Review & Track Premiere: Holy Grove, II

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on October 31st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

holy grove ii

[Click play above to stream the premiere of Holy Grove’s ‘Valley of the Mystics’ from Holy Grove II. Album is out Nov. 9 on Ripple Music.]

If Holy Grove II was an action figure, it would be one-per-case. If it was coffee, it would be run through the digestive tract of Peruvian bats before brewing. If it was a mushroom, it would only grow on the Western slope of one mountain in the Alps and would only be obtainable by one family who’ve harvested it for 700 years using specially trained dogs. And yes, it would hallucinogenic. It is, in other words, a rare album. Not so much in pressing — Ripple Music has numbered versions, but those who want it can get it — but in form. It’s a coalescing of influences into something new and of marked individual character. Holy Grove aren’t necessarily out of step with the heavy hotbed that’s swelled in their native Portland, Oregon, over the course of this decade, but as that generation of acts becomes more mature, they’re engaged in an obvious commitment to move their sound to new places.

The reasons Holy Grove II, which comprises five tracks in 44 minutes and boats a much-ballyhooed guest appearance from YOB‘s Mike Scheidt alongside Holy Grove vocalist Andrea Vidal on 12-minute closer “Cosmos,” are plenty: timing, performance, production, songwriting, presence. It’s the right album at the right time — we’re coming up on the end of that decade in Portland heavy; something new is welcome. The performances of Vidal, guitarist Trent Jacobs, bassist Gregg Emley and drummer Eben Travis are energized, soulful and creative, and captured with a master’s hand by Billy Anderson, who if he hasn’t yet started writing the book on heavy production methods should probably get to work on that. A special kind of presence can be heard in Jacobs‘ leads at the end of the penultimate “Solaris” as well as in Vidal‘s vocals that run concurrent with it leading to a classic metal surge that’s organ-inclusive and full-sounding and lands with all the more impact for its sudden end, and the entire proceeding is memorable precisely because of the songwriting work that’s gone into it.

Vidal follows in a line of Oregonian vocalists that includes few others — the aforementioned Mike Scheidt is one, former Witch Mountain singer Uta Plotkin was another — who are able to bring such soul to a heavy context. From the swinging beginning minutes of opener “Blade Born” onward, she steps forward and is in utter command of the material in a way that even two and a half years ago on Holy Grove‘s self-titled debut (review here) just wasn’t possible. Part of that is easy to read as a comfort factor, and it applies to the entire band. Travis is a more recent acquisition, and he makes his presence known from that first swing onward through the second-half rollout slowdown of “Blade Born” and into the cowbell shuffle and tom runs of straight-up rocker “Aurora” that follows and is by far the shortest inclusion on the album at 3:51, but in Emley‘s low end and Jacobs‘ riffing and leads, there’s never a sense that Holy Grove are rushed or playing in any other way than they want to be.

Holy Grove 2018 press photography for "Holy Grove II" album release.

It is a poised collection, but not pointedly so. That is, with the time they spent on tour domestically and abroad, Holy Grove have very clearly found who they are as a group and set themselves to presenting that in these songs. It works. And whether a listener wants to put that narrative to it and think of Holy Grove II in the context of its predecessor or if it’s someone’s first experience with the band, it doesn’t matter. The way the album unfolds is welcoming regardless, and as “Aurora” boogies directly into launching chug of near-11-minute side A capper/album centerpiece “Valley of the Mystics,” the emphasis becomes not on stylization as a means of exclusivity — they’re not tapping into classic and/or traditional doom impulses to show off their taste — but on doing what works best for the song itself. As the opener hinted and both “Solaris” and “Cosmos” affirm on side B, Holy Grove are well suited to these longer forms. That’s not to take away from “Aurora,” which serves a vital function here and is kickass all the while, just to note that given the space to soar, Holy Grove do so.

“Valley of the Mystics” recedes to let Vidal take forward position in a Dio Sabbath-style verse before resuming the roll for a chorus that boasts self-harmonies — more please — and trades again quiet and loud before shifting into the traditionalist metallurgy already noted, and rings out at its finish to conclude the side as “Solaris” fades in on amp noise before crashing through an intro huge and darker-edged en route to a plodding, nodding progression of its own. Organ helps “Solaris” evoke a grand feel, and keyboard plays a central role in “Cosmos” as well, as the two are paired smoothly in the second half of the record. The sudden end of “Solaris” brings a quiet start to the closer, which again pulls back instrumentally to a quieter verse, this one part of a linear build rife with sonic details in the keys, guitar noise and so on. At 3:28, keyboard/Mellotron takes a central position that might otherwise go to the guitar, but the two intertwine smoothly ahead of another chorus, a solo, an almost complete drop to silence, and the setting of the stage for Scheidt‘s arrival, first with atmospheric growls deep in the mix, then with a clean line that emerges from that mass of tone surrounding.

