Horseburner to Release Voice of Storms June 21; “The Gift” Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 16th, 2024 by JJ Koczan


Yeah, I’m late on this news from last week. I talked about it on Friday; only so many hours in the day and a lot a lot a lot of music coming down the line in the next few months. Horseburner‘s Voice of Storms will be their fourth full-length upon its arrival as June makes ready to give over to July’s swelter, and I’d say their urgency, melody, and progressive angularity will make a fitting accompaniment to that time of year’s sweating-while-doing-nothing sunscorch, even if it’s not themed around the climate crisis.

Actually, as regards theme, I’m curious how much the narrative described below — girl slays oppressors, in shorty-short — frames the songs, and how the album came together around the central story. With a ‘concept record’ of any sort, I always tend to want to know whether the idea was first or the music, but I guess there’s time for digging in between now and June. The single/video, “The Gift,” can be found at the bottom of this post, and for anyone who dug on 2019’s Ripple-issued The Thief (review here), it well lives up to its title. If you watch the clip, it looks like they had a good time in the studio.

The Brian Mercer cover art — dude nails it, as he will — album details and live dates follow, courtesy of the PR wire:

horseburner voice of storms

US progressive sludge unit HORSEBURNER to release new album “Voice of Storms” on Blues Funeral Recordings; stream new single “The Gift”!

West Virginia progressive sludge stalwarts HORSEBURNER have signed to Blues Funeral Recordings for the release of their new album “Voice of Storms” this June 21st, with the roaring first single “The Gift” streaming on all platforms now. The band also announced a string of US live shows in support of the release.

Blasting out loud and surgical riffs, driving grooves and fire-driven vocal harmonies, HORSEBURNER’s new single “The Gift” is a massive-sounding heavy rock rager that perfectly encapsulates the West Virginia foursome’s knack for uncompromisingly technical yet strikingly melodic anthems.

Watch Horseburner’s brand new video “The Gift” + listen to the official single at this location:

HORSEBURNER blasted onto the scene in 2009 amid comparisons to Mastodon and Baroness, with an iteration of high-energy sludge metal informed by their Appalachian industrial background and elevated conceptual themes. And, from the impact of galloping full-length “Dead Seeds, Barren Soil” to their growth into a tremendous live force to the watershed leap of 2019’s acclaimed “The Thief”, Horseburner have not only endured, they have progressed.

HORSEBURNER distinguish themselves from their stoner-psych contemporaries with staggering musicianship. Gear-shifting from hard-charging to restrained to urgent and angular, these musical flexes find Horseburner invoking a broader range of tools to craft their driving, soaring, obliterating mini-epics than a lot of bands have in their bags. Never concerned with proving what they can do, they sweep us up in the ease of their brilliance and go places a lot of heavy rock doesn’t.

Their new album “Voice of Storms” is an allegorical commentary on the mistreatment of women across history. It’s the story of a girl being sold into child marriage who is imbued with the spirit of ancient Greek hunt goddess Diana, unleashed and wreaking havoc on a society that regards females as objects or currency. Sonically, the record is a sludge-prog triumph, ready to grab listeners by the throat and immerse them in a fluid amalgam of blistering tempos, fearless hooks and burly crush, like a more brutal Torche or a more adept High on Fire. This is HORSEBURNER blazing into sonic territory that few bands ever reach, pushing forward, challenging their abilities and always progressing as far as their ambition can take them.

The album was recorded and engineered by Neil Tuuri at Amish Electric Chair Studio, and mastered by Billy Joe Bowers. Artwork by Brian Mercer with a layout by Jacob Dunn.

New album “Voice of Storms”
Out June 21 on Blues Funeral Recordings (LP/CD/digital)

Preorder via Bandcamp:

Preorder via Blues Funeral store:

1. Summer’s Bride
2. The Gift
3. Heaven’s Eye
4. The Fawn
5. Hidden Bridges
6. Palisades
7. Diana
8. Silver
9. Widow

4-19 – Philadelphia, PA – Century
4-20 – NYC – Saint Vitus presents at Main Drag Music
5-17 – Cleveland, OH – 5 O’ Clock Lounge
6-20 – Columbus, OH – Spacebar *
6-21 – Parkersburg, WV – Tracey’s Pub *
6-22 – Johnson City, TN – Capone’s *
6-23 – Raleigh, NC – The Pour House *
6-28 – Buffalo, NY – Area 54/Amy’s Place
6/29 – Youngstown, OH – Westside Bowl
*release weekend with Howling Giant

