Ungraven Add Live Drummer; Playing Desertfest Belgium

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

The fact that Conan‘s Jon Davis has a couple shows coming up, including Desertfest Belgium, with Ungraven and has added a drummer to what was formerly just a solo affair is some deceptively telling news. Anyone who has ever seen a list of Conan tour dates or heard any of the string of records Davis has released through his Black Bow imprint or been even moderately aware of his Blackskull Services management company — also I think he was driving bands around on tour for a while there — knows he’s not the type to do something half-assed. If he’s getting a drummer for Ungraven, it’s because he’s got longer-term plans than just the next couple weeks. Maybe I’m wrong, but that kind of says to me he’s thinking of taking it on tour.

Hardest working person in doom? Yeah, he just might be. I’m not sure who else has so much on their plate.

From the PR wire:

ungraven

UNGRAVEN ANNOUNCE LIVE LINE-UP

Jon Davis, (Conan) is pleased to announce that he will be playing live shows with his solo project UNGRAVEN. He will be joined by Tyler Hodges of Tuskar on drums for all future live dates.

So far the duo is confirmed to play both Desertfest Belgium and Aalborg in Denmark.

Both dates will be in support of the recently released of the debut release “The Language of Longing” which was released a few months ago.

Jon commented “Delighted to welcome Tyler Hodges to the lineup. He really gets what I’m trying to do with this material-Together we are UNGRAVEN!”

He further commented on The Language of Longing “I am a huge fan of Fudge Tunnel, Ministry, Godflesh, Sepultura and Nailbomb. I fell in love with ‘For All Those Who Died’ by Bathory on Headbangers Ball and also the ‘Speed Kills’ comp. Since then I have referenced these bands in some of Conan’s material. With Ungraven I pay homage to the industrial sounds emanating from Birmingham in the 90s with a few other influences that I’ve been obsessing over for a while. It’s super heavy but sightly different from what I have done so far.”

Listen to The EP here: https://ungraven.bandcamp.com/album/language-of-longing

https://www.facebook.com/ungraven/
https://www.instagram.com/thisisungraven/
https://ungraven.bigcartel.com/
https://ungraven.bandcamp.com/
https://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://blackbowrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Black-Bow-Records-565275456841866/

Ungraven, Language of Longing (2019)

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Conan to Release Horseback Battle Hammer and Blood Eagle Picture Discs

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 12th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

conan

These exist and are out on Black Bow Records in November. I’m guessing that if you’ve ever heard either of these superlatively heavy offerings from Conan, that’s probably all the info you need. If you’d like some more though, you might chew on the fact that they come with hand-written lyric sheets or that they’re super-limited in number or that the albums fucking rule or whatever else you want. Or maybe you’d like to do what I’m doing, which is basically use this post as an excuse to spend an hour or two with some of the most righteous riffs the last decade has produced? Yeah, that’s kind of what I figured.

It’s fucking Conan. What more do you want?

Conan to release picture disc versions of classic albums

Legendary British doom band CONAN are pleased to announce that they will release limited edition picture discs of their classic albums Horseback Battle Hammer and Blood Eagle.

Both albums are set to be released in November 2019.

Order Horseback Battle Hammer via Big Cartel: https://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/product/conan-horseback-battle-hammer-picture-disk

Or Bandcamp: https://conan-conan.bandcamp.com/album/horseback-battle-hammer

4 brutally heavy slabs of Caveman Battle Doom. Thought of by some as a key moment in the resurgence of ‘modern day’ doom metal.

Picture disks are regular vinyl records but through the middle of the pressed record is a paper sheet with the artwork on. On some picture disks the sound can be less than perfect, but only with certain coloured vinyl and these do not fall into that category.

FIRST 50 ORDERS COME WITH HAND WRITTEN LYRIC SHEET, NOT A PHOTOCOPY.

Order Blood Eagle via Big Cartel: https://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/product/conan-blood-eagle-picture-disk

Or Bandcamp: https://conan-conan.bandcamp.com/album/blood-eagle

Blood Eagle is one of Conan’s finest moments. Adding motion and pace to the bludgeoning of Monnos, it quickly rose to the top of most learned doom fan’s lists.

