Torche Announce Australian Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Presumably by the time Torche get on the plane to Australia in October, their new album and debut on Relapse Records will be out. Guitarist/vocalist Steve Brooks has been working with the reunited Floor for much of the year so far, while drummer Rick Smith and bassist Jonathan Nuñez have recorded with their other band Shitstorm and guitarist/vocalist Andrew Elstner has an LP coming out with his other band, Tilts, so everybody’s been busy, but I guess the new Torche LP is going to squeeze in there somewhere before they go to Oz. Or not. I’m sure people would still show up for Torche‘s first Aussie tour if they don’t have a record out that week.

Life is Noise, which is presenting the run, sent the following particulars down the PR wire:

This is a good band pic. (Photo by Janette Valentine)

life is noise presents for the first time in our fair land: TORCHE (USA)

Australian Tour October 2014

From their blistering melodies to their bulldozer guitar riffs, the Miami four-piece are one of the most innovative bands in metal today, eschewing the genres’s clichés and standards for an entrancing mix of melody, sludge and jubilant doom…

No one else sounds quite like Torche.

Formed after the demise of stoner metal band Floor, Torche’s influences come from far and wide. The usual suspects are there – Melvins, Helmet, Sabbath – but the subtleties of their sound come from all over the canon: Guided by Voices, Jawbox, Superchunk and even Cheap Trick, all of it punctuated by Steve Brooks’ bellowing roar. The result is a dense and distinct wall of noise, one that’s as heavy as it is irresistibly catchy. How many other bands can you say that about?

Torche deal in anthems: every song brims with contagious hooks, rabid riffs and thunderous major-key progressions. Maybe that’s owing to the aesthetic of their beachside hometown – album number three, 2012’s Harmonicraft, was labelled “summer record of the year” by just about everyone who talked about it. But the quartet have no interest in wallowing. Every second of every song is an opportunity for high octane, unapologetic rocking-the-fuck-out.

Better yet, Torche promise their fourth album – slated for later this year on their new label Relapse Records – is heavier than ever.

We can’t wait.

Catch Torche on the following dates:

Thursday October 16 – Crowbar, Brisbane – tickets from lifeisnoise.com, oztix and the venue
Friday October 17 – Rosemount Hotel, Perth – tickets from lifeisnoise.com, oztix and the venue
Saturday October 18 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne – tickets from lifeisnoise.com, oztix and the venue
Sunday October 19 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney – tickets from lifeisnoise.com, moshtix, oztix and the venue

https://www.facebook.com/events/882736731742037/
http://www.relapse.com/label/artist/torche.html
http://tickets.lifeisnoise.com/

Torche, “Harmonslaught”

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Cave of Swimmers Announce East Coast Tour and Debut EP

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 18th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Miami-by-way-of-Venezuela duo Cave of Swimmers have announced an East Coast tour for this July in support of their self-titled EP’s re-release through Illinois imprint The Path Less Traveled Records. The guitar/drum two-piece operate across a pretty broad stylistic spectrum, from the upbeat Red Fang-style hooks of “Hangman” to to the weirdo shuffle that takes hold in “Catch” backed by swells of synth and the resonant pop of snare drum. They bill themselves as progressive and I’m not inclined to argue, except to point out that the stoicism that a “prog” designation sometimes indicates doesn’t seem to apply here.

The EP is available now and the tour starts June 27. Behold the teachings of the PR wire:

Cave of Swimmers announce summer tour & EP release through The Path Less Traveled Records

Cave of Swimmers, a prog-rock duo from Miami, have just announced a US summer tour in support of their recently released self-titled EP on The Path Less Traveled Records.

Originally issued as a limited cassette by the band under their original moniker, ‘The Tunnel’, Cave of Swimmers now have a much deserved wider release on CD. July 2014 will see them storm through the Eastern states to promote their 4 track effort.

Described as a ‘truly progressive’ outfit by Destructive Music, COS have made quite a name for themselves in their home region, known for their blend of progressive rock, latin fusion, and even some operatic flair thrown in for good measure.

