Destroyer of Light Premiere “Burning Darkness” from Mors Aeterna out May 24

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

destroyer of light

The grim magic of lurking tradtional doom has been with Destroyer of Light all along, but the Austin, Texas, four-piece have never brought it to bear with the poise, presence or level of accomplishment they do on Mors Aeterna. Their third full-length out May 24 as their debut for Argonauta Records follows behind 2018’s Hopeless EP (review here) and 2017’s Chamber of Horrors (review here), both of which seemed to paint the band’s shifting focus in real-time. Their earlier work on 2014’s Bizarre Tales Vol. 2 EP or their 2012 self-titled debut was more in a burly heavy rock vein, but it was the Endsville split/collaboration with Godhunter (discussed here) in 2015 that really began to mark their turn to darker, more sinister, doomly fare.

Mors Aeterna — which brings forth 10 tracks in a relatively concise 44 minutes peppered with interludes throughout like the intro “Overture Putrefactio,” the keyboard-laced “The Unknown,” the piano-led “Pralaya’s Hymn” and the penultimate foreboding of “Into the Abyss” that launches directly into the megacrash of semi-title-track closer “Eternal Death” —  is unquestionably Destroyer of Light‘s crowning achievement to-date. It presents their sound as a work of directed vision while proffering memorable stretches from the emotional strains of “Dissolution” onwards, but neither casts its lot entirely with classic doom nor the post-Pallbearer modern sphere. As they’ve done throughout their career, Destroyer of Light reside in a place between, and it’s a place that sounds more theirs than it ever has before.

Intro, two songs, interlude, two songs, interlude, one song, intro, one song. Parsed out, it’s easy enough to see where the band — guitarist/vocalist Steve Colca, guitarist/synthesist Keegan Kjeldsen, bassist Nick Coffman and drummer Penny Turner — wanted to break things up to keep a given listener on their toes, but such structuring does little to convey the intricacy of Destroyer of Light‘s doom and how they blend atmospherics and nodder progressions in order to get where they do. The Candlemassian stretch of “Afterlife” or the bass-heavy chug-and-swing of “Falling Star” and the play off a spacier influence in “Loving the Void,” bringing psychedelia and doom together in such a fashion as to be beholden to neither so much as its own purpose — these moments go beyond the simple shape of the album and speak to the breadth that Destroyer of Light stake out across the album’s entirety.

destroyer of light mors aeternaThey are heavy, yes. They are dark, yes. But if you think there can’t be detail as well to that, then a cut like “Burning Darkness,” with its rumbling low end foundation beneath the vocal melody and its consuming march to a destructive finish is simply going to be lost on you, let alone how the “heavier” songs interact with the interludes so clearly meant to and so effective at increasing the scope of Mors Aeterna overall. It is a record of bleak soulfulness and sincere exploration; the product of a commitment to creative growth that has shown itself across Destroyer of Light‘s discography. It feels very much like an arrival point.

And so it should, given that it’s their third record and they’ve put in some significant time on tour leading up to it — they’ll keep that thread going in Europe starting this weekend — but even more than that, Mors Aeterna seems to be working from a full-album conception. This also ties at least partially into the interludes and focus on mood and atmosphere, and it continues right up to the violin and piano that cap “Eternal Death” in a mirror to “Overture Putrefactio” at the outset. The interludes tie together the various movements of Mors Aeterna and help bolster the depth of even the most straightforward of its songs, feeding into an overarching flow that begins as “Dissolution” takes hold with its initial roll and continues through the relatively and somewhat ironically quick fadeout of “Eternal Death.”

All throughout, Destroyer of Light bask in a doom that cast in their image and spirited not by adherence to the tropes of genre, but by reshaping them to suit the needs of the songs. Destroyer of Light are a much different band now than when they started out some seven years ago, but the style they’ve embraced is something hitting its moment of realization and that — most importantly — shows no signs of stopping here. There’s nothing throughout Mors Aeterna to make one think Destroyer of Light have landed here and this is it. Rather, the quality of the songwriting and the sureheadedness with which they approach such outwardly bleak sonic terrain gives the impression only of further plunge to be had as they move forward. Still, this is an important step for the band and a convincing argument in favor of there being life after traditional doom.

It’s my pleasure today to host the premiere of “Burning Darkness.” Please find it below, followed by some comment from the band and their European tour dates.

