Wizard Eye Premiere “Stoneburner” from Self-Titled Album

Posted in audiObelisk on October 1st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wizard eye

Philly trio Wizard Eye issue their self-titled sophomore outing via Black Monk Records on Oct. 10. And yeah, it’s about riffs. And yeah, it’s about being heavy. And yeah, it’s about that crusty kind of vibe in the vocals of guitarist/thereminist Erik Caplan and bassist Dave Shahriari. It’s definitely about those things. But for me, listening to the album’s nine-track/53-minute unfurling, it’s even more about the roll. Not to say Caplan, Shahriari and drummer Mike Scarpone are entirely singular in their focus the whole time — it’s not like they’re doing the same thing over and over, in other words — but the overarching nod of Wizard Eye‘s Wizard Eye is so prevalent that no matter where they might go musically, it seems to unite the songs in a singular purpose. It turns tonal thickness into a roiling sludge goo and then serves that up chunky-style on a two-sided platter that, for those who’ve ever worshiped a riff, should be an essential pilgrimage.

Beginning with the thud-led noise of the instrumental “Eye of the Deep,” Wizard Eye work quickly to justify the anticipation for a follow-up to their 2010 debut, Orbital Rites. “Eye of the Deep” establishes the first of the record’s irresistible grooves and feeds directly into “Flying Falling,” which puts the bass tone front and center before slicking-out perfectly-paced nod-fodder, Caplan and Shahriari combining forces vocally as they do at several points in higher and lower-register gruffness. In addition to the low-end wah that emerges later, “Flying Falling” introduces another key element in the band’s arsenal — Caplan‘s theremin, which adds weirdo flavor to the late solo section and adds a spacey vibe to the album overall without actually pushing the band into space rock indulgence. Scarpone again drives the groove ahead on “Phase Return,” and Caplan and Shahriari alternate vocals between that song and the subsequent “Graybeard,” both cuts brought together by a foundation of swing that’s refreshing
for being so un-subgenred in its complete lack of pretense.

WIZARD-EYE-WIZARD-EYEFront to back, Wizard Eye gets down to business. The maybe Corrosion of Conformity-referencing “Drowning Daydream” (they did have a song called “C.O.C.” on Orbital Rites) follows, drawing the listener deeper into an instrumental languidity that winds up with a touch more swirl than they’ve yet shown, but the oddball “My Riposte is Like Lightning” — the shortest track at 3:42 and even odder for how straightforward it is — snaps back to attention ahead of the semi-plugged nine-minute “Nullarbor,” which moves from early ritualism as it nears its midpoint into the record’s most satisfying march, announced first by the bass and soon taken on by drums and guitar as well. Caplan seems in conversation with the self-titled Clutch record in his shouts on “Thunderbird Divine,” but by then the context is such that the song is entirely Wizard Eye‘s — they’ve taken stoner nod and shaped it to their will, sounding jammy without actually doing much jamming, just chill, chill, chill in its beefy swagger and readiness to vibe out into a perpetuity undercut by the harsh reality of a five-minute runtime.

What’s left to do but close out with an eight-minute affirmation of method? Ain’t exactly like they’ve been screwing around the whole time, but “Stoneburner,” which caps, feels especially well suited to its position. It doesn’t quite speak for the totality of the record — Wizard Eye don’t really give it all away in any single song; it’s an album’s album to be sure — but in its blend of a virulent hook cast into some deep region of subspace on an internal wide-band frequency and how-do-they-get-it-to-move-like-that riffing, “Stoneburner” is a more than worthy freak flag for Wizard Eye to fly on their way out, Caplan returning to the theremin one last time in the final jam to give further depth to what’s already dug in far enough to come out on the other side. And in case I haven’t yet mixed metaphors enough to give an impression of just how trippy this shit is: rutabaga.

It’s felt like a long wait for Wizard Eye‘s second to arrive. Somehow, when I put the record on for another go, time doesn’t seem to matter at all.

