Supervoid & Red Desert, The Second Coming of Heavy — Chapter Two: Wayfarers and Revolvers

Posted in Reviews on May 9th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the-second-coming-of-heavy-chapter-2-supervoid-red-desert

Ripple Music believes we are in the midst of a heavy rock renaissance. We may well be. The West Coast imprint has both made its argument and fostered the movement over the last several years through a slew of signings of bands from around the US and beyond its borders, and they now stand among the genre’s most fortified purveyors, with a reach that finds them partnering with STB Records on vinyl/CD pressings and picking up Small Stone veteran acts like Gozu and Wo Fat, truly moving into a leadership position in their community, scene, whatever you want to call it. Their aesthetic, to-date, is light on frills and big on riffs, and like any impressive beginning (and I use the term loosely, Ripple have been at it for over five years now) of a creative motion, one expects it will only continue to grow outward for as long as it does.

A special project the label began in 2015 is a series of splits: The Second Coming of Heavy. I already quibbled with the numbering of the title, whether or not this is the second generation playing heavy rock (it’s at least the third), in my review of The Second Coming of Heavy — Chapter One (review here), which featured off-album tracks from Geezer and Borracho, and it remains beside the point of the work Ripple is doing to promote the growth of the current, largely undeniable, boom of heavy rock. The Second Coming of Heavy — Chapter Two boasts new songs from Pittsburgh’s Supervoid and Minneapolis’ Red Desert, continuing thematic artwork from Joseph Rudell and Carrie Olaje, and vinyl pressings limited in number and distinguished in color, as the times would demand.

Like its predecessor, the prevailing vibe throughout The Second Coming of Heavy — Chapter Two fits neatly onto two 12″ vinyl sides, one per band, with each act offering basically a short EP’s sampling of their stylistic wares and what they bring to the underlying core in the title — the ‘Heavy’ part of the title, that is — that distinguishes them from their peers. In the case of Supervoid — who make their debut as a four-piece here having previously recorded with five members for their 2013 first LP, Filaments (review here), and the subsequent 2014 digital single “Against Sunrise” (posted here) — they present the songs “Olympus,” “Wayfarer” and “The Gallows,” which continue their ahead-thrust blend of modern metal and heavy rock and roll, vocalist Brian creatively arranging an assortment of layered growls and screams behind his belted-out cleaner vocals, which seem to steer the riffs behind from guitarist Joe as much as they’re pushed forward by them.

With John on bass and Greg on drums, their material is consistent but progressed from where they were on their debut (due for a follow-up it may or may not get; more on that in a bit) and the momentum they build in “Olympus” feeds smoothly into the more extended “Wayfarer,” the minor-key Eastern-flair guitar line making it all the more a centerpiece before the crunchier “The Gallows” picks up with open verses, a semi-spaced weaving of guitar effects, and the inescapable drive that has become Supervoid‘s hallmark. Reportedly, since the release of The Second Coming of Heavy — Chapter TwoSupervoid have taken “a break,” and how permanent that may or may not be remains to be seen. Either way, the manner in which they bring together metal and heavy rock remains brazen in its show of influence and ground that few acts are so bold as to tread, which is admirable even before one gets to considering their songwriting or performances, likewise worthy of respect.

Supervoid‘s side B companions, Red Desert, offer post-Sleep/The Sword heavy rock chug on “Frost Giant,” the first of their four inclusions, calling out the title character and Valhalla in a resonant hook. Hitting their marks. Their material stands out particularly next to Supervoid for the laid back sensibility in its roll and in the vocals of guitarist Shawn Stende, joined by lead guitarist Jeff Kluegel, bassist Paul Teeter and drummer Dave Dancho, and though “Hypnotized” is faster, it maintains the swing of their opener, as do “Revolver” and “Nightstalker” (presumably not named after the Greek band, but one never knows), while also offering subtle, effective shifts in mood and shifts in approach that speak to the experience gained from their 2012 debut album, Damned by Fate, and call to mind what Lords of the North were once able to bring to stoner riffing in personality and thickness of groove. The harmonies in the chorus of “Nightstalker” and touches of C.O.C. gallop there expand the palette further but ultimately keep consistent with what’s come before, rounding out a fluid B-side with a late surge of energy that suits Red Desert well.

