Hour of 13 Pay Homage to Jason McCash with Final Recorded Song

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 8th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Though they’ve been effectively defunct since their final full-length, 2012′s 333, and will remain that way, North Carolina’s Hour of 13 has been resurrected in the form of a one-off single called “Upon Black Wings We Die.” The track is a trad metal homage to The Gates of Slumber bassist Jason McCash, who passed away this weekend, and finds band founder Chad Davis (also of Romannis MötteTasha-Yar, etc.) playing all the instruments, adding the vocals and recording himself in a true one-man-band production.

Davis offers his own words of tribute to McCash even as he closes the book on Hour of 13, so I won’t delay further except to note that tribute shows for McCash are starting to come together in Baltimore and Boston, and those links as well as the link to the fund to help Jason McCash‘s family with their finances can be found below.

Enjoy:

Hour of 13, “Upon Black Wings We Die”

Cosmic dust. We all return to it from our birthplace. And a long journey it is to make that return. An act so simple brings forth the beginning of that journey, regardless of proper timing…

Upon hearing the news of Jason McCash’s passing, it left me extremely awestruck. The late night conversations we had, discussing the mysteries of the universe, the state of modern day Heavy Metal, and the amazing basslines that solidified all of Christian Death’s music. All now a thing of the past. And so it brings forth this:

Last night I wrote a song for Jason, a farewell to his unquestionable legacy as one of the most solid bass players in the US Heavy Metal scene. A farewell to his kind and supportive nature. A farewell to the ideas we had tossed around of doing a project in the future.

And with this memoriam brings forth the demise of Hour Of 13.

This is the last and final document of HO13. A document that proves US Heavy Metal is still alive and strong. With many great bands around to continue to carry that flame, there is no better time to let go and begin my own personal journey. Mentally I cannot foresee any other reason to remain active, as all of the bands that mattered in the resurrection of Traditional Heavy Metal have all suffered loss, it only brings about confusion and disdain. This feeling became apparent witht the passing of my celestial brother Selim Lemouchi, and now solidified with the passing of Jason. And so it begins….

Sleep well brothers, and may the experiences you both now have unlock all of the answers to the questions we had always asked.

Regards,
Chad Davis – Hour Of 13

Hour of 13 on Thee Facebooks

Baltimore Jason McCash tribute event page

Boston Jason McCash tribute event page

McCash Family Fund

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Graves at Sea and Sourvein to Release Split on May 13

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 27th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

So you take the reignited Graves at Sea, and you put them in the studio with Billy Anderson. Right? Fucking brilliant. Then you take Sourvein, now past the 20-year mark, and you put them in the studio with C.O.C.‘s Mike Dean. Also, fucking brilliant. Then you take the results of these sessions, slap some badass war-wolf art on it, press it to CD and LP, and presumably take the rest of the day off, because I don’t care what else you come up with, you’re just not gonna top that idea.

And I’m not saying I’ve heard any of this material yet or anything, but you’re in for a surprise if you think you know what to expect from Sourvein.

The two bands start a European tour April 10 at Roadburn, and Seventh Rule has the split out on CD and LP on May 13.

Check out the PR wire, telling it like it is:

GRAVES AT SEA And SOURVEIN Unite For A Release Of Ultimate Amplifier Worship; Preorders Available This Friday

Two of doom metal’s mightiest of feedback-laden riff worshippers – Portland’s GRAVES AT SEA and Cape Fear’s SOURVEIN – have united in sound, mind and spirit for the ultimate split of earth-smoldering amplifier worship.

GRAVES AT SEA, whose contributions leave an eerie aura complete with tortured vocals, foreboding composition, and a general sense of dread, occupy Side A. Recorded by Billy Anderson, (Melvins, Sleep, Neurosis) “Betting On Black” and “Confession” finds the all-consuming sludge for which the band is notorious, flooding in amongst the tortured howls and shrieks of vocalist Nathan Misterek.

SOURVEIN, who’ve now existed for two decades of distortion, damage and total doom, solidify Side B. With three songs produced and recorded by Mike Dean Of Corrosion of Conformity, these odes of heavy combine toxic riffs, grooves and just the right amount of psychedelic appeal.

