Friday Full-Length: High on Fire, Death is this Communion

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 18th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

High on Fire, Death is this Communion (2007)

This is my favorite High on Fire record. I know plenty other people who’ll choose other albums over 2007′s Death is this Communion, be it the band’s more stonerly 2000 debut, The Art of Self-Defense, or something more recent like 2010′s Snakes for the Divine, but for me, it’s gotta be Death is this Communion.

I remember very clearly the first time I really sat with a High on Fire album. It was 2002′s sophomore outing, Surrounded by Thieves. I was playing the album, which was new at that point, and a friend of mine came in the room and said, “What the fuck is this? It sounds so dirty.” We laughed, and yeah, it did. That record continues to hold a special place in my heart, but I think if you look at the progression of High on Fire‘s sound especially as it is right now, you see that Death is this Communion marks the turning point between their earlier work and the two albums they’ve done since.

Their 2005 third album, Blessed Black Wings, was notable for bringing in bassist Joe Preston (Thrones, ex-the Melvins) alongside the founding duo of guitarist/vocalist Matt Pike and drummer Des Kensel, but by the time they got around to the follow-up, it was Zeke‘s Jeff Matz in that role, and he’s stayed there since. So in a very real way, Death is this Communion is the marker for when High on Fire solidified itself. Also, if you take a look at where they were two records before (the marauding stoner thrash of Surrounded by Thieves) and where they went two records hence (the latest offering, 2012′s ultra-metal De Vermis Mysteriis), it becomes easy to read Death is this Communion as not just a step-stone in their catalog, but the essential position from which the two sides met and diverged. Whatever glories they’ve gone onto or had done before, they were never quite the same again.

And that’s not even to mention the songs on Death is this Communion — the title-track’s masterful sprawl, the initial pummel of “Fury Whip,” the unmitigated attack of “Rumors of War” that crashes right into the riff-groove of “DII.” It’s not a short album at a little less than 57 minutes, but even into its farthest reaches with “Ethereal” — still one of Pike‘s boldest vocal experiments — and churning closer “Return to NOD,” it never fails to both grasp and brutalize its attendees. They’d come from more filth-caked sonic places and they’d progress to even cleaner ones, but Death is this Communion inadvertently came to stand for the moment in time when High on Fire left behind the heavy forms of their beginnings and started a different quest altogether.

I had a job interview this afternoon. Corporate gig. People seemed nice. It was casual Friday, so I may have been one of few in the building not wearing jeans — the irony of which wasn’t lost on me. Before I left to go to their office, the little dog Dio came upstairs bleeding from the side of her head. An old scab she had opened up because she’s a dog and doesn’t know better. So I had to clean that before I left, put on some Neosporin, and that may have had an effect on my overall mental state, but I left there feeling positive. They asked about this site and I made it clear it was an “on my own time” thing. Guess I’d be putting in some early mornings or late nights. Either way. Gotta get the job first, then I’ll figure out the rest.

We’ve also put in a purchase and sale agreement to buy a condo, The Patient Mrs. and I (I suppose the dog too, though her name isn’t on the account). I’ve learned never to believe these things are going to happen until they already have, but I guess the point is adventure abounds. I’ve done my best these last few days to hold onto the good vibes I brought back with me from Roadburn. In a couple minutes I’ll go downstairs and load up a pizza from Whole Foods with pesto and roasted garlic, then watch baseball. A quiet night. Should be right on.

Next week — Monday brings a stream of two songs from the new The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic EP, and I’ll also have audio from Vestal Claret and Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus later in the week. I’m gonna try to squeeze a review of the new Floor in there as well, and another roundup of discs if I can. We’ll see how it goes, but I have a few staring me down from the pile that need to get written up. Fingers crossed I get there.

Hope you’re enjoying the High on Fire and hope you have a great and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Serpentine Path to Release Second Album Emanations on May 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I’ve called bands supergroups for way less than ties to Electric Wizard, Winter and Unearthly Trance, but when it comes to New York-based Serpentine Path, what’s exciting about them isn’t what the component members have done before so much as what they’ll do together going forward. Their 2012 self-titled debut (review here) delighted in blurring the lines between death metal, doom and sludge, and the upcoming Emanations – set for release May 27 on Relapse – will arrive heralded by the potential they showed the first time out to push into further extremity.

Album info and a trailer with song clips follows, having oozed its way down the PR wire:

SERPENTINE PATH: Info On Second Relapse LP From NYC Morbid Metal Crew Released

Following a two-year release stretch since their bold self-titled debut LP was issued, Relapse Records this week unveils the release details on the highly-anticipated second LP from New York City-based morbid sludge metal executioners, SERPENTINE PATH.

Born from within the smoldering remains of Unearthly Trance in 2011, UT members, bassist Jay Newman, drummer Darren Verni and vocalist Ryan Lipynsky (The Howling Wind) recruited guitarist Tim Bagshaw (ex-Ramesses, ex-Electric Wizard) to complete the SERPENTINE PATH lineup.

Now officially augmented by new second guitarist Stephen Flam, the mastermind behind NYC doom/death legends, Winter, SERPENTINE PATH brings forth their most demoralizing and anguish-filled slow-motion chaos yet, with the newly-completed Emanations. As with their first album, Emanations was recorded by the band’sJay Newman, after which it was honed to devastating perfection at Audiosiege, the album capturing forty-five minutes of true sludge punishment with seven brand new songs from this true underground all-star team. Sure, the pedigree is undeniable, but regardless of their “members of” status, SERPENTINE PATH is one of the most scathing sludge acts on the planet.

