Album Review: Early Moods, A Sinner’s Past

Posted in Reviews on March 29th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

early moods a sinner's past

Part of what has been exciting about L.A. County classic doom metallers Early Moods over the last few years is the potential for how they might develop as a new generation’s spearhead in engaging the style. A Sinner’s Past is their second LP through RidingEasy Records behind 2022’s self-titled debut (review here) and their 2020 debut EP, Spellbound (review here), and it follows suit with their prior work in being in immediate conversation with the doom of yore. Somewhere, swimming a vault of Black Sabbath bootlegs like some doom-riffing Scrooge McDuck, Leif Edling is smiling. Candlemass have been a guiding presence for Early Moods since their outset, but as the five-piece of vocalist Alberto Alcaraz (also keys), guitarists Eddie Andrade and Oscar Hernandez (lead), bassist Elix Feliciano and drummer Chris Flores specifically tap “Samarithan” for the verses of “The Apparition,” even the command and confidence with which they’re doing so comes across as continued progression.

But across its CD-era-vibing 49-minute runtime and eight component tracks, A Sinner’s Past is about more than saluting genre heroes. Early Moods had already begun the process of internalizing root influences like the aforementioned Candlemass and various eras of Sabbath, and in the way the punchy bass and steady nod that begins opening cut “Last Hour” gives over right about halfway into its 5:41 to gallop, swing and shred, they not only foreshadow tempo shifts to come like that in the reaches of the eight-minute “Hell’s Odyssey,” penultimate to closer “Soul Sorcery” on side B, but offer a first look at the grim recesses in which their tones will dwell throughout and the expanded scope and intentions heard throughout in “Unhinged Spirit,” with its acoustic intro leading to a procession that lumbers until it careens, or the harsher vocal moments in “Blood Offerings” and “Walpurguise” calling out to the metal of the 1980s without ignoring the 40 years since.

Relative youth as compared to much of the current sphere of doom is still an advantage Early Moods enjoy, and A Sinner’s Past is still rife with the energy of a young band exploring their sound and style, but they also have a better idea of what they want in both of those than they did two years ago, and that comes through as well as “Blood Offerings” trades the Candlemassian poise for a more dug-in, Pentagram-style shove — at least until the screams come (get it? anybody? no? moving on.) — with all due grit and groove, and the title-track makes even the entry of Flores‘ speedy hi-hat at 4:09 as they transition from the initial plod and dudes-running-in-a-circle mosh through the circa-’75 Iommic solo section and into the chugging build-up to the faster culmination, another solo thrown in for good measure before they cap with the riff. That they would cover that kind of ground on their second album isn’t a huge surprise — they’ve proven at this point able to keep their collective head as songwriters through various changes of mood, tempo and melody within their doomly trajectory; they’re a good band and that’s a thing good bands can do when they want to — but that they’d do it with such clear purpose and still convey an overarching atmosphere through those changes is an aspect of A Sinner’s Past that’s demonstrative of their growth as a unit, and it’s not at all the only one.

early moods (Photo by Mike Wuthrich)

The production, helmed by Allen Falcon at Birdcage Studios in Pico Rivera, finds the more cavernous veneer of the first album traded for an in-your-face aural crunch that’s modern in the separation of the instruments but allows a sense of live performance to come through, whether it’s at the dirge pace of “The Apparition,” the midtempo nods of “Unhinged Spirit” and “Walpurguise” or the plod-into-swing of “Soul Sorcery.” While still resonant in their homage to the doom of eld, Early Moods are beginning to cast genre in their image, and the most vital moments of A Sinner’s Past are in the weight of a drag, the coursing tension of their faster movements, and how each plays off the other. They are becoming more dynamic — no doubt the not-minor amount of touring they’ve done in the last year-plus is a piece of this and will continue to be — and stronger for that.

