Anathema Announce North American Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

anathema (photo caroline traitler)

Earlier this month, when long-running UK melodic progressive rockers Anathema announced the June 9 release of their new album, The Optimist, that word came already with tour dates across multiple continents. Well, after they wrap up in South and Central America this August, the band will continue to make their way north for shows in the US and Canada, hitting major markets in Baltimore, New York, Chicago, Quebec, and so on in support of the new record. As the PR wire notes below, it’s their first North American run since 2014, and it precedes a much lengthier UK/European tour alongside Alcest that will consume much of their autumn.

Any way you look at it, it’s a lot, a lot, a lot of touring. Of course, Anathema are no strangers to time on the road, and a steady stream of live records, DVDs and offerings of the like keeps their loyal fanbase sated even when they’re not actually playing out, so all the better. Maybe they’ll record a few of these shows too. One never knows.

Here’s the latest:

anathema tour dates

ANATHEMA ANNOUNCE FIRST NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES IN SUPPORT OF THE OPTIMIST (JUNE 9, KSCOPE)

TICKETS AVAILABLE THIS FRIDAY, APRIL 21

Anathema, who recently revealed the new song “Springfield” from the band’s forthcoming album, The Optimist (June 9, Kscope), are now thrilled to announce their first North American dates since 2014.

The nine dates, which kick off on Aug. 16 in Baltimore, include stops in New York, Chicago and a trio of Canadian dates.

“Touring the U.S. and Canada is always a fantastic privilege,” said guitar player Daniel Cavanagh. “These countries have been the birthplace of some of the most revered recording artists of all time. We are delighted to visit the east coast and we promise to visit the west coast, following up soon. Our new album, The Optimist, is set in America. It will be a blast! “

North American Tour dates:
August 16 Baltimore, MD Soundstage
August 17 New York, NY Gramercy Theater
August 18 Boston, MA Brighton Music Hall
August 19 Quebec, QC Saile Multi
August 20 Montreal, QC Astral
August 21 Toronto, ON Opera House
August 23 Chicago, IL Bottom Lounge
August 24 Cleveland, OH House of Blues
August 25 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts

ANATHEMA TOUR DATES:
Jun 08 Yotaspace Moscow, Russia
Jun 09 Clubzal St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
Jun 11 Download Festival Derby, United Kingdom
Jun 18 Graspop Metal Meeting Dessel, Belgium
Jun 23 Doornroosje Nijmegen, Netherlands
Jun 24 Midsummer Prog Festival Valkenburg, Netherlands
Jul 01 Be Prog! My Friend Barcelona, Spain
Jul 02 Rockwave Festival Athens, Greece
Aug 03 Café Iguana Monterrey, Mexico
Aug 04 C3 Stage Guadalajara, Mexico
Aug 05 El Plaza Condesa Mexico City, Mexico
Aug 07 Teatro Ecci Bogota, Colombia
Aug 09 Teatro Capriola Santiago, Chile
Aug 11 Groove Buenos Aires, Argentina
Aug 12 Carioca Club Sao Paulo, Brazil
Aug 13 Granfinos Belo Horizonte, Brazil

ANATHEMA with Alcest:
Sep 23 Limelight 2 Belfast, United Kingdom
Sep 24 Academy Dublin, Ireland
Oct 02 La Cartonnerie Reims, France
Oct 03 L’Étage Rennes, France
Oct 04 Le Bataclan Paris, France
Oct 05 Aeronef Lille, France
Oct 06 013 Tilburg, Netherlands
Oct 07 La Laiterie Strasbourg, France
Oct 08 La Sirene La Rochelle, France
Oct 10 Rock School Barbey Bordeaux, France
Oct 11 Le Metronum Toulouse, France
Oct 14 Paloma Nimes, France
Oct 15 Le Radiant Caluire Et Cuire, France
Oct 16 Alcatraz Milan, Italy
Oct 18 Z7 Konzertfabrik Pratteln, Switzerland
Oct 19 LKA Longhorn Stuttgart, Germany
Oct 20 Backstage Werk Munchen, Germany
Oct 21 Simm City Vienna, Austria
Oct 22 Kino Šiška Ljubljana, Slovenia
Oct 24 Arenele Romane Bucharest, Romania
Oct 25 Orpheus Studio Sofia, Bulgaria
Oct 27 Dürer Kert Budapest, Hungary
Oct 28 Lucerna Music Bar Prague, Czech Republic
Oct 29 Batschkapp Frankfurt Am Main, Germany
Oct 31 Astra Berlin, Germany
Nov 01 Uebel & Gefährlich Hamburg, Germany
Nov 02 Amager Bio Copenhagen, Denmark
Nov 03 Kulturbolaget Malmö, Sweden
Nov 05 Rockefeller Music Hall Oslo, Norway
Nov 06 Kägelbanan Södermalm, Sweden
Nov 08 Klubi Tampere, Finland
Nov 09 THE CIRCUS Helsinki, Finland
Nov 10 Rock Café Tallinn, Estonia
Nov 12 Progresja Music Zone Warsaw, Poland
Nov 13 Stary Mane? Gdansk, Poland
Nov 14 MTP2 Poznan, Poland
Nov 15 HSD Erfurt, Germany
Nov 16 Live Music Hall Cologne, Germany
Nov 18 Kulturfabrik Esch Sur Alzette, Luxembourg

Anathema, led by brothers Daniel and Vincent Cavanagh, along with drummer John Douglas, singer Lee Douglas, bassist Jamie Cavanagh and drummer/keyboardist Daniel Cardoso began recording The Optimist in the winter of 2016 at Attica Audio in Donegal, Ireland and then finished at Castle Of Doom studios in Glasgow with producer Tony Doogan (Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian, Super Furry Animals) at the helm and was mastered at the legendary Abbey Road Studios.

