Ceremony of Sludge VIII Set for March 8-9 with Holy Grove, Megaton Leviathan, Young Hunter, Disenchanter & More

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

ceremony of sludge viii banner

The years go quick, it seems, as Ceremony of Sludge marks its eighth in celebrating Portland’s native heavy boom. Ceremony of Sludge VIII hits the Kenton Club in that storied Oregon hotbed on March 8 and 9 and has a lineup across those two nights that’s bound to please tone-seekers of sundry stripes. Maximum Mad and Hair Puller sit atop the Friday bill, while Saturday will be overseen by Holy Grove and Megaton Leviathan, so indeed, there will be righteousness to spare, and as the likes of Young HunterDisenchanterGlasghoteHound the WolvesA//tar and Pet Weapon round out the full roster, it’s two nights, five bands each, that fit well into the now veteran event’s gameplan of quality over quantity, Ceremony of Sludge no less defined than ever by its lack of filler.

Past years have been filmed as well — I’ve hosted videos here on occasion over the years and been glad to do it — but it looks like 2019’s edition will be pressed up as a DVD compilation, which is all the more right on. Coming to a merch table near you.

Info for the shows came down the PR wire. Note if you will that both nights are dirt cheap:

ceremony of sludge viii poster

Ceremony of Sludge VIII Comes to World Famous Kenton Club, Portland

CEREMONY OF SLUDGE VIII
MARCH 8th and 9th at World Famous Kenton Club | Portland, OR
$10/night

Portland Heavy Seen presents Ceremony Of Sludge VIII, to be held March 8th and 9th at The World Famous Kenton Club in Portland, Oregon. Now in its eighth year, Ceremony Of Sludge continues the annual celebration of showcasing Portland’s heaviest bands and filming the performances for a future DVD release.

Ceremony of Sludge VI lineup:

March 8th
Maximum Mad
Hair Puller
Young Hunter
A//tar
Pet Weapon

March 9th
Holy Grove
Megaton Leviathan
Glasghote
Disenchanter
Hound The Wolves

https://www.facebook.com/ceremonyofsludge
https://www.facebook.com/events/507836499682519/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfJ2t6pqUm5W2w4qIk5zifA

Pet Weapon, Live at Kenton Club, Portland, OR

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Ceremony of Sludge VI Lineup Announced: Witch Mountain, Disenchanter, Year of the Cobra, Lamprey and Troll to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

It’s been my pleasure to write about the Portland-based festival Ceremony of Sludge in various ways over the years, from posting lineup news as you see below to videos afterwards, to basically just being entranced by Portland’s commitment to supporting its own underground, wishing I could be there, blah blah blah. Lots of the latter, of course. This year’s lineup, for Ceremony of Sludge VI, feels even more special. Witch Mountain are arguably the biggest band to have played the fest, and they’ll headline a no-filler five-band single-night bill with veterans Disenchanter, a Lamprey reunion (!), newcomer doomers Troll, who released their self-titled debut back in October and are waiting to be picked up by this or that label in three, two, one, and Seattle duo Year of the Cobra.

Though they’re playing in the middle of the lineup, I mention Year of the Cobra last to highlight the fact that the two-piece showcase Ceremony of Sludge VI reaching outside the confines of Portland itself, something I can’t say definitively off the top of my head it’s never done before, but which is certainly rarer than not — one of five, in this case. Add to that the fact that the show is a benefit for the ACLU and Planned Parenthood in Portland, and fuck yes, it’s worth supporting. If you happen to live in that corner of the world, attendance is absolutely a no-brainer.

Info follows:

ceremony of sludge vi

Ceremony of Sludge VI Comes to High Water Mark, Portland

CEREMONY OF SLUDGE VI: Benefit For Planned Parenthood and ACLU Of Oregon
MARCH 11th at High Water Mark | Portland, OR
$10 – $20 sliding scale

Portland Heavy Seen, Cravedog,Inc. and Soundcontrol PDX present Ceremony of Sludge VI, to be held March 11th at High Water Mark in Portland, Oregon. This year the annual heavy-music fest is donating 100% of proceeds to local branches of Planned Parenthood and The ACLU of Oregon. The show is 21+ and $10 – $20 (sliding scale) at the door.

