Destroyer of Light Premiere “Burning Darkness” from Mors Aeterna out May 24

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

destroyer of light

The grim magic of lurking tradtional doom has been with Destroyer of Light all along, but the Austin, Texas, four-piece have never brought it to bear with the poise, presence or level of accomplishment they do on Mors Aeterna. Their third full-length out May 24 as their debut for Argonauta Records follows behind 2018’s Hopeless EP (review here) and 2017’s Chamber of Horrors (review here), both of which seemed to paint the band’s shifting focus in real-time. Their earlier work on 2014’s Bizarre Tales Vol. 2 EP or their 2012 self-titled debut was more in a burly heavy rock vein, but it was the Endsville split/collaboration with Godhunter (discussed here) in 2015 that really began to mark their turn to darker, more sinister, doomly fare.

Mors Aeterna — which brings forth 10 tracks in a relatively concise 44 minutes peppered with interludes throughout like the intro “Overture Putrefactio,” the keyboard-laced “The Unknown,” the piano-led “Pralaya’s Hymn” and the penultimate foreboding of “Into the Abyss” that launches directly into the megacrash of semi-title-track closer “Eternal Death” —  is unquestionably Destroyer of Light‘s crowning achievement to-date. It presents their sound as a work of directed vision while proffering memorable stretches from the emotional strains of “Dissolution” onwards, but neither casts its lot entirely with classic doom nor the post-Pallbearer modern sphere. As they’ve done throughout their career, Destroyer of Light reside in a place between, and it’s a place that sounds more theirs than it ever has before.

Intro, two songs, interlude, two songs, interlude, one song, intro, one song. Parsed out, it’s easy enough to see where the band — guitarist/vocalist Steve Colca, guitarist/synthesist Keegan Kjeldsen, bassist Nick Coffman and drummer Penny Turner — wanted to break things up to keep a given listener on their toes, but such structuring does little to convey the intricacy of Destroyer of Light‘s doom and how they blend atmospherics and nodder progressions in order to get where they do. The Candlemassian stretch of “Afterlife” or the bass-heavy chug-and-swing of “Falling Star” and the play off a spacier influence in “Loving the Void,” bringing psychedelia and doom together in such a fashion as to be beholden to neither so much as its own purpose — these moments go beyond the simple shape of the album and speak to the breadth that Destroyer of Light stake out across the album’s entirety.

destroyer of light mors aeternaThey are heavy, yes. They are dark, yes. But if you think there can’t be detail as well to that, then a cut like “Burning Darkness,” with its rumbling low end foundation beneath the vocal melody and its consuming march to a destructive finish is simply going to be lost on you, let alone how the “heavier” songs interact with the interludes so clearly meant to and so effective at increasing the scope of Mors Aeterna overall. It is a record of bleak soulfulness and sincere exploration; the product of a commitment to creative growth that has shown itself across Destroyer of Light‘s discography. It feels very much like an arrival point.

And so it should, given that it’s their third record and they’ve put in some significant time on tour leading up to it — they’ll keep that thread going in Europe starting this weekend — but even more than that, Mors Aeterna seems to be working from a full-album conception. This also ties at least partially into the interludes and focus on mood and atmosphere, and it continues right up to the violin and piano that cap “Eternal Death” in a mirror to “Overture Putrefactio” at the outset. The interludes tie together the various movements of Mors Aeterna and help bolster the depth of even the most straightforward of its songs, feeding into an overarching flow that begins as “Dissolution” takes hold with its initial roll and continues through the relatively and somewhat ironically quick fadeout of “Eternal Death.”

All throughout, Destroyer of Light bask in a doom that cast in their image and spirited not by adherence to the tropes of genre, but by reshaping them to suit the needs of the songs. Destroyer of Light are a much different band now than when they started out some seven years ago, but the style they’ve embraced is something hitting its moment of realization and that — most importantly — shows no signs of stopping here. There’s nothing throughout Mors Aeterna to make one think Destroyer of Light have landed here and this is it. Rather, the quality of the songwriting and the sureheadedness with which they approach such outwardly bleak sonic terrain gives the impression only of further plunge to be had as they move forward. Still, this is an important step for the band and a convincing argument in favor of there being life after traditional doom.

It’s my pleasure today to host the premiere of “Burning Darkness.” Please find it below, followed by some comment from the band and their European tour dates.

Enjoy:

Destroyer of Light, “Burning Darkness” official track premiere

Destroyer of Light on “Burning Darkness”:

“Burning Darkness” is about this man traveling through the underworld, trying to figure out where he is heading. It is dark, it is really hot, and then he realizes that he has transcended into hell. This was a fun song to write because it is super melodic, but then really heavy. I wanted to add a “black metal” section to signify that he is hell and it is horrible! Lots of dynamics and influences showed in this song.

