Swampcult Premiere “Chapter I – The Village” from The Festival

Posted in audiObelisk on August 11th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

swampcult

Netherlands-based extreme metallers Swampcult will release their debut album, The Festival, via Transcending Obscurity Records on Oct. 2. That’s nearly still two months out, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense to get an early glimpse at it. If you’ve ever read the work of Romantic-period horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, you know it can be a dense experience, full of challenging concepts and language and invented chants and rhythms that take so long to digest they might as well exist in the belly of whatever swampcult the festivalgargantuan otherworldly monster is being described at the time. The drama is severe; nothing held back. Swampcult — who base their debut album on Lovecraft‘s story “The Festival” — put in a marked effort to work in very much the same way, honing an immediately atmospheric sound that seeks to span genres as Celtic Frost once pioneered. As cavernous as it is multifaceted, The Festival bridges sludgy chug, blackened ambience, raw death metal and doomed groove with ease and captures both the narrative and the mood of Lovecraft‘s work with spoken dialogue, varied growls and shouts, and the music itself, which is irrepressibly dark and somehow classically metallic.

Comprised of guitarist/bassist/narrator D and drummer/vocalist/narrator A, the band works in chapters across the album’s span, beginning of course with “Chapter I – The Village” and working through “Chapter III – Al-Azif Necronomicon,” “Chapter VII – The Dawning” and so on before finally getting to “Chapter VII – The Madness” and the finale “IX Epilogue – Betwixt Dream and Insanity.” All the while songs tie together fluidly so that The Festival flows as a single piece comprised of many different changes, both between and within individual tracks, and Swampcult execute their material with command that undercuts the fact that this is their first album. They call it “Lovecraftian metal,” which is fair enough given their clear allegiance to theme as an essential component in what they do, but that doesn’t necessarily speak to the entirety of their breadth. That is to say, one imagines had they picked a different author or maybe a different story, they’d have no trouble constructing as complete a world for that as they do for this. And it is a world being made. You can hear it in the work they do in the Swampcult story cardsfirst 90 seconds of “Chapter I – The Village” as the bleakness begins to gel and sets the tone — grey, dark — that the rest of The Festival will continue to build on.

If you’ve never read “The Festival,” the album includes story cards so you can follow along with what’s happening in each track. An almost uncharacteristic play toward accessibility, but convenient all the same. Today I have the grim pleasure of hosting “Chapter I – The Village” as a song premiere ahead of The Festival‘s release this Fall. As alluded to above, it’s not immediate in the the sense of “here’s the hook” and it’s by no means a friendly listen, but it is very clearly exactly what Swampcult intended it to be, and so all the more worthy of respect for its final outcome. Please keep in mind as you make your way through its six minutes that it’s just the first of a nine-chapter story, and thus only a fraction of what the album as a whole has on offer, though it should be enough to give an impression of the horrific wonders that await this October.

More info from the PR wire follows. Please enjoy:

Dutch band Swampcult aren’t just inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, they’ve based an album entirely on his highly acclaimed story ‘The Festival’. Each song is divided into chapters tracing the original ‘The Festival’ story, bringing it to life. The sounds of dread were never before so easily captured in this genre.

The very vibe of H.P. Lovecraft’s story has been recreated using a mixture of various extreme sounds; from the strange murmurings in the village to the toll of bells, it’s all encapsulated perfectly in one album. To give it visual appeal, a special ‘story card’ is created for each chapter, each having its own artwork and writings, which is given out free with the purchase of any physical product.

Swampcult, in addition to devoting an album entirely to H.P. Lovecraft’s ‘The Festival’ story, have written excellent, contemporary music that’s seamless, laden with surprises, and consistent. If there could be a genuine soundtrack for H.P. Lovecraft’s story, this is it. ‘The Festival’ is meant to be heard from start to finish, with at least the lyrics sheet in hand if not the book itself, and is recommended to all those who’re into things horror and extreme.

