Quarterly Review: Per Wiberg, Body Void, Ghorot, Methadone Skies, Witchrot, Rat King, Taras Bulba, Opium Owl, Kvasir, Lurcher

Posted in Reviews on July 16th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-fall-2016-quarterly-review

In my hubris of adding an 11th day to this Summer 2021 Quarterly Review — why not just do the whole month of July, bro? what’s the matter? don’t like riffs? — I’ve rendered today somewhat less of a landmark, but I guess there’s still some accomplishment to be felt in completing two full weeks of writing about 10 records a day, hitting triple digits and all that. Not that I doubted I’d get here — it’s rare but it’s happened before — and not that I doubt I’ll have the last 10 done for Monday, but yeah. It’s been a trip so far.

Quarterly Review #91-100:

Per Wiberg, All Is Well In the Land of the Living But for the Rest of Us… Lights Out

per wiberg all is well in the land of the living but for the rest of us lights out

The cumbersome-seeming title of Per Wiberg‘s new solo EP derives from its four component tracks, “All is Well,” “In the Land of the Living,” “But for the Rest of Us…” and “Lights Out.” The flow between them is largely seamless, and when Wiberg (whose pedigree as an organist/keyboardist includes Opeth, Candlemass, Big Scenic Nowhere and more others than I can count) pauses between tracks two and three, it feels likewise purposeful. It’s a dark mood inflected through the melodies of the opener and the atmospheric piano lines of “But for the Rest of Us…,” but Wiberg offers a driving take on progressive heavy rock with “In the Land of the Living” and the build in the subsequent “Lights Out” is encompassing with the lead-in it’s given. Wiberg sounds more comfortable layering his voice than even on 2019’s Head Without Eyes, and his arrangements are likewise expressive and fluid. Dude is a professional. I think maybe that’s part of the reason everybody wants to work with him.

Per Wiberg on Facebook

Despotz Records website

 

Body Void, Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth

Body Void Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth

Massive, droning lurch, harsh, biting screams and lumbering, pummeling weight, Body Void‘s third album and first for Prosthetic, Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth, boasts feelgood hits like “Wound” and “Laying Down in a Forest Fire,” bringing cacophonous, Khanate-style extremity of atmosphere to willfully, punishingly brutal sludge. It is not friendly. It is devastating, and it is the kind of record that sounds loud even when you play it quietly — and that’s before you get to “Pale Man”‘s added layers of caustic noise. Front to back in the four songs — all of which top 12 minutes — there’s no letup, no moment at which the duo relent in order to let the listener breathe. This is intentional. A conjuring of aural concrete in the lungs coinciding with striking lines like “Your compromises are hollow monuments to your cowardice” and other bleak, throatripping poetry of dead things and our complicity in making them. Righteous and painful.

Body Void on Facebook

Prosthetic Records website

 

Ghorot, Loss of Light

ghorot loss of light

Ghorot is the three-piece of bassist/vocalist Carson Russell (also Ealdor Bealu), drummer/vocalist Brandon Walker and guitarist Chad Remains (ex-Uzala), and Loss of Light is a debut album no less gripping for its push into darkness, whether it’s the almost-toying-with-you Sabbath-style riff of “Harbinger” or the tortured atmospherics in the back end of “Charioteer of Fire,” which follows. Competing impulses result in a sense of grueling even through the barks and faster progression of “Woven Furnace,” while “Dead Gods” offers precious little mourning in its charred deathsludge, saving more ambience for the 12-minute closer “In Endless Grief,” which not only veers into acoustics, but nods toward post-metal later on, despite holding firm to cavernous growls and wails. Obscure? Opaque? There isn’t a way in which Loss of Light isn’t heavy. Everywhere they go, Ghorot carry that weight with them. It is existential.

