Eagle Twin Announce Euro Tour; Playing Høstsabbat, Desertfest Belgium & More

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Utah duo Eagle Twin have been sneakily added to a few European festivals over the last couple months, including Oslo’s Høstsabbat and the Belgian edition of Desertfest, so yeah, a string of tour dates wasn’t necessarily unexpected. It’s an 11-show run — no nights off — with stops in the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Italy, France and Belgium, so they’re covering a good amount of ground as they support their earlier-2018 offering, The Thundering Heard (Songs of Hoof and Horn) (review here). Efficiency and such. Also tone. Tone like crazy.

You probably know all about the latter when it comes to Eagle Twin, but in case not, or if you’d like a little reaffirmation, I can only urge you to check out the stream of the album in its entirety below. It’ll make your day better.

Dates and PR wire whatnot:

Eagle Twin (photo by Russel Albert Daniels)

EAGLE TWIN Announces European Tour Dates In Support Of The Thundering Heard

Salt Lake City-based duo EAGLE TWIN has announced a European tour this Autumn in support of their third album, The Thundering Heard (Songs Of Hoof And Horn), out now via Southern Lord. The tour begins in Utrecht, Netherlands October 4th and runs through October 14th, ending at Antwerp Desert Fest in Antwerp, Belgium.

EAGLE TWIN’s commanding sound delivers like a tectonic force, where doom and blues collide. Gentry Densley’s dominating low-end vocal tone is like an instrument in itself, rumbling alongside towering riffs, and Tyler Smith’s powerful rhythmic propulsion. It is a compelling combination, particularly when you add melodious bluesy romp to the equation. Equally prevailing are the stories that shape EAGLE TWIN’s musical output, drawing upon folklore, and strongly informed by recent happenings in the world. Observing our relationship to nature, and the band’s own surroundings in the dead salt seas of Utah are themes that feature frequently across their musical canon. The Thundering Heard continues where the previous album, The Feather Tipped The Serpent’s Scale ended.

The Thundering Heard is available on LP, CD, and digital formats through Southern Lord; find physical order options HERE and digital at Bandcamp HERE.

EAGLE TWIN European Tour Dates:
10/04/2018 dB’s – Utrecht, NL
10/05/2018 Høstsabbat Festival – Oslo, NO
10/06/2018 Hot Alte Bude – Madgeburg, DE
10/07/2018 Hühnermanhattan – Halle, DE
10/08/2018 Klub 007 Strahov – Prague, CZ
10/09/2018 Channel Zero – Lubjiana, SI
10/10/2018 Circolo Kroen – Verona, IT
10/11/2018 Kraken – Milano, IT
10/12/2018 Le Bal Doom Doom 3 – Lyon, FR
10/13/2018 Olympic Cafè – Paris, FR
10/14/2018 Antwerp Desert Fest – Antwerp, BE

EAGLE TWIN:
Gentry Densley – guitar/vocals
Tyler Smith – drums

https://eagletwin.com
https://www.facebook.com/eagletwinmusic
https://www.instagram.com/eagletwinmusic
http://www.southernlord.com
http://southernlord.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/SLadmin
http://twitter.com/twatterlord

Eagle Twin, The Thundering Heart (2018)

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Friday Full-Length: Earthride, Vampire Circus

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Earthride, Vampire Circus (2005)

Like any long-lived scene, Maryland doom has watched ’em come and go. Bands get together, bands fall apart, mix members, grow into something else, etc. Lifers in anything are fewer and farther between. About 30 seconds into watching Dave Sherman front Earthride and there’s no imagining he’s anything else.

Sherman has fronted Earthride for over 20 years. The band got their start while he was still playing bass in the original incarnation of Spirit Caravan and released their self-titled debut EP in 2000 that was a clarion to the converted. Even more than the deeply weighted grooves and tonal low end thick enough to feel it in your chest, Earthride‘s Earthride was marked by a pervasive grit that would become a hallmark of the band along with classic-style hooks and a self-awareness of their place within the sphere of American doom. Over time, that place would only become more their own as they signed to Southern Lord Recordings for the release of their 2002 full-length debut, Taming of the Demons and its 2005 follow-up, Vampire Circus.

Both albums are nothing short of essential stoner doom. Earthride offer such a specific vision of what heavy is and should be, and on Vampire Circus, sometimes that’s aggressive, as with “Understand” and all its talk of coffin nails, and sometimes it’s just about following the riff, as on the bouncing title-track or the leadoff cut “Fighting the Devils Inside You,” which would become a hallmark of the band’s approach and the start of an opening salvo that by the time it’s done winds up comprising the entire first half of the record through the organ-laced “Dirtnap” and up to the aptly-titled “Interlude,” although quite frankly it’s not like there’s any dip in quality as “God’s Own Medicine” layers screams into its chorus and finds drummer Eric Little thudding out on his toms through verses telling tales of addiction horrors and igniting a chase with Kyle van Steinburg‘s guitar and Rob Hampshire‘s bass. Or anywhere, for that matter. The laid back fuzzer “Loss” follows with a mellow opening of drift that holds for nearly a minute and a half of its near-six-minute stretch. It’s a departure from the more straightforward material before it, but the character of the song is consistent to be sure, and even when it gets heavy — which, yes, it most certainly does — “Loss” retains that semi-psychedelic mood enough that it’s no surprise when it dips down again after the initial hook. Blues. Psychedelic blues. The chugging riff that emerges is quintessential Earthride in its nod, and van Steinburg makes a highlight of the solo just before the four-minute mark.

“Loss” is also a departure in its finish in that it jams out. As loose as Earthride sometimes sound in their ultra-swinging, cauldron-stirring rhythms on Vampire Circus, the structures of their songs are generally pretty straightforward. Cuts like “Fighting the Devils Inside You” and “Understand” and even “God’s Own Medicine” take a relatively traditional approach to craft: verses, choruses, bridges, solos, and so on. Identifiable parts making up the pieces that when put together make for memorable tracks. The ideal scenario, and an essential facet of Earthride‘s sound in terms of a deceptive simplicity that unfolds its true depths on repeated listens. Where “Loss” leaves that behind is after the aforementioned solo, as it moves back through a heavy chorus and into a spontaneous-sounding ending that makes one realize just how tight everything up to that point has been. It won’t belong before the speedy and winding “For Wrath and Ruin” is offering the advice to “Rip your head off and smoke your brain,” but even the context in which song appears is changed because of the breadth that “Loss” adds to entire album. And again, it’s subtle. It’s not something immediate. But it’s crucial to the overall impression the record makes.