That’s worth appreciating, to be sure, but if your experience of “Hell’s Odyssey” is more about the journey being undertaken and less about how skillfully it retains its impact amid the faster delivery early on — the answer for that, if you’re curious, is the same as nearly always: the bass — and moves into NWOBHM harmonized leads from Andrade and Hernandez before the latter launches into the solo in earnest, I don’t think you’re wrong. Part of the appeal of Early Moods as an emergent revamp of traditionalist doom is the familiar that’s to be found within the new, in aesthetic terms. I don’t think they’ve done their best work as a band yet, but A Sinner’s Past gives more than a few hints of where they’re headed, and the forward potential in their work is no less prevalent for what they’ve achieved in these songs.

You can overthink it if you want — clearly I’m a fan of that approach in any number of contexts — but the material is composed and executed in such a way that, if you want to nod out and let the groove carry you from “Last Hour” to “Soul Sorcery,” there’s nothing in that span that’s going to pull you out of the moment, and for that alone, A Sinner’s Past is a substantial offering. They’ve been on their way to headlining pretty much since the word go, and seem to be motivated toward those ends, toward making an impact on doom and influencing those who inevitably will follow in their wake, but whatever their future might or might not bring, the sense of an idea conceived and realized across A Sinner’s Past is palpable and so is the artistic growth within and around that. If it does turn out to be their most significant contribution to doom — if the band ended tomorrow and cut short all that potential and blah blah blah — you wouldn’t be able to listen to this record and say they didn’t give everything they had to it.

Early Moods, “A Sinner’s Past” official video

Early Moods, A Sinner’s Past (2024)

Early Moods

Early Moods on Instagram

Early Moods on Facebook

Early Moods on Bandcamp

RidingEasy Records on Instagram

RidingEasy Records on Facebook

RidingEasy Records store

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Early Moods Announce Headlining US Tour; New Album Due in March

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 31st, 2024 by JJ Koczan

In addition to announcing this tour, Los Angeles doom metallers Early Moods have also specifically named the hometown date at Permanent Records Roadhouse as the release show for their impending sophomore full-length following-up their 2022 self-titled debut (review here), which was also on RidingEasy. An April 20-ish release, then? They wouldn’t be the only ones out there laying claim to Friday, April 19, but I’m more concerned with the what rather than the when of their next offering, since that’s invariably the part one would be hearing.

I’m not sure what I want from a second Early Moods full-length. I’d be cool if they had some radical jump in sound, like they did the first album, toured, and figured out what they wanted to be, or a continuation of the thread from the first. They were nothing if not purposeful there; I’m not sure what might lead them to some kind of redirect, let alone how they might actually pull that off. That is, I’ll take it as it comes, when it comes, and be glad I got the chance to hear it.

This won’t be the last tour they announce. I’m hoping they do Europe in the Fall and knock everyone on their ass:

[NOTE: I had the album release as April in the header and RidingEasy corrected me to say it would be March, so now it’s March. The release show is still April 20 as per the band. Fair enough.]

Early Moods tour

EARLY MOODS – Tour Announcement!

We’ll be hitting the road this March/April in support of our new album! Select dates with our friends in @morbikon Tickets are on sale now:

Sat 3/16 – Ojai, CA @ Deer Lodge
Sun 3/17 – Phoenix, AZ @ Yucca Tap
Mon 3/18 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sister Bar
Tue 3/19 – El Paso, TX @ Rosewood
Fri 3/22 – Houston, TX @ Hell’s Heroes
Tue 3/26 – Savannah, GA @ Wormhole*
Wed 3/27 – Wilmington, NC @ Reggies*
Thu 3/28 – Baltimore, MD @ Metro*
Fri 3/29 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie (early)
Sat 3/30 – Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus*
Sun 3/31 – Boston, MA @ Middle East*
Tue 4/1 – Albany, NY @ Fuze Box*
Wed 4/03 – Youngstown, OH @ West Side Bowl*#
Thu 4/04 – Columbus, OH @ Ace Of Cups*
Fri 4/05 – Detroit, MI @ Sanctuary*
Sat 4/06 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid*
Sun 4/07 – Indianapolis, IN @ Black Circle (matinee)*
Mon 4/08 – Chicago, IL @ Live Wire*
Tue 4/09 – Cudahy, WI @ X-Ray Arcade*
Thu 4/11 – Lawrence, KS @ Bottleneck
Fri 4/12 – Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
Sat 4/13 – Salt Lake City @ Aces High
Sat 4/20 – Los Angeles, CA @ Permanent Records
Fri 4/26 – Oxnard, CA @ Mrs. Olson’s

