Windhand Interview with Dorthia Cottrell: Unbroken Continuity

Posted in Features on November 1st, 2013 by JJ Koczan

After making their Relapse debut earlier this year with the Reflection of the Negative split with fellow Richmond, Virginia, natives Cough, ultra-doomed five-piece Windhand unleashed Soma (review here), their sophomore full-length behind a 2012 self-titled (streamed here). At 75 minutes long, it’s a formidable undertaking before you even get to the dark sensibilities the band proffers throughout in songs like “Woodbine,” the sprawling “Cassock” or half-hour-long closer “Boleskine,” varying in intensity and tension while toying with a grueling pace throughout, expanding beyond the relatively straightforward riff-led approach of the first album and into atmospherics that make Soma all the more individualized.

Windhand toured heavily for the first LP, which was released on Forcefield Records, and seem already to be keeping the ethic intact in support of Soma. Already they spent September into early October going coast-to-coast on a full US tour. Tonight, Nov. 1, they begin a run of dates in Europe alongside Pilgrim that will go for more than three weeks, and upon their return to the States, they’ll pick up five days later and do the West Coast and Canada along with Kvelertak and High on Fire. Both runs are a continuation of the momentum Windhand has established through consistent road-time, and the new album seems certain to receive its due as well. Here are the tour dates:

Windhand
with Pilgrim
01/11 BE Ghent Charlatan
02/11 NL Venlo Mudfest
03/11 FR Paris t.b.a.
04/11 UK Birmingham Asylum
05/11 UK Manchester Star & Garter
06/11 UK London Our Black Heart
08/11 ES Barcelona Rocksound
09/11 ES Madrid Rock & Pop
10/11 ES Bilbao Sentinel Rock Bar
11/11 FR Bordeaux Heretic Club
12/11 FR Paris Le Club
14/11 NL Tilburg Little Devil
15/11 DK Aalborg 1000 Fryd
16/11 SE Gothenburg Truckstop Alaska
17/11 DK Copenhagen KB18
18/11 DE Hamburg Rote Flora
19/11 DE Berlin Cassiopeia
20/11 DE Leipzig Zoro
21/11 AT Wien Vrena
22/11 DE Günzburg Donaustüble
23/11 DE Köln MTC
24/11 NL Amsterdam Occii

Windhand
with High on Fire and Kvelertak
11/29 Lawrence, KS Granada Theatre
11/30 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
12/02 Winnipeg, MB West End Cultural Center
12/04 Edmonton, AB Starlite Room
12/05 Calgary, AB Republik
12/07 Vancouver, BC Venue Vancouver
12/08 Seattle, WA El Corazon
12/09 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theater
12/11 San Francisco, CA Regency Center Grand Ballroom
12/12 Los Angeles, CA El Rey Theatre

As they’ve already been confirmed for Roadburn 2014 and the next installment of Heavy Days in Doomtown, you can expect much more to come on Windhand. The band is comprised of vocalist Dorthia Cottrell, guitarist/recording engineer Garrett Morris, guitarist Asechaiah Bogdan, bassist Parker Chandler (also of Cough) and drummer Ryan Wolfe. Cottrell recently took some time out to talk about the making of Soma and how their road ethic came into play in terms of putting the album together, plus the European dates — it’s their first time out of the country — prospects for 2014 and much more.

Q&A is after the jump. Please enjoy.

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audiObelisk Transmission 030

Posted in Podcasts on September 21st, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Click Here to Download

 

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

With no slowdown in the music coming out as we move into the fall, it’s time for another audiObelisk podcast. Like last month, the idea here was to keep it super-simple, not go too long or get lost too much in including stuff just for the hell of it. Whether it’s a big band or someone you’ve never heard of in this tracklist, it’s all quality, and most of it is new. A couple of these albums haven’t even come out yet.

Things get pretty dark in the second of the two hours, but I figured what the hell? It starts off rockin’ with Sasquatch and The Freeks and so on, so it seemed there was room to doom out for a while, and once I threw in The Body, there was nothing to do but plummet even further. As it winds down, there’s some transition back to more rocking fare though with Earthless, so it’s not like it gets totally lost and drowns in the mire of dark tones and sonic abrasion. I know you were worried. I was too.