They’re four years out from their first album, and while they’ve threatened a vinyl release thereof, I’ve yet to see word of a follow-up. Doesn’t mean one’s in the works, doesn’t mean one’s not, but in true EP fashion, they give a broad slice of their sound for those who maybe haven’t encountered them before to dig into, which of course speaks to the mission of The Second Coming of Heavy — Chapter Two overall. My understanding is that all 10 installments of the series are booked and there’s another series in the works for after, so it seems fair to expect over the next several years that these LPs will continue to be a major part of Ripple‘s contribution to heavy rock. Fair enough. Two editions deep, they’ve already highlighted a range of styles and a swath of acts from around different regions of the US brought together by their varied takes on what it means to be heavy. There’s a lot of ground to cover, and the project remains ambitious, but taking it one LP at a time, there seems to be nothing keeping the label from continuing this exploration and enlightening listeners as they go. Looking forward to the next one.

Supervoid & Red Desert, The Second Coming of Heavy — Chapter Two (2016)

Supervoid on Thee Facebooks

Red Desert on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music

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Ripple Music Reveals Cover Art for The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter Two

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 22nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

I swear one of these days — and one of these days soon — I’ll be putting up a vinyl review for Ripple Music‘s The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter One, which launched their series of underground-scouring splits earlier this year by righteously pairing Geezer and Borracho, with riffy results. Not that it’s hurt sales any. I think the thing was gone before it was actually out. But it will happen. And it will need to happen even sooner because Ripple‘s already got the follow-up installment, The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter Two, in progress.

The Joseph Rudell cover art for The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter Two has been unveiled, and in addition to lining up with Chapter One when placed next to it, it shows off a lot more of the world in which it’s all set. This time around, Pittsburgh’s Supervoid and Minneapolis’ Red Desert will represent Heavy’s second coming, and much like the cover itself, it’s cool to see the series working quickly to expand stylistically.

Word on a release date? Not yet from what I’ve seen, but I’d guess not before December or early next year. I’ll let you know when I hear more:

the second coming of heavy chapter 2

Our “Second Coming of Heavy” series got off to a banging start with an instant sell out of all Editions of Chapter One. Now Chapter Two is heading our way. But before we get there, it’s time to release our “reserve” copies of Chapter One. These are copies we held onto in case of any lost postage or damages. Now we’ll let them go.

Sorry, no Resurrection Edition are left, but we have a scant few Risen OBI and Black Virgin Editions. This is your last chance to get onboard the Second Coming of Heavy series before Chapter Two comes out. And remember, all chapters in the series have interlocking spine art, which lines up to create one killer image!

www.ripple-music.com
https://www.facebook.com/Ripple-Music-369610860064/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/second-coming-of-heavy-chapter-one-geezer-borracho

Geezer & Borracho, The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter One (2015)

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Supervoid Post Video for “Against Sunrise”

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

supervoid

Pittsburgh riff metallers Supervoid initially released the single “Against Sunrise” last April. In fact, you can still download it name-your-price-style from their Bandcamp. The song was recorded for inclusion in the soundtrack to the locally-produced zombie film, The Other Side, and the four-piece — who may have still been a five-piece when the track was recorded — played last Dec. at a special event for the movie, billed as “concert and a movie” the Hollywood Theater in Dormont. At the time, it was the first show Supervoid had played in six months.

Footage from that set and footage from the recording sessions for “Against Sunrise” has been put together into a new clip by Team Orchard, the production company also behind The Other Side — which is on Amazon and Playstation and iTunes and Vudu and is coming to DVD early next year with the “Against Sunrise” video as bonus material — and it gives a sense of how they work both live on stage and in the studio. Less screamed than some of Supervoid‘s material, “Against Sunrise” remains a catchy thriller with a metallic edge, and whether or not you’ve heard it in the year-plus since it was first made public, it remains worth the time.

Supervoid will take part in the next installment of Ripple Music‘s split series, The Second Coming of Heavy, sharing a vinyl release with Red Desert. Last I saw the test pressings were done, so keep an eye out for the announcement of the release date, which can’t be too far off.

Until then, enjoy:

Supervoid, “Against Sunrise” official video

Back in March of 2014 we recorded Against Sunrise to be used in a local zombie film The Other Side. The awesome production team was kind enough to record us in the studio and also our live theater performance. The video is now live on youtube, and you can watch the movie on most major on demand outlets. Big thanks to Orchard Place Productions for the video!

