Blue Snaggletooth Announce Fall Live Dates

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

blue snaggletooth

Ann Arbor, Michiganers Blue Snaggletooth released their Beyond Thule album last year and continue to support the release regionally in the Midwest this fall with an assortment of shows prior to the arrival of 2016. I guess the highlight of the bunch is probably the Dec. 10 hometown gig opening for The Sword and Royal Thunder, but they’re sharing the stage with an assortment of kickass contemporaries throughout, so plenty worth keeping up with either way.

Background on the band and the current show dates follow, courtesy of the internet and the PR wire, respectively. Dig:

blue snaggletooth tour

Blue Snaggletooth fall tour schedule.

Taking their name from a minor character (and a highly collectible action figure) in the Star Wars universe, Blue Snaggletooth were formed in 2009 by guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Chris “Box” Taylor. Blue Snaggletooth released their first album, Dimension Thule, in August 2011. While Dimension Thule was enthusiastically reviewed and fared well enough to sell out its initial press run, personal commitments led to the band splintering not long after the album was released. Undaunted, Taylor soon assembled a new lineup that’s even heavier and more impressive than the first – featuring Casey O’Ryan on guitar, Joe Kupiec on bass, and Mike Popovich on drums.

Guitarist Casey O’Ryan and bassist Joe Kupiec are rock & roll prodigies steeped in hard rock and classic boogie – as Taylor says, “They’re not brothers, but they should be,” and they give the band groove, energy, force, and powerful commitment. With Mike Popovich bringing the heavy behind the kit and Taylor wailing and laying down rhythm licks up front, this new edition is a hard rock dream machine, ready to take your mind and your ears deep into the cosmos.

After the new edition of the band honed its chops with live work, Blue Snaggletooth returned to the recording studio in early 2014, and in the following fall, the band unveiled its masterful sophomore album, Beyond Thule.

We have a bunch of shows coming up in November / December. Can’t wait to play some new stages and melt some new faces.

Blue Snaggletooth 2015 Fall Tour Schedule!
Nov. 13, Chicago, IL, The Burlington Bar with Thee Arthur Layne and BoneHawk
Nov. 14, Milwaukee, WI, Club Garibaldi, with The Architects of the Aftermath, IROCK-Z, BoneHawk
Nov. 20, Cleveland, OH, Grog Shop, with Album, Contra, Blackwater
Nov. 21, Detroit, MI, The UFO Factory, with Stone Ritual, DIRTWOLF
Dec. 10, Ann Arbor, MI, Blind Pig, with The Sword, Royal Thunder
Dec. 12, Ft. Wayne IN, Skeletunes, with BoneHawk

Blue Snaggletooth, “Ahamkara”

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Bison Machine Announce Oct. Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 10th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

bison machine

Michigan four-piece Bison Machine recently welcomed new guitarist Casey O’Ryan into the fold. The Hamtramck natives released their debut LP, Hoarfrost (review here), earlier this year on Kozmik Artifactz, and have been basking in the warmth ever since. O’Ryan coming aboard alongside bassist Anthony Franchina, vocalist Tom Stec and drummer Breck Crandell is no minor change for such a riff-driven band, so it should be interesting to hear when they get around to whatever they wind up putting out next (an introductory 7″, maybe?) how the dynamic of the group has shifted or if fuzz still holds the day as firmly as on the first record.

Intrigue, intrigue. While you revisit Hoarfrost via the Bandcamp stream below and think it over, feel free as well to peruse the dates of Bison Machine‘s newly-announced Oct. tour with Grand Mammoth:


Bison Machine Fall Tour

Burning bright with lysergic energy Bison Machine’s Hoarfrost – the band’s debut album originally self-released to notable acclaim among the stoner rock community earlier this year – had an official release this July through Germany’s Kozmik Artifactz/Bilocation Records, Europe’s leading purveyor of heavy psych, blues and stoner rock.

Worshippers of volume, Bison Machine have gained a reputation for their frenzied, high velocity live shows, welding Graveyard and Pentagram influenced shuffles onto the back of 70s Motor City rock and 90s stoner grooves. If you’re a fan of pounding, colossal blues and heavy Zep-driven riffs then the Hamtramck four-piece’s gnarled and muscular guitar and vocal work on tracks like ‘Cosmic Ark’, ‘Gamekeeper’s Thumb’ and ‘Viking Hand’ will leave you floored, broken and bloodied.

