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.

Enjoy:

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.

Regards,
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!!

Regards,
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.

Read more »

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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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Congratulations to Ben Hogg for Joining Hour of 13

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 8th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster

The news has spread far and wide at this point, but I just wanted to take a second to personally offer heartfelt congratulations to vocalist Ben Hogg on the occasion of his joining Hour of 13. I got word ahead of time (as did everyone who checked out the comments section of the demo tracks post), but everything I’ve heard about the band’s first show this past Saturday at the Cake Shop in NYC has been really positive, and I know Ben‘s a lifer if ever there was one. All the best to him, guitarist Chad Davis and the rest of the band. Here’s to Hogg of 13!

Earache sent out the following press release about it:

North Carolina doom metallers Hour of 13 were pleased to introduce veteran vocalist, Ben Hogg (Birds of Prey, Beaten Back to Pure) into the fold this past Saturday night in New York City. He and the band played a powerful set  to a packed NYC crowd all there to celebrate the band’s recent reissue of The Ritualist, a modern classic of doom metal. Ben performed superbly and gave the band a stronger presence that will no doubt make the band a force to be reckoned with as widespread touring plans are falling into place in 2011.

Hour of 13 guitarist and founder Chad Davis recently had this to say about Ben Hogg: “Hour of 13 could not be more pleased with the dedication and amount of work Ben has shown. He is a valuable talent to have in the band. He is a vital presence that we were needing in the fold and thanks to him, we are stronger and more focused than ever.”

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audiObelisk EXCLUSIVE: Hour of 13 – New Singer Demos Now Available for Streaming

Posted in audiObelisk on February 14th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster

No one seems to be at liberty yet to discuss who this mysterious new singer for Hour of 13 is, but if you want to make your best guesses, go for it in the comments. If not before, I guess we’ll all find out when the trad-doom forerunners come back to New York on March 5 for a show at the Cake Shop.

Until then, 313 Inc. Artist Management granted permission for The Obelisk to host the following rehearsal demos featuring said nameless figure, who, as you can hear on the three tracks below, sounds killer. Whoever he is, he’s giving these songs their due.

Dig it:

Hour of 13, “The Gathering/Call to Satan”

The Gathering/Call to Satan

Hour of 13, “Submissive to Evil”

Submissive to Evil

Hour of 13, “Grim Reality”

Grim Reality

The second Hour of 13 album, The Ritualist, has been reissued and is now available on Earache Records.

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audiObelisk: Stream Hour of 13′s The Ritualist in its Entirety

Posted in audiObelisk on February 3rd, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster

Although they recently lost vocalist Phil Swanson to… um… not being in the band, cult doom purveyors Hour of 13 will nonetheless see the re-release of their epic second album, The Ritualist, on Earache Records Feb. 26. The band, now fronted by guitarist Chad Davis, has said they’ll continue on unabated with their mission of musical despair, and while the word’s still out on whether or not they’ll have a new full-length this year, the reissue is still a great excuse to revisit The Ritualist and celebrate Hour of 13 at their to-date peak.

Out of the kindness of their blackened hearts, Earache has granted The Obelisk permission (exclusive permission, so far as I know) to host The Ritualist in its entirety for your streaming enjoyment. Have at it on the player below, and doom on:

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Phil Swanson Leaves Hour of 13

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 24th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster

Score one for the era of immediate accessibility to information. According to Facebook posts from Hour of 13 guitarist Chad Davis and vocalist Phil Swanson, the latter is no longer with the band. Hour of 13, who just recently signed to Earache Records and will re-release their second album, The Ritualist, next month via the legendary metal imprint, will continue with Davis filling singing duties until they find someone new.

Here are the posts, greedily cut and pasted:

Phil Swanson: “I have decided once again on leaving the ranks of Hour of 13 as I cannot commit to live touring duties at the level the fans, the label and the band would expect.”

Chad Davis: “Phil Swanson has once again decided to step down from Hour of 13. We hope his path will find him all the best in his musical fulfillment. The band will continue with Chad Davis taking over vocal duties for the upcoming shows we have booked. We plan to deliver the same caliber of occult heavy metal we have created for the past 3 years, and we will continue. Hour of 13 thank all of the supporters and fans worldwide.”

Thanks to Damocles74 for posting this notice in the news forum.

