Go back if you will through the last couple years of this site’s archive of posts about Fargo, North Dakota, sludge rockers Egypt (dig in if you dare) and you’ll probably find the running theme of their being included in two kinds of lists — most anticipated albums and best albums of the year. Their most recent outing, late-late-late 2015’s Endless Flight (review here), was both, and I’ve basically been waiting for them to follow that up since they released it, so the thread continues.
Another kind of post common for Egypt? European tour dates. They made a trip to Europe last year in Spring to play Desertfest and the by-now-veterans will head back this summer for slots at Dome of Rock, EXIT Festival, Stoned from the Underground and Red Smoke, as well as club shows between. All this as eagerness mounts for their next album, the coming of which they heralded last month by unveiling a rough version of the new track “Cracks and Lines” (posted here) that found their crusty vibes and rolling grooves well intact, not that there was any doubt.
I don’t know how much new material they’ll be playing on this run or what exactly the status is of the recording for the next LP, but Egypt are definitely “between records” at this point, so if you ever thought of catching a sneak peak at some new material from them, this would seem to be a prime chance.
Egypt – 2017 European Tour
Hello. Here are our 2017 European tour dates. We’re super stoked to be heading back over to Europe this Summer. Check it.
1-jul Rare Guitar – Münster DE 2-jul Le Garage – Liege BE 3-jul Glazart – Paris FR 4-jul Le Ferraileur – Nantes FR 5-jul OFF 6-jul Coq D´Or – Olten CH 7-jul Dome of Rock Festival – Salzburg AT 8-jul KVLT – Budapest HU 9-jul EXIT festival – Novi Sad RS 10-jul Club Daos – Timisoara RO 11-jul Elektropionir – Belgrade RS 12-jul Vintage Industrial Bar – Zagreb HR 13-jul Das Bach – Vienna AT 14-jul Club 007 – Prague CZ 15-jul Stoned From the Underground Fest – Erfurt DE 16-jul Red Smoke Festival – Pleszew PL
Posted in Features on January 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Looks like it’s going to be another busy 12 months ahead. It’s been a busy better-part-of-a-month already, so that stands to reason, but you should know that of the several years now that I’ve done these ‘Tomorrow’s Dream’ posts, this is the biggest one yet, with over 150 upcoming releases that — one hopes — will be out between today and the end of 2017.
Actually, at last count, the list tops 180. Do I really expect you to listen to all of them? Nope. Will I? Well, it would be nice. But what I’ve done is gone through and highlighted 35 picks and then built lists off that in order of likelihood of arrival. You’ll note the categories are ‘Gonna Happen and/or Likely Candidates,’ ‘Definitely Could Happen’ and ‘Would be Awfully Nice.’
Beyond that last one, anything else just seems like speculation — one might as well go “new Sabbath this year!” with zero info backing it up. The idea here is that no matter where a given band is placed, there has been some talk of a new release. In some cases, it’s been years, but I think they’re still worth keeping in mind.
Another caveat: You can expect additions to this list over the next week — probably album titles, band names people (fingers crossed) suggest in the comments, and so on — so it will grow. It always does. The idea is to build as complete a document as possible, not to get it all nailed down immediately, so please, if you have something to contribute and you’re able to do so in a non-prickish, “You didn’t include Band X and therefore don’t deserve to breathe the same air as me,” kind of way, please contribute.
Other than that, I think it’s pretty straightforward what’s going on here and I’ll explain the category parameters as we go, so by all means, let’s jump in.
— Tomorrow’s Dream 2017 —
1. Abrahma, TBA
Late last year, Paris heavy progressives Abrahma announced a new lineup and third full-length in progress. No reason to think it won’t come to fruition, and a follow-up to 2015’s Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird (review here) is an easy pick to look forward to. Even with the shift in personnel, it seems likely the band will continue their creative development, driven as they are by founding guitarist Seb Bismuth.
2. All Them Witches, Sleeping Through the War
If 2017 ended today, Sleeping Through the War would be my Album of the Year. Of course, there’s a lot of year to go, but for now, Nashville’s All Them Witches have set the standard with their second album for New West Records behind 2015’s Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (review here) and fourth overall outing. They’ve got videos up so far for “3-5-7” (posted here) and “Bruce Lee” (posted here). Both are most definitely worth your time. Out Feb. 24. Full review should be later this week.
3. Alunah, Solennial
Seems like UK forest riffers Alunah are on this list every year. Wishful thinking on my part. Nonetheless, their fourth LP and Svart Records debut, Solennial, is out March 17, and if the tease they gave already with the clip for “Fire of Thornborough Henge” (posted here) is anything to go from, its Chris Fielding-produced expanses might just be Alunah‘s most immersive yet.
4. Arbouretum, TBA
I asked the Baltimore folk fuzzers a while back on Thee Facebooks if they had a new record coming in 2017 and they said yes, so that’s what I’m going on here. The last Arbouretum album was 2013’s Coming out of the Fog (review here), and even with frontman Dave Heumann‘s 2015 solo outing, Here in the Deep (review here), factored in, you’d have to say they’re due. Keep an eye on Thrill Jockey for word and I’ll do the same.
5. Atavismo, Inerte
This is another one that already has a spot reserved for it on my Best-of-2017 year-end list. Spanish heavy psych rockers Atavismo up the progressive bliss level with their second full-length, Inerte, without losing the depth of style that made 2014’s Desintegración (review here) so utterly glorious. It probably won’t have the biggest marketing budget of 2017, but if you let Atavismo fly under your radar, you are 100 percent missing out on something special.
6. Bison Machine, TBA
In addition to the video for new track “Cloak and Bones” that premiered here, when Michigan raucousness-purveyors Bison Machine put out the dates for their fall 2016 tour, they included further hints of new material in progress. As much as I dug their earlier-2016 split with SLO and Wild Savages (review here) and 2015’s Hoarfrost (review here), that’s more than enough for me to include them on this list. Killer next-gen heavy rock.
7. Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, TBA
News of a follow-up to Brothers of the Sonic Cloth‘s 2015 Neurot Recordings self-titled debut (review here) came through in October, and it remains some of the best news I’ve heard about 2017 doings. Took them a while to get the first record out, so we’ll see what happens, but it kind of feels like looking forward to a comet about to smash into the planet and cause a mass extinction, and by that I mean awesome. Can’t get here soon enough.
8. Cloud Catcher, Trails of Kosmic Dust
Okay, so maybe I jumped the gun and did a super-early review of Denver trio Cloud Catcher‘s second long-player and Totem Cat Records debut, Trails of Kosmic Dust, but hell, no regrets. Some albums require an early-warning system. Their 2015 debut, Enlightened Beyond Existence (discussed here), was a gem as well, but this is a band in the process of upping their game on every level, and the songwriting and momentum they hone isn’t to be missed.
9. Colour Haze, TBA
I’ve gotten some details on the upcoming full-length from Colour Haze. They do not include a title, artwork, audio, song titles or general direction. Less details, I guess, than word that the CD version of this answer to 2015’s To the Highest Gods We Know (review here) is set to come out next month, as ever, on Elektrohasch. That puts it out in time for Colour Haze‘s upcoming tour with My Sleeping Karma (announced here). Fingers crossed it happens. Colour Haze are perpetual top-albums candidates in my book.
10. Corrosion of Conformity, TBA
Signed to Nuclear Blast after being rejoined by guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan, North Carolina’s C.O.C. have been in the studio since last year. The lineup of Keenan, bassist/vocalist Mike Dean and guitarist Woody Weatherman and Reed Mullin on drums is the stuff of legend and last worked together on 2000’s America’s Volume Dealer, so no question this reunion makes for one of 2017’s most anticipated heavy rock records. They nailed the nostalgia factor on tour. Can they now add to their legacy?
11. Elder, TBA
I was incredibly fortunate about a month ago to visit progressive heavy rockers Elder at Sonelab in Easthampton, MA, during the recording process for their upcoming fourth album. I heard a couple of the tracks, and of course it was all raw form, but the movement forward from 2015’s Lore (review here) was palpable. That LP (on Stickman) brought them to a wider audience, and I expect no less from this one as well, since the farther out Elder go sound-wise, the deeper the level of connection with their listeners they seem to engage.
12. Electric Wizard, TBA
Could happen, could not happen. That’s how it goes. Announced for last Halloween. That date came and went. Word of trouble building their own studio surfaced somewhere along the line. That was the last I heard. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up tomorrow, if it showed up in 2018, or if the band broke up and never put it out. They’re Electric Wizard. Anything’s possible.
13. John Garcia, The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues
Out Jan. 28 on Napalm, The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues (review here) is the first-ever acoustic album from former Kyuss frontman John Garcia, also of Unida, the reunited Slo Burn, Hermano, Vista Chino, Zun, etc. — basically the voice of desert rock. He does a couple Kyuss classics for good measure, but shines as well on the new/original tracks, and while it’s a piece for fans more than newcomers — that is, it helps if you know the original version of “Green Machine” — his presence remains as powerful as ever despite this new context.
14. Goya, Harvester of Bongloads
Riffs, dude. Goya seem to have them to spare. The Arizona-based wizard doomers have set a pretty prolific clip for themselves at this point, with at least two short releases out in 2016, one a 7″ of Nirvana covers (review here), and the The Enemy EP (review here). Set for a March 3 release through their own Opoponax Records imprint, Harvester of Bongloads continues the march into the abyss that 2015’s Obelisk (review here) and 2013’s 777 set in motion, finding the band coming more into their own as well. Creative growth — and bongloads! The best of both worlds.
15. Ides of Gemini, TBA
Ides of Gemini are set to record their yet-untitled third album with Sanford Parker early this year, and it will also mark their debut on Rise Above Records upon its release. They’ve also got a new lineup around vocalist Sera Timms and guitarist J. Bennett, so as they look to move forward from 2014’s Old World New Wave (review here), one can’t help but wonder what to expect, but to be honest, not knowing is part of the appeal, especially from a band who so readily specialize in the ethereal.
16. Kind, TBA
Three-fourths of Kind feature elsewhere on this list. Bassist Tom Corino plays in Rozamov. Drummer Matt Couto is in Elder. Vocalist Craig Riggs is in Roadsaw. And for what it’s worth, guitarist Darryl Shepherd has a new band coming together called Test Meat. How likely does that make Kind to release a second LP in 2017? I don’t know, but their 2015 Ripple Music debut, Rocket Science (review here), deserves a follow-up, and I know they’ve demoed some new songs. If it happens, great. If it’s 2018, at least these dudes will be plenty busy besides.
17. Lo-Pan, In Tensions
Yes, Lo-Pan‘s In Tensions (review here) has already been released — CD/LP with an artbook on Aqualamb. It’s out. Limited numbers. You can get it now. Why include it on a list of most anticipated releases? Because that’s how strongly I feel about your need to hear it. The fruit of a shortlived lineup with guitarist Adrian Zambrano, it distinguishes itself from everything they’ve done before in style while still keeping to the core righteousness that one hopes the Ohio outfit will continue to carry forward. It’s more than a stopgap between albums. Listen to it.
18. The Midnight Ghost Train, TBA
It seems to have been a rough ride for hard-boogie specialists The Midnight Ghost Train since their 2015 Napalm debut and third album overall, Cold was the Ground (review here). They’ve never taken it easy on the road or in terms of physicality on stage, and between injuries and who knows what else, their intensity at this point veers toward the directly confrontational. Nonetheless, they’ve been writing for album number four, may or may not have started the recording process, and I expect that confrontationalism to suit them well in their new material.