I’m not going to say a bad word about Scheidt‘s appearance — he’s always welcome as far as I’m concerned — but there is a part of me that doesn’t want Holy Grove to share the apex of their second long-player. It’s theirs. They earned it. Bringing in someone else doesn’t necessarily take away from that, but it does change the form of it, and as Travis‘ drums roll and crash to an end of residual amp noise and echoing voice, the highlight of Holy Grove II remains the album itself and the clear process it’s begun in terms of hammering out the potential that the four-piece showed on their debut. Their flair for dramatic turns instrumentally and vocally is writ large here, but they never lose sight of songcraft, and even as Vidal and Scheidt carry through the crescendo of “Cosmos” together, it’s still the entirety of Holy Grove that’s leaving such a resonant impression. There are who will hear it and those who won’t, but this band is casting their influence out over doom with this record, and I’d be surprised if others didn’t catch it and work from it in the future. And they’re not done growing either, because as exciting as Holy Grove II is, it’s already worth looking forward to Holy Grove III. Recommended.

Holy Grove on Thee Facebooks

Holy Grove on Instagram

Holy Grove on Twitter

Holy Grove on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , ,

Red Fang Announce December Pacific Northwest Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

red fang

Given all the road time they put in, I like the thought of Portland’s Red Fang doing a regional weekender in Oregon and Washington. Of course, it’s worth noting that their four-date run alongside R.I.P. follows a late-November/early-December West Coast stint with Telekinetic Yeti and precedes another three local shows to close out 2018. But that’s kind of how it goes with Red Fang, isn’t it? Since even before they signed to Relapse they’ve been a hard-touring band, and certainly as they continue to support 2016’s Only Ghosts (review here), that’s been the case all along. The way I see it, though, that only adds charm to the four-date set. That’s not a tour they’re doing because they have to, or because they’re promoting a release, or whatever. Those are shows they’re playing because they want to.

Maybe they’re tightening up new material with an eye toward recording sometime in 2019, or maybe they’re just getting out for the hell of it. Either way, the point is it’s easy to read this as something they have booked for fun. Maybe that’s the case and maybe not, but for Red Fang, who are a good time under the most workmanlike of circumstances, it seems only fitting they should have a bit of a blowout to close the year. They’ve earned it.

From the PR wire:

red fang tour poster

RED FANG: Announce Additional Late 2018 Tour Dates

Portland, OR rockers RED FANG announce the second leg of their US headlining tour dates at the end of the year. The brief tour begins December 12nd in Eugene, OR and ends December 15 in Bellingham, WA. Support will be provided by R.I.P. on all four dates. The tour rounds up RED FANG’s Winter 2018 tour dates featuring additional select support by Thunderpussy, Telekinetic Yeti, Wizard Rifle and Gaythiest. All confirmed tour dates are available below.

Tickets are on sale Friday, October 5th @ 10am local time at https://redfang.net/live.html.

Additionally, RED FANG have shared a cover of the 1978 cult hit “Listen to the Sirens” originally performed by Gary Numan’s Tubeway Army. Watch the official music video directed by Ray Gordon.

The music video which is a departure from RED FANG’s usual antics, showcases the band playing the song in their rehearsal place while taking in the sites and sounds of their hometown, Portland.

Red Fang Tour Dates:

Oct 06 Atlanta, GA @ Slaughter Que 2018 (w/ ASG)

— All Dates Nov 29 – Dec 08 w/ Telekinetic Yeti —

Nov 29 San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
Nov 30 Los Angeles, CA @ Roxy Theatre
Dec 01 Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriets
Dec 02 Tustin, CA @ Marty’s On Newport
Dec 03 Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge
Dec 05 Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
Dec 06 Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
Dec 07 Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Lounge
Dec 08 Boise, ID @ The Olympic

— All Dates Dec 12 – 15 w/ R.I.P. —

Dec 12 Eugene, OR @ HiFi Music Hall
Dec 13 Bend, OR @ Domino Room
Dec 14 Tacoma, WA @ Alma Mater
Dec 15 Bellingham, WA @ Wild Buffalo

Dec 28 Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom (w/ Thunderpussy & Gaythiest)
Dec 29 Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom (w/ R.I.P. & Wizard Rifle)
Dec 31 Seattle, WA @ The Showbox (w/ Thunderpussy)

RED FANG is:
John Sherman – Drums
Aaron Beam – Bass, Vocals
David Sullivan – Guitar
Maurice Bryan Giles – Guitar, Vocals

www.redfang.net
www.facebook.com/redfangband
www.twitter.com/redfang
www.instagram.com/redfangband
http://relapse.com/red-fang-only-ghosts/

Red Fang, “Listen to the Sirens” official video

Tags: , , ,

Six Dumb Questions with Megaton Leviathan (Plus Track Premiere)

Posted in audiObelisk, Six Dumb Questions on October 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

megaton leviathan

I’ve always thought of the difference between modernism and post-modernism as being that modernism says, “There is no god. So what?” and post-modernism takes the form of Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack and answers, “So what? So let’s dance!” and the presses a play button on its golf bag and starts the party. In their own way, Megaton Leviathan are cutting a post-modern rug on their third album, Mage, which is released Oct. 26 through Blood Music. Led by founding vocalist, guitarist, synthesist, etc.-ist Andrew James Costa Reuscher, the experimentalist progressive drone outfit were last heard from in 2014 with the particularly weighted Past 21: Beyond the Arctic Cell (discussed here), following up on 2010’s evocative and spacious debut, Water Wealth Hell on Earth (review here), and with Mage, Reuscher and creative partner Mort Subite, whose name translates from French to “sudden death” and who handles keys, vocals, recording, and so on, revamped the lineup of the band, filling out a drone sextext ready to hold sway and any chamber of the damned that might have them. One expects a few will.