Get yourself a piece with the track premiere for “Stoneburner” below. PR wire info follows. Enjoy:

Philadelphia psychedelic rock trio, WIZARD EYE, will release its self-titled new full-length this Fall via Black Monk Records. Recorded in three days at Haddon Heights, New Jersey’s Gradwell House Studios with the imminently irascible and talented Steve Poponi behind the board and mastered by Dave Downham, the long-awaited follow-up to the band’s 2010 Orbital Rites debut takes WIZARD EYE’s signature brand of mind-bending riffs and kaleidoscopic soundscapes to a new level of titanic glory. A fusion of bottom-heavy grooves, fiery fuzz, churning bass, otherworldly effects and raw vocals with roots still planted firmly into the lysergic soil of ‘70s acts like Hawkwind, Budgie, Blue Cheer, Captain Beyond, Motörhead and Black Sabbath, Wizard Eye shows the band operating at the pinnacle of its creative and musical abilities.

Wizard Eye will be released via Black Monk Records on October 10th, 2015 digitally and on limited-edition swirled vinyl.

Erik Caplan – guitar, theremin, vocals
Dave Shahriari – bass, vocals
Mike Scarpone – drums, percussion

Wizard Eye on Thee Facebooks

Wizard Eye on Bandcamp

US preorder

International preorder

Black Monk Records

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Quarterly Review: Holy Sons, WEEED, Mala Suerte, Eternal Black, Were-Jaguars, Vinnum Sabbathi & Bar de Monjas, Black Tremor, Aave, Derelics, Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor

Posted in Reviews on September 29th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Day one down, four more days to go. I forget each time how different it is writing shorter reviews as opposed to the usual longer ones, but kind of refreshing to bust through something, force myself to say what needs to be said as efficiently as possible and move on. Reminds me of working in print, with word counts and such. Only so much room on the page. Not something that usually comes up around these parts, but I guess it’s good to keep that muscle from complete atrophy. Though taking that line of thought to its natural conclusion, I have no idea why. Anyway, feeling good, ready to take on another 10 records, so let’s roll.

Fall 2015 Quarterly Review #11-20:

Holy Sons, Fall of Man

holy sons fall of man

It would be hard to overstate the smoothness with which Emil Amos, who serves integral creative and percussive roles in both Grails and Om, brings different styles together on Fall of Man, his second album for Thrill Jockey under the Holy Sons solo moniker and upwards of his 11th overall. An overriding melancholy vibe suits dark, progressive pop elements on the opener “Mercenary World,” Amos at the fore playing all instruments and still vocalizing like a singer-songwriter, while the later wash of “Being Possessed is Easy” takes on ‘90s indie fragility and turns what was purposeful minimalism into an expanse of melody and “Discipline” creeps out lyrically while forming experimentalist soundscapes around a steady line of acoustic guitar. Joined by bassist Brian Markham and drummer Adam Bulgasem on “Aged Wine” – the only other players to appear anywhere on Fall of ManAmos leads the trio through soaring leads and heavier crashing to give the album a crescendo worthy of its scope, which while astounding on deeper inspection presents itself with simple, classic humility.

Holy Sons on Thee Facebooks

Holy Sons at Thrill Jockey

WEEED, Our Guru Leads us to the Black Master Sabbath


From the opening drone-groan throat-singing of the 14-minute “Dogma Dissolver,” it seems like not-quite-Seattle trio Weeed are making a run for the title “Most Stoned of the Stoner” with their second full-length, Our Guru Leads us to the Black Master Sabbath. They earn that extra ‘e.’ A double-LP on Illuminasty Records, the album is a 54-minute trip into low tone and deep-running vibe, spaced way out, and well at home whether jamming heavy and hypnotized on “Rainbow Amplifier Worship” – a highlight bassline – or nestling into an ambient stretch like “Bullfrog” preceding. Mostly instrumental, Weeed hit their most active in “Enuma Elish” and then chill and strip back to acoustics and sax (yup) for the Eastern-flavored “Caravan Spliff,” bringing back the throat-singing in the process. How else to finish such a work than with the 15-minute “Nature’s Green Magic,” a 15-minute push along a single build that goes from minimal, pastoral acoustics to nod-on-this megastoner riffing? Weeed might be going for the gold, but they end up in the green, and somehow one imagines they’ll be alright with that. They get super-ultra-bonus points for sounding like Kyuss not even a little.