Jack Thomas – guitar, vocals, keys
Adam Nohe – drums, vocals, percussion
Matt Strobel – guitar
Ryan Aliff – bass, upright bass

Horseburner, Voice of Storms (2024)

Horseburner, “The Gift” official video

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Mos Generator Release Forging Behind 2002-2012 Compilation LP

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 16th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Mos Generator

Today — I think maybe right now — Mos Generator release Forging Behind 2002-2012, a compilation LP of material taken from the decade listed. That covers the era from their 2002 self-titled debut (reissue review here) through 2005’s Nasoni-issued The Late Great Planet Earth, 2007’s Songs for Future Gods (which was on Roadburn Records and Small Stone), and their 2012 Ripple Music post-hiatus resurgence, Nomads (review here). Also included is the harmony-laced “Dyin’ Blues” from the 2007 10″ EP Tales From the Vault, which saw new life in 2021 as The Lantern (review here) on Argonauta Records. Long and winding road, as the fella said.

Its tracks assembled and newly mastered by founding guitarist/vocalist, producer and bandleader Tony Reed, the stated intention of Forging Behind 2002-2012 is to simplify Mos Generator‘s back catalog a bit for people just getting to know their work. In 2020, the Strange Powers comp LP did likewise for 2014’s Electric Mountain Majesty (review here), 2016’s Abyssinia (review here) and 2018’s Shadowlands (review here) — all three of which first came out on Listenable Records — which took them into the Mk. II lineup of Reed, bassist Sean Booth and drummer Jono Garrett. On Forging Behind, it’s all the original trio: Reed, bassist Scooter Haslip and drummer Shawn Johnson.

OKAY… That’s a lot of info. A lot of text in bold. A lot of ‘review here’ links. I get it. Densely packed. But something else you need to know going into Forging Behind is that the original trio lineup — the band that first made these songs; Mk. I — is still active. In the promo info below, Reed says all these songs are in rotation for the current live set. The Mk. II lineup? Also still active. That’s right, kids. Mos Generator have split the timeline. My understanding is both incarnations of Mos Generator are writing for new studio albums, which is a dizzying thought even in the context of Reed‘s generally furious work ethic. Their most recent studio LP, Time//Wounds (review here), came out in Dec. 2022.

So what Forging Behind 2002-2012 is also doing is giving background to whatever it might ultimately be that surfaces from the ReedHaslipJohnson three-piece, and providing a gateway for those who discovered the band after they came back in the 2010s to dig into the output from their original run. How it differs from 2008’s 2LP/CD comp Destroy! The Mos Generator 2001-2008 is of course the years it covers — Nomads didn’t exist yet and it’s become a landmark for them — the new master, and the idea of being curated around the songs they play now as a single-LP/DL release. 300 vinyls.

And if you do get the download version, one last thing to note is that it’s Reed‘s own vinyl rip, not a straight digital transfer. Probably took a little longer to get together, but a cool idea that not everybody would think of doing.

They remain a treasure of the American heavy rock underground:

mos generator forging behind

Mos Generator Forging Behind 2002 – 2012

Forging Behind is a compilation of songs released between 2002 and 2012 and is kind of a “young person’s guide” to the early years of the band. Forging Behind can also be considered a companion album to Strange Powers released in 2020. Strange Powers was a compilation of songs from the three albums released on Listenable Records between 2014 and 2018 and together, these two albums make a comprehensive overview of highlights from the band’s career. All of the songs on Forging Behind are still in rotation in the current live set so this makes it easy for fans to choose an album to buy if they liked the set but aren’t familiar with the band.

Label: Music Abuse Records
Units pressed: 300
Vinyl colors: Black (no variants)

All sonic manipulations by Reed at ‘Vault’, Temple Sound, & HeavyHead Recording Co. between 2001 and 2012. Mastered by Reed at HeavyHead January 2024. Front cover art by Lex Waterreus. Artwork layout by #3. All songs written by Reed. Arranged by Mos Generator.

