Cavern Premiere “Red Moon” Video; Tour Starts Next Week

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

cavern

Baltimore trio Cavern underwent a sea change last year when drummer Stephen Schrock and guitarist/synthesist Zach Harkins brought in bassist Rose Heater and thereby employed a vocalist for the first time in years. Their early work on their 2013 self-titled debut and 2014’s Tales of Ruin was topped with post-hardcore-style shouts, but the band went instrumental for 2015’s Outsiders and last year’s Eater, taking on a more progressive and post-rocking drift in Harkins‘ guitar along the way. The tension between that guitar and Schrock‘s drumming can still be heard in new song “Red Moon,” or the prior-recorded/released single with the current lineup, “Fade Before the Flood,” but there’s a serenity overarching in the melodic delivery of Heater‘s voice that carries through and complements. “Red Moon” has more of a hook as well in a ’90s alternative/indie style and seems to rightly bask in the atmosphere it’s creating.

I’m pretty sure the warehouse space where the clip for “Red Moon” was filmed is where Grimoire Records does cavern red moon coverits recording — and would it be possible to get pricing on countertops? — so it’s cool to see the band run through the track in a space that’s obviously familiar to them as they’ve done all their tracking over the last half-decade plus with Noel Mueller under the Grimoire banner. That collaboration might be the untold story that in part allows the three-piece to achieve this level of patience in their delivery of “Red Moon,” but their songwriting has only grown more forward-thinking with time, so whatever it is that’s getting them there, they’re consistent in that regard. As they move toward a new full-length in 2020, presumably piecing it together the hard way as one song in one session at a time, “Red Moon” piques interest and demonstrates the chemistry taking shape of the band in their revamped incarnation.

Cavern will be on tour starting next week with Backwoods Payback for a run presented in part by this site. The dates are below and there’s more on it here.

Enjoy the video:

Cavern, “Red Moon” official video premiere

Music video credits:
Directed by: Karlo Gesner
Production Assistant: Jesse Eldredge

“Red Moon” was engineered, mixed and mastered by Noel Mueller in June of 2019. Art by Stephen Schrock. All proceeds will directly benefit the ACLU: https://grimoirerecords.bandcamp.com/track/red-moon-2

This (and Fade Before the Flood, from earlier this year) will be included in the as-yet untitled full-length that Grimoire Records is working on with Cavern, likely released in 2020 — no other album release details are available at this point. This single and music video is being released now in service of their upcoming September tour with Backwoods Payback:

Cavern & Backwoods Payback Sept. Tour:
09/23 Cleveland OH Now That’s Class
09/24 Youngstown OH Westside Bowl
09/25 Erie PA Basement Transmissions
09/26 Buffalo NY Mohawk Place
09/27 Toronto ON Bovine Sex Club
09/28 Montreal QC Turbo Haus
09/29 Philadelphia PA Kung Fu Necktie

Cavern is:
Stephen Schrock- Drums
Zach Harkins- Guitar/Synth
Rose Heater- Bass/Vocals

Cavern on Thee Facebooks

Cavern on Instagram

Cavern on Bandcamp

Cavern website

Grimoire Records on Thee Facebooks

Grimoire Records on Instagram

Grimoire Records on Bandcamp

Grimoire Records website

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R.I.P. Peter Maturi of Swarm of the Lotus & Graven

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

It was hard to listen to the work of Peter Maturi and not be affected by the absolute ferocity of it. As guitarist/vocalist in Swarm of the Lotus and more recently Graven, the Baltimore, Maryland-based Maturi brought an unbridled, unhinged sense of extremity to sludge and noise, refusing to be sold on the line between doom and grind. Maturi’s bandmates announced over the weekend that he has passed away, and on behalf of myself and this site, I offer sincere condolences to his family, friends and of course the other members of his bands.

I never saw Neurosis lay waste to a small back room bar, but I saw Swarm of the Lotus, and if you think that’s a happenstance comparison, forget it. Though their two albums — 2004’s When White Becomes Black on At a Loss Recordings and 2005’s The Sirens of Silence (discussed here) on Abacus/Emetic — remain as brutally underrated as they were, well, brutal, the stage found the band even more punishing. I always held out hope for a third LP, even as they seemed to fade away after the second one. In 2015, the band posted the single “Plagued by Ritual” (discussed here) that further got my hopes up, but nothing else materialized in public from them after that.

