Posted in Features on July 21st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
[HOW TO ENTER: I’m very sorry but a winner has been picked and this giveaway has ended. The post will remain live for archival purposes. Much thanks to all who entered for being a part of it.]
Last week, I was fortunate enough to be added to the list of sponsors for American Icon Records‘ upcoming North West Hesh Fest in Portland, Oregon, next month. One of the cool things you can do when you’re sponsoring something like a fest is say, “Hey, how about a ticket giveaway?” and not get laughed at. So here we are.
So, enter by leaving a comment on this post — as per usual for giveaways around here — and if you win, I’ll drop you an email. Obviously, the fest being three days next month in Portland, OR, it doesn’t make much sense for anyone either not in or unable to be in the area when it’s happening to enter. If you want to travel, that rules, but neither I nor the fest can really cover your expenses for that. The giveaway is for the passes only.
That said, good luck to all who enter. Weedeater has had to drop off the bill, but American Icon has something in the works for a replacement, and I wouldn’t put it past them to bring in somebody badass. Whoever it is, you can’t beat the price when the price is free.
Info and ticket links follow:
AMERICAN ICON RECORDS***NORTH WEST HESH FEST—-PENTAGRAM-DEAD MOON-YOB-SWEAT LODGE-SCHOOL OF ROCK-FIREBALLS OF FREEDOM-P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S.
Dante’s 350 West Burnside, Portland, Oregon 97209
Thursday Aug 27 $25 Pre/ $30 Dos PENTAGRAM
Friday Aug 28 – $25 Pre/$30 Dos DEAD MOON-FIREBALLS OF FREEDOM P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S-THE LAST DANCERS-DRC3
Saturday Aug 29-$20 Pre/ $25 Dos YOB-TBA-SWEAT LODGE -DIESTO SCHOOL OF ROCK-DJ NATHAN CARSON
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Somehow I doubt Vhöl would be into being tagged as a supergroup, but with a pedigree between them that includes YOB, Ludicra, Hammers of Misfortune, Worm Ouroboros, Agalloch and Amber Asylum, it just seems more efficient than saying “band with people who’ve played in other good bands.” Anyway you put it, the idea is much the same. By way of a confession, I still haven’t heard Vhöl‘s self-titled 2013 debut — was never sent one, even digitally, to review, and that kind of bummed me out — which as I understand it was something I genuinely missed out on, but I’ll see if I can’t correct that in time for the arrival of Deeper thanSky, their second album, on Oct. 23 through Profound Lore. Better late than never and all that.
No audio yet, but expect teasers and advance tracks and art and details and all that stuff, as Deeper than Sky is sure to be one of late-2015’s bigger releases. The PR wire brings initial preliminaries:
VHÖL: West Coast Psychedelic Thrash Collective To Release Sophomore Full-Length Via Profound Lore This Fall
West Coast psychedelic thrash collective, VHÖL, which features vocalist Mike Scheidt (YOB), guitarist John Cobbett (Hammers Of Misfortune, ex-Ludicra), bassist Sigrid Sheie (Hammers Of Misfortune, ex-Amber Asylum) and drummer Aesop Dekker (Agalloch, Worm Ouroboros, ex-Ludicra) — will unleash its sophomore full-length this Fall via Profound Lore.
Titled Deeper Than Sky, the follow up to 2013’s self-titled debut, was recorded at Light Rail Studios in San Francisco and mastered at Trakworx Studio (also in San Francisco).
Issues the band of the forthcoming release, “VHÖL continues to explore unbridled, high energy metal with very little digital processing, and lots of sounds, riffs and ideas flying around. This music is all about the ascending side of the manic curve.”
VHÖL’s Deeper Than Sky will be released via Profound Lore on October 23rd, 2015 with artwork, track listing and teasers to be revealed in the coming weeks.
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 18th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Can’t say it’s much of a surprise, but the lineup for Hoverfest 2015 looks pretty awesome. The second installment of the annual fest brought together by Hovercraft Amps, Cravedog and Nanotear is set for an all-dayer Aug. 8 in Portland, Oregon, and like last year, the lineup of acts is made up mostly of locals — there are a few to choose from in Portland these days — and to go with all that hometown spirit, they’ll bring in San Francisco kings of weirdo trad metal Slough Feg to headline.
