Doomstress Touring with Beerwolf in February

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


Next month, Texas now-four-piece Doomstress will head out on tour in the company of Florida’s Beerwolf for a run through the Southern states. Normally here I’d write something about heading south for the winter, blah blah blah avoiding snow, but that doesn’t seem to be the way the universe works anymore. Nonetheless, Doomstress go in support of their new EP, The Second Rite (discussed here), which is out on DHU Records as the follow-up to 2016’s Supernatural Kvlt Sounds (video premiere here).

Doomstress have undertaken numerous tours since getting together about two years ago now, and one can’t help but wonder how much that process may or may not be playing toward progress on a debut full-length. With members coming from outfits like Venomin James, Project Armageddon and Well of Souls, there’s no lack of experience or pedigree behind them. Could be they’ve chosen to find their sound in front of an audience rather than in the rehearsal space, which is an admirable ethic, to be sure. I guess maybe I’m just anxious to hear how an LP from them might come across when they get there. Due time.

Tour dates came in from the PR wire:

doomstress beerwolf tour

Doomstress to Embark on Co-Headlining North American Tour with Beerwolf!

Houston, TX doom metal masters (and mistress) Doomstress will be hitting the road for an extensive North American tour starting in February. Joining Doomstress as co-headliners starting February 17th will be Florida’s Beerwolf. Here’s what Doomstress Alexis had to say about the upcoming tour:

“After playing with Beerwolf in Tampa, FL during our 2nd tour back in November 2016 and really hitting it off with these dudes, we are super stoked to have them touring across the southern US with DOOMSTRESS this February!”

Doomstress/Beerwolf North American Tour 2018
February 15 – Lafayette, LA – Freetown Boom Room (Doomstress Only)
February 16 – Hattiesburg, MS – The Tavern (Doomstress Only)
February 16 – Gainesville, FL – Loosey’s (Beerwolf Only)
February 17 – Mobile, AL – The Blind Mule
February 18 – Birmingham, AL – The Nick
February 19 – Memphis, TN – Growlers
February 20 – Oklahoma City, OK – Your Mom’s Place
February 21 – Arlington, TX – Division
February 22 – Austin TX – The Lost Well
February 23 – San Angelo, TX – The Dead Horse
February 24 – Houston, TX – Dan Electros
February 25 – New Orleans, LA – Santo’s Bar

Doomstress is out supporting their latest release, Supernatural Kvlt Sounds: The Second Rite. The EP contains remixed versions from the original, very limited self release and 7″ DHU single, as well as new song “Bitter Plea” recorded at the end of the Wicked Summer tour and featuring additional rhythm guitar by guitarist Joe Fortunato (Sparrowmilk/Venomin James/ex-Ancient VVisdom). The artwork that will appear on both the CD & vinyl is by renowned psychedelic artist, Goatess Doomwych.

Doomstress, “Bitter Plea” official video

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Grajo to Release Slowgod II on DHU Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan


Certainly Spanish doom rockers Grajo have their classic-style elements in play, as they showed on their 2016 self-titled debut, but there’s a touch of nuance there as well, and as we’re still in the first week of 2018, they’re the second pickup confirmed by DHU Records, which has sent along the info for the vinyl release of the second Grajo album, Slowgod II. No set issue date as yet — put it in the “coming soon” file — but along with Son of the Morning, Grajo join a building roster of acts for the emergent imprint, which already seems to be looking to make a mark on the New Year.

Art and info follow:

grajo slowgod ii

Grajo ~ SLOWGOD II (DHU025)

Sophomore album released through DHU Records in 2018!

DHU Records is proud to announce to once again collaborate with the mighty GRAJO from Cordoba, Spain to release their second album SLOWGOD II on limited edition vinyl!

As with their first Self Titled album GRAJO is known to experiment with more sounds than just the mighty riff pounding you relentlesly, by using the Theremin, for instance, to create more atmosphere yet retaining a massive wall of Doom to pull the listener in and captivate mesmerically. So it is no wonder that they continue to dive off the deep end and rough up the ordinary to pull you into their brand of Heavy Psych Doom Metal.

The artwork will once again be provided by Antonio Ramírez Mentes de Ácido who did the artwork for the first Self Titled record.