Enjoy:

Destroyer of Light, “Burning Darkness” official track premiere

Destroyer of Light on “Burning Darkness”:

“Burning Darkness” is about this man traveling through the underworld, trying to figure out where he is heading. It is dark, it is really hot, and then he realizes that he has transcended into hell. This was a fun song to write because it is super melodic, but then really heavy. I wanted to add a “black metal” section to signify that he is hell and it is horrible! Lots of dynamics and influences showed in this song.

We are excited for our first European tour. We’ve been working really hard to get over there and for us to finally be here feels really good. Hard to believe we are, it’ll be awesome to have the new album with us too. Y’all will get the first chance in person! Hope to see you out there!

Set for a release on May 24th with Argonauta Records, Mors Aeterna will be available as CD, LP and Digital formats at: www.argonautarecords.com

Tour Dates:
10th May, Italy, Bologna @ Freak Out*
11th May, Italy, Genua @ Lucrezia Social Bar*
12th May, France, Lyon @ Le Farmer*
13th May, France, Toulouse @ L’Usine de la Musique*
14th May, France, Strasbourg @ L’Elastic*
15th May, Germany, Dresden @ Chemiefabrik*
16th May, Germany, Berlin*
17th May, Denmark, Aalborg @ 1000 Fryd*
18th May, Sweden, Stockholm @ Copperfields*
19th May, Sweden, Boras @ Cannibal Metal*
21th May, Switzerland @ Luzern*
22th May, Italy, Milan+
23th May, Italy, Turin @ Ziggy+
24th May, Italy, Vercelli @ Officine Sonore+
25th May, Italy, Treviso @ Altroquando+
* w/ Hell Obelisco
+ w/ Great Electric Quest

Destroyer of Light is:
Steve Colca – Guitar, Vocals
Nick Coffman – Bass
Keegan Kjeldsen – Guitar, Synth
Penny Turner – Drums

Destroyer of Light, “Afterlife”

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Destroyer of Light on Instagram

Destroyer of Light on Bandcamp

Argonauta Records website

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Switchblade Jesus Premiere Butthole Surfers Cover “Who Was in My Room Last Night?”

Posted in audiObelisk on May 6th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

switchblade jesus (Photo by Troy Alan Garza)

If your eyes are on these words, then I’ll assume I don’t need to recount for you the legacy of pill-popping bizarro fuckall that surrounds Butthole Surfers. Though they flirted with commercial viability at one point in the ’90s — hey, didn’t we all — it was more like a rare aligning of planets than anything purposeful on the band’s part; like they and rock radio happened to be in the same dimension for five minutes. Their mission was more toward the avant noise of outsider punk and space rock, and they demonstrated to an entire generation of Lone Star denizens that it was okay to be strange, stranger and strangest. Switchblade Jesus, on the whole, aren’t so geared to weird, but they do justice to the drive of “Who Was in My Room Last Night?” which originally opened Butthole Surfers‘ 1993 major label debut, Independent Worm Saloon.

It’s an interesting and purposeful pick on the part of Switchblade Jesus, who grit up the original version of the song while keeping the central rhythm, playing up the forward push that added such a careening sense in the first place. The trio of guitarist/vocalist Eric Calvert, bassist Chris Black and drummer Jon Elizondo have shown, pretty much since Black came aboard — though I’ll allow that’s a narrative convenience; not like I was at Switchblade Jesus rehearsal to watch the shift take place — an affinity for noise rock that their prior self-titled debut (review here) didn’t have. When they featured on Ripple Music‘s The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter 7 (review here) in 2017, it was there, and “Who Was in My Room Last Night?” seems to bring it all the more forward. Wow, almost like the band is progressing or something. Go figure.

In the enduring spirit of chaos, I’m happy to host the premiere of Switchblade Jesus‘ take on “Who Was in My Room Last Night?,” and if you’re wondering when the hell the Corpus Christi three-piece might get down to business and put out another record, they talk about it a little bit here.

Please enjoy:

Switchblade Jesus, “Who Was in My Room Last Night?” official track premiere

Switchblade Jesus on “Who Was in My Room Last Night”:

“Deciding to pull away from the norm as many of our music colleagues go the Sabbath/Zep covers we wanted to honor one of the best bands out of Texas and a song we all grew up with. This was recorded and mastered by us in our studio and honestly was a big learning experience in what goes into ‘gluing’ it all together, so we hope you guys dig this as much as we do.”