* = w/Morbikon
# = w/Conan + Psychic Trash

Tour Poster by @itsthefredwardz

Early Moods, Early Moods (2022)

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Coven, Lucifer and Early Moods Announce US Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 31st, 2023 by JJ Koczan

It’s the multi-generational cult doom tour of the year! Though I say that and have no idea how many other multi-generational cult doom tours have happened throughout 2023 — it’s been a busy nine months. But uniting cult rock legends Coven with doom rockers Lucifer to apparently co-headline with classic doom upstarts Early Moods — who are about to meet a whole lot of friends they didn’t even know they had — in the opener spot is a celebration of heavy forms past, present and future, and probably a killer show besides. There’s little here not to like, I guess is what I’m saying.

Assembled at the behest of Nanotear Booking, it’s an especially strong package of bands and will hit major markets coast to coast throughout most of November. I’m not sure what else you’d need to know. Anytime Jinx Dawson hits the road it’s an event, and Lucifer is the perfect support act, with Early Moods in the opener’s slot with their own hard-hitting style and ready stage presence.

Could go on here but what’s the point? Seeing Coven is a must, seeing Lucifer is a should, and seeing Early Moods is a potential years-down-the-line regret if you don’t. Can’t make it any simpler than that.

From Nanotear on socials:

Coven Lucifer Early Moods tour

At long last, we can announce the unholy alliance of Coven & Lucifer, touring America this November with support from Early Moods. \m/

Tickets on sale this Friday.

Special Guest: Early Moods

Nov 8, Los Angeles, Teragram Ballroom
Nov 9, San Diego, Brick By Brick
Nov 10, Santa Cruz, The Atrium
Nov 11, Berkeley, The Cornerstone
Nov 13, Portland, Star Theater
Nov 14, Vancouver, Hollywood Theatre
Nov 15, Seattle, Substation
Nov 18, Denver, The Oriental Theater
Nov 19, Omaha, The Waiting Room
Nov 21, Minneapolis, Fine Line
Nov 22, Chicago, Bottom Lounge
Nov 24, Toronto, Lee’s Palace
Nov 25, Montreal, Le Studio TD
Nov 26, Cambridge, The Sinclair
Nov 28, Philadelphia, Underground Arts
Nov 29, New York, Le Poisson Rouge
Nov 30, Baltimore, Soundstage †

† Only Lucifer & Early Moods

Coven, Live in Berlin, Germany, Aug. 11, 2022

Lucifer, “California Son” official video

Early Moods, Early Moods (2022)

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Burque Rock City Fest: Weedeater, Matt Pike, Belzebong, Early Moods & More to Play New Fest in Albuquerque, NM

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 20th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

If I’d had a soul, it would’ve wept bitter soul-tears last September at my being unable to attend Monolith on the Mesa 2022 (lineup here, if you’d like a refresher) in Taos, New Mexico. Now, I don’t know what Roman Barham, also of heavy trio Red Mesa, has in store for the first-and-maybe-only installment of Burque Rock City Fest, which moves the proceedings from Taos to Albuquerque and is set to have its inaugural edition take place in early August, but I’m more than willing to trust that by the time he and his crew have their shit together and know what they’re doing, based on past evidence as well as the already well-on-its-way lineup they’ve unveiled for Burque Rock City Fest 2023, highlighted by Belzebong coming over from Poland, Weedeater at the top of the bill (unclear if they’re headlining or just there for now), Matt Pike‘s solo-project, Early Moods, High Desert QueenSorcia and Thunder Horse alongside Prism Bitch and Coma Recovery.

