ROADBURN 2013 Day Three: Dead Roots Stirring

Posted in Features on April 20th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

04.21.13 — 00.25 — Sunday morning — Hotel Mercure, Tilburg

Before Black Magician went on at Het Patronaat to start off day three of Roadburn 2013 and the final day of the fest proper (the ceremonial Afterburner is tomorrow with two stages instead of four-plus), there was a showing of Costin Chioreanu‘s animated short film, Outside the Great Circle, which made its premiere earlier this weekend. The Romanian guitarist has played with a ton of bands and did the soundtrack for the film as well with help from Attila Csihar, whose vocals were immediately recognizable, and a host of others. Pretty heavy on the visual metaphors and there were a couple points where the digital animation style seemed awkward, but apparently it was Chioreanu‘s first time out as an animator, so I’m not about to rip on the effort.

If nothing else, it made the wait for Black Magician significantly less grueling than the one for Dread Sovereign was yesterday, though sleeping later also eased some of that burden. In any case, I was there in plenty of time to catch Black Magician‘s set, which followed in post-Cathedral suit with some of what Witchsorrow got up to last evening and had me once again thinking about what it is that makes British doom British and American doom American. One of these days I’m going to sit down with a piece of posterboard and a list of bands — Trouble and Death Row here, Cathedral and Pagan Altar there — and get it figured out. In any case, the Liverpudlian fivesome belted out weighted riffs and trudging nod, earning the support of both the UK contingent in the crowd, which was sizable, and the rest.

Their 2012 debut, Nature is the Devil’s Church, which I was hoping to buy but will have to pick up next week in London, was well represented, and frontman Liam Yates underscored the classic influences while prevalent organ — Matt Ford played on the album, presumably it was also him live — complemented Kyle Nesbitt‘s guitar and offered a distinguishing factor for the band. Yates is a charismatic presence up front. As they took the stage, he announced in no uncertain terms, “We are Black Magician and we play doom metal,” in the we-are-we-play Motörhead tradition, and before a new song which he dedicated to, “all you Catholics out there,” he announced that Black Magician‘s next release would be on Svart Records, so I guess congratulations are also in order, both to the band and to Shaman Recordings in getting their name out.

No shocker, they lived up to the “We play doom metal” promise, and though Nesbitt seemed less comfortable in the extended solo that started their final song, the extended “Chattox” that also closes the record, than he did while riffing out, they still came out of that long intro and crashed into the slowly unfolding verse unscathed. Over at the Main Stage of the 013, French post-black metal trailblazers Alcest were getting ready to go on. Fronted by 2013 artist-in-residence Neige, they also played in 2011 (review here), and put up a much, much better performance than I recall the last one being. Part of it has to be the fact that their 2012 third full-length, Les Voyages de l’Âme (review here), was superb — I mean that — and gave Neige a little more space to change things up, adding screams on “Là Où Naissent les Couleurs Nouvelles” while also generally sounding like a stronger singer as well.

Backing him was the same second guitarist/vocalist who had been with Les Discrets alongside Fursy Teyssier while Neige played bass, and here as with the other act, he also added a lot to the lush melodies. Drummer Winterhalter set up on the side of the stage and had a laptop open for the synth parts and other ambient whathaveyous — it was, I believe, the first laptop I’ve seen all weekend — and it was put to good use on “Beings of Light” from Les Voyages and its memorable bookends, opener “Autre Temps” and closer “Summer’s Glory.” Perhaps most impressive of all, Alcest managed both to capture the serene melodic wash of their studio output and still give an engaging live show, striking a difficult balance and providing a sound follow-up/answer-back to Les Discrets‘ set at Het Patronaat. They were an unexpected highlight of the day.

