Pinto Graham Premiere “Further” from Dos EP out July 12

Posted in audiObelisk on June 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

pinto graham

Connecticut power trio Pinto Graham release their Dos EP on July 12. Formed in 2016 in New Haven, the three-piece issued their first full-length, Uno, the next year, and the six tracks/24 minutes of the follow-up feel more like half an album than an EP for the flow they conjure and the obvious care put into their arrangements of and within the material itself, blending Southern heavy rock, bluesy vibes and a touch of the ethereal around largely straightforward songwriting in order to create a sound that’s at once familiar and still malleable enough for them to toy with pace and the balance of their influences. A bit of this, a bit of that, in other words, but it suits them as guitarist/vocalist Andre Roman, bassist/vocalist Ant Reckart and drummer Brian Harris roll through the changes in tempo of “Dreamcatcher,” Roman and Reckart and guest singer Kelly L’Heureux — who would seem as well to appear on the prior “Southern Superstitions” — in a blend of forward lines and far-off-mic backing voices almost in harmony. It’s semi-traditionalist heavy rock that benefits from the diversity of experience from its creators, but perhaps most of all so in being clear-headed in its intent and knowing what it wants to do in terms of sound and how.

Dudes wastes no time getting down in the opening track “Further,” and that sets the course with about four and a half winding minutes of go-go-go thrust that manages not to sacrifice melodyPinto Graham Dos even in its crunchiest pivots. The guitar solo hints at some of the more Southern vibing that will make itself known after the crashing roller “Sleeping Giant” when “Southern Superstitions” takes hold, the flow of the EP seeming to take it from more uptempo movements to slower ones, but even when the harmonica hits in “Southern Superstitions,” it does so over a riff that’s as much Seattle grunge as Texas ramble. “Further,” though, is clearly tasked with providing the momentum for the rest of what follows — another reason I’d consider Dos a short album rather than an EP; the way the songs interact with each other — and it succeeds in that and then some, having an effect even as the mid-tempo hook of “Southern Superstitions” feeds, vocals only, into the noisy beginning of “Dreamcatcher,” Echoes give the vocals a howling feel that suits the piece, but it’s clearly meant to be a standout and it is, letting “Old Man of the Mountain” straighten out and fly right with some classic-feeling boogie that’s still well in context for what surrounds.

That leaves only “The Weight” to close out, and it does so with, yes, a slower tempo, and the immediate roll of a southbound highway (and no, I don’t mean I-95 at the intersection with I-91 where all the food trucks are), melded with a bluesy solo and some righteously dirty bass beneath. The track runs 4:51, the solo comes in at about 2:42, and I’d be content if Pinto Graham wanted to just ride out that jam for the next three minutes or so — by then, there’s nothing reasonably asked of Dos that’s not been delivered, and as far as I’m concerned, they’ve demonstrated both progress since Uno and their songwriting acumen more generally — but they do turn back to the chorus to finish out, holding to the idea of structure that is an underpinning for the EP as a whole. It’s a clean break and a fitting end for the short set done up in a style that would seem poised to grab the ears and eyes of Ripple Music, fitting in along the likes of Wo FatFoghoundFreedom Hawk, etc., as well perhaps as Valley of the Sun and some other modern practitioners of noteworthy craft. For those seeking a bottom line, it’s that’s Pinto Graham are more than a clever name, and for anyone who perhaps missed the first album, Dos offers a brief opportunity to get caught up before they pass by on the way to the next one. I’d advise taking advantage.

Dig into the premiere of “Further” below, followed by more info from the PR wire.

Enjoy:

Hailing from New Haven, Connecticut, southern rock trio Pinto Graham serves up psychedelic riffage that pulls audiences to their feet. The diverse musical experiences of bassist/vocalist Ant Reckart, guitarist/vocalist Andre Roman, and drummer Brian Harris make for a perfect meeting of groove, grit, and melody. With influences ranging from Lynyrd Skynrd to Pentagram — both of whom they pay homage to with their band name — Pinto Graham will shake, rattle, and roll any stage they set foot on.

Formed in 2013 by Reckart and Harris, the band kicked into high gear with the addition of Roman in 2016. The three creative spirits came together from different paths, with Florida transplant Reckart drumming for industrial shock rockers Genitorturers for many years, Roman touring across the country on bass with punk outfit Murdervan, and Harris playing with Araca París and S26 in his native Argentina.

