Quarterly Review: Mrs. Piss, Ulcerate, Shroom Eater, Astralist, Daily Thompson, The White Swan, Dungeon Weed, Thomas V. Jäger, Cavern, Droneroom

Posted in Reviews on October 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

Today is what would be the last day of the Fall 2020 Quarterly Review, except, you know, it’s not. Monday is. I know it’s been a messed up time for everybody and everything, but there’s a lot of music coming out, so if you’re craving some sense of normalcy — and hey, fair enough — it’s right there. Today’s an all-over-the-place day but there’s some killer stuff in here right from the start, so jump in and good luck.

And don’t forget — back on Monday with the last 10 records. Thanks for reading.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Mrs. Piss, Self-Surgery

mrs piss self surgery

If “Nobody Wants to Party with Us” as the alternately ambient/industrial-punk fuckall of that song posits, most likely that’s because they’re way too intimidated to even drop a text to invite history dissertation online http://www.hotelsb.eu/thesis-writer-manila/ writing a good abstract for dissertation written persuasive speeches Mrs. Piss over. The duo comprised of vocalist/guitarist If you are desperately crying, Please, someone, Conclusion For An Assignment and looking for a reliable writing service to get some help look no further Chelsea Wolfe and guitarist/bassist/drummer/programmer Read Our Expert Reviews and User Reviews of the most popular Can You How To Write A Business Plan For A Non Profit here, including features lists, star ratings, pricing information, videos Jess Gowrie issue self questioning strategies master thesis Professional Research Papers editing dissertation services hot for teacher essay Self-Surgery as an act of sheer confrontation. The screams of “You Took Everything.” The chugging self-loathing largesse of “Knelt.” The fuzzed mania of ‘M.B.O.T.W.O.,” which, yes, stands for “Mega Babes of the Wild Order.” The unmitigated punk of “Downer Surrounded by Uppers” and the twisted careen-and-crash of the title-track. The declaration of purpose in the lines, “In the shit/I’m sacrosanct/I’m Mrs. Piss” in the eponymous closer. Rage against self, rage against other, rage and righteousness. Among the great many injustices this year has wrought, that If you ask us to Ethics Of Buying A Term Paper the Write-my-essay-for-me.org professionals will start their work right away. They will get details about the assignment Wolfe and cheap dissertation writing service is needed when you are lost with editing. If you do not feel that your skills and knowledge are enough to professionally edit your Gowrie aren’t touring this material, playing 20-something-minute sets and destroying every stage they hit has to be right up there. It’s like rock and roll to disintegrate every tired dude cliché the genre has. Yes. Fuck. Do it.

Mrs. Piss on Instagram

Sargent House website

 

Ulcerate, Stare into Death and Be Still

Ulcerate Stare into Death and Be Still

As progressive/technical death metal enjoys a stylistic renaissance, New Zealand’s Sole Proprietor Business Plan in Malaysia One of the most intimidating things a student will encounter while in college is having to write a thesis. When you have to Ulcerate put out their sixth full-length, Yelp is a fun and easy way to find, recommend and talk about. Someone do assignment for me, Graduate College Paper, Write Paper, architecture essays architecture Stare into Death and Be Still and seem right in line with the moment despite having been around for nearly 20 years. So be it. What distinguishes University Binding offers a quick,efficient thesis and dissertation binding & printing service. We only hire writers http://www.abatec.cz/?ways-to-improve-critical-thinking-skills with Stare into Death and Be Still amid the speed-demon wizardry of a swath of other death metallers is the sense of atmosphere across the release and the fact that, while every note, every guitar squibbly, every sharpened turn the 58-minute album’s eight tracks make is important and serves a purpose, the band don’t simply rely on dry delivery to make an impression. To hear the cavernous echoes of the title-track or “Inversion” later on, Youre a little short on money, but desperately need an essay? Looking for a The Homework Machine Activities writing service you can trust? Dont worry, EssayUSA will help! Ulcerate seem willing to let some of the clarity go in favor of establishing a mood beyond extremity. In the penultimate “Drawn into the Next Void,” their doing so results in a triumphant build and consuming fade in a way that much of their genre simply couldn’t accomplish. There’s still plenty of blast to be found, but also a depth that would seem to evoke the central intention of the album. Don’t stare too long.

Ulcerate on Thee Facebooks

Debemur Morti Productions on Bandcamp

 

Shroom Eater, Ad.Inventum

shroom eater ad inventum

Nine songs running an utterly digestible 38 minutes of fuzz-riffed groove with samples, smooth tempos and an unabashed love for ’90s-style stoner rock, analytical history essay Need Home Page a professional business plan i write my homework Shroom Eater‘s debut album, this link - Instead of concerning about essay writing find the necessary assistance here work with our writers to get the excellent coursework Ad.Inventum feels ripe for pickup by this or that heavy rock label for a physical release. LP, CD and tape. I know it’s tough economic times, but none of this vinyl-only stuff. The Indonesian five-piece not only have their riffs and tones and methods so well in place — that is, they’re schooled in the style they’re creating; the genre-converted preaching to the genre-converted, and nothing wrong with that — but there are flashes of burgeoning cultural point of view in the lead guitar of “God Isn’t One Eyed” or the lyrics of “Arogant” (sic) and the right-on riffed “Traffic Hunter” that fit well right alongside the skateboarding ode “Ride” or flourish of psychedelia in the rolling “Perspective” earlier on. Closing with “Dragon and Tiger” and “Friend in the High Places,” Assignment Valley is the UKs legit assignment service catering queries like do my assignment or write my assignment cheap "research in writing?" Ad.Inventum feels like the work of a band actively engaged in finding their sound and developing their take on fuzz, and the potential they show alongside their already memorable songwriting is significant.

