Friday Full-Length: Orange Goblin, The Big Black

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Orange Goblin, The Big Black (2000)

They weren’t the first stoner rock band to come from the UK, but with their third album, 2000’s The Big Black, London outfit Orange Goblin more or less perfected the form. Produced by Billy Anderson and released through Rise Above and The Music Cartel, it produced a couple of classics for the Orange Goblin canon, the band — who were then a five-piece with guitarist Pete O’Malley alongside the steady-to-this-day lineup of vocalist Ben Ward, guitarist Joe Hoare, bassist Martyn Millard and drummer Chris Turner — still regularly featuring “Scorpionica” and “Quincy the Pigboy” at, well, certainly at every show I’ve seen them play. These songs are quintessential Orange Goblin, and as a one-two punch at the start of The Big Black, the album sets itself a high standard to meet, but to ignore “Cozmo Bozo,” “Alcofuel” and “The Big Black” itself is to ignore the axe swinging down on the back of your neck. Front to back, Orange Goblin‘s third is all the whisky stomp and riffly righteousness that has come to define them in the years since, and a record that, at 15 years old, sounds more vital today than when it was released.

It closes the week with Desertfest in mind, the festivals in London and Berlin held this weekend. Orange Goblin played The Big Black in full last night in Berlin, and they’ll do the same tonight in London before a hometown crowd that’s the center from which their influence has spread out worldwide. I can only imagine the Electric Ballroom in Camden Town going off to “Hot Magic, Red Planet” as the band storms through the album, and yeah, I’ll cop to a bit of jealousy for those who are there or were in Berlin to see it. I haven’t been to Desertfest in two years, and the festival has grown substantially in that time in terms of the names they bring in, but to have Orange Goblin nail down The Big Black for all to see shows their roots are strong in heavy, and however they may have expanded — geographically or stylistically — that continues to be an essential part of what they do. And The Big Black is nothing if not essential heavy. Seems like a good fit to me. Wish I was there.

Hope you enjoy.

Had that job interview Wednesday, and I have no problem admitting it has utterly consumed my consciousness since. Sleep’s a respite, and I’ve been working hard to keep working hard both because there’s stuff to do (already behind for Monday, thanks) and because I’ve needed the distraction from waiting to find out if I got the gig or not. I don’t know, incidentally. Another phone interview Tuesday and then hopefully some word. Apparently it’s down to me and one other person. I want the job. I mean, I need a job. I want this one. I can do this one. Fingers crossed for the next 90 hours or so, and then probably a while afterwards as well.

Next week kind of depends on how that turns out, but I’ve got an EP stream slated for Sinister Haze and reviews due for Lamp of the Universe, Samurai and Cigale, and golly it would be nice to get through all of them. Tuesday’s actually kind of a special deal as well because I’ve got an interview going up with the guys from Death Alley that was really cool. Whole-band interviews are kind of a crapshoot, could go either way, but this was one of the best interviews of any sort I’ve done in a long time. I’ll be transcribing it this weekend and it should go live with a stream of the title-track to their upcoming debut LP, Black Magick Boogieland, which is also awesome.

That’ll be up in the afternoon, probably, so keep an eye out, and if you’re interested (or if you’re not), I’ll probably give some update on my professional situation when I have an update to give. The last couple days have been full-on hurry-up-and-wait, and I expect this weekend will be more of the same. At least baseball’s on.

I put a thing out on Thee Facebooks earlier today, but worth noting here as well that The Obelisk Radio hit a new high for the amount of people listening at once this week, more or less blowing the last one out of the water, and that is thoroughly appreciated. If you’ve listened at all, thanks.

Have a great and safe weekend. Enjoy and we’ll see you back here Monday. Please check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Galley Beggar Announce Silence and Tears Release on Rise Above Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 30th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

galley beggar

UK acid folkers Galley Beggar will release their third album, Silence and Tears, on May 19. It’s their label debut on Rise Above, which in itself is notable, but even more so is the six-piece’s warm, melodic approach to classic folk ideals and how subtly they work in just a hint of modern revivalist psychedelia — not quite tonally weighted, but hinting in that direction and giving a sense of spontaneity and a broader stylistic reach to the material on the record. In short, it’s a release worth keeping an eye on. A logical pick-up for Rise Above given some of the imprint’s ’60s fascinations of the last couple years, and it should be interesting to see how Silence and Tears is received by their audience. For what it’s worth, I’m digging it so far.

