Weedeater and Conan Touring Australia/New Zealand in July

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 8th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

This one kind of sells itself, doesn’t it? Pretty straightforward? News of Weedeater and Conan touring Australia and New Zealand together is pretty much a dogwhistle to the converted signaling its own utter necessity. The US and UK acts, both primo proliferators of riff, will join forces in what I’ll assume is the dead of winter in that part of the world, and unleash their ultra-stoned and ultra-destructive methods over the course of six shows. I’ve never hung out with the Weedeater cats, but I hear they’re great guys, and from what I know, the dudes in Conan are also cool as hell, so apart perhaps from the travel involved, I can’t imagine the two bands won’t come out of the tour as good friends.

Good, hungover friends. The PR wire had this to offer:

weedeater and conan

WEEDEATER (USA) & CONAN (UK) Australia/New Zealand July 2016

LIFE IS NOISE PRESENTS:

WEEDEATER (USA)
& CONAN (UK)
AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND
JULY 2016

LIFE IS NOISE is very excited to announce that US trio Weedeater will be bringing their brand of stoner sludge to Australia and New Zealand this July… and as if that weren’t enough, they’ll be taking brutally monolithic UK outfit Conan along for the ride. This will be a menacing, heavy and destructively loud tour.

For the first time ever, LIFE IS NOISE is proud to be bringing North Carolina’s favourite cough syrup swilling, hot sauce snorting weirdos, Weedeater to venues across Oz and NZ. Fronted by legendary bassist/vocalist “Dixie” Dave Collins, Weedeater are a dirty stoner force only to be fully appreciated up close and live with a show full of noise, sweat, spit, and fire. Weedeater will give you a contact high from merely listening.

Conan are punishingly loud, mercilessly heavy and just downright menacing.

Forming in 2006, the Liverpudlian trio’s latest release, Revengeance, is their third album of “caveman battle doom” – where ferociously hammered drums and sludge-filled guitar and bass meet torturously howled vocals to create music that sounds like a herd of war elephants marching over the bones of a vanquished army.

On stage, Conan are simply a behemoth of a band playing in front of a wall of amplifiers pushed to their limit. Pummelingly intense, you don’t just see a Conan show, you try to survive it!

Catch Weedeater and Conan on the following dates:

Wellington – San Fran – July 12
Auckland – Kings Arms – July 13
Brisbane – Crowbar – July 14
Sydney – Manning Bar – July 15
Melbourne – Max Watt’s – July 16
Perth – Rosemount Hotel – July 17

https://www.facebook.com/events/635917996555217/
https://www.facebook.com/weedmetal
https://weedeater.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/conandoom/
http://tickets.lifeisnoise.com/

Weedeater, Live at Saint Vitus Bar, April 13, 2015

Conan, Live at Saint Vitus Bar, May 22, 2015

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Sourvein Post “Avian Dawn” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 6th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

sourvein troy and mike dean

North Carolinian sludge mainstays Sourvein make their long-anticipated debut on Metal Blade Records this Friday with Aquatic Occult, an album that’s as much a departure from their past work as it is affirmation of the vibes frontman T-Roy Medlin has been eliciting for more than 20 years in the band. Produced by Mike Dean of Corrosion of Conformity and featuring that same band’s Reed Mullin on drums for several tracks, there are ties to be made there sonically as well, but Sourvein retain the underlying sense of grit that they last brought to bear album-wise on 2011’s Black Fangs (review here), with a completely different lineup around Medlin and a methodology much less geared toward incorporating guest appearances from the likes of Stig Miller, Mullin, Dean Berry of Iron Monkey, Keith Kirkum, formerly of Weedeater, and others.

That tradition, which specifically around “Ocypuss” seems to be derived from classic hip-hop, comes accompanied by the boldest stylistic shift Sourvein have ever made, with Medlin refining a cleaner vocal approach than he’s ever used before, and the band around him — bassist Lou Gorra (Halfway to Gone), guitarist Kevin Rochelle, drummer Spider — indulging experiments like “Mermaids” and the atmospheric “Cape Fearian” and bass-led “Bermuda Sundown” while still rolling out an abrasive push like that of “High Tide.” If you thought you knew what Sourvein were all about, and you haven’t yet had a taste of Aquatic Occult, there’s a good chance the band will surprise you at some point in the record’s 14-track/42-minute course.

A new video for “Avian Dawn” showcases some but not all of what I’m talking about and represents well the natural feel that Dean‘s recording brings to the album as a whole. The clip is comprised mostly of spliced together studio footage and gives a bit of insight into how the record was made. You’ll find it below, followed by the complete tracklisting and lineup for the album, courtesy of the PR wire.

