No doubt Helsinki-based fest Blowup Vol. 3 will continue to take shape over the next couple months — October is still a ways off — but they make a strong opening statement anyhow. We already knew that Italian cosmic doomers Ufomammut would be on the road supporting their new album, 8, which is out in September (info here), but to find the homage paid to native Finnish doom in welcoming Spiritus Mortis, which features former Reverend Bizarre vocalist Sami Hynninen, is particularly in keeping with tradition. I’ll admit I don’t really know Russian outfit Phurpa, but their name is incredible enough to warrant investigation. I’ll get on it. Like with the Bandcamp stream at the bottom of this post. That’ll be a good place to start.
The info below was run through an internet giant’s translation matrix, so take it more as a work of linguistic impressionism rather than pure technicality, but the dates and links and band names are right, so I think the important parts are covered.
Blowup Vol. 3 Helsinki, Korjaamo
October 13 – October 15
Korjaamo Töölönkatu 51, 00250 Helsinki
Confirmed acts acts so far are:
Phurpa (RUS) Spiritus Mortis (FIN) Ufomammut (ITA)
This October, Helsinki is again on the hardest place to be.
Blowup festival was created to meet the autumn gaping vacuum of doom and other marginal, experimental heavy music lovers in the calendar. The number of visitors and the feedback received has shown that there is a demand for the event. Blowup Vol. 3 will be held from 13 to 14.10. at Korjaamo in Helsinki.
Vaunusali has served as the main venue of the festival successfully. the spirit of the underground exude an event, but so organized professionally manicured evenings have attracted incense for both customers and artists alike.
In previous occasions we have seen blowup genres international top names such as Ufomammut, Year of No Light, 40 Watt Sun, Conan and Lucifer, as well as domestic artists such as Skepticism, Callisto and Emma-candidate Oranssi Pazuzu.
This year, Blowup Vol. 3 of the festival artists presents a visual artist Tekla Vályn photographs. “Close of each artist into the dark space, where I spent hours listening to music and watching the darkness. The works are the fruits of darkness, generated by the music and visions of darkness KALEIDOSCOPE” The first artists are Ufomammut, Phurpa and Spiritus Mortis.
Ufomammut (ITA) Ufohavaintoja have been reported in the 2010s, repeatedly in Finland. And rightly so, because italialaistriolla has played an important role in both of these latitudes doom / stoner popularity of the ground work that Blow Up That Gramophone story. Helsinki arrival Ufomammut is topical once again, because of massive riffs and psychedelic moods business card featuring a band has just finished their new album.
PHURPA (RUS) The ritual is a word with many bands now like to describe gigs. Phurpan in connection with any other word does not come to mind. Echoes from Tibet, Tantric esoteriaa, mantras throat, voice skulls. Phurpa is a terrorist mind. An explosion of fragments of consciousness after the occurrence of the enlarged Pick it all makes sense.
Spiritus Mortis (FIN) Finnish doom metal list can not talk about without mentioning two bands: laid the groundwork for Spiritus Mortis and magnitude that brought Reverend Bizarre. Blowup will be like ouroboros experiences, because the latter vocalist Sami Hynninen aka Albert Witchfinder occurs for the last time the ranks.
Italian cosmic doom masters Ufomammut will issue their new album, 8, Sept. 22 on Neurot Recordings. A behind-the-scenes video of the band in the recording studio has been posted, and festival dates announced before and after the release, which follows the band’s 2015 outing, Ecate (review here), and true enough to its title, is their eighth full-length. The long-running three-piece haven’t exactly been shy about their studio process, and last year found them posting regular updates, photos, videos, etc., as they put the record together, and it seems some more of that has made its way out too, so right on. The more the merrier, and as far as the rest of 2017 goes, hold a spot on your top 20 list, because Ufomammut never disappoint.
This just came in off the PR wire to make my day:
Ufomammut announce new album “8” incoming September 22nd via Neurot Recordings; plus live dates announced
Speak to any purveyor of the darkened heavy sonic and they’ll recommend Ufomammut. Masters of melding uncompromisingly heavy magic with psychedelic swirls, it is now with the heaviest and most immense pleasure to announce that the Italian alchemic juggernaut will be offering a new album this September 22nd (Neurot Recordings) consisting of eight darkened gems, aptly titled 8.
