Crowbar Post “Falling While Rising” Video; December Tour Announced

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 3rd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

crowbar-photo-by-jimmy-hubbard

In case you didn’t feel the earth shake at the time, New Orleans sludge progenitors Crowbar released their latest album, The Serpent Only Lies, last week. Out through eOne Heavy, it follows 2014’s Symmetry in Black and 2011’s Sever the Wicked Hand (review here) as the Kirk Windstein-led outfit continue their progression from an ’00s metal style back toward the lurching and roughed-up Sabbathian plod of their earliest work. One can hear that process taking place in the track “Falling While Rising,” which in addition to the sound, also provides a signature Crowbar approach in its downer lyric and Windstein‘s unmistakably guttural vocals.

The Serpent Only Lies is the 11th Crowbar album, so it’s not surprised to find them sounding very much in their element on it, but like the most landmark of multi-decade-spanning metal bands — your Iron Maidens, your Slayers; groups who’ve influenced a generation — their delivery remains powerful. Fact is, Crowbar belong in that class of acts, even if their aesthetic has always been in search of something rawer, and “Falling While Rising” demonstrates their root contribution to what sludge became in their wake, both around the fertile New Orleans scene and worldwide. As many acts who’ve tried, there’s still nobody who does Crowbar better than Crowbar.

They’ve got tour dates with Goatwhore newly announced for December. You’ll find them under the video and the PR wire info below.

Please enjoy:

Crowbar, “Falling While Rising” official video

NOLA legends CROWBAR have debuted their music video for “Falling While Rising” today. Directed by Justin Reich (ACE FREHLEY, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY), this is the first video installment from the band off their new LP.

Crowbar released The Serpent Only Lies, on October 28, 2016 via Entertainment One (eOne) in North America and via SPV overseas. “We are so excited about our 11th studio record! The Serpent Only Lies is a powerful follow up,” says frontman and guitarist Kirk Windstein. “Eliran Kantor did a brilliant job with the artwork!”

The band announced co-headlining tour dates with NOLA neighbors GOATWHORE, capping off the calendar year with style. “This upcoming tour is one that we’re all looking forward to!,” says Kirk Windstein. “These are our Brothers. Hell, Sammy Duet was in Crowbar for a few of our best records! To the fans of both bands, here’s your early Christmas present! and we are super stoked to have Lillake on this tour with us!”

Crowbar w/ Goatwhore & Lillake tour dates:
12.02.16 Little Rock, AR – Rev Room
12.03.16 Tulsa, OK – The Shrine
12.04.16 St. Louis, MO – Fubar
12.05.16 Indianapolis, IN – 5th Quarter
12.06.16 Ft. Wayne, IN – The Hub
12.07.16 Morgantown, WV – 123 Pleasant Street
12.08.16 Harrisonburg, VA – The Golden Pony
12.09.16 Richmond, VA – Broadberry
12.10.16 Durham, NC – Motorco
12.11.16 Johnson City, TN – Capones
12.12.16 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade
12.13.16 Savannah, GA – Jinx
12.14.16 Macon, GA – Macon Venue Project

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Friday Full-Length: Suplecs, Sad Songs… Better Days

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 7th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Suplecs, Sad Songs… Better Days (2001)

If you ever wanted a crash course in everything right about the Man’s Ruin era of heavy rock and roll, look no further than Suplecs‘ second album, Sad Songs… Better Days. Released in 2001 as the follow-up to the prior year’s Wrestlin’ with My Lady Friend, its nine tracks still provide 15 years after the fact an abject lesson in how to offer kickass riffs with zero pretense, how to develop a natural-feeling dynamic not through production wizardry but through actually having one, and how to craft material that’s diverse in structure but flows front to back while asking so little of the listener that you and the record might as well be cracking a beer on the back porch together on a lazy Saturday afternoon, which, as it happens, isn’t a bad way to to enjoy Sad Songs… Better Days if cracking a beer is your thing. From the rolling and catchy groove of opener “White Devil” onward through the subsequent hook of “Rock Bottom” and down through the bass-led groove of the languid “Blue Runner,” the prescient shuffle of “Unstable,” which morphs into a secret cover of The Beatles‘ “I Want You (She’s so Heavy)” and “Lightning Lady” and the weirdnes that lies beyond in “Out of Town” and closer “Unexpected Trauma,” which also has a secret track attached — seems Suplecs wanted one per side; this time it’s a little countrified twanger instrumental — it wound up being the kind of album you listened to and could only nod your head in agreement: Yes. This is what it’s all about.

