Trees to Release Self-Titled Debut Dec. 7 on Svart

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 17th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

trees

The ’60s-styled cover art for Trees‘ self-titled debut is no less a coincidence than the Lennon-esque pair of glasses that show up in the promo photo above. The Savonlinna, Finland-based semi-acid folk rock outfit take a decidedly classic approach to melody and harmony, retaining a presence in their songwriting that seems to ask, “Would it kill you to get some sun?” No, it wouldn’t. Likewise, the songcraft of Santeri Vänttinen goes down with surprising ease, his vocals in conjunction with those of Joose Keskitalo on the lead-single “Out in the Open” reaching toward “Two of Us” with more instrumental movement behind. It’s peaceful stuff to ease troubled souls, and it arrives with an unpretentious run of 10 tracks with the considerable backing and endorsement of Svart Records. And if you’re looking for precedent on the label handling folk rock, I’ll casually remind you of the Talmud Beach record they issued in 2016, among others.

Get freaked:

trees self titled

Finland’s TREES set release date for SVART debut, reveal new video

Today, Svart Records sets December 7th as the international release date for the self-titled debut album of Finland’s Trees. The album will be released on CD, vinyl LP, and digital formats.

Fresh out of the woods of eastern Finland, the Savonian quartet Trees have grown out of the fertile cultural milieu of Savonlinna, Finland, from the same circle of friends and artists as Paavoharju, whose mastermind Lauri Ainala has shot and directed the band’s first music video “Out In The Open,” which basks in autumnal Van Goghian colors that suit the melancholy music perfectly.

In addition to singer/songwriter Santeri Vänttinen, Trees are built of Joose Keskitalo (guitar and backing vocals – a prominent solo artist, as well), Teemu Muikku (bass), and Jani Lamberg (drums). The music the quartet makes draws inspiration from classic US folk rock of the ’60s in the vein of The Byrds, The Band, and Neil Young, but handles things with a vaguely apocalyptic eastern Finnish approach.

“I met our drummer Jani by accident after not seeing him in years, and we had a beer and decided to form a band,” says Vänttinen. Jani Lamberg brought with him Joose Keskitalo, on whose early records he had played. Joose first promised to record and mix the band’s album, but soon he found himself playing guitar and singing harmony vocals in the group.

Trees’ eponymous debut album, consisting of Vänttinen’s compositions, has been recorded live in the studio, which fits the band’s organic music perfectly. In the meantime, check out the aforementioned video “Out in the Open” HERE at Svart’s official YouTube channel.

Tracklisting for Trees’ Trees
1. Lovers
2. Tomorrow Decides
3. Scarlet Letters
4. Like a Tombstone
5. Wherever You May Be
6. Indian Summer
7. Waltz
8. Out In The Open
9. Forest
10. A New Day

https://www.facebook.com/abandcalledtrees/
www.svartrecords.com
www.facebook.com/svartrecords
www.twitter.com/svartrecords

Trees, “Out in the Open” official video

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Vanishing Kids Premiere “Reaper”; Heavy Dreamer Due Nov. 30

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on October 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

vanishing kids

Wisconsin’s Vanishing Kids will release their fifth full-length, Heavy Dreamer, Nov. 30 on Svart Records. It’s been 15 years since vocalist/keyboardist Nikki Drohomyreky and guitarist Jason Hartman made their debut with Rest the Glove that Wears You Down and five since their fourth LP, Spirit Visions, but their history seems to cross genres as much as time, and where their last outing found them dug into post-rock airiness, Heavy Dreamer carries a deep-running gothic heft, with the melodic wisps filling out the mix of “Mockingbird” reminding that indeed it’s the season of October Rust while the 7:57 title-track, second in the playlist behind “Creation” and very much part of an immersion-minded opening salvo with it, pulls elements of new wave into its chorus and transposes them onto the organ-laced doom of the leadoff. Deeply progressive and marked by the patient, standout performance of Drohomyreky on vocals and the low rumble of bass from Jerry Sofran, Heavy Dreamer is nonetheless fluid as it moves through psychedelic pastoralia on “Without a Sun,” creating a wash of tone and melody held together by Hart Allan Miller‘s drumming and the foundation of Hartman‘s guitar. The music is consistently, persistently adventurous, and there’s nowhere it goes to which it does not bring a stately, engaging presence.