Shroom Eater on Instagram

Shroom Eater on Bandcamp

 

Astralist, 2020 (Demo)

astralist 2020 demo

I’m not usually one to think bands should be aggrandizing their initial releases. It can be a disservice to call a demo a “debut EP” or album if it’s not, since you only get one shot at having an actual first record and sometimes a demo doesn’t represent a band’s sound as much as the actual, subsequent album does, leading to later regret. In the case of Cork, Ireland’s You can http://www.gergonne.com/?writing-on-paper right here about any topic you need. Our writing service with intelligence writers will help you to get you diploma with Astralist, it’s the opposite. Affordable and professional Online Tutoring or Online College Homework Help, Help Dpp Assignment from Our Experienced Tutors. Get Quick Homework answers 2020 (Demo) is no toss-off, recorded-in-the-rehearsal-space-to-put-something-on-Bandcamp outing. Or if it is, it doesn’t sound like it. Comprised of three massive slabs of atmospheric and sometimes-extreme doom, plus an intro, in scope and production value both, the 36-minute release carries the feel and the weight of a full-length album, earning its themes of cosmic destruction and shifting back and forth between melodic progressivism and death-doom or blackened onslaught. In “The Outlier,” “Entheogen” and “Zuhal, Rise” they establish a breadth and an immediate control thereof, and their will to cross genre lines gives their work a fervently individualized feel. Album or demo doesn’t ultimately matter, but what they say about Astralist‘s intentions does.

Astralist on Thee Facebooks

Astralist on Bandcamp

 

Daily Thompson, Oumuamua

daily thompson oumuamua

Lost in the narrative of initial singles released ahead of its actual arrival is the psychedelic reach Dortmund trio Daily Thompson bring to their fourth album, Oumuamua. Yes, “She’s So Cold” turns in its second half to a more straightforward heavy-blues-fuzz push, but the mellow unfurling that takes place at the outset continues to inform the proceedings from there, and even through “Sad Frank” (video posted here) and “On My Mind” (video posted here), and album-centerpiece “Slow Me Down,” the vibe remains affect by it. Side B has its own stretch in the 12-minute “Cosmic Cigar (Oumuamua),” and sandwiched between the three-minute stomper “Half Thompson” and the acoustic, harmonized grunge-blues closer “River of a Ghost,” it seems that what Daily Thompson held back about the LP is no less powerful than what they revealed. It’s still a party, it’s just a party where every room has something different happening.

Daily Thompson on Thee Facebooks

Noisolution website

 

The White Swan, Nocturnal Transmission

The White Swan Nocturnal Transmission

Following up 2018’s Touch Taste Destroy (review here), Ontario’s The White Swan present their fourth EP in Nocturnal Transmission. That’s four EPs, in a row, from 2016-2020. If the trio — which, yes, includes Kittie‘s Mercedes Lander on vocals, drums, guitar and keys — were waiting to figure out their sound before putting out a first full-length, they were there two years ago, if not before. One is left to assume that the focus on short releases is — at least for now — an aesthetic choice. Like its predecessor, Nocturnal Transmission offers three circa-five-minute big-riffers topped with Lander‘s floating melodic vocals. The highlight here is “Purple,” and unlike any of the other The White Swan EPs, this one includes a fourth track in a cover of Tracy Bonham‘s “Tell it to the Sky,” given likewise heft and largesse. I don’t know what’s stopping this band from putting out an album, but I’ll take another EP in the meantime, sure.

The White Swan on Thee Facebooks

The White Swan on Bandcamp

 

Dungeon Weed, Mind Palace of the Mushroom God

Dungeon Weed Mind Palace of the Mushroom God

A quarantine project of Dmitri Mavra from Skunk and Slow Phase, Dungeon Weed is dug-in stoner idolatry, pure and simple. Mavra, joined by drummer Chris McGrew and backing vocalist Thia Moonbrook, metes out riff after feedback-soaked, march-ready, nod-ready, dirt-toned riff, and it doesn’t matter if it’s the doomier tolling bell of “Sorcerer with the Skull Face” or the tongue-in-cheek hook of “Beholder Gonna Fuck You Up” or the brash sludge that ensues across the aptly-named “Lumbering Hell,” all layered solos and whatnot, the important thing is that by the time “Mind Palace” comes around, you’re either out or you’re in, and once you make that choice there’s no going back on it. Opener “Orcus Immortalis/Vox Mysterium” tells the tale (or part of it, as regards the overarching narrative), and if ever there was a band that could and would make a song called “Black Pudding” sound heavy, well, there’s Dungeon Weed for you. Dungeon Weed, man. Don’t overthink it.