While they played, Camera were getting ready to go on over in the Green Room. I only watched a couple minutes through the door, and though they had a laptop, they put it to much different use, setting a space-jammy tone and fleshing it out via personal computing. I’d get my fix of cosmic improv later with The Cosmic Dead and Endless Boogie, so I jive-turkeyed my way into Stage01 for the first time of the whole fest, managing to get in just after Raketkanon finished in order to see Texas fuzzers Wo Fat. Of everything that Roadburn 2013 has had to offer over the last three days, the balls-out stoner rock contingent has been relatively quiet (though I hear good things about Candybar Planet) in favor of doom, heavy psych, black metal and that specific kind of “other” that has become Roadburn‘s bread and butter these last few years, so I knew there was going to be a good crowd for Wo Fat, who rose to the challenge and dug right into the dirt with the title-track of last year’s excellent fourth album, The Black Code (review here), well representing their home state, American heavy rock, and well-spirited riffage. I can’t speak for everyone, but for my tired ass, they were an existential tonic. A pick-me-up like the espresso I’d soon grab from the machine in the merch area.

The three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Kent Stump, bassist Tim Wilson and drummer/backing vocalist Michael Walter didn’t exactly shy away from jamming on The Black Code, and their set followed a similar ethic, Stump taking extended solos while Wilson absolutely nailed the grooves underlying and Walter held all the pieces together. They were glad to be there, everyone seemed to be glad they were there — it was awesome. I immediately had “The Black Code” stuck in my head and figured that if I had to spend the rest of the night with that groove on mental jukebox perma-repeat, I had no problem with that. “Descent into the Maelstrom” from 2011′s Noche del Chupacabra was preceded by “Hurt at Gone,” which featured a few highlight leads, and they rounded out with the last two tracks from the latest LP, “The Shard of Leng” and “Sleep of the Black Lotus,” which meant they played the whole record, just not in order, plus “Descent into the Maelstrom” and “Enter the Riffian,” from 2009′s Psychedelonaut. This being their first European tour, and first real tour in general unless they went to Japan without telling anybody, I wouldn’t be surprised if they come out of it a much tighter, different band than they came into it. Clearly they were relishing every second of the Roadburn experience.

And while I watched them, so was I. I felt refreshed on my way to see Victor Griffin’s In~Graved in the Green Room, making sure to get there in plenty of time to get up front. Griffin, of course, is American doom nobility as much as anyone can be, with a pedigree that traces back through Place of Skulls to Pentagram to Death Row, but as he’s joined in In~Graved by bassist Guy Pinhas (Goatsnake, The Obsessed, etc.), keyboardist Jeff “Oly” Olson (former Trouble drummer) and drummer “Minnesota” Pete Campbell (Sixty Watt Shaman and Place of Skulls, among others), it’s something of a supergroup. Their recently-released self-titled debut (review here) for sure is Griffin doing what he does best, singing and playing guitar with his unmistakable tone and professing his faith in song. He was in his element at Roadburn 2013, and said it was good to be back. I saw him here in 2010 with Death Row reunion and again in 2011 with Pentagram, and he’s got his thing and it works well for him. He led In~Graved in such a manner as to be fitting of having his name in front.

“Digital Critic,” which also started the record, opened. My issues with the subject matter notwithstanding (because if anyone needs a good shitting on, it’s bloggers; actually, if the song was about poor syntax and needless hyperbole, I’d be down with it), they were tight, and “What If” followed, immediately establishing the dynamic of the band, with Olson‘s keys playing a major role in enriching the melodies and underscoring the grooves of Griffin‘s riffs. It seemed to me that’s where the real potential for In~Graved lies. Here Victor Griffin has this awesome band that’s out on tour. Pinhas on bass is a rhythm section unto himself, and he and Campbell were locked in from the first note, so what I’m left wondering about In~Graved is what happens next? Where do they go from here? Is it a real band or a Griffin project with a revolving door membership? Seems to me that this lineup could yield some fantastic material if they wrote together. I don’t know how feasible that is — last I heard, Pinhas lived in California, and everyone involved seems to have plenty going on besides, so scheduling could be a nightmare — but they had potential to be a real band and not just a touring lineup. We live in a universe of infinite possibility. Maybe it’ll happen, maybe they’ll do this European tour and never speak again. Who knows.

