Saint Vitus Tease New Album; Headed Back to Europe in 2019

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

saint vitus

Could it be a Spring 2019 release for a new Saint Vitus album and the band’s first to be fronted by Scott Reagers since 1995’s Die Healing? Well, I mean, yeah, it could. A March or April release is well enough time away for Season of Mist to get the promo-whatnot rolling for it, and the three words I’m keying into in the band’s short tour announcement below as snagged from social media are: “NEW RECORD READY.” I like the sound of that. Does that mean the thing will necessarily show up in time for the April 3 start of the European run? Not at all. But it means it’s possible, and I’ll take that for the time being.

Vitus celebrate 40 years in 2019, and if you missed word when the band put it out, original bassist Mark Adams has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and a GoFundMe has been set up to help with his medical expenses. Donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/mark-adams-parkinson039s-disease

More on the next Vitus LP when I hear it. Here are the tour dates in the meantime:

saint vitus tour

SAINT VITUS announce headlining European tour

SAINT VITUS have announced new European live dates for April and May 2019. A full list of confirmed shows for the ’40 F’N Years’ trek can be found below.

“NEW RECORD READY TO BLOW YOUR FACE OFF!!!!!!” – Saint Vitus

SAINT VITUS ’40 F’N Years’ European Tour 2019:
w/ special guest Dopelord unless noted
Apr 3 Gothenburg (SE) @ Sticky Fingers
Apr 4 Stockholm (SE) @ Debaser Strand
Apr 6 Jyväskylä (FI) @ Lutakko
Apr 7 Helsinki (FI) @ On The Rocks
Apr 9 Oslo (NO) @ Blaa
Apr 10 Copenhagen (DK) @ Pumpehuset
Apr 11 Berlin (DE) @ So36
Apr 12 Hamburg (DE) @ Headcrash
Apr 13 Bomal-Sur-Ourthe (BE) @ Durbuy Rock Festival
Apr 14 Dortmund (DE) @ Junkyard
Apr 15 Cologne (DE) @ Luxor
Apr 17 Birmingham (UK) @ Mama Roux
Apr 18 Leeds (UK) @ Brudenell
Apr 19 Glasgow (UK) @ Audio
Apr 20 London (UK) @ The Underworld Camden
Apr 21 Paris (FR) @ Petit Bain
Apr 23 Nantes (FR) @ Le Ferrailleur
Apr 24 Toulouse (FR) @ Le Rex
Apr 25 Barcelona (ES) @ Boveda
Apr 26 Madrid (ES) @ Copernico
Apr 27 Barroselas (PT) @ Swr Metalfest
Apr 28 Bilbao (ES) Kafé @ Antzokia
Apr 20 Fribourg (CH) @ Fri-Son*
May 1 Milan (IT) Circolo @ Circolo Magnolia
May 2 Zurich (CH) @ Dynamo*
May 3 Karlsruhe (DE) @ Dudefest
May 4 Leipzig (DE) @ Ut Connewitz
*No Dopelord

BAND LINE-UP:
David Chandler (guitar)
Scott Reagers (vocals)
Henry Vasquez (drums)
Pat Bruders (bass)

https://www.facebook.com/saintvitusofficial
https://twitter.com/saintvitusband
http://saint-vitus.tumblr.com/
http://www.saintvitusband.com/
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http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Saint Vitus, Die Healing (1995)

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Quarterly Review: Sumac, Cortez & Wasted Theory, Thunder Horse, The Howling Eye, Grime, URSA, Earthling Society, Bismarck, Grand Reunion, Pledge

Posted in Reviews on December 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

As we land on what would otherwise be the end of a Quarterly Review — day 5, hitting the standard 50 records across the span of a week that this time we’re doubling with another 50 next week — it occurs to me not how much 100 albums is, but how much it isn’t. I mean, it’s a lot, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been sitting and writing about 10 records every day this week. I know how much that is. But it’s astounding to me just how much more there is. With the emails I get from people looking for reviews, discs sent in the mail, the messages on Facebook and everything else, I could do another 100, easy.

Well, maybe not ‘easy,’ but it would be full.

Is it a new golden age of heavy? 45 years from now are rockers going to look back and say, “Hell yeah, from like 2012-2019 was where it’s at,” all wistful like they do now for the ’70s? Will the Heavy ’10s be a retro style? I don’t know. But if it was going to happen, there would certainly be enough of an archive to fuel it. I do my best to cover as much as I can, but sometimes I feel like we barely crack the surface. With 100 records.

That said, time’s a-wasting.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Sumac, Love in Shadow

sumac love in shadow

What are Sumac if not the most vital and highest profile atmospheric metal act out there today? With Aaron Turner (Isis, etc.) on guitar/vocals, Brian Cook (Russian Circles) on bass and Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists) on drums, they qualify easily as a supergroup, and yet their third album, Love in Shadow (on Thrill Jockey), is still more about creative growth and the exploration of sound than anything else. Certainly more than ego — and if it was a self-indulgent exercise, it’d probably still be pretty good, frankly. As it stands, the four massive tracks through which Sumac follow-up 2016’s What One Becomes (review here) and their 2015 debut, The Deal (review here), refine the sound Sumac has developed over the past three years-plus into a sprawling and passion-driven sprawl that’s encompassing in scope, challenging in its noise quotient, and in utter refusal to not progress in its approach. And when Sumac move forward, as they do here, they seem to bring the entire aesthetic with them.