By then, however, Maturi had begun Graven and embarked on a new level of aural pummel. The 2018 LP, Heirs of Discord (review here), lived up to its name in capturing the sense of chaos that was always at heart in Swarm of the Lotus, but was clearly its own beast as well that, despite the members being geographically split, only seemed prime for future growth. It is a shame and a loss that such growth will go unrealized.

Here is what Swarm of the Lotus posted:

peter maturi swarm of the lotus

It is with immense sadness that we must announce our friend, bandmate, and brother, Pete Maturi passed away earlier this week. It’s so hard to sum up Pete’s life in one social media post as he probably lived a thousand years worth in his lifetime. His passion for music was undeniable. He lived and breathed it every day. He poured every ounce of his being into everything that he played or wrote, the end result being nothing short of sheer intensity. From the brutal guitar riffs to the pain-filled lyrics, his songs took you to another world. Pete will always be remembered for the amazing musician and person he was. We will never forget his ridiculous and sarcastic sense of humor, his caring soul, or his dedication to his friends and family.

Because of the absolute suddenness of Pete’s passing, it is our goal to make sure that Niki and their daughter do not have to worry about finances while they grieve their immense loss. Any little bit would surely help to relieve any unnecessary burden while they mourn and work toward building a future. If anyone would like to donate, you can do so via PayPal at nikimaturi@gmail.com Any help will be greatly appreciated.

A celebration of life will be held in the future and we will release those details as they unfold.

Until then, throw on a SOTL or Graven album, crank it up loud as fuck and raise a glass to Pete!

Pete, we miss you brother!

Photo by Scott Kinkade

https://www.facebook.com/GRAVENSOUND/
https://gravensound.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SwarmoftheLotus/
https://swarmofthelotus.bandcamp.com/

Graven, Heirs of Discord (2018)

Swarm of the Lotus, “Plagued by Ritual”

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Yatra Sign to STB Records for New Album Release

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 29th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

So, new Yatra in November, maybe? Feels late, but if they’re dead set on making two LPs happen in 2019 — their first, Death Ritual (discussed here), came out in January on Grimoire Records — it’s certainly plausible provided the vinyl is in production. Maybe even October? That feels like a run, as it’s already almost August, but that would align with Yatra‘s Obelisk-presented European tour with Sunnata starting Oct. 2, so that might make sense too. I’ll be curious to find out when an exact date surfaces. So far what we’ve got to go on is “before the end of the year.” Okeydokey.

Now then, it was pretty apparent given the response Yatra have thus far gotten from their studio work and their live show that someone was going to pick up their next release, and the only real question was who it would be. STB Records would seem to have won out this time around, and I’ve no doubt that the fanbase Yatra have quickly set about building will dig into the label’s “red carpet treatment,” as it’s called below, with an array of vinyl editions pressed, Obi strips, deluxe versions, test pressings and all that kind of good stuff. I’d be happy just to hear the thing for now, but given the hit-it-really-fucking-hard factor Yatra have put into play throughout 2019 to-date, they’ve earned that “treatment” and then some.

Kudos to the band and the label. Here’s the announcement and their currently scheduled shows:

yatra

YATRA – New Band Signing!!

STB Records is proud to announce and welcome YATRA to the STB Family! We are very excited to work together and we can not wait to release this new banger of an album to the fans, old and new!

If you have not checked Yatra out yet, click the link below and have your mind blown. Expect the full STB Records red carpet treatment for the new album expected to be released before the end of the year.

YATRA – “Death Ritual”

Next Yatra shows!!!:
8/10 – El Cortez – Brooklyn, NYC
8/29 – The Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
8/31 – Atlas – Washington, D.C.