Like last time, it clocks in at just under two hours long. I hope you download and enjoy the tracks. Here’s the full rundown of what’s included:

First Hour:

Sasquatch, “The Message” from IV (2013)
Monster Magnet, “Mindless Ones” from Last Patrol (2013)
The Freeks, “The Secret Pathway” from Full On (2013)
Red Fang, “Blood Like Cream” from Whales and Leeches (2013)
Pyramido, “Tiden är Kommen” from Saga (2013)
Hollow Leg, “Ride to Ruin” from Abysmal (2013)
YOB, “Ether” from Catharsis (2013 Reissue)
Seremonia, “Suuri Valkeus” from Ihminen (2013)
Aqua Nebula Oscillator, “Human Toad” from Spiritus Mundi (2013)
Jesu, “Everyday” from Everyday I Get Closer to the Light from Which I Came (2013)
Ayahuasca Dark Trip, “To the Holy Mountain” from Mind Journey (2013 Reissue)

Second Hour:

All Them Witches, “Born under a Bad Sign” (2013)
The Body, “Prayers Unanswered” from Christs, Redeemers (2013)
Primitive Man, “Antietam” from Scorn (2013)
Windhand, “Cassock” from Soma (2013)
Atlantis, “Omen” from Omens (2013)
Earthless, “Violence of the Red Sea” from From the Ages (2013)

Total running time: 1:59:33

Hope you dig it. Thanks for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 030

 

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Windhand, Soma: Stay Evergreen

Posted in Reviews on September 10th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

I imagine that somewhere on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia, a lone technician sits in a room with an impossible array of gauges, measuring tectonic pressure, general atmospheric conditions, etc., only to have the emergency lights kick on an unspeakable siren of chaos every time Windhand plugs in to rehearse. Call it “tone overload.” Our poor technician — who went to college for this, mind you, and is a skilled professional — gradually loses his or her mind, quits the job, and spends all remaining days wandering RVA, trying to find the source of that maddening rumble. Thus another existence destroyed by the ascendant dual-guitar five-piece, who made their debut on Relapse Records earlier this year with the Reflection of the Negative split with Richmond countrymen Cough, whose bass player, Parker Chandler, they also share. Windhand‘s full-length Relapse debut — their second album overall following a 2011 self-titled on Forcefield Records (streamed here) and a not-inconsiderable amount of touring — has been dubbed Soma, the drink of the gods. It’s a title Windhand share the most recent My Sleeping Karma LP, though the two bands have really nothing in common, as Windhand push forth low-end mud at a horrifying, lung-filling rate from Chandler‘s bass and the steady riff and lead interplay of guitarists Asechiah Bogdan and Garrett Morris, march to a wash of crash and stomp from drummer Ryan Wolfe (The Might Could, ex-Facedowninshit) and top with the ethereal vocals of Dorthia Cottrell, giving Soma a bleak, otherworldly sensibility to go along with its unbridled heft. If it’s the drink of the gods, the beverage is opaque. Clocking in at a full 75 minutes with six tracks and closing with the monster “Boleskine” that comprises just over half an hour on its own, Windhand‘s sophomore outing is dense even beyond the levels shows on the self-titled and fuller-sounding, bigger and more crushing. Early cuts “Orchard” and “Woodbine” establish the nod that the fivesome will carry through the next hour-plus, the opener in particular — also the shortest cut at 6:38 — harkening to some of the Electric Wizard influence that showed up last time out in the guitar work, but giving clear indication that Windhand‘s road time has helped them figure out who they are and who they want to be as a band.

To say Soma crushes doesn’t really do it full justice. It is impeccably mixed to maximize murk — a dense fog begins with “Orchard” and is consistent throughout. Cottrell‘s vocals and Wolfe‘s drums reside deep within the overbearing thrust of guitar and bass, lending the songs an even larger sound, and especially considering it was self-recorded and self-mixed (Morris also helmed the self-titled), the atmospheric bludgeon that Soma carries portrays Windhand as all the more cohesive in its styilstic take. They know what they’re doing, in other words. The riffs of “Orchard” proffer malevolent swirl and Cottrell sings through the churning progression, but there’s a structure to the song as well, a verse and a chorus trading off, as hard as they might be to discern initially, and the ringing feedback that caps the opener crashes directly into the similarly drugged-out “Woodbine.” Both the drums and the vocals seem more forward here, as though they’ve stepped up to meet the more insistent riff, and though by most standards it’s hardly a thrasher, in comparison to “Orchard” and the penultimate “Cassock” still to come, “Woodbine” moves at as quick a pace as Windhand show on Soma. Of course, the guitars and bass are so thick that even as it moves forward quickly, it still sounds slow. A memorable melody line through the vocals and guitars make “Woodbine” something of a landmark in terms of the album overall, but with a record that makes so plain its intent to swallow the listener whole and keep them for the duration, any landmark is only going to be so helpful. The idea is you lose yourself in it and are more subject to the overall impression than any particular standout, and that makes the album an even more satisfying front-to-back listen, though a “hook” for lack of a better word is certainly appreciated as well. Following a big slowdown as “Woodbine” hits the seven-minute mark and collapses to its finish, one gets no such mercies from the subsequent “Feral Bones,” which lets up some on the tempo and finds the vocals receding to deep under the tonequake, ghostly in echo but still definitely a presence. Peppered by regular crashes, “Feral Bones” is Windhand sounding the most their own as they have yet on the album. It doesn’t have the immediate familiarity of “Orchard,” but that’s also what makes it exciting. A striding lead takes hold near the halfway point, but the riff is maintained and soon returns to its prominent place, a last verse and chorus returning to round out the eight-minute track with more deceptive structuring.