Details follow, off the PR wire:

galley beggar silence to tears

GALLEY BEGGAR to Release Silence & Tears May 19th via Rise Above Records

Unbelievably, it’s almost 50 years since Fairport Convention and their followers – Steeleye Span, Trees, Dando Shaft, Mellow Candle and others – fashioned British folk-rock. Kent-based sextet GALLEY BEGGAR – who take their name from a mischievous spirit in English folklore – describe their mission as ‘to imagine the next phase of English folk-rock’ on their third album, Silence & Tears. “We’ve always loved English folk, but when we formed in 2009 it felt like nothing much was happening to carry the style forward,” says guitarist Mat Fowler, “so we thought, we love listening to folk-rock and we love playing it – why not try to write something in that vein?”

The results can be heard on their earlier albums, Reformation House and Galley Beggar, and now on Silence & Tears. “Our first record was very folky,” reflects Mat, “but since then we’ve moved towards a more electric rock feel.” Indeed, the eight tracks on the new album span traditional song, Gothic balladry and peculiarly British acid rock, the mood alternately fragile and robust, with sweet vocal harmonies (led by Maria O’Donnell), lyrical guitar playing from Mat and his cohort David Ellis, and added texture from the violin of Celine Marshall (calling to mind Mr. Fox’s Carolanne Pegg), all anchored by Bill Lynn’s steady bass and Paul Dadswell’s deft drumming. The material spans reworkings of the ancient classics Geordie and Jack Orion, brooding ballads like Adam & Eve and the otherworldy Empty Sky, and the intense 9-minute epic Pay My Body Home, which triumphantly recalls folk-rock’s early 70s glory days.

Silence & Tears may echo centuries of folk tradition, but its crisp, punchy sound is resolutely modern, despite calling on retro flourishes such as phasing, wah-wah and backwards guitar. Much of that is down to the fact that it was recorded at the profoundly analogue Toe Rag studios, where White Stripes, Tame Impala, the Zutons and many others have also worked with renowned producer-engineer Liam Watson. “We made our first two albums ourselves,” says Mat, “so this was the first time someone else has produced us. Recording at Toe Rag was just wonderful – to see all that incredible gear at work, and to have a tangible recording experience rather than staring at a screen, was amazing. And watching Liam at work is mesmerizing – the sounds he gets onto tape are better than they are in real life!”

In an era when bands such as Trembling Bells, Circulus and Wolf People have brought folk-rock to the fore again, the hypnotic interplay and inspired jamming on Silence & Tears is sure to find an enthusiastic audience. “We’ve already got a few festivals lined up this summer, including Leigh Folk Festival and Wessex Festival, and several other shows are still being arranged,” says Mat. “It’s an honour to be compared to other folk-rock bands – but we like to think we’ve got something of our own to offer too.”

For More Info Visit:
http://www.galleybeggar.com/
https://twitter.com/galleybeggar
http://www.riseaboverecords.com/

Galley Beggar, “Willow Tree” Live Dec. 7, 2013

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Groan Premiere “Witchfinder General Finder” from Highrospliffics EP

Posted in audiObelisk on March 19th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

groan

London heavy rock troublemakers Groan have always asked the hard questions. How black was our Sabbath? What happens when wizards sleep? Now they return with the answer to another query that has plagued doom since Vincent Price donned the mantle of Matthew Hopkins: Who do you call when you can’t find the Witchfinder General?

The answer was right there the whole time.

It won’t take more than one listen for the chorus of Groan‘s “Witchfinder General Finder” to get stuck in your head — if it even takes that — but don’t be surprised if you come back for another round anyway. The Superhot Records-affiliated unit, whose last release was 2013’s Ride the Snake EP (review here), will issue their new four-songer, Highrospliffics, next Monday, March 23, making it available as a free download via their Bandcamp. As a sampler of their chicanery-laced wares, “Witchfinder General Finder” underscores the point that’s been true of Groan since their 2010 debut, The Sleeping Wizard (review here), namely that it’s about the songwriting as much as the goofball ethic. The four cuts on Highrospliffics manage to be ridiculous and ridiculously catchy at the same time, the band’s remaining founders, bassist Leigh Jones and vocalist Andreas “Mazzereth” Maslen, joined as ever by a lineup changed since their last outing, with drummer Zel Kaute returning and newcomer guitarist Lindsay Hamilton making a first appearance here.