Dungeon Weed on Thee Facebooks

Forbidden Place Records website

 

Thomas V. Jäger, A Solitary Plan

thomas v jager a solitary plan

The challenge of rendering songcraft in the nude can be a daunting one for someone in a heavy band doing a solo/acoustic release, but it’s a challenge Thomas V. Jäger of Monolord meets with ease on the home-recorded A Solitary Plan, his solo debut. Those familiar with his work in Monolord will recognize some of the effects used on his vocals, but in the much, much quieter context of the seven-song/29-minute solo release — Jäger plays everything except the Mellotron on the leadoff title-track — they lend not only a spaciousness but a feeling of acid folk serenity to “Creature of the Deep” and “It’s Alright,” which follows. Mixed/mastered by Kalle Lilja of Långfinger, A Solitary Plan is ultimately an exploration on Jäger‘s part of working in this form, but it succeeds in both its most minimal stretches and in the electric-inclusive “The Drone” and “Goodbye” ahead of the buzzing synth-laced closer “The Bitter End.” It would be a surprise if this is the only solo release Jäger ever does, since so much of what takes place throughout feels like a foundation for future work.

Thomas V. Jäger on Bandcamp

RidingEasy Records website

 

Cavern, Powdered

CAVERN POWDERED

Change has been the modus operandi of Cavern for a while now. They still show some semblance of their post-hardcore roots on their new full-length, Powdered, but having brought in bassist/vocalist Rose Heater in 2018 and sometime between then and now let out of Baltimore for Morgantown, West Virginia, their sonic allegiance to a heavier-ended post-rock comes through more than ever before. Guitarist/synthesist Zach Harkins winds lead lines around Heater‘s bass on “Grey,” and Stephen Schrock‘s drums emphasize tension to coincide, but the fluidity across the 24-minute LP is of a kind that’s genuinely new to the band, and the soul in Heater‘s vocals carries the material to someplace else entirely. A song like “Dove” presents a tonal fullness that the title-track seems just to hint at, but the emphasis here is on dynamic, not on doing one thing only or locking their approach into a single mindset. As Heater‘s debut with them, Powdered finds them refreshed and renewed of purpose.

Cavern on Thee Facebooks

Cavern on Bandcamp

 

Droneroom, …The Other Doesn’t

droneroom the other doesnt

Droneroom is the solo vehicle of guitarist Blake Edward Conley and with …The Other Doesn’t, experiments of varying length and degree of severity are brought to bear. The abiding feel is spacious, lonely and cinematic as one might expect for such guitar-based soundscaping, but “Casual-Lethal Narcissism” and “The Last Time Someone Speaks Your Name” do have some measure of peace to go with their foreboding and troubling atmospherics. An obvious focal point is the 15-minute dronefest “This Circle of Ribs,” which feels more forward and striking than someone of Droneroom‘s surrounding material, but it’s all on a relative scale, and across the board Conley remains a safe social distance away from structural traditionalist. Recorded during Summer 2020, it is an album that conveys the anxiety and paranoia of this year, and while that can be a daunting thing to face in such a way or to let oneself really engage with as a listener — shit, it’s hard enough just living through — one of the functions of good art is to challenge perceptions of what it can be. Worth keeping in mind for “Home Can Be a Frightening Place.”

Droneroom on Thee Facebooks

Humanhood Recordings on Bandcamp

 

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Cavern Announce Aug. 28 Release for Powdered

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 14th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

cavern

You can definitely hear the modern progressive influences making themselves felt in “Dove,” which is the new streaming track from Marylander post-rockers Cavern. It’s the penultimate cut on the now-trio’s upcoming long-player, Powdered. It is the first album the band have put together since drummer Stephen Schrock and guitarist Zach Harkins were joined by bassist/vocalist Rose Heater, whose presence changes the dynamic twice-over, bringing voice to what was previously instrumental and adding low-end to the rhythm, thereby letting the guitar explore different directions. Which it would seem to be doing if “Dove” is any indication.

That the band traveled to Massachusetts to record with Kurt Ballou of Converge is a significant sign that how they’re thinking about what they do has changed, and perhaps that they’re looking to reach a broader audience than they had previously. Touring would help that too, but you know how that goes.

Album preorders are up, if you want to get on the action, and the track is streaming below:

CAVERN POWDERED

CAVERN: Maryland Atmospheric Post-Rock Trio To Release Powdered Full-Length Next Month; New Track Streaming + Preorders Available

Maryland-based atmospheric post-rock trio CAVERN will release their fourth full-length, Powdered, August 28th.

The six tracks comprising Powdered were recorded at GodCity Studio in Salem, Massachusetts with the legendary Kurt Ballou (Converge) and Zach Weeks and mastered by Magnus Lindberg (Cult Of Luna). Elaborates drummer Stephen Schrock, “The writing process for CAVERN has always been a very collaborative effort which normally results in [guitarist] Zach Harkins and I getting angry at one another over very minuscule elements of songs. [Bassist/vocalist] Rose [Heater] provided a very cool headed voice and approach when it came to getting the songs finished. We decided to record with Kurt at GodCity while we were driving back from a Canadian tour in 2019. We had already recorded a few songs at a different studio but wanted to take things to the next level. We had talked to Kurt before about recording when we were a two-piece but thought that he could really help us achieve the sound we wanted with this new material… We want our sound to be abrasive and loud but also groovy and bright at times. We all have such different influences and come from different backgrounds musically so we’re constantly trying to keep things interesting and have fun while also remaining thoughtful and heartfelt.”

