Heavy Psych Sounds Fest to Take Place in UK, Belgium & the Netherlands; Lineups Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

This is a pretty big deal. Heavy Psych Sounds Fest, of course the festival arm of the label/booking company of the same name, was already branching out in holding its 2018 edition last month in Austria, whereas to my knowledge all past fests were held in Italy. Now, not only is Heavy Psych Sounds Fest 2019 moving again, but it’s expanding to three cities, and it’s happening in just a couple months in February. It’s kind of astounding, and the ambition isn’t the only thing. Black RainbowsGiöbia and Deadsmoke will feature all three nights — Feb. 22-24, in London, Brussels and Deventer, respectively — and they’ll be joined in London by Dead Witches, who’ll use the appearance to mark the release of their new album, on Heavy Psych Sounds, and in Belgium by The Sonic Dawn, and in the Netherlands by The Sonic Dawn again as well as Drive by WireKamchatka and Komatsu. I’ll say it again: this is a pretty big deal.

It signals Heavy Psych Sounds Fest not just as a label showcase, but maybe even ultimately a traveling package tour. Who the hell knows what might come next? The door’s open wide.

From the PR wire:

heavy psych sounds fest 2019 posters

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST to conquer the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands in early 2019!

London, Brussels and Deventer are set to be drenched in fuzz in February 2019, with the next proceedings for HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST!

Heavy Psych Sounds Records are proud to announce further events for their HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST series, which celebrated its last edition in November 2018 in Innsbruck, Austria. The Italian cult & fuzz rock label invited high class acts such as Brant Bjork, Giöbia, Mother’s Cake and Belzebong & many more, to turn the capitol of Tyrol into a psychedelic rock wonderland! Due to the massive success and participation of the heavy rock scene with fans from all over Europe who made the fest so special, Heavy Psych Sounds just announced to expand and will be running the highly acclaimed events in London (Underworld, in cooperation with DesertScene), Brussels (Magasin4) as well as in Deventer (Burgerweeshuis, in cooperation with SOZ concerts) between February 22nd – 24th 2019!

HPS FEST LONDON (UK) – February 22nd at The Black Heart
with Dead Witches (official album release), Black Rainbows, Giöbia, Deadsmoke
Official event // TICKETS

HPS FEST BRUSSELS (BE) – February 23rd at Magasin 4
with Black Rainbows Giöbia, The Sonic Dawn, Deadsmoke
Official event // TICKETS

HPS FEST DEVENTER (NL) – February 24th at Burgerweeshuis
with Black Rainbows, Giöbia, Deadsmoke, The Sonic Dawn, Komatsu, Kamchatka, Drive By Wire
Official event // TICKETS

The London date will also see the release show of DEAD WITCHES (feat. Electric Wizard’s co-founding member Mark Greening) to celebrate their sophomore album ‘The Final Exorcism! Expect heavy as hell shows from all bands, the finest and almighty riffs, and of course lots of cool merch at the Heavy Psych Sounds booth.

https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com

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Komatsu to Begin European Touring This Friday

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

If you want to hear something funny, as I was first putting together this post about Komatsu‘s upcoming release show and tour, I had November listed as ‘next month.’ I guess I’m still in a pre-Halloween mindset, and fair enough because it’s pretty early in the morning and there’s a baby screaming upstairs who needs to go back to sleep, but you know, I could probably still get a handle on what month it is. I’m just happy that the post didn’t actually go up that way, though I can’t promise either that that’s a mistake I’ve never made in the past or that I won’t make it (again) sometime in the future. I know better than to swear to something like that.

Komatsu‘s tour actually starts not only this month, but this very week. They’ll play the release show for their new album, A New Horizon (discussed here), on Friday in Eindhoven, which is a city I’ve been to precisely once, and continue on from there with a stretch through Switzerland, Italy and Germany before hitting Iberia and turning back to their home in the Netherlands before closing out the month again in Germany. It’s a good run, all told, and should serve the record well, which as it happens is a cause worth supporting.

Dates come via the PR wire:

komatsu

Dutch stoner rock collective KOMATSU will embark on an European tour through 7 countries to present their brand new full-length “A New Horizon”.