WEEED on Thee Facebooks

WEEED on Bandcamp

Mala Suerte, Rituals of Self Destruction

mala suerte rituals of self destruction

Formed in 1999 and having made their full-length debut a decade later with The Shadow Tradition (review here), last heard from in a 2012 split with Boise’s Uzala (review here), Austin, Texas, doomly five-piece Mala Suerte return with the 10-track Rituals of Self Destruction, which moves past its four-minute intro into chugging The Obsessed-style trad doom with a touch of Southern heavy à la Crowbar and a generally metallic spirit in cuts like “Utopic Delusions” that gets expanded on later cuts like the swirling, crawling almost Cathedral-ish “Labyrinth of Solitude.” Comprised of forward-mixed vocalist Gary Rosas, guitarists David Guerrero and Vincent Pina, bassist Mike Reed and drummer Chris Chapa (now John Petri), Mala Suerte sound as rueful as ever across the album’s span, rounding out with the hardcore sludge of “Successful Failure” and “The Recluse,” which builds from slow, brooding chug to a more riotous finish. It’s been a while, but it’s good to have them back.

Mala Suerte on Thee Facebooks

Mala Suerte on Bandcamp

Eternal Black, Eternal Black

eternal black eternal black

Guitarist/vocalist Ken Wohlrob leads Brooklyn’s Eternal Black through the riffy doom of their debut self-titled three-track EP. Unpretentious in the style’s tradition, the trio is anchored by Hal Miller’s bass and pushed forward by the drums of Joe “The Prince of Long Island” Wood (also of Borgo Pass), the rolling groove of Sabbathian opener “Obsidian Sky” setting the tone for straightforward, few-frills darkness, and Eternal Black follow it up with the workingman’s doom of “The Dead Die Hard” and “Armageddon’s Embrace,” the former started out with an extra lead layer before it unfurls the EP/demo’s most satisfying crawl, and the latter a little more swinging, but still Iommic metal at its core, Wohlrob’s gruff vocal and Wino-style riff backed by Miller’s deep-mixed rumble as Wood goes to the cowbell/woodblock (it’s one or the other) during the guitar solo. Even if Joe Wood wasn’t one of the best human beings I’d ever met, it would still be pretty easy to dig what these cats are doing, and it’ll be worth keeping an eye for how they follow this first installment.

Eternal Black on Thee Facebooks

Eternal Black on Bandcamp

Were-Jaguars, II

were-jaguars ii

Austin, Texas-based trio Were-Jaguars have already issued a follow-up EP to their earlier-2015 second album, II, but from its opening and longest track “Between the Armies” (immediate points), the three-piece dig into weirdo psych vibes and dense tones across their latest full-length, released through respected Russian purveyor R.A.I.G. Not at all a minor undertaking at 13 tracks, 68 minutes, it gets into garage ritualism in “Let My Breath be the Air” and unfolds immediate doomadelia on “Bishop Kills Enchanter,” but if you need confirmation that Were-Jaguars – the three-piece of Chad Rauschenberg, James Adkisson and Rick McConnell – aren’t just screwing around in these songs and lucking into a righteous result, let it come on the later “Lost Soul,” which melds a flowing instrumental roll to a host of spiritual and pseudo-spiritual samples, loses itself completely, and then returns at the end to finish cohesive, engagingly complex and sure in the knowledge that all has gone to plan. Figuring out what that plan is can be a challenge at times, but it’s there.

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Vinnum Sabbathi & Bar de Monjas, Fuzzonaut Split


The Fuzzonaut split between Mexico’s Vinnum Sabbathi and Bar de Monjas takes its name from the closing track, provided by the latter act, but it serves as a fitting title for the work as a whole as well. Vinnum Sabbathi launch the six-track offering with “HEX I: The Mastery of Space,” a slow-rolling instrumental topped by samples pulled from rocket launches, and after the 1:45 droning interlude “Intermission (Fluctuations),” they melt their way into the companion “HEX II: Foundation Pioneers,” doomier in its chug, but similarly-minded overall in intent, with the warm bass, copious samples, and planet-sized riffing. Though their portion is shorter overall, Bar de Monjas answer back with relatively upbeat push in “Hot Rail,” winding up in stoner rock janga-janga before stomping their way into “The Ripper,” cowbelling there as part of an impressively percussed spin and capping with “Fuzzonaut” itself, a shroomy 7:45 creeper with big-riff bursts that rises and recedes effectively, ending with a long residual hum.