Ceremony of Sludge VI lineup:

March 11th
Witch Mountain
Disenchanter
Year Of The Cobra
Lamprey
Troll

Limited edition show posters by Sarah Crosley and merch provided by Cravedog, Inc. will be available for purchase, with all proceeds going into the donation fund.

https://www.facebook.com/ceremonyofsludge
https://www.facebook.com/soundcontrolpdx
http://www.cravedog.com/

Witch Mountain, Live at Saint Vitus Bar, Oct. 7, 2016

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Mane of the Cur Post “Uncovering Time” Video; Playing Ceremony of Sludge V this Weekend

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 15th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

mane-of-the-cur

This weekend, Portland, Oregon, five-piece Mane of the Cur take part in Ceremony of Sludge V at the High Water Mark Lounge, which may or may not be the final edition of the festival. To mark the occasion, they’ve released a new single called “Uncovering Time” and have put up a video accompanying the track, which is their first since their first EP, Three of Cups (review here), came out last year. The new track finds the returning lineup of vocalist Melynda Amann, guitarist Shawn Mentzer, bassist Cory DeCaire, drummer Blaine Burnham and keyboardist Nate Baisch digging further into atmospheric heavy rock, a natural foundation set in the rhythm section on which the keys and vocals build with melody and progressive undertones.

I dug the EP, and “Uncovering Time” shows growth in progress on the part of the band, so I’m in no way inclined to argue as Mane of the Cur figure out where they want to place elements in their mix, the keys rising here to fill space as the guitars step back, Amann‘s vocals taking the fore before relinquishing again to instrumental push. It’s a quick but telling four and a half minutes, and though it’s the first I’ve heard of what they may have put together since their last time out, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was more to come soon. In the interim, they should be right at home at Ceremony of Sludge V alongside groups like He Whose Ox is GoredSerial HawkHoly GroveDisenchanter and more.

If you happen to be in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll find the info for that show and links under the video for “Uncovering Time” below. Please enjoy:

Mane of the Cur, “Uncovering Time” official video

Ceremony of Sludge V

September 16 – September 17
High Water Mark Lounge
6800 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, Oregon 97211

Good filthy fun.

Come celebrate our fifth (and perhaps final) year of dredging up the grittiest, haziest and most scorching heavy music roiling in the murk of our fine region’s musical under-underground.

Lineup:
He Whose Ox is Gored
Serial Hawk
Holy Grove
Drunk Dad
Will
Hair Puller
Disenchanter
Owner
Mane of the Cur
Huger

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Video Premiere: Lamprey, “Lord Fire Giant” Live at Ceremony of Sludge 2014

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 25th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

lamprey

This past weekend, in Portland, the fourth Ceremony of Sludge was held at the Tonic Lounge. The likes of Holy Grove, Disenchanter, Diesto and many others played, but notably absent was the trio Lamprey, who headlined the first night of the festival in 2014. The dual-bass three-piece of Justin BrownBlaine Burnham and Spencer Norman are on a sort of mini-hiatus leading up to the release of their next album, what you might call a “break” rather than a “break-up,” while Brown takes up the bassist role in Witch Mountain and embarks on that band’s rather considerable touring schedule.  Also a principal organizer of Ceremony of SludgeBrown was in NYC this past Saturday opening for YOB and Enslaved when the fest was going on. Hey, if you gotta be somewhere.

