Giveaway: Enter to Win a 3-Day Pass to Northwest Hesh Fest 2016!

Posted in Features on September 12th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

northwest-hesh-fest-2016-poster

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win.]

Sorry, but the lineup here pretty much sells itself. Over three nights, Sept. 22-24, at Dante’s in Portland, Oregon, Northwest Hesh Fest 2016 will host:

Night 1:
Red Fang
American Sharks
Witch Mountain

Night 2:
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats
Danava
Banquet

Night 3:
Deafheaven
The Blood Royale
Diesto
Greenbeard

If you enter now by leaving a comment on this post, you can win a three-day pass to see all of the above and get a limited, signed screenprint of the poster shown here, of which only 100 are being made. Obviously, you need to get your ass to Portland — if I could afford to fly you in, I would, believe me — but barring for anyone in that part of the world who’s maybe been on the fence about going or just hasn’t managed to buy tickets yet, yeah, entering seems like it would be kind of a no-brainer. High “duh” factor and whatnot.

For the headliners alone, never mind the chance to see locals like Witch Mountain, Danava and Diesto tear it up alongside imports from Austin, Texas, like American Sharks, The Blood Royale, Banquet and Greenbeard, essentially pairing two of the country’s strongest scenes — Portland and Austin — and topping it not only with the Pacific Northwest’s number one heavy rock export in Red Fang, but bringing up Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats on their tour with The Shrine, as well as Deafheaven, who seem to divide opinion everywhere they go while consistently drawing a crowd from both sides of the argument.

Killer lineups, killer shows, free pass and free poster. Like I said, it sells itself. One winner picked a week from today. Thanks to all who enter and to American Icon for letting me host the giveaway.

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win.]

Northwest Hesh Fest on Thee Facebooks

Northwest Hesh Fest 2016 tickets at Eventbrite

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Northwest Hesh Fest 2016 Announces Lineup with Red Fang, Uncle Acid and Deafheaven Headlining

Posted in The Obelisk Presents, Whathaveyou on June 22nd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Last year, The Obelisk was proud to be among the presenters for the Northwest Hesh Fest, and it looks like Northwest Hesh Fest 2016 — set for Sept. 22-24 at Dante’s in Portland, Oregon — will be no different. I’ll have a ticket giveaway closer to the event, so keep an eye out for that, and the festival has just unveiled the lineup for each night, and it brings some formidable names.

Headliners are Red FangUncle Acid and the Deadbeats, and Deafheaven, which I think would probably be enough on their own to draw a three-night crowd, but they’re joined by American Sharks, native Portlanders Witch MountainDiesto and Danava, as well as The Blood RoyaleBanquet and Greenbeard.

American SharksGreenbeard and The Blood Royale hail from Austin, Texas, which makes sense as a complement to the Portland acts since American Icon, which puts together the festival, is based there as well. Of the non-headliner acts, that’s as far east as Northwest Hesh Fest 2016 looks, but in bringing aboard UK garage doom forerunners Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, it extends its reach internationally for the first time. That’s a hell of an opening salvo to the rest of the world.

More to come as we get closer to September and the fest itself, but American Icon announced the lineup today and tickets are now on sale both for the individual nights — for which you can see the complete lineup breakdown below — and for a combined three-night pass. I won’t tell you what to do with your time, but this looks like an awful lot of fun:

NORTHWEST HESH FEST 2016

Sept 22-24 @ Dantes in Portland Oregon
RED FANG-UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS-DEAFHEAVEN
American Sharks-Witch Mountain-Danava
The Blood Royale-Diesto-Banquet-Greenbeard

9/22/16
Red Fang, American Sharks, Witch Mountain
http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?eventId=6780785&pl=dante&dispatch=loadSelectionData

9/23/16
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Danava
http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?eventId=6776535&pl=dante&dispatch=loadSelectionData

9/24/16
Deafheaven, The Blood Royale, Greenbeard, Diesto, Banquet
http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?eventId=6780605&pl=dante&dispatch=loadSelectionData

Northwest Hesh Fest Three-Day Pass

Northwest Hesh Fest event page

Northwest Hesh Fest on Thee Facebooks

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GIVEAWAY: Enter to Win Three-Day Passes to North West Hesh Fest

Posted in Features on July 21st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

[HOW TO ENTER: I’m very sorry but a winner has been picked and this giveaway has ended. The post will remain live for archival purposes. Much thanks to all who entered for being a part of it.]

