Monte Luna Update on Progress for Second Album Due in 2019

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Normally I’d probably play it lazy and just include the video studio update from Monte Luna at the bottom of this post and leave it at that, but you know what? Their 2017 self-titled debut (review here), which was picked up by Argonauta Records and issued on vinyl earlier this year, is definitely worth another visit with its assault of longform sludge and doom groove, so yeah, I pretty much had to include that too. So much for lazy. Three or four extra clicks and one cut and paste later, I’m profoundly exhausted, not to mention riffed to a pulp.

The good news, though, is that the Austin, Texas, duo are nearly done with the record. They’ve finished the process of actually recording — a big step, I think we can all agree — and they’re having the album mixed before sending off to Chris Fielding at Skyhammer for mastering. As it happens, Fielding also mastered the debut, so if you’re wondering what that might sound like, again, the player’s at the bottom.

I’ll hope to have more to come on this one as we get closer to the release. Looks like there’s plenty of good news to come.

From the PR wire:

monte luna

STUDIO UPDATE: MONTE LUNA TO FINALIZE BRAND NEW ALBUM!

MONTE LUNA is the experience for the experienced spirits, reaching deep into your soul with a sledge of the heavy as hell doom sounds. After their critically acclaimed debut album self-released in 2017, the Austin-based duo and brainchild of James Cl and Philip Hook have signed a worldwide deal with Argonauta Records, who re-released MONTE LUNA’s debut on Vinyl this summer and who are set to release the band’s sophomore album during 2019!

Currently in the Matador Studios in San Antonio Texas, the band has now checked back with some update! “Hello everyone! James and Phil here from the Studio! The album is coming along smoothly! We have been able to record all of the album tracks, in addition to that, we have recorded 3 songs that will not be featured on the album! What we will do with those songs is unclear at this time. Once we have the album mixed we will be sending it off to Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studios for Mastering. We could not be more excited to show you all the new music! It is not going to be the same album as our self titled, some things have changed, but at its core it is still Monte Luna. Much love to you all! We can’t wait to give you some new music!”

Known for their interminable doom tracks, although the new album songs may be shorter than usual and the record will mark a change for the band, MONTE LUNA will keep leading you into another dimension and a challenging trip to fill your musical voids, and are hard at work to deliver their strongest work to date. Recommended for fans of Yob, Conan, Cough among many more heavyweights of the doom, the album release date alongside cover art work and some first tunes will be unleashed over the next upcoming months. Stay tuned for many more news as well as extensive tour plans by the band to be unveiled soon!

www.facebook.com/pg/MonteLuna666
www.monteluna666.bandcamp.com
https://www.instagram.com/monte_luna_tx/
www.argonautarecords.com

Monte Luna Studio Update

Monte Luna, Monte Luna (2017)

Tags: , , ,

Mark Deutrom Sets Jan. 4 Release for The Blue Bird; Streaming “The Happiness Machine”

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 25th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

mark deutrom

You know, I could go on about Mark Deutrom‘s career, his history as a solo artist, that time he played bass when the Melvins were good, or the stuff he did in Clown Alley, or with Bellringer — the latter of which is being reissued — but the bottom line is pretty simple: He does good work, you should listen to it. Okay. Fair enough.

His upcoming LP on Season of Mist is called The Blue Bird, and the details for it are out now as well as the streaming song “The Happiness Machine.” I haven’t had the pleasure of digging into the full record yet, but the art deco cover is killing me and the leadoff single — also the penultimate track on the album — is right in line with what Deutrom does best: foster traditionalist songcraft with just an edge of the weird running alongside. If you have the chance, it’s well worth your time.

The cover is by Jennifer Deutrom and the info came down the PR wire. Preorders are up now:

Mark Deutrom The Blue Bird

MARK DEUTROM (ex MELVINS bassist) will release his highly anticipated new album ‘The Blue Bird’ on January 4, 2019. The first work under the Texan’s own name in almost six years, ‘The Blue Bird’ is a full album listening experience; it explores melody, space, nuance, and volume as it flows from track-to-track like a prismatic audio storybook. From the classic unconventional heaviness of tracks such as “The Happiness Machine”, to the fever dream haziness of the “Somnambulist”, through the moody “The Day Has Come”, Deutrom moves from strength to strength without ever letting his foot off the gas. ‘The Blue Bird’ is rock grandeur, oozing poise and purpose, and has all the Deutrom hallmarks to be an abiding piece of heavy rock history.

DEUTROM is sharing the first new track from ‘The Blue Bird’ titled “The Happiness Machine” now.