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Anathema, “Springfield”

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Wren Announce Debut Full-Length Auburn Rule Due in July; UK Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

wren

Whether or not you heard it, Wren‘s 2016 EP, Host (review here) was one of last year’s best short releases. Their second four-songer behind a 2014 self-titled (review here) that was likewise moody and brutal, the latter release pushed into growlier, harsher terrain, more metal on the whole as well as basking in the post-hardcore-meets-sludge vibes of its predecessor. What their sonic development might hold for Auburn Rule, I don’t know, but the safe bet is it’s going to be heavy in some ridiculous proportion. What will serve as their first full-length will be out July 14 following a quick UK tour with Fvnerals and will be released by Holy Roar Records, which if you’ll recall also put out Host. If it ain’t broke.

These cats have done nothing but impress since they got going, and my big question going into the record is how much of their focus will be on atmosphere vs. pummel, since that seems to be the dichotomy at work in their aesthetic thus far. Where that balance will come down this time out as they take this crucial step in putting out their first album.

Hopefully I’ll have more to come on this one before it’s released. Here’s info from the PR wire in the interim:

wren auburn rule

Wren announce new album ‘Auburn Rule’ and UK tour.

AUBURN RULE | 14.07.17

Following on from the release of their ‘Host’ EP last year, London-based progressive sludge/noise-rock four-piece Wren, have announced details of their new album ‘Auburn Rule’, which is due out 14th July 2017 via Holy Roar Records.

The band have released the artwork for the new album (above) and have detailed the track listing as below:

1. In Great Yield
2. Scour The Grassland
3. The Herd
4. Traverse
5. Dwellers Of The Sepulchre

To coincide with the release of ‘Auburn Rule’ Wren have also announced a short UK release tour with Fvnerals, they will be playing the following dates:

30th June – London – Birthdays
1st July – Birmingham – The Flapper
2nd July – Bristol – The Cube
3rd July – Cardiff – The Full Moon
4th July – Brighton – The Prince Albert

https://www.facebook.com/Disciplesofwren/
https://disciplesofwren.bandcamp.com/
http://twitter.com/disciplesofwren
http://www.disciplesofwren.com/
http://www.holyroarrecords.com/

Wren, Host (2016)

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Stubb Premiere 24-Minute Single “Burning Moon”

Posted in audiObelisk on April 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

stubb

UK power trio Stubb will release their new single-song EP, Burning Moon, on April 29, marking the occasion of their appearance and performance of it at Desertfest London 2017. They’ll be at The Black Heart in Camden Town, a place of which one has fond memories, and joined by guests Ewan Duffus on keyboard and Thomas Mowforth and Zel Kaute on percussion. Listening to the freshly-mastered studio version of the 24-minute “Burning Moon,” it is duly expansive as to make a trio into a six-piece, with founding vocalist/guitarist Jack Dickinson leading bassist/vocalist Tom Hobson, who makes his debut here, and drummer Tom Fyfe, who came aboard for their late-2014 sophomore long-player, Cry of the Ocean (review here) and the subsequent 2015 The Theory of Light and Matter split with Mos Generator (discussed here), through movements either tied to memorable verses and choruses or floating free on a resounding psychedelic jam.

It does not take long in hearing it for one to realize Burning Moon is a special project for Stubb even after the marked aesthetic growth of Cry of the Ocean, and the continued collaboration with producer Chris Fielding (AlunahElectric WizardConan) at Skyhammer Studios ensures the sound is full and duly expansive throughout. Much as that album started subtly with the quiet unfolding of its two-part title-track, a soft bassline from Hobson begins the first minute of “Burning Moon,” though it will be the swell of Duffus‘ keys that make the most striking immediate impression. It’s not the first time Stubb have put keys to use in their material — Mos Generator‘s Tony Reed guested on Hammond for Cry of the Ocean‘s “Snake Eyes” and Duffus also played on the cover of “Little Wing” that was included as part of Magnetic Eye Records‘ The Best of James Marshall Hendrix tribute compilationSTUBB BURNING MOON (review here) — but they’ve never been more of a presence than they are on “Burning Moon.”

They give the track a stateliness that speaks to their continued inspiration from ’70s heavy and also puts the listener in a more patient mindset for what’s about to take place as the extended track unfurls. After about three minutes in, a sleek, subdued and decidedly Stubbian groove locks in — particularly encouraging to hear, as it’s a new rhythm section since the last record — and Dickinson begins the first verse, shifting easily into and out of a fuzzy, rolling hook that, after its second time through, shifts via a chugging transitional riff into a guitar solo that is the gateway to the jam that will consume the remaining 15 minutes or thereabouts of the piece. It is an immersive stretch beginning with a five-minute run at about the 10-minute mark, and they do come back to ground momentarily with Hobson and Dickinson joining forces for a few lines vocally, but soon enough another fuzzed-out lead hits and from there they shift into section of bass-key-and-percussion shuffle that builds toward the rolling call-and-response crescendo circa 20 minutes in.

