Yidhra Releasing Cult of Bathory 10″ Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 10th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


It was noted in this space back in 2013 when Los Angeles Theremin-inclusive doomers Yidhra released their full-length debut, Hexed, so it seems only fair to post word of the follow-up 10″ EP, Cult of Bathory, which comes out next month. Like its predecessor, the new offering features a veiled lady in sepiatone, though I guess the difference is this time she’s got no clothes on other than the veil — always the last to go…? — and is engaged in some creepy ritual whatnot, as the band themselves seem to be. The four-songer is out Dec. 7, and like the album before it, was tracked by Bill Metoyer in L.A.

Word follows from the PR wire:

yidhra cult of bathory

YIDHRA: Los Angeles-Based Stoner/Doom Bringers To Release New 10-Inch EP This December Via Black Voodoo Records

Los Angeles-based stoner/doom volume abusers will release a new 10-inch EP this Winter via Black Voodoo Records. Titled Cult Of Bathory, the followup to 2013’s critically-lauded Hexed full-length was captured live with master engineer and producer Bill Metoyer (Slayer, Corrosion of Conformity, Trouble, etc.) at Skull Seven Productions and boasts four rumbling, lead-footed anthems centered on the occult, witchcraft, inhumanity, life, death and imminent destruction.

Cult Of Bathory Track Listing
1. Cult Of Bathory
2. Iron Mountain 1
3. Theadversary
4. Reign Of Terror

Since their inception in 2009, YIDHRA have drawn comparisons to the likes of Electric Wizard, Saint Vitus, Trouble and Candlemass. But there’s something singularly hypnotic about YIDHRA; an intangible allure slithering beneath the doom and gloom. Literally formed by the fates of tragedy, life and death, they’ve been able to rise above their roots of despair and use those experiences to forge a massively heavy, dark and catchy arsenal of material. Lyrically and visually, YIDHRA conjure strong horror and occult themes that yield a seductive sense of foreboding. Musically they build a mountain of distortion, groove, thunder and a haunting ambiance that can only be attributed to true devotees of the almighty riff, master practitioners of tone worship and a spiritual relationship with the Theremin. Though there’s been a steady evolution within the band over the years, YIDHRA’s approach has always been focused on true expression; raw emotions and creating powerfully catchy kick ass songs.

YIDHRA will bring their smokey odes to the stage with two newly confirmed performances including a show tonight opening for New Orleans sludge kings, Crowbar with additional live abrasions in their plotting stages.

11/20/2015 Sweet Springs Saloon – Los Osos, CA w/ Behold! The Monolith, Inferos, Lesions

Black Voodoo Records will release YIDHRA’s Cult Of Bathory on December 7th, 2015 on 10-inch vinyl in three limited edition color variants: 100 blood red splattered, 100 purple sold exclusively through Black Voodoo Records, and 100 standard black. Cult Of Bathory will be available on CD and digitally in early 2016. Stay tuned for details. Teaser tracks to be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Ted Venemann – vocals/rhythm guitar/theremin
Dave Krocker – lead guitar
Thomas Harris – bass (on the recording/since resigned)
Erik Brasher – bass (new/current)
Chris Hannan – drums


Yidhra, Hexed (2013)

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Mondo Generator and Peter Pan Speedrock Tour Starts Tomorrow

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 8th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Nick Oliveri‘s Mondo Generator and Dutch rippers Peter Pan Speedrock are both celebrating their 20th anniversaries this year, and they’ve joined forces to take what’s sure to be a riotous cross-country trip together this month. It’s Mondo Generator‘s first US run since early 2013, but Peter Pan Speedrock have that beat easy: It’s been 13 years since the last time they came Stateside. Seems only fair to expect they’ll be in lively form to stand up to the occasion.

The PR wire has dates and whatnots:

peter pan speedrock mondo generator tour

Peter Pan Speedrock and Mondo Generator announce US tour in October

High octane powered Dutch machine Peter Pan Speedrock have confirmed and announced a Fall tour in the United States with Los Angeles based punk/metal hybrid Mondo Generator that has the hell ride begin in the city of Brotherly Love and conclude in the Emerald City.


