for the next couple weeks, don’t sweat it. That’s just Conan on their inaugural US tour. Just hang out and wait for your eventual destruction. They’ll get there sooner or later. Unless you live in Boston. Ha.

The tour starts tonight, which seems like an occasion worthy of note, given just how badly the US is in need of the ass kicking that Conan is about to deliver upon it. Support comes from Mantar and Samothrace, and includes stops at Psycho California and Maryland DeathfestConan are of course supporting last year’s pummeling Blood Eagle (review here), a record the devastation of which is still being tallied. If you haven’t heard it yet, shame on you. Have you learned nothing from all the hyperbole?

Tour dates follow here. One can only hope that when they find the ruined cities left in Conan‘s wake, future archaeologists give credit where its due:

conan us tour

CONAN North American Tour Starts Today – New Dates Added

Support Coming From Samothrace and Mantar

Latest Album Blood Eagle Available Now on Napalm Records

The English CONAN follows the ideals of their namesake and continue their path without compromises. The second album Blood Eagle is a Doom Drone Metal monument filled with monolithic riffs, hypnotic melodies, brutal drumming and an archaic atmosphere. Blood Eagle was released last March in North America via Napalm Records. The album can be ordered iTunes and Amazon.

CONAN will be kick off a North American headline tour tomorrow May 6th in Atlanta, GA and will wrap up May 23rd in Philadelphia, PA. Support on the tour will come from Samothrace and Mantar. Additional dates have been added in so be sure to check out the entire list below. Support on the tour comes from Samothrace and Mantar. Press opportunities are available at all shows!

5/6: Atlanta GA @ The Earl #
5/7: New Orleans LA @ Siberia #
5/8: Austin TX @ The Lost Well #
5/10: Ft. Worth, TX @ Lola’s % #
5/11: Denver CO @ Marquis Theater % #
5/12 Salt Lake City UT @ Area 51 % #
5/14: Oakland CA @ Oakland Opera House % #
5/15: Santa Ana CA @ Psycho CA, The Observatory
5/16: Tempe AZ @ 51 West % #
5/18: Oklahoma City OK @ The Conservatory % #
5/19 Memphis TN @ Hi-Tone % #
5/20 Johnson City TN @ The Hideaway % #
5/21: Baltimore MD @ Maryland Deathfest #
5/22: Brooklyn NY @ Saint Vitus Bar #
5/23: Philadelphia PA @ Kung Fu Necktie % #

% with Samothrace as direct support
# with Mantar (direct support on dates without Samothrace, 1st of three on
dates with Samothrace)

For More Info Visit:

Conan, “Foehammer” official video

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Conan Announce US Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 2nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Oh, America. You’re not even going to know what hit you, and before I get put on (another) government watch list, I’m talking about Conan‘s tone. I could tell you how long I’ve been waiting to write the words “Conan Announce US Tour Dates,” but suffice it to say, it’s been a long fucking time. The UK trio arrive on US shores a powerhouse, frontman Jon Davis running his own studio and label — Skyhammer and Black Bow Records, respectively — with new material in the works for their second album on Napalm behind last year’s destructive Blood Eagle (review here) to be recorded, presumably, later this year if they haven’t already started, longtime producer Chris Fielding now also playing bass in a revamped rhythm section that also includes drummer Rich Lewis, also of Cardiff’s Intensive Square.

And yeah, to answer your next question, I did put up these same tour dates yesterday when Samothrace announced them, but let it stand as an example of just how fucking important I think it is that Conan are coming to the States to tour that I’m using their announcement as well. They’ll be out with Samothrace and Mantar, and in addition to venerated East Coast rooms like the Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn and Kung Fu Necktie in Philadelphia, they’ll also appear at Psycho California and Maryland Deathfest.

Fuck yes:

conan tour

CONAN Announce North American Tour

The English CONAN follows the ideals of their namesake and continue their path without compromises. The second album Blood Eagle is a Doom Drone Metal monument filled with monolithic riffs, hypnotic melodies, brutal drumming and an archaic atmosphere. Blood Eagle was released last March in North America via Napalm Records. The album can be ordered iTunes and Amazon.

CONAN will be heading to North America this May on a headline tour. The tour kicks off May 6th in Atlanta, GA and is currently scheduled to run through May 23rd in Philadelphia, PA. Support on the tour will come from Samothrace and Mantar. Additional dates are expected to be added soon.

