Church of Misery in Rehearsals for New Album Recording; And Then There Were None Due Later this Year

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

Church of Misery bassist and founder Tatsu Mikami, in addition to having a considerable influence on the shape of modern doom with his band, is obviously someone who knows his stuff. He’s also someone with a tendency toward lineup changes. The long-running Sabbathian loyalists have had more members than I think even Tatsu could count, but so far as I know, their upcoming fifth (or sixth, depending on what you count) full-length, And Then There Were None, will be the first time he’s worked with American artists in collaborating on new material.

Tatsu and his low-slung Rickenbacker are currently in Middletown, Maryland, in rehearsals for the new album recording at the Polar Bear Lair studio. The plan is to have seven new songs ready to go with Chris Kozlowski recording. Dave Szulkin of Blood Farmers will play guitar and Eric Little from Earthride will play drums. These are not happenstance picks in any way, and one can’t help but wonder exactly what sort of doom this new incarnation of Church of Misery will bring to bear when And Then There Were None arrives, as it will reportedly later this year on Rise Above Records.

The big question here is who Tatsu is going to get to perform vocals on the album. One assumes the lyrical theme will be the same as ever — serial killers — but as Church of Misery readies the follow-up to 2013’s excellent Thy Kingdom Scum (review here), one can’t help but wonder just what other tricks the bassist might have up his sleeve. That I’m very much looking forward to finding out should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway.

Studio pic of the lineup and announcement follows:

church of misery

Rehearsal continues…..Middletown, Maryland

The time has come. I will stay in Maryland for 2 weeks in May to record the new album. US DOOM legends, Dave from BLOOD FARMERS and Eric from EARTHRIDE are going to join this recording. We will record 7 new materials at “Polar Bear Lair Studio” with Chris Kozlowski as an engineer – He has been working for tons of great US DOOM albums, like IRON MAN, INTERNAL VOID, EARTHRIDE, SPIRIT CARAVAN, PENANCE, PENTAGRAM and WRETCHED etc. Also, I will announce about a singer for this album soon. Let there be DOOM!


Church of Misery, Live at Shibuya Cyclone, April 5, 2014

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Alone Time Stream Bored EP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on May 21st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

alone time

Chaos, noise, chaos. Or is it noise, chaos, noise? Either way, Baltimore noise rock five-piece Alone Time will issue their debut EP, Bored, on May 26. Tracked, mixed, mastered and put out under the banner of Grimoire Records, the five-song outing clocks in at a vicious, feedback-soaked 14 minutes, and alternates between Black Flag-style lyrical rawness — see “Routine” — and thick-toned ’90s pummel as three three-and-a-half-minute cuts play out with two two-minute cuts between them, surprisingly orderly in its structure and flowing from one song to the next à la a live set even as Alone Time twist and turn and blow out tubes and slay and chaos, noise, chaos. Or is it noise, chaos, noise?

A sudden surge of feedback at the launch of opener “Advice” tells the tale, and all the more so because that’s actually the song starting, not just a kind of introductory formality. The lineup of Adam, Spencer, Ted, Jess and Austyn waste little time in establishing as raw a foundation as possible, and the point seems to be less about holding the material together than letting go of the impulse to try. “Advice” is house-show madness, and the invitation to “Come and See” that follows answers fire with gasoline, a more forward rhythmic drive offset by mathy fret runs and distorted shouts delivered at feverish pace, cycled through twice before “Routine” slams in with its own vaguely directed sear. A alone-time-boredhardcore punk progression emerges from the fray running at full sprint, but it’s soon enough given over to churning thrust as the wheels once again come off and the track tears itself apart.

That, of course, is the idea. Happy accident? Not so much as disaffected expression, but whatever you want to call it, Alone Time have it in spades. Their sound is restless fitting to the EP’s title, and nestled between punk, hardcore, noise and angular technicality — they are playing notes in all those unhinged squibbly parts, after all — it hits on a balance both challenging and familiar, building momentum all the while knowing there’s a brick wall up ahead. “Pills” follows “Routine” and is the shortest piece at 1:54 and the jazziest, but a lurching groove lies beneath all that Eastern Seaboard intensity and that carries through into closer “Drunk at Work,” which begins with what sounds an awful lot like Echoplex before playing intermittent blasts and open, swinging verse lines off each other on the way to an oblivion well earned. It may be the product boredom, but ultimately, the EP doesn’t last long enough to inflict that on the listener. Rather, its frenetic pulse courses through fast and is gone with little ceremony or circumstance, and it’s only afterwards that one might realize how much of the chaos, noise, chaos — or was it noise, chaos, noise? — was by design.

