Kadavar Post “Into the Night” Live Video; European Tour with Monolord Next Month

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 18th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

kadavar (Photo by Vollvincent)

Kadavar always seem to hit you on multiple levels, don’t they? It’s never just one thing. It’s an album, and a tour. It’s a video, and an entire series of them. It’s a split, and a tour. It’s a tour, and a tour. And so on. Next month, the Berlin three-piece head out with Monolord. Fine. Fair enough. Those’ll be killer shows for the Europeans lucky enough to catch them. Oh, and they’re also releasing a live record called Live in Copenhagen — you’ll never guess where it was recorded — both as a standalone LP and on CD as part of a tour edition of their fourth and latest album, Rough Times (review here). Oh, and they have a video from the live record for “Into the Night,” which originally appeared in all its protometallic righteousness on 2015’s Berlin (review here). Oh, and they’re doing a behind-the-scenes series of mini-documentaries about being in the band and touring all the time.

You know, I bet they have new songs in the works too.

If you’re wondering how Kadavar got to be Kadavar, yeah, righteous songwriting helps. The ’70s retroist vibe of their first two records helped. Well-brushed beards help. But there are plenty of bands out there who do that stuff. Kadavar got to be Kadavar by working their ass off. It’s been six years since their 2012 self-titled debut (discussed here), five since their 2013 breakout, Abra Kadavar (review here), and guitarist/vocalist Christoph “Lupus” Lindemann, drummer Christoph “Tiger” Bartelt and bassist Simon “Dragon” Bouteloup have barely stopped to catch their breath. You need amphetamines just to keep up with Kadavar, let alone be in the band.

Look, the point is that even in this often abstract, often horrifying digital post-future it’s not just about social media presence or keeping up momentum on Instagram posts. That’s part of it, make no mistake, but if you’re not actually out there doing something worth plugging for all to see in their feeds on their phones, you might as well be punching yourself in the face. It all feeds into the same cause, and if four records deep into their career you might dare doubt Kadavar‘s belief in their cause, just glance at the fucking string of tour dates they’re about to do. I don’t care how big your bus is, you’re still sleeping on a cot and doing stretches of six shows in a row in five different countries. Kadavar get a lot of credit for putting out good records– and well earned — but they get less credit for how much they back those good records with time on the road and a multifaceted, multi-tiered, multimedia approach to audience engagement, and to me that seems no less passionate than the material they craft itself.

Tour dates below courtesy of the PR wire. Enjoy the video:

Kadavar, “Into the Night (Live)” official video

Berlin-based rock overlords KADAVAR have announced to release a brand new live album called Live in Copenhagen, featuring their infamous show at Pumpehuset in Denmark’s capitol in November 2017 during the band’s tour in support of the most recent album, Rough Times.

Today the band releases the music video for the live cut of ‘Into The Night” from the aforementioned live album.

The album will be available as a tour edition packaged with said studio album (CD only) and also be made available separately on vinyl (see formats below). It’s scheduled to drop on October 12, 2018 via Nuclear Blast.

Pre-order your copy here: http://www.nuclearblast.com/kadavar-roughtimeste

Make sure to catch the band on tour:
KADAVAR + MONOLORD
25.10. D Dresden – Beatpol
26.10. D Magdeburg – Factory
27.10. D Berlin – Festsaal Kreuzberg
28.10. D Rostock – Peter-Weiss-Haus
30.10. DK Aarhus – Atlas
31.10. S Malmö – KB
01.11. N Oslo – John Dee
02.11. S Gothenburg – Sticky Fingers
03.11. D Weissenhäuser Strand / Ostsee – Metal Hammer Paradise *SOLD OUT*
04.11. NL Den Haag – Paard van Troje
06.11. F Angers – Le Chabada
07.11. F Toulouse – Le Metronum
08.11. E Bilbao – Santana 27
09.11. E Murcia – Garaje Beat Club
10.11. E Málaga – Sala Paris 15
11.11. E Sevilla – Sala Custom
14.11. F Six-Fours-les-Plages – Espace Malraux
15.11. CH Lausanne – Le Romandie
16.11. CH Zurich – Mascotte
17.11. NL Eindhoven – Helldorado
18.11. NL Groningen – Vera
20.11. D Bielefeld – Forum
21.11. B Kortrijk – De Kreun
22.11. D Karlsruhe – Substage
23.11. D Leipzig – Conne Island
24.11. D Schweinfurt – Stattbahnhof
25.11. D Neukirchen – Sägewerk
27.11. D Cham – L.A.
28.11. D Munich – Backstage
29.11. D Bochum – Zeche
30.11. D Saarbrücken – Garage
01.12. D Freiburg – Jazzhaus
06.12. D Frankfurt – Batschkapp*
*KADAVAR only

Kadavar, Live Quickies Episode 1

Kadavar, Live Quickies Episode 2

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Kadavar Set Oct. 12 Release for Live in Copenhagen; “You Found the Best in Me” Video Posted; Touring with Monolord

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

kadavar

One assumes that the photo above of Berlin heavy rock magnates Kadavar was taken at this year’s Duna Jam. In the social medias post, they thank Sardinia, so yeah. The band’s new video below for “You Found the Best in Me” from last year’s Rough Times LP (review here) was filmed in the same location, what with the gorgeous beach and idyllic slow motion and whatnot. I don’t think that’s an effect, by the way. I think time actually slows down at Duna Jam. Just try to watch that video and tell me it doesn’t look like fucking magic there.

