Posted in Whathaveyou on October 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
There hasn’t yet been a physical pressing of Sleep‘s 2014 single, The Clarity (review here), that hasn’t sold completely through, and I wouldn’t expect any different from this forthcoming Feb. 2017 Southern Lord edition either. Guitarist Matt Pike (do I really need to say he’s also in High on Fire?) has said publicly that Sleep will record a new album next year as well, so whether this is a precursor to that, I don’t know, but given that it was five years between their first getting back together in 2009 and putting out The Clarity, it seems fair to think they’ll take their time with a what would be their first full-length since the now-legendary Dopesmoker, released some 15 years ago. Maybe 2018?
I don’t know. Sometimes my suppositions on that kind of thing are way off — certainly not like I saw The Clarity coming at the time — so don’t by any means take my baseless speculation as any kind of authority. Bottom line is that whenever it shows up, if it does, a new Sleep will be welcome, at least around these parts. If it’s another pressing of The Clarity in the interim, so be it.
From the PR wire:
SLEEP’s “The Clarity” 12″ To Receive Official Pressing Via Southern Lord
Southern Lord Recordings is pleased to announce the impending re-release of SLEEP’s “The Clarity.” The special 12″ contains the first new song from the band in nearly two decades.
Initially released digitally as part of the Adult Swim Singles Program in 2014, SLEEP’s “The Clarity” is the first new track the band released since their critically-adored, 1998-released Dopesmoker album. Afterward, the band issued a very limited run of the song on vinyl which was sold exclusively at their live shows and the band’s online store. Having been out-of-print in physical format since, Southern Lord will now re-release the mammoth track for official distribution.
Recorded by Neurosis’ Noah Landis and mastered by John Golden, the near ten-minute-long “The Clarity” has been re-cut by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph Mastering for this new pressing, which will see release on 180-gram 12″ vinyl pressed at RTI. The B-side of the platter features a special etching of the artwork by David V. D’Andrea (Samaritan Press), and will be housed in a heavyweight picture disc-style sleeve, silkscreened with the SLEEP logo.
The Clarity will see re-release in February 2017, with preorder info and more to follow shortly. Find other SLEEP titles and merch in the meantime RIGHT HERE.
Remaining one of the most widely-respected and influential acts in the stoner/doom metal universe, SLEEP’s popularity has grown tremendously since their reformation in 2009. The reborn lineup, reuniting bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros (OM) and guitarist/vocalist Matt Pike (High Oh Fire), and including drummer Jason Roeder (Neurosis), SLEEP continues to do what they have always done; largely and without pause, make music in tune with the ages.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 27th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Do your Tuesday drear a favor and treat it to a run through ‘Broken Movements,’ the new track streaming now to go with the announcement of Oakland atmospheric doomers Worm Ouroboros‘ upcoming third album, What Graceless Dawn, which will be out this winter on Profound Lore. I think you’ll find it’s a more than fitting complement in its pervasive melancholy, melodic resonance and ambient weight. It gets heavy, yeah, or at very least it gets spacious — I wouldn’t call even its loudest moments “crushing” or intended to be so — but even the quiet stretches seem to bear down on you, the unsuspecting listener, who’s just sad because Friday is still so far away. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while, having missed out on their last outing in 2012, so please be on the lookout for more to come.
For now, art and info and audio, courtesy of the PR wire:
WORM OUROBOROS: Dark Ethereal Doom Alchemists To Release What Graceless Dawn Full-Length Via Profound Lore This Winter; New Track Posted
With their third full-length, What Graceless Dawn, dark ethereal doom alchemists WORM OUROBOROS have brought into existence their deepest and most moving work to date. Set for release this December via Profound Lore, the follow-up to 2012’s critically-lauded Come The Thaw LP finds the Oakland-based trio of bassist/vocalist Lorraine Rath (ex-The Gault, Amber Asylum), guitarist/vocalist Jessica Way (Barren Harvest), and drummer Aesop Dekker (Vhol, ex-Agalloch, Ludicra) elevating the WORM OUROBOROS sound to a new echelon of sophistication through their amalgam of morose, 4AD-esque doom, introspective death rock, dark ambient, and enchanting chamber music. Through obsessive bass lines, ambient guitar movements, layers and overtones, the alluring vocal intertwining between Rath and Way, and Dekker’s subtle-yet-procession-like percussion What Graceless Dawn is a sonic vision of tragedy and despair, one of the saddest, most crippling, and gut-wrenching releases in the realm of heavy, dark, introspective music to bring the curtain down on the year.
