Posted in audiObelisk on September 26th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Always one of life’s great pleasures to revisit Roadburn via the subsequent audio streams that emerge from each edition of the Netherlands-based megafest/underground gathering. I’ll admit that most of these acts I didn’t see at Roadburn 2016, but that hardly lessens the appeal at all. If anything, it gives me a chance to hear some stuff I missed like Pittsburgh natives Carousel — whose unceremonious breakup earlier this month was both a surprise and a bummer — playing a set with Alejandro Necochea of Tee Pee labelmates Worshipper filling in on guitar, or Green Carnation, whose adventurous progressive death metal was an unexpected addition and a callback to earlier days.
Of this round though, I did manage to catch Zone Six playing at the Cul de Sac, the second-smallest room at Roadburn 2016 behind Extase. They played late on the first night of the fest (review here) and were a psychedelic joy to behold, with Sula Bassana on drums and synth and Komet Lulu on bass and Rainer Neeff playing guitar. It was an immediately different personality than one might get from seeing Electric Moon, in which Sula and Lulu also play (the former on guitar/synth), but immersive and gloriously spaced out. Goes without saying I recommend you check out all this stuff, but that one for sure, speaking as someone who was there to see it. I’ve been hoping they press it to disc.
Pretty wide gamut covered here as well, so there should be something for everyone:
Carousel – Live at Roadburn 2016
Crumbling Ghost – Live at Roadburn 2016
Green Carnation – Live at Roadburn 2016
Russel Haswell – Live at Roadburn 2016
Lugubrum Trio – Live at Roadburn 2016
Nibiru- Live at Roadburn 2016
Night Viper – Live at Roadburn 2016
Zone Six – Live at Roadburn 2016
Thanks as ever to Walter for letting me host the streams, as I am perpetually honored to do. 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, the fourth one, click here, and for all of this site’s coverage of Roadburn 2016, click here.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 22nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Okay, so I understand the banner above and the poster below for Roadburn 2017 aren’t the final art designs the festival is going with, that these are just out in advance for the announcement that tickets are onsale starting Oct. 20, and that the official artwork will be made public in October or November. I get that. But I love these anyway. In a time when it feels like not a day or two can’t pass without having to shake my head at some band’s shitty, cartoon-titty-filled cover art or show poster, whatever it is, this hearkens toward something entirely more righteous. What I’m assuming is the work of Costin Chioreanu seems to be pulling influence directly from old propaganda posters (think “Rosie the Riveter”) and instead of bullshit objectification, this art is joyful, celebratory, powerful, and in that way, couldn’t be more appropriate to represent Roadburn.
Needless to say, I’m very much looking forward to Roadburn 2017 beginning announcement season when the lineup info starts to trickle out, and I’ll look forward to the final art being unveiled too — Becky Cloonan‘s last year was unbelievable — but to have this in the meantime already makes the festival feel like a gift.
Roadburn 2017 is April 20-23 at the 013 in Tilburg, the Netherlands.
From the Roadburn website:
ROADBURN 2017 TICKET ONSALE DATE: OCTOBER 20!
We’re very aware that people are awaiting an announcement from us regarding the line up for Roadburn 2017. We’re working on that right now and will have some news for you within the next couple of weeks – we’re putting the finishing touches to the first batch of announcements, with more to follow. We hope you’ll agree that they’re worth the wait!
In the mean time, we want to give you advance warning that tickets for Roadburn 2017 will go on sale on October 20! Mark your calendars now, and save your pennies! We’ll have more details available before they go onsale regarding pricing and links etc. But we can tell you now that they will be sold via TICKETMASTER once again, and also will be available to purchase in person from the 013 venue in Tilburg (NL) at our annual onsale party!
In case you missed the news this summer… we have some good news for visitors to Roadburn from outside of Tilburg! After some careful negotiating with local authorities, we can confirm that non-Dutch residents will be able to gain access to Tilburg’s coffee shops and can legally purchase marijuana products – as long as they are wearing a Roadburn wristband!
We’re well aware that this part of our culture is appealing to visitors and we’re very happy to be able to include you during Roadburn 2017. The city of Tilburg has always been very welcoming to Roadburners, and this is yet another extension of that welcome. Tilburg has several recommended coffee shops and we’re sure locals will happily point you in the right direction. So, if you like, you can now go forth, smoke and have a good time!
In the mean time, as with previous years, Marcel Van De Vondervoort (Torture Garden Studio) and his amazing team have captured the essence of Roadburn 2016 in these incredible audio recordings, hosted by VPRO 3voor12, Holland‘s major cultural network.
Stay tuned for more announcements in the first week of October – and, as ever, thank you for your continued support of Roadburn Festival!
Posted in audiObelisk on August 11th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
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 gargantuan 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 first 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
Posted in audiObelisk on August 11th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
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.
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.
Death Alley, “Supernatural Predator” live at Hellfest 2016
Posted in audiObelisk on August 8th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
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.
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.
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
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).
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