Heavy Temple, Heavy Temple: Alpha and Omega

Posted in Reviews on August 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s a cavernous and mystical sound that Heavy Temple have conjured for their self-titled debut EP. After impressing with a single for “Unholy Communion” last year — that song is also presented third of the extended three cuts on Heavy Temple and is out as a cassingle via Sarlacc Productions — the Philadelphia outfit were picked up by Germany’s Ván Records for the vinyl and digipak CD issue of this more complete first outing, and it’s an endorsement of no small consequence, Ván having long since proved the mettle of its tastes via picking up cult-minded acts like Year of the Goat and The Devil’s BloodHeavy Temple – here a trio but now a duo with bassist/vocalist Elyse “High Priestess Nighthawk” Mitchell as the sole remaining founder — present a more laid back style of grooving than either of those two, but remain plenty heavy nonetheless across “Dirty Ghost” (8:17), “Legendary Conversations with Ants” (7:31) and the aforementioned “Unholy Communion” (13:15) and offer atmosphere to match the intermittent full-thrust tonal heft. They are, in fact, notably cohesive  in their approach, and particularly for their first time out, Heavy Temple seem to arrive with a firm notion of their intent, what they want to sound like and how they want to achieve it. Mitchell‘s voice is dynamic and her approach shifts smoothly between “Dirty Ghost” and “Legendary Conversations with Ants” before delivering its most powerful performance on the closer, and in guitarist Shawn “Rattlesnake” Rambles and drummer Andy “Bearadactyl” Martin (also of Maple Forum alums Clamfight), she had a formidable complement with which to establish the range heard in these songs.

About those songs: They are spacious, psychedelic, heavy and they manage to avoid much of the cult rock cliché while proving both immersive and memorable over the course of Heavy Temple‘s 29-minute span. Working together as a debut EP, they more than succeed in giving the band’s audience a sense of what Heavy Temple want to do moving forward, and whether it’s the quiet doom blues in “Legendary Conversations with Ants” that gives way to a slow-motion effects-drenched freakout led by Rambles‘ guitar or the jammy bliss that emerges at the end of “Unholy Communion,” they retain their hold of the proceedings and excellently showcase the potential for what the band might or might have become going forward. “Dirty Ghost” commences with an otherworldly volume swell — minimal, quiet — before gradually unfolding itself with Martin‘s drums and Mitchell‘s bass and vocals, and it’s not until well past the halfway point of its eight-minute run that it finally explodes into full-on psych-grunge heft, like if someone wanted to turn peak-era Soundgarden production into a religion. That patience becomes a central element as Heavy Temple plays out, and the trio are just as likely to ride out a loud part as a quiet one, not shying either from crafting a void or filling it with distortion. The malleability of Mitchell‘s voice between the sultry croon in the first minutes of “Dirty Ghost” and the rawer shouting at the apex of “Unholy Communion” — the EP flowing smoothly between the two; something else that bodes well for a full-length — is another major asset working in their favor, and the stoner-mass of “Legendary Conversations with Ants,” while apparently more worldly in its lyric than the title might have you believe, executes a subtle linear build that ends with some classic doom riffing that bleeds right into the start of “Unholy Communion,” the whole release tying together seamlessly.

The first couple minutes of “Unholy Communion” are dedicated to building up tension, but at about 2:50, the song opens up and begins a payoff that will carry it through its midpoint, where it breaks to minimal ambience to set the stage for the EP’s final build and ultimate heavy psych payoff, Rambles‘ soloing meshing with layers of effects swirl that still keep enough room in the mix to sound human-made, though by then all three sound completely engrossed in the stirring concoction, even as they emerge from it for the big-riff finish and last-second string epilogue. Whatever Heavy Temple do from here is bound to be vastly different. I don’t know whether Mitchell intends to form a new trio or keep the band as a two-piece — she’s currently joined by drummer Saint Columbidae – but in any case, the change from the guitar, bass/vocals and drums lineup here is sure to manifest itself in subsequent output, even if her songwriting remains at the core. With that in mind, Heavy Temple may or may not be telling of the band’s future, and one would wonder about releasing it at all but for the fact that when a label like Ván comes calling, you answer. If this EP is to be Heavy Temple‘s beginning point, it starts them with a tumult marked by material of striking quality. It’s a familiar enough story for bands working under a principle songwriter, and if that’s to be the tale of Heavy Temple, the hope is they can find consistency in the chaos. Taken on its own merits, however, Heavy Temple is among the best short releases I’ve heard so far this year, and if it can serve as even the most rudimentary standard of quality from which the band can expand their sound, then they’re going to be just fine. Point is, even just in Mitchell‘s performance there’s potential here and a lot of it. How she handles that and what she does with it the next time out will be a big tell in terms of Heavy Temple‘s longer-term prospects, and either way, it seems likely that their sophomore studio outing will be as much a debut as this one. A live release in the interim would go a long way in giving a look at where Heavy Temple are headed.

Heavy Temple, Heavy Temple (2014)

Heavy Temple on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Temple on Bandcamp

Ván Records

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Ruby the Hatchet to Release Debut Album on Tee Pee Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Word has come down the PR wire that Tee Pee Records has picked up Philly rockers Ruby the Hatchet for the release of their debut full-length later this year. Ruby the Hatchet released their Eliminator 7″ earlier this year and will record later this month with an eye toward having the album out in the fall. The band also recently played the Northside festival in Brooklyn alongside The Golden Grass, Gods and Nightbitch.