Recorded and mixed at Oakland’s Earhammer Studios by Greg Wilkinson (Brainoil, Pallbearer, Noothgrush) Graceless Dawn will see official unveiling on December 2nd, 2016. In the meantime, hear the forlorn sounds of second track, “Broken Movements,” via Profound Lore’s Soundcloud page at THIS LOCATION.
What Graceless Dawn Track Listing: 1. Day 2. Broken Movements 3. Suffering Tree 4. Ribbon Of Shadow 5. (Was It) The Cruelest Thing 6. Night
WORM OUROBOROS formed in June 2007 by Lorraine Rath and Jessica Way. With both musicians already having experience within the Bay Area heavy music scene — Way was previously part of metal band World Eater and Rath being a part of the influential Amber Asylum lineup as well as being co-mastermind of The Gault — WORM OUROBOROS set out to create music which explores the lines between fragility and strength, darkness and light, harmony and discord. Drawing inspiration from many places, including metal, doom, folk, progressive, and dark ambient genres, WORM OUROBOROS creates its own space; a creeping, dark landscape full of murky dreams and emotions. The band would see the inclusion of drummer Aesop Dekker in 2010 who would replace original drummer Justin Green.
Posted in Reviews on September 21st, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
A new release of any sort from Neurosis should be seen as reason to celebrate, and their 11th studio album, Fires Within Fires, has hit with no shortage of fanfare, critical fawning, wax poetry, etc. I won’t necessarily disagree with most of it, but it’s hard to separate the record, which of course is released on the band’s own Neurot Recordings, from the context in which it arrives.
Part of that is narrative. The post-metal progenitors began marking their 30th anniversary in the past year, and with Fires Within Fires, they take on the task of summarizing their unmatched sonic progression in a variety of interesting ways, not all of them sonic. At the same time, one of the most pivotal aspects to what Neurosis do — and I’m writing as a fan — has been the forward-thinking crux, the willingness to push into uncharted places, relentless in passion and creative spirit.
Fires Within Fires representing that as well as pulling in aspects from the band’s past without being overly cerebral or coming across like a commentary from the band, by the band, about the band, might be its greatest triumph. Rather, in marking their history, Neurosis — the five-piece of guitarist/vocalists Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till, bassist/backing vocalist Dave Edwardson, drummer Jason Roeder and keyboardist/noise specialist Noah Landis — conjure here some of the rawest sounds they’ve elicited in more than a decade.
That idea applies even to the five-track/40-minute runtime. Fires Within Fires is the shortest Neurosis full-length since 1990’s The Word as Law, and the visceral nature of opener “Bending Light” mirrors that paring-down process in its sound. At the same time, Fires Within Fires caps with “Reach,” which presents the most ambitious melodic vocal approach of the band’s career, so even as they reflect, that becomes part of an overarching ongoing pursuit.
This gives the album, produced by Steve Albini, who’s helmed everything they’ve done since 1999’s Times of Grace and 2001’s pivotal A Sun that Never Sets — the latter of which seems to find some reference here in the penultimate “Broken Ground” (probably not on purpose) — a certain front-to-back linearity. Especially with its somewhat truncated span compared to more recent Neurosis outings, be it 2012’s Honor Found in Decay (review here), which was an hour even, or 2007’s Given to the Rising, which was 10 minutes longer than that, the shorter stretch makes Fires Within Fires easier to take as a whole work as well as in terms of its individual pieces and what they accomplish.
Their recordings with Albini have always been very tied to their live presentation, so Fires Within Fires isn’t necessarily any more “stripped down” in its presentation than any of their other collaborations, but it does carry that rawer feel in the material itself, in the full-boar lurch of centerpiece “Fire is the End Lesson” as well as in the still-tense atmospherics of second cut “A Shadow Memory.”
