Cvltfest 2018: Witchsorrow, Desert Storm, Mastiff, Diesel King, BongCauldron and More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Well, you know I’m a sucker for a good all-dayer, and Cvltfest 2018 hits that mark with a super-sludged lineup of UK-based acts including BongCauldronMastiffPIST and Witchsorrow, among a slew of others slated to appear. The fest is Nov. 10 — one day only — and will include a staggering 13 acts to pummel those fortunate enough to be in attendance into the hard ground of Scunthorpe’s Cafe INDIEpendent. I looked and that’s just over two hours by train from King’s Cross in London, but if a full day of sludge thrown in your face isn’t worth the trip, then I don’t know what is.

Info and ticket links follow for those up for the journey:

cvltfest 2018

CVLTFEST 2018

One day. 13 heavy bands. Scunthorpe, UK

Scunthorpe is the United Kingdom’s largest steel processing centre, also known as the “Industrial Garden Town”. Other than that, it’s an unremarkable small town where the Wacky Warehouse is listed as one of the 5 best places to visit.

It would be fair to say, then, that Scunthorpe isn’t ready for the musical bombshell which will be dropped on it on Saturday 10th November. At the Café INDIEpendent – which is a coffee house during the day and an arts venue at night – 13 of the UK’s noisiest, gnarliest riff machines will be plugging into obscene amounts of amplification and giving the sleepy northern town a good hiding. Welcome to Cvltfest!

Lizard King Promotions have secured WITCHSORROW, Candlelight Records recording artists and one of doom metal’s most happening propositions, as headliner. There are six bands performing from the up and coming APF Records roster including Oxford’s stoner rock legends DESERT STORM, northern sludge titan’s BONGCAULDRON, riff juggernauts DIESEL KING, Hull sludgecore merchants MASTIFF, Bury drunks PIST and Manchester’s BARBARIAN HERMIT, who are launching their new album “Solitude And Savagery” in November. Also appearing are sludge metal trio EVEREST QUEEN, Grimsby stoner doom crew CHURCH OF LIES, blues rockers RITUAL KING, psychedelic stoners DELTANAUT, French doom sludge marvels CRACKHOUSE and the massive noise rock duo TUSKAR from down south.

If all goes to plan, there will be no Scunthorpe on Sunday 11th November. It will lie in ruins.

Lizard King Promotions proudly presents CVLTFEST 2018

On November 10th, 2018 @ Cafe INDIEpendent, Scunthorpe

You have prayed to the God’s of Tone, and the Lizard King will deliver once again!

LINEUP:
Witchsorrow
Desert Storm
PIST
BongCauldron
Diesel King
Barbarian Hermit
Everest Queen
Ritual King
Church of Lies
Deltanaut
Mastiff
Tuskar
CRACKHOUSE

(Running order / set times coming soon)

Doors: 12pm
Adv Tickets: £10 (Plus admin)
OTD: £15

Event page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/312064439353101

Tickets:
https://lizardkingpromotions.bigcartel.com/product/cvltfest-lkp-all-dayer

Venue:
http://cafeindiependent.org.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/LizardKingPromotions
https://lizardkingpromotions.bigcartel.com
http://instagram.com/lizardkingpromotions
https://twitter.com/LizardKingPromo

Witchsorrow, No Light, Only Fire (2015)

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Quarterly Review: Glanville, Destroyer of Light, The Re-Stoned, Ruff Majik, Soldat Hans, High Priestess, Weed Demon, Desert Storm, Ancient Altar, Black Box Warning

Posted in Reviews on July 17th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-CALIFORNIA-LANDSCAPE-Julian-Rix-1851-1903

So Day 1’s done and it’s time to move on to Day 2. Feeling stressed and totally overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff still to be done? Why yes, I am. Thanks for asking. In the past, I used to handle the Quarterly Review well ahead of time. It’s always a lot to get through, but the week before, I’d be setting up back ends, chasing down links and Bandcamp players, starting reviews, etc., so that when it came time, all I had to do was the writing and plug it all into a post and I was set.

There was some prep-work done this past weekend, but especially this time, with my old laptop having been stolen in May, it’s all been way more jazz-improv. I was still adding releases as of last Friday, and writing beforehand? Shit. With the baby having just figured out how to climb? Not bloody likely. Accordingly, here we are, with much to do.

It’ll get done. I haven’t flubbed a Quarterly Review yet, and if I took an extra day to get there, I’m under no delusion that anyone else would care. So there you go. Let’s hit it for Day 2:

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Glanville, First Blood

glanville first blood

First Blood is the aptly-titled five-song debut EP from Glanville, a newcomer dual-guitar outfit with established players Philip Michel (The Earwix) on lead and Christopher West (Named by the Sun, ex-Stubb, etc.) on rhythm, Wight’s Peter-Philipp Schierhorn on bass and René Hofmann on vocals, and Thomas Hoffman (ex-Bushfire) on drums. Based in Germany and the UK, the group present 23 minutes of material on their first outing, drawing from the guitar-led likes of Thin Lizzy and Judas Priest to capture early metal and present it with a heavy rocking soulfulness and modern production. The most raucous of the cuts might be centerpiece “Durga the Great,” but neither “God is Dead” nor “Dancing on Fire” before nor “Demons” and “Time to Go” after want for action, and especially the latter builds to a furious head to close out the release. Hofmann as a standalone singer wants for nothing in range or approach, and the band behind him obviously build on their collective experience to dig into a stylistic nuance rarely executed with such confidence. They’ve found a place willfully between and are working to make it theirs. Can’t ask for more than that.

