Cities of Mars Update on Celestial Mistress EP

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 3rd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Swedish trio Cities of Mars update on their forthcoming second EP, Celestial Mistress, and answer a couple key questions about the release. Most pivotal, whether or not it will continue the narrative thread begun on their 2015 two-tracker, Cyclopean Ritual (streamed here). Yes, yes it will. The band gives some background below on where the story’s heroine is headed this time around, while also noting that the EP introduces a second main character in an ancient fallen fighter pilot. Can’t help but wonder if through some space-time flux these two won’t meet up at some point, perhaps on a debut full-length down the line?

For now, it’s a story told through riffs that continues to intrigue. The following info on the short release came in thusly:

cities of mars

A quick update on the upcoming EP:

It’s called Celestial Mistress and will contain the title track as well as Beneath a burning sun and Gaze of Leviathan. All three songs are chapters in the unfolding saga of the ancient civilization on Mars, adding more pieces to the puzzle that began with the two songs released in April. The title track is set in 1971 (and onward) where our heroine Nadia meets an undying Lord of the ancient city of Bahb-Elon and discovers her part in a prophecy from millennia ago. Gaze of Leviathan is also set in 1971 where Nadia ventures far beneath the surface of Mars and discovers that all is not silent and abandoned on the red planet.

Beneath the burning sun tells the tale of a shot-down fighter pilot in a war thousands or years ago, during the high point of the martian civilization.

The artwork will be within the theme of course, working once again with our graphic artist Axel Widén that has done all our stuff so far.

All the three songs are recorded with live basics, drums, bass and lead guitar in full takes with the whole band. Esben of Monolord has pressed us even further than we expected with the vocals, so we are confident that the lyrical content will be presented as awesome as the music itself. The production will be bigger, heavier and more diverse.
Release date is not set, since there is practical and legal stuff to be negotiated with a few biz partners, but March should be realistic. At first it will be a pure digital music release, with the artwork available as a poster. However, we hope to offer the EP as a 10-inch gatefold physical release later this year.

Cities of Mars, “Gaze of Leviathan” Live at Wizard of Fuzz Festival 2015

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Monolord Interview with Esben Willems: Crushing the One

Posted in Features on November 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

monolord 1

It has been an exceedingly busy year for Monolord. The Gothenburg trio released their second album, Vænir (review here), through RidingEasy Records as the follow-up to 2014’s incredibly well-received Empress Rising debut, and from there, they haven’t really stopped. A tour in Europe led up to the album’s release and also found them following it with an appearance at Roadburn in the Netherlands, and they did sundry other dates this past summer before making a stop at Desertfest Belgium en route to the US for their first tour in North America, supporting Windhand and Danava on an ambitious cross-country run of the major markets that included a slot at Night of the Shred in Southern California.

Really, since Empress Rising was plonked down on riff-hungry skulls like so much edible concrete, Monolord have worked quickly and fiercely to make a name for themselves. Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Thomas Jäger, bassist Mika Häkki and drummer/recording engineer Esben Willems, they clearly knew what they wanted to start from sound-wise on the first record and had ideas they wanted to develop working off that for the second, but also, in practical as well as creative terms, they seem to be very much on the same page in terms of what kind of work they’re going to put in and what that’s going to look like in terms of their overall plans. Monolord‘s ascent is not an accident. True, it wouldn’t be possible if the albums didn’t resonate, but they have not sat around and let acclaim come to them. They have gone out and hand-delivered their pummel door to door.

With performances already confirmed for 2016 at Desertfest in London and Berlin, Freak Valley in Germany and Hellfest in France, as well as other tours in the theoretical stages, it looks like that will very much continue to be the case as they move beyond Vænir and toward a crucial third full-length. As they move toward wrapping the dates with Windhand and Danava, it seemed only fair to check in with the band and get an update on how the shows have been, their impressions from life on the road in North America as opposed to Europe, and what 2016 might hold for them past what’s been confirmed publicly. Willems — whose patience in waiting for me to have three minutes to put together a list of questions for an email Q&A was very much appreciated — was kind enough to take time out to fill us in.

Please find the full interview after the jump, and thanks for reading.