Regarding the track and album unveiling, MARK DEUTROM comments, “Happiness is defined as the following: pleasure, contentment, satisfaction, cheerfulness, merriment, gaiety, joy, joyfulness, joviality, jollity, glee, delight, good spirits, lightheartedness, well-being, enjoyment; exuberance, exhilaration, elation, ecstasy, jubilation, rapture, bliss, blissfulness, euphoria, transports of delight; Hollywood ending”

He continues,

“An observation of the machinery at work, and possibly the ghost in that machine. Happiness, always being pursued is perpetually ethereal and elusive.

” in the air, on the web,
on the chain in your head”

The album is about the nature of happiness…or is it?”

‘The Blue Bird’ will release January 4, 2019. Pre-orders for the album are available here.

The artwork, created by Mark’s wife Jennifer Deutrom, and track list for ‘The Blue Bird’ can be found below:

Track List:
1. No Space Holds the Weight
2. Futurist Manifesto
3. Radiant Gravity
4. O Ye of Little Faith
5. Our Revels Now are Ended
6. Hell is a City
7. Somnambulist
8. Maximum Hemingway
9. Through the Ringing Cedars
10. They Have Won
11. On Father’s Day
12. The Happiness Machine
13. Nothing Out There

DEUTROM recently announced the reissue of “Bellringer”, the last in the series of reissues via Season of Mist. The prolific musician’s forward-thinking album titled ‘Bellringer’ will be available again worldwide on November 30. Pre-orders for ‘Bellringer’ are available here.

https://www.facebook.com/markdeutrom/
https://markdeutrom.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
https://www.twitter.com/seasonofmist

Mark Deutrom, “The Happiness Machine”

Tags: , , , , ,

Kyle Shutt of The Sword Announces First Solo Album Due in 2019

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

As always when a band calls it quits, there’s some question as to what’s next for its component members. Some do nothing. Some form other groups with other former members of other former bands. Every now and again, someone goes solo, and that would seem to be the intent — or at least one of the intents — of The Sword guitarist Kyle Shutt, who in the wake of his main outfit going on hiatus is both taking his heavied-up Pink Floyd tribute project Doom Side of the Moon on the road for select dates this Fall and embarking on a first-ever, he-plays-everything solo album set to release in May 2019. He’s got a crowdfunding campaign set up for the album now wherein, among other assorted rewards, he offers for $3,000 to cover any song you want, and in the video he dares someone to raise the money on GoFundMe and make him do “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Fair.

The PR wire brings word of these sundry doings and more:

kyle shutt (Photo by Mateo Leyba)

The Sword Guitarist Kyle Shutt Announces Plans to Release Solo LP

Acclaimed Musician Launches Incentive-Driven Kickstarter Campaign to Fund Solo Debut; Album Slated for May 2019 Release

Celebrated guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Kyle Shutt has announced plans to release his first-ever solo album in the spring of 2019. Shutt, who has spent the last 12 years touring the world as guitarist for the award-winning hard rock band The Sword, and just last year launched Doom Side of the Moon: a Heavy Metal Tribute to Pink Floyd, plans to play all of the instrumentation on the solo release and handle vocals, as well. The musician has launched a fan-friendly Kickstarter campaign to fund the project, which is slated for a May, 2019 release date. For full details on the campaign, which runs through October 31, visit this location.

“I love producing albums and rolling up my sleeves to tackle big challenges,” says Shutt. “While wondering what to do with a mountain of material not necessarily fit for any band that I am in, I heard a tiny, very loud voice telling me to make a solo album in that very sense, solo! I’ll be hitting those drums, slapping that bass, singing those lyrics, and absolutely shredding that guitar. If there’s something that makes a noise I like, I’m playing it. Now, while making albums is a load of fun, it’s also a load of work that, in 2018 doesn’t come cheap. That’s why I thought I’d ask you all be a part of the launching of this wacky solo career, which isn’t just stopping with this initial album. I’m starting with this record and will go wherever my inspiration takes me.”

“It‘s not easy being an artist these days, and I truly couldn’t do this without your support,” Shutt continues. “So if you have the faith in me to do my part in saving rock ’n’ roll, pick up a record and a shirt and LET’S DO THIS THING!

Shutt’s Austin-based Doom Side of the Moon project will perform its first-ever national live shows this December with just-announced gigs in Dallas, Denver and Brooklyn in addition to an encore performance in ATX. The autumn itinerary is as follows:

Doom Side of the Moon tour dates:

November 30 Austin, TX Emo’s
December 1 Dallas, TX Gas Monkey Live!
December 3 Denver, CO Bluebird Theater
December 4 Brooklyn, NY Warsaw

“Taking Doom Side of the Moon on the road, and to the sky for that matter for these fly in dates, is certainly the biggest project I’ve ever attempted, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous,” Shutt states. “I can only imagine what Pink Floyd felt like taking a show like ‘The Wall’ on the road. Those guys had such astounding ambition, I hope I do them justice by putting on the best tribute I can to their timeless catalog.”

