Unearthly Trance Reunite and Announce Live Shows; Writing New Material

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 22nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s been a minute since Unearthly Trance had anything going, but since the three members of the band have been working in Serpentine Path, I guess a reunion as Unearthly Trance never seemed out of the question. Well, it’s happened. After issuing what was called “their final release” in the form of the 2CD compilation Ouroboros last December on Throne Records, the three-piece has come back together and are at worm on new material for a sixth full-length and have announced three live dates in Brooklyn and out on Long Island that seem like a solid start — they’re certainly keeping good company — for a group getting back together in this incarnation.

Just off the PR wire:

unearthly trance (Photo by Will Dahl)

UNEARTHLY TRANCE: Band Announces Reformation; Live Performances

Like a phoenix undead, Brooklyn based black/doom/sludge trio Unearthly Trance has returned! After putting the band on ice in 2012, Darren Verni, Ryan Lipynsky and Jay Newman have decided to resurrect and start playing together once again. The band is already currently writing new music for what will be their sixth full-length album and fourth for Relapse Records.

2015 has shown sparks of life already for the band with the 2xCD release of Ouroboros; a compilation of hard to find songs, vinyl only releases and a few unreleased gems from years past. This collection was released on Throne Records and is available at this location.

In the past Unearthly Trance has shared the stage with the heaviest bands on the planet including The Melvins, Sleep, Electric Wizard, High On Fire, Autopsy and Morbid Angel to name a few. Now Unearthly Trance have announced their first performances in over three years with a few NYC area shows booked in May and July with support from Samothrace, Primitive Man and Churchburn. A series of Northeast dates are also in the works for August as well as a soon to be announced Fest in California this November. A complete listing of confirmed dates is available below.

Although Unearthly Trance became inactive in 2012, the three members were still active and releasing monolithic death/doom records under the banner of Serpentine Path which includes Tim Bagshaw (Ramesses, Electric Wizard) and Stephen Flam (Winter). Serpentine Path will be performing at this year’s Maryland Death Fest 2015 in Baltimore on May 23rd. Lipynsky and Newman also have a new project called Humanless and Lipynsky also keeps busy with Black Metal band The Howling WInd and newer band Force & Fire. Newman has also appeared on the debut recording from Kaiju Daisenso and Verni also pounds the drums for The Sheltering Sky.

Stay tuned for more news on Unearthly Trance including a new merch store (http://unearthlytrance.merchdirect.com/) and a new blog for future info http://unearthly-trance.blogspot.com/

Unearthly Trance Tour Dates:

May 24th 2015 @ Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY W/ Samothrace, Trenchgrinder and Beefrot
July 17th 2015 @ The Acheron – Brooklyn, NY W/ Churchburn and Belus
July 21st 2015 @ Sinclairs -Babylon, NY W/ Primitive Man, Opium Lord, Mother Brain, Afterbirth + more

https://unearthlytrance1.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/UnearthlyTrance
https://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords

Unearthly Trance, V (2010)

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Quarterly Review: Royal Thunder, Strauss, Kult of the Wizard, Coogans Bluff, Papir Meets Electric Moon, We are Warwick Davis, Rongeur, Crowlegion, Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band, Eldorado

Posted in Reviews on April 1st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk quarterly review

Morale is good as I stare down day three of this Quarterly Review. I’m encouraged by the good response the two-so-far posts have gotten and hope if you’ve had the chance to check out any of this stuff you’ve been able to find something you’re into. Or if not, I hope the next three days can rectify that situation. There are 30 records still to go. Bound to be something in there for everyone, myself included.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Royal Thunder, Crooked Doors

royal thunder crooked doors

Royal Thunder’s second full-length for Relapse, Crooked Doors, is bound to surprise some listeners. A three-piece when they issued CVI through the label in 2012, the Savannah, Georgia, outfit arrives at Crooked Doors as a foursome with the addition of guitarist Will Fiore of Zoroaster, and embarks on a considerable shift in approach. Slickly, almost commercially produced, the album brisks past some riffy elements in songs like opener “Time Machine,” also the longest cut at 7:20 (immediate points), and “The Line” toward an aesthetic reinterpreting ‘80s pop-metal melodramas through a vaguely heavy rock filter. Between Fiore and might-spit-beer-on-you guitarist Josh Weaver, one might expect more tonal heft than Crooked Doors offers overall, but the album instead leans heavily on bassist/vocalist Mlny Parsonz to carry the emotional crux of the material (though Evan Diprima’s drums still hit with some impact as well). Parsonz’s voice proves up to the task — in pop-singer form, she carries the record —  and is bolstered through layering, but by the time Crooked Doors’ hour runtime ends up at the lounge-blues and piano stylizations of “The Bear I” and “The Bear II,” it feels cumbersome and like the point has already been made.

