Posted in Whathaveyou on September 22nd, 2015 by JJ Koczan
Well, there goes Rosetta again, outworking damn near everybody. The Philly post-metallers offered up the textures of their fifth album, Quintessential Ephemera (review here) this past summer, and starting Oct. 8, they’ll embark on a West Coast tour to support the record alongside Braveyoung. Self-released as a name-your-price download and also issued on LP and CD through War Crime Recordings and Init Records, Quintessential Ephemera marked a decade since Rosetta‘s debut and their first album as a five-piece, but more than that it just continued their string of quality output that’s been reliable and woefully taken for granted for most of their tenure.
Seriously. Show up and buy a shirt. 1,000-plus gigs later, I feel like we all owe them that much:
Rosetta Confirms West Coast Tour
ROSETTA has announced a run of West Coast tour dates this October, with long-time friends Braveyoung, in support of their newly released Quintessential Ephemera LP, independently released by the band themselves.
With a ten-date run confirmed, ROSETTA will begin their 1st tour of the West Coast since Summer 2010 in Bellingham, WA on October 8th, followed by shows in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Eugene, Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Tucson through October 17th.
ROSETTA Tour Dates: 10/8 Bellingham, WA – The Shakedown 10/9 Vancouver, BC – Media Club 10/10 Seattle, WA – The Highline 10/11 Portland, OR – High Water Mark 10/12 Eugene, OR – The Wandering Goat 10/13 Sacramento, CA – The Press Club 10/14 Oakland, CA – The Golden Bull 10/15 Los Angeles, CA – Complex 10/16 San Diego, CA – The Hideout 10/17 Tucson, AZ – (Secret Show) * * no Braveyoung
The tour dates are the just the latest installment of news and media coverage surrounding ROSETTA’s new Quintessential Ephemera LP.
Quintessential Ephemera is now available — digitally via the band for “pay what you wish”HERE, North America CD is availableHERE, N America 2x LP availableHERE, Europe CD/2x LP + Japan extended CDHERE.
Mike Armine – vocals, electronics Dave Grossman – bass, vocals Eric Jernigan – guitar, vocals B.J. McMurtrie – drums, vocals, ‘barsista’ Matt Weed – guitar, piano, vocals
The final day of the Quarterly Review is upon us. It has been one hell of a week, I don’t mind saying, but good and productive overall, if in a kind of cruel way. I hope that you’ve been able to find something in sifting through all these releases that you really dig. I have, for whatever that’s worth. Before we dig into the last batch, I just want to thank you for checking in and reading this week. If you’ve seen all five of these or if this is the first bunch you’ve come across, that you’re here at all is appreciated immensely.
Quarterly Review #41-50:
Lucifer, Lucifer I
Vocalist Johanna Sadonis, who burst into the international underground consciousness last year with The Oath, resurfaces following that band’s quick dissolution alongside former Cathedral guitarist and riffer-of-legend Gary “Gaz” Jennings in Lucifer, whose Lucifer I eight-song debut LP is released on Rise Above Records. Joined by bassist Dino Gollnick and drummer Andrew Prestidge, Sadonis and Jennings wind through varied but thoroughly doomed atmospheres across songs like opener “Abracadabra” – the outright silliness of the “magic word” kind of undercutting the cultish impression for which Lucifer are shooting – or early highlights “Purple Pyramid” and “Izrael.” A strong side A rounding out with “Sabbath,” Lucifer I can feel somewhat frontloaded, but on repeat listens, the layered chorus of “White Mountain,” “Morning Star”’s late-arriving chug, the classically echoing “Total Eclipse” and the atmospheric finish of “A Grave for Each One of Us” hold their own. After a strong showing from Lucifer’s debut single, the album doesn’t seem like it will do anything to stop the band’s already-in-progress ascent. Their real test will be in the live arena, but they sustain a thematic ambience across Lucifer I’s 44 minutes, and stand ready to follow Rise Above labelmates Ghost and Uncle Acid toward the forefront of modern doom.
