Mangog Unveil First Rumblings in Video for “Ab Intra”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 15th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

mangog

The beating heart of Maryland doom lies in Frederick. It’s not the traditional “Doom Capitol” — that being D.C. or at least Baltimore — but it’s where the style lives on and flourishes today, and it’s from whence the newcomer four-piece Mangog hail, their style steeped in the lurching traditions, downer riffing and sonic heft for which the Maryland scene is so rightly revered. The band features in its lineup former Revelation and current Righteous Bloom bassist Bert Hall — here on guitar and vocals — and ex-Iron Man drummer Mike Rix alongside vocalist/intermittent guitarist Myke Wells (who co-directed the video) and bassist Darby Cox (also of Major Company and Hall‘s experimental hip-hop outfit, Negro Childe), and “Ab Intra” is the first audio they’ve made public from a forthcoming demo, and one finds its eight-minute roll (reportedly they’re playing it slower now, thus further elongating) working in regionalist form as what should be a welcome introduction to the converted awaiting their arrival.

Formed late in 2014, Mangog hit the studio in April with producer Drew Mazurek to track their debut demo, and they’ll make their first stage appearance at the end of this month at the Maryland Doom Festival in — where else? — Frederick, at Cafe 611, performing at the final day of the fest on June 28. If their pedigree isn’t enough to pique interest for those making the pilgrimage to the inaugural three-dayer, then “Ab Intra” should get the job done, with its eerie intro and subsequent theatrical flourish — no, I’m not just talking about Hall‘s fuzzy hat — and moody sensibility. Not sure on an exact release date for the demo. Presumably it would be in-hand for the Maryland Doom Fest, but one never really knows how that kind of thing is going to work out. In any case, worth keeping an eye on, and you can do precisely that (mostly with the video below.

Enjoy:

Mangog, “Ab Intra” official video

We premiered the first song from our demo, “Ab Intra”, recorded and produced by the great Drew Mazurek (Gwar, Revelation, Jawbox)! We hope you’ll enjoy our video for “Ab Intra”, directed and filmed by our very own Myke Wells and Jonathan Carroll of X9 Records!

Come see our debut at the Maryland Doom Festival! Tickets are only sold online! Get ya doom on!

The Maryland Doom Festival
June 26-28
Cafe 611
611 N. Market Street
Frederick, Maryland 21701

Mangog on Thee Facebooks

Mangog on Twitter

Maryland Doom Fest tickets

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Pentagram Announce New Album Curious Volume Due in August

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 15th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

pentagram

It would seem to have been a quiet couple of months from the camp of legendary doomers Pentagram, but after announcing their having joined forces with Peaceville Records, the Bobby Liebling-fronted and Victor Griffin-guitared outfit — also Greg Turley on bass and “Minnesota” Pete Campbell on drums — set about putting the finishing touches on their new album, which today is revealed as being titled Curious Volume. It is set to release on Peaceville Aug. 28.

The final art and tracklisting for the album has also been unveiled and tours have been teased, so expect much more to come ahead of the release of the follow-up to Pentagram‘s 2011 studio comeback, Last Rites (review here), but for now, here are Curious Volume preliminaries off the PR wire:

pentagram curious volume

Pentagram to release new album “Curious Volume” this August on Peaceville

Legendary U.S. heavy/doom metal band, Pentagram, reunites with Peaceville Records for its new studio album, Curious Volume, to be released on August 28.

Featuring 11 classic heavy metal compositions with catchy hooks from core band members Victor Griffin, Greg Turley, and Bobby Liebling (Pete Campbell on the drums completes the band’s line-up), the album was recorded with Swedish producer Mattias Nilsson at studios located in Maryland and Virginia. Additional recording took place in Tennessee with Grammy-Award-winning producer Travis Wyrick, who also produced Pentagram’s previous album, Last Rites. The album’s cover artwork was provided courtesy of Richard Schouten.

To support the new album, the band has tours planned in North America and Europe throughout 2015/2016.

1. Lay Down and Die
2. The Tempter Push
3. Dead Bury Dead
4. Earth Flight
5. Walk Alone
6. Curious Volume
7. Misunderstood
8. Close the Casket
9. Sufferin`
10. Devil`s Playground
11. Because I Made It

Formed in the early 1970s with a debut album Relentless releasing in 1985, Pentagram has survived through more than four decades filled with adversity and triumph to become the legendary international act it is today, firmly stamping its name into the heavy metal history books. Although once viewed as a cult act but with a strong and dedicated global fan base, Pentagram has enjoyed a recent surge in popularity due in part to the 2011 documentary, Last Days Here, which follows the trials and tribulations of a troubled rock star, Pentagram’s lead singer Bobby Liebling. With a DVD release set for this fall on Peaceville’s label, the documentary has garnered international recognition on the film festival circuit and has won several awards, including “Best Music Documentary” at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.