Another one to look out for in the back half of 2014. Somebody should really be keeping track of this stuff. Say in some kind of list form. Say next week or the week after that…

Info in blue:

RUBY THE HATCHET Signs To Tee Pee Records

Philly Dark Psych Gang Prepping “Cohesive Conceptual” Album

Philadelphia heavy rock quintet RUBY THE HATCHET have signed with NYC’s Tee Pee Records, the independent label known for releasing landmark albums from acts such as The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Graveyard, Earthless and Sleep. The hotly-tipped group, who MetalSucks says, “graduated Magna Cum Laude from The Led Zeppelin School of Proto Metal, where they majored in Sabbath and minored in Deep Purple,” and whose “brand of psychedelia should drive fans of bands like Baroness, Ghost, and Royal Thunder absolutely wild,” will enter Retro City Studios in Germantown, PA this month to record its as-yet-untitled new LP. A late fall release date is expected.

“We’ve been making music since 2010, but our upcoming full length is going to be a first in a lot of ways,” says RUBY THE HATCHET vocalist Jillian Taylor. “It’s our first label release and it’s with a label we’ve respected and admired from afar for some time. We managed to bump into the Tee Pee dudes at a Harsh Toke show in Brooklyn a few months back. It was a wild and blurry night, ending with us getting kicked out of a bar and talks of them putting out our full length. These new songs are medieval, melodic, murderous and fuzzed out. They came to us rapidly and embody a sound for us, that, for lack of better words, is right the fuck now.”

https://www.facebook.com/rubythehatchet
https://twitter.com/rubythehatchet
http://thehatchet.bandcamp.com/
http://instagram.com/rubythehatchet
http://teepeerecords.com/

Ruby the Hatchet, Eliminator EP (2014)

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Sadgiqacea Announce Extensive Summer Touring with Hivelords

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 9th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I have to admit, looking at a post from Sadgiqacea tourmates Hivelords saying they’re looking for someone to tag along and sell merch on their upcoming month-plus run from June 20 to July 26 is a pretty tempting prospect. Would be a long time out, but The Patient Mrs. will be gone for most of that time anyway — she leaves at the end of June for a month away — and the only real concern is what would I do with the dog. Oh well.

While I don’t think I’ll be volunteering, you might want to, and if so, hit up Hivelords on their Thee Facebooks. The tour is an admirable run, with some house shows — or what look an awful lot like house shows anyway — mixed in with some bars/venues and a couple dates to be filled in yet as Sadgiqacea and Hivelords both head out in support of their 2013 debut LPs.

To be informed:

SADGIQACEA and HIVELORDS announce tour dates

Philadelphia blackened-sludge giants SADGIQACEA and HIVELORDS have announced a new US Tour. The tour, which starts on June 20 in New Jersey, sees both bands travel throughout the months of June and July before ending on July 30th in Philadelphia. Support on the tour comes from AJAX of Ardent Vein. A full list of confirmed tour dates can be found below.

SADGIQACEA and HIVELORDS will be touring in support of their critically acclaimed albums ‘False Prism’ and ‘Cavern Apothecary’. Both albums are streaming now at the Anthropic Records website www.anthropicrecords.com and their respective Bandcamp pages.

Updated SADGIQACEA and HIVELORDS tour information will be made available at the Anthropic Records website, the SADGIQACEA Facebook page www.facebook.com/sadgiqacea and at the HIVELORDS website and Facebook page www.facebook.com/hivelords

SADGIQACEA and HIVELORDS tour dates:

Friday, June 20, 2014 – Lindenwold NJ – THE SEX DUNGEON
Saturday, June 21, 2014 – York PA – THE DEPOT
Sunday, June 22, 2014 – Providence RI – DUSK
Monday, June 23, 2014 – Boston MA – O’BRIENS
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 – Portland ME – ST. JOHN
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 – Portsmouth, NH – HOUSE SHOW
Thursday, June 26, 2014 – Worcester MA – RALPH’S DINER
Friday, June 27, 2014 – Syracuse NY – GORHAM BROTHER’S MUSIC
Saturday, June 28, 2014 – Rochester NY – THE BUG JAR
Sunday, June 29, 2014 – Buffalo NY – THE LAIR
Monday, June 30, 2014 Pittsburgh PA – THE SHOP
Tuesday, July 01, 2014 – Kent OH – STONE TAVERN
Wednesday, July 02, 2014 – Port Huron, MI – SCHWONK SOUND STEAD
Thursday, July 03, 2014 – Covington, KY – THREE KINGS BAR
Friday, July 04, 2014 – Indianapolis, IN – HOUSE SHOW
Saturday, July 05, 2014 – Chicago IL – COBRA LOUNGE
Sunday, July 06, 2014 – Madison, WI – DAS GEWOLBE
Monday, July 07, 2014 – Milwaukee, WI – FRANK’S POWER PLANT
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 – Wausau WI – THE STANK
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 – Minneapolis MN
Thursday, July 10, 2014 – Des Moines IA – HULL AVE TAVERN
Friday July 11, 2014 – Kansas City MO – VANDALS
Saturday, July 12, 2014 – Columbia MO – PESTE DE MERDE
Sunday, July 13, 2014 – Saint Louis MO – FUBAR
Monday, July 14, 2014 – Lexington KY – SIDECAR
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 – Huntington WV – HOUSE SHOW
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 – Nashville TN – THE SPRING WATER
Thursday, July 17, 2014 – Atlanta GA – 529 ROOM
Friday, July 18, 2014 – Knoxville TN – THE POISON LAWN
Saturday, July 19, 2014 – Asheville NC – THE ODDITORIUM
Sunday, July 20, 2014 – Charlotte NC – THE MILESTONE
Monday, July 21, 2014 – Wilmington NC – REGGIE’S 42ND STREET BAR
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 – Richmond VA
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 – Washington DC
Thursday, July 24, 2014 – Baltimore MD
Friday, July 25, 2014 – New Brunswick NJ
Saturday, July 26, 2014 – Brooklyn NY – THE ACHERON
Wednesday July 30th, 2014 – Philadelphia PA – JR’S BAR

https://www.facebook.com/events/266841300133471/

www.anthropicrecordsphiladelphia.com
http://www.facebook.com/anthropicrecordsphiladelphia
http://www.twitter.com/anthropicrecord

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Rosetta are Headed to China

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Exciting news that Philadelphia’s Rosetta will have the chance this July to tour China. I mean, it’s cool enough just to get an opportunity to go to China, let alone tour there, so yeah, right on. Rosetta‘s latest release is 2013′s The Anaesthete, which you can hear in full below and was self-released last summer as a name-your-price download, but they’ve also got a new EP in the works called Flies to Flame that was mastered at the end of April and will be out later in 2014 on Translation Loss.

