Doomstress Announce Tour Dates to Maryland Doom Fest and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 25th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

This is part of why hosting festivals is a good idea — because bands need to get there. And no, it’s not declining cognition (this week), I do remember that it was only yesterday I posted the Red Mesa version of this tour announcement, but you know, Houston’s Doomstress have some dates that aren’t with Red Mesa on here — both play Maryland Doom Fest, which is the occasion for their being on the road, hence the point in the first sentence; fests make things happen in the ecosystem, not just in themselves — and Red Mesa had some dates that weren’t with Doomstress, and both acts have other stuff going on too. To wit, Doomstress are booked two days to record while they’re in Ohio. So I didn’t think anyone would complain about six shows, including MDDF, being listed twice. In fact, I’m pretty sure if I wasn’t mentioning it right now, no one would even blink.

So yeah, maybe it’s business as usual, but right on to these bands getting out and even more right on to Doomstress doing some recording. I asked guitarist/vocalist Doomstress Alexis what they had planned for the studio — two days isn’t much if they’re making a whole album, but it’s not impossible to at least do live-recorded basic tracks to take home and work on; get those drums down in a big room and you can do anything; all depends on process — like five minutes ago, so no, I haven’t heard back yet, but when/if I do I’ll update the below with that info as well. Maybe it’s a secret. Those are fun too sometimes.

Poster and dates follow:

doomstress dates with red mesa

Doomstress & Red Mesa will be touring together in June to play Maryland Doom Fest.

Doomstress will also be spending 2 days recording some new material at Supernatural Sound while in Ohio.

Looking forward to getting back to it after a lengthy break from the road.

Doomstress live:
SUNDAY JUNE 18 ARLINGTON, TX DIVISION BREWING w/ Red Mesa, Stone Machine Electric, Pathos and Logos
MONDAY JUNE 19 MEMPHIS, TN THE HI TONE w/ Red Mesa, Deaf Revival

Doomstress is: Doomstress Alexis (bass&vox) Brandon Johnson & Matt Taylor (lead/rhythm gtrs).

Doomstress, Sleep Among the Dead (2019)

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Bobby Liebling and The Rivetheads: Pentagram Frontman Announces Texas Solo Shows

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 28th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

After celebrating five decades of Pentagram with a short stint of shows earlier in 2022, the band’s founding frontman, Bobby Liebling, will head to Texas in January to join forces with members of Sanctus Bellum, Blues FuneralDoomstress — and a ton of other bands those dudes are in; Haserot in the case of bassist Ben Yaker and guitarist Maurice EggenschwilerJames Rivera’s Metalwave in the case of Eggenschwiler and fellow guitarist Jan KimmelThe Scourge in the case of drummer Alex Erhardt, etc. — under the banner of Bobby Liebling and The Rivetheads, playing rare Pentagram and Bedemon tunes and who even knows what else.

Liebling is an ever-divisive figure at this point, but someone without whose influence American doom wouldn’t be what it is. Interestingly he seems to have taken more of a reputation-tarnishing from punching his mom than the allegations of sexual harassment on tour, but any way you look at it, the story isn’t pretty. Nonetheless, dude’s lived at least eight lifetimes in his one, and with the likes of Fostermother, Stone Nomads, Mr. Plow and Bridge Farmers in opening slots for these two shows, it seems like good times will be had one way or the other. I’m not justifying anybody’s behavior or saying I support it in any way, but 50 years in doom later, Bobby Liebling is still relevant to the genre and there aren’t a lot of people you can say that about.

Announcement comes courtesy of the PR wire:

bobby liebling texas shows

Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling to Play Solo Shows Highlighting Rare Material

Pentagram frontman Bobby Liebling announces two solo shows in Texas this January. Playing under the name Bobby Liebling and the Rivetheads, the singer will play a set of deep cuts and rare gems from throughout his storied career, including songs from both the Pentagram and Bedemon catalogs. Most of these songs have rarely, if ever, been played live previously. Joining Liebling for these shows will be a Houston-based backing band featuring members of Doomstress, Sanctus Bellum, and Blues Funeral. These shows promise to be an event that fans in attendance will not soon forget.