Slough Feg will sit atop a mighty Portlander grouping, varied between the doomly ways of Witch Mountain, who make a return appearance, a return as well for the ’70s heavy of Danava, Lord Dying‘s don’t-tell-anybody-it’s-death-metal-because-we-like-playing-with-stoner-bands genrebending, Sons of Huns on the heels of their new album, While Sleeping Stay Awake, a second showing from Holy Grove, and first-timers Zirakzigil and Mane of the Cur to lead things off. Sounds like a good time to me.
Last year, Billy Anderson was brought on to work the mixer, and whether or not he’ll make another appearance has yet to be revealed, but the preliminaries are out. With presumably more to come, here they are:
Cravedog Presents HOVERFEST 2015
Cravedog, Hovercraft Amps, and Nanotear Booking have teamed up to bring the second annual HOVERFEST on Saturday 8.8.15 in Portland, OR
The rocks starts at noon and rolls til sundown. Once again set in the alley behind Cravedog with the gorgeous sunset view of the Fremont Bridge. 611 N. Tillamook Street
This year will be 21+ so the whole alley is a beer garden.
Rock, metal, and doom all day long from:
SLOUGH FEG WITCH MOUNTAIN DANAVA LORD DYING SONS OF HUNS HOLY GROVE ZIRAKZIGIL MANE OF THE CUR
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 25th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
It was kind of a surprise to have Ape Machine ink a deal with Heavy Psych Sounds, not because they don’t deserve to get picked up by a label doing cool things, but because they seemed so firmly entrenched in the roster of Ripple Music, which put out their last full-length, 2013’s Mangled by the Machine (review here), and earlier this year, the Live at Freak Valley (review here) live offering. And actually, it’s not that they’ve signed to Heavy Psych Sounds to the exclusion of everyone else, just that they’ll be working with the label for a tour — Heavy Psych Sounds has a booking arm — and an EP release to coincide with it.
It’s good news for the band, either way, and good news for those who’ve been fortunate enough to catch onto their intricate but still catchy wares. They’ll have a full-length out before too long on Ripple as well, and according to Heavy Psych Sounds — who posted the announcement below — it’s looking like the band will be on the road for the better part of a month. Doesn’t sound too bad. Dates are still to come, but here’s initial word from the label:
HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records is honoured to announce the signing of another awesome band *** Ape Machine ***
A true four-piece, Portland, Oregon’s Ape Machine has been called “a rock and roll band with a finger on the pulse of the 70?s and their asses firmly in the present” and “real heavy-psych for the iPhone generation” that delivers “true guts and glory rock and roll.” Combining psychedelic, classic and progressive rock with arena-worthy metal, bluesy stoner-rock and catchy riffs in odd signatures.
Heavy Psych Sounds Records will release A new Record/Ep in November and will book a four weeks European tour from November 12 to December 5.
more details will be communicate in the next weeks together with new cool announcements!
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
YOB undertaking the considerable voyage to Australia has been a while in the making. About two and a half years ago, there was word they were heading out that way with Elder and teaming, on arrival, with Beastwars, from New Zealand, for a round of shows. Seems fitting that they go, now, in support of their best album to date, last year’s Clearing the Path to Ascend (review here), and have that much more anticipation ahead of them. The Eugene, Oregon, trio will also be at Maryland Deathfest later this month, alongside their Neurot Recordings labelmates in Ufomammut and Neurosis, among the requisite ton of others.
The Australian tour is presented by Life is Noise, who sent the following announcement down the PR wire:
YOB (USA) Australian Tour August 2015
life is noise is proud to present the Australian debut of one of the finest doom metal bands in the world: Yob.
