Penance, Victor Griffin’s In~Graved, Pale Divine Added to Days of the Doomed III, While Heaven Wept Drop Off

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 29th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Don’t get me wrong, I was gonna go to Days of the Doomed III anyway, but adding a Penance reunion and Victor Griffin‘s new In~Graved project with Guy Pinhas from The Obsessed sure does make that 15-hour drive to Wisconsin seem shorter. Over the weekend, fest organizer Mercyful Mike Smith unveiled the two additions to the third annual event, set to take place June 21 and 22 next year, also noting that Pale Divine have joined on as well and that While Heaven Wept have had to back out owing to family concerns. As in, starting one, or at very least adding to it.

Here’s the announcement, followed by a video trailer. Something to look forward to:

I know you’ve all been waiting patiently for this announcement, myself included! We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get to it, shall we?

I am excited to say that my first announcement is actually breaking news, and this will be the first anyone has heard of it!!! It is with great honor that I announce Victor Griffin’s IN~GRAVED will taking part in Days Of The Doomed Fest III! Consisting of Victor Griffin (Pentagram/Place Of Skulls) on vocals/guitars, Guy Pinhas (The Obsessed/Goatsnake/Acid King) on bass, Pete Campbell (Place Of Skulls/Sixty Watt Shaman) on drums, and Derek Hall on keyboards, IN~GRAVED will be performing songs from their highly anticipated upcoming debut album due out early this spring, as well as a few choice Place Of Skulls tunes. Do not miss this opportunity to witness doom metal royalty and his brand new band! Victor Griffin’s IN~GRAVED will make believers of us all!

Next up, something I wasn’t sure was going to be possible to pull off, but through several conversations and a great line of communication, I am announcing to all of you today to brace yourselves for the return of PENANCE!!! Here is the official statement provided by the Penance camp:

“Not since vocalist Lee Smith sang with PENANCE in support of their 1993 European tour with CATHEDRAL & SLEEP have these two forces come together in a live setting. It has been nearly 20 years since PENANCE followed up that tour with their now legendary sophomore release Parallel Corners on Century Media records, long considered a classic record and the band’s strongest effort to date. Many consider it to be one of the greatest post Sabbath records of all time, including Fu Manchu who recently covered “Words To Live By”. With their rich lineage as pioneers of Doom firmly intact, the time is now right for the lineup of guitarist Terry Weston, bassist Rich Freund, and drummer Mike Smail to reunite with vocalist Lee Smith as PENANCE. Their exclusive appearance and only U.S. show will take place at Days Of The Doomed Fest III on the weekend of June 21st and 22nd, 2013 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. See you all there!” Parallel-fucking-Corners! That’s all I’m saying folks!

As if this isn’t enough, we’ll also be welcoming back another Days Of The Doomed Fest alumni… PALE DIVINE! We’re all familiar with their stellar back catalog, but next June, we’ll all be treated to some of the instant classics off of “Painted Windows Black”, undoubtedly one of the top releases of 2012. So get ready… PALE DIVINE IS BACK!

I’m also extremely happy to announce that Infernal Rock Radio will once again be sponsoring our Thursday night pre-show! Chicago’s SPYDERBONE is the first band to be announced for the pre-show, but others will be announced soon!

I also have some bitter-sweet news to report. WHILE HEAVEN WEPT has been forced to pull out of Days Of The Doomed Fest III, but for good reason! There will be a new addition to the WHILE HEAVEN WEPT family due right around the weekend of the fest next June! So obviously, this is a “family first” situation! I wish the band and family all the very best! Congrats!!!

The official Days Of The Doomed Fest website,, has been updated, and you will want to check out the “Lodging Options” link! Best Western Milwaukee and Super 8 Milwaukee are the exclusive hotels of Days Of The Doomed Fest!!! There are links to both hotels, and each one has a special “fest rate” for rooms!!! They also offer free shuttles to and from the airport, and we are working on setting up a shuttle to and from the fest! I encourage you to take advantage of this special offer!!! Both hotels are only a 5 minute drive to the venue!!!

I am also very proud to welcome back Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer as one of our main sponsors!!! Tallboy specials and PBR swag will once again be available at Days Of The Doomed Fest III!

I should also mention that I am working on setting up a shuttle bus from Chicago to Milwaukee and back to help out all of our Illinois friends who would like to attend the fest but may not want to drive. More info on this as it becomes available!

So get ready! Days Of The Doomed Fest III is returning to the Blue Pig Bar/Venue and is going to be the biggest one yet! Online ticket sales begin 12/1/12 – just in time for X-mas! Grab your tickets early and book your rooms! I am fully anticipating a sell out next year! Oh, and I’m not quite done yet… one more trick left up my sleeve! Big, massive, giant size bag of Ruffles goes to Kathy Reeves for creating our teaser trailer below! Cheers everyone!!! Happy Halloween!

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Solace, Orodruin, While Heaven Wept and Snake Dance Added to Days of the Doomed II

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 16th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

That Days of the Doomed II poster is starting to get awfully crowded. Over the weekend, the Mercyful Mike Smith, the organizer of the fest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, announced that While Heaven Wept and a reunited Solace (I think we all saw it coming) would be taking part, and today brings two more additions: Orodruin and Snake Dance.

And so an impressive bill gets even more impressive. Here’s the full update from Smith himself:

It is an absolute honor to announce to all of you that the mighty While Heaven Wept will be performing at the second installment of Days of the Doomed Fest this June in Kenosha, WI!!! I’d like to share with you the official statement I received from the band:

“We’re extremely happy to announce that we will be appearing at the Days of the Doomed II festival in June 2012! We’d actually been in discussions with Mike [Smith, fest organizer] even prior to the first edition, so this has been a long time coming indeed! While there was a time when we faced some challenges in making this happen, ultimately the planets have aligned! We look forward to sharing the stage with all of our old friends and bringing the music of While Heaven Wept to the Midwest for the first time! Don’t miss this event as it is the culmination of many years of “homegrown” doom metal events in the USA reaching a level of maturity and passion previously unseen!”