The story of Suplecs is complicated on some levels and easy on others. When I note them as essential to the “Man’s Ruin era,” I mean the period of between roughly 1995 to 2002 when Frank Kozik‘s Man’s Ruin Records provided a guiding hand to the post-Kyuss world of heavy rock. By the time 2000 brought Wrestlin’ with My Lady Friend, the imprint had already issued pivotal outings from High on Fire, Goatsnake, Brant Bjork, Alabama Thunderpussy, Acid King, Natas, Queens of the Stone Age, etc., and with names like that — bands who went on to define a generation of heavy rock, and that’s by no means an exhaustive list — it’s easy to see how Suplecs get lost in the discussion. Their beginning dating back to 1996 when bassist/vocalist Danny Nick, fresh out of Eyehategod joined up with guitarist Durel Yates and drummer Andrew Preen, they put their first EP out in 1998, but the two Man’s Ruin outings would largely define them, even after the label folded in 2002 on the eve of what would’ve been Suplecs‘ first tour of Europe. Timing is everything.

I recall being ultra-stoked to get a demo of new material from them in 2003 or 2004 at a Small Stone Records showcase at SXSW — still have it — and sure enough, in 2005 they’d release Powtin’ on the Outside Pawty on the Inside, a rawer third album that went largely unpromoted thanks in no small part to the effect Hurricane Katrina had on New Orleans, including on the band. It would be some six years before Suplecs managed to get a record out, and 2011’s Mad Oak Redoux (review here) found them aligned to Small Stone officially for the first time and pulling together the various sides of their sound with a crisp production from the studio mentioned in the title. In no small part, it was just nice to have Suplecs back. That was five years ago. Since then, they’ve continued to play sporadic shows — they have one on Oct. 15 in Nola with High on Fire, for example, and they marked their 20th anniversary in August alongside Dixie Witch —  and Nick has opened a bar called Portside Lounge, so it’s not like they’re actually finished, but clearly priorities have shifted.

Still, I wouldn’t ever count Suplecs out. Hurricanes, folded labels, and the march of time itself — they seem impervious to all of it — so don’t be surprised when or if they show up with a new record. Until then, Sad Songs… Better Days, which was reissued on CD in 2002 on This Dark Reign and on vinyl last year through Emetic Records, is about as timeless as heavy rock gets.

I hope you enjoy.

Holy shit, this week. I stayed home sick from work yesterday and Wednesday and have spent the majority of the time since Tuesday afternoon wanting to grip myself from the collarbone and tear my body open to let my guts spill out. Absolutely demolished, particularly in the mornings, which if you read these posts is when I write reviews. In that way, it was actually kind of fortunate this week was the Quarterly Review — thanks for checking it out if you did — since the majority of it was done beforehand, but wow, it has been a slog. I think yesterday was actually worse than Wednesday, and I can’t really account for consciousness today either. I’m just trying to get through it to finish out the week at work and be caught up from not being in the office the last two days. Brutal.

I don’t think you’d know that from the amount of stuff that’s gone up the last couple days though. It’s been a busy week as well as crushing, and I expect no less next week either. Look out for streams and reviews from VaregoMelmak, maybe Captain Crimson and Lamp of the Universe, as well as a review of the Lo Sound Desert documentary that’s long overdue, as well as a Långfinger video premiere, a new clip from Dot Legacy that’s been making the rounds and news about Freak Valley 2017. Amazing to think that festivals next summer have started to announce their lineups.

That said, I’ve been experimenting with advance planning myself. I have reviews slated through Oct. 26 currently, and while that’s obviously a flexible schedule pending the stream offers that come in and stuff like that, it’s kind of reassuring to have a calendar and to be able to say, “Okay, I’m finally gonna tackle the Truckfighters record on this day, the Worshipper record on that day.” An extension of the impulse driving the Quarterly Review, maybe, since that’s worked out over a period of months before it actually goes live, but either way, thus far it’s made life less stressful rather than more and at this point I’ll take what I can get in that regard. See ripping myself open above.

It’s a three-day weekend for me, no work on Monday, but I’ll be posting anyhow. I hope to continue recovery from whatever the fuck it is that has besieged me this last half-week, and be back up to speed by the time Tuesday hits. Fingers crossed.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and the radio stream.

