Vultures of Volume II Adds Elder, Pale Divine and Wasted Theory to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 12th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

vultures of volume logo

Still no word on exactly where the second Vultures of Volume festival will take place, but the lineup is taking shape nicely. One assumes it will be held somewhere in Maryland, since that’s where the first was, but you never really know. Stoner Hands of Doom traveled for many years, going as far West as Arizona, and Eye of the Stoned Goat operates similarly, having shifted around the Northeast between Delaware, Massachusetts, Brooklyn and, next month, Long Island. Doesn’t mean Vultures of Volume II will do the same — as a matter of fact, I think it won’t — but I’m interested to find out.

Until that word arrives one way or another, bands continue to join the lineup. The first announcement last month brought with it the promise of a Solace reunion and sets from Righteous Bloom and Disciples of Doom, a new band fronted by Robert Lowe of Solitude Aeturnus and formerly of Candlemass, and this time around it’s Elder, Pale Divine and Wasted Theory who’ve come aboard for the festival, which is set for Sept. 4 and 5, right before Labor Day.

Seems likely Elder will be among the headliners for the two-day event, their ascent at that point continuing after the release earlier this year of their third album, Lore (review here), and Wasted Theory meanwhile will be riding high after the vinyl release this month of their 2014 album, Death and Taxes (review here) while Pale Divine make their second appearance at Vultures of Volume, also sharing guitarist/vocalist Greg Diener and drummer Darin McCloskey with Righteous Bloom.

The fest announced the additions as follows:

We’re just going to lay this on you all at once because of its enormity! Vultures of Volume Fest II (Sept. 4th and 5th) is elated to announce the addition of Delaware stoners Wasted Theory, Pennsylvania doom legends Pale Divine, and Massachusetts’ mighty riff lords Elder! Spread the word! More bands to be announced very soon!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vultures-of-Volume-FEST/578873918893964
https://www.facebook.com/wastedtheoryband
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pale-Divine/124093500958716
https://www.facebook.com/elderofficial

Elder, Live at Saint Vitus Bar, Brooklyn, NYC, May 5, 2015

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The Skull, Unorthodox and More to Play Vultures of Volume Fest this August

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 16th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Frederick, Maryland, has doubled as a secondary Doom Capitol for some time now. For several years the home of the Stoner Hands of Doom festival, is just happens to be in a place central enough to pull bands from near-enough-by Baltimore, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. It has kind of an out-of-the-way feel, but for years there was a genuine scene around Krug’s Place on the outskirts of the town that was strong and true to the roots of doom, which in the US more or less began in that region as well. The first Vultures of Volume will bring a doom fest back to the town after a couple years’ absence, and has assembled a lineup worthy of showing up for, with Trouble offshoot The Skull and a rare Unorthodox reunion headlining and backup on the bill from the likes of Nagato, GorgantherronBlack Manta, Beelzefuzz, Blizaro, Ogre and Pale Divine.

Of those, I think Ogre might be traveling furthest — from Maine — but Indiana to Maryland is no picnic either in terms of road time, so Gorgantherron will put some miles on as well. Between Unorthodox, Nagato, Beelzefuzz and Black Manta, Maryland is also well represented.

Vultures of Volume is set for Aug. 30, 2014 at Cafe 611 in Frederick. Poster art by Brad Moore and info follow:

“VULTURES OF VOLUME FEST” SET TO DEBUT IN FREDERICK, MD THIS AUGUST

Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 30, 2014 for the debut of “Vultures of Volume”, a new annual festival coming to Cafe 611 in Frederick, MD.

“Vultures of Volume” promises to shine the spotlight on local and national acts that bring it loud, hard, and above all else, heavy! This first installment of “VoV” proudly presents the return of Maryland legends UNORTHODOX, featuring the 1995 “Balance of Power” lineup of Ronnie Kalimon (drums), Josh Hart (bass) and the legendary Dale Flood (guitar/vocals) for this one time only reunion! Not to be missed!

Also joining in on the worship of the riff will be Chicago’s THE SKULL, featuring original Trouble members Eric Wagner and Jeff ‘Oly’ Olson, as well as fellow Trouble alumni Ron Holzner (rounded out by guitarists Matt Goldsborough, formerly of Pentagram, and Lothar Keller). THE SKULL will commemorate the 30th anniversary of their classic 1984 debut album “Psalm 9” by performing it in its entirety at the inaugural “Vultures of Volume” fest!

