Wolftooth Sign to Cursed Tongue Records; Debut LP out in 2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

wolftooth

Classic metal and heavy rock crash headfirst in Wolftooth‘s ‘The Huntress,’ which is just one of the eight tracks on the band’s self-titled debut LP that makes it easy to understand what Cursed Tongue Records was thinking in signing the four-piece to release the album on vinyl. They were thinking it ruled. I’m enjoying how hard it’s becoming to argue with their taste, and as Wolftooth join choice snags like Sumokem, Earth WitchNeon WarshipDevil’s WitchesGreen Yeti and Mental Tremors, a significant reliability factor is coming together. Trust is a good thing. Trust that someone is going to back cool riffs is even better.

You can hear “The Huntress” as well as two other cuts from Wolftooth‘s Wolftooth now via the band’s Bandcamp, streaming at the bottom of this post. The LP itself will arrive early next year with preorders up sometime between now and then. In the meanwhile, here’s the announcement from Cursed Tongue to make the alliance official:

wolftooth cursed tongue

WOLFTOOTH SIGNS TO CURSED TONGUE RECORDS FOR WORLD WIDE RELEASE OF THEIR DEBUT FULL LENGTH ALBUM.

We are extremely happy to announce the rabid new signing from Cursed Tongue Records

Hailing from the Midwest via Richmond IN comes the “Stoner Metal Riff Worshipers” Wolftooth consisting of a pack of well seasoned musicians (all 20+ yr metal scene veterans) determined to raise the bar of the almighty riff. Wolftooth combines influences from the 70’s and early 80’s NWOBHM with Bay Area Thrash and doom laden riffery. Meanwhile the vocals soar over blues drenched solos that add a stoner sensibility to the Wolftooth sound.

Wolftooth, despite having just existed for a short period of time, have already released an EP of three songs on Bandcamp in August 2017 that secured them a place at #12 on the September edition of Doom Charts and general acclaim amidst reviewers across the heavy underground scene. It brings evidence of a band that’s aiming high and is willing to put the muscle and mind behind.

Some bands need a whole career to make an impression. Wolftooth only needed three tracks to impress on an epic scale and after listening to their EP we just instantly knew that this band are going places. So it is a natural thing to add Wolftooth to the Cursed Tongue Records roster as we feel the music the band purveys is an extension of our love for metal and rock. We are stoked to be putting thier debut full length album out in the first half of 2018. Official release date and preorder details to be revealed in due time.

Wolftooth hits hard with a unique blend of stoner, 90’s alternative rock, hintes of 80’s glory and some goddamned heavy riffs that makes this band worth your full attention. So lookout cause Wolftooth is on a mission to bring the “Power of the Riff” to the masses.

CTR-007, Wolftooth – ‘Wolftooth’, official release date: first half 2018

Wolftooth is:
Chris Sullivan – Guitar and Vocals
Jeff Cole – Guitar
Terry McDaniel Jr – Bass
Johnny Harrod – Drums

Recorded at Led Fields studio Connersvile IN
Engineered and mixed by Jeremy Lovins
Assistant Engineer: Skylar Nichols
Produced by Wolftooth and Jeremy Lovins
All music composed and arranged by Wolftooth
*Keyboard arrangements by Jeremy Lovins

Track listing:
Side A
1. Blackbirds Call
2. Aegaeon
3. Sword Of My Father
4. White Mountain

Side B
5. Frost Lord
6. The Huntress
7. Season Of The Witch
8. Forged In Fire

http://wolftooth.bandcamp.com/releases
http://www.facebook.com/wolftoothmetal/
https://www.instagram.com/wolftooth_metal/
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords/
https://www.instagram.com/cursedtongue
http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/

Wolftooth, Wolftooth EP (2017)

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Windhand Post “Forest Clouds” Video; European Tour with Satan’s Satyrs on Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 29th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

windhand

If you needed a nine-minute refresher as to the badassery of Windhand‘s latest album, Grief’s Infernal Flower (review here), the Richmond, Virginia, outfit hereby offer up a new video from the Jack Endino-produced outing for the track ‘Forest Clouds’ for you to check out. Directed by Jordan Vance, it has all the purple-tinted murk one could ask for and comes along as Windhand return to Europe for their Fall 2017 tour alongside fellow Virginians Satan’s Satyrs, with whom they also hit the road earlier this year in the States.

As it happens, Windhand also tracked material for an upcoming 2018 split with the same outfit, so it seems pretty safe to say they’ve probably grown close over their time together and they may indeed plan to spend a little more of it. Fair enough for the complementary nature of the two bands, with Windhand‘s permanent tone-rolling mire hitting its stride sound-wise on Grief’s Infernal Flower and Satan’s Satyrs only growing more brash as time goes on in their doomly motor-ready boogie style. I wouldn’t tell you how to live your life or anything, but if the tour came or is coming through someplace you might happen to be, no question it’s worth showing up for.

You’ll note as well on the list of gigs below sent down the PR wire that it includes slots for both acts at Up in Smoke 2017 and Desertfest Belgium 2017. The latter is sure to be particularly riotous, as it’s the final date of what by then will have been a significant run. It’s already underway, in fact — the tour, not Deserfest — and hits Cologne, Germany, this very evening en route to continuing through a slew of dates in Germany, France, Austria, Italy and so on.

Clip and info follow here. Please enjoy:

Windhand, “Forest Clouds” official video

Richmond, VA’s WINDHAND have shared the official video for “Forest Clouds” off their latest full-length album Grief’s Infernal Flower. Watch the Jordan Vance directed video via YouTube HERE.

Additionally, WINDHAND kick off their headlining European tour with Satan’s Satyrs tomorrow night in Copenhagen, DK. A full list of confirmed tour dates is available below.

