Pentagram Touring West Coast this Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 3rd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

pentagram

Doom legends Pentagram continue pro-level touring in support of their 2015 album, Curious Volume (review here). They’re recently returned from Europe, which brought an appearance at Roadburn 2016, and before that was SXSW. Still to come this year are Psycho Las Vegas — they also headlined Psycho California last year — and a return trip to Europe that will include a stop at Up in Smoke 2016 in Switzerland, among other appearances sure to be announced. I don’t know if 2016 is Pentagram‘s busiest year in their 45-ish year history, but it sure feels like it. They’re giving an entirely new meaning to “Relentless.”

Before they get to Psycho and back to the EU, they’re sneaking in a West Coast run later this month, looping down from Seattle and eventually back into SoCal and heading north again from there. Dates and info follow, courtesy of the PR wire:

pentagram tour dates

PENTAGRAM ANNOUNCES HEADLINING MAY TOUR DATES

New album “Curious Volume” out now on Peaceville

Legendary U.S. heavy/doom metal band, Pentagram, has announced a batch of headlining May U.S. tour dates in support of its latest album Curious Volume, which released last summer on Peaceville Records. A full list of confirmed shows can be seen below.

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), Curious Volume was recorded with Swedish producer Mattias Nilsson at studios located in Maryland and Virginia. Additional recording took place in Tennessee with Grammy-nominated producer Travis Wyrick, who also produced Pentagram’s previous album, Last Rites. The album’s cover artwork was provided courtesy of Richard Schouten.

Pentagram on tour:
5/17 – Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven
5/18 – Portland, OR @ Dante’s
5/19 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux
5/20 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The State Room
5/21 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
5/23 – Phoenix, AZ @ Nile Theater
5/24 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
5/25 – San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick
5/26 – Santa Ana, CA @ Observatory
5/27 – San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge
5/28 – San Jose, CA @ The Ritz

Pentagram is:
Bobby Liebling – vocals
Victor Griffin – guitar
Greg Turley – bass
Pete Campbell – drums

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

Pentagram, “Walk Alone”

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Dee Calhoun Posts “Rotgut” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 29th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

dee calhoun rotgut video

There is just no mistaking the metal in Dee Calhoun‘s pipes. Even in the context of the acoustic-twanging Rotgut, his forthcoming solo debut, the rare power in Calhoun‘s voice shines through in the force of his delivery. To wit, his new video for “Rotgut,” the title-track from the album, finds him exploring expression through guitar and percussion as well, but it’s still his singing that makes the song so striking. Moreover, Calhoun‘s ability to conjure a mood around his voice, a sense of struggle even when he’s so tuned to fist-pumping triumph, leaves the track feeling all the more like an accomplishment.

June 6 is the release date for Rotgut via Argonauta Records, and Calhoun also has a book out — Tales of the Screaming and Mad, derived from the nickname “Screaming Mad” Dee — so in addition to serving as the frontman for Maryland doom stalwarts Iron Man, he’s keeping plenty busy. Solo shows have also become more frequent, and if you’re looking for more of a taste of what Rotgut has to offer, there are an increasing amount of live clips available to surf through. Once he starts singing, you basically can’t miss him, even in the middle of the woods as he is here.

Video follows with more info on the clip and song, as found on the internets:

Dee Calhoun, “Rotgut” official video

Beyond stoked to premiere today the first single by Dee Calhoun, singer of Doom legends Iron Man Band, from his solo debut release “Rotgut”.

“Rotgut” is also available now for preorders:

CD Digisleeve: http://bit.ly/1VWewHv (SAVE 20%)
CD + T-Shirt (all sizes): http://bit.ly/26wrmzU (bundle offer only for preorders)

Rotgut, the song:

Produced and engineered by Dee Calhoun. Recorded at The Dustbuster, Frederick MD. Mastered by Doug Benson at Commodore Recording Studio, Thurmont MD. Lyrics and music by Dee Calhoun.

Dee Calhoun – vocals, guitar, percussion
Muddy Jelly – Harmonica

From the album “Rotgut,” on Argonauta Records

Rotgut, the video:
Directed and edited by Dee Calhoun. Cameras by Dee Calhoun and Robert Calhoun. Featuring Mike Orris as “The Junkman.” Special thanks to Dorothy and John Nahwooks. Public domain footage courtesy Internet Archive.

