Gozu Added to Metal Alliance Tour 2018 for Nov. 18-30

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

gozu

Earlier this year, Boston four-piece Gozu made their debut on Metal Blade offshoot Blacklight Media with their fifth full-length overall, Equilibrium (review here). Now a few years removed from cementing their lineup with bassist Joe Grotto and drummer Mike Hubbard alongside founding guitarists Marc Gaffney (also vocals) and Doug Sherman, it found Gozu thoroughly in command of a sound that’s only continued to grow more aggressive following 2016’s Revival (review here) on Ripple Music, which was their first collaboration with New Hampshire-based producer Dean Baltulonis; a relationship that was renewed on the 2018 outing as well.

They’ve toured intermittently over the last few years, East Coast, West Coast, in between, Europe, fests, etc., and the new announcement is that Gozu have joined the ranks of the Metal Alliance Tour, which will be headlined by Goatwhore with The Casualties, Black Tusk and Great American Ghost also on the bill. Gozu will appear from Nov. 18 in Kansas City through the end of the tour Nov. 30 in Easton, PA, which is a run that will take them into Canada as well as through major markets like Chicago, Detroit and New York. Good gig to get, and all the better since it will no doubt introduce Gozu to an audience outside the confines of genre. All the best to them on the trip.

They put word out on the social medias and it looked like this, only with less blue in the text:

metal alliance tour 2018

We are so excited to announce that we’ve been added to the Metal Alliance tour with GOATWHORE, The Casualties, Black Tusk & Great American Ghost!

These are the specific dates we are playing and would love to y’all!! Come out and say hi!!

?Nov 18 – Kansas City, MO – Aftershock?
?Nov 20 – Minneapolis, MN – Turf Club?
?Nov 21 – Chicago, IL – Reggies Rock Club?
?Nov 23 – Detroit, MI – The Magic Stick?
?Nov 24 – Kingston, ON – Overtime Sports Bar?
?Nov 25 – Quebec City, QC – Salle Multi DU Complex Meduse?
?Nov 26 – Montreal, QC – Les Foufones?
?Nov 28 – New York, NY – Gramercy Theater?
?Nov 29 – Rochester, NY – Montage Music Hall?
?Nov 30 – Easton, PA – One Centre Square?.

Gozu is:
marc gaffney- vox/guitar
mike hubbard-drums
doug sherman- guitar
joe grotto- Bass

https://www.facebook.com/GOZU666
http://gozu.bandcamp.com
instagram.com/gozu666
https://twitter.com/GOZU666

Gozu, Equilibrium (2018)

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Quarterly Review: Primordial, Dead Meadow, Taarna, MaidaVale, Black Willows, Craang, Fuzz Lord, Marijannah, Cosmic Fall, Owl

Posted in Reviews on April 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Quarterly-Review-Spring-2018

Okay, so this is it. The Quarterly Review definitely ends today. I’m not sneaking in a seventh day tomorrow or anything like that. This is it. The last batch of 10, bringing us to a grand total of 60 records reviewed between last Monday and now. That’s not too bad, if you think about it. Me, I’m a little done thinking about it, and if you’ll pardon me, I’m going to enjoy the time between now and late June/early July, in which for the most part I’ll be writing about one record at a time. The thought feels like a luxury after this week.

But hey, we made it. Thanks for reading along the way.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Primordial, Exile Amongst the Ruins

primordial exile amongst the ruins

Primordial’s flair for the epic has not at all abated over the years. The Irish post-black-metal forerunners follow-up 2014’s Where Greater Men Have Fallen with Exile Amongst the Ruins (on Metal Blade), and though there’s plenty of charge in “To Hell or the Hangman,” “Sunken Lungs” or “Upon Our Spiritual Deathbed,” with frontman Alan Averill proselytizing declarations as grandly as ever, one might read a certain amount of fatigue into the lyrics of songs like “Stolen Years” and the 10-minute closer “Last Call.” Granted, Exile Amongst the Ruins is 65 minutes long, so I don’t think the band has run out of things to say, but could it be that the cycle of writing, recording and touring is starting to wear on them some 25 years after their founding? I wouldn’t know or speculate, and like I said, Exile Amongst the Ruins retains plenty of its sonic force, the layering of the title-track and the preceding “Where Lie the Gods” offering a depth of sound to complement the complexity of their themes.

Primordial on Thee Facebooks

Primordial at Metal Blade website

 

Dead Meadow, The Nothing They Need

dead meadow The Nothing They Need

Utter masters of their domain, Los Angeles’ Dead Meadow – comprised of guitarist/vocalist Jason Simon, bassist Steve Kille and drummer Juan Londono – mark 20 years of the band with the eight songs of The Nothing They Need (on Xemu Records), bringing in former members for guest spots mostly on drums but also guitar across a rich tapestry of moods, all of which happen to be distinctly Dead Meadow’s own. The ramble in opener “Keep Your Head” or “I’m So Glad” is unmistakable, and the fuzz of the six-minute “Nobody Home” bounces with a heavy psychedelic groove that should be nothing less than a joy to the converted. Recorded in their rehearsal space, released on their own label and presented with their own particularly blend of indie pulse, psych dreamscaping and more weighted tone, a song like the swaying eight-minute “The Light” is a reminder of everything righteous Dead Meadow have accomplished in their two decades, and of the vast spread their influence has taken on in that time. Perhaps the greatest lesson of all is that no matter who’s involved, Dead Meadow sound like Dead Meadow, which is about the highest compliment I can think of to pay them.