Hoarfrost by Bison Machine was released on CD and limited, high performance 180g vinyl on 10th July via Kozmik Artifactz/Bilocation Records.

w/ Bison Machine and Grand Mammoth

Oct 15th – Dayton, OH @Blind Bob’s
Oct 16th – Covington, KY @The Backstage (Bison Machine only)
Oct 16th – Indianapolis, IN @ Melody Inn (Grand Mammoth only)
Oct 17th – Fort Wayne, IN @ Skeletunes w/ Beast in the Field
Oct 18th – Chicago, IL @ Livewire w/ Dead Feathers
Oct 19th – Detroit, MI @Corktown Tavern

Bison Machine, Hoarfrost (2015)

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Heaters Release Holy Water Pool Sept. 25

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Grand Rapids, Michigan, psychedelic rock trio Heaters are in the midst of wrapping up a pretty extensive, get-out-there-and-sleep-on-floors-style summer tour. They’ll release their new album — is it their second? their first? I don’t know; why you gotta label everything? — which is titled Holy Water Pool on Sept. 25 via Beyond Beyond is Beyond, and if clicking play below on the stream of their earlier-2015 single Mean Green is too much work for you, I’ll save you the trouble and just say it’s got that ’60s garage jangle with reverb to spare and swing enough to avoid any shoegaze tag one might be tempted to toss its way thanks to the drawling vocals. I’d expect they get up to some serious groove on the record, but you know me, I’m not one to speculate.

Art and details and audio, off the PR wire and painstakingly assembled for your convenient consumption:

heaters holy water pool

Michigan psych trio Heaters (Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records)/‘Holy Water Pool’ out 9/25

In the year 2015, it may be that only foolishness or forgetfulness can excuse being surprised by the pace and power of a rock and roll machine coming out of the holy state of Michigan. Yet such is the power of the perpetual energy expressed throughout Holy Water Pool, the new full-length album by Heaters on Beyond Beyond Is Beyond.

If there’s an offer of salvation within Holy Water Pool, its one that comes with a catch: you have to risk drowning. Drowning in this case brought on by the rapid-rush of these eleven songs over forty-one minutes, creating an album that consistently offers explosion while also always keeping its fuse lit. “Kamizake” is the suitably deadly opener, as much an invocation of the ghosts of reverb past as it is a song. Broken shards of the Bo Diddley beat, detritus left behind by the three-eyed men of the Elevators, the amplifier-abuse-turned-illumination of The Warlocks – all feed the rich soil from which Holy Water Pool emerges. And perhaps nowhere on Holy Water Pool is the fruit of that soil better served than on “Master Splinter,” an instantly-under-your-skin gallop of greatness that lays bare both the unbridled joy and teeth-gnashing distress of what we like to call rock and roll.

Moments of Holy Water Pool threaten to turn into a wave pool, holy or not, given Heaters almost incongruous surf-city leanings. Sonically, this is more than the sum of its parts (and more than the sum of second-hand Ventures records, too) in the way it colors the band’s sound, with their relatively defined palette expanding to a depth that’s deceptively broad and ultimately breathtaking. “Gum Drop” is perhaps the albums sweetest treat, here the pace slowed to a somnambulistic shuffle, with the band threatening to disintegrate completely into the sound that grows ever more cavernous at every turn, tethered to reality only by the siren sound of saxophone. On the album ending “Dune Ripper,” our eyes initially crossed and read the title as “Duane Ripper,” as in the million-dollar twang delivered by Duane Eddy. It’s a ripper, for sure, and leaves little doubt that this dose of “Holy Water,” delivered with chilling efficiency by Heaters, has had its intended impact on our ears.

Onward flows the Holy Water Pool, the rambunctious and replenished flow of rock and roll, inviting all for a cleansing, refreshing dip. Jump in.