Track Listing:
1. GRAVES AT SEA – Betting On Black
2. GRAVES AT SEA – Confession
3. SOURVEIN – Driffter
4. SOURVEIN – Equinox
5. SOURVEIN – Follow The Light

Both sides were mastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, Beastmilk, Nails) at Audiosiege Engineering and will be released via Seventh Rule Recordings on both CD and LP on May 13th, 2014 during the two bands’ duel conquest touring Europe and prior to their appearances at this year’s edition of the illustrious Maryland Deathfest. The first pressing of the LP will be limited to 1000 copies and come available on 160-gram black wax with an included download code. Recommended for fans of Eyehategod, Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, and all things loud and fuzzy.

Preorders will be available THIS FRIDAY (3/28) at THIS LOCATION.

http://www.facebook.com/GravesAtSea
http://www.facebook.com/pages/SOURVEIN/238932972468
http://www.seventhrule.com
http://instagram.com/seventhrule
http://seventhrulerec.tumblr.com/
http://twitter.com/seventhrule

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Corrosion of Conformity are Recording Their Next Album

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 14th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Last year, Corrosion of Conformity‘s Scion A/V-sponsored Megalodon EP continued to win the long-running North Carolina outfit favor in the wake of their 2012 self-titled (review here), their first album as a trio since 1985′s Animosity. As the studio footage of drummer Reed Mullin recording some vocal parts demonstrates, work on a follow-up is underway now.

It’s funny to think of a band who’ve been at it since 1982 — and who are back in their original lineup — as having something to prove, but with the C.O.C. audience contingent who can’t or don’t want to move beyond the fact that guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan isn’t in the band at this point and may or may not rejoin them at some future date (he’s in Down if you’re looking for him), the three-piece of bassist/vocalist Mike Dean (also Vista Chino), Mullin and guitarist Woody Weatherman seem to still be pushing against expectations born of their Deliverance era. I’m not going to argue that’s not a great, landmark record, but it was also 20 years ago, and you’re only cheating yourself if you miss out on the quality output from modern C.O.C. – who, again, are also the original C.O.C. – because of Keenan‘s absence.

My two cents. Check out Mullin belting out a new song below, followed by some PR wire info courtesy of the band’s label, Candlight Records and the link to the event page for their upcoming show at The Underworld in London on March 13:

C.O.C., Back in the Studio

Raleigh, North Carolina legends Corrosion Of Conformity are recording their next album, the follow-up to the well-received self-titled record issued via Candlelight Records in late February 2012, the reissue of their “Eye For An Eye” debut, and the released Scion A/V EP “Megalodon”. The forthcoming CD, untitled at this time, will again feature the trio of vocalist/bassist Mike Dean, guitarist Woodroe Weatherman, and drummer Reed Mullin. A new video clip from the studio can be seen below.

The initial work on the new album found the band not long out of the recording studio, having recently completed their “Megalodon” EP. The special EP was included free to all customers to the band’s official webstore. Dean said: “The EP was written, recorded, and released in two months’ time. It really challenged us in a good way.”

Formed in Raleigh in 1982, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY quickly transformed heavy music. Politically charged and socially aware, the band has influenced countless others and today remains humble about their accomplishments. With over 1.1 million albums sold in the United States, the band continues to find new fans via nonstop touring.

C.O.C. on Thee Facebooks

Candlelight Records on Thee Facebooks

C.O.C. at the Underworld event page

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Friday Full-Length: Weedeater, …And Justice for Y’all

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Weedeater, …And Justice for Y’all (2001)

“Maybe I’ll just head back/To West Virginia, by god…”

I’m not going to say that Weedeater are a band I put on all the time. They’re not. If I’m sitting down to a nice dinner with The Patient Mrs. after a long day, and we’re having cheese and crackers or something like that, she’s got a glass of wine, maybe I’m nursing the end of an iced tea or whatever it is, I’m not likely to be like, “Hey baby, time for some Dixie Dave.” My mother, bless her heart, used to tell me when I said fuck too much in school that there’s a time and place for everything. Ultimately, and after much reprimand, I realized she was correct.

