Live Review: Corrosion of Conformity and Red Fang in Worcester, Massachusetts, Feb. 1, 2018

Posted in Reviews on February 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

corrosion of conformity 1 (Photo JJ Koczan)

Before the four-piece launched into ‘Vote with a Bullet,’ Corrosion of Conformity frontman Pepper Keenan introduced the song by saying they wrote it a long time ago but that it had come back around full-circle — an obvious reference to political dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs; elected officials, Donald Trump and so on — and the general frustration and disaffection that dissatisfaction engenders. He’s right though. Considering that song, which appeared on 1991’s Blind and was the first track for which Keenan took on a lead-vocalist role in addition to playing guitar, was written during the post-Reagan Bush years, Gulf War I and all that, not much has changed. Oh, except now they’re talking about strategically deploying a modernized and rebuilt nuclear arsenal. “Forgive and forget? Fuck no. Next time I’m voting with an atom bomb.”

It had been at least 12 years and more like 15 since the last time I was at the Palladium for a show. That part of Worcester — which everyone who played had clearly long since been schooled to pronounce as “wooster” — hadn’t changed much. Some luxury commuter condos, or were they dorms, and that’s about it. The bill was three bands, with Portland, Oregon, exports Red Fang opening, C.O.C. in the middle supporting their recently-issued No Cross No Crown (review here) long-player on Nuclear Blast, and Zakk Wylde‘s Black Label Society as the headliner, pulling in a drunken Thursday night Massachusetts crowd populated by Sam Black Church and Pantera t-shirts very much of a dudely persuasion. My general goal for that kind of thing is not to get punched. I didn’t get punched — so, win.

The line was around the building to get in before Red Fang went on, and I could see their U-Haul and trailer where they’d loaded in their gear, which only emphasized to me how hard those dudes have worked on the road and for how long. We’re almost a decade removed from their 2009 self-titled, and it’s been seven years since they made their debut on Relapse with 2011’s Murder the Mountains (review here), from which “Wires” and “Number Thirteen” were set highlights, and they’re still slogging it out in a work van and a U-Haul. I have no doubt they have their processes and routines nailed down at this point, but still, the sheer amount of energy they’ve put in made their stage presence all the more impressive as they started off the show, with John Sherman pounding away on drums behind bassist/vocalist Aaron Beam front and center, flanked on one side by guitarist David Sullivan and the other by guitarist/vocalist Maurice Bryan Giles.

Particularly for this tour, a lot of the focus is on frontmen, and Pepper Keenan and Zakk Wylde — surrounded by massively talented individuals as they are — are significantly charismatic comparison points, but in addition to being part of a different generation, Red Fang have their own style of presentation, more geared to what the whole band brings than one individual as a focal point. Part of that is Giles and Beam sharing vocals as effectively as they do, part of it is Sullivan being so dug into and immersed in what he’s doing on guitar and part of it is how much fun Sherman looks like he’s having while he’s playing, but as they ran through “Prehistoric Dog” at the end of the set, the impression was prevalent all the same: they’re very much a complete group, and they did not at all become one by happenstance. Red Fang‘s is a professionalism earned the hard way: in that van down around the side of the building outside the Palladium.

Yes, C.O.C. were selling signed copies of No Cross No Crown at $20 a pop, and yes, I bought one. Sorry, I know it’s like nine bucks on Amazon, but screw it, I’ve only listened to the band since I was 11; I can shell out a little extra for the signatures. And sure enough, the front cover in silver marker has the markings of Keenan, bass hero Mike Dean, guitarist Woody Weatherman and drummer Reed Mullin, the latter of whom was absent from the show owing reportedly to a surgery-requiring knee surgery to be repaired, and filling in was drum tech Jon Green, also currently tenured in long-running Scottish folk rockers The Waterboys.

They kept the lights low on him and low in general, but the dude wailed and especially in a late jam as they played through “Clean My Wounds,” showed himself to be more than capable of holding down the fort until Mullin recovers. I happened to be standing by the table when they played and when I asked the person selling C.O.C.‘s merch who it was, she said Mullin‘s knee was, “the size of a grapefruit.” Obviously all the best to him for a speedy recovery.

It was a relatively quick set, just 10 songs: “Bottom Feeder (El Que Come Abajo)” leading into “The Luddite,” which was the only cut aired from the new album, “Seven Days” from 1994’s Deliverance (discussed here), the aforementioned “Vote with a Bullet,” which appeared on 1991’s transitional offering Blind, “Long Whip, Big America” from 1996’s Wiseblood (discussed here), “Who’s Got the Fire” and “13 Angels” from 2000’s America’s Volume Dealer, and a closing salvo of the chug-nodding “Broken Man,” “Albatross” and “Clean My Wounds,” all from Deliverance.

Hard to argue with the premise — Clearly they know their crowd — but I don’t think there would’ve been a revolt of boozed-up Massholes had a song like “Cast the First Stone” or “Wolf Named Crow” — the other front-loaded singles from No Cross No Crown past “The Luddite” — been included, let alone something like “Paranoid Opioid” from 2005’s In the Arms of God. But it wasn’t C.O.C.‘s show, ultimately, and one assumes time was a factor. Judging from all the various BLS logo paraphernalia adorned on t-shirts, bandannas, tattoos, etc., on the audience, a substantial portion of the room was there to see the headliner.

I was not, frankly. Nothing necessarily against Black Label Society — they have their thing, they do it, and I certainly had my time as a fan circa 1919 Eternal — but this was my first night out since the birth of my son three months ago and I was new-parent-anxious to get back home. After C.O.C. played, a weekday morning DJ from local rock radio institution WAAF got on stage to plug the headliner set to come and to thank any troops in the crowd for their service, lest the evening go untinged by jingoism. People cheered as they will.

After a while, Wylde and company dropped their huge banner from the front of the stage, lit up the lights and smoke release that would’ve been fire pre-The Station and launched into “Genocide Junkies” and “Funeral Bell,” the band — Wylde, bassist John DeServio, guitarist Dario Lorina and drummer Jeff Fabb — all spot-on in pro presentation, side-to-side headbanging, raising picks in the air as though each pinch harmonic was an offering to the gods of metal themselves, half-Viking, half-biker, all dude. The crowd ate it up like riff-driven clam chowder with Maine lobster still to come.

On my way out, one of the security personnel took the time to tell me to look both ways while I crossed the empty street, which I did. I then heard her take credit for saving my life to one of her coworkers. I guess it was that kind of night at the office. Anyway, I’d just seen Red Fang and C.O.C. put on killer sets one after the other, and I had a thermos of coffee waiting for me in the car for the ride home, so the effort was appreciated.

Thanks for reading. Click any of the images above to see larger versions.

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Corrosion of Conformity Post “The Luddite” Video; US Tour on Now

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

corrosion of conformity dean karr

So not that I’m awash in extra minutes-per-day or anything like that, but among the various ideas for writing projects kicking around my head lately has been a side-blog that theoretically would be called ‘Doomestic Living,’ which would basically serve as a chronicle for my adventures in my still-new position as a stay-at-home dad, a dude who likes music, and someone with assorted mental health issues. Sounds pretty indulgent, right? Don’t worry, I’m sure self-critique would be a huge factor. To wit, C.O.C. have a new video for “The Luddite” from their new record, No Cross No Crown (review here), and here’s how I might feature it as a post in said context:

The Patient Mrs. was out at physical therapy the other night, still recovering more than two months after her emergency C-section, learning which of her muscles medical professionals fucked up and how best to make them work again, etc. Pretty much every time she leaves the house these days and I’m home alone with The Pecan, I take it as a preview of what life will be like when she goes back to work. This was no exception.

He was fussy; had missed a nap. There was a bottle on the counter, but he’s still not taking a bottle from me, so basically when he gets hungry it’s a fight. Every time. He doesn’t want it. Apparently The Patient Mrs. has magic boobs (something I’ve always suspected) that require no effort on The Pecan’s part to extract milk from, so when he actually has to engage a sucking action on the nipple of a bottle, he gets pissed about it. I get it. The “There’s an easier way to do this and I prefer that” instinct. Very human.

