Quarterly Review: A Storm of Light, Z/28, Forrest, 1476, Owl, Brass Hearse, Craneium & Black Willows, Magmakammer, Falun Gong, Max Tovstyi

Posted in Reviews on December 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

Day Two of the Quarterly-Review-Mega-Super-Ultra-Year-End-Wrap-Up-Spectacular-Gnarly-Edition — name in progress — begins now. First day? Smooth. Wrote it over the weekend to get a jump on the week, cruised through a morning and into baby-naps, finished with time left over to still go and read the Star Trek novel I’m currently making my way through. Easy. Also peasy.

Today? Well, apparently I turned off my alarm in my sleep because I rolled over 40 minutes later and certainly didn’t remember it going off. Whoops. Not a great start, but there is a lot of cool stuff in this batch, so we’ll get through it, even if it’s awfully early in the week to be sleeping in. Ha.

Have a great day everybody. Here are 10 more records for the QRMSUYEWUSGE. Rolls right off the tongue.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

A Storm of Light, Anthroscene

A Storm of Light Anthroscene

“America the sick and crumbling/Liberty she’s weeping/The tired and poor are huddled and dying/As the wretched ones are touched aside.” The lines, from A Storm of Light‘s “Blackout” — the second cut from their fifth LP, Anthroscene (on Translation Loss) — lead to the inevitable question: “What the fuck is wrong with us?,” and thereby summarize the central sociopolitical framework of the record. A dystopian thematic suits the band’s aesthetic, and there’s certainly no shortage of material to work from between current events and future outlook. Guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist/graphic artist Josh Graham, bassist Domenic Seita and guitarist/keyboardist Dan Hawkins are five years removed from the band’s last outing, however, so their post-apocalyptic post-metal is welcome either way, and Anthroscene taps a Killing Joke influence and turns it to its dark and churning purposes over the course of its eight tracks/51 minutes, delving into harsh shouts on “Short Term Feedback” and capping with the resistance-filled “Rosebud,” which surges forth from ambience like the anti-facist/anti-capitalist critique that it is, ending with the lyric, “When you die, we will spit on your grave,” which could hardly be more appropriate.

A Storm of Light on Thee Facebooks

Translation Loss Records on Bandcamp

 

Z28, Nobody Rides for Free

Z28 Nobody Rides for Free

Massachusetts’ Z28 — also stylized as Z/28 and Z-28; I don’t think they care so long as you get the point they’re named after the Camaro — make their full-length debut with Nobody Rides for Free on Fuzzdoom Records, and with the occasional bit of organ on songs like “Touch of Evil” and “Angst III (I Don’t Want to Die),” they nonetheless give a raw take on heavy rock laced with that particularly Northeastern aggression. Guitarist Jeff Hayward (also organ), bassist/acoustic guitarist/engineer Jason Negro and drummer Breaux Silcio all contribute vocals to the outing, and yet the minute-long instrumental intro tells much of the story of what it’s about in terms of the chemistry between them. Impressive guitar solos are rampant throughout, and the rhythm section carries over a weighted groove through cuts like “Wandering” that’s fluid in tempo but still able to create an overarching flow between the tracks. I’ll give bonus points for the Black Sabbath nods in the multi-layered lead work toward the end of “Spirit Elk (Lord of the Hunt)” as well as the title “Keep on Rockin’ (In the Invisible World),” and Z28 have something to build on here in terms of songwriting and that chemistry. It’s raw-sounding, but that doesn’t necessarily hurt it.

Z28 on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzdoom Records on Bandcamp

 

Forrest, Kickball with Russians

forrest kickball with russians

Granted, Forrest telegraph some measure of quirk by naming their debut EP Kickball with Russians, but the four-piece from Lexington, Kentucky, still seem to be rolling along in a straightforward-enough manner on six-minute instrumental opener and longest track (immediate points) “(I Dream of) Kickball with Russians,” until the keyboards start in. That turn gives their EP an edge of the unexpected that continues to inform “DAN,” “Deew” and the closing “My Son Looks Just Like Me,” and “DAN” continues the thread with gang shouts popping up over its chugging progression and receding again after about two words to let the track get quiet and build back up. And is that a velociraptor at the start of “Deew?” Either way, that song’s Mr. Bungle-style angularity, a return of the keys and intermittent heavy nod work to underscore the willful weirdness that’s very much at play in the four-piece’s work, and the closer adds Ween-style effects work into the mix while still keeping a heavy presence in tone and lumber. They’ll get weirder with time, but this is a good start toward that goal.

Forrest on Thee Facebooks

Forrest on Bandcamp

 

1476, Our Season Draws Near

1476 our season draws near

Coastal melancholy and a pervasive sense of atmosphere seem to unite the varied tracks on 1476‘s 2017 Prophecy release, Our Season Draws Near, which otherwise draw across their span from goth rock, punk, doom and extreme metal, able to blur the line especially between punk and black metal on songs like “Ettins” while acoustics pervade “Solitude (Exterior)” en route to the Anathema-gone-char rasps of “Solitude (Interior)” a short time later. I know I’m late to the party on the Salem, MA, duo, and likewise late on this record, but from opener “Our Silver Age” to closer “Our Ice Age” to the “Solitude” pairing to “Winter of Winds” — finally: David Bowie fronts Joy Division — and “Winter of Wolves,” there’s so much of Our Season Draws Near that has a bigger-picture thought process behind its construction that its impact is multi-tiered. And it’s not just that they pit genres against each other in their sound, it’s that their sound brings them together toward something new and malleable to the purposes of their songwriting. Not to be missed, so this is me, not missing it. Even though I kind of missed it.

