Tesa to Reissue 2015’s Ghost via My Proud Mountain

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 21st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

tesa-700

Based in Riga, Latvia, heavy post-rocker trio  Grademiners is where all writers are tried and true, When you How To Plan Budget For Business online, it may seem intimidating to pay a downpayment. Tesa are gearing up to hit the road this August in Europe alongside none other than  Get Writing College Admission Essay Zinchs at affordable rates from the web's best online rewriting and paraphrasing service now. All documents are expertly rewritten by Neurosis themselves. As support slots go, that’s a damn good one to get, even for a band who’ve been around for 11 years and who already did a stint opening for The latest Tweets from Control Systems Friction Phd Thesis (@essayhelpers). Help with essays, notes and homework at http://t.co/ZpoThjQuFs. Resources from students at Oxford Jucifer this year. At the very least, it’s a fitting occasion for one to reissue one’s latest LP, and with  Abraham Essays - Best http://www.hospiz-aktuell.de/?high-school-homework Service from uncanny pro-scribes. Online Custom Writing Service prices go from .95/page. My Proud Mountain getting behind the new version — the original was released on  Medical Research Paper Format Service Hull, Dissertation Proposals Criminology Posting below looks at the factors that staging of carcinoma and Neuro radiology Skyr Records as a 2LP — all the better to hit the road with records in tow.

As the original release was a year and a half ago, the five-track  PhD Thesis Editors in UK offer unmatched PhD Dissertation Formats. Our editing service in UK includes Grammar check, Structure and Sentence Flow and Ghost can be streamed in full via  http://www.gemeindebund.steiermark.at/?write-an-essay-on-new-year . Do you need to write a report for your college or university course? We can help! A report can be an evaluation of Tesa‘s Bandcamp page and on the player below. It’s worth digging in, particularly to hear how deep they bury the vocals. That shit is turned way, way down. Farther down than your favorite black metal band.

From the PR wire:

tesa ghost

My Proud Mountain release Latvian trio Tesa’s Ghost LP prior to live dates with Neurosis in August

Latvia’s Tesa operate with evident conviction, and their flourishing, distinct sound is the epitome of how grand and graceful guitar-driven music can be. Since 2005, the trio of Karlis Tone, Davis Burmeisters and Janis Burmeisters have created a mature, rapturous vision of heavy music without the constraints of genre, reverting to their trusted intuition to create the glorious movements that can challenge any of the founding figures of longform rock with depth.

GHOST, their latest LP formed of five segments for each letter, will see physical release (in CD and 2xLP format) through My Proud Mountain on 5th August, and it is a phenomenal demonstration of the band’s gripping adaptive approach. With the assistance of James Plotkin’s mastering (he who has worked with Sunn O))), Electric Wizard, Earth, Michael Gira, Tim Hecker and many more), GHOST sounds loud and important played at any volume, and the palpable passages of suspense and subsequent devastating releases give the record a momentum that endures all 40 minutes. Most spectacular is the apparent ease in which all three members, working together so closely, supply heaving riffs, emotionally exhausting melodies and soundscapes, and heroic lively tempo, creating a sound that cannot be named but can be intensely felt. This capacity of theirs to stun has won them the attention of the similarly singular Neurosis, with whom they toured Europe with in 2013 and will tour again with in August (dates below), and GHOST should surely elevate them to a larger plane of exposure that their music can expand in to.

“At some point, when you’ve kind of earned some recognition and there’s a general idea in people’s mind, what you do, and what to expect form you as a band, it’s really easy to just stay in a comfort zone, musically. But I think that we actually tried to step outside a bit from that, and at some level, try to do something different than people expect from you. Maybe it’s more brutal at some parts, more direct and harsh. We try to escape the so-called post-rock thing.” – Janis Burmeisters /Tesa on GHOST

1. G
2. H
3. O
4. S
5. T

TESA:
Karlis Tone – bass, vocals, noises
Davis Burmeisters – guitar
Janis Burmeisters – drums, vocals, noises

LIVE DATES W/ NEUROSIS:
wed 10.08. CZ-Jaromer Brutal Assault
thu 11.08. IT-Brescia Festa Radio Onda D’Urto
fri 12.08. CH-Le Locle Rock Altitude
sun 14.08. AT-Vienna Arena
mon 15.08. GER-Leipzig UT Connewitz
tue 16.08. GER-Hamburg Grünspan
wed 17.08. NL-Haarlem Patronaat
fri 19.08. GER-Karlsruhe Substage
sun 21.08. PT-Porto Amplifest

tesa.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/bandtesa
http://www.myproudmountain.com/
https://www.facebook.com/myproudmountain/

Tesa, Ghost (2015/2016)

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Extolling Ignorance: The Top 10 Albums I Didn’t Hear in 2013

Posted in Features on January 6th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Some of these, I just don’t have an excuse. Others, I have an excuse but it’s pretty lame. The basic fact of the matter is that the recently-departed 2013 brought an onslaught of gotta-hear-it-gotta-get-it records and I don’t care if it’s your full-time job and you actually get paid to do it, there’s no way you heard it all. I know I certainly didn’t.

I’m only one dude. I sit in front of this keyboard more or less all day, Monday to Friday each week, and I think the volume of output from this site and the fact that it’s just me (Hi, my name is JJ) putting it out speak for themselves. Maybe they don’t and that’s why I feel compelled to say it. Whatever.