8/17 – Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar
8/18 – Albuquerque, NM – The Mountain
8/19 – Marfa, TX – El Cosmico
8/20 – Dallas, TX – Lola’s Saloon
8/21 – Austin, TX – Swan Dive
8/22 – San Antonio, TX – Hitones
8/23 – New Orleans, LA – Siberia
8/24 – Atlanta, GA – 529
8/25 – Charlotte, NC – Snug Harbor
8/26 – Nashville, TN – Stone Fox
8/27 – Chicago, IL – Subterranean
9/4 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Pyramid Scheme
September 25th, 2015 Alphaville Brooklyn, NY

Heaters, Mean Green 7″ (2015)

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Quarterly Review: Kamchatka, Legion of Andromeda, Queen Elephantine, Watchtower, Ape Skull, Hordes, Dead Shed Jokers, These Hands Conspire, Enos & Mangoo, Band of Spice

Posted in Reviews on July 2nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk summer quarterly review

We’re on the downhill swing of this edition of the Quarterly Review, so it’s time to get into some extremes, I think. Today, between death-doom lurch, drone-as-fuck exploring, gritty aggression and a whole lot more, we pretty much get there. I’m not saying it’s one end of the universe to another, but definitely a little all-over-the-place, which is just what one might need when staring down the fourth round of 10 reviews in a row in a week’s time. Feeling good though, so let’s do it.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Kamchatka, Long Road Made of Gold

kamchatka long road made of gold

It would really be something if Swedish blues rockers Kamchatka released six albums over the course of the last decade and didn’t know what they were doing by now. Fortunately, that’s not the case with Long Road Made of Gold (Despotz Records), their sixth, as the Verberg three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Thomas Juneor Andersson, bassist Per Wiberg (see also: Spiritual Beggars, Candlemass, Opeth, etc.) and drummer Tobias Strandvik modernize classic heavy rock with equal comfort in including a banjo on “Take Me Back Home” and progressive-style harmonies on “Rain.” They seem to get bluesier as they go, with later cuts “Mirror,” “Slowly Drifting Away,” “Long Road” and “To You” rounding out the album with Clutch-style bounce, but the prevailing impact of Long Road Made of Gold is one of unflinching class, the chemistry of its players – not to mention Wiberg’s bass tone – ringing through loud and clear from the material as Kamchatka make their way down that long road to their inevitable next outing.

Kamchatka on Thee Facebooks

Despotz Records

Legion of Andromeda, Iron Scorn

legion of andromeda iron scorn

I said as much when the Tokyo duo released their 2013 debut EP (review here) as well, but their first long-player Iron Scorn (on At War with False Noise) only confirms it: Legion of Andromeda are fucked. Theirs is a doomed-out death metal given further inhumanity by programmed drums and the blown-out growls of vocalist -R-, while guitarist/programmer –M- holds down grime-encrusted chug and dirge riffing. Perhaps most fucked of all is the fact that Iron Scorn uses essentially the same drum progression across its seven tracks/44 minutes, varying in tempo but holding firm to the double-kick and bell-hit timekeeping for the duration. The effect this has not only ties the material together – as it would have to – but also makes the listener feel like they’ve entered into some no-light-can-escape alternate universe in which all there is is that thud, the distortion and the growls. Not a headphone record, unless you were looking to start psychotherapy anyhow, its extremity is prevalent enough to feel like a physical force holding you down.

Legion of Andromeda on Thee Facebooks

At War with False Noise

Queen Elephantine, Omen

queen elephantine omen

Relentlessly creative and geographically amorphous drone warriors Queen Elephantine compile eight tracks from eight years of their perpetual exploration for Omen on Atypeek Music, which launches with its titular cut, the oldest of the bunch, from 2007. It’s a gritty rolling groove that, even as nascent and riff-noddy as it is, still has underpinnings that might clue the listener in to what’s to come (especially in hindsight) and comes accompanied by the sludgy “The Sea Goat,” a rawer take recorded the same year in Hong Kong. Newest on Omen is the blissfully percussed “Morning Three” and an 18-minute live version of “Search for the Deathless State” from 2010’s Kailash full-length. Lineups, intent and breadth of sound vary widely, but even into the reaches of “1,000 Years” (2012, Providence, RI) and “Shamanic Procession” (2009, New York), Queen Elephantine remain unflinching in their experimentalism and the results here are likewise immersive. Vastly underrated, their work remains a world waiting to be explored.

