Posted in Whathaveyou on February 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Hints were dropped last fall of a return trio to Europe from San Francisco’s Glitter Wizard to herald the arrival of their Hollow Earth Tour full-length and alliance with Italian label Heavy Psych Sounds, and beginning April 8 on the first of several Italian dates, that stint will begin. Its trajectory leads the Californians toward a closeout set at Desertfest Berlin 2017, at which point they’ll have been on the road for three weeks solid, playing in the aforementioned Italy as well as France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium. I say or at least think this about nearly every European tour I see — BECAUSE I’D VERY MUCH LIKE TO TOUR EUROPE, THANK YOU — but it looks like a damn good time.
You’ll find the dates below, snagged from Heavy Psych Sounds on the social medias with all good intentions.
Glitter Wizard – European Tour April 2017
HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records & Booking is very proud to announce the European dates for GLITTER WIZARD
The band will be on tour promoting their latest album “Hollow Earth Tour.”
The tour will feature as last date the mighty Desertfest 2017!!
08.04.2017 IT Pescara-Scumm 09.04.2017 IT Castel D Ario-Hostaria 10.04.2017 IT Zerobranco-Altroquando 11.04.2017 IT Trieste-Tetris 12.04.2017 IT Erba-Centrale Rock 13.04.2017 IT Parma Tba 14.04.2017 FR Eisenheim-Woodstock Guitar Shop 15.04.2017 CH Ins-Schuxenhouse 16.04.2017 CH Olten-Coq D’Or 17.04.2017 DE Karlsrhue-Akk 18.04.2017 BE Liege-La Zone 19.04.2017 DE Stuttgart-Goldmarks 20.04.2017 AT Innsbruck-Pmk 21.04.2017 AT Bludenz-Villa K 22.04.2017 IT Caldaro-Kuba 23.04.2017 DE Freiburg-White Rabbit 24.04.2017 CH Basel-Swartze Erle 25.04.2017 AT Salzburg-Rockhouse 26.04.2017 CH St Gallen-Rumpeltum 27.04.2017 DE Cottbus-Zum Faulen August 28.04.2017 DE Erfurt-Tiko 29.04.2017 DE Berlin-Desert Fest
Glitter Wizard: WENDY STONEHENGE: “Master of Ceremonies,” vocals / flute / lyrics / piano LORFIN TERRAFOR: “Minister of defense,” guitar / vocals / piano / percussion / bong KANDI MOON: “Ambassador to Hollow Earth,” bass / vocals / acoustic & electric guitar / piano FANCY CYMBALLS: “Minister of Transportation,” drums / tecate DOUG GRAVES: “Minister of Records,” keys / synth / organ / violin / vocals
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
So you’re telling me you’ve got a new band with dudes culled from the ranks of Prisma Circus, Brain Pyramid and 1886? Somehow I don’t think I’m gonna have much trouble getting on board with this one, and listening to the instrumental boogie in the “lo-fi take” of “Jungla” — which seems likely to be the title-track of Cachemira‘s forthcoming debut album, and which you can stream at the bottom of this post — the appeal that drove Heavy Psych Sounds to pick the trio up feels pretty obvious. Fiery classic shuffle finds a good home amid a killer label’s unfettered expansion. Who doesn’t like that story?
The version of “Jungla” below, which appeared on a Red Sun Records compilation, is my introduction to the Barcelona-based outfit, but it’s only got me intrigued to dig further. The Italian imprint doesn’t half-ass it either when it comes to promoting its bands, so expect to hear more about Cachemira leading up to the release. For now, here’s the announcement that was posted about the signing:
Cachemira, Jungla – Heavy Psych Sounds
HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records & Booking is proud to announce the signing of a new awesome band!! Welcome on board to CACHEMIRA!!
Cachemira was born in the summer of 2015 in Barcelona, the band started as a duo composed of drummer Alejandro Carmona of Prisma Circus and guitar player Gaston Laine of Brain Pyramid (that had recently moved to Spain), after some intense nights of jams they were finally joined by bass player Pol Ventura (1886) to complete the actual line-up.
All three members meet during shows with their respective bands and decided to gather forces to develop each others compositions. Until early 2016 they kept composing in the search of their old school psych rock dynamic.
From January 2016 with a brand new set, the band started to play as much shows as possible to try out their sound. Through a bit more than half of the year they played various cities through Spain, Portugal, France and Germany, sharing the stage with some international bands from the Psych Rock, Stoner scene.
Recording of the first record started in June 2016 and was finished in August right after they were back from a short summer tour where they played in Sonic Blast Moledo, the band has since then matured its sound and keeps on with composition and shows, developing a genuine heavy psych blues experience!
THE DEBUT ALBUM FOR THIS INCREDIBLE 70’s, Heavy Psych, Bluesy Rock band WILL BE OUT THIS SPRING ON HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS RECORDS!
More details about the album will be announced soon …so stay tuned!
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
So now the pieces come together. Been waiting on European tour dates for Los Angeles-based space rockers Farflung for a while now, it feels like, and the announcement of dates and venues fits about what was expected. The band head abroad again under the banner of Heavy Psych Sounds to herald the release of their forthcoming Unwound Celluloid Frown EP, following up on last year’s full-length, 5 (review here), which offered trippy joys for all willing to lose themselves in its cosmic expanse. Unwound Celluloid Frown is due out in April, and we knew from prior announcements that Farflung would appear at Desertfest Berlin 2017 — also in April — so yeah, confirmation that they’ll be on tour around that isn’t a huge surprise. Welcome news all the same.
