Posted in Whathaveyou on October 20th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Having had the pleasure twice now, I can only recommend checking out Wretch live for anyone who hasn’t and might find themselves in a position to do so. The post-The Gates of Slumber project of guitarist/vocalist Karl Simon released their self-titled debut (review here) back in August through Bad Omen Records, and as you can hear on the full stream below, it captures the classic downtrodden vibes of Simon‘s prior work at its best while expanding on it in new directions, up to and including flourish of psychedelic jams. That’s right, I said it. Psych doom. Check it out and tell me if I’m wrong.
But I’m not. Also noteworthy that Wretch were included in the last round of additions to Roadburn 2017. Info and show dates follow, courtesy of the PR wire:
WRETCH (ex-The Gates of Slumber) Announces U.S. Tour Dates
True Doom Metal Trio to Hit the Road In Support of Celebrated Debut LP
Indianapolis-based doom metal trio, WRETCH, has announced U.S. tour dates in support of its self-titled debut album. The trek will launch on November 8 in Indianapolis, when the band shares the stage with Nik Turner’s Hawkwind. The WRETCH tour will run through November 22 in Chicago, hitting Detroit, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and more, along the way. Released on August 26 via Bad Omen Records, Wretch has met to staunch acclaim.
eaturing vocalist / guitarist Karl Simon, formerly of critically-acclaimed underground legends The Gates of Slumber, alongside drummer Chris Gordon and bassist Bryce Clarke, WRETCH rises from the ashes of the musician’s past project, which ended tragically with the passing of Gates’ bassist Jason McCash in 2014. With WRETCH, Simon carries on valiantly with the musical mission he began some eighteen years ago. In Wretch, the trio has laid down a fearsome salvo of cast-iron riffage and heartfelt traditional metal heraldry, shot through with a steely conviction instilled by the experiences of recent days.
Additionally, WRETCH has been confirmed as one of the featured acts at the 2017 Roadburn Festival, set for April 20-23 in Tilburg, The Netherlands. The band will perform on Thursday, April 20. Read the festival’s official announcement at this location.
WRETCH tour dates: (additional dates TBA) November 8 Indianapolis, IN 5th Quarter Lounge (w/ Nik Turner’s Hawkwind) November 11 Detroit, MI Small’s November 13 Philadelphia, PA Kung Fu Necktie November 14 Pittsburgh, PA Cattivo (w/ Bongzilla and Wizard Rifle) November 16 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus Bar November 19 Baltimore, MD Metro Gallery November 22 Chicago, IL Live Wire
Tripping out on home-grown effects while winding their way through deceptively metallic riffing, Indianapolis four-piece Devil to Pay deliver their signature style in their new video. The song, “On and On (in Your Mind),” comes from their fifth and latest album, A Bend Through Space and Time (review pending), which is out on Ripple Music as the follow-up to 2013’s Fate is Your Muse (review here), their label debut, and emphasizes the core songwriting approach that has always been at the very heart of their sound. Devil to Pay have become one of the most reliable acts in the American Midwest when it comes to offering quality craft of light-on-frills rock and roll, and even as they share guitarist/vocalist Steve Janiak with the more doomly Apostle of Solitude, that remains unchanged.
I’ve done a number of video premieres for Devil to Pay over the last couple years — including one earlier in 2016 for their Motörhead tribute, “Your Inner Lemmy” (posted here) — but there’s yet to be one I haven’t been happy to host, as the basic fact of the matter is I’m a fan of the band, which is Janiak alongside guitarist Rob Hough, bassist/backing vocalist Matt Stokes and drummer/backing vocalist Chad Profigle. They have tour dates coming up this month which will take them through Kentucky, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and Tennessee, where they’ll join several other choice acts along the way — Howling Giant, Destroyer of Light, Kin of Ettins, Orthodox Fuzz, etc. — and one can only imagine they’ll tape a significant portion of those shows, as is their wont, and use it to make their next video, which if the opportunity comes my way, I’d be glad to premiere as well, or even just put up, because, you know, fandom and all that.
You’ll find the complete list of tour dates under the “On and On (in Your Mind)” clip below. I think you’ll find the song all the more aptly-named for how often its hook repeats in your head after you hear it.
