Posted in Whathaveyou on November 15th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
For as pissed off as they sound on the album, UK sludgers Wizard’s Beard sure seem to be kind when it comes to giving their records away on the cheap. The band sent over word a bit ago that their 2012 full-length, Four Tired Undertakers (review here), was up for a half-price download through this weekend only. Like mom always said: “The only thing better than sludge is discount sludge.”
We are temporarily offering a 50% discount on digital downloads of our latest offering Four Tired Undertakers. The code can only be used 100 times and will only be valid until the end the week. So the first 100 people to purchase it through bandcamp and enter the code ftu_fb1 at the checkout will get 50% off.
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 25th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
For the last couple months, we’ve followed the unfolding tale of Doommantia.com’s founder, Ed Barnard, who suffered a heart attack at the end of July and has since been left homeless. Donations have been taken over at their site, and hopefully wherever you are or whatever your situation, you’ve had a chance to give and support Ed in these tough times. On Oct. 13, the Doommantia Bash benefit show was held in his honor and by all accounts I’ve seen, that was a success, but there’s more to be done.
Word went out yesterday of the Doommantia Vol. 1digital compilation being available. Put together and organized by the band Compel, it’s $7 on Bandcamp and there are an astounding 39 bands included. Ed‘s special lady, Sally Doomvixen, posted the news last night that Ed was back in the hospital overnight with chest pains again, and though the situation doesn’t seem as serious as last time, the bills are no less devastating.
So you haven’t taken time yet to help out Ed Barnard, I once more urge you to do so, and this time, you get over four hours’ worth of music in return from great bands. More info follows, courtesy of Doommantia:
The DOOMMANTIA Benefit Compilation Has Arrived, 39 Tracks, Over 4 Hours For Only $7…
The first ever Doommantia.Com Compilation is now available for download for only $7 fromBANDCAMP. Immediate download of no less than 39 tracks of doomy goodness, over 4 hours long. Bands featured are Blackwolfgoat, At Devil Dirt, Low Gravity, Ichabod, Fister, Undersmile, Compel, Iron Man, Wizard’s Beard, Oceans Rainbow, Beelzefuzz, Conan, Lazarus Complex, Spyderbone, Order Of The Owl, Dope Flood, War Injun, Heathen Bastard, Halmos, Kriz, Bongripper, Demonaut, In The Company Of Serpents, Switchblade Jesus, Pale Divine, When The Deadbolt Breaks, Bastards Of The Skies, Gorgantherron, Screaming Mad Dee and Alex Vanderzeeuw, Chowder, War Iron, Hollow Leg, Crawl, Desolation, Ketea, Sludgethrone, Vulture, Wolfpussy and The Departure. That is some bang for your buck!!!
All proceeds go to the Ed Barnard homeless fund so it is a very worthy cause. Thanks to all the bands involved and to Tim Davis who worked so hard putting all of this together. Head toBANDCAMPnow to get your download.
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 25th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
…Actually, it’s probably somewhat less than 200 by now. Leeds sludge metallers Wizard’s Beard sent over word today that they’re offering 200 free downloads through Bandcamp of their first album, last year’s Pure Filth (review here). The silhouette-ready foursome released the blistering Four Tired Undertakers (review here) earlier in 2012 on Altsphere, but if you haven’t heard the first record yet, there’s nothing like a free download to help get caught up. Here’s what they had to say about it:
Our first album Pure Filth is now available for free download from Bandcamp. There is however only 200 downloads available…..so be quick!