The album is five tracks and 41-minutes of whatever-the-fuck-it-wants-to-be, post-all composition, following a narrative line from the forward march of opener “Wave” deep into hypnotic immersion like a spirit-seeking Godflesh before “Take the Fire” brings Floydian acoustic strum to the mix as an earth center for the surrounding ethereal moodiness. Moving into a wash of a finish with Reuscher‘s vocals and those of violinist Andrea Morgan staying resolute Megaton Leviathan Mageand calm at the center, “Take the Fire” comes apart like ashes thrown off a cliff before drums and low synth rumble begin the centerpiece title-track, marking a return of the dual-vocal approach and a beat that holds steady until about four of the six minutes have passed, at which point the loops and strums begin a resonant dirge march soon enough active again in its slow progression downward. This leads to the twist of the Eno Moebius Roedelius (aka Eno & Cluster) track “The Belldog” from 1978’s After the Heat, unveiling a krautrock-derived spread given a darker edge through undulations of lower-end synth rising up behind the belted-out verses.

It is gorgeous and consuming both, a brave take on an obscure original, and when the beat kicks in at about halfway through, the piano line that’s run throughout is only enhanced by the rhythm-making around it. At eight minutes, “The Belldog” is longer than anything before it, and in that, it doubles as a bridge to “Within the Threshold,” the 15-minute, largely instrumental finale to which all the marching on Mage seems to have been leading. Its unfolding is methodical and happens in at least three stages: the first four minutes dedicated to a tense buildup, the next eight-plus given to crafting a beautiful, nigh-incomprehensible wash of synth, guitar, violin and — somewhere in there — Morgan‘s vocals, and the last three a quiet, acoustic-inclusive ending that’s more resolution than epilogue. There’s something of a “what just happened?” effect when it’s over and the final line of keyboard fades gracefully away, but one thing Megaton Leviathan — ReuscherSubiteMorgan, drummer Jon Reid, bassist TrejenRuss Archer and maybe guitarist Travis Hathaway on the album (?) — never lose sight of is the flow between the varied stretches in the material. That is the thread running through Mage and the foundation from which is makes its outward sonic reach.

Reuscher was kind enough to discuss some of the makings of Mage and the personal context for him in which the album was composed, as well as essentially the remaking of Megaton Leviathan around himself and Subite. Before the Q&A, you can click play on the embed below to hear the debut of “The Belldog,” which I’m thrilled to be able to host.

Please enjoy the following track premiere and Six Dumb Questions:

Megaton Leviathan, “The Belldog” official track premiere

Six Dumb Questions with Megaton Leviathan

Over how long a period was the material on Mage written? The songs have such a diverse range. How did they come together?

I started writing them in winter of 2015/’16. I had just moved into a one bedroom apartment after my home of 10 years where we had hosted many shows in the basement was demoed. A neat lil side note is Capitalist Casualties played the last show at the house so that was kind of a nice farewell. I was pretty depressed and had some interpersonal things going on at the time on top of this and I had put on a LOT of weight and experiencing some health issues. I was pretty fed up with the bullshit that comes along with doing the band thing. The Past 21 tours where literally a death march and after writing an album when I got back and kind of trying to get a band together, Ford Tennis (yes, that’s his real name) let me know he was leaving. He did the session drums for Past 21 and we tapped him since our touring drummer just kinda ghosted us.

I was fed up with EVERYTHING. People would tell me oh you need to to tour more… I’m like I toured a lot man, I hired PR, we played direct support slots with Wolves in the Throne Room several times, and they even said themselves if this isn’t helping you not much else can be done, so going back a little further that was the basis of beginning of the end for Chris bagging out.  But that’s a whole other story. So yeah, just years of near-misses failures and getting our asses handed to us. So I shelved that album I did after Past 21, I folded the band and told Mort Subite that I was fucking done. He however knew I wasn’t and waited me out patiently. Anyway I got into this one bedroom apartment and set up all my studio gear in the living room.

Then one day I got the itch. I started laying down all these synth tracks and came up with some hooks and whatnot. I compiled three or four songs. I knew I wanted to hang up the doom hat — that shit bored me at this point from a songwriting perspective. I wanted to explore, so I got me a Moog Voyager.  I ended up getting a new house in the middle of the peak of the housing crisis here in Portland as well, nicely situated on the other side of the freeway so no one fucks with us. Anyway I was also listening to a lot of Chrome at the time and I think some of that leaked into it. I guess more than just leaked, since I essentially met Helios Creed and ended up filling in for the synth master himself Tommy L. Cyborg (Farflung). Mort and I ended up helping with Chrome‘s album Techromancy and THEN  I toured Europe with ChromeHelios and Lou Minatti where around quite a lot around this time. So it went from a total bummer to all this awesome stuff happening by the end of 2017.

Tell me about “Within the Threshold.” How did writing that song happen and what is it expressing for you in its lyrics and in the music itself?