We are excited for our first European tour. We’ve been working really hard to get over there and for us to finally be here feels really good. Hard to believe we are, it’ll be awesome to have the new album with us too. Y’all will get the first chance in person! Hope to see you out there!

Set for a release on May 24th with Argonauta Records, Mors Aeterna will be available as CD, LP and Digital formats at: www.argonautarecords.com

Tour Dates:
10th May, Italy, Bologna @ Freak Out*
11th May, Italy, Genua @ Lucrezia Social Bar*
12th May, France, Lyon @ Le Farmer*
13th May, France, Toulouse @ L’Usine de la Musique*
14th May, France, Strasbourg @ L’Elastic*
15th May, Germany, Dresden @ Chemiefabrik*
16th May, Germany, Berlin*
17th May, Denmark, Aalborg @ 1000 Fryd*
18th May, Sweden, Stockholm @ Copperfields*
19th May, Sweden, Boras @ Cannibal Metal*
21th May, Switzerland @ Luzern*
22th May, Italy, Milan+
23th May, Italy, Turin @ Ziggy+
24th May, Italy, Vercelli @ Officine Sonore+
25th May, Italy, Treviso @ Altroquando+
* w/ Hell Obelisco
+ w/ Great Electric Quest

Destroyer of Light is:
Steve Colca – Guitar, Vocals
Nick Coffman – Bass
Keegan Kjeldsen – Guitar, Synth
Penny Turner – Drums

Destroyer of Light, “Afterlife”

Destroyer of Light on Thee Facebooks

Destroyer of Light on Instagram

Destroyer of Light on Bandcamp

Argonauta Records website

Argonauta Records on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records on Instagram

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Destroyer of Light to Release Mors Aeterna May 24; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 1st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

destroyer of light

Those of you still reeling from Destroyer of Light‘s 2018 Hopeless EP (review here) might want to sit down, but the band has set a May 24 release date for Mors Aeterna, the four-piece’s third album and first to be released through Argonauta Records. They’ll celebrate the record release at Argonauta Fest in Italy with The Great Electric Quest and others, and there is little doubt that US dates will follow behind the European incursion. Destroyer of Light are no strangers to hitting the road when called upon to do so, and a new album is plenty of occasion for it.

Motivations, info, art and the track “Afterlife” can be found below, courtesy of the PR wire:

destroyer of light mors aeterna

DESTROYER OF LIGHT UNLEASH ALBUM DETAILS + FIRST SINGLE!

Formed in 2012 from constantly boiling musical cauldron that is Austin, TX, DESTROYER OF LIGHT has taken a straight forward approach to tempering the disparate and harmonious parts of their influences into a total sum of slow motion tidal heaviness that bows to no altar but that of the riff. With the smoky flavors of hazed out doom and the stomping cadence of rock’s heyday, the band both tickles and deafens the ears with the theatrical flashes of Mercyful Fate, the ominous tones of Electric Wizard, and the ferociously feral feedback of a Sleep dirge. May 24th will see DESTROYER OF LIGHT return with their third full-length album, Mors Aeterna!

Mors Aeterna is a concept album about a man who dies and travels through the underworld and experiences unpleasant scenarios. “There’s ups and downs, twist and turns, and ultimately in the end, he will float in hell for eternity and experience complete horror for the rest of his being, hence, Mors Aeterna aka Eternal Death“ the band explains.

Today DESTROYER OF LIGHT are not only sharing the hotly anticipated details about their upcoming album with us, but also a first appetizer with the single ‘Afterlife’!

“‘Afterlife’ was the first song written for this album. At this stage, the man does not know if he is alive or dead. So, he is in shock and scared of what is happening, he is trying to communicate with someone, but they can’t hear his cries. Oh, the horror.

We worked really hard on this new record to make it an experience and to give the listener a good, steady flow to go with the concept, we hope you enjoy it!“

Mors Aeterna tracklist:
1. Overture Putrefactio
2. Dissolution
3. Afterlife
4. The Unknown
5. Falling Star
6. Burning Darkness
7. Pralaya’s Hymn
8. Loving the Void
9. Into the Abyss
10. Eternal Death

Set for a release on May 24th with Argonauta Records, Mors Aeterna will be available as CD, LP and Digital formats at: www.argonautarecords.com

