XII Boar Set August Release for Beyond the Valley of the Triclops

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

xii boar

Brash UK heavy rockers XII Boar will release their sophomore album, Beyond the Valley of the Triclops, this summer. The band, who seem to be taking part with many of their regional contemporaries — looking at you BongCauldron and Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard — in a contest to determine who can come up with the most ridiculous names and/or titles, offered their debut, Pitworthy (review here), early last year, and recorded the follow-up with the nigh-on-ubiquitous Chris Fielding of Conan at Skyhammer Studio. No exact date has been set as of now, but August seems to be the month, if the PR wire is anything to go by, which it is.

Album info and hey-look-it’s-a-butt cover art follow, because there’s nothing quite like keeping it classy:

xii boar beyond the valley of the triclops

UK metal’n’roll heavyweights XII BOAR return with new album “Beyond The Valley of The Triclops” this summer!

Prepare for a huge slab of ear-splitting leads, sonic riffs, filthy bass lines, whiskey drenched vocals and sweet southern grooves, as Hampshire wrecking ball XII BOAR (pronounce ‘Twelve Boar’) return this summer with their sophomore album “Beyond The Valley Of The Triclops”.

Recorded at Skyhammer Studio with renowned producer Chris Fielding (Conan, Electric Wizard, Winterfylleth) at the end of last year, Beyond The Valley of The Triclops sees XII BOAR hitting new heights with a stronger, focused, no limits approach to song writing. Having achieved huge critical acclaim with last year’s debut album Pitworthy, the band are already back and on point to be one of 2016’s strongest contenders.

Combining Motorhead’s swagger, Sabbath’s downtrodden doom and the swinging crunch of Corrosion of Conformity – these Hampshire louts lay down a colossal slab of rock’n’roll-infused groove metal, alongside a wild live show to fuel even the greatest parties. Now the band is on a path to do great things. With their debut album Pitworthy released in March 2015, XII BOAR are rapidly becoming unstoppable. Looking forward to their second performance at Bloodstock, a film licensing deal with Troma Films editor turned cult icon Dylan Greenberg, and of course, the release of their sophomore record, Beyond The Valley Of The Triclops the band is excited to see what the future holds.

Wrapped up in some stunning, booty-tastic artwork done by quasi-legendary artist James Hayball this album creates a total sonic experience, the sort of thing that you can get utterly and beautifully lost in, as you travel beyond the valley. After all… This is pure rock and roll for the heavier generation.

XII BOAR “Beyond The Valley Of The Triclops”
Out this August – Presale infos coming soon…

Tommy Hardrocks – Guitar & Vocals
Adam Thomas – Bass & Backing Vocals
Dave Wilbraham – Drums


XII Boar, “Rock City” official video

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Slomatics Post Video for “Electric Breath”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 18th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


Holy crapola is the new Slomatics record good. Like the kind of good where you just throw up your hands and turn up the volume as high as it’ll go and let the tonal wash of the thing take complete hold. Whatever else you happened to be doing at that moment in time? Forget it. For the next 40 minutes, you belong to these riffs. And if riffs were all Future Echo Returns had to offer, well, it would probably be enough, but the album also engages these broad atmospheres, organ and noise and feedback and reverberations coming together to create something that’s as much place as sound. You can hear it in the crush of “Electric Breath,” for which the Belfast trio have a new video, and in how that song fits with the tracks around it, whether that’s preceding instrumental opener “Estronomicon,” which seems to speak directly at the previous album, 2014’s Estron (review here), or the half-speed-BlackCobra push of “In the Grip of Fausto,” which follows.

Slomatics release Future Echo Returns in September through Black Bow Recordings, the imprint helmed by Conan guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis, who also happens to own Skyhammer Studio, where the album was tracked by Chris Fielding (also of Conan). The influence Slomatics, who issued their first album in 2005, must have had on Davis isn’t to be understated, but even here they refuse to be defined solely by assault as the six-minute ambient setpiece “Ritual Beginnings” leads the way with progressive foreboding into the second half of the record. As you can tell, there’s a lot to say about it, and my plan is to have a review up once I’ve had a chance to digest it a little more, but dig into “Electric Breath” below and see if you aren’t convinced. If you’re still reading, I have the feeling you will be.