This was the last song I had written for the album I knew I wanted to pay homage to the Kosmische Kraut gods. So I went there with it, busted out the Moog and tasty analog arp’d synth and did my best Tangerine Dream/Klaus Schulze with some German psych-folk in there to possibly make Julian Cope proud heh heh heh… It just came together effortlessly, I mapped it out and did the bottom tracks and then brought Mort and Andrea in to fill it out.  The process was actually fun. The album Mage itself is obviously themed and this song is the completion of the lyrical concepts. It’s not a secret to many that I am a Esoteric Freemason and a member of a Hermetic Fellowship. I had been doing a lot of work and this album reflects that. I try to keep this stuff very simple because it can get very complicated very fast and at that point you may lose the meaning. I also try to keep a childlike wonder about these things — growing up is for losers. Music and magick are creative things that rely on it, in my opinion. So the song, it’s about being within the pillars of hidden knowledge, vision coming to form and being very clear after diligently trudging a dark path with very little to light the way except trust in faith, THEN that moment of “AH!… it all makes sense now,” I hear my song and know it is a gift. To sum it up, Order Ab Chao.

Tell me about the recording process. You basically rebuilt the band going into this album. Were you nervous at all about how it would all work out? What did each player bring to the project that let you know it was going to all fit?

I came at this from the perspective [of how] my Masonic Lodge and etc. goes about bringing in new initiates. They have to want it. I’m not going to waste all my time and effort on curiosity seekers. I want to know that you’re in it, that you know what you want and this is it. My lodge prides itself on their commitment to the craft and are some of the best esotericists (of many different backgrounds) I have ever met, I wanted my band to reflect the same in the capacity of music.

So yeah I had to start from scratch with the exception of Mort Subite — who for those of you who know French might glean that he has impeccable timing, which he does. He is my ace. Though the moment that I realized that I might want to continue was when Jon Reid reached out to me and offered his drumming skills. I knew he played on that first Lord Dying record and I had seen them play several times around town, but I had no idea he knew about ML and that he was a fan. His enthusiasm and his ability as a musician sealed it for me. From that point on I think Mort Subite and I decided to just commit fully and make this a band. Slowly we kept getting together bringing in different people essentially trying them out to fill out the band. Andrea Morgan came into the picture. Mort knew her from “back in the day” and so did a few others we knew. So I was like, “huh don’t know if I need like six people in this band… what can she do?” Mort was quick to inform me that she was extremely talented and plays violin in the Vancouver Washington symphony. I reflected on the work Chris Beug did with string arrangements on the first album, and the stuff we did on Past 21… if we could pull it off in the context of new works that would be great.

So we brought her in she clicked right away and it was a match. At this point we started rehearsing regularly and I was teaching everyone the material off of the Repeating Patterns of Love demo.  We had a few people come in and out but things where kinda gelling so  I was like, “guys! we are going to finish this album I wrote, I want you all to collaborate with me on it.” So we did that and somewhere in there I was talking to Trejen who I used to be roommates with at a Fourth of July party and telling him what I was up to. He was like well you know I play bass as well as art. I mean this dude is a really damn good artist and I knew he was a straight shooter. He also toured with Dystopia as a roadie on their very last tour so I also knew for fact he had the right stuff. So I was like, “you’re in dude, let’s meet next week.” The next day he called me and was like, “hey so I was drunk last night… Did I? did I just join Megaton Leviathan?” I was like, “yeah man – you sure did.  You in?” He said, “yeah lets do this.” So we got it together and played a few local shows to seal the deal over the summer of 2017. In between all of that we worked on the album, getting together in my studio and laying down tracks. I felt that process created a strong bond between us which I knew was needed if we were going forward as a six-piece band.

Our most recent player Russ Archer is rad too. He is a quick study, gets it and has a great sense of humor which is needed. Russ has played in SubArachnoid Space and a bunch of other great bands. I’m looking forward to collaborating with him and everyone on future works for sure.

How are the songs connected for you? Can you expand a bit on how they tie together in theme and purpose and what drew you to fleshing them out in different ways? How do “Mage” and “The Belldog” happen next to each other?

I mean as far as writing them it was pretty much sequentially.  Then when the time was right I kind of catherted and got the lyrical content. I’m telling a story which is kind of reminiscent of a hymn. First song I kinda talk about my process. I was in a dark place and I was looking for some healing. And it kinda goes from there to how I get over it and find my footing again. I go over the dualistic nature of life the tragedy the glory getting in touch with your higher purpose. Listen to the album.

As far as “Mage,” I wrote that one. I kinda went off on tokens in life that kinda signal change and was kind of incorporating more of a worldview with the wacky shit that is happening in our at least American culture anyway. I grew up as a kid in the ’80s having an actor as a president and playing G.I. Joes and Transformers then took a bunch of acid in the ’90s… and now we have this really augmented warped reality that seems too absurd to be real… It’s like I’m living in a dream, “yo dawg is this shit real? We have some reality show host playing G.I. Joes and Transformers but hes presumably in charge of the free world…” Anyway what can I do? This seems really bizarre, man. I feel kinda helpless but I’ve done enough acid to know that this shit will pass and you gotta take the lesson man. Do what you can. Weave your truth into the narrative. Hack it by radiating love on the micro cosmic level, it will grow, etc. In the meantime duck and let the shit wash over you.

