Posted in Whathaveyou on May 23rd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
The European fall festival scene continues to develop with the news that Up in Smoke 2016 in Switzerland has brought YOB, John Garcia, Fatso Jetson and Giöbia to its already-considerable lineup with Electric Wizard, Pentagram, Truckfighters, Greenleaf and so on. Similar to watching the spring Desertfests in Berlin and London take shape, it continues to be fascinating to watch Up in Smoke 2016 and the several fests on weekends in close proximity — Desertfest in Athens and Belgium as well as Keep it Low in Munich — as they come together, which bands will be shared between them, whose tours are we waiting to see announced (looking at you, Fatso Jetson), and what ultimately will be the crux of each.
Interesting to have it work out like this, with fests on consecutive weekends in different areas throughout Europe. I think it only makes everybody’s product stronger, and I just hope that an indoor two-dayer like Up in Smoke 2016 can continue to distinguish itself as it has thus far.
From the PR wire:
UP IN SMOKE 2016! Sept. 30th / Oct. 1st … John Garcia, Yob, Fatso Jetson & Giöbia added to the line-up!
Here we go, the next 4 bands added to the most outstanding Heavy Rock Line-up Switzerland have ever seen before!!!
Taking place on September 30th and October 1st 2016, in our dear Z7 Konzertfabrik (Pratteln / near Basel / Dreiländereck) this year’s edition will feature John Garcia (X Kyuss with full band show, new album and surely some Kuyss classics in the pocket), the crushing doom metal trio Yob, the legendary Desert Rock Godfather Mario Lalli with his Fatso Jetson and Italian acid/space rock outfit Giöbia, alongside previously announced Electric Wizard, Pentagram, Truckfighters, Elder, Cough, Greenleaf, Monkey3, 1000Mods, Yawning Man, Wucan, Desert Mountain Tribe, Noon and Ephedra.
Also not to forget: No overlapping set times, sleep over/breakfast possibiity in the venue + some more specials to be announced soon to sweeten you the “TWO NOT TO BE MISSED DAYS OF VOLUME WORSHIP” !!! Grab your ticket (2-day passes) right now on our website, on www.z-7.ch and on our Facebook (tab ‘Buy Tickets’). If you prefer to buy an original, real hard-ticket, our partner Woolheads is selling them!
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 17th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
It’s a considerable update from the camp of Desertfest Belgium 2016, so I won’t delay too much before letting you have at it — if anyone reads this stuff anyway — but before you jump in, take special note that the following seven bands have been added to the festival as a “build-up” to its first headliner announcement. That means that while YOB, Pentagram, Torche, Elder, My Sleeping Karma, Castle, etc., will play Desertfest Belgium 2016, none of them are actually among the three-day festival’s headlining acts. Very curious to see what that first headliner announcement will bring, but in the meantime, anywhere that brings in YOB and Elder on the same weekend is the place to be that weekend.
The build-up towards our first headliner announcement continues with a batch of no less than SEVEN new names for the 2016 Desertfest Antwerp line-up… We’re pretty certain that the Oregon Doom Institution YOB requires no further introduction, and the formidable trio of melodic doom rockers ELDER, German Nautik Doom outsiders AHAB and sludge nihilists COUGH are sure to delight any Desertfester worth their salt. Rounding off we have Hangman’s Chair from Paris and Castle for more doom/sludge badass-ness, and the shamanic grooves of Tau throws in a fresh if deeply psychedelic vibe.
We hope you like what we have on offer here, and just remember: this is still all just the beginning of much more goodness to come!
YOB – The ethereal mists of Eugene, Oregon no doubt provide the perfect catalyst for founding member and vocalist Mike Scheidt to call up the signature of surging doom that has brought YOB to their current position as one of the most respected and revered bands in all of heavy metal. Their latest outing ‘Clearing The Path To Ascend’ (2014) was hailed as the crowning achievement for a band whose journey now nears 2 decades of creating cathartic music that demands the full attention of mind, body, and soul.
Elder – Elder melds the familiar sounds of Sleep‘s colossal riffage with an ever-evolving vision of soaring melodies and sonic soundscapes. The songs on their 3rd album ‘Lore’ cross the heavy rock and doom genre boundaries into krautrock and prog territory. Powered equally by riffs and atmosphere, Elder’s penchant for progressive songwriting and melody shines more brightly than ever, but they still hold true to their original methodology: all heavy, no filler.
Ahab – With their outsider brand of Nautik Doom, AHAB have effectively thrown out all preconceived notions of what doom metal is supposed to be. As much as they can crush the listener into submission with epic arrangements, they can just easily revert to clean breaks and contemplative whispers. Drawing inspiration from books and painting as well as music, AHAB create something that gets into your mind through all levels of reception.
