New England Stoner & Doom Fest 3: Earthride Headlining; Arduini/Balich, Horehound, Solace, Thunderbird Divine & More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 12th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

new england stoner doom festival 3 logo

Thus a good bill gets better. Having Earthride headline will do that for a doom fest — just ask the one in the band’s native Frederick, Maryland — but bringing aboard Solace and Horehound as well as the Salt of the Earth Records-affiliated Thunderbird Divine and Via Vengeance, plus Connecticut‘s own Arduini/Balich (well, Connecticut and Pittsburgh, anyhow; Butch can travel east with Horehound) and Knoxxville, which features JB Matson, who organizes the prior-alluded-to Maryland Doom Fest, on drums, certainly doesn’t hurt either. New England Stoner & Doom Fest 3 has done precisely this and unveiled its daily lineups as well, and it’s a doozy. I don’t know if the fest is done or if more bands will be added, but seriously guys, this is plenty. Let’s call it a fest and run with it. It doesn’t exactly feel like anything’s missing, if you know what I mean.

I mean it’s frickin’ packed.

Will I tourist my ass to Jewett City (never been there, much to my chagrin) to the festival? I hope so. I had every intention of being there last year and had to pull the plug not literally at the last minute, but literally about an hour before I’d have headed out, so with the residual sting of that, I can only stare at the lineup, pre-fest included, and think it looks like an awfully fun time. A lot of an awfully fun time.

Dig:

new england stoner doom festival 3

NEW ENGLAND STONER & DOOM FEST 3 ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!

Earthride confirmed as Friday night Headliner, Arduini/Balich, Solace, Horehound, Via Vengeance, Thunderbird Divine, and Knoxville added.

Nomad Cabinets will be providing an excellent backline of Cabs and ListenToNewEngland.com added as sponsor as well.

Weekend Passes and Single Day tix now on sale at www.newenglandstoneranddoomfest.com

Individual Day Lineups announced!

Friday Lineup:
Earthride
Worshipper
Solace
Yatra
Bone Church
High Reeper
Red Stone Chapel
Arduini/Balich
Heavy Temple
Buzzard Canyon
Problem with Dragons
O’k and the Nightcrew

all ages doors 6pm

Saturday Lineup:
Tyrant (Rob Lowe Ex-Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus on vocals)
Playing new album “Hereafter” in entirety plus a classic Tyrant set
Churchburn
Wolftooth
Orodruin
Summoner
Shadow Witch (Blacklight Encore show)
Entierro
Horehound
Lotek Cruiser
Mourn the Light
Gorge
Black Horse Rebellion
Black North
Coma Hole

all ages doors 5pm

Sunday Lineup:
Warrior Soul (Last Decade Dead Century 30th Anniversary)
Curse the Son
Kingsnake
Barishi
Red Mesa
Grey Skies Fallen
Clamfight
Thunderbird Divine
When the Deadbolt Breaks
Via Vengeance
Knoxville
Afghan Haze
Sentinel Hill

all ages doors 3pm

http://www.Newenglandstoneranddoomfest.com
https://www.facebook.com/NewEnglandStonerAndDoomFest/
https://www.facebook.com/events/467948910731582/

Earthride, “Witch Gun”

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Curse the Son Finish Work on Excruciation; Album out in June on Ripple Music

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 2nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Hamden, Connecticut, tonal weightlifters Curse the Son aren’t kidding when they talk about branching out in terms of sound on their new album, Excruciation. Though the intervening years since 2016’s Isolator (review here) have seen them part ways with drummer Michael Petrucci, it’s clear that guitarist/vocalist Ron Vanacore and bassist/vocalist Brendan Keefe have solidified as a more dynamic team in terms of writing, with the latter picking up more duties in terms of joining creative vocal arrangements calling to mind Dirt-era Alice in Chains in call-and-response fashion, while Robert Ives, making his first appearance with the band, seems to immediately find his place holding the groove that has been at the core of the band since Vanacore founded it now some obscure number of years ago.

I haven’t heard the full record yet, I’m sad to say, but what I’ve had the chance to dig into finds Curse the Son a richer, more complex band who haven’t at all let go of the heft in their sound. Look out for “Worry Garden” and “Novembre.”

Vanacore was kind enough to give some comment on finishing work on the album below. It’s out in June on Ripple Music:

curse the son

Ron Vanacore on Excruciation:

“The past few years have certainly been extremely difficult for our band. Between what appeared to be endless drummer changes, individual tragedies, and of course, Brendan‘s very serious motorcycle accident… We had been put to the test.

I am proud to say that we rose above all of that to create what is possibly our heaviest and certainly our most diverse and creative record to date.

The record is titled Excruciation and offers a glimpse into our lives (particularly Brendan’s) from November 2017-2018.

I wrote songs, Brendan wrote songs and we also collaborated on a few. Brendan sings lead on a song as well as playing some lead guitar!

Recording began at Dirt Floor studios in August 2019. We completed mixing in January 2020. We chose to really utilize everything the studio had to offer us as well as giving Eric Lichter a much larger role as producer. We really wanted to push the envelope and boundaries of the genre.

