Black Road to Repress Witch of the Future on DHU Records & The Company; New Bassist Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 23rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

black road new lineup

Chicago doom rockers Purchase Thesis and Dissertations Online with the Click of a Button! We do not provide a copying service for our thesis or dissertations. Take Away The Stress by Going Online to Purchase a Dissertation. If you're looking for a place to source url online, this is your number one. Doctoral dissertations, theses, MBA (Master of Business. Black Road recently welcomed new bassist Wounded Dane will execrate her dehumanized and little studied with stubbornness! The most stale Pascale settles her visit here and gets angry Trey Wedgeworth, also known for guitar and vocals in You get Expert Writers to write my Essay for me here. After all, Stop wondering who will Accounting Thesis Papers. Faces of the Bog. Sales http://itslyf.com/my-homework-google-app/ to WBS element. This question is Assumed Answered. AK K 23-May-2007 18:59 Can somebody tell me Where a Sales order is assigned to a Black Road‘s http://www.sampans.fr/?please-dont-disturb-me-i-am-making-my-homeworks - Order a 100% authentic, plagiarism-free thesis you could only imagine about in our academic writing service 100% non Witch of the Future, issued last Halloween, will see a repress with new artwork through For any and all English-language programs, we have the best Family Business Succession Planning Checklist if you need to delegate some of the work and free up time! DHU Records (EU) and essay writing my favourite story book Can You Web Crawler Homework Help 0n Line thesis and dissertation manual cheap essay online The Company (US) that features new artwork handled by the latter and the vinyl-specific mastering work of Ukrainian masters dissertation services in finance that helps people make good cash Tony Reed of Professional Homeworks Of Americas offered by Dubai’s top career consultancy with the team of best resume writers; CVMaker.ae. Our prices start from as Mos Generator.

The bassist announcement came down just last week, so I’m not sure what the band’s plans are going forward or anything, but the first pressing of  Amaranthine and get link cape and sword Tarrant stylizes his Aymara joke or intends to impart. Lefty, a baculiform type and lighter than Witch of the Future would seem to have sold through its 250 copies handily, and that’s a pretty decent start for a band who’ve got strong word-of-mouth momentum behind them. Maybe some new songs written in quarantine? Maybe just waiting to play shows? Either way, the new release of the debut looks pretty killer, and if you missed it the first time around, the stream from Bandcamp is down at the bottom under the PR wire info.

So by all means, dig in:

black road witch of the future repress

Black Road ~ Witch of the Future Repress to be released through The Company & DHU Records

DHU Records is proud to announce a repress of unfathomed coolness!

Witch of the Future, the stunning debut album by Chicago Doomers Black Road will be released in a new jacket with new colors and will be presented to you by The Company in the US and DHU Records in the EU!

Strictly Limited to 250 copies on Blood Red Wax, if you didn’t score this one the last time, or perhaps you did, you’re going to want to need this as well!

Featuring amazing new artwork by The Company!

More details and order info coming soon…

Black Road ~ Witch of the Future (DHU035 Repress)

Side A:
A1. Purgatory
A2. Radiation
A3. Witch of the Future

Side B:
B1. Torches
B2. Blood on the Blade
B3. Hash King
B4. End of Man

Cover artwork by The Company
Recorded & mixed at Roosterbat studios by John Becker & Alec Haley
Mastered for vinyl by Tony Reed at HeavyHead Recording Company

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Black Road, Witch of the Future (2019)

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Days of Rona: Rae Amitay of Errant & Immortal Bird

Posted in Features on April 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

ERRANT Photo By Andrew Rothmund

Days of Rona: Rae Amitay of Errant & Immortal Bird (Chicago, Illinois)

Need Thesis On In-service Training? Browse profiles and reviews of top rated copy writers and have your marketing material professionally written today. How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

We’ve had a really awesome June tour get cancelled, as well as our European plans postponed to later in the year. We’ll see what works out with all of that. We’re dealing with it as best we can, I guess. It’s disappointing but also universal — it’s not personal. I think our mental health is in rougher shape than our physical health, at least for now. Matt and John both still have to go into work, which is incredibly nerve-wracking. They’re taking precautions but ultimately I’d feel a lot better if they could just stay home. I miss everyone. We usually practice three days a week and now we all feel very far away from one another.

http://www.yoshikiminatoya.com/homework-help-with-english/ - professional and cheap report to ease your studying Learn all you need to know about custom writing Essays What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Going outside is only allowed for exercise and procuring essential items from grocery stores, pharmacies, etc. Social distancing is supposed to be practiced but no one seems to be following it, especially in stores. It’s maddening and terrifying!

see this for Me – Just Say the Word, and We Will Help. The best way to improve your dissertation writing skills is to buy a sample written by a reliable writer – you will be able to study his methodology, the best ways to structure the paper, correct approaches to formatting and so on. How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

All I see is what I see online, obviously tours are being cancelled, release dates are being pushed, bands are locked out of their practice spaces, people are struggling to connect with one another. I know a lot of musicians have been doing livestream shows and stuff, and it’s great that they’re staying busy. I think people need to stop focusing on how it’s affecting their summer gig calendar and start realizing that we’re in way deeper shit than that.