Posted in Reviews on March 15th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Listening to Leeds four-piece Wizard’s Beard’s first outing, 2011’s Pure Filth, there was no mystery as to their mission. The record (review here) was a disaffected output of sludge metal malevolence; it set a course for hate and did not waver in its aggressive onslaught for the full 32-minute runtime. Just months later, Wizard’s Beard return with a full-length some 20-plus minutes longer, Four Tired Undertakers (Altsphere Productions), an album that furthers their sludgy cause with six tracks of ultra-pissed screaming, riffing and crashing that’s neither for the uninitiated, nor the faint of heart, nor the sober. The guitars of Craig Jackson have grown thicker in tone, and that only helps bolster the attack behind Chris Hardy’s vicious, metal-style screaming, and while just like if you play space rock, someone’s going to compare you to Hawkwind, if you play slow and scream, someone’s going to compare you to EyeHateGod, the reality of the situation is Wizard’s Beard are less punk-based and more metal than that band ever became, and Four Tired Undertakers may have some of that influence – I’d argue it does, whether direct or as filtered through other acts who had it – is nowhere near as raw as the New Orleans sludge progenitors’ formative or even later works. It’s a different kind of groove, more aware of the genre in which it resides and not necessarily content to stay within those confines – because there’s nothing about Four Tired Undertakers that sounds content really on any level – but not yet fully in a position stylistically to weave into and between them.
The crux of the album is the aggression, though, no doubt about it. Wizard’s Beard offer no quarter for subtlety as they pummel and drive these six songs into listeners’ skulls. It’s not a pretty process and it’s not supposed to be, and it’s not long before opener “Subrise el Muerto” establishes what will become the almost completely unipolar burn of which Four Tired Undertakers is comprised. Jackson riffs out in mostly familiar doomed diligence while drummer Dan Clarke punctuates and crashes behind, riding the groove even as much as he’s helping set it. Bassist Neil Travers offers periodic backing vocals, coming on as a lower growl to supplement Hardy’s higher-register nastiness on “Abandon the Wolf” and elsewhere, and the whole atmosphere of the album feels like burning. 53 minutes is a long time to keep that up, and Wizard’s Beard set themselves to precisely that task, varying some in pace – the mega-slowdown later into “Abandon the Wolf” being especially effective in this regard – if not in mindset. It’s an engaging blend, as far as this kind of music is allowed to engage. As “Abandon the Wolf” transitions directly and smoothly into the upbeat beginning of longer third cut “Daemon,” which spends the first three of its total nine and a half minutes in a faster push, Clarke even getting some time on double-kick, before once more being consumed by a slower, tidal sway. Hardy’s scream is adaptable to whatever speed of riff it tops, and follows the rhythm of the music closely while also offering some intricacy of cadence, particularly when Travers gets involved, as he does just before the slowdown in “Daemon.”
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 6th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Kudos to Lee and company from the mighty The Sleeping Shaman blog for having the fortitude of server to withstand the onslaught that a new Wizard’s Beard song stream brings. The ne’er-do-well sludgers have a new album, Four Tired Undertakers (review forthcoming), up for release this week, and The Sleeping Shaman are hosting the song “Seeth Inside” here if you’ve got a couple minutes and want to check it out. Obviously I’d recommend doing so.
If you’d like to know more about the band, Wizard’s Beard were kind enough to answer Six Dumb Questions back in September. Four Tired Undertakers is available for pre-order here.
Of all the records I’ve encountered thus far into 2011, Wizard’s Beard‘s Pure Filth might be the most aptly named. It’s more of a mission statement for the Leeds four-piece, and they live up to it every bit of the way. The outfit’s first full-length, initially self-released, was picked up for wider issue through the respectable PsycheDOOMelic Records.
That in itself is a worthy endorsement for the ethic of Wizard’s Beard, but their extreme sludge earns respect on its own the whole way across Pure Filth. They don’t veer from their approach in any significant way, instead challenging the listener with a nastiness of sound that few approach, as if to find out just how much you can take before you give into their assault. Their songs don’t swagger so much as they stab.
With a follow-up to Pure Filth already recorded — no word on whether it’s called Riffy Fuckall in keeping with the “doing what they say and saying what they do” idea of the debut — the time seemed right to learn more about Wizard’s Beard‘s origins, plans, and European tour where they sold seats in their van to anyone who wanted to join them on the road. Guitarist Craig Jackson was kind enough to field the interview.
