Vestal Claret to Release Second Album on Cruz Del Sur

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 11th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Kudos to the Connecticut duo of Phil Swanson (formerly of Hour of 13 and so many others I’d be out of breath from typing the names; as much a statement about me as about the bands) and Simon Tuozzoli (also King of Salem, ex-Guerra), better known as Vestal Claret, on their signing to Cruz Del Sur Music for the release of their second album, The Cult of Vestal Claret. The band’s debut, Bloodbath, came out first in 2011 in an edition that featured a host of guest appearances, and also earlier in 2013 on a Nine Records CD band-only version (review here), and either way, the record secreted a nasty ooze of Satanosexual cultistry, Swanson‘s lyrics proving, as ever, to push the boundary between righteous and legitimately disturbing. As the material on Bloodbath had been around for a number of years, it should be interesting to hear what Tuozzoli and Swansonput together for the follow-up. If you can expect anything, expect malevolence.

Here’s the announcement of their inking the deal, sent down the trusty PR wire:

VESTAL CLARET signs with Cruz Del Sur Music

Cruz Del Sur Music is proud to announce another prestigious addition to its roster, occult metal unit VESTAL CLARET!

One of the most mysterious and intriguing bands to appear from the American underground in the last few years, VESTAL CLARET is the creation of Simon Tuozzoli and Phil Swanson (SEAMOUNT / HOUR OF 13 fame), and play a killer mixture of doom and heavy metal riffage with a definite penchant for the morbid and sick atmospheres. Are you ready for the ritual to begin? You better go sharpen your krises!

The band’s first release with Cruz Del Sur Music, The Cult of the Vestal Claret, is the follow up to their 2011 debut, Bloodbath and will see the light of day in April 2014. The album will be available on CD, digital and vinyl formats.

https://www.facebook.com/VestalClaret
http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/

Vestal Claret, Bloodbath (2013)

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When the Deadbolt Breaks Get Creepy in Video for “Sleeps in Burning Hills”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 11th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Even unto the very name of the band, drone heavy Connecticut outfit When the Deadbolt Breaks have always done exceedingly well in creating a sense of mire and an atmosphere of threat. Put those two together and what you wind up with is a feeling of impending violence — one that pays off periodically with bursts of grindcore from out of the droning morass — from which there’s no escape. Led by guitarist/vocalist/engineer Aaron Lewis, the band released their latest outing, Drifting toward the Edge of the Earth, last month on Ear One Productions, and basked in the challenge they laid out for their audience over the course of the album’s two discs, an entire one of which they dedicated to the 51-minute exploration, “My Coffin is Loaded with Sand and Fire.”

Rest assured then that the sonics of their lurching, sneaking Godflesh-derived plodding “Sleeps in Burning Hills” are duly fucked. And rest doubly assured that the video for the song, which was directed and edited by Lewis himself (that’s him with the cigar in the image above) and Charlie Winthal, is likewise. Culminating in quick, vague jumpcuts that give way to eerily peaceful footage of forest sunset, there’s a sense the whole time that something vile will happen, is happening, has happened. Lewis doubles as a photographer and is no stranger to fetish-based work, and it’s precisely that air of sexualized violence/violent sexuality that comes through across “Sleeps in Burning Hills.” I won’t spoil the narrative thread, but things hardly seem to turn out well for the lady in the white dress. Take that, purity.

If you think you’re up to the sensory assault that Deadbolt bring to bear across “Sleeps in Burning Hills,” then yeah, you’re probably not. When the Deadbolt Breaks harness a very particular brand of the aurally deranged, and that they’d match it with visuals so fitting here only speaks to an expansion of their disturbing aesthetic. Like an escalating serial killer.

Enjoy:

When the Deadbolt Breaks, “Sleeps in Burning Hills” official video

When the Deadbolt Breaks on Thee Facebooks

Ear One Productions

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audiObelisk: Sea of Bones Premiere “Black Arm” from The Earth Wants us Dead

Posted in audiObelisk on October 18th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

The sound of Connecticut trio Sea of Bones is custom built for hyperbole. It’s not surprising that such grand images of crushing mountains and monolithic oppression are trumpeted in reference to it, because in itself, it’s working in such extreme terms, proffering massive post-sludge churn through a wall of cabinets constructed for that very purpose by guitarist/vocalist Tom Mucherino, who’s joined in the purpose by bassist/vocalist Gary Amedy and drummer/vocalist Kevin Wigginton. Even the runtime of their self-release sophomore outing, The Earth Wants us Dead – to say nothing of the title, which sets its own extremity of terms — is a sprawl at 91 minutes, with the second of two discs consumed entirely by the near-40-minute title-track. “Fucking huge” is what they do, and they do it loud.