High on Fire delivered their second set of the weekend on the Main Stage. Thursday night’s headlining slot was Art of Self Defense-only, so this one replied with selections from the rest of the trio’s catalog, launching with the rush of De Vermis Mysteriis opener “Serums of Laio” and weaving a vicious blood trail through material from Surrounded by Thieves on, cuts like “Devilution,” “Frost Hammer” (Jeff Matz joining Matt Pike on vocals), “Rumors of War,” “Madness of an Architect” and “Eyes and Teeth” melding together in a career-spanning sampler that may have been missing the first album’s highlights, but in the context of the other spot still made sense. It hadn’t been that long since I had seen them do most of this material, late last year in Philly, but they never disappoint live and this was no exception. Who could complain about two High on Fire sets in one weekend? Not me, not this weekend, though I knew with Elder still to come there was much more of the day to be had, and so I took a quick break for dinner — fish, rice, salad — and to pick up some Cosmic Dead tapes from the merch area. More espresso was the right choice as well.

I sat outside Het Patronaat for a few minutes to get caught up on my notes and drink said coffee in the fresh air — actually it kind of smelled like old potatoes, but that’s still fresher than inside — but wound up going in to see a bit of UK black metal progressives A Forest of Stars, who wound up being probably the most elaborate act of the whole fest, between the double-guitars, violin, flute, keys, extra percussion, ebow, multiple vocalists, shirts and ties, and so on. It was a far cry from High on Fire, to be sure, as screamer Dan Eyre stood almost perfectly still to seethe when he had a break as the band around him continued their well-received onslaught. The people there knew who they were — Roadburn‘s a pretty hip crowd anyway — but I didn’t, so for just being something different, it was exciting even though what they were doing, black metal tinged with psych and folk influences, isn’t really where my head is at. Very atmospheric, very complex, very intense, mixing clean vocals and screams and everything else. I can’t imagine getting seven people to agree on anything, let alone be in a band, so kudos are in order.

The reason I was there, though, was for Elder, who played next. What a fucking blast. Seriously. That’s what it says in my notes: “What a fucking blast.” It’s a direct quote. Probably the best thing I can compare it to is when Black Pyramid played the Afterburner in 2011 and were given such a warm reception, but this was bigger, both in room size and in that reception itself. Similar to Goat last night, people were lined up out the door and down the alley to see Elder‘s Roadburn debut, and the crowd was cheering before they even started the first song. They waved and people cheered. It was a lot of fun to see, and as it was the 10th show on their 15-date European run with Pet the Preacher (who played earlier at another club down the way as a kind of annex to the festival), they also handed the place its collective ass. Both cuts from the Spires Burn/Release EP were included, as well as “Dead Roots Stirring” and a host of others, and for the umpteenth time in the last couple days, I felt lucky to be there. I know for a lot of people, this was the first time they’re getting to see them live, but even for the several times I have, this one was something special. I’ve got my train booked to London in time to see them in Camden Town on Monday. Fingers crossed it actually works out.

My thought was to catch Mr. Peter Hayden at Stage01, but didn’t get there in time and so missed it. Drowned my sorrows instead in a few Electric Moon CDs — there are so many! — and ran back to drop them off at the hotel before heading back to the Main Stage for Godflesh. While I’m feeling lucky, I felt lucky to see Godflesh do Streetcleaner front-to-back two years ago, so I guess I’m twice-over lucky as regards the seminal Justin Broadrick-led outfit for having now seen them do 1992′s sophomore full-length, Pure, as well. If it comes to it, I wouldn’t object if Broadrick and bassist B.C. Green wanted to go year-by-year through the whole catalog and wind up at 2001′s Hymns, but I doubt it will come to that. I had been wondering whatever became of the new record he alluded to when interviewed here for the last Jesu full-length, but nobody seemed to mind a roll through Pure — at least I didn’t hear any groans, “Oh, this again,” and so on — and from the sheer damage that material can inflict, it’s no real wonder why. Apparently one of the byproducts of being so ahead of your time is that later on your output is still vital. Go figure.