Read more »

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Cities of Mars Announce New EP Release

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Whathaveyou on October 26th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

“Gaze of Leviathan” was one of two new songs that Sweden’s Cities of Mars played at the recent Wizard of Fuzz festival in Kvibergs Kaserner. The other was called “Beneath a Burning Sun,” and both tracks come off the trio’s yet-untitled second EP, which will be released through Suicide Records in March 2016. Like their debut two-tracker (streamed here), the upcoming three-song release was recorded by Esben Willems of Monolord, and a new live video for the aforementioned “Gaze of Leviathan” can be found below.

The roll in the track speaks for itself, but the echoing shouts give off hints of melody that one can only imagine will continue to develop in the Gothenburg-based band’s sound and be brought out even more in the studio version of the track. We’re still a ways out from that release, but the band has started to tease the info and the material with the live clip, and everything we know to this point can be found for your perusal below. Note the art that follows is not the cover for the EP, just Cities of Mars‘ logo design:

cities of mars logo

Cities of Mars – deal for EP and live video coming up

Swedish sci-fi doom trio Cities of Mars released their first two-track EP in August 2015 and gathered lots of positive reactions for their vocally intense psychedelic doom, telling the tale of a Soviet cosmonaut landing on Mars in the early 70’s and discovering an ancient civilization and conspiracy from the dawn of time.

Now the band has joined creative forces with Swedish label Suicide Records (Age of Woe, 100 Years, Dia Psalma, Peter Dolving etc.) for an upcoming digital EP. Cities of Mars will yet again rely on the talents of Esben Willems, drummer and producer in Swedish doom titans Monolord for recording and producing duties.

The EP will be a 3-track affair, with release scheduled for early March 2016.

For those eager to get new music from Cities of Mars – now the previously unreleased song Gaze of Leviathan is available on a live video from the Wizard of Fuzz Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Cities of Mars, “Gaze of Leviathan” Live at Wizard of Fuzz Festival 2015

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Honeymoon Disease Premiere “Higher” Video; The Transcendence out Nov. 20

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 22nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

honeymoon disease 2

There’s a lot to like about Gothenburg heavy rockers Honeymoon Disease‘s new video for “Higher,” which is taken from their upcoming full-length debut, The Transcendence. Me? I like the wrestlers at the end. All of a sudden some dude is getting bodyslammed through a table. You’re watching the clip and you’re like, “Wait a minute, a verse ago we were at an awesome-looking parking lot barbecue — how did we get there?,” and then somebody’s getting punched in the head with the eight ball. Between that, the aforementioned cookout, the dude doing a radio show in a studio that looks positively palatial compared to just about every broadcast booth I’ve ever been in, the motorcycle gang, hot rod and the band’s apparent affection for the color yellow, yeah, as I said, there’s a lot to like.

The Transcendence is out Nov. 20 on Napalm Records, and “Higher” finds Honeymoon Disease nestled into a sweet spot betwixt the boogie of Graveyard and Horisont‘s affinity for classic metal. Guitarist/vocalist Jenna Disease, guitarist Acid Disease and drummer Jimi Disease (formerly of Mamont) recently welcomed bassist Nicklas Hellqvist tot he fold, and while I think he’s too new to have played on the record or to appear in the video, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Honeymoon Disease were looking to hit the road in a big way to support their debut. Already they have dates booked around to the release that include a stop Nov. 21 at Speedfest in the Netherlands, where they’re on a lineup with High on Fire, Mondo Generator, Voivod, Refused and many more.

Plenty to like about that as well, and one doubts very much that will be Honeymoon Disease‘s last run to herald the album’s — and thus their own — arrival. Oh, one last thing about the video. At the end of it, the band gets all their friends to lineup for a photo op in the parking lot where the party was held. Looks like a good time, and cool to see they’ve got their priorities in the right place.

Video, comment from Honeymoon Disease, album and tour info follow. Enjoy:

Honeymoon Disease, “Higher” official video

Says Honeymoon Disease:

HIGHER is our way to describe the feeling you get when someone wants to tear everything you’ve got apart. And finally, when your fuel tank is filled-up with shit, you strike back, like a flash of lightning.

The music video is directed by our good friend Max Ljungberg who has captured all the elements that builds up Honeymoon Disease. It also reflects the rage of Higher.

Honeymoon Disease’s single “Fast Love” (2014) was quite possibly the surprise of the year: The Quartet from Gothenburg Sweden didn’t just release an acceptable debut single, but delivered a heavy-speed-rocking masterpiece which could easily hold a candle comparable to classic outfits like DEEP PURPLE, THIN LIZZY or RAINBOW. The “Bellevue Groove” single B-side also pays tribute to THE DAMNED with a fantastic cover of “Neat, Neat, Neat”.