I asked him about missing his fest at that show and he was bummed (I’ve always had a reverse-knack for conversation) not to be there, but said he’d spend the next however many months editing clips of the bands playing, so he’d get to experience it one way or another. As Lamprey begin to move past their 2012 EP, The Burden of Beasts (review here) and into their new record preceded by the recently-revealed video for “Iron Awake,” they make a fitting conclusion to this series of videos that it’s been my complete pleasure to host. They’re the sixth band — a total of eight played over the two nights last March — but the final clip is their “Lord Fire Giant,” which also closed The Burden of Beasts. In it, we can hear Burnham‘s shouts in all their rawness and hear the interplay of his and Brown‘s basses on the Club 21 stage while Norman keeps the groove in fluid motion, almost a calming presence behind the kit.

The other videos are here if you’d like to catch up, but having dug Lamprey for a few years now and been to-date unable to see them live, the quality footage is appreciated. As we move out of one series of Ceremony of Sludge videos and look forward to hopefully starting another, I’m glad to bring forth “Lord Fire Giant” in all its frothing, molten fury.

Audio is by Tim Burke at Penumbra Sound Arts. Video is by Cole Boggess and Justin Anderson. Please enjoy:

Lamprey, “Lord Fire Giant” Live at Ceremony of Sludge 2014

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Ceremony of Sludge IV Set for March 20 & 21 in Portland, OR

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 6th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

ceremony-of-sludge-iv-banner

Hard to argue with the lineup for the Portland-based Ceremony of Sludge IV. Not the least because it’s eight bands over two nights, which is killer. I wonder how long each band gets to play, if it’s full sets or like half an hour or what, but either way, it’s a manageable Friday and Saturday night, and it doesn’t look like there’s a clunker in the bunch in terms of who’s playing. Cool to see Ancient Warlocks making the trip from Seattle to play the first night and Serial Hawk doing the same for the second. Two cities with such vibrant rock traditions that are only about two hours apart, sometimes it feels like you hear way more about Portland and Seattle separately than you do the Pacific Northwest as a whole. I guess you could say the same of New York and Philadelphia, though. Fair enough.

Either way, some familiar faces in the likes of Diesto and Holy Grove and Disenchanter, and a newcomer or two like Old Lie, who’ve just recently finished tracking their debut EP.

Details and many, many links follow:

ceremony-of-sludge-iv-poster

Ceremony of Sludge IV Comes to Tonic Lounge, Portland

CEREMONY OF SLUDGE IV
MARCH 20 and MARCH 21 at TONIC LOUNGE | Portland, OR
$7

Portland Heavy Seen and Soundcontrol PDX present Ceremony of Sludge IV, to be held March 20th and 21st at Tonic Lounge in Portland, Oregon. The annual mini-festival showcases some of the most crushing bands emerging from the heavy-music community here in the Pacific Northwest. The shows are 21+ and $7 at the door.

Ceremony of Sludge lineup:

March 20th
Holy Grove
Ancient Warlocks
Disenchanter
Old Lie

March 21st
Diesto
Serial Hawk
A Volcano
Tsepesch

Limited edition “Ceremony” prints by Epochal Void will be available for purchase, as well as T-shirts from Mr. Black. The bands’ performances will once again be filmed for the Portland Heavy Seen project, with audio recorded by Penumbra Sound Arts.

Ceremony of Sludge: https://www.facebook.com/ceremonyofsludge
Soundcontrol PDX: https://www.facebook.com/soundcontrolpdx
Portland Heavy Seen: https://www.facebook.com/portlandheavyseen

Holy Grove: https://www.facebook.com/holygroveband
Ancient Warlocks: https://www.facebook.com/AncientWarlocks
Disenchanter: https://www.facebook.com/DisenchanterPDX
Old Lie: https://www.facebook.com/oldlieband
Diesto: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Diesto/101968243187195
Serial Hawk: https://www.facebook.com/serialhawk
A Volcano: https://www.facebook.com/avolcanopdx
Tsepesch: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tsepesch/204890382882138

Epochal Void: https://www.facebook.com/epochal.void.5
Mr. Black: http://www.mrblackpedals.com/
Penumbra Sound Arts: https://www.facebook.com/PenumbraSoundArts

Serial Hawk, “Desolate” Live at Ceremony of Sludge 2014 in Portland, OR

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Video Premiere: Serial Hawk, “Desolate” Live at Ceremony of Sludge 2014