Tour Dates:
DESTROYER OF LIGHT, with special guests HELL OBELISCO
10.05.19 IT – Bologna, Freak Out
11.05.19 IT – Genua, Lucrezia Social Bar
12.05.19 FR – Lyon, Le Farmer
13.05.19 FR – Toulouse, Usine De La Musique
14.05.19 FR – Strasbourg, Tba
15.05.19 DE – Dresden, Chemiefabrik
17.05.19 DK – Aalborg, 1000 Fryd
18.05.19 SWE – Stockholm, Copperfield
19.05.19 SWE – Boras, Cannibal Queen
24.05.19 IT – Vercelli (Argonauta Fest), with The Great Electric Quest
25.05.19 IT – Treviso, Altroquando with Messa

Destroyer of Light is:
Steve Colca – Guitar, Vocals
Nick Coffman – Bass
Keegan Kjeldsen – Guitar, Synth
Penny Turner – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/destroyeroflight/
http://www.instagram.com/destroyeroflightofficial/
http://www.twitter.com/DoLAustinDoom
http://destroyeroflight.bandcamp.com/
www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
https://twitter.com/argonautarex
https://www.instagram.com/argonautarecords/

Destroyer of Light, “Afterlife”

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Destroyer of Light Announce First-Ever European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

destroyer of light

As per the social medias, the artwork for Destroyer of Light‘s next full-length, which will also serve as their first for Argonauta Records, is currently in progress. I don’t know if that means the album itself is done or not, but there’s work being done. That’s good news. Also on that theme comes word that after doing a few shows in their hometown of Austin, Texas, next month for SXSW, the band will head to Europe in May for the first time. You might recall they did a hefty amount of touring last Fall to support their Hopeless EP (review here) and to continue to spread the gospel of 2017’s Chamber of Horrors (review here), but even if not, suffice it to say that was by no means their first lengthy stretch either.

In comparison, the upcoming swath of Euro dates is much more an initial incursion at 14 shows/15 nights, but a band who tours like they do, it’s highly likely this’ll be the last time they get their passports stamped. Happy travels.

Dates follow:

destroyer of light tour

Here it is ladies and gentlemen. Europe is finally taking us in. We will be out with our label-mates, Hell Obelisco for most of the dates, and another support for the remainder of the dates. Thank you to Argonauta Records and Leynir Booking for setting up this adventure for us. Stay tuned for more news!

Destroyer of Light March Madness:
March 2nd – Shreveport, LA @ Bear’s
March 9th – Austin, TX @ Lost Well*
March 14th – Austin, TX @ Lost Well*
March 15th – Austin, TX @ Lost Well*
*all different sets of songs from old to new

Destroyer of Light Euro tour:
10.05 Italy Bologna*
11.05 Italy Vercelli*
12.05 France Lyon*
14.05 France Strasbourg*
15.05 Germany Dresden*
16.05 Germany Berlin*
17.05 Denmark Aalborg*
18.05 Sweden Stockholm*
19.05 Sweden Gothenburg*
20.05 Sweden Malmoe
22.05 France Metz
23.05 Germany TBC
24.05 Italy Milan
25.05 Italy Treviso
* Hell Oblisco support

Destroyer of Light is:
Steve Colca – Guitar, Vocals
Nick Coffman – Bass
Keegan Kjeldsen – Guitar, Synth
Penny Turner – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/destroyeroflight/
http://www.instagram.com/destroyeroflightofficial/
http://www.twitter.com/DoLAustinDoom
http://destroyeroflight.bandcamp.com/
www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
https://twitter.com/argonautarex
https://www.instagram.com/argonautarecords/

Destroyer of Light, Hopeless EP (2018)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Glanville, First Blood

glanville first blood

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

Glanville on Thee Facebooks

Glanville on Bandcamp

 

Destroyer of Light, Hopeless

destroyer of light hopeless

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

Destroyer of Light on Thee Facebooks

Destroyer of Light on Bandcamp

 

The Re-Stoned, Stories of the Astral Lizard

the re-stonEd stories of the astral lizard

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

The Re-Stoned on Thee Facebooks

Oak Island Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Ruff Majik, Seasons

Ruff Majik Seasons

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

Ruff Majik on Thee Facebooks

Ruff Majik at Rock Freaks Records webstore

Forbidden Place Records on Bandcamp

 

Soldat Hans, Es Taut

SOLDAT HANS ES TAUT-750

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

Soldat Hans on Thee Facebooks

Wolves and Vibrancy Records website

 

High Priestess, High Priestess

high priestess high priestess

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

High Priestess on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

 

Weed Demon, Astrological Passages

weed demon astrological passages

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

Weed Demon on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records website

 

Desert Storm, Sentinels

desert storm sentinels

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

Desert Storm on Thee Facebooks

APF Records on Bandcamp

 