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Doomstress Premiere “Burning Lotus” from Sleep Among the Dead out May 10

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 1st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

doomstress (Photo by thepassionoftherice)

Texas four-piece Doomstress make their full-length debut with Sleep Among the Dead on May 10 through DHU Records (LP) and Ripple Music (CD), and if it feels like it’s been an extra-long wait for the album’s arrival, that’s probably a result of all the touring the band has done since getting together in 2016. To the best of my recollection they haven’t gone out for two months at a time or anything like that, but there’s been a steady chipping away at various Stateside regions that’s kept momentum well on their side as they’ve issued engaging-if-frustratingly-not-an-LP releases like 2017’s The Second Rite (discussed here) and 2016’s Supernatural Kvlt Sounds (discussed here) EPs, and along with slots at fests like Descendants of Crom and Maryland Doom FestSXSW and others, they’ve done a lot of the kind of preliminary work that would go into supporting a record before even having the record to support. Sleep Among the Dead, obviously, flips that scenario, and arrives not late but right on time with seven tracks and 41 minutes of right on Lone Star doom rock that shows the band’s foundations in acts like Well of Souls and Project Armageddon in its early riffing on “Bitter Plea” or “Burning Lotus” and uses that uptempo initial thrust to launch a more varied exploration of mood and impact. As their lineup has solidified with bassist/vocalist Doomstress Alexis, guitarists Brandon Johnson and Matt Taylor, and drummer Tomasz Scull (Sparrowmilk, ex-Venomin James), the band has clearly grown more confident in their approach, as can be heard in the tempo drawback of “Dreaming Spider,” which follows the opening one-two punch and begins to introduce the breadth of the album’s full scope.

So be it. Band has worked. Band has album. Great. When it comes to what distinguishes Doomstress from the multitudes who also might fit that generalized description, one doesn’t have to look far. The guitar work on “Bitter Plea” and even more on “Burning Lotus” might take a listen or two to sink in, but ultimately serves as the heart of Sleep Among the Dead, and in kind with Alexis‘ voice — itself more assured and melodic than it’s yet been on a recording and a vital instrument doomstress sleep among the deadput to welcome use here — the guitars drive the songs forward. That’s not to take away from Scull‘s drumming or Alexis‘ bass work, obviously, but there’s a willingness to engage with heavy metal in the melodic sensibility that is purely Texan throughout, and it’s introduced early, but manifests even in the later leads of centerpiece “Your God is Blind” and the righteously grandiose hook of “Bones and Rust,” even as the title line is delivered at the end in harmonized layers that should be taken by the band as a blueprint for future intent — I don’t usually say shit like that, but it works really well and is not an idea to be left alone. This amalgam of doom, heavy rock and metal isn’t necessarily revolutionary, but it’s more than enough to give Sleep Among the Dead an identity of its own and leave the lasting impression of being what the EPs and steady touring were building toward — the album itself something of a payoff, never mind the chugging apex in the 7:53 penultimate cut “Apathetic Existence,” with a Sabbath-via-C.O.C. swing brought to bear after a doomly opening worthy of reminder that Doomstress‘ home state once produced Solitude Aeturnus.

As “Bitter Plea” and “Burning Lotus” set Sleep Among the Dead forth with uptempo thrust and a fervent rocking vibe, “Apathetic Existence” and the subsequent closing title-track bring the record down, way down, to its darker finish. There’s still plenty of guitar theatrics, and the chug in both songs ties them together effectively, but Doomstress leave little question about their intent that the record should push further into the ground as it goes, perhaps living up to its title in its realization through the listening process. That atmosphere is a further example of the real takeaway from Sleep Among the Dead as a whole, which is that Doomstress are not screwing around. Their level of craft, in terms of construction of this material and its execution, is well beyond the “first record” expectation of a band getting their feet wet or figuring out their sound. Doomstress are past that, and they took the hard way around, honing their approach on tour. That’s admirable, but the record would still need to stand up on its own, and so it’s doubly fortunate that Sleep Among the Dead does precisely that, answering the anticipation of its landing with a collection that’s dramatic without pretense, showy without indulgence and that despite the simmering performances throughout, still puts the songs first. Will Doomstress go on to outclass it? Maybe. They’ll have their work cut out for them in that regard, but that hasn’t stopped them yet. What’s more important for the time being is that Doomstress set themselves up for a big moment of arrival with their full-length debut, and Sleep Among the Dead lives up to that and then some.

My pleasure today to host the premiere of “Burning Lotus.” Please dig in on the player below.

