Desertfest Belgium 2019 Adds Big Business, Un and Sixes to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 29th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Last time I posted about Desertfest Belgium 2019, I apparently got the dates wrong. I was reading off the poster, which is usually pretty reliable, but it turned out to be the wrong poster. The fest is Oct. 18-20. A little slice of my life, folks. Fucking up dates, fucking up band lineups. Just generally fucking up. It’s a good thing I can update these posts later. Otherwise I’m pretty sure the site would’ve imploded from the inaccuracy of it all.

But now that I’ve got the dates straight for Desertfest Belgium 2019, I’m happy to post the update that the festival has added Big Business, Sixes and Un to the bill. It’s becoming increasingly packed, that lineup, but the fest says there’s more to come, so, you know, it’ll be more packed by the time they’re finished.

Here’s the latest announcement:

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

BIG BUSINESS PLAY DESERTFEST ANTWERP! SIXES & UN also added

Hot on the heels of our Pelican announcement from last week, here’s another quick bombshell: the dynamic duo BIG BUSINESS is heading for Desertfest Antwerp 2019!
Of course you’ve all seen them as part of the epic double drums Melvins line-up, but Jared and Coady have been slaving away at their own brand of supercharged metal rock for many years and six albums. They’re definitely a scene favorite, and any BB show is a most joyful thing to look forward to.

On the doom side of things, we have two epic additions to the line-up as well. Sixes is as sick slabdragging occult doom as they come – check their debut album Methistopheles from last year and you’ll soon find out what we mean. Un takes a more spiritual approach to the genre, expanding majestic dirges with blackened vocals and just a hint of melancholy. Fans of Yob and Pallbearer will find much to love here.

Keep your eyes peeled for a very exciting update coming to you very soon!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

Big Business, The Beast You Are (2019)

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Quarterly Review: Bellrope, Cracked Machine, The Sky Giants, Sacred Monster, High ‘n’ Heavy, Warlung, Rogue Conjurer, Monovine, Un & Coltsblood, La Grande Armée

Posted in Reviews on March 25th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Day Six. Not that there wasn’t a bit of a crunch along the way, but I definitely think this Quarterly Review was aided by the fact that I dug so much of what I was writing about on a personal-taste level. You get through it one way or the other, but it just makes it more fun. Today is the last day and then it’s back to something approaching normal tomorrow, but of course before this thing is rounded out I want to thank you as always for taking the time and for reading if you did. It means a tremendous amount to me to put words out and have people see them, so thank you for your part in that.

This could’ve easily gone seven or eight or 10 days if scheduling had permitted, but here’s as good a place to leave it. The next one will probably be the first week of July or thereabouts, so keep an eye out.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Bellrope, You Must Relax

bellrope you must relax

How much noise can your brain take? I don’t mean noise like start-stop riffs and dudes shouting. I mean actual, abrasive, amelodic noise. Bellrope, with ex-members of the underrated Black Shape of Nexus start their Exile on Mainstream-delivered debut album, You Must Relax, with three minutes of chaff-separation they’re calling “Hollywood 2001/Rollrost.” It’s downright caustic. Fortunately, what follows on the four subsequent extended tracks devotes itself to lumbering post-sludge that’s at least accessible by comparison. “Old Overholt” is the only other inclusion under 10 minutes as the tracks are arranged shortest to longest with the 17:57 “CBD/Hereinunder” concluding. The thickened tones brought to bear throughout “Old Overholt” and the blend of screams and growls that accompany are more indicative of what follows on the centerpiece title-track and the penultimate “TD2000,” but the German four-piece still manage to sound plenty fucked throughout. Just not painfully so. There’s something threatening about the use of the word “must” in the album’s title. The songs realize that threat.

Bellrope on Thee Facebooks

Exile on Mainstream Records website

 

Cracked Machine, The Call of the Void

Cracked Machine The Call of the Void

Here be dragons. Though its core tonality is still within the bounds of heavy rock, Wiltshire, UK, four-piece bring a far more atmospheric and progressive style to fruition on their second album, The Call of the Void, than it might at first appear. With post-rock float to the guitar of Bill Denton, keyboard textures from Clive Noyes, and fluid rhythms carried through changes in volume and ambience from bassist Christ Sutton and drummer Blazej Gradziel, the PsyKA Records outfit present a cerebral seven tracks/47 minutes of immersive and seemingly conceptual work, with opener “Jormungandr” establishing the context in which each song that follows is named for a different culture’s dragon, whether it’s the Hittite “Illuyanka,” Japan’s “Yamata No Orochi” or the Persian “Azi Dahakar.” Cracked Machine use this theme to tie pieces together, and they push farther out as the record unfolds late with “Typhon” and “Vritra” a closing pair of marked scope. The shortest cut, the earlier 5:14 “Kirimu,” has probably the most straightforward push, but Cracked Machine demonstrate an ability to adapt to the needs of whatever idea they’re working to convey.