Royal Thunder on Thee Facebooks

Relapse Records

Strauss, Luia

strauss luia

A sophomore EP from this London five-piece following their impressive 2013 self-titled (review here), Luia doesn’t top half an hour, but its five included tracks show marked progression in pushing Strauss away from the Kyuss-isms that in large part defined their prior work. Opener “Mud at You” is immediately more aggressive, and though “Humanphobic (to Mary Shelley)” (note: anthropophobia), slows the pace and opens wide in its middle third, vocalist Stef shouts to remind of the core intensity in the songwriting. That takes a back seat as centerpiece “For all the Wrong Reasons” moves toward an apex of a cleaner-sung chorus, but the riffs of guitarists Charles and Bano, and the groove from bassist Bill and drummer Doc, remain heavy enough that the point isn’t lost. The eight-minute “Eclipse” has it all – doomed chug, screams, singing, crash, tempo changes, nod and so on – but the funky jam that starts closer “2015” shows Strauss are willing to have some fun with their heaviness as well. All the better. Time for a full-length.

Strauss on Thee Facebooks

Strauss on Bandcamp

Kult of the Wizard, The White Wizard

kult of the wizard the white wizard

Comparisons to Witch Mountain are inevitable for Minneapolis four-piece Kult of the Wizard, whose vocalist, Mahle Roth, carries a bluesy inflection not dissimilar from Uta Plotkin on the five-song EP, The White Wizard. Self-released, it’s the band’s first work with Roth as frontwoman, guitarist Aaron Hodgson, bassist Ryan Janssen and drummer Travis Nordahl having released two prior outings – The Red Wizard (2013) and The Blue Wizard (2014) – instrumentally, and the difference is palpable. Roth adds a commanding presence to the rolling leadoff track “Tusk of the Mammoth,” showcases a noteworthy range on “Black Moon” and steps back only for an eerie wash of noise and samples on centerpiece “Plasma Pool,” but the finest performance on all fronts is closer “Devil Delight,” which meters out stomp and echo at its peak to concoct an otherworldly churn of psychedelic cult doom, Roth once again steering the progression with a sure hand. One does not expect The White Wizard to be the last we hear from Kult of the Wizard. Hell, they haven’t even done all the primary colors yet.

Kult of the Wizard on Thee Facebooks

Kult of the Wizard on Bandcamp

Coogans Bluff, Ein Herz Voller Soul

coogans bluff ein herz voller soul

With 350 copies pressed by H42 Records in no fewer than five different color variations and at least that many versions of the cover art, Ein Herz Voller Soul, the latest 7” single from horn-laden German rockers Coogans Bluff hits with a fair amount of circumstance. It is, nonetheless, two songs and a quick listen. Its A-side is “Ein Herz Voller Soul,” a German-language retelling of “Heart Full of Soul” from the band’s 2014 full-length, Gettin’ Dizzy, and the B-side is “She Gave Her Life for a Man,” a classic rocker given middle-era Beatlesian flair by Stefan Meinking’s trombone, which feels fitting after the garage style of “Ein Herz Voller Soul,” though both cuts retain an element of the progressive in their approach, the band – Meinking, guitarist Willi Paschen, bassist/vocalist Clemens Marasus, drummer Charlie Paschen and saxophonist Max Thum – not afraid to branch wherever the song might take them, to a call and response hook or harder drum stomp. A stopgap, maybe, but Coogans Bluff have a tendency to engage and here they do so in hardly any time at all.

Coogans Bluff on Thee Facebooks

H42 Records’ webstore

Papir Meets Electric Moon, The Papermoon Sessions Live at Roadburn 2014

papir meets electric moon the papermoon sessions live at roadburn 2014

Members of German psych-jam godsends Electric Moon and Copenhagen progressive explorers Papir took the stage at Roadburn 2014 in the Netherlands as a follow-up to their 2013 outing, The Papermoon Sessions (review here). I don’t think they’d played live together before and I’m pretty sure they haven’t since (though don’t quote me on that), but in any case, the billing Papir Meets Electric Moon isn’t something that happens every day, and the two north-of-20-minutes pieces conjured up for inclusion on The Papermoon Sessions Live at Roadburn 2014 only emphasize how special the collaboration actually is, washes of synth and effects layered over gloriously krautrocking rhythms, swiftly turning one minute and peaceful the next, but never disjointed, never losing the sense of flow. Each track — the second one is shorter at 22:15 — has its own movement, but the thing to do is put on The Papermoon Sessions Live at Roadburn 2014 and just let it go and go along with it. For a group that came together in the wake of a tragedy — the untimely passing of Danish promoter Ralph Rjeily — Papermoon proves yet again that beauty can spring even in dark times. I hope they do another record.