The band recently released its double DVD collection, All Your Sins, featuring over 7 hours of live footage spanning a period of three decades.

Stay tuned for more information on Pentagram and Curious Volume, out this August on Peaceville.

http://www.PentagramOfficial.com
https://www.facebook.com/pentagramusa
http://www.peaceville.com/

Pentagram, Live at Baltimore Soundstage, Oct. 29, 2014

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Righteous Bloom Post New Demo “Dying on the Vine”

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

righteous bloom logo green background

Like many pieces of essential information, the fact that Chesapeake progressive doomers Righteous Bloom had a new demo made public was put out at 11PM. What the four-piece lack in web-based marketing, however, they more than make up for in distinctiveness of sound. Together with the earlier “Within Trance” (posted here) and their initial single “Of Sanctum and Solace” (posted here), “Dying on the Vine” makes for three new cuts revealed ahead of Righteous Bloom‘s full-length debut, due tentatively later this year on The Church Within Records. I haven’t heard for sure one way or another, but unless it’s already in the can, I think it might be 2016 before that record gets out.

Either way, while it’s somewhat discomfiting to hear a new band talk about “Dying on the Vine,” the demo version finds Righteous Bloom further branching out from guitarist/vocalist Dana Ortt and drummer Darin McCloskey‘s past recorded work in Beelzefuzz, while also making the most of lead guitarist Greg Diener (also Pale Divine) and bassist Bert Hall (also Revelation), the latter of whom joined earlier this year, pushing Righteous Bloom from “offshoot” to supergroup status within the sphere of Maryland (and the surrounding area) heavy. Ortt plays the role of mystical conjurer in these lyrics, tossing out “clandestine melody,” “sickening soliloquy,” and “tumultuous threnody” in quick succession over a bouncing and chugging verse that has an almost oompah feel to it with his guitar-as-organ tonality. Catchy in as bizarre a fashion as ever, it’s one more teaser to make one look forward to the album’s realization, whenever it might come.

Righteous Bloom will play the Vultures of Volume fest in Sept. (info here) alongside Solace, Elder and many others. Stay tuned for more as we get closer to their full-length’s release. If nothing else, I think I’ve made it pretty plain that if these guys see fit to post a new song, I’m going to see fit to blab about it.

Enjoy:

Righteous Bloom, “Dying on the Vine”

Righteous Bloom on Thee Facebooks

The Church Within Records

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Wino Wednesday: The Hidden Hand’s First Show, Velvet Lounge, Washington, D.C., March 23, 2003

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 13th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

I can’t claim to have been there, but it looks like The Hidden Hand‘s first gig — March 23, 2003, at Velvet Lounge in Washington, D.C. — was a hell of a time. A packed room in front of that red curtain as the trio of guitarist/vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich, bassist/vocalist Bruce Falkinburg and drummer Dave Hennessy unfurled an initial batch of winding riffs, heavy grooves and Illuminati-exposing lyricism. Maybe they hadn’t gotten that far yet, actually, since Falkinburg takes lead vocals on the second song of the set and makes his way through going “This is the first line of the verse,” etc., en route to a Melvins-y kind of filler chorus. Still, if the material was fresh it was obviously ready enough to break out on stage, and The Hidden Hand wound up a long way from the usual first-show roughness, even though they’d continue to grow together over the next four years of their all-too-brief tenure.

They’d release three albums in that time, which is one more than Spirit Caravan got out during their initial run and as many as the Wino-fronted incarnation of Saint Vitus issued before they got back together and the Lillie: F-65 long-player that resulted, so while their legacy hasn’t cast quite the same net, it was a productive period for sure. I don’t know if we’ll see a reunion like we have for Vitus, The Obsessed or Spirit Caravan, but if I saw The Hidden Hand on this or that festival bill in the years to come, I certainly wouldn’t complain. This set was the very beginning for them, with just the De-Sensitized 7″ out prior to the release of Divine Propaganda later in 2003, so I hope you take the chance to enjoy where the band was coming from as they started to branch out from those roots.

Have a great Wino Wednesday.

The Hidden Hand, Live at Velvet Lounge, Washington, D.C., March 23, 2003

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Wino Wednesday: Spirit Caravan Live at Strange Matter, Richmond, VA, March 8, 2014

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 22nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

When they first got back together last year, Spirit Caravan started off their first US tour in more than a decade at the Metro Gallery in Baltimore. A more fitting setting would be hard to find. Baltimore, D.C., Virginia, the entire Doom Capitol region has been the center of Spirit Caravan‘s enduring influence, and for guitarist/vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich, bassist/vocalist Dave Sherman and drummer Henry Vasquez, it was more or less a homecoming, or at very least as close as they were going to get on a touring circuit. Granted, they could’ve gone back to Wootton High School and done the show there, if they’d wanted.