And while Groan are probably due for a follow-up full-length to their second album, 2012’s metallized The Divine Right of Kings (review here) — to which the closer groan highrosplifficsof Highrospliffics, “Buried in Leather,” seems to hearken sonically and thematically — it’s hard to complain about any new installment offered. On Highrospliffics, “Witchfinder General Finder” is preceded by “Run out of Fucks,” a suitable starting point, six-minute, solo-ized doom groover with fervent stomp and, yes, a resonant hook, very much in the style that has become Groan‘s own over the last half-decade, making the over-the-top seem perfectly reasonable in some alternate universe of grandiose proclamations and accompanying soar-ready leads. “Witchfinder General Finder” itself is the most infectious of the included tracks, with an effective call and response in the chorus and an irresistible nod leading to its shredding solo, Hamilton making an immediately distinguished impression.

“March of the Druids” follows suit with its hook, but works in more of a build structure, pushing toward its final apex, raucous but not necessarily out of control. Both it and “Buried in Leather” are under four minutes long, working in a classic verse/chorus mode light on pretense and irony-free, but well aware of the laugh they’re having. Gang shouts back Mazzereth in “March of the Druids,” which is no less satisfying than “Witchfinder General Finder” tonally, and “Buried in Leather” kicks in with a rougher, sharper edge, its intro giving way to a motoring rush of a verse after about a minute as they thrust forward to the repeated final chorus, “When I die and they lay me to rest/Bury me in leather and a cut-off denim vest,” unabashed in its fist-pump righteousness and as inviting a heavy metal refrain for crowd participation as I’ve heard from Groan since “Gods of Fire” from The Divine Right of Kings. As ever, Groan are having a party. You can’t hope to stop it, you can’t hope to contain it. You might as well get on board.

The Highrospliffics EP was recorded by Slabdragger‘s Sam Thredder and is out on Monday. Check out “Witchfinder General Finder” on the player below, followed by the complex lineup history in all its twists and turns, and enjoy:

If you’re a stranger to the Spinal Tap-esque history of Groan, here it is: Groan were formed in 2010 and put a few demos online that rapidly caught the stoner/doom scene’s attention. They released their first album, The Sleeping Wizard, on Doomanoid Records that year. The band soon earned a reputation as an exciting, entertaining and completely ridiculous force live, with charismatic (and generally barefoot) lead singer Mazzereth acting as ringmaster general at gigs. Confused and amused fans soon grew to know this group as a party-doom band that is high and giggling, not a stoner rock band that is tuned-out and derivative.

In the nine months after the album was released, the band played live all over the country, smoked the GDP of a small African nation, wrote off a brand new Ferrari California, decorated their rehearsal room with gifts from hookers, and even split up and re-formed in a day. After a split EP with Finnish doomers Vinum Sabbatum in 2011, Groan‘s second album was released in 2012 by Dutch label Soulseller Records, The Divine Right of Kings, to great critical acclaim.

With new members Zel Kaute (Vodun, ex-Pettybone) and Mike Pilat (ex-Ocean Collective) joining on drums and guitar respectively, the band took a heavy metal sidestep with their five track EP, Ride the Snake, in late 2013. With yet another new lineup in 2014, Groan went back into the studio with founder members Mazzereth (vocals) and Leigh Jones (bass) joined by long-time drummer Zel Kaute and new guitarist Lindsay Hamilton. Across their five releases, Groan have proven their ability to write songs that marry catchy hooks with heavy riffs and plan to dominate 2015 with the release of Highrospliffics and the destruction of many live music venues.