Tour dates:
June 27 Fubar – St. Pete, FL
June 30 Eisenhouser – Murfreesboro, TN
July 1 The Grotto – Boone, NC
July 2 Nice Price Books – Raleigh, NC
July 3 Club K, Baltimore, MD
July 4 Bloody Pit of Horror House – Philadelphia, PA
July 5 Sammy’s Patio – Boston, MA
July 6 Lit Lounge – New York, NY
July 7 Gallery 5 – Richmond, VA
July 9 Hippo Records – Greensboro, NC
July 10 Foxfield Bar & Grill – Columbia, SC
July 11 Rain Dogs – Jacksonville, FL
July 12 Cabana Inn – Sarasota, FL

www.caveofswimmers.com
https://www.facebook.com/caveofswimmers/
www.thepathlesstraveledrecords.com

Cave of Swimmers, Cave of Swimmers EP (2014)

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House of Lightning’s Lightworker Now Available on LP/CS

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Also releasing a new album with Floor this week and hitting the road in support of it, Henry Wilson steps to the front on guitar and vocals with House of Lightning‘s Lightworker album, continuing some of the same ideas Wilson brought to the table with his post-Floor project, Dove. As the PR wire informs below, Dove‘s no longer with us (their 2004 self-titled remains a piece of buried treasure from among the Floor-related milieu), but House of Lightning‘s Lightworker came out on Easter via Fair Warning Records and is a solid burner. If you missed it, Floor‘s Anthony Vialon spoke highly if it in his interview last week as well.

Details and music follow, the PR wire vigilant as always:

HOUSE OF LIGHTNING is coming—look busy. Proudly hailing from Winter Haven Florida, they feature current and former band members of FLOOR, DOVE, and CAVITY. The death of DOVE finally gives rebirth to HOUSE OF LIGHTNING…Rising from the ashes like a mighty phoenix. The resurrection occurs on Easter Sunday 4/20 in the form of a 10-song, 40-minute riff-rollercoaster, “Lightworker.”

House Of Lightning’s long-awaited debut album does more than just pick up where DOVE left off five years ago; they blast off out of the known universe and into a completely new and unknown dimension. From the mad-genius mind of HENRY WILSON, comes an almost uncategorizable yet positively spiritual incorporation of Heavy Metal, Thrash, bits of Math, a sprinkle of Prog, a pinch of 1984, and a dash of 5150. Sounds wild, you say? That’s because IT IS. Lightworker is difficult to simply just pin a label onto; you are better off hearing this one for yourself. All aboard the rocketship!

“April is a busy month for our brother HENRY WILSON. Not only does this cat have a new FLOOR album dropping, but his long-awaited much-belabored HOUSE OF LIGHTNING record finally gets unleashed, taking what he started with DOVE, upping the riff-tornado and generally fucking with your dome. Nothing else sounds like this and it comes out 4/20 via brethren Fair Warning Records.”—Andy Low, Robotic Empire

Henry Wilson – Guitar, Vocals, Synth
John Ostberg – drums

Recorded by Mark Nikolich at Atomic Audio
Sleeve Art by Francesco LoCastro (of Floor ‘Oblation’ fame)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/House-of-Lightning/196769132312
http://fairwarningrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://fairwarning.storenvy.com/

House of Lightning, “More Lights More Trails” from Lightworker (2014)

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Floor Interview with Anthony Vialon: Gathered in the Glare

Posted in Features on April 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

A little over four years ago, when Miami’s Floor reunited for a couple shows to coincide with the release of the 8CD box set, Below and Beyond, on Robotic Empire, I was fortunate enough to interview guitarist Anthony Vialon about the band’s getting back together for what seemed then to be a very limited run. Now, as they prepare to release their new album, Oblation (review here), next week on Season of Mist and embark a day later on a cross-country tour that will place them squarely on the other side of the line between a “reunion band” and a working one, it seemed only fitting to follow-up with Vialon about Floor‘s progress these last several years and how they got to where they are.

Because when they first booked three gigs back in 2010 in Florida and Georgia, the going impression — I think on the part of the band as much as fans — was that was it. Then the response they got was huge enough that it turned into a few more shows, and a tour, and then some more shows, and it kept rolling on until next thing you knew, they had been picked up by Season of Mist and streaming new material. It’s been a few years getting to this point, but for Floor – the trio of Vialon, guitarist/vocalist Steve Brooks (also of Torche) and drummer Henry Wilson (also of House of Lightning) — the progression seems to have been natural, one step taken at a time, building momentum as they might otherwise with a series of crushing bomb-string riffs.

Certainly that seems to be the method on Oblation. Set in the shadow of Floor‘s by-now-legend 2002 self-titled, what could’ve easily been a project doomed from the start — and not in the good way — has turned out to mark not only a successful return on the part of the band, but a creative evolution that gives a sense of where they left off and where they are now. Songs penned and constructed by Vialon, Wilson and Brooks like “Rocinante” and “War Party” call to mind the unabashed pop hooks of Floor‘s first run, while the eight-minute “Sign of Aeth” takes these elements to places they haven’t yet gone, so that Oblation isn’t nostalgic, but looking forward.