Sumac on Thee Facebooks

Thrill Jockey Records on Bandcamp

 

Cortez & Wasted Theory, The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter Nine

cortez wasted theory second coming of heavy ch 9

Ripple Music‘s split series The Second Coming of Heavy hits its ninth chapter in bringing together Boston’s Cortez and Delaware’s Wasted Theory, and neither band fails to live up to the occasion. Cortez‘s range only seems to grow each time they hit the studio — vocalist Matt Harrington makes easy highlights of the opener and longest track (immediate points) “The Firmament” and the echo-laden “Close” — and Wasted Theory‘s “Ditchpig,” “Abominatrix,” “Baptized in Gasoline” and “Heresy Dealer” are so saturated with whiskey it might as well be coming out of their pores. It’s a decidedly North/South release, with Cortez rolling straightforward New England heavy rock through “Fog of Whores” and the Deep Purple cover “Stormbringer” while Wasted Theory dig with all good speed into a grit that’s more and more become their own with time, but there’s a shared penchant for hooks and groove between the two acts that draws them together, and whatever aspects they may or may not share are ultimately trumped by that. As Ripple starts to wind down the series, they continue to highlight some of the finest in heavy that the underground has to offer. One would expect no less.

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Thunder Horse, Thunder Horse

thunder horse thunder horse

There’s an unmistakable sense of presence throughout Thunder Horse‘s six-song/43-minute self-titled debut that undercuts the notion of it as being the San Antonio four-piece’s first album. With professionalism and a firm sense of what they want to be as a band, the Texans liberally sprinkle samples throughout their material and hone a professional sound built around massive riffs and even-more-massive lumbering grooves. Indeed, they’re not strangers to each other, as three-fourths of the group — guitarist/vocalists Stephen Bishop, guitarist/sampler T.C. Connally and drummer Jason West — double in the more industrial-minded Pitbull Daycare, whose debut LP came out in 1997. Completed by bassist/vocalist Dave Crow, Thunder Horse successfully cross the genre threshold and are well comfortable in longer cuts like “Liber ad Christ Milites Templi” and “This is the End,” both of which top nine minutes, and shorter pieces like the rocking “Demons Speak” and the shimmering finale “Pray for Rain.” With “Coming Home” and the sneering “Blood Ritual” at the outset, Thunder Horse pulls listener quickly toward dark atmospheres and flourishes amid the weighted tones therein.

Thunder Horse on Thee Facebooks

Thunder Horse on Bandcamp

 

The Howling Eye, Sonorous

the howling eye sonorous

Poland’s The Howling Eye make a lengthy long-player debut with Sonorous, but more important than the reach of their runtimes — closer “Weedblazer” tops 16 minutes, the earlier “Reflections” hits 12, etc. — the reach of the actual material. The common pattern has been that psychedelic jamming and doom are two distinct things, but The Howling Eye tap into a cosmic interpretation of rolling riffs and push it with an open spirit far into the ether of spontaneous creation. It’s a blend that a group would seem to need to be cautious to wield, lest the whole notion fall flat, but with the assurance of marked chemistry behind them, the Bydgoszcz-based trio of drummer/sometimes vocalist Hubert “Cebula” Lewandowski (also harmonica where applicable), guitarist Jan Chojnowski and bassist Mi?osz Wojciechowski boldly shift from the more structured beginnings of the funky “Kairos” and the aggro beginning “Stranded” into an outward push that’s ambient, psychedelic and naturalistic all at once, with room left over for more funk and even some rockabilly on “The Potion.” It is not a minor conglomeration, but it works.

The Howling Eye on Thee Facebooks

The Howling Eye on Bandcamp

 

Grime, What Have We Become

grime what have we become

Their roots in metal, North Dakota trio Grime — not to be confused with the Italian sludge outfit of the same name — unleash their first full-length in the form of What Have We Become, an ambitious 51-minute offering of progressive heavy rock marked by thoughtful lyrics and fluid songwriting made all the more so by the shared vocals of bassist Andrew Wickenheiser and guitarist Nick Jensen, who together with drummer Tim Gray (who would seem to have been replaced by Cale Mogard) effect a classic feel through “Alone in the Dark” while chugging and winding through the not-a-cover “Hand of Doom” with some harsher vocals peppered in for good measure. Seven-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Through the Eye” sets a broad tone that the rest of the record seems to build on, with the penultimate “Sunshine” delivering the title line ahead of the grittier closer “The Constant Grind,” which seems to payoff everything before it with a final explosion before a big rock finish. They’ll need to decide whether their sound will ultimately tighten up or loosen over time, but for now, what they’ve become is a band with a solid foundation to grow from.

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Grime on Bandcamp

 

URSA, Abyss Between the Stars

ursa abyss between the stars

Modern doom meets a swath of metallic influences on URSA‘s full-length debut, Abyss Between the Stars (on Blood Music), as members of Petaluma, California’s Cormorant take on such classic themes as wizards, dragons, yetis, witches, a spider king, mountains, and… actually, yeah, that covers the six included tracks on the 46-minute LP, which shifts gracefully between epic fantasy doom and darker, soemtimes more extreme fare. It’s easy enough to put URSA in the narrative of a band started — circa 2016 — around a central idea, rather than just dudes picking up instruments and seeing what happened next. Not just because bassist/vocalist Matt Solis, guitarist/keyboardist Nick Cohon and drummer Brennan Kunkel were already three-quarters of another band, but because of the purposefulness with which they approach their subject matter and the cohesion in all facets of their approach. They may be exploring new ground here, but they’re doing so on sure footing, and that comes not only from their experience playing together, but from knowing exactly where they want to be in terms of sound. I would not be surprised if that sound adopted more post-Candlemass grandeur with time — one can hear that burgeoning in “Serengeti Yeti” — but whatever direction they want to go, their debut will only help them on that path.