Oh, and the EP rules. Stay tuned for more on it.
Dates and details come courtesy of Heavy Psych Sounds:
Farflung – April 2017 European Tour
HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records & Booking is happy to announce the European dates for FARFLUNG
21.04.2017 IT Torino-Blah Blah 22.04.2017 IT Brianza 23.04.2017 DE Friburg-White Rabbit 24.04.2017 DE Frankfurt-Yachtklub 25.04.2017 BE Bruxelles-Magasin 4 26.04.2017 DE Koln-Sonic Ballroom 27.04.2017 DE Cottbus-Zum Faulen August 28.04.2017 DE Bielefeld-Forum 29.04.2017 DE Berlin-DESERT FEST 01.05.2017 DE Dresden-Hippie Village Party 02.05.2017 CH St Gallen-Rumpeltum 03.05.2017 IT Trieste-Teris 04.05.2017 AT Salzburg-Rockhouse 05.05.2017 AU Steyr-Kulturverein Röda 06.05.2017 CH Winterthur-Gaswerk
Cosmic space lords Farflung return with their new Ep ‘Unwound Celluloid Frown’ 33 minutes of lysergic grooves and slamming riffs. Imagine, as if the bastard child of Amon Duul ii and Hawkwind arose from the ashes of America. Stark and glimmering, bathed in the energetic glow of the Stooges, one last cup raised to the lunatics and wishing for wounds. They have set their course for the farthest reaches of the universe.
Are you ready? Are you ready to climb aboard their craft? Fasten your safety belts, engage your breathing apparatus. The lift off is about to begin.
Recorded at Saturn Moon Studio and EMU4 Tritium in 016/017 produced by Grenas/Esther/Nakata. With Special Guests: Abby Travis (Track 3) / Jensen Bell. (Track 3)
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 3rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Heavy Psych Sounds enters the Spring festival game with Sonic Ritual Fest 2017. The announcement of the new fest comes only days after a Heavy Psych Sounds night was also confirmed for Desertfest Berlin 2017 (info here), and as Sonic Ritual will take place over the course of two nights in three different cities in two different countries, it’s nothing if not an ambitious rollout. That’s before you get to the lineup, which spans Europe and both coasts of the US in its scope, importing acts like desert rock legends Yawning Man and Philly cosmic rockers Ecstatic Vision to play alongside Scotland’s The Cosmic Dead and Italian spaceheads Giöbia.
Sonic Ritual Fest 2017 is intended as a springtime companion to the fall’s Heavy Psych Sounds Fest, so we’ll have to see over time how the two develop, but the idea off the bat of a multi-city approach over subsequent nights, with two different packages that then converge for one huge blowout is a pretty cool way to start. Heavy Psych Sounds still has two more bands to add to the Athens show for May 19, so I’ll be keeping an eye open to see who makes the cut. Perhaps a native Greek act or two would fit the profile? Could be just about anybody, I suppose. There doesn’t seem to be much that’s out of HPS‘ reach these days.
Info and ticket preorder links follow:
Sonic Ritual Fest 2017
HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records & Booking Is really happy to unveil the line ups for the SONIC RITUAL FEST
May 19 IT Ravenna-Bronson: GIOBIA THE COSMIC DEAD ECSTATIC VISION ISTVAN
May 19 GR Athens-An Club: YAWNING MAN DUEL +2 more bands to be announced!
May 20 IT Bloom-Mezzago: YAWNING MAN GIOBIA THE COSMIC DEAD DUEL ECSTATIC VISION DOCTOR CYCLOPS ANANDA MIDA THE CLAMPS
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 1st, 2017 by JJ Koczan
A couple weeks ago when Desertfest Berlin 2017 announced Saint Vitus as its final headliner, the festival noted that it was in the process of partnering with other promoters on smaller shows to surround the fest proper and, ultimately, enrich it. I’m assuming that this teaming up with Italian imprint Heavy Psych Sounds to bring Farflung, Giöbia, Duel and Glitter Wizard to the bill is the first realization of that idea. Hard for them to pick a better first pairing, frankly. I’ve gone on at length about the depth of work Heavy Psych Sounds has done over the last however many years, so I’ll spare you that, but suffice it to say they’ve more than earned this showcase, and if anything, they could no doubt add to it easily.
Still, a cool addition for Desertfest Berlin 2017. From the PR wire:
We are thrilled to announce four more bands today, all invited by the Italian label Heavy Psych Sounds Records! Heavy Psych Sounds specializes in Heavy Psych, Stoner, Retro Rock, Vintage Rock, Proto Punk, Sludge, Acid Rock, Doom, Space Rock, 70 Rock, Garage Psych and Fuzz Blues. They released more than 50 albums with great bands such as Nick Oliveri, Karma To Burn, Black Rainbows, Farflung, Fatso Jetson, Mos Generator, The Freeks, Glitter Wizard, Wedge, Sgt Sunshine and many more!