Dead Meadow on Thee Facebooks

Xemu Records website

 

Taarna, Sanguine Ash

taarna sanguine ash

It’s not entirely clear what’s happening at the start of Taarna’s 29-minute single-song EP, Sanguine Ash, but the samples are vague and violent sounding and the noise behind them is abrasive. A strum and build takes hold as the Portland, Oregon, black metallers, who feature former members of Godhunter in their ranks, continue in the first couple minutes to develop a suicidal thematic, and six minutes in, a wash of static takes hold with drums behind it only to give way, in turn, to lush-sounding keys or guitar (could go either way) that patiently leads to a rumbling, roiling lurch of blacksludge. Cavern-vocals echo and cut through molasses tones and Taarna ride that malicious groove for the next several minutes until, at around 18:30, samples start again. This leads to more quiet guitar, resonant blackened thrust, noise, noise, more noise and a final emergent wash of caustic anti-metal that couldn’t possibly be clearer in its mission to challenge, repel and come across as completely fucked as it can. Done and done, you scathing bastards.

Taarna on Thee Facebooks

Taarna on Bandcamp

 

MaidaVale, Madness is Too Pure

maidavale madness is too pure

I already discussed a lot of what is working so well on MaidaVale’s second album, Madness is Too Pure (The Sign Records), when I put up the video for “Oh Hysteria!” (posted here), but it’s worth reemphasizing the sonic leap the Swedish four-piece have made between their 2016 debut, the bluesy and well-crafted Tales of the Wicked West (review here) and this nine-song offering, which stretches far outside the realm of blues rock and encompasses psychedelic jamming, spontaneous-sounding explorations, brazen but not at all caustic vibes, and an overarching energy of delivery that reminds both of a live presentation and, on a song like “Gold Mine,” of what Death Alley have been able to revitalize in space-punk. Memorable progressions like that of “Walk in Silence” and the freaked out “Dark Clouds” offer standout moments, but really, it’s the whole album itself that’s the standout, and if the debut showed MaidaVale’s potential, Madness is Too Pure ups that factor significantly.

MaidaVale on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Black Willows, Bliss

black willows bliss

About a year and a half after releasing their 2016 sophomore outing, Samsara (review here), Swiss post-doomers Black Willows return with a 19-minute single-song EP they’ve dubbed Bliss. It is utterly hypnotic. The sonic equivalent of watching a bonfire take hold of dry wood. It consumes with its dense heft of riff and then lulls the listener with stretches of minimalism and ambience, the first of which provides the intro to the piece itself. Black Willows are no strangers to working with longform material, and as Bliss also appears as the band’s half of a Bloodrock Records split with Craneium, it’s understandable they’d want to bring their best, but the weight of their groove feels unexpected even in terms of having heard their past work. So they’ve gotten heavier? Yeah, maybe. What really matters is how they wield that weight, and on Bliss, they put it to use as much as an atmospheric table-setter as in a display of sheer force. Beware the noise wash at the end. That’s all I’ll say.

Black Willows on Thee Facebooks

Black Willows on Bandcamp

 

Craang, Shine

craang shine

Greek heavy psych rockers Craang set up a dynamic quickly on their new two-song full-length, Shine (also stylized as S H IN E) that both encourages and rewards patience and trust on the part of the listener. They begin 24:52 opener and longest track (immediate points) “Horizon – Tempest” quietly and commence to unfold through ebbs and flows, clean vocals and shouts, open spaces and dense(r) riffing. There is a break near and at the halfway point that presumably is the shift between one part of “Horizon – Tempest” and the other, and the second half follows that lead with a more active presentation. The accompanying “Ocean – Cellular” (19:41) launches with a bed of synth that fades as the bass, drums and guitar enter and begin a linear build that retains a progressive edge, dropping off at about eight minutes in perhaps as another transition into “Cellular,” which indeed follows a more winding, intricate path. One can only say Craang are clear in their representation of what they want to convey, and because of that, Shine is all the more of an engaging experience, the listener essentially following the band on this journey from place to place, idea to idea.

