Gran Duca Premiere “All Hail the Autowagen” Video; Beneath Thy Roots out June 28

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 20th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

gran duca

Germany’s Gran Duca will release their debut album, Beneath Thy Roots, on June 28. The record, which is comprised of 11 tracks and runs a CD-style 55 minutes, finds them clean in their production and clear in their intent, working in a couple different vibes across the not-inconsiderable span. There’s an edge of aggression here and there throughout, from 6:57 opener and longest track (immediate points) “Monstrosity” onward, as heard in cuts like “Howlin’ Rollin'” and the later “House of Fools,” but that comes accompanied by dreamy turns like the early going of “Fields to Plow” and the later interlude “Panta Rhei,” as well as the loud/quiet trades of “Witchwoman” and the boogie-laced “The Walk.” The record’s a little under an hour long. There’s plenty of room for the band to flesh out different ideas, and they take advantage of the opportunity.

In the middle of it all is “All Hail the Autowagen,” for which you’ll find a video premiering below. At 5:59, the centerpiece of the album builds momentum quickly through a careening initial riff laced with fuzz in Johannes Gerber and Hendrik Friedel‘s guitars, while, as they are throughout, bassist Christoph Bextermöller and drummer Felix Hoffmeyer are more than able to handle the turns each progression provides, the former thickening out a tense chug that takes hold at about two minutes in while the snare of the latter punctuates it easily. They dive into a bluesy quiet section around the midpoint — the video earning its multicolor visuals, plus it sounds cool — and gradually build back up to the chorus riff without actually going so far as to bring the whole thing back, keeping basically the second half of the song instrumental. Fair enough to give Gerber a break on vocals, as he’s clearly been working hard belting out verses and hooks across Beneath Thy Roots up to that point, and there’s still plenty more to come, as “Fly with Me” and “House of Fools” demonstrate back-to-back.

The word the PR wire uses that most stands out to me below is “tasteful,” and I think that’s a fair assessment, especially as it’s their first full-length release. One expects that over time they’ll do further work in discovering their individual sound within the sphere of heavy rock and roll, perhaps manifesting more of the underlying bluesy spirit of some of their tracks and growing the nascent dynamic they hint toward here, but those are concerns for the next LP or the one after that. With Beneath Thy RootsGran Duca establish themselves as an outfit based on a foundation of songwriting, and as has been shown time and again, once you have that, you can pretty much go anywhere.

Enjoy “All Hail the Autowagen” below:

Gran Duca, “All Hail the Autowagen” video premiere

Gran Duca on “All Hail the Autowagen”:

We are psyched to share our second single and a trippy video to the song “All Hail The Autowagen” with you today! The song is inspired by cracking whips and long drives with our favourite van! One of the most heavy, straight forward grooving but yet psychedelic tracks taken from our upcoming album Beneath Thy Roots, out June 28th! Get your tickets for the trip and enjoy!

Dirty and mean, innovative and intelligent song structures, Germany’s up and coming, mud rock power unit GRAN DUCA are set to release their first full-length album this summer, on June 28th!

Recorded live at ‘Institut für Wohlklangforschung’ by Hannes Huke, GRAN DUCA deliver an exciting mix of raw stoner sounds, complex progressive vibes and a healthy dose of classic rock qualities. 70’s retro tunes and a heavy 90’s groove without platitudes, GRAN DUCA tastefully know how to please the old and new school rock fan! Fuzzy and distorted guitars, thick and deep rhythm lines, raw and authentic vocals, the eleven songs on Beneath Thy Roots are same inventive as catchy.

GRAN DUCA is:
Johannes Gerber (Vocals & Guitar)
Hendrik Friedel (Guitar)
Christoph Bextermöller (Bass)
Felix Hoffmeyer (Drums)

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Dead Satellites Set July 26 Release for Debut EP Burst

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Let’s assume that if a band goes ahead and names their debut EP after you, you’ve probably gotten the job done as a recording engineer. So it is with Burst, the first four-songer outing from Dead Satellites. The duo splintered off from Brooklyn’s Matte Black recorded the darkly spacious offering with Charles Burst at Studio G and, sure enough, decided to title it in his honor. Can’t argue with the sentiment — the thing sounds great — but it’s not something you run into all that often. It probably should be. There’d be a lot of records out there called Anderson, I guess.

