High on Fire Announce Jan./Feb. Touring

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

high on fire

Before High on Fire guitarist/vocalist Matt Pike‘s toe became the stuff of heavy metal clickbait — which to my biased estimation is just about the saddest kind of clickbait there is — his band were supposed to tour with Municipal Waste. Didn’t happen, what with the gnarlyfoot and all, so High on Fire have newly posted a run through January and into February that includes dates along the East Coast and in the Midwest. They of course are still supporting this year’s Electric Messiah (review here), which is their fourth studio LP for eOne Music, and they’ve recently been announced for a return slot at Psycho Las Vegas, where Pike is pretty much as high a roller as they come.

You don’t need me to tell you to go see High on Fire. That’s something you already know. If you missed them at Psycho this year, however, their set is streaming in full below. Because that’s how it works now.

Shows are here:

high on fire 2019 tour

HIGH ON FIRE ANNOUNCE ELECTRIC MESSIAH TOUR 2019

PSYCHO LAS VEGAS CONFIRMED

TICKETS ON SALE NOW

http://highonfire.net/

High On Fire have announced the Electric Messiah tour 2019 in continued support of their new LP released earlier this year.

These dates will be the first time the band has played live since the cancellation of their tour with Municipal Waste earlier this year due to the partial amputation of Matt Pike’s toe.

Additionally, High On Fire will be performing at 2019 Psycho Las Vegas taking place August 16-18, 2019 in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resort. Tickets are on sale now, click here for more info.

High on Fire Jan/Feb. tour:
Jan. 10 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade
Jan. 11- Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
Jan. 12 – Richmond, VA – Broadberry
Jan. 13 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage
Jan. 15 – Philadelphia, PA – TLA
Jan. 16 – Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw
Jan. 18 – Boston, MA – The Sinclair
Jan. 19 – Montreal, QC – Fairmount
Jan. 20 – Toronto, ON – Opera House
Jan. 22 – Chicago, IL – Metro
Jan. 23 – Minneapolis, MN – Skyway
Jan. 25 – Denver, CO – Oriental
Jan. 26 – Omaha, NE – Slowdown
Jan. 27 – St. Louis, MO – Delmar Hall
Jan. 29 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey Bar and Grill
Jan. 30 – Austin, TX-Barracuda
Jan. 31 – Houston, TX – White Oak
Feb. 1 – New Orleans, LA – House Of Blues

HIGH ON FIRE features Matt Pike (guitar, vocals), Des Kensel (drums) and Jeff Matz (bass).

https://www.facebook.com/highonfire
https://www.instagram.com/highonfireband/
www.highonfire.net
https://twitter.com/eoneheavy
https://www.facebook.com/eOneHeavy

High on Fire, Live at Psycho Las Vegas 2018

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Friday Full-Length: Neurosis, The Eye of Every Storm

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

 

So much soul. I have a theory about NeurosisThe Eye of Every Storm — or at very least a kind of fantasy incarnation. It’s basically every song on the album redone by Nina Simone. It would work. Absolutely, not a doubt in my mind, it would work. Think of the arrangements. Think of lines like, “I came to a pile of ashes and sifted through it looking for teeth,” and “So I crawl through the hailstones/My eyes fixed on my return.” It would be amazing, and it would totally, totally work. There is so much soul in this record.

The Eye of Every Storm was released in 2004 as the eighth Neurosis full-length, and it remains a forward-thinking entity unto itself. At that point, the Oakland-based outfit had already blazed a trail through what would continue to become post-metal largely in their wake, records like 1993’s Enemy of the Sun and 1996’s Through Silver in Blood solidifying the progression and approach of 1992’s third outing and pivot away from their hardcore punk beginnings, Souls at Zero (reissue review here), first began. Each of those was crucial in its way, and I’d say the same of 1999’s Times of Grace, but The Eye of Every Storm followed the genre-defining 2001 offering, A Sun That Never Sets (discussed here), and managed to push even beyond that collection’s scope. Comprised of eight tracks for a mammoth and immersive 68-minute runtime, it also was the first pure Neurosis full-length through their own label, Neurot Recordings, though they’d done the two Official Bootleg releases, the Short Wave Warfare live album, and — most relevant — the 2003 collaboration Neurosis & Jarboe, through the imprint as well.

