Doomstress Announce ‘Scorched September’ Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 5th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Certainly if you live in the US, you’ve probably heard plenty about this point about the royal ass kicking recently received by the city of Houston from Hurricane Harvey. They say the storm may have permanently changed the shape of the fourth largest urban area in the country, and while we can sit here all day and talk about how all these “500-year” floods keep happening — or we could just say the words “climate change” and accept how much we’ve truly fucked our planet and thus ourselves as a species — the bottom line is that people’s lives will never be the same.

This weekend, Houston’s own Doomstress play a benefit for Harvey flood victims in their hometown, and it’s one of several choice gigs they have coming up before the month is out. Also noteworthy of course is the fact that in October they’ll be at the End Hip End It fest (info here) in Spring, TX, but as you can see, they’re keeping well busy even besides that. Note the TBA date on Sept. 29 after they play Oklahoma City at Your Mom’s Place — joke’s on you; my mom lives in New Jersey — and as always, if you can help out with a show, you should make that happen. Plenty of land there between Oklahoma City and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for a gig to take place in.

Shows are presented by Heavy Friends Booking. Here’s info as posted on the social medias:

doomstress-sept-tour

Doomstress – Scorched September Tour

Doomstress hits the road again this September!

Sat 9/9 Houston, TX @ Brash brewing company F**K Harvey Flood Victims Benefit **starts at Noon**
https://www.facebook.com/events/1482307511861580/

Fri 9/15 Austin, TX @ The Electric Church w/Crypt Trip

Sat 9/16 San Angelo, TX @ The Deadhorse Live w/The Guillotines
https://www.facebook.com/events/1342549785844088/

Thur 9/28 OKC, OK @ Your Mom’s Place
https://www.facebook.com/events/1927447954134117/

Fri 9/29 tba

Sat 9/30 @ Stoned Meadow of Doom Fest in Sioux Falls, SD @ Bigs Bar
https://www.facebook.com/events/167660890394733/

Thanx to Heavy Friends Booking, DHU Records, NoSlip Records, Zombie Dust Pickups Poster art by Goatess Doomwych layout Doomstress Alexis.

www.doomstress.com
www.doomstress.bandcamp.com
www.doomstress.bigcartel.com
https://www.facebook.com/DoomstressBand/
instagram.com/Doomstress_band
twitter.com/Doomstress
www.darkhedonisticunion.bigcartel.com

Doomstress, “Apathetic Existence” Live at the Foundry

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Six Dumb Questions with Destroyer of Light

Posted in Six Dumb Questions on August 30th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

destroyer of light

Name your band Destroyer of Light and you’re setting up some pretty serious expectations on the part of your audience. The Austin-based outfit — veterans of Psycho CaliforniaFreak TulsaElectric Funeral in Denver and others — have never tackled those expectations as head-on as they do with the newly-released Chamber of Horrors, their third album. Songs like “Into the Smoke” and “Luxcrusher” bring a refocused approach on grim, rolling doom even from what the band presented on 2014’s Bizarre Tales Vol. 2, and the chugging, driving, lumbering pummel suits them remarkably well, coming as it does complemented by a persistently bleak atmosphere summarized in the title. More than they ever have before, Destroyer of Light are putting their listeners in a specific place. And it’s pretty damn horrific in there.

Brought to the blinding light of day by guitarist/vocalist Steve Colca, guitarist Keegan Kjeldsen, drummer Penny Turner and bassist Jeff Klein (who seems to since be out of the band), Chamber of Horrors may be playing more toward the heft Destroyer of Light are known for in their live performances, but that doesn’t mean it’s all raw or wanting for a sense of purpose in its vibe as a studio album. Rather, the murk conjured by songs like “Prisoner of Smoke” and “The Virgin” and the ambient threat that lingers from the moment the chamber door opens at the start of intro “Whispers in the Threshold” till the moment it closes at the end of 10-minute finale “Buried Alive” resound with doomed directionality, the finisher especially punishing in its tempo and uncompromising in its trades between creeping, The Gates of Slumber-esque verses and Electric Wizardly swirl in its marching hook.

The whole record carries the stink of death, and Destroyer of Light have never sounded so alive as they do reveling in it.

As Destroyer of Light set themselves to the task of a 2018 that will be spent largely supporting Chamber of Horrors as well as a follow-up two-song EP that’s set to arrive in the coming months via the band-affiliated Heavy Friends Records — see also: Heavy Friends Booking, which handles their touring end — as well as perhaps finding a new bassist if they haven’t yet, I wanted to talk to them about how their experience on the road already has affected their sound this time in the studio, how they developed the ideas that became Chamber of Horrors and how they see themselves continuing to grow as they move forward from here. Fortunately, both Kjeldsen and Colca were willing to discuss these subjects and more, and you’ll find the results below.

Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:

destroyer-of-light-chamber-of-horrors

Six Dumb Questions with Keegan Kjeldsen and Steve Colca of Destroyer of Light

Talk about writing Chamber of Horrors. The album is a pretty significant change for the band in terms of sound. How did that come about? Was there something you wanted to consciously shift in your approach, or did it just happen in the writing process?

Keegan Kjeldsen: We knew before we started writing it that we wanted to make a very heavy record, which may sound like a cliché. But the previous material was sludgier and usually more up-tempo, and we experimented a lot. For the self-titled release, we’d had some pretensions of getting a ‘vintage, lo-fi’ sound. That kind of sound wasn’t really right for us, though, and our goal shifted to creating a record with the kind of powerful, crushing experience that audiences were getting live. We heard a lot over the years, “The album is cool and all, but you guys are so much heavier live!” We took it as a compliment, but it taught us that the shows were selling the recordings, the recordings weren’t really selling the shows. So we wanted to push it to the limit in terms of both quality and volume. Thankfully, our engineer Matt Meli outdid himself this time. We also included elements of our live shows: lengthy feedback, melodic interludes, sample clips from old horror movies. But from the start, our core has always been doom metal, so the natural thing for our goal of making a heavier record was to focus on that.

Steve Colca: Like Keegan said, we did go in wanting this record to be more heavy sonically and closer to what we sound like live. However, when we wrote the music for this album, we didn’t have the intention of how the songs would take shape. Obviously, it still sounds like us at the core, but our songwriting keeps improving and our palettes progress over time to add different touches to our sound that maybe we didn’t show previously. As you grow as musicians and songwriters, it definitely helps with your confidence and allows the ability to try new, different things.

You’ve done significant touring the last several years. Do you feel like that was a factor in how this record took shape? If so, how?

KK: Touring will whip you into shape. You’re effectively practicing the same set every single night for a month. After playing some of our material live so frequently and consistently, we’d find that a year after we recorded something, it was sounding very different on stage. Sometimes it was just little nuances or flourishes that one of us didn’t come up with until months of playing the song live. But sometimes the whole tempo would change, or parts would be extended or added. We were determined to let the songs for Chamber of Horrors breathe. After we recorded them for a pre-production demo, we played the whole album from start to finish on a six-day tour through Texas. By the time we were recording the album proper, we felt like the songs had developed enough that we could call them finished.

SC: Yeah, I believe doing a six-day run just playing the album front-to-back live really gave these songs the energy and final touches that they needed. We always found previously that after playing the songs live that we would change things here and there. To add, extensive touring also improved our playing as musicians and we become more confident in our abilities as songwriters. For me, vocally, all the touring and learning to deal with my vocals helped a lot on this record.

Is there a concept at work behind the album? What’s the story being told in these songs?

KK: It’s a loose concept album. Most of the storytelling and symbolism can work on multiple levels, so it’s up to the audience as to what you want to take from it. The album begins with the opening of a large, heavy door, and ends with it slamming shut. There are also whispering voices in both the first and last song. We were playing with the idea of the line between dream and reality being blurred. I was thinking a lot about Carl Jung at the time, and how there really isn’t much difference in what we mean by the word ‘hell,’ and a psychological hell that a person creates for himself. People make themselves suffer because of the things they pursue, and sometimes the private torment they undergo is more real than anything else in their lives.

So, the song “Into the Smoke” – on one level it’s about a protagonist who goes down into a cave, searching for something valuable, but is possessed by a monster made of psychedelic smoke that permeates him and enslaves him, sending him on a bad trip that lasts forever. On another level, it could be a song about drug addiction. But more archetypally, it’s a song about the feeling of being powerless, driven by forces beyond your control into a mental underworld. It’s opening the door to the unconscious part of the psyche and getting consumed by the shadow. The Twilight Zone was also a huge influence on both Steve and myself in writing these horror stories, or alternatively, private hells within the chamber of horrors, since a lot of Rod Serling’s stories deal with a character trait, usually a flaw, that becomes a real, physical phenomenon in the character’s life.

SC: I was also thinking along the lines of In the Mouth of Madness. As every song has its own individual theme and story, they all tie into the question, is it a dream or reality? There is a lot of ugliness in the world, and sometimes you don’t want to believe it and want to stay naive to the whole possibility. However, you read the news and papers, and some of these stories really happen.