And to that, I will say there are corresponding times when nothing else but Weedeater will do. I know that Buzzov*en and Eyehategod were there before them in the South and Grief and Negative Reaction too in the North — to say nothing of Bongzilla or any such Western predecessor contingent — but they captured something right from the start on 2001′s …And Justice for Y’all that I don’t think any of those other acts managed to nail in quite the same way. It’s not even about having an angry attitude, which of course plenty of sludge has. It’s about just sound like you absolutely do not give a fuck about anything or anyone. Stoned nihilism put to warped tape.

This was one of those times when nothing else would do but Weedeater, and as it happens, they’re kicking off a tour  in a couple days on the West Coast with Black Cobra and they’re slated to reissue their four to-date LPs through new label Season of Mist in advance of a fifth later in the year. One to watch for, I guess. Their last outing, 2011′s Jason… the Dragon (review here), was a hoot.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

I was all set to sit here and type out some blues song woe is me shit. Lousy week, front to back. And I don’t know if it’s the Weedeater or what, but seriously, fuck it. I don’t have the energy for that shit anyway and what would it accomplish? Bum someone out who’s maybe enjoying some good tunes? Fuck that. I hope you had a great week, and I hope you hear the Weedeater and fucking groove out and it’s a good time.

Tonight ended strong at least. Got back a bit ago from seeing Gozu debut their new lineup. An interesting venture they’ve undertaken, adding a second lead guitar. The show was good, and hell, it’s probably still going on. I split a little while after they finished to come back here and start this. Leaving a show to go home and write about music. There’s probably not a lot of people who would understand that one. That’s how it went.

Monday I’ll review that, and I’ll hit up Weedpecker and Insider next week as well for album reviews. Also Monday I hope to have up my list of albums to watch for in 2014. My hope is to start writing over the weekend. So far I’m over 30, so yeah, I guess it’s gonna be a pretty large undertaking. I think maybe I’ll leave lists alone for a while after that, though they seem to be pretty popular. Fucking even the New York Times does that shit now. Capturing a moment, I guess. I’ve never been much for the moment.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you a great and safe weekend. Have fun, kick ass, and we’ll see you back here Monday for more good times.

Please hit up the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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The Obelisk Radio Add of the Week: Innominandivm, Nocturnivm Ritvalis

Posted in Radio on January 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I happened to see on New Year’s Eve there were a few people who tuned into the radio stream the whole night. Presumably this was done as maybe some background for festivities or whathaveyou. That’s fucking awesome and I was thrilled. Innominandivm‘s Nocturnivm Ritvalis is not that kind of album. Basically, it’s the opposite. Comprised of four unflinchingly bleak drones, it’s not without a pulse, but is so resoundingly dark that light is hard-pressed to escape. The project, whose name is nigh-on-impossible to type correctly the first time — Innominandivm; nope, missed it again — is the dark-ambient alter ego of Chad Davis, multi-instrumentalist for Hour of 13 and any number of other outlets, among them Romannis Mötte, Anu, Tasha-Yar, Chains, Draath, Set, and so on. One more outlet in an already densely-populate discography? Maybe, but that doesn’t take away from the value of Nocturnivm Ritvalis in the slightest.

Each of the four cuts, titled “I” through “IV” on the 35-minute Innominandivm debut is based around a central atmosphere. The first is creeping and cinematic, the second more religious with a slow progression of organ-style tones amid open-drone wind, the third lower, more mechanical like if a cybernetic didgeridoo suddenly became sentient, and the last a 13-minute enfolding that’s tension without mercy and, like the opener, something John Carpenter would’ve been lucky to have in his heyday. Nothing is under six minutes, it’s all instrumental. There’s no payoff, no release, no hope, and since that’s obviously the intent, I can only say it works to glorious fashion. It’s easy to imagine that Davis wound up with these ideas as the result of working on other projects, or that maybe these pieces or the initial sparks from which they arose (such as anything here arises; mostly it sinks deeper and deeper) were intended for use in another context. So be it. They may be formative and minimal, but they resound nonetheless with aesthetic intent. If Davis wants to use them as the basis for future idea development or keep Innominandivm in his back pocket as a project to periodically toss out similar explorations, that’s his business.

