Fire Down Below Premiere “Saviour of Man” Live Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 11th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

fire down below

Why, it was only one month ago today that Belgian heavy rock four-piece Fire Down Below took the stage in West Flanders at the Alcatraz Festival, and I know we live in an age of insta-nt bootleggery and all that, but to have a pro-shot and edited live video done in a couple weeks and ready to post is pretty killer. “Saviour of Man” comes from the Ghent-based outfit’s 2018 sophomore album, Hymn of the Cosmic Man (review here), which came out on Ripple Music, and for those of us who don’t get the chance to pop over the Belgium for shows, the clip provides a cool opportunity to see what Fire Down Below are all about when it comes to what they do on stage. In the case of drummer Sam Nuytens particularly, they’re about having a badass Monster Magnet t-shirt (Euro merch, man), but as regards his work and that of the band surrounding, think the uptempo kick of earlier Red Fang with Kyuss-style brashness and you won’t be far off.

While a host of big names took stage at Alcatraz this year — suspects like OpethMeshuggahVoivodAmenra, etc. — Fire Down Below shared a space in ‘La Morgue’ with compatriot outfits in The SpiritGlowsunWolvennest and Cowboys & Aliens, keeping killer company as they brought an energetic burst to the proceedings. Like much of the album from which it comes, “Saviour of Man” is a pretty straightforward affair, but its hook and drive demand little by way of flourish, standing their ground instead based on their sheer quality of craft. That is to say, you’re not gonna hear it and think something’s missing, and especially in the live setting as they are here, it’s clear to see that engaging an audience from the stage is where Fire Down Below‘s heart lies. How could it not? What’s better than that?

Speaking of, Fire Down Below have a few killer gigs booked for this Fall, including dates with Valley of the Sun and Gozu and a stop at Desertfest Belgium, where they’ll also join a selection of some of the country’s finest underground acts. Those dates are listed on the banner which you’ll find under the video itself, which of course follows here. I’m sure you’ve already clicked play, and rightly so.

Either way, please enjoy:

Fire Down Below, “Saviour of Man” live at Alcatraz Festival

fire down below fall shows

Fire Down Below on “Saviour of Man”:

We had the opportunity to play this gig at Alcatraz Hard Rock and Metal festival, one of Belgium’s biggest festivals for headbangers and devil worshippers. This year they installed a new stage, called La Morgue, reserved for some of the best underground bands in the country. We were extremely happy to be part of this great initiative and we had a blast on stage, as we hope you can tell from this video.

Fire Down Below live at Alcatraz festival in Kortrijk, 11 August 2019, playing Saviour Of Man from the album Hymn Of The Cosmic Man.
Recorded and edited by Lars Grote Audio.

Fire Down Below is:
Jeroen Van Troyen – guitar and vocals
Kevin Gernaey – guitar
Sam Nuytens – drums
Bert Wynsberghe – bass

Fire Down Below, Hymn of the Cosmic Man (2018)

Fire Down Below on Thee Facebooks

Fire Down Below on Bandcamp

Fire Down Below on Instagram

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

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Heavy Psych Sounds Fest Announces 2020 Dates in Paris, Antwerp, London & Deventer

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

mondo generator

At this point, there’s just about no way this is it for Heavy Psych Sounds Fest, the traveling live incarnation of Italian imprint Heavy Psych Sounds that seems to have bands in any town it stops and to pick up headliners wherever it goes as well. Paris, Antwerp, London and Deventer — France, Belgium, the UK and the Netherlands. Well, considering this year saw the first US-based Heavy Psych Sounds Fest run and that there are still dates to play out next month, yeah, it seems likely to me this is just the beginning for Heavy Psych Sounds Fest 2020.

It’s a striking beginning though, with Mondo Generator (seen above) headlining the shows with support from Black Rainbows and Duel each time out and various others coming and going including Dead Witches, Lords of AltamontGorilla, Alunah and Giöbia. No less of a scale than one would expect, and again, it won’t at all be the final announcement of Heavy Psych Sounds Fest 2020. More cities, more tours, more bands, more everything. This is not a label that in recent years has shown even the slightest interest in going anything less than all out, all the time.

The PR wire shows tickets on sale already, because of course. With respect:

heavy psych sounds fest 2020

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST announce new London, Paris, Antwerp and Deventer editions in 2020 with Mondo Generator, Black Rainbows, Duel, Lords Of Altamont and more!