Point is I do the best I can, but whether it’s my general and increasingly visceral disdain for digital promos or not being cool enough to be on somebody’s radar — or hell, even just the time factor, as in “there’s only so much of it” — some probably-killer stuff just slipped through the cracks. This list is me apologizing for not being everywhere at once and for having a limited record-buying budget. Again, I do the best I can.

List is alphabetical because it’s not like I can really rank them. Here goes:

1. Carcass, Surgical Steel

Man, Phd Paper - Compose a timed custom research paper with our help and make your professors amazed professional writers, top-notch services Carcass kick ass. I know their early stuff is grind gospel, but even their last two records, 1993’s Looking for Mayor Casterbridge Essay Help? You are on the right page! Don't miss the opportunity to use the best writing service in order to achieve what you Heartwork Where find best Looking For Experts For Helping With My Assignments for a reasonable price? Get-Essay.com is the professional writing site to give a try. Price will make you happy! Orwell Essay On Writing - Options to buy an essay online. Making your writing more efficient, and picking up techniques from professionals and 1996’s We are professional business plan writers based in London, UK. We offer the most affordable and bespoke Aol Help Homework including Tier-1 Swansong, are fantastic. Why the hell wouldn’t I want to get on board with a new http://cheapessaywritings24.com/help-writing-college-papers/ - Proposals, essays & research papers of top quality. experience the benefits of qualified custom writing assistance Carcass album? I don’t know. I guess I didn’t want to download it, like it a lot, put time into reviewing it and then go out and have to buy it like a punk. Easier not to listen, so that’s what I did. Carcass on Thee Facebooks.

2. Carlton Melton, Always Even


When Fast Cattle Business Plan Website You've Been Looking for. Desperately looking for academic services with the question: Who can type my essay as urgent as Carlton Melton got added to Resources - Instead of wasting time in ineffective attempts, get specialized help here get the necessary essay here and put aside Roadburn 2014, I took a sampling of their wares and it sounded like really interesting stuff. Synth-driven kraut-psych with a touch of West Coast spaceout gets a hearty “right on” in my book. Mostly a budget concern as to why I didn’t dig further. I could’ve YouTube’d it, but that’s no way to get to know an album if you’re actually interested in listening to music. Carlton Melton’s website.

3. Causa Sui, Euporie Tide

I was actually given this as an Xmas present after having it on my Amazon wishlist and it’s fucking fantastic. Really, really, really good. I imagine at some point I’ll probably put together a Buried Treasure post that more or less touts the virtues of Euporie Tide‘s desert tones and progressive explorations, but I didn’t get there before the end of 2013, so here it is anyway. But seriously, wow. El Paraiso Records on Thee Facebooks.

4. Deafheaven, Sunbather

There was so much hype around Deafheaven‘s Sunbather that I was just completely turned off. Not much more to it than that. I probably could’ve chased down a promo download if I’d been so inclined, but what’s the point? The whole world’s already up its ass, I’d rather spend my limited-as-hell time not adding my voice to a chorus of hyperbole. Maybe it’s really cool. Okay. Deafheaven on Bandcamp.

5. Fuzz, Fuzz

In a bizarre twist, turns out I have heard Fuzz‘s Fuzz, the self-titled heavy psych debut from indie darling Ty Segall. It’s the reason I wound up ending last week with the Witch self-titled, because I think the two albums work in a very similar fashion. Cool release either way, something like a dirtier Radio Moscow. I probably won’t review it at this point, but it’s on my shopping list for next time I happen to have two cents to my name. Ty Segall on Thee Facebooks.

6. Ghost, Infestissumam

The single most misspelled title in the Readers Poll. My feeling on Ghost at this point is as follows: “Yeah, so?” You’re a costumed pop-cult act with insanely catchy songs and a massive promotional machine behind you. So what? I wound up ambivalent about the first Ghost album and I guess when it came to this there wasn’t anything Ghost was going to deliver that I couldn’t get in a more substantive package from Uncle Acid. Ghost’s website.

7. Grayceon, Pearl and the End of Days

If there’s anything on this list that I’m actually pissed off at myself for not having heard, it’s probably Grayceon‘s Pearl and the End of Days. Technically it’s an EP and this is a list of albums, but either way, I wound up loving their 2011 full-length, All We Destroy (unabashed fawning here), so I can only consider missing the subsequent release the result of some deep-seated character flaw on my part. It came out in February! I had all year! What a jerk.

8. Mammatus, Heady Mental

Didn’t even know this one existed until Spiritual Pajamas put it out in November. Nobody told me, and I guess it had been a while since I last checked in on the Santa Cruz County space jammers to see about a follow-up to 2007’s The Coast Explodes. Still hope to hear Heady Mental at some point. The sooner the better, since it’s another band whose work I’ve legitimately enjoyed in the past. Mammatus on Thee Faceboooks.

9. Purson, The Circle and the Blue Door

No question Rise Above puts out some of the best underground heavy the world over. Not an issue that’s up for debate at this point, and they’ve found a decent niche to mine through with cult rock that seems to resonate with their audience. All well and good. I guess when it came to Purson, everything was just a little too perfect, just a little too aligned for me to be interested. Maybe I’ll stumble on it at some point and regret having passed it up initially. Purson on Thee Facebooks.

