Komatsu Announce Brazilian Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

komatsu

Eindhoven-based four-piece Komatsu are still pretty fresh off having wrapped their European tour with The Freeks just over a week ago, but the heavy rockers are nonetheless wasting no time in announcing their next run. This one, it seems, will require a bit more travel, as it takes them to Brazil for the first time. They go supporting their 2016 Argonauta Records sophomore album, Recipe for Murder One (review here), which lived up to the promise of earth-moving riffage while expanding beyond the scope of their earlier self-titled EP (review here), and one has to wonder if the relative proximity of these two tours says something about their intentions for the rest of 2017 and perhaps beyond.

Are Komatsu about to become a road band? Will they spend the summer back on tour? They’re already veterans of Desertfest Belgium, but certainly there are plenty of other fests to play in summer and fall throughout Europe. Worth keeping an eye on. So uh… I guess I’ll get on that.

In the meantime, here are the impending dates:

komatsu tour

Komatsu – Brazil Tour May 2017

Komatsu is formed early 2010. Members of locally acclaimed bands from Eindhoven Rock City joined forces. Their years of musical experience in all kinds of bands and individual creativity created a brutal mix of sludge, rock and metal……..KOMATSU is born!

The band released a self-titled EP in 2011. After that, they focused on live shows and writing material for their first full length album. “Manu Armata” saw the daylights in February of 2013 and was instantly well received by the international press. It got raving reviews and Komatsu’s music style was compared to bands like Queens of the Stone Age, Torche, Mastodon, Monster Magnet and Karma to Burn.

Over the past five years they have steadily grown and were asked to be the support act for internationally well-known bands like Truckfighters (SWE), Lonely Kamel (NO) and a range of bands from the USA such as Karma to Burn, The Sword, Red Fang, Clutch, Nashville Pussy, High on Fire, Corrosion of Conformity and Baroness. They also performed at the official Queens of the Stone Age after party in the Effenaar in Eindhoven. In 2014 they went on European tour with none other than John Garcia (Vista Chino, ex-Kyuss, Hermano, Unida and Slo Burn) and played 32 shows in 13 countries.

In the summer of 2015 they recorded their second full-length album. The record was released in 2016.

Komatsu Recipe for Murder One Brasil Tour 2017:
May 12 Piracicaba SP
May 13 Londrina PR
May 14 Guarapuava PR
May 17 Joinville SC
May 18 Florianopolis SC
May 19 Curitiba PR
May 20 Sao Paolo SP
May 21 Rio Claro SP

KOMATSU:
Joris Lindner – Drums, backing vocals
Mathijs Bodt – Guitar
Martijn Mansvelders – Bass guitar, backing vocals
Mo Truijens – Lead singer, guitar

https://www.facebook.com/komatsurock/
https://www.instagram.com/komatsurock/
http://komatsu.bandcamp.com/
http://www.komatsurock.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
http://www.argonautarecords.com/

Komatsu, Recipe for Murder One (2016)

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Death Alley, Live at Roadburn: Into the Supernatural

Posted in Reviews on March 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

death-alley-live-at-roadburn

Not going to attempt any impartiality when it comes to this release, and I’m starting to think anyone who does is approaching it wrong. Amsterdam-based Death Alley — somehow heading toward veteran status despite having only one record out in their 2015 Tee Pee Records debut, Black Magick Boogieland (review here) — aren’t trying to invoke impartiality. Just the opposite. The four-piece want to charge on a primal level and they want to charge outward from there into reaches unknown to player or listener alike. To be unaffected by that seems like an immediately incorrect starting point.

I was at the Green Room of the 013 Poppodium to see them perform the set last April (review here) that Astrosoniq drummer Marcel van de Vondervoort and his team captured and is seeing release as Live at Roadburn through Tee Pee and Suburban Records, and I watched as Death Alley — then the lineup of vocalist Douwe Truijens, guitarist/backing vocalist Oeds Beydals, bassist/backing vocalist Dennis Duijnhouwer and drummer Ming Boyer (the latter of whom has since left the band) — brought Ron van Herpen and Jevin de Groot onto the stage with them to share in the expanses they were creating. Also a member of Astrosoniqvan Herpen is a former bandmate of Beydals‘ in crucial cult rockers The Devil’s Blood, while de Groot was a member of the vastly underrated cosmic doom outfit Mühr alongside Duijnhouwer, so not at all strangers to each other. Friends. It was billed as Death Alley & Friends, and that’s exactly what it was in spirit as well as the plain reality of circumstance. By the time they got through the clarion set-opener “It’s On,” everyone in the room seemed to have been handed an invitation to be included in that as well. Death Alley and about 700 new and old friends.

Live at Roadburn only has four tracks — “It’s On,” “666666,” “Feeding the Lions” and “Supernatural Predator” — but it’s full-LP length at 45 minutes. The entirety of side B is dedicated to “Supernatural Predator,” which is drawn out from its already substantial 12-minute push on Black Magick Boogieland to a galaxial 22 minutes, a hypnotic and immersive jam taking hold that, having watched and heard it happen, hit like welcoming waves of soulful tone that seemed at once forward looking and an inherent homage to former The Devil’s Blood spearhead Selim Lemouchi, who took his own life in 2014 leaving a chasm in the Netherlands heavy underground. His sister and The Devil’s Blood vocalist, Farida Lemouchi, guests on the studio version of the track, but on Live at RoadburnDeath Alleyvan Herpen and de Groot sing her part as a full Hawkwindian chorus of “ahhs” to righteous effect, culminating a build that seems to have started with the motoring thrust of “It’s On” and continued into the mega-guitar vibes of “666666” and the more classically styled “Feeding the Lions.”

