The Well Announce New LP Pagan Science out Oct. 14

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 29th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the-well

There hasn’t been any kind of official announcement from the PR wire about it, but savvy social media types that they are, both The Well and RidingEasy Records have been dropping hints about the former’s follow-up to 2014’s most excellent debut, Samsara (review here). The most solid word from the label has come down to confirm the title of the Austin, Texas, trio’s second outing as Pagan Science and an Oct. 14 release date. Preorder info, reportedly, is coming soon.

The Well — bassist/vocalist Lisa Alley, guitarist/vocalist Ian Graham and drummer Jason Sullivan — toured hard behind Samsara, so it seems reasonable to expect that Pagan Science will benefit from that. Like its predecessor, Pagan Science seems to have been tracked at Ohm Recording Studio in Austin, though if it was Mark Deutrom (also of Bellringer) once again at the helm as producer and Chico Jones engineering — the team that handled Samsara — I don’t know for sure. Doesn’t seem unlikely, considering how well that album captured the band’s live sound.

Doesn’t seem at all unlikely either that they’ll hit the road hard once again either before, after or during the release of Pagan Science, but The Well also recently had a song feature as the opening theme of Ride with Norman Reedus, starring the titular actor best known at this point for his role as Dale on The Walking Dead. That’s not likely to hurt exposure-wise either, especially leading into a new record.

RidingEasy‘s announcement was short and to the point. Will keep you posted when I hear more about a firm release date, tour in the US or abroad, or any of that other good stuff.

For now, here’s what the label had to say and the Samsara stream if you’d like a refresher:

[UPDATE 6/30: The PR wire sent the album art as well. It follows here.]

the-well-pagan-science

Stay tuned for @thewellband pre-sale info on the new album “Pagan Science” out worldwide October 14th. Are you ready for some new Jams?

http://www.facebook.com/thewellband
http://thewellaustin.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ridingeasyrecords/
http://www.ridingeasyrecs.com/

The Well, Samsara (2014)

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The Planet of Doom Trailer Premieres; Kickstarter Launched

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 10th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the planet of doom trailer

The title The Planet of Doom has been tossed around for the last eight months or so as artists Tim Granda and David Paul Seymour assembled the team that would bring their story to life. Today the real process of completing the animated film for its stated 2017 release date really begins, with the premiere of the first trailer and the launch tomorrow of a Kickstarter to help fund the remainder of the project.

One need only to look at the roster of bands — The WellGoyaMos GeneratorSummoner, and so on — to know this is a project made with a strong love of music in mind. I’ve only seen the trailer, but it’s plain to see the inheritance from a landmark blend of heavy music and animation like 1981’s Heavy Metal, and the elements of fantasy, beard-clad motorcycle warriors, bizarre (and mostly unclothed) Amazonian-type tribes, and of course a fair heaping of monsters, not only bring these ideas to a new generation of fans, but push those boundaries further with the scope of the project itself.

That said, I could gush and go on and on about the admirable undertaking that is bringing so many artists and bands together for one special project, never mind the distribution at film festivals and three-band package tour (will be very interested to see who winds up on that) to come, but this isn’t a time for a review. You’re better off watching the trailer itself — you’ll notice the Mos Generator right away — getting the details and grabbing the Kickstarter link so that when they open it up tomorrow, Monday, April 11, for contributions, you’re ready to go.

Trailer and info follow, with thanks to Seymour and Granda for letting me host the premiere.

Enjoy:

The Planet of Doom official trailer

Riff Lodge Animation has launched the full-length trailer and Kickstarter campaign for its highly anticipated animated tale of metal and art, “The Planet of Doom.”

The creative duo of Art Director/Writer David Paul Seymour and Director/Animator Tim Granda—the team behind the heavily buzzed-about music video for Conan’s “Throne of Fire” (watch it here)—now offer a full-length animated tale set to 14 of the heaviest new stoner-rock and doom-metal tunes this side of Valhalla.