Ghorot on Facebook

Transylvanian Recordings on Bandcamp

Inverse Records on Bandcamp

 

Methadone Skies, Retrofuture Caveman

methadone skies retrofuture caveman

Lush from the outset and growing richer in aural substance as it plays out, the 17:56 longest/opening (immediate points) title-track of Methadone Skies‘ latest work, Retrofuture Caveman, is an obviously intended focal point, and a worthy one at that. Last heard from with 2019’s Different Layers of Fear (review here), the Romanian four-piece break down walls across the bulk of this fifth full-length, with “Retrofuture Caveman” itself setting the standard early in moving instrumentally between warm heavy psychedelia, prog, drone, doom and darker black metal. It’s prog heavy that ultimately wins the day on the subsequent linear build of “Infected by Friendship” and centerpiece “The Enabler,” but there’s room for more lumber in the 11-mminute “Western Luv ’67” and closer “When the Sleeper Awakens” offers playful shove riffing in its midsection before a final stretch of quiet guitar leads to a last-minute volume burst, no less consuming or sprawling than anything before, even if it feels like it finishes too soon.

Methadone Skies on Facebook

Methadone Skies on Bandcamp

 

Witchrot, Hollow

witchrot hollow

Stood out by the gotta-hear bass tone of Cam Alford, the ethereal-or-shouting-and-sometimes-both vocals of Lea Reto, the crash of Nick Kervin‘s drums and the encompassing wah of Peter Turik‘s guitar, Toronto’s Witchrot offer a striking debut with their awaited first full-length, Hollow, oozing out through opener/longest track (immediate points) “Million Shattered Swords” before the stomping wash of “Colder Hands” sacrifices itself on an altar of noise, leading to the more directly-riffed “Spiral of Sorrow,” which nonetheless maintains the atmosphere. Things get noisier and harsher in the second half of Hollow, which is presaged in the plod of “Fog,” but as things grow more restless and angrier after “Devil in My Eyes” and move into the pair “Burn Me Down” and “I Know My Enemy,” both faster, like blown-out Year of the Cobra toying with punk rock and grunge, Witchrot grow stronger for the shift by becoming less predictable, setting up the atmospheric plunge of the closing title-track that finishes one of 2021’s most satisfying debut albums.

Witchrot on Facebook

Fuzzed and Buzzed Records website

DHU Records store

 

Rat King, Omen

Rat King Omen

Omen is the first long-player from Evansville, Indiana, four-piece Rat King, who use rawness to their advantage throughout the nine included tracks, at least one of which — “Supernova” — dates back to being released as a single in 2017. With manipulated horror samples and interludes like the acoustic “Queen Anne’s Revenge” and “Shackleton” and the concluding “Matryoshka” spliced throughout the otherwise deep-toned and weighted fare of “Capsizer” and the chugging, pushing, scream-laced “Druid Crusher,” Omen never quite settles on a single approach and is more enticing for that, though the eight-minute “Vagrant” could well be a sign of things to come in its melodic reach, but the band revel in the grittier elements at work here as well — the thunderplod of “Glacier,” the willful drag of “Nepenta Divinorum,” and so on — and the ambience they create is dreary and obscure in a way that comes across as purposeful. Is Omen a foreshadow or just the name of a movie they dig? I don’t know, but I hope it’s not too long before we find out.

Rat King on Facebook

Rat King store

 

Taras Bulba, Sometimes the Night

Taras Bulba Sometimes the Night

What was Earthling Society continues to evolve into Taras Bulba at the behest of Fleetwood, UK’s Fred Laird. Sometimes the Night (on Riot Season) is a mostly solo affair, and truth be told, Laird doesn’t need much more than his own impulses to conjure a full-sounding record, as he quickly shows on the acid lounge opener “The Green Eyes of Dragon,” but the guest vocals from Daisy Atkinson bring echoing presence to the subsequent “Orphee” and Mike Blatchford‘s late-arriving sax on “The Sound of Waves,” “The Big Duvall” and “House in the Snow” highlight the jazzy underpinnings of the organ-laced “Night Train to Drug Town” and the avant, anti-anything guitar strum and piano strikes of “One More Lonely Angel.” No harm done, in any case, unless we’re talking about the common conception of what a song is, and hey, if it didn’t need to happen, it wouldn’t have. An experiment in vibe, perhaps, in psychedelic brooding, but evocative for that. Laird‘s no stranger to following whims. Here they lead to moodier space.