You seem to be trying a lot of new things vocally in particular here. Tell me about changing your voice to fit a certain part in a given song. What makes you feel like “Luxcrusher” needs a different approach than “The Virgin?”

KK: In the case of “Luxcrusher,” I wrote that song, and really wanted to sing a significant part of the lyrics because of how personal they were. I’ve usually had one or two vocal parts on each recording, but I think that’s something I’m going to move away from. I feel like I’m at the point where I’m getting worse, whereas Steve gets better on every record. The lyrics are actually about being in a doom band and touring – when I’m talking about “midnight worship at the shrine” and my body being throttled every night, being ravaged by sound. But the lyrics also take a nihilistic turn because that’s how I was feeling at the time.

The placement of that song on the album was something that unconsciously worked really well with the concept, because the lyrics ended up recounting the subject matter of the first half of the record – talking about human sacrifice, or about being pulled into a haze. It was unintentional, but I think of it now as if “Luxcrusher” is the voice of the devil that was summoned in “The Virgin.” As far as the different approaches in general, I think the narrative structure of the songs sometimes lends itself to different voices in a variety of styles, as if they’re different characters or personas. Suzy does this on “The Virgin.” It was a Fleetwood Mac kind of attitude – we had three vocalists on this record, lending different styles where it was appropriate.

SC: Back to extensive touring throughout the years, I have become more comfortable and confident in my vocal ability. Which has allowed me to try and do different things. Vocal melodies have always been very important to us. Also, from the start of this band, we wanted to incorporate screaming and growling as I used to be in a death metal band and a heavier sludge band before this. Whatever vocal style the song requires, we want to be able to do it. No need to be tied down to one particular sound or style. That’s the beauty of writing music, no limitations… unless it is completely out of your capability.

I know it’s early, but where do you see Destroyer of Light going from here sound-wise?

KK: More melody, and even heavier. It’s not as early to talk about it as you might think. We have an EP that we plan on releasing soon, I can’t say anything about when exactly, but it’s already recorded. It’s two songs that are tuned even lower, with a more pounding, guttural tone. We did one of the slowest songs we’ve ever done. All the space you get when you play a really slow, plodding song allows you to fill the void with harmony, melody. I’ve been listening to a lot of drone music, maybe you could even call it post-doom, stuff like later-era Earth, OM, Grails. Steve’s love for Alice in Chains came out, also. I think the next full-length will head even further in that direction. Me and Steve have also been jamming some of our favorite stuff from the ‘80s recently, like The Cure, Tears for Fears.

SC: We’ve already started writing of a few songs for the follow-up. It is a continuation of where the last album left off. Like Keegan said, the music will be heavy, but probably more of a focus on melody. Like I said, no limitations. We do plan on incorporating some different approaches because of some of our other influences coming out in the songwriting. I’ve been listening to a lot of Alice in Chains, The Cure, Depeche Mode, and Helmet. A lot of bands that I grew up listening to when I first started learning guitar. So, we shall see where some of this will take us. However, the two-song EP that we release down the line will give you a taste of our direction.

How much will you tour for Chamber of Horrors? Any other plans or closing words you want to mention?

KK: We’re going to tour for the foreseeable future. We have some short jaunts planned, but next year we’ll be hitting the road a lot harder. This year has been relatively slow for us. It’s great to finally put this album out, and take a breather before we dive headfirst into it again. I guess, on that note, the only closing words I have is a thank you to all the fans and friends who have let us stay with them, made us food, or even just bought a shirt or bought us a shot of whiskey. You guys are the reason why we’re able to go on the road, and we love y’all.

SC: We have a few short runs lined up to finish the year. I think more of the extensive touring for Chamber of Horrors will begin in 2018. This year, where it may have been the slowest year for the band; albeit, a couple tours, recording of a two-song EP, and an album release. Our personal lives have been very busy. So, it’s been nice to have a somewhat, casual year, but it’ll be nice to get back out there and do what we do. Thanks to everyone that has bought and said some very nice things about Chamber of Horrors. Very proud of this record and glad to see a lot of you agree with us on it. See you again soon on the road, I can’t wait to see you! Much love!

