Weed Priest Premiere “Vampyr” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

weed priest

Irish sludge nasties Weed Priest issue their four-song full-length, Consummate Darkness, on Halloween via Cursed Monk Records. There is a moment toward the chug-mad ending of album opener “Witch’s Curse” that, somehow fittingly to the title, conveys a sense of the genuinely unhinged. I don’t know if the idea was that, as his own guitar and that of Sean “The Tormentor” Sullivan and the bass of Ragas Iscariot devolve into crackling amp noise, the vocals of Adam Diavol — points all around on the names, guys; lest we forget Micheál Dúlachán on drums — shift from the lower-register extreme growing to a higher-pitched cackle. Is this the witch in “Witch’s Curse” speaking directly to the listener? I don’t know, but it sounds utterly fucked, and I’m pretty sure that’s the point. Point taken.

Weed Priest issued their thick-rolling self-titled debut long-player (review here) in 2013 and brought with their volume worship a sense of grim-hued ritualizing. Consummate Darkness feels more about rawer scathe. Set up across two vinyl sides on which a shorter track leads into a longer one —weed priest consummate darkness “Witch’s Curse” (8:04) into “Vampyr” (10:33) on side A; “SkyDaddy” (6:36) into “The Mass” (14:29) on side B — the record isn’t without a sense of structure, but as the horror sample leads to the plodding, post-Electric Wizard launch of “Vampyr,” Weed Priest find themselves engaging a grittier form of extremity, less outwardly crushing and more about the overarching filth conjured through the riffs and the rhythmic nod, the theme taking shape really in “Vampyr” and finding catchier foothold in the speedier “SkyDaddy” before “The Mass” brings about a last push into rumbling oblivion, grueling and mirroring the viciousness of “Witch’s Curse” early while finding spaciousness later in its extended solo section.

Brutal? Why yes it fucking is. That would seem to be the point. One can hear a dynamic shift between the more “rock”-based songcraft of “SkyDaddy” and “The Mass,” certainly, but Weed Priest are far less about showing off their range than they are about bludgeoning their audience with it, and that suits them. “The Mass” ends Consummate Darkness on a long-fading drum march and the funereal vibe is noteworthy; a dirge undertaken with a relished sense of dismemberment, flayed skin and any number of other medieval cruelties having been brought to bear through volume and tempo-be-damned sonic terror.

Today I have the pleasure of hosting the video premiere for “Vampyr” from Consummate Darkness, which can be preordered now via the links below. Please find it on the player here, followed by more info from the PR wire, and if you think your personal constitution is up to it, enjoy.

Here we go:

Weed Priest, “Vampyr” official video premiere

Weed Priest’s second much anticipated full length album “Consummate Darkness” is coming out on Samhain (31th of October) 2017 as vinyl, cd and digital via Cursed Monk Records.

“Lo and behold! From the depths of the smoke filled dungeons, from the tops of the mountains of madness, the priest is coming back with the new opus. Four hymns depicting the unholy ceremonies of union with darkness, four sermons of crawling doom, four spits into the face of conformity and meekness.”

Adam (guitar, vocals), Ragas (bass) and Adrian (drums) were brought together by the love of classic Black Sabbath sound, seventies psychedelic rock, doom/sludge metal and their interest in occultism in 2009. In 2011 Weed Priest released a well received demo CD. A grandiose debut self-titled full length album came out in 2013 and is now sold out. It was followed by “Worship” EP (2014). In 2014 the drum throne was taken over by Michael. Second guitar player Sean also joined. Two split releases followed: split single with Northern Irish doom brothers Astralnaut (February 2015) and split EP with Italian doomsters Black Capricorn (September 2016).

WEED PRIEST:
Adam Diavol – lead guitar/vox
Ragas Iscariot – bass
San “Balor” Sullivan – guitar
Micheál Dúlachán – drums

Weed Priest on Thee Facebooks

Weed Priest on Bandcamp

Weed Priest BigCartel store

Cursed Monk Records on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Monk Records on Bandcamp

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Weed Priest to Release Consummate Darkness Oct. 31

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

weed priest

Cursed Monk Records has posted preorders now for Consummate Darkness, the second album from Galway, Ireland, riff worshipers Weed Priest. I’ll grant that after my recent experience traveling to Dublin for the Obelisk-sponsored inaugural edition of the Emerald Haze festival, I’ve got Irish heavy on the brain, but even if that wasn’t the case, I remember full well the “holy shit that’s fucking insane” impression Weed Priest made with their 2013 self-titled debut (review here), and their follow-up 2015 split with Astralnaut (review here) was only too gleeful to follow suit.

