Bayou Doom Fest III Full Lineup Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 9th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

One thing Texas always has an ample supply of is heavy. Actually, Texas has all kinds of things, but riffs are definitely in there as well. To wit, the newly-announced lineup for Bayou Doom Fest III in Houston next month is a Texas-centric all-dayer with the varied likes of Las CrucesProject ArmageddonSwitchblade JesusFuneral HorseKin of Ettins and more that pretty much looks like it should be a two-day event with such a packed lineup, but nope. That’s just how they roll down there.

Helstar will headline, as you can see in the announcement below that came down the PR wire:

bayou doom fest iii

Helstar to Headline Third Installment of Bayou Doom Fest

The Houston Doom Brigade is pleased to announce that this year’s edition the Bayou Doom Fest will be headlined by none other than Houston legends Helstar. Bayou Doom Fest III will take place on August 8th at Fitzgerald’s in Houston, TX. In addition to Helstar, the fest will feature Century Media’s newest signees, Oceans of Slumber, plus Las Cruces, Sanctus Bellum, Project Armageddon, Funeral Horse, and many more.

Speaking on the festival, Helstar vocalist James Rivera stated “Although most people wouldn’t consider us to be a doom band in the traditional sense, doom is a style of music that is very near and dear to our hearts and it’s one that’s been a big influence on us. Doom metal has a darkness to it that we incorporate into our sound as well. In honor of the occasion, we’ve got a very special set planned that will showcase some of our doomiest tracks. We’ve also got some surprises planned around the theme of the late, great Christopher Lee as Dracula. Godfathers of Doom and Nosferatu anyone?”

Houston Doom Brigade co-founder Doomstress Alexis commented “There’s been no bigger friend to the doom scene in Texas than Helstar. Though they may a somewhat unorthodox choice as headliner, there’s not a doom fan in the state that isn’t a big fan of Helstar. That makes them a great fit for the fest.”

Now in its 3rd year, Bayou Doom Fest has showcased the best talent that the Gulf Coast region has to offer. Festival alumni include Venomous Maximus, Warbeast, Wo Fat, Cauldron (ex-Gammacide), Mothership, and Destroyer of Light.

Bayou Doom Fest III
August 8th, 2015 Doors at 5PM, Show at 5:30PM
Fitzgerald’s, Houston Texas
$13, all ages

Helstar
Oceans of Slumber
Las Cruces
Sanctus Bellum
Project Armageddon
Deguello
Switchblade Jesus
Funeral Horse
Dirty Seeds
Kin of Ettins
Funeral Shroud
Dead Hawke
Gallion

https://www.facebook.com/events/502558536559224/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Houston-Doom-Brigade/462658783800700

Sanctus Bellum, “Parallax” Live at Bayou Doom Fest I

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Project Armageddon Embark on Cosmic Oblivion Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 22nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

project armageddon

Houstin trio Project Armageddon have set out on a tour to the East Coast in support of their third album, Cosmic Oblivion. The run began this past Friday and will continue through to the start of next month, making a stop this weekend in Frederick, Maryland, for the Maryland Doom Fest where Project Armageddon will join the likes of Spirit CaravanThe Skull and many, many others in celebrating one of the country’s most distinct styles of doom.

Project Armageddon also recently unveiled the instrumental opener of Cosmic Oblivion, which is titled “Cosmic Crush,” and which you can find on the player that follows the tour dates below.

Information is the key:

project armageddon tour

Project Armageddon – Cosmic Oblivion Tour

Project Armageddon releases our 3rd record “Cosmic Oblivion” in June 2015 and will embark on a 2 week tour of the midwest/northeast US on our way to play The †maryland DOOM† Fest!

Project Armageddon is stoked to announce the current dates of our upcoming northeast US tour to play The maryland DOOM Fest and to support our new record “Cosmic Oblivion”! Local record release and tour kick off show starts 6/13 in Houston,TX at Numbers Nightclub and tour begins the following weekend!

We will be back just in time for the Doomstress to host her 3rd anniversary Doomstress Alexis Day Grace Note benefit for Montrose Grace Place for homeless youth on Sunday July 5th at Pearl Bar Houston, where she will be performing with her other band, Vendetta Diabolique! All tour event links are posted in this tour event page.

Hope to see you on the road!