Heavy Psych Sounds Records, the unstoppable cult and fuzz rock machine rising from Rome, Italy, has announced to once again conquer London, the Netherlands, Belgium and this time also Paris, with their highly acclaimed mini festival series: HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST!

Heavy Psych Sounds specializes in presenting the best artists in the global heavy psych, doom, fuzz blues and space rock realms, and their festival-series is no exception, spotlighting the ever-growing label’s dedication to its craft. HPS is not only THE address for all heavy rock record collectors, but it has also become an important live and festival institution; with a brisk participation from heavy music fans all over the world. Each hotspot of the traveling festival tour features diverse line-ups including both genre leaders and fast-rising acts, all ready to prove their place among the world’s best!

In cooperation with Desertscene, Rock in Bourlon, Metadrone and SOZ Concerts, Heavy Psych Sounds has announced the dates and bands to kick off 2020 in style in London, Antwerp, Paris and Deventer. Featuring high class acts such as Nick Oliveri’s MONDO GENERATOR, BLACK RAINBOWS, DUEL, DEAD WITCHES and many more, the HPS FEST series 2020 will be taking place in March. The line-up, dates and locations will look as follows:

HPS Fest Paris (FR) – March 5th @ Glazart
Facebook event
The Lords Of Altamont
Mondo Generator
Black Rainbows
Duel
Giöbia

HPS Fest Antwerp (BE) – March 6th @ Trix
Facebook event
Mondo Generator
Black Rainbows
Duel
The Lords Of Altamont
Dead Witches
Giöbia

HPS Fest London (UK) – March 7th @ The Underworld
Facebook event
Mondo Generator
Black Rainbows
Duel
Dead Witches
Giöbia
Gorilla
Alunah

HPS Fest Deventer (NL) – March 8th @ Burgerwheesuis
Facebook event
Mondo Generator
Black Rainbows
Duel
The Lords Of Altamont
Dead Witches

Better be quick and get your tickets HERE: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/fests.htm#hps-fests-2020

“Heavy Psych Sounds is happy to announce the second edition of the London, Belgian and Netherlands HPS fest!“, label owner Gabriele Fiori comments. “Last year was such a success, so we also added Paris. We want to thank all the audiences, who make the label and booking so great. Bands, fans and promoters, we want to thank you all for your support and making it happen!“

Earlier this year, Heavy Psych Sounds also announced a bunch of festival dates in Berlin, Dresden (De), Rome (It) and Innsbruck (AT) to take place in the fall of 2019 with headlining acts such as CONAN, MONOLORD, among further heavy as hell bands alike BLACK RAINBOWS, THE SONIC DAWN, ALUNAH, ECSTATIC VISION and many more. Find out all details, tickets and info at this location.

https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/
www.heavypsychsounds.com/
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/fests.htm

Black Rainbows, Pandaemonium (2018)

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Desertfest Belgium 2019 Completes Lineup; SÂVER, Crowhurst & Bismut Added

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

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

From Sleep, Ty Segall and Zeal & Ardor to Swan Valley Heights, Lucy in Blue and Ungraven, the Desertfest Belgium 2019 lineup is now complete. The final three additions are Oslo sludge destroyers SÂVER, a special drone set from Crowhurst and Dutch instrumentalists Bismut, who between them emphasize what would seem to have been the point of Desertfest Belgium 2019 all along, which is that there’s all kinds of heavy out there and it’s all welcome in Antwerp. That a lineup should be so diverse in sound and still universally definable one way or the other as “heavy” is an impressive point to make, frankly, and whether that was a conscious thing on the part of the people putting the festival together or just how it all kind of worked out, seeing Nebula and Inter Arma and Yatra and Fireball Ministry all sharing space is only a boon to those lucky enough to actually do so.

Here’s the last announcement from the fest:

desertfest belgium 2019 final poster

Last Tickets! DFBE 2019 Line-up now complete

As the last Friday tickets are going out the door, you all are probably left wondering what names will complete this year’s festival line-up. So let us fill you in on the final acts:

With an impossibly extensive release catalogue, Jay Gambit has turned his collaborative project Crowhurst into a firm cult favorite. At this year’s Desertfest he will present us with a special drone set. Misanthropic extreme metal at its finest, let’s see if you all have the stomach for this…

On a lighter note, Bismut from Holland have made a name for themselves with energetic instrumental jam workouts. A heavy trio that works tight as a clockwork – a perfect fit for the Desertfest crowd we should think! And last but not least, SÂVER made a splash this year with their debut album ‘They Came With Sunlight’. Hypnotic post-doom veering between melody and brutality.