A1. Altares 8:38
A2. Queen Cobra 4:37
A3. Malmuerta 4:53
B1. Er 7:12
B2. Horror And Pleasure 4:53
B3. Malstrøm 8:05

As with all DHU Records releases SLOWGOD II will be released on limited edition vinyl:

DHU Exclusive
Limited to 90 copies
Gatefold jacket
Black poly-lined innersleeves
Hand numbered DHU Exclusive card
Comes on Clear/White Half/Half w/ Purple Splatter 12″ vinyl

Queen Cobra Edition
Limited to 150 copies
Gatefold jacket
Black poly-lined innersleeves
Comes on Milky Clear w/ Orange, Blue and Purple Splatter 12″ vinyl

SLOWGOD II will also be released on CD through Underground Legends Records

Liz: Voices
Pistolo: Bass
Félix: Drums
Josef: Guitars/Theremin

Grajo, Grajo (2016)

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Son of the Morning Sign to DHU Records; Self-Titled Debut LP Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Rife with classic swing and cultish theme, Son of the Morning‘s self-titled debut EP left a mark among listeners upon its release as the band’s opening salvo in 2017. The Iowa-based four-piece have accordingly been snagged by DHU Records for the follow-up first long-player, which is a prospect that has one curious to see how the group will answer the promise held in a fuzz-doom roller like “Release” while at the same time distinguishing themselves from the multitudes of riff rollers out there. Brimming with heft and proto-ethereal melodicism as they are, they’ve got their work cut out for them in that regard, but the atmospheric flourish and core songwriting approach the band showed their first time out does nothing if it doesn’t bode well.

The PR wire brought the announcement through:

son of the morning


Son of the Morning is an occult rock, doom 4 piece from Iowa.

From the pale grey light of America’s Midwest, come Son of the Morning. An occult rock, doom band that interplay’s the whimsical with the diabolical. The four members of Son of the Morning form the inner-circle of creativity that call upon the forebearers of dark hard rock and heavy metal. However, all is not as it seems as odd-meter and syncopated arragements dwell within the musical offerings.

Exploring the darker recesses of mankind’s aberrant behavior the band touches on religion, murder, pagan rites, superstition and worship. From fist pounding shuffle rhythms to skull crushed plodding, the music endeavors to take the listener through a dynamic range of expressions and emotions. The danger of Son of the Morning is the familiar invitation that gives way to a more sinister motive. By the time you learn of your fate, it is too late…

To most, the band would be considered new, if it were not for the wealth of experience amongst it’s members. Combined, the quintet represents decades of musical accomplishment and exploration.The bond was forged in 2016 and most of the year was spent crafting the band’s signature sound. 2017 saw a year of festivals and shows along with the release of a self-titled debut extended play featuring 3 songs. The release was well received by fans and critics alike.

If you give the devil an opening, he’ll take it…

DHU Records will be releasing their Self Titled full length (DHU028) in 2018 on limited edition vinyl.

For now you can partake of the 3 song EP released October 31st 2017 on bandcamp:

1. Left Hand Path
2. Release
3. House of Our Enemy

Son of the Morning is:
Lady Helena – Vocals, Organ
Lee Allen – Electric Bass Guitar
H.W. Applewhite – Trap Kit
Levi Mendes – Electric Guitar

Son of the Morning, Son of the Morning EP (2017)

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Quarterly Review: The Necromancers, The Asound & Intercourse, Bohr, Strobe, Astrosaur, Sun Q, Holy Mount, Sum of R, IIVII, Faces of the Bog

Posted in Reviews on September 25th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk quarterly review

The season is changing here in the Northeastern part of the US. Leaves have just barely started to change, and the summertime haze that settles over the region for for the better parts of June, July and August has largely dissipated. It’s getting to be hoodie weather after the sun goes down. This past weekend was the equinox. All of this can only mean it’s time for another Quarterly Review — this one spanning a full Monday-to-Monday week’s worth of writeups. That’s right. 60 albums between now and a week from today. It’s going to be a genuine challenge to get through it all, but I’m (reasonably) confident we’ll get there and that when we’re on the other side, it will have been completely worth the lengthy trip to get there. Hell, you know the drill by now. Let’s not waste any time and get to it, shall we?