Side A
(from the album Songs for Future Gods released September 2007)
2. DYIN’ BLUES (4:53)
(from the album Tales from the Vault released May 2007)
3. LONELY ONE KENOBI (single version) (4:28)
(from the album Nomads released October 2012)
4. ON THE EVE (promo edit) (5:44)
(from the album The Late Great Planet Earth released October 2005)

Side B
1. LUMBO ROCK (3:57)
(from the album Mos Generator released April 2002)
2. STEP UP (4:51)
(from the album Nomads released October 2012)
3. NANDV (3:37)
(from the album Songs for Future Gods released September 2007)
(from the album Nomads released October 2012)

Mos Generator on Forging Behind:
TONY REED – guitar / vocals / keys

Mos Generator, Forging Behind 2002-2012 promo video

Mos Generator, Forging Behind 2002-2012 (2024)

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Ten Ton Slug Post “Ancient Ways”; Colossal Oppressor Due May 1

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 15th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

As is the case here, I often ask bands for quotes about songs, new albums, tours, whatever the news is, really. I think Ten Ton Slug might be the first outfit who’ve ever sent back a blurb about a new single and ended it with an all-caps “OUGH,” in the fine tradition of one Tom G. Warrior. Since the song the Irish burlbringers are unveiling from their upcoming Colossal Oppressor is the aggro-shoving “Ancient Ways,” this could hardly be more appropriate.

“Ancient Ways” brings five-plus minutes of overarching groove, layered growls, shouts and screams, and a largesse-bent approach that, if it was sloppier, you could probably call sludge, but that here stands astride your soon-to-be-hammer-smashed skull with poise in its own violence. It’s a big groove, big tone, big riffs, and the vibe is punishment, but almost certainly the kind of punishment inflicted on one’s neck after a night of headbanging, however ominous the threat of the album’s title.

Ten Ton Slug journey to the US in June for Maryland Doom Fest, and they’ve got dates in Limerick and Dublin before they travel. More on that, the quote, and of course the song follow here, courtesy of the PR wire:


Ten Ton Slug on “Ancient Ways”:

The album ‘Colossal Oppressor’ concerns itself primarily on the theme of oppression in its many guises, and on the many ways it is inflicted on humanity by the world and by the Slug. ‘Ancient Ways’ is one of two tracks on the album (along with the Irish language track – ‘Mallacht an tSloda’) which deals with this theme not from the perspective of the oppressor, but instead from the perspective of those under the yoke of unbearable hardship. More specifically it reveals the mindset and determination needed to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, to face the monster and beat it to the earth, to ultimately summon your power, and move forward.

The track is blues inspired with a stoner feel, featuring big dirty riffs and colossal drums.

Ten Ton Slug release the 2nd single from the upcoming album ‘Colossal Oppressor’ which releases everywhere on May 1st on Vinyl, CD and Digital

Stream it here:

The song ‘Ancient Ways’ is more stoner/blues/melody driven than the previous single yet contains all the elements one has come to expect from the Slug and more. Huge riffs, pummelling drums and grooves and melodies that stick in your head.

Subjugation approaches.

Catch the Slug live in Ireland this May:
May 3rd Dolans Limerick (ticket link)
May 5th The Grand Social Dublin (ticket link)

And in the USA this June:
June 23rd Maryland Doom Fest, Maryland, USA (ticket link)

Merch available here:

Ten Ton Slug:
Rónán Ó hArrachtáin – Vocals
Pavol Rosa – Bass
Sean Sullivan – Guitars/Vocals
Kelvin Doran – Drums*
*All drums written and arranged by Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin

Ten Ton Slug, Colossal Oppressor (2024)

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SonicBlast Fest 2024: New Lineup Additions & Day Splits Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 15th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

sonicblast fest 2024 day split banner

With a quick round of lineup adds and the announcement of how the pre-show and three days of the festival-proper will play out, SonicBlast Fest 2024 continues to take shape, and golly it looks like fun. Germany’s Daily Thompson will make the trek westward to herald their new album, Chuparosa, and the everywhere-in-Europe-this-year-apparently duo Earth Tongue from New Zealand will appear in support of their upcoming sophomore LP, Great Haunting. Also new to the bill are Canadian psych-prog forebears Black Mountain and thrash outfit Fugitive, because sometimes you just need a punch in the face.