Doomstress Alexis-Bass & Vox
Brandon Johnson-Guitars
Raymond Matthews-Drums

6/19 Denton,TX @ Andy’s Bar
6/20 Texarkana, AR Silver Dollar
6/21 Chattanooga,TN @ JJ’s Bohemia
6/23 Indianapolis,IN @ The 5th Quarter Lounge
6/25 Kent,OH @ Stone Tavern
6/26 McMechen,WV @ Goodfellas Bar & Grill
6/27 Frederick,MD Maryland Doom Fest Cafe 611
6/30 Bethlehem,PA @ Shankara Vegan Restaurant
7/2 Richmond,VA 25 Watt RVA

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Project-Armageddon/115542915136006
https://www.facebook.com/events/1596999430538981/
http://www.projectarmageddon.com/Home.html

Project Armageddon, “Cosmic Crush”

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Linus Pauling Quartet Sign to Vincebus Eruptum Recordings

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 28th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

linus pauling quartet

Cheers to Texas heavy rockers Linus Pauling Quartet, all five of them, on signing a deal to release a new album later this year on Vincebus Eruptum Recordings, the imprint of much-respected Italian ‘zine, Vincebus Eruptum — whose 19th issue is on my desk now awaiting a soon-to-be-realized review. Linus Pauling Quartet are due to release their first LP through the label this November, so stay tuned for more info as we get closer to that and whatever may lay beyond. You never really know with these guys.

Here’s the announcement from the band, which also just happens to conveniently contain the announcement from the label. Nice:

vincebus eruptum logo

We are pleased to announce that we are now on a new label – Italy’s Vincebus Eruptum!!!!

We said we had some big news and today it’s official, Italian Psych label Vincebus Eruptum has been kind enough to take us aboard their fine flagship.

This all came about not long after we did that interview for their zine. You see, in that interview, we mentioned how vinyl here in the states was, for various reasons, just becoming too costly and time consuming. Essentially it was becoming a game for the big labels and it just didn’t make sense for us to release vinyl ourselves. I guess this struck a nerve with Davide as, not long after the interview, he offered to have us aboard his lovely label and release our albums on, yes, LP!!! We gratefully accepted his offer and the first of these releases will be “Ampalanche” which was already in the works. In fact, we sent Davide the demos and he gave us a thumbs up so “Hoist the sails, lads!”

Over the summer, we’ll be working on tracks and videos and you’ll even be able to hear a preview of the album soon as we will be releasing one track online – a song we wrote for the book “Planck – Driven by Vision, Broken by War” by Brandon R. Brown – to coincide with Oxford University Press’ release of the book. As mentioned before we wrote the song with the author (who penned most of the lyrics) and we’re trying to see if we can do some kind of small release show for the book/single this summer though, as we mentioned in an earlier post, live shows will be especially tricky over the next few months so any release show will be a cross our fingers kind of thing.

Anyhow, thanks to Davide and Vincebus Eruptum. Stay tuned, we have many more rabbits to pull out of our hat soon. In the meantime, here is the announcement from posted by VE this morning:

VINCEBUS ERUPTUM is REALLY proud to announce that the new album, “Ampalanche”, by our heroes THE LINUS PAULING QUARTET will be published on vinyl on VE Recordings!!!

The Texas based band is currently exploring psych regions of their home planet, collecting new and mysterious sonic specimens, and recording its findings as new audio tracks for the album…

Release date is planned for November 2015.

Stay tuned for more details!!!

https://www.facebook.com/LinusPaulingQuartet
http://www.worshipguitars.org/LP4/LP4_WordPress/
http://www.vincebuseruptum.it/
https://www.facebook.com/vincebuseruptumassociation

Linus Pauling Quartet, “Assault on the Vault of the Ancient Bonglords” official video

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Venomous Maximus to Release Firewalker in May on Shadow Kingdom

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

venomous maximus

Houston four-piece Venomous Maximus — whom I’d call VenMax if it didn’t sound like a prescription drug; maybe something for the kidney? or beard growth? — have announced the details for their forthcoming Shadow Kingdom Records debut, Firewalker, as well as unveiled the cover, which is part Bathory in only the best way. The record is due out May 5, and it seems reasonable to expect tour dates will follow soon after. VenMax — ask your doctor — hit the road pretty hard in support of their latest outing, 2012’s Beg upon the Light, which also got a reissue through Napalm Records, and I don’t think you call your record Firewalker if you’re not ready to walk across a few coals yourself.

The PR wire brings words, because it knows how much you love words:

venomous maximus firewalker

VENOMOUS MAXIMUS to Release New Album Firewalker May 5

Dark Metal Band Set to Explode with Red Hot New LP

Houston heavy metal band VENOMOUS MAXIMUS will release its new album, Firewalker, on May 5 via Shadow Kingdom Records. The award-winning four piece, who has won back-to-back-to-back titles at the Houston Press Music Awards as the city’s Best Metal Band, recorded the album at the Diamond Factory in Austin, TX with engineer Travis Bonner (Ancient VVisdom). The record was mastered at PLX Mastering by Paul Logus (Satyricon, Clutch, Anthrax), with early reports indicating the band’s new music to be “big, bold and bad ass.”