If one looks at Neurosis‘ career as a narrative arc, each album seems to step beyond the last in one direction and/or another. 1990’s The Word as Law built on their 1988 debut, Pain of Mind; Enemy of the Sun built on Souls at Zero, etc. Fine. In that regard, The Eye of Every Storm is another step outward on the part of Neurosis from any sort of delineation of who they “should be.” It was a record that droned as much as it raged, that delivered itself with a patience that even three years earlier was unobtainable, and from the crashing samples Noah Landis brought to opener “Burn,” it was a release of such nuance and sonic detail that 14 years later, one can still listen to it twice and hear something difference each time. Atmosphere of course always played a role in their work, but it was the first time Neurosis were able to make ambience as heavy as the crushing, churning rhythms and tonality that remain a hallmark of their sound.

Following the memorable push of “Burn” and the sweep of “No River to Take Me Home,” the title-track’s near-12-minute reach unfolds a spacious beginning and drops to minimalist bass swells and neurosis the eye of every stormsynth as a bed to execute a build so subtle that one doesn’t even realize what’s happening until it’s already happened. It’s plenty heavy by the finish, but not raging, and though the subsequent “Left to Wander” starts out somewhat manic, after its first minute, it drops to a vast soundscape populated by sparse guitar and a whispered verse. Trades between loud and quiet spaces are common enough in Neurosis‘ style, and certainly in the styles of many of those who’ve taken influence from them, but The Eye of Every Storm smooths the transitions between them to be no more stark than precisely how the band intends: “Left to Wander” lurches to life in its chorus twice before the song hits its halfway point and turns to one of the album’s most outwardly heavy instrumental progressions, marked by tense, rubber-band-about-to-snap-except-it’s-an-arm-tendon toms from drummer Jason Roeder and a wash of guitar noise from Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till as Landis on keys and Dave Edwardson on bass seem to hold the proceedings together before the track devolves into a wash ahead of the instrumental “Shelter,” something of a five-minute interlude that nonetheless proves hypnotic early before arriving at a heavier shove in its second half.

I refuse to discount either “Bridges” or “I Can See You” at the end of the album. Particularly the latter is an epilogue that’s essential to the atmospheric impression The Eye of Every Storm leaves behind when it’s over. But for me, the crux has always been in “A Season in the Sky.” As much a narrative poem as it is a song, it begins with, “I had a vision last night…” and from there elucidates a desolation that is nothing short of consuming. The vocals, atop quiet guitar at first, later cutting through undulating riffs, lead initially to a weeping guitar lead that’s the perfect complement to — and here we are — the bare soul on display throughout. The soul. Neurosis are so often misread as cerebral, and while I’ll argue their progression is conscious — I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe a band who’s spent more than 30 years breaking stylistic ground doesn’t also put thought into it — “A Season in the Sky” is so overwhelming precisely because it is a work of raw heart. Every turn is affecting. Every boom of Edwardson‘s bass in its bridge, every in-pocket turn of its groove. It’s all gorgeously arranged and balanced, but it’s all so natural at the same time, and it captures instrumentally the seeking that’s happening in the lyrics in a way that is no less resonant today than when it was released. It’s everything the apex of The Eye of Every Storm should be.

And yes, the stark contrasts of loud and quiet in “Bridges” are a highlight unto themselves — it’s as far as Neurosis go into either on the album — and “I Can See You” ends with a graceful transition between acoustic guitar and a final statement of heft, but I’d argue both still remain informed by the methodical execution of “A Season in the Sky,” as does the rest of The Eye of Every Storm when taken in full.

It doesn’t seem like it now, but it was a long three years before Neurosis returned to issue Given to the Rising in 2007, and by the time they did, they found themselves following a different impulse — still deeply atmospheric, but more intense. I liken it to the album art: grey for The Eye of Every Storm and black for its follow-up.  2012’s Honor Found in Decay (review here) pushed further along similar lines in its construction, and 2016’s Fires Within Fires (review here) saw the five-piece take a rawer approach in light of passing their prior-alluded 30th anniversary. They continue to tour, in support of that record as well as a series of vinyl reissues of earlier work, and just at the start of this month announced they’ll hit Japan with Converge early in 2019 (dates here). I haven’t heard murmurings of a new album, but it’s early yet, and I wouldn’t ahead of anyone else. Wherever they go next, I wouldn’t hazard a guess.

This is a special album to me personally and I think in general. I consider writing about it a gift to myself.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

It’s about quarter after four in the morning. In a couple hours, The Pecan, The Patient Mrs. and I will head south from Massachusetts, first to Connecticut, then to New Jersey. That Pecan turns one year old next week so we’re doing a little family celebration thing tomorrow. It’ll be good to be down there for a couple days, if a long drive to do with the baby in one day. Four or five hours in the car is a lot for him. About double his usual tolerance. We’ll see how it goes.