Bobby Liebling and the Rivetheads

Fri. Jan 27, 2023 – Houston, TX, Black Magic Social Club
Feat. Fostermother, Mr. Plow, Stone Nomads
Event page:

Sat. Jan 28, 2023 – Austin, TX, The Lost Well
Feat. Bridgefarmers, 1 more TBA
Event page:

Bobby Liebling and The Rivetheads:
Bobby Liebling – Vocals
Jan Kimmel – Guitar
Maurice Eggenschwiler – Guitar
Ben Yaker – Bass
Alex Erhardt – Drums

Sanctus Bellum w/ Bobby Liebling, “The Bees” Live in Houston

Bobby Liebling & Dave Sherman Basement Chronicles, Nite Owl (2021)

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Maryland Doom Fest 2023 Announces Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 31st, 2022 by JJ Koczan

It’s a big ‘un. And if you’re like me, there are a couple names that stick out from the poster below, particularly Earthride and The Skull. Both are tribute sets, of course. The Skull frontman Eric Wagner passed away in 2021 after complications from a covid-19 infection and the loss of Earthride‘s Dave Sherman just a couple months ago continues to be keenly felt in and beyond the confines of the scene he called home. Karl Agell (ex-C.O.C.) will step in for The Skull, while Scott Angelacos of Hollow Leg is set to front a rotating cast of players for Earthride. You would be hard-pressed to find a more fitting occasion for honoring one’s own, except perhaps this gig in a couple weeks.

Plenty of familiar, returning acts as well as newcomers. Hippie Death Cult and will travel from the Pacific Northwest, Switchblade Jesus and Doomstress make an appearance (not the first for either) from Texas, and Red Mesa come straight out of the capital-‘desert’ Desert. Meanwhile, Faith in Jane, Black Lung, Bloodshot, Mangog, Mythosphere, Thonian Horde, Spiral Grave and plenty of others represent the Maryland home team, High Leaf and Thunderbird Divine trip down from Philly, Curse the Son (CT) and Guhts (NY) come from farther north, Hollow Leg make the trip out from Florida, and Lo-Pan, Doctor Smoke and Brimstone Coven head over from the Midwest. That’s just off the top of my head. I’m not sure there’s ever been a MDDF pulling so many bands from different parts of the country, though of course international bands have featured in the past as well.

There are always some shakeup between the first announcement and the final lineup, but so far so good here. Any way it works out, Maryland Doom Fest has nothing to prove at this point. Guaranteed banger.

Here’s the poster (oy) and the lineup, the latter in alphabetical order:

Maryland Doom Fest 2023 sq


Maryland Doom Fest 2023

June 22-25 – Frederick, MD

We are proud to present to you The Maryland DooM Fest 2023 lineup roster and 2023 promotional art!!!!

We showcase over 50 kickass bands bringing you heavy riffs over these #4daysofdoom!!

The centerpiece art was created by Joshua Adam Hart (Earthride, Unorthodox, Revelation, Chowder, Stout, to name a few).

Josh is a career tattoo artist and is currently scheduling appointments at Triple Crown Towson Tattoo. Schedule to get ink from him at

The incredible flyer layout, coloring, and design is by our very talented Bill Kole (make sure to check out his band Ol’ Time Moonshine)!!