The band recently recorded songs for an upcoming split with Satan’s Satyrs that will be released by Relapse in early 2018. Details will be revealed shortly.

WINDHAND Tour Dates:
— All dates with Satan’s Satyrs —
Sep 29 Cologne, DE MTC
Sep 30 Wiesbaden, DE Kesselhaus
Oct 01 Leipzig, DE UT Connewitz
Oct 02 Berlin, DE Cassiopeia
Oct 03 Vienna, AT Arena
Oct 04 Munich, DE Feierwerk
Oct 05 Bologna, IT Freak-Out Club
Oct 06 Mezzago, IT Bloom Club
Oct 07 Pratteln, CH Up In Smoke Festival
Oct 08 Paris, FR Stoned Gathering
Oct 09 London, UK The Borderline
Oct 10 Leeds, UK Brudenell
Oct 11 Glasgow, UK Audio
Oct 12 Manchester, UK Rebellion
Oct 13 Bristol, UK Exchange
Oct 14 Antwerp, BE Desertfest BE

Windhand on Thee Facebooks

Windhand on Bandcamp

Windhand at Relapse Records

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Book of Wyrms and Heavy Traffic Announce Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 7th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Twin Earth Records labelmates Book of Wyrms and Heavy Traffic are set to hit the road together later this month. The run shared between the Richmond, Virginia, and Brooklyn, NYC, outfits will begin at Arlene’s Grocery at The Obelisk-co-sponsored Ode to Doom show on Sept. 23. That’s a bill that also features heavy blues specialists Geezer and Shadow Witch, and you can find out more info about it on the Thee Facebooks event page here. It’s a damn good way to spend a night in Manhattan.

The ultimate trajectory of the stint is South Dakota’s Stoned Meadow of Doom fest on Sept. 29, and both groups make their way there supporting new releases. I know I’ve said multiple times over at this point that if you’re looking for pure tone, there are few sources as trustworthy as the taste of Twin Earth Records, and you can definitely apply that here. If you need further proof, dig the streams at the bottom of the post.

From the PR wire:

heavy-traffic-book-of-wyrms-tour

BOOK OF WYRMS/HEAVY TRAFFIC ANNOUNCE US TOUR

Heavy psych-rock band Heavy Traffic and progressive doom band Book of Wyrms will join forces with a seven date tour that will culminate with appearances from both bands at Stoned Meadow of Doom Fest 2017.

Jay from Book of Wyrms commented “We have been excited about this tour for a long time; we get to play with a lot of bands we love and rage with a bunch of weirdos who get what we’re about. These are some places we’ve wanted to play for a while.”

Book of Wyrms will be touring in support of their recently released album Sci/Fi Fantasy, while Heavy Traffic is touring in support of their upcoming split 7″ with The Mad Doctors.

Order Sci/Fi Fantasy here: https://bookofwyrmsrva.bandcamp.com/album/sci-fi-fantasy

Per-Order the Heavy Traffic/Mad Doctors split here: https://heavytraffic.bandcamp.com/album/heavy-traffic-the-mad-doctors-split-7

HEAVY WYRMS TOUR 2017
September 23 -New York, NY @ Arlene’s Grocery with Geezer
September 24 – Rochester,NY @ Firehouse Saloon with Fox 45
September 25 – Detroit,MI @ New Dodge Lounge with Vicious Circles
September 26 – Chicago,IL @ GMan Tavern with Black Road
September 27 – Madison,WI @ Micky’s Tavern with Vanishing Kids
September 28 – Sioux City,IA @ The Marquee with Port Nocturnal
September 29 – Sioux Falls,SD @ STONED MEADOW OF DOOM FEST 2017

BOOK OF WYRMS is:
Jay Lindsey: bass
Ben Coudriet: guitar
Kyle Lewis: guitar
Chris DeHaven: drums
Sarah Moore-Lindsey: vocals, effects

HEAVY TRAFFIC is:
Ian Caddick
Tav Palumbo
David Grzedzinski
Dan Bradica

https://www.facebook.com/Bookofwyrms/
https://www.instagram.com/bookofwyrms/
https://bookofwyrms.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/heaviesttraffic
https://twitter.com/heaviesttraffic
https://heavytraffic.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/twinearthrecords/
https://twinearthrecords.bandcamp.com/
twinearthrecords.storenvy.com/

Book of Wyrms, Sci-Fi/Fantasy (2017)

Heavy Traffic, Plastic Surgery (2016)

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Sinister Haze European Tour with Cough Starts Tonight; New EP Emperor of Dreams Released

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 2nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

sinister haze

For anyone who heard Virginia’s Sinister Haze make their full-length debut with last year’s filth-caked Laid Low in the Dust of Death (review here), the just-released, limited-to-100-copies follow-up Emperor of Dreams EP is going to hit as a marked surprise. Reveling in dreary psychedelic atmospheres, it’s not a complete departure from the preceding LP in terms of atmosphere, but as one can hear on the melancholy post-punk centerpiece “Astral Procession” and in the inclusion of ambient interludes surrounding its tracks, the four-piece are clearly looking to engage a different wavelength. If not several different wavelengths.

It works for them, as showcased in “Astral Procession,” the preceding title-track and the eight-minute “Divine” — which is the high point achievement-wise of the release and perhaps of Sinister Haze‘s output to-date — as well as the aforementioned interludes, which carry an air of experimentation the would seem to have extended to the songwriting as well. In short: fucking a. Does this mean Sinister Haze won’t turn back to the graveyard-dirt-under-the-fingernails approach they had on the record? Not a clue, but I’m digging the vibe of the new outing, and today, that’s enough for me.

They’re on the road in Europe starting tonight in the Netherlands with fellow Virginians Cough. Dates, more info and audio follow, courtesy of the band:

Sinister Haze – Emperor of Dreams

Out August 2nd via Graven Earth Records
Limited to 100 copies

Production for this has been all DIY, recording/mastering/artwork has been handled by us and were excited to show it off in due time. It’s easily the most psychedelic thing we’ve achieved thus far.