GROAN IS:
Mazzereth – Vocals
Leigh Jones – Bass
Lindsay Hamilton – Guitar
Zel Kaute – Drums

Groan on Thee Facebooks

Groan on Twitter

Groan’s Bandcamp

Superhot Records on Bandcamp

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Bright Curse Debut “Shaman” from New Single

Posted in audiObelisk on March 18th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

bright curse (Photo by Oran Tarjan)

London heavy psych rockers Bright Curse will release their new single, Shaman, on March 20. The two-songer arrives two years and two bassists on from Bright Curse‘s 2013 self-titled debut (review here), and while there was discussion of a new EP before their next album as a showcase for where the new lineup are headed sonically, I’m pretty sure the single will be serving that purpose instead. For what it’s worth, it does so readily, finding guitarist/vocalist Romain Daut, drummer Zacharie Mizzi and new bassist Max Ternebring melding raw psychedelia and fuzz with heavier push and grunge elements. Of course, in terms of getting to know the band again, the fact that “Shaman” and “Fear the Lord” top 15 minutes when played back to back helps, but even more telling is the atmospheric focus the band displays in that time.

“Fear the Lord” is the shorter of the two cuts at 6:30 and has some satisfying chug to it, but “Shaman” nears nine minutes in length and is more open sonically, early punch and angularity moving into smoothed-out nod and not taking long before shifting into abright curse shaman consuming exploratory jam, Ternebring leading the way, his bass soon joined by ebow-ish guitar and a pervasive classic-prog feel that only increases as the build mounts, giving way eventually to another verse and the apex of the song. Where “Fear the Lord” is more about its hook, “Shaman” itself indicates at a breadth of songwriting expanding since the debut’s release and brought to life with clarity and passion by this latest incarnation of Bright Curse. The differences in structure alone make it harder to guess where Bright Curse might be headed following Shaman, but both tracks portray the band as coming into their own, and that’s always an excellent place to start.

Bright Curse will embark on a round of Ephel Duath-presented tour dates next month with Elephant Tree to herald the single’s arrival, and you’ll find the shows along with some PR wire info under the player below, on which you can hear the streaming premiere of “Shaman,” which it is my pleasure to host. Hope you enjoy:

New single “Shaman” comes along another song entitled “Fear The Lord”, both being available on the band’s Bandcamp as well as all digital platforms on March 20th. The tracks were recorded in London, and mastered by Tony Reed (Mos Generator, Stone Axe) at HeavyHead Recording studios.

BRIGHT CURSE’s frontman Romain Daut comments on this new material: “We wanted to record a single with our new bass mästare Max to show the evolution in our sound, so we wrote “Shaman” in January and recorded it in February. With this song, we tried to find a way between old school riffs and lumberjack heaviness. Max brings more energy and feeling to the band, and I think it’s all over those two songs. It’s a brand new alchemy for Bright Curse.”

BRIGHT CURSE will head back to the studio later in 2015 to record their second album to date. The trio will hit the road on March 16th for a short Euro tour.

“Shaman” will be available March 20th on all digital platforms. Artwork by Elvisdead.

UPCOMING SHOWS:
16.04 (FR) HÉNIN-BEAUMONT – Végas Café
17.04 (FR) ROUEN – Le 3 Pièces
18.04 (BE) LIÈGE – Péniche InsideOut
19.04 (CH) BASEL – Secret Place
20.04 (FR) TBA
21.04 (FR) TBA
22.04 (FR) TBA
23.04 (DE) GÖTTINGEN – Vinyl Reservat
24.04 (DE) HAMBURG – Bambi Galore

Bright Curse on Thee Facebooks

Bright Curse on Twitter

Bright Curse on Bandcamp

Bright Curse website

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Everything I Needed to Know about Life, I Learned from Orange Goblin

Posted in Features on March 10th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

orange-goblin-(Photo-by-Ester-Segarra)

Songs of life, love, booze, and occasionally, monsters.

London doomsmashers Orange Goblin get a lot of credit for kicking ass, and rightly so. They do it well and they’ve been doing it for 20 years. But what you don’t hear as much about is the human core of the band. Listening to their riffs as they careen along — full-on stoner early on albums like 1997’s Frequencies from Planet Ten debut, more metal of late on 2012’s A Eulogy for the Damned and last year’s raging Back from the Abyss — is all well and good, but there’s more to Orange Goblin than just riffy punishment. There’s humor, there’s regret, honest reflection, harsh self-critique, and yes, occasionally monsters (“Scorpionica” walks by and waves).