See KOMATSU on the following dates:

FRI 09-11 – Blue Collar, Eindhoven (NL) (album release party EU)
SAT 10-11 – Pörompömpöm, Oberendfelden (CH)
SUN 11-11 – Krach Club, Treviso (IT)
WED 14-11 – Gaswerk, Winterthur (CH)
THU 15-11 – Ziggy, Turin (IT)
FRI 16-11 – 11er, Frankfurt (GER)
SAT 17-11 – Dirtfeast, Osnabrück (GER)
SUN 18-11 – Le Midland, Lille (FR)
TUE 20-11 – Metalpoint, Porto (PT)
WED 21-11 – Rock Beer The New, Santander (ES)
FRI 23-11 – Bibelot, Dordrecht (NL)
SAT 24-11 – Hedon, Zwolle (NL)
FRI 30-11 – Limes, Koln (GER)

Komatsu is:
Mo Truijens: Guitar + Lead vocals
Mathijs Bodt: Guitar + vocals
Martijn Mansvelders: Bass + vocals
Joris Lindner: Drums + vocals

https://www.facebook.com/komatsurock/
https://www.instagram.com/komatsurock/
http://komatsu.bandcamp.com/
http://www.komatsurock.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
http://www.argonautarecords.com/

Komatsu, “A New Horizon” official video

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Komatsu Premiere Video for Title-Track of Upcoming LP A New Horizon

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

komatsu

Netherlands-based four-piece Komatsu will issue their next album, A New Horizon, Sept. 7 through Argonauta Records, and with it, the band reach a yet-uncharted echelon in their approach. Working with producer Pieter Kloos, the band — vocalist/guitarist Mo Truijens, guitarist/vocalist Mathijs Bodt, bassist/vocalist Martijn Mansvelders and drummer/vocalist Joris Lindner — bring a progressive edge to the tonal mass of their past outings, 2016’s Recipe for Murder One (review here) and their 2011 self-titled EP (review here), so that “Prophecy,” “Walk a Mile” and “Love Screams Cruelty” tap into a decidedly European brand of metal, seeming here and there to share some spaciousness and melancholy with the likes of mid-period Katatonia, but still keeping plenty of impact both there and in other cuts like surging opener “I Got Drive” and the head-down pummel of “10-4,” the latter of which is about as stripped-down and noisy as they get on the 10-song release.

The resultant blend continues the sonic growth one could hear in Komatsu‘s sound their last time out, but seems also to bring their style into focus. Rhythmic momentum becomes key to pieces like the instrumental “Surfing a Landslide,” which reinterprets komatsu a new horizonclassic surf rock-ish lead work with the ‘landslide’ that is the guitar and bass tones, as that song and others like “Infected” touch on a more rocking aesthetic, delivering a hook in the lines “Well if misery loves company/Why the fuck are you so lonely?” atop a beat that’s near danceable. Still, it’s telling that when it comes to their eponymous track “Komatsu” at the outset of side B, they turn to full-on crunch and seem to cast their lot in with the heft at the foundation of their take. The surroundings are exciting for being less willing to commit to one side or the other, and A New Horizon as a whole is richer for that refusal.

In order to herald the arrival of A New Horizon, the Eindhoven unit have a video for the title-track premiering below. The song, which appears on side B and is the longest inclusion at 5:12, seems to bring some of the varied sides together in the progressive metal verses and its open and rolling chorus. Note the thud of the kick drum throughout, as Lindner plays a huge role across the album’s full span in conveying the different vibes in the songs, and the atmosphere of confrontation as the lyrics ask plainly, “Are you in or are you out?” I guess when it comes right down to it that’s the central question. Komatsu indeed touch on places they’ve never been with A New Horizon, and that’s all the more intriguing because it’s only been two years since Recipe for Murder One, but as they grow into their own they also leave the comforts of genre behind them, and inevitably there will be some who don’t get what they’re going for. Even so, with a core of quality songwriting beneath the nuanced turns, Komatsu make it easy to answer that question in the affirmative.

Copious PR wire info, including festival and Iberian tour dates, follows the video below, which it’s my pleasure to premiere.

Please enjoy:

Komatsu, “A New Horizon” official video premiere

Hailing from Eindhoven-rock city, Netherlands, Stoner and Sludge Metal rockers KOMATSU have just recently unveiled first details about their upcoming and 3rd studio album titled ‘A New Horizon’! Set to be released on September 7th 2018 with Argonauta Records, KOMATSU once again unleash an exciting mixture of the Sludge, Stoner Rock and Metal while setting stones for a new horizon indeed. Recorded at The Void Studio with producer Pieter Kloos in early 2018, ‘A New Horizon’ features 10 blistering songs that combine all that is heavy while staying true to the band’s very own sound. Now KOMATSU give a first glimpse on their upcoming and hotly anticipated record, and premiere a brand new video to the album title track ‘A New Horizon’.

