Posted in Whathaveyou on August 27th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Floridian trio sans-connerieShroud Eater have announced that they’ll take to the road in their native Southeast for a handful of tour dates next month. The run comes in support of the Miami three-piece’s destructive 2013 EP, Dead Ends, which as fate would have it is available this very minute on Primitive Violence and The Path Less Traveled in a variety of physical and digital formats. You may recall I found the tape particularly alluring, though whatever delivery system it arrives by, Dead Endsis worthy of a fervent nerding-out. Mark my words when I say that one of these days I’m going to actually get to see this band play. On a stage. At a place. Where I am.
While I carve that bold declaration in the particleboard of my desk with my Lord of the Rings letter opener, please go ahead and peruse the tour dates below, making changes to your calendar as need be to allow for travel. On Sept. 8, Shroud Eater will join with The Body, Deadbird, Pallbearer, Rwake, The Dirty Streets and Black Oak Arkansas at the Mutants of the Monster fest. You know you always wanted to visit Little Rock in the fall.
SEPTEMBER 2013 TOUR DATES: Thursday 9/5/13 MIAMI, FL @ Churchills Pub Friday 9/6/13 ATLANTA, GA @ The Masquerade (Purgatory) Saturday 9/7/13 NASHVILLE, TN @ The Owl Farm Sunday 9/8/13 LITTLE ROCK, AK @ Mutants of the Monster Fest III Monday 9/9/13 BIRMINGHAM, AL @ The High Note Tuesday 9/10/13 JACKSONVILLE, FL @ Warehouse 818
Posted in Reviews on March 28th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
One never likes to predict the future when it comes to bands and what the given response to a release will be, but I have little doubt that when the story of Shroud Eater — however that story might turn out to read — is over, their Dead Ends EP will serve as the moment of their arrival. Over the course of these five tracks, four plus an intro, the Miami-based trio showcase not only the professionalism in their songwriting, but a maturity of approach and presentation that their prior full-length debut, 2011′s ThunderNoise(review here), began to hint at. During the time since that album’s release, Shroud Eater – Jean Saiz on guitar/vocals/artwork, Janette Valentine on bass/backing vocals and Felipe Torres on drums — have played shows and toured around and beyond the Southeast, and while that’s bound to have an effect on their approach even if only subconsciously, what really separates Dead Endsfrom ThunderNoiseand their self-titled 2009 demo (review here) is the production. That is to say, Shroud Eater‘s songs were already there, and in the emergent gallop here of “Tempest,” the roots found in “We are Beasts” from ThunderNoiseseem to have broken through to the surface, but a huge part of what makes that so apparent in listening to Dead Ends (CD on The Path Less Traveled, tape on Primitive Violence)is the still-natural-sounding crispness with which the EP is presented. Whether it’s the doomly tectonics of “Lord of the Sword” or the out-of-nowhere onslaught of “Sudden Plague,” there’s nothing on Dead Endsthat isn’t the most professional, mature and satisfying material yet to come from Shroud Eater. And so, like I say: Arrival.
It’s worthwhile to note that the four main tracks of Dead Ends are longer than anythingShroud Eater have done to this point. But for the intro, “Cannibals,” at 2:07, nothing on the EP is under five minutes long, which is a line the band had only previously crossed on ThunderNoiseopener “High John the Conqueror.” More importantly, the songs are expansive in their reach and bring together the varied sides of Shroud Eater‘s sound that showed up before on separate tracks, so that once the initial threat of “Cannibals” is laid out — Torres‘ drums driving the point home amid not inconsiderable amp rumble and far-back whispers, blown-out shouts — “Sudden Plague” has room for both a beginning that’s utterly miserable in its doomed lumber and a contrasting second half made propulsive by Saiz‘s riffing. Of immediate distinction is the tone Valentine brings out of her bass; an asset to Shroud Eater‘s sound I’d previously overlooked. Joined by guitar feedback and creeping drums, the bass leads the way into “Sudden Plague”‘s first movement, patiently building a groove for more than a minute before crashing to full breadth. After the lead-in that “Cannibals” provided and the first two minutes of “Sudden Plague,” Dead Endsis nothing if not properly introduced to its audience, but when the second cut takes off, it nonetheless earns the first word of title. As faster riff comes to a head shortly before the two-minute mark, and Saiz‘s vocals emerge, semi-melodic in the mid-period Kylesa tradition, but functioning to serve a consuming swirl that only gets more fervent as the song moves forward.