“‘The Planet of Doom’ is very much in the spirit of music/animated films like ‘Heavy Metal’ and the works of Ralph Bakshi,” said Granda.

Added Seymour, “It’s a tribute to heavy music and the art that accompanies that type of music. With this film, we’re seeking to encapsulate the music and art community that Tim and I are a proud part of with one epic body of work. We are also naturally bringing in all sorts of fringe countercultures who’ve attached to this same community—bikers, skateboarders, comic book and sci-fi fantasy fans. It’s a really vibrant and diversified community and we’ve certainly brought in the right ambassadors to represent it properly.”

“The Planet of Doom” contains no spoken dialogue, opting instead to regale the revenge tale of hero Halvar through the lyrics of the film’s original music. The story unwinds across 14 song-chapters, each interpreted by a different artist-and-band team, including Orchid, Conan, Phillip Cope, Wo Fat, Mos Generator, Slow Season and The Well, paired with artists like Skinner, Vance Kelly, Jason Cruz, Alexis Ziritt, Adam Burke, David Paul Seymour and legendary tattoo artist Forrest Cavacco.

The Bands
Orchid
Phillip Cope (Kylesa)
Conan
Mos Generator
Wo Fat
Slow Season
Scorpion Child
Summoner
The Well
Order of the Owl
Mother Crone
Destroyer of Light
Goya
Ironweed

The Artists
Skinner
David Paul Seymour
Vance Kelly
Jason Cruz
Alexis Ziritt
Adam Burke
Maarten Donders
Tony Papesh
Scott Trerrotola
Simon Berndt
Burney
Gorgeous George
Brian Profilio
Nicholas Coleman
Tim Granda

Every fan of the project can now be a part of “The Helping Hands of Doom” fundraising campaign, which began last March when it raised more than $20,000 in support from company sponsorships. Through the film’s Kickstarter campaign, which launched today, fans can show their love by helping get this worthwhile film underway, while getting some prized goodies in the process—everything from an HHOD official shirt up to having yourself featured in the film as an animated “extra” and more! Fans and supporters can donate to the film at www.theplanetofdoom.com.

“The Planet of Doom” will screen at major music and film festival events, as well as on a cross-country package tour with three of the film bands once production is completed.

The Planet of Doom Kickstarter campaign (starts April 11)

The Planet of Doom on Thee Facebooks

The Planet of Doom on Instagram

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RidingEasy Records Sampler Features New Music from Electric Citizen and Mondo Drag

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 3rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Well, this one’s a no-brainer. A free download from RidingEasy Records that previews two of the label’s upcoming releases while at the same time wrapping up some of the best 2015 had to offer. The label is calling it the Winter 2016 Mixtape, and what it rounds out to is 14 tracks that demonstrate how huge a role RidingEasy has played in setting the tone for heavy rock in the last year. The West Coast label has established one of the strongest rosters of acts in the US, persistently released quality offerings in quality formats, and developed an aesthetic that’s individualized and expanding in kind.

All the tracks listed below are mixed into one molten 74-minute file that you can stream and download below. And if you’re only rolling into it interested in the new stuff — hey, maybe you heard the rest — that’s right up front for immediate access:

ridingeasy winter 2016 mixtape

Here is a smattering of tunes that came out in 2015 and will come out in the first part of 2016. Hand selected and mixed by DJ Bonghits.

1. Electric Citizen – “Evil” from the forthcoming album “Higher Time” out April 2016
2. Mondo Drag “Out of Sight” from the forthcoming album “The Occultation of Light” out Feb 2016
3. Slow Season “Day Glo Sunrise” from the album “Slow Season”
4. Salem’s Pot “The Vampire Strikes Back” (Full Version)
5, Zekes “Box” from Brown Acid “The First Trip”
6. Old Man’s Will “Got It” from the album “Hard Times Troubled Man”
7. Sons of Huns “Philosopher’s Stone” from the album “While Sleeping Stay Awake”
8. Spiral Shades “Frozen Fear” (Originally performed and written by Bedemon)
9. Holy Serpent “Shroom Doom” From the album Holy Serpent
10. Spelljammer “The Pathfinder” From the album “Ancient of Days”
11. Monolord “Cursing The One” From the Album Vænir
12. Blackout “Tannered” from the album “Blackout”
13. The Well “Crawling Mist” (McPullish Dub Mix)
14. The Picturebooks “Hail These Words” from the album “Imaginary Horse”