Says the band: “For A new horizon we wanted a clip that tells the story of the lyrics in a sci-fi setting. The song has a revolutionary feel. People free themselves from rules and laws they leave the madness behind on earth in search of a new world and a new horizon.

The clip for new horizon was made by Joost Nevels and he did an excellent job!

So …are you in or are you out?“

The tracklist for ‘A New Horizon’ reads as follows:

1. I Got Drive
2. Prophecy
3. 10-4
4. Surfing A Landslide
5. Love Screams Cruelty
6. Komatsu
7. Infected
8. A New Horizon
9. Walk A Mile
10. This Ship Has Sailed

KOMATSU was formed in early 2010. The band released a self-titled EP in 2011, followed by numerous live shows all over Europe. ‘Manu Armata’ was released in February 2013 and been instantly well received by the international press and fans alike. In 2014 KOMATSU went on tour with none other than John Garcia (Vista Chino, ex-Kyuss, Hermano, Unida, Slo Burn) and played 32 shows in 13 European countries. The critically acclaimed ‘Recipe for Murder One’ was released September 2016 and showed that the band gained trust and experience. It took the band on various tours throughout Europe with bands such as Duel or The Freeks. During May 2017 ‘Recipe for Murder One’ even got KOMATSU to tour Brazil. The band’s upcoming ‘A New Horizon’ will be available September 7th 2018 on Argonauta Records (Vinyl/CD/Digital Download) and will mark the band’s return to the world of heavy music, to once again smash the rock audiences and make sure everybody has a mothersludging time! Pre-order your copy here:

LP: http://www.argonautarecords.com/shop/en/home/288-komatsu-a-new-horizon-lp.html
CD: http://www.argonautarecords.com/shop/en/cd/287-komatsu-a-new-horizon-cd.html
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/it/album/a-new-horizon/1407526420?i=1407527207

In support of ‘A New Horizon’, KOMATSU will be heavily touring this year again! Make sure to catch the band live on the following dates, with many more shows to be announced soon:

05.08.2018 NL – Lollipop Festival, Oss
10.08.2018 NL – Nirwana Tuinfeest, Lierop
12.09.2018 BR – Rio Claro/Sp
13.09.2ß18 BR – Ribeirão Preto/Sp
14.09.2018 BR – Londrina/Pr
15.09.2018 BR – Guarapuava/Pr
16.09.2018 BR – Curitiba/Pr
19.09.2018 BR – Florianopolis/Sc
20.09.2018 BE – Joinville/Sc
21.09.2018 BR – Curitiba/Pr
22.09.2018 BR – São Paulo/Sp
23.09.2018 BR – Piracicaba/Sp
09.11.2018 NL – Blue Collar, Eindhoven (Album release party!)

Komatsu is:
Mo Truijens: Guitar + Lead vocals
Mathijs Bodt: Guitar + vocals
Martijn Mansvelders: Bass + vocals
Joris Lindner: Drums + vocals

Komatsu on Thee Facebooks

Komatsu on Instagram

Komatsu on Bandcamp

Komatsu website

Argonauta Records website

Argonauta Records on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records on Twitter

Argonauta Records on Instagram

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Komatsu Announce Brazilian Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

komatsu

Eindhoven-based four-piece Komatsu are still pretty fresh off having wrapped their European tour with The Freeks just over a week ago, but the heavy rockers are nonetheless wasting no time in announcing their next run. This one, it seems, will require a bit more travel, as it takes them to Brazil for the first time. They go supporting their 2016 Argonauta Records sophomore album, Recipe for Murder One (review here), which lived up to the promise of earth-moving riffage while expanding beyond the scope of their earlier self-titled EP (review here), and one has to wonder if the relative proximity of these two tours says something about their intentions for the rest of 2017 and perhaps beyond.

Are Komatsu about to become a road band? Will they spend the summer back on tour? They’re already veterans of Desertfest Belgium, but certainly there are plenty of other fests to play in summer and fall throughout Europe. Worth keeping an eye on. So uh… I guess I’ll get on that.