Supervoid on Thee Facebooks

Supervoid on Bandcamp

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In the Studio with Supervoid

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 12th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

supervoid

Later this year, Pittsburgh riff metallers Supervoid will release a split with Minneapolis four-piece Red Desert on Ripple Music as part of the label’s noble oh-my-god-there-are-too-many-bands-okay-fine-we’ll-just-put-out-stuff-from-everyone series of splits titled The Second Coming of Heavy. They recently tracked new material with Matt Very at Very Tight Recordings to include for their part and, diligent sirs that they are, video recorded what seems more or less like the entire experience. Or at least enough of it to edit it down and give everyone a little glimpse at what it was like in the studio.

Seems like a pretty laid back atmosphere, which always helps. If you’ve ever seen Supervoid‘s press shots, you know they’re not inclined to take themselves too seriously — though in my experience even the most heads-down-get-to-business session has a tendency to devolve into running gags, dick jokes, etc. — so it’s not much of a surprise they’d be having a good time while recording. Even better though is the fact that, as you hear the song being built in the beginning, one part at a time, the second half brings a (partial) reveal of the finished track along with a montage of its making. So you get a taste of the completed new music as well as a look at how it came together.

If I’m not mistaken, this will be Supervoid‘s first outing as a four-piece after quietly parting ways with guitarist Dave following 2013’s Filaments long-player (review here) and the subsequent 2014 digi-single, “Against Sunrise,” so I wouldn’t be surprised if some sonic changes are in store as they move from two guitars to one. Filaments is mostly sold-out, but there are a few limited-edition hand-made digipaks available at their Bandcamp, which will likely be gone by the time they make the trip to Long Island for the Eye of the Stoned Goat 5 fest in June. More info on that here.

Enjoy the clip:

Supervoid, Recording for Red Desert Split

Supervoid on Thee Facebooks

Supervoid on Bandcamp

Ripple Music

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Eye of the Stoned Goat 5 Official Poster Unveiled; Lineup Finalized

Posted in Visual Evidence on February 19th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Tickets go on sale March 6 for Eye of the Stoned Goat 5, set to take place June 12-13 at Amityville Music Hall, on Long Island. The Golden Grass and Mos Generator will headline, and the lineup has been finalized to include acts from the East Coast, the West Coast and in between — Lord FowlWounded Giant and Brimstone Coven, if you need an example of each — in what’s without a doubt the most expansive Stoned Goat festival yet.

The poster for this year’s Stoned Goat is by Joe Mruk, and you can see the final version below (click to make it even larger) followed by the official lineup announcement from the fest:

eye of the stoned goat 5 poster

‘Eye of the Stoned Goat 5’ announces official lineup for summer festival!

Snake Charmer Booking is pleased to announce the final artist lineup for the annual celebration of stoner-psychedelic rock and doom-heavy metal known as The Eye of the Stoned Goat Festival—now in its 5th year. The two-day fest, featuring some of the most exciting talent of the Mid-Atlantic, East and West Coast, will take place June 12th and 13th 2015 at the Amityville Music Hall in Long Island, New York.

Headlining the Friday night opener on June 12th are Brooklyn, New York trio The Golden Grass (Svart Records), whose catchy progressive psychedelic self-titled debut received numerous accolades as the “Best of 2014.” Another band that has received copious amounts of praise from rock blogs and music rags alike are none other than Long Island’s long-running rock outfit John Wilkes Booth, whose album ‘Useless Lucy’ was mentioned in many journalists “Best of 2014” lists. Also joining the bill from Long Island territory, those wildly eclectic heavy rockers Moon Tooth, who Metal Injection recently named one of “10 Awesome Underground Bands You Need in Your Life!”

Naturally, it wouldn’t be a ‘Stoned Goat’ show without giving attendees a healthy dose of band from the excellent Small Stone Records label. This year’s elite selection includes three bands that are simply a treat to bring to the stage: Boston’s master craftsmen and 2014 Desertfest alums, Gozu; local New York natives It’s Not Night: It’s Space; and returning ‘Stoned Goat’ retro rockers Lord Fowl, currently working on the follow-up to their 2012 riff encyclopedia, Moon Queen.

More contenders for total rock domination include Ripple Music stalwarts White Dynomite, composed of former members of such fine acts as Roadsaw, Lamont, and Wrecking Crew, to name a few. Also on the Ripple Music roster, from Frederick, Maryland: Weed is Weed, featuring Dave Sherman and Gary Isom of Pentagram, Earthride and Spirit Caravan fame. Additionally, hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, fans will experience the infectious “sludge n’ space rock” vibe of Supervoid, who will be heading into the studio in February to record their follow-up to 2013’s Filaments.