Quarterly Review #1-10:

The Necromancers, Servants of the Salem Girl


A noteworthy debut from the Poitier, France-based four-piece The Necromancers, whose coming has been much heralded owing in no small part to a release through Ripple Music, the six-track/41-minute Servants of the Salem Girl lumbers through doom and cultish heavy rock with likewise ease, shifting itself fluidly between the two sides on extended early cuts like opener “Salem Girl Part I” and the nine-minute “Lucifer’s Kin,” which gets especially Sabbathian in its roll later on. The album’s midsection, with the shorter cuts “Black Marble House” (video premiere here) and “Necromancers,” continues the flow with a general uptick of pace and ties together with the opening salvo via the burly vocals of guitarist Tom, the solo work of Rob on lead guitar, and the adaptable groove from bassist Simon and drummer Ben, and as the penultimate “Grand Orbiter” engages moody spaciousness, it does so with a refusal to commit to one side or the other that makes it a highlight of the album as a whole. The Necromancers finish contrasting rhythmic tension and payoff nod on “Salem Girl Part II,” having long since thoroughly earned their hype through songwriting and immediately distinct sonic persona. There’s growth to do in melodicism, but for being “servants,” The Necromancers show an awful lot of command in structure and style.

The Necromancers on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website


The Asound & Intercourse, Split 7″

the asound intercourse split

Noise is the order of things on the Tsuguri Records split 7” between New Haven, Connecticut’s good-luck-Googling aggressives Intercourse and North Carolinian sludge rockers The Asound. Each band offers a two-song showcase of their wares, with Intercourse blasting short jabs of post-hardcore/noise rock angularity on “Too Fucked to Yiff” and “Corricidin is a Helluva Drug” and The Asound bringing a more melodic heavy rock swing to “Slave to the Saints” while saving a more galloping charge for “Human for Human.” It’s a quick sampling, of course, and “Slave to the Saints” is the relative epic inclusion as the only one over three minutes long – it goes to 4:20, naturally – but boasts a surprisingly professional production from The Asound and an unhinged vibe from Intercourse that meets them head on in a way both competitive and complementary to the aggression of “Human for Human.” Fodder for the bands’ merch tables in its limited-to-300, one-time-only pressing, but there’s hardly anything wrong with that. All the more worth grabbing it if you can, while you can.

The Asound on Thee Facebooks

Intercourse on Thee Facebooks

Tsuguri Records on Thee Facebooks


Bohr, Bohr

bohr bohr

Officially called Self-Title, this two-song outing released by Tandang Records and BTNKcllctv serves as the first release from Malaysia’s Bohr, and with shouts and growls duking it out over massive plodding tones on opener “Voyager,” they seem to take position right away in the post-Conan verve of megadoom. Peppered-in lead work showcases some welcome nuance of personality, but it’s the second track “Suria” that trips into more surprising terrain, with a faster tempo and something of a letup in thickness, allowing for a more rocking feel, still met with shouted vocals but hinting at more of a melodic reach nonetheless. The shift might be awkward in the context of a full-length, but on a debut single/EP, it works just fine to demonstrate what may or may not be a nascent breadth in Bohr’s approach. They finish “Suria” with hints of more to come in a plotted guitar lead and are done in about 10 minutes, having piqued interest with two disparate tracks that leave one to wonder what other tricks might be up their collective sleeve.

Bohr on Thee Facebooks

Tandang Records on Bandcamp

BTNKcllctv on Bandcamp


Strobe, Bunker Sessions

strobe bunker sessions

It’s worth noting outright that Strobe’s Bunker Sessions was recorded in 1994. Not because it sounds dated, but just the opposite. The Sulatron Records release from the under-exposed UK psychedelic rockers finds them jamming out in live-in-studio fashion, and if you’d told me with no other context that the resultant six-track/40-minute long-player was put to tape two months ago, I’d absolutely have believed it. This would’ve been the era of their 1994 third album, The Circle Never Ends, and while some can hear some relation between that and Bunker Sessions in the shimmering lead and warm underscoring basslines of 10-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Sun Birth,” the drift in “Chameleon Earth,” synth-laden space rock meandering of “Opium Dreams” and cymbal-wash-into-distortion-wash of closer “Sun Death” are on a wavelength of their own. It’s something of a curio release – a “lost album” – but it’s also bound to turn some heads onto how ahead of their time Stobe were in the ‘90s, and maybe we’ll get lucky and Sulatron will use it to kick off a full series of convenient LP reissues.