Emanations will see parole via Relapse May 27th, 2014 on CD, LP and digital formats. A new trailer featuring a sample of the audio, as well as the cover art by in-house Relapse artist Orion Landau and more has been released. View the trailer HERE, and place preorders for the album HERE.

SERPENTINE PATH:
Tim Bagshaw – guitars
Stephen Flam – guitars
Jay Newman – bass
Darren Verni – drums
Ryan Lipynsky – vocals

Emanations Track Listing:
1. House Of Worship
2. Treacherous Waters
3. Claws
4. Disfigured Colossus
5. Systematic Extinction
6. Torment
7. Essence of Heresy

http://www.relapse.com/serpentinepathemanations
http://serpentinepath.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/serpentinepath
http://serpentinepath.bandcamp.com
http://www.relapse.com
http://relapserecords.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords

Serpentine Path, Emanations album trailer

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YOB’s Catharsis Vinyl Reissue Due in March on Relapse

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 21st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Who’s gonna argue with this one? Hard to imagine it was a very long meeting at Relapse when they were deciding to get behind a vinyl reissue of YOB‘s 2003 sophomore outing, Catharsis. “So, here’s one of the best albums of the last decade remastered by Tad Doyle sounding more kickass than ever. Should we get on board?” “Yes.” Meeting adjourned. Everybody goes to lunch.

Seriously, Catharsis is one of if not the most essential documents of American doom since the end of Sleep, and I know that sounds like hyperbole, but it’s true and anyone who tells you otherwise is simply mistaken. Profound Lore put out the CD of the Doyle remaster — you’ll also note the new artwork by Aaron Edge, completing the Lumbar triumvirate — last year, and aside from a Roadburn-exclusive gold with black splatter version (fucking kill me that’s awesome), there are a host of killer editions set to arrive in late Feb./early March.

Details via the PR wire:

YOB: Doom Metal Classic Catharsis to See Deluxe Vinyl Reissue

Relapse Records is proud to announce the re-release of YOB’s psyche-doom metal classic Catharsis on vinyl.  After being out of print on vinyl for over six years, Catharsishas been given the deluxe re-issue treatment and will be released the way it was meant to be presented.  Re-mastered from the original tapes by Tad Doyle, the reissue features stunning new artwork by Aaron Edge and brand new liner notes from Guitarist / Vocalist Mike Scheidt.

Catharsis will see it’s official vinyl re-release on March 4th in North America, March 3rd in the UK/World and February 28th in Germany/Benelux/Finland.  The vinyl includes a digital download of the full album and is being pressed on four limited color variations including gold, gold with black splatter (available exclusively at Roadburn), clear with black, bone white & gold splatter, and a special swamp green with purple & yellow splatter version that includes a blacklight poster available exclusively at Relapse.com.  Pre-orders are currently available via this location while a trailer with detailed pictures of vinyl colors is available via this location.  The full album can be streamed here.

Additionally, YOB will be headlining Roadburn Festival’s official Afterburner party on April 13th in Tilburg, NL alongside Triptykon, Avatarium, Morne, Bolzer and many others.  Details are available here.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Yob/36708497970
http://www.yobislove.com
http://www.relapse.com

YOB, Catharsis (Reissue)

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Indian Added to Roadburn 2014 Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 3rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Today, Chicago’s Indian were announced as the latest addition to the Roadburn 2014 lineup. Indian will have a new album out later this month in the form of From all Purity, the follow-up to 2011′s Guiltless (review here), and their joining makes them the seventh Relapse Records band by my count playing Roadburn this year alongside Locrian, Lord Dying, Windhand, Inter Arma, True Widow and -(16)-. Seems like a bit of a takeover happening there, but of course with a lineup as diverse as Roadburn‘s, there will be plenty for the labelmates to blend in with over the course of Roadburn‘s four days, including the annual Sunday Afterburner.

The fest itself is sold out (no real surprise there), but there are tickets left for the Afterburner and the link for that along with the announcement of Indian joining the lineup and the track “Directional” from their new record can be found below:

Indian Set To Devastate Roadburn Festival 2014

Roadburn Festival is pleased to announce the addition of Chicago-based doom warriors, Indian. The band have been purveyors of the finest blackened doom for over a decade, and this month will see the release of their latest opus, From All Purity, via Relapse Records.

‘Directional’, a brand new track taken from From All Purity, has just been released and can be listened to HERE.

Roadburn will be playing host to Indian on Saturday 12th of April, at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, when the crushing four piece will bring their sonic offerings to life.