Soon enough that crashes its way into a fade — Hobson‘s bass holding steady — and the organ line and drums build back into the song’s final push, more melodically resonant in the keys, bass and guitar, and more propulsive in Fyfe‘s drums as one might expect to close a work of such breadth. The finish itself is a series of hits that provide a progressive culmination and end suddenly, cold, as if to highlight the point that all of the preceding motion was not simple instrumental meandering but the outcome of a purposeful and directed approach. Indeed, Stubb have said the plan is for Burning Moon to become a series of between-album releases. Ambitious, but not impossible. If this turns out to merely be a first installment of some greater idea, the scope on offer will no doubt continue to widen, but as it stands, it’s the farthest to-date that Stubb have pushed their sound, and they do so in a manner both vibrant and individualized. Whether you call it an EP or a single, there’s no doubt it will stand among 2017’s best short releases.

Please enjoy the stream of “Burning Moon” below, followed by more info courtesy of the band:

Recorded Jan 2017 at Skyhammer Studios, England, by Chris Fielding.
Music by Stubb
Produced by Chris Fielding/Stubb

Stubb is:
Jack Dickinson – Guitar/Vox
Tom Hobson – Bass/Vox
Tom Fyfe – Drums/percussion

Ewan Duffus – Keys

Burning Moon is part one of the Burning Moon Trilogy, a story about the end of the Earth. The idea is to release the other 2 parts in between albums.

This is the first track that we have released with Tom Hobson on bass//vox. Special guest Ewan Duffus is on keys. He played on our cover of “Little Wing” for the Best of James Marshal Hendrix compilation (MER).

We don’t have a label for this yet, so it will be available for download from our Bandcamp on the weekend of the April 29th (Desertfest London). What ever happens this will definitely be available on CD and Vinyl at some point in the future.

We’ll be playing the tune in full for the first time with Ewan, and we are very lucky to be joined by Thomas Mowforth of Limb and Zel Kaute of Vodun on percussion. Sat 29th April, The Black Heart, Desertfest London.

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Friday Full-Length: Deep Purple, Made in Japan

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 7th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Deep Purple, Made in Japan (1972)

I don’t know that heavy rock live albums of its own or of any other era get much more essential that Deep Purple‘s Made in Japan. The only one I can think of that even comes close to the same echelon is Band of Gypsys, which also had the advantage of coming out two years earlier in 1970, but that’s a pivotal two years between the Jimi Hendrix release and the Deep Purple one. It could easily be argued that, whatever role Hendrix played in laying the foundation for it, the style of heavy rock that Mk. II Deep Purple played really took shape between 1970 and 1971, coming into its own around Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and so on even as the world mourned Hendrix‘s passing in Sept. 1970.

And what of the Sabbaths and the Zeppelins of the universe? Well, Black Sabbath‘s aptly-named Live at Last wouldn’t show up until 1980, and Led Zeppelin didn’t release The Song Remains the Same until 1976. Pink Floyd‘s genius-level concept Live at Pompeii came out in 1972, but it was more film than album, and had no audience. Made in Japan basically owned its moment, and though it starts out with a rigorously scorching if relatively straightforward rendition of “Highway Star,” its extended takes on the classics “Child in Time,” “Smoke on the Water,” “The Mule,” “Strange Kind of Woman,” “Lazy” and especially “Space Truckin'” continue to provide an insight into how the band worked in a way that nothing else could.

Of course, it’s about the performance and the players. You think just anyone could pull off a 12-minute “Child in Time?” Not a chance. But Deep Purple were at the arguable height of their powers in Aug. 1972, when Made in Japan was recorded over the course of three nights — two in Osaka, one in Tokyo. The all-allstar lineup of founding bassist Roger Glover, organist Jon Lord (R.I.P. 2012), drummer Ian Paice, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and vocalist Ian Gillan had released Machine Head three months prior, which flubbed on its first single but nonetheless produced the band’s defining hit in “Smoke on the Water,” and after 1970’s In Rock and 1971’s Fireball (discussed here), it seemed that the band’s true artistic and commercial potential was realizing itself. I won’t take anything away from 1973’s Who Do We Think We Are, which would be the last studio outing Mk. II Purple would release until their 1984 reunion for Perfect Strangers, but Made in Japan captures them as close to in-their-moment as any live record possibly could.

Be that as it may, the prevailing sentiment one gets in listening to it is of ego. On stage for these songs, Deep Purple are as much about showcasing virtuosity as engaging their audience. “Highway Star” is the lead-in, but “Child in Time” indulges a long and flowing drama of vocal and guitar acrobatics, Blackmore and Gillan almost competing to be the standout performer. “Smoke on the Water” makes a good case for Blackmore in that role, though it’s Paice who gets the solo in “The Mule,” which like the subsequent “Strange Kind of Woman” is brought to nearly 10 minutes. If there’s any point at which Made in Japan goes over the top, that might be it, if only because they treat a song about soliciting prostitutes like it’s Mozart, but as they do with “The Mule,” with “Child in Time,” with the shuffling “Lazy” and with “Space Truckin'” still to come, Deep Purple make it hold up.

That is, the ego — all that ego, which I think even the band at this point is willing to acknowledge as the reason this lineup didn’t last much more than another year, despite having produced such landmark output — is justified. Is Made in Japan overblown? Absolutely. Yes. But the self-indulgence becomes part of the appeal, and even as “Strange Kind of Woman” meanders into guitar noodling, one can hear the audience clapping along. And the blues jam at the start of “Lazy” brims with the kind of fluidity and chemistry that is perhaps the best example on this record of what made this incarnation of Deep Purple so special. To have them then follow that up by taking one of their best hooks, for “Space Truckin’,” and taffy-pull it into this massive sprawl — holy shit, Jon Lord‘s keys — and put it to a big rock finish that would make even Manowar blush? Come on.