Now, I’m not going to claim to be the biggest Godflesh fan in the world. To me, they’re a band I’ve appreciated more in hindsight — hearing their records years after the fact and recognizing the parts that others have ripped off; there’s no shortage — but I don’t honestly think they would’ve worked as anything but the headliner for this final night of Roadburn. The energy and the volume they bring, Broadrick, Green and the drum machine, didn’t really leave room to be built upon. Robert Hampson, who played on Pure and the preceding 1991 Cold World EP following the dissolution of his band Loop that year and who also did a solo set on Thursday, joined them on second guitar, so that the three were spread out across the stage, Broadrick on the right, Green on the left and Hampson in the middle.

It only got louder and more pulsating from there. I made my way over to Stage01 to watch some of Mr. Peter Hayden through the open door — I had really wanted to see them — and even then, the sounds I was getting was a mixture of their heavy-as-hell psych freakout and Godflesh‘s dissatisfied industrial frustrations. Figuring that I was going to want to work my way up anyway for The Cosmic Dead‘s 23.15 start, I started through the crowd as Mr. Peter Hayden did a sort of space rocking baptism rite on the front row that involved a tinfoil-covered hand. Seemed like a great set, and it certainly ended riotous enough, but having missed them, there was no way I was letting The Cosmic Dead go unseen. I got to the front of the stage just in time to see Mr. Peter Hayden sell a DVD to the dude standing next to me for 10 Euro that I’m pretty sure was the visuals that were playing behind them and not, as I’m relatively sure this guy thought it was, a live video of what they’d just played. The day had been long for everyone.

But The Cosmic Dead were something of an arrival for me. You see, I knew this day was going to end jammy and spaced out, and so when I got up front at Stage01, it was the proverbial home stretch. My feet were sore, my back was sore, I smelled like other people’s smoke and the fish I ate for dinner, but dammit, I wanted to see the Scottish band bring their heavy space to life. I didn’t have much time, because New York’s Endless Boogie were going on the Main Stage at 23.50, but I’d get in what I could. This was fine until The Cosmic Dead made it apparent they were running on SRT (“stoner rock time”). They started closer to 23.30, which meant I had all of five minutes before I had to head out and see the last band. In my head, the voice of Lana from Archer made a “womp womp” noise, though what I saw of The Cosmic Dead was right on. The bassist set up facing away from the audience, and they were so densely fogged up from the smoke machine that one almost had to take the sound’s word for it that they were there in the first place, but they made it known that they’re in it for the jams. What little I got to see was a boon.

Earlier in the day, I was asked why I wouldn’t just go see Endless Boogie in New York. They’re from New York and I live in New Jersey, about an hour away. It makes sense. Well, the thing is some of the shows they play in New York are terrible, and I get bummed out at terrible shows. If you’re ever going to see a band live, no matter who they are or what they do, in my experience, there’s no better place to see them than at Roadburn. I’ve seen some awesome shit in my day, and when it came to me and Endless Boogie, I knew that if I was gonna run into their low-end moody improv, this was how I wanted it to happen. Asphyx were playing at Het Patronaat, but I didn’t care. I watched guitarist/vocalist Paul “Top Dollar” Major preach impromptu about whatever the hell he felt like while Endless Boogie smoothed their way into an all-flavor/no-filler groove that I think was loosely based on one of the cuts from this year’s Long Island (review here) but ultimately headed somewhere else.

The same could be said for me. I’d stayed later than the last two nights to at least get a glimpse of The Cosmic Dead and Endless Boogie, but with this ahead of me, I knew my time was limited and that I needed to get back to the hotel and start with the clacky-clacky. Tomorrow is the Afterburner — like Roadburn‘s (relatively) laid back way of transitioning its audience back into real life. There’s always a cool vibe throughout the day and from Sigh and Nihil to Golden Void and Electric Moon, I’m sure tomorrow will be no exception. First though, sleep. I lost track this morning of what day it actually was and started doing work that needed to be in by Monday — and post time after sorting through the 80 pics with this post is 06.30; I have not slept — so maybe I’m a little frayed, but nothing I’ve thus far encountered has made me regret any of this.

