War Cloud to Release Chain Gang Two-Songer Sept. 25

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Lest they be accused of taking the rest of the year off after putting out May’s Our PhD Expert Professors provide standard Writing Cv Service Uks, Thesis writing service with online guidance and support. We also provide Research Earhammer Sessions (review here) live-in-studio affair, Oakland heavy metal rockers click here - commit your task to us and we will do our best for you Use this service to get your profound essay handled on time leave behind those War Cloud have a new two-song EP out next month called CustomThesis.org offers Best Thesis Writing Services & Best Mba Admission Essay Buy Executive UK at affordable price. We provide professional Chain Gang. The release, once again through Looking for an answer to ‘ who can blog here’? Connect with our Ph.D. experts for best and most affordable service to get fine Ripple Music, brings together a track written immediately following their European tour — which would seem to have been a transformative experience for them as a band, considering they recorded I Cant Master Thesis Social Network.Instant essay writer.Find Dissertation Online Kunstgeschichte.Someone to write my essay.Buy writing paper Earhammer Sessions as a means of building off the energy of that tour as well — and a track tracked by AWE Learning is pleased to offer read this to search and apply for funding to bring digital learning tools to your early learners. Steve “Thee Slayer Hippy” Hanford, whose posthumous tribute to essays about history Example Business Plans Pdf doctoral dissertation assistance in musicology my algebra solver Blue Ă–yster Cult is also seeing release soon through  Honesty Is The Best Policy But Advertising Also Helps Essay - Get to know basic steps how to receive a plagiarism free themed term paper from a professional provider Write a timed custom Ripple and in which  Buy Law Essay Uk. Trusted By 3000+ Corporate Clients. Start in 30min. 12 hours delivery. From 29 $/hr. War Cloud are also talking part. Presumably the two were recorded at the same time, but I guess one never knows.

The PR wire brought art and details about  click sites Getting a PhD is a matter of great pride and achievement. When you embark on this journey, you spend a lot of time and efforts in your Chain Gang thusly:

war cloud chain gang ep

Prolific Rapid-Fire Metallers WAR CLOUD Drop Energized “Chain Gang” EP

How To Start A College Admission Essay Long essay teaching vocabulary term paper nature vs nurture Searing 2-song blast channels the band’s furious power ahead of expected new album in 2021

Quickly becoming one of Ripple Music’s most prolific bands, War Cloud returns just a few months behind their high-octane Earhammer Sessions with the two-song Chain Gang EP.

The title track was written in Vigone, Italy during a few days off after their last European tour while staying at a recording/rehearsal space called Positive Music. Says singer/guitarist Alex Wein:

“Positive Music is a secluded spot. No distractions. This was the first time we actually got to write as an entire band, with the current lineup, so there’s a lot of energy between all the members. We kept sharing riffs, lyrics, and bands we were vibe’n on the entire tour. You could feel a song shaping through all our conversations. After playing a show one night in Vigone, we went to the town’s local hangout bar and started coming up with a melody for the tune. We wanted this song to express how we’ve grown as a band: Dirty, raw, and heavy. Bad boys who don’t care. The opening line is a tribute to one of the bands favorite songwriters, Lemmy Kilmister. “Judge says I’m guilty of being born / the only thing I did was what I want” That’s our way of way of saying fuck it.”

The second song is a cover of a Rock Goddess song. Recorded in the summer of 2019 in an old empty house in the woods outside of Portland, Oregon by Thee Slayer Hippy, Steve Hanford, and mixed/mastered by Nocturnal Media in Louisville, Kentucky, this burst of metal godliness features guest vocals by Janiece Gonzalez of San Francisco’s Wild Eyes.

Chain Gang will be released on digital formats from Ripple Music on September 25th.

WAR CLOUD:
Alex Wein – Vocals/Guitar
Nick Burks – Guitar
Joaquin Ridgell – Drums
Sam Harman – Bass

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War Cloud, Earhammer Sessions (2020)

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Ripple Music to Release Dominance and Submission: A Tribute to Blue Ă–yster Cult

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 24th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Initially a project of Get ready for entrance and graduation exams with best Dissertation Writing Services Sri Lanka Resume service team. Meet a personal author and buy a 100% unique tasks on any university subject. Steve Hanford — known for his work in Our company will be glad to deliver you perfect Writing Help Com Review with tight deadline. A wide choice of topics fulfilled by experts is available at Poison Idea and a slew of others, including most recently Portland, Oregon’s My picks for the top three blog include those features and more. But which one is the right one for you? Read my essay writing Ape Machine — the various artists project write an essay about my name Research Project Writing essays help me help me writing my assignment Dominance and Submission: A Tribute to Blue Ă–yster Cult will see release in the coming months via Ripple Music. What began as a loving homage from Hanford to his favorite band has become a meta-tribute, as it fell to others to complete the project following Hanford‘s death earlier this year. It is, then, honoring as much to him and his work as much as Blue Ă–yster Cult, since Hanford sits in on many the tracks, including those featuring the likes of Billy Anderson, Rob Wrong (Witch Mountain) and Andrea Vidal (Holy Grove), Jeff Matz of Zeke and High on Fire, Year of the Cobra, Mos Generator and others.

No audio yet, and I expect a solid release date is forthcoming, but the heart with which this has been put together, on both ends, comes through clearly in the announcement below — also the cover art rules — so dig into that in the meantime and when I hear about the rest, I’ll let you know.

Here goes:

va dominance and submission tribtue to blue oyster cult

Dominance and Submission: A Tribute To Blue Ă–yster Cult

Californian powerhouse RIPPLE MUSIC is proud to announce the upcoming release of their all-star tribute album to Blue Ă–yster Cult: ‘Dominance and Submission: A Tribute to Blue Ă–yster Cult’. The album will feature covers by Steve Hanford, Mark Lanegan, Billy Anderson, Jeff Matz, Zeke, Mondo Generator and other major names of the heavy rock world.