Above the Treachery, Akris, Black Lung, Bloodshot, Bonded by Darkness, Borracho, Brimstone Coven, Cobra Whip, Conclave, Crowhunter, Curse the Son, DeathCAVE, Doctor Smoke, Doomstress, Double Planet, Dust Prophet, Earthride, Faith in Jane, False Gods, Flummox, Fox 45, Future Projektor, Gallowglas, Grim Reefer, Guhts, Helgamite, High Leaf, Hippie Death Cult, Hog, Hollow Leg, Hot Ram, Las Cruces, Leather Lung, Lo-Pan, Mangog, Mythosphere, Orodruin, Red Mesa, Severed Satellites, Shadow Witch, Smoke the Light, Spiral Grave, Switchblade Jesus, The Skull, Thonian Horde, Thousand Vision Mist, Thunderbird Divine, Unity Reggae, VRSA, Weed Coughin, Wizzerd

Lo-Pan, “Ascension Day” live at Maryland Doom Fest 2019

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Doomstress Announce Texas Shows for October

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 26th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Oh hey Doomstress. Been a minute. The Houston-based outfit fronted with power by their namesake Doomstress Alexis will return to the road in their home state over the coming weeks, and they have a few cool shows lined up, including hitting Corpus Christi with (honestly how did anyone ever think Wino would take the shot?) The Obsessed and Switchblade Jesus, and Heavy Mash on Oct. 9 in Arlington. They’ll do a Gravitoyd-presented show on Austin and a hometown stop with Destroyer of Light and a date meeting up with Darsombra as well, so I’m addition for there being opportunity to hit up a show there’s also multiple motivating factors for doing so.

You’ll note that in the lineup below there’s no drummer listed. That might also explain some of the haven’t-toured-lately-ness on the part of Doomstress, but they will, in fact, have someone behind the kit for these dates. Alex Erhardt (The Scourge, EMP) holds the spot for the Obsessed show, and Spike the Percussionist of Fiddlewitch & the Demons of Doom set to take over for October. What comes after as regards lineup, I can’t say, but with hopes to continue plugging away on recordings over the next few months, safe bet is somebody will don the mantle. I’ll let you know, and in the meantime, if you’re in Houston and a drummer, what the hell? Drop a note. Worst thing that happens is they already have someone.

Just saying.

Here’s the tour announcement:

Doomstress Texas shows

After months of crawling out to play an occassional show, Doomstress is about to spin their wheels across Texas for a month full of weekend shows & fests across the lonestar state including taking Houston friends Quinn the Brain (alt rock) out for 2 dates.

Doomstress has been relatively quiet since the pandemic started following a few years of touring. Almost all members have been involved in other projects including guitarists Brandon Johnson’s new death metal band Haserot (also feat members of Blues Funeral & Sanctus Bellum) and Matt Taylor’ joining sludgy thrashers Thundertank.

Plans after this run of shows are to get back into the studio to review and finish a few new tracks the band had previously been working on. After that Doomstress will continue writing sessions to complete several new songs with plans to get back in the studio by early Spring.

9/30 Corpus Christi, TX @ Boozerz Rock Bar
w/ The Obsessed, Switchblade Jesus & Dust in the Void
10/8 Houston, TX @ Black Magic Social Club w/ Destroyer of Light & Scrollkeeper
10/9 Arlington, TX @ Division Brewing/Growl Records – Heavy Mash Fest day 2
10/14 Bryan, TX @ The 101 w/ Quinn the Brain, Cortege & Darsombra
10/15 Tyler, TX @ The Green Room w/ Quinn the Brain & tba
10/22 Austin, TX @ Independence Brewing
10/29 Spring, TX Thistle Draftshop – Craft Beer Fest

Doomstress is: Doomstress Alexis (bass&vox) Brandon Johnson & Matt Taylor (lead/rhythm gtrs).

Doomstress, Sleep Among the Dead (2019)

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Heavy Mash Fest 2022 Announces Full Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 6th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

For the first time since its inception five years ago, the Heavy Mash Festival held each Fall in Arlington, Texas, will take place over two days. Mountain of Smoke headline Oct. 8 and fest-vets Doomstress headline Oct. 9, and joining them for Heavy Mash 2022 is a righteous cast from in and out of the Lone Star State, including first-timers The Angelus from Dallas, Dee Calhoun from Maryland, Fort Worth’s NovakainStone Machine Electric, whose Mark Kitchens organizes the event, Red Beard WallMonte LunaThe Infamists and more. Vorvon have played before, ditto for Orthodox Fuzz, but it’s been a few years, and with newcomers like Big Brown Bear and a first appearance from Phoenix’s Hudu Akil, there’s plenty to see.