It’s been six years since Sea of Bones made their full-length debut with 2007′s The Harvest (review here), and though they’ve dispensed in the interim with the song-titles-as-chapter-numbers methodology of that record and the prior 2006 EP, Grave of the Mammoth, the aesthetic drive toward largesse remains consistent in their approach. An easy atmospheric comparison point is Neurosis, but once they depart from the ambient intro to tracks like “The Bridge,” “Failure of Light” and “Black Arm,” Sea of Bones are less likely than the Oakland post-metal forebears to interrupt forward momentum — however slow and lurching it might be and often is — with ambient exploration. That’s not to say the album lacks mood. The title-track is constructed largely of a droning progression that eventually meets with far-back, echoing plod, and even as punishing and anguished as “Beneath the Earth” gets, it never completely departs from its brooding beginnings, so there’s plenty of environ-building going on, it’s just all very, very bleak, and where Neurosis might be on a spiritual quest for some kind of connection to authenticity via land or ancestry — a noble enough quest and not one I’d belittle — at least sonically, Sea of Bones seem to be saying that and just about everything else is futile and pointless.

The Earth Wants us Dead is not an easy album to digest — more likely to be digested by it — but Sea of Bones have more to offer than inhuman tonal weight and thunderous crash with throaty shouts trying to cut through the fray only to be buried like everything else. As you make your way through “Black Arm” on the player below and hear the nods to Through Silver in Blood in the vocal tradeoffs and the overarching rumble, keep in mind the radical mindset that could produce such monstrously scathing product and it’ll quickly become clear why everything you’ve seen about the band to this point speaks in absolutes.

Enjoy:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Sea of BonesThe Earth Wants us Dead is coming soon, and the band will play in New Haven, CT, on Oct. 23 with Stone Titan, Terminator 2 and Gowl. More info on that and the album release at the links that follow.

Sea of Bones on Thee Facebooks

Sea of Bones on Bandcamp

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Live Review: Clamfight and Thee Nosebleeds in Connecticut, 09.27.13

Posted in Reviews on September 30th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

I was on my way back north after seeing Vista Chino in New York the night before, embroiled in an all-too-familiar stretch of I-95. I’d left New Jersey following dinner with my mother and grandmother just past 8PM, and was hitting the 70s exits on the highway well after 10. It was right around then that my brain — clever devil — remembered Maple Forum alums Clamfight had a show in New London at The El ‘n’ Gee as the first of two nights they were doing with Philly rockers Thee Nosebleeds. New London is exit 83 headed northbound on I-95, and I remembered from Stoner Hands of Doom last year that The El ‘n’ Gee is about five minutes off the highway. I called Clamfight drummer/vocalist Andy Martin to ask him if they’d played yet. They hadn’t. Thee Nosebleeds were just going on. It looked like I’d make it.

Indeed, Thee Nosebleeds were on stage when I rolled into the club, hurried and haggard and my blood that specific kind of tense that comes from sitting in the car for a couple hours. At the door, I had to pay two dollars of the eight-dollar cover in quarters because I didn’t have that many singles, but it wouldn’t have made much difference in how much of Thee Nosebleeds I caught anyway. They were well into their set by the time I got there. In my experience, they’re a raw joy to watch once they’re warmed up, and that proved to be the case at The El ‘n’ Gee as well. The show wasn’t crowded, and there were four bands on the bill, but though my timing wasn’t perfect, I probably couldn’t have planned it better if I tried. Thee Nosebleeds are an underrated rager of a band. They don’t get out of Philly much — for that matter, neither do Clamfight; or at least not enough — but in the couple times I’ve seen them, they’ve impressed. I was glad I made it in time to catch their shots-of-something-brown toast at the end of “Crackula.” It was apparently the rhythm section’s birthday. Right on.

The two acts have done more shows together than I think either could be bothered to count — toss in Wizard Eye and you’ve rounded out a three-band bill of dude-on-dude appreciation whose match you’re not likely to find in that City of Bro’ly Love — but it was good to see as they heckled each other that the spark hasn’t gone out. Them Clams loaded onto the stage quickly and proceeded to play their first gig in several months, Martin having taken the summer off to embark on an archaeological dig in Scotland. Yes, that’s true. Rejoined with guitarists Sean McKee and Joel Harris and bassist Louis KobleClamfight proved as riotous as ever on the large stage of The El ‘n’ Gee, the sound echoing off the back walls of that cavernous space and creating an even more vicious wash of noise and distortion to go along with their heavy riffing through “Mountain” and “Sand Riders” from earlier-2013′s I vs. the Glacier. Even with Martin‘s ride cymbal winding up broken and looking like Cookie Monster took a bite out of it, they were plenty, plenty loud.

