Hour of 13 Reveal More Details for Salt the Dead: The Rare and Unreleased

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 20th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Well, we still don’t have a full tracklisting, artwork, or a solid release date, but more details have come through about the rare tracks comp, Salt the Dead: The Rare and Unreleased, that is serving as the marker for Hour of 13‘s reactivation, first announced here. The forthcoming comp on Shadow Kingdom will be the band’s first outing since 2012’s 333 (discussed here) and in detailing the origins of some of the tracks included, the label paints an image covering the band’s entire (initial run), and then goes as far as to confirm a new album in the works for 2017. My understanding is there are some contingencies to align before founding multi-instrumentalist Chad Davis and company hit the studio — for example, who “company” is — but however and whenever they get there, it seems inevitable if Hour of 13 is truly going to be a band again that a next record would happen at some juncture. Now the question is, will they tour?

Looking forward to this one, which will reportedly be out before the end of this year. Shadow Kingdom forwarded this along the PR wire:


HOUR OF 13 rejoin forces with Shadow Kingdom!

SHADOW KINGDOM RECORDS is proud to present a long-overdue demos & rarities collection from thee immortal HOUR OF 13, appropriately titled Salt The Dead: The Rare And Unreleased. Across this massive collection, one will find HOUR OF 13’s very first steps into doom metal godhood, alongside alternate recordings of fan favorites.

Listening to Salt The Dead: The Rare And Unreleased, it becomes quickly apparent that something truly special was being birthed upon the band’s first recorded notes. The first half of this collection – or sides A and B of the double-vinyl edition – comprise demos recorded in 2007. The first three songs were the very first written by HOUR OF 13 in November 2006 and then recorded not long after; the next five songs were recorded nearly a year later. Together, these eight songs would form the foundation of the band’s now-classic debut album, released by SHADOW KINGDOM as Hour of 13. Although recognizably HOUR OF 13, these early demo versions of the debut album’s songs have slightly different arrangements while others have slightly different vocals, but every single bit of the band’s trademark atmosphere is plentiful and poignant. Verily, this is the sound of lingering incense and burning blood.

During the second half of Salt The Dead: The Rare And Unreleased, we find a number of alternate recordings, some with special circumstances surrounding them. On side C is an alternate full-band recording of “Call To Satan,” recorded at the HOUR OF 13 rehearsal spot, alongside an alternate version of “The Rites of Samhain” with fully correct lyric placement and vocals by main man Chad Davis. But most poignantly is the song “Upon Black Wings We Die,” written and recorded within a matter of a few hours upon hearing the news of the passing of Jason McCash from The Gates Of Slumber. On side D are the complete Candlemass Eve Recordings, the second rehearsal with Beaten Back to Pure’s Ben Hogg on vocals: all recorded in a single session on a Zoom H2 microphone in the room, captured here with a newfound energy and stirring vocal performance. Feel the ancient atmosphere of early metal rehearsal rooms of yesteryear here!

As founder Chad Davis states in the liner notes to Salt The Dead: The Rare And Unreleased, “This album documents the times and tribulations that had shrouded HOUR OF 13, the early days of rejuvenation along with the dark days of contemplation, and serve as a testament of an entity capable of withstanding any obstacle in its path.” So far, the definitive HOUR OF 13 collection – and the cultest. Praise Him and enter the abyss!

More news regarding the track listing and album cover will be revealed soon!

HOUR OF 13 are currently working on a new album for 2017! More news will follow soon about that as well.


Hour of 13, “Upon Black Wings We Die”

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Hour of 13 Announce Return; Rare Tracks Compilation Coming Soon

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

The last time we heard from Hour of 13 was in Spring 2014, when the band issued what would be their final track in a tribute to the recently-departed Jason McCash from The Gates of Slumber. By then, founding multi-instrumentalist Chad Davis had already taken the band through three somewhat tumultuous albums, beginning with their 2007 self-titled on Shadow Kingdom and then moving to Eyes Like Snow/Earache for 2010’s The Ritualist (streamed here) and Earache alone for what would become their swansong in 2012’s 333 (discussed here).

After trading out frontman Phil Swanson for Ben Hogg, also of Beaten Back to Pure, the band continued on for a while but eventually came apart with the previously-noted “Upon Black Wings We Die,” Davis moving on to a number of other projects, among them Night Magic, which was started in 2015 to be a direct continuation of what Hour of 13 accomplished.