In years past this site has been involved in presenting the fest and happy to do so. Not so much this year, it seems, but as Heavy Mash looks to expand in terms of reach and lineup, it makes sense to try to reach as many eyes and ears as possible, and well, it’s not like I’m not out here posting about it anyway. All the best to Kitchens and fellow organizer Anton Olson for another successful year and a rager Heavy Mash 2022. Looks like it’s gonna be a party.

So party:

heavy mash 2022 square

HEAVY MASH 2022 – Oct 8 & 9

Heavy Mash 2022 is set for October 8th and 9th At Division Brewing in Arlington, Texas

Though we’re running a bit late on getting this out, Heavy Mash is back this year and ready to spend a couple of days doing what we love – listening to heavy music and watching these bands do what they do best! This will be the first year we’re letting loose for a 2-day event. Division Brewing and Growl Records will once again host us and the bands, and we hope you’re able to make it out and enjoy!

October 8th Lineup:
Mountain of Smoke
The Angelus
Monte Luna
Orthodox Fuzz
Red Beard Wall
Hudu Akil
Stone Machine Electric

October 9th Lineup:
The Infamists
Dee Calhoun
Big Brown Bear

2-day passes available at:

Event Sponsored by Division Brewing, Growl Records, and Toke Mage!

Mountain of Smoke, Imprinted (2022)

Doomstress, Sleep Among the Dead (2019)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Joe Fortunato of Slow Wake, Sparrowmilk & More

Posted in Questionnaire on February 7th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Joe Fortunato of Slow Wake

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: Joe Fortunato of Slow Wake, Sparrowmilk & More

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

My main motivation is to make music and riffs that I would have loved as a teenager. When I started buying albums for myself vs. just listening to the radio or whatever, I started discovering a new world. Or, a new way of living life – with those songs as my soundtrack and my confidence. They empowered me as a kid, and I keep having that feeling when I hear songs I love. I am forever trying to impress my teenage self. When I was 14 – what would I think of this song I just recorded?

I started playing guitar when I was 13, around early 1985. I was forever hearing lots of classic music in our house. My dad is into rock, classic rock, and he always had music playing. I remember being very young, and deciding I wanted to do that – play music. I had to convince him that I wanted to play guitar and would stick with it. That I wouldn’t give up after a little bit and move on to something else. I made a deal with him – get decent grades in math (my downfall) and he’d consider it. Well, I had a mostly good report card, and then – nothing. No guitar materialized. A bit of time went by, and I figured it just wasn’t gonna happen – until I came home one day, and there was a guitar, amp, strap, and an Ernie Ball lesson book sitting there on the dining room table. It was a no-name Les Paul like Ace Frehley’s, and it was the best thing I’d ever seen.

Describe your first musical memory.

I had teenage uncles as I grew up. This is during the late 70s, so I was indoctrinated with all kinds of great records that they loved. My first real musical memory is listening to Led Zeppelin IV in dark room with those guys. “Stairway to Heaven”. As cliché as that sounds, it was mind-blowing to me at 7 years old. There was a skull candle lighting the room – you know, the sweet 70s kind – and that music sounded so amazing to me. Pink Floyd. Kiss. Black Sabbath. Queen. Nazareth. It started the urge to play music. Everything I do is built from those classic records. If not the sound, then it’s the way they made me feel.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

One of my bands, Venomin James, played the WET Stage at Wacken Open Air in 2011. I’d never experienced playing something that big before, and I felt like I had “made it”. Like, is this what a “real” band feels like? We were treated like a band that was way bigger than we ever were. Our dressing room trailer was right next to Ghost’s trailer – they were on after us on the same stage. They even tried to get us bumped from our slot, which was at 12:15AM on Saturday, because they wanted to play earlier. The Wacken people told them to get bent. So, Motörhead finishes on the Main Stage, right when we’re heading up the ramp to the WET Stage. Then we played to about 8,500 people that were digging us – a bunch of nobodies from Cleveland. It’s hard to top that feeling.