Here we have a ltd edition picture disk copy, in heavy duty plastic sleeve.

***LIMTED TO 150 COPIES WITH INDIVIDUAL HANDWRITTEN LYRIC SHEET*** – NOT A PHOTOCOPY…….. Some copies may contain mistakes.

Lineup:
Jon Davis – vocals, guitar (2006-present)
Chris Fielding – bass (2013-present)
Johnny King – drums (2017-present)

http://www.hailconan.com/
https://www.facebook.com/hailconan/
https://www.instagram.com/hailconan/
https://conan-conan.bandcamp.com/
https://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://blackbowrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Black-Bow-Records-565275456841866/

Conan, Horseback Battle Hammer (2010)

Conan, Blood Eagle (2014)

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Friday Full-Length: Conan, Horseback Battle Hammer

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

It was only four songs — “Krull,” “Satsumo,” “Dying Giant” and “Sea Lord” — but Conan‘s 2010 EP, Horseback Battle Hammer (review here), was nothing less than a breakthrough, for doom as much as for them as a part of it. The UK-based trio had issued the Battle in the Swamp demo in 2007 and another demo in 2010, but their work on the first EP was the type to earn immediate hyperbole because it was so hyperbolic. It was the omega doom. The doom to end all doom. None heavier. Everyone go home. Conan wins. It’s over. Even today, as a whole league of acts have picked up on their tonal cues and attempted to manifest a similar affect, one can count on a hand the number who’ve managed to do so while manifesting such a sense of utter triumph.

Because that’s the thing about Conan‘s earlier work that often gets lost in the story of how heavy they were. They weren’t just heavy — they were also about heavy. Conan conquered and told tales of conquest. “Worship Krull, within the mountain,” “Bodies flow to the bottom,” “Oceans of graves ebb and flow,” “Sea be lifted sithen” — these lines about struggle and death, worship and the ocean seemed to rise up out of the very murk Conan were creating with their instruments. Founded by guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis, whose voice even then had a surprisingly melodic timbre even in its shouts on “Sea Lord,” with bassist/vocalist John Paul McNulty (now of Coltsblood) and drummer Paul O’Neill, Conan‘s very mission from the start seemed to be to throw down that gauntlet of heavy. From the very launch of “Krull” from the initial wash of cymbals, the focus was clear on what Conan were doing. ‘Heavy’ wasn’t just a tool in their arsenal; it was the foundation of their aesthetic, and they cast it out with superlative revelry, creating a sound that was extreme in its darkness without being a heavy metal caricature and genuinely broadening the scope of what weighted tonality could accomplish.

I don’t think that’s overstating it. Davis has said on multiple occasions he was working under a heavy Slomatics influence, and yeah, that story checks out, and one could likewise argue he was playing to some degree off Floor‘s prior harvesting of the “bomb tone,” but even so, what he did with that influence was his own from the start, and that’s written all over the ensuing rumble of Horseback Battle Hammer. And it’s easy to paint him as the auteur of Conan because he’s the lone remaining original member, but from the swing in O’Neill‘s drumming as “Krull” picked up the tempo at its finish and moved into the holy-shit-did-that-just-happen roll of “Satsumo,” to the tradeoffs made to the lower-register shouts from McNulty — a model Conan would follow with subsequent bassists Phil Coumbe and Chris Fielding — the complete band contributed to the onslaught at all times. “Dying Giant” was a perfect example as McNulty took the forward vocal role at the midpoint and the whole band seemed to emerge from the willful muck of that cut’s early going — not to mention the far-back gutturalisms that pervaded from there and the final surge, with accompanying double-kick from O’Neill.

conan horseback battle hammer

Was Conan metal? Oh yes. But instead of beating their chest to tell you about it, they were stomping your skull.

