Posted in Whathaveyou on May 26th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
The first night of the upcoming summer tour for Foehammer and Thera Roya, June 12, is the record release party for the former’s self-titled EP on Australopithecus Records. That EP has been available digitally through Grimoire Records for a while, but the vinyl is newly arrived and they’ll reportedly have it ready to go for the tour. Brooklyn’s Thera Roya, meanwhile, should have some new material in tow as well after their “Fat Voyage” single which was released digitally late last year.
A few shows remain unconfirmed for the run, so if you happen to be in one of those cities and have a line on putting something together, be it a bar, house show, whatever, you should probably think about dropping a line to one or both of the bands. If you haven’t heard Foehammer‘s EP yet, it’s devastatingly heavy, and Thera Roya‘s post-metal style will make a fitting complement atmospherically for all that bludgeoning.
T0ur dates, links and audio follow:
THERA ROYA & FOEHAMMER SUMMER TOUR 2015!
Thera Roya & Foehammer take the south by storm! Details to be added as shows are confirmed.
JUNE 12 Fri WDC / Tour Kickoff @ The Pinch w/ Narrow Grave, TBA 13 Sat Charlottesville, VA @ Magnolia House w/ Beldam 14 Sun VA Beach / Norfolk VA 15 Mon Charlotte NC @ Tommy’s Pub w/ Pig mountain, Grande Niño 16 Tue Charleston SC @ King Dusko’s w/ TBA 17 Wed Orlando, FL 18 Thu Miami, FL 19 Fri Tampa FL @ Cafe Hey! w/ Weltesser 20 Sat Dothan, AL 21 Sun New Orleans, LA 22 Mon Baton Rouge, LA 23 Tue Austin TX @ The Lost Well w/ Unmothered 24 Wed Dallas TX 25 Thu Nashville TN 26 Fri Asheville NC @ The Odditorium w/ Black Mountain Hunger, Spliff, Mondays 27 Sat Morgantown WV / Richmond VA 28 Sun Frederick MD – Maryland Doom Fest @ Cafe 611* * – Foehammer Only
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 8th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Next month, Virginia Beach trio Freedom Hawk head overseas to tour in Germany and the Netherlands around an appearance at this year’s Freak Valley festival. Shortly after their return to the States, they’ll present their new album, Into Your Mind. Their fourth full-length and second for Small Stone Records, Into Your Mind tightens up the tones and songcraft that made the band’s 2011 outing, Holding On (review here), a riffy standout, and marks their first offering as a trio.
Into Your Mind is available to preorder now. Links, info and tour dates follow, hoisted off the PR wire:
US heavy trio FREEDOM HAWK to unleash new album “Into Your Mind” this June on Small Stone Records; European tour dates announced.
If you need seriously heavy and high-spirited rock music in your life, then Virginia Beach’s groove-mongers FREEDOM HAWK are about to give you some, with their fourth album coming out this June on Small Stone Records. Leather, jean and maximum volume mandatory!
Emanating from the barrier dunes of Virginia, FREEDOM HAWK’s heavy riffs, rolling groove, and soulful guitar melodies definitely produce a sound of their own. The trio’s brand of heavy rock capitalizes on the best of the heavy ‘70s, while presenting a modern fuzzy take based around quality songwriting rather than style-over-substance retro posturing.
FREEDOM HAWK made their debut on Small Stone Records with 2011’s Holding On. The follow-up, and their fourth album overall, is Into Your Mind, which brings a new dynamic to their buttery fuzz with all the stomp and swagger one could ask for after the previous effort. Get a taster with first excerpt “Blood Red Sky” HERE.