death alley roadburn 2016 jj koczan photo

Though the name comes across like a toss-off because there were six players on stage — in shows they’ve done since with this expanded lineup, they’ve used the moniker Death Alley 6 — “666666” is a key moment in the set. I don’t know if the set as a whole has been edited to fit on a single platter; my sense is it has but I wouldn’t guess how. Nonetheless, “666666” is the point of departure from which Death Alley take flight for the rest of their time on stage. It happens at about three and a half minutes in when, over a Butlerian bassline, the guitars begin to soar toward a linear apex that pays off in lockstep harmonized runs nearly four minutes later for a gorgeous and cohesive effect. It must have been worked out ahead of time to some degree — I don’t play guitar, but improv harmonies don’t seem like the kind of thing that happen often — but the feeling of warmth and spontaneity conveyed in that jam is a defining moment for Live at Roadburn as a whole, however long and however grand the finale might be.

“Feeding the Lions” picks up from there with bass and drums setting a tense tone amid initial wah swirl from the guitar, and though the vibe stays spacey, Truijens reassumes the fore as vocalist and his charisma and classic frontman strut is no less a part of making the mid-paced piece a standout than the depth of the instrumental progression playing out behind him. By this point, Death Alley are in utter command of the room and their sound, and they hint just past the midpoint at some Floyd-style theatrical weirdness to come but hold to a sense of structure all the same and purposefully so for where they’re about to head on “Supernatural Predator.” A short guitar solo circa 5:40 makes me wish it went longer, but “Feeding the Lions” ends in a wash of cymbals and wah as Truijens thanks the crowd and van Herpen and de Groot and Duijnhouwer thanks Roadburn organizer Walter Hoeijmakers, and then the quiet intro of “Supernatural Predator” starts, its sleek intertwining of guitar and bass — willfully restrained in comparison to what follows — an immediate signifier of arrival for the group and everyone in the room.

Once it bursts out, “Supernatural Predator” makes a resounding argument for rock and roll as means of attaining spiritual freedom, and its extra time is triumphantly spent in its already-noted jam, which rounds out by first teasing a turn back to the song itself and then actually making one, so that as far out as Death Alley (and friends) have gone, they finish clear-headed and give the audience a sense of the complete experience. This not only underscores the value of their songwriting, but also of the maturity the band has been able to hone over just a few short years. As they move away from Black Magick Boogieland toward an inevitable sophomore full-length, Death Alley seem poised to establish themselves in a major way, and to make a definitive statement of who they are as a group. Live at Roadburn shows in its blend of forward rhythmic drive and cosmic psychedelia just how multifaceted that statement can potentially be, and highlights the reasons why Death Alley are one of the most exciting and affecting bands in the worldwide heavy underground. Not an impartial statement, but yes, I mean that.

Death Alley BigCartel store

Death Alley on Thee Facebooks

Death Alley website

Tee Pee Records website

Suburban Records website

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No Man’s Valley Announce ‘Time Travel Tour 2017’

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 9th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Here’s the thing about No Man’s Valley going on their Time Travel Tour: Yes, they’ll be traveling through time. We all are, forward, every day. That’s not the thing. The thing is that even as the Netherlands-based heavy psych rockers go supporting their 2016 Nasoni Records debut album, also called Time Travel (review here), they’ll be road-testing new songs as well. So they’re doing a bit of time travel that way too, at least on a conceptual level, as they look ahead to their second LP.

Presumably they’ll get to recording later this year, once the rest of the tracks are, you know, written, and though it might be 2018 before the record shows up, that’ll only make it seem more futuristic when it does. Because, damn, 2018 sure sounds like the future to my old ass.

The band sent their tour dates down the PR wire with a general update, and you can find all that below. They’ve got an open day on May 5 and I think they were looking at Berlin for it. If you happen to be in that part of the world and can help them out, frickin’ do that.

Poster and whatnots:

no-mans-valley-tour-poster

No Man’s Valley – Time Travel Tour 2017

No Man’s Valley is proud to announce Time Travel Tour 2017! The band’s first genuine tour outside The Netherlands will take the band through Germany, Switzerland, and Austria and will involve over 4000 kilometers of head-spun road tripping. Aside from the festivals and headliner shows No Man’s Valley is also proud to be supporting US spacerock heroes Farflung in Dresden!

NMV will mostly play songs from their well-praised 2016 debut album Time Travel, as well as some brand new scorchers from the follow-up record that is being written at the moment…we’re psyched to finally get out there and meet as many of you beautiful people as we possibly can!!!

No Man’s Valley Time Travel Tour 2017:
Sa 29-04 Kulturherberge Westfeld DE
Su 30-04 Giesser Fest Leipzig DE
Mo 01-05 Groovestation Dresden DE w/ Farflung
Tu 02-05 Schwarze Erle Basel CH
We 03-05 Epplehaus Tubungen DE
Th 04-05 Derwisch Wien AT
Fr 05-05 TBA
Sa 06-05 Baron Mainz DE
Sa 27-05 See You Again Fesval Wipperfurth DE

www.nomansvalley.com
https://www.facebook.com/nomansvalley
https://twitter.com/nomansvalley
https://instagram.com/nomansvalley/
nomansvalley.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/nasonirecords/
nasoni-records.de

No Man’s Valley, Time Travel (2016)

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Roadburn 2017 Announces Small Stage Lineup, Art Shows & More

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

roadburn-2017-banner

I don’t even know what to say about Roadburn 2017 at this point, which means the annual pilgrimage must be getting close. There comes a moment every year where I just kind of have to throw my hands up, be in awe of the festival’s scope, and leave it at that. As Roadburn announces the lineup for its annual Hard Rock Hideout and who’ll be at the Cul de Sac venue over the subsequent four days — that Thursday lineup pretty much invites one to camp out there all day, but as ever, Roadburn will mean hard choices in terms of schedule — as well as art shows and other odds and ends for its bill, with more still to come, it’s safe to say we’ve hit that point. Hard to type with your hands thrown in the air, and yet here we are.

