Black Cobra Announce Feb. 26 Release for Imperium Simulacra

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 25th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

black cobra

There are two ways to approach the prospect of a new Black Cobra record. One is an exclamatory “Fuck yes!” followed by the boarding up of windows, the shoring up of foundations and whatever necessary domicile improvements you might make so that when you finally get your hands on such a thing and play it at the appropriate volume it doesn’t actually destroy the place you live, and the other is, “What’s ‘heavy’?” in which case you’ll probably want to gurd your loins before being introduced. Either way you go, confirmation of a Feb. 26 release for Black Cobra‘s awaited fifth long-player is only good news. If the hatches need battening down, we can get to that later.

Word of Imperium Simulacra comes just days after the two-piece finished a tour with YOB after wrecking their van as they’ve wrecked so many hearts and minds in their nigh on 15 years together, and it brings the first audio from the offering as well in the opening track, “Challenger Deep,” which can be found under the art, PR wire info and links that follow here:

black cobra imperium simulacra

BLACK COBRA announce new album, stream new track

Critically-acclaimed metal duo BLACK COBRA have released new details of their forthcoming album ‘Imperium Simulacra’. The album will see an international release through Season of Mist on Feb. 26 across several CD, LP, and cassette formats.

BLACK COBRA have also released the first track taken from ‘Imperium Simulacra’.

Regarding “Challenger Deep” the band comments, “The song refers to the deepest measured point in the ocean. It’s loosely inspired by the film “Warm Gods of the Deep” as well as our fascination with the extremes of the natural world. We’re very excited to present you with the newest offering from our sonic bestiary. Enjoy.”

The artwork and track list for ‘Imperium Simulacra’ can be found below.

Track list:
1. Challenger Deep
2. Imperium Simulacra
3. Fathoms Below
4. Eye Among The Blind
5. The Messenger
6. Obsolete
7. Dark Shine
8. Sentinel (Infinite Observer)
9. Technical Demise

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Black Cobra Roll Van, Roll On

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

black cobra 1

If you’ve ever heard one of their records or especially if you’ve ever seen them play, you know San Francisco two-piece Black Cobra sound pretty indestructible, but you’d rather not see it put to this kind of test. In the home stretch of their tour alongside YOB, which is headed west to finish out now after hitting the Midwest and the East Coast since starting Oct. 22, the duo flipped their van, and as you can see in the photos above and below, the damage was pretty severe.

Rock and roll is littered with these kinds of stories and many times they turn out much worse than this one. Guitarist/vocalist Jason Landrian and drummer Rafa Martinez were uninjured apart from some reported scratches, and they’ll continue on and conclude the remaining four dates of the tour traveling with YOB. Obviously it sucks that Black Cobra‘s van got totaled, but the excellent news is that neither member was seriously injured. No doubt shook up, but pressing on nonetheless and able to play the last several shows. Much respect, happy van shopping, and sigh of relief.

Black Cobra are due to release their fifth full-length, Imperium Simulacra, on Feb. 26, 2016, as their label debut on Season of Mist after two records on At a Loss and two on Southern Lord. Their update went like this:

black cobra van

We just had a pretty crazy accident in the middle of Texas, but after a couple van flips, we made it out alive and pretty much unscathed except for a couple scratches. We are now rolling with the amazing gents in ?#?Yob? and will be finishing out the remaining tour dates with them. Thank you to everyone who has sent their thoughts our way. Remember to wear your seat belts…

Black Cobra and YOB remaining dates:
11/18 – Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
11/19 – San Diego, CA – Brick by Brick
11/20 – Los Angeles, CA – Echo
11/21 – Oakland, CA – Metro

Black Cobra, Invernal (2011)

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Sólstafir Launch European Tour and Announce New Drummer

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 13th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

solstafir (Photo by Mikio Ariga)

Icelandic outfit Sólstafir have begun a new European tour alongside The Ocean and Mono that follows a stint in Japan with Anathema last month in support of 2014’s Ótta (review here), released on Season of Mist and which even now sounds like winter beckoning. The melancholic, emotionally-driven heavy post-rockers have been around the world to herald the album, including North America, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down. The current run will take them into the beginning of next month, running all the way up to Damnation Festival in Leeds, UK.