To wit, “Sea Lord.” The only cut on Horseback Battle Hammer to top 10 minutes, it started at an especially grueling pace and instead of taking off at any point, it really just descended into noise and became even filthier by the close. It took its own extremity, its own inaccessibility, and turned it into a clarion, and not only did it do so at just the right time to capture the attention of an emerging mobile social media landscape — something out of the band’s direct control, but which they’ve made work for them just the same — but it came from a place that was for the underground by the underground in a way the previous generation of acts simply couldn’t have been. Conan were something new when something new was needed, and their work was unto itself in its execution and rawness, its purposefully simple, impressionistic lyrics telling stories of violence in lines that sometimes didn’t need to be more than one or two words as the telling itself became so much a part of the narrative, with voices buried under a wall of riffs that other bands are still trying to climb. You listened to it and knew it was something special. I think you still do.

The vinyl was on Throne Records and the first CD on Aurora Borealis, but Horseback Battle Hammer has been reissued a couple times, including by Head of Crom RecordsConan‘s current label Napalm Records and Davis‘ own Black Bow Records, so it’s readily available (like on Bandcamp; see above). Of course, Conan released their split with Slomatics (review here) and then signed to Napalm before offering their debut full-length, Monnos (review here), in 2012. From there, the world was pretty much theirs for the spoils. They toured hard in Europe and set a foundation of American fandom before crossing the Atlantic, and across their next three albums — 2014’s  Blood Eagle (review here), 2016’s Revengeance (review here) and last year’s Existential Void Guardian (review here) — they’d move away from some of the all-out tonal bludgeoning of Horseback Battle Hammer, but hold firm to the central modus the EP laid forth.

With Davis, Fielding on bass and Johnny King on drums, Conan just wrapped another string of US touring that included a stop to headline the final night of Maryland Doom Fest (review here), where yes, they dominated, and they’ll tour again this Fall in Europe, playing Desertfest Belgium, Heavy Psych Sounds FestSoulstone Gathering and much more besides. And even as Davis has begun to show off a ’90s noise fetish in Ungraven and founded the Blackskull Services management/promotion company, which he runs in addition to Black Bow Records — shooting for that “hardest working man in show business” thing — writing has also reportedly started on Conan‘s fifth long-player which is currently expected through Napalm in May 2020. Mark your calendars, kids.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

Today at 1PM Eastern is a new episode of The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio. It’s a good one. Don’t miss out: http://gimmeradio.com

Holy crap there’s a lot going on next week. Here are the notes:

MON 08/05 HOLY GROVE PLAYLIST; THE LEGENDARY FLOWER PUNK VID PREMIERE; THE GRAND MAL PREMIERE/ANNOUNCE
TUE 08/06 OBLIVION REPTILIAN REVIEW; MONSTROID VIDEO PREMIERE
WED 08/07 NOTHING IS REAL TRACK PREMIERE
THU 08/08 FROZEN PLANET 1969 REVIEW
FRI 08/09 HELLSINGLAND UNDERGROUND VID PREMIERE

Busy. You know how it goes.

Feeling a little vulnerable after the essay I put up before, but I guess that’s to be expected. Week was up and down. We took off on Wednesday and went to watch the Yankees play the Diamondbacks with my oldest nephew and my cousin and mother-in-law and The Pecan, who I think had a good time. It started to rain in the middle of the game and we left. I was running with his stroller in the downpour with my cousin and nephew and it was a lot of fun. Something we’ll tell The Pecan about when he’s older and goes to games. He already knows the words “bat,” “ball” and “mitt.” He has a little tee in the living room and he hits balls off it and claps for himself. It’s awesome, though as yet I’m having trouble getting him to throw left-handed.

Always work for a lefty out of the bullpen. And if you can throw a knuckeball, you can live forever.

But hey, baseball, right?

Nice deflection.