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Crowbar Announce New LP The Serpent Only Lies Due Oct. 28

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 29th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

crowbar

Nola sludge progenitors Crowbar will release their 11th studio album, The Serpent Only Lies, via eOne Heavy on Oct. 28. The band’s last outing was 2014’s Symmetry in Black, which was preceded in 2011 by Sever the Wicked Hand (review here) — their first for eOne — which marked a resurgence that’s now five years running and finds Crowbar among underground metal’s most respected mainstays. They’ve been everywhere, they’ve seen everything, and rather than give into any of what is no doubt a copious amount of bullshit they’ve been through in their years together, they continue to push forward.

Particularly interested in guitarist/vocalist Kirk Windstein saying he went back to old Crowbar and old Crowbar influences this time out, as some of the more modern metallurgy of their recent output had marked a big sonic turn for the band.

Many tour dates, much info, and a teaser, from the PR wire:

crowbar the serpent only lies

CROWBAR ANNOUNCE THE SERPENT ONLY LIES, DUE OUT 10/28

TEASER AVAILABLE NOW!

New Orleans sludge masters Crowbar have announced their eleventh new LP titled The Serpent Only Lies, due out October 28, 2016. “We are so excited about our 11th studio record! The Serpent Only Lies is a powerful follow up.” says frontman and riff lord Kirk Windstein. “Eliran Kantor did a brilliant job with the artwork! Our first release, “Falling While Rising”, is Crowbar at its finest… HEAVIER THAN EVER!!!”

The Serpent Only Lies will be the follow up to the highly buzzed about Symmetry in Black that sold over 4,000 copies in its first week of release in 2014, the highest of any LPs in the band’s 27 year career, beating out its predecessor, 2011’s Sever the Wicked Hand.

For nearly three decades, the name Crowbar has been synonymous with HEAVY. Since rising ominously from the swamplands of New Orleans in 1990, they’ve been hailed internationally as one of the world’s foremost purveyors of crushing, melodic sludge. The Serpent Only Lies, is both an affirmation of the band’s staying power and a nod to their legacy. “To me, it’s a fresh-sounding version of old-school Crowbar,” says Windstein.

“I intentionally went back and listened to a lot of old Crowbar stuff, like the self-titled and Broken Glass albums, to get a feel for what my mindset was 20-plus years ago. I also went back and listened to the bands that influenced Crowbar in the beginning, like Trouble, Saint Vitus, Melvins, and the first Type O Negative record. So it was kinda me doing my homework.”

The result is an album that stands toe-to-toe with those early Crowbar classics while maintaining the lumbering hooks of mid-period standouts like 1998’s Odd Fellows Rest and 2000’s Equilibrium. “Even lyrically, the approach was a little more old-school,” Windstein offers. “Some of the songs have less lyrics to let the riffs breathe a little more, which I had kind of gotten away from over the years. It was a conscious thing to go back to that.”

The tour cycle for The Serpent Only Lies marks the return of original Crowbar bassist Todd “Sexy T” Strange, who left the band back in 1999 but now joins Windstein, drummer Tommy Buckley and guitarist Matt Brunson in forging Crowbar’s future. “Todd helped start the band, so having him back is important to me and, I think, the fans,” Windstein offers. “It’s a great feeling to be standing onstage next to him. It’s a breath of fresh air for the band and makes us stronger.”

“Having this be our eleventh record, we’re very fortunate because so many bands don’t last this long,” Windstein adds. “My whole outlook on music as a career is the Motörhead outlook, which is that slow and steady wins the race. If you continue to put out killer records, continue to kick ass onstage every night and continue to treat your fans with respect, that’s the stuff people will remember.”

Sep 13 JJ’s Bohemia Chattanooga, TN
Sep 15 The Agora Theatre and Ballroom Cleveland, OH
Sep 16 Reggies Music Joint Chicago, IL
Sep 17 Harpos Detroit, MI
Sep 18 Town Ballroom Buffalo, NY
Sep 20 The Westcott Theater Syracuse, NY
Sep 21 The Ballroom at The Outer Space Hamden, CT
Sep 23 Amityville Music Hall Amityville, NY
Sep 24 THE COLOSSEUM/ THE RUINS @ THE COLOSSEUM Providence, RI
Sep 26 Saint Vitus Brooklyn, NY
Sep 27 Dingbatz Clifton, NJ
Sep 28 Shakas Live Virginia Beach, VA
Sep 29 The Throne Theater Wilmington, NC
Sep 30 The Sparrow North Charleston, SC
Oct 01 New Brookland Tavern Columbia, SC
Oct 02 The Warehouse Clarksville, TN
Oct 03 Manchester Music Hall Lexington, KY
Oct 06 Nighthawks Jacksonville, FL
Oct 07 The Orpheum Ybor City, FL
Oct 09 Churchills Pub Miami, FL
Oct 10 House of Blues Orlando Orlando, FL
Oct 22 Empire Control Room & Garage Austin, TX