Sulatron Records on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records webstore


Astrosaur, Fade In / Space Out


While their moniker brings to mind pure stoner idolatry, Oslo instrumentalists Astrosaur acquit themselves toward more progressive fare with Fade In // Space Out, their Bad Vibes Records debut album, finding open spaces in bookending extended opener “Necronauts” and the dramatic shift between droning experimentalism and weighted lumber of the closing title-track even as middle cuts “Space Mountain,” “Yugen” and “Fishing for Kraken” balance with fits of driving progressive metallurgy. Comprised of Eirik Kråkenes, Steinar Glas and Jonatan Eikum, Astrosaur do get fuzzy for a bit on “Yugen,” but by the time they’re there, they’ve already space-doom-jazzed their way through such a vast aesthetic swath that it becomes one more stylistic element in fair-enough play. Open in its structure and building to an affecting cacophony in its ending, Fade In // Space Out is defined in no small part by its stylistic ambition, but whether it’s in the head-spinning initial turns of “Fishing for Kraken” or the stretch of peaceful, wistful guitar after the seven-minute mark in “Necronauts,” that ambition is admirable multifaceted and wide-reaching.

Astrosaur on Thee Facebooks

Bad Vibes Records website


Sun Q, Charms

sun q charms

There’s an encouraging and decidedly pro-shop fullness of sound being proffered on Sun Q’s debut full-length, Charms, to match an immediate sense of songcraft and stylization that puts them somewhere between heavy psych and more driving fuzz rock. Vocalist Elena Tiron takes a forward position in opener “Petals and Thorns” over the briskly-captured tones from guitarist Ivan Shalimov and bassist Denis Baranov while drummer Pavel Poseluev pushes the proceedings along, and whether they’re bringing in Seva Timofeev’s Hammond for the subsequent bluesy vibing of “After This,” toying with pop playfulness on “Plankton,” giving Andrey Tanzu percussive room on “Dancing Souls” or going full-expanse on keyboard-laden centerpiece and aptly-titled longest cut “Space,” there’s purpose behind the variety on offer and Sun Q never seem to lose their sense of poise throughout. There are moments where the bite of the production hits a little deep – looking at you, “Plankton” – but especially as their debut, Charms lives up to the name it’s been given and establishes these Moscow natives as a presence with which to be reckoned as they move forward.

Sun Q on Thee Facebooks

Sun Q on Bandcamp


Holy Mount, The Drought

holy mount the drought

White Dwarf Records picked up what by my count is Holy Mount’s fourth full-length, The Drought, for a vinyl issue following the Toronto foursome’s self-release last year, and with the immersive, dense heavy psych nod of “Division,” it’s little wonder why. The seven-cut LP is the second to feature the lineup of Danijel Losic, Brandon McKenzie, Troy Legree and Clayton Churcher behind 2014’s VOL, and its moments of nuance like the synth at the outset of “Blackened Log” or the blend of tense riffing and post-The Heads shoegaze-style vocal chants on the markedly insistent highlight cut “Basalt” only further the reasoning. The penultimate “Blood Cove” returns some to of the ritual sense of “Division,” and The Drought’s titular finale pierces its own wash with a lead that makes its apex all the more resonant and dynamic. Not nearly as frenetic as its cover art would have you believe, the already-sold-out vinyl brims with a vibe of creative expansiveness, and Holy Mount feel right at home in its depths.

Holy Mount on Thee Facebooks

White Dwarf Records webstore


Sum of R, Orga

sum of r orga

Over the course of its near-hour runtime, Orga, the Czar of Crickets-issued third full-length from Bern, Switzerland, ambient outfit Sum of R deep-dives into droning atmospheric wash while effectively producing headphone-worthy depths and avoiding the trap of redundant minimalism. Chimes in a song like “Desmonema Annasethe” and ringing bells in “We Have to Mark this Entrance” give a feeling of lushness instead that serves the release well overall, and these details, nuances, take the place of what otherwise might be human voices coursing through the bleak mire of Orga’s progression. One might look to closing duo “Let us Begin with What We Do Not Want to Be” and “One After the Other” for some sense of hopefulness, and whether or not it’s actually there, it’s possible to read it into the overarching drone of the former and the percussive movement of the latter, but by then Sum of R have well set the mood in an abiding darkness, and that remains the prevailing vibe. Not quite dramatic or brooding in a human/emotional sense, Orga casts its drear in soundscapes of distant nighttime horizon.