Go on and have at it:

Slomatics, “Electric Breath” official video

Thanks to the incredibly talented Dermot Faloon for creating the video. Taken from our forthcoming album Future Echo Returns, which is available now for pre-order via Black Bow Records, release date 2nd September.

From the Album: Future Echo Returns.

Released via Black Bow Records Sept 2016

Created by Dermot Faloon.

Slomatics on Thee Facebooks

Black Bow Records

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Temples Festival 2016: Conan, Palehorse and More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 11th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Admittedly, it’s not like the full lineup for Temples Festival 2016 is really applicable around here — whoever heard of a band called the Melvins anyway? — but buried under some of the logos on the poster below are acts like BongripperGroundhogsOhmmsEsotericPalehorseGentlemans PistolsTombstonesPrimitive ManUndersmile, and Conan, and so in addition to Carcass and Jucifer and the aforementioned Melvins, there’s plenty to dig into for whatever type of heavy you happen to be looking for. Pretty sure the genre police aren’t watching anyway, but if something here isn’t stoner rock enough for you, I’ll just say lighten up and leave it at that.

If you happen to be in the UK early next month, I humbly submit the following:


Purveyors of all things far-out and heavy shall surely continue in the fine tradition laid down by Neurosis and Sunn O))) (who occupied the same position in the prior years) of masterminding the absolute and final flooring of patrons at the end of a day packed with varied and vicious sets from bands united across nations, styles and stature.

Temples 2016 once again possesses the sheer clout that made the years to date such memorable events. The full line up has already been announced, including Melvins, Mayhem (performing their seminal debut studio album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas in its entirety for the first ever time on UK soil), Groundhogs, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, and so many more. The full list takes no prisoners.

As is Temples methodology, they will be under-selling the overall capacity of Motion to minimise the strain on each room and ensure the most comfortable experience possible is had. The organisers have secured a number of caterers for 2016 which includes vegan and vegetarian options, and once again they will be offering a fairly priced Ale and Cider bar for the drinking contingency – this time, featuring a bespoke Temples Festival ale.

The time is upon us, making their much awaited return to the Temples Festival domain, please welcome Conan as our special guests on Sunday June 5th – alongside Carcass, Grave, Corrupt Moral Altar, Implore and Venom Prison. Sadly, Iron Reagan have postponed their plans to perform in June and instead will be touring the UK in September.

We are also proud to announce, we are hosting the final ever performance from one of the UK’s finest talents – Palehorse, who will join Jucifer, Mare (Hydra Head), Sonance, Tombstones & Undermsmile on our brand new second stage.

There have been a number of developments to the Motion complex over the past year and all of which are going to make for another exceptional Temples Festival, three stages, a riverside terrace & bar, large courtyard stocked with a myriad of food vendors and over the next couple of weeks we’ll be giving you glimpses of the new layout and begin outlining the site plan, on-site vendors, multiple bars (with bespoke stock lists) and of course, stage times.

With three weeks to go – we are extremely excited to get underway with Temples Festival 2016. There are a limited amount of weekend tickets left available, day tickets for Saturday are fast approaching sold out status, move quickly – www.templesfestival.co.uk/tickets


Conan, Live at Saint Vitus Bar, March 8, 2016

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Electric Wizard Announce New Album Due this Halloween

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 5th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Having headlined this past weekend at Desertfest in London and Berlin, and ahead of playing Psycho Las Vegas this August, Up in Smoke in October and likely more to be announced, UK doom mainstays Electric Wizard announce the Halloween release of a new studio album. Yet untitled, the upcoming Electric Wizard LP is set to arrive through their own Witchfinder Records imprint, a subsidiary of Spinefarm Records, and will follow-up 2014’s Time to Die (review here). Adding intrigue to the prospect is the statement below that the ninth Electric Wizard outing will “represent a fresh turn of the turf.” I’m not entirely sure what it means, but it’s an intriguing thought either way.