As if that wasn’t enough, also performing will be a strong supporting roster of local and national heavy weights: Nagato (MD), Gorgantherron (IN), Black Manta (MD), Beelzefuzz (MD), Blizaro (NY) Pale Divine (PA) and Ogre (ME).

For more info including door times, full schedule, ticket prices, and sale dates, please visit the official “Vultures of Volume” event page at: www.facebook/pages/Vultures-of-Volume-FEST/578873918893964

Cafe 611: 611 N Market St, Frederick, MD 21701 Ph: (301) 631-1460

Unorthodox, “Lost in Tomorrow” from Balance of Power (1995)

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Doom in June Vol. 4 Fest Launches Tonight!

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 6th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

In just a few short hours, this year’s Doom in June fest gets its start, and Doom in June Vol. 4 is definitely the most varied and farthest reaching yet, bringing in the deathly likes of Satan’s Host and Novembers Doom for ultra-dark headlining slots, while Acid Witch, Pale Divine, Ides of Gemini, GodhunterWhores of Tijuana and many others hold down a two-day trudge through various styles and takes on the heavy. It’s an admirable grouping of acts, and The Cheyenne Saloon is a killer room in which to see a show, so no doubt in my mind it’ll be an excellent time for those fortunate enough to make it out.

If that’s you, well, you already know the deal. For everyone else, let me just say one more time how thrilled I was to be included among the sponsors for this year’s event, and how much I’m looking forward to seeing videos and hearing reports of how it all went down.

One more time, here’s the full lineup and ticket links:

DOOM IN JUNE VOL. 4

Friday, June 6th and Saturday, June 7th, 2014 at The Cheyenne Saloon

Las Vegas, NV, Friday, June 6, 2014 — Salem Rose Music is excited to present the full line-up for Doom in June Vol. 4 Music Festival in Las Vegas. Festival kicks off Friday night (June 6th). In keeping with festival tradition, Saturday (June 7th) will feature music all day and well into the night. Event takes place at The Cheyenne Saloon (3103 N Rancho Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada 89130). Tickets are on sale now and also available at the door until they sell out:

2- day ticket discount price $40
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/533967

Friday only ticket $20
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/672659

Saturday only ticket $30
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/672673

Friday June 6
(first band hits the stage just after 5:00 pm and show ends just after midnight)
Lotus
Spiritual Shepherd
Whores of Tijuana
Wounded Giant
Night Demon
Spiralarms
Big Elf
Satan’s Host

Saturday June 7
Black Prism
Trapped within Burning Machinery
Deathkings
Secrets of the Sky
Godhunter
Spun in Darkness
Demon Lung
Ides of Gemini
Pale Divine
November’s Doom
Acid Witch
Irony Man

— Festival Ends —

Updates can be found at:
https://www.facebook.com/doominjune

Pale Divine, Painted Windows Black (2012)

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Doom in June Vol. 4 Announces Final Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

If you’re the type to look at sponsor lists for music festivals, you might notice an Obelisk logo at the bottom of the poster below for Doom in June Vol. 4. I’m thrilled and honored to be on board for spreading the word on this year’s Doom in June fest, with Novembers Doom, Ides of Gemini, Godhunter, Satan’s Host, BigElf, Acid Witch and Pale Divine on the bill at the Cheyenne Saloon in the ultra-doomy climes of Las Vegas, June 6 and 7. As you can see, I’m in good company, and the fourth installment of the annual fest promises to be the grimmest yet. Did I mention Satan’s Host were playing?

Tickets are available now for either or both of the two days ofDoom in June Vol. 4, and the links are included below with the now-final lineup, fresh off the PR wire.