It’s two days — Monolith was three last year — and will happen across two venues, neither of which I know anything about more than their name from lists of tour dates. But again, it’s a new fest but familiar parties behind it, so also not a worry. Barham notes in the quote below that Monolith on the Mesa will be back in Taos in 2024, so it’s unclear whether Burque Rock City Fest is a one-time-only placeholder or will be an ongoing second festival. I wouldn’t attempt to guess, but as it’s worth keeping an eye on, that’s what I’m doing. Will continue to do so as the lineup takes shape.

For now, the first announcement and early-bird ticket links, as per the PR wire:

Burque City Rock Fest

Monolith On The Mesa Presents: Burque Rock City Fest

August 4th & 5th 2023

The Historic El Rey Theater & Insideout Bar in Downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The first round of bands has been announced…

Weedeater * Pike Vs The Automaton * Belzebong * Early Moods * High Desert Queen * ThunderHorse * Sorcia * Prism Bitch * Coma Recovery

Many More To be Announced!!

Early Bird Day Pass-$100:

Early Bird 2 Day Pass-$200:

Roman Barham, co-founder of Monolith on the Mesa has been quietly working on Burque Rock City Fest.

Barham says:

“Monolith On The Mesa crew would love to thank everyone who helped make Monolith 2022 an awesome fest. Huge thanks from The Taos Mesa Brewery crew, the Hotel Luna Mystica crew and to all the very respectful patrons that came out and made Monolith On The Mesa 2022 an amazing tribute to our fallen brother Dano Sanchez (deceased Monolith co-founder).

We have decided to take a year off from Monolith and bring it back in 2024 to Taos Mesa Brewery.

Branching south from the Monolith On The Mesa tree is Burque Rock City Fest in Albuquerque, NM At The Historic El Rey Theater & Insideout Bar On Friday August 4th & Saturday August 5th 2023.

More band announcements & more exciting info soon.


Weedeater, “Jason… the Dragon” live in Jacksonville, FL, March 1, 2023

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Early Moods Announce Coast to Coast US Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 10th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

To my fellow East Coasters, let’s collectively decide not to fuck this one up, hmm? I know February is cold and everyone has shit to do in their life, going out costs money that no one seems to have anymore, on and on. I know all the excuses. I’ve lived every single one of them. But the fact is this is Early Moods‘ first headlining run that hits the Eastern Seaboard — they signed with Nanotear Booking last year following, among other things, a stellar performance at Psycho Las Vegas (review here) — and it’s something you don’t want to miss. These guys are young, hungry, on-point in terms of sound and a genuine presence on stage. If they, and we as the audience, all play our cards right, they could become something really special for doom in the next few years.

Or we could stay home and they could get no support, flame out, be bitter, suck or break up, and not realize their potential to vanguard a new generation’s take on classic doom metal. I’m not saying it’s all on your shoulders personally. I’m saying they’re going for it. They’re putting their work in starting at half-past already, and if you believe in heavy music, the underground, any of it, it’s your responsibility to support a young band giving touring life a real shot, especially as they do it for the first time. And especially since they’re good.

It’s not my job to try to sell tickets for anybody, but Early Moods are the kind of band who can make you believe. Even if you’ve forgotten what that feels like.

Here are the dates:

Early Moods tour 2023


Catch us out on the road next month in support of our new record. Tickets are are on sale now. Which date will we see you at ?