02/08 NL Haarlem – Patronaat
03/08 DE Stuttgart – Jugendhaus West
04/08 AT – Innsbruck PMK
05/08 IT Giavera del Montello – Disintegrate your Ignorance Festival
06/08 AT Wien – The Viper Room
07/08 HU Budapest – A38
08/08 PL Krakow – WARSZTAT
09/08 CZ Pevnost Josefov – Bastion Brutal Assault Festival
10/08 DE Berlin – Cassiopeia
11/08 NL Eindhoven – Stroomhuis
12/08 BE Ieper – Ieper Festival
13/08 PT Vagos – Vagos Metal Fest
14/08 UK London – Electrowerkz
15/08 UK Leeds – Brudenellsocialclub
16/08 FR Paris – Gibus

Sinister Haze is:
Brandon Marcey
Sam Marsh
Eli Pizzuto
JK

http://www.facebook.com/sinisterhazeband
http://sinisterhaze.bigcartel.com/
https://sinisterhaze.bandcamp.com/

Sinister Haze, Emperor of Dreams (2017)

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Windhand to Tour Europe with Satan’s Satyrs

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

windhand

So yes, Windhand are going to do a headlining European tour this Fall. That’s the news. Hardly the extent of the touring the Richmond doomers are doing in the next several months, however. In about two weeks they head over to Australia and New Zealand for a run there, then it’s back to the US for some quick dates in the Pacific Northwest, then in May, with fellow Virginians Satan’s Satyrs, they do the Eastern Seaboard and dive a bit into the Midwest. Psycho Las Vegas follows in August, and then it’s off to Europe, once again joined by Satan’s Satyrs, for the aforementioned autumnal run. So yes. Windhand are touring Europe. Windhand are also touring everywhere. Pretty much all the time.

It’s enough to make one wonder what’s going on June and July and why they won’t be on the road again before Psycho. OR WILL THEY???

I also wouldn’t be surprised if more Fall Euro dates got added to that stint. Seems like they’re right in the thick of festival season over there at that point (as if “festival season” ever ends anymore), and one imagines Windhand aren’t short on invites as they continue to support 2015’s righteous Grief’s Infernal Flower (review here). Worth keeping an eye on, anyhow.

From the PR wire:

windhand satan's satyrs tour poster

WINDHAND Announce Headlining European Tour Dates With Satan’s Satyrs

Richmond, VA doomsters WINDHAND have announced a new run of headlining European tour dates this coming fall with fellow Virginia based group Satan’s Satyrs. The tour commences September 21st in Copenhagen, DK and runs till October 13th in Bristol, UK. The two bands will also do a short North American run preceding the European Tour. A full listing of WINDHAND tour dates is available below.

WINDHAND Tour Dates:

— All Dates 3/31 – 4/8 with Cough —

Mar 31 Wellington, NZ San Fran
Apr 01 Auckland, NZ King’s Arm Tavern
Apr 02 Fortitude Valley, AUS Crowbar
Apr 05 Newtown, AUS Newton Social Club
Apr 06 Adelaide, AUS Fowlers Live
Apr 07 Melbourne, AUS Corner Hotel (+ Inverloch)
Apr 08 Perth, AUS Badlands

Apr 21 Portland, OR Mississippi Studios
Apr 22 Vancouver, BC Fortune Sound Club
Apr 23 Seattle, WA Neumos

— All dates 5/17-5/25 with Satan’s Satyrs —

May 17 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
May 18 Pittsburgh, PA Cattivo
May 19 Toronto, ON Horseshoe Tavern
May 20 Detroit, MI Loving Touch
May 21 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
May 22 Minneapolis, MN 7th St. Entry
May 23 Milwaukee, WI Cactus Club
May 24 Indianapolis, IN The Hi-Fi
May 25 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups

Aug 18-20 Las Vegas, NV Psycho Las Vegas Festival

— All dates 9/21 – 10/14 with Satan’s Satyrs —

Sep 21 Copenhagen, DK Loppen
Sep 22 Oslo, NO BLA
Sep 23 Stockholm, SE Debaser Strand
Sep 25 Helsinki, FI Kuudes Linja
Sep 27 Gothenburg, SE Pustervik
Sep 28 Hamburg, DE Hafenklang
Sep 29 Cologne, DE MTC
Sep 30 Wiesbaden, DE Kesselhaus
Oct 01 Leipzig, DE UT Connewitz
Oct 02 Berlin, DE Cassiopeia
Oct 03 Vienna, AT Arena
Oct 04 Munich, DE Feierwerk
Oct 05 Bologna, IT Freak-Out Club
Oct 06 Mezzago, IT Bloom Club
Oct 08 Paris, FR Stoned Gathering
Oct 09 London, UK The Borderline
Oct 10 Leeds, UK Brudenell
Oct 11 Glasgow, UK Audio
Oct 12 Manchester, UK Rebellion
Oct 13 Bristol, UK Exchange

WINDHAND are still touring in support of their critically-acclaimed 2015 full-length Grief’s Infernal Flower, which can be streamed and purchased at the band’s Bandcamp page here.