Sum of R website

Czar of Crickets Productions website


IIVII, Invasion

iivii invasion

Noted graphic artist and post-metal songwriter Josh Graham – formerly visuals for Neurosis, but also art for Soundgarden and many others, as well as being known for his work with A Storm of Light and the woefully, vastly underrated Battle of Mice – makes his second ambient solo release in the form of IIVII’s Invasion on Belgian imprint Consouling Sounds. A soundtrack-ready feel pervades the nine tracks/44 minutes almost instantly and holds sway with opener “We Came Here from a Dying World (I)” finding complement in the centerpiece “Tomorrow You’ll be One of Us (II)” and a thematic capstone in closer “Sanctuary,” only furthering the sense of a narrative unfolding throughout. There are elements drawn in “Unclouded by Conscience” from the atmospheric and score work of Trent Reznor and/or Junkie XL, but Graham doesn’t necessarily part with the post-metallic sense of brooding that has defined much of his work even as the pairing of “We Live” and “You Die” late in the record loops its way to and through its dramatic apex. Obviously not going to be for everyone, but it does make a solid argument for Graham as a composer whose breadth is still revealing itself even after a career filled with landmarks across multiple media.

IIVII on Thee Facebooks

Consouling Sounds website


Faces of the Bog, Ego Death


In some of their shifts between atmospheric patience and churning intensity – not to mention in the production of Sanford ParkerFaces of the Bog remind a bit of fellow Windy City residents Minsk on their DHU Records debut album, Ego Death, but prove ultimately more aggressive in the thrust of “Drifter in the Abyss” and the later stretch of “The Serpent and the Dagger,” on which the guitars of Mark Stephen Gizewski and Trey Wedgeworth (both also vocals) delve into Mastodonic leads near the finish to set up the transition into the 10:33 title-track, which begins with a wash of static noise before Paul Bradfield’s bass sets up the slow nod that holds sway and only grows bigger as it presses forward. That cut is one of two over the 10-minute mark, and the other, closer “Blue Lotus,” unfolds even more gradually and ventures into cleaner vocals presaged on “The Weaver” and elsewhere as it makes its way toward an album-payoff crescendo marked by drummer Danny Garcia’s thudding toms and a low end rumble that’s as much a presence unto itself as a harbinger of progression to come.

Faces of the Bog on Thee Facebooks

DHU Records webstore


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Doomstress Announce ‘Scorched September’ Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 5th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Certainly if you live in the US, you’ve probably heard plenty about this point about the royal ass kicking recently received by the city of Houston from Hurricane Harvey. They say the storm may have permanently changed the shape of the fourth largest urban area in the country, and while we can sit here all day and talk about how all these “500-year” floods keep happening — or we could just say the words “climate change” and accept how much we’ve truly fucked our planet and thus ourselves as a species — the bottom line is that people’s lives will never be the same.

This weekend, Houston’s own Doomstress play a benefit for Harvey flood victims in their hometown, and it’s one of several choice gigs they have coming up before the month is out. Also noteworthy of course is the fact that in October they’ll be at the End Hip End It fest (info here) in Spring, TX, but as you can see, they’re keeping well busy even besides that. Note the TBA date on Sept. 29 after they play Oklahoma City at Your Mom’s Place — joke’s on you; my mom lives in New Jersey — and as always, if you can help out with a show, you should make that happen. Plenty of land there between Oklahoma City and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for a gig to take place in.

Shows are presented by Heavy Friends Booking. Here’s info as posted on the social medias:


Doomstress – Scorched September Tour

Doomstress hits the road again this September!