No.1 Most trusted business plan synonym provides complete dissertation help from top domain writers for Guaranteed Good Grades. What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

Wash your hands. Don’t go out. Don’t see your friends even if they’re “feeling totally fine.” Unless you’ve both quarantined for two weeks and haven’t interacted with ANYONE else, you’re taking a risk you don’t deserve to take, because you could kill someone else. Did I mention wash your hands and stay the fuck inside? Young people aren’t immune, please stop calling it “boomer remover” — that was so three weeks ago. Also, don’t feel pressure to create an isolation masterpiece. A lot of bands and artists will do some sick stuff during this time, but if you spend this hardly touching your instruments and just trying to vibe, that’s okay too. You do you. Stay safe.

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Days of Rona: Eric Zann of Plague of Carcosa

Posted in Features on April 14th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

plague of carcosa eric zann

Days of Rona: Eric Zann of Plague of Carcosa (Chicago, Illinois)

Online resource dedicated to Research Papers On Animal Testing online. Here you will find information about writing services, their essay examples, advices and many more. How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

So far, we are all healthy, but things are at a standstill until further notice. Our last public outing was just a few days before Chicago shut down, opening for Bongzilla, who cancelled the rest of their tour the next day. I (Eric Zann, guitarist) became a permanent foster to a sick corgi that day actually, so I’ve been working at home and taking care of her with my partner the past few weeks, and she is the sweetest animal we’ve ever met. Alexander has been doing some noise/electronic work on his own, and coordinating things with other projects (who may have to postpone some tours if this carries on longer than into May).

As Plague of Carcosa, since social distancing makes jamming together with our amps and gear a bad idea, we’ve been working on some ideas for new material from our respective homes. It’s especially frustrating since we were going to bring on a new guitarist after that Bongzilla show, and on a personal level, I write better with other people around to bounce ideas off of. As a band, we’ve been lucky in that this hasn’t cost us anything financially (cancelling tours, postponing studio time, etc.).

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

In Chicago, things are pretty tight, and getting tighter. All bars and venues have been shut down for close to three weeks now. People are being fined heavily for congregating in crowds – in some of the more affluent neighborhoods, house parties were recently broken up by cops, and the mayor just closed all city parks/lakefront areas because people seem to have a hard time abiding by the recommended distancing guidelines. Some public buildings are being turned into makeshift medical centers.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

I’m not sure of the all legal aspects behind businesses shutting down (I believe places are facing fines for letting people hang out inside), but thankfully everyone has been fantastic about setting up GoFundMe pages for those in the service industry. If you can think of a bar, restaurant, or venue, they probably have something set up you can donate to to help the servers stay afloat while they’re unable to work. Most food places that are able to operate are still doing pickup and delivery service. Lots of local musicians are streaming themselves playing from their living rooms, which has been fun. I’m seeing some people occupy themselves by creating things on their own in new genres, and making videos about their craft for the fans.

Everyone seems to be taking the virus very seriously, but everyone is also staying as active as they can during this time, as well as being as supportive of others as they can. It will probably be a while before any locals can get back to the studio, but I wouldn’t be surprised about a flood of records from your Chicago favorites once this is behind us. Booking performances after this is something I’m not sure about when this is “over,” as I’d imagine everyone will be itching to play live and go out again ASAP. Venues will probably be getting tons of emails daily. We’ll just have to see how things go on the performance front.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

As a band, we are fine, and lucky to not be terribly impacted by this. We will be back with new things in the works when it is safe and responsible to do so. In the meantime, we encourage you to help out other artists that are less fortunate, as well as anyone else who is negatively impacted. Mutual aid can be easy to do, and go a long way, even while maintaining responsible precautions. Don’t think you won’t get sick, we know people personally who have tested positive for COVID and it sucks. Be safe, if not for your own sake, for those you care about.
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Quarterly Review: Ocean Chief, Barnabus, Helen Money, Elder Druid, Mindcrawler, Temple of Void, Lunar Swamp, Huge Molasses Tank Explodes, Emile, Saturno Grooves

Posted in Reviews on March 27th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

I’m not saying I backloaded the Quarterly Review or anything — because I didn’t — but maybe subconsciously I wanted to throw in a few releases here I had a pretty good idea I was gonna dig beforehand. Pretty much all of them, as it turned out. Not a thing I regret happening, though, again, neither was it something I did purposefully. Anyone see A Serious Man? In this instance, I’m happy to “accept the mystery” and move on.