Destroyer of Light, Chamber of Horrors (2017)

Destroyer of Light on Thee Facebooks

Destroyer of Light on Bandcamp

Heavy Friends Records on Thee Facebooks

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Duel Announce Fall 2017 European Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 25th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Austin, Texas, heavy rockers Duel have already been to Europe once this year. They went in Spring to herald the arrival of their second album, Witchbanger (review here), via Heavy Psych Sounds. Now that the record’s been out long enough to sink in, I guess they decided it was time for a second Euro leg, and beginning Nov. 10, the brash-as-hell four-piece will make their way through a pretty significant swath of the continent on a month-long run that — while it still has a few dates TBA; help out if you can — looks like it’s going to be as great a time as it is substantial. I wouldn’t mind bouncing around from Madrid to Eindhoven to Berlin to Sofia for a few weeks, anyhow. Seems like fun. And all the rock and roll? Bonus.

Dates came through the PR wire, and here they are:

duel

DUEL EUROPEAN TOUR 2017

Heavy Psych Sounds Records & Booking is really proud to present ***DUEL EUROPEAN TOUR 2017***

The Austin based, mighty, rockers Duel are ready to start their forth full european tour!

They are gonna kick your asses in Italy, France, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia and Bulgaria promoting their latest release Witchbanger.

10.11.2017 IT Pisa-Albatross
11.11.2017 IT Reggio Emilia
12.11.2017 IT Milan
13.11.2017 FR Chambery-Le Brin Du Zinc
14.11.2017 Tba
15.11.2017 SP Barcellona-Rocksound
16.11.2017 SP Madrid
17.11.2017 SP Bilbao
18.11.2017 NL Eindhoven TBC
19.11.2017 FR Tba
20.11.2017 FR Lyon-Le Farmer
21.11.2017 DE Mannheim-7 er
22.11.2017 DE Lichtenfels-Paunchy Cats
23.11.2017 AT Innsbruck-PMK
24.11.2017 IT Bozen-Sudwerk
25.11.2017 DE Siegen-Vortex
26.11.2017 DE Osnabruck-Dirty + Dancing
27.11.2017 DE Berlin-Urban Spree
28.11.2017 DE Dresden-Chemiefabrik
29.11.2017 AT Wien-Viper Room
30.11.2017 CH Kreuzlingen-Horst
01.12.2017 AT Blundenz-Villa K
02.12.2017 CH Basel-Hirschneck
03.12.2017 IT Castel D’ario-Hostaria
04.12.2017 IT Zerobranco-Altroquando
05.12.2017 Slovenia
06.12.2017 IT Trieste-Tetris
07.12.2017 IT Pescara-Scumm
08.12.2017 BG Sofia
09.12.2017 IT Roma-Whishlist

We are also stoked to announce that Heavy Psych Sounds Records will repress the Duel sold out debut album Fears of the Dead !!!

DUEL is heavy psychedelic stoner doom metal from Austin, Texas. Hugely influenced by the darker sounds of early 70’s Proto-metal. Features two ex Scorpion Child (Nuclear Blast)members. Their sound is menacing and brutally old school. Total purists, their tunes cut right to the bone with heavy, deep groove and blistering tone. Tough and Loud! Hard rock as it should be!

DUEL are:
Tom Frank Guitars / Vocals
Shaun Avants Bass / Vocals
JD Shadowz Drums
Jeff Henson Guitars

https://www.facebook.com/DUELTEXAS/
https://duel3.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Duel, Witchbanger (2017)

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Stone Machine Electric Post “The Demon and the Bird” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

stone machine electric

Oh, I do love it when Stone Machine Electric get weird. They’re so good at it. The Hurst, Texas, duo of guitarist/vocalist William “Dub” Irvin and drummer/thereminist/synthesist/backing vocalist Mark Kitchens have a few particularly choice live appearances slated for the next couple months, including one tonight with The Midnight Ghost Train, a slot at the Obelisk-presented Heavy Mash in September (info here) and one at End Hip End It in October (info here) that puts them on a bill with damn near half their home state, including boogie magnates Amplified Heat and reformed proto-heavy rockers Josefus.

Perhaps in part to mark the forthcoming occasion(s) and to follow-up on their late-2016 live offering, Vivere (review here) — which was itself an answer to the studio release, Sollicitus es Veritatem (review here), that came out earlier in the year — Dub and Kitchens are doing that thing they do so well: getting weird. Actually, getting kind of creepy. Their new video, for the six-minute, bass-led experimental piece “The Demon and the Bird,” carries a warning that its flashing lights might be dangerous to those with a sensitivity to such things. It should probably also have a one in there about haunting dreams.

