Sleep, Pentagram and Cult of Luna to Headline Psycho California 2015

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 15th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

True to their word, it’s Jan. 15 and Psycho California 2015 has announced the headliners for what looks like the best American festival lineup I’ve seen since the days of Emissions from the Monolith. That’s not to take away from the hard work anyone else is doing, but just look at the list of bands. It’s unreal. You’d want to be everywhere at the same time to see all of it. Absolutely wild.

Sleep and Pentagram were pretty clear choices to headline. Not only for being legends in the heavy underground, but for also being just about two of the only bands left. Sweden’s Cult of Luna were something of a surprise, but for a festival already showing a European reach in bringing aboard the likes of Samsara Blues Experiment and Stoned Jesus, they make sense. Hell of a bill. Kudos to anyone who actually gets to go to the thing.

Announcement follows, courtesy of the PR wire:





Psycho California, the west coast’s first annual metal festival and a must see for fans of doom, heavy psych and sludge, has announced the headliners for this year’s event: Cult of Luna (May 15), Sleep (May 16) and Pentagram, who will perform First Daze Here in its entirety (May 17).

“2015 is going to be a slow year for Cult of Luna. However as much as we are musicians we are also fans,” said Cult of Luna’s Johannes Persson. “Evaluating if the offer to play Psycho California was worth dusting off our instruments was not hard after looking on the line-up. Being on the same bill as Pentagram, Sleep and a festival packed with the best bands around is a privilege in itself and we’ll try to live up to that honor.”

The lineup for Psycho California is: Sleep, Pentagram, Cult of Luna, Kylesa, OM, Earth, Russian Circles, Bedemon, Conan, Wrench, Eyehategod, Indian, Earthless, Pallbearer, Stoned Jesus, Old Man Gloom, Cave In, Acid Witch, Truckfighters, Tombs, Bang, Electric Citizen, Coffinworm, SubRosa, Eagle Twin, Mammatus, True Widow, Anciients, Bellwitch, Dead Meadow, Lord Dying, Death By Stereo, Radio Moscow, Ancient Altar, Samsara Blues Experiment, Atriarch, Elder, Mothership, The Well, Deathkings, Wo Fat, Rozamov, Destroyer of Light, Highlands, Bloodmoon, Slow Season, Goatsnake, Crypt Trip, Wrench, Lords of Beacon House, Tumbleweed Dealer, Sinister Haze, Blackout, Red Wizard, Banquet and Loom.

Festival interludes will be provided by Housecore Records’ artist Author & Punisher and vinyl DJ set from Bob Lugowe (Relapse Records) and Sean Pellet (Last Daze Here).

Previously announced early bird tickets sold out immediately. Tickets for the festival are on-sale this morning with both a 3-day pass ($149.50) and a 3-day VIP pass available ($256.66)

VIP packages include a 3-day festival pass, a signed screen print concert poster by David D’Andrea, express entry via artist check-in booth, access to artist VIP lounge, a limited edition Thief X Obey festival tee, a Psycho record bag and patch as well as access to a complimentary craft tequila bar, premium microbrews and artisan snacks.

Sleep, “The Clarity/Dragonaut” Live in Chicago, Aug. 28, 2014

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Atriarch West Coast Shows Start this Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 20th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Taking the well-honed darkness of Atriarch‘s 2011 debut, Forever the End (review here), to someplace entirely more goth and dramatic, the 2012 sophomore outing, Ritual of Passing, intrigued both in concept and execution, and found the Portland act discovering their niche within not only their own severely crowded scene, but also the wider sphere of the heavy underground. Released on CD by Profound Lore last October, Ritual of Passing is also out now in vinyl issue through Seventh Rule Recordings, which is the impetus behind the tour. See how everything ties together?

