Demon Lung to Reissue Debut EP Pareidolia Feb. 23

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 7th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

In the what-will-be six years since they first released their debut EP, Pareidolia (review here), in 2012, and in addition to the accomplishments the PR wire lays out below with their two albums and stage pedigree, doomers Demon Lung have made themselves at home at festivals like Psycho Las Vegas, Doom in June and Southwest Terror Fest. I guess the point is their list of accomplishments is not minor. Only fitting then to go back these years later and reexamine how they got started, and as Pareidolia emerges in this new incarnation via M-Theory Audio on preorder-available LP, it comes with four bonus tracks — the original “Pray for Rain” and covers of Wounded Giant, Danzig and Twisted Sister.

I’ve been fortunate enough to see Demon Lung play in their hometown (review here), and though it was a while ago now, I still feel like I’d be very much interested in hearing what they could do with both “How the Gods Kill” and “Captain Howdy.” Remember when Drain STH covered that on the Strangeland soundtrack? I do, because I’m old as dirt.

On that note, here’s the PR wire with more relevant info:

Demon Lung pareidolia

DEMON LUNG TO REISSUE DEBUT RECORD, ‘PAREIDOLIA,’ ON M-THEORY

ALBUM TO BE RELEASED ON LIMITED-EDITION COLORED VINYL W/BONUS TRACKS ON FEB 23RD

Las Vegas female-fronted Doom Metal band DEMON LUNG have built quite a reputation for themselves via 2 critically acclaimed albums on Candlelight and live appearances all over the west coast with bands like Candlemass, Crowbar, Venom Inc., High On Fire, Eyehategod, Today Is the Day, Saint Vitus, Pentagram and more.

On February 23rd, DEMON LUNG will reissue their previously self-released 2012 CD EP, Pareidolia, onto Vinyl for the first time. Limited to 500 copies on Black & Green Marble, Pareidolia will include 4 bonus tracks, including covers of Twisted Sister’s “Captain Howdy” and Danzig’s “How the Gods Kill”.

“With every studio session we’ve ever done, we always throw down on some of our favorite covers at the end of live tracking,” explains drummer Jeremy Brenton. “This was just the perfect time to open the vault and pull out our favorites.”

In addition, DEMON LUNG have included an old, original track. “’Pray For Rain’ is a song that we recorded around the same time as the original Pareidolia EP. We wanted to keep it to 4 songs so we dropped it before finishing the solo section”, clarifies Jeremy.

Finally, the reissue includes a surprise cut, a cover of Seattle friends and frequent touring partners Wounded Giant’s “The Road to Middian.”

“We jammed the song with Wounded Giant at the end of their set on tour every night,” clarifies Jeremy. “[Wounded Giant singer/guitarist] Bobby James came down to hang out with us and we figured we should try to record it for posterity.”

“We are still very proud of the original EP and are stoked to have it finally issued on vinyl through M-Theory! Why now? I don’t really have a good answer for that. We wanted to put it on Vinyl and we had enough to fill up the other side. Lol.”

Preorder DEMON LUNG’s Pareidolia now at www.m-theoryaudio.com/store

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Demon Lung, Pareidolia (2012)

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Review & Track Premiere: Blackfinger, When Colors Fade Away

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on August 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

blackfinger-when-colors-fade-away

[Click play above to stream the premiere of ‘Can I Get a Witness’ by Blackfinger. When Colors Fade Away is out Sept. 15 via M-Theory Audio and up for preorder now.]

When Blackfinger first started out, the band was a vehicle for acoustic songwriting from Eric Wagner, the former vocalist for Chicago-based doom legends Trouble. By the time they got to releasing their first studio material in 2011 (discussed here), Blackfinger was a full-fledged band, who in addition to their own material, often dug into Trouble classics on-stage, periodically bringing out Wagner‘s former bandmates to take part in the celebration of that legacy. By the time they made their self-titled debut (review here) in 2014 via The Church Within Records, that drive had been channeled into The Skull, which reunited Wagner with ex-Trouble bassist Ron Holzner among others in a seemingly rotating cast, and with The Skull‘s well received and dying-for-a-follow-up 2014 Tee Pee Records debut, For Those Which are Asleep (review here), and subsequent touring, Blackfinger became something of a backburner entity.

They were a side-project that, without much heavy touring behind it, went somewhat underrated for the quality of their original output on the first record and the blend of melancholic classic rock and doom there elicited. The chief question going into the second Blackfinger full-length, When Colors Fade Away (on M-Theory Audio), is what the identity of the group will be. Will they have the somber moodiness of the debut intact? A heavier edge à la The Skull‘s built-from-Trouble ethic of doomed songcraft? What role will the affinity for ’60s rock that once led Blackfinger to produce the Mamas and the Papas-referencing single “All the Leaves are Brown” play in the new material?

With the acknowledgement that those weren’t all yes or no questions, the answer to all of them is yes. Comprised of nine tracks for a total of 38 minutes of original material, Blackfinger‘s sophomore offering brings forth doomed vibes on cuts like the opening title-track and “Crossing the River Turmoil,” moody mid-paced melodicism on “Beside Still Water,” chugging, rocking hooks (and a Dr. Seuss reference in the lyrics) on “Can I Get a Witness” and the cowbell-inclusive centerpiece “Afternow,” a softer touch on the penultimate “Waiting for the Sun” and even references nursery rhymes in the chorus of “My Old Soul,” which reworks “Old King Cole was a very old soul/A very old soul was he/He called for his pipe, he called for his bowl/A very fine bowl it was indeed,” as a kind of self-examination on the part of Wagner, who seems to put himself in that role via the title and his delivery. As a result of all this, the answer to Blackfinger‘s identity is that they’ve become a multifaceted unit, rich in sound and variety of songwriting, and that while Wagner is of course still a focal point, they sound even more like a full band than on the self-titled.

