Posted in Whathaveyou on July 21st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Today brings the news that UK doom rockers Witch Charmer have inked a deal to issue their first album, The Great Depression, via Italian imprint Argonauta Records. It will be the follow-up to the fivesome’s 2013 debut EP, Euphoric Curse, and is set to feature cover art by guitarist/vocalist Adam Clarke and a mix/mastering job by the omnipresent Tony Reed of Mos Generator, who, for a guy who doesn’t actually live in Britain, certainly finds himself involved in a lot of music coming from that part of the world.
Witch Charmer will head out tour ahead of the release of The Great Depressionstarting Aug. 16, and the dates can be found in the poster below, which also makes use of the album’s cover art. A rehearsal room demo of the song “Suffer” follows after the announcement of the signing, hoisted from Argonauta‘s page.
New signing: WITCH CHARMER!
After the great feedback received across the board for their debut E.P. “Euphoric Curse“, Sunderland (UK) based Stoner/Doom/Metal outfit WITCH CHARMER follow it up with their first full length record raising the bar on what came before. The band (featuring the talents of Kate McKeown – Vocals, Dave McQuillan – Drums & Vocals, Len Lennox – Guitar & Vocals, Adam Clarke – Guitar & Vocals, Richard Maher – Bass) expands on the sound from their previous release and add a monolithic slab of smoked out doom and groove to take you on a satirical journey to enlightenment.
“The Great Depression” has been mixed and mastered by Tony Reed (Mos Generator, Stone Axe) and will be released by Argonauta Records in September 2014. Just wait for a massive dark, groove-laden, heavy stoner-doom album that fans of Acid King, Purson, Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, Goatsnake & Electric Wizard cannot miss!
When I was fortunate enough to be asked, I said yes immediately to hosting the premiere of the new Grifter video for the track “Princess Leia” from their upcoming album, The Return of the Bearded Brethren. My reasons were manifold. I’m excited about the release — it’s out Aug. 11 on Ripple Music as the follow-up to Grifter‘s 2011 self-titled debut (review here) — but the song itself also sums up a lot about what I think the UK trio do really well musically and lyrically.
It’s a straightforward song, and Grifter are a straightforward band. They write classic heavy rock hooks, but have a completely modern approach to their sound and perspective. Bassist Phil, drummer Foz and guitarist/vocalist Ollie Stygall have a crisp chemistry. Their material swings, as “Princess Leia” showcases, but it does so always with a forward direction in mind. The lyrics to “Princess Leia” also remind of Grifter‘s ability to couch some pretty personal issues in a humorous package. We’ve heard them do this before, on a song like “Young Blood, Old Veins” from the last album, but by using the frame of a boyhood crush on the Star Wars character, Stygall and company are able to look at getting older through an even cleverer lens.
And make no mistake, that is what they’re doing. The opening line of the song is “I’m a man of a certain age,” and the Orange Goblin-style rush of the chorus abandons all facade and pleads, “Take me back to better times, yeah/Strip the years away.” But rather than simply reflect on bygone days and regrets and the usual midlife blah blah blah, Grifter poke fun not only at themselves, but at the whole notion of mourning the passage of time, and “Princess Leia” — whatever it might be saying or speaking to emotionally — remains a fun, engaging song.
The video likewise. One thing I’ve always enjoyed about Grifter is how even at their most gleefully classless — see “Alabama Hotpocket” from the self-titled — they work clean. Princess Leia does indeed appear in the video, and she does indeed boogie down (hilariously by the end of it), but she doesn’t strip, and Grifter don’t give into the gold-bikini impulse. That would be easy, and thoughtless, and Grifter aren’t that band.
The Return of the Bearded Brethrenis out Aug. 11 on Ripple Music. Enjoy “Princess Leia” below, as directed by Russell Cleave:
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 21st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Today is the official release date for the debut seven-inch from Death Penalty, the new band featuring former Cathedral guitarist Gaz Jennings along with vocalist Michelle Nocon and drummer Frederik Cosemans, both formerly of Belgian doom outfit Serpentcult. Together with bassist Raf Meukens, also of death metallers Torturerama, Jennings and company issue Sign of Times through Rise Above in a varied pressing of 500 copies ahead of a self-titled debut which is set to release in September.
That album will mark Jennings‘ first full-length outing since Cathedral met their end, and given his unearthly pedigree of riffing, it’ll be interesting to hear what he brings to this new project. As you can hear below, the single bodes well.