But this unusual combination of history and influences has become something greater than the sum of its parts. Pinto’s 2017 debut album Uno solidified their place in the underground music scene, with songs featured on many podcasts, blogs, and compilations including Alternative Control’s Volume Doom. The band has played live all over New England, and was especially proud to perform at a Florida benefit for St. Michael’s Soldiers alongside southern rock giants Molly Hatchet and Johnnie and Donnie Van Zant.

2019 promises to bring these “High Flyers” to new heights with the release of their second album, Dos. Recorded at Studio Wormwood in rural Connecticut with engineer Dave Kaminsky, Dos will be released on July 12, 2019 in CD and digital formats. Pinto will also return to Florida to perform at St. Michael’s Soldiers’ third annual benefit later this year, set to share the stage with .38 Special.

Photo by Rick Casados Photo.

Brian Harris – drums
Andre Roman – guitar and vocals
Ant Reckart – bass and vocals

Pinto Graham on Thee Facebooks

Pinto Graham on Bandcamp

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Sea of Bones Announce East Coast Tour with Fister

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

sea of bones

I was thinking the other day it had been a while since Sea of Bones released their last album, The Earth Wants Us Dead (review here), but jeez, having the excuse now to hit up their Bandcamp page and see it’s been six years since that record came out in 2013, I’m gonna just call it and say it’s time for some new Sea of Bones. No, not every band needs to put out a record every year, two years, or even three — good devastation takes time, I realize that — but six years on from that outing, they’re due. They did that their split with Ramlord (review here) out in 2016, but even so, time for a new one.

Maybe if we’re lucky — or, given the level of aural punishment these guys emit, unlucky — their upcoming week on the road with Fister as that band celebrates their 10th anniversary will put something new in motion in that regard, but of course I know nothing about nothing, which is pretty much the same as ever. They could have a record in the can for all I know, I’d just like to hear something new from them.

If you feel the same, maybe that’s all the more reason to make it out to the show when it comes through. Dates are as follows:

sea of bones tour

It’s an overcast miserable day, perfect for sharing this news. Remember that tour we were talking about earlier! Well here’s them dates, and even better, it’s with our besties Fister!! Brought to you by Heavy Talent, Listenable records, and Rigs of Doom!!! Oh, it’s on…

08/09 Brooklyn NY Saint Vitus Bar
08/10 Boston MA 0’Brien’s
08/11 Philadelphia PA Kung Fu Necktie
08/12 Pittsburgh PA Howler’s
08/13 Washington D.C. Atlas Brew Works
08/14 Richmond VA Wonderland
08/15 Atlanta GA The Bakery
08/16 Memphis TN Hi-Tone

Sea of Bones is:
Gary – Bass & Vocals
Tom – Guitar & Vocals
Kevin – Drums & Vocals

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

Sea of Bones, “Hopelessness and Decay”

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Cable Announce New Album Take the Stairs to Hell out July 26

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

cable

By the time they get around to releasing Take the Stairs to Hell on July 26, Cable will be a month shy of a full decade since they last issued an album. The new record marks the return of one of New England’s most furious bands, who always managed to temper their aggression with a methodical kind of approach that only made their groove deadlier. They’d almost have to give a sample of audio to, you know, prove the album actually exists, and to that end, they’re streaming “Rivers of Old” even as preorders are live through Translation Loss Records, which previously worked with the band for 2004’s Pigs Never Fly, their fifth LP. It was five years between that and 2009’s The Failed Convict, and I recall that seemed like a long time back then. Honestly, I didn’t imagine they’d ever have another record out. Shows what I know.

The announcement came through the PR wire as follows:

Cable Take the Stairs to Hell

Connecticut heavyweights CABLE release new song + announce new full-length

It’s been almost a decade since Connecticut heavyweights CABLE released new material. Today, they announce “Take The Stairs To Hell”, due for release on July 26th via Translation Loss Records.

Angrier than ever, CABLE are back to show you the hell they’ve been through and that it was worth the wait. CABLE have unleashed a brand new song titled, “Rivers Of Old”, the first single from “Take The Stairs To Hell.” About the announcement, bassist/vocalist Randy Larsen commented, “Take The Stairs To Hell” is about anger, hatred, depression, and negativity. It was born out of songs I wrote as far back as 2014 and as recent as 2018. The album its a slow decent into my own personal hell. Larsen continues, “We put our blood, sweat and tears into this one. Enjoy the venom. It’s time to set the river straight.”