Cough – Cough brings together the most savage aspects of extreme music, from crushing doom metal and grimy sludge to early black metal. We’re anxiously awaiting the June release of ‘Still They Pray’, which must be one of the most anticipated metal albums of 2016 in a production by Electric Wizard’s Jus Oborn. Rest assured that it will fulfill their long-term ambition to remain the heaviest sludge band in existence.
Hangman’s Chair – Somewhere between the dirge of grunge and the grind of doom, you will find the Paris combo Hangman’s Chair. Their world is a place of darkness and cold, but you’ll inevitably be pulled in by its eerie atmosphere. Across 4 full length albums and 3 split albums they’ve toured from Hellfest to Iceland, Russia, Benelux, Germany and Switzerland with the likes of Eyehategod, High On Fire, Crowbar, and The Devil’s Blood.
Tau – The collective project by Shaun Mulrooney (Dead Skeletons) and the Venezuelan multi instrumentalist Gerald Pasqualin was inspired by Shaun’s shamanic experiences in the magical desert of Real De Catorce. This resulted in the deeply psychedelic mind-trip EP ‘Wirikuta’ (recorded with Christoph “Tiger” Bartlett from Kadavar), providing some true Desert music that will shake your senses and spirit.
Castle – Doom-tinged metal outfit Castle will release their 4th album in July 2016. Since their inception in 2009, they have steadily climbed the metal ranks with a succession of critically acclaimed releases. Their live reputation is equally solid, having played hundreds of shows worldwide alongside The Sword, Conan, Intronaut and Pentagram and festivals like Roadburn and the London and Berlin Desertfests.
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 20th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
In the fine tradition of, well, last year’s Psycho fest, 2016’s Psycho Las Vegas has announced an overwhelmingly impressive initial group of acts for its lineup, including some of the finest North America has to offer and choice imports. Notable in that category are Candlemass, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Colour Haze, Mars Red Sky, Belzebong, Øresund Space Collective and The Cosmic Dead, and they’re joined by returning figureheads Sleep and Pentagram, who headlined the 2015 Psycho California fest, along with YOB, Down, Mudhoney, Acid King, Fu Manchu and a whole host of others listed below.
The truly insane part about Psycho Las Vegas is that, like last year with Psycho California, the lineup is staggered, so this isn’t it. On Valentines Day, the festival will announce its full lineup of acts, which I’m just going to go out on a limb and assume includes everyone else on earth, and then after that, in March, they’ll follow up again with the headliners. So what we learn today is that 2015’s headliners will have someone playing over them. I don’t know who, or how that could be possible, but you can bet your ass I’m anxious to find out.
All the details so far unveiled about Psycho Las Vegas, as well as the link to purchase tickets, appear below:
PSYCHO LAS VEGAS 2016
Neon Knights arrive and ignite the the city of light in a sleepless celebration of heavy culture. High rollin’ low lifes will low roll the high life at the world famous Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in “Sin City”, Las Vegas. For three straight days, from August 26th through the 28th, born losers win as Psycho Las Vegas holds a rock steady hand of bands, performance artists, tattoo artists, art exhibits, a black light chamber, custom van and chopper show, pinball arcade, and much more.
Psycho Las Vegas sins and grins two blocks south of the strip at the expansive Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The high-octane Rock ‘n’ Roll-themed casino resort hosts three stages; The Joint, which is a main stage, Vinyl, the rock club and out under the desert night sky is the second main stage, The Pool Stage. Experience live music, 24 hours a day.
In between bands and bets, ride outside to the venue’s open lot and witness the most bitchin’ rides this side of Death Valley at Psycho’s first ever custom van and chopper show!
Psycho Las Vegas features some of the most revered screen printed poster artwork with an exclusive exhibition from commissioned Psycho Las Vegas artist David D’Andrea. D’andrea, who returns to Psycho for a second year, created all the official festival artwork. Attendees will be able to eternally commemorate the event on their own walls with signed, limited edition works from D’Andrea.
Psycho Las Vegas acts and events were co-curated with music scene stalwart Sean “Pellet” Pelletier. (“Last Days Here” documentary) “Thief Present’s ‘Psycho’ festivals are visionary and have consecutively been the number one music event I’ve want to attend since they’ve started”, said Pellet. “I’ve been dreaming about putting on a cool culture and music festival for quite some time and I jumped at the chance to help us all go psycho in Las Vegas! The event is a celebration of subculture and a spiritual gateway for all of us into sonically connected sub-genres of heavy rock that hopefully, some of which, may be new to our senses. I’m booking bands that I’ve always personally wanted to see and have requested setlists that we’ve all wanted to hear.”
