Bedroom Rehab Corporation Finish Recording New Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 12th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

bedroom rehab corporation

A mastering process still lay ahead of them, but Connecticut duo Bedroom Rehab Corporation have completed recording their second album, Fortunate Some. Bassist/vocalist Adam Wujtewicz and drummer Meghan Killimade will release it sometime later this year either on their own or through a yet-to-be-announced label, and I guess that’s not really the news, since it’s not like they’d make the album and then not let anyone hear it — snatch it back all like “no way it’s ours!” — but the fact that they’re done tracking it is the part you’re supposed to focus on. Their 2013 debut, Red Over Red (review here), impressed with its variety and impact, but where the two-piece have continued to shine is on stage, so I’m interested to hear how they’ve translated their live ferocity to the upcoming Justin Pizzoferrato-recorded long-player.

They posted a couple studio updates during their time making Fortunate Some, the rest of which you can view at their website and the last of which follows here:

bedroom rehab corporation fortunate some

Studio Day 4

I couldn’t write about day 4 on day 4 because i was driving home and settling back in but as I listened to our reference mixes in my car last night or now on my home stereo I’m starting to realize what we’ve done. We spent all of day 4 mixing, re-amping and applying effects but mostly listening. When you’re critically listening like that you don’t get to take in the whole picture. Having now had time to do that it is apparent truly how far we have come since Red Over Red.

While we still love those songs and that album, Fortunate Some will be more than a step forward… it’s a short sprint ahead of Red Over Red. Needless to say Justin is a hugely responsible for this. The notes and suggestions he gave us as well as his ability to mic a room and mix sounds to make them more than a sum of their inputs has made this album so much bigger and better. Not only was he willing to let us get weird when we felt the need but he encouraged it and nurtured our weirdness and helped translate it to sound. So thank you Justin, you have once again made recording an enjoyable and enriching experience.

I’m not exactly sure what else to say here. The recording process is complete and mastering wil be taking place in around 3 weeks once again with Carl Saff. We still have to figure out art and things so don’t hold your breath but rest assured we are going to continue to work to get this album out to you. Be prepared for weirdness and some singing and a whole bunch of heavy and did I mention weirdness? Thanks for reading, keep your eyes peeled for more updates as they happen.

http://www.bedroomrehabcorp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/BedroomRehabCorporation
http://bedroomrehabcorporation.bandcamp.com/

Bedroom Rehab Corporation, Red Over Red (2013)

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Midnight Premiere: When the Deadbolt Breaks, “The Woods are Full of Killers”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 2nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

when the deadbolt breaks the woods are full of killers

I don’t know much of anything about anything, but if you’re out in the woods and you see the above aviator-plague-beak-robe-guy hanging out with a couple cronies, some in, some out of gas masks,  you have just entered the wrong woods. But then again, Connecticut trio When the Deadbolt Breaks could probably write a song about a laundromat and make it horrifying. Some bands just have a gift.

It’s midnight, and tonight is the release party for When the Deadbolt Breaks‘ video, “The Woods are Full of Killers,” which is the second clip from 2013’s Drifting Towards the Edge of the Earth. It’s a special night, with guitarist/vocalist Aaron Lewis pulling a sort of triple-duty in the malevolent drone-doomers Deadbolt and the more rock-minded Buzzard Canyon while also showing not only this video but a selection of his photography as well at The Reserve in Meriden, CT, which I’m not familiar with but surely isn’t prepared for the onslaught of volume it will have received by the time this goes live. The show also marks the live debut of new drummer Dumas, who’ll be entering the studio with Lewis and bassist Mike Parkyn later this year to record their next full-length.

“The Woods are Full of Killers” itself is a monster. A 13-minute onslaught of jet-black psychedelic drones and visceral sludge, it takes its time to unfold as one might expect, and works at a grueling pace to craft a threatening, chaotic swirl. The video switches back and forth between a narrative — bondage ritual in the woods, featuring our friend above — and performance footage, but the whole thing is made for lights-off horror, and whether you’re talking about the song or the video that accompanies, black and white save for bizarre washes of color, the whole affair is pretty warped.

Clearly somebody went into the wrong woods.

Details about the production and tonight’s release show — happening right now! — are below, and more stills will be arriving shortly at Lewis‘ photography website, Lounge708.com.