I’m not really sure what’s going on in the clip. There’s someone walking into a building, then there’s creepy-mask-face, then I’m hiding under the table and that’s about where I get lost. All I know from there on out is that the atmosphere of the song itself seems likewise intended to terrify, starting out a little prog noodly and working its way toward eerie drones to add to the tension of the fretwork. It could well be there’s a narrative playing out in the video, though — the band are pretty tight-lipped on the subject — and as they’re never really too long between one offering and the next, current work feeding off prior work as they go, I can’t help but wonder if “The Bird and the Demon” might bode of more darkness to follow.

Then again, could be a total freak one-time thing. Part of the fun of Stone Machine Electric is that you never really know what you’re going to get.

Video, info and live dates follow, courtesy of the PR wire. Please enjoy:

Stone Machine Electric, “The Demon and the Bird” official video

Stone Machine Electric – “The Demon and the Bird” Video Release

The duo known only as Stone Machine Electric (we only have one band name) have completed work on a concept video titled “the Demon and the Bird”.

At this time, there is no further explanation for this video or any good reason for releasing it. Maybe it will make you want to purchase our fine wares or come see us do make-believe on stage.

WARNING: This video may potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised.

Stone Machine Electric live:
AUG 24 The Grotto, Fort Worth, TX w/ The Midnight Ghost Train, Huffer, Gypsy Sun Revival
SEP 7 Lola’s Saloon Fort Worth, TX w/ The Atomic Bitchwax
SEP 23 & 24 Division Brewing, Arlington, TX – Heavy Mash 2017 featuring Wo Fat and more!
OCT 7 Division Brewing, Arlington, TX w/ Gypsy Sun Revival
OCT 21 & 22 End Hip End It Music Festival, Old Town Spring, Spring, TX

Stone Machine Electric on Thee Facebooks

Stone Machine Electric on Twitter

Stone Machine Electric on Bandcamp

Off the Record Label website

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Review & Track Premiere: Blues Funeral, Awakening

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on August 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

blues funeral awakening

[Click play above to listen to ‘Shadow of the Snake’ from Blues Funeral’s Awakening. Album is out Aug. 25.]

Immediately the sense from Awakening is one of continuity. To make their second full-length, and their second in as many years behind July 2016’s The Search (review here), Houston four-piece Blues Funeral returned to Lucky Run Studios to record and mix with Jeremy Dudman and Mike Mikulka. Like the debut before it, the sophomore outing features six tracks, five of which run between five and six-plus minutes long, plus one cut that branches out longer — last time it was the title-track, here it’s 8:21 closer “The Gathering Dust.” Like the debut before it, Awakening features the dual-guitar-led lineup of guitarists/vocalists Maurice Eggenschwiler and Jan “El Janni” Kimmel (the latter also keys), bassist Gabriel Katz and drummer Cory Cousins (the latter also backing vocals on “Awakening” and “Casimir”), a mastering job by Collin Jordan at the Boiler Room, artwork by David Paul Seymour and a sound that toys with the lines between progressive and classic rock, classic rock and classic metal, and classic metal and doom. Listening to songs like opener “Shadow of the Snake” and “Illusions of Reality,” it’s pretty clear that Blues Funeral had plenty about their debut they liked and wanted to use as a model to build from.

Fair enough. Given how solidified The Search was in its approach and the cohesive presentation that it brought forth from the band, one isn’t inclined to argue, but just because that record and Awakening share core aspects doesn’t preclude growth on the part of Blues Funeral either. Rather, as a group and as individual players, they demonstrate a forward-looking mentality in terms of their own development that seems to have been taken on with willful purpose, and like other let’s-have-a-guitar-fight-except-it’s-not-really-a-fight-and-also-we-harmonize, prog-fueled outfits of their ilk — the underrated likes of Valkyrie and Corsair come to mind most readily, as well as newer Beelzefuzz — Blues Funeral do justice to their influences in their own progression as much as through the sonic foundation from which they work.

Melody is central throughout. Awakening‘s six tracks run a manageable 39 minutes and while for the bulk of that time there’s more rhythmic motion going on or more active lead-taking than one would generally classify as “pastoral,” the material is rife with nuance, be it in the form of the layered-in acoustics of “Casimir,” the organ that accompanies the initial bounce of “Shadow of the Snake,” the mellotron in “The Gathering Dust,” guest vocals on “Firedrake” or even just the way “Awakening” itself so skillfully blends metallic and heavy rocking impulses, taking cues from Uriah Heep, Deep Purple and later Opeth in its blend of organ and guitar and the clean delivery of the vocal harmonies between Kimmel and Eggenschwiler, which prove throughout once again to be central figure of Blues Funeral‘s sound, as well as a tasteful example of their development as songwriters and players.