In any case, Burst is out July 26 and will be available from the band. They’ve got the first two tracks streaming now in the form of “42,” with its immediacy of post-metallic riffing (indeed, it’s their “Stones from the Sky” moment) and the more sprawling “Beyond the Sun / Last Transmission,” and between the two, you can get a pretty good picture of where they’re coming from, though of course “Name_” and “El Guapo” have a few more tricks up their sleeve as well.

Cool stuff from a new band. That’s my favorite kind of story. Here’s the release announcement:

Dead Satellites Burst

Dead Satellites was born out of the love for playing live music. The duo had been hammering out riffs in the heavy NYC underground music scene since 2010. Most notably in the heavy psychedelic doom leaning power trio, Matte Black. Fidel Vazquez on drums and Matt McAlpin on Guitars/Vocals. The pair found themselves wanting to create something new and immediate as the band was finishing up the recently completed Matte Black album, “Psyche”. They accepted a gig supporting Lacey Spacecake before putting together a new set from scratch in a few weeks time. A few months later they went into Studio G to record with Seaside Lounge engineer, Charles Burst.

“Everything was tracked quickly in sequential order. The drums sounded fantastic in the live room and most songs were captured on the first or second take.” Matt remembers, “It was liberating and exciting session. Everything felt alive and the drums sounded huge. Charles really did an amazing job capturing the energy and feeling of our live performances.”

Dead Satellites “Burst” will be self released on Friday, July 26th.

Tracklisting:
1. 42
2. Beyond the Sun / Last Transmission
3. Name_
4. El Guapo

Dead Satellites are:
Idel Vazquez – drums
Matthew McAlpin – guitars + vocals

https://deadsatellitesmusic.bandcamp.com

Dead Satellites, Burst (2019)

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Pinto Graham Premiere “Further” from Dos EP out July 12

Posted in audiObelisk on June 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

pinto graham

Connecticut power trio Pinto Graham release their Dos EP on July 12. Formed in 2016 in New Haven, the three-piece issued their first full-length, Uno, the next year, and the six tracks/24 minutes of the follow-up feel more like half an album than an EP for the flow they conjure and the obvious care put into their arrangements of and within the material itself, blending Southern heavy rock, bluesy vibes and a touch of the ethereal around largely straightforward songwriting in order to create a sound that’s at once familiar and still malleable enough for them to toy with pace and the balance of their influences. A bit of this, a bit of that, in other words, but it suits them as guitarist/vocalist Andre Roman, bassist/vocalist Ant Reckart and drummer Brian Harris roll through the changes in tempo of “Dreamcatcher,” Roman and Reckart and guest singer Kelly L’Heureux — who would seem as well to appear on the prior “Southern Superstitions” — in a blend of forward lines and far-off-mic backing voices almost in harmony. It’s semi-traditionalist heavy rock that benefits from the diversity of experience from its creators, but perhaps most of all so in being clear-headed in its intent and knowing what it wants to do in terms of sound and how.

Dudes wastes no time getting down in the opening track “Further,” and that sets the course with about four and a half winding minutes of go-go-go thrust that manages not to sacrifice melodyPinto Graham Dos even in its crunchiest pivots. The guitar solo hints at some of the more Southern vibing that will make itself known after the crashing roller “Sleeping Giant” when “Southern Superstitions” takes hold, the flow of the EP seeming to take it from more uptempo movements to slower ones, but even when the harmonica hits in “Southern Superstitions,” it does so over a riff that’s as much Seattle grunge as Texas ramble. “Further,” though, is clearly tasked with providing the momentum for the rest of what follows — another reason I’d consider Dos a short album rather than an EP; the way the songs interact with each other — and it succeeds in that and then some, having an effect even as the mid-tempo hook of “Southern Superstitions” feeds, vocals only, into the noisy beginning of “Dreamcatcher,” Echoes give the vocals a howling feel that suits the piece, but it’s clearly meant to be a standout and it is, letting “Old Man of the Mountain” straighten out and fly right with some classic-feeling boogie that’s still well in context for what surrounds.