For the first time, Seattle Washington’s own rising stars Wounded Giant will be bringing their blistering, monstrous, signature sound to this year’s festival. Also spearheading the volume-dealing campaign from STB Records is Connecticut’s Curse The Son, who’s latest offering Psychache (2014) was widely heralded as “the best of its kind in 2014” by The Sludgelord and other critics. Another band traveling a good distance to bring their doomy, occult craft to the east coast is Metal Blade Records’ newest acquisition, Brimstone Coven, who are currently working on their much anticipated next album for the label. Speaking of travelling a long distances, the festival will witness the U.S. debut of Toronto, Canada’s demonic stoner-blues rockers Ol’ Time Moonshine. Alongside this already hefty bill, ESG5 has decided to treat festival goers to the atmospheric retro-doom stylings of Totem Cat Records’ own Doctor Smoke.

One band that has been tenaciously trekking through the rock scene for over a decade now is Philadelphia’s working class groove dealers, Kingsnake. The four boys of Kingsnake have had the honor of performing alongside such acts as Clutch, The Sword, Scorpion Child, The Skull, and Vista Chino, to name a few. Also on board for the 5th installment of the festival, Long Island locals Borgo Pass—a popular act that has developed quite an impressive loyal following.

Last, but not least, officially closing out this year’s Eye of the Stoned Goat festival is none other than Port Orchard, Washington’s stoner rock torch-bearer’s Mos Generator. This marks the band’s first ever performance in New York. Mos Generator have released 5 studio albums, a retrospective album, numerous splits, and a live album, attracting such labels as Roadburn, Small Stone, Ripple, Nasoni, and Lay Bare. For charismatic singer/guitarist Tony Reed and crew, touring has been just as important to the profile of the band as making records. Over the years, Mos Generator has shared the stage with many great heavy rock bands, and in March of 2013 joined a 26-date European tour with Saint Vitus, earning a whole new fan base to their fuzzy, energetic sound. On stage, Mos Generator embodies the word “chemistry,” revolving their sound around swagger and groove, while improvising just enough to keep the songs feeling fresh from night to night—often with delightful results.

Tickets for ‘Eye of the Stoned Goat 5’ will officially go on sale on March 6th 2015. The Event will be 21+ with I.D. Tickets will be $15 per night, or $25 for a weekend pass. For more information on the Eye of the Stoned Goat festival, visit www.TheEyeoftheStonedGoat.com

http://www.TheEyeoftheStonedGoat.com
https://www.facebook.com/TheEyeOfTheStonedGoat
https://www.facebook.com/events/853840991328849/
https://twitter.com/stonedgoatfest

The Golden Grass, A Curious Case/The Pilgrim (2014)

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Eye of the Stoned Goat 5: Doctor Smoke and Supervoid Added to Lineup

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

eye of the stoned goat 5

Two more bands added to the Eye of the Stoned Goat 5 this afternoon, and it’s Ohio/Pennsylvania four-piece Doctor Smoke and Pittsburgh’s Supervoid, both of whom add to the festival’s already considerable tally of sonic heft. As it turns out, the lineup is nearly complete — just one more band to be announced, reportedly — and here’s the full roster of acts slated to appear thus far:

Weed is Weed
White Dynomite
Gozu
The Golden Grass
Lord Fowl
Kingsnake
Wounded Giant
Curse the Son
Doctor Smoke
Supervoid
Borgo Pass
John Wilkes Booth
Ol’ Time Moonshine
It’s Not Night: It’s Space
Brimstone Coven
Moon Tooth

Don’t think I left anyone out there. Either way, that’s plenty for two days, and with one still to come, Amityville, Long Island, should definitely have its fill of heavy. Doctor Smoke‘s trip to New York will be their second of the year by the time we get to June, as they’ll team up with Wasted Theory for a weekender at the end of March in support of last year’s The Witching Hour full-length on Totem Cat Records.

Newly signed to Ripple MusicSupervoid join the Eye of the Stoned Goat 5 lineup with late-2013’s Filaments full-length (review here) and 2014’s The Other Side single (streamed here) as their latest releases, and their melodic and metallic approach to heavy rock is sure to stand out from the crowd, but they’re no less hopped up on riffs than anyone, and no doubt they’ll find welcome when they hit Amityville. I’ll be particularly interested to see if they get paired off with Moon Tooth, whose sound also has a bit of bite to it, or if they’re split up over the two days.