Enjoy:

Sourvein, “Avian Dawn” official video

Doom/sludge metal vets Sourvein will release their long-awaited Metal Blade Records debut, Aquatic Occult, on April 8th worldwide. Featuring guest performances by Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe (vocals, organ), Amebix’s Stig Miller (guitar), Corrosion of Conformity’s Reed Mullin (drums) and many others, the album is described by front-man T-Roy as the record he wanted to make at a time when his life was at its bleakest.

T-Roy details the guest appearances on this track and in the “Avian Dawn” video: “The ‘Avian Dawn’ video is directed/edited by Randy Ada and features live footage of us recording at SSP Studios in Raleigh, NC. You’ll see Mike Dean of C.O.C. on the production board, Reed Mullin of C.O.C. on drums, Kevin Rochelle of Sea of Tyrants on guitar, Lou Gorra on bass and myself recording riffs and vocals. This video truly gives a behind the scenes look at the album’s core performers hard at work. Music wise, ‘Avian Dawn’ is an upbeat song about positive thinking with an overall loose theme surrounding the sea birds of Pleasure Island, relayed as abstract wordplay in the lyrics throughout the song. We really dig this tune and it’s a lot of fun to play. Enjoy.”

Aquatic Occult is produced by Mike Dean and mastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, Yob). Pre-orders for Aquatic Occult are available now in CD, vinyl, and digital formats via metalblade.com/sourvein

Aquatic Occult track-listing:
*Reed Mullin on drums
1. Tempest (Of Desire) (feat. Stig Miller-Amebix)*
2. Avian Dawn*
3. Ocypuss (feat. Randy Blythe-Lamb of God, Mike Dean-Corrosion of Conformity)*
4. Aquanaut (feat. Dean Berry-Iron Monkey, Chris Holcombe and Joel Martin-Subrig Destroyer)
5. Hymn to Poseidon*
6. Mermaids*
7. Urchins (feat. Chris Holcombe and Joel Martin-Subrig Destroyer)
8. In the Wind*
9. Cape Fearian (feat. Dave Capps-All Tore Up, Randy Blythe spoken word-Lamb of God)*
10. Capsized (feat. Dave Capps-All Tore Up)*
11. High Tide (feat. Chris Holcombe and Joel Martin-Subrig Destroyer)
12. Bermuda Sundown (feat. Keith Kirkum-ex Weedeater)
13. Coral Bones*
14. Oceanic Procession (feat. Stig Miller-Amebix, Randy Blythe on organ-Lamb of God)*

Sourvein line-up:
T-Roy – vocals/guitar
Lou Gorra – bass
Rochelle – lead guitars/multi-instrumentalist
Spider – drums

Sourvein on Thee Facebooks

Sourvein on Twitter

Sourvein at Metal Blade Records

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Toke on Tour Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 30th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

toke

Cape Fear sludge upstarts Toke will spend a decent portion of April on the road, heading north from their homebase in North Carolina and back south again on a run supporting their recently-issued split tape with Green Fiend. The band have also been confirmed as taking part in the Denver Electric Funeral Fest and Maryland Doom Fest, so it seems likely there are more dates to be announced for the summer as well.

What makes that seem even more likely is that Toke share the bill on Denver Electric Funeral Fest with Sourvein (among others, of course). As the two bands are based in Cape Fear, it doesn’t strike me as particularly crazy to think they might travel together, and Sourvein rarely go anywhere without touring. Toke would fit well on a bill alongside them, but of course nothing’s been confirmed so far as I know. That’s just me speculating.

In the meantime, Toke will share stages with a host of East Coast luminaries, including Heavy Temple and Wizard Eye in Philly, Foghound in Baltimore, Reign of Zaius and River Cult in Brooklyn, and Dutchguts in my former (but still beloved) Garden State, so if a name below seems unfamiliar for some reason, there’s a lot of good company being kept here.

Dates follow:

toke tour dates

We hit the road soon check it also we are on Instagram @toke_nc

4/2/16 Charlotte NC @ snug harbor w/ the seduction
4/15/16 Richmond VA Wonderland bar w/ Book of Wyrms & Melt
4/16/16 Philladelphia PA @ shred shed w/ Heavy Temple & Wizard Eye
4/17/16 Allentown PA @ Alternative Gallery w/ Heavy Temple, Under the Clothesline & Goatwizard
4/18/16 Asbury Park NJ @ wonder bar w/ Hand of Weed
4/19/16 Lucky 13 Saloon Brooklyn NYC w/ Reign of Zaius & River Cult
4/20/16 Montclair NJ @ Meatlocker w/ Dutchguts
4/21/16 Baltimore MD @ Windup Gallery w/ Gateway to Hell & Foghound
4/22/16 Frederick MD @ Guidos Speakeasy
4/23/16 Hagerstown MD @ R&K Pub w/ Fortress
4/24/16 Greensboro @ NYP w/ Dirac, Dogs Eyes and mini guns
4/29/16 Reggies 42nd street tavern
6/4-6/5 Denver Colorado electric funeral fest
6/26/16 Maryland Doom Fest Frederick MD

https://www.facebook.com/TokeDoom/
http://tokenc.bandcamp.com/
http://tokedoom.bigcartel.com/
https://www.instagram.com/toke_nc/

