10 Days of SHoD XIII, Pt. 6: Doctor Smoke Go to Tape

Posted in Features, On the Radar on October 31st, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Part of the appeal of attending any festival worthy of the name is getting introduced to bands you might not have heard or encountered before, and when it comes to the lineup for this year’s Stoner Hands of Doom, which is set to run from Nov. 7-10 at Strange Matter in Richmond, Virginia, the riffy four-piece Doctor Smoke immediately caught my eye. I can’t help it. Not one week goes by that I don’t still wind up with the chorus to the closing track of Swedish trio Asteroid‘s first album stuck in my head: “Doctor Smoke… Doctor Smoke/Life is but a joke to Doctor Smoke.” Seriously, that album came out in 2007. I’m kind of surprised it took so long for a band to take the name.

Doctor Smoke play Friday night, Nov. 8, at SHoD XIII, sharing the evening’s bill with It’s Not Night: It’s Space, Gozu, Weed is Weed, Order of the Owl, Freedom Hawk and others. It’s a considerable evening to play, and Doctor Smoke have an admirable slot on the strength of their debut four-track demo, aptly-titled Demo 2013, which was released at the end of August. Sure enough, Demo 2013 makes an impression, and the four-piece of guitarist/vocalist Matt Tluchowski, lead guitarist Steve Lehocky, bassist Cody Cooke and drummer Dave Trikones offer a surprisingly cohesive, nigh-on-slick take on modern stoner metal, nodding at cult rock but never really taking it past “we watch horror movies” level, which is likely for the best.

Certainly it serves the material well. The swaggering opener “The Willow” darkens up heavy ’70s riffage, and the drive is modern, with Tluchowski‘s wizard doom vocals adding a modern edge somewhere between Kyle Thomas on the first Witch record and, on “Blood and Whiskey,” Billy Corgan‘s mid-’90s snarl. The dynamic between his and Lehocky‘s guitars accounts for a lot of the immediacy in Doctor Smoke‘s material — tradeoffs between leads and riffs are traditional, but well done — though Cooke and Trikones make their presence felt both on the slower “The Seeker” and the Pentagram cover, “Sign of the Wolf,” which closes Demo 2013 in appropriate and chugging fashion.

As they also prepare for Stoner Hands of Doom XIII, Doctor Smoke are looking past the demo as well and have plans to start recording their debut full-length completely analog at The Bombshelter Studio in Nashville (not to be confused with TruckfightersStudio Bombshelter). In order to help with the cost of going to tape, the foursome have started an Indiegogo campaign and are past the halfway mark on their goal of $3,000. It’s a pretty bold move for a band without a record out to hit up fans like that, but considering they’ve already got four takers on the $200 “We’ll write a special song just for you” contribution, obviously they inspire a good deal of loyalty in their listeners. At this rate, they might have enough material for a sophomore outing before they’ve even finished their debut.

Doctor Smoke, Demo 2013

Stoner Hands of Doom XIII

Doctor Smoke Indiegogo campaign

Doctor Smoke on Thee Facebooks

Doctor Smoke on Bandcamp

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Vincebus Eruptum Issue No. 16: The Wizard and the Swirl

Posted in Reviews on October 31st, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Italian ‘zine Vincebus Eruptum continues to impress with its dedication. When it comes to issue number 16, the interviews with Colour Haze, Sula Bassana, Blood Ceremony, Church of Misery and Telstar Sound Drone are cool enough, but I think the most telling thing about the passion driving the publication is in the letter from editor Davide “Davidew” Pansolin. He gives a pretty basic rundown of what’s happening with the “Vincebus Eruptum Cultural Association” — which is awesome — but more than that, he plugs the album release for Vista Chino, which would’ve been coming out as the issue was finalized.