I was waiting for PBS Newshour to come on and dicking around through YouTube on the tv in the living room. He was in his chair, sort of proto-kvetching. Grunting. He grunts a lot; some in distress, some in conversation. Grunty Pecan. I’d gotten the press release about the new Corrosion of Conformity video for “The Luddite” from Nuclear Blast earlier in the day, but as it came up in my recommendations, I decided to check it out. Good track as I knew from hearing the album, so what the hell.

The video’s pretty standard fare: mostly classic heavy rock fire and fury updated with digital presentation. Mike Dean looks badass as ever holding down the business of groove on bass while Pepper Keenan handles frontman duties, Woody Weatherman and Reed Mullin presences unto themselves in their righteousness. The kind of thing that, if there were a Headbanger’s Ball and they let me host it, you’d most definitely see on Headbanger’s Ball. Nowadays, the internet. Fair enough. Good showcase for the track, at very least.

The Pecan was fucking mesmerized. In his two-plus months of life, I don’t think I’ve seen his attention so utterly and singularly wrapt by anything. Not even eating or pooping, and to-date, those have been his primary activities. And it wasn’t his first exposure either to television or to music videos either. C.O.C. held that baby’s gaze like nothing has yet.

I wound up watching him watching the video as much as I watched the video itself — overcome by a strange mixture of worry about screen-time exposure (the latest science says it’s okay, but science is malleable) and pride at the thought that this baby might have such killer taste innate to his being as to really dig a track like “The Luddite,” which is among the closest points C.O.C. hit on their new record to their classic mid-’90s sound.

Afterwards, I put on Sabbath doing “Children of the Grave” at Cali Jam 1974 and he dug that too. For a couple minutes there, things were looking up in terms of parenting potential. Fortunately, The Patient Mrs. got back before he got too hungry.

Yeah, something like that. C.O.C.‘s No Cross No Crown is out now on Nuclear Blast. Please find the video for “The Luddite” below, followed by the band’s current/ongoing tour dates, courtesy of the PR wire, and enjoy:

Corrosion of Conformity, “The Luddite” official video

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY is currently in the midst of a massive North American live takeover supporting Black Label Society. The tour kicked off in Denver, Colorado December 27th and will wind its way through nearly four dozen cities upon its conclusion on February 27th. Additional support is being provided by Eyehategod and Red Fang on select shows. See all confirmed dates below.

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY w/ Black Label Society, Eyehategod (12/29 – 1/20; 2/11 – 2/27), Red Fang (1/26 – 2/09):
1/17/2018 House Of Blues – New Orleans, LA ^
1/18/2018 Marathon Music Works – Nashville, TN ^
1/19/2018 Bogart’s – Cincinnati, OH ^
1/20/2018 Center Stage – Atlanta, GA ^
1/26/2018 Jannus Live – St. Petersburg, FL *
1/27/2018 House Of Blues – Myrtle Beach, SC *
1/28/2018 The Ritz – Raleigh, NC *
1/29/2018 The Fillmore Silver Spring – Silver Spring, MD *
1/31/2018 PlayStation Theater – New York, NY *
2/01/2018 The Palladium – Worcester, MA *
2/02/2018 Aura – Portland, ME *
2/03/2018 Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA *
2/05/2018 Town Ballroom – Buffalo, NY *
2/06/2018 The Goodyear Theater at East End – Akron, OH *
2/07/2018 Stage AE – Pittsburgh, PA *
2/08/2018 Eagles Ballroom Club Stage – Milwaukee, WI *
2/09/2018 Myth Live – St. Paul, MN *
2/11/2018 O’Brians Event Centre – Saskatoon, SK ^
2/12/2018 The Ranch Roadhouse – Edmonton, AB ^
2/14/2018 Commodore Ballroom – Vancouver, BC ^
2/16/2018 Bowes Event Center at Revolution Place – Grande Prairie, AB ^
2/17/2018 MacEwan Hall – Calgary, AB ^
2/19/2018 Showbox SoDo – Seattle, W ^
2/20/2018 Roseland Theater – Portland, OR ^
2/21/2018 Ace Of Spades – Sacramento, CA ^
2/23/2018 House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV ^
2/24/2018 The Marquee – Tempe, AZ ^
2/25/2018 Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM ^
2/27/2018 The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA ^
^ w/ Eyehategod
* w/ Red Fang

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY is:
Pepper Keenan – vocals, guitar
Woodroe Weatherman – guitar
Mike Dean – bass, vocals
Reed Mullin – drums, vocals

Corrosion of Conformity website

Corrosion of Conformity on Thee Facebooks

Corrosion of Conformity on Twitter

Nuclear Blast website

Nuclear Blast on Thee Facebooks

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Corrosion of Conformity, No Cross No Crown: Casting Stones

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

corrosion of conformity no cross no crown

More than 35 years on from their beginning, Raleigh, North Carolina’s Corrosion of Conformity are a band like none other. Affectionately abbreviated as C.O.C., in their long career, they’ve moved from East Coast hardcore punk and thrash to becoming widely influential innovators of Southern metal and heavy rock, releasing generation-defining albums like 1994’s Deliverance (discussed here) and 1996’s Wiseblood (discussed here) after having already made a mark early on with rawer offerings like 1984’s Eye for an Eye debut and the next year’s Animosity.

Since his arrival in the band alongside founders Mike Dean (bass/vocals), Woody Weatherman (guitar/backing vocals) and Reed Mullin (drums/backing vocals) for 1991’s transitional outlier Blind, Pepper Keenan has become a key presence in C.O.C.. He played guitar on Blind and handled vocal duties for the first time on the track “Vote with a Bullet,” but would take the reins as frontman by the time Deliverance came out and see the band through their defining commercial statement and ascent to a point of influence for a generation of heavy rock. Keenan‘s tenure as guitarist/vocalist continued through Wiseblood, the underrated 2000 outing America’s Volume Dealer — often maligned as a cash-grab for its smooth production, but actually some of the tightest songwriting the band has ever done — and 2005’s In the Arms of God before his duties as a member of the Southern heavy supergroup Down took priority.

Dean, Weatherman and Mullin — the last of whom did not play on In the Arms of God — eventually grew restless and pressed on, issuing a self-titled (review here) in 2012 and an also-underrated follow-up, IX (review here), as a three-piece that both found them freer to touch on their punk roots and resulted in a fascinating summation of the band’s tenure as a whole. As Down dwindled, Keenan returned to the fold circa 2014, and the once-again-foursome signed to Nuclear Blast for the release of No Cross No Crown, their first album in this incarnation in some 18 years and a work that many likely doubted would ever come to fruition.

Frankly, that it exists is enough to make it one of 2018’s most pivotal full-lengths. No Cross No Crown is the album for which many C.O.C. fans have clamored for years, written in the studio by the band with longtime producer John Custer at the helm and very, very much aware of what its listenership wants in terms of speaking directly in sound and style to the Deliverance/Wiseblood era of post-Sabbath groovemaking and harsher, Southern-stylized edge. C.O.C. pioneered this aesthetic, and after stepping away from it for more than a decade, songs like “Cast the First Stone,” “Forgive Me,” “Wolf Named Crow” and the six-minute chug-nodder “A Quest to Believe (A Call to the Void)” find it still fits them easily and smoothly.

With a few runthroughs, “The Luddite,” “Cast the First Stone,” the more patiently bluesy “Nothing Left to Say” and the signature boogie “Little Man” feel less like they’re playing to form than rediscovering it, and though No Cross No Crown unquestionably hearkens to the CD era with a bordering-on-unmanageable 15-track/57-minute runtime, a series of interludes in the intro “Novus Deus,” “No Cross,” “Maitre’s Diem,” “Sacred Isolation” and, arguably, the atmospherically-minded four-minute title-track that separates “E.L.M.” and “A Quest to Believe (A Call to the Void)” ensure that the band’s persistent hooks and unflinching craftsmanship boasts due attention-holding variety as well.

corrosion of conformity dean karr

Again, it’s very much a record that knows the stakes and knows the audience to which it is communicating. That comes through in the balance of the production as much as the songwriting, and while in part as a result of the style in which it’s working it doesn’t have the same sense of urgency driving it as did the IX or Corrosion of Conformity LPs issued by the Keenan-less trio version of the band, there’s no question that in performance and chemistry, this group stands apart in their level of execution in a way that makes it extraordinarily difficult to hold knowing what they want to do and who they want to be as a band against them.

