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 TO RELEASE NEW STUDIO ALBUM IN 2016
DELIVERY EXPECTED IN TIME FOR HALLOWEEN RELEASE VIA SPINEFARM RECORDS…
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.
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 RETURNS
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…
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:
ALUNAH SIGN WITH SVART RECORDS!
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.
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 a 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 Daut, Ternebring 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.
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
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:
LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING LOTS OF FRIENDS, OLD AND NEW
SENDELICA 10TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR PART ONE:- FRI 29TH APRIL COSMIC PUFFIN, MERSEA ISLAND, UK SAT 30TH APRIL CELLAR BAR, CARDIGAN, UK SAT 14TH MAY RE-STRUNG HARP, FOLKESTONE, UK WEDS 18TH MAY IMMERHIN, WURZBURG, GERMANY THURS 19TH MAY CIRCUS MAXIMUS, KOBLENZ, GERMANY FRI 20TH MAY SECRET GIG, UDINE, ITALY SAT 21ST MAY ROCK FESTIVAL AT PRIAMAR FORTRESS, SAVONA, ITALY SUN 22ND MAY CENTRALE ROCK, ERBA, ITALY TUE 24TH MAY ALTRAQUANDO, ZERO BRANCO, ITALY WEDS 25TH MAY ARCI TAZIBAO, TORTONA (IL), ITALY THURS 26TH MAY CAFE LIBER, TURINO, ITALY SUN 29TH MAY GAMES FOR MAY FESTIVAL, HALF MOON, PUTNEY, LONDON, UK SAT 4TH JUNE TIPI IN CARDIGAN, UK
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
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 25th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
I’ll be interested to see how the lineup for Snuff Lane‘s Snuff’est 2016 plays out, particularly since the three stages for the event in Bristol, UK, at Stag and Hounds and the Exchange seem to be broken up by style. The headliners for each stage have been announced — Belzebong, the reactivated Asteroid and Radar Men from the Moon — and upwards of 15 other acts, with some international and special performances, will be filled in over the next couple months as we get closer to the Sept. 17 fest date. Fair enough. Staggered announcements are kind of how it goes these days. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been doing it as well for this site’s own all-dayer.
What’s especially noteworthy about Snuff’est‘s organization, at least to me, is where the line between Doom, Stoner and Psych — the three organizational principles for its stages — will actually lie. Already we see putting Asteroid at the top of the Stoner bunch and Radar Men from the Moon the Psych and Belzebong the doom, when really Belzebong could just as easily be Stoner and Asteroid Psych. Maybe that’s the point, to highlight how these things are interrelated. Either way, it’s a cool idea and not something everyone does. So yeah, interested to see who winds up where.
From the PR wire:
Snuff’est – Doom/Stoner/Psych – All-Dayer
Snuff Lane loudly brings you Snuff’est; Bristol’s newest intimate Doom, Stoner, Psych sonic-sounding soirée, due this September.
Following the success of last years ‘Snuff Lane Anniversary Bash’, Snuff Lane return with a three staged event, taking place across The Exchange and The Stag & Hounds in Bristol, with dedicated Doom/Sludge, Stoner and Psychedelic stages.
Boasting a beautiful blend of national and international artists, with some unmissable surprises still being unveiled; starting with the recently announced stage headliners:
Belzebong – UK EXCLUSIVE – Doom/Sludge Stage
Asteroid – 1 of 2 UK appearances for 2016 – Stoner Stage
Radar Men From The Moon – Psych Stage
Limited discounted Early-Bird tickets released at 09:00 on Monday 25th April.
UK heavy rockers Desert Storm will release their new split with Suns of Thunder next weekend at Desertfest Berlin. Released through H42 Records, the split 7″ (review here) brings together one track from each band, and for Desert Storm, follows up their 2014 third album, Omniscient (review here), it refines their burly take on post-Orange Goblin heavy grooves and brash riffing, booze-ready and sonically forceful. Crisp and clearheaded in its intent, “Signals from Beyond” nonetheless carries the swagger of Desert Storm‘s earlier offerings forward as it moves through its quick four minutes.
As a result, they sound like they know what the hell they’re doing. And well they should with three albums under their belt, an appearance last year Desertfest London, a tour upcoming with Honky (dates here), Berlin next weekend and so on, but it stands as a demonstration of what a few years of kicking around a busy scene can really bring out in a band. Desert Storm made their debut in 2010, and since then, they’ve worked steadily to progress their take across shows and albums, garnering a fanbase the old fashioned way: with songs and on-stage effort.
I wouldn’t look for that to change. Desert Storm seem to have found their niche and have set about developing in it. Not sure what they’re up to after their summer tour, but a fourth long-player for 2017 doesn’t seem like an unreasonable expectation.