And enjoy:

Doomstress Alexis on “Burning Lotus”:

“This was a rad one to work out in the studio, Tomasz really crushed it with that drum pattern and how it builds into the verse when the vocals kick in! It’s just a ripper of a track and top it all off with killer solos by Matt and special guest solo by Kent Stump of Wo Fat.”

Order Link: https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/sleep-among-the-dead

Order Link: https://darkhedonisticunionrecords.bigcartel.com/product/doomstress-sleep-among-the-dead

Doomstress is:
Doomstress Alexis – Bass/Vocals
Brandon Johnson – Guitar
Matt Taylor – Guitar
Tomasz Scull – Drums

Doomstress website

Doomstress on Bandcamp

Doomstress webstore

Doomstress on Thee Facebooks

Doomstress on Instagram

DHU Records webstore

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Review & Video Premiere: The Well, Death and Consolation

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on April 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the well death and consolation

The Well, “This is How the World Ends” official video premiere

[Click play above to stream the premiere of The Well’s video for “This is How the World Ends.” Their new album, Death and Consolation, is out today on RidingEasy Records and streaming in full below.]

Austin trio The Well have always worked with largely familiar elements — riffs, dual vocals, heavy rolling groove, garage-doom burnout and so on — but their third album, Death and Consolation, further demonstrates how they take what’s expected and twist it to suit darker purposes. It’s not just the title of the RidingEasy Records release that seems to be coping and consoling, and as the Austin, Texas, band — who spent a decent portion of the second half of 2018 touring Europe — nod through the nine-track/42-minute offering, their sound retains the raw grit they’ve had since before their debut album, Samsara (review here), came out in 2014. Death and Consolation is very much of a mind with Samsara and Pagan Science (review here), which followed it in 2016, thanks in no small part to guitarist/vocalist Ian Graham, bassist/vocalist Lisa Alley and drummer Jason Sullivan returning to work with producer/engineer Chico Jones, who has been involved in all three of their full-lengths — Jason Morales helmed their 2012 debut single, Seven (review here) — and whose relationship with the band would seem to be deep enough at this point to give them space both to revel in the bleary-eyed riffs and echoes of songs like “Act II” and the unrepentantly uptempo Dio-era Sabbathian bounce of centerpiece “Eyes of a God” just before it.

As with opener “Sabbah,” which seems to take its cues from Kyuss/Vista Chino (thinking “Thumb” or “Dargona Dragona”) in terms of its riffy foundation, “Eyes of a God” acknowledges its influence and sees The Well internalize it to the point of making it theirs. It’s a cliché narrative to say a band’s third album is their moment of arrival, having set out ideas on the first record and corrected initial mistakes on the second — and honestly, in the case of The Well, their work has never needed much in terms of correction. Still, across its span, Death and Consolation shows the steady growth they’ve undertaken and the broader reach they’ve made their own as a result, right from the keyboard chorus in the apex of “Sabbah” to the tolling-for-thee bells that help cap the noisefest ending of closer “Endless Night.”

All along the way, The Well ask few indulgences and deliver a quality of craft indicative of the time they’ve spent hammering out their approach onstage. Their material is efficient while sounding languid, as early cuts like “Raven,” which makes its greater impression in full-push while still varying tempo en route to its Alley/Graham vocal congregation around an effective secondary hook, and the subsequent “Death Song” make plain. The latter rounds out an opening salvo on a record that, while obviously splitting into two sides for the vinyl release, nonetheless seems to work in sets of three. Its riff is more patiently delivered than anything in “Raven” was intended to be, and it builds on the buzz of “Sabbah” at the outset with an intermittent wash of crash from Sullivan that bolsters the Pentagram-style rhythm in the lyrics and righteously adds to the tension in the last verse.

the well

“Cup of Peace,” which follows, feels like the beginning of another movement, and as much as a lumbering intro sets the stage for a guitar dropout during the first part of its verse, Graham‘s voice encased in echo and baring cultish fangs amid the surrounding fuzz. Alley joins in later with a harmony line as the track shifts toward its crescendo solo, a highlight of Death and Consolation as a whole for its blend of technique and raw noise. Obscure, manipulated samples begin “Eyes of a God,” with the central riff kicking in at about the 40-second mark. That introduction makes what’s already the shortest cut at 3:41 seem even shorter, but doesn’t at all detract from its engaging spirit. Instead, it benefits from the sense of contrast, and its sampling helps set up the pulsations of “Act II,” which starts side B while also drawing the middle third of the album to its close — starting the second act in one interpretation of the tracklisting while ending it in another — with a resonant hook and a march that holds sway until the arrival of organ signals the start of the freakout in the second half; solo, thick boogie, crash, noise, threat, stop. The last line, “Forever you will be mine,” echoes out with a due feeling of conclusion.

