The Skull, The Endless Road Turns Dark: Remaining True

Posted in Reviews on September 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

The Skull The Endless Road Turns Dark

There has been a place reserved among 2018’s best doom albums for The Skull‘s The Endless Road Turns Dark since before its release on Tee Pee Records was even announced. Rumors of its coming swirled at the start of the year, and really since the Chicago-based five-piece issued their EP (review here) in 2016, it’s been a question of when not if they would have a follow-up to their 2014 debut, For Those Which are Asleep (review here). That record was a work of prime doomed grit, taking the lessons of classic Trouble on which the band was founded and pushing them into a thoroughly modern context, with former members of that band Eric Wagner (vocals) and Ron Holzner (bass) at the forefront alongside guitarist Lothar Keller (Sacred Dawn) and a rotating cast of others that has included members of PentagramCarousel and plenty more.

That the current recording incarnation of The Skull features guitarist Rob Wrong (also Witch Mountain) and drummer Brian Dixon (ex-Cathedral) only makes them all the more of a supergroup, but as For Those Which are Asleep demonstrated, the band is more than a showcase for “ex-members of” to run through the motions, and fortunately for all involved — particularly listeners — The Endless Road Turns Dark continues that thread. Wrong‘s lead guitar is a standout factor from the opening title-track — also the longest inclusion at 7:06 (immediate points) — onward, and Dixon‘s drumming brings a precision march and classic thud to the eight-track/43-minute proceedings, both its impact and the tones of WrongKeller and Holzner captured with a modern fullness as a result of the production by Sanford Parker, whose work here is no less a darkened joy to behold.

The balance of clarity and heft in “Ravenswood” alone is worth the price of admission, and it’s a combination of elements that works remarkably and surprisingly well, giving The Skull a sense of departure from the barebones, sometimes-lifeless production style of traditional doom that even further strengthens the material itself. Whether it’s the gradual unfolding in “Breathing Underwater” or the wistful sensibility in the sweeping layers of “All that Remains (Is True)” near the end of the record, The Endless Road Turns Dark more than earns the spot that’s been held for it by affirming The Skull as not only a band based around classic methods and noteworthy personnel, but a crucial creative force working on their own terms and developing a style apart from their pedigree.

Wagner especially seems to have found his voice here in a new way. He’s fluid and comfortable in a mid-range melody atop cello (I think) in “All that Remains (Is True)” and works in layers of higher and lower register in the potent hook of “The Longing,” which also featured on EP, in a way that sounds confident and thoughtful. “The Endless Road Turns Dark” itself might have his most forward higher-register vocals in its chorus, but certainly there are other spots throughout — “Ravenswood,” for example — and they’re handled easily via layering amid clearly delivered lyrics that are memorable and true to the aesthetic of the band without seeming forced. On a sheer performance level, it’s a definitive step forward from The Skull‘s debut and a challenge to anyone who might think they know what to expect from him or the group as a whole.

the skull

One might say the same of a song like “From Myself Depart,” which toys with structure across its six-minute run by opening with a quiet, bass-led verse before a swaying riff kicks in and, following another trade between this verse and chorus, launches into a two-minute lead section that includes a kick into speedier tempo before the chorus and a last quiet verse close out in succession. Verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus-end, it ain’t, and it arrives at a pivotal moment leading off side B after “The Longing” and the deceptively spacious highlight “Breathing Underwater” round out the album’s first half in top form, doing the work of expanding the sound without really departing the central tonal context of the rest of The Endless Road Turns Dark — fucking with the formula, essentially. But doing it well, and doing it in the right spot to add further personality to what surrounds.

Not that there’s any lack of character to the record as it plays out. In the push of “Ravenswood” and the chugging “As the Sun Draws Near” — it’s hard to pick the best hook on the album and I won’t try, but this one is close if it’s not “The Longing,” which has the sneaky added benefit of prior familiarity — The Skull offer a reprieve from the slower fare in “Breathing Underwater,” the title-track and “All that Remains (Is True),” alternating between longer and shorter songs en route to the finale “Thy Will be Done,” the title of which is referenced in the lyrics of the opener, which breaks from its grueling rollout at 3:45 in order to move, albeit temporarily, into a faster section that bookends the album with a reprise of the verse and chorus from the title-track.

