The first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer is set for Aug. 20, 2016, at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, NY. So far the announced lineup includes Mars Red Sky for their first East Coast appearance, Snail for their first East Coast appearance, Ohio’s EYE supporting their new album, Funeral Horse for their first East Coast appearance and King Buffalo, who’ll be playing the last night of their release tour.
I’m proud and thrilled today to add Kings Destroy and Heavy Temple to the bill.
I can’t say enough about what each of these bands brings to the show, and I couldn’t be more stoked to have them involved. One thing I’ve been trying to do all along is build a genuine flow to the day that I think will make sense as one set leads to the next. It’ll make sense once the full running order is posted, but for the time being, let me just say that both these bands hold a special place in the lineup.
Here’s more on each:
There isn’t a band today I feel closer to than Brooklyn’s Kings Destroy. If you read this site at all, you probably already know that. I’ve been a nerd for these cats since their first 7″ and I’m fortunate today to consider them as friends and the bottom line is there’s just no way in hell I’d put on this show and not have them involved. They were out on tour earlier this year with Black Cobra, Lo-Pan and Bongzilla supporting their 2015 self-titled third album, for which they’ve already started writing the follow-up. They have a new 15-minute song that last I heard was about half done and they don’t know it yet, but I’m calling them out to play it at this show. The gauntlet is thrown down, gentlemen.
Oh my god, the new Heavy Temple is so good. Don’t get me wrong, I knew before I heard it that I wanted them on this bill — I’ve known it since Vultures of Volume last year, but the Philly trio have a new EP in the can and it’s absolutely stellar. They’ll open the show hopefully playing tracks from it and I expect by the time August comes around, there will be some official announcement as to the release, but even if you don’t know it yet, you’re in for a treat as they kick things off at The Obelisk All-Dayer. I shouldn’t have to tell you to get there early — looking like a 2:30PM start — but I will anyway, just to reinforce the importance of the issue. Get there early.
The Obelisk All-Dayer is Aug. 20, 2016, at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, New York, and will feature full sets, after-show DJs, food truck on-hand, live recordings, limited edition merch and much more. One more band to be announced in June, along with DJs and the running order.
With their new song and video, Philadelphia heavy post-rock duo Mose Giganticus begin an ambitious project intended, it seems, to basically put songs out as they’re written. They’re calling it a singles series, and their new video for the track “We are One” adds visual flourish and deeply creative lighting to the marching rhythm and atmospheric heft of the track, but I think what it rounds out to is the two-piece of Matt Garfield and Joe Smiley would rather go one or two cuts at a time at this point than put together an entire record. The arguments in favor are easy. Attention spans are short, production times are long, and for Mose Giganticus, whose last outing was 2010’s sophomore LP, Gift Horse, which was released via Relapse, maybe anything at all is better than nothing after six years. Fair enough.
The good news is that despite their time away, “We are One” finds Mose Giganticus indeed functioning as a cohesive unit, progressive in their intent and sounding as focused on songwriting as the titular declaration might lead a listener to believe. Of course, if they keep going with releasing one track after another, they might wind up with a full-length album anyway, but it should say something about their intentions going forward that they’re handling a return to activity — and they played shows periodically between Gift Horse and now — with such outwardly perceptible care, as opposed to storming back, saying they’re going to put together a record and then not doing it. One song at a time. It’s an almost gentle approach, which of course makes a fitting contrast to the melodic but still plenty heavy “We are One.”
You can check out the video below, followed by credits and more background.
Mose Giganticus, “We are One” official video
Announcing the release of our new video / single “We Are One.”
We’re thrilled to announce the release of our latest video single “We Are One”. This is the first release of our “Singles Series”. Rather than releasing an album every few years, we’ll be releasing new songs in the Singles Series in more frequent intervals. This allows us to work on new material as our inspiration strikes us and turn it around quickly.
Directed by Christopher Kayfield and Matt Garfield. Produced by Matt Garfield. Photography by Christopher Kayfield. Production Design by Matt Garfield and Christopher Kayfield. Lighting by Matt Garfield. Audio Recorded at Red Planet by Joe Smiley. Audio Mastered by James Plotkin.