BUY DIGITAL MUSIC- www.ridingeasyrecords.bandcamp.com
BUY PHYSICAL MUSIC – www.ridingeasyrecords.com
Follow us On Instagram – @easyriderrecord

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Live Review: All Them Witches, The Well and These Wild Plains in Cambridge, MA, 02.06.15

Posted in Reviews on February 9th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

all them witches 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I won’t lie and say it was easy to get off my couch Friday night and head into snowy-sidewalked Cambridge, but it was worth it. The city was running thick with unfreezable undergraduate blood and upstairs at the Middle East, All Them Witches were headlining a merciful three-band bill with The Well and These Wild Plains for support. It was the second time the Nashville four-piece made a stop at the venue, having come through last fall on tour with Windhand and sold the place out. Not to be understated is their months-only jump to the top of the bill, and not to be ignored were their compatriots in The Well, the Austin-based trio whose RidingEasy Records full-length, Samsara (review here), was my pick for the best debut of 2014. The three-piece’s sometimes-garage-rock-sometimes-tonal-overload made a suitable companion for the open spaces All Them Witches‘ neo-Southern jam-ready heavy rock, which met with fervent approval over the course of about an hour-long set.

All Them Witches. (Photo by JJ Koczan)The show was 18+, and kids came out on solid force, standing among older rockers. From what I saw, nobody looked like they were there by accident, and when All Them Witches‘ set started, the four players sort of lurching to life with a quick, noodling jam led by guitarist Ben McLeod that shifted smoothly into “Funeral for a Great Drunken Bird” from 2013/2014’s self-released sophomore long-player, Lightning at the Door (review here), drummer Robby Staebler, bassist/vocalist Michael Parks, Jr. and Fender Rhodes wizard Allan Van Cleave soon joining in, easing their way and the crowd’s way into a wash of immersive tones that only ran deeper from there, the raucous “When God Comes Back” and that album’s closer, “Mountain” following. Truth be told, momentum and the room were on their side before they started playing, but even if All Them Witches had had to win the Middle East over, they’d have done so quickly.

All Them Witches arrived in Massachusetts fresh from a seclusion that resulted in the recording of their yet-untitled third album, set to release later this year. Presumably this tour with The Well was a way of shaking off the dust in anticipation of more road time to come. Accordingly, I thought there might be a chance of getting to hear some new material done live, which even if it might not represent the entirety of their next offering would at least give a glimpse at some of the scope and direction of the thing. No such luck. What their plan is for the release — all them witches 3 (Photo by JJ Koczan)i.e., if they’ve signed with a label and if so, which one — I don’t know, but they kept the setlist primarily to Lightning at the Door material, the satisfying deep-toned chug of “Swallowed by the Sea” a little lighter on its feet as it was when I saw them in Pennsylvania last fall and “The Death of Coyote Woman” hypnotic in its repeated vocal lines from Parks and bluesy guitar, McLeod not at all shy with the slide when called upon to break it out.

No setlist written down, songs were called out on the fly. They dipped back once to their debut, 2012’s Our Mother Electricity (review here), for a rendering of “Elk.Blood.Heart” that elicited an off-mic “You gotta be kidding me” from Parks when it started, but wound up as a singularly powerful moment in the set. It was pretty clear that material wasn’t as familiar to the crowd as the stuff from Lightning at the Door, but at least those standing near me showed no signs of trouble getting on board. They closed out with “Charles William,” which is as close to a single as they’ve come, its blend of bounce, tonal richness, Van Cleave‘s Rhodes — an element not to be understated in any appreciation the well 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)of what they do — and Staebler‘s hard-hitting swing in the finishing lines necessitating no further statement from the band. All were sent into the cold night having received due communion.

