Sunnata Announce Fall European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 27th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


Polish heavy rockers Sunnata have a new live video out captured at a recent hometown gig in Warsaw that found them opening for none other than Mastodon. Not a bad bill at all to be on. The extended cut “Beasts of Prey” opened Sunnata‘s latest album, Zorya (review here), earlier this year and was among its most striking impressions, and yeah, let’s just say it seems to carry over live as well. The four-piece head out on a European tour beginning Thursday, again in Warsaw, and will play Germany, Belgium, France and the Czech Republic in addition to other shows in Poland as they continue to support Zorya, their most progressive and weighted outing yet.

Dates and more background came down the PR wire:


Ritual heavy merchants SUNNATA on tour across Europe this fall; watch their new video for “Beasts Of Prey” now!

Poland’s ritual heavy unit SUNNATA will embark on their first European tour this fall. The band also released the live video for “Beasts Of Prey”, captured during their Warsaw show with Mastodon.

The band comments: “We are very excited about it! It’s been an awesome year already, but it seems that best is yet about to come. Upcoming european tour is the first result of our cooperation with the Dead Pig Entertainment crew, who are responsible for all our touring activities. They teamed us up with great acts on the road, so expect us to share stages with Yob, Elder, Cough, Black Cobra and local mates from post-metal Obscure Sphinx and Au-Dessus. Don’t miss it. Come, open your mind and experience the sound of Sunnata. Let there be noise.”

To come with this first European tour, SUNNATA will make available a limited LP version of their latest album “Zorya”, to be found at the merch table on each show. The “Zorya” LP comes in gatefold 180g gold vinyl, beautifully illustrated by Ascending Storm.

29.09 – PL Warsaw, Proxima*
30.09 – PL – Lublin, Graffiti*
01.10 – PL – Kraków, Kwadrat*
02.10 – DE – Leipzig, Haifischbar**
03.10 – BE – Antwerp, Antwerp Music City**
04.10 – FR – Lille, El Diablo**
05.10 – FR – Paris, Glazart %
06.10 – FR – Bron, Jack Jack***
07.10 – FR – Nantes, Le Ferrailleur***
08.10 – FR – Tours, The Winchester
10.10 – CZ – Prague, Cross Club**
13.10 – PL – Pozna?, U Bazyla
14.10 – PL – Bielsko-Bia?a, Rudeboy Club*

*with Obscure Sphinx and Sounds like the end of the world
**with Au-Dessus ***with Elder and Cough %)with Yob and Black Cobra

After a year and half wisely spent writing and experimenting, and a mere four days in Satanic Audio studios (Thaw, Belzebong, Weedpecker), SUNNATA delivered their second album Zorya, which they describe as “an exploration of impermanent nature of sound, full of rapid changes and distortion overdose” and will soon take over the European continent with a extensive bunch of dates. Let there be noise.

Szy – Vocals
Gad – Guitars
Dob – Bass
Rob – Drums

Sunnata, “Beasts of Prey” live in Warsaw

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Beaten Back to Pure Post First New Song in More than a Decade

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 22nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


Between 2001 and 2004, Beaten Back to Pure released three albums of unrepentantly kickass Southern metal. With elements of thrash, death metal, classic heavy rock and more, they were a ferocious, drunk force to be reckoned with, and across ’01’s Southern Apocalypse, the next year’s The Last Refuge of the Sons of Bitches, and ’04’s The Burning South, they ripped through heavy and metallic convention and cast their own identity at a time before a new generation was about to discover what sonic weight sounded like. That timing means that, while they kicked ass at Emissions from the Monolith, they never quite got the recognition they deserved, as was the case with many acts of that same era. MySpace was a long time ago.

This past weekend, Beaten Back to Pure vocalist Ben Hogg (also Night Magic, Birds of Prey, ex-Hour of 13) put out word he’d be posting the band’s first new song since The Burning South was released on behalf of himself and guitarist/engineer Vince Burke (also Hail!Hornet), who also helmed the recording at his Sniper Studio. The track has the working title “Life Time Served,” which I’m told might change, and while it revives some of the core push and extremity that made Beaten Back to Pure so righteous during their initial run, that spacious guitar intro at the start and all those cleaner, more soulful vocals are hard to ignore. Nor do I want to, frankly. “Life Time Served” would seem to benefit from the work Burke and Hogg have done since their last outing together, and from where I sit, that only makes it stronger.

Check it out below, followed by an update on where the band is at now. When and if I hear of a new release, I’ll keep you posted.