Doubtless a good part of Floor‘s legacy will remain linked to the self-titled, but in talking to Vialon yesterday, that only seemed like something for the trio to be proud of. Oblation releases in the EU and elsewhere tomorrow, April 25, and is out in North America next Tuesday, April 29. Floor begin their tour April 30 in Miami and will finish in Atlanta on June 1 (dates here). In the interview, Vialon discusses writing for the band again, the response the reunion has gotten these last few years, his affinity for Rush, and much more.

Enjoy the Q&A after the jump, and thanks for reading.

Read more »

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Floor, Oblation: Offerings and Homegoings

Posted in Reviews on April 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s been just over four years since Miami trio Floor played a one-off reunion show that warned, “One show. One chance. Don’t blow it,” and it’s been a decade since the band’s sophomore outing, Dove, was released in 2004. Since that time, the band has spawned a family tree rivaled by few, members of the lineup throughout their 12-year initial run going on to play in acts like Torche, Dove, House of Lightning, MonstrO, Holly Hunt and Cavity (the latter of whom ran concurrent to Floor and who seem like fodder for a reunion of their own), among others. The biggest impact in terms of audience has unquestionably been by Torche, who, led by guitarist/vocalist Steve Brooks, inherited much of their pop-meets-bomb-drop-sludge-riffing ethic directly from Brooks‘ work in Floor, continuing to refine those methods and ultimately creating something new from them. Both bands now active, Floor release their first album since Dove and first new material since their reunion — 2009′s 8CD discography box set Below and Beyond notwithstanding — in the form of Oblation on Season of Mist. Its title refers to “an offering,” and that may well be what Floor have in mind, but while the core focus on tone and pop melody remains intact, there have been some very distinct changes in the approach of Floor – the trio of Steve Brooks, guitarist Anthony Vialon (2010 interview here) and drummer Henry Wilson — since they issued their landmark 2002 self-titled debut and they show up audibly in the listening experience of Oblation.

That’s to be expected, right? It has been a decade. To expect Floor to get back together and release Floor Pt. 2 seems unreasonable and unfair. As righteous as that album is, for Brooks, Vialon and Wilson to have come in with the intent of recapturing that magic — and it is the self-titled lineup that’s reunited — would be shooting themselves in the foot before they started. No. Oblation is a collection of songs poised not to surrogate the hooks of old, but to serve as a beginning for this new stage of the band. In short, Floor have grown up. Oblation is not the work of a three-piece experimenting with their sound and happening into brilliance. There is poise, confidence, and awareness at its root, and whether it’s the ultra-thick underlying chugging of the spacious opening title-track or the ensuing upbeat rush of “Rocinante” — one of Floor‘s sonic gifts was to not only have tones so thick, but to make them move, and that remains the case here — or the standalone megastomp of “Love Comes Crushing,” the band offer crisp, assured songcraft and a defining clarity of intent. While the songs remain exciting well beyond the simple novelty of their existence, a new Floor album seeming like an impossibility for years, that clarity necessarily comes in trade for the spontaneous sensibility of their earlier work. That’s the nature of creative progression — once you know what you’re doing, your approach to it changes. The middle section of Oblation that runs from “New Man,” through “Sister Sophia,” “The Quill” and the aforementioned “Love Comes Crushing” before getting to the catchy “War Party” still works as a fitting summary for Floor‘s aesthetic — thick, at times lush, alternately crawling, running, but always moving, etc. — but it does so more in triumph at its level of execution than in raw punkish urgency.

Read more »

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Holly Hunt’s Prometheus EP Out April 29

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 15th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Having recently had the pleasure of seeing Florida’s Holly Hunt live, their upcoming EP, Prometheus, will arrive all the more anticipated. The Miami-based duo of guitarist Gavin Perry and drummer Beatriz Monteavaro made their intent clear on their Year One debut, embroiled in a sonic demolition of big riffs and big stomp that hopefully continues its tide of destruction on the new release. I’m looking forward to checking it out.

Time and the PR wire shall tell:

Holly Hunt – Prometheus (Other Electricities/Sonic TITAN) Out April 29, 2014

Following their highly lauded full-length album Year One, Holly Hunt returns with a 3-song, 12’’ EP, Prometheus. Recorded by Jonathan Nuñez of Torche and mastered by New Alliance East, the record builds on the two-piece’s reputation for metal that’s crafted with the heaviest alloys, and a most magisterial patterning – the type that drones vehemently and drowns in the blues.