Need to remember to bring the baby monitor and the white noise machine. We don’t pack light these days, not that I ever did. For a dude who wears nothing but t-shirts, I certainly seem to need a lot of clothes. “What if I’m in the mood for the Slomatics shirt?” as I often am. Also the coffee grinder comes with.

That’s what’s up for the weekend. Should be good and exhausting after a week that was much the same. I had the baby straight through from about 10-5:30 yesterday on my own. He naps and stuff — so do I — but still. Youth, energy, all that. I hear teenagers sleep though, so that’s something to look forward to.

Next week is busy too. I feel like I haven’t done proper notes in a while, so here they are, subject to change blah blah:

Mon.: Bismut premiere/review; The Sonic Dawn video premiere.
Tue.: Vessel of Light review.
Wed.: When the Deadbolt Breaks video premiere.
Thu.: Iron Lamb track premiere.
Fri.: A huge piece on The Wall [Redux] with track premieres and band comments, etc.

That last thing is going to be a monster to put together, but will be awesome once it’s up. Look out for it.

The second episode of “The Obelisk Show” on Gimme Radio airs on Sunday night. Prime time, baby! I still need to do the voice tracks for it, but that’ll happen today at some point. 7PM Eastern, 4PM Pacific at http://gimmeradio.com.

And if you want to hear the first episode, you can sign up for their archive feature. It’s five bucks or something ridiculously cheap like that.

Alright. Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone who’s bought a shirt thus far. I’m still hoping to get hoodies done again at some point, but if these go first, that’ll go a long way toward making that happen. So yeah, thanks. If you want one, they’re here: https://www.dropoutmerch.com/the-obelisk.

Please have a great and safe weekend, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Neurosis Announce Feb. 2019 Japan Tour with Converge

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

neurosis-photo-by-stefaan-temmerman

Granted, it’s been a while by now, but I still approach Neurosis from a mindset of remembering that period where they weren’t really a touring band. It was almost 15 years ago now, after they did Ozzfest and were presumably burnt out from that as only bands on the Second Stage could’ve possibly been, and before The Eye of Every Storm came out, around the Neurosis & Jarboe record. I remember going to see them in Philly, and it was an event. They did maybe four shows that entire album cycle? Less than 10 before Given to the Rising landed. Anyway, Neurosis have been on the road again for years now — in the last 12 months, they’ve toured Europe, South America and the West Coast, and if you go back 14 months, the Northeast and Europe (again) as well. Supporting a record that’s two years old already. It still seems counterintuitive to me, but Neurosis have been touring a lot for at least the last five years or so.

Not a complaint, it just still feels kind of weird to me. I can’t think of another band who toured hard, receded and then hit the road again later. At least not a band of Neurosis‘ profile. I’m sure it’s happened, but yeah.

They continue to cover the globe with a Japanese tour in Feb. alongside apparent-buds Converge, with whom they’ve shared the stage multiple times since passing the 30-year mark in 2015.

Details and dates from the PR wire:

neurosis converge tour

NEUROSIS Announces Leave Them All Behind 2019 Tour Of Japan With Converge For February

NEUROSIS continues to book new tours around the globe supporting their acclaimed 2016-released Fires Within Fires LP. Following several major tours with Converge, the two acts team up once again, announcing their return to Japan together with the Leave Them All Behind 2019 tour.

Both NEUROSIS and Converge have a strong connection based on mutual respect and the two acts have been on double headlining tours in America and Europe every year since 2016. The co-headlining Leave Them All Behind 2019 tour sees NEUROSIS returning to Japan for only the second time in their storied career, the first time in 1999, and Converge returning for their first tour of the country in six years.

Booked and organized by Daymare Recordings with Smash, Leave Them All Behind 2019 will run from February 14th through February 17th, with shows in Osaka, Nagoya, and two performances in different sections of Tokyo. Converge will perform a special You Fail Me set at the final concert where NEUROSIS will also perform a different set from the other shows of the tour. Showcasing the current Japanese extreme underground scene, additional support on the first Tokyo show will be provided by Endon and Self Deconstruction, and the second night Palm and Black Ganion.

Advance tickets for all shows will go on sale Saturday October 27th.