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Blood Music website

 

Earthling Society, MO – The Demon

earthling society mo the demon

Look, if you can’t get down with a bunch of freaks like Earthling Society tapping into the lysergic fabric of the cosmos to come up with an unsolicited soundtrack to a Hong Kong martial arts movie, I just don’t know what to tell you. Issued by Riot Season, the seven-track MO – The Demon is reportedly the end of the band’s technicolor daydream, and as they crash their plane into the side of “Mountains of Bliss” and hone space rock obliteration throughout “Super Holy Monk Defeats the Black Magic Mothafucker,” their particular experimentalist charm and go-anywhere-anytime sensibility demonstrates plainly exactly why it will be missed. There’s a sharp high-pitched tone at the start of opener “Theme from MO – The Demon” that’s actually pretty abrasive, but by the time they’re through the kosmiche laser assault in “Spring Snow” and the let’s-be-flower-children-until-it’s-time-to-freak-the-fuck-out throb of closer “Jetina Grove,” that is but a distant memory. So is consciousness. Fare thee well, Earthling Society. You were a band who only sought to make sense to yourselves, and for that, were all the more commendable.

Earthling Society on Thee Facebooks

Riot Season Records on Bandcamp

 

Bismarck, Urkraft

bismarck urkraft

Norwegian five-piece Bismarck bring spaciousness to doom riffing on their debut album, Urkraft, which is constructed of five molten tracks for a 34-minute totality that seems much broader than the time it takes to listen. Vocals are growls and shouts across a cosmic stretch of tone, giving a somewhat aggressive pulse to heavier psychedelic soundscaping, but a bouncing rhythm behind “A Golden Throne” assures the song is accessible one way or the other. The 10-minute “Vril-Ya” is naturally where they range the farthest, but the Bergen outfit even there seem to be playing by a set of aesthetic principles that includes maintaining a grounded groove no matter how spaced they might otherwise get. Rolling riffs bookend in opener “Harbinger” and closer “The Usher,” as “A Golden Throne,” playing-to-both-sides centerpiece “Iron Kingdom” and the subsequent “Vril-Ya” explore atmospheres that remain resonant despite the low end weight that seems to chug out beneath them. The mix by Chris Fielding at Skyhammer (who also co-engineered) doesn’t hurt in crafting their largesse, but something tells me Urkraft was going to sound big no matter what.

Bismarck on Thee Facebooks

Apollon Records website

 

Grand Reunion, In the Station

grand reunion in the station

In the Station doesn’t seem like anything too fancy at first. It’s produced cleanly, but not in any kind of overblown fashion, and Grand Reunion‘s songwriting is so solid that, especially the first time through their eight-track debut LP, it’s easy to say, “Okay, that’s another cool hook,” and not notice subtleties like when the organs turn to keyboard synth between opener “Eres Tan Serpiente” and second cut “Gordon Shumway,” or to miss the Latin percussion that Javier Tapia adds to Manuel Yañez‘s drumming, or the ways that guitarist Christian Spencer, keyboardist Pablo Saveedra, bassist Mario Rodríguez and Tapia work to complement guitarist Cristóbal Pacheco on vocals. But all of that is happening, and as they make their way toward and through the eight-minute fuzzer “Band Band the Headbang,” through the soaring “Weedow” and into the acoustic-led closer “It’s Alright,” the character and maturity in Grand Reunion‘s songwriting shows itself more and more, inviting multiple listens in the most natural fashion possible: by making you want to hear it again.

Grand Reunion on Thee Facebooks

Grand Reunion on Bandcamp

 

Pledge, Resilience

pledge resilience

16 minutes of scathing post-hardcore/sludge from Portuguese four-piece Pledge, who are in and out of their Resilience EP with a clean break and a windmill kick to the face. The newcomers lack nothing for ferocity, and with the throat-searing screams of Sofia M.L. out in front of the mix, violent intentions are unmistakable. “Profer Lumen Caecis,” “The Great Inbetweeness,” “Doom and Redemption” and “The Peter, the Wolf” nonetheless have groove built on varying degrees of extremity and angularity, with Vítor Vaz‘s bass maintaining a steady presence alongside the guitar of Hugo Martins and Filipe Romariz‘s drumming, frenetic as it sometimes is. I wouldn’t say things calm down in “The Peter, the Wolf” so much as the boiling seems to take place beneath the surface, waiting for a time to burst out, which it eventually does, but either way, for all its harsher aspects, Pledge‘s material isn’t at all void of engagement. It does, however, state the requirement right there on the front cover.

Pledge on Thee Facebooks

Pledge on Bandcamp

 

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Deathchant Premiere “Hex”; Self-Titled Debut out Jan. 10

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on December 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

deathchant

Los Angeles four-piece Deathchant issue their self-titled debut on Jan. 10 through King Volume Records (LP) and Dune Altar (tape), and there’s some weird shit afoot. So, get this: Seven tracks/29 minutes. On the shorter end of an LP, but whatever. All the songs have one-word titles, so you’d think maybe pretty stripped down, right? And it’s Southern California, so you’d think maybe some boogie involved or some jams, right? Not really. Deathchant, led by guitarist/vocalist TJ Lemieux, make short work of expectation and offer a feedback-drenched take on darker heavy rock, so that even the strut of opener “Pessimist” can just absolutely collapse into biting noise at a moment’s notice — which it does — and then resume its course like nothing happened. There are “hey wait!” moments like that all over the album, and to add to that, Lemiuex‘s vocals are coated in reverb — he did similarly his band Child (who are not to be confused with the Australian blues rockers of the same name) — in such a way that in context of some of the severity surrounding feels like a tip of the hat to Wovenhand that immediately gives the songs a distinguishing element. There’s no shortage of groove to go around in “Pessimist” or elsewhere, and as the album unfolds with “Control” and “Ritual” — which as I understand it was going to be the title-track at one point — there is a linear character to the transitions that the noise-factor only helps further.