You can read about that project under the China tour dates below, all info snagged from their Tumblr:

TOUR: China Summer Tour 2014

We are delighted to announce that we will be touring in CHINA this summer! This is one of the most exciting opportunities we’ve ever had. Because of family/life events, we’re not able to do any other significant touring in 2014, but this was too good to pass up. Spread the word!

July 2: Hong Kong @ Hidden Agenda
July 4: Shenzhen @ B10
July 5: Guangzhou @ SD Livehouse
July 6: Wuhan @ Vox Livehouse
July 8: Shanghai @ YYT Livehouse
July 10: Chongqing @ Nuts Club
July 11: Chengdu @ Little Bar
July 12: Xi’an @ Guangquan Club
July 13: Beijing @ Mao Livehouse

Our new EP, titled Flies to Flame, [has been] mastered. It’ll be out later this year in traditional formats — LP and CD — on Translation Loss Records. This not a pay-what-you-wish digital release.

This recording was a departure from our normal working style. We wrote the material in late 2012 and recorded it in a garage in early 2013, while we were writing The Anaesthete. It’s deliberately lo-fi, jangly, and experimental, a tribute to the stripped-down sound of the post-rock and drone records we loved when Rosetta began. Most of it was improvised as it was being recorded, and it was not edited or ‘fixed’ to make it sound polished. All the grit is there. We used different instruments and equipment than we normally play with, since this material isn’t intended to be played live. Instead it functions as a kind of process document, from an important and transitional year in our life as a band.

For the first time since The Galilean Satellites, we did all recording and mixing ourselves (with the invaluable help of our intern engineer, Alex Ruday). Mike Wohlberg is returning to create the artwork and layout, and James Plotkin is mastering it for both CD and vinyl.

Track list:
1. Soot
2. Seven Years with Nothing to Show
3. Les Mots et les Choses
4. Pegasus

https://www.facebook.com/rosettaband
http://theanaesthete.bandcamp.com/
http://rosettaband.tumblr.com

Rosetta, The Anaesthete (2013)

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Crypt Sermon Demo to See Release on Dark Descent Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 29th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s been almost five months since I first encountered the debut Demo MMXIII from Philadelphia trad doomers Crypt Sermon, and I still find myself with the chorus of “Temple Doors” stuck in my head at the mere mention of the band’s name. Perhaps it’s little surprise then that Dark Descent Records has picked up the three-tracker for a limited tape release, which will be the first physical release from the four-piece outfit, who make short work of the difficult task of adhering to doomly tenets while forging a personality of their own apart from them. The demo got gushed over here if you want to check it out, and kudos to the band on getting it out. I’m already looking forward to their next outing.

Here’s the PR wire info and the Bandcamp stream for your gloomy fix:

CRYPT SERMON Announce Debut Release on Dark Descent Records

Epic doom metal scions CRYPT SERMON have announced the forthcoming release of their 2013 debut, “DEMO MMXIII” in the form of a limited edition cassette tape via Dark Descent Records. The tape, exclusively limited to 300 copies, is slated for a worldwide release on December 17.

“DEMO MMXII” is streaming in full at cryptsermon.bandcamp.com.

“DEMO MMXIII” Track list:
1.) Temple Doors
2.) Belly of the Whale
3.) Whore of Babylon

Founded on the principles of unwavering epic doom metal, Philadelphia’s CRYPT SERMON exist as a vehicle to drive out the current trends that are choking the underground scene. Devoid of contemporary doom conventions, “DEMO MMXIII” showcases three tracks of carefully crafted old-school doom metal that carries the torch for stalwarts such as CANDLEMASS and SOLITUDE AETERNUS.

Regarding the forthcoming release, the band said: “CRYPT SERMON is thrilled to see our demo finally unearthed. We’d like to thank Dark Descent Records for their support, and look forward to creating new music for the underground. We are currently hard at work writing our full length debut, and look forward to hitting the road in the near future.”

For updated CRYPT SERMON news and tour dates, please visit the CRYPT SERMON Facebook page, and the Dark Descent Records website.

www.facebook.com/CryptSermon
www.darkdescentrecords.com
darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/DarkDescentRecords

Crypt Sermon, Demo MMXIII (2013)

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10 Days of SHoD XIII, Pt. 3: Clamfight Premiere “Bathosphere” from SHoD-Exclusive Compilation

Posted in audiObelisk on October 28th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

From their demo and early days of “Fuck Bulldozers” and “Viking Funeral” on down to “Stealing the Ghost Horse,” I’ve heard just about everything that Philly brain-bruisers Clamfight have come up with to date. So when I tell you that the new song “Bathosphere” from a forthcoming limited compilation CDR that the four-piece will have exclusively on hand at this year’s Stoner Hands of Doom fest — taking place at Strange Matter in Richmond, Virginia, Nov. 7-10 — is the heaviest thing I’ve ever heard them play, please understand there’s the slightest chance I know what I’m talking about. Heavier than “Rabbit” from the first record? Yes, heavier than “Rabbit.”