The record will be released in early June on Ripple Music. (Vinyl, CD, Digital) followed by as many shows as we can play!”

Curse the Son are:
Ron Vanacore – Guitars & Vocals
Brendan Keefe – Bass & Vocals
Robert Ives – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/cursetheson/
https://cursetheson.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
ripplemusic.bandcamp.com
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Curse the Son, Isolator (2016)

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Lord Fowl to Release Glorious Babylon April 24; Preorders Available & Track Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 18th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Lord Fowl (photo by Meg Herlihy)

It hasn’t been easy waiting for Connecticut four-piece Lord Fowl to put out a new full-length. At this point, it’s been eight years since Small Stone released Moon Queen (review here), and at least five since they started talking about writing and recording what’s been given the title Glorious Babylon. So yes, facing the hard reality that a set April 24 release date and the advent of preorders represent is something of a relief. And not that I’ve heard the record or anything — though to that end I’ll say that I did do a heavy edit on the bio below ahead of this news coming out — but whatever the hell is going on with the album art is earned in the tracks. It’s all that stuff and the logo to boot. I know it’s been a while and momentum or social media push isn’t really in their pocket out of the gate, but don’t sleep it.

Glorious Babylon. April 24. Small Stone. Preorders up. You can hear “Fire Discipline” now, so do that below.

Fresh from the PR wire:

Lord Fowl Glorious Babylon

LORD FOWL: Connecticut Riff Rock/Retro Metallers To Release Glorious Babylon Full-Length April 24th Via Small Stone; New Track Streaming + Preorders Available

Connecticut riff rock/retro metal unit LORD FOWL will release their Glorious Babylon full-length April 24th via Small Stone.

LORD FOWL took shape in New Haven in the summer of 2007 with one goal: to write songs like those they grew up hearing. Songs that drive you. Songs that come alive. Songs that rock. With Glorious Babylon, their third LP and second to see release via Small Stone Records, LORD FOWL refuses to compromise this high standard, bringing forth the energy of their dynamic stage presence and dual lead vocals, as the song-craft of singer/guitarists Vechel Jaynes and Mike Pellegrino reaches its next level of progression.

Recorded at BirdsEye Studios in West Haven, producer and bassist Jon Conine (with the assistance of by Steve Hill) captures LORD FOWL’s vitality as only one part of the fray could hope to do, and though drummer Michael Petrucci has since left the band with Van Hartley stepping in to fill his significant percussive shoes, the drums provide the foundation of Glorious Babylon.

Across the record’s ten-track/thirty-seven-minute span, LORD FOWL raises their own bar. Following 2008’s Endless Dynamite and 2012’s Moon Queen, Glorious Babylon arrives as an awaited third chapter in LORD FOWL’s peculiar mythology, harnessing the spirit they’ve brought to stages up and down the East Coast, at SXSW, and beyond, breathing life once more into classic, soulful, and psychedelic heavy rock and roll.

With a sound just as likely to nod to Thin Lizzy and a heavy Funkadelic as to early Queen or Paul Di’Anno-era Iron Maiden, it is still the vision and classic purpose of their songwriting that brings the band together. Songs that rock. Old heads, new heads, riff-worshippers, and freaks: LORD FOWL have built a city just for you. Fans of Queen, Dirty Honey, Rival Sons, Freedom Hawk, Crobot, Rival Sons, Greenleaf, Fu Manchu, La Chinga, and the like pay heed.

Glorious Babylon will see release via Small Stone Recordings on CD, digital, and deluxe gatefold vinyl formats on April 24th. The vinyl edition — a German import pressing via Kozmik Artifactz — is limited to 500 and will be available in two color variants: transparent pink or clear with purple and white splatter.

For preorders and to stream opening track “Fire Discipline,” visit the Small Stone Bandcamp page at THIS LOCATION.

Glorious Babylon Track Listing:
1. Fire Discipline
2. Glorious Babylon
3. Get Lost
4. Deep Empty
5. The Wraith
6. In Search Of
7. The Gramercy Riffs
8. Red Cloud
9. Epitaph
10. Space Jockey

LORD FOWL:
Jon Conine – bass, guitar
Vechel Jaynes – guitar, vocals
Mike Pellegrino – guitar, vocals
Michael Petrucci – drums, percussion

https://www.facebook.com/LORD-FOWL
http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords
http://www.instagram.com/smallstonerecords
http://www.smallstone.com

Lord Fowl, “Fire Discipline”

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New England Stoner and Doom Fest 3 Adds High Reeper, Heavy Temple, Barishi & More

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Connecticut’s New England Stoner & Doom Fest 3 continues to take shape ahead of next May 15-17 in Jewett City at Altone’s Music Hall. The third lineup announcement brings locals, travelers, touring bands and a bit of sonic diversity, so pretty much whatever you could ask. High Reeper and Heavy Temple — hey, that’d be a cool tour, wouldn’t it? — join the ranks of Orodruin and Worshipper and others making the trip from various distances, along with Vermont’s Barishi, Grey Skies Fallen from NY, whose new record will be out by then, and CT’s own Afghan Haze. I’ve been privy to a few other potential additions to come to New England Stoner & Doom Fest 2020 and there are a few more doozies in the works, so sit tight, but already we can start to see the shape of the fest as we’re just more than halfway through the announcements.