Wizard’s Beard is Jackson alongside vocalist Chris Hardy, bassist/backing vocalist Neil Travers and drummer Dan Clarke. Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:
1.Tell me about how the band got together. Where did the name Pure Filth come from for the record, and how did you wind up signing to PsycheDOOMelic?
Well, me and Trav used to be in another band together, and when we called it a day the two of us decided we wanted to stick together and start something new. We both had the same idea to do something slower and dirtier than before…. so that’s exactly what we did.
We shouted around for a drummer and Dan was quick to offer his services.
Then all we needed was vocals. I’d been a huge fan of Agent of the Morai when they were around and I knew Chris hadn’t been doing anything since then. I got a fairly enthusiastic response when I asked him to join us… I think he’d been getting withdrawal symptoms from being a lunatic with a microphone!
Pure Filth came about simply because that’s what we set out to do. Make slow horrible filthy music. We have no intention of bringing in any beautiful melodies or wanky guitar solos. We’re here to play big fat dirty riffs, that’s it.
The PsycheDOOMelic thing came out of the blue to be honest. We were putting the album out ourselves so I’d been shouting about it all over the forums and wherever I could, and putting the track “Paint the Skies” up everywhere. When it had been out for about four days, [Hegedus] Mark from PsycheDOOMelic got in touch to ask if he could stock it. When he found out we’d released it ourselves he asked if we’d consider releasing it through PsycheDOOMelic, and that was that!
2. How did the writing process for the album go, and how was the time in the studio? When were the songs written? How long were you in the studio?
I already had all the songs written for the album with exception of “TheAlbatross.” They’d been written for a while and were just waiting to be used. “Albatross,” was differently based and came about when we just started jamming in the rehearsal room. As we were jamming the main riff I started coming up with small variants on it in my head and start to work out an idea for the structure. I went home and finalised it all and we went back in and put it together. It turned out to be my favourite song on the album too. We recorded demos for each of the songs beforehand and passed them to Chris and he wrote his lyrics away from rehearsals. When Trav was doing his backing vocals in the studio he was learning them there and then.
We were only in the studio for two days on this one so we had to blast through it. Out of 48 hours in the weekend, we were in the studio for 26. It was fairly intense but we all picked our poison to help us through (whisky, beer, cigarettes, pot noodles… cake!). Ross [Halden] at Ghost Town put some serious time and effort in to help us get it done, he’s a major part in how that recording turned out.
3. I thought I read you have a follow-up already written? How does it compare to the first album?
Not only is it written, but it is now officially recorded. Just with Fragment Mastering getting finished off now! It’s due for release around March 2012, more details to follow in October with an announcement regarding who’s releasing it, too.
It’s quite a bit darker than the last. It runs around 50 minutes too, so it’s a good chunk longer than the other, despite only having one track more. We had it around the hour mark but cut a song in the studio, as it just didn’t sit right at the time. The album flows a lot better as it is. I’d say it’s a hell of a lot heavier than Pure Filth too.
First two days in the studio we’re a living hell, but I reckon that’s added to the mood, ha ha! The album is called Four Tired Undertakers, keep your ear to the ground for more info.
4. Tell me about the upcoming tour of Europe. You’re bringing people along with you in the van? Is this just some evil trick to get them to work your merch table?
Ha ha! Well it was more out of necessity, but in the end it’s shaping up pretty damn good. Essentially, we had to hire a van for the European leg of the tour. The van and driver is £100 a day. Now I’m not sure if you realise how much money we make doing this, but it’s somewhere in the region of nothing and less than nothing! So the £700 was a lot to us, on top of petrol and ferry fees… So, we figured, three extra seats, who wants to chip in and come on holiday with a set of idiots like us! Turned out Matt [Faragher] from Tree of Sores, Sam [Read] from Foetal Juice and our good friend and regular cameraman Jez (we may have to supervise any camera related goings on while on this adventure!). So we’ve got a good bunch.
