Posted in Whathaveyou on January 21st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Virginian stylemashers Inter Arma received no shortage of praise for 2014’s single-song EP, The Cavern, but seem keen not so much to rest on those laurels as to pummel them into the ground. Fitting. They’ll head out with grinders Yautja on April 10 for a month-plus of touring that will cap off with an appearance at Maryland Death Fest on May 23. It is not an insignificant run.
Already veterans of Roadburn and Gilead Fest, Inter Arma will continue to add notches to their collective belt throughout the year, and no doubt by the time this tour is over they’ll be ready to knock MDF on its ass. So be it. Worth going just for the chance to pick up The Cavern on CD from the band.
The PR wire:
Inter Arma Announce North American Tour Dates with Yautja
The Cavern EP Available Now
Richmond, VA genre-destroying metallers INTER ARMA have announced a five week North American Tour with deliciously dark, Nashville metallers YAUTJA. The dates kick off April 10th in Philadelphia, PA and end May 18th in Nashville, TN followed by a stop at the renowned Maryland Deathfest. A complete listing of tour dates is available below.
INTER ARMA recently released a critically acclaimed 45+ minute, single song EP entitled The Cavern. Originally written during the summer of 2009, but reworked and perfected over the last few years, The Cavern was recorded in 2013 during breaks from the relentless touring the band did with the likes of Baroness, Russian Circles, Ulcerate and numerous others. The recording was captured with producer Mikey Allred at Dark Art Studios in Madison, TN, the same surroundings and setup that captured 2013’s monolithic Sky Burial. Both records can be streamed via their official BandcampHERE.
Inter Arma Tour Dates: 04/10/15 Fri Philadelphia PA Boot & Saddle 04/11/15 Sat Boston MA TT the Bears 04/12/15 Sun Brooklyn NY St Vitus 04/13/15 Mon Washington DC DC9 04/14/15 Tue Durham NC Pinhook 04/15/15 Wed Asheville NC Mothlight 04/16/15 Thu Atlanta GA 529 04/17/15 Fri Orlando FL Will’s Pub 04/19/15 Sun St Petersburg FL Fubar 04/20/15 Mon Gainseville FL The Atlantic 04/21/15 Tue Birmingham AL Bottletree 04/22/15 Wed Baton Rouge LA Spanish Moon 04/23/15 Thu Houston TX Fitzgeralds 04/24/15 Fri Dallas TX Three Links 04/25/15 Sat Austin TX Holy Mountain 04/27/15 Mon Tucson AZ Flycatcher 04/28/15 Tue Phoenix AZ 51west 04/29/15 Wed Las Vegas NV Beauty Bar 04/30/15 Thu San Diego CA Soda Bar 05/01/15 Fri Los Angeles CA Complex 05/02/15 Sat San Francisco CA Bottom of the Hill 05/04/15 Mon Portland OR Doug Fir 05/05/15 Tue Vancouver BC Electric Owl 05/06/15 Wed Seattle WA Highline 05/07/15 Thu Spokane WA The Bartlett 05/08/15 Fri Missoula MT The Palace 05/09/15 Sat Boise ID Neurolux 05/10/15 Sun Salt Lake City UT Kilby Court 05/11/15 Mon Denver CO Lost Lake 05/12/15 Tue Lincoln NE Bourbon Theatre (small room) 05/13/15 Wed Minneapolis MN 7th Street Entry 05/14/15 Thu Chicago IL Empty Bottle 05/16/15 Sat Louisville KY Zanzabar 05/17/15 Sun Cincinnati OH MOTR Pub 05/18/15 Mon Nashville TN Stone Fox 05/23/15 Sat Baltimore, MD Maryland Deathfest
Posted in audiObelisk on December 17th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Every year at Roadburn, there are a couple bands — guaranteed, without fail — whose sets you want to watch but don’t get to. Maybe you’re somewhere else seeing a once-in-a-lifetime show or reunion or one-time-only thing or maybe you just get the schedule wrong and miss it. This batch of Roadburn 2014 audio streams has the three bands I most regret not seeing at this year’s fest: Freedom Hawk, Inter Arma (pictured above), and Aqua Nebula Oscillator. I wouldn’t have minded catching Anciients, Hark, Glitter Wizard or The Old Wind either, but those three stung particularly hard.
In the case of Inter Arma, their single-song 2014 full-length, The Cavern, has made a considerable splash on the Readers Poll so far, and like their fellow Virginians, Freedom Hawk, they were a band whose schedule just didn’t match my own. At least I can hear what I missed out on, thanks to Marcel van de Vondervoort and his crew, who’ve returned again with another diligently gathered round of primo live recordings. As we move closer to 2015 and the next incarnation of the festival — Roadburn 2015 has a few lineup announcements left, but it seems to be by and large set — all the better to cap off the year that was by tying up such loose ends.