There’s also a good deal of advice. Delivered from Orange Goblin frontman Ben Ward with don’t-make-the-same-mistakes-I’ve-made sincerity, it’s been a running theme throughout their catalog, and no matter where they’ve gone sonically, it has remained an essential part of what they do. Guitarist Joe Hoare, bassist Martyn Millard, drummer Chris Turner and Ward have become not only forerunners of the London and UK heavy rock scene — influencing a generation of bands with their signature burl and commitment to sonic propulsion — but almost like its godfathers as well, there to help out anyone willing to listen.

It’s probably not all advice everyone is going to be interested in taking, but I think even if you take the monsters into consideration, Orange Goblin‘s lyrics over the last two decades paint a human portrait that’s generous in sharing what it’s learned. Here are a few of my favorite lessons from along the way, ordered by the album on which they appeared.
 

Frequencies from Planet Ten (1997)

“In search for mystery, we find insanity.” — “Aquatic Fanatic”

Maybe a song that’s ostensibly about smoking reefer underwater (admittedly a simplification) isn’t where one might think wisdom would bloom, but the line “In search for mystery, we find insanity” reminds us how easy it is to forget about the important things in life as they’re happening while we’re trying to see what appears to us as a bigger picture. Not as blatant as some of the advice that would follow, but applicable nonetheless.
 

Time Travelling Blues (1998)

“You know your future is comin’ and it’s comin’ soon.” — “Shine”

The first of several on this list that turn a popular aphorism into something rawer in its expression. Live in the moment, tempus fugit, or as Clutch once said, “You can’t stop progress.” Particularly in the context of “Shine”‘s stoner-blues groove, this one hits home easily.
 

The Big Black (1999)

“…A blind man sees tomorrow, like a deaf man hears the sun.” — “298kg”

I’m not exactly sure what that’s supposed to mean, but it sounds badass in a synesthetic kind of way. The full verse is: “If a blind man sees tomorrow, like a deaf man hears the sun/Then we must choose if we were born to lose, or if we’re the chosen one/I can’t find the feeling, that’ll take my blues away/So I just keep on rollin’, ’til I find a brighter day.” Fair enough. We’ll keep on rollin’. Runner up to “I need your loving and some alcohol,” from “Cozmo Bozo.”
 

Coup de Grace (2002)

“The sun never sets on the last of the brave.” — “Rage of Angels”

Some especially dudely perspective there, but one could hardly accuse Orange Goblin of being the first to posit that great deeds outlive those who accomplish them. This cut from the underrated Coup de Grace also starts with a sample of Kris Kristofferson from 1978’s Convoy telling a sherriff “Piss on you and piss on your law,” so you know, bonus points for that in the sageliness department.
 

Thieving from the House of God (2004)

“Some you win, some you lose.” — “Some You Win, Some You Lose”

I don’t think a day’s gone by in the last 10 years that I haven’t at one point or another uttered the words, “Some you win, some you lose.” Once again, Orange Goblin didn’t invent “win some lose some,” but they turned it around and made it their own, and it’s one of their most memorable hooks. Runner-up from the same album: “If it ain’t broke, break it,” from the song of the same name. The “disruptive innovation” crowd could have a field day with that one.
 

Healing through Fire (2007)

“If this isn’t hell, it’s the next best thing.” — “Cities of Frost”

A plain truth, plainly spoken. Yeah, I’ve pulled the line out of context, but the chorus is a metaphor anyway. If you want a companion line, “The fruits of empire will not numb the pain/And in our weakness, the Lord’s to blame,” should suffice. There’s a terrible landscape being surveyed, but yeah, it’s probably a real place and time, and it’s probably here right now.
 

A Eulogy for the Damned (2012)

“You’ve got to stand for something or you’re gonna fall for nothing.” — “Stand for Something”

This song is a perfect example of the band’s learn-from-my-mistakes perspective, directly addressing the listener and encouraging the pursuit of one’s passions or beliefs. Granted, the phrase “fall for nothing” could be taken as not being tricked, but given the rest of the lyrics, it’s pretty clear they mean “falling for nothing” as in “for no reason,” and that if you have to fall as we all do, you might as well fall for what you believe in.
 