Ever-vigilant, the PR wire has details on the album and more background on how the band came together
DEATH PENALTY (Featuring Gaz Jennings of Cathedral) to Release Self-Titled Debut on Rise Above Records September 16th in North America
Artwork and Track Listing Revealed
When all is said and done, the art of making people bang their heads comes down to one central component: the riff. The riff has been refined and redefined so many times over the last four decades that ownership of a guitar and half a brain should be all that’s required to at least have a decent stab at getting things right, and yet very few people seem capable of tapping into the true essence and ethos of what made Tony Iommi such an all-conquering pioneer and overlord of six-string power and glory. Over the last 25 years, discerning metal fans may have struggled to pinpoint any bona fide contemporary greats amongst the never-ending proliferation of also-rans and wannabes, but as chief composer and guitarist for UK doom metal legends Cathedral, Gaz Jennings has more than earned the mantle of the modern age’s most consistent and supremely talented Riffmaster General. A perennial unsung hero of the heavy underground, Gaz has already contributed a vast number of classic songs to the metallic canon, but when Cathedral finally called it a day in 2013 it looked as if another guitar hero was destined to disappear into the shadows. Gloriously, he has now returned with a brand new band, DEATH PENALTY, and an eponymous debut album that once again proves his absolute mastery of the form.
“When Cathedral split I didn’t have any intention of getting another band together,” Gaz admits. “I wanted to do a record, because Lee [Dorrian, Cathedral front man and Rise Above Records boss] has been saying for years that he’d give me a deal! But all my time was taken up writing stuff for Cathedral. I had a few bits and bobs lying around, so I started writing material a few years back and that’s where it all started. And now the album is ready to go.”
With such a formidable reputation to uphold, it was absolutely vital for Gaz to select the right musicians to work with in his new band. Enter vocalist Michelle Nocon and Fredrik ‘Cozy’ Cosemans, members of Belgian doom warriors Serpentcult; a band that Gaz greatly admires and fellow Rise Above alumni. Although resident in Belgium, Michelle and Cozy were simply the right people for the job and kindred spirits that Gaz suspected would be perfect for helping him to realize his new musical vision.
With the DEATH PENALTY line-up completed by the addition of another Belgian, bassist Raf Meukens, Gaz was now fully equipped to bring his new band into the spotlight. The first results emerged via a debut seven-inch single, Sign Of Times/Seven Flames, which showcased DEATH PENALTY’sfiery blend of old school heavy metal, subtle doom shades and Michelle Nocon’s extraordinary vocal talents. The real meat of the matter will be unveiled upon the release of the band’s self-titled debut album, a triumphant tour-de-force of pounding heaviness that brilliantly encapsulates everything that Gaz has brought to the table with Cathedral while veering off on a number of new and distinctly compelling tangents along the way. Fans of the NWOBHM era will find themselves instantly entranced by the likes of Howling At The Throne Of Decadence and Golden Tides, while diehard doom acolytes will be immediately reassured that Gaz’s ability to pen timeless riffs remains entirely undimmed, as demonstrated on the grandiose grit of Into The Ivory Frost and Children Of The Night.
The final piece of the puzzle slotted neatly into place when Gaz chose a name for the new band. Anyone that has followed the guitarist’s career over the years will recognise that DEATH PENALTY is the title of Witchfinder General’s classic 1982 debut album; a record that has long been an essential part of Gaz’s inspirational armoury. However, beyond paying homage to his childhood heroes, he freely confesses that the name was simply the first and only credible option and a telling alternative to the countless terrible band names currently doing the rounds.
Once DEATH PENALTY’s debut hits the shops (and the nebulous world of online retail, of course), it seems highly likely that everyone from Cathedral fans and old school diehards to new school doom and psych rock admirers will celebrate the arrival of another truly great heavy metal band for the modern age. Quite content to remain an underground concern, DEATH PENALTY are just beginning their journey into the outer limits of refined riff worship and Gaz Jennings’ hopes and expectations are every bit as humble and honest as long-time fans will expect.
Death Penalty Track Listing: 1. Grotesque Horizon 2. Howling at the Throne of Decadence 3. Eyes of the Heretic 4. Golden Tides 5. Into the Ivory Frost 6. Children of the Night 7. The One That Dwells 8. She is a Witch 9. Immortal by Your Hand 10. Written by the Insane
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 17th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Kind of a news-heavy day, but I’d be remiss if I left out Birmingham’s Alunah, whose album details have just been made public via the PR wire. Their third outing and their Napalm Records debut, Awakening the Forest,is set for release in October and will boast six new cuts of their heavy riffs and peacefully rolling doom. After digging their 2010 Call of Avernusdebut (review here) and especially 2012′s sophomore outing, White Hoarhound(review here), this is one I’m genuinely looking forward to, so if the album art and tracklisting coming out puts the record itself a step closer, then all the better.