Craang on Thee Facebooks

Craang on Bandcamp

 

Fuzz Lord, Fuzz Lord

Fuzz Lord fuzz lord

We start at “The Gates of Hell” and end up in “Infamous Evil,” so one might say Ohio trio Fuzz Lord – guitarist Steven “Fuzz Lord” joined by bassist/vocalist “Stoner” Dan Riley and drummer/vocalist Lawrence “Lord Buzz” – have their thematic well set on their eight-track self-titled debut (on Fuzzdoom Records). Likewise, their tones and the sense of space in the echoing vocals of “Kronos Visions Arise” and the later, extra-Sabbathian “World Collide” seem to know precisely where they’re headed. Riley recorded the 39-minute outing, while Justin Pizzoferrato (Elder, Dinosaur Jr., many others) mixed, and the resulting conjuration is earthbound in its low end while allowing the guitar to either roll out riffy largesse or take an airier approach. The uptempo “The Lord of the Underground” speaks to a punker underpinning, while the preceding “The Warriors Who Reign” seems to have a more classic metal take, and “Infamous Evil,” also the longest track at 7:51, peppers in layered guitar leads amid a doomier, Luciferian vibe and fervent hook.

Fuzz Lord on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzdoom Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Marijannah, Till Marijannah

Marijannah till marijannah

Comprised of members of Wormrot and The Caulfield Cult, Singapore-based newcomers Marijannah execute four tracks of blown-out tones and psychedelic cavernousness with their Pink Tank Records debut release, Till Marijannah. Touches of garage swing make their way into opener “1974,” and second cut “Snakecharmer” blazes and scorches with wah-drenched solos around crunching rhythms and melodic vocalizations. A march emerges on the nine-minute “Bride of Mine” and only gets more fervent as the track makes its way forward, and driving finale “All Hollow’s Eve” presents a cacophonous but controlled take from Marijannah that reinforces the notion of nothing on their first outing happening by accident. Impressive and just a bit frenetic, it leaves one wondering what further ground the band might look to explore from here, whether they’ve set their sonic course and will look to refine their processes along these lines or whether this is just the beginning of a wider stylistic melding, and their next offering might sound completely different than Till Marijannah. The one seems as likely as the other, and that’s incredibly refreshing.

Marijannah on Thee Facebooks

Pink Tank Records website

 

Cosmic Fall, In Search of Outer Space

cosmic fall in search of outer space

Immediate points to Berlin jammers Cosmic Fall for opening their six-song/43-minute third album, In Search of Outer Space, with the 11-minute longest track “Jabberwocky.” The three-piece introduced new guitarist Marcin Marowski last year on Jams for Free (review here), and as bassist Klaus Friedrich steps up to take the vocalist role and drummer Daniel Sax continues to hold together impossible spaciousness with a fluidity of groove, Marowski seems right at home wah-noodling in the open reaches of “Jabberwocky” and soldering shred and swirl together on the later “Lumberjam.” Some of In Search of Outer Space’s most effective moments are its quietest, as on “Purification” or second cut “Narcotic Vortex,” but neither will I decry the bass fuzz that takes hold near the finish there or the molten churn that bookends closer “Icarus,” but as “Spacejam” hits into the vastness, it seems Cosmic Fall as just as apt to float as to rocket their way out of the atmosphere. In either case, they most certainly get there.

Cosmic Fall on Thee Facebooks

Cosmic Fall on Bandcamp

 

Owl, Orion Fenix

owl orion fenix

The solo-project of Christian Kolf of avant death-crunchers Valborg, Owl issues the 22-minute single-song EP Orion Fenix – with its chanting repetitions of “reborn in fire” – as a precursor to the upcoming LP, Nights in Distortion. Like Owl’s last EP, 2015’s wondrously dark Aeon Cult (review here), Orion Fenix is both intense churn and slow-rolling melancholy, bridging a gap between classic doom (that lead 15 minutes in) and post-doom rhythms and atmosphere. If the project’s purpose is to find beauty in darkness, Orion Fenix accomplishes this quickly enough, but the track’s runtime and lush layering allow Kolf to lend a sense of exploration to what is no doubt a meticulous creative process, since he’s handling all the instruments and vocals himself. Either way, Orion Fenix, as a herald, bodes remarkably well for forward progress on Nights in Distortion to come, and is a remarkable accomplishment on its own in both heft and spaciousness.

Owl on Thee Facebooks

Owl on Bandcamp

 

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Review & Track Premiere: Gozu, Equilibrium

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

gozu equilibrium

[Click play above to stream Gozu’s ‘Manimal.’ Equilibrium is out April 13 on Blacklight Media and available to preorder here.]

No doubt that for many who take it on, Gozu‘s Equilibrium will be their first exposure to the band. Fair enough. The Boston four-piece are a decade removed from their debut self-titled demo, and depending on how one counts that release, the latest is either their fourth or fifth full-length. What matters more than how one accounts for it, however, is that Equilibrium represents the fruit of 10 years’ worth of upward and outward trajectory both in creativity and profile. That is, Gozu — the lineup of guitarist/vocalist Marc Gaffney, guitarist/backing vocalist Doug Sherman, bassist Joe Grotto and drummer Mike Hubbard (ex-Warhorse) — have never ceased to get either bigger or better from one offering to the next.