Cracked Machine on Thee Facebooks

PsyKA Records webstore

 

The Sky Giants, The Shifting of Phaseworld

the sky giants the shifting of phaseworld

Taking cues from psychedelia almost as much as jangly West Coast noise and punk, Tacoma, Washington’s The Sky Giants offer the 10-track sophomore outing The Shifting of Phaseworld, which finds a balance in songs like “Dream Receiver” between progressive heavy rock and its rawer foundations. The trio of guitarist/vocalist Jake Frye, bassist Jessie Avery and drummer/vocalist/engineer/graphic artist Peter Tietjen are comfortable tipping from one side to the other between and within songs, starting off with the shove of “Technicolor Kaleidoscope” and getting mathy on the later “Half Machine” ahead of the chunkier-riffed “Rhyme and the Flame,” which somehow touches on classic punk even as it hones a wash of distortion that that has to cut through. Closing each side with a longer track in the rolling, airy “Solid State” (6:53) and the frenetic ending of “Simian” (7:38), The Sky Giants stake out a sonic terrain very much their own throughout The Shifting of Phaseworld and only seem to expand their territory as they go.

The Sky Giants on Thee Facebooks

The Sky Giants on Bandcamp

 

Sacred Monster, Worship the Weird

sacred monster worship the weird

Topped off by the ace screams of vocalist Adam Szczygiel, who taps his inner Devin Townsend circa Strapping Young Lad on “High Confessor” and “Re-Animator,” Sacred Monster‘s debut album, Worship the Weird would seem to cull together elements of Orange Goblin and Bongzilla for a kind of classic-metal-aware sludge rock, the riffs of Robert Nubel not at all shy about digging into aggressive vibes to go with the layers of growls and throatrippers and the occasional King Diamond-esque falsetto, as on “Waverly Hills,” as bassist Guillermo Moreno and drummer Ted Nubel bolster that feel with tight turns and duly driven bottom end. I’ll take “Face of My Father” as a highlight, if only for the excruciating sound of Szczygiel‘s screech, but the swing in closer “Maze of Dreams” has an appeal of its own, and as a Twilight Zone and a Shatner fan, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” offers its own charm.

Sacred Monster on Thee Facebooks

Sacred Monster on Bandcamp

 

High n’ Heavy, Warrior Queen

high n heavy warrior queen

Shades of grunge and skate-fuzz fuckall pervade the Sabbathian grooves of High n’ Heavy‘s second album, Warrior Queen, as guitarist John Steele works some doomly keys into second cut “Shield Maiden” and vocalist Kris Fortin moves in and out of throaty shouts on side B’s “Lydia.” They thrash out in the noisy “Catapult” and Nick Perrone‘s drums seem to bounce even in the longer-winded “Lands Afar” and closer “Smell of Decay / Wings and Claw,” on which Mike Dudley‘s rumble backs classically metallic shred in the lead guitar after offering likewise support to the piano in the early going of “Join the Day.” Released through Electric Valley Records, the eight-song/36-minute LP comes across as raw but not without purpose in that, and its blend of tonal thickness and the blend of thrust and nod does well to ensure High n’ Heavy remain unpredictable while also living up to the standard of their moniker. There’s potential here that’s worth further exploration on the part of the band.

High n’ Heavy on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records website

 

Warlung, Immortal Portal

Warlung Immortal Portal

Houston, Texas, four-piece make a quick case for the attention of Ripple Music on their sophomore outing, Immortal Portal, which is slickly-but-not-too-slickly produced and sharply-but-not-too-sharply executed, a professional sensibility in “Black Horse Pike” and the subsequent “The Palm Reader” — which manages to be influenced melodically by Uncle Acid without sounding just like them — ahead of the ’80s metallurgy of “Heart of a Sinner” and the reference-packed “1970.” “We All Die in the End” gives an uptempo swing to the opening salvo ahead of the more brooding “Between the Dark and the Light,” but Warlung hold firm to clearly-presented melodies and riff-led rhythms no matter where they seem to go in mood or otherwise. That ties the drift of the later “Heavy Echoes” to the earlier material and makes the harmony-laced “No Son of Mine” and the organ-ic proggy sprawling finale “Coal Minors” all the more effective in reaching beyond where the album started, so that the listener winds up in a different landscape than they started, still grounded, but changed nonetheless.