10/9 – North Star (Philadelphia, PA)
10/10 – Wonder Bar (Asbury Park, NJ)
10/11 – Bowery Electric (New York, NY)
10/12 – Ottobar (Baltimore, MD)
10/14 – Hard Rock Cafe (Pittsburgh, PA)
10/15 – Small’s (Hamtramck, MI)
10/16 – Brauerhouse (Lombard, IL)
10/17 – Rock Island Brewing (Rock Island, IL)
10/19 – The 5th Quarter (Indianapolis, IN)
10/21 – Larimer Lounge (Denver, CO)
10/24 – Shredder (Boise, ID)
10/25 – El Corazon Lounge (Seattle, WA)

This tour ends a thirteen year long hiatus and a long awaited return of Peter Pan Speedrock to US soil and it is perfect timing for them to do this. 2015 is a significant milestone in their world as they are marking twenty years strong as a band, the ten year anniversary of their Eindhoven based metal/punk festival Speedfest and a North American release of their latest album Buckle Up And Shove It!(first release in North America since 2005). Their success is accredited to a solid foundation, nonstop touring and a work ethic that’s as heavy as the 2015 lineup for Speedfest.

Their latest album Buckle Up And Shove It! was released across Europe by Suburban Records/Steamhammer and picked up earlier this year by Self Destructo Records for North American audiences. Fourteen powerful tracks that blend crushing metallic guitar, powerful low end bass and hammering drums that were recorded at their new in house recording Mecca Bootleg Studios in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Their career includes ten full lengths along with split albums with names like Zeke, Danko Jones, Batmobile, Gluecifer, V8 Wankers & Death Alley. Their workhorse ethic has taken their live shows across the European, Australian and North American continents with their first visit to the Asian continent occurring in wintertime. With this ethic, they draw themselves closer to their goal of surpassing The Ramones number of live shows played of 2,263.

Mondo Generator is celebrating twenty years as a band as well! Reactivated after being put on ice due to Nick Oliveri’s touring/recording commitments with Bl’ast, Moistboyz and Dwarves, as well as releasing his solo album Leave Me Alone (Schnitzel Recordings) with tours across California and Europe in support. The break also had him rejoining his old band Queens Of The Stone Age on the stage during their final show of 2014 in Los Angeles at The Forum as well as a performance in Portland, OR. This tour will conclude for Mondo Generator at the Day Of The Shred festival in Santa Ana, CA where they will play alongside the likes of Torche, Crowbar, Yawning Man, Saviours, The Body and Nick’s old band mate from the Kyuss years, John Garcia. It will be the first US tour for Mondo Generator since they shared the road with Wino and Saviours back in 2013 in support of their last album Hell Comes To Your Heart (Mondo Media/No Balls Records).

Says Mondo Generator founder Nick Oliveri of the tour: “Looking forward to touring with Holland’s finest motor rock punk kings PPSR, on our 20th year of Mondo Generator being a band.”

Buckle Up And Shove It! is available now from Self Destructo Records on vinyl and CD in North America and through Suburban Records for the rest of the world.

Leave Me Alone and Hell Comes To Your Heart are available through the Nick Oliveri webstore.



Mondo Generator, “The Last Train” official video

Peter Pan Speedrock, “Get You High” official video

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Behold! the Monolith, Architects of the Void: Poison for Protection (Plus Album Stream!)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

behold the monolith architects of the void

[Please note: Behold! the Monolith release Architects of the Void on Sept. 29, with vinyl to follow in December. Thanks to the band and PR for permission to host the album stream.]