Sonically and symbolically, 8 is not only wickedly limitless in its heaviness, powerfulness and commanding nature, but how it arrests the listener’s mind creating a wholly unbounded and impenetrable sensory experience. Laden with symbolic nuances, 8 most obviously gestures towards this being Ufomammut’s 8th offering, comprised of 8 stunningly immersive tracks that flow into each other without interruption. This flow can also be seen when you tip 8 horizontally, thus it morphs into the leniscate from algebraic geometry – a plane curve that meets at central point – or more commonly known as the infinity symbol. A continuous stream of movement reflective of the uninterrupted nature of the album but also the continued togetherness of the essential elements of the band – Urlo, Poia and Vita – since the beginning of the band’s history. ? tipped vertically sees us return to the number 8. It must be stressed there is no singular pronunciation of the title, 8 is to be spoken in every language e.g. “eight” in English, “otto” in Italian, “acht” in German and so on.
As stated, 8 is a continuous flux of music, a singular entity, which can be defined in micro measurements by its eight satellite songs. Each track expands upon the preceding song, unfolding into an exceedingly dense, malevolent and formidable journey, resulting in this being Ufomammut’s most extreme venture yet, with no permittance for breathing space in the 48 minutes. The album’s predecessor Ecate has now been put to rest and we can be assured that 8 is an essential turning point in the infinity that is Ufommamut’s sonic.
Recorded at Crono Sound Factory in Vimodrone, Milano (IT), 8 is a major turning point in the heavy alchemic arts, with the elements of Ufomammut’s recording constellation being re-aligned. Although the musicians within Ufomammut’s collective remain unturned, a change in recording approach saw the trio playing and recording live together in the same room, even utilising their live sound engineer Ciccio and his project FEMORE for production purposes, with Fabrizio San Pietro on mixing duties. Overdubs were used only for vocals, synth sounds and small details with the result of such endeavour being a stricter focus on the soul, darkened groove and overall cohesion of the music and themselves as musicians. In turn, 8 clarified to Ufomammut who they are as a unit now and their new sonic path…
8 is due for release on September 22nd on vinyl and CD formats via Neurot Recordings and on a limited and regular edition vinyl via Supernatural Cat. Pre order information, album tracks and more to be revealed over the coming months.
In anticipation of Ufomammut’s 8 you can catch the conjurers of heavy mind swirls at the following:
UFOMAMMUT LIVE DATES 16/06 – Freak Valley Fest (Netphen, DE) 18/06 – Hellfest (Clisson, FR) 04/08 – Disintegrate Your Ignorance Fest (Giavera del Montello, IT) 06/10 – Up in Smoke Fest (Pratteln, CH) 13/10 – Korjaamo BlowUp Vol.3 Festival (Helsinki, FI)
Keep your ears and mind open for more news about 8 in the coming weeks…
Up in Smoke 2017 has made its first lineup announcements for this October. It’s the fifth anniversary of the Swiss-based fest put together by Sound of Liberation, and they’re immediately giving it due ceremony by putting word out that the just-broke-up-oh-wait-they’re-back-together-again Graveyard will headline. Will they have a new record out? Who will play drums? These are questions still to be answered, but there are seven months between now and then, so fair to expect it’ll all be worked out in the interim.
Along with Graveyard, putting the formidable likes of Orange Goblin, Radio Moscow (who will have a new album out), Ufomammut (who just might as well), Windhand and their tourmates in Satan’s Satyrs, as well as Swiss acts Zatokrev and Sons of Morpheus on the bill certainly doesn’t hurt it any either. Eight bands in the first batch to be announced and I’m already looking forward to the second. We’re not even really into the Spring season yet and Fall is starting to rear its head.
Festus fugit, my friends.
From the PR wire:
Up In Smoke 2017 – First 8 Bands confirmed: GRAVEYARD to Headline!