19. Monster Magnet, TBA
I have it on decent authority that NJ heavy psych innovators Monster Magnet were in the studio this past autumn. I’ve seen no concrete word of a new album in progress from Dave Wyndorf and company, and I wouldn’t necessarily expect to until it was time to start hyping the release, but after their two redux releases, 2015’s Cobras and Fire (review here) and 2014’s Milking the Stars (review here), their range feels broader than ever and I can’t wait to hear what they come up with next.
20. Mothership, High Strangeness
A pivotal moment for Mothership arrives with High Strangeness, and the heavy-touring, heavy-riffing Texas power trio seem to know it. Their third record on Ripple Music pushes into new avenues of expression and keeps the energy of 2014’s Mothership II (review here) and 2012’s Mothership (review here), but thus far into their career, it’s been about their potential and what they might accomplish going forward. 2017 might be the year for Mothership to declare a definitive place in the sphere of American heavy rock.
21. The Obsessed, Sacred
On Halloween 2016, founding The Obsessed guitarist/vocalist and doom icon Scott “Wino” Weinrich announced a new lineup for the band, with his former The Hidden Hand bandmate Bruce Falkinburg on bass/vocals, Sara Seraphim on guitar and Brian Costantino continuing on drums. A genuine surprise. Their first album since 1994, Sacred (due on Relapse) was tracked as the trio of Weinrich, Costantino and bassist/vocalist Dave Sherman, but clearly they’ve moved into a new era already. Wouldn’t even guess what the future holds, but hopefully Sacred still comes out.
22. Orange Goblin, TBA
When it was announced that London’s Orange Goblin were picked up by Spinefarm as part of that label’s acquisition of Candlelight Records last Spring, the subheadline from the PR wire was “Working on Ninth Studio Album.” I haven’t heard much since then, but even as 2014’s Back from the Abyss (review here) pushed them deeper into metallic territory than ever before, their songs retained the character that’s made the band the institution they are. Always look forward to new Orange Goblin.
23. Pallbearer, Heartless
Doomers, this is your whole year right here. I haven’t heard Pallbearer‘s third album, Heartless (out March 24 on Profound Lore), but I have to think even those who haven’t yet been won over by the Arkansas four-piece’s emotive, deep-running style have to be curious about what they’ve come up with this time around. I know I am. These guys have been making a mark on the genre since their 2012 debut, Sorrow and Extinction (review here), and there’s little doubt Heartless will continue that thread upon its arrival.
24. Radio Moscow, TBA
Fact: Radio Moscow stand among the best classic heavy rock live acts in the US. They’re the kind of band you can watch upwards of 15 gigs in a row — I’ve done it — and find them putting on a better show night after night, in defiance of science, logic and sobriety. Word of their signing to Century Media came just this past week and brought with it confirmation of a follow-up to 2014’s stellar Magical Dirt (review here), and for me to say hell yes, I’m absolutely on board, seems like the no-brainer to end all no-brainers. Can’t wait.
25. Roadsaw, TBA
Nearly six full years later, it’s only fair to call Boston scene godfathers Roadsaw due for a follow-up to their 2011 self-titled (review here). Granted, members have been busy in Kind, White Dynomite, and other projects, but still. Their upcoming outing finds them on Ripple Music after years under the banner of Small Stone Records, and though I haven’t seen a solid release date yet, my understanding is they hit Mad Oak Studio in Allston, MA, this past fall to track it, so seems likely for sooner or later. Sooner, preferably.
26. Rozamov, This Mortal Road
Speaking of albums by Boston bands a while in the making, This Mortal Road (out March 3 on Battleground Records and Dullest Records) is the debut full-length from Boston atmospheric extremists Rozamov. Haven’t heard it yet, but I got a taste of some of the material when I visited the band at New Alliance Audio in Aug. 2015, and the bleak expanses of what I heard seem primed to turn heads. I’m a fan of these guys, but in addition, they’ve found a niche for themselves sound-wise and I’m curious to hear how they bring it to fruition.
27. Samsara Blues Experiment, TBA
It’s been a pleasure over the last couple months to watch a resurgence of Berlin heavy psych trio Samsara Blues Experiment take shape, first with the announcement of a fourth album in October, then with subsequent confirmations for Desertfest, Riff Ritual in Barcelona, and a South American tour. Reportedly due in Spring, which fits with the timing on shows, etc., the record will follow 2013’s righteous Waiting for the Flood (review here) and as much as I’m looking forward to hearing it, I’m kind of just glad to have these guys back.
28. Seedy Jeezus, TBA
Work finished earlier this month on Melbourne trio Seedy Jeezus‘ second full-length. As with their 2015 self-titled debut, the band brought Tony Reed of Mos Generator to Australia to produce, and after their blissed-out 2016 collaboration with Earthless guitarist Isaiah Mitchell, Tranquonauts (review here), it’s hard not to wonder what experimentalist tendencies might show in the trio’s style this time out, and likewise difficult not to anticipate what guitarist Lex “Mr. Frumpy” Wattereus comes up with for the cover art.
29. Shroud Eater, Strike the Sun
Not to spoil the surprise, but Feb. 1 I’ll host a track premiere from Florida’s Shroud Eater that finds them working in a different context from everything we’ve heard from them to this point in their rightly-celebrated tenure. They also recently had a split out with Dead Hand, and their second long-player, Strike the Sun, will be their debut through STB Records. It’s been since 2011’s ThunderNoise (review here) that we last got a Shroud Eater album, so you bet your ass I’m dying to know what the last six years have wrought.
30. Sleep, TBA
If Sleep were any other band, they’d probably be in the “Would be Awfully Nice” category. But they’re Sleep, so even the thought of a new record is enough to put them here. The lords of all things coated in THC are reissuing their 2014 single, The Clarity (review here), on Southern Lord next month, but rumors have been swirling about a proper album, which of course would be their first since the now-legendary Dopesmoker. If it happens, it’ll automatically be a heavy underground landmark for 2017, but it’s one I’m going to have in my ears before I really believe it.