Likewise, as much as “Fighting the Devils Inside You,” “Understand,” “Vampire Circus” and “Dirtnap” marked out their place at the start of Vampire Circus, so too does “For Wrath and Ruin” begin an ending salvo that’s quicker than just about anything before it. A reference to Black Sabbath‘s “Heaven and Hell” in the penultimate “The World I Live” is continually appreciated, and though it’s not as motoring as “For Wrath and Ruin” before it — some residual Spirit Caravan stylization there, perhaps; one can hear it too in “God’s Own Medicine,” and fair enough given Sherman‘s contributions to that band — the mood is still more uptempo than on the earlier material or even “Loss” after which the shift into the higher gear is made. “Swamp Witch” finishes and brings back the organ from “Dirtnap” — played by Mick Shauer, then also of Clutch — and finds itself capping Vampire Circus locked once more into a classic heavy midtempo groove, more Mountain than Sabbath, but with obvious Deep Purple overtones thanks to Shauer‘s guest spot.

Earthride are in conversation there and throughout with Southern metal and heavy blues — an engineering job from Mike Dean of Corrosion of Conformity is never going to hurt in that regard — but the real success of Vampire Circus lies in taking what Earthride were feeling out through the Earthride EP and Taming of the Demons and telling their audience, “this is ours,” owning their sound and truly making it their own. The album ends its 10-track/43-minute run cold with a sweep of organ keys and a sudden cutoff of the riff, as if to mark out the inevitability of more to come. It’d be five years before Earthride would answer Vampire Circus with 2010’s Something Wicked (review here) on Doomentia Records, and though the years subsequent would be a tumult, with Sherman taking part in the reunion of Spirit Caravan, that band’s becoming a revived The Obsessed and an eventual split there that found him going back to Earthride to release last year’s Witch Gun single (discussed here) through Salt of the Earth Records, the extended time between full-length outings has found Earthride nonetheless increasing their profile among Maryland’s always prolific doom underground. As I type this, they’re wrapping a tour with The Skull that finds Sherman joined by a new lineup that includes When the Deadbolt Breaks‘ Aaron Lewis on bass, and they’ll be making an appearance at Maryland Doom Fest 2018 next week in Frederick, where no doubt they’ll be greeted with the respect and admiration they’ve long deserved and reaped by a scene that considers them one of its own. I can’t wait to see it.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

Coffee’s good this morning. It’s a little past 4:20 in the morning now and I’ve been up for about two hours. Enough time to make my way through a first pot off the Chemex with my lighter roast that I call The Obelisk Heavy Psych Blend, because I fantasize about someday having my own coffee in a way more than just filling out bean proportions on a web form through Dean’s Beans. There were talks for a minute there, but nothing seems to have come of it to-date. Oh well. In any case, coffee’s good. I’m on the last cup and I’d grind more but don’t want to wake the baby and thereby also The Patient Mrs., thus making myself Dickweed of the Morning, which is a role I’ve played too many times already.

We’ve been down in Jersey all week, staying at a house in Parsippany that used to belong to my grandmother, who passed away last September. I grew up about two minutes up the road, at a house in a neighborhood called Glacier Hills on a street called Forum Ct. where my mother still lives with my sister, her husband and their two sons. They just got a new kitten. It showed up in their driveway and they named it Solo, because Han, and Star Wars.

Saw them a lot this week, and it was great to be with my family. I’ve missed out on a lot with my nephews living in Massachusetts and it’s a little sad to see, but I’m happy for the time I’ve had with them. It’s not over, necessarily. The Patient Mrs. and I will be back here, but the next two weeks are more running around. We’re back up to Connecticut later today, then to Massachusetts on Monday until probably Wednesday. Wednesday we’re back to Connecticut because we’re hitting the Yankee game on Thursday — day game; bringing the baby to his first baseball game; so stoked — and I’m picking up my new camera at B&H in Manhattan, then it’s back here for the night and on to Maryland on Friday morning in time for the start of the aforementioned Maryland Doom Fest, which will be the first test of that camera. Going to be a crazy, packed weekend, but my goal is to see all of it. A couple late nights ahead. None of that going-to-sleep-at-8:30 stuff I’ve been doing for the last however long. Kind of bit me in the ass last night (earlier tonight?), I guess. I’ve always liked some me time on the overnights though. Music and coffee and the clacky of the keyboard. Mark it a win.

No doubt by this afternoon I’ll be saying something else.

I miss New Jersey. This is my home. I speak the way people here speak. The food here tastes right. The trees look the way I see trees when I close my eyes. Not that I have money to hit them, but I know where the record stores are and the fastest way to get to each. I know where to buy the pesto that it’s worth the 25 minutes to drive to buy.

Anyway.

Before all the shenanigans next weekend — I won’t close out next week because I’ll be writing over those days — next week is packed full. Subject to change, of course, but here’s what’s in the notes:

Mon.: Lord review/track premiere; Captain Caravan video; announcement from Ripple Music.
Tue.: Pushy review/track premiere; Death Hawks video.
Wed.: War Cloud video premiere. Maybe a review of the new Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters or something else.
Thu.: Mountain of Smoke review/track premiere.
Fri.: Announcement from Cursed Tongue Records. Review of something or other.

I lost a lot of stuff for the Quarterly Review when my laptop was stolen in the UK, including my notes for what would be included. I’ve built some of that back up, but am still down on a bunch of things I know are just gone. There may be reviews I promised to people that won’t happen now. I don’t even know. In any case, I should be good to go on it by the start of next month, the week of July 4, I think. It’s in the planning stage now, and behind schedule, obviously.

Not gonna leave on that bummer note though, but rather relish the opportunity to get to know a whole new crop of albums, EPs, and so on. I also confirmed this week that I’ll be attending SonicBlast Moledo in Portugal in August. More on that to come, but obviously I’m very much looking forward to it.