Drone-prone Philadelphia post-metallers Rosetta return with Quintessential Ephemera, the follow-up to 2013’s The Anaesthete and their fifth LP overall, which resounds in its ambience as a reinforcement of how little the band – now a five-piece with the inclusion of guitarist Eric Jernigan – need any hype or genre-push to sustain them. Through a titled intro, “After the Funeral,” through seven untitled tracks of varying oppressiveness and rounding out with the unabashedly pretty instrumental “Nothing in the Guise of Something,” they continue to plug away at their heady approach, relentless in their progression and answering the darker turns of their prior outing with a shift toward a more colorful atmosphere. At 52 minutes, Quintessential Ephemera isn’t a slight undertaking, but if you were expecting one you probably haven’t been paying attention to the last decade of Rosetta’s output. As ever, they are cerebral and contemplative while staying loyal to the need for an emotional crux behind what they do, and the album is both dutiful and forward-looking.
Pressed up by Brutal Panda Records for Stateside issue following a 2014 release in Europe on Svart, Death by Burning is the debut full-length from sans-bass Hamburg duo Mantar – vocalist/guitarist Hanno, drummer/vocalist Erinc – and as much as it pummels and writhes across its thrash-prone 10 tracks, opener “Spit” setting a tone for the delivery throughout, there are flourishes of both character and groove to go with all the bludgeoning throughout standout cuts like “Cult Witness,” “The Huntsmen,” the explosive “White Nights,” “The Stoning” and the more lumbering instrumental closer “March of the Crows,” the two-piece seamlessly drawing together elements of doom, thrash and blackened rock and roll into a seething, tense concoction that’s tonally weighted enough to make one’s ears think they’re hearing bass strings alongside the guitar, but still overarchingly raw in a manner denoting some punk influence. Bonus points for the Tom G. Warrior-style “ough!” grunts that make their way into “The Stoning” and the rolling nod of “Astral Kannibal.” Nasty as hell, but more subtle than one might expect.
Though it seems King Giant’s fate to be persistently underrated, the Virginian dual-guitar five-piece offer their most stylistically complex material to date on their third full-length, Black Ocean Waves (released on The Path Less Traveled Records and Graveyard Hill), recorded by J. Robbins (Clutch, Murder by Death, etc.) as the follow-up to 2012’s Dismal Hollow (streamed here). Still commanded by the vocal presence of frontman Dave Hammerly, the album also finds moments of flourish in the guitars of David Kowalski and Todd “T.I.” Ingram on opener “Mal de Mer,” the leads on “Requiem for a Drunkard” or the intro to extended finishing move “There Were Bells,” bassist Floyd Lee Walters III and drummer Keith Brooks holding down solid rhythms beneath the steady chug of “The One that God Forgot to Save” and “Blood of the Lamb.” Side A closer “Red Skies” might be where it all ties together most, but the full course of Black Ocean Waves’ eight tracks provides a satisfying reminder of the strength in King Giant’s craftsmanship.
The 14 single-word-title tracks of Si Ombrellone’s Horns on the Same Goat were originally recorded in 2006, but for a 2015 release, Connecticut-based multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Simon Tuozzoli (Vestal Claret, King of Salem) took them back into his own UP Recording Studio for touch-ups and remastering. The endeavor is a solo outing for Tuozzoli, styled in a kind of post-grunge rock with Frank Picarazzi playing drums to give a full-band feel, and finds catchy, poppy songwriting coming forward in the layered vocals of “Innocence,” while later, “Forgiveness” and “Darkness” offset each other more in theme than sound, as “Love” and “Hate” had done earlier, the album sticking to its straightforward structures through to six-minute closer “Undone,” which boasts a more atmospheric take. It’s an ambitious project to collect 14 sometimes disparate emotional themes onto a single outing, never mind to do it (mostly) alone – one might write an entire record about “Trust,” say, or “Rage,” which opens – but Tuozzoli matches his craftsmanship with a sincerity that carries through each of these tracks.