Posted in Reviews on February 14th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
On the inside of the gatefold digi-sleeve that houses Ouroboros Collapsing, the second full-length from NYC-based doom outfit Archon, is inscribed the lines, “Psychic death brings us to our dismay/Inevitable to end this way/Void/Crushes/Magnificent.” These lyrics are the only ones Archon reveals from the album (released on The Path Less Traveled), and I’m comfortable saying they’re fairly emblematic of the band’s irrevocably bleak musical perspective. The five-piece’s doom – doubly vocalized thanks to Rachel Brown and Chris Dialogue – is dark and extreme, touching on death-doom sonically with some of Dialogue’s growls and Brown’s screams and cleaner singing, but not altogether separate either from a post-Electric Wizard stoneralia, given to periods of swirl as in the solo section of “Desert Throne,” the shortest track on Ouroboros Collapsing at a paltry nine minutes. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve known Archon guitarist/bassist and founder Andrew Jude for the better part of a decade, have contributed to projects in which he’s also been involved and have watched as he’s solidified Archon’s lineup over the last several years (please note that if I didn’t feel comfortable reviewing it, I wouldn’t), the somewhat nebulous incarnation of the band that brought forth the debut LP, The Ruins at Dusk (review here) having now solidified around him, Brown, Dialogue, guitarist Nikhil Kamineni and drummer Rajah Marcelo. It’s worth noting that the last three – and so 60 percent of Archon’s current lineup – can also be found in the band Alkahest, whose post-sludge bears only a passing resemblance in its extremity to the overarching tragic mood Archon present here. All but Kamineni appeared on the last album as well, among others, and while Ouroboros Collapsing having been recorded at multiple studios across Brooklyn may have led to some shifts in sound from one song to the next, each of the 47-minute outing’s four cuts is long enough to set up its own context, beginning with the 15:03 opener “Worthless” setting the tone of viscous chugging guitar and agonizing echoing spaces. It’s the longest track at just over 15 minutes (immediate points), and begins with low humming ambience from which the bass and guitar gradually emerge amid swirling echoes and a classic ‘90s death-doom drum thud from Marcelo, whose adaptability here proves an asset to the band overall. Past the 2:30 mark, the lumbering sway of the central riff and Brown’s multi-layered melodic vocal kick in, sounding something like Grayceon at their darkest and most massive, albeit rougher in the production and sans cello.
Archon have never been shy about riding a part out, and “Worthless” shows that while the personnel may have shifted, the band’s core affinity for repetition remains the same. When Brown switches to sub-blackened screams, she’s gradually joined by Dialogue, who contributes growls behind and eventually in competition with the verse riffs. With both vocalists going at once, the screams are bound to be a focal point of the song, and there’s a stretch as “Worthless” approaches its halfway point where it feels as though the part is being extended to make room for the lyrics, but an ensuing shift toward more open, atmospheric riffing – Dialogue’s far-back rasp backed by synth from Brown – provides some measure of relative relief from the (purposeful) monotony. The plod continues with Marcelo picking up the drums amid Kamineni’s more active movement toward its end, and though it’s not so much a build as a clear shift, the effect is largely the same. Synths build in prevalence in the doomed cacophony, Jude throws in a few choice bass fills, and a deconstruction plays out there, leaving an amp buzz to fade as the last remaining element before the guitar of “Desert Throne” answers the opener with more immediate riffing. Dialogue has the opening volley in terms of vocals over faster riffing, but it’s Brown’s delivery in the ensuing slower part and swirling bridge that proves more memorable, though the track doesn’t really make its presence felt until the second half, when it opens to what – were it not topped by wrenching growls and screams – might be a ‘90s-style NY gothic synth ambience. The guitarsoon gives a solo over the formidable groove, but the mood is set for drama nonetheless. Where “Worthless” launched with a drone, “Desert Throne” caps with about 90 seconds of noise and crashing as the song falls apart back into the malevolent rumble from which the first half of the album emerged. Whatever the particular recording circumstances were for each of these tracks, I don’t know (Jude, Kamineni and Danny Screams are credited with recording, while Jude mixed and David Johnson mastered), but from listening, third track “God’s Eye” (9:45) seems the most cohesive presentation of the various aspects of Archon’s musical personality, taking the push of “Desert Throne” and oppression of “Worthless” and forming them into a substantive and individualized whole. Kamineni’s post-rock tonality seems more present and the insistent initial rhythm captures the listener’s attention so that the blackened progression that follows with Dialogue at the fore of the push is only more like to sweep one into its storm.