Likewise, the quiet and slow drums that offer a bed to the bluesy vocals at the beginning of “Freedom Above” seem to be a reset or at least a return to ground. They leave it soon enough, with ambient noise behind Alley and Graham‘s vocals, the rumble of the former keeping one foot on earth even as the sensation of floating becomes ever more prevalent. There’s a subtle build at work, but even as heavy as it gets, it seems to hold back, much to its credit. It might be the best vocal performance The Well have ever had on a record, with Graham giving way to Alley at the end and the latter self-harmonizing to finish, serving as a transition into the penultimate “This is How the World Ends,” with jarring samples of chimpanzees and less-jarring speech leading directly into the verse, drenched in post-Electric Wizard sneer but, again, thoroughly its own. I won’t say it looks good for the world, but The Well at least give planet Earth a characteristic sendoff, the prevailing vibe of “we earned this apocalypse” coming through with due prejudice in its judgment.

The recognizable voice of Rod Serling caps, and “Endless Night” commences with an assault of low distortion from which the winding riff emerges. Together, the three members of The Well seem to be walking into the summation that “This is How the World Ends” laid forth. Sullivan provides the path and Graham and Alley‘s vocal melodies bring order to the chaos of their guitar and bass tones. The aforementioned ringing bells arrive early in the second half and are accompanied soon enough by the noiseiest of the guitar solos on Death and Consolation, which feels well earned and is the last piece to fade out at the end, drawing emphasis on The Well‘s ability to creep even as they entrance the listener. It would be a cliché to say they’ve arrived — they arrived half a decade ago — but Death and Consolation finds them completely in control of their sound when they want to be, and still able to harness an underlying chaos enough to be genuinely dangerous. The growth of arrangement and vocal interaction between Alley and Graham is easy evidence of their progression, but that’s only one of the many ways The Well have carved out their own place in the pantheon of heavy. Their identity is all over these songs like melted candle wax.

The Well, Death and Consolation (2019)

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The Well website

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Review & Full Album Premiere: Stone Machine Electric, Darkness Dimensions Disillusion

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 25th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Stone Machine Electric Darkness Dimensions Disillusion

[Click play above to stream Darkness Dimensions Disillusion by Stone Machine Electric in its entirety. Album is out April 26 on Sludgelord Records.]

Stone Machine Electric are the bluesy, jammy, sometimes doomed sludge jazz called for by the times in which we live. The Hurst, Texas-based duo have consistently evolved over the course of their studio LPs, EPs, live offerings, etc., and for the last nine years, they’ve been an underrated act lurking in the crowded Lone Star underground, compatriots to Wo Fat and recording at that band’s Crystal Clear Sound studio, but never really touring and so never really getting the attention their particular take deserves. Darkness Dimensions Disillusion is their third album and first to be issued through Sludgelord Records. It follows behind 2016’s Sollicitus es Veritatem (review here) and its 2017 live companion, Vivere (review here), which were at that point the farthest yet that the two-piece of William “Dub” Irvin (guitar/vocals) and Mark Kitchens (drums) had pushed themselves, exploring nuanced reaches of dark psychedelia centered around the theme of the 2016 US presidential election, which was about as appropriate a subject as one could ask for their gleefully bizarre and malleable approach.

That willingness to discuss real-world issues had never been expressed to such a degree throughout prior outings like 2015’s The Amazing Terror EP (review here), 2014’s jam-based Garage Tape (review here), their 2013 self-titled debut (review here) and their 2010 demo, Awash in Feedback (review here), but it’s a theme that Darkness Dimensions Disillusion continues in its four component tracks. Perhaps not to the degree of having a portly rat king in a red tie on the front cover — though the diamond-encased staring-eye skull drawn by Kitchens is righteous — but still, it’s there in 12:48 opener “Sum of Man” and 14-minute closer “Purgatory,” the two tracks that bookend the album, as well as the all-caps “SAND” and “Circle” (premiered here), the latter of which is unarguably the most straightforward composition they’ve ever included on a record. That in itself is emblematic of Stone Machine Electric‘s steady creative evolution. They’re never predictable unless you count the reliable certainty that they’ll try new things. So it goes here.