31. Stoned Jesus, TBA
Even as they tour playing their second album, 2012’s Seven Thunders Roar (review here), to mark its fifth anniversary and continued impact, Ukrainian trio Stoned Jesus are forging ahead with a fourth record behind 2015’s The Harvest (review here). The capital-‘q’ Question is whether or not looking back at Seven Thunders Roar and engaging that big-riffing side of their sound will have an impact on the new material, and if so, how it will meld with the push of The Harvest. Won’t speculate, but look forward to finding out.
32. Stubb, TBA
Since reveling in the soul of 2015’s Cry of the Ocean (review here) on Ripple, London trio Stubb have swapped out bassists, and they were in Skyhammer Studio this month recording a single that may be an extended psychedelic jam. I’ll take that happily, but I’m even more intrigued at the prospect of a third LP and what guitarist/vocalist Jack Dickinson, bassist/vocalist Tom Hobson and drummer Tom Fyfe might have in store as the band moves forward on multiple levels. Might be 2017, might not.
33. Sun Blood Stories, It Runs Around the Room with Us
It Runs around the Room with Us seems to find peace in its resonant experimentalist drones, loops, open, subdued spaces, but there’s always some underlying sense of foreboding to its drift, as if Boise’s Sun Blood Stories could anticipate the moment before it happened. Toward the end of the follow-up to 2015’s Twilight Midnight Morning (review here), they execute the 90-second assault “Burn” and turn serenity to ash. Look for it in April and look for it again on my best of 2017 list in December.
34. Ufomammut, TBA
Any new offering from the Italian cosmic doom magnates is worth looking forward to, and while Ufomammut have left the 15-year mark behind, they’ve never stopped progressing in style and form. To wit, 2015’s Ecate (review here) was a stunner after 2012’s two-part LP, Oro (review here and review here), tightening the approach but assuring the vibe was no less expansive than ever. They started recording last summer, finished mixing in November, so I’m hoping for word of a release date soon.
35. Vokonis, The Sunken Djinn
Born out of Creedsmen Arise, whose 2015 demo, Temple (review here), offered formative thrills, Swedish trio Vokonis debuted with last year’s Olde One Ascending (review here) and proved there’s still life in post-Sleep riffing when it’s wielded properly. They signed to Ripple in November and confirmed the title of their sophomore effort as The Sunken Djinn, as well as a reissue for the first album, which will probably arrive first. I don’t know how that will affect the timing on this one, but keep an eye out anyway.
Gonna Happen and/or Likely Candidates
Obviously some of these are more likely than others. Some have solidified, announced release dates — Dopelord‘s out this month, Demon Head‘s out in April, etc. — and others come from social media posts of bands in studios and hints at upcoming releases and so on. A big tell is whether or not a band has an album title with their listing, but even some of those without have their new albums done, like Atala and Royal Thunder, so it’s not necessarily absolute.
Either way, while I’m spending your money, you might want to look into:
36. Against the Grain
39. Attalla, Glacial Rule
40. Ayahuasca Dark Trip, II
42. Beaten Back to Pure
45. Buried Feather, Mind of the Swarm
46. The Clamps
47. Cold Stares
48. Coltsblood, Ascending into the Shimmering Darkness
49. Come to Grief, The Worst of Times EP
51. Cruthu, The Angle of Eternity
52. The Dead-End Alley Band, Storms
53. Dead Witches, Dead Witches
55. Death Alley, Live at Roadburn
56. Demon Head, Thunder on the Fields
57. The Devil and the Almighty Blues, II
58. Devil Electric
59. Doctor Cyclops, Local Dogs
60. Dool, Here Now There Then
61. Dopelord, Children of the Haze
62. Doublestone, Devil’s Own/Djævlens Egn
63. Dread Sovereign, For Doom the Bell Tolls
64. Drive by Wire
65. Elbrus, Elbrus
66. Electric Age
67. Electric Moon, Stardust Rituals
68. Endless Floods, II
69. Five Horse Johnson
70. Forming the Void, Relic
71. Funeral Horse
73. Green Desert Water
75. Grifter / Suns of Thunder, Split
76. Hair of the Dog, This World Turns
77. Heavy Temple, Chassit
78. Here Lies Man, Here Lies Man
79. Hollow Leg, Murder EP
80. Holy Mount, The Drought
81. Hooded Menace
82. Horisont, About Time
83. Hymn, Perish
84. Lecherous Gaze
85. Magnet, Feel Your Fire
87. Merlin, The Wizard
89. Mindkult, Lucifer’s Dream
90. Mirror Queen
91. Moonbow, War Bear
92. Mos Generator
93. The Moth
95. Mouth, Vortex
96. My Sleeping Karma, Mela Ananda – Live
99. PH, Eternal Hayden
100. Psychedelic Witchcraft, Magick Rites and Spells
101. Royal Thunder
102. Saturn, Beyond Spectra
103. Season of Arrows, Give it to the Mountain
104. Siena Root
105. Six Organs of Admittance, Burning the Threshold
106. Six Sigma, Tuxedo Brown
108. The Sonic Dawn, Into the Long Night
110. Spidergawd, IV
112. Stinking Lizaveta, Journey to the Underworld
113. Sula Bassana, Organ Accumulator
115. Sun Voyager, Sun Voyager
116. Sweat Lodge, Tokens for Hell EP
117. Thera Roya, Stone and Skin
119. Troubled Horse, Revelation on Repeat
120. VA, Brown Acid The Third Trip
122. Youngblood Supercult, The Great American Death Rattle
Definitely Could Happen
Maybe a recording process is upcoming (Gozu, Cities of Mars, YOB), or a band is looking for a label (The Flying Eyes), or they’ve said new stuff is in the works but the circumstances of an actual release aren’t known (Arc of Ascent, Dead Meadow, High on Fire), or I’ve just seen rumors of their hitting the studio (Freedom Hawk, La Chinga, Ruby the Hatchet). We’ve entered the realm of the entirely possible but not 100 percent.