Posted in audiObelisk on February 6th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
As catchy as it is propulsive, the new single “Tempest” from Miami trio Shroud Eater announces their arrival at a new level of metallic professionalism. The potential that their ThunderNoise full-length (review here) showed in following their already vicious self-titled demo (review here) has paid off in fullness of sound and clarity of approach. Shroud Eater recently announced that they’d signed with The Path Less Traveled Records for the release of a new EP, and as a taste of what’s to come, “Tempest” casts a formidable shadow.
The upcoming release, titled Dead Ends, is set for issue in May, and Shroud Eater – the lineup of Jean Saiz on guitar/vocals, Janette Valentine on bass and Felipe Torres on drums — are slated tour their way up the East Coast to support. They’ve also got shows booked this month in the south, for which you can find the info below, and have released a new teaser trailer for the EP, which is at the bottom of this post. All this should amount to a considerable level anticipation for Dead Ends, which aligns Shroud Eater to the progressive breadth of modern Southeastern heavy — bands like Mastodon, Kylesa, etc. — even as it sees them carving out their own identity within that sphere.
I’m stoked to hear how that process pans out, and “Tempest” only makes that truer. Thanks to the band for allowing me to host the track for stream and download. You’ll find it on the player and through the link below, followed by this month’s gigs and the teaser for Dead Ends. Enjoy:
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
Click Here to Download “Tempest”
As I mentioned, Shroud Eater will tour preceding the May release of Dead Ends, but before that, they have an extended weekender lined up for this month. Dates and compatriot info follow here:
Wednesday February 20 – Atlanta, GA at 529
With: Order of the Owl, Demonaut, Volume IV
Thursday February 21 – Asheville, NC at The Odditirium
With: Kreamy Lectric Santa, Blood Summer, Tape and Wire
Friday February 22 – Nashville, TN at The Owl Farm
With: Brother Ares, Act of Impalement, Forest of Tygers
Saturday February 23 – Jacksonville, FL at The Phoenix Taproom
With: Hollow Leg, Dead Southern Bishop, Yama
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 31st, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Congratulations to Miami trio Shroud Eater, who have inked a deal with emergent imprint The Path Less Traveled Records for the release of a new EP. Shroud Eater were last heard from with the 2011 ThunderNoise full-length (review here) and have been busy kicking ass on stage with an impressive list of bands you can see below, including having their set supporting Corrections House streamed live this week. 2013 keeps getting bigger and better for new releases, and if you’re keeping a list of ones to watch for, here’s another to add.
Formed in Miami, Florida in 2009, Shroud Eater is a brooding three-piece juggernaut blending sludge, doom and stoner metal riffs with gruff howls and intense tribal drumming. Drawing comparisons to High on Fire and Helmet with a Kyuss groove, Shroud Eater have established themselves as a ferocious live act with a uniquely refreshing take on the stoner/sludge/doom metal genre. The trio have self-released a demo in 2009, a full length album in 2011, embarked on several east-coast and Florida-state tours, opened and run an underground music venue in South Florida, and are set to release a new EP in 2013 via The Path Less Traveled Records.
Shroud Eater has had the pleasure of opening for: Corrosion of Conformity, Corrections House, Kylesa, Floor, Tombs, -16-, KEN Mode, The Atlas Moth, Weedeater, ASG, Cough and MonstrO.