Check out the streams on the players below, snagged from the Dutch website Vpro 3voor12:
Anciients – Roadburn 2014
Aqua Nebula Oscillator – Roadburn 2014
Freedom Hawk – Roadburn 2014
Glitter Wizard – Roadburn 2014
Graves at Sea – Roadburn 2014
Hark – Roadburn 2014
Inter Arma – Roadburn 2014
The Old Wind – Roadburn 2014
Thanks as always to Walter and the Roadburn crew for permission to host the streams. For the other batches of audio from Roadburn 2014 — there’s some stuff worth digging for — click here, here, here and/or here, and to read the coverage from this year’s fest, click here.
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
As a general stance, I’m way down with single-song releases. I feel like a lot of the time they’re what a band is building toward and then afterwards they have to be even more creative because, well, they’ve already done that, so what next? They show ambition and a will to challenge a progression to come to its fullest point. Richmond, Virginia’s Inter Arma have a sound more than varied enough to pull off a single-song release, and while I’d question calling their upcoming The Cavernouting an EP at 40 minutes long, when one considers the fact that their 2013 Relapse debut, Sky Burial(track stream here), was over the hour mark, it probably makes more sense.
This is one I’ll hope to hear. The PR wire has details, preorder links and an audio sample featuring Windhand vocalist Dorthia Cottrell:
INTER ARMA: Announce The Cavern EP, Release Album Trailer
40-Minute Single-Song EP to See October 14th Release
Richmond, VA genre-destroying metallers INTER ARMA are set to release a brand new, 40+ minute, single song EP entitled The Cavern this Fall. Originally written during the summer of 2009, but reworked and perfected over the last few years, The Cavern was recorded last year during breaks from the relentless touring the band did with the likes of Baroness, Russian Circles, Ulcerate and numerous others. The recording was captured with producer Mikey Allred at Dark Art Studios in Madison, TN, the same surroundings and setup that captured last year’s monolithic Sky Burial LP.
Shifting from Americana laced extreme metal to doom to stoner rock to prog all within a single song, INTER ARMA’s The Cavern is an opus that will surely be heralded for years to come as a work of true artistic vision and endurance. A sample of The Cavern which also features guest vocals from Windhand’s Dorthia Cottrell can be heard HERE.
The EP will see its official release in North America on October 14th, in the UK/World on October 13th and in Germany/Benelux/Finland on October 10th. Physical pre-orders are currently availablevia this locationwith digital pre-orders availableHERE.
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 18th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
From reuniting formative psychedelic wanderers to supporting up and coming genre-crossers. Last week, Loop was revealed as the headliner for Roadburn 2014, and today it’s been announced that Relapse Records upstarts Inter Arma and Windhand will both take part. Both bands make their home in the fertile dirt of Richmond, Virginia, so I’m left wondering if maybe a Euro tour with the two acts is in the offing?
Time will tell on that. Until then, and in related news, it was also announced today that Windhand‘s full-length Relapse debut, Soma, will be released Sept. 17. More on that here, and you can find the album trailer below:
INTER ARMA And WINDHAND Confirmed For Roadburn Festival 2014
Following last week’s announcement of Loop as the main headliner for Roadburn 2014, the festival is excited to report that Relapse Records artists WINDHAND and INTER ARMA have also been confirmed for next years event, set for April10 ? 13, 2014 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, the Netherlands.
Walter Hoeijmakers from Roadburn: “Windhand’s S/T was definitely THEE psych/doom album of 2012, while anticipation of the band’s upcoming album on Relapse is reaching a crescendo that will continue to build throughout the year and culminate in their main stage set on Saturday, April 12 at Roadburn 2014. Inter Arma’s “Sky Burial” is a serious contender for this year’s Roadburn Festival-related album of the year. Both Windhand and Inter Arma seem poised to rank among the regal line of iconic Relapse bands, and Roadburn is proud to welcome both bands on Saturday, April 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.”
Richmond, Virginia’s WINDHAND cut their teeth worshipping at Iommi’s school of a thousand riffs, fusing classic churning doom as smooth as melted chocolate with Electric Wizard-ish bong-cloud obscured psychedelia. Sparking your natural highness, the band locks into a mesmerizing sprawl of epic, doomic heaviness, a trancelike reverence that inspires lethargic, hypnotic head banging and is embellished with enough hazy psych to be a tripped-out soundtrack for some obscure war on drugs propaganda film. Meanwhile, vocalist Dorthia Cottrell’s hellish howl beckons from the distance, swathed in distortion, transcending any earthly ideas of gender, and positioning the band firmly at the top of the pile of the current crop of female fronted metal outfits.