What his long-term intent for the project might be, I don’t know, but he seems to hint that there’s more to come from Innominandivm and if that’s the case, Nocturnivm Ritvalis (am I wrong in thinking that U should be a V?) sets a deeply ambient foundation on which to build. It’s not friendly. It’s not party music. The depressive challenge Innominandivm makes, however, is one worth taking on, and for that reason, I’m glad to be able to add it to The Obelisk Radio. Check it out there now as part of the regular 24/7 stream or get a taste of “IV” in the YouTube clip below:

Innominandivm, “IV”

Innominandivm on Thee Facebooks

Chad Davis on YouTube

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Black Skies, Circadian Meditations: Crowned in Stars

Posted in Reviews on November 26th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Whether or not Black Skies had Richard Strauss in mind when they put together the introduction of “Lifeblood” that opens their second full-length, Circadian Meditations, I don’t know, but there’s a definite resemblance to that composer’s “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” AKA the main theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey. That would be fitting as well with the North Carolina three-piece’s space-themed artwork and the overall more psychedelic approach that comes up throughout the album, but life is rarely that neat. Still, the Circadian Meditations opener arrives with enough circumstance to make the actual start of the song feel like an event, and as the rest of the 37-minute LP plays out, it gets easier to think of it that way. “Lifeblood” is the longest track on the record at 10:08 (immediate points), and together with closer “The Dusk/Invisible Fingers” (9:21), forms an apparent bookend around shorter songs that had me searching the final moments for similar crashes and guitar noise. I didn’t find them, but what was there satisfied anyway, as does entirety of Circadian Meditations, as the Black Skies core duo of bassist/vocalist Michelle Temple and guitarist/vocalist Kevin Clark (also synth and shruti box drones) — joined here by drummer John Crouch, imported from somewhat likeminded North Carolinian outfit Caltrop in apparent place of Tim Herzog, who played on 2011′s On the Wings of Time debut LP — have gracefully expanded their aesthetic reach without sacrificing either the spaciousness of the recording (helmed like the last one by Kyle Spence of Harvey Milk) or losing the impact of the songs to excessive indulgences. Not that the album doesn’t have any, it’s just that as Temple and Clark trade vocal lines back and forth once “Lifeblood” gets underway, they’re quick to engage with warm tones, hypnotic riff repetitions and the aforementioned vocal tradeoffs. The sense of movement is palpable throughout “Lifeblood” — knowing his work in Caltrop, part of that credit has to go to Crouch – and still the band is able to hone in on a contemplative, exploratory feel. In that way, the opener sets the tone perfectly for the rest of the album to follow.

A smooth build brings “Lifeblood” to an apex topped with wah-soaked guitar leads propelled by Crouch‘s punctuating snare and held steady via Temple‘s rumbling bassline. The rush toward the end, the cycles it goes through, sound a bit like space rock, but that’s a designation that would seem to pull away from the earthiness of their tones, which isn’t to be understated. “Celestial Coronation,” which follows the opener, features one of the album’s best choruses, with shades of what always worked best about Kylesa being repurposed into a structure that loses none of its appeal for telegraphing its moves through the first two verses, whereupon it departs to a brooding instrumental stretch that in turn shifts back first to a solo over the chorus riff and then to the hook itself, rounding out in traditional fashion a construction given a more avant feel by the subdued psychedelic wandering of the last minute-plus which devolves as the drums get softer into a kind of measure-by-measure lull, ultimately ringing out to silence. On a lot of records, this would be standard trickery. The band puts you to sleep in order to wake you up again. Black Skies, to their credit, play it differently. “The Dawn,” which would seem to be the end of a vinyl side A, is a two-minute pastoral exploration led by Clark‘s guitar, and even when Temple and Crouch crash in after about 40 seconds, the serene vibe is maintained, a patient sway holding some tension but keeping steady to a sustained final rumble and another few seconds of quiet. There isn’t a physical pressing of Circadian Meditations yet, though one can only imagine it’s bound for the aforementioned vinyl if not both that and CD (I’ll be the last holdout hoping for CD), but it’s worth noting that the experience of “The Dawn” into “Black C” would be completely different were the album to be broken up onto two sides. In the linear, digital version, it’s a sudden kick after a moment of peace. If one had to flip a record between, to be pulled out of that moment by the physical act might play into the effectiveness of “Black C”‘s swaggering launch.

Read more »

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Black Skies Head to the Woods in “Celestial Coronation” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 12th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Look, science has proven over and over that the woods are the best place to shoot a video. North Carolina’s Black Skies know this, and so their new clip for “Celestial Coronation” from the forthcoming Circadian Meditations (more info here) also reflects what studies in well reputed academic journals have shown time and time again: Hanging out in the forest kicks ass.