That leaves only “The Weight” to close out, and it does so with, yes, a slower tempo, and the immediate roll of a southbound highway (and no, I don’t mean I-95 at the intersection with I-91 where all the food trucks are), melded with a bluesy solo and some righteously dirty bass beneath. The track runs 4:51, the solo comes in at about 2:42, and I’d be content if Pinto Graham wanted to just ride out that jam for the next three minutes or so — by then, there’s nothing reasonably asked of Dos that’s not been delivered, and as far as I’m concerned, they’ve demonstrated both progress since Uno and their songwriting acumen more generally — but they do turn back to the chorus to finish out, holding to the idea of structure that is an underpinning for the EP as a whole. It’s a clean break and a fitting end for the short set done up in a style that would seem poised to grab the ears and eyes of Ripple Music, fitting in along the likes of Wo FatFoghoundFreedom Hawk, etc., as well perhaps as Valley of the Sun and some other modern practitioners of noteworthy craft. For those seeking a bottom line, it’s that’s Pinto Graham are more than a clever name, and for anyone who perhaps missed the first album, Dos offers a brief opportunity to get caught up before they pass by on the way to the next one. I’d advise taking advantage.

Dig into the premiere of “Further” below, followed by more info from the PR wire.

Enjoy:

Hailing from New Haven, Connecticut, southern rock trio Pinto Graham serves up psychedelic riffage that pulls audiences to their feet. The diverse musical experiences of bassist/vocalist Ant Reckart, guitarist/vocalist Andre Roman, and drummer Brian Harris make for a perfect meeting of groove, grit, and melody. With influences ranging from Lynyrd Skynrd to Pentagram — both of whom they pay homage to with their band name — Pinto Graham will shake, rattle, and roll any stage they set foot on.

Formed in 2013 by Reckart and Harris, the band kicked into high gear with the addition of Roman in 2016. The three creative spirits came together from different paths, with Florida transplant Reckart drumming for industrial shock rockers Genitorturers for many years, Roman touring across the country on bass with punk outfit Murdervan, and Harris playing with Araca París and S26 in his native Argentina.

But this unusual combination of history and influences has become something greater than the sum of its parts. Pinto’s 2017 debut album Uno solidified their place in the underground music scene, with songs featured on many podcasts, blogs, and compilations including Alternative Control’s Volume Doom. The band has played live all over New England, and was especially proud to perform at a Florida benefit for St. Michael’s Soldiers alongside southern rock giants Molly Hatchet and Johnnie and Donnie Van Zant.

2019 promises to bring these “High Flyers” to new heights with the release of their second album, Dos. Recorded at Studio Wormwood in rural Connecticut with engineer Dave Kaminsky, Dos will be released on July 12, 2019 in CD and digital formats. Pinto will also return to Florida to perform at St. Michael’s Soldiers’ third annual benefit later this year, set to share the stage with .38 Special.

Photo by Rick Casados Photo.

Brian Harris – drums
Andre Roman – guitar and vocals
Ant Reckart – bass and vocals

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Pinto Graham on Bandcamp

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Friday Full-Length: Ichabod, Merrimack

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I’ve lived in Massachusetts for six years. It’s long enough to not completely feel like a Yankees fan interloping on foreign territory in New England, but I’d never call myself a native, and on the periodic occasion when someone has asked where I’m from, I almost always said New Jersey. There’s something about the atmosphere of New England that I feel like I never quite earned, and Ichabod‘s Merrimack (review here), which is coming up on five years since its initial release in Oct. 2014, captures that spirit better than any other heavy record I can think of. It’s there in the Northern work song “The Strong Place” — taken from the translation from Algonquin of the name of the Merrimack River, for which the album is titled — and in vocalist John Fadden‘s crooning, “Give our souls to the river,” in the subsequent “Two Brothers Rock.” It’s there in the underlying aggression behind the drift of Dave Iverson‘s effects-laced solos and Jason Adam‘s riffing, in the flowing grooves from bassist Greg Dellaria and drummer Phil MacKay, whose brother, Ken (now of Oxblood Forge), helped Iverson start the band some 20 years ago in 1999.