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https://twitter.com/crowbarrules
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Crowbar, The Serpent Only Lies teaser

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Quarterly Review: Eight Bells, Öken, Brimstone Coven, Pants Exploder, Shallows, Monumentum, Famyne, Ethereal Riffian, Wet Cactus, Forming the Void

Posted in Reviews on March 29th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk quarterly review spring 2016

I thought yesterday went pretty well, by which I mean I didn’t receive any complaints that somebody’s name was spelled wrong (yet), so I feel alright going into the second batch of releases for the Quarterly Review. Today mixes it up a bit, which is something I always enjoy doing with these, and while I’ll take pains to emphasize that the list of releases today, as with every day, isn’t in order, there was no way I wasn’t going to start with the first record below. Some albums just demand top placement.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Eight Bells, Landless

eight bells landless

However you define the word “heavy” as it relates to music, Eight Bells are it. The Portland, Oregon, trio release their second album and first for Battleground Records in the form of the five-track Landless, and from the opening sprawl and lumber of “Hating” through the crawling-plus-blasting chaos of “Touch Me,” a strong progressive current underscores the material – most notably the 13-minute title-track, but really the rest as well, which flows gracefully even in its harshest moments, the blackened rush in the second half of “Landless,” for example, which follows psychedelic drones and harmonies just minutes before, or the similar thrust of centerpiece “Hold My Breath,” which works in tighter quarters but manages to span genres all the same. “The Mortal’s Suite” provides some respite in airy guitar and airier vocals, giving new drummer Rae Amitay a break while showcasing the harmonies of guitarist Melynda Jackson (ex-SubArachnoid Space) and bassist Haley Westeiner. As open atmospherically as the band is in their creative scope, there just isn’t a level on which Landless isn’t superb.

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Battleground Records

 

Öken, Öken

oken oken

Swedish four-piece Öken do themselves huge favors by refusing to be easily categorized on their 2015 self-titled Ozium Records debut full-length, which runs an immersive 62 minutes and blends doom, classic heavy/desert rock and forest psych with subtle grace throughout its eight tracks, each of which is fleshed out in an overarching naturalist atmosphere. “Väktaren” dives headfirst into boogie only after initial minimalist teasing, and “Crimson Moon” bursts to life after a hypnotic psychedelic opening to find its crux in later runs of dueling guitars. The two closing cuts, “Under Vår Sol” and “Cuauhtémoc” are an album unto themselves, the former nodding initially at Sungrazer’s serene vibes before pushing into even more open psychedelic territory, and the latter proffering riffy largesse en route to a striking classic prog finish. That Öken make these elements work side-by-side and transition from one to the other fluidly is emblematic of the confidence at work in the band, and they carry their scope with organic-sounding ease.

Öken on Thee Facebooks

Ozium Records

 

Brimstone Coven, Black Magic

brimstone coven black magic

West Virginian roots doomers Brimstone Coven made their debut on Metal Blade in 2015 with a self-titled EP compilation (track stream here), and Black Magic is their first full-length. Its 10 tracks/54 minutes take cues varyingly from classic heavy rock, doom and the less majestic side of the NWOBHM, but Brimstone Coven’s approach is marked out by the extensive use of vocal harmonies on cuts like the prog-tinged “Beyond the Astral,” the later moments of raw-roller “Upon the Mountain” and “The Plague.” Black Magic’s production is barebones enough that this singing – credited solely to “Big John” Williams, while Corey Roth handles guitar, Andrew D’Cagna bass and Justin Wood drums – doesn’t really soar so much as nestle in and enhance the begging-for-vinyl analog-worship of the instruments surrounding, a proliferation of cultish themes distinguishing Brimstone Coven even as a song like “The Seers” finds them inheriting a trad-doom soulfulness from The Gates of Slumber.

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Metal Blade Records

 

Pants Exploder, Pants Exploder

pants exploder pants exploder

Between its vicious aggression, inhumane chug and have-fun-enduring-this stomp, the self-titled, self-released debut LP from Pants Exploder could just as easily be definitive New York noise, but the low-end heft of their assault right from opener “It’s Ok, I’m Wiccan.” (punctuation included in title) has an element of early-Mastodonic lumber, and that’s a thread that continues throughout “End of the World” and “You Don’t Strike Me as a Reader,” which offsets its slab-of-concrete-on-your-chest push with moments of respite, but remains driving in its intensity. As in, driving your head into the ground. Also the ground is pavement. It’s fucking heavy, is the point. To wit, the mega-plod of “Um, I Curated an Art Show in College, So…” and thrust of “God Has a Plan for Me.” Capping with the seven-minute “You Smug Bastard,” Pants Exploder pays off the tension they build in a noise-wash fury that is as impressive as it is scathing.