There are still some names to add, as you can see on the poster below. The day splits put Daily Thompson on the pre-show, and that will be a party. I’d expect at least one of the TBCs there, if not both, to be Iberian bands, as SonicBlast runs deep in support for its own regional underground, and given how packed the fest-Friday (Aug. 9) is, they could go just about anywhere in mixing it up, more thrash, hardcore, noise, psych, doom, stoner, whatever, and make it work. There’s a lot to like, even before you find yourself sitting on the beach in Âncora waiting for whoever to go on.

The below was culled from a couple different social posts, so if it reads weird, that’s why, but I expect you get the idea. Here you go:

sonicblast fest 2024 day splits poster

Daily tickets are already on sale! Check the daily line-ups here 🔥 Looking forward for August!

*this is not in the order of performance

Psychedelic rockers @blackmountainarmy, thrashers supergroup @fugitive_tx (with members of Power Trip and Creeping Death), heavy psych rockers @earthtongue and sonic fuzzers @dailythompson_ will join us in this insane party, this August at Praia da Duna dos Caldeirões

🔥 Daily and full festival tickets are already on sale at BOL (Fnac, Worten, Ctt…), at and at

Check all the news at
Artwork by @branca_studio

Daily Thompson, “I’m Free Tonight” official video

Earth Tongue, “Bodies Dissolve Tonight!” official video

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Carnwennan Set May 31 Release for Debut LP Lotus; Teaser Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 12th, 2024 by JJ Koczan


To be perfectly honest, I know nothing about this band beyond what I read — because yes, sometimes I do actually skim over the various press releases posted in this space — and what I’ve heard in the 30-second teaser posted below. Nada. Haven’t heard the record, didn’t catch their 2023 demo, Dusk, that’s now gone from their Bandcamp. None of it. Still, as I found myself the other day racking my brain to think of exciting new bands in the sphere of sludge/sludge metal separate from the over-the-top shenanigans and naked tone worship of what’s been called ‘bong metal’ here and elsewhere (elsewhere first, I’m sure), word of Carnwennan‘s debut album, Lotus, showed up in my email as if on cue. And you don’t get much in the teaser, but you do get a strong hint dropped of nastiness set to unfold.

Set to deliver May 31 — the Bandcamp page set up through Darkest Records (also home to NJ’s Oldest Sea) has it as June 1, a day later; I’m listing the earlier date because, well, better sooner than later — there’s more catharsis in the single riff currently streaming from the four-part single-song work, but almost certainly plenty of space in not-that-half-minute for such things. And if it turns out that extremity rules the day, fine. I wouldn’t say I’m tired of all the psychedelic bliss and harmonies and this and that of the modern heavy underground, but sometimes you just want to hear something that hurts too.

Heads up on this, and the live shows around release time, and the video to come:

Carnwennan Lotus

CARNWENNAN: Albany, New York-Based Meditative Sludge/Doom Metal Band To Release Debut LP, Lotus, On Darkest Records May 31st; Album Art, Teaser, And Preorders Posted

Albany, New York-based sludge/doom metal quartet CARNWENNAN arrives with their debut LP, Lotus, confirmed for late May release through Darkest Records, the label formed by members of fellow Hudson Valley sludge stalwarts Hush.

Born out of sorrowful introspection, CARNWENNAN seeks to put forth a relentless dirge of misery by combining their wall of sound with projected images of woe and suffering. Formed in 2020 as a means of escape for its members, CARNWENNAN’s droning despair coagulated into a four-piece act of meditative penance by pulling together members of the local hardcore and metal scenes influenced by bands like Earth, Sunn O))), Primitive Man, and Sleep.

CARNWENNAN’s forthcoming debut album, Lotus plays as one continuous track subdivided into four movements, an album created with great restraint and tension, resulting in a slow-motion, seamless evolution. The wooded surroundings of the band’s upstate surroundings indisputably influence the lush, organic sounds of growth and decay, life and demise, themes which are exemplified in the lyrical and visual delivery of the album.

Lotus was recorded by Ryan Slowey at the Darkest Records headquarters outside of Hudson, New York, and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Locrian, Iron Monkey, Mournful Congregation). CARNWENNAN’s bassist, Alex Waters, is an acclaimed painter and created the album’s cover art. Vocalist/guitarist, Jack Jackal, also does design work for many underground artists and curates Castle Jackal Magazine, contributed artwork to the album layout. Amps and pedals used on the album were conceived and built by lead guitarist Alexandria Ashpond. Since recording the album, the band’s original drummer James Leshkevich has left and been replaced by former drummer of The Acacia Strain, Kevin Boutot. An official video directed by Cam Damage has been filmed for one of the tracks, from which the teaser from the album has been sampled.