In 2016, they brought their game to a new level of clarity and aggression with Revival (review here), and looking back, one can only say that album built on 2013’s Small Stone-released The Fury of a Patient Man (review here) the same way that record built on 2010’s Locust Season (review here). Still, if Equilibrium — which finds issue through Metal Blade imprint Blacklight Media — is one’s first exposure to the band, there’s nothing to stop the process of getting on board. Their songs are melodic, varied, heavy, presented with a decade-built clarity of purpose and unmistakably their own. Its title evoking a sense of balance, Equilibrium‘s eight tracks and 49 minutes show a group of diverse but not conflicting intent and expert songcraft. Positioned at the forefront of an always-well-populated Boston underground, they have only ever taken forward steps, and this latest of them resonates from beginning to end.

By returning to Wild Arctic Studio in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to work with producer Dean Baltulonis (HatebreedFreya, many others), they bring some sense of continuity from Revival in terms of tone, but hearing moments of flourish like the choral vocals on “Prison Elbows” or the progressive interweaving of guitar on “The People vs. Mr. T.,” they seem to be more comfortable in that setting the second time around and freer to expand arrangements vocal and instrumental. Another example of balance throughout Equilibrium, however, is that of live energy and studio polish. One wouldn’t necessarily expect Gozu to break out the spacious 11-minute closer “Ballad of ODB,” with its patient, ambient opening and pervasive atmospherics, on stage, but the showing of soul in Gaffney‘s vocals is inimitable and unquestionably his own, and even in the opening salvo of “Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat” and the aforementioned “The People vs. Mr. T.,” there’s a vitality that leads one to believe at least some of the basic tracks were captured live.

This, in addition to Hubbard‘s right-on-the-front-of-the-beat drumming style, makes the more uptempo material on Equilibrium soar, and as Sherman shreds out a forward-mixed solo in the second half of “Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat,” the question of what the band would do after their Revival is immediately answered in their living to the fullest. “King Cobra” calls to mind the best of classic grunge in its verse before turning through a more aggro mini-chorus and finally unveiling its actual hook, which is a standout companioned by that of the deeply-weighted “Manimal,” which holds to a slower pace but maintains its sense of roll and flows easily with its surroundings, picking up somewhat in its second half around a chug given all the more force by Grotto‘s bassline as Gaffney takes to falsetto during the fadeout. This would be a natural ending for side A — it may in fact be; I don’t know the vinyl breakdown — and it leads to the shortest inclusion on Equilibrium, “They Probably Know Karate.”

gozu

If indeed “They Probably Know Karate” is the start of side B, it would make sense for the uptick of energy it provides coming out of “Manimal” before it, which is more about impact than thrust. Some spoken backing vocals late provide a bit of curious detail late, but “They Probably Know Karate” is very much Gozu being Gozu, and again, if you’ve never heard them before, what that means is a blend of choice songwriting, rich melody, heavy rock groove and underlying metallurgy. They deliver with efficiency on the 4:17 cut, which is the shortest on Equilibrium, and move forward into the five-minute “Prison Elbows” without looking back or losing any of the momentum they’ve so quickly established. At about two minutes in, “Prison Elbows” cuts to a slower groove to set the stage for Sherman‘s solo, but the build that ensues after — a cymbal crash from Hubbard, a swirl of guitar effects over the sustained riff, the low end grounding the whole affair and keeping it from flying apart — is perhaps even more satisfying.

Teasing the psychedelia to come in the intro to “Ballad of ODB,” it nonetheless finishes in a quick return to ground before the penultimate “Stacy Keach” takes hold with further crunching riffery that opens into a broader verse that’s a vocal highlight from Gaffney ahead of the finish, shifting into a more aggressive riff in its midsection and playing back and forth throughout the second half between the verse/chorus and that meaner chug, on which it ends cold. The soft guitar, echoing ambience and distant drumming that opens “Ballad of ODB” is an immediate departure from “Stacy Keach,” and its soothing and hypnotic three and a half minutes offer a breather after the all the careening and turning that’s come before. A heavier, slower movement ensues, making “Manimal” a hindsight foreshadow, and layers of vocals retain an otherworldly atmosphere. Gozu have never been a psychedelic band, and Grotto‘s rumble underscoring “Ballad of ODB” is nothing if not grounded, but those elements are there, and they help in the final expansion of mood that the closer represents, the chorus flowing into a last, extended solo, and back to the chorus and a short wash of guitar noise to end out.

For fans of the band — I consider myself one — and those who’ve followed them for some portion of the last 10 years, Equilibrium should stand undeniably as the most exacting representation of who Gozu is as a band to-date. Their sound is fully their own and they are in full command of it. Their songwriting is natural and the performances here from all four players together only demonstrates how much the lineup has clicked after touring in the US and Europe to support Revival. These same factors are exactly what also makes Equilibrium such a viable point of entry for new listeners. There is nothing redundant about Equilibrium, and the sense of balance that pervades doesn’t come at the cost of vitality; Gozu sound exciting, fresh, and like one of the most individualized bands in American heavy rock — which, of course, is exactly what they’ve become.