They were reason enough to show up — All Them Witches are a special group of players and watching them solidify on stage even as their sound becomes more fluid offers a rare breed of satisfaction — but I was anxious to see The Well before them. The trio of guitarist/vocalist Ian Graham, bassist/vocalist Lisa Alley and drummer Jason Sullivan were robbed on their last tour, which was also their first, so warranted immediate respect for getting back out, all the more so filling in for original supporting act Mount Carmel at (or close to) the last minute. My big question was whether or not The Well would be able to conjure the same kind of garage-doom atmosphere and air-push live that they do on record. As the feedback hum of Graham‘s guitar grew in volume until it felt like my head was surrounded by it on all sides, my curiosity had its answer. The thrust punctuated by Sullivan‘s kick in songs like “Trespass” and “Mortal Bones” from Samsara every bit delivered what one might’ve hoped from hearing their studio work and then some, the rawness of the stage giving Graham more of a showcase for soloing.

It the well 2 (Photo by JJ Koczan)was an opportunity he seemed to relish. The memorable psych-spooky “Refuge” made its primary impression in its early bounce, but the languid wah in the song’s second half pushed it to highlight territory, and likewise the midsection jam of the extended set-closer “Eternal Well.” Alley and Sullivan both had their share of fills and no question make for a dynamic rhythm section, but I hadn’t fully realized how much Graham‘s guitar brings to the band on a level deeper than “hey bro, cool riffs.” Tonally and in their presentation, they represented high grade stoner-heavy modernity, and as much as one could hear shades of Sleep and Sabbath in their sound, touches here and there of Uncle Acid and so on, the most exciting thing about The Well was how much they seemed to be moving forward from that starting point. I hope they keep touring and keep growing.

If their heaviness was the aspect they shared with All Them Witches, then for the pedal-steel-infused openers, These Wild Plains, it was no doubt the rural sprawl. The local five-piece — whose debut album is due out Feb. 27 — had been crowded on the stage, but their blend of countrified twang and atmospheric post-rock fit the room, and there were plenty who showed up early to see them. these wild plains 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)Acoustic, lap steel and electric guitar, the latter reminding me distinctly at times of Yawning Man‘s airy tone, and multiple vocalists drove home the Americana vibe, and for a group of Northern boys taking on a distinctly Southern sound, they acquitted themselves well. People were still coming in as they got going, but by the time they finished, there was little doubt the evening had begun.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

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Sleep, Pentagram and Cult of Luna to Headline Psycho California 2015

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 15th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

True to their word, it’s Jan. 15 and Psycho California 2015 has announced the headliners for what looks like the best American festival lineup I’ve seen since the days of Emissions from the Monolith. That’s not to take away from the hard work anyone else is doing, but just look at the list of bands. It’s unreal. You’d want to be everywhere at the same time to see all of it. Absolutely wild.

Sleep and Pentagram were pretty clear choices to headline. Not only for being legends in the heavy underground, but for also being just about two of the only bands left. Sweden’s Cult of Luna were something of a surprise, but for a festival already showing a European reach in bringing aboard the likes of Samsara Blues Experiment and Stoned Jesus, they make sense. Hell of a bill. Kudos to anyone who actually gets to go to the thing.

Announcement follows, courtesy of the PR wire:

PSYCHO-CALIFORNIA-2015-POSTER-1400

PSYCHO CALIFORNIA ANNOUNCES HEADLINERS: SLEEP, PENTAGRAM AND CULT OF LUNA

WEST COAST METAL FESTIVAL HAPPENING MAY 15, 16 & 17 AT THE OBSERVATORY IN SANTA ANA

FIRST WAVE OF ARTISTS ANNOUNCED INCLUDED KYLESA, EARTH, OM AND RUSSIAN CIRCLES

Psycho California, the west coast’s first annual metal festival and a must see for fans of doom, heavy psych and sludge, has announced the headliners for this year’s event: Cult of Luna (May 15), Sleep (May 16) and Pentagram, who will perform First Daze Here in its entirety (May 17).