In advance of the record’s release, CAVERN is pleased to unveil first single, “Dove.” Notes Heater of the track, “‘Dove’ was one of the last songs I wrote lyrics for on the record. The words that kept popping up created images of my own experience with anxiety. The song ended up being my representation of a panic attack.”

Powdered will be released independently on digital and vinyl formats. For preorders and to stream “Dove,” visit the CAVERN Bandcamp page at THIS LOCATION.

Powdered Track Listing:
1. River
2. Grey
3. Powdered
4. Red Moon
5. Dove
6. Fade Before The Flood

CAVERN was forged in 2012 by best friends Zach Harkins and Stephen Schrock. Over the span of eight years they’ve toured North America and recorded four albums.

While the band’s first two offerings — their self-titled 2013 debut and 2014 EP Tales Of Ruin — were a fusion of heavy progressive-leaning instrumentals and abrasive post-hardcore vocals often compared to the early work of Mastodon and Baroness, their third record — 2015’s Outsiders — was the band’s first instrumental effort. Teeth Of The Divine hailed a record that was, “harder than Russian Circles, more energetic than Pelican, and more progressive than anything post-American Don Caballero.”

Following the release of Outsiders, CAVERN spent a few years touring and writing their fourth record, Eater, which was unveiled in 2018. Teeth Of The Divine again weighed in championing the band’s, “untouchable melodies, tough musical turns, and unpredictable songwriting,” that, “wraps its arms around you and take you for the ride.” Shortly thereafter, the band saw the addition of Rose Heater on vocals/bass in late 2018. This updated lineup spent nearly two years writing and touring their newest material. This year welcomes their first full-length as a trio with Powdered. In an ever-changing world, CAVERN continues to challenge themselves and their listeners with a sound that keeps people guessing.

CAVERN:
Rose Heater- bass/vocals
Stephen Schrock – drums
Zach Harkins – guitars

http://www.cavernband.com
https://cavernmd.bandcamp.com/
http://www.facebook.com/cavernmd
http://www.instagram.com/cavernband
http://cavern.bigcartel.com

Cavern, Powdered (2020)

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Descendants of Crom IV Lineup Announced: Bongzilla, Evoken, Ruby the Hatchet, Orodruin & More Confirmed

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 1st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

descendants of crom iv logo

The annual Descendants of Crom in Pittsburgh has become a reliable assemblage of heavy, with a lineup diverse in sound woven together by a consistent quality of taste that unites across styles. For evidence of the ongoing nature of this phenomenon, look no further than the first two names on the poster of Descendants of Crom IV — Bongzilla and Ruby the Hatchet. The former, a recongealed stoner-sludge exercise in Midwestern working-class bomber crust, and the latter, a more urbane newschool-via-oldschool heavy rock outfit laced with keys and nigh-on-glam melodicism.

Those differences are stark, but I’ll be damned if both don’t fit well at the top of the bill here, which includes plenty of shouldn’t-be-missed names in the likes of OrodruinValley of the Sun, Heavy TempleRebreatherPale DivineHorehoundCavern, on and on. I guess I could probably just run down the whole list at that point. It’s a good fest, and more even than last year, you begin to see the sense of curation and the personality of the festival emerge in its blend of styles. It’s not just about more, more, more, in an overwhelming onslaught of bands, but about what each specifically brings to the lineup as a whole. Kudos, as ever, to Shy Kennedy and her crew on a job on its way to being well done.

Here’s the announcement:

descendants of crom iv poster

DESCENDANTS OF CROM IV – A GATHERING OF THE HEAVY UNDERGROUND

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2nd & SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3rd

CATTIVO NIGHTCLUB – ­­­PITTSBURGH, PA, USA

The fourth annual Descendants of Crom will be held this year again in Pittsburgh on both floors of Cattivo Nightclub. The events begin early Friday evening and are followed by a Saturday all-dayer.

The underground scene of heavy rock and metal here is healthy and thriving and we’re feeding great regional bands to a hungry crowd and utilizing legendary, international fan-favorites to entice music fans in the door with the support of our amazing local artists. Descendants of Crom was planted in 2017 as a little black seed and has been growing and strong contender among other established annual music festivals. We aspire to become the premier music event of the Northeast and invite you to become part of the 2020 event. After all, we are all Descendants of Crom!

This year’s DESCENDANTS are:

Bongzilla, Ruby the Hatchet, Black Tusk, Valley of the Sun, Evoken, Orodruin, Rebreather, Horseburner, Heavy Temple, Horehound, Cavern, Pale Divine, Howling Giant, Ironflame, Cruces, God Root, Zom, The Long Hunt, Makeshift Urn, and We, the Creature.

Schedule and tickets will be on sale Friday, March 6th for single-day as well as two-day passes.

We’re looking for sponsors, vendors, and any entity that supports the heavy underground and all things psych, stoner, doom, sludge, and occult to reach out and be a part of our event and community.

Additionally, in anticipation for this year’s Descendants of Crom, there will be a DOC showcase held at Cattivo on Saturday, March 21st featuring bands that have all been part of the Descendants of Crom history. Urns, The Long Hunt, Horehound, Horesburner (WV), and Ironflame. This showcase is a taster of what sort of musicianship and energy that DOC brings to the stages.