Glanville on Thee Facebooks

Glanville on Bandcamp

 

Destroyer of Light, Hopeless

destroyer of light hopeless

Having just recently signed to Argonauta Records for a new album in 2019, Austin doomers Destroyer of Light follow their 2017 long-player, Chamber of Horrors (review here), with a further auditory assault in the lumbering Hopeless. Psychedelic and yet still somehow traditional doom lingers in the brain after “Nyx” and “Drowned” have finished – the latter with an Alan Watts sample discussing alcoholism – and the band moves into demos for Chamber of Horrors cuts “Into the Smoke,” “Lux Crusher” and “Buried Alive.” Between the two previously unreleased songs and those three demos, Hopeless pushes to 39 minutes, but it’s probably still fair to call it an EP because of the makeup. Either way, from the miserable plod of “Nyx,” in which each chug in the riff cycle seems to count another woe, to the rolling nod early and surprising melody late in “Drowned,” Hopeless is anything but. Anticipation was already pretty high for Destroyer of Light’s next record after the last one, but all Hopeless does is show further depth of approach and more cleverly-wielded atmospheric murk. And the more it sounds like there’s no escape, the more Destroyer of Light seem to be in their element.

Destroyer of Light on Thee Facebooks

Destroyer of Light on Bandcamp

 

The Re-Stoned, Stories of the Astral Lizard

the re-stonEd stories of the astral lizard

The inevitable question is “Why a lizard?” and if you make it four minutes into 11-minute opener “Fractal Panorama” and don’t have your answer, go back ad start over. Moscow heavy psych instrumentalists The Re-Stoned intend the reptile as a spirit guide for their new outing Stories of the Astral Lizard (on Oak Island Records), which follows quickly behind their late-2017 offering, Chronoclasm (review here), and given the ultra-patient desert vibes in the opener, the acoustic-laced folk-prog of “Mental Print for Free,” the languid meander of “A Companion from the Outside,” the swirling sprawl of the 16-minute “Two Astral Projections” and the final cowpoke drift of “The Heather Carnival,” one might indeed just find a lizard sunning its belly amid all the atmospheric evocations and hallucinatory vibes. I’ll take “Two Astral Projections” as the highlight, but mostly because the extra length allows the band to really dig in, but really the whole album feeds together gorgeously and is a new level of achievement when it comes to atmosphere for The Re-Stoned, who were already underappreciated and find themselves only more so now.

The Re-Stoned on Thee Facebooks

Oak Island Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Ruff Majik, Seasons

Ruff Majik Seasons

Right on fuzz, right on groove, right on vibe – there isn’t much else one might say about Ruff Majik’s Seasons (on Rock Freaks Records and Forbidden Place Records) beyond “right on.” Heavy rock with twists of psychedelia, the Pretoria, South Africa, three-piece of Johni Holliday, Jimi Glass and Benni Manchino make their home on the lines of various subgenres, but wherever they go, the proceedings remain decisively heavy. To wit, a cut like “Breathing Ghosts” or the later “Birds Stole My Eyes” might dig into shuffle boogie or extreme-metal-derived thrust, but there’s a chemistry between the members and a resonant looseness that ties the material together, and as the last 14 of the total 66 minutes are dedicated to “Asleep in the Leaves,” there’s plenty of progressive weirdness in which to bask, one song moving through the next such that neither “Hanami Sakura (And the Ritual Suicide” nor the semi-doom-plodding “The Deep Blue” nor the funky twists of “Tar Black Blood” come across as predictable. Seasons might take a few listens to sink in, but it’s easily worth that effort.

Ruff Majik on Thee Facebooks

Ruff Majik at Rock Freaks Records webstore

Forbidden Place Records on Bandcamp

 

Soldat Hans, Es Taut

SOLDAT HANS ES TAUT-750

Hyperbole-worthy post-ism from Switzerland’s Soldat Hans makes their sophomore outing, Es Taut – on Wolves and Vibrancy Records as a 2LP – a forward thinking highlight. As rich in atmosphere as Crippled Black Phoenix and as lethal as Converge or Neurosis or anyone else you might dare to put next to them, the six-piece made their debut with 2014’s Dress Rehearsal (review here) and served notice of their cross-genre ambitiousness. Es Taut finds them four years later outclassing themselves and most of the rest of the planet across three extended tracks – “Story of the Flood” (26:15), “Schoner Zerbirst, Part I” (8:03) and “Schoner Zerbirst, Part II” (18:56) – that sprawl out with a confidence, poise and abrasion that is nothing short of masterful. Es Taut may be a case of a band outdoing their forebears, but whatever their legacy becomes and however many people take notice, Soldat Hans singlehandedly breathe life into the form of post-metal and prove utterly vital in so doing, not only making it their own, but pushing forward into something new in ambience and heft. This is what a band sounds like while making themselves indispensable.