‘The Festival’ Track list:
1. Chapter I – The Village 06:01
2. Chapter II – The Old Man 02:55
3. Chapter III – Al-Azif Necronomicon 03:54
4. Chapter IV – Procession 05:28
5. Chapter V – The Rite 08:23
6. Chapter VI – The Flight 02:21
7. Chapter VII – The Dawning 06:09
8. Chapter VIII – The Madness 03:11
9. IX – Epilogue – Betwixt Dream and Insanity 02:49

Line up:
D – All strings and narration
A – Percussion, vocals and narration

Swampcult on Thee Facebooks

Swampcult on Bandcamp

Transcending Obscurity Records website

Transcending Obscurity on Thee Facebooks

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Roadburn 2016 Audio Streams: Black Moon Circle, Inverloch, Galley Beggar, Usnea, La Muerte, Dead to a Dying World & Kontinuum

Posted in audiObelisk on August 11th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

black moon circle at roadburn 2016 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Sad as I was to miss Galley Beggar at Roadburn this year, I was just as thrilled to watch Black Moon Circle play later in the evening on Day Two (review here). The Norwegian outfit had made it to Tilburg supporting their third album, Sea of Clouds, and when the weekend was over, they’d be a highlight of the newest stage at the fest, making its first appearance as a part of Roadburn 2016, the Extase.

Actually, the Extase is a venue down the way from the 013 proper, which is still kind of home-base for Roadburn as the events tendrils spread outward into Tilburg. But it’s a small club. Reminds me of places in Manhattan and Brooklyn — it’s smaller than the Saint Vitus Bar, for example, especially in back where the bands are — and was suitably dark, but of course the shows there were top notch anyway. Black Moon Circle were joined onstage by Scott “Dr. Space” Heller, soon to be formerly of Øresund Space Collective, and his journeyman synth was a welcome addition to their already fervent swirl.

Their set is streaming in full below, as well as Galley Beggar‘s and full sets from Usnea, La Muerte, Dead to a Dying World, Inverloch and Kontinuum. Whether you were in the room when any of this was happening or not, please feel free to dig in and enjoy:

Black Moon Circle – Live at Roadburn 2016

Dead to a Dying World – Live at Roadburn 2016

Galley Beggar – Live at Roadburn 2016

Inverloch – Live at Roadburn 2016

Kontinuum – Live at Roadburn 2016

La Muerte – Live at Roadburn 2016

Usnea – Live at Roadburn 2016

Thanks as ever to Walter for letting me host the streams. To hear the first batch of Roadburn 2016 audio streams, click here, to hear the second one, click here, to hear the third one, click here, to hear the third one, click here, and for all of this site’s coverage of Roadburn 2016, click here.

Roadburn’s website

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The Obelisk All-Dayer Countdown: Death Alley Debut “Supernatural Predator” Live Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features, The Obelisk Presents on August 9th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk all-dayer

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

True, it hasn’t been all that long since Amsterdam full-charge rockers Death Alley posted up a new clip for the title-track of their most excellent 2015 Tee Pee Records debut, Black Magick Boogieland (review here). Their doing so prompted something of a rant on my part — well fucking justified, from where I sit — about how god damn awesome they are live and how anyone in the US lucky enough to see them for the first time doesn’t even know the kind of right-past-the-next-level-and-onto-the-level-after-that-one show they’re in for.

Naturally, in bringing them aboard for The Obelisk All-Dayer, Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn (tickets), it’s a sentiment by which I wholeheartedly stand.

All the better that as part of our countdown to The Obelisk All-Dayer, which is a mere 11 days away now, they should check in with a live video, as if to give any unsuspecting parties all the more reason to show up in-person. The clip is for “Supernatural Predator,” the epic and hypnotic space-infused closer from Black Magick Boogieland, and it was filmed this past June at Hellfest 2016 in Clisson, France.