The two guitarists and Cousins played together in the less prog-rocking Sanctus Bellum, so they weren’t strangers coming into Blues Funeral or anything, but among the elements of the newer outfit established on this follow-up is the ongoing shaping of a personality all its own, increasingly distinct as it digs into the soul-infused boogie of “Illusions of Reality” and subtle vocal arrangement complexity there as complemented by Katz‘s highlight bass performance in the quieter lead break in the midsection. Once again, melody is the root, even from the rhythm section.

blues funeral (photo Grooverock)

Couple this with a firm sense of two-sided intent. The first three tracks — “Shadow of the Snake,” “Awakening” and “Illusions of Reality” — are rockers. The title-track especially feels dug into a more crunching tonality at its launch before opening to its more flowing chorus, but it and the two pieces surrounding are defined by a more straightforward lean on hooks and structural classicism. At 5:05, “Illusions of Reality” is the shortest inclusion on Awakening, and its uptempo push is friendly, warm and inviting in a good-times-listening-to-ThinLizzy fashion that even vaguely metal-derived songcraft rarely dares to be. Blues Funeral, as much time as they spend with Eggenschwiler and Kimmel‘s guitars at the fore, are aiming to directly engage their listeners on Awakening‘s side A, and their success in this effort is precisely what allows them to hold a sense of full-album fluidity as the subsequent side B begins to branch out its more expansive modus.

Now, are Blues Funeral going experimental black metal drone? Nope. While all three are longer than “Shadow of the Snake,” “Awakening” or “Illusions of Reality,” tonally and atmospherically, “Firedrake,” “Casimir” and “The Gathering Dust” stay consistent with what the first half of Awakening has on offer — and they’re correct to do so — but each of the last three pieces also has some bit of flourish to stand it out from its surroundings. Perhaps “Firedrake” is the most obvious, with the already-noted guest vocal appearance from Kelly Cousins Adams (sister to Cory) marking a departure from the choruses delivered by the guitarists together and the tradeoffs between them. Complemented by particularly righteous Nord from Kimmel and guitar ambling alongside the keys’ winding course — also another must-hear bassline from Katz — “Firedrake” holds a patient and flowing presentation that, while in its last third gives into some doomier-feeling riff and solo work, also sets up the arrival of the acoustic/electric blend that will continue in “Casimir.”

One does not imagine the similarity in title to Led Zeppelin‘s “Kashmir” is coincidental, as Awakening‘s penultimate track takes on some loosely Eastern-feeling scales in its intricate barrage of leads and has a narrative drama in its verses no less born of classic heavy rock. Resolution, as it will, comes in a last solo punctuated by ride bell from Cousins and a sudden stop to let “The Gathering Dust” take hold on its own terms — a thrust of NWOBHM-style poise is backed by carefully-woven drawn-out lead lines (perhaps the most Akerfeldtian moment on Awakening, especially with the key section and riff that follow), and suddenly the point of emphasis becomes how much Blues Funeral have been able to build and maintain a momentum across the album’s span while still allowing individual songs their moment, not sounding rushed or hurried in any way, but never still either.

The guitars are key in this, of course, but it’s a whole-band function just the same, and another example of Blues Funeral‘s second offering having moved ahead from the first. As the closer makes its way through more harmonized soloing in its middle and toward its instrumental, also-solo-topped final minutes, and ends in classy fashion with a quick wash of cymbals and pulled-string scorch, the message is no less plain than it has been all along that the foursome have a determined idea of what they want to do as a band, who they are as players and songwriters, and how they should be working together toward the common goals of their processes. The value of that isn’t to be understated when it comes to making Awakening work as well as it does. Given the progressive feel they elicit throughout, that underlying consciousness couldn’t be more appropriate, and it is one more way in which Blues Funeral earn the listener’s trust in terms of the moves they make here and, invariably, those that will follow their next time out.

Blues Funeral on Thee Facebooks

Blues Funeral on Bandcamp

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End Hip End It: Acid King, Elder, Dead Meadow, Josefus & Many More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I’m not gonna discount the notion of seeing the likes of Josefus sharing the stage with The Well and Doomstress, or of watching the almighty Acid King roll out their riffly triumphs next to Dead MeadowElderMothership and a megaslew of others, but I think the fact that if you buy a ticket for the second day of End Hip End It you get two slices of pizza speaks volumes to the vibe the Spring, Texas-based festival is going for, and that’s a vibe with which I think just about anybody can get down.