Pre-order is available now via Translation Loss Records. Album artwork, track listing, and info is below.

CABLE
“Take The Stairs To Hell”
Official Release Date: July 26, 2019

Album credits:
Recorded, mixed at Mystic Valley by Alex Garcia-Rivera
Mastered by Brad Boatright at AudioSiege
Album artwork by Mark Rudolph

Track Listing:
1. Forest Dream (Intro)
2. It Cost Me Everything
3. Black Medicine
4. Low Man
5. Rats On Fire
6. Eyes Rolled Back
7. Rivers Of Old
8. Take The Stairs To Hell
9. Come Home (Outro)

Cable is:
Randy Larsen – Bass,Vocals
Bernie Romanowski – Guitar
Chris “Fish” Harding – Guitar
Peter Farris – Vocals
Alex Garcia-Rivera – Drums

Promo photos by Jason Hellmann

http://www.instagram.com/cabletheband
https://translationlossrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://translationlossrecords.bigcartel.com/

Cable, “Rivers of Old”

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When the Deadbolt Breaks & Red Mesa Touring Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 11th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

You’re probably doing something right when your tour starts at the SX Stoner Jam, which has something like 150 bands on the lineup and will no doubt be the kind of thing that 10 years from now people who were fortunate enough to be there will still be talking about. I mean that. But for Red Mesa and When the Deadbolt Breaks, both supporting releases on Desert Records, it’s just the beginning. They’ll go from Austin to Houston and then kick around the Southwest and the mountains for a 10-day run that unless I’m mistaken marks the Connecticut-based Deadbolt‘s first time out toward West Coast. I could be wrong about that — they’ve got some history at this point — but I’m reasonably certain.

Either way, a lot of the difference between the two bands can be seen in the photos below. Red Mesa are the dudes in the desert, sunglasses on, having a good time. When the Deadbolt Breaks are framed by eerie light in the woods, hands in pockets, staring downhill at whatever it is they might be threatening. Those should be some good shows.

Dates came down the PR wire:

red mesa

when the deadbolt breaks

When The Deadbolt Breaks and Red Mesa announce ‘Path of the Heavy’ tour!

When The Deadbolt Breaks (Psychedelic Doom) and Red Mesa (Desert Rock) have announced a tour together centered around their appearances at Austin’s STONER JAM ’19 on March 14th.

WTDB will be touring in support of their sixth studio album, “Angels are weeping…God has abandoned”. Red Mesa will be touring in support of their second studio album, “The Devil and The Desert”. Both band’s albums were released on the new Albuquerque based record label, Desert Records.

Tour Dates:
March 14th – Austin, TX Stoner Jam ’19 Festival @ Spider House Cafe and Ballroom
March 15th – Houston, TX @ Rudyards British Pub
March 16th – OKC @ Your Mom’s Place
March 17th – Wichita, KS @ Elbow Room
March 18th – OFF
March 19th – Colorado Springs, CO @ Bar-K
March 20th – Denver, CO @ TBA
March 21st – Albuquerque, NM
March 22nd – Phoenix, AZ @ Time Out Lounge
March 23rd – TBA

https://www.facebook.com/WhentheDeadboltBreaks/
https://whenthedeadboltbreaks.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/redmesaband/
https://redmesarock.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/desertrecordlabel/

When the Deadbolt Breaks, Angels are Weeping… God Has Abandoned… (2018)

Red Mesa, The Devil and the Desert (2018)

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Owl Maker Premiere “Sky Road” Lyric Video; EP out Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 17th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

owl maker

I know Owl Maker have a whole thing going with owls and all that, right? Hence the band’s name and all, and guitarist/vocalist/producer Simon Tuozzoli is a well-read dude, and the whole concept of the band relates back to Native American folklore and this and that. Fine. I’m not arguing. But after watching the lyric video premiering below for the title-track of the band’s second EP, Sky Road (review here), I gotta say, they might need to take a long, hard look at the tag “scorpion boogie.” Because there’s a shuffle riff right in there, and drummer Chris Anderson syncs it right up to some dancing iconography from the EP’s cover art, and that scorpion is right on time, as the kids might say (if the kids were, like, 60). Maybe “scorpion boogie metal” to allow for Tuozzoli‘s NWOBHM influence and composition style? I’m not trying to tell anyone their business. Just putting it out there for consideration.