Drummer Beatriz Monteavaro (Floor, Cavity) and guitarist Gavin Perry have demonstrated themselves as a loud and lumbering giant of the Miami music scene. The visceral impact of sound – the raising heart rate, neck chills, the warmth spreading throughout your torso – this is Holly Hunt’s raison d’être. Prometheus manages to transmit an almost perfect rendering, delivering listeners to a heightened physical (and mental and spiritual) state. The record conjures the image of an approaching behemoth, striking paranoia and fear until the final, exhilarating sweep of humanity’s total destruction.

Where Year One established the bedrock of Holly Hunt’s punishing sound, Prometheus thunders with the clarity of a crack of lighting. It establishes a supremely balanced, critical distance between amp worship and riff devotion, rising and falling with ecstatic highs and sublime lows. And while Year One represented the genesis of the band’s existence; Prometheus stands as a churning, threatening hint of things to come.

https://www.facebook.com/HOLLYHUNT.LTD
https://www.facebook.com/SonicTITAN.ltd
http://other-electricities.com/

Holly Hunt, “Meano” from Prometheus (2013)

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Floor Announce Tour Dates; New Album Oblation Due April 29

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Time does strange things. It’s 2014. Floor, Sleep, Spirit Caravan and most of Kyuss are back together. Black Sabbath won a Grammy. The whole fucking world is upside down, the underground is over(ground), and all these things that seemed impossible to see are right in front of us. And yet we still use the combustion engine. Go figure.

I got sidetracked. Floor. The point is Floor are touring again, and the key difference is they’ll have a new album out — Oblation, which will be their first in a decade. Season of Mist will have the collection in the public’s greedy mitts come April 29, and wouldn’t you know the tour starts the day after? One would almost swear these things were coordinated ahead of time.

So says the PR wire:

FLOOR announce North American tour

Cult underground rock outfit FLOOR (Steve Brooks (also of TORCHE)- Guitar, Vocals, Anthony Vialon – Guitar, Henry Wilson – drums) have announced a North American tour this spring. The Noisey/Vice sponsored tour starts on April 30th in Miami, FL, and will see FLOOR travel throughout the month of April, before ending on May 1 in Atlanta, GA. A full list of confirmed tour dates can be found below.

FLOOR will be touring in support of their forthcoming album, ‘Oblation’. ‘Oblation’ will be released via Season of Mist on April 29 in North America (April 25 worldwide). ‘Oblation’ can be pre-ordered in various formats here.

‘Oblation’ track list:
1. Oblation
2. Rocinante
3. Trick Scene
4. Find Away
5. The Key
6. New Man
7. Sister Sophia
8. The Quill
9. Love Comes Crushing
10. War Party
11. Homegoings and Transitions
12. Sign of Aeth
13. Raised to a Star
14. Forever Still

The Florida-based trio was originally formed by Brooks and Vialon in 1992, and issued singles on respected underground labels like No Idea, Bovine, Rhetoric and more. The band’s wildly influential self-titled album was recently inducted into the Decibel Magazine Hall of Fame.

FLOOR Tour Dates
4/30 Miami, FL @ Churchills
5/2 Gainesville, FL @ The Wooley
5/3 Charlotte, NC @ The Casbah @ Tremont Music Hall
5/4 Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel
5/5 Brooklyn @ Saint Vitus
5/6 Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary
5/7 Boston, MA @ Great Scott
5/8 Buffalo, NY @ The Tralf
5/9 Pittsburgh, PA @ Smiling Moose
5/10 Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
5/11 Chicago, IL @ Double Door
5/13 Denver, CO @ Moon Room
5/14 Salt Lake City, UT @ Bar Deluxe
5/16 Portland, OR @ Branx
5/17 Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey
5/19 San Franciso, CA @ Elbo Room
5/24 Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
5/25 Fullerton, OC @ SlideBar
5/26 Phoenix, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room
5/27 Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
5/29 Austin, TX @ Red 7
5/30 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
5/31 Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree
6/1 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl

https://www.facebook.com/floorofficial
http://e-shop.season-of-mist.com/en/predefined-search/46421

Floor, “War Party” from Oblation (2014)

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Shroud Eater and Orbweaver Announce Winter Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 7th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I got a copy of Orbweaver‘s 2013 album, Strange Transmissions from the Neuralnomicon, to review because when I first heard it I was like, “Fuck yeah, this is awesome!” For what it’s worth, I was right about that, but when it came time to actually sit down and write it up, it felt like I was trying to get a square peg in a round hole and that as much as I dug the extreme and progressive death metal influence that the Miami outfit thickened to sludge viscosity, I couldn’t really make it fit. I felt bad (as I always do, and as I still do) that the band went out of their way to be cool enough to send the disc. The moral of the story was it wasn’t Orbweaver‘s fault, it was mine.

