Quarterly Review: Horsehunter, Church, Corpse Light, Sunder, T-Tops, The Space Merchants, Etiolated, Blown Out, Les Discrets, Beast Modulus

Posted in Reviews on June 30th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk summer quarterly review

Day one down and feeling good so far. Day two continues the thread of mixing more known quantities with bands either self-releasing or putting out demos, etc., and I like that. More than last time around — last quarter, if you want to use the business-y sounding language for it — I tried to really get a balance across this batch of reviews, posted yesterday and coming up over the next couple days. We’ll see how it works out when it’s over. It remains a ton of stuff, and I hope you dig it. Day two starts right now.

Quarterly review #11-20:

Horsehunter, Caged in Flesh

horsehunter caged in flesh

Pushing their way to the fore of Melbourne’s heavy surge, double-guitar four-piece Horsehunter proffer oppressive tonal crush on the four tracks of their 2LP Magnetic Eye Records debut, Caged in Flesh. The story goes that, unsatisfied the initial recordings weren’t heavy enough, the band – guitarists Michael Harutyanyan (also vocals) and Dan McDonald, bassist/vocalist Himi Stringer and drummer Nick Cron – went back into the studio and redid the entire thing. Mission accomplished. By the time 16-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Stoned to Death” is done, lungs are suitably deflated, spines are cracked, skulls cleaved, and so on. They’re hardly the only ones in the world to conjure formidable tonal heft, but it’s the deft changes in vocals – clean here, shouts there, more abrasive at the start of the title-track – and the sense of atmosphere in the three-minute penultimate interlude that really distinguish Horsehunter, as well as how smoothly that atmosphere integrates with the pummel in the second half of closer “Witchery,” attention to detail and awareness of the need for more than just sonic weight boding well for future progression.

Horsehunter on Thee Facebooks

Magnetic Eye Records on Bandcamp

Church, Unanswered Hymns

church unanswered hymns

A staggeringly heavy debut full-length from Sacramento, CA, five-piece Church, Unanswered Hymns was initially released digitally by the band and quickly picked up for a cassette issue by Transylvanian Tapes and forthcoming LP through Battleground Records. One gets the sense listening to the three extended tracks – 19-minute opener “Dawning” being the longest of the bunch (immediate points) – that those won’t be the last versions to come. Psychedelic doom blends seamlessly with vicious sludge extremity, creating a morass engulfing in its tones, spacious in its breadth and unrepentantly heavy, making it one of 2015’s best debut releases, hands down, and a glorious revelry in bleak tectonics that challenges the listener to match its level of melancholy without giving into an impulse for post-Pallbearer emotive theatrics. As thrilling as they are plodding, expect the echoes of “Dawning,” “Stargazer” and “Offering” to resonate for some time to come, and should Church show any predilection for touring in the next couple years, they have the potential to make a genuine impact on American doom. Yes, I mean it.

Church on Thee Facebooks

Transylvanian Tapes

Battleground Records

Corpse Light, Without Form

corpse light without form

Recorded in a day and released by Grimoire Records, the four-track Without Form is slated as the debut from Baltimore atmospheric doomers Corpse Light, but the band have had tracks come out in drips and drabs since getting their start as Ophidian in mid-2012, even if this is their first proper release. Either way, “The Fool” sets up an immediate and grim ambience, the churning lurch from guitarists Keiran Holmes and Don Selner and bassist Aurora Raiten set to roll by Lawrence Grimes (The Osedax) and given earthy aggression by the vocals of Jim Webb. “Lying in State” fleshes out these morose aggro vibes, but it’s with the drop-everything-and-kill peak of the subsequent “R Complex” that Corpse Light hit their angriest mark. If Without Form was just about that, it would be the highlight, but the album’s 29 minutes have more to offer than pissed off tonally-weighted post-hardcore, as closer “Kenophobia”’s clever turns and deceptive forward momentum demonstrate, though a touch of that kind of thing never hurts either.