Vinnum Sabbathi on Thee Facebooks

Bar de Monjas on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzonaut on Bandcamp

Black Tremor, Impending

black tremor impending

An immediate touchstone for the droning pastoral drear that Saskatoon three-piece Black Tremor elicit on their four-song debut EP, Impending, is Earth’s HEX: Or Printing in the Infernal Method, but the newcomer trio distinguish themselves immediately with an approach that replaces guitar with violin, so that not only can Black Tremor tie into these atmospheres, they can do so in a way that speak to country roots in a way their forebears didn’t at the time date. Bassist Alex Deighton, violinist Amanda Bestvater and drummer Brennan Rutherford have only just begun the work of developing their sound, but already nine-minute opener “The Church” and its buzzing follow-up “Rise” prove evocative and come across as more than exercises in ambience. “Markhor” hits with an even heavier roll and an almost Melvinsy undertone, while the title-track makes its way through horse-trod mud to emerge at the end not only clean but positively bouncing. It’s still pretty dark, but they’ve given themselves a vast Canadian Midwestern expanse to explore.

Black Tremor on Thee Facebooks

Black Tremor on Bandcamp

Aave, There’s Nothing

aave there's nothing

A bright tonal bliss pervades There’s Nothing, the Rock Ridge Music debut long-player from Nashville all-lowercase psychedelic post-rockers aave. The band court indie progressivism across the album’s eight component tracks, but with just one song over four minutes long – closer “Turn Me Off” (4:30) – there’s little about it that feels overly indulgent or beyond the pale stylistically. That is to say that while aave set a sonic course for great distances, they get to where they’re going efficiently and don’t hang around too long in one place. That has its ups and downs in terms of vibe, but the resonant vocal melodies of “Nothing Here” – hard not to be reminded of Mars Red Sky’s sweet emotionality, but there are other comparisons one might make – the focus remains grounded in an accessibility that goes beyond getting lost in dreamy guitars. Aesthetically satisfying, they find an intense moment in the later thrust of “Blender,” but even that retains the overarching wistful sensibility of what’s come before and that unites the material throughout.

aave on Thee Facebooks

Rock Ridge Music

Derelics, Introducing

derelics introducing

Spacious, melodic and entrancingly heavy, Derelics’ debut EP, Introducing, indeed makes a formidable opening statement, and in a crowded London scene of post-Orange Goblin burl and Downy sludge, the trio set more progressive ambitions across “To Brunehilde,” “California” and “Ride the Fuckin’ Snake to Valhalla,” psych-funking up the centerpiece after the grooving largesse of the opener en route to the wider-spreading tones of the closer, guitarist/vocalist Reno cutting through his and bassist Nacim’s tones easily with higher-register vocals that push the limits of his range as he encourages one to “ride that fuckin’ snake,” before cutting out to let drummer Rich lead the charge with toms through a build-up bridge that returns to the echoing fullness conjured earlier, ending on a long-fading organ note. An encouraging first offering from the three-piece, and hopefully they continue develop along an original-sounding path as they move ahead. Already they seem to show a knack for melding atmospherics and songwriting toward the same ends.

Derelics on Thee Facebooks

Derelics on Bandcamp

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, Desert Brain

sisters of your sunshine vapor desert brain

True to its krautrock-style cover art, Desert Brain, the third outing from Detroit’s Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, has an element of prog at work within its psychedelic unfolding. But that’s reasonable. With four years since their second release, Spectra Spirit (review here), and the inclusion of bassist/keyboardist Eric Oppitz and drummer Rick Sawoscinski with guitarist/vocalist Sean Morrow, the dynamic in the band has legitimately shifted, even though Oppitz (who also did the aforementioned cover art) has recorded all three of their records. Still, they keep the proceedings fluid across the two vinyl sides, finding their inner garage on “Major Medicine” and tripping out easy on “What’s Your Cloud Nine, 37?” on side A before digging in with fuzz and push on side B’s “The Prettiest Sounds of Purgatory” and stretching into ritual stomp on the title cut. All the while, they’re drenched in vibe and a flow that’s languid even as it’s running you over, and while some songs barely have a chorus, they implant themselves in the mind anyway, almost subliminally.

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor on Thee Facebooks

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor on Bandcamp

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Monolith Wielder Announce Fall Release for Self-Titled Debut

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 21st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Pittsburgh newcomers Monolith Wielder have announced they’ll release their self-titled debut full-length this fall. The album was recorded by Jason Jouver (Don Caballero) and mastered by Jack Endino (WindhandHigh on Fire, etc.), and some preliminary audio has been posted in the form of unmastered mixes for “Angels Hide” and “Illumination,” which you can hear below. The four-piece position themselves between stoner and doom, which is fair enough, and get underway with some familiar but welcome swing and a touch of grunge-style aggression.