1476 on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions on Bandcamp

 

Owl, Nights in Distortion

owl nights in distortion

Joined on Nights in Distortion by bassist René Marquis as well as longtime drummer Patrick Schroeder, guitarist/vocalist/synthesist Christian Kolf (also Valborg) greatly expands his former solo-ish-project Owl with their second release of 2018 behind March’s Orion Fenix EP (review here), bringing together elements of post-metal churn with deeply atmospheric sensibilities, cuts like “Transparent Moment” churning as much as they are surprising with their underlying melody. A Type O Negative influence continues to be worked into their sometimes grueling context, but it’s hard to listen to the keyboard-laced “Inanna in Isolation” and hear Owl being anything other than who they’ve become, and their third album is the most distinct statement of that yet, airy lead guitars floating over a still-fervent, industrial-style chug amid vocals veering from barking shouts to quiet, low-register semi-spoken fare and cleaner singing. Nights in Distortion is the evolving work of a mastermind, captured in progress.

Owl on Thee Facebooks

Temple of Torturous website

 

Brass Hearse, Hollow on the Surface

Brass Hearse Hollow on the Surface

Synth-laden heavy horror garage dance rock could probably use a more succinct genre name, but while those in charge of such things sit and scratch their butts, Boston’s Brass Hearse carve out a niche unto themselves with their second EP, Hollow on the Surface. The five-track offering is in and out in 14 minutes but wants nothing for either a show of craft or arrangement, tapping into psych-folk in the strummy interlude “Dwellers in the Static Valley” after the hook-led “Death by Candlelight” and before the John Carpenter-style pulsations that underscore “The Thing from Another World.” Opener “Fading” is the only song to top four minutes and has a distinctly progressive take, but while it and the organ-ic closer “Headaches & Heartbreaks” has a theatricality to it, Brass Hearse are too cohesive to charge with being weird for weirdness’ sake, and their experimentation is presented in complete, engaging songs, rather than self-indulgent collections of parts mashed together. Would love to hear what they do over the course of a full-length.

Brass Hearse on Thee Facebooks

Playing Records on Bandcamp

 

Craneium & Black Willows, Split

Different missions from Finland’s Craneium and Switzerland’s Black Willows on their BloodRock Records split. Craneium nod through “Your Law” and mark their second inclusion, “Try, Fail, Repeat,” with a Sabbathian swing that only kicks up in tempo as it moves through its five minutes. Black Willows, on the other hand, present a single track in the 19-minute, noise-soaked post-everything “Bliss,” which trades back and forth between minimalism and crushing riffs en route to a consuming wash and long, long, long fadeout. Released in March, the outing showcases both bands well, but one is left wondering where the connection is between the two of them that they’d come together for a joint vinyl release. Either way, I won’t detract from what they do individually, whether it’s the catchiness of “Your Law” and the jam in its second half or “Bliss” with its frost-covered expanse of tonality, it’s just a marked leap from side A to side B. Maybe that was the idea all along, and if that’s the case, then one can only say they succeeded.

Craneium on Thee Facebooks

Black Willows on Thee Facebooks

BloodRock Records on Bandcamp

 

Magmakammer, Mind Tripper

magmakammer mindtripper

Following a 2015 self-titled debut EP, Oslo trio Magmakammer align with Kozmik Artifactz for their first long-player, Mindtripper, and so effect a garage doom sound that’s quickly relatable to Uncle Acid on songs like “Fat Saturn” and the chug-shuffling “Along the Crooked Roads.” Where they distinguish themselves from this core influence, though, is in the density of their tones, as opener “Druggernaut” and the rolling “Acid Times” prove thicker in their charge. Still, there’s no mistaking that swing and the blown-out sound of the vocals. Closer “Cosmic Dancers,” which is one of two tracks over seven minutes long, shows more dynamic in its loud/quiet tradeoffs, and resolves itself in a righteous nodder of a riff. It’s essentially in the same vein, but still displaying some emerging personality of Magmakammer‘s own that one hopes they continue to develop. And in the meantime, the foundation of craft and stylistic awareness they hone is still welcome, familiar or not.

Magmakammer on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz webstore

 

Falun Gong, Figure 2

Falun Gong Figure 2

Mystique isn’t easy to come by in this Age of Access, but the anonymous London-dwelling duo Falun Gong have succeeded in piquing interest with their two-to-date singles, “Figure 1” (review here), and the eight-minute “Figure 2,” which like its predecessor is raw in the recording, sounds like it was performed live, and follows a trance-inducing course of riffing. The central groove is a slow march that makes its way through obscure voices delivered in buried fashion — the whole thing may or may not be mastered; somehow I’m thinking not, but I’ve been wrong before — through a self-aware drift that rounds out following a soulful culmination fitting the song’s lyrical theme, which would seem to be tied to the cover art about baptism in a river’s waters. There’s just something off-kilter about Falun Gong to this point, and while it’s still early going for them, they bring an eerie persona to their work that feels less performative than it so often does.

Falun Gong on Bandcamp

 

Max Tovstyi, Mesmerize

Max Tovstyi Mesmerize

Though he’s had a slew of live outings out with the Max Tovstyi Blues Band and the Max Tovstyi Blues Association, Mesmerize (LP on Nasoni) is the Ukrainian heavy blues rocker’s first solo studio outing since 2014. He’s credited with all the instruments on the 10- or 12-track offering save for a couple arrangement-flourish guest appearances, and he pulls in a classic spirit and full-band sound without any trouble on a moody piece like “World of Sin” or the bonus track “Show Me the Way,” which isn’t a Peter Frampton cover so far as I can tell but still has plenty of guitar scorch to go around. “From the Blues to the Funk” jams its way along its stated trajectory, and “Feel Like Dying Now” brings together organ and keys in a fashion far less dramatized than one might initially think. With a clean production, Tovstyi — also known for his work in The Heavy Crawls, Lucifer Rising, and others — carries through his sentimentality for blues rock’s past and finds himself well at home leading the pack of guest vocalists on “Make Up Your Mind,” which closes the album proper with a semi-country twang and sweet melody.