That doesn’t seem like a huge deal, right? I suppose it’s not, and that’s precisely the point. Pansolin didn’t need to plug the Vista Chino release. He gains nothing by having done so, but instead of ignoring it or just having an album review in with the bevvy of others, he calls it, “a key event for any heavy-psych head who kept following this genre for 20 years.” He’s absolutely right. It was a huge question mark as to whether or not John Garcia and Brant Bjork would be able to pull off a return to the desert rock spirit of Kyuss with that record, but that he’d come out of nowhere like that and bring it up, it lets you know how important he really feels marking the “event” is, how much it means to him personally.

Especially from a self-made ‘zine, that kind of human passion is ridiculously admirable, because the issue itself — all Vincebus Eruptum‘s issues, really — stand 100 percent in testament as the realization of it. They are that passion made product. It’s something I strive for with this site and do so precisely because I admire it so much in people like Pansolin, in Walter Roadburn, in my wife, in Scott Small Stone, and so many others. Every time I get to read a new batch of reviews from Pansolin and his crew, it makes me want to listen to music, to buy new albums and hear new things, expose myself to something I haven’t heard before.

And this time, particularly in the reviews section, amid a tapestry of European acts — of course Italy is well represented as always, with Black RainbowsBlizzard of Lizard, Doomraiser, Giobia and others, including plenty from Go Down Records — it’s encouraging to see a number of American bands, whether it’s The Freeks, Dali’s Llama, Geezer, Luder or Naam. Could it be that American heavy psych is gaining recognition in the European scene?

I’m always glad to check out the next issue of Vincebus Eruptum and I look forward to digging deeper into these interviews and reviews, but at this point, the ‘zine itself is just a part of what they do. Vincebus Eruptum Recordings has a number of limited vinyl releases in the works from the likes of Sendelica (who are also reviewed in this issue), Da Captain Trips and the The Grand Astoria offshoot, Organic is Orgasmic, and more in the works.

The bottom line is the same, though, whether it’s the mag itself or the label, and it’s that Vincebus Eruptum is an enterprise fueled by love of music and love of heavy psych particularly, and it continues to set a standard worthy of aspiration.

Blizzard of Lizard, “The Rage Blooms in My Soul” from Blizzard of Lizard (2013)

Vincebus Eruptum Recordings

Vincebus Eruptum

Vincebus Eruptum on Thee Facebooks

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Eye of the Stoned Goat 4 Coming to Boston; Sixty Watt Shaman Reunion and More Confirmed

Posted in Visual Evidence on October 31st, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Well, this is convenient. Now a two-day fest, the Eye of the Stoned Goat 4 is coming to Allston, MA, and is set for May 3-4 at O’Brien’s Pub. I think I can safely say this will be the least amount of driving I will have ever done to get to a festival. And while that’s not as appealing as the the fact that Sixty Watt Shaman are doing a reunion set or that I’ll have another chance to check out Beelzefuzz and Curse the Son along with native Boston acts like Summoner, The Scimitar, Cortez and Ichabod, the ease of commute is not to be overlooked. I don’t have a 2014 calendar yet, but once I get one, you can pretty much consider it marked.

Kudos to Brendan Burns, who’s also gearing up to present Stoner Hands of Doom XIII in Virginia next weekend. Check out the poster for the event and the preliminary announcement below. More to come:


Saturday May 3rd- Sunday May 4th 2014
O’Briens Pub / Allston, MA

Tickets On Sale: Jan 1st 2014 9am.

More details as they develop!


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The Obelisk Radio Add of the Week: Los Asteroide, Los Asteroide

Posted in Radio on October 31st, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Judging an album by its cover,  I expected the self-titled debut full-length from Argentinian trio Los Asteroide to explore a heavy psych subtlety à la the post-Colour Haze European sphere. Indeed, there are parts of the instrumental, self-released, nine-track outing that do precisely that — songs like “Rockamuchacha” and the peaceful “El Traición” are at least in part peacefully, serenely noodled and echoing with that particular brand of tonal warmth — but Los Asteroide‘s Los Asteroide isn’t solely indebted to the influence of European heavy psych, and some of the album’s most memorable stretches arrive when the three piece of guitarist Lucas Veccio, bassist Mariano Cerbasi and drummer Alan Mikkelsen lock into a particularly driving groove, like that which emerges in the midsection of 13-minute opener “Houston Tenemos un Problema” (following a long sample of NASA radio chatter) or the later early Queens of the Stone Age-style bounce of “B-612.”

