Cassius King Premiere “Cleopatra’s Needle” Video; Field Trip out Today

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 23rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

cassius king

Cassius King release their first album, Field Trip, today digitally with bonus-track-inclusive CD and vinyl to follow via Nomad Eel Records. Though technically a debut, the 10-plus track/41-minute, classic-metal-infused outing perhaps rings truer as a splintering off from another progression, namely that of Vessel of Light. The driving force here is guitarist Dan Lorenzo, whose affinity for dark riffcraft is writ large across Field Trip in a way that feels produced meaner than on Vessel of Light‘s 2020 LP, Last Ride (review here) — one might also note the similarity of the two titles, two words, going, etc., but Field Trip comes from the lyrics to the penultimate “Leave of Absence” — and who brings along drummer Ron Lipnicki (ex-Overkill) and bassist Jimmy Schulman (ex-Attacker), both also veterans of New Jersey thrashers Hades currently serving in Vessel of Light.

In 2004, Lorenzo put out a solo record called Cassius King, so as he notes below, the name has been around, and perhaps due in part to quarantine-era inactivity, the inability to play live, etc., Cassius King moved from sometimes-covers-project to actual-band, with Jason McMaster, formerly of Watchtower (and if you want to get complicated, Hades vocalist Alan Tecchio currently fronts Watchtower) and bearing a pedigree that spans nearly 40 years and currently includes Howling SycamoreIgnitor and bunch of others, joining on vocals.

That pairing of McMaster and Lorenzo is crucial. I won’t downplay the contributions of Schulman or Lipnicki — neitherCassius King Field Trip will you once you hear the doom-nodder “Traveler” — but the Dio-style sensibility McMaster brings atop Lorenzo‘s driving riffs is quite literally what separates Field Trip from what might’ve been the next Vessel of Light. Stylistically, it’s not an insignificant difference. “King of Lies,” “Below the Stones,” “Cleopatra’s Needle” and “Join the Exodus” open the record as a vital, metallic, hard-hitting salvo ahead of the aforementioned traveler, and McMaster‘s “daugh-tah” and “slaugh-tah” on “Cleopatra’s Needle” and “Join the Exodus,” respectively, are a dogwhistle to those who’d raise horns to a guttural, powerful belting-out of lyrics.

Ultimately, McMaster proves more dynamic than just that — not that he’d need to; man does a mean Dio — working in layers that at least in structure remind some of what Eric Wagner has done in The Skull on their two albums, but are Sabbath-born one way or the other. This is only highlighted by the work of LorenzoSchulman and Lipnicki behind, not fixing what isn’t broken about the metal of eld and drawing a line between it and Epicus-style doom, unafraid to be catchy or offer some shove on “King of Lies” and “Apocalyptic Nations” — the latter a presumed companion to the opener in launching side B — and never lacking in wanton, almost gleeful, force of delivery. Heavy doom metal that plainly loves being all three.

Swing and an edge of heavy rock pervade in “Below the Stones” and “Leave of Absence,” but the message of a metallic foundation even there isn’t lost. Field Trip makes bonus tracks of Cheap Trick‘s “Big Eyes” and “Out on the Tiles” from Led Zeppelin III, and fair enough, but it’s in album-proper closer “This Side of Forever” that the doom is perhaps most affirmed in its atmosphere. Side B has wrought crisp songwriting across “I Move with the Moon” and “Six,” the latter with a creeper riff in its finish that it’s especially easy to imagine in a Vessel of Light context, but the capstone moves outward from “Leave of Absence” with darker, Dehumanizer-esque bleak poise, and stomps to its conclusion with the surity of having said what it wanted to say. And so it did.

The video premiering below for “Cleopatra’s Needle” should give some sense of where Cassius King are coming from, even if it doesn’t necessarily represent the whole of Field Trip. However, as the record’s out today, you won’t have to trouble yourself too much to dig in deeper.

In any case, full-band commentary follows the clip, courtesy of the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Cassius King, “Cleopatra’s Needle” official video premiere

Former Hades founding member Dan Lorenzo has been using the CASSIUS KING moniker for years. From his debut solo album to his endless cover song CDs with various lead vocalists. But it wasn’t until 2021 when Lorenzo decided to make an all-original album with vocalist Jason McMaster (Watchtower/Dangerous Toys/Broken Teeth/Howling Sycamore/Ignitor). Lorenzo released four albums in three years with his doom band Vessel Of Light when Coronavirus prevented any more live shows.

“I had music to probably eight or nine more songs after VOL released Last Ride,” Lorenzo said. “I didn’t think the world was ready for a fifth Vessel Of Light album when we couldn’t even play shows to support Last Ride. Jason sang multiple CASSIUS KING cover songs with me and I had some music that was maybe a bit more like Hades plus a bluesy song I sent off to Jason. I was shocked how quickly Jason wrote and sang the first few songs, so I recorded a few more brand new tunes. I asked Jason if he needed any help with melodies and he told me he did not. Jason said he could use some lyrical ideas though. I told that to Jimmy Schulman (Hades/Vessel Of Light) and he and Jason ended up collaborating lyrically on three songs.”

Schulman commented, “When Dan mentioned Jason needed some lyrical ideas, I was excited to be part of that process. Jason and I came at it a few different ways. Sometimes it was just texting back-and-forth with a line or two at a time until it took on shape. Another time, a long poem was crafted into a song. However it went, though, it proved to be a cool and interesting collaboration.”