The effect of “Creation” and “Heavy Dreamer” at the outset lingers. The latter is particularly memorable for Drohomyreky‘s soulful delivery of the title-line, and together they comprise more than 15 of the record’s total 51 minutes, so it’s not an insubstantial portion. Their placement seems purposeful, as only the nodding-doom-into-holy-crap-where’d-that-solo-come-from “Reaper” on side B hits the seven-minute vanishing kids heavy dreamermark otherwise, but more than runtime it’s a question of atmosphere and setting the mood. And whatever else Heavy Dreamer is — it is many things, and I suspect many different things for different listeners — it is a work of mood. Caked in echo and begun with a flourish of synthesized beats, “Without a Sun” projects a massive but not overwrought vibe, and while side B opener “Eyes of Secrets” isn’t without its shoegazing aspects, the flow between the back and forth swells of volume atop Miller‘s steady beat are nigh on hypnotic, with a finish of harsher guitar noise as though to willfully shock the listener back to consciousness. Following “Reaper,” which encases the aforementioned guitar showcase with a memorable chorus, “Rainbows” eases into a vision of post-rock and psychedelic doom that gracefully brings the styles together in a manner that’s an immediate highlight. A drifting figure on guitar in its second half opens to a blurring of the line between itself and keys — it’s all melody, right? — and once more the vocals provide a human presence in the wash of volume and tone, albeit an otherworldly one.

There’s a late spoken sample in “Rainbows” that’s somewhat obscured by the guitar solo, but the penultimate track ends with poise and gives way to “Magnificent Magenta Blue” as it once more revives the melodic reach of the keys and guitar and the dynamic they share with the earthbound drums pushing them forward. Hartman, who’s also played in Jex Thoth since 2013, doesn’t waste the opportunity to cast out one last stretch of deceptively shredding leadwork, and the vibe of culmination is palpable as he does so, with Sofran and Miller rolling the finale through its procession as the vocals recede and wait to return for a last chorus. Always, the keys remain, and the organ is not only essential to Vanishing Kids‘ overall approach, but it’s the base around which they’re able to shift between styles with such apparent ease while remaining sonically coherent. They’re not the only element doing so at any given time between the vocals, guitar, bass and drums, but the keys do a lot of work in tying the songs together throughout Heavy Dreamer, and ultimately allow the record to live up to its title with an unflinching sense of its own mission, knowing what it wants to be and how to be it. Or them, as it were for material so multifaceted.

I’m happy today to host the premiere of “Reaper” from Heavy Dreamer. You’ll find the track below, followed by more info from the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Vanishing Kids, “Reaper” official track premiere

Svart Records sets November 30th as the international release date for Vanishing Kids’ highly anticipated fourth album, Heavy Dreamer. The somnambulic doom metal group’s new album will be available on CD, vinyl LP, and digital formats.

Hailing from Wisconsin, Vanishing Kids has been an ever-evolving artistic and musical journey since the early 2000s, with core members and founders Jason Hartman (Jex Thoth) and Nikki Drohomyreky on vocals. As kids of the ’70s and ’80s who grew up on metal, prog rock, krautrock, psych, punk, and goth, they have managed to carve out a niche of their own for themselves.

The band’s newest and most powerful culmination arose when Jason Hartman’s childhood hero – and Midwest metal legend – Jerry Sofran (Lethal Heathen, Mirrored Image) joined in 2013. Shortly thereafter, the hard-hitting Hart Allan Miller (Wartorn, Deathwish, Tenement) joined on drums to complete the lineup.

Being the first full-length outing from Vanishing Kids in over five years, Heavy Dreamer is soaked in captivating shoegazey fuzz vaguely reminiscent of what My Bloody Valentine would sound like had they grown up on a diet of psychedelic doom metal and occult rock.