New album “Into Your Mind”, out June 23 on Small Stone Records CD & Limited Edition 180gr Vinyl preorderAT THIS LOCATION
Veterans already of Roadburn in the Netherlands, FREEDOM HAWK will return to Europe this June, including a special appearance at Germany’s Freak Valley Festival:
FREEDOM HAWK EUROPEAN TOUR 04.06 – ANTWERP (BE) Antwerp Music City 05.06 – NETPHEN (DE) Freak Valley Festival 06.06 – DÜSSELDORF (DE) Pitcher – Rock’n’Roll Headquarter 07.06 – NÜRNBERG (DE) Klub Nychka 08.06 – HAMBURG (DE) Bar 227 09.06 – JENA (DE) Kulturbahnhof 10.06 – BERLIN (DE) Jägerklause 11.06 – NIJMEGEN (NL) De Onderbroek 12.06 – MÜNSTER (DE) Rare Guitar 13.06 – LEIPZIG (DE) Black Label 14.06 – ROESELARE (BE) De Verlichte Geest
FREEDOM HAWK IS Lenny Hines – Drums T.R. Morton – Vocals, Guitar Mark Cave – Bass
I’m not gonna lie, it’s been a while since the last time I did a Six Dumb Questions interview. Right around the time Virginia’s Akris released their 2013 self-titled debut (review here), actually, and in fact these questions were sent out back then. Akris at the time were the duo of bassist/vocalist Helena Goldberg and drummer Sam Lohman, but that was soon enough to change.
Last weekend, Akris made a return as the three-piece of Goldberg (who’s also ex-Lord and Aquila and performs solo), guitarist/vocalist Paul Cogle (also Nagato and Black Blizzard) and drummer Tim Otis (also Admiral Browning), bringing together known entities from the MD/VA underground in an unknown form. Their performance at Sludgement Day this past weekend marked a new beginning for the band, and they’ll follow it up with other regional shows before heading out to the West Coast for a run of shows alongside the much-loved Snail in July and August.
With new material in the works, plans to record with Chris Kozlowski at Polar Bear Lair this summer and a later release through Domestic Genocide Records — who seem to have opted for the more acronym-styled DGR — who also put out the first album, Goldberg takes on the following Six Dumb Questions:
Six Dumb Questions: Akris
1. Tell me about writing the self-titled. I know some of those songs were around for a while, but how did everything come together for the album?
One of the most important things about this album is the dedication to Mark Williams and all my friends in Hickory, NC. Mark ran shows out of his house, The Killing Floor, and I have been playing shows there and at other venues in Hickory since my first tour in 2007. Unfortunately, Mark and several other friends of mine that I made over the years in hickory passed away. Because of the unending support, hospitality, and kindness I have experienced in this town, I care very deeply about my friends there and will always be drawn to come back.
The album was recorded between the Fall and Spring of 2012-‘13… We actually decided on having the songs be in chronological order, with the oldest songs being first (“Fighter Pilot,” the first track, was actually written back in 2007) and the most current songs at that point towards the end. “Suffocate” was written specifically for Mark, who passed away in the Spring of 2012. At the time of recording, the last track, “Part of Me,” was the most recently written track, having just been completed in the Fall of 2012. Actually, the current set is comprised in a very similar way to the album. There are a couple older songs written back in 2007/2008, a couple songs from the album, and a few brand new songs.
2. How was it for you recording with Chris Kozlowski? How long were you in the studio and how did the recording process work?
We absolutely loved recording with Chris! We had an amazing time at the polar bear lair; I think the entire process was over the span of a few months. Chris and I hit it off from the first time he did sound for Akris at a Krug’s show years ago in Frederick (I think it might have been a SHoD), and I’m happy to call him a very good friend. When I think of the recording process of this album I remember lots of laughs and various hijinks.
3. You’ve obviously put time into creating your bass tone, and it’s such a huge part of the songs. What gear did you use on the album, and was/is there something in particular you were trying to get out of it sound-wise?
I am a big supporter of Sunn equipment. My rig for the past few years is pretty much all Sunn and Earth, with bass and guitar rigs running simultaneously. We wanted to emulate the live sound as closely as possible, so we used two Sunn Model T’s, one through a 2×15, the other through an 8×10. One was more of a clear booming bass tone, the other was more distorted at a mid to treble range. When combined, the sound was very close to my live show rig.
4. How did bringing Ron “Fez” McGinnis from Admiral Browning in on vocals for “Vomit Within” come about? Tell me about writing that song musically and lyrically.