More to the point, Kadavar have a new live record that’s going to be released in vinyl Oct. 12 and on CD as a bonus with a tour edition of Rough Times. Fair enough, what with the massive run the three-piece are doing with Sweden’s Monolord between October and December. Kadavar and Monolord on tour together. What a god damn show that would be.

Anyhoozle, video’s at the bottom of this post if, like me, you care to daydream of literal foreign shores. Info on the live album and tour dates are in blue as well, as hoisted from the PR wire:

kadavar live in copenhagen

Kadavar Announce Live in Copenhagen Live Album

Release “You Found The Best In Me” Music Video

Berlin-based rock overlords KADAVAR have announced to release a brand new live album called Live in Copenhagen, featuring their infamous show at Pumpehuset in Denmark’s capitol in November 2017 during the band’s tour in support of the most recent album, Rough Times.

The album will be available as a tour edition packaged with said studio album (CD only) and also be made available separately on vinyl (see formats below). It’s scheduled to drop on October 12, 2018 via Nuclear Blast.

Pre-order your copy here: http://www.nuclearblast.com/kadavar-roughtimeste

Furthermore the band has released the official video for the song “You Found The Best In Me” from Rough Times.

Tracklistings:
Rough Times tour edition bonus CD
1. Skeleton Blues
2. Doomsday Machine
3. Pale Blue Eyes
4. Into The Wormhole
5. The Old Man
6. Die Baby Die
7. Black Sun
8. Living In Your Head
9. Into The Night
10. Forgotten Past
11. Tibulation Nation
12. Purple Sage

Live in Copenhagen Vinyl
1. Skeleton Blues
2. Doomsday Machine
3. Pale Blue Eyes
4. Into The Wormhole
5. The Old Man
6. Die Baby Die
7. Black Sun
8. Living In Your Head
9. Into The Night
10. Forgotten Past
11. Tibulation Nation
12. Purple Sage
13. All Our Thoughts
14. Come Back Life

Make sure to catch the band on tour:
SUMMER FESTIVALS
24.08. D Wörrstadt – Neuborn Open Air

KADAVAR + MONOLORD
25.10. D Dresden – Beatpol
26.10. D Magdeburg – Factory
27.10. D Berlin – Festsaal Kreuzberg
28.10. D Rostock – Peter-Weiss-Haus
30.10. DK Aarhus – Atlas
31.10. S Malmö – KB
01.11. N Oslo – John Dee
02.11. S Gothenburg – Sticky Fingers
03.11. D Weissenhäuser Strand / Ostsee – Metal Hammer Paradise *SOLD OUT*
04.11. NL Den Haag – Paard van Troje
06.11. F Angers – Le Chabada
07.11. F Toulouse – Le Metronum
08.11. E Bilbao – Santana 27
09.11. E Murcia – Garaje Beat Club
10.11. E Málaga – Sala Paris 15
11.11. E Sevilla – Sala Custom
14.11. F Six-Fours-les-Plages – Espace Malraux
15.11. CH Lausanne – Le Romandie
16.11. CH Zurich – Mascotte
17.11. NL Eindhoven – Helldorado
18.11. NL Groningen – Vera
20.11. D Bielefeld – Forum
21.11. B Kortrijk – De Kreun
22.11. D Karlsruhe – Substage
23.11. D Leipzig – Conne Island
24.11. D Schweinfurt – Stattbahnhof
25.11. D Neukirchen – Sägewerk
27.11. D Cham – L.A.
28.11. D Munich – Backstage
29.11. D Bochum – Zeche
30.11. D Saarbrücken – Garage
01.12. D Freiburg – Jazzhaus
06.12. D Frankfurt – Batschkapp*
*KADAVAR only

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Kadavar, “You Found the Best in Me” official video

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Earthless Post Full Set Live Video from Belgium

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

earthless (Photo by Atiba Jefferson)

A full set, professionally filmed, of Earthless playing live in Belgium earlier this year on their European tour supporting their Nuclear Blast debut, Black Heaven (review here)? It seems to me that Chromecast was made for such things. Like, specifically. Someone sat in their open office space in one of Google’s colorful bunkers and said, “Hey, I bet someday Earthless are gonna play a killer show and some internet dork without a smart tv is gonna want a way to watch it on a bigger screen than his laptop, which he calls The Silver Fox. Also, it’s six in the morning when this happens.” Points for specificity, Google Employee #X5-49647-J, as your legal name has been changed to be. I guess all that data mining and email keywording really pays off.