And though it has its quieter moments, it’s more in those starts and stops and takeoff grooves that Los Asteroide establish their sound on their first record, which follows an EP released in 2012. The extended opening track is the longest included (immediate points), but “Lazer” and the wah buildup of “Noveno Mandamiento” showcase no less character on the part of the band, and while a lot of what they do will be familiar or at least accessible to heavy psych heads, has Mikkelsen announces the arrival of the next rolling push with a quick snare fill in “Noveno Mandamiento,” that familiarity doesn’t detract from the appeal. If anything, in context, it makes Los Asteroide all the more a varied act, since they’re no less fluid on the denser riffing of closer “Diez Vikingos” than the earlier, more loosely-packed “Chiva Cosmica,” which has the sizable task of bringing listeners back to reality after the enduring hypnosis of “Houston Tenemos un Problema.”

True, that hypnosis might be all the more prevalent if Los Asteroide (not to be confused with the Swedish trio Asteroid) were to settle some in their sound and dial back some of the rush of “Lazer” or the quick changes in the cowbell-inclusive “Vuelos Espaciales,” but I’m not about to criticize them for what it is that ultimately gives their debut its personality just because the record was something other than what I anticipated when I first checked it out, particularly when a cut like “El Traición” still offers plenty of sunshine in which to bask. Wherever they take their sound — or, depending on how much their approach relies on jamming, wherever their sound takes them — Los Asteroide have a burgeoning stylistic blend at work and I’m glad to have been able to add their first album to The Obelisk Radio.

You can check out Los Asteroide there in regular rotation as part of the 24/7 stream, or get a taste on the Bandcamp player below. Either way, enjoy:

Los Asteroide, Los Asteroide (2013)

Los Asteroide on Thee Facebooks

Los Asteroide on Bandcamp

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Venomous Maximus Debut “Dream Again (Hellenbach)” Picture Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 31st, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Having had occasion to see Texan cult metallers Venomous Maximus this summer at Days of the Doomed III — you might say that’s my ogre-paw wrist and hand at bottom left in the screen-grab above — I can tell you from experience that they’re a band who put genuine effort into their presentation. They celebrated the Napalm Records release of their debut full-length, Beg upon the Light (review here), by going on tour in June around the aforementioned fest, and they brought along photographer Ray Traboulay to make sure it was all properly documented. The results of that partnership between band and camera have been compiled together into a new picture video for the song “Dream Again (Hellenbach),” which I have the pleasure of premiering below.

“Dream Again (Hellenbach)” is one among a slew of catchy high points of the gleefully debauched Beg upon the Light. Guitarist/vocalist Gregg Higgins is at his most commanding, and along with guitarist Christian Larson, bassist Trevi Biles and drummer Bongo Brungardt, Higgins wields a careful balance of classic metal and heavy rock influences, the band winding up indebted to Judas Priest and other NWOBHM axe heroes en route to territory usually reserved for Coven worshipers and preachers of vaguely Sabbathian seance. That blend, in combination with an electric performance ethic, was what helped their reputation spread quickly and garner not just label attention, but a fervent critical and audience response to the album.

Texas hasn’t been short on riffs since ZZ Top were in diapers, but Venomous Maximus bring a spin to their approach that comes off less genre-adherent and more multifaceted than most and than it might at first seem. If you haven’t yet had the chance to get introduced to their classic metallurgy and lunatic swirl, “Hellenbach” makes a hell of a first impression, and Traboulay‘s live shots are an excellent companion to the otherworldly sensibility in the music.