NEUROSIS is also confirmed to play at Crucial Fest in Salt Lake City this weekend. Performing as the main headliner, Chelsea Wolfe, Pig Destroyer, Russian Circles, and many more will also play at the two-day event.

Watch for additional NEUROSIS tour dates to be announced in the months ahead.

NEUROSIS Tour Dates:
Leave Them All Behind 2019 w/ Converge:
2/14/2019 Trad – Osaka, JP
2/15/2019 E.L.L. – Nagoya, JP
2/16/2019 O-East – Shbuya, Tokyo, JP w/ Endon, Self Deconstruction
2/17/2019 Unit – Daikanyama, Tokyo, JP w/ Palm, Black Ganion

http://www.neurosis.com
http://www.facebook.com/officialneurosis
https://neurotrecordings.merchtable.com
http://www.twitter.com/neurosisoakland
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

Neurosis, Fires Within Fires (2016)

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High on Fire, Electric Messiah: Sanctioned Annihilation

Posted in Reviews on September 28th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

high on fire electric messiah

Raging furies, unmistakable gallop, deceptively inventive rhythms and Matt Pike‘s gutturalist vocals from with in the tempest — Electric Messiah bears all the hallmarks of latter-day High on Fire and then some. It is the Oakland trio’s eighth full-length, their fourth with E1 Music and their third that finds Pike, bassist Jeff Matz and drummer Des Kensel working with producer Kurt Ballou (Converge, etc.) following 2015’s Luminiferous (review here) and 2012’s De Vermiis Mysteriis (review here). Obviously it’s hard to know at this point whether that relationship between band and producer will continue going forward — hard to think of a reason for it not to unless the three-piece just decided to try someone else at the helm next time — but if one thinks of Electric Messiah as the third installment in a to-date trilogy, then it at very least proves there continues to be life in the collaboration six years after it first got going.

Since High on Fire debuted on E1 in 2010 with Snakes for the Divine (review here) after leaving Relapse Records following 2007’s Jack Endino-produced Death is This Communion (discussed here), the arc of their progression has seen them become more and more of a metal band, trading thickness of tone for a sharper edge to the aggression in Pike‘s riffs and to the presentation of their production. Luminiferous was perhaps the most fervent example of this, though Snakes for the Divine is arguably the cleanest-sounding High on Fire release in terms of the actual recording. Electric Messiah, slightly longer than its two immediate predecessors at 56 minutes and nine tracks, beefs up the tones from Pike‘s guitar and Matz‘s bass and, in combination with the always-vicious impact of Kensel‘s drumming — somehow still an underrated factor in the band 18 years after their debut, The Art of Self-Defense, saw its first release — it makes for some of the chewiest output High on Fire have had in more than a decade going back to Death is This Communion if not 2005’s Blessed Black Wings (discussed here).

That doesn’t mean High on Fire are playing the stoner thrash of their earliest days, but it does mean that to go along with their ripping speed and tight performances, there’s an underlying bombast to songs like opener “Spewn from the Earth,” “The Pallid Mask” and closer “Drowning Dog,” the latter two of which touch on cleaner vocal styles from Pike — who’s long flirted with melody amid his harsher shouts — that adds further dimension to the sound of Electric Messiah on the whole. The well-publicized lead single/title-track, with lyrics written reportedly in homage to Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead, to whom Pike has often been compared, is a full-on scorcher as it inevitably would be, and along with the later “Freebooter” and the aforementioned opener, is among the fastest cuts here, but even these songs showcase a heft of tone on the part of the guitar and bass — frankly, the drums don’t exactly lack weight either — that ties them to the march in longer pieces like nine-minute second track “Steps of the Ziggurat/House of Enlil” and “Sanctioned Annihilation.”

high on fire

Appearing at the end of side B on the first of the two LPs, “Sanctioned Annihilation” is notable on its face for, at 10:29, being the longest song High on Fire have ever written; they only other time they touched the 10-minute mark was “Master of Fists” from The Art of Self-Defense, which was 10:06. They don’t waste the time, and instead offer one of their most dynamic compositions, moving from a quiet but tense beginning into a raucous double-kick assault before shifting into a triplet-gallop that consumes the track’s middle third and perhaps sees Pike taking some influence from YOB‘s Mike Scheidt, who’s made the staccato chugs something of a trademark, though again, it’s an opportunity for Kensel to demonstrate just how special a player he is as he locks step with Matz and Pike on his bass drum and lends a severity that is as much militaristic as it is barbarians-coming-over-the-hill. “Sanctioned Annihilation” moves into further war-drum thud and one of Pike‘s many impressive carbon-burning solos, but remains informed by that rhythmic surge, and as the second LP moves into expanded sonic territory with “The Pallid Mask” and the righteously for-the-converted, HighonFire-being-HighonFire — the band acting as their own aesthetic — “God of the Godless,” the sprawl of “Sanctioned Annihilation” continues to have an effect on the listener.