Ancient Altar, Cosmic Purge/Foie Gras

ancient altar cosmic purge foie gras

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

Ancient Altar on Thee Facebooks

Black Voodoo Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Black Box Warning, Attendre la Mort

black box warning attendre la mort

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

Black Box Warning on Thee Facebooks

Black Box Warning on Bandcamp

 

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Destroyer of Light Sign to Argonauta Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 3rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Austin doomers Destroyer of Light will release their next full-length in 2019 through Argonauta Records. The four-piece outdid themselves with last year’s Chamber of Horrors (review here), and more than ever, it’s easy to look forward to whatever they have coming next. Their 2018 EP, Hopeless, is streaming at the bottom of this post and will be the impetus for a run to Bad Reputation Fest in Houston later this month. This Fall, they’ll also head out on a tour of the East Coast and Midwest, hitting Shadow Woods IV in Maryland and venerable rooms up, down and all around the Atlantic Seaboard and the middle of the country. Hardly their first run, and presumably the tour will allow them to finalize new material before they actually get down to the business of making their upcoming record.

Argonauta announces the signing thusly:

destroyer of light

DESTROYER OF LIGHT join ARGONAUTA Records

Stoked to announce that DESTROYER OF LIGHT (Austin, TX) are now part of ARGONAUTA Records!

Formed in 2012 from constantly boiling musical cauldron that is Austin, TX, Destroyer of Light has taken a straight forward approach to tempering the disparate and harmonious parts of their influences into a total sum of slow motion tidal heaviness that bows to no altar but that of the riff. With the smoky flavors of hazed out doom and the stomping cadence of rock’s heyday, the band both tickles and deafens the ears with the theatrical flashes of Mercyful Fate, the ominous tones of Electric Wizard, and the ferociously feral feedback of a Sleep dirge.

The band says: “We are excited to announce our collaboration with Argonauta Records for our next LP. As a band, we have continued to evolve and mature, while maintaining the core sound of what is Destroyer of Light. So, after finishing the writing process and doing pre-production on these new songs, it is rewarding to have a record label that feels enthusiasm for these songs just as much as we do.”

New album to be released in 2019, more details to follow soon.

Destroyer of Light – Dates 2018
July Dates
July 13th – San Marcos, TX @ The Morgue Bar
July 18th – Austin, TX @ The Lost Well
July 19th – San Antonio, TX @ The Mix
July 20th – Harlingen, TX @ The Hop Shop
July 21st – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (Bad Reputation Fest)

Sept./Oct. Dates
9/1 – Denton, TX @ Dan’s Silver Leaf
9/2 – Oklahoma City, OK @ The Blue Note
9/3 – Wichita, KS @ The Elbow Room
9/4 – Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge
9/5 – Omaha, NE @ Lookout Lounge
9/6 – St. Paul, MN @ Caydence Records & Coffee
9/7 – Sioux Falls, SD @ Big’s Bar
9/8 – Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
9/9 – Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
9/10 – Chicago, IL @ Reggies
9/11 – Cleveland, OH @ 5 O’Clock Lounge
9/12 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
9/13 – Camp Hidden Valley, MD (Shadow Woods Music Fest)
9/16 – Brooklyn, NY @ Lucky 13 Saloon
9/17 – Allston, MA @ O’Briens Pub
9/18 – Buffalo, NY @ Sugar City
9/19 – Montreal, ON @ Piranha Bar
9/20 – Ottawa, ON @ Maverick’s Bar
9/21 – Toronto, ON @ Coalition
9/22 – Detroit, MI @ Sanctuary
9/23 – Lansing, MI @ Mac’s Bar
9/25 – Kalamazoo, MI @ Shakespeare’s Pub
9/26 – Canton, OH @ Buzzbin Art and Music Shop
9/27 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Howlers (Pre-Gala of Descendants of Crom)
9/28 – Columbus, OH @ Tree Bar
9/29 – Indianapolis, IN @ Black Circle Brewery
9/30 – Cincinnati, OH @ Junker’s Tavern
10/1 – Louisville, KY @ Highlands Tap Room
10/2 – Nashville, TN @ Springwater
10/3 – Birmingham, AL @ The Nick
10/4 – Memphis, TN @ Growler’s
10/5 – Little Rock, AR @ White Water Tavern
10/6 – Dallas, TX @ Ruins

Destroyer of Light is:
Steve Colca – Guitar, Vocals
Nick Coffman – Bass
Keegan Kjeldsen – Guitar, Synth
Penny Turner – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/destroyeroflight/
http://www.instagram.com/destroyeroflightofficial/
http://www.twitter.com/DoLAustinDoom
http://destroyeroflight.bandcamp.com/
www.argonautarecords.com
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Destroyer of Light, Hopeless EP (2018)

