Live Review: Black Cobra, Lo-Pan, Lunglust, Hepatagua and Sea of Bones in Cambridge, MA, 09.16.14

Posted in Reviews on September 17th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Black Cobra (Photo by JJ Koczan)

There was a point during Black Cobra‘s set last night at T.T. the Bear’s Place in Cambridge at which I felt like my head had been swallowed by some gargantuan octogod out of a Lovecraft horror. Five bands deep into a five-band Tuesday, it was hard to stand up let alone make any attempt to keep up with Black Cobra‘s intensity, which has been outdoing rockers far more riotous than I for over a decade. They were headlining, playing last, of course, a show that might as well have been billed as a festival, with their tourmates Lo-Pan and local support from LunglustHepatagua and Connecticut’s Sea of Bones. My first time at T.T. the Bear’s was going to give me plenty of opportunity to get to know it.

If you’re looking for it, it’s quite literally next to the Middle East, which I don’t suppose will be much help when they turn that whole complex into condos as they’re allegedly going to do sooner or later, likely working at Boston’s usual we’ll-get-there-in-200-years pace in a continued effort to destroy any sense of culture not directly related either to the higher education of its imported money-spending rich kids or the steadfast working class scoffery of its actual citizens. A whole town dedicated to telling itself to fuck off. It’s a good place to like sports, not a good place to try and open a bar. So it goes.

Despite a few circles around the block for parking, I was early. Sea of Bones were opening, so we’ll start there:

Sea of Bones

Sea of Bones (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I was surprised Sea of Bones would start the show. Not because they’re a huge commercial band or anything, but because the Connecticut-based three-piece are so loud, I know that if I was another opening act on the bill, I wouldn’t want to follow them. Their brutal post-doom emanated from a formidable wall of cabinets as Mammoth in sound as in their brand, the company founded by Sea of Bones guitarist Tom Mucherino given a weighty endorsement by the band’s own tectonic force. The tension in their quiet stretches isn’t to be understated, but when Mucherino, bassist Gary Amedy and drummer Kevin Wigginton all crash in on the material from their 2013 two-disc sophomore outing, The Earth Wants us Dead (review here), all three adding their vocals to the assault, they’re quite frankly one of the heaviest acts I’ve ever seen. I spent the last $10 to my miserable name on the CD of The Earth Wants us Dead, and no regrets. An early laugh for the night was when, after two or three songs, they were informed they had five minutes left and ended the set because none of their material is that short. Right fucking on.

 Hepatagua

Hepatagua (Photo by JJ Koczan)

It was Hepatagua guitarist/vocalist Aaron Gray who reportedly brought the Black Cobra and Lo-Pan tour to town in the first place, and after seeing his duo’s former moniker, Automatic Death Pill, on shows more or less since I moved here, I was glad to finally get to see them play. The band is Gray and drummer Nate Linehan (ex-Anal CuntFistulaFinisher, etc.), and they tapped into various heavy impulses, indulging a thrashy impulse here or there but mostly sticking to a steady groove. Gray‘s vocals leaned aggressive but weren’t necessarily a given as growls, and the chemistry between the two was clear on stage, Automatic Death Pill having gotten their start in 2010, and they seemed most at home in raw sludge. They don’t have anything recorded as yet — rumor is they’ll address that this winter — but it’ll be interesting to find out how or if their material solidifies in the studio or keeps the edge with which they presented it at T.T. the Bear’s. Either way, I sincerely doubt this will be the last time I run into them, and they gave me something to look forward to for the next one.

Lunglust

lunglust (Photo by JJ Koczan)

A five-piece with Nicholas Wolf and Brad Macomber of The Proselyte (also Phantom Glue in the case of the former) on guitar and bass, respectively, Lunglust played that kind of dark hardcore that’s doom in its tone and metal in its fervor but still ready to toss in a breakdown every now and again. Drummer Reid Calkin had “You’re Shitty” emblazoned on the front of his kick, which didn’t seem very nice, but they were as tight as the style would require and five dudes’ worth of loud, guitarist Eric Lee in the dark on the far right of the stage and vocalist Jeff Sykes periodically stepping out onto the speakers in front of the stage to get further get his point across. No worries there. His t-shirt was the second logo sighting of the night for His Hero is Gone (Sea of Bones‘ Mucherino had a patch), and his disaffection bled into each cupped-mic growl. In terms of their basic sound, they weren’t really my thing, but they quickly showed why they were where they were on the bill and pummeled with speed, efficiency and viciousness, seeming to enjoy the violence every step of the way. I was glad no one in the crowd started throwing punches.