Papir on Thee Facebooks

Electric Moon on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records

We are Warwick Davis, Storming the Castle

we are warwick davis storming the castle

Seems unlikely a band is going to dive into songs like “Hippies are Dead,” “Whore Island (Jim Loves His Wife” or “King Mullet Destroyer” and not have a sense of humor, let alone call themselves We are Warwick Davis – please note: the actor is nowhere to be seen – so yeah, the Illinois double-guitar five-piece get up to some chicanery on their Storming the Castle full-length. Lots of chicanery, as it happens. Vocalist Joe Duffy is blown out over the punkish progressions of “Audio Visual” but reminds more of Jello Biafra on “Mind Enemy Mine,” which launches the album following a voicemail intro about blowing people off the stage. Former Monster Magnet guitarist John McBain mastered the album, and it was apparently a couple years in the self-recording process. It’s accordingly raw, and at 57 minutes, I doubt the band could be accused of understating their argument. Out of balance here and there to the point of abrasion, but ultimately harmless.

We are Warwick Davis on Thee Facebooks

We are Warwick Davis on Reverbnation

Rongeur, The Catastrophist and As the Blind Strive Demos

Rongeur-The-Catastrophist-As-The-Blind-Strive-Demos

With members of folk metallers Trollfest, off-kilter hardcore punkers Ampmandens Døtre and atmospheric post-metallers Sju in tow, it may or may not be fair to call Rongeur a side-project, but they sure as hell are varied in their influences. The Oslo trio of drummer/vocalist Jostein, guitarist/vocalist Ken-Robert and bassist/vocalist Dag Ole (who belong respectively to the bands above) arrange their two-to-date demos with the newer tracks first on The Catastrophist and As the Blind Strive Demos, on Disiplin Media, so that the listener encountering them for the first time hears where the trio are as of 2014, then goes back to their first explorations, from 2013. Raw noise ensues, a post-hardcore vibe delivered with shouts and sludgy heft, but the older tracks offer a fuller distortion that they seem to have stripped down before getting around to songs like “Traitors” or the barebones-aggro “Jon Hogg.” One wonders where they might go from here, which is probably the whole point of the release.

Rongeur on Thee Facebooks

Disiplin Media

Crowlegion, The First Offering

crowlegion the first offering

Heavy rock and death metal rarely tread the same ground without being immediately cast to one side or another. Gothenburg’s Crowlegion seem determined to stake a claim to both sides, and the 24-minute The First Offering EP, issued on CD by Grave Goods Productions, makes good on that attempt. The seven tracks are short – only two top four minutes – but stylistically ambitious, guitarist/vocalist Linus Pilebrand seeming to be the driving force behind the project’s blend of rolling riffs and guttural growls. He’s since replaced the rhythm section, having played bass on this recording in addition to guitar, with Jonas Jörgensen also on guitar and Sarah Tefke drumming, and four of the seven cuts also feature guest vocals, most of them working in extreme styles as well. I’m not sure if The First Offering is the release that finally crosses that long bridge between aesthetics, but Crowlegion position themselves well with these tracks to continue to make the journey. Nod or headbang. Your choice.

Crowlegion on Thee Facebooks

Crowlegion on Bandcamp

Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band, Intensity Ghost

chris forsyth and the solar motel band intensity ghost

Less about the sonic heft of any given moment than the overarching freedom of exploration throughout its five instrumental tracks, Intensity Ghost is the first studio offering from Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band (released on No Quarter), and it’s fucking brilliant. The Philly-based five-piece got together in 2013 but play like they’ve been sharing stages for a decade, whether it’s the smoothness with which they ride the bassline and current of synth in “Yellow Square” or closer “Paris Song”’s subtle move from minimalism into contemplative psychedelia. Dreamy centerpiece “I Ain’t Waiting” is the shortest of the bunch at 5:16, and opener “The Ballad of Freer Hollow” the longest and jammiest at 11:25 (immediate points), but wherever these guys – Forsyth on guitar, plus guitarist Paul Sukeena, bassist Peter Kerlin, drummer Steven Urgo and synth/organist Shawn Edward Hansen – seem to go, they get there with an engrossing fluidity that’s nothing short of masterful. A joy, front to back.