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kyleshutt/kyle-shutt
https://www.facebook.com/DoomSideoftheMoon/

Doom Side of the Moon album visualizer

Tags: , , ,

Duel Touring to Descendants of Crom Fest

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 18th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

duel

After touring Europe last Fall and appearing earlier this year at the Maryland Doom Fest, kickass Texas four-piece Duel will make their way north this month to Pittsburgh to take part in the festivities at Descendants of Crom 2018. They join a lineup there that features Mos Generator, Come to Grief, Worshipper, Forming the Void, Curse the Son and a vast slew of others, and they go supporting their indelicately-titled 2017 sophomore outing Witchbanger (review here), having also followed that up this past Spring with the live album, Live at the Electric Church (review here).

That live record made a pretty good case for seeing Duel onstage, but they’re quickly and rightly earning a reputation either way, and it seems that the more they tour, the more they should. Being on the road only helped them to solidify their approach between their 2016 debut, Fears of the Dead (review here), and the subsequent offering, and one only hopes the thread of progression in songwriting and performance will only continue as they perhaps work toward a new album in 2019. Pure speculation there, but they’d be due.

Anyway, it’s a quick string of dates around Descendants of Crom and you’ll find them below, courtesy of the PR wire:

Duel septmeber US tour 2018

DUEL ON TOUR

DUEL is heavy psychedelic stoner doom metal from Austin, Texas. Hugely influenced by the darker sounds of early 70’s Proto-metal. Features two ex Scorpion Child (Nuclear Blast)members. Their sound is menacing and brutally old school. Total purists, their tunes cut right to the bone with heavy, deep groove and blistering tone. Tough and Loud! Hard rock as it should be!

Our beloved “apple” rockers DUEL will smash US in 3 weeks, you can’t miss them !!!

Duel live:
25.09.2018 – Growlers / Memphis TN
26.09.2018- Best Friend Bar / Lexington KY
27.09.2018 – 1984 Club / Wilmimgton DE
28.09.2018 – Ortlieb’s / Philadelphia PA
29.09.2018 – Descendants of Crom Fest / Pittsburg PA
30.09.2018 – Little Harpeth Brewery / Nashville TN

DUEL are:
Tom Frank – Guitars / Vocals
Shaun Avants – Bass / Vocals
Jeff Henson – Guitars
Justin Collins – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/DUELTEXAS/
https://duel3.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Duel, Witchbanger (2017)

Tags: , , , , ,

ST 37 Premiere “War Fever” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

st 37 (Photo by John Foxworth)

Every now and then a band comes along to remind that if you’re looking for it to make sense, sometimes you’re the one with the problem. Granted, Austin’s ST 37 are past the 30-year mark in offering said reminder, so I don’t necessarily know if “comes along” is the right phrase so much as “was already there,” but you get the point.

With an amalgam of freaked-out noisy punk and even more freaked-out psychedelic freakouts, improv-style and otherwise — there’s time for a little bit of everything in the 14-minute “KBDP,” nestled into side C of the 2LP as it is, let alone anything else in the record’s total 12 tracks/79 minutes — the vibe swings way, way open quickly as the jangly “War Fever” fuzz-grooves its way into a wash with a swath of voices and a deceptively playful bouncing rhythm, some sax, and echoing noise, eerie whispers and pretty much whatever else you want to hear in it. From there, it’s headfirst into the swirling made-up-on-the-spot “Shaper of Worlds” and the massive, organ-led eight-minute linear build of the Elegant Doormats cover “Grey Area,” before another cover, this one of The Vast Majority‘s “Hollywood Cemetery,” adds early-punk fervor to the proceedings.

The grounding effect of that cover, plenty swirling though it is, isn’t to be understated. It’s a kind of structural variety throughout ST 37 that speaks to the narrative circumstance of the album’s making, with recordings begun in 2015 and finished last year after a month-long tour with Japanese weirdo-legends Acid Mothers Temple. Not that ST 37 were exactly hurting for doing-whatever-the-hell-they-want anyway, but there’s an inspired spark behind the drifting rhythm and soaking wet overlaid lead guitar on “Shadesty,” as well as the manic laughter peppered into the later “Rooster Feather Paycheck,” and the tension of the repetitions in “Boss” that give way to the sleepy nine-minute improv “Inward, Please” speak to a will to throw the listener off-course that makes ST 37 both a challenge and an enjoyable listening experience.

In its makeup as well as its runtime, in the horror-surf harmonica of “Snootle y Choobs,” in the maybe-everything’s-backwards “Vengeance of Faces” and the space-consuming resolve of closer “Informed by Death,” there’s a refusal on the part of ST 37 to compromise with itself, and that gives it both an overarching sincerity of expression and a sheen of hypercool that’s an immediate weedout for lighter-weight heads. Real deal noise. You can try not to pass out, but I’m not entirely sure that isn’t the whole idea anyway.