Max Tovstyi on Thee Facebooks

Nasoni Records website

 

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GIVEAWAY: Win Tickets to Prophecy Fest USA in Brooklyn; Alcest, Year of the Cobra, 1476 & Many More Playing

Posted in Features on October 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

prophecy fest lineup

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post and make sure your email address is filled in the form so I can contact you if you win. Yup, that’s it.]

You can buy tickets now for the first-ever Prophecy Fest USA, being held Nov. 2-3 in Brooklyn, NY, at the Knitting Factory, and I’m not going to dissuade you from doing that, but if you leave a comment on this post, you can also just win a pair and go that way. I know money’s tight, so if you’ve got room in your heart for the likes of Novembers Doom and Alcest, Kayo Dot and Year of the Cobra over the course of two nights — and well, I think you do — then yeah, you might just want to go for this one.

I want to keep this post short, so I’ll spare you the wax-critique of the varied and righteous bill and just let you see it for yourself. The schedule as per the fest:

prophecy fest usa 2018 new posterFriday, November 2nd
7-7:30 || Völur
8-8:30 || Xasthur
9-9:30 || Kayo Dot
10-10:45 || So Hideous
11:15-End || Novembers Doom

Saturday, November 3rd
7-7:30 || 1476
8-8:30 || Year of the Cobra
9-9:30 || Crowhurst
10-10:45 || Eye Of Nix
11:15-End || Alcest

Pretty badass, and again, this is the first time Prophecy Fest is being held on American soil, so all the more worth showing up.

And I don’t know if I have to say this at this point, but I will anyway: if you enter a contest here, I don’t keep your email. You’re not added to a list. Your information isn’t sold. I wouldn’t know how to do that if I wanted to, and I don’t want to, so yeah. The lizard people already have your information, but I didn’t give it to them.

Thanks to all who enter.

And if you don’t win, buy tickets here: http://us.prophecy.de/prophecy-fest/prophecy-fest-us-ticket.html

https://www.facebook.com/events/228554127792687/
http://us.prophecy.de

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post and make sure your email address is filled in the form so I can contact you if you win. Yup, that’s it.]

Prophecy Fest USA trailer #2

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Year of the Cobra Tour Starts Tonight; Playing Prophecy Fest USA in Brooklyn

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

year of the cobra

Seattle’s Year of the Cobra have a slot booked at the first-ever Prophecy Fest USA in Brooklyn on Nov. 3, and because they’re Year of the Cobra, they’re turning it into a tour of the East Coast and Midwest. The band signed to Prophecy Productions earlier this year after issuing 2017’s Burn Your Dead EP (review here) through Magnetic Eye Records, and they’re set to have their sophomore full-length out in 2019, for which the EP teased multi-directional growth in style and songwriting. The duo have put in massive amounts of road work over the last couple years at home and abroad, and it seems like they’re in a place where they’re ready to step up to the task ahead of them in their next record and see where it takes them. My guess as regards to that? More touring.

They’ll be playing new songs on the tour, and that’s nifty to be sure, but I’m really looking forward to hearing what they might bring to a new record with Jack Endino producing. I’m keeping my fingers crossed the album gets here on the earlier end of next year.

From the PR wire:

year of the cobra tour

SEATTLE DOOM DUO, YEAR OF THE COBRA, ANNOUNCE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES

*BAND TO PERFORM AT INAUGURAL “PROPHECY FEST USA” IN BROOKLYN ON NOV 3RD*

Seattle’s heavyweight stoner doom duo, Year of the Cobra, has announced they’ll be hitting the road for a North American tour this fall. The band will kick of the excursion with a hometown show in Seattle on October 10th and will wrap up the run in Lawrence, KS on November 6th. The tour will include a performance at the inaugural Prophecy Fest USA, alongside labelmates 1476, Crowhurst, Eye of Nix and Alcest, at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, NY on November 3rd. Tickets for the fest are available now at http://bit.ly/2OCPQ9P.

Year of the Cobra’s upcoming tour will give fans a taste of music to come from the band’s forthcoming 2nd full-length record that’s due out next year.

“We’ve been hermits since our last U.S. tour this past August and have hunkered down and written a ton of new music… going to road test quite a few new songs on this run. Jack Endino will be producing and engineering the next record, which will come out in 2019 on Prophecy Productions. Tours and other exciting news are in the works. Stayed tuned!” – Year of the Cobra

Formed in 2015, Year of the Cobra became a rapidly ascending, radiant star in the horizon of the doom/stoner-scene for a reason: This powerhouse duo, consisting of Amy Tung Barrysmith (vocals/ bass) and Jon Barrysmith (drums), use their limitation in instrumentation to their advantage. Leaving space for every instrument to breathe and to shine, they create a vast, larger than life sound aesthetic. Their songs drift relentlessly from classic epic doom laments into oppressive heavy riff architecture; from catchy, almost upbeat rock moments into transfiguring psychedelia.