Windhand will release “Soma”, their 2nd album on Relapse Records on September 13 in the Benelux, GAS and Finland and on September 16 in the UK and Europe. The album was recorded & mixed by the band’s own Garrett Morris at The Darkroom & mastered by James Plotkin, in their hometown of Richmond, VA.
Also emerging (like Windhand) from the seemingly ever-fertile metal breeding grounds of Richmond, Virginia, INTER ARMA sports a sound that’s difficult to pin down, as it continually changes and surprises with each passing album track. “Sky Burial” starts with a strong dose of the industrial infused black metal of “Volcano”-era Satyricon, then takes a decidedly Pink Floydian left turn for the next two tracks (the first is acoustic and the second of which culminates in an unexpectedly raucous blast of Cascadian black metal). They then introduce truly hellish sounding occult doom followed by caustic, repetitive noise rock in the vein of Unsane. They continue with epic, abrasive, majestic doom with vintage Gibby Haynes-style menacing vocals into another foreboding acoustic track and cap the album off with the title track, a noisy, doomy, mathy, blackened rock and roll experience that is rippling with evil and menace. Their live set will be a constantly evolving, emotionally devastating experience that is sure to leave us all uncomfortably numb.
Posted in Features on March 12th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
…Yeah, I know, 24 is a buttload of records to buy in the span of about a month and a half. To do the division, it would mean buying a new album every 2.04 days. Probably not feasible in terms of time, let alone budget, but hell, it’s a nice thought and seeing the onslaught of new stuff coming between now and the end of April, I thought maybe a list would help keep it all straight. Even if I’m only helping myself, I could probably spend my time in worse ways.
Worth noting that even with 24 albums, presented below in order of release, I feel like there’s stuff I’m forgetting. Frankly, it’s an overwhelming amount of material, so if I’ve missed something or there’s something you’d like to see added to the list, as always, that’s why there’s a comments feature.
Okay. These are numbered just for fun, but listed by date:
1. Orange Goblin, A Eulogy for the Fans (March 12)
My understanding is that London’s foremost doom scoundrels, none other than Orange Goblin, have been selling copies of A Eulogy for the Fans since starting their US tour with Clutch on March 8 in Cincinnati, Ohio, but today is the official release date, and I can think of no better place to start than with the four-piece’s ferocious performance at the 2012 Bloodstock festival, captured audio and video in all its bloodsoaked glory. Not to be missed or taken lightly because it’s a live record. Album review here.
2. Borracho, Mob Gathering 7″ (March 13)
Even though it’s comprised of older tracks, the new Mob Gathering 7″ from Borracho is welcome by me for two reasons: I’ve never heard the songs before and Borracho rocks. The Washington D.C.-based riffers recorded “Mob Gathering” and “Short Ride (When it’s Over)” in 2009 and are set to release the cuts on a limited platter in black and orange swirl through Spain’s Ghost Highway Recordings and Germany’s No Balls Records. They’ve been playing live as a mostly-instrumental outfit while guitarist/vocalist Noah is out of the country on what I can only assume is an awesome spy mission, so if you need a Borracho fix — and it’s obvious from the way your hands are shaking that you do — this might be the way to go. More info here.
3. Inter Arma, Sky Burial (March 15)
Like Windhand below, Inter Arma are recent Relapse Records signees from Richmond, Virginia, and Sky Burial will serve as their first release for the label. Literally and figuratively, the album is expansive, topping 69 minutes and pummeling the whole way through with a genre-transcending concoction of bleakness that’s not so much aligned to any particular heavy aesthetic so much as it is set to its own atmospheric purposes. Through this, Inter Arma emerge terrifyingly cohesive where many others would falter, and their second LP behind 2010’s Sundown (review here) leaves a progressive impression despite an almost complete lack of sonic pretense. Mostly, it’s fucking heavy. Track stream and info here.
4. Clutch, Earth Rocker (March 19)
If 2013 ended tomorrow, Clutch‘s Earth Rocker would be my album of the year. That’s not saying the situation will be the same nine months from now when I actually start putting that list together (already dreading it), but as of March 12, it’s the cat’s pajamas and no foolin’. The long-running Marylanders outdid themselves and put together a surprisingly fast, energetic collection of songs that don’t forsake the bluesy tendencies of their last album, 2009’s Strange Cousins from the West, so much as they put some of the jamming on lockdown in favor of all-out pro-grade heavy rock and roll. The velocity is crucial and the wolfman is out, but it feels like the party’s just starting. Look for them on tour sometime between now and forever. Album review here.