The sense of completion that brings to The Endless Road Turns Dark isn’t to be understated. With a dead stop before the return, the ending of the record — which actually comes in the form of a massive, nodding slowdown and long ringout, but bear with me — feels somewhat separate from the rest of “Thy Will be Done,” and one expects it’s supposed to. It not only ties together the opener and the closer directly, but it gives a full-album context to everything else between them, and as much as the individual pieces make their presence felt, that quick resurgence in the finale proves they’re part of something greater. And so, of course, they are.

There wasn’t really any doubt coming into The Endless Road Turns Dark that The Skull would deliver a quality offering — hence that whole holding a place thing — but with the work they’ve put in on tour and the lineup they’ve assembled, their sophomore full-length exceeds even the lofty expectations placed upon it. For Those Which are Asleep may have established The Skull as a unit separate from Trouble, but The Endless Road Turns Dark is where they forge a history of their own that, if we’re lucky, they’ll continue to build upon. It is nothing less than the work of masters.

The Skull, “Ravenswood” official lyric video

The Skull, “The Endless Road Turns Dark” official lyric video

The Skull on Thee Facebooks

The Skull on Twitter

The Skull website

Tee Pee Records website

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The Skull Post “Ravenswood” Lyric Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the skull

Because of their origins and their moniker, one tends to think of The Skull as being a post-Trouble band, right? It’s bassist Ron Holzner and vocalist Eric Wagner, both ex-members of that legendary Chicago outfit, with guitarist Lothar Keller at the band’s core. They started out playing Trouble covers, and until they released their 2014 debut, For Those Which are Asleep (review here), that’s how they were mostly known. But with Witch Mountain‘s Rob Wrong on guitar and ex-Cathedral drummer Brian Dixon in the lineup, isn’t it only fair to call them a supergroup as they head toward the Sept. 7 release of their second full-length, The Endless Road Turns Dark?

After all, these aren’t exactly minor players who’ve come aboard,The Skull The Endless Road Turns Dark and while I don’t know the splits of who did what in the writing process — “This song is 83 percent Holzner!” and so on — it’s hard to imagine Wrong wouldn’t have a hand in writing leads. He’s so god damned good at them, it would be a wasted resource to not have him write his own parts. And Dixon rolled out grooves for one of modern doom’s formative acts. He’s well acquainted with working around a crucial riff. Listening to the two tracks they’ve so far released from sophomore record — by astounding coincidence, the first two that appear on the album — aside from the sheer impact of the Sanford Parker production, it’s striking just how much personality there is in the songs. The Skull weren’t exactly lacking character on the first record, but it’s clear their time on tour domestically and internationally has brought them together in a new way.

Preorders are up for the album now through Tee Pee Records, and you’ll find that link under the “Ravenswood” video below, along with the clip for the title-track, which I’ve included here because I didn’t get the chance to post it before because I’m terrible at everything and blah blah blah self-loathing.

Info from the PR wire follows as well.

Please enjoy:

The Skull, “Ravenswood” official lyric video

The Skull, featuring vocalist Eric Wagner and bassist Ron Holzner, formerly of metal legends Trouble, has completed work on its highly anticipated sophomore album. Titled, The Endless Road Turns Dark, the LP was recorded in Chicago’s Decade Music Studios with engineer Sanford Parker (Yob, Tombs) and builds on the foundation laid by The Skull’s debut album, For Those Which Are Asleep, a recording that landed at or near the top of a host of 2014 year-end best of lists. The Endless Road Turns Dark will be released on September 7 via Tee Pee Records.

“‘Ravenswood’ is one of my favorite lyrics on the new album, The Endless Road Turns Dark,” Wagner enthuses. “This reminds me of where I truly am in life and all that I had to go through to get here.”