Obviously not the end of the world, but I prefer to keep my commitments when I’m able. The band seems to be doing just fine, as they’ve teamed up with fellow Miami crushers Shroud Eater for a winter tour that will take them to the West Coast and back over the course of February into March. With the dates though, I’ve included the Bandcamp stream of Strange Transmissions from the Neuralnomicon, in case maybe you didn’t get the chance to check it out. Not the usual fare you find around these parts, but badass nonetheless:

SHROUD EATER 2014 WINTER TOUR

Sludge juggernaut to decimate stages in Feb/March 2014

We are proud to announce that Miami’s Shroud Eater will be touring US cities from February 19 to March 10 2014. The band will be decimating stages from Florida to California with experimental death metallers Orbweaver.

Get ready to have your face melted, your brain warped and your senses pulverized!

Wed. Feb. 19 – Orlando, FL – Will’s Pub with: Ad Nauseum, Ex Vietnam
Thurs. Feb. 20 – Tallahassee, FL – The Shark Tank with: Atrocitus, Short Walk
Fri. Feb. 21 – Pensacola, FL – The Handlebar
Sat. Feb. 22 – New Orleans, LA – Siberia with: Lord Dying, Gristnam
Sun. Feb. 23 – Austin, TX – Beerland with: Crawl, Khringe
Tues. Feb. 25 – Riverside, CA – Kim’s Sports Bar
Wed. Feb. 26 – Oakland, CA – The Metro
Thurs. Feb. 27 – San Luis Obispo, CA – Frankie Teardrops with: Hashmouth
Fri. Feb. 28 – Los Angeles, CA – The Complex with: Lightning Swords of Death
Sat. March 1 – Phoenix, AZ – The Yucca Taproom
Sun. March 2 – Santa Fe, NM – TBA
Mon. March 3 – Dallas, TX – Taquerias Pedritos
Tues. March 4 – Little Rock, AR – Vino’s Pizza Pub & Brewery with: Crankbait
Wed. March 5 – Nashville, TN – TBA
Thurs. March 6 – Greensboro, NC -TBA
Fri. March 7 – Charlotte, NC – TBA
Sat. March 8 – Atlanta, GA – TBA
Sun. March 9 – Jacksonville, FL – Burro Bar with: Porter, Atma
Mon. March 10 – St. Petersburg, FL – Fubar Downtown with: Landbridge, Ulcer, Cosm

https://www.facebook.com/events/781613115185577/
https://www.facebook.com/shroudeater
https://www.facebook.com/Orbweaver.Official

Orbweaver, Strange Transmissions from the Neuralnomicon (2013)

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Shroud Eater Announce September Southeast Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 27th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Floridian trio sans-connerie Shroud Eater have announced that they’ll take to the road in their native Southeast for a handful of tour dates next month. The run comes in support of the Miami three-piece’s destructive 2013 EP, Dead Ends, which as fate would have it is available this very minute on Primitive Violence and The Path Less Traveled in a variety of physical and digital formats. You may recall I found the tape particularly alluring, though whatever delivery system it arrives by, Dead Ends is worthy of a fervent nerding-out. Mark my words when I say that one of these days I’m going to actually get to see this band play. On a stage. At a place. Where I am.

While I carve that bold declaration in the particleboard of my desk with my Lord of the Rings letter opener, please go ahead and peruse the tour dates below, making changes to your calendar as need be to allow for travel. On Sept. 8, Shroud Eater will join with The Body, Deadbird, Pallbearer, Rwake, The Dirty Streets and Black Oak Arkansas at the Mutants of the Monster fest. You know you always wanted to visit Little Rock in the fall.

Behold:

SHROUD EATER is excited to announce a Southern tour September 5-10, taking them to Little Rock, AR for a performance on the Mutants of the Monster Fest III. The band is touring in support of their highly  acclaimed 2013 EP “DEAD ENDS”, out on The Path Less Traveled Records and Primitive Violence Records and Visual.