Corpse Light on Thee Facebooks

Grimoire Records on Bandcamp

Sunder, Demo

sunder demo

Heavy psych four-piece Sunder will make their debut this summer through Tee Pee and Crusher Records with a 7” for “Cursed Wolf,” so consider this notice of the tracks on their not-for-public-consumption demo a heads up on things to come. Their “Deadly Flower” was streamed here this past April, and the band’s previous incarnation, The Socks, released their self-titled debut (review here) on Small Stone in 2014, but with songs like the key-laced stomper “Bleeding Trees,” the ‘70s rusher “Against the Grain,” and the Uncle Acid-style swinging “Daughter of the Snows,” the Lyon, France, outfit continue to refine a style drawing together different vibes of the psychedelic era. “Deadly Flower” was also distinguished by its key work, and as for “Cursed Wolf” itself, the melody reminds of proto-psych Beatles singles (thinking “Rain” specifically), but the groove still holds firm to a sense of weight that’s thoroughly modern, and by that I mean it sounds like 1972. Keep an eye out.

Sunder on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records

T-Tops, T-Tops

t-tops t-tops

Granted not everyone is going to make this immediate association, but when I first saw the moniker T-Tops, I couldn’t help think of like C-grade generic stonerisms, songs about beer and pretending to be from the South and all that. If you experienced something similar in seeing the name, rest easy. The Pittsburgh trio of guitarist/vocalist Pat Waters (ex-The Fitt, Wormrigg), bassist Jason Orr (Wormrigg) and drummer Jason Jouver (ex-Don Caballero) are down with far more sinister punk and noise on their self-titled, self-released debut full-length, riding, shooting straight and speaking truth on cuts like “Wipe Down” and the catchy “Pretty on a Girl” after the tense sampling of “A Certain Cordial Exhilaration” turns over the power-push to “Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’.” “Ralphie” is probably an inside-joke if not a Christmas Story reference, but point is these guys are way less about-to-sing-about-muscle-cars than the name implies and their tight, crisp rhythmic turns come accompanied by vicious tonal force and an utter lack of bullshit, which is a scenario far preferable to that which one might otherwise expect.

T-Tops on Thee Facebooks

T-Tops on Bandcamp

The Space Merchants, The Space Merchants

the space merchants the space merchants

Issued by Aqulamb in the imprint’s standard 100-page art book/download format, the self-titled debut from fellow Brooklynites The Space Merchants seeks to draw a line between psychedelic rock and country. And not pretend country like people with a Johnny Cash fetish because he covered that Nine Inch Nails song one time – actual, bright, pastoral, classic country. Call the results psychtwang and applaud the effort, which works oddly well in a thoroughly vintage context to come across on “Mainline the Sun” like something from a lost ‘60s variety show. Parts of “One Cut Like the Moon” and the later fuzz of “One Thousand Years of Boredom” give away their modernity, but The Space Merchants’ push toward a stylistic niche suits them well, and the intertwined vocal arrangements from guitarist Michael Guggino, bassist Aileen Brophy and keyboardist Ani MonteleoneCarter Logan drums to round out the four-piece – add to the rich, welcoming feel that remains prevalent even as the eight-minute “Where’s the Rest of Life” slips into wah-soaked noise to finish out.

The Space Merchants on Thee Facebooks

Aqualamb on Bandcamp

Etiolated, Grey Limbs, Grey Skies

etoliated grey limbs grey skies

The undercurrent of black metal coursing beneath the surface of Etiolated’s debut full-length, Grey Limbs, Grey Skies, eventually comes to the surface in 10-minute opener “Internal Abyss” and 16-minute eponymous closer, which bookends, but in part it’s the tension of waiting for those rampaging surges that keeps one hooked to the Armus Productions release. Guttural death growls echo up from dense tonal reaches, and tempo shifts, whether in those longer tracks or three-minute lumbering slice “Futility” are fluid, the North Carolina five-piece executing a slow-grinding chug in centerpiece “Exsanguinate,” which seems like a murk without end until the 1:47 “For Your Hell” kicks into a speedier, more blackened rush, guest vocalist Ryan McCarthy joining guitarist/vocalists James Storelli and Walls, bassist Cody Rogers and drummer Elliot Thompson in furthering the already prevalent sense of extremism before “Etiolated,” after a surprisingly peaceful if brooding midsection, plods the album to a close. To say “not for the faint of heart” would be putting it lightly, but if I had a vest and if Etiolated had patches, the two parties would definitely meet up at some point in the near future.