Warlung on Thee Facebooks

Warlung on Bandcamp

 

Rogue Conjurer, Of the Goddess / Crystal Mountain Lives

rogue conjurer of the goddess

Originally released digitally by the Baltimore-based unit in 2017, the two-songer Of the Goddess / Crystal Mountain Lives sees pressing as an ultra-limited tape via Damien Records and finds the three-piece of guitarist/bassist/vocalist Tonie Joy, drummer Colin Seven and organist Donny Van Zandt — since replaced by Trevor Shipley — honing a psychedelic take on doomly riffs and groove. “Crystal Mountain Lives” has a more distinct nod to its central progression, with a wah-drenched break and greater overall largesse of fuzz, but “Of the Goddess” brings an effective almost shoegazing sense to its downer spirit. The first track is also longer, so it has more time to move from that initial impression to its own payoff, but either way you go, Rogue Conjurer bring out their dead ably on the tape, showing influences from heavy psych and beyond as “Of the Goddess” winds its way to its close and “Crystal Mountain Lives” begins its fade-in all over again. No pretense, but a broad range that would allow for some if they wanted.

Rogue Conjurer on Instagram

Damien Records on Bandcamp

 

Monovine, D.Y.E

monovine dye

Athens heavy rockers Monovine wear their grunge influence proudly on their third full-length, D.Y.E, issued late in 2018 digitally with an early 2019 vinyl release. It’s writ large in the Nirvana-ism of the slurring “Mellow” at the outset and remains a factor through the melodies of “Void” and the later punkery of “Messed Up” or “Ring a Bell,” as well as the toying-with-pop “Me (Raphe Nuclei)” and “Your Figure Smells,” but where Monovine succeed in making that influence their own is by filtering it through a fuzzier presentation. The guitar and bass tones keep a modern heavy feel, and as the drums roll and crash through songs like “For a Sun” and “Why Don’t You Shoot Me in the Head,” that makes a difference in the overall impression the album leaves. Still, there’s little question as to their central point of inspiration, and they bring it out in homage and as a fairly honed mode of expression on closer “Haunt,” which teases an explosion in its melancholy strum and then… well, don’t let me spoil it.

Monovine on Thee Facebooks

Monovine on Bandcamp

 

Un & Coltsblood, Split

un coltsblood split

A festering 42 minutes of lurching agonies, Un and Coltsblood‘s split taps the best of modern death-doom’s emotionalism and bent toward extremity. Billed as a “tribute to grief: the final act of love,” it brings just two tracks, one per band, as Coltsblood open with “Snows of the Winter Realm” and Un follow with “Every Fear Illuminated.” Both bands proffer a terrifyingly weighted plod and offset it with a spacious ambience, whether it’s Un departing their grueling nod after about six and a half minutes only to build back up over the next six and grow more ferocious until devolving into noise and slamming crashes ahead of an outro of echoing, needs-a-tune-sounding piano, or Coltsblood fostering their own tonal brutalism and casting their lot with death and black metal while a current of airy guitar seems to mourn the song even as it plays out. Each cut is a monument built to loss, and their purpose in conveying that theme is both what unites them and what makes their work so ultimately consuming, as grief is.

Un on Thee Facebooks

Coltsblood on Thee Facebooks

 

La Grande Armée, La Grande Armée

La Grande Armée La Grande Armée

The blend of drifting guitar and psychedelic wash on opener “El Canto de las Ballenas” earns La Grande Armée‘s self-titled debut three-song EP immediate favor, and the patient execution they bring to the subsequent “Tripa Intergaláctica” and “Normandía,” particularly the latter, only furthers that appeal. The Chilean trio keep a decidedly natural feel to the exploratory-seeming work, and if this is them finding their sound, they seem happy to do it by losing themselves in their jams. All the better someone thought to press record, since although there’s clearly some trajectory behind the progression of songs — i.e., they know at least to a degree where they want to end up — the process of getting there comes across as spontaneous. Guitar pans channels as bass and drums hold down languid flow, and even in the more active midsection of “Tripa Intergaláctica,” La Grande Armée there’s a sense that it’s more about the space being created than the construction under way. In any case, wherever they want to head next, they would seem to have the means of travel at their disposal.

La Grande Armée on Thee Facebooks

La Grande Armée on Bandcamp

 

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Electric Funeral Fest IV Lineup Announced: Tombs, Toke, Royal Thunder, Gozu, Sourvein & More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 1st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Check out Electric Funeral Fest IV continuing to up the game of the Denver-based event. Consistently, each lineup has been bigger than the one before it, and as we see acts like Tombs, Royal Thunder, Sourvein, Gozu and Destroyer of Light tossed into the fire this June with headliners still to be announced, it seems that the scale has once again broadened in terms of draw and style alike. I wouldn’t mind catching Toke again, and I’ve never seen Oryx, but their recorded stuff is ridiculous. And I hear Destroyer of Light have a new record in progress, so yeah, the vibe here sounds awesome. Spread across three venues, Electric Funeral Fest IV promises 40 bands over its two-day run, and early-bird tickets are on sale now for those feeling like they’re up for spending some time in a low oxygen atmosphere. Sign me up.

