The Obelisk Radio Adds: Big Kizz, Mt. Mountain, Mage, Hypertonus, Lee Van Cleef

Posted in Radio on May 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk radio cavum

We’re only slightly overdue for a batch of adds to The Obelisk Radio. I need to start setting a reminder or something. By the time this post goes up, my hope is that we’ll actually be off the backup server and back on the full or at least mostly-full playlist. It’s been a long road, as the terrible opening theme to Star Trek: Enterprise once said, but I think Slevin has it ready to roll, and there’s still some rebuilding to do, but I think it can be an ongoing thing working on the new hard drive. We’ve worn the crap out of that backup playlist. It would be nice to not have to use it for a while. Fingers crossed, anyhow.

Whichever server these files wind up on, they’ll be joining some playlist as soon as humanly possible. Let’s do the rundown in the meantime.

The Obelisk Radio Adds for May 22, 2017:

Big Kizz, Eye on You

big kizz eye on you

Some who take on the debut single from Swedish trio Big Kizz will find the band reminiscent of some of the rawer moments of long-running Danish garage-psych rockers Baby Woodrose, but for many, an additional draw to the three-track/eight-minute offering (delivered via Tee Pee Records) will be the lineup, which features bassist John Hoyles (Spiders, ex-Witchcraft), guitarist/vocalist Pontus Westerman (also of Lady Banana), and perhaps most notably, drummer Axel Sjöberg in his first recorded appearance after splitting with Graveyard. Turns out he’s still a fantastic drummer. His play in leadoff cut “Eye on You” and the push he brings to “Baby Boy” and the closing Roky Erickson cover “White Faces” will surely lead some to relate Big Kizz to Sjöberg‘s former outfit, if only in their earliest going (which was also on Tee Pee, remember), but the truth is the trio show themselves to be on a different trip throughout Eye on You, as they bring the aforementioned garage stylization forward amid classic boogie and, particularly in “Baby Boy,” nod toward mid-’60s psychedelia in a quick but fluid bridge. The Roky Erickson cover could hardly be more fitting, handclaps and all, but it’s the sense of movement in the two originals that shows the most potential here as Big Kizz seem to set their eyes on establishing their dynamic and building from there. Will be interested to hear what they do with the context of a full-length and if some of the psych in “Eye on You” and “Baby Boy” is relegated to flourish or if it comes to the fore as they develop, but they’re off to a rousing start.

Big Kizz on Thee Facebooks

Big Kizz at Tee Pee Records


Mt. Mountain Dust

mt. mountain dust

Devotees and pilgrims of longform psychedelia will no doubt and should rejoice at Dust (on Cardinal Fuzz), the maybe-second long-player from Perth, Australia, five-piece Mt. Mountain, which from its 17-minute titular opener and longest track (immediate points) unfolds a ritual of superior immersion and conscious trance inducement. Over the course of four songs/37 minutes total, Mt. Mountain unfold a sprawl reportedly intended to capture the atmosphere of the Australian Outback — and maybe they get there, I don’t know; I’ve never been — but either way, the balance of repetition and depth in “Floating Eyes” and the shimmer of the nine-minute “Kokoti” speak to a varied ecosystem that, indeed, one might get lost in, never to return. Mellotron, organ, djembe and percussion play a central role in the overarching sense of mind-expansion along with the guitar, bass, vocals, drums, etc., but it’s the combination of elements, the variety between tracks — they’re jam-based, but distinct songs, to be sure — that really stands Dust apart from much of drift-minded modern heavy psych. One advises patience with the drones of the opener and the cautious first steps that the fading in percussion seems to be taking, as the rewards are considerable when it comes to the front-to-back experience Mt. Mountain offer, which is stark, striking, marked by underlying threat and casts a feeling of the infinite that no doubt was the very intent behind its making.