The four-piece also put out a split last year with Black Capricorn that you can hear at the bottom of this post, and I’ll hope to have more to come on Consummate Darkness ahead of its Halloween release date through Cursed Monk. Until then, here’s the announcement and background on the band, courtesy of the label via the PR wire:

weed-priest-consummate-darkness

Cursed Monk Records are proud to announce that Weed Priest’s sophomore album Consummate Darkness will be be released on Vinyl. CD and digital, via Cursed Monk Records, on October 31st 2017.

“Lo and behold! From the depths of the smoke filled dungeons, from the tops of the mountains of madness, the priest is coming back with the new opus. Four hymns depicting the unholy ceremonies of union with darkness, four sermons of crawling doom, four spits into the face of conformity and meekness.”

Adam (guitar, vocals), Ragas (bass) and Adrian (drums) were brought together by the love of classic Black Sabbath sound, seventies psychedelic rock, doom/sludge metal and their interest in occultism in 2009. In 2011 Weed Priest released a well received demo CD. A grandiose debut self-titled full length album came out in 2013 and is now sold out. It was followed by “Worship” EP (2014). In 2014 the drum throne was taken over by Michael. Second guitar player Sean also joined. Two split releases followed: split single with Northern Irish doom brothers Astralnaut (February 2015) and split EP with Italian doomsters Black Capricorn (September 2016).

Weed Priest’s second much anticipated full length album “Consummate Darkness” is coming out on Samhain (31th of October) 2017 as vinyl, cd and digital via Cursed Monk Records.

Weed Priest can offer a truly heavy doom metal experience. They have built their reputation as a solid live act and have shared stage with the likes of Church Of Misery, Wounded Kings, Meth Drinker, Hooded Priest, Argus, Gorilla Monsoon, Hour of 13, Black Capricorn, Slomatics, Conan, and many more.

Consummate Darkness is available to preorder now via the Cursed Monk Bandcamp, where you will also be able to stream Weed Priest’s brand new track, “Vampyr”

WEED PRIEST:
Adamus de Sabbator – vocals, guitars
K.H. Rhaagulus – bass
Sean ‘The Tormentor’ Sullivan – guitars
Mígorr – drums

https://www.facebook.com/theWeedPriest
https://weedpriest.bandcamp.com/
http://weedpriest.bigcartel.com/
https://cursedmonk.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/cursedmonk/

Weed Priest, “Summertime”

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Yama, Bellhound Choir, Atala, Astralnaut & Weed Priest, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard

Posted in Radio on February 25th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk radio

I’ve been listening to a lot of The Obelisk Radio this week, so it seemed only fair to do a round of adds to the server. Might just be what came up in the selection process, but it’s seemed pretty off the wall of late. Yeah, there’s plenty of heavy riffs and whatever else, but a lot of sludge and noise stuff too. I like that because hopefully it appeals to a wider variety of listeners, though part of me thinks I should cut out everything that isn’t Goatsnake, Kyuss, Electric Wizard and two or three of the stoner-flavor-of-the-month types and just let it roll with that. One tries to quiet the cynical impulse. You know how it is.

In all seriousness though, at some point I’m going to have to trim down what’s on there. It’s only a three terabyte drive and I have neither the know-how nor the cash to expand it further, so yeah. But that’s not this week. This week, 11 new records joined the playlist — see them all at the Obelisk Radio Playlist and Updates page — and that includes those that follow here.

The Obelisk Radio adds for Feb. 25, 2015:

Yama, Ananta

yama ananta

While definitely rooted tonally in heavy rock, there’s an underlying current of metal flowing through Yama‘s debut long-player, Ananta. The four-piece, who hail from the home of Roadburn in Tilburg, the Netherlands, offer plenty of driving riffs and nodding grooves on songs like the opening title-track and the slower centerpiece “Migraine City,” nonetheless take a sharper approach than some to the style. It comes through in the vocals, which get pretty gruff by the end of the aforementioned “Migraine City,” but also over ascending notes of classic metallic soar late in “Ruach Elohim” — a song that, it’s worth noting, also starts out with harmonica — and push the John Garcia impulse to more guttural range on “Hollow” and “Swordsman of the Crossroads I.” The latter also kicks into some blastbeats, to further the metallic edge. Still, Yama — the four-piece of Alex Schenkels, Peter Taverne, Joep Schmitz and Sjoerd Albers — wield the blend well throughout and keep a solid balance. “Swordsman of the Crossroads I” and the subsequent “II” are the arguable pinnacle here, but the acoustic-led closer “Vy” seems to hint that Yama haven’t quite yet shown all their cards. Yama on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Bellhound Choir, Stray Screech Beast