The Skull, which also features longtime Cathedral drummer Brian Dixon, guitarist Lothar Keller (Sacred Dawn), and guitarist Rob Wrong (Witch Mountain), creates classic Sabbathian doom with a psych-tinged metal vision. The respected group’s impending album, The Endless Road Turns Dark, benefits greatly from the pedigree and experience of the band’s members and pushes authentic, old-school metal to heavier and more foreboding places, fueled by burly riffing, metallic groove and a crushing punch. Ethereal and wonderfully moody with a heart of heavy metal beating at its center, the record delivers definitive doom metal full of powerful builds and mesmerizing dynamic range. More than a mere throwback, The Endless Road Turns Dark is the work of a band that respects their fans, understands their own history, and still has their ears open to the current doom metal landscape. A wicked exercise in heavy metal majesty, The Endless Road Turns Dark plays like a natural extension of the musicians exemplary work during their 20-plus years with Trouble and cements The Skull as modern day doom metal royalty.

Track listing:

1.) The Endless Road Turns Dark
2.) Ravenswood
3.) Breathing Underwater
4.) The Longing
5.) From Myself Depart
6.) As the Sun Draws Near
7.) All That Remains (Is True)
8.) Thy Will Be Done

Pre-order The Endless Road Turns Dark at this location.

The Skull, “The Endless Road Turns Dark” official lyric video

The Skull on Thee Facebooks

The Skull on Twitter

The Skull website

Tee Pee Records website

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Desertfest Belgium 2018: Crowbar, The Skull, Castle, Yuri Gargarin, and Sofy Major Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Who’s going to argue with this? Sludge, doom, psych, noise, and metal? It’s like Desertfest Belgium 2018 decided its third announcement was when it would encompass the scope of underground heavy in one go. It’s got oldschool and newschool vibes, American and European bands next to each other, and fucking Castle, who just never stop touring ever. Never ever. I’m pretty sure they made their new record in the back of their van.

Maybe not, but still.

Seriously, the list of bands says it all, and the roster of acts they join only makes Desertfest Belgium all the more significant in Europe’s massively-crowded Fall festival scene. I’m not going to tell you to buy tickets or travel if you’re not in a financially secure situation or something, but if you have to sell your car and become a curiously aged European street urchin, complete with backpack and dog, this one might be worth it.

Behold:

desertfest belgium 2018 crowbar

Since you all liked our last announcement so much, we’re already back with another one!

And oh boy… Another quintuple hit of doom, rock, metal, psychedelics and whatever strikes your fancy, here we go…

First up, the absolute heavyweights of Southern sludge will grace our stage for the first time. Yes, Crowbar will be charged up fresh from their upcoming Eastern Europe tour in the summer, so expect them to be sharp as a razor and hard as nails at Desertfest Antwerp 2018!

Another scene stalwart, this time in the traditional doom vein, we welcome former Trouble makers The Skull, who reportedly will come loaded with a fresh sophomore album, out on Tee Pee Records in the fall.

For some more traditional doom vibes with a nice dose of occult rock, San Fransiscan trio Castle – Metal Band will be back at our festival after their killer set in 2016. We are also most pleased that the Swedish spacerock shuttle Yuri Gagarin will land at DF Antwerp from whatever outer space voyage they’ve embarked on. They’ve got an interstellar live reputation, so expect this to be a highlight for sure! And finally, we close off this batch of goodness with something French and sleazy. SOFY MAJOR is a noiserock outfit that will hit you in the face like a solid steel beercan.

So rest assured, your precious Reduced Combi Tickets will be well worth… what’s that? You STILL haven’t bought your tickets you say? Even though they’re still a steal at €95 for three days? This will not stand! We’ll give you just a little more time to go get them, but next time we see each other, don’t give us any excuses you hear!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/364607267372737/
https://twitter.com/DesertfestBE

Crowbar, Live in Flint, Michigan, March 2018

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The Skull Announce Tour Dates with Earthride and Hyborian

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the skull

Doom on. I’m not sure much more than that really needs to be said about The Skull announcing a run of headlining tour dates with Maryland’s finest, Earthride, as direct support. Chicago doom meets Maryland doom. Needless to say, it’s going to be pretty gosh darn doomed.