I hope you enjoyed that Conan above. It’s kind of interesting to me to close out the week with records I wrote about a long time ago. I’ve been doing “Friday Full-Length” since like 2013 or something like that, and for a while I didn’t want to do anything from after I’d started the site, but yeah that’s pretty much gone out the window. There’s just too much out there to not, and when it’s something I reviewed at the time, it gives me a chance to look at it in a different context — as in this case — and I think that’s interesting. I hope you agree. Plus, there’s always other stuff I missed at the time and this gives me another shot at it. So yeah. As far as I’m concerned it’s all fair game now.

I’ve also started plotting out the next Quarterly Review. Five days so far and I’m going to see if I can’t keep it to that. I’m thinking Sept. 16-20, maybe? We’ll see.

Alright, that’s gonna do it for me. I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Thanks again for reading, please don’t forget the Gimme show if you get to check it out and please hit up the forum, Radio and merch.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk shirts & hoodies

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Friday Full-Length: Anathema, Alternative 4

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 28th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Anathema, Alternative 4 (1998)

 

When I was 18 years old and working at KB Toys store number #1051 at the intersection of Rt. 10 and 202 in Morris Plains, NJ, about a minute from where I’ll be living from now on, a coworker turned me onto Anathema‘s Alternative 4. I bought the CD on his say-so, put it on, heard the piano intro to “Shroud of False” and absolutely didn’t get it. Made no sense to my brain. I tossed the disc into the back of my 1988 Ford Bronco II and it stayed there probably for a few weeks until I finally decided to give it a real shot, and when I did, it was one of my first and most pivotal engagements with underground music, and something that helped set me listening-wise on the course I’m still on today. That coworker kind of turned out to be an asshole, but didn’t we all.

Alternative 4 was indeed Anathema‘s fourth album and the last they’d issue during their original run on Peaceville Records, which had nursed them through their death-doom beginnings from 1992’s The Crestfallen EP across their 1993 debut, Serenades, 1995’s The Silent Enigma and Pentecost III EP and 1996’s Eternity. The band, who will mark their 30th anniversary in 2020 no doubt with form of some celebration or other, already seemed to be in transition by their third album, but it was the 10-song/44-minute Alternative 4 that would push that over the top. Guitarist Vincent Cavanagh had taken over the vocalist role from Darren White following Pentecost III, and that change would prove crucial to their direction on the whole, incorporating elements of goth emotionalist drama and a heavy hand of Floydian progressivism to go with their depressive themes and bouts of still-metal intensity.

But they weren’t just metal anymore, and their use of space in the recording, their arrangements of keys, and most of all their patience, demonstrated that. “Shroud of False” was the outset of one of the most powerful salvos I’ve ever heard on a record, with “Fragile Dreams,” “Empty” and “Lost Control” behind it varying in intensity but united in their depressive expression. Themes of loss, betrayal, disillusionment came to a head in the third anathema alternative 4track: “Nothing left but to kill myself again ‘cos I’m so empty,” but the build to that moment across “Fragile Dreams” and “Empty” itself was gorgeous and troubling in kind, the hook of “Fragile Dreams” serving as a downer clarion as the then-four-piece of Vincent Cavanagh, his brother Danny Cavanagh (lead guitar, keys), Duncan Patterson (bass, keys) and Shaun Taylor-Steels (drums) pushed some of Alternative 4‘s most fervent delivery to the front in order to branch out from there. The violin on “Lost Control” seemed a nod to their own death-hued past as well as to compatriots My Dying Bride, and the thrust in “Re-Connect” was more chaotic than that of “Fragile Dreams,” and purposefully so, but frenetic in a way that evoked the chaos of mania it seemed intended to convey.