Grimoire has Bored out on tape May 26, limited to 100 copies, recorded, mixed and mastered by Noel Mueller. Full stream follows for the daring. Enjoy:

Alone Time is Adam, Spencer, Jess, Ted and Austyn.

“Bored” was recorded on 3/07/2015 at Hour Haus by Noel Mueller of Grimoire Records. Mixed and mastered by Noel Mueller/Grimoire Records. Cover art by William Chapman. © 2015 Grimoire Records.

Amazing audio quality from the masters of tape, at National Audio Company. B/W 2-sided j-card, white shells with black imprint, shrink wrapped with love. Edition of 100.

Alone Time on Thee Facebooks

Grimoire Records on Bandcamp

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Sixty Watt Shaman Announce Hiatus

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 19th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

A genuine bummer. Sixty Watt Shaman were working against a considerable geographic spread, with members in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, but for a while there it looked like they were going to be able to pull it off. They were slated to appear at the inaugural Maryland Doom Fest and later this month at subsequent shows alongside Karma to Burn and drummer Chuck Dukehart‘s other band, Foghound, but of course the real loss here is the promise of new material which was said to be in the works over the last several months, first as an EP, then as a full-length, now as nothing. Tabula Rasa, which was to be the title of their fourth album, was due this winter on Ripple Music.

So it goes. Glad I got to see them at The Eye of the Stoned Goat last year and glad I bought a shirt while shirts were available for the buying. Hopefully sooner or later they pick it back up, but it looks like they’ll be keeping busy in Serpents of Secrecy and King Giant, Foghound, etc., so these dudes will still be around.

Here’s the announcement:

sixtty watt shaman

Hey guys, we didn’t know what to expect when we first started this group many years ago. And then again when we regrouped a little over a year ago with just the idea to have fun and go play a few shows.

We have had a blast doing it, and the response from you guys has been awesome! We are extremely thankful for all the opportunities to play on some pretty great heavy music fests and on shows with so many amazing bands!

At this time, due to scheduling conflicts, family commitments, and not being able to commit as much time as is needed to keep going as a full time group again, we are going to be taking a hiatus.

Unfortunately that means we won’t be working on new music or playing the few upcoming shows that we had on the books, and we regretfully apologize for that.

We will be taking some time off as Sixty Watt Shaman, and no one knows what lies ahead in the foreseeable future.

We would like to thank each and every one of you all so much for all of your overwhelming support through the years, it really means the world to us!

As for the immediate future, Rev Jim, Chuckrock and T.I. will be continuing on as SERPENTS OF SECRECY, the project they started before the Sixty Watt reunion was even a thought.

This page will remain active, and we look forward to sharing our other projects and music with all you guys real soon!


Sixty Watt Shaman, Live at Saint Vitus Bar, Brooklyn, Dec. 28, 2014

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Vultures of Volume II Adds Elder, Pale Divine and Wasted Theory to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 12th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

vultures of volume logo

Still no word on exactly where the second Vultures of Volume festival will take place, but the lineup is taking shape nicely. One assumes it will be held somewhere in Maryland, since that’s where the first was, but you never really know. Stoner Hands of Doom traveled for many years, going as far West as Arizona, and Eye of the Stoned Goat operates similarly, having shifted around the Northeast between Delaware, Massachusetts, Brooklyn and, next month, Long Island. Doesn’t mean Vultures of Volume II will do the same — as a matter of fact, I think it won’t — but I’m interested to find out.

Until that word arrives one way or another, bands continue to join the lineup. The first announcement last month brought with it the promise of a Solace reunion and sets from Righteous Bloom and Disciples of Doom, a new band fronted by Robert Lowe of Solitude Aeturnus and formerly of Candlemass, and this time around it’s Elder, Pale Divine and Wasted Theory who’ve come aboard for the festival, which is set for Sept. 4 and 5, right before Labor Day.