The Skull release their new album, The Endless Road Turns Dark, this Fall on Tee Pee, and if you’re not looking forward to that, I’ve got nothing for you. The timeline on Earthride‘s next full-length is a little more vague, but with their recent Witch Gun single came word that was in the works as well. Hyborian, meanwhile, recently issued their first album through Season of Mist.

The PR wire has those dates:

the skull tour poster

The Skull Announces U.S. Headlining Tour Dates

Doom Metal Legends Complete Work on New Album ‘The Endless Road Turns Dark’

The Skull, featuring vocalist Eric Wagner and bassist Ron Holzner, formerly of metal legends Trouble, has completed work on its highly anticipated sophomore album. Titled, The Endless Road Turns Dark, the LP was recorded in Chicago’s Decade Music Studios with engineer Sanford Parker (Yob, Tombs) and builds on the foundation laid by The Skull’s debut album, For Those Which Are Asleep, a recording that landed at or near the top of a host of 2014 year-end best of lists. A fall release date via Tee Pee Records is projected for the new LP.

To celebrate the completion of the new album, The Skull, which also features longtime Cathedral drummer Brian Dixon, guitarist Lothar Keller (Sacred Dawn), and guitarist Rob Wrong (Witch Mountain) has announced a U.S. headlining tour that will launch on June 2 in in Chicago where the band will headline the third annual Doomed & Stoned Fest. The 12 city jaunt will run through June 15 in Lombard, IL. On the spring tour, The Skull will be joined by guest drummer Henry Vasquez of Saint Vitus who will fill in for Dixon. Opening acts will include Earthride and Hyborian.

The just-announced itinerary is as follows:

THE SKULL tour dates:
June 2 Chicago, IL Reggie’s (as part of Doomed & Stoned Fest)
June 3 Minneapolis, MN Studio B @ Skyway Theatre
June 5 Bozeman, MT Zebra Lounge
June 7 Seattle, WA Highline
June 8 Bellingham, WA Shakedown
June 9 Portland, OR Star Theatre
June 10 Sacramento, CA Blue Lamp
June 11 Santa Cruz, CA Atrium @ Catalyst
June 12 San Francisco, CA Elbo Room
June 13 Los Angeles, CA Resident
June 14 Las Vegas, NV Count’s Vamp’d
June 15 San Diego, CA Soda Bar

https://www.facebook.com/troubletheskull/
https://twitter.com/theskullusa
http://theskullusa.com/
https://teepeerecords.com/

The Skull, For Those Which are Asleep (2014)

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The Skull Finish New LP The Endless Road Turns Dark; Tour Dates Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

One hates to even think of things in these terms, but from where I sit, The Skull‘s forthcoming second album for Tee Pee, produced by Sanford Parker and given the title The Endless Road Turns Dark, is the only possible record that can touch Apostle of Solitude‘s From Gold to Ash this year when it comes to US traditional doom. There are other candidates to be sure, but thinking back to what The Skull were able to accomplish on their 2014 debut, For Those Which are Asleep (review here), the potential for this to be one of the best albums of 2018 is palpable and then some.

The Skull just wrapped a tour playing Trouble‘s self-titled album in its entirety and will hit the road again this month on a headlining tour the dates for which came down the PR wire. I’ll hope to have more to come on The Endless Road Turns Dark before the slated autumn release:

the skull

The Skull Completes Work on New Album ‘The Endless Road Turns Dark’

Doom Metal Legends Announce Spring U.S. Headlining Tour Dates

The Skull, featuring vocalist Eric Wagner and bassist Ron Holzner, formerly of metal legends Trouble, has completed work on its highly anticipated sophomore album. Titled, The Endless Road Turns Dark, the LP was recorded in Chicago’s Decade Music Studios with engineer Sanford Parker (Yob, Tombs) and builds on the foundation laid by The Skull’s debut album, For Those Which Are Asleep, a recording that landed at or near the top of a host of 2014 year-end best of lists. A fall release date is projected for the new LP.

