Posted in Whathaveyou on December 6th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Kudos to Portland, Oregon-based sludgers Stoneburner on signing to Neurot Recordings. The heavy, heavy (yup, they’re heavy enough to say it twice) four-piece will issue their new album, Life Drawing, through the venerable imprint this coming spring. Their last album, Sickness Will Pass(discussed here), was their full-length debut and came out in 2012 on Seventh Rule.
Having already shared the stage with an impressive list of bands that you can see below, Stoneburner will join Eyehategod, Graves at Sea and others at the Oakland Metro Operahouse on Jan. 24 for what’s sure to be one of the crustiest nights in the early New Year. Poster for that and announcement of the signing follow here, courtesy of the PR wire:
STONEBURNER: Portland Sludge Metallers Join The Neurot Recordings Family
The Neurot Recordings family is pleased to welcome the audio devastation that is Portland’s STONEBURNER to their expanding roster of forward-thinking music.
Featuring four members with a compelling musical ancestry that winds through Buried At Sea, Buried Blood, Heathen Shrine and more, STONEBURNER — named after a subterranean weapon from the novel Dune — spews forth a groin-churning orchestration of crust-strewn, hypnotic, sludge metal, their torrid odes glazed with pain and distress. The band will unleash the follow-up to their 2012 debut full-length, Sickness Will Pass, which The Sludgelord fittingly crowned, “an ugly, visceral and truly terrifying beast of an album,” via Neurot Recordings this Spring. Titled Life Drawing, the offering promises to take their sonic crush to entirely new levels of heaviness.
Notes the STONEBURNER collective on their union with Neurot: “We’ve been working on the material for this album for a long time now and couldn’t feel better about how it’s come together. We’re humbled and honored that Neurot have asked to be involved. Since the band formed, we’ve always done our best to work with people we respect and know personally, signing to Neurot is an extension of that…another step in combining our personal and musical lives and bringing it all full circle.”
STONEBURNER was spawned in early 2008 though the bands’ familial roots reach back two decades. To describe STONEBURNER’s music one need only look to the list of bands with whom they’ve shared the stage: Yob, Sleep, Eyehategod, Neurosis, Buzzov-en, Weedeater, Saint Vitus, Watain, Tragedy, Noothgrush, Graves At Sea, Lord Dying, Drop Dead, Whitehorse, Windhand, Bastard Noise and so on. For STONEBURNER, it’s all about domination through amplification and soul-cleansing catharsis.
STONEBURNER personnel: Elijah Boland – guitar Jason Depew – guitar Damon Kelly – bass/vocals Jesse McKinnon drums/vocals
Further STONEBURNER intel, including Life Drawing release date and track listing, to be announced in the coming weeks.
Posted in Whathaveyou on December 4th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Corrections House‘s debut LP, Last City Zero, is out now on Neurot. It’s received no shortage of hyperbole around its apocalyptic atmospherics, and I guess at some point soon I’ll probably add a dose of my own to that mix — please try to contain your excitement. Currently on tour in Europe and with two slots at Roadburn ahead of them, the considerably-pedigreed outfit will start 2014 on the road down the West Coast of the US. They’ve also got a new video out for the song “Bullets and Graves” from Last City Zeroand while I wouldn’t recommend it for epileptics, you can watch at your own risk on the player that follows the PR wire info below.
It’s like this:
CORRECTIONS HOUSE: Nihilistic Collective Announces Stateside Takeovers; March Through Europe Underway
Having just begun their march through Europe, today the CORRECTIONS HOUSE legion — Mike IX Williams (Eyehategod), Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), Sanford Parker (Minsk) and their minister of propaganda, Seward Fairbury — announce a short run of Stateside takeovers to usher in 2014. Set to commence January 2nd in Seattle, CORRECTIONS HOUSE will pillage their way through Portland, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, leaving souls in torment and stages in ruins.
CORRECTIONS HOUSE are currently touring in support of their Last City Zero debut, issued via Neurot Recordings in late October. Produced by Parker at Electrical Audio, Soma Studios, 60 Psycho Hum and Nodferatu’s Lair, Last City Zero is an audio product of societal ruin and psychological decay. At once beautifully hideous, graceful and terrifying, the record travels far beyond the confines of any one specific genre and continues to reap the applause of exploratory fans and critics globally.
In related news, CORRECTIONS HOUSE recently unleashed a video for the track “Bullets And Graves” upon unsuspecting masses. Directed by Brian Sowell, “Bullets And Graves” is a flagrantly violent, roadside nightmare dominated by shady characters, vicious beatdowns and nameless destinations. Shot completely in black and white, the production is as captivating as it is disconcerting.
CORRECTIONS HOUSE Live Actions 2013/2014 [remaining dates]: 12/04/2013 Loppen – Copenhagen, DK 12/06/2013 Srattbad – Berlin, DE 12/07/2013 DB’s – Utrecht, NL 12/08/2013 VK Club – Brussels, BE 12/09/2013 Patronaat – Haarlem, NL 12/10/2013 La Fleche D’or – Paris, FR 12/11/2013 Le Sonic – Lyon, FR 12/12/2013 Le Romandie – Lausanne, CH 12/13/2013 Dachstock – Bern, CH 12/14/2013 Cycle Club – Calenzano (Florence), IT 12/15/2013 Garage – Saarbrücken, DE 12/16/2013 Feierwerk/ Hansa39 – Munich, DE 12/17/2013 Arena – Vienna, AT 12/18/2013 Klub Pilot – Prague, CZ 12/19/2013 Dürer Kert – Budapest, HU 12/20/2013 Kitsch Off Scena – Krakow, PL 12/21/2013 Pod Palacykiem – Wroclaw, PL 1/02/2014 The Highline – Seattle, WA w/ Wrekmeister Harmonies 1/03/2014 Dante’s – Portland, OR w/ Wrekmeister Harmonies 1/05/2014 Echoplex – Los Angeles, CA w/ Wrekmeister Harmonies, Author & Punisher 1/06/2014 Soda Bar – San Diego, CA w/ Wrekmeister Harmonies, Author & Punisher 1/07/2014 Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA w/ Wrekmeister Harmonies, Sutekh, Hexen 4/10/2014 013 Venue – Tilburg, NL 4/11/2014 Het Patronaat – Tilburg, NL
Last City Zero is available via Neurot Recordings atTHIS LOCATION.