I usually don’t think about my lyrics too much; I almost feel like I just hear the sounds of the words first and just let them come out. It’s always interesting to actually go back and think about what I wrote! A lot of my lyrics involve death and spirituality, and the beginning of that song definitely references that (“There’s a shadow next to me/Sits beside me while I bleed,” etc.). Later in the song I think I was letting out a lot of anger and frustration in particular with dealing with death (“My brother, you fuck, I loved you too much,” for example). As far as Fez‘s vocal contribution, I trusted his musicianship enough to just let him do whatever he was inspired to do. He had the idea for the spoken word part at the beginning of the song and wrote the part while listening to the track in the studio. I am very excited to have him be a part of it!
5. What happened with Sam and how did you bring Tim and Paul into the band? How has working with them changed Akris? Will it affect your ability to tour?
I absolutely loved playing with Sam between the Spring of 2011 to about the Spring of 2014. Unfortunately, circumstances in his personal life made it impossible for him to continue. Tim Otis is one of my best friends, and I have been a big fan of his drumming since I moved down to the Northern Virginia area in 2008. When it became evident that Sam would not be able to continue playing drums for Akris this past January, Tim officially joined the band. Soon after, the decision was made to have Paul Cogle join on guitar. This was obviously a huge decision because I have been playing in a two-piece band for almost 10 years. However, I have been a fan of Paul‘s music and guitar playing for years, ever since I first heard Nagato. Paul is also a very good mutual friend of Tim’s and mine, and it has been an absolutely amazing, positive experience preparing our new set over these past few months. I am truly honored to call both Paul and Tim bandmates and friends. The three of us have worked out tour plans for the rest of the year, which include three shows in May local to the D.C./VA/MD area, a New Jersey Meatlocker show June 12, a West Coast tour in August with my longtime friends Snail (on Small Stone Records), and a Southern tour in September.
6. Any plans or closing words you want to mention?
We will be recording new material at the Polar Bear Lair again in July to be released on DG Records next year. I cannot express with words the love and gratitude I have for our label. There have been many ups and downs over the past couple years and they have truly stuck with me through thick and thin. To have the support of people who believe so strongly in me is an incredible blessing that I am thankful for every day. My current bandmates and label have helped me to find courage in my darkest times through love and strength, and to continue to push the envelope and the limits of our sound.
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 29th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Virginian heavy rockers Valkyrie are edging closer to the release of their third album and much-anticipated return, Shadows. Also serving as their debut on Relapse Records, it’s due on May 19, and in addition to appearances at the upcoming inaugural Maryland Doom Fest in June and Death to False Metal fest in Connecticut in August, they’ll be playing a few regional shows around the release date that are newly announced.
It works out to be a pair of weekenders late in May before the fest spots, heading as far north from Virginia as Philadelphia. Presumably more will follow, but for now, here’s this off the PR wire:
Valkyrie Announce Shows and New Song From “Shadows” LP
Valkyrie will release Shadows on May 19th via Relapse Records, and the band just announced a set of dates and unveiled a new track from the their upcoming LP.
Propelled by the stunning guitar heroics of brothers Pete and Jake Adams, Virginia’s Valkyrie return with their third full length Shadows, one of the year’s best guitar-driven, heavy rock records. Valkyrie’s twin harmonized guitar leads and clean dual vocal assault matched with a strong nod to classic doom and heavy metal creates a psychedelic and heavy sound that pays homage to classic heavy rock bands like Deep Purple and Thin Lizzy while bringing to mind the pastoral and organic sounds of Pagan Altar and Jethro Tull. With no regard to current trends, or retro-rock posturing, Valkyrie rides on with a true, classic, heavy metal assault that has turned many heads with its impressive live shows and soul-stirring conviction. Make sure you catch the band live if they are in your area!