10. True Widow, Circumambulation

Circumambulation is the same story as a lot of these. I had promo mp3s and they just sat there. If I’ve got people in Japan and Australia who are willing to mail me a CD or LP out of their own pocket, I have a hard time arguing with myself as to why I should bother with others who don’t care enough about my opinion to send the work they want to have evaluated. If I’ve missed out on good music in the process, well, I’m still alive,which is more than I can say for the fucking music industry. True Widow on Bandcamp.

There we have it. If there’s a takeaway from all of this downer cynicism, it’s how unbearably lucky we are to live in an age where (one) I could immediately access the music on any one of these albums if I really wanted to or immediately shell out for hard copies if I had the funds. I know I really missed out on some of these, but it’s also worth pointing out just how many incredible albums are out there that I could let some of these pass and still live with myself.

This is the last of the 2013 wrap-ups, so thanks for checking it all out.

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If You Only Buy 24 Records Between Now and May 1…

Posted in Features on March 12th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

…Yeah, I know, 24 is a buttload of records to buy in the span of about a month and a half. To do the division, it would mean buying a new album every 2.04 days. Probably not feasible in terms of time, let alone budget, but hell, it’s a nice thought and seeing the onslaught of new stuff coming between now and the end of April, I thought maybe a list would help keep it all straight. Even if I’m only helping myself, I could probably spend my time in worse ways.

Worth noting that even with 24 albums, presented below in order of release, I feel like there’s stuff I’m forgetting. Frankly, it’s an overwhelming amount of material, so if I’ve missed something or there’s something you’d like to see added to the list, as always, that’s why there’s a comments feature.

Okay. These are numbered just for fun, but listed by date:

1. Orange Goblin, A Eulogy for the Fans (March 12)

My understanding is that London’s foremost doom scoundrels, none other than Orange Goblin, have been selling copies of A Eulogy for the Fans since starting their US tour with Clutch on March 8 in Cincinnati, Ohio, but today is the official release date, and I can think of no better place to start than with the four-piece’s ferocious performance at the 2012 Bloodstock festival, captured audio and video in all its bloodsoaked glory. Not to be missed or taken lightly because it’s a live record. Album review here.

2. Borracho, Mob Gathering 7″ (March 13)


Even though it’s comprised of older tracks, the new Mob Gathering 7″ from Borracho is welcome by me for two reasons: I’ve never heard the songs before and Borracho rocks. The Washington D.C.-based riffers recorded “Mob Gathering” and “Short Ride (When it’s Over)” in 2009 and are set to release the cuts on a limited platter in black and orange swirl through Spain’s Ghost Highway Recordings and Germany’s No Balls Records. They’ve been playing live as a mostly-instrumental outfit while guitarist/vocalist Noah is out of the country on what I can only assume is an awesome spy mission, so if you need a Borracho fix — and it’s obvious from the way your hands are shaking that you do — this might be the way to go. More info here.

3. Inter Arma, Sky Burial (March 15)


Like Windhand below, Inter Arma are recent Relapse Records signees from Richmond, Virginia, and Sky Burial will serve as their first release for the label. Literally and figuratively, the album is expansive, topping 69 minutes and pummeling the whole way through with a genre-transcending concoction of bleakness that’s not so much aligned to any particular heavy aesthetic so much as it is set to its own atmospheric purposes. Through this, Inter Arma emerge terrifyingly cohesive where many others would falter, and their second LP behind 2010’s Sundown (review here) leaves a progressive impression despite an almost complete lack of sonic pretense. Mostly, it’s fucking heavy. Track stream and info here.

4. Clutch, Earth Rocker (March 19)


If 2013 ended tomorrow, Clutch‘s Earth Rocker would be my album of the year. That’s not saying the situation will be the same nine months from now when I actually start putting that list together (already dreading it), but as of March 12, it’s the cat’s pajamas and no foolin’. The long-running Marylanders outdid themselves and put together a surprisingly fast, energetic collection of songs that don’t forsake the bluesy tendencies of their last album, 2009’s Strange Cousins from the West, so much as they put some of the jamming on lockdown in favor of all-out pro-grade heavy rock and roll. The velocity is crucial and the wolfman is out, but it feels like the party’s just starting. Look for them on tour sometime between now and forever. Album review here.

5. Black Mare, Field of the Host (March 20)


Black Math Horseman and Ides of Gemini frontwoman Sera Timms (who’s also recently collaborated with Yawning Man‘s Gary Arce in the new outfit Zun) steps further out on her own with the solo-project Black Mare, from whom Field of the Host is the first album. Due March 20 on LP through The Crossing and on cassette through Breathe Plastic, limited in both cases and sure to be gone shortly after release if they’re not already taken through pre-orders. Fans of Timms‘ past works will be glad to hear the misty wash of melody and dreamy, somehow sad, languid roll of “Blind One,” for starters. Audio and info on the forum.

6. Kvelertak, Meir (March 26)


Short of setting themselves on fire, Norwegian triple-guitar six-piece Kvelertak did just about everything they could to get noticed in support of their 2010 self-titled debut LP (review here), and sure enough, their work paid off in getting signed to Roadrunner Records for all territories outside their native Scandinavia (where Indie Recordings holds sway) and trumpeting up a wave of anticipation for their second full-length, Meir. Their energetic, genre-crossing approach might not be for everybody, but the band have turned a lot of heads and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to find them on bigger tours this year with Roadrunner behind them. More info on the forum.