Awakening the Forestwas recorded by Greg Chandler of Esoteric and mastered by Mos Generator‘s Tony Reed. A video is also reportedly in the works. More to come, but for now, once more unto the PR wire:
ALUNAH Unveil Details of Upcoming Album
Birmingham’s Stoner Rock Doomsters ALUNAH are set to release a new album via Napalm Records in October 2014. Following their previous releases Call Of Avernus and White Hoarhound it’s finally time for a new masterpiece. The band centered around guitarist & singer Sophie Day have now unveiled first details of artwork, title, track listing & release dates!
Awakening The Forest is set to be released on October 6th in the UK & October 7th USA/CAN and forges forward with hard guitars, pumping heavy grooves and a sound that will make fans of this genre, fans of this album!
Check out the track listing for Awakening The Forest: 1. Bricket Wood Coven 2. Heavy Bough 3. Awakening The Forest 4. The Mask Of Herne 5. Scourge And The Kiss 6. The Summerland
ALUNAH on the upcoming album Awakening The Forest:
“We are delighted to introduce our 3rd album “Awakening The Forest” to our old, new and future friends. Recorded by Greg Chandler and mixed/mastered by Tony Reed, we are extremely proud of this album. We are also very lucky to have worked with the exceptional illustrator Michael Cowell who brought our songs to life visually in the CD and LP package. Napalm Records have been very supportive of us throughout the whole process, and we hope that you guys love the album as much as we do. Our video for “Heavy Bough” and also a short film with Michael talking about the artwork are coming soon; both shot and directed by Rhodri Thomas at Elvaston Castle in Derbyshire, England.”
Yeah, I know this isn’t the first Wino Wednesday clip culled from the video evidence snagged at this year’s Desertfest in London. Not even close, actually. But unlike Wino‘s sit-in with Weedeater (seen here) and his acoustic set with Spirit Caravan bandmate Dave Sherman (seen here), this week’s video is actually of Spirit Caravan performing. If that’s too minor a distinction, I apologize. Stick around and it’ll be something else next week.
For now, shot from the side of the stage in a rather nostalgic black and white, we see Sherman, drummer Henry Vasquez and, deep in the shot, Wino himself performing “Dead Love/Jug Fulla Sun” from Spirit Caravan‘s classic 1999 debut, Jug Fulla Sun. In a big way, the album would define the band going forward, and while their 2001 follow-up/swansong, Elusive Truth, brought new edges to the sound and they continued to progress right up to the new studio tracks they included with their final offering, the 2003 The Last Embracecompilation, Jug Fulla Sunremains a standout 15 years later in capturing the trio as they were in a natural, heavy rolling state. It’s hard to imagine the smooth instrumental “Dead Love” section and “Jug Fulla Sun” without each other, and as Sherman stomps out the groove in the early going of the latter, I can’t help but agree. Simply one of heavy rock’s best nods.
Spirit Caravan just reissued Jug Fulla Sunon a limited, hand-screened LP – Exile on Mainstream had them for sale — and they looked absolutely gorgeous. It’s a worthy investment as the band’s reunion continues and they promise work on a new album, which would be their first studio outing since Elusive Truth. More on that to come, I’m sure, but until then, hope you enjoy “Dead Love/Jug Fulla Sun” and get a sense of just how much vitality there is at the heart of this band.
Happy Wino Wednesday:
Spirit Caravan, “Dead Love/Jug Fulla Sun” Live at Desertfest London 2014
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Last year, UK space metallers Enos released a live EP called The East Slope. It came out in April 2013 and was captured — live, obviously — about a month earlier. Here we are, more than a year later, and the Brighton two-guitar foursome have sent word down the PR wire that Live at the East Slopewill now be put out as a DVD on Aug. 2, an occasion they’ll celebrate by playing a release show alongside Bright Curse and Wizard Fight.
What’s the lesson? It takes much longer to make a live video release than a live audio one.
Kudos to Enos, and to Rapture Films as well I guess, for making it happen at all. In this age of instant YouTubely gratification, it’ll make a fine inclusion at the merch table for anyone who wants to delve deeper than an album might allow for, and while one awaits their next studio outing following late-2012′s All too Human, it should provide enough of a fix to hold even the most ardent of followers.