As the band begins to move past their earlier-2013 sophomore full-length, I vs. the Glacier – released on The Maple Forum, this site’s in-house semi-label — they do so with the utmost brutality. At 3:49, “Bathosphere” is brief compared to some of Clamfight‘s more spacious material, the guitars of Sean McKee and Joel Harris having somewhat less room to spread out over the pummeling groove of bassist Louis Koble and drummer/vocalist Andy Martin, but what it lacks in runtime, it accounts for in intensity, biting down hard with an initial tension build of feedback and tom runs before unleashing its thrashing course following an introductory growl from Martin. It’s a heads-down push, but Clamfight handle it well, letting off the gas just slightly for a chorus before resuming what’s among their most vicious riffs en route to a squibbly churn and unbridled slam of a finish.

“Bathosphere” is set to be included as one of two new tracks on the SHoD-only release (presumably they’ll have a couple for the other shows on their tour south, but who knows?). The other is “Blockship,” and unlike that song, “Bathosphere” won’t appear on Clamfight‘s next album. It’s for this CDR only.

Martin gives some details on the release and tour dates, under the player below on which you can check out “Bathosphere.” Bring a helmet:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

We’ll be making one hundred CD-R copies of “Bathosphere” and they will available on the cheap at SHOD 13 on November 7th at Strange Matter in Richmond, VA and after that until they run out. Once they’re gone, they’re gone and we have no plans of making it available in any other format. Also included on the CD will be  “Blockship” a track which will be appearing on our third record, as well as many of our old demos as we can lay our hands on.

The CD will also include art by Chris Jones of the mighty Rukut.

From Richmond we’ll be heading to Uncle Lou’s in Orlando Florida to team up with our good friends in Hollow Leg, Shroud Eater and Ad Nauseum on November 8th. November 9th sees us at The Jinx in Savannah Georgia with Hollow Leg, Shroud Eater, and Crazy Bag Lady, and November 12th sees us at JR’s in Philly with Heavy Temple, the Cloth, and Devil to Pay.

“Bathosphere” and “Block Ship” were recorded by Steve Poponi at the Gradwell House in Haddon Heights New Jersey over a day and half last May. “Bathosphere” is probably my favorite thing we’ve done with Steve. We recorded the instruments in the early afternoon and I wrote the lyrics in my car as the guys did over dubs. With the exception of the death growls, the vocals were recorded in one go, so all told, from start to finish “Bathosphere” was recorded in less than four hours. I can’t speak for everyone but for me something about the speed and aggression of this song makes it feel the closer to what we do live than of any of our recordings, and that sort of “fuck it, let’s just destroy” attitude we had about the session itself made the whole day a blast.

Oh and I got disco fries after I tracked my vocals.

Disco fries make any day your birthday.

Clamfight on Thee Facebooks

Clamfight on Bandcamp

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Clamfight Update on Fall Shows

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 26th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Returning with a vengeance — and also a new song — after their summer hiatus, Maple Forum alums Clamfight have announced a slew of fall tour dates. In addition to a slot at Stoner Hands of Doom at Strange Matter in Richmond, Virginia, on Nov. 7, the four-piece are doing two gigs  THIS. VERY. WEEKEND. with Philly rockers Thee Nosebleeds and in addition to regular-type local stuff, they’ll head south following SHoD to bang out a couple evenings in the good company of Hollow Leg and Shroud Eater, among others.

In their typical style, the band sent along this update:

We’re back gang….and find ourselves another season’s worth of Neolithic archaeology lyrical fodder richer, but one gall bladder poorer.

So it goes.

Here’s where to get palm muted/yelled at about rock art:

This weekend we’re out and about and possibly falling over with Philly’s best rock and roll band, THEE NOSEBLEEDS (sorry, rock that nasty requires all caps).

Friday 9/27 we’re at the El ‘N’ Gee in New London, Connecticut with Thee Nosebleeds, the Cryptics, and Empty Vessels.

Saturday 9/28 we’re at the Firehouse Saloon in Rochester, New York with Thee Nosebleeds, Baba Yaga, and Pink Elephant.

October 26th we’re at the Boot and Saddle in Philadelphia with Screaming Rattler and Wizard Eye (who a little bird with 6 foot long dreadlocks tells me are hitting the studio shortly to record a new full length).

November 7th we’re at Strange Matter in Richmond, Virginia for the opening night of Stoner Hands of Doom 13 with A.P.F, Pill Buster, Compel, and more In honor of how excited we are to be part of such an amazing festival (the rest of the weekend includes Wizard Eye, Beelzefuzz, Admiral Browning, Lo-Pan, Backwoods Payback, Faces of Bayon, Second Grave, Wasted Theory and many, many more) we’ll pressing 100 copies of a seven inch of our new song “Bathosphere.” We have no plans to release it in any other format and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

November 8th we’ll be in Orlando Florida to challenge Hollow Leg and Shroud Eater in between some serious air boat racing/alligator wrasslin’ we’re going to play a show at a location to be announced.

November 9th we’re at the Jinx in Savannah Georgia with Hollow Leg and Shroud Eater and Crazy Bag Lady.

November 12th we’re at JR’s in Philadelphia with Devil to Pay, Heavy Temple, and the Cloth.

November 22 we’re at Mojo Main in Delaware with Braincandle and Count Von Count.

And until we have something solid to say about our third record here’s a song that will definitely be on it: http://doommantiavol2.bandcamp.com/track/block-ship

Clamfight, “Block Ship” from Doommantia Vol. 2 (2013)

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Sadgiqacea Announce Tour with Haethen

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 9th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Including a two-show day on Sept. 21 covering the Indianapolis Metalfest III and later that evening in Dayton, Ohio — just a thrilling trip down I-70 away — Sadgiqacea are once again hitting the road in support of their 2013 Candlelight Records debut, False Prism, and they’re bringing along the also-difficult-to-spell-but-in-a-subtler-way Haethen for the trip. It’s a week of shows that start next Wednesday and they’ve aptly called it the “Week Long Tour.” Truth in advertising.