Year of the Cobra Tour Dates:
10.10.18 – Seattle, WA. – El Corazon w/ Monster Magnet
10.20.18 – Boise, ID. – The Shredder
10.22.18 – Denver, CO. – Streets of London
10.23.18 – Omaha, NB. – Lookout Lounge
10.24.18 – Oshkosh, WI. – Reptile Palace
10.25.18 – Chicago, IL. – Cobra Lounge
10.26.18 – Toronto, ON. – Coalition: T.O.
10.27.18 – Jewett City, CT. – Altones
10.28.18 – Ottawa, ON. – Cafe Decuf
10.29.18 – Buffalo, NY. – Mohawk Place
10.30.18 – Providence, RI. – Alchemy
11.1.18 – Philadelphia, PA. – Barbary
11.2.18 – Washington D.C. – Altas Brew Works
11.3.18 – Brooklyn, NY. Knitting Factory – Prophecy Fest
11.4.18 – Pittsburgh, PA. – Gooski’s
11.5.18 – Indianapolis, IN. – Black Circle Brewing
11.6.18 – Lawrence, KS. – Replay Lounge

https://www.facebook.com/yearofthecobraband/
https://twitter.com/yearofthecobra
https://yearofthecobra.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/prophecyproductions/
https://prophecy-de.bandcamp.com/
https://en.prophecy.de/

Year of the Cobra, Burn Your Dead (2017)

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Kayo Dot Sign to Prophecy Productions; Playing Prophecy Fest in Brooklyn

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

As Prophecy Productions continues its ascent as a US-based entity, one can hardly argue with its selection of targets. The latest pickup from the German-expat imprint is New York’s post-everything avant garde troupe Kayo Dot. Led by founding frontman and principal crafter-of-whatnots Toby Driver, the band is now some 15 years removed from their 2003 debut, Choirs of the Eye — and thank you very much, that’s my “you are old” reminder for the day; gotta have at least one — and continue their commitment for fiercely progressive fare and a will toward experimentation with varying styles and sounds. Their latest album, 2016’s Plastic House on Base of Sky, came out in 2016.

Not sure whether this deal extends as well to Driver‘s solo output. He issued Madonnawhore last year, which collected a series of brooding and ambient tracks that would likewise be a fit on Kayo Dot‘s new label, but either way, Kayo Dot will be appearing at Prophecy Fest USA in Brooklyn this November, alongside 1476AlcestYear of the Cobra and others. Details on that are here.

And here’s the announcement of Kayo Dot signing, via the PR wire:

kayo dot

AVANT-GARDE POST-ROCK BAND KAYO DOT JOINS PROPHECY PRODUCTIONS

*BAND TO PERFORM AT “PROPHECY FEST USA” IN BROOKLYN, NY IN NOVEMBER*

The critically acclaimed New York based avant-garde post-rock band Kayo Dot has officially joined the roster of Prophecy Productions. The news comes in advance of the band’s upcoming performance at the inaugural 2-day Prophecy Fest USA in Brooklyn, NY at Knitting Factory on November 2nd. Tickets are available here: https://bit.ly/2M3SpgB

“I’m very happy and optimistic about working with Prophecy going forward. Forming a relationship with Prophecy and also becoming more closely connected with some of the major players in the European metal scene has brought up a lot of feelings that, although I haven’t engaged with in many years, still feel like home and family. We’re extremely excited to have this opportunity to bring our music to a wider audience and contribute to this universe in a positive, unique, and progressive way, and we thank Prophecy and everyone involved for believing in us, and we thank Jonathan at The Flenser for encouraging us to make this move.” – Toby Driver

The endlessly eclectic project, spearheaded by composer and producer Toby Driver, was formed in 2003 by the members of the legendary ethereal metal band, Maudlin of the Well, marking a giant, inspired evolutionary leap. Since then, Kayo Dot’s muse has shown its face through slow and massive cascades of guitars and violins, avant-garde jazz and fusion, post-rock, experimental metal and psychedelia – soaring and exploring through all facets of their music.

Kayo Dot’s members and collaborators come from a huge range of backgrounds; DIY punk kids to the most erudite conservatory-educated New York performing musicians. Frontman Toby Driver’s list of collaborators includes names like Randall Dunn (WITTR, Myrkur, Sunn 0))), Secret Chiefs 3 (Trey Spruance of Mr. Bungle), John Zorn, G. Stuart Dahlquist (Burning Witch, Asva), among many others. The diversity of collaborators feeds Kayo Dot’s ability to twist and turn, leaving a listener wanting more with no limits on how it will evolve, all the while creating sounds that are both timeless and contemporary.

http://www.kayodot.net/
https://www.instagram.com/kayodotofficial/
https://twitter.com/kayodotofficial
https://www.facebook.com/kayodot.official/
https://kayodot.bandcamp.com/
http://en.prophecy.de/

Kayo Dot, Plastic House on Base of Sky (2016)

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1476 US Tour Starts Friday

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 29th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

1476

So, I’m late to the party on this band and I’m not about to pretend otherwise. 1476 released their third album, Our Season Draws Near, this past Spring on Prophecy Productions and they’ll hit the road to support it starting this Friday in Buffalo, New York. Based out of the suitably-witchy goth-tourist-trap known as Salem, Massachsetts — also there are good restaurants and a bitchin’ video game store — the two-piece bridge a gap between progressive melodic rock, post-punk, post-black metal and post-your face, which is not a minor gap indeed, and rather than simply assault listeners they play to multiple sides in memorable songcraft and a varied atmosphere, still keeping in their pocket an all-out burst that surfaces every now and then. You can stream the record at the bottom of this post, and I’m sure you’re already all over this one, because you, like the rest of the planet, are way ahead of me on everything, but even so, it’s there if you want to put it on.

I dig it, I guess is the point.

Tour dates follow:

1476 tour

SALEM’S 1476 EMBARK ON U.S. TOUR THIS MONTH

** OUR SEASON DRAWS NEAR, OUT NOW ON PROPHECY PRODUCTIONS**

Salem’s “hermetic death rock” duo 1476 will hit the road this month for fall tour of the United States in support of their 3rd album, Our Season Draws Near, which is available now from Prophecy Productions. The month-long tour will kick off in Buffalo, NY on August 31st and make its way across the country before wrapping up in their hometown of Salem for a bewitching show on September 28th.