deathchant deathchant

Side A of the LP is those three songs: “Pessimist,” “Control” and “Ritual,” and the momentum factor isn’t to be understated. While Deathchant is short, and was recorded live obviously in an effort to capture an energetic vibe (easy to argue success there), the material doesn’t sound any more rushed than they want it to, and they’re in control the whole time of the thrust, which particularly as the drifting centerpiece “Eulogy” takes hold on side B and turns its wash over to the unbridled push of “Breathe,” “Hex” and closer “Trigger,” is key. Every song on the second half of the record is shorter than anything on the first, and it’s almost as though the band swapped out what would be the usual tack for an A/B long-player, putting the up-front rockers in back and the more ranging material up front, “Eulogy” notwithstanding. Either way, even at their most driving, in the forward pummel and tonal crush of “Breathe” or the chugga-shuffle of “Hex,” they hold firm to the atmosphere created by the earlier cuts, so that the most rocking of tracks is still imbued with a darker underlying spirit. As “Trigger” surges outward in go-go-go fashion before cutting to a closing minute-plus of eerie sampled noise and far-away guitar, the core blend of Deathchant‘s aesthetic is maintained — it is volatile, exciting and unpredictable. These are not words I use lightly.

Lemieux, who’s responsible for the songwriting and joined in the band by John Bolino, Colin Fahrner and George Camacho, also helped to mix the recording which was engineered by Stephen Schroeder (who also mastered it), has been and is involved in a number of projects, but Deathchant find their footing quickly on their self-titled, and potential abounds for further exploration, and the lean nature of Deathchant itself only furthers interest in how their ethic will develop over the longer term.

Want the short version? Cool track. Give it a listen:

Recorded live over a 2 day period at a secluded cabin in Big Bear, California. Mixed by TJ Lemieux and Stephen Schroeder. Engineered and Mastered by Stephen Schroeder. All Songs & words by TJ Lemieux. Copyright 2018 RAGWEED.

DEATHCHANT is the brainchild of TJ Lemieux (CHILD, Psychedelic speed freaks, Mainline ladies, Babylon) formed in 2018 in Los Angeles, CA. They have been dubbed Psychedelic rock, proto-metal, doom, stoner metal, noise-punk, hard rock, and everything in between, but if you ask them it’s “rock and roll with psychedelic influences.” Their imagery and sound seem to fluctuate rapidly between a peaceful meditative eastern-tinged message of unity and all out warcry with an underlying message of love and peace-through-violence.

Driven by Thomas (TJ) Lemieux’s brooding aesthetic and signature psychedelic guitar character, DEATHCHANT echoes through the darker side of Proto-metal and hard rock. Reflections of past endeavors from TJ Lemieux, John Bolino, Colin Fahrner, and George Camacho (Roast, psychedelic speed freaks, high rise, Babylon) cascade into an immersive wall of noise-induced heavy metal mania, equal parts paranoia and transcendental harmony. These four create a sound that is loud, massive, and about as melodic as a sonic assault of this magnitude can be. They resonate with wherever or whoever you are and deliver an excitingly raw and catchy brand of rock and roll. Ask a freak!!

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Nebula Premiere “Whalefinger” from Demos & Outtakes 98-02; Preorders up Now

Posted in audiObelisk on November 29th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

nebula

Nebula will issue Demos and Outtakes 98-02 two months from today, and to mark the occasion of preorders going live through Heavy Psych Sounds, the band are premiering the previously-unreleased track “Whalefinger.” Recorded in 2002, it’s one of the later inclusions on the compilation, with “You Got It” and a faithful live cover of Black Flag‘s “Nervous Breakdown” stemming from the same era. That same year, the Californian heavy psych rockers would release their collection Dos EPs (discussed here) as their final outing with the original lineup of guitarist/vocalist Eddie Glass, bassist Mark Abshire and drummer Ruben Romano, as by the time 2003’s Atomic Ritual was released, Abshire had moved on. In familiar cuts like “Sun Creature,” “Humbucker,” “To the Center,” “Smokin’ Woman” and “Synthetic Dream,” Demos and Outtakes 98-02 isn’t necessarily as raw sounding as the name would imply, and while it’s inherently true that these most of tracks aren’t the “finished” versions, they also find the band working with producers like Jack Endino on “Humbucker” or John Agnello (Screaming Trees, many others) on the opening Leaf Hound cover “Stagnant Pool,” and with new mixes on “Smokin’ Woman” and “Sun Creature” by Matt Lynch of Snail, the band sounds vital even at their most barebones, which might be “You Got It,” though the Glass-only fuzz-blowout take on The Creation‘s “How Does it Feel to Feel” comes close.

The impact of this era of Nebula‘s work speaks for itself in the influence they continue to have on psychedelia, desert rock, and acts from any number of other intertwining heavy subgenres. Heavy Psych Sounds this year already issued Dos EPs along with Nebula Demos Outtakes 98-021998’s Let it Burn EP (discussed here) and 1999’s To the Center (discussed here) — both landmarks — and though it’s just over two minutes long, “Whalefinger” stands testament to the punk undercurrent running through the band’s sound. Stripped-down lyrics, sharp transitions and a momentum driven by Romano‘s drumming position the track structurally not so far off from “Nervous Breakdown,” though admittedly the latter is faster. And of course that matters to the overall intensity factor, but the point is that Nebula were taking various sonic perspectives from punk, garage rock, psych, stoner, whatever, and bringing them into their own approach. By 2002, they were an established touring act. They’d been across the US and abroad to Europe, and they weren’t exactly rookies when they started either, with Glass and Romano having broken off from Fu Manchu in ’97 and reunited with Abshire, who was that band’s original bassist, shortly thereafter. Still, I’m not sure I’d call Nebula “mature” by the time 2002 rolled around. Certainly they were experienced and seasoned — and toasted — but as Demos and Outtakes 98-02 shows in “Whalefinger” and “You Got It,” there was still a lot of exploring being done in terms of songcraft and aesthetic, and a kind of restlessness propelled them forward.