Landis, whose contributions in eerie sampling and manipulation of sound, as well as keys, etc., continue to bolster the material well, immediately complement the initial rollout of “Bending Light.” Crashing in, the opener weaves its way forward on an intricately-toned guitar lead, quiets down to lull the listener into a false sense of security and then at 3:40 slams into its verse, Kelly‘s guttural sneer unmistakable as it spits the lines, “Watching through the eyes of a crow/I let it guide me/I let it guide me/I let it in/The end is endless/And washing [or watching] over me.”
The rhythmic repetition there is important, and comes up again shortly with the same line, “I let it guide me,” before Kelly and Von Till come together to deliver and repeat the lyric, “Peeling the skin away reveals the heart,” which could easily be read as a declaration of intent for the album itself (though again, probably not), their insistence as they belt it out four times in a row punkish in its intensity. Following a slowdown, Von Till takes the fore vocally and the track lumbers and undulates to its finish and into the airier start of “A Shadow Memory,” the shortest cut on Fires Within Fires at 6:50.
Within the first minute, its forward motion is underway, the guitars and keys accenting each other as Roeder, as ever, gives fluidity to what for most drummers would be impossible to interpret (without his blueprint). Von Till and Kelly work through a call and response on vocals and drop out for a moment of ambience before a section of drawn guitar line reminiscent of “Water is Not Enough” from Given to the Rising hits and carries through the halfway point, after which they stop and then shift again into a more direct thrust. That will serve as the capstone movement, and the guitar line returns to tie it together, behind another effective dual vocal that only adds to the manic feel before swirling noise ends cold and cuts into the immediate impact of “Fire is the End Lesson.”
Also on the shorter end (6:54), it reverses the structure thus far of subdued intros into bursts forward, though it does build with much credit to Edwardson at the low end until they move through the two-minute mark, cutting out some of the wall-of-noise push to air out keys and what sounds like strings but could just as easily be a sample or other manipulation from Landis — it can be tricky sometimes to tell — but the thrust revives with a rising, consuming wash of noise and guitar, all seeming to come to a head and then only growing more abrasive, finally cutting out just past five minutes in to the same progression that answered the first payoff, which by this time has an almost soothing presence.
They finish with repeated lines before dropping to feedback to set up the gorgeous wash of keys that begin “Broken Ground.” One might be reminded of “A Sun that Never Sets” from the album of the same name by Roeder‘s drumming and the vocal that emerges, and as “Broken Ground” moves into its apex, it might seem to be speaking to the genre-foundational “Stones from the Sky” off that same record, but Neurosis today is a different beast than they were 15 years ago, and they shove what might be Fires Within Fires‘ standout riff into a chorus that holds its volume and opens into lines of what sounds like (but likely isn’t actually) flute behind the vocals, dipping back right away into the verse before a return to the quiet guitar, keys and drums of the intro just past the halfway point brings Von Till back for a more subdued delivery.
At 5:39, they kick back into that riff and take it through another chorus, and though it seems fair to expect them to ride that through the remaining three minutes, they instead cut back again and end quiet, watery effects on a few final lines on a long drift with just a current of noise remaining. The closer and longest track, “Reach” (10:37) begins almost like its predecessor, but the mood is immediately different, the drums accenting a march that Von Till meets with melodic singing in a voice usually reserved for his solo work.
Not only that, but soon enough Kelly joins in and the two duet in a way that I’m not sure has ever happened on a Neurosis record. A build has begun, however, and carries through the next verse and joint-vocal chorus, and at 4:30, they shift into what will be the ground level for Fires Within Fires‘ last push, a long section of melancholy guitar lead over patient and quiet, but tense, guitar, bass and drums.
You know it’s coming, you just don’t know when, but at 7:59, “Reach” lunges forth its crescendo, a vicious and somewhat angular rhythm very much the band’s own that moves back and forth between the guitars at the fore, brings in Edwardson on backing vocals — he’s a weapon not often but effectively used — and teases its finish with words that rhyme with the title before the guitar, bass, drums, keys and everything else drops away and the final call — “reach” — is delivered, the band basically living up to that promise in manifesting the undulled searching that has been their core for the last three decades. In the end, it only takes them one word to say it all.