Soldat Hans on Thee Facebooks

Wolves and Vibrancy Records website

 

High Priestess, High Priestess

high priestess high priestess

Calling to order a nod that’s immersive from the opening strains of leadoff/longest-track “Firefly” (still immediate points), Los Angeles trio High Priestess build out the psych-doom ritualizing of their 2017 demo (review here) to make their self-titled full-length debut through Ripple Music. The difference between the demo and the album in terms of what’s included comes down to artwork and the track “Take the Blame,” which adds its bell-of-the-ride swing between the atmosphere and melodic focus of “Banshee” and the spacious roller “Mother Forgive Me.” Potential is writ large throughout from guitarist/vocalist Katie Gilchrest, bassist/vocalist Mariana Fiel and drummer Megan Mullins, as it was on their demo, and even the harsh growls/screams on “Despise” seem to have found their place within the proceedings. As they wrap with the guitar-led jam of “Earth Dive,” High Priestess put the finishing touch on what’s hands-down one of 2018’s best debut albums and offer a reminder that as much potential as there is in their sound for future development, the accomplishments here are considerable unto themselves.

High Priestess on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

 

Weed Demon, Astrological Passages

weed demon astrological passages

Four tracks of gurgling riffy plunder pervade Astrological Passages, the 41-minute – longer if you get the digital version or the tape/CD, which includes the 7:24 “Dominion of Oblivion” – debut album from Columbus, Ohio’s Weed Demon. Delivered on vinyl through Electric Valley Records, the nodder/plodder carves out a cave for itself within a mountain of tonally thick stoner metal riffing, infusing a sense of sludge with shouted and growled vocals from guitarists Andy and Brian and bassist Jordan – only drummer Chris doesn’t get a mic – and an overarching sense of bludgeoning that’s Sleep-derived if not Sleep-adjacent in terms of its actual sound. Nasty? Why, yes it is, but as “Sigil of the Black Moon” heads toward the midpoint of its 10-minute run, the repetitive groove assault makes the band’s intention plain: worship weed, worship riff. They get faster on “Primordial Genocide” and even sneak a bit of speed in amidst the crawl before the banjo takes hold in the second half of 12-minute closer “Jettisoned” – more Americana sludge please; thank you – but they never lose sight of their mission, and it’s the uniting factor that makes their debut hit like the brick to the head that it is.

Weed Demon on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records website

 

Desert Storm, Sentinels

desert storm sentinels

With Sentinels, Oxford, UK, five-piece Desert Storm pass a decade since making their self-titled debut in 2008. They followed that with 2010’s Forked Tongues (review here), 2013’s Horizontal Life and 2014’s Omniscient (review here), and though they had a single out in 2014 on H42 Records as a split with Suns of Thunder (review here) in 2016, Sentinels is their first outing on APF Records and their first long-player in four years. Burl has always been an important factor in what they do, and the High on Fire-meets-Orange Goblin slamming of “The Brawl” backs that up, but Desert Storm have left much of the hyper-dudeliness behind in favor of a more complex approach, and while Sentinels isn’t a minor undertaking at 10 songs and 51 minutes, longer cuts like “Kingdom of Horns” and “Convulsion” demonstrate the maturity they’ve brought to bear, even as the one-two punch of “Drifter”  and “The Extrovert” offer swinging-fist hooks and beard-worthy chug that assures any and all testosterone quotas are met.

Desert Storm on Thee Facebooks

APF Records on Bandcamp

 

Ancient Altar, Cosmic Purge/Foie Gras

ancient altar cosmic purge foie gras

Based in Los Angeles, Ancient AltarScott Carlson (bass/vocals), Barry Kavener (guitar/vocals), Jesse Boldt (guitar) and Etay Levy (drums) – were last heard from on 2015’s dug-in atmosludger Dead Earth (review here), and they return lo these several years later with the two-tracker Cosmic Purge/Foie Gras, pushing into more extreme crush-of-riff with an abandon that’s anything but reckless. On the contrary, there’s some clear development in the 10-minute “Cosmic Purge” and 13-minute “Foie Gras,” rolling out oppressive grooves with blended screams/shouts and cleaner vocals. As with the last album, a drive toward individuality is central here, and Ancient Altar get there in tone while bringing forth a sense of scope to a sound so regularly thought of as closed off or off-putting in general. In its early going, “Foie Gras” hypnotizes with echoing melody and spaciousness only to resolve itself in a deeply weighted dirge march, furthering the pummel of “Cosmic Purge” itself. I don’t know if the EP – on vinyl through Black Voodoo Records, CD on Transcendental Void Records – will lead toward another album or not, but the sense of progression in Ancient Altar’s style is right there waiting to be heard, so here’s hoping.