Lo-Pan

Going to see Lo-Pan is a no-brainer. Oh, Lo-Pan‘s coming through town? Do you have feet? Well, you better use those feet to march your ass over to wherever they’re gonna be and enjoy. With the release of Colossus, the hard-touring Columbus, Ohio, unit’s fourth album, impending, it seemed all the more reason to be there. “Regulus” from that album was aired, as well as the expansive “Eastern Seas” and “Vox” (track premiere here), and “Marathon Man” was the highlight of my night. They dipped back to 2011’s Salvador (review here) only once, for “Chichen Itza,” and otherwise the whole set was new material. That was the case for the most part as well when they played the Small Stone showcase next door at the Middle East, but I was glad to be more familiar with the songs this time around. On stage, they were much as ever — ridiculously tight and locked in, guitarist Brian Fristoe in a universe comprised of his own sleek grooves while on the opposite side of the stage bassist Scott Thompson bangs his head like he’s trying to shake it off, up front, drummer Jesse Bartz slams his cymbals so hard they bite through your earplugs and in back, vocalist Jeff Martin offers soul-stirring command. I thought he was going to blow out the P.A. during “Vox,” but no equipment was damaged. Still, it was easy to tell how deep into this tour Lo-Pan were. Not quite halfway through the run with Black Cobra, they had their inside jokes going (Martin shouted the whole set out to Guy Fieri, the crowd “didn’t need to know why”) and road eyes on, barely seeing the place, focused and intent on the work they were doing in it, looking right past, all straightforward drive and momentum build.

Black Cobra

black cobra (Photo by JJ Koczan)

That made them an excellent lead-in for Black Cobra. I had wondered how it might be going from Lo-Pan‘s more heavy rocking style to Black Cobra‘s unadulterated thrash bludgeonry, but what the two bands have in common is they’re both killer live acts. In the case of Black Cobra, they’re now a decade removed from the release of their first EP, and the duo of Jason Landrian (guitar/vocals) and Rafa Martinez (drums) have dedicated most of that time to perfecting their craft on the road. The short version is they sound like it. I’ve already told you I was beat to hell by the time they went on. Black Cobra, on the other hand, were a torrent of adrenaline, Martinez and Landrian pounding out selections from their catalog starting with “One Nine” from 2006’s debut full-length, Bestial, and including highlights from their most recent outing, 2011’s Invernal (review here), like “Avalanche,” the righteously chugging “Corrosion Fields” and overwhelmingly extreme “Obliteration.” Like Lo-Pan before them, they sounded like a band who’s been on tour for about two weeks, dead set on what they want to do and how they want to do it. They’re about due for a new record as well, and I was hoping for some new material, but most of what they played came from Invernal, though they included the title-track from 2009’s Chronomega and closed out with “Five Daggers” from 2007’s Feather and StoneLandrian seeming to take an opportunity between each cut to roar out a primal dominance and encourage the audience to join him in it. They did. No encore at the end, but nothing left to say. The house lights came on quick and those of us still in the room collected our well-demolished consciousnesses and shuffled out. For what it’s worth, Black Cobra looked like they could’ve kept playing with no problem.

I got pulled over on my way home, received a $55 ticket on a back road for my car not being inspected. My car has over 205,000 miles on it. The cop was visibly disappointed I wasn’t drunk, and I was visibly disappointed he existed. Another police vehicle pulled around and sat in a nearby parking lot and I thought about asking Officer McDickhead if he needed backup to tell me my license plate light was out, if maybe he didn’t want to break out the military surplus assault vehicles, but didn’t. He told me have a good night and I grunted at him and rolled up my window. Fucker. Worst part about it is cops are younger than me at this point. Got in somewhere around 2AM.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

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Sea of Bones Announce US Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 6th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Connecticut volume overlords Sea of Bones will be taking their destructive, sludged-out assault on the road beginning July 11. They will make their way from New England out to the West Coast and back over the course of the next month, complete with a stop in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on July 19 to play the Gilead Media Fest.