The visual side of Neurosis‘ output — from the artwork to their years spent accompanied by Josh Graham‘s video presentations during live sets — has always been a major element in conveying theme. With Honor Found in Decay, there was a strong sense of ritual, and the open gray space of 2004’s The Eye of Every Storm was no less appropriate than the charred and fossilized flesh of 1993’s Enemy of the Sun.
With the Fires Within Fires cover by Thomas Hooper, we see several elements that factor into the story surrounding the album, from the burning world representing passion to the key that might very well be just that — the key — in saying passion is central to the band and what has sustained them. Also important and thematic through the package are circles, in both the world on the cover surrounded by ethereal lines that could well be taken as spirit, as well as on back and inside, and this too plays into the notion of Neurosis taking a rare moment to examine themselves and what their time together has wrought for them as artists and people.
I’ve made a lot of comparisons to their past work, and I think those hold up to scrutiny (or I wouldn’t have made them), but at no point do I believe Neurosis sat down and said, “Okay, now we’re gonna reference ‘Through Silver in Blood.'” Instead, it’s more likely these connections emerged naturally as the songs came together, and while at some point they had to consciously acknowledge they were doing something different than before — if only in realizing Fires Within Fires is 20 minutes shorter than its predecessor — I’m not convinced that’s anything so far removed from their usual method of making a record.
Still, the circles. One thinks of ouroboros, of ends as beginnings. It may well be that Neurosis have come full circle and they’ll draw that circle to a close, a completion, but just as likely, the turn in approach they present here may signify a new beginning for the band as much as punctuation for their first 30 years. What can be said for certain is Neurosis will keep moving forward, as it’s all they’ve ever done, and even as they may or may not be looking back, they refuse to stop changing on Fires Within Fires as well. Recommended.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 8th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Kind of nice to post some US tour dates for a change. Don’t get me wrong, I love covering stuff from Europe or happening in Europe, and as regards this fall, that’s clearly where the party’s at, what with the 7,000 festivals — exact number — happening every weekend and all, but it’s nice to know that as the heavy underground turns its focus toward the old world, the new won’t be entirely bereft of good times.
To wit, the teaming up of Oakland psych-proggers Mondo Drag, who’ll be out supporting this year’s The Occultation of Light (review here) after a European run this Spring, a residency in L.A. and a stop at Psycho Las Vegas, with their RidingEasy Records labelmates in Austin troublemaking trio The Well, who’ll have their new one, Pagan Science, out on Oct. 14, and San Marcos upstarts Crypt Trip is sure to take some of the sting out of not being in Switzerland, or Belgium, or Germany, or wherever on any given day. It’s nice to know somebody still cares, that’s all.
Hope you go to a show and make it worth their while, because that’s how tours keep happening. You don’t need me to tell you that shit. We’re cool. It’s all those other jerks we need to worry about.
RidingEasy announced the dates thusly:
Mondo Drag, The Well and Crypt Trip are hitting the road! What show will you be at???
10/7/2016 Rock Island, IL @ Rock Island Brewing Co 10/8/2016 Chicago, IL @ Cobra Lounge 10/9/2016 Detroit, MI @ El Club 10/11/2016 Pittsburgh, PA @ Spirit 10/13/2016 Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class 10/14/2016 Asbury Park, NJ @ Wonder Bar 10/15/2016 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus 10/16/2016 Baltimore, MD @ Metro 10/17/2016 Philadelphia, PA @ Voltage 10/18/2016 Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter Thursday 10/20/2016 Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn Friday 10/21/2016 New Orleans, LA @ Siberia Saturday 10/22/2016 Houston, TX @ End It Fest Sunday 10/23/2016 Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas Wednesday 10/26/2016 Phoenix, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room Thursday 10/27/2016 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
Kalas was a short-lived five-piece fronted by Matt Pike of High on Fire and Sleep. During their time together, which reportedly started in 2003, they released one full-length, self-titled, on Tee Pee Records. They did not tour extensively. I remember seeing them at SXSW 2006 in Austin, Texas, at a day party sponsored by Vice — at the time I had no idea what Vice was, but Witch were also playing, so I wasn’t missing it either way — and watching as Pike rushed through the crowd to get on stage because the band’s set was about to start. It was that kind of thing. Someone would tell me later that Kalas essentially came out of his desire to practice his vocals and expand his range for High on Fire — which the album Kalas most definitely does on songs like “Frozen Sun” and “Mother’s Tears” — but I think the appeal of the record goes further than that.