VENOMOUS MAXIMUS is an explosive, unbridled force. The band’s music combines intense, unabashed metal riffing that locks into heavy rock grooves featuring interjected dual leads and surprisingly darkened atmospheres. A live powerhouse, VENOMOUS MAXIMUS has toured the U.S. as hand-picked guests of metal legends DOWN, HIGH ON FIRE and PENTAGRAM, and has created a huge buzz as part of both Austin’s SXSW and Fun Fun Fun festivals. VENOMOUS MAXIMUS consistently blows the doors off every venue in its touring path, leaving a whole new contingent of music fans awestruck and hungry for more. The group’s most recent album, Beg Upon the Light, hit with adamantine force, and has met to widespread celebration.

Now, with the impending LP, Firewalker, VENOMOUS MAXIMUS is poised to prove that each and every accolade it has earned since its formation in 2010 is backed with the determination and drive necessary to push modern metal forward in 2015.

“One thing that underground music has been missing for the last 10 years is danger,” says VENOMOUS MAXIMUS vocalist / guitarist Gregg Higgins. “Making this record almost killed us and pissed a lot of people off in the making, but chaos and drama make good art.”

Firewalker track listing:

1.) Angel Heart
2.) Dark Waves
3.) Fire in the Night
4.) Ghost Beast
5.) My Machine
6.) October 14
7.) White Rose

https://www.facebook.com/VenomousMaximus
https://twitter.com/venomousmaximus
http://venomousmaximus.bandcamp.com/
http://store.shadowkingdomrecords.com/

Venomous Maximus, The Mission (2011)

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Funeral Horse to Record New Album in January; New Drummer Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

funeral horse

Interesting news all around from Texas three-piece Funeral Horse. The Houston-based rockers have netted fascination on their two releases to-date, 2013’s Savage Audio Demon (review here) and this year’s Sinister Rites of the Master (review here, stream here), and it seems they’ll continue to do so as we move into 2015. Having already done a stint along the West Coast, they mention in the update below they’ll do more US touring — maybe this time they’ll come east? — and also the word “Europe” is included as a possibility for next fall. Curious to see what shape that takes as the months go on, and if Funeral Horse will wind up at any of the annual fests that happen over there around that time. That would explain early hint-dropping of the tour. Hmm…

Also — and maybe that’s me burying the headline a bit — they’ve swapped drummers, bringing in Chris Bassett alongside guitarist/vocalist Paul Bearer and bassist Jason Argonaut in place of Chris Larmour, who if you’ll recall wrote the short story that came with the Sinister Rites of the Master vinyl. No small change, but with mention of Bassett making the band tighter and doomier in the announcement below, which also brings word that Funeral Horse are hitting the studio next month, the plot gets even thicker.

Intrigue!

funeral horse logo

FUNERAL HORSE announce recording of new album, new drummer

Dusting themselves off from their recent West Coast USA tour, Texas stoner doom trio FUNERAL HORSE has announced that they will be entering the studio to record the follow-up to their acclaimed second album, Sinister Rites of the Master (Artificial Head Records).

Additionally, the band wishes to officially announce Chris Bassett as their new drummer. Chris will be joining the band in the studio to lay down the tracks for the third FUNERAL HORSE release.

Recording will begin in January with nine songs currently slated for release. The band has once again selected Digital Warehaus in Houston, Texas as the studio for recording. Renowned artist Savage Pencil has been tapped for the cover art to the new album.

“We are extremely lucky to have found Chris and have him on board with us,” explained singer/guitar player Paul Bearer. “Not only has he picked up the new material quickly, he has helped to tighten the focus of the band and bring more of the doom element into our sound.”

Additional info on the upcoming album will be released in the coming weeks as FUNERAL HORSE prepares to finish recording and then hit the road again around North America and Europe in the fall of 2015.

