Deathwhite Premiere “Further From Salvation”; Grave Image out Jan. 31 on Season of Mist

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on November 13th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

deathwhite

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but winter is coming. As I sit and write this in the middle of the pre-dawn night, it’s single-digits cold in what’s been hyperbolized as an Arctic deathfreeze or some such. The moon is full through the trees outside my window and the wind sounds biting and harsh even from the delusional comfort of indoors. It is going to be a long, dark several months ahead, and the melancholia of Deathwhite would seem to be ready for it. Following up their debut, For a Black Tomorrow (review here) — independently issued in 2017 and picked up early last year by Season of Mist — the anonymous Pittsburgh-based outfit will offer the bleak emotionalism of their second long-player, Grave Image, on Jan. 31, 2020.

“Further from Salvation” is the first audio to come from Grave Image, and despite the grimness of its atmosphere, I’m thrilled to host the premiere of it. With recording done in Pittsburgh and Florida and mastering in Sweden, it represents a range deathwhite grave imageof histories from the unheralded Midwestern death-doom pioneering of Novembers Doom to the Sunshine State’s sonic extremity — something that comes through in the drumming here as well — and of course the European legacy of depressive melodic heaviness, as expressed through bands like KatatoniaParadise LostAnathema and My Dying Bride. This sense of drama can be felt in “Further from Salvation” in the whispered vocals of the verse and the morose theme being conveyed, the loss of one’s name, the pursuit of knowledge under penalty of death, and as they did on their debut, Deathwhite bring it forth on “Further from Salvation” with conviction and aesthetic loyalty that is as genuine in its identity as in its homage.

I’ve yet to hear the entirety of Grave Image, but the band speaks to an added sense of severity in their presentation, and I think that is apparent in this track, which is one of a total 10 on the album, the stark and frigid artwork for which could hardly be more suited to the swaying and sad melodycraft and the sense of longing being conveyed.

Rather than prattle on, I’ll turn you over to the song itself and let the copious PR wire background do the rest of the talking while I listen through again and wait for the sun to come up, which it will sooner or later despite the current encompassing darkness.

Grave Image preorders are here: https://smarturl.it/DeathwhiteGraveImage

Enjoy the track:

Deathwhite, “Further from Salvation” official track premiere

Deathwhite on “Further from Salvation”:

“‘Further from Salvation’ was the first song we wrote for ‘Grave Image.’ It gave us the confidence and direction to move forward in a similar direction for the rest of the album, whereby we decided to place more emphasis on heaviness and melody. ‘Further from Salvation’ is also unique for its drum break in the middle portion of the song, something we are imminently proud of. The song itself is reflective of the regular back-and-forth of the human psyche, where inner peace and turmoil is sometimes a mirage of one’s own doing. There is, of course, no parallel to peace of mind, as difficult as it is to achieve.”

The fallible nature of mankind is reflected through its actions and words. Once an absolute, truth is now fluid, twisted and contorted to suit the often-short-sighted needs of those who now suffer the indignation of willful ignorance. Paired with the stench of hypocrisy and unrelenting depletion of the earth’s resources, and the state of the world could not appear graver. It is under this grey cloud that enigmatic dark metal collective DEATHWHITE created their second full-length studio album, Grave Image.

Grave Image was recorded during April and May 2019 at Cerebral Audio Productions with producer/engineer Shane Mayer; vocal tracking took place at Erik Rutan’s (Hate Eternal, Morbid Angel) Mana Recording under the supervision of engineer Art Paiz. The album was mastered by the incomparable Dan Swanö (Bloodbath, Edge of Sanity, Nightingale) at Unisound, and, as with the band’s previous two efforts, the artwork and design were handled by Jérôme Comentale, whose visuals are crucial to DEATHWHITE’s overall aesthetic.

Written over the span of 18 months, Grave Image is a largely heavier and more orchestrated body of work than its 2018 For a Black Tomorrow predecessor. The album is driven by clean, emotive vocals, an increasingly rare commodity in a metal scene so committed to harsher styles of singing. This embrace and execution of such vocals are one of the defining traits of the ten songs found therein, which also offer a wall of guitars flanked by a constant stream of melodies, the direct result of the band adding a second guitarist in 2018.

Since its 2012 formation, DEATHWHITE has remained committed to playing dark metal while remaining anonymous. The band is the utter representation of “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” adage — its members are from disparate backgrounds and are once again spread out across the United States. However, DEATHWHITE remains a vehicle for its members to create new music and convey their unflinching sense of despair as the human race continues its rapid descent to the bottom.