Rritual event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/509381869977026/

https://www.facebook.com/DescendantsOfCrom/
www.instagram.com/descendantsofcrom/
https://www.facebook.com/events/437759083832580/
www.descendantsofcrom.com/Tickets.php
http://descendantsofcrom.com

Ruby the Hatchet, Live in Atlanta, GA, Dec. 5, 2019

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Doom Hawg Day 2020: Galactic Cross, Faith in Jane, Bailjack & More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 2nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

maryland doom fest doom hawg day 2020 logo

Just what the hell is a Doom Hawg? Show up in Frederick for Doom Hawg Day 2020 and find out. Plus see a bunch of bands. So, win all around.

The burgeoning February one-dayer was started last year by the same crew that puts together Maryland Doom Fest, headed by Knoxxville‘s own JB Matson, and it very much carries the MDDF feel. For one thing, it’s in the same place. Also, it’s got a few of the same bands. Bailjack, Faith in Jane, Knoxxville and The Age of Truth are veterans of the venerable June event, and Strange Highways, Cavern, Galactic Cross and Wrath of Typhon have been announced for the 2020 lineup — so yes, very much on-brand for Maryland Doom Fest. One expects that will lead to a big ol’ zero amount of complaints, however. Loyalty runs deep in Frederick, and a fest like this becomes as much of a family gathering as it does a rock show. The fact that you don’t necessarily have to have been to them since the beginning of time to become a part of that family is a considerable appeal unto itself. Especially, I’d expect, for first-timers.

And compared to MDDF proper, which is expanding again this year with the addition of Old Mother Brewing Company taking the place of Guidos Speakeasy as a second venue — it looks like a bigger room, so that’s a plus — Doom Hawg Day 2020 is downright manageable. Starts at four, probably ends late, but whatever. It’s one night and killer bands. Kind of a no-brainer.

Worth noting that Bailjack and Galactic Cross will both have new records out by the time February rolls around as well, which is bound to add to the celebratory vibe that will surely counteract the six more weeks of winter decreed by that shitheel marmot in Pennsylvania.

From the social medias:

maryland doom fest doom hawg day 2020

MDDF Doom Hawg Day 2020

Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 4 PM
Cafe 611
611 N Market St, Frederick, Maryland

We are pleased to present the MDDF DOOM HAWG DAY 2020 lineup!!!

Artwork by our very own Bill Kole!!

Faith in Jane
Bailjack
Galactic Cross
Wrath of Typhon
Cavern
Knoxxville
Strange Highways
The Age of Truth
Et Mors

https://www.facebook.com/events/509386783257850/
https://www.facebook.com/MdDoomFest/
https://www.instagram.com/marylanddoomfest/
www.marylanddoomfest.com

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Grim Reefer Fest 2020: Full Lineup & Venue Change Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 20th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

grim reefer fest logo

Rituals is the former Windup Space in Baltimore, or so I’m told, and will play host to Grim Reefer Fest 2020 next April 18. The all-dayer will be headlined by Destroyer of Light from Austin, TX, and in addition to them and fest-organizers Haze Mage — credit where it’s due — the lineup boasts an impressive range of mostly regional denizens like Philly’s High Reeper and Green Meteor and Maryland-based acts like Asthma CastleCavern and Alms. Hyborian will be in from Kansas City which leaves me wondering if perhaps they’ll be on tour at the time, but either way, they’re keeping good company to be sure. If you’re the type to celebrate the Stoner New Year or just the type to celebrate riffs, seems to me there are far worse ways to spend your Saturday. They’ve got a food truck and everything.

Tickets are on sale now. Here’s the info:

grim reefer fest 2020 poster

Are you ready to get grim? Because we sure are! Join us for the 4th annual Grim Reefer Fest on 4.18.20 at Rituals (The new and improved former Windup Space location) in Baltimore, MD!

A full day of incredible live music, a food truck, and heavy riffs to keep you in the right head space!

Here’s the full 2020 lineup!

Destroyer of Light (ATX) – Heavy crushing doom with the heart of rock from Austin, Texas here to obliterate your minds

Hyborian (KC) – Hard-Hitting heavy and stunning riffs from Kansas City to melt your faces

Asthma Castle – Heavy stoner sludge from the depths of Baltimore

Haze Mage – A blend of stoner, doom, and classic heavy metal with epic vocals

HIGH REEPER (PHI) – Heavy pounding rhythms, thick guitars, and soaring screeching vocals

Cavern – Heavy prog rock from Western MD

Green Meteor (PHI) – Psychedelic sonic warriors from outer space

Alms – Classic 70’s style hard-rocking heavy metal with entrancing harmonized vocals

Tombtoker – Dirty and heavy doom forged with the soul of punk

Compression – Recently reforged, a unique blend of thrash, metal, hardcore, and everything inbetween.

Tickets are $25 in Advance and $30 the day of the event!
Get yours at www.grimreeferfest.com!