Posted in Reviews on May 9th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Ripple Music believes we are in the midst of a heavy rock renaissance. We may well be. The West Coast imprint has both made its argument and fostered the movement over the last several years through a slew of signings of bands from around the US and beyond its borders, and they now stand among the genre’s most fortified purveyors, with a reach that finds them partnering with STB Records on vinyl/CD pressings and picking up Small Stone veteran acts like Gozu and Wo Fat, truly moving into a leadership position in their community, scene, whatever you want to call it. Their aesthetic, to-date, is light on frills and big on riffs, and like any impressive beginning (and I use the term loosely, Ripple have been at it for over five years now) of a creative motion, one expects it will only continue to grow outward for as long as it does.
A special project the label began in 2015 is a series of splits: The Second Coming of Heavy. I already quibbled with the numbering of the title, whether or not this is the second generation playing heavy rock (it’s at least the third), in my review of The Second Coming of Heavy — Chapter One (review here), which featured off-album tracks from Geezer and Borracho, and it remains beside the point of the work Ripple is doing to promote the growth of the current, largely undeniable, boom of heavy rock. The Second Coming of Heavy — Chapter Two boasts new songs from Pittsburgh’s Supervoid and Minneapolis’ Red Desert, continuing thematic artwork from Joseph Rudell and Carrie Olaje, and vinyl pressings limited in number and distinguished in color, as the times would demand.
Like its predecessor, the prevailing vibe throughout The Second Coming of Heavy — Chapter Two fits neatly onto two 12″ vinyl sides, one per band, with each act offering basically a short EP’s sampling of their stylistic wares and what they bring to the underlying core in the title — the ‘Heavy’ part of the title, that is — that distinguishes them from their peers. In the case of Supervoid — who make their debut as a four-piece here having previously recorded with five members for their 2013 first LP, Filaments (review here), and the subsequent 2014 digital single “Against Sunrise” (posted here) — they present the songs “Olympus,” “Wayfarer” and “The Gallows,” which continue their ahead-thrust blend of modern metal and heavy rock and roll, vocalist Brian creatively arranging an assortment of layered growls and screams behind his belted-out cleaner vocals, which seem to steer the riffs behind from guitarist Joe as much as they’re pushed forward by them.
With John on bass and Greg on drums, their material is consistent but progressed from where they were on their debut (due for a follow-up it may or may not get; more on that in a bit) and the momentum they build in “Olympus” feeds smoothly into the more extended “Wayfarer,” the minor-key Eastern-flair guitar line making it all the more a centerpiece before the crunchier “The Gallows” picks up with open verses, a semi-spaced weaving of guitar effects, and the inescapable drive that has become Supervoid‘s hallmark. Reportedly, since the release of The Second Coming of Heavy — Chapter Two, Supervoid have taken “a break,” and how permanent that may or may not be remains to be seen. Either way, the manner in which they bring together metal and heavy rock remains brazen in its show of influence and ground that few acts are so bold as to tread, which is admirable even before one gets to considering their songwriting or performances, likewise worthy of respect.
Supervoid‘s side B companions, Red Desert, offer post-Sleep/The Sword heavy rock chug on “Frost Giant,” the first of their four inclusions, calling out the title character and Valhalla in a resonant hook. Hitting their marks. Their material stands out particularly next to Supervoid for the laid back sensibility in its roll and in the vocals of guitarist Shawn Stende, joined by lead guitarist Jeff Kluegel, bassist Paul Teeter and drummer Dave Dancho, and though “Hypnotized” is faster, it maintains the swing of their opener, as do “Revolver” and “Nightstalker” (presumably not named after the Greek band, but one never knows), while also offering subtle, effective shifts in mood and shifts in approach that speak to the experience gained from their 2012 debut album, Damned by Fate, and call to mind what Lords of the North were once able to bring to stoner riffing in personality and thickness of groove. The harmonies in the chorus of “Nightstalker” and touches of C.O.C. gallop there expand the palette further but ultimately keep consistent with what’s come before, rounding out a fluid B-side with a late surge of energy that suits Red Desert well.