Boasting a close relationship to Duster69 and Mother Misery and featuring in their ranks Daredevil Records owner Jochen Böllath, who plays guitar, German heavy rockers Grand Massive revel in commercial-grade Euro-style tonal heft bordering on metallic aggression. 2 is their aptly-titled second EP (on Daredevil) and it finds Böllath, lead guitarist Peter Wisenbacher, vocalist Alex Andronikos, bassist Toby Brandl and drummer Holger Stich running through six crisply-executed tracks of catchy, fist-pumping riffy drive, slowing a bit for the creepy ambience of the interlude “Woods” or the more lurching tension of “I am Atlas,” but most at home in the push of “Backseat Devil” and closer “My Own Sickness,” a mid-paced groove adding to the festival-ready weight Grand Massive conjure. Word is they’re already at work on a follow-up. Fair enough, but 2 has plenty to offer in the meantime in its tight presentation and darker vibes, Grand Massive having been through a wringer of lineup changes and emerged with their songwriting well intact.
Carlton Melton Meets Dr. Space, Live from Roadburn 2014
If you guessed “spacey as hell” as regards this meeting between NorCal psych explorers Carlton Melton and Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Danish jammers Øresund Space Collective, go ahead and give yourself the prize. Limited to 300 copies worldwide courtesy of Lay Bare Recordings and Space Rock Productions, Carlton Melton Meets Dr. Space’s Live from Roadburn 2014 is a consuming, near-100-minute unfolding, Heller joining Carlton Melton on stage for four of the total seven inclusions, adding his synthesized swirl to the swirling wash, already by then 26 minutes deep after the opening “Country Ways > Spiderwebs” establishes a heady sprawl that only continues to spread farther and farther as pieces unfold, making “Out to Sea” seem an even more appropriate title. It will simply be too much for some, but as somebody who stood and heard the sounds oozing from the stage at Cul de Sac in Tilburg, the Netherlands, as part of the Roadburn 2014 Afterburner event, I can say it was a special trip to behold. It remains so here.
According to El Paraiso Records, Sela was held up as so many releases have been owing to plant production having been overwhelmed by Record Store Day and will be out circa August. Fair enough. Consider this advance warning of Danish improve collective Shiggajon’s first outing for the Causa Sui-helmed imprint, then, and don’t be intimidated as we get closer to the release and people start talking about things like “free jazz” and dropping references to this or that Coltrane. The real deal with Shiggajon – central figures Mikkel Reher-Lanberg (percussion, drums, clarinet) and Nikolai Brix Vartenberg (sax) here joined by Emil Rothenborg (violin, double bass), Martin Aagaard Jensen (drums), Mikkel Elzer (drums, percussion, guitar), Sarah Lorraine Hepburn (vocals, flute, electronics, tingshaws) – is immersive and tipped over into music as the ritual itself. One might take on the two 18-minute halves of Sela with a similarly open mind as when approaching Montibus Communitas and be thrilled at the places the album carries you. I hope to have more to come, but again, heads up – this one is something special.
“The Spell” proves right away that Alps-based heavy rockers Mount Hush (I love that they don’t specify a country) have the post-Queens of the Stone Age fuzz-thrust down pat on their debut EP Low and Behold, but the band also bring an element of heavy psychedelia to their guitar work and the vocals – forward in the mix – have a bluesier but not caricature-dudely edge, so even as they bounce through the “Come on pretty baby” hook of “The Spell,” they’re crafting their own sound. The subsequent “King Beyond” showcases how to have a Graveyard influence without simply pretending to sound like Graveyard, even going so far as to repurpose a classic rock reference – “Strange Days” by The Doors – in its pursuit, and the seven-minute “The Day She Stole the Sun” stretches out for a more psychedelic build. Most exciting of all on a conceptual level is closer “Levitations.” Drumless, it sets ethereal vocals and samples over a tonal swirl and airy, quieter strumming. Hardly adrenaline-soaked and not intended to be, but it shows Mount Hush have a genuine will to experiment, and it’s one I hope they continue to develop.