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 28th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

serial hawk at ceremony of sludge

Seattle trio Serial Hawk have a new album coming soon. Last year, before releasing their Lying in Wait 7″ in the fall, the three-piece made the trip to Portland, Oregon, to take part in the Ceremony of Sludge festival, along with LampreyHoly GroveBlackwitch PuddingSiouxDisenchanter and others. Over the last couple months, parts of each act’s set have been premiered hereSerial Hawk played the first night of the fest, March 7, with LampreyTowers, and Beard of Bees at Club 21 in Portland, and the video was filmed by Cole Boggess and Justin Anderson with audio by Tim Burke.

The song is called “Desolate,” and it comes as a preview of what the new Serial Hawk LP holds in store in following up the 2014 single, 2012’s Buried in the Gray EP and the band’s first demo, released in 2011. Drummer Sean Bulkley, who was announced as the band’s drummer at the end of last Jan., does the honors in starting the song with a persistent tom rhythm that holds firm as the guitar and bass rumble to life. By 90 seconds in, a heavy foundation is established, and the rolling riffery that takes hold from there is both massive and open, guitarist Will Bassin topping the crash and distortion with raw shouts while bassist Adam Holbrook drives home a groove to which even the camera can’t seem to resist nodding.

A big slowdown brings about some choice feedback-laden deconstruction as Serial Hawk build the track up only to tear it apart again. Their appearance at Ceremony of Sludge was the first night of a West Coast tour that lasted two weeks (they did a full US tour in the Fall as well), and it seems pretty safe to say that run got off to a good start.

More on the new Serial Hawk album hopefully to come as we near the release. Enjoy “Desolate” in the meantime, with thanks to Justin Brown and Ceremony of Sludge:

Serial Hawk, “Desolate” Live at Ceremony of Sludge 2014 in Portland, OR

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Video Premiere: Blackwitch Pudding, “Gathering Panties” Live at Ceremony of Sludge 2014

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 29th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

blackwitch pudding at ceremony of sludge

If you put your mind to it, you can probably think of one or two things as romantic to do on Valentine’s Day as going to see Portland’s own Gods of Grungus Blackwitch Pudding close out their “Magic up Your Butt” West Coast tour with a hometown gig at High Water Mark, but I doubt any of them would be as much fun. The wizard-robed three-piece streamed their Covered in Pudding Vol. 1 EP here earlier this year, and it was a work of demented genius to follow-up their 2013 debut full-length, Taste the Pudding (review here), but I don’t imagine either captures the full tonal spellcasting they do on stage.

To that end, the series of occasional video premieres we’ve been doing (“we” being you and I) from the 2014 Ceremony of Sludge continues, this time with Blackwitch Pudding themselves. The song they dig into in the clip below carries the charm-laden title “Gathering Panties,” and it comes from the LP. You’ll note the creeper riff at the start and the pummeling it portends. More curious, perhaps, is the arrival of a fourth wizard on keyboard. I’m not sure the designation of this particular magician. Likely he was conjured from the ether to further the efforts of Space WizardLizard Wizard and Wizard Wizard in crafting their otherworldly murk, and to that ether he soon returned. Or something.

We’re getting to the point where Ceremony of Sludge should be announcing who’ll be taking part in 2015 — the festival was held in March this year at Club 21 and seems to have drawn a good crowd — so if and when I hear anything on that, I’ll keep you posted, but in the meantime, Blackwitch Pudding have some underwear they’d like to round up and I’m no one to stand in the way.

Direction by Cole Boggess, audio by Tim Burke. Tour details follow the video:

Blackwitch Pudding, “Gathering Panties” Live at Ceremony of Sludge

Paying Homage to the rotten filth from which they were born, Blackwitch Pudding are actually a band of three wizards. Legend has it they were raised from a stagnant, used puddle of ergot, left by the mysterious Blackwitch no less than 600 years ago. Trained in the dark arts of doom and witchery, these wizards wander the cosmos in search of nothing, for their path is a simple one: The riffs must be heavy and the smoke must be heavier.