Just off the PR wire:

Electric Wizard



Spinefarm Records are aware that free and wild cult leaders, ELECTRIC WIZARD, are working on their ninth studio album, with delivery expected in time for a Halloween 2016 release.

This is all the information available. The whereabouts of the band and the recording / mixing details are not currently known, but more news should follow in due course…

This new offering will be the follow-up to 2014’s ‘Time to Die’ – which can be purchased HERE– and will be the second release on the band’s ‘Witchfinder Records’ imprint, the result of a worldwide deal with Spinefarm Records.

‘Time to Die’ effectively closed the lid on a particular part of the band’s career, and this new album will represent a fresh turn of the turf…

Until that time, get your fix of pure evil at one of these live performances:-

08/26/16 – Psycho Las Vegas, Las Vegas, US

EW recently headlined ‘Desertfest’ in both Berlin and London, finishing off the festivals (and the attendees’ ear drums) with the sort of performances that have made them the true gate-keepers of UK metal’s great & glorious traditions.

For More Info Visit:

Electric Wizard, Live at Desertfest Berlin 2016

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Slomatics New Album Future Echo Return Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 5th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


By the accounts I’ve heard, Belfast’s Slomatics were a highlight of Desertfest London 2016 this past weekend. That’s easy enough to believe. Their 2014 album, Estron (review here), was a tonal admonishment that was an utter joy to receive, and their forthcoming fifth long-player, Future Echo Returns — out in September via Black Bow Records, whose honcho, Jon Davis (also Conan), sat in for a guest vocal spot during the aforementioned London set — continues the thread of progressive melodicism and unrepentantly heavy riffing. Their sound has never wanted for impact, as still-recent Black Bow reissues of their first two albums, 2005’s Flooding the Weir and 2007’s Kalceanna, showed, but to go back and listen to those outings and hear their new stuff and there’s an undeniable sense of growth there as well.

It just so happens that growth hits like a cement block to the face. But in a good way. Sometimes I wonder about these similes…

Black Bow has Future Echo Returns up for preorder now. Album art, info and links follow here:

slomatics future echo return


NEW release from Belfast’s own Slomatics. Produced by Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studio (Conan / Electric Wizard / Winterfylleth) and produced by James Plotkin (Khanate / Conan).

Orders ship on the 2nd September 2016.

Whilst the tide has come in and gone out and come in again on the shores of heavy music, Slomatics have patrolled the surf, unmoved by the shifting sands, unflinching in their dedication to tone and riff. True pioneers of what we call sludge and doom, blending elements of psychedelic rock, conjuring images of overgrown celestial bodies marshalled by undiscovered extraterrestrial entities. Name any heavy band from the last ten years and you will find Slomatics as a crucial ingredient in their own primordial soup, whether they are listed as an influence or not. Essential, irreplaceable, impeccable and peerless heavy music. Influenced by the past, here in the present, echoing a vision of the future…


Slomatics, Estron (2014)

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Alunah Sign to Svart Records; New Album in 2017

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 5th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

UK forest fuzzers Alunah have signed to respected Finnish purveyor Svart Records and will release a new album early in 2017. By way of a wicked confession, I knew this news was coming, but am stoked on it anyway, and glad to see the Midlands-based four-piece are continuing to move forward with an upcoming record in progress to follow-up on 2014’s excellent and heartfelt Awakening the Forest (review here). They’ll record in September with Chris Fielding (Conan) at Skyhammer Studio in Liverpool and hopefully we’ll get some audio one way or another before the end of the year.

Oh, and the reason I knew this news was coming is because I wrote the bio below. Here it is as sent down the PR wire:



Hailing from the English Midlands, nature inspired doom band ALUNAH have signed a worldwide deal with SVART RECORDS!