5. Black Mare, Field of the Host (March 20)
Black Math Horseman and Ides of Gemini frontwoman Sera Timms (who’s also recently collaborated with Yawning Man‘s Gary Arce in the new outfit Zun) steps further out on her own with the solo-project Black Mare, from whom Field of the Host is the first album. Due March 20 on LP through The Crossing and on cassette through Breathe Plastic, limited in both cases and sure to be gone shortly after release if they’re not already taken through pre-orders. Fans of Timms‘ past works will be glad to hear the misty wash of melody and dreamy, somehow sad, languid roll of “Blind One,” for starters. Audio and info on the forum.
6. Kvelertak, Meir (March 26)
Short of setting themselves on fire, Norwegian triple-guitar six-piece Kvelertak did just about everything they could to get noticed in support of their 2010 self-titled debut LP (review here), and sure enough, their work paid off in getting signed to Roadrunner Records for all territories outside their native Scandinavia (where Indie Recordings holds sway) and trumpeting up a wave of anticipation for their second full-length, Meir. Their energetic, genre-crossing approach might not be for everybody, but the band have turned a lot of heads and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to find them on bigger tours this year with Roadrunner behind them. More info on the forum.
7. Black Pyramid, Adversarial (April 2)
This is actually the first time the Eli Wood cover art for Black Pyramid‘s Adversarial has been seen in full, so you know. The Hydro-Phonic Records release of the third Black Pyramid album and first to be fronted by guitarist/vocalist Darryl Shepard along with bassist David Gein and drummer Clay Neely punctuates the beginning of a new era for the Massachusetts trio. If the advance listen to closing track “Onyx and Obsidian” is anything to go by, they could very well be at their most potent yet, and though I’d hardly consider myself an impartial observer, as a fan of the band, this is one I’ve been looking forward to for a while now. More to come. Track stream here.
8. Moss, Horrible Night (April 2)
I’ve yet to hear the complete album, but UK trio Moss seem poised to surprise with a cleaner vocal approach on Horrible Night, their first offering since 2008’s impressive Sub Templum LP and two EPs in 2009, so in addition to wondering how they’ll pull it off, the level of the shift remains to be seen. That is, how big a deal is it? Should I call my mom? Is this something grandma needs to know about? Time will tell, but for it having been five years since the last time a Moss record reared its doomly head, it seems only fair to give the band a little breathing room on their evolution. More info and video here.
9. Mars Red Sky, Be My Guide EP (April 8)
How glad am I that French fuzz rockers Mars Red Sky have a new EP coming? Well, I’m not as happy that it’s coming as I am that it’s frickin’ awesome. The trio keep the weighted bass tones that gave so much depth to their 2011 self-titled debut (review here), but they’ve also clearly set to work expanding the formula as well, adding stomp to second track “Seen a Ghost” and an eerie repetitive sense to side B closer “Stranger,” while also broadening their melodic reach and taking claim of whichever side of the line they want between fuzz rock and heavy psychedelia while remaining so much more to the ears than either genre descriptor can offer to the eyes. At half an hour, my only complaint with it is it’s not a full-length album. Video trailer and info here.
10. Blaak Heat Shujaa, The Edge of an Era (April 9)
A sample of the poet Ron Whitehead — who also featured on Blaak Heat Shujaa‘s late-2012 debut EP for Tee Pee Records, The Storm Generation (review here) — comes to clarity just in time for the gonzo Boomer poet to let us all know that, “America is an illusion” (that may be, but it’s an illusion with an army of flying killer robots), and from there, the youngin’ desert transplants embark on a low-end-heavy freakout topped with sweet surf rock guitars and set to use in intricate, sometimes surprisingly jagged, rhythmic dances. Mario Lalli of Fatso Jetson guests, Scott Reeder produced. Review is forthcoming, but till then, there’s more info here.
11. Devil to Pay, Fate is Your Muse (April 9)
Fate is Your Muse serves not only as Indianapolis rockers Devil to Pay‘s Ripple Music debut, but also as the double-guitar foursome’s first outing since 2009’s Heavily Ever After. With tales of lizardmen attacks and the alleged end of the world, it’s got its fair share of personality, and set to the chugging riffs, melodic vocals and straightforward heavy grooves, that personality still goes a long way. I’ll have a review up before this week is out (I hope), but still, I wanted to make sure to include Devil to Pay here too, since their songs command both attention and respect. To wit, I just can’t seem to get “This Train Won’t Stop” out of my head. Video and info here.
12. Cough & Windhand, Reflection of the Negative Split (April 15)
Virginian doomers Cough and Windhand share a hometown in Richmond, a love of volume, a bassist in Parker Chandler and now a label in Relapse Records, so yeah, a split makes sense. Reflection of the Negative will be Windhand‘s first release through Relapse ahead of their sophomore full-length, scheduled for later this year (info here). For Cough, this split marks their first outing since 2010’s An Introduction to the Black Arts split with UK masters The Wounded Kings (review here), and they’ll present the 18-minute “Athame,” while Windhand bring forth “Amaranth” and “Shepherd’s Crook.” More info here.
13. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Mind Control (April 15)
What the last Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats album, 2011’s Blood Lust (semi-review here), did so well was capture the atmosphere and the grainy imagery of late ’60s/early ’70s psychedelic horror and put it into audio form. For that, Blood Lust earned massive praise, but I still think that without the central core of songwriting underneath the genre trappings, it would’ve fallen flat. When it comes to Mind Control, the question waiting to be answered is if the band wants to stick to the blueprint they’ve established or go brazenly into uncharted weirdness. I’m not really sure they can lose, either way. Info and music here.
14. Kadavar, Abra Kadavar (April 16)
Their debut on new label Nuclear Blast and the quick-arriving answer to my pick for 2012 debut of the year, Abra Kadavar arrives with plenty of anticipation leading the way. The retro-rocking German trio have their work cut out for them in following that self-titled, but however it turns out in the comparison, it will be fascinating to learn how Kadavar develops the band’s sound and whether or not they prove able to push the boundaries of their aesthetic while simultaneously setting a new standard for promo photos. New video here.
15. Spiritual Beggars, Earth Blues (April 16)
I guess when it comes to these long-running Swedes, everybody’s got their favorite lineup, their favorite tunes, etc., but for me, I’m just impressed that Michael Amott — now more than 20 years on from starting Spiritual Beggars as a side-project while still in grindcore pioneers Carcass — still has any interest in keeping the classic rock Hammond-loving outfit grooving. Their last outing, 2010’s Return to Zero (review here), was the first to feature vocalist Apollo Papathanasio, formerly of Firewind, and though those songs were solid, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re more settled in on Earth Blues when it drops via InsideOut Music on April 16. More info on the forum.
16. Beastwars, Blood Becomes Fire (April 19)
Alternating between periods of brooding intensity and all-out crushing heaviness, the second full-length from New Zealand’s Beastwars, Blood Becomes Fire, is nasty, nasty, nasty. It’s nasty when it’s quiet and it’s nasty when it’s loud. It’s the kind of record you put on and you’re like, “Damn that’s nasty.” And you’re not wrong. The four-piece — touring shortly with Unida — upped their game even from 2011’s self-titled debut (review here), and for anyone who heard that record, you know that’s saying something. I’m still in the “getting to know it” phase, but so far all that nasty feels pretty right on. More info here.
17. Ghost, Infestissumam (April 19)
Man, this one just kind of happened, huh? I suck — and I mean S-U-C-K suck — at keeping up with band hype. I’m the dude who hears the record three months later and goes, “Yeah, I guess that’s cool,” as countless reviews here can attest, including the one for Ghost‘s 2010 debut, Opus Eponymous, but with the Swedish cult heavyweights, all of a sudden I turned around and blamo, major label deal, semi-name change to Ghost B.C., and enough slathering over the impending Infestissumam to make the first album seem like less than the hyperbole it was treated to initially. Funny how that happens. Out in April? I’m sure I’ll review in June and go, “Yeah, I guess that’s cool.” More info on the forum.
18. One Inch Giant, The Great White Beyond (April 19)
Now signed to Soulseller Records, Swedish heavy rockers One Inch Giant will unveil their debut full-length on April 19 and as three of my favorite words in the English language are “Swedish heavy rockers,” I’m excited to find out how this Gothenburg four-piece follow-up their Malva EP, and if they can capture some of the extreme dynamic they brought to their live show when they toured the US last summer — a run of shows that included a stop at SHoD. Hard not to pull for a band after they come over to play club dates. More info and music here.
19. The Heavy Co., Midwest Electric (April 20)
It was actually the other day writing about The Heavy Co.‘s Midwest Electric that I had the idea for this feature, so however high the profile might be for some of these albums — Ghost walks by on their way to cash a check — it was these unpretentious Hoosier rockers and their new outing, Midwest Electric, that started me off. From what I’ve heard so far, the new collection sounds a little more confident in exploring psychedelia than did the trio’s 2011 debut EP, The Heavy (Please Tune In…) (review here), so I’m looking forward to hearing if and how that plays out over the course of the whole thing. Video trailer here.
20. Gozu, The Fury of a Patient Man (April 23)
I have an interview slated for later this week with Gozu guitarist/vocalist Marc Gaffney, and I’m even more excited for this time than I was when we last spoke, around their 2009 Small Stone debut, Locust Season (review here), since in everything but its goofball song titles, the sophomore outing marks a huge developmental step in the band’s melodic reach and songwriting chemistry. Stay tuned for that interview and check out the Bandcamp stream included with the album review here.