And you don’t have to wait until the third of the four tracks to get to that point either. The very first movement of “Sum of Man” is indicative of their progressive bent, unfolding with surprising grace over the course of its first four minutes with a minimal but spacious stretch of effects ambience that’s greeted with melodic guitar/keys on a subtle linear build that’s nonetheless interrupted by the drums bringing about the shift into the first verse. Stone Machine Electric have done plenty of jamming in their time, but this is a different way of engaging atmospherics, and it’s more purposeful than a basic sonic meandering — nothing against that either — in terms of setting the mood for what follows and putting the listener in a more open headspace, such that even as Irvin intones “The sum of man is equal to his waste,” and “The sum of man/Can be measured/By the size of the void/Left upon the land,” the languid groove, while plenty heavy in terms of tone, remains laid back in its overarching affect.

stone machine electric

Repetitions of the title-line serve as a hook unto themselves, and after a few verses, Irvin and Kitchens take off on a fluid, solo-topped jam that seems to immediately signal no return. It feels earned. “SAND” is more chorus-based, but at over eight minutes long still has plenty of room to stretch out, and it takes advantage of it with a noisy midsection that parses out to angular turns leading into its solo and a slow, doomly roll that follows with some theremin or other synth accompanying, from whence they drop out and return to the hook in an effective showcase that says Stone Machine Electric know precisely which rules they want to break and when they want to do it in terms of working in and out of various structures, which is only fitting their experimentalist take and their level of craft in general. They are not just another band.

With “Circle,” though, they do toy with the idea of dead-ahead songwriting in a way they never have. At 4:45, it’s the shortest cut on Darkness Dimensions Disillusion by nearly half, and it’s a work of verse/chorus songwriting that pulls away from some of the burl in “SAND” in favor of a more melodic vocal that suits Irvin well, and shuffling snare work from Kitchens that seems to be a direct contrast to the track before. There’s a short guitar solo in the second half, and a sudden stop as if purposefully cutting themselves off before they launch into the next jam. There’s plenty of opportunity for such things in “Purgatory,” though, with a quiet keyboard-sounding intro to mirror “Sum of Man” for the first two and a half minutes and a smoother transition into the first verse — really embracing the “jazz” in “doom jazz”; no complaints — and bringing back the throatier vocals as they shift as well to meatier riffs and an unfolding nod that sounds like a culmination even before it serves as one.

Kitchens and Irvin are quick to move into more exploratory fare, but they hardly rest there, taking one movement into the next with a marked fluidity en route to the eventual noise wash that emerges with the vocals seeming to echo up from it as they move deeper into the second half of the track, guitar siren blaring amid the distortion flood until the whole thing goes away at the 10-minute mark and they work their way back into an easier groove topped with a highlight solo and the return of the keyboard line from the beginning of the song, which will be the last element to remain after the guitar and drums head out on a long fade, leaving on a note of quiet atmospherics like that which started the album in the first place.

One can only hope Stone Machine Electric continue to follow that impulse as they inevitably move forward from here, since their more confident approach to melody and more patient execution suits them so well, especially in “Sum of Man” and “Purgatory,” but as ever, they serve an intention toward experimentation, and that leads them to new and fascinating places throughout these songs. I wouldn’t bet on what their next record will sound like, but I’m willing to go on record in saying that they’ll keep moving forward, likely in a multitude of directions. They remain better than people know, and a band whose steady growth is matched only by the consistent quality of their output.

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Wo Fat Announce Australia & New Zealand Touring

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 24th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I’m holding out hope for a new Wo Fat record this year. Their last two, 2016’s Midnight Cometh (review here) and 2014’s The Conjuring (review here), were both Spring releases, out in June and May in their respective years, so that seems unlikely for 2019 unless there’s news coming, like, right now, about it. I just checked my email again, and nope. Maybe tomorrow. But Wo Fat have worked on an every-other-year schedule since 2012, and that alone was enough to make me speculate they’d have an album out last Fall in time for their European tour, which obviously didn’t happen.

As they head to Australia and New Zealand this June, I’m not necessarily thinking they’ll put one out in time for the trip because, again, we’d probably know about it by now if that were happening, but maybe later in the year? Maybe in the Fall? Maybe I just want to hear a new Wo Fat album so I’m trying to project a timeframe for it to be released? That seems possible to me. Indeed, likely.