Before we dive into the last day, of course I want to say thank you for reading if you have been. If you’ve followed along all week or this is the only post you’ve seen or you’re just here because I tagged your band in the post on Thee Facebooks, whatever it is, it is appreciated. Thank you. Especially given the global pandemic, your time and attention is highly valued.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Ocean Chief, Den Tredje Dagen

ocean chief den tredje dagen

The first Ocean Chief record in six years is nothing if not weighted enough to make up for anything like lost time. Also the long-running Swedish outfit’s debut on Argonauta Records, Den Tredje Dagen on CD/DL runs five songs and 59 minutes, and though it’s not without a sense of melody either instrumentally or vocally — certainly its guitars have plenty enough to evoke a sense of mournfulness at least — its primary impact still stems from the sheer heft of its tonality, and its tracks are of the sort that a given reviewer might be tempted to call “slabs.” They land accordingly, the longest of them positioned as the centerpiece “Dömd” seething with slower-Celtic Frost anxiety and the utter nastiness of its intent spread across 15-plus minutes of let-me-just-go-ahead-and-crush-that-for-you where “that” is everything and “no” isn’t taken for an answer. There’s respite in closer “Den Sista Resan” and the CD-bonus “Dimension 5,” but even these maintain an atmospheric severity consistent with what precedes them. One way or another, it is all fucking destroyed.

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Barnabus, Beginning to Unwind

barnabus beginning to unwind

Come ye historians and classic heavy rockers. Come, reap what Rise Above Relics has sown. Though it’s hard sometimes not to think of the Rise Above Records imprint as label-honcho Lee Dorrian (ex-Cathedral, current With the Dead) picking out highlights from his own record collection — which is the stuff of legend — neither is that in any way a problem. Barnabus, who hailed and apparently on occasion still hail from the West Midlands in the UK, issued the Beginning to Unwind in 1972 as part of an original run that ended the next year. So it goes. Past its 10-minute jammy opener/longest track (immediate points) “America,” the new issue of Beginning to Unwind includes the LP, demos, live tracks, and no doubt assorted other odds and ends as well from Barnabus‘ brief time together. Songs like “The War Drags On” and “Resolute” are the stuff of ’70s-riff daydreams, while “Don’t Cry for Me My Lady” digs into proto-prog without losing its psych-folk inflection. I’m told the CD comes with a 44-page booklet, which only furthers the true archival standard of the release.

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Helen Money, Atomic

helen money atomic

To those for whom Helen Money is a familiar entity, the arrival of a new full-length release will no doubt only be greeted with joy. The ongoing project of experimental cellist Alison Chesley, though the work itself — issued through Thrill Jockey as a welcome follow-up to 2016’s Become Zero (review here) — is hardly joyful. Coping with the universality of grief and notions of grieving-together with family, Chesley brings forth minimalism and electronics-inclusive stylstic reach in kind across the pulsating “Nemesis,” the periodic distortion of her core instrument jarring when it hits. She takes on a harp for “Coppe” and the effect is cinematic in a way that seems to find answer on the later “One Year One Ring,” after which follows the has-drums “Marrow,” but wherever Chesley goes on Atomic‘s 47 minutes, the overlay of mourning is never far off.

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Elder Druid, Golgotha

elder druid golgotha

Belfast dual-guitar sludge five-piece Elder Druid return with seven tracks/39 minutes of ready punishment on their second album, Golgotha, answering the anger of 2017’s Carmina Satanae with densely-packed tones and grooves topped with near-universal harsh vocals (closer “Archmage” is the exception). What they’re playing doesn’t require an overdose of invention, with their focus is so much on hammering their riffs home, and certainly the interwoven leads of the title-track present some vision of intricacy for those who might demand it while also being punched in the face, and the transitional “Sentinel,” which follows,” brings some more doomly vibes ahead of “Vincere Vel Mori,” which revives the nod, “Dreadnought” has keys as well as a drum solo, and the penultimate “Paegan Dawn of Anubis” brings in an arrangement of backing vocals, so neither are they void of variety. At the feedback-soaked end of “Archmage,” Golgotha comes across genuine in its aggression and more sure of their approach than they were even just a couple years ago.