“2015 is going to be a slow year for Cult of Luna. However as much as we are musicians we are also fans,” said Cult of Luna’s Johannes Persson. “Evaluating if the offer to play Psycho California was worth dusting off our instruments was not hard after looking on the line-up. Being on the same bill as Pentagram, Sleep and a festival packed with the best bands around is a privilege in itself and we’ll try to live up to that honor.”

The lineup for Psycho California is: Sleep, Pentagram, Cult of Luna, Kylesa, OM, Earth, Russian Circles, Bedemon, Conan, Wrench, Eyehategod, Indian, Earthless, Pallbearer, Stoned Jesus, Old Man Gloom, Cave In, Acid Witch, Truckfighters, Tombs, Bang, Electric Citizen, Coffinworm, SubRosa, Eagle Twin, Mammatus, True Widow, Anciients, Bellwitch, Dead Meadow, Lord Dying, Death By Stereo, Radio Moscow, Ancient Altar, Samsara Blues Experiment, Atriarch, Elder, Mothership, The Well, Deathkings, Wo Fat, Rozamov, Destroyer of Light, Highlands, Bloodmoon, Slow Season, Goatsnake, Crypt Trip, Wrench, Lords of Beacon House, Tumbleweed Dealer, Sinister Haze, Blackout, Red Wizard, Banquet and Loom.

Festival interludes will be provided by Housecore Records’ artist Author & Punisher and vinyl DJ set from Bob Lugowe (Relapse Records) and Sean Pellet (Last Daze Here).

Previously announced early bird tickets sold out immediately. Tickets for the festival are on-sale this morning with both a 3-day pass ($149.50) and a 3-day VIP pass available ($256.66)

VIP packages include a 3-day festival pass, a signed screen print concert poster by David D’Andrea, express entry via artist check-in booth, access to artist VIP lounge, a limited edition Thief X Obey festival tee, a Psycho record bag and patch as well as access to a complimentary craft tequila bar, premium microbrews and artisan snacks.

www.psychoca.com
www.facebook.com/psychocalifornia
https://www.facebook.com/Thiefpresents

Sleep, “The Clarity/Dragonaut” Live in Chicago, Aug. 28, 2014

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The Top 20 of 2014 Readers Poll — RESULTS!

Posted in Features on January 2nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

top-20-of-2014-readers-poll-RESULTS-etching-by-maxime-lalanne

It was close for a long time, but in the last week or so, one record pulled ahead to stake a definitive claim on the top spot. Even so, more than the 2013 poll, this was a fun one to watch, three albums duking it out, trading back and forth in the raw votes depending on who happened to submit a list at any given time. In the end, 355 people participated in this year’s poll, which is an average of over 11 per day — there was a significant push at the end — and up from 2013, which now that it’s 2015 will no doubt soon feel like ancient history.

To that end, Happy New Year and huge, huge thanks to everyone who took the time to contribute a list to the poll. Even if it was one or two records, the simple fact that you felt it was worth your time to type out the names of bands and albums and take part in this thing is unbelievably gratifying to me. I do a lot of the talking around here, apart from comments and the forum, so to have your participation in this really means a lot to me. It’s nice knowing you give enough of a crap to take part.

You’ll find two lists below. The first, measured in points, is the weighted tally. A 1-4 ranking is worth five points, 5-8 worth four, 9-12 worth three, 13-16 worth two and 17-20 worth one. After that comes the raw votes, a measure of what caught the most attention along the way.

After the jump, you’ll also find all the lists contributed to the poll — including my own, which seemed fair since I do a lot of reading on this site, mostly to experience shame at the typos and correct them hoping no one else noticed — presented in the order in which they were received. Thank you all again.