Sat 9/9 Houston, TX @ Brash brewing company F**K Harvey Flood Victims Benefit **starts at Noon**

Fri 9/15 Austin, TX @ The Electric Church w/Crypt Trip

Sat 9/16 San Angelo, TX @ The Deadhorse Live w/The Guillotines

Thur 9/28 OKC, OK @ Your Mom’s Place

Fri 9/29 tba

Sat 9/30 @ Stoned Meadow of Doom Fest in Sioux Falls, SD @ Bigs Bar

Thanx to Heavy Friends Booking, DHU Records, NoSlip Records, Zombie Dust Pickups Poster art by Goatess Doomwych layout Doomstress Alexis.

Doomstress, “Apathetic Existence” Live at the Foundry

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Ancient VVisdom Sign to Argonauta; 33 out Oct. 13; New Song Streaming

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

Just days after the announcement that frontman Nathan Opposition‘s new project, Vessel of Light, would make their debut this Fall on Argonauta Records comes word that Opposition‘s main outfit, the darkly, doomly and folkish Ancient VVisdom, have also aligned to the same imprint for the release of their impending fourth album, 33. The follow-up to 2014’s Sacrificial will also be out digitally through Magic Bullet Records and on vinyl through DHU Records, and there’s a quick glimpse of the band’s moody approach to be sampled as of today in the new track “Light of Lucifer,” which you can hear at the bottom of this post.

Opposition offers comment on the signing and the upcoming record below, via the PR wire. Dig it:

ancient vvisdom

US Occult Rockers ANCIENT VVISDOM inked a deal with ARGONAUTA Records to release their highly anticipated new album “33”, following their previous paths “A Godlike Inferno” (2011), “Deathlike” (2013) and “Sacrificial” (2014).

From the band, Nathan Opposition says: “Forging ahead, I have kept the all seeing eye on the fallen angel to keep my faith in his works. This album is a work made of worship songs to our Lord and Master Satan. The collective efforts of our unholy Trinity Lucifer, Satan and The Devil. In light of darker times, I find it necessary to express myself in a way that teaches on a higher level.”

On the record deal: “I’m very excited to release Ancient VVisdom’s 4th album “33” with 3 different amazing record labels! Argonauta Records in Italy for CD version, Magic Bullet Records out of Oceanside California doing our digital release, and DHU Records from the Netherlands is going to be doing some sick vinyl colors. It’s a collective. All excellent people, working hard to release underground and independent music. I’m a fan of many different artists and musicians, it’s quite rewarding to see everyone in an underground culture take the initiative and make things fucking happen for all of us, as fans of music and for the ones making music as well.

About the new album: “33 is a master number. It is also the age Christ was crucified. 33 is the age of the peak of existence. It is the age I am. 33 is the answer. I’ve been fortunate enough to do the devils work and continue to spread the message to the masses. This album is very important to us. It has symbolic meaning and melody that serves the words purposefully. My brother Michael and I are grateful and are pleased to give you “33”. This is our favorite offering to date and we hope you all enjoy it.”

The first single “Light of Lucifer” is out today and available here.

ANCIENT VVISDOM “33” will be released worldwide on CD edition by ARGONAUTA Records and available from October 13th, 2017. Preorders run here:

1. Ascending eternally
2. Light of Lucifer
3. In The Name Of Satan
4. True Will
5. The Infernal One
6. Summoning Eternal Light
7. Rise Fallen Angel
8. 33
9. The Great Beast
10. Lux
11. Dispelling Darkness

Ancient VVisdom, “Light of Lucifer”

Ancient VVisdom, Sacrificial (2014)

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Faces of the Bog to Release Ego Death LP Sept. 22

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 9th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

faces of the bog

Whether it’s dug-in intensity or spacious psych landscape-building Faces of the Bog‘s debut album, Ego Death, well earns its claim toward sonic diversity. The Sanford Parker-produced seven-tracker originally came out at the end of last year and is set for a vinyl release through DHU Records on Sept. 22. You can stream the thing in its entirety at the bottom of this post and there’s copious info to go on — including live dates with Attalla, Castle, Disenchanter and Pale Horseman for you Midwestern types — so I’ll keep it short in terms of the descriptive end, but as I make my way through there’s a persistent commitment to ambience that seems to tie the record together and it’s one that, having missed out on the first time around, I hope to get to know better.