Shroud Eater is: Jean Saiz (guitars/vocals), Janette Valentine (bass/back up vocals), and Felipe Torres (drums/percussion)
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 21st, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
NYC-based doom outfit Archon opened a new chapter when it basically merged with the concurrent and still ongoing post-sludge outfit Alkahest, bringing in drummer Rajah Marcello, guitarist Nikhil Kamineni and screamer Chris Dialogue alongside founding bassist Andrew Jude and mostly-melodic vocalist Rachel Brown. The change is even more palpable on their forthcoming album, Ouroboros Collapsing, which follows 2010′s pre-lineup-change release, The Ruins at Dusk (review here). What remains consistent, however, is a black hole’s portion of darkness resounding through their extended, trenchant plod.
The Path Less Traveled Records has signed on to issue the new album on Feb. 19 and sends the following word down the PR wire:
ARCHON – Ouroboros Collapsing OUT 2/19/13
Archon is a New York City based metal band whose sound blends the heaviest of psych, stoner, doom and sludge. Created in 2008 by Andrew Jude, Archon has persisted through several lineup changes. In 2010, the band self-produced its first full length record, The Ruins at Dusk. A collaboration of seven people, The Ruins at Dusk fused the epic atmospherics and dynamics of Electric Wizard and Neurosis while maintaining a melodic sensibility reminiscent of doom godfathers St. Vitus and Black Sabbath.
Since late 2010, the band has been comprised of Andrew Jude (guitar, bass), Nikhil Kamineni (bass, guitar), Rajah Marcelo (drums), Rachel Brown (vocals, synth) and Chris Dialogue (vocals, noise). In 2011 Archon toured the Northeast, and over the years has shared the stage with doom heavyweights Unearthly Trance, Coffinworm, Wolvserpent, Negative Reaction, Apostle of Solitude, Cough, Hull, Batillus, Sea of Bones, Graven and Earthride.
With the upcoming release of Ouroboros Collapsing, Archon travels further down the path of devastation, disillusion and despair by exploring the depths of self as a microcosm for all existence. The crushing riffs are still heavy as fuck, but are interlaced with more contemplative ambience. With dueling vocals ranging from death growls to clean singing, and everything in between, the sense of universal collapse will engulf you.
Posted in audiObelisk on January 31st, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
With the release of their second LP today, Jan. 31, Virginia rockers King Giant enter into the lexicon of Southern heavy. The five-piece’s debut, Southern Darkness, was self-released in 2009 and was a ballsy excursion into mostly familiar territory of gruff riffs and heavy grooves, and though Dismal Hollow follows suit, it also finds King Giant a more cohesive, more individualized unit. Fortunately for all of us, they’re still heavy as hell.
And they’re not shy about it, either. Right from the start of “Appomattox,” the guitars of Todd “T.I.” Ingram and David Kowalski embark on a southbound journey of thickened metal. The groove is classic, the breath stank with beer, the stomp formidable in the bass of Floyd Walters III and Brooks‘ drumming, and amid layered acoustics, samples and swaggering leads, vocalist Dave Hammerly injects an early Danzig melodic cadence that only heightens the swampy vibe of the album.
In celebration of Dismal Hollow coming out on the band’s own Graveyard Hill Records in conjunction with The Path Less Traveled, I’m fortunate enough to be able to host not only a high-quality full stream of the record, and not only a few words from Kowalski about what went into making it, but also a giveaway for a vinyl/USB prize-pack that one lucky winner will be able to call their own! It’s like three posts in one. Here’s the stream:
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
And here’s the giveaway and Kowalski discussing the making of Dismal Hollow:
We made a conscious decision to just let the songwriting take its natural course. Anytime we tried to steer a song in a specific direction, it fell flat, and simply didn’t work.
With Southern Darkness, Todd Ingram came in towards the end to add his parts. So what he played was more reactionary to the music that was already there. With Dismal Hollow, we all wrote as a band, and consequently the lead parts blend more intricately with the rhythms and have more of a cohesive feel.