Chris Forsyth on Thee Facebooks

No Quarter Records

Eldorado, Babylonia Haze

eldorado babylonia haze

Eldorado’s Babylonia Haze, at 10 tracks and 55 minutes, is not an insignificant undertaking. The Spanish four-piece brazenly take on classic rock hooks topped with organ-and-guitar fluidity and the soar-ready singing of Jesus Trujillo, joined in the band by guitarist Andres Duende, bassist Cesar Sanchez and drummer Christian Giardino (since replaced by Javier Planelles). A progressive clarity marks out acoustic-led cuts like “Breathe the Night” and the later “Resurrection Song,” the arrangements natural and purposeful in kind, and longer inclusions like “Flowers of Envy” (8:02) and “Karma Generator” (11:35) have breadth enough to sustain their runtimes while keeping a structured feel, the latter providing plotted movements toward the apex of the album before “Moon Girl” offers a lesser build of its own as afterthought, reimagining prog-fueled heavy rock as the fodder of a pop wistfulness. Accomplished and precise, it’ll be too clean for some ears, while others will no doubt wonder how its brilliance can be ignored.

Eldorado on Thee Facebooks

Eldorado on Bandcamp

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Live Review: Enslaved, YOB, Ecstatic Vision and Witch Mountain in NYC, 03.21.15

Posted in Reviews on March 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

enslaved 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Driving the four-plus hours from Massachusetts to NYC to see Enslaved, YOB, Witch Mountain and Ecstatic Vision on Saturday wasn’t the practical choice, but it was the only choice. True, three of the four would be much, much closer to me this week, but to catch them in a bigger room and with Witch Mountain wasn’t an opportunity I wanted to miss. I left much earlier than I needed to, leaving as little as humanly possible to chance in terms of sitting in traffic, stressing out, etc. Turned out to be one of the easier rides south that I’ve had.

A positive omen? Maybe. I had time to hit Academy Records before the the show, which was a rare pleasure, and plenty of opportunity to catch my breath before doors to Gramercy Theatre opened. Last time I was there was for PentagramKings DestroyBang and Blood Ceremony, and as ambivalent as I was at being back in Manhattan itself, it would prove to be a night surrounded by old friends, laughs and good vibes. More than anything, that made trip worthwhile.

But there was a show on as well, and a killer one at that. An early start for a packed night had Witch Mountain on at 7:30, and here’s how it went from there:

Witch Mountain

witch mountain 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

A couple new faces in Portland’s scene-preceding four-piece, Witch Mountain. Very new, as it happened. As in, this was their second show. Led by founding guitarist Rob Wrong and drummer Nate Carson, the band had played Pittsburgh the evening prior, and that was the first gig with newcomer vocalist Kayla Dixon and bassist Justin Brown (also of Lamprey). Night two of the band’s Mk. III lineup was a short set, but they made the most of it and showcased the potential for continued growth. Dixon had a distinctly metallic presence as frontwoman, and the entire band, Brown included, seemed to relish the opportunity to have a bigger stage on which to unfurl their doom. Again, their time was brief, but “Psycho Animundi” from last year’s Mobile of Angels (review here) more than ably demonstrated Dixon‘s vocal range, while “Veil of the Forgotten” and particularly the end of “Shelter” from 2012’s Cauldron of the Wild (review here) thrust into an almost power metal presentation, already edging up to the boundaries of a shifting personality for the band. Especially for it being night two, it was an encouraging sight. I’d expect over time Witch Mountain will loosen up further in presence as they continue to tighten sonically, but I felt fortunate to see that process at its beginning.

Ecstatic Vision

ecstatic vision 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Of the four bands on the bill, I wondered most about how Ecstatic Vision‘s sound would translate to the spaciousness of Gramercy Theatre. The Philly three-piece would hardly be the first act in history to play space rock in a high-ceiling room, but for their being a newer band despite the experience of guitarist/vocalist Doug Sabolik and drummer Jordan Crouse in A Life Once Lost, it was a point of curiosity. Some of Sabolik‘s flourish, the chimes on his mic stand and melodica, weren’t as prevalent as they had been when I saw the band open for YOB at the Saint Vitus Bar in December (review here), but they did well all the same, and bassist Michael Connor‘s tone came through the house clear and warm in kind. Their custom lighting, the rope lights around the drums, strobe, and so on, left Connor more or less out of the equation, and that seemed to create some imbalance on stage, but unless you happened to be the black metal purists positioned in front of me as I watched Estatic Vision space out on encompassing, fluid psychedelic jams, there was little to argue with as they warmed up and settled into their engaging vibe. They still don’t have much recorded but are expected to make a debut sometime later this year on Relapse. Still worth keeping an eye on.