From the PR wire:


FACES OF THE BOG: Chicagoland’s psychedelic sludge masters to officially release debut album Ego Death on DHU Records

Ego Death by Faces of the Bog is released on 22nd September 2017

Initially conceived in a dingy rehearsal space in Humboldt Park during the fall of 2011, Faces of the Bog have fast become one of the underground’s most celebrated secrets following the self-release of their debut album Ego Death late last year.

For the Chicagoland quartet, their own unique interpretation of sludge has never run neatly alongside preconceived notions of how this kind of music should be played. Choosing to ignore convention and instead power brutal riffs headfirst into psychedelically heightened grooves, relying on atmosphere and mood to create melodic textures they are a band constantly pushing the envelope.

Produced and engineered by the band and Sanford Parker (Voivod, Yob, Wreckmeister Harmonies, Bloodiest) at Electrical Audio and Decade Music Studios, Ego Death hit pretty damn hard for an “independently put-out” album.

“It’s truly amazing these days when an underground band from a US city like Chicago can release an album completely on their own,” explains guitarist/vocalist Trey Wedgeworth. “We’ve been amazed and humbled by the feedback we’ve received all over the world. Fans from places like Germany, Norway, Portugal, Brazil, Australia, and Russia have all reached out to us to give their kind words to what we’re doing.”

It was while playing a handful of shows last year with pacific north-westerners Mother Crone that the band were introduced (in a roundabout way) to the good work of Netherland-based record label, DHU Records.

“Mother Crone ran into some transportation issues while out on tour and we were fortunate enough to be able to help some good dudes in need,” says Wedgeworth. “They more than repaid the favour by putting us in touch with Robert Black at DHU Records. DHU is a DIY label that releases limited edition vinyl packages for some of the heaviest bands in underground music today, so we quickly forged a great relationship and are completely ecstatic that he’s now rereleasing Ego Death on vinyl.”

Pre-order –

Track Listing:
1. Precipice
2. Drifter in The Abyss
3. Slow Burn
4. The Serpent and The Dagger
5. Ego Death
6. The Weaver
7. Blue Lotus

5th Aug – Cold Shot – Appleton, Wisconsin (w. Atalla and Black Road)
11th Aug – Reggies – Chicago, Illinois (w. Castle)
4th Oct – Liars Club – Chicago, Illinois (w. Disenchanter and Swamp Ritual)
2nd Sept – Beard Metal Fest – Custer Park, Illinois (w. Pale Horseman, Starless and DeepSpacePilots)

Faces of the Bog:
Paul Bradfield – Bass
Danny Garcia – Drums/Percussion
Mark Stephen Gizewski – Guitars/Vocals
Trey Wedgeworth – Guitars/ Vocals

Sanford Parker – Synth/FX (tracks 1,4,5, & 7)
Artwork – Tony Midi (
Photography – Cassandra Gordon, GoldilocksCG
Layout – Mark Stephen Gizewski
Mastered – Collin Jordan

Faces of the Bog, Ego Death (2017)

Faces of the Bog, The Making of Ego Death

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Youngblood Supercult, The Great American Death Rattle: Sunsets and Wildfires

Posted in Reviews on July 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan


With three albums to their credit in the four-year span since they got together in 2013, Topeka, Kansas, heavy garage rockers Youngblood Supercult are establishing themselves as working at a fairly prolific clip. Their debut was 2014’s Season of the Witch, which they followed with High Plains (review here) in 2016, and the four-piece’s third album is the rather severely-titled The Great American Death Rattle, which finds them aligned to The Company and DHU Records for US and EU distribution. Across this run, the band has kept a consistency to their aesthetic purposes, basking in an earthbound psychedelia and distorted grit, touching on the languid sleek of post-Uncle Acid buzzsaw tonality in the guitar of Bailey Smith, but not shy either about veering into fuller-on psychedelic wash, even if only for a quick lead on a song like “Master of None” from the new album.