Taras Bulba on Facebook

Riot Season Records website

 

Opium Owl, Live at Hodila Records

Opium Owl Live at Hodila Records

I’ll admit, there’s a part of me that, when “Intro” hits its sudden forward surge, kind of wishes Opium Owl had kept it mellow. Nonetheless, the Riga, Latvia-based double-guitar (mostly) instrumental heavy psych four-piece offer plenty of serenity throughout the four-song live set Live at Hodila Records, and the back and forth patterning of the subsequent “Echo Slam” is all the more effective at winning conversion, so fair enough. “Stone Gaze” dips into even bigger riffage, while “Tempest Double” dares vocals over its quieter noodling, dispensing with them as it pushes louder toward the finish. For a live recording, the sound is rich enough to convey what would seem to be the full warmth of Opium Owl‘s tonality, and in its breadth and its impact, there’s no lack of studio-fullness for the session-style presentation. Live at Hodila Records may be formative in terms of establishing the methods with which the band — who formed in 2019 — will continue to work, but showcases significant promise in that.

Opium Owl on Facebook

Hodila Records on Facebook

 

Kvasir, 4

kvasir 4

Doled out with chops to spare and the swagger to show them off, Kvasir‘s eight-song debut LP, 4, puts modern heavy rock riffing in blender and sets it on high. Classic, epic heavy in “Where Gods to to Pray” and a more nodding groove in “Authenticity & the Illusion of Enough” meet with the funkier starts-stops of “Slow Death of Life” and the languid Sabbathism of “Earthly Algorithms.” “Chill for a Church” opens side B with trashier urgency and suitable rhythmic twist, and “The Brink” sets its depressive lyric to a ’70s boogie swing, not quite masking it, but working as a flowing companion piece for “The Black Mailbox,” which follows in like-minded fashion, letting closer “Alchemy of Identity” underscore the point with a rawer take on what once made The Sword so undeniable in their groove. There’s growing to do, patience to learn, etc., but Kvasir make it easy to get on board with 4 and their arguments for doing so brook little contradiction. Onto the list of 2021’s best debut albums it goes.

Kvasir on Facebook

Glory or Death Records on Bandcamp

 

Lurcher, Coma

lurcher coma

Lurcher might go full-prog before they’re done, but they’re not their yet on their four-song debut EP, Coma, and the songs only benefit from the band’s focus on impact and lack of self-indulgence. The leadoff title-track has an immediate hook that brings to mind an updated, tonally-heavier version of what Cave In innovated for melodic post-hardcore, and the subsequent “Remove the Myth From the Mountain” follows with a broader-sounding reach in its later solo that builds on the heavy rock foundation the first half of the song put forth. Vocalist/guitarist Joe Harvatt — backed by the rhythm section of bassist Tom Shortt and drummer Simon Bonwick — is prone, then, to a bit of shred. No argument as that’s answered with the Hendrix fuzz at the outset of “All Now is Here,” which both gets way-loud and drones way-out in its seven minutes, in turn setting up the lush-and-still-hard-hitting capper “Cross to Bear,” which rounds off the 26-minute release with all the more encouraging shifts in tempo, flowing melody, and mellotron sounds to add to the sweeping drama. I know the UK underground is hyper-crowded at this point, but consider notice served. These cats are onto something.