Their mark on heavy rock, and rock in general, is indelible, and while Made in Japan isn’t in itself the reason for that, it’s certainly the line that underscores the point.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Maybe you saw I posted on the social medias or maybe you didn’t, but Echoes and Dust was kind enough to ask me about three records that have influenced my life and my picks were posted earlier this week. Thank you to Sander van den Driesche for caring enough to ask. I was deeply flattered.

Unlike last week, I did not take today off from work. Looks like a lot of people did though, so the office is relatively quiet. Remind me to tell you sometime about what a huge proponent I am of the four-day work week. Four on, three off. Should be four off, three on, but I’d take a three-day weekend every time out and call it progress. Which it would be. Working five days a week. Soul-swallowing.

Nonetheless, this week wasn’t quite as unbearable as last week was, and by that I mostly mean that it seemed to go by quicker. I’ve been pretty beat the last couple days, but even so, the hours moved. Last week, everything sat still. I’ll get out of here in a little bit — going to even cut out a couple minutes early since I got here early — and go home and have lunch and see if I can watch some baseball and hang out with The Patient Mrs. if she gets home from a meeting at work at any reasonable time. Plan is to grill later if the weather holds — very much a springtime notion — and then tomorrow meet my family for an early dinner in Connecticut, essentially halfway between where they are in NJ and where we are in Massachusetts, and also just so happens to be where The Patient Mrs.’ family is, so we’ll see them as well. Always a marathon, but good. I’ve got Sunday to recover.

And while I do that, coffee ritual and plenty of writing to do. Today was absolutely packed. Single announcement, video premiere, album review, video premiere, album announcement, track premiere and this? Yeah, that was like three days of work right there. But Monday’s got plenty going on too, as does the rest of next week. The notes (subject to change) look like this:

MON.: Radio Adds, maybe a Stubb track premiere, otherwise Hollow Leg video and Fuzz Evil video.
TUE.: Spidergawd album review and a stream for a sampler of RidingEasy’s new Brown Acid compilation.
WED.: T.G. Olson album review, Six Dumb Questions with Forming the Void, and Doublestone video premiere.
THU.: Brume track premiere and album review; video premiere for Sea.
FRI.: The Sonic Dawn review/full stream; track premiere for the new Avon single.

There’s of course a backlog of news and other stuff slated in there as well, so yeah. My head’s pretty much spinning from now until Roadburn hits in two weeks. Funny to think of staying up until six in the morning to write and working on the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch ‘zine over there as a respite, but I think by the time I get to Tilburg it might actually be one.

Because compulsion!

Oh hey, we went to war again this week and the US Senate took its toys and moved just a little bit further away from being any kind of democratic legislative body — as opposed to the House, which long ago gave up that ghost — but yeah. Super. It’s a super world.

Whether or not institutions and long-held political conventions — not to mention international law — are breaking down all around us, I hope you have a great and safe weekend, wherever you might be and whatever mischief you might be up to. Have fun, watch your ass, and come back Monday for more good times, having thoroughly checked out the forum and radio stream in the meantime.

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Anathema Announce New Album The Optimist Due June 9; Stream “Springfield”

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

If you know anything about my ongoing nerddom for Anathema, you’ll already know that when Danny Cavanagh says below that the narrative of their forthcoming The Optimist full-length — out June 9 on Kscope — picks up where 2001’s A Fine Day to Exit (reissue review here) left off, well, that’s just about the bee’s knees as far as I’m concerned. The ever-evolving band has unveiled the new track “Springfield” that bears that vibe out to some degree while still remaining loyal to 2014’s Distant Satellites, which I actually only recently picked up after being left largely cold over the longer term by 2012’s Weather Systems (review here) — a stupid move for which I’ve been kicking myself since, because actually Distant Satellites was pretty solid, moving somewhat in the direction that “Springfield” would seem to be continuing here in bringing some of the melancholy back into their sound.

As Anathema prepare to unleash the new record I’ll prepare my completely biased longterm-fan hyperbole about how excellent it is. They’ve got tour dates booked in Europe, Central and South America, and Europe again already, but a US run is said to follow at some point, which I very much wouldn’t mind seeing, particularly after their set at Roadburn 2015 quite literally brought me to tears.

The PR wire has those tour dates, the song, and more pressing info for The Optimist than I know what to do with. I want the CD one that comes with the fancy Bluray that I wouldn’t even know how to listen to.

Pick your poison:

anathema the optimist

Anathema Stream “Springfield” from Forthcoming Album, The Optimist (June 9, Kscope)

PRE-ORDERS AVAILABLE NOW: http://found.ee/The_Optimist

Anathema’s eleventh full-length The Optimist is due for release on 9th June through Kscope, where the ambient rockers will reveal some of the darkest, most challenging and unexpected music the sextet have put their name to.

Anathema, led by brothers Daniel and Vincent Cavanagh, along with drummer John Douglas, singer Lee Douglas, bassist Jamie Cavanagh and drummer/keyboardist Daniel Cardoso began recording The Optimist in the winter of 2016 at Attica Audio in Donegal, Ireland and then finished at Castle Of Doom studios in Glasgow with producer Tony Doogan [Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian, Super Furry Animals] at the helm and was mastered at the legendary Abbey Road Studios.