This is Sea of Bones‘ longest tour yet in support of their late-2013 full-length, The Earth Wants us Dead (review here), which was their first album in six years. Built on a foundation of massive tones and ground-shaking plod, the three-piece outfit hopefully won’t be traveling alone as they make their way across the US, because that’s an awful lot of cabinets for just three dudes to lug around.

They announced the tour on their Thee Facebooks thusly:

America, we are coming for you, this is a warning!

Fri 7-11 Boston, MA @ McGanns Irish Pub
Tue 7-15 Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class
Wed 7-16 Detroit, MI @ Yonka House
Thu 7-17 Covington, KY @ Three Kings Bar
Fri 7-18 Oshkosh, WI @ Gilead Fest (Attending)
Sat 7-19 Oshkosh, WI @ Gilead Fest 2014 (Playing)
Sun 7-20 Minneapolis, MN @ The Shit Biscuit (House)
Tue 7-22 Missoula, MT @ TBA
Wed 7-23 Spokane, WA @ Hop Spokane
Thu 7-24 Seattle, WA @ Highline Bar
Fri 7-25 Portland, OR @ Alleyway Bar
Sat 7-26 Arcata, CA @ The Alibi
Sun 7-27 San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern
Mon 7-28 Sacramento, CA @ The Press Club
Tue 7-29 Los Angeles, CA @ Five Star Bar DTLA
Wed 7-30 Las Vegas, NV @ Whiskey Funeral Co.
Fri 8-01 Denver, CO @ Mutiny Information Cafe
Sat 8-02 Lawrence, KS @ Jackpot Music Hall
Sun 8-03 St. Louis, MO @ Fubar Saint Louis
Mon 8-04 Indianapolis, IN @ The Bee Hive (House)
Tue 8-05 Lexington KY @ Al’s Sidecar
Wed 8-06 Columbus, OH @ Carabar Bar
Thu 8-07 Baltimore MD @ The Sidebar
Fri 8-08 Brooklyn, NYC @ Saint Vitus Bar
Sat 8-09 New Haven, CT @ Three Sheets New Haven

Poster by Ethan Lee McCarthy
http://leangreenohmswatts.tumblr.com/

http://seaofbones.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sea-of-Bones/35253450819

Sea of Bones, The Earth Wants us Dead (2013)

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audiObelisk Transmission 031

Posted in Podcasts on October 28th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Click Here to Download

 

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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.

First Hour:
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)

Second Hour:
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)

Total running time: 1:59:29

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 031

 

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audiObelisk: Sea of Bones Premiere “Black Arm” from The Earth Wants us Dead

Posted in audiObelisk on October 18th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

The sound of Connecticut trio Sea of Bones is custom built for hyperbole. It’s not surprising that such grand images of crushing mountains and monolithic oppression are trumpeted in reference to it, because in itself, it’s working in such extreme terms, proffering massive post-sludge churn through a wall of cabinets constructed for that very purpose by guitarist/vocalist Tom Mucherino, who’s joined in the purpose by bassist/vocalist Gary Amedy and drummer/vocalist Kevin Wigginton. Even the runtime of their self-release sophomore outing, The Earth Wants us Dead – to say nothing of the title, which sets its own extremity of terms — is a sprawl at 91 minutes, with the second of two discs consumed entirely by the near-40-minute title-track. “Fucking huge” is what they do, and they do it loud.