Also sprach the PR wire:

SADGIQACEA: September Eastern US Tour Dates Confirmed

While still unpacking from their massive recent Summer trek which saw the duo occupying more than forty cities across the country with cohorts Hivelords, this week Philadelphia-based spiritualistic sludge duo SADGIQACEA confirms yet another new tour in support of their Candlelight Records debut False Prism.

Originating in Boston on Wednesday, September 18th, the new bout of East Coast performances will take SADGIQACEA on a six-city trek through Washington, Columbus, Indianapolis and Dayton before the final show in Pittsburgh on Sunday the 22nd. SADGIQACEA will be performing alongside their comrades Haethen for all shows except the Indianapolis Metalfest III where they’ll play alongside the likes of Incantation, Decrepit Birth, Byzantine and more, but following their early set at the fest the duo will trek over to Dayton, Ohio to meet back up with Haethen for a second show that day.

SADGIQACEA Fall Tour w/ Haethen:
9/18/2013 Roggies – Boston, MA w/ The Binary Code, Scaphism, Brain Famine
9/19/2013 The Pinch Bar – Washington, DC w/ Caustic Casanova
9/20/2013 The Summit – Columbus, OH w/ Swarm
9/21/2013 Old National Centre – Indianapolis, IN @ Indianapolis Metalfest III (*no Haethen)
9/21/2013 Blind Bob’s – Dayton, OH w/ Half Ghost
9/22/2013 The Smiling Moose – Pittsburgh, PA w/ Dendritic Arbor, Wrought Iron, Dutchguts, Ubasute, Dope Lake

SADGIQACEA draws from a melting pot of influences that together presents a lush yet tension-filled sound. Their debut full-length, False Prism, is a forty-minute journey bearing four mammoth tracks, captured without the use of overdubs to preserve the authentic recording quality of their live performances, recorded and produced by Chris Grigg of Woe. False Prism was released via Candlelight on CD and limited edition vinyl via Anthropic Records in May.

http://sadgiqacea.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/sadgiqacea
http://www.twitter.com/sadgiqacea
http://www.candlelightrecordsusa.com

Sadgiqacea, False Prism (2013)

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On the Radar: Crypt Sermon

Posted in On the Radar on July 2nd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Info is relatively sparse on Philadelphia-based traditional doomers Crypt Sermon. Their Demo MMXIII contains three tracks totaling out at around 17 minutes of shred-prone doom, given to the trenchant atmospherics of The Gates of Slumber or a rawer Magic Circle, and beyond that and their professed disdain for “fashions and beards,” they haven’t put much out there at this point. For what it’s worth, the music is a good place to start.

The three cuts on Demo MMXIII follow largely similar, straightforward verse/chorus structures, and between “Temple Doors,” “Belly of the Whale” and the closing “Whore of Babylon,” the strong hooks come immediately. “Temple Doors” arrives at a chorus of “What do my eyes see?/Nothing but darkness,” that leaves a strong and decidedly grim impression with vocals either layered or contributed by more than one member of the band (or both), and is complemented by the first of several head-turning classic metal guitar solos. That Crypt Sermon would boast connections to death metallers Trenchrot makes sense in hearing the guitar solos — there’s a deathly precision to the shred that speaks to a technicality more extreme than one usually finds in doom. In any case, that’s balanced well with the spooky groove, “Temple Doors” moving into the churning riff of “Belly of the Whale,” vocals far back, throaty but clean, echoing and peppered with quick proto-thrash screams.

Shades of Lord Vicar and Pagan Altar tint the material here and there, but Crypt Sermon are never veer too far from that underlying extremity, and the ensuing tension bleeds into the finale on “Whore of Babylon,” though at the same time, the lead interplay of the guitars has a nascent sense of ’80s misery à la Solitude Aeturnus that makes me think should Crypt Sermon decide at some point to get grandiose, they’d have an easier time of it than it might initially appear. Whether or not they’ll do that, and whether or not doing that would take away from the appeal the rawness here presents — not to mention how well that rawness suits the vocals, where something more developed would invariably require likewise development in range — I don’t know, but “Whore of Babylon” culminates with vocals and guitar coming together over doomly stomp before the quick fade gets the better of the wailing.

A tape release is en route via Dark Descent Records (Anguish, Ilsa, Cygnus, etc.), and presumably this won’t be the last we hear from Crypt Sermon, so if you get the chance, Demo MMXIII is available for a free sampling at the band’s Bandcamp page, from which I hoisted the player below:

Crypt Sermon, Demo MMXIII (2013)

Crypt Sermon on Thee Facebooks

Crypt Sermon on Bandcamp

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Sadgiqacea Start Summer Tour July 4

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

Anybody remember that scene in Independence Day when Will Smith suckerpunched that alien in the face and said “Welcome to Erf?” like human beings are all tough and these aliens who just jetted across the galaxy to try and mess with us were chumps? I’ve never seen Philly twosome Sadgiqacea before but I imagine that catching them on the Fourth of July would probably feel something like being punched in the face. Only with volume. Welcome to Erf.

Sadgiqacea (which is pronounced “sadji-whozawhatsits”) are out supporting their Candlelight Records debut, False Prism, and if you ever wanted to know what a long-ass tour looks like, it features two shows in Jersey:

SADGIQACEA: Rigorous U.S. Summer Tour Begins Next Week

With the release of their debut LP False Prism still fresh, Philadelphia-based spiritualistic sludge duo SADGIQACEA will embark on a rigorous tour of the country beginning on the 4th of July, just a week and a half away.