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

Windhand, Grief’s Infernal Flower (2015)

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Quarterly Review: Crippled Black Phoenix, Zed, Mark Deutrom & Dead, Ol’ Time Moonshine, Ufosonic Generator, Mother Mooch, The Asound, Book of Wyrms, Oxblood Forge, The Heavy Crawls

Posted in Reviews on January 2nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk winter quarterly review

Now having spanned multiple years since starting way back in 2016, this Quarterly Review ends today with writeups 51-60 of the total 60. I’ve said I don’t know how many times that I could go longer, but the fact of the matter is it would hit a point where it stopped being a pleasant experience on my end and I’d rather keep things fun as much as possible rather than just try to cram in every single release that ever came my way. Make sense? It might or it might not. I can’t really decide either. From the bottom of my heart though, as I stare down the final batch of records for this edition of the Quarterly Review, I thank you for reading. Let’s dive in.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Crippled Black Phoenix, Bronze

crippled black phoenix bronze

Nine albums and just about 10 years on from their 2007 debut, A Love of Shared Disasters, the UK’s Crippled Black Phoenix arrive on Season of Mist with the full-length Bronze and remain as complex, moody and sonically resolute as ever. If we’re lucky, they’ll be the band that teaches a generation of heavy tone purveyors how to express emotion in songwriting without giving up the impact of their material, but the truth is that “Champions of Disturbance (Pt. 1 & 2),” “Deviant Burials,” “Scared and Alone” and take-your-pick-from-the-others are about so much more depth than even the blend of “heavy and moody” conveys. To wit, the spacious post-rock gaze of “Goodbye Then” gives a glimpse of what Radiohead might’ve turned into had they managed to keep their collective head out of their collective ass, and the penultimate “Winning a Losing Battle” pushes through initial melancholia into gurgling, obtuse-but-hypnotic drone before making a miraculous return in its finish – then closer “We are the Darkeners” gets heavy. Multi-instrumentalist, founder and chief songwriter Justin Greaves is nothing shy of a visionary, and Bronze is the latest manifestation of that vision. One doubts it will be the last.

Crippled Black Phoenix on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist website

 

Zed, Trouble in Eden

zed trouble in eden

Nothing shy about Trouble in Eden, the third full-length from San Jose heavy rockers Zed and second for Ripple Music. From its hey-look-guys-it’s-a-naked-chick cover to the raw vocal push from Pete Sattari –which delves into more melodic fare early on “The Only True Thing” and in rolling closer “The Mountain,” but keeps mostly to gruff grown-up-punker delivery throughout – the 10-tracker makes its bones in cuts like “Blood of the Fallen” and the resonant hook of “Save You from Yourself,” which are straightforward in intent, brash in execution and which thrive on a purported “rock the way it should be” mentality. Well, I don’t know how rock should be, but ZedSattari, guitarist Greg Lopez, bassist Mark Aceves and drummer Rich Harris – play to classic structures and seem to bring innate groove with them wherever they go on the album, be it the one-two punch of “High Indeed” and “So Low” or the Clutch-style bounce in the first half of “Today Not Tomorrow,” which leaves one of Trouble in Eden’s most memorable impressions both as a song and as a summary of their apparent general point of view.

Zed on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

 

Mark Deutrom & Dead, Collective Fictions Split LP

mark deutrom dead collective fictions

Limited to just 200 copies on We Empty Rooms and Gotta Groove Records, the Collective Fictions split 180g LP between Melbourne noise duo Dead and Mark Deutrom (Bellringer, Clown Alley, ex-Melvins) is a genuine vinyl-only release. No digital version. That in itself gives it something of a brazen experimentalism, never mind the fact that one can barely tell where one track ends and the next track starts. Purposeful obscurity? Maybe. It’s reportedly one of a series of four LPs Dead are working on for the next year-plus, and they present two cuts in “Masonry” and “In the Car,” moving through percussion and mid-range drone to build a tense jazz on the former as drummer Jem and bassist Jace make room for the keys and noise of BJ Morriszonkle, which continue to play a prominent role in “In the Car” as well, which is also the only inclusion on Collective Fictions to feature vocals, shortly before it rumbles and long-fades snare hits to close out Dead’s side of the LP, leaving Deutrom – working here completely solo – thoroughly dared to get as weird as he’d like. An opportunity of which he takes full advantage. Over the course of four tracks, he unfurls instrumentalist drone of various stripes, from the nighttime soundscaping of “The Gargoyle Protocol,” which seems to answer the percussive beginning of Dead, through the spacier reverb loneliness of “Presence of an Absence,” like a most pastoral, less obtuse Earth, dreamy but sad in a way that denotes self-awareness on the part of the title, or at very least effective evocation thereof. Likewise, “Bring the Fatted Calf,” with its gong hits, Master Musicians of Bukkake-style jingling and minimalist volume swells, is duly ritualistic, which makes one wonder what the prog-style keys at the open of “View from the Threshold” are looking at. Deutrom moves through that side-closer patiently but fluidly and ends at a drone, tying up Collective Fictions as something of a curio in intent and execution. By that I mean what seems to have brought the two parties together was a “Hey, wanna get weird?” impulse, but each act makes their own level and then works on it, so hell yes, by all means, get weird.

Mark Deutrom website

Dead website

 

Ol’ Time Moonshine, The Apocalypse Trilogies

ol time moonshine the apocalypse trilogies

Any record that starts with a narration beginning, “In the not too distant future…” is going to find favor with my MST3K-loving heart. So begins The Apocalypse Trilogies: Spacewolf and Other Dark Tales, the cumbersomely-named but nonetheless engaging Salt of the Earth Records debut full-length from Toronto’s Ol’ Time Moonshine, whose 2013 The Demon Haunted World EP (review here) also found favor. The burl-coated outing is presented across three chapters, each beginning with its own narration and comprising three subsequent tracks – trilogies – tying into its theme as represented in the cover art by vocalist/guitarist Bill Kole, joined in the band by guitarist Chris Coleiro, bassist John Kendrick and drummer Brett Savory. They shift into some more complex fare on the instrumental “Lady of Light” before the final chapter, but at its core The Apocalypse Trilogies remains a (very) heavy rock album with an undercurrent of metal, and whatever else Ol’ Time Moonshine bring to it in plotline, they hold fast to songwriting as the most crucial element of their approach.