YOB

yob 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Would YOB do “Marrow” in that room? Yes, they would. Three of the four cuts from last year’s Clearing the Path to Ascend (review here) — also my pick for the best album of 2014 — were aired, with opening duo “In Our Blood” and the scorching “Nothing to Win” leading to the aforementioned 19-minute record-closer, which was followed in turn by the title-track of their 2011 sixth album, Atma (review here), the Eugene, Oregon, three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt, bassist Aaron Rieseberg and drummer Travis Foster crisp in their delivery but not at all dead-eyed in the here’s-another-show way one might expect after their having spent the better part of the last three weeks on the road. The run with Enslaved ends this week, but YOB will continue to tour their way back west before returning in May to the East Coast for Maryland Deathfest in Baltimore. In New York, their response showed a considerable crossover response from the clearly-there-for-Enslaved contingent, particularly as the culmination of “Marrow” hit and they followed it by the gallop-laden “Atma,” which seemed all the more furious in comparison. I’ve seen YOB at least five times in the last 12 months and have yet to come out of a set without any regrets. Foster‘s snare was loud in the house mix, but so was everything else, so, you know, it kind of worked itself out. Every accolade YOB gets, they earn. I know they did that European stint last year with Pallbearer, and that was a month-plus on the road, but it’s still a change to think of YOB as a touring band after their years of keeping shows limited. While I wonder what the rest of 2015 will hold for them, I also couldn’t help but notice how sustainable and decidedly un-worn they looked on stage, like they could just keep going. I doubt they’d have met any complaints if they had.

Enslaved

Enslaved (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Last time I saw Enslaved in New York was early 2013. They played the Bowery Ballroom (review here), which is a not-insignificant space in itself, but not as sizable as the Gramercy, and I think it says something about the long-running Norwegian outfit’s growing US fanbase that their return to Manhattan would be in a larger venue. They’re supporting the release of their 13th full-length, In Times (review forthcoming) on Nuclear Blast, but new material or old, they had the room on their side from the word go. Bassist/vocalist Grutle Kjellson joked with the crowd between songs, and by the time they got down to playing the title-track from In Times laughingly promised the crowd that it would be the last new song they played. For what it’s worth, I didn’t notice much of a change in reception for recent or older material. Sure, a song like “The Watcher” from 2008’s Vertebrae, with its mega-chorus, or a by-now staple like “Ruun” from the 2006 LP of the same name is bound to get a response, but “Thurisaz Dreaming” and “Building with Fire” sat well alongside those and “Death in the Eyes of Dawn” from 2012’s RIITIIR (review here), and wherever the band headed, the crowd went along. Of course, their stage presentation was air-tight, Kjellson holding down a frontman role flanked on either side by guitarists Ivar Bjørnson and Arve “Ice Dale” Isdal, while keyboardist/vocalist Herbrand Larsen made a case for up-front featuring of his own with stellar command of the clean-sung parts — I saw Enslaved for the first time eight years ago at SXSW, and I’d mark Larsen‘s growth as a vocalist among the foremost catalysts enabling their musical progression in that time; that growth was, I’ll note, already underway for several years by then — and drummer Cato Bekkevold sat swallowed up by his expansive kit surrounding. They came out one at a time to start their set and for the encore, and each time Bekkevold sat down, he disappeared. Good for a laugh, but he also used that whole drumset, and flawlessly. Their encore was “As Fire Swept Clean the Earth” from 2003’s Below the Lights, “Fenris” from 1994’s sophomore outing, Frost, and the title-cut from 2004’s landmark Isa, and when it was over, there was nothing left for the audience to do but leave, having so thoroughly been handed its ass on a platter by the five-piece, whose reach seems only to continue growing with time.

If you want the short version, the show was a win, but what made it even better was seeing old friends throughout the night and catching up, and that was something that continued even as security started shuffling people out of the downstairs lounge. On my way back north on Sunday, it was the memories of good times and good music that seemed to make the trip shorter, both thoroughly appreciated.