Tickets are on sale Jan. 3, which seems as good a time as any.

Here’s word from the fest:

new-england-stoner-and-doom-fest-3-new-poster

The New England Stoner and Doom Fest 3 is coming May 15-17, 2020 at Altone’s Music Hall in Jewett City, CT and is promising to bring you the best concert going experience it possibly can. You will experience many of the best bands the underground stoner/doom metal scene has to offer on 2 stages over 3 days with no overlap. You will be hit with a non stop sonic assault on the senses with the opportunity to see every band featured. Weekend passes go on sale Jan 3, 2020 at newenglandstoneranddoomfest.com.

Moving on with our 3rd roster announcement, we would like to welcome the following bands:

High Reeper

Formed in 2016, High Reeper is made up of Zach Thomas, Justin Di Pinto, Andrew Price, Pat Daly and Shane Trimble. Originally started as just a studio band, it rapidly became apparent that these songs were meant to be heard live and loud. The band made their debut in the Philly/DE stoner rock scene in early 2017 with success which was followed up by the recording of their self-titled debut in May. With a sound deeply rooted in modern stoner rock while still giving a nod to the earliest Sabbath records, High Reeper’s self titled debut is driven by pounding rhythms, thick guitars and soaring, screeching vocals. For their second record, the addition of Di Pinto on drums helped focus their sound in an even more powerful direction. The result is a new record with riffs that are even heavier than before that explore new directions, including the ballad “Apocalypse Hymn”. After a successful 2018 European tour that included Desertfest Berlin, High Reeper Will once again tour Europe in 2019 visiting ten countries as well as an appearance at Desertfest London.

Heavy Temple

Heavy Temple is a trio of doom metal deviants determined to take you on a wild stoner rock expedition. Having made waves first in their hometown of Philadelphia and then throughout the global heavy rock scene after tours with Corrosion of Conformity, Ruby the Hatchet, Mothership, and Ecstatic Vision, this is a band who are ready to break on through to the other side. Veterans of countless festivals, including Psycho Las Vegas, Muddy Roots Music Festival, Days of Darkness and Decibel Metal & Beer Fest, Heavy Temple are here to drown you with dark riffs, heavy vibes and a rip roaring good time.

Barishi

In a scene that has become largely repetitive, nostalgia driven, and prone to navel gazing, few bands stand out as breaking new ground. With their sophomore full-length ‘Blood from the Lion’s Mouth’, BARISHI demonstrate that it is still possible to challenge the established formulas of the metal genre by recombining its musical DNA. There is an undeniable progressive undertone in their modern approach to hard guitar based music, but at the same time, the Americans delve into the darker side of extreme sound that defies the happy fret-fingering all too often employed by their peers.

BARISHI were formed by guitarist Graham Brooks, bassist Jon Kelley, and drummer Dylan Blake in Southern Vermont in the spring of 2010. The US band originally performed as an instrumental trio throughout the east coast of the United States, which they relentlessly toured. Their unique style of gritty progressive metal was completed with the addition of vocalist Sascha Simms in 2012. They have shared the stage with everyone from Mastodon to The Flaming Lips. In 2016 the quartet completed a U.S. tour with Weedeater, Author & Punisher and Today is the Day. They are set to release their much anticipated label debut ‘Blood from the Lion’s Mouth’ September 16th, 2016 on the esteemed Season of Mist record label. BARISHI provide the listener with earth-shattering grooves and savage vocals born in the verdant mountains of Vermont. Prepare to be pounded on and thunderstruck with ecstatic metal from the ancient hills of New England.

Grey Skies Fallen (NY)

Grey Skies Fallen are seasoned veterans of the doom scene delivering melodic epic doom, their latest full length is out now and was mixed by the legendary Dan Swano.

Afghan Haze (CT)

CT has some great new bands that have hit the ground running recently and Afghan Haze is one of them, releasing their debut EP “Burnt Offering” and looking to release much more in 2020, they have pummeled every stage they have played with their brand of Evil Louder than Hell Psychedelic Doom.

We’d also like to announce our Prefest party on May 14th at 33 Golden in New London, CT for the 3rd straight year. New London is just minutes away from the main fest.