Tracklisting for Vanishing Kids’ Heavy Dreamer
1. Creation
2. Heavy Dreamer
3. Without A Sun
4. Mockingbird
5. Eyes of Secrets
6. Reaper
7. Rainbows
8. Magnetic Magenta Blue

Vanishing Kids is:
Nikki Drohomyreky- Vocals, Organ, Synths, Percussion
Jason Hartman- Guitar
Jerry Sofran- Bass
Hart Allan Miller- Drums

Vanishing Kids on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records website

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Svart Records on Twitter

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Review & Full Album Stream: The Exploding Eyes Orchestra, II

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on October 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the exploding eyes orchestra ii

[Click play above to stream II by The Exploding Eyes Orchestra in its entirety. Album is out Oct. 5 on Svart Records.]

Sometimes plans change. When Finland’s The Exploding Eyes Orchestra released their first album, I (discussed here), through Svart Records in 2015, guitarist and project spearhead Thomas Corpse noted that the follow-up would be out the next year. By that time, the songs were already at least two years old, having been recorded during downtime from Corpse‘s main outfit, Jess and the Ancient Ones. Other members of that band, including vocalist Jasmin “Jess” Saarela herself, took part in the recording, which produced 14 songs total, seven of which were used on I and seven of which were held back for II. 2016 passed without the album’s arrival and 2017 did likewise, as in the meantime, Jess and the Ancient Ones returned to activity in 2015 with Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes and followed that last year with The Horse and Other Weird Tales.

Now, three years after its predecessor from the same sessions and upwards of a half-decade after the tracks were recorded, II sees issue via Svart, and while Corpse had initially said there would be more material recorded under the moniker, the band wound up with the same lineup as Jess and the Ancient Ones, and so what would’ve been a third set of tracks for The Exploding Eyes Orchestra simply became the next Jess and the Ancient Ones release — presumably timing-wise at least some of that material would’ve wound up on The Horse and Other Weird Tales, but don’t quote me on that. Either way, the 43-minute run of II reportedly brings The Exploding Eyes Orchestra to a close, never to be heard from again. Cast into an ether of gothic moodmaking, ne’er to return. So yeah, they’ll probably have a third album out in 2019. I’m not saying watch for it, but I’m not saying don’t either. Sometimes plans change.

The universe of endless possibilities aside, The Exploding Eyes Orchestra make a resonant closing statement not only to answer their debut, but to expand on it in ambience and depth. In the shuffling psycho-cabaret of centerpiece “The Things You Do” — also the shortest track at 3:46 — with its bouncing piano line and eerie echoes, standout hook and interwoven organ in the chorus, and the bass rumbling in the heart of second cut “Belladonna,” another memorable stretch, but more winding and encompassing in a progressive heavy rock kind of way, metal in its root but purposefully not metal, The Exploding Eyes Orchestra dig into an atmosphere less about color than about mood. Certainly the arrangements from the start of opener “Those of Us Left” — which begins at a peaceful fade-in leading to a hopeful line of guitar and an understated initial push emerging with backing string sounds and a deeper, breathy vocal from Saarela, steady and low-mixed drums, and flourish of sax — are not a minor consideration, but the overall affect of II isn’t about creating a psychedelic soundscape so much as working toward a lyrical melancholy, not without its sense of playfulness or drama, but less ritual than execution of an idea filmed in grayscale and edited by hand.

the exploding eyes orchestra

“Those of Us Left,” at 7:24, bookends with closer 10-minute “Love Eternal” as the two longest inclusions, and though the album itself is only half the story of the sessions from whence it comes, there’s nothing about hearing it on its own that feels incomplete or like it’s lacking either for expression or purposefulness. Rather, with the surge of keyboard (or guitar) in “Belladonna” and the swaying and spacious of the sung-in-Finnish “Harmain” backing “Belladonna” en route to “The Things You Do” with nuance of weirdo lead guitar and Mellotron, there’s as much depth as one might ask in the proceedings across side A, and with the slower unfolding of “The Birch and the Sparrow” leading off the final three tracks, a graceful presence rises up in the band’s sound, further expanding the palette in patient and engrossing fashion.