TuozzoliAnderson and bassist Jessie May worked quickly to turn around Sky Road after making their debut earlier in 2018 with the six-songer Paths of the Slain (review here) — which has subsequently been released in an edition of five CDRs with handmade collage art by the band, on the cheap, considering — and its two songs find them refining their aesthetic toward classic heavy rock and the noted undercurrent of metal that shows itself in periodic gallop of riff and righteous soloing. “Owl City” finds May leading the groove with a satisfyingly fuzzed bass tone, but there’s a crispness to Owl Maker‘s presentation on the whole that speaks to the metallic edge as well. But they’re finding that balance between those sides, and with a penchant for melody and strong songwriting as a foundation to work from, their progression is evident even across the span of months that separate Paths of the Slain and Sky Road.

As to what they might have in store for 2019, I don’t know if they’ll keep their current pace or step back toward writing a full-length, but as a DIY band, with Tuozzoli (also a veteran of Vestal Claret and copious others) also working as recording engineer at his own UP Studios, there’s nothing stopping them from establishing whatever clip they want, beyond, you know, life and all that. But, whenever their next release shows up and whatever they decide to call it, “Sky Road” showcases well their development in progress and the steps they’ve already taken.

Some comment and whatnot follows the video. Hope you enjoy:

Owl Maker, “Sky Road” lyric video premiere

Chris Anderson on “Sky Road”:

For the video, I decided to go with a desert theme as per the vibe of the song. The album cover reflects the lyrics quite well, so inspiration was not hard to come by. Also, a lot of lyric vids tend not to change things up during the verses, so I decided to experiment a little. It was all done in Adobe After Effects, all stock plugins.

Following the success of their debut EP Paths of the Slain this March, heavy metal trio Owl Maker is set to release the two-track EP Sky Road on November 2nd, 2018. With themes of hopelessness, addiction, and revenge set against a stark desert landscape, and produced by the Owl Maker’s own guitarist and frontman Simon Tuozzoli, Sky Road shows a musical and conceptual evolution for the band.

Simon Tuozzoli — guitars/vocals
Jessie May — bass
Chris Anderson — drums

Owl Maker, Sky Road (2018)

Owl Maker on Thee Facebooks

Owl Maker on Instagram

Owl Maker on Bandcamp

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Quarterly Review: Trippy Wicked, Dunbarrow, The Vintage Caravan, Zatokrev & Minsk, Owl Maker, Orbital Junction, Bourbon, Birnam Wood, Wytch Hazel, The Soulbreaker Company

Posted in Reviews on December 3rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

You know how this goes by now, right? Well, okay, except that because I skipped the Quarterly Review that I otherwise would’ve done in September (or, more likely, October), I’m doubling-up this time. 100 reviews instead of 50. Two full weeks of 10 albums per day. Will I survive? Yeah, probably. Will it be completely overwhelming? Already is. Thanks for asking.

I’ll save the summaries of the year that was for list-time, which is fast approaching, but consider the fact that there are well more than 100 albums I could include in this roundup emblematic of just how vibrant heavy rock and doom are in the US, EU, UK, Australia and elsewhere. It’s a universal thing, and accordingly, there’s a whole universe of it to explore. This is just a sampling.

But yeah, time’s a wastin’, so let’s get to it.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight, Stakes n Scale

trippy wicked stakes n scale

An acoustic EP from Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight — who, let’s face it, were way ahead of the curve when it comes to the UK scene’s thing for long and ridiculous band names — is a considerable departure from where they were two years ago on their split/collaboration with GurT (review here), but those familiar with the band might recall their past penchant for the occasional unplugged cover recorded for YouTube. Chris West (also Crawling for Carrion, Glanville, etc.), who engineered the recording and plays guitar, and vocalist Peter Holland (also Elephant Tree) revamp Trippy Wicked‘s “Up the Stakes” from 2012’s Going Home (review here), and cover “Scale the Mountain” by Stubb, of which both were members when the song was written. Together, they make for a nine-minute showcase for the character in Holland‘s voice and the melodies and craft at root in both tracks, and while its arrival feels like kind of a one-off, it’s certainly no less welcome for that.