Matt has offered to man the merch table for us though. I think it’s mainly so he can sell Tree of Sores merch!
5. Do you know yet when and where you’ll record the next album, and when it’ll be out?
With regards to the release, we can’t really reveal anything at the moment, but details should come out in October and it will be released early next year (sorry, I can’t be more specific right now).
As for where, that was never in doubt. We went back to Ghost Town Studios to record again. We recorded with Ross last time and we couldn’t ask for anymore. He went out of his way for us last time and his knowledge is second to none. He’s always coming up with ideas to try and help us improve what we’re already doing and he just seems to get what we’re trying to do. It’s now with FragmentMastering to get to be finished off. There’s never any problems with Fragment, always quick too.
We genuinely can’t wait to get this one out there. There won’t be quite as quick a turnaround after this album, we’ll be taking more time to tour on it and just play a lot more gigs and enjoy being a live band! Recording two albums in the space of seven months is not as much fun as it sounds!
6. Any other plans or closing words you want to mention?
Well we’ve got quite a few gigs lined up besides the tour, including supporting Ufomammut who are without a doubt one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen, so that really is a pleasure.
I’d just like to thank everyone who’s bought any merch or being to see us live, we really do appreciate the support and we’ve had a lot of it.
The doom/sludge scene over here at the moment is thriving and there’s so many good bands about. Undersmile are a band you’ve really got to check out, they have such a unique and creepy sound! Our friends in Wiht and Tree of Sores need to be given a listen too. Then there’s all the other quality bands on these shores like Slabdragger, Conan, Dopefight, DeadExistence, WetNuns and of course the amazing Palehorse. We’re playing ‘Kin Hell Fest in Leeds in November and the lineup is ridiculous (Ingested, Astrohenge, Khuda, The Afternoon Gentlemen, Diascorium, Foetal Juice, The Atrocity Exhibit and more!), for those of you over here, get down! Filth Fest in October too is just a monstrous day of sludge/doom and whatever other filth is going on.
We’ve so much to look forward to and we hope to see as many of you as possible when we’re out and about.
Posted in Reviews on July 26th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Sometimes bands lay it all on the table, and you know exactly what you’re getting before you even put the disc on. Such is the case with UK collective Wizard’s Beard, whose vicious sludge coats even the name of their PsycheDOOMelic debut, Pure Filth. If ever the tag “as advertised” applied anywhere, it applies here. The Leeds four-piece top nasty, sometimes angular, riffing and crashing with throat-burning screams, and seem to keep the Pure Filth ethic in mind at all times. In the case of centerpiece track, “Parasite,” their abrasiveness borders on unlistenable, but there seems to be just enough underlying groove throughout the album to keep Wizard’s Beard from tipping over into absolute mayhem. That’s not to say they’re writing songs with catchy choruses or hooks to draw the listener in, or even meeting accessibility halfway somehow – because they’re not – just that if you follow the riff, you might be able to come out of these five tracks with your face still attached to your skull.
The last several years have seen a new league of sludgers take influence from the Southern progenitors of the genre – you know the list – and push the sound into more extreme territory, and Wizard’s Beard seem to do likewise, most especially in the screaming of vocalist Chris Hardy. Where elder sludge had its basis in hardcore punk or crossover, Hardy’s wrenching shout – one can almost hear the phlegm curdling in the back of his mouth – is more purely metallic, or might not sound out of place topping some blastbeat-laden grindcore instead of the numbingly slow Pure Filth closer “The Albatross.” The hate-fest begins immediately with opener “Paint the Skies,” as Hardy tops the beer-chugging riffs of guitarist Craig Jackson and bassist Neil Travers leads a break with drummer Dan Clarke that’s hardly long enough for one to recover from the pummeling Wizard’s Beard have just delivered. Like a lot of Pure Filth, “Paint the Skies” relies on one central figure riff and bases other parts around that, but the repetition is all the more setup for the bridge here, which is slower, more rung out, and finds Travers adding a growl to Hardy’s screams that only bolsters the extremity.