It is not a minor undertaking at nearly an hour long, and it’s not a minor undertaking in terms of its sound — one could easily get out of breath just trying to keep up with the band even in their slower moments — but each piece on the second LP earns its place, whether its the familiar of “God of the Godless,” which is the kind of track that as one comes back for multiple listens only seems to land harder and harder, or the blistering “Freebooter,” which reinvents Slayer‘s moodier ping-ride-isms en route to an absolute massacre. With both over six minutes, the closing duo of “The Witch and the Christ” and “Drowning Dog” are something of a salvo unto themselves, but the former alternates between nods and headbangs, and the finale, again, “Drowning Dog” almost seems to sneak in its more rock-based approach while still remaining consistent in tone and its noisy affect. It’s not out of place by any means, but put next to a song like “Steps of the Ziggurat/House of Enlil,” which isn’t entirely void of melody either in its layers of guitar or later vocals, it’s moving toward a different end.

Such grit isn’t new for High on Fire, but what makes Electric Messiah stand out as it does is how it blends new and old within the band’s particular sound. High on Fire remain one of the most recognizable acts in metal regardless of subgenre, and Electric Messiah reshapes that sphere as it sees fit to best serve the songs. For all its brashness and axe-swinging triumphs, it’s unquestionably the work of professionals on all fronts — that includes Ballou certainly, and Skinner, who did the cover art — and it finds High on Fire marking their 20th year with a reaffirmation of who they are, were and will be not just by trodding out expected elements, but by using them in fresh-sounding and exciting ways. They’re big enough that there will be opinions on all sides, but established fans will have no trouble getting on board with Electric Messiah‘s bludgeoning revelry.

High on Fire, “Electric Messiah” lyric video

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High on Fire Announce US Tour; “Electric Messiah” Lyric Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

high on fire

Science tells us that if you want to live right, you need to see High on Fire at least once per album cycle, preferably more. Only days removed from the announcement of their new album, Electric Messiah, being released Oct. 5 and posting the first single in the form of the title-track, the trio have returned with a vast swath of tour dates and a lyric video highlighting the Lemmy homage of that same song. This won’t be the last tour High on Fire announce, but it will be the first round of US dates they’ll do following Electric Messiah‘s release, and even apart from the thrashy company they’re keeping, that’s reason enough to show up. As if you needed it.

From the PR wire:

high on fire tour

HIGH ON FIRE ANNOUNCE NEW U.S. TOUR DATES WITH MUNICIPAL WASTE

“ELECTRIC MESSIAH” LYRIC VIDEO RELEASED

ALL NEW LP, ELECTRIC MESSIAH, DUE OCTOBER 5, 2018
PRE ORDERS AVAILABLE NOW

On the heels of announcing their first new LP in three years, Electric Messiah, HIGH ON FIRE has posted new headlining dates throughout the U.S. and Europe this fall.

The new tour dates will be co-headlined by MUNICIPAL WASTE with Toxic Holocaust and Haunt in support. The three-week trek will kick off in Dallas, TX at Canton Hill on 11/2/18, hitting both coasts before wrapping up in San Diego, CA on 11/25/18. Tickets are now on sale.

“Man it’s gonna get crazy every night!,” says drummer Des Kensel. “Legends will be made on this tour! For after party info contact Dave Witte @ (804) 555-1212.”

High On Fire has announced extensive touring to support the recently announced all-new LP. After a batch of European festival dates, the band will head back to the U.S. to perform at Psycho Las Vegas, The Muddy Roots Music Festival, and the highly anticipated Adult Swim Festival. The band will then head back to Europe for a co-headline run with Enslaved before kicking off the Municipal Waste dates mentioned above.

Just yesterday HIGH ON FIRE released a new single titled “Electric Messiah.” The new song serves as the title track off the band’s all-new LP, which will be released on October 5, 2018, via Entertainment One (eOne). A lyric video for the track is available today.