Bellhound Choir Stray Screech Beast

As per the immortal words of Monty Python: “And now for something completely different.” Bellhound Choir is a solo-project from guitarist/vocalist Christian Hede Madsen, also of Copenhagen-based rockers Pet the Preacher, but there’s little in common between one and the other, and Bellhound Choir‘s debut release, Stray Screech Beast, finds Madsen exploring folk and particularly country stylizations, a sense of brooding pervasive throughout the album’s eight tracks. It’s a dark vibe that pervades “Stuck (Old Song)” and the electrified, spacious blues bombast of “Bless Me,” and as a later, relatively minimal cut like “Black Spot” shows, Madsen isn’t afraid of delving into guy-and-guitar singer-songwriterism. His voice and playing is strong enough to carry the material, though one wonders how he got that Southern twang, and Stray Screech Beast doesn’t overplay its hand at 27 minutes. There may be fire and brimstone beneath, but Madsen isn’t quite there yet in bringing it out for righteous proclamations, though I wouldn’t be surprised to find him taking on a preacherman quality on subsequent outings, as well as pushing into more complex arrangements as the experiment continues. Some rocker heads might be put off by the country vibe, but I suspect plenty will feel right at home amid the moody atmosphere and plucked guitar of “God’s Home.” Bellhound Choir on Thee Facebooks, on Soundcloud.

Atala, Atala

atala atala

Desert-dwelling trio Atala recorded their self-titled/self-released debut with Scott Reeder (Kyuss, The Obsessed, Fireball Ministry, etc.), and its eight songs break easily into two halves — the end of each signaled by a cut north of the 10-minute mark — of raucous, occasionally surprisingly aggressive heavy rock. Opener “Broken Glass” positions Atala somewhere near Fatso Jetson sonically, but less punk in their roots, guitarist/vocalist Kyle Stratton and bassist John Chavarria having previously played together in metallers Rise of the Willing while drummer Jeff Tedtaotao is a former member of punkers Forever Came CallingStratton‘s vocals veer into sludge-metal screams from cleaner territory and seem comfortable in the back-and-forth, and that, blended with the fullness of sound, and pop in Tedtaotao‘s snare — a hallmark of Reeder‘s production; see also Blaak Heat Shujaa — makes the meandering jam in “Labyrinth of Mind” seem all the more like a standout moment of varied impulses working to find their balance. By the time they get down to the chugging “Virgo Moon” and the ebbs and flows of closer “Sun Worship,” Atala seem to have it worked out for the most part, and while there’s still growth to be undertaken, the chemistry between the three players comes across as plain as the sands they call home. Atala’s website, on Thee Facebooks.

Astralnaut & Weed Priest, Split

4PP DIGIPACK.indd

Irish outfits Astralnaut and Weed Priest team up for a split single, and while it’s just one song from each, there’s plenty of substance between them. Thick, gooey substance, if their tones are anything to go by. Both Astralnaut‘s “Parasitic” (9:20) and Weed Priest‘s “Graveyard Planet” (7:42) are big, lumbering riffers marked out with a sludgy feel, but there are subtle differences between them as well, the former being more forward vocally and meaner in-tone and the latter more fuzzed-out and obscure in a kind of Sons of Otis-via-Electric Wizard fashion. No real mystery why they’d pair up, though, with geography and a penchant for riffy bludgeoning shared, and their split should make a fitting introduction for anyone who might be running into either band for the first time, or maybe caught wind of Weed Priest‘s lumbering 2013 self-titled debut (review here) or any of Astralnaut‘s prior short releases. First timer or not, “Parasitic” and “Graveyard Planet” tap into amp rumble and slow-motion nod that should please any riff-worshiping head looking for a sample of the bands’ wares, Astralnaut spacing out a bit in the second half of their selection as though to smooth the path into Weed Priest‘s heady, darkened roll. For the converted, a reminder of why and how they got that way. Astralnaut on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp. Weed Priest on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, Nachthexen