Consider that in 2006, Sleep were still broken up, seemingly permanently. With High on Fire, Pike released Blessed Black Wings in 2005 and would follow it up with Death is this Communion in 2007, indeed having greatly expanded his vocal range. Kalas‘ self-titled is not only a bridge between those two albums, but also a tie to the more purely stonerized riffing of Sleep — or at very least is less maniacally metal than High on Fire were at the time and have only grown to be more so. By stepping back and not playing guitar, Pike gave crucial ground to six-stringers Andy Christ (ex-Eldopa) and Paul Kott (ex-High Tone Son of a Bitch) and led the band, which also included bassist Brad Reynolds and drummer Scott Plumb, in a different way than he ever had before or than he has since. He only played guitar in Sleep, but in Kalas, he only sang (minus a solo on “Frozen Sun”), and that became a defining feature of the group and the album.
Honestly, that would probably be enough to pique interest, but the album continues to deliver quality in the performance of the entire band and the songwriting. It’s not as rampage-prone as High on Fire, but Kalas grooves fluidly across its nine tracks, and the lyrics tackle issues of addiction and the resulting effects on life in a more direct way than Pike ever had before. It became a vibe that, on subsequent releases, might’ve come to develop along a path separate from anything else Pike was involved in, but instead it kind of languished behind the booming popularity of High on Fire — who were in the midst of doing some of their best work to-date — and the reunion of Sleep, which began in 2009. The self-titled would be the only thing they ever put out. Copies still float around, and if you’re lucky you might be able to find one in a used rack somewhere, but it continues to surprise me how little mention Kalas get in the Matt Pike discography, since they were unlike anything he’d done before or would do again. And, again, the songs hold up even a decade later.
More pre-social media heavy seemingly given up to the ages, awaiting reissue. Hope you enjoy.
I lost a little weight recently and so have been digging out some old t-shirts from boxes in the basement in hopes that they might fit. I chose the Kalas record because apparently at some point I purchased a Kalas t-shirt with the album cover on it. Must have been at that SXSW show, though I couldn’t say for sure — it was a long decade ago and I never went to Austin that I didn’t spend the entire half-week bordering on blackout drunk. Or my 20s. Ha.
Anyway, I think I might wear that Kalas shirt to The Obelisk All-Dayer, which is only eight days away. It’s pretty new looking. I might’ve never worn it before.
Next week the countdown to that show will continue. Look for exclusive and awesome stuff from Funeral Horse, King Buffalo and Heavy Temple, and maybe a special writeup for the afterparty as well, because I’m really stoked on bringing Walter Roadburn and Adam from The Golden Grass on board to DJ after Mars Red Sky plays. It’s going to be such an awesome day. Please come. Please show up.
Also next week, look out for a review and some kind of audio premiere for the new Second Grave album, Blacken the Sky. To be followed Tuesday (I think) by Wretch and Wednesday by Blues Funeral. There’s more for later in the week, I’m just not sure what it is yet. Doing the All-Dayer countdown has put me way behind on videos as well. Might take a day to get caught up. We’ll see how it goes.
I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Please get your The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets, and please check out the forum and radio stream.
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 10th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Having been fortunate enough to witness two of Neurosis‘ 30th anniversary sets in-person at Roadburn 2016 earlier this year, I’ll say from personal experience that attendance should be considered mandatory for even the mildest fan of the band. They not only tackle the scope of their entire career — a seemingly impossible feat to blend the raw punk of their earliest work with the groundbreaking experimentalism that followed — they do so with all the on-stage force one could ask of Neurosis, who are among the most dynamic live bands in the world, regardless of genre. Somehow I doubt adding material from their forthcoming 11th studio LP, Fires Within Fires, is going to hurt.
Unless you don’t bring earplugs, that is.