“Here we present the song ‘Springfield’, it’s actually the song that closed our unforgettable Wembley gig with Opeth and it seemed to be a track that just fell into place without much effort. It seemed to do itself. The song forms part of a narrative that runs through The Optimist album, it’s a narrative that begins where A Fine Day To Exit left off. The album is a journey. The songs are ambiguous. There is no right or wrong way to take them. Make of them what you will.” – Daniel Cavanagh

The Optimist track list:
1. 32.63N 117.14W
2. Leaving It Behind
3. Endless Ways
4. The Optimist
5. San Francisco
6. Springfield
7. Ghosts
8. Can’t Let Go
9. Close Your Eyes
10. Wildfires
11. Back To the Start

Pre-orders are available now via http://found.ee/The_Optimist in the following formats:

Deluxe 12″ hardbook featuring:
* 40-page artwork book, with artwork from Travis Smith
* CD The Optimist with 11 original album tracks
* CD featuring 6 bonus tracks – 3 demo versions and 3 live demo recordings from the band’s November 2016 dates
* DVD-V The Optimist with 11 original album tracks, 24/96 LPCM Stereo & 24/96 DTS 5.1 surround mix
* Blu-Ray disc The Optimist 11 original album tracks, 24/96 LPCM Stereo, 24/96 LPCM 5.1 lossless surround mix & 24/96 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless 5.1 surround mix

2-Disc CD & DVD Mediabook:
* 24 page booklet
* CD The Optimist with 11 original album tracks
* DVD-V The Optimist with 11 original album tracks, 24/96 LPCM Stereo & 24/96 DTS 5.1 surround mix

Blu-Ray featuring:
* The Optimist 11 original album tracks, 24/96 LPCM Stereo, 24/96 LPCM 5.1 lossless surround mix & 24/96 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless 5.1 surround mix

CD featuring:
* The Optimist with 11 original album tracks

Double gatefold 180g heavyweight LP featuring:
* The Optimist 11 original album tracks (with MP3 download code)
* Limited edition red vinyl LP version (with MPD download code) available exclusively through the band’s webstore

Digital download featuring:
* The Optimist 11 original album tracks with pre-orders receiving an instant download of “Springfield”

A European tour has been announced, with Alcest opening. Tickets are available on April 3 at 10 am local time. North American tour dates will be announced soon.

ANATHEMA TOUR DATES:
Jun 08 Yotaspace Moscow, Russia
Jun 09 Clubzal St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
Jun 11 Download Festival Derby, United Kingdom
Jun 18 Graspop Metal Meeting Dessel, Belgium
Jun 23 Doornroosje Nijmegen, Netherlands
Jun 24 Midsummer Prog Festival Valkenburg, Netherlands
Jul 01 Be Prog! My Friend Barcelona, Spain
Jul 02 Rockwave Festival Athens, Greece
Aug 03 Café Iguana Monterrey, Mexico
Aug 04 C3 Stage Guadalajara, Mexico
Aug 05 El Plaza Condesa Mexico City, Mexico
Aug 07 Teatro Ecci Bogota, Colombia
Aug 09 Teatro Capriola Santiago, Chile
Aug 11 Groove Buenos Aires, Argentina
Aug 12 Carioca Club Sao Paulo, Brazil
Aug 13 Granfinos Belo Horizonte, Brazil

ANATHEMA with Alcest:
Sep 23 Limelight 2 Belfast, United Kingdom
Sep 24 Academy Dublin, Ireland
Oct 02 La Cartonnerie Reims, France
Oct 03 L’Étage Rennes, France
Oct 04 Le Bataclan Paris, France
Oct 05 Aeronef Lille, France
Oct 06 013 Tilburg, Netherlands
Oct 07 La Laiterie Strasbourg, France
Oct 08 La Sirene La Rochelle, France
Oct 10 Rock School Barbey Bordeaux, France
Oct 11 Le Metronum Toulouse, France
Oct 14 Paloma Nimes, France
Oct 15 Le Radiant Caluire Et Cuire, France
Oct 16 Alcatraz Milan, Italy
Oct 18 Z7 Konzertfabrik Pratteln, Switzerland
Oct 19 LKA Longhorn Stuttgart, Germany
Oct 20 Backstage Werk Munchen, Germany
Oct 21 Simm City Vienna, Austria
Oct 22 Kino Šiška Ljubljana, Slovenia
Oct 24 Arenele Romane Bucharest, Romania
Oct 25 Orpheus Studio Sofia, Bulgaria
Oct 27 Dürer Kert Budapest, Hungary
Oct 28 Lucerna Music Bar Prague, Czech Republic
Oct 29 Batschkapp Frankfurt Am Main, Germany
Oct 31 Astra Berlin, Germany
Nov 01 Uebel & Gefährlich Hamburg, Germany
Nov 02 Amager Bio Copenhagen, Denmark
Nov 03 Kulturbolaget Malmö, Sweden
Nov 05 Rockefeller Music Hall Oslo, Norway
Nov 06 Kägelbanan Södermalm, Sweden
Nov 08 Klubi Tampere, Finland
Nov 09 THE CIRCUS Helsinki, Finland
Nov 10 Rock Café Tallinn, Estonia
Nov 12 Progresja Music Zone Warsaw, Poland
Nov 13 Stary Mane? Gdansk, Poland
Nov 14 MTP2 Poznan, Poland
Nov 15 HSD Erfurt, Germany
Nov 16 Live Music Hall Cologne, Germany
Nov 18 Kulturfabrik Esch Sur Alzette, Luxembourg

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www.anathema.ws

Anathema, “Springfield”

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Elder Druid Post “Rogue Mystic” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

elder druid

“Rogue Mystic” is the second video from Elder Druid‘s 2016 debut EP, Magicka (review here), which despite sharing its title with the 2000 narrative concept album from Dio — that was Magica, minus the ‘k’ — actually pulls way more influence from the Sleepy end of tonally-dense stoneralia. Like its visually represented predecessor “The Warlock” (posted here), “Rogue Mystic” finds the Northern Irish five-piece roughing up this central influence, as vocalist Gregg McDowell brings a harsher edge to the song’s tale of a wizard who betrays his coven by stealing an amulet and is subsequently hunted down for his efforts.