In the meantime, here are the impending dates:

komatsu tour

Komatsu – Brazil Tour May 2017

Komatsu is formed early 2010. Members of locally acclaimed bands from Eindhoven Rock City joined forces. Their years of musical experience in all kinds of bands and individual creativity created a brutal mix of sludge, rock and metal……..KOMATSU is born!

The band released a self-titled EP in 2011. After that, they focused on live shows and writing material for their first full length album. “Manu Armata” saw the daylights in February of 2013 and was instantly well received by the international press. It got raving reviews and Komatsu’s music style was compared to bands like Queens of the Stone Age, Torche, Mastodon, Monster Magnet and Karma to Burn.

Over the past five years they have steadily grown and were asked to be the support act for internationally well-known bands like Truckfighters (SWE), Lonely Kamel (NO) and a range of bands from the USA such as Karma to Burn, The Sword, Red Fang, Clutch, Nashville Pussy, High on Fire, Corrosion of Conformity and Baroness. They also performed at the official Queens of the Stone Age after party in the Effenaar in Eindhoven. In 2014 they went on European tour with none other than John Garcia (Vista Chino, ex-Kyuss, Hermano, Unida and Slo Burn) and played 32 shows in 13 countries.

In the summer of 2015 they recorded their second full-length album. The record was released in 2016.

Komatsu Recipe for Murder One Brasil Tour 2017:
May 12 Piracicaba SP
May 13 Londrina PR
May 14 Guarapuava PR
May 17 Joinville SC
May 18 Florianopolis SC
May 19 Curitiba PR
May 20 Sao Paolo SP
May 21 Rio Claro SP

KOMATSU:
Joris Lindner – Drums, backing vocals
Mathijs Bodt – Guitar
Martijn Mansvelders – Bass guitar, backing vocals
Mo Truijens – Lead singer, guitar

https://www.facebook.com/komatsurock/
https://www.instagram.com/komatsurock/
http://komatsu.bandcamp.com/
http://www.komatsurock.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
http://www.argonautarecords.com/

Komatsu, Recipe for Murder One (2016)

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The Freeks & Komatsu Euro Tour Starts Feb. 28

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 19th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

We’ve known for a while now that Californian heavy psych/punk rockers The Freeks would be heading abroad to support their 2016 album, Shattered (review here), and with the release out through Italian label Heavy Psych Sounds, it’s even more reasonable to have that label’s booking wing presenting the shows. All makes a lot of sense, I guess is the point, including the significant stretch of the tour that takes place in Italy before hitting Switzerland, France, Austria and Germany, starting Feb. 28 in Rome and going from there. Looks like an awesome run, and no doubt The Freeks will kill it along the way.

They go in the company of Netherlands-based Komatsu, who released their debut full-length, Recipe for Murder One (review here), on Argonauta, and between some of the expanse The Freeks offer and the at times intense tonal weight brought forth by Komatsu, they should make for a fitting and complementary lineup. I won’t get to see the shows, of course, but I’ll look forward at least to the customary tour-end picture of both bands in front of a van or empty stage celebrating the end of a successful time together.

Heavy Psych Sounds announced it like this:

the freeks komatsu tour

THE FREEKS + Komatsu European Dates Announced!

Heavy Psych Sounds Booking is proud to announce the EU dates for the Californian 70’s fuzzsters The Freeks! The band is just out with their last record “Shattered.” Supporting the entire tour, the heavy rockers from Netherlands, Komatsu!

The Freeks feature Ruben Romano former drummer of Fu Manchu and Nebula as well as Tom Davies, bass player of Nebula.

HAVE FUN!

The Freeks & Komatsu live:
28.02.2017 IT Roma-Traffic
01.03.2017 IT Torino-Café Liber
02.03.2017 IT Erba-Centrale Rock
03.03.2017 IT Bologna-Freak Out
04.03.2017 IT Fidenza-Arci Taun
05.03.2017 IT Castel D’Ario-Hostaria
06.03.2017 IT Zerobranco-Altroquando
07.03.2017 IT Trieste-Tetris
08.03.2017 IT Savignano-Sidro
09.03.2017 CH Basel-Hirschneck
10.03.2017 FR Ensisheim-Woodstock Guitar Shop
11.03.2017 CH Luzern-Bruch Bros
12.03.2017 AT Feldkirch-Graf Hugo
13.03.2017 Looking for a show!
14.03.2017 AT Leipzig-Zoro
15.03.2017 DE Halle-Huhnermanhattan
16.03.2017 DE Berlin
17.03.2017 DE Dresden-Sabotage
18.03.2017 DE Erfurt-Tiko
19.03.2017 DE Munster-Rare Guitar Shop

https://www.facebook.com/TheFreeks/
https://www.facebook.com/komatsurock/
www.heavypsychsounds.com