This special tribute album was initiated by Poison Idea’s departed drummer Steve Hanford, in conjunction with Ian Watts of Ape Machine. Founded in 1967, Blue Ă–yster Cult are considered pioneers of occult rock’n’roll, marking generations with timeless anthems such as “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”, “Burnin’ for You”, “Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll” or “Godzilla”. The New-York outfit has since then remained a reference act of the 70s rock scene alongside Black Sabbath, MC5, The Stooges or Steppenwolf.

The “Dominance and Submission: A Tribute To Blue Öyster Cult” record will highlight some of the finest work from the legendary American band, with unique contributions from JEFF MATZ of ZEKE and HIGH ON FIRE, MONDO GENERATOR, MOS GENERATOR, GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST, QUASI, HOLY GROVE, WAR CLOUD, APE MACHINE, ZEKE, YEAR OF THE COBRA, FETISH, SPINDRIFT as well as MARK LANEGAN and BILLY ANDERSON. The artwork was designed by Dave Snider.

The concept:

Steven Hanford AKA Thee Slayer Hippy lived the rocky road of the rock and roll veteran. As drummer and producer in Poison Idea he played on two of the most influential records of hardcore – War All The Time and Feel The Darkness. As producer he worked on indie rock projects such as Heatmiser (with frontman Elliot Smith) and punk albums for notable names like The Hard Ons. Due to some struggles with addiction which he later attributed to repressed sexual abuse as a child, Steve found himself in prison on multiple occasions, most recently in 2008 for a seven-year sentence after robbing a Walgreens. While in prison, Steve turned his life around and started recording albums for prisoners with a fellow inmate named Sam Redding (Sam appears on this record). After being released in 2015, Steve jumped on a tour playing drums in The Skull and was soon after introduced to Ape Machine by mutual friend Tony Lash (Heatmiser). Steve quickly joined Ape Machine on drums and also as producer for Darker Seas. While on the road with Ape Machine, Steve decided he wanted to produce a tribute record to one of his favorite bands, Blue Ă–yster Cult.

Steve had a vision of building a studio and originally wanted to use funds from the sale of the tribute record to get some gear. The goal was to be able to work in his own studio, producing records for other bands. The idea was to have bands come and record BĂ–C tribute songs in his fledgling studio (temporarily using borrowed gear from Ian Watts) which he would produce, simultaneously making a name for the studio, his production techniques, and his drumming skills. Much of the gear and engineering would be provided by Ian Watts.

Unfortunately, Steve didn’t make it to see the project through to release due to his suffering a heart attack on May 21st 2020. Fortunately for music fans though, he had completed most of the recording for the project, leaving Ian Watts to gather the final pieces and mix the record.

Steve was an accomplished and respected musician and was able to round up a star studded cast of bands for the tribute, including members of Mondo Generator, Quasi, Holy Grove, War Cloud, Mos Generator, Great Electric Quest, Ape Machine, Zeke, Year of the Cobra, High on Fire, Fetish, Spindrift as well as notable names such as Mark Lanegan and Billy Anderson.

With Steve no longer being with us, the proceeds of the record will go to benefit his widowed partner, Kitty Diggins who was left with some financial hardships, including much needed house repairs.

TRACK LISTING & LINEUP
1) ME262 (Steve Hanford, Nick Oliveri, Ian Watts, Mike Pygmie)
2) Dominance and Submission (Steve Hanford, Mark Lanegan, Sam Coomes, Sam Redding)
3) Wings Wetted Down (Steve Hanford, Billy Anderson, Rob Wrong, Andrea Vidal)
4) Tattoo Vampire (Mondo Generator)
5) Stairway to the Stars (War Cloud)
6) Veteran of the Psychic Wars (Ape Machine)
7) Flaming Telepaths (Great Electric Quest)
8) Transmaniacon MC (Mos Generator w/ Steve Hanford)
9) 7 Screaming Dizbusters (Fetish)
10) Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll (Zeke w/ Jeff Matz and Steve Hanford)
11) Fireworks (Year of the Cobra w/ Steve Hanford)
12) Don’t Fear the Reaper (Spindrift and Steve Hanford)

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Poison Idea, War All the Time (1987)

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Days of Rona: Nicholas Burks of War Cloud

Posted in Features on April 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

war cloud nicholas burks (Photo by Bambi Guthrie Photography)

Days of Rona: Nick Burks of War Cloud, Stonecutters & Cryptic Hymn (Ft. Wayne, Indiana)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band?

Honestly, War Cloud has been staying really busy despite the pandemic. We have a new album coming out on May 22nd through Ripple Music. It’s been tricky to promote when the world has shut down. Plus, you see more and more bigger bands pushing back their releases indefinitely. Our logic is that we want to give everyone new music during this time. Who knows? It would make my day to hear someone get inspired by this new release, so why wait?

All the members of War Cloud live in different parts of the US so we have been checking in on each other. The quarantine has gotten us writing and recording songs. It’s a weird time to be creative but I guess there’s no “on/off” switch for inspiration. NO, we are not writing a song about the pandemic. I’ve been listening to a ton of Judas Priest. Their music always gets me stoked to kick some ass and I want War Cloud’s new music to honor the metal gods.

Have you had to rework plans at all?

It’s hard to say. War Cloud was supposed to tour this April and play the Hell’s Heroes pre-party, but that has been canceled unfortunately. We would love to play Hell’s Heroes pre-party 2021!

I was so stoked to play with Helstar at Hell’s Heroes. Their album, Nosferatu, is a guitar bible. Our appearance at Legions of Metal is currently being rescheduled. A lot of things are up in the air. We have a European tour in May through June but once again, it’s tough to predict when this will all be over. The entire world is suffering.

How is everyone’s health so far?