Valkyrie shows: May 22 Harrisonburg, VA – Golden Pony May 23 Charlottesville, VA – Main Street Annex May 29 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie May 30 Richmond, VA – Strange Matter June 27 Frederick, MD – Maryland Doom Fest August 14 Hamden, CT – Death to False Metal Fest
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 29th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
I’ve got an interview with Akris bassist/vocalist Helena Goldberg set to go up next week, so if you want, think of this announcement of their return as a precursor to that. Now a trio, the Virginian outfit will play this weekend at Sludgement Day alongside a killer lineup that includes Righteous Bloom, Heavy Temple, Wizard Eye, Foehammer and Lord (of which Goldberg is an alum), among others, and head out west this August to join forces with Snail for a round of dates in Sacramento, CA, Portland and Seattle.
Those shows will come after Akris return to the studio in July to record their second full-length, following up their 2013 self-titled debut (review here), which was released on Domestic Genocide Records. Dig into the info and dates below, torn along the perforation from the PR wire:
AKRIS: Psychedelic Sludge Faction Reawakens With Two New Members; Band To Rumble Sludgement Day This Weekend + New Material In The Works
Virginia-based psychedelic sludge faction, AKRIS, led by the low-end conjurings of bassist/vocalist Helena Goldberg, will return to the stage this weekend with two new recruits — drummer Tim Otis (Admiral Browning) and guitarist/vocalist Paul Cogle (Nagato, Slagstorm, Black Blizzard) — marking the first time ever AKRIS performs as a trio.
Comments Goldberg, “”Tim Otis is one of my best friends, and I’ve been a big fan of his drumming in Admiral Browning since I moved down to the northern Virginia area in 2008. When it became evident that Sam Lohman would not be able to continue playing drums for AKRIS this past January, Tim officially joined the band. Soon after, the decision was made to have our mutual friend Paul Cogle join on guitar. This was a huge decision because I have been playing in a two piece band for almost ten years. However, I have been a fan of Paul’s music and guitar playing for years, and have always heard and felt that we had very similar approaches to playing and songwriting. It has been an absolutely amazing, positive experience preparing our new set over these past few months. I am truly honored to call both Paul and Tim bandmates and friends.”
Otis and Cogle will make their live debuts this weekend as part of the Sludgement Day gala in Hagerstown, Maryland alongside Black Chasm, Fog Hound, Wizard Eye, Athame and more with additional performances throughout the Spring and Summer months confirmed and more being conspired.
Posted in audiObelisk on April 28th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Tonight in their hometown of Richmond, Virginia, booze-doom trio Sinister Haze begin a month-long US tour that will take them coast to coast as they head west for a slot on May 16 at the Psycho California festival before looping back eastward. Today also marks the release of their debut EP, Betrayed by Time, pressed in a 180g LP edition of 300 copies by Heavy Slab Records, and “heavy slab” is about as apt a description as anything I can come up with for the four-song release. More than their three-song 2013 Demo (review here), the EP versions take elements from doom and mid-paced heavy rock groove and set a drunken undertone to the whole affair. Though Richmond is a hotbed for doom, grind, stoner rock and Southern heavy, I wouldn’t necessarily align Sinister Haze to any of them (especially grind), but over the course of “Betrayed by Time” (previously streamed here), “Changin’ Ways,” “Motorhaze” and “Black Shapeless Demon,” seem to tell the tale instrumentally of a night’s party taken perhaps a bit too far and the ensuing weight that can press on the head like so much concrete.
All told, it’s a 23-minute EP, but there’s a definite flow between the two songs of the A side and the two of the B. “Changin’ Ways” is of particular note in the bourbon-breathed narrative — which is something I’m putting to it rather than a concept Sinister Haze have said they’re working with — since it’s both the catchiest track and the moment where one realizes maybe the evening’s imbibing has gotten out of hand. It’s been a while, admittedly, but I’ve been there. Before that, “Betrayed by Time” starts off at a solid roll and winds up in a kind slurred vocal and guitar pairing by its finish, which leaves “Changin’ Ways” and its Earthride-worthy nod to further the boogie, as it most certainly does. The moment where the drink betrays the drinker? Well, it’s somewhere in the instrumental “Motorhaze,” which sways and leans this way and that and finds guitarist/vocalist Brandon Marcey, bassist/vocalist Sam Marsh and drummer Joe Dillon pushing through classic-minded leads and warm tones backed by swinging drums not quite as upbeat as either of the cuts on the first half of the EP, but transitioning smoothly into the eight-minute closer, “Black Shapeless Demon.”