The lineup is varied from Funeral Horse and Switchblade Jesus to King Buffalo and Stone Machine Electric, but there’s a heaping representation of the fertile Texan underground here, and that’s likewise respectable. My understanding is they’ve run into some branding issues — I guess repeating any word in your fest name in Texas is verboten because you’re making fun of SXSW? seems to me SXSW could stand to be taken down a peg or two, but couldn’t we all? — and might rename the event for 2018, but whatever you call it, it looks like a good time to me.

Lineup, other info and ticket link follow:

end-hip-end-it-2017

END HIP END IT MUSIC FESTIVAL

OCT 21 – OLD TOWN SPRING, TEXAS

DAY 1 will feature 25 bands in Old Town Spring, Texas. Preservation Park will have three stages of music as well as many interactive art projects thanks to the Generators Playground.

Stage 1
Dead meadow 12:00 – 1:00
The Bright Light Social Hour 10:40 – 11:20
Golden Dawn Arkestra 9:20 – 10:00
Bayonne 8:00 – 8:40
The deer 6:40 – 7:20
AMERICAN SHARKS 5:20 – 6:00
ROSE ETTE 4:00 – 4:40
VANILLA WHALE 3:00 – 3:40
pyreship 2:00 – 2:30
JODY SEABODY & THE WHIRLS 1:00 – 1:30

Stage 2
Acid King 11:20 – 12:00
ELDER 10:00 – 10:40
MOTHERSHIP 8:40 – 9:20
king buffalo 7:20 – 8:00
eagle claw 6:00 – 6:40
greenbeard 4:40 – 5:20
funeral horse 3:30 – 4:00
SWITCHBLADE JESUS 2:30 – 3:00
WARLUNG 1:30 – 2:00

Stage 3
John Evans Band 8:20 – 9:00
Flower Graves 7:10 – 7:50
The Cuckoos 6:10 – 6:50
Ancient Cat Society 5:10 – 5:50
The Mammoths 4:10 – 4:50
Mantra Love 3:10 – 3:50
Howard & the Nosebleeds 2:10 – 2:40

OCT 22 – WALTER’S DOWNTOWN
SUNDAY at Walter’s Downtown there will be two stages with 13 bands on rotation. Ticket purchasers will receive two drink tickets and two pizza slices!

the well
L.A. Witch
doomstress
amplified heat
space villains*
white dog
josefus
crypt trip
stone machine electric
only beast
concrete heat
daze
shallow

KIP Passes get you…
Entry to both days
backstage access
FREE T-shirt on Saturday
access to hammock hangout
one extra beer on Sunday

At End Hip End It you will find a tightly tucked 20 acre plot of land filled with green grass, craft breweries, interactive art projects, live music, beer tasting events, auctions for charities, Light shows, food trucks, VIP access, local vendors, and more. Interactive art projects will be hosted by Bao Pham of the Generators Playground.

https://www.facebook.com/HoustonPsychFest/
https://www.facebook.com/events/444285199249564/
http://www.endhipendit.com/
http://www.endhipendit.com/tickets
https://www.instagram.com/end_hip_end_it/
http://www.twitter.com/endhipendit

Acid King, Live at Electric Funeral Fest, June 17, 2017

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Mark Deutrom Signs to Season of Mist; New Album Due this Winter

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 2nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Hearty congratulations to Mark Deutrom on inking a deal to release his next solo album through Season of Mist. The Austin-based producer, solo artist, Clown Alley and Bellringer founder and peak-era Melvins (yeah, that’s right — I said it) bassist seems to have made a multi-tiered pact with the increasingly broad-minded and deeply respected purveyor imprint, and one can’t help but wonder if in addition to reissuing at least some of his back catalog — likely including Bellringer‘s 2016 debut full-length, Jettison (review here) — the next couple years won’t find Deutrom behind the board tracking other Season of Mist-related acts. I don’t know that you’d ever pry them away from Steve Albini at this point, but how cool would a Deutrom-helmed Weedeater album be? Or Crippled Black Phoenix?

There’s no word about anything of the sort, of course, but cool to know Deutrom, who’s been a pretty steady presence around here the last couple years, has more new stuff in the works and will be taking his audience reach to an entirely different level with this new affiliation. Right on.

From the PR wire:

mark deutrom

MARK DEUTROM signs to Season of Mist

Season of Mist are proud to announce the signing of MARK DEUTROM. The prolific musician from Texas and former MELVINS member will not only release his next album via Season of Mist, but will also reissue his solo-material, and albums published under the BELLRINGER banner.