Beaten Back to Pure, “Life Time Served”

First new song in over a decade. We got 9 of em. We’re calling it an album but maybe just 9 singles. Like Flo Rida.

Aight folks uploading this was a bitch. Vince is passing out like a lame. Anyway, here’s what I was speaking on earlier. There’s some intro but it’s all sick

Actually just occurred to me I hope y’all dare this shit.

That makes no sense^ we were drinking like broz do. I’m not sure what I was trying to say.

Beaten Back to Pure:
Ben Hogg – crooner
Vince Burke – drunk
Richie Scharr – friend of Scott Travis
Slam Jacobs – impoverished
David Vaughn – new guy

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Ben Hogg on YouTube

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Romero Announce New Lineup & New Release for 2017

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 16th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

I’ll admit I kind of thought Romero were done. The songwriting-led Wisconsin heavy rockers were last heard from with the single, Gold for the Hunt (review here), which was released in Jan. 2015, and knowing they were having lineup issues, it just seemed like maybe they wouldn’t be back this time. Can’t keep a good band down. The Madison natives welcome bassist/vocalist Jamie Giesen and drummer/vocalist Joseph Cummings to the lineup with organist Tim Consequence and vocalist/guitarist Jeffrey Mundt and are reportedly at work on a new release for next year. Shows what I know. Or think I know. Or kind of think I know.

They sent the following update down the PR wire, newsletter-style:


ROMERO working with new line-up – next release 2017

Hello everybody!
We just wanted to give you a quick update before things get rolling again…

We have a new line-up! Please welcome Jamie Giesen (bass/vocals) & Joseph Cummings (drums/vocals)! Here is some info on the new guys:

– Jamie Giesen, a monster, Steve Harris-style metal player, and music student adept at any style, will bring his expansive knowledge, creativity and low, low frequencies to ROMERO. Never quite understanding the meaning of free-time, Jamie fills every second of his day with music. In addition to Romero, Jamie teaches bass guitar, plays with the Madison College Big Band, plays in the much-heralded Chaos Revolution Theory & newbies Raw Is War Backwards, plus he records & performs as his hip-hop alter-ego Gentlejay and with Tim Consequence in Optigan who’s “Too High To Dance” is a local hit and popular YouTube video.

– Drummer, Joseph Cummings, Oklahoma transplant and also-drummer for new Madison-doomers, Cosmic Relic, is excited to join the band: “I bought ROMERO’s Take The Potion album back in 2013. The CD came with a handwritten note from Jeff and…(pin-back) buttons! I thought that was so unique and cool. So, yeah, I have been a longtime fan of the band and it’s an honor to be involved.” From thrashers Kadath & Mortal Fear to alt-rock, Orpheus, to Rockford’s Celtic punk Screw City Saints, Joe has kept time for a whole host of bands in many different genres.

For our return to the stage, the band will start by hosting a series of FREE Distortion Thursday shows for the entire month of October at Madison, WI bar, Mr. Roberts. The first of 3 shows is October 6th, 2016 and each one will feature a closing set by ROMERO. Musical guests for the shows include Compact Deluxe, Hired Rivals, Stone Room, Optigan & Others, as well as a special guest appearance by Freakshow and the cast of CW57’s Bordello Of Horror. More info and specific dates / openers TBA.

Please keep in touch on the social media, as humans do. Watch for photos and videos of what you missed and maybe come out to see us once in a while. We hope to see you out there!

ROMERO is Jeffrey Mundt, Jamie Giesen, Tim Consequence & Joseph Cummings

Love, Romero
#notea #noshade #nopinklemonade

Romero, “Gold for the Hunt”

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Mane of the Cur Post “Uncovering Time” Video; Playing Ceremony of Sludge V this Weekend

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 15th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


This weekend, Portland, Oregon, five-piece Mane of the Cur take part in Ceremony of Sludge V at the High Water Mark Lounge, which may or may not be the final edition of the festival. To mark the occasion, they’ve released a new single called “Uncovering Time” and have put up a video accompanying the track, which is their first since their first EP, Three of Cups (review here), came out last year. The new track finds the returning lineup of vocalist Melynda Amann, guitarist Shawn Mentzer, bassist Cory DeCaire, drummer Blaine Burnham and keyboardist Nate Baisch digging further into atmospheric heavy rock, a natural foundation set in the rhythm section on which the keys and vocals build with melody and progressive undertones.