Piano returned to introduce “Inner Silence” at the outset of side B as Vincent proved in a single track the vocalist he would ultimately become on subsequent outings, and Danny answered right back with a winding and meditative guitar lead. No verses or choruses or such, but an arrangement that bordered on the orchestral in its wash — particularly given the production of the era — and a perfect lead-in for the darker and brooding low of the title-track, with its multi-movement immersion and play toward minimalism. It and “Regret,” which follows, were the two longest tracks on Alternative 4 at 6:18 and 7:58, respectively, and their pairing was no coincidence, and though “Regret” would pick up from “Alternative 4” with a memorable chorus and a more structured feel on the whole, there’s no question the change in atmosphere brought the listener even deeper into the record’s bleak emotional landscape — “Visions of love and hate/A collage behind my eyes/Remnants of dying laughter/Echoes of silent cries,” the hook. Organ added to the melody as the band traded between loud and quiet parts in the second half and came around to what for me always seemed like the apex of the album, though “Feel” both continued the thread of organ and had more of a crashing end, a kind of anti-doom doom, riding out on fading progression that seemed foreboding even though it was followed by the brief “Destiny,” with its guitar and toy piano and vocal harmonies, a kind of epilogue that ended the record with a sincere-feeling moment of contemplation, underscoring that the point of the whole thing all along was the emotion, and that the moments of bombast were there to serve that as much as the songs themselves.

Some music just hits you at the right time. This is one of those records for me, and A Fine Day to Exit (reissue review here), which they’d release in 2001 after 1999’s Judgement, is among my favorite albums of any era. I wasn’t ready for Judgement on such a quick turnaround, but A Fine Day to Exit and 2003’s A Natural Disaster, which would be their final album until 2010’s We’re Here Because We’re Here (discussed here), remain essential in my view. Alternative 4 may be somewhat dated in its production, but the songs themselves hold up more than 20 years later, and the emotion behind them still resonates though it’s a direction Anathema have long since left behind in favor of flirtations with more modern prog and a brighter perspective on the whole. Fair enough, I guess. That change would come about on We’re Here Because We’re Here and continue on 2012’s Weather Systems (review here) and 2014’s Distant Satellites before 2017’s The Optimist (review here) picked up the story of A Fine Day to Exit and added fresh perspective at the same time it allowed itself to engage more of a range of styles of craft.

Anathema have never stopped progression. Each record is something different from the one before it, the one after — and don’t get me started on Hindsight or Falling Deeper — but their vision always charts a path forward from where they’ve, and Alternative 4, from as troubled a place as it seems to come, was a special moment for them that only happened once. As a listener, it was for me as well.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

I don’t break out Anathema all the time. Especially not this record. Especially not in summer. This week though, coming down H-A-R-D as I have been from Maryland Doom Fest, we got there. That change, where you go back to real life after the thing, I just haven’t been able to get there. A lot of processing. A lot of sort of distant daydreaming. A lot of trying to distract myself and failing pretty hard at it. I don’t know. I’m just not there. I haven’t been sleeping. Was up at 2:30 this morning, 12:30 the other night, 1AM another night. Yesterday I slept I think. Hard to remember outside of the overall pattern of fucking self-loathing and wishing I was someone else.

When people say nice things to me, a voice in my head immediately contradicts. They don’t know me. They have some idea of me that’s not true. I’d like to be that. But that’s not who I am. I know who I am. Fucking wretched. I am not a good person. I do not appreciate or deserve the things and people I have in my life. It goes on and on. I take pills for it. I’ve been microdosing psilocybin mushrooms every other day for the last couple weeks and that’s made those days easier. But still. I look at my son and know I’ll fail him. Every time someone says he looks like me, I want to die. I look at my wife and know I let her down. I don’t deserve what I have. At all.

So.

We’re in Connecticut this weekend, going back to Jersey on Sunday. I might go to the studio with Solace that day, as they were kind enough to invite me as they did nine years ago when they were finishing A.D., but it depends largely on timing. We’re also starting the Quarterly Review next week. I’ve slated it for six days, but there’s a bit of finagling to do, so whatever. I also need to do Postwax liner notes, send out interview questions to Tony Reed and The Mad Doctors (who are breaking up) and update a visa recommendation letter for Kadavar, so there’s some shit going on either way. Obviously this week I’ve been super-motivated to do anything other than bash my brain in with a fucking hammer.

Baggage claim. That’s mine. Least I can do is be honest about it.