Thanks for reading this week, and if you’re at Maryland Doom Fest next weekend, I’ll hope to see you there. Fingers crossed that new camera happens/works. I’d feel like a dope standing there taking photos on my phone all weekend. Ha.

Please have a great and safe weekend. Forum and radio.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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SunnO))) Release Downtown L.A. Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

In case you’re wondering what might’ve driven them-lords-o’-drone SunnO))) to release their Downtown L.A. Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998 all of a sudden as a limited LP via Southern Lord and Ideologic Organ. here’s the hard math: 1998 was 20 years ago.

That’s right. The Y2K scare. The Clinton economic surplus and beejer scandal. The seeming impossibility that we’d soon enough be locked into an endless war from which there’s seemingly neither interest nor ability to extricate ourselves. And also the formation of SunnO))). They’re 20 years old.

And what a 20 years it’s been. Talk about a band the world had to catch up to. SunnO))) started out playing rooms full of curious Goatsnake and/or Burning Witch fans and wound up influencing a generation of amplifier worship. As one might expect, the Downtown L.A. Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998 is pretty raw, but also as one might expect, that only works to the band’s advantage. The more caustic and unlistenable it gets, the more their sound is doing its job.

They’ll be at Psycho Las Vegas in August, as the PR wire reminds:

sunn o rifftape

SUNN O))) Releases Downtown LA Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998 Limited Edition LP

SUNN O))) has unleashed the earliest recording of the band’s monolithic tones, revamped for a limited edition pressing via Southern Lord Recordings, as the label celebrates its twentieth anniversary, as a split label release together with Stephen O’Malley’s Ideologic Organ imprint.

The Downtown LA Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998 dates back to the earliest rehearsals during the genesis of the SUNN O))) project. The source is a C60 cassette tape recorded on a boombox, and the result is essentially an extremely raw noise/drone record. It was taped in the band’s early practice space at Downtown Rehearsal (RIP), Los Angeles, in a practice room which the band shared with The Melvins and Goatsnake at the time. The LP sees SUNN O))) founders Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley on guitars and stacks of amps, the original cassette was mastered by Brad Boatright February 2018.

Longtime/old school diehard listeners of SUNN O)))’s massive sound and those who have watched the collective’s transformation over the past two decades can find the brutal practice tape revamped as Downtown LA Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998, available only through Southern Lord and directly from the band in a limited run on 180-gram vinyl LP – 900 black, 500 silver, 100 white, with machine numbering on the front cover – and digitally.

Find SUNN O)))’s Downtown LA Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998 at Bandcamp HERE and find more purchase options at the band’s webshop HERE.

Downtown LA Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998 Track Listing:
Side A:
1. Room 206 pt.1
2. Room 206 pt.2
3. B-Witch

Side B:
1. Room 206 pt.3
2. The Grimm Robe / Black Wedding
3. Mustaine / Thorns
4. M & D I.L.F.
5. The DJs

The celebration of twenty years of SUNN O))) and Southern Lord this year will continue with reissues of the band’s lauded White1 and White2 albums in the coming weeks.

SUNN O))) will perform live at the Psycho Las Vegas festival on August 19th alongside Godflesh, Goblin, Enslaved, All Pigs Must Die, Wolves In The Throne Room, and scores more.

Watch for further updates on SUNN O))) in the coming days.

SUNN O))) Live:
8/19/2018 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV @ Psycho Las Vegas

https://www.instagram.com/sunnofficial
https://www.facebook.com/SUNNthebandOfficial
https://sunn.bandcamp.com
https://sunn-live.bandcamp.com
http://www.southernlord.com
http://southernlord.bandcamp.com
http://twitter.com/twatterlord
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https://www.instagram.com/southernlordrecords

SunnO))), Downtown L.A. Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998 (2018)

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Quarterly Review: Eagle Twin, Wight, Sundrifter, Holy Mushroom, Iron and Stone, Black Capricorn, Owl Maker, Troll, Malditos, The Freak Folk of Mangrovia

Posted in Reviews on April 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Quarterly-Review-Spring-2018

I’m pretty sure this Quarterly Review — life eater that it is — is going to wind up being six days long. That means next Monday look for sixth installment, another batch of 10 records, which were not hard to come by among everything that’s come in lately for review. I do my best to keep up, often to little avail — some random act’s Bandcamp page starts trending and all of a sudden they’re the best band ever, which hey, they’re probably not and that’s okay too. Anyhowzer, I’m trying is the point. Hopefully another 10 records added into this Quarterly Review underscores that notion.

More coffee. More albums. Let’s rock.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Eagle Twin, The Thundering Heard (Songs of Hoof and Horn)

eagle twin the thundering heard songs of hoof and horn

Consuming tones, throat-sung blues, a wash of lumbering doom – yes, it’s quite a first three minutes on Eagle Twin’s The Thundering Heard (Songs of Hoof and Horn). Released by Southern Lord, it’s the Salt Lake City duo’s first outing since 2012’s The Feather Tipped the Serpent’s Scale (discussed here), which arrived three years after their 2009 debut, The Unkindness of Crows (review here). Once again, the four-song outing finds guitarist/vocalist Gentry Densley and drummer Tyler Smith exploring the natural order and the natural world the 11-minute “Quanah un Rama” and the 14-minute “Antlers of Lightning” bookend “Elk Wolfv Hymn” (8:22) and album highlight “Heavy Hood” (7:21), creating an ever-more immersive and grit-laden flow across the album’s span. It’s hard to know if Densley and Smith are the hunters or the hunted here, but the tones are massive enough to make YOB blush, the rhythms are hypnotic and the use they’re both put to is still unlike anything else out there, ending after the chaos and assault of low end on “Antlers of Lightning” with a moment of contemplative guitar lead, as if to remind us of our solitary place in imagining ourselves at the top of the food chain.