Last week, I was fortunate enough to be added to the list of sponsors for American Icon Records‘ upcoming North West Hesh Fest in Portland, Oregon, next month. One of the cool things you can do when you’re sponsoring something like a fest is say, “Hey, how about a ticket giveaway?” and not get laughed at. So here we are.

So, enter by leaving a comment on this post — as per usual for giveaways around here — and if you win, I’ll drop you an email. Obviously, the fest being three days next month in Portland, OR, it doesn’t make much sense for anyone either not in or unable to be in the area when it’s happening to enter. If you want to travel, that rules, but neither I nor the fest can really cover your expenses for that. The giveaway is for the passes only.

That said, good luck to all who enter. Weedeater has had to drop off the bill, but American Icon has something in the works for a replacement, and I wouldn’t put it past them to bring in somebody badass. Whoever it is, you can’t beat the price when the price is free.

Info and ticket links follow:

northwest hesh fest

AMERICAN ICON RECORDS***NORTH WEST HESH FEST—-PENTAGRAM-DEAD MOON-YOB-SWEAT LODGE-SCHOOL OF ROCK-FIREBALLS OF FREEDOM-P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S.

Dante’s
350 West Burnside, Portland, Oregon 97209

Thursday Aug 27 $25 Pre/ $30 Dos
PENTAGRAM

Friday Aug 28 – $25 Pre/$30 Dos
DEAD MOON-FIREBALLS OF FREEDOM
P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S-THE LAST DANCERS-DRC3

Saturday Aug 29-$20 Pre/ $25 Dos
YOB-TBA-SWEAT LODGE -DIESTO
SCHOOL OF ROCK-DJ NATHAN CARSON

http://clients.ticketbiscuit.com/DantesLive/EventPage.aspx?EID=244489 – PENTAGRAM – HESH FEST DAY 1

http://clients.ticketbiscuit.com/DantesLive/EventPage.aspx?EID=238976 – DEAD MOON-HESH FEST DAY 2

http://clients.ticketbiscuit.com/DantesLive/EventPage.aspx?EID=241982 – YOB-HESH FEST DAY 3

https://www.facebook.com/events/299451473578318/
https://www.facebook.com/NorthWestHeshFest
https://www.facebook.com/AmericanIconRecords
http://americaniconrecords.bigcartel.com

[HOW TO ENTER: I’m very sorry but a winner has been picked and this giveaway has ended. The post will remain live for archival purposes. Much thanks to all who entered for being a part of it.]

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North West Hesh Fest Welcomes The Obelisk as a Sponsor

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 13th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

I’m thrilled to announce today that The Obelisk has been added as a sponsor of the North West Hesh Fest next month at Dante’s in Portland, Oregon. A three-day fest with Dead MoonPentagram and YOB as headliners, it’s put together by Austin-based American Icon Records, also known for the Heavy Metal Parking Lot at SXSW and which has released vinyl from Sweat Lodge, The Motel Ball Band and Teenage News, among others.

Sweat Lodge will also play North West Hesh Fest. The complete lineup is Pentagram, Dead Moon, DRC3, P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S., The Last Dancers, Fireballs of Freedom, School of Rock, Diesto, Sweat Lodge, Weedeater and YOB, and Nathan Carson (Witch Mountain and Nanotear Booking) will DJ the Saturday night gig.

Looks like a killer time out west. We’re in talks of doing a ticket giveaway leading up to the thing, so keep an eye out for that in the next couple weeks, and it’ll be particularly interesting to see what new material Pentagram — whose recently announced new album Curious Volume is due out Aug. 28 — bring to the stage to go along with their classic set regulars.

Thanks to North West Hesh Fest for inviting me to be a part of the fest and having this site involved. More to come in the next several weeks, but here’s the announcement from the fest of The Obelisk coming on board and ticket links for those who like to be ahead of the game:

northwest hesh fest

AMERICAN ICON RECORDS-NORTH WEST HESH FEST

WELCOMES THE OBELISK AS ONE OF OUR SPONSORS! CHECK OUT THEIR AWESOME SITE. TONS OF GREAT INSIGHT ABOUT UP AND COMING BANDS AND AWESOME METAL-DOOM-STONER NEWS!