The first band to be announced is:

Dust Prophet (NH)

Hailing from Manchester, New Hampshire, Dust Prophet came together in 2018 as the project of longtime friends and musical collaborators Sarah Wappler (bass) and Otto Kinzel (guitar). Soon joined by fellow scene veterans Heather Lynn (vocals) and Marc Brennan (drums), the band shifted into high gear writing music. They released their apocalyptic debut single The Big Lie in October 2018, putting them on the map with critics and listeners in the underground music scene. Recorded by Kinzel at his home studio, with post-production done by Massachusetts studios Amps vs. Ohms and New Alliance East. Dust Prophet is on the fast track to notoriety… if the world doesn’t end first. Look out for Dust Prophet performing across New England this year. In 2020 Dust Prophet will be also performing at the Maryland Doom Festival, (June 18th-21st) in Frederick, MD.

http://www.Newenglandstoneranddoomfest.com
https://www.facebook.com/NewEnglandStonerAndDoomFest/
https://www.facebook.com/events/467948910731582/

Heavy Temple, Live at Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia, PA, Sept. 21, 2019

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New England Stoner & Doom Fest 3 Adds Churchburn, Yatra, Summoner, Curse the Son, Irata, Red Mesa & HeWolf

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

new england stoner and doom fest 2019 banner

Alright everybody, back to real after the holiday. Maybe you scammed a four-day weekend out of Thanksgiving. If so, good work. If not, you’ll get ’em next time. One way or the other, today’s the day reality sets back in. Sucks, right? Usually that’s how it goes.

But if you’re looking for a bit of post-turkey escapism, mark your calendar for New England Stoner & Doom Fest 3 in Jewett City, Connecticut. Being held next May 15-17 at Altone’s Music Hall, the annual gathering has already made its first lineup announcement with resurgent doom mystics Orodruin leading a pack that also included Kingsnake, Clamfight, Worshipper and others, and to that significant heft, it now adds Churchburn — who are bound to be just about the heaviest band on any bill they play anytime they play anywhere — Baltimore’s Yatra, whose second LP will most likely be out by then, Boston progressive heavyweights Summoner, Connecticut’s own Curse the Son, hopefully also with a new record out, Irata from North Carolina, HeWolf from Virginia, and Red Mesa from way out in New Mexico.

Interesting to see the festival increasing its reach. How far it will go in the end of course remains to be seen as there are more than 40 acts promised and nowhere near that yet unveiled. So, as I say around here from time to time (and by that I mean pretty much daily), more to come.

For now, the following:

New England stoner and doom fest 2020 poster

New England Stoner & Doom Fest 3 – Second Lineup Annoucement

The New England Stoner and Doom Fest 3 (NESDF3) is taking place at Altone’s Music Hall in Jewett City, CT on the weekend of May 15-17 of 2020. The first roster announcement made a short time ago included Orodruin, Worshipper, Wolftooth, Lotek Cruiser, Red Stone Chapel, Bone Church, Shadow Witch (Blacklight Encore), Kingsnake, and Clamfight. Already looking like it’s going to be a great time, we add the announcement of the following bands (With many to come) 40+ total over 3 days.

Weekend passes go on sale Jan 3, 2020 www.Newenglandstoneranddoomfest.com

All band, vendor, and sponsor submissions and inquiries: Newenglandstoneranddoomfest@gmail.com

Churchburn (RI)

Churchburn is the musical collaboration between two of the undergrounds masters of misery. Dave Suzuki, best known for his mesmerizing guitar work and brutal drumming in Vital Remains and Ray McCaffrey, who carved out sonic drum patterns for Sin Of Angels and Grief. The two have set out to share with the world their love of the riff. Not only the heaviest but also the most haunting. Each song is crafted with the most sinister of intent. Churchburn want the listener to feel a true sense of dread as each song progresses.

Yatra (MD)

YATRA’s eclectic sound includes elements of doom and heavy metal mixed with explorations into sonic territories that provide a unique sound.

HeWolf (VA)

Grunge! Ear polluting power-trio, former members of Iron Reagan, Darkest Hour, Alabama Thunderpussy, HRM, Crackhead, the Medusa.

Irata (VA)

Irata is loud, heavy rock from Greensboro, NC on Small Stone Records and they deliver every time live!!

Curse the Son (CT)

Emerging from the untimely demise of stoner rockers Sufferghost, Curse the Son is a plodding distorted sonic wall of Sabbathian riffage. A power trio in the truest sense…..screaming amps…tons of fuzz…fat bass..thick riffin…lots of smokin! Get high, tune low & play slow.

Red Mesa (NM)

Out of New Mexico on Desert Records, Red Mesa will have you cruising through the desert full throttle.

Summoner (MA)

Summoner, the band formerly known as Riff Cannon. Same dudes, same music, different name. Summoner are a heavy rock band from Boston, MA. They sling riffs so you don’t have to……

Already announced:
Orodruin
Worshipper
Wolftooth
RED STONE CHAPEL (Germany)
Lotek Cruiser (Canada)
Shadow Witch (Blacklight Encore)
Kingsnake
Clamfight
Bone Church

http://www.Newenglandstoneranddoomfest.com
https://www.facebook.com/NewEnglandStonerAndDoomFest/
https://www.facebook.com/events/467948910731582/

Churchurn, None Shall Live… The Hymns of Misery (2018)

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Quarterly Review: Total Fucking Destruction, Hippie Death Cult, The Cosmic Dead, Greenthumb, Elepharmers, Nothing is Real, Warish, Mourn the Light & Oxblood Forge, Those Furious Flames, Mantra Machine

Posted in Reviews on October 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

I’d like to find the jerk who decided that the week I fly to Norway was a good time for the Quarterly Review. That, obviously, was a tactical error on my part. Nonetheless, we press on with day four, which I post from Oslo on CET. Whatever time zone you may find yourself in this Thursday, I hope you have managed to find something so far in this onslaught of whatnot to sink your chompers into. That’s ultimately, why we’re here. Also because there are so many folders with albums in them on my desktop that I can’t stand it anymore. Happens about every three months.

