Posted in Whathaveyou on February 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Miami two-piece Cave of Swimmers have a new track available as a free download. I joined their mailing list just now and grabbed it for myself to check out. I’m of two minds when it comes to talking about it, because they’ve very clearly made efforts not to give away what it is. Part of me would like to say, “Oh yeah, they’re doing this and this and it’s called this,” and so on, but I almost don’t want to give it away. I’ll say that it’s a cover, and that if you ever listened to classic thrash, you’ll probably recognize it based on the title alone, but I think it’s probably best to leave it there out of respect for the band.
The link where you can get the track and find out or yourself what Cave of Swimmers are up to this time around is below. I’m sure it’ll be on Bandcamp eventually as well, though I’ve gotten no confirmation of that.
This weekend, Misters Perez and García start a Southern tour that will find them spending much of the next week in Texas. The run, dubbed ‘Southern Lights,’ includes dates with Scott Kelly and Jucifer, and the routing follows here:
Cave of Swimmers will embark on their Southern Lights Tour February 26th. They will join Scott Kelly from Neurosis in that night’s lineup in Jacksonville. They will also join Jucifer on the Houston date. To top it off, make sure to check out the free song download on their website caveofswimmers.com/free
Cave of Swimmers Southern Lights Tour: Feb 26 Jacksonville, FL at Raindogs w/ Scott Kelly Feb 27 Murfreesboro, TN at The Boro March 1 Memphis, TN, at Rickhouse Live March 2 Tulsa, OK at Soundpony March 3 Dallas, TX at The Double Wide March 4 San Antonio, TX at Faust Tavern March 5 Austin, TX at Hotel Vegas March 6 Corpus Christi, TX at Black Monk Tavern March 7 Houston, TX at Super Happy Fun Land w/ Jucifer March 8 New Orleans, LA at Poor Boys March 10 Sarasota, FL at Kelly’s Live March 11 Gainesville, FL at The Atlantic
Cave of Swimmers is a band formed by two Venezuelan kids who met in the 4th grade. After moving to Miami in the mid 2000s, they reunited to form a band with an original take on heavy music. Fast, slow, spooky, sludgy, progressive, you name it: Cave of Swimmers does it their own way.
Cave of Swimmers is: G.E. Perez: Vocals, Guitar, 6/4 Bass, Synth Arturo García : Drums, Percussion, Vocals
[Click play above to stream the premiere of ‘Raven’ from Hollow Leg’s new EP, Murder. Release is March 3 via Argonauta Records.]
About three years ago, Floridian sludge metallers Hollow Leg issued a single called “God Eater” (posted here). It was a one-off, kind of something to hold over between 2013’s Abysmal (review here) and Crown (review here), which would eventually arrive in 2016. And it was only ever a single-song digital-only deal, but it showed a marked shift in approach on the part of the band, backing off on some of their earlier rawness in favor of glimpsing melody and Southern metal groove. That song has stayed with me to some degree since 2014, and I only bring it up because it was the last time the Jacksonville four-piece had a short release out, so naturally, going into their new Argonauta Records two-songer, Murder — positioned as an EP rather than a single; fair since I don’t know if it’d fit on a 7″ for runtime — I couldn’t help but wonder in what ways they’d try to build on what Crown accomplished.
And to that — Crown accomplished plenty. Hollow Leg have always had a root in sludge metal, and the aggression in vocalist Scott Angelacos‘ roar will remain a defining aspect to anyone who takes on the Murder EP, but their last album opened new doors of their creative development and the band stormed through them with their usual brash plunder. Plenty about it was familiar going back to their 2010 debut, Instinct, but Angelacos, guitarist/vocalist Brent Lynch, bassist Tom Crowther and drummer Tim Creter were very obviously working to push themselves forward in their sound as well.