Lurcher on Instagram

Trepanation Recordings on Bandcamp

 

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Desert Druid and the Acid Caravan Sign to DHU Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 14th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

desert druid and the acid caravan

Ably-monikered Brazilian trio Desert Druid and the Acid Caravan have signed on to release their debut EP, The VVitch, through DHU Records. The cover art and info for the release are below, and I don’t have a release date as yet, but you the video for the title-track was posted here earlier and you can see it below as well — isn’t that convenient — and the four songs will come on a one-sided 12″ mastered by Tony Reed with art on the B-side. For a second there, I looked at the press release and thought they had a 20-minute track called “Silkscreen,” which would be fun, but alas. Probably etched? I don’t know. Sounds neato either way. And by “neato” I mean heavy and doomed and “that way lies madness” and all that kind of fun stuff.

You might recall Ruidoteka Records had the tape of The VVitch out. So far as I know that’s still happening as well.

Behold:

desert druid and the acid caravan the vvitch

New Signing to DHU Records: Desert Druid and the Acid Caravan

DHU Records is excited to announce the signing of Brazilian Doomers DESERT DRUID AND THE ACID CARAVAN!

“Formed in early 2020 in the city of Sorocaba / SP by three musicians who have known each other for over a decade, the band Desert Druid and the Acid Caravan seek to bring to their sonority elements of classic bands from the Heavy Metal and Doom Metal genre, adding a few splashes of Stoner Rock.

Recorded at Covil Studio in Sorocaba in 2020, “The VVitch” is the Debut EP of the trio formed by F. Klinger (bass / vocals), P. Nass (guitar) and E. Lisboa (drums) and consists of four tracks where 70s Hard Rock, Doom Metal and Stoner intertwine in an atmosphere of dark and the obscure, inviting the listener on a journey through dense riffs coupled with clean & ethereal vocals, lyrically tapping into occult & horror movie themes and aesthetics. The title track can be streamed at Bandcamp and the video can be seen at YouTube”

DHU Records will release The VVitch on a Single Sided 12″ record w/ silkscreened B side. Pre orders + release date to be confirmed.

The VVitch is mastered for vinyl by Tony Reed at HeavyHead Recording Co.

Test Press, DHU Exclusive & Band Editions will be available

“SO COME THE VVITCH!”

Side A:
A1. The VVitch
A2. Total Madness
A3. Mistress of the Black Heart
A4. Witching Hour

Side B: Silkscreen

Recorded at Covil Studio in Sorocaba in 2020
Produced and mixed by F. Klinger
Mastered for vinyl by Tony Reed at HeavyHead Recording Company
Artwork by Desert Druid

Desert Druid and the Acid Caravan
F. Klinger (bass / vocals)
P. Nass (guitar)
E. Lisboa (drums)

www.facebook.com/desertdruidofficial
www.desertdruidandtheacidcaravan.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/desertdruidofficial
https://www.facebook.com/DHURecords/
https://www.instagram.com/dhu_records/
https://darkhedonisticunionrecords.bandcamp.com/
darkhedonisticunionrecords.bigcartel.com/

Desert Druid and the Acid Caravan, “The VVitch” official video

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Santa Sangre Sign to DHU Records; Self-Titled Debut Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 18th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Astute observers-of-things — Thing Observers, you might call them — will notice that the tracklisting for Santa Sangre‘s upcoming self-titled debut full-length and that of their prior-posted 2021 demo, which hit Bandcamp on April 21, are the same. So’s the art. Fair enough. The Yucatán-based trio would not be the first to make a record out of an initial showing, and while you’re observing things, go ahead and observe the consumption happening in “Reanimador,” with its slow-rolling psychedelic crush that’s as far-reaching as the raw nod of “Gripa Colombiana” is scathing. One way or t’other, the shit hits the fan in heavy fashion, and I’m not inclined to argue either with DHU Records on the righteous pickup or the band on the potential in their sound and stated mission. In other words, fucking a, all around.

Info from the PR wire:

santa sangre

New Signing to DHU Records: Santa Sangre

DHU Records is excited to announce the signing of Mexican Doom Lords SANTA SANGRE!

“From Merida, Mexico Heavy Psychedelic Doom trio “Santa Sangre”, release their self titled debut album via Dark Hedonistic Union Records.