“We consider ourselves to be quite privileged to have DEATHWHITE in our lives,” concludes the band. “With that in mind, Grave Image represents the months of hard work that went into its creation. It is our hope it will resonate long after we’ve outlived our usefulness. If nothing else, we hope it will find a home with those who share a similar frame of mind as us.”

‘Grave Image’ Track List:
1. Funeral Ground (05:05)
2. In Eclipse (04:46)
3. Further from Salvation (04:56)
4. Grave Image (04:50)
5. Among Us (04:11)
6. Words of Dead Men (03:56)
7. No Horizon (05:29)
8. Plague of Virtue (04:14)
9. A Servant (04:43)
10. Return to Silence (06:38)
Total Length: 48:48

Line-up: The band does not provide line-up information.

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Bask Post “Rid of You” Video; III Release Tour Announced

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 29th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

bask (Photo by Jamie Kay and Arlie)

Alright, so stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the new Bask record is pretty good. Yes, I know. You have heard it before. From me. You heard me speculating on it when the Asheville, North Carolina-based four-piece announced in April they were recording with Matt Bayles, and again in August after the album was done. Then came the “New Dominion” video (posted here) with the release date. Then I went ahead and actually reviewed III (review here) in the last Quarterly Review because I liked that single and wanted an excuse to dig further ahead of the Nov. 8 arrival. Then I got the chance to do the premiere of opening track “Three White Feet” (posted here) like the day after the review went live, and I wasn’t gonna say no to that. And now here we are. There’s another video, and I’m posting about that too.

The central thesis of all these posts is pretty much the same, and yes, I’m willing to admit that. Hey, you know that new Bask record III that’s coming out Nov. 8 on Season of Mist? It’s a good ‘un. You might wanna chase it down if you’re feeling some righteous modern heavy prog with a penchant for melody and just a touch of Southern edge via Baroness and the like. There you go. That’s all. That’s all it’s ever been.

It’s like the equivalent of being at the show and being the guy who says to someone from the band, “Hey man, great set.” That’s who I am. Often. Cool songs. New stuff sounds good.

Some new tour dates came down the PR wire. They’re back in Brooklyn on Nov. 23 and I should probably go even though that’s like the worst week ever and I’m apparently terrified of venues I’ve never been to before. Anxiety, man. Woof.

What were we talking about?

Enjoy the video:

Bask, “Rid of You” (official video)

Appalachian psych rockers BASK have shared the official music video for the new song “Rid of You.” The track is taken from the band’s upcoming album, ‘III,’ which will be released worldwide on November 8 via Season of Mist, making it their debut to the label. The video, which was created in analog format by Yovozol, can be seen HERE.

BASK comment: “We are excited to announce the third single, ‘Rid of You,’ from our upcoming album, ‘III.’ We’ve collaborated with analog video artist Yovozol to bring you this visual accompaniment. We hope you enjoy.”

‘III’ can be pre-ordered in various formats HERE.

BASK have previously announced a run of headlining North American dates in support of ‘III,’ including a hometown show on the day of the record release. The full itinerary is as follows:

BASK “III” Album Release Tour:
11/08: Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight **album release show**
11/14: Atlanta, GA @ 529
11/15: Columbia, SC @ Columbia Museum of Art
11/16: Greenville, SC @ The Radio Room
11/17: Richmond, VA @ Banditos
11/19: Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place
11/20: Ottawa, ON @ Cafe Dekcuf
11/21: Montreal, QC @ Turbo Haus
11/22: Cambridge, MA @ Hong Kong
11/23: Brooklyn, NY @ Gold Sounds
11/24: Baltimore, MD @ The Depot **Matinee Show**
11/25: Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
11/26: Kent, OH @ The Outpost Concert Club
11/27: Detroit, MI @ Sanctuary
11/29: Charlotte, NC @ Snug Harbor
11/30: Johnson City, TN @ The Hideaway

Line-up:
Jesse Van Note – bass
Scott Middleton – drums
Ray Worth – guitar
Zeb Camp – guitar/vocals

Guest Musicians:
Jed Willis – Pedal Steel on “Maiden Mother Crone”
Meg Mulhearn – Violin on “Maiden Mother Crone”

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Hyborian Announce November Tour Dates; Volume II Due Early 2020

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

hyborian

Kansas City-based progressive heavy rockers/metallers Hyborian are set to release their new album, Volume II — their 19th record, obviously — through Season of Mist early next year, and to herald its arrival, they have a novel written by guitarist/vocalist Martin Bush telling the story more or less of the universe dying and being reborn, because if you’re going to have a narrative, go big. No doubt the riffs on the upcoming LP will do likewise when they land. In the meantime, the band will tour next month including a stop at Saint Vitus Bar that will be presented by Ode to Doom and this very site as a matinee show ahead of Monolord taking the stage that night. Godmaker are playing too. My position is you go to the venue and make a full day of it in Brooklyn. Your own fest! I don’t know what more you could ask for.