Fortunately, Murder continues this process. It also marks a personnel shift, bringing in drummer John Stewart, also of Orlando’s Caribou King, in place of Creter. That in itself could be enough justification for the release — Creter was a founding member, so it could be that Hollow Leg were looking to try out the new lineup in the studio and are happy enough with the results to make them public — but either way, Stewart fits well in the role and his arrival does nothing audible to hold up the stylistic progression within Hollow Leg, who between the two tracks “Murder” (7:25) and “Raven” (5:33) showcase continued instrumental growth. The opener begins at a shuffle that seems to be in direct conversation with “Electric Veil” from Crown, more upbeat than one has necessarily come to expect from Hollow Leg, but still fluid in its groove and molasses-thick in tone.
At about the halfway point, they turn the tempo somewhat on its head and ride out the nod, but in Lynch‘s riff early and Crowther‘s accompanying bass — which gets a particular moment to shine just before five minutes in — there’s a feeling of departure similar to what “Electric Veil” brought to the full-length, as though somebody in the band had been listening to Uncle Acid and sought to bring some of that garage-style boogiecraft into the context of what Hollow Leg does. On paper, it shouldn’t work. The reality of “Murder,” on the other hand, is a satisfying push of sludge that expands the dimensions of Hollow Leg‘s comfort zone to include another aspect of stylistic nuance. They finish by bringing back a heavy rock thrust, crashing out and letting the amp-rumble take them into “Raven,” which begins with Stewart‘s drums at an immediate strut.
Quick pause and they’re into the first verse of “Raven” — full blast in terms of tone, growl, crash and riff. The second cut on Murder feels a little more like the core Hollow Leg have developed and built on, but however they go, they go angry. Angelacos‘ unwavering gutturalism arrives in layers for the chorus (unless that’s Lynch backing him, which is possible), and the roll of the guitar, bass and drums behind him makes the song seem even shorter than its under-six-minute run actually is. Another shift takes place about halfway in, moving to chugging met with tom hits and a punctuating snare, eventually crashing in rhythm behind the vocals before returning to build yet more tension for the next round, from which they open up to a guitar lead and then chug their way out to finish, a kind of back and forth play working its way through efficiently measure by measure.
They’re not inexperienced with this sort of fare, but the clarity of purpose behind “Raven” and its subtle catchiness are further emblematic of just how tight Hollow Leg have become at this approach and how much they’ve made their sound their own over the course of this decade. That’s the main lesson their Murder EP (you’ll note the crows circling on the cover art): that even with the lineup change, they’re still very much able to bring together an offering that moves them stylistically forward from where they were even just a year ago while also reaffirming the underlying pissed-off sludge that’s been their righteous cause since they got going. Murder might be Hollow Leg testing the ground for a new lineup, and it might be an outlet for a studio experiment, but with the songwriting tenets they’ve developed over time, there was ultimately little chance it wasn’t going to work — and so it does.
On Feb. 8, Miami three-piece Shroud Eater will unleash a new 13-minute single different from everything they’ve done before. Known generally for a pummeling sludge, varying from all-out assault to being tinged with atmosphere, the trio’s last outing was also a single, 2015’s Face the Master (video premiere here), and it was a suitable follow-up to the intensity of 2013’s Dead Ends EP (review here) and their 2011 debut full-length, ThunderNoise (review here). The only bummer was there wasn’t more to go around. Their long-overdue sophomore album, Strike the Sun, wasannounced last summer as set for release through STB Records, and the band has continued to play shows all the while, but the new song “:th:ree: :cvrses:” — translated to “Three Curses” — is a suckerpunch wall of noise that, again, is unlike anything Shroud Eater have delivered to-date.
Well, there are three of them, and there are three curses, so if you want to find a decent place to start, that’s probably it. The reality of “:th:ree: :cvrses:,” though, has its makings in a night of Miami’s International Noise Conference curated by Beatriz Monteavaro of Holly Hunt. It gave the band an outlet perhaps they didn’t even know they were looking for in terms of experimentation and branching beyond the core aggression of their sound, and “:th:ree: :cvrses:” is a studio offshoot of that, finding guitarist/vocalist Jean Saiz, bassist/vocalist Janette Valentine and drummer/vocalist/engineer Davin Sosa all contributing synth. The primary vocal impression of the track comes from samples obscured by an opaque, murky wash of drone, as “:th:ree: :cvrses:” brazenly departs chugging and winding riffs in favor of an ambient sprawl that lasts for its entire runtime, but there are far-back screams and shouts as well, also buried alive under noise, that bring to mind something that might show up on a modern Burning Witch album were such a thing to exist. In other words, it is unremittingly dark.