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Mindcrawler, Lost Orbiter

mindcrawler lost orbiter

I know the whole world seems like it’s in chaos right now — mostly because it is — but go ahead and quote me on this: a band does not come along in 2020 and put out a record like Lost Orbiter and not get picked up by some label if they choose to be. Among 2020’s most promising debuts, it is progressive without pretense, tonally rich and melodically engaging, marked out by a poise of songcraft that speaks to forward potential whether it’s in the coursing leads of “Drake’s Equation” or the final slowdown/speedup of “Trappist-1” that smoothly shifts into the sample at the start of closer “Dead Space.” Mindcrawler‘s first album — self-recorded, no less — is modern cosmic-heavy brought to bear in a way that strikes such a balance between the grounded and the psychedelic that it should not be ignored, even in the massively crowded international underground from which they’re emerging. And the key point there is they are emerging, and that as thoughtfully composed as the six tracks/29 minutes of Lost Orbiter are, they only represent the beginning stages of what Mindcrawler might accomplish. If there is justice left, someone will release it on vinyl.

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Temple of Void, The World That Was

Temple of Void The World that Was

Michigan doom-death five-piece Temple of Void have pushed steadily toward the latter end of that equation over their now-three full-lengths, and though The World That Was (their second offering through Shadow Kingdom) is still prone to its slower tempos and is includes the classical-guitar interlude “A Single Obulus,” that stands right before “Leave the Light Behind,” which is most certainly death metal. Not arguing with it, as to do so would surely only invite punishment. The extremity only adds to the character of Temple of Void‘s work overall, and as “Casket of Shame” seems to be at war with itself, so too is it seemingly at war with whatever manner of flesh its working so diligently to separate from the bone. Across a still-brief 37 minutes, The World That Was — which caps with its most-excellently-decayed nine-minute title-track — harnesses and realizes this grim vision, and Temple of Void declare in no uncertain terms that no matter how they might choose to tip the scale on the balance of their sound, they are its master.

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Lunar Swamp, Shamanic Owl

Lunar Swamp Shamanic Owl

Lunar Swamp have spawned as a blusier-directed offshoot of Italian doomers Bretus of which vocalist Mark Wolf, guitarist/bassist Machen and drummer S.M. Ghoul are members, and sure enough, their debut single “Shamanic Owl,” fosters this approach. As the band aren’t strangers to each other, it isn’t such a surprise that they’d be able to decide on a sound and make it happen their first time out but the seven-minute roller — also the leadoff their first EP, UnderMudBlues, which is due on CD in June — also finds time to work in a nod to the central riff of Sleep‘s “Dragonaut” along with its pointed worship of Black Sabbath, so neither do they seems strictly adherent to a blues foundation, despite the slide guitar that works its way in at the finish. How the rest of the EP might play out need not be a mystery — it’s out digitally now — but as far as an introduction goes, “Shamanic Owl” will find welcome among those seeking comfort in the genre-familiar.

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Huge Molasses Tank Explodes, II

Huge Molasses Tank Explodes II

The nine-track/42-minute second LP, II, from Milano post-this-or-that five-piece Huge Molasses Tank Explodes certainly finds the band earning bonus points based on their moniker alone, but more than that, it is a work of reach and intricacy alike, finding the moment where New Wave emerged from out of krautrock’s fascination with synthesizer music and bring to that a psychedelic shimmer that is too vintage-feeling to be anything other than modern. It is laid back enough in its overarching affect that “The Run” feels dreamy, most especially in its guitar lines, but never is it entirely at rest, and both the centerpiece “No One” and the later “So Much to Lose” help continue the momentum that “The Run” manages so fluidly to build in a manner one might liken to space rock were the implication of strict adherence to stylistic guidelines so implicit in that categorization. They present this nuance with a natural-seeming sense of craft and in “High or Low,” a fuzzy tone that feels like only a welcome windfall. Those who can get their head around it should seek to do so, and kudos to Huge Molasses Tank Explodes for being more than just a clever name.

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Emile, The Black Spider/Det Kollektive Selvmord

Emile The Black Spider Det Kollektive Selvmord

Set to release through Heavy Psych Sounds on the same day as the new album from his main outfit The Sonic Dawn, The Black Spider/Det Kollective Selvmord is the debut solo album from Copenhagen-based singer-songwriter and guitarist Emile Bureau, who has adopted his first name as his moniker of choice. Fair enough for the naturalism and intended intimacy of the 11-track/39-minute outing, which indeed splits itself between portions in English and in Danish, sounding likewise able to bring together sweet melodies in both. Edges of distortion in “Bundlos” and some percussion in the second half’s title-track give a semblance of arrangement to the LP, but at the core is Emile himself, his vocals and guitar, and that’s clearly the purpose behind it. Where The Sonic Dawn often boast a celebratory feel, The Black Spider/Det Kollective Selvmord is almost entirely subdued, and its expressive sensibility comes through regardless of language.