Enjoy:

When the Deadbolt Breaks, “The Woods are Full of Killers”

On January 2 When the Deadbolt Breaks will be releasing our 2nd video for from our 2013 album, “Drifting Towards the Edge of the Earth” for the “the woods are full of killers “. The concept behind this video came from a photo shoot idea I (Lounge SevenZeroEight Photography. www.lounge708.com), had been developing for quite some time. While we were shooting a video I also did a photo shoot with all the girls involved.

January 2 will also be a gallery showing as well as the live video viewing at The Reserve in Meriden CT. This gallery will include 3 large shoots that I’ve done over the past couple years but nobody has seen yet. I was waiting for the right time. The Blood Angel shoot, The Dark Deception shoot, and the shoot that coincides with the video.

“Woods Are Full Of Killers” the second video from CT’s When The Deadbolt Breaks; takes you on a mind bending journeydouble album “Drifting Towards the Edge of the Earth” debilitating doom/sludge metamorphosis by When the Deadbolt Breaks from the Ear One Productions CD release.

Written by Aaron Lewis.
Directed by Aaron Lewis and Charlie Winthal.
Edited by Aaron Lewis and Charlie Winthal.
Visual Effects by Charlie Winthal.

Purchase limited edition double CD digipack
http://earoneproductions.bigcartel.com
www.earoneproductions.com
www.facebook.com/earoneproductions

When the Deadbolt Breaks on Thee Facebooks

When the Deadbolt Breaks on Bandcamp

Lounge 708 Photography

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Curse the Son Announce New Bassist

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

It was a pretty right on 2014 for Connecticut three-piece Curse the Son, who saw a vinyl issue of their 2012 full-length, Psychache (review here) through New Jersey’s STB Records. I was fortunate enough to catch them at The Eye of the Stoned Goat 4 and they suitably killed it, so it’s something of a surprise to hear guitarist/vocalist Ron Vanacore and drummer Michael Petrucci parting ways with bass player Richard “Cheech” Weeden.

The band elucidates the situation below — no bad feelings and such — and announces their bringing on board Brendan Keefe to fill the low end role. In addition, they also note they’ve started writing for the follow-up to Psychache, which will be their third album overall, and hope to have a new release ready to go for this summer.

More on that to come, I’m sure. Till then:

curse the son

It is with deep regret that Curse the Son and Richard “Cheech” Weeden have agreed to part ways. This is a completely AMICABLE split. Cheech has decided to move on to bigger and brighter adventures in his life, but he will always be a close friend. Ron and Cheech started playing together in 1985 and have been in 7 different bands together over that time! We wish Cheech nothing but the best.

Brendan Keefe has taken over the bass duties for Curse the Son. Brendan is an old friend and a monster player, whose abilities will most certainly push the bands music to even greater heights. We would like you all to welcome Brendan to the family and send Cheech your well wishes.

The recording for the new record will begin in a few months and we hope to release it by July. We have been very busy writing the new songs and can’t wait to share them with all of you. Thanks to you all for your continued support. Happy 2015!

Ron Vanacore – Guitars & Vocals
Michael Petrucci – Drums
Brendan Keefe – Bass

https://www.facebook.com/cursetheson
http://cursetheson.bandcamp.com/

Curse the Son, Psychache (2012)

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Stone Titan Winter Tour Starts Jan. 3

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 31st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

With a steady supply of sludgy fuckall in tow, Connecticut trio Stone Titan will hit the road on Jan. 2 for an 11-show run beginning the next night in Richmond, Virginia. Having been fortunate enough to catch the band earlier this year, I have a pretty easy time recommending a set to anyone who needs a dose of alternately grueling, bludgeoning heavy fueled by a hooch and nihilism. Which is pretty much everybody, right? Because that’s the way the world works?

They recently announced the run with characteristic excitement at the prospect of touring once again:

stone titan

STONE TITAN WINTER TOUR

Hey all you stupid fucks. We leave for tour on Friday in case you forgot (you probably did). Come drink your feelings away with us.

The title explains most of this. USA and a lil’ taste of Canada.

We will be touring in support of no new record. We might bring some special goodies though. We will see.

A “*” indicates that you need to help us get a “gig”. As you can see, we need help.