Darkest Records will release Lotus on LP and digital formats on May 31st. Preorders have been posted at Bandcamp HERE:

Watch for an official video and additional content from Lotus to drop over the weeks ahead. Fans of Earth, Khanate, Hush, Om, Bell Witch, Primitive Man, Conan, and Old Man Gloom should not ignore CARNWENNAN’s Lotus.

Lotus Track Listing:
1. I
2. II
3. III
4. IV

CARNWENNAN is booking shows throughout the Northeast surrounding the release of Lotus, with more widespread touring in the works for later in the year. See all currently confirmed shows below and watch for updates to post throughout the coming months, including a release show for the LP.

5/04/2024 Culture Club – New Milford, CT w/ Afghan Haze, Cadmium, Bajzelle
6/09/2024 Collar City Mushrooms – Troy, NY w/ Radiation Blackbody, Compress
6/08/2024 No Fun – Troy, NY w/ Horse Grave, Flatwounds, King Mob

Recorded by Ryan Slowey at Darkest Records in Hudson, NY.
Mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege.
Artwork by Alex Waters and Jack Jackal.

Alexandria Ashpond – lead guitar
Alex Waters – bass
Jack Jackal – guitar, vocals
Kevin Boutot – drums

Carnwennan, Lotus album teaser

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Planet Desert Rock Weekend V Adds Fireball Ministry, Valley of the Sun, MR.BISON and Sons of Arrakis

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 12th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

planet desert rock weekend v banner

After a compelling first announcement two weeks ago that put Washington heavy rock institution Mos Generator atop a bill with six other outfits curated from among Europe and the UK’s ever-crowded underground — JIRMSamavayo, Sergeant ThunderhoofOmega Sun, and Fire Down Below — the Las Vegas-based festival Planet Desert Rock Weekend V offers four new names today with a similarly curated feel. California’s Fireball Ministry, Ohio’s Valley of the Sun (returning), Canadian upstarts Sons of Arrakis and Italian cosmic rockers MR.BISON (also returning) are the new additions to the lineup, and each brings something specific of their own to the mix for the three-dayer set for Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2025.

And yeah, that’s a ways off, but if you, like me, don’t actually live in Vegas, it’s an opportunity to make your travel plans early. As the city has never been a ‘scene’ hotbed for heavy fare — of course there are good bands who’ve come from there; that’s true of most of the planet — there’s no question Planet Desert Rock Weekend is positioning itself as a destination festival, and letting you book a flight before they’re even more outlandish than they are now is part of that. Not that I was just looking at airfare prices or anything, mind you. Because I absolutely was.

There were eight bands left after the first reveal, and this, as noted, adds four, so I count four more names to come, give or take, sometime between now and next January. I’m not sure how much more one could reasonably ask beyond what’s already being served here, but golly it’s fun to daydream.

From fest director John Gist, via the PR wire:

planet desert rock weekend v second announce poster

Planet Desert Rock Weekend V — Jan. 30 – Feb. 1


FB event:

Vegas Rock Revolution and Planet Desert Rock Weekend are proud to announce the next 4 bands for PDRW V.  We bring back two alumni bands in Valley of the Sun and Mr. Bison, a longtime legacy band Fireball Ministry and rising star with Sons of Arrakis coming to Vegas for a fun filled weekend of heavy rock, friends and a cool environment that is comfortable. PDRW is designed to give you your mornings and afternoons to enjoy Vegas!

Fireball Ministry/ Los Angeles

Rising from quietly smoldering for a number of years we are honored to have Fireball Ministry be a part of PDRW.  This is a pure legacy band that has been rocking the scene since 1999 and have shared the stage with the likes of Alice Cooper, Blue Oyster Cult, Judas Priest,  Slayer, Danzig, Anthrax, Motörhead and many others.  Recently it was announced Ripple Music will be reissuing their catalog.