SEPTEMBER 2013 TOUR DATES:
Thursday 9/5/13 MIAMI, FL @ Churchills Pub
Friday 9/6/13 ATLANTA, GA @ The Masquerade (Purgatory)
Saturday 9/7/13 NASHVILLE, TN @ The Owl Farm
Sunday 9/8/13 LITTLE ROCK, AK @ Mutants of the Monster Fest III
Monday 9/9/13 BIRMINGHAM, AL @ The High Note
Tuesday 9/10/13 JACKSONVILLE, FL @ Warehouse 818

Shroud Eater, Dead Ends EP (2013)

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Visual Evidence: Hollow Leg and Orbweaver Announce “Abysmal Transmissions” Tour

Posted in Visual Evidence on June 11th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Floridian outfits Hollow Leg and Orbweaver have teamed up for a long weekender from Aug. 2-5. Playing four nights in their native state, both bands will be supporting new releases — in the case of Hollow Leg, it’s their new full-length collection Abysmal, which is out on Last Anthem Records on July 30. For Orbweaver, the Strange Transmissions from the Neuralnomicon EP will mark their studio debut with a release on Primitive Violence.

Taking from the titles of both, the Abysmal Transmissions tour runs from Orbweaver‘s home in Miami to Hollow Leg‘s in Jacksonville. The poster below has specifics:

Hollow Leg & Orbweaver – Abysmal Transmissions Tour 2013

Hollow Leg & Orbweaver tour dates:
Aug. 2 Churchills Pub, Miami, FL
Aug. 3 Will’s Pub, Orlando, FL
Aug. 4 Bowman Motorcycles, St. Petersburg, FL
Aug. 5 Burro Bar, Jacksonville, FL

Hollow Leg on Thee Facebooks

Orbweaver on Thee Facebooks

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Nice Package: Shroud Eater, Dead Ends Cassette on Primitive Violence Records

Posted in Duuude, Tapes!, Visual Evidence on May 9th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

My only issue with the limited edition tape of their new Dead Ends EP that Shroud Eater put out through Primitive Violence Records is that so far I haven’t been able to bring myself to open the damn thing. Oh, I’ve heard the EP itself (review here), so I know it kicks plenty of ass, but looking at the limited packaging — which just seems like it should have a little cutout space near the top so it can hang on a peg in some record and or head shop 20 years ago — I just can’t pull those staples out and open it up.

Primitive Violence is the band’s own imprint — there’s a CD of Dead Ends coming later this month on The Path Less Traveled Records as well — and so I take this tape as kind of the definitive version of the album, what a certain British label seems consistently to refer to as the “diehard edition.” Only 22 were made, they sold out just this past Tuesday (there are more regular tapes left), and here’s what’s included:

No, Pinhead from Hellraiser doesn’t come with it, but everything else in the bottom part of that collage does. It’s one-stop shopping for anyone who’d want to show off their Shroud Eater affiliation, with a sticker, patch and pin, and that rules in and of itself, but there’s also the full-color lyric sheet, transparent red tape and — as you can see in the top right corner of the pic above — also a limited edition figurine made in Peru that actually seems to have been the impetus behind there only being 22 of these made, since the people who made the “Death charms” in turn died and these are the last ones ever. Dead Ends indeed.

All this adds up not only to something really special for collector nerds like me and those converted to the cassette nostalgia cultism, but a complete, every-level experience for what in a lot of band’s minds would probably be a toss-off EP release. Cheers to Shroud Eater for going all out in putting the tape of Dead Ends together (even the regular one looks pretty sweet) and continuing to highlight the appeal of physical media in an age regarded by squares as digital. Awesome.

Shroud Eater, “Tempest” from Dead Ends

Shroud Eater’s merch page

Shroud Eater on Thee Facebooks

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Shroud Eater, Dead Ends EP: Tempestry

Posted in Reviews on March 28th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

One never likes to predict the future when it comes to bands and what the given response to a release will be, but I have little doubt that when the story of Shroud Eater — however that story might turn out to read — is over, their Dead Ends EP will serve as the moment of their arrival. Over the course of these five tracks, four plus an intro, the Miami-based trio showcase not only the professionalism in their songwriting, but a maturity of approach and presentation that their prior full-length debut, 2011′s ThunderNoise (review here), began to hint at. During the time since that album’s release, Shroud Eater Jean Saiz on guitar/vocals/artwork, Janette Valentine on bass/backing vocals and Felipe Torres on drums — have played shows and toured around and beyond the Southeast, and while that’s bound to have an effect on their approach even if only subconsciously, what really separates Dead Ends from ThunderNoise and their self-titled 2009 demo (review here) is the production. That is to say, Shroud Eater‘s songs were already there, and in the emergent gallop here of “Tempest,” the roots found in “We are Beasts” from ThunderNoise seem to have broken through to the surface, but a huge part of what makes that so apparent in listening to Dead Ends (CD on The Path Less Traveled, tape on Primitive Violence) is the still-natural-sounding crispness with which the EP is presented. Whether it’s the doomly tectonics of “Lord of the Sword” or the out-of-nowhere onslaught of “Sudden Plague,” there’s nothing on Dead Ends that isn’t the most professional, mature and satisfying material yet to come from Shroud Eater. And so, like I say: Arrival.