McMaster stated, “It was the kind of material I had been wanting to do for a long time. It feels a bit like Ozzy and Dio playing poker over some leftover Sabbath material. The melodies came to me quickly, as well as some of the lyrics. Things I already had fit the visions I had upon first listen and it all flowed immediately. I would not call it a full ‘doom’ application of terms, but its heavy, it reminds me of what I love about Sabbath and Dio songs.”

Drummer Ron Lipnicki (former Overkill current Vessel Of Light) said, “I think this new album’s got something for everyone. It’s like the fruits all line up on the slot machine.” That includes fans of Hades’ seminal release Resisting Success, as Scott LePage plays leads on the songs “I Move With The Moon” and “King of Lies.”

CASSIUS KING’s Field Trip will feature cover art by Claudio Bergamin (Judas Priest’s Firepower). Nomad Eel Records have already released a vinyl single by CASSIUS KING. The CD is set for release in July and vinyl to follow.

Cassius King are:
Jason McMaster – Vocals
Ron Lipnicki – Drums
Jimmy Schulman – Bass
Dan Lorenzo – Guitars

Cassius King on Instagram

Cassius King on Bandcamp

Cassius King stream

Dan Lorenzo website

Nomad Eeel Records on Facebook

Nomad Eeel Records on Instagram

Nomad Eeel Records website

Nomad Eel Records on Bandcamp

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Wail Premiere Self-Titled Debut in Full: Out This Week on Translation Loss

Posted in audiObelisk on July 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

wail

Philadelphia instrumentalist four-piece Wail release their self-titled debut July 23 on Translation Loss Records, and across its 10 tracks they jam out like the Philly All-Stars they are by any other name. Featuring Yanni Papadopoulos and Alexi Papadopoulos of Stinking Lizaveta on guitar and bass, EDO‘s Pete Wilder also on guitar and drummer Grant Calvin Weston, who’s worked with James “Blood” Ulmer, Billy Martin and hosts of others in varying jazz, funk and fusion contexts in addition to performing solo, they don’t skimp on pedigree, but the hour-long Wail is of course about more than the stuff they’ve done before. The bounce and surging lead guitar of “Family Man” and the jangly underpinning of swing in preceding opener “He Knows What it Is,” building to a fullness of tone and then pulling back to make room for the next solo, the jab-throwing rhythm of “Symmetry” and the way its burgeoning psychedelic feel give over to the nine-minute stretch of “Astronomy”a and the ensuing languid hypnocraft in the first half there — rest assured, they grow freakier as they go — all of these elements come together early on the record to establish a sonic personality with the confidence to go where it wants and follow improvisational whims, but also to build a conversation between the players involved and dive into the chemistry there. Just so happens there’s plenty of that to go around.

If you’re the type to sit and analyze — there’s no wrong way to listen — you’ll find the quality of play here humbling. Dig into the snare work and intertwining guitars and bass of “One World” after “Astronomy” and the rock-jazz affect of the whole is certainly more than the sum of its parts, but that doesn’t mean the parts aren’t still damn impressive. In this way, Wail‘s Wail engages dually, and is cerebral as well as expressive, maybe born of the players’ desire to work together, though in the modern recording climate and era of the ‘pandemic project,’ I should note I have no idea how much time they’ve actually all spent in the same room. If you told me the record was all done live, written and improvised in the studio and recorded over one weekend, I’d believe you. If you told meWail Wail they passed files back and forth for eight months in 2020 and built the songs up one at a time that way, I’d believe you too. I’m very trusting, but I’m easily hurt; don’t take advantage. The point is that however it was made, the vibe here is real, natural and fluid. Obviously, if someone’s going to put a song called “Philly Strut” on a record, they damn well better bring it, and Wail do, funk-tioning as a unit with just an edge of the unhinged to remind you there’s still a chance you’ll get your ass kicked if you hang out long enough in town trying to meet Gritty.

Maybe I’m a sucker for psych-jazz — maybe I also breathe oxygen — but as “Oceans of Mercury” answers back to “Astronomy” in the-only-other-song-about-space fashion, its guitar noodling with due exploratory sense, mellow but not inactive, the breadth and scope that Wail covers becomes that much clearer. It’s fitting that so much of the album is about what the band can bring to light working together — you can hear it throughout the entire span, even in the more atmospheric moments, and they offer no pretense otherwise — but there’s forward potential in that too, and it’s when they stretch out in that kind of flowing movement that it comes forward. “Expert’s Reprise” is brighter somehow but revisits the jangle strum of “Family Man” earlier on and it becomes the bed-jam for an extended shreddy solo that consumes much of its second half, receding temporarily before breaking out again, leading to the trippy “Pyramids” in the penultimate spot, which puts guitar-as-synth (or just synth) and other effects to use over a sweet bassline that holds the whole thing together.

That leaves only closer “Abbath is Drunk Again,” which at 6:54 is a strut unto itself in terms of the band reaffirming what’s worked so well for them all along — a looser feel than some of what’s come before it, but still keeping to a structure not unlike “Expert’s Reprise” where everybody’s going along cool and then wham comes a dizzying guitar solo over top. They end cold, clicking off a pedal, and offer a quick couple seconds to process before the end. Not too shabby. Especially considering Wail as a debut release, the level they’re executing at is emblematic of the experience they bring. Even in its most unscripted moments, the very happening isn’t happenstance. It ain’t a coincidence they kill it. One imagines them swimming around each other in Philly’s talent pool and finally creating a swirl enough to get together and, well, wail for a while. And so they do.