Seems likely Elder will be among the headliners for the two-day event, their ascent at that point continuing after the release earlier this year of their third album, Lore (review here), and Wasted Theory meanwhile will be riding high after the vinyl release this month of their 2014 album, Death and Taxes (review here) while Pale Divine make their second appearance at Vultures of Volume, also sharing guitarist/vocalist Greg Diener and drummer Darin McCloskey with Righteous Bloom.

The fest announced the additions as follows:

We’re just going to lay this on you all at once because of its enormity! Vultures of Volume Fest II (Sept. 4th and 5th) is elated to announce the addition of Delaware stoners Wasted Theory, Pennsylvania doom legends Pale Divine, and Massachusetts’ mighty riff lords Elder! Spread the word! More bands to be announced very soon!

Elder, Live at Saint Vitus Bar, Brooklyn, NYC, May 5, 2015

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Moving the Earth Fest III Set for June 6 with Borracho, Mos Generator and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 6th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

The same tour that’s bringing Mos Generator and Wounded Giant east for the Eye of the Stoned Goat out on Long Island will also make a stop at Moving the Earth III in Baltimore. The West Coast acts will top the bill, which is rounded out by a who’s-who of Baltimore and nearby bringers of heavy, including Philly’s Wizard Eye and Delaware’s Wasted Theory. I’m expecting news any minute now about the new Foghound record, and they just played Sludgement Day in MD as well and will also be at the Maryland Doom Fest. I’d paint it as different festivals vying for supremacy — I haven’t mentioned Autumn Screams Doom or Vultures of Volume yet — but I think it’s more just that there’s a ton of killer heavy shit from Baltimore and the surrounding area, so getting together a bill of seven or 15 or 30 righteous acts makes more sense than not. Hell, if I lived there, I’d probably do it too. Plus, the door’s dirt cheap, so what the hell?

Lineup for Moving the Earth III and poster by Bill Kole of Ol’ Time Moonshine follows, yanked from the Thee Facebooks event page:

moving the earth iii

Moving The Earth Fest 3!!!

Saturday, June 6
The Sidebar
218 E Lexington St, Baltimore, Maryland 21202

Moving The Earth Fest’s 3rd edition features 2 kickass bands on tour from the great northwest in MOS GENERATOR and WOUNDED GIANT!!!

Moving The Earth Fest 3 headliners MOS GENERATOR ( Ripple Music/ Small Stone Records) are coming all the way from the Great Northwest to rock your face off!

Joining them on this edition are…
DC sonic bulldozers, *BORRACHO*
Delaware’s riff slinging sons-a-bitches *WASTED THEORY*
Bmores own heavy/fuzz/riff-rock destruction machine, *FOGHOUND*
Philly heavy/stoner rock spellcasters, *WIZARD EYE*
Annapolis heavy/psych mountain movers *MOUTAINWOLF*
And last but not least… Charm City’s *PEARLY GOATS* kick things off in smokin’ style!

will also be spinning killer vinyl all night long between sets!

Kickass event poster by Bill Kole!

Come early, stay late! All killer, no filler!

Doors at 6pm + $13 ( cheap!)

Borracho, “I’ve Come for it All”

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Sixty Watt Shaman Sign to Ripple Music; Tabula Rasa Due in Winter

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Maryland-based rockers Sixty Watt Shaman put out three albums during their original tenure. Their 1998 debut, Ultra Electric, 200o’s Seed of Decades and 2002’s Reason to Live paint the band in hindsight as having been somewhat ahead of their time. What that might mean when they finish recording Tabula Rasa with J. Robbins and put it out on Ripple Music is anyone’s best guess, but it’s an album worth looking forward to anyway for heavy rock fans, the band’s reunion having begun at Desertfest and continuing through last year’s Stoned Goat fest in Massachusetts and the upcoming inaugural Maryland Doom Fest this June, listed below with a couple other killer gigs, including King Giant‘s release show in May. Sixty Watt guitarist Todd Ingram also plays in King Giant and Sixty Watt drummer Chuck Dukehart III also plays in Foghound, so that should be quite a night.