So, you know, life.
123. The Age of Truth
124. Ape Machine
125. Arc of Ascent
126. At Devil Dirt
131. La Chinga
132. Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters
133. Cities of Mars
134. Crypt Sermon
135. Dead Meadow
136. Death Alley (Studio LP)
137. Dee Calhoun
138. Destroyer of Light
140. Devil Worshipper
144. Electric Moon
145. Elephant Tree
147. The Flying Eyes
148. Freedom Hawk
150. The Great Electric Quest
151. Green Meteor, Consumed by a Dying Sun
152. High on Fire
154. Insect Ark
155. In the Company of Serpents
156. Iron Monkey
157. Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus
158. The Judge
159. Killer Boogie
160. King Dead
161. The Kings of Frog Island
162. Lords of Beacon House, Recreational Sorcery
164. Mondo Drag
166. Mountain God
167. The Munsens
169. Never Got Caught
175. Purple Hill Witch
176. Ruby the Hatchet
178. Satan’s Satyrs
179. Serpents of Secrecy
181. Shooting Guns
182. Sleepy Sun
183. Slow Season
184. Snowy Dunes, Atlantis
185. Spectral Haze
186. The Sweet Heat
187. Switchblade Jesus
191. Zone Six
Would be Awfully Nice
This last category is basically as close as I’m willing to come to rampant speculation. Endless Boogie have hinted at new material, and Queens of the Stone Age have talked about hitting the studio for the last two years. There were rumors about Om, and though Kings Destroy just put out an EP, they have new songs as well, though I doubt we’ll hear them before the end of 2017. I’ll admit that Across Tundras, Fever Dog, Lord Fowl, Lowrider and Hour of 13 are just wishful thinking on my part. A boy can hope:
192. Across Tundras
194. Elephant Tree
195. Endless Boogie
196. Fever Dog
197. Fu Manchu
198. Halfway to Gone
199. Hour of 13
201. Kings Destroy
202. Lord Fowl
204. Masters of Reality
207. Queens of the Stone Age
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. Whatever this year brings, I hope it’s been great so far for you and I hope it continues to be so as we proceed inexorably to 2018 and all the also-futuristic-sounding numbers thereafter. At least we know we’ll have plenty of good music to keep us company on that voyage.
As always, comments section is open if there’s anything I’ve left out. I’m happy to add, adjust, etc., as need be, so really, have at it, and thanks in advance.
[Click play above to stream ‘Beyond the Electric Sun’ from Cloud Catcher’s Trails of Kosmik Dust. Album is out in March 2017 on Totem Cat Records. Tour dates announced at the bottom of this post.]
If you want to make an album, go on tour. That’s what Denver trio Cloud Catcher did to get ready to record their second offering. Their plan was to take to the road, get themselves in peak form, and then hit the studio to record as live as possible with Slow Season‘s Cody Tarbell at the helm. Listening to the raw scorch of Trails of Kosmic Dust — also their first release through Totem Cat Records — it would be difficult to say the tactic was anything other than a complete success. Their 2015 debut, Enlightened Beyond Existence (discussed here), skillfully blended progressive instrumental performance and classic-style heavy songwriting, but I don’t think there’s a level on which Trails of Kosmic Dust doesn’t bring Cloud Catcher‘s presentation to another level entirely.
Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Rory Rummings, bassist/vocalist Kam Wentworth and drummer Jared Soloman Handman, they benefit from the classic power trio construction in how the bass and drums hold down the boogie of a cut like “Celestial Empress” so that Rummings can embark on dizzying runs up and down the fretboard, but even when Cloud Catcher take a rare moment to slow their Atomic Bitchwaxian grooving onslaught, as on the well-placed “Dimensional Interlude” that would seem to finish side A or first half of the penultimate instrumental on side B, “Super Acid Magick,” Trails of Kosmic Dust isn’t necessarily about the work of one player or another more than the affect of the three-piece as a unit. They grant that some overdubs took place, and given some of the layering of feedback and leads I believe it, but one can hear in the basic underlying tracks how righteously tight they’ve become in such a short time. Across the span of eight tracks/39 minutes, they sound hungry, and mean, and perhaps scariest of all, like they’re still growing.
There may or may not be a consistent narrative taking place through the material, but it’s safe to say the lyrics are taking listeners on an adventure one way or the other, and though there are moments of spaced-out flourish even in a cut like “Beyond the Electric Sun” — the longest inclusion at just over seven minutes, with a jammy vibe and some thrilling start-stop moments in its second half before it returns to sprinting circles around the audience — perhaps the most psychedelic aspect of Trails of Kosmic Dust are the words. They come through clearly and mostly raw, playing to the live feel, from Rummings and Wentworth, at times reminiscent of Mos Generator‘s Tony Reed, as on “Righteous Ruler” or the ultra-Sabbathian boogie blues of “Visions” that leads off side B, and introduce characters like the “Astral Warlord” and “Celestial Empress” before embarking “Beyond the Electric Sun” and traveling through the “Dimensional Interlude” to see “Visions” in “Trails of Kosmic Dust” made from “Super Acid Magick” by a “Righteous Ruler.” That they’d tie “Righteous Ruler” at the end back to the opening duo — each of which would also seem to refer to a leader or monarch of one sort or other — is telling when it comes to a deceptive mindfulness in their structuring and processes.