In 2014, Yob released the best doom metal album of the year. Universally praised, Clearing the Path to Ascend topped Rolling Stone’s list of the best metal albums and was critically lauded by everyone from Pitchfork to The New York Times. Never has doom metal been at the forefront of the public consciousness like this, and it’s easy to see why: though it’s come almost two decades into their existence, Yob have made not just the best album of their career – they’ve made what will come to be regarded as one of the defining records in the pantheon of doom metal.
Which is not to say any of this came easy. Few bands hit their creative stride after seven records and almost twenty years, and Yob’s recording career has led them to stints with Metal Blade and Profound Lore before settling at their current home with spiritual siblings Neurosis at their label Neurot Recordings. The Neurosis comparison is obvious, but for every moment of earth-shaking post-metal, there are flourishes of old-school, soul-crushing sorrow that hark back to Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus; for every Earth-like meditation, there’s a measured catharsis of energy that recalls the explosive sludge of Melvins.
What makes Clearing the Path to Ascend such a landmark record is its stellar two-track second half. While the album’s opening act bathes in layers of funereal dirge and existential dread, its penultimate and closing tracks mark one of the genre’s finest half-hours as the trio push through to the other side of hell. With every repetition, Mike Scheidt’s riffs grow all the more hypnotic, his pious incantations ever-more compelling. Yob have succeeded where many of their contemporaries fail, imbuing the oft-tired tropes of a monolithic genre with untold emotion and transcendent zeal. This is doom metal reborn.
Yob’s live show is everything you’d want from a power trio. From frenetic riffs and furious drumming to slow, crushing doom, a Yob gig is less a performance and more a communal brain-fuck. They hold their audience transfixed with brief moments of brooding, atmospheric, almost ambient respite, before pulverising them with a massive, brutal crush of noise.
Witness Yob on their first ever Australian tour on the following dates:
Perth – August 19 – Rosemount Hotel Melbourne – August 21 – Max Watt’s Sydney – August 22 – Manning Bar Brisbane – August 23 – Crowbar
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Wherever Red Fang go, they bring the party with them. Fresh off a headlining appearance at Desertfest, the reigning champions of Portland, Oregon’s densely populated heavy rock scene will head out this week to Australia and New Zealand, which sounds like an awesome thing to be able to say you’re doing later in the week, as in, “Yeah, I’m just getting this sandwich now because I’m flying to Australia on Wednesday,” or whatever it happens that you’re purchasing at that time and however little it might actually have to do with the travel being undertaken. Next month, they’re going back to Europe in support of 2013’s Whales and Leeches, for a June/July run that will take them into the heart of summer. One can only imagine that by then they’ll be ready to announce another full tour somewhere in the world.
The PR wire winds up and delivers:
RED FANG: Announce European Summer Tour, Festival Appearances
Portland, OR hard rockers RED FANG have announced a month-long headlining tour and festival appearances in Europe kicking off this June. The tour comes on the heels of the band’s headlining tour of Australia and New Zealand and will see RED FANG playing a special opening set for Faith No More in Bratislava plus making stops at various festivals including Hellfest, Forta Rock, Copenhell, With Full Force and many others. A complete listing of dates is available below.
Released on Relapse Records, RED FANG’s current album Whales and Leeches debuted at #66 on the Billboard Album Chart, marking the group’s highest sales week and first debut in the Top 200. RED FANG are generating worldwide critical acclaim from SPIN, Revolver, Magnet, Alternative Press and more for their current album Whales and Leeches, which was produced by Chris Funk (Decemberists) and mixed by Vance Powell (White Stripes, Raconteurs, Kings of Leon). Featuring such guests as Mike Scheidt (YOB) and Pall Jenkins (The Black Heart Procession), Whales and Leeches propels RED FANG into the upper stratosphere of the heavy rock and metal elite. The album can be streamed in full via their official Bandcamp page.