That works until you hit a wall, which Glass eventually did in 2010, but a revamped version of the band is pressing forward again with Glass, longtime bassist Tom Davies and drummer Mike Amster and working toward the prospect of the band’s first album since Heavy Psych (review here) in 2009. As to what Nebula might conjure after a decade out of the studio, I don’t know, but Demos and Outtakes 98-02 offers listeners a chance to revisit their original lineup in a way that stands apart from the lineage of their discography. It’s not the first “early works” compilation by any means, but given the fact that the Glass/Abshire/Romano incarnation of the band only had two LPs and a couple EPs and singles out — not nothing, but not exactly a glut of material — and given the nigh-legendary status of the trio as they were, it’s a question of taking all you can get. And from the covers to the unreleased tracks to the working versions of some of their most classic material, fans of the band should be ready to do precisely that.

More PR wire info follows “Whalefinger,” which you’ll find on the player below.

Please enjoy:

Mark Abshire on “Whalefinger”:

“Whalefinger” – not only is this song rad, but it’s the first song Eddie ever wrote. The original version was recorded and released by Olivelawn as a 7” B-side (Eddie played drums in Olivelawn).”

Set for a release on January 25th 2019, the ‘Demos & Outtakes 98-02’ will include 5 tracks that have never seen the light of day before, alongside rare demos as well as cover songs such as a special live version of Black Flag’s ‘Nervous Breakdown’! Beside these never published demos to date, the known tracks on this album are different to what NEBULA originally released on their previous records like on their pathbreaking ‘Charged’ or ‘To The Center’. Some tracks were written and recorded in these sessions, some never made it on any of them or were used for B-sides and singles. And then we get songs such as ‘Whalefinger’ which was the first song Eddie Glass ever wrote and which originally made it on a 7” B-side by Olivelawn, where Eddie played drums.

The tracklist of NEBULA’s ‘Demos & Outtakes 98-02’ will read as follows:

1. Stagnant Pool ( ’00/01 demo, Leaf Hound cover )
2. Whalefinger ( ’02 demo )
3. Humbucker ( ’99 demo )
4. Smokin’ Woman ( ’98 demo )
5. Sun Creature ( ’98 demo )
6. You Got It ( ’02 demo )
7. To The Center ( ’99 demo )
8. Synthetic Dream ( ’99 demo )
9. How Does It Feel To Feel? ( ’99 demo, The Creation cover )
10. Nervous Breakdown ( Live ’02, Black Flag cover )

Preorder: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS088

Nebula lineup on “Whalefinger”:
Eddie Glass: Guitar/Vocals
Ruben Romano: Drums
Mark Abshire: Bass

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The Sixth Chamber Premiere “Entrance to the Cold Waste” Video; Single Available Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 28th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the sixth chamber entrance to the cold waste video

If you find yourself wondering what’s going on with the new video from Los Angeles-based goth-tinged doom rockers The Sixth Chamber, that’s okay. Between the desert and the bellydancing and the demon sultan, there are a fair amount of references to various mythological concepts, and bellies, and yeah, it’s all pretty wild. Not the least counterintuitive is the fact that the song is called “Entrance to the Cold Waste” and the clip was filmed in Death Valley on what looks like a stinking-hot kind of afternoon. Whatever else you listen to today, it’s not gonna sound like this.

Founded by guitarist/vocalist Rahne Pistor around the turn of the century, The Sixth Chamber‘s new single features members of Crypt Sermon and Salem’s Bend, and if pulling playersthe sixth chamber cover from across the country (Crypt Sermon being based in Philadelphia) seems out there, that’s just the start of it. Their first show was in 2002 opening for Chuck Dukowski. They played Buddy Miles‘ funeral, and their last video had Ron Jeremy in it. So, even before you click play on the YouTube embed below, you need to understand that “out there” is a big part of what The Sixth Chamber do. And if you hear a hint of New York goth metal â la Type O Negative in “Entrance to the Cold Waste,” you’re probably not far off. Pistor spent time in the late ’90s in New York doing Misfits tunes alongside Bobby Steele in The Undead, so there’s about no way he would’ve escaped that band’s sphere of influence.

But “Entrance to the Cold Waste” isn’t at all so easy to pin down as just that. Rather, its theatricality comes coupled with an underlying course of classically doomed grooving and fuzzed-out tones. It’s a rare balance of stylistic elements, and the visuals to which they’re set — from the swordfight to the actual eating of a heart — tell a story that’s as entrancing as it is obscure. I’m not sure you’ll want to look away, but even if you did, you probably wouldn’t be able to do so.

“Entrace to the Cold Waste” is available as a single now, and the video was directed by Constantin Werner. It’s my pleasure to host the premiere below.

Please enjoy:

The Sixth Chamber, “Entrance to the Cold Waste” official video premiere

An entheogenic seeker and sorcerer (Rahne Pistor) stalks an irresistible will-o’-the-wisp sorceress (Mahafsoun) through the vast tortured waste far beyond the waking world toward the marvelous sunset city. En route of his dream quest he encounters the creeper from the great beyond and other grim perils. What unspeakable horrors lie at the prehistoric stone monastery in the dominion of the crude and mischievous demon sultan Azathoth (Stanton Lavey), that evil devil? Who is left to trust? Do the seeker’s true enemies lie within? Is reaching the wondrous Kadath in all its glory worth the wholesale scourging of his soul?

Directed by Constantin Werner.