Toke, “Legalize Sin”

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Quarterly Review: Eight Bells, Öken, Brimstone Coven, Pants Exploder, Shallows, Monumentum, Famyne, Ethereal Riffian, Wet Cactus, Forming the Void

Posted in Reviews on March 29th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk quarterly review spring 2016

I thought yesterday went pretty well, by which I mean I didn’t receive any complaints that somebody’s name was spelled wrong (yet), so I feel alright going into the second batch of releases for the Quarterly Review. Today mixes it up a bit, which is something I always enjoy doing with these, and while I’ll take pains to emphasize that the list of releases today, as with every day, isn’t in order, there was no way I wasn’t going to start with the first record below. Some albums just demand top placement.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Eight Bells, Landless

eight bells landless

However you define the word “heavy” as it relates to music, Eight Bells are it. The Portland, Oregon, trio release their second album and first for Battleground Records in the form of the five-track Landless, and from the opening sprawl and lumber of “Hating” through the crawling-plus-blasting chaos of “Touch Me,” a strong progressive current underscores the material – most notably the 13-minute title-track, but really the rest as well, which flows gracefully even in its harshest moments, the blackened rush in the second half of “Landless,” for example, which follows psychedelic drones and harmonies just minutes before, or the similar thrust of centerpiece “Hold My Breath,” which works in tighter quarters but manages to span genres all the same. “The Mortal’s Suite” provides some respite in airy guitar and airier vocals, giving new drummer Rae Amitay a break while showcasing the harmonies of guitarist Melynda Jackson (ex-SubArachnoid Space) and bassist Haley Westeiner. As open atmospherically as the band is in their creative scope, there just isn’t a level on which Landless isn’t superb.

Eight Bells on Thee Facebooks

Battleground Records

 

Öken, Öken

oken oken

Swedish four-piece Öken do themselves huge favors by refusing to be easily categorized on their 2015 self-titled Ozium Records debut full-length, which runs an immersive 62 minutes and blends doom, classic heavy/desert rock and forest psych with subtle grace throughout its eight tracks, each of which is fleshed out in an overarching naturalist atmosphere. “Väktaren” dives headfirst into boogie only after initial minimalist teasing, and “Crimson Moon” bursts to life after a hypnotic psychedelic opening to find its crux in later runs of dueling guitars. The two closing cuts, “Under Vår Sol” and “Cuauhtémoc” are an album unto themselves, the former nodding initially at Sungrazer’s serene vibes before pushing into even more open psychedelic territory, and the latter proffering riffy largesse en route to a striking classic prog finish. That Öken make these elements work side-by-side and transition from one to the other fluidly is emblematic of the confidence at work in the band, and they carry their scope with organic-sounding ease.

Öken on Thee Facebooks

Ozium Records

 

Brimstone Coven, Black Magic

brimstone coven black magic

West Virginian roots doomers Brimstone Coven made their debut on Metal Blade in 2015 with a self-titled EP compilation (track stream here), and Black Magic is their first full-length. Its 10 tracks/54 minutes take cues varyingly from classic heavy rock, doom and the less majestic side of the NWOBHM, but Brimstone Coven’s approach is marked out by the extensive use of vocal harmonies on cuts like the prog-tinged “Beyond the Astral,” the later moments of raw-roller “Upon the Mountain” and “The Plague.” Black Magic’s production is barebones enough that this singing – credited solely to “Big John” Williams, while Corey Roth handles guitar, Andrew D’Cagna bass and Justin Wood drums – doesn’t really soar so much as nestle in and enhance the begging-for-vinyl analog-worship of the instruments surrounding, a proliferation of cultish themes distinguishing Brimstone Coven even as a song like “The Seers” finds them inheriting a trad-doom soulfulness from The Gates of Slumber.