The PR wire has it like this and promises more to come. I believe it:

electric funeral fest iv poster

DUST PRESENTS: ELECTRIC FUNERAL FEST IV

We expect the fourth installment of Electric Funeral Fest to go beyond what we accomplished at last year’s monumental event. Headliners and full lineup to be released next month. Presale 2-day passes are now available, including just 25 discounted early-bird passes. 40 bands, 3 stages, 2-days… see you in Denver this summer.

Bands announced today:
Tombs, Royal Thunder, Sourvein, Call of The Void, Toke, Against the Grain, Un, Teeth, Bummer, Gozu, Dead Now, Oryx, The Lion’s Daughter, Trapped Within Burning Machinery, Destroyer of Light

When: June 14-15, 2019
Where: 3 Kings Tavern, Hi Dive, Mutiny Information Cafe
Ticket link: www.electricfuneralfestiv.eventbrite.com
Art by Sam Pierson

Ages 21+**
All ticket sales are final, no refunds.

**All ages tickets for Mutiny Info. Cafe will be available day of show at the door. Eventbrite tickets are 21+.

Headliners, full lineup, and daily schedules to be announced…

https://www.facebook.com/events/395132727902888/
http://www.facebook.com/dustpresents
http://instagram.com/dustpresents

Gozu, Live in Montreal, QC, Nov. 2018

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Un to Release The Tomb of all Things Dec. 4

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 20th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

un

Seattle four-piece Un — as in “the opposite of a thing” — will make their full-length debut via Black Bow Records on Dec. 4 with The Tomb of all Things, an answer to the morose promise of two prior demos that showcased doomly atmospherics and grinding extremity in kind. Pummel one way or another, and an endorsement from Jon Davis of Conan, who runs Black Bow, is never a bad way to start out. Interested to hear how the album relates to the demo tracks, or if it does, but either way, if you’re not introduced, there’s no time like the present to become so.

The PR wire puts it thusly:

un the tomb of all things

Black Bow Records to release Un debut

Black Bow Records is pleased to announce that they will release the debut album of Seattle’s Un, The Tomb of All Things. The album is 5 tracks of funeral doom featuring veterans of Seattle’s music scene, including Monte McCleery of Samothrace.

Black Bow Records owner Jon Davis (also of doom band Conan) had the following to say in regards to the release:

“We are pleased to announce the signing of Seattle black hole creators UN. A darker, more melancholy and heavy band does not exist today and we’re pleased that they wish to call Black Bow Records home. Their new release ‘The Tomb of All Things’ will blow your mind and gives everything that heavy music is lacking today. Effortless devastation.”

The Tomb of All Things will be released on December 4 2015 on CD and digital formats. Pre-orders are available (with free shipping inside the US) at this location: http://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/product/un-the-tomb-of-all-things-cd-pre-order

About Un:
Originally formed as a 3-piece in the summer of 2012, the band combined their collective experiences and influences to create a unique blend of Doom and Post-Metal. After two self-released demos in 2013 and numerous performances around the Northwest, the band eventually expanded to add a second guitarist, further developing their sonic palette.

Utilizing thundering fuzz-trodden rhythms and cavernous reverb-soaked clean sections, the quartet continues pushing forth to forge a dynamic, immersive experience. “We wanted to create something more than just a ‘funeral doom’ record,” says Monte, the band’s guitarist/vocalist. “Our main concern was writing songs that are emotionally relatable without compromising atmosphere or intensity.” After unleashing The Tomb Of All Things in the fall of 2015 on Black Bow Records and plans to tour throughout 2016, Un’s cosmic vessel of melancholy and realisation will only continue to soar through the infinite cosmos… towards whatever end may wait.

Un is:
Monte McCleery
David Wright
Clayton Wolff
Andrew Jamieson

Album credits:
Recorded & Mixed by Jon Lervold at Big Name Studio
Vocals recorded by James Kelso at Screaming Monkey Studio
Mastered by James Plotkin
Artwork by Sam Nelson
Layout by Alex Eastman

http://www.facebook.com/unvibes
http://unvibes.bandcamp.com/
http://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/product/un-the-tomb-of-all-things-cd-pre-order

Un, Un Demo (2013)

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