Ol’ Time Moonshine on Thee Facebooks

Salt of the Earth Records webstore

 

Ufosonic Generator, The Evil Smoke Possession

ufosonic generator the evil smoke possession

Italian four-piece Ufosonic Generator (also stylized as one word: UfosonicGenerator) make themselves at home straddling the line between doom and classic boogie rock on what seems to be their debut album, the eight-track The Evil Smoke Possession, released through Minotauro Records. Marked out by the soaring and adaptable vocals of Gojira – yup – the band offer proto-metal shuffle on shorter early cuts “A Sinful Portrait” and the rolling nod of “At Witches’ Bell,” but it’s the longer pairing of “Meridian Daemon” (7:47) and “Silver Bell Meadows” (6:53) on which one finds their brew at highest potency, sending an evil eye Cathedral’s way without forgetting the Sabbathian riffery that started it all or the Iron Maiden-gallop it inspired. They cap with the suitable lumber of their title-track and pick up toward the finish as if to underscore the dueling vibes with which they’ve been working all along. Ultimately, the meld isn’t necessarily revolutionary, but it does pay homage fluidly across The Evil Smoke Possession’s span, and as a debut, it sets Ufosonic Generator forward with a solid foundation on which to progress.

Ufosonic Generator on Thee Facebooks

Minotauro Records on Bandcamp

 

Mother Mooch, Nocturnes

mother mooch nocturnes

Issued digitally in late-2015 and subsequently snagged for a 2016 vinyl issue through Krauted Mind, Nocturnes is the debut full-length from Dublin five-piece Mother Mooch, and in its eight tracks, they set their footing in a genre-spanning aesthetic, pulling from slow-motion grunge, weighted heavy rock, psychedelic flourish and even a bit of punk on the shorter, upbeat “My Song 21” and “L.H.O.O.Q.” Those two tracks prove crucial departures in breaking up the proceedings and speak well of a penchant on the part of vocalist Chloë Ní Dhúada, guitarists Sid Daly (also backing vocals) and Farl, bassist Barry Hayden and drummer Danni Nolan toward sonic diversity. They bring a similar sensibility to the closing Lead Belly cover “Out on the Western Plain” as well, whereas cuts like opener “This Tempest,” “Into the Water” and “Misery Hill” work effectively to find a middle ground between the stylistic range at play. That impulse, seemingly innate to their songraft, is what will allow them to continue to develop their personality as a band and is not to be understated in how pivotal it is to this first LP.

Mother Mooch on Thee Facebooks

Krauted Mind Records website

 

The Asound, The Asound

the asound self titled

To my knowledge, this only-70-pressed five-song tape release is the second self-titled EP from off-kilter North Carolina heavy rockers The Asound following a three-songer back in 2011 (review here). Offered by Tsuguri Records, the new The Asound starts with its longest track (immediate points) in the 6:54 “Moss Man” and touches on earliest, most righteous High on Fire-style brash, but holds to its own notions about what that that blend of groove and gallop should do. Through splits with Flat Tires (review here), Magma Rise (review here), Lenoir Swingers Club (review here) and Mark Deutrom (review here), the trio of Guitarist/vocalist Chad Wyrick, bassist Jon Cox and drummer Michael Crump have always had an element of the unpredictable to their sound, and that’s true as centerpiece “Human for Human” revives the thrust of the opener coming off “Controller”’s less marauding rhythm, but the sludgy rollout and later airy lead-work of “Pseudo Vain” and chugging nod of closer “Throne of Compulsion” speaks to the consciousness at play beneath the unhinged vibes that’s been there all along. They’ve sounded ready for a while to make a full-length debut. They still sound that way.

The Asound on Thee Facebooks

Tsuguri Records website

 

Book of Wyrms, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

book of wyrms sci-fi fantasy

Immediate bonus points to Richmond, Virginia’s Book of Wyrms for titling a track on their full-length debut “Infinite Walrus,” but with the Garrett Morris-recorded tones they proffer with the seven-song/53-minute Sci-Fi/Fantasy (on Twin Earth Records), they don’t really need bonus points. The five-piece of vocalist Sarah Moore Lindsey, six-stringers Kyle Lewis and Ben Coudriet, bassist Jay Lindsey and drummer Chris DeHaven mostly avoid the sounding-like-Windhand trap through stretches of upbeat tempo, theremin and other noise flourish, and harmonies on guitar, but they’re never far from an undercurrent of doom, as opener “Leatherwing Bat” establishes and the long ambient midsection and subsequent nod of centerpiece “Nightbong” is only too happy to reinforce. “All Hallows Eve” gets a little cliché with its samples, but the dueling leads on 11-minute closer “Sourwolf” and included keyboard noise ensure proper distinction and mark Book of Wyrms as having come into their first long-player with a definite plan of action, which finds them doing well as a showcase of potential and plenty immersive in the here and now.

Book of Wyrms on Thee Facebooks

Twin Earth Records on Bandcamp

 

Oxblood Forge, Oxblood Forge

oxblood forge self-titled

Despite the sort of cross-cultural ritualism of its cover art, Oxblood Forge’s self-titled debut EP has only the firmest of ideas where it’s coming from. The Whitman, Massachusetts-based five-piece boasts former Ichabod vocalist Ken MacKay as well as bassist Greg Dellaria from that band, and guitarist Robb Lioy (also in Four Speed Fury with MacKay) alongside guitarist Josh Howard and drummer Chris Capen, and in a coherent, vigilantly straightforward five-tracker they touch on aggressive fare in “Lashed to the Mast” as their Northeastern regionalism would warrant – we’re all very angry here; it’s the weather – and demonstrate a knack for hooks in “Inferno” and “Sister Midnight,” the latter blending screams and almost Torche-style melodies over clam chowder riffing before closer “Storm of Crows” opens foreboding with Dellaria’s bass and moves into the short release’s nastiest fare, MacKay sticking to harsher vocals as on the earlier “Night Crawler,” but in a darker instrumental context. They set a range here, and might be feeling things out in terms of working together as this band, but given the personnel involved and their prior familiarity with each other, it’s hard to imagine that if a follow-up is in the offing it’ll be all that long before it arrives. Consider notice served.