ST 37 came out in late July on Super Secret Records, and I’ve got the privilege of hosting a premiere for the video of “War Fever,” which makes its statement pretty plain in the grainy news footage from a variety of military conflicts — so many to choose from! Interspersed with some live footage of the band in its final minute — you can see founding bassist Scott Telles in the midst of all that churning fluidity — it’s a fitting-enough representation for the track, though as noted above, that’s only the beginning of what the album soon unfurls.

PR wire info follows the clip below. Please enjoy:

ST 37, “War Fever” official video premiere

Super Secret Records proudly presents the new ST 37 double album (following up last year’s 12″ split with Acid Mothers Temple on our subsidiary label Self Sabotage Records).

After playing 30 shows in 31 days all over the US and Canada with Acid Mothers Temple in 2015, ST 37 felt an immediate need to decamp for Ohm Studios to capture some shit-hot lightning in a bottle with Chico Jones at the helm in an attempt to translate the incredible energy that was exchanged between these two psychedelic juggernauts as they battled their way across North America. It seemed as if the Japanese sonic wizards and the Texas space rockers were rubbing off on each other: AMT guitarist Makoto Kawabata guested live several times with ST 37 on the Twin Peaks cover “Just You” and the bands made immediate plans to issue a TP-themed split 12″ 45 with AMT’s version of “Sycamore Trees” (Self Sabotage Records SS-08); AMT bassist Atsushi Tsuyama found himself channeling ST 37 bassist Scott Telles’s lyrics onstage at the Mercury Lounge in Mahattan; and Telles suddenly started adopting Mitsuru Tabata’s idiosyncratic vocal style.

Thus: a band changed translates this newfound energy into a brand new double LP and CD, three years in the making from the initial basic tracks at Ohm through more sessions with Evan Kleinecke at 5th St. Studios to numerous efforts at various band members’ home studios. The new eponymously-titled record is in effect both current (new songs like War Fever, Boss and Shadesty) and timeless, as the band explores its roots with tracks like Houston punk chestnut Hollywood Cemetery and the old Elegant Doormats classic Grey Area.

ST 37 is available on 2xLP vinyl, CD and download on July 27th, 2018 via Super Secret Records.

Bobby Baker – guitars, synare
Bob Bechtol – electronics, tapes, backing vox
Lisa Cameron – drums, percussives, electronics
Joel Crutcher – guitars, lead vox on “Informed By Death”
SL Telles – bass, vox, drones
Matthew Turner – guitars, electronics, tapes
Chris “Sauce” Sorrentino – saxophone on “War Fever”
Michael Chamy – electronics on “Shaper of Worlds” and “Vengeance of Faces”
Kirk Laktas – piano on “Shadesty”
Walter Daniels – harmonica on ” Snootle y Choobs”

ST 37 on Thee Facebooks

ST 37 website

ST 37 at Super Secret Records webstore

Tags: , , , , ,

The Well Headed Back to Europe in October

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the-well-photo-by-david-brendan-hall

Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “Gee, but didn’t The Well tour Europe just last month?” Correctamundo, your inner-dialogue. That was the Summer tour. This is the Fall tour. And anyway, the thing about going to Europe is once you go, it’s pretty much all you want to do. You get over there and everything’s awesome and old and different looking and they have different cars and not everything is slapped with a corporate logo on it — The Roman Coliseum, brought to you by Supercuts — and yeah, it’s not really much of a mystery why The Well would be headed back so soon. Plus, they’re booked for Up in SmokeDesertfest Belgium and Keep it Low, so who’s gonna argue with their turning it into a three-week run? Jerkwads, that’s who.

They head back over still supporting 2016’s candlelit-good-timer Pagan Science (review here) on RidingEasy Records, and though I was speculating for the summer tour that maybe they’d have a new record out — their debut, Samsara (review here), was released in 2014, so a two-year span between LPs would be on target — I still haven’t heard anything about such doings, so I’ll keep my speculations to myself this time. Lesson (probably not) learned.

Dates and whatnots from the PR wire:

THE WELL TOUR

***THE WELL – EUROPEAN FALL TOUR 2018***

Austin-based power trio The Well blossomed when guitarist/vocalist Ian Graham was fired from his previous band. Determined to redirect his musical focus, Graham hooked up with bassist Lisa Alley and the two began picking out riffs in their east-side garage. Rounding out their sound, they stole drummer Jason Sullivan from Graham’s old band in a tale of vengeance and karma. His solid groove and reckless tribal beat gave the three-piece their ideal primal attack.