High on Fire live:
10/08 – BE Belgium, Ieperfest
11/08 – DE Sinzendorf, Void Fest
12/08 – HU Budapest, Durer Kert

8/17/2018 – Las Vegas, NV – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Psycho Fest)
9/1/2018 – Cookeville, TN – Muddy Roots Music Festival
9/2/2018 – Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel

w/ Enslaved
30/09 – U Bazyla Poznan PL
01/10 – Proxima Warsaw PL
02/10 – UT Connewitz Leipzig DE
03/10 – Kulturfabrik Esch LU
04/10 – Mezz Jupiler Zaal Breda NL

10/5/18 – Los Angeles, CA – Adult Swim Festival

08/10 – Academy 2 Manchester UK
09/10 – Tivoli Dublin EIRE
10/10 – Limelight 2 Belfast UK
12/10 – The Mill Birmingham UK
14/10 – SWX Bristol UK
15/10 – The Dome London UK
16/10 – La Machine Du Moulin Rouge Paris FR

w/ Municipal Waste
2-Nov-18 – Dallas @ Canton Hall
3-Nov-18 – Austin @ Mohawk
4-Nov-18 – New Orleans @ Southport Hall
6-Nov-18 – Tampa @ Orpheum Theatre
7-Nov-18 – Atlanta @ The Masquerade
9-Nov-18 – Washington @ Black Cat
11-Nov-18 – Brooklyn @ Warsaw
12-Nov-18 – Philadelphia @ Union Transfer
13-Nov-18 – Boston @ Paradise Rock Club
15-Nov-18 – Chicago @ Metro
17-Nov-18 – Denver @ The Oriental Theater
18-Nov-18 – Salt Lake City @ Metro Music Hall
20-Nov-18 – Portland @ Bossanova Ballroom
21-Nov-18 – Seattle @ Showbox at the Market
23-Nov-18 – Sacramento @ Ace Of Spades
24-Nov-18 – Berkeley @ The UC Theatre

HIGH ON FIRE features Matt Pike (guitar, vocals), Des Kensel (drums) and Jeff Matz (bass).

https://www.facebook.com/highonfire
https://www.instagram.com/highonfireband/
www.highonfire.net
https://twitter.com/eoneheavy
https://www.facebook.com/eOneHeavy

High on Fire, “Electric Messiah” lyric video

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High on Fire to Release New Album Electric Messiah on Oct. 5; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

high on fire

October just got ridiculous with the word that heavy thrash titans High on Fire will release their awaited new album, Electric Messiah, on Oct. 5 through Entertainment One. They’re streaming the title-track now and you can hear it at the bottom of this post. The trio’s latest outing will be their third in a row tracked by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou, and it follows behind the raging 2015 LP Luminiferous (review here) and 2012’s De Vermiis Mysteriis (review here), which I think it’s fair enough to argue are the hardest-hitting records of the band’s career thus far. Luminiferous showed a little more dynamic in letting up from the gas a bit as it played through, so I’m interested to hear how guitarist/vocalist Matt Pike, bassist Jeff Matz and drummer Des Kensel proceed along the line of melodic flourish they brought to bear last time out, let alone the punishment that surrounded.

Art and title-track audio follow here, as sent freshly along the PR wire:

high on fire electric messiah

HIGH ON FIRE ANNOUNCE NEW LP, ELECTRIC MESSIAH, DUE OCTOBER 5, 2018

PRE ORDERS AVAILABLE NOW

HIGH ON FIRE releases a new single today titled “Electric Messiah.” The new song serves as the title track off the band’s all-new LP, which will be released on October 5, 2018 via Entertainment One (eOne).

“I had a dream about Lemmy,” says Matt Pike, explaining the inspiration behind the title of High on Fire’s triumphant new “Electric Messiah.” “When Lemmy was still alive I always got compared to Lemmy,” the gravelly-voiced guitarist elaborates, “so I had this dream where he got pissed at me.”

“He gave me a bunch of shit, basically, and was hazing me. Not that he didn’t approve of me, but like I was being hazed. The song is me telling the world that I could never fill Lemmy’s shoes because Lemmy’s Lemmy. I wanted to pay homage to him in a great way. And it turned out to be such a good title that the guys said we should call the album ‘Electric Messiah.'”

Electric Messiah will serve as the follow-up to Luminiferous released in 2015, which went on to be one of the band’s most critically acclaimed albums.

Electric Messiah reunites the band once again with producer Kurt Ballou (Converge, Torche, Kvelertak) for the third time. “Kurt just has a knack for us, man,” Matt Pike says. “We all work really well with him. Even if we have differences about how we want to record something, he works with us and understands what we do. We’ve been sticking with him because we haven’t made a bad record with him yet.”