Brimstone Coven on Thee Facebooks

Metal Blade Records

 

Pants Exploder, Pants Exploder

pants exploder pants exploder

Between its vicious aggression, inhumane chug and have-fun-enduring-this stomp, the self-titled, self-released debut LP from Pants Exploder could just as easily be definitive New York noise, but the low-end heft of their assault right from opener “It’s Ok, I’m Wiccan.” (punctuation included in title) has an element of early-Mastodonic lumber, and that’s a thread that continues throughout “End of the World” and “You Don’t Strike Me as a Reader,” which offsets its slab-of-concrete-on-your-chest push with moments of respite, but remains driving in its intensity. As in, driving your head into the ground. Also the ground is pavement. It’s fucking heavy, is the point. To wit, the mega-plod of “Um, I Curated an Art Show in College, So…” and thrust of “God Has a Plan for Me.” Capping with the seven-minute “You Smug Bastard,” Pants Exploder pays off the tension they build in a noise-wash fury that is as impressive as it is scathing.

Pants Exploder on Thee Facebooks

Pants Exploder on Bandcamp

 

Shallows, The Moon Rises

shallows the moon rises

The rather ominous The Moon Rises EP is the first non-demo offering from Asheville, North Carolina, four-piece Shallows, who blend heavy psychedelic and grunge influences across its five tracks, opener “Shimmering” and closer “Distance” mirroring each other’s spacious push while between, “Zero,” “A Mile Beneath” and the Earth-influenced “The Barn Burning” enact gorgeous vocal harmonies between Cameron Zarrabzadeh and HannahLynn Cruey atop atmospheric heavy rock, hitting into Alice in Chains-meets-Kylesa territory on the centerpiece, “A Mile Beneath,” which is a fair bit of ground to cover. That cut is the high point in showcasing Shallows’ potential, but the Western take with “The Barn Burning” and meandering post-rock echoes and organ of “Distance” only add to the breadth of this impressive, too-short collection. With a focus consistently kept on ambience throughout, The Moon Rises flows like a full-length album, and so bodes that much better for what Shallows will be able to accomplish when they get there. I’ll look forward to it.

Shallows on Thee Facebooks

Shallows on Bandcamp

 

Monumentum, The Killer is Me

monumentum the killer is me

Even before they get to the all the aggro fuzz riffing, there’s a distinct threat of violence in Monumentum’s The Killer is Me. Its four songs, “Noose,” “Whore,” “Fiend and Foe” and “Killer Me,” each seem to find the Norwegian band doling out noise-influenced heavy rock, driven by some underlying dissatisfaction on this, their first EP. Released on vinyl through Blues for the Red Sun Records, it offsets being so outwardly pissed off through groove, the starts and stops of “Killer Me” and the rolling seven minutes of opener and longest track “Noose” (immediate points) both marked out for both their tonal weight and the force with which Monumentum push their material forward – not speedy, though “Whore” is by no means slow, but dense and emitting a residual tension all the same. Somewhat unipolar in its mood, The Killer is Me still manages to give an initial impression of what Monumentum are about sound-wise, and provides them with a solid start to work from.

Monumentum on Thee Facebooks

Blues for the Red Sun Records

 

Famyne, Famyne

famyne famyne

While the UK isn’t at all short on doom or sludge at this point, Canterbury five-piece Famyne distinguish themselves on their self-titled first EP with a traditional take and the at-times theatric harmonies of vocalist Tom Vane. Along with guitarists Alex Tolson and Alex Williams, bassist Chris Travers and drummer Jake Cook, Vane nods at Alice in Chains on lumbering opener “Enter the Sloth” without going full-on “hey whoa momma yeah” and provides a considerable frontman presence, particularly for a debut recording. Comprising three songs with the speedier bonus track “Long Lost Winter” as an add-on download with the CD version, Famyne’s Famyne EP finds its crux in the nod and push of the 10-minute “The Forgotten,” which takes a cue atmospherically from The Wounded Kings but finds its own, less-cultish niche in bringing new energy to classic doom and setting in motion a progression that already puts an individual stamp on established tenets.

Famyne on Thee Facebooks

Famyne on Bandcamp

 

Ethereal Riffian, Youniversal Voice

ethereal riffian youniversal voice

There’s patient, and then there’s Ethereal Riffian, whose riffy ritualizing and exploration nonetheless brims with some intangible energetic sensibility on their new live outing, Youniversal Voice. Heavy psychedelic wash, thick riffs, theatric vocals and guitar effects, stoner roll and the occasional fit of shredding, one might hear any of it at a given point in over-12-minute cuts like “Wakan Tanka” and “Anatman,” the latter which arrives as the penultimate of the eight-song/56-minute set. The clarity, for being a live album, is remarkable, and Ethereal Riffian add to the experience with a CD version that includes a candle, elaborate packaging and artwork, and tea, so the multi-sensory impression is obviously important, and where many live outings are throwaways or a means of bowing to contractual obligation, Youniversal Voice adds to Ethereal Riffian’s studio work a substantial ambassasorial feel, conveying an onstage vibe with a fullness of sound and clarity of mind not often heard.