It’s not all just chaos and boogie, in other words. There’s thought put into it, which is part of why one feels comfortable considering Trails of Kosmic Dust a progressive work. But the pummel-pummel-pummel impression the record makes through its opening salvo in “Astral Warlord,” “Celestial Empress” and “Beyond the Electric Sun” isn’t to be understated either. Those three tracks, one after another, would be almost impossibly frenetic were it not for their catchy hooks allowing for something to grab onto. Organic tones and shuffle are the basis for what makes a cut like “Celestial Empress” work — specific mention should be made of Wentworth‘s handling the low end, both in terms of what he’s playing either following the guitar or not and how it sounds — and Cloud Catcher demonstrate plainly the dynamic they’ve built from those elements before giving the peaceful minute of “Dimensional Interlude” as a means to transition into the expansion that side B brings.
And brings quickly. A change in vocals (I think) brings Wentworth to the fore for the shorter and more straightforward track, clean in tone and plainly playing toward earliest Sabbath in the patterning of lyrics and overall feel. Way more Black Sabbath than Master of Reality, “Visions” gives way to the title-track via a cymbal wash and “Trails of Kosmic Dust” calls back to the boogie thrust of side A in its construction early, but fluidly shifts in its midsection to a spacious and more open vibe. It’s still tense with the progression of Handman‘s drums under layers of Rummings‘ guitar, but hinting maybe at a patience in development within their approach that might come more to fruition on subsequent outings. Also welcome is the instrumental return to the bouncing chorus they insert at the end, so that “Trails of Kosmic Dust” doesn’t simply jam itself into oblivion, but highlights a sense of songwriting as well, making it all the more fitting that the album bears its name.
Nascent patience might be a factor early in “Super Acid Magick” as well. There are moments on Trails of Kosmic Dust when it sounds like the psychedelia is asserting itself as a setup for the band to use as a launch point, and “Super Acid Magick” directly recalls Death Alley‘s “Supernatural Predator” on a shorter scale in how it solidifies into a full-throttle thrust and continues to move outward from there. Another well-positioned instrumental, it changes up expectation on the part of the listener going into the finale, expands the palette of the record overall and reinforces the live feel while also providing a direct bleed into the initial nodding riff that introduces “Righteous Ruler,” a bluesy lead line from Rummings met by Wentworth‘s foundation of tone and rolling drums from Handman as it gradually builds speed before kicking into the verse line after a minute or so.
The closer is less a summary of Trails of Kosmic Dust on the whole than one might expect, but it does bring to mind a lot of what works well about it, whether that’s the cyclical feel of its hook, the on-a-dime shifts in tempo and rhythm or the final instrumental push that — this time — leads Cloud Catcher all the way out with no return, getting slower until finally a cymbal wash and noise leads to a last crash and cold finish. Show’s over, folks. They put on a hell of a set, and as noted above, there are ways in which Cloud Catcher, who got together in 2013, still feel like a growing band. Though their urgency often serves them well, I’ll be interested to hear next time out how the balance shifts between that and the more liquefied aspects in some of these tracks shifts, and what influences will emerge as they continue to tour. Ultimately though, one of the most encouraging results on Trails of Kosmic Dust is that Cloud Catcher come across as a band actively, consciously involved in that evolutionary process. It wasn’t happenstance that they went right from doing shows to the studio, and that kind of willful creative drive will only serve them well as they move forward from here.
Cloud Catcher 2017 Midwest Tour:
^Saturday March 11th Denver, CO HI-DIVE^ ^Sunday March 12th Colorado Springs, FLUX CAPACITOR^ ^Monday March 13th Santa Fe, NM THE UNDERGROUND AT EVANGELO’S^ ^Tuesday March 14th Ft. Worth, TX The Grotto^ ^Wednesday March 15th Austin, TX SXSW^ Thursday March 16th Austin, TX SXSW Friday March 17th Austin, TX SXSW ^Saturday March 18th San Antonio, TX FAUST TAVERN^ Sunday March 19th Houston, TX SATELLITE BAR Monday March 20th Texarkana, TX THE ARROW BAR Tuesday March 21st Memphis, TN BUCANEER LOUNGE Wednesday March 22nd Columbus, OH HOUSE SHOW *Thursday March 23rd Ft. Wayne, IN BRASS RAIL* *Friday March 24th Detroit, MI SMALL’S* *Saturday March 25th Chicago, IL LIVEWIRE * *Sunday March 26th Milwaukee, WI RIVERWEST PUBLIC HOUSE* Tuesday March 28th Denver, CO SUMMIT MUSIC HALL ^ WITH THE MUNSENS *WITH BISON MACHINE
It was abundantly clear that Denver trio Cloud Catcher were onto something with their 2015 debut, Enlightened Beyond Existence (discussed here and here), and they confirmed same when I was fortunate enough to see them play at Borderland Fuzz Fiesta (review here) in February. Their upstart blend of Sabbath boogie and progressive composition is delivered with righteous vigor both live and in the studio, and today they announce that they’ve signed to French imprint Totem Cat Records and that they’ll release their second full-length, Trails of Kozmic Dust, later this year.
The album was recorded by Cody Tarbell of Slow Season following Cloud Catcher‘s Spring tour. They’ll celebrate the signing this weekend at the Denver Electric Funeral Fest by playing the first of the event’s two nights, directly under Mothership and Radio Moscow as a kind of local headliner, and have an extensive tour in the works for early in 2017 to support Trails of Kozmic Dust.
Their announcement follows:
It is with great pride that Cloud Catcher announces its partnership with French label, Totem Cat Records for the release of our second album entitled “Trails Of Kozmic Dust”.
This album is the culmination of friendship, perseverance, and the unyielding spirit of rock ‘n roll. “Trails Of Kozmic Dust” was recorded in a span of 3 days at our good friend Cody Tarbell of Slow Season fame’s house (The Cornfield) at the end of our last Spring tour. This album is raw, organic, and aggressive as there are little to no overdubs, just pure live performance at a time that we felt was right. In other words this is a pure representation of Cloud Catcher.