But anyhoozle, we press on with Day Four of the Fall 2019 Quarterly Review, dutiful and diligent and a couple other words that start with ‘d.’ Mixed bag stylistically this time — trying to throw myself off a bit — so should be fun. Let’s dive in.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Total Fucking Destruction, #USA4TFD

Total Fucking Destruction USA4TFD

Who the hell am I to be writing about a band like Total Fucking Destruction? I don’t know. Who the hell am I to be writing about anything. Fuck you. As the Rich Hoak (Brutal Truth)-led Philly natives grind their way through 23 tracks in a 27-minute barrage of deceptively thoughtful sonic extremity, they efficiently chronicle the confusion, tumult and disaffection of our age both in their maddening energy and in the poetry — yeah, I said it — of their lyrics. To it, from “Is Your Love a Rainbow”: “Are you growing? Is everything okay? Are you growing in the garden of I don’t know?” Lines like this are hardly decipherable without a lyric sheet, of course, but still, they’re there for those ready to look beyond the surface assault of the material, though, frankly, that assault alone would be enough to carry the band — Hoak on drums/vocals, Dan O’Hare on guitar/vocals and Ryan Moll on bass/vocals — along their willfully destructive course. For their fourth LP in 20 years — most of that time given to splits and shorter releases, as one might expect — Total Fucking Destruction make their case for an end of the world that, frankly, can’t get here fast enough.

Total Fucking Destruction on Thee Facebooks

Give Praise Records website

 

Hippie Death Cult, 111

Hippie-Death-Cult-111

Issued first by the band digitally and on CD and then by Cursed Tongue Records on vinyl, 111 is the impressively toned debut full-length from Portland, Oregon’s Hippie Death Cult, who cull together heavy rock and post-grunge riffing with flourish of organ and a densely-weighted groove that serves as an overarching and uniting factor throughout. With the bluesy, classic feeling vocals of Ben Jackson cutting through the wall of fuzz from Eddie Brnabic‘s guitar and Laura Phillips‘ bass set to roll by Ryan Moore‘s drumming, there’s never any doubt as to where Hippie Death Cult are coming from throughout the seven-track/42-minute offering, but longer, side-ending pieces “Unborn” (8:24) and “Black Snake” (9:06) touch respectively on psychedelia and heavy blues in a way that emphasizes the subtle turns that have been happening all along, not just in shifts like the acoustic “Mrtyu,” but in the pastoral bridge and ensuing sweep of “Pigs” as well. “Sanctimonious” and “Breeder’s Curse” provide even ground at the outset, and from there, Hippie Death Cult only grow richer in sound along their way.

Hippie Death Cult on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Tongue Records BigCartel store

 

The Cosmic Dead, Scottish Space Race

The Cosmic Dead Scottish Space Race

Heavyweight Glaswegian space jammers The Cosmic Dead present four massive slabs of lysergic intensity with their eighth long-player, Scottish Space Race (on Riot Season Records), working quickly to pull the listener into their gravity well and holding them there for the 2LP’s 75-minute duration. As hypnotic as it is challenging, the initial churn that emerges in the aptly-named 20-minute opener “Portal” clenches the stomach brutally, and it’s not until after about 12 minutes that the band finally lets it loose. “Ursa Major,” somewhat thankfully, is more serene, but still carries a sense of movement and build in its second half, while the 12-minute title-track is noisier and has the surprising inclusion of vocals from the generally instrumental outfit. They cap with the 24-minute kosmiche throb of “The Grizzard,” and there are vocals there too, but they’re too obscured to be really discernible in any meaningful way, and of course the end of the record itself is a huge wash of fuckall noise. Eight records deep, The Cosmic Dead know what they’re doing in this regard, and they do it among the best of anyone out there.

The Cosmic Dead on Thee Facebooks

Riot Season Records website

 

Greenthumb, There are More Things

greenthumb there are more things

With just three tracks across a 20-minute span, There are More Things (on Acid Cosmonaut) feels like not much more than a sampler of things to come from Italian post-sludgers Greenthumb, who take their name from a Bongzilla track they also covered on their 2018 debut EP, West. The three-songer feels like a decided step forward from that offering, and though they maintain their screamier side well enough, they might be on the verge of needing a new name, as the rawness conveyed by the current moniker hardly does justice to the echoing atmospherics the band in their current incarnation bring. Launching with the two seven-minute cuts “The Field” and “Ogigia’s Tree,” they unfurl a breadth of roll so as to ensnare the listener, and though “The Black Court” is shorter at 5:37 and a bit more straight-ahead in its structure, it still holds to the ambient sensibility of its surroundings well, the band obviously doing likewise in transposing a natural feel into their sound born of landscape real or imagined.