Exclamatory genre-blenders Behold! the Monolith made their full-length self-titled debut in 2009. Then a trio, the Los Angeles-based outfit would follow that album with Defender, Redeemist in 2012, and now, three years later, they offer their third long-player in Architects of the Void. That would seem to be right on schedule, but the truth is much harsher, guitarist/vocalist Matt Price and drummer Chase Manhattan having lost bassist/vocalist Kevin McDade in a car accident shortly after the second album was released. With Architects of the Void, Behold! the Monolith — now a four-piece with bassist Jason “Cas” Casanova (also Sasquatch, ex-Tummler) and standalone vocalist Jordan Nalley — prove that not only do they have it in them to persevere after the tragic death of one-third of their original lineup, but that they’re able to do so in vital and righteously heavy fashion.

Taking cues from a variety of metallic styles from black, death, doom, thrash, post-Mastodonic crunch, and so on, Behold! the Monolith partnered with producer Billy Anderson (Sleep, Acid King, Neurosis, so many more) and constructed a seven-track/50-minute excursion into oppressive atmospherics and somehow-regal tectonics. The core of Architects of the Void is wildly aggressive, but the band’s application of that aggression is manifest in the Candlemass-style mournfulness of “Lord of Bones” and the manner in which death-doom ambience of opener “Umbral Vale” feeds into the tense intro of “Philosopher’s Blade” that precedes a thrashing gallop and some of Nalley‘s harshest, most biting vocals on the record.

Not to be understated is the fluidity of these changes and how easy Behold! the Monolith make it sound to mesh various stylistic elements. “Philosopher’s Blade” is a standout for its uptick in pace, but more so its sense of control, the class with which the four-piece execute their marauding progression and give way into the eight-minute “The Mithriditist,” wherein far-back-but-cleaner shouts, screams, growls, airy acoustic guitars, back-breaking heft, heavy rock swing and black metal all seem to find common ground to suit the band’s purposes. Among the most singularly impressive of Architects of the Void‘s tracks, it’s worth remembering that “The Mithriditist” is still just a piece of the overarching whole-album flow. A vicious part, though, and its wash of feedback and noise at the end fades to let “Lord of Bones” call to mind “The Samarithan” with its central riff but retain entirely more ill-meaning purposes, insistent and crushing largesse taking hold early in back and forth tempo shifts until, in the second half of the song, they dip full-on into blackened thrash extremity only to end cold and precise and sudden, churning to a head and then cutting out relatively quick.

behold the monolith

That brings about “Black Days of…,” which is the shortest of the tracks at 2:41 and more of an interlude, though one that retains the heavier material’s lung-deflating claustrophobia amid its samples, weaving-in-and-out feedback and drone, and in turn recedes into the bludgeoning of “Between Oder and the Vistula.” Alternately stampeding in its gallop, grooved in its doom and, at its most intense, all-out grinding, it fits with the wide breadth of “The Mithriditist” and “Lord of Bones” earlier, and it hits a grandiose crescendo in its midsection that I can’t help but associate with a Strapping Young Lad influence, especially vocally, before letting Price carry the bridge with a standout solo. Big, angry, fast, angrier. The real achievement is how Behold! the Monolith manage to offer something so wildly different-sounding in structure across these cuts while keeping the mood so consistent. Imaging being blinded with rage seven different ways.

Sounds exhausting, and by the time they get around to the 14-minute closing title-track, Architects of the Void will no doubt have lapped plenty of listeners. Still, it’s worth sticking it out for the finale not because it reaffirms the frenetic course of what comes before it, or because it pushes further from the manic pieces of “Between Oder and the Vistula,” but because its build is so clear in its linearity and because in their final movement, Behold! the Monolith seem less concerned with the multifaceted nature of their attack than with what a single progression put to its best use can accomplish. That’s not to say “Architects of the Void” doesn’t have its changes, or that the other songs don’t have a clear idea of where they want to be or what the varying pieces are working to accomplish, just that the balance shifts in a way that reinforces precisely that notion that the band are doing more across the album’s span than simply putting parts next to each other and calling it heavy.

The closer ends on a long fade topped by an obscure, manipulated sample that winds up being the last element to go, its human roots barely recognizable. After so consuming a trip, it feels as though Behold! the Monolith are leaving the listener in the void they’ve blueprinted, but when the smoke clears, the prevailing impression is less about what influences the band has mashed together than about what they’ve managed to build out of that mash. While keeping to a three-year timetable, Behold! the Monolith have overcome a tragedy that would be the undoing of many acts and moved forward on Architects of the Void with a sound that doesn’t at all forget where it came from, but keeps its intentions geared toward future growth.