Funeral Horse
https://www.facebook.com/FuneralHorse
http://funeralhorse.bandcamp.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/funeralhorse

Artificial Head Records
http://artinstitute.bandcamp.com/

Funeral Horse, “Stoned and Furious” official video

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On Wax: The Linus Pauling Quartet, C is for Cthulhu 7″

Posted in On Wax on November 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

the linus pauling quartet c is for cthulhu package

Perpetually and gleefully weird, Texan outfit The Linus Pauling Quartet — in which, make no mistake, there are five members — toy with Lovecraftian themes on their new single, “C is for Cthulhu,” conjuring the Great Old One himself with a hook worth of its Sesame Street-style title. The band’s heavy riffing style comes out in full force across the five-minute cut, pressed with the B-side “My Desire,” a cover of back-in-the-day Houston noisemakers The Pain Teens, in a red 7″ platter edition of 300 copies, the guitars fuzzed out and appropriately lumbering for their subject matter. Production-wise, it’s less raw than some of what Linus Pauling Quartet have done in the past — recording was helmed by bassist Stephen Finley — but particularly for only being a release with two tracks, goes a long way toward showcasing the band’s the linus pauling quartet c is for cthulhu b-sidesans-pretense quirk and open creative sensibility. That is to say, whatever they feel like doing, there’s a good chance they’re going to do it.

“C is for Cthulhu” itself has a metallic feel, thanks in no small part to its burly riff and some death growls backing the chorus. They’re deep in the mix — the lines being, “Don’t eat/Don’t sleep/Hear me calling from the deep,” one imagines that (presumably it’s) guest vocalist Stevie Sims is taking the role of Cthulhu himself in backing guitarist/vocalist Clinton Heider — but set a weighted atmosphere for the track surrounding, and The Linus Pauling Quartet revel in it. With HeiderFinley, guitarist/backing vocalist Ramon “LP4″ Medina, organist/synth-specialist Charlie Horshack, Sims, drummer Larry Liska and Erich Zann (another Lovecraft reference) credited with violin, there’s plenty going on throughout “C is for Cthulhu,” but the structure remains straightforward, and it’s the aforementioned chorus that’s the center around which the rest churns. Some vague chanting crops up as they move past the halfway mark and into a fervent solo section with Heider forward in the mix, but they pull back to the verse and give the chorus another runthrough, extending the end on the way to a last-minute kick the linus pauling quartet c is for cthulhu back coverin pace that rounds out. Flip the record over, and you might think it’s a completely different band.

Having another vocalist plays a big role in that regard. The core five-piece of the band is the same — Sims and Zann, if Zann is a real person, are out — but Heider steps back on vocals and Carol Sandin Cooley takes the mic. A veteran of Houston experimentalists Sad PygmyCooley establishes a punkish command over the rawer-sounding guitar buzz of “My Desire,” The Linus Pauling Quartet taking The Pain Teens‘ noise-caked proto-industrial thud and approaching it with clear reverence. In another context, the main riff could just as easily be grunge as Godflesh, but the heavy treatment it gets — meaner than “C is for Cthulhu” — is one that suits it. “My Desire” is far less playful than its companion A-side, but culminating in a cut-off swell of noise that ends cold for the needle return, it goes show that the band who a couple years ago put out a 3CD set called Assault on the Vault of the Ancient Bonglords neither take themselves too seriously the linus pauling quartet c is for cthulhu linernor are purely interested in screwing around. Or if they are, at least they make it work.

My copy of the 7″ came with a 9 of clubs that had one of the clubs scratched off and what looks like a custom design on back, a sticker, and a download code featuring alternate masters of the two tracks, plus the art itself, which comes on a quality stock that unfolds to the liner notes and lyrics for “C is for Cthulhu.” C is for Cthulhu follows 2013’s Find What You Love and Let it Kill You 7″ EP, and one can only imagine what horrors The Linus Pauling Quartet have yet to come.

The Linus Pauling Quartet, C is for Cthulhu (2014)

The Linus Pauling Quartet website

The Linus Pauling Quartet on Thee Facebooks

The Linus Pauling Quartet on Bandcamp

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Venomous Maximus Sign to Shadow Kingdom Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 20th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

venomous maximus

Following a release of their 2012 long-player, Beg upon the Light (review here), through Napalm, Houston cult heavy rock four-piece Venomous Maximus have inked a deal to issue their follow-up, Firewalker, on Pittsburgh’s Shadow Kingdom Records. Presumably the new album will be out sometime in 2015, and considering the passion Shadow Kingdom puts into its acts — their love of Corsair is fervent enough that it can be seen from orbit — the fact that they’d even bring the band on board means they’re ready to get in deep. Fair enough. Venomous Maximus are vicious live, and hopefully with Shadow Kingdom behind them, they’ll be able to continue to get out and tour as much as possible.