It feels absurd to think that this late into their career High on Fire has hit a new career peak, but that’s what happens when you have a trio that works this well together. For all of Ballou’s sonic wizardry, Electric Messiah is all about the evolution of Pike, Matz, and Kensel. They simply cannot be denied a permanent spot among American royalty.

“This band keeps evolving,” Pike enthuses. “This is by far the best record I’ve ever made with the High on Fire stamp. It just keeps getting better and better. We just try to outdo ourselves. I’m not saying the old work is progressively worse, it’s just that we get better every time instead of burning out, which is a common finality for a lot of bands. This album is fucking excellent, I just love everything on it, I’m not bummed about anything. It’s great when you think that about your record.”

Tracklisting:

1. Spewn from the Earth
2. Steps of the Ziggurat/House of Enlil
3. Electric Messiah
4. Sanctioned Annihilation
5. The Pallid Mask
6. God of the Godless
7. Freebooter
8. The Witch and the Christ
9. Drowning Dog

HIGH ON FIRE features Matt Pike (guitar, vocals), Des Kensel (drums) and Jeff Matz (bass).

https://www.facebook.com/highonfire
https://www.instagram.com/highonfireband/
www.highonfire.net
https://twitter.com/eoneheavy
https://www.facebook.com/eOneHeavy

High on Fire, “Electric Messiah”

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War Cloud Premiere Video for “Red Witch”

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

war cloud photo Janiece Gonzalez

Oakland classic heavy rockers/proto-metallers/whatever-they’re-good-ers War Cloud have been readily hitting stages since making their self-titled debut (review here) last Fall on Ripple Music. Their new video for the track ‘Red Witch’ from that album would seem to be one of at least two they’ll issue this summer, as they’ve also posted on the social medias that they’ll have one out for “Chopper Wired,” but it’s hard as hell to argue with the hook of “Red Witch” and I find that as I make my way through I’m not inclined to try. The song appears on side B of the record — track six of eight on CD or digital — but it’s nonetheless worth the focus of the new clip, the premiere of which you can see below.

In terms of the record as a whole, “Red Witch” is pretty indicative of what works well in War Cloud‘s sound. As alluded to above, they straddle the line between heavy rock and metal, but even their most thrashing riffs from guitarists Alex Wein (also vocals) and Tony Campos and thickest lumber from bassist Taylor Roach come accompanied by a fervent swing in Joaquin Ridgell‘s drumming, so there’s never really a loss of momentum, regardless of where an individual track might go. The rolling groove of “Red Witch,” for example, nestles easily into its lead riff and charges out from there. With the crashing “No Man’s Land” before and “Speed Demon” afterward, it would almost be easy for the track to get lost in the mix were it not for the fact that the chorus is so standout-memorable.

The classic riff and the open lines of its verses create a cycle that should be immediately familiar to experienced heads, but whether they’re drawing from Judas Priest, Sabbath or the earliest days of thrash, War Cloud’s songwriting helps them maintain an identity of their own. No doubt the touring they did earlier this year to support the self-titled and the Midwest tour they’re soon to announce around their appearance at the Doomed and Stoned Festival in Indianapolis will help that out as they start to think about moving onto their next offering. Either way, the bottom line is War Cloud made one of last year’s best debuts, and it’s no challenge at all to look forward to what they might do from here in realizing their potential.

Please check out the premiere for “Red Witch” below. I’ve also included the album stream at the bottom of the post, because more likely than not after the one song is over you’re going to want to revisit the whole record. I know I did.

Enjoy:

War Cloud, “Red Witch” official video premiere

Music Video for War Cloud’s “Red Witch” from their 2017 self-titled debut album, on Ripple Music.

Buy the album: https://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/artist/war-cloud

War Cloud is:
Alex Wein – Vocals/Guitar
Tony Campos – Guitar
Taylor Roach – Bass
Joaquin Ridgell – Drums

War Cloud, War Cloud (2017)

War Cloud on Thee Facebooks

War Cloud on Bandcamp/

War Cloud webstore

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Twitter

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

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Hot Lunch Premiere New Single “Haul of Meat”

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 8th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

hot lunch

Chances are you never thought ‘spatula of Satan’ was the kind of hook that you’d have stuck in your head. Well, Bay Area heavy skate rockers Hot Lunch will see their new single, Haul of Meat ship out July 16 via Who Can You Trust? Records, and in the span of 3:41, it just might have you rethinking your position on the matter. The single, which comes accompanied on its B-side by “Pot of Gold,” which is a title one might read in any number of ways depending on how clever one is feeling, marks Hot Lunch‘s first outing since 2015’s Slappy Sunday EP (review here) — issued by the now-defunct Scion A/V — and if you’re wondering what the four-piece have been doing with the time in between, uh, I don’t know. Probably hanging out. Skating. Maybe having jobs. You know, life stuff.