Gozu on Thee Facebooks

Gozu on Bandcamp

Gozu on Instagram

Gozu on Twitter

Blacklight Media website

Blacklight Media on Thee Facebooks

Metal Blade Records website

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The Obelisk Presents: Sourvein 25th Anniversary European Tour

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on March 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

sourvein tour poster

You can put them up against anyone you want, past or present, but there’s just about nobody who does it nastier than Sourvein. The Cape Fear, North Carolina-based sludgers are hitting the quarter-century mark in 2018, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have The Obelisk present their special 25th anniversary tour in collaboration with Wombat Booking and Highway Holidays.

Founded by inimitable frontman T-Roy Medlin in 1993, Sourvein‘s roots were dirty right from the start. Medlin had spent years operating tape samples for Buzzov*en, and his own outfit would prove even grittier, his own vicious screams cutting through dirt-caked Southern riffs in a style that would become widely influential as the years went on. Early splits with fellow pioneers like Grief, Negative Reaction, Bongzilla and indeed Buzzov*en would lead to later collaborations with the likes of Church of Misery and Rabies Caste, and their self-titled debut, Sourvein‘s Sourvein, arrived at the turn of the century via Game Two Records, tracks like “Dirty South” a clarion statement of intent that continue to resonate these many years later.

Will to Mangle followed a couple years later via Southern Lord, and then Sourvein really got down to business. Constant touring and constant shifts in the lineup have been the chaotic modus operandi for the band ever since. Those Church of Misery splits and other EPs would be landmarks, but it wasn’t until 2011 that Medlin and company put out another full-length, Black Fangs (review here), through Candlelight. Brutal as it was, it was also a clear signal that they wanted to do more stylistically than they ever had before.

At last, enter Aquatic Occult (review here). The fourth Sourvein full-length, produced by Mike Dean of C.O..C. and released in 2016, would be a pointed revamp of the band’s approach to their sound. Clean vocals, numerous guest spots, brooding atmospheres — all of these things let Sourvein show there was more to Southern sludge than the defiled grooves they’d always so gleefully proffered. But of course, there was plenty of that as well.

Once again, Sourvein hit the road. They’ve been back and forth in US and beyond since Aquatic Occult came out, and once again, as they embark on the “25 Years of Distortion” 2018 European tour, it’s an honor to have this site’s name attached to the proceedings.

My understanding is more dates are forthcoming, but here’s an initial batch to get us started:

Sourvein – Aquatic Occult European Tour 2018 – 25 Years of Distortion
21.04 Brussels
27.04 SWR Barroselas Metal Fest
03.05 Geneva
05.05 Desertfest London
11.05 Gothenburg
24.05 Tilburg
25.05 Liege

Sourvein on Thee Facebooks

Sourvein on Bandcamp

Sourvein at Metal Blade Records website

Wombat Booking website

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Gozu Set April 13 Release for New Album Equilibrium; Preorders Available and New Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

gozu

If you haven’t been waiting for word on the new Gozu record, that’s only because you’ve been waiting for word on the new Gozu record and didn’t know it. The Boston-based four-piece will make their debut on Blacklight MediaMetal Blade Records with Equilibrium, which is set to release on April 13 as the follow-up to 2016’s resoundingly successful Revival (review here), which was issued through Ripple Music and found Gozu touring Europe, playing Psycho Las Vegas and much more in support.

The alliance between Gozu and Blacklight Media was announced late in 2016, and the foursome have been working on Equilibrium pretty much since then. They returned to New Hampshire to record with Dean Baltulonis, who also helmed Revival, and have expanded on both the melodic range and sonic impact that album presented in the new tracks. Not saying I’ve heard it yet or anything, but the record is a joy. If you’re still reading this, you’re gonna like it a lot.

Copious background comes from the PR wire, as it will:

gozu equilibrium

Gozu reveals details for new album, ‘Equilibrium’; launches video for first single, “Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat”, online

On April 13th, Boston’s rock/metal outfit Gozu will release their new album, Equilibrium, via Blacklight Media Records. For a first preview of Equilibrium, the video for the new single “Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat” (directed by Tony Simone at Zenbeast Audio / https://www.facebook.com/ZenBeastAudio) can be viewed now at: http://www.blacklightmediarecords.com/gozu – where the record can also be pre-ordered in the following formats:

–CD
–180g black vinyl + download card
–sky-blue marbled vinyl + download card (limited to 300 copies – USA exclusive)
–magenta marbled vinyl + download card (limited to 200 copies – USA exclusive)
–transparent petrol blue vinyl + download card (limited to 200 copies – EU exclusive)
–olive/black marbled vinyl + download card (limited to 200 copies – EU exclusive)
* exclusive bundles with a shirt, plus digital options are also available!