Mt. Mountain on Thee Facebooks

Cardinal Fuzz webstore


Mage, Green

mage green

Self-released in a six-panel digipak with decidedly grim artwork courtesy of Dominic SohorGreen is the third full-length from Leicestershire, UK, heavy rockers Mage. Last heard from with 2014’s Last Orders (review here), they retain the blend of heavy rock groove and metallic aggression that’s become their signature sound, and continue the march forward in finding a space between post-Down/Orange Goblin dude-rockery and doomlier fare. Vocalist Tom blends harsh growls and a cleaner approach on opener “Nowhere to Nothing” and the later “Primitive Drive” while mostly avoiding sounding like Phil Anselmo, and as guitarist Woody, bassist Mark and drummer Andy dig into the slower roll of “Eclipse King,” Mage seem to hit the mark they’re shooting for in terms of style and songcraft. The centerpiece title-track has a little more head-bob to its central progression — and then there’s that wah; always fun — but they’re right to mess around with the proportion of stylistic elements throughout to add variety, and the 10-minute closer “Vultures Mass” does well in taking the punch of “Nowhere to Nothing” and “Heroic Elegy” at the album’s start and pushing it outward into a satisfying apex. Straightforward in its intent, given a sense of mass via a recording job at Skyhammer Studios and executed with a clean conscience, Green is the work of a band who know what they want from their sound and know how to make it happen, which, thankfully, they do in these tracks.

Mage on Thee Facebooks

Mage on Bandcamp


Hypertonus, Tidal Wave

hypertonus tidal wave

Tidal Wave is the self-issued debut full-length from German instrumentalist three-piece Hypertonus, and it lands some six years after the band first got together, preceded by a semi-eponymous 2013 EP, HPRTNS. If the more-than-half-a-decade stretch seems like a while for a group to get to their first long-player, it might be, but one suspects the Bremen-based troupe comprised of guitarist Patrick Büch, bassist Arne Staats and drummer Hannes Christen spent a significant amount of that time in the jam room developing their sound, because what they cast over this nine-track/45-minute outing is a keen progressivism and chemistry that feels not at all happenstance. With shifts into and out of technically-minded parts that seem to be driven by Staats‘ bass, Hypertonus reportedly tracked Tidal Wave live, and I have no reason not to believe it, particularly given the eight-minute closer “Phantasmagoria (Improvisation Jam),” which departs from the quick psych-meditation of “Aeropause” and the almost jazzy rhythms and post-rock guitar of “Expect the Sky Below” to bring the band’s style even more to life for the listener to take on. It’s a heady release, and some of the changes come across as willfully choppy — playing with expectation in a “now we’re over here!” kind of way — but there’s a marked sense of accomplishment throughout that’s nothing if not well earned.

Hypertonus on Thee Facebooks

Hypertonus on Bandcamp


Lee Van Cleef, Holy Smoke

lee van cleef holy smoke

Pressed to gorgeous-sounding vinyl by White Dwarf Records last November, the five-track instrumental Holy Smoke is the debut LP from Naples, Italy, jammers Lee Van Cleef, and aside from its righteously striking cover art, one finds primary impressions in the gotta-hear-it bass tone of Pietro Trinità La Tegola, the molten lysergism in Marco Adamo‘s guitar and the grounding-but-not-too-grounding effectiveness of drummer Guido Minervini in anchoring a jam like the 13-minute “Banshee,” which takes the best lessons of groups like Germany’s Electric Moon and Portugal’s Black Bombaim and brings them to methodical, engagingly rumbling fruition. Nod persists through the more uptempo, Tee Pee Records-style centerpiece “Hell Malo,” but the three-piece seem even more comfortable dug into the post-Sleep riffing of the subsequent “Mah?na,” finishing that track with a standout wash of a guitar lead ahead of the brighter-feeling closer “Towelie,” which underscores an otherworldly vibe that turns out to have been in Holy Smoke all along. Lee Van Cleef have already followed Holy Smoke up with a single titled “Everyone Should Kill an Old Hippy” (discussed here) — it’s worth noting that this album starts with “Heckle Yuppies,” so they’re not fans of them either — and one can’t imagine it will be long before they answer back with another full-length offering. The question is how they’ll ultimately distinguish themselves from the crowded European jam-based heavy psych underground, but there’s nothing in these tracks to give the impression they can’t or won’t do so as they continue to grow.