If you’re having a really nice day, you might want to hold off. Or at very least prepare your psyche for a considerable turnaround in mood, because this is no mere dabble. In fact, if anything draws “:th:ree: :cvrses:” into a recognizable sphere for Shroud Eater, it’s the headfirst-dive, full-plunge they make into these atmospheric horrors. Boldness is nothing new for Saiz, Valentine and Sosa, and that goes back to the band’s earliest output in their formative 2009 demo (review here), but there’s little they’ve done that would prepare the fanbase they’ve built for this turn. And that’s what makes it work. On a sheer level of sonics and in terms of methodology, the expansion that “:th:ree: :cvrses:” represents makes Shroud Eater‘s processes that much richer and carries the feeling of an exorcism — something the band had to purge out of their collective system. I asked them to tell me about the song’s origins — you can see their responses under the player below — because I wanted to know what impulses they were following in its making, and you’ll note as you read that all three members make particular mention of enjoying the prospect of what this might eventually bring to their core sound.
Sosa calls it “refreshing,” while Valentine puts forth the possibility of more noise-based releases and Saiz backs her up and confirms more experimentalism to come. The only question at this point is whether “:th:ree: :cvrses:” becomes a working model for one-offs — a noisy incarnation of Shroud Eater — or a general move toward ambience they’re able to apply progressively to the sludge songwriting that’s been more familiar from them. I do not know which way they’ll go, if either, but listening to the horror show that “:th:ree: :cvrses:” conjures across its consuming and extended span, one more thing that ties the piece to the rest of their work is the mountain of potential it represents. One hates to think of anything delaying their second album further as we move toward six years post-ThunderNoise, but they’ve opened a doorway here and given themselves a fresh side to explore, and one is likewise excited at the prospect of what they might find as they creep deeper within the contrast. We’ll see.
Please find the stream of “:th:ree: :cvrses:” below, followed by the aforementioned quotes from Saiz, Valentine and Sosa. Once again, the official release date is Feb. 8.
“:th:ree: :cvrses:” is performed by Shroud Eater: Jean Saiz (vocals, guitar, synthesizer), Janette Valentine (bass, synthesizer), Davin Sosa (vocals, drums, synthesizer). With additional instrumentation by Lauren Palma (guitars), Zeus Chirinos (bass). Recorded & engineered by Davin Sosa. Mixed & Mastered by Aric Meerbot.
Davin Sosa on “:th:ree: :cvrses:”:
The idea for the track came from our inclusion in last year’s INC (International Noise Conference), among other things. We prepared a 15-minute piece between two synthesizers and a noisemaker. Wielding the atmosphere instead of our guitars and drums was really damn fun, not to mention refreshing! It only made sense to try and record it proper. Another motivating factor for me was the new Boris x Merzbow record released around the same time. Their use of weird, affected vocals and overwhelming walls of sound was a big influence on my contributions to the track. Definitely wouldn’t mind doing more like this in the future!
Janette Valentine on “:th:ree: :cvrses:”:
I’ve been eager to try something different and new as a band and this was the perfect thing for us to tap into. I dig noise that is heavy, sinister and sad. Holding down the groove and mood on synths is something I plan to continue to do, and my hopes are that we can record a full EP that explores more of this dark and meditative realm.