Trippy Wicked on Thee Facebooks

Trippy Wicked on Bandcamp

 

Dunbarrow, II

dunbarrow ii

The novelty of new bands playing through vintage gear in order to capture a heavy ’70s sound may have faded, but like all subgenres, as time goes on, the retro-ist style continues to shift and change as bands like Dunbarrow bring new character to established tenets. Their second LP for RidingEasy is aptly-titled II and sways between honoring the likes of Pentagram and acts like Witchcraft who’ve helped craft that band’s hindsight-founded legacy. Dunbarrow‘s noodly style, restrained rhythmic shove and ride-the-riff melody on “Weary Lady” and the foresty creep of “The Demon Within” capture the vibe well, the latter occurring in a second half of II populated with “The Wolf” and “Witches of the Woods Pt. II,” a sequel to the closer of their 2016 self-titled debut (review here) that here leads to the more severe roll of the finale, “On this Night,” emblematic of the changing character of the band even as it reaffirms in its tense midsection the roots from which they sprung.

Dunbarrow on Thee Facebooks

RidingEasy Records on Bandcamp

 

The Vintage Caravan, Gateways

the vintage caravan gateways

With their third record and second for Nuclear Blast, Icelandic trio The Vintage Caravan affirm not only their passion for the boogie of old on cuts like “The Way” and the strutting “Hidden Streams,” but secure a place as being worthy of the consideration they’ve been given to a degree by the wider Continental European heavy underground. They are strikingly mature in their approach for still being a relatively young band, and their albums have worked quickly to develop a character that is becoming more and more their own. They do the fests and they tour, and so on, but they seem to be engaged in building their listenership one pair of ears at a time. Having a metal-major label behind them hasn’t hurt their promotional cause, but frankly, they’re not as big as they should be for the level of work they’re doing, and even with songs like “Reset” and “Reflections” and the composed-strictly-for-vinyl-sounding closer “Tune Out” to their credit, they’re still largely a word of mouth band, especially in the US. Well, consider this your word of mouth. If you haven’t heard Gateways yet, you should get on that.

The Vintage Caravan on Thee Facebooks

The Vintage Caravan at Nuclear Blast

 

Minsk & Zatokrev, Bigod

zatokrev minsk bigod

Post-metallic powerhouses Minsk and Zatokrev — both of whom hit their 15th anniversary last year — teamed up for a European tour this Fall. To mark the occasion, Consouling Sounds and Czar of Crickets celebrated with Bigod, a split with two tracks from each band arranged in alternating order — Minsk, then Zatokrev, etc. — intended to highlight the symmetry between them not just of circumstance and root influence in the Neurosis school of atmospheric sludge, but the fact that they share these commonalities despite their origins in Illinois and Switzerland, respectively. Each band opens with a longer track (double points) in Minsk‘s “Invoke/Revive” and Zatokrev‘s “Silent Gods,” each of which push past 13 minutes as likely at any moment to be pummeling as ambient, and follows with two shorter cuts, Minsk‘s “Salvatore” swelling theatrically from its minimalist beginnings while Zatokrev‘s “The Chalice and the Dagger” seems to explode from the foundation the prior band laid out. It must have been a hell of a tour, but whether you saw it or not, the split is a welcome conglomeration from two of post-metal’s strongest acts.

Minsk on Thee Facebooks

Zatokrev on Thee Facebooks

Consouling Sounds website

Czar of Crickets Productions website

 

Owl Maker, Sky Road

owl maker sky road

Self-recording guitarist/vocalist Simon Tuozzoli (Vestal Claret, ex-Guerra, etc.) leads Connecticut-based three-piece Owl Maker through a complex thematic of Native American folklore and heavy metal classicism. The NWOBHM plays a strong role in his riffing style, but one of the two tracks included on the two-songer single Sky Road, “Owl City,” also veers into more extreme territory with a departure from clean vocals to harsher screaming. All told, it’s about eight minutes of music, but Sky Road nonetheless follows Owl Maker‘s earlier-2018 EP, Paths of the Slain (review here), with an uptick in melodic presence in the vocals of Tuozzoli and bassist Jessie May and progression in the chemistry between the two of them and drummer Chris Anderson, and with the fluidity of their transitions between various styles of heavy, their scope seems only to be growing. To wit, “Sky Road” itself is only 3:42, but still demonstrates a clear-headed compositional method based around storytelling and a subtly encompassing range. Whether it’s early warning for what they do next or a conceptual one-off, its quick run seems just to be begging for a 7″ pressing.