Back from the Abyss (2014)

“Praise the valium.” — “Into the Arms of Morpheus”

Amen, brother.

This is really just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to Orange Goblin, and I hope if you have a particular favorite from along the way, you’ll let me know about it in the comments.

If you want to catch Orange Goblin live this year, they’ll be at Hammerfest, Desertfest, Hellfest, Dour Fest, Bloodstock, and others, with more sure to be announced. More wisdom at the links.

Orange Goblin on Thee Facebooks

Orange Goblin’s website

Candlelight Records

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Pombagira Premiere “Cold Descent” from New Album Flesh Throne Press

Posted in audiObelisk on March 3rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

pombagira-(photo-by-Vic-Singh)

A headphone record in the truest and most engrossing sense of the term, Pombagira‘s Flesh Throne Press is set to release internationally on March 27. The album is the UK duo’s seventh overall since 2008, but it’s a landmark as well for being their debut on Svart Records, and they’re doing it up in style accordingly. Following the path they began to lay out on 2013’s Maleficia Lamiah (review here), guitarist/vocalist Pete Giles and drummer Carolyn Hamilton-Giles delve even deeper into melodic, tonally blissful psychedelics, crafting a rich, warm swirl that permeates the album’s extended 86-minute/2LP course. At times minimal, as on the interlude “Soul Seeker” near the end of the first of two CDs, it can also move with abstract shoegaze melody, as on the prior “Endless,” or unfurl a doomly roll, as on the later “I Curse I Pray.”

There are consistent elements throughout, and it’s certainly possible to put on Flesh Throne Press, nod out and experience it as one massive unfolding, languid, live-sounding psychedelic experience — no doubt that was at least part of the intent — but disc two seems to be even more exploratory and experimental than its predecessor. Opening with the 15-minute “In the Silence” (Pombagira are no strangers to extended forms; see also 2011’s single-song full-length, Iconoclast Dream), the two-piece float between airy minimal builds and the pedal-stomped consuming fuzz of earlier pieces like “Sorcerous Cry” and similarly-minded album opener “The Way.” Pete‘s vocals are a major factor in tying it all together, and his performance on Flesh Throne Press is also his boldest to date in Pombagira, confident enough to wisp through the spaciousness of “Blessed are the Dead,” suitably ghostly, or come to the fore à la Mad Season on “Ash to Flesh” after the particularly folkish interlude “Time Stone.”

pombagira-flesh-throne-pressShifts in vibe between individual tracks are more of a factor with Flesh Throne Press than Maleficia Lamiah, but I’d just as likely chalk that up to where the experiments led Pete and Carolyn than any master-planned intent — the master plan being “experiment,” in other words — and while some of disc two’s shorter pieces could’ve hit the cutting room floor in order to make the album a single disc, it would’ve required a double-vinyl anyway, so enhancing the atmosphere with “Time Stone” or the closer “Yesterday’s Tomorrow” makes a kind of contextual sense in keeping with the overarching fluidity of the material, which is brought to a head on the molten, gorgeous and weighted “Cold Descent.” Penultimate on the record, it is the arrival point to which the journey leads, one of the album’s most resonant movements distinguished by a memorable riff progression and ambitious, accomplished vocal presence that speaks not only to how far Pombagira have come, but how far they can still go.

Because that’s the thing about Flesh Throne Press. It doesn’t just make Maleficia Lamiah seem transitional in context — it reaffirms the same thing about everything Pombagira does, including itself. “Cold Descent” moves into an instrumental jam in its second half and comes around to a sort of grunge-gaze apex, but the duo don’t take the easy way out and click back into mega-thick fuzz. Instead, a quick bout of swirl and then onto the epilogue in “Yesterday’s Tomorrow.” It shows that, even at what would seem to be a crucial moment, Pombagira are willing to hold back and restrain if it best suits the atmosphere of the album overall, which, of course, it does.

And while there’s little likelihood that whatever Pombagira do next will make it seem primitive, “Cold Descent” and Flesh Throne Press as a whole demonstrate that as they get closer to the completion of their first decade as a unit, Pete and Carolyn remain firmly entrenched in a sense of sonic adventurousness.