“The Belldog” is a cover of a Cluster & Eno track. So I was telling you about Mort Subite and his great timing. We were about done and he came in ad was like, “oh I have this track…” He had arranged it all himself and brought it to Andrea and I to do strings and guitars. So I did my best Micheal Rother. I figured if there was any guitarist that would jam with those dudes it was him first and foremost (Harmonia). All of us in the band where floored by it, and I we knew this had to go on side two and stand as a massive homage to the Kraut masters. Mort Subite and I actually got to see Hans-Joachim Roedelius live in Portland right after we finished tracking and it was this beautiful moment of the vision being realized for that song in particular, having Adam Stacy (Secret Chiefs 3) do the piano on that was the best call we could have made. I just shook Roedelius‘ hand and thanked him after the set.

It’s been four years since Past 21: Beyond the Arctic Cell. Aside from the lineup, how do you feel the band has grown in that time? Was there something specific you wanted to do differently on Mage?

I mean what line up? it was me stumbling around with a guitar while Mort did sound… although we had a drummer on the US tour so there’s that. I didn’t have a band, not at that point. It had broken up by 2010. I was just trying to keep doing a thing and see the album through and it felt like a burden at that point. I had to re-record it three times save for the drum tracks and the collab tracks which kinda saved that album from being a total waste.

I feel like now I have what I always wanted with Megaton Leviathan anyway. I had always felt like we put the cart before the horse starting out. I wanted live synths, and there is of course things that you gain merely from experience which I lacked 10 years ago. So it is as it should be.

We kind of touched on the doom thing with our first two albums. Past 21 is the heaviest we will ever get. We went out of our way to make the heaviest album we could, and for better or worse, I did it. It’s time to move on. Yeah, with Mage I just wanted to do what felt right musically. The electronic and post-punk elements have always been there so I wanted to expose that more with this output. I have endless roads to travel and I plan on taking that pilgrimage.

Will Megaton Leviathan tour? Any other plans or closing words you want to mention?

Yeah we plan on it, timing is everything and we hope to finally make it to EU sooner than later.  Buy our album, support your local record stores and if you like a band go see ’em live when they come to your town.

Megaton Leviathan, “Wave”

Megaton Leviathan on Thee Facebooks

Megaton Leviathan on Instagram

Megaton Leviathan on Bandcamp

Blood Music webstore

Tags: , , , , ,

YOB Announce End-of-Year West Coast Dates; Euro Tour Starts Oct. 5

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

yob (Photo by James Rexroad)

So, unless they post a new video or something or start announcing their inevitable Spring 2019 plans, this is probably the last time I’ll post about YOB before we get to the year-end lists in December. I feel compelled to point out the fact that they’re fucking amazing. Fact? Yes. Fact. It’s established. It’s not like gravity, which is a theory just waiting to be disproved. It’s a fact. Undeniable. They’re a special band. They’re almost certainly the best of their generation, and the innovations in style and form they’ve brought to doom have only made it and listeners richer for their advent. I’m sorry. If you can’t dig on YOB, I’ve got nothing for you.

I guess that’s what I want to say about it. Their latest album, Our Raw Heart (review here), well, if you haven’t heard it, it’s down there at the bottom of this post. But you’ve heard it. I’m actually dying to get to the year-end poll and see how they do against the behemoth that is Sleep. I think they’ve got a shot.

Either way, YOB will round out their year doing what they’ve done a whole lot of in 2018 already: touring. And hey, look at that! The West Coast stint is presented by Gimme Radio, which is a thing I’m on. Good to see the name getting out there, especially on something it’s so easy to wholeheartedly endorse.

Poster and info from the PR wire:

yob dec tour

YOB: Announce End of 2018 West Coast Tour Dates; European Headlining Tour Begins Next Week

Our Raw Heart is out now on CD/2xLP/Deluxe 2xLP Boxset/CS/Digital

YOB returns to North American highways once more before the end of 2018, adding a half-dozen date trek up and down the North American West Coast including a performance Decibel Magazine’s Metal & Beer Fest on Dec. 2 at the Wiltern. Gimme Radio presents the non-Decibel shows.

The new round of tour dates are:

December 1 San Francisco, CA Slim’s ^
December 2 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern (Decibel Metal & Beer Fest)
December 5 Seattle, WA Neumo’s #
December 7 Vancouver, BC Astoria #
December 8 Bellingham, WA Shakedown #
December 9 Portland, OR Star Theatre #^

# – with Thrones
^ – with Khorada

The dates follow an extensive European tour, which kicks off next week in Germany and includes an Oct. 13 performance at Desertfest.

YOB Tour Dates:
October 5 to November 13 w/ Wiegedood (except *)