With roots in 60s psychedelia and classic rock, the fuzzy stoner riffs of the 70s, the grit of 90s grunge and the winning dirty rock n’ roll that has in recent years made a resurgence, Gozu has been churning out killer records since 2009. With 2016’s Revival they took their sound in a somewhat new and more aggressive direction, and in doing so, dropped the most compulsive, exciting and downright badass release of their career – and Equilibrium has only raised the stakes. “We wanted these songs to hit a nerve, make people shake their ass and enjoy simply being alive,” says vocalist/guitarist Marc “Gaff” Gaffney, who founded the band with lead guitarist Doug Sherman. Much of the record’s strength stems from the unit growing since Revival, the first full-length featuring drummer Mike Hubbard and bassist Joseph Grotto. Having also reunited with Revival producer Dean Baltulonis (Hatebreed/Goes Cube/The Hold Steady) at Wild Arctic Studio in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the record is certainly the catchiest and most instant music dropped by the quartet, embracing their love of pop music but without compromising on any of the other vital elements of their sound.

Equilibrium track-listing:
1. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
2. The People vs. Mr. T
3. King Cobra
4. Manimal
5. They Probably Know Karate
6. Prison Elbows
7. Stacy Keach
8. Ballad of ODB

Gozu live:
Mar. 8 – Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY (Blacklight Media showcase with Candiria, Good Tiger, Mother Feather, Oni, Eyes Of The Sun)
March 15- Crowbar RI
March 31 Equilibrium Listening Party – Sonny’s Dover
April 21- Obriens with Birnum Wood – Eyes of the sun and Sundrifter
May 4th- Stonechurch Scissorfight
May 5th Lucky 13 Brooklyn

Gozu line-up:
Marc Gaffney – guitar and vocals
Joe Grotto – bass
Mike Hubbard – drums
Doug Sherman – lead guitar and sounds

https://www.facebook.com/GOZU666
http://gozu.bandcamp.com
instagram.com/gozu666
https://twitter.com/GOZU666

Gozu, “Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat” official video

Gozu, Revival (2016)

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Primordial Post “Stolen Years” Video; Exile Amongst the Ruins out March 30

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

primordial

Many bands, one Primordial. Going on nine records deep into a career that in 2018 hits 25 years since the release of their first demo, the Dublin-based metallers are one of a kind. Over their time, they’ve transcended black metal, pagan metal, Celtic metal, doom and however many other subgenres on their way to defining and refining their sound, and with the forthcoming Exile Amongst the Ruins — out March 30 on Metal Blade — the five-piece will once again showcase the individualized take and particular dramatic bent that makes them who they are: not only distinct sonically, but one of heavy metal’s most affecting bands, capable of stirring the soul in a way few groups can.

To whatever degree a given listener is emotionally affected — that is to say, different people buy in at different levels; investment is subjective — I firmly believe that anyone who’s seen Primordial live can at very least appreciate the landmark-style presence they bring to the stage. That is the focus, rightly, of their new Costin Chioreanu-directed videoprimordial exile amongst the ruins for “Stolen Years,” which is the first track to be unveiled from Exile Amongst the Ruins. We see the band, led as ever by frontman Alan “Nemtheanga” Averill, essentially preparing for a show. The rest of the group — founding guitarist Ciáran MacUiliam and bassist Pól MacAmlaigh, guitarist Micheál O’Floinn and drummer Simon O’Laoghaire — laughs and drinks and checks gear as Averill ritualistically dons the stage makeup he’ll wear during the set. Shot in black and white and slow motion, the spirit of the clip portrays a sense of import, of meaning, to what becomes to the band and to fans clearly more than just another night at a gig.

And as for the song itself, “Stolen Years” is something of a surprise. When one thinks of “lead single,” it’s hardly the kind of fare imagined. With a subdued melancholy and a structure that pulls away from the hooks the band often proffers, it feels more meditative than a lot of what Primordial does, but it’s still undeniably theirs. As it appears late in the tracklisting for Exile Amongst the Ruins, which you can see in the album announcement that follows the video here, it leads one to wonder what sort of atmospheres Primordial might dig into as side B of their latest offering plays through. For the time being, I can only look forward to finding out.

Check out Primordial‘s “Stolen Years” on the player below, followed by the aforementioned details courtesy of the PR wire, and please enjoy:

Primordial, “Stolen Years” official video

Primordial announces new album “Exile Amongst The Ruins” for March 30th!

Irish pagan metal gods PRIMORDIAL announces their new album Exile Amongst The Ruins for a March 30th release through Metal Blade Records. The band teamed with producer Ola Ersfjord, who worked on their 2016 live album Gods to the Godless. The record was tracked at Dublin’s Camelot Studios, located adjacent to PRIMORDIAL’s rehearsal room.