Greenthumb on Thee Facebooks

Acid Cosmonaut Records on Bandcamp

 

Elepharmers, Lords of Galaxia

Elepharmers Lords Of Galaxia Artwork

Riffy Sardinians Elepharmers set themselves to roll with “Ancient Astronauts” and do not stop from there on Lords of Galaxia, their third LP and debut through Electric Valley Records. There are some details of arrangement between the guitars of El Chino (also bass, vocals and harmonica) and Andrea “Fox” Cadeddu and the drums of Maurizio Mura, but as Marduk heralds his age on second cut “Ziqqurat,” the central uniting factor is g-r-o-o-v-e, and Elepharmers have it down through “The Flood” and into side B’s classic stoner rocking “Foundation” and the driving “The Mule,” which shifts into laser-effects ahead of the fade that brings in closer “Stars Like Dust” for the last 10 minutes of the 47-minute offering. And yes, there’s some psychedelia there, but Elepharmers stay pretty clearheaded on the whole in such a way as to highlight the sci-fi theme that seems to draw the songs together as much as the riffage. More focus on narrative can only help bring that out more, but I’m not sure I’d want that at the expense of the basic songwriting, which isn’t at all broken and thus requires no fixing.

Elepharmers on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records website

 

Nothing is Real, Only the Wicked are Pure

nothing is real only the wicked are pure

How do you recognize true misanthropy when you come across it? It doesn’t wear a special kind of facepaint, though it can. It doesn’t announce itself as such. It is a frame. Something genuinely antisocial and perhaps even hateful is a worldview. It’s not raise-a-claw-in-the-woods. It’s he-was-a-quiet-loner. And so, coming across the debut album from Los Angeles experimentalist doom outfit, one gets that lurking, creeping feeling of danger even though the music itself isn’t overly abrasive. But across the 2CD debut album, a sprawl of darkened, viciously un-produced fare that seems to be built around programmed drums at the behest of Craig Osbourne — who may or may not be the only person in the band and isn’t willing to say otherwise — plays out over the course of more than two hours like a manifesto found after the fact. Imagine chapters called “Hope is Weakness,” “Fingered by the Hand of God,” and “Uplift the Worthy (Destroy the Weak).” The last of those appears on both discs — as do several of the songs in different incarnations — as the track marries acoustic and eventual harder-edged guitar around murderous themes, sounding something like Godflesh might have if they’d pursued a darker path. Scary.

Nothing is Real on Thee Facebooks

Nothing is Real on Bandcamp

 

Warish, Down in Flames

warish down in flames

The fact that Warish are blasting hard punk through heavy blowout tones isn’t what everyone wants to talk about when it comes to the band. They want to talk about the fact that it’s Riley Hawk — of royal stock, as regards pro skateboarding — fronting the band. Well, that’s probably good for a built-in social media following — name recognition never hurts, and I don’t see a need to pretend otherwise — but it doesn’t do shit for the album itself. What matters about the album is that bit about the blasting blowout. With Down in Flames (on RidingEasy), the Oceanside three-piece follow-up their earlier-2019 debut EP with 11 tracks that touch on horror punk with “Bones” and imagine grunge-unhinged with “Fight” and “You’ll Abide,” but are essentially a display of tonal fuckall presented not to add to a brand, but to add the soundtrack to somebody’s blackout. It’s a good time and the drunkest, gnarliest, most-possibly-shirtless dude in the room is having it. Also he probably smells. And he just hugged you. Down in Flames gets high with that dude. That matters more than who anyone’s dad is.

Warish on Thee Facebooks

RidingEasy Records website

 

Mourn the Light & Oxblood Forge, Split

It’s a double-dose of New England doom as Connecticut’s Mourn the Light and Boston’s Oxblood Forge pair up for a split release. The former bring more material than the latter, particularly when one counts the digital-only bonus cover of Candlemass‘ “Bewitched,” but with both groups, it’s a case of what-you-see-is-what-you-get. Both groups share a clear affinity for classic metal — and yes, that absolutely extends to the piano-led drama of Mourn the Light‘s mournful “Carry the Flame” — but Oxblood Forge‘s take thereupon is rougher edged, harder in its tone and meaner in the output. Their “Screams From Silence” feels like something from a dubbed-and-mailed tape circa ’92. Mourn the Light’s “Drags Me Down” is cleaner-sounding, but no less weighted. I don’t think either band is out to change the world, or even to change doom, but they’re doing what they’re doing well and without even an ounce of pretense — well, maybe a little bit in that piano track; but it’s very metal pretense — and clearly from the heart. That might be the most classic-metal aspect of all.


Mourn the Light on Thee Facebooks

Oxblood Forge on Thee Facebooks

 

Those Furious Flames, HeartH

those furious flames hearth

Swiss heavy rockers Those Furious Flames push the boundaries of psychedelia, but ultimately remain coherent in their approach. Likewise, they very, very obviously are into some classic heavy rock and roll, but their take on it is nothing if not modern. And more, they thrive in these contradictions and don’t at all sound like their songs are in conflict with themselves. I guess that’s the kind of thing one can pull off after 15 years together on a fifth full-length, which HeartH (on Vincebus Eruptum) is for them. Perhaps it’s the fact that they let the energy of pieces like “VooDoo” and the boogie-laced “HPPD” carry them rather than try to carry it, but either way, it’s clearly about the songs first, and it works. With added flash of organ amid the full-sounding riffs, Those Furious Flames round out with the spacey “Visions” and earn every bit of the drift therein with a still-resonant vocal harmony. You might not get it all the first time, but listening twice won’t be at all painful.