Please find “Cold Descent” on the player below, followed by info off the PR wire, and enjoy:

Pombagira return with their sixth album since their inception in 2007. Flesh Throne Press sees the band expanding on themes covered in their previous double album release Maleficia Lamiah . Recorded in July 2014 across two intense weeks the band put down over 80 mins of material all of which will be made available on the double CD and double album, both of which will be released by Svart Records in March 2015.

Musically, this album projects the band forward with a mind-expanding purpose for exposing the body to a varied compositional range. When it is heavy, it obliterates in an avalanche of riff making, and when in full tilt, it is only matched by the orchestral quality produced by tracking six amps and cabs for every guitar take.

More concise in its delivery than Maleficia Lamiah , the overall cerebral effect upon the listener is apocalyptic. It will not only rattle you to the very core of your being, but it also wills the listener to a plane where an inner meditative pose can be sustained. This is accomplished by way of the heaviest songs Pombagira have written to date, and by injecting stripped down undistorted constituents to the proceedings. Surfacing in standalone songs as well as being interspersed amongst those heavier tracts of progressive expansiveness, the band this time around present to the listener their most exact example of musical uniqueness. Coursing with the undulations of textural juxtaposition, Pombagira make firm their claim of being a truly original band without compare.

Retentive themes regarding the dead and the necromantic discourse for conversing with ancestors both forgotten and the fallen is here enfleshed. In many ways this album solidifies a connection between the written word composed within Peter Hamilton-Giles’ soon to be published “Grimoire of the Baron Citadel” through Three Hands Press, and the ongoing ritual work to serve the forgotten and fallen. Flesh Throne Press actually refers to the visceral experience of the grave dirt which presses in on the flesh during the initiatory procedure.

Embodying both aspects of ingress and egress, this new album will present a more psych-o-delic side to Pombagira’s music, as they find innovative ways to evolve their sound. In an attempt to bind the sorcerer to the spirit entourage that comes from taking every deviation, Flesh Throne Press explores the ‘nightside’ like no other.

Pombagira on Bandcamp

Pombagira at Svart Records

Svart Records on Thee Facebooks

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Groan: Highrospliffics EP Coming March 23

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

groan

What does a Witchfinder General Finder find? He finds Witchfinders General. Or maybe he finds the band Witchfinder General, I don’t know. I haven’t heard the song yet. Maybe London’s Groan — who’ll release their new EP, Highrospliffics, as a free download through Bandcamp on March 23 — are working on a “Whatever Happened to Celtic Frost?” kind of thing. Or maybe I’m overthinking it. I don’t know, but it’ll be fun to find out. With Groan, the safer bet is always that shenanigans will ensue.

Highrospliffics will be the first new Groan release since 2013’s Ride the Snake EP (review here) offered vibe by the slice. Details follow from the PR wire, including the tracklisting, which, if you were wondering what the hell I was talking about in the paragraph above, should have some answers:

groan-highrospliffics

GROAN: Cheeky English Doom ‘N’ Rollers Announce New EP, Highrospliffics, Out Via FREE Download March 23

The cheekiest of party-doom bands, London’s GROAN, have confirmed themselves as the number one party-stoner band in the UK and returned with a new EP, Highrospliffics (recorded by Sam Thredder of Slabdragger), which will be available via FREE digital download on March 23 via the group’s Bandcamp.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Run Out Of Fucks
2. Witchfinder General Finder
3. March Of The Druids
4. Buried In Leather

If you’re a stranger to the Spinal Tap-esque history of Groan, here it is: Groan were formed in 2010 and put a few demos online that rapidly caught the stoner/doom scene’s attention. They released their first album, The Sleeping Wizard, on Doomanoid Records that year. The band soon earned a reputation as an exciting, entertaining and completely ridiculous force live, with charismatic (and generally barefoot) lead singer Mazzereth acting as ringmaster general at gigs. Confused and amused fans soon grew to know this group as a party-doom band that is high and giggling, not a stoner rock band that is tuned-out and derivative.

In the nine months after the album was released, the band played live all over the country, smoked the GDP of a small African nation, wrote off a brand new Ferrari California, decorated their rehearsal room with gifts from hookers, and even split up and re-formed in a day. After a split EP with Finnish doomers Vinum Sabbatum in 2011, Groan‘s second album was released in 2012 by Dutch label Soulseller Records, The Divine Right of Kings, to great critical acclaim.