So far, everyone is in good health. Taking a ton of vitamins and drinking a lot of water. It’s kind of funny. Stonecutters ended their tour with Lich King and Toxic Ruin due to COVID-19. Our last show was Thursday, March 12th in Worcester, Massachusetts. Then we live streamed our show the next night from Sonic Titan Studios. Stonecutters are from Kentucky; Lich King is from Massachusetts; Toxic Ruin is from Wisconsin; so you had three bands from different states traveling the US together, and I think a lot of us were trying not to cough so no one would get nervous.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Currently, I live in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. The state of Indiana has all music venues, bars/restaurants, churches, and every other non-essential business closed. Gas is $1.57 per gallon. Grocery stores are insane. All the frozen pizzas, toilet paper, and canned goods are always out of stock.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

It’s a weird vibe. If you go on a walk, the residents that normally wouldn’t talk to you, now will give you a wave and a smile, and maybe even start some small talk. I think it helps. The grocery store is a war zone. It seems like everyone is on edge and has a short temper. The pandemic has flipped the music community on its head. My death metal band, Cryptic Hymn, has had to cancel shows. War Cloud has had to cancel shows. Stonecutters has had to cancel shows. EVERY band has lost something in this. It can be a real downer when you spend January and February booking the entire year with your bands and then everything in the music world has been postponed or rescheduled.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

I want to thank the people that work in grocery stores and hospitals the most. They are putting themselves out there everyday and a lot times it is thankless job. The music community is suffering. Everyone is suffering. Be excellent to each other, and when this is all over, let’s get back to the rock ‘n’ roll.

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Quarterly Review: Khemmis, Mutant Flesh, War Cloud, Void of Sleep, Pretty Lightning, Rosy Finch, Ghost Spawn, Agrabatti, Dead Sacraments, Smokemaster

Posted in Reviews on March 24th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Alarm went off this morning at 3:45. Got up, flicked on the coffee pot, turned the heat on in the house, hit the bathroom and was back in bed in four minutes with an alarm set for 4:15. Didn’t really get back to sleep, but the half-hour of being still was a kind of pre-waking meditation that I appreciated just the same. Was dozing when the alarm went off the second time, but it’s day two of the Quarterly Review, so no time to doze. No time for anything, as is the nature of these blocks of writeups. They tend to be all-consuming while they’re going on. Could be worse. Let’s roll.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Khemmis, Doomed Heavy Metal

khemmis doomed heavy metal

Denver four-piece Khemmis have made themselves one of the most distinctive acts in metal, to say nothing of doom. With strong vocal harmonies out front backed by similarly-minded guitars, the band bring a sense of poise to doom that’s rare in the modern sphere, somewhat European in influence, but less outwardly adherent to the genre tenets of melancholy. They refuse to be Paradise Lost, in other words, and are all the more themselves for that. Their Doomed Heavy Metal EP (on 20 Buck Spin and Nuclear Blast) is a stopgap after 2018’s Desolation (review here) full-length, but at 38 minutes and six songs, it’s substantial nonetheless, headlined by the Dio cover “Rainbow in the Dark” — capably done with just a flair of Slough Feg — with a take on Lloyd Chandler‘s “A Conversation with Death” and “Empty Throne,” both rare-enough studio cuts, for backing, as well as three live cuts that cover their three-to-date albums. The growls on “Three Gates” are fun, but I’ll still take the Dio cover as the highlight. For a cobbled-together release, it feels at least like a bit of thoughtful fan-service, and really, a band could do worse than to serve their fans thoughtfully.

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Mutant Flesh, Evil Eye

mutant flesh evil eye

There are shades of doom metal’s origins underlying Mutant Flesh‘s first release, the eight-song/33-minute Evil Eye, but the Philly troupe are too gleeful in their weirdness ultimately to be paying full homage to the likes of Witchfinder General, and especially in a faster song like second cut “Meteoric” and the subsequent lead-guitar-flipout-and-vocal-soar title-track, they tap into the defiantly doomed vibe of earliest Saint Vitus. That’s true of the crawling “Euthanasia” as well, which crashes and nods as it approaches the six-minute mark as the longest inclusion here, but even the penultimate “Blight” brings that twisted-BlackFlag-noise-slowed-down spirit that lets you know there’s consciousness behind the chaos, and that while Mutant Flesh might seem to be all-the-way-gone, they’re really just getting started. Maybe their sound will even out over time, maybe it won’t, but for what it’s worth, they do ragged doom well from the opening “Leviathan (Lord of the Labyrinth)” onward, and feel right at home in the unhinged.

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War Cloud, Earhammer Sessions

war cloud earhammer sessions

Having just shredded their way across Europe, War Cloud took their set into the Earhammer Studio with Greg Wilkinson at the helm in an attempt to capture the band in top form on their home turf. Did it work? The results on Earhammer Sessions (Ripple Music) don’t wait around for you to decide. They’re too busy kicking ass to take names, and if the resulting 29-minute burst is even half of what they brought to the stage on that tour, those must’ve been some goddamn shows. Songs like “White Lightning” and the snare-counted-in “Speed Demon” and “Striker” feel like they’re being given their due in the max-speed-NWOBHM-but-still-too-classy-to-be-thrash presentation, and honestly, this feels like War Cloud have found their method. If they don’t tour their next album and then hit the studio after and lay it down live, or at least as live as Earhammer Sessions is — one never knows as regards overdubs and isolation booths and all that — they’re doing themselves a disservice. War Cloud play metal. So what? So this.