Most of the fest is sold out, which is about as surprising as a sunrise, but a few single-day tickets remain for those who want to get whatever piece of the action they can. Can’t say I’d blame you. I’ll be there. If you’re going, say hi. I’m the dude with the beard.

From the PR wire:

Cul-de-Sac line up, art exhibitions and more announced for Roadburn 2017

With weekend and Saturday day tickets already sold out for Roadburn 2017 and other day tickets not far behind, there are only a handful of acts and exhibitions still to announce. Following the below additions, there will be just one further announcement ahead of the festival.

CUL DE SAC & NEW ADDITIONS

In keeping with what has become Roadburn tradition, the festival’s fifth and most intimate stage returns to Cul de Sac. Once again, in collaboration with Never Mind The Hype (an independent Dutch music platform for everything heavy, alternative and deviant), we will focus on bringing you the most promising Dutch and Belgian bands, plus others from futher afield. Positioned just around the corner from the 013 venue, the intimate surroundings of the Cul de Sac mean you can get up close and personal with some of the most exciting bands the underground scene has to offer, squeezed in alongside some established acts too!

In 2017 the band that Roadburn is specifically choosing to showcase to our audience is Utrecht’s LASTER. The spotlight of Roadburn Introduces… this year will fall on this Dutch trio; to call them black metal doesn’t do justice to the complexity of each horrific layer of putridity they heap upon our senses. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

CUL DE SAC LINE UP
Thursday:
Ritual Object
Joy
Harsh Toke
Verwoed
Ortega
Bathsheba

Friday:
Ritual Object
Kuro
Zaum
Telepathy
Jonkoklapper

Saturday:
Laster
Bear
Hedonist
Lotus
Mantis
Slow Crush

Sunday:
Sink
Stone in Egypt
Faal
MNHM
Jaye Jayle
Turia

In addition to the full Cul de Sac programme, two more bands have been added to the main Roadburn programme.

Describing their addition to Roadburn 2017 as “a dream come true”, California’s ATALA will bring their hypnotic riffing to the festival ahead of the release of their new album, Labyrinth of Ashmedai, this Spring.

ANTROPOMORPHIA plan to let the murky brutality of their intricate yet straightforward-sounding death metal to do the trick when they welcome Roadburners to their own home town.

ART EXHIBITIONS

Another Roadburn tradition is a commitment to visual arts alongside musical offerings and 2017 is no different. A diverse selection of artists will exhibit at Roadburn Festival this year.

The Two Worlds of MARALD VAN HAASTEREN: Born in Leiden, The Netherlands in 1970, Marald is best known for his collaborative work with John Dyer Baizley on the images and packaging artwork of Baroness latest album, Purple. Being part of the DIY underground scene since the late 80’s, Marald has also been making art for the likes of High on Fire, Kylesa, and Bolt Thrower to name but a few. His distinctive blend of jaw-dropping craftmanship and delicate, compositional sensibility ranges from black and white ink works to full colour paintings, enhanced by digital media – though the basis for Marald’s stunning technical masterpieces, remains hand drawn imagery.

FURSY TEYSSIER – Exhibition of Drawings: Hailing from France, Fursy Teyssier is a visual artist and composer who has refined his talents over the years to entwine a strong artistic identity with mesmerizing aural creations. Teyssier’s band, Les Discrets, is the culmination of all his artistic endeavours, whether it’s his take on shoegaze, post-rock and, of course, black metal, or his work as an illustrator, painter, or animated film director. The band conveys his art, and in turn Teyssier’s artwork captures Les Discrets’ dream-like approach.

Got No Obvious Direction: A Visual Art Exhibition by GNOD: Established in 2007, psychedelic, anarcho, sonic pioneers GNOD celebrate their tenth anniversary as artist in residence at Roadburn 2017. In conjunction with their musical explorations, there will be outsider art on display at the 013 venue by various GNOD-bods.Since 2009, GNOD have based their operations from Salford’s premiere arts venue, Islington Mill. Being influenced by the static and transient artistic community the building has hosted, some pieces have been featured on the band’s early releases, as well as artwork used for their Tesla Tapes label.

ROLAND SCRIVER – Familiar Ink: Not content with levelling small buildings and causing tectonic shifts via the power of six deadly strings, erstwhile Serpent Venom guitarist Roland Scriver is also a visual wizard who works magickal art under the name Familiar Ink, art with an unexpected lightness – both of touch and imbued within the art itself. Come let the light in with Roland Scriver, AKA Familiar Ink, at Roadburn 2017!

HARD ROCK HIDE OUT

Whilst many Roadburners arrive in Tilburg on Thursday, the first official day of the festival, hundreds more arrive the day before. And to keep them out of trouble, or at least contain it, we’re thrilled to announce that The Hard Rock Hideout, Roadburn’s official pre-show party will return on the Wednesday evening at Cul de Sac.

Forging 80s inspired thrash metal, Holland’s own DISTILLATOR, black’n’roll veterans, HERETIC, and Californian riff masters ATALA – yes, them again – will crack one (or more) open and kick off the festival in style.