Joined for the first time by drummer Bas Snabilie (apparently since replaced by Aletta Verwoerd) Amsterdam heavy art rockers Labasheeda mark four full-length releases with Changing Lights on Presto Chango, the violin/viola of vocalist/guitarist Saskia van der Giessen and guitar/bass/keyboard of Arne Wolfswinkel carrying across an open but humble atmosphere, touching here on Sonic Youth’s dare-to-have-a-verse moments in “My Instincts” and pushing into more blown-out jarring with the slide-happy “Tightrope.” They bring indie edge to a cover of The Who’s “Circles,” and round out with a closing duo of the album’s only two tracks over five minutes, “Cold Water” and “Into the Wide,” van der Giessen’s croon carrying a sweetness into the second half of the former as the latter finishes Changing Lights with a rolling contrast of distortion and strings as engrossing as it is strange. Labasheeda will go right over a lot of heads, but approached with an open mind it can just as easily prove a treasure for its blatant refusal to be pinned to one style or another.
One decade after the release of their Translation Loss debut, The Galilean Satellites, Philadelphia’s Rosetta stand on the cusp of their fifth long-player, Quintessential Ephemera. Released in association with Golden Antenna Records, the new album follows 2013’s independently-released The Anaesthete and the 2014 Flies to Flame EP, as well as an original score produced earlier this year for a film about the band, Rosetta: Audio/Visual, and is the latest in a line of deeply creative outings furthering the band’s stylstic meld of atmospheric metal, sludge, post-rock and ambience. Noteworthy also for being their first full-length with the lineup of vocalist/noisemaker Mike Armine, guitarist Matt Weed, bassist Dave Grossman, drummer BJ McMurtrie and guitarist Eric Jernigan after having brought the latter on board in 2014 (he doubles in City of Ships), Quintessential Ephemera continues Rosetta‘s workman-style approach to progressive, fluid and exploratory songwriting, their commitment more to going places they’ve never gone than to any particular genre or other.
Weed took some time out recently to respond to The Obelisk Questionnaire and you’ll find his answers below. Please enjoy:
The Obelisk Questionnaire: Matt Weed
How did you come to do what you do?
Hard to say, since I’ve been in one band or another with our drummer BJ for over half my life. I picked up a guitar when I was 14 and it has always been a kind of territory that I explored, rather than an object I tried to master. So I’ve always written music by default – it was much harder to learn music written by other people. I went to school for totally unrelated stuff and that was probably a good thing, since academic study tends to destroy one’s enjoyment of a thing. I’m a bit of a robot in personality anyway, and music was one of the only ways I could ever access, understand, and communicate about emotion. The verbal language of emotion is either mystifying or outright off-putting to me, but playing an instrument I always felt like I had access to a more truthful way of communicating with people.
Describe your first musical memory.
My parents played a lot of classical LPs on a really crappy integrated turntable/amp system from the ’70s when I was a kid. My dad liked Romantic composers like Brahms and Tchaikovsky a lot, and my mom played the piano in the house, often old hymns. I would sit at the piano and play individual notes to see which I liked. I liked the A two octaves below middle-C the best. I would wail on that note for long periods, sometimes chanting over it (I was about four or five), but my family never complained about it. I guess that was my first foray into drone music.
Describe your best musical memory to date.
In high school, when I was still training on violin, I did a program where high school kids got to sit with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and play together. Each pair of stand partners was one PO member and one high school student. It was remarkable mainly because I was a “just-okay” student of the violin, but while I was on-stage with such serious players, my technique just seemed like it magically improved, instantly. I had no idea I could play like that. It wasn’t objectively great but it was an order of magnitude better than I was normally capable of. I never forgot it, because it was proof to me that everyone does their best work in collaboration; one person who develops skill and takes risks has a beneficial effect on everyone he or she plays with. Likewise, being lazy or self-satisfied drags down everyone around you.
When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?