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Ripple Music website

 

Void of Sleep, Metaphora

Void of Sleep Metaphora

Void of Sleep return after half a decade with the prog-doom stylings of their third album, Metaphora (Aural Music), which stretches dramatically through songs like “Iron Mouth” (11:00), preceded by the intro “The Famine Years” and the shorter “Unfair Judgements,” preceded by the intro “Waves of Discomfort,” and still somehow manage not to sound out of place tapping into their inner Soilwork in the growled verses/clean choruses of “Master Abuser.” They get harsh a bit as well on “Tides of the Mourning,” which uses its 10:30 to summarize the bulk of the proceedings and close out the record after “Modern Man,” but that song has more of a scope and feels looser structurally for that. Still, that shift is only one of several throughout Metaphora, which follows the Italian five-piece’s 2015 LP, New World Order (discussed here), and wherever Void of Sleep are headed at any given moment, they head there with a duly controlled presence. Clearly their last five years have not been wasted.

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Pretty Lightning, Jangle Bowls

pretty lightning jangle bowls

As yet, Germany’s Pretty Lightning remain a well kept secret of fuzz-psych-blues nuance, digging out their own niche-in-a-niche-in-a-niche microgenre with a natural and inadvertent-feeling sense of just writing the songs they want to write. Jangle Bowls, which puts its catchy, semi-garage title-track early in the proceedings, is the duo’s second offering through Fuzz Club Records behind 2017’s The Rhythm of Ooze (review here), and seem to present a mission statement in opener “Swamp Ritual” before bringing a due sense of excursion to “Boogie at the Shrine” — damn that’s a smooth groove — and reviving the movement in “RaRaRa,” which follows. Closer “Shovel Blues” is a highlight for how it drifts into oblivion, but the underlying tightness of craft in “123 Eternity” and “Hum” is an appeal as well, so it’s a tradeoff. But it’s one I’ll be glad to make across multiple repeat visits to Jangle Bowls while wondering how long this particular secret can actually be kept.

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Fuzz Club Records store

 

Rosy Finch, Scarlet

rosy finch scarlet

The painted-blood-red cover of Rosy Finch‘s second album, Scarlet (on Lay Bare Recordings), and horror-cinema-esque design isn’t a coincidence in terms of atmosphere, but the Spanish trio bring a more aggressive feel to the nine-track outing overall than they did to their 2016 debut, Witchboro (review here), with additional crunch in the guitar of Mireia Porto (also vocals and bass) and bassist Elena Garcia, and a forward kick drum from LluĂ­s Mas that hammers home the impact of a cruncher like “Ruby” and even seems to ground the more melodic “Alizarina,” which follows, let alone the crushing opener/longest track (immediate points) “Oxblood” or its headspinning closing companion “Dark Cherry,” after which follows the particularly intense hidden cut “Lady Bug,” also not to be missed. Anger suits Rosy Finch, it seems, and the band bring a physicality to the songs on Scarlet that only reinforces the sonic push.

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Lay Bare Recordings store

 

Ghost Spawn, The Haunting Continuum

Ghost Spawn The Haunting Continuum

Brutal, gurgling doom-of-death pervades The Haunting Continuum from Denver one-man-unit Ghost Spawn, and while the guitar late in “Escaping the Mortal Flesh” seems momentarily to offer some hope of salvation, rest assured, it doesn’t last, and the squibbly central riff returns with its extremity to prove once more that only death is real. Multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Kevin Berstler is the lone culprit behind the project’s first full-length and second release overall (also second this year, so he would seem to work quickly), and across 43 minutes that only grow more grueling as they proceed through the centerpiece title-track and into “The Terrors that Plague Nightly” and the desolate incantations of “Exiled to the Realm of Eternal Rot,” there are some hints of cleaner grunts that have made their way through — a kind of repeated “hup” vocalization — but this too is swallowed in the miasma of cave-echo guitar, drums-from-out-of-the-abyss, and raw-as-peeled-flesh production. Can’t get behind that? Probably you and 99.9 percent of the rest of humanity. For us slugs, though, it’s just about right.

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Agrabatti, Beyond the Sun

agrabatti beyond the sun

It’s kosmiche thrust and watery vibes when Agrabatti go Beyond the Sun. What’s there upon arrival? Nothing less than a boogie down with Hawkwind at the helm of a spacey spaced-out space rocking chopper that you shouldn’t even be able to hear the revving engine of in space and yet somehow you can. Also synth, pulsating riffs and psych-as-all-golly-gosh awakenings. Formed in 2009 by Chad Davis — then just out of U.S. Christmas, already at that point known for his work in Hour of 13 and a swath of other projects across multiple genres — and with songs begun to come together at that time only to be shelved ahead of recording this year, Beyond the Sun sat seemingly in some unreachable strata of anomalous subspace, for 11 years before being rediscovered from its time-loop like Kelsey Grammer in that one episode of TNG, and gorgeously spread across the quadrant in its five-cut run, with its cover of the aforementioned Hawkwind‘s “Born to Go” so much at home among its companions it feels like, baby, it’s already gone. Do you need sunglasses in the void? Shit yeah you do.

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Dead Sacraments, Celestial Throne

Dead Sacraments Celestial Throne

Four sprawling doom epics comprise the 2019 debut album — and apparently debut release — from Illinois four-piece Dead Sacraments, who themselves are comprised from three former members of atmospheric sludgers Angel Eyes, who finished their run in 2011 but released the posthumous Things Have Learnt to Walk That Ought to Crawl (review here). Those are guitarist Brendan Burchell, bassist Nader Cheboub and drummer Ryan Croson, and together with apparently-self-harmonizing vocalist/guitarist Mark Mazurek, they cast a doom built on largesse in tone and scope alike, given an air of classic-metal grandiosity but filtered through a psych-doom modernity that feels aware of what the likes of Pallbearer and Khemmis have done for the genre. Nonetheless, as a first record, Celestial Throne shines its darkness brightly across its no-song-under-nine-minutes-long lumber, and affirms the righteousness of doom with a genuine sense of reach at its disposal.