We are now finally ready to unveiled the official Up In Smoke 2017 poster, and the first bands confirmed for this outstanding 5th edition! Located as usual in Switzerland’s best rock venue, Z7 Konzertfabrik, only a few kilometres from the German and French borders, our festival will feature about 20 bands on two stages with no overlapping set times, to guarantee you two days of Volume Worshipping!
So mark October 6th & 7th in your calendar, and get your 2-pass as soon as you can here or here! Up In Smoke 2016 was sold out, so better be quick, and to help you make your decision, we are proud to give you the first 8 bands we have confirmed!
GRAVEYARD (SWE) ORANGE GOBLIN (UK) RADIO MOSCOW (USA) UFOMAMMUT (I) WINDHAND (USA) SATAN’S SATYRS (USA) ZATOKREV (CH) SONS OF MORPHEUS (CH)
Up In Smoke is an indoor festival for fans of Heavy Rock – Doom – Psych – Stoner… easily reachable by plane via the Euro-Airport (Basel/Muhouse) or by public transportations (train, bus) via Basel Main Station. There are plenty of affordable Hotels and Hostels located in Basel and for “budget savers” we are also offering to sleep over + breakfast (Coffee and bread rolls) in the venue for a small fee!
How does this work? After the last concert of the day, we ask everybody to step out of the venue for a few minutes. During that time, the venue and toilets are cleaned and the floor covered with a plastic sheet. (people have to bring their sleeping bags and air mattresses)
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.
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 10th, 2016 by JJ Koczan
Even as Europe — yes, the entire frickin’ continent — reels from an autumn filled with successive weekend festivals, the next season begins. Germany-based Freak Valley has put its early-bird tickets on sale for Freak Valley 2017, which will be held June 15 through June 17 in Siegen, and as I understand it, they’ve already blown through the lot of them. At very least the ones they were selling at the Brutus and Godsleep show this weekend, also in Siegen. And the ones they subsequently put up for sale online? Apparently they sold twice as many as they’d planned to sell, so it seems safe to say that Freak Valley 2017 is off to a good start.
Fair enough. Would be hard not to trust the taste of Jens Heide and company at this point not to deliver a rock-solid lineup of heavy in its various incarnations and permutations. For example, just before tickets went on sale, they posted the first band added to the lineup, and of course it’s a monster. From Italy. Named Ufomammut.
If you’ve never seen Ufomammut — and you probably have, because I know you’re down, but just go with me on this — it’s one of life’s great joys. Here’s the first of many announcements from Freak Valley 2017 that I expect to come over the next eight months, probably one at a time, just like this year:
°!° First Band Announcement & Early Bird Tickets °!°
Here we go! Please welcome Italy’s psychedelic metal heavyweights UFOMAMMUT !!
UFOMAMMUT is a power trio formed in 1999 in Italy by Poia, Urlo and Vita, worldwide recognized as the creator of a unique brand of psychedelic sludge. With long songs, droning vocals and massive effects the band combines a monumental riffing attitude with the psychedelia of the more visionary Pink Floyd. UFOMAMMUT’s status as one of the most potent, powerful and artistic contemporary doom artists in existence, continues to captivate the masses, and the band’s worldwide grasp grows wider with each release.
Ufomammut’s live show is supported by the internationally acclaimed video and graphic art of Malleus ROCK ART LAB, a rock artists’ collective who conjure the entirety of Ufomammut’s visual impact.
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 30th, 2016 by JJ Koczan
Here’s the cure to your shitty day: The knowledge that whatever cosmic misfortunes the universe seems to have set upon you, Italian psych-doomers Ufomammut are preparing to once more wipe the universe’s slate clean with a new full-length. Their eighth album, it will follow 2015’s Ecate (review here) and 2012’s two-parter Oro (review here and review here), and presumably will see release through Neurot Recordings as well, though that doesn’t seem to be confirmed in the press release below. If it turns out not to be a Neurot issue, they’d be a great pickup for just about any larger American or European underground label with an interest in heavy, so I’m sure they’d wind up someplace. If they’ve proven to be anything over the years, it’s hard to ignore.