Anyhoozle, if you wanna pretend like you have better things to do for the next 65 minutes, that’s on you. Seems to me the thing to do is grab yourself a snack and/or a tasty beverage of whatever sort and let guitarist/vocalist Isaiah Mitchell, bassist Mike Eginton and drummer Mario Rubalcaba — who was wearing the same Sonic Rendezvous shirt when he sat in with Volcano at Roadburn later in April — hold sway for as long as they please. If you’ve seen the band before, the argument for full viewing is easy: it’s Earthless. If not, you’re likely to find an entirely new appreciation for the classic power trio dynamic between them. Because Earthless are nothing if they’re not a classic power trio, stylistically and at this point in terms of their impact on heavy rock and roll in general.

In the wake of Black Heaven, there’s been a lot of wax poetry in the critique around them. Well enough earned, to be sure. Who the hell doesn’t want to swim in the 65-minute ocean of sonic righteousness that is this set? Such as it is, though, their “formula” for success is as simple as it is rare: They’re great players who are great together.

That is, if you put Eginton, Rubalcaba or Mitchell in any other band, they’re good enough that you’d probably say, “holy shit, this guy is killer” about whatever they were doing in said band. Fine. But there’s a whole other level of Earthless that’s not at all about them as individuals, but a single collective unit. It’s how they feed off each other while they’re playing, about the conversation that’s happening between them instrumentally. That chemistry and that dynamic takes more than just basic talent to happen. And it’s the reason why there’s only one Earthless, no matter how many other acts try to make it otherwise.

They’re on tour now in Europe and will be back in the States after. Dates are below, courtesy of the PR wire:

Enjoy the video:

Earthless, Live at de Kreun, April 3, 2018

In the lead up to their fall European tour, San Diego based EARTHLESS have released pro shot live footage of their show at De Kreun in Kortrijk, Belgium from April this year.

The heavy psych power trio will be returning to both the UK and mainland Europe for a run of twelve shows in support of their latest mind bending offering Black Heaven which was released earlier this year. Commencing Sunday 29th July in Birmingham, UK at the Hare & Hounds, the upcoming venture includes a number of European festival appearances, select dates with US doomsayers Pallbearer and Sweden’s finest classic rockers Graveyard, and to top it all off will also see Philly’s trippiest Ruby The Hatchet joining the ride for a number of dates including all UK shows.

Cosmic Europe 2018 – Mission 2.0
August
Thursday 2nd – Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso (w/ Ruby The Hatchet)
Friday 3rd – Beelen, DE – Krach am Bach Festival
Saturday 4th – Waldhausen im Strudengau, AT – Lake On Fire Festival *SOLD OUT*
Monday 6th – Primosten, CR – SuperUho Festival
Wednesday 8th – Budapest, HUN – A38 (w/ Pallbearer)
Friday 10th – Siegen, DE – Vortex Club
Saturday 11th – Moledo, PT – SonicBlast Moledo Festival
Tuesday 14th – Bagnes, CH – Palp Festival (w/ Graveyard)
Wednesday 15th – Winterhur, CH – Gaswerk (w/ Pallbearer)

EARTHLESS
09/25/18 Eugene, OR – Old Nick’s Pub
09/26/18 Seattle, WA – Chop Suey
09/27/18 Portland, OR – Dante’s
09/28/18 Boise, ID – Neurolux
09/29/18 Salt Lake City, UT – CRUCIAL FEST
09/30/18 Denver, CO – Marquis Theatre
10/02/18 Minneapolis, MN – Lee’s Liquor Lounge
10/03/18 Winnipeg, MB – Park Theatre
10/05/18 Saskatoon, SK – Amigos Cantina
10/06/18 Edmonton, AB – UP & DOWNTOWN MUSIC FESTIVAL
10/07/18 Calgary, AB – Dickens Pub
10/09/18 Victoria, BC – The Copper Owl
10/10/18 Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre
10/12/18 Oakland, CA – Starline Social Club
10/13/18 Long Beach, CA – Alex’s Bar
10/14/18 Desert Daze – DESERT DAZE

Black Heaven was recorded at Rancho de la Luna in Joshua Tree, Calif. with Dave Catching (Eagles of Death Metal) handling production.It marked a shift for the band, with four of the six songs featuring vocals whereas earlier albums only occasionally had vocals.

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Hey, It’s Been a Couple Weeks, so Here’s Another Earthless Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 24th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

earthless

It’s been, you know, a little bit since the last time Earthless announced a tour in support of this year’s most righteous Black Heaven (review here), so yeah, they’re due. The West Coast kingpin three-piece will hit up their regional stopping ground beginning at the end of September and head toward the Desert Daze fest on Oct. 14. It’s one of several fests they’re playing on the efficient run, as they’ll also make stops at ever-tantalizing Crucial Fest in Salt Lake City and in Alberta at the Downtown Music Festival, which is one of several Canadian dates on what might legitimately be called a West Coast North American run. Also worth noting is the fact that they’ll be joined by the Mad Alchemy Liquid Light Show for the stint, so you can be guaranteed awesome visuals as well as seeing one of the US’ most powerful heavy rock acts at an inarguable height of their craft.