Until then, enjoy “Signals from Beyond” on the player below, followed by more info on the Desertfest split from H42 Records:
Desert Storm, “Signals from Beyond” official video
Check out our new video for our track ‘Signals From Beyond’. This track is on our new split 7″ with our friends Suns Of Thunder which gets officially released at Desertfest on 29th April. Cheers to H42 Records and Winwood Media for the video.
Limited up to 350 copies 100 on clear ree vinyl with red artwork 100 on clear yellow vinyl with yellow artwork 100 on clear green vinyl with green artwork 50 on clear vinyl with blue artwork (DESSERTFEST Berlin edition and only available at the festival)
Limited Up to 350 copies (H42-031, H42 Records) 100 on clear red vinyl with red artwork 100 on clear green vinyl with green artwork 100 on clear yellow vinyl with yellow artwork 100 on clear vinyl with blue artwork (DesertFest Berlin Edition and only available at the festival)
[Click play above to stream Wren’s Host in its entirety. EP out April 29 on Holy Roar Records.]
It was only two years ago that London post-sludge outfit Wren made their debut with a self-titled EP (review here) that found them immediately distinguished from among their many peers in the UK undergound. Since that early 2014 EP, Wren have put together a 2015 split with Irk (review here) the four-song EP Host, forthcoming from Holy Roar Records, both of which have featured changes in the lineup. Operating as the four-piece now of Owen Jones, Chris Pickering, Robert Letts and John McCormick, the band retain the sonic force of their two earlier/earliest offerings, but complement it with a cohesiveness of songcraft that’s on display here in a swaying cut like “The Ossuary” and the catchy “No Seance” (video posted here) that makes their overarching attack that much stronger.
Adding to that a structure that has Host playing two sides off each other to give its four inclusions a longer-shorter/shorter-longer flow and a pervasive sense of atmosphere in even the heaviest, rawest moments, and Host‘s densely weighted roll finds Wren beginning to pay off the potential that the first EP and split showed, even with different personnel involved at very least in terms of who’s fronting the band. A resounding churn will find Host compared to Isis and maybe Amenra, but there’s a post-hardcore bark in Wren‘s shouts that keeps them attuned to a sense of sludgy rawness while also adding aggression to the already smoldering material.
Opener “Stray” and closer “Loom” sandwich “No Seance” and “The Ossuary.” Both songs top eight minutes, and “Stray” begins with an immediate push of deep low-end and interplay of atmospheric riffing, the groove weighted but already in motion with the first verse. It’s not the most urgent thrust of Host, but it recalls some of Swarm of the Lotus‘ less chaotic moments and leads to an instrumental bridge that winds its way back toward a churn and interwoven layers of noise-rock guitar to fill out the chugging insistence. A slowdown before the halfway mark pushes the vocals farther back, but is short-lived as Wren are soon back up and steamrolling forward again toward a break of grabbed-cymbals and manic guitar-led rhythm that takes them to the song’s halfway point, which moves toward a wash of feedback that seems like it’s going to end the track, but at 5:39 kicks into a full-toned post-metallic crunch that provides an apex prior to the actual finish, also in feedback and noise.
Bass starts “No Seance” and is joined soon by guitar feedback and the drums. Though the shortest track on Host, “No Seance” is a highlight without question. More straightforward structurally than “Stray,” but also given a release-defining hook, it also makes no less of an impact, opening farther as it moves toward its second chorus, the drums holding a steady forward pattern to propel the chugging riff before swapping back to toms for nod-ready starts and stops that finish out, staggeringly heavy, completely in control and unremitting in their aggression.
That sense of poise and purpose continues onto “The Ossuary” at what’s the start of the vinyl’s side B. Though also shorter than either “Stray” or “Loom,” it’s nonetheless more open-feeling than “No Seance,” which was so much about its call and response in the chorus, and executes its linear course with a patient tempo early, swapping out at its midpoint toward a more unbridled push that gradually smooths itself into another crash-pushed nod, only to turn around again and move through once more. In that way, “The Ossuary” is almost like two songs put together, but especially in the context of Host as a whole, it works. Further, it readjusts the scope of the EP as a whole in a way that lets “Loom” go just about wherever it wants.
With echoing room-mic vocals over cycles of guitar, bass and tom runs, the opening of the closer recalls some of the first EP’s most post-rock moments, but on the whole, Wren have become a much more aggressive act in the last two years, and as “Loom” moves into its fierce push, a reminder of that is served. Some slow-motion blasting transitions back into the intro progression but degrades into noise to setup the final movement in the fuller second half, which plays out like a more single-minded version of “The Ossuary” but ultimately locks into a rolling riff that fades to close the EP, Wren leaving just a bit of threat behind that they might fade back in any any moment without actually doing so. I said as much when I posted the video for “No Seance,” but Host is an easy candidate for one of 2016’s best short releases, and while I don’t know if Wren have completely settled their lineup once and for all, if they were to press forward with a debut full-length as they are on these four tracks, there’s no way you wouldn’t call them ready for the task.