7. Black Pyramid, Adversarial (April 2)


This is actually the first time the Eli Wood cover art for Black Pyramid‘s Adversarial has been seen in full, so you know. The Hydro-Phonic Records release of the third Black Pyramid album and first to be fronted by guitarist/vocalist Darryl Shepard along with bassist David Gein and drummer Clay Neely punctuates the beginning of a new era for the Massachusetts trio. If the advance listen to closing track “Onyx and Obsidian” is anything to go by, they could very well be at their most potent yet, and though I’d hardly consider myself an impartial observer, as a fan of the band, this is one I’ve been looking forward to for a while now. More to come. Track stream here.

8. Moss, Horrible Night (April 2)


I’ve yet to hear the complete album, but UK trio Moss seem poised to surprise with a cleaner vocal approach on Horrible Night, their first offering since 2008’s impressive Sub Templum LP and two EPs in 2009, so in addition to wondering how they’ll pull it off, the level of the shift remains to be seen. That is, how big a deal is it? Should I call my mom? Is this something grandma needs to know about? Time will tell, but for it having been five years since the last time a Moss record reared its doomly head, it seems only fair to give the band a little breathing room on their evolution. More info and video here.

9. Mars Red Sky, Be My Guide EP (April 8)


How glad am I that French fuzz rockers Mars Red Sky have a new EP coming? Well, I’m not as happy that it’s coming as I am that it’s frickin’ awesome. The trio keep the weighted bass tones that gave so much depth to their 2011 self-titled debut (review here), but they’ve also clearly set to work expanding the formula as well, adding stomp to second track “Seen a Ghost” and an eerie repetitive sense to side B closer “Stranger,” while also broadening their melodic reach and taking claim of whichever side of the line they want between fuzz rock and heavy psychedelia while remaining so much more to the ears than either genre descriptor can offer to the eyes. At half an hour, my only complaint with it is it’s not a full-length album. Video trailer and info here.

10. Blaak Heat Shujaa, The Edge of an Era (April 9)


A sample of the poet Ron Whitehead — who also featured on Blaak Heat Shujaa‘s late-2012 debut EP for Tee Pee Records, The Storm Generation (review here) — comes to clarity just in time for the gonzo Boomer poet to let us all know that, “America is an illusion” (that may be, but it’s an illusion with an army of flying killer robots), and from there, the youngin’ desert transplants embark on a low-end-heavy freakout topped with sweet surf rock guitars and set to use in intricate, sometimes surprisingly jagged, rhythmic dances. Mario Lalli of Fatso Jetson guests, Scott Reeder produced. Review is forthcoming, but till then, there’s more info here.

11. Devil to Pay, Fate is Your Muse (April 9)


Fate is Your Muse serves not only as Indianapolis rockers Devil to Pay‘s Ripple Music debut, but also as the double-guitar foursome’s first outing since 2009’s Heavily Ever After. With tales of lizardmen attacks and the alleged end of the world, it’s got its fair share of personality, and set to the chugging riffs, melodic vocals and straightforward heavy grooves, that personality still goes a long way. I’ll have a review up before this week is out (I hope), but still, I wanted to make sure to include Devil to Pay here too, since their songs command both attention and respect. To wit, I just can’t seem to get “This Train Won’t Stop” out of my head. Video and info here.

12. Cough & Windhand, Reflection of the Negative Split (April 15)


Virginian doomers Cough and Windhand share a hometown in Richmond, a love of volume, a bassist in Parker Chandler and now a label in Relapse Records, so yeah, a split makes sense. Reflection of the Negative will be Windhand‘s first release through Relapse ahead of their sophomore full-length, scheduled for later this year (info here). For Cough, this split marks their first outing since 2010’s An Introduction to the Black Arts split with UK masters The Wounded Kings (review here), and they’ll present the 18-minute “Athame,” while Windhand bring forth “Amaranth” and “Shepherd’s Crook.” More info here.

13. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Mind Control (April 15)


What the last Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats album, 2011’s Blood Lust (semi-review here), did so well was capture the atmosphere and the grainy imagery of late ’60s/early ’70s psychedelic horror and put it into audio form. For that, Blood Lust earned massive praise, but I still think that without the central core of songwriting underneath the genre trappings, it would’ve fallen flat. When it comes to Mind Control, the question waiting to be answered is if the band wants to stick to the blueprint they’ve established or go brazenly into uncharted weirdness. I’m not really sure they can lose, either way. Info and music here.

14. Kadavar, Abra Kadavar (April 16)


Their debut on new label Nuclear Blast and the quick-arriving answer to my pick for 2012 debut of the year, Abra Kadavar arrives with plenty of anticipation leading the way. The retro-rocking German trio have their work cut out for them in following that self-titled, but however it turns out in the comparison, it will be fascinating to learn how Kadavar develops the band’s sound and whether or not they prove able to push the boundaries of their aesthetic while simultaneously setting a new standard for promo photos. New video here.