Those Furious Flames on Thee Facebooks

Vincebus Eruptum Recordings BigCartel store

 

Mantra Machine, Heliosphere

mantra machine heliosphere

This is what it’s all about. Four longer-form instrumentalist heavy psych jams that are warm in tone and want nothing so much as to go out wandering and see what they can find. Through “Hydrogen,” “Atmos,” “Delta-V” and “Heliosphere,” Amsterdam-based three-piece Mantra Machine want nothing for gig-style vitality, but their purpose isn’t so much to electrify as to find that perfect moment of chill and let it go, see where it ends up, and they get there to be sure. Warm guitar and bass tones call to mind something that might’ve come out of the Netherlands at the start of this decade, when bands like Sungrazer and The Machine were unfolding such fluidity as seemed to herald a new generation of heavy psychedelia across Europe. That generation took a different shape — several different shapes, in the end — but Mantra Machine‘s Heliosphere makes it easy to remember what was so exciting about that in the first place. Total immersion. Total sense of welcoming. Totally human presence without speaking a word. So much vibe. So much right on.

Mantra Machine on Thee Facebooks

Mantra Machine on Bandcamp

 

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Mourn the Light & Oxblood Forge Streaming Tracks From Split CD

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 27th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Pretty easy to imagine the conversation between Connecticut’s Mourn the Light and Massachusetts’ Oxblood Forge went something like, “Yo dudes, split?” and “Yeah,” in that order, before the decision was made. Both bands have songs streaming now, and their wares are likewise straightforward, but at the same time, you can hear the edge each group brings to the proceedings, whether it’s Mourn the Light‘s foundation in bruising metal throughout “Lost all Control” or Oxblood Forge‘s classic doom and harsher bite in the screaming chorus of “Forged in Fire.” The two bands are veterans of the New England Stoner and Doom Festival, but on successive years, though I’d imagine they’ve shared a stage or two just through sheer proximity. Next time that happens they’ll have something new for the merch table.

Info for the split is copious and follows here, as per the PR wire:

oxblood forge screams from silence

mourn the light death is lurking

U.S. Doom Outfit MOURN THE LIGHT Releasing Split Album with OXBLOOD FORGE on September 13

U.S. Doom outfit MOURN THE LIGHT will release a self-titled split album with Massachusetts Trad-Metal/Doom crew OXBLOOD FORGE September 13 on CD and digital formats. The split album comes in two versions, each with a different cover. The MOURN THE LIGHT version also includes a bonus digital download of Candlemass cover “Bewitched.”

There’s no arguing that Connecticut doom outfit MOURN THE LIGHT has hit the ground running since its inception in early 2018. Focusing on catchy sing-a-long hooks to deliver tales of hopelessness and despair, MOURN THE LIGHT released their debut EP Weight of the World that year, followed by the CD single “Carry The Flame.” Both were incredibly well-received by the underground metal community, but the MOURN THE LIGHT boys were not ones to rest on their riff-hurling asses. The band embarked on a U.S. tour throughout March of 2018, taking them on a 4,500 mile trek with stops including SWSX Stoner Jam ’19 and New England Stoner and Doom Fest 2.

Now on the eve of MOURN THE LIGHT’s much-anticipated split with NWOTHM force OXBLOOD FORGE, excitement is also building for their first Canadian tour this October with power metal juggernaut Firstbourne (featuring 6-string wunderkind Mike Kerr, who played a guest solo on Weight of the World). Along with the upcoming split and tour plans, MTL has released a cover of the Candlemass classic “Bewitched,” featuring a guest solo by Joey Concepcion (The Absence, Sanctuary), available as a bonus download for the MTL version of the split. A special treat is the album’s inclusion of the piano version of 2018 single “Carry The Flame,” featuring Sean OrcAdams (Orcumentary, Virus of Ideals).

Clearly, MOURN THE LIGHT shows no signs of stopping their hostile audio takeover. With a distinctive sound and indomitable work ethic, this band will continue to deliver a unique mark upon the metal landscape for years to come.

OXBLOOD FORGE started in 2016 with the idea of playing heavy music their way, and not following the trends. Their first release, 2016’s self titled EP dabbled in everything from 70’s rock to the Melvins, putting out many fan favorite songs. While their second full length, 2018’s Deal Dealer’s Lament presenting a more unified heavier sound. It’s dark and brooding riffs provided a more doom direction, but still heavily focused on hooks and songwriting.

During this time, OXBLOOD FORGE played in front of audiences all over New England, opening for national acts from Unearthly Trance, to Conan and Mothership, and was also invited to play Doom Over Toronto II festival, in addition to the first annual New England Stoner Doom Festival.