With such a heavy hitting debut single, the weighted question remains as to whether the band can deliver the same quality on a full length debut. “The Transcendence” delivers, answering this question with an album full of future classics steeped in timeless charm, blessed with massive grooves, spirited with cocky howls, and seasoned with classic style riffs. Honeymoon Disease are proof that the Modern Retro Rock movement is not a male dominated genre, with two women, Jenna and Acid, jointly responsible for their unique sound, HONEYMOON DISEASE are making their mark with testosterone fueled rhythm on anthems like “Gotta Move!” so follow, or get out of their way!

To get the full live experience check out their upcoming tour dates with Avatarium and The Vintage Caravan.

Honeymoon Disease on tour:
18 – Lyngby, Denmark – Templet
19 – Hamburg, Germany – Klubsen
20 – Essen, Germany – Turock
21 – Eindhoven, Netherlands – Speedfest
22 – London, England – Underworld
23 – Frankfurt, Germany – Das Bett
24 – Pratteln, Switzerland – Z-7
25 – Munich, Germany – Backstage
26 – Leipzig, Germany – Moritzbastei
27 – Wien, Austria – Szene
28 – Innsbruck, Austria – Weekender
29 – Berlin, Germany – Bi-nuu

Honeymoon Disease preorder at Napalm Records

Honeymoon Disease on Thee Facebooks

Honeymoon Disease website

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Lord of Cyclopes Post New Video for “The Takeoff”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

lord of cyclopes

Listening to “The Takeoff” from Lord of Cyclopes‘ debut EP of the same name, it’s not that surprising to learn that the Gothenburg-based band has a connection to Generous Maria, whose 2001 outing, Command of the New Rock, remains a well-guarded secret of pre-social media European stoner rock. Lord of Cyclopes, whose EP is newly released on Daredevil Records, work in a similar post-Kyuss mentality, way more indebted to the earliest work of their countrymen in Dozer and Lowrider than to the current retro ’70s movement spearheaded by Graveyard, and in a less outwardly commercial (in a European radio sense) fashion than Mother Misery, who have similar ties.

Still, if “The Takeoff” finds in them in the tail of a comet, that seems to suit Lord of Cyclopes just fine. What probably remains a few years off from being called “classic stoner rock” sounds almost refreshing for its lack of further subgenre delineation, and the four-piece build a considerable head of steam, rhythmically-speaking, across an efficient, sub-four-minute runtime while also keeping a mind toward a catchy hook. The Takeoff has four tracks total and can be heard at the band’s Soundcloud and purchased (on the cheap, I’ll add) from Daredevil‘s webstore, both of which are linked under the video below.


Lord of Cyclopes, “The Takeoff” official video

Official PR-video of the song “The Takeoff” from the EP “The Takeoff” released 2015 by LORD OF CYCLOPES!

Was originally founded in 2011 by drummer Cyclope Joe. With him he got his former friends Cyclope Pontiac on bass and Cyclope Pelé on vocals. Cyclope Pontiac Went to Stockholm in early 2015 and the bass is now operated by former heavy metal bass guitar virtuoso Cyclope Jorge. Different guitar players came and went until the band settled for Cyclope George. All members have different experiences and from former bands. This quartet has definitely found matching preferences! It will rock your socks off!

Cyclope Pelé – Vocals
Cyclope Joe – Drums
Cyclope Jorge – Bass
Cyclope George – Guitars

Lord of Cyclopes on Thee Facebooks

Lord of Cyclopes on Soundcloud

Daredevil Records

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Galvano Touring Europe in Nov. with Snailking and Zaum

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 3rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Swedish twofer Galvano will hit the road next month across Western Europe in support of their earlier-2015 release, Trail of the Serpent, which is also their debut on Candlelight Records. They’re joined for the trek by their countrymen in Snailking and Canada’s Zaum, who I hear will have a new record out in 2016, which is surely good news for anyone who likes their heavy with a bit of ritual behind it. Which I think is just about everybody at this point. Or, at very least, me. Ha.