That story is told over a rolling groove heavy enough that it caught the attention of Conan guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis, who issued Magicka through his Black Bow Records imprint last fall. If you needed a compliment to the tones of guitarists Jake Wallace and Mikey Scott and bassist Dale Hughes, who’s joined in the rhythm section by Brien Gillen — whose almost bouncing plod can be heard pushing this track forward — I can’t think of a better one than that. As you can hear in “Rogue Mystic,” though, they well earn it. Elder Druid have some local shows coming up this weekend and over the next few months, but I’m curious to see how long they’ll ultimately be in putting together a follow-up to Magicka and perhaps a first long-player. Revisiting this track, they certainly seem ready for that step.

You can take a listen to “Rogue Mystic” and check out the clip below, and see if you agree.

Hope you enjoy:

Elder Druid, “Rogue Mystic” official video

We’re very happy to announce the release of our brand new music video for ‘Rogue Mystic’ from our latest EP ‘Magicka. Huge thanks to Gryphus Visuals for the incredible job. Prepare yourself for some very trippy, occult viewing. Cheers!

DRACONIAN MASTER OF THE ARCANE
A MYSTIC ENIGMA WITHOUT A NAME

Elder Druid formed in early 2015 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. Five lovers of heavy riffs and molten fuzz came together to add their stamp to the world of stoner rock and doom metal. With heavy influences from Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Kyuss and Sleep, the riffs began to take shape and all the elements started to fuse.

After gigging through the summer of 2016 across Northern Ireland, the band went into the studio with Andy Shields (Hornets) and recorded a 5-track EP entitled ‘Magicka’ which was released via Black Bow Records in October 2016.

Elder Druid is:
Gregg McDowell – Vocals
Jake Wallace – Lead Guitar
Mikey Scott – Rhythm Guitar
Dale Hughes – Bass Guitar
Brien Gillen – Drums

Elder Druid on Thee Facebooks

Elder Druid on Bandcamp

Elder Druid on Instagram

Black Bow Records website

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Greenleaf & Steak Desertfest Split 7″ Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 4th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

This year will be the third that H42 Records has offered up an exclusive single to mark the arrival of Desertfest. The first featured Sons of Alpha Centauri and Karma to Burn, and the second was Monster Magnet and Ramming Speed. This year, it’s quintessential Swedes Greenleaf with a classic track and London heavy underground ambassadors Steak with brand new material. Seeming to represent both Desertfest London and Berlin 2017, this year’s single is limited to 400 copies, and the green vinyl is already gone on preorders, so if you want one at all, you probably don’t want to sleep on it.

I also don’t know how many of these will actually make it to Desertfest, versus how many have been preordered and just sold through that way, so yeah, much to consider here. Not trying to sell you on anything, I’m just saying these are factors to consider when acquiring heavy rock and roll. You know how it is.

Release details from the PR wire:

desertfest-split-steak-greenleaf

GREENLEAF & STEAK will take part on this years DESERTFEST Split-7″

GREENLEAF is a righteous kick in the ass and a testament to the almighty riff! On Side A they presents you their alltime classic “Sold My Old Lady (Out of the back of an Oldsmobile)”. The song was originally released on their long sold out debut EP from 2000. If you don’t own this EP this is your chance the get this song on vinyl. That’s the first time in 17 years.

Side B is reserved for a brand new song from STEAK: “Overthrow” is the first living sign of the four Londoners since ‘Slab City’ from 2014. And what is closer to the fact that Steak is represented with a new song on the new DesertFest Split cause they will also rock the stage of the DesertFest London this year.

Limited Edition up to 400 copies out on H42 Records (H42-040)
200 on DARK GREEN vinyl
200 on BROWN vinyl

Tracklist:
A1 // Greenleaf Side: Sold My Old Lady (Out of the back of an Oldsmobile)
B1 // Steak Side: Overthrow

http://www.h42records.8merch.com/presale
https://h42records.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/H42Records
https://twitter.com/H42Records
https://www.h42records.com/

Greenleaf, “Sold My Lady (Out the back of an Oldsmobile)”

Steak, “Pisser” Live in London, 2016

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Quarterly Review: Grails, Expo Seventy, Coltsblood, Rhino, Cruthu, Spacetrucker, Black Habit, Stone Angels, The Black Willows, Lamagaia

Posted in Reviews on March 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

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Arrival. Welcome to the final day of The Obelisk’s Spring 2017 Quarterly Review. After today, I clean off my desktop and start over with a mind toward the next round, which in my head I’ve already scheduled for late June. You know, at the end of the next quarter. I do try to make these things make sense on some level. Anyway, before we get to the last 10 albums, let me please reiterate my thanks to you for reading and say once again that I hope you’ve found something this week that really speaks to you, as I know I have and continue to today. We finish the Quarterly Review out strong to be sure, so even if you’re thinking you’re done and you’ve had enough, you might be surprised by the time you’re through the below.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Grails, Chalice Hymnal

grails chalice hymnal

Even if one counts the 2013 collection culled from GrailsBlack Tar Prophecies ongoing series of short releases that showed up via Temporary Residence, it’s been a long while since their last proper outing. Deep Politics (review here) was issued in 2011, but it seems the intervening time and members’ participation in other projects – among them Om and Holy Sons in the case of Emil Amos – disappear for Grails on Chalice Hymnal, which speaks directly to its predecessor in sequel pieces like “Deeper Politics,” “Deep Snow II” and “Thorns II,” taking the prog-via-TangerineDream cinematics of Deep Politics to vibrant and continually experimental places on the surprisingly vocalized “Empty Chamber,” the soundscaping “Rebecca” and the imaginative, evocative jazz homage “After the Funeral,” the album’s 10-minute closer. Hearing the John Carpenter keyboard line underpinning “Pelham,” I’m not sure I’d call Chalice Hymnal limitless in its aesthetic – Grails have definitive intentions here, as they always have – but they continue to reside in a space of their own making, and one that has yet to stop expanding its reach.