Eagle Twin on Thee Facebooks

Southern Lord Recordings website

 

Wight, Fusion Rock Invasion

wight fusion rock invasion

One wonders what it might’ve been like to see Wight on the 2015 tour on which the Bilocation Records-issued vinyl-only Fusion Rock Invasion: Live Over Europe was captured. Still a year out from releasing their third album, Love is Not Only What You Know (review here), the former trio had already become a four-piece with guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist René Hofmann, bassist Peter-Philipp Schierhorn and drummer Thomas Kurek bringing in percussionist Steffen Kirchpfening and already undertaken the funkier aesthetic turn that LP would represent coming off of 2012’s Through the Woods into Deep Water (review here). At least I’d think it would be something of a surprise as the band hit into “Helicopter Mama” and “The Muse & the Mule” and “Kelele,” which comprise side A of Fusion Rock Invasion, but by all appearances listening to the crowd response between songs, they seem into it. Who could argue? Wight’s groove in those songs as well as the older “Master of Nuggets” and Love is Not Only What You Know finale “The Love for Life Leads to Reincarnation” on side B, are infectious in their grooves and the soul put into them is genuine and unmistakable. One more reason I wouldn’t have minded being there, I suppose.

Wight on Thee Facebooks

Wight at Bilocation Records

 

Sundrifer, Visitations

sundrifter visitations

Name your bet someone picks up Sundrifter’s Visitations for a proper release. The Boston three-piece of vocalist/guitarist Craig Peura, bassist Paul Gaughran and drummer Patrick Queenan impress in performance, aesthetic and craft across the nine songs and 48 minute of their for-now-self-released debut long-player, and whether it’s Queenan dipping into blastbeats on “Targeted” or Gaughran’s rumble on the Soundgarden-gone-doom “Fire in the Sky” or the fuzz that leads the charge on the Queens of the Stone Age-style “Hammerburn,” Peura doing a decent Josh Homme along the way, each member proves to add something to a whole greater than the sum of its parts and that is able to take familiar elements and use them to hone an individualized atmosphere. In the wake of melodically engaged Boston acts like Gozu, Sundrifter would seem to be a focused newcomer with a solidified mindset of who they are as a group. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised either if they kept growing their sound. Something about the psychedelic distance in “Fire in the Sky” and “I Want to Leave,” says there’s forward movement yet to be had.

Sundrifter on Thee Facebooks

Sundrifter on Bandcamp

 

Holy Mushroom, Moon

holy mushroom moon

Serenity and presence. There’s no shortage of either on the second Holy Mushroom full-length, Moon. Incorporating the prior-issued digital single “Éufrates,” the five-track/43-minute excursion is rife with natural-toned psychedelic resonance, marked out by organ/piano working alongside the guitar (see “Birdwax Blues”), as well as guest contributions of double bass and saxophone, and other sundry moments of depth-creating flourish. Their trance-effect is palpable, and Moon is an easy album to get lost in, especially as the Spanish three-piece make their way through 12:35 centerpiece “The Preacher,” moving from a dreamy opening line of guitar into funk-laden heft that only pushes forward with Hendrixian abandon through a massive jam before rounding out sweetly with vocals over background organ and sweetly-strummed guitar. “Éufrates” would seem to start the same way, but varies the structure in more of a back and forth format before closer “Grand Finale in the Blind Desert” brings both Holy Mushroom’s most patient execution and their most vibrant jam (sax included), essentially building from the one into the other to end the album in energetic fashion. To say it works for them would be underselling it.

Holy Mushroom on Thee Facebooks

Holy Mushroom on Bandcamp

 

Iron and Stone, Petrichor

iron and stone petrichor

A debut long-player of no-pretense, no-nonsense sludge-infused doom, Petrichor (on Backbite Records) shows German five-piece Iron and Stone as ready to follow where the riff will lead them. The late 2017 album is a solidly-delivered 10 tracks and 43 minutes that strikes mostly in monochrome intent, save perhaps for the acoustic “Interlude” near the midpoint. Their 2015 EP, Old Man’s Doom (review here), was similarly upfront in its purposes, but carrying across a full-length – especially a debut – is a different beast from a shorter outing. Their heavier push on “Monolith” is welcome and the break-then-chug of “Deserts” does plenty to satisfy, but Petrichor might require a couple concerted listens to really sink in on its audience, though as I’ve said time and again, if you can’t handle repetition, you can’t handle doom. Iron and Stone effectively balance traditional doom and rawer sludge groove, playing fluidly to whichever suits their purposes at a given moment.

Iron and Stone on Thee Facebooks

Backbite Records webstore

 

Black Capricorn, Omega

black capricorn omega

Sardinian doom cult Black Capricorn push well beyond the limits of the manageable with their 95-minute fourth album, Omega (released Nov. 2017 on Stone Stallion Rex), and that’s clearly the idea. The three-piece of bassist Virginia, drummer Rakela and guitarist/vocalist Kjxu offer grim ambience and tempos that sound slow regardless of their actual speed. That said, the 17-minute “Antartide” is an accomplishment as regards crawl. After a sweetly melancholic opening of guitar, it lurches and lumbers out its miserable heft until a return to that intro bookends. Even shorter tracks like “Flower of Revelation” or “Stars of Orion” hold firm to the tenet of plod, and though the results are obviously a lot to take in, the idea that it should be a slog seems all the more appropriate to Black Capricorn’s style. The band, which hits the decade mark in 2018, churn out one last bit of wretchedness in the nine-minute closing title-track before giving way to an acoustic finish, as if to remind that Omega’s sorrows are conveyed as much through atmosphere as actual sonic heft.

Black Capricorn on Thee Facebooks

Stone Stallion Rex website

 

Owl Maker, Paths of the Slain

owl maker paths of the slain

Guitarist/vocalist Simon Tuozzoli, also of malevolent doomers Vestal Claret, leads the new trio Owl Maker, and in the company of bassist Jessie May and drummer Chris Anderson, he embarks on a heavy rock push of six tracks with the debut EP, Paths of the Slain, still holding to some elements of metal, whether it’s the double-kick in opener “Ride with Aileen” or the backing vocals and guitar solo of the subsequent “99.” Songwriting is clearheaded across the EP’s 23 minutes, and in terms of first impressions, “Mashiara” shows a focus on melody that retains a metallic poise without losing its riff-driven edge. The balance shifts throughout “Freya’s Chariot” and the all-go “Witches,” the latter of which touches on black metal in its first half before turning on a dime to mid-paced heavy rock, and closer “Lady Stoneheart” nods in its back end to NWOBHM gallop, as Owl Maker seem to tip their audience to the fact that they’re just getting started on their exploration of the many interpretations of heavy.