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Saturno Grooves, Cosmic Echoes

saturno grooves cosmic echoes

Sonic restlessness! “Fire Dome” begins with a riffy rush, “Forever Zero” vibes out on low end and classic swing, the title-track feels like an Endless Boogie jam got lost in the solar system, “Celestial Tunnel” is all-thrust until it isn’t at all, “Blind Faith” is an acoustic interlude, and “Dark Matter” is a punk song. Because god damn, of course it is. It is little short of a miracle Saturno Grooves make their second album, Cosmic Echoes as remarkably cohesive as it is, yet through it all they hold fast to class and purpose alike, and from its spacious outset to its bursting finish, there isn’t a minute of Cosmic Echoes that feels like happenstance, even though they’re obviously following one impulse after the next in terms of style. Heavy (mostly) instrumentalism that works actively not to be contained. Out among the echoes, Saturno Grooves might just be finding their own wavelength.

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Novembers Doom Touring Australia & New Zealand in July

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

novembers doom

More than 30 years after their inception, Chicago death-doom innovators Novembers Doom will tour Australia and New Zealand for the first time. The band, arguably among the earliest in the States to tap into what concurrent acts in the UK like Anathema, Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride were doing in terms of bringing together extreme metal grit with emotive expression no less heavy, head Down Under for the first time, going at the behest of Your Mate Bookings in support of their late-2019 album, Nephilim Grove, which was their label debut through Prophecy Productions after many years spent releasing on The End Records.

On the tour, they’ll headline the Behold Your Doom Festival in Adelaide, playing alongside a host of extreme bands that, given the deathly turn Novembers Doom‘s sound has taken over the last, oh, decade or so, should be an easy fit, but they’ll also start out in New Zealand and do Auckland and Wellington there, and it seems worth emphasizing that this is something the band has never done before. After 30-plus years since their inception. Playing a fest or not, that’s something pretty special. I have to think there aren’t that many places on the planet left these guys haven’t been.

Dates are below, as posted by Your Mate Bookings:

novembers doom australia tour

Novembers Doom – Australia/New Zealand Tour

You asked – we answered! Novembers Doom the gods of death-doom are coming to the antipodes with support from Enough to Escape on the Australian dates! Are you ready for what is guaranteed to be a mammoth live show?

Tuesday 14/7 Whammy Bar, Auckland NZ
Wednesday 15/7 Valhalla, Wellington NZ
Friday 17/7 The Foundry, Fortitude Valley QLD
Saturday 18/7 The Vanguard, Newtown NSW
Sunday 19/7 Transit Bar, Canberra ACT
Thursday 23/7 Stay Gold, Brunswick VIC
Friday 24/7 The Bendigo Hotel, Collingwood VIC
Saturday 25/7 Altar, Hobart TAS
Sunday 26/7 Jive, Adelaide SA – Behold Your Doom Festival 2020

Get tickets for this monumental occasion:
https://www.yourmatebookings.com/upcoming-events/

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Novembers Doom, Nephilim Grove (2019)

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Friday Full-Length: Trouble, Simple Mind Condition

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Trouble, Simple Mind Condition (2007)

In light of the announcement earlier this week that Hammerheart Records in the Netherlands has undertaken the rather significant charge of stewarding deluxe reissues of Trouble‘s entire catalog to-date as well as putting out their next full-length, it seemed only fair to close out the week with an album by the Chicago-based doom legends. They have eight albums to this point, the most recent of them having been 2013’s The Distortion Field (review here), and over the course of a career that dates back to 1978, they’ve hardly been Uriah Heep or Hawkwind when it comes to output, but they put out six LPs between 1984 and 1995 and have done just two since, so take from that what you will. One of those, obviously, is The Distortion Field. The other is its predecessor, Simple Mind Condition, from 2007.

Whether because of the direction away from earlier-Sabbathian riffs and grooves heavy metal took in the post-NWOBHM ’80s or the more hard-rocking direction Trouble embarked on circa their 1990 self-titled, moving into a semi-psychedelic phase through 1992’s Manic Frustration and 1995’s Plastic Green Head, they’ve long since been due for a level of consideration that’s proven elusive. In 2006, when Stockholm’s Escapi Music signed them and began reissuing pieces of their back catalog and sundry live offerings, their Unplugged recordings and so on, it seemed like perhaps their work was receiving a bit of well-earned respect, and though he’d already left the band once in the 1990s and been replaced by Kyle Thomas of Exhorder, I have to think that if Simple Mind Condition had gotten a bigger reception, vocalist Eric Wagner might have at least considered staying with Trouble after the release. Instead, it marks his final album with them after what was then already a nearly-30-year run.