Queen Elephantine on Thee Facebooks

Atypeek Music

Watchtower, Radiant Moon

watchtower radiant moon

Consuming undulations of tectonic riffing. Two of them, actually. Watchtower’s Radiant Moon EP serves as their debut on Magnetic Eye, and like their fellow-Melbourne-resident labelmates in Horsehunter, the four-piece Watchtower slam heavy-est riffs into the listener’s cerebral cortex with little concern for lasting aftereffects, all in worship of nod and volume itself. Where the two acts differ is in Watchtower’s overarching sense of grit, harsh vocals pervading both “Radiant Moon” (9:03) itself and the accompanying “Living Heads” (7:09), standalone vocalist Nico Guijt growing through the tonal fray wrought by guitarist Robbie Ingram and bassist Ben Robertson, Joel McGann’s drums pushing the emergent roll forward on “Living Heads,” a High on Fire-style startoff hitting the brakes on tempo to plod over any and all in its path. I’m trying to tell you it’s fucking heavy. Is that getting through? Watchtower had a live single out before Radiant Moon, but I’d be eager to hear what they come up with for a full-length, whether they might shift elsewhere at some point or revel in pure onslaught. Now taking bets.

Watchtower on Thee Facebooks

Magnetic Eye Records

Ape Skull, Fly Camel Fly

ape skull fly camel fly

The use of multiple vocalists gives Roman trio Ape Skull’s ‘70s fetishism a particularly proggy air. Fly Camel Fly is their second full-length for Heavy Psych Sounds behind a 2013 self-titled, and the boogie of “My Way” and “Early Morning,” the solo-topped groove of “Fly Camel Fly,” and the raw Hendrixology of “A is for Ape” position it as a classic rocker through and through. Vocalist/drummer Giuliano Padroni, bassist/vocalist Pierpaolo Pastorelli and guitarist/vocalist Fulvio Cartacci get down to shuffling business quick and stay that way for the 39-minute duration, the Mountainous “Heavy Santa Ana Wind” missing only the complement of a sappy, over-the-top ballad to complete its vintage believability. Even without, the triumvirate stand tall, fuzzy and swinging on Fly Camel Fly, the cowbell of “Tree Stomp” calling to mind the earthy chaos of Blue Cheer without direct mimicry. A quick listen that builds and holds its momentum, but one that holds up too on subsequent visits.

Ape Skull on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds

Hordes, Hordes

hordes hordes

Mad-as-hell trio Hordes have had a slew of releases out over the last eight years or so – EPs, splits, full-lengths with extended tracks – but their experimental take on noise rock topped with Godfleshy shouts arrives satisfyingly stripped down on their latest self-titled five-track EP, recorded in 2013 and pressed newly to tape and CD (also digital). “Eyes Dulled Blind” dials back some of the pummeling after the bruises left by “Cold War Echo,” guitarist/vocalist Alex Hudson at the fore in the JK Broadrick tradition. Centerpiece “Summer” starts with a slow and peaceful ruse before shifting into brash and blown-out punk – Chris Martinez’s hi-hat forward in the mix to further the abrasion – and finally settles into a middle-ground between the two (mind you, the song is four minutes long), and bassist Jon Howard opens “Life Crusher,” which unfolds quickly into the most oppressive push here, while a churning atmosphere pervades the more echo-laden closer “Fall” to reinforce Hordes’ experimentalist claims and steady balance between tonal weight and noise-caked aggression.

Hordes on Thee Facebooks

Hordes on Bandcamp

Dead Shed Jokers, Dead Shed Jokers

dead shed jokers dead shed jokers

There’s a theatrical element underlying Welsh rockers Dead Shed Jokers’ second, self-titled full-length (on Pity My Brain Records). That’s not to say its eight songs are in some way insincere, just that the five-piece of vocalist Hywel Davies, guitarists Nicky Bryant and Kristian Evans, bassist Luke Cook and drummer Ashley Jones know there’s a show going on. Davies is in the lead throughout and proves a consummate frontman presence across opener “Dafydd’s Song,” the stomping “Memoirs of Mr. Bryant” and the swinging “Rapture Riddles,” Dead Shed Jokers’ penultimate cut before the cabaret closer “Exit Stage Left (Applause),” but the instrumental backing is up to its own task, and a clear-headed production gives the entire affair a professional sensibility. They veer into and out of heavy rock tropes fluidly, but maintain a tonal fullness wherever they might be headed, and Cook’s bass late in “Made in Vietnam” seems to carry a record’s worth of weight in just its few measures at the forefront before Davies returns for the next round of proclamations.