Fucking gorgeous tour poster and the dates follow here, courtesy of the PR wire:

earthless tour poster

EARTHLESS announces North American headlining tour

San Diego-based rock trio EARTHLESS, will headline a series of dates across North America this fall in support of the latest album, Black Heaven. Confirmed dates are as follows:

EARTHLESS
09/25/18 Eugene, OR – Old Nick’s Pub
09/26/18 Seattle, WA – Chop Suey
09/27/18 Portland, OR – Dante’s
09/28/18 Boise, ID – Neurolux
09/29/18 Salt Lake City, UT – CRUCIAL FEST
09/30/18 Denver, CO – Marquis Theatre
10/02/18 Minneapolis, MN – Lee’s Liquor Lounge
10/03/18 Winnipeg, MB – Park Theatre
10/05/18 Saskatoon, SK – Amigos Cantina
10/06/18 Edmonton, AB – UP & DOWNTOWN MUSIC FESTIVAL
10/07/18 Calgary, AB – Dickens Pub
10/09/18 Victoria, BC – The Copper Owl
10/10/18 Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre
10/12/18 Oakland, CA – Starline Social Club
10/13/18 Long Beach, CA – Alex’s Bar
10/14/18 Desert Daze – DESERT DAZE

Previously announced UK/European tour:
29 July: Birmingham UK – Hare & Hounds Kings Heath %
30 July: Glasgow UK – The Classic Grand %
31 July: Leeds UK – Brudenell Social Club %
01 Aug: Brighton UK – The Haunt Brighton %
02 Aug: Amsterdam NL – Paradiso Amsterdam %
03 Aug: Beelen DE – Krach am Bach Festival
04 Aug: Waldhausen im Strudengau AT – Lake on Fire Festival
06 Aug: Primošten CR – SuperUho Festival
08 Aug: Budapest HR – A38 Hajó $
11 Aug: Moledo PT – SonicBlast Moledo
14 Aug: Bagnes CH – PALP festival Rocklette &
15 Aug: Winterthur CH – Gaswerk *

Black Heaven was recorded at Rancho de la Luna in Joshua Tree, Calif. with Dave Catching (Eagles of Death Metal) handling production.It marked a shift for the band, with four of the six songs featuring vocals whereas earlier albums only occasionally had vocals.

“It wasn’t a premeditated thing to do a record with vocals,” said Rubalcaba. “On the older records, Mike was responsible for a lot of the riffs that would start these jams, but on this one Isaiah [Mitchell] really brought his own pizazz and flavor to it. I’d say that’s one of the major differences on this album: It has more of Isaiah’s input. He took a risk bringing these ideas to us, not knowing if we’d like them. But as with everything we’ve done in the past, it felt very organic and natural.”

Earthless is Mike Eginton (bass), Isaiah Mitchell (vocals/guitar) and Mario Rubalcaba (drums).

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Earthless, “Volt Rush” official video

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Corrosion of Conformity Announce UK Tour with Orange Goblin, Fireball Ministry and Black Moth

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Can you frickin’ imagine C.O.C. and Orange Goblin on the same bill? I’m sorry, but that’s just awesome. Both will be supporting new records — for Corrosion of Conformity, it’s earlier-this-year’s No Cross No Crown (review here), and for Orange Goblin, the impending The Wolf Bites Back (review later this week) — and with support from Fireball Ministry, lest we forget their own new album, Remember the Story (review here), which came out toward the end of 2017 — and Black Moth, the proceedings are all the more righteous for those who’ll be fortunate enough to witness them.

As fate and clever timing would have it, C.O.C. were in the UK this weekend playing Download and they’ve got another date in Colchester tonight ahead of hitting mainland Europe tomorrow to begin a tour that includes a couple dates meeting up with Converge and a stop at Hellfest. This of course will lead to the next tour, which is another run with Black Label Society in the States following up on the one at the start of the year. That’s in July/August, then in Oct./Nov. it’s back to the UK for the aforementioned excellence alongside Orange Goblin et al. It’s been a busy year for these dudes, especially as they’ve been largely without drummer Reed Mullin, who’s been unable to tour with the band following knee surgery and is, as of the last social media post on the subject, understandably anxious to return.