Logo and Poster by Ghostbat

https://www.facebook.com/events/1016565088689615/
https://www.facebook.com/GrimReeferFest/
https://www.instagram.com/GrimReeferFest/
http://www.grimreeferfest.com/

Destroyer of Light, Mors Aeterna (2019)

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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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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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Live Review: Maryland Doom Fest 2018 Night Two, 06.23.18

Posted in Features, Reviews on June 24th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

maryland doom fest 2018 night two poster

This scene is staggering. In terms of enclaves of hard and heavy, Maryland doom might be rivaled only by Floridian death metal and New York hardcore for longevity, and I’m pretty sure neither of those dates back to the early ’70s. Think about that. For almost as long as there’s been an idea of “heavy,” there’s been Maryland doom. And the number of lifers in bands and out boggles the mind. At best, I’m an interloper here, and I’d never claim otherwise. Every year or two or three, I’m lucky enough to come down for a fest or something like that, poke my head around and be humbled by the spirit that lives in this place. To actually be a part of it? I can’t imagine.

Maryland Doom Fest has taken on the responsibility not only of representing its native creatives, but in providing the scene a bridge to the outside world as well. The second day of Maryland Doom Fest 2018 did like day one and branched out in geography and sound, the scope of the festival increasing each year even as it maintains its ties to the place whose banner it flies. There’d be plenty of doom, but noise and heavy rock as well, metal both tangible and intangible, and more besides. You bet your ass it’s overwhelming. Maryland Doom Fest comes but once a year. Gotta make it count.

Another rainy day in Frederick set the gray-sky tone for a bill that would start out dark and work its way to the murkiest finish of all with Windhand headlining. Here’s how it happened:

Electropathic

Electropathic (Photo JJ Koczan)

As with Unorthodox last night, the new band fronted by Gary Isom, guitarist in Weed is Weed and former drummer in Spirit Caravan, Pentagram, Valkyrie and others, is a cross-generational affair. Along with drummer Ronnie Kalimon (formerly of Asylum, Unorthodox, etc.), Electropathic features young bassist/backing vocalist Zak Suleri and lead guitarist Eli Watson, both of Et Mors, and with Isom in the frontman role, they ran through a set of classic Maryland doom. Defined in no small part by their lack of pretense, they seemed to still be feeling out where they were ultimately headed as a band. They formed in the back half of last year by all appearances, so while none of them is a stranger to the stage, they’re in the process of developing their chemistry and sound. Likewise, Isom was still internalizing his position at the fore — even in Weed is Weed, he’s off to the side of the stage. He held it down though and their riffs resounded like a clarion to the converted still making their way in — time to go to church, school, whatever. Just time to go.

Molasses Barge

Molasses Barge (Photo JJ Koczan)

Hailing and hauling from Pittsburgh, Molasses Barge reaffirmed the connection between Steel City and Maryland doom that’s been there since the days of Dream Death‘s original run and probably even before that. The five-piece released their self-titled album in 2017 on Blackseed Records and had songs from that and new material in tow, which frontman Brian “Butch” Balich announced from the stage saying drummer Wayne Massey “calls this one ‘Tin Snake,'” or something thereabouts (hard to read the notes, sorry if I’ve got the title wrong). Balich is a formidable presence on his own, as he’s proven over the years in Penance, Argus and most recently Arduini/Balich, and in Molasses Barge he sets his powerful voice the task of cutting through the low end tone rollout from guitarists Justin Gizzi and Chuck Forsythe and bassist Amy Bianco that, presumably is what gives the band its name. Classic heavy riffs and a touch of metal underpinning, they were unsurprisingly met with welcome by the early crowd, and brought out Iron Man frontman Dee Calhoun to co-front a cover of that band’s “On the Mountain” to pay righteous homage to founding guitarist “Iron” Alfred Morris III, who passed away earlier this year.

Shadow Witch

Shadow Witch (Photo JJ Koczan)

I said as much to vocalist Earl Walker Lundy after their set, but I’ve always sensed something a little weird in Shadow Witch. Across the Kingston, New York, four-piece’s two albums to-date, last year’s Disciples of the Crow (review here) and 2016’s Sun Killer (discussed here), there’s been an edge of something standing them out from the pack. Having now seen them live, I feel like I have a better sense of what it is. In no small part, it’s Lundy himself. He carries across his vocals with utmost conviction and purpose, and backed by bassist David Pannullo, guitarist Jeremy Hall and drummer Doug Thompson, he ran his voice through a range of effects and performed barefoot — a bravery in itself considering the amount of spillage I’ve seen on that stage over the last two days — as free in is movement physically as his voice was to carry across the songs. They dwell in a between-genre space and remaining excitingly difficult to classify, but what matters is they carried their passion over to the audience, who met it with welcome. Good band. Better band than people know. Better band than I knew.

Doomstress

Doomstress (Photo JJ Koczan)

Speaking of bands I should’ve seen already, I went into Doomstress‘ set with the distinct impression that their recorded material to-date has yet to do them proper justice. They tour regularly on week and week-plus runs and had been on the road for four nights already en route to Cafe 611, so it seemed likely the Houston four-piece would be on top of their game. Not to toot my own horn, but I was right. They’re a better band than they’ve shown on either of their short releases. It’s a question of balance in their sound. Not just between tonal heft and aggression/attitude or the commanding stage presence of Doomstress Alexis on bass and vocals with guitarists Brandon Johnson and Matt Taylor and drummer Buddy Hachar (also of Greenbeard), or of between the classic and the modern, but between the actual instruments themselves. The live wash of tone suits them, with Alexis‘ vocals cutting through, where on their recordings thus far there’s more separation of instruments. It’s dirtier live, and for the high quality riffs they play, that dirt fits really well. Especially coupled with the fact that their performance was so tight, it was like they were daring the crowd to match their energy level.