Owl Maker on Thee Facebooks

Owl Maker on Bandcamp

 

Troll, Troll

troll troll

When one considers the multiple connotations of the word, Portland’s Troll are definitely going more for “lives under a bridge” than “meddling in elections” when it comes to their sound. Their self-titled debut EP, issued in 2017 before being picked up by respected purveyor Shadow Kingdom Records for a 2018 CD/tape release, is a highlight offering of classic-style doom worthy of Orodruin and Pilgrim comparisons and headlined by the vocal performance of John, who carries songs like opener “The Summoning” and the later, more swinging “Infinite Death” in a manner impressive in both frontman presence and melodic range. His work is only bolstered by the riffs of guitarist Lou and the consistent groove held together by bassist Wayne and drummer Ryan, whose drive in centerpiece “An Eternal Haunting” is neither overdone nor incongruous with the wall its tempo hits, and who meld shuffle and plod on closer “Savage Thunder” with naturalist ease. Potential abounds, and they reportedly already have new material in the works, so all the better.

Troll on Thee Facebooks

Shadow Kingdom Records website

 

Malditos, II

malditos ii
Some bands, you just have to accept the fact that they’re on a different wavelength and that’s all there is to it. Magma. Master Musicians of Bukkake. Circle. Enter Oakland, California’s Malditos, whose sophomore outing, II: La Réve, arrives via Svart Records. From bizarre psychedelic chants to ritualized repetitions that seems to be daring you to play them backwards on your turntable, the spiritual freakout to songs like “Azadeh” and the penultimate “Momen” is palpable. Reach out and touch it and it will ripple like water in front of you. A sense of space is filled with elements alternatingly horrifying and engrossing, and after they make their way through “Le Passage” and centerpiece “Disparu” and wind up in the title-track to close out, the journey to the final wash of noise gives the distinct impression that for neither the listener nor the band is there any coming back. High order head trippery. Will simply be too much for some, will gloriously expand the minds of others.

Malditos on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records webstore

 

The Freak Folk of Mangrovia, Sonic Meditations: Live @ Palach

the freak folk of mangrovia sonic meditations live at palach

I don’t know how much improvisation is a factor in the sound of The Freak Folk of Mangrovia, but the Croation collective bring an ultra-organic presence to their perhaps-debut release, Sonic Meditations: Live @ Palach. The group, which seems also to have gone under the names Marko Mushan & the Mangrovian Orchestra and The Free Folk of Mangrovia, was opening for Acid Mothers Temple that night, and Sonic Meditations mostly breaks down into parts – “Sonic Meditation I,” “II,” “III” and “IV” – before the band closes out with “’Mangrovian Summer,” all the while with The Freak Folk of Mangrovia making their way through progressive dreamscapes, dripping with effects and spacious enough to house an entire Mangrovian village, however big that might be. It is otherworldly and jazzy and moves with such fluidity that the entire “Sonic Meditation” becomes one overarching piece, complemented by the closing “Mangrovian Summer,” which ebbs and flows through louder, more active jamming before capping in a wash of noise.

The Freak Folk of Mangrovia on Thee Facebooks

The Freak Folk of Mangrovia on Bandcamp

 

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Friday Full-Length: Khanate, Things Viral

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

If Khanate were still together today, you’d call them a supergroup. Hell, maybe they were a supergroup 15 years ago when they released their second album, Things Viral, on Southern Lord. Or maybe it’s this record’s sheer extremity that would make them so. Or maybe who gives a shit? Like about anything? Because it’s Khanate, and if there was ever anything that was going to completely level the playing field in terms of showing you how utterly meaningless everything you say and do — or have said or done, or will ever say and do — is, it’s this band. They are sonic nihilism brought to life.

Or death, since it’s hard not to listen to the original four tracks and unmanageable hour-long stretch of Things Viral and not find your mind awash in mental images of decay. With minimliast notes from guitarist Stephen O’Malley (of SunnO))) and many, many others), low-rumble from bassist James Plotkin (as in “mastered by,” which more than half the records your hear this year probably will have been), the scorched poetry of vocalist Alan Dubin (ex-OLD, currently of Gnaw) and accentuating thud of drummer Tim Wyskida (Blind Idiot God), Khanate were like nothing else even in the realm of drone. What was truly horrifying about their sound, what really haunted, was the contradiction in that what sounded so much like chaos in the second half of the 19-minute opener “Commuted” or its fuller-crushing 19-minute follow-up, “Fields,” could invariably not be chaos. Things Viral, which didn’t give away its title line until closer “Too Close Enough to Touch,” was methodical — premeditated. Not only because as the follow-up to Khanate‘s 2001 self-titled debut, the New York four-piece had an idea of where they were headed sound-wise, but even in its own crafting, it was thoughtfully constructed, brought to bear to be as aurally flaying as possible, and the abrasion conjured throughout its four tracks — the shortest of which, the penultimate “Dead” stands at 9:28 — was not a crime of passion. It was pure intent.

Given the bleakness, the immersiveness, the sheer swallow-you effect that Things Viral has even a decade and a half after its initial release, this is utterly staggering to realize. New bands get together every hour on the hour and say, “We’re going to be the heaviest thing in the world.” Most of the time it doesn’t work out. With Khanate, the mission seems to have been to haunt their listeners like some residue of trauma pushed into the subconscious. I think one of the most powerful moments on the album is in the ending of “Dead.” The final guitar ringout happens marked by a crash around the 8:30 mark and the last minute of the song is given to eerie whispering from Dubin and off-time drum hits from Wyskida that make for the most minimal and also the most terrifying moment on Things Viral as amps crackle in the background. The whole album’s use of empty space is something I’ve never heard matched in any form of doom or drone. Khanate were unafraid not only to create tension through spacing out the excruciatingly slow paces of “Commuted,” “Fields,” “Dead” and the abrasive, high-pitched scree of “Too Close Enough to Touch,” but over the course of the 59 minutes, there’s impact from emptiness as much as fullness, and the band proves no less extreme in this manner than they are in any (every) other.