Dee Calhoun website

Argonauta Records

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The Obsessed, Karma to Burn and The Atomic Bitchwax to Tour North America

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 5th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

That is a gosh darn significant lineup. The ObsessedThe Atomic Bitchwax and Karma to Burn? I mean, really. Who’s gonna complain about that show? Unless you happen to live in/near a city not being hit by the tour, I can’t really see anything to bitch about when it comes to pairing those acts up. Each offers something different from the others, but is completely excellent at what they do, whether that’s The Obsessed‘s trailblazing Maryland doom, The Atomic Bitchwax‘s frenetic winding riffage or Karma to Burn‘s instrumental crunch. Seems reasonable to expect these will be some killer evenings.

Word came out from The Obsessed a bit ago, but Karma to Burn — still in the midst of a current European tour — newly announced the run as follows via the PR wire:

the obsessed karma to burn the atomic bitchwax tour

KARMA TO BURN Announce North American Tour With The Obsessed and The Atomic Bitchwax

In support of their new release Karma To Burn will hit the road this spring with The Obsessed and The Atomic Bitchwax. The tour starts May 13th in Washington, DC and runs through June 11th in Atlanta, GA. A complete list of dates can be found below.

The band commented on the upcoming tour:

“What better way to follow a full European tour than following The Obsessed and Atomic Bitchwax around America? How about a month off in Sardinia, followed by a year living in the Netherlands. As much as we would like that, we should do the tour, it’s only our second full US tour in 5 years, so we’re a bit overdue in our own country. The stacked lineup and extensive schedule should make up for our absence. THE OBSESSED…Wino…the demi-god of DOOM…we couldn’t pick a better US band to support. But honestly we’re most excited about the burritos and burgers. See you on the road.”

There’s no indication that things are about to slow down for this band – what with their spring 2016 tour coming up, which has already been confirmed. So no signs of fatigue in the Karma To Burn camp. “More than 20 years ago, people told me that a purely instrumental band could never work in the long run,” William Mecum recalls. “But Karma To Burn are like a boxer with a big heart, amazing stamina and a talent for getting back on his feet again and again.” Which is just as well, seeing that in this case there’s a mountain to be conquered.

KARMA TO BURN W/ The Obsessed and The Atomic Bitchwax,
5/13: Washington DC @ Black Cat
5/14: Pittsburgh PA @ Altar Bar
5/15: Harrisonburg PA @ Golden Pony
5/16: Brooklyn NY @ Saint Vitus Bar
5/18: Richmond VA @ Strange Matter
5/19: Philadelphia PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
5/20: Huntington WV @ V Club
5/21: Indianapolis IN @ 5th Quarter Lounge
5/22: Chicago IL @ Beat Kitchen
5/23: Minneapolis MN @ 7th Street Entry
5/24: Rock Island IL @ Rock Island Brewing Co.
5/25: St. Louis MO @ Fubar
5/26: Kansas City MO @ Riot Room
5/28: Denver CO @ 3 Kings
5/30: Seattle WA @ El Corazon
5/31: Portland OR @ Dante’s
6/2: San Francisco CA @ Slim’s
6/3: Los Angeles CA @ Complex
6/4: San Diego CA @ Brick By Brick
6/5: Phoenix AZ @ Club Red
6/7: Austin TX @ Dirty Dog
6/8: Ft. Worth TX @ Tomcats West
6/9: Houston TX @ Walter’s
6/10: New Orleans LA @ Siberia
6/11: Atlanta GA @ Drunken Unicorn

https://www.facebook.com/Karma-To-Burn-118432638215095/
https://www.facebook.com/TheObsessedOfficial/
https://www.facebook.com/The-Atomic-Bitchwax-86002001659/

Karma to Burn, “62” official video

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Dee Calhoun Solo Debut Rotgut Set for June 6 Release

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 31st, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

dee calhoun (Photo by Angela Beth Greenberg)

Iron Man frontman Dee Calhoun has a June 6 release date set for his solo debut, Rotgut, via Argonauta Records. A teaser for the album, which also features a guest spot from Dee‘s son, Rob Calhoun, has been posted, and the cover art and tracklisting have been unveiled. The former is crafted by noted Maryland doom supporter and photographer Jaki Cunha, whose black and white style has been a staple of that region’s scene for I don’t even know how many years. You’ve seen her photos. I’m sure you have.