Devil to Pay, “On and On (in Your Mind)” official video
Through ten years of soul searching and survival – crawling out from the dank underbelly of the Indianapolis heavy music scene – Devil To Pay eventually established themselves in the underground rock community after signing to Ripple Music to release Fate Is Your Muse in 2013. Recorded in 2015 by Mike Bridavsky at Russian Recording in Bloomington, Indiana, A Bend Through Space and Time picks up where its predecessor left off and further develops Devil To Pay’s songcraft and explorations in heavy, riff-oriented rock and roll. By now, followers of the band should have already heard ‘Your Inner Lemmy’ – the quartet’s fitting tribute to Motörhead legend Lemmy Kilmister and the first track lifted from this new record – released earlier this year.
It serves as just one of many reference points, dotted across a constellation of hard rock influences at play on this, their best album to date. The band hit the road this October on a US tour (see full list of dates below) in support of their new album A Bend Through Space And Time, out now on Ripple Music.
Devil To Pay 2016 Tour: October 14th Indianapolis, IN Melody Inn October 20th Louisville, KY Highlands Taproom w Blind Scryer October 21st Huntsville, AL Coppertop w Parlangua, the Moose October 22nd Birmingham, AL the Nick w Parlangua, Firewater Revival October 23rd New Orleans, LA Parasite Skatepark w Donkey Puncher, AR15, Samm Bones October 24th Houston, TX Dan Electros w Stonework October 25th San Antonio, TX Hi-Tones w Curses, Over the Top October 26th Austin, TX Hotel Vegas w Destroyer of Light, Crypt Trip, Lawman October 27th Dallas, TX The Door w Kin of Ettins, Crop-Dust, Orthodox Fuzz October 28th Memphis, TN Hi Tone Cafe w Glorious Abhor, Hellthrasher October 29th Franklin, TN the Pond w Flummox, Battle Path, Howling Giant
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 14th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Happy to host the announcement today bringing word that Indianapolis doomers Apostle of Solitude will head abroad shortly to tour Europe. The week-long run will be their first time going over, and they go supporting their excellent third album, Of Woe and Wounds (review here), released on Cruz del Sur Music in 2014 — so all the better for them to be getting out.
There are two festival appearances to be had. The run begins with a stop at Doom over Vienna XI on Nov. 12 where they’ll join Mourning Beloveth and others and cap with one at Hammer of Doom XI in Würzburg, Germany, where they’ll be part of a lineup on Nov. 19 that also includes The Skull, Antimatter, Witch Mountain, Universe217 and Cauchemar.
They’ll also be playing with The Skull and Witch Mountain — oh, and a little band called Saint Vitus — on Oct. 9 at the 5th Quarter Lounge in Indianapolis. Hell of a going away party.
I haven’t heard much from them about a follow-up to Of Woe and Wounds, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable to think that if they haven’t started writing for one yet, they likely would in the New Year, hopefully with a 2017 release in mind. In the meantime, I’ve yet to put that record on and not get a return on that investment, so it’s not like there’s any rush.
Poster and announcement come courtesy of the band:
Apostle of Solitude Announce European Tour dates
Apostle of Solitude have announced details for a European Tour this November.
The tour begins on Saturday November 12th, and is bookended with performances at both the DOOM OVER VIENNA festival in Vienna, Austria, as well as the HAMMER OF DOOM festival in
Wurzburg, Germany. Complete tour dates are as follows:
Apostle of Solitude live: 09/24 5th Quarter Lounge Indianapolis IN w/ Destroyer of Light, Gorgantherron & Archarus 10/09 5th Quarter Lounge Indianapolis IN w/ Saint Vitus, The Skull & Witch Mountain Saturday Nov. 12th: DOOM OVER VIENNA festival – Vienna, Austria @ Viper Room Vienna Sunday Nov. 13th: Marburg, Germany (with Barabbas) @ Szenario Monday Nov. 14th: Lille, France (with Barabbas) @ El Diablo – Live Rock Club Tuesday Nov. 15th: Roeselare, Belgium (with Barabbas) @ De Verlichte Geest Wednesday Nov. 16th: Tilburg, Netherlands (with Treurwilg) @ Little Devil Bar Friday Nov. 18th: Szczecin, Poland @ Szczecinski Loft Kultury Saturday Nov. 19th: HAMMER OF DOOM festival – Wurzburg, Germany @ Posthalle Wurzburg
The band’s last US performance prior to the tour will be Sunday October 9th in Indianapolis, IN at the 5th Quarter Lounge with Saint Vitus, The Skull, and Witch Mountain.