Also a completely different one. Of the players on that first record, only the vocalist has returned for the follow-up, and having since moved from his longtime home in the Chicago area to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Wagner has completely revamped the lineup of Blackfinger around himself, notably bringing in Terry Weston of Dream Death — who released the righteously churning Dissemination (review here) last year — and Penance to handle guitar alongside Matthew TuiteMatthew Cross to play bass and David Snyder for drums as a new incarnation of the five-piece. Particularly when one considers the drastic nature of these changes in the band — changing, quite actually, the band — it becomes all the more remarkable that When Colors Fade Away has anything in common with the preceding Blackfinger at all, let alone seems to be so effectively constructed with a consistency of intent and influence.

blackfinger

The memorable craft behind songs like “All My Sorrow” and the aforementioned “Can I Get a Witness” and “Beside Still Water” has to be mentioned as a factor in this — as well as the quality of the other tracks around them; it’s a pretty high and pretty steady level throughout — but even so, When Colors Fade Away not only shows development from the self-titled, it marks a moment of arrival for Blackfinger as a unit distinct in its purpose and clear-headed about what it wants to accomplish. Any concerns as regards what Blackfinger would become in the wake of The Skull‘s rise to prominence should be duly answered by the shredding solo of “Afternow” as well as the morose rolling groove of “Crossing the River Turmoil,” on which Wagner bequeaths worldly goods over a highlight bassline and lumbering riff, or the uptempo and somewhat hopeful finish brought out through closer “Till We Meet Again.”

Varied material is brought together by Wagner‘s voice — pushed to a higher register on “Afternow” and in layers on “Till We Meet Again” and “When Colors Fade Away” — and by a straightforwardness of structure that finds individual pieces standing out from each other while still flowing smoothly one into the next, and with a full, tonally rich recording sound, Blackfinger‘s When Colors Fade Away should have no problem making its case to those among a new generation of listeners who caught wind of Wagner‘s work via The Skull as well as to those who’ve followed him since his time in Trouble.

It is also, however, more than simply a showcase for Wagner to the converted new or old. There’s a reaching out in these tracks and a creative progression that’s not to be understated, and as much as the vocals are a defining presence, the basic fact that Blackfinger has been able to put together a completely new band while still forging an identity of its own and releasing a second album just three years after the debut is more than slightly impressive. Even if it works mostly in shades of blue sonically in accordance with its cover art, the fullness of realization across When Colors Fade Away brims with not-to-be-missed vitality, and whether it’s the new collaboration between Wagner and Weston or the cohesion of the group as a whole around them, one hopes Blackfinger continue to grow, mature and press forward as brazenly as they do here.

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Blackfinger Announce When Colors Fade Away out Sept. 15; Preorders Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 1st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

blackfinger

Okay, so, I’m going to have way more to say about Blackfinger‘s second record, When Colors Fade Away, before it comes out. As of right now, tune in Aug. 15 for a review and song premiere. But I wanted to get the album announcement up before then because, woof, this one’s worth getting your preorder in early for. Eric Wagner from Trouble/The Skull moves to Pittsburgh and hooks up with Dream Death/Penance guitarist Terry Weston? Are you kidding me? Good luck finding a better one-two punch of doom than that this afternoon. You won’t.

M-Theory Audio has a Sept. 15 release date set for When Colors Fade Away, which of course follows Blackfinger‘s 2014 self-titled debut (review here). Here’s confirmation it’s on its way and that link for preorders — which, seriously, you want — from the PR wire:

blackfinger-when-colors-fade-away

BLACKFINGRER CONFIRMS SEPT 15TH RELEASE DATE FOR NEW ALBUM, ‘WHEN COLORS FADE AWAY,’ AND DEBUTS COVER ART AND CD/VINYL PRE-ORDER

Singer ERIC WAGNER, formerly of TROUBLE and currently of THE SKULL, brings his unique and legendary voice to the next BLACKFINGER album, When Colors Fade Away. Now based in Pittsburgh, PA, Eric has a new BLACKFINGER lineup including another familiar name in doom circles, guitarist Terry Weston (DREAM DEATH and PENANCE). M-Theory Audio is pleased to announce a Sept. 15th release date for the album on CD, limited edition colored vinyl and digital. Preorder now at www.m-theoryaudio.com/store

Featuring photos from Matt Bluejay and graphic design by Al Oaks, When Colors Fade Away is a striking and artistic package with a full color 12-page CD booklet and a 4-page vinyl insert. Vinyl limited to 400 copies of blue/black marble.

“Colors were a common theme throughout the first record… I think it was a reference for life, or maybe it was hope…,” explains Eric Wagner. “What happens when colors start to fade or you feel like all hope is lost? I think there comes a time in everyone’s life when you need to confront your dark side in order to get to the light. When I saw the photographs of the old abandoned funeral home by Matt Bluejay, I thought it would make the perfect album cover for When Colors Fade Away, and the start of the journey to feel good about oneself again.”

Recently BLACKFINGER performed at Cleveland’s Agora Theatre as part of a live show captured for the forthcoming fictional film, Death Metal. Watch for more live show announcements, as well as audio samples coming soon.

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www.m-theoryaudio.com

Blackfinger, Live at Maryland Doom Fest 2016

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