Here’s info from the PR wire:

sixty watt shaman (Photo by JJ Koczan)

SIXTY WATT SHAMAN: Long-Running Desert Rock/Doom Unit Joins Ripple Music; Band To Enter Studio With J. Robbins + Live Assaults Announced

Long-running, Baltimore-based heavy desert rock/doom unit, SIXTY WATT SHAMAN, are pleased to announce their official union with California rock powerhouse, Ripple Music, for the release of their forthcoming new full-length. Titled Tabula Rasa and slated for release this Winter, the record will be tracked by J. Robbins of Jawbox at Magpie Cage Studio in Baltimore, Maryland next month.

Comments the band: “We are honored, proud, and excited to release our fourth album, Tabula Rasa, with Ripple Music, and join the incredible roster of such a fan driven, artist supportive and creatively freeing label. With our new material we have wiped the slate clean, the past is the past. It’s darker and heavier than our previous efforts, with the energy and soul that made us who we were, and will always be. Brothers, climbing up and down that mountain. Toss genre tags around as you will, we’re SIXTY WATT SHAMAN, and we’re back.”

In the meantime, SIXTY WATT SHAMAN — vocalist/guitarist Daniel Soren, lead guitarist Todd Ingram (King Giant), bassist/backing vocalist Rev. Jim Forrester and drummer/backing vocalist Chuck Dukehart III — will bring their blues-laden swagger to the stage of the The Opera House next month in Sheperdstown, West Virginia with Karma To Burn and RHIN. The following evening, the band will rumble the Empire in Springfield, Virginia as part of King Giant’s record release show. In June, the band will quake pavement at The Maryland Doom Fest in Frederick, Maryland with additional onstage jam sessions to be announced soon.

5/29/2015 The Opera House – Sheperdstown, WV w/ Karma To Burn, RHIN
5/30/2015 Empire – Springfield, VA King Giant CD Release Party w/ Foghound
6/26/2015 The Maryland Doom Fest @ Club 611 – Frederick, MD

SIXTY WATT SHAMAN delivers a varied repertoire of hard hitting groove rock and ethereal psychedelic jams. The band’s influences vary from classic tube tones to heavy blues, southern groove, doom, and even the ghostly spirit of historic Americana and Appalachian bluegrass. With emotive impact as a center point in every song, from fully-amped hard hitters to the celestial space of acoustic tones, SIXTY WATT SHAMAN are true masters of all things heavy. With diverse musical influences and backgrounds, from punk, hardcore, and thrash metal to the distorted, fuzzed out, bands of the ’70s to dark, experimental sludge, crust and noise and bluegrass, outlaw country and American southern rock, SIXTY WATT SHAMAN has become a true amalgamation of stimuli making for an uniquely undeniable “Sixty Watt Sound.” Having spent the nearly two decades manifesting their own untouchable brew of creativity and power, this year SIXTY WATT SHAMAN are back to defy and erase categorical definitions and make their own brand of bad ass, American rock ‘n’ roll.

Sixty Watt Shaman, Live at St. Vitus Bar, Brooklyn, Dec. 28, 2014

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Vultures of Volume Fest Announces Solace Reunion, Disciple of Doom and Righteous Bloom for Lineup

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

vultures of volume logo

I was at the last Solace show. It was June 2012 at Days of the Doomed II in Wisconsin (review here). They were piss drunk and still nailed it front to back, a booze-breath tornado of heavy righteousness. Not the best show I ever saw them play — being in New Jersey, I was fortunate to catch them many times and some of my best gig memories are of sharing the stage with them — but their volatility was in full display and they still managed to hold it down. At the time, that was to be it. Three years later, less so.

Even at that point, they’d broken up. The forever underrated Garden State rockers released their last album, A.D. (review here), on Small Stone in 2010, and for my money it was the best record that came out that year. Guitarist Tommy Southard has contributed to various projects since — notably the malevolent sludgers The Disease Concept — and bassist Rob Hultz is now also a member of Chicago doom legends Trouble‘s current lineup, but as Vultures of Volume II — slated for this September, presumably somewhere in Maryland — brings Solace back together, it will be good to see Southard and Hultz back on stage with drummer Kenny Lund, guitarist Justin Daniels and vocalist Jason after such an absence. I won’t hold my breath for new material, but am happy to take what I can get from these much-missed riff pummelers.