Roadburn Festival 2014 will run for four days from Thursday, April 10th to Sunday, April 13th 2014 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Tickets for the traditional Afterburner event on Sunday, April 13th at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands are still available. Get in on the action HERE!

http://www.roadburn.com/roadburn-2014/
https://www.facebook.com/IndianDoom

Indian, “Directional” from From all Purity

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Red Fang Interview with Aaron Beam: The World a Mirror, Bloodied and Broken

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

The track “Behind the Light” on Red Fang‘s third album, Whales and Leeches, paints a fairly grim picture. Lyrics like, “It’s so insane to be alone/With all the time I gave away,” fit neatly with the classic rock and roll notion of the weary traveler, the artist who, having given up what commonly passes for a normal existence for his craft, wonders what could’ve been. With as much time as the Portland, Oregon, four-piece spent on the road supporting their 2011 sophomore outing and Chris Funk-produced Relapse Records label debut, Murder the Mountains (review here), no doubt the band has had some opportunity to stew  on it, and for being known essentially for a party atmosphere and ridiculously catchy songs like “Wires” from the last album or “Prehistoric Dog” from their 2008 self-titled debut — they have a propensity for putting the hooks up front, and “Blood Like Cream” from the latest continues the trend — “Behind the Light” presents something of a departure in atmosphere.

It’s the centerpiece and emotional low of Whales and Leeches, which the band returned to Funk to produce after what seems to have been a hurried songwriting process — deadlines to meet — and it’s followed by the record’s greatest triumph, “Dawn Rising,” on which YOB‘s Mike Scheidt guests on vocals alongside Red Fang bassist/vocalist Aaron BeamThough “1516″ provides some of his best tradeoffs to date with guitarist/vocalist Bryan Giles, Beam is featured more prominently throughout Whales and Leeches than anything Red Fang has done up till now, and his voice — in a somewhat cleaner approach than Giles‘ shouts — stands up to the dynamic both with the guitarist and within the emotionality of his own presentation, be it “Behind the Light,” the driving forward thrust of “Voices of the Dead” or the semi-psychedelic capstone(r) “Every Little Twist.” Of course, it’s the versatility of Beam, Giles, guitarist/vocalist David Sullivan and drummer John Sherman at the core of what gives Red Fang their personality. The difference this time appears to have been that Beam stepped forward to meet the challenge of the rush to put the album together.

So be it. If Red Fang were in a hurry, at least it was for a good cause. They took a break from songwriting to play Soundwave in Australia earlier this year, and have already toured the West Coast in support of Whales and Leeches with East Coast dates to follow next month and Europe in 2014 continuing a road-dog touring cycle that hardly seems to have stopped at all since before Murder the Mountains was released. Turn around and he’s Red Fang with another three weeks’ worth of dates in one region or another. At least thus far, it’s much the same for Whales and Leeches, and in talking to Beam about the album, I was interested to get a notion from him of where he thought it was all heading and what his vision of “success” was for the band. Particularly as he’s emerged in this material — not quite to a frontman role, but not far from it — I was curious to see where he felt it’s all been leading, what it is keeping them moving forward other than the obvious need to sell shirts on tour.

When we spoke, Beam was in New York City to do East Coast press. He’d flown in overnight from Portland and you could hear in his voice that specific I’ve-recently-been-in-an-airport exhaustion. Nonetheless, he spoke not only about his and the band’s motivations, but about the construction and recording of Whales and Leeches, his growing comfort as a singer, the prospect of spending most of 2014 on tour, and much more.

You’ll find the complete Q&A after the jump. Please enjoy.

Read more »

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Tombs Enter Studio to Record New Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 11th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Working with Hate Eternal‘s Erik Rutan as producer, Brooklyn’s Tombs have entered the studio to record a follow-up to their massively lauded 2011 sophomore outing, Path of Totality. No word yet on a release date for the third Tombs record, but one could reasonably expect a Summer 2014 release on Relapse, unless somehow it takes them eight months to get it put to tape. Anything’s possible, I guess, but certainly anticipation will be high for the new album when it arrives.

The PR wire has confirmation and comment from guitarist/vocalist Mike Hill:

TOMBS Begin Recording New Album

Brooklyn, NY’s Tombs have announced that they will be entering the studio today to begin recording their follow-up to 2011′s critically acclaimed Path of Totality. The band will be working with famed producer Erik Rutan (Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Hate Eternal) over the next two weeks at his Mana Recording Studios in St. Petersburg, Florida. Stay tuned for updates from the studio!

Tombs vocalist / guitarist Mike Hill commented on what to expect from the highly anticipated new album: “The new material is darker and more extreme than the last record. The addition of [bassist] Ben Brand and [guitarist] Garett Bussanick have really stepped up the playing and musicianship to a new level.”

Tombs have released two full-lengths and one singles / rarities collection via Relapse Records, all of which are available for streaming via Bandcamp here.

https://www.facebook.com/TombsBklyn

Tombs, Path of Totality (2011)

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Friday Full-Length: Pentagram, First Daze Here

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 1st, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Pentagram, First Daze Here: The Vintage Collection (2002)

Sometimes if it’s been a while I forget if I’ve already posted a record. I did a quick search on the site for First Daze Here to see if I had posted the compilation of vintage early ’70s Pentagram tracks before, and no, I haven’t, but I found that on Oct. 30, 2009 — four years and two days ago — I closed out the week with “Lazylady” from the album. I was already pretty set on First Daze Here, but that just made it all the better for me. The more things change, right? Almost half a decade later, still wrapping up a long week with “Forever My Queen” and “When the Screams Come.” Go figure.

I was in college when Relapse issued this compilation in 2002, and I knew who Pentagram was at that point, but for sure First Daze Here gave me a whole new appreciation for the band, as I think it did for a lot of people. It’s great to have Bobby Liebling and company still rocking out, and I’ve yet to see him sing any of these songs and not enjoy myself, but this is just a special document of a special time, and thinking of all the great music and all the great doom I was discovering at that point, it’s wound up representing a special time for me as well. Maybe that’s not what they had in mind 30 years after the fact from the recording, but it worked out that way anyhow.