May 07 Rosemount Perth Wa, Australia May 08 Fowlers Live Adelaide, Australia May 09 The Barwin Club Geelong, Australia May 10 Cherry Rock 015 Melbourne, Australia May 12 Crowbar Brisbane, Australia May 13 Crowbar Brisbane, Australia May 14 The Manning Bar Sydney, Australia May 15 The Prince Bandroom St. Kilda, Australia May 16 Kings Arm Newton, New Zealand May 17 San Francisco Bath House Te Aro, New Zealand Jun 05 Rock for People Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic Jun 06 FortaRock 2015 w/ Epica Nymegen, Netherlands Jun 08 Feierwerk Munchen, Germany Jun 09 Arena Wien, Austria Jun 10 Aegon Arena w/ Faith No More Bratislava, Slovakia Jun 12 Cage Livorno, Italy Jun 13 Hangar 22 Catania, Italy Jun 14 Jailbreak Festival Cagliari Ca, Italy Jun 18 John Dee Oslo, Norway Jun 19 Copenhell 2015 Copenhagen, Denmark Jun 20 Azkena Rock Festival ARF 2015 Bilbao, Spain Jun 21 Hellfest Clisson, France Jun 23 Circolo Mame Padova, Italy Jun 24 Traffic live Rome, Italy Jun 25 Solomacello Fest Milano, Italy Jun 26 Provinssirock Festival Seinajoki, Finland Jun 27 Bravalla Festival Norrkoping, Sweden Jun 28 Rock Werchter Haacht, Belgium Jun 30 Knust Hamburg, Germany Jul 02 Ponte Rougue Monthey, Switzerland Jul 03 Glemmride Saalbach Hinterglemm, Austria Jul 04 Vainstream Rockfest Münster, Germany Jul 04 With Full Force Löbnitz, Germany Jul 05 Mighty Sounds Festival Tabor, Czech Republic
Next weekend, Mississippi Studios in Portland, Oregon, plays host to the three-night Stumpfest IV. The festival, organized by Rynne Stump, has become a staple of the Pacific Northwest’s fertile heavy underground, and this year is no different. Headlined by familiar names from the region like Danava, YOB, Big Business, Lord Dying and Sandrider, its reach has only expanded in its years of operation, and with a near-infinite supply of heavy acts to choose from in the Pacific Northwest at the moment — oh wait, six new bands just formed right this second — there seems to be no shortage of fodder for Stump and her compatriots to show their dedication to the cause. With Norska, Sons of Huns, Graves at Sea, Muscle and Marrow, and others on the bill, Stumpfest IV retains a commitment both geographic and stylistic, and its admirable mission has earned it increasing acclaim each year.
Now eight months pregnant and looking forward to the birth of her first son, Stump somehow found time between final fest preparations and packing a hospital bag to answer The Obelisk Questionnaire, and her efforts are appreciated. Enjoy:
The Obelisk Questionnaire: Rynne Stump
How did you come to do what you do?
A lot of doing what the hell I wanted and not listening to other people or caring what people thought of me too much. Making my own decisions in life gave me the courage to take risks and be accountable for myself and my mistakes. Following my heart got me where I am and I wouldn’t change one damn bit of it. Of course it helped having parents and sisters who support me and accept my attitude. My father was a musician and he taught me music, how to listen to it, the language of harmony, and how to sing and perform. My mother taught me how to craft, create and to work hard. To not give up no matter what was against us. To never, ever let someone’s opinion of me affect who I really am inside.
Most importantly, if you are raised to be yourself and supported to be your unique self you will have your own life to be proud of no matter what!
Describe your first musical memory.
My dad waking me up out of bed when I was super tiny to listen to a record. I wish I remembered which record that was. He said to me, “Listen to the bass! Listen to the guitar! Hear that harmony, Zipper?” Then he took me outside to gaze upon the moon. This happened regularly in my house in my first years of life.
Also, performing at the Southern Indiana bluegrass festival Bean Blossom with my dad and sister Sara in my diapers that is a pretty intense first musical memory.
Describe your best musical memory to date.
There are too many to count! In addition to putting on Stumpfest every year, I am also a musician. Some of my best musical memories come from performing with my band leader Craig Elkins. To me, communication on a musical level is absolute! The energy, connection and elevation can take you beyond the moon! Plus, we just harmonize like angels together and we laugh at ourselves constantly. Song birding it up with Craig is the BEST!
When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?