Seriously, at Doom Fest, people said like the nicest shit to me. “Thanks for all you do,” and “How do you do it” and all that. You know how I do it? I’m fucking crazy, is how I do it. I’m compulsive in EVERYTHING. The same drive that used to have me getting drunk by myself at two in the morning? The same drive that punishes myself for, I don’t know, eating a meal? It’s the same fucking thing. It’s all part of my disgusting fucking brain. I’m 37 years old. I can’t even function. I can’t even chew gum like a human being. I’m supposed to raise a kid? I can feel myself poisoning everything around me.

Next week will be better. Will it? Yeah, it will. I’ll do the Quarterly Review and that’ll get me out of my head for a little bit, give me something to focus on. It’s just exhausting in the meantime.

I’m gonna pour myself another coffee and go watch the sunrise. Great, safe. Forum, radio, merch.

The Obelisk Forum

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Conan Announce Fall European Tour with Un & Sixes

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

conan

Conan have already hit the road hard this year, mostly the US where they’ve shared stages with Black Label Society, The Atomic Bitchwax and I don’t know how many others along the way. They’ll continue that thread starting in about two weeks at the Maryland Doom Fest — where I’m looking forward to seeing them — and they’ll do a run of headlining shows with Witchkiss after that, and now they’re announcing a headlining run with Un and Sixes for Europe this Fall that will begin at Desertfest Belgium on Oct. 20 and run through mid-November as they tear ass across the continent for the better part of a month.

My only question is whether they’ll have a new album out by the time that tour hits. You’ll recall at the start of the year they talked about a new release in 2019. I’ve no idea when they would have had time to record such a thing, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t yet or won’t after this next tour. I don’t know. Maybe their plans have changed. I hear plans do that sometimes.

Either way, the more eardrum decimation, the merrier, so here are the dates:

conan euro fall 2019

CONAN – !!!EUROPEAN TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!

OCTOBER / NOVEMBER SHOWS.

We are delighted to head out into the mainland with two of the USA’s finest and heaviest bands.

Un and Sixes join us for what will be a very heavy run of shows…..

Conan Live:
June 23 Frederick, MD – Maryland Doom Fest
June 27 Portland, ME – Geno’s ^
June 28 Montreal, QC – Turbo Haus ^
June 30 Cleveland, OH – Now That’s Class ^
July 01 Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups ^
July 02 Indianapolis, IN – Black Circle ^
July 05 Omaha, NE – Slowdown
July 06 Rapid City, SD – Haycamp Brewery
^ = w/Witchkiss

Conan Fall Tour w/ Un & Sixes:
20.10 Desertfest Antwerpen, Antwerpen, BE
21.10 Magasin 4, Brussels, BE
22.10 Schlachthof, Wiesbaden, DE
23.10 Junkyard, Dortmund, DE
24.10 Funbureau, Hamburg, DE
25.10 Alte Meierei, Kiel, DE
26.10 1000 Fryd, Aalborg, DK
27.10 Truckstop Alaska, Gotenborg, SE
28.10 Vega, Copenhague, DK
29.10 Zukunft Am Ostkreuz, Berlin, DE
31.10 Gazwerk, Winterthur, CH
01.11 Bad Bonn, Dudingen, CH
02.11 Heavy Psych Sounds Fest, Innbruck, AT
03.11 Legend Club, Milano, IT
04.11 Gala Hala, Ljubjlana, SL
05.11 Cluc Mocvara, Zagreb, HR
06.11 Arena, Vienna, AT
07.11 Durer kert, Budapest, HU
08.11 Kulturak, Bratislava, SK
09.11 Kabinet Muz, Brno, CZ
10.11 Soulstone Gathering Festival, Kravow, PL
11.11 Chemiefabrik, Dresden, DE
12.11 Underdogs, Praha, CZ
14.11 Baroeg, Rotterdam, NL
15.11 Gibus, Paris, FR

Lineup:
Jon Davis – vocals, guitar (2006-present)
Chris Fielding – bass (2013-present)
Johnny King – drums (2017-present)

http://www.hailconan.com/
https://www.facebook.com/hailconan/
https://www.instagram.com/hailconan/
https://conan-conan.bandcamp.com/
https://twitter.com/hailconan
http://label.napalmrecords.com/