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Quarterly Review: Crowbar, Katatonia, Ethereal Riffian, Dot Legacy, Salem’s Bend, Thonian Horde, Second Sun, Ten Ton Slug, Komatsu, The Blue Sunshine Family Band

Posted in Reviews on December 29th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk winter quarterly review

We continue with day four of the Quarterly Review. This batch is numbers 31-40 of the total 60, not that the numbers really mean anything. I know it’s list season — believe me, I know — but there’s no actual ranking going on. It’s just basically so I can keep track and remember what day it is. That’s not to say this is done off the cuff. Actually, there’s an embarrassing amount of planning behind these things. Months. And when I start actually getting the posts ready and realize I’ve slated the same record on two different days — something that’s happened no fewer than three times so far, needing each time to be corrected — it’s a clear demonstration of the value of my planning. Ha. Anyway, we press on. Together. Into the thick of it. Thanks for reading.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Crowbar, The Serpent Only Lies

crowbar the serpent only lies

More than 25 years and 11 albums into a landmark career that helped prove the existence of the hairy beast known as “sludge metal,” Crowbar don’t owe anyone anything, and since returning to activity with 2011’s Sever the Wicked Hand (review here) and 2014’s Symmetry in Black, they’ve played like it. Their third post-resurgence outing is The Serpent Only Lies (on eOne Heavy), and though it works largely to form – that is, Crowbar are going to sound like Crowbar: low, slow, seeming to lurch even when dug into fits of gallop on “I am the Storm” or the early going of “The Enemy Beside You” – one still finds progression especially in the vocal approach of frontman and founder Kirk Windstein, who self-harmonizes effectively on the title-track’s standout hook as well as the later pair “On Holy Ground” and “Song of the Dunes,” the latter also resoundingly spacious in a way that offsets much of The Serpent Only Lies’ head-down intensity. This might be flourish or a companion to the core Crowbar sound that remains intact throughout, but the truth is it’s not like it needs to be there – Crowbar’s audience would still go to the shows even if the band stopped growing – but it’s entirely to the credit of the New Orleans legends that more than a quarter-century later they continue to progress. I guess that’s how Crowbar gets to be Crowbar.

Crowbar on Thee Facebooks

eOne Heavy on Thee Facebooks

 

Katatonia, The Fall of Hearts

katatonia the fall of hearts

Depending on what you count as a full-length, The Fall of Hearts (on Peaceville) is either the 10th or 11th studio record from Sweden’s Katatonia. It follows 2013’s acoustic Dethroned and Uncrowned, which reenvisioned 2012’s Dead End Kings and brings forth over an hour of new material from founding duo Jonas Renkse (vocals/guitar/etc.) and Anders “Blakkheim” Nyström (guitar/backing vocals), as well as Niklas Sandin (bass) and Daniel Moilanen (drums), who, working with engineer Karl Daniel Lidén (ex-Greenleaf, Demon Cleaner), continue to proffer resonant melancholy in abundance. As a band, Katatonia have had a number of different phases over the years, from their deathly beginnings through the later moves into melody, but as it stands on songs like “Decima,” with its acoustic and mellotron arrangement, and the seven-minute “Serac,” which plays back and forth between serene and some of The Fall of Hearts’ most intense thrust, they remain among heavy metal’s most recognizable acts. There is no one else who sounds like them, and they sound not quite like anyone else. This collection might be more about gradual steps forward than radical shifts in approach, but Katatonia have found a way to preach to their converted and keep growing at the same time, and that’s to be commended.

Katatonia on Thee Facebooks

Peaceville Records website

 

Ethereal Riffian, I am Deathless

ethereal riffian i am deathless

Issued via Robustfellow in a range of physical editions from an oversized CD digipak to cassette bundles, the two-song I. AM. Deathless EP from yet-underrated Ukrainian progressive ritualists Ethereal Riffian warrants the ceremony with which it arrives. Its two tracks, “Drum of the Deathless” (6:19) and “Sword of the Deathless” (9:57) closed and opened, respectively, the prior 2016 live outing, Youniversal Voice (review here), and in their studio form they bring to bear a vision of psychedelic metal given to atmospheric breadth that comes at the expense neither of purpose nor impact. The opener proves the more immediate of the pair, but as “Sword of the Deathless” plays out, it finds prog-metal swirl amid low-end starts and stops intertwined layers of multi-channel spoken word, acoustic and electric guitar and percussive tension, so that as it heads into its payoff and melodic finish, the resolution is both satisfying and something of a relief from the cacophony preceding. Forward-thinking and of marked substance, I. AM. Deathless offers a quick glimpse at the band’s scope and invites listeners to dive deep therein.