Every bit worthy of hyperbole, Things Viral is the kind of record that might’ve proven more influential if there was any chance whatsoever anyone else could live up to its standard of malevolence and misanthropy. From the grueling hum and noise that starts “Commuted” — where the band just makes you wait for the punishment to begin — to the cacophonous final stretch of “Too Close Enough to Touch,” Khanate seemed to tap into an end point of pushing an idea as far as it could possibly go. It wasn’t about being dark, or being heavy at least in the way one traditionally thinks about either. But it was a conveyance of fear, paranoia, trust-betrayed, self-loathing and thoughtful violence that remains unmatched to this day. Khanate would of course go on to offer a number of other releases, from limited merch-table live outings to the 2005 Capture and Release EP to their third and final full-length, 2009’s Clean Hands Go Foul, and while I’m not about to take anything away from their swansong, which rounded out with the half-hour-long “Every God Damn Thing,” or that prior EP, Things Viral would continue to fester in the mind not only as a representation of the horrors of the age in which it was created — wars just beginning that still continue today; atrocities all around us large, small and bloody — but of the inward rotting we experience as a result of these things without even realizing it.

The version of Things Viral streaming above is Hydra Head‘s 2016 reissue. It has bonus tracks and swaps the running order a bit of the original core four songs, but it’s enough that you’ll get the point, to be sure.

I’d say I hope you enjoy, as is my custom, but that’s not really the idea here. Just absorb it, maybe close your eyes and see where its associations take you.

Good luck.

This week was a blur. Up early, pounding out this and that, trying to get as much done as possible while keeping appointments — I’m due at the dentist shortly — and trying to keep my head on tight while still undergoing this eating disorder treatment. Which is bullshit. I feel no healthier than I felt when I was starving myself and eating nothing but protein shakes. Don’t get me wrong, food is delicious — I ate like six oranges yesterday; it was fucking hilarious — but it’s a total waste of my time. My body aches all over. I’ve put on 50 pounds in like a month and much of that is water I’m retaining because who the hell knows why. My feet and legs are so swollen it hurts to walk. Miserable bastard then, miserable bastard now. I’d rather be hungry and dying. Do I mean that? If that’s the situation I was in before, then yes.

Nobody knows what the fuck “healthy” means anyway.

I’ve been overweight my whole life. Shit, I’m overweight now. My whole life. It’s affected my every single day. I feel eyes staring at me, people judging me like I just got back from the Wendy’s drive-thru or like I mainline Dunkin Donuts or some shit. I turn down bands who offer to send me t-shirts because I’m embarrassed to ask for a 2XL. It’s fucking miserable, and it’s been miserable for nearly the entirety of my 36-plus years on this planet. I mean that. Every fucking day. During this process, starving myself as I allegedly was, remaking my body, I was underweight for the first time in my life. Why can I be that? For a while? Why? Why can’t I do that? What if it kills me? Who’s not better off without me in their lives? The Patient Mrs.? The baby? My family? There’s no one around me to whom I’ve ever been anything but a burden. Even now. I don’t work. I don’t contribute. I wake up early and blog about music, shouting into an abyss — and yeah, it’s awfully nice when someone sends a nice comment or a note saying they appreciate that, but even that’s more like, “I found this band, awesome!” And yeah man, that band is awesome. I don’t feel like I helped that process of connection. I just fucking feel empty.

Except for all that fluid I’m retaining. Ha. Seriously, it’s so much that it’s pulling my skin taut on my calves and thighs. My shoes fit me again, so something must be improving, but still. Long way to go, I guess.

Which is what the nutritionist tells me. Long way to go. It takes time. It’s a process. It’s complicated. Go see this other doctor who’s going to draw more blood and agree with me because your doctor doesn’t.

I was better off before.

My sister had bariatric surgery maybe two years ago now. She’s killing it. I should’ve done that. Stupid.

Wow.

Sorry. I guess that’s how you end up closing out a week with Khanate.

But hey, the first spring training games are on today, so it’s baseball time. Hopefully I’m back from the dentist to see it start. And I got to do a track premiere for the new Monster Magnet, which was awesome. So, you know, strikes and gutters. Some you win, some you lose.

Here’s what’s on tap for next week, subject to change as always:

Mon.: Messa review/video premiere; new Bismut video.
Tue.: Final installment of the Nebula interview/stream series, covering Dos EPs.
Wed.: Blackwater Holylight review/track premiere; Dandy Brown video.
Thu.: Sinistro track-by-track.
Fri.: Merlin review.

Jammed as it is but I’m sure more will come along as well, like all of a sudden today there was an announcement for the Psycho Las Vegas 2018 lineup. That’s how these things happen. One can only try to keep up as best as possible.

Have a great and safe weekend. If you need me I’ll be getting a crown put on, then watching baseball and cooking a spaghetti squash to go with pesto and chicken for dinner, because that’s how I do these days, apparently.

Please check out the forum and radio stream. And buy my book. I don’t think there are that many left.

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Weedeater Announce Tour Playing God Luck and Good Speed in Full

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

weedeater

Am I wrong, or is it time to start thinking of Weedeater as a straight-up blues band? I know they’re heavy and sludgy as hell, but in terms of their ethic of just getting on the road and apparently being there forever, proffering tunes with the ultimate lack of pretense, and doing their thing regardless of in whatever direction the world around them might be spinning — not to mention all that downtrodden whathaveyou — more and more they just seem like blues to me. Already confirmed for Roadburn 2018, Desertfest London 2018, Desertfest Berlin 2018 and Maryland Doom Fest 2018, the North Carolina trio hit the road next month playing 2007’s God Luck and Good Speed in full.

Why that record? Well, it was kind of a breakthrough for them when Southern Lord put it out in 2007, it’s got a catchy title, and hell, maybe after three solid years they just got bored of continuing to push 2015’s Season of Mist debut Goliathan (review here). Look, sometimes you need to change things up. It helps fight the blues.