A pickup in tempo and volume in the final movement of “The Birch and the Sparrow” fades into the classic rocking “Go Go Johnny Do,” full in its arrangement with rhythm and lead guitar layers, bass, keys and drums at its foundation, but never overstated, it’s a hook not quite as earwormish as “Belladonna,” but not exactly trying to be the same thing either. Even-keeled for its early going, it works on a subtle build to a louder shove in its second half, kicking in right at the four-minute mark with the chorus and receding again before the ending crafts one of the album’s most effective washes. Cymbals cap, and a moment of silence precedes the arrival of “Love Eternal,” which is only fair given both the lofty subject matter and the execution of the closer itself, which takes shape gradually around a central piano rhythm rather than drums, as guitar and keys back Saarela in almost a hymnal fashion — the keys aping choral sounds for a religious vibe ahead of some church organ — before violin makes its presence known in the second half.

After eight minutes in, the finale ends somewhat abruptly and drops out to a windy drone that comes and goes to carry through the final two minutes, and when II ends, it’s with a letting go so gentle one almost has to check and make sure the song has actually stopped. If in fact that is the last we’ll hear from The Exploding Eyes Orchestra — unless, of course, one counts the material that was used for Jess and the Ancient Ones — then it’s a fair enough cap on an under-noticed two-album cycle, the impression of departure no less resonant at the end than one might ask it to be for the undoing of a project. Still, with the promise of nothing else to come and three years after the fact of the first half of this session being released, II more than earns its fruition, and it would be a genuine loss had it not ultimately been realized. And maybe somewhere down the line The Exploding Eyes Orchestra will splinter off again — since, hey, plans change — but if this is it, no one can say the job was left half done.

The Exploding Eyes Orchestra, “Harmain” official video

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The Exploding Eyes Orchestra at Svart Records

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Alunah Announce Fall Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 3rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

alunah

UK forest doomers Alunah are getting ready over the next couple months to bookend their Spring 2018 tour with a string of shows through late-October and the rest of the year. They’ll support Diamond Head on Oct. 21 in Cheltenham, and on Nov. 10 travel to Austria to appear at Doom Over Vienna XIII alongside the respected likes of Apostle of Solitude, Castle, Iron Void, and others. That’s their only non-UK appearance this time around, and it’s not a one-into-the-next kind of tour so much as shows spaced out across different weeks, but a solid way for Alunah to round out 2018 as they continue to move toward their inevitable next album, which will be their first with vocalist Siân Greenaway in the lineup.

I seem to recall hearing at some point the plan was to get a record out in 2019, though that might just be wishful thinking. Somehow Alunah seem to wind up on my most-anticipated list every year, no matter what. Probably because they’re awesome. Yeah, I bet that’s it.

They announced the gigs on social media thusly:

alunah tour

This Autumn we will be heading out on these selected dates around the UK, with the exception of a brief jaunt in Europe to play Doom over Vienna – the Austrian Doom Metal Fest! We will be playing with some great bands including the legendary Diamond Head, and battle-hardened doomsters Conan. We can’t wait to get out and about and bring the heavy! We hope to see lots of friends too.

Tour artwork by Joe McEvoy Artwork. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Parry.

For more information visit www.alunah.co.uk

Alunah live:
21.10 The Frog and Fiddle Cheltenham UK w/ Diamond Head
27.10 The Angel Microbrewery Nottingham UK
03.11 The Green Room Welwyn Garden City UK
10.11 Doom Over Vienna XIII Vienna AT
17.11 Asylum 2 Birmingham UK*
24.11 Temple of Boom Leeds UK
01.12 Pilgrims Pit Stoke UK
08.12 The Swan Ipswich UK

Alunah is:
Siân Greenaway – Vocals
David Day – Guitar
Daniel Burchmore – Bass
Jake Mason – Drums

http://www.facebook.com/alunah.doom
http://twitter.com/#!/alunah_doom
http://alunah.bandcamp.com
http://www.alunah.co.uk
http://www.svartrecords.com

Alunah, “White Hoarhound” live at Sludgefest, Aug. 3, 2018

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Review & Track Premiere: Superfjord, All Will be Golden

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on August 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Superfjord all will be golden

[Click play above to stream ‘Master Architect’ from Superfjord’s All Will be Golden. Album is out Sept. 21 on Svart Records.]