The PR wire has the info you need, and I’ll have more about that show probably next week:

hyborian tour

HYBORIAN Announce November U.S. Tour Dates

Heavy metal riff machine HYBORIAN have announced a run of headlining U.S. tour dates for this November, in which they will be supported by Migrator. Preceded by a set at Harvest of Doom Fest on October 19 in Lawrence, KS, the tour will officially kick off on November 14 in St. Louis, MO and will conclude on November 22 in Lincoln, NE. More dates TBA! The full itinerary is as follows:

HYBORIAN (w/ Migrator):
10/19: Lawrence, KS @ Harvest of Doom Fest
11/14: St Louis, MO @ Fubar*
11/15: Indianapolis, IN @ Black Circle Brewing
11/16: Pittsburgh, PA @ Smiling Moose
11/17: Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus Bar (Matinee Show)
11/18: Philadelphia, PA @ MilkBoy
11/19: Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery
11/20: Columbus, OH @ Cafe Bourbon Street
11/21: Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s
11/22: Lincoln, NE @ 1867 Bar
11/24: TBA
*No Migrator

HYBORIAN have previously released the first edition of their original new book, ‘The Traveller – A Hyborian Tale,’ which was written and illustrated by vocalist/guitarist Martin Bush. The 224 page sci-fi tale has been written as a companion piece for the band’s upcoming conceptual full-length, ‘Volume II,’ which is due in early 2020. The book is available now and can be purchased HERE.

Author Martin Bush further explains, “For our next record, we decided that we wanted to expound upon the concepts we introduced with ‘Volume I.’ The Traveller (the cloaked figure on the cover of ‘Volume I’) was a central figure in the mythos we were building, so for this album we wanted to focus more on who/what The Traveller is. The more we talked about it as a band, the more involved the ideas became, until there was just way too much to be able to cram it into an album’s worth of song lyrics. Over most of 2018, we were touring pretty nonstop, but I was finding time here and there to start putting all those ideas down on paper. Eventually, we had a book, which tells the same story as our upcoming full-length ‘Volume II,’ just in much, much more detail. It’s basically an origin story for The Traveller, set in the very last days of existence. The story focuses on a father and son, who, as far as we know, are the last humans alive, and their struggles to survive as the universe crumbles around them.”

HYBORIAN Line-up:
Martin Bush – Guitar, Vocals
Ryan Bates – Guitar, Vocals
Justin Rippeto – Drums
Anthony Diale – Bass

https://www.facebook.com/HyborianRock/
https://hyborianrock.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Hyborian, Volume I (2017)

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Bask Premiere “Three White Feet” from III

Posted in audiObelisk on October 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

bask (Photo by Jameykay and Arlie Huffman)

North Carolina’s Bask release their new album, III, on Nov. 8. It is, as you might expect, their third album, as well as being their debut on Season of Mist after issuing 2017’s Ramble Beyond through tastemaking Euro imprint This Charming Man Records and their 2014 debut, American Hollow, through Crimsoneye and Wonder Records. If what you’re reading in that is a steady progression, then you’re getting the underlying message that applies as well to the sound of the band, which reaches to new heights of melodic accomplishment on III‘s seven-track/36-minute run. I’ll say that it’s not often I review an album and then the same week do a track premiere from that same record. Generally I’d try to coordinate those things together or, having already reviewed it, take a pass on the premiere and cover something else. In the case of Bask, it’s an exception for a record that I think is worth the extra focus.