I could go on — it might be fun — but inevitably if I did I’d end up using the word “skronk” somewhere and nobody needs that shit. You’ll find the premiere of the whole shebang on the player below, followed by a killer by-the-numbers quote from Yanni Papadopoulos the pre-save link for the album, courtesy of Translation Loss.

Enjoy:

Yanni Papadopoulos on Wail:

1. Wail is working man’s music. If you’re outside painting houses for a living, baking in the sun while biting flies feast on your flesh, you know that some upbeat swinging jams are what will get you to cleanup time.

2. My lead guitar tracks on this record are all first takes with no edits or punches. I’m proud of that and I think it gives the record an off-the-cuff feel.

3. I’m heavily influenced by Wino and Greg Ginn, but also by Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Hazel. I’ve seen tons of heavy shows in my life, but one of the heaviest was Funkadelic. I was part of the sound crew for a big outdoor show in 94′. We unloaded six Marshall full stacks to the stage and two SVT cabs. Then Funkadelic came out and played Cosmic Slop. Sonic Youth, who had gone on just before them, seemed like a Tonka toy by comparison.

4. Wail just wants to be the funk band at your stoner rock fest.

5. Progressive rock influences are important to me, so it’s a pleasure for me and my brother to work with veterans like Calvin Weston and Pete Wilder who have been prog heads for decades.

pre-save link: https://orcd.co/wail

Yanni Papadopoulos: guitar
Alexi Papadopoulos: bass
Pete Wilder: guitar
Grant Calvin Weston: drums

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Old Man Wizard Announce Final Album Kill Your Servants Quietly

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

With the record on for the first time as I write this, I’m kind of doing the stages of grief with Old Man Wizard‘s Kill Your Servants Quietly. Nah, it won’t really be their last album. Well fuck that. Maybe just one more after this. It’s a bummer they’re done. And maybe they really are.

Set to release Nov. 5, Kill Your Servants Quietly follows 2018’s Blame it All on Sorcery (discussed here) and 2013’s Unfavorable (review here) and will indeed reportedly be the final long-player from the San Diego progressive rock trio. And yeah, Francis Roberts has plenty of other stuff going, between King Gorm and making synth soundtracks to videogames both real and imagined, but to find Old Man Wizard still pushing their sound forward in the disco-rocking “Today” after the acoustic-led “Your Life,” lush melody pervading all the while to tie it together just emphasizes how individual what they did was and, at least until November, is. Back to being bummed I go.

You’ll note the artwork here in conversation with Unfavorable. Valin Mattheis also did the second record, though it was in a different style.

Album info came down the PR wire:

Old Man Wizard Kill Your Servants Quietly

Old Man Wizard – Kill Your Servants Quietly – Nov. 5, 2021

Kill Your Servants Quietly is the third and final studio album from Progressive Heavy Rock outfit Old Man Wizard. It follows the release of two full-length LPs: Unfavorable (2013) and Blame It All On Sorcery (2018).

Guitarist/Vocalist Francis Roberts writes:
“This is my favorite album I’ve ever made. I love the songs I wrote for it, I loved working on it, and I’m really looking forward to sharing it with everyone. The plan was to record it in a very old school way: guitar/bass/drums live in the same room together with only eight inputs for the band, edited and mixed down to backing tracks, and adding vocals and other stuff as overlays. We got through the live recording part with eight of the songs just before the pandemic hit, so we had to track vocals, overlays, and two of the songs (“Live Forever” and “Your Life”) remotely. All three of us have decent home recording abilities, so I think it turned out sounding really cool. I hope you love it as much as I loved making it.”

Kill Your Servants Quietly escorts you on a fantasy-fuelled journey with a mixture of high-energy tracks and emotional performances. The theatrical thunder and soaring melodies of “I Prayed” opens the album with dramatic effect. The overdriven guitar of the title track provides a heavy grounding to the soaring vocals and harmonies. With lyrics balancing on the line between fantasy and reality, the narrative explores dark ideas whilst aptly suiting the musical arrangement.

From the eerily dark instrumentation and lyrics of “God Is Your Friend” to the serene “Your Life” and dynamic “Live Forever”, Kill Your Servants Quietly is an excellently crafted album. Old Man Wizard have cultivated a distinctive sound that delivers epic drama and delight with every track.

Album Credits:
Music and Lyrics by Francis Roberts
Produced by Francis Roberts
Artwork by Valin Mattheis
Additional vocals by Mark Calabio, Drew Peters, Reece Miller
Voiceover by Bill Roper

Tracklisting:
01 I Prayed
02 Kill Your Servants
03 God Is Your Friend
04 I Wanna Know
05 Your Life
06 Today
07 Soldier’s Winter
08 Parasite
09 Falling Star
10 Live Forever

Old Man Wizard is:
Francis Roberts – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Synth, Samplers
Andre Beller – Background Vocals, Bass Guitar, Violin
Kris Calabio – Background Vocals, Drums, Percussion

https://oldmanwizard.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Old.Man.Wizard
https://twitter.com/oldmanwizard

Old Man Wizard, Blame it All on Sorcery (2018)

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Kadabra Premiere “Settle Me” Video; Ultra Preorder Available