Before I wrap things up, I want to extend a special thanks to Todd Severin and John Rancik from The Ripple Effect. This week, they posted an interview with me about running this site and music in general and a lot of things, and it really meant a lot to me that they’d take the time or be interested enough to send over questions. I was pretty wordy in my answers, but I had been thinking a lot about what I’m doing with this project and why I do what I do here, and they gave me a real chance to explore some of those ideas in a way that was as much clearing it up for myself as for anyone else who might be interested. It was truly appreciated, and as someone who’s rarely on that end of an interview, I hope I did alright in laying out some of my perspective.

Appreciation also goes out to everyone on Thee Facebooks who shared the link or was kind enough to comment. I got some great support from people I genuinely respect, and frankly, that’s what keeps me going, so thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

And thank you.

I didn’t get as many album reviews in this week as I would’ve liked, but there was the SHoD coverage and starting the vinyl column and I was either going to do the Windhand interview today or review a record and I decided with their tour starting tonight, that was the way to go. Next week I’ll get to that Sandrider album. I’m also in Jersey for the next couple days and I’ll be going to see Orange Goblin tomorrow night at St. Vitus, so look for a review of that on Monday.

It kills me that I’m not going to get to SHoD next weekend. I had been planning on going for a long time, and there are a lot of bands I want to see, but it’s a money thing. Gas for a nine-hour drive, then a room, food, etc., never mind whatever I’d be spending on merch throughout the weekend. The Patient Mrs. was gracious about it. She was like, “You can go and we’ll charge it,” but it wouldn’t be fair for me to do that. I’ll look forward to the next The Eye of the Stoned Goat fest, which got its first announcement yesterday.

And there’s plenty to do in the meantime. In addition to the Sandrider and Orange Goblin reviews, I’ve got a full album stream set to go up on Monday from the German outfit Rising, whose last album was also streamed here. Nothing like symmetry. We’ll also continue the “10 Days of SHoD” coverage. I’m slated to jump on the phone with Dana Ortt from Beelzefuzz on Monday night, so maybe Tuesday or Wednesday I’ll get that posted. Looking forward to that.

As always, I hope you have a great and safe weekend. If you’re hitting up Orange Goblin in Brooklyn, I’ll see you there, and otherwise, back here Monday for more warm tones and rolling grooves. Please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Windhand Interview with Dorthia Cottrell: Unbroken Continuity

Posted in Features on November 1st, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

After making their Relapse debut earlier this year with the Reflection of the Negative split with fellow Richmond, Virginia, natives Cough, ultra-doomed five-piece Windhand unleashed Soma (review here), their sophomore full-length behind a 2012 self-titled (streamed here). At 75 minutes long, it’s a formidable undertaking before you even get to the dark sensibilities the band proffers throughout in songs like “Woodbine,” the sprawling “Cassock” or half-hour-long closer “Boleskine,” varying in intensity and tension while toying with a grueling pace throughout, expanding beyond the relatively straightforward riff-led approach of the first album and into atmospherics that make Soma all the more individualized.

Windhand toured heavily for the first LP, which was released on Forcefield Records, and seem already to be keeping the ethic intact in support of Soma. Already they spent September into early October going coast-to-coast on a full US tour. Tonight, Nov. 1, they begin a run of dates in Europe alongside Pilgrim that will go for more than three weeks, and upon their return to the States, they’ll pick up five days later and do the West Coast and Canada along with Kvelertak and High on Fire. Both runs are a continuation of the momentum Windhand has established through consistent road-time, and the new album seems certain to receive its due as well. Here are the tour dates:

Windhand
with Pilgrim
01/11 BE Ghent Charlatan
02/11 NL Venlo Mudfest
03/11 FR Paris t.b.a.
04/11 UK Birmingham Asylum
05/11 UK Manchester Star & Garter
06/11 UK London Our Black Heart
08/11 ES Barcelona Rocksound
09/11 ES Madrid Rock & Pop
10/11 ES Bilbao Sentinel Rock Bar
11/11 FR Bordeaux Heretic Club
12/11 FR Paris Le Club
14/11 NL Tilburg Little Devil
15/11 DK Aalborg 1000 Fryd
16/11 SE Gothenburg Truckstop Alaska
17/11 DK Copenhagen KB18
18/11 DE Hamburg Rote Flora
19/11 DE Berlin Cassiopeia
20/11 DE Leipzig Zoro
21/11 AT Wien Vrena
22/11 DE Günzburg Donaustüble
23/11 DE Köln MTC
24/11 NL Amsterdam Occii

Windhand
with High on Fire and Kvelertak
11/29 Lawrence, KS Granada Theatre
11/30 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
12/02 Winnipeg, MB West End Cultural Center
12/04 Edmonton, AB Starlite Room
12/05 Calgary, AB Republik
12/07 Vancouver, BC Venue Vancouver
12/08 Seattle, WA El Corazon
12/09 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theater
12/11 San Francisco, CA Regency Center Grand Ballroom
12/12 Los Angeles, CA El Rey Theatre

As they’ve already been confirmed for Roadburn 2014 and the next installment of Heavy Days in Doomtown, you can expect much more to come on Windhand. The band is comprised of vocalist Dorthia Cottrell, guitarist/recording engineer Garrett Morris, guitarist Asechaiah Bogdan, bassist Parker Chandler (also of Cough) and drummer Ryan Wolfe. Cottrell recently took some time out to talk about the making of Soma and how their road ethic came into play in terms of putting the album together, plus the European dates — it’s their first time out of the country — prospects for 2014 and much more.