Jean Saiz on “:th:ree: :cvrses:”:
In all honesty, the idea of creating noise as music was pretty foreign to me at first. After attending and watching friends perform at the International Noise Conference for a few years, there was definitely certain soundscapes and moods that I was really drawn to and resonated with me. During the summer of 2014, where we were sans-drummer and Davin had yet to join the band, I listened almost exclusively to weird, avant-garde, drone, noise, experimental stuff; I didn’t want to hear anything that sounded like a traditional rock/metal/whatever song. Fast forward a bit, and as previously mentioned we were asked to perform at INC on a night curated by Holly Hunt’s Beatriz Monteavaro, and immediately we all knew as a band we were going to ditch the guitar, bass, and drums formula and do something different. What followed was a kind of loose structure of synths, noisemakers and doped-out, meditative vocals that we used as a base for what would later be properly recorded on :th:ree: :cvrses:. We’ll definitely be doing more experimental recordings in the future, as the three of us really enjoyed the freedoms associated with creating something that’s so out there and starkly different from the usual Shroud Eater sound.
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 3rd, 2016 by JJ Koczan
The lumbercrush of Weltesser‘s aptly-titled Demo tape has been sold out since I don’t know how long from its 2015 release, but the news that the cave-echoing Floridian trio have been picked up by Prosthetic Records to release their impending debut album, Crestfallen, in January, wants little for justification. One can imagine the wash of low end from “Rats” or “Hate Worshiper” filling any number of small rooms throughout the unsuspecting Southeast over the last couple years and demolishing what a given audience might’ve thought they were getting from a live set, and as Prosthetic continues to wade into things slow and low — see also Spirit Adrift, past rockin’ experience with The Tower, Castle, and so on — the Saint Petersburg three-piece bring an extremity to the mix in which they’ve not yet basked.
Stream and download that demo below, name-your-price style. Here’s the info from Prosthetic:
PROSTHETIC RECORDS SIGNS METALLIC DOOM TRIO WELTESSER
Band announce Jan. 27 release for debut album “Crestfallen” & upcoming appearances
PROSTHETIC RECORDS are pleased to reveal the signing of metallic doom trio WELTESSER to their ever expanding roster. Fueled by sour diesel and misery, WELTESSER is comprised of Ian Hronek (Rotting Palms, Landbridge) Nate Peterson (Rotting Palms, Sky Burial) and Mike Amador (Landbridge), who formed the band in Saint Petersburg, FL over Sabbath worship and Monolord. Roughly a year after their inaugural demo release – a syrupy four track cassette – WELTESSER are excited to announce the release of their debut full-length album “Crestfallen” with PROSTHETIC RECORDS on January 27, 2017.
The band collectively commented on the signing and what to expect from their debut stating, “We are super humbled, and honestly very excited, to be working with Prosthetic. We’ve all been working very hard on our music for years. Once we all got together and started Weltesser, it was the most fluid we’ve ever played, but I think we were all pretty surprised about anyone taking interest in helping with putting out an album so early in the band’s life. “Crestfallen” is refinement and growth, we wanted to have the same depressive emotions that were in the demo, but branch out and pull some new sounds into it. Our music is very much about redundancy, not so much the repeat, just bringing you back to the same feelings from the beginning to the end. We are happy about how it came out and are excited about writing more music”
Self-produced and engineered by Dan Byers, “Crestfallen” is six tracks clocking in at 30 minutes of sickening, metallic doom. Having shared the stage with bands such as Primitive Man, The Body, Jucifer, Celeste and many more, they quickly became the go-to unsigned band in Florida for nationally touring acts. Their sound is inspired by Dystopia, His Hero is Gone, and Laudanum, lending a humble maturity beyond three years.
UPCOMING TOUR DATES 11/18-19 Saint Petersburg, FL – Destroyer Fest (w/ Cough, set and setting, Shroud Eater) 12/17-18 Orlando, FL – Florida is Loud Fest (w/ Yautja, Knife Hits)
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 28th, 2016 by JJ Koczan
I’m a pretty easy sell at this point on Shroud Eater anything. Presumably the Miami trio’s forthcoming split seven-incher alongside Georgian doomers Dead Hand will serve as a precursor to their upcoming STB Records full-length, Strike the Sun, which was announced over the summer and (also) presumably will be out early 2017. Not a moment too soon, frankly, and while I don’t know if their inclusion on the split, which will be out on Southern Druid Records and is available to preorder now, will show up on the LP as well, if it does then it’s a preview for the record and if it doesn’t then it’s a bonus for those who seek it out. Either way, it’s not like you really lose. But then again, like I say, I’m a pretty easy sell.