Mammoth-Weed-Wizard-Bastard-Nachthexen

I’ll give the UK stoner surge one thing: It wins on band names. I don’t think per capita there’s any country in the world with more stoned-as-fuck monikers than Britain. To wit, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard. The Wrexham unit make a churning debut on Tape Worship Records with the half-hour-long “Nachthexen,” a single-song EP that moves smoothly between droned-out space exploration, crush-prone doom riffs and stoner metal gallop. The latter comes to the fore just past the midsection of this mammoth, weedian, wizardly bit of bastardism — one wonders how they got their name in the first place — but by then, “Nachthexen” has already careened through cosmic doom psych-osis early on, like roughed-up YOB with droney underpinnings, and teased a thrash influence in their Slayer-style interplay of chugging guitar and ride cymbal. Of course, the most satisfying build is the last one, which builds over the song’s final seven minutes from ambient noise and sparse guitar strum to suitably huge and suitably doomed payoff. This is the kind of shit that if you played it for actual human beings, they’d look at you and wonder just what the fuck species you belong to, and that’s clearly the idea. For their psychedelic elements, I can’t help but wonder if a more colorful artwork approach isn’t called for next time out, but beyond that, there’s little about Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard‘s take that brooks any argument whatsoever, instead drowning it out in deep low end and otherworldly, malevolent vibes. Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp, Tape Worship Records.

Like I said, this is less than half of what was added to the server today. Recently-covered records from Mansion, Stoned Jesus, Blut, Skunk Hawk and others also went up, hopefully adding to the diversity of sound and overall strength of the playlist. For the full line on everything that went up, check the Playlist and Updates page. If you wind up checking out any of this stuff and take the time to dig in, I hope you enjoy.

Thanks as always for reading and listening.

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On the Radar: Weed Priest

Posted in On the Radar on April 15th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Irish bashers Weed Priest do it big on their self-titled debut. Exclusively. The six-track collection of thoroughly stoned riffs and burly echoes arrives in a green-tinted matte-finish digipak that gives little hint of the heft actually contained within the trio’s dark, vaguely cultish material, and it’s already received a due amount of “OMG”eification from critics drawn in by the album’s downtrodden melange of cycle after cycle of lumbering largesse, riff building on riff through telegraphed changes at minimal but still grooving paces, only ever getting up to speed to slouch back into its apparently terminal atmospheric defeat. Well fine. The record sounds big. And it’s heavy. There. I said it too.

More than that — because fucking everything is heavy — Weed Priest‘s Weed Priest is impeccably produced to maximize that heaviness, and though one might think I’m just gearing up to toss out an Electric Wizard comparison, I’m actually not going to do it. The Galway-based trio of Adrian Elatha (drums), Ragas Walpurgis (bass) and Adam de Monlung (guitar/vocals) have way, way more in common with Sleep than they do with thee Wizard — who are otherwise responsible for so much of the weedian fare coming out of the Isles — but I guess if you want to take it all to its most primordial level, it’s all Sabbath at heart, and Weed Priest show little interest in shying away from that, a Zoroaster-type semi-psychedelia emerging out of the Ufomammut-style stomp of their extended opener “Final Spell.” It’s a cool sound, and they put it to solid use across the self-titled, the cavernous vocal sound giving even the shorter “Erichtho” — a paltry seven minutes long — a consistency in its sense of space with the opener or the later “Weed Priest” and “Day of Reckoning” to come.

The band formed in 2008, this is their first official release following a 2011 demo, and if what you’re looking for is a bash-you-over-the-head-with-tone onslaught of pot and horror worship (a clip from the 1972 movie The Devil starts off), then there’s little about Weed Priest‘s Weed Priest that isn’t going to be your favorite new Bandcamp link. A marching chug on “Walpurgia” pretty much sums up the crux of the full-length: It’s not about reinventing stoner metal or doom so much as taking the familiar and making it their own. I don’t know if caking it in reverb is enough to get that done over a long term, but they did hit on a distinct sound for their first long-player that at least gives them a base to work from next time out, and as “Thy Kingdom Gone” adds to the psychedelic push in its midsection en route to the massive one-two punch of “Weed Priest” and “Day of Reckoning,” there’s nothing to say Weed Priest don’t have something to offer beneath their resin-coated exterior for those who’d pay their debut repeat visits.

I’d be interested to hear how they cut their runtime down perhaps to accommodate a future vinyl offering, hitting around 40 minutes instead of Weed Priest‘s just under 61, but the longer stretch does work well to emphasize the repetition and the put-you-in-a-trance riffs, which seem to find their own morass between “Weed Priest” (11:14) and “Day of Reckoning” (13:52), neither song so much wandering into a jam as hammering down upon its central idea. For a bit of symmetry, “Day of Reckoning” echoes the sluggish thud of “Final Spell,” but really, it’s a symmetry that’s been present throughout the largely unipolar release, and though there are hints of melody in the guitar here and there, they’re so buried under the tonnage of the ultra-pivotal riffs around which the song is based, that it’s hard to keep focus on anything but that. Which is the idea. Which is why it works.

Weed Priest, Weed Priest (2013)

Weed Priest on Thee Facebooks

Weed Priest on Bandcamp

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