Ancient Altar on Thee Facebooks

Black Voodoo Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Black Box Warning, Attendre la Mort

black box warning attendre la mort

Listen to it on headphones and the kickdrum on Black Box Warning’s Attendre la Mort is downright painful. Next-level blown-out aggro pulsations. Brutal in a physical sense. The rest of the band doesn’t follow far behind in that regard. Riffs are viscous and violent in noise rock tradition, but denser in their tone despite some underlying punkishness, and the vocals are likewise distorted and abrasive. The five-song/23-minute EP’s title translates to “Waiting for Death,” and each of the tracks is a dose: Opener “5 mg” is followed by “4 mg,” “1 mg,” “2 mg” and “3 mg.” Unsurprisingly, pills are a theme, particularly on “4 mg,” and the sense of violent threat is clear in “2 mg” and 3 mg,” which boast lines like, “Watch them all scream/Watch your enemy bleeded,” and “You are the pig/I am the butcher,” respectively. Between the lyrical and the general aural cruelty, the dis-ease is consuming and unmitigated, sludge becoming a slow-motion grindcore, and that’s clearly the point. Not stabbing, but gouging.

Black Box Warning on Thee Facebooks

Black Box Warning on Bandcamp

 

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Desert Storm Announce UK & European Touring; Sentinels Due March 1

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 29th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Hasn’t been that long since UK burldudes Desert Storm were announced as having signed to APF Records to release their next album, Sentinels, in 2018. Now in short order the Oxford troupe are back with word that not only will their fourth long-player hit on March 1, but that they’ll spend much of February and March on the road to support it, playing shows in the UK and mainland Europe throughout the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and the Ukraine.

In fact, the band has gone even further and laid out appearances they’ll make all the way into next Fall, when they’ll make a stop at the end of September at the HRH Doom vs. Stoner fest in Sheffield. I wish I knew where I was gonna be next September. Or, you know, could remember what I was supposed to do this afternoon. Was it grocery shopping? Was it writing about riffs? No? Well then, I’m at a complete loss.

The PR wire has fodder for calendar-marking:

desert storm sentinels tour

DESERT STORM ANNOUNCE “SENTINELS” EUROPEAN TOUR 2018

DESERT STORM are delighted to announce details of their European Tour in the support of “SENTINELS”, their fourth album, which will be released worldwide and on formats by APF Records on 1st March 2018.

Desert Storm have been making a name for themselves since they formed in late 2007. From the beginning the band have worked hard…with 3 albums and relentless touring of the UK & Europe with the likes of Karma To Burn, Nashville Pussy, Peter Pan Speedrock, Honky and Hang The Bastard as well as support slots to the likes of Orange Goblin, Red Fang, American Head Charge, Weedeater, Crowbar, Mondo Generator, The Atomic Bitchwax and festival appearances at Bloodstock Festival, Hammerfest, Hard Rock Hell, Giants of Rock, The Bulldog Bash, Desertfest (UK/DE) & Roadkill Festival.

SENTINELS tour dates are as follows:

February
3rd UK – Manchester – The Bread Shed (headlining the APF Records Showcase All-Dayer)
17th UK – Birmingham – 02 Academy
22nd NL – Rotterdam – Baroeg
24th NL – Eindhoven – The Jack Café
25th NL – tbc
26th BEL – Antwerp – Kids Rhythm & Blues
27th GER – Berlin – Urban Spree
28th GER – Weimar – Gerber 3

March
1st GER – Dresden – Chemiefabrik
2nd CZ – Prague – Klub Baryton
3rd PL – Warsaw – Hydrozagadka
4th SK – Bratislava – Fuga
5th SK – Kosice – Collosseum
6th UKR – Lviv – Freda 61 Klub
7th PL – Wroclaw – Black Moon
8th GER – Cologne – Limes
9th NL – Zwolle – Jacks Bar
10th BEL – Brussels – Rock Classic

July
7th UK – Bradford – Underground

August
25th UK – Bolton – Alma Inn (Riff Fest 2018)

September
29th UK – Sheffield – O2 Academy (HRH Doom Vs Stoner 2018)

Desert Storm is:
Chris White: Guitar
Ryan Cole: Guitar
Chris Benoist: Bass
Elliot Cole: Drums
Matt Ryan: Vocals

https://www.facebook.com/desertstormuk/
http://twitter.com/desertstormuk
http://www.instagram.com/desertstormuk
http://desertstorm.bandcamp.com/
http://www.desertstormband.com/
https://www.facebook.com/apfrecords
https://twitter.com/apf_records
https://www.instagram.com/apfrecords/
https://apfrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://apfrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://www.apfrecords.co.uk/