STARRING:
Rahne Pistor
Mahafsoun
Stanton Lavey
Brian Bodt

Other notable facts about the production:
*It features a cameo by the grandson of Satanic Bible author and Church of Satan Founder Anton Lavey, who plays a crude heathen elder god of a guttural devil sect too awful to mention.
*It was shot in the scorching heat and otherworldly wastelands of Death Valley, CA this past summer
*The video stars the illustrious gothic metal belly dancer Mahafsoun, a well-known YouTube personality and early adopter of this dance sub-genre.
*The song includes lead guitarist Steve Jansson of Crypt Sermon and bassist Bobby Parker of Salem’s Bend

SONG CREDITS:
Rahne Pistor – Vocals, Guitar
Steve Jansson – Guitar
Bobby Parker – Bass
Jameson Cluchey – Drums
Adam Thompson – Keyboards

The Sixth Chamber on Thee Facebooks

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The Sixth Chamber on Bandcamp

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Nebula Announce Charged Reissue & Demos & Outtakes 98-02 Compilation Release

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

nebula

Rumor has it that the reformed lineup of Nebula made a demo for six new songs in Slovenia and are setting to work on what will be the band’s first new album in a decade for release in 2019. And by ‘rumor,’ I mean that’s what the band said. In the meantime, Heavy Psych Sounds is continuing its exploration of the Californian heavy psych forebears’ past with a reissue of their 2001 second album, Charged, that’s been newly mastered by Matt Lynch of Snail, and the collection Demos & Outtakes 98-02 with previously unheard material that goes up for preorder this week.

Of course, Heavy Psych Sounds also reissued the band’s early work in Let it Burn (discussed here), To the Center (discussed here) and Dos EPs (discussed here), so both of the forthcoming outings are right in line with what started earlier this year. As to whether or not these will be the last Nebula archival outings, I wouldn’t know. If nothing else, there have to be some pretty killer live recordings out there. Just a thought.

When and if a new Nebula record surfaces, well, that’ll be super-duper. Sign me up. In the meantime, though, there’s plenty for longtime fans to chew on in revisiting what made them so special in the first place.

From the PR wire:

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS RECORDS to release ‘Demos & Outtakes 98-02’ by legendary NEBULA

+ reissue the ‘Charged’ album in early 2019!

Heavy Psych Sounds Records & Booking is proud to announce the release of NEBULA’s ‘Demos & Outtakes 98-02’, as well as a re-mastered version of the band’s 2001’s album ‘Charged’!

Set for a release on January 25th 2019, the ‘Demos & Outtakes 98-02’ will include 5 tracks that have never seen the light of day before, alongside rare demos as well as cover songs such as a special live version of Black Flag’s ‘Nervous Breakdown’! Beside these never published demos to date, the known tracks on this album are different to what NEBULA originally released on their previous records like on their pathbreaking ‘Charged’ or ‘To The Center’. Some tracks were written and recorded in these sessions, some never made it on any of them or were used for B-sides and singles. And then we get songs such as ‘Whalefinger’ which has been the first song Eddie Glass ever wrote and which originally made it on a 7” B-side by Olivelawn, where Eddie has been playing drums for.

The Pre-Order for this MUST-HAVE gem in every NEBULA and genre-collection will start on November 29th, in the following available album formats:

– 25 TEST PRESS
– 250 LTD TRANSPARENT RED VINYL
– 500 GREY SPLATTER (Red/Black/Blue) VINYL
– BLACK VINYL
– CD DIGIPAK
– DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

The tracklist of NEBULA’s ‘Demos & Outtakes 98-02’ will read as follows:

1. Stagnant Pool ( ’00/01 demo, Leaf Hound cover )
2. Whalefinger ( ’02 demo )
3. Humbucker ( ’99 demo )
4. Smokin’ Woman ( ’98 demo )
5. Sun Creature ( ’98 demo )
6. You Got It ( ’02 demo )
7. To The Center ( ’99 demo )
8. Synthetic Dream ( ’99 demo )
9. How Does It Feel To Feel? ( ’99 demo, The Creation cover )
10. Nervous Breakdown ( Live ’02, Black Flag cover )

Furthermore, Heavy Psych Sounds has just announced to reissue NEBULA’s legendary ‘Charged’ album, originally released back in 2001 on Sub Pop Records! This new album version has been re-mastered by SNAIL’s bassist and NEBULA’s longtime sound engineer Matt Lynch.

‘Charged’ was the second full-length album by the stoner rock legends, it’s also the last album featuring former Fu Manchu bandmate, Mark Abshire, on bass and before the original band lineup re-united in 2018. The third album track ‘Giant’ was featured in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 and will be also found as a demo bonus song on the re-mastered 2019-CD album version. ‘Charged’ is still considered as one of NEBULA’s most important and distinctive records to date. A heavy fuzz rock trip into the desert, a wheel of hot lava, and the sheer power of almighty riffs only an act like NEBULA could have ever created!

The tracklist for ‘Charged’ reads as follows:

1. Do It Now
2. Beyond
3. Giant
4. Travelin’ Man’s Blues
5. Instant Gravitation
6. This One
7. Ignition
8. Shaker
9. Goodbye Yesterday
10. All The Way
11. Giant ( Demo Bonus Track, available on CD only )
12. Cosmic Egg ( Bonus Track, available on CD only )

Coming as CD, Vinyl and Digital Download on February 8th 2019 , the pre-order for NEBULA’s ‘Charged’ will start on November 29th at Heavy Psych Sounds in the following formats:

– 25 TEST PRESS
– 250 LTD SOLID BLUE VINYL
– 500 LTD WHITE SPLATTER BLUE/CLEAR BLUE/BLACK/GREEN VINYL
– BLACK VINYL
– DIGIPAK
– DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

https://www.facebook.com/NebulaBand/
https://twitter.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUND
https://instagram.com/heavypsychsounds_records/
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Nebula, “Giant” Live at SonicBlast Moledo 2018

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Friday Full-Length: Black Cobra, Bestial

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Black Cobra, Bestial (2006)