No doubt that any outfit with the sheer reach of audience C.O.C. can claim — global, generation-spanning, etc. — will have their backers and their detractors, and certainly much more than when America’s Volume Dealer surfaced, the scope of how the conversation between them has changed. As someone who’s been a fan of the band since Blind, I’ll say the truth of No Cross No Crown ultimately seems to lie somewhere in between.

It is a reunion album. It’s their, “okay, now we’re back together and we need a record” record. By the time they get down to the final movement of “No Cross No Crown,” “A Quest to Believe (A Call to the Void)” and “Son and Daughter,” the pervasive feeling is that statement has been made and they’ve reestablished their footing on the ground that was there waiting for them all these years, but their return to it is still unquestionably one of the most welcome underground heavy events of the decade, and their delivery is simply undeniable.

From “Novus Deus” and “The Luddite” onward, No Cross No Crown is pro-shop through and through, and one can see that even in the structure of the tracklisting, which presents the material in batches of an interlude, two tracks, an interlude, two tracks, interlude, two tracks, etc. throughout. Each section proves that Corrosion of Conformity, even if they’re in the process of shaking the rust off working together creatively, have more to say than one could have reasonably asked or expected, and the album succeeds in its goal of manifesting the spirit and drive of Deliverance and Wiseblood without simply aping a sound more than 20 years gone, as the energy and thrust of “Cast the First Stone” and the swaggering catchiness of “Old Disaster” alike prove.

The prospect of a new C.O.C. record with the KeenanDeanWeatherman and Mullin lineup has been hanging over the head of their many followers since they first got back together to play live several years ago — and truthfully, much longer than that — and if No Cross No Crown did have anything to prove at all, it was that this band could still do this thing. The simple answer is they can, and where 35-plus years from getting started, most artists still active have long since slid into a mediocrity of form in playing to what’s expected of them, C.O.C. here sound reinvigorated and offer a reminder to all willing to hear it of a big part of what made them who they are in the first place. It might need repeat listens to sink in for some, but earns them readily and grows into a richer experience each time through in such a way that to call it anything less than triumphant would be unfair.

Now, will there be another?

Corrosion of Conformity, “Wolf Named Crow” official video

Corrosion of Conformity, “Cast the First Stone”

Corrosion of Conformity website

Corrosion of Conformity on Thee Facebooks

Corrosion of Conformity on Twitter

Nuclear Blast website

Nuclear Blast on Thee Facebooks

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Corrosion of Conformity Announce No Cross No Crown Due Jan. 12; First Single Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Well, here’s your most anticipated album for 2018. North Carolinian heavy rock legends Corrosion of Conformity will release their first record to feature guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan since 2005’s In the Arms of God on Jan. 12. Titled No Cross No Crown, it will be their first offering for Nuclear Blast Records. Preorders are available now. You don’t need me to tell you place one.

C.O.C. have been keeping fans regularly up to date on the studio progress for their new full-length for a while now. Recorded by John Custer, whose tenure helming their outings goes back decades at this point, No Cross No Crown brings together Keenan, bassist/vocalist Mike Dean, guitarist Woodroe Weatherman and drummer Reed Mullin for the first time since 2000’s America’s Volume Dealer, and though Dean, Weatherman and Mullin had two LPs out as a trio in 2014’s IX (review here) and a 2012 self-titled (review here), their reunion with Keenan and subsequent touring and fest appearances has only stoked the fire of hope for a new four-piece album over the last couple years.

Looks like we’ll finally get there. Can’t wait. First single is streaming now. It’s called “Cast the First Stone.” It’s at the bottom of the post. Listen to it.

Just off the PR wire:

corrosion of conformity no cross no crown

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY To Release No Cross No Crown Full-Length January 12th, 2018 Via Nuclear Blast Entertainment

Album Marks First Recording With Vocalist/Guitarist Pepper Keenan In Over A Decade; Preorder Bundles Available

Preorder No Cross No Crown at THIS LOCATION

Whenever CORROSION OF CONFORMITY releases a new album, folks take notice. But their latest is a true event. It’s been a dozen years since CORROSION OF CONFORMITY recorded new material with vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan at the helm. In that time, there have been rumors, whispers, and outright allegations that the legendary Southern rock outfit would reunite to blow the doors off the whole damn scene again. In 2014, after nearly a straight decade traversing the globe as a guitarist with New Orleans supergroup Down, Keenan reconnected with the core CORROSION OF CONFORMITY trio of Woody Weatherman, Mike Dean, and Reed Mullin to hit the road hard. “Reed called me and mentioned maybe playing a couple shows,” Keenan recalls. “I said, ‘Let’s just go to Europe and see if it works.’ So we went to Europe and then ended up going back four times in one year… We toured for a year and then started tracking about ten or eleven months ago.”

And now, the long wait is over. CORROSION OF CONFORMITY returns with No Cross No Crown — an album that somehow sounds as though no time has passed between 2005’s In The Arms Of God and today.

Recording in North Carolina with longtime producer John Custer, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY cut No Cross No Crown in about forty days over the course of a year. “We took our time and didn’t put any pressure on ourselves,” Keenan says. “I’d go up from New Orleans and we’d do four or five days at a time, just hacking away at it. It was fun because we did it like a demo, but in a studio. We were writing and putting it on tape at the same time. We took what parts we thought were great from the old days and weren’t scared to go backwards. It kinda wrote itself that way.”

Some of these new jams sound like could’ve easily been on Wiseblood or Deliverance, two of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY’s most revered records. On No Cross No Crown, beefy Southern stompers like “The Luddite,” “Little Man,” and “Forgive Me” are interspersed with melancholy guitar interludes like “No Cross,” “Matre’s Diem,” and “Sacred Isolation” — just like Sabbath used to do in the ’70s. “We started doing that on Deliverance,” Keenan points out. “My theory on that is that if you’re trying to make a record flow, you need to break it up a little. When you need a breather, write an interlude. I like writing those mellow pieces just to space things out and make the next thing come in heavier.”

The album’s iconic title comes from a recent tour stop in England. “We were playing this old church from like the 1500s that had been turned into a performing arts center,” Keenan recalls. “The dressing room had stained glass windows and one of them showed this poor fella being persecuted. Underneath it said, ‘no cross no crown.’ So I just took that idea. We’re not trying to be on a soapbox, but we used it as a catalyst to write songs around.”

Which is to say that No Cross No Crown has a lot less to do with politics or religion than its title implies. “I think everyone needs to get away from that mindset in general,” Keenan offers. “It just seems to be a mess out there nowadays. We need to get back to being humans and taking care of each other and simple things like that. For us, the terminology ‘no cross no crown’ is a theme. It’s mentioned in like three songs throughout the album. We just weaved it through as we went.”

No Cross No Crown stands as irrefutable proof of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY’s ability to overcome. “CORROSION OF CONFORMITY and the prior records I’ve done with them didn’t just go away,” Keenan observes. “It’s an honor to be back out there and have an opportunity to do it again in a real way and not some washed-up reunion thing. Even before we wrote the record, we were out there for a year seeing there was a demand for it and that there was a void that we could fill. That’s been CORROSION OF CONFORMITY’s deal from day one. We’re not chasing anybody around. We’re not gonna worry about what the new trends are. CORROSION OF CONFORMITY is CORROSION OF CONFORMITY.”

No Cross No Crown will be released via Nuclear Blast Entertainment worldwide on January 12th, 2018 on CD, digital, vinyl, and cassette formats. Various preorder bundles are currently available at THIS LOCATION.

No Cross No Crown Track Listing:
1. Novus Deus
2. The Luddite
3. Cast The First Stone
4. No Cross
5. Wolf Named Crow
6. Little Man
7. Matre’s Diem
8. Forgive Me
9. Nothing Left To Say
10. Sacred Isolation
11. Old Disaster
12. E.L.M.
13. No Cross No Crown
14. A Quest To Believe (A Call To The Void)
15. Son And Daughter

In advance of the release of No Cross No Crown, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY will join Black Label Society for a mammoth North American live takeover. The tour begins December 27th, 2017 in Denver, Colorado and will wind its way through nearly four dozen cities, the journey coming to a close February 27th, 2018. Additional support will be provided by Eyehategod and Red Fang on select shows. See all confirmed dates below.

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY w/ Black Label Society, Eyehategod (12/29 – 1/20; 2/11 – 2/27), Red Fang (1/26 – 2/9):
12/27/2017 Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO
12/29/2017 Anthem at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Sioux City, IA ^
12/30/2017 Uptown Theater – Kansas City, MO ^
12/31/2017 Pop’s Nightclub – Sauget, IL^
1/02/2018 Sokol Auditorium – Omaha, NE^
1/03/2018 House Of Blues – Chicago, IL ^
1/04/2018 Egyptian Room at Old National Centre – Indianapolis, IN ^
1/05/2018 The Fillmore Detroit – Detroit, MI ^
1/07/2018 Upstate Concert Hall – Clifton Park, NY ^
1/08/2018 M Telus – Montreal, QC ^
1/09/2018 Rebel – Toronto, ON ^
1/10/2018 20 Monroe Live – Grand Rapids, MI ^
1/12/2018 Diamond Ballroom – Oklahoma City, OK ^
1/13/2018 Bomb Factory – Dallas, TX ^
1/14/2018 Emo’s – Austin, TX ^
1/15/2018 House Of Blues – Houston, TX ^
1/17/2018 House Of Blues – New Orleans, LA ^
1/18/2018 Marathon Music Works – Nashville, TN ^
1/19/2018 Bogart’s – Cincinnati, OH ^
1/20/2018 Center Stage – Atlanta, GA ^
1/26/2018 Jannus Live – St. Petersburg, FL *
1/27/2018 House Of Blues – Myrtle Beach, SC *
1/28/2018 The Ritz – Raleigh, NC *
1/29/2018 The Fillmore Silver Spring – Silver Spring, MD *
1/31/2018 PlayStation Theater – New York, NY *
2/01/2018 The Palladium – Worcester, MA *
2/02/2018 Aura – Portland, ME *
2/03/2018 Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA *
2/05/2018 Town Ballroom – Buffalo, NY *
2/06/2018 The Goodyear Theater at East End – Akron, OH *
2/07/2018 Stage AE – Pittsburgh, PA *
2/08/2018 Eagles Ballroom Club Stage – Milwaukee, WI *
2/09/2018 Myth Live – St. Paul, MN *
2/11/2018 O’Brians Event Centre – Saskatoon, SK ^
2/12/2018 The Ranch Roadhouse – Edmonton, AB ^
2/14/2018 Commodore Ballroom – Vancouver, BC ^
2/16/2018 Bowes Event Center at Revolution Place – Grande Prairie, AB ^
2/17/2018 MacEwan Hall – Calgary, AB ^
2/19/2018 Showbox SoDo – Seattle, W ^
2/20/2018 Roseland Theater – Portland, OR ^
2/21/2018 Ace Of Spades – Sacramento, CA ^
2/23/2018 House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV ^
2/24/2018 The Marquee – Tempe, AZ ^
2/25/2018 Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM ^
2/27/2018 The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA ^
^ Dates With Eyehategod
* Dates with Red Fang

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY is:
Pepper Keenan – vocals, guitar
Woodroe Weatherman – guitar
Mike Dean – bass, vocals
Reed Mullin – drums, vocals

http://www.coc.com
http://www.facebook.com/corrosionofconformity
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Corrosion of Conformity, “Cast the First Stone”

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Desert Survival: How to Do Psycho Las Vegas on a Budget

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

psycho las vegas 2017 banner

Hey, if you’re going to go broke, let’s face it: You’re not likely to run into many causes as worthy as the lineup culled together for Psycho Las Vegas. It ain’t cheap — any event that advertises a payment plan obviously knows it’s a considerable ask — but whether you’re going to see Slo Burn for their only US gig or King Diamond doing Abigail or Mulatu Astatke because going to see Mulatu Astatke is a life-event, the arguments in favor are plentiful and convincing. Whatever else you want to say, Psycho Las Vegas is the first annually-held American festival with a focus on heavy and underground rock to really establish itself as world class.

That in itself is a reason to support the cause, whether it’s through a day ticket or a pass for the entire weekend, but it doesn’t necessarily lesson the expense of making the trip or staying in one of the US’ most lucrative tourist traps, let alone things like band merchandise, meals and the occasional adult beverage if you’re inclined to have one. The thought of seeing NeurosisSleep and Carcass share a stage over the course of a weekend or watching Conan, the new trio-incarnation of Pentagram and Yawning Man poolside or from the balcony of a room in the Casino Tower is incredible, and after hearing stories from those who undertook the journey in 2016 or attended the prior Psycho California in 2015, the idea wants nothing for appeal. Fiscal issues can be a bummer. By the time August rolls around, I’ll have been out of paid work for two months. I know how it goes.

And I’m hardly the most responsible person when it comes to money, but the truth of the matter is there are ways to mitigate costs for travel, lodging and other concerns, and if the thing preventing you from picking up a ticket to the show has been the seeming impossibility of affording a stay at the Hard Rock or of finding a cheap-enough flight to get there, maybe it’s worth trying to shift finances around to make it happen. Music is important, and when debt collectors are spamming your phone it’s hard to think about the non-cash value of life experiences, but the fact is the bills you need to pay will still be there. The bill with Corrosion of Conformity in a lineup alongside Kylesa‘s Laura Pleasants, Domkraft, Swans, Elephant Tree and Heavy Temple? Much less so.

Here are a few pointers that hopefully can save you a couple bucks. Some of it’s day-one stuff, but things like hotel picks and transportation nuances are good to know either way.

Check it out:

psycho-las-vegas-2017-poster

Flying In
• Buy tickets on a Tuesday for the cheapest rates.
• Use a discount flight search.
• If you can, fly in on Thursday and leave on Monday for better rates, search different days and times to come in and leave.
• Book early. Rates go up in the summer.

Getting There
• Ride apps cost less than cabs.
• The Hard Rock is less than a mile from the airport. Cheap trip anyway.
• There are free shuttles from most Vegas hotels to the strip and tourist attractions.

Staying There
• This one is huge… don’t stay at the Hard Rock if you can’t afford it! Alexis Park, RUMOR, Red Roof Inn are all across the street and cheap. Scope out a position on a map if you need to; that’s what Street View is there for.
• Partner up to share rooms. You’ve got social media and it’s not like you’re going to do more than sleep and (hopefully) shower there anyway. Might as well join forces and save expense where you can.

Drinks
• BYO. Vegas has open-container laws. If you think hooch is too expensive at the Hard Rock, get loaded on the sidewalk before you go in.
• One way or another, hydrate. You’re staying in the desert in August. Don’t be stupid.

Psycho Las Vegas 2017 Lineup
Abbath, Ace Frehley, Black Anvil, Blood Ceremony, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Buzzov*en, Carcass, Celeste, Chelsea Wolfe, Cirith Ungol, Cloud Catcher, Code Orange, Conan, Corrosion of Conformity, Cough, Cult Leader, Cult Of Luna With Julie Christmas Diamond Head, Domkraft, Earthless, Elephant Tree, Eternal Tapestry, Fister, Floorian, Gatecreeper, GEQ, Gojira, Gost, Graf Orlock, Heavy Temple, Hollow Leg, Inter Arma, Khemmis, King Diamond, Laura Pleasants & Special Guests, Magma, Manilla Road, Merlin, Minsk, Morne, Mothership, Mouth of the Architect, Mulatu Astatke, Murder City Devils, Mustard Gas & Roses, Myrkur, Neurosis, North, Oathbreaker, Pelican, Pentagram, Psychic TV, The Rods, Ruby the Hatchet, Sasquatch, Saturndust, Sleep, Slo Burn, Slomatics, Snail, Sons of Otis, Sumac, Summoner, Swans, The Skull, Toke, Urchin, Usnea, Vhol, Weedeater, Windhand, Wizard Rifle, Wolves in the Throne Room, Yawning Man, Year of the Cobra, Youngblood Supercult, Zeal & Ardor.

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Pentagram, “Relentless / Broken Vows” Live in Richmond, VA, 2017

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Psycho Las Vegas Completes Lineup: Ace Frehley, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Corrosion of Conformity, Sasquatch, Mothership, Ruby the Hatchet, Heavy Temple & Many More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

The Psycho Las Vegas lineup wasn’t exactly lacking in ‘holy shit’-factor before, but, uh… holy shit. The poster below is so god damned packed it’s got me wondering if they’re going to sneak in an extra day to fit it all. Well, I guess they are if you count the pre-party — a fest unto itself with the additions of Ruby the HatchetSasquatch, ConanYawning Man and Great Electric Quest — but to see acts like EarthlessCorrosion of ConformityDiamondheadLaura Pleasants of KylesaMothershipSaturndust, Heavy TempleToke and so many others added to the bill for the fest proper, it borders on the overwhelming. Sons of OtisYear of the CobraEternal Tapestry? I take back that part about “borders on.” Shit’s giving me the vapors.

Swoon.

Blah blah blah tickets, blah blah blah on sale, blah blah blah how much you don’t need me to tell you this is probably the best heavy lineup the US has ever seen. Also Ace Frehley will be there.

Full lineup follows:

PSYCHO LAS VEGAS

Psycho Las Vegas 2017

-CONFIRMED LINEUP-
KING DIAMOND (USA 2017 Exclusive)
THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE
ACE FREHLEY
GOJIRA
SWANS
NEUROSIS
MAGMA
SLEEP
MELVINS
CARCASS
MURDER CITY DEVILS
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY
SLO BURN
DIAMONDHEAD
CIRITH UNGOL
ABBATH
CHELSEA WOLFE
CULT OF LUNA WITH JULIE CHRISTMAS
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM
MULATU ASATKE
PSYCHIC TV
EARTHLESS
SUMAC
MANILLA ROAD
CELESTE
WINDHAND
PELICAN
BLOOD CEREMONY
CODE ORANGE
WEEDEATER
MINSK
COUGH
VHOL
ZEAL & ARDOR
OATHBREAKER
MYRKUR
BUZZOV-EN
THE SKULL
INTER ARMA
SLOMATICS
GOST
YOUNG AND IN THE WAY
GATECREEPER
MOTHERSHIP
CULT LEADER
LAURA PLEASANTS & SPECIAL GUESTS
MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT
SONS OF OTIS
SNAIL
MORNE
DOMKRAFT
KHEMMIS
ETERNAL TAPESTRY
JEX THOTH
FISTER
NORTH
WIZARD RIFLE
USNEA
ROYAL THUNDER
YOUNGBLOOD SUPERCULT
TOKE
SATURNDUST
HEAVY TEMPLE
SUMMONER
BLACK ANVIL
FLOORIAN
HOLLOW LEG
YEAR OF THE COBRA
MERLIN
ELEPHANT TREE
CLOUD CATCHER

PSYCHO PRE-PARTY:
PENTAGRAM
CONAN
YAWNING MAN
SASQUATCH
MUSTARD GAS & ROSES
GRAF ORLOCK
RUBY THE HATCHET
URCHIN
GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST

Psycho Las Vegas 2017 is set for Aug. 18-20 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Tickets are available at https://www.vivapsycho.com

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Tomorrow’s Dream: 200+ of 2017’s Most Anticipated Releases

Posted in Features on January 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

tomorrow's dream 2017

Looks like it’s going to be another busy 12 months ahead. It’s been a busy better-part-of-a-month already, so that stands to reason, but you should know that of the several years now that I’ve done these ‘Tomorrow’s Dream’ posts, this is the biggest one yet, with over 150 upcoming releases that — one hopes — will be out between today and the end of 2017.

Actually, at last count, the list tops 180. Do I really expect you to listen to all of them? Nope. Will I? Well, it would be nice. But what I’ve done is gone through and highlighted 35 picks and then built lists off that in order of likelihood of arrival. You’ll note the categories are ‘Gonna Happen and/or Likely Candidates,’ ‘Definitely Could Happen’ and ‘Would be Awfully Nice.’

Beyond that last one, anything else just seems like speculation — one might as well go “new Sabbath this year!” with zero info backing it up. The idea here is that no matter where a given band is placed, there has been some talk of a new release. In some cases, it’s been years, but I think they’re still worth keeping in mind.

Another caveat: You can expect additions to this list over the next week — probably album titles, band names people (fingers crossed) suggest in the comments, and so on — so it will grow. It always does. The idea is to build as complete a document as possible, not to get it all nailed down immediately, so please, if you have something to contribute and you’re able to do so in a non-prickish, “You didn’t include Band X and therefore don’t deserve to breathe the same air as me,” kind of way, please contribute.

Other than that, I think it’s pretty straightforward what’s going on here and I’ll explain the category parameters as we go, so by all means, let’s jump in.

— Tomorrow’s Dream 2017 —

Presented Alphabetically

1. Abrahma, TBA

Late last year, Paris heavy progressives Abrahma announced a new lineup and third full-length in progress. No reason to think it won’t come to fruition, and a follow-up to 2015’s Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird (review here) is an easy pick to look forward to. Even with the shift in personnel, it seems likely the band will continue their creative development, driven as they are by founding guitarist Seb Bismuth.

2. All Them Witches, Sleeping Through the War

all them witches sleeping through the warIf 2017 ended today, Sleeping Through the War would be my Album of the Year. Of course, there’s a lot of year to go, but for now, Nashville’s All Them Witches have set the standard with their second album for New West Records behind 2015’s Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (review here) and fourth overall outing. They’ve got videos up so far for “3-5-7” (posted here) and “Bruce Lee” (posted here). Both are most definitely worth your time. Out Feb. 24. Full review should be later this week.

3. Alunah, Solennial

Seems like UK forest riffers Alunah are on this list every year. Wishful thinking on my part. Nonetheless, their fourth LP and Svart Records debut, Solennial, is out March 17, and if the tease they gave already with the clip for “Fire of Thornborough Henge” (posted here) is anything to go from, its Chris Fielding-produced expanses might just be Alunah‘s most immersive yet.

4. Arbouretum, TBA

I asked the Baltimore folk fuzzers a while back on Thee Facebooks if they had a new record coming in 2017 and they said yes, so that’s what I’m going on here. The last Arbouretum album was 2013’s Coming out of the Fog (review here), and even with frontman Dave Heumann‘s 2015 solo outing, Here in the Deep (review here), factored in, you’d have to say they’re due. Keep an eye on Thrill Jockey for word and I’ll do the same.

5. Atavismo, Inerte

This is another one that already has a spot reserved for it on my Best-of-2017 year-end list. Spanish heavy psych rockers Atavismo up the progressive bliss level with their second full-length, Inerte, without losing the depth of style that made 2014’s Desintegración (review here) so utterly glorious. It probably won’t have the biggest marketing budget of 2017, but if you let Atavismo fly under your radar, you are 100 percent missing out on something special.

6. Bison Machine, TBA

In addition to the video for new track “Cloak and Bones” that premiered here, when Michigan raucousness-purveyors Bison Machine put out the dates for their fall 2016 tour, they included further hints of new material in progress. As much as I dug their earlier-2016 split with SLO and Wild Savages (review here) and 2015’s Hoarfrost (review here), that’s more than enough for me to include them on this list. Killer next-gen heavy rock.

7. Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, TBA

News of a follow-up to Brothers of the Sonic Cloth‘s 2015 Neurot Recordings self-titled debut (review here) came through in October, and it remains some of the best news I’ve heard about 2017 doings. Took them a while to get the first record out, so we’ll see what happens, but it kind of feels like looking forward to a comet about to smash into the planet and cause a mass extinction, and by that I mean awesome. Can’t get here soon enough.

8. Cloud Catcher, Trails of Kosmic Dust

cloud catcher trails of kosmic dustOkay, so maybe I jumped the gun and did a super-early review of Denver trio Cloud Catcher‘s second long-player and Totem Cat Records debut, Trails of Kosmic Dust, but hell, no regrets. Some albums require an early-warning system. Their 2015 debut, Enlightened Beyond Existence (discussed here), was a gem as well, but this is a band in the process of upping their game on every level, and the songwriting and momentum they hone isn’t to be missed.

9. Colour Haze, TBA

I’ve gotten some details on the upcoming full-length from Colour Haze. They do not include a title, artwork, audio, song titles or general direction. Less details, I guess, than word that the CD version of this answer to 2015’s To the Highest Gods We Know (review here) is set to come out next month, as ever, on Elektrohasch. That puts it out in time for Colour Haze‘s upcoming tour with My Sleeping Karma (announced here). Fingers crossed it happens. Colour Haze are perpetual top-albums candidates in my book.

10. Corrosion of Conformity, TBA

Signed to Nuclear Blast after being rejoined by guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan, North Carolina’s C.O.C. have been in the studio since last year. The lineup of Keenan, bassist/vocalist Mike Dean and guitarist Woody Weatherman and Reed Mullin on drums is the stuff of legend and last worked together on 2000’s America’s Volume Dealer, so no question this reunion makes for one of 2017’s most anticipated heavy rock records. They nailed the nostalgia factor on tour. Can they now add to their legacy?

11. Elder, TBA

I was incredibly fortunate about a month ago to visit progressive heavy rockers Elder at Sonelab in Easthampton, MA, during the recording process for their upcoming fourth album. I heard a couple of the tracks, and of course it was all raw form, but the movement forward from 2015’s Lore (review here) was palpable. That LP (on Stickman) brought them to a wider audience, and I expect no less from this one as well, since the farther out Elder go sound-wise, the deeper the level of connection with their listeners they seem to engage.

12. Electric Wizard, TBA

Could happen, could not happen. That’s how it goes. Announced for last Halloween. That date came and went. Word of trouble building their own studio surfaced somewhere along the line. That was the last I heard. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up tomorrow, if it showed up in 2018, or if the band broke up and never put it out. They’re Electric Wizard. Anything’s possible.

13. John Garcia, The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues

Out Jan. 28 on NapalmThe Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues (review here) is the first-ever acoustic album from former Kyuss frontman John Garcia, also of Unida, the reunited Slo BurnHermanoVista ChinoZun, etc. — basically the voice of desert rock. He does a couple Kyuss classics for good measure, but shines as well on the new/original tracks, and while it’s a piece for fans more than newcomers — that is, it helps if you know the original version of “Green Machine” — his presence remains as powerful as ever despite this new context.

14. Goya, Harvester of Bongloads

Riffs, dude. Goya seem to have them to spare. The Arizona-based wizard doomers have set a pretty prolific clip for themselves at this point, with at least two short releases out in 2016, one a 7″ of Nirvana covers (review here), and the The Enemy EP (review here). Set for a March 3 release through their own Opoponax Records imprint, Harvester of Bongloads continues the march into the abyss that 2015’s Obelisk (review here) and 2013’s 777 set in motion, finding the band coming more into their own as well. Creative growth — and bongloads! The best of both worlds.

15. Ides of Gemini, TBA

Ides of Gemini are set to record their yet-untitled third album with Sanford Parker early this year, and it will also mark their debut on Rise Above Records upon its release. They’ve also got a new lineup around vocalist Sera Timms and guitarist J. Bennett, so as they look to move forward from 2014’s Old World New Wave (review here), one can’t help but wonder what to expect, but to be honest, not knowing is part of the appeal, especially from a band who so readily specialize in the ethereal.

16. Kind, TBA

Three-fourths of Kind feature elsewhere on this list. Bassist Tom Corino plays in Rozamov. Drummer Matt Couto is in Elder. Vocalist Craig Riggs is in Roadsaw. And for what it’s worth, guitarist Darryl Shepherd has a new band coming together called Test Meat. How likely does that make Kind to release a second LP in 2017? I don’t know, but their 2015 Ripple Music debut, Rocket Science (review here), deserves a follow-up, and I know they’ve demoed some new songs. If it happens, great. If it’s 2018, at least these dudes will be plenty busy besides.

17. Lo-Pan, In Tensions

lo-pan in tensionsYes, Lo-Pan‘s In Tensions (review here) has already been released — CD/LP with an artbook on Aqualamb. It’s out. Limited numbers. You can get it now. Why include it on a list of most anticipated releases? Because that’s how strongly I feel about your need to hear it. The fruit of a shortlived lineup with guitarist Adrian Zambrano, it distinguishes itself from everything they’ve done before in style while still keeping to the core righteousness that one hopes the Ohio outfit will continue to carry forward. It’s more than a stopgap between albums. Listen to it.

18. The Midnight Ghost Train, TBA

It seems to have been a rough ride for hard-boogie specialists The Midnight Ghost Train since their 2015 Napalm debut and third album overall, Cold was the Ground (review here). They’ve never taken it easy on the road or in terms of physicality on stage, and between injuries and who knows what else, their intensity at this point veers toward the directly confrontational. Nonetheless, they’ve been writing for album number four, may or may not have started the recording process, and I expect that confrontationalism to suit them well in their new material.

19. Monster Magnet, TBA

I have it on decent authority that NJ heavy psych innovators Monster Magnet were in the studio this past autumn. I’ve seen no concrete word of a new album in progress from Dave Wyndorf and company, and I wouldn’t necessarily expect to until it was time to start hyping the release, but after their two redux releases, 2015’s Cobras and Fire (review here) and 2014’s Milking the Stars (review here), their range feels broader than ever and I can’t wait to hear what they come up with next.

20. Mothership, High Strangeness

A pivotal moment for Mothership arrives with High Strangeness, and the heavy-touring, heavy-riffing Texas power trio seem to know it. Their third record on Ripple Music pushes into new avenues of expression and keeps the energy of 2014’s Mothership II (review here) and 2012’s Mothership (review here), but thus far into their career, it’s been about their potential and what they might accomplish going forward. 2017 might be the year for Mothership to declare a definitive place in the sphere of American heavy rock.

21. The Obsessed, Sacred

On Halloween 2016, founding The Obsessed guitarist/vocalist and doom icon Scott “Wino” Weinrich announced a new lineup for the band, with his former The Hidden Hand bandmate Bruce Falkinburg on bass/vocals, Sara Seraphim on guitar and Brian Costantino continuing on drums. A genuine surprise. Their first album since 1994, Sacred (due on Relapse) was tracked as the trio of WeinrichCostantino and bassist/vocalist Dave Sherman, but clearly they’ve moved into a new era already. Wouldn’t even guess what the future holds, but hopefully Sacred still comes out.

22. Orange Goblin, TBA

When it was announced that London’s Orange Goblin were picked up by Spinefarm as part of that label’s acquisition of Candlelight Records last Spring, the subheadline from the PR wire was “Working on Ninth Studio Album.” I haven’t heard much since then, but even as 2014’s Back from the Abyss (review here) pushed them deeper into metallic territory than ever before, their songs retained the character that’s made the band the institution they are. Always look forward to new Orange Goblin.

23. Pallbearer, Heartless

pallbearer heartlessDoomers, this is your whole year right here. I haven’t heard Pallbearer‘s third album, Heartless (out March 24 on Profound Lore), but I have to think even those who haven’t yet been won over by the Arkansas four-piece’s emotive, deep-running style have to be curious about what they’ve come up with this time around. I know I am. These guys have been making a mark on the genre since their 2012 debut, Sorrow and Extinction (review here), and there’s little doubt Heartless will continue that thread upon its arrival.

24. Radio Moscow, TBA

Fact: Radio Moscow stand among the best classic heavy rock live acts in the US. They’re the kind of band you can watch upwards of 15 gigs in a row — I’ve done it — and find them putting on a better show night after night, in defiance of science, logic and sobriety. Word of their signing to Century Media came just this past week and brought with it confirmation of a follow-up to 2014’s stellar Magical Dirt (review here), and for me to say hell yes, I’m absolutely on board, seems like the no-brainer to end all no-brainers. Can’t wait.

25. Roadsaw, TBA

Nearly six full years later, it’s only fair to call Boston scene godfathers Roadsaw due for a follow-up to their 2011 self-titled (review here). Granted, members have been busy in KindWhite Dynomite, and other projects, but still. Their upcoming outing finds them on Ripple Music after years under the banner of Small Stone Records, and though I haven’t seen a solid release date yet, my understanding is they hit Mad Oak Studio in Allston, MA, this past fall to track it, so seems likely for sooner or later. Sooner, preferably.

26. Rozamov, This Mortal Road

Speaking of albums by Boston bands a while in the making, This Mortal Road (out March 3 on Battleground Records and Dullest Records) is the debut full-length from Boston atmospheric extremists Rozamov. Haven’t heard it yet, but I got a taste of some of the material when I visited the band at New Alliance Audio in Aug. 2015, and the bleak expanses of what I heard seem primed to turn heads. I’m a fan of these guys, but in addition, they’ve found a niche for themselves sound-wise and I’m curious to hear how they bring it to fruition.

27. Samsara Blues Experiment, TBA

It’s been a pleasure over the last couple months to watch a resurgence of Berlin heavy psych trio Samsara Blues Experiment take shape, first with the announcement of a fourth album in October, then with subsequent confirmations for DesertfestRiff Ritual in Barcelona, and a South American tour. Reportedly due in Spring, which fits with the timing on shows, etc., the record will follow 2013’s righteous Waiting for the Flood (review here) and as much as I’m looking forward to hearing it, I’m kind of just glad to have these guys back.

28. Seedy Jeezus, TBA

Work finished earlier this month on Melbourne trio Seedy Jeezus‘ second full-length. As with their 2015 self-titled debut, the band brought Tony Reed of Mos Generator to Australia to produce, and after their blissed-out 2016 collaboration with Earthless guitarist Isaiah MitchellTranquonauts (review here), it’s hard not to wonder what experimentalist tendencies might show in the trio’s style this time out, and likewise difficult not to anticipate what guitarist Lex “Mr. Frumpy” Wattereus comes up with for the cover art.

29. Shroud Eater, Strike the Sun

Not to spoil the surprise, but Feb. 1 I’ll host a track premiere from Florida’s Shroud Eater that finds them working in a different context from everything we’ve heard from them to this point in their rightly-celebrated tenure. They also recently had a split out with Dead Hand, and their second long-player, Strike the Sun, will be their debut through STB Records. It’s been since 2011’s ThunderNoise (review here) that we last got a Shroud Eater album, so you bet your ass I’m dying to know what the last six years have wrought.

30. Sleep, TBA

If Sleep were any other band, they’d probably be in the “Would be Awfully Nice” category. But they’re Sleep, so even the thought of a new record is enough to put them here. The lords of all things coated in THC are reissuing their 2014 single, The Clarity (review here), on Southern Lord next month, but rumors have been swirling about a proper album, which of course would be their first since the now-legendary Dopesmoker. If it happens, it’ll automatically be a heavy underground landmark for 2017, but it’s one I’m going to have in my ears before I really believe it.

31. Stoned Jesus, TBA

Even as they tour playing their second album, 2012’s Seven Thunders Roar (review here), to mark its fifth anniversary and continued impact, Ukrainian trio Stoned Jesus are forging ahead with a fourth record behind 2015’s The Harvest (review here). The capital-‘q’ Question is whether or not looking back at Seven Thunders Roar and engaging that big-riffing side of their sound will have an impact on the new material, and if so, how it will meld with the push of The Harvest. Won’t speculate, but look forward to finding out.

32. Stubb, TBA

Since reveling in the soul of 2015’s Cry of the Ocean (review here) on Ripple, London trio Stubb have swapped out bassists, and they were in Skyhammer Studio this month recording a single that may be an extended psychedelic jam. I’ll take that happily, but I’m even more intrigued at the prospect of a third LP and what guitarist/vocalist Jack Dickinson, bassist/vocalist Tom Hobson and drummer Tom Fyfe might have in store as the band moves forward on multiple levels. Might be 2017, might not.

33. Sun Blood Stories, It Runs Around the Room with Us

sun blood stories it runs around the room with usIt Runs around the Room with Us seems to find peace in its resonant experimentalist drones, loops, open, subdued spaces, but there’s always some underlying sense of foreboding to its drift, as if Boise’s Sun Blood Stories could anticipate the moment before it happened. Toward the end of the follow-up to 2015’s Twilight Midnight Morning (review here), they execute the 90-second assault “Burn” and turn serenity to ash. Look for it in April and look for it again on my best of 2017 list in December.

34. Ufomammut, TBA

Any new offering from the Italian cosmic doom magnates is worth looking forward to, and while Ufomammut have left the 15-year mark behind, they’ve never stopped progressing in style and form. To wit, 2015’s Ecate (review here) was a stunner after 2012’s two-part LP, Oro (review here and review here), tightening the approach but assuring the vibe was no less expansive than ever. They started recording last summer, finished mixing in November, so I’m hoping for word of a release date soon.

35. Vokonis, The Sunken Djinn

Born out of Creedsmen Arise, whose 2015 demo, Temple (review here), offered formative thrills, Swedish trio Vokonis debuted with last year’s Olde One Ascending (review here) and proved there’s still life in post-Sleep riffing when it’s wielded properly. They signed to Ripple in November and confirmed the title of their sophomore effort as The Sunken Djinn, as well as a reissue for the first album, which will probably arrive first. I don’t know how that will affect the timing on this one, but keep an eye out anyway.

Gonna Happen and/or Likely Candidates

Obviously some of these are more likely than others. Some have solidified, announced release dates — Dopelord‘s out this month, Demon Head‘s out in April, etc. — and others come from social media posts of bands in studios and hints at upcoming releases and so on. A big tell is whether or not a band has an album title with their listing, but even some of those without have their new albums done, like Atala and Royal Thunder, so it’s not necessarily absolute.

Either way, while I’m spending your money, you might want to look into:

36. Against the Grain
37. Amenra
38. Atala
39. Attalla, Glacial Rule
40. Ayahuasca Dark Trip, II
41. Beastmaker
42. Beaten Back to Pure
43. Blackout
44. Bretus
45. Buried Feather, Mind of the Swarm
46. The Clamps
47. Cold Stares
48. Coltsblood, Ascending into the Shimmering Darkness
49. Come to Grief, The Worst of Times EP
50. Cortez
51. Cruthu, The Angle of Eternity
52. The Dead-End Alley Band, Storms
53. Dead Witches, Dead Witches
54. Dealer
55. Death Alley, Live at Roadburn
56. Demon Head, Thunder on the Fields
57. The Devil and the Almighty Blues, II
58. Devil Electric
59. Doctor Cyclops, Local Dogs
60. Dool, Here Now There Then
61. Dopelord, Children of the Haze
62. Doublestone, Devil’s Own/Djævlens Egn
63. Dread Sovereign, For Doom the Bell Tolls
64. Drive by Wire
65. Elbrus, Elbrus
66. Electric Age
67. Electric Moon, Stardust Rituals
68. Endless Floods, II
69. Five Horse Johnson
70. Forming the Void, Relic
71. Funeral Horse
72. Greenbeard
73. Green Desert Water
74. Greenleaf
75. Grifter / Suns of Thunder, Split
76. Hair of the Dog, This World Turns
77. Heavy Temple, Chassit
78. Here Lies Man, Here Lies Man
79. Hollow Leg, Murder EP
80. Holy Mount, The Drought
81. Hooded Menace
82. Horisont, About Time
83. Hymn, Perish
84. Lecherous Gaze
85. Magnet, Feel Your Fire
86. Mastodon
87. Merlin, The Wizard
88. Merchant
89. Mindkult, Lucifer’s Dream
90. Mirror Queen
91. Moonbow, War Bear
92. Mos Generator
93. The Moth
94. MotherSloth
95. Mouth, Vortex
96. My Sleeping Karma, Mela Ananda – Live
97. Orango
98. Papir
99. PH, Eternal Hayden
100. Psychedelic Witchcraft, Magick Rites and Spells
101. Royal Thunder
102. Saturn, Beyond Spectra
103. Season of Arrows, Give it to the Mountain
104. Siena Root
105. Six Organs of Admittance, Burning the Threshold
106. Six Sigma, Tuxedo Brown
107. Sólstafir
108. The Sonic Dawn, Into the Long Night
109. Spelljammer
110. Spidergawd, IV
111. Steak
112. Stinking Lizaveta, Journey to the Underworld
113. Sula Bassana, Organ Accumulator
114. Summoner
115. Sun Voyager, Sun Voyager
116. Sweat Lodge, Tokens for Hell EP
117. Thera Roya, Stone and Skin
118. Toke
119. Troubled Horse, Revelation on Repeat
120. VA, Brown Acid The Third Trip
121. Weedpecker
122. Youngblood Supercult, The Great American Death Rattle

Definitely Could Happen

Maybe a recording process is upcoming (Gozu, Cities of Mars, YOB), or a band is looking for a label (The Flying Eyes), or they’ve said new stuff is in the works but the circumstances of an actual release aren’t known (Arc of Ascent, Dead Meadow, High on Fire), or I’ve just seen rumors of their hitting the studio (Freedom Hawk, La Chinga, Ruby the Hatchet). We’ve entered the realm of the entirely possible but not 100 percent.