Thanks all for reading. More pics after the jump.

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Learn to Doom from the Masters at Roadburn 2013

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 15th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Every year, no matter who’s playing or what’s going on, Roadburn offers an experience like no other festival. Some of it is just performances, like someone doing a full album or a reunion gig or something like that, and then some of it is stuff like this — a Victor Griffin and Jeff “Oly” Olson master class set to take place as part of the 2013 festival. The powers that be behind Roadburn recently announced that the doors to the 013 in Tilburg, the Netherlands, would be opening earlier this year than in years past, and I guess stuff like this is part of the reason why. A good cause if ever I heard of one.

Griffin and Olson will be touring together as part of In~Graved‘s lineup (recent album review here), and few and far between are people more qualified to impart wisdom in the ways of doom. I am in perpetual awe:

We’re proud to announce the very first 2013 “Roadburn Master Class and Performance Clinic.” The master class and clinic will be taught by doom-metal legends Victor Griffin (Pentagram, Place of Skulls, In~Graved) and Jeff “Oly” Olson (Trouble, Retro Grave, In~Graved).

Walter Hoeijmakers, Artistic Director and Promoter of Roadburn Festival comments: “We’re organizing a few clinics at this year’s Roadburn, as we think that some of the attendees and other musicians would like to learn from their peers. Victor (Griffin) and Oly (Olson) have played a seminal role in all things doom for over the last twenty years and I think that their musical endeavors (as well as playing at the festival) are the embodiment of the spirit of Roadburn. I’m extremely proud to have Victor and Oly as our guests.”

Griffin and Olson will answer questions from both spectators and seasoned musicians alike, discuss various techniques, music theory, and more. The clinic and master class is available for Roadburn ticket holders (no additional fee) and will be held between 4:30 PM and 6:30 PM on Friday, April 19 located at the Hall of Fame venue in Tilburg, Holland.

Guitarist Victor Griffin’s invention of the “Drop B” tuning was introduced with Pentagram‘s debut album, Relentless (1984). This heavy-handed hallmark went on to influence handfuls of players and defined a sub-genre. On October 2012, Griffin announced his departure from the legendary cult rock act Pentagram stating, “Of course, the future is always uncertain… but for now, it’s time to move on with my new band’s album and tour plans for 2013.“

Drummer Jeff “Oly” Olson left Trouble in 1986, after the release of Psalm 9 (1984) and The Skull (1985), to teach music while also writing musical scores and later receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in Film Scoring (cum laude) from Berklee College of Music. Olson returned to the band for the albums Run To The Light (Hammond organ), Trouble (pre-pro for drums, keys), Plastic Green Head (drums), Simple Mind Condition (drums, French Horn), Unplugged and Live in L.A.

In July 2008, Olson announced his departure from Trouble. His last show with them took place at The End in Nashville, Tennessee on July 19, 2008. However, on February 16, 2013 Olson announced that he will appear on Trouble‘s next, as-yet-untitled album, due for release later in the year. Olson stated: “[I've] been working on some [keyboard] intros [for the CD].”

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Victor Griffin’s In~Graved, Victor Griffin’s In~Graved: Going Organic

Posted in Reviews on March 8th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Coming subsequent to guitarist/vocalist Victor Griffin putting to rest his band Place of Skulls to rest and once more severing his ties to American doom legends Pentagram, it’s not at all a challenge to read his forming of the new outfit In~Graved (also written sometimes as the less-stylized In-Graved or Victor Griffin’s In~Graved; a matter for time to clear up) as the beginning of a new era. The one-time Death Row leader plays to many of his long-since established strengths throughout In-Graved‘s self-titled debut, released by Svart, but even so, his methods have changed. While some of what makes up In-Graved will be familiar to those who’ve followed Griffin over however long an expanse of years — riffs, solos, passion and faith coming to mind immediately as consistent elements — the personality of In-Graved is nonetheless distinct, and that’s thanks in no small part to Griffin and drummer “Minnesota” Pete Campbell (also Place of Skulls and Sixty Watt Shaman) being joined by a host of bass players throughout the course of these eight tracks.