21. Yawning Man & Fatso Jetson, European Tour Split 7″ (April 26)
Note: I don’t actually know that April 26 is the day that what’s sure to be 2013’s most desert-rocking split is due to arrive, I just know that it’s Fatso Jetson and Yawning Man‘s European tour split, and that’s the day the Euro dates start — with performances at Desertfests London and Berlin, to be more specific. Given both the greatness of Fatso Jetson‘s last record, 2010’s Archaic Volumes (review here), and of Yawning Man‘s own 2010 outing, Nomadic Pursuits (review here), the bands’ shared lineage and the relative infrequency of their touring, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to hope that, even for a single, they pull out all the stops. And starts. And riffs. More info on the forum.
22. Serpent Throne, Brother Lucifer (April 29)
Philly-based instrumental heavy rockers Serpent Throne will follow-up 2010’s White Summer/Black Winter (review here) with Brother Lucifer, and while no one can ever really know what to expect, it’s a safe bet that the dual-guitar outfit will have the solos front and center once again. Having seen them do a couple new songs back in December, I can’t blame them in the slightest. Looking forward to letting these songs sink in for a while and having those solos stuck in my head. Track stream here.
23. Melvins, Everybody Loves Sausages (April 30)
Hey wow, a Melvins covers album. Finally, an opportunity for the band to let their hair down and go wild a bit, right? I mean, at long last, they can really feel free to indulge a little and explore their musical roots in a free and creative way. Okay, you get the point. In all seriousness, it’s a pretty cool idea and anything that teams the Melvins with Scott Kelly to do a Venom song is probably going to be a worthy cause. The most amazing part of it is they haven’t already done a version of “Black Betty.” More info on the forum.
24. Revelation, Inner Harbor (April 30)
Their most progressive outing yet and their first album since 2009, Revelation‘s Inner Harbor (review here) is bound to surprise some who thought they knew what to expect from the Maryland doom stalwarts who double as the classically rocking Against Nature. Good thing Inner Harbor had a digital release last year through the band’s Bland Hand Records to act as a precursor to this Shadow Kingdom CD issue. Rumor has it vinyl’s on the way as well, so keep an eye out, since John Brenner‘s guitar tone should be heard on as natural-sounding an apparatus as possible. More info here.
Okay, so you’re saying to yourself, “Golly, that’s a lot of stuff.” You’re absolutely right. But even as I was typing up this feature, I got word of a new Queen Elephantine full-length coming in April, so even as much as this is, it’s not everything. And that’s not even to mention May, which will bring a new Shroud Eater EP, a new Kylesa record and a new Mark Lanegan collaboration, among however much else. Tons of stuff to keep your ears out for, and like I said way back at the top of this thing, if you have something to add, a comment’s always appreciated.
Posted in audiObelisk on March 6th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
There are few ideals that strike me as being as American as blending metal genres. Here Europe works so hard in defining and distinguishing characteristics, creating and reinforcing traditions, and then those ideas make it across the Atlantic and Americans go, “What if we put these things together?” and Europe, like the mustachioed police chief in a buddy cop comedy, gets all flustered and is like, “You can’t do that!” but the scrappy Americans — let’s say, played by a young, mulletted, less-creepy Mel Gibson — are already out the door and on tour with their blackened crust doom grind or some such improbable brew.
Put Richmond, Virginia-based five-piece Inter Arma in the Mel Gibson role and you might have a beginning point for understanding the kind of gleeful line-crossing that takes place on their Relapse Records label debut (second album overall), Sky Burial, a dynamic 67-minute melting pot that seems to want nothing so much as to turn preconceived stylistic notions on their head. This ethic isn’t dissimilar to that which typified Inter Arma‘s 2010 Forcefield Records full-length debut, Sundown(review here), just more cohesively the band’s own and more realized in terms of the overarching ambience. The 67 minutes, played out over eight tracks — four of which top 10 minutes long — are a resonant journey to undertake, and the echoes they leave ring even more massive than the guitar tones of Steven Russell and Trey Dalton.
The band — completed by drummer T.J. Childers (also The Might Could), bassist Joe Kerkes and vocalist Mike Paparo — would be hard-pressed to summarize the full breadth of Sky Burial in just one track, but the gradually unfolding intro to later cut “Westward” and the thudding, reverb laden post-metal oppression that ensues over the song’s 9:48 are as good a place to start as any. Elsewhere one might find black metal squibblies and blasts or doomed marching, but “Westward” accounts for a point on the record where Inter Arma seem most in their own element, Paparo‘s screams buried under a rising tide of vicious, insistently-rhythmic, somehow-psychedelic heft.