They’ve also got a brand new drummer in Hallgrímur Jón Hallgrímsson. The PR wire has it like this:

solstafir euro tour poster

SOLSTAFIR kick off European tour

SÓLSTAFIR are kicking off their European autumn tour with MONO and THE OCEAN at the Voxhall in Aarhus, Denmark tonight. SÓLSTAFIR are furthermore announcing Hallgrímur Jón Hallgrímsson as the new man on the drum stool for this road-trip (photo-credit: Mikio Ariga). All confirmed dates can be viewed below.

“Please welcome our current touring drummer, Hallgrímur Jón Hallgrímsson!”, states Aðalbjörn Tryggvason. “He already played some shows with us, and we are looking very much forward to have him aboard on this journey. His previous bands include TENDERFOOT, BEE SPIDERS, and JEFF WHO.”

12 Oct 15 Aarhus (DK) Voxhall
13 Oct 15 Oslo (NO) Vulkan Arena
14 Oct 15 Stockholm (SE) Debaser Medis
16 Oct 15 Turku (FI) Vimma
17 Oct 15 Helsinki (FI) Cirkus
18 Oct 15 St. Petersburg (RU) Zhal Ozhidaniya
19 Oct 15 Moscow (RU) Volta
21 Oct 15 Vilnius (LI) New York
22 Oct 15 Warszawa (PL) Proxima
23 Oct 15 Berlin (DE) Heimathafen SOLD OUT!
24 Oct 15 Leeuwarden (NL) Into the Void Fest
26 Oct 15 Köln (DE) Live Music Hall
27 Oct 15 Wiesbaden (DE) Schlachthof
28 Oct 15 München (DE) Backstage
29 Oct 15 Bologna (IT) Locomotiv
30 Oct 15 Mezzago (IT) Bloom
31 Oct 15 Lyon (FR) CCO Villeurbanne
01 Nov 15 Barcelona (ES) Apolo
02 Nov 15 Toulouse (FR) Metronum
03 Nov 15 Lausanne (CH) Les Docks
04 Nov 15 Zürich (CH) Harterei
05 Nov 15 Paris (FR) Trabendo
06 Nov 15 London (UK) Electric Ballroom
07 Nov 15 Leeds (UK) Damnation Fest

Sólstafir, “Lágnætti” official video

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Crippled Black Phoenix Sign to Season of Mist; New EP Due Nov. 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 8th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

crippled black phoenix

UK (or mostly UK, anyhow) purveyors of perpetual intrigue Crippled Black Phoenix have signed to Season of Mist and will release a new EP, New Dark Age, on Nov. 27. Universally awesome news. Crippled Black Phoenix, whose early work remains the non-doom stuff of doomers’ daydreams, are an excellent fit for Season of Mist‘s varied roster — one can just as easily imagine them on a label-package tour with Kylesa as with Sólstafir — and the band are sure to be well-served by Season of Mist in terms of getting their music to the ears it should be in. Very cool pairing, very stoked to hear what Crippled Black Phoenix do with and after the forthcoming New Dark Age.

The PR wire has the art for the new EP, which rules, and word of a track premiere, the signing, and the release:

crippled black phoenix new dark age ep

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX sign to Season of Mist, stream new track “Spider Island”

Season of Mist are proud to announce the signing of the international dark rock collective CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX. Founded by multi-instrumentalist Justin Greaves, the inimitable CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX have earned a large cult following on the backs of their extensive catalog.

Regarding the signing, Greaves comments:

“CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX are lighting lanterns and scaling the highest peak in celebration of signing with Seasons of Mist. For too long we have been placed in situations where we did not quite fit, but now we feel like we found a more understanding home, a home where people care about the end result and do not compromise. This marks a bright, creative and equally dangerous future for the band and CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX are very happy with our new partnership.”

To celebrate the new signing and a newly announced European tour, CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX are releasing a new EP titled ‘New Dark Age EP.’. The EP will be released worldwide later this year on November 27. Pre-orders are available at the Season of Mist E-Shop.