Dig it:

DOOM IN JUNE VOL. 4 – LAS VEGAS MUSIC FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FINAL LINE-UP

Friday, June 6th and Saturday, June 7th, 2014 at The Cheyenne Saloon

Salem Rose Music announces final line-up for Doom in June Vol. 4 Music Festival in Las Vegas. This year the festival kicks off on Friday night (June 6th). In keeping with festival tradition, Saturday (June 7th) will feature music all day and well into the night. Doom in June expanded the format to accommodate more bands this year. Event takes place at The Cheyenne Saloon (3103 N Rancho Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada 89130). Tickets are on sale now:

2- day ticket discount price $40
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/533967

Friday only ticket $20
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/672659

Saturday only ticket $30
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/672673

“I’m proud I could put together a heavier than heavy line-up for Doom in June Vol. 4″ explains festival founder Marco Barbieri, “We’ve expanded to a two-day format in order to add more bands. There is a greater diversity of talent and we’ve listened to the fans and made it darker and doomier this year.”

Event sponsors include Fly PR, Vegas Star Bookings, The Obelisk, Heavy Planet and All That Is Heavy. To become a sponsor or to find out about vendor opportunities please contact Salem Rose Music.

Friday June 6
(first band hits the stage just after 5:00 pm and show ends just after midnight)
Spiritual Shepherd
Lotus
Whores of Tijuana
Wounded Giant
Night Demon
Spiral Arms
Big Elf
Satan’s Host

Saturday June 7
(first band hits the stage just after 2:00 pm and show ends around 1:00 am)
Spun in Darkness
Funerary
Black Prism
Deathkings
Trapped Within Burning Machinery
Secrets of the Sky
Godhunter
Demon Lung
Ides of Gemini
My Ruin
Pale Divine
Acid Witch
November’s Doom

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/533967
https://facebook.com/doominjune

Spiritual Shepherd, “The Flock” Live at Doom in June 3

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Pale Divine Have a New Demo and Management Deal

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 1st, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Last year’s nonetheless righteous Painted Windows Black (review here) seems now in hindsight like it caught the Pennsylvania traditional doomers at an in-between moment. Guitarist/vocalist Greg Diener and drummer Darin McCloskey (also of Beelzefuzz) were joined for that outing by bassist Jerry Bright, but in the time since, Admiral Browning‘s Ron “Fezz” McGinnis has taken over the role, and if performances at Eye of the Stoned Goat 2 and at Days of the Doomed III are anything to go by, he fits right in with the trio, who seem to have been waiting for an injection of energy since 2007’s soon-to-be-reissued Cemetery Earth.

Well, if the demo below for “Curse the Shadows” is anything to go by, they’ve gotten precisely that. Announcement came down yesterday that the three-piece has signed with Mercyful Mike Smith‘s — he of the Days of the Doomed fest — Mercyful Mike Management & Productions and continuing work on new material. It goes a little something like this:

I am extremely excited to announce the addition of Pennsylvania doom stalwarts PALE DIVINE to the Mercyful Mike Management & Productions roster!

With a career spanning back to 1995, Pale Divine has consistently churned out traditional doom metal with its own unique watermark, producing genre-defining albums such as “Thunder Perfect Mind” and “Cemetery Earth”. After a 5 year hiatus, Pale Divine unleashed “Painted Windows Black” in 2012 to high acclaim, landing the band on several yearend “best of” lists. 2012 also saw the recruitment of journeyman bassist Ron “Fezz” McGinnis (Admiral Browning/Trilogy) to the Pale Divine ranks, solidifying their lineup like never before. With momentum rolling in their favor, Pale Divine is gaining steam and showing no signs of slowing down.

Fast forward to Fall of 2013 and the trio of McGinnis, along with founding members Greg Diener (guitars) and Darin McCloskey (drums) are ready to give fans a sneak peek at what’s to come in the form of a new demo entitled “Curse the Shadows.” Infused with aggression and that signature Pale Divine sound, this tune is a sure fire indication that Pale Divine are once again poised, primed, and ready to storm the gates of doom… with a vengeance!

As if that’s not enough, Shadow Kingdom Records is putting the finishing touches on the reissue of 2007’s monumental slab “Cemetery Earth”. The album will be completely remastered, and include a bonus disc jammed full of demos and live tracks. Watch for it in early 2014!

To stay up to date on everything Pale Divine related, please visit their official Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pale-Divine/124093500958716

Pale Divine, “Curse the Shadows” Demo

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Here are 115 More Pics from Days of the Doomed III

Posted in Visual Evidence on June 25th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

It was a really, really busy weekend. I’m glad to say I did actually get to stand still for a bit and watch each of the 19 acts performing at Days of the Doomed III at The Blue Pig in Cudahy, Wisconsin, but I was just as likely to be parking myself somewhere to pop open the laptop or back and forth in front of the stage taking pics.