Death Alley shared the Valley stage that day with Kadavar, Lecherous Gaze, Unsane and Puscifer, among others, and watching “Supernatural Predator,” it’s abundantly clear what a force they’ve become on stage. They come to The Obelisk All-Dayer to join forces with Mars Red Sky, Snail, Kings Destroy, Eye, Funeral Horse, King Buffalo and Heavy Temple as part of a short US tour that no doubt will spread their name farther than the cities they happen to be hitting along the way.

Thanks to the band for letting me host this premiere, and for playing in Brooklyn on the 20th as well. I can’t wait.

Enjoy:

Death Alley, “Supernatural Predator” live at Hellfest 2016

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

Death Alley on Thee Facebooks

Saint Vitus Bar website

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Roadburn 2016 Audio Streams: Behold! the Monolith, Blind Idiot God, Blood Ceremony, CHVE, Hills, Of the Wand and the Moon & Peter Pan Speedrock

Posted in audiObelisk on August 8th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

peter pan speedrock roadburn 2016 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I was fortunate enough to catch a few of these bands at Roadburn 2016, among them Hills, Blind Idiot God and Peter Pan Speedrock (seen above). As an American traveling abroad — though I’ll say that eight Roadburns deep, there’s a big part of me that feels like going to Tilburg in April is a homecoming as much as foreign travel — it was particularly thrilling to watch Dutch natives Peter Pan Speedrock round out my second night of the fest (review here), their boot-to-the-ass thrust seeming to be in direct contradiction to their stated intent to retire. From Sweden, Hills‘ jammy psychedelics were also thoroughly welcome and somewhat less performative than Goat, which is made up in some measure or other of the same players.

And what to say about Blind Idiot God? Performance art. I might liken it to the first time I saw Cynic after they got back together in that the New York trio were so utterly assured of what they were doing that they managed to carry the audience in the revamped Green Room along their bizarre, oddly-timed path. It was jazz with metallic arrangement, essentially, but the people in front of the stage to see it were rapt the entire time and the level of appreciation was palpable and well justified. They were nothing short of incredible.

Of course, the same could be said for Roadburn 2016 as a whole. “Incredible” is just kind of how it goes. This latest round of streams also featured Behold! the Monolith, Blood Ceremony, a solo set from CHVE of Amenra and Of the Wand and the Moon.

Please enjoy:

Behold! the Monolith – Live at Roadburn 2016

Blind Idiot God – Live at Roadburn 2016

Blood Ceremony – Live at Roadburn 2016

CHVE – VERMAPYRE – Live at Roadburn 2016

Hills – Live at Roadburn 2016

Of The Wand and The Moon – Live at Roadburn 2016

Peter Pan Speedrock – Live at Roadburn 2016

Thanks as ever to Walter for letting me host the streams. To hear the first batch of Roadburn 2016 audio streams, click here, to hear the second one, click here, to hear the third one, click here, and for all of this site’s coverage of Roadburn 2016, click here.

Roadburn’s website

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Ortega Announce Sacred States Release; Stream New Track “Maelstrom”

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 5th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

“Maelstrom” sets a raw post-metal vibe for Ortega‘s impending second album, Sacred States, and as the first audio made public from the Netherlands-based outfit for the follow-up to their 2013 debut, The Serpent Stirs (review here) — they also released the 18-minute single “Crows” (review here) in 2014 — it shows progression in its rougher edges and less cerebral take overall — as though the Groningen four-piece decided to cut ties with their preconceptions and just go for being as expressive as possible. That’s a hard vibe not to dig, and guest appearances from Gnaw Their Tongues and Primitive Man‘s Ethan Lee McCarthy only add intrigue for the rest of the album.

Release date is Oct. 5, but preorders for the vinyl are available now from Narshardaa Records, and Sacred States will also be out on CD through Consouling Sounds and tape through Tartarus Records.