Behold! the Monolith on Thee Facebooks

Behold! the Monolith on Bandcamp

Behold! the Monolith’s website

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Wino Wednesday: Saint Vitus, Thirsty and Miserable EP in Full

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 2nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Happy Wino Wednesday.

Don’t get me wrong, I dig Saint VitusThirsty and Miserable EP for what it is, but I think the bigger impact of the 1987 release has to be what it said about who the band were and the ground it so brazenly tread upon, namely that of Black Flag. Now, Vitus had been putting stuff out through Greg Ginn‘s SST Records since their 1984 self-titled debut, and maybe having them take on Black Flag‘s track “Thirsty and Miserable,” which appeared on that band’s Damaged full-length in 1981, was an idea that came up as a way of bridging the gap between the ultra-Sabbathian Saint Vitus and SoCal’s punker elite, which famously hated the band. I wasn’t there, but my understanding is it didn’t work.

Nearly 30 years later, however, the Thirsty and Miserable EP holds a special place in Saint Vitus lore. Complemented by the two originals “Look Behind You” and “The End of the End,” the EP’s titular cover isn’t about meeting a fanbase halfway so much as showing the fuckall that had rooted itself into the band’s approach by this time — somewhat ironic since that very same fuckall is precisely what they had in common with the punk of the day. Coming off their third album, Born too Late, the band sound assured on Thirsty and Miserable of their sound and style, and listening to them run through “Thirsty and Miserable” and “Look Behind You” — both of which wind up pretty fast — and the swinging “The End of the End,” they make a convincing argument that if the world doesn’t get it, it’s the world’s problem. In hindsight, it’s easy to hear that statement and view it as being correct. Plus, they talk about breaking into a liquor store, and that’s hilarious.

This is Wino Wednesday number 199 out of 200. Next week we’ll wrap up the series and hopefully end on a positive note. Since this is the last time Saint Vitus will be featured as a part of it, I thought it important to include something special. Enjoy:

Saint Vitus, Thirsty and Miserable (1987)

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Wino Wednesday: Wino & Conny Ochs, “Hotel Vast Horizon” Live in L.A., 2012

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 26th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Happy Wino Wednesday.

Seems a fair guess that between Wino and Conny Ochs, it’s the latter who brought the idea of covering Chris Whitley to the table. The relatively underappreciated singer-songwriter, who passed away in 2005 from lung cancer, had a discography of more than a 10 full-lengths to his credit by the time he died at the age of 45, and of course more have surfaced since. “Hotel Vast Horizon” is the title-track from the Texan’s ninth LP, released in 2003, and in performing it on their US tour, it’s Ochs who takes the initial lead vocally in the video below, backed by Wino as the song progresses.

Wino & Conny Ochs were on tour at the time supporting their debut, Heavy Kingdom (review here), after beginning with a European tour to herald the Exile on Mainstream release. Their second album, the more crisply produced Freedom Conspiracy (review here), came out earlier this year, and while most of the time when I post about the two-piece, it gets a response I’ll generously call “minimal,” as the Wino Wednesday series pushes toward its conclusion with #200, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a Wino & Conny Ochs track, because screw it, I like that stuff a lot. Can’t be Spirit Caravan all the time.

Along with “Hotel Vast Horizon,” the video includes the next cut in their set at The Satellite in Los Angeles on Aug. 8, 2012, which was “Green Speed.” Taken from Wino‘s 2010 solo acoustic debut, Adrift (review here), its careening central progression and faster pace manage to show heavy roots no matter how they’re played, plugged or not, and it makes a fitting companion for “Hotel Vast Horizon” here, demonstrating what each player brings to the Wino & Conny Ochs collaboration.