Top 20 of 2014 — Weighted Results

yob-clearing-the-path-to-ascend

1. YOB, Clearing the Path to Ascend (560 points)
2. Wo Fat, The Conjuring (404)
3. Electric Wizard, Time to Die (367)
4. Pallbearer, Foundations of Burden (334)
5. Conan, Blood Eagle (275)
6. Orange Goblin, Back from the Abyss (254)
7. Greenleaf, Trails and Passes (240)
8. Truckfighters, Universe (237)
9. Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band, Black Power Flower (235)
10. Earth, Primitive and Deadly (230)
11. Fu Manchu, Gigantoid (225)
12. Blues Pills, Blues Pills (211)
13. Lo-Pan, Colossus (202)
14. Eyehategod, Eyehategod (198)
15. Monolord, Empress Rising (190)
16. Mastodon, Once More ‘Round the Sun (188)
17. Mars Red Sky, Stranded in Arcadia (161)
18. John Garcia, John Garcia (156)
19. Bongripper, Miserable (141)
20. Radio Moscow, Magical Dirt (127)

Honorable mention to:
Goat, Commune (126)
Swans, To be Kind (117)
Monster Magnet, Milking the Stars (116)
Blood Farmers, Headless Eyes (105)
Floor, Oblation (104)
Mothership, II (104)

Stubb, Elephant Tree, Thou and plenty of others also did very well in the voting, but everything else I could find was less than 100 points. Again, it was close for a while between Wo Fat, Electric Wizard and YOB — and Pallbearer wasn’t so far behind them, either — but YOB pulled it out in the end and jumped way in front of everyone else. A lot of number-one votes for Clearing the Path to Ascend, which I can understand completely, since I happened to agree with the position.

On to the raw votes:

Top 20 of 2014 — Raw Votes

yob-clearing-the-path-to-ascend

1. YOB, Clearing the Path to Ascend (138 votes)
2. Wo Fat, The Conjuring (111)
3. Electric Wizard, Time to Die (104)
4. Pallbearer, Foundations of Burden (89)
5. Orange Goblin, Back from the Abyss (78)
6. Conan, Blood Eagle (72)
7. Fu Manchu, Gigantoid (71)
8. Truckfighters, Universe (66)
9. Earth, Primitive and Deadly (65)
10. Greenleaf, Trails and Passes (64)
11. Blues Pills, Blues Pills (63)
12. Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band, Black Power Flower (60)
13. Lo-Pan, Colossus (58)
14. Eyehategod, Eyehategod (55)
15. Monolord, Empress Rising (52)
16. Mars Red Sky, Stranded in Arcadia (48)
16. Mastodon, Once More ‘Round the Sun (48)
17. John Garcia, John Garcia (47)
18. Bongripper, Miserable (41)
18. Radio Moscow, Magical Dirt (41)
19. Goat, Commune (37)
19. Mothership, II (37)
20. Swans, To be Kind (32)

And some honorable mentions:
Dwellers, Pagan Fruit (31)
Floor, Oblation (31)
Monster Magnet, Milking the Stars (31)
Mos Generator, Electric Mountain Majesty (30)
Thou, Heathen (30)
The Well, Samsara (30)

A couple ties here make the raw votes list a little more inclusive, and since it’s not like we’re giving out olympic medals, it didn’t seem fair to count out ties and sacrifice other numbers. The top 20 has 23 entries? Yeah, sounds about right. Again, not much mystery ultimately to who came out on top, but it was a more thrilling race than the final numbers might suggest. Cool to see some differences in placement emerge between the two lists as well, Greenleaf and Brant Bjork doing really well in the weighted results since they obviously inspire some strong support, and a couple of others working their way into the raw votes top 20. I’m not really a numbers guy, but it’s been cool putting this together.

About not being a numbers guy: All the lists that came in appear after the jump below. If you find some glaring error in my math, or something seems like it really got enough votes to be included in one or the other, it’s possible I just missed it. I hope you’ll point it out in the comments so that if there is a mistake, I can get on correcting it as soon as possible. Your vigilance is sincerely appreciated.

And thank you again so much for being a part of this readers poll. It’s been a really great experience and I look forward to doing it again come Dec. 2015.