Artists already announced for Roadburn 2017 include Coven, Warning (playing Watching from a Distance in full), Artists in Residence – GNOD, My Dying Bride (performing Turn Loose The Swans in its entirety), Ulver, Hypnopaz?zu (David Tibet & Youth), Zeal & Ardor, Mysticum, Deafheaven, Chelsea Wolfe, and our 2017 curator, John Baizley who will perform with Baroness, plus many more. Roadburn Festival will take place 20-23 April, 2017 at the 013 venue, Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Tickets (and campsite tickets) are on sale for Roadburn 2017 and can be purchased from this link.

4 day – SOLD OUT
3 day (Thu, Fri, Sat) – SOLD OUT
Thursday only – 59 Euro
Friday only – 59 Euro
Saturday only – SOLD OUT
Sunday only – 54 Euro

http://www.roadburn.com/
https://www.facebook.com/roadburnfestival
https://twitter.com/roadburnfest

Atala, “Levity” official video

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Dool, Here Now There Then: Vivid Impressions

Posted in Reviews on February 9th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

dool-here-now-there-then

It is an album of bold choices. From its beginning moments, the Prophecy Productions-delivered debut from Rotterdam, Netherlands-based five-piece Dool (also stylized all-caps: DOOL), Here Now There Then strikes deftly and crisply in style and substance, and when there’s a decision to be made, Dool make their intentions clear in the quality of their songcraft, which is a cause every performance on every one of its eight component tracks serves. While a fresh take on some of the tropes of cult-gone-goth heavy rock — the blend of acoustic and electric guitars on cuts like “Golden Serpents” and “Words on Paper,” the unbashedly pop-metal sway of the penultimate “The Death of Love,” etc. — it is also an album obviously working from the benefit of band members’ prior experience.

Dool may be relatively a new group, but in their ranks they boast the veteran personnel of vocalist/guitarist Ryanne van Dorst (Elle Bandita, numerous other projects), guitarists Reinier Vermeulen (The New Media) and Nick Polak (Gold), and the rhythm section of bassist Job van de Zande and drummer Micha Haring, both formerly of The Devil’s Blood, whose landmark contributions to the Dutch underground and aesthetic vision makes for something of a sonic elephant in the room over the 50-minute span of Here Now There Then. That group is recognizable periodically in some moments of push — again, “Golden Serpents” — but the deeper one moves into Dool‘s first outing, over the 10-minute opener “Vantablack” and into mid-album pieces like “In Her Darkest Hour,” “Oweynagat” and “The Alpha,” the more one finds Dool establishing their own resonant and well-conceived stylistic persona from a wider range of influences, from classic goth rock to moodier progressive heavy metal.

But back to bold choices. The first of them is telegraphed in the opener. “Vantablack” is the longest inclusion on Here Now There Then — immediate points to the band for putting it in launch position, double points for doing so on their first offering — and where a lot of what follows on what might be considered side A in the first half of the tracklisting plays off poppier ideas, more forward hooks, and so on, it begins at a sprawl, unfolding with patient layers of guitar as thudding drums underscore a harmonized verse to punctuate the nodding rhythm that will further take hold as the chorus emerges. Rather than simply set the tone as so many album-openers do — “this is our sound, this is what we do,” etc. — “Vantablack” not only does this, but disrupts the process at the same time, engaging an immersive richness of atmosphere that defies what might’ve been the expectation had Dool opened with either of the subsequent “Golden Serpents” or “Words on Paper,” two shorter and purposefully more straightforwardly structured tracks. They made the bolder choice, and they were right.

Part of the reason starting off with “Vantablack” works to well is because, yes, it does have a chorus to ground the listener (into dust), but also because Dool demonstrate such immediate command of their purpose and their sound. From the languid flow of Polak and Vermeulen‘s guitars to the roll in Haring‘s drums, the density of van de Zande‘s low end beneath the solo section in the back half and the charismatic presence and melodic range of van Dorst as frontwoman, there’s never really a moment of doubt they’re going to pull it off. And as far as initial impressions go, one could hardly demand more than that from any band, first LP, second, third or whatever. Not only that, but the considerable turn that follows into “Golden Serpents,” “Words on Paper” and “In Her Darkest Hour” — the latter of which begins the aforementioned middle movement with “Oweynagat” and “The Alpha” behind it — isn’t even questioned because Dool have the situation so firmly under control.

dool

“Words on Paper” is arguably the catchiest song on Here Now There Then, though right up to closer “She-Goat” there is no shortage of memorability surrounding, but as “Vantablack” assured at the outset and “In Her Darkest Hour” reaffirms, Dool aren’t simply looking to proffer a series of choruses and get out. The brooding push, linear build of chug and surge that arises signal another shift in approach, and as much of the song’s second half is given to a guitar solo, a charged bridge, another run through the chorus for good measure, and atmospheric bookending the toy-piano-esque intro that led off the track, there’s an exploration beginning that continues in the pointedly goth “Oweynagat,” which at 6:53 is the second longest piece behind “Vantablack” and given initial thrust via Haring‘s hi-hat.

After mounting significant tension, “Oweynagat” eases the throttle as it moves toward its middle, but builds toward a standout apex of well-plotted, swirling lead guitar — layered-in acoustics do well to flesh out the ambience — and horns/keys/effects/theremin or some other noisemaking device that lends further complexity to the rhythmic march. They end “Oweynagat” in grand fashion and drums start “The Alpha” with an echo that sends an immediate feeling of spaciousness soon to be filled by bass and guitar in a progression that feels distinctly drawn from prog metal. I hate — hate — to make this comparison, especially given the one-letter-off similarity of the bands’ monikers, but the likeness to Tool‘s “Forty-Six & 2” is unmistakable in that central progression, though again to their credit, Dool transpose that riff to suit the song’s needs, transitioning into a triumph of a chorus that likewise nods at The Devil’s Blood‘s churning depths. Another bold choice, another dark victory, and not by any means their last.