To celebrate the completion of the new album, The Skull, which also features longtime Cathedral drummer Brian Dixon, guitarist Lothar Keller (Sacred Dawn), and guitarist Rob Wrong (Witch Mountain) has announced a spring U.S. headlining tour that will launch on April 18 in Rochester, NY. The 16 city jaunt will run through May 5 in Lombard, IL. The just-announced itinerary is as follows:

THE SKULL tour dates:
April 18 Rochester, NY Montage Music Hall
April 19 Worcester, MA Ralph’s Rock Diner
April 20 Jewett City, CT Altone’s
April 21 Lancaster, PA Chameleon Club
April 22 Baltimore, MD Metro Gallery
April 23 Harrisonburg, VA Golden Pony
April 24 Raleigh, NC Pour House Music Hall
April 25 Atlanta, GA Drunken Unicorn
April 26 New Orleans, LA Santos Bar
April 27 Houston, TX White Oak Music Hall
April 28 San Antonio, TX The Limelight
April 30 Dallas, TX Reno’s Chop Shop
May 1 Austin, TX Hotel Vegas
May 3 Newport, KY Southgate House Revival
May 4 Detroit, MI Harpos
May 5 Lombard, IL Brauerhouse Live

https://www.facebook.com/troubletheskull/
https://twitter.com/theskullusa
http://theskullusa.com/
https://teepeerecords.com/

The Skull, For Those Which are Asleep (2014)

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The Skull Tour Launches this Week; Playing Trouble’s Self-Titled in Full

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the skull

Easiest sell ever. Chicago doomers The Skull head out this week on a major-market US tour playing Trouble‘s 1990 self-titled album in full. Seriously. What more could you ask of the universe than that? Who in their right mind doesn’t want to see Eric Wagner sing “The Wolf” on stage? Or “Black Shapes of Doom?” Or “At the End of My Daze?” Great googly-moogly, that record kicks ass. If you need to be told to show up to this one, you’re fucking up. Sorry, but there it is.

Oh yeah, and for a bonus? The Skull have finished recording their second album and the follow-up to 2014’s For Those Which are Asleep (review here), which was produced by no less than Sanford Goshdarn Parker and will be out this summer. I guess that’s what more you could ask of the universe. And there it is.

Awesome:

the skull tour

The Skull to Kick Off “The Skull Plays ‘Trouble'” North American Headlining Tour January 25

Doom Metal Legends to Perform Trouble’s Classic 1990 Self-Titled in its Entirety on Special Winter Trek

The Skull, featuring vocalist Eric Wagner and bassist Ron Holzner, formerly of metal legends Trouble, has announced a winter North American headlining tour. The 15 city jaunt, which will see The Skull performing Trouble’s classic 1990 Def American Recordings self-titled [label] debut, Trouble, in its entirety, will kick off on January 25 in Chicago, IL. The band, which also features longtime Cathedral drummer Brian Dixon, guitarist Lothar Keller (Sacred Dawn), and guitarist Rob Wrong (Witch Mountain) will also play The Skull songs at the special one-time-only shows.

In additional news, The Skull has completed work on its as-yet-untitled new album. Recorded in Chicago’s Decade Music Studios with engineer Sanford Parker (Yob, Secrets of the Moon), the record is the follow-up to The Skull’s heralded debut, For Those Which Are Asleep, which landed at or near the top of a host of 2014 year-end best of lists. A summer 2018 release date is projected for the new LP.

THE SKULL tour dates:
January 25 Chicago, IL Reggies
January 26 Rock Island, IL Ribco
January 27 Grand Rapids, MI Pyramid Scheme
January 28 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
January 29 Pittsburgh, PA Howlers
January 30 Toronto, ON Hard Luck
January 31 Ottawa, ON Mavericks
February 1 Montreal, QC Bar Le Ritz
February 2 Cambridge, MA Middle East Upstairs
February 3 Brooklyn, NY Kingsland
February 4 Washington, DC Atlas Brew Works
February 5 Philadelphia, PA Kung Fu Necktie
February 6 Richmond, VA Strange Matter
February 7 Lexington, KY Cosmic Charlies
February 9 Detroit, MI Harpos

https://www.facebook.com/troubletheskull/
https://twitter.com/theskullusa
http://theskullusa.com/
https://teepeerecords.com/

Trouble, Trouble (1990)

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Tour of the Doomed Launches this Weekend with The Skull, Sheavy, Apostle of Solitude and More