After members of the band had been playing in several different rock and metal projects for years, these three dope fiends finally decided to converge as one after the 3 of them went to a Sleep concert in 2018 and had a vision. Looking for their own original sound by persuing the endless forms of amplifier worship and being heavily influenced by bands like BORIS, Acid King and Weedeater they recorded their first album entirely in their rehearsal room during summer of 2020.”

DHU Records will release Santa Sangre on Limited Edition vinyl

Test Press, DHU Exclusive and Band Editions will be available

Side A:
A1. Bufo Alvarius
A2. Vendiendo Droga
A3. Reanimador

Side B:
B1. Gripa Colombiana
B2. To The Moon

Recorded by Santa Sangre in Mérida, México during June/July 2020
Mixed by Manuel “Kowalski”
Mastered by Christian “Red” Sánchez
Cover art and layout by Fando Praga
Produced by Ergnas Atnas
Mastered for vinyl by Tony Reed at HeavyHead Recording Co.

Santa Sangre:
Antonio Echazarreta – Lead guitar / Synth
Fando Praga – Drums
Mario Mendoza – Bass / Vocals / Rhythm guitar

https://www.instagram.com/santasangredoom/
https://santasangre666.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/DHURecords/
https://www.instagram.com/dhu_records/
https://darkhedonisticunionrecords.bandcamp.com/
darkhedonisticunionrecords.bigcartel.com/

Santa Sangre, Demo 2021 (2021)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Lidi Ramirez of Lucifer’s Children

Posted in Questionnaire on April 16th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Lidi Ramirez of Lucifer's Children

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Lidi Ramirez of Lucifer’s Children

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I am currently singer of blues, rock n roll blues, heavy metal and doom metal styles, actually my style was always classic, especially with 70s rock n roll and I have an obsession with everything related with obscure and occult and I started to love music cause’ of my father, who plays the guitar and sing.

Describe your first musical memory.

At my school, when the waitress put heavy metal on the radio.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

When I saw Motörhead, Judas priest and Ozzy at the same time and when I saw Iron Maiden too.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

Oh, maybe when I was a teenager and I started to sing in bars and the people wanted to hear more.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

To do more and more.

How do you define success?

When you’re happy doing what you love and go perfecting what you like and makes you happy, also do more things.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Wow, a lot of things haha but when I went to several concerts of musicians covering songs that they shouldn’t played.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

Many topics that I have in mind and maybe play the guitar and compose, can be?

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

The transmission and everything you create, your feelings, your experiences, make other people feel it.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

Travel to go to concerts that I like, visit museums in many destinations cause’ I have an obsession with history, the truth, many more things.

https://www.facebook.com/LucifersChildrenDoom/
https://www.instagram.com/luciferschildren_
https://luciferschildren.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/DHURecords/
https://www.instagram.com/dhu_records/
https://darkhedonisticunionrecords.bandcamp.com/
darkhedonisticunionrecords.bigcartel.com/

Lucifer’s Children, Devil Worship (2020)

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Witchrot: Debut Album Hollow Preorders May 1; Album Teaser Premieres

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 16th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

witchrot 2

If you’re not already looking forward to Hollow, the debut album from Toronto’s Witchrot, then the 50-second teaser making its first airing at the bottom of this post should take care of that with all due efficiency. The four-piece outfit will have the Tony Reed-mastered record up for preorder on May 1, and from its moody-then-explosive opening in “A Million Shattered Swords” and the equal-parts massive and soaring “Burn Me Down” and the final closing statement in its title-track — the word “hollow,” incidentally, is how guitarist Peter Turik once described the voice of singer Leo Reto as making him feel — the band make spaces and fill them with drenched tones and post-grunge melody. They may have made their name by breaking up, but this album is nothing if not alive.