Its melody is at first the key factor in “The Death of Love,” but the underlying guitar figure at the outset holds to some of the proggy tension of “The Alpha” before it, even if van de Zande‘s bassline is more prominent. The effect this has is to tie the two prior three-song chunks of Here Now There Then together, to begin a process of summary that will continue on “She-Goat,” and to start to wind the album down much as “Vantablack” wound it up. That said, the open-spaced payoff in “The Death of Love”‘s second half is among the more emotionally effective and affecting moments on the record, and though it’s shorter than the three cuts before it, there’s no lack of impression made leading into “She-Goat,” a just-under-five-minute push that echoes the more straight-ahead feel of “Golden Serpents” without being a direct port of it. As an ending statement, it puts Dool and their listeners back to some semblance of reality without necessarily giving up the breadth of what came before. Completing a conceptual cycle, perhaps.

In any case, it is another means by which Here Now There Then works against the notion of being a debut full-length, as its complexity and character feel so thoroughly developed and the chemistry of the band so locked into place. One can only take this as a sign of potential and hope that Dool expand and refine the achievements here as they move forward, becoming all the more individual in that process, because going by these songs, they are well on their way to something truly powerful.

Dool, Here Now There Then (2017)

Dool on Thee Facebooks

Dool on Bandcamp

Dool at Prophecy Productions

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Roadburn 2017: Pallbearer, Drow Elixir, Caïna, Naðra and Rome Added; Day Tickets on Sale

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I guess when you’re Roadburn, you can pretty much make any occasion special by adding a handful of bands. So it is for individual day tickets going on sale, which comes accompanied by the news that, oh hey, Pallbearer are going to play, and the guys from Wolves in the Throne Room will debut a new ambient project called Drow Elixir, and because why not, Caïna, Naðra and Rome have also been added to the bill. And while we’re here, here’s more kickass poster art from Costin Chioreanu, highlighting each day’s lineup, already friggin’ staggering as it is, with more still to be added. As Mel Brooks once said, it’s good to be the king.

Click the posters below to enlarge and immediately begin sweating the making of your schedule. Then begin making your schedule. I’m thrilled, humbled and thrilled again to have also gotten confirmation of my own attendance this April, so if you’re going, I’ll see you there:

New additions to Roadburn 2017 line up; day tickets on sale this week

Ahead of day tickets for Roadburn Festival 2017 going on sale this week, a handful of new artists have been confirmed to play at the event which will take place between April 20-23 in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

PALLBEARER

Few bands have struck such a deep and emotional chord within the world of doom in the last few years as PALLBEARER. The band has spent the last couple of years touring massively around the world, sometimes headlining, sometimes supporting some of our favourite bands, like our beloved curator John Dyer Baizley’s band Baroness who have been on the road with PALLBEARER but a couple of months ago. John couldn’t resist adding an extra something to his curation, and although they will perform on Sunday, April 23, PALLBEARER will be included under John’s curatorship umbrella.

DROW ELIXIR

The masterminds behind Wolves In The Throne Room will present their new side project entitled, DROW ELIXIR. Shrouded in mystery for now, little is known about the project. The band commented: “Wolves in the Throne Room will debut our new dark ambient side project DROW ELIXIR at the Roadburn Festival. DROW ELIXIR is woven illusions, ethereal projections and sonic manipulations created with archaic techniques.”

It is an immense pleasure to host such a momentous, never before heard occasion at Roadburn; DROW ELIXIR will perform at the 013 venue on Thursday, April 20.

CAÏNA

In 2017, CAÏNA’s second album, Mourner, will be ten years old, and some opportunities just need to be seized. So we invited CAÏNA to celebrate this anniversary in the same form as Mourner was originally born – Andrew Curtis-Brignell, alone, as CAÏNA, will therefore perform the Mourner tenth anniversary set, a unique, once-in-a-lifetime occasion to hear this cult classic performed almost in its entirety, plus a few other bonuses Andrew has in store for us on Sunday, April 23.

NAÐRA

In 2016, we introduced our faithful Roadburners to the obscure might of the Icelandic black metal underground. By having Misþyrming as our artist in residence, we were able to feature a series of other bands connected to them on our bill; NAÐRA, which features four Misþyrming members plus the unhinged demon that is vocalist Ö, gave us one of the most enduring experiences of them all.

Like opening a Pandora’s box, all those tortured, twisting hymns of sickness that made Allir Vegir Til Glötunar one of the most harrowing records of 2016 will now resonate inside the Het Patronaat, on Friday, April 21 as if they were hissing, soul-consuming demons flying free.

ROME

ROME has been the creative vehicle for Luxembourgian singer/songwriter Jerome Reuter for over a decade already. Throughout this time, his prolific output has seen him traverse several musical plains, building what is by now a genuinely unique, distinctive and recognisable personality. ROME will have their long overdue and much anticipated Roadburn debut at the Het Patronaat, on Thursday, April 20 in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Day tickets for Roadburn 2017 go on sale at 18:00 CET on Thursday, 12 January, priced at 59 Euro. Three and four day weekend tickets are already on sale, and links for all tickets are below. In addition, due to overwhelming demand, more flextotels have been added to the urban campsite and are now available to purchase.

Roadburn’s artistic director, Walter Hoeijmakers, commented:
“Weekend ticket sales are already in full swing, and we know a lot of people have been eager to get their hands on day tickets so here we are! I’m thrilled with the response to the line up so far; Roadburn is an artistic and creative endeavour, into which a lot of thought and energy goes. It’s such a positive feeling to get feedback that people are on board with what we’re doing here.