The night after Baltimore, they were in Richmond, Virginia. Playing in front of their classic banner to an enthusiastic crowd who obviously well appreciated being there, they took on the venerable Strange Matter with due vitality and ran through a set full of staples, landmark riffs of “Sea Legs,” “Dead Love/Jug Fulla Sun,” “Dove-Tongued Aggressor” and “Dreamwheel” carrying their original rolling vibes both to those who were there the first time around and those who’d come aboard in the 12 years since the band’s original run ended in 2002, their reputation bolstered all the more by Sherman‘s subsequent work in Earthride and Wino‘s in The Hidden Hand and the reunited Saint Vitus. I wasn’t there to see it, but it looks in the video below like it was one hell of a time.

Whoever TubeVision is, they’ve been taping shows in and around Virginia for well over a decade. They were there at Strange Matter and captured the full Spirit Caravan set, a genuine moment of heavy rock history marking their return in a heavy rock climate no doubt more welcoming than there had been the first time around, and for that alone, I’d shake his/her hand if presented with the opportunity. Spirit Caravan headline at this year’s inaugural Maryland Doom Fest this June with The Obsessed‘s Ed Gulli on drums (info here), filling in for Vasquez who’ll be on tour in Europe with Saint Vitus at the time, that band rejoined by original vocalist Scott Reagers.

Enjoy this full set and have a great Wino Wednesday:

Spirit Caravan, Live at Strange Matter, Richmond, VA, March 8, 2014

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Righteous Bloom Post New Song “Within Trance”

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

rightous bloom logo

One of my biggest questions as guitarist/vocalist Dana Ortt and drummer Darin McCloskey transition from Beelzefuzz into Righteous Bloom has been how their sound will shift with lead guitarist Greg Diener — also a bandmate of McCloskey‘s in Pale Divine — playing alongside Ortt‘s signature, organ-esque tone, and what that will bring to the classic prog vibe that underscored Beelzefuzz‘s doomly groove. That question, which remained even after the oft-revisited initial single “Of Sanctum and Solace” (stream here) arrived last September, sees further answer with the newly-revealed “Within Trance,” which the four-piece rounded out by bassist Bert Hall, also of Revelation/Against Nature, posted as a look into the solidification of their forthcoming first LP, set tentatively for release righteous bloom cafe 611later this year via The Church Within Records, who also issued the self-titled debut from Beelzefuzz (review here) in 2013.

And the answer, I suppose, is they mesh pretty well. Diener certainly brings his own tone and spirit to the material — particularly in the solos — but Ortt retains his prevalent sonic personality too, and one imagines that with two guitars, it will be easier for the heft that showed itself on the Beelzefuzz record to come to life on stage as well, Diener having joined Beelzefuzz right near the dissolution of that band. The eerie hook that ensues on “Within Trance” feels like a logical next step and a fitting beginning point for Righteous Bloom as they look to establish their own course, separate from Ortt and McCloskey‘s work with their prior outfit, but still in league with it and grown out from its foundation. I was already looking forward to finding out what their debut had in store, and “Within Trance” is only fodder for more intrigue. I’ve got my fingers crossed that record shows up before the New Year.

Righteous Bloom play their first show at Cafe 611 in Frederick, Maryland, this Saturday, March 21, in the good company of NagatoAdmiral Browning and Faith in Jane. More info here.

Enjoy the track, with the announcement from the band after:

Rightous Bloom, “Within Trance”

Well, it’s been a very busy past few months for Righteous Bloom writing and recording the new album, but we’re finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel! In appreciation for everyone’s patience and support we offer you “Within Trance” a brand new tune that will be on our forthcoming album on Church Within Recs.

“Within Trance” will also be one of the new songs we’re very excited to play for everyone this coming weekend, March 21st, at Club 611 in Frederick, MD.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Righteous Bloom on Thee Facebooks

The Church Within Records

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Maryland Doom Fest 1: Nagato Added; Final Schedule Announced

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

nagato (Photo by Rachel Ellen Morton)

It turns out Pull had to them-out (get it?) of the first-ever Maryland Doom Fest, but they’ve been replaced by reunited riffers Nagato, who got back together last year after a cessation of activity in 2012. Thick on vibe, they’ll add progressive atmospherics and gorgeous tone to the lineup of the fest, which takes place from June 26-28 at Cafe 611 in Frederick, Maryland. I’ve only been fortunate enough to see the four-piece once, at Stoner Hands of Doom XI in 2011 (review here), for which they also played on a Sunday, but that set left enough an impression that four years later I keep hoping I’ll hear some news about them putting out a record sooner or later.

They might get there. I know the members of Nagato are involved in a few other projects as well, so maybe their playing Maryland Doom Fest is enough for the moment. They’ve joined a killer lineup, for which the final schedule has just been announced.