A given listener will finds their own sonic touchpoints in the colorful melange that is Superfjord‘s second album and Svart Records debut, All Will be Golden. My ears turned immediately to the line from opener “Cut and Paste” that asks, “Don’t you know happiness is a gun?” in a winking nod to The Beatles, but certainly there’s plenty of Pink FloydHawkwind, and many others in there as well, including the Helsinki outfit’s likewise shimmer-minded labelmates in Death Hawks. Still, in their harmonies, in their blend of classic progressive rock and modern psychedelia, in the subcontinental Asian delve of “Parvati Valley” and the sax-laced fuzzy astrojazz of closer “Rainha da Floresta,” Superfjord‘s six-track/48-minute offering lacks nothing for personality of its own. Rather, it is a wash of sprawling coherence, engaging in its concept and execution alike and not so much blissed beyond consciousness as resolute in its joy.

As its future-looking title hints, it’s a hopeful sound conjured by guitarist/vocalists Jussi Ristikaarto and Mikko Kapanen (the former also electronics, the latter also percussion), bassist Teemu Soininen, drummer/percussionists Jussi Peevo and Ilari Kivelä and keyboardist Juho Ojala, sweet in its melodies and of consuming swirl. In what are so often seen and portrayed as dark times, it is brightly hued and hiding nothing in that. With a deep mix that finds enough space for all six players and the variety of elements they bring, songs like the 10-minute “Master Architect” are headphone-ready if not headphone-demanding, and make for the kind of listens in which one might continue to hear something new upon repeat visits.

They’re not blind. “Cut and Paste” seems in no small way to be a comment on the age in which we live, but both “Master Architect” and “Rainbow,” which follow in succession, underscore the notion of powers beyond our control, and in that, encourage not fearfulness or resignation, but taking the opportunity to rejoice at what might be, now and tomorrow. It’s no coincidence that as “Master Architect” winds down, the line “A dream” is repeated on a loop.

Come to think of it, “no coincidence” can basically apply to the whole record. All Will be Golden is meticulous. The harmonized repetitions of lines in “Rainbow” — “Bow down to the rainbow/Enter now the temple,” etc. — arrive with an easy flow in their rhythm preceded by the percussion in both “Cut and Paste” and “Master Architect” and the melodic range there as well, vocally and instrumentally. A fervent prog-boogie emerges near the midway point of the opener, with guitars scorching out a solo backed by basslines so fluid they’ll induce an eye roll and drums and percussion, and at just over five minutes long (the shortest inclusion here), “Rainbow” echoes some of that rhythmic urgency, but its push is more space-chorus than in-room-jam, and the voices of Ristikaarto and Kapenen — and potentially a host of others or other layers, going by the sound of it — give a decidedly celebratory vibe leading into more impressive lead guitar trading off with classically prog keyboard, also arriving in multiple layers.

The affect there, as with so much of All Will be Golden, is gorgeous and lush, but not void of humanity thanks again to the vocals, which return to the initial lines noted above to close out a side A that’s already shown Superfjord — who made their debut in 2014 with the also-gorgeous It is Dark, but I Have This Jewel, boasting a cover of John Coltrane‘s “A Love Supreme” in the process, and also covered Frank Zappa on a split with Sendelica last year — to be mindful of songwriting and atmosphere alike, and while there are certainly exploratory aspects to the briefest of cuts, that underlying consciousness gives their approach even more scope.

superfjord (Photo by Tero Vuorinen)

Again, it is no coincidence. I’d be willing to believe in “happy accidents” in the studio as happen in the process of making most records, but it’s so clear Superfjord know where they want their songs to go, and their sure-handed guidance only makes following along even more of a pleasure.