“The line up is very nearly complete now – just a couple more surprises up our sleeve, plus of course, announcements regarding our side programme are also in the pipeline. All of this, plus the always-anticipated running orders, will be along in due course. We’re already looking forward to April, and sincerely hope that you are too!”

Artists already announced for Roadburn 2017 include Coven, Warning (playing Watching from a Distance in full), Artists in Residence – GNOD, My Dying Bride (performing Turn Loose The Swans in its entirety), Ulver, Hypnopaz?zu (David Tibet & Youth), Zeal & Ardor, Mysticum, Deafheaven, Chelsea Wolfe, and our 2017 curator, John Baizley who will perform with Baroness, plus many more. Roadburn Festival will take place 20-23 April, 2017 at the 013 venue, Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Tickets (and campsite tickets) are on sale for Roadburn 2017 and can be purchased from this link.

4 day – 195 Euro
3 day (Thu, Fri, Sat) – 172 Euro
Thursday only – 59 Euro
Friday only – 59 Euro
Saturday only – 59 Euro
Sunday only – 54 Euro

Campsite tickets including flexotels are on sale for Roadburn 2017 and can be purchased from this link.

Day posters below have been created by Costin Chioreanu.

http://www.roadburn.com/
https://www.facebook.com/roadburnfestival
https://twitter.com/roadburnfest

Pallbearer, Fear and Fury (2016)

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Drive by Wire Premiere “Blood Red Moon” Video; Sign to Argonauta Records

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 5th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

drive by wire

With their new single, Netherlands-based four-piece Drive by Wire give a first glimpse at where they’re headed coming off their 2015 third album, The Whole Shebang (review here), and as you can hear in the fuzz, sway, melody and push of “Blood Red Moon” itself, they’re headed in the right direction. The track offers an initially catchy impression in the hook delivered by vocalist/guitarist Simone Holsbeek, who aligns with lead guitarist Alwin Wubben, bassist Marcel Zerb and drummer Jerome Miedendorp de Bie to deliver natural tones and a laid back vibe amid a subtly energetic desert rock thrust.

It’s not a radical shift in intent from where they were on The Whole Shebang — three or four records in, one kind of expects a band to have some idea what they’re aiming toward, unless what they’re aiming toward is having no idea at all — but it is a marked step forward. And a purposeful one, if one takes into account the news that Drive by Wire recorded their impending, yet-untitled fourth long-player with Guido Aalbers, known for his work with Queens of the Stone Age, Masters of Reality, 16 Horsepower and a vast slew of others in production and mixing. I haven’t heard the full record yet, but the blend of organic sounds and clear presentation “Blood Red Moon” gives portends of good things to come.

And along with the new video comes confirmation that Drive by Wire have signed to Italy’s Argonauta Records. They’ll do a reissue of The Whole Shebang in the coming months and then follow it up with the new album later this year, but as we move into these early hours of 2017, it’s all the better to have something to look forward to. Accordingly, you’ll find the official clip for “Blood Red Moon” followed by some words from the band in Argonauta‘s full announcement below.

Please enjoy:

Drive by Wire, “Blood Red Moon” official video

Thrilled to announce Dutch Psych Stoner Rockers DRIVE BY WIRE are now part of ARGONAUTA Records family!

Drive By Wire offer an intriguing and unique mixture of fuzz-laiden Desert/Stoner Rock grooves and trippy, hazy vocals of Simone Holsbeek.

A trip through the dusty desolate desert landscape, the swampy river delta, home to the band, 70’s psychedelia, but also heavier themes inspired by the harsh reality of life and struggle with personal demons. Drive By Wire manages to distill these inspirations into a warm organic sound with the urgency and dynamics of 90’s grunge (Soundgarden, Alice in Chains), the sensuality of PJ Harvey and the deliciously heavy psychedelic fuzz grooves of 70’s bands such as Black Sabbath…

The band says: “We’re stoked to collaborate and go worldwide with Argonauta Records! First our sold out 3rd album “The Whole Shebang” will be re-released through Argonauta and then end 2017 we will release our 4th album. The new single “Blood Red Moon” will give you a pretty good idea of the direction the kickass new material will go, still maintain our grooving heaviness but with more room for the psychedelic sultry vocals… With Gero taking care of all the promowork, we can focus on writing the best material we can possibly make….. Argonauta + Drive By Wire = Team Awesome!”

Already releasing three albums, playing numerous shows throughout Europe (touring with bands such as Mudhoney and Kyuss Lives), Drive By Wire shifted into highest gear last year through playing some bigger festivals, lots of headline shows and a special vinyl release.

Fortunately, they didn’t kick back and relax, but hit back hard in 2017 with the new single “Blood Red Moon”, to be released on Jan 6th, 2017, recorded and produced by Guido Aalbers (QOTSA, Muse)..

Besides the new single, the worldwide record deal with Argonauta Records, and a new tour through France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and United Kingdom makes it clear that 2017 will be a big year for Dutch Desert Rockers Drive By Wire!

DRIVE BY WIRE will re-release via Argonauta Records their latest album “The Whole Shebang” during 2017 and the very new album by the end of the year.