To wit, tour dates in Australia and New Zealand as well as another run through Europe, confirmed to presumably follow the completion of this recording process. The PR wire has details:
Ufomammut enter the studio to record their eighth LP; UK and Australian tour dates posted
The Italian psychedelic power trio Ufomammut are currently in the process of forging their eighth LP, following their heady/heavy 2015 epic for Neurot Recordings, Ecate. The band are knuckling down at Crono Sound Factory in Vimodrone, just north of Milan, the first time recording with their soundlord Ciccio and his comrades of Femore Production. Having spent much of the past year refining their exploratory jam sessions to make them fit for purpose – expect more of their inimitable dense, organic riffing to emerge in 2017, with teasers on the way sooner.
Having just wrapped up a European tour which included dates with their friends in Neurosis and fellow countrymen Grime, Ufomammut have their sights set on Australia and New Zealand, and will be travelling there in early October with the masters of doom tone, Monolord. Those dates are followed by further European shows, which include a performance at this year’s Damnation Festival in Leeds on November 5th, alongside Electric Wizard, Enslaved, Cult of Luna, Akercocke and many more, plus a London show. Full dates below:-
UFOMAMMUT – AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND 03.10.16 – Wellington, San Fran w/ Monolord 04.10.16 – Auckland, Kings Arms w/ Monolord 06.10.16 – Brisbane, Crowbar w/ Monolord 07.10.16 – Sydney, Bald Faced Stag w/ Monolord 08.10.16- Melbourne, Max Watts w/ Monolord 09.10.16 – Perth, Rosemount w/ Monolord
UFOMAMMUT – EUROPE 02.11.16 – FR – Paris, Backstage 03.11.15 – BE – Hasselt, Mod 04.11.16 – UK – London, Underworld 05.11.16 – UK – Leeds, Damnation Festival 07.11.16 – DE – Leipzig, Werk 2 08.11.16 – DE – Wiesbaden, Schlachthof 09.11.16 – DE – Nurnberg, Musikzentrale 10.11.16 – DE – Hannover, Faust 11.11.16 – TBA 12.11.16 – NL – Utrecht, Le Guess Who Festival 13.11.16 – DE – Koln, Underground
I wonder if the shipping on exports costs more when they’re this heavy. This fall, venerable concern Life is Noise will present the thunderdoom pairing of Italian cosmic doom progenitors Ufomammut and Swedish riff-crushers Monolord, which if the point hasn’t gotten across yet is a formidable pairing indeed, both acts preceded by their reputation for being heavy as hell.
For Monolord, this six-show run will follow an extensive US tour with Beastmaker and Sweat Lodge that will be their first time in North America as headliners, while Ufomammut have reportedly been working on new material presumably with an eye toward a 2017 release. That’s the hope, anyway. They’ve also been playing fests and other select dates in Europe.
Life is Noise sent the following down the PR wire:
LIFE IS NOISE PRESENTS: UFOMAMMUT (ITA) & MONOLORD (SWE) AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND TOUR
LIFE IS NOISE is proud to announce the first visit to our shores of Italian space doom virtuosos Ufomammut, along with masters of the riff, Swedish three-piece Monolord.
These two behemoths will be laying waste to cities across Australia and New Zealand this October in a truly huge doom double-header.
Playing an ear-destroying brand of sludge-filled doom that lurches from brooding slow menace to soul-crushing riff with a decent slab of psych thrown in for good measure, Ufomammut have released a stack of studio albums of unimpeachable heaviness, culminating in last year’s Ecate – truly a masterpiece of nuanced doom that perfectly encapsulates the band’s career to date.
Drawing on influences such as Sleep, Sabbath, Windhand, and Conan, Swedish trio Monolord take reverence to the riff to new extremes, with their second record, 2015’s Vænir, mixing glacial tempos with hypnotic and otherworldly vocals that coalesce into an album of both beauty and malevolence.