The album artwork and track list for ‘New Dark Age EP.’ can be found below:

Track listing:
1. Spider Island
2. New Dark Age
3. Echoes PT. 1 (Pink Floyd cover)
4. Echoes PT. 2 (Pink Floyd cover)

Regarding the track, “Spider Island”, Greaves comments:

‘Our ‘New Dark Age’ tour EP represents a new chapter in the CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX history. I feel like it is time to be truly free of industry and personal bullshit. It also connects what we have gone through as a band with what is going on in the big wide world. It really feels as if we are living in a new ‘dark age’. Religious and political oppression, the population being fed constant untruths – all of this reminds me of the priests in the middle ages telling folk about dog-headed monsters living in the woods, but if you repent and join the church, they will protect you. The song ‘Spider Island’ is more personal. There I mentally put all the bad people… recently there have been a few people who need to go to Spider Island and live a life of torture along with all the other scumbags, who cling to power in the world.”

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX have also recently announced an extensive European tour this fall. The “New Dark Age Winter Tour 2015 A.D.” tour, which kicks off in Sheffield, UK on Nov. 23 sees the band travel across 13 different countries before concluding in mid-December. A full list of confirmed tour dates can be found below:

Nov. 23 Sheffield (UK) @ Corporation
Nov. 24 Glasgow (UK) @ Audio
Nov. 25 Bristol (UK) @ The Fleece
Nov. 26 London (UK) @ The Dome
Nov. 27 Dortmund (DE) @ Leafmeal Festival
Nov. 28 Dresden (DE) @ Beatpol
Nov. 29 Poznan (PL) @ Blue Note Club
Nov. 30 Warszawa (PL) @ Progresja
Dec. 1 Kosice (SK) @ Kasárne
Dec. 3 Bucharest (RO) @ Fabrica
Dec. 4 Timisoara (RO) @ Daos CLub
Dec. 5 Wien (AT) @ Chelsea
Dec. 6 Budapest (HU) @ Dürer Kert
Dec. 7 Ljubljana (SI) @ Kino Siska
Dec. 8 Pratteln (CH) @ MiniZ7
Dec. 9 München (DE) @ Strom
Dec. 10 Weinheim (DE) @ Cafe Central
Dec. 11 Uden (NL) @ De Pul
Dec. 12 Maastricht (NL) @ Muziekgieterij
Dec. 13 Hamburg (DE) @ Knust
Dec. 14 København (DK) @ Vega
Dec. 15 Göteborg (SE) @ Sticky Fingers
Dec. 16 Oslo (NO) @ John Dee
Dec. 17 Stockholm (SE) @ Debaser Strand

Crippled Black Phoenix, “Hold On” live in Germany, 2015

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Skuggsjá Sign to Season of Mist; Album Due Early 2016

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 30th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


It was pretty clear as I stood and watched Skuggsjá‘s second performance ever at this year’s Roadburn back in April that the collaboration between Einar Selvik of Wardruna and Ivar Bjørnson of Enslaved was a genuinely special project. The experience of watching it proved likewise. I said at the time that I hoped the set would be released, as so many are, in the form of a Live at Roadburn offering, but failing that, I’ll take Skuggsjá signing to Season of Mist and releasing what seems to be a studio album instead. I mean, you know, that’s not exactly roughing it.

And by that I mean, it’s fantastic news that not only will Skuggsjá continue, but that it will begin an actual evolution as a band. The album — I don’t know how it could be anything but self-titled since it was the work from which the project took its name, but don’t quote me on that — will be out early in 2016, and it’s already jumped considerably toward the top of my most-anticipated list simply by existing.

Heads up on this one. You won’t want to miss it:

skuggsja logo white

SKUGGSJÁ signs to Season of Mist

Season of Mist are proud to announce the signing of Norway’s SKUGGSJÁ. The band, led by Ivar Bjørnson (ENSLAVED) and Einar Selvik (WARDRUNA), will release their debut album worldwide in early 2016.

SKUGGSJÁ was originally conceived as a commissioned musical work written by Bjørnson and Selvik. The arrangement was performed by ENSLAVED and WARDRUNA in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian constitution at the 2014 edition of Norway’s Eidsivablot festival.