With new members Zel Kaute (Vodun, ex-Pettybone) and Mike Pilat (ex-Ocean Collective) joining on drums and guitar respectively, the band took a heavy metal sidestep with their five track EP, Ride the Snake, in late 2013. With yet another new lineup in 2014, Groan went back into the studio with founder members Mazzereth (vocals) and Leigh Jones (bass) joined by long-time drummer Zel Kaute and new guitarist Lindsay Hamilton. Across their five releases, Groan have proven their ability to write songs that marry catchy hooks with heavy riffs and plan to dominate 2015 with the release of Highrospliffics and the destruction of many live music venues.

GROAN IS:
Mazzereth – Vocals
Leigh Jones – Bass
Lindsay Hamilton – Guitar
Zel Kaute – Drums

LINKS:
facebook.com/groanuk
twitter.com/GroanRock
groan.bandcamp.com
superhotrecords.bandcamp.com

Groan, “Slice of that Vibe” official video

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Desertfest London 2015: Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus and Moaning Cities Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

desertfest london 2015 banner

Desertfest London 2015 has added two more acts to its already remarkable lineup. Youngin’ Swedish rockers Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus impressed last year with their Small Stone label debut, Spirit Knife (review here), while Belgium’s Moaning Cities‘ 2014 release, Pathways through the Sail, only came to my attention when the four-piece was recently added to the Roadburn lineup, but made an impression at the time and has warranted several revisits since.

The two acts join a huge roster of bands, where even four lines down on the poster it’s like you’re still looking at headliners (as you can see below), from Red Fang and Sleep and Eyehategod to The Atomic BitchwaxMy Sleeping Karma and Black Pyramid, and the announcements from Desertfest make it official:

desertfest london 2015 poster

JEREMY IRONS & THE RATGANG MALIBUS TO ROAR LIKE SCAR AT DESERTFEST 2015!

JEREMY IRONS & THE RATGANG MALIBUS, IS ASTRAL-PROGRESSIVE PRAIRIE ROCK WITH AUTHENTIC, AUDIO-VISUAL ROOTS IN A 1970S MUSIC LANDSCAPE.

This band is the musical, northwest passage between classic rock and the unholy spirit of Pink Floyd.

It’s like finding an interstellar sound portal to a hidden space desert, that only can be seen and heard through a kaleidoscope, which is blessed by a spiritual shaman from Saturn.

The band’s latest album “Spirit Knife” is perhaps the ultimate record for inner and outer road tripping beyond all boundaries. But have no fear of getting lost, the soundscape and the groove serves as your existential guide and compass, through the purple mist of the desert.

MOANING CITIES TO SOOTHE CAMDEN’S DESPAIR AT DESERTFEST 2015!

FORMED IN 2011, MOANING CITIES ARE A YOUNG BRUSSELS-BASED QUARTET WHO RELEASED THEIR DEBUT LP LAST YEAR, ‘PATHWAYS THROUGH THE SAIL’.

The band comes from the ’60s psych revival end of the scene; think The Doors, 13th Floor Elevators, Baby Woodrose, The Heads and Wooden Shjips, or even some acts closer to home like Ride and The Stone Roses. Vocalist Valérian Meunier is especially reminiscent of the honest approach of singers like Ian Brown and Richard Ashcroft of The Verve.

The band have another strong element to them: their love of North African and Middle-Eastern instruments. On stage they wrap many of their songs in a blissed-out haze, with Timothée Sinagra’s hypnotic sitar and Melissa Morales’ ethnic percussion. They know how to wig-out too, fuzz rockers like lead single ‘Bread and Games’ will get your ass moving on the dance floor.

A nice diversion from the doom and sludge at the heavier end the festival experience, Moaning Cities will get London howling with satisfaction at this years’ DesertFest.

Kind Words: Rich AfterSabbath

http://www.thedesertfest.com/
https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestLondon
https://www.facebook.com/moaningcities
https://www.facebook.com/JeremyIronsandtheRatgangMalibus

Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus, Spirit Knife (2014)

Moaning Cities, Pathways through the Sail (2014)

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