III isn’t and shouldn’t be shy about its pastoral aspects, and that is something that begins as the Asheville four-piece of guitarist/vocalist Zeb Camp (who since he’s apparently the only one singing does a lot of self-harmonizing on the recording, I suppose), guitarist Ray Worth, bassist Jesse Van Note and drummer Scott Middleton get the proceedings underway with “Three White Feet.” As the opening song premieres below, it’s interesting to note that it was also the first song that came together when they started writing this batch of material. Mostly because it’s so complex. One might guess at the riff that kicked them off — you’ll know it when you hear it, and subsequent side A installments “New Dominion” and “Stone Eyed” operate similarly in solidifying around a capital-‘r’ Riff, while centerpiece “Rid of You” centers more around the melody, and “Noble Daughters I: The Stave” recalls much-missed NC natives Caltrop in its vocal, “Noble Daughters II: The Bow” pays off itself as well as its predecessor and, really the whole album, and “Maiden Mother Crone” exits on a banjo-fied note — but the rest of the track brims with rich melody and progressive stylistic turns that indeed foreshadow a large part of III‘s personality. If this was how they started off, then clearly they knew what the fuck they were doing going into making the album.

Their quote on the subject, aside from that useful info nugget, is pretty short, but you’ll find that below, as well as the preorder link for III courtesy of Season of Mist. I won’t delay you further from the song.

Please enjoy:

Bask, “Three White Feet” official track premiere

Bask on “Three White Feet”:

“We are excited to bring you ‘Three White Feet,’ a song of devotion and revenge. It’s track one on our upcoming album ‘III,’ and the first to take shape during the writing process.”

Taken from the forthcoming album, ‘Bask III.’ Release Date: November 8, 2019.

Order here: https://smarturl.it/BaskIII

Bask is:
Jesse Van Note – bass
Scott Middleton – drums
Ray Worth – guitar
Zeb Camp – guitar/vocals

III Guest Musicians:
Jed Willis – Pedal Steel on “Maiden Mother Crone”
Meg Mulhearn – Violin on “Maiden Mother Crone”

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Quarterly Review: Monkey3, Asthma Castle, The Giraffes, Bask, Faerie Ring, Desert Sands, Cavalcade, Restless Spirit, Children of the Sün, Void King

Posted in Reviews on September 30th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Call two friends and tell them to tell two friends to tell two friends, because the Quarterly Review has returned. This time around, it’s 50 records front to back for Fall 2019 and there are some big names and some smaller names and a whole lot of in between which is just how I like it. Between today and Friday, each day 10 album reviews will be posted in a single batch like this one, and although by Wednesday this always means I’m totally out of my mind, it’s always, always, always worth it to be able to write about so much cool stuff. So sit tight, because there’s a lot to get through and, as ever, time’s at a premium.

Thanks in advance for keeping up, and I hope you find something you dig.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Monkey3, Sphere

monkey3 sphere

It’s a full-on Keanu Reeves “whoa” when opening track “Spirals” kicks in on Monkey3‘s sixth album, Sphere (released by Napalm), and that’s by no means the last one on the cinematic six-tracker. The long-running Swiss mostly-instrumentalists have been consistently, persistently underappreciated throughout their career, but whether it’s the aural scope of guitar and keys in “Axis” or the swaps between intensity and sprawl in 14-minute closer “Ellipsis,” their latest work is consuming in its sense of triumph. Even the four-minute “Ida,” which seems at first like it’s barely going to be more than an interlude, finds a thread of majestic cosmic groove and rides it for the duration, while the proggy immersion of “Prism” and the harder drive of “Mass” — not to mention that shredding solo — make the middle of the record anything but a post-hypnosis dip. I won’t pretend to know if Sphere is the record that finally gets the Lausanne four-piece the respect they’ve already well deserved, but if it was, one could only say it was for good reason. Blends of heft, progressive craft, and breadth are rarely so resonant.

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Napalm Records website

 

Asthma Castle, Mount Crushmore

Asthma Castle Mount Crushmore

When you call your record Mount Crushmore, you need to bring it, and much to their credit, Baltimorean sludge-rocking five-piece Asthma Castle do precisely that on their debut full-length. Issued through Hellmistress Records, the 37-minute/six-track outing is a wordplay-laced pummeler that shows as much persona in its riffing and massive groove as it does in titles like “The Incline of Western Civilization” and “The Book of Duderonomy.” Trades between early-Mastodonic twists and lumbering sludge crash add a frenetic and unpredictable feel to pieces like the title-track, while “Methlehem” trades its plod for dual-guitar antics punctuated by metallic double-kick, all the while the vocals trade back and forth between growls, shouts, cleaner shouts, the odd scream, etc., because basically if you can keep up with it, Asthma Castle wouldn’t be doing their job. One shudders to think of the amount of Natty Bo consumed during its making, but Mount Crushmore is a wild and cacophonous enough time to live up to the outright righteousness of its title. If I graded reviews, it would get a “Fuckin’ A+,” with emphasis on “fuckin’ a.”