Now, with a revamped lineup, OXBLOOD FORGE is shifting gears stylistically and pushing themselves further with the split with MOURN THE LIGHT, embracing the metal of their youth, and bring about a more NWOBHM onslaught to the songs while keeping to their doom roots. In the coming months, they will be working on branching out even further to metal audiences, pushing beyond the New England area, and working on an upcoming full length release.

With the collaboration of MOURN THE LIGHT and OXBLOOD FORGE, the split release is a grand introduction into the musical excellence of these two talented, passionate bands.

Track Listing:
1 Lost All Control – Mourn the Light
2 Drags Me Down – Mourn the Light 3
3 Carry The Flame (Piano version feat. Sean OrcAdams) – Mourn the Light
4 Bewitched (Candlemass Cover) – Mourn The Light*
5 Screams From Silence – Oxblood Forge
6 Forged In Fire – Oxblood Forge

*Bonus Digital Download on MTL Version Only

Mourn The Light Credits:
Recorded at Up Recording Studio Seymour, CT in May 2019
Recorded and Mixed by Simon Tuozzoli
Mastered by Rob Birkbeck at Project 7:06 Sound Services Griswold, CT
Songs written by Dwayne Eldredge
Piano/Strings on “Carry the Flame” performed by Sean OrcAdams
Additional backing vocals on “Carry The Flame” by Simon Tuozzoli
Cover art by Jim Clegg
Inside art by Eryka Fir
Layout by Charlie Platteborze

Oxblood Forge Credits:
Recorded Spring 2019 at Red Devil Studios with Joel Hopkins
Mixed by Glenn Smith at Amps vs Ohms Studio
Mastered at New Alliance East by Nick Zampiello

MOURN THE LIGHT is
Andrew Stachelek – Vocals
Dwayne Eldredge – Guitars and vocals
Kyle Hebner – Drums
Daniel Jackson – Bass

OXBLOOD FORGE is
Ken MacKay: vox
Robb Lioy: Guitar
Greg Dellaria: Bass
Erik Fraünfeltër: drums

mournthelight.com/
mournthelight.bandcamp.com/
facebook.com/MournTheLight/
instagram.com/mourn_the_light/

facebook.com/oxbloodforge/
oxbloodforge.bandcamp.com/
instagram.com/oxbloodforge/

Mourn the Light, “Lost all Control”

Oxblood Forge, “Forged in Fire”

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Sentinel Hill Premiere Video for “Uninvited” from Demo 2019

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

sentinel hill

On Aug. 25, Connecticut-based heavy rockers Sentinel Hill will take the stage at Fete Music Hall in Providence, Rhode Island, to open the final night of the Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar and Lo-Pan tour. Good gig. They also appeared at New England Stoner & Doom Fest — or, Nessy” — this past May on the strength of their aptly-titled Demo 2019, which marks their first release since getting together last year. They’re not signed to Salt of the Earth Records (yet), but bassist Aaron Lewis‘ other band, Buzzard Canyon are, and Sentinel Hill will feature on a label compilation with the track “Uninvited,” for which they’re also premiering a new video below.

There. I think we’re all caught up.

I mention all of this not just to be like, “Oh, these guys have a lot going on.” It’s a fair amount for a band whose demo arrived less than five months ago, sure enough, but more importantly, it speaks to the underlying importance of the song. If you’ve got songs, you’ve got everything, and listening to Demo 2019, with “Already Broken” leading into “Uninvited” and the highlight “Stones Unturned” giving way to the acoustic “The Silence at Last,” it’s abundantly clear that songcraft is where Sentinel Hill‘s collective heart lies. It’s a demo, so I wouldn’t necessarily expect it to be the final word on production method or overall tonality — though neither is lacking — but the roots are in quality, structured material, and while Lewis, drummer Rob Birkbeck and guitarist/vocalist Charlie Sad Eyes (both ex-Holding on to Nothing) might expand on what they do, Demo 2019 shows the foundation of whatever they’ll subsequently build, and it’s righteously solid.

As to what might be next for Sentinel Hill, well, they’re a band, so I’m gonna hazard the guess of, “writing songs?” Seems like a safe bet. But like a first album, second album, etc., the demo stage for a band only comes once, so they’re only right to make the most of it while they’re here with the video and hopefully turn some more heads onto what they’re doing with “Uninvited” and its three companion tracks on Demo 2019. To that end, I’m happy to host the clip below.

Please enjoy:

Sentinel Hill, “Uninvited” official video premiere

Connecticut based dirt rock band, SENTINEL HILL, release their brand new video, “Uninvited”, today… Off of their recently released 4 Song Demo, (available on CD and Digital Platforms)

The band also announces that they will be supporting CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, Crowbar, And Lo-Pan @ Fete Music Hall (Providence RI) on August 25th!

The track “Uninvited” also appears on the upcoming Salt Of The Earth Records CD Compilation “BLUE COLLAR HEAVY”.

The only unsigned band on the collection, SENTINEL HILL deliver BIG alongside seasoned heavy hitters like EARTHRIDE, ATALA, and CORTEZ.

Sentinel Hill, Demo 2019

Sentinel Hill on Bandcamp

Sentinel Hill on Thee Facebooks

Sentinel Hill on Instagram

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