Oxblood Forge on Thee Facebooks

Oxblood Forge on Bandcamp

 

The Heavy Crawls, The Heavy Crawls

the heavy crawls self-titled

Ukrainian trio The Heavy Crawls set out as a duo called just The Crawls and released a self-titled debut in 2013 that was picked up in 2015 by ultra-respected German imprint Nasoni Records. Under the new moniker, they get another stab at a first album with the 10-track/42-minute classic rocker The Heavy Crawls, the three-piece of founding guitarist/bassist/keyboardist/vocalist Max Tovstyi, drummer Inessa Joger and keyboardist/vocalist/percussionist Iryna Malyshevska evoking spirited boogie and comfortable groove on “She Said I Had to Wait” and the handclap-stomping “Girl from America.” Elements of garage rock show up on “Too Much Rock ‘n’ Roll” and the soul-swinging “I Had to Get Away,” but The Heavy Crawls are more interested in establishing a flow than being showy or brash, and the payoff for that comes in eight-minute closer “Burns Me from Inside,” which stretches out the jamming sensibility that earlier pieces like the organ-laced “One of a Kind” and the staccato “Friday, 13th” seem to be driving toward. Some growing to undertake, but the pop aspect in The Heavy Crawls’ songcraft provides intrigue, and their (second) debut shows a righteous commitment to form without losing its identity to it.

The Heavy Crawls website

The Heavy Crawls on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Red Fang, Black Moon Circle, Druglord, Drone Hunter, Holy Serpent, Lugweight, Megaritual, Red Lama, Lacy, Valborg

Posted in Reviews on December 27th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk winter quarterly review

Feeling good going into day two of the Quarterly Review. The good news about how heavy music has become such a vast universe is that there’s always plenty to cover without having to really dig into stuff I don’t find interesting. Of course, the other side of that is feeling constantly behind the curve and overwhelmed by it all, but let’s not talk about that for the moment. Point is that as we make our way through this week and into the next — because, remember, it’s six days this time, not five — a big part of me still feels like I’m just scratching the surface of everything that’s out there. It still seems just to be a fraction of the whole story being told around the world in the riffiest of languages. We all do what we can, I guess. Let’s get started.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Red Fang, Only Ghosts

red-fang-only-ghosts

Four albums into one of the decade’s most successful and influential heavy rock careers, doesn’t it seem like Portland, Oregon’s Red Fang are due for a truly great record? Their 2013 outing, Whales and Leeches (discussed here), was rushed by the band’s own admission – their focus, as ever, on touring – and Only Ghosts (on Relapse) unites them with producer Ross Robinson and mixer Joe Barresi, two considerable names to bring heft and presence to the 10-track/42-minute outing. And I’ve no doubt that “Shadows” and the bigger-grooving “The Smell of the Sound” and opener “Flies” kick ass when delivered from the stage, and it’s true they sound more considered with the ambience of “Flames” positioned early, but Only Ghosts still comes across like a collection of songs united mostly by the timeframe in which they were written. Doesn’t mean they don’t build on Whales and Leeches, but now five years on from 2011’s Murder the Mountains (review here), and with their dynamic, charged and momentum-driven sound firmly established, Red Fang still seem to be at the threshold of some crucial forward step rather than stomping all over it as one might hope.

Red Fang on Thee Facebooks

Relapse Records website

 

Black Moon Circle, Sea of Clouds

black-moon-circle-sea-of-clouds

After releasing a self-titled debut (review here) and the follow-up Andromeda (review here) in 2014, 2016’s Sea of Clouds (on Crispin Glover/Stickman) is the third proper studio full-length from Norway’s Black Moon Circle – though at that point, define “proper.” In 2015, the trio/four-piece – Trondheim-based guitarist Vemund Engan, bassist Øyvin Engan and drummer Per Andreas Gulbrandsen, plus Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective on synth – also released The Studio Jams Vol. I (discussed here) and in addition to the four tracks of Sea of Clouds, they’ve also had a Vol. II (review here) out this year. The definitions become fluid, is what I’m saying, and that couldn’t be more appropriate for the sound of “Lunar Rocket,” the outward-gazing space rock of “The Magnificent Dude,” “Moondog” and “Warp Speed,” which indeed offer enough kosmiche expanse to make one wonder where the song ends and the jam begins. Or, you know, reality. One has to wonder if Black Moon Circle might bridge the gap at some point between studio improv and more plotted songwriting, but as it stands, neither side of their dual personality fails to engage with its flow and drift.

Black Moon Circle on Thee Facebooks

Black Moon Circle at Stickman Records

Black Moon Circle at Crispin Glover Records

 

Druglord, Deepest Regrets

druglord-deepest-regrets

A one-sided 12” EP issued by STB Records in late 2015 as the follow-up to Richmond dirge-fuzzer trio Druglord’s debut album, Enter Venus (review here), the three-track Deepest Regrets represents the band’s final studio material with bassist Greta Brinkman (ex-L7) in the lineup, who’s since been replaced by Julian Cook. That distinction matters in no small part because so much of Druglord’s purposes on Deepest Regrets’ three component songs – “Regret to Dismember,” “Speedballs to Hell” and “Heaven Tonight” – is about reveling in low end. Rawer than was the album preceding, they find guitarist/vocalist/organist Tommy Hamilton, Brinkman and drummer Bobby Hufnell emitting an oozing lurch, blasting out thickened motor-riffing, and fortifying a darkly psychedelic drear – in that order. True to EP form, each song gives a sampling of some of what Druglord has to offer coming off the album, and with a recording job by Garrett Morris, who also helmed the LP, it remains a fair look at where they might head next, despite the shift in lineup.