Thursday Aug 27 $25 Pre/ $30 Dos
PENTAGRAM

Friday Aug 28 – $25 Pre/$30 Dos
DEAD MOON-FIREBALLS OF FREEDOM
P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S-THE LAST DANCERS-DRC3

Saturday Aug 29-$20 Pre/ $25 Dos
YOB-WEEDEATER-SWEAT LODGE -DIESTO
SCHOOL OF ROCK-DJ NATHAN CARSON

http://clients.ticketbiscuit.com/DantesLive/EventPage.aspx?EID=244489 – PENTAGRAM – HESH FEST DAY 1

http://clients.ticketbiscuit.com/DantesLive/EventPage.aspx?EID=238976 – DEAD MOON-HESH FEST DAY 2

http://clients.ticketbiscuit.com/DantesLive/EventPage.aspx?EID=241982 – YOB-WEEDEATER-HESH FEST DAY 3

OUR AMAZING SPONSORS INCLUDE
http://theobelisk.net/
http://www.ssgmusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/events/299451473578318/
https://www.facebook.com/NorthWestHeshFest
https://www.facebook.com/AmericanIconRecords
http://americaniconrecords.bigcartel.com/

Weedeater, “Weed Monkey” Live at Kung Fu Necktie, Philly, 2015

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Ceremony of Sludge IV Set for March 20 & 21 in Portland, OR

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 6th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

ceremony-of-sludge-iv-banner

Hard to argue with the lineup for the Portland-based Ceremony of Sludge IV. Not the least because it’s eight bands over two nights, which is killer. I wonder how long each band gets to play, if it’s full sets or like half an hour or what, but either way, it’s a manageable Friday and Saturday night, and it doesn’t look like there’s a clunker in the bunch in terms of who’s playing. Cool to see Ancient Warlocks making the trip from Seattle to play the first night and Serial Hawk doing the same for the second. Two cities with such vibrant rock traditions that are only about two hours apart, sometimes it feels like you hear way more about Portland and Seattle separately than you do the Pacific Northwest as a whole. I guess you could say the same of New York and Philadelphia, though. Fair enough.

Either way, some familiar faces in the likes of Diesto and Holy Grove and Disenchanter, and a newcomer or two like Old Lie, who’ve just recently finished tracking their debut EP.

Details and many, many links follow:

ceremony-of-sludge-iv-poster

Ceremony of Sludge IV Comes to Tonic Lounge, Portland

CEREMONY OF SLUDGE IV
MARCH 20 and MARCH 21 at TONIC LOUNGE | Portland, OR
$7

Portland Heavy Seen and Soundcontrol PDX present Ceremony of Sludge IV, to be held March 20th and 21st at Tonic Lounge in Portland, Oregon. The annual mini-festival showcases some of the most crushing bands emerging from the heavy-music community here in the Pacific Northwest. The shows are 21+ and $7 at the door.

Ceremony of Sludge lineup:

March 20th
Holy Grove
Ancient Warlocks
Disenchanter
Old Lie

March 21st
Diesto
Serial Hawk
A Volcano
Tsepesch

Limited edition “Ceremony” prints by Epochal Void will be available for purchase, as well as T-shirts from Mr. Black. The bands’ performances will once again be filmed for the Portland Heavy Seen project, with audio recorded by Penumbra Sound Arts.

Ceremony of Sludge: https://www.facebook.com/ceremonyofsludge
Soundcontrol PDX: https://www.facebook.com/soundcontrolpdx
Portland Heavy Seen: https://www.facebook.com/portlandheavyseen

Holy Grove: https://www.facebook.com/holygroveband
Ancient Warlocks: https://www.facebook.com/AncientWarlocks
Disenchanter: https://www.facebook.com/DisenchanterPDX
Old Lie: https://www.facebook.com/oldlieband
Diesto: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Diesto/101968243187195
Serial Hawk: https://www.facebook.com/serialhawk
A Volcano: https://www.facebook.com/avolcanopdx
Tsepesch: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tsepesch/204890382882138

Epochal Void: https://www.facebook.com/epochal.void.5
Mr. Black: http://www.mrblackpedals.com/
Penumbra Sound Arts: https://www.facebook.com/PenumbraSoundArts

Serial Hawk, “Desolate” Live at Ceremony of Sludge 2014 in Portland, OR

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Diesto to Release For Water or Blood on Aug. 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 7th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Portland doomers Diesto unfurled a nastier kind of splendor earlier this year with the track “Arrows” on Eolian Empire‘s Keep Our Heads compilation (stream it here). That song is to be included as a bonus track to the digital version of the foursome’s upcoming fifth album, For Water or Blood, which is also to be released on Eolian at the end of this month. As for what the rest of For Water or Blood might hold, The Sleeping Shaman have a song up streaming that you can link to below, and the PR wire gives some idea as to the rest.