Dead Shed Jokers on Thee Facebooks

Dead Shed Jokers BigCartel store

These Hands Conspire, Sword of Korhan

these hands conspire sword of korhan

Berlin’s These Hands Conspire aren’t through the two-minute instrumental “Intro” before they’re showing off the heft of tone that pervades their metallized debut album, Sword of Korhan, but as they demonstrate throughout the following seven tracks and the total 45-minute runtime, there’s plenty to go around. Vocalist Felix delivers an especially noteworthy performance over the dual-guitars of Tom and Stefan, the bass of Paul and Sascha’s drums, but heavy metal storytelling – the sci-fi narrative seems to be a battle in space – is just as much a part of the record’s progressive flow, longer cuts like “Praise to Nova Rider,” “The Beast Cometh,” which directly follows, and “Ambush at Antarox IV” feeding one into the next sonically and thematically. The penultimate title-track brings swinging apex to an ambitious first outing, but the foreboding, winding guitar echoes of “Outro” hint at more of the tale to be told. Could be that Sword of Korhan is just the beginning of a much longer engagement.

These Hands Conspire on Thee Facebooks

These Hands Conspire on Bandcamp

Enos & Mangoo, Split

enos mangoo split

Maybe it doesn’t need to be said, since if it weren’t the case, they wouldn’t have paired at all, but Enos and Mangoo pair well. The UK chimp-obsessed space metallers – that’s Enos, on side A – and the Finnish modernized classic heavy rock outfit – that’s Mangoo, on side B – don’t ask much of the listener across their Son of a Gun/The Grey Belly split (on H42 Records) beyond a little over 10 minutes of time and a willingness to follow a groove. “Son of a Gun” finds Enos blending particularly well with Mangoo’s methodology via the inclusion of organ in their swinging but still forward-directed movement, and after that, it’s an easy mesh to flip the platter and find Mangoo’s “The Grey Belly” waiting, its own keys playing a huge role in carrying across the ‘70s-via-‘90s vibe the band projects so well. Flourishes of percussion in the former seem to complement the progressive guitar work in the latter, and whichever side happens to be spinning, it all works out just fine.

Enos on Thee Facebooks

Mangoo on Thee Facebooks

H42 Records

Band of Spice, Economic Dancers

band of spice economic dancers

Born in 2007 as Spice and the RJ Band and rechristened Band of Spice in 2010 prior to their third album, Feel Like Coming Home, the Swedish unit boasting vocalist Christian “Spice” Sjöstrand (founding vocalist of Spiritual Beggars, also Mushroom River Band, currently also in Kayser) release their fourth full-length half a decade later in the form of Economic Dancers on Scarlet Records. It’s a straightforward heavy rocker in the organ-laced European tradition that Spice helped create, with some shades of quirk in the intro to “The Joe” and the arena-ready backing vocals of “In My Blood,” but mostly cutting its teeth on modernized ‘70s jams like “On the Run,” “Down by the Liquor Store” and “True Will,” though the six-minute centerpiece “You Will Call” touches on more psychedelic fare and is backed immediately by two metallers in “You Can’t Stop” and “Fly Away,” so it’s not by any means one-sided, even if at times the mix makes it feel like the 11 tracks are a showcase for the singer whose name is on the marquee.

Band of Spice at Scarlet Records

Scarlet Records on Bandcamp


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Bison Machine Post New Video for “Viking Hand”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 25th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

bison machine viking hand video

We’re getting closer to the July 10 release date for Michigan four-piece Bison Machine‘s debut LP for Kozmik Artifactz/Bilocation Records, Hoarfrost (review here). That album, initially a digital self-release, will get its first physical pressing from the German imprints — when will they finally join forces as Kozmik Location Records? — and the Hamtramck outfit have already been on the road to herald its coming; in May, they were out alongside New Yorkers Geezer for a run of shows on the Eastern Seaboard. Given that and the obvious drive to spread the word about what they’re doing, maybe a new video isn’t such a surprise, but it’s a welcome arrival anyway, as it gives more of a look at what Bison Machine are all about.