There’s a telling moment about 35 seconds into aptly-titled side B launcher “No Rest for the Wicked.” The band is grooving smoothly on a jazzy rhythm with the keys out front in a kind of jabbing semi-staccato vibe. They just seem to be settling into the song’s course, percussion is on fire and it looks like the verse is about to start, when all of a sudden there’s this quick entry of a dream-toned lead guitar that takes hold for a few measures before the first whispered lyrics of the title line. It’s a quick thing, but it’s the kind of subtlety that abounds throughout All Will be Golden; exactly what the song needed, exactly when it needed it.

To some it might sound like an indulgence, but I’d argue that in craft and aesthetic alike, Superfjord aren’t so much serving their own whims as the overarching purposes of their creation. “No Rest for the Wicked” dances into a harmonized, tom-backed, sax-inclusive fadeout, leading to the aforementioned closing pair of “Parvati Valley” and “Rainha da Floresta,” the Portuguese title of which translates to “Queen of the Forest.” “Parvati Valley” digs itself into a classically Western psychedelic fascination with Indian traditions, the lyrics becoming a mantra repeated for the first few minutes as instruments build up behind and an acoustic-centered midsection leads to the sharper keys and the introduction of the next movement’s chanting, more outward-directed and festive. Before a long fadeout, Superfjord seem to take “Parvati Valley” to a new echelon of psychedelia, which is fair enough leading into “Rainha da Floresta,” with its sampled birdsong and engrossing melodic peacefulness.

More choice bass work from Soininen anchors a winding progression of keys, cymbal taps and the rounding-up of guitars, and as it moves toward the 2:30 mark into its total 7:57, the finale enters its next stage, setting a bed of keys and bass for sax and heavier-weighted groove in the guitars and bass. They don’t paint any darker of a picture there than on anything preceding — miraculously — but there’s a feeling of reprise to “Rainha da Floresta” that lets the listener know it’s the ending. Shortly before five minutes in, they turn again to tense percussion, keys, chanting and, finally, a burst of spacious guitar and keyboard and drums and percussion and everything else that serves as a fitting apex for everything that’s come before it, and they close with waves as though they and their audience alike have come out of the forest and arrived at the ocean.

So be it. The journey from front to back of All Will be Golden is masterfully navigated, and whatever one’s feelings on the general state of the world in which we live — that is, however much hope you may or may not have — Superfjord portray a bright vision of things to come. As regards their sound, style, breadth and the focus they manage to keep where so many others would simply get lost, the future may indeed shine like gold. The present does as well.

Superfjord, “Rainbow”

Superfjord on Thee Facebooks

Superfjord on Instagram

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Superfjord Soundcloud

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High Fighter Add Dates to Summer Tour

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

high fighter (Photo by Peter Kupfer)

Seems to me that every time I write about Germany’s High Fighter I use a different genre tag. That’s a pretty good sign. Some bands you go “stoner” and you’re done. The Hamburg-based five-piece make it a little more of a challenge. When they announced a string of UK dates last month supporting their 2016 debut album, Scars and Crosses (review here), I used “sludge metallers.” Not exactly wrong, but meh. Way general. I must’ve been in a hurry. Today I’m feeling more like something along the lines of “metallic sludgecore” when it comes to summing up their sound. It’s metallic in its aggression, -core in its charge and sludge in its tonality and focus on riffs. I feel pretty good about that one. Will I still next time around? Most likely not. Maybe next time I’ll add “progressive” to the mix to highlight the thoughtful nature of their craft. Progressive metallic sludgecore. Sounds like fun.

High Fighter have added dates to the previously announced run, and you’ll find the update below, courtesy of the PR wire:

high fighter summer tour poster

HIGH FIGHTER ANNOUNCE MORE UPCOMING SUMMER TOUR DATES!

Hamburg-based Sludge & Stoner Metal band HIGH FIGHTER, who just recently announced to return to the UK this summer with support from special guests TUSKAR and MY DIABLO, have added a bunch of new dates around their UK summer run! Beside gigs at Bolton’s Riff Fest and more UK cities, HIGH FIGHTER added some upcoming shows in France as well as Luxembourg.