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Pants Exploder on Bandcamp

 

Shallows, The Moon Rises

shallows the moon rises

The rather ominous The Moon Rises EP is the first non-demo offering from Asheville, North Carolina, four-piece Shallows, who blend heavy psychedelic and grunge influences across its five tracks, opener “Shimmering” and closer “Distance” mirroring each other’s spacious push while between, “Zero,” “A Mile Beneath” and the Earth-influenced “The Barn Burning” enact gorgeous vocal harmonies between Cameron Zarrabzadeh and HannahLynn Cruey atop atmospheric heavy rock, hitting into Alice in Chains-meets-Kylesa territory on the centerpiece, “A Mile Beneath,” which is a fair bit of ground to cover. That cut is the high point in showcasing Shallows’ potential, but the Western take with “The Barn Burning” and meandering post-rock echoes and organ of “Distance” only add to the breadth of this impressive, too-short collection. With a focus consistently kept on ambience throughout, The Moon Rises flows like a full-length album, and so bodes that much better for what Shallows will be able to accomplish when they get there. I’ll look forward to it.

Shallows on Thee Facebooks

Shallows on Bandcamp

 

Monumentum, The Killer is Me

monumentum the killer is me

Even before they get to the all the aggro fuzz riffing, there’s a distinct threat of violence in Monumentum’s The Killer is Me. Its four songs, “Noose,” “Whore,” “Fiend and Foe” and “Killer Me,” each seem to find the Norwegian band doling out noise-influenced heavy rock, driven by some underlying dissatisfaction on this, their first EP. Released on vinyl through Blues for the Red Sun Records, it offsets being so outwardly pissed off through groove, the starts and stops of “Killer Me” and the rolling seven minutes of opener and longest track “Noose” (immediate points) both marked out for both their tonal weight and the force with which Monumentum push their material forward – not speedy, though “Whore” is by no means slow, but dense and emitting a residual tension all the same. Somewhat unipolar in its mood, The Killer is Me still manages to give an initial impression of what Monumentum are about sound-wise, and provides them with a solid start to work from.

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Blues for the Red Sun Records

 

Famyne, Famyne

famyne famyne

While the UK isn’t at all short on doom or sludge at this point, Canterbury five-piece Famyne distinguish themselves on their self-titled first EP with a traditional take and the at-times theatric harmonies of vocalist Tom Vane. Along with guitarists Alex Tolson and Alex Williams, bassist Chris Travers and drummer Jake Cook, Vane nods at Alice in Chains on lumbering opener “Enter the Sloth” without going full-on “hey whoa momma yeah” and provides a considerable frontman presence, particularly for a debut recording. Comprising three songs with the speedier bonus track “Long Lost Winter” as an add-on download with the CD version, Famyne’s Famyne EP finds its crux in the nod and push of the 10-minute “The Forgotten,” which takes a cue atmospherically from The Wounded Kings but finds its own, less-cultish niche in bringing new energy to classic doom and setting in motion a progression that already puts an individual stamp on established tenets.

Famyne on Thee Facebooks

Famyne on Bandcamp

 

Ethereal Riffian, Youniversal Voice

ethereal riffian youniversal voice

There’s patient, and then there’s Ethereal Riffian, whose riffy ritualizing and exploration nonetheless brims with some intangible energetic sensibility on their new live outing, Youniversal Voice. Heavy psychedelic wash, thick riffs, theatric vocals and guitar effects, stoner roll and the occasional fit of shredding, one might hear any of it at a given point in over-12-minute cuts like “Wakan Tanka” and “Anatman,” the latter which arrives as the penultimate of the eight-song/56-minute set. The clarity, for being a live album, is remarkable, and Ethereal Riffian add to the experience with a CD version that includes a candle, elaborate packaging and artwork, and tea, so the multi-sensory impression is obviously important, and where many live outings are throwaways or a means of bowing to contractual obligation, Youniversal Voice adds to Ethereal Riffian’s studio work a substantial ambassasorial feel, conveying an onstage vibe with a fullness of sound and clarity of mind not often heard.