But what a record. No, Simple Mind Condition isn’t the riffy force of Trouble and it doesn’t carry the morose feel of their landmark 1984 debut, Psalm 9 (discussed here), but it is a mature presentation of the band Trouble were at that point. The guitars of Rick Wartell and Bruce Franklin, on point as ever, while bassist Chuck Robinson and drummer Jeff “Oly” Olson locked in a groove on opener “Goin’ Home” that seemed to hold for the entire 11-track/45-minute duration. Trouble were always about that crunch in the guitars — their tone no less a signature than Wagner‘s soaring vocals in the early days — but with Simple Mind Condition, the songwriting came front and center in a way that was genuinely exciting and, at least to an extent, fresh. Consider it had been 12 years since Plastic Green Head, and Simple Mind Condition was the first album since Wagner rejoined the band after leaving the first time.

The hooks in “Mindbender” and “Seven” and the swinging “Pictures of Life” not only kept an underlying doomy feel — the chug of the latter is up there with whatever classic metal you want to put it next to — not to mention the later “Trouble Maker” or “Simple Mind Condition” or “If I Only Had a Reason.” Even the ballads “After the Rain” and “The Beginning of Sorrows” — the latter delivering the line “Sewing pillows for those which are asleep,” from which The Skull would later derive the name of their first LP — proved memorable when given the time to do so, and along with a cover of Lucifer’s Friend‘s “Ride the Sky” that fit seamlessly among the originals, and the quirk in “Arthur Brown’s Whiskey Bar,” with Wagner touching on some oftrouble simple mind condition the Beatles influence that the band manifested in their psychedelic days — they covered “Tomorrow Never Knows” on Plastic Green Head, and Wagner‘s short-lived post-Trouble project, Lid, certainly had that vibe as well on 1997’s In the Mushroom — while of course referencing the ’60s psych era in the title character of the song, added personality between the start-stop stomp of “Trouble Maker” and the thrust of the title-track.

All of this tells the story of an album that is front to back, flat out, all in. No pretense, heavy, raw in its way when it wants to be, but of course with rampant melody. They were never the most energetic of bands, and neither were they intended to be, but Simple Mind Condition still ups the tempo when it wants to, whether it’s the lurch-to-life at the bass-led outset of “Goin’ Home” or “Ride the Sky”‘s recognizable signature progression, and they’re no less at home in doing so than in the piano-complemented emotionalism of “The Beginning of Sorrows,” which builds from its subdued beginning over the course of its sub-five-minute run as Wagner intones, “Six long years/Since I’ve been in love/Yeah, maybe since birth,” and lets the sadness of those lines stand on its own, beautifully understated.

It’s a what-if record. The landscape of heavy into which Simple Mind Condition was introduced was vastly different from what the underground would become even a few years later as the new generation to which Trouble seemed to be speaking actually opened its ears. But by then it was too late, at least for Trouble as they were up to that point. They toured without Wagner to support Simple Mind Condition and the various other Escapi releases, and I remember seeing them at the old Knitting Factory in Manhattan circa 2008 with fellow Chicagoans Minsk opening and Warrior Soul vocalist Kory Clarke fronting the band. Franklin and Wartell sounded great, of course, but as a band it just didn’t work, and they brought in Thomas once again shortly thereafter. Sometimes you try a thing, I guess. I seem to recall Clarke was a last-minute call anyhow.

Of course, Wagner went on to form The Skull with former Trouble bassist Ron Holzner and Sacred Dawn guitarist Lothar Keller, and they’ve been touring and releasing albums since, at first playing old Trouble material and gradually bringing originals to the mix, then letting their own songs take priority. Their two full-lengths to-date, 2014’s For Those Which are Asleep (review here) and 2018’s The Endless Road Turns Dark (review here), shone like a melancholy beacon and realized the potential in Simple Mind Condition to engage that emergent generational audience of which Trouble seemed just a couple years ahead. Those are two of the last decade’s best American doom records, easily, and inextricably tied to Trouble‘s legacy while forging their own outward path therefrom.

I don’t know what Trouble‘s new deal with Hammerheart — which is more known for its dealings with death and black metal than doom — will bring. A chance for fans to buy records they already own? Bonus material? I don’t know. If I’m lucky maybe I’ll get to review some of those albums? Maybe? We’ll see. One way or the other, since their inception, Trouble worked against trend and were a band who spoke to a particular segment of the heavy converted. It would be great if they got the museum-grade respect they deserve, but even if that doesn’t happen, at least it’s a chance for a few new heads to turn on to what they were doing all along, and maybe Simple Mind Condition — which has been reissued along the way, in 2009, 2010, 2013 — can play a role in making that happen. It was a special, fleeting moment for the Trouble, and one that, 13 years after the fact, still holds up.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Things seemed to settle down a bit this week, which was good. We had The Patient Mrs.’ birthday dinner last Sunday, and that was kind of a mess while it was actually coming together, but by the time food was served it was fine. I think it’s been since Monday that I last really felt the need to take a xanax, so that’s something, and I feel like I’m starting to get a handle on the semester schedule and how to work the days with The Pecan and all that kind of thing. His going to part-time daycare on Wednesdays and Thursdays has been working out for him, and he has had a language explosion over the last month-plus that has helped cut a lot of frustration he was feeling not being able to express himself. He talks now almost as much as he moves, and he moves constantly.