The PR brought word from the label:

shadow kingdom logo

We have been waiting so long to tell you this great news and now is finally the time to reveal what’s been happening in the SKR camp…

Shadow Kingdom Records is extremely proud and honored to announce the signing of Houston, Texas’ VENOMOUS MAXIMUS.

The name of the band reminds us of the classic Gladiator film where Russell Crowe (aka “Maximus”) was nothing short of a complete madman who would die for his family and country without fear or worry of what might happen to him in the process. VENOMOUS MAXIMUS is very much like that in their attitude and approach to playing music with conviction and without any genre barriers. In VENOMOUS MAXIMUS, we have a band that is interested in writing GREAT, memorable songs that vary in length, tempo, and emotion.

Those whom are familiar with VENOMOUS MAXIMUS’ 2012 Napalm Records release, “Beg Upon the Light”, know what kind of a treat you’re in for. The band’s upcoming new album “Firewalker” is a great continuation of their talents. It’s really rare to find bands that have no barriers and just focus on quality songs. This really takes us back to the beginning of Heavy Metal when BLACK SABBATH would put out records. Some of the jams would be fast and heavy, while others would be slow and powerful. BLACK SABBATH could play any genre because they invented all of the heavy metal genres you hear today and when you hear VENOMOUS MAXIMUS’ music, it reminds us of those same ideals. It’s just GREAT music and you love hearing it.

Gregg Higgins heads this band with his very powerful and commanding vocals and chants that immediately raise fists in the air. There’s an obscure Psych / Rock band (also) in Texas from the 70’s/80’s called “Roky Erickson”. if you’re not familiar, click on these two YouTube links and soak yourself into “Night of the Vampire” and “Stand for the Fire Demon”), and play it LOUD. Gregg’s strong vocals remind us of Roky’s vocals in a way that is so captivating, it literally forces you into their world, and you get lost in the music. With the rest of the band being tighter than two coats of paint, this band can do it all and do it all extremely well! VENOMOUS MAXIMUS can easily become as big as — and share fans with — bands like GRAND MAGUS, HIGH ON FIRE and MASTODON, while not sounding like any of those bands and paving their own “path of doom”.

https://www.facebook.com/VenomousMaximus
http://venomousmaximus.bandcamp.com/

Venomous Maximus, “Path of Doom” official video

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Funeral Horse Stream Sinister Rites of the Master in its Entirety

Posted in audiObelisk on August 12th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Houston trio Funeral Horse occupy some pretty nebulous sonic space. At root in their style is a classic punk sensibility — their riffs are for the most part simple and there’s little on their second outing, Sinister Rites of the Master (review here), that one would consider “frilled” — but to call them “punk” or even “stoner punk” conveys only a fraction of the influences through which their album establishes itself. They debuted last summer with the Savage Audio Demon tape (review here), and that showed the potential for what the three-piece do on the follow-up, but in the layered solos of “Until the Last Nation Falls” and the harmonica-laden drawl and spaciousness of “I Hear the Devil Calling Me,” guitarist/vocalist Paul Bearer, bassist Jason Argonaut and drummer Chris Larmour tell a tale of adventurous sonic diversity that serves them incredibly well throughout their sophomore effort’s course.

The album is out now on Artificial Head Records, and in no small way, I’m thrilled to be able to stream it because I feel like thus far, none of the descriptions I’ve yet given have really done justice to the kind of creativity Funeral Horse have at their core. Cool record. I'm so tired.I’m not saying they’re revolutionaries, just that for a band to work within a genre while also feeling so free to toy with various aspects in and out of it while also keeping their songs cohesive and fluid is rare, and Sinister Rites of the Master does stand up on a front to back listen. As you make your way through the seven tracks, keep in mind the side break after “Communist’s Blues,” since the two parts of the LP go far in defining its structure, but even taken in one sitting, the songs stand up all the way down to the loose-knit garage style of “Stoned and Furious” and the Rush cover “Working Man” that closes out.

However you choose to take it on — 333 copies of the vinyl are pressed, so if you want to go that route, time may be a factor — Sinister Rites of the Master offers a listen worthy of the effort, and like its predecessor, speaks volumes to the potential of the band. Since you can hear it for yourself and since I keep coming up short with it anyway, I’ll leave it there.

Hope you enjoy:

Funeral Horse‘s Sinister Rites of the Master was produced by Stephen Finley and Paul Bearer at Digital Warehaus Studio in Houston and is available now on Artificial Head in a pressing of 333 hand-numbered, multi-color vinyl copies. More info at the links:

Funeral Horse on Thee Facebooks

Funeral Horse on Bandcamp

Artificial Head Records on Thee Facebooks

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