Desert Storm, “Signals from Beyond” official video

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Desert Storm Sign to APF Records; Sentinels Due March 1

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 19th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Yeah, this one makes sense. UK imprint APF Records has worked to make itself a home-base for some of its burliest countrymen acts, fostering the extremity, sludge and otherwise unabashed dudeliness of the likes of BongCauldronTronaldUnderBa’alDiesel KingNomad and Mastiff, among others. That they’d go ahead and pick up Desert Storm and add the Oxford five-piece to that roster feels like a next logical step to me. They’ll make for good company. APF clearly knows what it’s doing in wrangling the viciousness of these acts, and as Desert Storm look to follow-up 2015’s Omniscient (review here), they’re deserving of as wide attention as they can get, particularly after touring as they have over the last year-plus with Honky and Limb in the UK and hitting the European mainland earlier in 2017.

So while it’s not necessarily the hugest of surprises conceptually, I’ll say all the more kudos to group and imprint for the logical fit, and hope for more to come from Desert Storm as we move into the New Year. The band, who also had a split 7″ with Suns of Thunder (review here) out last year on H42 Records to mark their appearance at Desertfest, will release their new album, Sentinels, in March. I’ll get my testosterone supplements ready.

APF posted the following announcement to make it official:

desert storm

We are beyond thrilled to announce that Desert Storm have signed to APF Records.

Following on from Desert Storm (2008), Forked Tongues (2010), Horizontal Life (2013) and Omniscient (2015) we will be releasing the quintet’s new album SENTINELS worldwide and on all formats on 1st March 2018.

Welcome to the family, boys.

Desert Storm is:
Chris White: Guitar
Ryan Cole: Guitar
Chris Benoist: Bass
Elliot Cole: Drums
Matt Ryan: Vocals

https://www.facebook.com/desertstormuk/
http://twitter.com/desertstormuk
http://www.instagram.com/desertstormuk
http://desertstorm.bandcamp.com/
http://www.desertstormband.com/
https://www.facebook.com/apfrecords
https://twitter.com/apf_records
https://www.instagram.com/apfrecords/
https://apfrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://apfrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://www.apfrecords.co.uk/

Desert Storm, “Signals from Beyond” official video

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Desert Storm Announce March 2017 European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 14th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Burl-loaded UK groove rockers Desert Storm will head out on a European tour beginning March 24. They’re starting in style with two shows in one day at Hammerfest and at Bristol’s storied Stag and Hounds venue, then kicking outward from there into the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and back to Germany for one more go on a no-nights-off run heralding the arrival of their fourth full-length, which may or may not be released to coincide with the tour but is definitely due sometime in 2017 according to the band.

When it drops, Desert Storm‘s next long-player will be the follow-up to 2015’s Omniscient (review here) and the H42 Records split 7″ with Suns of Thunder (review here) they released earlier this year to celebrate their appearance at Desertfest. Whatever they come up with for it, you can guess it will be the dudeliest thing you hear that day, as that’s kind of how it goes with the Oxford natives.

Dates and other info follow, courtesy of the PR wire:

desert storm euro tour

For Desert Storm, 2016 has been a year of musical contemplation with the 4th album in the process of being forged. Hammerfest, Desert Fest Berlin, Camden Rocks & Bloodstock amongst other festivals along with a 12 day tour supporting the mighty Honky, have marked the bands commitment to getting out there on the road and honing their craft.

Gazing into the future, 2017 will mark a decade of riff making for the band, celebrating this with the release of their 4th studio album, along with multiple tours in the works. Keep your eyes open.

Desert Storm European tour:
Fri 24th March – Hammerfest, UK
Fri 24th March – Bristol, Stag & Hounds, UK
Sat 25th March – Den Haag, Musicon, NL
Sun 26th March – Antwerp, Kavka, BE
Mon 27th March – Hamburg, Bar 227, DE
Tues 28th March – Berlin, Urban Spree, DE
Wed 29th March – Prague, Nad Viktorkou, CZ
Thurs 30th March – Kosice, Collosseum, SK
Fri 31st March – Katowice, Korba, PL
Sat 1st April – Dresden, Chemiefabrik, DE

Desert Storm is:
Chris White: Guitar
Ryan Cole: Guitar
Chris Benoist: Bass
Elliot Cole: Drums
Matt Ryan: Vocals

https://www.facebook.com/desertstormuk/
http://twitter.com/desertstormuk
http://www.instagram.com/desertstormuk
https://desertstorm.bandcamp.com/
http://www.desertstormband.com/

Desert Storm, “Signals from Beyond” official video

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Buried in Smoke All-Dayer Set for Nov. 12

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 13th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

With 12PM doors and 13 bands on the bill, the Buried in Smoke All Dayer should most certainly live up to its name. The dirt-cheap and dirtier-heavy onslaught is set to take place Nov. 12 at The Bullingdon in Oxford, UK, and along with Desert Storm — who are also directly involved in putting the event and all of Buried in Smoke Promotions‘ shows together — the lineup boasts several noteworthy names out of the UK’s ultra-fertile underground heavy scene. Worth noting that Desert Storm fit right where they are in closing out the night, and to have them joined by Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight, Grifter, Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters and Lacertilia at the top of the bill shows the utter strength of the scene in which this show is taking place.