15. Spiritual Beggars, Earth Blues (April 16)


I guess when it comes to these long-running Swedes, everybody’s got their favorite lineup, their favorite tunes, etc., but for me, I’m just impressed that Michael Amott — now more than 20 years on from starting Spiritual Beggars as a side-project while still in grindcore pioneers Carcass — still has any interest in keeping the classic rock Hammond-loving outfit grooving. Their last outing, 2010’s Return to Zero (review here), was the first to feature vocalist Apollo Papathanasio, formerly of Firewind, and though those songs were solid, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re more settled in on Earth Blues when it drops via InsideOut Music on April 16. More info on the forum.

16. Beastwars, Blood Becomes Fire (April 19)


Alternating between periods of brooding intensity and all-out crushing heaviness, the second full-length from New Zealand’s Beastwars, Blood Becomes Fire, is nasty, nasty, nasty. It’s nasty when it’s quiet and it’s nasty when it’s loud. It’s the kind of record you put on and you’re like, “Damn that’s nasty.” And you’re not wrong. The four-piece — touring shortly with Unida — upped their game even from 2011’s self-titled debut (review here), and for anyone who heard that record, you know that’s saying something. I’m still in the “getting to know it” phase, but so far all that nasty feels pretty right on. More info here.

17. Ghost, Infestissumam (April 19)


Man, this one just kind of happened, huh? I suck — and I mean S-U-C-K suck — at keeping up with band hype. I’m the dude who hears the record three months later and goes, “Yeah, I guess that’s cool,” as countless reviews here can attest, including the one for Ghost‘s 2010 debut, Opus Eponymous, but with the Swedish cult heavyweights, all of a sudden I turned around and blamo, major label deal, semi-name change to Ghost B.C., and enough slathering over the impending Infestissumam to make the first album seem like less than the hyperbole it was treated to initially. Funny how that happens. Out in April? I’m sure I’ll review in June and go, “Yeah, I guess that’s cool.” More info on the forum.

18. One Inch Giant, The Great White Beyond (April 19)


Now signed to Soulseller Records, Swedish heavy rockers One Inch Giant will unveil their debut full-length on April 19 and as three of my favorite words in the English language are “Swedish heavy rockers,” I’m excited to find out how this Gothenburg four-piece follow-up their Malva EP, and if they can capture some of the extreme dynamic they brought to their live show when they toured the US last summer — a run of shows that included a stop at SHoD. Hard not to pull for a band after they come over to play club dates. More info and music here.

19. The Heavy Co., Midwest Electric (April 20)


It was actually the other day writing about The Heavy Co.‘s Midwest Electric that I had the idea for this feature, so however high the profile might be for some of these albums — Ghost walks by on their way to cash a check — it was these unpretentious Hoosier rockers and their new outing, Midwest Electric, that started me off. From what I’ve heard so far, the new collection sounds a little more confident in exploring psychedelia than did the trio’s 2011 debut EP, The Heavy (Please Tune In…) (review here), so I’m looking forward to hearing if and how that plays out over the course of the whole thing. Video trailer here.

20. Gozu, The Fury of a Patient Man (April 23)


I have an interview slated for later this week with Gozu guitarist/vocalist Marc Gaffney, and I’m even more excited for this time than I was when we last spoke, around their 2009 Small Stone debut, Locust Season (review here), since in everything but its goofball song titles, the sophomore outing marks a huge developmental step in the band’s melodic reach and songwriting chemistry. Stay tuned for that interview and check out the Bandcamp stream included with the album review here.

21. Yawning Man & Fatso Jetson, European Tour Split 7″ (April 26)


Note: I don’t actually know that April 26 is the day that what’s sure to be 2013’s most desert-rocking split is due to arrive, I just know that it’s Fatso Jetson and Yawning Man‘s European tour split, and that’s the day the Euro dates start — with performances at Desertfests London and Berlin, to be more specific. Given both the greatness of Fatso Jetson‘s last record, 2010’s Archaic Volumes (review here), and of Yawning Man‘s own 2010 outing, Nomadic Pursuits (review here), the bands’ shared lineage and the relative infrequency of their touring, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to hope that, even for a single, they pull out all the stops. And starts. And riffs. More info on the forum.

22. Serpent Throne, Brother Lucifer (April 29)


Philly-based instrumental heavy rockers Serpent Throne will follow-up 2010’s White Summer/Black Winter (review here) with Brother Lucifer, and while no one can ever really know what to expect, it’s a safe bet that the dual-guitar outfit will have the solos front and center once again. Having seen them do a couple new songs back in December, I can’t blame them in the slightest. Looking forward to letting these songs sink in for a while and having those solos stuck in my head. Track stream here.

23. Melvins, Everybody Loves Sausages (April 30)


Hey wow, a Melvins covers album. Finally, an opportunity for the band to let their hair down and go wild a bit, right? I mean, at long last, they can really feel free to indulge a little and explore their musical roots in a free and creative way. Okay, you get the point. In all seriousness, it’s a pretty cool idea and anything that teams the Melvins with Scott Kelly to do a Venom song is probably going to be a worthy cause. The most amazing part of it is they haven’t already done a version of “Black Betty.” More info on the forum.