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Smokemaster, Smokemaster

smokemaster smokemaster

The languid and trippy spirit in opener “Solar Flares” is something of a misdirect on the part of organ-laced, Cologne-based heavy rockers Smokemaster, who go on to boogie down through songs like “Trippin’ Blues” before jamming out classic heavy blues-style on “Ear of the Universe.” I’m not saying they don’t have their psychedelic aspects, but there’s plenty of movement behind what they do as well, and the setup they give with the first two cuts is effective in throwing off the first-time listener’s expectation. A pastoral instrumental “Sunrise in the Canyon” leads off side B after, and comes backed by “Astronaut of Love” (yup, a lovestronaut) and “Astral Traveller,” which find an engaging midpoint between the ground and the great beyond, synth and keys pushing outward in the finale even as the bass and drums keep it tethered to a central groove. It’s a formula that’s worked many times over the last half-century, but it works here too, and Smokemaster‘s Smokemaster makes a right-on introduction to the German newcomers.

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War Cloud to Release Earhammer Sessions May 22; Premiere “Vulture City”

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on February 26th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

war cloud

Guess what — War Cloud have a new anything coming out and it’s gonna be a banger. Well of course it is. It’s War Cloud. They don’t do otherwise. War Cloud ain’t about to get all prog on you now, no worries. War Cloud bring classic metal and birth-era heavy rock together with enough energy to make you question whatever science it is that said in the first place that alcohol was a depressant. They seem to still be coming down both from 2019’s State of Shock (review here) and from the stretch of European touring they did to support it, even as they look forward to heading abroad once more.

Ah-ha! That brings us to Earhammer Sessions. Sure, the Oakland four-piece have a busy couplewar cloud earhammer sessions months ahead, doing a Texas run and a bit of Midwestern this-and-that around their slot at the Legions of Metal Festival in Chicago, but even as they land in Germany to begin a tour there — they dip into Denmark, but otherwise it’s all-Deutschland — they’ll be celebrating the release of Earhammer Sessions, which was recorded in Cali, but features the band playing the same set they did last time they were in Europe, bringing it to life in the studio as they did on stage, with Greg Wilkinson recording and mixing. Because hell’s bells, if you’re doing a thing, do it right.

May 22 is the release date for Earhammer Sessions, and like State of Shock before it, it’ll be out through Ripple Music. If you find “Vulture City,” the new incarnation of which is premiering below, to be familiar, it originally appeared on War Cloud‘s 2017 self-titled debut (review here), and its origins go back even further than that to when it was issued as a single in 2016. Four years later, they sound accordingly comfortable in using it to kick ass.

Enjoy:

WAR CLOUD ‘Earhammer Sessions’ Out May 22nd on Ripple Music

Oakland hard rock revelers WAR CLOUD announce the release of their thunderous live album ‘Earhammer Sessions’ this May on Ripple Music. The band unveil all details, as well as the dates of their upcoming world tour.

Preorders:
US: https://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/product/war-cloud-the-earhammer-sessions
Everywhere: https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/the-earhammer-sessions

Says frontman Alex Wein: “We wanted to capture the live energy of our set and it was a no brainer to record with Oakland’s Earhammer Studios. The recordings capture the evolution of the band and how we have progressed as a group. What you hear is the setlist we performed every night of our most recent European tour. It’s a raw, honest, take no prisoners vibe that the band exudes. We chose Earhammer Studios because it has recorded bands that we are fans of (Saviours, Lecherous Gaze, Necrot) and it’s the epitome of the Oakland metal sound. Greg Wilkinson (engineer/mixer) understood our vision and helped recreate the live set. The Earhammer Sessions were mastered by Alan Douches (Motörhead, High On Fire, Gwar)”.

WAR CLOUD also recently unveiled a hectic video for the song “Give’r”, which you can watch at this location. The song is taken from the ‘Earhammer Sessions’ live album, and was first released on 2017’s self-titled debut ‘War Cloud’.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Vulture City
2. Give’r
3. Chopper Wired
4. White Lightning
5. Divide and Conquer
6. Tomahawk
7. Speed Demon
8. Striker

WAR CLOUD will be touring extensively this spring in support of their last album ‘State Of Shock’, released on September 2019 through Ripple Music:

A Fast Ride Through Texas
17/04/20 Houston. Secret Group (Hell’s Heroes Pre-Party)
18/04/20 San Antonio. Faust Tavern
19/04/20 Dallas. Wits End
20/04/20 Austin. Lost Well (Dankfest)

Wings of Steel Tour
United States
13/05/20 Oklahoma City, OK. Blue Note
14/05/20 Lawrence, KS. Replay Lounge
15/05/20 Chicago, IL. Reggie’s (Legions of Metal Festival)
16/05/20 Milwaukee, WS. Cactus Club
17/05/20 Ft. Wayne, IN. Brass Rail
18/05/20 Louisville, KY. Highland Taproom
Europe
22/05/20 Herten, DE. Kustom Kulture Forever
23/05/20 Roskilde, DK. Gimle
26/05/20 Cologne, DE. Museum
27/05/20 Dresden, DE. Ostpol
28/05/20 Berlin, DE. Toast Hawaii
29/05/20 Erfurt, DE. Cafe Tikolor
30/05/20 Munster, DE. Rare Guitar
31/05/20 Leipzig, DE. Black Label
4/06/20 Copenhagen, DK. Byhaven Pumpehuset
5/06/20 Hagen, DE. Kultopia
6/06/20 Kaiserslautern, DE. Irish House

WAR CLOUD:
Alex Wein – Vocals/Guitar
Nick Burks – Guitar
Joaquin Ridgell – Drums
Taylor Roach – Bass

War Cloud, State of Shock (2019)

War Cloud, “Give’r” official video

War Cloud on Thee Facebooks

War Cloud on Bandcamp

War Cloud BigCartel store

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

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War Cloud Premiere “Giver” Video Filmed on European Tour

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

war cloud

Oakland’s War Cloud released their second album, State of Shock (review here), earlier this year on Ripple Music, and as you might guess from the photo above, it was a ripper. The Bay Area four-piece tapped into harder-edged NWOBHM dual-axe chicanery and brought their sound to a new, tighter place than it was at even on their 2017 self-titled debut (review here), upping the irons and still holding enough underlying boogie-readiness so that the overall vibe was fun rather than overly stately. Nothing wrong with that if it’s your thing, but a bit of Oakland grit in their sound certainly feels genuine enough and is true to the history of where they’re coming from as well. It was, simply put, an easy record to dig. If you heard it, you already know this.