Black Cobra are now, always were and likely will remain a live band for as long as they’re any kind of band at all. On paper, should it even work? Of all the branches of the Cavity family tree, Black Cobra might be the most unlikely, as one of that band’s guitarists, Jason Landrian, stepped into a frontman role by pairing up with Acid King bassist Rafael Martinez, who moved to drums. They were a two-piece before being a two-piece wasn’t something to comment on — that is, in their early going, they heard a lot of, “You’re so heavy… and just a duo!” — and their project from the outset with their 2004 self-titled debut EP seemed to be to bridge the gap between sludge/doom tonality and intensity born of thrash. Consider the pummeling “The Cry of Melora,” the centerpiece of 2006’s Bestial, their At a Loss Recordings-issued first full-length. From an angular introduction, it turns to outright extremity before locking in a massive, consuming nod complemented by the harsh bark that would become such a hallmark of Landrian‘s vocal approach. Largely amelodic, they took what High on Fire started doing a few years earlier and pushed it further, playing faster and harder and with more of a sense of impact to their material. And they toured the crap out of it. Especially in their early years, they were largely nomadic. Across Bestial, 2007’s righteous Feather and Stone, 2009’s Chronomega (review here), which found them picked up by Southern Lord well ahead of that label’s full dive into next-gen metalcore and working with Billy Anderson as producer, and 2011’s conceptual triumph Invernal (review here, which seemed to realize the promise of their harsh atmosphere by pairing it with a historical narrative of Arctic exploration, they always seemed to showcase something different while remaining tied to the core elements of their sound, but if and when they grew, it was due to their live work, and the stage was where Landrian and Martinez always seemed most at home.

Bestial was a launch point for that, and like Black Cobra on tour, the album takes only momentary breathers. With the exception of the two-minute intro and shorter outro of its longest cut in Black Cobra Bestialthe six-minute “Broken on the Wheel,” which goes on to emit a plod unmatched anywhere else in the component 11-tracks/36-minutes — conjuring a rumbling bomb tone not unlike that of another former Cavity guitarist, Steve Brooks (of Floor and Torche), in the process — and maybe a tense moment here or there elsewhere, Bestial is about the sharpness of its turns, the weight of its tone and the onslaught brought to bear rhythmically. Riffs hit like they should draw assault charges, from the opening “One Nine” and into “Thrown from Great Heights” and “El Equis,” there’s no letup. All told, it’s about an eight-minute salvo, but the effect it has remains overwhelming 12 years after the fact. “Beneath” dives into an opening quiet stretch like it’s tossing the listener a life preserver only to yank it away again with the lung-squeezing riff and crash that takes hold en route directly into album highlight “Omniscient,” an air-tight execution that winds its way into a slowdown as it heads toward its midsection but loses none of its ferocity in the process. By this point, Martinez and Landrian have already cast their lot in terms of style and made their violent, aggressive intentions plain to hear. Their putting together quieter introductions and slamming into all-out directed chaos is a subtle but essential component, as though they need to remind listeners that quiet exists, but Bestial has its title for a reason: the album is defined by its animalistic raging, a kind of natural brutality brought to life in “El Doce de Octubre,” the foreboding quiet and chugging largesse of “Sombra de Bestia” — which accomplishes more in its two and a half minutes than bands do in their entire careers in terms of creating an ambience while still remaining outwardly monstrous-sounding — and the return to searing thrash with closer “Kay-Dur-Twenty” that seems to call back to the beginning of the record in a way that nonetheless emphasizes how far Black Cobra have actually come from that initial beastliness.

It’s hard to think of Black Cobra as underrated, but as a studio band they might be. Since so much of their focus has always been on playing live, there’s been an almost begrudging aspect to some of their studio work — as though they didn’t want to stop touring to actually record new material — but their albums have always managed to bring some new aspect to their sound, and that was true even as 2016’s Imperium Simulacra (review here) worked itself around the theme of human interaction with technology, which, like Invernal, was a subject befitting the band’s sound, this time for its precise, inhuman attack, rather than the frozen nature of its atmosphere. They’ve slowed down in terms of touring somewhat, though still hit the road significantly to support Imperium Simulacra, and continue to reside in a place between genres with a sense of willfulness in doing so. They’ve never wanted to be exclusively a sludge band, or a thrash band, or a hardcore band or a doom band. Their sound draws from all of those and more besides, but it’s in melting down these different and sometimes opposing sides and reshaping them to their purposes that is where Black Cobra manage to land so hard. And maybe being between genres as they are has contributed to that under-valuing of their recorded work. One way or the other, they’ve never been a comfortable band, and Bestial still offers no quarter to this day. It is a refusal to compromise their approach that has gone on to become one of their signature elements, and though as noted they’ve pulled back somewhat on touring and Martinez has rejoined Acid King once again on bass, it’s the studio work that is left to document who they are and were at various points, and whatever comes next from them, it’s a safe bet they’ll remain steadfast in that identity, wherever else they might take it.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

I’m sitting up trying not to fall asleep as I type. I’ve got one eye open and one eye closed like I’m trying to compromise with myself and let the right side of my body go back to bed — it’s not yet 5AM — while the left side stays up and finishes this thing off. I wouldn’t say it’s working, but I kind of knew that going in. Not exactly my first time at this dance.

But no, there will be no dancing.

Yesterday in the States was Thanksgiving. If you celebrated, I hope you enjoyed. Like New Year’s, it’s traditionally a take-stock holiday. Yeah, there’s the feast and the turkey, but there’s also the “what are you thankful for,” and so on. There are a lot of people and things in my life for which I should be grateful, that are better than I deserve. It is not always easy to keep that in mind, especially when you’re as much of a narcissistic shit as I am prone to being.