1/2- Going to Richmond, VA a day early to get dumb.
1/3- Richmond, VA @ Cedar Haus
1/4- Knoxville, TN @ Poison Lawn w/ In La Kesh & Maker
1/5- Lexington, KY @ Al’s Bar
1/6- Columbia, MO @ TBA
1/7- Kansas City, MO @ Vandals w/ Ignis Gratis
1/8- Omaha, NE @ West Wing w/ Genocide Pact
1/9- Minneapolis, MN @ Secret Service w/ Larry Wish and His Guys, Weakwick
1/10- Winnipeg, MB @ Handsome Daughter w/Plague, Beast & Violent Gorge
1/11- Duluth, MN @ The Happy Hole w/ Agitate, Nopamine & Ire Wolves
1/12- Madison, WI @ The Wisco w/Satans Dealer, Blunt & No Question
1/13- Akron, OH @ Annabelle’s
1/14- Western MA @TBA

https://www.facebook.com/events/629925983784999/
https://www.facebook.com/stonetitan666
http://stonetitan.bandcamp.com/

Stone Titan, Peace, Love and Get the Fuck out of My Face (2013)

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When the Deadbolt Breaks Announce Video Release Show Jan. 2

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 10th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

when the deadbolt breaks

Supporting their massive 2013 release, Drifting Towards the Edge of the Earth, Connecticut doomers When the Deadbolt Breaks will have a new video out next month for the song “The Woods are Full of Killers” — if the band has a theme, it’s “threat” — and they’ve booked a release party to mark the occasion. They seem to have undergone another shift in lineup as well, as will happen, around guitarist, vocalist and founding songwriter Aaron Lewis, whose photography will be on show at the Jan. 2 show at The Reserve in Meriden, CT, at which Buzzard Canyon, another of his projects, will also play. Does that count as triple duty? Double duty with bands and a photo gallery? I think it might.

While we debate the finer points of what does or doesn’t qualify as “duty,” you can check out the info for the show below, as well as the song “The Woods are Full of Killers” itself, which is all droney and mindwarpy and creepy in that special way that When the Deadbolt Breaks do so well:

deadbolt flyer

On January 2 When the Deadbolt Breaks will be releasing our 2nd video for from our 2013 album, “Drifting Towards the Edge of the Earth” for the “the woods are full of killers “. The concept behind this video came from a photo shoot idea I (Lounge SevenZeroEight Photography. www.lounge708.com), had been developing for quite some time. While we were shooting a video I also did a photo shoot with all the girls involved.

January 2 will also be a gallery showing as well as the live video viewing at The Reserve in Meriden CT. This gallery will include 3 large shoots that I’ve done over the past couple years but nobody has seen yet. I was waiting for the right time. The Blood Angel shoot, The Dark Deception shoot, and the shoot that coincides with the video. After January 2, EarSplit Promotions, Ear One Productions and 313 Inc Artist Management Will release the video worldwide.

https://www.facebook.com/WhentheDeadboltBreaks
http://www.reverbnation.com/whenthedeadboltbreaks
https://www.facebook.com/BuzzardCanyon/

When the Deadbolt Breaks, “The Woods are Full of Killers”

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Duuude, Tapes! Entierro, Entierro EP

Posted in Duuude, Tapes! on September 30th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

entierro-tape-and-case

A five-track release of pro-produced, deeply aggressive beer metal, Entierro‘s Entierro EP has been pressed to tape in a limited edition of 50 copies. The tape itself is white, the J-card professionally printed as a one-side foldout, and the five songs included repeat on both sides. Download included. Both the material and its presentation are straightforward — the Connecticut outfit would much rather steamroll than impress with nuance — and as their first release under the moniker after forming as Treebeard in 2010, I’d expect no less from the Waterbury/New Haven double-guitar four-piece. Bassist/vocalist Christopher Taylor Baudette doubles in Nightbitch, but Entierro are a far more down-to-earth project, proffering dudely, metallic chugging and beer-raising groove with more than an edge of East Coast intensity.entierro-j-card-unfolded Baudette, guitarist/vocalist Javier Canales, guitarist Christopher Begnal and drummer John Rowold all feed into a burl that stays consistent throughout and only gets more prevalent as they push toward the thrashy closer “Fire in the Sky.”