24. Revelation, Inner Harbor (April 30)


Their most progressive outing yet and their first album since 2009, Revelation‘s Inner Harbor (review here) is bound to surprise some who thought they knew what to expect from the Maryland doom stalwarts who double as the classically rocking Against Nature. Good thing Inner Harbor had a digital release last year through the band’s Bland Hand Records to act as a precursor to this Shadow Kingdom CD issue. Rumor has it vinyl’s on the way as well, so keep an eye out, since John Brenner‘s guitar tone should be heard on as natural-sounding an apparatus as possible. More info here.

Okay, so you’re saying to yourself, “Golly, that’s a lot of stuff.” You’re absolutely right. But even as I was typing up this feature, I got word of a new Queen Elephantine full-length coming in April, so even as much as this is, it’s not everything. And that’s not even to mention May, which will bring a new Shroud Eater EP, a new Kylesa record and a new Mark Lanegan collaboration, among however much else. Tons of stuff to keep your ears out for, and like I said way back at the top of this thing, if you have something to add, a comment’s always appreciated.

Thanks for reading.

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Ides of Gemini Teams with Ghost for Haze over North America Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 4th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Am I the only one who can’t look at the tour name “Haze over North America” and think of “Tap into America” from Spinal Tap? Either way, Ghost and Ides of Gemini have teamed up and will hit the road together starting April 18 in Denver. Also, apparently Ghost have to call themselves Ghost B.C. in the US now? So many unanswered questions, so little energy to think of witty fake answers.

Either way, you can pretty much bet these shows are going to be packed out, so good for Ides of Gemini. It doesn’t get Sera Timms working on a new Black Math Horseman record any sooner, but I can hardly call it wasted time. If you missed it, Ides of Gemini‘s 2012 debut long-player, Constantinople (track stream here), contained some choice atmospherics.

And because you’ve probably seen the Ghost press release everywhere else — they’ve got an album that by amazing coincidence will be out the same week their shows start — I’ll post the Ides version because I’m just that frickin’ underground:

IDES OF GEMINI Announce Haze Over North America 2013 Tour With Ghost

West Coast ethereal doom trio IDES OF GEMINI are pleased and honored to announce a full tour this Spring supporting cult metalists, Ghost. Dubbed the Haze Over North America 2013 tour, the three-week run will commence on April 18th in Denver, Colorado, with additional IDES headlining dates to be announced in the coming weeks. The jaunt follows the band’s successful month-long trek through Europe last Fall and an opening slot with legendary sound revolutionaries Neurosis in January.

Notes guitarist/backing vocalist J. Bennett of the upcoming journey: “Ghost’s Opus Eponymous is the ultimate liturgical canon for our fair young century — catchy as hell, too — and we couldn’t be more thrilled to traverse the continent with them. Keeping secrets is one of our favorite pastimes, so touring with an anonymous band is especially satisfying for us. Plus, we get along famously with Satanists. In other words: Aces all around.”

IDES OF GEMINI Haze Over North America Tour 2013
w/ Ghost
4/18/2013 Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO
4/19/2013 Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM
4/23/2013 Rialto Theatre – Tucson, AZ
4/25/2013 The Regency – San Francisco, CA
4/26/2013 Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR
4/27/2013 Showbox Market – Seattle, WA
4/29/2013 Commodore Ballroom – Vancouver, BC
4/30/2013 Republik – Calgary, AB
5/01/2013 Starlite Room – Edmonton, AB
5/03/2013 Garrick Centre – Winnipeg, MB
5/04/2013 Mill City Nights – Minneapolis, MN
5/06/2013 Opera House – Toronto, ON
5/07/2013 Corona Theatre – Montreal, QC
5/08/2013 Theatre Petit Champlain – Quebec City, QC
5/10/2013 Royale – Boston, MA
5/11/2013 Webster Hall – New York, NY
5/12/2013 Trocadero Theatre – Philadelphia, PA
5/13/2013 9:30 Club – Washington, DC
5/15/2013 Turner Hall – Milwaukee, WI
5/17/2013 St. Adrews Hall – Detroit, MI
5/18/2013 Mr. Smalls – Pittsburgh, PA

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Ghost: North American Tour Dates Revealed

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 7th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Ultra-Satanic Swedish creepers Ghost have just announced a North American tour. It’s a quick run, just a couple weeks, but it’ll take them from coast to coast in the US and includes a couple dates in Canada as well. You’ll note in the release from the PR wire below that Ghost‘s vocalist has donned the moniker Papa Emeritus — doubtless a direct result of getting tired of being called Evil Pope Guy on this site all the time. Papa Emeritus it is.

If you’ll recall, Ghost was supposed to tour a couple months back with Enslaved and Alcest, and couldn’t get their visas. One can only hope the dark lords of Homeland Security grant them passage this time around. Here’s the news:

Mysterious Swedish buzz band Ghost has announced that it will embark on its first ever North American headlining tour in January, 2012. Ghost cult leader “Papa Emeritus” (who takes the stage in the form of “a satanic pope”) and his anonymous ghouls will team up with doom rockers Blood Ceremony and Ancient VVisdom for a two week trek dubbed the “13 Dates of Doom” tour that will launch on January 18 in New York City.

“It is with an evil haunting chuckle that we are announcing that we are finally coming to North America,” states Ghost‘s Papa Emeritus. “In the name of Satan, we will conduct thirteen rituals in thirteen different cities throughout the United States and Canada and now we are summoning all of our devotees to partake in these blasphemous eves of black magic.”