To that end: Guns, motorcycle riding through scenes of urban decay, antlers on drums, bone-handle hunting knives, wah pedals, weirdly opaque and murderous woodland rituals, fuzz and memorable songwriting. I mean, there’s probably more there, but between the live footage from Smalls in Detroit and the sort of atmospheric visuals set against it, the band present a sense of mood that’s perhaps severe next to the song “Viking Hand” itself, but not necessarily out of place. It gets awfully cold in Michigan, after all. Seems likely that one way or another somebody would wind up with a knife in their back after running into a shrouded tree-worshiper someplace deep in the forest. Oh, and did I mention antlers on drums? Because that’s particularly awesome.

Video is below for the in-digging. Hope you enjoy:

Bison Machine, “Viking Hand” official video

Stream and share the official video for ‘Viking Hand’ by Michigan’s Bison Machine | Debut album Hoarfrost released 10th July

Burning bright with lysergic energy Bison Machine’s Hoarfrost – the band’s debut album originally self-released to notable acclaim among the stoner rock community earlier this year – will get an official release this July through Germany’s Kozmik Artifactz/Bilocation Records, Europe’s leading purveyor of heavy psych, blues and stoner rock.

Worshippers of volume, Bison Machine have gained a reputation for their frenzied, high velocity live shows, welding Graveyard and Pentagram influenced shuffles onto the back of 70s Motor City rock and 90s stoner grooves. If you’re a fan of pounding, colossal blues and heavy Zep-driven riffs then the Hamtramck four-piece’s gnarled and muscular guitar and vocal work on tracks like ‘Cosmic Ark’, ‘Gamekeeper’s Thumb’ and ‘Viking Hand’ will leave you floored, broken and bloodied.

Hoarfrost by Bison Machine will be released on CD and limited, high performance 180g vinyl on 10th July via Kozmik Artifactz/Bilocation Records
Bison Machine:

John deVries – Guitar
Breck Crandell – Drums
Tom Stec – Vocals
Anthony Franchina – Bass

Bison Machine on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz

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Temple of Void Sign to Shadow Kingdom Records

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

temple of void

Yours truly rated Temple of Void‘s 2014 lurker Of Terror and the Supernatural (review here) as one of the best debuts of the year, so you’ll pardon me if I think it’s a good thing it’s getting another look. The record’s second go around will come in Sept. courtesy of Shadow Kingdom, for whom it was also recently announced that Temple of Void would play at their Shadow Kingdom Riot fest.

That gig is on Sept. 3, and the album is reissued on Sept. 4 — you’d almost swear these things were planned out ahead of time — so it seems to me like the Shadow Kingdom Riot will turn into a de-facto-if-not-officially-announced-as-such release party for Of Terror and the Supernatural, which was originally released by Saw Her Ghost and Rain without End Records, its pile of victims continuing to grow.

Or, as the PR wire puts it:

temple of void of terror and the supernatural

TEMPLE OF VOID Signs to Shadow Kingdom Records

Detroit Death-Doom Despots to See Debut LP, ‘Of Terror and the Supernatural’ Re-issued September 4

Detroit death-doom band TEMPLE OF VOID has signed to underground independent label Shadow Kingdom Records. The band’s first order of business with its new label will be a re-issue of the group’s debut album, Of Terror and the Supernatural, a pulverizing record that steamrolls via a morbid, high-fidelity death metal assault. The album, which has been called, “powerful and overwhelming like thick fog in an old graveyard” will see a September 4 release through Shadow Kingdom, complete with eerie cover art by legendary science fiction and fantasy artist Bruce Pennington.

Wielding a weighty, deafening power that has been called “a right balance of creeping lurch and extreme plunder”, TEMPLE OF VOID creates crushing metal that will appeal to fans of Autopsy, Bolt Thrower, Dismember, Hooded Menace, Incantation and (old) Paradise Lost. The band’s sound combines the slow tempos and depressive moods of doom metal with the subhuman vocals and double kick drumming of classic death metal. Check out the video for TEMPLE OF VOID’s “Savage Howl” now at this location.

TEMPLE OF VOID will perform as one of the featured acts at the just-announced Shadow Kingdom Riot, set to take place on September 3 at Cleveland’s Agora Ballroom. The evening will showcase a diverse lineup from Shadow Kingdom Records’s ever-growing roster, and will see TEMPLE OF VOID share the stage along with now-labelmates Venomous Maximus, Iron Man and more. For full details, visit the show’s Facebook event page HERE.

Track listing:
1.) The Embalmer’s Art
2.) Savage Howl
3.) Beyond the Ultimate
4.) Invocation of Demise
5.) To Carry this Corpse Evermore
6.) Rot in Solitude
7.) Exanimate Gaze
8.) Bargain in Death

Tour dates:
June 18 Pittsburgh, PA The Smiling Moose (w/ Cemetery Filth, Abysme)
June 19 Philadelphia, PA Millcreek Tavern (w/ Crypt Sermon)
June 20 Bayonne, NJ Lot 13 Longbar (w/ Morpheus Descends, Malignancy, etc.)

Temple of Void, “Savage Howl” official video

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Bison Machine Stream “Giant’s Coffin” from Debut LP Hoarfrost

Posted in audiObelisk on June 2nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

bison machine

This past weekend, Michigan four-piece Bison Machine wrapped up their “Mind over Mountain” tour with New York blues rockers Geezer, supporting their debut full-length release, Hoarfrost. Following up a 2013 self-titled EP, Hoarfrost was initially released in Jan. 2015 digitally and has been picked up for a vinyl issue on Bilocation Records/Kozmik Artifactz next month. That it would be a European imprint(s) picking up the release makes particular sense given the Hamtramck outfit’s breadth of sound, which is as classically-minded as it is modern, ultimately, but more in line with a Euro-style focus on tone and shuffle, post-Graveyard boogie delivered with post-Queens of the Stone Age fuzz. It makes for an engaging blend over the course of Hoarfrost‘s 36 minute/six tracks, but ultimately it’s the band’s vitality that sells it.

Without that, songs like “Speed of Darkness” and “Cosmic Ark” might still have their motoring side, but no way it would carry over as well as it does. Vocalist Tom Stec moves smoothly between a croon and falsetto in bison machine hoarfrosteasy-sounding command from the start, and guitarist John de Vries, bassist Anthony Franchina and drummer Breck Crandell tie together full-toned fuzz and rhythmic shifts either as beds for chorus hooks or, on longer cuts, explorations of their own. “Old Moon,” the second of the three songs on side A, has a bit of both working — perhaps more than “Speed of Darkness,” which is its side B counterpart — but each half of Hoarfrost caps with a longer cut and it’s clearly the intent of the album that one side should be in conversation with the other.

And so they are. “Cosmic Ark” and “Old Moon” set the stage for “Gamekeeper’s Thumb,” and “Viking Hand” and “Speed of Darkness” do likewise for “Giant’s Coffin.” The two finales are the most extended pieces on Bison Machine have on offer, and while neither is an all-out jam to the exclusion of structure, they both certainly carry that sensibility in their root. “Gamekeeper’s Thumb” moves from an initial bass intro to the album’s most satisfying heavy psych roll, while “Giant’s Coffin” develops its progressions into a balance between push and sprawl, managing to offer plenty of both and, in summarizing the record as whole, remains catchy and focused even as it plunges into the solo-topped reaches of its second half.

It’s the closer that I have the pleasure of streaming today ahead of Hoarfrost‘s release on Bilocation/Kozmik Artifactz. Please find it on the player below, followed by some PR wire background on Bison Machine, dig in and enjoy:

Burning bright with lysergic energy Bison Machine’s Hoarfrost – the band’s debut album originally self-released to notable acclaim among the stoner rock community earlier this year – will get an official release this July through Germany’s Kozmik Artifactz/Bilocation Records, Europe’s leading purveyor of heavy psych, blues and stoner rock.

Worshippers of volume, Bison Machine have gained a reputation for their frenzied, high velocity live shows, welding Graveyard and Pentagram influenced shuffles onto the back of 70s Motor City rock and 90s stoner grooves. If you’re a fan of pounding, colossal blues and heavy Zep-driven riffs then the Hamtramck four-piece’s gnarled and muscular guitar and vocal work on tracks like ‘Cosmic Ark’, ‘Gamekeeper’s Thumb’ and ‘Viking Hand’ will leave you floored, broken and bloodied.

Hoarfrost by Bison Machine will be released on CD and limited, high performance 180g vinyl on 10th July via Kozmik Artifactz/Bilocation Records.

Vocals: Tom Stec
Guitar: John deVries
Bass: Anthony Franchina
Drums: Breck Crandell

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Kozmik Artifactz

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Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor to Release Desert Brain on June 2

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 18th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

sisters of your sunshine vapor

Four years after the release of their memorable and engaging second record, Spectra Spirit (review here), Detroit psychedelic explorers Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor will issue their third album, Desert Brain, on June 2 via Spain’s Mongolic Records. I don’t know much about the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which I assume is what the band mean by “northern” when they talk about where they did the album, but my understanding is land is uncrowded and the night sky is beautiful, so yeah, I can see where maybe a psych-minded trio might adjourn there to record. How that translates to Desert Brain in terms of topography, I’m not sure, but I look forward to finding out.

Info follows along with the dates Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor will perform in Spain following the release. Dig it:


Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor to Release Desert Brain June 2nd on Mongolic Records

Long-Awaited Third Album from the Detroit Psych-Rock Band to Be Launched on the Eve of Their First European Tour

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor are set to release Desert Brain, their third fully selfrecorded album, on Spain’s Mongolic Records June 2nd. The album will be available digitally, on cd, and on translucent clear vinyl with aqua splatter. The album features all new, original artwork by Sisters’ bassist and keyboardist, Eric Oppitz, who has given Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor their signature visual style. The release is scheduled to coincide with the band’s European tour, which will take them through France, Spain, and Greece. While already having built up a strong following overseas, this will be the first opportunity for European fans to witness Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor’s intense live show.

The band’s reputation as gear-heads is fully apparent on Desert Brain, with its many layered guitar effects, swirling keyboards, distorted chimes, and ephemeral voices all captured in analog to ½-inch tape. As with 2009’s eponymous first album and 2011’s Spectra Spirit, all recording and mixing was handled by Oppitz. Lead singer and guitarist Sean Morrow, drummer Rick Sawoscinski, and Oppitz have delivered their most ambitious album yet, with its ten tracks seamlessly blending together leaving little time for the listener to catch their breath.

In 2014, Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor packed up their recording equipment and locked themselves in an isolated cabin in Northern Michigan to lay the foundation tracks for what would become their third full-length album and first since 2011’s Spectra Spirit. The trip away from their own Space Camp Studios was born more out of necessity than a desire for a change of scenery — misfortune struck a month before recording was to begin when a particularly heavy rainstorm flooded Morrow’s basement and bands studio in thigh-deep water.

Morrow describes his goal with Desert Brain as to “create an experience full of highs and lows that take the listener on a journey, eventually leaving them emotionally spent but fulfilled.” The album is once again anchored by Sawoscinski’s massive drum sound, which gives the record an almost relentless heaviness. Added during the recording of Spectra Spirit, the presence of Oppitz’s organ have been expanded upon to produce an even greater sonic depth. Desert Brain is Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor’s most ambitious album to date.

Desert Brain Track Listing
Side A
1. Seventh Scene
2. Major Medicine
3. What’s your cloud nine, 37?
4. Magic Mother’s Tongue / A Little Jaunt into the Light
Side B
1. Girl of a Thousand Voices
2. The Prettiest Sounds of Purgatory
3. Long Lovers Sun
4. Desert Brain
5. Like a Forest Runs
6. Highly Enchanting Eye

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor Spain shows:
9 Junio- Barcelona + RUNA
10 Junio- Madrid + My Expansive Awareness + Árida
11 Junio- Valencia (Mongolic Records Release Party)

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, “Black Mind”

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