Following the tour the band are confirmed to perform at the inaugural Prophecy Fest USA on November 2nd at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, NY. The festival will take place on November 2nd and 3rd and will also feature performances by Alcest, Eye of Nix, Volur, Xasthur, Kayo Dot, Novembers Doom, Crowhurst, Year of the Cobra and So Hideous. Tickets are on sale now at http://us.prophecy.de/prophecy-fest/prophecy-fest-us-ticket.html.

The revered atmospheric metal band, consisting of Robb Kavjian and Neil DeRosa, has created a worldwide cult following since their debut in 2010. Following several EP and LP releases, 1476 partnered with Prophecy Productions, who are based in Germany and United States, in 2016 and released their critically heralded album, Our Season Draws Near, mixed by Markus Siegenhort (of post-black metal band Lantlôs,) the subsequent year. The duo’s latest chapter in their dark journey is an amalgam of punk-charged metal and ambient folk that provide a haunting soundtrack for a dreary New England winter.

Tour Dates:
Aug. 31st – Buffalo, NY – Sugar City
Sept. 1st – Detroit, MI – Fireside Inn
Sept. 2nd – Canton, OH @ Buzzbin Art and Music Shop
Sept. 3rd – Indianapolis, IN @ Black Circle Brewing
Sept. 4th – Chicago, IL – Livewire
Sept. 5th – Madison, WI – The Wisco
Sept. 6th – St. Paul, MN – Caydence Records
Sept. 7th – Sioux Falls, SD @ Big’s Bar
Sept. 8th- Denver, CO @ Seventh Circle Music Collective
Sept. 9th – Kalispell, MT @ Old School Records
Sept. 11th – Seattle, WA @ The Funhouse
Sept. 12th – Portland, OR @ High Water Mark
Sept. 13th – Sacramento, CA @ Blue Lamp
Sept. 14th – Lakewood, CA @ Regal Inn
Sept. 15th – Tempe, AZ @ TimeOut Lounge
Sept. 16th – Albuquerque, NM – TBA
Sept. 18th – Denton, TX @ Dan’s Silver Leaf
Sept. 19th – Austin, TX @ The Lost Well
Sept. 21st – San Antonio, TX – The Guru
Sept. 22nd – Houston, TX @ Rudyard’s Pub
Sept. 23rd – New Orleans, LA – TBA
Sept. 25th – Raleigh, NC @ Slim’s
Sept. 26th – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
Sept. 27th – Philadelphia, PA @ Creep Records
Sept. 28th – Salem, MA @ Koto

http://www.1476cult.com/
https://www.facebook.com/1476cult/
https://1476.bandcamp.com/
http://en.prophecy.de/

1476, Our Season Draws Near (2018)

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Prophecy Productions Announces Prophecy Fest USA 2018 for November in Brooklyn

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Man, I knew something was up with Prophecy Productions. The fact that Martin Koller, the founder of the long-running German imprint moved to California, is not to be understated in its importance. Prophecy is not a label of minor consideration when it comes to taste on the whole, and as they’ve picked up bands like Khôrada and Year of the Cobra, it not only speaks to those groups’ individual achievements, but the forward-moving nature of the current US heavy underground as a whole. The first-ever Prophecy Fest to be held in America will take place this November at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, with Eye of NixAlcestVolurXasthurKayo DotNovembers DoomYear of the Cobra, 1476 and So Hideous on the bill. Two nights and a pretty unbelievable international assemblage, featuring special sets. It’s the kind of event that you want to get dressed up for. I’m not saying you have to wear a suit, but we do want to make a good impression.

And would it kill you to put on a suit?

Very interested to see where Prophecy‘s US adventure takes the label over the next couple years, and Prophecy Fest, which is presented in conjunction with Stardust NYC, looks like a great place to start to find out.

From the PR wire:

prophecy fest usa 2018 new poster

PROPHECY PRODUCTIONS ANNOUNCES U.S. EXPANSION & PROPHECY FEST USA

Following two decades of acclaimed success, with revered releases from some of the most prolific and groundbreaking acts in eclectic heavy music, Germany based Prophecy Productions has officially announced their expansion to North America with a division of the label now established in Los Angeles.

Further affirming their presence, Prophecy has unveiled the first edition of Prophecy Fest USA, which will take place at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, NY on November 2nd and 3rd. The inaugural event will feature performances by Alcest, Xasthur, November’s Doom, So Hideous and more. Those who purchase tickets to the Fest will receive a special edition 2xCD Prophecy Compilation. Two day tickets are available now at http://us.prophecy.de/prophecy-fest/prophecy-fest-us-ticket.html.

Prophecy Productions emerged in 1996, quickly earning worldwide regard for high quality releases and a selective, eclectic roster. Beginning as a self-run mail order, Prophecy owner & founder Martin Koller released Empyrium’s 1996 debut, A Wintersunset… To this day, he has continued to nurture and develop artists he loves, resulting in a staggering roster which sports artist such as Alcest, Khôrada, Bethlehem, Lantlôs, Falkenbach, etc.

With growing awareness of the vast differences and growing possibilities in the US metal community, Koller chose to expand into the US by opening a North American division. In 2017, Koller moved to California to explore new possibilities in the American market, establishing a diverse, talented and dedicated American team, consisting of Rayshele Teige (ex-Century Media and Osmose), Kay Shelton (ex-20 Buck Spin & Wolves in the Throne Room, Northwest Terror Fest), and Matt Bacon (Metal Injection, Dropout Media).