Details and whatnots:
Live Enos DVD released 2nd of August 2014!
Well, it’s been a while but we’ve not been dragging our heels. After a lot of work (and swearing) by Rapture Films and ourselves the Live at The East Slope DVD is set for release on the 2nd of August 2014! The film captures our Sussex University show from the 22nd of March 2013 (the release show for the vinyl version of All Too Human) and features over an hour of psychedelic noise. The set is made up of tracks from both All Too Human and Chapter One and a couple of tracks from this show were released on The East Slope live EP last year. Filmed live at The East Slope Bar on the Sussex University campus Live at The East Slope features the show as it was on the night from start to finish (with a few additional animations here and there) and we fell it perfectly captured the atmosphere of the night. On the night we had the full light-show from Innerstrings Psychedelic Lightshow as well as a guest appearance from Sigrid Jakobson for a rendition of Collisions. The full track list is…
1. All Too Human 2. In Space 3. Floating 4. Left For Dead 5. Collisions 6. Another Solution 7. Launch 8. Devil Makes Work 9. Transform 10. Who Knew? 11. Back To Earth
And just to whet your appetite here’s the live version of Left For Dead.
To celebrate the release we’ll be performing live at The Unicorn in Camden on the 2nd of August, this will be your first chance to pick up a copy for yourself. Support comes in the form of Wizard Fight and Bright Curse, doors are at 7.30pm so get there early!! As well as that we have another Brighton show at The Hope on the 8th of August with support from The Ingrates, Deaf From Behind and The Tricks. Doors are at 8pm,tickets available here.
Posted in Features on July 10th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Any discussion of 2014 highlights is incomplete without Conan‘s Blood Eagle. Their second full-length and Napalm Records debut (review here), it cemented the UK trio’s place among the planet’s heaviest bands and solidified the songwriting that their 2012 debut, Monnos(review here) and preceding 2010 Horseback Battle Hammer(review here) and 2007 Battle in the SwampEPs first announced to an audience who’ve been only too willing to be crushed by it since. Cuts like “Crown of Talons,” “Gravity Chasm” and the galloping “Foehammer” once again demonstrate that there’s more to Conan than ungodly tones, abyss-born shouts and chest-shaking thud — they’re also a growing, progressing band.
This year, part of that progression has led to bassist/vocalist Phil Coumbe leaving the band and being replaced by Chris Fielding, also the producer who’s helmed Conan‘s recordings for the last four years. Fielding, now transplanted from Foel Studios to Conan guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis‘ own Skyhammer Studio, is a natural fit, and European touring, as well as stops at Roadburn (review here) and Hellfest have brought to bear the reality that Conan – Davis, Fielding and drummer Paul O’Neil – haven’t missed a step and that their lumbering riffs are as cleaving as ever. They move forward with unmatched pummel, and the sheer force of their material has rightfully won them acclaim worldwide from riff-worshiping masses humbled by their hoods-up assault.
We spoke just before their appearance at Hellfest in France, and Davis — who in addition to owning Skyhammer also founded the label Black Bow Records in 2013 — had much to say about running his own imprint and studio in addition to the band. In the interview that follows, he talks about upcoming releases, his itch to start writing again for Conan, the founding steps being taken for a side-project called Overthrone, how he prefers to write without bassists present, long tour drives, the prospect of going to Australia for the first time (they’re booked for a tour in September), reissuing material on Black Bow and more.
Even as I put this interview together, they’ve announced being confirmed for Amplifest in Portugal this October, as well as supporting High on Fire for some of their upcoming European shows, so much continues to take shape for Conan in the wake of Blood Eagle. No surprise. When an object as massive as Conan‘s sound builds up any amount of momentum, there’s rarely hope of slowing it down.
The complete, 5,200-word Q&A is after the jump. Please enjoy:
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 3rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
So you’re telling me that you’ve got an intercontinental heavy rock band with dudes culled from the ranks of Groan, Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight and Mos Generator? Well, yeah, sign me up.
Thus arrives Demon Lady, the debut EP from Dr. CRAZY. The classic heavy-minded power trio have a simple enough mission in terms of their good-times style, but on their first four-track outing, listening to the boogie groove of “Powerzone” or the dopey, infectious hooks of “Burger and Fries” and “Dr. CRAZY,” it becomes clear that there’s really no getting away from their songwriting ability when it comes to these guys. The band puts Mos Generator‘s Tony Reed on drums (which is where he started) and drum recording, though he also donates a solo to the closing title-track, Chris West, formerly of Trippy Wicked, on guitar and bass and all other engineering, and Mazz from Groan on vocals (Groan‘s Leigh Jones also shows up on backing vocals).