Due to their psychedelic doom edge, The Well reap comparisons to Black Sabbath, Sleep, Electric Wizard and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. As fans of cult horror films, they embrace the sinister, revel in dark themes and find inspiration in haunting echoes. The dual vocals of Graham and Alley evoke an ancient language that carries a mystic spell..

THE WELL EUROPEAN FALL TOUR 2018:
04.10.2018 IT Roma-Traffic
05.10.2018 IT Pisa-Albatross
06.10.2018 CH Basel-Up In smoke
10.10.2018 FR Lorient-Le Galion
11.10.2018 FR Nantes-La Scene Michelet
12.10.2018 FR Paris-Olympic Café
14.10.2018 BE Antwerp-Desert Fest
15.10.2018 DE Osnabruck-Darty+Dancing
16.10.2018 DE Tubingen-Shedhalle
17.10.2018 CH Basel-Hirschneck
18.10.2018 AT Salzburg-Rockhouse
19.10.2018 DE Augsburg-City Club
20.10.2018 DE Munich-Keep It Low Fest
22.10.2018 DE Berlin-Toast Hawaii
23.10.2018 DE Erfurt-Tiko
24.10.2018 DE Frankfurt-DKK
25.10.2018 CH Olten-Coq D’Or
26.10.2018 CH Frauenfeld-Kaff
27.10.2018 CH Rorschach-Treppenhaus

THE WELL ARE
Ian Graham – Guitars / Vocals
Lisa Alley – Bass / Vocals
Jason Sullivan – Drums

http://www.facebook.com/thewellband
http://thewellaustin.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ridingeasyrecords/
http://www.ridingeasyrecs.com/
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

The Well, Pagan Science (2016)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Glanville, Destroyer of Light, The Re-Stoned, Ruff Majik, Soldat Hans, High Priestess, Weed Demon, Desert Storm, Ancient Altar, Black Box Warning

Posted in Reviews on July 17th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-CALIFORNIA-LANDSCAPE-Julian-Rix-1851-1903

So Day 1’s done and it’s time to move on to Day 2. Feeling stressed and totally overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff still to be done? Why yes, I am. Thanks for asking. In the past, I used to handle the Quarterly Review well ahead of time. It’s always a lot to get through, but the week before, I’d be setting up back ends, chasing down links and Bandcamp players, starting reviews, etc., so that when it came time, all I had to do was the writing and plug it all into a post and I was set.

There was some prep-work done this past weekend, but especially this time, with my old laptop having been stolen in May, it’s all been way more jazz-improv. I was still adding releases as of last Friday, and writing beforehand? Shit. With the baby having just figured out how to climb? Not bloody likely. Accordingly, here we are, with much to do.

It’ll get done. I haven’t flubbed a Quarterly Review yet, and if I took an extra day to get there, I’m under no delusion that anyone else would care. So there you go. Let’s hit it for Day 2:

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Glanville, First Blood

glanville first blood

First Blood is the aptly-titled five-song debut EP from Glanville, a newcomer dual-guitar outfit with established players Philip Michel (The Earwix) on lead and Christopher West (Named by the Sun, ex-Stubb, etc.) on rhythm, Wight’s Peter-Philipp Schierhorn on bass and René Hofmann on vocals, and Thomas Hoffman (ex-Bushfire) on drums. Based in Germany and the UK, the group present 23 minutes of material on their first outing, drawing from the guitar-led likes of Thin Lizzy and Judas Priest to capture early metal and present it with a heavy rocking soulfulness and modern production. The most raucous of the cuts might be centerpiece “Durga the Great,” but neither “God is Dead” nor “Dancing on Fire” before nor “Demons” and “Time to Go” after want for action, and especially the latter builds to a furious head to close out the release. Hofmann as a standalone singer wants for nothing in range or approach, and the band behind him obviously build on their collective experience to dig into a stylistic nuance rarely executed with such confidence. They’ve found a place willfully between and are working to make it theirs. Can’t ask for more than that.

Glanville on Thee Facebooks

Glanville on Bandcamp

 

Destroyer of Light, Hopeless

destroyer of light hopeless

Having just recently signed to Argonauta Records for a new album in 2019, Austin doomers Destroyer of Light follow their 2017 long-player, Chamber of Horrors (review here), with a further auditory assault in the lumbering Hopeless. Psychedelic and yet still somehow traditional doom lingers in the brain after “Nyx” and “Drowned” have finished – the latter with an Alan Watts sample discussing alcoholism – and the band moves into demos for Chamber of Horrors cuts “Into the Smoke,” “Lux Crusher” and “Buried Alive.” Between the two previously unreleased songs and those three demos, Hopeless pushes to 39 minutes, but it’s probably still fair to call it an EP because of the makeup. Either way, from the miserable plod of “Nyx,” in which each chug in the riff cycle seems to count another woe, to the rolling nod early and surprising melody late in “Drowned,” Hopeless is anything but. Anticipation was already pretty high for Destroyer of Light’s next record after the last one, but all Hopeless does is show further depth of approach and more cleverly-wielded atmospheric murk. And the more it sounds like there’s no escape, the more Destroyer of Light seem to be in their element.