Q&A is after the jump. Please enjoy.

Read more »

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Primitive Man Announce October Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 30th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

One thing about the Denver trio Primitive Man: They are fucking heavy. They’re that kind of heavy that when it seems like nothing’s ever going to be heavy enough, that’s what you put on. Their Relapse Records debut album, Scorn, was streamed here last month, and it’s one I’ve gone back to a few times since then for just the aforementioned purpose. When nothing seems like it’s going to be heavy enough, Primitive Man come through with no problem. They’re never going to be everybody’s thing, but clearly accessibility wasn’t what they had in mind when they started putting Scorn together and recording with Dave Otero. Probably they were going for that whole “super fucking heavy” thing. Mission accomplished.

They’re hitting the road and coming to the East Coast, as the PR wire informs:

PRIMITIVE MAN: Autumn Live Assaults Announced

Denver’s favorite blackened doom derelicts, PRIMITIVE MAN, will wage war upon the ears of the innocent this autumn with a short run of live assaults. Set to begin October 13th in Kansas City, the band will spread their negativity eastward through nine cities including an appearance at Invisible Oranges’ CMJ showcase at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus Bar.

Comments the band: “We can’t wait for this tour! We are playing with some amazing bands and hanging out with some old friends this time around. See you in the cut.”

Featuring current and former members of Withered, Clinging To The Trees of A Forest Fire, Death of Self and Reproacher, PRIMITIVE MAN will be touring in support of their critically adored Scorn full-length. A physically and psychologically eviscerating sound excursion, Scorn was recorded by Dave Otero at Flatline Audio (Cephalic Carnage, Catheter, Cobalt, etc.) and boasts seven hymns of hate, anguish and rampant planetary discontent. The record was initially unleashed earlier this year via a collaboration between Throatruiner and Mordgrimm Records before being reissued by Relapse late last month and continues to reap media hails both nationally and abroad for a “totally malignant sounding record … that will consume you whole if you’re not careful” (Cvlt Nation).

Scorn is currently available via Relapse Records on CD, LP and digitally. Order your copy HERE.

PRIMITIVE MAN Autumn Live Actions:
10/13/2013 The Sandbox – Kansas City, MO
10/14/2013 The Vault – Madison, WI
10/15/2013 Gooski’s – Pittsburgh, PA
10/16/2013 The Millcreek – Philadelphia, PA
10/17/2013 CMJ Invisible Oranges Showcase @ Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY
10/18/2013 The Depot – York, PA
10/19/2013 Strange Matter – Richmond, VA
10/20/2013 Haymarket Whiskey Bar – Louisville, KY
10/21/2013 St. Fubar – St. Louis, MO

http://primitivemandoom.bandcamp.com
http://www.primitivemandoom.com
http://www.relapse.com
http://relapserecords.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords

Primitive Man, “Rags” from Scorn (2013)

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Windhand, Soma: Stay Evergreen

Posted in Reviews on September 10th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

I imagine that somewhere on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia, a lone technician sits in a room with an impossible array of gauges, measuring tectonic pressure, general atmospheric conditions, etc., only to have the emergency lights kick on an unspeakable siren of chaos every time Windhand plugs in to rehearse. Call it “tone overload.” Our poor technician — who went to college for this, mind you, and is a skilled professional — gradually loses his or her mind, quits the job, and spends all remaining days wandering RVA, trying to find the source of that maddening rumble. Thus another existence destroyed by the ascendant dual-guitar five-piece, who made their debut on Relapse Records earlier this year with the Reflection of the Negative split with Richmond countrymen Cough, whose bass player, Parker Chandler, they also share. Windhand‘s full-length Relapse debut — their second album overall following a 2011 self-titled on Forcefield Records (streamed here) and a not-inconsiderable amount of touring — has been dubbed Soma, the drink of the gods. It’s a title Windhand share the most recent My Sleeping Karma LP, though the two bands have really nothing in common, as Windhand push forth low-end mud at a horrifying, lung-filling rate from Chandler‘s bass and the steady riff and lead interplay of guitarists Asechiah Bogdan and Garrett Morris, march to a wash of crash and stomp from drummer Ryan Wolfe (The Might Could, ex-Facedowninshit) and top with the ethereal vocals of Dorthia Cottrell, giving Soma a bleak, otherworldly sensibility to go along with its unbridled heft. If it’s the drink of the gods, the beverage is opaque. Clocking in at a full 75 minutes with six tracks and closing with the monster “Boleskine” that comprises just over half an hour on its own, Windhand‘s sophomore outing is dense even beyond the levels shows on the self-titled and fuller-sounding, bigger and more crushing. Early cuts “Orchard” and “Woodbine” establish the nod that the fivesome will carry through the next hour-plus, the opener in particular — also the shortest cut at 6:38 — harkening to some of the Electric Wizard influence that showed up last time out in the guitar work, but giving clear indication that Windhand‘s road time has helped them figure out who they are and who they want to be as a band.