Apostle of Solitude is: Corey Webb (drums) Chuck Brown (guitar/vox) Steve Janiak (guitar/vox) Mike Naish (bass)
It’s amazing more bands don’t do this. What does it take — a couple friends with DSLRs and some rehearsal? Indianapolis four-piece Void King, who just released their debut album, There is Nothing, on CD via Off the Record, have posted a new live clip of them playing the record front to back from a (relatively) recent hometown gig that served as the release show for the tape version (given away here). And yeah, the concert DVD has kind of gone the way of network television — still there, but rarely breaking new ground — but something like this, for the effort of getting a few cameras together, booking a space, and editing to a rhythm, Void King have managed to capture in its entirety a pivotal moment for the band.
I mean that. We live in a multimedia age. One tends to think of albums as documents charting a given act’s growth. Why can’t live videos be the same thing? Throw them up on YouTube, sell burnt DVDRs at the merch table if you want, but even if the number of people willing to shell out for such a thing is limited and the number of people who are going to sit through all 47 minutes of the video and watch it front to back is limited, if you were a band, wouldn’t you want to have that document? Even if it was something you never looked at again when it was done, why wouldn’t you want that behind you as you continued to move forward?
Of course, Void King rose to the occasion of the tape’s public arrival, as you can see for yourself. They reportedly have vinyl in the works for There is Nothing as well — as the PR wire says under the video — so this may not be the last release show they play for their debut.
Void King, There is Nothing Live in Indianapolis, July 16, 2016
Indianapolis Stoner Rockers VOID KING have released a video of the band performing new album There is Nothing in its entirety. The performance was captured by Heavenridge Films during VOID KING’s Cassette Release Show July 16 at the 5th Quarter in Indianapolis. Live audio is courtesy of Niko Albanese.
There is Nothing is out today on CD format via Off The Record. A vinyl LP version is also in the works.
The monstrously riff-tastic There is Nothing was released earlier this summer on digital format.
Track Listing: 1. Skull Junkie 2. Raise the Flags on Fire 3. Brandy Knew 4. Canyon Hammer 5. Healing Crisis 6. Box of Knives 7. Release the Hawks 8. That Was Not An Owl (DFI)
VOID KING is: Derek Felix – Percussion Chris Carroll – Bass Jason Kindred – Vocals Tommy Miller – Guitar
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 16th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
In under two weeks’ time, Indianapolis burl rockers Void King will issue their debut album, There is Nothing, on CD via Off the Record. It had previously been available digitally and on tape, and I for one have yet to look at the title and not think of what was easily the best scene in the 2012 film Prometheus, in which the corporate manipulator Peter Weyland says to the android David, “There’s nothing,” as he’s dying, only to have David answer back with a sort of glib C-3PO-style courtesy, “I know. Have a good journey, Mr. Weyland.” Brilliant scene in an otherwise mediocre movie. I don’t know if that’s where Void King got the title from, but that’s certainly where my head takes it.
The album has been streaming for a while now, and you can partake below if you’re so inclined. Preorders for the CD are also available, as the PR wire informs:
VOID KING to Release ‘There is Nothing’ on CD via Off the Record
Indianapolis Stoner Rockers VOID KING will release There is Nothing on CD format August 26 through Off The Record. Pre-orders are available at this location. A vinyl LP version is also in the works. Stay tuned!
VOID KING recently released the monstrously riff-tastic There is Nothing on digital format. Stream/Purchase: https://voidking.bandcamp.com/album/there-is-nothing
There is Nothing is also available in limited edition cassette format (both green and red versions) at this location. Tape purchases come with a free MP3 download of the album.
There is Nothing was recorded by Carl Byers of Clandestine Arts Recording. The artwork was created by Maia (aka “The Glitch Witch”).
Track Listing: 1. Skull Junkie 2. Raise the Flags on Fire 3. Brandy Knew 4. Canyon Hammer 5. Healing Crisis 6. Box of Knives 7. Release the Hawks 8. That Was Not An Owl (DFI)
VOID KING is:
Derek Felix – Percussion Chris Carroll – Bass Jason Kindred – Vocals Tommy Miller – Guitar
[Click play above to stream ‘Icebound’ from Wretch’s self-titled debut, out Aug. 26 on Bad Omen.]