Ichabod revamped in 2011, bringing aboard Fadden as frontman, as well as Adam, while MacKay had served behind the kit since 2000 and Dellaria (also now of Oxblood Forge) on bass since 2002. Merrimack was the band’s sixth full-length was unquestionably their broadest ranging work. For Iverson and Fadden, it held the personal significance of being an homage to their mothers as well as to the land and river itself, and even unto that internalization of place, its songs bleed a passion that is genuine and striking. From the summer-sun celebration “Watershed” and the progressive tension (also highlight bass) in “Life at the Loom” — featuring the line, “I wish I could sit around and talk about the weather forever,” which itself might be the most New England thing I’ve ever heard — to the blatantly Doors-style fearcrafting in “Child of the Bear,” slaughter in the three-minute “The Ballad of Hannah Dustin” and subsequent paranoid-in-the-woods noisy chaos of closer “The Return,” Merrimack distilled into psychedelic metal and sludge the varying sides of Massachusetts itself: the history, alternatingly troubled and beautiful — they sure burned witches and killed a bunch of native people, but golly those leaves are nice in Fall — the inherent Northeastern intensity, the contradictions between such a prevalent working class culture and the fact that Boston hosts some of the most elitist learning institutions in the country, and the ability to find space within that sphere where one can almost pretend to be at peace for a while. For me, it was looking at the high pines and thinking about the years those trees had seen. For Ichabod, clearly it was the river.

The peak achievement of Merrimack hit early, in its longest track, the 9:39 “Squall.” Well placed to build outward from “Two Brothers Rock,” it conveyed the storm to which its title alluded and ichabod merrimacksummarized much of the approach of the record as a whole, really only leaving out of its accounting the warmer and inviting vibe of “Watershed” and “Life at the Loom,” which follow in succession. “Squall” found little peace amid its tale of fishing boats bashed by nature’s power, Fadden moving between layered screams, emphatic spoken word and cleaner belting-out — a style that in itself has been the region’s ply and trade at least as much as seafood for the last 20 years in metal, since the kids of New England’s hardcore started to remember they all grew up as Metallica fans and began to blend the two sides at the turn of the century. Even the song’s quieter stretch in the middle held that undercurrent of threat in its e-bow guitar and the fluid rhythm, and the payoff that emerged therefrom left no choice but to end with a torrent of feedback afterward, giving way directly to the contrasting transition/introduction to “Watershed.” Grayscale in its cover art with a picture of the river itself — “Subjugated long ago when industry did reign/The mill towns, they are burning down/The river, it remains,” went the lyrics of “The Strong Place” — Merrimack was more colorful than one might initially think, but it was an album made very much to depict a specific idea and a specific, real place, and in its character and breadth, it was an utter success. Again, I’ve only ever been a dabbler in Massachusetts, but to my ears, Ichabod‘s portrait of the Bay State experience via this one river would seem to lack nothing in its realism. Maybe a Patriots bumper sticker on its back cover. Local sports is a big part of the culture up there.

By the end of this summer, I’ll be moved away from New England, back to New Jersey, where I grew up, to live in what was my grandmother’s house in the shadow of a different pine tree, planted almost 60 years ago by my grandfather, Joe Peterson, who died five years before I was born. As I embrace this personal history in a new way, I can’t help but think of what Ichabod did in speaking to theirs with Merrimack and the nature of the concept behind this record, how much it managed to bring to life of the place that, after more than half a decade there, could still make me feel like a tourist, and where I still had to use my phone to navigate the twisting back roads. It was there home. As I return to mine, it’s with some new measure of clarity of what it means to be from somewhere, and how even when one might leave a place, one never really loses the effect that place has had. Or the accent. I’ve definitely still got that as well, as regards New Jersey.