If you didn’t hear it — go ahead and slap the back your hand for me (not really; “we don’t hit,” as I constantly remind The Pecan) — it’s streaming in full at the bottom of this post. The band’s new video, however, is for the track “Giver,” and “Giver” isn’t on State of Shock. It’s on War Cloud. Might seem odd that they’d go back and make a clip for a song from the prior album, but consider it’s a new recording, and a live recording done on their European tour, and that the footage in the video also comes from that same tour — the recording was done in Germany, the video shot in Italy, so it’s a bit of multinational conglomerate — and it all starts to make a little more sense. By the time you actually get to watch the thing and witness the sheer righteousness on display, it seems downright logical.

Now then, I won’t keep you from it, except to say that when the band comments below about hearing the progression and shift in sound from the original version on the first record and this one, I tend to agree. They’re a meaner, sharper group on the whole, and clearly that suits their songs new and old. Makes a pretty good argument for showing up to catch them live. Go figure.

Enjoy:

War Cloud, “Giver” official video premiere:

War Cloud on “Giver” video:

It was recorded in a 300 year old barn about an hour outside Cologne, Germany. The recording is live so it only took time to set up, we ran through the song about three or four times. The stage footage was shot at Moto Guzzi Motoraduno in Lecco, Italy and Officine Sonore, in Vercelli, Italy.

We decided to revisit this song because it’s fun to play it faster than it was on the first album, my vocals are more developed and in line with the second album’s sound, the solos are different because we have a different guitarist and it’s a total crowd pleaser!

The new album was received with hails and horns! We only had 2 singles out while we were over there because the record didn’t drop until the last day of tour, but folks were still calling them out by name! We were playing lots of songs no one has ever heard before like “Tomahawk,” “White Lightning,” and “Means of Your Defeat,” and could instantly tell it would be a hit by the crowd’s response. Pits formed, beer was spilled, horns were raised. It was a blast and we can’t wait to get back to Europe!

WAR CLOUD:
Alex Wein – Vocals/Guitar
Nick Burks – Guitar
Joaquin Ridgell – Drums
Taylor Roach – Bass

War Cloud, State of Shock (2019)

War Cloud on Thee Facebooks

War Cloud on Bandcamp

War Cloud BigCartel store

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

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Quarterly Review: Russian Circles, War Cloud, Here Lies Man, Book of Wyrms, Möyhy-Veikot, Darsombra, Set Fire, Jesus the Snake, Föllakzoid, Dresden Wolves

Posted in Reviews on October 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Had to take a second this morning to get my email back under 100 unread. It currently stands at 95. There’s just something about being in triple digits that I can’t stand. Press releases and stuff I can usually file right away since not everything’s relevant to the site, etc., but that’s all stuff that either wants follow-up or could be a factor here if there was time. I do my best to try to keep up. And I fail, consistently.

The tradeoff, of course, is I spend that time writing reviews and other stuff for the site. Today’s hump day when we pass the halfway mark of the Fall 2019 Quarterly Review, and we’re doing it in absolutely all-over-the-place style, so all the better. Some pretty familiar names today, but some that might not be as well, so whatever your poison, I hope you enjoy the picking.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Russian Circles, Blood Year

russian circles blood year

There’s simply no denying the force behind the depths and swell of a song like “Kohokia” on Russian Circles‘ latest offering, Blood Year (Sargent House), and though one knows what to expect to some degree from the Chicago heavy post-rockers at this point in their career, they seem to be doing all they can to deliver their instrumental progressions with energy to match the breadth of the spaces and the heft they conjure. Like 2016’s Guidance (review here), the seven-track/39-minute Blood Year — was recorded with Kurt Ballou, whom the trio imported to their hometown to work at Electrical Audio (aka Steve Albini‘s stomping ground) instead of traveling to Massachusetts to track at Ballou‘s Godcity. If it was the long-famed drum sound of Electrical Audio that they wanted and the live feel that so many of the recordings done there have, they got both, so mark it a success and another notch in the belt of one of the heavy underground’s most immersive and evocative outfits. Their building and releasing of tension is second to none and moves into the spiritual by the time they even get to side B, let alone through it.

Russian Circles on Thee Facebooks

Sargent House website

 

War Cloud, State of Shock

war cloud state of shock

Oh, the riffs you’ll gallop. Oakland, California’s War Cloud skirt the line between classic thrash and heavy rock and roll on their second album for Ripple Music, State of Shock, and from the sound of things, they have a good time doing it. The record’s not much over a half-hour long, which is as it should be for this kind of party, and they toy a bit with the balance between their two sides on a rocker like “Do Anything” or the subsequent “Means of Your Defeat” on side B, but the main crux of State of Shock and certainly the impression it makes off the bat with “Striker” and “White Lightning” up front ahead of the six-minute that-moment-when-ThinLizzy-turned-into-IronMaiden “Dangerous Game” is one of homage to the metal of yore, and in following-up the band’s 2017 self-titled debut (review here), it’s a showcase of energy and craft alike as two guitars shred, chug, groove and charge through the material. If they were from the Eastern Seaboard, I’d say something about getting caught in a mosh. As it stands, I’ll go with urging you to jump in the fire instead. Horns up, either way.