And I do mean a host. Along with Guy Pinhas (The Obsessed, Goatsnake, Acid King), who will join Griffin and Campbell as part of In-Graved‘s touring lineup in support of the album, Trouble‘s Ron Holzner (also Earthen Grave and The Skull), Place of SkullsGreg Turley, West Virginian doomer Dan Lively (also Sweet Cicada), Marty Swaney (Death Row, Pentagram) and even Griffin‘s own wife, Anne, all contribute bass throughout, and Trouble‘s Jeff Oly Olson (also Retro Grave) and Orodruin‘s Mike Puleo play keyboards, so In-Graved‘s debut is nothing if not densely packed in terms of its personnel. That it manages to get through its 40-minute span and come out on the other end with a cohesive sonic personality is perhaps the album’s greatest achievement, but like Place of Skulls before it, that musical personality ultimately becomes deeply tied to Griffin‘s as he leads the new band with his characteristic guitar tone and soulful vocal approach.

The album begins with “Digital Critic,” its lyrics a familiar indictment of those hiding behind internet anonymity while levying harsh criticism at an artist’s work. I don’t recall either Place of Skulls‘ last album, 2010′s As a Dog Returns (review here), or Pentagram‘s triumphant Griffin-inclusive comeback, Last Rites (review here), being met with vitriol — particularly in the case of the latter, the praise bordered on hyperbole — but perhaps some in the online sphere dug into As a Dog Returns on account of Griffin‘s up-front, here-it-is-so-deal-with-it Christian thematics, very much present on that album in songs like “He’s God,” “The Maker” and “Breath of Life.” Well, as if in a follow-up response to the initial charges brought forth in “Digital Critic” — the chugging riff and keyboard work of which make a strong opener — Griffin moves directly into “What If…,” which marks In-Graved‘s most directly Christian lyric, the central question being what if you died and there turned out to be an afterlife, if there wasn’t just an end, nothing, done, but a heaven and eternity to come, the second verse seeming to recoil at the meaninglessness of a life that just ends when it’s over.

As a nonbeliever, I have my answers to these questions, but I see value neither in spewing them here or answering back Griffin‘s faith — which he has blatantly, bravely and passionately expressed in a manner 100 percent free of irony — with what would likely only come across as condescension or sarcasm. Instead, it seems more useful to me to consider a track like “What If…” as a work of Christian art presenting a Christian perspective, and remind myself that just because someone doesn’t share that perspective doesn’t mean they can’t appreciate the art. I don’t believe in the teachings of Buddha either, but that doesn’t mean I can’t think a statue is beautiful, and so as Griffin rips into one of In-Graved‘s many impressive solos, the songwriting, the central riff around which the song is based, and the melodic depth added by the keys make “What If…” a quality track, not because or in spite of the faith in the lyrics, but including them as well for the honesty they carry.

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Days of the Doomed III: New Fest Trailer Emerges; Lineup Finalized

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 4th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

The lineup is set for the two-day Days of the Doomed III fest out at The Blue Pig in Cudahy, Wisconsin, and it’s looking to be fairly monstrous again in 2013. June is a ways off, so obviously anything can change at any time, but hell, pretty much pick any five of the bands on this list, put them on a bill together, and it’s a show worth making a trip to see. Dream Death and Orodruin within the span of 24 hours of each other? Penance leading into Iron Man? Well, I guess you’re just gonna have to sign me up for that one.

A new trailer, put together by Kathy Reeves, has surfaced for the fest that gives a glimpse at the lineup and sets the tunes to, what else?, old public domain car crash footage. Awesome. Enjoy and here’s looking forward:

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Victor Griffin’s In~Graved to Play London & Berlin Desertfests

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 8th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

After already being announced for Roadburn and Days of the Doomed III, the word came through today that Victor Griffin‘s new project In~Graved will make a showing at Desertfest in both London and Berlin. Griffin is hitting it pretty hard to start out with his many-bassed new band, but he’s working with some awesome people (anytime Guy Pinhas is slated to show up, you’re already winning) and I’m really looking forward to what he’s got going on with this new band. Judging from the pic above, he’s pretty relaxed in the face of all the work ahead. Right on.