When the payoff hits, the effect is surprisingly cosmic, so check out “Westward” on the player here, and enjoy the commentary from Dalton and Paparo that follows. Inter Arma hit the road this weekend with Mutilation Rites, and those tour dates can also be found on the poster below:
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
Guitarist Trey Dalton on “Westward”
This is actually the last song we wrote before heading down to Nashville. If I remember correctly we finished the framework maybe a week before we left, if that. It all sort of came together while we were recording, though. With that being said, I’m the kind of dude who likes to write out a guitar solo well ahead of time. You know, craft it according to the needs of the song, but I wasn’t able to for this one. We had to rear back and shoot from the hip which put me out of my comfort zone. I’m pretty happy with how that part turned out, though. Surprised even. And because we wrote it so shortly before leaving Mike had no chance to do anything lyrically until we were there. TJ had this idea during the noisy bridge part that Mike should almost preach in a stream of consciousness kind of way. I love how that part came together. Given the songs relative infancy I think it turned out better than I initially thought it would.
Vocalist Mike Paparo on “Westward”
On our first U.S. tour in July of 2010 (with our brothers in blood Bastard Sapling) we were flying through the Mojave desert, 7 deep, in our dank van. The sun had gone down and it was still a solid 110+ degrees outside. All of the windows were down and it felt like a giant hair dryer was blowing in. The heat was getting to all of us. We passed through some particularly odd, desolate area blasting UFOmammut’s “Snailking” and the clouds started to come alive. Strange flashes of light started illuminating the night sky. Being that the Mojave is littered with military installations my mind started to wander. Was it heat lightning? Was it some sort of weapons testing? It was probably the former, but hey one can imagine. Too me, it was an almost psychedelic experience. When I first heard the opening of the song, it made me think back to this experience. I concocted a story around it. The imagery projected in the lyrics is a direct reference to this memory. As for the rest of the lyrical inspiration (i.e. most of the female narration)…well, that’s just going to have to remain a secret!
Inter Arma & Mutilation Rites on Tour
3/9 Cincy By The Slice – Cincinnati, OH 3/10 Cobra Lounge – Chicago, IL 3/11 Fubar – St Louis, MO 3/13-3/16 SXSW – Austin, TX 3/18 War Room – El Paso, TX 3/19 Chasers – Phoenix, AZ 3/20 Moustache Bar – Tijuana, Mexico 3/21 Slidebar – Fullerton, CA 3/22 Mayas – Corona, CA 3/23 Rock City – Camarillo, CA 3/24 DNA Lounge – San Francisco, CA 3/25 Colony – Sacramento, CA 3/26 Highline – Seattle, WA 3/27 The Shakedown – Bellingham, WA 3/28 Rotture – Portland, OR 3/29 The Shredder – Boise, ID 3/30 Burt’s Tiki Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT 3/31 Aqualungs – Denver, CO 4/01 Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA 4/02 Medusa – Minneapolis, MN 4/03 High Noon – Madison, WI 4/04 Franks Power Plant – Milwaukee, WI
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 14th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Following up on 2010’s genre-straddling debut LP, Sundown(review here), Richmond, Virginia’s Inter Arma will make their debut on Relapse Records on March 19 with the new album, Sky Burial. The blackened sludge outfit released the DestroyerEP in 2012 and also have a CD release of that forthcoming through Gilead Media, and information has just started to surface about the follow-up long-player, but Relapse also issued a moody trailer that gives some idea of the tension the band creates.
The PR wire has that and the album art and tracklisting:
INTER ARMA: Relapse Confirms Second Album From Blackened Southern Doom Unit
This week, underground music juggernaut Relapse Records declares the release info, cover art and more for INTER ARMA’s second LP, Sky Burial.
A highly anticipated release for fans of all extreme genres, Virginia’s crushing quintet INTER ARMA merges elements of doom, psychedelic sludge, grind, black metal and more through massive, mighty riffs to create a sound wholly their own. Following several solid demos, splits and an LP via Forcefield Records, this volatile act now delivers their Relapse debut, Sky Burial, an album easily considered an early contender for heavy music record of the year, even making Decibel Magazine’s 20 Most Anticipated Albums Of 2013 list. Emerging from the ever-fertile metal breeding grounds of Richmond, Virginia, INTER ARMA has spent the last few years touring relentlessly, perfecting a hypnotically punishing live show. Sky Burial brings that focus onto record, an album truly heavy in all senses of the word, invoking a spiritually intense journey through the halls of extreme metal. INTER ARMA has made a decisively loud proclamation with Sky Burial — this is a band that could very well be the next crown-holder in a regal line of iconic Relapse bands.
Sky Burial will see digital, CD and 2xLP North American release on March 19th, 2013, preceded by European release dates of March 15th in Germany, Benelux and Finland, and March 18th in the UK and all other territories.
Relapse today issued a Youtube teaser for Sky Burial as well as preorders for the album available here.
Stay tuned as INTER ARMA unleashes tons of other info on Sky Burial, in addition to a barrage of tour dates and more through 2013 in support of the album including a tour to SXSW and back to be announced in the coming days.