If you’ve got a second to stare too, do yourself a favor too and click the cover art by Sam Ford below to enlarge the image, because it rules. Behold:

DIESTO: Fifth LP From Portland Doom Crew To See Release Via Eolian Empire

New Track Now Playing At The Sleeping Shaman

Portland, Oregon-based powerhouse DIESTO will release their mammoth fifth LP, For Water or Blood, later this month via the hometown hellions at outsider D.I.Y. label Eolian Empire.

Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Chris Dunn, guitarist Mark Bassett, bassist Rusty Powers and drummer Devon Shirley, since the turn of the century DIESTO has ravaged the lands with their pummeling riffery through a pile of releases and countless shows, their determination heralding the band as one of Portland’s hardest-working heavy acts. While their earlier days showcased a more noiserock-built flamboyance, over time the aggro has eroded a bit, the sharper edges of their rock now worn down to a smoother doom rock style, while all of the heaviness remains.

DIESTO’s freshly completed fifth LP For Water or Blood — their first release for Eolian Empire, and their first album to be released on vinyl — finds the band continuing its journey West, its storied and troubled past dragged through the Cascadian forest to the Pacific Ocean, treading and crawling slowly but steadily ahead as it cuts a winding path of riffs deep into the heavy frontier with echoes of Zep III, Pompeiian Floyd, and Master of Reality bouncing between mountains of Sleep and Yob doom boosted by heavy hooks, chiming intertwined guitars, expressive vocals, and surprising attacks of angular noise rock and dissonance.

The recording by Adam Pike (Red Fang, Norska, Nether Regions) at Toadhouse showcases the band’s live prowess and love of pedal-free amplifier tone — the album’s hymns tracked live and straight up with minimal overdubs — making For Water or Blood an arduous but adventurous journey into the unknown using the wisdom of the ages, its enthralling cover art sanctioned to Sam Ford (Wizard Rifle, Black Cobra). Eolian is preparing to drop the new platter on 180-gram vinyl and digital download on August 27th worldwide, the digital version containing a new mix of the track “Arrows” from the label’s massive KEEP OUR HEADS comp as a bonus track.

To help spread the news, revered UK-based doom/rock outlet The Sleeping Shaman has hosted an exclusive premiere of For Water or Blood’s fourth song, “Sirens,” now playing RIGHT HERE.

With a home turf record release show confirmed to take place on Friday, August 30th alongside Fellwoods and labelmates Honduran, much more is in store from DIESTO in the coming weeks, including widespread touring in support of the album, their pending first official video and all kinds of other good stuff. Stay tuned.

DIESTO Live:
8/30/2013 Foggy Notion – Portland, OR – For Water or Blood record release w/ Honduran, Fellwoods

For Water or Blood Track Listing:
1. Trail to the Sun
2. Edge of the World
3. The Road
4. Sirens
5. Adrift at Sea
6. Dirty River
7. Arrows* (digital bonus track)

http://diesto.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Diesto/101968243187195
http://eolianempire.com
http://facebook.com/eolianempire
http://twitter.com/eolianempire

Diesto, High as the Sun (2010)

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audiObelisk: Diesto Premiere New Track from Keep Our Heads Eolian Empire Compilation

Posted in audiObelisk on March 28th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

For anyone who heard Portland, Oregon, four-piece Diesto‘s 2010 sophomore full-length, High as the Sun (review here), the new track “Arrows” is going to be something of a culture shock. Sure, that album had its moments of righteously heavy crunch — “Waiting for the Fall” comes immediately to mind, but there were others — but at 4:40, “Arrows” is two minutes-plus shorter than everything the last record had to offer, and it uses its time to altogether more extreme ends, casting off some of the cleaner incantations in favor of abrasive yells set to churning riffs and impressively dueling modern solos.

Whether it’s a side-step or evident of a lasting shift in Diesto‘s approach will have to wait for their next LP to be seen — that is, they’re by no means limited to one sonic idea and they seem like a creative enough outfit to know it — but the tight, effective lurch of “Arrows” features on a new Eolian Empire compilation. Dubbed Keep Our Heads: Heavy Vibes from Portland, Oregon, it brings together a whopping 26 bands — Norska, Crag Dweller, Gaytheist, Lord Dying, Towers, and so on — to showcase not only the heaviness that’s thriving in Portland’s underground, but the many different faces that heaviness shows.