Lee Van Cleef on Thee Facebooks

White Dwarf Records on Thee Facebooks


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Friday Full-Length: May Blitz, May Blitz

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

May Blitz, May Blitz (1970)

The story of May Blitz should be recognizable to anyone who’s ever immersed themselves in the history of any number of acts from their era. Or, I suppose, any era. Dudes from other bands got together in this band, put out a couple of records, called it quits and moved onto other projects. Up to and including the connections to Uriah Heep, it’s a pretty familiar tale, but what it doesn’t take into account is the quality of the two records May Blitz offered during their time together. Issued through Vertigo Records — see also Black Sabbath, Warhorse, Nucleus, Status Quo, Gentle Giant, the aforementioned Uriah Heep, Nazareth, etc., etc. — the first of them was a 1970 self-titled seven-tracker with terrible artwork that over the course of about 43 minutes managed to sum up the shift that was taking place between heavy blues groove and what would in the next several years take shape as British progressive rock. Elements of psychedelia remain in cuts like “Dreaming” and “Tomorrow May Come,” but even more than that or the post-Hendrix smolder of “Fire Queen,” what’s most abiding in May Blitz‘s May Blitz is the chill factor. Even when guitarist Jamie Black (also vocals) tears into the solo on “I Don’t Know,” the vibe is thick as molasses and the groove is so laid back that one can’t help but lazily nod along 47 years later.

May Blitz got together the year before the self-titled arrived, founded by bassist Terry Poole and drummer Keith Baker, both of whom had been playing in blues rockers Bakerloo. They’d be gone by the time the band recorded, with Black bringing in bassist Reid Hudson and drummer Tony Newman. As a rhythm section, they add formidable drama to the rushing freakout midsection of “Dreaming,” and are largely responsible for the comfortable pace at which the material is executed, though that’s not to take away from Black as a frontman either. Power trio? Power trio. Whether they’re dug into the ambience of “Dreaming,” marked out aside from that unhinged midsection by its acoustic strum, spacious drumming and harmonized vocals, or digging into the blown-out jam at the culmination of “Virgin Waters,” there’s little doubt the guitarist makes his presence known as one would have to expect.

In the bouncing centerpiece “Squeet,” the elements find perhaps their best balance, with Black noodling away on a repetitive figure as Hudson‘s bass rumbles out a particular tonal warmth and Newman makes his way around the kit and back to the crash cymbal prior to smoothing out on a who-the-hell-knows-what-they’re-talking-about hook that remains catchy nonetheless. Sandwiched by “Dreaming” and “Tomorrow May Come,” it’s a reminder how much of the appeal of this kind of band could rest in their not taking themselves too seriously, but neither is it void of progressive edge. Again, that was the moment at which May Blitz happened to arrive. The Deep Purples, Led Zeppelins and Black Sabbaths were taking over the terrain that had belonged to the Creams and Hendrix, and the parallel development of progressive rock from King CrimsonJethro Tull and countless others was very obviously a factor here as well. None of this happened in a vacuum, but few and far between are the records that seem to emphasize this creative conversation as fluidly as does May Blitz.

But still, the ultimate victory of the outing is that consistency of mood. As exploratory as it might get or as heavy as it goes, May Blitz doesn’t lose that relaxed character, perhaps until “Fire Queen” and the ending of “Virgin Waters,” but even then what May Blitz do remains informed by the context preceding. They’d release The 2nd of May in 1971 and be done by the end of that year, moving onto different projects and outfits and leaving these two records to languish in heavy ’70s obscurity, along with so many others on the collectors market. Like I said at the outset, it’s a pretty common narrative, but a pretty special record.

As ever, I hope you enjoy.