While we’re working on a boot-to-cheek thematic, it’s worth noting that Circadian Meditations hits next Tuesday, Nov. 19, and the fucking thing smokes. Vibe for days. It’s consuming and psychedelic, but as the track “Celestial Coronation” contained in the video below shows, it’s also got a bit of that post-Kylesa churn to it that 2011′s On the Wings of Time also showcased. Some of the best moments on the new one though aren’t in the driving push — that’s not the discount the work of Caltrop drummer John Crouch, who joined guitarist/vocalist Kevin Clark and bassist/vocalist Michelle Temple for the album — but  reside in the exploration of parts, in those moments right after the release of the tension so ably built is over and band and music alike seem to be taking a satisfied breath. You can hear it at the end of “Celestial Coronation.”

Hopefully in the next couple weeks (or seven months if my current pacing is anything go by) I’ll get a review of the record itself up. I just keep listening to it for the time being, so you’ll hopefully forgive me a period of unfettered enjoyment while I get to know it better. Ahead of next Tuesday’s release, please feel free to dig into the homemade video for “Celestial Coronation” and ponder the correlation between being crowned in heavens and still stomping around on dried leaves among Appalachian hilltops. We live in a wonderful age.

Enjoy:

Black Skies, “Celestial Coronation” official video

Black Skies on Bandcamp

Black Skies on Thee Facebooks

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Black Skies to Release Circadian Meditations on Nov. 19

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 29th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

There’s little I enjoy more than some out-of-the-blue awesome news, and word of the new Black Skies album, Circadian Meditations, and the new track “Time Lord” now streaming definitely qualify. Black Skies will release the follow-up to 2011′s On the Wings of Time (discussed here) on Nov. 19 digitally and put proceeds from download sales toward an eventual vinyl issue. Founders Michelle Temple and Kevin Clark joined forces with Caltrop drummer John Crouch for the recording of Circadian Meditations, which was helmed by Kyle Spence of Harvey Milk and, true to the band’s stated intentions below, follows a more meditative, exploratory and psychedelic course. I’m just hearing it for the first time as I type this, but so far I dig it.

Here’s PR wire info and “Time Lord” so you can keep an eye and ear out:

new Black Skies releases

Circadian Meditations, the latest full length by Black Skies, will be released digitally Tuesday, November 19th. The album expands on the psychedelic leanings of the band’s 2011 release On The Wings Of Time. The group returned to Athens, GA in May to again record with Harvey Milk’s Kyle Spence. Joining founding Black Skies members Kevin Clark & Michelle Temple for this session was drummer John Crouch (Caltrop, Solar Halos, Horseback). Showcasing experimentation, while not abandoning the heavy elements of their sound, Circadian Meditations displays a musical & spiritual evolution for the band. With careful consideration to the sequencing of the songs, as well as the use of ambient sounds, short acoustic instrumental movements, and drones from an Indian shruti box to create transitions, Circadian Meditations is meant to be listened to as a full, flowing cohesive piece rather than a scattered collection of songs.

We are also releasing a digital single featuring an unreleased track, “Echoes In The Void” b/w “Dead Batteries” (previously released on a Digguptapes limited edition split cassingle with Caltrop). Both songs were recorded with Nick Petersen at Track & Field Recording Studio and feature Tim Herzog (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Milemarker, DesArk) on drums. As an added bonus to our fans who purchase the download of Circadian Meditations, we will include a free download of this single. You can listen to these songs here: https://blackskies.bandcamp.com/album/echoes-in-the-void-b-w-dead-batteries

There have already been a number of people inquiring about the vinyl release of Circadian Meditations, so we want to let you all know that we definitely aim to get this out on vinyl ASAP. Every cent we make from selling this album digitally will be going toward making that happen.