Visit metalblade.com/primordial to check out the video for the first single “Stolen Years.” At the same location, fans can pre-order Exile Amongst The Ruins in the following formats:

–ltd. 1st ed. Digibook-CD with bonus-CD
–jewelcase-CD
–ltd. ed. Artbook (incl. 5 x 10″ in golden vinyl)
–180g black vinyl
–clear gray-brown marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 700 copies)
–violet red purple marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 300 copies)
–clear pale pink/white splattered vinyl (EU eBay exclusive – limited to 100 copies)
–purple red marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
–transparent green vinyl (Blast exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
–dead gold marbled vinyl (Napalm exclusive – limited to 300 copies)
–rosy brown/purple marbled vinyl (US exclusive – limited to 400 copies)
–tan clear vinyl (US exclusive – limited to 200 copies)

Once again building upon their signature sound, the follow up to 2014’s Where Greater Men Have Fallen is a more raw, “old school sounding” record than its predecessor. Hitting home with what vocalist A.A. Nemtheanga describes as “a direct energy” and wielding an urgency that is undeniable, the Irish quintet once again effortlessly blend elements of tragedy and might like no one else. Likewise, the evolution in their sound continues to be organic and unforced, ensuring that Exile Amongst The Ruins is essential listening for both their long term faithful and those only now drawn into their world.

Commenting about the album’s first single, ‘Stolen Years’, A.A. Nemtheanga added: “‘Stolen Years’ may seem like a strange choice as our lead single, and on the face of if I guess it is. It’s not a blood and thunder epic about tragedy and might and the ruin of nations, nor is it 9 minute epistle of doom. Have no fear, the album does contain those also but to open this time we chose something different. This album has some surprises and this is one of them, a short and painfully simple song which almost didn’t make the final cut if you can believe so. The video, cut by Costin Chioreanu, is about the journey involved in finally getting to that moment where you walk on stage, the song itself about that last night on earth that comes to us all, sometimes we never know when that might be, hold your loved ones tight tonight, this could be it…”

Exile Amongst The Ruins track listing:
1. Nail Their Tongues
2. To Hell or the Hangman
3. Where Lie the Gods
4. Exile Amongst the Ruins
5. Upon Our Spiritual Deathbed
6. Stolen Years
7. Sunken Lungs
8. Last Call

To coincide with the album release the Irishmen have just announced two special and rather intimate album-release shows in Germany as well as their appearance on the Heathen Crusade European tour with Finnish MOONSORROW as co-headliners and German DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT as support act!

PRIMORDIAL Exile Amongst The Ruins release shows:
30/03/18 DE Berlin Cassiopeia
31/03/18 DE Köln Jungle Club

Heathen Crusade 2018
PRIMORDIAL
+ MOONSORROW
+ DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT
12/04/18 NL Leeuwarden Neushoorn
13/04/18 NL Tilburg 013
14/04/18 FR Paris Trabendo
15/04/18 BE Brugge Entrepot
16/04/18 UK London Islington Assembly Hall
17/04/18 LU Esch-sur-Alzette Kulturfabrik
18/04/18 CH Pratteln Z7
19/04/18 DE Ludwigsburg Rockfabrik
20/04/18 DE Leipzig Hellraiser
21/04/18 CZ Prague Akropolis
22/04/18 SK Kosice Colloseum
23/04/18 HU Budapest Barba Negra
24/04/18 AT Wien Szene
25/04/18 DE München Backstage
26/04/18 DE Aschaffenburg Colos-Saal
27/04/18 DE Bochum Matrix
28/04/18 DE Hamburg Markthalle

Get your tickets now: dragon-productions.eu
Further info here: facebook.com/HeathenCrusade

Further PRIMORDIAL festival appearances:
12/05/18 NO Haugesund Karmoygeddon
09/06/18 SE Sölvesborg Sweden Rock
14/07/18 DE Balingen Bang Your Head!!!
20/07/18 DE Bertingen Rock Unter Den Eichen
27/07/18 SI Tolmin Metaldays
11/08/18 ES Villena Leyendas Del Rock
12/08/18 BE Kortrijk Alcatraz Metal Festival
26/08/18 RO Suceava Bucovina Rock Castle

PRIMORDIAL line-up:
A.A. Nemtheanga – Vocals
Ciarán MacUilliam – Guitar
Michael O’Floinn – Guitar
Pól MacAmlaigh – Bass
Simon O’Laoghaire – Drums

Primordial website

Primordial on Thee Facebooks

Primordial on Bandcamp

Primordial on YouTube

Primordial at Metal Blade Records

Metal Blade Records on Thee Facebooks

Metal Blade Records on Twitter

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BREAKING: R.I.P. Jon Rossi of Pilgrim

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

pilgrim-at-roadburn-2013-Photo-by-JJ-Koczan

Confirmation has yet to surface at this time from either the band or their label, Metal Blade Records, but reports have begun to surface and tributes have begun pouring in marking the passing of guitarist/vocalist Jon Rossi of Providence, Rhode Island-based doom metallers Pilgrim. If true, Rossi’s death on Oct. 26 would follow just a day after his band joined The Obsessed and Cobalt Dusk in their hometown. He was 26 years old.