There have been several extended periods where I really struggled with the idea that having integrity and good character is more important than success. I was brought up believing that (my parents were neither achievement-oriented nor overly accommodating), and I still do. But it’s easy to make that statement when you have enough to eat and can make rent and people are regularly affirming the work you do. Society says that integrity matters, but then turns around and judges you exclusively on indicators of wealth, prestige, or social significance. That would probably explain why so many truly awful people are among the most successful. Especially in the world of art, you need to be profitable, popular, or critically acclaimed. If you’re none of the three, you must not be very good at what you do. Then you feel pressure either to adapt your work to the market or to quit entirely. But neither of those options demonstrates integrity. I’m not sure it’s possible to resolve that conflict, ultimately.
Where do you feel artistic progression leads?
Laying aside questions about marketability, it seems like it’s a progression of greater risk-taking. You try something new and then ask, did it communicate what I wanted to say? Was it satisfying? Did I learn something in the process? If it didn’t work, then you go back and try again. If it worked, then you jump off from there and take more risks. If you’re not taking risks, then you’re not making art, you’re producing a commodity. But taking risks necessarily means failing sometimes.
How do you define success?
Sustainability. I don’t just mean that in the financial sense. I’ve never made any money from the band and I probably never will, but I’m happy for the band to support itself. Money hasn’t ever been a goal, it’s just one means to the end of being able to keep going for as long as there is music we want to make. But there are other dimensions to sustainability, like avoiding personal burnout and cultivating new audiences, not getting stuck in unproductive habits, becoming more disciplined people as time goes on. During periods where Rosetta was broke and almost unable to continue, money always loomed as the largest dimension. But once we went independent and the band more or less began to pay for itself, I started to see a lot of different ways it could be derailed that had nothing to do with money. I think success would be a situation where we had what we needed and were spending more time creating than problem-solving.
What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?
A No Doubt show at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia in 2002. Yes, it was for a girlfriend. Someone puked on my shoes.
Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.
A drone record made with a guitar and found sounds from my house to a four-track tape recorder.
Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?
Every year my wife and I try to go on a wilderness backpacking trip to some weird remote location. I always look forward to that. I feel most human in situations where I have to submit to the law of nature, rather than using technology to bend nature to my wishes. Real life seems totally unreal by comparison.
Rosetta, Rosetta: Audio/Visual Original Score (2015)
By now, Philly five-piece Rosetta are pretty much self-sustaining. What I mean is, the band, who picked up guitarist/vocalist Eric Jernigan from City of Ships in 2014 as their fifth member, seem to be able to just keep going. They tour hard consistently and do well, and they put out records that usually reap some measure of positive response, but more than anything else, what they’ve become in the decade since they issued their The Galilean Satellites debut on Translation Loss in 2005 is steady. Sustainable. They’ve built a loyal following and can probably keep Rosetta going until they decide it’s time to stop. Not saying it’ll make them rich, not saying it’s not work, but the band has a life of its own without being propped up by hype.
Rosetta‘s new album, Quintessential Ephemera, will be released on CD and LP this summer via Golden Antenna Records and follows a score the band put together for a documentary about them called Rosetta: Audio/Visual that can be name-your-price downloaded from their Bandcamp. They’ll head back to Europe following the upcoming full-length’s arrival, and you can find the dates below for that tour, courtesy of the PR wire:
Golden Antenna Records: ROSETTA “Quintessential Ephemera” (Members of CITY OF SHIPS, Post Metal/ Rock)
Artist: Rosetta Title: Quintessential Ephemera Format: CD, 2xLP Label: Golden Antenna Records Distribution: Broken Silence Release Date: 03/07/2015
With four albums under their belt, and over a thousand shows across a decade of touring, the four people behind Rosetta have branched out.
In 2014, Rosetta made their first-ever lineup change, adding Eric Jernigan of longtime tourmates City of Ships on guitar and vocals. As a five-piece, they recorded 2015’s Quintessential Ephemera, a many-layered collection of songs at once existential and deeply hopeful. Containing some of the band’s most moody and yet accessible work to date, it still has an upward force to it that delivers an appropriate counterpoint to the darkness and disintegration ofThe Anaesthete. After a 12-year journey, Quintessential Ephemera is a rebirth.