Valley of the Sun/ Cincinnati

Super pumped to have Valley of the Sun return to Planet Desert Rock Weekend after performing at the inaugural one. Led by frontman Ryan Ferrier they deliver straight heavy rocking desert rock tinged stuff that sticks in your head. Their recently released album on Ripple Music landed close to the top of Vegas Rock Revolution’s top albums of the year.

Mr. Bison/ Italy

Mr. Bison has been one busy band since appearing at Planet Desert Rock Weekend II. Their latest album “Echoes of the Universe” has made an amazing splash in 2024 including landing #2 on the Doom Charts for February. Mr. Bison have continued to evolve and challenge themselves including adding a new member who is a multi instrumentalist. We can’t wait to have them back and hear the new stuff live! Mr. Bison is part of the Heavy Psych Sounds label.

Sons of Arrakis/ Montreal

Early on Vegas Rock Revolution has been touting and working with Sons of Arrakis and after hoping to have them as part of PDRW IV, we are excited to have them for 2025!  Their sound is an outstanding blend of heavy rock/ heavy psych/ progressive/ stoner with a backdrop of being a Dune themed band. Their debut album ended #2 for 2022 on the VRR end of the year list right behind PDRW alumni Freedom Hawk (2). Their album landed #1 on Doom Charts for July 2022 and #8 overall for the year.  SOA is currently finishing up their 2nd album which will be released on Black Throne Productions.

Planet Desert Rock Weekend V preview playlist

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Crypt Sermon: New LP The Stygian Rose Out June 14; Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 11th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

crypt sermon (Photo by Scott Kinkade)

Crypt Sermon dance all over the border between classic doom and trad metal, and accordingly there are times where I feel like they’re more of a fit here than others, but listening to the push of melody in their new single “Heavy is the Crown of Bone” and the tonal density of the groove alongside Brooks Wilson‘s gutted-out vocals, I’m less concerned with the lines betwixt microgenres than I am the realized nature of what the Philadelphia troupe are doing in the song itself.

Their new album is called The Stygian Rose, was produced by Arthur Rizk, who also engineered and did most of the mixing for 2019’s The Ruins of Fading Light (review here), will be out June 14 through Dark Descent Records, and is being heralded alongside some bona fide landmarks in the PR wire announcement below, but if you’d see the names dropped and bristle at the hyperbole, I’ll point out that I think they’re less talking about hit records than moments where the bands in question figured out who they were and what they wanted to be. If that’s what’s unfolding in “Heavy is the Crown of Bone” — and I have no reason to think it isn’t after listening — then the arrival of their third long-player is all the more something to look forward to.

No shortage of blue text below, and here I’ll reiterate my general philosophy that learning what artists and those promoting them are saying about their own work is crucial to creating an understanding of it — it’s why I cut and paste press releases in a different color rather than try to fool you into believing those are my ideas via paraphrase — but I’ll advise you head down to the bottom first and hit play on the “Heavy Lies the Crown of Bone” video for accompaniment to your perusal, as well as motivating to dive deeper into where they’re coming from.

Off you go, then:

crypt sermon the stygian rose

Crypt Sermon Unveil Details for New Album, The Stygian Rose

Out June 14 on Dark Descent Records. // Watch the stunning music video for first single “Heavy is the Crown of Bone.”

Pre-order here:

Black Sabbath changed the world we know and love with Paranoid. Candlemass defined their career with Ancient Dreams. Pantera were four albums in before they heavily shifted paradigms on Cowboys from Hell. And Mayhem weren’t even a band when De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas slithered into metaldom’s cellar. Now, Crypt Sermon stand at their crossroads with The Stygian Rose, out June 14 on Dark Descent. It’s their time—the culmination of their journey.

Featuring guitarist Steve Jansson (Daeva, Unrest), vocalist Brooks Wilson (Unrest), drummer Enrique Sagarnaga (Daeva, The Silver), guitarist Frank Chin (Daeva), bassist Matt Knox (Horrendous, The Silver), and keyboardist Tanner Anderson (Obsequiae, Majesties), the Philadelphia-based sextet parlayed their time away into a grander, more mysterious Crypt Sermon. The interflow of doom and heavy metals underpins The Stygian Rose, but these boundaries are effortlessly transcended. “We feel unrestrained now,” Wilson says. “We thought, if the word ‘epic’ in doom metal means anything, it’s without constraint. What’s more vast than being unconstrained?” Sagarnaga continues, “There’s a lot of variety on the album, and I think that’s not just because we get bored easily—which we do, actually—but rather this is who we are.”