Details go like this:

ortega sacred states art

Ortega – Sacred States

New track ‘Maelstrom’ + vinyl pre-orders

It has been quiet for a long time.

We are thrilled we can finally announce the release of our second full length ‘Sacred States’.

Since 2007, Ortega have been exploring the murky depths of humanity’s longing for the horizon. Perilous courses which drag carcasses ashore, sojourns that tell of the bells that chime on the sands below, collisions of doom, sludge and noise that tell tales of abyssal mankind.

Now, Sacred States is the first glance upwards. But whereas the depths below are finite, the chasms above ridicule every human attempt to realise itself. Whether he looks above or inside, the void remains. The tentative grasps into the great unknown will never hold anything but pain, and Ortega recount every step into the understanding of this fate that we turn away from more often than not. The hollow is here:

Recorded by John Bart van der Wal and mastered by James Plotkin.

Featuring contributions by Gnaw Their Tongues and Ethan Lee McCarthy of Primitive Man fame.

Sacred States is a collaborative effort between Consouling Sounds (CD), Narshardaa Records (Vinyl) and Tartarus Records (Cassette).

Vinyl pressing info:
100 multicolored splatter vinyl
100 clear vinyl
300 black vinyl

Pre-orders for Sacred States vinyl have started at Narshardaa Records: http://narshardaa.bigcartel.com/product/ortega-sacred-states-2xlp-pre-order

Release date: October 5th

https://www.facebook.com/ortegadoom
https://ortegaband.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/ortegadoom/
http://consouling.be/
http://narshardaa.bigcartel.com/
http://tartarusrecords.com/

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Death Alley Post Video for “Black Magick Boogieland”

Posted in Bootleg Theater, The Obelisk Presents on July 29th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

death alley

I feel like you don’t even know. Unless you’ve already seen Death Alley, I’m not sure it’s possible to fully appreciate the momentous occasion that their arrival in the US for their first shows on the North American continent represents. They come supporting their 2015 Tee Pee Records debut album, Black Magick Boogieland (review here), and having seen them twice at Roadburn, I can tell their live show is a righteous next step for classic heavy rock, as punk as it is metal and delivered with nigh-on-unmatched vitality that proves so completely essential to the good time the material winds up conveying. Also every now and then they get weird, and that’s awesome too.

That’s what “Black Magick Boogieland” is all about — bringing these pieces together. I could not, could not, could not be more thrilled to have Death Alley in the lineup as part of The Obelisk All-Dayer, Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn (JUST BUY YOUR FUCKING TICKETS ALREADY), and if the fact that they’re doing more dates besides — including Psycho Las Vegas — means more heads will catch on, then all the better. I cannot imagine being in the same building while they play and not being swallowed up by their energy. It’s going to be completely over the top in completely the best way possible. I fucking mean it.

They’ve got a new video for the aforementioned “Black Magick Boogieland” that you can dig into below. Clip info and tour itinerary follow:

Death Alley, “Black Magick Boogieland” official video

Video by: Boitelle & Grygierczyk Audio Visual Rock Productions

Title track from debut album Black Magick Boogieland. Out on Tee Pee records.

See you punks at one of these!
8/19 – Philadelphia – Kung Fu Necktie
8/20 – New York City – Saint Vitus (Obelisk Alldayer)
8/21 – New York City – Cake Shop
8/27 – Las Vegas – Hard Rock Hotel (Psycho Las Vegas festival)
8/31 – San Francisco – Elbow Room
9/01 – Los Angeles – Viper Room
9/02 – San Diego – Til Two Club
9/03 – San Diego – Til Two Club

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

Death Alley on Thee Facebooks

Death Alley BigCartel Store

Tee Pee Records website

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Komatsu Sign to Argonauta Records; Recipe for Murder One out Sept. 23

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 16th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s been five years since Eindhoven heavy rockers Komatsu offered up their self-titled EP (review here), but the band has set a Sept. 23 release date for Recipe for Murder One, which will serve as their second long-player behind 2013’s Manu Armata debut. The new release will be out via Argonauta Records, and there’s a video now for “So How’s About Billy?” that actually gets pretty dark, what with the horse and the bird mask and the rifle and the high-contrast black and white and all, but how that might carry through to the record as a whole, I couldn’t say.