Regarding the signing, Mark comments: “I am delighted to be working with Season of Mist, and to be a part of their diverse and accomplished cabal. I’m also looking forward to a new chapter for my back catalog, as well as exploring new and uncharted sonic landscapes.”

MARK DEUTROM is a renowned guitarist, composer, songwriter, and producer. Mark studied composition at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, USA. There he attended seminars with such composers as John Cage, Lou Harrison, Morton Feldman, Aaron Copland, and Morton Subotnick.

In 1986, MARK DEUTROM co-founded Alchemy Records in San Francisco, CA. During his time at the label he produced a record for his own band, CLOWN ALLEY, as well as records for scene stalwarts SACRILEGE, MELVINS, RKL, and NEUROSIS. Mark also released records for bands such as POISON IDEA, VIRULENCE, and more.

MARK DEUTROM was invited to play bass in the MELVINS in 1993. He joined the same year and remained in the band until 1998. Mark contributed material to the albums ‘Prick’, ‘Stoner Witch’, ‘Stag’, ‘Honky’, and additional releases. During his time with MELVINS, they toured with TOOL, NIRVANA, NINE INCH NAILS, KISS, and RUSH among others.

In 2006, MARK DEUTROM was invited to collaborate with SUNNO))) on various live dates in the USA and Europe.

Mark has released various solo projects and continues to produce for other bands.

Deutrom’s band BELLRINGER has served as the main live vehicle for his music and also collaborations with other musicians. BELLRINGER released their latest album ‘Jettison’ in 2016.

MARK DEUTROM will release his 6th solo album via Season of Mist in the coming winter.

www.markdeutrom.com
www.bellringeratx.com
www.facebook.com/BellringerTX
http://www.season-of-mist.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
https://www.twitter.com/seasonofmist

Bellringer, Jettison (2016)

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The Obelisk Presents: Heavy Mash Fest, Sept. 23 in Arlington, TX

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on July 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

heavy mash fest poster

Few things in life are better than spending a full day at a fest with a killer lineup, and so I’m happy as hell to have The Obelisk stand among the presenters for the inaugural Heavy Mash on Sept. 23 in Arlington, Texas. The all-dayer-type event features 10 bands from all around Arlington and Fort Worth, as well as one from Monroe and one from — because, hey, why not? — Adelaide, Australia, but a good swath of Lone Star heavy is represented, and anytime you get Wo Fat on board to headline, you know choice-cut groove will be had. The Dallas trio don’t do it any other way.

Heavy Mash will be held at Division Brewing, so one imagines all the more of a party atmosphere as the day plays out amid fine beers and good times from band to band, and with the likes of jam-psych duo Stone Machine Electric, classic style stoner rockers Boudain, and more aggressive groove-rollers like Cursus on the bill — not to mention the swaggering two-piece Filthy Lucre, who will make that journey across the Pacific to get there — it’s a sonically diverse lineup to which I’m proud to have this site’s name attached. I don’t think I’ll get to Arlington for it, because money, and money, and money, but if you’re either in the area or can make the trip, doing so seems like a total no-brainer. Hopefully it’ll be recorded one way or another, video and/or audio.

You already saw the awesomeness of the poster above, the Thee Facebooks event page is here, but here’s the full lineup and more info:

Heavy Mash 2017 featuring Wo Fat and more!

Arlington, TX Heavy Music Festival – Sept. 23, 2017

Division Brewing
506 E Main St, Arlington, Texas 76010

In conjunction with Division Brewing in Arlington, TX, we are pleased to announce this small fest sponsored by Division Brewing, The Obelisk, Off the Record Label, and Fistful of Doom Radio! It will be held at Division Brewing in Arlington, TX on September 23rd from 2pm to midnight. Below is our full line-up, starting with the headlining act:

Wo Fat – the veteran swampadelic trio from Dallas, TX
Filthy Lucre – desert blues from Adelaide, South Australia
Stone Machine Electric – weird doom-jazz duo from Fort Worth, TX
Cursus – psychedelic sludge from San Antonio, TX
Orcanaut – heavy/progressive shit from Denton, TX
Boudain – stoner-groove four-piece from Monroe, LA
FTW – heavy blues trio from Fort Worth, TX
The Dirty Seeds – face melting stoner rock from Houston, TX
Black on High – three true thugs from Fort Worth, TX
Justinian – stoner metal from Arlington, TX

Wo Fat, Live at Maryland Doom Fest 2017

Heavy Mash 2017 event page on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Mash on Thee Facebooks

Division Brewing website

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