Etiolated on Thee Facebooks

Armus Productions on Bandcamp

Blown Out, Planetary Engineering

blown out planetary engineering

It has not taken long for the discography of UK psych jammers Blown Out to become a populated murky cosmos of its own. Planetary Engineering is released on Oaken Palace Records and finds the three-piece of guitarist Mike Vest (also Bong, etc.), bassist John-Michael Hedley (also Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs) and drummer Matt Baty (also the head of Box Records) exploring two mesmeric and sprawling instrumentals – one per side – that bend and flourish and hypnotize in organically-concocted swirl. Side A’s “Transcending Deep Infinity” tops 20 minutes and shifts from its spacey build to a low key groove at about 7:30 in, pulsing forward once more amid head-turning repetition, deep echoes and longform nod, culminating in a two-minute fadeout that brings forward “Thousand Years in the Sunshine,” an immediate bass groove and interstellar swirl no less trance-inducing than its predecessor. Cyclical drum fills morph over time behind the guitar and bass, and Planetary Engineering seems to push continually further out until, of course, it disintegrates, presumably as it crosses the galactic barrier.

Blown Out on Thee Facebooks

Oaken Palace Records on Bandcamp

Les Discrets, Live at Roadburn

les discrets live at roadburn

I was fortunate enough to have been in attendance at Het Patronaat in Tilburg when French post-black metallers Les Discrets took the stage at Roadburn 2013. As such, it’s with some trepidation I approach their Live at Roadburn recording on Prophecy Productions – the impression they made live wasn’t something I’d want potentially spoiled or brought to earth by a document proving it was just another set. With Neige of Alcest on bass with guitarist/vocalist Fursy Teyssier, Les Discrets proved to be something really special to those who, like me, were there to catch them, and the eight-track Live at Roadburn – fortunately – captures both the majestic lushness they brought with them and the underlying weight that seemed to add impact to the material. What might sound like post-production mixing on “L’Echappée” or the wash of “Chanson D’Automne” isn’t – it really was that beautiful and that perfectly balanced coming from the stage. A vastly underrated act and a document that reminds of how stellar they were without sullying the memory in the slightest.

Les Discrets on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions

Beast Modulus, Beast Modulus


Brooklynite foursome Beast Modulus seem to care less about meshing with ideas of genre than sticking them in a meatgrinder and seeing what comes out. To wit the riotous chugging of “Cowboy Caligula,” and the blackened thrust of “WaSaBi!” on their self-released, self-titled outing, which leads to dueling growls and screams on the tonally weighted post-hardcore “Fabulous,” and the appropriately mathy turns of the thrashing “Tyranny of Numbers.” Inventive in their stylizations and in where the six songs included on the release actually go – hint: they go to “heavy” – the lineup of vocalist Kurt Applegate, guitarist Owen Burley, bassist Jesse Adelson and drummer Jody Smith have some post-Dillinger Escape Plan vibe in the calculated chaos of “Kalashnikov,” but closer “Killing Champion” is too impatient to even be held by that, the prevailing manic angularity of Beast Modulus ultimately crafting its own identity from the physical assault the music seems intent on perpetrating upon the listener.

Beast Modulus on Thee Facebooks

Beast Modulus on Bandcamp


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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Earthless Meets Heavy Blanket, Fever Dog, Thine, Dwellers and Electric Lucifer

Posted in Radio on June 17th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

These are a little later than I’d prefer, but if I ran everything on time around here as much as I wanted to, it would probably take me 24 hours a day. Sometimes you have to go to the post office, or to The Patient Mrs.‘ workplace to scam free printer paper. I’m just saying things come up that can alter the course of your planned afternoon. One can either be flexible or go insane.