With the arrival of Haul of Meat, however, their return to activity comes caked in classic heavy fuzz, the warm and buzzing guitar of Aaron Nudelman holding ’70s-style sway over the shuffle-into-proto-thrash-into-CaptainBeyond-prog-at-the-last-minute groove of bassist Charlie Karr and drummer Rob Alper while vocalist Eric Shea spins the tale of skin-meets-sidewalk woe — hot lunch haul of meatthe perils of skateboarding providing the fodder for the lyrics, “Hit the ground/Quarter pound/Spatula of Satan,” etc. Obviously the vibe is lighthearted despite any and all scars accrued, and with a live sound and flourish of tambourine and the aforementioned out-of-nowhere turn to prog-circa’72 at the finish, there’s a residual sense of weirdness that only makes it an even better time. Shea ends with a multi-layered “Get behind me, Satan,” as if to underscore the purely West Coast vibe throughout. That sense of, “yeah man we’re just screwing around,” while also kicking serious ass in the process.

As for what Hot Lunch have planned after Haul of Meat, I haven’t the foggiest. New album? Maybe. They’re due, if you believe in “due.” Leading up to the release of the two-songer, they’ll be on the road in Europe, starting June 29 in Switzerland and hitting a good swath of shows over the course of the two weeks-plus following in Germany and Italy, finishing the Heavy Psych Sounds-presented run — more than a jaunt, less than a temporary residence, but definitely a tour — at the respected Stoned from the Underground fest in Germany alongside Nebula, Orchid, Sons of Otis, and of course many others. What comes next, we’ll have to wait and see.

And before I give you over to the stream, you should know that I’m not just running this so I can re-post the band’s quote about scabs turning into cheeseburgers for Satan. That rules, make no mistake, but so does the song.

Tour dates and that badass commentary follows the song on the player below, courtesy of the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Taken from the HOT LUNCH – “Haul Of Meat / Pot Of Gold” 7-inch | WHO-35

Hot Lunch are not ambassadors of skateboarding. They are harbingers of hamburgers. “Haul of Meat” is a skatanic and cautionary canticle that rolls like an avalanche of high-voltage, overdriven fuzz across rumbling rhythms birthed by broken tectonic plates beneath Earthquake City. When asked to explain the caustic lyrics of this urethane-and-wood musing, the band replied, “You know when sometimes you slam so hard that your scabs become cheeseburgers for Satan and the tail of your deck turns into the devil’s spatula?” When further pressed to clarify, they added, “We have a holographic memory. Satan!”

Edition of 500 copies on black vinyl. Free ‘Sacrificial Blood’ sticker included with a limited number of copies! (Only 100 made… Choose your path, but do it wisely!)

hot lunch tour posterHOT LUNCH European Summer Tour 2018:
29.06.2018 CH Frauenfeld-Kaff
30.06.2018 DE Siegen-Vortex
01.07.2018 DE Augsburg-City Club
02.07.2018 DE Mannheim-7er
03.07.2018 DE Leipzig-So&So
04.07.2018 DE Berlin-Urban Spree
05.07.2018 DE Dresden-Chemiefabrik
06.07.2018 CH Olten-Coq D’ Or
07.07.2018 IT Bozen-Mountain Sessions
08.07.2018 IT Sabbioneta-Sabbio Summer Fest
09.07.2018 IT Zerobranco-Altroquando
10.07.2018 IT Torino-Blah Blah
11.07.2018 IT Bologna-Mikasa
12.07.2018 DE Stuttgart-Keller Klub
13.07.2018 CH St Gallen-Rumpeltum
14.07.2018 DE Stoned from the Underground – Festival

HOT LUNCH are
Eric Shea – Vocals
Aaron Nudelman – Guitars
Rob Alper – Drums
Charlie Karr – Bass

Hot Lunch on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

Hot Lunch Haul of Meat preorder at Who Can You Trust? Records

Who Can You Trust? Records on Bandcamp

Who Can You Trust? Records webstore

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