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

This is tough, and I could get deep with it, but I’m gonna go light. When I was first starting to play music and form bands, I always thought that “getting signed” was everything. You get a record deal, and your troubles are over – you’ve made it! I have come close a few times to actually getting something fairly big, but it just never happened. As the years have gone by, I’ve known a lot of people that have gotten “big” deals on major labels or larger indies. Not one of them was able to quit having day jobs or had a lavish lifestyle. In fact, most of them had debt and lots of broken dreams and disenchantment. It turns out that getting signed is not the “thing” – being good and writing good music is the thing. Not worrying about getting rich and famous lifts a load off your shoulders. If you’re not seeing that as the end game, but instead see making good music or art as your goal – you’re on the right track in my opinion. Why are you doing this? If the answer is “because I love it and can’t see doing anything else” – I’m right there with you. In today’s world, you can tour and make music very inexpensively and on your own – why fight for the old way? Be good at what you do and be a real human, and there are lots of people that will help you do things.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Self-discovery. That sounds pretentious, but I feel that as you progress as an artist – however you personally define “progression” – it teaches you about yourself. What are you made of? How far are you willing to dive into yourself, expose yourself, in your art? Do you keep it to yourself or let people experience it as well? I feel that making art, and I’m talking about music here, is a very vulnerable act. I feel like I make a fool out of myself constantly. I ask myself, “Does anybody like this music? Do I look stupid up here playing this? Is my record total garbage?” I have pretty high anxiety about it. I still get stage fright after 30-plus years of being in bands and playing out. I feel like an imposter when I play with bands I love and respect – “Do I belong here? Am I good enough to be on this bill?” So, I feel like artistic progression is this journey, and confronting my fears about it and moving through it.

How do you define success?

Success to me is not monetary. It’s not notoriety or fame. It’s respect. I know a lot of people that play music and make art. Some of them are very successful by anybody’s terms, some are actually famous or even infamous. Some of these people I call actual “friends.” I feel like a good number of them respect what I do, what I make, and the projects I’m a part of. That’s success to me. Being counted among “peers” as someone who has something to offer, musically or artistically.

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

I watched my beloved boston terrier, Roscoe, get hit by a car. It was right in front of me. I had nightmares and PTSD over that for many years. And this was when I lived in NYC, maybe five months after 9/11. I actually saw the second plane hit the tower from a window on W25th in Manhattan. I guess that whole time is something I wish I hadn’t seen or experienced.

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

I’d like to make a film. Two films that I admire immensely are There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men. Incidentally, they came out around the same time, so they’re linked in my mind. Connected by the time they were released. I’d love to make a film like either one, and I consider There Will Be Blood to be perfect. Give me the time, and a camera, and I’m off. I have ideas. Stories to tell. I have ideas for the score and soundtrack as well.

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

Art delivers emotion. Or it allows someone to experience emotion. Some might say it’s there to examine society or examine politics – to me it’s all related. Good art lets emotions come to the surface. You experience the emotion of the creator, or experience the emotion that the creator is hoping you feel based on your own life, your own experiences. What are you bringing to it? How does your mind color or define the art you’re experiencing? Because you experience art vs. consuming it. A song might unlock memories or cement moments that you’ll replay every time you hear it. Music, paintings, films, poetry, photos, or any art – it’s all of the things that make life worth living. Without that, what do we have? Survival? Our jobs? Boring.