The PR wire brings the latest, but really, the point here is go see C.O.C. You have the means, motive and opportunity, so make it happen:

corrosion of conformity photo by Dean Karr

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY To Kick Off European Tour This Weekend; Band Confirms Fall UK Dates + Second Leg Of North American Tour With Black Label Society And Eyehategod Nears

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY will return to Europe this weekend for a stretch of live dates set to commence June 9th and run through June 24th. The journey includes special performances with Converge as well as appearances at Download, Hellfest, Copenhell, and Graspop. In July, the band will return to North American stages to kick off the second leg of their tour supporting Black Label Society. Slated to begin July 15th, the tour will make its way through nearly two dozen cities upon its conclusion on August 11th. Additional support will again be provided by Eyehategod. CORROSION OF CONFORMITY will close their summer live takeover with a performance at Loud And Heavy Fest in Fort Worth Texas sharing the stages with the likes of Cody Jinks and Whiskey Myers! In October, the band will take on an eight-date UK headlining tour with Orange Goblin, Fireball Ministry, and Black Moth. See all confirmed dates below.

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY continues to tour in support of their critically lauded No Cross No Crown full-length, released earlier this year via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. Captured in North Carolina with longtime producer John Custer, the record marks the first studio recording with vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan in over a decade and, earning the #67 spot on the Billboard Top 200 Chart, #12 on the Billboard Top Current Albums Chart, and #3 on the Top Hard Music Albums Chart upon its first week of release, is the highest charting album of the band’s career.

No Cross No Crown is available on CD, digital, vinyl, and cassette formats. Various order bundles are available at nuclearblast.com/coc-nocrossnocrown.

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY:
6/09/2018 Download – Donnington Park, UK
6/11/2018 Colchester Arts Centre – Colchester, UK
6/12/2018 FortaRock – Nijmegen, NL
6/13/2018 Den Atelier – Luxembourg, LU
6/14/2018 Universum – Stuttgart, DE
6/16/2018 Konzertfabrik Z7 – Pratteln, CH
6/17/2018 Santeria Social Club – Milan, IT
6/18/2018 Orion – Rome, IT w/ Converge
6/19/2018 VAZ Hafen – Innsbruck, AU w/ Converge
6/20/2018 La Belle Electrique – Grenoble, FR w/ Converge
6/22/2018 Hellfest – Clisson, FR
6/23/2018 Copenhell – København, DK
6/24/2018 Graspop – Dessel, BE

w/ Black Label Society, Eyehategod:
7/15/2018 Inkcarceration Music Festival @ Ohio State Reformatory – Mansfield, OH *
7/16/2018 Monarch Music Hall – Peoria, IA *
7/17/2018 The Forge – Joliet, IL *
7/18/2018 20 Monroe Live – Grand Rapids, MI
7/20/2018 Bourbon Theatre – Lincoln, NE
7/21/2018 Diamond Ballroom – Oklahoma City, OK
7/22/2018 Cotillion Ballroom – Wichita, KS
7/23/2018 The District – Sioux Falls, SD
7/25/2018 The Clyde Theatre – Wayne, IN
7/27/2018 Si Hall At The Fairgrounds – Syracuse, NY
7/28/2018 Impact Music Festival – Bangor, ME
7/29/2018 The Webster – Hartford, CT*
7/30/2018 The Queen – Wilmington, DE
8/01/2018 The Mill & Mine – Knoxville, TN
8/02/2018 The Fillmore Charlotte – Charlotte, NC
8/03/2018 Phase 2 – Lynchburg, VA
8/05/2018 The Norva – Norfolk, VA
8/07/2018 Rebel – Toronto, ON
8/08/2018 Metlus – Montreal, QC
8/09/2018 Sherman Theater – Stroudsburg, PA
8/10/2018 Paramount – Huntington, NY
8/11/2018 Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ
8/18/2018 Loud And Heavy Fest @ Panther Island Pavilion – Fort Worth, TX w/ Cody Jinks, Whiskey Myers

w/ Orange Goblin, Fireball Ministry, Black Moth:
10/26/2018 Engine Rooms – Southampton, UK
10/27/2018 02 Institute – Birmingham, UK
10/28/2018 Rock City – Nottingham, UK
10/30/2018 Ritz – Manchester, UK
11/01/2018 02 ABC- Glasgow, UK
11/02/2018 Plug – Sheffield, UK
11/03/2018 The Great Hall – Lardiff, UK
11/04/2018 02 Forum Kentish Town – London, UK
* No Eyehategod

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY is:
Pepper Keenan – vocals, guitar
Woodroe Weatherman – guitar
Mike Dean – bass, vocals
Reed Mullin – drums, vocals

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Corrosion of Conformity, “The Luddite” official video

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Graveyard, Peace: And the Price of It

Posted in Reviews on May 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

graveyard peace

It has been a tumultuous few years for Swedish boogie kings Graveyard. In Sept. 2016, the four-piece announced their breakup. It followed the release of 2015’s fourth album, Innocence and Decadence (review here), which was more defined by its plays toward melancholy soul than anything the four-piece had done previously, and with an effective-immediately disbanding and string of cancelled tour dates, it sent shockwaves through the heavy underground in Europe and beyond, as Graveyard‘s influence had by that point already spread across borders to nearly a whole generation of retro and/or boogie-minded bands. It was a genuine surprise, and not the last.