And just so we have it all in one place, alphabetically, here’s the full lineup as of now (there are still a couple months to go, things can change) for the inaugural Maryland Doom Fest: Apostle of Solitude, Balam, Banned from H.E.L.L., Foehammer, Foghound, Into the Void, Iron Man, Lord, Mangog, Mind’s Eye, Nagato, Outside Truth, Primer Grey, Project Armageddon, Season of Arrows, Serpent Witch, Sixty Watt Shaman, Slaves B.C., Spirit Caravan, The Skull, Unorthodox, Valkyrie, Weed is Weed.

Poster by Audrey Mantel and running order follow, along with Nagato‘s return show last August:

md doom fest flyer

The Maryland Doom Fest 1

June 26 – 28, 2015
Cafe 611, Frederick, MD

A weekend of doom metal in its purest form.

FRIDAY
The Skull 1225-130
Sixty Watt Shaman 1115-1210
Unorthodox 1005-11
Weed Is Weed 855-950
Into The Void 755-840
Banned From H.E.L.L. 655-740
Primer Grey 6-640

SATURDAY
Spirit Caravan 1215-130
Apostle of Solitude 1105-1200
Outside Truth 1010-1050
Valkyrie 910-955
Project Armageddon 815-855
Foghound 720-8
Balam 630-705
Slaves B.C. 540-615
Season of Arrows 445-525

SUNDAY
Iron Man 1045-1215
Foehammmer 945-1030
Lord 845-930
Mind’s Eye 745-830
Nagato 650-730
Serpent Witch 655-735
Mangog 6-640

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-maryland-doom-fest-tickets-15022390374
https://www.facebook.com/events/562627560540323
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-maryland-DOOM-Fest/815331421863100

Nagato, Live at Guido’s Speakeasy, Frederick, MD, Aug. 23, 2014

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Iron Man Announce Northeast Tour Dates

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

iron man

Warms my cold, cruel heart to see Iron Man getting out again. The long-running Maryland doom outfit founded by guitarist “Iron” Al Morris III released their latest album, 2013’s South of the Earth (review here), on Rise Above Records in the UK and Metal Blade in the States and since that time have been receiving an overdue comeuppance of attention. They played Rise Above‘s 25th anniversary party in London and made several other European appearances last year, and now they’ve announced an 11-date run that will take them up the East Coast before circling around to the Midwest and finishing in Ohio.

Of course, they’ve been here and there since first getting together in the late ’80s, but actual tours are rarer, and this Iron Man lineup — Morris, vocalist Dee Calhoun, bassist Louis Strachan and drummer Jason “Mot” Waldmann — have developed a marked chemistry on stage to go with Morris‘ classic riffing style and landmark tone. They take to the road as ambassadors for the righteousness of Maryland doom, and no doubt they’ll be greeted as liberators wherever they might happen to be on any given night.

Speaking of Maryland doom, Iron Man will take part in the first Maryland Doom Fest this June, alongside Spirit CaravanThe Skull and many more (info here). For this tour, they’re joined by D.C. metallers Yesterday’s Saints. Dates and links follow:

iron man yesterday's saints tour

Iron Man / Yesterday’s Saints 2015 US Tour

3/12 Washington, DC
The Pinch, 3548 14th St., NW, Washington, DC 202-722-4440
3/13 Allentown, PA
Jabber Jaws, 1327 W. Chew St., Allentown, PA 484-426-9380
3/14 Philadelphia, PA
Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., Philadelphia, PA 215-291-4919
3/15 Brooklyn, NY
The Paper Box, 17 Meadow St., Brooklyn, NY 718-383-3815
3/16 Providence, RI
Dusk, 301 Harris Ave., Providence, RI 401-714-0444
3/17 Salem, MA
Koto, 90 Washington St., Salem. MA 978-594-8681
3/18 Buffalo, NY
Broadway Joe’s, 3051 Main St., Buffalo, NY 716-833-7000
3/19 Ft. Wayne, IN
Skeletunes (former Berlin Music Pub) 1201 West Main St., Ft. Wayne, IN 260-739-5671
3/20 Detroit, MI
The Sanctuary (Yonka House) 1501 E. Outer Dr., Detroit, MI
3/21 Columbus, OH
Ruby Tuesday Bar, 1978 Summit St., Columbus, OH 614-291-8313
3/22 Dayton, OH
Courtyard Lounge, 320 W. National Blvd., Englewood, OH 937-836-9511

https://www.facebook.com/events/1549140685345331/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Iron-Man-Band/146118265408361
http://www.ironmanband.com/
https://www.facebook.com/YesterdaysSaints
http://www.riseaboverecords.com/

Iron Man, “South of the Earth” Live at Castle of Doom 2014

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