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

Turning 50. I turned 50 on November 5. I worked my ass off, and went through a lot of bullshit for a long time to get right to this spot, in this time. Divorce. Unemployment. Debt. Long stretches of not having a great income. I finally got to a place where things are working out, and it’s allowing me to do what I want. It’s allowing me to realize my projects, get gear, and be who I’m supposed to be. I guess you could say I’m actually looking forward to what’s coming for once. That, and I’m psyched up for all the Star Wars we’re getting! Ha!

Sparrowmilk, LP2 Demos 07.09.2021 (2021)

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Album Review: Various Artists, Women of Doom

Posted in Reviews on May 11th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Various Artists Women of Doom

As a genre, doom is a long way from gender parity. It’s perhaps an optimistic viewpoint to take to say that the current generation of bands is past the point of seeing women artists as a novelty or downplaying their contributions to male bandmates or counterparts, but frankly I’m not even sure that’s true on a universal level. The inherent sexualization of performance — often willfully and hilariously ignored by men watching other men on stage — subjects women artists to a masculine gaze that at times is problematic even as it also serves as an expression of feminine power. As to what it means to be a woman artist in “doom,” or as to what “doom” is — where it starts and ends — I’m no one to speak to either experience, so I look at the Women of Doom compilation, highlighting women artists in and out their respective bands, as kind of a sad celebration. It’s well worth underscoring the stylistic contributions these women are making — and in a society that saw women paid 79 cents per every dollar a man made in 2019, well worth giving women every nod they can get, if not things like universal health coverage and reproductive rights — but a bit of a bummer that we’re not in a place where the norm would make such a compilation superfluous.

Whatever else doom is, it’s not there, but if Blues Funeral Recordings and Desert Records — both labels run by men, speaking of areas where women are underrepresented — wanted to, they could easily turn Women of Doom into a series. While Women of Doom brings together luminaries such as Amy Tung Barrysmith of Year of the Cobra, Doomstress Alexis of Doomstress, Mlny Parsonz of Royal Thunder and introduces two projects of former SubRosa members in The Otolith and Rebecca Vernon‘s The Keening, along with bands like Heavy Temple, Frayle, Sweden’s Besvärjelsen and France/Ireland’s Deathbell, there are a few conspicuous absences. Perhaps most glaringly, Windhand frontwoman, Dorthia Cottrell, is nowhere to be found, likewise an all-women act like Blackwater Holylight. And the same goes for a generational pioneer like Lori S. of Acid King, but it is inevitably a positive to say that it would be nearly impossible for Women of Doom — in a single go — to be so comprehensive. And as it is, the comp does well in setting an atmosphere across its full tracklisting, which reads as follows:

1. Nighthawk and Heavy Temple – Astral Hand 05:12
2. Amy Tung Barrysmith – Broken 06:04
3. Besvärjelsen – A Curse to be Broken 06:47
4. Mlny Parsonz – A Skeleton is Born 04:57
5. Frayle – Marrow 04:53
6. The Otolith – Bone Dust 04:31
7. Doomstress Alexis – Facade 04:47
8. Deathbell – Coldclaw 04:24
9. The Keening – A Shadow Covers Your Face 05:05
10. Mlny Parsonz – Broke An Arrow (Bonus) 03:25

Various Artists Women of Doom lp

The accomplishment of Women of Doom finding cohesion despite the variety of songwriting and performance modes is not to be understated. Beginning with Heavy Temple — here billed as Nighthawk and Heavy Temple — taking on a purely classic epic doom sound with the willfully Candlemassian “Astral Hand” sets a high bar, as grandiosity suits the Philly unit almost oddly well. They are maybe the odd-band-out in terms of aesthetic on Women of Doom, which is doubly ironic given “Astral Hand” is the most traditionally doomed song on the nine-plus-one-tracker and it’s not a style Heavy Temple generally play, but the darkened atmosphere they build sees immediate flourish in the piano-led composition “Broken” by Amy Tung Barrysmith, who only confirms through her work here that Year of the Cobra have only just begun their greater creative exploration. As one of two non-US acts present, Besvärjelsen are, as ever, a showcase for the vocal presence of Lea Amling Alazam, but their moodier post-doom on “A Curse to Be Broken” picks up well from “Broken” in more than just the similarity of titles.

By the time it’s a third of the way through, Women of Doom has already run a marked gamut in sound and dynamic, and that’s pretty clearly the intent of the thing. As arguably the most known performer featured, Mlny Parsonz, bassist/vocalist of Atlanta’s Royal Thunder brings a boozy classic rock powerhouse delivery to “A Skeleton is Born.” She returns for the bonus track “Broke an Arrow” in more subdued fashion to close out, and if mainstream rock and roll needed a woman figurehead — which it does, badly — she’d be a good candidate for the position in terms of craft; her work is equal parts dangerous and accessible. Frayle‘s “Marrow” carries mystique as a defining element, and The Otolith and Doomstress Alexis make a fitting pair for their use of strings. For The Otolith, that’s a trait inherited fairly enough from SubRosa, but it’s something of a surprise from Doomstress Alexis, who meets it with a likewise unexpected thrashiness in her guitar. Though maybe not as well known as some of the others, Deathbell stand out in such a way as to leave little to wonder why Kozmik Artifactz picked up their 2018 debut, With the Beyond, for a vinyl release. Their “Coldclaw” does not come from that outing, so perhaps portends something new in the works, and if so, is all the more welcome.

As the first offering from The Keening, “A Shadow Covers Your Face” is of particular interest, as was The Otolith‘s “Bone Dust,” but both projects have in common a nascent feel. That’s particularly true of The Keening‘s inclusion, which is a relatively minimal work of solo piano, placed in a way that answers Amy Tung Barrysmith‘s “Broken” earlier but has the distinction of being instrumental. Both works are evocative, but Rebecca Vernon‘s piano in “A Shadow Covers Your Face” seems to use the otherwise unfilled space surrounding it as an instrument unto itself. That shift in presentation at the conclusion is a well placed reminder of the breadth of what greater gender equity in heavy music has to offer, though frankly, if the case needs to be made by then — or at all — you as the listener have probably missed the point. Still, at its most basic level, removed from a context that sees women continually objectified and typecast in artwork, bands, and listener expectations, Women of Doom is a collection of new and encouraging tracks from a diverse array of up and coming artists and acts. Even the most established artist here, which is Parsonz, is reaching beyond what she’s done before, and that too is an important message that shouldn’t be ignored.

Blues Funeral Recordings on Thee Facebooks

Blues Funeral Recordings on Bandcamp

Blues Funeral Recordings website

Desert Records on Thee Facebooks

Desert Records on Bandcamp

Desert Records BigCartel store

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Shadow Frost Music & Arts Festival 2020 Updates Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 30th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

shadowfrost 2020 banner

A wintry companion to each autumn’s Shadow Woods fest, the inaugural Shadow Frost Music & Arts Festival is set to take place not in the forest — probably a practical choice, given, you know, winter and all — but at the Clarion Inn Frederick Event Center in Frederick, Maryland, on Feb. 21 and 22. And let’s be honest, that’s not as romantic or as kvlt an idea as having a party out in the woods in the waning days of summer, but from where I sit, it’s also kind of awesome. Think of it this way: Here’s an all-ages festival infiltrating an otherwise normal, unassuming space that, instead of a campground, gives you on-site hotel amenities. Of all the fests you’ve ever been to, how many have listed “free breakfast” and “Saturday morning yoga” — which I’m going to assume will be led by Darsombra, who are also playing, and if that’s not true I don’t want to know — among its resources? Imagine going for a swim before you see some “pizza-themed punk/grind.” This could be your life.

Like Shadow Woods, the lineup for Shadow Frost 2020 carries a rich and admirable sense of curation, loyal to its Chesapeake home, but unafraid as well to branch out in multiple directions, as festival director Mary Spiro continues to proliferate her vision of an underground that transcends genre barriers and unites communities who probably have more in common than they think.

Awesome project, especially for a first run. I hope it goes off without a hitch:

SHADOW FROST MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL: Frederick, Maryland’s Exclusive Indoor Winter Gathering Announces Updated Lineup + Merch Presales

SHADOW FROST MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL, Frederick, Maryland’s exclusive indoor winter gathering, will take place February 21st and 22nd, 2020.

Produced by Shadow Woods Productions, LLC, this inaugural, hotel-based gala will feature Oakland’s crushing Vastum with a special set from their guitarist/ambient industrialist Leila Abdul-Rauf. The lineup rounds out with East Coast cult thrashers Deceased, Vermont’s thunderous Barishi, Boston traditional metallers Magic Circle, and Houston’s Doomstress. Also performing are heavy psych throwbacks Alms and the otherworldly Darsombra (both from Baltimore), Detroit black metalists Fell Ruin, and up-and-coming doom maestros from Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Yatra. Tickets and the full daily lineups can be found here at THIS LOCATION.

Exclusive SHADOW FROST merch has also been released for presale until February 1st. Designed by Legerdemain’s Brian Sheehan, Wailing Wizard’s Rebecca Magar, and Art Noir’s Yuriy Seroff, these phenomenal creations all evoke the chilling winter months. Merch can be found HERE.

SHADOW FROST is heavily focused on Maryland-based artists including Alms, Darsombra, Spiral Grave, Radamanthys, and Yatra and is geared toward those who want to step outside their comfort zone and explore. “There is so much great music being created that totally flies under the radar in the music scene, even among people who seem to know a lot about music trends,” said SHADOW FROST producer M A Spiro. “I am not trying to host bands that you can see at a lot of other festivals, but I want to showcase a few of the best that that underground music has to offer. That has been my philosophy with every event I have done, and I don’t plan to change that.”

While previous Shadow Woods fests have been outdoors, the hotel setting provides attendees with unique opportunities to mingle. Hotel amenities include an indoor pool and game room, tavern serving traditional pub fare, and free breakfast every morning. Festivities will occur in the ballroom and pre-function area of the event center, which is attached via an indoor corridor to the hotel. No need to step outside in the cold! SHADOW FROST will also host arts and music vendors, workshops, Saturday morning yoga, table games, and other fun activities. The fest will have the feel of an event such as a horror or comic convention.

Friday – February 21st:
Barishi — Vermont prog-psych rock
Leila Abdul-Rauf — Oakland dark ambient multi-instrumentalist
Doomstress — Texas heavy rock
Alms — Baltimore proto-metal
Fell Ruin — Detroit blackened sludge
Capitalist — New Jersey crust grind
Infinite Pizza — Baltimore pizza-themed punk/grind

Saturday – February 22nd:
Vastum — Oakland death metal
Deceased — East Coast death metal legends
Darsombra — Baltimore trans-apocalyptic galaxy rock
Arsantiqva — New York black metal
Magic Circle — Boston traditional heavy metal
Frost Giant — Philadelphia viking metal
Volur — Toronto ambient doom
Spiral Grave — Maryland/Virginia heavy metal
Witching — Philadelphia blackened sludge
Yatra — Maryland death doom
Mo’ynoq — Raleigh DSBM
Polemicist — Philadelphia blackened death
Radamanthys — Maryland tech death

SHADOW FROST is an all ages event, however, children’s tickets (ages 5-17) will be available at the door with a PAID parent or guardian on-premises. Children under 5 get in for FREE with a paid parent or guardian.

** Please note tickets do NOT include hotel reservations. **

Hotel reservations can be made separately at:

Shadow Frost 2020 YouTube Playlist

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