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 1st, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
I have to wonder how one gets appointed the “minister of propaganda” for a band like Corrections House. Seems like a pretty good gig. Probably pretty cushy too, since the aim of propaganda is to win opinions to your side, and with the lineup of vocalist Michael IX Williams (Eyehategod), guitarist Scott Kelly (Neurosis), vocalist/saxophonist/etc.-ist Bruce Lamont (Yakuza) and programmer/engineer Sanford Parker (Minsk/Buried at Sea), the band sells itself. If nothing else, they are not short on built-in appeal.
The full-length debut from Corrections House, Last City Zero, is out now on Neurot, and in addition to the revelation this week that they’d be playing Roadburn in 2014 — performing solo sets and as the full band in a manner similar to what they did on their debut US tour earlier this year (review here) — word has come down of an earlier European campaign for this December.
Ever reliable, the PR wire puts it like this:
CORRECTIONS HOUSE Announce Live Takeovers Including Two Special Performances At Roadburn 2014; Last City Zero Out NOW Via Neurot Recordings
CORRECTIONS HOUSE – the collective musical extractions of Mike IX Williams (Eyehategod), Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), Sanford Parker (Minsk) and their minister of propaganda, Seward Fairbury – is pleased to announce their European takeover this December. The rituals will commence on December 3rd in Hamburg, Germany and sully more than a dozen European metropolises before coming to a close December 21st in Wroclaw, Poland.
Fairbury made the following statement on the adventures: “There is no possible way to capture and enslave what has already been freed from within. The destruction that is given is also forgiven and so begets the path that we all have chosen. CORRECTIONS HOUSE is on this path, the one and same path as those who have walked, crawled and bled before them. Europe, you are on this path. CORRECTIONS HOUSE will see you in December of 2013. And so it begins.”
Additionally, CORRECTIONS HOUSE will preach the end-time message atop the main stage of the 013 venue in Tilburg, at Roadburn 2014. On Thursday April 10th they shall be hoaxing the system and smashing out selections from Last City Zero. On Friday, April 11th at Het Patronaat, Kelly, Williams, Parker and Lamont will each perform solo material, aided and abetted by a selection of others as they see fit. As a precursor to the overseas assaults, CORRECTIONS HOUSE will level the Empty Bottle in Chicago on November 30th with additional stateside presentations to be announced in the coming weeks.
CORRECTIONS HOUSE will be touring in support of their Last City Zero debut released worldwide earlier this week via Neurot Recordings. Produced by Parker at Electrical Audio, Soma Studios, 60 Psycho Hum and Nodferatu’s Lair, Last City Zero offers up eight psychologically alarming hymns that span well beyond the traditional confines of sound. CORRECTIONS HOUSE is a meeting of minds and ideologies that sees all four members incorporating their obvious individual talents and voices while simultaneously carving paths away from the sounds for which they are usually known. On Last City Zero, they traverse tectonic plate-shifting doom and the downcast gloom of Kelly’s usual ouevre into mutated industrial hissing and clanging EBM beats from Parker, squalls and drones of oblique saxophone from Lamont and Williams’ familiar phlegm-drenched fire-spitting ire and all points in-between. Together they embrace the unkind, the diseased, the forgotten, the morose, their lush anti-soundscrapes and shadowy verses – at once beautifully hideous, graceful and terrifying — a manifestation of societal ruin and psychological decay. Cold, mechanical, prosaic and pungent, Last City Zero is boundless in its genre voyage.
CORRECTIONS HOUSE Live Actions 2013: 11/30/2013 The Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL 12/03/2013 Hafenklang – Hamburg, GER 12/04/2013 Loopens – Copenhagen, DK 12/07/2013 DB´s – Utrecht, NL 12/08/2013 VK Club – Brussels, BE 12/09/2013 Patronaat – Harlem, NL 12/10/2013 La Fleche D’or – Paris , FR 12/11/2013 Le Sonic – Lyon, FR 12/12/2013 Le Romandie – Lausanne, CH 12/13/2013 Dachstock – Bern, CH 12/14/2013 Cycle Club – Calenzano (Florence), IT 12/15/2013 Garage – Saarbrücken, GER 12/17/2013 Arena – Vienna, AT 12/18/2013 U Pilotu – Prague, CZ 12/19/2013 Dürrer Kert – Budapest, HU 12/20/2013 Lizard King – Krakow, PL 12/21/2013 Pod Palacykiem – Wroclaw, PL 4/10/2014 013 Venue – Tilburg, NL 4/11/2014 Het Patronaat – Tilburg, NL
Posted in Features on September 27th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
As they begin to celebrate 15 years together, Italian cosmic doom trio Ufomammut find themselves working under two coinciding principles: They always surprise and they’re consistently voraciously forward thinking. Perhaps it’s somewhat less surprising than it might initially seem that eventually these impulses would run into each other. Their Magickal Mastery Tour began this week in Europe, with the band — bassist/vocalist/keyboardist Urlo, guitarist/keyboardist Poia and drummer Vita – putting together a setlist that spans their career from 2000′s Godlike Snakedebut all the way up to last year’s mind-expanding Neurot Recordings two-parter, Oro(reviews here and here). The impulse to surprise remains strong.