Two more Wino Wednesdays after this one, which is getting increasingly hard to believe. Hope you enjoy:

Wino & Conny Ochs, “Hotel Vast Horizon” & “Green Speed” Live in L.A., Aug. 8, 2012

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Sugar Fly Release New Single “Blind” and Post Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 11th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

sugar fly

A little while back, sharp-dressed Los Angeles soul rockers Sugar Fly saw fit to premiere the audio of their debut single, “Blind,” in this very space. I’m not inclined to say no to that kind of thing, particularly when the groove is as tight as that coming from the newcomer outfit, who went from a trio to a stage-sustainable five-piece with the addition of guitarist Dre DiMura, also of Lunar Electric, to the already established lineup of vocalist Tia Simone, bassist Collyn McCoy (also of The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic) and drummer Noah Lifschey, also joined by keyboardist/organist Esteban Chavez since the time the single was posted.

Building an orchestra? I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Sugar Fly picked up a horn section somewhere along the line, but they’re not there yet. Still, all five members of Sugar Fly appear in the video for “Blind,” which is also released today as a download single bundled with the track “If You Want Blood,” so one gets a decent sense of what it might be like to see them onstage — which, incidentally, is where they’ll be tonight at a little place called The Viper Room. You might have heard of it sometime. I don’t know that anything big has ever really happened there. Ha.

Video and McCoy‘s announcement on Thee Facebooks follow. Enjoy:

Sugar Fly, “Blind” official video

So after months and months of working on this project, we’ve finally got something to show for it (besides a killer live show). SUGAR FLY’s single BLIND dropped today, available on Amazon, Spotify, Bandcamp, your mom… pretty much anywhere you can find digital music (iTunes in a few days I guess).

PLUS we have a killer video care of the folks at Mouser.

Like what you see/hear? We’re playing a FREE “SECRET” SHOW at the Viper Room tonight. Let me know if you want on the super secret VIP list.

Sugar Fly website

Sugar Fly on Thee Facebooks

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Ancient Altar Premiere “Void” from Dead Earth

Posted in audiObelisk on August 6th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

ancient altar

Los Angeles sludgers Ancient Altar will release their sophomore full-length, Dead Earth, on Sept. 1. The 300-pressed vinyl comes courtesy of Black Voodoo Records, and there’s reportedly a tape to follow through Midnite Collective, which also released the band’s 2014 self-titled debut, the response to which was fervent enough to earn the four-piece a slot on the May 2015 Psycho California festival. Dead Earth makes no secret of its grim purposes across its four tracks and 41 minutes, but much to its success, the band manages to conjure a vision of atmospheric sludge that’s neither redundant in its methods nor specifically derived from the post-Neurosis school of undulation. Make no mistake, at some point along the way, someone in Ancient Altar probably heard Through Silver in Blood — whether that’s bassist/vocalist Scott Carlson, guitarist/vocalist Barry Kavener, guitarist Jesse Boldt or drummer Etay Levy, I wouldn’t speculate — but it’s by no means a defining influence, and Dead Earth seems much more geared toward innovation than emulation, or at very least the creation of an individualized identity from a variety of stylistic elements.

ancient altar dead earthWhat the hell does that mean? In terms of the front to back listening experience, it means Ancient Altar are particularly adept at tipping their aesthetic to one side or another. Obviously the split between vinyl sides is a factor, but listening to Dead Earth digitally, its four cuts right in a row, the album moves almost seamlessly from one piece to the next, two longer cuts, opener “Leader, Liar” (12:38) and closer “Void” (12:48), sandwiching the shorter “Albion” (8:34) and “Dead Earth” (6:55), as all work in various levels of thoughtful abrasion toward a full-album flow, somewhere between aggro and a pervasive resignation that feeds into the titular theme — it’s too late to think about saving anything except ourselves. The bulk of the record is screamed, and “Albion” and “Dead Earth” especially dip into black metal atmospheres, but even in those moments, Ancient Altar refuse to be so easily categorized, and by the time they’re through the immersive beginnings of “Leader, Liar,” and they’ve trudged through “Albion” and the nadir of “Dead Earth,” they open up, not to a resounding hopelessness as the title “Void” might hint, but to a feeling of potential from within that despair. Amid clean vocals and a heightened melodic sensibility, the “Void” may be empty, but it’s also the only hope.