Like we said: the festival is nearly sold out, and could very well be full by the time you read this. Some day tickets for Friday is all we have left, but that’s still a quality line-up so you might as well consider it! Otherwise, please watch out for ticket scalpers – purchase safely.

And to all of you who already have their ticket in the pocket and nothing left to fear: YES! We are counting the days just as eagerly as you are! This year’s gonna be EPIC…

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

SÂVER, They Came with Sunlight (2019)

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Von Detta Premiere “Thanks for Your Time”; Burn it Clean EP out Sept. 13

Posted in audiObelisk on August 20th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

von detta

The idea of ‘burning clean’ could hardly be more appropriate for the second Von Detta EP, which is out Sept. 13 through Polderrecords, since that’s essentially what they do for the 32-minute runtime of the six-song release. At that length, one might question whether or not Burn it Clean is actually an album, but it’s not an argument I feel like having with myself right now, so I won’t. Either way, it’s with the crisp, indeed clean, production of the outing through which the Ghent, Belgium, outfit’s tracks seem to land their blows. Beginning with a brief piano intro — a possible reference to 2016’s Exit Grand Piano debut EP — there’s no lack of flow throughout, and their tones are rich, but there’s no hiding behind distortion here. The vocals are forward on opener “Reach Out” and the subsequent “Thanks for Your Time,” and with an undercurrent of metal resting beneath, Von Detta execute their material with precision and purpose, layering elements over each other in a way that feels delicately or at least intentionally arranged, sometimes reminding my US East Coast ears of The Giraffes for the amount of tension they build in their verses and choruses and the volatility that seems to be at root beneath their sharp-edged exterior.

That might come through most on “Devil’s Child” when the screams let loose, but it’s there in the guitar of “Thanks for Your Time” and the swaggering “Reach Out,” as well as the confrontational “Little Man Big World,” which unfurls a bruiser riff met with one von detta burn it cleanof Burn it Clean‘s most resonant hooks. “The Vault” brings in either some guest or some falsetto vocals in the midsection before a bluesy solo, and again, true to title, it all seems to be leading to the nine-minute finale “Masterplan,” which sees the band embrace a more patient but still linear execution, working from a quiet opening toward first a driving apex and then a residual comedown that cuts out to a return of the piano from the EP’s intro, bookending and adding a sense of completion that expands on the initial movement. Even the finish, then, is clean, classy, clear. It’s not to say Von Detta are somehow lacking impact. If anything, the fact that their sound pulls so few punches in terms of production only makes them seem all the more confrontational, particularly amid the periodic screams — Von Detta have a new frontman; he fits well — and other harder-hitting elements. Again, the sense is very much that they’re not trying to hide anything, not trying to obscure anything in a wash of effects.

Naturally, I wouldn’t argue that everyone who uses effects is or that doing so has no aesthetic value, but for Von Detta‘s songwriting method on Burn it Clean, burning it clean makes sense. You can hear it for yourself with the premiere of “Thanks for Your Time” on the player below, which is followed by some more background from the PR wire, because one likes to be thorough.

Please enjoy:

Hailing from Ghent, Belgium, VON DETTA started out in 2013, as a riff based groove quintet. While celebrating their love for old school rock ‘n roll, the 2016 EP ‘Exit Grand Piano’ release came soon after, as the band’s first piece of recorded work.

To make things clean, one must burn away the filth… with ‘Burn It Clean’, VON DETTA are set to release an EP to captivate your musical senses and stir up the groove. Being both raw and elegant, rough and sublime, ‘Burn It Clean’ comes with a soulful lasting echo. The six songs are one rip-roaring episode after another straight from each the band members’ lives. A soundtrack reminiscent of the battles of between your inner angels and demons.