Presumably we’ll find out sometime after the last band is announced, when the schedule comes out. Here’s the announcement from the fest for these two:

ESG5 is proud to announce, from Totem Cat Records, Ohio’s newest doom masters Doctor Smoke!!!

Also making their ESG5 debut in Long Island NY is Pittsburgh’s space-sludge warriors Supervoid!!!

Only 1 more artist to announce.. stay tuned kids, It’s gonna be a monster!

http://www.theeyeofthestonedgoat.com/
https://www.facebook.com/TheEyeOfTheStonedGoat
https://www.facebook.com/SuperVoid.PGH
http://supervoid.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/drsmokedoom
http://doctorsmoke.bandcamp.com/

Supervoid, Filaments (2013)

Doctor Smoke, The Witching Hour (2014)

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Supervoid Release New Track “Against Sunrise”

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I’ve never made a zombie movie, but if I were to do such a thing, I can see the appeal of getting Pittsburgh riff metallers Supervoid involved. The double-guitar five-piece have just the right balance of metallic tone and stonerly charm — plus a decent sense of humor — to be a good fit, and they seem to bang out hooks the way I eat bowls of Peanut Butter Puffins cereal, which is daily, so yeah, it makes sense. That the flick in question, The Other Side, is filmed in and around Pittsburgh and that the soundtrack features bands all local to that area only furthers the logic involved, putting it square in the territory of the “no brainer.” Insert zombie pun here.

The film itself isn’t due until later in the year as I understand it, but being the energetic chaps they are, Supervoid have jumped the gun and made their soundtrack inclusion, “Against Sunrise” available now as a pay-what-you-want download through their Bandcamp. Those who heard their late-2013 full-length, Filaments (review here), will likely recognize the Kyuss-riff-meets-melodic-death-metal-vocal approach, no less gleefully flying in the face of trend here than it was on the last record. I like that about Supervoid, but the appeal of their songwriting also goes past whatever novelty factor one might tack to them because of the growling.

Like so:

Space cadets, aliens, fellow space riffers, here is our new track we wrote and recorded for the local Pittsburgh film The Other Side. Please share it with your friends and let us know what you think!

This song was written and recorded for the full length feature film ‘The Other Side’ created by Pittsburgh-based indie production company Orchard Place Productions. The film showcases many local Pittsburgh bands in the soundtrack. Be sure to check out the movie once it is released!

https://www.facebook.com/SuperVoid.PGH/
http://supervoid.bandcamp.com/track/against-sunrise

Supervoid, “Against Sunrise” (2014)

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Sixty Watt Shaman, Iron Man, Kingsnake and More to Play Moving the Earth Fest 2 on March 22-23 in Baltimore

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 27th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

A couple years back, I don’t think there’s any way a fest like Moving the Earth 2 wouldn’t happen at Krug’s Place in Frederick, Maryland, but that formidable Mid-Atlantic scene seems to have pushed into various other places in the wake of that venue apparently giving doom the boot. I’ve never been to The Windup Space in Baltimore, but the bill for Moving the Earth 2 kind of makes me want to check it out, with two solid days of heavy delivered by respectable purveyors Sixty Watt Shaman and Iron Man. This will actually mark the first appearance back for Sixty Watt Shaman‘s reunion, so they’re right to bill it as “The Return Of…” and from Kingsnake and Foghound and Wasted Theory to Supervoid and Black Lung, there’s a lot to dig about the lineup.

If you’re the type to make travel arrangements, the fest is set for March 22 and 23 in Baltimore, and the roster of acts below seems to be pretty final, at least going by the revolutionary-themed poster below, contributed by Brendan Burns of Wasted Theory. With the deep reds, uniformed guards and raised fists of resistance, I can’t help but wonder what Moving the Earth‘s five-year plan might be. Dig:

We are super excited to announce the lineups for Moving The Earth Fest 2! Taking place again at the Windup Space here in Baltimore Maryland on Saturday and Sunday March 22nd and 23rd 2014.

The lineups are…

Saturday March 22nd 7pm
The Return of Sixty Watt Shaman
Kingsnake
Wasted Theory
Supervoid
Compression
Passage Between

Sunday March 23rd 6pm
Iron Man
Foghound
Asthma Castle
Bastards of Reality
Fortress
Black Lung
Northwoods

Admission will be $10 per day, 21+. We look forward to bringing all these great bands together for what is sure to be an amazing 2 day celebration of Heavy, Stoner, Doom and Psych music!

https://www.facebook.com/MovingTheEarthFestival

Foghound, “Gotta Go” at Moving the Earth Festival, 2013

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