Opening with the longest inclusion in the 5:11 “Cross to Bear” (immediate points), Entierro‘s Entierro starts out slow with a rolling, crisply produced riff around which the vocals work in a clean, metallic melody, the pace quickening in the second half to a chugging shuffle. As it should, “Cross to Bear” sets the tone. Guitars trade and combine leads, the tempo builds from slow to raucously fast, and Entierro cap with a big round of riffing, drawing back to the chorus and reinforcing a structure that — while not in doubt — shows they’re coming out of the gate with a good handle on their songwriting. The subsequent “Time Rider” provides the most memorable hook of the tape, and centerpiece “The Mist” opens up the groove and stomps out its rhythm with a sense of foreboding befitting its lyric. Again, Canales and Begnal impress on guitar, as they did in the early going of “Time Rider” as well, and though it seems like “Entierro/More Dead than Alive” is going to be somewhat calmer — the eponymous part of the song seems to be a bass solo from Baudette — it winds up a rager to set up the further aggro-ism entierro-tapeof “Fire in the Sky,” which rounds out as if to remind the listener Entierro were a metal band the whole time.

There was no doubt, whatever other heavy elements they worked in, but “Fire in the Sky” is sufficient payoff for the tension of the tracks preceding either way, its lyrics not bothering to look to tales of monsters or horror but focusing on the everyday terrors that exist on the current world stage. What they have to say about it is basically that the situation is grim and we’re all screwed, and it’s hard to fault them the perspective. Four years on from getting together, Entierro have a handle on their sound well enough, but I’d be interested to hear how it sounds live in comparison to the tape, since the clarity of production is such a big part of what makes it sound so particularly metal. I don’t take metal as a negative necessarily, I’m just curious if the band’s next outing will continue down that path or expand soundwise into more of a rock feel in kind with some of the earlier riffing on “Time Rider” or “The Mist.” I wouldn’t speculate, and more importantly for the time being, Entierro‘s Entierro intrigues enough that seems worth waiting to find out.

Entierro, Entierro (2014)

Entierro on Thee Facebooks

Entierro on Bandcamp

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On Wax: Curse the Son, Psychache

Posted in On Wax on August 14th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Nearly two years on from its initial self-issued CD version, Curse the Son‘s Psychache has gotten the release it deserves. In the capable hands of STB Records, the Connecticut trio’s Psychache (review here) has been pressed in three separate editions — a standard of 125 copies in gatefold with tri-color vinyl, an OBI strip edition limited to 100 with clear/black vinyl and a blood red splatter, a die hard edition limited to 75 with both the bone-grey and clear/black vinyl and the splatter, and a test press version — and as ever for the NJ-based imprint, the focus seems to be on reverence. Reverence for the music, for the form and, in this case, for an album that feels a long time in arriving.

From the opening riffs of “Goodbye Henry Anslinger,” Curse the Son‘s weedian roll finds a stylistic match in many other acts in all but quality. Guitarist/vocalist Ron Vanacore leads the charge with molasses tone — my stereo system never seems to have enough low end; Psychache is cavernous and warrants all it can get — and bassist Richard “Cheech” Weeden and drummer Mike Petrucci (now also of Lord Fowl) enact a stonerly nod that remains one of the best the last couple years have seen. As a reissue, I’m glad to have the chance to experience the album again, but as the first vinyl pressing, I also feel like I’m finally hearing Psychache the way the band intended, with the side split coming after the title-track and before the interlude “Valium For?,” creating a side A comprised of massive, catchy hooks in “Goodbye Henry Anslinger,” “Spider Stole the Weed” and “Psychache” and a side B that immediately delves curse-the-son-psychache-gatefold-leftfurther into the lysergic with “Valium For?” before slipping into the slower “Somatizator” and closing out with “The Negative Ion,” which opens ambient and then explodes into a thunderously plodding finish, Vanacore‘s voice a Sabbathian echo over the doomly churning.