I dug the EP, and “Uncovering Time” shows growth in progress on the part of the band, so I’m in no way inclined to argue as Mane of the Cur figure out where they want to place elements in their mix, the keys rising here to fill space as the guitars step back, Amann‘s vocals taking the fore before relinquishing again to instrumental push. It’s a quick but telling four and a half minutes, and though it’s the first I’ve heard of what they may have put together since their last time out, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was more to come soon. In the interim, they should be right at home at Ceremony of Sludge V alongside groups like He Whose Ox is GoredSerial HawkHoly GroveDisenchanter and more.

If you happen to be in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll find the info for that show and links under the video for “Uncovering Time” below. Please enjoy:

Mane of the Cur, “Uncovering Time” official video

Ceremony of Sludge V

September 16 – September 17
High Water Mark Lounge
6800 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, Oregon 97211

Good filthy fun.

Come celebrate our fifth (and perhaps final) year of dredging up the grittiest, haziest and most scorching heavy music roiling in the murk of our fine region’s musical under-underground.

He Whose Ox is Gored
Serial Hawk
Holy Grove
Drunk Dad
Hair Puller
Mane of the Cur

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Mane of the Cur on Bandcamp

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Ceremony of Sludge V event page

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Thermic Boogie Stream Vastness and Matter in Full & Discuss Album’s Origins

Posted in audiObelisk on September 8th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

thermic boogie

Thermic Boogie will release their debut album, Vastness and Matter, through HeadSpin Records on Sept. 15. The Barcelona-based two-piece introduced the record with a review/track premiere here back in the early hours of 2016, and signed with HeadSpin for the CD/LP physical pressings thereafter. A few months’ manufacturing time later, here we are again, streaming the record in full. Nice to give these things some symmetry sometimes.

However, as I’ve already reviewed the four/five-track work — it started out as four, but the latter part of “No Pienses en Volver” has been broken off into a separate, untitled closer for the real-world editions — it hardly seems useful to rehash my own meager insights about the instrumental work of guitarist Albert Martínez-López and drummer Baptiste Gautier-Lorenzo (also of Brain Pyramid), so I thought I’d go to the band itself to get some background. What started as a track-by-track kind of became a general overview about how Thermic Boogie came about and how the record came together following the writing for its longest piece, the 21-minute “Quadratonic Magnitude.”

That that track would be the foundation for Thermic Boogie as a whole makes sense once you hear it. Gautier-Lorenzo and Martínez-López have immediate chemistry together as players, and it comes across there in a way that serves the shorter cuts around it, whether that’s opener “A Black Powdery” or the following “Space Void of Matter.” “Quadratonic Magnitude,” as the centerpiece of the tracklist, embodies Thermic Boogie‘s ethic, and the exploration it sets out upon continues in the subsequent “No Pienses en Volver” and the percussive experimenting of the already-noted unnamed finale.

Gautier-Lorenzo was kind enough to go into detail on Vastness and Matter from start to finish, concept to execution, so I won’t delay any further. Dig into the stream of the full album using the Soundcloud player below, then find his comments after, and please, enjoy:

Baptiste Gautier-Lorenzo on Vastness and Matter:

Thermic Boogie was born in 2015, after the meeting of me and Albert, who is my step-brother. He already had two beautiful amplifiers and I was looking for a heavy rock project. We directly made a lot of jam sessions, which we recorded on my little cassette 4-track recorder.

Then, we made a surgical work to grab and mix all the heaviest and groovy things we had on the recordings. First came the longest song on the debut album: it’s called “Quadratonic Magnitude.” It actually last 21 minutes or something around. This is the song on which we spent a pretty big lot of time… We wanted to create an intense and dynamic piece, to stick to the dimension-related album. I think it give a good idea of the monolithic way of playing we are aiming to reach.

After this, we crafted the following song, which is the outro of the album. It consists in a sweet and deep part; followed by a percussion part. We really loved the idea of a huge finish, to bring even more density to the disc. It is also a way to show another side of heaviness. This acid-drum part is the only part that has been recorded with the 4-track recorder!

The other songs were quicker to compose. They have more common shape, and straightness. And it’s hard to say if we were “inspired” by a certain band or song to compose them. It think it just popped out of us, without thinking. I like to do spontaneous things, and these songs were almost created instantaneously. Albert brought a lot of ideas and freshness in the way of playing these songs.

The recording took place in a wood factory, in an industrial zone, near Barcelona. It was just a weekend, as we recorded all the playbacks “live”. We just made some overdubs after it, and we were done. It was a real isolation from the noise and agitation of city. We both love to be on the outsides and to have a relief from the stressed environment where we’re living. It think this is the main influence for the whole songs and also for the design and the way of building the album.