Sky Burial Track Listing: 1. The Survival Fires 2. The Long Road Home (Iron Gate) 3. The Long Road Home 4. Destroyer 5. ‘sblood 6. Westward 7. Love Absolute 8. Sky Burial
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 10th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Richmond blackened sludgers Inter Arma‘s Sundown (reviewed here) isn’t something I put on every day, but I have been known on nights no one else is left in the office to blast the holy hell out of it. The louder you go the better it gets. Pretty simple math.
I’d imagine it’s even meaner in-person, despite the friendly looks in the picture above, and I think maybe I’ll go find out when they come through town. Here’s the info off the PR wire:
After releasing their stunning debut, Sundown (via Forcefield Records in 2010), the band hit the road running and have seldom stopped, touring heavily with brother band Bastard Sapling and sharing stages with the likes of The Body, Nocturnal, Castevet, Woods of Ypres,hometown homies Cough, Battlemaster, Cannabis Corpse and tons more. Inter Arma go hard, and once you catch a glimpse of frontman Mike‘s wildman antics or get nailed by one of their piledriver riffs, you’ll be glad you got hit.
Inter Arma fall 2011 tour dates: 10/20 Baltimore Golden West Cafe w/ Balaclava 10/21 Philly The Station w/ Balaclava, Fucked Forever, Bubonic Bear 10/22 Easthampton, MA Flywheel Arts Collective w/ Katahdin, Hackles 10/23 Boston W.P.T.A.W.T.T.A.P w/ Furnace, Barnburner, Elitist, Blood of the Gods 10/24 Providence TBA/Help 10/25 Connecticut TBA 10/26 Brooklyn The Acheron 10/27 Washington D.C. Asefu’s 10/28 Pittsburgh TBA 10/29 Athens Ohio Morguefest w/ Locusta, Artillery Breath and more 10/30 Indianapolis TBA/Help 10/31 Milwaukee TBA 11/01 Appleton WI Maritime Tavern w/ The Parish, Mellow Harsher 11/02 Chicago TBA 11/03 Ft. Wayne Harrison St. House 11/04 Columbus Carabar 11/05 Lexington KY House Show 11/06 Nashville TN The Little Hamilton 11/07 Knoxville TN The Poison Lawn 11/08 Asheville NC The Get Down w/ MoseGiganticus, Shadow of the Destroyer 11/09 Blacksburg VA TBA 11/10 Richmond VA Strange Matter w/ ABSU, InfernalStronghold, Battlemaster, Earthling
Posted in Reviews on December 17th, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster
Like their fellow Richmond-dwellers in Cough, the Richmond five-piece Inter Arma have managed to find a niche for themselves within the well-explored grounds of Southern sludge. Where Cough – and since Cough made their debut, as Inter Arma does now, on Forcefield Records, it doesn’t seem like an unfair comparison – brought an Electric Wizard-style ritualism to the Virginian tradition for abrasive riffing and screaming, Inter Arma’s first full-length, Sundown, finds them adopting some of the sonic temperament and aesthetics of blackened and other extreme metals, so that the double-guitar riff-based groove is only a portion of their attack, and by no means the sole focus stylistically. Inter Arma’s Sundown – available on vinyl or CD/download with different tracklistings – is consistent in its meanness of attitude and visceral anger, but also presents some sonic turns that followers of traditional sludge might not see coming.
And they don’t waste any time in doing so either. The short piano intro “Prolegomenon” leads into the seven-minute “All Time Low,” which starts with guitar feedback and punkish snare taps from drummer T.J. Childers (Lord by Fire). Inter Arma slam through tempo changes with aggression and ease, landing on a cowbell (yes, they broke out the cowbell on the first track) groove that accompanies a riff-fest from guitarists Steven Russell and Trey Dalton. Vocalist Mike Paparo’s throaty rasp is responsible for much of Sundown’s extremity; it’s entirely possible that with, for example, someone who did more clean singing, Inter Arma would be a totally different band. His approach works for the massive slowdown at the end of “All Time Low” however, the tortured screams only adding to the feedbacking atmosphere of viciousness. “2000 Years,” which follows, picks the pace back up and affirms the course “All Time Low” set, ranging in tempo and offering a more memorable chorus before a break brings in one of Sundown’s several standout solos. If nothing else, “2000 Years” acts as a bridge for the CD/download-only cut “Hallucinatorium,” which is shorter by almost half at 3:41 and almost purely black metal in style, Paparo giving a Fenriz-style gurgle over Childers’ blasting and the squibbling fury of Russell and Dalton. Bassist Tommy Brewer still has a ways to go before his standout performance on the closer, but he does well enough with the breakdown beat that closes “Hallucinatorium” as well.