Ethereal Riffian on Thee Facebooks

Ethereal Riffian on Bandcamp

 

Wet Cactus, Wet Cactus

wet cactus wet cactus

Desert rock trio Wet Cactus don’t make any bones about where they’re getting their influence from on their late-2015 self-titled second EP. By the time they get around to the penultimate “The Road” on the five-track/24-minute outing, they’ve dug themselves in deep into the worship of crunchy Kyuss-style riffing, and you can throw in looks for Unida, Queens of the Stone Age, Slo Burn and whoever else of that milieu, but Kyuss is at the root of it all anyway. Less grand in their production than UK outfit Steak, who operated in similar territory on their 2014 debut LP, Slab City, Wet Cactus keep it natural in the tradition of their forebears, and while there’s room for them to grow into a more individual approach, the hazy fuckall in closer “World’s Law” has a stoner charm before and after it kicks into a punkish push to close out. Cool vibe either way, and the tone is dead on. If these cats go jammier, watch out.

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Odio Sonoro

 

Forming the Void, Skyward

forming the void skyward

I won’t say a bad word about the artwork of David Paul Seymour in the context of this review or any other, but ultimately, Louisiana doomers Forming the Void are coming from someplace much more in line with progressive metal than the three-eyed goat and robed figures on the cover of their second album, Skyward, might represent. Again, that’s not a knock on Seymour, or for that matter, the band, just that the look of the record is deceptive, dogwhistling stonerisms even as moody cuts like the opening title-track and “Three Eyed Gazelle” – while thoroughly doomed in their vibe – prove more lucidly constructed. That holds true through the chugging centerpiece “Saber” as well, marked out by vocal harmonizing, and “Return Again,” which rolls through atmospheric metal and an ambient interlude to enact the record’s most memorable payoff and set up the linear course of the more patient closer “Sleepwalker.” Cohesive in mood and clearly plotted, Skyward is ultimately darker and more driven than it might at first appear.

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Forming the Void on Bandcamp

 

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Boudain Premiere “Sleazy Feats” from Way of the Hoof

Posted in audiObelisk on March 28th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

boudain

Louisiana heavy rockers Boudain will release their debut, Way of the Hoof on — when else? — April 20. It’s an eight-track full-length that, yeah, will get your standard stoner rock comparisons to Kyuss and the Melvins, earning the former on “Neptune” and the latter on “Disco Jimmy” — and also because riffs — but for my money, it owes way more of its crux to the early work of New Orleans natives Suplecs than to those other, not-from-around-there bands. You can hear it in opening track “Sleazy Feats” and in how bassist/vocalist Chris Porter handles the vocals for the Blue Öyster Cult cover “Godzilla,” also notably taken on by Fu Manchu. In his inflection there, and in the bottom-ended fuzz that he, guitarists Brian Lenard and David Karakash and drummer Stephen Jester bask in throughout the record, 2000’s Wrestlin’ with My Lady Friend and 2001’s Sad Songs… Better Days definitely seem to have had a hand in informing the style and attitude, which comes in touting obsessions with pork products, space and who the hell knows what else.

Now, I’ll happily grant that Monroe, where Boudain are based, is closer to Jackson, Mississippi, than it is to New Orleans, and it’s not a singular influence by any means — but the boudain way of the hoofshouts and rolling groove of “CODA” and even the chug-happy nod of “First Class” seem to bear it out. Boudain ride out the thickened riffs of “3 Man” in classic stonerly fashion, long-since passing the halfway point of the five-minute cut before the first verse starts, and in addition to the aforementioned Suplecs, Texas’ Mr. Plow and other underappreciated heavy rockers of the late ’90s and early ’00s come to mind, as well as some shades of Southern sludge, which is just about requisite for the Down/C.O.C. stylings of “The Mighty Turn Around.” Earlier in the album, “Coda” played off some similar ideas — a tonal molasses from Lenard and Karakash, with leads liberally sprinkled about from one or the other — but maybe it’s knowing that the eight-minute lurch of “Disco Jimmy” is waiting that makes “The Mighty Turn Around” seem even heavier. Truth be told, it’s all pretty heavy. Free of pretense, or the need for sonic equivocation, Boudain get down to the business of riff on their first LP, and business is drunk.

And yeah, they close out with that “Godzilla” cover. It’s way closer to the Fu‘s version than BÖC‘s, as one might guess, but tuned down and slowed down even from that, so that it comes across all the more plodding in its affect. Aside from the numerical significance, Boudain are probably right to release Way of the Hoof in spring. Right at the start of grilling season seems the perfect time for a record that smokes the way this one does. With just a bit of gristle.