Destroyer of Light on Thee Facebooks

Destroyer of Light on Bandcamp

 

The Re-Stoned, Stories of the Astral Lizard

the re-stonEd stories of the astral lizard

The inevitable question is “Why a lizard?” and if you make it four minutes into 11-minute opener “Fractal Panorama” and don’t have your answer, go back ad start over. Moscow heavy psych instrumentalists The Re-Stoned intend the reptile as a spirit guide for their new outing Stories of the Astral Lizard (on Oak Island Records), which follows quickly behind their late-2017 offering, Chronoclasm (review here), and given the ultra-patient desert vibes in the opener, the acoustic-laced folk-prog of “Mental Print for Free,” the languid meander of “A Companion from the Outside,” the swirling sprawl of the 16-minute “Two Astral Projections” and the final cowpoke drift of “The Heather Carnival,” one might indeed just find a lizard sunning its belly amid all the atmospheric evocations and hallucinatory vibes. I’ll take “Two Astral Projections” as the highlight, but mostly because the extra length allows the band to really dig in, but really the whole album feeds together gorgeously and is a new level of achievement when it comes to atmosphere for The Re-Stoned, who were already underappreciated and find themselves only more so now.

The Re-Stoned on Thee Facebooks

Oak Island Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Ruff Majik, Seasons

Ruff Majik Seasons

Right on fuzz, right on groove, right on vibe – there isn’t much else one might say about Ruff Majik’s Seasons (on Rock Freaks Records and Forbidden Place Records) beyond “right on.” Heavy rock with twists of psychedelia, the Pretoria, South Africa, three-piece of Johni Holliday, Jimi Glass and Benni Manchino make their home on the lines of various subgenres, but wherever they go, the proceedings remain decisively heavy. To wit, a cut like “Breathing Ghosts” or the later “Birds Stole My Eyes” might dig into shuffle boogie or extreme-metal-derived thrust, but there’s a chemistry between the members and a resonant looseness that ties the material together, and as the last 14 of the total 66 minutes are dedicated to “Asleep in the Leaves,” there’s plenty of progressive weirdness in which to bask, one song moving through the next such that neither “Hanami Sakura (And the Ritual Suicide” nor the semi-doom-plodding “The Deep Blue” nor the funky twists of “Tar Black Blood” come across as predictable. Seasons might take a few listens to sink in, but it’s easily worth that effort.

Ruff Majik on Thee Facebooks

Ruff Majik at Rock Freaks Records webstore

Forbidden Place Records on Bandcamp

 

Soldat Hans, Es Taut

SOLDAT HANS ES TAUT-750

Hyperbole-worthy post-ism from Switzerland’s Soldat Hans makes their sophomore outing, Es Taut – on Wolves and Vibrancy Records as a 2LP – a forward thinking highlight. As rich in atmosphere as Crippled Black Phoenix and as lethal as Converge or Neurosis or anyone else you might dare to put next to them, the six-piece made their debut with 2014’s Dress Rehearsal (review here) and served notice of their cross-genre ambitiousness. Es Taut finds them four years later outclassing themselves and most of the rest of the planet across three extended tracks – “Story of the Flood” (26:15), “Schoner Zerbirst, Part I” (8:03) and “Schoner Zerbirst, Part II” (18:56) – that sprawl out with a confidence, poise and abrasion that is nothing short of masterful. Es Taut may be a case of a band outdoing their forebears, but whatever their legacy becomes and however many people take notice, Soldat Hans singlehandedly breathe life into the form of post-metal and prove utterly vital in so doing, not only making it their own, but pushing forward into something new in ambience and heft. This is what a band sounds like while making themselves indispensable.

Soldat Hans on Thee Facebooks

Wolves and Vibrancy Records website

 

High Priestess, High Priestess

high priestess high priestess

Calling to order a nod that’s immersive from the opening strains of leadoff/longest-track “Firefly” (still immediate points), Los Angeles trio High Priestess build out the psych-doom ritualizing of their 2017 demo (review here) to make their self-titled full-length debut through Ripple Music. The difference between the demo and the album in terms of what’s included comes down to artwork and the track “Take the Blame,” which adds its bell-of-the-ride swing between the atmosphere and melodic focus of “Banshee” and the spacious roller “Mother Forgive Me.” Potential is writ large throughout from guitarist/vocalist Katie Gilchrest, bassist/vocalist Mariana Fiel and drummer Megan Mullins, as it was on their demo, and even the harsh growls/screams on “Despise” seem to have found their place within the proceedings. As they wrap with the guitar-led jam of “Earth Dive,” High Priestess put the finishing touch on what’s hands-down one of 2018’s best debut albums and offer a reminder that as much potential as there is in their sound for future development, the accomplishments here are considerable unto themselves.