At Stoner Hands of Doom XII in Sept. 2012 (review here), Vanacore handed me a CD in a plastic clamshell case of the mastered version of Psychache. I remember putting it on that night on my way back to where I was staying in Connecticut, and I’ve done the same many late nights since. Also afternoons, and pretty much whenever. This is an album I’ve lived with for two years, and aside from being gratified to see it get its due, I’m glad to have a new form in which to experience it. It’s one thing to know a record has two halves and another to actually have to get up and flip it over. That changes the personality of the listening experience, and after putting Psychache on so many times either with that CD or the digital curse-the-son-psychache-gatefold-rightversion — they’ve intermittently made it available as a free download on Bandcamp — it’s somewhat jarring to have the raucous end of the title-track not give way immediately to “Valium For?,” but it works. The languid shuffle of “Spider Stole the Weed” finds a counterpoint in the more severe declension of “Somatizator,” and “Goodbye Henry Anslinger” and “The Negative Ion” feel even more complementary as the bookends between which the course of the release takes place, the righteous stomp of the closer coming across that much sweeter with the needle returning afterwards, as if there’s nothing more to say.

For some who picked up or who will pick it up, the vinyl version is their first experience of Psychache, and that seems like an advantage, since clearly this is how Curse the Son have wantedcurse-the-son-psychache-back-cover it to be heard all along. From my perspective, I’ll say that there aren’t a lot of records that, two years later, I’m still going to have such appreciation for seeing them show up again — opening the gatefold and seeing the live shot of the band, it looks like a classic — but Psychache was something special that first night I put it on and it remains something special now. My only hope is that, with this out, VanacoreWeeden and Petrucci can get to work on their third album and be able to capitalize on what can only be considered the unmitigated success of Psychache. They remain an underrated band, but obviously the word is spreading, and if you’re fortunate enough to get a copy of the STB vinyl before it’s completely sold out, you’re likely to find it an endeavor worth revisiting.

Curse the Son, “Spider Stole the Weed” official video

Curse the Son on Thee Facebooks

Curse the Son on Bandcamp

STB Records webstore

STB Records on Thee Facebooks

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Sea of Bones Announce US Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 6th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Connecticut volume overlords Sea of Bones will be taking their destructive, sludged-out assault on the road beginning July 11. They will make their way from New England out to the West Coast and back over the course of the next month, complete with a stop in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on July 19 to play the Gilead Media Fest.

This is Sea of Bones‘ longest tour yet in support of their late-2013 full-length, The Earth Wants us Dead (review here), which was their first album in six years. Built on a foundation of massive tones and ground-shaking plod, the three-piece outfit hopefully won’t be traveling alone as they make their way across the US, because that’s an awful lot of cabinets for just three dudes to lug around.

They announced the tour on their Thee Facebooks thusly:

America, we are coming for you, this is a warning!

Fri 7-11 Boston, MA @ McGanns Irish Pub
Tue 7-15 Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class
Wed 7-16 Detroit, MI @ Yonka House
Thu 7-17 Covington, KY @ Three Kings Bar
Fri 7-18 Oshkosh, WI @ Gilead Fest (Attending)
Sat 7-19 Oshkosh, WI @ Gilead Fest 2014 (Playing)
Sun 7-20 Minneapolis, MN @ The Shit Biscuit (House)
Tue 7-22 Missoula, MT @ TBA
Wed 7-23 Spokane, WA @ Hop Spokane
Thu 7-24 Seattle, WA @ Highline Bar
Fri 7-25 Portland, OR @ Alleyway Bar
Sat 7-26 Arcata, CA @ The Alibi
Sun 7-27 San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern
Mon 7-28 Sacramento, CA @ The Press Club
Tue 7-29 Los Angeles, CA @ Five Star Bar DTLA
Wed 7-30 Las Vegas, NV @ Whiskey Funeral Co.
Fri 8-01 Denver, CO @ Mutiny Information Cafe
Sat 8-02 Lawrence, KS @ Jackpot Music Hall
Sun 8-03 St. Louis, MO @ Fubar Saint Louis
Mon 8-04 Indianapolis, IN @ The Bee Hive (House)
Tue 8-05 Lexington KY @ Al’s Sidecar
Wed 8-06 Columbus, OH @ Carabar Bar
Thu 8-07 Baltimore MD @ The Sidebar
Fri 8-08 Brooklyn, NYC @ Saint Vitus Bar
Sat 8-09 New Haven, CT @ Three Sheets New Haven

Poster by Ethan Lee McCarthy
http://leangreenohmswatts.tumblr.com/

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

Sea of Bones, The Earth Wants us Dead (2013)

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Vestal Claret Offer No Way Out in “The Stranger” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

You know how I know Vestal Claret enjoy making their listeners squirm? Because not only is their new video for the song “The Stranger,” which is among the most singularly perverse tracks from their new album, The Cult of Vestal Claret (discussed here), but the lyrics appear in the clip itself, overlaid with the video footage. There’s no getting around them, and the video only furthers the band’s well-honed atmosphere of deranged, sexualized violence.