For 10 years, since first coming together back in 2006, Alunah have trafficked in a blend of the earthly and the unearthly. Over the course of their three albums – 2010’s Call of Avernus, 2012’s White Hoarhound and 2014’s Awakening the Forest – the four-piece have been a constant force of progression into an individualised take on psychedelic and organic heft. Their material has never lacked structure or groove, but with the melodic vocals of guitarist Sophie Day ever at the fore, they keep an eye toward the ethereal as well.

As they always do, Alunah are moving forward. Sophie, guitarist David Day, bassist Daniel Burchmore and drummer Jake Mason have now signed to Svart Records for the early 2017 release of their fourth album, yet untitled, and are set to record in September with Chris Fielding (Conan) at Skyhammer Studio, also owned by Conan’s Jon Davis.
Following in the footsteps of Svart alums Hexvessel and Jess and the Ancient Ones, Alunah arrive at the label preceded by a reputation for blending nature worship and heavy vibes with a grace that few can match, basking in a sun-soaked spirit of beauty and decay, folklore and deeply personal expression.

“Svart are a label that I have followed for a long time, they introduced me to some of the music I listen to the most, in particular Hexvessel and Jess and The Ancient Ones. As a band we feel very honoured to form part of their rich heritage, and are excited to be starting a new chapter on such a well respected and diverse label.” vocalist & guitarist Sophie Day comments on the recent signing.

Look for them to expand their sonic palette with a brand new album, set to be released in early 2017 on Svart Records, and see them build on what they’ve accomplished before in their rich, engaging sound that seems to be always wandering and never, ever lost.


Alunah, “Heavy Bough” official video

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Bright Curse Premiere “Lady Freedom” from New LP Before the Shore

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 2nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

bright curse

London trio Bright Curse release their debut album, Before the Shore, May 13 on HeviSike Records. It’s among the most awaited debuts of the last couple years, the band having made a striking impression with their 2013 self-titled EP (review here) and subsequent Shaman single (review here) while cycling through a couple shifts in lineup that have brought guitarist/vocalist Romain Daut and drummer Zacharie Mizzi together with bassist Max Ternebring for the seven-track/43-minute LP, which was produced by the band and J.B. Pilon at Rock of London Studios with mastering by Jaime Gomez Arellano at Orgone Studios.

Topped off with striking artwork by Adam Burke, it’s also a release that dramatically repositions the group from where they were three years ago stylistically, swapping out the heavy psychedelia of their EP for a more clear-headed approach driven particularly by Daut‘s vocals and a spirit of modernized-sounding classic heavy rock that recalls the clarity in the production of the latest Kadavar without aping that band’s methods otherwise. Bright Curse‘s material is more flowing, more gradual, less directly playing to pop traditions, but a focus remains on songcraft, the bulk of the tracks running in the five-to-six-minute range, with brooding closer “Earth’s Last Song” longer at 8:29.

A rampant emotionalism ties the songs together, from opener “Lady Freedom” to the Graveyardian melancholia of “Candles and Flowers,” but moods nonetheless vary between them, and from front to back, Before the Shore moves smoothly through its course, flourishes like the spoken sample in “Cheating Pain” and the organ in the penultimate highlight “Northern Sky” adding to the context overall. And though they’ve grown into abright curse before the shore more straightforward-sounding act overall, Bright Curse still find room to offer a jammy sensibility in the swinging solo section of “The Shore” and in the bluesy leads of semi-cultish centerpiece “Walking in a Graveyard (Bloody Witch),” which are offset by the album’s most fervent stomp, Mizzi‘s snare punctuating the natural but not vintage tones of Daut and Ternebring as Daut pushes his voice toward and past the breaking point for not the first time.

His stepping forward as a frontman becomes a defining characteristic of Before the Shore, and the command shown in either the quiet stretches of “Cheating Pain” and “Earth’s Last Song” or the more brash thrust of “Lady Freedom” and cowbell-inclusive swing of “Candles and Flowers” is not to be discounted in terms of the overarching impression the record makes. Listening back to the EP, Daut gave a strong vocal performance there as well, but the context was different, the tones surrounding thicker and more encompassing, whereas the crispness in the presentation of Before the Shore really gives him the space to shine in his delivery, somewhat indebted to Magnus Pelander in cadence but continuing to develop in identity as well.