In that effort, few bands sum up the idea as well as Diesto, who both crawl and blast within the relatively brief span of “Arrows.” Doubtless Eolian Empire — helmed now by members of the also-included Rabbits (they of the creative postage) — had that in mind in having them take part in Keep Our Heads, but they’re just one of many in the impressive assemblage. The full tracklisting and more info on the release can be found under the player below. Keep Our Heads: Heavy Vibes from Portland, Oregon is due out on a limited tape run May 1.

Please enjoy “Arrows,” by Diesto:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

ELN11 ::: 26-song cassette
[ 500 copies ]
: mastered by Ryan Foster at Foster Mastering
: art/text by Kevin Abell
: digital download
: with K-O-H/EOLIAN beer koozie (first run only)

“KEEP OUR HEADS: Heavy Vibes from Portland, Oregon” is a 99-minute soundtrack to the Portland heavy underground featuring 26 exclusive tracks from stalwarts in the local metal / sludge / doom / prog / punk / rock / thrash / hardcore / noise community, like some twisted, many-headed beast raised on the soundtracks to River’s Edge, Lost Highway, and Repo Man. With but a few exceptions, all the tracks were recorded in Portland specifically for this compilation, a first (more to come?) from Portland’s Eolian Empire.

side X
Honduran, “No Man’s Land”
Diesto, “Arrows”
Fist Fite, “Bitches Leave”
Humours, “In the Court of the Corn-Eyed King”
Drunk Dad, “S.O.U.”
Palo Verde, “Swimming in the Royal Academy”
Big Black Cloud, “Reptile Brain”
Lord Dying, “The Value of Pity”
Norska, “Eostre”
Towers, “Hell”
Tiny Knives, “Winter”
Redneck, “Princess”

side Y
Sioux, “Ascension”
Ix, “Robocrastinatortron”
The Ax, “Luminaries”
Order of the Gash, “In the Library of Leng: Vol 1 – The Hangman’s Wine”
Sei Hexe, “Minutiae Obsession”
Prizehog, “Irrevelant”
Hot Victory, “The Cog”
Gaytheist, “Gimme Black My Blow”
Rabbits, “Drink, Drank, Drunk”
LKN, “Freedom Shot”
Nasalrod, “Suicidal Propaganda”
Crag Dweller, “The Animal”
Gone to Croatoan, “Poor, Poor Little Man”
Acre, “Heavy Day”

Individual artist photos and links on the KEEP OUR HEADS artist page

out May 1, 2013

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Diesto, High as the Sun: Well, That’s Pretty Damn High

Posted in Reviews on September 30th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Heavy without being oppressive and familiar without being redundant, Portland, Oregon, post-sludgers Diesto’s second album, High as the Sun (first for Seventh Rule Recordings) is an hour of righteously brutal ambience made flesh with crunching riffs, post-metal rhythmic churn, hypnotically chanted vocals and drone just where it’s needed most. The four-piece seem modern in their influence, but as much as one could point to YOB, Kylesa and more recent A Storm of Light for comparisons, elements of Unsane, Earth, Oceanic-era Isis, Neurosis and Sleep are also audible, and the range of vocal presentation from guitarists Chris Dunn and Mark Basset helps bring to the fore the fierce dynamics on which High as the Sun is built.

Recorded by Adam Pike in the band’s hometown and mixed by Alex Newport on the other side of the country in Brooklyn, New York, High as the Sun offers glimpses of surprisingly adept melodicism. Not so much in the vocals, which despite being mostly clean are still chiefly rhythmic in their nature — Dunn and/or Basset aren’t crooning by any stretch, but they do well with what they do à la Phillip Cope — but in the guitars, and, as in the later section of opener “Beyond the Graves,” Captain John’s bass. It’s clear Diesto were reaching with this album, challenging themselves creatively. I hear hardcore or post-hardcore roots in their playing, though that could just be the Isis influence shining through. Nonetheless, although digging into High as the Sun will probably not be a challenge to sludge-heads or post-metallers checking it out — it’s worth noting I don’t completely consider Diesto post-metal, despite their focus on atmosphere — the record still has plenty of intricacies that justify the time.

Read more »

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