A few months later, in Jan. 2017, they pulled the rug out from their own breakup by getting back together, and for another shocker, announced that guitarist/vocalist Joakim Nilsson, guitarist Jonathan Ramm and still relatively recently returned bassist Truls Mörck had parted ways with drummer Axel Sjöberg (now of Big Kizz), and replaced him with Oskar Bergenheim, who makes his first appearance on the band’s fifth long-player, Peace (on Nuclear Blast). It was no minor change. This wasn’t just a band swapping out one expendable drummer or another. Anyone who ever saw Graveyard live could tell you Sjöberg was a major part of their sound and stage presence both, and as a founder of the band, he’d been there over the years as the inimitable chemistry developed between them. Whatever Peace — its title perhaps aspirational given all the madness of the few years prior — would have to offer, it was going to be a new Graveyard standing behind its delivery. And so it is.

Or at very least it’s one that sounds refreshed in their purpose and like they’re shaking off the rust they never quite let gather on them considering the touring they did to make up for lost time after Bergenheim joined. No doubt that helped them reestablish the dynamic that’s so prevalent instrumentally throughout the 10 tracks/43 minutes of Peace, which as ever is driven by Nilsson‘s gravely and sometimes bluesy vocals — especially well done on organ-laced closer “Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)” — and as the record begins with the full-on thrust of “It Ain’t Over Yet,” the message comes through clear and the band’s energy proves infectious. Part of a spectrum-spanning opening salvo with the more midpaced “Cold Love” and the subdued, Mörck-fronted “See the Day” behind it, “It Ain’t Over Yet” is just the first of several all-out rushes that one wouldn’t have expected from Graveyard three years ago.

The hooks and the songcraft are still there, and when “Please Don’t” kicks in after the quiet end of “See the Day,” it’s Bergenheim driving the movement that Nilsson tops with a bluesy ballad of coming to the city and trying to survive. In its swing and vibrancy, “Please Don’t” is essential Graveyard, and it builds toward an exciting finish with keys backing the guitars of Ramm and Nilsson as it races to its finish and the swirling, semi-garage start of “The Fox,” the shortest inclusion on Peace  at a brisk 2:45 and a carrying a sans-frills hook that likely finishes side A  and leads to the longer “Walk On” at the start of the tracklist’s second half, which is longer and shifts from one of the album’s most memorable choruses into a wide open section of echoes that set the bed for a build into the last run through the hook and a finish that finds the instruments cutting out as Nilsson recites, “It’s time to walk on” one more time, far, far off the mic.

graveyard

“Walk On” would stand as a video-worthy single, and but one might say the same of the quieter “Del Manic,” which follows. Catchy and memorable for its repetitions of the line “It’s just like staring at the sun” and its might-just-be-a-waltz rhythm, it shifts past its midpoint into a momentary swell of lower end tone, but recedes back to Nilsson‘s croon before trading back again before the next hook, “Don’t you need a little more to feel it?/Don’t you feel a little like you need it?/Don’t need a little more to feel it?/Don’t you feel a little like you need it?” sets up a swirl-backed solo and a final drop back to bluesy guitar that fades into the more uptempo start of “Bird of Paradise,” which brings Mörck back to the frontman position, his voice vaguely recalling Thin Lizzy if in rawer fashion. His presence alongside Nilsson on vocals is more than just a change-things-up tactic — he genuinely brings something different to the material he tops, and it gives Graveyard even more breadth to their sound.

That shows itself as “Bird of Paradise” gives way to the semi-title-track “A Sign of Peace,” which may or may not ultimately be based thematically on everything the band’s been through to get to this album release, but has a feeling of culmination to it anyway and moves fluidly through a kind of build before closer “Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)” takes hold quietly at first but ultimately with the unfurling of a blues-locomotive rhythm that turns near the midpoint to dual-guitar stomp backed by Bergenheim‘s kick. That quickly sets the foundation for an increasingly chaotic-sounding crescendo which recedes past the four-minute mark — the keys remaining prevalent alongside softly noodled and strummed guitar — and just when near-silence hits at about 4:50, they kick back in and give “Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)” a full revival for Peace‘s final apex, ending by cutting off cold and giving way to a kind of manipulated and echoing moan that also is shortly to disappear.

Peace will likely not be hailed as one of Graveyard‘s most innovative releases. The days of their landmark 2007 self-titled debut, 2011’s Hisingen Blues (review here) and 2012’s Lights Out (review here) are gone and despite having a signature sound, the band show little interest in repeating themselves from record to record, instead offering something different each time out within the sphere of their aesthetic and songwriting. But while it’s not revolutionary, the album should still be welcomed by fans, both for the fact that it marks Graveyard‘s return — something that, if only for months, didn’t seem like it was going to happen anytime soon — and for the reassurance it provides that despite the high highs and the low lows they’ve had since Innocence and Decadence, they remain strong, certain of who they are, and masters of the form of heavy boogie and blues rock. They’re as essential on Peace as they’ve been all along, and reestablishing that place seems to have been part of the idea anyhow.