The PR wire brings details of the two 30th anniversary shows that Neurosis will play in the UK this November. They’re also in Europe starting tomorrow. Words:
NEUROSIS Reveals Two Special UK Shows To Mark Their Thirty-Year Anniversary And Celebrate The Release Of Fires Within Fires
With NEUROSIS having marked their thirty-year milestone with three shows in San Francisco, two shows at the respected Roadburn Festival, and a Summer of touring across Europe on the horizon, the anticipation for something special in the UK is palpable. It therefore comes with great pleasure to announce two London shows in November this year with thrilling, and unexpected, special guests.
On Monday, November 7th, NEUROSIS shall be joined by Earth, and on Tuesday, November 8th, they will be joined by Discharge and Subhumans. These bands represent perfectly the cross-section of music which NEUROSIS as a collective deeply admire and relate to, which makes these two shows all the more important in this milestone year. Tickets go on sale today.
Prior to the UK shows, on September 23rd, NEUROSIS takes a dominant leap with their eleventh full-length, Fires Within Fires. Three decades in the making, and following 2012’s Honor Found In Decay, the album is a testament both to the history and future of Neurosis. In true Ouroborean style, Fires Within Fires gives due to its predecessors while progressing forward into the unfamiliar and formidable. Striking the band’s signature balance between light and dark, beauty and repulsion, dense sonic heaviness and reflective space. Fires Within Fires is succinct, raw and deeply soulful, an all-encompassing reminder that transfiguration in sound remains their most commanding and inimitable strength. Our first and only glimpse of the music on this record, prior to release date, is sampled in a new video which showcases the exquisite album artwork from the renowned Thomas Hooper.
The journey of their music has found the band relishing the unpredictable, embracing the unknown and exploring the possibility of where the music was capable of taking them. Going beyond the remarkable, NEUROSIS has become unforgettable. Fires Within Fires is the next powerful step towards a destination that has long been and continues to be the very heart of “becoming” for NEUROSIS.
Neurot Recordings will release Fires Within Fires on September 23rd worldwide. Preorders are now being taken via the Neurot webstore RIGHT HERE.
NEUROSIS Tour Dates: 8/10/2016 Brutal Assault Festival – Jaromer, CZ 8/11/2016 Festa Radio Onda D’Urto – Brescia, IT 8/12/2016 Rock Altitude Festival – Le Locle, CH w/ Tesa 8/13/2016 Oya Festival – Oslo, NO 8/14/2016 Arena – Vienna, AT w/ Ufomammut, Tesa 8/15/2016 UT Connewitz – Leipzig, DE w/ Tesa 8/16/2016 Gruenspan – Hamburg, DE w/ Tesa 8/17/2016 Patronaat – Haarlem, NL w/ Tesa 8/18/2016 Pukkelpop Festival – Hasselt, BE 8/19/2016 Substage – Karlsruhe, DE w/ Tesa 8/20/2016 Motocultor Festival – St. Nolff, FR 8/21/2016 Amplifest – Porto, PT w/ Tesa 11/07/2016 Koko – London, UK w/ Earth 11/08/2016 Koko – London, UK w/ Discharge, Subhumans
STEVE VON TILL Tour Dates: 8/10/2016 007 – Prague, CZ 8/22/2016 Passos Manuel – Porto, PT @ Amplifest
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 19th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
In addition to joining the fray at Psycho Las Vegas — and no doubt causing a large portion of it — High on Fire will tour this fall alongside metal innovators Meshuggah. The heavy thrash kingpins continue to support 2015’s Luminiferous (review here), released on eOne Heavy, and have already done US and Aus/NZ tours this year. You know, in addition to the many, many times they’ve been back and forth the country prior to 2016. I might’ve expected them to hit Europe this autumn, but it’s hard to argue with the company they’re keeping of late, and as we’ve seen develop, Europe’s becoming an increasingly crowded market.
From the PR wire:
HIGH ON FIRE Joins Forces with Meshuggah for Fall North American Tour
World-renowned heavy metal power trio HIGH ON FIRE has announced a fall North American tour as direct support to Sweden’s Meshuggah. The titanic team-up will kick off on October 11 in Atlanta, GA, running through November 6 in Silver Spring, MD. Tickets will go on sale Friday, July 22.