High Priestess on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

 

Weed Demon, Astrological Passages

weed demon astrological passages

Four tracks of gurgling riffy plunder pervade Astrological Passages, the 41-minute – longer if you get the digital version or the tape/CD, which includes the 7:24 “Dominion of Oblivion” – debut album from Columbus, Ohio’s Weed Demon. Delivered on vinyl through Electric Valley Records, the nodder/plodder carves out a cave for itself within a mountain of tonally thick stoner metal riffing, infusing a sense of sludge with shouted and growled vocals from guitarists Andy and Brian and bassist Jordan – only drummer Chris doesn’t get a mic – and an overarching sense of bludgeoning that’s Sleep-derived if not Sleep-adjacent in terms of its actual sound. Nasty? Why, yes it is, but as “Sigil of the Black Moon” heads toward the midpoint of its 10-minute run, the repetitive groove assault makes the band’s intention plain: worship weed, worship riff. They get faster on “Primordial Genocide” and even sneak a bit of speed in amidst the crawl before the banjo takes hold in the second half of 12-minute closer “Jettisoned” – more Americana sludge please; thank you – but they never lose sight of their mission, and it’s the uniting factor that makes their debut hit like the brick to the head that it is.

Weed Demon on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records website

 

Desert Storm, Sentinels

desert storm sentinels

With Sentinels, Oxford, UK, five-piece Desert Storm pass a decade since making their self-titled debut in 2008. They followed that with 2010’s Forked Tongues (review here), 2013’s Horizontal Life and 2014’s Omniscient (review here), and though they had a single out in 2014 on H42 Records as a split with Suns of Thunder (review here) in 2016, Sentinels is their first outing on APF Records and their first long-player in four years. Burl has always been an important factor in what they do, and the High on Fire-meets-Orange Goblin slamming of “The Brawl” backs that up, but Desert Storm have left much of the hyper-dudeliness behind in favor of a more complex approach, and while Sentinels isn’t a minor undertaking at 10 songs and 51 minutes, longer cuts like “Kingdom of Horns” and “Convulsion” demonstrate the maturity they’ve brought to bear, even as the one-two punch of “Drifter”  and “The Extrovert” offer swinging-fist hooks and beard-worthy chug that assures any and all testosterone quotas are met.

Desert Storm on Thee Facebooks

APF Records on Bandcamp

 

Ancient Altar, Cosmic Purge/Foie Gras

ancient altar cosmic purge foie gras

Based in Los Angeles, Ancient AltarScott Carlson (bass/vocals), Barry Kavener (guitar/vocals), Jesse Boldt (guitar) and Etay Levy (drums) – were last heard from on 2015’s dug-in atmosludger Dead Earth (review here), and they return lo these several years later with the two-tracker Cosmic Purge/Foie Gras, pushing into more extreme crush-of-riff with an abandon that’s anything but reckless. On the contrary, there’s some clear development in the 10-minute “Cosmic Purge” and 13-minute “Foie Gras,” rolling out oppressive grooves with blended screams/shouts and cleaner vocals. As with the last album, a drive toward individuality is central here, and Ancient Altar get there in tone while bringing forth a sense of scope to a sound so regularly thought of as closed off or off-putting in general. In its early going, “Foie Gras” hypnotizes with echoing melody and spaciousness only to resolve itself in a deeply weighted dirge march, furthering the pummel of “Cosmic Purge” itself. I don’t know if the EP – on vinyl through Black Voodoo Records, CD on Transcendental Void Records – will lead toward another album or not, but the sense of progression in Ancient Altar’s style is right there waiting to be heard, so here’s hoping.

Ancient Altar on Thee Facebooks

Black Voodoo Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Black Box Warning, Attendre la Mort

black box warning attendre la mort

Listen to it on headphones and the kickdrum on Black Box Warning’s Attendre la Mort is downright painful. Next-level blown-out aggro pulsations. Brutal in a physical sense. The rest of the band doesn’t follow far behind in that regard. Riffs are viscous and violent in noise rock tradition, but denser in their tone despite some underlying punkishness, and the vocals are likewise distorted and abrasive. The five-song/23-minute EP’s title translates to “Waiting for Death,” and each of the tracks is a dose: Opener “5 mg” is followed by “4 mg,” “1 mg,” “2 mg” and “3 mg.” Unsurprisingly, pills are a theme, particularly on “4 mg,” and the sense of violent threat is clear in “2 mg” and 3 mg,” which boast lines like, “Watch them all scream/Watch your enemy bleeded,” and “You are the pig/I am the butcher,” respectively. Between the lyrical and the general aural cruelty, the dis-ease is consuming and unmitigated, sludge becoming a slow-motion grindcore, and that’s clearly the point. Not stabbing, but gouging.