Among the first string of live acts announced will be hard rock legends, BLUE OYSTER CULT with a set heavy on their early songs that have inspired so many great bands over the years. Mark Arm and Steve Turner, also both of Green RIver-fame, will remind us why MUDHONEY are heralded as essential grandfathers of grunge. English psych rock pioneer, THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN returns to America with a performance sure to highlight where groundbreaking artists such as Kiss, Alice Cooper, and Ghost may have gotten some of their ideas. We’ve reunited proto-metal masters TRUTH AND JANEY who will appear for an exclusive live set to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their underground classic debut, “No Rest For The Wicked”! “A Band Called Death” documentary film stars DEATH, pulsate the pool stage and will show us why they are finally considered one of the first Detroit punk bands. Germany’s top psychedelic stoners COLOUR HAZE have chosen the festival for a rare US manifestation that’s sure rise us all high above the neon. Swedish doom metal ministers CANDLEMASS come crushing in yet another one of Psycho Las Vegas’s special performances. Stay tuned for the announcement of even more acts, over 60 in total, over the next few months.
Thief presents Friday, August 26, 2016 at 12:00 PM – Sunday, August 28, 2016 at 12:00 AM (PDT) Las Vegas, NV
SLEEP BLUE ÖYSTER CULT CANDLEMASS DOWN THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN MUDHONEY COLOUR HAZE PENTAGRAM FU MANCHU ACID KING DEATH (Detroit) YOB BELZEBONG ORESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE DANAVA TRUTH AND JANEY GOLDEN VOID JUCIFER BONGRIPPER MARS RED SKY A STORM OF LIGHT CAVE OF SWIMMERS THE COSMIC DEAD
ACCOMMODATIONS Join the bands and crew at the Hard Rock Hotel & use the code: Psych16 at checkout to recieve 30% off your rooms.
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 11th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
What, like I’m gonna say something that could possibly make this news any better? It’s fucking YOB and Black Cobra touring together. That should and probably will be enough to reaffirm your belief in a universe composed of something more than bummers. Thanks, Nanotear Booking. YOB of course are out supporting last year’s stellar Clearing the Path to Ascend (review here), and this will be their second full-month of US touring behind their seventh album and Neurot Recordings debut, while if Black Cobra have ever stopped touring since about seven or eight years ago, well, I haven’t seen news about it.
According to reputable sources (read: the comments, though this particular commenter would know), Black Cobra have finished recording with Torche bassist Jon Nunez for the follow-up to 2011’s blistering Invernal (review here), so maybe this is the tour by which they’ll begin to bludgeon audiences with new material live. Only way to find out is to show up. In the meantime, YOB are also heading to Australia next week for a run presented by Life is Noise, and they play North West Hesh Fest (info here) at the end of the month — so what it all works out to is everybody’s very busy one way or another.
This just happens to be a particularly awesome way to keep busy:
YOB headlining North American tour w/ Black Cobra
Pacific Northwestern psychedelic doom bringers, YOB, will bring their sonic enormity to stages this Fall on a lengthy North American headlining trek. Slated to commence on October 22nd in Boise, Idaho and conclude on November 21st in Oakland, California, the trio will quake the stages of over two dozen venues including a special performance at this year’s edition of Philip H. Anselmo’s Housecore Horror Fest in San Antonio, Texas. Support will come from San Francisco volume dealers, Black Cobra. Tickets go on sale this Friday, August 14th.
10/22 – Boise, ID – Neurolux 10/23 – Salt Lake City, UT – Area 51 10/24 – Denver, CO – Hi-Dive 10/25 – Lincoln, NE – Bourbon Theater 10/26 – off 10/27 – St Paul, MN – Turf Club 10/28 – Madison, WI – High Noon w/Jex Thoth 10/29 – Chicago, IL – Reggies w/Acid King 10/30 – Newport, KY – Southgate House w/Ethicist 10/31 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom 11/01 – Toronto, ON – Mod Club 11/02 – Montreal, QC – Foufounes w/Dopethrone 11/03 – Boston, MA – Brighton 11/04 – off 11/05 – Brooklyn, NY – Bell House 11/06 – Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts 11/07 – New York, NY – Webster Hall (Marlin Room) 11/08 – Baltimore, MD – Metro Gallery 11/09 – Richmond, VA – Strange Matter 11/10 – off 11/11 – Asheville, NC – Tiger Mountain 11/13 – New Orleans, LA – Siberia w/Author & Punisher, Muscle & Marrow 11/14 – Houston, TX – Rudyard’s 11/15 – San Antonio, TX – Housecore Horror Film Festival* 11/16 – off 11/17 – Albuquerque, NM – Sister w/Deafheaven, Tribulation* 11/18 – Tucson, AZ – Club Congress 11/19 – San Diego, CA – Brick by Brick 11/20 – Los Angeles, CA – Echo 11/21 – Oakland, CA – Metro * = no Black Cobra
Posted in Features on July 21st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
[HOW TO ENTER: I’m very sorry but a winner has been picked and this giveaway has ended. The post will remain live for archival purposes. Much thanks to all who entered for being a part of it.]