Ethereal Riffian on Thee Facebooks

Ethereal Riffian on Bandcamp

 

Wet Cactus, Wet Cactus

wet cactus wet cactus

Desert rock trio Wet Cactus don’t make any bones about where they’re getting their influence from on their late-2015 self-titled second EP. By the time they get around to the penultimate “The Road” on the five-track/24-minute outing, they’ve dug themselves in deep into the worship of crunchy Kyuss-style riffing, and you can throw in looks for Unida, Queens of the Stone Age, Slo Burn and whoever else of that milieu, but Kyuss is at the root of it all anyway. Less grand in their production than UK outfit Steak, who operated in similar territory on their 2014 debut LP, Slab City, Wet Cactus keep it natural in the tradition of their forebears, and while there’s room for them to grow into a more individual approach, the hazy fuckall in closer “World’s Law” has a stoner charm before and after it kicks into a punkish push to close out. Cool vibe either way, and the tone is dead on. If these cats go jammier, watch out.

Wet Cactus on Thee Facebooks

Odio Sonoro

 

Forming the Void, Skyward

forming the void skyward

I won’t say a bad word about the artwork of David Paul Seymour in the context of this review or any other, but ultimately, Louisiana doomers Forming the Void are coming from someplace much more in line with progressive metal than the three-eyed goat and robed figures on the cover of their second album, Skyward, might represent. Again, that’s not a knock on Seymour, or for that matter, the band, just that the look of the record is deceptive, dogwhistling stonerisms even as moody cuts like the opening title-track and “Three Eyed Gazelle” – while thoroughly doomed in their vibe – prove more lucidly constructed. That holds true through the chugging centerpiece “Saber” as well, marked out by vocal harmonizing, and “Return Again,” which rolls through atmospheric metal and an ambient interlude to enact the record’s most memorable payoff and set up the linear course of the more patient closer “Sleepwalker.” Cohesive in mood and clearly plotted, Skyward is ultimately darker and more driven than it might at first appear.

Forming the Void on Thee Facebooks

Forming the Void on Bandcamp

 

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Demon Eye and Disenchanter Announce West Coast Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 7th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Portland, Oregon’s Disenchanter will welcome North Carolinian doom rockers Demon Eye in April for a West Coast run presented by Nanotear Booking. To my knowledge, it marks Demon Eye‘s first trip out west, and for Disenchanter, it follows an EP compilation released on NoSlip Records and the announcement that they’ll take part in Psycho Las Vegas in August.

Demon Eye, meanwhile, will also play Maryland Doom Fest 2016 in June. Their second album, Tempora Infernalia (review here), was issued last year on Soulseller Records and they’ve supported it since playing local shows with the likes of Acid King and Pentagram. Guitarist/vocalist Erik Sugg was also recently announced as having joined Lightning Born, whose lineup features, among others, C.O.C. bassist Mike Dean.

More on that as I hear it. Here are the tour dates and more info:

demon eye disenchanter new poster

Our West Coast tour with Disenchanter will be happening soon! A huge thanks to Nanotear Booking!

Coming up in April: Demon Eye and Disenchanter West Coast tour!

The stars have aligned

Formed in May of 2011, rising from the ashes of the black machine, invoked after many moons, Disenchanter is a heavy rock band riding the currents of doom, casting riffs of rock, and melding the elixirs of metal to bring forth a fantasy of sci-fi wrapped in a stoner groove!

Demon Eye’s heavy grooves and thunder rhythms channel the doom and crush of Black Sabbath and Pentagram, and the fist banging shred of early ‘Maiden. The band has received international recognition for their highly acclaimed songcraft and their stunning live performances. Demon Eye remains hellbent on bringing their hook-laden, dark riffin’ songcraft to fans far and wide.

4/14 Seattle, WA – Highline
4/15 Portland, OR – High Water Mark
4/16 Grant’s Pass, OR – The Haul
4/17 Sacramento, CA – Blue Lamp
4/18 Pacifica, CA – Winter’s Tavern
4/19 San Jose, CA – The Caravan
4/20 Los Angeles, CA – Complex
4/21 San Diego, CA – Kensington Club
4/22 Los Osos, CA – Sweet Springs Saloon
4/23 Oakland, CA – Oakland Metro

https://www.facebook.com/demoneyenc/
https://demoneye.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/DisenchanterPDX/
http://disenchanter.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Nanotear/

Demon Eye, Tempora Infernalia (2015)

Disenchanter, Strange Creatures (2015)

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Soon Premiere “Burning Wood” from Debut Album Vol. 1

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on February 19th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

soon-vol-1

[Click play above to hear “Burning Wood” from Soon’s debut, Vol. 1. Album out March 4 on Temple of Torturous.]

Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based four-piece Soon offer up their aptly-titled debut full-length, Vol. 1, on March 4 via Temple of Torturous. As 35 minutes/eight tracks, it is a substantial-enough long-player, but it covers a scope even broader than its runtime might lead one to believe, and while the group trace their lineage to more indie-minded outfits The Love Language, Bitter Resolve and Grohg, the explorations contained here, from the rolling groove of opener “We are on Your Side” to the drone ritual closer “Rise,” feel geared most of all toward establishing, developing and generally screwing around with a new sonic identity. That is to say, Vol. 1 is a varied collection of tracks that doesn’t feel hindered by genre one way or another, and a decent portion of its persona comes from that will to move beyond various sonic boundaries.

That Soon — the four-piece of guitarist/vocalists Stuart McLamb and Mark Connor, bassist/vocalist Robert Walsh and drummer/vocalist Thomas Simpson — do this while sounding natural in their songwriting and changes makes the debut all the more impressive. A couple plucked acoustic notes intro “We are on Your Side” before the full-toned electric guitar kicks in, and a shoegazing verse takes hold around a minute in to build tension before the chorus, which uses multiple singers and has a doom-pop anthem feel to it, tripping into late-’60s guitar soloing as if they hadn’t already melded enough styles together. After another verse and chorus, they end acoustic and the sub-three-minute “Burning Wood” takes chugging hold backed by keyboard and a driving riff that somehow still acts as a vocal showcase. The second cut is steadier and more stylistically settled, but “See You Soon” fleshes out a grungier side and makes it clear that Soon haven’t yet shown their full breadth. So it is that “Gold Soul” includes particularly impressive vocal harmonies and strings to add a post-Morricone vibe to its dense riffing and additional percussion behind its guitar solo in the second half, none of which sounds overly kitchen-sink or out of place.

soon

No small feat to create a mix deep enough to accommodate, but Soon have a decidedly tossoff feel to nearly everything on Vol. 1, like they plugged in that day and that’s what happened to come out. In fact, that may be true, but as “Gold Soul” gives way to the more stripped down, snare-heavy “Glass Hours,” another side of their blend of psychedelic sludge, thick tones and melodic consciousness comes to the fore, partially reviving the likes of “Burning Wood” and “See You Soon,” but also given a different context through the subsequent “Mauveine,” which also features a string arrangement but is centered around melancholy acoustic strumming and a wistful vocal line. The underlying sense of space keeps it cohesive with its surroundings, but “Mauveine” is a conscious departure from a lot of what Vol. 1 aims toward, and that’s very clearly the idea. It also sets up the closing tracks, “Datura Stramonium” and “Rise,” which are the two longest inclusions and wildly different from each other. Harmonized vocals again tie “Datura Stramonium” to the rest, but there’s a howl and sparkle in the guitar that I can’t seem to separate in my mind from U2 from when they were (allegedly) good, though atop a flurry of tom runs they deliver both a scorching psychedelic wash of noise and a satisfyingly weighted finish, which lets “Rise” round out the album with a six-and-a-half-minute drone/chant assault, marked out by sporadic turns in the guitar and a SunnO)))-style backing for choral melody.

I won’t say the pairing doesn’t work, because it does, but it’s a challenging finish nonetheless, and this too is quite obviously intentional. In combination with its surroundings, “Rise” serves to point out the sort of dual nature of Soon‘s debut, which is that it has these complex aesthetic ideas that it portrays as though they were the simplest thing in the world. Well of course you’d go from the acoustic downer into weighted alt psych-pop into the drone metal finish! It’s almost too obvious! Meanwhile, the listener’s head is left spinning after the band has capped “Rise” with immersive low end and finished the record cold. It is an ambitious first offering preceded only by a couple digital demos, and it seems to so easily accomplish what it sets out to do that it’s deceptive the first couple times listening, you have to go back and make sure you heard what you just heard. Fortunately, they make those return trips worthwhile in the richness of the album as a whole.