Legend has it, it was such a creature that inspired Geezer Butler to pen “Black Sabbath,” but for Sinister Haze, “Black Shapeless Demon” is more introspective, begin with a sort of wistful, quiet guitar progression joined soon by the bass and drums that unfolds over the first three minutes or so before vocals start the first verse and the build ensues. Much to Sinister Haze‘s credit, while “Black Shapeless Demon” comes to a head, it’s not overblown or cliché in how it does so, and the slow-oozing distortion that takes hold feels drawn in parts from the emotional heft of Pallbearer and the fuckall of Electric Wizard, but is indebted ultimately to neither. Marcey and Marsh work exceedingly well together on vocals — the demo was fronted by Fire Faithful‘s Brandon Malone — and the quiet finish of “Black Shapeless Demon” is all the more effective for the spirited, regret-fueled performance given atop the track’s rumbling payoff. That must’ve been some night.
In honor of the Betrayed by Time EP’s release, you can stream it in full courtesy of the band and Heavy Slab Records. Please find it on the player below, followed by Sinister Haze‘s tour dates, which once again, start tonight.
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
SINISTER HAZE TOUR DATES:
4/28 Richmond Va @ Strange Matter w/ US Christmas, Generation of Vipers 4/29 Durham NC @ Motor City Music Hall w/ US Christmas, Generation of Vipers 4/30 Johnson City NC @ The Hideaway w/ US Christmas, Generation of Vipers & Torch Runner 5/1 Knoxville TN @ Poison Lawn w/ Torch Runner 5/2 Atlanta GA @ 529 w/ Irreversible (Final Show), Order of the Owl 5/3 New Orleans @ Siberia w/ Today is the Day 5/4 New Orleans @ Sisters in Christ 5/5 Houston TX @ Fitzgerald’s w/ Today Is The Day 5/6 Austin TX @ Mohawk 5/7 San Antonio @ Hi Tones 5/8 Austin TX @ The Lost Well w/ Conan 5/11 Amarillo TX @ Yellow City Bomb Shelter 5/12 Albuquerque NM @ Moonlight Lounge 5/13 Tempe/Phoenix AZ @ Yucca Tap Room w/ Sorxe and Goya 5/16 Psycho California Festival 5/18 Oakland CA @ Golden Bull 5/20 Denver CO @ Barbar 5/21 Omaha NB @ O’Leavers 5/22 Minneapolis MN @ Hexagon Bar 5/23 Milwuakee WI @ Quarters 5/24 Chicago IL @ LiveWire Lounge 5/25 Detroit MI @ Corktown Tavern 5/26 Pittsburgh PA @ 31st St. Pub
When they first got back together last year, Spirit Caravan started off their first US tour in more than a decade at the Metro Gallery in Baltimore. A more fitting setting would be hard to find. Baltimore, D.C., Virginia, the entire Doom Capitol region has been the center of Spirit Caravan‘s enduring influence, and for guitarist/vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich, bassist/vocalist Dave Sherman and drummer Henry Vasquez, it was more or less a homecoming, or at very least as close as they were going to get on a touring circuit. Granted, they could’ve gone back to Wootton High School and done the show there, if they’d wanted.
The night after Baltimore, they were in Richmond, Virginia. Playing in front of their classic banner to an enthusiastic crowd who obviously well appreciated being there, they took on the venerable Strange Matter with due vitality and ran through a set full of staples, landmark riffs of “Sea Legs,” “Dead Love/Jug Fulla Sun,” “Dove-Tongued Aggressor” and “Dreamwheel” carrying their original rolling vibes both to those who were there the first time around and those who’d come aboard in the 12 years since the band’s original run ended in 2002, their reputation bolstered all the more by Sherman‘s subsequent work in Earthride and Wino‘s in The Hidden Hand and the reunited Saint Vitus. I wasn’t there to see it, but it looks in the video below like it was one hell of a time.