New song “Block Ship” was aired with its insistently nodding groove, and I vs. the Glacier finale “Stealing the Ghost Horse” was given an extended and classically rocking instrumental intro that brought a whole new feel to the track and gave McKee a chance to show off some of his growth as a lead player, able to affect swagger as much as belt out burly, chugging riffage. Dipping back to 2010′s aptly-titled debut full-length, Volume I, they broke out “Ghosts I Have Known,” with Martin pushing into cleaner singing as called for, but ultimately it was the hyper-aggro “Rabbit” that finished out the set, shouted out by Martin (ever the gentleman) to yours truly. That song goes a long way to portraying the central penchant for groove that makes Clamfight such a special act, and it’s interesting that it endures in their live sets where more immediate cuts like “Fuck Bulldozers” and “Viking Funeral” have been put to rest. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt the cause that it looks like they’re having so much fun playing it.

Empty Vessels were still to come in finishing out the night, but it was getting on midnight and I still had about two hours to go on my trip back to Massachusetts, so I rushed back to the car and back to I-95. As far as driving breaks go, however, I certainly won’t complain. I should be so lucky to have such satisfying detours every time I make that journey. Between this show and Vista Chino the prior evening, I had seen a lot of really good people in a short span of time and it was nice to be reminded that just because you leave a place doesn’t mean you don’t still have friends there.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

Read more »

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Sea of Bones to Release New Album The Earth Wants us Dead

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 24th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s been more than two years since I stood before Sea of Bones‘ wall of cabinets for the Fuzz Fest (review here) at Cherry Street Station in Wallingford, Connecticut, but I still feel like my ears are ringing. Theirs was one of those rumbles that not only shook the venue, but vibrated the earplugs in your head, rendering them moot. The New Haven crushers’ debut long-player was 2007′s The Harvest (review here), and the trio will issue their sophomore full-length, The Earth Wants us Dead, before the end of the year. Opening cut “The Stone, the Slave and the Architect” from the album is streaming now for your skull-caving needs below.

The PR wire takes it from here:

SEA OF BONES: Atmospheric Doom Metal Miscreants To Unleash First Full-Length In Six Years

Connecticut atmospheric doom metal miscreants, SEA OF BONES, are pleased to soil the masses with their latest slab of slow motion desolation in the form of The Earth Wants Us Dead.

Their first offering in six years, the crushing full-length serves as a true testament to the band’s impenetrable determination. Having weathered all manners of hell both collectively and personally, from a tour-ending van crash and personnel changes to two scrapped recordings, trashed songs, and a near breakup, The Earth Wants Us Dead could have, quite easily, not been. However SEA OF BONES returns triumphantly to their original three-piece lineup, bruised, gnarlier and more determined than ever before.

Recorded with guitarist Tom Mucherino and longtime friend David Lutz at a secret underground location (aka Tom’s cellar) and mastered by Mell Dettmer (Earth, Kayo Dot, Thou), The Earth Wants Us Dead heaves forth a cataclysmic wall of soul-rumbling distortion. Crowned, “beautifully agonizing,” in an early review by Verbicide, who furthers, “pure, uncut ugly, cooked up on a bloody spoon, and slowly shot into your ear hole…with a railroad spike,” the six track offering is unapologetically severe; an introspective outpouring of sound and emotion that is at once morose yet infuriated. SEA OF BONES’ The Earth Wants Us Dead is the thick, sordid resonance of true despair and includes a near forty-minute soul-swallowing, droney, instrumental improv piece (the title track) recorded at InnerSpaceSoundLabs with Scott Amore.

Elaborates the band, “This album is more than just music to us, it is a testament to our friendship and the chemistry we have with each other. This album was made for the three of us but we hope you all will enjoy it as much as we do.”

The Earth Wants Us Dead will be unleashed later this year. Further info, including live assaults, to be announced in the weeks to follow.

The Earth Wants Us Dead Track Listing:
1. The Stone The Slave And The Architect
2. Black Arm
3. Failure Of Light
4. Beneath The Earth
5. The Bridge
6. The Earth Wants Us Dead

SEA OF BONES:
Gary Amedy – bass, vocals
Tom Mucherino – guitar, vocals
Kevin Wigginton – drums, vocals

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sea-of-Bones/35253450819
http://seaofbones.bandcamp.com

Sea of Bones, “The Stone, the Slave and the Architect”

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Curse the Son to Release Psychache on Vinyl through STB Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 23rd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

An album that legitimately deserves to be heard by as much of its target audience as possible, Curse the Son‘s sophomore outing, Psychache (review here), has been brewing since this past winter in terms of actually getting a physical release. The Hamden, Connecticut, trio has busted its collective ass in an effort to give it a fitting home, and with the announcement today that STB Records will do a limited vinyl version of the album, it seems their work has finally paid off.