At one point, one of the dudes working at the venue said to me while I had the computer open, “You’re supposed to be enjoying yourself, not working.”

And it occurred to me that this is how I enjoy myself.

A 20-minute break between each band didn’t leave much wriggle room to go searching for the perfect shot of each band and still give the actual set the clacky-clacky it deserved. As such, I wound up with a lot of photos, and since I wouldn’t have time to include them in the actual live-blog posts (day one and day two), it only seems fair to give them their own post.

Below — with setlists when I could get them — you’ll find pictures of Iron Man, Penance, Venomous Maximus, Kings Destroy, Lucertola, Moon Curse and Gravedirt from day one, and The Gates of Slumber, In~Graved, Dream Death, Pale Divine, Earthen Grave, Leather Nun America, King Giant, Spillage, Chowder, Beelzefuzz, Gorgantherron and Whaler from day two.

Pics start after the jump. Hope you enjoy:

Read more »

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Front to Back: Days of the Doomed III, Day Two

Posted in Features on June 22nd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

06.22.13 — The Blue Pig — Cudahy, WI

11:41AM: Quiet start this morning at The Blue Pig for day two of Days of the Doomed III, but no doubt things will pick up shortly. Today is 12 bands in more than 13 hours, so it’s going to be a long one, a busy one and I expect by the end of it, a tired one, but that’s a long ways off, and after a hotel breakfast and a couple minutes respite before heading down to the venue, I’m feeling good and doing my best to ignore the prospect of the drive tomorrow morning. Much to do before I get there.

In about 20 minutes, Whaler from Michigan kick off the day, followed by Gorgantherron, Beelzefuzz, Spillage, King Giant, Leather Nun America, Earthen Grave, Pale Divine, Dream Death, In~Graved and The Gates of Slumber. It’s a powerful lineup, but they must have powerwashed the venue after last night, brought in a firehose or something, because it smells much better this morning than it did by the end of yesterday’s bands.

Last night was pretty riotous by the end of Penance and Iron Man, so I figure there’s a lot of attendees getting off to a slow start this morning, but if the kickoff is as righteous as yesterday’s — and I hear excellent things about Whaler — I’ll be glad I got here early.

Before I start, and since I don’t know if I’ll have the energy to point it out later, I just want to say a quick thanks to Mercyful Mike Smith for putting on Days of the Doomed III, and for the tremendous work he’s done assembling this lineup and getting the right crew in hand to make it run so smoothly.

Alright, here goes:

Whaler

12:37PM: Apparently, Michigan trio Whaler had something of a late night. They were not alone, but they nonetheless delivered a respectable set of roughed-up/burled-up Kyuss-style heavy rock and showcased a dynamic of their own within the semi-familiar riffing. Guitarist/vocalist Adam Lupo and bassist Eric Lomba had rich tones and drummer Adam Weiler, despite chasing his cowbell across his kit as it moved away from him, was adaptable either to the desert grooves of the material they played earlier or the thicker, Sleep-y vibes of their closing instrumental. Their debut LP, Deep Six, was self-released last December and I’ll see if they have any available. It probably wasn’t an ideal time to see them — noon after a hell of a Friday night — but they opened day two with smooth, rolling grooves and an engagingly bullshit-free atmosphere.

Gorgantherron


1:28PM: Imported from Indiana, the trio Gorgantherron clearly got more comfortable as their set went on and seemed more at home in their faster parts, rather than some of the more languid sections. All three members — Chris Flint (drums), Clint Logan (guitar), and Toby Richardson (bass) — contributed vocals, and that gave cuts like “Mothra” and the particularly memorable “Assimilate” a touch of flavor, which went down well with the crowd, still rolling in and wiping the crust from its collective eyes. Keeping holy the Sabbath, Gorgantherron hit on a few satisfying shuffles in their solo parts, Logan taking the fore with a smile to rip out blues leads while Richardson and Flint held down the solid grooves beneath. They weren’t trying for anything fancy, but there was some potential there, and they sat naturally between doom and heavy rock as only a band who doesn’t think there should be a line between them can.