So, better (perpetually) late than never, and I hope you’ll agree with me that this stuff was worth waiting for.

Adds for June 17, 2014:

Earthless Meets Heavy Blanket, In a Dutch Haze

Behold the megajam: The jam that launched a thousand jams, and insert further hyperbole here, because this one earns it. At Roadburn 2012, the illustrious lineup of J. Mascis (Witch, Dinosaur Jr.) and his Heavy Blanket bandmate Graham Clise (also Witch and Lecherous Gaze) joined forces with Earthless‘ rhythm section, bassist Mike Egington and drummer Mario Rubalcalba for a one-time-only, off-the-cuff instrumental jam that has since become the stuff of legend. Yes, a legend two years later. Now dubbed “Paradise in a Purple Sky,” that hour-long one-track excursion into pure heavy psychedelic bliss is available as Earthless Meets Heavy Blanket‘s In a Dutch Haze, and the vibe is less that of a live album than a historical document. Call it lightning in a bottle, call it any other cliche you might want, but chances are In a Dutch Haze is going to be the best live release you hear this year, and if the echoing intertwining guitar solos and unhindered thudding groove — immaculately captured by Marcel van de Vondervoort — aren’t enough to stir your soul and drive you to creation, then I’ve got nothing for you. This is heavy psych at its most vibrant and righteous. Burning World Records, Outer Battery Records.

Thine, The Dead City Blueprint

The Dead City Blueprint (out on Peaceville Records) is actually the third full-length from UK-based Thine, but it’s also their first since 2002, so the feel winds up somewhat like a debut anyway. What happened in the interim? Well, drummer Dan Mullins from the two-guitar five-piece has doubled in My Dying Bride since 2006, so that could at least partially explain the delay. Whatever else may have caused the stoppage, Thine make up for the years with 10 deep explorations of dark, melancholic rock. “Out of Your Mind and into a Void” is almost singularly indebted to Damnation-era Opeth, and opener “Brave Young Assassin” finds Thine somewhere between a less keyboarded Katatonia and a more active version of Anathema at their moodiest, but “The Precipice” provides an early peak to The Dead City Blueprint with a surprise reinterpretation of NWOBHM guitar intricacy and wonderfully arranged vocals from Alan Gaunt, whose performance takes the piece to someplace entirely the band’s own. Winding, airy lead lines in “The Rift” will be a dogwhistle to those in the know, but the piano-inclusive apex of “Scars from Limbo” and ambient finale “Adrift through the Arcane Isles of Recovery” speak to an individuality in development, and if Thine get a follow-up out sometime before 2026, I wouldn’t be surprised to find them grown further into their style. Thine on Thee Facebooks, Peaceville Records.

Dwellers, Live at Bar Deluxe 29-04-2014

As the title hints, Live at Bar Deluxe 29-04-2014 is a new live release from Salt Lake City heavy rockers Dwellers, recorded in their hometown at the end of April. That puts it prior to the street date for their second album, Pagan Fruit (review here), but two cuts from that — “Rare Eagle” and “Totem Crawler” — make appearances anyway alongside highlights drawn from the first Dwellers offering, 2012’s Good Morning Harakiri (review here). Both those records were on Small Stone, but this 34-minute set is a self-release free download, essentially a band-endorsed bootleg to be spread around. The audio quality is definitely in the “audience recording” vein, but clear enough to let the spaciousness of “Old Honey” sink in as it flows out of “Ode to Inversion Layer,” and as this is as close as I’ve yet come to seeing Dwellers — the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Joey Toscano, bassist Dave Jones and drummer Zach Hatsis — live, I’m more than inclined to take it. Hearing Toscano nail the chorus to “Totem Crawler” as well as he does here only emphasizes how much I need to catch a gig sooner rather than later. Maybe it’s a fan piece, but screw it, I’m a fan. Dwellers on Thee Facebooks, Dwellers on Bandcamp.