Grails on Thee Facebooks

Grails at Temporary Residence Ltd.

 

Expo Seventy, America Here and Now Sessions

expo seventy america here and now sessions

Yes. Yes. This. With extended two tracks – “First Movement” (22:17) and “Second Movement” (27:04) – unfolding one massive longform immersion that drones pastoral, delves into hypnotic bliss and fills the soul in that way that only raw exploration can, the America Here and Now Sessions from Kansas City (by way of the moon) outfit Expo Seventy is an utter joy to experience. Purposeful and patient in its execution, graceful in the instrumental chemistry – even with a second drummer sitting in amid the core trio led by guitarist Justin Wright – the album well fits the deep matte tones and nostalgic feel of its accompanying artwork, and is fluid in its movement from drone to push especially on “Second Movement,” which sandwiches a resonant cacophony around soundscapes that spread as far as the mind of the listener is willing to let them. Whether you want to sit and parse the execution over every its every subtle motion and waveform or put it on and go into full-brain-shutdown, America Here and Now Sessions delivers. Flat out. It delivers.

Expo Seventy on Thee Facebooks

Essence Music website

 

Coltsblood, Ascending into Shimmering Darkness

coltsblood ascending into shimmering darkness

After surviving the acquisition of Candlelight Records by Spinefarm, UK doom extremists Coltsblood return with their second album, Ascending into Shimmering Darkness, and follow-up 2014’s Into the Unfathomable Abyss (review here) with 54 minutes of concrete-thick atmospheric bleakness spread across five tracks. The headfuckery isn’t quite as unremitting as it was on the debut – a blend of airy and thick guitar in the intro of the opening title-cut (also the longest inclusion; immediate points) reminds of Pallbearer – but the three-piece thrive in this more-cohesive-overall context, and their lumbering miseries remain dark and triumphant in kind. A closing duo of “Ever Decreasing Circles” and “The Final Winter” also both top 12 and 13 minutes, respectively, but the shorter second track “Mortal Wound” brings blackened tendencies to the fore and centerpiece “The Legend of Abhartach” effectively leads the way from one side to the other. Still, the most complete victory here for bassist/vocalist John McNulty, guitarist Jemma McNulty and drummer Jay Plested might be “The Final Winter,” which melds its grueling, excruciatingly slow crash to overarching keyboard drama and becomes a work of cinematic depth as well as skull-crushing wretchedness. Such ambient growth fascinates and shows marked progression from their first offering, and even if the primary impression remains one from which no light escapes, don’t be fooled: Coltsblood are growing and are all the more dangerous for that.

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Candlelight Records website

 

Rhino, The Law of Purity

rhino the law of purity

Once they get past the aptly-titled minute-long “Intro,” Rhino keep their foot heavy on the gas for the vast majority of The Law of Purity, their Argonauta Records debut album. The 10 included tracks veer into and out of pure desert rock loyalism – “Eat My Dust” comes across as particularly post-Kyuss, perhaps melded with some of the burl of C.O.C.’s “Shake Like You” – and the throttle of “Nuclear Space,” “Nine Months,” “A. & B. Brown” and “Cock of Dog” later on come to define the impression of straightforward push that puts the riffs forward even more than earlier inclusions like the post-“Intro” title-track or the more mid-paced “Bursting Out,” which hints at psychedelia without really ever fully diving into it. Capping with the roll of “I See the Monsters,” The Law of Purity reminds at times of earlier Astrosoniq – particularly in the vocals – but finds the Sicilian five-piece crafting solid heavy rock tunes that seem more concerned with having a couple beers and a good time than changing the world or remaking the genre. Nothing wrong with that.

Rhino on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records website

 

Cruthu, The Angle of Eternity

cruthu the angle of eternity

As it happens, I wrote the bio and release announcement for Cruthu’s debut album, The Angle of Eternity (posted here), and I count guitarist “Postman Dan” McCormick as a personal friend, so if you’re looking for impartiality as regards the self-released six-tracker, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for primo trad doom and classic metal vibes, the Michigan-based four-piece offer touches of progressive flourish amid the shuffle of opener “Bog of Kildare,” a grueling post-“Crystal Ball” nod in “From the Sea” and a bit of ‘70s proto-metallurgy in the closing title-track, which finds vocalist Ryan Evans at his most commanding while McCormick, bassist Erik Hemingsen (Scott Lehman appears as well) and drummer Matt Fry hold together the fluid and patient groove of weighted downer metal. The sense of Cruthu as an outfit schooled in the style is palpable through the creep of “Lady in the Lake” and the post-Trouble chug of “Séance,” but they’re beginning to cast their own identity from their influences – even the penultimate interlude “Separated from the Herd” is part of it – and the dividends of that process are immediate in these tracks.