Druglord on Thee Facebooks

STB Records webstore

 

Holy Serpent, Temples

holy serpent temples

Melbourne’s Holy Serpent return with Temples (on RidingEasy), their second full-length after 2015’s self-titled debut (review here), and continue to offer an engaging blend of well-blazed psychedelia and heavier-rolling groove. Especially considering they’ve still only been a band for two years, the four-piece of guitarists Nick Donoughue and Scott Penberthy (the latter also vocals), bassist Dave Barlett and Lance Leembrugen remain striking in their cohesion of purpose, and Temples opener “Purification by Fire” and ensuing cuts like the fuzz-wall centerpiece “Toward the Sands” and echo-laden “The Black Stone” only continue to stretch their intentions toward ever more acid-ic flow. They called it “shroom doom” last time out, and seem to have moved away from that self-branding, but however one wants to label Temples, its five tracks/43 minutes push ahead from where Holy Serpent were just a year ago and, rounding out with the slower churn of “Sativan Harvest,” still reminds that mind expansion and deeply weighted tonecraft are by no means mutually exclusive.

Holy Serpent on Thee Facebooks

Holy Serpent at RidingEasy Records

 

Drone Hunter, Welcome to the Hole

drone hunter welcome to the hole

Self-releasing Croatian instrumental trio Drone Hunter devise vigilantly straightforward riffing on their second album, Welcome to the Hole, finding room for some charm in titles like “Wine Dick,” “Crazy Ants with Shotguns” and the closing “A Burning Sensation,” the latter of which seems to draw particularly from the playbook of Karma to Burn. That comparison is almost inevitable for any riff-led/sans-vocal three-piece working in this form, but the crunch in “Fog Horn” and “Waltz of the Iron Countess” isn’t without its own personality either, and as with a host of acts from the Croatian underground, they seem to have a current of metal to their approach that, in the case of Welcome to the Hole, only makes the entire affair seem tighter and more precise while maintaining tonal presence. Fitz (guitar), Klen (bass) and Rus (drums) might not be much for words or last names, but their sophomore full-length comprises solid riffs and grooves and doesn’t seem to ask anything more than a nod from its audience. A price easily paid.

Drone Hunter on Thee Facebooks

Drone Hunter on Bandcamp

 

Lugweight, Yesterday

lugweight yesterday

Lugweight is comprised solely of Brooklyn-via-Richmond-Virginia transplant Eric Benson, and the project makes its full-length debut with the evocatively-titled drone wash of Yesterday following one EP and preceding another. Fair to call it an experimental release, since that’s kind of the nature of the aesthetic, but Benson demonstrates a pretty clear notion of the sort of noise he’s interested in making, and there’s plenty of it on Yesterday in “Sleeping on Cocaine,” on which one can hear the undulating wavelengths emanating from speaker cones, or the penultimate “Love Song for the Insane,” which features chanting vocals in echoes cutting through a tonal morass but still somehow obscure. A 33-minute five-tracker, Yesterday doesn’t overstay its welcome, but alternates between sonic horrors and warmer immersion in the shorter centerpiece “Bleed My Sorrow” and closer “Show Me Where the Shovel Is,” coming dangerously close in the latter to doom riffing that one might almost dare to put drums to. Solo drone guitar, even when this thick, is never for everyone, but one doubts Benson was shooting for accessibility anyhow.

Lugweight on Bandcamp

Forcefield Records website

 

Megaritual, Eclipse

megaritual eclipse

To hear Australia’s Megaritual tell it, the 25-minute single-song Eclipse EP was recorded on Mt. Jerusalem in New South Wales this past summer, the one-man outfit of vocalist/guitarist/sitarist/drummer Dale Paul Walker working with bassist/Monotronist Govinda Das to follow-up his prior two Mantra Music EPs, recently compiled onto an LP (review here) by White Dwarf Records. Whether or not that’s the case, “Eclipse” itself is suitably mountainous, building along a linear course from sea level to a grand peak with droning patience and gradual volume swells, lush and immersive psychedelia in slow-motion trails, a sparse verse, percussion, sitar, guitar, bass, and so on coming to a glorious vista around the 17:30 mark only to recede again circa six minutes later in a more precipitous dropoff. The digital edition (and that’s the only edition thus far) comes with a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun,” which makes good company for the hypnotic titular exploration and the quick progression it represents after the other two short releases.

Megaritual on Bandcamp

White Dwarf Records website

 

Red Lama, Dreams are Free

red lama dreams are free

Heavy psychedelic pastoralists Red Lama enter the conversation of 2016’s best debut albums with Dreams are Free, initially released on All Good Clean Records and subsequently picked up by Stickman. Leaning more toward the liquid end of psych-blues, the Danish seven-piece immediately transcend with opener “Inca” (video here) and quickly showcase a subtlety for build that only gets more potent as they move through “Sonic Revolution” and “The World is Yours,” unfolding due heft in the latter without losing the laid back sensibility that the vocals bring sweetly, melodically, to the material. The later “Mekong River” seems almost like it’s going to shoegaze itself into post-rock oblivion, but Red Lama hold their sound together even into the 10-minute closer “Dalai Delay” – aptly-titled twice over – and deliver with striking patience a languid flow with hints of underlying prog experimentation. How that will come to fruition will have to remain to be seen/heard, but Dreams are Free also dips into funkier groove on “Dar Enteha,” so while they probably could be if they were feeling lazy, Red Lama don’t at all seem to be finished growing. All the better.