Last week, I was fortunate enough to be added to the list of sponsors for American Icon Records‘ upcoming North West Hesh Fest in Portland, Oregon, next month. One of the cool things you can do when you’re sponsoring something like a fest is say, “Hey, how about a ticket giveaway?” and not get laughed at. So here we are.
So, enter by leaving a comment on this post — as per usual for giveaways around here — and if you win, I’ll drop you an email. Obviously, the fest being three days next month in Portland, OR, it doesn’t make much sense for anyone either not in or unable to be in the area when it’s happening to enter. If you want to travel, that rules, but neither I nor the fest can really cover your expenses for that. The giveaway is for the passes only.
That said, good luck to all who enter. Weedeater has had to drop off the bill, but American Icon has something in the works for a replacement, and I wouldn’t put it past them to bring in somebody badass. Whoever it is, you can’t beat the price when the price is free.
Info and ticket links follow:
AMERICAN ICON RECORDS***NORTH WEST HESH FEST—-PENTAGRAM-DEAD MOON-YOB-SWEAT LODGE-SCHOOL OF ROCK-FIREBALLS OF FREEDOM-P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S.
Dante’s 350 West Burnside, Portland, Oregon 97209
Thursday Aug 27 $25 Pre/ $30 Dos PENTAGRAM
Friday Aug 28 – $25 Pre/$30 Dos DEAD MOON-FIREBALLS OF FREEDOM P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S-THE LAST DANCERS-DRC3
Saturday Aug 29-$20 Pre/ $25 Dos YOB-TBA-SWEAT LODGE -DIESTO SCHOOL OF ROCK-DJ NATHAN CARSON
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 13th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
I’m thrilled to announce today that The Obelisk has been added as a sponsor of the North West Hesh Fest next month at Dante’s in Portland, Oregon. A three-day fest with Dead Moon, Pentagram and YOB as headliners, it’s put together by Austin-based American Icon Records, also known for the Heavy Metal Parking Lot at SXSW and which has released vinyl from Sweat Lodge, The Motel Ball Band and Teenage News, among others.
Sweat Lodge will also play North West Hesh Fest. The complete lineup is Pentagram, Dead Moon, DRC3, P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S., The Last Dancers, Fireballs of Freedom, School of Rock, Diesto, Sweat Lodge, Weedeater and YOB, and Nathan Carson (Witch Mountain and Nanotear Booking) will DJ the Saturday night gig.
Looks like a killer time out west. We’re in talks of doing a ticket giveaway leading up to the thing, so keep an eye out for that in the next couple weeks, and it’ll be particularly interesting to see what new material Pentagram — whose recently announced new album Curious Volume is due out Aug. 28 — bring to the stage to go along with their classic set regulars.
Thanks to North West Hesh Fest for inviting me to be a part of the fest and having this site involved. More to come in the next several weeks, but here’s the announcement from the fest of The Obelisk coming on board and ticket links for those who like to be ahead of the game:
AMERICAN ICON RECORDS-NORTH WEST HESH FEST
WELCOMES THE OBELISK AS ONE OF OUR SPONSORS! CHECK OUT THEIR AWESOME SITE. TONS OF GREAT INSIGHT ABOUT UP AND COMING BANDS AND AWESOME METAL-DOOM-STONER NEWS!
Thursday Aug 27 $25 Pre/ $30 Dos PENTAGRAM
Friday Aug 28 – $25 Pre/$30 Dos DEAD MOON-FIREBALLS OF FREEDOM P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S-THE LAST DANCERS-DRC3
Saturday Aug 29-$20 Pre/ $25 Dos YOB-WEEDEATER-SWEAT LODGE -DIESTO SCHOOL OF ROCK-DJ NATHAN CARSON
Mostly around here I concentrate on albums. Best albums of the year. Best albums of the decade. Still, kind of on a whim this morning I was thinking about the shape of heavy of the last half-decade — or rather, the shapes of it.