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on July 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

kadabra

Newcomer trio Kadabra make their debut on Sept. 17 with Ultra, on Heavy Psych Sounds. The Spokane, Washington — not actively burning at the moment but maybe blanketed in not-the-good-kind smoke? — unit of course bear some moniker resemblance to Kadavar, and hey, that’s fine, but if we’re talking early ’10s heavy as comparison points Ultra vibes way more like first-record-era Mars Red Sky and Asteroid jamming in a massive temple carved out of an underground cavern, and if you can’t get down with that, you need to move on with your life. Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Garrett Zanol (Blackwater Prophet, Indian Goat), bassist Ian Nelson (Bad Motivator) and drummer Chase Howard (Vanna Oh), the crux of Kadabra lies in the blend of tonal weight, melodic float and hazy atmosphere, but that doesn’t mean Ultra centerpiece/highlight hook “Bean King” doesn’t move or that closer “Settle Me” (video premiering below) can’t reinvent “The Zoo” by Scorpions into a languid flow while the band stands around and maybe has a smoke in the clip. Have vibe, will travel hopefully travel when the restrictions lift. You get a seven-track/44-minute showing on Ultra, howling and nodding from the outset on “Graveyard,” but not dumb, not retread and not just riffs. There’s melody here, and depth, and roll. It won’t be unfamiliar to many who take it on, but hell’s bells it’s a good time.

“Graveyard” begins the procession of heavy chill hitting its stride in shimmering melody at its midpoint before tapping the wah and making it count and shifting into an airier jam underscored by Nelson‘s bass. If that’s gonna be a pattern, right on. Both “Faded Black”kadabra ultra and “Eagle 20’s,” which follow immediately, top seven minutes, and the former unfolds mellow and languid enough to single-handedly justify the PR wire’s comparison to Dead Meadow below, but there’s more than sleepy sungazing going on too as it trips out, grounded by its heft but still psychedelic, picking up speed late and feedbacking into a fade ahead of the companionably bright start of “Eagle 20’s.” The momentum from the finish of “Faded Black” is held up, but the abiding spirit is still liquefied, the boogie warm as “Eagle 20’s” stretches out over the 7:47 that makes it the longest track on Ultra and the assumed cap for side A, a showcase for Howard on drums, and the warmth in the sounds there, as well as Zanol‘s repeated lines, but really a whole-band feel, since Nelson‘s low end is a steady presence. The aforementioned “Bean King,” then, (presumably) opens side B, with vocals in layers and a post-Sleep cadence recounting stonerized narrative over insistent start-stop heavy push in the verse, a straightforward structure playing well to make it a quirky highlight, veering off for a solo, coming back around, playful and heavy in kind.

The plunge has been taken, the vibe set by the early subdued pacing, and so as “Death” builds on the starts and stops of “Bean King” with a meatier stomp, bringing that noted Asteroidian melody to the fore, Kadabra have already won. Penultimate cut “Coyote” offers due spaciousness and a kick of swagger, some shuffle in answer to its open verse lines, and goes psych in its layered solo later, straightening out for a clean-then-noisy finish that emphasizes the point of side B of Ultra as a victory lap. It’s ineresting that the band notes below “Settle Me” was the last song they wrote for the record. It’s the richest in terms of harmony, and it carries that swing and swagger of “Coyote” before it. It’s abundantly clear Kadabra wrote it after they had a good idea of what they were doing — and also after they decided what they were doing was some hot shit, which, granted, it is — and it ties together the relaxed groove of the first half of the record with the speedier push of the second, wrapping the whole thing around a mega-fuzz guitar line that, again, kind of brings Scorps to mind, and in no way is that a complaint. They fade out at the end, and stay that way — part of me was hoping it was a false ending; would be classic — and the message sent is received: more to come. Here’s hoping, anyhow.

Easily digable for the converted, and one of the best debuts I’ve heard this year — a lot of killer first records in 2021; here’s to pandemic productivity — Kadabra shouldn’t be tossed off because their name reminds you of someone else, and among the ever-packed roster of Heavy Psych Sounds, they legitimately bring something of their own to the label and to the style of molten riffery they play. Can you get to this? Yes, and you should. If you want a bottom line, that’s it.

Enjoy the video:

Kadabra, “Settle Me” official video premiere

Kadabra on “Settle Me”:

“Settle Me” is the last song we wrote for the album ULTRA. The song rides the steady swampy flow of psychedelia while racing into a heavy, fuzzed turbulence.

Settle Me is the second single taken from the KADABRA debut album ULTRA.

The release will see the light September 17th via Heavy Psych Sounds.

ALBUM PRESALE: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

USA PRESALE: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop-usa.htm

Kadabra from Spokane, Washington U.S., delivers the eerie psyche crawl of acts like Dead Meadow and the heavy fuzzed riff grime of Black Sabbath. In fall the of 2020, they tracked their debut album with Dawson Scholz, and it is set to release this fall on Heavy Psych Sounds Records.

Written throughout the 2020 global pandemic, Kadabra’s debut album “Ultra” presents an aesthetic that nears that “classic rock” charm and energy. The group has meshed together the droned flow of psychedelic clamor with an abrasive fuzzed riff drive. In the fall of 2020, they tracked “Ultra” with a friend, Dawson Scholz, and it is set to release this fall on Heavy Psych Sounds Records.