2/16 – San Diego, CA- Brick By Brick
2/17 – Tucson, AZ – Groundworks
2/18 – Scottsdale, AZ- Yucca Tap
2/19 – Albuquerque, NM – Sisters
2/21 – Austin, TX- Lost Well
2/22 – Shreveport, LA – Shreve Station
2/23 – Atlanta, GA – Boggs
2/24 – Charlotte, NC – Snug Harbor
2/25 – Baltimore , MD – Holy Frijoles
2/26 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung FunNecktie
2/27 – Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus
2/28 – Youngstown, OH – Westside Bowl
3/01 – Detroit, MI – Sanctuary
3/02 – Chicago, IL – Live Wire
3/03 – Lawrence, KS – Replay Lounge
3/04 – Denver, CO – Hi-Dive
3/05 – SLC, UT – Urban Lounge
3/07 – Seattle, WA – Substation
3/08 – Portland, OR – High Water Mark
3/09 – Sacramento, Ca – Cafe Colonial
3/10 – Oakland, CA – Eli’s
3/11 – Palmdale, Ca – Transplants


Early Moods, Early Moods (2022)

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Desertfest London 2023 Adds More Than 40 Bands; Yes, for Real.

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 2nd, 2022 by JJ Koczan

I mean, what can you say to this other than ‘can I come?’ I’ve known this festival was capable of some real-deal shit over the last decade, but this is absolutely epic, which is a word I do my best to avoid. And they end it by saying there’s more to come. God damn. Really. God damn.




Desertfest London announce over 40 bands for 2023

Friday 5th May – Sunday 7th May 2023 | Weekend Tickets on sale now


Desertfest London is rounding off the year with an ear-shattering bang, announcing a mammoth 43 artists to their 2023 line-up. Joining the likes of Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Graveyard, Kadavar and Church of Misery, the Camden-based festival also welcomes back Corrosion of Conformity as headliners.

Pioneers of a groove-laden sound that is undeniably their own, Corrosion of Conformity have not been back on UK soil since 2018 so expect big, loud and memorable things from their appearance at Desertfest next year. Corrosion of Conformity have been due to play the event since 2020 – making their return one of the most widely requested in the event’s history.

Japan’s own avant-garde maestros of down-tuned psychedelia Boris leap over to London alongside the crushingly loud tones of NOLA’s own Crowbar. One of the most exciting bands in recent memory King Buffalo, make their long-awaited debut plus Desertfest favourites, Weedeater are back after five long years of chugging whiskey lord-knows-where.

The pace moves up a notch with New York City’s noise-rock guru’s Unsane and British punk-legends Discharge, all of whom bring a detour from the slow’n’low sounds the festival is best recognised for. Montreal’s Big | Brave will play the festival for the first time showcasing their experimental and minimalist take on the notion of ‘heavy’, whilst the doors to the Church of The Cosmic Skull are open, as they ask Desertfest revellers to join them in a union unlike any other.

Desertfest also warmly welcomes noise from STAKE, British anti-fascist black metallers Dawn Ray’d and London’s loudest duo Tuskar as well as some of the best recent stoner acts in the form of Telekinetic Yeti, Weedpecker & Great Electric Quest. Elsewhere the weekend will also see Wren, The Necromancers, Dommengang, Samavayo, Morass of Molasses, Sum of R & GNOB offer up unique live performances.

Rounding off this beast of an announcement are Acid Mammoth, Deatchant, Zetra, Trevor’s Head, Our Man in The Bronze Age, Wyatt E., Iron Jinn, Mr Bison, Troy The Band, Oreyeon, Warren Schoenbright, Early Moods, Longheads, Terror Cosmico, Thunder Horse, TONS, Vinnum Sabbathi, Bloodswamp, The Age of Truth, Earl of Hell and Black Groove.

Weekend Tickets for Desertfest London 2023 are on-sale now via
with more acts still to be announced.

Day splits and day tickets will be on sale from January.

Full Line-Up for Desertfest London 2023:

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Early Moods Announce Tour Dates With High on Fire

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 27th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Early Moods (Photo by estevanoriol on instagram)

And now for the heartwarming tale of a band getting bigger. Early Moods come along and start kicking ass and yesterday I’m reading they’re starting to work with Nanotear for booking (you might know Nathan Carson from Witch Mountain if not the booking end of things) and now today they’re announcing a (prior booked) trip to the East Coast supporting no less than High on Fire. From here to where? Europe? Oh that’s gotta be in the works. They’re too good at what they do for Europe not to have noticed. Is their self-titled (review here) the best debut album of 2022? I don’t know. I hadn’t thought about it yet. But I know it’s on the damn list.

Also somewhat curious that their post hashtags Nuclear Blast. I know that’s Municipal Waste‘s label now, and fair enough, but it honestly wouldn’t surprise me if they saw something they liked in a young band taking on classic doom metal at such a high level and with their kind of nascent stage presence. I don’t know anything in that regard, mind you — the self-titled came out on RidingEasy Records, and if their next one does too, it’ll only be to the band’s benefit; Daniel knows how to make a band happen — but it’s something that caught my eye just the same. If that announcement comes, I’ll just make another post, pat myself on the back for noticing what turned out to be a dropped hint.

So anyway, tour dates, huh? Here you go:

High on Fire early moods tour
We’re hitting the road this December w/ @municipalwaste @highonfireband & @gelhc !

Tickets go on sale Friday, October 28th at 10:00AM Local Time at the link in bio.

Dec 1 – Hampton Beach, NH – Wally’s
Dec 2 – Brattleboro, VT – The Stone Church
Dec 3 – Hartford, CT – The Webster Theater
Dec 4 – Patchogue, NY – 89 North
Dec 6 – Asbury Park, NJ – House of Independants
Dec 7 – Mechanicsville, PA – Lovedraft’s Brewing Co
Dec 8 – Virginia Beach, VA – Elevation 27
Dec 9 – Greenville, NC – The State Theatre
Dec 10 – Columbia, SC – The Senate
Dec 11 – Tampa, FL – The Orpheum

Poster art by @gianluca_fusco.

#MunicipalWaste #HighOnFire #GelHC #EarlyMoodsBand #NuclearBlastRecords

Early Moods, Early Moods (2022)

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 94

Posted in Radio on September 30th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

As will happen during a Quarterly Review, I’ve sort of found myself thinking there’s a ton of stuff that I don’t want to see get lost in the shuffle, and I’ve decided to focus this episode of The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal on making sure that doesn’t happen.

‘Selections from the QR’ may be the theme here, but what it rounds out to is a cool mix of mostly new music either way. Goes without saying that with 100 releases covered, there was plenty to choose from, and indeed I might end up doing a second of these — it was a two-week Quarterly Review after all, ending today — but if you’ve kept up with that or not, this is a summary of some of what was included. Like the Quarterly Review itself, it’s pretty heavy on vibe and atmosphere, but there are a couple bangers in there too that, along with the rest, I most certainly hope you enjoy.

Thanks if you listen and thanks for reading.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at:

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 09.30.22 (VT = voice track)

Mezzoa Moya Dunes of Mars
Lightrain Hyd AER
Spirit Adrift Mass Formation Psychosis 20 Centuries Gone
Cachemira Ambos Mundos Ambos Mundos
Goatriders The Garden Traveler
Garden of Worm In the Absence of Memory Endless Garden
Church of the Cosmic Skull Now’s the Time There is No Time
Voidward Chemicals Voidward
Early Moods Curse the Light Early Moods
Maunra Lightbreather Monarch
Obiat Ulysses Indian Ocean
Reverend Mother Locomotive Damned Blessing
Deer Creek A Dark, Heartless Machine Menticide
Trillion Ton Beryllium Ships Mystical Consumer Consensus Trance
Blacklab Abyss Woods In a Bizarre Dream
The Gray Goo Bicycle Day 1943
Les Lekin Ascent Limbus

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is Oct. 14 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Metal website

The Obelisk on Facebook

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