I haven’t heard the full record yet, but I’m willing to believe the teaser below tells it like it is when it starts out with Calhoun ripping into some of his trademark powerful vocals over touch-o’-twang guitars, finding a space between classic metal, singer-songwriterism and country. Interested to hear how that balance plays out across the album, but June’s a ways off, so here’s some info from the PR wire in the interim:

dee calhoun rotgut

IRON MAN SINGER COMPLETES SOLO DEBUT; ALBUM TEASER, TRACK LISTING AND COVER ART REVEALED

“Screaming Mad” Dee Calhoun, the voice of doom legends Iron Man, has completed production of his debut solo released, entitled Rotgut. The album is scheduled for June 6th via Argonauta Records on CD/DD.

Rotgut was recorded at Dee’s home studio, The Dustbuster, in Frederick Maryland. Mastering was done in nearby Thurmont Maryland, by Doug Benson at Commodore Recording Studio.

The track listing for Rotgut is as follows:

Unapologetic
Rotgut
Not Everyone Wins a Prize
Little ‘Houn, Daddy ‘Houn (featuring Rob Calhoun)
Babelkowa
Backstabbed in Backwater
The Train Back Home
Sincerely Yours
Deifendör
Cast Out the Crow
Winter: A Dirge
At Long Day’s End

The album’s cover is based upon a concept by Dee Calhoun, and photographed by Jaki Cunha.

[picture by Angela Beth Greenberg / Polyester Bride Photography]

www.argonautarecords.com
www.screamingmaddee.com

Dee Calhoun, Rotgut album teaser

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Beelzefuzz Premiere “Nazzriff” from Beelzefuzz II: The Righteous Bloom

Posted in audiObelisk on March 2nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

beelzefuzz

It has been a strange road to bring Beelzefuzz around to their second album. Based in Maryland and Pennsylvania, the band issued their self-titled debut (review here) in 2013 via The Church Within Records, and this summer, they’ll follow it up with Beelzefuzz II: The Righteous Bloom on the same label. Three years between records isn’t all that long, but in the interim, Beelzefuzz added a lead guitarist in Greg Diener (also Pale Divine), broke up, started a new band called Righteous Bloom with Bert Hall (Revelation) on bass, and then finally decided to scrap it and go back to being Beelzefuzz.

No shortage of drama between all this back and forth, but what it works out to is that Beelzefuzz — guitarist/vocalist Dana Ortt and drummer Darin McCloskey (also Pale Divine) in addition to Hall and Diener — are back with half a new lineup from the first album. Today they unveil the first audio from Beelzefuzz II: The Righteous Bloom beelzefuzz ii the righteous bloomin the opening track, “Nazzriff.”

Also announced this week as taking part in Psycho Las Vegas this August, and “Nazzriff” finds them with the sense of humor behind their moniker well intact (say the title out loud and then think Loud ‘n’ Proud) alongside their progressive take on doom and classic heavy rock. A chugging central riff — perhaps the titular nazzriff — weaves in and out with Ortt‘s vocals, the rolling groove residing over smooth, straightforward drumming given warmth and depth by Hall‘s bass. Diener makes his presence felt before two minutes in, a grand-style solo fitting with the epic thematic of the lyrics layering with both itself and with Ortt‘s guitar-as-organ rhythm line. That’s about as signature as Beelzefuzz get, and the tonality displayed throughout feels much closer to their live sound than did the first album — not to take anything away from that record whatsoever — so both represents them and bodes well for the rest of Beelzefuzz II: The Righteous Bloom when it arrives in August.

If you don’t know Beelzefuzz, they’re not quite like anyone else out there, and yes, I mean that. Please hear for yourself enjoy the premiere of “Nazzriff” on the player below, followed by some comment from Ortt on the impending album:

Dana Ortt on “Nazzriff”

“Nazzriff” is the first track on the upcoming album The Righteous Bloom which will be released in the US in August. Church Within Records will be following up with a Europe release sometime afterwards. Looking forward to doing some shows in support of the album and playing the new songs live!

I think “Nazzriff” shows off our more traditional “rockin” Uriah Heep and Nazareth influences musically. We wanted to have a lead off track that featured to most of the elements of what we do, “Nazzriff” fits that description to us. The lyrics were based on The Repairer of Reputations by Robert Chambers.