In the PR wire info under the clip, Higgins and Traboulay give some background on the project and the theories that went into it. Please enjoy:

Venomous Maximus, “Dream Again (Hellenbach)” picture video

VENOMOUS MAXIMUS Debut Photo-Video – Announce Contest

 Beg Upon the Light Out Now on Napalm Records

The Texan Dark Heavy Metal outfit VENOMOUS MAXIMUS has already risen to the status of a heavy hitter in the depths of the underground. This was showcased with the release of their debut album Beg Upon The Light earlier this year via Napalm Records.  The album is available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon.

Today the band has released what they are describing as a “photo-video”.  The “photo-video” is set to the song “Dream Again (Hellenbach)”.  With this “photo-video” VENOMOUS MAXIMUS have started a contest to see who can share and spread the video the most online.  The winner will be determined by whomever gets the most shares of their Facebook post or Tweet. The winner of the contest will receive a VENOMOUS MAXIMUS, T-shirt, CD, LP, trucker hat, patch and buttons.”

What exactly is a “photo-video”?  Photographer and artist Ray Traboulay who is responsible for the project explains:

VENOMOUS MAXIMUS is an “experience” or “state of mind” as opposed to a band.  Photographing them proved to be an extremely fluid process as our collective energies aligned with ease.

Capturing their Spiritual energy and inserting it aesthetically into the photograph was achieved through multiple exposure and shutter drag photographic techniques as well as sensing their Kinetic energy seep into my pores. My initial thoughts and emotions after viewing them for the first time were hard to categorize.

After recently photographing Carnival in Trinidad and having an appreciation and respect for the pagan past, I was naturally drawn to them where their lyrical subject matter touch on these occult topics in their own manner.

I hope these photos do justice to the band’s live performance and convey to viewers to the best of my ability what they encompass as individuals and collectively once they hit the stage as a four piece. Once on stage they become a different beast incorporating spiritual elements of The Holy Mountain, Asian Mysticism, Deepak Chopra, and King Diamond are fused together to form their unique brand of Occult Rock.  Infectious, big hooks and relevant subject matter in their lyrical make up…. they’ve got it all as far as modern rock and metal goes, not to mention down to earth and charismatic folk as well.

This is the central axis of Houston’s finest and is a band you want to look out for if you have not already and a band that should be best observed on a full moon.”

Frontman Greg Higgins commented on the photo video as well:

“Hopefully one day we will be able to see and understand things the way Ray captured us in these photographs. Ray has a way of making his photographs where it makes you wish you were there. Even if you’re in the photo it looks better than you remember and makes you want to go back to it.”

Venomous Maximus on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records

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10 Days of SHoD XIII, Pt. 5: Druglord, Enter Venus Limited Tape

Posted in Duuude, Tapes!, Features on October 30th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

You can turn on the “noise reduction” if you want when you’re listening to Richmond trio Druglord‘s new Enter Venus tape, but be warned that if you do, there might not be anything left. The cave-echo sludge three-piece will play Stoner Hands of Doom XIII at Strange Matter in their hometown on Thursday, Nov. 7, with fellow Richmonders Gritter, as well as Compel, Clamfight and others, and they bring a presence to the festival like few others. Released in limited edition by STB Records, Enter Venus follows behind 2011’s Motherfucker Rising (review here) and their 2010 self-titled debut demo (review here), and if I call it their most solidified outing yet, please take that in the appropriate context of viciously misanthropic and lurchingly cavernous sludge. The three-piece band of guitarist/vocalist Tommy Hamilton, bassist Greta Brinkman and drummer Hufknell may be cohesive across the four songs recorded by Windhand‘s Garrett Morris at The Darkroom in Richmond, but their pummel continues molten and unhinged.