You can hear the latter particularly on “Angels Hide,” which is longer and slower than its counterpart as Monolith Wielder make sure to show off a bit of variety in the songwriting while still keeping it universally heavy. Their backstory and the audio follow:

monolith wielder

Monolith Wielder was formed in Pittsburgh, PA in 2014 when guitarist Justin Gizzi (Molasses Barge) approached singer/guitarist Gero von Dehn (ZOM, Von Dane) about forming a new, heavy project. With the schooled and skilled Ben Zerbe (Mandrake Project) on drums the band had a foundation with which to lay forth doom laden riffs lathered with stoner rock grooves. Rounding out the four piece would be bass man Ray Ward, formerly the six string axe man in Dope Lake.

With the lineup intact the band went about writing their first collection of powerful, earthshaking jams rich in honesty and intensity.

Spring of 2015 found Monolith Wielder entering Plus/Minus Studio to record the debut full length. The capable hands and ears of Jason Jouver were behind the console to oversee the heavy storm that he would be tasked with corralling. The final step of mastering the record would be handled by Jack Endino, who recorded classics by Nirvana, Soundgarden, High on Fire as well as the latest by Windhand.

The self titled Monolith Wielder debut has an expected released in the fall 2015.

Monolith Wielder shows:
10.21 Brillobox Pittsburgh PA w/ Spirit Caravan & Dirty Streets


Monolith Wielder, “Illumination” (Rough Mix)

Monolith Wielder, “Angels Hide”

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Sabbath Assembly Unveil New Video for “Apparition of the Revolution”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

sabbath assembly

“Apparition of the Revolution” is the second video to be made for a track from Sabbath Assembly‘s self-titled fifth album, newly released on Svart Records and positioned as the band’s casting off of their churchly cultish ways. The prior one, “Ave Satanas,” was essentially a horror movie, centered as many are around the destruction of the family unit, in this case by bloody knife-wielding murder. Fair enough. “Apparition of the Revolution” is significantly less narrative, given as is the track itself more to an atmospheric impression of its otherworldly ambience and dark, no less sadistic intent. If I compared it to a less experimental version of latter-day Jarboe, I’d hope not to take a punch from so much disagreement.

The track itself nears six minutes, but much of that is geared toward setting the stage and building tension to a resoundingly heavy payoff, sultry images and malevolent croon meeting with an underlying violence nowhere near as direct as “Ave Satanas,” but still certainly present. When its full breadth kicks in, a dirge-style march gets underway, guitars churning behind in a manner that contrasts some of the Mercyful Fatery they showed last time around but stands in line with classic metal one way or another.

Feel free to dig in below, and be rewarded for patience and openness of mind:

Sabbath Assembly, “Apparition of the Revolution” official video

The track hails from the band’s highly anticipated fifth album, Sabbath Assembly, released on September 11th via Svart Records. It marks a new beginning for the band: its “Great Schism” from the Process Church of the Final Judgment. Like the albatross falling from the mariner’s neck, the band has freed itself from the cult’s theology in order to explore its own creations – with no special guest appearances or narrative frills. Sabbath Assembly is, in fact, a decidedly metal offering, for in the writing, the band returned to its own personal roots in the dark age of the ’80s. These are Sabbath Assembly’s own “hymns” for their own “church” – a place marked by passion, devotion, and the gospel of metal.

Regarding the video for “Apparition of the Revolution,” the band states: “The promise of cults is superficial. Personal grandeur, spiritual elevation, heavenly reward – it all turns out smoke and mirrors in the end. The promised ‘revolution’ never comes; yet when in the throes of the cult, the apparition of it looms large, ghostly, immanent. This song and video is about the recognition of the ghost, seeing the apparition in all its mist. It’s about the crumbling and burning of the symbols of the cult, and the powdery dust which they become. Goodbye, Process Church of the Final Judgment. As it is, so be it.”

Sabbath Assembly website

Sabbath Assembly on Bandcamp

Sabbath Assembly on Twitter

Svart Records

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Stars that Move, Stars that Move: Holding a Gaze

Posted in Reviews on September 11th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

stars that move stars that move

The self-titled debut full-length from Georgian trio Stars that Move is a richly stylistic and still somewhat understated affair. To explain: tonally, in its classic swing and garage-buzz presentation, topped off with stare-at-it-long-enough-and-lose-your-mind artwork by David Paul Seymour, the eight-track offering is clear in its aesthetic intent. Touches of cult rock pervade songs like “The Blue Prince” and “She that Rules the King,” but that’s not necessarily the entirety of the band’s context. More pivotal to the experience of the album than any thematic leaning in the lyrics are the swaying rhythms that take hold with opener “I Hold a Gaze” and remain firmly in place leading to the spaciousness of closer “Burning in Flames.”