We are absolutely honored to have Totem Cat Records release “Trails Of Kozmic Dust” and are hoping for a later in the year release date. With that being said Cloud Catcher would like to thank the following: Cody Tarbell for believing in our music enough to let us live and record with him, Ewenn Padovan for giving us a chance to put out a record we believe in, and to you the fans for coming out to our shows, buying merch, letting us crash at your houses and surrounding us with general positivity! This is for you!
Posted in audiObelisk on February 3rd, 2016 by JJ Koczan
In a flooded Portland bandscape, R.I.P. stand out from the crowd pretty easily. The four-piece release their debut album, In the Wind, on March 14 via Totem Cat Records with cover art by Adam Burke, and unlike much of what’s coming out of the Pacific Northwest, R.I.P. are way more interested in having their party breaking bottles on gravestones at night rather than downing pints in the brewpub.
In the Wind offers up a 10-track/54-minute 2LP’s worth of of classic metal churn delivered with modern heavy buzz in the guitars of Angel Martinez, whose riffs lead the fist-pumping charge alongside vocalist Fuzz, bassist Jon Mullett and drummer Willie D, hell-bent on sourcing purposefully-regressive doom from the metal of yore, whether that’s the Saint Vitus-style riffing of “Bereaved” and “Brave in the Grave,” Fuzz nodding at Eric Wagner in “Smoke and Lightning” and closer “In the Wind Part 3” or the scorching leads Martinez brings to cuts like “Tremble” and “In the Wind Part 2.”
Worth acknowledging that for heavy rockers to be mining the tropes of ’80s metal is nothing new. Early Man released their first demo circa 2004 — and they weren’t the first — and while not nearly as indebted to thrash, R.I.P. share some stylistic tendencies on In the Wind, which outwardly proselytizes the righteousness of its aesthetic in the lyrics to “Black Leather” and “Smoke and Lightning,” a self-awareness that, while clearly enjoying itself, avoids an ironic sneer.
With sonic methods drawn from Pentagram, Sabbath, Vitus, Trouble, and so on, R.I.P. are playing to the familiar, but they’re not doing so in a mocking manner so much as in celebration, ready to surprise the crap out of some mostly-empty bar that didn’t know it was about to have its ass kicked like it’s 32 years ago. The element of surprise isn’t necessarily a factor by the time intro “The Scythe” and “In the Wind Part 1” give way to “Brave in the Grave” and “In the Wind Part 3,” but by then the doom has hit the bloodstream and In the Wind‘s headbanger’s ball has either drawn you in or cast you out.
It’s the kind of metal that shows up in grainy big-but-not-glam-hair photos and the kind of metal that you could probably get away with playing in Manowar‘s proverbial hall after a few adult beverages. Across its span, In the Wind isn’t exactly raw and it isn’t exactly retro, but it’s definitely taking the bulk of its influence from a bygone age of demo-tape trading and wearing band t-shirts as a social statement.
Blending those elements with a decidedly heavy rock shuffle in the second half of “Tremble” and slide guitar in the interlude “The Tombstone” (which may or may not be an intro for the second LP) adds complexity to the experience overall, but by no means are R.I.P. aiming for pick-it-apart nuance. They call it “West Coast street doom,” and that’s about as fair as anything I could come up with. Whatever niche genre one might one to invent for R.I.P., like their moniker, their first full-length gets right to the point and leaves little question as to its deathly intent.
Below, you can hear the premiere of “Tremble” ahead of the album’s release on March 14. Please enjoy:
After several years of hammering the west coast with the blunt scythe of street-doom, R.I.P. finally committed to tape an introductory will and testament for the rest of the world to tremble to. “In the Wind” closes the casket on the trends and exhumes the notion that doom isn’t about how slow and de-tuned you can play, but about fear, death, leather and playing as heavy as possible.
A full US tour in the spring follows this Totem Cat Records release, where the band plans to drag the rest of the country down with them. Doom is dead: R.I.P. doom.
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 6th, 2016 by JJ Koczan
“My brain is full of powder/My veins are full of doom, yeah.” Fair enough. Since the label executive/producer/whoever it was referred to Pentagram as a “more ‘street’ Black Sabbath” in the Last Days Here documentary, it seemed only a matter of time before a band picked up the term and applied it to themselves. Portland’s R.I.P., working under the banner of “street doom,” will release their debut album, In the Wind, in March via Totem Cat Records. The race is over.
The band have a preview trailer for the release that includes what I assume is a goodly portion of every finishing move the Undertaker ever pulled off, and you can find it under the PR wire info below:
Portland’s street doomers R.I.P. announce debut album “In The Wind”, dropping this March on Totem Cat Records
If there’s one thing you didn’t see coming for 2016, it’s a radical heavy metal assault by Oregon’s self-proclaimed “street doomers” R.I.P.. Their rousing debut album “In The Wind” – due out this March on Totem Cat Records and illustrated by US painter Adam Burke – will make all metalheads’ hearts leap with joy. Get in the wind or get out the way…
In a heavy metal wasteland littered with cookie cutter snooze-button doom bands rocking $10,000 rigs and $1 riffs, its a huff of fresh air straight out of the glue bottle to hear R.I.P. – four cretins from the Pacific Northwest who play knuckle dragging death obsessed metal at the speed of the streets. After several years of hammering the west coast with the blunt scythe of street-doom, they finally committed to tape an introductory will and testament for the rest of the world to tremble to. “In the Wind” closes the casket on the trends and exhumes the notion that doom isn’t about how slow and de-tuned you can play, but about fear, death, leather and playing as heavy as possible. A full US tour in the spring follows this Totem Cat Records release, where the band plans to drag the rest of the country down with them. Doom is dead: R.I.P. doom.