‘Burn It Clean’ Tracklist:
01. Reach Out
02. Thanks For Your Time
03. Devil’s Child
04. Little Man Big World
05. The Vault
06. Masterplan

Von Detta is:
Jonas Verhelst
Ief de Deurwaerder
Jeroen Vandamme
Koen De Borle
Manuel Remmerie

Von Detta on Thee Facebooks

Von Detta on Bandcamp

Polderrecords website

Polderrecords on Thee Facebooks

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Desertfest Belgium 2019: Ruff Majik, Black Moon Circle, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell & Rrrags Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 24th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

I like the themed lineup additions. Last time around from Desertfest Belgium 2019, it was the Belgian bands being highlighted. This time, it’s stuff in more of a psychedelic vein, though how much that might apply to the hard-nosed boogie of Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell is debatable. Still, it shows Desertfest Belgium is beginning to think of itself in a different way — not just as a meeting of bands, but a meeting styles as well, and a place where different notions of heavy, whether aesthetic or geographical, can intermingle and hopefully all come out better for it at the end of the weekend. It’s re-framing of the conversation of, “Oh hey, here are some more bands playing, get your tickets,” in a way that makes it more than just that. As somebody who reads his fair share of lineup announcements for various events, I’m hard pressed to think of someone else doing this thing in this way, and as always, I’m curious to see what it leads to.

For now, it’s leading to an increasingly badass lineup. From the PR wire:

desertfest belgium 2019 poster

PSYCH GALORE AT DFBE’19! RUFF MAJIK, BLACK MOON CIRCLE & MORE

This round of names is for all the fuzzheads out there! We have gathered a great selection of crunchy grooves for you, grounded as well as spaced-out – let’s get to it…

First off, we are so glad to have Ruff Majik on board. Hailing from Pretoria, they’re best proof that South-African stoner didn’t end with ‘The Big Heavies’, carrying the torch of bands like Suck and Freedom’s Children. Their recent outing ‘Tårn’ shows the band heavy as ever, and we’re excited to see them blast Desertfest!

We are also happy to see Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell return to our stage. New things are afoot, or so it seems… but whatever they’ve got in store for us you can rest assured it’s gonna be groovy to the max. It’s just how they roll.

Trip into hyperspace and take a hard left – that’s where you’ll find Black Moon Circle. A super freaked-out jam band with ties to the mighty Øresund Space Collective, BMC offers the finest in Nordish psychedelia through an ever expanding catalogue of records and exhilarating live shows.

Finally, get psyched for the appearance of Rrrags at DFBE’19! The unholy alliance of Ron Van Herpen (ex-The Devil’s Blood), Rob Zim (Lords of Altamont) and Rob Martin (former Bliksem) completely channels the spirit of all the mighty Power Trios that came before them. Classic rock and roll done right that has earned them accolades galore.

We’re nearing the finish line, but we’re not quite there yet! Stay tuned for a new update soon, and in the meantime… we already let you know the amount of combi tickets is dwindling fast so be safe not sorry, check the link below!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

Ruff Majik, Tårn (2019)

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Desertfest Belgium 2019 Highlights Belgian Acts; Fire Down Below, The Progerians, Vonnis & More Playing

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

Desertfest Belgium 2019, as noted just the other day, is getting pretty close to its final lineup, and as they do, they’re making sure they support the native Belgian scene with a number of acts being highlighted for the broader audience they’ll draw. Both Fire Down Below and The Progerians might be familiar to some who’ll hit up Antwerp this October, and 30,000 Monkies have been making the rounds of festivals, but VonnisGrotto and Crayon Sun are probably going to be new to most people who show up, and so all the better they’re getting a showcase at an event like Desertfest. Of course, the broader lineup isn’t short on big names, with Sleep and PelicanBongripper and Zeal & Ardor, etc., so there should be plenty of draw to get heads in front of the stage for these bands, and it’s among the most admirable things an international fest can do to shine a light on the local types. You know this already, but it’s worth saying.

The PR wire has it like this:

desertfest belgium 2019 belgians

BELGIAN BANDS AT DESERTFEST BELGIUM 2019!

Each year at DF Antwerp, we present you with a number of upcoming local acts that deserve to shine in front of our esteemed international crowd. Absolute bosses, each and every one of them!

Fire Down Below have been making waves in the worldwide stoner community from day one, drawing comparisons to anything from Kyuss to Red Fang to Soundgarden. Likewise, The Progerians from Brussels have built a steady reputation for their uncompromising yet fiercely exciting mix of punk anthems and sludge stomp.

Some leftfield choices that are bound to raise heads: VONNIS – sheer brutality poured into a Molotov cocktail of hardcore, grind and noise. On the flipside we have Crayon Sun, the new project of Aldo Struyf (Millionnaire, Mark Lanegan Band) and the Antwerp blues singer Big Dave.