That’s not to take anything away from the chemistry of Bright Curse as a whole, who’ve clearly spent the time since their first outing refining their approach. That shows itself throughout Before the Shore, whether it’s the catchy hooks of “Lady Freedom” and “Cheating Pain” or the more patient builds of “Northern Sky” and “Earth’s Last Day,” which takes a more linear turn where earlier cuts like “Walking in a Graveyard (Bloody Witch)” ebbed and flowed.

The plays in structure and what DautTernebring and Mizzi are able to execute within them, particularly when taking into account that this is their first full-length, remain impressive, and while I’ll allow that part of me misses the psychedelic vibe of the EP — part of me always misses the psychedelic vibe — the flow they conjure here is palpable between tracks and goes a long way toward showing where their progression is headed. It’s a positive direction, and in the interim, Before the Shore marks the arrival of a band clearly ready to stand themselves out from a crowded London heavy rock scene, which, though it’s been a while in the making, means it got here right on time.

I have the pleasure today of hosting the premiere of “Lady Freedom,” which you’ll find below, followed by Bright Curse‘s latest European tour announcement.

Please enjoy:

Stoked to finally unveil our whole upcoming European Tour, in support of our debut album “Before The Shore”, out on May 13th on HeviSike Records! It kicks-off in less than a month! Who’s coming!?

20.05 (F) Lille | El Diablo (w. Space Fisters)
21.05 (F) Caen | Le Bocal
22.05 (F) Bordeaux | Void – Make It Sabbathy (w. Space Fisters)
23.05 (F) Tours | Puzzle Pub – CRYPTE (w. Space Fisters)
24.05 (F) Nantes | Scène Michelet – CRUMBLE FIGHT (w. Space Fisters)
25.05 (F) Paris | L’Espace B (w. Space Fisters)
26.05 (NL) Amsterdam | The Cave
27.05 (D) Cologne | The Odonien
28.05 (B) Arlon | L’Entrepôt
31.05 (F) Strasbourg | Mudd Club (NEW SHOW)
01.06 (F) Dijon | Deep Inside
02.06 (F) Lyon | Les Capucins
03.06 (D) Karlsruhe | Bistro KA
07.06 (CH) Geneva | L’Usine – Kalvingrad
08.06 (F) Reims | L’Appart Café

Events & more info right here: https://www.facebook.com/BrightCurse/events

Bright Curse on Thee Facebooks

Bright Curse website

HeviSike Records website

HeviSike Records on Thee Facebooks

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Sendelica 10th Anniversary Tour Starts Tomorrow

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 28th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Welsh cosmic wanderers Sendelica celebrate their 10th anniversary with a run through the UK, Germany and Italy that kicks off with a weekender tomorrow and continues into mid and late May. The prolific space rockers are heading out in time for the release of their latest album, The Cromlech Chronicles, which is due May 29 but available now to stream in its entirety, including its 24-minute opening suite, arriving in four-parts to ensure that the beginning of the record is as far out as humanly possible.

The dates are below for the tour, as well as the info for The Cromlech Chronicles, and of course the stream. Dig if you dig:




As part of their warm-up for last year’s ’13th Dream’ festival, Sendelica went into a studio in deepest, darkest Wales to record a new album for FdM. The Mwnci Studio (promounced ‘Monkey’) is a short walk from a cromlech (an ancient megalithic monument dating back over 3000 years) that features on the gatefold sleeve. Played live, with the minimum of overdubs, the album showcases the band’s extended instrumental side – with all-new songs.

Pete Bingham : Guitars / Electronics
Glenda Pescado : Bass
Lee Relfe : Sax
Lord Sealand: Keys and Theremin
Meurig Griffith : Drums


Sendelica, The Cromlech Chronicles (2016)

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