Graveyard, “The Fox” official video

Graveyard, “Please Don’t” official video

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Graveyard Post “The Fox” Video; Euro & UK Tour Dates Confirmed

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

graveyard

The new Graveyard record has a couple barnburners on it, from the opener “It Ain’t Over Yet” to the penultimate semi-title-track “A Sign of Peace,” but as has been the case with their last several full-lengths, there’s more to the Swedish heavy rockers’ sound than just one approach. To wit, each half of the 10-song/43-minute LP gets a slower, moodier track, be it “See the Day” on side A or “Del Manic” on side B. Assuming the vinyl splits the tracklisting in half, that makes “The Fox” the finale on side A, and it draws a little bit from both sides. Where Graveyard‘s last video from Peace for “Please Don’t” (posted here), was a little more psychotic in its feel and a little more manic in the song itself, “The Fox” seems to be drawing from multiple sides.

I’m going to have an album review sometime in the coming weeks full of wax critique about what makes Graveyard such a special band and the serious risk they took in continuing on with new drummer Oskar Bergenheim after an initial hiatus, so I’ll save a lot of that kind of commentary for that, but for those looking forward to the arrival of Peace through Nuclear Blast on May 25, there’s much answered in this second video that the first one left to wonder about where the band was headed in terms of overall direction. The answer? They’re headed toward sounding like Graveyard Go figure.

Once again, the album is out May 25 on Nuclear Blast and Graveyard have newly confirmed tour dates in the UK and Europe for the Fall. All that whatnot follows via the PR wire. Dig it:

Graveyard, “The Fox” official video

Swedish classic rock connoisseurs GRAVEYARD are about to release their highly anticipated comeback album Peace, on May 25th through Nuclear Blast.

Today, the band releases another brand new song off their forthcoming record. Watch the music video for “The Fox” here.

Furthermore the band has announced the dates for their upcoming European and UK tours. See below.

Pre-order Peace in various formats, here: http://nblast.de/GraveyardPeace
Pre-order the album digitally to receive “Please Don’t” instantly!
Pre-save the album now via Spotify: http://nblast.de/GraveyardPeacePresave

Listen to “Please Don’t” in the NB Novelties Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/nuclearblastrecords/playlist/6aw9wiedFzzhJiI96DhNhw

The Nuclear Blast Mailorder Edition will feature the CD as well as a red 7″ vinyl single containing 2 exclusive and previously unreleased non-album tracks (‘Headache City’ & ‘Something Else’). Aside of that, the album will be available as digipak CD as well as on black, blue, yellow, beige, white and clear vinyl.

Peace – Track Listing:
01. It Ain’t Over Yet
02. Cold Love
03. See The Day
04. Please Don’t
05. Del Maniac
06. The Fox
07. Walk On
08. Bird Of Paradise
09. A Sign Of Peace
10. Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)

GRAVEYARD live:
08.06. S Sölvesborg – Sweden Rock
15./16.06. S Norrköping – Metallsvenskan
17.06. F Brétigny-Sur-Orge – Download Festival
21. – 23.06. DK Copenhagen – Copenhell
14.07. NL Weert – Bospop
21.07. S Stockholm – Ullevi (w/ GUNS N’ ROSES)
28.07. S Öland – Borgholm Brinner
08. – 11.08. D Eschwege – Open Flair Festival
08. – 11.08. CZ Jarom?? – Brutal Assault
15.08. D Dinkelsbühl – Summer Breeze

Peace over Europe 2018
+ BOMBUS
20 sept Columbia Club / Berlin (D)
22 sept Täubchenthal / Leipzig (D)
23 sept Futurum / Prague (CZ)
25 sept Arena Wien / Wien (AT)
26 sept A38 / Budapest (HUN)
28 sept Zona Roveri / Bologna (IT)
29 sept Bloom / Mezzago (IT)
2 oct Technikum / München (D)
3 oct Zoom / Frankfurt (D)
4 oct Garage Kleiner Klubb / Saarbrücken (D)
5 oct Im Wizemann / Stuttgart (D)
6 oct Den Atelier / Luxembourg (LU)
10 oct Ancienne Belgique / Brussels (BE)
11 oct De Oosterpoort / Groningen (NL)
12 oct Melkweg Max / Amsterdam (NL)
13 oct Luxor / Cologne (D)

PEACE over UK 2018
(support TBA)
30 nov Leadmill / Sheffield
1 dec The Key Club / Leeds
2 dec Rescue Rooms / Nottingham
3 dec G2 / Glasgow
5 dec Scala / London
6 dec Manchester Academy / Manchester
7 dec Birmingham 02 Academy 2 / Birmingham
8 Dec The Thekla / Bristol

Line-up:
Joakim Nilsson | vocals, guitars
Truls Mörck | bass
Oskar Bergenheim | drums
Jonatan Ramm | guitars