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Hellmistress Records website

 

The Giraffes, Flower of the Cosmos

the giraffes flower of the cosmos

Some day the world will wake up and realize the rock and roll powerhouse it had in Brooklyn’s The Giraffes, but by then it’ll be too late. The apocalypse will have happened long ago, and it’ll be Burgess Meredith putting on a vinyl of Flower of the Cosmos in the New York Library as “FAKS” echoes out through the stacks of now-meaningless tomes and the dust of nuclear winter falls like snow outside the windows. The band’s tumultuous history is mirrored in the energy of their output, and yet to hear the melody and gentle fuzz at the outset of “Golden Door,” there’s something soothing about their work as well that, admittedly, “Raising Kids in the End Times” is gleeful in undercutting. Cute as well they pair that one with “Dorito Dreams” on this, their seventh record in a 20-plus-year run, which has now seen them find their footing, lose it, find it again, and in this record and songs like the masterfully frenetic “Fill up Glass” and the air-tight-tense “Like Hate” and “Romance,” weave a document every bit worthy of Mr. Meredith’s attention as he mourns for the potential of this godforsaken wasteland. Oh, what we’ll leave behind. Such pretty ruins.

The Giraffes website

The Giraffes on Bandcamp

 

Bask, III

bask iii

In the fine tradition of heavy rock as grown-up punk, North Carolina’s Bask bring progressive edge and rolling-Appalachian atmospherics to the underlying energy of III, their aptly-titled and Season of Mist-issued third album. Their foot is in any number of styles, from Baroness-style noodling to a hard twang that shows up throughout and features prominently on the penultimate “Noble Daughters II – The Bow,” but the great triumph of III, and really the reason it works at all, is because the band find cohesion in this swath of influences. They’re a band who obviously put thought into what they do, making it all the more appropriate to think of them as prog, but as “Three White Feet” and “New Dominion” show at the outset, they don’t serve any aesthetic master so much as the song itself. Closing with banjo and harmonies and a build of crash cymbal on “Maiden Mother Crone” nails the point home in a not-understated way, but at no point does III come across as hyper-theatrical so as to undercut the value of what Bask are doing. It’s a more patient album than it at first seems, but given time to breathe, III indeed comes to life.

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Season of Mist on Bandcamp

 

Faerie Ring, The Clearing

fairie ring the clearing

Listening to the weighty rollout of opening cut “Bite the Ash” on Faerie Ring‘s debut album, The Clearing (on King Volume Records), one is reminded of the energy that once-upon-a-time came out of Houston’s Venomous Maximus. There’s a similar feeling of dark energy surging through the riffs and echoing vocals, but the Evansville, Indiana, four-piece wind up on a different trip. Their take is more distinctly Sabbathian on “Lost Wind” and even the swinging “Heavy Trip” lives up to its stated purpose ahead of the chugging largesse of finisher “Heaven’s End.” They find brash ground on “The Ring” and the slower march of “Somnium,” but there’s metal beneath the lumbering and it comes out on “Miracle” in a way that the drums late in “Lost Wind” seem to hint toward on subsequent listens. It’s a mix of riff-led elements that should be readily familiar to many listeners, but the sheer size and clarity of presentation Faerie Ring make throughout The Clearing makes me think they’ll look to distinguish themselves going forward, and so their first record holds all the more potential for that.

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King Volume Records on Bandcamp

 

Desert Sands, The Ascent EP

Desert Sands The Ascent

Begun as the solo-project of London-based multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Mark Walker and presently a trio including Louis Kinder and Jonathan Walker as well, Desert Sands make their recorded debut through A Records with the three-song/half-hour The Ascent EP, a work of psychedelic existentialism that conveys its cosmic questioning even before the lyrics start, with an opening riff and rhythmic lurch to “Are You There” that seems to throw its central query into a void that either will or won’t answer. Does it? The hell should I know, but The Ascent proves duly transcendent in its pulsations as “Head Towards the Light” and 11:45 closer “Yahweh” — yeah, I guess we get there — bring drifting, languid enlightenment to these spiritual musings. The finale is, of course, a jam in excelsis and if drop-acid-find-god is the narrative we’re working with, then Desert Sands are off to a hell of a start as a project. Regardless of how one might ultimately come down (and it is, by my estimation at least, a comedown) on the question of human spirituality, there’s no denying the power and ethereal force of the kind of creativity on display in The Ascent. One will wait impatiently to see what comes next.