Reportedly before the end of this year, Hour of 13 will join forces with Shadow Kingdom to release Salt the Dead, a collection of rare and otherwise unreleased tracks that will mark their return to existence as a band. Davis, who has since relocated to the West Coast, has put the project in motion officially a decade after it first started and announced his still-somewhat-murky (as if he’d have it any other way) path forward thusly:


HOUR OF 13 – Statement – 10-1-2016

2006 was an immense year for influence and creation. A simple session of writing spawned three songs that paved the way for a debut album destined to return American Heavy Metal back to the forefront of the underground Metal scene. And with the release came a quick acclaim, building up a following that the entity itself never saw coming. Throughout its lifespan, HOUR OF 13 has seen its fair share of ups and downs. Not ever really existing in the other classes of bands within its scene, it paved a path of Darkness and gloom that solidified its place within the tops of the genre. All that rise must fall…

Due to a professional ordeal that was both good and bad, along with the passing of some of its closest friends, the idea to lay it to rest until the right time was evident and heeded. Coupled with all of the problems, departures and returns, backlash and all around trash talk, the ideals were continued under the NIGHT MAGIC name. The slumber for Ho13 in its name had been thought to be eternal. Forever.

But, as we all know, NOTHING is forever..

As of 10-1-2016, I am pleased to announce the chains of past problems have been broken, and with the aid and support of the following gained within its initial unveiling, HOUR OF 13 have resumed exactly where it was laid to rest. To be honest, I myself have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for the day this could be. All I have wanted was to feel the fires of creation rise, and I am more than excited to be able to continue the original intent of HOUR OF 13. Complete details as to the current incarnation of this rebirth is unknown at the moment. However, to be able to bring to you, the supporters, this return is very much my namesake.

With this return also comes the announcement of an HOUR OF 13 retrospective double LP/CD/Cassette release coming later this year. Titled “Salt The Dead: Rare and Unreleased”, this collection contains material from the beginning up until its rest. Shadow Kingdom Records, who gave Ho13 its initial push with the release of the debut album, will release this collection. More info will be announced when the release dates are known.

Hails to each and every one of you. I honor your support til the ends of the Earth. In His name we praise the fires of Hell!

Chad Davis – HOUR OF 13


Hour of 13, “Upon Black Wings We Die”

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Hour of 13 Pay Homage to Jason McCash with Final Recorded Song

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 8th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Though they’ve been effectively defunct since their final full-length, 2012’s 333, and will remain that way, North Carolina’s Hour of 13 has been resurrected in the form of a one-off single called “Upon Black Wings We Die.” The track is a trad metal homage to The Gates of Slumber bassist Jason McCash, who passed away this weekend, and finds band founder Chad Davis (also of Romannis MötteTasha-Yar, etc.) playing all the instruments, adding the vocals and recording himself in a true one-man-band production.

Davis offers his own words of tribute to McCash even as he closes the book on Hour of 13, so I won’t delay further except to note that tribute shows for McCash are starting to come together in Baltimore and Boston, and those links as well as the link to the fund to help Jason McCash‘s family with their finances can be found below.


Hour of 13, “Upon Black Wings We Die”

Cosmic dust. We all return to it from our birthplace. And a long journey it is to make that return. An act so simple brings forth the beginning of that journey, regardless of proper timing…

Upon hearing the news of Jason McCash’s passing, it left me extremely awestruck. The late night conversations we had, discussing the mysteries of the universe, the state of modern day Heavy Metal, and the amazing basslines that solidified all of Christian Death’s music. All now a thing of the past. And so it brings forth this:

Last night I wrote a song for Jason, a farewell to his unquestionable legacy as one of the most solid bass players in the US Heavy Metal scene. A farewell to his kind and supportive nature. A farewell to the ideas we had tossed around of doing a project in the future.

And with this memoriam brings forth the demise of Hour Of 13.

This is the last and final document of HO13. A document that proves US Heavy Metal is still alive and strong. With many great bands around to continue to carry that flame, there is no better time to let go and begin my own personal journey. Mentally I cannot foresee any other reason to remain active, as all of the bands that mattered in the resurrection of Traditional Heavy Metal have all suffered loss, it only brings about confusion and disdain. This feeling became apparent witht the passing of my celestial brother Selim Lemouchi, and now solidified with the passing of Jason. And so it begins….

Sleep well brothers, and may the experiences you both now have unlock all of the answers to the questions we had always asked.

Chad Davis – Hour Of 13

Hour of 13 on Thee Facebooks

Baltimore Jason McCash tribute event page

Boston Jason McCash tribute event page

McCash Family Fund

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The Obelisk Radio Add of the Week: Innominandivm, Nocturnivm Ritvalis

Posted in Radio on January 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I happened to see on New Year’s Eve there were a few people who tuned into the radio stream the whole night. Presumably this was done as maybe some background for festivities or whathaveyou. That’s fucking awesome and I was thrilled. Innominandivm‘s Nocturnivm Ritvalis is not that kind of album. Basically, it’s the opposite. Comprised of four unflinchingly bleak drones, it’s not without a pulse, but is so resoundingly dark that light is hard-pressed to escape. The project, whose name is nigh-on-impossible to type correctly the first time — Innominandivm; nope, missed it again — is the dark-ambient alter ego of Chad Davis, multi-instrumentalist for Hour of 13 and any number of other outlets, among them Romannis Mötte, Anu, Tasha-Yar, Chains, Draath, Set, and so on. One more outlet in an already densely-populate discography? Maybe, but that doesn’t take away from the value of Nocturnivm Ritvalis in the slightest.