From the commanding rhythm of “Heavy is the Crown of Bone”— which premieres today alongside a ravishing music video by The C.O.I.N..— Crypt Sermon brandish their musical and conceptual prowess. The song thunders in on cloven hoof before giving way to Crypt Sermon’s muscular doom and stomp.

Singer Brooks Wilson shares, “This song follows our unnamed protagonist summon an entity from ‘The Ars Goetia’ as he seeks sacred consummation with the Divine Feminine. We were happy to work with The C.O.I.N. in achieving our concept, adding a visual element to our music that incorporates much of the esoteric symbolism embedded in ‘The Stygian Rose.'”

The songwriting for The Stygian Rose started in late 2022. Sagarnaga says, “This is the most prepared our band has been, especially going into the studio. It’s about respect for each other’s time. We were more patient with one another regarding how we expressed musical ideas. We committed to practicing on a regular schedule—that was important. And as we get older, we hopefully have become better musicians. ‘The Stygian Rose’ is also the longest time we’ve had with Arthur Rizk in the studio. Every little detail you hear in the final result of the record is very deliberate.”

The Stygian Rose tracklist:
1. Glimmers in the Underworld
2. Thunder (Perfect Mind)
3. Down in the Hollow
4. Heavy is the Crown of Bone
5. Scrying Orb
6. The Stygian Rose

Crypt Sermon tracked The Stygian Rose at Redwoods in Philadelphia. Arthur Rizk produced, mixed, and mastered, and Aidan Elias (Blood Incantation, Wayfarer) engineered. Since the band and Rizk had previous history, they dialed in sounds quickly and got to work. In contrast to the sporadic two-month process of their last album, The Ruins of Fading Light, Crypt Sermon had just over a week to capture their The Stygian Rose. “We knew we wanted an aggressive sound,” says Wilson. “‘The Stygian Rose’ has way more depth than anything we’ve done before.”

The Stygian Rose follows a character inspired by Paschal Beverly Randolf, an early American spiritualist and sex magician. In The Stygian Rose, the unnamed character seeks to reconnect with his now maybe dead, definitely lost (though intentionally left vague) idealized female, embodying the Sophia/Shakti/Persephone divine wisdom/feminine concept. This lost love is believed to be waiting for him, calling for him from ‘the hollow.’ Conceived by Wilson, the protagonist’s harrowing jaunt starts with album opener “Glimmers in the Underworld” and ends naturally with the title track. The story, as unfurled in the lyrics, is directly connected to the album’s artwork and booklet, painstakingly painted and illustrated by Wilson. Clearly, The Stygian Rose and its lyrical and artistic regalia were thought through from the onset.

“I didn’t want to feel burdened by heavy metal tropes,” reveals Wilson. “I wanted to be able to use them but not be bound by them.” Jansson continues, “We wanted The Stygian Rose to scratch a lot of itches that aren’t being scratched. That’s my goal when I make music. I want to make things that I don’t hear other people doing or at least don’t hear others doing all in one package. I agree, it also has to have staying power and replay value. That addictive feeling you had when you listened to records as a teenager.”

The Stygian Rose showcases Crypt Sermon’s mastery of dark and heavy metal— dive in and experience its rich rewards. Pre-order here:

Crypt Sermon, record release shows:
June 14 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
June 15 Washington, DC @ Pie Shop

Produced, mixed, and mastered by Arthur Rizk at Redwoods Studio in Philadelphia, PA
Engineered by Aidan Elias
Photos by Scott Kinkade
Art by Brooks Wilson

Brooks Wilson (Vocals)
Steve Jannson (Lead Guitar)
Frank Chin (Rhythm Guitar)
Matt Knox (Bass Guitar)
Tanner Anderson (Synths)
Enrique Sagarnaga (Drums)

Crypt Sermon, The Stygian Rose (2024)

Crypt Sermon, “Heavy is the Crown of Bone” official video

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Worshipper Sign to Magnetic Eye Records; New Album One Way Trip Out Later This Year

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 11th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Kudos to Boston heavy psych rockers Worshipper on joining the powerhouse roster of Magnetic Eye Records. Following two full-lengths on Tee Pee Records in 2019’s Light in the Wire (review here) and their 2016 debut, Shadow Hymns (review here), as well as sundry shorter offerings and appearances here and there, the melody-minded outfit will make offer their awaited third in the months to come with One Way Trip, marking their first release through their new label, also home to the likes of GreenleafHigh Desert QueenBrumeAbrams and Heavy Temple — and that’s just the list of others with forthcoming releases.