Drive By Wire are:
Vocals/ Guitar: Simone Holsbeek
Leadguitar: Alwin Wubben
Drums: Jerome Miedendorp De Bie
Bassguitar: Marcel Zerb

Drive by Wire on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records website

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Quarterly Review: Hornss, Khemmis, Fox 45, Monolith Wielder, No Man’s Valley, Saturna, Spotlights, MØLK, Psychedelic Witchcraft, Moon Coven

Posted in Reviews on December 26th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk winter quarterly review

2016 ends and 2017 starts off on the right foot with a brand new Quarterly Review roundup. The first time I ever did one of these was at the end of 2014 and I called the feature ‘Last Licks.’ Fortunately, I’ve moved on from that name, but that is kind of how I’m thinking about this particular Quarterly Review. You’ll find stuff that came out spread all across 2016, early, middle, late, but basically what I’m trying to do here is get to a point where it’s not March and I’m still reviewing albums from November. Will it work? Probably not, but in order to try my damnedest to make it do so anyway, I’m making this Quarterly Review six full days. Monday to Monday instead of Monday to Friday. 60 reviews in six posts. Sounds like madness because it is madness. Let’s get started.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Hornss, Telepath

hornss telepath

San Francisco trio Hornss debuted on RidingEasy Records with 2014’s No Blood No Sympathy (review here) and further their raw genre blend on Telepath, their half-hour follow-up LP delivered via STB, melding heavy punk and metallic impulses to a noisy, thick-toned thrust on songs like “Atrophic” and the bouncing “Sargasso Heart” while opener “St. Genevieve” and the penultimate “Old Ghosts” dig into more stonerly nod. The latter track is the longest inclusion on the record at 3:26, and with 11 cuts there’s plenty of jumping between impulses to be done, but the trio of guitarist/vocalist Mike Moracha, bassist/vocalist Nick Nava – both formerly of desert punkers Solarfeast – and drummer Bil Bowman (ex-Zodiac Killers) work effectively and efficiently to cast an identity for themselves within the tumult. It’s one that finds them reveling in the absence of pretense and the sometimes-caustic vibes of songs like “Leaving Thermal,” which nonetheless boast an underlying catchiness, speaking to a progression from the first album.

Hornss on Thee Facebooks

STB Records store

 

Khemmis, Hunted

khemmis hunted

Easily justifiable decision on the part of Denver’s Khemmis to return to Flatline Audio and producer Dave Otero (Cephalic Carnage, etc.) for their second album, Hunted. No reason to fix what clearly wasn’t broken about their 2015 debut, Absolution (review here), and on the 20 Buck Spin Records release, they don’t. A year later, the four-piece instead build on the doomly grandeur of the first outing and push forward in aesthetic, confidence and purpose, whether that’s shown in mournful opener “Above the Water,” the darker “Candlelight” that follows, or the centerpiece “Three Gates,” which opens as muddied death metal before shifting into a cleaner chorus, creating a rare bridge between doom and modern metal. Khemmis save the most resonant crush for side B, however, with the nine-minute “Beyond the Door” capping with vicious stomp before the 13-minute title-track, which closes the album with an urgency that bleeds even into spacious and melodic break that sets up the final apex to come, as emotionally charged as it is pummeling.

Khemmis on Thee Facebooks

20 Buck Spin on Bandcamp

 

Fox 45, Ashes of Man

fox 45 ashes of man

In addition to the outright charm of titles like “Doominati,” “Coup d’étwat,” “Murdercycle” and “Urinal Acid” (the latter a bonus track), Rochester, New York’s Fox 45 offer fuzzy roll on their Twin Earth Records debut full-length, Ashes of Man, the three-piece of Amanda Rampe, Vicky Tee and Casey Learch finding space for themselves between the post-Acid King nod of “Necromancing the Stone” and more swing-prone movements like the relatively brief “Soul Gourmandizer.” Playing back and forth between longer and shorter tracks gives Ashes of Man a depth of character – particularly encouraging since it’s Fox 45’s first record – and the low-end push that leads “Phoenix Tongue” alone is worth the price of admission, let alone the familiar-in-the-right-ways straightforward heavy riffing of “Narcissister” a short while later. Very much a debut, but one that sets up a grunge-style songwriting foundation on which to build as they move forward, and Fox 45 seem to have an eye toward doing precisely that.

Fox 45 on Thee Facebooks

Twin Earth Records on Bandcamp

 

Monolith Wielder, Monolith Wielder

monolith wielder self titled

Double-guitar Pittsburgh four-piece Monolith Wielder make their self-titled debut through Italian imprint Argonauta Records, bringing together Molasses Barge guitarist Justin Gizzi and Zom guitarist/vocalist Gero von Dehn with bassist Ray Ward (since replaced by Amy Bianco) and drummer Ben Zerbe (also Mandrake Project) for 10 straightforward tracks that draw together classic Sabbathian doom with post-grunge heavy rock roll. There’s a workingman’s sensibility to the riffing of “No Hope No Fear” and the earlier, more ‘90s moodiness of “Angels Hide” – von Dehn’s vocals over the thick tones almost brings to mind Sevendust on that particularly catchy chorus – but Monolith Wielder’s Monolith Wielder isn’t shy about bringing atmospherics to the Iommic thrust of its eponymous cut or the penultimate “King Under Fire,” which recalls the self-titled Alice in Chains in its unfolding bleakness before closer “Electric Hessian” finishes with a slight uptick in pace and a fade out and back in (and a last sample) that hints at more to come.

Monolith Wielder on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records website

 

No Man’s Valley, Time Travel

no man's valley time travel

The stomp and clap intro “The Man Who Would be King” casts an immediately bluesy hue on No Man’s Valley’s debut album, Time Travel (LP release on Nasoni), and the Netherlands-based five-piece seem only too happy to build on that from there. It’s a blend outfits like The Flying Eyes and Suns of Thyme have proffered for several years now between heavy psychedelia and blues, but No Man’s Valley find a niche for themselves in the dreamy and patient execution of “Sinking the Lifeboat,” a highlight of the eight-track/33-minute LP, and bring due personality to the classic-style jangle-and-swing of “The Wolves are Coming” as well, so that Time Travel winds up more textured than redundant as it makes its way toward six-minute piano-laden finale “Goon.” Once there, they follow a linear course with a post-All Them Witches looseness that solidifies into a resonant and deeply engaging apex, underscoring the impressive reach No Man’s Valley have brought to bear across this first LP of hopefully many to come.