It’s a more than solid bill, though, with the three bands, and they’ll meet up with the likes of Pentagram and Graveyard along the way as well, so all the better. Dates and background on Trail of the Serpent follow, as well as the stream of the album, all courtesy of the PR wire:

galvano tour

We are hitting Europe again in November, this time with our friends in Snailking and ZAUM. Excited to return to France, this time sharing stage with the mighty Pentagram! Hope to see you out there! Go like these killer bands and share this poster. Thank you.

Galvano on Tour with Snailking and Zaum
11.13 Stengade Copenhagen DK
11.14 Astrastube Hamburg DE
11.15 TBC Rouen FR
11.17 Ferrailleur Nantes FR*
11.18 Little Devil Tilburg NL
11.19 De Onderbroek Nijmegen NL
11.20 Music City Antwerp BE
11.21 Brixton Windmill London UK
11.23 TBC Leipzig DE
11.24 Chemiefabrik Dresden DE
11.25 Alte Meierei Kiel DE
11.26 Schokoladen Berlin DE
11.27 1000Fryd Aalborg DK
11.28 Vulkan Arena Oslo NO**
*with Pentagram
**with Graveyard

From the deepest, nastiest recesses of Gothenburg comes crushing Swedish sludge duo Galvano. Now comprising Mattias Noojd (guitars/vocals) and Fredrik Kall (drums), Galvano originally started out as a three-piece in 2005.

Galvano embarked on their first mini tour in 2010 visiting Denmark and a set of German cities. That same year the band were asked to feature on a split so they went into the studio and recorded the epic single The Librarian which was mixed and mastered by the legendary Billy Anderson (Orange Goblin, Cathedral, Eyehategod).

This was released as a 10 in 2011 on SM Musik from Leipzig, Germany. The release was then followed up by a full European tour. After this tour the band said goodbye to their fourth bass player and decided to move on as a duo. Early in 2012 they teamed up with UK based label Devouter Records for the release of their debut full-length album Two Titans. The album was released on December 5th and was very well received by both fans and media.

Since then the band has played over 35 shows during several European tours including UK and Ireland. In January 2015, Galvano signed with Candlelight Records.

Galvano, Trail of the Serpent (2015)

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Cities of Mars Release Debut Single Cyclopean Ritual / The Third Eye

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 13th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Swedish trio Cities of Mars have released their debut single, Cyclopean Ritual / The Third Eye, as a name-your-price download. The three-piece of bassist/vocalist Danne Palm, guitarist/vocalist Christoffer Norén (also Benevolent) and drummer Johan Küchler first got together last year, and the new single marks their first time in the studio. They recorded with Esben Willems of Monolord, of which Palm is also a former member. One can hear some similar tendencies in the riffery that ensues across “Cyclopean Ritual” and “The Third Eye,” the stoner idolatry taken to a cosmic end, but Cities of Mars distinguish themselves with some of the most satisfying roll in this style that I’ve heard since the first Sigiriya record in 2011, not looking to overwhelm with tone or impress with nuance, but just riffing out and hitting the mark dead on.

Cities of Mars play the Wizard of Fuzz festival in Oct. in their native Gothenburg, and more info on that and the stream of both tracks follow here, courtesy of the PR wire:

cities of mars cyclopean ritual

The spacetime transmission is out there.

A tiny fragment of a signal, from another time and another place. Perhaps it tells the truth, some version of the truth or perhaps it’s just distorted white noise, a blip in a broken old radio somewhere.

But all three of us felt it, heard it and we were captivated. The blips and swirls became sound, broken syllables became words, and a story from another world started to unfold. We learned that the Soviet Union’s Mars landers in the early seventies did indeed not crash, but landed a secret agent upon the red planet’s surface. Her journey into the unknown and the discovery of an ancient civilisation from beyond time are for us to decipher and put into this world. We hope you’ll come along for the journey.

Cities of Mars will unleash the premiere of the grim spacetime tales at the Wizard of Fuzz festival in Gothenburg, Sweden on October 9/10th along with a super-sweet line-up of heavy bands: Black Rainbows (IT), Tombstones (NO), Rosy Finch (ESP), Stone from the sky (FR), Zatokrev (CH), Skraeckoedlan, Serpent Omega, Crowlegion, Maida Vale, Mamon, Colossus, Galvano, Besvärjelsen, Orkan, Reverend Jim Jones ATD, Wolves in Haze and Serpent.