Ichabod were in the studio in 2015 and 2016 for a record that was set to be called Somewhere Between Zero and Infinity, and even went so far as to post a snippet of a rough version of the title-track to Soundcloud and another song as well. I wouldn’t put it past them to have another album out at some point, but neither am I holding my breath. If Merrimack indeed turned out to be their swansong, at very least one would have to say they put everything they had into making it. Some bands never get there.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

Next week is Maryland Doom Fest, if you can believe that. I think I leave on Wednesday to head south? Maybe Thursday? I’m not really sure. Either way, I’ll be there all weekend as I cash in all of the domestic capital I earned (and probably then some) running point on childcare in Ireland for two weeks in trade for four days of being pummeled into the ground by riffs. Thanks in advance to The Patient Mrs.

We’ve had people in the house all week to talk about doing windows, doing a kitchen, doing whatever else. A guy came and fixed a leak in the flashing above the fireplace. We got blown off by an electrician. All our furniture is still in MA, and frankly I have no idea where any of it is going to go, but I guess that’s a worry for when that place actually sells. I think it’s been on the market for three weeks? I don’t know. The sooner an offer comes in, the better. I don’t think anyone really wants to drag this out anymore than we need to.

Also, if anyone wants to help me pack vinyl, that’d be great. Thanks. I’ll be back up there sometime in July, I think. Gotta get the mail, if nothing else.

Speaking of, I know the contact form on here is broken again. Just hit me up on Facebook in the meantime.

No new The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio this week. I’ll have one next week though, so hang in. There’s still a repeat Sunday night at 7PM Eastern if you get the chance. Hit up http://gimmeradio.com for the schedule.

We’ve been down in Jersey pretty much since we got back (last weekend?) from Ireland. I think we stayed in Connecticut for a night. I don’t really know. I know I missed taking out the garbage yesterday morning and there’s copious baby poop in the garage as a result. Whatever raccoon decides to get in our trash is in for a surprise.

But this weekend is… stuff? I don’t know. I have writing to do, and a bunch of whatnot I want to get done before Doom Fest, but I’ll the skip the notes. Look for a Pinto Graham track premiere Monday and an Across Tundras review Tuesday. That’s the plan as of now. Might do Burning Gloom on Wednesday.

It’s 5:48AM and The Pecan just woke up. The sun just came through the trees. I can see on the baby monitor he’s standing, so it’s likely the real deal. Takes him a few minutes to get going sometimes. But I’ll go grab him and then start the day here, which involves the usual amount of running around and probably me stressing about emails and whatever else. Who can keep up.

Anyway, I wish you a great and safe weekend. I think we’re grilling tomorrow if you want to come by. We’ll be back here after the duck races in the afternoon. Because when we do wholesome, we go all the fuck out.

Thanks for reading.

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Ealdor Bealu Announce New LP Spirit of the Lonely Places & Fall Tour; Premiere “Smoke Signals”

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on June 11th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

ealdor bealu

As was the case with their first outing, 2017’s Dark Water at the Foot of the Mountain (review here), there is a keen awareness of geography in Ealdor Bealu‘s sophomore LP, Spirit of the Lonely Places, as well as a purposefulness in the atmosphere being conveyed. Alluded to in the title, the album basks in that feeling of being humbled by nature, the Boise, Idaho, four-piece seeming to look around them and see giant mountains, giant trees, giant skies and to feel duly small as a result. Spirit of the Lonely Places is comprised of five tracks that vary in mood and in terms of composition but are united in ambience and grim melody — the fruit of multiple songwriters coming together with common intent — and while it may not be a concept record in terms of narrative storytelling, its sense of identity is as strong as it is lonely. Standing alone would seem to suit Ealdor Bealu.

It’s out July 20 as issued on LP by the band to coincide with their hometown release show at Neurolux. Preorders are up through Bandcamp and you can stream the premiere of “Smoke Signals” at the bottom of this post. Make sure you do that. They’ll also be touring the West Coast in September.