Thank you all for your continued support & we hope you enjoy the music!

https://www.facebook.com/blackskiesnc
https://blackskies.bandcamp.com

Black Skies, “Time Lord” from Circadian Meditations (2013)

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audiObelisk: Stream Two New Psychedelic Explorations from Tasha Yar

Posted in audiObelisk on October 8th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Full of vague lyrical musings and intentionally languid drift, the two latest jams from North Carolina galaxy-crafters Tasha Yar (who may or may not have dropped the hyphen from their name) represent some of their most resonant work yet. Not quite ever giving in to a sun-drenched psychedelic impulse, there’s a sense of the room, of the rehearsal space, in the two live-recorded cuts, and that makes the tracks sound even more organic. Drummer Tim Greene — who also represents the “front desk” of the band when it comes to mailing out the discs that periodically show up around here — warns that either or both of these freeform jams could turn into songs down the road. Nebulous space rock. What could be more appropriate?

Listen to the guitars and you might hear nods to Neil Young, but rather than sit and pick apart the pieces — which are presumably titled for when they were recorded: “7-25-13, 8:30 PM” and the less specific and bluesier-riffed “‘Bout Nine” — both cuts are far more satisfying to put on and let go, let your mind wander with the echoes, the bits of boogie, the “what did he just say?” and the leftover summer humidity. “‘Bout Nine” is nearly twice as long as “7-25-13, 8:30 PM” and has room for some swing, but it still winds up in hard-panning swirl running from one channel to the next. The crux of what Tasha Yar have sent through the post is in the hypnotic aural meander, and it arrives not a moment too soon.

In case this is the first you’re seeing of the name, over the last couple years, Tasha-Yar have checked in a couple times with updates on their progress and audio to serve as landmarks of this or that captured moment. As they have in the past, songs arrive on CD (a band after my own heart) in a handmade paper sleeve with a note from Greene explaining some of what was going down at the time. This one also seems to have a map of the jam room.

And if you’re wondering, “F.D.T-Y” is “Front Desk, Tasha-Yar.” Click either image to enlarge:

Right on. I always, always enjoy hearing from these cats, and with the permission to share the songs granted so explicitly — he put it in writing and signed it! — there was no way I was going to keep them to myself. What were you doing on July 25? Check out “7-25-13, 8:30 PM” and “‘Bout Nine” on the player below, and please enjoy:

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

Tasha Yar on Thee Facebooks

Tasha Yar on Twitter

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U.S. Christmas Heading Out on Long Weekender

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.

U.S. Christmas, The Valley Path (2011)

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Chad Davis Updates on Status of Hour of 13

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 3rd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

No strangers over their years “together” to tumult, Hour of 13 seem to be entering into their next phase. Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Chad Davis provides a glimpse of where the band is at, its continued turbulent relationship with vocalist Phil Swanson (also Vestal Claret, Seamount, etc.) and what the future might hold for the band, which released its third album, 333, in 2012. For more from Davis, he’s interviewed here.

Here’s the latest:

Chad Davis / Hour Of 13 official press release 5-3-2013:

I am grateful for all of the support everyone has shown for Ho13, and honored to have been able to bring everyone quality music to a very thriving and revitalized movement. It has been extremely trying over the years, the constant interchanging of personnel, missing out on great opportunities to move the band further to all of you in a live setting, internal strife and conflicts of interest. But, in hindsight, things happened the way they have, and it is pointless to dwell on the past. The future is now…

I am glad to announce that new material will be created to carry the Ho13 namesake into the next phase of its existence. A much needed break and rest from all of it was a good source of medicine, healing the mind and allowing me to be able to refocus energy back into this musical force. Ho13 has always been an amazing outlet for me, a magnificent way to incorporate all of the influences that had helped me sharpen my craft.

A recent interview with Phil Swanson that was posted on a rather small blog, in which he made some very bold statements. I am not here to defend myself or counteract anything he may feel towards Ho13 or myself directly. His point of view is entirely his own prerogative. In an attempt to not discredit his persona, his ideas are quite far from reality. My reality. So, with that said, I wish him nothing but the best in any musical endeavor he may embark on. A talented vocalist he is, but he is NOT the be-all-end-all of Ho13.

In closing, the only thanks I can extend is once again to all of you. The fans. You have helped us more than anything. The music is for you. And I am extending to you guys the longevity of this band until the finality comes. Thank all of you!!