Beelzefuzz


2:40PM: I don’t know what Beelzefuzz are ready for, but whatever it is, they’re ready for it. The Maryland bizarro doom trio had Days of the Doomed III more or less eating out of their hands 10 minutes before they went on, and it was readily apparent that they were the show-up point for a lot of people this afternoon. The band’s way of rewarding such loyalty? Well, they brought up Eric Wagner to cover “Ride the Sky” by Lucifer’s Friend, and that was pretty awesome, Wagner and guitarist/vocalist Dana Ortt trading off parts and laughing all the while. Beelzefuzz have a new record coming Aug. 9 on The Church Within, and I’ve yet to see them and not be impressed. I realized watching them that it had only been a couple months since I caught them in Delaware at The Eye of the Stoned Goat 2, but nothing here felt redundant or stale. Bassist Pug Kirby and drummer Darin McCloskey were dead on with slow, creeping grooves that gave Ortt plenty of space to weird out with vocal effects, organ-sounding guitar and all the rest. If their record captures even a fraction of what these guys have turned into in a live setting, it might just be the summer’s don’t miss for doom.

Chowder


3:45PM: When I streamed a couple tracks from Chowder‘s Passion Rift full-length last summer, I wondered how they’d be able to bring so many textures to a live setting. Now I know: They do it with their feet, and they do it very carefully. Maryland doom nobility Josh Hart (guitar; also bassist for Earthride) and John Brenner (bass; also guitarist/vocalist for Revelation) both had an array of foot-pedals at their disposal and they made liberal use of them to add to the instrumental progressive runs of their material. Early on, Hart blew out the Sunn head he was playing through — always a bummer, especially for someone who’s come a long way — but Al Morris from Iron Man‘s amp was brought in as a replacement, Chowder recovered and the three-piece rounded out by drummer Ronnie Kalimon (Unorthodox) had the room packed out by the time they were done. I don’t know if maybe they were playing doomier songs for the fest or if the tones were just different live, but they seemed thicker tonally than I recalled from the album and I didn’t hear any whining about it. Cool set, and where they seemed on paper like an odd fit, they made sense for the bill after all.

Spillage


4:42PM: Going by their name and how they worked on stage, Chicago-based Spillage would seem to be the brainchild of guitarist Tony Spillman, who’s pulling double-duty later in a set with Earthen Grave. Days of the Doomed III was their first show, and while it was the “featuring Bruce Franklin of Trouble” portion of the lineup that first drew my attention, the whole band was stellar. Really. And not just for a first show, either. They were tight, the songs were spot on, they covered “Devil Woman” by Cliff Richard, and had a great energy throughout their whole time on stage. They looked genuinely thrilled to be here, thanked the crowd, thanked Mercyful Mike Smith several times, and even though Spillman had a little technical difficulty, there was never any real loss of momentum as they settled into a killer set that ranks up there with Moon Curse yesterday as one of the weekend’s most pleasant surprises. With two guitars, keys, bass, drums and standalone vocals, they were crowded on the Blue Pig stage, but that only added to how together they were sonically. I haven’t the faintest idea what their plans as a band might be, when they’ll put material to tape, etc. — they have shirts for sale but no music — but as righteous and enjoyable as their set was, I’ll be keeping an eye out and hoping they can bring the same vitality to a studio recording. An awesome debut.

King Giant

5:58PM: There hasn’t been much Southern metal thus far into the fest, but if there was a quota, King Giant just met it. I was pretty familiar with their stuff after streaming their Dismal Hollow LP last year, and they were basically what I expected, just tighter and louder. In the case of vocalist Dave Hammerly, much louder. Of the two mics he had on stage, one cut through the Virginian five-piece’s thick riffing enough to border on abrasive, but they grooved out darkly nonetheless, here touching on Down, there nodding out a Clutch riff. It was burly stuff, and I think a lot of people unfamiliar with what they do decided it was a good time to grab a bite to eat — they love their own here, as everywhere — ahead of some of the evening’s headliners, but King Giant were professional and energetic, many-hatted (four out of five) and they made the most out of the time they had, playing to a tight group of their fans who seemed appreciative enough to make up for everyone else.