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Live Review: Hour of 13 Live in Brooklyn, 10.16.10

Posted in Reviews on October 18th, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster

The last time I decided it was a good idea to drive down from Connecticut to a show in New York, I wound up in sitting traffic for twice as long as it should have taken, only to get to an overcrowded Webster Hall and stand in the back while the Melvins stormed through a set I could barely see. How long for the lesson to be forgotten? Just under four months, apparently.

Fortunately, the ride this time wasn’t that bad at all. Two hours in the car is perfectly acceptable as far as I’m concerned; the trip has taken me that long from Jersey plenty of times, and hey, I go where the shows go. Nowadays, they go to Union Pool, so that’s where I go.

I’d never been there before, but it was Hour of 13‘s first show in the US, and I wasn’t about to miss that, remembering how much ass their 2007 self-titled CD kicked and hoping to pick up a copy of this year’s The Ritualist on Eyes Like Snow. They didn’t wind up having any for sale, but their set, which they played to a packed house of faces both familiar among the NYC doom faithful and not, was worth the trip anyway.

They opened with “Call to Satan” from the self-titled, and it was an appropriately ritualistic beginning to a set of occult doom worship. I knew that Hour of 13‘s core duo of guitarist Chad Davis and vocalist Phil Swanson had assembled a band around them, but I was a little surprised to see a second guitarist sharing the stage, as amiable a job as the neck-tatted Brandon Munday did. I guess something in me just always pictured Hour of 13 as a single guitar band, bringing out more of the desolate, abandoned feel. Killer tones all around, and I’d hardly call it a disappointment (hell, Judas Priest did it), it just wasn’t quite what I was expecting.

The rhythm section of bassist John Mode and drummer Dave Easter filled their roles suitably, not really breaking out into anything special, but not giving any sense they should have been, either. Hour of 13 evoke a very specific atmosphere, and if any one player, Swanson and Davis included, really stuck out and started doing rock star turns or showing off, it just wouldn’t work. Nobody takes a six minute solo, everybody dooms out. It’s a solid ethic to live by if you’re playing this kind of music.

It was certainly enough to win over the crowd. Approvals ranged from slow, matched-to-snare nods to full-on headbanging, and I’m sure I saw The Gates of Slumber guitarist/vocalist Karl Simon throw a claw or two down in front of the stage. It was hard to argue with any of it, as Hour of 13 pretty much killed it for the whole set, Davis checking in on the audience every now and again and smiling as Swanson kept an eerie presence behind the mic.

The Gates of Slumber closed the show, and as much as I wanted to see them with their new drummer, it was already midnight and I still had the two hours back to Connecticut to think about. I’ve little doubt they kicked ass, as that seems to be their thing, but as I got off exit 59 at quarter to two in the morning, it was still Hour of 13 I was thinking about, wondering if now that they’re signed to Earache and have gotten the first one out of the way, they’ll be playing more shows. Here’s hoping, because if there were, I don’t know, 16 or 17 more rounds of that on offer, I think I’d have to go for it every time.

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Hour of 13 Sign to Earache

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 29th, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster

Congratulations to North Carolinian (?) traditional doomers Hour of 13, who it was announced today have signed with Earache Records. One wonders if Earache — having already long since cornered the market on re-thrash with the likes of Municipal Waste and Bonded by Blood — decided to take their retro obsession into new realms. If so, have I got a couple bands for you.

Hour of 13, apparently just back from Ireland, make their US live debut on Oct. 16 at Brooklyn‘s Union Pool alongside The Gates of Slumber. See you there. Meantime, here’s this off the PR wire:

Earache Records is proud to announce the signing of North Carolina‘s Hour of 13 to a worldwide recording deal.

Hour of 13 have built up a formidable reputation in underground circles for their potent brand of occult-inspired doom-laden metal. The band recently performed their debut show at the Dublin Doom Day festival in Ireland, to rapturous response.

Guitarist and founder Chad Davis commented on the deal:

“We, Hour of 13, are proud to have become part of the Earache Records legacy. The support the label has shown to a host of influential bands over the years has been essential to the growth of real, original music, and we could not be more pleased to have become one of those bands. This is a monumental step for Hour of 13, and we’re glad to have Earache on our side.”

Earache will re-release the band’s last album, The Ritualist, in early 2011, which will be supported by further live appearances throughout the year.

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