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Destroyer of Light Announce Fall Tour Dates; Playing Shadow Woods Metal Fest & Descendants of Crom 2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

destroyer of light

No secret at this point that Destroyer of Light get around. The Texan doomers were out earlier this year on a West Coast run heralding the then-soon release of their latest EP, Hopeless (review pending), and come September they’ll be back on the road for a month-plus touring the Midwest and East Coast, making stops for a return appearance at Shadow Woods Metal Fest in the forests of Maryland, and hitting Pittsburgh for the Descendants of Crom 2018 pre-show. They’ll even get up into Canada for gigs in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. I’ve seen far less substantial lists of shows called “North American tours,” so fair enough.

Hopeless is out now on Heavy Friends Records as the follow-up to last year’s Chamber of Horrors (review here) long-player, which again, if you haven’t heard, you should hear. Like, get on it. Today would be good. Tomorrow works too.

Happy to host the announcement of this tour. Destroyer of Light are at this point a better band than people know — they also kill it live, which always helps — and hopefully they continue to turn heads their direction this time around.

From the PR wire:

destroyer of light new poster

Destroyer of Light – Fall Tour 2018

This will be the first East Coast tour in two years since the last Shadow Woods appearance with the exception of a few cities, it’ll be over a year. And to add this also be our first time hitting these cities since the releases of Chamber of Horrors (2017) and Hopeless (2018).

9/1 – Denton, TX @ Dan’s Silver Leaf
9/2 – Oklahoma City, OK @ The Blue Note
9/3 – Wichita, KS @ The Elbow Room
9/4 – Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge
9/5 – Omaha, NE @ Lookout Lounge
9/6 – St. Paul, MN @ Caydence Records & Coffee
9/7 – Sioux Falls, SD @ Big’s Bar
9/8 – Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
9/9 – Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
9/10 – Chicago, IL @ Reggies
9/11 – Cleveland, OH @ 5 O’Clock Lounge
9/12 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
9/13 – Camp Hidden Valley, MD for Shadow Woods Music Fest
9/16 – Brooklyn, NY @ Lucky 13 Saloon
9/17 – Allston, MA @ O’Brien’s Pub
9/18 – Buffalo, NY @ Sugar City
9/19 – Montreal, ON @ Piranha Bar
9/20 – Ottawa, ON @ Maverick’s Bar
9/21 – Toronto, ON @ Coalition
9/22 – Detroit, MI @ Sanctuary
9/23 – Lansing, MI @ Mac’s Bar
9/25 – Kalamazoo, MI @ Shakespeare’s Pub
9/26 – Canton, OH @ Buzzbin Art and Music Shop
9/27 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Howlers (Pre-Gala of Descendants of Crom)
9/28 – Columbus, OH @ Tree Bar
9/29 – Indianapolis, IN @ Black Circle Brewery
9/30 – Cincinnati, OH @ Junker’s Tavern
10/1 – Louisville, KY @ Highlands Tap Room
10/2 – Nashville, TN @ Springwater
10/3 – Birmingham, AL @ The Nick
10/4 – Memphis, TN @ Growler’s
10/5 – Little Rock, AR @ White Water Tavern

Destroyer of Light is:
Steve Colca – Guitar, Vocals
Nick Coffman – Bass
Keegan Kjeldsen – Guitar, Synth
Penny Turner – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/destroyeroflight/
http://www.instagram.com/destroyeroflightofficial/
http://www.twitter.com/DoLAustinDoom
http://destroyeroflight.bandcamp.com/

Destroyer of Light, Hopeless EP (2018)

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Destroyer of Light Announce Hopeless EP; New Track Posted; Touring West Coast

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

destroyer of light

Last year, Texas four-piece Destroyer of Light hit a new level of misery entirely with their third long-player, Chamber of Horrors (review here). Seriously. Did you hear it? Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of doom out there these days, and a fair amount of it comes from the Lone Star state, but fucking hell, you want to talk about a band outdoing themselves, that’s exactly what happened with that record. All these guys have done is tour and kick ass. They’re like specialists.

Destroyer of Light have a new track posted now called “Nyx” that comes from their upcoming EP, Hopeless, which is out May 11 on their affiliated imprint, Heavy Friends Records. It’s nine minutes long, and the video’s cool, but if you have to put it on and switch to another tab or something because your life is just that busy — and hey, it may well be; if so, thanks for taking the time to check in — the important thing obviously is that you listen to the song, which once again is dead-on in its crawl and atmosphere. I swear this band would be bigger if their name didn’t make you think they were grindcore.

They’re not, by the way. Not grindcore.