To say Soma crushes doesn’t really do it full justice. It is impeccably mixed to maximize murk — a dense fog begins with “Orchard” and is consistent throughout. Cottrell‘s vocals and Wolfe‘s drums reside deep within the overbearing thrust of guitar and bass, lending the songs an even larger sound, and especially considering it was self-recorded and self-mixed (Morris also helmed the self-titled), the atmospheric bludgeon that Soma carries portrays Windhand as all the more cohesive in its styilstic take. They know what they’re doing, in other words. The riffs of “Orchard” proffer malevolent swirl and Cottrell sings through the churning progression, but there’s a structure to the song as well, a verse and a chorus trading off, as hard as they might be to discern initially, and the ringing feedback that caps the opener crashes directly into the similarly drugged-out “Woodbine.” Both the drums and the vocals seem more forward here, as though they’ve stepped up to meet the more insistent riff, and though by most standards it’s hardly a thrasher, in comparison to “Orchard” and the penultimate “Cassock” still to come, “Woodbine” moves at as quick a pace as Windhand show on Soma. Of course, the guitars and bass are so thick that even as it moves forward quickly, it still sounds slow. A memorable melody line through the vocals and guitars make “Woodbine” something of a landmark in terms of the album overall, but with a record that makes so plain its intent to swallow the listener whole and keep them for the duration, any landmark is only going to be so helpful. The idea is you lose yourself in it and are more subject to the overall impression than any particular standout, and that makes the album an even more satisfying front-to-back listen, though a “hook” for lack of a better word is certainly appreciated as well. Following a big slowdown as “Woodbine” hits the seven-minute mark and collapses to its finish, one gets no such mercies from the subsequent “Feral Bones,” which lets up some on the tempo and finds the vocals receding to deep under the tonequake, ghostly in echo but still definitely a presence. Peppered by regular crashes, “Feral Bones” is Windhand sounding the most their own as they have yet on the album. It doesn’t have the immediate familiarity of “Orchard,” but that’s also what makes it exciting. A striding lead takes hold near the halfway point, but the riff is maintained and soon returns to its prominent place, a last verse and chorus returning to round out the eight-minute track with more deceptive structuring.

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Pilgrim to Support Windhand on European Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 22nd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

As they make ready to enter the studio to record the follow-up to their 2012 Misery Wizard full-length debut, Rhode Island doom upstarts Pilgrim have announced that they’ll join Windhand on a Fall 2013 European run. The two bands are no strangers, having done US dates together last year, and of course, Pilgrim played at Roadburn in 2013 as well, so this will be their second time on the continent this year. Still, good news all around for the band and for anyone who might find themselves in their destructive path.

Sayeth the PR wire:

PILGRIM coming back to Europe in November to support WINDHAND for a full tour!

Ready to enter studio next month!

Rhode Island Doom disciples PILGRIM have made an astonishing impact with the release of their debut album Misery Wizard and their European shows including a slot at this years Roadburn festival.

PILGRIM will return to Europe in November for a full tour with Windhand. Comments vocalist/guitarist The Wizard: “THIS IS GOING TO BE A TOUR WORTHY OF SONG AND LEGEND. Not only is it our first lengthy European venture, but we get to share it with our incredibly talented friends WINDHAND (whose music we worship). This is honestly a dream come true for us. We are will be featuring a new bass player for the excursion, whose identity shall remain a mystery for the moment. Unfortunately, we had planned to be supporting the release of our new record this tour, but due to various complications with our studio we were not able to meet our deadline. However, we just confirmed today that the recording of our second record will begin next month at Moonlight Mile Studios! And with that, so begins the next chapter of our pilgrimage. We have worked UNFATHOMABLY hard to make this tour come together. Blood, sweat, and tears. DO NOT MISS THIS TOUR!”

Windhand
+ PILGRIM
01/11/13 BE – Ghent – Charlatan

02/11/13 NL – Venlo – Mudfest
03/11/13 FR – Paris – t.b.a.
04/11/13 UK – Birmingham – Asylum
05/11/13 UK – Manchester – Star & Garter
06/11/13 UK – London – Our Black Heart
08/11/13 ES – Barcelona – Rocksound
09/11/13 ES – Madrid – Rock & Pop
10/11/13 ES – Bilbao – Sentinel Rock Bar
11/11/13 FR – Clermont Ferrand – t.b.a.
12/11/13 FR – Strasbourg – t.b.a.
14/11/13 NL – Groningen – t.b.a.
15/11/13 DK – Aalborg – 1000 Fryd
16/11/13 SE – Gothenburg – Truckstop Alaska
17/11/13 DK – Copenhagen – KB18
18/11/13 DE – Hamburg – Rote Flora
19/11/13 DE – Berlin – Cassiopeia
20/11/13 DE – Leipzig – Zoro
21/11/13 AT – Wien – Vrena
22/11/13 DE – Günzburg – Donaustüble
23/11/13 DE – Köln – MTC
24/11/13 NL – Amsterdam – Occii

http://www.facebook.com/hailthepilgrim
https://twitter.com/hailthepilgrim
http://www.youtube.com/user/PilgrimOfficial
http://www.metalblade.com/pilgrim

Pilgrim, Misery Wizard (2012)

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audiObelisk: Stream Primitive Man’s Scorn in its Entirety

Posted in audiObelisk on August 13th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Spitting its extremity in fits of grinding intensity offset by tense, sludge-encrusted lurch, Scorn makes a fittingly titled Relapse Records debut for Denver, Colorado, three-piece Primitive Man. The album clocks just on this side of 40 minutes, but when you’re in it, there are times — looking at you, the noisily experimental “I Can’t Forget” and “Black Smoke” — where you feel as though the atmosphere the band has created is filling your lungs and there’s no getting out. If you want oppressive, they’ve got it down.