Vinyl release date is June 30, and there are the preorder links that you’ll find with that teaser clip below in shimmering PR wire blue:

witchrot hollow

Witchrot – Hollow

https://witchrot.bandcamp.com

Two years ago, Witchrot splattered across the internet with an infamous breakup post on Facebook. The notoriety from the breakup gave them renewed vigor and they soldiered on to fashion themselves into the seventh best band of all time (narrowly pushing the Beatles out of the top ten).

Now Witchrot are set to premiere their debut vinyl long player – Hollow. This killer mix of ethereal vocals, crushing riffs and bottom end dredged up from your local graveyard will be available on Fuzzed and Buzzed Records in North America and DHU in Europe.

The wax comes in three different colorways including the Band edition, the DHU edition and Fuzzed and Buzzed black. Artwork is by ZZ Corpse and each edition comes with a bonus poster from Shane Horror. The whole thing is mastered to vinyl by the heaviest of all heads, Tony Reed.

Celebrate the Beltane Festival with pre-orders on May 1 at Noon EST and 6pm CEST. Available from fuzzedandbuzzed.com in North America and darkhedonisticunionrecords.bigcartel.com in Europe or straight from the band https://witchrot.bandcamp.com/.

Witchrot are:
Lea Reto
Peter Turik
Nick Kervin
Cam Alford

https://www.facebook.com/witchrot
https://www.instagram.com/witchrotband/
https://witchrot.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Fuzzedandbuzzed-631019733954614/
https://www.instagram.com/fuzzedandbuzzed/
https://www.fuzzedandbuzzed.com/
https://www.facebook.com/DHURecords/
https://www.instagram.com/dhu_records/
https://darkhedonisticunionrecords.bandcamp.com/
darkhedonisticunionrecords.bigcartel.com/

Witchrot, Hollow teaser video

Witchrot-Hollow_Promo(Pre-order_May_1).mov from Fuzzed and Buzzed on Vimeo.

Witchrot, Strega / Hey Hey My My (2020)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Brendan Parrish of Horehound

Posted in Questionnaire on April 13th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

brendan parrish horehound (Photo by David Walker)

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Brendan Parrish of Horehound

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?
I simply consider myself a guitarist, irrespective of genre or style. Before I knew what guitar really was, I was always drawn to the sound of the electric guitar in songs. I was fortunate to meet a good friend in high school who taught guitar, and he became my guitar teacher after I received my first acoustic for Christmas when I was 18. I took lessons with him consistently for about 5 years. He’s one of my closest friends still and I contact him when I need to learn something in particular, but it’s been a while since I’ve taken lessons regularly.

Describe your first musical memory.

It’s hard to describe the absolute first. I remember getting the self-titled Third Eye Blind album as my first ever CD when I was 10, and subsequently Collective Soul, and Garbage’s Version 2.0. My strongest early musical memory was sitting in the car on the way to my Grandpa’s funeral and listening to the guitar solo from “Hotel California” over and over again. Didn’t even really realize that it was electric guitar, just loved how it sounded.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

This is a tough one, but the memory I keep going back to was playing our song “L’appel Du Vide” live at Gooski’s for the very first time. We had struggled with nailing it consistently in practice, but really liked the song and wanted to see how it went over live. We ended up nailing it live for the first time, in front of a really solid crowd (can’t wait to get back to Gooski’s!), and it just felt great.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

I think this one has evolved over time, regarding my opinion of talent and what being a good guitar player means. Historically, I tend to walk into a gig we’re playing, or go to see a local show, and just assume that I’m the least talented guitarist in the room. Now I definitely don’t feel like I’m a hot shot, but I’ve grown more comfortable identifying as a guitarist and feeling competent enough to hold my own.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Artistic progression really leads wherever the artist decides it should. We’ve had discussions about this as a band, regarding what genre we feel we fit into, and how we write. I think we’ve ultimately decided that we have figured out how we want to sound, and it’s more a reflection of our natural writing style, rather than trying to force the ideas into a genre or style. I guess artistic progression leads to being more comfortable and confident as an artist, and not feeling held back by expectations or limits that others might have put on you.