Catch Ufomammut and Monolord on the following dates:
Wellington – San Fran – October 3 Auckland – Kings Arms – October 4 Brisbane – Crowbar – October 6 Sydney – Bald Faced Stag – October 7 Melbourne – Max Watt’s – October 8 Perth – Rosemount Hotel – October 9
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
Before we get to all the tracks and this and that, I have to say, this double-size year-end podcast was an absolute pleasure to put together. Fun. Actual fun. I don’t know if it was the preponderance of excellent songs to work from that came out in 2015 or what, but I had a really good time making my way through the near-four-hour run, and I hope you feel that way too as you listen.
It should go without mentioning, but I’ll give the disclaimer anyway that this is in no way, shape or form a complete rundown of everything awesome produced this year. My own Top 10 has bands on it who aren’t represented here, so if you don’t see something you think belongs in the mix below — looking at you, Baroness fans — please keep in mind that it’s not my intent to offer anything more than a partial summary. Otherwise, I’d have to make it a year long.
Thanks for listening if you get the chance to do so, and if there’s something here you haven’t yet checked out, I hope you dig it. The flow is pretty easy front to back, but we get into some more extreme stuff in the third hour for a bit before going grand with Elder and the “Digestive Raga” from Øresund Space Collective, which seemed an appropriate way to end off giving everyone a chance to process what’s just been heard. Please enjoy.
Track details follow:
0:00:00 Acid King, “Red River” from Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere
0:08:24 Clutch, “Firebirds” from Psychic Warfare
0:11:23 Bloodcow, “Crystals and Lasers” from Crystals and Lasers
0:14:28 Stoned Jesus, “Rituals of the Sun” from The Harvest
0:21:25 Ufomammut, “Plouton” from Ecate
0:24:33 Geezer, “So Tired” from The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter One Split w/ Borracho
0:32:36 Wizard Eye, “Thunderbird Divine” from Wizard Eye
0:37:40 Mondo Drag, “Crystal Visions Open Eye” from Mondo Drag
0:42:08 Fogg, “Seasons” from High Testament
0:48:26 Goatsnake, “Grandpa Jones” from Black Age Blues
0:53:02 Snail, “Thou Art That” from Feral
1:03:17 Sergio Ch., “Las Piedras” from 1974
1:06:40 All Them Witches, “Blood and Sand – Milk and Endless Waters” from Dying Surfer Meets His Maker
1:13:54 Death Hawks, “Ripe Fruits” from Sun Future Moon
1:18:45 Colour Haze, “Call” from To the Highest Gods We Know
1:26:46 Kadavar, “Last Living Dinosaur” from Berlin
1:30:50 Spidergawd, “Fixing to Die Blues” from Spidergawd II
1:35:02 The Machine, “Dry End” from Offblast!
1:38:01 The Midnight Ghost Train, “Straight to the North” from Cold was the Ground
1:42:00 Kind, “Pastrami Blaster” from Rocket Science
1:48:29 Valley, “Dream Shooter, Golden!” from Sunburst
1:54:22 Graveyard, “From a Hole in the Wall” from Innocence and Decadence
1:58:09 Demon Head, “Book of Changes” from Ride the Wilderness
2:02:50 Egypt, “Endless Flight” from Endless Flight
2:12:29 Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, “Empires of Dust” from Brothers of the Sonic Cloth
2:20:09 With the Dead, “I am Your Virus” from With the Dead
2:25:45 Ahab, “Red Foam (The Great Storm)” from The Boats of the Glen Carrig
2:32:08 Kings Destroy, “Mr. O” from Kings Destroy
2:36:37 Sun and Sail Club, “Dresden Firebird Freakout” from The Great White Dope
2:38:33 Sunder, “Wings of the Sun” from Sunder
2:42:41 Weedpecker, “Into the Woods” from Weedpecker II
2:50:50 Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, “Pusher Man” from The Night Creeper
2:56:26 Eggnogg, “Slugworth” from Sludgy Erna Bastard split w/ Borracho
3:02:48 Golden Void, “Astral Plane” from Berkana
3:09:34 Elder, “Lore” from Lore
3:25:24 Øresund Space Collective, “Digestive Raga” from Different Creatures