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A Recordings on Thee Facebooks

 

Cavalcade, Sonic Euthanasia

Cavalcade Sonic Euthanasia

Say what you want about New Orleans or North Carolina or wherever the hell else, Midwestern sludge is another level of filth. To wit, the Carcass-style vocals that slice through the raw, dense riffing on “Aspirate on Aspirations” feel like the very embodiment of modern disillusion, and there’s some flourish of melodic guitar pluck there, but that only seems to give the ensuing crunch more impact, and likewise the far-back char of “Freezing in Fire” as it relates to the subsequent “Dead Idles,” as Cavalcade refute the trappings of genre in tempo while still seeming to burrow a hole for themselves in the skull of the converted. “Noose Tie” and “We Dig Our Own Graves” tell the story, but while the recording itself is barebones, Cavalcade aren’t now and never really have been so simple as to be a one-trick band. For more than a decade, they’ve provided a multifaceted and trickily complex downer extremity, and Sonic Euthanasia does this as well, bringing their sound to new places and new levels of abrasion along its punishing way. Easy listening? Shit. You see that eye on the cover? That’s the lizard people staring back at you. Have fun with that.

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Restless Spirit, Lord of the New Depression

restless spirit lord of the new depression

Long Island chug-rockers Restless Spirit would seem to have been developing the material for their self-released debut album, Lord of the New Depression, over the last couple years on a series of short releases, but the songs still sound fresh and electrified in their vitality. If this was 1992 or ’93, they’d be signed already to RoadRacer Records and put on tour with Life of Agony, whose River Runs Red would seem to be a key influence in the vocals of the nine-track/39-minute offering, but even on their own, the metal-tinged five-piece seem to do just fine. Their tracks are atmospheric and aggressive and kind, and sincere in their roll, capturing the spirit of a band like Down with somewhat drawn-back chestbeating, “Dominion” aside. They seem to be challenging themselves to push outside those confines though in “Deep Fathom Hours,” the longest track at 7:35 with more complexity in the melody of the vocals and guitar, and that suits them remarkably well as they dig into this doomly take on LOA and Type O Negative and others from the early ’90s NYC underground — they seem to pass on Biohazard, which is fine — made legendary with the passage of time. As a gentleman of a certain age, I find it exceptionally easy to get on board.

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Children of the Sün, Flowers

Children of the Sun Flowers

An eight-piece outfit based in Arvika, Sweden, which is far enough west to be closer to Oslo than Stockholm, Children of the Sün blend the classic heavy rock stylizations of MaidaVale, first-LP Blues Pills and others with a decidedly folkish bent. Including an intro, their The Sign Records debut album, Flowers, is eight track and 34 minutes interweaving organ and guitar, upbeat vibes and bluesier melodies, taking cues from choral-style vocals on “Emmy” in such a way as to remind of Church of the Cosmic Skull, though the aesthetic here is more hippie than cult. The singing on “Sunschild” soars in that fashion as well, epitomizing the lush melody found across Flowers as the keys, guitar, bass and drums work to match in energy and presence. For a highlight, I’d pick the more subdued title-track, which still has its sense of movement thanks to percussion deep in the mix but comes arguably closest to the flower-child folk Children of the Sün seem to be claiming for their own, though the subsequent closing duo of “Like a Sound” and “Beyond the Sun” aren’t far off either. They’re onto something. One hopes they continue to explore in such sünshiny fashion.

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Void King, Barren Dominion

void king barren dominion

Having made their debut with 2016’s There is Nothing (discussed here), Indianapolis downtrodden heavy rock four-piece Void King come back for a second go with Barren Dominion (on Off the Record Label), a title of similar theme that finds them doom riffing through massive tonality on “Burnt at Both Ends,” asking what if Soundgarden played atmospheric doom rock on “Crippled Chameleon” — uh, it would be awesome? yup — and opening each side with its longest track (double immediate points) in a clearly intended vinyl structure hell bent on immersing the listener as much as possible in the lumber and weight the band emit. Frontman Jason Kindred adds extra burl to his already-plenty-dudely approach on “Crippled Chameleon” and closer “The Longest Winter,” the latter with some harmonies to mirror those of opener “A Lucid Omega,” and the band around him — bassist Chris Carroll, drummer Derek Felix and guitarist Tommy Miller — seem to have no trouble whatsoever in keeping up, there or anywhere else on the eight-song/46-minute outing. Topped with striking cover art from Diogo SoaresBarren Dominion is deceptively nuanced and full-sounding. Not at all empty.