Release date for the split is Nov. 21. Info follows from the PR wire:
SHROUD EATER / DEAD HAND split 7″
Dead Hand and Shroud Eater join forces to deliver this sonic pummeling of a 7″.
Shroud Eater brings their Miami Sludge groove harder than ever on “Destroy the Monolith”. Dead Hand prove once again that they are masters of Doom with their track “Guaiacol”.
Pre-order ships on 11/21/16.
Brooding Miami riff sorcerers SHROUD EATER continue to deliver crushing alms to the altar of heavy. Riding high off the frenetic energy of their last release, the trio are releasing a newly recorded version of slow-churning wickedness in “Destroy the Monolith”. The song will be released on a split 7″ with Georgia’s tone lords Dead Hand. The split is set to be released 11-18-2016 via Jacksonville’s Southern Druid Records.
Starting as an idea in 2012, Dead Hand hit the ground running with a split 7 inch with Philly shredders, Repellers in Jan 2014 on Divine Mother Recordings.Mastered by Dan Randall of Mammoth Sound (Ash Borer, Noothgrush, Unearthly Trance), the split received stellar reviews. An EP in July 2014 and regional touring filled up the remainder of the year. In June 2015, Dead Hand released their first full length, “Storm of Demiurge” on Divine Mother Recordings in the USA and Third I Rex in Europe.
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 13th, 2016 by JJ Koczan
True story: I was sitting at the kitchen table the other day, across from The Patient Mrs., shooting the shit while we waited for some cauliflower to roast or whatever it was, and as we were listening to Floor‘s 2014 return album, Oblation (review here), I actually said the words, “Golly, I hope they do another record.” That outing is one to which I’ve continually gone back since its release and I’ve found that, in the spirit of its much-lauded self-titled predecessor, it’s only gotten better with time. I dug it when it came out too, as that review made pretty plain, but maybe Floor is a band whose work just needs to be digested for a while before it can be fully appreciated. I’ll be interested to see what I think of it in five years.
But in any case, “Golly, I hope they do another record” sums up my feelings on the matter. No news in that regard here, sadly, but Floor will head out for a Halloween weekender in Florida and Georgia at the end of this month — around Halloween, duh. If I hear of or see other dates abroad posted, I’ll let you know, but you don’t need me to tell that wherever Floor are, if that’s where you are, then that’s where you should be, but I feel like they continue to be undervalued, so I’ll say it anyway.
The stream of Oblation is below if you’d like an excuse to pay it a visit — it’s worth one — and here are Floor‘s live dates, courtesy of the PR wire:
FLOOR announce new tour dates; The Fest appearance
Cult underground rock outfit FLOOR (Steve Brooks (also of TORCHE) – Guitar, Vocals, Anthony Vialon – Guitar, Henry Wilson – drums) have announced new tour dates that lead the band to and from The Fest in Gainesville, FL. The dates, which begin on Oct. 28, see the band playing Orlando, Gainesville, and Athens. More information can be found below.
FLOOR are touring in support of their first new album in over ten years. ‘Oblation.’
FLOOR tour dates Oct. 28 Orlando, FL @ Backbooth Oct. 29 Gainesville, FL @ The Wooly as part of The Fest Oct. 31 Athens, GA @ Preserve
Floridian two-piece Cave of Swimmers hit the road later this week on an East Coast tour that will take them into the beginning of August. Later on next month, they head west to Psycho Las Vegas to play alongside Pentagram, Sleep, YOB, and, well, name a name. Whether or not they’ll tour around that appearance, I don’t know, but this tour would seem to be a precursor to that slot either way, and they go supporting their 2015 album, Reflection, having already toured this past Spring in the Midwest and Southeast.
Dates and info follow:
Miami heavy duo Cave of Swimmers will be on tour this summer doing a US east coast run before playing Psycho Las Vegas Festival in August along with Alice Cooper, Blue Oyster Cult, Electric Wizard and more.