In two weeks I begin a two-week Quarterly Review. The countdown is on. I think it’s too weeks. Whenever December starts, that’s it. Two full weeks of 10 records a day. It filled up easily. Next week though is a bunch of reviews I want to get in before the year starts to wind down and we get into lists and all that. Greenleaf is in there, Belzebong, Green Dragon, Horehound. There are a couple premieres slated otherwise, but yeah, that’s what’s up. You’ll pardon me if I don’t do proper notes. Right now, holding shift and hitting enter seems really, really hard.

But next Friday the Year-End Poll goes up. Sneaking it in a day early this year. Don’t tell anyone. Or wait, better: Tell everybody.

We’ve been in NJ since Tuesday and have to go back to Massachusetts on Sunday because The Patient Mrs. has some fucking awful work thing that, tragically, doesn’t involve sitting on the couch and eating leftovers while watching Deep Space Nine. I’d say her loss, but I think we all really know it’s mine.

Alright. I’m gonna put the first post of the day up and try to catch some sleep before The Pecan wakes up upstairs. Have a great and safe weekend, and if you’re traveling, stay off I-95. Ha.

Thanks for reading. Forum, radio, merch.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk shirts & hoodies

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Sunn O))) to Tour Europe in March; Two New Albums in 2019?

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Sunn O))) putting out anything is a project one could call ambitious. Not like Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley don’t have a constant stream of other stuff going on at any given point, but even so, the sheer process the band undertakes has become so complicated, so ever-changing, that it’s hard to imagine there isn’t some girding of loins that has to happen before the robes are donned. Nonetheless, as the PR wire hints, there are two new Sunn O))) full-lengths in the works for 2019, which for fans of the long-running dronelords — next year also marks the 20th anniversary for their first demos — should be more than enough to sate the thirst for volume. As to titles, details, release dates and all the rest of that, your guess is as good as mine, but there’s a European tour starting Feb. 28, and while a record may or may not be out by then, at very least one hopes will have more info by then on what might surface when.

Until then, all is speculation and distortion.

Here are the tour dates:

SunnO-Photo-by-JJ-Koczan

SUNN O))) ANNOUNCE THEIR “LET THERE BE DRONE (MULTIPLE GAINS STAGES)” EUROPEAN TOUR MARCH 2019

Sunn O)))) are pleased to present their first European tour since 2016, and the premier tour of their 2019-2020 season. Including their first ever French tour (not including Paris), returning to old haunt Kampnagel in Hamburg, mythical Paradiso in Amsterdam, as well as headlining Elevate festival in Graz, and Divadlo Archa Prague.

Formed in March 1998 Sunn O))) have been challenging the ways we think about music in the twenty years since. A synthesis of diverse: drone, metal, minimalism/maximalism verging on the edge of pure sonic ecstasy, meditation and trance through the power, beauty and colour of sound pressure emanating from their legendary Sunn O))) backline and their earth shaking tectonic compositions of existence, dedicated to the mysteries of life and the cosmos.

O))) has two core members : Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson, supported by a tribe of collaborators. From 1999’s The Grimmrobe Demos to 2018’s Downtown LA Rehearsal/Rifftape; from their now classic albums Black One (2006), Monoliths & Dimensions (2009), Soused (2014) & Kannon (2015) to their forthcoming to-be-revealed-but-recently-completed two 2019 album epics, founders Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson have forged paths and connections between the worlds of Metal, contemporary art, drone, new music, jazz and minimalism with startling results while remaining true to the eternal principles of volume, density, elasticity of time, blossoming of saturation viable only to the disciples and fetishists of electric guitar, synthesis, multiple gain stages and some of history’s greatest pure valve amplification.

The current concert line-up extends around power trio of Stephen O’Malley (Guitar), Greg Anderson (Guitar), and their valve guru and long time collaborator Tos Nieuwenhuizen (Moog), aside selected special guests. Together they relentlessly pursue their exploration and elaboration of Sunn O)))’s legendary experiments with the physicality of sound in instrumental based live performances with remarkable events at some of their favourite venues, as well as concerts in singular events and spaces such as Italy’s impressive cultural complex Labrinto Della Masone, Germany’s Ruhrtriennale Festival of Arts, Royal Festival Hall & The Barbican in London, Bergen’s Dømkirke and Manchester International Festival being a few emblematic examples.

Rejoin them in their glorious pursuit of the monumental heaviness.

-Etienne Ni Mhaille, 2018

SUNN O)))
LET THERE BE DRONE (MULTIPLE GAINS STAGES)
March 2019 Europe
Thu 28/02/2019 DE Frankfurt Mousonturm
Fri 01/03/2019 AT Graz Elevate festival/Orpheum ° ~
Sat 02/03/2019 CZ Prague Divadlo Archa °
Sun 03/03/2019 DE Hamburg Kampnagel – K6 °
Mon 04/03/2019 NL Amsterdam Paradiso °
Wed 06/03/2019 FR Lyon L’Epicerie Moderne ÷
Thu 07/03/2019 FR Nancy L’Autre Canal ÷
Fri 08/03/2019 FR Dijon La Vapeur ÷
Sat 09/03/2019 FR Rouen QuasaRites Day/Le 106 •
Mon 11/03/2019 FR Tours Le Temps Machine §
Tue 12/03/2019 FR Nantes Stereolux §
Wed 13/03/2019 FR La Rochelle La Sirene §
Thu 14/03/2019 FR Bordeaux Le Rocher de Palmer §

Supports :
° Puce Mary
÷ Golem Mecanique
§ France
~ Robin Fox presents Single Origin
• Lingua Ignota

https://www.instagram.com/sunnofficial
https://www.facebook.com/SUNNthebandOfficial
https://sunn.bandcamp.com
https://sunn-live.bandcamp.com
http://www.southernlord.com
http://southernlord.bandcamp.com
http://twitter.com/twatterlord
https://www.facebook.com/SLadmin
https://www.instagram.com/southernlordrecords

Sunn O))), Live at Psycho Las Vegas 2018

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