Also confirmed for Vultures of Volume II are Righteous Bloom, whose debut LP should hopefully be recorded by then, and Disciple of Doom, which is a new project from Solitude Aeturnus/Candlemass vocalist Robert Lowe. Seems like they’re off to a good start.

Fest is Sept. 4 and 5, venue TBA. Info below from Thee Facebooks:

Let there be silence no more! Vultures of Volume Fest is back for its second installment, taking place September 4th and 5th, 2015!

Followers of the riff… rejoice! The one and only Robert Lowe will be joining us with his brand new project DISCIPLE OF DOOM! Making their first east coast appearance at Vultures of Volume II, Disciple of Doom will be bringing the very best of both Solitude Aeturnus and Candlemass! The power of the riff compels you…

Remain steadfast doomers, for another announcement is about to be unleashed!
You want riffs? You want absolute, unbridled heaviness? Hold those tallboys high, because Vultures of Volume II is proud to announce that the mighty SOLACE rides again! Bringing their New Jersey style of alcohol infused stoner/doom, SOLACE shall leave no beer undrunk, no head unbanged, and no one left standing… You’ve been warned!

The final page may have been turned in the story of Beelzefuzz, but Vultures of Volume II is honored to play a part in the journey of RIGHTEOUS BLOOM! Featuring core members Dana Ortt and Darin McCloskey, along with scene stalwarts Greg Diener (Pale Divine) and Bert Hall (Revelation), RIGHTEOUS BLOOM promise to take you on a trip like no other! Let their magical mixture of psychedelia and heaviness consume you!

More announcements coming soon, including venue/location, and more bands!

Solace, “Man Dog” live at Days of the Doomed II

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Wino Wednesday: “Adrift” Live in Frederick, MD, Feb. 2014

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

wino wednesday

It’s been two weeks since the last Wino Wednesday, which I think is as long as I’ve gone in the more-than-three-years since the feature started. Between the Quarterly Review and traveling for Roadburn, time was pretty limited, but I didn’t want to let it go any longer than it already has, so here we are. Half a decade ago, in 2010, Scott “Wino” Weinrich, issued his first acoustic album, Adrift (review here), via Exile on Mainstream.

Having at that point already fronted the beginning stages of the Saint Vitus reunion, it was something of a side-step for the guitarist/vocalist, still just three years removed from the last The Hidden Hand album and also participating at that point in Shrinebuilder‘s 2009 offering and the subsequent shows, but for Wino fans, it made sense for him to dig to the roots of his songwriting process and unearth something like Adrift, which in turn led to his collaboration with Conny Ochs and a new style of performance he continues to refine today.

I wouldn’t call his first steps in that direction tentative. His first acoustic tour was with his Shrinebuilder bandmate Scott Kelly, also of Neurosis, and they released a split 7″ to mark the occasion, but with Adrift, we got to see a new side of Wino‘s personality, not necessarily separate from the ride-these-riffs grooves of Spirit Caravan or the foundational trad doom of The Obsessed, but more contemplative, more up front. An acoustic guitar provides little cover, and Adrift laid bare a lot of Wino‘s persona in a way that felt sincere in the listening and still managed to deliver in terms of songwriting and performance.

For this week’s Wino Wednesday, we have a clip of Wino playing the title-track of Adrift live at Guido’s Speakeasy, in Frederick, Maryland, which is arguably the epicenter of Wino‘s influence at this point. At the very heart of a Maryland doom he helped create, he stands with an acoustic guitar, a crappy stand that can’t seem to actually hold up the microphone, and someone with a shaky cellphone recording it vertically. It’s not the best quality clip I’ve ever posted for a Wino Wednesday, but worth it for the solo at the end.

Hope you enjoy:

Wino, “Adrift” Live at Guido’s Speakeasy, Frederick, MD, Feb. 1, 2014

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