Owl Maker on Thee Facebooks

Owl Maker on Bandcamp

 

Orbital Junction, Orbital Junction

Orbital Junction orbital junction

The Londonderground continues to produce acts ready and willing to worship at the altar of riffs. Orbital Junction‘s self-release debut EP makes an impression not only because of the markedly pro-shop production by Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studios and the cover art by SoloMacello, but the hooks to live up to those high standards. “6 ft. 2” follows opener “Space Highway” with a bit of dudely chestbeating — note: I don’t know how tall any of them actually are — but the swing of EP centerpiece “Devil’s Double” and the bounce of “Gypsy Queen” speak for the four-piece’s roots and appreciation of straightforward heavy, void of pretense and tapping into an easy mid-paced fluidity that slows up somewhat on closer “Pagan” without really losing the central groove of the offering overall. They’ll have their work cut out for them in distinguishing themselves over the longer term amongst London’s burl-fueled hordes, but their first outing shows their instincts headed in the right direction in terms of songwriting, performance and presentation.

Orbital Junction on Thee Facebooks

Orbital Junction on Bandcamp

 

Bourbon, Fuente Vieja

Bourbon Fuente Vieja

Crisp but warm in its tone and presentation, rife with melody and carrying a laid back spirit despite a fervent underlying groove — the bass on “El Sendero” rests well within gotta-hear-it territory — Spanish purveyors Bourbon emobody some of the best of post-Viaje a 800 Andalusian heavy rock and roll on their third LP, Fuente Vieja (on Spinda). Their fuzz makes its presence known early on “Si Véis La Luz, Corred” and continues as a running theme as tracks like “A Punto de Arder” and the side-A-capping title-cut grow increasingly progressive. There’s room for some shuffle, of course, as side B begins with “La Triste Realidad,” and the slower “Hacia el Sol” gracefully blends electrified wah and acoustic guitars beneath a well-timed standout vocal performance, but the highlight might be eight-minute closer “Destierro,” which seems to bring everything else under one roof while tapping into a poppier structure early — acoustics and electrics aligning effectively circa two minutes in — while providing the album with a graceful and fittingly organic-sounding finale.

Bourbon on Thee Facebooks

Spinda Records webstore

 

Birnam Wood, Wicked Worlds

birnam wood wicked worlds

Birnam Wood don’t have time for bullshit, but they do have time for a bit of shenanigans. Thus the 1:44 surge of opener “Time of Purification” leads into the sample-laden roller groove of “Richard Dreyfuss” on their as-of-now-self-released Wicked Worlds, and the “Hole in the Sky”-style “Dunsinane” shifts into the more blown-out “Early Warning,” which, by the time its tectonic low end kicks in, is indeed something of a clarion. At seven-tracks/34-minutes, Wicked Worlds is somewhere between an EP and an LP, but I’d argue it as the latter with the flow from “Greenseer” into the massive “A Song for Jorklum” and the seven-minute finale “Return to Samarkand” making for a righteous side B, but either way, it’s a Boston-crafted assault of grit-tone and aggro doom that finds the band not overwhelmed by the heft of their own tones but able to move and manipulate them to serve the purposes of their songs. Those purposes, incidentally, are mostly about kicking ass. Which they do. Copiously.

Birnam Wood on Thee Facebooks

Birnam Wood on Bandcamp

 

Wytch Hazel, II: Sojourn

Wytch Hazel II Soujorn

It would not seem to be a coincidence that UK self-aware four-piece Wytch Hazel — guitarists Conlin Hendra (also vocals) and Alex Haslam, bassist Matt Gatley and drummer Jack Spencer nod to Wishbone Ash‘s Argus with the cover of their second LP, II: Sojourn (on Bad Omen). They do a lot of that kind of nodding, with a sound culled from a valiant blend of classic progressive and early NWOBHM styles that makes the point of how closely related the two have always been. “The Devil is Here” starts out at a fervent gallop with just an underpinning of Thin Lizzy, while the later “See My Demons” shifts from its steady roll and rousing hook into an acoustic/electric break that seems to pull from Jethro Tull as much as Scorpions. At 10 tracks/45 minutes, they have plenty of time to flesh out their ideas, and they do precisely that, whether it’s the careful unfolding around the keys and acoustics of closer “Angel Take Me” or the over-the-top instrumental push of “Chorale” or the moodier “Wait on the Wind,” the wah solo of which is a highlight on its own. There are some burgeoning harmonies in Hendra‘s vocals, which is an impulse he should follow as it would only enhance the material, but after making their debut with 2016’s Prelude, II: Sojourn finds Wytch Hazel sounding comfortable and well established in their niche.