The itinerary for the Ghost/Blood Ceremony/Ancient VVisdom winter North American tour is as follows:
 01/18 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
 01/19 Washington, D.C. Rock N Roll Hotel
 01/20 Boston, MA Middle East (downstairs)
 01/21 Montreal, QC Corona Theatre
 01/22 Toronto, ON The Mod Club
 01/24 Chicago, IL Bottom Lounge
 01/25 Saint Paul, MN Station 4
 01/27 Denver, CO Marquis Theatre
 01/28 Salt Lake City, UT The Vertigo (The Complex)
 01/30 Seattle, WA El Corazon
 01/31 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theater
 02/01 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill

 02/02 Los Angeles, CA The Roxy

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Live Review: Ghost and Sabbath Assembly in Manhattan, 06.01.11

Posted in Reviews on June 3rd, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Working late (which seems to be the crux of my existence lately) meant missing upstart act Natur, whose name I’m seeing/hearing increasingly in worlds both virtual and real as one might expect for a heavy band from Brooklyn these days. I almost bought their 7″ on the principle of it being $5 and coming with a download card, but folded last second, feeling cool enough neither to do that nor grab a beer from the Webster Hall bar. The show, which was Ghost‘s night, clearly — their first time in New York — was sold out and in the basement of the venue. They call it “The Studio.” I called it “hot as balls.” It was a packed, sweaty, smelly mess. Like a locker room with a P.A.

Nonetheless, although I’ve been woefully show-up-and-drink early to the last three or four shows I’ve been to, I missed Natur, so apologies to them (and no, Google, I did not mean “nature”). I entered the fray as the Jex Thoth (of Jex Thoth)-fronted Sabbath Assembly were getting ready to roll out their set of alternately Christian and Satanic hymns. Ms. Thoth herself did not take the stage until the set actually started, so her vocal level was a little off at the very beginning, but it was quickly righted, and the crowd was soon enamored.

I missed them at Roadburn, and having enjoyed the Restored to One album I bought there, wanted very much to catch the songs live. From the many harmonized vocal layers on the record, I almost expected there to be two singers, but Thoth, backed mostly by singularly-named guitarist Mike — though also occasionally by bassist Dan Shuman — held it down on her own with an impressive range and no shortage of sexualized occult lure. Whatever works. As their set of songs about gods and devils and usually both (you might say they’re “restoring them to one”) wore on, audience conversation gradually got louder until toward the end, in a particularly quiet section, even with drummer Dave “Xtian” Nuss backing, Thoth could barely be heard above the din.

It’s hard for me to imagine that’s just a New York thing. I mean, “asshole” is universal, right? My ethic has always been that if someone is on stage — especially if they’re quiet — you shut the fuck up. Nothing you have to say is so important that it can’t wait, and if it is, fucking whisper. You’ve got your fancy-ass phone out anyway, send a text! I wasn’t exactly blown away by Sabbath Assembly‘s stage show (there wasn’t one), but is 40 minutes of solid attention really too much to ask from an audience of adults? Shit, you came to the show. Watch the fucking show. It must be really hard to be so much of a somebody that you have to talk through someone else’s performance.

When Sabbath Assembly were done, Ghost made us all wait. And we waited. Impatiently. There were some amp troubles on stage (an Orange was switched out for a Marshall), and the dude next to me, who I did not know, kept announcing in my ear how hot it was — correct in everything but his volume — and the guy in front was Mr. I’m-Gonna-Toss-My-Hair-To-Get-It-Off-My-Neck-Because-It’s-Hot-And-It’s-Gonna-Be-All-Over-You-Because-That’s-How-Tight-The-Room-Is-And-I-Don’t-Give-A-Fuck-Because-I’m-An-Inconsiderate-Dick, which only made matters less pleasant. Everyone there had a camera. I didn’t even have to use my flash to take pictures of Evil Pope Guy when Ghost finally took the stage from the side door of the venue — all the others lit the room up just fine.

They played just about all of their Opus Eponymous album, and though the vocals were a little off-key, it was 150 degrees in there and the dude was decked out in plastic prosthetic face makeup and a full robe, so it’s understandable. The backing tracks covered most of it, anyway, and the crowd’s singing along held up a lot of the bargain. Ghost‘s songs are catchy and memorable — “Elizabeth” was a highlight, as were “Stand by Him” and “Death Knell” — and the audience was fervent in their appreciation. Hands raised in Satanic testimony, a crowd surfer, a general rush toward the stage from the start, and I backed out. Too old and too tired by then to deal with any of that shit, I stood off to the side (where I could actually see!) and knew I was in the right spot when Brian “I signed Mercyful Fate” Slagel of Metal Blade came and planted himself nearby. I did my best not to gush.

The Opus Eponymous material alone wasn’t enough to fill out an hour of Ghost‘s time, so they threw in a cover of The BeatlesGeorge Harrison-penned Abbey Road classic “Here Comes the Sun,” changing the line “…And it’s alright” to “…And he’s alright” to fit with their devil-worshiping modus operandi. It was clever and they knew it, but that didn’t lessen the enjoyment any. Closing out the night with an anthemic rendition of “Ritual,” Evil Pope Guy (sorry, but when you wear the hat and don’t have a name, you take what you get) proceeded to hold communion at the front of the stage after the song, feeding the crowd what he called, “The cadaver of Christ.” Good fun.