It’s been six years since Sea of Bones made their full-length debut with 2007’s The Harvest (review here), and though they’ve dispensed in the interim with the song-titles-as-chapter-numbers methodology of that record and the prior 2006 EP, Grave of the Mammoth, the aesthetic drive toward largesse remains consistent in their approach. An easy atmospheric comparison point is Neurosis, but once they depart from the ambient intro to tracks like “The Bridge,” “Failure of Light” and “Black Arm,” Sea of Bones are less likely than the Oakland post-metal forebears to interrupt forward momentum — however slow and lurching it might be and often is — with ambient exploration. That’s not to say the album lacks mood. The title-track is constructed largely of a droning progression that eventually meets with far-back, echoing plod, and even as punishing and anguished as “Beneath the Earth” gets, it never completely departs from its brooding beginnings, so there’s plenty of environ-building going on, it’s just all very, very bleak, and where Neurosis might be on a spiritual quest for some kind of connection to authenticity via land or ancestry — a noble enough quest and not one I’d belittle — at least sonically, Sea of Bones seem to be saying that and just about everything else is futile and pointless.

The Earth Wants us Dead is not an easy album to digest — more likely to be digested by it — but Sea of Bones have more to offer than inhuman tonal weight and thunderous crash with throaty shouts trying to cut through the fray only to be buried like everything else. As you make your way through “Black Arm” on the player below and hear the nods to Through Silver in Blood in the vocal tradeoffs and the overarching rumble, keep in mind the radical mindset that could produce such monstrously scathing product and it’ll quickly become clear why everything you’ve seen about the band to this point speaks in absolutes.

Enjoy:

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Sea of BonesThe Earth Wants us Dead is coming soon, and the band will play in New Haven, CT, on Oct. 23 with Stone Titan, Terminator 2 and Gowl. More info on that and the album release at the links that follow.

Sea of Bones on Thee Facebooks

Sea of Bones on Bandcamp

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Sea of Bones to Release New Album The Earth Wants us Dead

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 24th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s been more than two years since I stood before Sea of Bones‘ wall of cabinets for the Fuzz Fest (review here) at Cherry Street Station in Wallingford, Connecticut, but I still feel like my ears are ringing. Theirs was one of those rumbles that not only shook the venue, but vibrated the earplugs in your head, rendering them moot. The New Haven crushers’ debut long-player was 2007’s The Harvest (review here), and the trio will issue their sophomore full-length, The Earth Wants us Dead, before the end of the year. Opening cut “The Stone, the Slave and the Architect” from the album is streaming now for your skull-caving needs below.

The PR wire takes it from here:

SEA OF BONES: Atmospheric Doom Metal Miscreants To Unleash First Full-Length In Six Years

Connecticut atmospheric doom metal miscreants, SEA OF BONES, are pleased to soil the masses with their latest slab of slow motion desolation in the form of The Earth Wants Us Dead.

Their first offering in six years, the crushing full-length serves as a true testament to the band’s impenetrable determination. Having weathered all manners of hell both collectively and personally, from a tour-ending van crash and personnel changes to two scrapped recordings, trashed songs, and a near breakup, The Earth Wants Us Dead could have, quite easily, not been. However SEA OF BONES returns triumphantly to their original three-piece lineup, bruised, gnarlier and more determined than ever before.

Recorded with guitarist Tom Mucherino and longtime friend David Lutz at a secret underground location (aka Tom’s cellar) and mastered by Mell Dettmer (Earth, Kayo Dot, Thou), The Earth Wants Us Dead heaves forth a cataclysmic wall of soul-rumbling distortion. Crowned, “beautifully agonizing,” in an early review by Verbicide, who furthers, “pure, uncut ugly, cooked up on a bloody spoon, and slowly shot into your ear hole…with a railroad spike,” the six track offering is unapologetically severe; an introspective outpouring of sound and emotion that is at once morose yet infuriated. SEA OF BONES’ The Earth Wants Us Dead is the thick, sordid resonance of true despair and includes a near forty-minute soul-swallowing, droney, instrumental improv piece (the title track) recorded at InnerSpaceSoundLabs with Scott Amore.

Elaborates the band, “This album is more than just music to us, it is a testament to our friendship and the chemistry we have with each other. This album was made for the three of us but we hope you all will enjoy it as much as we do.”

The Earth Wants Us Dead will be unleashed later this year. Further info, including live assaults, to be announced in the weeks to follow.