Starting with a snare fill from Hufknell, the title-track — third of the four cuts included on Enter Venus and the first on side 2 — is Southern sludge as filtered through a nightmare, but a guitar solo emerges on an almost hopeful note from the morass of distortion and plod. Like everything else in the song’s path, it’s ultimately consumed, but it’s flashes like this that mark out the development in Druglord‘s approach, and the complementing nod is the most hypnotic they’ve concocted to date. Hamilton‘s vocals echo from the depths of the mix, consistent in their approach but not entirely amelodic, and he seems to be setting himself up for more sonic adventurousness their next time out. In his and Brinkman‘s tone, there’s bound to be some similarity to Windhand‘s Soma, the two releases having both been helmed by Morris, but Druglord maintain a more misanthropic resonance from their earlier works, though the lyrics of the songs and the image of Aleister Crowley screenprinted onto the hand-numbered bag in which the cassette arrives do give some impression of vague cultish leanings.

Even so, the crash and drown of opener “Grievous Heaving” — a more than fairly apt description of the song itself — mark out this material as Druglord‘s most encompassing. A sample launches the opener, but the first verse of “Grievous Heaving” is quick to arrive and fittingly malevolent, slow, punishing, and “Feast on the Eye,” which follows as the second half of side 1, is perhaps more atmospheric, but ultimately similarly minded in its dreary course. If one encounters it or any of this material through a player with substantive low end, then a warning is in order. One hardly thinks of tapes as busting woofers or sounding big, but whether it’s Brinkman‘s low end or Hufknell‘s kick, Enter Venus makes a considerable sonic presence for itself and is all the more threatening at loud volumes, the organ that shows up layered into “Feast on the Eye” giving creepy classicism to what’s already a cinematic-feeling horror show.

As I understand it, the Enter Venus tapes are almost gone if they’re not gone already, but even of Druglord don’t have any on hand for SHoD, there will be a vinyl version of Enter Venus coming early in 2014. Think of the cassette as an early warning alert system ahead of that, and hopefully a harbinger of where Druglord‘s continued progression might be leading them for their next outing.

Druglord, “Feast on the Eye” from Enter Venus (2013)

Stoner Hands of Doom XIII

Druglord on Thee Facebooks

Druglord on Bandcamp

STB Records

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Buzzov*en, Corrections House, Lumerians, 40 Watt Sun, New Keepers of the Water Towers and The Body Join Roadburn 2014 Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 30th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

It would seem as though we’ve entered that period of the year when Roadburn just starts throwing down amazing lineup additions at the drop of a hat. A slew of new ones came out today — some even as I was starting this post about them; hello, New Keepers of the Water Towers — and as ever for Roadburn, the 2014 lineup is a monster. To be honest, it was a monster already before today, but between Buzzov*en and Corrections House sets (two from the latter, including solo appearances), return slots for Lumerians and 40 Watt Sun, and debuts for The Body and New Keepers, it’s a landmark afternoon for the fest, which takes place April 10-13, 2014, at 013 in Tilburg, the Netherlands.

Here’s the latest from the Roadburn site:

Buzzov-en’s Rebirth At Roadburn Festival 2014; Headlining The Thursday Roadburn Date, April 10th

Roadburn 2014 is ecstatic to announce that sludge/stoner legends buzzov-en will be making an extremely special performance, headlining the Thursday, Roadburn date, April 10th at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Now remaining original member Kirk Lloyd Fisher (guitar/vox) has re-joined forces with bassist Dixie Dave (Weedeater, Bongzilla, Buzzov*en‘s …At A Loss) and drummer Ashley (To A Frown, Sore) to reform the band and bring them to Europe for the first time ever. Time (and sobriety) may have tempered Buzzov*en‘s shows to be less broken glass and blood filled, but the music remains as potent as ever.

“I’m looking forward to Buzzov*en’s rebirth being at Roadburn. I am gearing up to make our European debut an onslaught of swamp ass guttural delusions. I have started my ascent out of my corner of HELL that caged me. With the help of fellow members Dixie, Ash and Floyd, we have chosen you all to assault first. Welcome to violence fuckers” – Kirk / Dirtkicker.