FARFLUNG (USA) Internationally recognized as torchbearers in the contemporary space rock scene, Los Angeles-based cult band Farflung is ready to bring the universe sound at DesertFest Berlin! Imagine, as if the bastard child of Amon Duul ii and Hawkwind arose from the ashes of America… stark and glimmering… bathed in the energetic glow of the Stooges… one last cup raised to the lunatics and wishing for wounds… They have set their course for the farthest reaches of the universe…
GIÖBIA (IT) Giöbia has been one of the most influential psychedelic bands in Italy over the last years. Seduced by the lysergic side of the ‘60s, by exotic mantras and the evocative power of space-rock, Giöbia is a band with many facets and one only faith, that is to turn every encounter with sound into a psychedelic experience.
DUEL (USA) Duel is heavy psychedelic stoner doom metal from Austin, Texas, hugely influenced by the darker sounds of early 70’s Proto-metal. The band features two ex Scorpion Child (Nuclear Blast) members. Their sound is menacing and brutally old school. Total purists, their tunes cut right to the bone with heavy, deep groove and blistering tone. Tough and Loud! Hard rock as it should be!
GLITTER WIZARD (USA) This band of California rifflords pillage the best of vintage hard rock while keeping their laser eyes on the future, creating a unique brand of oddball psychedelia. Their onstage performance is a glammed-up force to be reckoned with and they’ve been taking their act on the road from the West Coast all the way to Europe.
Previously confirmed for this year’s DESERTFEST BERLIN: SLEEP, JOHN GARCIA & BAND (playing songs from Kyuss to Slo Burn), SAINT VITUS, BONGZILLA, SAMSARA BLUES EXPERIMENT, MARS RED SKY, LOWRIDER, 1000MODS, STONED JESUS, TOUNDRA, ECSTATIC VISION, SUMA, MAMMOTH MAMMOTH, THE COSMIC DEAD, PONTIAK, TUBER, SATAN’S SATYRS, WUCAN, VENOMOUS MAXIMUS, THE WELL, GOLD, RIFF FIST, ODD COUPLE, TSCHAIKA 21/16.
DESERTFEST BERLIN 2017 will feature more than 50 bands in total! Remember that you have until Wednesday, February 1st to buy your tickets for 85€ (visit our Website, or use the links below in this release). After that, the weekend pass will be 95 €.
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 25th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Cheers to Copenhagen trio The Sonic Dawn on signing to Heavy Psych Sounds for the release of their upcoming second album, Into the Long Night. Due in April, the new full-length follows behind Perception (review here), which Nasoni Records issued on Halloween 2015, and which reveled in classic pop-tinged psychedelia, creating a fluid but still coherent impression across its graceful span, whether surfing through “The Mustang” or basking in the sun-soaked drift of “Watching Dust Fall.”
I haven’t the faintest idea what their second record might hold in terms of direction or movement from the first one, but Heavy Psych Sounds posted word to keep an eye out for a somewhat darker approach, and that’s enough to further pique my interest.
Word from the label follows:
THE SONIC DAWN – HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS
HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records & Booking is proud to announce the signing of a new incredible band!
The Sonic Dawn is a trip – a psychedelic mixture of styles, from jazzy sitar pop to heavy acid rock. Expect melodic songs with a 60s flavor, laced with dreamy vocals and delivered with an explosive stage presence.
Since their acclaimed album debut in 2015, The Sonic Dawn has been on several European tours. A highlight of 2016 was opening the notorious Freak Valley Festival, sharing the stage with Graveyard and White Hills. This year they can be experienced all over Europe again, confirmed for some of the best venues and festivals.
The new “Into the Long Night” is the trio’s most ambitious album yet. Written by day and recorded at night during a month of complete isolation by The North Sea, it is as light and gracious as it is dark and mysterious. The journey has just begun.
The band just signed with HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS RECORDS and ready to release the new album in April 2017.
Cover art and album details will be unveil soon, so stay tuned for more infos!
The Sonic Dawn is: Emil Bureau (guitar, lead vocals) Jonas Waaben (drums) Neil Bird (bass guitar)
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Any number of bands make boogie rock records every day. You want to commit? Get frickin’ Bill Steer to play on the thing. Yeah, I know he’s been grinding out the last few years in the reunited Carcass, and that’s awesome, but when he was in Firebird, that band was absolutely incredible, and one imagines it’s that kind of I’m-just-gonna-softshoe-while-I-play-this-awesome-’70s-lead vibe that he brings to Doctor Cyclops‘ upcoming third album, Local Dogs.
Local Dogs follows 2014’s Oscuropasso (discussed here) and will be the Italian outfit’s first full-length on Heavy Psych Sounds. The label posted copious details on the record — and of course it will have more to offer than the Steer guest appearance; though he gets a showing per side — as well as the striking cover art, ahead of the preorders for the CD and LP, which start next month.
Goes like this:
Doctor Cyclops unveil details about upcoming album “Local Dogs” on Heavy Psych Sounds.
DOCTOR CYCLOPS New album “Local Dogs”
Out March 31st on Heavy Psych Sounds
– Presales start on February 24th –
Amazing artwork by Rise Above (Marcello Crescenzi)
Released in: Black Vinyl Clear Blue Ltd Vinyl Cd Digital
Northern Italy’s cold woods are set to unleash their fieriest beast, with ’70s power trio DOCTOR CYCLOPS returning with their blistering third album “Local Dogs” this March on Heavy Psych Sounds.
DOCTOR CYCLOPS haven’t stood idle since their latest album “Oscuropasso” (World In Sound 2014), slowly but surely rustling up their heaviest and most accomplished project to date. This new full-length entitled “Local Dogs” is an explosive mixture of ’70s heavy rock, NWOBHM and doomier Sabbath-style riffage, ready to take you back to a different era. Groovy riffs and gloomy paths coming straight from the woods feel like the epic saga of the ’70s is truly likely to continue its course. In this context, the appearance of Bill Steer (Carcass, Firebird, Gentlemans Pistols) on lead guitar tastes like the icing on top of a tempting cake.
TRACK LISTING: SIDE A 1. Lonely Devil 2. D.I.A. 3. Stardust (w/ Bill Steer) 4. Epicurus 5. Wall Of Misery SIDE B 1. King Midas 2. Stanley The Owl 3. Druid Samhain (w/ Bill Steer) 4. Witch’s Tale 5. Witchfinder General
DOCTOR CYCLOPS is a power trio delivering a blistering heavy rock rejuvenating the legacy of the ’70s and early ’80s. The band formed in 2007 in a small village in the middle of Appennino mountains, Northern Italy. Their common passion for brilliant outfits such as Truth and Janey, Sir Lord Baltimore, Captain Beyond or Witchfinder General lead them to record and self-produce their first EP “The Doctor Cyclops” (2010), which is quickly followed by two full-lengths: “Borgofondo” (2012) and “Oscuropasso” (2014), both released on German heavy psychedelic label World in Sound.
Since 2008, the trio has had the chance to tour Europe several times, sharing the stages with Firebird, Blood Ceremony, Siena Root, Colour Haze, Stoned Jesus, The Grand Astoria and many other bands. DOCTOR CYCLOPS also took part to important festivals such as Freak Valley in Germany (2012) and Red Smoke Festival in Spain (2016).
DOCTOR CYCLOPS will be on tour in spring soput an eye on the news to catch them on the road!!
Posted in Features on January 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Looks like it’s going to be another busy 12 months ahead. It’s been a busy better-part-of-a-month already, so that stands to reason, but you should know that of the several years now that I’ve done these ‘Tomorrow’s Dream’ posts, this is the biggest one yet, with over 150 upcoming releases that — one hopes — will be out between today and the end of 2017.
Actually, at last count, the list tops 180. Do I really expect you to listen to all of them? Nope. Will I? Well, it would be nice. But what I’ve done is gone through and highlighted 35 picks and then built lists off that in order of likelihood of arrival. You’ll note the categories are ‘Gonna Happen and/or Likely Candidates,’ ‘Definitely Could Happen’ and ‘Would be Awfully Nice.’
Beyond that last one, anything else just seems like speculation — one might as well go “new Sabbath this year!” with zero info backing it up. The idea here is that no matter where a given band is placed, there has been some talk of a new release. In some cases, it’s been years, but I think they’re still worth keeping in mind.
Another caveat: You can expect additions to this list over the next week — probably album titles, band names people (fingers crossed) suggest in the comments, and so on — so it will grow. It always does. The idea is to build as complete a document as possible, not to get it all nailed down immediately, so please, if you have something to contribute and you’re able to do so in a non-prickish, “You didn’t include Band X and therefore don’t deserve to breathe the same air as me,” kind of way, please contribute.
Other than that, I think it’s pretty straightforward what’s going on here and I’ll explain the category parameters as we go, so by all means, let’s jump in.
— Tomorrow’s Dream 2017 —
1. Abrahma, TBA
Late last year, Paris heavy progressives Abrahma announced a new lineup and third full-length in progress. No reason to think it won’t come to fruition, and a follow-up to 2015’s Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird (review here) is an easy pick to look forward to. Even with the shift in personnel, it seems likely the band will continue their creative development, driven as they are by founding guitarist Seb Bismuth.
2. All Them Witches, Sleeping Through the War
If 2017 ended today, Sleeping Through the War would be my Album of the Year. Of course, there’s a lot of year to go, but for now, Nashville’s All Them Witches have set the standard with their second album for New West Records behind 2015’s Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (review here) and fourth overall outing. They’ve got videos up so far for “3-5-7” (posted here) and “Bruce Lee” (posted here). Both are most definitely worth your time. Out Feb. 24. Full review should be later this week.
3. Alunah, Solennial
Seems like UK forest riffers Alunah are on this list every year. Wishful thinking on my part. Nonetheless, their fourth LP and Svart Records debut, Solennial, is out March 17, and if the tease they gave already with the clip for “Fire of Thornborough Henge” (posted here) is anything to go from, its Chris Fielding-produced expanses might just be Alunah‘s most immersive yet.
4. Arbouretum, TBA
I asked the Baltimore folk fuzzers a while back on Thee Facebooks if they had a new record coming in 2017 and they said yes, so that’s what I’m going on here. The last Arbouretum album was 2013’s Coming out of the Fog (review here), and even with frontman Dave Heumann‘s 2015 solo outing, Here in the Deep (review here), factored in, you’d have to say they’re due. Keep an eye on Thrill Jockey for word and I’ll do the same.