Each of the four cuts, titled “I” through “IV” on the 35-minute Innominandivm debut is based around a central atmosphere. The first is creeping and cinematic, the second more religious with a slow progression of organ-style tones amid open-drone wind, the third lower, more mechanical like if a cybernetic didgeridoo suddenly became sentient, and the last a 13-minute enfolding that’s tension without mercy and, like the opener, something John Carpenter would’ve been lucky to have in his heyday. Nothing is under six minutes, it’s all instrumental. There’s no payoff, no release, no hope, and since that’s obviously the intent, I can only say it works to glorious fashion. It’s easy to imagine that Davis wound up with these ideas as the result of working on other projects, or that maybe these pieces or the initial sparks from which they arose (such as anything here arises; mostly it sinks deeper and deeper) were intended for use in another context. So be it. They may be formative and minimal, but they resound nonetheless with aesthetic intent. If Davis wants to use them as the basis for future idea development or keep Innominandivm in his back pocket as a project to periodically toss out similar explorations, that’s his business.

What his long-term intent for the project might be, I don’t know, but he seems to hint that there’s more to come from Innominandivm and if that’s the case, Nocturnivm Ritvalis (am I wrong in thinking that U should be a V?) sets a deeply ambient foundation on which to build. It’s not friendly. It’s not party music. The depressive challenge Innominandivm makes, however, is one worth taking on, and for that reason, I’m glad to be able to add it to The Obelisk Radio. Check it out there now as part of the regular 24/7 stream or get a taste of “IV” in the YouTube clip below:

Innominandivm, “IV”

Innominandivm on Thee Facebooks

Chad Davis on YouTube

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Chad Davis Updates on Status of Hour of 13

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 3rd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

No strangers over their years “together” to tumult, Hour of 13 seem to be entering into their next phase. Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Chad Davis provides a glimpse of where the band is at, its continued turbulent relationship with vocalist Phil Swanson (also Vestal Claret, Seamount, etc.) and what the future might hold for the band, which released its third album, 333, in 2012. For more from Davis, he’s interviewed here.

Here’s the latest:

Chad Davis / Hour Of 13 official press release 5-3-2013:

I am grateful for all of the support everyone has shown for Ho13, and honored to have been able to bring everyone quality music to a very thriving and revitalized movement. It has been extremely trying over the years, the constant interchanging of personnel, missing out on great opportunities to move the band further to all of you in a live setting, internal strife and conflicts of interest. But, in hindsight, things happened the way they have, and it is pointless to dwell on the past. The future is now…

I am glad to announce that new material will be created to carry the Ho13 namesake into the next phase of its existence. A much needed break and rest from all of it was a good source of medicine, healing the mind and allowing me to be able to refocus energy back into this musical force. Ho13 has always been an amazing outlet for me, a magnificent way to incorporate all of the influences that had helped me sharpen my craft.

A recent interview with Phil Swanson that was posted on a rather small blog, in which he made some very bold statements. I am not here to defend myself or counteract anything he may feel towards Ho13 or myself directly. His point of view is entirely his own prerogative. In an attempt to not discredit his persona, his ideas are quite far from reality. My reality. So, with that said, I wish him nothing but the best in any musical endeavor he may embark on. A talented vocalist he is, but he is NOT the be-all-end-all of Ho13.

In closing, the only thanks I can extend is once again to all of you. The fans. You have helped us more than anything. The music is for you. And I am extending to you guys the longevity of this band until the finality comes. Thank all of you!!

Chad Davis

Hour of 13, “Who’s to Blame?” official video

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Hour of 13 Release New Video for “Who’s to Blame?”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 12th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

As it goes in December, there’s an awful lot of discussion around the interwebs lately about the best albums of the year. Well, as if to remind us all of their lurking presence, Hour of 13 have unveiled a new video for the track “Who’s to Blame?” from their 2012 third album, 333. Multi-instrumentalist Chad Davis (interview here) stripped the band down to its original parts for the latest outing, those being he and vocalist Phil Swanson, and the result was a collection of memorable cult doom right in line with the classic tenets of horror atmospheres and kickass riffs.

If you missed it, Davis‘ newest project Witchcoven premiered their first recorded track last Friday, so there’s even more to look forward to there, but Hour of 13 remain a constant shadow creeping behind, never quite there and never quite gone. Enjoy “Who’s to Blame?” on the player below:

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Hour of 13 Interview with Chad Davis: Naming the Threes

Posted in Features on August 24th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

Last year when I conducted an Hour of 13 interview, it was with then-vocalist and Obelisk contributor Ben Hogg about having landed the singer spot as a replacement for Connecticut-based Phil Swanson. What changes a year can bring. This time, speaking with North Carolinian multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Chad Davis, it was about the band splitting with Hogg following a tour with Kylesa last summer and eventually having Swanson come back on board for the recording of the band’s appropriately named third album, 333.

Also Hour of 13‘s Earache Records debut, 333 marks the third time Swanson has joined the band — once for their 2007 self-titled debut and again for 2010’s The Ritualist before now — but Davis seems to take the tumult in stride. He’s uncomfortable talking about the situation with Hogg, I think the interview transcript shows that, but gives some sense of what led to the dissolution of Hour of 13 as a touring act. The live lineup also featured bassist John Mode and guitarist Brandon Munday, who’ll do a smattering of shows this October with the Swanson-fronted incarnation rounded out by a new drummer, but as to larger touring, Davis makes his position clear when he says, “To me, it’s not really a necessity.”

Nonetheless, the band has joined the growing roster of acts playing Roadburn 2013, and their cult-minded traditional doom continues to resonate with audiences around the world, who’ve responded with suitable clamor to 333, which Davis reveals was written both before going into Epiphonic Studios to record and after he got there, songs like “Who’s to Blame?” and the righteous closer “Lucky Bones” — also released on a limited Svart Records vinyl with Hour of 13’s earlier Razorrock Tapes recordings — given a sense of spontaneity for how freshly composed they were. The first two albums, Davis notes, took three days each. 333 took two weeks.

And maybe that’s the last of the three threes in the title. One for it being the band’s third album, one for it being Swanson‘s third return, and one for the three days it used to take Hour of 13 to make a record. Whatever the case, Davis‘ commitment to Hour of 13‘s bleak musical and conceptual aesthetic remains firm, and in the interview that follows, he discusses not only lineup shifts and live gigs, but what drives the project and the processes at work in Hour of 13 as opposed to his black metal outfits Anu and Set or the psychedelically jamming Tasha-Yar, who’ll reportedly add the recently-streamed “Casting Lots” to a series of other improv recordings for a new CD in the next month or so.

Including what got him into Epiphonic earlier than he intended and working long-distance with Swanson, Davis illuminates on a range of topics. You’ll find the complete Q&A after the jump.

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Hour of 13 Interview with Ben Hogg: “Who the fuck gets their big break at age 39 in rock and roll?”

Posted in Features on April 21st, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster

A little while back, this site premiered three demo tracks from North Carolinian doomers Hour of 13 with their new singer, whose identity was then a mystery. In the comments section of that post, you’ll find word from members of The Might Could that it was, in fact, Beaten Back to Pure, Birds of Prey and Plague the Suffering vocalist Ben Hogg filling the shoes vacated by Phil Swanson, and as a show at the Cake Shop in NYC proved early in March, they were right.

Hogg was a surprise to take that role, as Hour of 13‘s vocals have heretofore been clean exclusively and through his work in his other bands, Hogg has always proved to be almost entirely a growler/screamer, but as the demos demonstrated, he’s more than capable of matching key for key with Hour of 13‘s material, adding elements of his own personality to the songwriting of guitarist Chad Davis. The band has already started work on new material, it seems, and though there isn’t a release set for anything yet — Hour of 13‘s second album with Swanson, The Ritualist, was recently reissued by EaracheHogg assures good things are afoot.

Even today, that’s proven to be the case, as it was announced Hour of 13 will join Kylesa for a week-long tour of the Southern US at the end of May into June, and in our interview, Ben Hogg leaked some info about more road time to come in July. Hour of 13, apparently, are about to become a full-on touring act, and as Hogg says several times over, that suits him just fine.

We spoke on opening day of baseball season (March 31) as the Cardinals were in extra innings, but Hogg was nonetheless forthcoming about how he came to be involved with Hour of 13, the nervousness he felt before making his debut with the band at the Cake Shop, the trials of owning your own wedge monitor, the band’s plans writing, touring, and much, much more. There were some phone-line issues, but I got everything transcribed the best I could, and the ensuing conversation was over 4,100 words, so there should be plenty to work with.

On a personal note, before I turn it over to the interview proper, I want to underscore my previous congratulations to Ben Hogg on landing this vocalist spot. The dude’s a lifer if there ever was one, and in this scene, that’s not easy. We’ve been in touch periodically over the years and he’s never been anything but cool to me and if the excitement he shows here is any indication, he’s genuinely glad to be a part of Hour of 13, and I wish both him and the band all the best going forward. Can’t wait to hear how it all comes together on the next record.

Complete Q&A with Ben Hogg is after the jump. Please enjoy.

Read more »

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