Daily, our beliefs are tested all the time. How we recover from this defines our character and strengthens our bond to our own spirituality.
Where do you feel artistic progression leads?
Artistic progression is the higher evolution of ourselves and our souls. Through it, we can lead others toward their own elevated states of being and influence a positive reaction.
How do you define success?
Finding the happiness in all things. Attaining grounded, self-assured happiness allows us to know ourselves better, laugh at ourselves, forgive and love ourselves. When we do this we can connect fully with others and to do positive things for the universe. That is success in my eye. The idea of Stumpfest was to gather old friends together to do just that, and we have seen success every year.
What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?
Everything we see shapes us; our experience, our perspectives, our minds, who we are and who we become. Although things we see can harm our fragile egos we can take every experience and make ourselves better from the exposure. I am thankful for psychedelics, which help us to see things in multidimensional perspectives. They open our minds beyond the plane of consciousness that we operate in daily and further connect us to ourselves, others and the great unknown.
There was one time I saw a bum masturbating on the side of the road and I could probably live without that.
Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.
My partner Danny Carey and I are creating life right now inside of me. I’m eight months pregnant, and that was always top on my list… to create the human form is the ultimate! Also, making my own record. Committing and immersing myself totally to the struggle of that inward path is a huge, frightening goal for me.
Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?
The birth of my son in June. I cannot wait to meet the product of Mr. Carey and myself. I bet he is going to be hilarious!
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 14th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Now located in Portland, Oregon, Young Hunter have launched a Kickstarter campaign to finish work on their new album. With a goal of $4,444 — the full-length will also be their fourth release since their first single in 2011 — they’ll need to mix, master and press the record, which is their second long-player after 2012’s Stone Tools (discussed here) and has been tracked with Adam Pike at Toadhouse Studios.
I’ve been anxious to hear what frontman Benjamin Blake and the rest of Young Hunter had to offer with for their sophomore LP since their 2013 EP, Embers at the Foot of Dark Mountain (review here), pushed their aesthetic so much forward from the debut, with elements of Americana and goth rock and doom blended both stylishly and coherently into three memorable songs that, to be perfectly honest, I was just listening to this past weekend. So, you know, staying power and all.
Here’s the info on the campaign and the Kickstarter video, which has a preview of some new audio:
///\\\ Young Hunter Album ///\\\
It has most likely been awhile since you have heard anything from us. That is because we’ve been busy moving to Portland, reincarnating into a new form, writing and recording a new album. It has been a long road, full of hard work, doubt, joy, and glory, and has ultimately lead us back to the heart of what Young Hunter’s mission in the world is.
It is hard to put a pricetag on music, and we have often released our music for free. We’ve debated long and hard over whether or not to use crowdfunding for this release, and came to the conclusion that to do this album justice, we simply can’t afford to pay for it all ourselves. So we have put together a variety of what we think are pretty awesome rewards, and now we stroll forth into the risky world of a Kickstarter campaign, with hope in our hearts that this will come to fruition. So if you have enjoyed our music in the past, we ask that you check out our page, and consider helping us make this happen, because without you, it simply won’t. We have 30 days from today, the clock is ticking.
We have finished tracking our album with Adam Pike at Toadhouse Studios, and it sounds great. We’ve been paying for the project out of pocket, and will continue to cover roughly half of the costs even if this Kickstarter is successful. We just feel so good about what we have already, we want to make sure that we continue to take the right steps to give this album the resources it needs to fully manifest. But without financial assistance, we won’t be able to make it happen. Only you, dear reader, can help us achieve this great and noble goal. Our next steps include:
-Mixing with Ephriam Nagler here in Portland, OR. An old friend who we have worked with before, who knows how to make things simultaneously huge and delicate.
-Mastering with Golden Mastering. Trustworthy and industry-standard bearers in mastering and making vinyl masters.
-Printing 1000 LPs, with a full color jacket and printed sleeve, as well as a smaller run of CDs with the same artwork.
-Artwork for the album, which will include hiring a professional photographer for an epic album cover.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, we hope your world is full of love, light, and rock’n’roll.