5. Atavismo, Inerte
This is another one that already has a spot reserved for it on my Best-of-2017 year-end list. Spanish heavy psych rockers Atavismo up the progressive bliss level with their second full-length, Inerte, without losing the depth of style that made 2014’s Desintegración (review here) so utterly glorious. It probably won’t have the biggest marketing budget of 2017, but if you let Atavismo fly under your radar, you are 100 percent missing out on something special.
6. Bison Machine, TBA
In addition to the video for new track “Cloak and Bones” that premiered here, when Michigan raucousness-purveyors Bison Machine put out the dates for their fall 2016 tour, they included further hints of new material in progress. As much as I dug their earlier-2016 split with SLO and Wild Savages (review here) and 2015’s Hoarfrost (review here), that’s more than enough for me to include them on this list. Killer next-gen heavy rock.
7. Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, TBA
News of a follow-up to Brothers of the Sonic Cloth‘s 2015 Neurot Recordings self-titled debut (review here) came through in October, and it remains some of the best news I’ve heard about 2017 doings. Took them a while to get the first record out, so we’ll see what happens, but it kind of feels like looking forward to a comet about to smash into the planet and cause a mass extinction, and by that I mean awesome. Can’t get here soon enough.
8. Cloud Catcher, Trails of Kosmic Dust
Okay, so maybe I jumped the gun and did a super-early review of Denver trio Cloud Catcher‘s second long-player and Totem Cat Records debut, Trails of Kosmic Dust, but hell, no regrets. Some albums require an early-warning system. Their 2015 debut, Enlightened Beyond Existence (discussed here), was a gem as well, but this is a band in the process of upping their game on every level, and the songwriting and momentum they hone isn’t to be missed.
9. Colour Haze, TBA
I’ve gotten some details on the upcoming full-length from Colour Haze. They do not include a title, artwork, audio, song titles or general direction. Less details, I guess, than word that the CD version of this answer to 2015’s To the Highest Gods We Know (review here) is set to come out next month, as ever, on Elektrohasch. That puts it out in time for Colour Haze‘s upcoming tour with My Sleeping Karma (announced here). Fingers crossed it happens. Colour Haze are perpetual top-albums candidates in my book.
10. Corrosion of Conformity, TBA
Signed to Nuclear Blast after being rejoined by guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan, North Carolina’s C.O.C. have been in the studio since last year. The lineup of Keenan, bassist/vocalist Mike Dean and guitarist Woody Weatherman and Reed Mullin on drums is the stuff of legend and last worked together on 2000’s America’s Volume Dealer, so no question this reunion makes for one of 2017’s most anticipated heavy rock records. They nailed the nostalgia factor on tour. Can they now add to their legacy?
11. Elder, TBA
I was incredibly fortunate about a month ago to visit progressive heavy rockers Elder at Sonelab in Easthampton, MA, during the recording process for their upcoming fourth album. I heard a couple of the tracks, and of course it was all raw form, but the movement forward from 2015’s Lore (review here) was palpable. That LP (on Stickman) brought them to a wider audience, and I expect no less from this one as well, since the farther out Elder go sound-wise, the deeper the level of connection with their listeners they seem to engage.
12. Electric Wizard, TBA
Could happen, could not happen. That’s how it goes. Announced for last Halloween. That date came and went. Word of trouble building their own studio surfaced somewhere along the line. That was the last I heard. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up tomorrow, if it showed up in 2018, or if the band broke up and never put it out. They’re Electric Wizard. Anything’s possible.
13. John Garcia, The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues
Out Jan. 28 on Napalm, The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues (review here) is the first-ever acoustic album from former Kyuss frontman John Garcia, also of Unida, the reunited Slo Burn, Hermano, Vista Chino, Zun, etc. — basically the voice of desert rock. He does a couple Kyuss classics for good measure, but shines as well on the new/original tracks, and while it’s a piece for fans more than newcomers — that is, it helps if you know the original version of “Green Machine” — his presence remains as powerful as ever despite this new context.
14. Goya, Harvester of Bongloads
Riffs, dude. Goya seem to have them to spare. The Arizona-based wizard doomers have set a pretty prolific clip for themselves at this point, with at least two short releases out in 2016, one a 7″ of Nirvana covers (review here), and the The Enemy EP (review here). Set for a March 3 release through their own Opoponax Records imprint, Harvester of Bongloads continues the march into the abyss that 2015’s Obelisk (review here) and 2013’s 777 set in motion, finding the band coming more into their own as well. Creative growth — and bongloads! The best of both worlds.
15. Ides of Gemini, TBA
Ides of Gemini are set to record their yet-untitled third album with Sanford Parker early this year, and it will also mark their debut on Rise Above Records upon its release. They’ve also got a new lineup around vocalist Sera Timms and guitarist J. Bennett, so as they look to move forward from 2014’s Old World New Wave (review here), one can’t help but wonder what to expect, but to be honest, not knowing is part of the appeal, especially from a band who so readily specialize in the ethereal.