Beelzefuzz website

Beelzefuzz on Thee Facebooks

The Church Within Records

Psycho Las Vegas

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Dee Calhoun Signs to Argonauta Records; Rotgut Due in Spring

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 25th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Known for the last five years (wow time flies) as the vocalist for Maryland doom mainstays Iron Man, “Screaming Mad” Dee Calhoun has signed to Italian imprint Argonauta Records and will release his debut solo album, Rotgut, through the label this Spring. Calhoun has posted sporadic live acoustic pieces and unplugged cover tunes — the below version of “Ain’t No Grave,” for example — but Rotgut will be his first outing of original solo material in a career that goes back nearly three decades.

The singer also recently released his first book, a collection of short fiction titled Tales of the Screaming and Mad available through Amazon.

Here’s word from Argonauta:

dee calhoun (Photo by Angela Beth Greenberg)

ARGONAUTA Records new signing: DEE CALHOUN!

ARGONAUTA Records is beyond proud to announce a new great name is now part of the family: DEE CALHOUN – known to the masses as Screaming Mad Dee, the voice of doom metal legends IRON MAN – will release his debut solo album ROTGUT by late Spring 2016, available in CD/DD formats.

Rotgut bears its moniker not only as a title, but as a frame of mind.

“When I think of ‘rotgut,'” Dee explains, “I think of something inexpensively produced, very unrefined, and that knocks you on your ass when you indulge in it. And the next day, you’re still feeling it. This very much sums up my approach to this record. The songs on the album are very personal, and the acoustic approach suits them perfectly.”

As with most of Dee’s material – which spans nearly 30 years – the songs on Rotgut are (pardon the pun) from the gut, with no pretentiousness, and draw inspiration from the ongoing triumphs and struggles of everyday life. Mistakes, redemption, strength, and the knowledge that there are no promises, but only the eternal attempt to find happiness are just a few of the themes that the singer/songwriter from Frederick MD present here.

Dee Calhoun began his musical journey as a small boy, and first appeared on record in the late 1980s. He has been the singer/lyricist for Iron Man since 2010, appearing on two EPs and the critically acclaimed 2013 LP South of the Earth.

Regarding the signing with Argonauta, Dee is all smiles. “It’s important to me to work with entities who favor artists as opposed to product. Argonauta has an amazing roster of bands, and Gero is wonderful to work with. Our partnership is only in its infancy, but the first impressions have been top-notch. I look forward to this partnership moving onward and upward.”

[picture by Angela Beth Greenberg / Polyester Bride Photography]

For more info:
www.argonautarecords.com
www.screamingmaddee.com

Dee Calhoun, “Ain’t No Grave”

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Maryland Doom Fest 2016 Highlights Special Sets from Internal Void, Unorthodox and War Injun

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 14th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

maryland-doom-fest-2016-banner

You can see the full lineup for Maryland Doom Fest 2016 below, and I’m sure once you glance at it you’ll agree that the Frederick, MD-based three-dayer needs me to talk it up like it needs a hole in the head. Conceived and organized by JB Matson and Mark Cruikshank, this year’s fest was announced with its full lineup back in October, and of course since that time some changes have been made. It’s inevitable. Place of Skulls were added, Internal Void‘s slot was clarified, and as we move into 2016 and invariably closer to the event itself, the fest is taking some time to highlight some of its special sets.

Getting Internal Void out for anything is pretty rare. I was fortunate enough to see them at Roadburn in 2012 (review here), but the native Maryland doomers don’t often get together, and it’s just as likely as not that Maryland Doom Fest 2016 will be their only appearance this time around. They share vocalist J.D. Williams with War Injun, who haven’t also played since 2013. For the fest, War Injun‘s lineup will include bassist Dave Sherman (EarthrideSpirit Caravan), and to sweeten the pot, they’ve brought in former Pentagram and current Weed is Weed guitarist Russ Strahan alongside Williams on vocals and Matson himself on drums.

Unorthodox, meanwhile, will play with the same lineup the band had when it was called Asylum, having gotten their start in 1981 as one of the earlier acts to come from the scene, along with The Obsessed and Force, who later became Iron Man.

In typically sans-bullshit fashion, the fest offers these facts and more below, in addition to the aforementioned full lineup. Dig in:

maryland doom fest 2016

Internal Void – they have regrouped solely for The MDoomFest 2016 and this appearance will more than likely be their only gig.

War Injun – MDoomFest 2016 will be their first live appearance over 3 years. Lineup includes founding member and bassist Dave Sherman (Spirit Caravan / Earthride). Russ Strahan (Pentagram / W$W) has been added to the ranks on lead guitar.