SADGIQACEA draws from a melting pot of influences that together presents a lush yet tension-filled sound. Their unique and intriguing debut full-length, False Prism, was recorded and produced by Chris Grigg (Woe), a forty-minute audio journey bearing four mammoth songs sparring use of overdubs to preserve the authentic recording quality of their live performances. False Prism was released via Candlelight on CD and limited edition vinyl via Anthropic Records in May.

Following sporadic, regional shows supporting the release of the record, SADGIQACEA will take on as much of the country as possible this Summer as their brutal forty-two date trek with brethren Hivelords kicks off on Independence Day. View the full tour itinerary below and watch for additional updates on the band to be posted in the coming days.

SADGIQACEA 2013 Summer Tour w/ Hivelords:
7/04/2013 Sex Dungeon – Lindenwold, NJ
7/05/2013 Meat Locker – Montclair, NJ
7/06/2013 The Acheron – Brooklyn, NY
7/07/2013 Munchouse – Providence, RI
7/08/2013 Charlie’s Kitchen – Boston, MA
7/09/2013 St. John Basement Venue – Portland, ME
7/10/2013 Wilder Zangcraft – Lowell, MA
7/11/2013 Ralph’s Diner – Worcester, MA
7/12/2013 Reg Studio Theater – Jamestown, NY
7/13/2013 Rock Room – Pittsburgh, PA
7/14/2013 Bourbon Street Café – Columbus, OH
7/15/2013 Melody Inn – Indianapolis, IN
7/16/2013 Cobra Lounge – Chicago, IL
7/17/2013 The Wisco – Madison, WI
7/18/2013 The P.I. – Wausau, WI
7/19/2013 Nomad Pub – Minneapolis, MN
7/20/2013 Vaudeville Mewws – Des Moines, IA
7/21/2013 The Hideout – Omaha, NE
7/22/2013 Bad Haus – Kansas City, MO
7/23/2013 Kirby’s Beer Store – Wichita, KS
7/24/2013 Lost Lake – Denver, CO
7/25/2013 Burt’s Tiki Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT
7/26/2013 The Shredder – Boise, ID
7/27/2013 Kraken Bar – Seattle, WA
7/28/2013 The Know – Portland, OR
7/29/2013 Tiny Tavern – Eugene, OR
7/30/2013 Hemlock Tavern – San Francisco, CA
7/31/2013 Alex’s Bar – Long Beach, CA
8/01/2013 The Dive Bar – Las Vegas – CA
8/02/2013 District Tavern – Tucson – AZ
8/03/2013 Train Yard – Las Cruces – NM
8/04/2013 TBA – San Antonio, TX
8/05/2013 Dirty Dog – Austin – TX
8/06/2013 The Big Top – New Orleans, LA
8/07/2013 Atmosphere Bar – Tallahassee, FL
8/08/2013 Epic Problem – Tampa, FL
8/09/2013 The Fountainblueeuuarghh – Miami, FL
8/10/2013 TBA – Orlando, FL
8/11/2013 Shantytown – Jacksonville, FL
8/12/2013 TBA – Columbia, SC
8/13/2013 Courtroom At Getty’s – Rock Hill, SC
8/14/2013 The Milestone – Charlotte, NC
8/15/2013 Roger’s – Chesapeake, VA
8/16/2013 TBA – Richmond, VA
8/17/2013 The Kyber – Philadelphia, PA

Sadgiqacea, “The Spoils of Harvest”

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On the Radar: Heavy Temple

Posted in On the Radar on June 19th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

With a crowley rock aesthetic already firmly in their grasp, Philadelphia trio Heavy Temple emerge from the ether bearing an early bit of organic, autumnal tonality and a nascent experimental breadth. Their debut demo comes in the form of the single track “Unholy Communion,” which tops 13 minutes and features enough fuzz for at least twice that, bassist/vocalist Elyse “Nighthawk” Mitchell standing at the fore of the mix with an authoritative command both of her voice and presence in the songs alongside guitarist Shawn “Rattlesnake” Rambles and already-former drummer Andy “Bearadactyl” Martin, who anyone who’s happened by this site once or twice will probably recognize from Maple Forum alums Clamfight.

For anyone who heard that band’s latest record, it offers little to no context for even the percussive style employed on Heavy Temple‘s “Unholy Communion,” which is headed to more patient, richly psychedelic and unfolding moods. There are more effects employed than I care to or could count, but one of the most encouraging aspects of “Unholy Communion” is that as far out as Heavy Temple go — and yes indeed, they go — no indulgence feels unwarranted. Martin has established a strong, tom-running beat by the time Mitchell arrives, rising to a swell as Rambles‘ guitar picks up a churning, progressive riff, and she unleashes a chorus of long-held notes over the emergent storm of the music, backing off only to allow Rambles space for a solo to begin an instrumental exploration.

There’s a structure at work, but it’s obscure befitting the band’s somewhat cultish aesthetic. As “Unholy Communion” veers toward the five-minute mark, Mitchell coos out a verse over tense bass and the drums’ steady beat, and the build begins again, one part into the next into the next — that last being the chorus paying off the anxious vibe prior. The riffs are intricate but accessible, turning in the chorus with a fill that in another context might be stoner rock before dropping out altogether for a droning stretch that at first calls to mind King Crimson‘s “Moonchild,” but soon moves into more active territory, Martin punctuating a steady-if-minimal riff that Mitchell can’t seem to help topping with echo-laden vocals.