War Cloud on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

 

Here Lies Man, No Ground to Walk Upon

here lies man no ground to walk upon

They should’ve just called it an album. Yeah, it would be short at 26 or so minutes, but it’s got everything you’d want from a full-length, and if they’d put a four-minute jam or something on it, they’d have been there anyhow. In any case, Los Angeles’ Afrobeat-infused heavy psych rockers Here Lies Man present seven tracks of dug-in glory with No Ground to Walk Upon (on RidingEasy), continuing to build on the potential shown across their first two LPs, 2017’s self-titled debut (review here) and last year’s You Will Know Nothing (review here), even as they swagger their way through a groove like “Long Legs (Look Away)” and show their continued forward potential. They continue to be a special band — the kind of band who doesn’t just come along every day and who shouldn’t be overlooked during their time, because maybe they’ll be around 30 years and maybe they won’t, but what they’re doing now is bringing something wholly individual to a heavy context. They’ve already proven influential to some degree, but listening to No Ground to Walk Upon cuts like the dream-keyed “Iron Rattles” and the opening strut-into-drone of “Clad in Silver,” one wonders if they wouldn’t be more so if people weren’t too afraid to try to pull this thing off. Hard to argue with that, since more likely than not most couldn’t.

Here Lies Man on Thee Facebooks

RidingEasy Records website

 

Book of Wyrms, Remythologizer

Book of Wyrms Remythologizer

I won’t take anything away from the eight-minute “Blacklight Warpriest” earlier in the offering, but the highlight of Book of Wyrms‘ second album, Remythologizer (on Twin Earth & Stoner Witch Records) has to be the closing “Dust Toad,” which at 9:25 is the longest track and the slowest crawl included. Led into by the synth-infused “Curse of the Werecop,” it takes the crunch that showed itself through opener “Autumnal Snow” and, later, the melody and swing of “Undead Pegasus” — as seen on the cover art — and brings them together in order to perfectly summarize the doom rocking ethic the Richmond, Virginia, four-piece are working from. Tonally righteous and more solvent in their songwriting than they were on their 2017 debut, Sci-Fi/Fantasy (review here), the band sound assured as they move in “Spirit Drifter” from a standout keyboard line to a likewise standout guitar solo, giving a feeling of progressive nuance that’s continuing to take hold in their sound, balanced by the underlying naturalism of their approach. That dynamic continues to duke it out on Remythologizer, much to the benefit of anyone who takes the record on.

Book of Wyrms on Thee Facebooks

Twin Earth Records on Bandcamp

Stoner Witch Records BigCartel store

 

Möyhy-Veikot, Huume Jet Set Life

moyhy-veikot huume jet set life

Too weird for planet earth and, well, probably too weird for anywhere else too, Helsinki psych-space-kraut-whathaveyou experimentalists issue their third tape in the form of Huume Jet Set Life and whether it’s the cosmo-jamming on “MITĂ„ ON TULLUT VEDETTYĂ„?” or the who-the-hell-knows-what-ism of “MEDIA-AJOJAHTI 2000,” the band at no point fail to make an impression of being out there in the far gone far out there reaches of the far out there. Talkin’ freaked out next level total, like the cassette just fell into the atmosphere to represent some other planet’s culture where things are both dangerous and interesting and you never really know if you’re going to get laid or eaten or both. Still, they may be doing math of the likes not yet conceived by humanity, but Möyhy-Veikot go about it in suitably friendly if totally over-the-top fashion, and it’s fun to play along while also being completely overwhelmed at the various pushes and pulls happening all at once, the media samples and the Windows 95 compatibility of it all. It’s one small step for man, one giant leap for disco.

Möyhy-Veikot on Thee Facebooks

Möyhy-Veikot on Bandcamp

 

Darsombra, Transmission

Darsombra Transmission

It’s just lovely. Really. In some ways it feels like the 41:20 single-track full-length Transmission — self-released, no less — is what Baltimore ambient exploratory two-piece Darsombra have been building toward all along, but I think the truth is they probably could’ve done this at any time if they’d chosen to do so. Still, the fluidity of “Transmission” itself is something special, with its cascades of manipulated voice, riffs that swell and recede, loops, synth and somehow-manifested light that are as much immersion for the spirit as the eardrum. One doesn’t want to dive too deep into hyperbole and oversell it to the point of dulling the listener’s own impression, but Transmission is the kind of record that even those who profess to never “get” drone or noise offerings can engage with. Part of that is owed to Brian Daniloski‘s guitar, which provides landmarks along the path of swirl conjured by his own effects and the synth from Ann Everton (both add vocals where applicable; don’t look for lyrics or verses) that allow those who’d take it on to do so more easily. But the real joy in Transmission is letting go and allowing the piece to carry you along its progressive course, genuine in its reaching for the unknown. Plus there’s a gong, and that’s always fun too. Go with it.

Darsombra on Thee Facebooks

Darsombra on Bandcamp

 

Set Fire, Traya

set fire traya

Traya is the third three-song full-length from Boston’s Set Fire, and it would seem that, and in addition to marking the last recording to feature drummer Rob Davol, who’s since been replaced by Josh Cronin, it would seem to show the three-piece nailing their sound of classic-tinged duet-fronted heavy rock and roll. With two powerhouse vocalists on board in guitarist Jim Healey (We’re all Gonna Die, Black Thai, etc.) and keyboardist Jess Collins (ex-Mellow Bravo), they work in varying arrangements across a meager 12-minute run that feels short mostly because it is short. Too short. “Any Place Left” puts Collins in the foreground, while “Sacred Song” is more Healey‘s, and unsurprisingly to anyone who’s experienced their past work either together or separate, they’re more than able to carry the material — only more so with the other party backing. “Waves” brings them together around theatrical layers of piano and keyboard and guitar, and that they manage to hold it steady at all, let alone take flight as it does, speaks to how ready they are to embark on a longer offering. Put out an album, already, would ya?