Conan, “Volt Thrower” official video

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Conan Add More Dates to North American Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 13th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

conan

UK trio Conan have been chipping away at the West Coast since the latter part of last month, and they’ll wrap up that run at SXSW ahead of heading out once more in April, this time in the company of The Atomic Bitchwax and Black Label Society for a tour that will end in May. THEN they’ll be back in the US AGAIN in June to play more dates around their stop headlining at Maryland Doom Fest 2019. That is a significant amount of touring and, unless they’ve opened up a US headquarters and I didn’t know about it — could happen — a significant amount of travel across the Atlantic to do it.

All of this is set to precede the arrival of their next studio album, which, if it was going to be out this Spring would most likely already have seen its release date announced. Maybe summer? Maybe fall? I don’t know, but Conan are for sure keeping busy as they head toward the release, which of course one looks forward to in that special way that one anticipates Conan records like a boot to the skull. Which is to say, yes, very much.

From the social medias:

conan updated poster

CONAN – NEW US DATES

Check out our dates during April / May / June / July…….

See you in the pit (or to one side with your arms folded, nodding your head).

CONAN Live:
March 12: Taos, NM @ Taos Mesa Brewery Mothership
March 13: El Paso, TX @ Rockhouse
March 15: Austin, TX SXSW @ Lost Well

Apr 24 Denver, CO – Oriental Theater #*
Apr 25 Denver, CO – Oriental Theater #*
Apr 27 Dallas, TX – Canton Hall #*
Apr 28 Dallas, TX – Canton Hall #*
Apr 30 Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall #*
May 01 Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall #*
May 02 Lexington, KY – Cosmic Charlie’s *
May 03 Chattanooga, TN – The Signal #*
May 04 Asheville, NC – Odditorium *
May 06 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom #*
May 07 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom #*
May 08 Hampton Beach, NH – Hampton Beach Casino #*
May 12 Richmond, VA – The National #*
May 13 Baltimore, MD – Ram’s Head Live #*
May 14 Toronto, ON – Opera House #*
May 15 Toronto, ON – Opera House #*
May 22 Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theater #*
May 23 Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theater #*
# = w/Black Label Society
* = w/Atomic Bitchwax

June 23 Frederick, MD – Maryland Doom Fest
June 27 Portland, ME – Geno’s ^
June 28 Montreal, QC – Turbo Haus ^
June 30 Cleveland, OH – Now That’s Class ^
July 01 Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups ^
July 02 Indianapolis, IN – Black Circle ^
July 05 Omaha, NE – Slowdown
July 06 Rapid City, SD – Haycamp Brewery
^ = w/Witchkiss

Lineup:
Jon Davis – vocals, guitar (2006-present)
Chris Fielding – bass (2013-present)
Johnny King – drums (2017-present)

http://www.hailconan.com/
https://www.facebook.com/hailconan/
https://www.instagram.com/hailconan/
https://conan-conan.bandcamp.com/
https://twitter.com/hailconan
http://label.napalmrecords.com/

Conan, “Volt Thrower” official video

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Conan Announce New Album for 2019; North American Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Conan make an early play for 2019 tour poster of the year with their 8-bit action that immediately sends the mind reeling with video game possibilities. Imagine an Altered Beast-style Conan game where you become The Sentinel and have to fight the Agoniser on your way to dominating the infinite. Or something. I don’t know. Battle axes would be involved and it would be sweet. I’d break out my USB Super Nintendo-knockoff controller for that. All the way.

Note that the Conan tour set for the earlier part of 2019 wraps up at SXSW. I would expect more plans for Austin to emerge — or not to emerge, if they’re secret plans as sometimes it goes with SXSW — between now and March. It’s been over a decade since I’ve been down that way, but at least the last time I was there, bands rarely showed up, played one gig, and split. Especially those who traveled some distance for it. If you’re going to SXSW, keep an eye out, is all I’m saying.