16. Kind, TBA
Three-fourths of Kind feature elsewhere on this list. Bassist Tom Corino plays in Rozamov. Drummer Matt Couto is in Elder. Vocalist Craig Riggs is in Roadsaw. And for what it’s worth, guitarist Darryl Shepherd has a new band coming together called Test Meat. How likely does that make Kind to release a second LP in 2017? I don’t know, but their 2015 Ripple Music debut, Rocket Science (review here), deserves a follow-up, and I know they’ve demoed some new songs. If it happens, great. If it’s 2018, at least these dudes will be plenty busy besides.
17. Lo-Pan, In Tensions
Yes, Lo-Pan‘s In Tensions (review here) has already been released — CD/LP with an artbook on Aqualamb. It’s out. Limited numbers. You can get it now. Why include it on a list of most anticipated releases? Because that’s how strongly I feel about your need to hear it. The fruit of a shortlived lineup with guitarist Adrian Zambrano, it distinguishes itself from everything they’ve done before in style while still keeping to the core righteousness that one hopes the Ohio outfit will continue to carry forward. It’s more than a stopgap between albums. Listen to it.
18. The Midnight Ghost Train, TBA
It seems to have been a rough ride for hard-boogie specialists The Midnight Ghost Train since their 2015 Napalm debut and third album overall, Cold was the Ground (review here). They’ve never taken it easy on the road or in terms of physicality on stage, and between injuries and who knows what else, their intensity at this point veers toward the directly confrontational. Nonetheless, they’ve been writing for album number four, may or may not have started the recording process, and I expect that confrontationalism to suit them well in their new material.
19. Monster Magnet, TBA
I have it on decent authority that NJ heavy psych innovators Monster Magnet were in the studio this past autumn. I’ve seen no concrete word of a new album in progress from Dave Wyndorf and company, and I wouldn’t necessarily expect to until it was time to start hyping the release, but after their two redux releases, 2015’s Cobras and Fire (review here) and 2014’s Milking the Stars (review here), their range feels broader than ever and I can’t wait to hear what they come up with next.
20. Mothership, High Strangeness
A pivotal moment for Mothership arrives with High Strangeness, and the heavy-touring, heavy-riffing Texas power trio seem to know it. Their third record on Ripple Music pushes into new avenues of expression and keeps the energy of 2014’s Mothership II (review here) and 2012’s Mothership (review here), but thus far into their career, it’s been about their potential and what they might accomplish going forward. 2017 might be the year for Mothership to declare a definitive place in the sphere of American heavy rock.
21. The Obsessed, Sacred
On Halloween 2016, founding The Obsessed guitarist/vocalist and doom icon Scott “Wino” Weinrich announced a new lineup for the band, with his former The Hidden Hand bandmate Bruce Falkinburg on bass/vocals, Sara Seraphim on guitar and Brian Costantino continuing on drums. A genuine surprise. Their first album since 1994, Sacred (due on Relapse) was tracked as the trio of Weinrich, Costantino and bassist/vocalist Dave Sherman, but clearly they’ve moved into a new era already. Wouldn’t even guess what the future holds, but hopefully Sacred still comes out.
22. Orange Goblin, TBA
When it was announced that London’s Orange Goblin were picked up by Spinefarm as part of that label’s acquisition of Candlelight Records last Spring, the subheadline from the PR wire was “Working on Ninth Studio Album.” I haven’t heard much since then, but even as 2014’s Back from the Abyss (review here) pushed them deeper into metallic territory than ever before, their songs retained the character that’s made the band the institution they are. Always look forward to new Orange Goblin.
23. Pallbearer, Heartless
Doomers, this is your whole year right here. I haven’t heard Pallbearer‘s third album, Heartless (out March 24 on Profound Lore), but I have to think even those who haven’t yet been won over by the Arkansas four-piece’s emotive, deep-running style have to be curious about what they’ve come up with this time around. I know I am. These guys have been making a mark on the genre since their 2012 debut, Sorrow and Extinction (review here), and there’s little doubt Heartless will continue that thread upon its arrival.
24. Radio Moscow, TBA
Fact: Radio Moscow stand among the best classic heavy rock live acts in the US. They’re the kind of band you can watch upwards of 15 gigs in a row — I’ve done it — and find them putting on a better show night after night, in defiance of science, logic and sobriety. Word of their signing to Century Media came just this past week and brought with it confirmation of a follow-up to 2014’s stellar Magical Dirt (review here), and for me to say hell yes, I’m absolutely on board, seems like the no-brainer to end all no-brainers. Can’t wait.
25. Roadsaw, TBA
Nearly six full years later, it’s only fair to call Boston scene godfathers Roadsaw due for a follow-up to their 2011 self-titled (review here). Granted, members have been busy in Kind, White Dynomite, and other projects, but still. Their upcoming outing finds them on Ripple Music after years under the banner of Small Stone Records, and though I haven’t seen a solid release date yet, my understanding is they hit Mad Oak Studio in Allston, MA, this past fall to track it, so seems likely for sooner or later. Sooner, preferably.
26. Rozamov, This Mortal Road
Speaking of albums by Boston bands a while in the making, This Mortal Road (out March 3 on Battleground Records and Dullest Records) is the debut full-length from Boston atmospheric extremists Rozamov. Haven’t heard it yet, but I got a taste of some of the material when I visited the band at New Alliance Audio in Aug. 2015, and the bleak expanses of what I heard seem primed to turn heads. I’m a fan of these guys, but in addition, they’ve found a niche for themselves sound-wise and I’m curious to hear how they bring it to fruition.