Dates and info follow:

ealdor bealu spirit of the lonely places

Ealdor Bealu – Spirit of the Lonely Places

Spirit of the Lonely Places, sophomore full-length album. Saturday, July 20th Worldwide Release.

Recorded/Mixed by Andy A. at THE CHOP SHOP (Boise, ID). Mastered by Brad Boatright at AUDIOSIEGE MASTERING (Portland, OR). Artwork/Design/Layout by Adam Rosenlund (Boise, ID).

Independently Released on 180G Milky Clear Vinyl (limited to 300) and Digital.

Album Release Show @ Neurolux Lounge in Boise, ID on Saturday, July 20th.

Vinyl Pre-Order goes live on Tuesday, June 11th. All pre-orders receive immediate download of Smoke Signals as well as Ealdor Bealu Patch and Stickers. Vinyls will begin shipping out Monday July 22nd.

Tracklisting:
1. Sink like Stone 06:52
2. Firebird 06:38
3. Smoke Signals 07:32
4. Isolation 09:21
5. The Four Horsemen 08:44

Fall West Coast Tour:
9/10 Tues Boise, ID The Olympic Venue
9/12 Thurs Reno, NV Dead Ringer Analog Bar
9/13 Fri Pasadena, CA Old Towne Pub
9/14 Sat San Diego, CA The Tower Bar
9/15 Sun Oceanside, CA TBA
9/16 Mon Fresno, CA TBA
9/17 Tues San Luis Obispo, CA The Pour House
9/18 Wed Santa Cruz, CA The Blue Lagoon
9/19 Thurs Oakland, CA Elbo Room Jack London
9/20 Fri Chico, CA The Maltese Bar
9/21 Sat Sacramento, CA TBA

Ealdor Bealu is:
Carson Russell: Guitars, Vocals
Rylie Collingwood: Bass, Vocals
Travis Abbott: Guitars, Vocals
Craig Hawkins: Drums, Percussion

Ealdor Bealu, “Smoke Signals” track premiere

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Review & Full Album Premiere: Eternal Black, Slow Burn Suicide

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

eternal black slow burn suicide

[Click play above to stream Slow Burn Suicide by Eternal Black in its entirety. Album is out June 13.]

At least as regards rock and roll, the sound of New York City has always been one fueled by grit and concrete. From the speed-pop of the Ramones to the bruiser noise of Unsane, New York has always been at its best when it manifests the intensity of its surroundings in an almost unconscious fashion, and that would seem to be precisely what’s happening with Eternal Black‘s second full-length, Slow Burn Suicide. Because for sure while the trio, in following their 2017 debut, Bleed the Days (review here), speak directly to NYC-based influences like early Type O Negative, River Runs Red-era Life of Agony, Cro-Mags — right about when RoadRacer became Roadrunner — bringing that aggression and heft of presence into the context of the traditional doom of their first record, they do so in a manner that sounds overarchingly natural. It’s clear they were consciously pushing themselves as songwriters — the returning lineup is guitarist/vocalist Ken Wohlrob, bassist Hal Miller, and drummer Joe Wood — and in so doing, they’ve entered into conversation with influences beyond the standard fare for doom.

Across nine tracks bookended by the into “All These Things Destroy You…” and the outro “All These Things (Slight Return),” Eternal Black cast the identity for themselves that the debut and 2015 self-titled EP (review here), returning to record at Suburban Elvis Studios with Joe Kelly and Kol Marshall at the helm for a tonally consistent work that’s nonetheless a marked step forward from where they were two years ago. On tracks like the post-intro opener “Lost in the Fade” and the rolling “The Ghost,” they tap into this omnidirectional aggression, and even as “Sum of All Your Fears” hits into a chorus ripe for comparison to Deliverance-style C.O.C. — especially followed by the solo as it is — the band maintain their downtrodden atmosphere instrumentally and lyrically, taking what they want from the past and making it their own.