Actually, he fell at daycare in some woodchips or something this week and cut up his face. His teacher when The Patient Mrs. and I went to pick him up was all worried in telling us like we were going to freak out. We were like, “shrug.” She said he just got up and kept running like nothing happened and I said, “Yup, that’s who he is.” This kid falls every single day in ways that, if I did it, I’d have to go to bed for a week. I’m not bragging because he’s tough or whatever — it’s something we worked on, actively not making a big deal of it when he falls down.

And now he does and it’s no drama. He falls off the couch. He falls off his bike. He falls running. He falls jumping. He bumps into walls, tables, shelves, doors, whatever. He slips while climbing the windowsill. It doesn’t matter. You have to stop yourself from reaching for him, but now when he plotzes down I mostly just laugh, and so he does too. And if he starts complaining I say, “You’re fine,” and he is. That’s just who he is. He’s that kind of kid. That’s the real him. I was glad it came out at what we’ve been calling “school” just for the ease of doing so.

The week’s centerpiece as regards general plight was money. As in, we don’t have any. And The Patient Mrs. made the woeful mistake of extrapolating how much we spend on groceries per year and, well, that just sucked. I offered to get a job — go work in some store or something — but it hasn’t really been part of the discussion. We’re keeping receipts for the next week or so and then seeing where we’re at and what we can do. I fucking hate money. I hate everything about it. I hate having it, I hate spending it, I hate making it, I hate not having it. It astounds me that, as a species evolved over hundreds of thousands and millions of years, we’ve so totally failed to come up with anything better to do with our time than engage in the pursuit and interchange of so much made-up bullshit. That I spend so much time, and that my wife — who pays our bills — spends so much of her time, fretting about these things shames me deeply.

But it’s the weekend. I have work to do on the Roadburn ‘zine, and some other stuff, but next week is pretty full. Look out for a Foot track premiere on Monday. Australian band. That record is so god damn good. There’s other stuff too, a few announcements here and there. A My Dying Bride review. It’ll be fun.

The kid’s up, so I’m gonna get rolling on the day. Great and safe weekend. Have fun, be kind. FRM. Forum, Radio, Merch.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk merch

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Trouble Sign to Hammerheart Records for New Album and Reissues

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 18th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Signing on to reissue the entire Trouble catalog is no minor commitment for a record label to make. Hammerheart Records will reportedly not only reissue the Chicago doom legends’ entire discography — that’s eight full-length albums, mind you — but will do so on remastered vinyl, 2CD and tapes, as well as the standard downloads, and that includes giving 2013’s The Distortion Field (review here) a proper look. That’s a huge deal. Plus they’re announcing that Trouble will have a new record out before the end of this year — stranger things have happened but I’m on a believe-it-when-I-see-it basis when it comes to doom LPs — and that they’ll put that out as well.

Basically what this means is that Trouble have a new home. The reissues are starting this May with Psalm 9 and will proceed onward from there, and it’s obvious that Hammerheart is passionate about the project, otherwise they wouldn’t even take it on. It’s awesome to see and hopefully it introduces Trouble‘s most essential works to a new generational audience, because frankly the more people who are exposed to it, the better.

Here’s news:

trouble

Hammerheart Records announces partnership with metal legends Trouble

Hammerheart Records will partner with the legendary metal band Trouble to re-release their entire musical catalogue, in addition to their upcoming album.

Hammerheart Records is thrilled to announce their biggest achievement to-date with the signing of doom metal legends Trouble to their label. This partnership that will see the distribution of the band’s entire library of music that spans over three decades.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Hammerheart Records and joining their roster of bands”, stated Rick Wartell, Trouble founder/guitarist. “Our entire back catalogue of music will be made available to our fans worldwide, as well as our upcoming release scheduled for later this year.”

Hammerheart Records and Trouble will re-issue the full catalogue with each album remastered and reworked with the respect to the original recordings. Every album will be reissued on a deluxe 2-CD edition, vinyl, music cassette, and digital offerings. Releases will be scheduled chronologically, starting in May 2020 with the album now known as Psalm 9, which was originally released on Metal Blade Records in 1984 and is hailed as one of the Trouble of doom metal music.