From the PR wire:

weedeater god luck good speed tour poster

WEEDEATER announce ‘God Luck an Good Speed’ US tour

Notorious southern metal outfit WEEDEATER have announced a ‘God Luck and Good Speed” US tour that will kick off on Mar. 15. WEEDEATER will perform their classic album ‘God Luck and Good Speed’ in its entirety for the first time. A full list of confirmed tour dates can be found below:

‘God Luck and Good Speed’ was the first full-length WEEDEATER recorded with long-time engineer Steve Albini (NIRVANA, HIGH ON FIRE, PJ HARVEY) and was originally released on July 31, 2007.

WEEDEATER was formed by front-man/bassist “Dixie” Dave Collins. Following the release of their 2001 debut ‘…And Justice For Y’All’, WEEDEATER immediately established themselves as a force in the U.S. tour circuit and quickly gained notoriety in the American metal scene. In the time since, the band have released three critically-acclaimed albums: ‘Sixteen Tons’ (2002), ‘God Luck And Good Speed’ (2007), and ‘Jason… The Dragon’ (2011), and toured around the world with the likes of DOWN, SAINT VITUS, HIGH ON FIRE, and THE MELVINS, HANK III, EARTH, SUNN O))) and more. The band has played prestigious festivals such as Maryland Deathfest, Hopscotch Festival, Stoned From The Underground, Asymmetry Festival, Roadburn Festival, Hellfest, and many more.

WEEDEATER TOUR DATES
All dates w/ HYBORIAN and BASK
Mar. 15 Atlanta, GA @ Basement
Mar. 16 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
Mar. 17 Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
Mar. 18 Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
Mar. 19 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
Mar. 21 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East
Mar. 22 Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
Mar. 23 Pittsburgh, PA @ Cattivo
Mar. 24 Lansing, MI @ Mac’s Bar
Mar. 25 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
Mar. 27 Lexington, KY @ Cosmic Charlies
Mar. 28 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
Mar. 29 St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
Mar. 30 Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone
Mar. 31 Little Rock, AR @ Whitewater
Apr. 1 New Orleans, LA @ Santos Bar
Apr. 2 Jacksonville FL @ Jack Rabbits
Apr. 3 Spartanburg, SC @ Ground Zero

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

Weedeater, God Luck and Good Speed (2007)

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Eagle Twin Announce The Thundering Heard (Songs of Hoof and Horn) Due March 30

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Eagle Twin photo by Russel Daniels

It says something about Utah two-piece Eagle Twin that even more than half a decade after the release of their last full-length, The Feather Tipped the Serpent’s Scale (discussed here), which came out in 2012, they require next to no introduction. The Salt Lake City duo, who debuted in 2009 with The Unkindness of Crows (review here) will issue their third long-player, The Thundering Heard (Songs of Hoof and Horn), on March 30 via Southern Lord. No audio as yet — there are only four tracks on the thing, so I suspect it’ll be a teaser before a quarter of the album suddenly shows up somewhere, but if you needed another reason to look forward to the coming of Spring, this should do nicely anyhow.

The PR wire brings tales of man’s interaction with the natural world

eagle twin the thundering heard

EAGLE TWIN: Utah Duo Prepares To Issue The Thundering Heard (Songs Of Hoof And Horn) Via Southern Lord In March; Artwork And Track Listing Released

Salt Lake City-based duo EAGLE TWIN will release their long-awaited third LP, The Thundering Heard (Songs Of Hoof And Horn), on March 30th via Southern Lord.

EAGLE TWIN’s commanding sound delivers like a tectonic force, where doom and blues collide. Gentry Densley’s dominating low-end vocal tone is like an instrument in itself, rumbling alongside towering riffs, and Tyler Smith’s powerful rhythmic propulsion. It is a compelling combination, particularly when you add melodious bluesy romp to the equation.

Equally prevailing are the stories that shape EAGLE TWIN’s musical output, drawing upon folklore, and also strongly informed by recent happenings in the world. Observing our relationship to nature, and the band’s own surroundings in the dead salt seas of Utah are themes that feature frequently across their musical canon. The Thundering Heard continues where the previous album The Feather Tipped The Serpent’s Scale ended.

In the band’s own words, “As the great snake grew giant fractal antlers of snakes and turned in upon itself creating a new world, the mountains rise, and the antlers stab through like trees across the landscape. The record begins with the hoofed and horned animals of our world running from mountains and forests on fire. Eerily harkening to the recent events in California and the massive devastation by fire across the land.”

Southern Lord will release The Thundering Heard on LP, CD, and digital formats on March 30th. Audio previews, preorder info, tour dates, and more on the album to follow in the weeks ahead.

The Thundering Heard (Songs Of Hoof And Horn) Track Listing:
1. Quanah Un Rama
2. Elk Wolfv Hymn
3. Heavy Hoof
4. Antlers Of Lightning

EAGLE TWIN:
Gentry Densley – guitar/vocals
Tyler Smith – drums

https://eagletwin.com
https://www.facebook.com/eagletwinmusic
https://www.instagram.com/eagletwinmusic
http://www.southernlord.com
http://southernlord.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/SLadmin
http://twitter.com/twatterlord

Eagle Twin, The Feather Tipped the Serpent’s Scale (2012)

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Friday Full-Length: Sleep, Dopesmoker

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Sleep, Dopesmoker (2003)

In the annals of post-Sabbath riffing, Sleep‘s Dopesmoker reigns supreme. “Dopesmoker,” the single, 63-minute track that comprises the album, is the stuff of legend, and rightly so. Recorded circa 1996 by the trio of bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros, guitarist Matt Pike and drummer Chris Hakius, and backed by the formidable, inimitable production of Billy AndersonDopesmoker is a story that’s been told time and again at this point, perhaps most completely in the 2008 documentary Such Hawks, Such Hounds, and so I’m not sure how much it really needs to be recounted here, but suffice it to say that the narrative behind the record’s creation has become nearly as central to the listening experience as the clarion riffing and the weedian pilgrimage that takes place in the lyrics of the extended verses, revolving around the Bay Area three-piece having issued the now-landmark Sleep’s Holy Mountain (reissue review here) in 1992 and subsequently jumped from Earache Records to London/Sire Records, spent their recording budget on reefer and turned in a 52-minute version of what became “Dopesmoker” to the label, only to be met with the kind of horror that only a major label can express to, say, an underground band who just turned in a 52-minute single-track album of unmatched stonerly excess. No doubt there were some priceless looks on a variety of the involved faces.