Speaking of old friends, this review is dedicated to Loana dP Valencia of Nuclear Blast, alongside whom it has been my complete and utter pleasure to work for the last decade.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

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audiObelisk Transmission 046

Posted in Podcasts on March 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Click Here to Download

 

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

I was coming down to the end of this one and decided that I couldn’t let it go without including one more track to push it toward the two-hour mark, and the weirdness of Skunk Hawk’s “Lovers of Pompeii” won out. All bets were off after JPT Scare Band anyway. Nothing to lose between that and Jonas Munk and Headless Kross. Kind of all over the place stylstically there, but each song is so immersive on its own that I figured it would work one way or another. Heaven forbid you change it up once or twice in 60 minutes. Ha.

The first hour gets pretty heavy as well — I suppose it starts that way, with Ufomammut leading off, but look out. Once Wren kicks in from the Jarboe & Helen Money track, that, Gale and Watchtower get into some serious heft. Not that the others don’t, but you know what I mean. Blah blah blah riffs. Oh yeah, and I totally snuck in some new Acid King there, because that record is killer. So dig on that for sure if you haven’t yet. As always, hope you enjoy:

First Hour:
Ufomammut, “Plouton” from Ecate
Royal Thunder, “Time Machine” from Crooked Doors
Boarchucker, “Red Rain” from Swine Throne
Suzukiton, “Snakehead” from Suzukiton II
Jarboe & Helen Money, “Hello Mr. Blue” from Jarboe & Helen Money
Wren, “Before the Great Silence” from split with Irk
Gale, “Burn Your Person” from Vol. 1
Watchtower, “Living Heads” from Radiant Moon
Leather Nun America, “Bourgeois Pig” from Buddha Knievel
Worshipper, “High above the Clouds” from Black Corridor/High above the Clouds
Acid King, “Red River” from Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere

Second Hour:
Headless Kross, “Rural Juror” from Volumes
Jonas Munk, “Absorb” from Absorb Fabric Cascade
JPT Scare Band, “Sleeping Sickness” from Acid Acetate Excursion & Rape of the Titan’s Sirens
Skunk Hawk, “Lovers of Pompeii” from Skunk Hawk

Total running time: 1:59:24

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 046

 

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Valkyrie’s Shadows Due May 19; Album Trailer and Details Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 13th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

valkyrie

As a first taste of the forthcoming third Valkyrie LP and first in seven years, the sampler clip of opener “Mountain Stomp” serves notice of classic rock intent and the double-guitar antics one expects from brothers Jake and Pete Adams. The record, titled Shadows, is out May 19 on Relapse, and along with the trailer and the tracklisting, the cover art by Jeremy Hush has been revealed. After so long an absence, though, it’s mostly just good to have Valkyrie up and kicking again. They’ll play the Maryland Doom Fest in June at Cafe 611 with Sixty Watt ShamanSpirit CaravanApostle of Solitude and many more (info here).

The PR wire has details:

valkyrie shadows

Relapse Records Details Valkyrie “Shadows” LP

Relapse Records, who is celebrating its 25th anniversary, has announced that they will be releasing a new LP from Valkyrie called Shadows on May 19th. The label is teasing the release with a trailer….

Propelled by the stunning guitar heroics of brothers Pete and Jake Adams, Virginia’s Valkyrie return with their third full length Shadows, one of the year’s best guitar-driven, heavy rock records. Jam packed with harmonized leads, rich solos and melodic, blues-based riffs, Valkyrie sound like the perfect blend of American style doom rock bands like Pentagram or Spirit Caravan and classic hard rock like Thin Lizzy, Wishbone Ash, and Deep Purple. Where Pete Adams’ other band Baroness focuses more on the modern proggy and poppy side of metal, Valkyrie looks to proto metal trailblazers for influence while injecting plenty of current day inspiration. Produced by Sanford Parker (Pelican, Leviathan, YOB), Shadows is the perfect summer heavy rock record!