“The Stranger” repurposes an episode of Showtime’s Masters of Horror to tell its tale of kidnapping and psychotic abuse, and yeah, put together with vocalist Phil Swanson‘s lyrics, it’s pretty fucked up and troubling. That’s what Vestal ClaretSwanson and multi-instrumentalist/recording engineer Simon Tuozzoli – do, and they’re good at it. There’s not much gore to speak of, but still, the cringes come easy as the clip plays out, complete with van, rag soaked in ether, and a blood-stained tub in the basement.

The entirety of The Cult of Vestal Claret is available now for streaming through Bandcamp, and you’ll find that on the player following Cruz del Sur Music‘s announcement of the video.

Here goes:

Vestal Claret, “The Stranger” official video

VESTAL CLARET releases new videoclip

America’s heavy rock doomsters VESTAL CLARET release today their first videoclip off “The Cult of Vestal Claret” their last release out on Cruz Del Sur Music early May 2014.

The song chosen is “The Stranger”, one of the most catchy yet disturbing tunes of the album; for the visual side we were inspired by the Masters of Horror’s episode “The Fair-Haired Child” which partially depict most of the upsetting lyrics of the track.

The release of “The Cult of The Vestal Claret” introduced the band to a wider audience thanks to a mature yet in-your-face song-writing. Some of the songs have been already released by Vestal Claret on limited edition split albums, but have been completely re-recorded for the occasion. Featuring the charming vocals of Phil Swanson, Vestal Claret’s sound has been enthusiastically described as “the jangling melancholy of Trouble, the epic stomp of Candlemass, the creative freedom of Sabbath”, but also raised some controversy in the media when some songs’ lyrics were described as “nauseating”.

You will not get a better chance to judge by yourself by checking the video clip above or listen to the entire album streaming on bandcamp!

Vestal Claret, The Cult of Vestal Claret (2014)

Vestal Claret on Thee Facebooks

Cruz del Sur Music

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GIVEAWAY: Win a Copy of Vestal Claret’s The Cult of Vestal Claret

Posted in Features on May 13th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Leave a comment on this post to be entered into a contest to win a CD of the new Vestal Claret full-length, The Cult of Vestal Claret, from Cruz del Sur. The album (discussed here) came out last week, and if you’re a fan of traditional doom, classic metal or any number of deviant behaviors, the latest work from the core duo of Phil Swanson (Hour of 13, etc.) and Simon Tuozzoli (King of Salem) — plus drummer Michael Petrucci (Curse the Son) — is one you’re going to want to check out. At very least with all the commitment that entering to win one for free requires, which is basically none.

You know the drill by now. If you want the disc, comment on this post and don’t forget to fill in your email address so I can get back to you and tell you you won. Goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway that your email doesn’t get shared with anybody because fuck that shady shit.

Here’s the full stream from Cruz del Sur‘s Bandcamp, followed by more info about the record. Don’t forget to enter!

The Cult of Vestal Claret introduces to the masses a name that thus far has been quite popular only amongst the die-hard fans of the doom metal scene. In fact, Swanson is well renowned for his work with HOUR OF 13 and SEAMOUNT. VESTAL CLARET’s pronounced BLACK SABBATH-inspiration together with Swanson’s signature doomy style perfectly blends with the band’s Traditional Heavy Metal’ influences, not to mention an accomplished drumming style, cutting guitars and catchy compositions. The morbid-themed lyrics walk hand in hand with the mesmerizing music: VESTAL CLARET celebrates the dark side of the human psyche, with abundant references to Occultism, Satanism and other disturbing imagery.

The compact disc edition includes newly recorded versions of four previously released tracks from the split with Ungod, and the long suite “Black Priest” (a different, re-recorded version from the one present on the split with Indian band ALBATROSS). The CD also contains two unreleased songs, a cover version of BLACK SABBATH’s “Who Are You?”, and an exclusive CD-only track titled “Great Goat God.” The vinyl LP includes two songs from the Ungod split, the two unreleased tracks, and an exclusive vinyl-only track titled “So Mote it Be.”