TRACKLIST:
Graveyard
Faded Black
Eagle 20’s
Bean King
Death
Coyote
Settle Me

KADABRA is:
Garrett Zanol (Vocals/Guitar)
Ian Nelson (Bass)
Chase Howard (Drums)

Kadabra on Instagram

Heavy Psych Sounds on Facebook

Heavy Psych Sounds on Instagram

Heavy Psych Sounds website

Heavy Psych Sounds on Bandcamp

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Magnetic Eye Records Announces Back in Black Redux and The Best of AC/DC Tribute Lineups

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

I’ll readily admit I’m not the biggest AC/DC fan in the world, but with an initial Kickstarter goal of four thousand dollars that, as of this post, is currently at well over four times that amount, why would Magnetic Eye Records ever stop putting out ‘Redux’ records? Clearly they’ve found a thing that works, lets them pull in an array of killer artists from around the world, and is only well supported by the fanbase. Shit, they got Udo Dirkschneider to be on a track with Howling Giant. That’s awesome. You just have to throw up your hands at the inevitable, I guess. ‘Redux’ forever.

Note Heavy Temple here, as well as Kryptograf, Solace and Earthride — any new recording from either of them is welcome — and Besvärjelsen too. Some from the Magnetic Eye roster, some Blues Funeral, some beyond. And Red Fang leading off with “Hells Bells.” Can you already hear that in your head? Of course you can.

The PR wire has the full lineup and more:

va acdc back in black redux

va the best of acdc redux

Magnetic Eye Records announce the complete track list of latest Redux Series installments “Back in Black [Redux]” and companion volume “Best of AC/DC”

Magnetic Eye Records have shattered their Kickstarter goal on their latest [Redux] series project dedicated to the AC/DC mega-classic “Back in Black” and its companion volume under the title “Best of AC/DC”. The target of 4,000 USD has been pledged more than four times over, and the campaign continues until July 25 at the following link:

www.kickstarter.com/projects/magneticeye/back-in-black-redux-best-of-ac-dc

The complete track listingss for both releases paying impassioned homage to AC/DC have also been revealed and feature exciting contributions from, among many others, RED FANG, SUPERSUCKERS, WHORES featuring MASTODON’s BILL KELLIHER, BOB BALCH (FU MANCHU) & TONY REED (MOS GENERATOR), and HOWLING GIANT collaborating with legendary former ACCEPT shouter UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER. Please see below for full details.

Jadd Shickler comments: “Our Redux releases have always been and will always be works of pure love and respect for truly amazing bands and albums, our way of celebrating classics and paying proper homage to the artists who’ve made some of the most meaningful music of our lives”, states the Magnetic Eye Records label director. “We take the overwhelming response as a sign of trust and support for the dedication that goes into the Redux series, and we’re thankful for the amazing response! Even with the industry-wide delays on vinyl production, we’ll be making our strongest efforts to deliver these albums into everyone’s hands before the end of 2021.”

Tracklist “Back in Black [Redux]
1. Hells Bells- Red Fang
2. Shoot to Thrill – Howling Giant feat. Udo Dirkschneider
3. What Do You Do for Money Honey – Supersuckers
4. Givin the Dog a Bone – Smoking Lightning
5. Let Me Put My Love into You – Heavy Temple feat. Valient Himself
6. Back in Black – Besvärjelsen
7. You Shook Me All Night Long – Jakethehawk feat. Patrick Waters
8. Have a Drink on Me – Whores feat. Bill Kelliher
9. Shake a Leg – Early Man
10. Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution – Earthride

Tracklist “Best of AC/DC”
1. Sin City – Witchskull
2. It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N Roll) – Kal-El
3. What’s Next to the Moon – Bob Balch & Tony Reed
4. Bad Boy Boogie – Kryptograf
5. Walk All Over You – Blue Heron
6. Overdose – Supersuckers
7. For Those About to Rock (We Salute You) – Riff Lord
8. Whole Lotta Rosie – Solace
9. If You Want Blood – Red Mesa
10. The Razors Edge – Ghost Ship Ritual
11. Dog Eat Dog – Caustic Casanova
12. High Voltage – Electric Frankenstein
13. Night Prowler – Domkraft

“Back in Black [Redux]” presents new takes on all ten cuts from AC/DC’s seminal seventh album. This was the first record to feature “new” singer Brian Johnson following the death of original larger-than-life frontman Bon Scott, and music historians agree that there was massive pressure on both the new singer and the band to deliver. Even so, nobody could have anticipated that they’d create one of the most important rock albums ever, and Magnetic Eye cannot wait for you to hear what many of your favorite bands from the stoner, doom, and riff-rock scene have done with some of the most iconic rock songs of all time.

Along with “Back in Black [Redux]”, we also present our “Best of AC/DC” companion album, a 2-LP extravaganza featuring 13 bands offering their renditions of all-time classics and deep cuts from across the AC/DC catalog. Featuring an array of absolute heavyweights and hungry up-and-comers from the heavy rock underground, we’ve got no doubt that fans of the riff-heavy will be stoked to experience these massive AC/DC interpretations unlike any they’ve heard before.

The Magnetic Eye [Redux] Series features hand-picked classic albums from across the history of rock and metal, re-imagined in their entirety from start to finish by bands we love. Hand-picked artists from throughout the rock and metal world each pick a track to make their own, bringing these milestone records into the new millennium with crushing heaviness and searing energy. To date, we’ve produced [Redux] versions of PINK FLYOD’s “The Wall”, HELMET’s “Meantime”, BLACK SABBATH’s “Vol. 4”, HENDRIX’s “Electric Ladyland”, and ALICE IN CHAINS’ “Dirt”, which have included artists like MATT PIKE, PALLBEARER, THE MELVINS, ALL THEM WITCHES, KHEMMIS, ASG, ZAKK WYLDE, MARK LANEGAN, SCOTT REEDER, and many more amazing artists.