They’re four years out from their first album, and while they’ve threatened a vinyl release thereof, I’ve yet to see word of a follow-up. Doesn’t mean one’s in the works, doesn’t mean one’s not, but in true EP fashion, they give a broad slice of their sound for those who maybe haven’t encountered them before to dig into, which of course speaks to the mission of The Second Coming of Heavy — Chapter Two overall. My understanding is that all 10 installments of the series are booked and there’s another series in the works for after, so it seems fair to expect over the next several years that these LPs will continue to be a major part of Ripple‘s contribution to heavy rock. Fair enough. Two editions deep, they’ve already highlighted a range of styles and a swath of acts from around different regions of the US brought together by their varied takes on what it means to be heavy. There’s a lot of ground to cover, and the project remains ambitious, but taking it one LP at a time, there seems to be nothing keeping the label from continuing this exploration and enlightening listeners as they go. Looking forward to the next one.
Supervoid & Red Desert, The Second Coming of Heavy — Chapter Two (2016)
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 6th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Originally set to release last Fall, the debut offering from Monolith Wielder has been picked up for release by Italy’s Argonauta Records. The band cut their teeth someplace between classic metal and doom, and the early tracks they’ve showcased have a definite sense of darkness without losing a straightforward songwriting take to atmospherics. Both “Illumination” and “Angels Hide” are available to stream via their Soundcloud, and presumably those are the mixes (or near to the mixes) that were sent to the venerable Jack Endino (High on Fire, Windhand, Nebula, Nirvana, etc.) to be mastered.
Argonauta will have Monolith Wielder‘s Monolith Wielder out this Fall. Comment from the label and the band follows:
ARGONAUTA RECORDS new signing: MONOLITH WIELDER
Thrilled to welcome a new great act from the States into our family. Drawing as much influence from the early 90’s Pacific Northwest, as the Maryland doom of that same era, MONOLITH WIELDER are a quartet made up of several veterans of the Pittsburgh music scene. Formed in 2014 by Molasses Barge guitarist Justin Gizzi, longtime friend and percussionist Ben Zerbe (Halo’s Grace/Mandrake Project), and singer/guitarist Gero von Dehn (Von Dane/Zom), the three began working up the material that would comprise their first studio effort. Later rounded out by bassist Ray Ward, the group started performing live that fall, and headed into Plus Minus Recording studio on Pittsburgh’s South Side in January 2015. With engineer Jason Jouver at the helm, ten songs were completed in the studio, and later sent off to Jack Endino at Soundhouse in Seattle for Mastering. MONOLITH WIELDER album is scheduled to be released by Autumn 2016.
Says the band:
Hey folks! We’re very happy to announce that the band has signed with Italian-based label Argonauta Records, and they will be releasing our debut album this fall! Thanks to Sean Cho and Plus Minus Recording, Jason Jouver who recorded the album, Jack Endino for the fine mastering job, Gero Argonauta for believing in the band, and Paul Werkmeister with Miser Photography. Check out the other varied acts on the label, including Dee Calhoun, who is sharing the stage with us this coming Saturday May 7th at Cattivo, for Horehound’s cd release party. We’ll be on stage again the following Saturday the 14th at Altar Bar with The Obsessed, Karma To Burn, and The Atomic Bitchwax!
Posted in Features on May 3rd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Philadelphia’s Crypt Sermon made one of last year’s most impressive debuts with Out of the Garden (review here), a full-length of driving and metallic substance that recalled a heyday before doom and metal could really be thought of as separate entities. To call it a “powerhouse” effort would not be overstating it, since the five-piece’s command ran so strongly through the material as to betray the album’s being a debut at all. The response it earned after its release on Dark Descent Records was suitably fervent for a group brazenly lending a sense of freshness to a traditional style that so often prides itself on being stale.
Comprised of vocalist Brooks Wilson, guitarists Steve Jansson and James Lipczynski, bassist Will Mellor and drummer Enrique Sagarnaga, the story of Crypt Sermon is really just at its beginning point. Prior to Out of the Garden, the band issued 2013’s Demo MMXIII (review here) to serve notice of their arrival and intent, but while their denim-and-leather, fist-pump-ready doom seems to have arrived fully matured, Out of the Garden tracks like “Into the Holy of Holies” and the classically chugging “Heavy Riders” signaled as well that Crypt Sermon have begun a creative progression that, one hopes, will continue to play out as they move forward.