Soon on Thee Facebooks

Soon on Twitter

Soon at Earsplit Compound

Soon at Temple of Torturous

Temple of Torturous on Bandcamp

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Sourvein: Aquatic Occult Due April 8

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 10th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

sourvein (Photo by Randy Blythe)

Preorders are up now for Aquatic Occult, the upcoming fourth long-player from North Carolinian sludge mainstays Sourvein. It’s set for an April 8 release as the band’s debut on Metal Blade, and it arrives some five years after Sourvein‘s last album, 2011’s Black Fangs (review here). That might seem like a while — it certainly feels long enough — but Sourvein have put in significant road time in the US and Europe over the last several years, playing major fests abroad and slugging it out at home, and listening to leadoff single “Ocypuss,” which features C.O.C. bassist/vocalist Mike Dean (who also recorded) and drummer Reed Mullin, among others, it hardly seems Sourvein‘s time was misspent.

The record seems to feature a host of guest appearances, which the PR wire details below, but I’m somewhat curious as to the actual lineup of the band itself playing on the tracks. Of course, vocalist/founder T-Roy Medlin is the key component, but the band he’s had out with him of late was killer, so I’m wondering if they made it onto the recording. We’ll see in the liner notes.

For now, info and audio await:

sourvein aquatic occult

Sourvein reveals details for new album, ‘Aquatic Occult’; launches first single, “Ocypuss”

For over two decades, Sourvein front-man T-Roy has managed to keep the roving pirate ship that is his band afloat through sheer will alone. Pushing through poverty, the deaths of friends and family, bouts of severe depression, periods of alcohol abuse, and an absence of the stability provided by a consistent record label, T-Roy has over the course of two decades managed to build the band into a highly respected force in the metal, doom, sludge, and crust underground.

Over twenty long dues-paying years later, Sourvein has at long last found a proper home for their doom-laden Southern noise with Metal Blade Records. The band’s upcoming full-length and Metal Blade debut, Aquatic Occult, will reveal itself to the masses on April 8th.

Pre-orders for the album begin today at metalblade.com/sourvein. While there, stream track three from Aquatic Occult – “Ocypuss”. The track features guest vocals from long-time supporter, Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe, and a guest performance by Mike Dean (bass) and Reed Mullin (drums) of Corrosion of Conformity.

Aside from Blythe, Dean and Mullin, the album features additional guest performances from musicians Stig Miller (Amebix), Keith Kirkum (ex-Weedeater), Dean Berry (Iron Monkey), Dave Capps (All Tore Up), Chris Holcombe and Joel Martin (Subrig Destroyer), and Kevin Rochelle (Sea of Tyrants). Reed Mullin performs drums on all but four album tracks, as indicated below.

Aquatic Occult is produced by Mike Dean and mastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, Yob).

Aquatic Occult track-listing:
*Reed Mullin on drums
1. Tempest (Of Desire) (feat. Stig Miller)*
2. Avian Dawn*
3. Ocypuss (feat. Randy Blythe, Mike Dean)*
4. Aquanaut (feat. Dean Berry)
5. Hymn to Poseidon*
6. Mermaids*
7. Urchins
8. In the Wind*
9. Cape Fearian*
10. Capsized (feat. Dave Capps)*
11. High Tide
12. Bermuda Sundown (feat. Keith Kirkum)
13. Coral Bones*
14. Oceanic Procession (feat. Stig Miller, Randy Blythe on organ)*

“Finally man, finally, my years of hard work have paid off,” says T-Roy, reflecting on the lengthy, gruelling trek that brought his band to Metal Blade’s roster. He adds, “‘Aquatic Occult’ is going to bring the truth. The lyrics are reality to me; I don’t write about cars or chicks or horror movies, I write about the sacrifice and struggle, all the stuff I saw growing up and what I see now. But I want it to be positive, to let people know that there is a way out of bad times and tough situations.”

https://www.facebook.com/SOURVEIN-238932972468/
http://www.metalblade.com/sourvein/
https://twitter.com/SOURVEINOFFICAL
https://sourvein.bandcamp.com/album/aquatic-occult
https://www.facebook.com/metalbladerecords
https://twitter.com/metalblade

Sourvein, “Ocypuss”

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Clutch Announce Tour Dates with Corrosion of Conformity; Record Store Day Vinyl

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 10th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Not everyone will feel this way, but in my head, this is a Clutch and C.O.C. tour. Yeah, I hear so-and-so is a really nice guy and so-and-so didn’t really kill that dude, but I’ve never been even the slightest bit a fan of this tour’s headliner. Cool all around if it gets Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity into bigger rooms, but yeah, this is one you go and leave early.

Clutch have some Record Store Day vinyl coming out for April 16 that will feature two tracks that didn’t get onto their 2015 album, Psychic Warfare (review here). Glad to see “Mad Sidewinder” surfacing after all, since as I remember it, they played that live for a good long while and then it didn’t make the final cut of the record. It’ll be a gem for fans that I’m sure will be gone 30 seconds after the preorders go up.