Following the wildly successful release of their new EP, Covered In Pudding Vol. 1, the 600-year-old wizards of Blackwitch Pudding are taking their magic, their smoke, their lazers–and most importantly their riffs–on the road. Starting January 15th, you can catch the traveling wizard doom party extravaganza across the U.S….and a show so entertaining that no other doom metal band in their weight class can muster.

“MAGIC UP YOUR BUTT” U.S. TOUR DATES:

1/15 Seattle, WA @ The Narwhal
1/16 Portland, OR @ The Kenton Club
1/17 Ashland, OR @ Club 66
1/18 Sacramento, CA @ TBA
1/21 San Diego, CA @ The Til Two Club
1/22 Pomona, CA @ Characters
1/23 Tempe, AZ @ Tempe Tavern
1/24 Tucson, AZ @ Sky Bar
1/25 El Paso, TX @ Grynde Bar
1/26 San Antonio, TX @ Lime Light Bar
1/27 Houston, TX @ Rudyards
1/29 Austin, TX @ The Lost Well
1/30 Dallas, TX @ Lola’s Room
1/31 Little Rock, AR @ Vino’s
2/1 Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory
2/2 Amarillo, TX @ TBA
2/3 Santa Fe, NM @ The Launchpad
2/4 Flagstaff, AZ @ The Hive
2/5 Las Vegas, NV @ The Dive Bar
2/6 Los Angeles, CA @ Los Globos
2/7 San Luis Obispo, CA @ Sweet Springs Saloon
2/8 San Francisco, CA @ The Hemlock Tavern
2/10 Bend, OR @ TBA
2/14 Portland, OR @ High Water Mark

Space Wizard – Guitar, Vocals
Lizard Wizard – Bass, Vocals
Wizard Wizard – Drums, Vocals

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Video Premiere: Disenchanter, “Green Queen” Live at Ceremony of Sludge 2014

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 27th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

disenchanter

If you want a little extra thrill, plug in some headphones and turn the bass up as Disenchanter run through the below rendition of the song “Green Queen.” The track, which of course shares its name with a strain of weed — wasn’t that just a given? — makes a fantastic showcase for the low tone of four-stringer Joey DeMartini, and with Sabine Stangenberg‘s riffs and vocals leading the charge and Jay Erbe playing one tom against the other on drums, it’s halfway between boogie rock and all out heavy rager, and seems content to find a place somewhere not quite one or the other. This version was recorded earlier this year in Disenchanter‘s hometown of Portland, Oregon, at the Ceremony of Sludge festival, and is part of a series of clips I’ve been fortunate enough to premiere recorded over the course of that fest’s two days.

Disenchanter opened the second day of Ceremony of Sludge, which was held at Club 21, and while ceremony of sludge posterthey’ve showcased a penchant for epic metallurgy or at least an appreciation for the grandiose on their two three-song releases to date, 2013’s Back to Earth and this year’s On through Portals (review here), “Green Queen” hones in a more straight-ahead heavy rock sound built around a strong hook, a still driving riff and the melody in Stangenberg‘s voice. I don’t know if that’s meant to be emblematic of some shift in direction or if Disenchanter were pulling a one off or if the song might even be a cover — go Google “Green Queen” and you’re only gonna find pot info — but it’s a cool groove one way or another and the band carries it just as well as some of their more epic material.

You can click here to see the other clips thus far released in the Ceremony of Sludge 2014 video series, and check out Disenchanter‘s “Green Queen” on the player followed by video info below. Please enjoy:

Disenchanter, “Green Queen” Live at Ceremony of Sludge

Disenchanter perform “Green Queen” live at the third annual Ceremony of Sludge (Club 21, Portland, Oregon, 3/8/14).

Edited by Cole Boggess.
Cameras: Cole Boggess, Justin Anderson, Justin Brown, Eli Duke.
Audio: Tim Burke

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