Join us for our sixth foray into Redux territory as we pay proper respect to the Australian legends!

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Solace, “Whole Lotta Rosie”

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Begotten to Reissue Self-Titled Debut on Black Farm Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 21st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

As the PR wire notes right off the bat, today’s the 20th anniversary of Begotten‘s self-titled debut, which has the distinction of having been the final release through Frank Kozik‘s now-legendary, genre-defining Man’s Ruin Records imprint. July 21, 2001. Guess what? The whole world was about to go to shit. Still on its way down. The fucking ocean caught fire last month. People barely blinked.

So anyway, cool for the New York sludgecrunchers that they’ve linked arms with Black Farm Records to give the album a proper vinyl reissue. I’ve no doubt it’ll be rad. What I’m a little hurt by, though, is that Begotten put out a new two-songer in March and no one even told me. You mean you’ve got 17 minutes of new heavy nod and I’m just sitting around typing away writing about 110 releases that aren’t that over the last couple weeks? Hardly seems fair. Last I heard from them was their 2018 demo (review here). Clearly I need to get caught up.

So yeah, right on with the reissue, but I’m gonna dig into the new stuff too. Both, as it happens, are streaming at the bottom of this post:

begotten

BEGOTTEN was Man’s Ruin last release 20 years ago today

Begotten celebrate the 20th Anniversary of their Man’s Ruin debut and announce the limited edition vinyl of the album on Black Farm Records.

Notoriously BEGOTTEN became the last band to release a record on legendary stoner/doom label Man’s Ruin two decades ago today. Now Black Farm Records announces the 20th Anniversary Limited Edition Vinyl of the band’s self-titled release. The label, based in northern France, specializes in high quality collectible vinyl releases.

New York City in the late nineties was all about hardcore, punk and fast rock. Playing doom and stoner rock was an act of rebellion. The original self-titled Begotten album was recorded analog reel to reel and came out with Man’s Ruin’s dying breath. This was shortly before the World Trade Center went crashing down – which among all the other horrors also brought Begotten and many other NYC bands to a crashing halt. The demise of Man’s Ruin Records was as harsh a blow to the music scene, as the fall of the towers were to the City.

Two decades later, the 20th anniversary limited edition vinyl emerges just as a global plague begins to dissipate in the U.S. The meaning behind songs like “Electric Hell,” “Judges,” “Garabed’s Freedom,” resonates perhaps more than ever now. What can be heard on the album is the music of three people who have remained loyal to each other, loyal to the spirit of the music, and loyal to themselves. The album has been remastered for vinyl by Roger Lian (of Slayer fame) – the same guy who mastered it the first time for CD from the reel to reel mixes.

Begotten is Matthew Anselmo on Guitar, vox, (and synth on “Narkotizer”); Rob Sefcik on drums; Amanda Topaz on bass, vox (and bullwhip on “Garabed’s Freedom”).

begotten001.bandcamp.com
instagram.com/begottendoom
facebook.com/BegottenDoom
blackfarmrecords.bigcartel.com
instagram.com/blackfarmrecords
facebook.com/blackfarmrec

Begotten, EP (2021)

Begotten, Begotten (2018 Remaster)

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Review & Full Album Stream: The Age of Truth, Resolute

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on July 21st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the age of truth resolute

[Click play above to stream Resolute by The Age of Truth. Album is out Friday and available for preorder here.]

Be it resolved, Philadelphia’s The Age of Truth haven’t fixed what wasn’t broken about their 2017 debut LP, Threshold (review here), but have taken many of the aspects of that record and, with Resolute, pushed them forward. The four-piece — with drummer Scott Frassetto making his first recorded appearance alongside returning guitarist Michael DiDonato, bassist William Miller and vocalist Kevin McNamara — offer fewer songs than on the first outing, but if they’ve pulled back on things like an interlude and a bonus track, the path of immediacy suits them even in tracks that might be longer and comes coupled with a progression of songwriting and a sharpness of performance that rings out from the first 10 seconds of “Palace of Rain” onward. They are down to the business of kicking ass. What’s another word for “determined?”

Renewing their collaboration with producer Joseph Boldizar, who engineered along with Dave Klyman at Retro City Studios in Philly — Andrew Schneider mixed all but “Seven Words” in Brooklyn and Ryan Smith mastered in Nashville — only further highlights the growth the band’s craft has undertaken in the last four years. The tension of the chug in “A Promise of Nothing,” the swagger amid McNamara‘s layers in the prior “Horsewhip” and the swaying payoff in aforementioned opener in “Palace of Rain” all set an early standard of high grade fare that finds the unit sounding tighter, more purposeful in their task and aware of what they want that task to be. Understand, I’m not slagging off that first record in the slightest. Again, what’s happening here is that The Age of Truth have taken what worked really well and added to it.

At just under seven minutes, “Palace of Rain” sets up an alternating pattern of shorter and longer cuts that plays out across side A. Its turns are crisp but made fluid by an underlying groove, and among the other functions it has, it establishes the methodology the band will work with throughout what follows. It has an instrumental build. It has a powerhouse performance from McNamara — who could be singing classic metal or NWOBHM if he wanted but is well suited to the grittier fare; his voice reminds of a roughed-up Philly version of Euro heavy rock singers like Magnus Ekwall, Christian “Spice” Sjöstrand, etc. — that meets the aggressive pulse in Frassetto‘s drumming and the patterns set by DiDonato‘s riffs with due confrontationalism, Miller adding the tonal heft to the punch that puts “Palace of Rain” over the top in its concluding nod even as it emphasizes the journey undertaken to get there.