SUNNATA & YATRA European tour:
02.10 – Dresden (DE) HD
03.10 – Copenhagen (DK) Stengade
04.10 – Oslo (NO) Hostsabbat Festival
06.10 – Uppsala (SE) Ungdomens Hus
09.10 – Cologne (DE) MTC
10.10 – Colmar (FR) Grillen
11.10 – Ilmenau (DE) Baracke 5
12.10 – Berlin (DE) Setalight Festival
16.10 – Munich (DE) Backstage
17.10 – Paris (FR) L’International
18.10 – Antwerp (BE) Desertfest Belgium
19.10 – Leeuwarden (NL) Into The Void

YATRA:
Dana Helmuth – guitars/vocals
Maria Geisbert – bass
Mike Tull – drums

http://www.facebook.com/yatradoom
https://www.instagram.com/yatra_doom
https://yatradoom.bandcamp.com
http://stbrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/STB-Records-471228012921184/

Yatra, Death Ritual (2019)

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Asthma Castle Announce August Touring

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Asthma Castle

Asthma Castle‘s black ship will launch next month supporting the earlier-2019 release of Mount Crushmore on Hellmistress Records, bringing chaos and headspinning heavy noise rock to the unsuspecting citizenry up and down the Eastern Seaboard and a little bit further inland as well. The burl-bringing five-piece to me recall more of a West Coast noise rock sound, specifically some of Akimbo‘s unhinged metallic-hardcore-sludge attack, but with growls and low-end pummel of “Methlehem” from the record, they’ve got more going for them than just smash-your-head-into-the-wall brashness. Though there’s a bit of that as well. Not telling you to bring your helmet, but not telling you not to either.

Oh, and bonus points to them (again) for calling it the ‘Mount Crushtour.’

If you didn’t hear the record — I know you did, but hypothetically — it’s streaming below from their Bandcamp. Here are the tour dates via the PR wire:

Asthma Castle tour

ASTHMA CASTLE: Stoner Metal/Sludge Merchants Featuring Members Of Pig Destroyer, Misery Index, And More Announce August Tour Dates; Mount Crushmore Full-Length Out Now Via Hellmistress Records

Stoner metal/sludge merchants ASTHMA CASTLE have confirmed a rare stack of live dates next month which will find the band pillaging nine stages from August 8th through August 31st. See all confirmed dates below.

The band — featuring within its ranks drummer Adam Jarvis (Pig Destroyer, Misery Index, Scour), the twin guitar attack of Justin Ethem and Cameron Smith (Passage Between, Crawler), vocalist Zach Westphal (ex-J. Roddy Walston And The Business), and bassist Jeff Davis (Damnation Audio effects pedals) — will be touring in support of their Mount Crushmore debut released earlier this year via Hellmistress Records. Recorded and mixed at Wrightway Studios (Dying Fetus, Misery Index), mastered by Scott Hull of Pig Destroyer at his own Visceral Sound Studios with cover art by Gary Ronaldson of Bite Radius Designs (Napalm Death, Kreator etc.), ASTHMA CASTLE manifests a unique and seamless, riff-heavy blend of stoner metal/rock, heavy metal, prog, and sludge that takes its cues from the likes of Weedeater, Church Of Misery, Mastodon, Lowrider, Dozer, and Clutch without ever seeming derivative.

Mount Crushmore is available on CD, digital, and limited-edition vinyl formats via Hellmistress Records. For CD orders go to THIS LOCATION, for vinyl go to THIS LOCATION, and for digital, go to THIS LOCATION.

ASTHMA CASTLE:
8/08/2019 Westside Bowl – Youngstown, OH
8/09/2019 TBD – Morgantown, WV
8/10/2019 El Cortez – Brooklyn, NY
8/11/2019 Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA
8/22/2019 Cary St. Café – Richmond, VA
8.23.2019 Slim’s – Raleigh, NC
8/24/2019 The Mothlight – Ashville, NC
8/25/2019 The Golden Pony – Harrisonburg, VA
8/31/2019 Pie Shop – Washington, DC

Asthma Castle are:
Zach Westphal – vocals
Justin Ethem – guitar
Cameron Smith – guitar
Jeff Davis – bass
Adam Jarvis – drums

http://www.facebook.com/asthmacastle
http://asthmacastle.bandcamp.com
http://www.instagram.com/asthma_castle
http://www.hellmistressrecords.com
http://www.facebook.com/hellmistressrecords
http://www.instagram.com/hellmistressrecords

Asthma Castle, Mount Crushmore (2019)