The Age of Truth

The Age of Truth (Photo JJ Koczan)

Another band it was my first time seeing (that’s five in a row!), Philly four-piece The Age of Truth had been hanging out all weekend and getting down with some shenanigans the first night of Maryland Doom Fest, but when they got on stage, it was all business. Well, mostly business. One seems to recall vocalist Kevin McNamara saying something before they went on about taking his shirt off and rubbing his nipples on the microphone — it didn’t happen, though it might’ve been an interesting bit of performance art; “what do those nipples signify?” and so on — but with the start of the set, he, guitarist Mike DiDonato, bassist Bill Miller and drummer Scott Fressetto launched into the most noise-rocking set the festival has thus far featured. Their blend of heavy rock groove and crunching tones and riffs made their Kozmik Artifactz-delivered debut, Threshold (review here), an aggro joy, and their live interpretation of those songs as well as the new cut “Palace of Rain” was all the more engaging for the ferocity of its realization. The slow-rolling-int0-quicker-shuffle of “Caroline” was a highlight, but I won’t take anything away from the impact of “Honey Pot” or anything else either. With an injection of melody into the newer stuff, they left some intrigue as to where they might be headed — a proper tease of something to watch for. It’ll be worth keeping an eye out.

Switchblade Jesus

Switchblade Jesus (Photo JJ Koczan)

Before Switchblade Jesus took the Cafe 611 stage, I was asked by Borgo Pass drummer and all-around-excellent-human-being Joe Wood what they sounded like. The first two words that came out of my mouth were “Texas” and “riffs.” To be fair, that’s not by any means all the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Eric Calvert, bassist/vocalist Chris Black and drummer Jon Elizondo have to offer, but if you’ve never heard them before, it’s a start. They made an encouraging self-titled debut (review here) in 2013 and followed up last year with a contribution to Ripple Music‘s The Second Coming of Heavy split series (review here), which took the foundation of that initial offering and expanded it significantly, pulling back on some of the burl in favor of a more nuanced approach. Their set in Maryland? With Calvert and Black sharing vocal duties and Elizondo pounding away behind, they rose to the occasion. In front of the stage, the crowd headbanged and raised fists and dug in nearly as much as the band itself, whose set was flawless near as I could tell. I’ve seen them twice now, been impressed both times, and could only expect that trend to continue for the next round, whenever that might be.

Foghound

Foghound (Photo JJ Koczan)

The weekend’s emcee, Dave Benzotti, choked up in reading his intro to Foghound, which also served as a remembrance of those the Maryland doom scene has lost over the last year, including bassist Rev. Jim Forrester of Foghound (also Serpents of Secrecy, ex-Sixty Watt Shaman, etc.), and reasonably so given the tragedy of the circumstances of his passing. The inevitability of that loss working its way into the current chapter of Foghound‘s life as a band was thick as the Baltimore four-piece got going, but if they were working toward catharsis, they were doing so with volume and intensity as their means. Their third album, Awaken to Destroy,on which Forrester performs bass and new bassist Adam Heinzmann contributes vocals alongside those of drummer Chuck Dukeheart III and guitarists Dee Settar and Bob Sipes, is done and in the can, and they played material from it both during their own set — the title-track — and afterwards through the P.A., which went unnoticed by many by Dukeheart later explained was a way to get Forrester‘s playing heard even if people didn’t realize they were hearing it at the time. As they also played with a portrait of Forrester signed by many with messages of love (I didn’t have the courage), his presence and absence were both deeply felt by the room, but the music was a fitting tribute and a comfort alike.

Cavern

Cavern (Photo JJ Koczan)

Prog prog prog. Also, prog. It’s fun to watch a band who so delight in being bizarre or outside the norm, and while local instrumentalists Cavern were for sure the odd men out on the bill, that suited them remarkably well and I can only imagine it wasn’t the first time they’ve found themselves in that position. Drummer Stephen Schrock played a kit with his toms out flat before him while Zach Harkins ran his guitar through one of the most elaborate pedal boards I’ve seen this weekend and still had room on stage for a Moog to add atmosphere to the intricate and complex songs they played. Denizens of Grimoire Records, they were a perfectly timed departure. Following Foghound with another straight-up rock band would only be doing said band a disservice, but Cavern were coming from somewhere else completely, so there was no real comparing the two outfits. A jolt to the flow of the night that only served Cavern well, since with all their looped parts, woven-through noise and underlying groove, “jolt” seemed to be the whole idea. It would be all-go riffing from here on out, but whether one considers them on their own merits or in the context of the Maryland Doom Fest 2018 lineup, their efforts toward the bizarre were duly appreciated.