October 5 Karlsruhe, Germany Jubez
October 6 Nijmegen, Netherlands Soulcrusher
October 7 Bristol, UK The Fleece
October 9 Glasgow, UK Stereo
October 10 Leeds, UK Brudenell Social Club
October 11 Manchester, UK Gorilla
October 13 Antwerp, Belgium Desertfest *
October 14 Cologne, Germany Gebaeude9
October 16 Hamburg, Germany Molotow Club
October 17 Copenhagen, Denmark Vega
October 18 Gothenburg, Sweden Sticky Fingers
October 19 Stockholm, Sweden Kraken
October 20 Oslo, Norway Blä
October 21 Helsingfors, Finland Tavastia *
October 23 Paris, France Petit Bain
October 24 Feyzin, France L’Epicerie Moderne
October 25 Cenon, France Le Rocher De Palmer
October 26 Bilbao, Spain Santana 27
October 27 Porto, Portugal Hard Club
October 28 Madrid, Spain Caracol
October 29 Barcelona, Spain Boveda
October 31 Langenthal, Switzerland Old Capitol
November 1 Milan, Italy Santeria Social Club
November 2 Bologna, Italy Freakout Club
November 3 Martigny, Switzerland Caves Du Manoir
November 4 Bregenz, Austria Between
November 6 Vienna, Austria Arena
November 7 Budapest, Hungary Robot
November 8 Leipzig, Germany UT Connewitz
November 9 Warsaw, Poland Hydrozagadka
November 10 Kraków, Poland Soulstone Gathering Festival
November 11 Berlin, Germany Musik & Frieden
November 13 Athens, Greece Kyttaro Live Club *

YOB is:
Mike Scheidt – Guitar, Vocals
Aaron Rieseberg – Bass
Travis Foster – Drums

www.yobislove.com
www.facebook.com/quantumyob
www.twitter.com/quantumyob
www.instagram/com/quantumyob
www.relapse.com
www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords

YOB, “Original Face” official video

YOB, Our Raw Heart (2018)

Tags: , , , , ,

Lumbar to Reissue The First and Last Days of Unwelcome on Argonauta Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

lumbar

It’s been five years since Lumbar released The First and Last Days of Unwelcome (review here) on Southern Lord, and that time doesn’t seem to have dulled its impact whatsoever. Reeling from his MS diagnosis the year prior, prolific guitarist Aaron D.C. Edge composed the seven-track album on his laptop and got together with YOB‘s Mike Scheidt and the one and only Tad Doyle to complete it vocally — the band discussed the process here — and The First and Last Days of Unwelcome was an excruciatingly heavy chronicling of Edge‘s mindset, aurally punishing and oppressive in such a way as to put zero distance between the listener and the experience being conveyed. It was and remains a powerful, affecting listen.

Argonauta Records, which has worked with Edge already this year on Bible Black Tyrant, will reissue Lumbar‘s first and only offering on LP and CD Jan. 11, with tapes on Anima Recordings.

The PR wire brings the details:

lumbar the first and last days of unwelcome

LUMBAR TO RE-RELEASE CULT ALBUM WITH ARGONAUTA RECORDS!

Feat. Aaron Edge, Yob’s Mike Scheidt and Tad Doyle!

‘The First and Last Days of Unwelcome’ to be re-released on January 11th 2019!

It’s been a tragedy for the world of metal, when the remarkable debut album ‘The First and Last Days of Unwelcome’ has been likely proved to be the first and last work of Lumbar. The trio of metal veterans Aaron Edge (Ramprasad / Bible Black Tyrant / Rote Hexe / Iamthethorn / Roareth / Phemüt), Yob’s Mike Scheidt and Tad Doyle (Brothers of the Sonic Cloth / TAD) released their highly acclaimed debut album back in 2013, when the life of band mastermind and multi-instrumentalist Edge has already changed forever.

Lumbar is Edge’s unique collaboration with the two vocalists — Yob’s Mike Scheidt and Tad Doyle. Edge wrote and recorded the music and penned the lyrics, during one long weekend in Seattle, and they added their voices. At this point, Edge had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

“It’s been five years since I wrote and recorded the Lumbar endeavor (in GarageBand, no less) and that time really did pass quickly.” Edge explains. “It has also been six years since my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, but that time has gone by much too slowly. The pain has not ceased, nor the frustration, and certainly not the fear. But, there are some positive things to focus on: my meds are now dulling some of the nerve trouble, I’m able to play music regularly again, and two labels share my excitement in the re-release of “The First and Last Days of Unwelcome” as hand-numbered 12″ vinyl on Argonauta Records and hand-numbered cassettes on Anima Recordings.

The five year agreement and music license that was held between myself and Greg Anderson, of Southern Lord, ended this month, releasing the control of the recording back into my hands. I’d like to thank Greg, for his belief in the vision and importance of Lumbar for me. He has always shown true friendship, guidance and support and I won’t forget that.

There is a difference in the first release, back in 2013, and the re-release for January 2019; there was first an urgency and now there is a reminder.

The urgency tore me and my marriage apart, it changed my life forever, the MS diagnosis was (at the time) a bleak future. And, to be honest, I’m not optimistic about how my life with the disease will change and morph as I grow older. But, I’m still here. I made it this far. The urgency of the first release of these seven tracks is now a reminder of change… it is inevitable and uncontrollable. Nature does what nature does, she can not be restrained.

I can not thank enough, then and now, the donation of friendship and talent from both Mike Scheidt and Tad Doyle: there’s only a small handful of people on the planet that I know—that I would feel comfortable having them tell my story—and these guys were at the top of the list. I love you two men.

Thank you to Gero of Argonauta and David of Anima for reminding all of us about creative energy, about storytelling. I do hope you all reading this and listening in appreciate the recording, as heavy and dark in subject matter as it truly is, all over again.”