Fever Dog, “Iroquois”

Just a quick look from these jammy Palm Desert youngsters at what their forthcoming sophomore full-length, Second Wind, will hold, but “Iroquois” bodes well, and in its two-minute span one can hear space rock ideals beginning to make themselves felt amidst a still tonally weighted push, the band’s confidence emerging as their sound continues to expand. Comprised of guitarist/vocalist/thereminist Danny Graham, bassist/noisemaker Nathan Wood and drummer Joshua Adams (also synth), Fever Dog show they have a clear dedication to being more than a heavy rock band, and as brief as “Iroquois” is, the immediateness with which it enacts a vibe puts Second Wind on my list of most anticipated albums for the second half of this year. Lot of potential for the desert’s next generation. Fever Dog on Thee Facebooks, Fever Dog on Bandcamp.

Electric Lucifer, Coming to the Mountain

Not to be confused with Cincinnati’s Electric Citizen, Cleveland-based triple-guitar stoner rollers Electric Lucifer get down to some post-Electric Wizard idolatry on their Dec. 2013 Coming to the Mountain three-track EP. The nod is central and effective, and with three guitars at work, riffing is obviously half the point, though the leads mesh naturally with well-held grooves on “Electric Lucifer,” which leads off, and the subsequent “Phantoms from the Outer Rim” and “Red Wizard,” the last of which finds Electric Lucifer at their most blown-out, proffering stoner rock for stoner rockers with a clear passion for the tenets of the genre. There isn’t much fancy about it, but with a reemerging interest in straightforward Sabbath worship and a subsequent full-length released shortly after from Electric Lucifer, easy to think the five-piece would hit a nerve for heads already converted and looking to nod out. Electric Lucifer on Thee Facebooks, Electric Lucifer on Bandcamp.

Also added this week were releases by John Garcia and Swedish stoner punkers Lightsabres. For the full list of updates and more, check out The Obelisk Radio updates page.

Thanks as always for reading and listening.

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Earthless Meets Heavy Blanket 2012 Roadburn Jam to See Vinyl Release

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Over the last couple years, Roadburn has given birth to some legendary jams. Their late-night set in 2012 might not have been the first time J. Mascis (Witch, Dinosaur Jr.) kicked it off with the guys from Earthless, but in the couple years since it’s become a landmark for the fest and a model of one-off collaborations they’ve continued to refine. That set, under the title In a Dutch Haze, will be released on vinyl shortly, and it’s available to preorder from Outer Battery Records and Roadburn/Burning World Records now.

The lineup was Graham Clise and Mascis, both of Heavy Blanket, and Mario Rubalcalba and Mike Eginton of Earthless. Thus, Earthless Meets Heavy Blanket.

The PR wire has it like this:

EARTHLESS Meets HEAVY BLANKET “In A Dutch Haze” to be Released July 8

Titanic Team-Up Featuring Psych Rock’s Heaviest Hitters Takes Physical Form!

Monstrous Mash-Up From Members of Dinosaur Jr., Lecherous Gaze, OFF!, Rocket From the Crypt, Sweet Apple, Witch and More Delivers Whiz-Bang Wallop the Likes of Which the World Has Never Heard Before!!!

This July, a colossal collaborative concert, previously privy only to those who were fortunate enough to have helped fill a Netherlandic concert hall multiple moons ago, will be unleashed in awesome audio form as EARTHLESS Meets HEAVY BLANKET In A Dutch Haze. The out-of-this-world recording will see a July 8 release date via Outer Battery Records / Roadburn Records.

Back-story: an impromptu heavy psych JAM between J Mascis (DINOSAUR JR, SWEET APPLE, WITCH and one of both Rolling Stone and SPIN’s “Greatest Guitarists of All Time”) and California space rock masters EARTHLESS at the 2009 SXSW Festival left an onlooking crowd stunned and breathless. When word of the performance spread, the world-renowned musicians were asked to play the main stage of Holland’s annual international rock festival, Roadburn, to attempt to recreate the magic that revved-up an Austin audience at what was thought to be a one-time event.