The growing desire to present SKUGGSJÁ to a broader audience led Bjørnson and Selvik to headline Roadburn Festival 2015 and record a full album. Details regarding this debut release will be available soon.

Featuring a variety of Norway and Scandinavia’s oldest instruments, as well as poetry in Norse and Norwegian, SKUGGSJÁ tells the history of Norway and it’s people. SKUGGSJÁ is truly a fusion of Norway’s past and present both lyrically and musically.

Regarding the signing, SKUGGSJÁ comment:

“When we were asked to write a joined convert piece by the Eidsivablot festival for the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian constitution, we both immediately saw the outline of something massive and important.

Our performance confirmed that this project should live on, develop and thrive. During 2015 we have performed the piece once more at the Roadburn festival, and have also discreetly slipped in and out of studios around Norway to record what is to become our debut album.

We are extremely proud of what we will present on this album. It has been quite a journey already for the two of us, but this where it really begins. We have created something that is bigger than its individual parts. Now we are excited to see what the world make out of our creation!”

All things good,
Ivar & Einar

SKUGGSJÁ’s official line-up is:
Ivar Bjørnson (ENSLAVED): vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards
Einar Selvik (WARDRUNA): vocals, taglharpa, Kravik-lyre, goat-horn, birch-bark lure, bone-flute, percussion, electronics

The album will also feature contributions from the following musicians:
Grutle Kjellson (ENSLAVED): vocals
Lindy-Fay Hella (WARDRUNA): vocals
Eilif Gundersen: birch bark lure
Olav L. Mjelva: Harding fiddle
Cato Bekkevold (ENSLAVED): drums

Skuggsjá, Live at Roadburn 2015

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Sólstafir Play Two Nights in Tokyo; Euro Tour Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 1st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Globetrotting Icelanders Sólstafir are playing Japan this week in support of their 2014 Season of Mist release, Ótta (review here), which as we come to the end of summer 2015 has been on my mind with the lingering threat of colder weather. The band have been touring their collective arse off for Ótta, playing in Europe and North America, where they’re basically introducing people to who they are and what they do — I’ll make no attempts to claim I’m Johnny Groundfloor; this spring was my first time seeing them too — but as processes go, that one seems to be going well. I would not be surprised to have them come back to the States before they do another record, but after Japan it’s Europe next on deck, so we’ll just have to see what winter brings.

Other than a massive amount of repeat listens for Ótta, that is. Sorry, but some records are just made for low temperatures.

This, from the PR wire:

solstafir euro tour

SOLSTAFIR kick off tour dates in Japan

Enigmatic Icelandic rock band SOLSTAFIR have kicked off a trek to Japan tonight, where the band are performing two exclusive dates in Tokyo alongside British progressive legends, ANATHEMA. The Japanese tour dates see the band perform ahead of their previously announced European tour alongside MONO and THE OCEAN, taking place later this October. A full list of confirmed tour dates can be found below.

SOLSTAFIR are touring in support of their critically acclaimed new album , ‘Otta’. The album is streaming here, and is available now at the Season of Mist E-shop.

SOLSTAFIR Japanese tour dates:
8/31 Tokyo, JP @ Liquid Room w/ANATHEMA
9/1 Tokyo, JP @ Liquid Room w/ANATHEMA
SOLSTAFIR European tour dates:
10/12 Aarhus, DK @ Voxhall
10/13 Oslo, NO @ Vulkan Arena
10/14 Stockholm, SE @ Debaser Medis
10/18 St. Petersburg, RU @ Zhal Ozhidaniya
10/19 Moscow, RU @ Volta
10/21 Vilnius, LI @ NEW YORK
10/22 Warsaw, PL @ Proxima
10/23 Berlin, DE @ Heimathafen
10/24 Leeuwarden, NL @ Into the Void Fest
10/26 Cologne, DE @ Live Music Hall
10/27 Wiesbaden, DE @ Schlachthof
10/28 Munich, DE @ Backstage
10/29 Bologna, IT @ Locomativ
10/30 Mezzago, IT @ Bloom
10/31 Lyon, FR @ CCO Villeurbanne
11/02 Toulouse, FR @ Metronum
11/03 Lausanne, CH @ Les Docks
11/04 Zurich, CH @ Harterei
11/05 Paris, FR @ Trabendo
11/06 London, UK @ Electric Ballroom
11/07 Leeds, UK @ Damnation Fest

Sólstafir, Ótta (2014)

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GIVEAWAY: Enter to Win a Weedeater T-Shirt and Free Goliathan CD!