No less encouraging, however, are the names toward the earlier part of the day: Morass of Molasses, King Goat, Mastiff, The Atrocity Exhibit, Black Skies Burn, The Darkhorse, My Diablo and Crimson Tusk. You’re doubtless already familiar with all of the above (also below), because you’re more in touch than I am and/or you live in the UK, but they would seem to represent a decent cross-section of underground rock and metal, and as always with this kind of gig, it’s as much about seeing the bands you don’t know as the bands you do.

At least that’s how it should work. Full lineup info and links follow here, as hoisted from the social medias:

buried in smoke all dayer poster

Nov. 12 – B.I.S. All Dayer

The Bullingdon
162 Cowley Road, OX4 1UE Oxford, United Kingdom

Buried In Smoke promotions present:

Desert Storm
Trippy Wicked
Grifter
Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters
Lacertillia
Morass Of Molasses
King Goat
Mastiff
The Atrocity Exhibit
Black Skies Burn
The Darkhorse
My Diablo
Crimson Tusk

Doors at 12pm
£10 on the door

https://www.facebook.com/events/1752579818352918/
https://www.facebook.com/Buried-In-Smoke-Promotions-152851731433057/

Desert Storm, “Signals from Beyond” official video

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Desert Storm Post “Signals from Beyond” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 22nd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

desert storm

UK heavy rockers Desert Storm will release their new split with Suns of Thunder next weekend at Desertfest Berlin. Released through H42 Records, the split 7″ (review here) brings together one track from each band, and for Desert Storm, follows up their 2014 third album, Omniscient (review here), it refines their burly take on post-Orange Goblin heavy grooves and brash riffing, booze-ready and sonically forceful. Crisp and clearheaded in its intent, “Signals from Beyond” nonetheless carries the swagger of Desert Storm‘s earlier offerings forward as it moves through its quick four minutes.

As a result, they sound like they know what the hell they’re doing. And well they should with three albums under their belt, an appearance last year Desertfest London, a tour upcoming with Honky (dates here), Berlin next weekend and so on, but it stands as a demonstration of what a few years of kicking around a busy scene can really bring out in a band. Desert Storm made their debut in 2010, and since then, they’ve worked steadily to progress their take across shows and albums, garnering a fanbase the old fashioned way: with songs and on-stage effort.

I wouldn’t look for that to change. Desert Storm seem to have found their niche and have set about developing in it. Not sure what they’re up to after their summer tour, but a fourth long-player for 2017 doesn’t seem like an unreasonable expectation.

Until then, enjoy “Signals from Beyond” on the player below, followed by more info on the Desertfest split from H42 Records:

Desert Storm, “Signals from Beyond” official video

Check out our new video for our track ‘Signals From Beyond’. This track is on our new split 7″ with our friends Suns Of Thunder which gets officially released at Desertfest on 29th April. Cheers to H42 Records and Winwood Media for the video.

Limited up to 350 copies
100 on clear ree vinyl with red artwork
100 on clear yellow vinyl with yellow artwork
100 on clear green vinyl with green artwork
50 on clear vinyl with blue artwork (DESSERTFEST Berlin edition and only available at the festival)

Limited Up to 350 copies (H42-031, H42 Records)
100 on clear red vinyl with red artwork
100 on clear green vinyl with green artwork
100 on clear yellow vinyl with yellow artwork
100 on clear vinyl with blue artwork (DesertFest Berlin Edition and only available at the festival)

Desert Storm on Thee Facebooks

Desert Storm/Suns of Thunder at H42 Records

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Quarterly Review: Wheel in the Sky, Sun Dial, LSD & the Search for God, Duel, The Canadian Sweetmen, Wren, Transient, Desert Storm & Suns of Thunder, Telstar Sound Drone, Fantasy Arcade

Posted in Reviews on March 28th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk quarterly review spring 2016

So it begins. I’d say this one snuck up on me, but the terrible truth of these things is that there are months of planning involved. You know the drill by now: Between today and Friday, I’ll be posting 50 record reviews in batches of 10 per day, and that’s the Quarterly Review. They’re not really in any order. Some have been out for a while, some aren’t out yet. I have tried to mark 2015 stuff where possible, if only to keep my own organizational modus straight. We’ll see how that goes as the week plays out. In any case, I hope you find something here that you dig. I know I have.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Wheel in the Sky, Heading for the Night

wheel in the sky heading for the night

Although Wheel in the Sky’s presentation is modern enough on their The Sign Records debut album, Heading for the Night, to steer them clear of Sweden’s boogie-mad masses, they’re still very clearly taking influence from classic rock, most notably The Who on cuts like opener “Fire, Death to All” (also the longest track; immediate points), “Total Eclipse of the Brain” and “Thrust in the Night.” The clarity of sound and approach puts them more in line with bands like The Golden Grass and, for a countrymen example, Troubled Horse, than Graveyard, and the Uppsala/Stockholm four-piece distinguish themselves further through the dual-lead interplay of “A Turn for the Wicked,” which hints just a bit toward Thin Lizzy bounce to feed into closer “God on High,” which coats its vocals in echo to add a sense of grandeur before the last instrumental push, which picks up the pace at the end to cap a first album from a band clearly looking to find their own niche within a classic heavy rock feel.