Please find everybody’s list after the jump, and have fun browsing:

Read more »

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The Obelisk Presents: The Top 10 Debut Albums of 2014

Posted in Features on December 26th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Dudley-Street,-Seven-Dials.-Gustave-Doré-(1832-83) top 10

Please note: These are not the results of the Readers Poll. That’s still going on. Please feel free to submit your list.

Making and releasing a first full-length album is a special moment in the life of any band, and that’s why I wanted to single out some of the best debuts of the year. I’ve never done this before, and so maybe with a top 10 I’m testing the waters a bit, but it seemed a worthwhile project anyway. It was a long (inner) debate about whether or not to include EPs and singles here too, but in the end, it just seemed to work better with albums.

Not to take anything away from shorter releases, but putting out a debut EP is much different than a debut LP. First of all, a debut LP can come after several EPs or singles or demos or whatever and still be considered first. What a first album says to the listener is, “Okay, we’ve come this far and we’re ready to take this step.” Some bands, once they start putting out albums, never go back to EPs. Others who’ve been around for 30 years still release demos every now and then, but even so, a group only ever gets one crack at their first album, and it can be one of the most important things we ever do.

Compared to how many come out any given month, year, century, etc., very few debut long-players ever wind up being classics, and who knows what the future might hold for any of these acts on this list, but that not knowing and that excitement are part of the fun.

Let’s get to it:

the-well-samsara

The Top 10 Debut Albums of 2014

1. The Well, Samsara
2. The Golden Grass, The Golden Grass
3. Spidergawd, Spidergawd
4. Atavismo, Desintegración
5. Blues Pills, Blues Pills
6. Steak, Slab City
7. Comet Control, Comet Control
8. Elephant Tree, Theia
9. Black Moon Circle, Black Moon Circle
10. Temple of Void, Of Terror and the Supernatural

A couple honorable mentions. First to Valley of the Sun‘s Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk, which I still didn’t know what to do with the release date for. Officially 2014, but kinda released in 2013 too. I was back and forth on it. Also Wasted Theory‘s burly debut, Monolord‘s Empress Rising, Child‘s Child, the Silent Chamber, Noisy Heart sprawling one-song LP from Sylvaine.

Some notes: Actual time spent listening played a big role in the structuring of this list. More so than the Top 30 of 2014, I would say. The Well‘s Samsara and the self-titled debut from The Golden Grass featured pretty high on that list as well, and that’s because both of them were records that I continually went back to and found satisfying after they came out. In both bands I think there’s significant stylistic potential, but more importantly, they both came out of the gate with their mission solidified and ready to roll.

With Spidergawd‘s Spidergawd, the progressive take on classic heavy rock boogie was blinding, but righteous. Their second album is due early next year on Stickman and I’ll have more on it to come in the weeks ahead. Atavismo‘s Desintegración hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. Just four songs, but the atmosphere was gorgeous enough that after listening I went back and asked the band if I could host a stream in hopes that more people would hear it. Fortunately for anyone who listened, they were kind enough to comply.

On sheer impact alone, I think Blues Pills‘ Blues Pills warrants inclusion on this list, but in my own listening, I put on the top four so much more often that I couldn’t really justify placing it any higher. But in terms of a first album coming out and really propelling a band to the next level, I think for a lot of people it’s probably the debut of the year. Fair enough. Steak‘s Slab City found the London four-piece physically and stylistically right in the heart of the California desert and their passion for that place and its sound came across heartfelt on the recording, which only heightened the appeal.

And while I’m still sorry to see Quest for Fire go, the debut from offshoot Comet Control helped ease that sorrow neatly with a blend of driving heavier space rock and psychedelic vibing. Cool album, bodes well. You could say the same for Elephant Tree‘s Theia, I suppose. Their take on psychedelia melded with screamy sludge successfully where I think a lot of bands would’ve fallen flat trying the same thing, and that’s definitely something noteworthy in an initial offering, particularly one not preceded by an EP or other kind of release.