Check out the cover art by Jeremy Hush and track listing below…

Track Listing:
1. Mountain Stomp
2. Golden Age
3. Temple
4. Shadow of Reality
5. Wintry Plains
6. Echoes (Of The Way We Lived)
7. Carry On

http://www.relapse.com/label/
http://www.relapse.com/valkyrie/
https://www.facebook.com/thevalkyrierides
http://thevalkyrierides.bandcamp.com/

Valkyrie, Shadows album trailer

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Hooded Menace to Record New Album at Skyhammer Studio

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

Three years seems like a bit of time since the last Hooded Menace full-length, Effigies of Evil, came out, but if like me you saw that and were surprised it had been that long, it’s probably because the band keeps so active. In that three years, they’ve released two splits, two EPs and most recently, a compilation of non-album material called Gloom Immemorial that hit in December on Doomentia Records. So if three years comes seems like a while, it’s not exactly like the Finnish death-doomers have been quiet all that time.

Still, they’re due for a new record, and they’ll do the tracking with Conan bassist/producer Chris Fielding (also engineer for Electric Wizard, Coltsblood, Primordial, etc.) at Skyhammer Studio. Relapse is saying it’ll be out by the end of the year, and that’s cool by me:

hooded menace

HOODED MENACE PREPARE TO ENTER STUDIO

BAND ANNOUNCES TWO EURO FESTIVAL APPEARANCES

Finnish death/doom horde HOODED MENACE are preparing to enter the studio to record their fourth full-length and first new record since 2012’s Effigies of Evil. The band will be entering Skyhammer Studio in the UK to record with Chris Fielding (Electric Wizard, Moss, Napalm Death, The Wounded Kings) while Brad Boatright (Yob, Vallenfyre, Beastmilk, Sleep) will be mastering the album at Audiosiege in the US. Justin Bartlett (SUNN O))), Kvelertak, Trap Them), with whom the band worked on their 2010 split 7″ with Anima Morte, will be handling the cover art and layout. Expect the album to drop in the latter half of 2015 via Relapse Records!

HOODED MENACE recently released a compilation of splits and EPs entitled Gloom Immemorial via Doomentia Records. The compilation is available at this location while the band’s last full-length Effigies of Evil, can be streamed via Bandcamp HERE.

Additionally, HOODED MENACE have confirmed a pair of live appearances including Denmark’s Heavy Days in Doomtown and Finland’s Jalometalli Festival. Dates are listed below.

Hooded Menace Live Appearances:
April 30 – May 3 Heavy Days in Doomtown Copenhagen, Denmark
August 7 – 8 Jalometalli Oulu, Finland

https://www.facebook.com/HoodedMenace
https://twitter.com/hooded_menace
https://hoodedmenace.bandcamp.com/
http://www.relapse.com/

Hooded Menace, Effigies of Evil (2012)

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Windhand Enter Studio with Jack Endino; New Album in Fall

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 3rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Unmistakably good news today from the camp of Richmond, Virginia, five-piece Windhand, as it’s announced they have entered the studio to work with producer Jack Endino (NirvanaNebula, on and on) on their third album. The record has been given a tentative due date of Fall 2015, and I’d be surprised if Windhand didn’t hit that mark, since if their itinerary for their Relapse debut and sophomore outing, 2013’s Soma (review here), is any basis for judgment, they’ll likely already have tours booked before the record is released.

All the better. The response to Soma was massive, so anticipation for the follow-up will be likewise high. In the last year-plus, though, the band have become veterans of fests like RoadburnDay of the ShredScion Rock Fest and others, in addition to putting in considerable road time on their own, headlining and supporting, their wash of volume and riffs finding welcome on a frighteningly close to universal scale. Seems like they’re working quick to get back in the studio, but you won’t hear me complain.

They’ve also got some shows in Atlanta with a little band called Sleep in May. Here’s the news, freshly hoisted from the PR wire:

windhand (photo by Clement Photography)

WINDHAND ENTER THE STUDIO WITH JACK ENDINO TO RECORD NEW ALBUM OUT THIS FALL ON RELAPSE RECORDS

Richmond, VA psychedelic doomsters WINDHAND have entered the studio with legendary producer Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden, High on Fire). The band is recording their highly anticipated third full-length album at Soundhouse Recording in Seattle, WA. The currently untitled album will see a fall release via Relapse Records and promises to be their most ambitious record to date. The album will contain nine songs including titles like “Two Urns”, “Hyperion” and “Kingfisher”.

Additionally, the group has confirmed two Atlanta shows with Sleep this May.

Stay tuned for more info on WINDHAND.