Cave of Swimmers is a band formed by two Venezuelan kids who met in the 4th grade. After moving to Miami in the mid 2000’s, they reunited to form a band with an original take on heavy music. Fast, slow, spooky, sludgy, progressive, you name it: Cave of Swimmers does it their own way.
Their self-titled debut album gained critical acclaim last year after a few tours. They made a name for themselves as a band that’s real with a live show like no other, outta control, and full of raw energy. Their new album “Reflection” was released in the summer of 2015 and they toured February/March 2016 and hit the road again this summer supporting the release.
Cave of Swimmers on tour: July 22 – New Orleans, LA – Siberia July 23 – Atlanta, GA – The Highlander July 24 – Memphis, TN – Murphy’s July 25 – Nashville, TN – Foobar July 26 – Winston-Salem, NC – Test pattern July 28 – Baltimore, MD – The Sidebar July 29 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie July 31 – Salem, MA – Koto August 1 – Brooklyn, NY – Sunnyvale August 2 – Richmond, VA – 25 Watt RVA August 3 – Chapel Hill, NC – The Cave August 5 – Jacksonville, FL House show August 6 – Gainesville, FL – The Atlantic
Why, it seems like only yesterday Miami’s Shroud Eater were announcing the string of tour dates that would take them west to Psycho Las Vegas. Oh wait. That was yesterday. Well, today the trio are signing to STB Records and having the title of their forthcoming second full-length revealed, so there you go. The album is called Strike the Sun and it will be the follow-up to 2011’s ThunderNoise (review here) — it’s astonishing that it’s been five years since Shroud Eater‘s debut album — and the 2013 EP, Dead Ends (review here). Due out in late 2016 or early 2017, no doubt it will be given the full STB treatment as regards limited editions, special version LPs and so on, and since it’s Shroud Eater, no doubt it will crush.
Word came down the PR wire from STB Records, and I included the tour dates again as well in case you forgot since yesterday:
STB Records is proud to announce that we have signed Miami’s Shroud Eater to release their new full length album, “Strike The Sun”! The album will be released later this year or early 2017. Anyone familiar with this amazing band knows that this album promises to be a monster killer!
The band says: “Shroud Eater is incredibly excited to become part of the STB Records family to release our upcoming full-length album ‘Strike the Sun’. STB’s DIY ethos and fierce commitment to the artistic quality and merit of their bands made it obvious to us that this was the perfect partnership to release this crushing record.”
In anticipation of the album’s release, Summer 2016 will see the Miami, FL sorcerers take their sludge-laden doom out west on a 2-week tour to perform at PSYCHO LAS VEGAS festival at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, (Playing along side label mates Hornss), as well as a headlining slot at the Tennessean Sludge Festival in Murfreesboro, TN. While the band has borne comparisons to metal behemoths like High on Fire, Acid King, Kylesa and others, Shroud Eater stands firmly in a pioneering sound they have culled out as their own.
Shroud Eater on tour: Friday August 19: Jacksonville, FL @ Rain Dogs Saturday August 20: Atlanta, GA @ The Earl with Iron Whip, Savagist, and Tokers Sunday August 21: Murfreesboro, TN @ Tennessean Sludge Fest with Place of Skulls, Order of the Owl, Doomstress, Act of Impalement, Dead Hand, Close the Hatch, and more… Monday August 22: Memphis, TN @ Murphy’s Tuesday August 23: Oklahoma City, OK @ TBA Wednesday August 24: Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad with The Body and Full of Hell, Bathhouse and Ol’ Dagger Thursday August 25: Flagstaff, AZ @ The Green Room Friday August 26: Las Vegas, NV @ Psycho Las Vegas @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino with Pentagram, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Converge, Yob, Wovenhand, The Shrine and many, many more… Monday August 29: Tempe, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room Tuesday August 30: El Paso, TX @ The Sandbox Wednesday August 31: Austin, TX @ Lost Well Thursday Sept 1: New Orleans, LA @ TBA Friday September 2: Tallahassee, FL @ Rotten Fest Saturday September 3: St. Petersburg, FL @ The Bends with Bleeth and Hell’s Fauna