Unorthodox – reunited with the original Asylum lineup. MDoomFest 2016 will be the second appearance of this unique progressive Md doom collaboration, the trio’s first reunion was MDoomFest 2015. The Asylum lineup members live in Md, Tennesee, and California. Their live performances are exclusively for The Maryland Doom Festival.

This will be IV’s first show since the Williams Benefit in 2013 and WI’s first show since Moving The Earth Fest in 2013.

The Maryland Doom Fest 2 – 2016

FRIDAY NIGHT
• Spirit Caravan 1235 – 135
• Internal Void 1120 – 1220
• Castle 1020 – 1105
• Ruby The Hatchet 925 – 1005
• Pale Divine 830 – 910
• Demon Eye 735 – 815
• Admiral Browning 645 – 720
• Atala 600 – 630
• Black Urn 515 – 545

SATURDAY NIGHT
• BANG 1235 – 135
• Place of Skulls 1140 – 1220
• Blackfinger 1125 – 1205
• Unorthodox 1030 – 1110
• War Injun 935 – 1015
• Hollow Leg 840 – 920
• Wizard Eye 750 – 825
• Spillage 700 – 735
• Argus 610 – 645
• Serpents of Secrecy 520 – 555
• Wicked Inquisition 430 – 505

SUNDAY NIGHT
• Mos Generator 1140 – 1245
• Karma To Burn 1045 -1125
• King Giant 950 – 1030
• Wasted Theory 855 – 935
• Orodruin 800 – 840
• Toke 710 – 745
• Eternal Black 620 – 655
• Seasick Gladiator 530 – 605
• Doperider 445 – 515
• Flummox 400 – 430

https://www.facebook.com/The-maryland-DOOM-Fest-815331421863100/
https://www.facebook.com/events/864772630244169/
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-maryland-doom-fest-2-weekend-passes-2016-tickets-18924966083

Unorthodox, “To Kill a Monster”

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Iron Man Post Previously-Unreleased Demo “Black Morning”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 6th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

iron-man

Maryland doomers Iron Man put out word in September that they were working on some new demos. They’ve been playing new material live for a few months now at least, and that month they took part in the Shadow Woods Metal Fest in Pennsylvania, where they continued the trend. In the past, Iron Man have sometimes pressed up their demo material for limited-type, sold-at-show EPs and things like that, sold at the merch table in a slimline and not really available elsewhere. I have no idea if that’s what’s in store for “Black Morning” or not, but it makes a handy preview of where the four-piece are at in the songwriting process anyway, so you won’t hear me argue.

Even in demo-raw form, it’s pretty clear “Black Morning” has little interest in fixing what wasn’t broken on Iron Man‘s most recent studio outing, 2013’s South of the Earth (review here), but there’s an emotional crux to the track as well that seems to expand on what they were doing their last time out. Working in kind with the guitar of “Iron” Al Morris III, vocalist Dee Calhoun‘s lyrics take their theme from a 1985 Potomac River flood in Oldtown, Maryland, and in hearing the somewhat melancholy sound of the guitar — the riff setting a groove that bassist Louis Strachan and drummer Jason “Mot” Waldmann have no trouble locking in — it makes sense as a point of inspiration.

We’ll see if the song winds up on Iron Man‘s next record or anything else released in the interim. Until then, Calhoun posted the track with photos from the aforementioned flood and gave some insight into the lyrics’ origins. Enjoy:

Iron Man, “Black Morning” unreleased demo

Dee Calhoun of Iron Man on “Black Morning”:

November 5, 1985 was a day that I, as well as the residents of my hometown of Oldtown MD, will never forget. We stood on railroad tracks overlooking Main Street in Oldtown and watched the rising Potomac River flood our school, our post office, our general store, our lives. The aftermath of this event saw the people of my small town rise up and overcome adversity in a way that makes me proud to this day.

For the better part of three decades, I tried to write a song about this event, but could not find the right vibe to convey just what had happened. Then, Al came in with a riff, and I was inspired.

This song is about loss and tragedy, and it asks the question if these things can truly be overcome. It’s written to encompass any myriad of situations, but it was inspired by that night and following morning when the waters came and went, changing lives forever.

So tonight, on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Oldtown MD flood, I give you the previously unreleased recording of Iron Man’s “Black Morning.”

Iron Man on Thee Facebooks

Iron Man’s website

Iron Man on Twitter

Iron Man on YouTube

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