Remains to be seen when STB will release Psychache, and indeed whether or not the vinyl format can stand up to the formidable rumble the band brings to their sound, but for today, it’s good to see Curse the Son – guitarist/vocalist Ron Vanacore, bassist Cheech Weeden, and drummer Michael Petrucci – finding an outlet for what’s really one of the year’s most satisfying unabashed stoner doom records. STB previously released Doctor Doom‘s DoomO (review here) in a limited, glow-in-the-dark LP, and have worked with Dopethrone, Spelljammer, Druglord and others.

Says the label:

BIG NEWS!! STB Records and Curse The Son have joined forces to release the brand new record “Psychache”.. I can not be more please[d] and pumped to do this album for them!

Says the band:

All you folks that have been asking for vinyl……It is HAPPENING! STB Records is going to be putting out a limited edition of ‘Psychache’ on vinyl. More details to come soon.

That settles it. Good news from a cool band. Congrats to Curse the Son and here’s looking forward to the Psychache release date and where they go from there. For now, the album is still also available as a pay-what-you-want download through Bandcamp, so if you’re yet unacquainted, there’s time. Time which will inevitably slow down once you start listening.

Curse the Son, Psychache (2013)

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When the Deadbolt Breaks to Release Drifting towards the Edge of the Earth on Oct. 1

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 23rd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Two discs of churning, brooding, grinding doomed malevo-violence — the second of which is comprised solely of the 51-minute five-parter “My Coffin is Loaded with Sand and Fire” — the new Drifting towards the Edge of the Earth from Connecticut bringers-of-darkness When the Deadbolt Breaks is as affecting psychologically as it is sonically. The three-piece outfit’s fourth record will be released on Oct. 1 through Ear One Records, and sure enough, it’s a monster. Challenging and brutal whether raging or creeping in ambient threat,When the Deadbolt Breakshave always promised consumingly bleak fare, and the latest is no exception.

The PR wire has release info for the daring:

WHEN THE DEADBOLT BREAKS: Connecticut Doom Unit Prepares For Release Of Massive Fourth Album

Connecticut’s long-running doom outfit, WHEN THE DEADBOLT BREAKS, is preparing to unload the most massive and expansive recording in their now eight year existence, as their mighty fourth full-length release, aptly entitled Drifting Towards The Edge Of The Earth, nears release.

Formed in 2005 by ex-Cable guitarist/vocalist Aaron Lewis, alongside bassist/vocalist Mike Parkyn and drummer Rich Kalinowski, WTDB signed with EarOne Productions early this year, and set out to capture their most ambitious work yet. Painstakingly recorded this past Spring at Room SevenZeroEight, mastered by Chris Tobias and Mike Livingston at Ear One Studios, on Drifting Towards The Edge Of The Earth WHEN THE DEADBOLT BREAKS is undoubtedly at their finest and most explorative hour. The nearly two-hour-long 2xCD takes the listener on an extensive and extremely lengthy, yet completely engulfing and never lagging voyage through the cosmos and through the annals of sludge/doom. Devastating amplification boasts everything the talented members can create; mournful segues, booming classic rock ballad riffs, mystical and melodic interludes and straightforward, thunderous riffage coalesce into an exceptionally diverse album fans of Sleep, YOB, Ufomammut, Samothrace, Ramesses, Cable and the like will indisputably benefit from experiencing.

With an official street date for Towards The Edge Of The Earth confirmed for October 1st, WHEN THE DEADBOLT BREAKS will host a CD release show this Friday, September 27th in Wallingford, Connecticut with support from Pristina and Rozamov. Admission is only $10 and includes a copy of the band’s new 2xCD ahead of street date. At this show the band will be doing a long set playing almost their entire Drifting Towards The Edge Of The Earth opus to their local fans and friends.

Stay tuned for more music from the album to be released in the coming days.

WHEN THE DEADBOLT BREAKS Live:
9/27/2013 Cherry Street Station – Wallingford, CT w/ Pristina, Rozamov

https://www.facebook.com/pages/When-the-Deadbolt-Breaks/181287835243416
http://www.earoneproductions.com
https://www.facebook.com/earoneproductions

When the Deadbolt Breaks, “The Scavenger’s Daughter”

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When the Deadbolt Breaks to Release Drifting Toward the Edge of the Earth on Ear One Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 7th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

I haven’t gotten the lab results back yet, but I’m pretty sure two solid hours of exposure to the tornado of aural malevolence that When the Deadbolt Breaks conjures could have lasting psychological effects. The Connecticut trio have announced that their fourth album, the no-less-cumbersomely-named Drifting Toward the Edge of the Earth, is available now for pre-order through Ear One Records and that it will ship out as a 2CD digipak later this month. Goodness gracious that’s a lot of doom.