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Inter Arma and Windhand to Play Roadburn 2014

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 18th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

From reuniting formative psychedelic wanderers to supporting up and coming genre-crossers. Last week, Loop was revealed as the headliner for Roadburn 2014, and today it’s been announced that Relapse Records upstarts Inter Arma and Windhand will both take part. Both bands make their home in the fertile dirt of Richmond, Virginia, so I’m left wondering if maybe a Euro tour with the two acts is in the offing?

Time will tell on that. Until then, and in related news, it was also announced today that Windhand‘s full-length Relapse debut, Soma, will be released Sept. 17. More on that here, and you can find the album trailer below:

INTER ARMA And WINDHAND Confirmed For Roadburn Festival 2014

Following last week’s announcement of Loop as the main headliner for Roadburn 2014, the festival is excited to report that Relapse Records artists WINDHAND and INTER ARMA have also been confirmed for next years event, set for April10 ? 13, 2014 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, the Netherlands.

Walter Hoeijmakers from Roadburn: “Windhand’s S/T was definitely THEE psych/doom album of 2012, while anticipation of the band’s upcoming album on Relapse is reaching a crescendo that will continue to build throughout the year and culminate in their main stage set on Saturday, April 12 at Roadburn 2014. Inter Arma’s “Sky Burial” is a serious contender for this year’s Roadburn Festival-related album of the year. Both Windhand and Inter Arma seem poised to rank among the regal line of iconic Relapse bands, and Roadburn is proud to welcome both bands on Saturday, April 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.”

Richmond, Virginia’s WINDHAND cut their teeth worshipping at Iommi’s school of a thousand riffs, fusing classic churning doom as smooth as melted chocolate with Electric Wizard-ish bong-cloud obscured psychedelia. Sparking your natural highness, the band locks into a mesmerizing sprawl of epic, doomic heaviness, a trancelike reverence that inspires lethargic, hypnotic head banging and is embellished with enough hazy psych to be a tripped-out soundtrack for some obscure war on drugs propaganda film. Meanwhile, vocalist Dorthia Cottrell’s hellish howl beckons from the distance, swathed in distortion, transcending any earthly ideas of gender, and positioning the band firmly at the top of the pile of the current crop of female fronted metal outfits.

Windhand will release “Soma”, their 2nd album on Relapse Records on September 13 in the Benelux, GAS and Finland and on September 16 in the UK and Europe. The album was recorded & mixed by the band’s own Garrett Morris at The Darkroom & mastered by James Plotkin, in their hometown of Richmond, VA.

Also emerging (like Windhand) from the seemingly ever-fertile metal breeding grounds of Richmond, Virginia, INTER ARMA sports a sound that’s difficult to pin down, as it continually changes and surprises with each passing album track. “Sky Burial” starts with a strong dose of the industrial infused black metal of “Volcano”-era Satyricon, then takes a decidedly Pink Floydian left turn for the next two tracks (the first is acoustic and the second of which culminates in an unexpectedly raucous blast of Cascadian black metal). They then introduce truly hellish sounding occult doom followed by caustic, repetitive noise rock in the vein of Unsane. They continue with epic, abrasive, majestic doom with vintage Gibby Haynes-style menacing vocals into another foreboding acoustic track and cap the album off with the title track, a noisy, doomy, mathy, blackened rock and roll experience that is rippling with evil and menace. Their live set will be a constantly evolving, emotionally devastating experience that is sure to leave us all uncomfortably numb.

www.facebook.com/WindhandVA
windhandva.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/INTERARMA
interarma.bandcamp.com

Windhand, Soma album trailer

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