Leather Nun America


6:50PM: I’ll give it to Cali trio Leather Nun America (also stylized with a lowercase ‘a’ to start the last word), they know what they like. Tonally, guitarist/vocalist John Sarnie was straight-up Wino, and the band covered “To Protect and Serve” from The Obsessed‘s The Church Within to drive the point home. Bassist/backing vocalist Francis Roberts, his eyes rolled back, was a more unhinged presence than Sarnie, but it made the dynamic on stage more complex and, frankly, more satisfying. I was starting to drag ass a bit and so ordered a pizza (hasn’t arrived yet, but I’ll get to eat at some point) and had another bottle of water, but some of the people who were in and out during King Giant settled in for Leather Nun America and the band, despite being the only West Coast act on the bill, seemed right at home amongst the doomed.

Earthen Grave


8:22PM: I’ve seen Earthen Grave a few times now — here last year, at SHoD — and to my ears they’ve never sounded so good. Of course, nailing a cover of Rainbow‘s “Stargazer” with not one but two violins (Rachel Barton Pine and her younger sister dueling it out) helps, and bringing Victor Griffin up to take on Pentagram‘s “Relentless” (who better?) for a set closer helps as well, but even so, from the opener “Death is another Word” — the bonus track on the Ripple Music reissue of their self-titled debut — to the plodding aggression of “Dismal,” the Chicago outfit seemed to hit it just right this time around. Maybe they’ve coalesced more as a unit, or maybe I’m on some post-pizza energy boost — pizza gives you energy, right? — but they killed it, and placed where they were in the lineup, they more or less started off the evening’s headliners, with Pale Divine, Dream Death, In~Graved and The Gates of Slumber still to come. Things are about to get heavy and miserable, but I’m up for it, and judging by the howls of the crowd who just moved from in front of the stage being changed over to the tvs in the back which have the Blackhawks game on, the crowd is up for it, so what the hell? Let’s make an evening of it.

Pale Divine

9:39PM: With three new songs in tow, Pennsylvania/Maryland trio Pale Divine — drummer Darin McCloskey doubling up on the day after performing earlier with Beelzefuzz — sounded positively refreshed. Guitarist/vocalist Greg Diener and bassist/backing vocalist Ron McGinnis (aka Fez, also of Admiral Browning) have gelled tonally to the point where you’d swear the latter had always been in the band, and likewise, McGinnis brings a different personality with him that adds to the chemistry. I took it as a sign that they’ve already started to write a follow-up to last year’s Painted Windows Black — which, not to take away from it, was accomplished but hardly what I’d call refreshed — and for as gloomy and plodding as the material is, spirits seemed high straight through when they handed a mic into the crowd where it was picked up by Sanctus Bellum‘s Benjamin Yaker and shared with Butch Balich and Mercyful Mike Smith for a finale take on “Amplified” from Pale Divine‘s 2001 debut full-length, Thunder Perfect Mind. The Blue Pig is packed out (still watching hockey), and the mood is good, so with three bands left to go, the night is on a roll.

Dream Death


10:54PM: I’ve had my earplugs in for too long, can feel my right ear beginning an infection. Probably better that than dare to take on Dream Death unarmored. I knew when I missed them in April at Roadburn that I’d have seeing them at Days of the Doomed III to look forward to, and honestly, I’ve looked forward to it ever since. The Pittsburgh four-piece — all of whom played at one point or another during Penance‘s set last night — are something of a legendary act, and here, it felt like it. Fists pumped to “Divine Agony” and a slew of cuts from the band’s 2013 new album, Somnium Excessum, including “Feast” and “You’re Gonna Die up There.” The biggest response was saved, fittingly, for closer “Back from the Dead,” and if ever you wanted to see who in the crowd knew a song and who didn’t, you need look no further than who followed the on-a-dime time changes in “Back from the Dead,” raging Celtic Frost fast and dark, viciously primitive but still holding a potent tension after all these years. They were welcomed as liberators, and it’s hard to imagine it wasn’t gratifying for the band. When they were done, Mike Smith took the stage (he’s been introducing each act) and called the raffle. I didn’t win, despite my sure-bet tickets. Always next year. The good news is Dream Death were excellent and I got to pick up a copy of Somnium Excessum, which I’m looking forward to adding to my already considerable ride-home playlist for tomorrow. Right on.