With Prophecy in the USA, this powerhouse team aims to enrich and expand the Prophecy roster, uncovering and cultivating fresh artists and supporting icons alike. So far, the US roster reads eccentric, eclectic and nicely unpragmatic; US black metal pioneers Nachtmystium and Xasthur, highly speculated and anticipated supergroup Khôrada (ex-Agalloch, Giant Squid), blackened-sludge abyss Eye of Nix, Oakland surrealists Silence in the Snow, black metal/noise crossover superstar Crowhurst, and brute-doom experimentalists Year of the Cobra.

To read more about the history and philosophy behind Prophecy Productions, here is an in-depth article by writer Jon Wiederhorn: http://us.prophecy.de/prophecy-productions-philosophy/

http://en.prophecy.de/
https://www.facebook.com/prophecyproductions/
https://www.instagram.com/prophecypro/
https://twitter.com/ProphecyProd
https://www.youtube.com/user/prophecyBC

Prophecy Fest USA 2018 lineup announcements

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Quarterly Review: Worshipper, Dopethrone, The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices, Omen Stones, Capra, Universo Rojo, Sergeant Thunderhoof, Fire Down Below, Stone Deaf, Cracked Machine

Posted in Reviews on July 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-CALIFORNIA-LANDSCAPE-Julian-Rix-1851-1903

Well, we made it to the end of another Quarterly Review. One more batch and then it’s off to planning the next one for late September/early October. I hope you have found something this week that you’ve really dug. I have. A few, to be honest. Not everything is going to stick with every listener, of course, and that includes me, but for as much as putting this one together has been, there’s been some really good, year-end-list-type stuff included. At least as far as my own list goes. I sincerely hope you agree.

So let’s do this last one, then go sleep for a couple hours. Alright? Here we go:

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Worshipper, Mirage Daze

worshipper mirage daze

I don’t know if Worshipper knew they’d be embarking on their first West Coast tour in Summer 2018 when they hit Mad Oak Studios in Oct. 2016 to record the four cover tracks for their Mirage Daze EP on Tee Pee Records, but it certainly worked out in the Boston four-piece’s favor. Following-up their 2016 debut, Shadow Hymns (review here), Worshipper present four cover tracks in Uriah Heep’s “Easy Livin’,” The Oath’s “Night Child,” Pink Floyd’s “Julia Dream” and The Who’s “Heaven and Hell,” and while I’m a little sad that “Heaven and Hell” isn’t the Black Sabbath song, which I think they’d nail if they tried it, and I’m glad to have a studio version of their take on Floyd’s “Julia Dream,” which from the first time I saw them live was always a pleasure to watch live, I think the highlight of Mirage Daze might be “Night Child.” I never bought that The Oath record, and Worshipper’s take on its lead single is about the best argument I’ve seen for doing so. It may or may not be a stopgap issued to coincide with the tour, but Mirage Daze is a welcome arrival anyway. It’s a fan piece? Well, I’m a fan, so right on.

Worshipper on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records website

 

Dopethrone, Transcanadian Anger

dopethrone transcanadian anger

Montreal scumsludgers Dopethrone return with Transcanadian Anger, an eight-track blister-fest of crunch riffing and misanthropic vibes. Delivered through Totem Cat Records, the 36-minute Weedeater-gone-bad-drugs sludge assault seems to invite superlatives front to back, even in the slamming instrumental “Killdozer” – a tribute to the band? – and the swinging penultimate cut “Kingbilly Kush.” Elsewhere, opener “Planet Meth,” “Snort Dagger,” “Tweak Jabber” and “Scuzzgasm” celebrate addiction and violence unto oneself and others, making a spectacle of decay set to voluminous sludge riffs and abrasive vocals. This is Dopethrone’s aesthetic territory, and they’ve done well over the last decade to make it their own. As they answer 2015’s full-length, Hochelaga (review here), and the next year’s 1312 EP with yet another filth-caked collection, they seem all the more in their own league of aural and narcotic self-punishment. They could be straightedge vegans for all I know, but they sure sound high as fuck, and I guess that’s the point. So, well done.

Dopethrone on Thee Facebooks

Totem Cat Records webstore

 

The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices, BooCheeMish

the mystery of the bulgarian voices boocheemish

Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance would seem to be trying to solve The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices, a choral group from Bulgaria who, seemingly until teaming with Gerrard for the Prophecy Productions release BooCheeMish was known by the French name Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares. Whatever you call them, their history dates back nearly seven decades and their harmonies are utterly timeless. BooCheeMish is comprised of gorgeous folk renditions for 45 minutes of world-building perfection. Percussion of various sorts provides backing and on pieces like “Rano Ranila” they speed through at a pace and arrangement that’s head-spinning, while the later “Zableyalo Agne” finds them joined by flute for a nigh-religious experience and the subsequent “Tropanitsa” has a bounce worthy of any good times one might to envision from its evocative pulse. One can’t help but feel a bit of the cultural voyeur in taking it on – as well as feeling totally outclassed in reviewing it – but these songs were clearly meant to be enjoyed, and as their ambassadors, The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices genuinely serve a public best interest.

The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions website

 

Omen Stones, Omen Stones

omen stones omen stones

Virginia duo Omen Stones have no online presence as yet. No songs streaming. No cheeky logos-on-photos social media posts that new bands do when they’re sitting on their hands waiting to get material out there. What they – and by “they,” I mean guitarist/vocalist Tommy Hamilton of Druglord and drummer Erik Larson of Backwoods Payback, The Might Could, Alabama Thunderpussy, etc. – have is a four-song self-titled EP collecting about 13 minutes of material in demo fashion, bringing forth the Southern-shuffle-gets-weird-then-explodes opener “Secrete” as a first impression of a deceptive approach. You think it’s all good and then you get punched. Go figure. “Secrete” is also the longest track (immediate points) at 4:06, and the forward charge and harsher vocal of “Fertile Blight” follows, catchy as it is mean, and more indicative of what’s to follow in the maddening tension of “Sympathy Scars” and the fuckall sludgepunk of “Purity Tones.” Immediately against-trend, Omen StonesOmen Stones is a bird of prey unto itself. Hopefully at some point soon they make it publicly available.