27. Samsara Blues Experiment, TBA
It’s been a pleasure over the last couple months to watch a resurgence of Berlin heavy psych trio Samsara Blues Experiment take shape, first with the announcement of a fourth album in October, then with subsequent confirmations for Desertfest, Riff Ritual in Barcelona, and a South American tour. Reportedly due in Spring, which fits with the timing on shows, etc., the record will follow 2013’s righteous Waiting for the Flood (review here) and as much as I’m looking forward to hearing it, I’m kind of just glad to have these guys back.
28. Seedy Jeezus, TBA
Work finished earlier this month on Melbourne trio Seedy Jeezus‘ second full-length. As with their 2015 self-titled debut, the band brought Tony Reed of Mos Generator to Australia to produce, and after their blissed-out 2016 collaboration with Earthless guitarist Isaiah Mitchell, Tranquonauts (review here), it’s hard not to wonder what experimentalist tendencies might show in the trio’s style this time out, and likewise difficult not to anticipate what guitarist Lex “Mr. Frumpy” Wattereus comes up with for the cover art.
29. Shroud Eater, Strike the Sun
Not to spoil the surprise, but Feb. 1 I’ll host a track premiere from Florida’s Shroud Eater that finds them working in a different context from everything we’ve heard from them to this point in their rightly-celebrated tenure. They also recently had a split out with Dead Hand, and their second long-player, Strike the Sun, will be their debut through STB Records. It’s been since 2011’s ThunderNoise (review here) that we last got a Shroud Eater album, so you bet your ass I’m dying to know what the last six years have wrought.
30. Sleep, TBA
If Sleep were any other band, they’d probably be in the “Would be Awfully Nice” category. But they’re Sleep, so even the thought of a new record is enough to put them here. The lords of all things coated in THC are reissuing their 2014 single, The Clarity (review here), on Southern Lord next month, but rumors have been swirling about a proper album, which of course would be their first since the now-legendary Dopesmoker. If it happens, it’ll automatically be a heavy underground landmark for 2017, but it’s one I’m going to have in my ears before I really believe it.
31. Stoned Jesus, TBA
Even as they tour playing their second album, 2012’s Seven Thunders Roar (review here), to mark its fifth anniversary and continued impact, Ukrainian trio Stoned Jesus are forging ahead with a fourth record behind 2015’s The Harvest (review here). The capital-‘q’ Question is whether or not looking back at Seven Thunders Roar and engaging that big-riffing side of their sound will have an impact on the new material, and if so, how it will meld with the push of The Harvest. Won’t speculate, but look forward to finding out.
32. Stubb, TBA
Since reveling in the soul of 2015’s Cry of the Ocean (review here) on Ripple, London trio Stubb have swapped out bassists, and they were in Skyhammer Studio this month recording a single that may be an extended psychedelic jam. I’ll take that happily, but I’m even more intrigued at the prospect of a third LP and what guitarist/vocalist Jack Dickinson, bassist/vocalist Tom Hobson and drummer Tom Fyfe might have in store as the band moves forward on multiple levels. Might be 2017, might not.
33. Sun Blood Stories, It Runs Around the Room with Us
It Runs around the Room with Us seems to find peace in its resonant experimentalist drones, loops, open, subdued spaces, but there’s always some underlying sense of foreboding to its drift, as if Boise’s Sun Blood Stories could anticipate the moment before it happened. Toward the end of the follow-up to 2015’s Twilight Midnight Morning (review here), they execute the 90-second assault “Burn” and turn serenity to ash. Look for it in April and look for it again on my best of 2017 list in December.
34. Ufomammut, TBA
Any new offering from the Italian cosmic doom magnates is worth looking forward to, and while Ufomammut have left the 15-year mark behind, they’ve never stopped progressing in style and form. To wit, 2015’s Ecate (review here) was a stunner after 2012’s two-part LP, Oro (review here and review here), tightening the approach but assuring the vibe was no less expansive than ever. They started recording last summer, finished mixing in November, so I’m hoping for word of a release date soon.
35. Vokonis, The Sunken Djinn
Born out of Creedsmen Arise, whose 2015 demo, Temple (review here), offered formative thrills, Swedish trio Vokonis debuted with last year’s Olde One Ascending (review here) and proved there’s still life in post-Sleep riffing when it’s wielded properly. They signed to Ripple in November and confirmed the title of their sophomore effort as The Sunken Djinn, as well as a reissue for the first album, which will probably arrive first. I don’t know how that will affect the timing on this one, but keep an eye out anyway.
Gonna Happen and/or Likely Candidates
Obviously some of these are more likely than others. Some have solidified, announced release dates — Dopelord‘s out this month, Demon Head‘s out in April, etc. — and others come from social media posts of bands in studios and hints at upcoming releases and so on. A big tell is whether or not a band has an album title with their listing, but even some of those without have their new albums done, like Atala and Royal Thunder, so it’s not necessarily absolute.