I was beat when I walked in and only more so at the end, so I shuffled with the masses out of Webster Hall, walked over to the next block where I’d parked and made my way into and out of traffic en route to the Holland Tunnel and back home, the strains of “Elizabeth” and Sabbath Assembly‘s “We Give Our Lives” duking it out for which was most stuck in my head. Two days later, the battle rages on.

More pics after the jump.

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Frydee Ghost

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 29th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

World traveler that I am (ha.), I’m in Maryland for the weekend, and while I hope to do some record shopping before I leave — it’s a maybe at this point — far more pressing in my head at the moment is the fact that I left the leather carry-case with all my clean clothes and toiletries back in Jersey, meaning I have nothing but the brown khakis and the Saint Vitus shirt on my back to last me through till at least Sunday afternoon. Not a crisis, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t note how incredibly stupid I felt as The Patient Mrs. left the hotel room a bit ago to go replenish our stock of toothpaste, deodorant, etc.

Tomorrow, it’s off to the fat-guy-clothes store. One can only hope they sell Black Sabbath t-shirts. This is me, not holding my breath.

A cool note for the curious: You might recall last year when I interviewed Greg Anderson about the Goatsnake reunion amongst other things. Well, Japanese blogger Keisuke Iwaya of waya-waya.cocolog-nifty.com just yesterday posted a Japanese translation of that interview, and though I’m completely ignorant of the beautiful Japanese language as I am of so many other things in this world, I think it’s fucking awesome anyway, so please check it out if you get the chance.

We end this week with Drunken Monkey‘s footage of Ghost from Roadburn. They’re playing NYC in early June, and I’m looking forward to that, but it was cool to catch them in Tilburg as well, as you’ll see in the clip above. Several of the songs from their Opus Eponymous debut have been in heavy rotation both in the mental jukebox and the actual CD player of late, so I figured it was a good way to go. I wonder if anyone has told them yet that the backing band behind Evil Pope Guy has the same stage costumes as Goblin Cock. Sometimes life is fun.

Next week I’ll have a fucking awesome interview I did yesterday with Justin Broadrick about Jesu‘s new album and the apparently ongoing Godflesh reunion, as well as the numbers for April (not as dismal as I thought) and reviews of new albums by Virginian progressive space rockers Corsair and Indianapolis trad-doom frontrunners The Gates of Slumber, among others. I don’t know how, but there always seems to be something killer on the horizon, so although I say it more than Yankees radio announcer John “Pure Radio Gold” Sterling says that you can’t predict baseball, stay tuned, because there’s good stuff to come.

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Ghost, Opus Eponymous: Self-Indulgence Goes ’80s Horror Metal, with Sexy Results

Posted in Reviews on January 5th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

The hype for Swedish retro Satanists Ghost (not to be confused with the long-running Japanese avant rock troupe) has been overwhelming. I don’t think a day has gone by in the past month that I didn’t see someone recommending their Rise Above Records debut, Opus Eponymous – presumably because “self-titled” wouldn’t have been wordy enough – either in a review or random internet rambling. Usually that kind of thing is a major turnoff. I don’t want to hear the hyperbole about how melodically brilliant the sub-King Diamond singing is, or how an awesomely catchy track like “Elizabeth” gets stuck in your head after listening, or how the riffs sound like Blue Öyster Cult and the cover art is spooky and blue and whatever else. Just let me listen to the fucking thing and find out for myself if it’s any good. Back off, universe.

As ever, that has nothing to do with the band, which is comprised of six anonymous players who wear masks so people won’t know who they are and who may or may not be from other acts (being signed to Rise Above so quickly would seem to support that theory), but it does affect the listen. The truth of the matter, however, is that Ghost’s Opus Eponymous is a really solid album. In terms of aesthetic and execution, it’s clear the band knew what they wanted to sound like going into the project, and for their first record, they absolutely accomplish a deranged, early ‘80s atmosphere made all the more memorable by haunting choruses and capable songwriting. They’re hardly the first group to come out of Sweden with a “born too late” mentality, but between the overtly Satanic themes, the tight, crisp performances and the proto-black metal tonality, Ghost genuinely offer something unique to the listener bold enough to tackle Opus Eponymous.

The album revels in its pretense. From the title onward, everything the band does is grandiose, melodically conscious and awash in self-awareness. If you took away the devil worship, aside from losing half the fun of the album, you’d be left with a blend of ‘80s heavy rock and metal, guitars approaching a Megadeth, “Symphony of Destruction”-style cadence on “Ritual” but cutting quickly to one of Ghost’s many brain-glue choruses. “Ritual” is a pretty solid representation of the overall approach of Opus Eponymous, blending straightforward rhythms with eerie synth and guitar lines and the otherworldly vocals. By contrast, “Elizabeth,” which immediately follows, is more outright Mercyful Fate-ed, and “Satan Prayer,” with more prominent organ and busier drumming, sounds like Lucifer’s disco party. “Stand by Him” isn’t as dark as the earlier “Con Clavi Con Dio” – effectively the opener following intro “Deus Culpa” – but the two have plenty in common in terms of thematics and atmosphere.

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