We spent a lot of time in pre-production, making sure that we all had our parts written before we went into the studio. We also recorded to 2” tape. There are places on the album where you can hear the tape hiss, but overall I feel that we achieved a really good organic sound. In the world of digital audio, it makes it really easy to not have to commit to takes, and to edit out every little sonic “imperfection.” But the imperfections are what gives an album character.
Southern Darkness was recorded over a long period of time with all of us recording our parts separately. Going into a studio this time around forced a time constraint on the band, and allowed all of us to be together while we were tracking, so there was definitely more of a camaraderie to the whole recording process.
A signed copy of Dismal Hollow in LP format, a King Giant patch for all you heshers out there, and so you can take your King Giant wherever you go, a copy of Southern Darkness AND Dismal Hollow on this badass USB drive from the fine folks at Power Tunes. That’s right you get a real deal Marshall KT66 power tube that has been modified into a USB drive. It even glows when you plug it in.
[NOTE: This giveaway is now over. Thanks to all who entered.]
To win, enter your name, email and address in the form above and click “Send.” One winner will be selected, and as always, your information stays private and is deleted after the contest is over. The winner will be chosen on Feb. 7 and entries will be accepted until then.
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 29th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Virginian heavy hitters King Giant made their debut with Southern Darkness in 2009, and are getting ready to unveil their sophomore outing, Dismal Hollow, come Jan. 31, 2012. Reportedly they’re getting a little more into the Appalachian thing this time around, and though I’m not quite sure what that means (dueling banjos and meth?), it should be interesting to find out either way.
The PR wire reveals itself unto you:
Taking the dark tales of their Appalachian folk forefathers to contemporary Southern doom territory, Northern Virgina-based quintet King Giant have wrapped up the final details on their sophomore full-length release, DismalHollow, and are preparing to self-release it just after the kickoff of the new year.
Brooding even darker and more sinister homage to their rock and metal forefathers than their heralded self-released 2009 debut album, SouthernDarkness, this new album sets a new par for King Giant, further developing their hard but harmonized style, as always chock full of well-written hooks and deep grooving thunder. Recorded at Inner Ear Studio (MinorThreat, Fugazi, Avail, Jawbox, DaveGrohl), and inherently boasting full-on Americana both musically and conceptually, the eight tracks harnessed on DismalHollow are easily King Giant’s most well-written and monstrous anthems captured to date.
DismalHollow will be available worldwide on January 31, 2012 — a split release between King Giant’s band-operated imprint GraveyardHillRecords and The Path Less Traveled Records, part of the MRI Group, with distribution by RED, Code7 and Plastichead — and will be available in CD, LP and digital download formats.
Dismal HollowTrack Listing: 1. Appomattox 2. Tale of Mathias 3. A Steward’s Prayer 4. Pistols and Penance 5. 6 O’Clock Swill 6. The Fog 7. Road to Eleusis 8. O’ Drifter
Posted in Reviews on December 27th, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster
When last they were heard from, the all-caps Brooklyn math/noise rock trio STATS had just issued a three-song sampler EP of their heady wares. Some things, it seems, haven’t changed at all, as the instrumental unit deliver three new cuts in the form of the Crowned EP on The Path Less Traveled Records. The songs, which total just under 21 minutes, are a logical extension of the prior material, their angularity and linear structures walking a fine line between technical prowess and song flow, and presented with cleaner production and full jewel case artwork, Crowned gives an overall aura of a tighter, more established unit.
It’s a short release, and one wonders if STATS aren’t just going to adopt the EP as their formal modus operandi, realizing that a full-length of this kind of tech material would be asking a lot of their audience. Robert Fripp once said of his soundscapes that the average listener could only take about 20 minutes of it at a time, then they needed a break, and if we apply the same to STATS, then Crowned is right on target. Opener “Guthy Renker” twists ably and offers flashes of noise rock groove, weighted by the bass of Tony Gedrich, who also adds a piercing noise flourish near the 1:50 mark. I’d be lying if I said it was pleasant to the ear, but it serves its purpose. Guitarist Joe Petrucelli doesn’t shred or try to fill the space vocals might otherwise occupy with lead lines, instead setting and keeping the course of sub-noodling scale work, drummer Hank Shteamer deftly maintaining pace in purposefully awkward time signatures.