Wytch Hazel on Thee Facebooks

Bad Omen Records on Bandcamp

 

The Soulbreaker Company, Sewed with Light

the soulbreaker company sewed with light

Progressive, expansive and engaging, the sixth album from Spanish sextet The Soulbreaker Company, Sewed with Light (on Underground Legends), taps into classically Floydian influences on songs like “The Word, the Blade” while still keeping a foot in heavy rock on the prior “Together,” and setting a quick course into a varied sonic persona via the seven-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Inner Dark.” Hypnotizing not necessarily with drift but with sheer willful exploration, The Soulbreaker Company work with a variety of key sounds and craft-minded ranging guitar in order to effect an atmosphere of thoughtful songwriting even in their most outwardly trippy moments. The sneering semi-psychedelic rock of “Avoid the Crash” and the more stripped-down roll of “Arrhythmia” (video premiere here) lead the way into closer “In the Beginning,” which marks yet another departure with its grandeur of string sounds and electronic beats leading to a chugging big finale. As with the bulk of The Soulbreaker Company‘s work, it requires an active ear, but Sewed with Light both encourages and well earns consideration as more than background noise.

The Soulbreaker Company on Thee Facebooks

Underground Legends on Bandcamp

 

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New England Stoner and Doom Fest II Makes First Lineup Announcement; Earthride, Brimstone Coven, Youngblood Supercult & More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

new england stoner and doom fest ii

Welp, I guess I know what I’m doin’ on May 3 and 4 next year. Calendar is marked. I was otherwise occupied during the first New England Stoner and Doom Fest earlier this year, but with the usual caveat that a piano might fall on my head between now and then, my plan is to hit New England Stoner and Doom Fest II as a priority, and the first lineup announcement has done nothing to dissuade me from that intention. Shadow Witch, Earthride, and Brimstone Coven are all vets of Maryland Doom FestEarthride are of course kingpins of that scene though release through NESDF-related Salt of the Earth Records — but Vessel of Light, Youngblood Supercult, Black Road, Set Fire and others it will be my first time seeing, so all the more reason to look forward to getting to Altones, which I hear kicks ass anyway.

And yes, I’m among the presenting media for the festival, but I don’t have the inside track or anything on who’s playing, so as the announcements come through for the bill, I’ll be just as surprised as everyone else. I’m looking forward to that too. There’s a good bit of diversity of sound already in the lineup, and any chance you get to see Brimstone Coven‘s harmonies in-person, you should do that. Bottom line is there’s a lot to like here so far, so dig in, and when I see the next round come through, that’ll get the same treatment.

For now, here’s the first poster and the list as posted on the fest event page on Thee Facebooks:

new england stoner and doom fest ii first poster

The New England Stoner and Doom Festival will make its return in 2019 on May 3 & 4 at Altones in Jewett City, CT.

Stay tuned for details!

www.newenglandstoneranddoomfest.com

Featuring:
Brimstone Coven
Earthride
Black Road
Vessel Of Light
Shadow Witch
Youngblood Supercult
Set Fire
Mourn The Light
Entierro

Many many more to be announced.

www.newenglandstoneranddoomfest.com
https://www.facebook.com/events/1613285008788252/
https://www.facebook.com/NewEnglandStonerAndDoomFest/
https://www.saltoftheearthrecords.com/

Earthride, Live in Los Angeles, June 13, 2018

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When the Deadbolt Breaks Premiere “Centering Through Isolation” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 24th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

when the deadbolt breaks

In the great annals of the underrated, there has to be a special place reserved for When the Deadbolt Breaks. True, the Connecticut-based doomers haven’t exactly toured the pants off the Eastern Seaboard, but even so, the simple fact that they’ll so willingly move from grueling, lurching riffs into what’s essentially grindcore before dropping to a minimalism crawl of guitar and maybe some drum thud is astounding in itself, let alone the smoothness with which they execute those turns and the mangled grace with which they build back up afterward. I’ve been listening to this band for over a decade, and I still can’t think of anyone else who conjures the same kind of atmospheric malevolence, live or on record. Yeah, they’re kind of underproduced, but this is doom — everybody’s underproduced! This site is underproduced. Seriously. I’ve had the same theme since 2009! The point I’m making is that for a band whose first album dropped in 2006 and whose guitarist, vocalist and principal songwriter Aaron Lewis (also a noted fetish photographer) has seen lineups come and go — currently working with Mike Parkyn and Randy Dumas as he has for a couple years — they don’t even have a proper bio on their Thee Facebooks page.