That riff — you’ll know it when you hear it — is the basis for much of the second half of the song, and rightly so. In capital ‘h’ Heavy tradition, they do just about everything with it they can over the next few minutes, raising it up from its unassuming creep, making it as heavy as it’ll go, giving it vocals, adding effects, theremin, and the shouts that serve as a driving apex within “Unholy Communion” as it marches out its distorted course. Past 10 minutes in, Heavy Temple shift back toward the opening progressivism — Martin returns to that drum beat — but the weirdo theremin noise remains and the atmosphere is changed as Rambles follows his leads wherever they might take him. The drums announce the change coming, but it’s no less satisfying when the three of them turn the song upside down and with just over a minute to go, lock into a return of the chorus, somewhat slowed, to give the track closure and a frightening sense of accomplishment.

Ending with some last-second cello from MitchellHeavy Temple seem to be announcing that anything is fair game within their sound, and I for one look forward to where their sonic push takes them next. I knew they had something cool going on earlier this year when I was fortunate enough to catch them at The Eye of the Stoned Goat 2 in Delaware, but I don’t think that gig could’ve foretold the spirit they’ve been able to capture in what it’s still important to remember is just their first recording as a band. They’ll need to find a new drummer (Martin having split amicably), but I know when they do I’ll be eager to hear what they come up with next.

Heavy Temple, “Unholy Communion” (2013)

Heavy Temple on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Temple on Bandcamp

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Duuude, Tapes! The Cloth, The Cloth

Posted in Duuude, Tapes! on June 13th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Philly trio The Cloth started kicking around last summer to hear their Thee Facebooks page tell it, but the wretched truth is that these three dudes have been around for a while in acts like Count von Count, Holy Dirt and Pagan Wolf Ritual, and I’ve taken that to be the reason why, when I first popped in Side Turtle of their five-song self-titled demo, it seemed The Cloth had an immediate idea of what they wanted to sound like. The three-piece is comprised of guitarist Nate Jaffe, bassist Tom von Count and drummer Jake van der Lindevon Count and Jaffe both contribute vocals — and their first release is made up of five short, crisp noise rockers that, on songs like “Touched” and “Leech Farmer,” call to mind some of later Akimbo‘s flirtations with melody and mid-period Kylesa‘s thicker-toned sludge grooves along with a grown-up-hardcore raucousness.

The band included a CD, and the tracks “Touched” and “Landsickness”‘ have made their way onto Bandcamp, but I didn’t want to listen to those first because it felt like cheating. When I popped the yellow cassette in my car’s player, the gnarl was immediate. I don’t know how much of the material was recorded live, but the instruments certainly feel that way, and raw as the production is — one imagines if you’re capturing an aggressive sound, Philly in February is a good place and time to do it — the demo’s punkier roots come through even in slower moments like von Count‘s bass starting up “Landsickness.” There’s no shying away from creating a tension and even less from answering it back with thrashing fuckall. The pure 90-seconds of punk on “I Smell a Rat” make no pretense of dynamics, but even then, Jaffe finds room for some surprisingly airy post-rock notes to float over. Round it out with the grunge churn of “Skinless” (the longest cut at a sprawling 3:43), and the tonality proves even more complex.

Both Side Turtle (pictured above) and Side Not Marked repeat the same program, and I have to agree with the advice of the inside liner, which devotes an entire panel to the words “Play Loud.” At the risk of spoiling it for anyone who might chase down a copy, The Cloth end each side of the tape with a sampled clip of Bill Hicks talking about the Kennedy assassination and American Gladiators. Not exactly timely, but the context applies as much as anything Hicks ever said did, and by that I mean here’s a white dude in a culturally privileged position with no critique of how that culturally privileged position allows him to critique the culture and patriarchy that put him in that privileged position in the first place; not that he should be appreciative, just that he’s all anger and no concrete challenge to or expressed awareness of his own place within the establishment he’s angry at. Still, I’ll take it over Dennis Leary, though if it was between Hicks and Kurt Vonnegut, who the band quote elsewhere, I fail to see the need for a choice at all.

But that’s on Hicks and not The Cloth. Point was that The Cloth set themselves up on their debut tape (hopefully the first of many releases on a variety of formats) with not necessarily a wide sonic scope, but a rawness and a natural sounding dynamic from which to build on subsequent outings. I wouldn’t ask more of a demo than that, and the more I go back to these five tracks, the more I hear in them. I don’t know how many copies they’re making, but if you can hunt one down, it might prove worth your while.

The Cloth, “Touched” & “Landsickness”

The Cloth on Bandcamp

The Cloth on Thee Facebooks

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Where to Get Your Clamfight Fix…

Posted in Label Stuff on June 12th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

…That’s right, your Clamfix.

Everybody knows these Clamfight guys are jerks, but they’re also some of my favorite jerks, so even though all the copies of their second album, I vs. the Glacier, that I was selling through The Maple Forum are gone, and even though I saw them last week, I just can’t seem to stop myself from nerding out on their doings. Their Clammery, if you will. You probably won’t.

They’re about to take a bit of a break as drummer/vocalist Andy Martin departs to dig up fossils (yes, really) in Scotland. Last I heard, he was looking for the cave with the alien doodles from Prometheus – because that’s just how much he l-o-v-e-d that movie and found it to be a well-crafted addition to the Alien mythos — but he might’ve found it last year. In any case, before he splits out for the remainder of the summer, Clamfight will be sharing a bill July 6 at the North Star Bar in Philly with Skeleton Hands and Wizard Eye.

From what I gather and have witnessed, all those dudes are pretty tight, so I expect nothing but sloppy manhugs and shout-launched beerspittle, but if you’re in the neighborhood it should be a good time.