How do you define success?

I think success is more of a spectrum than it is one finite goal. Before starting Horehound, I think my goal of success would probably have been touring and opening for acts that I really respect. And that still is success to me. But now, the goalpost has moved. I’d like to reach a bigger audience, develop as a songwriter and guitarist, and eventually make music my full-time job. I don’t think I’d ever feel happier and more successful than if I could turn this passion into a career.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Oh, there are lots of things. I’ve seen bands be really disrespectful to the venue, sound guy, other bands on the bill, etc. Often by playing longer than they were allotted, or breaking down everything on stage, or just flat out being rude. I hate seeing those things, and when we can all get back out there and play again, I’m hopeful that the shared sense of purpose will minimize a lot of those things going forward.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

I’d like to create something that balances heavy and pretty as well as “Marrow” or “Beauty in Falling Leaves” by Yob. Mike Scheidt’s guitar playing, songwriting, and vocal ability is just so incredibly impressive to me. If I could write something and someone said “That sounds like a Yob tune,” it would be such amazing praise. But I think I’ve got some work to do still.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

I think that’s different for everyone. For me, it’s an escape and a catharsis primarily. I struggle with anxiety pretty heavily, so I’m extremely grateful that of all the things I put off learning, guitar wasn’t one of them. Playing guitar and listening to music just really helps with the anxiety when everything else doesn’t.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to just being able to sit at a bar with friends again. I know the last year has been difficult for everyone, and I’m no exception to that. It’s difficult to overstate how much of our social lives have been put on hold, so I’m just really looking forward to having a drink with some friends at a bar and feeling a small sense of normalcy again.

https://www.facebook.com/horehoundband/
https://www.instagram.com/horehound420/
http://horehound.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/DHURecords/
https://www.instagram.com/dhu_records/
https://darkhedonisticunionrecords.bandcamp.com/
darkhedonisticunionrecords.bigcartel.com/

Horehound, Weight (2019)

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Ariez to Release Ritual Doom Vinyl on DHU Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 6th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

On a certain level, what you see is what you get with Ariez‘s debut EP, Ritual Doom. It says it’s going to do a thing and then it does. Fair enough. The manner in which it does so, however, has proven remarkable enough to catch the ready ears of DHU Records, and the cult-heavy specialist imprint has picked up the German band for a limited vinyl release later this year. There’s ears to the ground and then there’s this. I’m gonna claim to be Johnny Occultguy or anything, but DHU consistently serves up classic-minded heavy with an edge of the ethereal, and to my ears at least they’ve become one of the foremost supporters of the style.

The band — whose moniker I was pronouncing “air-ee-ay” like a French word in the second-person plural, but is probably just “aries” with a ‘z’ — released the EP on their own last Fall, and you can hear it on the player at the bottom of this post. It grooves and more than lives up to the billing.

From the PR wire:

ariez ritual doom

New Signing to DHU Records: Ariez

DHU Records is excited to announce the signing of German Doom Rockers ARIEZ!

“Ariez was formed in early 2014 in Germany, when Michael Ariez Vent du Nord had the idea to start a band with the roots of classic Heavy Rock bands from the late 60s & early 70s, adding Black Metal influences to create a unique sound.

It didn’t take too long for drummer Luis and vocalist Sue to join as they both brought the same musical background to form the Ariez sound.

After a year of rehearsing Ariez played a few gigs, with duties on Bass changing regularly and because of the pandemic, silence set in… The three band members kept on writing and Luis & Michael recorded and produced all material in the band’s rehearsal room and on November 3rd 2020 digitally released their first 4 song EP entitled Ritual Doom.

With plenty of hooks & licks & a darkened atmosphere Ritual Doom will captivate and leave you wanting more with each listen!

Ariez’s lyrics deal with the inescapable topic of life and death; mystic, spiritual and occult in nature.

Ariez is a Heavy Occult Rock band.

Come one, come all, and embrace the Ritual Doom!”

DHU Records will release Ritual Doom on Limited Edition vinyl approximately August 2021

DHU Exclusive, Band Edition & Test Press will be available

Side A:
A1. Never Dying Sun
A2.Stardust in the Light of the Wind

Side B:
B1. Bee Eater
B2. Queen of the Forest

Released November 3rd 2020

All songs are written, recorded and mixed by Ariez
Artwork by Ariez
Vinyl mastering by Tony Reed at HeavyHead Recording Company
2020 All rights reserved.

(NOTE: the vinyl release has a different track order than on bandcamp)

Ariez:
Vocals: Sue Leafheart
Drums and Bass: Luis
Guitar and Bass: Ariez Vent du Nord

https://www.facebook.com/ariezritualdoom
https://www.instagram.com/ariez_ritual_doom/
https://ariezband.bandcamp.com/
darkhedonisticunionrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/DHURecords/
https://darkhedonisticunionrecords.bandcamp.com/

Ariez, Ritual Doom (2020)

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Witchrot: Debut Album Hollow Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 2nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

witchrot

Right on. I dug the 2020 Strega / Hey Hey My My (review here) single from Toronto’s Witchrot, and the news of an impending full-length debut is only welcome as far as I’m concerned. The release — which will be out… ever — is unsurprisingly set to issue through the ongoing collaboration between Fuzzed and Buzzed and DHU Records that has wrought much cultishness of purpose and much fuzz of tone already and one hopes will only continue to do so throughout 2021. The more the merrier.

If you didn’t hear the single last year, it’s streaming below as there’s no audio as yet from the album, which is titled Hollow. One assumes that will come in time along with stuff like, oh, a release date and preorders and all that whatnot.

DHU sent the preliminaries along the PR wire:

witchrot hollow

New release by Fuzzed and Buzzed & DHU Records: Witchrot ~ Hollow

DHU Records is excited to announce we will be teaming up once again with that super stoned label of Canadian descent Fuzzed and Buzzed Records to bring you the debut full length LP Hollow by Toronto Doom Cult Witchrot!!

“After releasing 2 crushing 7″ & 8” singles in 2019 and 2020, the time has come for Canadian Doomers Witchrot to unleash their debut full length and they did not hold back to bring you earth shattering hymns of colossal proportions!

Ultra Heavy riffing, uncomfortable atmospheres coiled in overwhelming & mesmeric chants from singer Lea make Hollow a Doom Masterpiece!”

DHU Records & Fuzzed and Buzzed Records are proud to bring you Hollow on Limited Edition Vinyl in the second quarter of 2021. DHU, Fuzzed and Buzzed and Witchrot Editions will be available. All Editions will be available to order in EU and CAN/US

More info & details coming soon…

Side A:
A1. Million Shattered Swords 6:44
A2. Colder Hands 5:42
A3. Spiral Of Sorrow 5:58
A4. Fog 2:46

Side B:
B1. Devil In Your Eyes 5:10
B2. Burn Me Down 5:27
B3. I Know My Enemy 4:16
B4. Hollow 5:04

Engineered and mixed by Dylan Frankland
At Palace Sound // Candle Studio November 2019 and October 2020.
Assistant Engineer Simon Kou
Mastered by Tony Reed at HeavyHead Recording Co.
Album art & layout by ZZ Corpse
Executive Producer Lex Shuper

Witchrot are:
Lea Reto
Peter Turik
Nick Kervin
Cam Alford

https://www.facebook.com/witchrot
https://www.instagram.com/witchrotband/
https://witchrot.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Fuzzedandbuzzed-631019733954614/
https://www.instagram.com/fuzzedandbuzzed/
https://www.fuzzedandbuzzed.com/
https://www.facebook.com/DHURecords/
https://www.instagram.com/dhu_records/
https://darkhedonisticunionrecords.bandcamp.com/
darkhedonisticunionrecords.bigcartel.com/

Witchrot, Strega / Hey Hey My My (2020)

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