Fast forward to the 2012 installment of the fantastic fest; when EARTHLESS’ guitarist Isaiah Mitchell had to back out at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstance, six-string shredder Graham Clise from J Mascis’ loud, psychedelic project HEAVY BLANKET (and who also plays with Mascis in WITCH and in the bitchin’ Bay Area band LECHEROUS GAZE) stepped in on second guitar. Backed by the best rhythm section in today’s adventurous rock world — Mario Rubalcaba and Mike Eginton from EARTHLESS — the quartet stormed the stage for what would become an incredible one-time happening, leading to almost a full hour of some of the most mind-bending heavy psych imaginable. The epic jam session gave birth to shredding psychedelia and hard rock blues underpinned by the muscular rhythmic sensibilities of kraut-rock and the unbridled energy of 70’s guitar rock. The formidable foundation laid by drummer Rubalcaba became a jumping off point for Mascis, Clise and Eighton to explore their inner cosmoi for consciousness-expanding riffs and music-induced psychedelic experiences.

Track listing:
1.) Paradise in a Purple Sky (58:34)

Now, the rest of the planet can ready their receivers and hoist headphones on high as the full live set from that magical evening in Tilburg is set to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world! Far-out, gatefold-spanning artwork by San Francisco tattoo artist and designer Tim Lehi (High on Fire, Black Anvil, Xasthur) perfectly animates this incredible audio adventure, while matchless mastering by Carl Saff (Boris, Guided By Voices), pushes this priceless performance over-the-top. Flame retardant clothing is highly recommended!

EARTHLESS Meets HEAVY BLANKET In A Dutch Haze is available for pre-order purchase now at this location. The initial LP pressing takes the form of a special, 2xLP on purple sky vinyl, limited to 300 copies. Collectors, don’t delay!


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Roadburn-Exclusive Vinyl from Napalm Death, YOB and Candlemass Now Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Over the last couple years, the number of Roadburn‘s fest-exclusive releases has been quietly growing. In 2013, one could pick up vinyl from Dread Sovereign and The Obsessed, and this year, no less than the grind royalty of Napalm Death put together an EP. Add to that live records from YOB and Candlemass and you have a bit of a series going. Or Burning World Records has a bit of a series going, anyway.

Today the label has put the word out that they’ve culled all the leftover vinyl and instead of hording it all to themselves, holing up in a corner somewhere with their arms wrapped tightly around Our Pain is Their Power, they’ve decided to make it available to the buying public who maybe didn’t get the chance to pick the stuff up at the fest itself. In addition, Burning World has made Elder‘s Live at Roadburn 2013 — which I’m told has one or two of my photos in the layout — available as a pay-what-you-want download, which if nothing else is generous. Elder‘s on tour now in Europe with Hull, so that ties together nicely.

Burning World sent the following down the PR wire:

Roadburn Festival exclusive vinyl

We managed to get our hands on these exclusive and limited Roadburn Festival 2014 only vinyl releases:

Napalm Death – Our Pain Is Their Power – The Roadburn Festival EP
Yob – The Unreal Never Lived live at Roadburn 2012 2LP
Candlemass – Live At The Marquee 1988 2LP

Free Elder Live at Roadburn download

Download Elder Live At Roadburn 2013 from Bandcamp. As usual with the Roadburn releases this download is free (or more exact ‘pay what you want’). If you need more you can pre-order the album on cd (in digipack with artwork) here (vinyl is sold out, get it on tour with the band).


Elder, Live at Roadburn 2013

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Elder to Release Live at Roadburn 2013 on LP and CD

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 15th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Some right-on-yes-please news today out of the Burning World/Roadburn Records camp in that Boston trio Elder will be releasing their 2013 Roadburn performance under the suitable title of Live at Roadburn 2013 on CD and vinyl. By way of a confession, I sort of knew this one was coming since the band was kind enough to ask for some photos from the set — which took place at the converted church Het Patronaat — to be included in the package, but it rules to see it announced and what’s best of all is that Live at Roadburn 2013 is available now for a pay-what-you-will download through the Burning World Records Bandcamp page.