In~Graved


12:24AM: Well, Victor Griffin wins tone again. He can take home his trophy from Days of the Doomed III and put it next to the similarly-shaped awards for tone he’s picked up at probably every show he’s played in the last 25 years. Much of the In-Graved set was familiar from Roadburn, but “Digital Critic” still made an effective opener and “Late for an Early Grave” seemed especially rousing. The lights went out for a minute, but were quickly restored, not that it stopped the band in the slightest. Bassist Dan Lively stepped in to fill the role Guy Pinhas had held for the European tour, and he, drummer “Minnesota” Pete Campbell and keyboardist Jeff “Oly” Olson meshed well, and the band had clearly gotten more cohesive over the course of their time in Europe, which ended a month ago now if I’ve got the dates right. Still. Ron Holzner came out for a song and Campbell broke all his drumsticks, so it was a loose vibe but a tight band, which is just as it should be. In~Graved rounded out with the Animals cover “Don’t Let Me be Misunderstood” into Place of Skulls‘ “Last Hit,” which if nothing else was a stirring reminder to me of just how good 2003’s With Vision was. I could go on a whole rant about it, but wow, it’s been a hell of a day. This is the proverbial home stretch though — or whatever the hockey equivalent is, in honor of the Blackhawks, who apparently won — and with The Gates of Slumber still to come, I know this is still the place to be. Feet sore, head sore, brain tired, but not done yet.

The Gates of Slumber


2:12AM: Just for kicks — also in the name of Science Bloody Science! — during The Gates of Slumber‘s set, I walked outside the venue and down the street to see how many houses I’d pass before I couldn’t hear the band anymore. I got six properties away from The Blue Pig, and I could still hear them, but it seemed reasonable to assume that the people inside the house couldn’t feel the vibrations of Jason McCash‘s bass, and that would have to do. I’d have kept going, maybe, but I wanted to see the band. It’s been a minute and I was hoping for some new material. They played “Death March” from their Scion-sponsored Stormcrow EP, which I also picked up off the merch table, and that sounded pretty vicious. The place was winding down on the quick, people giving drunkhugs and saying their “see you next year”s, but I wasn’t gonna split until they were done. Not that I didn’t think about cutting out and going back to the Best Western, but putting it to the scale of having been there for over 13 hours, another couple minutes to watch “The Scovrge ov Drvnkenness” or “Day of Farewell” — which is one of those songs I’m reminded of how much I dig every time I hear it — or the closer “Coven of Cain” didn’t seem unreasonable. It had been a long day, but The Gates of Slumber — McCash, guitarist/vocalist Karl Simon and drummer “Iron” Bob Fouts — were the downtrodden nail in Days of the Doomed III‘s coffin, and the fest would’ve been hard pressed to find someone more appropriate to close out after In-Graved and the many others preceding. By the time the house lights came up, it was clear the night was over.

 —

2:32AM: Back at the hotel now, listening to someone stomp the living shit out of the floor one level up, also known as the ceiling of this room. All the same, this chair seems absurdly comfortable. One more time, I just want to thank Mercyful Mike Smith for the effort and execution behind this fest. The whole crew at The Blue Pig ran this thing smoothly from front to back, kept the mood positive and kept the drinks flowing. Also special thanks to Postman Dan for generally being awesome and for specifically dealing with me running back and forth and taking out the laptop like a dork. It’s much appreciated.

There are a lot of others. A lot. I’d start to list them, but it’s getting on 3AM and I have the alarm set for just about four hours to get up and start the at-least-15-hour drive back to New Jersey. Gotta be to work on Monday. So I’m gonna get to bed and then get coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

Thanks for reading.

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Days of the Doomed III: New Fest Trailer Emerges; Lineup Finalized

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 4th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

The lineup is set for the two-day Days of the Doomed III fest out at The Blue Pig in Cudahy, Wisconsin, and it’s looking to be fairly monstrous again in 2013. June is a ways off, so obviously anything can change at any time, but hell, pretty much pick any five of the bands on this list, put them on a bill together, and it’s a show worth making a trip to see. Dream Death and Orodruin within the span of 24 hours of each other? Penance leading into Iron Man? Well, I guess you’re just gonna have to sign me up for that one.

A new trailer, put together by Kathy Reeves, has surfaced for the fest that gives a glimpse at the lineup and sets the tunes to, what else?, old public domain car crash footage. Awesome. Enjoy and here’s looking forward:

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