They’re keeping busy in the interim, of course. Local shows in Philadelphia with luminaries of various repute — they recently opened for the Philly date of the Decibel tour with Abbath and High on Fire, among others — plus strategic slots at major fests as they spread the word about who they are and what they do. Maryland Deathfest is booked for later this month, and they’ll be at Psycho Las Vegas in August. This spring, they also participated in Metal Blade Records‘ Metal Massacre 14, hand-picked to do so by curator Alan Averill, frontman of Primordial.
The upshot is Crypt Sermon, in addition to having songwriting and performance on their side, are putting in work-smarter-type work to spread their darkened, sometimes extreme gospel. I had the chance recently to chat with Jansson about the band’s latest doings, and you’ll find that complete Q&A after the jump.
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 28th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Following a couple weekenders next month — including one alongside Brooklyn’s Tombs — and a gig in Baltimore with The Body and Krieg, Philadelphia blackened psychedelia purveyors Hivelords will head out in June for about a month solid of touring the East Coast and Midwest. They’ll do this partially in the company of Set and Setting and Choking, but also with a fair amount of solo shows on what seems like a considerable summertime slog through a region that, at that point, will be humid enough to no doubt inspire much buzzsaw tone and atmospheric murk.
They go supporting their 2015 full-length, Tapered Limbs of a Human Star, which was released last August by Anthropic Records. The PR wire brings dates, details, links and audio:
HIVELORDS announce spring/summer tour dates
Philadelphia psychedelic black metal band HIVELORDS announces new tour dates for spring and summer 2016. The tour, which starts on May 5th in York, Pennsylvania, sees HIVELORDS travel throughout the months of May, June and July before ending on July 3rd in Philadelphia. HIVELORDS will have direct support from SET & SETTING (Florida, Prosthetic Records) and CHOKING (Ohio). HIVELORDS will also be direct support for Brooklyn-based blackened heavyweights, TOMBS (Relapse). This is HIVELORDS fifth fully DIY North American tour.
A full list of confirmed tour dates and lineups can be found below.
HIVELORDS will be touring in support of their critically acclaimed album, Tapered Limbs of a Human Star. HIVELORDS full discography is streaming now at the Anthropic Records Bandcamp site.
HIVELORDS tour dates: *Hivelords only dates 5/5 York, PA –Skid Row Garage* 5/6 Utica, NY-Gordon’s Tap Room* 5/7 Binghamton, NY-Greasy Manor* 5/8 New Hope, PA-John & Peter’s* 5/13 Philadelphia, PA-Kung Fu Necktie w/ Tombs 5/14 Pittsburgh, PA-Roboto Project w/ Tombs 5/15 Detroit, MI-EL Club w/ Tombs 5/16 Chicago, IL-Chop Shop w/ Tombs 5/26 Baltimore, MD-Metro Gallery w/ The Body & Krieg 6/9 Lindenwold, NJ-The Sex Dungeon* 6/10 Allentown, PA-Alternative Gallery* 6/11 Pittsburgh, PA-The Smiling Moose* 6/12 Dayton, OH-Blind Bob’s w/ Choking 6/13 Cincinnati, OH-Junker’s Tavern w/ Choking 6/14-Indianaplos, IN-State Street Pub w/ Choking 6/15-Louisville, KY-Modern Cult Records w/ Choking 6/16-Nashville, TN-The East Room w/Choking 6/17-Birmingham, AL-TBA w/ Choking 6/18-Chattanooga, TN-JJ’s Bohemia w/ Choking 6/19-Atlanta, GA-The Earl w/ Set and Setting 6/20-Jacksonville, FL-Burro Bar w/ Set and Setting 6/21-Orlando, FL-The Space Station w/ Set and Setting 6/22-Miami, FL-Churchill’s Pub w/ Set and Setting 6/23-Tampa, FL-New World Brewery w/ Set and Setting 6/24-Savannah, GA-The Jinx w/ Set and Setting 6/25-Columbia, SC-New Brookland Tavern* 6/26-Wilmington, NC-TBA* 6/27-Charlotte, NC-The Station* 6/28-Raleigh, NC-Slim’s* 6/29-Richmond, VA-Strange Matter* 6/30-Harrisonburg, VA-Golden Pony* 7/1-Baltimore, MD-The Sidebar* 7/2-Egg Harbor City, NJ-Friendship Mountain* 7/3-Philadelphia, PA-Homecoming show at Kung Fu Necktie*
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 11th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Pittsburgh natives Horehound will release their self-titled debut full-length on April 20 via Blackseed Recordings and Releases. Dense riffs, doomly vibes and an overarching ethereal spirit typify the first long-player from the five-piece, who formed 14 months ago and have unveiled a rolling-groove teaser to herald the album’s arrival. They’re reportedly looking to hit the road a bit this summer in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, so there’s one to keep an eye out for there as well. Will be interested to see how much touring they do in support of the record.