On their fifth full length album, Rosetta continues to broaden their harmonic and sonic experiments. Carrying the torch of 90s experimental rock with , they merge a deep melodic sobriety with progressive and confrontational heaviness. Quintessential Ephemera is both existential and deeply hopeful. It has some of the bands most moody work to date, but has an upward force to it that delivers an appropriate counterpoint to the darkness and nihilism of their previous record.
Quintessential Ephemera was recorded and mixed at Machines With Magnets (Battles, The Body, Braveyoung) in Providence, USA and mastered by Colin Marston (of Gorguts, Krallice, Dysrhythmia) at The Thousand Caves in New York. Artwork was designed by american artist called Mark Price.
European Tour 28.07 BEL – Knokke Heist @ Korenbloem 29.07 NL – Utrecht @ dB’s 30.07 GER – Würzburg @ Immerhin 31.07 GER – Bad Kötzting @ VOID FEST 01.08 SK – Trnava @ Art Klub 02.08 HUN – Budapest @ Dürer Kert 03.08 SRB – Belgrade @ KC Grad 04.08 BIH – Sarajevo @ Club Underground 05.08 CRO – Sibenik @ SUPERUHO FEST 06.08 CRO – Cakovec @ Prostor Cezam 07.08 AUT – Vienna @ Chelsea 08.08 CZ – Jaromer @ BRUTAL ASSAULT FEST 09.08 POL – Warsaw @ Klub Hydrozagadka 10.08 GER – Dresden @ Chemiefabrik 11.08 GER – Essen @ Panic Room 12.08 DK – Copenhagen @ Underwerket 13.08 GER – Berlin @ Tiefgrund (Theatersaal) 14.08 GER – Wiesbaden @ Schlachthof 15.08 FRA – Paris @ Le Point Ephémère 16.08 BEL – Ieper @ IEPER SUMMER FEST
Exciting news that Philadelphia’s Rosetta will have the chance this July to tour China. I mean, it’s cool enough just to get an opportunity to go to China, let alone tour there, so yeah, right on. Rosetta‘s latest release is 2013’s The Anaesthete, which you can hear in full below and was self-released last summer as a name-your-price download, but they’ve also got a new EP in the works called Flies to Flame that was mastered at the end of April and will be out later in 2014 on Translation Loss.
You can read about that project under the China tour dates below, all info snagged from their Tumblr:
TOUR: China Summer Tour 2014
We are delighted to announce that we will be touring in CHINA this summer! This is one of the most exciting opportunities we’ve ever had. Because of family/life events, we’re not able to do any other significant touring in 2014, but this was too good to pass up. Spread the word!
July 2: Hong Kong @ Hidden Agenda July 4: Shenzhen @ B10 July 5: Guangzhou @ SD Livehouse July 6: Wuhan @ Vox Livehouse July 8: Shanghai @ YYT Livehouse July 10: Chongqing @ Nuts Club July 11: Chengdu @ Little Bar July 12: Xi’an @ Guangquan Club July 13: Beijing @ Mao Livehouse
Our new EP, titled Flies to Flame, [has been] mastered. It’ll be out later this year in traditional formats — LP and CD — on Translation Loss Records. This not a pay-what-you-wish digital release.
This recording was a departure from our normal working style. We wrote the material in late 2012 and recorded it in a garage in early 2013, while we were writing The Anaesthete. It’s deliberately lo-fi, jangly, and experimental, a tribute to the stripped-down sound of the post-rock and drone records we loved when Rosetta began. Most of it was improvised as it was being recorded, and it was not edited or ‘fixed’ to make it sound polished. All the grit is there. We used different instruments and equipment than we normally play with, since this material isn’t intended to be played live. Instead it functions as a kind of process document, from an important and transitional year in our life as a band.
For the first time since The Galilean Satellites, we did all recording and mixing ourselves (with the invaluable help of our intern engineer, Alex Ruday). Mike Wohlberg is returning to create the artwork and layout, and James Plotkin is mastering it for both CD and vinyl.