There’s a Thee Facebooks event page here: Clamfight, Wizard Eye and Skeleton Hands at the North Star Bar, Philly, July 6, 2013

Even more importantly, the Clambros have posted the entirety of I vs. the Glacier on their Bandcamp page. It’s up their with their first record, Vol. 1, and obviously I consider them both recommended listening. If you didn’t get to pick up a physical copy while they were being sold on The Maple Forum, there are limited quantities available from what Clamfight were selling at shows, and I’m told a CD repress is in discussion while an outlet for vinyl is also sought out.

But if you want the first edition of I vs. the Glacier, once however many the band has are gone, that’s it. And if you never got the chance to take a listen to the album while I was plugging it, here’s that full stream on some terrible, wasn’t-broke-but-we-just-fixed-it new kind of player from Bandcamp:

Clamfight, I vs. the Glacier (2013)

Clamfight on Bandcamp

Clamfight on Thee Facebooks

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The Maple Forum: Only 3 Copies of Clamfight’s I Versus the Glacier Left

Posted in Label Stuff on June 8th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

This CD is sold out. Thank you so much for your support.

Well, we knew we’d get here sooner or later, and I had a feeling it would be sooner, which this is. From my original 105, I’m down to just three remaining CD copies of Clamfight‘s I vs. the Glacier. Three copies, and then they’re gone.

I know I’ve said this before, but I suck as a salesman. I’m not the kind of guy who can get up and start working a room. It’s not my thing. Fortunately, when it comes to Clamfight, the band has been steadily busting its ass to spread the word and play as many shows as possible, and for that, I owe them thanks.

Not nearly as much as I owe them thanks for the record itself, though. There have been just a few releases, but I’m extremely proud to be associated with everything The Maple Forum has helped release up to this point, and I vs. the Glacier has been twice the joy because in addition to being friends with the band for (as we discussed just last night) going on eight years now, I’ve watched them get to the point where they can unleash a bastard of a record such as this. These songs continue to amaze me, these guys continue to amaze me, and I couldn’t be happier with how this album came out. I’m lucky to have been involved in the small way I was.

If you bought a copy because you saw the band posting about it somewhere, be it Facebook or whatever else, or you ran into them at a show, or you saw another review someplace — special thanks to everyone who took the time — it means an awful lot. Thank you for deciding this project is something worthy of your support and for taking the extra step and actually making that support happen. I hope you’ve enjoyed the album as much as I have.

So as always, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, and if you pick up one of these last three copies, kudos on getting in under the wire.

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Kingsnake, One Eyed King of the Blind: Knowing the Way Down

Posted in Reviews on May 30th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Chances are, when you tell the dudes in Philly-based four-piece Kingsnake they sound like Clutch, they’re going to agree. The groove-heavy rockers follow-up their 2010 Book of Promise debut with One Eyed King of the Blind, a nine-track/41-minute outing that underscores the influence in funk-derived starts and stops and the vocals of rhythm guitarist Bill Jenkins. Working in this sphere is also nothing new for the outfit, who in the last decade released two full-lengths, 2003′s Hell or High Water and 2004′s American Rickshaw, and 2005′s Locomotive EP under the moniker Sugar Daddie before switching banners to Kingsnake in 2006. American Rickshaw was produced by Clutch drummer Jean-Paul Gaster, who also is prominently thanked in the liner notes of One Eyed King of the Blind and was in Book of Promise as well, and Kingsnake supported Clutch at the Philly stop on their most recent tour, so the connection is legit on more than one level. And it’s not one Kingsnake make an attempt to shirk throughout these songs, whether it’s the cowbell showing up at the end of “Too Little, too Late,” the “Mr. Shiny Cadillackness”-esque swell of guitar beginning “Fang of the Cobra,” the organ on that song and “Whispering Eye” or the acoustic blues treatment in the first movement of “Know the Way Down.” It becomes a “they know it, you know it, we all know it” kind of situation as the penultimate “Mercy” introduces listeners to a “black-haired whiskey mama” whose proportions are no doubt as thick as bassist Matt Kahn‘s tone, and the idea seems to be that if they don’t try to pull a fast one like they just made all this stuff up right now, it won’t matter and we can all throw back a few beverages, party down and have a good time.

Whether or not a given listener is going to be able to make that leap depends entirely on that listener, but it’s worth mentioning that Jenkins, Kahn, lead guitarist Brian Merritt and drummer Matt Farnan have been together well over a decade and that however much it may sonically owe to the aforementioned Maryland outfit, One Eyed King of the Blind also presents Kingsnake as a band with formidable chemistry and the ability to make difficult rhythm changes sound fluid and natural. That is to say, a lot of bands sound like Clutch, but they don’t all do it this well. Also in Kingsnake‘s corner is their complete lack of pretense and straightforward songwriting mentality. Tracks vary in the impressions they leave, but songs like “Fang of the Cobra,” the subsequent “Mountain Girl” and the shorter “Mala Suerte” prove memorable even in spite of their immediate familiarity of tonal smoothness in the guitar and Jenkins‘ gruff, Fallon-style bluesy delivery and cadence. There’s boogie momentum right from the start of “Bullets and Kisses,” which launches One Eyed King of the Blind, and the foursome only letup on the throttle when they find some advantage in doing so. Interestingly, as Clutch has grown bluesier over time, so have Kingsnake, and where Sugar Daddie were once brash enough to see American Rickshaw released through hardcore-minded Thorp Records, these songs present a mature course in their mid-paced stomp, “Bullets and Kisses” opening wide to a fervent Blast Tyrant-style groove that finds complement in the immediate rush of “Too Little, too Late” setting the stage à la Robot Hive/Exodus for the arrival of the organ on “Fang of the Cobra.” By then, even if you’ve never encountered Kingsnake before, they’ve made their intent clear. And again, whether you come along for the ride on One Eyed King of the Blind is up to you. To borrow a phrase,  “the party boat is here.”

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