Whoever TubeVision is, they’ve been taping shows in and around Virginia for well over a decade. They were there at Strange Matter and captured the full Spirit Caravan set, a genuine moment of heavy rock history marking their return in a heavy rock climate no doubt more welcoming than there had been the first time around, and for that alone, I’d shake his/her hand if presented with the opportunity. Spirit Caravan headline at this year’s inaugural Maryland Doom Fest this June with The Obsessed‘s Ed Gulli on drums (info here), filling in for Vasquez who’ll be on tour in Europe with Saint Vitus at the time, that band rejoined by original vocalist Scott Reagers.
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Richmond, Virginia, trio Sinister Haze have a new vinyl EP coming out called Betrayed by Time. Three of the four songs, “Betrayed by Time,” “Changin’ Ways,” and “Black Shapeless Demon,” you might recognize from their 2013 Demo (review here), but Betrayed by Time is a new recording entirely — for one thing, they were a four-piece at the time they did the demo — and features a fourth track, “Motorhaze,” which is as accurate a description of the band’s sound as anything I could ever come up with. The vinyl is available to preorder now from Heavy Slab Records.
When it arrives, it will do so on a 180g red swirl 45RPM platter, with numbers limited to 329 copies. To celebrate its coming, the three-piece will embark on a month-long coast-to-coast US tour that includes a stop at the much-anticipated Psycho California fest on May 16. They’ve also got dates scheduled along the way with Conan, US Christmas, Today is the Day, Order of the Owl, Goya and others.
Remaining true to heavy rock psychedelia, Richmond VA’s SINSTER HAZE offer their Betrayed by Time EP through Heavy Slab Records. The trio with members of doom and punk backgrounds come together for over 20 minutes of acid laced rock and roll. With the trippy grooves of “Betrayed By Time” and “Changin’ Ways” to the epic hopelessness of “Black Shapeless Demon,” this is music for rockers with a beer and joint in hand and one foot in the grave.
Limited to 300 copies, “Betrayed By Time” has been pressed to 180-gram red swirl vinyl by Heavy Slab Records, this album can be ordered online: PRE-ORDER THE RECORD FROM THE BANDHEREOR HEAVY SLABHERE.
Guitar/Vocals – Brandon Marcey (Cough) Bass/Vocals – Sam Marsh (Dry Spell) Drums/Madness – Joe Dillon (Balaclava)
TOUR DATES: 4/28 Richmond Va @ Strange Matter w/ US Christmas, Generation of Vipers 4/29 Durham NC @ Motor City Music Hall w/ US Christmas, Generation of Vipers 4/30 Johnson City NC @ The Hideaway w/ US Christmas, Generation of Vipers & Torch Runner 5/1 Knoxville TN @ Poison Lawn w/ Torch Runner 5/2 Atlanta GA @ 529 w/ Irreversible (Final Show), Order of the Owl 5/3 New Orleans @ Siberia w/ Today is the Day 5/4 New Orleans @ Sisters in Christ 5/5 Houston TX @ Fitzgerald’s w/ Today Is The Day 5/6 Austin TX @ Mohawk 5/7 San Antonio @ Hi Tones 5/8 Austin TX @ The Lost Well w/ Conan 5/11 Amarillo TX @ Yellow City Bomb Shelter 5/12 Albuquerque NM @ Moonlight Lounge 5/13 Tempe/Phoenix AZ @ Yucca Tap Room w/ Sorxe and Goya 5/16 Psycho California Festival 5/18 Oakland CA @ Golden Bull 5/20 Denver CO @ Barbar 5/21 Omaha NB @ O’Leavers 5/22 Minneapolis MN @ Hexagon Bar 5/23 Milwuakee WI @ Quarters 5/24 Chicago IL @ LiveWire Lounge 5/25 Detroit MI @ Corktown Tavern 5/26 Pittsburgh PA @ 31st St. Pub