Track list: 1. Soot 2. Seven Years with Nothing to Show 3. Les Mots et les Choses 4. Pegasus
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
There was a point during the making of this podcast when I stepped back for a second realized, “This is getting really heavy.” It kind of happened out of the blue, but it definitely happened, and though the thought occurred to me to maybe pull it back and get into some more rocking stuff in the second hour again, I decided instead to just run with it and have fun and go as all-out ridiculously heavy as I could think of. That’s when we get to Beast in the Field‘s 22-minute “Oncoming Avalanche.” I know I’ve had them in before, but if you’re going all out in 2013 releases, that’s where you’re gonna end up.
Plus, I figured there’s plenty of rocking stuff up front, starting with At Devil Dirt and the subsequent riff pushers in the first hour, and the whole thing rounds out with the psych-hypnosis of The Cosmic Dead, so though it’s far out by the conclusion, it does manage to come back from the ultra-weighted tones somewhat. Screw it. I was having a good time stringing together heavy songs. The bottom line of this whole thing is for it to be fun, and I was having fun, so there you go.
I hope you have fun with it too. Once again, we come in just under two hours with a slew of newer cuts and some stuff from earlier this year that maybe got missed along the way. Considering there’s so much pummel, it flows pretty well.
At Devil Dirt, “Don’t See You Around” from Plan B: Sin Revolucion No Hay Evolucion (2013)
Pigs, “Elo Kiddies” from Gaffe (2013)
Mutoid Man, “Scavengers” from Helium Head (2013)
Viper Fever, “Summer Time” from Super Heavy Garage EP (2013)
Sons of Huns, “I’m Your Dad” from Banishment Ritual (2013)
Blackout, “Seven” from We Are Here (2013)
Horisont, “Backstreet” from Time Warriors (2013)
Old Man Wizard, “If Only” from Unfavorable (2013)
Mother Susurrus, “Anagnorisis” from Maahaavaa (2013)
Coma Wall, “You are My Death” from Wood and Wire Split (2013)
Mollusk, “Hollowed” from Colony of Machines (2013)
Sea of Bones, “Failure of Light” from The Earth Wants us Dead (2013)
Corrections House, “Dirt Poor and Mentally Ill” from Last City Zero (2013)
Rosetta, “Myo/The Miraculous” from The Anasthete (2013)
Beast in the Field, “Oncoming Avalanche” from The Sacred Above, the Sacred Below (2013)
The Cosmic Dead, “Djamba” from The Cosmic Dead/Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Split (2013)
Posted in Features on July 12th, 2012 by JJ Koczan
When vocalist Steve Murphy of Kings Destroy — who’s hands down one of the most solid dudes I’ve ever come across in my doomly travels — first pitched me on the idea of a European tour diary, I was like, “Yeah, alright, I’d be up for that.” And I was, but I kind of figured that the band would be too busy drinking good beer and kicking good ass to actually follow through on it.
More the fool I, and rarely have I been so thrilled to play the fool. Below, bassist Aaron Bumpus checks in from the road as Kings Destroy opens the Red Stage at Sweden’s Getaway Rock Fest and continues their European run with Rosetta. If you’ve missed the first installments of the tour diary, click here.
Berlin-Prague Official tour song: Scorpions, “Winds of Change” Official tour mascot: Paul Stanley
After another great show at Magnet with our tourmates, Rosetta, Kings Destroy says farewell to Berlin and heads north to Sweden. My mind begins to generate a rather long list of bands that were born in this country over the years, and I start to think, “What metalhead wouldn’t be psyched about going to Sweden?”. Especially when said visit involves an insane event like GetawayRockFest.
Driving up from Berlin to the ferry, we hadn’t slept much in the van. So once we boarded the ferry, I put my head down and was out within minutes. I did wake up a couple of times to take a peak outside at what appeared to be small glacial structures. An ominous mist rose off the top as we crept by. Fucking metal, indeed.