Both the opener and the closer, as well as “The Blue Prince,” “She that Rules the King” and the penultimate acoustic interlude “No Evil Star” were included on Stars that Move‘s earlier-2015 Demo Songs EP (review here) in what may well have been the same recordings. Likewise, the Black Sabbath cover “A National Acrobat” that serves (“No Evil Star” notwithstanding) as the centerpiece of the album, was previously issued as a digital single, but if the full-length was compiled from past recordings, its sound is consistent and its flow uninterrupted. All of this, and it’s still fair to call Stars that Move “somewhat understated,” as above, because it’s only 25 minutes long. In fact, the only song that touches the four-minute mark is the Sabbath cover, and for the rest of what the three-piece of vocalist Elisa Maria, guitarist Richard Bennett and drummer Frank Sikes create, the core structures are so straightforward and traditional that, while stylistically elaborate, they retain a wide accessibility. A catchy song is a catchy song.

Stars that Move have plenty of them. Bennett and Sikes both being members of underrated stoner-doomers Starchild — also not shy about covering Sabbath in their day, or Sleep — one might expect tonal overload, but that’s not what this band is about. The upshot of “I Hold a Gaze” and “The Blue Prince” one into the next is that a lot of the impression is left to Maria to carry, but between her layering and the grit in Bennett‘s guitar, which, as anyone who ever heard Starchild can tell you is not an accident — he is someone who has given considerable thought and effort to crafting a tone — the initial vibe of Stars that Move feels somewhat derived from Uncle Acid but working in its own vein as well.

stars that move

“From East to West,” which follows, is one of two songs not traced to a prior outing — either Demo Songs or the Jan. 2015 No Evil Star EP — the other being “The Hidden Hand,” which arrives after “A National Acrobat,” and has more bounce than swing, but ultimately works in a similar mindset, though Maria‘s vocals come through less layered and more distinct. The same could be said of “The Hidden Hand,” but that song is even further distinguished by the open groove of its chorus and psychedelic lead-work that emerges in the second half, less directly Iommic than that of “The Blue Prince,” though whether that’s a result of actually being newer or just something easily read into the narrative of what I know about the recordings, I couldn’t say. Either way, “A National Acrobat” between them, they seem to stand out all the more, though I won’t take anything away from Stars that Move‘s version of the Sabbath classic or how well the trio adapt it to their own aesthetic. Maria even adds the Ozzy laugh “Ha-ha!” as it swirls toward the end, though ultimately its Bennett whose performance proves the most striking in taking on such broadly identifiable solos.

It is short, true, but Stars that Move is likewise hypnotic, and while the cover will be somewhat jarring on a first listen through if only because it’s likely the audience will know the original version, “The Hidden Hand” restores the trance with its interlaced leads and start-stop riffing, resulting in what’s to that point the most psychedelic push yet. That might make “She that Rules the King” a return to earth, but the hook retains some airiness amid the strutting central riffs, and so the vibe once again is maintained leading to “No Evil Star” — which appeared both on Demo Songs and as the intro to the EP that shared its name; “Burning in Flames” followed on both releases as well — perhaps no less Sabbathian than the cover for its “Laguna Sunrise”-style feel and thoughtful acoustic strum.

No question as to why “Burning in Flames” would be paired with it across three separate offerings: it works. Also based around acoustic guitar, the finale of the album is also its most atmospheric cut and hits its mark around the lines, “We are the world/Burning in flames,” delivered in Maria‘s most confident declaration here, even if it is the prior recording repurposed. It’s a quiet finish to Stars that Move, but effective, and even it gives some hint at where and how the band might develop moving forward. Because of its quick runtime, I’d almost be tempted to say it’s an EP, but the flow Stars that Move pull off across the span is unmistakable in its aim, and though brief, they deliver a long-player feel and a deceptively broad scope in these tracks, while also establishing a foundation from which to work going into whatever they do next and staking an aesthetic claim that finds them cohesive in sound and approach and varied enough to work in a range of moods. To call it anything other than a successful first album would be denying it its due.

Stars that Move, Stars that Move (2015)

Stars that Move on Thee Facebooks

Stars that Move on Bandcamp

Stone Groove Records on Bandcamp

Twin Earth Records

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Wizard Eye Self-Titled Due Oct. 10

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Philly psych-sludge rollers Wizard Eye first announced their alliance with Black Monk Records this past Spring, and the vinyl of their self-titled sophomore full-length has just been given a solid Oct. 10 release date through the label. It’s been five years since the three-piece (who then had a different lineup) issued their Orbital Rites debut, and I’m not saying I’ve heard the new record or anything, but it smokes the first one.

Seriously. Rolls it up and smokes it. Puff puff.

More to come, but for now here’s cover art and album info — including the rather impressive CV of festivals the band has played — as seen on the PR wire:


WIZARD EYE: Philadelphia Psychedelic Rock Trio To Unleash New Full-Length This Fall Via Black Monk Records

Philadelphia psychedelic rock trio, WIZARD EYE, will release its self-titled new full-length this Fall via Black Monk Records. Recorded in three days at Haddon Heights, New Jersey’s Gradwell House Studios with the imminently irascible and talented Steve Poponi behind the board and mastered by Dave Downham, the long-awaited follow-up to the band’s 2010 Orbital Rites debut takes WIZARD EYE’s signature brand of mind-bending riffs and kaleidoscopic soundscapes to a new level of titanic glory. A fusion of bottom-heavy grooves, fiery fuzz, churning bass, otherworldly effects and raw vocals with roots still planted firmly into the lysergic soil of ’70s acts like Hawkwind, Budgie, Blue Cheer, Captain Beyond, Motörhead and Black Sabbath, Wizard Eye shows the band operating at the pinnacle of its creative and musical abilities.

Wizard Eye Track Listing:
1. Eye Of The Deep
2. Flying Falling
3. Phase Return
4. Graybeard
5. Drowning Daydream
6. My Riposte Is Like Lightning
7. Nullarbor
8. Thunderbird Divine
9. Stoneburner

Since forming in 2008, the members of WIZARD EYE have put in countless hours honing their musical craft performing venues throughout the mid-Atlantic region sharing stages with the likes of Wino, Church Of Misery, Gates Of Slumber, Black Tusk, Sourvein, Sixty Watt Shaman, Karma To Burn, Pale Divine, Unorthodox, Lo Pan and countless others. The band has become a staple of the festival circuit, projecting its strength across stages for events like The Stoner Hands Of Doom, Eye Of The Stoned Goat, Autumn Screams Doom, Moving The Earth, Feast Of Krampus, Sludgement Day and Vultures Of Volume. Wizard Eye is the long-awaited release from a band whose time has come.

Wizard Eye will be released via Black Monk Records on October 10th, 2015 digitally and on limited-edition swirled vinyl with preorders and teaser tracks to be unveiled shortly.

Erik – guitar, theremin, vocals
Dave – bass, vocals
Mike – drums, percussion


Wizard Eye, Riff Occult Live (2014)

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Throneless Announce Oct. 30 Release for Self-Titled Debut

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 2nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


It won’t take long into the stream below of “Masters of Nothing” to figure out what Swedish three-piece Throneless are all about. Big riffs, big nod, big doom. The PR wire info below is right to list Ufomammut and Conan among the “FFO” types, but maybe I’d put Monolord in that list as well, if only for a fitting summary. Either way, Throneless bring something different to Italian imprint Heavy Psych Sounds, as they’re a long, long way down a deep, dark hole away from most of what the label specializes in producing — groups like Black RainbowsKiller BoogieApe Skull, and so on — but listening to “Masters of Nothing,” it’s kind of hard to argue with what Throneless are up to. The sore-necked results speak for themselves.

The band made a quick statement about releasing their first album, a self-titled, through Heavy Psych Sounds. I’ve no clue if “Masters of Nothing” will show up on the record as well, but it’s here as a sonic reference in any case.

From the PR wire:


Throneless debut album out 30.10.2015

FOR FANS OF: Conan, Bongripper, YOB, Ufomammut.

Throneless is a doom metal band from Malmö, Sweden, that through heavy downtuned fuzz, monotone and medative riffs focuses on waking people up from the masshypnosis we call society.