Check out the righteous Adrian Dexter artwork, the announcement, and of course, the stream below, and rejoice. They were a highlight of that whole weekend, and some of the best memories I took away from Roadburn 2013 were of watching them so thoroughly kill it. Here’s the news, complete with a section of my review from that day:

ELDER to release Live At Roadburn 2013, download now on Bandcamp

Roadburn Records is proud to present: Elder Live At Roadburn 2013 on both vinyl, cd and digital. For those we weren’t there check what JJ Koczan, connoisseur of all things rock and psychedelic, over at The Obelisk had to say about the experience of catching Elder live:

‘What a fucking blast. Seriously. That’s what it says in my notes: “What a fucking blast.” It’s a direct quote. Probably the best thing I can compare it to is when Black Pyramid played the Afterburner in 2011 and were given such a warm reception, but this was bigger, both in room size and in that reception itself. People were lined up out the door and down the alley to see Elder‘s Roadburn debut, and the crowd was cheering before they even started the first song. They waved and people cheered. It was a lot of fun to see, and as it was the 10th show on their 15-date European run with Pet the Preacher, they also handed the place its collective ass. Both cuts from the Spires Burn/Release EP were included, as well as “Dead Roots Stirring” and a host of others, and for the umpteenth time in the last couple days, I felt lucky to be there. I know for a lot of people, this was the first time they’re getting to see them live, but even for the several times I have, this one was something special.’

Live At Roadburn 2013 captures the set in all its glory. Listen to it on below on Bandcamp and if you like download it, it’s “Pay what you want” so even free!

If you need the set on cd or vinyl please go here but beware we will not be able to send out the vinyl or cd before Feb. 1st 2014.

Elder, Live at Roadburn 2013

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The Midnight Ghost Train Release Live at Roadburn 2013

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 15th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

I took the above photo of always-raucous The Midnight Ghost Train‘s frontman Steve Moss from the sweaty doorway of the Bat Cave at the 013 venue in Tilburg, the Netherlands, as part of the Roadburn 2013 festival. It was as close as I could get to the band, who opened in grand fashion with feedback before unleashing an entire weekend’s worth of boogie into one bluesified, bombastic set. The Kansas trio are in the throes of a six-week US tour (dates here) supporting 2012’s Buffalo (review here) and have just released said Roadburn set as a free download under the fitting title Live at Roadburn 2013, with a CD and LP to follow soon on Roadburn/Burning World Records that’s available now for pre-order.

The link to that, more info, audio and the artwork — which I’m fairly sure is referencing a Leadbelly collection — follow here, courtesy of the label:

THE MIDNIGHT GHOST TRAIN Live at Roadburn 2013 free download. Pre-sale for vinyl + CD

Download The Midnight Ghost Train Live At Roadburn 2013 from Bandcamp below. As usual with the Roadburn releases this download is free (or more exact ‘pay what you want’). If you need more you can pre-order the album on vinyl (including a cd) and cd (in digipack with artwork). Pre-orders are up here.

The Midnight Ghost Train is a heavy blues / stoner rock band hailing from Topeka, Kansas. For five solid years The Midnight Ghost Train has been touring relentlessly in both the U.S.A and Europe, spreading their own version of thick Mississippi Delta-rooted style of stoner rock. The band is most well known for their intense, passionate, and soulful live show. No matter where they are or how many people they play to, you will never find TMGT giving anything less than their absolute best.

The Midnight Ghost Train, Live at Roadburn 2013 (2013)

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VIDEO PREMIERE: Scion A/V Interviews Roadburn Records Crew; Earthless & White Hills Split EP Now Available

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 3rd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Stay with me, friends, because there’s a lot going on here. Last November, Scion A/V and Roadburn Records got together in Hollywood to put on a label showcase at the Roxy. By all accounts, it was a ritzy affair. Red carpet, Orange amps, Blue Velvet, green horseshoes, the whole nine. Okay, I don’t know any of that, but whatever. On the bill were Enslaved, Astra, White Hills and Earthless. You don’t need me to tell you that’s a hell of a show.