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Off the Record Label BigCartel store

 

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Bask Post “New Dominion” Video; III out Nov. 8

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

bask (Photo by Jamie Kay and Arlie)

Asheville’s Bask have set a Nov. 8 release for their Season of Mist debut album, III, and posted a video for the track “New Dominion” from the record. Amid shimmering guitar and fervent underlying chug speaking to the tension that plays out rhythmically in progressive fashion, the four-piece offer crash and melody alike, precise and their delivery but not impatient in going about their building movement. It’s modern in the post-Baroness sense, but less hued to that identity outright in its noodling, and, frankly, less pretentious. That’s certainly a welcome aesthetic shift, and the interplay of guitar layers here and vocals overtop bodes well for digging into the rest of the full-length, which is still a month and a half away, but will no doubt be led into with more teaser audio along the way. In the meantime, the colors in the video for “New Dominion” feel exceedingly well earned, so dig in at the bottom of this post.

III details follow, courtesy of the PR wire:

bask iii

BASK Unveil New Album Details, Reveal Music Video

Psychedelic rock formation BASK will be releasing their third studio album, aptly titled ‘III,’ on November 8 via Season of Mist, making it their debut to the label. The effort was recorded and mixed by Matt Bayles (Pearl Jam, Mastodon, Minus The Bear, etc.). The album art and track-listing can be found below.

In conjunction with the announcement, BASK has premiered the first single, New Dominion,” along with a kaleidoscopic new music video. Watch and listen at THIS LOCATION.

BASK comment: “We bring you our premiere single and video for ‘New Dominion.’ We’ve waited anxiously to share these songs and stories with you. We hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed writing and recording.”

‘III’ can be pre-ordered in various formats HERE.

Tracklist:
1. Three White Feet (05:53)
2. New Dominion (04:28)
3. Stone Eyed (04:17)
4. Rid of You (04:40)
5. Noble Daughters I: The Stave (05:49)
6. Noble Daughters II: The Bow (06:16)
7. Maiden Mother Crone (04:40)
Total: 0:36:03

Line-up:
Jesse Van Note – bass
Scott Middleton – drums
Ray Worth – guitar
Zeb Camp – guitar/vocals

Guest Musicians:
Jed Willis – Pedal Steel on “Maiden Mother Crone”
Meg Mulhearn – Violin on “Maiden Mother Crone”

https://www.facebook.com/basknc
https://www.instagram.com/baskband/
https://basknc.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
https://www.instagram.com/seasonofmistofficial/
https://shopusa.season-of-mist.com/

Bask, “New Dominion” (official video)

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Weedeater Touring Next Week; Playing with Orange Goblin & More

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

weedeater

Alright, you know the drill. Weedeater are touring — because of course Weedeater are touring — so get yourself ready to see Weedeater. You know, it’s kind of weird, since I feel like I’ve been clamoring for a new Weedeater record for like the last three years, but it’s only been four since they released Goliathan (review here), so whatever. Good Southern cooking takes time, or so I’m told, so maybe they’ve got some riffs sitting out in a Dutch oven, waiting for the meat to fall off the bone. That’d be fair enough. Point is Weedeater are gonna tour. Fine. It hasn’t been egregiously long since their last release, even if, as album cycles go, theirs feels particularly extreme. Hazards of being so reliable in kicking ass, I suppose.

The thought of Weedeater and Orange Goblin sharing a stage, in Chicago or pretty much anywhere, is awesome, and I can’t imagine this is the first time it’s happened in the history of those bands, but that show’s bound to be a highlight, even if the impetus for the run is the stop at Muddy Roots in Tennessee on Aug. 30. Pretty sure Orange Goblin will be there as well — a ton of bands certainly will — but either way, it’s more Weedeater touring, so you go and you see Weedeater and you know you’re going to have a good time and then you do. Simple as that.

Word from the PR wire was likewise straightforward. Shows are presented by Tone Deaf Touring:

weedeater tour

WEEDEATER Announce U.S. Summer Tour Dates!