Ethereal Riffian on Thee Facebooks

Robustfellow Productions on Bandcamp

 

Dot Legacy, To the Others

dot legacy to the others

There isn’t much that’s off-limits to Parisian heavy rockers Dot Legacy. To wit, the near-rap-rock mania of opener “Horizon” from their second LP, To the Others (on Setalight Records), and the laid-back psych-lounge vibes that follow on “Grey Cardinal,” only to be swept away in crashes and chants later, leading to the driving desert punkery of “211.” Three songs, three distinct feels, and Dot Legacy only get weirder from there as they toy with fuzzed momentum on “5314” and “Dakota” before the dreamy post-rock meandering of “The Twelve,” the prog-pop of “Story of Fame” and piano-laden psych-drama of closer “Pioneer.” In 35 minutes, the four-piece cover more ground than most bands do in their whole careers, but that becomes even more admirable in that they manage not to just be all over the place, but to provide a consistent quality of songwriting to complement all that quirk. Add to that the attention to detail in vocal harmonies and arrangements, and as they follow-up their 2014 self-titled debut (review here), they reveal a clear sense of a master plan at work under all the brashness and genre-hopping.

Dot Legacy on Thee Facebooks

Setalight Records website

 

Salem’s Bend, Salem’s Bend

salem's bend self-titled

Self-released by the Los Angeles trio in late-2015 and picked up for a vinyl issue through Ripple Music, the self-titled debut from Salem’s Bend leaves little wonder as to why with its classic sensibility and the vibe proliferated by the natural-toned nod of a song like “Silverstruck.” Though still prone to a bit of Hendrix-style shred when it comes to lead guitar, the three-piece of Bobby (guitar/vocals), Kevin (bass) and Zach (drums) depart from some of the post-Radio Moscow all-thrust boogie in favor of more laid back fair and on that cut and the later “Sun and Mist,” which hits into a satisfying apex in its second half without feeling overcooked, as well as the six-minute finale “A Tip of Salem,” which nods through its initial movement before bursting out toward the end. In a crowded SoCal scene, just about anything Salem’s Bend can do to stand apart will serve them, and the fluidity they hone across these seven tracks sets them up to do just that.

Salem’s Bend on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Thonian Horde, Thonian Horde

thonian horde self-titled

Given the personnel involved, the black ‘n’ roll extremity of Thonian Horde’s self-titled debut full-length will no doubt come as a surprise to listeners. Formed in Boonsboro, Maryland, by bassist/vocalist Ron “Fezz” McGinnis (Pale Divine, Admiral Browning, etc.), guitarists Darren “Dirty” Waters (Weed is Weed) and Dan “D-Mize” Mize (Faith in Jane), and drummer Tyler “The Beast” Lee (Weed is Weed), one might expect high-order Frederick-style post-The Obsessed doom. Thonian Horde have more in common with Immortal on their centerpiece track “Darkest Nights Shadow,” and even as the closing “Psychonaut” finds a rock groove in its chorus, it does so with the hooky edge of Satyricon more than any of the members’ other outfits. No doubt that’s the point: doing something different. Indeed, the nine-tracker is a refreshing aesthetic reboot for the scene from whence it comes, holding fast to their region’s crucial lack of pretense even as they brazenly walk their own path – left-hand, of course.