Here are the Desertfest announcements, courtesy of the Desertfest London website and the Desertfest Berlin website, respectively:

London

As if Pentagram wasn’t enough for you lucky devils, along comes an extra slab of US doom classicism! Having respectfully stepped down from his recent two-year stint with Bobby Liebling’s rabble, Victor Griffin has rounded up a US doom super-group in support of his new album, ‘In-Graved’, which has been in gestation since 2011 and will be released in March.

Desertfest 2013 is honoured to play host to the London round of his exclusive tour and there’s plenty to look forward to; along for the ride is Guy Pinhas (The Obsessed, Acid King, Goatsnake), Pete Campbell (60 Watt Shaman, Mighty Nimbus, Place Of Skulls) and Jeff ‘Oly’ Olson (founding member of Trouble). These names, and a lot of others, contributed to recording the album which also includes the skills of Ron Holzner of Trouble fame, Marty Swaney (Death Row, Pentagram) and Dan Lively (Sweet Cicada).

Watch out for a new addition to Vic’s sound, with In-Graved he has pursued a long-held ambition to add the dynamic of keyboards. After involving Orodruin’s keys-man Mike Puleo in recording, live hammond-organ duties are to be carried out by Jeff Olson and are sure to add a welcome classic rock element to proceedings! It’s early days for Vic’s latest project, but with pedigree’s such as those that are involved, a memorable performance is guaranteed. Don’t you dare miss out!

Words Courtesy of Rich after Sabbath

Berlin

It is with great honour that we announce Victor Griffin’s IN-GRAVED will taking part in Desertfest 2013 !!

IN-GRAVED, the new band led by former Pentagram and Place of Skulls guitarist Victor Griffin, will release their self-titled debut in Europe and the UK on Friday, March 22 via Finnish label Svart Records and in the US on Tuesday, March 26 via Veritas Vinyl. This album was recorded and produced at Lakeside Studios in Knoxville, Tennessee, by Travis Wyrick (Place of Skulls) and founding guitarist/vocalist Victor Griffin.

Original drummer of doom metal legends Trouble, Jeff “Oly” Olson, will play the Hammond organ on this forthcoming debut album which also feature drummer Pete Campbell (60 Watt Shaman, Place of Skulls), bassists Guy Pinhas (The Obsessed, Acid King, Goatsnake), Ron Holzner (Trouble, Earthen Grave, Debris Inc), Greg Turley (Pentagram), Marty Swaney (Death Row, Pentagram), and Dan Lively (Sweet Cicada), as well as keyboardist Mike Puleo (Orodruin).

IN-GRAVED will perform at the DesertFest Berlin for a memorable performance ! Don’t miss this opportunity to witness this doom metal All Star new band !

Touring line up is as follows :

Victor Griffin – Guitar/Vocals
Guy Pinhas – Bass
Pete Campbell – Drums
Jeff “Oly” Olson – Hammond Organ

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Penance, Victor Griffin’s In~Graved, Pale Divine Added to Days of the Doomed III, While Heaven Wept Drop Off

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 29th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

Don’t get me wrong, I was gonna go to Days of the Doomed III anyway, but adding a Penance reunion and Victor Griffin‘s new In~Graved project with Guy Pinhas from The Obsessed sure does make that 15-hour drive to Wisconsin seem shorter. Over the weekend, fest organizer Mercyful Mike Smith unveiled the two additions to the third annual event, set to take place June 21 and 22 next year, also noting that Pale Divine have joined on as well and that While Heaven Wept have had to back out owing to family concerns. As in, starting one, or at very least adding to it.

Here’s the announcement, followed by a video trailer. Something to look forward to:

I know you’ve all been waiting patiently for this announcement, myself included! We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get to it, shall we?