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Darsombra Mega-Tour Starts Next Week; New Transmission Trailer Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Oh, you think you tour a lot? Well, Darsombra think that’s adorable. Next week, they’ll head out on what’s only their latest string of impossible-looking tour dates, running up through the Northeast and into and across Canada and then back through the Midwest in a way that makes me think there’s probably a specifically Californian string of dates to come, and knowing Darsombra — who are based as much “on earth” as they are in Baltimore — it’ll probably run for a month straight. The duo’s new album, Transmission, is up for preorder now direct from their website or Bandcamp, and they’ve got a new trailer for it posted as of pretty much when I post this, that I’m pretty sure was filmed at a haunted house. Neat. The album, of course, is one long track, so you’re getting about 1/45th of it here, but still, it’s a good 1/45th. Mark it a win and then go a show and buy all the merch.

Here’s where they’ll be:

darsombra

Darsombra’s 2019 album, “Transmission” is almost here!!! Preorder is available at www.darsombra.com and www.darsombra.bandcamp.com. Or come out and see us and get a copy in person, in any of the following places:

July 31 – Cleveland OH @ Magalen
Aug 1 – Toronto ON @ Sneaky Dee’s
Aug 2 – Buffalo NY – Infringement Festival @ Nietzsche’s
Aug 3 – Buffalo NY – Infringement Festival @ Hickory Urban Sanctuary
Aug 5 – Rochester NY @ Bug Jar
Aug 6 – Albany NY @ Pauly’s Hotel
Aug 7 – Providence RI @ AS220
Aug 8 – Boston MA @ O’Brien’s
Aug 9 – Portland ME @ Geno’s
Aug 10 – Littleton NH @ Loading Dock
Aug 11 – Burlington VT @ Junktiques
Aug 13 – Montreal QC @ Casa Del Popolo
Aug 15 – Ottawa ON @ Pressed
Aug 16 – Sudbury ON @ The Asylum
Aug 17 – Sault Ste Marie ON @ New American
Aug 20 – Thunder Bay ON @ The Apollo
Aug 22 – Winnipeg MB @ Times Changed
Aug 23 – Regina SK @ German Club
Aug 24 – Saskatoon SK @ Amigo’s
Aug 25 – Edmonton AB @ 9910
Aug 26 – Calgary AB @ Dickens
Aug 28 – Kelowna BC @ Milkcrate Records
Aug 29 – Vancouver BC @ Avant Garden
Aug 30 – Nanaimo BC @ The Cambie
Aug 31 – Victoria BC @ Vinyl Envy
Sept 4 – Olympia WA @ Cryptatropa
Sept 5 – Seattle WA @ Lofi
Sept 6 – Salem OR @ The Space Concert Club
Sept 7 – Portland OR @ High Water Mark
Sept 10 – Boise ID @ The Olympic
Sept 12 – Bozeman MT @ Filling Station
Sept 13 – Billings MT @ Kirks’ Grocery
Sept 14 – Rapid City SD @ Cave Collective
Sept 18 – Sioux Falls SD @ Total Drag
Sept 19 – Minneapolis MN @ Kitty Cat Club
Sept 20 – Duluth MN @ Blush
Sept 21 – Marquette MI @ The Crib
Sept 23 – Milwaukee WI @ Cactus Club
Sept 25 – Rock Island IL @ Rozz-Tox
Sept 26 – Peoria IL @ Trailside Event Center
Sept 27 – Chicago IL @ Charm School
Sept 28 – Detroit MI @ Trumbullplex
Sept 29 – Pittsburgh PA @ 3577 Studios
Oct 5 – Baltimore MD – Mushroom City Arts Festival @ Gwynns Falls Leakin Park

http://facebook.com/darsombra
https://www.instagram.com/darsombra/
http://www.darsombra.com/

Darsombra, Transmission trailer #3 premiere

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The Obelisk Presents: Backwoods Payback & Cavern September Tour

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on July 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

cavern

backwoods payback

Easiest conversation I had last week went like this, “Hey man, we’re doing some shows with Cavern, you wanna present the tour?” “Yes. Duh.”

That’s not quite verbatim, but it’s enough to give you the gist anyhow, and when it’s Backwoods Payback doing the asking, the answer’s just about always going to be yes. Even if I hadn’t seen the Pennsylvania/Virginia three-piece last month at Maryland Doom Fest 2019 (review here) and been so thoroughly blown away, they’re reliable the way people think of sunrise as being reliable, and I’m too busy indulging delusions of relevance any time they ask for anything to say no. “Well, if Backwoods think it’s cool, I must be on to something,” and so on.