Fine.

Their label, Ripple Music, posted the Aus/NZ dates as follows:

wo fat

Wo Fat announce Australian and New Zealand Tour!! This is gonna be killer!

Thursday 6/6
The Bendigo Hotel, Collingwood
W/ Jack Harlon & The Dead Crows
Tickets: http://rcl.ink/bO3

Friday 7/6
The Barwon Club Hotel, Geelong
W/ Turtle Skull & Peeling Sun
Tickets: http://rcl.ink/bO6

Saturday 8/6
WO FEST at The Gold Mines Hotel, Bendigo
W/ Pieces Of Molly (NZ), Turtle Skull, Motherslug, Pseudo Mind Hive, Burden Man, Thaw, Honeybone, Kitchen Witch, Full Tone Generator and @SubterraneanDisposition
Tickets: http://rcl.ink/bOu

Sunday 9/6
Crown and Anchorl, Adelaide
W/ Planet of the 8s & Howl n Bones
Tickets: http://rcl.ink/bOE

Tuesday 11/6
Whammy Bar, Auckland
W/ Bloodnut & The Deadbeat Dads
Tickets: http://rcl.ink/bO8

Wednesday 12/6
Valhalla, Wellington
W/ Dick Tracy & Hault
Tickets: http://rcl.ink/bOF

Thursday 13/6
Howlin’ Wolf Bar Wollongong
W/ Robot God
Tickets: http://rcl.ink/bON

Friday 14/6
The Vanguard, Sydney
W/ Comacozer & Numidia
Tickets: http://rcl.ink/zHg

Saturday 15/6
Crowbar Brisbane
W/ Stoker – band & Fumarole
Tickets: http://rcl.ink/zHy

https://www.facebook.com/wofatriffage/
https://twitter.com/HouseOfWoFat
https://www.instagram.com/wofatriffage/
https://wofat.bandcamp.com/
ripple-music.com

Wo Fat, Midnight Cometh (2016)

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Stone Machine Electric Premiere “Circle” Video; Album out April 26

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

stone machine electric

I’m going to try really hard in this post not to review Stone Machine Electric‘s new album, Darkness Dimensions Disillusion, which is out April 26 through Sludgelord Records. At this point, I think I’ve written about nearly everything the underrated Texas duo have put out, so I’m not trying to get around or anything, but if you check back in on April 25, I’ll be hosting a full stream of the record and reviewing it then. So we’ll get there, but in the meantime, I’m gonna not say everything I want to say about the four-track offering before, you know, it’s time to actually say it. Stone Machine Electric are a fun band to write about, but in almost all cases, reviewing stuff twice is a bummer. “Didn’t I already do this?” and so on.

That bit of procedural declaration aside, let’s talk about “Circle” instead. On Darkness Dimensions Disillusion, it’s an immediate standout for being about half as long as the next shortest track on the record. That is, it’s 4:44 and the preceding “SAND” is 8:19. The bookending opening and closing cuts — the names of which I’m not even going to mention because that’s how much I’m not reviewing the album right now — are both over 12 minutes. “Circle” might also be a standout in the band’s entire discography as well, though, for its straightforward structure. Intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo/bridge, chorus, end. While kind of standard for the rest of the various forms of rock and roll, it’s still a shift in approach on the part of Stone Machine Electric, who’ve traditionally been more about crafting spacious jams than hooks, though they’re not exactly strangers to the idea, as their past work has shown.

The tonal crunch of guitar comes accompanied by a more melodic vocal from William “Dub” Irvin, and the changes between the movements in “Circle” are driven fluidly by Mark Kitchens‘ drumming in a way that underscores the jammy foundations shown on the rest of the album — which, again, I’m definitely not going to review now. In fact, I should probably just leave it there until later in the month.

Instead of hearing me ramble (more), why don’t you just go ahead and dig into Kitchens‘ art in the video for “Circle” below and enjoy a little bit of the old elsewhere-rock as only Stone Machine Electric can provide.

Brief comment from the band, live dates and preorder link follow:

Stone Machine Electric, “Circle” official video premiere

Circle is about the monotony that is life as seen from a macro perception, and sometimes you just want something to come crashing into it in order to reset the cycle.