The Watchers

The Watchers (Photo JJ Koczan)

The second Ripple Music act on the bill to have made the trip from the Bay Area behind ZED, four-piece The Watchers delivered one of the most professional sets I’ve seen so far this weekend. I mean, The Obsessed were pro-shop, right? And so were ZED, since they’ve been mentioned, but The Watchers had it all down — from riffs to looks to delivery to vocalist Tim Narducci and guitarist Jeremy Epp working the crowd with natural showmanship while bassist Cornbread and drummer Carter Kennedy locked in groove after groove of rock-solid heavy rock, playing selections from this year’s Black Abyss (review here) as well as the preceding EP, Sabbath Highway (review here). They had a near-commercial level of catchiness, but since that’s not a thing that exists anymore, I’ll just note that as much clear effort as they put into their presentation, the accessibility of the songs came from the songs themselves and the quality of their construction. Were they up there selling it? Absolutely. And kicking ass while doing so, but if the material itself wasn’t so strong the whole thing would’ve fallen flat. The foundation of the entire show was the material itself, and accordingly that show was an utter joy to watch.

Earthride

Earthride (Photo JJ Koczan)

I actually went back and looked up the last time I saw Earthride. It was at Days of the Doomed in 2012 (review here). I also recalled seeing them in Brooklyn in 2011 sharing the stage with When the Deadbolt Breaks, which was a noteworthy coincidence since that band’s guitarist/vocalist, Aaron Lewis, happened to be playing bass in Earthride, having joined just prior to the Maryland band’s just-ended tour with The Skull. Still, six years (and eight days) of not seeing Earthride? Far too fucking long. Dave Sherman, who’d been hanging out all weekend, took the stage in celebration of the welcome-home party that their set was, and with Lewis, guitarist Greg Ball and drummer Eric Little behind him, he held court for what was an absolute highlight of the fest as a whole. I’d been thinking of them as headliners the whole day, and while they didn’t play last, there was definitely a main-event feel going into their set, which started out with “Earthride,” boasted the new single “Witch Gun” (discussed here), the title-track to 2010’s Something Wicked (review here) and capped with “Fighting the Devils Inside You” from 2005’s sophomore LP, Vampire Circus (discussed here). Sherman held the audience and never relinquished his grasp on their attention, and the crowd was as switched on as I’d seen the whole fest. Like I said, they weren’t the headliners in name, but really, they kind of were. And rightly so.

Castle

Castle (Photo JJ Koczan)

Man, I want to hear Castle‘s new album. So bad. The core duo of bassist/vocalist Elizabeth Blackwell and guitarist/vocalist Mat Davis will issue that long-player through a yet-to-be-announced label, but they’re a touring band at their core. They get out. In talking to Davis after their set, he called their current stint a “quick one.” To put that in perspective, it’s a cross-country tour with 12 dates. I’m assuming what he meant was that it was nothing like the weeks-long voyages that will invariably follow the new full-length’s release, and I guess that’s fair, but 12 dates isn’t nothing either. Last time I saw Castle was Maryland Doom Fest 2016 (review here) as they were marking the release of that year’s Welcome to the Graveyard (review here), and though I knew it was coming, I was still blindsided by their intensity. Thrash, doom, classic metal, heavy groove and delighted pummel. Think of them as extreme traditional metal. They bring a classic sound to bear in their material — a number of classic sounds, actually — but have a ferocity to their execution of that which sets them apart from anything that might be considered “retro.” Coupled with the willful eeriness of their atmospheres and cultish themes, they can be all over the place, but that only makes them harder to pin down, and thus, all the more a thrill to watch. As the penultimate act of the evening, they were a last-minute kick in the ass before things got as far out as they would go, and though it had been a long day by then, Castle revived the spirit even as they seemed to herald its demise.

Windhand

Windhand (Photo JJ Koczan)
Windhand were the night’s headliner. They could’ve slinked in late, hid themselves backstage, got on, done their set, collected whatever there was to collect afterward and been on their way. Instead, the Richmond, Virginia, four-piece, who are arguably the most successful East Coast doom band of their generation and whose influence only continues to spread — trying to come up with another name and can’t; if you have one, I’d love to talk it out — hung around all day. They were back and forth through the venue, watching bands, meeting people, this and that. They had the option to take part or not to take part and they took part. And for a group at their level, on Relapse, having toured the world, etc., that’s not nothing. When they finally got on stage and got going, their fog-drenched riffs were as overwhelming as I remembered, and even though they’ve pared down from a five-piece, there was no discernible gap in volume from vocalist Dorthia Cottrell, guitarist Garrett Morris, bassist Parker Chandler and drummer Ryan Wolfe, who produced a soulful, lurching onslaught the likes of which Maryland Doom Fest had not yet known. Their new album, Eternal Return, was announced in April and will be released by Relapse as the follow-up to 2015’s Grief’s Infernal Flower (review here). No doubt it’s one of the most anticipated doom records for the rest of 2018 and whenever it rears its head will be yet another grueling landmark in a catalog that, at this point, teems with them while also constantly showcasing Windhand‘s progression. It was late, but in front of the stage was a press of humanity, and Windhand justified the urgency with a wash of volume and low end that was on a level all its own. A headlining slot well earned.

It’s almost 1PM on Sunday as I wrap this up and I still need to sort photos, shower and change clothes before I head out from Sparks to Frederick, so I’ll turn you over quickly to the pics after the jump and just say thanks for reading.

Because really, thanks for reading. More tomorrow, if you can believe it.

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