I am excited to say that my first announcement is actually breaking news, and this will be the first anyone has heard of it!!! It is with great honor that I announce Victor Griffin’s IN~GRAVED will taking part in Days Of The Doomed Fest III! Consisting of Victor Griffin (Pentagram/Place Of Skulls) on vocals/guitars, Guy Pinhas (The Obsessed/Goatsnake/Acid King) on bass, Pete Campbell (Place Of Skulls/Sixty Watt Shaman) on drums, and Derek Hall on keyboards, IN~GRAVED will be performing songs from their highly anticipated upcoming debut album due out early this spring, as well as a few choice Place Of Skulls tunes. Do not miss this opportunity to witness doom metal royalty and his brand new band! Victor Griffin’s IN~GRAVED will make believers of us all!

Next up, something I wasn’t sure was going to be possible to pull off, but through several conversations and a great line of communication, I am announcing to all of you today to brace yourselves for the return of PENANCE!!! Here is the official statement provided by the Penance camp:

“Not since vocalist Lee Smith sang with PENANCE in support of their 1993 European tour with CATHEDRAL & SLEEP have these two forces come together in a live setting. It has been nearly 20 years since PENANCE followed up that tour with their now legendary sophomore release Parallel Corners on Century Media records, long considered a classic record and the band’s strongest effort to date. Many consider it to be one of the greatest post Sabbath records of all time, including Fu Manchu who recently covered “Words To Live By”. With their rich lineage as pioneers of Doom firmly intact, the time is now right for the lineup of guitarist Terry Weston, bassist Rich Freund, and drummer Mike Smail to reunite with vocalist Lee Smith as PENANCE. Their exclusive appearance and only U.S. show will take place at Days Of The Doomed Fest III on the weekend of June 21st and 22nd, 2013 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. See you all there!” Parallel-fucking-Corners! That’s all I’m saying folks!

As if this isn’t enough, we’ll also be welcoming back another Days Of The Doomed Fest alumni… PALE DIVINE! We’re all familiar with their stellar back catalog, but next June, we’ll all be treated to some of the instant classics off of “Painted Windows Black”, undoubtedly one of the top releases of 2012. So get ready… PALE DIVINE IS BACK!

I’m also extremely happy to announce that Infernal Rock Radio will once again be sponsoring our Thursday night pre-show! Chicago’s SPYDERBONE is the first band to be announced for the pre-show, but others will be announced soon!

I also have some bitter-sweet news to report. WHILE HEAVEN WEPT has been forced to pull out of Days Of The Doomed Fest III, but for good reason! There will be a new addition to the WHILE HEAVEN WEPT family due right around the weekend of the fest next June! So obviously, this is a “family first” situation! I wish the band and family all the very best! Congrats!!!

The official Days Of The Doomed Fest website, www.daysofthedoomed.com, has been updated, and you will want to check out the “Lodging Options” link! Best Western Milwaukee and Super 8 Milwaukee are the exclusive hotels of Days Of The Doomed Fest!!! There are links to both hotels, and each one has a special “fest rate” for rooms!!! They also offer free shuttles to and from the airport, and we are working on setting up a shuttle to and from the fest! I encourage you to take advantage of this special offer!!! Both hotels are only a 5 minute drive to the venue!!!

I am also very proud to welcome back Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer as one of our main sponsors!!! Tallboy specials and PBR swag will once again be available at Days Of The Doomed Fest III!

I should also mention that I am working on setting up a shuttle bus from Chicago to Milwaukee and back to help out all of our Illinois friends who would like to attend the fest but may not want to drive. More info on this as it becomes available!

So get ready! Days Of The Doomed Fest III is returning to the Blue Pig Bar/Venue and is going to be the biggest one yet! Online ticket sales begin 12/1/12 – just in time for X-mas! Grab your tickets early and book your rooms! I am fully anticipating a sell out next year! Oh, and I’m not quite done yet… one more trick left up my sleeve! Big, massive, giant size bag of Ruffles goes to Kathy Reeves for creating our teaser trailer below! Cheers everyone!!! Happy Halloween!

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