It’s worthwhile to note that the four main tracks of Dead Ends are longer than anything Shroud Eater have done to this point. But for the intro, “Cannibals,” at 2:07, nothing on the EP is under five minutes long, which is a line the band had only previously crossed on ThunderNoise opener “High John the Conqueror.” More importantly, the songs are expansive in their reach and bring together the varied sides of Shroud Eater‘s sound that showed up before on separate tracks, so that once the initial threat of “Cannibals” is laid out — Torres‘ drums driving the point home amid not inconsiderable amp rumble and far-back whispers, blown-out shouts — “Sudden Plague” has room for both a beginning that’s utterly miserable in its doomed lumber and a contrasting second half made propulsive by Saiz‘s riffing. Of immediate distinction is the tone Valentine brings out of her bass; an asset to Shroud Eater‘s sound I’d previously overlooked. Joined by guitar feedback and creeping drums, the bass leads the way into “Sudden Plague”‘s first movement, patiently building a groove for more than a minute before crashing to full breadth. After the lead-in that “Cannibals” provided and the first two minutes of “Sudden Plague,” Dead Ends is nothing if not properly introduced to its audience, but when the second cut takes off, it nonetheless earns the first word of title. As faster riff comes to a head shortly before the two-minute mark, and Saiz‘s vocals emerge, semi-melodic in the mid-period Kylesa tradition, but functioning to serve a consuming swirl that only gets more fervent as the song moves forward.

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audiObelisk: Stream & Download Shroud Eater’s “Tempest” from the Dead Ends EP

Posted in audiObelisk on February 6th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

As catchy as it is propulsive, the new single “Tempest” from Miami trio Shroud Eater announces their arrival at a new level of metallic professionalism. The potential that their ThunderNoise full-length (review here) showed in following their already vicious self-titled demo (review here) has paid off in fullness of sound and clarity of approach. Shroud Eater recently announced that they’d signed with The Path Less Traveled Records for the release of a new EP, and as a taste of what’s to come, “Tempest” casts a formidable shadow.

The upcoming release, titled Dead Ends, is set for issue in May, and Shroud Eater – the lineup of Jean Saiz on guitar/vocals, Janette Valentine on bass and Felipe Torres on drums — are slated tour their way up the East Coast to support. They’ve also got shows booked this month in the south, for which you can find the info below, and have released a new teaser trailer for the EP, which is at the bottom of this post. All this should amount to a considerable level anticipation for Dead Ends, which aligns Shroud Eater to the progressive breadth of modern Southeastern heavy — bands like Mastodon, Kylesa, etc. — even as it sees them carving out their own identity within that sphere.

I’m stoked to hear how that process pans out, and “Tempest” only makes that truer. Thanks to the band for allowing me to host the track for stream and download. You’ll find it on the player and through the link below, followed by this month’s gigs and the teaser for Dead Ends. Enjoy:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!



Click Here to Download “Tempest”

As I mentioned, Shroud Eater will tour preceding the May release of Dead Ends, but before that, they have an extended weekender lined up for this month. Dates and compatriot info follow here:

Wednesday February 20 – Atlanta, GA at 529
With: Order of the Owl, Demonaut, Volume IV

Thursday February 21 – Asheville, NC at The Odditirium
With: Kreamy Lectric Santa, Blood Summer, Tape and Wire

Friday February 22 – Nashville, TN at The Owl Farm
With: Brother Ares, Act of Impalement, Forest of Tygers

Saturday February 23 – Jacksonville, FL at The Phoenix Taproom
With: Hollow Leg, Dead Southern Bishop, Yama

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Shroud Eater Sign to The Path Less Traveled Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 31st, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Congratulations to Miami trio Shroud Eater, who have inked a deal with emergent imprint The Path Less Traveled Records for the release of a new EP. Shroud Eater were last heard from with the 2011 ThunderNoise full-length (review here) and have been busy kicking ass on stage with an impressive list of bands you can see below, including having their set supporting Corrections House streamed live this week. 2013 keeps getting bigger and better for new releases, and if you’re keeping a list of ones to watch for, here’s another to add.