Upcoming Dates (more to come):
4/6/19 Anderson Mill Pub – Austin, TX
4/26/19 Division Brewing – Arlington, TX (Album Release Show)
5/17/19 Lost Well – Austin, TX
6/28/19 Tin Panther – Fort Worth, TX
6/29/19 Freetown Boom Boom Room, Lafayette, LA
8/31/19 Reno’s Chop Shop – Dallas, TX (Dallas Fuzz Rock Festival)

Preorder Darkness Dimensions Disillusion at: https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/album/darkness-dimensions-dillusion

Stone Machine Electric on Thee Facebooks

Stone Machine Electric on Instagram

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Stone Machine Electric on Bandcamp

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Sludgelord Records on Bandcamp

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Destroyer of Light to Release Mors Aeterna May 24; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 1st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

destroyer of light

Those of you still reeling from Destroyer of Light‘s 2018 Hopeless EP (review here) might want to sit down, but the band has set a May 24 release date for Mors Aeterna, the four-piece’s third album and first to be released through Argonauta Records. They’ll celebrate the record release at Argonauta Fest in Italy with The Great Electric Quest and others, and there is little doubt that US dates will follow behind the European incursion. Destroyer of Light are no strangers to hitting the road when called upon to do so, and a new album is plenty of occasion for it.

Motivations, info, art and the track “Afterlife” can be found below, courtesy of the PR wire:

destroyer of light mors aeterna

DESTROYER OF LIGHT UNLEASH ALBUM DETAILS + FIRST SINGLE!

Formed in 2012 from constantly boiling musical cauldron that is Austin, TX, DESTROYER OF LIGHT has taken a straight forward approach to tempering the disparate and harmonious parts of their influences into a total sum of slow motion tidal heaviness that bows to no altar but that of the riff. With the smoky flavors of hazed out doom and the stomping cadence of rock’s heyday, the band both tickles and deafens the ears with the theatrical flashes of Mercyful Fate, the ominous tones of Electric Wizard, and the ferociously feral feedback of a Sleep dirge. May 24th will see DESTROYER OF LIGHT return with their third full-length album, Mors Aeterna!

Mors Aeterna is a concept album about a man who dies and travels through the underworld and experiences unpleasant scenarios. “There’s ups and downs, twist and turns, and ultimately in the end, he will float in hell for eternity and experience complete horror for the rest of his being, hence, Mors Aeterna aka Eternal Death“ the band explains.

Today DESTROYER OF LIGHT are not only sharing the hotly anticipated details about their upcoming album with us, but also a first appetizer with the single ‘Afterlife’!

“‘Afterlife’ was the first song written for this album. At this stage, the man does not know if he is alive or dead. So, he is in shock and scared of what is happening, he is trying to communicate with someone, but they can’t hear his cries. Oh, the horror.

We worked really hard on this new record to make it an experience and to give the listener a good, steady flow to go with the concept, we hope you enjoy it!“

Mors Aeterna tracklist:
1. Overture Putrefactio
2. Dissolution
3. Afterlife
4. The Unknown
5. Falling Star
6. Burning Darkness
7. Pralaya’s Hymn
8. Loving the Void
9. Into the Abyss
10. Eternal Death

Set for a release on May 24th with Argonauta Records, Mors Aeterna will be available as CD, LP and Digital formats at: www.argonautarecords.com

Tour Dates:
DESTROYER OF LIGHT, with special guests HELL OBELISCO
10.05.19 IT – Bologna, Freak Out
11.05.19 IT – Genua, Lucrezia Social Bar
12.05.19 FR – Lyon, Le Farmer
13.05.19 FR – Toulouse, Usine De La Musique
14.05.19 FR – Strasbourg, Tba
15.05.19 DE – Dresden, Chemiefabrik
17.05.19 DK – Aalborg, 1000 Fryd
18.05.19 SWE – Stockholm, Copperfield
19.05.19 SWE – Boras, Cannibal Queen
24.05.19 IT – Vercelli (Argonauta Fest), with The Great Electric Quest
25.05.19 IT – Treviso, Altroquando with Messa

Destroyer of Light is:
Steve Colca – Guitar, Vocals
Nick Coffman – Bass
Keegan Kjeldsen – Guitar, Synth
Penny Turner – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/destroyeroflight/
http://www.instagram.com/destroyeroflightofficial/
http://www.twitter.com/DoLAustinDoom
http://destroyeroflight.bandcamp.com/
www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
https://twitter.com/argonautarex
https://www.instagram.com/argonautarecords/

Destroyer of Light, “Afterlife”

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