But lo! There’s intrigue here too, as the Marylanders Cavern will be heading out in their newfangled trio incarnation, having welcomed bassist Rose Heater to the lineup with guitarist/synthesist Zach Harkins and drummer Stephen Schrock and, for the first time, turning not just from a two-piece to a three-piece, but from an instrumental to a vocal-topped outfit as well. In order to “demonstrate their style” — as Madball once put it — Cavern put up the post-rocky, prog-tinged single “Fade Before the Flood” in April. You can hear it streaming down at the bottom of this post. Indeed, it sounds like something I’d want to check out live.

And because any excuse to put it on and I’m happy, I’ve included Backwoods Payback‘s 2018 album, Future Slum (review here), as well. I know you’ve heard me say it a ton of times by now, but if you haven’t given that record its due, the time is now. Quick, before they put out another one!

Genuinely thrilled to be involved here in the small way I am. Go see these bands on this tour:

backwoods payback cavern tour dates

Cavern & Backwoods Payback Sept. Tour:
09/23 Cleveland OH Now That’s Class
09/24 Youngstown OH Westside Bowl
09/25 Erie PA Basement Transmissions
09/26 Buffalo NY Mohawk Place
09/27 Toronto ON Bovine Sex Club
09/28 Montreal QC Turbo Haus
09/29 Philadelphia PA Kung Fu Necktie

CAVERN:
Stephen Schrock- Drums
Zach Harkins- Guitar/Synth
Rose Heater- Bass/Vocals

BACKWOODS PAYBACK:
Jessica Baker – Bass
Mike Cummings – Guitar/vocals
Erik Larson – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/cavernmd/
https://cavernmd.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/backwoodspayback/
https://backwoodspayback.bandcamp.com/

Cavern, “Fade Before the Flood”

Backwoods Payback, Future Slum (2018)

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Quarterly Review: Elizabeth Colour Wheel, Black Lung, Giant Dwarf, Land Mammal, Skunk, Silver Devil, Sky Burial, Wizzerd, Ian Blurton, Cosmic Fall

Posted in Reviews on July 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

Got my laptop back. Turned out the guy had to give me a new hard drive entirely, clone all my data on it, and scrap the other drive. I’m sure if I took it to another technician they’d have said something completely different, either for better or worse, but it was $165 and I got my computer back, working, in a day, so I can’t really complain. Worth the money, obviously, even though it was $40 more than the estimate. I assume that was a mix of “new hard drive” and “this is the last thing I’m doing before a four-day weekend.” Either way, totally legit. Bit of stress on my part, but what’s a Quarterly Review without it?

This ends the week, but there’s still one more batch of 10 reviews to go on Monday, so I won’t delay further, except to say more to come.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Elizabeth Colour Wheel, Nocebo

elizabeth colour wheel nocebo

A rare level of triumph for a first album, Elizabeth Colour Wheel‘s aesthetic scope and patience of craft on Nocebo result in a genre-spanning post-noise rock that maintains an atmospheric heft whether loud or quiet at any given moment, and a sense of unpredictability that feels born out of a genuinely forward-thinking songwriting process. It is dark, emotionally resonant, beautiful and crushing across its eight songs and 47 minutes, as the Philadelphia five-piece ebb and flow instrumentally behind a standout vocal performance that reminds of Julie Christmas circa Battle of Mice on “Life of a Flower” but is ultimately more controlled and all the more lethal for that. Bouts of extremity pop up at unexpected times and the songs flow into each other so as to make all of Nocebo feel like a single, multi-hued work, which it just might be as it moves into ambience between “Hide Behind (Emmett’s Song)” and “Bedrest” before exploding to life again in “34th” and transitioning directly into the cacophonous apex that comes with closer “Head Home.” One of the best debuts of 2019, if not the best.