Here’s the info:

When the Deadbolt Breaks is releasing our 4th full length record with Ear One Productions. This record is close to 2 hours long on 2 cds. This record is our heart and soul, while we are currently writing for a new record yet again, we pushed ourselves with “Drifting Toward the Edge of the Earth”. Its dark, eclectic and honest.

After a ton of work, we are really psyched to have landed When The Deadbolt Breaks a record deal w/ Ear One Records… (Just in case you didn’t know When The Deadbolt Breaks is Aaron Lewis, Mike Parkyn and Rich Kalinowski). The record label is doing a really cool pre order special where you get the CD (it’s a double CD!) for $10… ($13 w/ shipping). If you’re able to swing ordering the CD, we would be hugely great full for the show of support. So, just throwing it out there… If you have the $13 to spare, we would really appreciate you doing a pre order.

“Drifting Towards The Edge Of The Earth” the new double album from CT’s When The Deadbolt Breaks A nearly two-hour-long diverse, debilitating doom/sludge metamorphosis taking place, the mammoth album is available as a limited edition double CD digipak.

This is a pre-order. Digipaks are expected to start shipping on or around Aug. 27, 2013

http://earoneproductions.bigcartel.com/product/drifting-towards-the-edge-of-the-earth

When the Deadbolt Breaks, “The Scavenger’s Daughter”

 

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Curse the Son Release Psychache as Free Download

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 24th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Whether or not you take the band’s advice on smoking “a fatty” before you listen, Curse the Son‘s second offering, Psychache (review here), is definitely worth the cranking that the free download they’ve made available is allowing for. The Hamden, Connecticut, trio are proving to be yet-unsung masters of tone, and even as they give Psychache unto the ether that is the downloadable doomsphere, the really good news in their announcement below is that the three-piece — guitarist/vocalist Ron Vanacore, bassist Richard “Cheech” Weeden and drummer Michael Petrucci – have started working on a follow-up, which they’ll look to record in the fall.

Also fortunate is that the good tidings give me an excuse to revisit the album, which I’ve been wanting to do. Find the stream with the news below:

Curse the Son’s 2nd album “Psychache” is FINALLY available for HIGH quality digital download!

If you dug “Klonopain”, you are sure to love this batch of tunes.

Name your price, or if you’re broke…grab it for free, just make sure you share it with some buds. We still have some physical copies left if anyone is interested, as well as 1 sided T-Shirts and stickers.

We have begun work on our 3rd album and hope to begin recording in the fall.

Download it, smoke a fatty and CRANK IT!!!
Enjoy……..

http://cursetheson.bandcamp.com/album/psychache

Curse the Son, Psychache (2013)

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Mundee Lord Fowl

Posted in audiObelisk on June 24th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Lord Fowl, Moon Queen (2012)

At some point this weekend, I heard the opening title-track of Lord Fowl‘s Moon Queen and that was it — it’s been stuck in my head ever since. Doesn’t take much to do it from that record (review here), since the whole thing more or less is hooks, and as I’m planning sometime in the next couple days to take another look at my Best of 2012 list as I’m wont to do each year six months after the fact, it seemed only appropriate to give Moon Queen a revisit to start of what was an exhausting week even before it started.

For what it’s worth, I only flipped off one other motorist on the drive back from Cudahy, Wisconsin, where Days of the Doomed III was held. Not bad for 15 hours in the car. I made it all the way to the Delaware Water Gap, but when I came up behind a guy doing 60 in the left lane (it’s a 65mph zone), waited for him to move to let me pass and then whipped around him when he didn’t and had him flash his brights from behind me, that was pretty much it. Sorry, but it was Sunday night at one in the morning. Move the fuck over or get passed. I wouldn’t have been on the road at all if I didn’t have somewhere to be.

I made it back to my humble river valley otherwise without incident and crashed out hard sometime after 3AM to get up in time for work this morning and refresh that overwhelmed feeling I know so well and can’t fucking stand. Over 750 emails later, I’m not quite caught up and, as usual, questioning my life decisions and whether or not I should quit every job I have, cut my hair, take up jogging and go find something where the compensation is remotely commensurate with the effort put in — or, wow — become an actual writer. I won’t. But I should. Also, fuck everything.