Red Lama on Thee Facebooks

Red Lama at Stickman Records

 

Lacy, Andromeda

lacy andromeda

Lacy is an experimental solo-project from former Lord guitarist Stephen Sullivan, based in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and part of a deep sludge underground that goes back well over a decade. Andromeda is his third album with the outfit and the second to be released in 2016, though unlike the preceding Volume 2. Blue, its 12 tracks were recorded in a matter of months, not years. All instruments, arrangements, vocals and the raw recording were handled by Sullivan himself (he also took the photo on the cover) but cuts like “Gyre Hell” and the acoustic “Push Me Away” veer around self-indulgence or hyper-navelgazing – I’d call “Offal and the Goat Brains” experimental, but not narcissistic – and he seems more interested in writing songs than making a show of being outside this or that imaginary box. Still, Andromeda offers diversity of instrumentation and arrangement, unplugging once more for “Healer” before closer “Always” finishes the album as a rumbling and grunge-laden love song.

Lacy on YouTube

Lacy on Bandcamp

 

Valborg, Werwolf

valborg werwolf

After catching on late to German metallers Valborg’s 2015 fifth album, Romantik, I told myself I wasn’t going to miss whatever they did next. The single Werwolf (on Temple of Torturous and Zeitgeister) might be a quick check-in of just two songs – “Ich Bin Total” and “Werwolf” itself – but the classic European-style death-doom chug of the latter and the vicious crash of the former I still consider a reward for keeping an eye out. “Ich Bin Total” is less than three and a half minutes long, and “Werwolf” just over five, but both feature choice chug riffing, darkened atmospherics and art-metal growls that only add to the clenched-teeth intensity of the instruments surrounding. They spare neither impact nor ambience nor lives as Werwolf plays out, the title cut riding its massive progression forward to a sensory-overload of nod before finally offering some release to the tension in a second-half guitar lead, only to revive the brutality once more, repetitions of “werwolf” chanted in growls over it. Awesome.

Valborg on Thee Facebooks

Temple of Torturous website

 

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Windhand & Cough Announce Spring 2017 Australia / New Zealand Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 21st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Well, I mean, yeah. Clearly. Labelmates, both from Richmond, both with three records out, sharing a bassist, etc. — it seems only reasonable that if either Windhand or Cough were going to undertake the rather significant voyage from the US East Coast to tour Australia and New Zealand that the other would go along as well. Though they’re certainly distinguishable in sound, they could hardly have more circumstantially in common if they were the same band. Logic wins the day. Spock would be pleased.

Windhand go supporting 2015’s Grief’s Infernal Flower (review here), while Cough head abroad to herald 2016’s Still They Pray (review here). It’s hardly the first international trip for either band — both of whom were also recently confirmed to play Psycho Las Vegas 2017 — but should be a good time nonetheless. Who doesn’t like to travel with friends?

Shows are presented by Life is Noise, who sent the following down the PR wire:

windhand and cough

LIFE IS NOISE PRESENTS: WINDHAND (USA) & COUGH (USA) AUSTRALIAN / NEW ZEALAND TOUR MARCH/APRIL 2017

LIFE IS NOISE is excited to announce that two powerhouses of American doom metal—Windhand and their spiritual kin Cough—will be heading to our shores in 2017.

These label-mates from Virginia will be melting minds at select venues throughout Australia and New Zealand as part of a massive doom double-header in March and April next year.

Windhand

The rise of Windhand has been meteoric. Since first surfacing in 2009, this Virginia five-piece quickly outgrew their local underground ties to tour the globe with acts like Sleep, High On Fire, Dead Meadow and Kvelertak. And their third full length, Grief’s Infernal Flower, cemented the band as one of the doom masters of our time.

Grief’s Infernal Flower is the epitome of fuzzed-out bliss. Simultaneously massive, heavy and deeply personal, the haunting and hypnotic vocals of Dorthia Cottrell serve to guide the listener through the dual riff attack of guitarists Garrett Morris and Asechiah Bogdan.

Windhand live are a lesson in rhythmic mastery. Propelling through the slowest of songs, with the subtle expertise of bassist Parker Chandler and drummer Ryan Wolfe as their backbone, no one will be able to defy the pure need to headbang in their presence.

Cough

Cough rose from the fertile metal swamps of Richmond, Virginia to produce some of the most intense, tortured and misanthropic doom out. Drawing from savage elements of extreme music, the past decade has seen the band inspired by everything from early black metal and sludge tones to psychedelia, doom’s early genre forefathers, blues and more—all in their search for beauty in the darkest of places.

Now they have returned after a five-year hiatus with the monolithic beast that is Still They Pray.

Produced by Electric Wizard’s Jus Oborn, Still They Pray is a recording that takes the listener to the depths of despair and longing. With comparisons to seminal acts like Candlemass, Cathedral, Sleep and Saint Vitus, their third full length is 70-minutes of crushing defeat and euphoric redemption.

Catch Windhand and Cough at any of the following dates:

Wellington – San Fran – March 31
Auckland – Kings Arms – April 1
Brisbane – Crowbar – April 2
Sydney – Newtown – April 5
Adelaide – Fowlers Live – April 6
Melbourne – Corner Hotel – April 7
Perth – Badlands – April 8

Tickets from lifeisnoise.com, Oztix, the venues and undertheradar.co.nz for NZ shows.

https://www.facebook.com/events/351591348545404/
http://www.windhand.band/
https://www.facebook.com/WindhandVA/
https://twitter.com/windhandva
https://windhand.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Cough666/
https://www.instagram.com/cough666/
http://cough.bigcartel.com/
https://cough.bandcamp.com/
relapse.com/
lifeisnoise.com

Windhand, Grief’s Infernal Flower (2015)

Cough, Still They Pray (2016)

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