With seven tracks and a runtime of less than 25 minutes, ‘The First and Last Days of Unwelcome’ is a relentless trek through doom metal featuring Scheidt and Doyle, the screamer and singer, who perfectly round up this epos. On January 11th 2019, Argonauta Records will re-release the cult album on Vinyl by a project that has been truly missed in the heavy music scene.

Coming with a re-designed album artwork, ‘The First and Last Days of Unwelcome’ will be available on CD (for the first time ever) and an exciting color LP edition of 300 hand numbered copies.

Pre-Orders are now available at:
LP: http://smarturl.it/LumbarLP
CD: http://smarturl.it/LumbarCD
Bundles: http://smarturl.it/LumbarBundle

Says Gero Lucisano, CEO of Argonauta Records:
“It’s been a year ago when I’ve been lucky enough to team up with Aaron Edge for his new project Bible Black Tyrant, we released on Argonauta in early 2018. A massive sludge blast I’m totally proud of. With Aaron, a hard working musician, I got the chance to speak about many music endeavours and thanks to his positive and propositive attitude it is a pleasure and a honor to work the official reissue of the legendary LUMBAR album. This is not only an impressive work, emotional and intensive, this beast also features the line-up Mike Scheidt (YOB) and Tad Doyle (of legendary TAD), basically my hero of today’s scene and the hero of my youth. Argonauta Records is stoked to welcome the band and album within its range.”

The track list reads as follows:
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five
Day Six
Day Seven

www.facebook.com/thelumbarendeavor
www.argonautarecords.com
www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords

Lumbar, “Day One”

Tags: , , , ,

Holy Grove Unveil Cover Art for Holy Grove II

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 25th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

holy grove ii full cover

I usually try to keep it reasonable as regards file sizes around here, mostly because I have a voice in my head that sounds a lot like Slevin (who built the site) berating me for not doing so, but every now and again you gotta just give a piece of art its due. Accordingly, click the image above to greatly enlarge the full two-sided cover for Holy Grove II, the impending second album and Ripple Music debut from Portland, Oregon’s Holy Grove. The art, of course, is by Adam Burke.

The striking artwork was a factor as well on Holy Grove‘s 2016 self-titled debut (review here), released by Heavy Psych Sounds, and like producer Billy Anderson, Adam Burke is a returning party in adding his visuals alongside Holy Grove‘s tracks. I haven’t heard the record yet — it’s a Nov. 9 release date, so we might be a while before we get there — but the band previously announced the tracklisting and offer some more comment about the record, and because one likes to be thorough, you’ll see the front-cover version of the art below, complete with a fancy Holy Grove logo that seems just about ready to become my new favorite t-shirt.

More on Holy Grove‘s Holy Grove II as I hear it (and hopefully I hear it soon — ha.), but for now here’s what I’ve got:

holy grove ii

Holy Grove on Holy Grove II:

For us this record represents a rebirth of sorts…we went through a trying few years where the future of the band was in doubt and making another record seemed like it may never happen. We continued on, believing that we had more to accomplish. This record is a result of that belief, as well as a lot of hard work. We’re all very proud of it, and are looking forward to sharing it.

Holy Grove II tracklisting:
Blade Born
Aurora
Valley of The Mystics
Solaris
Cosmos

Holy Grove is:
Andrea Vidal – Vocals
Trent Jacobs – Guitar
Gregg Emley – Bass
Eben Travis – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/holygroveband/
https://twitter.com/holygroveband
http://holygrove.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/

Holy Grove, Live at the Tonic Lounge, Portland, OR 03.26.18

Holy Grove, Holy Grove (2016)

Tags: , , , , ,

Young Hunter Tour Starts Tomorrow in Montana

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

YOUNG HUNTER

Portland, Oregon-based five-piece Young Hunter make their way out of the Pacific Northwest starting tomorrow night. Actually, they’re probably on the road already as this post goes up — or headed out shortly — since their first show is in Missoula, Montana, and that’s just shy of nine hours of road time more easily broken up into a two-day stretch provided you’ve got somewhere to crash. Hey, if Young Hunter are coming through, let them crash, would ya?

Anyway, last Fall the band released Dayhiker (review here), which is an album that, according to the complicated metrics I use for such things (note: I have no metrics and I don’t read other sites so I have no idea what I’m talking about beyond what I see on social media) didn’t get nearly the amount of appreciation it was due. Amidst a sea of bands playing to genre, Young Hunter shape sound to their own image rather than the other way around, and their craft has only grown more fluid with time. This tour will take them south through the Rockies and into the desert where they got their start as founded by guitarist/vocalist Benjamin Blake. Hence the four shows in Arizona. They finish by looping back up to San Francisco and finishing there, just two hours south of Grass Valley, which it just so happens is where Dayhiker was recorded with the estimable Tim Green at the helm. Now that’s a drive you could do in a day, were you so inclined.