Ufomammut have had no shortage of triumphs throughout their career to date, whether it’s their landmark 2004 second outing, Snailking, or the growth of their visual-arts enterprise, Malleus as helping bring to life the vivid color and classic form of the European heavy psychedelic underground. From forming their own label, Supernatural Cat, to never failing to refine and develop their sound across 2005′s Lucifer Songs, their 2006 collaboration with Lento, as well as 2008′s Idolum and 2010′s masterpiece, Eve(review here), Ufomammut have continued to go bigger and deeper, creating a psychedelia that’s as crushing tonally as it is atmospheric and influencing countless others in their wake. Their style has never been anything but their own, and as far as I’m concerned, they’re one of the most pivotal and essential acts in heavy music today.
That being the case, as Ufomammut embark on the Magickal Mastery Tour, it seemed reasonable to hit them up for a few brief reflections on their time together these last 15 years, how things have changed for the band and where they might go following Oro. Having interviewed the band before, I know they’re men of brevity and the Q&A certainly follows that course, but two days into the run, here are the remaining Magickal Mastery Tour dates should you be fortunate enough to be someplace in the world that also happens to be in their path:
MAGIKAL MASTERY TOUR DATES:
27 sept – Kulturpalast – Wiesbaden (D)*
28 sept – Het Depot – Leuven (B)*
29 sept – Vera – Groningen (NL)*
01 oct – The Fleece – Bristol (UK)*
02 oct – Brudenell social club – Leeds (UK)*
03 oct – The Underworld – London (UK)*
04 oct – 4AD – Diksmuide (BE)*
05 oct – Römer – Bremen (D)*
06 oct – KB18 – Copenhagen (DK)
07 oct – Blitz – Oslo (NOR) (w/ Tombstones)
09 oct – Luttako – Jväskyla (FIN)
10 oct – Kuudes Linja – Helsinki (FIN) (w/ Suma)
11 oct – Yo Talo – Tampere (FIN)
12 oct – Nuclear Nightclub – Oulu (FIN)
17 oct – Progresja – Warsaw (PL)
18 oct – Bii Nu – Berlin (D)
19 oct – Keep it Low Festival – Munich (D)
*all dates with Zolle in support
The complete Q&A with Ufomammut follows after the jump. Please enjoy.
The track “We Let the Hell Come” would wind up as one of the most memorable songs on Scott Kelly‘s 2012 Scott Kelly and the Road Home album, The Forgiven Ghost in Me. Interpreted with subtle, still-minimalist interplay of electric and acoustic guitar and Kelly‘s mournful, gravel-throated wonderings, it was a highlight of the record (review here), engaging with a sweet, sad melody and the persistent strum of Kelly‘s strings. Little in that version would link “We Let the Hell Come” to its prior interpretation — the song having been performed over two years earlier live by Shrinebuilder.
At the very start of the video below, filmed at Skully’s in Columbus, Ohio, as part of the 2010 Scion Rock Fest – Shrinebuilder headlined that venue for the night; YOB, Pelican, Acrassicauda and others also played — the band says that “We Let the Hell Come” will be on the next record. It may well still be, but more than three years later, a follow-up to Shrinebuilder‘s 2009 self-titled debut (review here) has yet to surface, and with the band’s members — Kelly (also in Neurosis), Scott “Wino” Weinrich (also in The Obsessed andSaint Vitus at this point, as well as putting out solo material), Dale Crover (the Melvins) and Al Cisneros (Sleep and Om) — busy with their respective main outfits, it may be that Shrinebuilder was a one-time planetary alignment that we won’t be fortunate enough to see again.
If that’s the case, all the better that clips like this one of “We Let the Hell Come” are out there — the song also showed up on Shrinebuilder‘s Live in Europe 2010 vinyl, which I regret not buying when I had the chance — to give a sampling of what might’ve been or, who knows, might still be when and if there’s a second Shrinebuilder outing. This video was filmed by Chris Kimbrough and I hope you enjoy and have an excellent Wino Wednesday:
Shrinebuilder, “We Let the Hell Come” Live at Scion Rock Fest 2010
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 15th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Pretty bold move to even think about leaving your house in the Southeast in July, let alone get in a vehicle and do shows, but intrepid North Carolinian psych purveyors U.S. Christmas are taking on the task nonetheless. With Generation of Vipers in tow they’ll be facing the swelter head on, finding refuge in venues alongside the likes of Sons of Tonatiuh and Divine Circles.
Get your icepacks on:
USX To Tour Southeast US With Fellow Appalachian Act Generation of Vipers This Week
Appalachian masters of dark psychedelia, USX, will take to the road this week for a run of shows through the Southeastern US states alongside local brethren Generation Of Vipers. The five-city run begins on Wednesday, July 17th in Asheville followed by Athens, Atlanta, Savannah and Columbia through next weekend, the two acts to share the stage with Sons of Tonatiuh, Across Tundras and more throughout the trek.
Stated USX founder Nate Hall of the trek: “We are anticipating some good hot and sweaty shows with our good friends Generation of Vipers, Sons of Tonatiuh, and some cool new southern bands. We are hitting some of our favorite cities and it would be cool to see a ton of people come out. As always, we will play as loud and hard as we can. And we are LOADED with merch.”
USX Tour w/ Generation Of Vipers: 7/17/2013 The Boiler Room – Asheville, NC 7/18/2013 Flicker – Athens, GA 7/19/2013 529 – Altanta, GA w/ Sons of Tonatiuh, Across Tundras 7/20/2013 The Jinx – Savannah, GA 7/21/2013 Jakes – Columbia, SC
A six-pack of talented musicians, USX, having converted the name from their initial moniker U.S. Christmas, is a long-running and major element to the Neurot Recordings roster, with a plethora of LPs and other releases as well as Nate Hall’s maiden solo effort on the label’s roster. The latest USX studio effort, the epic The Valley Path, was released via Neurot in mid-2011, the expansive album consisting of one mammoth, nearly forty-minute track of esoteric beauty, showcasing the sextet’s uneasily-classified folk and psyche-driven rock at its most expansive yet.