“Horsewhip” — three minutes as opposed to six-plus, which happens again between “A Promise of Nothing” and side A capper “Seven Words” — starts out with a more swinging, near-but-not-quite-post-Clutch semi-spoken verse before the chorus spreads out in Monster Magnetic style and loops back around, catchy like a song that came together in one rehearsal and needed nothing more than it was given, and while “A Promise of Nothing” is more structurally complex and breaks in its midsection for a quiter stretch before picking up volume again in slower roll, eventually returning to its chug to round out, the band carries it across with efficiency and urgency in kind, letting the acousti-Zeppelin “Seven Words” finish out in a manner made all the more organic for the subdued middle of the song before. Vocals farther back, a lead and rhythm layer of guitar accompanying, it’s more than an interlude and a considered shift in methodology that prefaces more changes still to come as Resolute moves into side B.

the age of truth

As “Horsewhip” advised to “Shut your mouth and go to sleep” — practically shouldering its way to getting stuck in your head — “Eye One” draws back for a more patient approach and is nearly two and a half into its total seven minutes before the verse begins. When it does, it’s a stomper with Wyndorfian phrasing, Sabbath-rooted swing and a turn after four minutes in toward more straight-ahead drive for the chorus, before a bluesy solo section begins the final build back into the hook again, vocals in layers front and back while the guitar, bass and drums urges into the cold finish. Where side A went between shorter and longer songs, side B is set up shortest to longest, with “Salome” at 7:52 and closer “Return to the Ships” at 9:01. A bluesman-by-the-river tale unfolds in “Salome” on a bed of fervent chug that in another context could just as easily be prog metal, but a flourish of acoustic guitar surfaces after a hint of Southern idolatry in a transition and it becomes clearer where The Age of Truth are headed. They twist and turn their way into a solo, Miller holding the groove together all the while, and are back in the chorus, more melodic and almost wistfully brash, before the acoustic comes back around to close out.

That’s a fair enough shift as “Return to the Ships” launches with the first genuine drift the band has fostered, a languid moment of strum and groove that’s almost All Them Witches-esque until the watery vocals kick in. A hard snare hit at 3:05 will mark the change that’s being telegraphed — the “now it gets very heavy” moment, and sure enough — but when one considers how far The Age of Truth have come to get to such a point where the beginning of “Return to the Ships” seems natural emphasizes the smoothness with which their execution brings the listener along for the ride. With a return to the quiet and guest keyboards/programming by Graham Killian, the closer chooses not to go for the big payoff at the end. Don’t get me wrong — it’s lacking nothing for impact when it wants to hit hard, and after six minutes in, it’s downright pummeling as the tempo picks up — but the last two and a half minutes of the track are led by that softer guitar, and the actual drawdown of Resolute is exactly that: a drawdown.

The lesson there? Something about unpredictability, maybe, or simply that The Age of Truth are considering the album as a whole as well as the individual songs that comprise it when they’re writing. One way or the other, their taking that breath, taking the time to let “Return to the Ships” go gradually — as one migth see a ship get smaller heading for the horizon — is one last proof for the theorem of their overarching creative growth. That they know so well what they want to do throughout these tracks only makes them a more dangerous band, and as much as Resolute‘s goal is in its craft, so too does the energy in this material make it all the more infectious, resonant even through that softer conclusion. May they never lose whatever chip it is residing on their collective shoulder if this is what they’re going to do with it. One of 2021’s best in heavy rock.

The Age of Truth on Facebook

The Age of Truth on Instagram

The Age of Truth on Twitter

The Age of Truth on Bandcamp

The Age of Truth website

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Heavy Psych Sounds Announces Reissues for Solarius, B.U.S. the Unknown Secretary and Stonewall Noise Orchestra

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 21st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

A never-released 2006 EP from Solarius, who featured Graveyard’s Jonatan Ramm on guitar and vocals, a reissue of B.U.S. The Unknown Secretary‘s 2016 debut (review here), and another reissue, of Stonewall Noise Orchestra‘s 2005 debut album, Vol. 1. Heavy Psych Sounds is sending multiple signals here. First, that its reissue program, which has already fostered revisits to outings from Dozer, Nebula, Kylesa, Josiah, Sgt. Sunshine, and others, will continue to dig into the pre-social-media era of underground heavy and find treasure waiting to be unearthed. Stonewall Noise Orchestra alone proves that, and Solarius feels like a flex there too.

It may be that B.U.S. have been picked up by Heavy Psych Sounds for their next outing — they released an album in 2019 (review here) on RidingEasy that was killer and showed them as underrated — but either way, five years later, their first one is worth another look, and it demonstrates the ever-increasing reach of HPS to do what it wants and when. The Italian label is the go-to for heavy rock and roll and psych in Europe. Their reissues are a victory lap in that regard.

Do Norrsken‘s complete works next.

Info and preorder links follow, courtesy the PR wire:

HPS183 *** SOLARIUS – Universal Trial ***
– first press of the 2006’s unreleased EP feat. members of Graveyard –

We are extremly proud to start the presale of the SOLARIUS 2006’s unreleased EP UNIVERSAL TRIAL !!