All of this ties in with the stated theme of the record, which is loosely that the planet is beyond saving and if our species is to survive, we’ll have to enter that void and find hope elsewhere. Of course, Ancient Altar do a better and more descriptive job on conveying it, so perhaps it’s better to leave it to them. Ahead of the album’s Sept. 1 arrival, I have the pleasure today of hosting the premiere of “Void,” which in addition to being the longest inclusion on the outing is also the richest in terms of the emotional and thematic drive on display.

You’ll find it on the player below, followed by tour dates for a run that begins tonight and more album info. I hope you enjoy:

Ancient Altar hails from the land of the unrelenting sun, crippling drought, and excess known as Los Angeles, born of arcane philosophy and a stripped-down approach to bristling, daunting, towering doom. Formed in late 2013, the band features bassist Scott Carlson and guitar player Barry Kavener splitting vocal duties, along with second guitarist Jesse Boldt and drummer Etay Levy.

Dead Earth is the band’s sophomore effort, coming just a year after their 2014 eponymous debut, which was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews, and just a few months after a devastatingly stunning set at Psycho California in May. Dead Earth is a loose concept album based on war, corrupt leaders, and religion destroying planet Earth as we speak—which is happening, and only getting worse. The album depicts the only way for humanity to survive: leaving this dead earth and starting over somewhere else. The record dips and dives between themes of the utter despair of the human race’s impending doom—and a sense of hope as we triumphantly make our terrifying yet absolutely necessary escape toward a fresh start and a new future.

Track Listing:
1. Leader, Liar
2. Albion
3. Dead Earth
4. Void

Ancient Altar Tour Dates:
8/6 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Bar
8/7 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Flux Capacitor
8/8 – Santa Fe, NM @ The Cave
8/9 Tempe, AZ @ 51 West

Ancient Altar on Bandcamp

Ancient Altar on Thee Facebooks

Ancient Altar tour event page

Black Voodoo Records

Midnite Collective

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Ancient Spell Sign to Minotauro Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

ancient spell

Los Angeles doom metallers Ancient Spell have announced a Sept. 8 release for their new album, Forever in Hell, via Minotauro Records. The full-length is their second behind a 2013 self-titled, and a newly unveiled teaser finds its tracks rife with metallic lurch and alternatingly thrashy and doomed impulses playing out in darkened, grim atmospheres.

They were a trio when the first offering came out two years ago, so it seems safe to say there’s been a pretty marked shift in the band’s overall status. How that change might ultimately manifest in terms of the record will take more than a teaser to showcase, but at least we’ve got enough to get an initial impression of the bleakness to come.

The PR wire brought news of the allegiance with Minotauro and the release:

ancient spell forever in hell

“Death is an Ancient Spell…unbroken. Do not fear it and it will empower you to live life to the fullest.” -Ancient Spell

From the depths of the underground comes Ancient Spell…. A Los Angeles based band comprised of local musicians Donnie Marhefka on Lead Vocals, Conrad Viz on Guitars/Vocals, Jeff Clark on Bass, Rob Thompson on Drums and Dan Rado on Guitar. They have come together to bring forth yet another forging of Metal. Inspired by classic, thrash, and Doom metal, they each bring their talents to the table and create a Heavy wall of sound. The band’s first CD is now available on iTunes, CDbaby, Amazon, Google, Spotify and many other internet stores. 2 videos are available on the Ancient Spell YouTube channel, Bleeding Black and Wizard ov Doom. New album will be out on Minotauro Records on September 8, 2015!!! Doom on!!!

Saint Vitus, Slayer, The Sword, Corrosion of Conformity, Down, Lamb of God, Black Sabbath, Death

Under Your Spell
Cease to Exist
Fall ov Humanity
Beyond the Gates
March to Your Grave
Black Flame Ritual
Eternal Embers


Ancient Spell, Forever in Hell album teaser

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