I also have the pleasure of announcing that the masters of heaviness and volume known as Solace will also be making the trek to Days Of The Doomed Fest II! Prepare for ear damage!!!

Want more? Back by popular demand! Rochester, NY, doom mongers Orodruin will be returning to pummel all of you!

One last announcement! I’m happy to introduce Chicago‘s stoner/doom rockers Snake Dance as the fest’s official openers on Friday!

In other fest news, I have been informed by Henry Vasquez that Blood of the Sun will be forced to pull out of Days of the Doomed due to his commitment with Saint Vitus. This is 100 percent understandable, and I wish Henry and the legendary Saint Vitus all the best on their 2012 tour!

And don’t forget the “Raffle of Doom” is in full swing!!! $5.00 gets you a shot at winning some seriously killer loot!!! Visit the official Days Of The Doomed Fest site ( for a full listing of what’s up for grabs!

Tickets are on sale now, and will move fast! Visit to purchase tickets, and to get all the updates on Days of the Doomed Fest II!

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While Heaven Wept Take to the Seas

Posted in Reviews on May 20th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

With intricate metallic composition and power/prog tendencies, While Heaven Wept’s third album, Vast Oceans Lacrymose (Cruz Del Sur), blends the high drama of European doom à la Paradise Lost with the technical savvy of American prog acts like Dream Theater. The Dale City, Virginia, six-piece (that’s two trios!), led by chief songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist Tom Phillips, weave practically a whole album into 15-minute opening track, “The Furthest Shore,” which sets a tone of conflict and triumph for the rest of Vast Oceans Lacrymose to follow.

Harmonies abound on keyboards, guitars and vocals, with Phillips, lead vocalist Rain Irving and keyboardist Michelle Schrotz all contributing. Of course, as a double-guitar unit with a singer and keymaster, there is plenty of room for such things, provided the players are talented to pull it off, which in the case of While Heaven Wept, they are. One imagines that it’s Phillips’ role as main songwriter that keeps things together – difficult as it is to get five people other than yourself on the same page about anything (try it sometime if you never have) – but that’s conjecture on my part that only seems to make sense because of the complexity of the material, the amount of changes in the songs and the carefully hewn theater of a song like “Vessel.” In the context of many other albums, it might just be power metal, but While Heaven Wept keep too progressive a mindset for such simple labeling.

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While Heaven Wept to Reissue First Two Albums

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 3rd, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Cult (as opposed to kvlt) Virginian doom six-pack While Heaven Wept, who are headed to Deutschland early next year for the Hammer of Doom fest, have announced reissues of their first two albums via Cruz Del Sur. Nifty reissues at that. The PR wire has details:

Anyone remember the Chris Rock bit from Bigger and Blacker about the trench coat mafia? "There was six of the motherfuckers. I didn't have six friends in high school. Shit, I don't got six friends now! That's three on three in a half court!"We have heard your calls! After the incredible response to While Heaven Wept‘s brand new album Vast Oceans Lachrymose — which continues to receive the very highest of accolades worldwide — Cruz Del Sur Music, as well as the continued demands from their audience, have finally convinced the band to reissue their long out-of-print past albums Sorrow of the Angels and Of Empires Forlorn, each in limited-editions of 1000 hand-numbered CDs!

This is a rare opportunity for everyone who missed these masterpieces of epic doom metal history the first time around to buy these at new-release prices (as opposed to the outrageous amounts these albums sometimes fetch on eBay). Both albums feature updated cover art, new pictures, and new liner notes from main man Tom Phillips. The audio content is identical to the original Eibon Records (Sorrow of the Angels) and Rage of Achilles Records (Of Empires Forlorn) releases so as to preserve the integrity of the original albums.

These reissues will be strictly limited to 1000 copies, with absolutely no repressing whatsoever at the request of While Heaven Wept themselves. Both albums will be released simultaneously on the 29th of January 2010, just in time for the bands’ appearance at the Hammer of Doom III festival in Wurzburg, Germany on February 6th.

More album specifics (and a video) after the jump…

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While Heaven Wept on Their Way to a Kickass Festival in Germany

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 5th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Somewhere along the line I missed the news on the Hammer of Doom III festival in Deutschland, but man, the lineup looks killer. The PR wire sent over this update about Virginia doomers While Heaven Wept, who will be trekking over for the fest, and from what I can see here and on the fest’s MySpace, it seems like it’s coming together nicely. Any show that can get The Wizar’d to show up from Tasmania is okay in my book. Here’s the news:

"Everyone in close..."While Heaven Wept have just confirmed their presence to the third edition of the Hammer of Doom festival taking place in W?rzburg, Germany on the 6th of Feb, 2010.

With the legendary Saint Vitus headlining, the festival promises to be one of the most remarkable live events of the beginning of the new year featuring other great doom acts such as Griftegard (Sweden), Atlantean Kodex (Germany), and The Wizar’d (Australia) plus others that will be announced shortly.

The release of While Heaven Wept?s long-awaited new album Vast Oceans Lachrymose has created much of a stir in the metal community, with enthusiastic reactions both from the media and fans alike.

Vast Oceans Lachrymose has soon been described as one of the year?s highlights, causing much expectation previous to its release just this week (November 3rd) in North America, and being released this Friday (November 6th) in Europe, via Cruz Del Sur Music.

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