The EP reads like the pulp-inspired art used for the cover, and there’s plenty of shenanigans to be had throughout, but the songs have the kind of apparent simplicity that’s actually much, much harder to come by than it sounds. It’s a name-your-price download just released today, so dig in:
New Band Announcement and EP – Dr CRAZY
Please say hello to Dr CRAZY, a brand new international heavy rock n roll band featuring Mazz (Groan) on vocals, Chris West (ex-Trippy Wicked) on guitar and bass, and Tony Reed (Mos Generator) on drums.
The band’s first EP Demon Lady gets a digital release through Superhot Records and is available with immediate effect from the band’s Bandcamp: http://drcrazyrocks.bandcamp.com.
Demon Lady serves up just over 14 minutes of straight up good time heavy rock and will appeal to fans of AC/DC, Dr Feelgood, Deep Purple and generally having a good time. The band commissioned Justin T Coons to paint the fantastic 70s pulp fiction inspired artwork based on the title track.
Live shows have not been ruled out but with one third of the band being based on a different continent to the others they won’t be happening soon. Dr CRAZY are currently working on demos for next EP which will be out as soon as it’s ready.
Posted in audiObelisk on July 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
It didn’t take much more than the swinging, catchy chorus of “Fuck yesterday/Fuck today/Fuck tomorrow” from opener “Lieutenant Wolfhammer” for Kings‘ debut EP, I Trust the Hounds are Hungry, to have me hooked. The leadoff track from the Leeds-based five-piece featuring former Humanfly guitarist/vocalist John Sutcliffe (here just vocals) as well as guitarists Jonty Shaw and Joe Hodgson, bassist Paul Handley and drummer Simon Blakelock — all who formerly worked together under the moniker Shields — establishes the base for the rest of the release in tying together a sharp lyrical wit with weighted but upbeat doom-pop push. At times Kings sound like they’re working within the post-Floor/Torche framework, but Blakelock‘s drumming is coming from someplace more metal, swing though it does, and their take is rawer overall despite the accessibility of their hooks and fervent melodicism.
They do it well, and sound more accomplished on their first release perhaps because four-fifths of the band has worked together previously – Shields had songs recorded and had been playing live — but however they got to cohesion, the important thing is they did. Cumbersome in its title but direct in its impact, second cut “Matron, Hand Me My Revolver, I’m Going for a Walk in the Woods, “I May be Some Time” affirms the quality craft of the opener and overarching efficiency of the release; I Trust the Hounds are Hungryisn’t without atmosphere, but the material is still pretty pointed. A swaying groove leads finishes out and leads to the airy opening of “Fuck Quest,” which has a more manic feel thanks to double-timed hi-hat work, but opens up to a mosh-ready chorus, Sutcliffe‘s vocals further back in the mix but still clean as Shaw and Hodgson play off burgeoning lead/rhythm dynamics. “Helen Earth” is probably their most Torche-sounding, but they maintain a progressive feel leading to a chugging build in the second half that answers back the gulping Hungry Hungry Hippo riffing that capped “Lieutenant Wolfhammer” and moves forward into the instrumental “Shit Leopard” (presumably with its shit spots) smoothly, a cold stop giving way to some sampled crumpling noise and a more mellowed-out progressivism in the guitars.
Rounding out, “P.S. Go Fuck Yourself” brings in elements of post-Mastodon riffy largesse, but Kings continue to keep motion central to their approach, a cyclical pre-chorus opening to one of the EP’s most effective hooks. As one might expect, the finish is big and chaotic, and that adds to the full-length feel of the 25-minute I Trust the Houndsare Hungryand bodes well for the construction of Kings‘ first full-length, making it an impressive first outing for a band who write their potential into each of the six included tracks.
Kings will release the I Trust the Hounds are HungryEP this Saturday, July 5, but you can hear it in full using the player below. Thanks to the band for permission to host the stream:
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
The amorphous (and amphibious!) UK collective The Kings of Frog Island have new vinyl impending. A little more than a year after the self-release of their fourth album, IV (review here), the Kings will follow it up with V, their second long-player since parting ways with Elektrohasch, who released their first three records. I haven’t had the pleasure yet, but the band have unveiled a video for the song “Sunburn” from the new one, and it certainly sounds like things are right on track and that all is as it should be on Frog Island.