Well, I’m gonna fix that.

I don’t know if Deadbolt will use it or not, but it’s here and at least I can say I tried. Lewis, with whom I’ve been in touch a long, long time, and I have not talked about this prior, but it’s something I’m doing and if he wants it, fine, and if not, fine. Not gonna hurt my feelings either way.

The original point of this post was 13-minute album opener and longest track (immediate points) “Centering Through Isolation,” the legit-disturbing video for which you can see premiering below. It’s made in honor of the vinyl release of their ellipse-laden latest album, Angels are Weeping… God Has Abandoned…, through Desert Records. A CD version is also available through Sliptrick Records. Okay, here we go with the bio:

For more than a decade, When the Deadbolt Breaks have carved a niche for themselves within the interplay of extreme genres. They are no less at home in grind than they are in pummeling sludge or ambient soundscaping, casting forth triumphant riffs or proffering murder-dirge nods at a volume level that can only be considered violent. Led by guitarist/vocalist Aaron Lewis, their four to-date full-lengths read as a chronicle of threat that even unto the Connecticut-based outfit’s moniker tells of some lurking danger in the dark. Whether spanning a massive sprawl on 2016’s 2CD, Drifting Towards the Edge of the Earth, or casting a grim psychedelia on album number four, Angels are Weeping… God Has Abandoned…, When the Deadbolt Breaks are immediately recognizable in style and malice, and they continue to push forward into a filth and emotional disaffection of their own making.

Joined on Angels are Weeping… God Has Abandoned… by bassist/backing vocalist Mike Parkyn and drummer Randall Dumas, Lewis brings the three-piece through a cacophony of wretched cinematography. In the dug-in growls of “Sky Will Fall” or the victorious push of “Bloodborn,” Deadbolt make their home in a bleak, murky space that is as much atmosphere as it is impact. In the stretches of “Floyd’s Machine” or the deranged epilogue of closer “Color the Sun,” they expand on the scope set out at the beginning of the record on “Centering Through Isolation,” and the question isn’t so much how are you going to listen, but whether or not your turntable is going to survive the vibrating low end when you do.

As the latest installment of When the Deadbolt Breaks’ ongoing narrative, Angels are Weeping… God Has Abandoned… takes them to new depths and new heights, but by no means does it sound like they’re finished or relying on past laurels. Instead, expect them to keep growing and changing, because like that threat somewhere out in the woods at night, their shape is only ever what serves to terrify most at the moment.

Or something like that. Enjoy the video:

When the Deadbolt Breaks, “Centering Through Isolation” official video premiere

Aaron Lewis on “Centering Through Isolation”:

The song was inspired by some old school horror flicks I was watching. It’s pretty much a song about horror. A story about being chased down, not knowing what’s gonna come next, being trapped in the woods in the middle of the night with somebody stalking you. That’s why the pulsing bass is there. Like the old-school movies, where somebody’s trapped in the woods, it’s too dark to see, but as the viewer, all you hear is that pulsing bass and you can just sense their panic. writing the video part it was easy. The ideas seem to fit perfectly together with the song and the actors were spot on. It’s the third video that I’ve written and directed. But this is the first time that I did most of the cinematography as well as editing myself. Charlie Sad-Eyes filmed all of the live shots, and I filmed the story part of it.

When the Deadbolt Breaks live:
Nov 17 33 Golden New London CT
Dec 1 The Rough Draft Hamden CT

When The Deadbolt Breaks are:
Aaron Lewis – Guitars/Vocals | Mike Parkyn – Bass/Backing vocals | Randall Dumas – Drums

When the Deadbolt Breaks, Angels are Weeping… God Has Abandoned… (2018)

When the Deadbolt Breaks on Thee Facebooks

When the Deadbolt Breaks on Bandcamp

When the Deadbolt Breaks on YouTube

Desert Records on Thee Facebooks

Sliptrick Records on Thee Facebooks

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