Regards,
Chad Davis

Hour of 13, “Who’s to Blame?” official video

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Corrosion of Conformity are Writing New Material

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 24th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

…And it seems like it’s going to be a permanent situation. No harm there — C.O.C.‘s self-titled (review here) was killer and the subsequent Scion A/V EP, Megalodon, scratched a similar itch, so if the North Carolina stalwarts want to kick out another full-length as a trio on the quick, I’m not going to complain. The PR wire sends along word of the new album, recent touring, and an upcoming appearance at Metal Fest in Chile.

Dig it:

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY Writing New Material

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY has begun writing material for their next album, the follow-up to the well-received self-titled record released via Candlelight Records late February 2012, the reissue of their Eye For An Eye debut, and recently released Scion A/V EP Megalodon. The album, untitled at this time, will again feature the trio of vocalist/bassist Mike Dean, guitarist Woodroe Weatherman, and drummer Reed Mullin.

Last week the band announced their first live performance for the New Year at the annual Metal Fest Chile on April 13th. It will be the first CORROSION OF CONFORMITY appearance ever in Chile. Mike Dean comments, “We have been talking about going to South American forever and with Chile being a big source of so much of our Facebook traffic, I know it’s going to be epic. Another chance for us to do a festival with Down is always a very good thing.”

The festival follows the completion of the band’s recent US tour that concluded in southern California alongside High On Fire. The trio was also a featured participant on Barge From Hell that left Florida shores on December 7. Dean notes, “The cruise was pretty awesome. We had Rick and Jonathan from Torche masquerading as our crew and watching their antics alone was worth the trip. The seas were calm so there was no hurling over the bow.”

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY continues to promote the self-titled album in interviews with media as well spreading word on their recently released Megalodon EP. The EP, sponsored by the amazing folks at Scion A/V, is available for free now via various outlets. Dean says, “The EP was written, recorded, and released in two months time. It really challenged us in a good way. It feels good to get two releases out in one year and I expect that we will continue that level of productivity.” Continuing he shares, “The self-titled album is holding up very well for me. There is a wide variety of material there. It’s all definitely COC but at the same time everything is really a stretch for us. Within the realm of never being totally satisfied, I am very happy with how it came out.”

Formed in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1982, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY quickly transformed heavy music. Politically charged and socially aware, the band has influenced countless others and today remains humble about their accomplishments. With over 1.1 million albums sold in the United States alone, the band continues to find new fans via non-stop touring.

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Patheticism, Patheticism: Go Forth and Wreck up the Place

Posted in Reviews on January 18th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

The only one to surface of the six tracks included on the Tsuguri Records sort-of-reissue of Patheticism’s demo in any official way is the opener, “Go Get Jaguar,” which was included on the 2003 Destroysall: A Tribute to Godzilla compilation alongside heavy hitters like Rwake, Solace and Negative Reaction. Beyond that, the North Carolina four-piece never put out a record and reportedly sold this material at gigs, but never got it distributed or attached to a label for a genuine release. Had these tracks been recorded today instead of a decade ago, Patheticism would probably throw them up on Bandcamp and count whenever the upload finished as the release date, but in 2003, that was less of an option, so 10 years after the fact, Patheticism frontman Jon Cox has issued the abrasive and obscure sludge outfit’s only material a second look on his Tsuguri imprint. Cox, who handles the vicious screams heard throughout the EP/demo’s 20 minutes, is something of a figure in North Carolina’s sludge lineage – not just with the mining operation he runs in reissuing stuff through Tsuguri – but also for spending the mid-to-late ‘90s fronting Seven Foot Spleen (their Reptilicus post-script was issued through the label in 2010; review here), to which Patheticism bassist Scott Cline can also be traced (the two also played in Stone of Abel). Cline, now in Flat Tires who also shared a 2010 split with Cox’s more straightforwardly rocking unit The Asound, served a tenure in Mountain of Judgment with Patheticism drummer Dave Easter, and though the only member of Patheticism I haven’t been able to track more info on is guitarist Cory, chances are he was or is in one or more of these bands too, since that’s just kind of how it goes. Similar to what’s played out over the last couple years as Ohio’s sludge scene has settled into one of the country’s most seething, North Carolina had a similar period in the wake of Buzzov*en, whose nihilistic viscosity shows up in some of Patheticism’s angrier stretches, as on the second track, “Shit Ritual.” It’s also worth noting that the six songs included on the original demo that has become Patheticism’s self-titled EP were recorded in a basement in late 2002 and that the quality of sound reflects that. Personally, I enjoy sludge more with a harsh production value, but I also know that not everyone feels that way. Fair warning.