Reviews this week of Steak – would like to do it today, but it’s already almost 2 and I probably won’t have time, so tomorrow — and Goatess, plus a Buried Treasure on Sleaze and maybe another on the haul from the Midwest this year, which is staggering. There doesn’t seem to be any way in hell I’ll get to it, but I’ll plug that forthcoming Dust interview just in case, and tomorrow I’ve got tracks going up for streaming from The Flying Eyes‘ new split with Golden Animals. Thursday night, The Atomic Bitchwax are playing a Rocks Off Concert Cruise around Manhattan with Mirror Queen (more info to follow shortly) and you can bet your ass I’m going to that. Will have a review up on Friday.

This weekend was my grandmother’s 98th birthday. It was also the largest full moon in something like 800 years. I wanted to mention both of those things in my Days of the Doomed III conclusion but was too tired to remember at the time. We always think of the best stuff after the fact.

So while I sit here and debate the finer points of tweeting “YOU FUCKING PEOPLE ARE DISGUSTING. EAT SHIT AND DIE.” to the Heritage Foundation 100 times in a row (take ‘em down a peg!) and also try to actually accomplish, well, anything, today, I’ll just take a second to say I hope you have a fantastic, truly wonderful week and that just because I’m out of my head doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate you checking in on the site. Thanks again to everyone who took a gander at the updates from the fest this weekend. This site was what got me out of bed this morning.

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The Obelisk Radio Add of the Week: Bedroom Rehab Corporation, Red Over Red

Posted in Radio on June 5th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Some bands who take on a seafaring thematic prefer to embroil listeners in a tidal sway of overwhelming tone. Most, in fact. For New London, Connecticut, bass/drum duo Bedroom Rehab Corporation, however, the idea is different. The twosome’s self-released full-length debut, Red over Red, offers a more sonically diverse attack, far less beholden to genre and more driven by a nascent, still-coalescing individualized sensibility.

Take, for example, “S.O.S. (Son of Siren),” as it departs from the full-toned heavy rock push of the preceding “Basilosaurus” in favor of an ambient, wandering build that only gives some hint of the kick-in to come for how held together it is by drummer Meghan Killimade. Joined in the band by bassist/vocalist Adam Wujtewicz, Killimade proves no less able than her counterpart to affect a change in atmosphere across the course of the album. Whether it’s the repurposed Zeppelin stomp of “Caught in the Bite”‘s open-room feel or the ’90s-style crunch of the subsequent “Splice the Main Brace,” Red over Red works in a vaster array of colors than its title might indicate.

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Justin Pizzoferrato (Elder, Black Pyramid, Dinosaur Jr.), it’s still very much a first album, and one expects that through future songwriting the band’s sound will continue to build its cohesion from many of the elements cast out in this material, but even so, Bedroom Rehab Corporation construct a flow befitting their theme over the course of these 12 tracks that take listeners from “Low Tide” to “High Tide,” and the variety within winds up being one of the core appeals.

It’s with the thinking that someone might stumble on one of the cuts in the playlist and want to investigate further that I decided to make Bedroom Rehab Corporation the Add of the Week for The Obelisk Radio, though of course if you’re not feeling quite that spontaneous, you can just check Red over Red out on the player below, snagged from their Bandcamp page:

Bedroom Rehab Corporation, Red over Red (2013)

Bedroom Rehab Corporation’s website

Bedroom Rehab Corporation on Bandcamp

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Vestal Claret, Bloodbath: Sacrilege and Invocation

Posted in Reviews on May 2nd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster


A long-awaited debut after several EPs, demos, a single and a split, Vestal Claret’s Bloodbath was released on vinyl through Cyclopean Records late in 2011. The album, a double-LP, found the Connecticut band’s lineup of vocalist Phil Swanson, guitarist/bassist Simon Tuozzoli and drummer Michael Petrucci joined by a range of guest guitarists and vocalists, including members of Forsaken, NightBitch and Black Pyramid (among many others), as they ran through more than an hour’s worth of dark, classic metal, touching on doom here and there but adherent to atmosphere more than to genre. The story of how Vestal Claret even got to that point is a winding one, with the band starting up in 2005 concurrent to Swanson’s fronting Upwards of Endtime before joining Hour of 13 and Tuozzoli recording initial Vestal Claret demos at his UP Recording Studio (where Bloodbath was also put to tape), and the band eventually bringing in Petrucci for drums, who now also plays in Tuozzoli’s heavy rock outfit King of Salem as well as fuzz-deliverers Curse the Son in addition to being a professional, touring percussionist for the Blue Man Group. But even through all of that and more – Swanson in and out of Hour of 13, Seamount, etc. – Vestal Claret managed to get a record out, and a different version now shows up on CD through the upstart label, Nine Records. What’s different? The guest appearances are gone, which leaves Tuozzoli, Swanson and Petrucci on their own as a trio for Bloodbath’s 71-minute duration, and the tracklisting has changed, giving the CD a different flow than the LP edition, with parts recorded following the first Bloodbath release. So basically, Bloodbath is two albums, with mostly the same songs, and this CD is the second of the two. The “band version.” I told you it was complicated.