I went to the doctor yesterday, and in addition to taking what seems to be the standard three vials of blood for sundry vitamin and other tests, he gave me a prescription for an anti-depressant to help with the anxiety issues I’ve been having the last however long. I’ve been taking herbal supplements at the recommendation of someone on here, and that’s a thing on which to spend money, but I had a buddy come through with some Xanax last weekend and after a day or two of that I could tell a real difference. I’ve been on this anti-depressant before, which I think is basically how I wound up on it again, and we’ll see if it helps. It’s been rough of late.

Because my appointment was in the morning, I took the day off work, so after some copious errand-running with The Patient Mrs., the bulk of the afternoon was spent working side-by-side, which I like. She had grading to do, while I put together the posts for today and started in on Monday’s whatnottery as well. Sunday being Mothers Day, our schedules for the weekend are kind of wonky, going to Connecticut, coming back north early Monday morning to get me to work on time, etc. I don’t really like to do that — because who the hell likes to go anywhere at 6AM? — but, you know, moms.

Some good stuff coming up next week. At some point soon I’m going to be posting a travel guide for Psycho Las Vegas — basically how to do the festival on the cheap and survive the desert heat — and that should be fun, but I’m not sure when it will start. Anyway, keep an eye out. Here’s what’s in my notes, subject to change as usual:

Mon.: Steak review and full album stream, Cosmic Fall video premiere.
Tue.: Geezer review and full album stream.
Wed.: Six Dumb Questions with Telekinetic Yeti; The Cold Stares track premiere.
Thu.: Abronia review and full album stream.
Fri.: Siena Root review and track premiere.

I’m hearing now that the Steak stream might not happen, so that’s a definite maybe. If that doesn’t work out, I might just nix the review for the day and do a podcast or another Six Dumb Questions post instead. It’s been a while since I did a podcast and at this point I’ve got a backlog of SDQs waiting to go up, so one way or the other a day will happen. The Cosmic Fall video is cool, so I’m happy about hosting that, and the rest of the week is pretty locked in. UPDATE: It’s a podcast. It rules. Will be up Monday.

There’s more to say but I think I’ll leave it there. If you’re celebrating Mothers Day, I hope your mom is kicking ass, and in any case I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Shit is weird so be careful out there. Thanks for reading and please check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Crippled Black Phoenix Announce Summer Festival Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 5th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I consider myself pretty fortunate to have seen Crippled Black Phoenix last month at Roadburn 2017, and all the more so as the long-running UK gloom merchants were there supporting their latest full-length, Bronze (review here), which crosses genre lines as easily as it moves from measure to measure within its tracks. Also the band’s first long-player to be delivered via Season of Mist, it’ll get further live representation throughout the next couple months as Crippled Black Phoenix take part in another slew of festivals, including Hellfest in France and Night of the Prog in Germany. Looks like they’ve got a couple club shows besides, so they should be plenty busy, and as we head into July and August, I wouldn’t be surprised if more shows were forthcoming as well. Always a busy Fall fest season to consider.

For now, here’s the latest from the PR wire:


CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX announce European summer tour

International dark rock collective CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX have announced a European summer festival tour. The band will kick off their tour at Hellfest in France on June 18, and continue through select dates in June, July, and August. A full list of confirmed tour dates can be found below.

Regarding the tour, CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX founding member and vocalist Justin Greaves comments: “Hello rockers! We are stoked to bring a fine selection of our songs to you this summer. Make sure to catch our shows this time round; we are not the most touring band. See you in the sun!”

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX are touring in support of their new album, ‘Bronze’. ‘Bronze’, a slow-burning mix of unique and soaring post-rock, is streaming here. ‘Bronze’ is available at the Season of Mist E-Shop.

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX have released an animated music video for the track “Scared and Alone”, off their recently released full-length, ‘Bronze’. The video was animated by Costin Chioreanu (GHOST, OPETH).