It’s not the first time Worshipper and Magnetic Eye have crossed paths. While the band released their own collection of covers in 2018’s Mirage Daze EP, they’ve taken part in Magnetic Eye‘s ongoing ‘Redux’ series of various-artist album/band tributes, and while it’s been four years since their latest original single, 2020’s “Lonesome Boredom Overdrive,” you can hear for yourself at the bottom of this post that that song still kicks ass. They’ll fit well keeping the company they are.

More to come (I hope) as details and such for One Way Trip are revealed. For now, the signing announcement from the PR wire:


WORSHIPPER sign with Magnetic Eye Records

WORSHIPPER have penned a multi-album deal with Magnetic Eye Records. The psychedelic hard rockers from Boston, New England will release their third album via the label in 2024.

WORSHIPPER comment: “We’re excited to sign with Magnetic Eye Records and to have a new partner in getting our music out to the world,” vocalist and guitarist John Brookhouse writes on behalf of the band. “We’ve been together for 10 years, but in the time since our last release in 2019, we’ve become a new band in many ways. Magnetic Eye really seemed to understand our intent both musically and professionally, so it feels good to be working together in this new phase of our career. It’s a comfortable fit, as we were part of ‘The Wall Redux’ project back in the day and have done some touring with Summoner – in the case of our drummer Dave Jarvis, he actually was in that band for a while – so we already had a bit of a kinship. To the future!”

Jadd Shickler extends his welcome: “Worshipper have been on my radar since they turned in an incredible rendition of ‘One of My Turns’ for ‘The Wall Redux’, taking a pretty deep cut from the original Floyd album and turning it into one of the most listenable tracks on our release”, the Magnetic Eye director reveals. “I love their classic rockin’ sensibility that pushes into heavier territory, a perfect throughline from 70s and 90s radio hard rock to today, but with an actual soul and legitimate authenticity.. and I mean the radio part as a compliment! As much as I like aggressive and extreme stuff at times, I LOVE anthems if they sound like the band means it. When Worshipper write anthems, they absolutely mean it! I can hardly express how stoked I am to welcome them to the Magnetic Eye roster. These guys bring a musical vigor that is gonna blow the roof open when folks hear what they’ve got coming. Welcome to Worshipper, the latest kickass heavy rock band from Boston to join Magnetic Eye!”

New England is not just the epicentre of dark tales from grandmasters of horror H. P. Lovecraft and Stephen King, and Boston is much more than the rebellious Tea Party spark that set the United States’ revolution for independence aflame, as both the city and region are sizzling hotspots of the East Coast rock scene.

To stand apart from a high concentration of like-minded peers, it takes an extra portion of originality and talent. When WORSHIPPER were founded in 2014 by singer and guitarist John Brookhouse, drummer Dave Jarvis, bass player and backing vocalist Bob Maloney, and guitarist Alejandro Necochea, their mission statement was clear: bring something that was missing to the table and deliver a fresh, new flavour to the scene. From the moment of inception till today, the intact original line-up has cranked out impeccable heady and heavy stuff with an emphatic focus on real songs with hooky melodies, creepy vocal harmonies, and twin guitar heroics.

Their gift for catchy epic songwriting did not go unnoticed, and soon a record deal established WORSHIPPER globally with the albums “Shadow Hymns” (2016) and “Light in the Wire” (2019) garnering much praise from critics and fans alike. It also opened doors for heading out on the road, and WORSHIPPER gladly accepted offers to tour with WEEDEATER in the US and THE SKULL in Europe as well as sharing stages with kindred spirits and heroes such as ELDER, LUCIFER, ACE FREHLEY, and MONSTER MAGNET among many others.

WORSHIPPER are set to release their third heavy psychedelic full-length “One Way Trip” via Magnetic Eye Records this year.

John Brookhouse – vocals, guitar, synth
Dave Jarvis – drums
Bob Maloney – bass, backing vocals
Alejandro Necochea – guitar, synth

Worshipper, “Lonesome Boredom Overdrive”

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