Tone, in Smith‘s guitar and Brad Morris‘ bass, is essential to setting the vibe, and to-date, Youngblood Supercult have yet to not deliver on that level, but as it should, The Great American Death Rattle finds this aspect of their approach at its most realized. Songs are spacious enough to allow for echoes in David Merrill‘s vocals on the early cuts “Draugr” and the motor-shuffling hook-fest “Wormwood” that follows, but not strictly adherent to one methodology, so that when the semi-twang of “Mr. Gallows” unfolds in folkish layers of harmonized Zeppelin-ism, the proceedings remain fluid and the listener doesn’t feel blindsided by what’s a not-insignificant sonic turn. Youngblood Supercult, in other words, are in control, and in keeping with the strong pocket-dwelling swing provided by drummer Weston Alford — whose “tone” is no less essential here than either that of Smith or Morris and might be even more directly heavy-’70s — it’s the songwriting that allows them to keep that level of command at their foundation.

Craft. Sound. Performance. It’s an interesting circumstance around The Great American Death Rattle because there’s so much about Youngblood Supercult‘s style that’s been previously established. That is, they seem to have come into being knowing what they wanted to do, and they’ve set about working hard to do it over the last four years. Four years is less time than it takes some acts to put out their first record, let alone their third. And while there are elements that have been carried from one offering to the next, Youngblood Supercult also still come across very much as a growing band.

The Great American Death Rattle is their most refined presentation yet, but its nine tracks and 40 minutes — from the wah-soaked, languid, flowing roll and post-Alice in Chains vocal melody of the opening title-track onward — refuse to sound settled. There’s progression at work, a willful moving forward on the band’s part in how their material has come together, and it’s audible in the patience they show at the record’s outset and through the nod of “Burning Messiah,” which finds Merrill pushing his own limits effectively in delivering bluesy poetic metaphor as he will throughout the bulk of the subsequent tracks, malleable to the mood of what SmithMorris and Alford are doing behind him but having clearly honed a frontman presence that bolsters rather than competes with that instrumental chemistry while still speaking to the audience.

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I don’t think a band would title a full-length something like The Great American Death Rattle if on some level they weren’t looking to engage a social theme, and certainly there’s plenty to talk about these days in the current US sociopolitical sphere if one wants to talk decline or regression, but even in “The Great American Death Rattle” and the penultimate “Liberty or Death,” the lyrics take a more general tack, couching any specific commentary in images of biblical destruction on “Burning Messiah” (though tanks do show up there) and four-minute centerpiece “The Hot Breath of God,” which tells a story of post-industrial economic disaffection leading to suicide even as its central riff reshapes the groove of Scorpions‘ classic “The Zoo” to back it, making for one of The Great American Death Rattle‘s most memorable overall impressions.

The mournful vibe there is countered immediately by the punch of “Master of None,” which further emphasizes the sense of dynamic and flow Youngblood Supercult bring to bear in these tracks. Particularly as they move through the headed-to-the-highway “Wormwood” after the shuffle that emerges in the Fuzzorama-worthy second half of “Draugr,” The Great American Death Rattle expands its range in execution and feel. “Master of None” draws on a cycling repetitions of a Sabbath-meets-NWOBHM riff before closing with a highlight solo from Smith, and the aforementioned “Mr. Gallows” taps even deeper into poise and pastoralia, showcasing a depth of arrangement that’s new from Youngblood Supercult and that one hopes gives them the confidence to work again along similar lines and build on what they accomplish in it.

An uptempo turn in “Liberty or Death” splits “Mr. Gallows” and the thicker chug that begins the finale “Sticky Fingers” before that song — the longest here at 5:30 — shifts into a rare and thoroughly earned indulgence of noise wash and the guitar lead that tops its last march outward, and the play back and forth sees the foursome’s collective guiding hand at its steadiest, leading their audience through easily-paced twists with a maturity that belies their we’ve-been-around-for-less-than-half-a-decade status. One is tempted to call that process graceful, though in truth there’s a good amount of dirt under the fingernails of Youngblood Supercult — left there on purpose; why bother getting rid of it when there’s still so much digging to be done? — and that’s not to be discounted as an aspect of what works so well about their third outing.

Perhaps most crucially, they bask in their heavily stylized take while refusing to be defined on the basis of their influences alone. If The Great American Death Rattle is anything in relation to its predecessors, it’s the moment at which Youngblood Supercult are the most their own, and the manifold achievements that album makes are all the more satisfying for that. May they continue to evolve, reshape and cultivate as they move forward from here.

Youngblood Supercult, The Great American Death Rattle (2017)

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