Jun. 18 Clisson (FR) @ Hellfest
Jun. 19 Liege (BE) @ La Zone (+Trap Them)
Jun. 20 Wiesbaden (DE) @ Schlachthof (+Trap Them)
Jun. 21 Segrate (IT) @ SoloMacello Fest
Jun. 23 Aarau (CH) @ Kiff (+Trap Them +Ghost Bath)
Jun. 24 München (DE) @ Saint Helena Festival
Jul. 14 Sankt Goarshausen (DE) @ Night of the Prog
Aug. 4 Raversbeuren (DE) @ Lott-Festival

Crippled Black Phoenix, “Scared and Alone” official video

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The Riven Premiere “Killer on the Loose” Video; Debut EP out Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 3rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the riven

Comprised of five tracks of classic boogie made modern through production clarity and general of-the-now blues vibes, The Riven‘s debut EP, Blackbird, makes a strikingly cohesive impression. The four-piece start out at a rush with “Ain’t No Doctor” and nestle themselves right away into a crisper take on post-Blues Pills heavy jams, big on hooks and easy on groove. London isn’t exactly short on heavy rock and roll these days — or ever — but as The Riven dive into cuts like “Tower” and Blackbird‘s centerpiece title-track, it’s pretty clear they’re making an effort to stand themselves out from the pack.

The band features bassist Max Ternebring, also of Bright Curse, and doesn’t waste time in letting him make an impression on “Ain’t No Doctor,” but by the time they getthe riven blackbird down to “Killer on the Loose” before closing out with “One Last Time,” it’s as much about the whole shuffle as what anyone individually between Ternebring, guitarist Arnau Diaz, vocalist Charlotta Ekebergh and drummer Olof Axegärd might be doing at any given moment. That said, Ekebergh establishes a considerable frontwoman presence throughout, and that remains no less true as Axegärd‘s nuanced snare work punctuates her echoes on “One Last Time” than it was for the boogie of “Tower” earlier on the release. Clearly not something happening by accident.

For those of us not fortunate enough to haunt the bevvy of underground heavy rock clubs throughout London’s winding neighborhoods, The Riven have a brand new performance video for “Killer on the Loose” that’s premiering today. It basically captures them doing what they do with the rock and roll and whatnot, splicing in some old black and white horror movie footage for good measure. You know the drill by now, I’ve no doubt. The highlight of the thing, of course, is the song itself, which stands among Blackbird‘s strongest hooks, delivered from Ekebergh with just a bit of a blown-out edge on her vocals. You’ll hear what I’m talking about as you make your way through.

More info follows the clip below, courtesy of the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

The Riven, “Killer on the Loose” official video

London based heavy rock band THE RIVEN released their debut EP Blackbird on April 14 2017. The album’s five tracks recall the glory of 70s hard rock and is influenced by bands such as Grand Funk Railroad and Deep Purple.

The Riven is all about raw, soulful, heavy rock with lots of hot sauce and cheap beer. Formed in West London after an alcohol-fueled songwriting session between guitarist Arnau Diaz and bass player Max Ternebring, they were soon to be accompanied by Charlotta Ekebergh on vocals and Olof Axegard on drums.

With a love for bands like Rush, Grand Funk Railroad and Deep Purple in common they started writing and recording songs together. Recording and mixing was done by JB Pilon at his studio Buffalo Studios in East London in November 2016.

The Riven is:
Charlotta Ekebergh – Vocals
Arnau Diaz – Guitar
Max Ternebring – Bass Guitar
Olof Axegärd – Drums

The Riven on Thee Facebooks

The Riven on Bandcamp

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Paradise Lost: New Album Medusa Due this Summer

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Those who’ve followed UK death-doom groundbreakers Paradise Lost for the better part of the last decade have been rewarded thoroughly by the band’s return toward darker and more extreme sounds. Their 2015 outing, The Plague Within (review here), was perhaps the bleakest step in this somewhat reformed direction to-date, and it would seem that the forthcoming Medusa — which will be the band’s 15th album and label debut on Nuclear Blast after working with Century Media since 2007 — intends to continue that thread. Nothing to complain about there. When Paradise Lost go dark, they go really, really dark.