After a second blown rear tire in three days (this time on Rosetta‘s van), we continued on to Linköping, where we made camp for the night. We would get an early start in the morning. Of course, delays are inevitable sometimes. Without getting too detailed, I guess it’s fair to say we may have put a little too much faith in our GPS. Once we figured out a way to get to a much more reliable road, we hauled ass to Gävle with Captain Murphy at the helm, and arrived at the exact time we were scheduled to set up for soundcheck. The view from the “Red” stage at Getaway Rock Fest was a sight to behold, adjacent to the river, blue skies and a clear sunny day. Since we opened the show on our stage (with Rosetta to follow), we weren’t expecting much of an audience. This was the earliest set we’ve ever played (2PM), but sure enough, people started making their way over to rock with us. Good times on that stage — always nice to have a bit of room to run around. Well received, and we had the rest of the day to hang out, drink beer and watch some of the other bands.
The highlight for me was at about 4:30PM, when I was lucky enough to catch Suicidal Tendencies set in its entirety. I watched from the frontlines singing along every word like an obsessed angst-filled Dogtown teenager. One can never get tired of watching Cyco Miko bug out on stage — dude never seems to run out of energy. I can honestly say, with four stages, 12 hours of bands, blond headbanging as far as the eye can see, and of course, t-shirts of all kinds, from obscure local favorites to the usual hall of famers (Iron Maiden wins the t-shirt popularity contest without question), I’ve never seen anything quite like this. The magnitude of such an event is pretty unbelievable, until you witness it for yourself.
Spent some time hanging out with the guys from Weedeater, who are some of the nicest dudes, and always entertaining both on stage and off. You know what? I take back what I said earlier. The REAL highlight of my day was watching the Weedeater cats commandeer a forklift from the stage crew, going full throttle towards the backstage area, then Dixie riding the lift all the way up to the top and back down, all without spilling his beer.
Saturday’s headliner: none other than the legendary Yngwie Malmsteen, who has not slowed down one bit since Rising Force. Sweden’s prodigal son returns, in triumph, to unleash the fucking fury in his homeland. Now that’s a sight I never thought I would get to see.
After a quick ferry ride followed by a 16-hour drive, we’re back in Germany for a show in Hamburg. Our overall weariness from the drive may have added to the extra-slow set we delivered, making it appropriately doomtastic. We made friends with some of the locals who accompanied us to a metal bar in the neighborhood where we spent the majority of the rest of the night drinking beer and filling up the jukebox. Lots of laughs as we stumbled back to the venue/apartment where we were staying.
Before I tell the story of our arrival in Prague, I should mention we just had our third flat tire in a week (the second flat for Rosetta‘s van). In order to make the gig, we had both bands pile into one van with all our gear, and fucking tore ass across the German border. Pretty intense. We knew we were going to be late, but “the show must go on,” as they say. We didn’t mind playing a relatively short set so the Rosetta fans at Klub 007 would get their money’s worth.
It was also C-wolf‘s birthday yesterday. I can’t think of a better place to celebrate the man and the legend that is the C-wolf. The next morning, we took a walk into town. We really haven’t had much time to go out and explore, but I’m glad Prague was one of the three we’ve been able to check out. Old cities are something of a fascination of mine, and I’ve been fortunate to see several on this tour. Little by little, we’re creeping closer towards the end. It’s really starting to sink in that this thing is almost over. But, with six days left in the tour, there are bound to be a few more adventures.
They also have two other bands on the bill, but sue me, I’m biased. The Maple Forum veterans Kings Destroy will be celebrating the release of their album, …And the Rest Will Surely Perish on vinyl (the CD long since sold out), and they do so with future European tour partners Rosetta, with Clamfight — whose next record is now mixed, mastered and awaiting artwork, pressing and eventual Maple Forum release — and Floridian heavies Hollow Leg. It’s going to be quite a Wednesday, indeed.
If you’re in the area, obviously it’s got my vote for “places you should be” — free Genesee cans from 7-10PM adding to the already considerable element of danger — but even if not, I think you can appreciate the killer flyer they made featuring “sampled” Philippe Druillet art: