Iron Void Celebrate 20th Anniversary with November Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

iron void photo by Katrina Kendrick

Two decades is not a short amount of time. 20 years ago, it was Nineteen-Hundred and Ninety-Eight. Western Civilization could still basically argue it had the potential to bring some good into the world. The Roaring ’90s. It was the time that the robots based The Matrix on. Right before the entire universe took a shit and everyone realized how awful everything is, then collapse resounded around the world and we’re still all dug into the repercussions of that, and so, you know, DOOM.

Enter Iron Void. Formed in 1998, and yeah, they’ve had some bumps and periods of inactivity along the way — they haven’t been slogging it out playing clubs on tour 150 shows a year for 20 years, and neither have you, and neither are they claiming otherwise — but the simple fact that after 20 years, guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Seale would feel strongly and passionately enough about the project to put out an album of the quality of the soon-to-land Exaclibur (review here) is admirable in and of itself. 20 fucking years, man. Think about what you were doing 20 years ago.

I was in high school. Probably stoned. Ha.

Anyway, Iron Void are celebrating 20 years with a show this week and a short tour alongside the also-high-grade-downer Serpent Venom and Famyne next month. I got Sealey to give some comment on the occasion and you can see that below, as well as the event links for the shows, because it’s the future and that’s how it goes now. You wouldn’t have gotten that 20 years ago.

Dig:

IRON VOID TOUR

Jonathan “Sealey” Seale on 20 years of Iron Void and the tour:

“We’re very much looking forward to touring the UK in November with our peers and longtime friends, Serpent Venom and Famyne, who are one of the finest new Doom bands in the UK scene today. I only wish we could have done more dates. Maybe we will in future, who knows? November 2018 is also a very special month and cause for celebration for Iron Void as it marks our 20th anniversary since the band formed in November 1998. We’ve had several lineup changes and obstacles to overcome over the years but all in all it’s been a blast with a lot of fond memories! I’d like to sincerely thank my bandmates, old and new, and all our loyal fans across the globe for making this incredible journey a reality, it wouldn’t have been possible without you, I love you all! Here’s to the next 20 years! DOOM ON!!”

Oct 13 Iron Void 20th Anniversary Show (1998 – 2018):
Black mass Wakefield, UK
https://www.facebook.com/events/1857902831184012/

Iron Void / Serpent Venom / Famyne UK Tour – November 2018

2 NOVEMBER – The Phoenix, Coventry
https://www.facebook.com/events/187309512064309/

3 NOVEMBER – The Black Heart, London
https://www.facebook.com/events/980671265433339/

4 NOVEMBER – The Old England, Bristol
https://www.facebook.com/events/425613231235352/

Iron Void is:
Jonathan ‘Sealey’ Seale – Bass/Vocals
Steve Wilson – Guitars/Vocals
Richard Maw – Drums

www.facebook.com/ironvoid
www.ironvoid.bandcamp.com
www.shadowkingdomrecords.com
www.facebook.com/shadowkingdomrecords

Iron Void, Excalibur (2018)

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Iron Void, Excalibur: Of Legend

Posted in Reviews on September 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

iron void excalibur

Iron Void‘s third full-length and Shadow Kingdom Records debut, Excalibur, is the kind of record that makes you slap your forehead and ask how no one thought of doing this before. A concept album based on the legend of King Arthur? I know that’s hardly new ground for metal in general, and it seems relatively certain another doom act has had a song about it here or there, but a whole album, capturing the plotline from the ascent of Arthur to the downfall of Camelot via righteous, classic doom? The narrative, of course, is immediately familiar in Western culture, such that songs like “The Coming of a King,” “Lancelot of the Lake,” “The Grail Quest” and “The Death of Arthur” don’t need much more than their titles to orient the listener in the plot, and Iron VoidJonathan “Sealey” Seale (bass/vocals), Steve Wilson (guitar/vocals) and Richard Maw (drums) — use that to their advantage in telling the story with nine songs across a 47-minute span that flow together smoothly without losing their individual impact.

That is, they work as part of the whole or are able to stand on their own if need be. As the Wakefield, UK, three’piece make their way to the penultimate “The Death of Arthur” ahead of the acoustic epilogue “Avalon,” their poise remains unflinching and from Merlin’s incantation at the outset of opener “Dragon’s Breath,” which may or may not actually be sampled from the 1981 film that shares the name of the album, on through the nodding riffage that follows, Iron Void pepper in vocal harmonies and hold their focus well amid the tonal fullness brought to bear by Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studio in Fall 2017. “The Coming of a King” presents a suitably triumphant NWOBHM gallop, and “Lancelot of the Lake” tosses in double-kick drums from Maw and dual-vocals that highlight the hidden strength in Iron Void‘s approach that puts them far ahead of many practitioners of the style.

No doubt Iron Void do justice in their homage to the elders of doom. Sabbath (of course) in multiple-eras, including some of the medieval stylizations of the Tony Martin years, Saint Vitus, Trouble, etc., and included with that is a strong current of the doom-into-NWOBHM moment, acts like Pagan Altar, Cirith Ungol and Witchfinder General adding early- and mid-’80s fervor to “Lancelot of the Lake” and the subsequent “Forbidden Love,” which plays through quiet/loud tradeoffs in its verse before launching into a speedier solo section and setting the stage for a return to the verse with a moment of standalone bass that highlights one of the most crucial aspects of the band in Seale‘s tone. The low end, which is MIA on many a classic metal recording, does much of the work as the foundation on Excalibur around which Wilson‘s riffs crunch and solos soar. That’s not to take away from Maw‘s drumming, but there’s a sense of melody as well as rhythm to the bass that bridges the other two together.

iron void photo by Katrina Kendrick

While the singing and lyrics are the source of much of the memorability in the songs, by the time Iron Void move into the centerpiece “Enemy Within,” their sense of command is absolute, instrumentally as well as vocally. This speaks not only to the work the band has done across its two prior long-players, 2014’s Iron Void and 2015’s Doomsday, but also to the sheer effort and thought put into this collection. It is coordinated across such a clear beginning, middle and end that one is left wondering which came first, the concept or the tracks themselves, but either way, the fluidity with which the band move through one into the next as they tell their tale isn’t to be understated. While it’s possible to take each cut on its own — “Enemy Within” is a standout among standouts, every bit worthy of its position in the tracklisting — it’s even more satisfying to hear them progress as part of the overarching entirety, which is delivered with unstained class and wholly without pretense.

“Enemy Within” rumbles out its finish into a fade ahead of the bursting start of “The Grail Quest” and it’s clear through the pacing and tone the story is making its way to a decidedly unhappy ending. Weeping lead guitar just past the midpoint in “The Grail Quest” tells the listener everything they need to know about how it all turns out, and the subsequent “A Dream to Some, A Nightmare to Others” takes hold, there seems to be a kind of symmetry with the earlier catchiness of “The Coming of a King,” as Seale and Wilson harmonize through the hook, telling of the death of Merlin and the aftermath thereof. Maw incorporates some cowbell into the first part of the two-stage solo section in the song’s back end, and they finish with a last verse and chorus en route to “The Death of Arthur,” which starts with drum thud and acoustic guitar and unfolds its 7:33 run as, appropriately, the longest track on Excalibur. Fair enough for being kind of an important moment in the fable, but even more than the demise of the central figure, the song offers something of a relief in its sense of melody even as it brings a kind of tension in its early verses.

With subtle noodling on guitar, Iron Void move toward a swell of volume around the 3:30 mark that leads to the next movement, which is more open sounding and a bit more grandiose. A solo naturally gives way back to the quieter verse and a final weighted push ends with a wash of gong. The plucked notes of “Avalon” arrive thereafter and give a concluding chapter to the story and album both that nonetheless expands the sonic palette while remaining true to the central atmosphere at work. Harmonies arrive late for the lines, “Beyond the gates of death/I am free,” and the record closes with the latter lyric and leaves a heavy silence in its wake. They may not be the first to enact the Arthurian theme, but Iron Void make it their own in a manner that both acknowledges metal’s history and dons its proudly. There’s no irony to it, no tongue-in-cheek winking in their presentation. Excalibur is classic metal made new again, and if you can’t handle that, it’s your loss.

Iron Void, Excalibur (2018)

Iron Void on Thee Facebooks

Iron Void on Bandcamp

Shadow Kingdom Records on Thee Facebooks

Shadow Kingdom Records website

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Asylum to Release 3-3-88 Sept. 28 on Shadow Kingdom

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 31st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

asylum

A little bit of tried and true Maryland doom history brought to light by Shadow Kingdom Records. Asylum guitarist Dale Flood and drummer Ronnie Kalimon went on to form Unorthodox, and though the band never had an album out, only a collection of demos, their reputation never really subsided. 3-3-88 isn’t the last recording Asylum made before the one band became the other, but it’s never been officially issued before, and you can stream it in full now at the bottom of this post ahead of a Sept. 28 CD issue. It sounds like it’s probably been cleaned up some from the bootleg versions — or at very least mastered — but either way you can hear the grit and roughness of the tracks as well as the bluesy atmospheric jams on songs like “Nowhere.” Killer vibe throughout, and clearly more than just one for archivists and scholars of Maryland doom, though that contingent should also be well pleased.

Info from the PR wire:

asylum 3-3-88

Pre-UNORTHODOX band ASYLUM to release lost recordings through SHADOW KINGDOM – streaming in full now

On September 28th, Shadow Kingdom Records is proud to present a special lost recording from cult Maryland doom band Asylum entitled 3-3-88. Circulated amongst diehard collectors for years via MP3 but now finally finding an official physical release on CD format, Asylum’s 3-3-88 is a crucial piece of doom metal history.

Doom aficionados are well familiar with the name Asylum by now. Begun in 1981 and crafting a handful of super-cult demos during the lean years of the 1980s, Asylum eventually became Unorthodox in 1992 and released their classic debut album, fittingly titled Asylum, that year on the pivotal Hellhound label. As such, Asylum had a big hand in shaping the Maryland doom metal scene that would come to fruition in the ’90s and sow its influence worldwide.

But, with the long-lost 3-3-88 recording now unearthed, we begin to see the full depth of Asylum’s eventual transformation into UNORTHODOX. This recording was indeed recorded on March 3rd of 1988, and was the last-known recording under the Asylum moniker. Across its 10 tracks, the listener can feel the full force of the band’s ever-expanding biker rock base, which would later become a hallmark of Maryland doom. Whereas so much doom to come would take heavy cues from Black Sabbath, Asylum instead had more of a Steppenwolf-gone-metal feel, and as displayed by 3-3-88, a penchant for jamming out into spacier realms, including touches of otherworldly synth. And yet, for all this increased ambition – four full instrumentals mark this recording, including the portentous “Unorthodox” – the band’s sound remained remarkably focused, with a clear vision and even clearer execution. You can drift off into far-away lands as easily as you can headbang to this.

Pulled from the original tapes and remastered, Asylum’s 3-3-88 possesses an enduring power which has made it such a highly-sought-after recording all these years. And whether they transformed into Unorthodox or not, this crucial document deserves its rightful place in the doom pantheon.

In the leadup to its CD release, the entirety of Asylum’s 3-3-88 is currently streaming in full HERE at Shadow Kingdom’s Bandcamp, where the album can be preordered. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for Asylum (Maryland)’s 3-3-88
1. World In Trouble
2. Mystified
3. Time Bomb
4. Road To Ruin
5. Psyche World
6. Forgotten Image
7. Nowhere
8. Funk 69
9. Indecision
10. Unorthodox

www.shadowkingdomrecords.com
www.facebook.com/shadowkingdomrecords
https://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/

Asylum, 3-3-88 (2018)

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Hour of Thirteen Post New Song “Harvest Night”; Deathly Nights LP Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Late in 2016, multi-instrumentalist/spearhead Chad Davis of Hour of 13 announced the return of the band following a breakup and years of inactivity. Davis, who’d been through two frontmen in Phil Swanson (also Upwards of Endtime) and Ben Hogg (also Beaten Back to Pure), would take on vocal duties himself, but before the band moved forward, there was a look back to be had in 2017’s compilation, Salt the Dead: The Rare and Unreleased (review here), issued in a likewise-revitalized accord with Shadow Kingdom Records.

Davis had at that point moved from his longtime home in North Carolina to California, and hinted toward new material. Well, here we are. Hour of 13 has become Hour of Thirteen, and Davis checks in below with a discussion of the sonic shifts that correspond to that of the moniker on the band’s new album, Deathly Nights. Also coming out through Shadow Kingdom, it doesn’t have a release date as yet, but the track “Harvest Night” has been posted as well as the cover art, so, you know, it exists. That’s a pretty important first step.

A tape EP may or may not precede, and a 7″ single will reportedly follow, as Davis informs:

HOUR OF THIRTEEN DEATHLY NIGHTS

HOUR OF THIRTEEN – SOMETHING DEATHLY COMES…

In the years before the debut HOUR OF 13 album was unleashed, there was an earlier history that belonged to the name…

Beginning in the early part of 1995, there was an entity known as HOUR OF 13 PRODUCTIONS that was an experimental music label I was running that proved to be only fruitful to one double cassette compilation release. Upon a late night pondering which was/is a very common practice, I had decided to shelve the name as I knew it was something to be used for a better purpose. And then one fateful day in September of 2003 it was unearthed again. Even thought the masses know of the first “professional” time the HOUR OF 13 name was used in regards to the Shadow Kingdom release of the self-titled 2007 album, there in fact was a prior use of the name and in a much different format…

Year 2003 saw the coming together of drummer Dave Easter (also a member of the live Ho13 lineup during 2010-2011 and on the first demo recording of “Grim Reality”) and bassist Scott Cline, the three of us also forming the psychedelic doom monster MOUNTAIN OF JUDGEMENT. We had been doing MoJ for some months and decided to play a Halloween show in 2003 with a local fave band of ours (PUJ) and some goons from Charlotte NC (Graveyard Boulevard) at a local music venue. I had written a handful of tunes that were more horror/deathrock sounding so we learned them along with our favorite MISFITS and SAMHAIN tunes and played the show. And the name of the entity for that performance was…

HOUR OF THIRTEEN

A few months followed after that and we had decided to do it again for a show with local NC band WEEDEATER and Virginia maniacs DICK BUTKIS (members now of INTER ARMA) and shortly afterwards the band/name was once again to be saved for a later time. Maybe there was an idea to do the same the following Halloween, but we never did so it slept until 2006, when the early versions of the debut HOUR OF 13 songs had begun to be written. The name was resurrected, THIRTEEN changed to 13, and everything else after that written in stone… Until now…

In this year, 2018, I have faithfully resurrected the HOUR OF THIRTEEN name to move this musical entity forward, regaining the original idea of the focus of the music to what it once was, but also still retaining some of the signature sound that most of you have become accustomed to. This was a decision I had to make, not only for the die hard supporters of the previous incarnation of the band, but also to myself in the midst of letting something I have worked so hard to keep alive just fade into obscurity again. As amazing as that seemed in the past year, I simply cannot let it go, nor will I allow past acquaintances to be privy to my hard work and ideas only to be bastardized into something second rate. There will be no live shows as there is no point in bringing anymore strife and hardship against the name, for it never ceases to seem like any type of plans to do so result in injured feelings and cursed promises. It shall remain a studio effort only, as I’d rather give you quality music than empty hopes.

With this writing, I am pleased to announce the next chapter of this music’s existence with “Deathly Nights”, and brand new album from HOUR OF THIRTEEN to be released by the mighty Shadow Kingdom Records on all formats available. This “revitalization” of the sound can be explained as the mix of the sound everyone has known but with more atmosphere and less guitar solos. Not too far away from the styling of the debut Ho13 album, but also not “imitating” the said album either. One simply will need to listen with open ears and minds and help smash the devastation of the modern day Metal scene that has become more stagnant that the pop music radio stations of today. A pre-release discussed before the new album could possibly see a cassette EP to debut some different mixes from the new album, and following will be a 7″ EP featuring a new tune along with two cover songs, all to be announced in due time (but knowing me I’ll post them early anyway).

In closing, I want to thank each and every one of you that have been along for the ride, both personally and impersonally, as your support for this entity is eternally grateful. I look forward to moving this musical vessel into a direction that steers away from cliche’ and begins to spread even more darkness than before.

Regards,
Chad Davis – 2018

http://hourofthirteen.blogspot.com/
http://www.shadowkingdomrecords.com
http://www.facebook.com/shadowkingdomrecords
https://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com

Hour of Thirteen, “Harvest Night”

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Pale Divine Stream “Spinning Wheel”; Confirm Nov. Release for Self-Titled LP; Tour Starts July 20

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Okay, so the new Pale Divine song kicks ass. With guitarist Greg Diener and bassist Ron “Fezzy” McGinnis trading off vocal parts — including some well-placed and well-mixed backing screams — as well as an uptempo kick from drummer Darin McCloskey, “Spinning Wheel” makes it abundantly clear the long-running doom merchants are trying new things on their fifth long-player. Respected purveyor Shadow Kingdom Records unveiled the new track on the occasion of confirming a Nov. 23 release date for the self-titled outing, and the timing is excellent as it also precedes Pale Divine heading out on tour this month with fellow dug-in doomers Apostle of Solitude on an Obelisk-presented run through the Southeast and Midwest that keeps some excellent company along the way. You’d almost think these things were planned out ahead of time.

The point here is, if you’re the list-making type, save a spot on yours for the new Pale Divine. I’ve got a good feeling about it, and “Spinning Wheel” only reinforces that.

From the PR wire:

PALE DIVINE S/T

Pale Divine NEWS!

RELEASE DATES ARE FOR IN PHYSICAL STORES AND DIGITAL ONLY. The physical CDs, Vinyls, and Cassettes will come out and be available to purchase ONLINE before the in store release date. We’ll make further announcements when those will be available.

SKR159 – PALE DIVINE – Pale Divine (Digital) 11/23/2018
SKR159CD – PALE DIVINE – Pale Divine (CD) 11/23/2018 (or before)
SKR159LP – PALE DIVINE – Pale Divine (Vinyl) 11/23/2018 (or before)
SKR159CT – PALE DIVINE – Pale Divine (Cassette) 11/23/2018 (or before)

SHADOW KINGDOM RECORDS is proud to present PALE DIVINE’s highly anticipated fifth album, Pale Divine, on CD, vinyl LP, and cassette tape formats.

For nearly 25 years now, PALE DIVINE have been perfecting the proto-doom sound – rooted in the ’70s, particularly Pentagram and Ozzy-era Black Sabbath but also Sir Lord Baltimore, Leafhound, and even very early Judas Priest – but predating so many cloying pretenders ever since. Not for them is this just another trendy bandwagon to jump on; PALE DIVINE truly LIVE this music. The public’s tastes may be fickle, but diehards know and love the name PALE DIVINE. And for very good reason: albums like 2001’s Thunder Perfect Mind and 2004’s Eternity Revealed are considered classics of the genre, carrying the torch of ’80s forebears like Saint Vitus and Trouble, and keeping that flame burning whatever the cost.

And though it’s been six long years since PALE DIVINE’s last album, 2012’s SHADOW KINGDOM-released Painted Windows Black, the power-trio sound more energized than ever on Pale Divine. A veritable tour de force of everything that’s been brewing in the band’s cauldron lo these many years, Pale Divine explodes with thunder and swagger at every turn: from epic metal excursions to bluesy rockers, groove behemoths to graveyard laments, psychedelic swirl to straight-up crush, this album literally has it ALL! Naturally, actual honest-to-goodness songwriting takes center stage here, and PALE DIVINE possess the panache to pull it all of with style and grace, effortlessly and unselfconsciously so. At the forefront, as ever, are the always soulful vocals of guitarist Greg Diener, who brings pathos and poignancy to such heartrending topics as “Chemical Decline,” “Bleeding Soul,” “So Low,” and “Curse the Shadows.” Which is to say nothing of the production on Pale Divine, which has that rich warmth and as-true-as-it-gets analog sound that further underline the timelessness PALE DIVINE have made their stock-in-trade since the beginning.

The more things change, the more they stay the same sometimes, and there stands PALE DIVINE, tall and proud. In 2018, you’re not gonna find a better, more rockin’ and more pure DOOM album than Pale Divine!

Check out a NEW SINGLE on BANDCAMP!
https://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/pale-divine

Apostle of Solitude & Pale Divine – 2018 How the West Was Doomed Tour

7/20 Lafayette LA – Freetown Boom Boom Room w Forming the Void & Doomstress
7/21 Houston TX – Dan Electro’s (1pm early show)
7/21 San Antonio TX – Faust Tavern
7/22 Austin TX – Beerland w Witchcryer
7/23 Dallas TX – Prophet Bar w Kin of Ettins, Space Ape & Stone Machine Electric
7/24 Fort Smith AR – Hero’s w RedWitch Johnny
7/25 Shreveport LA – Bear’s w 18th State
7/26 Memphis TN – Growlers w Admiral Longtooth
7/27 Indianapolis IN – State Street Pub w Desert Planet
7/28 Chicago IL – Reggie’s w deepspacepilots

Pale Divine is:
Greg Diener – vocals & guitar
Ron “Fezzy” McGinnis – bass & vocals
Darin McCloskey – drums

https://www.facebook.com/serpentspath/
http://www.paledivineband.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ShadowKingdomRecords/
https://twitter.com/ShadowKingdom/
https://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.shadowkingdomrecords.com/

Pale Divine, “Spinning Wheel”

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The Obelisk Presents: Apostle of Solitude & Pale Divine Tour Dates

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on June 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Earlier this year, Indianapolis four-piece Apostle of Solitude threw themselves into contention for the best doom release of 2018 with their fourth album, From Gold to Ash (review here), but before the year is out, one hopes, Pennsylvania-based trio Pale Divine will have their first long-player in more than half a decade released by Shadow Kingdom, and there’s little doubt it’ll have its own argument to make in that regard. If you want a preview of the head-to-head matchup that seems likely to at least make my December more difficult come year-end list time, the two bands will hit the road together next month for a tour of which I’m proud to count this site among the presenters. I know I’ve said this before, but pretty much anytime Apostle of Solitude do anything — video, new track, shows, whatever — I’m happy to be involved somehow. The company they’re keeping on this run only makes that truer.

You can dig the dates below, as well as copious linkage and album streams, because it’s good to be informed and all that kind of thing, but the point here is you should go see these bands. Especially if you haven’t, but even if you have. Apostle of Solitude are riding their best stuff to-date, and Pale Divine are heralding the release of a new record, and I don’t know if you knew this about them, but that’s not exactly something that happens every day.

Dates follow as put together by Hi-Wattage Booking:

pale divine apostle of solitude tour poster

Apostle of Solitude & Pale Divine – 2018 How the West Was Doomed Tour

7/20 Lafayette LA – Freetown Boom Boom Room w Forming the Void & Doomstress
7/21 Houston TX – Dan Electro’s (1pm early show)
7/21 San Antonio TX – Faust Tavern
7/22 Austin TX – Beerland w Witchcryer
7/23 Dallas TX – Prophet Bar w Kin of Ettins, Space Ape & Stone Machine Electric
7/24 Fort Smith AR – Hero’s w RedWitch Johnny
7/25 Shreveport LA – Bear’s w 18th State
7/26 Memphis TN – Growlers w Admiral Longtooth
7/27 Indianapolis IN – State Street Pub w Desert Planet
7/28 Chicago IL – Reggie’s w deepspacepilots

Apostle of Solitude is:
Corey Webb – drums
Chuck Brown – guitars, vocals
Steve Janiak – guitars, vocals
Mike Naish – bass

Pale Divine is:
Greg Diener – vocals & guitar
Ron “Fezzy” McGinnis – bass & vocals
Darin McCloskey – drums

www.facebook.com/apostleofsolitude
twitter.com/Chuck_solitude
apostleofsolitude.com
www.cruzdelsurmusic.com
cruzdelsurmusic.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/cruzdelsurmusic
twitter.com/CruzDelSurMusic

https://www.facebook.com/serpentspath/
http://www.paledivineband.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ShadowKingdomRecords/
https://twitter.com/ShadowKingdom/
https://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.shadowkingdomrecords.com/

Apostle of Solitude, From Gold to Ash (2018)

Pale Divine, Painted Windows Black (2012)

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Iron Void Confirm Oct. 26 Release for Excalibur

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

iron void photo by Katrina Kendrick

DOOM!!! Woe unto you if you can’t down with the trad doom righteousness of UK trio Iron Void, and if you can, then even more woe unto you, because they’re just that doomed. It’s been a bit since word came down that they’d signed to Shadow Kingdom Records and were preparing to issue their third long-player, Excalibur, based around the theme of Arthurian legend, but in addition to the prior streaming track “The Coming of a King,” the band have further heralded the album’s arrival with the news that it will be realized at long last on Oct. 26 in CD, LP and tape format, and no matter how you get it, rest assured, you’re getting doom of the highest order. Not admitting openly that I’ve heard it yet or anything, but seriously, the record is absolutely killer.

If you’re not stoked on it yet, get that way, and then hope Shadow Kingdom signs on to reissue the two previous Iron Void albums too, because the more the merrier. Except not merry. Because doom.

Fucking a:

iron void excalibur

IRON VOID set release date for new SHADOW KINGDOM album

Today, Shadow Kingdom Records sets October 26th as the international release date for Iron Void’s highly anticipated third album, Excalibur, on CD, vinyl LP, and cassette tape formats. A mainstay of the UK doom metal scene, Excalibur is the album by which Iron Void will truly be launched onto the world stage.

Iron Void was originally formed by Jonathan “Sealey” Seale and Andy Whittaker (Solstice, The Lamp of Thoth) in 1998 in order to create an old-school doom metal band, worshiping at the altar of doom legends such as Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus, Pentagram, etc. The band reformed in 2008, with the current lineup consisting of Jonathan “Sealey” Seale (bass & vocals), Steve Wilson (guitars & vocals), and Richard Maw (drums).

Iron Void’s debut EP, Spell of Ruin, was originally released on CD in 2010 and re-released in 2012 via Doomanoid Records. Their self-titled debut full-length album was released on CD in 2014 via Barbarian Wrath and released on limited-edition vinyl by Fear Me! Music in 2015. The critically acclaimed second album, Doomsday – recorded & produced at Skyhammer Studio by Chris Fielding (Conan, Winterfylleth, Electric Wizard) and mastered by James Plotkin – was released on CD via Doomanoid Records in 2015 and released on limited gatefold vinyl via Fear Me! Music in 2016.

With considerable live action in the past few years as well, and encouraged by the critical acclaim heaped upon Doomsday, Iron Void patiently set to work on Excalibur. Arguably the band’s magnum opus, Excalibur is an epic behemoth of Arthurian legend, emitting an atmosphere that’s truly medieval whilst sacrificing whilst sacrificing none of their trademark DOOMED-OUT heaviness. Here, across the album’s massive yet strangely concise 48 minutes, Iron Void weave old-as-time tales of myth and magic, all set to rumbling, dramatically dynamic doom metal. The album is sequenced together with a subtle sort of mastery, taking the listener on a journey into centuries past, all concluding with the stark ‘n’ stirring acoustic closer “Avalon.” As the final notes ring out, you’ll be reaching for the calendar to check what year it is!

Hear for yourself with the previously revealed track “The Coming of a King” HERE at Shadow Kingdom’s Bandcamp, where the album can also be preordered. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for Iron Void’s Excalibur
1. Dragon’s Breath
2. The Coming of a King
3. Lancelot of the Lake
4. Forbidden Love
5. Enemy Within
6. The Grail Quest
7. A Dream to Some, A Nightmare to Others
8. The Death of Arthur
9. Avalon

www.facebook.com/ironvoid
www.ironvoid.bandcamp.com
www.shadowkingdomrecords.com
www.facebook.com/shadowkingdomrecords

Iron Void, “The Coming of a King”

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Alms to Release Act One Later This Year on Shadow Kingdom

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

alms

With a logo made for vest patches and an organ-laced classic doom rollout, Baltimore’s Alms bring a a modern take to the established tenets of Maryland doom. After impressing with their first demo (review here) in 2017, the band not only bring those two tracks — “Dead Water” and the garage-doom-stomping “The Offering” — to the new record, but four others as well, to the new outing, which has been given a release date of “later this year.” I don’t want to start throwing darts, but maybe September? I don’t know. Their sound would suit autumn well. I know that much.

Whenever it shows up, Act One will bring with it a new edge to Maryland’s long-running arc of doom. Could it be that the sound is branching out from its ultra-straightforward riff-led methodology? I wouldn’t guess the trajectory of an entire region’s output, but Alms make an encouraging case either way.

From the PR wire:

alms act one

ALMS reveal first track from forthcoming SHADOW KINGDOM debut

Shadow Kingdom Records reveals the first track from Alms’ highly anticipated debut album, Act One. Titled “Dead Water,” you can hear the track HERE. Shadow Kingdom will be releasing Alms’ Act One on CD, vinyl LP, and cassette tape formats later this year.

Hailing from Baltimore, Alms honors Maryland’s rich heritage of doom metal with a swaggering, soulful sound that unselfconsciously spans decades and idioms. They made their first, grand steps with a two-song demo released at the beginning of 2017. Having already made waves in their local scene, this demo would soon spread like wildfire amongst doom fanatics, and soon the Alms name was on many a tongue. But alas, with the full-length Act One, that name will be on tongues worldwide.

Stomping forward across six BIG songs in a judiciously concise 34 minutes, Alms quickly establish a mood of both merriment and portent. Theirs is a sound which culls the bluesy ruminations of classic Deep Purple, the wild excursions of equally classic Uriah Heep, and the dark thunder of Maryland forebears The Obsessed. And yet, that aforementioned soul and swagger soon take center stage, both allowing the doom chunder to loosely lumber whilst putting a particularly pleading-for-deliverance aspect upon proceedings. It’s that eternal fire of the greatest rock music, especially in that pre-metal era of the 1970s, where fire and brimstone often coursed through rock ‘n’ roll, but near-equally pays homage to the heavy developments at the turn of the ’80s. But all of this would be for naught if Alms didn’t have the songs to back it up, and indeed does Act One have SONGS.

Head to the void or to the pub, or both: Alms will take you there (and back) with Act One! Hear for yourself with the new track “Dead Water” HERE at Shadow Kingdom’s Bandcamp. Release date and preorder info to be announced shortly. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for Alms’ Act One
1. Dead Water
2. The Toll
3. For Shame
4. The Offering
5. Deuces Low
6. Hollowed

Alms is:
Andrew Harris: Bass
Bob Sweeney: Guitar, Vocals
Derrick Hans: Drums
Jess Kamen: Keyboard, Vocals
Danny McDonald: Guitar

https://www.facebook.com/almsbaltimore/
https://almsbaltimore.bandcamp.com/releases
http://www.shadowkingdomrecords.com
http://www.facebook.com/shadowkingdomrecords

Alms, Act One (2018)

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