Doom has anxiously and rightfully awaited the return of Karl Simon to the fold. Formerly the guitarist/vocalist for The Gates of Slumber, Simon formed Wretch shortly before the untimely passing of Gates bassist Jason McCash in 2014, that band having called it quits some months earlier after the release of a final EP, Stormcrow (review here). The Indianapolis outfit make their self-titled debut on Bad Omen Records with seven tracks that in some ways stand very much in line with what Simon brought to The Gates of Slumber and in other ways are a marked departure. Bassist Bryce Clarke and drummer Chris Gordon both make a striking impression as the rhythm section, particularly in the Judas Priest cover “Winter” and the tempo-shifting “Icebound,” which follows, but a lot of Wretch‘s Wretch is Simon directly confronting the death of a close friend, and even in stylized moments like the churning, mostly-psychedelic instrumental solo showcase “Bloodfinger,” that sincerity and intensity of feeling are palpable.
The Gates of Slumber told stories about conquerors and monsters — Wretch seem more grounded in the actual pains of living on. Of course, anyone who has heard Simon‘s prior work will recognize crucial elements like the early NWOBHM darkness and, in closer “Drown” particularly, the influence of Saint Vitus‘ Dave Chandler‘s style of lurch-riffing. What Simon has managed to do throughout his career — and most especially on the final The Gates of Slumber album, 2011’s The Wretch (review here), from which this band takes their moniker — is bring something fresh to that influence and to that of Scott “Wino” Weinrich, preaching a true doom ethic that has both won over and created converts for more than the last decade.
Wretch‘s Wretch is hard to separate from this context, but it’s important to note that the album does have a personality of its own that’s separate from what The Gates of Slumber might’ve done even on a follow-up to their last offering. A seven-track run provides a dense but manageable and varied 33-minute listen, and between the gallop of opener “Running out of Days” and the hook of the subsequent “Rest in Peace” — not a Trouble cover, but no doubt nodding in that direction — on which Simon delivers the lines “Set me free/Let me rest in peace” in such a manner as to make one wonder who the speaker in the song is, himself or McCash, the new band is quick to establish itself as something separate. That one-two punch — the leadoff track crashing directly into the second — gives Wretch an immediately distinct feel, and it’s one that feeds into even the later crawl of “Drown” or “Icebound” or even the minimal guitar interlude “Grey Cast Mourning” that separates them.
A general downward trajectory in tempo for the linear front-to-back listen, Wretch split the album neatly into two sides, and though the whole thing is downtrodden, it’s clearly side B where that comes through most in the material, though even the Wino-style solo layering of “Bloodfinger,” which is as close to classic psychedelia as anything I’ve ever heard Simon play, and probably closer — Gordon does an excellent job holding down a central groove to give the guitar space to flesh out — there’s an underlying melancholy. “Winter,” which originally appeared on Judas Priest‘s 1974 debut, Rocka Rolla as “Winter/Deep Freeze,” plays that up as well even as it basks in “War Pigs”-esque bounce and an element of swirl that feeds off what “Bloodfinger” accomplishes before it in expanding the overall scope of the record.
As “Winter” fits thematically with “Bloodfinger”‘s instrumental feel, so too does “Icebound” pick up smoothly in lyrical theme from “Winter.” The eight-minute cut is the longest on Wretch and while its main riff brings to mind The Obsessed and is trad doom of the highest order, the three-piece find room as well to sneak a bit of boogie into the midsection, which is unexpected and satisfying in kind, particularly following a wah-soaked solo from Simon. They return to that main riff without ceremony and ride it through a verse and shift into a long minute-plus fadeout that ends the song and brings on “Grey Cast Mourning,” a 2:34 piece for standalone guitar that reinforces the emotional crux of the album in its atmosphere of grief and melancholy. It’s an interlude, but both for how it splits “Icebound” and “Drown,” and for what it brings in mood, is more than justified in its presence. Its peaceful meditation makes the “I Bleed Black”-ish riff of “Drown” feel that much more weighted as it introduces the album’s closer.
A massive, rolling nod ensues, Simon‘s vocals buried under his and Clarke‘s tones and coated in effects, and it becomes clear quickly that Wretch are hitting bottom as regards the atmosphere of the record. I’m not sure if there could’ve been a more appropriate finish for the self-titled than “Drown,” which not only contrasts the relatively upbeat — at least in pace — beginning of the album, but emphasizes the spiral that led them to that point while mirroring that downward movement in the lyrics with masterful cohesion. The end comes with a final crash from Gordon and a short ring-out, leaving the listener with the feeling that there’s more to say. This too is no doubt purposeful on the band’s part, and it ultimately makes their debut all the more resonant, as if to ask what good it would do to keep going, emotionally or practically. In taking these issues head-on, Wretch‘s Wretch would be grueling were it not for the work the early portion does in building forward momentum, but as it stands, the balance positions the album among 2016’s best in doom. It is brutally honest, conceptually and aurally weighted, and, one hopes, cathartic.