I didn’t hear the original Bloodbath, so I won’t endeavor to compare the two, but it’s immediately commendable that the 12 tracks are they’re presented on the CD sound neither incomplete nor like there would even be much room to add more to them. Sure, the arrangements are fairly straightforward – guitar, bass, drums, vocals – but Vestal Claret sound like a cohesive unit across the album’s course and whether it’s on the catchy chorus of “Tales to Those Forgotten” or the dark, disturbing narrative of “Missing Girl,” they seem more than capable of getting their point across on their own. Opener “Hex of Harm” and the penultimate “Allowance of Sin” previously appeared on the Virgin Blood single (review here), and like that release and the band’s work elsewhere, they skirt a line between cultish devil worship and indecent, graphic lyrical description, Swanson’s lyrics pushing an envelope of Satanic psychosis particularly on “Missing Girl,” where cuts like “Ritual of Revival” and “Hex of Harm” (who knew black magic was so alliterative?) find him casting spells in his trademark vibrato, hit voice perfectly suited for Tuozzoli’s classic metal guitar work. “Hex of Harm” is the longest track on Bloodbath at 9:27 (immediate points for opening with it), and balances well the driving rhythm, strong hook and darkened atmospheres that follow, each piece leaning toward one or more such aspects of the band’s sound, like the more rocking “Devil’s Daughters” or the fuller build of “The Correlation,” which follow, as the album plays out its bleak course. Tuozzoli and Petrucci work exceedingly well together on faster tracks like “Blood Oath” and the slower vibing of the intro to “Submissive to Evil,” and though the music rarely veers into doomed territory, that feeling is never far off, particularly with the drama Swanson works into his delivery on “Missing Girl,” taking on a touch of a British accent for the verses over the chugging riff that gives way to a bridge that winds up as a secondary instrumental chorus. How many times Satan is evoked throughout these cuts, I don’t even know, but the best line comes from “Missing Girl”: “It’s always said the devil has his due/He’ll be paid in full before the day is through,” and though the song’s thematic is disquieting, its intro verses actually creepy as opposed to just creepy-sounding, it’s actually one of the best, most creatively expansive songs on Bloodbath. But wow, that’s creepy.

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Lord Fowl Get VHS Ready in New Video for “Moon Queen”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 5th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Star-wipe alert!

It’s a scientific fact that Connecticut-based heavy rocking foursome Lord Fowl have enough cool on hand at any given moment they could rent it out to other bands running low. I think what I like best — aside from the star-wipes — about the double-guitar slinging outfit’s new video for the title-track of 2012′s Moon Queen sophomore full-length (review here), also their debut on Small Stone, is that every time I watch it I could swear I’ve somehow just slipped back in time and I’m watching something I taped off local access circa 1991.

Between the vintage effects, the soundstage look and the stacks of amps behind, it hits all its marks in much the same way Moon Queen did when it dropped last year, so all the better. In case you missed the news a little while back, Lord Fowl are heading out on the road later this week with Irata and their fuzz-loving Virginian labelmates in Freedom Hawk, which makes the timing on the new video coming out even better. You’d almost swear these things were planned out ahead of time.

So as Lord Fowl prepare to hit up SXSW, Fuzzed Out! fest and more, here’s the clip for “Moon Queen,” followed by the tour dates:

Freedom Hawk, Lord Fowl & Irata: SXSW & More
03/08 Chapel Hill, NC @ Nightlight w/ Collossus
03/09 Murrell’s Inlet, SC @ Rockin Hard Saloon
03/10 Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern w/ Carolina Chupacabra
03/11 Athens, GA @ Caledonia Lounge w/ Savagist, Guzik
03/12 Birmingham, AL @ Nick w/ Aethenoth
03/13 Lake Charles, LA @ Luna Live w/ Large Marge
03/14 Austin, TX @ Headhunters – Small Stone SXSW Showcase
03/15 San Antonio, TX @ Nightrocker Live – SXSA Small Stone Showcase w/ Wo Fat & Las Cruces
03/16 Austin, TX @ Scoot Inn – Converse/Thrasher “Deathmatch” @ SXSW – The Power of the Riff – Free Day show 12-4pm.
03/16 Fort Worth, TX @ The Grotto – Fuzzed Out! Fest w/ Wo Fat and Southern Train Gypsy, Ape Machine, Been Obscene, Mothership
03/17 Nashville, TN @ TBA