To wit, the 11:45 opening title-track. It’s the longest on the record (immediate bonus points) and it encapsulates the various forms of rage Primitive Man – on the album listed as the trio of vocalist/guitarist Ethan Lee McCarthy alongside drummer Isidro “Spy” Soto and bassist Jonathan Campos — whether it’s the fast-moving massiveness that later shows up on “Stretched Thin” or the blackened plod of closer “Astral Sleep.” Through the viscous, misanthropic morass, Primitive Man maintain an inhuman tonal largesse excellently captured by Dave Otero (see also Cephalic Carnage) at Flatline Studio, and show a flexibility of approach mirrored only by the uncompromising spirit of anger for which Scorn is presumably named.

Side B launch-point and tracklisting centerpiece “Antietam” winds up singularly impressive as tonal bombs are dropped amid deep echoing rasp and slow crashing, and it’s with a smoothness much more subtle hand than the pummel-you-into-pulp effect might lead you to believe that Primitive Man shift into faster churning. The band self-released Scorn earlier this year, but it is due out for Relapse one week from today, on Aug. 20, and I’m fortunate to have the pleasure of hosting a full stream to mark the occasion.

You’ll find Scorn on the player below, and not a little of it:

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

Primitive Man‘s Scorn is due out Aug. 20, 2013, via Relapse Records on CD and LP as well as digital. More info is available at the following links.

Primitive Man on Thee Facebooks

Relapse Records

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Inter Arma and Windhand to Play Roadburn 2014

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 18th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

From reuniting formative psychedelic wanderers to supporting up and coming genre-crossers. Last week, Loop was revealed as the headliner for Roadburn 2014, and today it’s been announced that Relapse Records upstarts Inter Arma and Windhand will both take part. Both bands make their home in the fertile dirt of Richmond, Virginia, so I’m left wondering if maybe a Euro tour with the two acts is in the offing?

Time will tell on that. Until then, and in related news, it was also announced today that Windhand‘s full-length Relapse debut, Soma, will be released Sept. 17. More on that here, and you can find the album trailer below:

INTER ARMA And WINDHAND Confirmed For Roadburn Festival 2014

Following last week’s announcement of Loop as the main headliner for Roadburn 2014, the festival is excited to report that Relapse Records artists WINDHAND and INTER ARMA have also been confirmed for next years event, set for April10 ? 13, 2014 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, the Netherlands.

Walter Hoeijmakers from Roadburn: “Windhand’s S/T was definitely THEE psych/doom album of 2012, while anticipation of the band’s upcoming album on Relapse is reaching a crescendo that will continue to build throughout the year and culminate in their main stage set on Saturday, April 12 at Roadburn 2014. Inter Arma’s “Sky Burial” is a serious contender for this year’s Roadburn Festival-related album of the year. Both Windhand and Inter Arma seem poised to rank among the regal line of iconic Relapse bands, and Roadburn is proud to welcome both bands on Saturday, April 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.”

Richmond, Virginia’s WINDHAND cut their teeth worshipping at Iommi’s school of a thousand riffs, fusing classic churning doom as smooth as melted chocolate with Electric Wizard-ish bong-cloud obscured psychedelia. Sparking your natural highness, the band locks into a mesmerizing sprawl of epic, doomic heaviness, a trancelike reverence that inspires lethargic, hypnotic head banging and is embellished with enough hazy psych to be a tripped-out soundtrack for some obscure war on drugs propaganda film. Meanwhile, vocalist Dorthia Cottrell’s hellish howl beckons from the distance, swathed in distortion, transcending any earthly ideas of gender, and positioning the band firmly at the top of the pile of the current crop of female fronted metal outfits.

Windhand will release “Soma”, their 2nd album on Relapse Records on September 13 in the Benelux, GAS and Finland and on September 16 in the UK and Europe. The album was recorded & mixed by the band’s own Garrett Morris at The Darkroom & mastered by James Plotkin, in their hometown of Richmond, VA.

Also emerging (like Windhand) from the seemingly ever-fertile metal breeding grounds of Richmond, Virginia, INTER ARMA sports a sound that’s difficult to pin down, as it continually changes and surprises with each passing album track. “Sky Burial” starts with a strong dose of the industrial infused black metal of “Volcano”-era Satyricon, then takes a decidedly Pink Floydian left turn for the next two tracks (the first is acoustic and the second of which culminates in an unexpectedly raucous blast of Cascadian black metal). They then introduce truly hellish sounding occult doom followed by caustic, repetitive noise rock in the vein of Unsane. They continue with epic, abrasive, majestic doom with vintage Gibby Haynes-style menacing vocals into another foreboding acoustic track and cap the album off with the title track, a noisy, doomy, mathy, blackened rock and roll experience that is rippling with evil and menace. Their live set will be a constantly evolving, emotionally devastating experience that is sure to leave us all uncomfortably numb.