It’s been three years since the band toured the United Kingdom while on their first European tour ever back in early 2015. This August, HIGH FIGHTER will bring their latest record ‘Scars & Crosses’ as well as some brand new material live on stage. It will be one of the last tours HIGH FIGHTER are going to play this year and before they will release their second full length album in early 2019. If you’re looking for a highly polished band then look elsewhere as HIGH FIGHTER play mean and dirty Blues, Stoner, Doom & Sludgy riffs to fuel your appetite with, make sure to catch them live on the following dates this year:

23.08.18 NL – Tilburg / Little Devil
24.08.18 UK – Bournemouth / The Anvil
25.08.18 UK – Bolton / Riff Fest
26.08.18 UK – Edinburgh / Bannerman’s
27.08.18 UK – Bristol / The Old England
28.08.18 UK – Milton Keynes / The Craufurd Arms
29.08.18 UK – London / The Devonshire Arms
30.08.18 FR – Lille / Bobble Café
31.08.18 FR – Paris / Rigoletto
01.09.18 LUX – Belval / Mix n Kawa

More upcoming HIGH FIGHTER dates:
14.09.18 DE – Hannover / Subkultur
20.10.18 DE – München / Keep It Low Festival

Born in the summer of 2014 by former band members of A Million Miles, Buffalo Hump and Pyogenesis, this band is a volatile cocktail of heavy as hell riffs! Add a heavy dose of the blues and these deadly schizophrenic vocals and HIGH FIGHTER offer something new to the Sludge, Stoner, Doom & Metal Scene. After their critically acclaimed debut EP ‘The Goat Ritual’ released end of 2014, followed by numerous shows all over Europe, including festivals such as Wacken Open Air, Summer Breeze, Desertfest Berlin & Antwerp, Sonic Blast, Up In Smoke and many more, as well as several gigs with bands alike Ahab, Conan, Crowbar, Mantar, Corrosion of Conformity, Elder, Downfall of Gaia, Mammoth Storm, Brant Bjork, The Midnight Ghost Train and Earth Ship to name just a few, HIGH FIGHTER released their first full length album ‘Scars & Crosses’ in June 2016 with Svart Records. The band’s second studio album will see the light of day in early 2019.

HIGH FIGHTER are:
Mona Miluski – Vocals
Christian Pappas – Guitar
Ingwer Boysen – Guitar
Constantin Wüst – Bass
Thomas Wildelau – Drums / Backing Vocals

www.highfighter.de
www.facebook.com/highfighter
www.instagram.com/highfighter_official
www.highfighter.bandcamp.com
www.svartrecords.com

High Fighter, “Darkest Days” official video

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Acid King Announce Northeastern Shows in Philly and Brooklyn

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Hell’s bells, I know you don’t need me to tell you to go see Acid King whenever you get the chance. You already know that. Still, isn’t it all the more worth reinforcing the point when the long-running San Fran trio are coming east for all of two — count ’em: one, two — shows at the end of this month? And sure, their dates at new hotspot The Kingsland and prior-established hotspot Kung Fu Necktie happen to coincide with the same two nights Sleep will be in Brooklyn, but seriously, what the hell? You go to one one night and the other the other. It’s called logistics. I’m not making this shit up.

Acid King, with the new, partially-not-new lineup of founding guitarist/vocalist Lori S., returning bassist Rafa Martinez (see also: Black Cobra‘s drum madness) and drummer Bil Bowman will also head out on a tour of the Southwest as the only not-all-caps band alongside Oregonian cosmic doom forerunners YOB and L.A. doomcrafters CHRCH, and while personally I think they should change their name to ACID KING for the duration, that tour is the stuff of legend either way. Enough that I just asked The Patient Mrs. if we could fly out to Albuquerque to see it. No. No, we can’t. Nice thought though.

One is also expecting an imminent European tour announcement from Acid King, who’ve already been confirmed for Desertfest Belgium, Keep it Low and the Up in Smoke festivals this Fall in Antwerp, Munich and Pratteln, Switzerland, respectively. Worth keeping an eye out, as always.

What’s so far confirmed follows here, snagged from social media:

acid king

Acid King East Coast Shows in July! Philadelphia and New York only.