Druglord on Bandcamp

Erik Larson on Bandcamp

 

Capra, Unholy Gallows

Capra Unholy Gallows

Taking influence from hardcore punk, post-hardcore and sludge, Lafayette, Louisiana’s Capra seem to fit in a Midwestern style of semi-metallic aggression that has flourished in the wake of the likes of The National Acrobat and Coliseum. The foursome’s Unholy Gallows single follows their also-two-song self-titled 2016 EP, and finds Tyler Harper (also of the recently-defunct The Midnight Ghost Train), Jeremy Randazzo, Ben Paramore and Lee Hooper aligned in their purposes of riff-led bludgeoning. Unholy Gallows is two songs/six minutes long – not by any means an afternoon commitment in terms of listening – but its furies are unveiled in far less time than that, and both “Red Guillotine” and “Hot Lips” waste no time in doling out their beatings. A sense of heft stems from tonal thickness, but they make it move to a propulsive degree, and aside from a quick feedback intro to “Red Guillotine,” there’s no letup; even as “Hot Lips” slows the pace some initially, it maintains geared toward foreshadowing the next fist to fly.

Capra on Thee Facebooks

Capra on Bandcamp

 

Universo Rojo, Impermanencia

Universo Rojo Impermanencia

Sprawl, sprawl, sprawl. Into space. Universo Rojo’s excellent four-track debut album, Impermanencia, makes you want to speak slowly enough to feel the words vibrate out of your mouth. The Chilean four-piece offer lengthy, jam-based excursions that echo out their feel across vast reaches of effects, progressive rhythm and melody-making unfurling all the while beneath an overarching swirl of effects, guitars and synth running atop the mix like competing currents of water. Opener “¿A Dónde Ir?” (8:13) gives way to the flute-laden krautrockism of “Visión Planetaria de los Tiempos” (8:40) as vocalist/guitarist/clarinetist Ferro Vargas-Larraguibel, drummer Naim Chamás, bassist Cristóbal Montenegro and synthesis Francisco Arellano conjure such molten possibilities. Though it’s just 34 minutes, Impermanencia is nonetheless expansive, with the 9:36 “Cinco (La Quinta Dimensión)” finding a place between drift and psych-jazz undulations while closer “Inmaterialización del Sentimiento Cósmico” (7:32) lets out a full-impulse burst of energy that’s blinding if you know just where to look. Not to be missed.

Universo Rojo on Thee Facebooks

Universo Rojo on Bandcamp

 

Sergeant Thunderhoof, Terra Solus

sergeant thunderhoof terra solus

Kudos to Bath, UK, four-piece Sergeant Thunderhoof on starting off their sophomore long-player, Terra Solus, with the album’s longest track in “Another Plane.” And likewise for the blend of psychedelia and burl that unfolds. In taking on the follow-up to their 2015 debut, Ride of the Hoof, they offer eight cuts and 51 minutes of spacious riffing charged with just an undercurrent of English boozer burl, Elephant Tree and Steak meeting head on for a raucous session of who knows what. “B Oscillation” taps nod and particularly satisfying fuzzy warmth in its lead section, while even a would-be bruiser like the subsequent “Diesel Breath” has a trip-out included. There is time for such things as every track but the penultimate and relatively minimalist soundscaper “Half a Man” tops six minutes, but Sergeant Thunderhoof make a much richer impression overall than their moniker might lead one to believe, and close out in particularly resonant fashion with “Om Shaantih,” emphasizing the breadth and post-rock elements that help make Terra Solus so engaging from the outset.

Sergeant Thunderhoof on Thee Facebooks

Sergeant Thunderhoof on Bandcamp

 

Fire Down Below, Hymn of the Cosmic Man

fire down below hymn of the cosmic man

The adaptation of Kyuss’ “Thumb” riff for Fire Down Below’s “Ignition/Space Cruiser” after the “Red Giant” intro on their second album, Hymn of the Cosmic Man (on Ripple), is nothing short of a clarion to the converted. The Belgian unit’s mission would seem to be to find that place on the horizon where the desert ground and space itself seem to meet and become one, and as side A closer “The Cosmic Pilgrim” turns from its initial crunch into more patient and drifting psych, they’d seem to get there. Atsmophere is certainly central to the record, as the aforementioned “Red Giant” and its side B counterpart “Nebula” demonstrate, never mind the other five tracks, and even as “Saviour of Man” runs through its janga-janga stoner-riffed hook there’s a flourish of effects to create a balance between the earthbound and the interstellar. Side B’s “Ascension” and especially 11-minute album-closer/highlight “Adrift in a Sea of Stars” seem to find the balance the four-piece is shooting for all along, and just before the nine-minute mark when the thick, fuzzed-out riff emerges from the jammy lead, the entire impetus for their journey seems to be laid bare. Well done.