Posted in Features on August 19th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win.]

Free Weedeater. It’s an idea whose time has come. The North Carolina trio just wrapped an East Coast tour with Kings Destroy in support of their new album, Goliathan (review here), which is their fifth long-player and their first for Season of Mist, and today I’m thrilled to be able to host this giveaway for a Goliathan CD and t-shirt!

You know the protocol by now, just enter by leaving a comment on this post and a week from now (or thereabouts) I’ll dig through and pick a name and an email address at random and notify the winner. It’s not necessarily a formal contest, but if you wanted to name your favorite Weedeater album title puns/wordplays in the comment, that might be taken into account when the winners are chosen. At very least it gives you something to put in the comment.

Just for easy reference, here they are:

  • …and Justice for Y’all
  • Sixteen Tons (not really wordplay, but still a cool title)
  • God Luck and Good Speed
  • Jason… the Dragon
  • Goliathan

All of the above were reissued last year by Season of Mist as well. If you haven’t heard Goliathan yet, Weedeater‘s latest swampsterpiece is a high point in their sludgy assault, new drummer Travis Owen (ex-Artimus Pyledriver) fitting right in alongside bassist/vocalist “Dixie” Dave Collins and guitarist Dave “Shep” Shepherd. Tracks like the weirdo banjo blues “Battered and Fried” and the full-tonal thrust of “Bow Down” find the band toying with expectation like so many beaten livers, and the result across the board is a record both entirely their own and pushed further than ever before into that strange, malevolent world they create.

Sound like something you’d want to win? It is. Have at it. God luck to all who enter, and good speed to Season of Mist for letting me host the giveaway.

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win.]

Weedeater, Goliathan (2015)

Weedeater on Thee Facebooks

Weedeater at Season of Mist

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Der Weg einer Freiheit Announce US Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 5th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

der weg einer freiheit

Touring to support their third album, Stellar, German black metallers Der Weg einer Freiheit will come to American shores for the first time next month. The tour focuses on the East Coast and hits into the Midwest, but the roundout gig at the Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn has to be a focal point. They’ll be joined for the run by labelmates Barishi, and there’s still one date yet to be announced, so I guess if you’re somewhere between Chicago and Rochester, NY — here’s looking at you, Pittsburgh — it might be a good time to reach out.

The PR wire brings details:

der weg einer freiheit us tour

DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT announce first-ever US tour

German underground black metal visionaries DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT have announced their first-ever US tour. The tour, which begins on September 24 in Allentown, PA will see the band travel throughout the American east coast before concluding on October 7 in Brooklyn, NY. The tour sees the band joined by newly-signed label mates BARISHI. A full list of confirmed tour dates can be found below.

DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT are touring in support of their ambitious new album, ‘Stellar’.

Established in 2009, DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT have since made waves across the underground black metal scene in Germany with the release of two full length albums and well-received Eps in between. In their short time as a band, DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT has already toured alongside SHINING, ENSIFERUM, THE OCEAN, and more, and already performed at several festivals in Europe including Graspop, Summer Breeze Open Air, Hellfest, Blastfest, With Full Force Open Air, Barther Metal Open Air and Wolfszeit Festival.

“[DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT is] the future of German Extreme-Metal” – Mille Petrozza, Kreator

9/24 Allentown, PA @ Good Weekend
9/25 Chesapeake, VA @ Riffhouse Pub
9/26 Raleigh, NC @ The Maywood
9/27 Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Music Hall
9/28 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
9/29 Nashville, TN @ The End
9/30 St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
10/01 Madison, WI @ Willy Street Bar and Grill
10/02 Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s Rock Club
10/03 TBA
10/04 Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
10/05 Burlington, VT @ Nectar’s
10/06 Allston, MA @ O’Brien’s Pub
10/07 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus Bar

Der Weg einer Freiheit, Stellar (2015)

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