The Obelisk Radio Add of the Week: The Gates of Slumber, Stormcrow EP

Posted in Radio on January 30th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Rife with unfuckwithable plod and thickened miseries, The Gates of Slumber this week unleashed five new tracks as a Scion A/V Metal-sponsored EP called Stormcrow. The collection, produced by Sanford Parker, feels even more weighted in the low end than did their last album, 2011’s excellent The Wretch (review here), and the Indianapolis-based trio have kept the ultra-despondent vibe of that record alive while expanding the scope a bit musically, crushing as much with tone as with emotionality.

“Death March” and “Dragon Caravan” retain the memorability of The Wretch, not so much relying on hooks to grab the listener’s attention as leaving an indent behind when they’re done. The louder the material on Stormcrow gets, the deeper that indent goes, but nothing The Gates of Slumber does feels excessive or wanting for authenticity. They have become the forerunners of classic American doom over the last several years, and while it’s easy to read Stormcrow as a victory lap, it’s also a next step in their ongoing development.

Even if the ultra-Vitusisms of The Wretch left you wanting (which, if you heard them, they likely didn’t), guitarist/vocalist Karl Simon, bassist Jason McCash and drummer “Iron” Bob Fouts do the hard work here of making them more their own, closer “Of that Which Can Never Be” reminding of some of Paul Chain‘s desolation as filtered through Orodruin‘s last demo. Scion A/V Metal has made the EP available as a free download, which you can find at the link below, and the five tracks have also been added to The Obelisk Radio as of today. Doom on.

Download The Gates of Slumber’s Stormcrow EP

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Video Premiere: Sleep Live at Scion Rock Fest 2012 & Interview

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 29th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

How could you not love those faces? So bright-eyed and innocent.

Today, I have the absurdly extreme pleasure of premiering three clips of heavy gods Sleep performing and being interviewed at the 2012 Scion Rock Fest. As with the Church of Misery premiere last week, these videos come courtesy of Scion A/V Metal, and I’m grateful for being given the chance to post them. With a hurricane bearing down outside my window and not knowing how long electricity is going to last, I can think of no better use for it than making public the videos of “Dragonaut,” “Jerusalem Pt. 1″ and the interview below. Well, maybe showering, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

If you’ve been lucky enough to see Sleep in the last couple years, you already know both that the three-piece are something special to behold and that the dynamic between bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros (also Om), guitarist Matt Pike (also High on Fire) and drummer Jason Roeder (also Neurosis) more than lives up to the legacy they made for themselves with landmark releases like 1993’s classic Sleep’s Holy Mountain, from which “Dragonaut” comes, and the ultimate stoner epic Dopesmoker, from which “Jerusalem Pt. 1″ is derived. As they’ve been playing live the last couple years — Roeder came aboard to replace original drummer Chris Hakius — they’ve broken up the pieces of the hour-long monster and dispersed them into the set, giving the whole thing an unhinged feel and continuing flow. I don’t feel the slightest bit hyperbolic when I say it’s among the heaviest things I’ve ever seen.

Please enjoy “Dragonaut,” “Jerusalem Pt. 1″ and the following interview with Cisneros and Roeder.

Sleep, “Dragonaut” Live at Scion Rock Fest 2012

Sleep, “Jerusalem Pt. 1″ Live at Scion Rock Fest 2012

Sleep Interview at Scion Rock Fest 2012

Thanks again to Scion A/V Metal for the permission to host these clips, and to Sleep, for all the riffs and badassery and crimson dragons and whatnot.

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Video Premiere: Church of Misery Live at Scion Rock Fest 2012 & Interview

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 25th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

Captured on Church of Misery‘s first-ever US tour in their 17-year history, the footage below of Japan’s most lethal doomers comes from June 2 at the Scion Rock Fest in Tampa, Florida. The band, who’d already set a serial pace across Europe in the spring, hitting both Desertfest London and Roadburn, slammed into the States for a successful run, thrilling longtime fans who’d never gotten the chance to experience the band’s Sabbathian loyalism live and single-handedly raising the nation’s t-shirt GDP by no less than 30 percent.

The song “El Padrino” was the leadoff track on Church of Misery‘s last album, 2009’s Houses of the Unholy, and like the vast majority of their material (the portion that’s not dedicated to covers of heavy ’70s legends and/or Saint Vitus), it’s about a serial killer. That’s what they do. This time, it’s Adolfo Constanzo, a Cuban-American drug dealer, cult leader and mass murderer in Mexico City in the 1980s. It’s kind of like the guy was doing Church of Misery a solid just by existing.

Anyway, they put his story to good use, as you can see in the footage of “El Padrino” below:

Church of Misery, “El Padrino” at Scion Rock Fest 2012

At the fest, founding bassist Tatsu Mikami and Australian guitarist Tom Sutton — who joined in 2006 and was replaced in the band’s always tumultuous lineup by Ikuma Kawabe (ex-Dhidalah) following the US tour — sat down for an interview and discussed their roots, the nonexistent doom scene in Japan and how it’s kept them original, and much more.

Dig it:

Church of Misery, Interview at Scion Rock Fest 2012

Special thanks to Scion A/V Metal for allowing me to premiere this footage. Stay tuned for more to come.

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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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