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 28th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
If the response to the track streamed here is anything to go by, the Neurot debut from Arkansas-based Iron Tongue, The Dogs Have Barked, the Birds Have Flown, arrives with no shortage of advance fanfare, but might still prove a creeper to the general public. Catching immediate attention because of Rwake‘s Chris “CT” Terry in the frontman role, the moody Southern grooves and heavy vibes nonetheless carve out their own identity across the album’s seven cuts, and it was for that reason I thought the record was worth a release date plug. The Dogs Have Barked, the Birds Have Flown is out now.
PR wire info and a live clip of opener “Ever After” follow here:
IRON TONGUE Debut Out Today Via Neurot!
Neurot Recordings is pleased to release the debut from Arkansas southern rock collective IRON TONGUE! Fronted by Chris “CT” Terry, the founding frontman of sludge legion Rwake, IRON TONGUE formed when a group of veteran players with diverse musical backgrounds found a common interest in the need to get down and dirty and way, way gone.
Churning a soulful blend of girthy, heavily amped, blues-based rock, IRON TONGUE aren’t singing of magical moonlit escapades. The band offer up songs of pain, regret and heartache that recall everything from the proto-metal stomp of Blue Cheer and Grand Funk to the darkest hours of Kiss, Deep Purple, Buddy Guy and ‘Skynyrd. Having spent over three years performing steadily throughout the South, IRON TONGUE has traversed the Midwest and East Coast with Memphis kindred spirits The Dirty Streets, in addition to sharing bills with the likes of Black Tusk, Scott Kelly, The Sword, High on Fire, Crowbar, The Body, Lita Ford and fellow Arkansans Pallbearer. A split 7” with The Dirty Streets, featuring a ballsy version of KISS’s “Two Timer” served as a precursor to the creation their debut full-length for Neurot.
Titled The Dogs Have Barked, The Birds Have Flown, the seven track offering was recorded and produced by soundsmith Billy Anderson (Melvins, Sleep, Neurosis, etc) at IRON TONGUE guitarist Jason Tedford’s Wolfman Studios. Called “a solid slab of balls to the wall shameless rock, with a power and an edge and soul that rarely exists in music today,” by Neurosis’ Steve Von Till, The Dogs Have Barked, The Birds Have Flown is set for release via Neurot Recordings on May 27th in Europe and May 28th in North America.
Comments drummer Stan James of joining the Neurot family: “IRON TONGUE is excited and honored to be a part of the Neurot team! We are looking forward to working hard every step of the way and we are committed to making music that everyone will be proud of.”
IRON TONGUE: Jason Tedford – Guitar Mark Chiaro – Guitar Andy Warr – Bass Stan James – Drums CT – Vocals JR Top – Keyboards Stephanie Smittle – Backing Vocals
Posted in audiObelisk on April 16th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Those looking for similarities between Iron Tongue‘s full-length debut, The Dogs Have Barked, the Birds Have Flown, and frontman Chris “CT” Terry‘s work in post-doomers Rwake will find them few and far between — but not completely absent. Terry is joined in the Little Rock, Arkansas-based six-piece by backing vocalist Stephanie Smittle, guitarists Jason Tedford and Mark Chiaro, bassist Andy Warr and drummer Stan James and he brings to his approach a style of clean-sung but still throaty shouts, at times veering toward that bottom-of-the-mouth soul that Phil Anselmo brought to Down II, but as on the centerpiece “Moon Unit,” he finds his own personality within the material as well. Pacing also helps — Skynyrd by way of Crowbar — and where so much Southern heavy is bent on ZZ Top riffs rehashed at double-speed, Iron Tongue keep their grooves slow, coupling Tedford and Chiaro‘s trodden guitar work with organ textures and Warr‘s consuming low end.
But for the earlier “Witchery” — distinguished by the line, “The cocaine has a lock on my brain,” which opens the chorus — and the stomping finale “Said ‘n’ Done,” most of The Dogs Have Barked, the Birds Have Flown keep the workingman’s downer feel set by opener “Ever After,” Smittle‘s vocals coming on in layers to introduce a key element in Iron Tongue‘s approach: the band’s unabashed penchant for melody. They could’ve easily started the record with a rager, but if the title wasn’t enough of a hint, they clearly wanted to make it plain that there’s more to what they do than redundant burl and dudely posturing in songs about drinking. So be it. Likewise, the penultimate cut on The Dogs Have Barked, the Birds Have Flown, “7 Days,” summarizes much of the record’s emotionality before the final rush of “Said ‘n’ Done,” nestling into a mid-paced groove over which Terry delivers some of his most effective work, answered in the chorus by Smittle to result in one of the best hooks present throughout.
Obviously Terry‘s tenure in Rwake is going to earn at least a mention when it comes to Iron Tongue‘s work, but the album — cumbersomely titled as it is — makes no bones about establishing its own context and working on its own merits in establishing an atmosphere and constructing a genuine sonic breadth out of slow riffs, organic production, Southern woes and heaviness that goes beyond the tonal. As a piece of the whole, I think “7 Days” represents these aspects well, and I’m thrilled to be able to premiere the track on the player below.
The Dogs Have Barked, the Birds Have Flown is due out May 28 in North America (day before in Europe) on Neurot Recordings. Please enjoy:
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
Iron Tongue‘s debut, The Dogs Have Barked, the Birds Have Flown, was recorded at Jason Tedford‘s Wolfman Studios by Billy Anderson. More info at the following links:
Posted in Reviews on January 21st, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
I caught the light at just the right time as I was leaving the house to see Neurosis at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple, and it wound up being one of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve ever seen in my humble river valley. Five minutes earlier or five minutes later and I’d have missed it. I took a picture before I got in the car and before I was up the hill out, felt the need to stop the car in the middle of the street and grabanother on my phone. Right place, right time.
The show itself was the same deal. I made it to Brooklyn in what I actually consider a record 85 minutes, and got to the Masonic Temple in time to stand with the early part of the line for a little over an hour. When doors opened, I headed immediately to the merch table, around which the 10 or so people in front of me on line also swarmed, and then made my way to the front, where I planted. For the night. I got a spot in front of one of the speakers and remained there for the night, through openers Carlos Giffoni and James Plotkin & Tim Wyskida and for the whole of Neurosis‘ 90-plus-minute set. So once more, right place, right time.
Giffoni has collaborated with the likes of Merzbow and Thurston Moore, and both Plotkin and Wyskida were in Khanate (though one might more readily recognize Plotkin‘s name as preceded with the phrase “Mastered By,” as a constant stream of albums seem to be), so I expected a barrage of noise and that’s pretty much what both parties delivered. Working on a foldout table across a range of modular synths and manipulators, Giffoni assaulted the early arrivals with a wash of static, beeps, bloops and beats. Plotkin & Wyskida were, relatively speaking, more traditional, with the former running loops on his guitar through a Sunn Beta Bass amp and Wyskida peppering and accenting the improv creations on drums.
It would be a stretch to draw a line between what they were doing and Khanate, but had Alan Dubin taken the stage to start screaming, it might have resulted in a less sparse version of some of the same psychological dysfunction. Hardly a thrilling stage show, but it worked for what it was, and set the course for the evening’s volume level, which would only increase when Neurosis actually took the stage. Masonic Temple gave out free earplugs, if that’s any indicator. I don’t remember if they did the same when Sleep played in 2010, but it was the right call, anyway.
There had been some word lamenting the lack of Josh Graham‘s visuals behind and around the band while they played, and I get where that’s coming from, but really, the once every two, three or four years I might get to see Neurosis do a show, I’m there for the music and the visceral, affecting sounds blasting full bore from the stage. I didn’t feel like anything was missing watching them. Quite the opposite. As a fan, it was interesting to see them play with lights on, and made the songs seem even rawer in their presentation than they otherwise might, which for a set sandwiched by “Eye” and “Locust Star,” both from 1996′s Through Silver in Blood, worked to their benefit.
As expected, the still-fresh 2012 release, Honor Found in Decay(review here), featured heavily, and rightly so. One wouldn’t expect to trod out “the hits” — like Scott Kelly or Steve Von Till is going to stand at the mic and go, “How’s everyone feelin’ tonight? Here’s one off Souls atZero!” — and in fact, neither of them said a word to the crowd the whole night. They began “Eye” without ceremony and ended “Locust Star” in the same, albeit noisier, fashion, with the only real direct contact between band and audience being from drummer Jason Roeder, who clasped his hands and bowed his head in a gesture of thanks on his way off stage. That might have seemed strange to anyone who’d never seen the band before, but it’s how they do, and again, without the visuals, it made even more sense. All there was, was the music, the performance. That’s what you get.
The would-be asterisk point to make here is that Neurosis put more of themselves physically and emotionally into their performance than any band I’ve ever watched on a stage. As influential as their recorded output has been, their live show — immediately made a special occasion for how infrequently one might occur — is entirely their own, and however inhuman(e) the audio might seem upon receipt, their delivery is almost painfully human. This goes to the core of the most prevalent misconception about Neurosis and why no post-metal act in their wake has been able to capture the same sort of power: It’s them.
Whether it’s Dave Edwardson running in circles like a madman, throwing his bass around his body and jumping on mic for an occasional growl that wouldn’t be out of place over Napalm Death at their most classic, or synth/sample specialist Noah Landis swaying to the noise and looking like his head is about to explode with every keystroke, the steady presence of Roeder behind, Kelly‘s grimaced screaming and rhythmic shoulder-banging contortions or Von Till‘s weathered expressiveness in his vocals and guitar, these moments, “cherished and driven,” are wholly their own. It wouldn’t work with anyone else.
Following Honor Found in Decay‘s explosive “My Heart for Deliverance,” the slowly creeping “At the End of the Road” from 2007′s Given to the Risingand the title-track of 1999′s Times of Gracemade for a fitting pair, the former rife with a mounting intensity and the latter paying it off with thrust that even Giffoni‘s low-end pulsations had done little to presage. I wanted to pay particular attention to Landis, whose contributions to the latest album were a standout element throughout, and the tension brought to the drones between songs and within them proved likewise to be a key and previously underappreciated factor in the live experience.
Since most of what Neurosis puts on their albums is captured as live as possible, the arrangement and mix of their stage show is roughly the same. I remember seeing them at Philly’s TLA in 2004, watching “Burn” from that year’s The Eye of Every Stormand saying, “Perfect,” out loud when it was over. It may or may not have been, but either way, I had the order wrong. It’s the records capturing the live show, not the live show mirroring the records. They didn’t play anything off The Eye of Every Storm this time through at the Masonic Temple, returning to Given to the Risingafter “Times of Grace” for the bleak and agonizing “Distill (Watching the Swarm)” – Roeder‘s drums here were a highlight driving the enveloping churn — before the quiet opening of “At the Well” from the new album brought Von Till to the fore vocally.
By then, I’d lost track of time. If you had told me they’d been on for 15 minutes, I’d have believed it, but they were about halfway through their set by the end of “At the Well,” as Von Till and Kelly traded off lead vocal parts and came together periodically. “The Tide” from 2001′s A Sun that Never Setswas a surprise inclusion and something else I couldn’t recall ever seeing them play before along with “Times of Grace,” but its slow build wasn’t out of place between “At the Well” and Honor Found in Decay opener “We all Rage in Gold,” which probably had the most straightforward groove of the night, centered around a strong riff and memorable verse from Kelly, delivered with pull-your-earplugs-out passion.
Landis once again took the lead with the foreboding intro section of “Bleeding the Pigs,” which Von Till used as a bed for tense guitar and more subdued initial vocals before the second half launched into extended pummel enough to justify the song’s position as centerpiece and a high point of Honor Found in Decay, soon brought back to ground by “Given to the Rising,” Kelly leading through the beginning progression into darker ethereal terrain. I’d been keeping tabs with the setlist by the side of Landis‘ setup, so I knew they were almost done and that only earth, sky and “Locust Star” remained. Every now and again, the press of the crowd (I hadn’t turned around in about two hours, but at some point the room filled up to sold-out capacity) was enough to push me into the speaker placed in front of the stage, but I wasn’t going to leave that spot.
When they finished “Given to the Rising,” I put my camera down and just watched “Locust Star.” It was a conscious decision in an attempt to put as little as possible between myself and the song. Like leaving when I did, waiting at the door, the earplugs and getting up front, this too was the right choice. The ringing tones at the start, Roeder‘s drums behind the contemplative guitar, it all exploded about a minute in and there was no turning back. Compared to some of Neurosis‘ compositions over the course of their career, “Locust Star” is a blip at under six minutes, but what they pack into that time has made it one of their most lasting works. If nothing else, the Through Silver in Bloodtrack made for a fitting summation of the set preceding, with Edwardson‘s bass holding powerful sway amid Kelly‘s vocals, the ferociousness of the chorus, the sheer aural push and the sudden stop. The lights stayed low for a couple minutes after they were done, as though the venue itself wasn’t sure the show was actually over.
Likewise, at first I was unwilling to move. Roeder expressed his thanks after everyone else had gone and before long the house lights were up. Before longer, I was outside, and before longest, leaving Brooklyn, relieved, smiling. I’d been anxious before the show, but all the things I worried about not working out exactly as I’d hoped did, and that tension was no match for Neurosis‘ sonic assault. That’s why some people go to church. All the more appropriate the show happened at a temple.
Posted in Whathaveyou on December 21st, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Apparently I missed a few pieces of news while I was spending eight and a half hours putting together my Top 20 yesterday, so in an effort to get caught up, here are the latest additions to Neurosis‘ shows in support of Honor Found in Decay– which, as fate would have it, featured prominently in the aforementioned list. I look forward to nerding out at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple,and if you were fortunate enough to catch them last time they were there, you should too.
The PR wire is wise in the ways of tour dates:
NEUROSIS Authenticates Additional 2013 Live Actions
Details On Vinyl Pressing Of Honor Found In Decay Released
NEUROSIS continues to confirm new live actions in support of the band’s tenth studio opus, Honor Found In Decay.
Following recent announcements on the outfit’s upcoming performances in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle, NEUROSIS have just proclaimed additional 2013 on-stage manifestations, with new shows in Brooklyn and Philadelphia planned for January, as well as Denver and Austin in February. Support acts for these new concerts are all being confirmed now, in addition to even more live performances.
The band has also been confirmed for 2013’s installment of the massive Hellfest festival in Clisson, France. The immense gathering runs from June 21st through 23rd, and will see NEUROSIS sharing the stage with Kiss, ZZ Top, Down, Bad Religion, At The Gates, Kreator and hundreds more.
A release date and further details on the anticipated vinyl edition of Honor Found In Decay have also been disclosed this week. This deluxe 2xLP pressing of the album will be unleashed February 5th in North America, February 8th in Germany/Benelux/Finland and February 11th in the UK/World, via Relapse Records/Neurot Recordings, and will be packaged in a gorgeous Stoughton tip-on gatefold jacket and accompanied by a stunning 16-page LP-sized booklet. The audio was cut directly from the original studio master tapes and pressed on 180-gram vinyl, which will be available in five different colors: 2000 on black, 1000 on translucent smoke grey, 500 on translucent yellow, 500 on translucent orange, and 100 on clear, not available to the public.
Preorders can be placed via Neurot and Relapse now!
NEUROSIS Honor Found In Decay Live Actions: 12/29/2012 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA w/ Rwake, USX, Primate 12/30/2012 The Metro – Chicago, IL w/ Bloodiest, The Atlas Moth 1/04/2013 Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA w/ Savage Republic, Ides of Gemini 1/05/2013 Showbox at the Market – Seattle, WA w/ Tragedy, Black Breath, Stoneburner 1/19/2013 Brooklyn Masonic Temple – Brooklyn, NY 1/20/2013 Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA 2/16/2013 Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO 2/17/2013 Emo’s East – Austin, TX 6/21/2013 Hellfest – Clisson, France
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 28th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Some good news from the Neurosis camp and hopefully more to come. Though the band announced yesterday they’d parted ways with visual artist Josh Graham, they’ve just unveiled some new live dates via the PR wire for a lucky handful of people in L.A., Seattle and Atlanta. Dig it:
NEUROSIS: New Stateside Live Actions Declared
NEUROSIS has this week disclosed details on new pending live actions across the country in support of Honor Found In Decay.
Newly locked-down NEUROSIS performances are now set to take place late this year into the first week of 2013 in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Seattle, with tickets for all three shows set to go on sale this Friday, November 30th. Direct ticket links for these shows are posted below, and even more additional tour actions for the group will be announced in the days ahead.
Following their massive, recent release show for Honor Found In Decay in Oakland, this week the collective have traversed the Atlantic for two special UK performances, at ATP’s Nightmare Before Christmas hosted by Steve Albini’s band Shellac, followed by a show in London with support from Godflesh.
As critical acclaim of Honor Found In Decay continues to pour in, extensive and in-depth coverage from respected outlets including a feature on the band’s most detrimental influences at Spin, as well as a massive installment of The Out Door at Pitchfork, not to mention dozens of new reviews praising the album have posted. This follows the main cover feature from Decibel Magazine, the main cover feature of The Aquarian Weekly and outstanding new live footage from the Honor Found In Decay record release show.
UK Honor Found In Decay Performances:
11/30-12/02/2012 ATP’s Nightmare Before Christmas – Camber Sands Holiday Camp, England 12/02/2012 HMV Forum – London, England w/ Godflesh
*NEW – Honor Found In Decay American Live Actions:
12/29/2012 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA 1/04/2013 Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA 1/05/2013 Showbox at the Market – Seattle, WA
You know how it is. Sometimes you wake up naked in the woods just as the heavy part kicks in on an Amenra song. You start to wonder around slowly and find a potato sack dress, so you put it on and go down to the stream to brush your teeth or take a hobo bath or whathaveyou. But hey, here’s a dead bird, so you pick it up and lay down with it on your belly and it takes about nine minutes and that’s the video for Amenra‘s “Boden – Spijt.” There you have it.
The track comes off Amenra‘s Neurot Recordings debut, Mass V, which is expected to plant a heavy-foot down on Nov. 27. All kidding aside, the song is pretty killer and worth checking out. Find it below, followed by the lyrics and the latest off the PR wire:
AMENRA Release New Video From Pending Neurot Recordings Debut
After stealing the show at Damnation Festival in Leeds this past weekend, AMENRA are firmly focused on the release of their new studio album Mass Vwhich will see the cold light of day later this month on November 27th via Neurot Recordings.
Having recently showcased their album opener “Dearborn and Buried” via their official Soundcloud page, we explode into the new week with the album’s second track “Boden,” complete with lyrics and accompanying video.
“Boden” lyrics: carry within a fear that blossoms on skin forever alone sorrow says bury my bones carry within regret for everything tear old pain away I renounce this day and I renounce every wound made in my flesh made by my flesh are you awake? what did you see? I’m a sudden hissing, right behind your ear. a white noise but it’s quiet now I am reason I am fear inflict. I call out and you fear me I call out and all the brothers in the world they hear me but the pain remains the same
AMENRA Confirmed Live Rituals: 12/01/2012 Db’s – Utrecht, NL @ Le Guess Who Festival w/ Oathbreaker 12/22/2012 Ancienne Belgique – Brussels, Belgium *record release show w/ Oathbreaker, TBHR, Scott Kelly 1/11/2013 Machinefabriek – Groningen, Netherlands @ Eurosonic Festival 2/10/2013 De Kreun – Kortrijk, Belgium w/ Eleanora 2/16/2013 Perron – Ieper, Belgium @ Winterfest 2/22/2013 Burgerweeshuis – Deventer, Netherlands w/ TBHR 2/24/2013 Mod – Hasselt, Belgium w/ Hessian 4/19/2013 Patronaat Church – Tilburg, Netherlands @ Roadburn Festival
European Tour 2013: 4/25/2013 Glazart – Paris, France w/ TBHR 4/26/2013 Epicerie Moderne– Lyon, France 4/27/2013 Boulevard Rock Club – Misano Adriatico (RN), Italy 4/28/2013 Traffic live club – Roma, Italy 4/29/2013 Lo Fi club – Milano, Italy 4/30/2013 Gaswerk – Winterthur, Switzerland 5/01/2013 Arena – Wenen, Austria 5/02/2013 Feierwerk – Munchen, Germany 5/03/2013 Conne Island – Leipzig, Germany w/ Syndrome 5/04/2013 Klub Firlej – Wroclaw, Poland @ Asymmetry Festival 5/05/2013 TBA – Germany 5/26/2012 Stuk – Leuven, Belgium w/ Oathbreaker
Posted in Features on October 26th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Talking to Neurosis is always an educational experience. This time, in conversation with guitarist/vocalist Steve Von Till, I learned that the processes by which the band makes records — specifically, the process that resulted in their latest album, Honor Found in Decay (review here) — isn’t as clean as one might think. Von Till calls it a “chaos process,” and that’s as apt a descriptor as I can come up with going by his recounting of how it all works. Where my impulse in listening to songs like “We all Rage in Gold” and “Bleeding the Pigs” is to hear either Von Till or fellow guitarist/vocalist Scott Kelly (recent interview here) at the fore and assume that whoever’s taking the lead at the moment wrote that song or that part, that’s not necessarily the case. Von Till stresses the group, the collective, and in the end, the search for or the need to put a structural idea to it says more about the listener than the band, who apparently are compelled to no such thing.
Still, there are practical considerations. A Neurosis album doesn’t just happen to take shape out of some foggy ether — if it did, Honor Found in Decayprobably would’ve followed much sooner on the heels of 2007′s Given to the Rising. It’s a gritty, emotional process and gritty, emotional music, but it takes a tremendous amount of back and forth to put together, and with members spread as far out as Idaho, Oregon and California’s Bay Area, it’s not like they can all get together in a rehearsal space three times a week and collaborate. Small groups meet, ideas are emailed back and forth, but when it comes to actually being in the same room at the same time, Von Till puts it bluntly: “Couple times a year.”
In that context, Honor Found in Decayis all the more striking. Of course, the full band — Von Till, Kelly, bassist Dave Edwardson, drummer Jason Roeder and keyboardist/sampler Noah Landis – came together to finalize the album’s seven component tracks before entering the studio with Steve Albini at the helm as engineer for the fifth time. But even so, as much as some acts agonize and argue over parts and what should go where and how many times, Neurosis in their 27th year as a band make the most of their limited hours and days together, resulting in material that’s not only characteristic of what they do or what their style is, but advances their aesthetic further, smoothing out the transitions and contrasts between heavy riffing and sparse ambience, allowing room for melodies to flourish in deconstructed atmospheres and a pervasive sense of darkness.
Von Till discusses it as well, but in that particularly, Landis is more integral to Honor Found inDecaythan he’s ever been to a Neurosis album. Both Given to the Risingand its predecessor, 2004′s The Eye of Every Storm gave hints of the depths of Landis‘ contributions, but with the new record, his manipulations are every bit as essential as the guitars, bass or drums, and it’s important to understand that these things aren’t plotted in the sense of Kelly or Von Till stepping back and saying, “Alright, now we’re gonna do this with the sampler.” It’s what comes out of that chaos process, that collaboration with the whole band, it’s no different for Landis than it is for anyone else in Neurosis.
In the interview that follows, Von Till talks about putting the album together, from the songwriting to the concepts behind the Josh Graham cover art, the continued relationship with Albini, the contrast between the tension of pummeling churn and open musical spaces, the prospects for live shows in the coming months to support the record, his Harvestman and solo projects, the growth of the band’s label, Neurot Recordings, and much more.
The complete 4,400-word Q&A is after the jump. Please enjoy.
I’m not sure how much there is left to say about the magnitude of the work Italian space doom trio Ufomammut has done. The sense I get now in listening to the two full-length albums that comprise the whole of Oro, their Neurot Recordings debut, is that they’ll probably have another record out before this one is fully comprehended. One might have said the same thing about 2010′s Eve as well, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
Broken into the two parts Oro – Opus Primum(review here) and Oro – Opus Alter(review here), Ufomammut‘s latest outing has them continuing to plunder the reaches of tonal space. Their sounds are far-out psychedelic even as they seem to bear a tectonic crunch, like plates moving continents. Bassist/vocalist/keyboardist Urlo, guitarist/keyboardist Poia and drummer Vita have persistent as a set trio since 1999, and have never failed to outdo their prior work on the subsequent outing.
The strata that’s put them into, however, is entirely their own. Eve– which was preceded by 2008′s Idolum, also one of that year’s best — was one long composition broken into individual pieces. Orois one album broken into two releases. Do you see where this is going? In a few years, Ufomammut will be issuing 10LP box sets each time out. Maybe not, but what matters most of all is that as the scale of their work has expanded, so has their creative scope, and Orois the most vibrant Ufomammut release to date. One would have to expect no less.
I waited to interview the band until Oro – Opus Alterwas released so that the full project could be discussed, and today I have the sincere pleasure of hosting both that Q&A and a video premiere for Ufomammut‘s self-made clip for the track “Sulphurdew.” Similar to how opening track “Empireum” from Oro – Opus Primum made its way to the public, “Sulphurdew” arrives as a YouTube clip constructed by the Malleus Rock Art Lab, of which Urlo — who fielded these questions — and Poia are a part.
You’ll find both the “Sulphurdew” video and the complete Q&A after the jump. Please enjoy.
Posted in Features on August 17th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Listening to Scott Kelly and the Road Home‘s The Forgiven Ghost in Me, it’s almost like Kelly — best known as the guitarist/vocalist of Neurosis — can’t escape the heavy. One doesn’t often think of folk-derived stripped-down singer-songwriterisms as being especially weighted, but even through lyrics about near-religious redemption and forgiveness, there’s a sense the spirit remains heavy. And more, the delivery remains heavy. Kelly, who is joined in The Road Home by guitarist/vocalist Greg Dale and Neurosis keyboardist Noah Landis and whose songcraft is at the core of the project, seems to just bleed the stuff.
Certainly the vast majority of his output over the last 25-plus years would bear that out, but more perhaps on The Forgiven Ghost in Me(review here) than ever before in Kelly‘s career, that sense of weight is given a counterbalance. Sure, tracks like “Within it Blood,” “We Let the Hell Come” and “The Field that Surrounds Me” — which features guests Josh Graham (A Storm of Light, also Neurosis‘ visuals) on guitar and Jason Roeder (Neurosis, Sleep) on drums — have darkened and foreboding atmospheres, but there’s an answer to them in “We Burn through the Night” and “A Spirit Redeemed to the Sun,” or even the title-track, “The Forgiven Ghost in Me.” One need only to look at the titles and find images of hell, blood, burning, the sun and fire, to get a sense of the penance that has been the price of even this partial redemption, but it’s there, anyway.
But more than this offsetting defeat and triumph, The Forgiven Ghost in Meis about the songs themselves. It is a gorgeous listen, reveling in its moodier moments but never quite letting go of its sullen melodicism. Flourishes of tape noise on the darker “Within it Blood” may seem on paper to work against, say, the deep breath that starts off the album before “A Spirit Redeemed to the Sun” begins, but in the actual listen, it’s fluid. Kelly is talking about the sharing of influences below when he posits that, “Music is a stream,” but you could just as easily apply that to the context of these songs and how he’s positioned them on the album.
In the interview that follows, Kelly discusses that positioning process, as well as his songwriting and what it was in these songs that seemed to warrant the input of Dale and Landis, as opposed to his 2008 outing, The Wake, which was directly a solo affair, and what separates Scott Kelly and the Road Home from his prior non-Neurosis collaboration with Landis in Blood and Time, and much more. Neurosis have a new album due for release in October called Honor Found in Decay (info here), but I wanted to focus this conversation more on The Forgiven Ghost in Meand the impact Kelly‘s solo work has had on a heavy underground that might not otherwise have so readily discovered the likes of Townes Van Zandt, to whom Kelly, Neurosis bandmate Steve Von Till and Shrinebuilder bandmate and acoustic tourmate Scott “Wino” Weinrich paid homage on the Songs of Townes Van Zandtthree-way split (track stream here) just a few months back.
He was as brutally honest in conversation as he is in his songwriting, as regards his work, what goes into it from and through him, and the influence it’s had on others.
You’ll find the complete Q&A after the jump. Please enjoy.