Either way, while I’m spending your money, you might want to look into:
36. Against the Grain
39. Attalla, Glacial Rule
40. Ayahuasca Dark Trip, II
42. Beaten Back to Pure
45. Buried Feather, Mind of the Swarm
46. The Clamps
47. Cold Stares
48. Coltsblood, Ascending into the Shimmering Darkness
49. Come to Grief, The Worst of Times EP
51. Cruthu, The Angle of Eternity
52. The Dead-End Alley Band, Storms
53. Dead Witches, Dead Witches
55. Death Alley, Live at Roadburn
56. Demon Head, Thunder on the Fields
57. The Devil and the Almighty Blues, II
58. Devil Electric
59. Doctor Cyclops, Local Dogs
60. Dool, Here Now There Then
61. Dopelord, Children of the Haze
62. Doublestone, Devil’s Own/Djævlens Egn
63. Dread Sovereign, For Doom the Bell Tolls
64. Drive by Wire
65. Elbrus, Elbrus
66. Electric Age
67. Electric Moon, Stardust Rituals
68. Endless Floods, II
69. Five Horse Johnson
70. Forming the Void, Relic
71. Funeral Horse
73. Green Desert Water
75. Grifter / Suns of Thunder, Split
76. Hair of the Dog, This World Turns
77. Heavy Temple, Chassit
78. Here Lies Man, Here Lies Man
79. Hollow Leg, Murder EP
80. Holy Mount, The Drought
81. Hooded Menace
82. Horisont, About Time
83. Hymn, Perish
84. Lecherous Gaze
85. Magnet, Feel Your Fire
87. Merlin, The Wizard
89. Mindkult, Lucifer’s Dream
90. Mirror Queen
91. Moonbow, War Bear
92. Mos Generator
93. The Moth
95. Mouth, Vortex
96. My Sleeping Karma, Mela Ananda – Live
99. PH, Eternal Hayden
100. Psychedelic Witchcraft, Magick Rites and Spells
101. Royal Thunder
102. Saturn, Beyond Spectra
103. Season of Arrows, Give it to the Mountain
104. Siena Root
105. Six Organs of Admittance, Burning the Threshold
106. Six Sigma, Tuxedo Brown
108. The Sonic Dawn, Into the Long Night
110. Spidergawd, IV
112. Stinking Lizaveta, Journey to the Underworld
113. Sula Bassana, Organ Accumulator
115. Sun Voyager, Sun Voyager
116. Sweat Lodge, Tokens for Hell EP
117. Thera Roya, Stone and Skin
119. Troubled Horse, Revelation on Repeat
120. VA, Brown Acid The Third Trip
122. Youngblood Supercult, The Great American Death Rattle
Definitely Could Happen
Maybe a recording process is upcoming (Gozu, Cities of Mars, YOB), or a band is looking for a label (The Flying Eyes), or they’ve said new stuff is in the works but the circumstances of an actual release aren’t known (Arc of Ascent, Dead Meadow, High on Fire), or I’ve just seen rumors of their hitting the studio (Freedom Hawk, La Chinga, Ruby the Hatchet). We’ve entered the realm of the entirely possible but not 100 percent.
So, you know, life.
123. The Age of Truth
124. Ape Machine
125. Arc of Ascent
126. At Devil Dirt
131. La Chinga
132. Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters
133. Cities of Mars
134. Crypt Sermon
135. Dead Meadow
136. Death Alley (Studio LP)
137. Dee Calhoun
138. Destroyer of Light
140. Devil Worshipper
144. Electric Moon
145. Elephant Tree
147. The Flying Eyes
148. Freedom Hawk
150. The Great Electric Quest
151. Green Meteor, Consumed by a Dying Sun
152. High on Fire
154. Insect Ark
155. In the Company of Serpents
156. Iron Monkey
157. Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus
158. The Judge
159. Killer Boogie
160. King Dead
161. The Kings of Frog Island
162. Lords of Beacon House, Recreational Sorcery
164. Mondo Drag
166. Mountain God
167. The Munsens
169. Never Got Caught
175. Purple Hill Witch
176. Ruby the Hatchet
178. Satan’s Satyrs
179. Serpents of Secrecy
181. Shooting Guns
182. Sleepy Sun
183. Slow Season
184. Snowy Dunes, Atlantis
185. Spectral Haze
186. The Sweet Heat
187. Switchblade Jesus
191. Zone Six
Would be Awfully Nice
This last category is basically as close as I’m willing to come to rampant speculation. Endless Boogie have hinted at new material, and Queens of the Stone Age have talked about hitting the studio for the last two years. There were rumors about Om, and though Kings Destroy just put out an EP, they have new songs as well, though I doubt we’ll hear them before the end of 2017. I’ll admit that Across Tundras, Fever Dog, Lord Fowl, Lowrider and Hour of 13 are just wishful thinking on my part. A boy can hope:
192. Across Tundras
194. Elephant Tree
195. Endless Boogie
196. Fever Dog
197. Fu Manchu
198. Halfway to Gone
199. Hour of 13
201. Kings Destroy
202. Lord Fowl
204. Masters of Reality
207. Queens of the Stone Age
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. Whatever this year brings, I hope it’s been great so far for you and I hope it continues to be so as we proceed inexorably to 2018 and all the also-futuristic-sounding numbers thereafter. At least we know we’ll have plenty of good music to keep us company on that voyage.
As always, comments section is open if there’s anything I’ve left out. I’m happy to add, adjust, etc., as need be, so really, have at it, and thanks in advance.