Featuring vocalist and guitar hero Matt Pike, drummer Des Kensel and bassist Jeff Matz, HIGH ON FIRE continues to tour in support of its most recent album, Luminiferous.
HIGH ON FIRE tour dates:
August 27 Las Vegas, NV House of Blues (as part of Psycho Las Vegas w/ Blue Oyster Cult, Alice Cooper, etc.) September 25 San Francisco, CA Stinky’s al Fresco
(w / Meshuggah) October 11 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle October 12 St. Louis, MO The Pageant October 13 Nashville, TN Marathon Music Works October 16 Houston, TX House of Blues October 17 Dallas, TX House of Blues October 19 Los Angeles, CA The Novo October 24 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre October 25 Lawrence, KS Liberty Hall October 26 Minneapolis, MN Mill City Nights October 28 Chicago, IL House of Blues October 29 Detroit, MI The Majestic October 30 Toronto, ON Phoenix Concert Theatre October 31 Montreal, QC Metropolis November 2 Boston, MA House of Blues November 3 New York, NY PlayStation Theatre November 4 Philadelphia, PA Trocadero Theatre November 5 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom November 6 Silver Spring, MD The Fillmore
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 14th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Lurkers of the world — unite! Californian doomers Swamp Witch celebrate the bleak and the misanthropic on their 2015 sophomore outing, The Slithering Bog, and as it happens that very same album has been confirmed for a vinyl release through Tribunal of the Axe later this month. It was originally issued on cassette by Transylvanian Tapes, but this will be the first LP edition and there are three colors. It’s been two years since the album was first recorded in San Francisco, so where the band might be on a follow-up could go either way, but for those who can’t get enough of that crawling feeling with their heavy, Swamp Witch should make you feel right at home, as much as anything ever does.
Preorders available now. To wit:
SWAMP WITCH: Punishing Doom Practitioners To Release The Slithering Bog Via Tribunal Of The Axe
SWAMP WITCH is the culmination of psychedelic substances, occult practices, and a collective interest in dark, strange, and ultimately hallucinogenic music originally devised with the sole intent to commit and record ritualistic extremities through heavy music only for the night of 9/9/09. In the aftermath, members found themselves pressed to continue the slow-burning drudgery sparked on that September ninth into the months that followed, leading to shows, recordings, band members towing themselves out of the smog from Central Valley, California and into Oakland (and Arcata, respectively) and finally, the vinyl release that recollects the original material of that evening: Gnosis.
The punishing, murky layers protruding from 2011’s Gnosis recordings drip with the trance-laden, drug-induced efforts of ’70s psychedelia compressed into the claustrophobic toil and painful repetition of ’90s sludge. This concept of Gnosis actually seems more akin to H. P. Lovecraft’s ideas of psychosis and derealization as the only thing the feeble human mind can experience when confronting truth (cosmicism), as opposed to gnosis in the classic, transcendental sense of the term. In other words, it’s fucked up.
While Gnosis was being released on cassette, and finally, vinyl, SWAMP WITCH had already begun preparing material for what was to become the six claustrophobic tracks that make up The Slithering Bog. To help achieve this, former drummer Dirk V took up second guitar duties and helped further emphasize the psychedelic undertones heard in Gnosis, while collaborator Adam T. took on drums. The end result of almost two years of writing proved worthy, as warped landscapes and fungal textures resting somewhere between dream-like and sleep paralysis culminated into The Slithering Bog recording of late 2014.
The decaying sounds of The Slithering Bog were captured during July 2014 at Earhammer Studios in Oakland, California by Greg Wilkinson (Brainoil, Annihilation Time, Noothgrush, et al) and mastered at Trakworx in San Francisco by Justin Weiss (Ludicra, Slough Feg, Cormorant, et al). Initially released on cassette last year via Transylvanian Tapes, the collection of nightmare rituals that made this release so necessary and bizarre has finally oozed its way onto vinyl on three color variants (black, purple haze and swamp green) thanks to Tribunal Of The Axe Records who will unleash the offering later this month.