It was also very important for us to make that album sound natural and as close as possible of the reality. The mixing and master were made to respect the dynamics and textures of the versatile sound of the guitar, despite of the awful mics and recording gear we used, heheheh.

We made everything by ourselves from the beginning, without help from any third part person! So the people will taste an entire and “monolithic” part of the band
and we would also say a huge thank to our friends and family, to Clio and Headspin/Clear Spot Records.

We’re really excited to see how the people will react to it, as every beginning project. We hope this will like to all the heavy diggers, and night trippers. May the real heavy rock live on!

Thermic Boogie on Thee Facebooks

Thermic Boogie on Bandcamp

Thermic Boogie at HeadSpin Records

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T.G. Olson Releases New Single From the Rocky Peaks b/w Servant to Blues

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 5th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s been what, days? since the last time we heard from Across Tundras frontman T.G. Olson with his solo album, The Broken End of the Deal? Granted, that review was hardly timed to the record’s release, but the fact of the matter is that Olson doesn’t give much by way of a heads up when he’s putting stuff out, so hopefully my being behind the times can be forgiven. Even in this case, the From the Rocky Peaks b/w Servant to Blues single — recorded at Ramble Hill Farm, in I believe Tennessee, I’m not sure when — has already been out for a few days. Some people are forever playing catchup, and by some people, I mean me. Makes me feel busy.

The A-side is an original, and features Olson on all instruments and vocals for an active full-band feel that anyone itching for a new album from Across Tundras (as I am, if I haven’t made that clear) might take as a sign of things moving in that direction, at least as much as anything is ever a sign of anything, and the B-side is a Wooden Wand cover that basks in slow, bluesy sway while keeping a firm grip on a discontented atmosphere. Vibe pervades both cuts, however, and even on a quick release such as this, Olson casts a personal stamp of melancholy Americana that many try to engage and fall woefully short. You’ll hear what I mean when you listen.

As ever, the download is name-your-price, so go ahead and name one:

tg olson from the rocky peaks-700

From the Rocky Peaks b?/?w Servant to Blues by T.G. Olson

New digi single from T.G. Olson with a Wooden Wand cover on the backside. Available now for free/name your price download!

1. From the Rocky Peaks 04:22
2. Servant to Blues (Wooden Wand cover) 03:02

Recorded, played, and mixed by T.G. Olson @ Ramble Hill Farm. Released August 31, 2016.

New Sounds of the Past. Old Sounds for the Future.

*Servant to Blues written by Wooden Wand. Support one of the best modern songwriters out there:

*TGO cross stitch by Sheila Ausland. Love you Grandma. RIP

T.G. Olson, From the Rocky Peaks b/w Servant to Blues (2016)

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Beehoover UK Tour Starts Sept. 15

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 5th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


German weirdo two-piece Beehoover are heading back to the UK this month to support their 2016 release, Primitive Powers. The band, who issued four full-lengths through Exile on Mainstream, curiously self-issued this fifth outing back in February — this news post is the first I’m hearing of the album’s existence — and the reason I say it’s curious is because the label was still so very into the band when it issued 2013’s The Devil and His Footmen (review here), so I can’t help but wonder what happened there. Either way, the eight-tracker can be streamed in full below, in case you, like me, would like to get caught up.

Beehoover — of whom Orange Goblin frontman Ben Ward recently said, “make sure you check them out!,” which is about as much of as endorsement as I’d think anything happening of any sort would need in the UK — also toured Britain early in 2014 for the last record, so it would seem they got a good enough response to head back. They’ll be at Snuff’est on Sept. 17, and that and the other dates follow here, presented by Snuff Lane:

beehoover tour

Beehoover are coming back to the UK!

Beehoover have made great efforts to defy the laws of heavy rock and to create an awkward hotchpotch of complex, unusual, groovy, unpredictable and naive noise. If you missed the insane duo last time and if you are a fan of the Melvins, Tool, No Means No or Primus, be sure to catch them this September at your favourite live club.

And prepare to add a new word to your vocabulary for what’s to be witnessed: beehooveresque.

Beehoover UK tour:
15/9 Bournemouth – Anvil
16/9 Plymouth – Junction
17/9 Bristol – Snuff’est
18/9 Leeds – Chunk
19/9 Edinburgh – Bannermans Bar
20/9 Dundee – Beat Generator
21/9 Glasgow – Nice N Sleazy
22/9 Newcastle – Northumberland Arms
23/9 Nottingham – Chameleon Arts Cafe
24/9 London – Black Heart

INGMAR PETERSEN – vocals, bass
CLAUS-PETER HAMISCH – drums, vocals

Not THAT drum’n’bass. The GOOD drum and bass.