Elizabeth Colour Wheel on Thee Facebooks

The Flenser on Bandcamp

 

Black Lung, Ancients

black lung ancients

Ancients is the third full-length from Baltimore’s Black Lung, whose heavy blues rock takes a moodier approach from the outset of “Mother of the Sun” onward, following an organ-led roll in that opener that calls to mind All Them Witches circa Lightning at the Door and following 2016’s See the Enemy (review here) with an even firmer grasp on their overarching intent. The title-track is shorter at 3:10 and offers some post-rock flourish in the guitar amid its otherwise straight-ahead push, but there’s a tonal depth to add atmosphere to whatever moves they’re making at the time, “The Seeker” and “Voices” rounding out side A with relatively grounded swing and traditionalist shuffle but still catching attention through pace and presentation alike. That holds true as “Gone” drifts into psychedelic jamming at the start of side B, and the chunkier “Badlands,” the dramatic “Vultures” and the controlled wash of “Dead Man Blues” take the listener into some unnamed desert without a map or exit strategy. It’s a pleasure to get lost as Ancients plays through, and Black Lung remain a well-kept secret of the East Coast underground.

Black Lung on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

Noisolution website

 

Giant Dwarf, Giant Dwarf

Giant Dwarf Giant Dwarf

This just fucking rules, and I feel no need to couch my critique in any more flowery language than that. Driving, fuzzy heavy rock topped with post-Homme melodies that doesn’t sacrifice impact for attitude, the self-released, self-titled debut from Perth, Australia’s Giant Dwarf is a sans-pretense 35 minutes of groove done right. They may be playing to genre, fine, but from the cover art on down, they’re doing so with a sense of personality and a readiness to bring an individual sensibility to their sound. I dig it. Summery tones, rampant vocal melodies in layers, solid rhythmic foundation beneath. The fact that it’s the five-piece’s first album makes me look less for some kind of stylistic nuance, but it’s there to be heard anyway in “Disco Void” and the bouncing end of “High Tide Blues,” and in surrounding cuts like “Repeat After Defeat” and “Strange Wool,” Giant Dwarf set to the task before them with due vitality, imagining Songs for the Deaf with Fu Manchu tonality in “Kepler.” No big surprise, but yeah, it definitely works. Someone should be beating down the door to sign this band.

Giant Dwarf on Thee Facebooks

Giant Dwarf on Bandcamp

 

Land Mammal, Land Mammal

land mammal land mammal

Land Mammal‘s debut outing is a 14-minute, proof-of-concept four-songer EP with clarity of presentation and telegraphed intent. Marked out by the Robert Plant-style vocal heroics of Kinsley August, the band makes the most of a bluesy atmosphere behind him, with Will Weise on wah-ready guitar, Phillip PJ Soapsmith on bass, Stephen Smith on drums and True Turner on keys. On opener “Dark with Rain” and closer “Better Days,” they find a pastoral vibe that draws from ’90s alternative, thinking Blind Melon particularly in the finale, but “Earth Made Free” takes a bluesier angle and “Drippin’ Slow” is not shy about nor ashamed of its danceability, as its lyrics demonstrate. For all the crispness of the production, Land Mammal still manage to sound relatively natural, which is all the more encouraging in terms of moving forward, but it’ll be interesting to hear how they flesh out their sound over the course of a full-length, since even as an EP, this self-titled is short. They have songwriting, performance and production on their side, however, so something tells me they’ll be just fine.

Land Mammal on Thee Facebooks

Land Mammal on Bandcamp

 

Skunk, Strange Vibration

skunk strange vibration

Even before they get to the ultra-“N.I.B.” patterning of second track “Stand in the Sun,” Skunk‘s Sabbathian loyalties are well established, and they continue on that line, through the “War Pigs”-ness of “Goblin Orgy” (though I’ll give them bonus points for that title), and the slower “A National Acrobat” roll of “The Black Crown,” and while that’s not the only influence under which Skunk are working — clearly — it’s arguably the most forward. They’ve been on a traditional path since 2015’s mission-statement EP, Heavy Rock from Elder Times (review here), and as Strange Vibration is their second album behind 2017’s Doubleblind (review here), they’ve only come more into focus in terms of what they’re doing overall. They throw a bit of swagger into “Evil Eye Gone Blind” and “Star Power” toward the end of the record — more Blackmore or Leslie West than Iommi — but keep the hooks center through it all, and cap with a welcome bit of layered melody on “The Cobra’s Kiss.” Based in Oakland, they don’t quite fit in with the Californian boogie scene to the south, but standing out only seems to suit Strange Vibration all the more.