One of the most surprising aspects of IVwas just how jammed out it felt. The Kings of Frog Island, recording in their own Amphibious Sound Studios II, stretched beyond the garage styling of their third outing, the nighttime desert-isms of their second and the territory-scoping fuzz of their debut to toy with a whole host of new vibes. Made for vinyl and broken into two extended sides even digitally, IVknew what it wanted in terms of aesthetic and got there boldly, but it was clear The Kings of Frog Island were trying new sounds and reaching out into different spheres on purpose.
Part of that is lineup, the notable absence of Josiah‘s Mat Bethancourt, etc., but there’s a creative push at the heart of The Kings of Frog Island that remains consistent no matter who’s involved, and going by “Sunburn,” that remains true on Vas well. The new song retains the ultra-blissed out feel of IVto some degree, but to compare it to “Long Live the King” (video here), which was the public introduction to that album, its structure is much more straightforward and traditional, less jam-intensive. I don’t know at this point whether that will be the case for Von the whole — and, frankly, I can’t imagine The Kings of Frog Island would stick to just one approach the whole time anyway — but the catchy dreaminess of “Sunburn” makes an interesting first look at Vand shows the group’s progression is as alive as ever.
The video for “Sunburn” was made by Bulletree Films in Brazil. Enjoy:
The Kings of Frog Island, “Sunburn” official video
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 1st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
What’s going to happen between now and when Electric Wizard‘s new album comes out before the end of the year is that information is going to continue to piecemeal out. Before, it was the fact that it’s coming out on Spinefarm. Today it’s the album title and the artwork. Soon will be the official release date and tracklisting. Then you get into stuff like track premieres — which will go to namebrand places like your NPRs, your Pitchforks or whoever — and then an album stream before the release. If there’s stuff like a lyric video, that will be worked in there too, but it depends on the label and the band, when the tour dates are, etc.
Maybe I should be a publicist. Either way, what it goes to show is that the anticipation is high enough for Electric Wizard‘s new album, Time to Die, that every bit of info is considered precious and worth the focus of its own press release. I can’t argue with the approach. Impatient as I might be in the give-it-to-me-now sense, it’s the smarter play to build the buzz leading up to whenever the record actually hits. And sometimes waiting is fun anyway.
From the PR wire:
ELECTRIC WIZARD UNVEIL TIME TO DIE AS TITLE OF FORTHCOMING STUDIO ALBUM
OFFICIAL ARTWORK REVEALED
Electric Wizard have announced Time to Die as the title of their forthcoming studio album. Time to Die is the eighth full-length offering from the masters of aural punishment and is testament to the fact that Electric Wizard continue to be the most uncompromisingly heavy, genuinely twisted and evil band in the world.
This will be the band’s first album release since signing a worldwide deal with Spinefarm Records.
Says Electric Wizard founding member, Jus Oborn:
“All of our albums in the past have had a theme — revenge, drugs, black magick — and the theme of this one is death. Of course, death to us really means rebirth, so this album is a manifestation of a very primal occult belief in the final sacrifice. We have gone full circle — it was inevitable, but we had to do it. We had to kill the band so we could be reborn. It was the only way to ensure we could come back even stronger.”
The artwork, once again created by Oborn, is an extension of that theme; this is further solidified by the LP gatefold image, which will be revealed soon.
Electric Wizard, having just played Hellfest in France, have the following festival appearances lined up for 2014, with more shows to be added:
July 3 Roskilde, Denmark Roskilde Festival (Arena Stage) July 4 Knebworth Park, UK Sonisphere (Stage headline) August 16 London, UK Jabberwocky (The Excel Centre) September 12 Valada, Portugal Reverence Valada (headline w/Hawkwind) October 10 – 12 Antwerp, Belgium Desert Fest
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 30th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Originally set to come out today, June 30, the new Earthling Society full-length, England Have My Bones, will be out in August on Riot Season Records. The album, which is the band’s eighth in a decade, boasts an Alice Coltrane cover and is loaded with sonic imagery far more colorful than the industrialized artwork would have you believe. It’s two tracks per side on the vinyl or tape — both available now to preorder — as the space rockers bliss out in classic exploratory fashion in a mode they’ve solidified across their sundry records, most of which have shown up on Nasoni.