The Earth Wants Us Dead Track Listing:
1. The Stone The Slave And The Architect
2. Black Arm
3. Failure Of Light
4. Beneath The Earth
5. The Bridge
6. The Earth Wants Us Dead

SEA OF BONES:
Gary Amedy – bass, vocals
Tom Mucherino – guitar, vocals
Kevin Wigginton – drums, vocals

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sea-of-Bones/35253450819
http://seaofbones.bandcamp.com

Sea of Bones, “The Stone, the Slave and the Architect”

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Live Review: Fuzz Fest in CT, 06.03.11

Posted in Reviews on June 8th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster

By the time I had eyes to see the above wisdom scrawled on the wall next to the urinal at Cherry Street Station in Wallingford, Connecticut, I was already several Newcastles into the night. The last time I was at the venue was for a show with A Thousand Knives of Fire, Bloodcow and others, and that was years ago, but not much had changed. Bands still set up in the corner of the main room, the bar was up a couple steps and there was a patio outside for the smokers. Hockey was on the big screen and beer was cheap. I had arrived early — a fruitless stop at Redscroll Records preceded — and immediately set about chipping away at the cash in my wallet. When in doubt: drink.

I had a good hour to do so, and Newcastle goes down like candy, so the cash and the beer were both going quick by the time Stone Titan started up. Fuzz Fest — a collection of local Connecticut acts put together by Ron Vanacore of Curse the Son (who played third) — didn’t actually feature all that much fuzz. With a name like that, you’d expect six or seven Fu Manchu clones on the bill, but instead, the lineup culled acts from different prongs of the doom umbrella, starting with Stone Titan‘s heavy sonic debt to the riffs of Jimmy Bower. They were so young I wondered if they’d have been allowed at the show if they weren’t playing it, but honest about where they came from; an Eyehategod cover went a long way in transitioning them in my mind from “derivative” to “charming.”

Either way, their collective heart was in the right place, and theirs was the start of a night of several impressive covers. The Connecticut scene, if nothing else, has good taste. King of Salem, who played second, covered “Swinging the Chain” from Black Sabbath‘s Never Say Die, and that sat well alongside their straightforward heavy rock. Guitarist/vocalist Simon Tuozzoli and drummer Mike Petrucci were joined by a bassist (who, if I’m not mistaken, had the night’s only five-string; one too many) and guitarist who looked imported directly from another band.

I was a fan of King of Salem‘s Prophecy way back when I reviewed it, so it was cool to hear some of that material live, and while it was abundantly clear that Tuozzoli and Petrucci were the core of the band, the other half, situated on the right side of the stage area, did well with their parts, the guitarist adding solos to Tuozzoli‘s riffs that were both fluid and accomplished. It was a strange set, but a good one, and an excellent transition point between Stone Titan and Vanacore‘s own outfit, who occupied the center position on the bill.

After hearing their Klonopain full-length, I suspected that the disc, while enough to give an overall impression of their sound (and a favorable one), didn’t do the band full justice, and their live show proved that assertion correct. Petrucci was pulling double-duty, drumming for Curse the Son as well as King of Salem, and he’d reportedly only practiced with Vanacore and bassist Cheech once, two days earlier, but you wouldn’t have known it watching the trio play. He adapted to the songs excellently, and Vanacore‘s tone, which came out of two green cabinets and a green head with “WEED” where “Green” might otherwise have been, was among the highlights of the night.

As the driving force behind the show, their crowd was the biggest. The way the P.A. speakers were set up, it made the stage area look small, but it was actually deep enough so that most of the equipment was backlined, and the high ceiling in the room made it so Curse the Son were able to pull off a loud, full sound, which they did, expressing a clear love for the riffy arts. Admirable enough that Vanacore got the show together in the first place, but doubly so that Curse the Son didn’t then headline or screw anyone into a shitty timeslot. It was a well-constructed evening and good to see everyone getting into the bands. Going to shows in New York, it’s easy to get lost sometimes in how much of a social obligation it is. For me at least, as an outsider up for the weekend, it was refreshing to have it be just about the music.