The PR wire has it like this:

clutch coc tour

CLUTCH ANNOUNCE NEW NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES AS SPECIAL GUEST OF LAMB OF GOD

US FESTIVAL DATES AND AUSTRALIAN HEADLINE DATES ANNOUNCED

BAND CELEBRATES RECORD STORE DAY 2016 WITH LIMITED EDITION VINYL RELEASE

Clutch, the influential heavy rock band from Maryland has just announced new North American tour dates as “special guest of” Lamb Of God. The tour starts May 3rd in New Orleans at the Orpheum and will also feature Corrosion Of Conformity on all dates. Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday February 12th. Additional dates on the Lamb of God tour and Clutch headline tour dates in May and June will be announced shortly. In addition to the Lamb Of God dates, the band will be playing select US festival dates and have added an additional Melbourne show on their March 2016 Australian tour.

Clutch’s latest release “Psychic Warfare”, landed at #6 on the Billboard charts. Weathermaker Music, the band’s self owned label, sold over 26,000 copies of the new album in the first week of release. “Psychic Warfare” is the highest debut charting album for Clutch and Weathermaker Music to date. The album landed at #1 on Billboard’s Rock and Hard Rock charts respectively.

“Psychic Warfare” was produced by longtime producer Machine (Lamb Of God, Every Time I Die) and consists of 12 new tracks. The album cover was designed by renowned photographer Dan Winters.

On Saturday April 16th, the band will be releasing a special limited edition 12” vinyl release for Record Store Day. The album will contain two previously unreleased tracks from the Psychic Warfare sessions: “Mad Sidewinder” and “Outland Special Clearance”. These two tracks, specifically mastered for this vinyl configuration by Paul Logus, will be on side A. The reverse side will have a large scale etching taken from the Psychic Warfare CD booklet design created by Dan Winters. The jacket is hand numbered thick clear plastic showing the full art design, thus making this piece for Record Store Day 2016 a unique collectors’ item for all Clutch fans.

Lamb Of God With Special Guest Clutch
05-03-16 in New Orleans, LA at The Orpheum
05-04-16 in Memphis, TN at Minglewood Hall
05-05-16 in Tulsa, OK at Brady Theater
05-08-16 in Reading, PA at Reading Eagle Theatre
05-09-16 in Portland, ME at State Theatre
05-10-16 in Boston, MA at House Of Blues
05-12-16 in St Louis, MO at The Pageant
05-16-16 in Binghamton, NY at Magic City Music Hall
05-17-16 in Huntington, NY at The Paramount
05-19-16 in Toronto, ON at TD Echo Beach
05-23-16 in Wichita, KS at The Cotillion
05-24-16 in Morrison, CO at Red Rocks Amphitheatre
05-25-16 in St Lake City, UT at The Complex
05-27-16 in Phoenix, AZ at Comerica Theatre
05-28-16 in Pomona, CA at Fox Theater
05-29-16 in Oakland, CA at Fox Theater
05-31-16 in Seattle, WA at WaMu Theater
06-01-16 in Vancouver, BC at Queen Elizabeth Theatre
06-02-16 in Penticton, BC at South Okanagan Events Centre
06-04-16 in Calgary, AB at Calgary Stampede Corral
06-05-16 in Edmonton, AB at Shaw Conference Centre
06-06-16 in Saskatoon, SK at Saskatoon Praireland Exhibition Park Hall
06-07-16 in Winnepeg, MB at Burton Cummings Theatre

Festivals
05-01-16 in Jacksonville, FL at Welcome to Rockville (festival)
05-07-16 in Concord, NC at Carolina Rebellion (festival)
06-09-16 in Manchester, TN at Bonaroo
05-13-16 in Council Bluffs, IA at 89.7 The River’s Rockfest (festival)
05-14 -15-16 in Somerset, WI at Northern Invasion
05-20-16 in Schagticoke, NY at Rock N Derby (festival)
05-21-16 in Columbus, OH at Rock On The Range

Australian Dates
03-03-16 in Brisbane, AUS at The Triffid
03-04-16 in Sydney, AUS at The Metro NSW
03-05-16 in Melbourne, AUS at The Forum Theatre (Sold Out)
03-06-16 in Melbourne, AUS at The Corner (Just Added)

CLUTCH:
Neil Fallon – Vocals/Guitar
Tim Sult – Guitar
Dan Maines – Bass
Jean-Paul Gaster – Drums/Percussion

www.facebook.com/clutchband
www.instagram.com/clutchofficial
www.twitter.com/clutchofficial
www.pro-rock.com

Clutch, Live at Terminal 5, NYC, Dec. 29, 2015

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