And that’s really how Patheticism’s lone recording should arrive: With a warning. Because of the lo-fi factor, they’re not as thick as they could be or probably were live in terms of prevalent low-end from Cline, so Patheticism winds up more biting than lumbering at times, a sharp feel permeating the songs even as the tempo varies from the faster thrust of “Go Get Jaguar” to the plodding opening section of “’77 Told the Truth,” which could just as easily have served as a model for Dopefight with its initial stonerly groove and more upbeat, punkish second-half, topped with Cox’s sore-throatery. Most of the time, they’re somewhere between, as Cline opens “Go Get Jaguar” and “Shit Ritual” both with a bassline that Cory soon joins on guitar and the nastiness gets underway with little ceremony and much furor. Their roots prove more toward the punk side than metal, their fuckall in the Eyehategod tradition but still caustic a decade after the fact. They don’t make the 20 minutes easy on the listener, but the grooves that Easter punctuates on his snare in “Shit Ritual” could qualify as a hook, provided the band had any interest whatsoever in accessibility. If “’77 Told the Truth” is anything to go by, they don’t, and the ensuing “Eat Shit Pie,” however familiar the lumber might prove to some who hear it, isn’t much friendlier, coated in buzzsaw fuzz and full-on tonal mud. At 4:07, “Eat Shit Pie” is one of the longer songs on Patheticism – only the opener surpasses it (immediate points) – and the feel is somewhat less raw than that of a song like “Shit Ritual,” but to anyone outside the immediate crust-loving sludge base who might hear it, noise is going to be noise. The fact that after they meander into a long-seeming instrumental break, Patheticism bring the verse of “Eat Shit Pie” back around for one last go – a genuine display of traditional songwriting – is outshined by the trough of vomit they’ve already dug on the three tracks prior. That said, if there was potential in Patheticism to climb out of their primordial sonic ooze, it’s “Eat Shit Pie” that shows it.

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audiObelisk: Tasha-Yar Stream 14-Minute Psych Jam “Make Me Invisible”

Posted in audiObelisk on January 4th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s always a thrill to get mail from North Carolinian space rockers Tasha-Yar. Last we heard from them, the amorphous psychedelic outfit were jamming out the raw bliss of “Casting Lots,” and just before the New Year hit, a package showed up from drummer Tim Greene — who handles the “front desk” as well as his kit — containing the song “Make Me Invisible,” housed in what I’ve come to think of as the band’s characteristic folded-paper sleeve.

Greene, in addition to the song itself and an extra (and much appreciated) separate Thin Lizzy mixtape, once again passed on a handwritten note on the sleeve giving some insight into the background of “Make Me Invisible,” the writing and recording with guitarist Chad Davis (also of Hour of 13 and the recently-unveiled Witchcoven). Click the image below to enlarge:

As ever, awesome. Tasha-Yar continue to charm, and it’s interesting to consider that “Make Me Invisible” is an older song, since it’s a little more structured with verses and some of the most forward vocals I’ve yet heard from the band. Could it be that they’re moving ever further into the reaches of the space jam? I look forward to finding out whenever the next package arrives, and in the meantime,Greenewas also generous enough to send along permission to host the track for streaming, so here you go:

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

Check out Tasha-Yar on Thee Facebooks here and look for more to come in 2013. “Make Me Invisible” has also been added to The Obelisk Radio.

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Hour of 13 Release New Video for “Who’s to Blame?”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 12th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

As it goes in December, there’s an awful lot of discussion around the interwebs lately about the best albums of the year. Well, as if to remind us all of their lurking presence, Hour of 13 have unveiled a new video for the track “Who’s to Blame?” from their 2012 third album, 333. Multi-instrumentalist Chad Davis (interview here) stripped the band down to its original parts for the latest outing, those being he and vocalist Phil Swanson, and the result was a collection of memorable cult doom right in line with the classic tenets of horror atmospheres and kickass riffs.

If you missed it, Davis‘ newest project Witchcoven premiered their first recorded track last Friday, so there’s even more to look forward to there, but Hour of 13 remain a constant shadow creeping behind, never quite there and never quite gone. Enjoy “Who’s to Blame?” on the player below:

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