Skunk on Thee Facebooks

Skunk on Bandcamp

 

Silver Devil, Paralyzed

Silver Devil Paralyzed

Like countrymen outfits in Vokonis or to a somewhat lesser degree Cities of Mars, Gävle-based riffers Silver Devil tap into Sleep as a core influence and work outward from there. In the case of their second album, Paralyzed (on Ozium Records), they work far out indeed, bringing a sonic largesse to bear through plus-sized tonality and distorted vocals casting echoes across a wide chasm of the mix. “Rivers” or the later, slower-rolling “Octopus” rightfully present this as an individual take, and it ends up being that one way or the other, with the atmosphere becoming essential to the character of the material. There are some driving moments that call to mind later Dozer — or newer Greenleaf, if you prefer — such as the centerpiece “No Man Traveller,” but the periodic bouts of post-rock bring complexity to that assessment as well, though in the face of the galloping crescendo of “The Grand Trick,” complexity is a secondary concern to the outright righteousness with which Silver Devil take familiar elements and reshape them into something that sounds fresh and engaging. That’s basically the story of the whole record, come to think of it.

Silver Devil on Thee Facebooks

Ozium Records website

 

Sky Burial, Sokushinbutsu

sky burial Sokushinbutsu

Comprised of guitarist/vocalist/engineer Vessel 2 and drummer/vocalist Vessel 1 (also ex-Mühr), Sky Burial release their debut EP, Sokushinbutsu, through Break Free Records, and with it issue two songs of densely-weighted riff and crash, captured raw and live-sounding with an edge of visceral sludge thanks to the harsh vocals laid overtop. The prevailing spirit is as much doom as it is crust throughout “Return to Sender” (8:53) and the 10:38 title-track — the word translating from Japanese to “instant Buddha” — and as “Sokushinbutsu” kicks the tempo of the leadoff into higher gear, the release becomes a wash of blown-out tone with shouts cutting through that’s very obviously meant to be as brutal as it absolutely is. They slow down eventually, then slow down more, then slow down more — you see where this is going — until eventually the feedback seems to consume them and everything else, and the low rumble of guitar gives way to noise and biting vocalizations. As beginnings go, Sokushinbutsu is willfully wretched and animalistic, a manifested sonic nihilism that immediately stinks of death.

Sky Burial on Thee Facebooks

Break Free Records on Bandcamp

 

Wizzerd, Wizzerd

wizzerd st

One finds Montana’s Wizzerd born of a similar Upper Midwestern next-gen take on classic heavy as that of acts like Bison Machine and Midas. Their Cursed Tongue Records-delivered self-titled debut album gives a strong showing of this foundation, less boogie-based than some, with just an edge of heavy metal to the riffing and vocals that seems to derive not directly from doom, but definitely from some ’80s metal stylizations. Coupled with ’70s and ’90s heavy rocks, it’s a readily accessible blend throughout the nine-song/51-minute LP, but a will toward the epic comes through in theme as well as the general mood of the riffs, and even in the drift of “Wizard” that’s apparent. Taken in kind with the fuzzblaster “Wraith,” the winding motion of the eponymous closer and with the lumbering crash of “Warrior” earlier, the five-piece’s sound shows potential to distinguish itself further in the future through taking on fantasy subject matter lyrically as well as playing to wall-sized grooves across the board, even in the speedy first half of “Phoenix,” with its surprising crash into the wall of its own momentum.

Wizzerd on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Tongue Records webstore

 

Ian Blurton, Signals Through the Flames

Ian Blurton Signals Through the Flames

The core of Ian Blurton‘s Signals Through the Flames is in tight, sharply-executed heavy rockers like “Seven Bells” and “Days Will Remain,” classic in their root but not overly derivative, smartly and efficiently composed and performed. The Toronto-based Blurton has been making and producing music for over three decades in various guises and incarnations, and with these nine songs, he brings into focus a songcraft that is more than enough to carry song like “Nothing Left to Lose” and opener “Eye of the Needle,” which bookends with the 6:55 “Into Dust,” the closer arriving after a final salvo with the Scorpionic strut of “Kick out the Lights” and the forward-thrust-into-ether of “Night of the Black Goat.” If this was what Ghost had ended up sounding like, I’d have been cool with that. Blurton‘s years of experience surely come into play in this work, a kind of debut under his own name and/or that of Ian Blurton’s Future Now, but the songs come through as fresh regardless and “The March of Mars” grabs attention not with pedigree, but simply by virtue of its own riff, which is exactly how it should be. It’s subtle in its variety, but those willing to give it a repeat listen or two will find even more reward for doing so.