ALBUM PRESALE: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS183

USA PRESALE: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop-usa.htm#HPS183

Recorded back in 2006 and hidden up until now. Swedish retro rockers Solarius masterpiece “Universal Trial” is now brought to daylight with this release. 70’s groovy hard blues rock with a psychedelic twist and featuring Jonatan Ramm of Graveyard fame (before joining that band). Hard, groovy, soft and fuzzy sound that brings you back to the early 70’s.

The songs were recorded in Don Pierre Studios in Gothenburg produced by the legendary Don Alsterberg (Graveyard etc). The master tapes were forgotten but are now found and released on Heavy Psych Sounds Records. The recording is 100% analogue and recorded and mixed on tape. The songs gets its magic from a beautiful mix of groove, melodies, fuzzy hard rock and dreamful psych prog rock influences.

RELEASED IN
15 TEST PRESS VINYL
100 ULTRA LTD 3 COLOR STRIPED GOLD/TRANSPARENT/BLUE VINYL
300 LTD NEON YELLOW VINYL
BLACK VINYL
DIGIPAK
RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 24th

TRACKLIST
SIDE A
Universal Trial – 4.58
Sky Of Mine – 4.14
SIDE B
Into The Sun – 6.26
Mother Nature Mind – 5.25

SOLARIUS is:
Jonatan Ramm – Guitar and vocals
Mattias Ohde – Bass and vocals
Fredrik Aghem – Drums
Johan Grettve – Keys

B.U.S. The Unknown Secretary

HPS184 *** B.U.S. – The Unknown Secretary ***
– repress of the 2016’s debut album –

We are extremly proud to start the presale of the B.U.S. 2016’s debut album THE UNKNOWN SECRETARY repress !!

ALBUM PRESALE: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS184

USA PRESALE: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop-usa.htm#HPS184

In the beginning, there was chaos…

A while later in the Heavens, where angels reigned, there was once held a great symposium, a glorious feast. Everyone was happy and having a great time, until Lucifer, fairest and mightiest of all the angels, brought in suspicious and strange substances, offering them freely with both hands for everyone to take. All were fooled by the Ancient Serpent, starting to misbehave and act in contradiction to the Heavenly Laws. The Almighty God, enraged upon learning about the mutiny, threw everyone down on earth to suffer eternally in hunger, ugliness and desperation. Vulnerable now to each and every temptation, they are ready to perpetuate Good and Evil, while building their new earthly Kingdom in any way they can.

Angelic chants, Demon’s screams, witches dancing and woeful mortal suffering are recounted in this album’s songs, embellished with mesmerising hymns and sharp riffs. Chaos is always close and all that remains is the human revolution against the forces of evil.

“The Unknown Secretary” comes to further unsettle the turbulent waves of music and burn its own mark in history.

Today, five years after its original release, Heavy Psych Sounds reissues this retro gem, serving it once again straight into your record case.

RELEASED IN
15 TEST PRESS VINYL
100 ULTRA LTD QUAD BLACK/RED VINYL
300 LTD BLUE VINYL
BLACK VINYL
DIGIPAK

RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 8th

TRACKLIST
A1 Fallen – 3:33
A2 Masteroid – 4:45
A3 New Black Volume – 4:53
A4 Forever Grey – 3:28
A5 Don’t Fear Your Demon – 5:04
SIDE B
B1 Rockerbus – 7:38
B2 Withered Thorn – 4:49
B3 Over The Hills – 4:56
B4 Jimi – 5:20

B.U.S. is:
Bill Politis – Vocals & Guitars
Dimitris Papavasileiou – Bass Guitar
Aris Fasoulis – Drums
Fotis Kolokithas – Guitars

stonewall noise orchestra vol. 1

HPS190 *** STONEWALL NOISE ORCHESTRA – Vol. 1 ***
– repress of the legendary album in new coloured versions –

We are also stoked to start the presale of the STONEWALL NOISE ORCHESTRA legendary debut album VOL. 1 repress !!

ALBUM PRESALE: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS190

USA PRESALE: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop-usa.htm#HPS190

VOL. 1 is the legendary debut album of the swedish stonerockers Stonewall Noise Orchestra, released via Daredevil Records in 2005 featuring ex members from Demon Cleaner and Greenleaf!! This is a Stoner Rock masterpiece picked with some Black Sabbath and Hawkwind fragments! If you like it slow, heavy and straight in your face you can’t miss this one.

After more then 15 years Heavy Psych Sounds decided to give a new life to this masterpiece and repress it in completely new coloured vinyl versions.

RELEASED IN
15 TEST PRESS VINYL
100 ULTRA LTD 3 COLOR STRIPED RED/TRANSPARENT/BLACK VINYL
300 LTD LIGHT BLUE VINYL
BLACK VINYL
DIGIPAK
DIGITAL

RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 5th

TRACKLIST
Superfortress – 5:05
An Epic Curse – 7:41 (CD BONUS TRACK)
Two Sides Of A Sin – 4:51
As My Sun Turns Black – 3_51
Freedoms Prize (Demon Cleaner cover) – 5:21
Going To Clarksdale – 4:33
Evolution? – 5:28
High Octane Fever – 5:14
Hill Street Madman – 3:49
Sweet Queen – 4:49

STONEWALL NOISE ORCHESTRA (2005 lineup):
Lars-Inge – vocals
Snicken – guitar
Jansson – guitar
Jonas – bass
Mr. Pillow – drums

heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com
www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
www.youtube.com/user/MonoStereo79

Solarius, “Universal Trial”

Stonewall Noise Orchestra, “Sweet Queen”

B.U.S., The Unknown Secretary (2016)

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