Today I have the pleasure of hosting “Sleazy Feats” as a streaming premiere. You’ll find it, followed by more info from the PR wire, on the player below.

Get down:

Louisiana Stoner Metallers BOUDAIN will release Way of the Hoof, the band’s debut full-length, on April 20. The album is the follow-up to the group’s highly regarded s/t 2013 EP and is a storm of Space, Pork, and Riffs!

Recorded at SpaceLab 420 Studios, Way of the Hoof is perfect for anyone who enjoys the kind of groove that makes you want to smoke out, grill out, and chill with the swine. Hailing from Monroe, LA and featuring heavy (literally and figuratively) influence from genre-legends like SLEEP, THE MELVINS, KYUSS and FU MANCHU, BOUDAIN is ready to unleash their sun-blistered, misery-laden brand of stoner metal on audiences nationwide with Way Of the Hoof.

Track List:
1. Sleazy Feats
2. Neptune
3. CODA
4. 3 Man
5. First Class
6. The Mighty Turn Around
7. Disco Jimmy
8. Godzilla*
*Blue Öyster Cult cover

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Boudain on Twitter

Boudain on Bandcamp

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Forming the Void Post “Three Eyed Gazelle” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

forming the void

Louisiana atmospheric metallers Forming the Void issued their debut album, Skyward, last fall. The brooding, lurching Lafayette four-piece have a new video for the track “Three Eyed Gazelle” from the outing, and it captures the kind of understated intensity that lies beneath the outwardly (mostly) calm waters of the song’s surroundings, Forming the Void taking cues from progressive metal as much as if not more than doom, resulting in a persistent sense of tightness to their rhythms and melodies and a style more forward thinking than one usually finds on an album the cover for which features a goat-inclusive ritual of some sort or other. Not to generalize, but if you’re reading this, you know what I’m talking about.

There’s plenty of ritual in the video itself, admittedly. The part of the gazelle? Why it’s played by a pretty lady in antlers, of course. She bellydances in front of a bonfire at night as the footage is sped up and slowed down to match the band’s rhythm, her third eye prevalent in her forehead and just a bit on the other side of creepy. The song’s blend of sludge and teeth-clenched metal calls to mind the likes of a less abrasive Beastwars from New Zealand or maybe Cultura Tres from Venezuela, so Forming the Void are nothing if not worldly. Might be a little clean for some listeners, in accordance with that whole “prog” thing, but has a darker vibe as well to go with all that fire and nighttime and those robes that show up later on.

The album — I’ve also seen it called an EP, so you know, don’t go quoting me or anything — is streaming now on Bandcamp, where the CD’s also available on the cheap. Links and other info after the video below. Enjoy:

Forming the Void, “Three Eyed Gazelle” official video

FORMING THE VOID – “Three Eyed Gazelle” from the album “Skyward”

Directed by David Rabalais from Randy Diddly studios
randydiddly.com

FORMING THE VOID is a rock band based out of Lafayette, Louisiana. The band has been performing regularly since October of 2013 and released their second album, “SKYWARD” in August 2015. Their unique blend of atmospheric and stoner rock with a metal influence places a heavy emphasis on textures and layers.

Forming the Void on Thee Facebooks

Forming the Void on Bandcamp

Forming the Void on Twitter

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High on Fire and Crowbar Announce Southeastern Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 21st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

I can’t imagine High on Fire and Crowbar are going to run into too many complaints about this one. “Oh no, don’t tour together. Anything but that.” Actually, scrap that. They are going to run into complaints. Lots of them. From everywhere they’re not playing. Because now that I think about it, this is a run that should really go nationwide. They’re labelmates on eOne, and it only seems reasonable that two bands as thoroughly devastating should bring their combined pummel to as many suspecting and unsuspecting skulls as possible. Maybe it’s a precursor to a full US tour? Maybe the South just gets lucky this time around.

From what I hear, Crowbar are headed back overseas in the New Year. More on that to come. Till then, this is fresh off the PR wire:

high on fire and crowbar

HIGH ON FIRE Announces U.S. Tour Dates

Legendary Metal Band’s Late Autumn Trek to Feature Support from Crowbar

Universally celebrated, heavy metal power trio HIGH ON FIRE has announced U.S. tour dates in support of its new album, Luminiferous. The trek will launch on December 10 in Nashville, TN and will feature support from New Orleans’ sludge kings, Crowbar.