No Man’s Valley on Thee Facebooks

Nasoni Records website

 

Saturna, III/Lost in Time

saturna lost in time

Barcelona classic rocking four-piece Saturna seem to avoid the boogie trap when they want to, as on the more rolling, modern heavy groove of “Five Fools,” and that keeps their World in Sound/PRC Music third album, III/Lost in Time, from being too predictable after the opening “Tired to Fight” seems to set up Thin Lizzy idolatry. They dip into more complex fare on “Leave it All,” somewhere between Skynyrd leads, Deep Purple organ-isms topped with a rousing hook, but keep some shuffle on songs like “Disease” and the earlier “All Has Been Great.” Highlight/closer “Place for Our Soul” seems to be literal in its title, with a more subdued approach and harmonized vocal delivery, and listening to its more patient delivery one can’t help but wonder why that soul should be relegated to the end of the album instead of featured throughout, but the songwriting is solid and the delivery confident, so while familiar, there’s ultimately little to complain about with what III/Lost in Time offers.

Saturna on Thee Facebooks

World in Sound website

 

MØLK, Hate from the Bong

molk hate from the bong

Especially with the title of their second EP set as Hate from the Bong, one might be tempted to put Belgian outfit MØLK immediately in the same category of malevolent stoner/sludge metal as the likes of Bongripper, but frankly they sound like they’re having too much fun for that on the five-tracker, reveling in lyrical shenanigans on the politically suspect “Stonefish” and opener “Methamphetamine.” Make no mistake, they’re suitably druggy, but even Hate from the Bong’s title-track seems to keep its tongue in cheek as it unfolds its post-Electric Wizard echoes and tonal morass. That gives the five-piece an honest vibe – they’re a relatively new band, having released their first EP in 2016 as well; why shouldn’t they be having a good time? – to coincide with all that thickened low end and vocal reverb, and though they’re obviously growing, there isn’t much more I’d ask of them from a debut full-length, which is a task they sound ready to take on in these songs.

MØLK on Thee Facebooks

MØLK on Bandcamp

 

Psychedelic Witchcraft, The Vision

psychedelic witchcraft the vision

Italian cult rock outfit Psychedelic Witchcraft have proven somewhat difficult to keep up with over the last year-plus. As they’ve hooked up with Soulseller Records and reissued their Black Magic Man EP (review here), their full-length debut, The Vision, and already announced a follow-up compilation in 2017’s Magick Rites and Spells, the band consistently work to feature the vocals of Virginia Monti (also Dead Witches) amid semi-retro ‘70s-style boogie, as heard on the debut in cuts like “Witches Arise” and “Wicked Ways.” At nine tracks/34 minutes, however, The Vision is deceptively efficient, and though they’re unquestionably playing to style, Psychedelic Witchcraft find room to vary moods on “The Night” and the subdued strum of “The Only One Who Knows,” keeping some sonic diversity while staying largely on-theme lyrically. To call the album cohesive is underselling its purposefulness, but the question is how the band will build on the bluesy soulfulness of “Magic Hour Blues” now that they’ve set this progression in motion. Doesn’t seem like it will be all that long before we find out.

Psychedelic Witchcraft on Thee Facebooks

Soulseller Records website

 

Spotlights, Spiders EP

spotlights spiders

Following the heavy post-rock wash of their 2016 debut album, Tidals, Brooklynite two-piece Spotlights – bassist/guitarist/vocalist Sarah Quintero and guitarist/synthesis/vocalist Mario Quintero – return on the quick with a three-track EP, Spiders, and set themselves toward further sonic expansion. The centerpiece “She Spider” is a Mew cover, electronic beats back opener “A Box of Talking Heads V2” and the spacious closer “Joseph” is a track from Tidals remixed by former Isis drummer Aaron Harris. So, perhaps needless to say, they hit that “expansion” mark pretty head-on. The finale turns out to be the high point, more cinematic in its ambience, but still moving through with an underlying rhythm to the wash of what one might otherwise call drones before becoming more deeply post-Nine Inch Nails in its back half. How many of these elements might show up on Spotlights’ next record, I wouldn’t guess, but the band takes an important step by letting listeners know the potential is there, adding three wings onto their wheelhouse in three tracks, which is as efficient conceptually as it is sonically immersive.

Spotlights on Thee Facebooks

Spotlights on Bandcamp

 

Moon Coven, Moon Coven

moon coven self-titled

This self-titled second full-length from Malmö, Sweden-based Moon Coven begins with its longest track (immediate points) in “Storm” and works quickly to nail down a far-reaching meld between heavy psych and riffy density. Issued through the much-respected Transubstans Records, it’s a nine-track/50-minute push that can feel unipolar on an initial listen, but largely avoids that trap through tonal hypnosis and fluid shifts into and out of jams on cuts like “The Third Eye,” while centerpiece “Haramukh High” provides a solidified moment before the organ interlude “The Ice Temple” leads into the mega-roll of finisher “White Sun.” What seems to be a brooding sensibility from the artwork – a striking departure from their 2014 debut, Amanita Kingdom – is actually a far more colorful affair than it might at first appear, and well justifies the investment of repeat visits in the far-out nod of “Conspiracy” and the swirling “Winter,” which goes so far as to add melodic texture in the vocals and notably fuzzed guitar, doing much to bolster the proceedings and overarching groove.

Moon Coven on Thee Facebooks

Transubstans Records

 

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