Here’s the info:

ATRIARCH West Coast shows…

5/22 Thee Parkside San Francisco, CA W/ Wild Hunt, Lycus, Caffa
5/23 The Catalyst Atrium Santa Cruz, CA W/ Gloam
5/24 Five Star Bar Los Angeles, CA W/ Lightning Swords of Death, Usnea, Deathkings
5/25 924 Gilman Berkeley, CA W/ Worm Ouroboros, Sutekh Hexen, Gloam
6/5 White Owl Portland, OR

Atriarch, “Parasite” from Ritual of Passing

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Atriarch, Forever the End: Meet at the Beginning

Posted in Reviews on August 26th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Oppressive in its atmosphere and crafted with an unrelenting darkness of aesthetic, Forever the End, the Seventh Rule Recordings debut from Portland, Oregon’s Atriarch is an intelligent masterwork that harkens to a very particular sense of drama. In listening to the record, it’s hard to believe the album is only 36 minutes long, because when you’re in it, the sound is so open, so sparse, and the spaces the guitar, bass, drums and vocals occupy so overwhelming, that it seems hard for a band to affect such a mood in so short a time. It’s a grieving, sorrowful atmosphere, playing modern doom tonality off depressive ‘90s-style guitar weeping that’s more Gothic than “gothic,” but owes something to drunken teenage late nights spent hanging out in cemeteries nonetheless. The four mostly-extended tracks of Forever the End keep to linear structures, and the result is they flow together almost as one larger piece. That they’re wrapped around a central and pervasive sonic misanthropy only enhances this feel, and through all of “Plague,” “Shadows,” “Fracture” and “Downfall,” Atriarch balance doomed heaviness with black metal’s cultish sensibility, vocalist Lenny resting far back in the mix for vicious cavern screams or cutting through with a sort of monotonic clean singing.

“Plague,” the tone-setting opener from which no light can escape, does bleed right into “Shadows,” with Brooks’ guitar emitting patient, cyclical patterns that set the stage for Maxamillion’s drums, which have the solemn duty of holding together material that’s both intricate and slow. The production on the whole of Forever the End is raw – the guitar sounds raw, Nick’s bass, though about the only show of warmth Atriarch have on offer, is raw, the vocals are raw – but the drums sound crisp and clear nonetheless. Maxamillion’s snare seems far back as “Shadows” moves into its lumbering heavier section after three minutes in, but the bass drum and toms come across well, and as the song once again shifts to a quieter movement to set up a solo section from Brooks, the hi-hat is bright, but not at all lacking in presence. That helps as the cacophony builds to the track’s apex – some rare double-kick and killer fills there amid Nick’s bass leading the groove – but it’s still the guitar that leaves the most lasting impression as it and some sampled throat singing close out. Atriarch don’t feel too concerned with “the ending” as an essential piece of the structure of their songs (this too helps the “take it as a whole” vibe of Forever the End), but “Shadows” satisfies on that level nonetheless, and as “Fracture” seems to start with a minimalist sparing of guitar and bass, most striking of all about it is the gradualness, the patience with which Atriarch execute the slow march to dominating heaviness.

Read more »

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Atriarch Signs to Seventh Rule

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 25th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

If you’re in a good mood this Friday afternoon, Portland, Oregon, happiness-bashers Atriarch would like to bring you down a peg or two. The depressively ambient foursome (which features bassist Nick Phit, formerly of the much-missed Graves at Sea) have just announced signing to Seventh Rule Recordings for the release of their debut, Forever the End. You can hear the very, very sad “Shadows” on the player below.

The PR wire speaks to you — do you listen?

Hailing from Portland, OR, vocalist Lenny Smith describes Atriarch as “a living entity comprised of four parts, offering catharsis through sonic ritual where there is no god, there is no devil; there is an all encompassing force that connects all living things.”

Comprised of members from Graves at Sea, TreesFinal Conflict, and Get Hustle, Seventh Rule will release Forever the End, the first full-length by Atriarch, in the coming summer months. Forever the End was tracked in Portland with the help of William Holloway then mixed and mastered by Greg Wilkinson (Ludicra, Asunder, Saviours) at Earhammer Studios in Oakland, CA.

Atriarch‘s current tour dates are as follows:
03/23 Medford, OR Johnny B’s
03/24 San Francisco, CA El Rio w/ Dispirit, Alaric
03/25 Oakland, CA First Church of the Buzzard w/ Embers, Headless Lizzy HIP, Vastum
03/26 San Jose, CA Born Dead House
03/27 Eureka, CA Facement
04/02 Seattle, WA Highline
04/08 Portland, OR Blackwater

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