The just-announced headlining live dates are as follows:

HIGH ON FIRE tour dates:
December 10 Nashville, TN Exit / In
December 11 Chattanooga, TN Revelry Room
December 12 Durham, NC Motorco
December 13 Charleston, SC The Music Farm
December 15 Orlando, FL The Social
December 16 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Culture Room
December 17 Ybor City, FL The Orpheum
December 18 Gainesville, FL The Wooly
December 19 Jacksonville, FL Underbelly

HIGH ON FIRE’s new album, Luminiferous, was released on June 23 via eOne Music and, in the time since, has been praised as one of the strongest moments of the award-winning band’s career. Recorded at Salem, Massachusetts’ GodCity Studios with producer Kurt Ballou.

https://www.facebook.com/highonfire
http://www.highonfire.net/
https://www.facebook.com/crowbarmusic
http://www.martyrstore.net/
https://www.facebook.com/eOneHeavy

High on Fire, “The Black Plot” live in New Orleans, 2015

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Friday Full-Length: Acid Bath, When the Kite String Pops

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Acid Bath, When the Kite String Pops (1994)

I’ve been riding some ’90s regression pretty hard the last few weeks (months) or so. Not claiming I was cool enough to be down with Acid Bath‘s When the Kite String Pops when it came out on Rotten Records in 1994 — and neither were 95% of the people who’ll tell you they were, or the band would’ve been huge — but the vibe suits me pretty well now, its pre-genre take on sludge feels less hedged in by aesthetic than a lot of what came later, as it inevitably would. Formed a couple years after Eyehategod in Louisiana, Acid Bath were sort of lumped in the same scene, but there’s more going on than slowed-down hardcore on When the Kite String Pops and its 1996 follow-up, Paegan Terrorism Tactics, a heavier-edged post-grunge head-down malaise coming through in the vocals of frontman Dax Riggs on “Tranquilized” and any number of other cuts throughout the record’s overwhelming peak-CD-era 69-minute span. I’d call it unmanageable, but the album’s actually worth paying attention to across that time. You figure out a way to manage.

Whether it’s their Nola compatriots in Eyehategod, Soilent Green or even Crowbar, Acid Bath tapped into a vibe that no one else of their ilk and era quite captured in the same way. Eyehategod, more drugs. Soilent Green, more grind. Crowbar, slower. But it’s the fact that they found their own niche — clean vocals, flourish of keys, etc. — that I think has sustained Acid Bath‘s cult following more than two decades after the fact. Of course, guitarist Sammy Duet can now be found in Goatwhore with Soilent Green‘s Ben Falgoust, and Dax Riggs has garnered some measure of a following as a solo singer-songwriter, but after the death of bassist/backing vocalist Audie Pitre in 1997, Acid Bath went on for a while but would never get to putting out a third record. As such, their two offerings retain an individual mark on the fertile heaviness of New Orleans in sound and overall vibe, even if they’re something of a footnote commercially compared to later acts.

Hope you enjoy.

I’m in Maryland tonight and tomorrow for the Vultures of Volume fest, and it starts in less than an hour so I’ll keep it brief. It was a hell of a trip getting here between waiting three hours for AAA to come pick up The Patient Mrs.‘ car last night at a rest stop on the side of I-95 in Massachusetts that we found out later was named “Pickle Park” after all the dudes meeting there to have sex in the woods. It was not the Thursday evening I’d planned, to say the least, and well, if you’re meeting people at a rest stop to get it on and that’s your thing, okay, but it made for a weird three-hour feeling of intrusion on my part.

Got to Connecticut a little before midnight, crashed, and continued south this morning, stopping in Jersey to pick up a camera and lens I rented only to find out that I couldn’t afford the $2,000 hold they were apparently going to put on my credit card. I don’t have a $2,000 line of credit, and they couldn’t split up the sale over different cards, so I have my regular camera instead of a nice, fancy one for the fest. Felt great. Really. Really great. Really made that 80 minutes I drive each way to work every day — not today, obviously — feel worthwhile. Feels awesome to still be broke while I work to support someone else’s financial interests.

So needless to say I’m in the perfect headspace to go rock out for the next seven hours or so. Should be a blast. Gotta remember to hydrate. Gotta remember the ibuprofen in my bag. Sore feet I’m just gonna have to deal with — forgot to bring supportive footwear; sandals it is — but the rest I should be able to reasonably control, including the much-needed attitude adjustment.

Hold nose, dive in.

Reviews on Monday and Tuesday? Maybe Tuesday and Wednesday, depending on Labor Day celebration and how much I’m feeling like opening my laptop. We’ll see.

Wherever you’re at, please stay safe and have a great weekend, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

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