Dig it:

Formed in Miami, Florida in 2009, Shroud Eater is a brooding three-piece juggernaut blending sludge, doom and stoner metal riffs with gruff howls and intense tribal drumming. Drawing comparisons to High on Fire and Helmet with a Kyuss groove, Shroud Eater have established themselves as a ferocious live act with a uniquely refreshing take on the stoner/sludge/doom metal genre. The trio have self-released a demo in 2009, a full length album in 2011, embarked on several east-coast and Florida-state tours, opened and run an underground music venue in South Florida, and are set to release a new EP in 2013 via The Path Less Traveled Records.

Shroud Eater has had the pleasure of opening for:
Corrosion of Conformity, Corrections House, Kylesa, Floor, Tombs, -16-, KEN Mode, The Atlas Moth, Weedeater, ASG, Cough and MonstrO.

Shroud Eater is: Jean Saiz (guitars/vocals), Janette Valentine (bass/back up vocals), and Felipe Torres (drums/percussion)

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Torche, Harmonicraft: Inverting the Reverse, and Vice Versa

Posted in Reviews on May 8th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

Miami-based rockers Torche don’t do anything so well as they seem to delight in contradiction. Even on their third full-length album, Harmonicraft, there’s a palpable joy that comes through in the band’s defiance of the expectations placed on them. On the most superficial level, Harmonicraft is released by Volcom, where the bulk of the band’s various splits, singles and EPs have arrived via Hydra Head, and in terms of function, though the 13 songs here seem to go punch for punch with the 13 songs on 2008’s Meanderthal and wind up just a minute longer in total – 37 as opposed to 36 on the prior outing – they do so with the pivotal inclusion of a new guitarist/vocalist. Torche, who recorded 2010’s Songs for Singles EP as the three-piece of bassist Jon Nuñez, drummer Rick Smith and vocalist/guitarist Steve Brooks, are joined here for the first time by guitarist/vocalist Andrew Elstner, who came aboard to fill the spot formerly occupied by Juan Montoya, currently of MonstrO. As Montoya had previously played with Brooks in seminal Floridian doomers Floor, who reunited for several shows in 2010 to celebrate a 10LP box set, his absence from Torche was significant despite the common perception that it’s Brooks doing the bulk of the writing, but Elstner fits smoothly into that role (especially vocally), and Harmonicraft shows no backward movement on the part of the band either in performance or creative scope. As ever for Torche, songwriting is paramount, and they continue to refine their blend of weighted underground metal tonality with classic pop structures, upbeat, catchy choruses and melodies. They’re a band known for offering a lot of substance in a short amount of time – indeed, several of Harmonicraft’s tracks hover below or around the two-minute mark, and that novelty has always been part of Torche’s contrarian nature as regards the tropes of doom – and these songs keep that pattern going, with a memorability factor that at points mirrors the strength of the hooks.

Sandwiched by near-manically upbeat opener “Letting Go” and the five-and-a-half-minute relative downer closer “Looking On,” the bulk of Harmonicraft settles into Torche’s creative sphere comfortably, with the band sounding confident in their presentation. The album was recorded by Nuñez and mixed by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou (High on Fire, Black Cobra, etc.), and sounds crisp and clean, and cuts like “Kicking,” which follows the opener, and the playful later arrival “Kiss Me Dudely” offer landmarks of a quality no less forceful than prior Torche high points like “Grenades” from Meanderthal, “Tarpit Carnivore” from 2007’s In Return EP (though for my money, they’ve never been that heavy before or since) or “Mentor” from 2005’s self-titled debut. These tracks are Torche at their best, and on an album like Harmonicraft, which doesn’t follow a plotted narrative – at least to my knowledge – are essential in the overall effect on the listener. Other songs seem to serve to bolster their position, like the skater-punkish 86-second blast “Walk it Off” that ups the energy following “Kicking,” leading to the more mid-paced groove of “Reverse Inverted,” or likewise, the slower, more openly-riffed “Solitary Traveler,” on which Brooks’ vocals arrive from deeper in the mix and coated in sub-psychedelic echo. One hears shades of U2 sentimentality in the lead notes of mid-album cuts like “Snakes are Charmed,” but Torche’s tonal heft is maintained through Nuñez’ bass and underscored by Smith’s tom work. Particularly without Montoya’s involvement, it’s easy to read Torche at this point as being Brooks’ band – and maybe it is, I don’t know the realities of their songwriting process – but even if that’s the case, everyone here contributes. Following the more foreboding Melvins-style chug of “In Pieces,” “Snakes are Charmed” is one more shift Torche skillfully pull off on Harmonicraft, Smith’s frantic snare on the 1:18 “Sky Trials” acting as a palate cleanser before “Roaming”’s nod-worthy groove exemplifies the mixture of influence that has come to typify the band.

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