Black Box Warning on Thee Facebooks

Black Box Warning on Bandcamp

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Destroyer of Light Sign to Argonauta Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 3rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Austin doomers Destroyer of Light will release their next full-length in 2019 through Argonauta Records. The four-piece outdid themselves with last year’s Chamber of Horrors (review here), and more than ever, it’s easy to look forward to whatever they have coming next. Their 2018 EP, Hopeless, is streaming at the bottom of this post and will be the impetus for a run to Bad Reputation Fest in Houston later this month. This Fall, they’ll also head out on a tour of the East Coast and Midwest, hitting Shadow Woods IV in Maryland and venerable rooms up, down and all around the Atlantic Seaboard and the middle of the country. Hardly their first run, and presumably the tour will allow them to finalize new material before they actually get down to the business of making their upcoming record.

Argonauta announces the signing thusly:

destroyer of light

DESTROYER OF LIGHT join ARGONAUTA Records

Stoked to announce that DESTROYER OF LIGHT (Austin, TX) are now part of ARGONAUTA Records!

Formed in 2012 from constantly boiling musical cauldron that is Austin, TX, Destroyer of Light has taken a straight forward approach to tempering the disparate and harmonious parts of their influences into a total sum of slow motion tidal heaviness that bows to no altar but that of the riff. With the smoky flavors of hazed out doom and the stomping cadence of rock’s heyday, the band both tickles and deafens the ears with the theatrical flashes of Mercyful Fate, the ominous tones of Electric Wizard, and the ferociously feral feedback of a Sleep dirge.

The band says: “We are excited to announce our collaboration with Argonauta Records for our next LP. As a band, we have continued to evolve and mature, while maintaining the core sound of what is Destroyer of Light. So, after finishing the writing process and doing pre-production on these new songs, it is rewarding to have a record label that feels enthusiasm for these songs just as much as we do.”

New album to be released in 2019, more details to follow soon.

Destroyer of Light – Dates 2018
July Dates
July 13th – San Marcos, TX @ The Morgue Bar
July 18th – Austin, TX @ The Lost Well
July 19th – San Antonio, TX @ The Mix
July 20th – Harlingen, TX @ The Hop Shop
July 21st – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (Bad Reputation Fest)

Sept./Oct. Dates
9/1 – Denton, TX @ Dan’s Silver Leaf
9/2 – Oklahoma City, OK @ The Blue Note
9/3 – Wichita, KS @ The Elbow Room
9/4 – Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge
9/5 – Omaha, NE @ Lookout Lounge
9/6 – St. Paul, MN @ Caydence Records & Coffee
9/7 – Sioux Falls, SD @ Big’s Bar
9/8 – Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
9/9 – Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
9/10 – Chicago, IL @ Reggies
9/11 – Cleveland, OH @ 5 O’Clock Lounge
9/12 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
9/13 – Camp Hidden Valley, MD (Shadow Woods Music Fest)
9/16 – Brooklyn, NY @ Lucky 13 Saloon
9/17 – Allston, MA @ O’Briens Pub
9/18 – Buffalo, NY @ Sugar City
9/19 – Montreal, ON @ Piranha Bar
9/20 – Ottawa, ON @ Maverick’s Bar
9/21 – Toronto, ON @ Coalition
9/22 – Detroit, MI @ Sanctuary
9/23 – Lansing, MI @ Mac’s Bar
9/25 – Kalamazoo, MI @ Shakespeare’s Pub
9/26 – Canton, OH @ Buzzbin Art and Music Shop
9/27 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Howlers (Pre-Gala of Descendants of Crom)
9/28 – Columbus, OH @ Tree Bar
9/29 – Indianapolis, IN @ Black Circle Brewery
9/30 – Cincinnati, OH @ Junker’s Tavern
10/1 – Louisville, KY @ Highlands Tap Room
10/2 – Nashville, TN @ Springwater
10/3 – Birmingham, AL @ The Nick
10/4 – Memphis, TN @ Growler’s
10/5 – Little Rock, AR @ White Water Tavern
10/6 – Dallas, TX @ Ruins

Destroyer of Light is:
Steve Colca – Guitar, Vocals
Nick Coffman – Bass
Keegan Kjeldsen – Guitar, Synth
Penny Turner – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/destroyeroflight/
http://www.instagram.com/destroyeroflightofficial/
http://www.twitter.com/DoLAustinDoom
http://destroyeroflight.bandcamp.com/
www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
https://twitter.com/argonautarex
https://www.instagram.com/argonautarecords/

Destroyer of Light, Hopeless EP (2018)

Tags: , , , , , ,