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Amorphis, Queen of Time: Keeper of Fleeting Moments

Posted in Reviews on May 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

amorphis queen of time

As they’ve for so long shown an affinity for Finland’s national poem, the Kalevala, it seems somehow only fitting that 28 years after their founding, Amorphis‘ own story should be the stuff of a winding runic epic. Years of lineup changes, sonic evolution, genre definition and defiance have brought them to their 14th long-player, Queen of Time (on Nuclear Blast), with four of their original members in the six-piece lineup, and as they’re quick to show on the Jens Bogren-produced outing, the progression that began on 1992’s The Karelian Isthmus continues unabated. As they mark the return of original bassist Olli-Pekka “Oppu” Laine, with whom they last played on 1999’s Tuonela (discussed here), they embark on some of their most expansive sounds to-date, including not just the standout keyboard work of Santeri Kallio, who joined in 1999, but also flourish in the form of choral and orchestral arrangements and vocal appearances from Anneke van Giersbergen, who guests on the penultimate cut “Amongst Stars,” and longtime lyricist Pekka Kainulainen, who contributes a speech in Finnish to third track “Daughter of Hate.”

That song runs as part of a momentum-building first half of the album that, from the intro to opener “The Bee” through “Message in the Amber,” “Daughter of Hate,” and “The Golden Elk” and “Wrong Direction,” move with experienced poise through the band’s long-established dynamic of folk, death and progressive metals, vocalist Tomi Joutsen (also Hallatar) — who since coming aboard with 2006’s Eclipse (also their label debut on Nuclear Blast) has now been in the band nearly twice as long as his predecessor, Pasi Koskinen — switching easily between guttural growls and dramatic, emotionally driven clean singing.

The clash of the beautiful and the brutal has been at the core of what Amorphis do for over 20 years, since 1996’s groundbreaking third album, Elegy, but whether it’s the chugging riff of “The Bee” meeting with a string arrangement and keyboard launching into the chorus or the later “Grain of Sand” finding Joutsen layering soaring melodies over growls as drummer Jan Rechberger pounds away behind and lead guitarist Esa Holopainen touches on minor-key Easternisms as a chorus backs the bridge to the next onslaught, Amorphis have never quite made the transitions so fluid. Part of that is the melding of melody and extremity as on “Daughter of Hate,” which brings in saxophone around the two-minute mark after a particularly brutal opening, but Bogren, who seems to have been the mastermind behind bringing the choral and orchestral arrangements into the proceedings, can only be considered right for having done do.

amorphis

Even the band’s also-string-inclusive preceding album, 2015’s Under the Red Cloud, which Bogren also oversaw amid a host of engineers, didn’t push as far as “The Bee” or “Message in the Amber,” the latter touching almost on Blind Guardian-style grandiosity in its second half. That’s not a complaint. Even as later cut “We Accursed” holds to a “rawer” approach with its Finn-folk bounce and swirling keyboard solo over a start-stop riff from Holopainen and fellow founder/rhythm guitarist Tomi Koivusaari, Amorphis seem to be expanding on the ideas of Under the Red Cloud, pushing themselves further in multiple directions and still leaving room for hooks like that of “Wrong Direction” or the memorable finale in “Pyres on the Coast” that seems to bring all sides together and round out with Kallio on a still-somehow-appropriate church organ.

But that is what Amorphis does, and it’s what they’ve always done. Save perhaps between 1994’s Tales from the Thousand Lakes and the aforementioned Elegy, their growth has never come in leaps and bounds — and part of that was personnel change — but it’s been a consistent truism of their work that each outing builds off the accomplishments of the one before it, and refuses to stay in the same place. In the now-seven albums they’ve done since Eclipse, when Joutsen came aboard, they’ve been ever more aware of who they are as a band — that is, there are some things an Amorphis record needs to be an Amorphis record, and they seem to consciously tick those boxes — but never afraid to refine their processes and push themselves in ways they haven’t before. As such, the 10 tracks/57 minutes of Queen of Time are multifaceted and rife with breadth, but the core sonic persona of who Amorphis have become — itself true to the band’s name for its ever-changing shape — has remained true.

They are one of a kind in metal, and whatever subgenre one might want to peg them into, they’ll never quite fit all the way. That’s true of the galloping “Heart of the Giant,” the careening delivery of the title-line in “The Golden Elk,” and the piano line that runs under “Amongst Stars,” as the meticulousness of Amorphis‘ songwriting, the sheer clarity and detail of it, makes them an ever more complex and ever more immersive listening experience. Invariably, with a band who’ve been around so long produced such a catalog, fans have their favorites, so I won’t say Queen of Time is the “best” Amorphis album, because the designation is meaningless. However, it is the farthest stage yet reached of their ongoing progression and it claims its place in their catalog as an utter triumph in its achievement. For established fans or open-minded newcomers, it should not be missed.

Amorphis, “Wrong Direction” official video

Amorphis website

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