Corrections House To Hoax The System at Roadburn Festival 2014

Neurosis‘ Scott Kelly has joined up with Mike IX Williams (Eyehategod), Sanford Parker (Minsk / Buried at Sea) and Bruce Lamont (Yakuza / Bloodiest), along with ‘Minister of Propaganda’ Seward Fairbury, to form Corrections House, an end-times collaboration unit and collective, and we here at Roadburn are proud to announce that the members of Corrections House will be playing two sets for us at Roadburn 2014.

Corrections House is a meeting of minds and ideologies that sees all four members incorporating their obvious individual talents and voices but simulatenously carving paths away from the sounds for which they are usually known, with forthcoming debut full-length Last City Zero – following first single Hoax The System – shifting from the tectonic plate-shifting doom and downcast gloom of Kelly‘s usual ouevre into mutated industrial hissing and clanging EBM beats from Parker, squalls and drones of oblique saxophone from Lamont and Williams familiar phlegm-drenched fire-spitting ire and all points between across its length.

Corrections House themselves will be preaching the end-time message with apocalyptical zeal from their righteous pulpit atop the main stage of the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, on Thursday, April 10th, hoaxing the system and smashing out selections from Last City Zero (out on Neurot recordings).

The individual members will play a second show on Friday, April 11th at Het Patronaat, and for this show, Scott Kelly, Mike IX Williams, Sanford Parker and Bruce Lamont will each perform solo material, aided and abetted by a selection of the others as they see fit.

The Body To Plunge Us Into Apocalyptic Darkness at Roadburn Festival 2014

On their latest album, Christs, Redeemers, The Body crafts a template of extreme heaviness, incorporating crushing, downtuned, ultra doom, searing black metal and ravishing grimness with elements of noise, avant-garde composition, and experimental electronic music par excellence.

The duo of Chip King and Lee Buford‘s sprawling, black hole, sonic mystery goes far beyond what is normally considered as crushing, post doom heaviness – the two man pummel advocates a doctrine of misanthropy to those brave enough to gorgeously dwell in crawling, collapsing, soul devouring darkness.

Since their humble origins, back in 2004, as scrappy DIY punk rock noisemakers, King and Buford have evolved and refined their craft in order to absolutely nullify the spirit in the most harsh and violent way sonically possible, pushing their emotive yet harrowing doom into the horrifying unknown.

The Body will plunge us into apocalyptic darkness and bring about the very end of days with devastating assaults of volume and brutal sonic battery on Friday, April 11th at Het Patronaat in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Hypnotic Space-Psych-Funk Cosmonauts Lumerians To Steer Roadburn 2014 Afterburner Into Unknown Galaxies

It makes perfect sense that San Francisco’s spaced-out, hypno-dirge, psych-funk rockers Lumerians will appear at Roadburn 2014 Afterburner on Sunday, April 13th at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Originally starting out as a more straight ahead psychrock band, Lumerians evolved to combine the motorik, kraut-psych punch of Hawkwind and Spacemen 3, soon exploring the same intergalactic territories as their peers, Wooden Shjips and Sleepy Sun and the likes.

Over the years and the course of several LP’s and 12-inches – from Transmalinnia to Horizon Structures and The High Frontier – Lumerians pushed the envelope of all thing psychedelic, and moved more into a more distinctly different direction than their aforementioned peers, something that we really admire at Roadburn HQ: Lumerians woozy transmissions from planet Telos have been guiding us on many of our interplanetary travels into the unknown (the 2014 festival is gradually heading more and more towards the outer limits and beyond, as you all have noticed).

Lumerians excel at constantly shifting their sound, equal parts seventies space-funk explorations, eighties new wave, lygeric drones, serious progginess and kosmishe synth workouts, and at other times mixing Bitches Brew-era Miles and Sextant-era Herbie Hancock with wildly sci-fi inspired psych, the band keeps their hypnotic, cinematic, futuristic freak outs as psychedelic as they are totally exotic.