And just when I was most feeling that after Curse the Son‘s set, there came Lord Fowl. It’s not really doing them justice to call them the “find of the night,” because I’d heard three of the total five bands before, but they fucking destroyed, either way. A double-guitar/double-vocal four-piece from just south on I-91 in New Haven, they powered through a set that included the best cover of Thin Lizzy‘s “The Boys are Back in Town” that I’ve ever heard — and I’ve heard a few — and hands down the night’s highest rock quotient. Their set had that same feeling you get watching Roadsaw or one of those really killer Small Stone acts rip it up, where you just know this is how rock and roll should be done and the bullshit factor is nil.

They had a CD for sale, which I bought, and if there’d been others, I’d have gotten them too. The night had already been a winner, but Lord Fowl absolutely made it, and when they finished, I immediately commenced nerding out about how righteously good they were. I haven’t listened to the disc yet only for lack of time, but I’ll get there for sure, as I want to hear if they’ll be able to translate their live energy to an album. Here’s hoping.

Post-that, anything was going to be a comedown, but Sea of Bones closed out the night in front of a wall of amplifiers (the drums, also huge) and emitted the kind of volume that rendered earplugs all but useless. Seriously, I could feel them vibrating in my ears. The levels on their three mics — one for each member of the band — were off, but honestly, with that much noise coming from the cabs, I don’t think anything would have helped. You could’ve blown out the P.A. three times over and still not heard the screams of drummer Kevin, guitarist Tom or bassist Gary (all first names only). Easy to blame the sound guy for that, but even he could only do so much to stem their massive tonality.

My last beer was gone by the time they started playing, and it had been my intention to split a couple songs in, but Sea of Bones held my attention and feet in place. If you’ve never heard them, their ultra-doom borders on post-metal at times, but is mostly angrier and less intellectually pretentious than much of that genre. If they toured, you wouldn’t need my recommendation to check them out, because they’d already be huger even than Tom‘s pedal board. What they had in common with the rest of the acts in the Fuzz Fest lineup, though was a readily evident passion for what they were doing.

And if you’re going to book a show of local acts and try and foster a developing scene, that’s how you do it: by loving what you do and showing that to others. Kudos to Vanacore on picking the lineup he did (the shout-out in my direction from the stage was unnecessary, but also appreciated), since they may have all come from different ends of the genre, but there was an undercurrent that bound them all the same. When I left, it was too late for me to call my mother as per the advice of the men’s room wall, but I was comfortable anyway in knowing my time had been well spent.

More pics after the jump.

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Harvesting the Sea of Bones

Posted in Reviews on June 10th, 2009 by H.P. Taskmaster

Cardboard. Yes, sir.When last I heard from bleak Connecticut doomers Sea of Bones, it was the 2006 Grave of the Mammoth EP, and since the track listing of that release was three songs titled as chapters I-III, and on the self-released cardboard digipak full-length The Harvest (which has apparently been out for a while but I just got my hands on), it’s IV-VI, I’m going to assume I didn’t miss anything between. Except maybe some growth on the band’s part, because while The Harvest retains the oppressive darkness of its predecessor, Sea of Bones have clearly thickened up their sound — evidenced in the massive, inhumane guitar tone of Tom after a few minutes of ambient intro on opener Sailing over the ocean dead.“Chapter IV.”

They’re down to a trio now after having whited out the name of second guitarist Al, but there’s nothing missing from the band, as densely packed as these songs are with sludge riffing. Kevin‘s drumming could stand to be higher in the mix, but the way the vocals of both Tom and Kevin plus bassist Gary are buried under the instruments as well it works in an encompassing and/or apocalyptic kind of way. Listening to The Harvest, you get the sense that this is the way things have to be. Hopelessness is nothing new to doom — particularly doom as afflicted as this — but Sea of Bones make an old aesthetic vital once again with their raw passion and unbridled turmoil.

The songs respectively check in at 17:20, 15:15 and 20:13 (saving the epic for last, obviously), and each one hypnotically traces a path from initial stillness to gratifying apex — sometimes going there more than once — taking structural cues from the post-metal set without giving themselves over completely to that sound. The tortured screams on “Chapter V” over the always-risky-in-doom double-kick drumming are particularly blood-curdling, and the song’s quicker pace gives it a different feel from the chapter right before. Sea of Bones are evolving and their music is becoming more complex. Not a bad thing.

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