audiObelisk: Stream Roadburn 2013 Sets from Black Magician, Candybar Planet, Castle, Crown, Maserati and Dirk Serries: Microphonics

Posted in audiObelisk on May 28th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

The second batch of Roadburn 2013 audio streams has been loosed, and if nothing else, it’s a grouping that shows just how far out the reach of the Netherlands-based annual festival has grown. From the ultra-British doom of Black Magician (above) to the American cultistry of Castle, riff rock of Candybar Planet and ambient experimentalism of Dirk Serries (aka Vidna Obmana), Roadburn 2013 cast a wide net, and though I didn’t get to actually see all of these acts, it’s reassuring to know each year that even the stuff I missed is accounted for and recorded for posterity.

Consider the rest of the afternoon spoken for:

Black Magician – Live at Roadburn 2013

Candybar Planet – Live at Roadburn 2013

Castle – Live at Roadburn 2013

Crown – Live at Roadburn 2013

Maserati – Live at Roadburn 2013

Dirk Serries: Microphonics – Live at Roadburn 2013

If you missed them, check out the first batch of Roadburn 2013 audio streams here.

Thanks as always to Walter and the Roadburn crew for allowing me to host these streams and to Marcel van de Vondervoort and his team for recording them in the first place. Hope you enjoy.

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Cough, Witch Mountain, Hexvessel, Sabbath Assembly, Tombstoned & Crown Join Roadburn 2013 Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 4th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

Richmond-based cult sludgers Cough will play Jus Oborn of Electric Wizard‘s curated event at Roadburn 2013. The Virginian outfit have been at the fore of the post-Electric Wizard pack, reveling in horrific atmospheres and massive, droning riffs, so they’re a good fit on what’s quickly becoming an eclectic bill. Their last release was an ultra-badass 2010 split vinyl on Forcefield Records with like-minded British purveyors The Wounded Kings (review here), and I don’t know if maybe they’ll have new material on hand by April, but it’s worth hoping for.

In addition to Cough, Witch Mountain will play Roadburn and Sabbath Assembly, Hexvessel, Crown and Tombstoned have joined the lineup as well.

This came courtesy of the fest’s website:

“Firstly, raise your withered stumps and welcome ye brothers of the bong, Richmond, Virginia bruisers and losers…(cue intro to Sweet Leaf)… Cough… rising through the fog like resin-zombies the appropriately named band are the epitome of evil stoned doom”, says Electric Wizard‘s Jus Oborn. “Violent, bleak and wasted… Ritual Abuse was genius… burnout and clogged with resin. We loved it!! Since then we have had many late night smokeouts with these kindred spirits and hopefully many, many more. The Acid Orgy will be heavily laced with Smoke…Hail Cough!!!”

“Once there was a legend of black cloaked cultists that haunted 1960s London, ominous and dark wearing strange occult symbols”, Jus continues, “They handed out bizarre literature linking Satan, Lucifer and ChristHells Angels were our saviours working for God and Lucifer to cleanse our world. They became linked to the Manson Killings and eventually disappeared in infamy to only be remembered by a chosen few …now Dave Nuss and Sabbath Assembly recreate the rituals and liturgies of this infamous group. We can now see and hear the true vision of this paradoxical acid consciousness cult. Hail Satan, Amen?!”

“Also we have young blood for the growing acid cult… a new power trio of Finnish maniacs that deal in real heavy doom: Tombstoned“, says Jus, “We witnessed them live only a few weeks ago and were blown away (yes…they defiantly had feel of our favourite Finnish band). Heavy and cool as the grave, absolutely no pretense or hipster styling, just solid and real doom music played by people who don’t care what you think. You will fuckin love em!!!! Hail Tombstoned!”

Even More Incredible bands to be announced SOON !!!

Roadburn Festival 2013 will run for four days from Thursday, April 18th to Sunday, April 21st, 2013 (the traditional Afterburner event) at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland. Tickets for the Afterburner are still available!

Portland, OR’s Witch Mountain will bring their crushing doom to Roadburn Festival 2013 on Friday, April 19th at Het Patronaat in Tilburg, Holland.

Founded by guitarist Rob Wrong and drummer Nate Carson in 1997, this was not yet the Witch Mountain that would come to fruition. In 2009, the addition of vocalist Uta Plotkin transformed the band into something extraordinary with her bluesy, sensual and commanding voice as captured on both South of Salem (2011) and Cauldron of the Wild (2012).

Plotkin’s powerful and soulful pipes sound almost out of place, but this is exactly what makes Witch Mountain so special. She belts out the band’s massive, doomy, bluesy tunes like a metallized Janis Joplin or the lost sister of Heart‘s Ann and Nancy Wilson who chose the left-hand path.

Distilled from thick churning down-tuned guitars and dense drumming infused with Plotkin’s sad and sweet vocals, Witch Mountain lumbers without plodding and soars without drifting off. The epic sound and unique take on doom metal has earned them both a highly acclaimed reputation and a rightful place among the current crop of wickedly talented female-fronted bands. We are super stoked to welcome Witch Mountain to the Roadburn Festival during their first-ever European tour.

“2012 has been the biggest and best of Witch Mountain’s 15 year history”, says Nate Carson, “Two successful headlining American tours, two albums on Profound Lore, a new single, Scion Rock Fest (with Sleep and Saint Vitus), and now this.”

“It is truly an honor to end this year with the official announcement that we will finally tour Europe. Many thanks go out from us to Roadburn for this fantastic invitation. My only concern is that Cauldron of the Wild LP pre-orders are coming in so quickly that we may run out of vinyl before we get over there! Cheers!”

Roadburn Festival 2013 will run for four days from Thursday, April 18th to Sunday, April 21st, 2013 (the traditional Afterburner event) at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland. Tickets for the Afterburner are still available!

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Crown, The One: With Post-Apocalyptic Efficiency

Posted in Reviews on May 16th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

However you feel about bands using drum machines and other digitized elements in their music, at least French duo Crown know what’s most important. Both initials-only members of the Colmar post-doom outfit — P.G. and S.A. – play guitar. P.G. also handles “machinery,” and in that, he’s got his hands full. Crown’s debut self-release, the five-track EP The One, finds both band members surrounded by a wash of inhuman electronic ambience, and not just the drum machine that thunders along the slowly looped beats they riff to. To go with S.A.’s varied vocals, shouting from the echoing reaches of the mix or aggressively, rhythmically growling in the Panopticon-era Isis tradition, Crown add a host of backing sounds to fill out their approach, and that can come either in the high-pitched abrasions of “Cosmogasm” or the hum that underscores the soft guitar and samples near the end of “Mare.” At times their sound is unremittingly dark, and it runs a gamut from Jesu-style (thinking 2006’s Silver EP minus the acoustic fixation) emotionality to a coldness I can only liking to the raining dystopia of Blade Runner. The guitar tones match that coldness as well, and I find myself pointing more toward Meshuggah for a sonic comparison even than Jesu, whose distinct lumber comes through more in how the guitars are used than the actual sound of them. There’s some commonality with Ufomammut in terms of the sheer size of their tones – and perhaps the hypnosis the repetition of their riffs affects – though working from a drum machine presents an inherent difference there, since the nature of a programmed loop is that it would be repetitive, and where a human drummer would add fills or other flourishes, beat changes, etc., Crown’s percussive edge furthers The One’s droning sensibility. S.A. and P.G. seem only too glad to follow that path as well in their riffing.

But to their credit, Crown aren’t trying to pass off mechanization as something organic on these tracks. Immediately with “Cosmogasm,” it’s apparent that instead, they want to use the inorganic as the basis for their atmospherics. A synth-heavy break is topped by foreboding, disjointed notes, and screams – there are almost certainly lyrics there, but I wouldn’t at all be able to tell what they are – are gradually submerged in a mounting tide of keyboard. Like every song on The One that follows, “Cosmogasm” ends cold and abrupt, leading into the subdued but tense intro of the title-track, which kicks in its riff a little past a minute into its total 6:49 and meets it head on with a buzzsaw-sounding noise that doesn’t last past the verse but is enough to give a headache in that few measures, should you happen to be sensitive to that kind of thing. Crown never get full-on industrial, but that side of their personality is never completely absent, and S.A.’s vocals – cleaner but purposefully monochromatic – echo out modernly, but have a sort of mid-‘90s industrial/goth drama to them on “The One,” which follows the pattern of “Cosmogasm” in breaking to a quieter section before exploding back into the apex. The course for the rest of the EP seems set, but veers with centerpiece “100 Ashes,” which is Crown’s most blatantly industrial inclusion. It’s the shortest of the bunch at 4:06, but a simple electronic beat stays forward in the mix and contrasts the sleepy ambience of the guitars and keys, and the vocals feel like semi-spoken manipulations more than anything that might act as a hook. The One is nothing, however, if it isn’t atmospherically cohesive – frighteningly so, in fact, since Crown’s only been a band since 2011 – and even for the shift it represents, “100 Ashes” only furthers the overall impact the EP makes.

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