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Vestal Claret’s Bloodbath CD Available Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 14th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Polish imprint Nine Records sends over word of the long-awaited CD release of Bloodbath, the first full-length outing by Connecticut-based doom trio Vestal Claret. Thee Claret‘s lineup is an impressive assemblage, with frontman Phil Swanson (Hour of 13, Seamount, Upwards of Endtime, etc.) joined by guitarist Simon Tuozzoli (King of Salem) and drummer Michael Petrucci (Curse the Son), and their last release was the Virgin Blood 7″ in 2011 (review here).

Both tracks from that release — opener “Hex of Harm” and the penultimate “Allowance of Sin” — show up on Bloodbath as well, which according to the info below was recorded back in 2006. Long-awaited indeed. The band must be relieved to get it out. Text, links and music follow:

While this release stands in many ways as Vestal Claret’s official debut, Vestal Claret have in fact been releasing EPs, splits and demos as early on as 2006 with its actual formation in 2005 predating just about everything being heard in the current “occult” fashion genre at this time. There is no influence or inspiration from anything of the past two decades that provoked this release or its ideas and concepts. The material on this album was all written in 2006, but with contract in hand Vestal Claret was unable to release these recordings until now.

Most of you have probably already heard this stuff on the vinyl version released in 2011 by Cyclopean Records. Vinyl contains a “Bloodbath’s” guest-version, but here you are dealing with a “Bloodbath’s” band-version. It’s over 70 minutes of classic heavy metal. Meet the Beast himself!

1. Hex of Harm
2. Devil’s Daughters
3. The Correlation
4. Ritual of Revival
5. Missing Girl
6. Blood Oath
7. The Templar’s Idol
8. Tales to Those Forgotten
9. Endurement to the Heirs of Shame
10. Submissive to Evil
11. Allowance of Sin
12. A Call to Satan

http://ninerecords.bigcartel.com/product/vestal-claret-bloodbath
http://ninerecords.bandcamp.com/

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Crooked Hook, Crooked Hook Reissue: Prescience through Hindsight

Posted in Reviews on January 23rd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Based out of New Haven, Connecticut, fuzzy trio Crooked Hook were a rarity for East Coast heavy rock. During their time together, they put out a self-titled demo EP (2006) and a follow-up full-length, called The Captain Will be Your Guide (2007), garnering some considerable appreciation among the faithful, but not really fitting in with the heavy rock of the day. There were a few others around of their ilk — Pennsylvania’s Pearls and Brass come to mind most readily — but Crooked Hook had more classic rock swagger mixed with their blues, and their tones were straight-up vintage ’70s in a way that hadn’t really caught on yet as a viable approach. In the end, they faded following the release of The Captain Will be Your Guide and haven’t been heard from since.

Safety Meeting Records, which initially issued the 28-minute demo as well as the subsequent album on CD, is revisiting Crooked Hook‘s beginnings with a reissue of the former. Pressed to 150 gram, 45 RPM vinyl (a CD is also included), they are limited to 100 copies and duly faithful to the sweet, organic tonality of the original release. In fact, with a similarity in packaging that goes right down to the thick cardboard stock of the LP sleeve and the stamped design on the front cover — the CD came in the same style package, but obviously smaller — everything about this seven-years-later version of Crooked Hook‘s Crooked Hook harkens back to when these songs first appeared. The only difference is the format and the fact that in 2013, one can listen to the five tracks in a totally different context.

The difference? Well, in the last seven years, what was an oddball approach from Crooked Hook as early adopters of the post-Witchcraft vintage ethic has become a mainstay element of underground heavy. It’s always easy (and often fun) with a reissue to imbue an album with posthumous import, as though simply because it’s removed now from its original sonic ecosystem, it matters more, but there’s little question in my mind that the band were ahead of their time. In fact, that was probably the problem. If Crooked Hook were kicking around the seven-minute “I Just Might Crack” today, they’d be right in line with some of Tee Pee Records‘ best echoey retro heavy psychedelia. Their songs were catchy and straightforward enough to be readily accessible, thick enough in bassist Rick Omonte‘s tone and imbued with a grooving nonchalance by guitarist Joey Maddalena‘s vocals that “cool” became as much an instrument as anything else. Even on the closing jangle of “Slow Sun,” on which drummer Jason Bates thumps out a blues stomp beneath more open guitar, they seem to presage the big-sky Americana that’s currently working its naturalist way into US heavy psychedelia.

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