Ian Blurton on Thee Facebooks

Ian Blurton on Bandcamp

 

Cosmic Fall, Lackland

Cosmic Fall Lackland

“Lackland” is the first new material Berlin three-piece Cosmic Fall have produced since last year’s In Search of Space (review here) album, which is only surprising given the frequency with which they once jammed out a record every couple of months. The lone 8:32 track is a fitting reminder of the potency in the lineup of guitarist Marcin Morawski, bassist Klaus Friedrich and drummer Daniel Sax, and listening to the Earthless-style shred in Morawski‘s guitar, one hopes it won’t be another year before they come around again. As it stands, they make the eight minutes speed by with volcanic fervor and an improvised sensibility that feels natural despite the song’s ultimately linear trajectory. Could be a one-off, could be a precursor to a new album. I’d prefer the latter, obviously, but I’ll take what I can get, and if that’s “Lackland,” then so be it.

Cosmic Fall on Thee Facebooks

Cosmic Fall on Bandcamp

 

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Darsombra to Release New Album Transmission in August

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 28th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

The only real surprise here is that Darsombra were at some point off the road long enough to record an album. The Baltimorean experimentalist two-piece tend to tour for months, not days or weeks, at a time, and as they make ready to release Transmission, that seems like it’s not about to change. Their psychedelic noise, drone wash and tonal breadth was last manifest in the studio with 2016’s Polyvision (review here), and they’ve already been to Europe this year, and a US tour is planned to surround Transmission‘s arrival that will likely just be one in a series by the time they’re ready to move forward again. Some groups are just nomadic. I think it’s easier when you don’t have to move drums, though a keyboard and video equipment doesn’t exactly seem easy either.

There’s a teaser streaming for Transmission that you can see at the bottom of this post, as well as the Polyvision stream just because it’s there on Bandcamp and accessible for consumption. Please feel free to dig in.

From the PR wire:

darsombra

DARSOMBRA: Baltimore Psychedelic Duo To Release Transmission LP In August; Trailer Posted + North American Tour Being Booked

Baltimore, Maryland-based psychedelic/experimental duo DARSOMBRA has completed their fifth full-length album, titled Transmission. Following a long line of releases through a vast network of underground labels since 2006, Transmission is being handled entirely by the band to be issued on multiple formats in August, during the band’s latest extensive North American tour surrounding its release.

Uniting Brian Daniloski on guitar, vocals, and effects, and Ann Everton on synthesizer, vocals, gong, and visuals, DARSOMBRA is a transcendental and emotive experience. Live, they create a symbiotic audio-video involvement that creates a temporary reality, woven by sight, sound, and movement. These psychedelic and transcendental characteristics are transferred to record as closely as possible.

Prolifically touring for well over a decade, DARSOMBRA has performed throughout North America, Asia, and Europe, at music venues, dive bars, house shows, galleries, festivals, city ruins, and storage units, as well as their legendary pop-up generator shows at national monuments, or just by the side of the road. Their expansive sound finds them fitting on all kinds of bills. They are equally at home on a metal or psych show as they are on a noise or experimental bill.

Following releases on labels in the US, Germany, Malaysia, and Indonesia, including At A Loss, Public Guilt, Exile On Mainstream, Translation Loss, and Noise Bombing, DARSOMBRA is self-releasing their impending 2019 album, Transmission, on LP, CD, cassette, and digital download in August, while on tour across Canada and the US.

Watch for the Transmission cover art, preorder links for all formats, the massive impending tour itinerary, and much more from DARSOMBRA to be announced and posted in the days ahead and through the coming months.

http://facebook.com/darsombra
https://www.instagram.com/darsombra/
http://www.darsombra.com/

Darsombra, Transmission teaser

Darsombra, Polyvisions (2016)

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