This is pretty much the ideal in all cases, but it especially suits Eternal Black to step into the role of representing trad doom from New York, where the style has never had the same foothold it’s enjoyed for decades a few hours south in Maryland. But from the moody, atmospheric notes and strums that launch the brief “All These Things Destroy You…” onward into the tom hits that build tension at the start of “Lost in the Fade” with feedback roiling behind, Eternal Black is both things: New York and doom. The gang-style shouts in the chorus of “Lost in the Fade” only further demonstrate the point, and the band retain a sense of impact to go along with the thickness in Wohlrob and Miller‘s tones, the hook coming around after a brash verse that keeps a raw feeling despite being produced for clarity.

eternal black

“Lost in the Fade” is the longest song on Slow Burn Suicide, and a highlight, but it doesn’t feel artificially extended or any longer than it needs to be to make its point, and “Below,” which follows, reinforces the core approach of the album, with Wohlrob‘s vocals offering a guttural, low-register melody and riding a groove that, had it been on the first record, I’d probably liken to The Obsessed, while keeping a more understated chorus en route to a sharp finish. This in turn brings “The Ghost,” with smooth hi-hat work from Wood in the nodding verses and more angular turns in the bridge, eventually leveling out to a longer instrumental section ahead of the solo and closing verse riffery, which is as fitting a march as one might make to “Sum of All Fears,” which is the centerpiece and a straightforward showcase of what Eternal Black are bringing to their second LP in terms of atmosphere, lyrical depth, largesse of groove and tone, and the focus on mood throughout. Four years on from their inception, they’ve succeeded in manifesting their sound from the roots of their inspiration, and “Sum of All Fears” might be the point on Slow Burn Suicide where that’s most palpable.

Though of course there’s plenty of competition in that regard, and as “A Desert of No Name” takes hold, it does so by renewing the rhythmic bounce early and moving in its middle third to a percussion-led instrumental break — not quite a jam, but not far off — as Wohlrob pulls a quick solo overtop. They move into a speedier section to finish as one last verse sneaks in at the end, and “Three Fates” provides an interplay of acoustic and electric guitar for an interlude leading to “Saints, Sinners and Madmen.” That track is also the last before the outro “All These Things (Slight Return),” which means essentially it’s surrounded on all sides. Think it’s meant to be a standout? The purposefulness of its positioning is met by its slow-crawling lurch — as with any doom worthy of the name, the bass is the secret weapon, and Miller locks in on “Sinners, Saints and Madmen” in an effective reminder of that — and Wohlrob tosses out the album’s title line amid further grim plodding.

The song is only four and a half minutes long, which is kind of surprising given the ceremony leading into and out of it, but it picks up its pace somewhat to give a fair-enough end, though the outro’s arrival — worth noting the “Slight Return,” at 2:22, is a minute longer than the intro — does much to underscore the true message of Slow Burn Suicide in terms of the consciousness and forward-moving will of Eternal Black‘s work. That can be heard in their songwriting here all the more with the consistency in terms of production, and what while what they do remains thoroughly doomed, it’s their doom. Listening to “All These Things (Slight Return)” as it dissembles at the finish, one does not at all get the sense that Eternal Black have finished exploring the parameters of what “their doom” is, but they take important steps here and find themselves exploring new ground even as they plunge deeper into the foundations of their approach.

Eternal Black website

Eternal Black on Bandcamp

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Forebode Premiere “Soul Trip” Video; Forebode EP out June 16

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

forebode

Punishment abounds on the self-titled debut EP from Austin, Texas, four-piece Forebode, whose sludgy extremity comes laced with aggression and a tonal heft that only seems to make each landing thud all the more a physical presence. Oh, they’re brutal alright, and especially on their first release, they’re not looking to rewrite the script on what that entails, but fucking hell do they know how to make it happen. Rumbling low end, down-down-down growls over lumbering grooves, a buzz of distortion that’s absolutely consuming — and an atmosphere that’s cavernous and bleak in like proportion. It’s a wide space, and all of it is dead.