To the PR wire:

destroyer of light hopeless

DESTROYER OF LIGHT: Texan Harbingers of Doom Return with Hopeless EP | West Coast Tour Kicks Off Next Month

Hopeless EP by Destroyer of Light is released on 11th May 2018 on Heavy Friends Records

From deep within the belly of the beast, Texan harbingers of doom Destroyer of Light rise in 2018 with the release of a brand-new EP and string of West Coast tour dates throughout North America.

Hopeless EP is the latest in the Austin-based quartet’s devastating canon and will get an official release on 11th May through Heavy Friends Records. Containing two, practically feature-length tracks which set out to fill the silence between the praise of last year’s Chamber of Horrors and the promise of their follow up full-length next year, the EP charts an ominous course into the heart of darkness which deals directly with depression, suicide and drug addiction. Reworking the grim theatricality and crushing, heavy metal dirges of their earlier recordings, death and destruction is very much the order of service but with a new and somewhat progressively charged life-force.

“With Hopeless, I wanted to focus more on my clean singing, and our song writing has become more melodic while still maintaining the heavy riffs,” explains guitarist/vocalist Steve Colca. “We don’t limit ourselves to what we write, and the direction you’ll hear on this EP is a taste of what’s to come in the future.”

Unmistakably influenced by the likes of Electric Wizard, Mercyful Fate, EYEHATEGOD, Sleep and Autopsy, along with countless literary and horror anthologies, this new EP signals a massive shift in potential and a development that will see the band step out of cavernous, dank basements and into psychedelic realms hitherto unknown. What’s more, on their way to that strange place, over the coming months the band takes to the road for an extensive West Coast tour (see tour info below) in support of Hopeless, which will be released on 11th May 2018 on Heavy Friends Records.

TOUR DATES:
20th April – El Paso, TX – Neon Rose
21st April – Albuquerque, NM – Sister Bar
22nd April – Denver, CO – Streets of London
23rd April – Boise, ID – High Note Cafe
24th April – Richland, WA – Emerald
25th April – Tacoma, WA – The Valley
26th April – Portland, OR – High Water Mark
27th April – Sacramento, CA – The Blue Lamp
28th April – San Francisco, CA – Thee Parkside
29th April – Pacifica, CA – Winter’s Tavern East
30th April – Los Angeles, CA – Five Star Bar
1st May – San Diego, CA – Til Two Club
2nd May – Tempe, AZ – Yucca Tap Room
3rd May – El Paso, TX – Rockin’ Cigar Bar
4th May – Odessa, TX – The Gabby Doo Saloon
5th May – San Antonio, TX – Faust Tavern
DESTROYER OF LIGHT:

Steve Colca – Guitar, Vocals
Nick Coffman – Bass
Keegan Kjeldsen – Guitar, Synth
Penny Turner – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/destroyeroflight/
http://www.instagram.com/destroyeroflightofficial/
http://www.twitter.com/DoLAustinDoom
http://destroyeroflight.bandcamp.com/

Destroyer of Light, “Nyx” official video

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Six Dumb Questions with Destroyer of Light

Posted in Six Dumb Questions on August 30th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

destroyer of light

Name your band Destroyer of Light and you’re setting up some pretty serious expectations on the part of your audience. The Austin-based outfit — veterans of Psycho CaliforniaFreak TulsaElectric Funeral in Denver and others — have never tackled those expectations as head-on as they do with the newly-released Chamber of Horrors, their third album. Songs like “Into the Smoke” and “Luxcrusher” bring a refocused approach on grim, rolling doom even from what the band presented on 2014’s Bizarre Tales Vol. 2, and the chugging, driving, lumbering pummel suits them remarkably well, coming as it does complemented by a persistently bleak atmosphere summarized in the title. More than they ever have before, Destroyer of Light are putting their listeners in a specific place. And it’s pretty damn horrific in there.

Brought to the blinding light of day by guitarist/vocalist Steve Colca, guitarist Keegan Kjeldsen, drummer Penny Turner and bassist Jeff Klein (who seems to since be out of the band), Chamber of Horrors may be playing more toward the heft Destroyer of Light are known for in their live performances, but that doesn’t mean it’s all raw or wanting for a sense of purpose in its vibe as a studio album. Rather, the murk conjured by songs like “Prisoner of Smoke” and “The Virgin” and the ambient threat that lingers from the moment the chamber door opens at the start of intro “Whispers in the Threshold” till the moment it closes at the end of 10-minute finale “Buried Alive” resound with doomed directionality, the finisher especially punishing in its tempo and uncompromising in its trades between creeping, The Gates of Slumber-esque verses and Electric Wizardly swirl in its marching hook.