Then titled “Jerusalem,” that version of the extended piece did ultimately emerge — released first by the band as a self-bootleg with a cover by Arik Roper and then as Jerusalem by Rise Above Records in the UK and The Music Cartel in the US — in 1998, but with the song broken up over six shorter segments, the effect was nowhere near the same as when Dopesmoker saw its first issue — the track itself and a live version of “Sonic Titan” included — via Tee Pee in 2003. Sleep were long done by then, of course. Pike had moved on to High on Fire and Cisneros and Hakius were on the cusp of unveiling their new meditative duo Om, but one could easily argue that the arrival of Dopesmoker nonetheless played a significant role in igniting the heavy rock boom of the post-internet age. Finally with an avenue for the word of mouth regarding their righteousness that had long been spreading, Sleep were able to connect with an audience without even actually being a band anymore, and with Sleep’s Holy Mountain and the prior 1991 debut, Volume I behind them, their back catalog seemed like relics of a lost age of stoner authenticity — a source of influence worldwide already that has only continued to spread in the years since, bolstered in part by the emergence and ongoing relevance of Om and High on Fire, as well as the 2009 reunion of Sleep proper that has resulted in copious headlining and touring appearances as well as the release of the 2014 single The Clarity (review here), amid a contract dispute with Earache and near-constant rumors of a new full-length in progress on one level or another.

As for the song itself, “Dopesmoker” — which I’ve chosen to put here without the accompanying “Sonic Titan” — remains overwhelming in its scope. Its tonal thickness presents a morass from which Cisneros‘ guttural vocals rumble upward like some ancient call to arms, and when it comes to speaking to the converted, there are few lines short of “What is this that stands before me?” that have ever resonated as thoroughly as “Drop out of life, bong in hand.” Arriving after a solid eight minutes of hypnotic establishment of “Dopesmoker”‘s central riff, it is nearly impossible to measure the impact that single line has had on underground heavy rock. From there, “Dopesmoker” unfolds the tale of a journey rife with transcendentalist THC-ism, the setting a Zion that turns weed into an object of nigh-on-dogmatic ritualism, all the while Pike‘s riffing leads the way along a march punctuated by Hakius that’s no less epic than the lyrical thread. By the time they’re halfway through, their smoke-filled haze has become a churning universe unto itself, and then the guitar solo kicks in. About seven minutes later. Though often imitated at this point, the scale at which “Dopesmoker” works remains largely its own, and like any such monument, even those who’ve come along since to sound bigger or write something longer or whatever it might be invariably exist in its shadow. Its gospel ends with the stoned deliverance of the caravan and a return to the opening lines, but the riffing goes on for a few more minutes thereafter — as it should, pretty much into perpetuity. On repeat. Forever.

Southern Lord reissued Dopesmoker with new art by Arik Roper in 2012 and has gone on to do multiple pressings since in various vinyl and CD editions, so it is readily available for those who’ve yet to chase it down, but as one of the most essential heavy rock releases of all-time, I suspect a good amount of that is geared toward collector impulse rather than filling a gap, at least at this point. Either way, Dopesmoker has been and still represents a watershed moment of riffly creation. There will never be another one that hits in exactly the same way, from Sleep or anyone else, and even if that stems in part from the story of what went into its becoming, the result of that process — everything that went into its being — speaks to the core of one of the heaviest releases of all time. It resounds.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

What else could’ve possibly been heavy enough to close out the week that saw my son brought into the world?

Born at 8:09AM on Oct. 25, 2017, The Pecan came into this world after a plodding 41 hours of labor on the part of The Patient Mrs., whose water broke on Monday afternoon and who delivered the baby via C-section after grueling her way through on Wednesday morning. It was brutal, I don’t mind telling you. I write this post from the chair of the hospital room, my son cradled sleeping in my arms (every time I type with my left hand, his head moves a bit, but he doesn’t seem disturbed by it, which bodes well). We might get to get out of here this evening — Monday to Friday in the hospital has been long and The Patient Mrs. and I are both ready to go, I think — but otherwise it’ll be tomorrow, and then begins a round of family visits that I expect will continue through at least the next couple weeks. Already our mothers and sisters were hanging out in various waiting rooms for extended periods of time, attending his delayed arrival.

So, as for fatherhood: so far so good, I guess. Obviously nothing we’ve yet faced even holds a candle to anything to come pretty much as soon as we get out of here, but we’ve managed to keep him alive for two days, and I’m willing to take that as a win in the immediate. Last night was rougher than the first night, but after a couple hours of cluster-feeding, he slept for a solid four hours and so we did as well and I think that did us all a world of good. The Patient Mrs. is napping now with a pillow over her head. I went home for a bit yesterday and made myself some good coffee to bring back in my thermos, have been sipping that this morning, so we’re holding up. We’ve had talks about being in “survival mode” basically between now and next April — from here to Roadburn, is how we put it — and that seems like a reasonable timeline. We’ll see how it goes. We’re on an adventure.

You may have noticed the last two days were light on posts. Two per day still seems pretty good to me for a dude whose wife just had their first baby, so if you’re gonna complain about that, please don’t. There’s a lot of news to catch up on though, so I’m going to dedicate early next week to that and hopefully get into some early, soon-to-change pattern establishment for morning writing, etc. Here’s what’s in my notes for the week:

Mon.: News catchup, Lizardmen video premiere.
Tue.: SubRosa Subdued review; Operators video.
Wed.: Black Moon Circle review, whatever comes.
Thu.: Electric Wizard review, whatever comes.
Fri.: Fireball Ministry review, whatever comes.

That’s me catching up on reviews a bit as well, and it’s light on premieres on purpose to let me have some flex as I need to, so yeah, bottom line is it’s subject to change as always. Also more than always.

So there you have it. The Pecan has arrived. We’re in the midst of feeling things out, which I expect we will be for, you know, the next 20-odd years. Maybe more.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and the radio stream.

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