We already announced the merry noise pranksters of 30,000 Monkies earlier this year, and we close off this chauvinist list with a fine slab of supreme instrumental spacerock, courtesy of Grotto.

Go forth and check out these great bands!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

Vonnis, Bikini Season (2019)

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Desertfest Belgium 2019: Zeal & Ardor to Headline; Dopelord and Lo-Pan Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 10th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

Desertfest Belgium 2019 isn’t quite done with its 2019 lineup yet, but as you can see below, that poster is getting awfully packed, so we must be getting close. With the announcement of Zeal and Ardor signing on to play, they’ve now unveiled the last of their headliners, and thereby signaled a reach that not only includes the very kingpins of stoner metal in Sleep, but also a broader range no less able to wrangle indie-cred via Ty Segall and full-spectrum forward-thinking metal from Zeal and Ardor. Backed by no shortage of righteousness in the realms of doom, psych and heavy — Lo-Pan and Dopelord also included here — it’s already a “well duh it’s gonna sell out” kind of lineup. One has to wonder what other tricks the Antwerp-based event might have left up its sleeve.

Guess we’ll find out:

desertfest belgium 2019 latest poster

Zeal & Ardor headlines Desertfest Belgium!

Were you all waiting for that final headliner to push you over the brink? Because that is what you are getting! Zeal & Ardor must count as one of the most exciting and original rock bands to emerge in the past few years, blending gospel with ear-deafening metal to devastating effect. What started out as a one-man project has now grown into a monstrous live band, and it will be the perfect crown on your first day of Desertfest Antwerp 2019.

Hailing from Poland, Dopelord is a mighty strong proponent of traditional doom with all boxes ticked. Some dark and heavy grooves to get your blaze on – every festival needs ’em, right!

Finally, we present you with two bands that come packed with some fresh sounds. Lo-Pan just released ‘Subtle’ which is already hailed as one of the most exciting stoner releases of this year. A band that knows how to push the envelope with each step they take. The same can be said of Elephant Tree, who are working on new material as we speak. We’re pretty sure you’re all anxious to hear what they come up with next!

That’s NOT all folks, we still have some stuff coming before summer’s in full swing! But seriously – what more do you need? Hit that button below!

IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING TICKETS: the Reduced Combi Tickets are now sold out, and we’ve switched to Regular Combitickets. They can be yours for €115, all costs included! Day tickets remain at the fixed price.

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

Zeal and Ardor, Live in London

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Grotto Sign to Stickman Records; New Album Finished

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

According to Grotto‘s Thee Facebooks page, the new album that Stickman Records hints toward in its announcement of having signed the band is done and awaiting release. They said, “We are happy to let you guys know we have a full LP finished and waiting to be released! More info/dates soon…” Well, that’s neat. And if you’re going to put an album out, putting it out on Stickman is all the better.

Particularly for a band like Grotto, whose sound fits easily as labelmate/kin to the likes of Weedpecker and latter-day Elder for its heavy and progressive style and attention to melody. There isn’t a release date for their new album yet, or I’d probably have led with that, but Grotto‘s second full-length, Circle of Magi, was issued in late 2017 and is comprised of three 11-minute-long tracks, so there’s certainly plenty to dive into until the new one shows up. If you haven’t heard that, it charts a winding course into and out of psychedelic territory but is marked by the smoothness of its shifts between nodding groove and more atmospheric meanderings. Each song has a spacious feel that lets the listener live in it for a while before passing the baton to the next part or the next piece. It’s enough to pique my interest about their new one, easy.

Stream it at the bottom of this post. Here’s word of the signing from Stickman:

grotto

Stickman Records new signing: Grotto

We are pleased to announce our latest signing: GROTTO!

This young Belgian three-piece instrumental band has been on our radar for a while now, having two killer albums already under their belt. Their mix of psychedelic rock, stoner riffs and a great sense for melody alongside progressive song structures makes them a natural fit in our roster and we’re happy to welcome them to the fold.

We’ll be revealing some details about their new album soon, so stay tuned!

Grotto is:
Marvin Dinneweth – Guitar
Jeroen Moerman – Bass
Arno Tucker Cottyn – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/GrottoRiffs
https://grottoriffs.bandcamp.com/
https://www.stickman-records.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Stickman-Records-1522369868033940

Grotto, Circle of Magi (2017)

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