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Cruthu on Bandcamp

 

Spacetrucker, Launch Sequence

spacetrucker launch sequence

From the Kozik-style artwork of their cover to the blown-out vocals on opener “New Pubes” of guitarist Matt Owen, St. Louis three-piece Spacetrucker – how was there not already a band with this name? – make no bones about their intentions on their late-2016, 26-minute Launch Sequence seven-track EP. Owen, bassist Patrick Mulvaney and drummer Del Toro push into a realm of noise-infused stoner grunge loyal to the ‘90s execution of “Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop” in the stops of the instrumental “Giza” even as they thicken and dirty up their tonality beyond what Kyuss laid forth. The cowbell-inclusive “Science of Us” rests easily on Mulvaney’s tone and nods toward burl without going over the top, and cuts like “Old Flower,” the penultimate roller “Trenchfoot” and the closing post-Nirvana punker blast of “Ain’t Gonna be Me” reimagine a past in which the language of heavy rock was there to explain where grunge was coming from all along. Not looking to reinvent stylistic parameters in their image at this point, Spacetrucker is nonetheless the kind of band one might’ve run into at SXSW a decade and a half ago and been made a fan for life. As it stands, the charm is not at all lost.

Spacetrucker on Thee Facebooks

Spacetrucker on Bandcamp

 

Black Habit, Black Habit

black habit self titled

Clocking in at half an hour, the self-titled debut release from viola-infused Arizona two-piece Black Habit could probably qualify as an EP or an LP. I’m inclined to consider it the latter considering the depths vocalist/guitarist/bassist Trey Edwin and violist/drummer Emily Jean plunge in the five included tracks, starting with the longest of the bunch (immediate points) in the slow-moving “Escape into Infinity” before shifting the tempo upward for “Suffer and Succumb” and digging into deep-toned sludge marked out by consistently harsh vocals. I wouldn’t be surprised if Black Habit became more melodic or at least moved into cleaner shots over time, as the doomly centerpiece “South Beach” and more fuzz-rocking “Travel Across the Ocean” seem to want to head in that direction, but it’s hard to argue with the echoing rasp that accompanies the rumble and hairy tones of finale “Lust in the Dust,” as Black Habit’s Black Habit rounds out with an especially righteous nod. An intriguing, disaffected, and raw but potential-loaded opening salvo from a two-piece discovering where their sound might take them.

Black Habit on Thee Facebooks

Black Habit on Bandcamp

 

Stone Angels, Patterns in the Ashes

stone angels patterns in the ashes

Massive. Patterns in the Ashes is a malevolent, tectonic three-song EP following up on New Zealand trio Stone Angels’ 2011 debut, Within the Witch, as well as a few shorter live/demo offerings between, and it’s an absolute beast. Launching with the seven-minute instrumental “White Light, White Noise II” – indeed the sequel to a cut from the first album – it conjures a vicious nod and bleeds one song into the next to let “Signed in Blood” further unfold the grim atmospherics underscoring and enriching all that tonal heft. Sludge is the core style, but the Christchurch three-piece’s broader intentions come through with due volume on the grueling “Signed in Blood” and when “For the Glory of None” kicks in after its sample intro, the blasts and growls that it brings push the release to new levels of extremity entirely. As a bonus, the digital edition includes all three tracks put together as one longer, 21-minute piece, so the consuming flow between them can be experienced without any interruption, as it was seemingly meant to be.

Stone Angels on Thee Facebooks

Stone Angels on Bandcamp

 

Black Willows, Samsara

the black willows samsara

If Switzerland-based resonance rockers Black Willows had only released the final two tracks, “Jewel in the Lotus” and “Morning Star,” of their late-2016 second full-length, Samsara, one would still have to call it a complete album – and not just because those songs run 15 and 25 minutes long, respectively. Throughout those extended pieces and the four shorter cuts that appear before them, a palpable meditative sensibility emerges, and Black Willows follow-up the promise of 2013’s Haze (review here) by casting an even more immersive, deeper-toned vibe in the post-Om nod of “Sin” (8:08) and the more percussive complement, “Rise” (9:28), keeping a ritualized feel prevailing but not defining. From the lead-in title-track and the spacious psych trip-out of “Mountain” that gives way to the aforementioned extended closing duo, Black Willows find their key purpose in encompassing tonality and languid grooving. Nothing is overdone, nothing loses its patience, and when they get to the linear trajectory of “Morning Star,” the sense is they’re pushing as far out as far out will go. It’s a joy to follow them on that path.

Black Willows on Thee Facebooks

Black Willows on Bandcamp

 

Lamagaia, Lamagaia

lamagaia lamagaia

Anytime you’re at all ready to quit your job and explore the recesses of your mind via the ingestion of psychedelics, rituals and meditation, Sweden’s Lamagaia would seem to stand prepared to accompany. The Gothenburg four-piece offer two extended tracks of encouragement in that direction on their self-titled 12” (released through Cardinal Fuzz and Sunrise Ocean Bender), and both “Aurora” and “Paronama Vju” carry a heady spirit of kosmiche improvisation and classically progressive willfulness. They go, go, go. Far, far, far. Vocals echo out obscure but definitely there in post-The Heads fashion, but there’s Hawkwindian thrust in the fuzzed bass and drums driving the rhythm behind the howling guitar in “Aurora,” and that only sets up the peaceful stretch that the drones and expansive spaciousness of “Paronama Vju” finds across its 18:55 as all the more of an arrival. Immersive, hypnotic, all that stuff that means gloriously psychedelic, Lamagaia’s Lamagaia offers instrumental chemistry and range for anyone willing to follow along its resonant and ultra-flowing path. Count me in. I never liked working anyway.

Lamagaia website

Cardinal Fuzz webstore

 

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