The whole record carries the stink of death, and Destroyer of Light have never sounded so alive as they do reveling in it.

As Destroyer of Light set themselves to the task of a 2018 that will be spent largely supporting Chamber of Horrors as well as a follow-up two-song EP that’s set to arrive in the coming months via the band-affiliated Heavy Friends Records — see also: Heavy Friends Booking, which handles their touring end — as well as perhaps finding a new bassist if they haven’t yet, I wanted to talk to them about how their experience on the road already has affected their sound this time in the studio, how they developed the ideas that became Chamber of Horrors and how they see themselves continuing to grow as they move forward from here. Fortunately, both Kjeldsen and Colca were willing to discuss these subjects and more, and you’ll find the results below.

Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:

destroyer-of-light-chamber-of-horrors

Six Dumb Questions with Keegan Kjeldsen and Steve Colca of Destroyer of Light

Talk about writing Chamber of Horrors. The album is a pretty significant change for the band in terms of sound. How did that come about? Was there something you wanted to consciously shift in your approach, or did it just happen in the writing process?

Keegan Kjeldsen: We knew before we started writing it that we wanted to make a very heavy record, which may sound like a cliché. But the previous material was sludgier and usually more up-tempo, and we experimented a lot. For the self-titled release, we’d had some pretensions of getting a ‘vintage, lo-fi’ sound. That kind of sound wasn’t really right for us, though, and our goal shifted to creating a record with the kind of powerful, crushing experience that audiences were getting live. We heard a lot over the years, “The album is cool and all, but you guys are so much heavier live!” We took it as a compliment, but it taught us that the shows were selling the recordings, the recordings weren’t really selling the shows. So we wanted to push it to the limit in terms of both quality and volume. Thankfully, our engineer Matt Meli outdid himself this time. We also included elements of our live shows: lengthy feedback, melodic interludes, sample clips from old horror movies. But from the start, our core has always been doom metal, so the natural thing for our goal of making a heavier record was to focus on that.

Steve Colca: Like Keegan said, we did go in wanting this record to be more heavy sonically and closer to what we sound like live. However, when we wrote the music for this album, we didn’t have the intention of how the songs would take shape. Obviously, it still sounds like us at the core, but our songwriting keeps improving and our palettes progress over time to add different touches to our sound that maybe we didn’t show previously. As you grow as musicians and songwriters, it definitely helps with your confidence and allows the ability to try new, different things.

You’ve done significant touring the last several years. Do you feel like that was a factor in how this record took shape? If so, how?

KK: Touring will whip you into shape. You’re effectively practicing the same set every single night for a month. After playing some of our material live so frequently and consistently, we’d find that a year after we recorded something, it was sounding very different on stage. Sometimes it was just little nuances or flourishes that one of us didn’t come up with until months of playing the song live. But sometimes the whole tempo would change, or parts would be extended or added. We were determined to let the songs for Chamber of Horrors breathe. After we recorded them for a pre-production demo, we played the whole album from start to finish on a six-day tour through Texas. By the time we were recording the album proper, we felt like the songs had developed enough that we could call them finished.

SC: Yeah, I believe doing a six-day run just playing the album front-to-back live really gave these songs the energy and final touches that they needed. We always found previously that after playing the songs live that we would change things here and there. To add, extensive touring also improved our playing as musicians and we become more confident in our abilities as songwriters. For me, vocally, all the touring and learning to deal with my vocals helped a lot on this record.

Is there a concept at work behind the album? What’s the story being told in these songs?

KK: It’s a loose concept album. Most of the storytelling and symbolism can work on multiple levels, so it’s up to the audience as to what you want to take from it. The album begins with the opening of a large, heavy door, and ends with it slamming shut. There are also whispering voices in both the first and last song. We were playing with the idea of the line between dream and reality being blurred. I was thinking a lot about Carl Jung at the time, and how there really isn’t much difference in what we mean by the word ‘hell,’ and a psychological hell that a person creates for himself. People make themselves suffer because of the things they pursue, and sometimes the private torment they undergo is more real than anything else in their lives.

So, the song “Into the Smoke” – on one level it’s about a protagonist who goes down into a cave, searching for something valuable, but is possessed by a monster made of psychedelic smoke that permeates him and enslaves him, sending him on a bad trip that lasts forever. On another level, it could be a song about drug addiction. But more archetypally, it’s a song about the feeling of being powerless, driven by forces beyond your control into a mental underworld. It’s opening the door to the unconscious part of the psyche and getting consumed by the shadow. The Twilight Zone was also a huge influence on both Steve and myself in writing these horror stories, or alternatively, private hells within the chamber of horrors, since a lot of Rod Serling’s stories deal with a character trait, usually a flaw, that becomes a real, physical phenomenon in the character’s life.