www.facebook.com/WindhandVA
windhandva.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/INTERARMA
interarma.bandcamp.com

Windhand, Soma album trailer

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New Red Fang Album Coming this Fall

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 21st, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Well, this is good news:

RED FANG ANNOUNCE THIRD STUDIO ALBUM OUT THIS FALL VIA RELAPSE RECORDS

RED FANG return this fall with their as-yet-untitled third studio album on Relapse Records. The Portland-based group is currently in the studio finishing the disc with the producer Chris Funk (Decemberists) and mixer Vance Powell (White Stripes, Raconteurs, Kings of Leon). This same team worked on RED FANG’s last album Murder the Mountains, tagged by NPR as “a sleeker style of riff-heavy metal” (April 2011) and Alternative Press magazine as “a near masterpiece of tangled tar pit riffs and whisky-and-bong-hit vocals” (April 2011).

“We’re hyper excited about this new album. The basic tracks are like rabid monkeys we’re wrangling at Type Foundry in our hometown of Portland, OR. Producer Chris Funk has almost been amputated twice. Surprise guests abound! We’re in the final moments before all systems are go on this sucker. Dig people!” -Red Fang

On Friday, May 24th, RED FANG will head to the picturesque Gorge Amphitheater outside Seattle for their first festival appearance this year at Sasquatch! The band will then hit the road for European trek through mid July with festival stops at Sonisphere, Download, Hellfest, Reload, Full Force, Open Air and Eistenaflug among others. Expect the group to announce a full U.S. run for late summer.

Formed in 2005, RED FANG–Bryan Giles (Guitar/Vocals), Aaron Beam (Bass/Vocals), David Sullivan (Guitar), John Sherman (Drums)–has two albums under their belt: their 2009 self-titled debut on Sargent House and 2011’s Murder the Mountains on Relapse Records. Listen to both of the above albums streaming on www.redfang.bandcamp.com.

The band spent the past few years touring the world and wining over audiences at clubs and festivals like All Tomorrow’s Parties, Rock on the Range, Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival and Metallica’s Orion Music & More Fest. After more high-profile tours with Mastodon, Dillinger Escape Plan, Helmet, Saint Vitus and more, the band expanded their global footprint with a European trek and festival appearances across the continent. 2013 promises to be the biggest year yet for the Portland, OR-based group who show no signs of slowing down. Their intense live performances–along with their unique brand of humor, catchy songwriting and independent attitude–are sure to turn a few heads in 2013 and beyond.

Red Fang, Murder the Mountains (2011)

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Windhand Finish Work on New Album, Ready for June Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 20th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Richmond doom cultists Windhand made their debut on Relapse Records earlier this year in the form of the Reflection of the Negative split with fellow Virginians Cough, with whom they now share bassist Parker Chandler. Their 2011 self-titled debut came out on Forcefield Records (was streamed here) and they’ve now announced that the follow-up sophomore outing, also their solo debut on Relapse, is finished and will be out this fall.

They previously announced a round of dates for June that I suspect is the first of many to come, and all that info, plus the tour poster, can be found right below this very line. No, seriously, it’s there. Just scroll down. Hell, you probably don’t even need to. Just look. I promise it’s there:

WINDHAND: Complete New Album

Map Out Summer Tour

In 2012, backwoods psychedelic doom band Windhand released their self-titled LP & it was met with critical acclaim.The band is putting the finishing touches on their second LP for Relapse, due out this fall, which was recorded & mixed by the band’s own Garrett Morris at The Darkroom & mastered by James Plotkin, in their hometown of Richmond, VA. The band will trek across North America this summer ushering their audiences into their menacing grooves & showcasing songs from their upcoming album.

About Windhand
Formed in 2009, Richmond, VA’s Windhand (Asechiah Bogdan – Guitar, Parker Chandler – Bass, Dorthia Cottrell – Vocals, Garrett Morris – Guitar, and Ryan Wolfe – Drums) play what has been described as a tinnitus inducing mix of eerie psychedelia and haunting ambient doom. 2012 saw the release of their critically acclaimed, self-titled debut LP via Forcefield Records. A subsequent heavy dose of East Coast touring followed, culminating with a four week U.S. tour in August of that year.

Tour
06/05 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
06/06 – Philadelphia, PA – Golden Tea House
06/07 – Brooklyn, NY – St. Vitus Bar
06/08 – Providence, RI – AS220 !
06/09 – Boston, MA – O’Brien’s
06/10 – Cherry Valley, NY – Steve’s Koi Pond
06/11 – Buffalo, NY – Vault Art Space
06/12 – Pittsburgh, PA – Gooski’s
06/13 – Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups
06/14 – Chicago, IL – Ultra Lounge
06/15 – St. Paul, MN – The Turf Club
06/16 – Milwaukee, WI – Quarter’s Rock n Roll
06/17 – Indianapolis, IN – The Sinking Ship #
06/18 – Newport, KY – South Gate Revival House
06/19  -Nashville, TN – The End %
06/20 – Knoxville, TN – The Pilot Light %
06/21 – Raleigh, NC – Slim’s $
06/22 – Richmond, VA – Strange Matter $

! = w/ Elder and Morne
# = w/ Skeletonwitch
% = w/ Generation of Vipers
$ = w/ Inter Arma

Windhand & Cough, Reflection of the Negative Split (2013)

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