WINDHAND US LIVE DATES:
May 3 – Atlanta, GA The Masquerade ^
May 4 – Atlanta, GA Center Stage Theatre ^

^ with Sleep

https://www.facebook.com/WindhandVA
http://windhandva.bandcamp.com/
http://www.relapse.com/

Windhand, Soma (2013)

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Torche Release Restarter Today on Relapse

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Torche

I’ve seen some pretty interesting reactions to Torche‘s Relapse debut, from people digging the return of their sheer sonic heft and melodic range, to being caught up wondering at the slower average pace of the material compared to some of what Torche have done before. Wherever you land on the subject, Torche‘s Restarter (review here) is out today and the response to its arrival seems generally positive. Fortunate since they’re about to spend probably the next 18 months on tour supporting it, and it’s already been hyped with, among other things, a video game, which I’m sorry to say I sucked at viciously. Like, horribly. Embarrassingly bad at it.

Today’s actually a pretty big release day, with stuff out from TorcheRuby the HatchetCrypt Sermon and others, so if you’ve got money to burn, there’s plenty of kindling around. The announcement of Restarter‘s materialization came down the PR wire thusly and brought with it a trailer for Torche‘s upcoming “Annihilation Affair” video, which you can find below:

torche restarter

TORCHE’S NEW ALBUM, RESTARTER, RELEASED TODAY

Torche release Restarter, the hard rock outfit’s fourth album and Relapse Record’s debut, today. The critically acclaimed collection is streaming in its entirety via Soundcloud (https://soundcloud.com/relapserecords/sets/torche-restarter).

The band will unveil an animated video for “Annihilation Affair” during the week of March 9. A teaser for the clip, which was directed by Phil Mucci (High on Fire, Monster Magnet, Stone Sour), can be seen here.

Restarter was recorded at the band’s Miami studio, Pinecrust, with bass player Jonathan Nuñez overseeing production and Converge’s Kurt Ballou once again returning to handle mixing.

Upcoming headlining shows from Torche:

March 4 Miami, FL Churchill’s Pub #
March 6 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
March 7 Birmingham, AL The Bottletree
March 8 Baton Rouge, LA Spanish Moon
March 9 Houston, TX Fitzgerald’s Downstairs
March 10 Austin, TX Red 7
March 11 Dallas, TX Club Dada #
March 12 Memphis, TN The Hi-Tone
March 13 St. Louis, MO The Firebird
March 14 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
March 15 Milwaukee, WI The Cactus Club
March 16 Columbus, OH Skully’s Music Diner
March 17 Cleveland, OH The Grog Shop
March 18 Grand Rapids, MI The Pyramid Scheme
March 20 Detroit, MI The Pike Room
March 21 Toronto, ON Lee’s Palace
March 22 Montreal, QC Bar Le Ritz
March 23 Buffalo, NY Mohawk Place
March 25 Boston, MA Great Scott
March 26 Brooklyn, NY St. Vitus
March 27 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
March 28 Richmond, VA Strange Matters #
March 29 Washington, DC DC 9 #

May 2 Leipzig, DE Taubchental
May 3 Wroclaw, PL Asymmetry Festival
May 4 Prague, CZ 007
May 5 Munich, DE Ampere
May 6 Milan, IT Lo Fi Club
May 8 Barcelona, SP Rocksound
May 9 Madrid, SP Boute Live!
May 10 Lisbon, PT Musicbox
May 11 Bilbao, SP Kafe Antzokia
May 13 Zurich, SZ Dynamo
May 14 Wiesbaden, DE Schlachthoff
May 15 Cologne, DE Underground
May 16 Berlin, DE Hafenklang
May 18 Nijmegen, NL Merelyn
May 19 Haarlem, NL Patronaat
May 20 Paris, FR Glazart
May 21 Antwerp, BE Kavka
May 22 London, UK Underworld *
May 23 Leeds, UK Belgrave Social Club *
May 24 Galway, IR Roisin Dubh
May 25 Cork, IR Craine Lane
May 26 Dublin, IR Grand Social
May 27 Belfast, IR The Limelight
May 28 Glasgow, UK CCA **
May 29 Manchester, UK Sound Control **
May 30 Bristol, UK Temples Festival
May 31 Nimes, FR This is Not a Love Song
June 1 Nantes, FR Le Ferrailleur

All U.S. dates w/Wrong; Nothing appears on all dates except when noted with a #

Fans of the band can try their skills at Torche vs. Robots: Annihilation Affair (www.torchevsrobots.com), a single-player game featuring each of the Torche band members as characters trying to save the city of Miami from destruction bent robots.

www.facebook.com/torcheofficial
www.torchemusic.com
www.twitter.com/torcheband
http://instagram.com/torche_band

Torche, “Annihilation Affair” video teaser

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