SC: I was also thinking along the lines of In the Mouth of Madness. As every song has its own individual theme and story, they all tie into the question, is it a dream or reality? There is a lot of ugliness in the world, and sometimes you don’t want to believe it and want to stay naive to the whole possibility. However, you read the news and papers, and some of these stories really happen.

You seem to be trying a lot of new things vocally in particular here. Tell me about changing your voice to fit a certain part in a given song. What makes you feel like “Luxcrusher” needs a different approach than “The Virgin?”

KK: In the case of “Luxcrusher,” I wrote that song, and really wanted to sing a significant part of the lyrics because of how personal they were. I’ve usually had one or two vocal parts on each recording, but I think that’s something I’m going to move away from. I feel like I’m at the point where I’m getting worse, whereas Steve gets better on every record. The lyrics are actually about being in a doom band and touring – when I’m talking about “midnight worship at the shrine” and my body being throttled every night, being ravaged by sound. But the lyrics also take a nihilistic turn because that’s how I was feeling at the time.

The placement of that song on the album was something that unconsciously worked really well with the concept, because the lyrics ended up recounting the subject matter of the first half of the record – talking about human sacrifice, or about being pulled into a haze. It was unintentional, but I think of it now as if “Luxcrusher” is the voice of the devil that was summoned in “The Virgin.” As far as the different approaches in general, I think the narrative structure of the songs sometimes lends itself to different voices in a variety of styles, as if they’re different characters or personas. Suzy does this on “The Virgin.” It was a Fleetwood Mac kind of attitude – we had three vocalists on this record, lending different styles where it was appropriate.

SC: Back to extensive touring throughout the years, I have become more comfortable and confident in my vocal ability. Which has allowed me to try and do different things. Vocal melodies have always been very important to us. Also, from the start of this band, we wanted to incorporate screaming and growling as I used to be in a death metal band and a heavier sludge band before this. Whatever vocal style the song requires, we want to be able to do it. No need to be tied down to one particular sound or style. That’s the beauty of writing music, no limitations… unless it is completely out of your capability.

I know it’s early, but where do you see Destroyer of Light going from here sound-wise?

KK: More melody, and even heavier. It’s not as early to talk about it as you might think. We have an EP that we plan on releasing soon, I can’t say anything about when exactly, but it’s already recorded. It’s two songs that are tuned even lower, with a more pounding, guttural tone. We did one of the slowest songs we’ve ever done. All the space you get when you play a really slow, plodding song allows you to fill the void with harmony, melody. I’ve been listening to a lot of drone music, maybe you could even call it post-doom, stuff like later-era Earth, OM, Grails. Steve’s love for Alice in Chains came out, also. I think the next full-length will head even further in that direction. Me and Steve have also been jamming some of our favorite stuff from the ‘80s recently, like The Cure, Tears for Fears.

SC: We’ve already started writing of a few songs for the follow-up. It is a continuation of where the last album left off. Like Keegan said, the music will be heavy, but probably more of a focus on melody. Like I said, no limitations. We do plan on incorporating some different approaches because of some of our other influences coming out in the songwriting. I’ve been listening to a lot of Alice in Chains, The Cure, Depeche Mode, and Helmet. A lot of bands that I grew up listening to when I first started learning guitar. So, we shall see where some of this will take us. However, the two-song EP that we release down the line will give you a taste of our direction.

How much will you tour for Chamber of Horrors? Any other plans or closing words you want to mention?

KK: We’re going to tour for the foreseeable future. We have some short jaunts planned, but next year we’ll be hitting the road a lot harder. This year has been relatively slow for us. It’s great to finally put this album out, and take a breather before we dive headfirst into it again. I guess, on that note, the only closing words I have is a thank you to all the fans and friends who have let us stay with them, made us food, or even just bought a shirt or bought us a shot of whiskey. You guys are the reason why we’re able to go on the road, and we love y’all.

SC: We have a few short runs lined up to finish the year. I think more of the extensive touring for Chamber of Horrors will begin in 2018. This year, where it may have been the slowest year for the band; albeit, a couple tours, recording of a two-song EP, and an album release. Our personal lives have been very busy. So, it’s been nice to have a somewhat, casual year, but it’ll be nice to get back out there and do what we do. Thanks to everyone that has bought and said some very nice things about Chamber of Horrors. Very proud of this record and glad to see a lot of you agree with us on it. See you again soon on the road, I can’t wait to see you! Much love!

Destroyer of Light, Chamber of Horrors (2017)

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