So, you know, life.

Dig it:

123. The Age of Truth
124. Ape Machine
125. Arc of Ascent
126. At Devil Dirt
127. Bantoriak
128. Bask
129. BCAD
130. BoneHawk
131. La Chinga
132. Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters
133. Cities of Mars
134. Crypt Sermon
135. Dead Meadow
136. Death Alley (Studio LP)
137. Dee Calhoun
138. Destroyer of Light
139. Devil
140. Devil Worshipper
141. Duel
142. Dustrider
143. Egypt
144. Electric Moon
145. Elephant Tree
146. Farflung
147. The Flying Eyes
148. Freedom Hawk
149. Gozu
150. The Great Electric Quest
151. Green Meteor, Consumed by a Dying Sun
152. High on Fire
153. Horrendous
154. Insect Ark
155. In the Company of Serpents
156. Iron Monkey
157. Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus
158. The Judge
159. Killer Boogie
160. King Dead
161. The Kings of Frog Island
162. Lords of Beacon House, Recreational Sorcery
163. Mangoo
164. Mondo Drag
165. Monolord
166. Mountain God
167. The Munsens
168. Naxatras
169. Never Got Caught
170. Ommadon
171. Orchid
172. Ordos
173. Pilgrim
174. Poseidon
175. Purple Hill Witch
176. Ruby the Hatchet
177. Sasquatch
178. Satan’s Satyrs
179. Serpents of Secrecy
180. Shabda
181. Shooting Guns
182. Sleepy Sun
183. Slow Season
184. Snowy Dunes, Atlantis
185. Spectral Haze
186. The Sweet Heat
187. Switchblade Jesus
188. Superchief
189. Tÿburn
190. YOB
191. Zone Six

Would be Awfully Nice

This last category is basically as close as I’m willing to come to rampant speculation. Endless Boogie have hinted at new material, and Queens of the Stone Age have talked about hitting the studio for the last two years. There were rumors about Om, and though Kings Destroy just put out an EP, they have new songs as well, though I doubt we’ll hear them before the end of 2017. I’ll admit that Across Tundras, Fever Dog, Lord Fowl, Lowrider and Hour of 13 are just wishful thinking on my part. A boy can hope:

192. Across Tundras
193. Eggnogg
194. Elephant Tree
195. Endless Boogie
196. Fever Dog
197. Fu Manchu
198. Halfway to Gone
199. Hour of 13
200. Kadavar
201. Kings Destroy
202. Lord Fowl
203. Lowrider
204. Masters of Reality
205. Om
206. Orodruin
207. Queens of the Stone Age

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. Whatever this year brings, I hope it’s been great so far for you and I hope it continues to be so as we proceed inexorably to 2018 and all the also-futuristic-sounding numbers thereafter. At least we know we’ll have plenty of good music to keep us company on that voyage.

As always, comments section is open if there’s anything I’ve left out. I’m happy to add, adjust, etc., as need be, so really, have at it, and thanks in advance.

All the best.

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Clutch Announce Tour Dates with Corrosion of Conformity; Record Store Day Vinyl

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 10th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Not everyone will feel this way, but in my head, this is a Clutch and C.O.C. tour. Yeah, I hear so-and-so is a really nice guy and so-and-so didn’t really kill that dude, but I’ve never been even the slightest bit a fan of this tour’s headliner. Cool all around if it gets Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity into bigger rooms, but yeah, this is one you go and leave early.

Clutch have some Record Store Day vinyl coming out for April 16 that will feature two tracks that didn’t get onto their 2015 album, Psychic Warfare (review here). Glad to see “Mad Sidewinder” surfacing after all, since as I remember it, they played that live for a good long while and then it didn’t make the final cut of the record. It’ll be a gem for fans that I’m sure will be gone 30 seconds after the preorders go up.

The PR wire has it like this:

clutch coc tour

CLUTCH ANNOUNCE NEW NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES AS SPECIAL GUEST OF LAMB OF GOD

US FESTIVAL DATES AND AUSTRALIAN HEADLINE DATES ANNOUNCED

BAND CELEBRATES RECORD STORE DAY 2016 WITH LIMITED EDITION VINYL RELEASE

Clutch, the influential heavy rock band from Maryland has just announced new North American tour dates as “special guest of” Lamb Of God. The tour starts May 3rd in New Orleans at the Orpheum and will also feature Corrosion Of Conformity on all dates. Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday February 12th. Additional dates on the Lamb of God tour and Clutch headline tour dates in May and June will be announced shortly. In addition to the Lamb Of God dates, the band will be playing select US festival dates and have added an additional Melbourne show on their March 2016 Australian tour.

Clutch’s latest release “Psychic Warfare”, landed at #6 on the Billboard charts. Weathermaker Music, the band’s self owned label, sold over 26,000 copies of the new album in the first week of release. “Psychic Warfare” is the highest debut charting album for Clutch and Weathermaker Music to date. The album landed at #1 on Billboard’s Rock and Hard Rock charts respectively.

“Psychic Warfare” was produced by longtime producer Machine (Lamb Of God, Every Time I Die) and consists of 12 new tracks. The album cover was designed by renowned photographer Dan Winters.

On Saturday April 16th, the band will be releasing a special limited edition 12” vinyl release for Record Store Day. The album will contain two previously unreleased tracks from the Psychic Warfare sessions: “Mad Sidewinder” and “Outland Special Clearance”. These two tracks, specifically mastered for this vinyl configuration by Paul Logus, will be on side A. The reverse side will have a large scale etching taken from the Psychic Warfare CD booklet design created by Dan Winters. The jacket is hand numbered thick clear plastic showing the full art design, thus making this piece for Record Store Day 2016 a unique collectors’ item for all Clutch fans.

Lamb Of God With Special Guest Clutch
05-03-16 in New Orleans, LA at The Orpheum
05-04-16 in Memphis, TN at Minglewood Hall
05-05-16 in Tulsa, OK at Brady Theater
05-08-16 in Reading, PA at Reading Eagle Theatre
05-09-16 in Portland, ME at State Theatre
05-10-16 in Boston, MA at House Of Blues
05-12-16 in St Louis, MO at The Pageant
05-16-16 in Binghamton, NY at Magic City Music Hall
05-17-16 in Huntington, NY at The Paramount
05-19-16 in Toronto, ON at TD Echo Beach
05-23-16 in Wichita, KS at The Cotillion
05-24-16 in Morrison, CO at Red Rocks Amphitheatre
05-25-16 in St Lake City, UT at The Complex
05-27-16 in Phoenix, AZ at Comerica Theatre
05-28-16 in Pomona, CA at Fox Theater
05-29-16 in Oakland, CA at Fox Theater
05-31-16 in Seattle, WA at WaMu Theater
06-01-16 in Vancouver, BC at Queen Elizabeth Theatre
06-02-16 in Penticton, BC at South Okanagan Events Centre
06-04-16 in Calgary, AB at Calgary Stampede Corral
06-05-16 in Edmonton, AB at Shaw Conference Centre
06-06-16 in Saskatoon, SK at Saskatoon Praireland Exhibition Park Hall
06-07-16 in Winnepeg, MB at Burton Cummings Theatre

Festivals
05-01-16 in Jacksonville, FL at Welcome to Rockville (festival)
05-07-16 in Concord, NC at Carolina Rebellion (festival)
06-09-16 in Manchester, TN at Bonaroo
05-13-16 in Council Bluffs, IA at 89.7 The River’s Rockfest (festival)
05-14 -15-16 in Somerset, WI at Northern Invasion
05-20-16 in Schagticoke, NY at Rock N Derby (festival)
05-21-16 in Columbus, OH at Rock On The Range

Australian Dates
03-03-16 in Brisbane, AUS at The Triffid
03-04-16 in Sydney, AUS at The Metro NSW
03-05-16 in Melbourne, AUS at The Forum Theatre (Sold Out)
03-06-16 in Melbourne, AUS at The Corner (Just Added)

CLUTCH:
Neil Fallon – Vocals/Guitar
Tim Sult – Guitar
Dan Maines – Bass
Jean-Paul Gaster – Drums/Percussion

www.facebook.com/clutchband
www.instagram.com/clutchofficial
www.twitter.com/clutchofficial
www.pro-rock.com

Clutch, Live at Terminal 5, NYC, Dec. 29, 2015

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