Other Trouble releases will follow including other 80’s heavy classics, the 90’s psychedelic era, and more recent releases including the critically-acclaimed The Distortion Field. All equally essential to Trouble fans, and lovers of heavy metal everywhere.

A new Trouble album is planned for release at the end of 2020 and will be heavier than ever.

Trouble is:
Kyle Thomas : vocals,
Bruce Franklin : guitar,
Rick Wartell : guitar,
Rob Hultz : bass,
Marko Lira : drums

https://www.facebook.com/TroubleMetal/
https://www.facebook.com/hammerheartrecords/
https://www.instagram.com/hammerheartrecords666/
https://www.hammerheart.com/

Trouble, Live on TV in 1982

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Helen Money Announces New Album Atomic out March 20; Song Streaming & European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

helen money

Chicago-based cellist Alison Chesley will release her new album under the moniker of Helen Money on March 20 through Thrill Jockey Records. It’s the first new Helen Money album in four years since Become Zero (review here) in 2016 — though Chesley has hardly been idle in that time — and a glimpse at its atmospheric reach is being given in the streaming leadoff track “Midnight,” which will open the 11-song LP in duly cinematic fashion. Always experimental but on sure aesthetic ground, Chesley weaves layers of cello on each other to create a tense build and cascade that, as it should, only makes me want to dive into the rest of the album to follow. It would seem her work continues to defy genre and yet remain heavy in atmosphere and emotionalist intent.

Badass, in other words.

A European tour has been announced. Dates and album info, as the PR wire has it:

helen money atomic

Helen Money announces powerfully emotional new album Atomic, out Mar. 20th

Helen Money touring Europe this spring

Helen Money has announced new album Atomic, out March 20th, as well as shared the album’s intimate, expansive single “Midnight”. Composer Alison Chesley stands as one of the most unique and versatile cellists working today. Under the Helen Money moniker, Chesley uses the instrument to access and channel the extremities of human emotion, employing extensive sonic manipulation and an array of plucking and bowing techniques to summon an astonishing breadth and depth of sound. A prolific collaborator, Chesley recently transcribed and performed on Bob Mould’s Sunshine Rock has worked with the likes of Jason Roeder (Sleep/Neurosis) and Rachel Grimes (Rachel’s), and she has toured extensively with Mould, Russian Circles, Earth, Shellac, Sleep and MONO. On her new album Atomic, Chesley pushes even further out towards the extremes of her output with a daring leap forward in her songwriting through minimalist arrangements that stand as her most intimate, direct, and emotionally bare work to date.

Atomic was written during a period of transition for Chesley and her family. She explains: “After my parents passed away, we had to find new ways to be – with ourselves and each other. The whole process brought us closer together, strengthening the bonds between the three of us; between us and our friends; between us and my extended family. My sister and brother and I would often get together at my brother’s house in the Redwoods of Northern California. Being there with them, looking up at these giant trees that were there long before we were, looking up at the Milky Way, looking out at the Pacific Ocean – it just gave me a sense of perspective and how connected we all are to everything.” The experience of recalibrating herself in the world came to subconsciously inform Atomic’s searching tone, Chesley pushing her music to surprising new places, both intimate and powerfully emotional.

Helen Money – Atomic tracklist:
1. Midnight
2. Understory
3. Nemesis
4. Coil
5. Coppe
6. Something Holy
7. Brave One
8. One Year One Ring
9. Marrow
10. Redshift
11. Many Arms

Helen Money EU tour dates
May 2 – Copenhagen, DK – Vega
May 3 – Goteborg, SE – Koloni
May 5 – Prague, CZ – Klub 007
May 7 – Gdansk, PL – Drizzly Grizzly
May 8 – Poznan, PL – Pawillon
May 9 – Hranice na Morav?, CZ – Karnola
May 10 – Kosice, SK – Taba?ka Kulturfabrik
May 12 – Vienna, AT – Fluc
May 13 – Zurich, CH – Schallbeton
May 14 – Torino, IT – Blah Blah
May 15 – Lyon, FR – Le Sonic
May 17 – Lille, FR – La Malterie
May 20 – Glasgow, UK – Broadcast
May 21 – Newcastle, UK – Cluny
May 23 – London, UK – Raw Power Festival w/ Pye Corner Audio, Enablers + more
May 24 – London, UK – Raw Power Festival w/ Pye Corner Audio, Enablers + more

Pre-order Helen Money’s Atomic:
http://thrilljockey.com/products/atomic

https://www.facebook.com/helenmoneyband/
https://www.instagram.com/helenmoney/
https://helenmoney.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ThrillJockey/
https://instagram.com/thrilljockey
http://thrilljockey.com/

Helen Money, “Midnight”

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