Track List:
CD
1. Never Say No
2. Three and Three Are Six
3. The Cult of the Vestal Claret
4. Great Goat God
5. The Demon and the Deceiver
6. Piece of Meat
7. Black Priest
8. Who Are You
9. The Stranger

VESTAL CLARET is:
Philip Swanson – Vocals
Simon Tuozzoli – Bass, Guitar, Organ, Additional Voice
(Drums by Michael Petrucci)

Contest ends Monday, May 19. Good luck!

Vestal Claret on Thee Facebooks

Cruz del Sur Music

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Vestal Claret Stream “The Stranger” from The Cult of Vestal Claret

Posted in audiObelisk on April 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

There are many lyricists who delve into occult themes, devil-worship, carnal violence, etc., in their work, but I can’t think of anyone who pushes the boundaries quite as much as Phil Swanson. Noted for his tenures in Hour of 13 and Seamount — as well as the underappreciated Upwards of Endtime, Earthlord and a slew of others — the Connecticut-based singer seems most at home reveling in the taboo, testing and periodically crossing the line between decency and the profane. It’s not the cartoon chainsawing of death metal; there’s something more cerebral and corrupted about his approach. In Vestal Claret, he partners with multi-instrumentalist/engineer Simon Tuozzoli, also of King of Salem, and he seems to have found an avenue for his darkest output yet.

Vestal Claret‘s story is complicated, but in 2013, the three-piece of Swanson, Tuozzoli and drummer Michael Petrucci (also of King of Salem and Curse the Son) released their full-length debut, Bloodbath (review here), after putting the same record out on vinyl with various guests singing in 2011. Now signed to Cruz del Sur Music, the follow-up, The Cult of Vestal Claret, arrives quickly on the heels of its predecessor and furthers the duo’s (Petrucci played drums, but is no longer listed as a permanent member) fetish for psychotic explorations and traditional Sabbathian metal, tracks like “Never Say No Again,” “Piece of Meat,” the startlingly progressive 16-minute “Black Priest” and closer “The Stranger” churning with malevolent riffs, classically-styled lead work and of course Swanson‘s trademark bite.

Handling guitar, bass, organ and backing vocals in addition to the recording, Tuozzoli manages to evoke a full-band feel across The Cult of Vestal Claret‘s nine-song course (the LP has a different tracklisting than the CD, with sundry bonus cuts for each), boldly taking on Black Sabbath‘s “Who are You?” and matching the swing and pace of the original before letting loose one final creep-out with “The Stranger.” The latter track begins acoustically — there are unplugged moments throughout, feeding into the classic metal atmosphere — before moving into one of the record’s most righteous riffs, Swanson‘s vocals arriving with an immediate threat on which the song itself seems to make good, only getting more twisted as it progresses.

They are not looking to sicken simply for shock value, and there is an underlying intelligence and subtlety to what Vestal Claret does, so even if they offend, they’re offending with art and forcing the listener to confront what it is about their material that proves so disturbing. Take a listen to “The Stranger” on the player below and see where you stand:

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Vestal Claret release The Cult of Vestal Claret on May 6 via Cruz del Sur. More info below, courtesy of the PR wire:

U.S. Occult Heavy Metallers VESTAL CLARET will release The Cult of Vestal Claret through Cruz del Sur Music on May 6 in North America. The album will be available on CD and vinyl LP formats; each with different track listings.

The compact disc edition includes newly recorded versions of four previously released tracks from the split with Ungod, and the long suite “Black Priest” (a different, re-recorded version from the one present on the split with Indian band ALBATROSS). The CD also contains two unreleased songs, a cover version of BLACK SABBATH’s “Who Are You?”, and an exclusive CD-only track titled “Great Goat God.” The vinyl LP includes two songs from the Ungod split, the two unreleased tracks, and an exclusive vinyl-only track titled “So Mote it Be.”

Track List
CD
1. Never Say No Again
2. Three and Three Are Six
3. The Cult of the Vestal
4. Great Goat God
5. The Demon and the Deceiver
6. Piece of Meat
7. Black Priest
8. Who Are You
9. The Stranger

Vinyl LP
1. Never Say No Again
2. Three and Three Are Six
3. The Cult of the Vestal
4. The Stranger
5. So Mote it Be
6. Black Priest

Vestal Claret on Thee Facebooks

Cruz del Sur Music

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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:

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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.

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