40 Watt Sun To Make A Much Anticipated Return To Roadburn Festival 2014

UK’s 40 Watt Sun will be making a much anticipated return to Roadburn Festival 2014 on Thursday, April 10th at Het Patronaat in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Lead by singer / guitarist Patrick Walker, 40 Watt Sun gets a chance to reprise their extraordinary 2012 Roadburn performance, this time playing a stark, stripped-back set of songs from their forthcoming second album as well as performing songs from the band’s stunning debut full-length, The Inside Room.

New Keepers Of The Water Towers Keep It Cosmic At Roadburn 2014 Afterburner

At last year’s Roadburn ticket release show we enjoyed Switchblade so much we decided to ask them to play the 2013 Roadburn Afterburner too and at this year’s ticket release show, wouldn’t you know it, we enjoyed fellow Swedes New Keepers of the Water Towers so much we also decided to ask them to play next year’s Roadburn Afterburner!

Since forming in 2006 and across the span of three epic albums, this Stockholm-based Stoner Metal ensemble have been increasingly upping the progressive and cosmic ante of their sound, culminating in 2013?s epic album The Cosmic Child, a wild ride across territory occupied by kindred spirits such as Mastodon, Shrinebuilder and even the Moog-driven sounds of Rush.

Join frontman Rasmus Booberg and his cosmic cohorts as they trip the light fantastic and melt faces at The Roadburn 2014 Afterburner on Sunday, April 13th at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Roadburn Festival 2014 will run for four days from Thursday, April 10th to Sunday, April 13th 2014 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Roadburn Festival 2014 ticket pre-sales are in full swing! GET IN ON THE ACTION HERE!


Corrections House, “Grin with a Purpose” official video

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Wino Wednesday: Wino Guests on Paul Chain’s “Nibiru Dawn”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 30th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

I won’t pretend to have a grasp on the catalog or progression of Italian doom master Paul Chain (né and now performing under Paolo Catena), and frankly I think most who do are full of shit. From 1977-2003, however, Chain contributed a few pivotal works that continue to find relevance today — his 1991 outing, Whited Sepulchres, was reissued this year by Svart — and from ’77 to ’84, he played guitar in Death SS in their earliest incarnation. His output with that band was culled together in 1987 for the compilation The Story of Death SS 1977-1984, and released on the Italian imprint Minotauro Records (also reissued by Svart in 2013, as it happens), and sounds of its era, but is definitely worth tracking down. Chain‘s subsequent work in Paul Chain Violet Theatre and under his own moniker gets more and more varied and experimental as it goes on, but even the first EP, Detaching from Satan, was ahead of its time. If it came out today, it would be called groundbreaking.

After having an “artistic death” and subsequent rebirth as Paolo Catena in 2003, Chain‘s career under that name was wrapped up in 2004 with two compilations, both of unreleased material. By their nature, they’re uneven — from what I’ve heard of them, there are a few gems and some stuff that was unreleased for a reason; pretty typical — but two of the tracks on Unreleased Vol. 2 were demos featuring Scott “Wino” Weinrich. Both “Bloodwing” (previously featured on Wino Wednesday here) and “Nibiru Dawn” are notable not just for the Weinrich collaboration, but also because they’re among the few Paul Chain songs to feature lyrics, as opposed to the phonetic syllables Chain used for vocals throughout his career.

More even than “Bloodwing,” “Nibiru Dawn” shows the kind of potential a Wino/Chain partnership might’ve had, Weinrich‘s voice soaring over Chain‘s atmospheric organ work, resting in the groove of a classically doomed verse riff on the way to a lead-topped chorus. Of course, it wasn’t to be or it certainly would’ve been by now, more than a decade later, but the song holds up and makes a great curio for anyone unfamiliar with Chain‘s output or who maybe wasn’t aware these two had ever teamed up. For anyone interested, Catena released a textured and experimental album, Quadri Musicale, last year on New Light Records.

Enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday:

Paul Chain with Wino, “Nibiru Dawn” from Unreleased Vol. 2 (2004)

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