Thonian Horde on Thee Facebooks

Thonian Horde on Bandcamp

 

Second Sun, Tachyonregenerator

second sun tachyonregenerator

I don’t know about you, but I missed out on Hopp/Förtvivlan, which was the 2015 debut full-length from Swedish rockers Second Sun, so to have Gaphals provide gentle encouragement to check it out by getting behind the two-songer single Tachyonregenerator is most welcome. Both cuts included – “Tachyonregenerator” and “Tror Faktiskt På Dig” – bask in classic vibe without being overly showy when it comes to retroism, and are marked out by the inclusion of organ amid the natural-sounding guitar, drums and bass, the vocals presented in Swedish across both pieces. It’s a quick eight-minutes perfect for the 7” pressing it’s been given, but again, makes enough of an impression that one is inclined toward further investigation, and given that, I can’t call it anything other than a success. I’ll go ahead and chalk up one more quality Swedish act to keep track of, because Second Sun offer tight-knit progressive leanings in a crisp package on Tachyonregenerator, and even if I’m late to the party, I’m glad I got to hear it.

Second Sun on Thee Facebooks

Gaphals Records website

 

Ten Ton Slug, Brutal Gluttonous Beast

ten ton slug brutal gluttonous beast

Some pretty clear self-awareness demonstrated in Ten Ton Slug’s self-released debut EP, Brutal Gluttonous Beast. The Galway, Ireland, five-piece had a prior live-recorded two-tracker, but these four songs mark their first studio outing, and as they draw together massive sludge riffing and more extreme, death metal-style growls, there’s precious little one might say to more accurately describe a track like “Trollhunter” – the opener and longest on the release (immediate points) – than that it lives up to the title, its second-half slowdown lurch prefacing a similar move in “Bloodburns” before the more rampaging “Subterranean” and noise-soaked burl of “Unit” take hold. Intense and vicious, but not necessarily unhinged, Brutal Gluttonous Beast finds Ten Ton Slug sounding remarkably sure in their approach, and one will await the news of their traveling to England to record with Chris Fielding at Skyhammer, since that seems to be the kind of presentation for which the tonal onslaught here is begging.

Ten Ton Slug on Thee Facebooks

Ten Ton Slug on Bandcamp

 

Komatsu, Recipe for Murder One

komatsu recipe for murder one

A half-decade after releasing their self-titled EP (review here), Eindhoven heavy/noise rockers Komatsu reemerge on Argonauta Records with the follow-up full-length, Recipe for Murder One. Boasting a guest appearance from Nick Oliveri on the suitably tumultuous “Lockdown,” the album leaves little to wonder what’s in that recipe in the darker-desert vibe of “So How’s About Billy” and “There Must be Something in Your Water,” which teases airy serenity in its first half only to go full-throttle for the second, but as the bass-driven lumber of the title-track and subtle melodic expansion of “The Sea is Calm Today” show, Komatsu haven’t wasted the last five years, instead constructing their own take on sonic density and sludge impulses that seems to hit with formidable impact regardless of tempo or tension level, both of which prove to be fluid elements at the four-piece’s disposal. They get the point across quickly in the stomp of “The Long Way Home,” but find suitable resolution in the nod of closer “Breathe,” rounding out a debut of significant character and depth with one last surprise in ambience it’s only fair to call progressive.

Komatsu on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records website

 

The Blue Sunshine Family Band, The Blue Sunshine Family Band

the blue sunshine family band self-titled

A double-guitar instrumental four-piece from Santa Rosa, California, The Blue Sunshine Family Band make their debut with a six-song/51-minute self-titled. Tracks presented as Roman numerals “I” through “VI,” though whether or not they’re actually the first six pieces the band has written, I couldn’t say. Either way, the impression immediately draws from “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” – that great king of nod riffs – and first-name-only guitarists Billy and Kevin, bassist Matt and drummer Quinten build outward from there, dipping below the eight-minute mark only on “V” (7:14) as they unfurl solid grooves and tonal heft, seeming to leave room for vocals either consciously or not. The converted will find engagement and immersion in the crash and swinging turn of “IV,” as well as the David Paul Seymour cover art, and if The Blue Sunshine Family Band is the sound of this foursome getting their feet under them, they manage to accomplish that preliminary feat and then some in these tracks.

The Blue Sunshine Family Band on Thee Facebooks

The Blue Sunshine Family Band on Bandcamp

 

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GIVEAWAY: Win an Argonauta Records Prize Pack Featuring Suma, Dee Calhoun, Komatsu and More!

Posted in Features on December 28th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

A WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN AND THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. THANKS TO ALL WHO ENTERED.

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win. Winner is chosen one week from today.]

Enter now to win an Argonauta Records CD prize pack featuring releases from Hollow LegDee CalhounSumaKomatsuVaregoIndiviaMountain TamerObeseLowburn and Beneath the Storm. When the label hit me up last week and asked if I wanted to do a giveaway, I kind of assumed it would be one, maybe two records tops, but I guess when you’ve built up a catalog like the Italian imprint has over the last few years, things like “prize packs” become much easier to assemble. A lot of these releases have been reviewed (and others I’m still catching up to this week — hello, Komatsu), so hopefully the names will be familiar, but either way, free music. Free music sells itself.

Hey, by the way, free music.

I’ve tried to be pretty assiduous in covering Argonauta‘s stuff the last couple years, since I believe that Gero, who runs the label and plays in Varego, is doing good work and for the right reasons. If you’ve hemmed and hawed on checking any of it out, consider this your opportunity to do so with no investment. As always, let me just say I don’t keep anyone’s emails, have no interest in your data, and wouldn’t know what to do with it if I did. So there.

Thanks to Gero and Argonauta for ponying up the prize. Here’s a pic and a list of what you get:

argonauta records

Argonauta Records prize pack – 10 CDs:

INDIVIA – Horta
KOMATSU – Recipe for Murder One
VAREGO – Epoch
DEE CALHOUN – Rotgut
MOUNTAIN TAMER – Mountain Tamer
BENEATH THE STORM – Lucid Nightmare
SUMA – Ashes
LOWBURN – Doomsayer
OBESE – Kali Yuga
HOLLOW LEG – Instinct

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win. Winner is chosen one week from today.]

Argonauta Records on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records website

A WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN AND THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. THANKS TO ALL WHO ENTERED.

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Desertfest Belgium 2016 Lineup Complete: Arabrot, Alkerdeel and Komatsu Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 7th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

In the words of one of the shittiest tv themes ever recorded: It’s been a long road, getting from there to here. That song was a terrible way to start a Star Trek, but it’s true nonetheless of Desertfest Belgium 2016, which after months of trickling out names a few at a time has finally confirmed the entirety of its lineup.

The Antwerp-based festival extension of the Desertfest brand spent the last month or so rolling through its headliners — Graveyard, Red Fang and Goat — and today it takes a victory lap in confirming Arabrot, Alkerdeel and Komatsu as the last three acts to join the bill. It looks like a great way to spend three days if you happen to be in that part of the world or of the means to get there. Definitely the farthest reaching Desertfest Belgium yet, and I suspect the event will only continue to grow.

Here’s the last announcement:

desertfest belgium 2016 final poster

EXTRA BANDS ADDED TO LINEUP: ARABROT, ALKERDEEL, KOMATSU

You might have thought we had nothing more in store after the threedouble whammy of Red Fang, Goat and Graveyard, but Desertfest always has a few tricks left up the sleeve.

So with this last announcement we fill in the holes in the Desertfest program – which is not to say these bands are filler! With Arabrot and Alkerdeel, we present you with some of the most exciting and original metal to be crafted in Europe. Arabrot has most definitively made their mark on the heavy music scene, and make sure to check Alkerdeel live, as they are one of the most exciting Belgian bands you’ll hear.

Finally, the last name to make the DF Antwerp 2016 bill is the Dutch powerhouse Komatsu. Straight up stoner metal for sure – but if Desertfest is not the place for that, we don’t know what is!

And that’s a wrap. Now all you have to do is sit back and relax… no strike that: check if you have your ticket booked, travel arrangements made… and THEN sit back, relax and count the days until DESERTFEST ANTWERP 2016!

ARABROT

ARABROT has been an outsider on the Norwegian music scene since their beginning in 2001. They quietly built a reputation among music fans in Europe as a daring and uncompromising live band. They have always been described as “weird and heavy”, and on their latest album ‘The Gospel’, they’re at their weirdest and best!

ALKERDEEL

With a name that means “manure cart” in a local Flemish dialect, and a singer who keeps a collection of “weird images”, Alkerdeel is already one of Belgium’s most distinctive metal bands. Their new album ‘Lede’ does away with the sludge influence of the past, while old-school doom (Winter) and kraut-like psychedelics are pushed to the front. Live they are no less than a visceral sensation.

KOMATSU

Komatsu is a super-massive rock band from Eindhoven, the rock capital of the Netherlands. Their music is a mix of sludge, stoner rock and metal. They have toured Europe as a support alongside John Garcia and most recently Mondo Generator!

https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://twitter.com/desertfestBE
https://www.facebook.com/events/488174281372335/
http://www.desertfest.be/tickets

Alkerdeel, Lede (2016)

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