Good news that they’re in the studio now — including artsy shots of them at work — follows, courtesy of the PR wire:

PARADISE LOST reveal new album title and details

At this moment, iconic UK metallers, PARADISE LOST, are putting the final touches to their upcoming album, recorded at Orgone Studios in the misty countryside of Woburn, England. Together with producer Jaime Gomez Arellano, they have forged the follow-up to their highly acclaimed release The Plague Within (2015), which brought them a step closer to their death metal roots. This time, PARADISE LOST will haunt their fans with a heavy, doom-ridden monster, as lead guitarist and songwriter Greg Mackintosh reveals:

“The new album will be slower, sludgier and more doom filled than ever before. Eight riff laden monster tracks of sheer Northern misery.”

This 15th studio album will see the light of day at the end of summer via Nuclear Blast and is entitled Medusa. As some might know, Medusa is considered a hideous Gorgon in Greek mythology – a winged female monster with living venomous snakes in place of hair and everyone who dares taking a look at her will immediately turn to stone! So watch out for new details about the album being revealed soon – if you dare.

Nick Holmes | vocals
Greg Mackintosh | lead guitars
Aaron Aedy | rhythm guitars
Steve Edmondson | bass
Waltteri Väyrynen | drums

Paradise Lost, The Plague Within (2015)

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Purson Announce Final Single and Breakup

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

If you’re thinking the demise of Purson is the last we’re likely to hear from guitarist/vocalist Rosalie Cunningham, I’ll just say that seems deeply unlikely. Though the London-based psych rock outfit released what has now become their swansong full-length in last year’s Desire’s Magic Theatre (discussed here), the fact that they’re not even able to break up without putting out a new single speaks to a desire on the part of Cunningham to keep things going. And she’s not the only one. Guitarist George Hudson premiered a new project called Flare Voyant in London last weekend, so things are already afoot in the Purson aftermath, and that only seems likely to continue as the rest of 2017 plays out into the unknown beyond.

For now though, kind of a bummer to lose Purson, because while a primary part of their expression was always their hyperstylization, they were also legit songwriters. Their last single, “Chocolate Money,” is out now through Spinefarm, as the PR wire informs:

purson photo peter brenchley




PURSON are officially no more.

After a career spanning five years, two studio albums, one EP, a number of singles and videos, plus live shows and festivals in both Europe and America, including a full U.S. run guesting with Ghost, the acclaimed, award-winning, ever-flamboyant UK outfit have decided to call a halt to proceedings.

Singer and guitarist Rosalie Cunningham, the creative force behind the project and the one who provided both the songs and the vision while playing most of the instruments in the studio, had this to say about Purson’s split.

“The past five years have been an unforgettable whirlwind, for which I have to thank our wonderful fans around the world, the band, and all the people who have contributed to Purson’s success over the years. Their support has been overwhelming, but the Purson framework has gone as far as it could go, and now it’s simply time to move on. I feel strongly drawn to a more DIY approach to my career in music, and look forward to the freedom to explore many avenues as a solo artist.”

As a way of going out with a (glam rock) bang, Spinefarm Records released a farewell Purson single on April 21.

“Chocolate Money” was and produced and mixed by Cunningham and John Mitchell (Steven Wilson, It Bites). The song features guest contributions from Jon Seagroatt (Comus) on saxophone and Vodun frontwoman Chantelle Brown on backing vocals. It also boasts wickedly tongue-in-cheek lyrics, taking in “cocoa casanova,” “raison d’etre cake,” and more. The song joyfully celebrates an era when bands like Slade and Wizard ruled the charts, Top of the Pops was essential viewing and vinyl was king.

“‘Chocolate Money’ is a snapshot of the ostentatious decadence of the ’70s,” said Cunningham. “The mythical rock star character with his double-entendre and self-centred hedonism. The industry has become a very different world since then, which is something I will expand on lyrically with my next album. It has inspired my desire to go back to basics and remember what music is supposed to be about.”

“Chocolate Money” does not live on Purson’s last album Desire’s Magic Theatre, which is out now.

Purson, “The Window Cleaner” official video

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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, 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

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.

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


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

Wren, Host (2016)

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