“We adapt our minds to someone else’s vision of a life, that clearly doesn’t benefit anyone but the ones on top of the pyramid. And since we’re taught that this is the only way of living, kicking downwards and licking upwards, we waste our golden years at some worthless job, to save up some worthless money and buy amplifiers so that we can express how much we fucking hate everything.”

In April 2015 after hours of jamming, Throneless recorded and produced 4 tracks that turned into their self titled debut album.

Throneless have signed with Heavy Psych Sounds for the physical release on CD & LP in October 2015.

We are Throneless:

Johan Burman – drums/producer
Johan Sundén – guitar/vocals
Patrik Sundberg bass/artwork


Throneless, “Masters of Nothing” (2015)

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With the Dead Self-Titled Debut LP Due Oct. 16

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 12th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

with the dead (Photo by Ester Segarra)

Well, I mean, sure, former Ramesses and Electric Wizard bassist and drummer Tim Bagshaw and Mark Greening could get together with ex-Cathedral frontman Lee Dorrian in a new trio. I mean, they could. And it would probably be fucking awesome. And I guess that’s more or less the situation we’re staring at when it comes to the impending self-titled debut from With the Dead, which does in fact draw together the above-mentioned entities toward who the hell knows what malevolent ends. Snippets have started to come out — an album teaser is below, and there’s a radio rip of another song around the interwebs — but I’m gonna wait until I get the full thing to dive in. Some prefer a quick death. I’d rather not see the truck that hits me coming.

The PR wire has news:

with the dead logo

WITH THE DEAD To Release Self-Titled Debut October 16th on Rise Above Records

Supergroup is such an erroneous term – images of bored playboys pissing on their legacy spring to mind – but the members of WITH THE DEAD have a history of creating criminally good records as long as your arm. They’ve all served hard time in the subterranean worlds of Doom and the heaviest forms of Metal and have now reconvened to surpass previous projects. They’re back – and this time the aim is to maim.

WITH THE DEAD were formed by the founding rhythm section of occultist Doom overloads Electric Wizard: guitarist/bassist Tim Bagshaw and drummer Mark Greening, a pair once notorious for the sheer brute heaviness of their bowel-shaking sound and early extra-curricular activities that involved excess, injury and low-level criminality (arrests for the theft of a crucifix from a church roof and drunkenly robbing an off-licence to name but two). Both have also played together in Ramesses.

Completing the triangle is frontman Lee Dorrian, co-founder of Doom pioneers Cathedral, former frontman with grindcore legends Napalm Death and owner of Rise Above Records, the UK’s finest independent purveyors of all sounds heavy and underground, whose stable of bands include Ghost, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Lucifer, Blood Ceremony and Witchcraft. Having been in business since 1988, Rise Above is also one of the most enduring.

Existing doom-heads will already know that the longstanding relationship between Rise Above and Electric Wizard is one that was fractious and fraught. Much mud has been slung between band, label and former members in recent years, but the WITH THE DEAD trio are of the opinion that big words meant little – it’s the action that truly counts. And as the fire that is Electric Wizard peters out, WITH THE DEAD burn with eyebrow-singeing intensity. WITH THE DEAD are heavy. No – scratch that. WITH THE DEAD are heavy.H.E.A.V.Y!!! They are a band with teeth and talons.

Like the product of some sort of alchemical alignment or a diabolical modern demon summoned by a whispered incantatory spell, WITH THE DEAD formed on All Hallow’s Eve 2014. They worked quickly and the result is a six-track, self-titled debut broadside that draws on the members’ rich musical legacy but without ever taking a backward step. Rising like a fecund creature from the fetid bogs of old England, With The Dead is a malevolent beast that lurches and staggers, flattening everything in its path. Guitars moil and curdle, bubbling up through the loam like black tar, while existing fans will surely welcome the return of Dorrian’s distinctly hateful vocals. The album was recorded at Orgone Studios in High Barnet, London, with producer/engineer Jaime Gomez Arellano in late March/early April 2015, With The Dead’s vocals were then added in two very short evening sessions in April and May 2015.

With The Dead Track Listing:
1. Crown of Burning Stars
2. The Cross
3. Nephthys`
4. Living With The Dead
5. I Am The Virus
6. Screams From My Own Grave

Lee Dorrian – vocals
Tim Bagshaw – guitar / bass
Mark Greening – drums

For More Info Visit:

With the Dead, With the Dead album preview

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