“Firebrand” and “Soul Trip” start off with all the gurgle and grim(e) you could hope for, then they turn in a bit of Sabbath-boogie on “Forebode Pt. I” before the second part of the title-track fleshes out a more rock-based groove still in the ultra-weighted methodology of the opening duo. Lead guitar careens through as the throaty screams carry an anti-melody overhead, and as they approach the midpoint, you start to see where it’s all going. Sure enough, after about three minutes, they lock into a mega-nod and thereby set up the beginning of closer “The Primitive Realm” as the punch in the face that it is, all blackened this and blastbeat that.

They transition back to fairly — or unfairly — doomed vibes, but the manifestation of that threat of extremity is not to be understated, and in the context of the rest of the EP, it’s a moment of payoff that one expects will provide them something to learn from as they move forward. That level of all-outness doesn’t return, but in the swinging, Austin Terror Fest-ready pummel that ensues, they find a place between heavy styles that should satisfy claw-hungry zealots and dayjob-having riffheads alike. That’s not always such an easy bridge to cross.

And “Soul Trip,” with its manipulated live and nature footage, doesn’t really show that interest in crossing it. You know that old earthquake footage of the suspension bridge wobbling like a ribbon in breeze? It’s more like that, and sure enough, as crushing as concrete.

So enjoy:

Forebode, “Soul Trip” video premiere

Forebode, formed in 2017, is a heavy metal band taking influence from many genres including, Doom, Sludge, Black Metal, Groove Metal, Stoner Rock, and Hardcore. After numerous line up changes, Forebode is set to release their debut EP in June 2019.

Forebode tracklisting:
1. Firebrand
2. Soul Trip
3. Forebode Pt. I
4. Forebode Pt. II
5. The Primitive Realm

Recorded on December 8th – 23rd, 2018

Forebode is:
TJ Lewis – Vocals
Guillermo Madrigal – Bass
Eddie Konopasek – Guitar
Zach Donnelly – Drums

Forebode on Thee Facebooks

Forebode on Instagram

Forebode on Bandcamp

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El Supremo Announce Clarity Through Distortion Due This Month; Live Debut Imminent

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Based in Fargo, North Dakota, the four-piece El Supremo are getting set to issue what’s being considered their full-length debut, Clarity Through Distortion, this month. It will be the outfit’s first outing since 11 years ago, when they released a self-titled demo that featured drummer Chad Heille handling all the instruments himself, one-man-band style. He and guitarist Neal Stein would join Egypt a couple years later, and that put El Supremo on the backburner, but with that group having called it quits last year, the project has been revived as a stage-ready four-piece.

To that end, the new incarnation of El Supremo will make their live debut on June 17 supporting Year of the Cobra at The Aquarium. Details on the show are on Thee Facebooks, and the band provided the following via the PR wire:

El Supremo Clarity Through Distortion

El Supremo is an instrumental rock band based in Fargo, ND. The band has recently completed a new album entitled Clarity Through Distortion, set for release in June of 2019. This new record features Chad Heille on drums and bass, Neal Stein on guitar, and Chris Gould on organ/keys. Live bass duties are handled by Cameron Dewald, who also plays in death metal band Gorgatron with Neal Stein. The band’s sound ranges from psychedelic and melodic to crushingly heavy and doomy. Influences rooted in classic rock, stoner rock, and old-school metal.

El Supremo was originally formed as a one-man project with Chad Heille playing all the instruments and handling recording/production. A self-titled full-length demo was released in 2008, with Tom Canning and Neal Stein contributing guitar solos to the recording.

Chad and Neal went on to play in the band Egypt from 2012 to 2018. During that time, Egypt released three full-length records, a split LP, made numerous compilation appearances, reissued their first demo and toured 16 different countries playing several notable festivals with some of the most important bands in the stoner/doom/rock/metal underground scene.

After Egypt split, it was decided to revive the El Supremo name and a new record was written and recorded in the latter half of 2018. While the band prepares for the release of Clarity Through Distortion, material for another batch of tunes is already in the works.

El Supremo is:
Chad Heille – drums
Neal Stein – guitar
Chris Gould – keys
Cam Dewald – bass

https://www.facebook.com/elsupremofuzz/
https://elsupremo.bandcamp.com/

El Supremo, El Supremo (2008)

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