07.27 Kung Fu Necktie Philadelphia PA w/ Green Meteor
https://www.facebook.com/events/203608440235832/

07.28 The Kingsland Brooklyn NY w/ Geezer, Devoidov
https://www.facebook.com/events/522575644805795/

Yob + Acid King + CHRCH announce West/SW tour this September !

Thu 9/6 Harlow’s – Sacramento
Fri 9/7 Catalyst – Santa Cruz
Sat 9/8 Pappy & Harriet’s
Sun 9/9 Teragram Ballroom – LA
Tuesday 9/11 Hi-Dive Denver *Acid King only *
Wed 9/12 Sister – ABQ
Thu 9/13 Club Red – Phoenix
Fri 9/14 Brick By Brick – SD
Sat 9/15 Oakland Metro

Acid King is:
Lori S. – Guitar & Vocals
Rafa Martinez – Bass
Bil Bowman – Drums

www.facebook.com/AcidkingSF
www.acidking.com

Acid King, Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere (2015)

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High Fighter Announce UK Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

High Fighter (Photo by Rob Birdman)

German sludge metallers High Fighter — for whom that genre tag is woefully insufficient — are heading to the UK for a quick week of shows in August. They’re continuing to support their Svart-delivered 2016 debut album, Scars and Crosses (review here), but will reportedly have new material out with them on the road. A second long-player from the Hamburg-based is an intriguing prospect given the atmospheric elements that made their way into the first one despite an overriding outward intensity that defined much of its impression. Early 2019 release? Right on. Into the notes it goes with hopes for more to come before it’s out.

The UK tour — the topic at hand, recall — kicks off on Aug. 24 and is presented by Buried in Smoke Promo. Dates came down the PR wire as follows:

high fighter tour poster

HIGH FIGHTER ANNOUNCE UK SUMMER TOUR!

Hamburg-based Sludge & Stoner Metal band HIGH FIGHTER have announced to return to the UK this summer! Alongside British heavyweights TUSKAR and MY DIABLO, the band will be hitting the UK roads for 6 dates in August, including a festival show at Bolton’s Riff Fest.

Born in the summer of 2014 by former band members of A Million Miles, Buffalo Hump and Pyogenesis, this band is a volatile cocktail of heavy as hell riffs! Add a heavy dose of the blues and these deadly schizophrenic vocals and HIGH FIGHTER offer something new to the Sludge, Stoner, Doom & Metal Scene to fuel your appetize with. After their ciritically acclaimed debut EP ‘The Goat Ritual’ released end of 2014, followed by numerous shows all over Europe including festivals such as Wacken Open Air, Summer Breeze, Desertfest Berlin & Antwerp, Stoned From The Underground, Sonic Blast, Up In Smoke and many more, as well as several gigs and tours with bands alike Ahab, Conan, Crowbar, Corrosion of Conformity, Elder, Downfall of Gaia, Mammoth Storm, Brant Bjork, The Midnight Ghost Train, Mantar or Earth Ship to name just a few, HIGH FIGHTER released their first full length album ‘Scars & Crosses’ in June 2016 with Svart Records.

It’s been three years ago since the band toured the United Kingdom while on their first European tour ever back in early 2015. This August, HIGH FIGHTER will bring their latest record ‘Scars & Crosses’ as well as some brand new material live on stage. Beside some current dates with Mantar in Germany this summer, it will be one of the last tours HIGH FIGHTER will play this year and before they are going to release their second full length album in early 2019.

Make sure to catch the band live on the following UK summer dates, with support from TUSKAR & MY DIABLO, and presented by Buried In Smoke Promotions:

24.08.18 Bournemouth / The Anvil
25.08.18 Bolton / Riff Fest (*High Fighter only)
26.08.18 Edinburgh / Bannerman’s
27.08.18 Bristol / The Old England
28.08.18 Milton Keynes / The Craufurd Arms
29.08.18 London / The Devonshire Arms

www.highfighter.de
www.facebook.com/highfighter
www.instagram.com/highfighter_official
www.highfighter.bandcamp.com
www.svartrecords.com

High Fighter, “Darkest Days” official video

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