That affiliation is usually enough on its own for me to want to check out a band, but if you haven’t heard Earthling Society before, dig the take on “Journey in Satchidananda” below for some time well spent:
Earthling Society are a Kosmische quartet that in the main hail from of of the most un-Kosmische areas of North West England, Fleetwood. A town so bleak you literally can’t drive through it; sticking out of the British Isles like a crippled dick into the the murkiest part of the Irish sea.
Here, Earthling Society built there lo-fi studio in an old deserted glass factory and since 2004 have recorded a number of albums under the influence of mushrooms, cheap speed and cheaper beer. Hoping for a few minutes to transport themselves from the reality of were they really live. Along they way they have hitched rides with Julian Cope, Hawkwind, Damo Suzuki, Guru Guru and Blue Cheer. England Have My Bones is their latest album of fuzzy space rock offerings with a dedication to their Coltrane idols in a freaked out version of ‘Journey in Satchidananda’.
artist: EARTHLING SOCIETY title: England Have My Bones label: Riot Season formats: Vinyl LP & Download catalogue # REPOSELP040 upc: 6 66017 27691 5 release date: August
Tracklisting: A1. Aiwass (11:10) A2. Tortuga (8:36) B1. Journey In Satchidananda (15:16) B2. England Have My Bones (4:30)
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 25th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
It’s a quick post from London heavy rock trio Stubb, but it serves as a reminder of yet another record set to arrive in the coming months worth watching out for. Actually, there’s no release date yet, but I’m hoping this one makes it out before the end of the year. Stubb‘s 2012 self-titled debut (review here) was a winter album, and if their second outing and first for Ripple Music, Cry of the Ocean, follows suit, I’ll take it.
Stubb recorded the album at Skyhammer Studios, owned by Jon Davis of Conan, and Cry of the Ocean will mark the first recorded appearance by drummer Tom Fyfe, who came aboard to replace Chris West (also ex-Trippy Wicked), who played on the first record and subsequent single, Under a Spell (review here). Fyfe joins guitarist/vocalist Jack Dickinson and bassist/vocalist Peter Holland, who now also plays in Elephant Tree.
So yes, Stubb‘s sophomore full-length will find the band in a different situation than did their debut, and opening with a two-parter — even, let’s say if part one is an intro and part two is the song itself — speaks to a progressive ambition on their part, but I have little doubt that the songwriting will deliver, and if you heard the first record, you know that’s what it’s all about with these guys. Well, that and the thick-bottom grooves they lock in along the way.
Will keep you apprised when I get more info on the release — things like the art, arrival date, and so on — but here’s the tracklist, courtesy of the band:
These are the song titles in order for our new album ‘Cry Of The Ocean’
Cry Of The Ocean Part 1 Cry Of The Ocean Part 2 Heavy Blue Sky Sail Forever Heartbreaker Devil’s Brew Snake Eyes You’ll Never Know
Posted in Reviews on June 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Northern England trio Coltsblood launched last summer with the Beyond the Lake of Madness demo tape (review here) and immediately demanded attention via their crushingly slow, excruciatingly heavy, thoroughly doomed approach. That two track release, as though eaten by a larger undersea monster, has been subsumed into the three-piece’s Candlelight Records debut full-length, Into the Unfathomable Abyss, which furthers the brutal largesse of the demo, stretching out to nearly an hour’s runtime and finding some variety — in sound if not overall mood — by incorporating a few faster parts here and there. The album, which was recorded at Skyhammer Studios with Chris Fielding (Electric Wizard, Conan, Primordial, etc.) and features nightmarishly detailed cover art by former Grief bassist/vocalist Eric Harrison, pits longer pieces like “Beneath Black Skies” (14:09) and “Abyss of Aching Insanity” (12:29) from the demo against shorter ones, those two together with the penultimate “Ulfeonar” (a paltry 11:31) forming an unholy trio of slow-cooking heft that provides atmosphere the way one thinks of water filling lungs. Shorter cuts are interspersed around them, though by the end of the record, the timing works out that even the “shorter cuts” have topped eight minutes, as the closer “Return to the Lake of Madness” (8:31) rounds out no less grueling than “Ulfeonar” before it. Still, earlier on, the noisy intro “Valhalla Awaits” (2:17) the faster “Blood” (2:20) and the building instrumental “Grievous Molestation” (6:52) are well placed to give a breath of air before the next dive back into the heart of the titular abyss, which at its grimmest could rival anything put forth by Ahab, but seems bent toward more sonic diversity. Comprised at the time of bassist/vocalist John McNulty (ex-Conan, ex-Black Magician), guitarist Jemma McNulty and drummer Steve Primeau – the latter since replaced by Jay Plested, also of Black Magician – Coltsblood affirm the potential of their demo while distinguishing themselves among the more extreme end of doom’s practitioners.