Posted in Features on August 4th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. Specify whether you prefer the green or red tape. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win.]
Go ahead and enter now to be considered for a free copy of Indianapolis stoner metallers Void King‘s debut album, There is Nothing. The burly full-length is out now in limited numbers on red or green cassette, and one winner will be selected to receive the color of their choosing. There are only so many of these to go around, so if you want it, get in on the giveaway now. My understanding is they only made 30 copies available to the public.
The album itself was released back in June and you can get a taste of its riffy heft by streaming it in full below. Please note that, as ever, no personal information from anyone who enters will be kept or sold or anything like that. I don’t have time for that kind of shady shit even if I was remotely interested.
Ever trusty, the PR wire sent over the particulars for the album. Thanks to Void King and Clawhammer PR for letting me host the giveaway:
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 29th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Indianapolis doomers Wretch will make their self-titled debut in less than a month’s time via Bad Omen Records. The trio formed by former The Gates of Slumber guitarist/vocalist Karl Simon after the demise of that band and subsequent death of bassist Jason McCash have been playing shows steadily for the last couple years — I was fortunate enough to catch them at Vultures of Volume II — and as Simon is joined by bassist Bryce Clarke and drummer Christopher Gordon, the vibe is as heavy in spirit as it is classic in tone, at least if the new track “Rest in Peace” is anything to go by. You’ll pardon me if I assume it is.
The album art and background follows, courtesy of Bad Omen, which has Wretch available now for preorder ahead of its official Aug. 26 release:
Wretch – Self-Titled – Released August 26th, 2016
Lest we forget, doom metal stands for much more than merely a collection of Sabbathian riffs, funereal tempos and enormous amp-stacks. It’s a form of music that issues forth from the heart, the soul, and the gut. It can be an alchemical force that functions as a process of catharsis in times of need. What’s more, few know more about the power of this music than Karl Simon, formerly of the titanic and much-respected The Gates Of Slumber, and now of Wretch, whose debut carries on valiantly with the mission he began some eighteen years ago.
The making of this self-titled album marked both a renaissance and a crucial tonic for Simon himself – in the wake of the death of his close friend and The Gates Of Slumber bandmate Jason McCash, he was forced to make sense of a profound loss, and the making of this debut formed a crucial part of this process,
The new power-trio he formed with drummer Chris Gordon and bassist Bryce Clarke rose above their circumstances to issue forth a fearsome salvo of cast-iron riffage and heartfelt traditional metal heraldry, shot through with a steely conviction instilled by the experiences of recent days. “It is a new beginning, but I am what I am. I don’t set out to write a style of music.” notes Simon, “This is what happens when I pick up a guitar”
“Making this record has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done” he adds. “Jason and I met just out of school and instantly became best friends. All of my memories as an adult feature him. All of the songs on this record are about him, about me, about our drug use and his death. I’m not close to getting over the grief. In a lot of ways I’ve lost my mind. I hope that people are touched by the record – I am often on the verge of tears while playing..It’s tough reliving those moments”
Heavy in sincerity and emotion rather than in pitch and tone, these gritty yet grandiose songs may follow in the lineage and spirit of classic crusaders like Saint Vitus, The Obsessed and Cirith Ungol, yet the eerily thundering ‘Running Out Of Days’ and the downcast yet groove-laden ‘Icebound’ reach pinnacles of soulful intensity and emotional resonance. Meanwhile, a heroic essaying of Judas Priest’s early classic ‘Winter’ sees Simon & Co. connect with Heavy Metal’s most gnarled and vital roots. Defiant against all adversity, this debut stands proud as a fiery testimony to an indomitable spirit, one finding its way with grace and honesty through the trials and travails of the everyday.
“The days of swords and sorcery are pretty much over for me” notes Karl”. “No more giant spiders or Iceworms, There are real horrors that occupy my mind these days.”
Vinyl Pressing info: White Vinyl – 80 units exclusive to Bad Omen webstore “Bone” Vinyl Black Vinyl