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on August 7th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

This coming Saturday, Aug. 12, sees the launch of the Obelisk-presented Tour of the Doomed at a special nine-band kickoff in Milwaukee with The Skull, Sheavy, Beelzefuzz, Castle, Spillage, Apostle of Solitude, Red Desert, Attalla and Son of the Morning. Mercyful Mike Smith, who put the shindig together, has stopped short of calling it an incarnation of the Days of the Doomed fest he formerly ran out of The Blue Pig/The Metal Grill in Cudahy, WI, which I was fortunate enough to attend a couple times, but needless to say, the spirit is there one way or the other for the all-day event that will send Sheavy, Beelzefuzz and Spillage on their way for a week-long run culminating at the Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn on Aug. 19.

Ticket links and such are below as a refresher, and take special note as you peruse the dates of the locals added to each gig. From Apostle of Solitude to Argus to Reign of Zaius, each night of Tour of the Doomed brings a local or local-ish act on board that genuinely adds something to the bill. Looks like it’s going to be an awesome tour, and though I know I said so before, I’m thrilled to be able to have a hand in presenting it.

Here’s the info:

For the first time EVER, Canadian stoner/doom legends Sheavy land in the US, and Milwaukee gets to host the kick off of the Tour Of The Doomed! In true Days Of The Doomed Fest style, we present a full day of monumental riffs by the greatest heavy bands going today! Just look at this line up:

The Skull (ONLY midwest show of the summer!)
sHeavy (first time ever in the US!)
Beelzefuzz
Castle (very special fly in show!)
Spillage
Apostle of Solitude
Red Desert
Attalla
Son Of The Morning

This monstrous marathon of molten doom metal starts at 2:00!

Tickets for this show can be purchased here:
http://daysofthedoomed.com/Tour_Dates___Ticket_Links.html
$20 Adv / $25 DoS!

Set times are as follows:
2:30 – 3:15 Son Of The Morning
3:35 – 4:20 Attalla
4:40 – 5:25 Red Desert
5:45 – 6:30 Apostle Of Solitude
6:50 – 7:35 Spillage
7:55 – 8:40 Castle
9:00 – 9:45 Beelzefuzz
10:10 – 11:10 Sheavy
11:30 – Close The Skull

TOUR OF THE DOOMED: sHeavy, Spillage & Beelzefuzz
08/12 Club Garibaldi’s Milwaukee WI w/ Apostle of Solitude, The Skull, Castle, Red Desert, Attala & Son of the Morning
08/13 Reggies Chicago IL w/ Apostle of Solitude
08/14 The Melody Inn Indianapolis IN w/ Apostle of Solitude
08/15 New Dodge Lounge Detroit MI w/ Karmic Lava & Marjorie’s Cane
08/16 The Foundry Cleveland OH w/ Argus, Sparrowmilk & Dead East Garden
08/17 Howlers Pittsburgh PA w/ Argus
08/18 The Depot York PA w/ WitchHazel
08/19 Saint Vitus Bar Brooklyn NY w/ Pale Divine & Reign of Zaius (no Spillage)

Brought to you by Mercyful Mike Management & Productions and Days Of The Doomed Fest!

https://www.facebook.com/daysofthedoomedfest/
www.daysofthedoomed.com

Sheavy, “1111111111”

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Desert Survival: How to Do Psycho Las Vegas on a Budget

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

psycho las vegas 2017 banner

Hey, if you’re going to go broke, let’s face it: You’re not likely to run into many causes as worthy as the lineup culled together for Psycho Las Vegas. It ain’t cheap — any event that advertises a payment plan obviously knows it’s a considerable ask — but whether you’re going to see Slo Burn for their only US gig or King Diamond doing Abigail or Mulatu Astatke because going to see Mulatu Astatke is a life-event, the arguments in favor are plentiful and convincing. Whatever else you want to say, Psycho Las Vegas is the first annually-held American festival with a focus on heavy and underground rock to really establish itself as world class.