Wheel in the Sky on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records

 

Sun Dial, Mind Control

sun dial mind control

Offered first by the band in 2012 and reissued through Sulatron Records with two bonus tracks from the same recording session, Sun Dial’s Mind Control puts the long-running UK psych/space rockers in their element in a kosmiche expanse quickly on “Mountain of Fire and Miracles,” and while electronic experimentation is a factor throughout “Radiation” and “Burned In,” there’s always a human spirit underneath and sometimes out front in what Sun Dial do, and the newly-included “Seven Pointed Star” and “World Within You” fit in with the sense of acid ritual that the original album tracks convey, the title cut transposing Hawkwindian warp drive on a more relaxed atmosphere, each measure seemingly a mantra in a longer meditation. Even with its wah-soaked ending, “In Every Dream Home a Heartache” has a more straightforward tack, proving that even when you think you know what a group like Sun Dial are up to, you’re probably wrong.

Sun Dial on Thee Facebooks

Mind Control at Sulatron Records

 

LSD and the Search for God, Heaven is a Place

lsd and the search for god heaven is a place

The second EP from San Francisco-based shoegazing psychedelic rockers LSD and the Search for God, Heaven is a Place, arrives a whopping nine years after its self-titled predecessor. Granted, it might be the wash of effects and the almost-whispered vocal melodies that seem to barely break the surface of the waves of airy distortion, but if any of this material goes back that far, it doesn’t show its age. The five-piece – guitarist/vocalist Andy Liszt, vocalist Sophia Cambell, guitarist Chris Fifield, bassist Ryan Lescure and drummer Ricky Maymi – offer five tracks of blissed-out, dripping wet vibe, with “Outer Space (Long Way Home)” at the center of a post-grunge swirl following the cosmic push of “(I Don’t Think that We Should) Take it Slow” and before the serenity of “Elizabeth” takes hold as a lead-in for seven-minute finale “Without You,” simultaneously the most lucid and dreamy of the cuts included. Nine years is a long time. Heaven is a Place begs for a quicker follow-up.

LSD and the Search for God on Thee Facebooks

LSD and the Search for God on Bandcamp

 

Duel, Fears of the Dead

duel fears of the dead

Austin purveyors Duel make a striking impression from the cover onward with their Heavy Psych Sounds full-length debut, Fears of the Dead. The four-piece, which by all reports features two former members of Scorpion Child, get down with classic swing on the opening title-track and thereby broadcast the intent of the album as a whole, bringing ‘70s-style grooves and boogie forward in time with modern fullness and a crisp production that highlights the gruff vocals of guitarist Tom Frank, who alongside bassist/vocalist Shaun Avants, guitarist Derek Halfmann and drummer JD Shadowz, swaggers through the record’s eight included slabs as one might through a crowded venue for the next in a long series of an evening’s beers. Later cuts like “When the Pigs are Fed” and 7:52 closer “Locked Outside” bring some more variety to the approach, but the heart of Fears of the Dead remains brash and unbridled, and one doubts if Duel would have it any other way.

Duel on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds

 

The Canadian Sweetmen, Intro b/w New Cigarettes

the canadian sweetmen intro new cigarettes

One might blink and miss the debut single from somewhat mysterious psychedelic rockers The Canadian Sweetmen, which totals its A and B sides together for a runtime of about four and a half minutes, but the fact that the 90-second “Intro” (the A side) manages to marry The Velvet Underground and The Beach Boys in that span is definitely something worth taking the time to note. There’s just about no information on the band as to who they are, where they come from, where they’re going, etc., but the three-minute “New Cigarettes” makes an impression on style and substance alike and offers an encouraging glimpse at what seems to be a psychedelia bolstered by organ and Rhodes and unbound by a need to adhere to genre tenets. “Intro” doesn’t even stick around long enough to do so, but “New Cigarettes” careens into a rhythmic push for its chorus that offers an earthy undertone to the heady, spaced-out vibe. More please.