Fire Down Below on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Stone Deaf, Royal Burnout

stone deaf royal burnout

Denver, Colorado’s Stone Deaf present a sans-frills desert rock vibe across the eight tightly structured tracks of their sophomore album, Royal Burnout (on Black Bow Records). Specifically, the compressed crunch in the guitar tone and some of the start-stop bounce riffing in cuts like “Room #240” and “Monochrome” seem to be drawn from the Songs for the Deaf methodology, and some of the vocals on opener “Spitshine” (video premiere here) remind of Queens of the Stone Age as well, but Stone Deaf – whose moniker, then, would be well sourced – have a deeper root in punk rock that underscores the “Go with the Flow” thrust of “Deathwish 62” as well as the chugging verses of “Boozy Spool” immediately preceding. It’s a sound that benefits greatly from the sharpness of its delivery and the craft Stone Deaf bring to it, and even when they seem to loosen up a bit on the midpaced pre-finale “That Lefty Request,” there’s a fervent sense of a plan unfolding. That plan would seem to be a success.

Stone Deaf on Thee Facebooks

Black Bow Records webstore

 

Cracked Machine, I, Cosmonaut

cracked machine i cosmonaut

Originally released last year, Cracked Machine’s debut, I, Cosmonaut, finds vinyl issue through PsyKA Records and earns it well with six tracks/45 minutes of mostly-instrumentalist and progressive space-psych. One assumes there’s a narrative thread at work across the span, as guitarist Bill Denton, bassist Chris Sutton, keyboardist/vocalist Clive Noyes and drummer Blazej Gradziel weave their way through “Twin Sons Rising” and “New Vostok” at the outset into the easy flow of “Baikonur Cosmodrome,” the harder-hitting title-track, the fuzzy declaration of “Svetlana” and the patiently executed 10-minute closer “Transorbital,” Denton’s guitar singing all the while. These places and, maybe, characters would seem to weave together to tell the story in impressions largely open to interpretation and correspondingly open in terms of their creativity, sounding spontaneous and maybe live-recorded if not entirely improvised, instead working to a plan for where each inclusion should go or end up. As Cracked Machine’s first album, it’s an ambitious work that does far more than get the band’s feet wet. It takes them out of the atmosphere and embarks on a journey beyond that one hopes is just beginning.

Cracked Machine on Thee Facebooks

Cracked Machine at PsyKA Records webstore

 

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Year of the Cobra Sign to Prophecy Productions for New Album in 2019; Tour Dates Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

year of the cobra

On the heels of their 2017 EP, Burn Your Dead (review here), Seattle duo Year of the Cobra toured Europe this past Spring, and they must’ve made a hell of an impression, as they’ve newly been picked up by respected German purveyor Prophecy Productions — which this year hosts its first-ever Prophecy Fest US in Brooklyn, which the band will also play — for the 2019 release of a new album to be produced by… wait for it… Jack frickin’ Endino. This after working with Billy frickin’ Anderson. Year of the Cobra certainly know how to pick ’em.

While I take a second to slap Year of the Cobra right into the notes for 2019’s most anticipated releases, I’ll also send heartfelt kudos and congratulations to the two-piece on the signing. Can’t wait to hear their new record as their ongoing ascent is sure to continue.

The PR wire makes it official, and as they will, Year of the Cobra also have tour dates coming up including the Stoned Meadow of Doom Festival in Omaha, Nebraska, on Aug. 12. Dig:

year of the cobra tour

PROPHECY PRODUCTIONS ANNOUNCES SIGNING OF SEATTLE STONER DOOM DUO YEAR OF THE COBRA

It is with great honor that Prophecy Productions announces the signing of Seattle’s heavyweight stoner doom duo, Year of the Cobra.

Formed in 2015, Year of the Cobra became a rapidly ascending, radiant star in the horizon of the doom/stoner-scene for a reason: This powerhouse duo, consisting of Amy Tung Barrysmith (vocals/ bass) and Jon Barrysmith (drums), use their limitation in instrumentation to their advantage. Leaving space for every instrument to breathe and to shine, they create a vast, larger than life sound aesthetic. Their songs drift relentlessly from classic epic doom laments into oppressive heavy riff architecture; from catchy, almost upbeat rock moments into transfiguring psychedelia.

In 2016, just a year and one EP into their career, Year of the Cobra released their full-length debut, …in the Shadows Below. Using the natural, three-dimensional and massively heavy production of Billy Anderson (Neurosis, Sleep) they present themselves as an unbelievably mature and confident band who knows exactly what they want. Following their sophomore EP Burn Your Dead, they had successful tours of Europe and the US, playing a number of well-known festivals along the way, including Psycho Las Vegas, Freak Valley Festival, and Stoned Meadow of Doom. They are currently working on new material for their 2019 follow-up full length with legendary engineer/producer Jack Endino (Nirvana, Tad, Soundgarden), and are confirmed to play the inaugural Prophecy Fest USA, taking place this November at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory.

Year of the Cobra Tour Dates:
7/27 – Seattle, WA. – The Funhouse
7/31 – Sacramento, CA. – Blue Lamp
8/1 – San Francisco, CA. – Elbo Room
8/2 – San Jose, CA. – The Caravan
8/3 – Santa Cruz, CA. – Blue Lagoon
8/4 – Los Angeles, CA. Five Star Bar
8/5 – Las Vegas, NV. – Beauty Bar
8/6 – Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad
8/7 – Denver, CO. – Bar Bar
8/8 – Kansas City, MO. – Riot Room
8/9 – St. Louis, MO. – Fubar
8/10 – Chicago, IL. – Reggies
8/11 – Springfield, MO. Outland Ballroom
8/12 – Omaha, NB. – STONED MEADOW OF DOOM FEST
8/14 – Bozeman, MT. – Zebra Lounge
8/15 – Spokane, WA. – The Observatory

https://www.facebook.com/yearofthecobraband/
https://twitter.com/yearofthecobra
https://yearofthecobra.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/prophecyproductions/
https://prophecy-de.bandcamp.com/
https://en.prophecy.de/

Year of the Cobra, “Persephone” official video

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