To round things out, two very different records. Black Moon Circle‘s self-titled took a popular stylistic course — melding heavy rock and psychedelic jamming — and showed the trio beginning to make it their own. That’s something I hope will continue on their second outing, which, like that of Spidergawd, is coming on quick early in 2015. And finally, Temple of Void‘s extreme, deathly take on doom courted genres smoothly and delivered its punishment with efficiency while holding together a coherent atmosphere of darkness and aggression. It was a sadistic joy to behold.

If you missed it, there were a couple debuts included on the Top 20 Short Releases of 2014 list as well — Gold & SilverWrenDeath Alley, and so on — so if you’re looking for more of that kind of thing, you don’t have to look too far. I hope if there was a debut album this year that particularly caught your attention, you’ll let me know in the comments.

 

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audiObelisk Transmission 043

Posted in Podcasts on December 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Click Here to Download

 

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Since I don’t do theme podcasts or anything, the thoroughly unofficial subtitle of this latest one is “SOME of the Best of 2014.” Truth be told, it’s four hours long and I feel like I barely scratched the surface, so definitely the emphasis should be on “some.” By no means is it meant to be comprehensive, or am I claiming that it’s all the best and the rest sucked or anything like that. But some of the best stuff is here, so, you know, I hope you enjoy.

My intent was to make it three hours long, and then I got there and it just didn’t feel done without another hour’s worth of extended psych jams. That’s an odd habit to have. Could be worse. For what it’s worth, I was thinking of this as a companion for some of the year-end coverage that’s already been posted and is still to come. Some of this was inspired by picks from the Readers Poll, the submissions for which are still open. If you haven’t added your list yet, I’d greatly appreciate it.

And once again, hope you dig it:

First Hour:
YOB, “Nothing to Win” from Clearing the Path to Ascend
Fu Manchu, “Radio Source Sagittarius” from Gigantoid
Radio Moscow, “Death of a Queen” from Magical Dirt
The Golden Grass, “Stuck on a Mountain” from The Golden Grass
Monster Magnet, “No Paradise for Me” from Milking the Stars: A Reimagining of Last Patrol
Pallbearer, “The Ghost I Used to Be” from Foundations of Burden
The Skull, “Sick of it All” from For Those Which are Asleep
Electric Wizard, “Time to Die” from Time to Die
Orange Goblin, “The Devil’s Whip” from Back from the Abyss
Moab, “No Soul” from Billow

Second Hour:
Sleep, “The Clarity” from The Clarity 12”
Mars Red Sky, “Hovering Satellites” from Stranded in Arcadia
Floor, “Rocinante” from Oblation
Slomatics, “And Yet it Moves” from Estron
Conan, “Foehammer” from Blood Eagle
Druglord, “Feast on the Eye” from Enter Venus
Apostle of Solitude, “Die Vicar Die” from Of Woe and Wounds
Pilgrim, “Away from Here” from II: Void Worship
Blood Farmers, “The Road Leads to Nowhere” from Headless Eyes

Third Hour:
Lo-Pan, “Regulus” from Colossus
Elephant Tree, “Vlaakith” from Theia
The Well, “Mortal Bones” from Samsara
Lucifer in the Sky with Diamonds, “Counting Time” from The Shining One
Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band, “Stokely up Now” from Black Power Flower
Joy, “Driving Me Insane” from Under the Spell of Joy
Greenleaf, “Depth of the Sun” from Trails and Passes
Mothership, “Priestess of the Moon” from Mothership II
Truckfighters, “Get Lifted” from Universe
Mos Generator, “Enter the Fire” from Electric Mountain Majesty
Mammatus, “Brain Drain” from Heady Mental

Fourth Hour:
Øresund Space Collective, “Beardlandia” from Music for Pogonologists
My Brother the Wind, “Garden of Delights” from Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One
The Cosmic Dead, “Fukahyoocastulah” from Split with Mugstar
Montibus Communitas, “The Pilgrim to the Absolute” from The Pilgrim to the Absolute

Total running time: 4:02:57

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 043

 

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