Set Fire on Thee Facebooks

Set Fire on Bandcamp

 

Jesus the Snake, Black Acid, Pink Rain

Jesus the Snake Black Acid Pink Rain

For those feeling adventurous, Portugal’s Jesus the Snake follow-up their 2017 self-titled EP (review here) with the unmitigated warmth of Black Acid, Pink Rain, their live-recorded full-length debut. And for the sort of heavy psych-jazz-prog meandering, one would almost expect the organ-laced instrumentalist four-piece to track the record as they perform it, if not front-to-back then certainly one song at a time across multiple takes. Not one piece of the five total on the 49-minute offering is under eight minutes long, and sandwiched between opener “Karma” (10:28) and the closing title-track (10:55) are three cuts circa nine that prove no less hypnotic. The beginning of “Floyds I” is so fluid with the interplay of organ and guitar that one almost expects a gentle Portuguese spoken word verse to start, but of course one never does. Instead, Jesus the Snake complement mindful drift with flashes of more weighted or active fare, all the while holding to a central vibe that is peaceful even as “Duna” finds its chill before the halfway point, with no loss of spirit in the process.

Jesus the Snake on Thee Facebooks

Jesus the Snake on Bandcamp

 

Föllakzoid, I

follakzoid i

As with any kind of sonic minimalism or release based around trance induction — see Darsombra above — there’s a certain amount of buy-in that needs to happen on the listener’s side. Accordingly, those going into the fourth LP from Chilean duo Föllakzoid, titled I and issued through Sacred Bones Records as a double-vinyl, should be aware that it’s requires that kind of interaction from one side to the other. It’s not especially loud or abrasive, or even demanding in terms of the basic sonics of the thing, but as “I” becomes “II” becomes “III” becomes “IIII” and the songs such as they are alternate between 17- and 13-minute runtimes and the blend of effects and electro beats tips to one side or the other — “II” with a fervent ‘ump-tis’ in its early going while “III” brings a more Vangelis-style cinematic wash — of course there’s an ask in terms of indulgence happening on the part of the two-piece to their audience. Whether an individual is willing to make that jump is obviously going to be up to their headspace and where they’re at, but Föllakzoid‘s work here is more than worth the investment, even for those less familiar with their methods.

Föllakzoid on Thee Facebooks

Sacred Bones Records website

 

Dresden Wolves, Hiedra – Sencillo

dresden wolves Hiedra Sencillo

The sub-three-minute “Hiedra – Sencillo” is the latest in an ongoing series of digital offerings from Mexico City’s Dresden Wolves, and though the two-piece band bill themselves as post-punk and they may actually have a history in playing punk rock — stranger things have happened, certainly — the song finds them working in a taut heavy rock context, brash in delivery but not overly so as to lose the overarching swagger they seem intent on conveying. Particularly as it follows behind two EPs and a swath of other single tracks, and is offered name-your-price through their Bandcamp, “Hiedra – Sencillo” feels like its most nefarious aim is to hook anyone who’d click play on first listen and try and keep them intrigued for next time out. Fair enough. I won’t profess to know what Dresden Wolves‘ plans are, but they’ve got songwriting in their pocket and the production on “Hiedra – Sencillo” is crisp and clear enough to convey the heft of the guitar but not so much so as to dull its rawer aspects. They’ve got the balance ready to go, whatever they might choose to do with it from here.

Dresden Wolves on Thee Facebooks

Dresden Wolves on Bandcamp

 

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War Cloud Announce ‘State of Shock’ European Tour Dates

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

Well, it’s been all of one day since I posted about War Cloud being added to Ripplefest UK in London next month, but the news that they’ll wrap that in as part of a stint of UK/European shows definitely seems worth highlighting. Of particular note, it means that the Oakland, CA, heavy classic metallers — as opposed to classic heavy metallers, and yes, there’s a difference — won’t be in the country when their new album, State of Shock, is released on Sept. 27. In fact they’re in Pavia, Italy, that night, for the penultimate show of the tour. One assumes a hometown release show will happen sooner or later, but in the meantime, I’m sure they’ll make due with kicking ass across Europe for a month ahead of the LP coming out. Doesn’t sound too bad, frankly.

The route looks like this:

war cloud tour

War Cloud – State of Shock: Europe

Erupting out of Oakland, California in 2014, War Cloud has left a smoking path across much of the USA over the past five years. Formed by guitarist/vocalist Alex Wein after firmly planting his amps in the Bay Area, he unified a crew with Joaquin Ridgell on drums, Taylor Roach on bass, and most recently Nick Burks on guitar (also of Kentucky rockers, Stonecutters).

Touring extensively in support of their debut record, War Cloud adapted a take no prisoners strategy with the intent to decimate all from the opening tone of each engaging live show and recently completed recording their sophomore full-length, State of Shock. Set to arrive this September, once again with Ripple Music, the song writing on the album led the band in the direction of a strong concept which thematically surrounds a life in war – be it with friend, enemy, or self.

9/7 Milan, IT – Motoraduno Guzzi
9/8 Vercelli, IT – Officine Sonore
9/11 Toulouse, FR – L’Usine a Musique
9/14 Dresden, DE – Eichenkranz
9/17 Erfurt, DE – Cafe Tikolor
9/19 Nottingham, UK – Old Salutation Inn
9/21 London, UK – Black Heart (Ripplefest UK)
9/22 Lille, FR – Le Midland
9/24 Cologne, DE – Sonic Ballroom
9/26 Bellinzona, CH – The Pit
9/27 Pavia, IT – Dagda
9/28 Vigone, IT – Positive Music
More dates to be announced!

WAR CLOUD:
Alex Wein – Vocals/Guitar
Nick Burks – Guitar
Joaquin Ridgell – Drums
Taylor Roach – Bass

http://facebook.com/WarCloudisComing
http://warcloudiscoming.bandcamp.com/
http://warcloud.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ripple-Music/369610860064
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

War Cloud, State of Shock (2019)

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