R.I.P. – Debut album “In The Wind” Out on 2xLP and digital this March on Totem Cat Records
TRACKLISTING: 1. The Scythe 2. In The wind Part 1 3. Tremble 4. Black Leather 5. Smoke and Lightning 6. In The Wind Part 2 7. The Tombstone 8. Bereaved 9. Brave In The Grave 10. In The wind Part 3
ARTWORK: Adam Burke
R.I.P. IS Fuzz – Vocals Angel Martinez – Guitar Jon Mullett – Bass Willie D – Drums
New Egypt is a no-brainer of awesome. North Dakota’s heaviest trio are freshly returned from their first European tour, which included a stop at Freak Valley 2015, and are looking to keep the high going as they make their way toward the release of their sophomore album, to be titled Endless Flight perhaps in honor of their having made the trip across the Atlantic on United Airlines. Whatever their motivation, I haven’t seen a solid release date yet, but if it’s that or new music, I’ll take the new music every time. While I add Endless Flight to my growing list of 2016’s most anticipated, they give a first glimpse with a rough mix of “Tres Madres.”
Here’s word from the band as well as an update to their bio (which I feel comfortable enough reworking because I’m pretty sure I wrote it in the first place), and of course the song itself:
Here is an unmastered rough mix of the song Tres Madres from our new record that will hopefully be released this summer/fall. We really hope to have the new album out soon. Hope you dig the song. Cheers everyone.
Rough mix of Tres Madres from the upcoming album Endless Flight.
More than a decade after starting out, Egypt were more active and more widely known than they’d ever been, having racked up shows alongside the likes of Dead Meadow, Jucifer, Today is the Day, Acid Mothers Temple, Weedeater, Church of Misery, and Orange Goblin.
There’s nothing happenstance about it, and in an age where word can travel faster than it ever has, Egypt have slow-burned their way to the fore of the American stoner rock underground. In 2015, they’ve expanded beyond those borders with their first European tour. Where they go from here includes a new album, titled Endless Flight, and who knows what else to come, but for a band who regrouped by popular demand and have only gathered momentum since, Egypt are just beginning to shape their empire.
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 22nd, 2015 by JJ Koczan
Montreal sludge trio Dopethrone will release their fourth album, Hochelaga, on Totem Cat Records in April. They have a quality-over-quantity round of European tour dates booked to celebrate, slots included at Desertfest in London and Berlin as well as Heavy Days in Doomtown and shows with Eyehategod and Acid King. I’m also interested to find out if their noted-but-not-specified Los Angeles appearance in November is a part of a festival — as I recall, the Day of the Shred was around that time last year — or just a regular one-off gig. Would be a long way to go for a club show.
Hochelaga will be out by then, but it’s still in preorders for now. Link, album info and trailer follow, courtesy of the PR wire:
Canada’s sludge legends DOPETHRONE to release new album this April on Totem Cat Records!
Montréal-based DIY filthmongers DOPETHRONE finally return this spring with their heaviest album to date! “Hochelaga” is slated for vinyl and digital release on April 13th via independent label Totem Cat Records. Get whatever substance you may need ready, hide your daughters: they’re back…
After they have mercilessly pounded eardrums and spread their groove-laden lunacy on an international scale with three widely acclaimed eargasmic LPs, it is finally time for one of North America’s filthiest weed-infused doom acts DOPETHRONE to take over your households once again. Named after their ghetto stronghold in Montréal, this fourth record betokens DOPETHRONE’s determination to stir up even more trouble and take their sonic power to a higher level.
Enjoy yourselves now and prepare for the takeover with the album’s official trailer.
The riff comes in many forms. Sometimes it’s clean, catchy and elegant. Sometimes it’s filthy, grimy and about as elegant as a sledgehammer to the sternum. DOPETHRONE is the latter. This D.I.Y trio from Hochelaga, Montreal’s trashiest ghetto, wallows in smoke, demons, death, the occult and enough psychotropic drugs to send both Hunter S. Thomspson and William Burroughs on one hell of a trip. Delivering some of the filthiest, most skull-crushing riffs drenched in distortion and fuzz, they encompass the bleakness of black metal, the steadfastness of New Orleans-style sludge with a heavier-than-thou doom mentality. Riffage is thick, punishing, suffocating and destructive and demonic vocals are harsh, visceral and animal-like for tunes dripping with pervasive THC. DOPETHRONE take over doom and view it through a crusty lens, and that perspective rise the genre to new heights of sonic filth.
After they released their first LP “Demonsmoke” on STB Records, the band unleashed “Dark Foil” via Totem Cat Records in 2011, then got invited to Roadburn Festival in 2012 by festival curators Voivod. The performance was followed by the release of third album “III”, in support of which the trio toured Europe two times. Montreal’s distortion-powered sledgehammer DOPETHRONE is set to be back in 2015 with a fourth heavier and most of all thrashier full-length… The band will perform at DesertFest London and Berlin and Heavy Days In Doomtown this spring, and will make their very first appearance in Los Angeles for a special performance in November !
In support of the release, DOPETHRONE will play some of the best heavy festivals this spring, including a bunch of club shows in the rest of Europe. More dates to be announced soon, including North American dates.
UPCOMING SHOWS: 22.04 – LYON (FR) MJC Ô Totem w/ EyeHateGod 23.04 – STRASBOURG (FR) Molodoï w/ EyeHateGod 24.04 – LONDON (UK) Desertfest London 25.04 – BERLIN (DE) Deserfest Berlin 28.04 – PARIS (FR) Glazart w/ Acid King & Black Cobra 29.04 – AMSTERDAM (NL) TBA 30.04 – ATHENS (GR) An Club w/ Belzebong 01.05 – COPENHAGEN (DK) Heavy Days In Doomtown 03.05 – HAMBURG (DE) Hafenklang
DOPETHRONE IS: Vince – Guitar & Vocals Carl – Drums Vyk – Bass