Different scenes moving in various directions, the emergence of the Pacific Northwest as a hotbed, the growth of West Coast psych and how in-conversation that seems to be both with California’s skater past and the current European market, itself branched out between heavy psych and ’70s traditionalism, which has also begun to take root throughout the US while, at the same time, a new generation has come up to embrace full-on stoner riffing and/or desert rock ideals.
While I have my album lists going back six years to refer to, this time around, I was wondering specifically about individual songs from the same era. What are the best songs from the last five years?
It’s not always the best album that has the best single piece of work on it, so it seemed worth asking the question separately.
Me, I go in for epics: YOB‘s “Marrow” (2014), Ancestors‘ “First Light” (2012), Colour Haze‘s “Grace” (2012), Hypnos 69‘s “The Great Work” (2011), Witch Mountain‘s “Can’t Settle” (2014), Elder‘s “Lore” (2015) definitely is worth having in the conversation, Solace‘s “From Below” (2010), Grayceon‘s “We Can” (2011), and so on.
But then you have Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats‘ “I’ll Cut You Down,” which has had a massive influence since it came out in 2011. And what about a cut like Clutch‘s “D.C. Sound Attack,” or Goatsnake‘s “Grandpa Jones,” or Graveyard‘s “Ain’t Fit to Live Here,” or Mars Red Sky‘s “Strong Reflection?” Does a track have to be long to make an impact? What if there’s a perfectly-executed two-minute verse/chorus trade? Shouldn’t that also be considered?
I guess that’s the question.
We haven’t done one of these in a while, so I’m hoping you’ll take the time to add your answers and picks for the best songs of the last five years 2010-2015 in the comments to this post. I know we’re not through 2015 yet, but we’re just trying to have some fun anyway.
Thanks to all who take the time to leave a note in the comments below.
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
YOB undertaking the considerable voyage to Australia has been a while in the making. About two and a half years ago, there was word they were heading out that way with Elder and teaming, on arrival, with Beastwars, from New Zealand, for a round of shows. Seems fitting that they go, now, in support of their best album to date, last year’s Clearing the Path to Ascend (review here), and have that much more anticipation ahead of them. The Eugene, Oregon, trio will also be at Maryland Deathfest later this month, alongside their Neurot Recordings labelmates in Ufomammut and Neurosis, among the requisite ton of others.
The Australian tour is presented by Life is Noise, who sent the following announcement down the PR wire:
YOB (USA) Australian Tour August 2015
life is noise is proud to present the Australian debut of one of the finest doom metal bands in the world: Yob.
In 2014, Yob released the best doom metal album of the year. Universally praised, Clearing the Path to Ascend topped Rolling Stone’s list of the best metal albums and was critically lauded by everyone from Pitchfork to The New York Times. Never has doom metal been at the forefront of the public consciousness like this, and it’s easy to see why: though it’s come almost two decades into their existence, Yob have made not just the best album of their career – they’ve made what will come to be regarded as one of the defining records in the pantheon of doom metal.
Which is not to say any of this came easy. Few bands hit their creative stride after seven records and almost twenty years, and Yob’s recording career has led them to stints with Metal Blade and Profound Lore before settling at their current home with spiritual siblings Neurosis at their label Neurot Recordings. The Neurosis comparison is obvious, but for every moment of earth-shaking post-metal, there are flourishes of old-school, soul-crushing sorrow that hark back to Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus; for every Earth-like meditation, there’s a measured catharsis of energy that recalls the explosive sludge of Melvins.
What makes Clearing the Path to Ascend such a landmark record is its stellar two-track second half. While the album’s opening act bathes in layers of funereal dirge and existential dread, its penultimate and closing tracks mark one of the genre’s finest half-hours as the trio push through to the other side of hell. With every repetition, Mike Scheidt’s riffs grow all the more hypnotic, his pious incantations ever-more compelling. Yob have succeeded where many of their contemporaries fail, imbuing the oft-tired tropes of a monolithic genre with untold emotion and transcendent zeal. This is doom metal reborn.
Yob’s live show is everything you’d want from a power trio. From frenetic riffs and furious drumming to slow, crushing doom, a Yob gig is less a performance and more a communal brain-fuck. They hold their audience transfixed with brief moments of brooding, atmospheric, almost ambient respite, before pulverising them with a massive, brutal crush of noise.
Witness Yob on their first ever Australian tour on the following dates:
Perth – August 19 – Rosemount Hotel Melbourne – August 21 – Max Watt’s Sydney – August 22 – Manning Bar Brisbane – August 23 – Crowbar