Cities of Mars on Thee Facebooks

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Horisont Announce New Album Odyssey Due Sept. 18

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Preceded by the 2014 single “Break the Limit,” the video for which you can see below, the fourth full-length from Swedish trad heavy rockers Horisont is titled Odyssey and it will be out on Sept. 18 via Rise Above Records. That single will also be on the album, the details and righteous artwork for which have just been unveiled. It’s their first record with guitarist Tom Sutton (The Order of Israfel, ex-Church of Misery) in the lineup, so there’s an added level of intrigue there, but at this point the band are pretty reliable for an exciting meld of classic rock and metal, so if Odyssey is business as usual for them, that’s just fine.

One thing I found particularly interesting in the PR wire info below is when drummer Pontus Jordan mentions that the artwork tells the story of the album. I’d be very interested to know what that story is, given the following:

horisont odyssey

HORISONT to Release Odyssey September 18th on Rise Above Records

Artwork and Track Listing Revealed

Big of moustache and tight of trouser, HORISONT drink from the bottomless wellspring of inspiration that’s been bubbling up through the layers of time since the birth of the blues – or Blue Oyster Cult at the very least. Theirs is a sound that harks back to the dawn of the 70s, when a new clutch of heads decided it was time to harsh the 60s hippies’ mellow and paint it black; those years when the twin spirit of hard rock and prog rose to redefine sound.

This quintet’s rock trip might be retro but their songwriting is timeless; a good melody lives forever and HORISONT have songs in abundance. New album Odyssey is exactly as its title suggests: an epic journey into the known. A sonic trip. A mighty voyage of sound. You could even call their fourth full release a concept album – although they themselves prefer “space saga”. Either way it’s a brave band who open their album with a ten minute-long track, yet on the album’s title track HORISONT dive straight into the deep end, delivering space-rock with all the dexterity and deftness of the very best prog rock’s finest, such as early Yes or Kansas.

Odyssey was recorded in Studio Kust in Gothenburg with producer by Henrik Magnusson. It was, the band explain their most harmonious creative period ever.”No HORISONT recording session has ever been this good,” admits Delborg. “We had worked with Henrik on our ‘Break The Limit’ single and knew that he was our guy. All the basics where recorded live in just a couple of days. Then we spent a lot of time on the intricate details.”

The artwork for Odyssey harks back to both classic sci-fi paperbacks and prime prog rock albums of the 70s. “We wanted a slightly disturbed, Asimov-esque science fiction cover that told the story of Odyssey,” says drummer Pontus Jordan. “Tom knew this guy who was really in to old science fiction stuff and he had done the cover for The Order Of Israfel. So we meet the guy and it was the one and only Henrik Jacobsen. And he really nailed it.”

Formed in 2006, HORISONT have spent close to a decade kicking ass, taking names and establishing themselves at the forefront of the Scandinavian retro rock revival (see also Witchcraft, Graveyard etc), injecting their sound with early-Status Quo-styled boogie blues, prog complexities, NWOBHM swagger and fire-spitting choruses set to scorch the eyebrows of the first ten rows. This is music made without irony, unafraid to acknowledge an allegiance to past greats such as Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Cactus, Thin Lizzy, the aforementioned Yes andJudas Priest.

Their first two albums Tva Sidor Av Horisonten(2009) and Second Assault (2012) earned HORISONT a special place in the rock underground, while Time Warriors (2013) was a no-holds barred demonstration of classic rock and metal combined with a fearlessly inventive streak, and took them to a wider international audience. And now comes Odyssey, a bold leap into more expansive and ethereal musical territory. It’s the band’s first to feature native Australian and former Church Of Misery guitarist Tom Sutton.

The new line-up change sees a definite gear-shift too. Here HORISONT play as if their lives depend upon it: duelling guitars do battle in a endlessly thrilling interplay over a rhythm section that gallops like wild horses across the frozen tundra. And cutting through the middle, Axel Söderberg’s howling heartfelt vocals delivered with a space-age sense of soulfulness.

Strap in, sit back and let the Odyssey begin….

Odyssey Track Listing:
1. Odyssey
2. Break The Limit
3. Blind Leder Blind
4. Bad News
5. Light My Way
6. The Night Stalker
7. Flying
8. Back On The Streets
9. Beyond The Sun
10. Red Light
11. StÑder Brinner
12. Timmarna

Axel Söderberg – vocals
Charlie Van Loo – guitar
Tom Sutton – guitar
Magnus Delborg – bass
Pontus Jordan – drums

For More Info Visit:

Horisont, “Break the Limit” official video

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