You know the drill: New band, cool sound, some potential as they go forward. Info follows, courtesy of the PR wire:
Horehound Debut Record Release
Blackseed Records & Releases’ artist HOREHOUND, the Doom Metal/Hard Rock outfit from the Steel City of Pittsburgh, PA have been ripping up the metro scene throughout the past year with their live shows. Well-known clubs such as Gooski’s, 31st Street Pub (R.I.P.), Howlers and Club Café have seen the band move up the ranks opening for genre mainstays Karma to Burn, Foghound, and Cavern while developing a concrete foundation and fan base along the way.
Formed in February 2015, the band quickly pooled their experiences and influences to create their heavy yet heavily approachable sound. Vocalist Shy Kennedy explodes into her debut role as front-woman and brings her unique and haunting style to each song. The band’s dual guitar grind comes via Mike Altopiedi (rhythm) and Brendan Parrish (lead), both formerly of the band Perish. On drums is JD Dauer, who brings many years of heavy-hitting to the band while also a regular with rockabilly outfit Memphis Mike & The Legendary Tremblers. David “Wes” Westfall brings a devastating low-end onslaught as bassist and is also currently a guitarist for the band The New Casual.
2016 pushes the 5-piece even further with their debut 7-song LP slated for release April 20th, 2016. A regional tour this summer including dates in OH, PA, MD, and NY are in the works and opening slots for national headliners Order of the Owl, Graves at Sea, and Prong are booked!
The momentum is building at lightning speed. With new music, shows, tours and promotions, HOREHOUND is on the rise, ready for the world to come!
Posted in Whathaveyou on March 2nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
The reunited Scissorfight, Boston’s Gozu and West Chester, Pennsylvania’s Backwoods Payback have announced a weekender for July with shows in Brooklyn and Philadelphia. Backwoods Payback have also announced a new lineup with founding guitarist Mike Cummings and founding bassist Jessica Baker joined by drummer Erik Larson, the former Alabama Thunderpussy guitarist whose pedigree goes back to drumming in Avail and playing guitar and/or singing in acts like Birds of Prey, Axehandle, Hail!Hornet, The Mighty Nimbus and The Might Could, as well as his own solo work. A considerable addition to any lineup, and as you can see, he’s been in many.
We approach half a decade since Backwoods Payback released their sophomore long-player and debut on Small Stone Records, Momantha (review here), which definitely feels like long enough. Hell, it felt like long enough three years ago, but having a record in the can is usually connected to one actually coming out, so I’m going to hope for the best and be excited to hear what Larson brings to working with Cummings and Baker in the band.
Knowing that he and Larson went back a long time, I asked Cummings about bringing his new drummer aboard. His answer follows the dates for that weekender (as well as an Ohio gig in June) and confirmation of the new album’s completion:
Our Richmond VA famliy Erik Larson joined up officially and we just wrapped tracking on our next record. We have some summer show announcements as well.
June 20th Agora Ballroom Cleveland OH w/mushroomhead, cky July 29th Lucky Thirteen Brooklyn NY w/Scissorfight, Gozu July 30th Kung Fu Necktie Philadelphia PA w/Scissorfight, Gozu
Mike Cummings on bringing Erik Larson into Backwoods Payback:
We do back a ways at this point. We had not talked in a little bit when He wrote me a letter and sent it out. I responded and we became penpals in the truest sense of the term. After another drummer change I was commiserating to him when he said “you do realize I AM a drummer.”
We talked about the reality of making it happen, our plans and ideas and decided to go for it.