That in itself is a reason to support the cause, whether it’s through a day ticket or a pass for the entire weekend, but it doesn’t necessarily lesson the expense of making the trip or staying in one of the US’ most lucrative tourist traps, let alone things like band merchandise, meals and the occasional adult beverage if you’re inclined to have one. The thought of seeing NeurosisSleep and Carcass share a stage over the course of a weekend or watching Conan, the new trio-incarnation of Pentagram and Yawning Man poolside or from the balcony of a room in the Casino Tower is incredible, and after hearing stories from those who undertook the journey in 2016 or attended the prior Psycho California in 2015, the idea wants nothing for appeal. Fiscal issues can be a bummer. By the time August rolls around, I’ll have been out of paid work for two months. I know how it goes.

And I’m hardly the most responsible person when it comes to money, but the truth of the matter is there are ways to mitigate costs for travel, lodging and other concerns, and if the thing preventing you from picking up a ticket to the show has been the seeming impossibility of affording a stay at the Hard Rock or of finding a cheap-enough flight to get there, maybe it’s worth trying to shift finances around to make it happen. Music is important, and when debt collectors are spamming your phone it’s hard to think about the non-cash value of life experiences, but the fact is the bills you need to pay will still be there. The bill with Corrosion of Conformity in a lineup alongside Kylesa‘s Laura Pleasants, Domkraft, Swans, Elephant Tree and Heavy Temple? Much less so.

Here are a few pointers that hopefully can save you a couple bucks. Some of it’s day-one stuff, but things like hotel picks and transportation nuances are good to know either way.

Check it out:

psycho-las-vegas-2017-poster

Flying In
• Buy tickets on a Tuesday for the cheapest rates.
• Use a discount flight search.
• If you can, fly in on Thursday and leave on Monday for better rates, search different days and times to come in and leave.
• Book early. Rates go up in the summer.

Getting There
• Ride apps cost less than cabs.
• The Hard Rock is less than a mile from the airport. Cheap trip anyway.
• There are free shuttles from most Vegas hotels to the strip and tourist attractions.

Staying There
• This one is huge… don’t stay at the Hard Rock if you can’t afford it! Alexis Park, RUMOR, Red Roof Inn are all across the street and cheap. Scope out a position on a map if you need to; that’s what Street View is there for.
• Partner up to share rooms. You’ve got social media and it’s not like you’re going to do more than sleep and (hopefully) shower there anyway. Might as well join forces and save expense where you can.

Drinks
• BYO. Vegas has open-container laws. If you think hooch is too expensive at the Hard Rock, get loaded on the sidewalk before you go in.
• One way or another, hydrate. You’re staying in the desert in August. Don’t be stupid.

Psycho Las Vegas 2017 Lineup
Abbath, Ace Frehley, Black Anvil, Blood Ceremony, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Buzzov*en, Carcass, Celeste, Chelsea Wolfe, Cirith Ungol, Cloud Catcher, Code Orange, Conan, Corrosion of Conformity, Cough, Cult Leader, Cult Of Luna With Julie Christmas Diamond Head, Domkraft, Earthless, Elephant Tree, Eternal Tapestry, Fister, Floorian, Gatecreeper, GEQ, Gojira, Gost, Graf Orlock, Heavy Temple, Hollow Leg, Inter Arma, Khemmis, King Diamond, Laura Pleasants & Special Guests, Magma, Manilla Road, Merlin, Minsk, Morne, Mothership, Mouth of the Architect, Mulatu Astatke, Murder City Devils, Mustard Gas & Roses, Myrkur, Neurosis, North, Oathbreaker, Pelican, Pentagram, Psychic TV, The Rods, Ruby the Hatchet, Sasquatch, Saturndust, Sleep, Slo Burn, Slomatics, Snail, Sons of Otis, Sumac, Summoner, Swans, The Skull, Toke, Urchin, Usnea, Vhol, Weedeater, Windhand, Wizard Rifle, Wolves in the Throne Room, Yawning Man, Year of the Cobra, Youngblood Supercult, Zeal & Ardor.

http://www.vivapsycho.com
https://www.facebook.com/psychoLasVegas
https://www.instagram.com/psycholasvegas

Pentagram, “Relentless / Broken Vows” Live in Richmond, VA, 2017

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