Cape Fear metal legends WEEDEATER have announced a run of U.S. this summer! The trek will kick off on August 27 in Johnson City, TN and will conclude on September 4 in Athens, GA. The run will also include a festival appearance at Muddy Roots on August 30. The full itinerary is as follows:

WEEDEATER U.S. TOUR DATES:
08/27: Johnson City, TN @ The Hideaway
08/28: Tolono, IL @ Loose Cobra
08/29: Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall*
08/30: Cookville, TN @ Muddy Roots Fest
09/01: Chattanooga, TN @ Ziggy’s
09/02: Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern
09/03: Savannah, GA @ Jinx
09/04: Athens, GA @ Caledonia
*Supporting ORANGE GOBLIN

https://www.facebook.com/weedmetal/
https://weedeater.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Weedeater, Goliathan (2015)

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Streaming: Saint Vitus Interview with Dave Chandler

Posted in audiObelisk, Features on August 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

saint vitus

It was a decade ago now that Saint Vitus began their reunion. At that point, it had been 14 years since the release of their final album, Die Healing (discussed here), in 1995. The not-quite-fully-original-but-definitely-the-most-influential lineup was guitarist Dave Chandler, vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich, bassist Mark Adams and drummer Armando Acosta, the last of whom would soon be replaced by Henry Vasquez (Blood of the Sun), who had drummed for Chandler‘s short-lived Debris Inc. outfit earlier in the aughts, and would ultimately pass away in 2010Vitus — who are arguably the most influential American doom band, and certainly the most influential the West Coast ever produced — were knee-deep in triumphant reunion tours by then, between Europe and the US, and they’d continue to roll out a packed schedule after signing to Season of Mist and releasing the long-awaited Lillie: F-65 (review here) in 2012.

From there, things proceeded in a fashion that can only be considered pure Vitus. A couple years of steady touring followed supporting Lillie: F-65 and celebrating their landmark catalog, until Weinrich got arrested in Norway in late-2014 for amphetamines, and the band seemed to come apart. Enter original vocalist Scott Reagers, last heard from with what was then a return performance on Die Healing, to take up the frontman role. More touring commenced and the band went on to issuesaint vitus saint vitus Live Vol. 2 (review here) in 2016. Already the proposition of a new studio album had been raised, but work was inevitably stunted by the departure of bassist Mark Adams — a quiet presence on stage, but a founding member and someone essential to the sound all along — owing to complications from Parkinson’s disease. A replacement was found in Pat Bruders of Down and Outlaw Order, and with a somehow-brand-new-but-still-half-original lineup, Saint Vitus once again took to the road and took on the task of their next record.

Saint Vitus‘ 1984 debut, Saint Vitus, is a genuine landmark in doom. A Calipunk answer to Black Sabbath at their gutsiest and grimiest, it has stood the test of time for over 30 years and only grown more relevant with each passing decade. That Saint Vitus in 2019 — ChandlerReagersVasquez and Bruders — should title their new album Saint Vitus (review here) is no coincidence. How could it be? And from the quintessential doomly roll of “Remains” and “Last Breath” to the pulsating energy of “Bloodshed” and the delightfully hardcore punk closer “Useless,” it is in every way a reclamation of Saint Vitus‘ identity as a group. Call it full-circle or don’t, but it’s a record that both embraces who they’ve always been and gleefully, mischievously screws with genre-based preconceptions, Reager‘s growls and soaring voice essential to the personality of the outing even as Chandler steps in for a spoken word take on the experimentalist noise of “City Park.”

I won’t take away from what Bruders and Vasquez do together as a rhythm section, and why the hell would I, but no question that having Chandler and Reagers paired up again gives the 2019 Saint Vitus a clash-of-the-titans-style feel, and for more than just Chandler‘s seemingly endless collection of pro-wrestling t-shirts. In every way, the tracks on Saint Vitus — which again united the group with producer Tony Reed (Mos Generator, etc.) — earn the banner of the band’s name under which they arrive, and for the fact that Saint Vitus has endured in one form or another for the last 40 years, their spirit of survival continues to be a middle finger raised high in defiance of everything, including, at times, themselves.

There’s a lot of doom out there, but there’s only one Dave Chandler, and I was fortunate enough to talk to him a while back, before the album came out in May. You’ll find the audio of the interview below. Thanks for checking it out if you do.

Enjoy:

Interview with Dave Chandler

 

Saint Vitus, Saint Vitus (2019)

Saint Vitus on Thee Facebooks

Saint Vitus on Twitter

Saint Vitus Tumblr

Saint Vitus website

Season of Mist on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist on Twitter

Season of Mist on Instagram

Season of Mist website

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