And of course, Conan have a DIY UK tour set for January as well that The Obelisk is co-presenting with Jon Davis‘ own Blackskull Services, and that’s more than nifty, so as they continue to support 2018’s Existential Void Guardian (review here), I don’t for one second imagine this will be the last tour they announce for the New Year — especially with a new album announced for release sometime in the next 12 months.

Shows are presented by Nanotear:

conan tour

**NEW ALBUM COMING IN 2019** Merry Xmas to all of you. Thanks for an awesome 2018, and here is to a great 2019. January 2019 is an important month for us because we start working on a follow up to Existential Void Guardian. SLAY EVERYONE.

We are delighted to work with Nanotear once more. Behold our US tour dates for Feb and March 2019.

ALL HAIL VOLT THROWER

02.21 Denver CO Hi-Dive
02.22 Salt Lake City UT Soundwell
02.23 Bozeman MT Zebra Lounge
02.25 Edmonton AB Temple
02.26 Calgary AB Palomino
02.28 Vancouver BC Astoria
03.01 Seattle WA Substation*
03.02 Portland OR High Water Mark*
03.03 Eugene OR Old Nick’s
03.04 Sacramento CA Blue Lamp*
03.05 San Francisco CA Parkside*
03.07 Los Angeles CA Catch One*
03.08 San Diego CA Brick by Brick*
03.09 Phoenix AZ Pub Rock
03.10 Albuquerque NM Sister Bar
03.13 El Paso TX Rockhouse
03.15 Austin SXSW Lost Well

Lineup:
Jon Davis – vocals, guitar (2006-present)
Chris Fielding – bass (2013-present)
Johnny King – drums (2017-present)

http://www.hailconan.com/
https://www.facebook.com/hailconan/
https://www.instagram.com/hailconan/
https://conan-conan.bandcamp.com/
https://twitter.com/hailconan
http://label.napalmrecords.com/

Conan, “Volt Thrower” official video

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Ungraven Announce Debut Album Due Spring 2019; New Solo-Project from Conan’s Jon Davis

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Sonic extremity is hardly a new realm for guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis of UK pummelers Conan, but with Ungraven, he takes something of a different approach. In the streaming demo “Blackened Gates of Eternity,” Davis taps into industrial-style repetitions and rhythms, still keeping a presence on guitar, but using it to different ends than in its main outfit. It’s no coincidence he’s wearing a Nailbomb t-shirt in the promo photo, and one imagines having recently joined Max Cavalera onstage only furthers that affection — to be fair, Point Blank was badass — but it should be interesting to see just how far Davis pushes Ungraven away from what Conan do and where the new outfit’s impending debut full-length — set to release in Spring of next year — takes him in terms of sound.

You can hear the demo at the bottom of this post, thanks to the wonders of the internet. The PR wire had this to say about it:

ungraven

JON DAVIS ANNOUNCES UNGRAVEN

Jon Davis of legendary British doom metal band CONAN is pleased to announce his new solo project UNGRAVEN which showcases his love of 90’s metal.

In Jon’s own words “I am a huge fan of Fudge Tunnel, Ministry, Godflesh, Sepultura and Nailbomb. I fell in love with ‘For All Those Who Died’ by Bathory on Headbangers Ball and also the ‘Speed Kills’ comp. Since then I have referenced these bands in some of Conan’s material. With Ungraven I pay homage to the industrial sounds emanating from Birmingham in the 90s with a few other influences that I’ve been obsessing over for a while. It’s super heavy but sightly different from what I have done so far.”

UNGRAVEN’s debut album will be released in spring of 2019, but to celebrate the announcement, Davis has released the track “Blackened Gates of Eternity” on Bandcamp.

Listen to the song here: https://ungraven.bandcamp.com/album/demos

More information on UNGRAVEN will be coming soon.

https://www.facebook.com/ungraven
https://ungraven.bandcamp.com/
https://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://blackbowrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Black-Bow-Records-565275456841866/

Ungraven, “Blackened Gates of Eternity” demo

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