Play slow enough and things just start to sound like they’re falling apart. Nothing against that, but Coltsblood never quite get there, even as John‘s throaty shouts echo over the crawling earlier stretches of “Ulfeonar.” The intent is vicious, tectonic heaviness, but Into the Unfathomable Abyssstill has a groove to it. One can hear shades of Conan‘s tonal dominance in the quicker parts of that song or “Blood” earlier on, but as the blackened scream about halfway through “Beneath Black Skies” and the bulk of Coltsblood‘s lumbering rollout shows, they’re on a different trip, even if they do manage to sneak a shuffle riff in there every now and again. The McNultys make a devastating pair, tonally, and when Jemma‘s guitar takes an airy solo over the steady rumble, the effect is more mournful than psychedelic, a noisy chaos emerging in the last two minutes of “Beneath Black Skies” to set up the blastbeaten charge of “Blood,” which is in and out in nearly one-seventh of the time but no less wretched-sounding — and yes, I mean that as a compliment. Even here, Coltsblood aren’t void of melody, but even that seems to have been twisted into something dark, a drawn out, plotted lead reminding of some of Nile‘s grandiose soloing. As a centerpiece, “Abyss of Aching Insanity” provides the album’s least compromised lurch, feedback and crash working in tandem to seer the consciousness before the next measure cycles through, Primeau more or less taking the opposite approach from “Blood” and playing as slow and open as possible. About halfway through, everything drops out but the bass, and for a moment, the album leaves you alone in the desolation, presumably to ponder how on earth you ever went so deep to start with. Jemma takes a layered solo when the guitars and drums return, but there isn’t really meant to be any release of the tension, and there isn’t.
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
UK cult-psych/garage doom progenitors Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats will embark on their first US tour this fall. Already slated for European shows this August, they’ll subsequently arrive Stateside in support of their third album, Mind Control(review here). Already veterans of Roadburn, Uncle Acid supported Black Sabbath on tour in the UK and Europe this past winter, completed another full run this spring, and most recently appeared at Maryland Death Fest last month.
Dates and whatnots follow, just off the PR wire:
UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS Announce First North American Tour
UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS, one of the most talked about rock bands currently in existence, and an enigma in the international underground scene, released their third album Mind Control last year via Metal Blade Records/ Rise Above Records in North America. The reviews were phenomenal and UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS began to take North America by storm. The band recently concluded a highly successful tour of Europe and the UK as well as sold out dates in New Zealand and Australia.
In support of Mind Control, UNCLE ACID played North America for the first time this May as part of the Maryland Deathfest. After the amazing reception and breathtaking performance, UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS are set to return to North America this fall for a full North American tour. The tour kicks off September 24th in Philadelphia, PA and runs through October 11th in Los Angeles, CA. Danava will provide support on the tour and tickets go on sale this Friday June 27th.
UNCLE ACID commented on the upcoming tour: “Deadbeats of North America! We’re very pleased to announce our first tour of the U.S. and Canada. It’s been a long time coming but we’re looking forward to finally destroying your minds!”
Mind Control is a concept album with a theme that makes the acts and intentions of the likes of Charles Manson and Jim Jones seem like petty crimes. What makes Mind Control scarier than most albums is that it doesn’t seem as sinister on the surface as it really is deep down, within the core of its black acid-drenched world of pain and torture.
Imagine the original Alice Cooper band jamming in a cell with early Black Sabbath and the Stooges, whilst sitting on murder charges and you may get a glimpse into their fuzzed up world of exploding tube amps and cymbal smashing mayhem. However, this enticing act of musical manipulation is merely the icing upon a very sick cake.
Recorded at the legendary Chapel Studios over an autumnal full moon using the finest western electrical technology, engineer Jim Spencer (Bert Jansch, Robert Wyatt) has captured perfectly the bands live sound of saturated fuzz, mind-bending riffs and 60′s vocal harmonies.
UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS North American Tour: 9/24: Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts 9/25: Cambridge, MA @ Middle East 9/26: New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom 9/27: Montreal, QC @ Il Motore 9/28: Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace 9/30: Chicago, IL @ Subterranean 10/1: Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club 10/3: Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater 10/4: Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge 10/6: Seattle, WA @ Neumos 10/7: Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw 10/8: Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre 10/10: San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s 10/11: Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theater