Beehoover, Primitive Powers (2016)

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Pale Grey Lore, Pale Grey Lore: No Wasted Space

Posted in Reviews on September 2nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

pale grey lore pale grey lore

Nothing’s been announced as yet, but don’t be surprised when the news comes out that this or that label has snagged Pale Grey Lore for a pressing of their self-titled debut. The band has hinted at a vinyl issue in 2017 for the as-of-now-self-released offering, and with the level of songcraft they show throughout, the sheer efficiency of the material, it just seems like too prime an opportunity to pass up putting on a platter.

Comprised of brothers Michael (guitar/vocals) and Adam Miller (drums) and bassist Donovan Johnson, the trio got their start in 2014 and so it seems fair to consider them a relatively new project, having played locally around Ohio, but with the nine tracks/32 minutes of Pale Grey Lore, they dive headfirst into influences classic and modern and come out of the process with a crisp execution and an identity of their own. That would be enough to have it make sense for someone to pick them up — bands have been signed for far less — but the hooks and the performances only let them shine all the more.

Stylistically cohesive across the front-to-back span, the album shies away neither from classic psych-pop, as highlight centerpiece “She Radiates” shows with its theremin and trippy soloing, nor from the modern cult stoner crunch of “Black Sun Rise.” Songs run in the three-to-four-minute range exclusively, and though moods vary, among the factors most tying the record together one cut to the next is the mindful structuring that seems to be the root of their approach. They sound like a band with a whiteboard in the rehearsal space, but at the same time have more to offer in melody and groove than just being able to put together a verse and chorus in a way that makes sense.

To wit, the swath they cut through modern heavy rock is pretty deep. One can hear ’90s vibes in the poppy “Life in the Hive” and the later “Woe Betide Us,” Michael seeming to move into and out of a British accent with ease, but opener “The Conjuration” rolls out a groove that finds common argument with Elephant Tree‘s recent self-titled debut, and the key infusion in the penultimate “Tell the Masters” and riff of closer “Grave Future” add a cultish feel that seems to speak to life after Uncle Acid.

There are sonic differences, but I’d also say that what Pale Grey Lore are doing with reimagining post-grunge ’90s alt-rock isn’t all that dissimilar in process to what Demon Lung do to classic doom — a refresh of an established sound that seeks to put its own stamp on familiar themes. Quality of songwriting might be a factor in that comparison as well, even though, again, each group is on its own wavelength. Still, these impressions persist and Pale Grey Lore‘s debut makes an impressive melting pot for them.

pale grey lore

Not at all haphazard and less exploratory feeling than debuts often are, it carries a sense of confidence in what it wants to do and that it can make those ideas a reality — so of course it does. Even in darker moments like “Black Sun Rise” or “Woe Betide Us,” Pale Grey Lore don’t position themselves at such remove from the shimmer at the end of “Spiders” or “She Radiates” as to make their transitions jarring, and if anything, the album is done before the formula has a chance to really sink in.

Brevity can be a decisive advantage. I’m not sure Pale Grey Lore would work in the same way if it was 45-50 minutes long, and I’m not sure sacrificing the neatly-presented semi-psychedelic push of “Ruins” would be worth having the band flesh out the songs further or extended them somehow simply for the sake of doing so.

The ’90s revivalist psych-rock of “She Radiates,” for example, comes across so fluidly with its languid, echoing vocals, bouncing chorus riff and ’60s-worship solo that to mess with it would seem cruel. This material has obviously been worked on, hammered out, maybe even whittled down to get to the point it’s at, and Pale Grey Lore may decide as they move forward that they want a looser approach to songwriting, that they’re more suited to jamming out or something like that, but what they’ve done with their first album is show that the three of them — the two Millers and Johnson, together — can work as a single unit toward expressing musical ideas through craft.

They’ve shown that it’s not about who’s in the band, or any particular player necessarily — though Michael has several shining moments of tone and vocals — but about the songs they’ve come up with and executed as a group. That doesn’t always happen, but it’s a palpable sensibility throughout Pale Grey Lore, no matter how the vibe might change between “Woe Betide Us” and “Grave Future,” that brings the material together and helps create the linear front-to-back flow which, as in the best of cases, only makes individual tracks feel stronger as it goes.

Pale Grey Lore, Pale Grey Lore (2016)

Pale Grey Lore on Bandcamp

Pale Grey Lore BigCartel store

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