5/6: Atlanta GA @ The Earl #
5/7: New Orleans LA @ Siberia #
5/8: Austin TX @ The Lost Well #
5/11: Denver CO @ Marquis Theater % #
5/14: Oakland CA @ Oakland Opera House % #
5/15: Santa Ana CA @ Psycho CA, The Observatory
5/16: Tempe AZ @ 51 West % #
5/18: Oklahoma City OK @ The Conservatory % #
5/21: Baltimore MD @ Maryland Deathfest #
5/22: Brooklyn NY @ Saint Vitus Bar #
5/23: Philadelphia PA @ Kung Fu Necktie % #

% with Samothrace as direct support
# with Mantar

For More Info Visit:

Conan, “Foehammer” offcial video

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Samothrace and Conan Announce US Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 1st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

I’ve been hearing rumors going around of Conan doing US tour dates between their stops at Psycho CA and Maryland Deathfest, and I think they’d have been hard pressed to find a band as suitable to tour the US for the first time with as Seattle’s Samothrace, whose own tones carry plenty of crush. The difference is Samothrace‘s material on their last album, 2012’s Reverence to Stone (review here), stretched out and unfolded gradually, a full atmospheric soundscape that also happened to be punishing as hell. Good matchup, in other words. I would not expect any venue they played to remain standing.

The PR wire tells it like it is:


SAMOTHRACE Confirms May Cross-Country US Tour Dates With Conan and Mantar; New Material In The Works

Seattle’s quintessential, exploratory doom metal quartet, SAMOTHRACE, has broken their live silence with another round of national tour dates for this Spring, today announcing their upcoming cross-country May tour with UK doom/stoner outfit, Conan, and German sludge act, Mantar. On the slow, steady, international tour campaign in support of their 2012-released Reverence To Stone LP, SAMOTHRACE has toured Europe twice since the album’s release — once for Heavy Days in Doomtown III in 2013 and again for Roadburn Festival in 2014, with additional tour dates surrounding both festivals — yet the band has not had an opportunity to tour heavily in their native country for quite some time.

Enticed to get back into stateside touring again, SAMOTHRACE will begin dredging their slow-motion, organic, tonal exodus across the US for the first half of May, beginning as they rendezvous with the then-ongoing cross-country Conan and Mantar tour on May 11th, in Denver, Colorado. From there, the unstoppable caravan will cut a line from the Southwestern Rockies realm out to the West Coast, down through the Southwest and up through the lower Midwestern states to the Northeastern lands, while each band boasts specific and exclusive one-off performances throughout the trek. SAMOTHRACE will then execute a return headlining performance at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus Bar on May 24th, and then end their portion of the journey with a stop in Colorado Springs to play as part of What’s Left Presents Seven-One-Grind Fest alongside a list of carnage including Capitalist Casualties, Weekend Nachos, Theories, Connoisseur, Destroyer Of Light, Hummingbird Of Death, Primitive Man, and many others. The first round of dates have been released and another batch will follow in the coming days.

5/11/2015 Marquis Theater – Denver, CO w/ Conan, Mantar
5/14/2015 Oakland Opera House – Oakland, CA w/ Conan, Mantar
5/16/2015 51 West – Tempe, AZ w/ Conan, Mantar
5/18/2015 The Conservatory – Oklahoma City, OK w/ Conan, Mantar
5/23/2015 Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA w/ Conan, Mantar
5/24/2015 Saint Vitus Bar – Brooklyn, NY
5/30/2015 Seven-One-Grind Fest – Colorado Springs, CO w/ Capitalist Casualties, Weekend Nachos, Primitive Man, more

In addition to more tour plans in the works, SAMOTHRACE is writing and prepping for not only a yet-to-be announced split release with some good friends from down South, as well as their next LP to be recorded later this year.

In the meantime, a SAMOTHRACE Live at Roadburn 2014 LP is now available for preorder through Burning World/Roadburn Records, the platter limited to 300 copies. The band will have a limited supply in-hand by the beginning of the tour but they are not expected to last long. The band will also have the repress vinyl editions of Reverence To Stone as well as their debut LP, Life’s Trade, and several new merch items on tour with them, which are also available now on the SAMOTHRACE Bandcamp page HERE, and the vinyl via 20 Buck Spin as well, right HERE.

Samothrace, Live at Roadburn 2014

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