The Canadian Sweetmen Tumblr

The Canadian Sweetmen on Soundcloud

 

Wren, Host

wren host

Absolutely devastating. UK post-sludgers Wren dole out a punishment that won’t be soon forgotten on their second EP, Host (on Holy Roar), following up the blackened post-rock of their 2014 self-titled EP (review here) and their 2015 split with Irk (review here) with four pummeling but still richly atmospheric cuts. Working now as the lineup of Owen Jones, Chris Pickering, Robert Letts and John McCormick, Wren have had three different vocalists on their three releases, but not a one of them has failed to add to the ambience and crushing impression of their riffs, and the hook of “No Séance” particularly on Host signifies that despite whatever lineup shifts they may have had, Wren continue to progress and refine their attack. “Stray,” “No Séance,” “The Ossuary” and “Loom” are unshakable, deeply weighted and righteously spaced. They may have flown somewhat under the radar up to this point, but Wren are too loud to be a well kept secret for much longer.

Wren on Thee Facebooks

Wren on Bandcamp

 

Transient, Transient

transient transient

Some 12 years after their initial demo surfaced in 2003, Massachusetts’ Transient present an atmospheric take on alt-metal with their self-titled debut full-length, self-released last fall. Bringing together nine tracks/46 minutes with a patient but tense pacing and underlying currents of progressive metal in cuts like “Ditch of Doubt” and “Wrong Time,” it unfolds gracefully with the intro “Voyager One” and finds an aggressive burst in “Wrong Time” and the Tool-gone-psych build of the penultimate “Slightest Scare.” That song is part of an extended two-cut closing suite with “Hold this Grudge,” which highlights Scott McCooe’s bass tone as it provides a surprising but satisfying laid back finish. McCooe, joined here by guitarist/vocalist Tim Hayes and drummer John Harris, splits his time with metalcore progenitors Overcast, and as Transient was recorded over a year’s stretch and then mixed and mastered a year after that – living up to the band’s name – it may be a while before a follow-up, but after so long from their demo, it’s still a welcome debut.

Transient on Thee Facebooks

Transient on Bandcamp

 

Desert Storm & Suns of Thunder, Split

desert storm suns of thunder split

Issued by H42 Records in a limited edition for this year’s Desertfest, the new split 7” from UK heavy platoons Desert Storm and Suns of Thunder is so dudely they could sell it as vitamin supplements on late-night tv. A complex critique of gender it is not, heavy it is. One track from each band. Desert Storm bring the burl of “Signals from Beyond,” which with its strong hook and gravely vocals brings to mind Orange Goblin nestled into a nodding riff. For Swansea’s Suns of Thunder, it’s “Earn Your Stripes,” with its complex vocal arrangements for lyrics about small men and big men, paying your dues and other whathaveyou that dominant culture tells those with testicles will make them more complete people. Fine. Masculinity and femininity are scams to sell pants, but “Earn Your Stripes” is catchy as all anything and “Signals from Beyond” is even catchier than however catchy that is, so a testosterone overdose seems a small price to pay.

Desert Storm on Thee Facebooks

Suns of Thunder on Thee Facebooks

 

Telstar Sound Drone, Magical Solutions to Everyday Struggles

telstar sound drone magical solutions to everyday problems

Magical Solutions to Everyday Struggles is the second album from Copenhagen-based auralnauts Telstar Sound Drone, and like much of what Bad Afro releases, it presents a strong temptation to drop out, tune in and turn on. Little surprise the band is something of an offshoot from Baby Woodrose, sharing guitarist Mads Saaby and drummer Hans Beck with the seminal garage rockers, but the lush impression made on “Something I Can’t Place” with the watery vocals of Sean Jardenbæk comes from an even more lysergic place, and the experimental side that comes through on “Closer Again,” “Dark Kashmir” and the languid “Dead Spaces” is a multi-tiered dreamscape that closer “Lean down on White” seems sad to leave. Reasonably so. With guest spots from members of Spids Nøgenhat, Bite the Bullet and Baby Woodrose (Kåre Joensen on bass/synth), Telstar Sound Drone’s sophomore outing is an otherworldly psychedelic vision that, as promised, does seem to cure what ails, exciting even in its most subdued moments.

Telstar Sound Drone on Thee Facebooks

Bad Afro Records

 

Fantasy Arcade, Fantasy Arcade

fantasy arcade fantasy arcade

Initially offered by the band in 2012 and subsequently pressed to a six-song 7” and jewel case CD, the self-titled debut EP from San Diego trio Fantasy Arcade only runs about 11 minutes, but that’s all it needs to bring together punk, thrash, sludge and heavy rock across fuckall-heavy cuts like “The Dwarves are Missing” – the longest song here at 3:38 – and the rumbling finale “Die Before You Suck,” which gallops and shouts and seems to crash into walls on its way out, though drummer/vocalist Adam, bassist/vocalist Chris and guitarist Mike actually do well in deciding when to keep control and when to let it go. More nuanced than it lets on, Fantasy Arcade is an aggressive pulse given to moments of frustration boiling over, but being rooted in metal as much as punk, its dwelling in two worlds gives heft to the freneticism at play, as shown in “Poison Arrow,” the first half of which runs at a sprint right into the brick wall slowdown of its second, and final, minute.

Fantasy Arcade on Thee Facebooks

Fantasy Arcade on Bandcamp

 

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