Okay. At this gig of gigs, Earthless and White Hills had some material recorded, and that’s being presented today as a FREE DOWNLOAD LIVE EP at the Scion A/V website. I’ve also included the widget below for your convenience. Needless to say, both bands are in top form, because when the dudes from Roadburn come to town, you don’t want to let anything slide.

In addition to the aforementioned EP, which features the wah-drenched 12-minute “Red” from Earthless and 7:38 antigrav excursion “Under Skin or by Name” by White Hills, the Scion A/V team also sat down with the Roadburn Records crew — Jurgen van den Brand (note his 35007 shirt; awesome) and Jean-Paul van Steen — to talk about the formation of the label and how you sell music in the post-download age.

The clips provide an intensely fascinating look behind the scenes, and of course the EP is choice, so I’m thrilled to present the premiere of both below.

Please enjoy:

Scion A/V Roadburn Records Label Visit – The Festival Label

Scion A/V Roadburn Records Label Visit – Strategy

Scion A/V Releases Split EP Featuring EARTHLESS and WHITE HILLS

Celebrated Space Rock Bands Team Up, Deliver Herculean Cosmic Sound

Scion A/V, the creative enterprise of Scion devoted to the discovery, nurture, funding and distribution of compelling music and arts programming today releases a special two track, 20 minute EP featuring the heavy sounds of San Diego cosmonauts EARTHLESS and Brooklyn astral rockers WHITE HILLS. Recorded in November, 2012 at the world famous Roxy in Hollywood as part of the Scion-presented Roadburn Records label showcase, the free EP features EARTHLESS performing the stargazing track “Red” and WHITE HILLS delivering the boundless cut “Under Skin or by Name.” The EP is available as a free download now at ScionAV.com.


“Roadburn is an influential rock festival that is well respected internationally,” ?comments Jeri Yoshizu, manager of sales promotion for Scion. “We love what they do and wanted to be the first to bring Roadburn to the U.S.”?

EARTHLESS was formed in 2001 by Mario Rubalcaba, Isaiah Mitchell and Mike Eginton with the desire to create music incorporating a wide array of influences ranging from diverse bands (from Flower Travelin’ Band, Jimi Hendrix and Hawkwind to The Birthday Party, Can and Rory Gallagher, to name a few) re-imagined and born to stand on its own. Described by Rubalcaba as a “heavy, loud, sonic mind melt,” the music of EARTHLESS features epic instrumental passages that have solidified the California trio as one of the must-see heavy psych rock bands on the planet today.

WHITE HILLS is guitarist Dave W., bassist Ego Sensation and drummer Nick Name. The New York group twists beauteous, brain-tenderizing riffs into tight spirals of sound that succeed through sheer momentum. Paying just as close attention to the quiet moments as the raging ones, WHITE HILLS’ songs are a push-pull between churning and floating, abandon and control. The end result is invigorating deep space rock that’s built to be performed (and experienced) live.

Track listing:
1.) EARTHLESS “Red” (12:31)
2.) WHITE HILLS “Under Skin or by Name” (7:38)

Roadburn Records Showcase at ScionAV.com

Roadburn Records

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White Hills on Thee Facebooks

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Scion A/V and Roadburn Partner for Label Showcase

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 15th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

Roadburn goes Hollywood! If there was any conflict involved, you could almost call this a clash of the titans. Somehow “alliance of the titans” doesn’t have the same kind of ring to it, or “titans putting on a killer show.” Still, pretty bitchin’ that Roadburn and Scion A/V Metal could get it together for a label showcase. How bitchin’, you ask? Well, it’s just about giant-size poster bitchin’.

Dig it:

Scion A/V Metal are excited to announce their next Scion Label Showcase with Roadburn Records!

We are taking over The Roxy in West Hollywood, CA on Saturday, November 10, and we’re bringing Enslaved, White Hills, Scott Kelly, Earthless, and Astra with us. RSVP coming soon, so stay tuned to Scion A/V Metal’s Facebook page.

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