I’ll repeat that: 26 years old.

Pilgrim’s second and latest full-length, II: Void Worship (review here), was released in 2014 as the follow-up to their massively successful 2012 debut, Misery Wizard (discussed here),pilgrim-at-shod-xii-Photo-by-JJ-Koczan and pushed them to a new level of notoriety. A long tour with the reunited Spirit Caravan followed and reportedly nearly undid the trio on a financial level, but there was still hope that Rossi, who went by the stage name “The Wizard,” bassist Eric Dittrich and drummer Brad Richardson, would reconvene for a third album at some point, if one wasn’t already in the works. As there hasn’t been word from the band on Rossi’s passing, obviously any plans on their part are up in the air.

It goes without saying that the death of someone whose work had such an impact on doom, especially of one so young, is a significant loss, and on behalf of myself and this site, I’d like to send personal condolences to Rossi’s family, friends, bandmates and fans. I still remember seeing Pilgrim take the stage in New London, Connecticut, at Stoner Hands of Doom XII (review here), and though they were about half the age of everyone else playing, they absolutely owned the room.

Clearly a special band, and all the more exciting for the potential they continued to exude and the doomed spirit that was embodied in their songcraft. Rossi was a huge part of that presence, on stage and in the studio. He will be missed.

Once again, no word officially on his passing or the cause of death. As news comes in, this post will be updated with the latest.

Pilgrim, “The Paladin” official video

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Eyes of the Sun Sign to Blacklight Media / Metal Blade Records; New Album Due in 2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

There isn’t much to go on in terms of studio material at this point when it comes to getting a sampling of wares from Brooklyn three-piece Eyes of the Sun, but one assumes that’ll change handily heading into the New Year and their debut on Metal Blade Records imprint Blacklight Media. That full-length, as yet untitled, will follow behind 2013’s Chapter I, and while one might not be able to chase that down in the usual streamable-insta-gratification methods of Bandcamp and whathaveyou, the live clip of the band performing at Lucky 13 Saloon in their native borough shows the kind of atmospheric sludge thrust they’re proliferating. Spoiler alert: it’s blown-out and sounds heavy as hell.

Announcement of the signing came down the PR wire:

Eyes-of-the-Sun-by-Sophy-Holland

Eyes Of The Sun signs worldwide deal with Blacklight Media/Metal Blade Records

Blacklight Media/Metal Blade Records is proud to announce the worldwide signing of Brooklyn’s doom metal trio Eyes Of The Sun! After releasing their self-titled EP in 2010, and debut full-length Chapter I in 2013, the band is now poised to release their sophomore effort in 2018 via Blacklight Media/Metal Blade Records.

Eyes Of The Sun comments: “This is the absolute highlight of our journey and we look forward to the days ahead. We are extremely proud to be part of the Blacklight Media/Metal Blade family and its history. This is a testament to the support of our friends, family and fans that have been with of us throughout the years.”

Chris Santos (Blacklight Media) adds: “The beauty of Blacklight Media, for me, is that I get to work with bands from so many different genres of metal, and am so psyched to be building such a diverse and uniquely different roster of amazing metal bands. On that note, I’m super stoked to be working with my friends Eyes Of the Sun from right here in Brooklyn, who are a crushingly heavy, wall-shaking earthquake of heavy doom with a live sound that has to be heard to be believed.”

Eyes Of The Sun was conceived in early 2007 by bassist/vocalist Jeff Blanchard. Long-time friend Miguel De Jesus Jr. joined the ranks with Jeff a few months later on guitar. Within a few years, and after a couple of past members on second guitar and drums, Chris O’Neil joined as the permanent drummer. As a trio, they performed countless shows over the past 10 years, delivering their unique brand of doom metal – which leaves listeners with a range of emotions, that the band themselves then experience and extract from. The band explains: “It is known throughout the laws of science and nature that the sun creates and sustains life…Now it stands witness to the atrocities, depletion and vile consumption manifested by mankind, which it originally sustained life for. In our way, we portray what is seen through the Eyes Of The Sun.”

Stay tuned for more news about Eyes Of The Sun coming soon!

Eyes Of The Sun line-up:
Jeff Blanchard – Vocals & Bass
Miguel De Jesus Jr. – Guitar
Chris O’Neil – Drums

Photo credit: Sophy Holland

https://www.eyesofthesun.net
https://www.facebook.com/eyesofthesun/
https://twitter.com/eyesofthesun718
https://www.youtube.com/user/EyesOfTheSunOfficial
https://www.instagram.com/eyesofthesunband/
http://www.facebook.com/metalbladerecords
http://twitter.com/metalblade

Eyes of the Sun, Live at Lucky 13 Saloon, Brooklyn, NYC, Dec. 4, 2016

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