Word came down the PR wire of the signing:

komatsu

ARGONAUTA RECORDS NEW SIGNING: KOMATSU

Beyond excited to welcome a new great band in the ARGONAUTA Records family: the super massive rock band from Eindhoven (NL) KOMATSU, with their stunning mix of sludge, stoner rock and metal!

Formed in early 2010, 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 Monster Magnet, 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 November 2015 Komatsu was on the verge of crossing and conquering Europe again with another Palm Desert Scene stoner hero: a tour with Nick Oliveri’s Mondo Generator!

The new album RECIPE FOR MURDER ONE will be released Sept 23rd 2016 by ARGONAUTA Records in CD/DD formats. And the vinyl edition via Lighttown Fidelity.

European tour to follow in September/October, more details soon on the band website and facebook.

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/

Kotmatsu, “So How’s About Billy?” official video

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DEATH ALLEY Confirmed for The Obelisk All-Dayer, Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on June 15th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk all-dayer

Buy Tickets Here

With the addition of Amsterdam’s Death Alley, the bill for the first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer is complete. Show is Saturday, Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. The complete lineup is as follows:

THE OBELISK ALL-DAYER:
Mars Red Sky*
Death Alley*
Snail*
Kings Destroy
EYE
Funeral Horse*
King Buffalo
Heavy Temple
* first East Coast appearance.

Death Alley

death alley
Motor-driven Netherlands heavy rockers Death Alley tore their way into the consciousness with their 2015 debut album, Black Magick Boogieland (review here), on Tee Pee Records. An offering that set itself a seemingly impossible task with its title and then managed to live up to it, the record pulled together straightforward, classic-style brashness and offered an edge of spaced-out expanse that worked in a scope few groups would dare attempt, especially their first time out.

With members of Gewapend BetonThe Devil’s Blood and Mühr in the lineup, they’re not exactly inexperienced, but the energy they brought to Black Magick Boogieland and the energy they bring to the stage is fresh and righteously their own. I was fortunate enough to see them at Roadburn in 2014 (review here) and again twice this year (reviews here and here), and the progress they’ve made in that time was evident both in their sound and in the crowd they drew to watch them play. A group that obviously enjoys what they do on stage and wants you to do the same, they’ll bring vitality and push to The Obelisk All-Dayer in a way that no one else could, and maybe get a little weirdo jammy in the process. Awesome.

The Afterparty

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: “Oh an afterparty. La-di-da. Let’s all do blow and talk about Reaganomics.” Not quite what I’m going for. The show itself will run from 2:30PM until about midnight. Today I’m thrilled to announce that at 12AM, two DJs will be taking over: DJ Adzo and Walter Roadburn.

I don’t think either needs much of an introduction. Walter is of course the creative force behind the aforementioned Roadburn festival in Tilburg, the Netherlands. DJ Adzo is also known as Adam from Brooklyn’s own The Golden Grass and La Otracina. Both are excellent human beings and I’m humbled they’re willing to be involved in The Obelisk All-Dayer.

From 12AM to 2AM, they’ll be spinning whatever the hell they want — classics, new stuff, stuff you know, stuff you don’t — and I feel completely comfortable trusting the taste of both of them and can’t wait to hear what they put on. After Mars Red Sky‘s headlining set, there’s still plenty of party left, and I hope you’ll stick around for it.

The Obelisk All-Dayer is Aug. 20, 2016, at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, New York, and will feature full sets, after-show DJs, food on-hand, live recordings, limited edition merch and much more. Official poster and set times coming soon.

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

The Obelisk All-Dayer event page

Kings Destroy on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Temple on Thee Facebooks

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