Here are the dates as culled from Thee Facebooks:

young hunter tour poster

We’re leaving on tour in less than a week! Beyond excited to see all the friends and epic landscapes of the western US. Thanks to @matthowls for the epic poster. Dates below:

9/20- Missoula, MT- Dark Horse
9/21- Bozeman, MT- Eagle’s Club
9/22- Denver, CO- 3 Kings
9/23- Santa Fe, NM- Rufina St Brewery
9/25- Scottsdale, AZ- Rogue
9/26- Bisbee, AZ- The Quarry
9/27- Tucson, AZ- CANS
9/28- Flagstaff, AZ- Flagstaff Brewing Co.
9/29- Las Vegas, NV- Starboard Tack
10/2- Reno, NV- 40 Mile Saloon
10/3- Sacramento, CA- Blue Lamp
10/4- TBA
10/5- Santa Rosa, CA- Arlene Francis Center
10/6- San Francisco, CA- El Rio

Young Hunter is:
Benjamin Blake – Vocals, Guitar
Sara Pinnell – Vocals, Keys
Erik Wells – Guitar
Sam Dean – Bass
Grant Pierce – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/Young-Hunter-127424170682508/
https://younghunter.bandcamp.com/
https://thefearandthevoidrecordings.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/TheFearAndTheVoid/

Young Hunter, Dayhiker (2017)

Tags: , , , , ,

YOB Post “Original Face” Video; On Tour Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

yob (Photo by James Rexroad)

It’s been a full week since YOB released the video below, and I’ll admit I held off posting it basically because I didn’t go to the show where it was filmed and of everything I either attended or didn’t this summer, missing YOB probably stings the most. Actually, Portugal stings the most, but YOB at Le Poisson Rouge are a close second. You see, I was there in 2011 the last time they played that room, and they were of course incredible. I’ve seen YOB numerous times since then, but this show had the kind of vibe of being the NYC arrival party for their new album, Our Raw Heart (review here), and in addition to feeling like I should be there on account of that, I wanted to be. It’s fucking YOB. I remember a time when they were never going to play again. Every show since is a gift.

What finally tipped the balance and got me to get over myself and post it was reading that it was filmed by Frank Huang. Frank‘s work has always been top notch and worth highlighting whenever possible, and the clip for “Original Face” that follows here is no exception to that. It’s an exciting performance-capture that’s briskly edited and doesn’t need to be overdone to showcase the impact of YOB live. For everyone who’s seen them before, it’s a reminder of what a special band they are live, and for anyone who hasn’t, it’s a compelling argument to get off your ass next time. I hope to do precisely that when next given the opportunity. I’m also holding out hope they’ll be added to Roadburn next year and make a return there, but I haven’t heard anything either way as yet.

In the meantime, the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt, bassist Aaron Rieseberg and drummer Travis Foster are wrapping a quick West Coast run with Acid King and CHRCH, and next month they head to Europe to tour with Wiegedood and hit several festivals along the way on the extended trek. You’ll find those dates below, and if you’re anywhere near where they’re going to be, even if you’ve seen them multiple times before, go. If you don’t, you’ll regret it later. Trust me.

Enjoy the clip:

YOB, “Original Face” official video

YOB, who recently released their critically-acclaimed album, Our Raw Heart, share a live video for “Original Face.”

The clip was directed by Frank Huang (Maximum Volume Silence) and filmed at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge.

YOB Tour Dates:
US WEST COAST TOUR w/ ACID KING & CHRCH
September 13 Phoenix, AZ Club Red
September 14 San Diego, CA Brick by Brick
September 15 Oakland, CA Metro

FALL EUROPEAN TOUR DATES w/ WIEGEDOOD
Oct 05 Karlsruhe, DE Jubez
Oct 06 Nijmegen, NL Soulcrusher Festival
Oct 07 Bristol, UK The Fleece
Oct 09 Glasgow, UK Stereo
Oct 10 Leeds, UK Brudenell Social Club
Oct 11 Manchester, UK Gorilla
Oct 12 London, UK The Garage
Oct 13 Antwerp, BE Desertfest Belgium (No Wiegedood)
Oct 14 Koln, DE Gebaeude9
Oct 16 Hamburg, DE Molotow Club
Oct 17 Copenhagen, DK Vega
Oct 18 Gothenburg, SE Sticky Fingers
Oct 19 Stockholm, SE Kraken
Oct 20 Oslo, NO Bla
Oct 21 Helsinki, FI Tavastia (no Wiegedood)
Oct 23 Paris, FR Petit Bain
Oct 24 Feyzin, FR L’Epicerie Moderne
Oct 25 Cenon, FR Le Rocher De Palmer
Oct 27 Porto, PT Hard Club
Oct 28 Madrid, ES Caracol
Oct 29 Barcelona, ES Boveda
Oct 31 Langenthal, CH Old Capitol
Nov 01 Milan, IT Santeria Social Club
Nov 02 Bologna, IT Freakout Club
Nov 03 Martigny, CH Caves Du Manoir
Nov 04 Bregenz, AT Between
Nov 06 Vienna, AT Arena
Nov 07 Budapest, HU Robot
Nov 08 Leipzig, DE UT Connewitz
Nov 09 Warsaw, PL Hydrozagadka
Nov 10 Krakow, PL Soulstone Gathering Festival
Nov 11 Berlin, DE Musik & Frieden
Nov 13 Athens, GR Kyttaro Live Club (no Wiegedood)

Dec 01 Los Angeles, CA Decibel Metal & Beer Festival

YOB is:
Mike Scheidt – Guitar, Vocals
Aaron Rieseberg – Bass
Travis Foster – Drums

YOB website

YOB on Thee Facebooks

YOB on Twitter

YOB on Instagram

Relapse Records website

Relapse Records on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , ,