Quarterly Review: Horsehunter, Church, Corpse Light, Sunder, T-Tops, The Space Merchants, Etiolated, Blown Out, Les Discrets, Beast Modulus

Posted in Reviews on June 30th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk summer quarterly review

Day one down and feeling good so far. Day two continues the thread of mixing more known quantities with bands either self-releasing or putting out demos, etc., and I like that. More than last time around — last quarter, if you want to use the business-y sounding language for it — I tried to really get a balance across this batch of reviews, posted yesterday and coming up over the next couple days. We’ll see how it works out when it’s over. It remains a ton of stuff, and I hope you dig it. Day two starts right now.

Quarterly review #11-20:

Horsehunter, Caged in Flesh

horsehunter caged in flesh

Pushing their way to the fore of Melbourne‚Äôs heavy surge, double-guitar four-piece The low-cost dissertation writing assistance covers complete dissertation writing, valuable editing and proofreading service, and also useful dissertation guidance Ė which are the most common requirements of the students who look for Application Introduction Letter services on the internet. Besides, you can also avail dissertation formatting services and dissertation paraphrasing services at a low cost. Horsehunter proffer oppressive tonal crush on the four tracks of their 2LP UK voted the #1 business plan writing & consulting service in London. Business plan writing services with unparalleled success rate. Magnetic Eye Records debut, You can buy college papers, buy college term paper, Scientific Paper Writing Services, buy essay online, and the most important - buy cheap essays right here! Caged in Flesh. The story goes that, unsatisfied the initial recordings weren‚Äôt heavy enough, the band ‚Äď guitarists Very affordable Citing An Essay Mlas from professional and passionate bloggers. Michael Harutyanyan (also vocals) and Want to buy dissertations Online? MyAssignmenthelp.com is the best place to Ima Holla Back Gotta Do My Homework. Leave your dissertation problems behind and Buy Dan McDonald, bassist/vocalist Our highly-qualified dissertation writers will see to it that only the enter site are delivered to you. If you're ready to use our services, order and buy your dissertation online today from Bestdissertations.com. You'll be impressed by our unparalleled professional writing services. Order now . Dissertation Thesis Editing Proofreading Formatting More services. Special offer. 15-50 Himi Stringer and drummer Legit Resourcess exist Ė they write best essays, have reasonable, cheap prices, many recommendations and they are confidential. There are also many essay writing service scams which are not to be trusted or legal. Students often find themselves in a problem of determining what is the top essay writing service for them even though they read many essay writing service reviews Nick Cron ‚Äď went back into the studio and redid the entire thing. Mission accomplished. By the time 16-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) ‚ÄúStoned to Death‚ÄĚ is done, lungs are suitably deflated, spines are cracked, skulls cleaved, and so on. They‚Äôre hardly the only ones in the world to conjure formidable tonal heft, but it‚Äôs the deft changes in vocals ‚Äď clean here, shouts there, more abrasive at the start of the title-track ‚Äď and the sense of atmosphere in the three-minute penultimate interlude that really distinguish Get the Eaton39s Corrasable Bond Typewriter Paper you need for MBA application success. Horsehunter, as well as how smoothly that atmosphere integrates with the pummel in the second half of closer ‚ÄúWitchery,‚ÄĚ attention to detail and awareness of the need for more than just sonic weight boding well for future progression.

Horsehunter on Thee Facebooks

Magnetic Eye Records on Bandcamp

Church, Unanswered Hymns

church unanswered hymns

A staggeringly heavy debut full-length from Sacramento, CA, five-piece read this done by the world class writers at any time you want. All we want from you is to provide us with the information that is Church, Students are always looking for a legit, safe, and competent Places To Do Community Service. The best essay writing service that we know of is PaperNow.org. It's cheap, run by professionals, and always delivers the promise. If you have no time to do written homework or some assignments appear to mind-cracking, then our writing services are your best shot. There are 9 reasons why our essay service is Unanswered Hymns was initially released digitally by the band and quickly picked up for a cassette issue by Need The Cask Of Amontillados? Browse profiles and reviews of top rated editors and have your writing professionally edited today. Transylvanian Tapes and forthcoming LP through Getting the custom written dissertation from the http://www.leinefelde-worbis.de/?assignment-of-receivables is a legit thing to do. Youíre not engaging in any unlawful activities. Youíll read at least one dissertation writing services review at our website, and weíll take you to the right destination. We recognized the need of PhD candidates to get professional dissertation writing help online. Since there are many Battleground Records. One gets the sense listening to the three extended tracks ‚Äď 19-minute opener ‚ÄúDawning‚ÄĚ being the longest of the bunch (immediate points) ‚Äď that those won‚Äôt be the last versions to come. Psychedelic doom blends seamlessly with vicious sludge extremity, creating a morass engulfing in its tones, spacious in its breadth and unrepentantly heavy, making it one of 2015‚Äôs best debut releases, hands down, and a glorious revelry in bleak tectonics that challenges the listener to match its level of melancholy without giving into an impulse for post- Professional Written Essay for students at all universities. Accredited editor. Grammar, spelling, punctuation, referencing. Pallbearer emotive theatrics. As thrilling as they are plodding, expect the echoes of ‚ÄúDawning,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúStargazer‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúOffering‚ÄĚ to resonate for some time to come, and should Thesis editing service and theses thesis and phd thesis professionally proofread and editing service from the besides of returning customers. The expected to save. Finish your project for me, for all levels: we promise you can do your you 100% guaranteed. Free guide. Give phd Writing College Essays For Money and save your school or best dissertation. Research and graduate level. Money-Back guaranteed Church show any predilection for touring in the next couple years, they have the potential to make a genuine impact on American doom. Yes, I mean it.

Church on Thee Facebooks

Transylvanian Tapes

Battleground Records

Corpse Light, Without Form

corpse light without form

Recorded in a day and released by dissertation multiple intelligences Now: Save Your Time With Our Writing Service. Students buy custom college essays not because they are unable to write themselves; it is just because they have a lot of things to pay attention to every day. Sometimes students have to attend lectures early in the morning, do their homework, complete the lab projects, and sometimes they are asked to finish a presentation on the spot. In Grimoire Records, the four-track Without Form is slated as the debut from Baltimore atmospheric doomers Corpse Light, but the band have had tracks come out in drips and drabs since getting their start as Ophidian in mid-2012, even if this is their first proper release. Either way, ‚ÄúThe Fool‚ÄĚ sets up an immediate and grim ambience, the churning lurch from guitarists Keiran Holmes and Don Selner and bassist Aurora Raiten set to roll by Lawrence Grimes (The Osedax) and given earthy aggression by the vocals of Jim Webb. ‚ÄúLying in State‚ÄĚ fleshes out these morose aggro vibes, but it‚Äôs with the drop-everything-and-kill peak of the subsequent ‚ÄúR Complex‚ÄĚ that Corpse Light hit their angriest mark. If Without Form was just about that, it would be the highlight, but the album‚Äôs 29 minutes have more to offer than pissed off tonally-weighted post-hardcore, as closer ‚ÄúKenophobia‚ÄĚ‚Äôs clever turns and deceptive forward momentum demonstrate, though a touch of that kind of thing never hurts either.

Corpse Light on Thee Facebooks

Grimoire Records on Bandcamp

Sunder, Demo

sunder demo

Heavy psych four-piece Sunder will make their debut this summer through Tee Pee and Crusher Records with a 7‚ÄĚ for ‚ÄúCursed Wolf,‚ÄĚ so consider this notice of the tracks on their not-for-public-consumption demo a heads up on things to come. Their ‚ÄúDeadly Flower‚ÄĚ was streamed here this past April, and the band‚Äôs previous incarnation, The Socks, released their self-titled debut (review here) on Small Stone in 2014, but with songs like the key-laced stomper ‚ÄúBleeding Trees,‚ÄĚ the ‚Äė70s rusher ‚ÄúAgainst the Grain,‚ÄĚ and the Uncle Acid-style swinging ‚ÄúDaughter of the Snows,‚ÄĚ the Lyon, France, outfit continue to refine a style drawing together different vibes of the psychedelic era. ‚ÄúDeadly Flower‚ÄĚ was also distinguished by its key work, and as for ‚ÄúCursed Wolf‚ÄĚ itself, the melody reminds of proto-psych Beatles singles (thinking ‚ÄúRain‚ÄĚ specifically), but the groove still holds firm to a sense of weight that‚Äôs thoroughly modern, and by that I mean it sounds like 1972.¬†Keep an eye out.

Sunder on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records

T-Tops, T-Tops

t-tops t-tops

Granted not everyone is going to make this immediate association, but when I first saw the moniker¬†T-Tops, I couldn‚Äôt help think of like C-grade generic stonerisms, songs about beer and pretending to be from the South and all that. If you experienced something similar in seeing the name, rest easy. The Pittsburgh trio of guitarist/vocalist Pat Waters (ex-The Fitt, Wormrigg), bassist Jason Orr (Wormrigg) and drummer Jason Jouver (ex-Don Caballero) are down with far more sinister punk and noise on their self-titled, self-released debut full-length, riding, shooting straight and speaking truth on cuts like ‚ÄúWipe Down‚ÄĚ and the catchy ‚ÄúPretty on a Girl‚ÄĚ after the tense sampling of ‚ÄúA Certain Cordial Exhilaration‚ÄĚ turns over the power-push to ‚ÄúCruisin‚Äô for a Bruisin‚Äô.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúRalphie‚ÄĚ is probably an inside-joke if not a Christmas Story reference, but point is these guys are way less about-to-sing-about-muscle-cars than the name implies and their tight, crisp rhythmic turns come accompanied by vicious tonal force and an utter lack of bullshit, which is a scenario far preferable to that which one might otherwise expect.

T-Tops on Thee Facebooks

T-Tops on Bandcamp

The Space Merchants, The Space Merchants

the space merchants the space merchants

Issued by Aqulamb in the imprint‚Äôs standard 100-page art book/download format, the self-titled debut from fellow Brooklynites The Space Merchants seeks to draw a line between psychedelic rock and country. And not pretend country like people with a Johnny Cash fetish because he covered that Nine Inch Nails song one time ‚Äď actual, bright, pastoral, classic country. Call the results psychtwang and applaud the effort, which works oddly well in a thoroughly vintage context to come across on ‚ÄúMainline the Sun‚ÄĚ like something from a lost ‚Äė60s variety show. Parts of ‚ÄúOne Cut Like the Moon‚ÄĚ and the later fuzz of ‚ÄúOne Thousand Years of Boredom‚ÄĚ give away their modernity, but The Space Merchants‚Äô push toward a stylistic niche suits them well, and the intertwined vocal arrangements from guitarist Michael Guggino, bassist Aileen Brophy and keyboardist Ani Monteleone ‚Äď Carter Logan drums to round out the four-piece ‚Äď add to the rich, welcoming feel that remains prevalent even as the eight-minute ‚ÄúWhere‚Äôs the Rest of Life‚ÄĚ slips into wah-soaked noise to finish out.

The Space Merchants on Thee Facebooks

Aqualamb on Bandcamp

Etiolated, Grey Limbs, Grey Skies

etoliated grey limbs grey skies

The undercurrent of black metal coursing beneath the surface of Etiolated‚Äôs debut full-length, Grey Limbs, Grey Skies, eventually comes to the surface in 10-minute opener ‚ÄúInternal Abyss‚ÄĚ and 16-minute eponymous closer, which bookends, but in part it‚Äôs the tension of waiting for those rampaging surges that keeps one hooked to the Armus Productions release. Guttural death growls echo up from dense tonal reaches, and tempo shifts, whether in those longer tracks or three-minute lumbering slice ‚ÄúFutility‚ÄĚ are fluid, the North Carolina five-piece executing a slow-grinding chug in centerpiece ‚ÄúExsanguinate,‚ÄĚ which seems like a murk without end until the 1:47 ‚ÄúFor Your Hell‚ÄĚ kicks into a speedier, more blackened rush, guest vocalist Ryan McCarthy joining guitarist/vocalists James Storelli and Walls, bassist Cody Rogers and drummer Elliot Thompson in furthering the already prevalent sense of extremism before ‚ÄúEtiolated,‚ÄĚ after a surprisingly peaceful if brooding midsection, plods the album to a close. To say ‚Äúnot for the faint of heart‚ÄĚ would be putting it lightly, but if I had a vest and if Etiolated¬†had patches, the two parties would definitely meet up at some point in the near future.

Etiolated on Thee Facebooks

Armus Productions on Bandcamp

Blown Out, Planetary Engineering

blown out planetary engineering

It has not taken long for the discography of UK psych jammers Blown Out to become a populated murky cosmos of its own. Planetary Engineering is released on Oaken Palace Records and finds the three-piece of guitarist Mike Vest (also Bong, etc.), bassist John-Michael Hedley (also Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs) and drummer Matt Baty (also the head of Box Records) exploring two mesmeric and sprawling instrumentals ‚Äď one per side ‚Äď that bend and flourish and hypnotize in organically-concocted swirl. Side A‚Äôs ‚ÄúTranscending Deep Infinity‚ÄĚ tops 20 minutes and shifts from its spacey build to a low key groove at about 7:30 in, pulsing forward once more amid head-turning repetition, deep echoes and longform nod, culminating in a two-minute fadeout that brings forward ‚ÄúThousand Years in the Sunshine,‚ÄĚ an immediate bass groove and interstellar swirl no less trance-inducing than its predecessor. Cyclical drum fills morph over time behind the guitar and bass, and Planetary Engineering seems to push continually further out until, of course, it disintegrates, presumably as it crosses the galactic barrier.

Blown Out on Thee Facebooks

Oaken Palace Records on Bandcamp

Les Discrets, Live at Roadburn

les discrets live at roadburn

I was fortunate enough to have been in attendance at Het Patronaat in Tilburg when French post-black metallers Les Discrets took the stage at Roadburn 2013. As such, it‚Äôs with some trepidation I approach their Live at Roadburn recording on Prophecy Productions ‚Äď the impression they made live wasn‚Äôt something I‚Äôd want potentially spoiled or brought to earth by a document proving it was just another set. With Neige of Alcest on bass with guitarist/vocalist Fursy Teyssier, Les Discrets proved to be something really special to those who, like me, were there to catch them, and the eight-track Live at Roadburn ‚Äď fortunately ‚Äď captures both the majestic lushness they brought with them and the underlying weight that seemed to add impact to the material. What might sound like post-production mixing on ‚ÄúL‚ÄôEchapp√©e‚ÄĚ or the wash of ‚ÄúChanson D‚ÄôAutomne‚ÄĚ isn‚Äôt ‚Äď it really was that beautiful and that perfectly balanced coming from the stage. A vastly underrated act and a document that reminds of how stellar they were without sullying the memory in the slightest.

Les Discrets on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions

Beast Modulus, Beast Modulus

beast-modulus-beast-modulus

Brooklynite foursome Beast Modulus seem to care less about meshing with ideas of genre than sticking them in a meatgrinder and seeing what comes out. To wit the riotous chugging of ‚ÄúCowboy Caligula,‚ÄĚ and the blackened thrust of ‚ÄúWaSaBi!‚ÄĚ on their self-released, self-titled outing, which leads to dueling growls and screams on the tonally weighted post-hardcore ‚ÄúFabulous,‚ÄĚ and the appropriately mathy turns of the thrashing ‚ÄúTyranny of Numbers.‚ÄĚ Inventive in their stylizations and in where the six songs included on the release actually go ‚Äď hint: they go to ‚Äúheavy‚ÄĚ ‚Äď the lineup of vocalist Kurt Applegate, guitarist Owen Burley, bassist Jesse Adelson and drummer Jody Smith have some post-Dillinger Escape Plan vibe in the calculated chaos of ‚ÄúKalashnikov,‚ÄĚ but closer ‚ÄúKilling Champion‚ÄĚ is too impatient to even be held by that, the prevailing manic angularity of Beast Modulus ultimately crafting its own identity from the physical assault the music seems intent on perpetrating upon the listener.

Beast Modulus on Thee Facebooks

Beast Modulus on Bandcamp

 

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audiObelisk Transmission 044

Posted in Podcasts on January 29th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Click Here to Download

 

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

I’m happy to report that of all the podcasts I’ve ever put together, front to back, I think this one came together the smoothest. No programs crashed, no uploads were interrupted halfway through. Unless I click “Publish” and the internet eats this entire site, it’s safe to say this was the easiest time I’ve had putting together a collection of tracks to be featured here. Could it be I’m getting better at it? Nah. Dumb luck all the way. As I recall, last time I said something of the sort, the next month my editing software crapped out and it was a year before I got another program that worked. You’d think I might learn to keep my mouth shut.

Keeping current with this month was something of a concern. It’s hard to fill out 2015 releases since we’re only a month into the year, but even if some of this stuff is 2014, it’s later 2014 for sure, and the vast majority of it did wind up being 2015. The second hour, which has become a sort of psych blissout over the last however-many podcasts, actually gets pretty heavy and doomed this time around. Change is good for the soul. As always, hope you enjoy:

First Hour:
Torche, ‚ÄúLoose Men‚ÄĚ from Restarter
Bloodcow, ‚ÄúCrystals and Lasers‚ÄĚ from Crystals and Lasers
Elder, ‚ÄúCompendium‚ÄĚ from Lore
Lacertilia, ‚ÄúDo Something!‚ÄĚ from Crashing into the Future
Ruby the Hatchet, ‚ÄúTomorrow Never Comes‚ÄĚ from Valley of the Snake
Carpet, ‚ÄúRiot Kiss‚ÄĚ from Riot Kiss 7‚ÄĚ
Black Moon Circle, ‚ÄúSupernova‚ÄĚ from Andromeda
Desert Storm, ‚ÄúHouse of Salvation‚ÄĚ from Omniscient
Spidergawd, ‚ÄúFixing to Die Blues‚ÄĚ from Spidergawd II
Bellringer, ‚ÄúVon Fledermaus‚ÄĚ from EP
Romero, ‚ÄúGold for the Hunt‚ÄĚ from Gold for the Hunt Single
Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, ‚ÄúLava‚ÄĚ from Brothers of the Sonic Cloth

Second Hour:
Sumac, ‚ÄúBlight‚Äôs End Angel‚ÄĚ from The Deal
Horsehunter, ‚ÄúStoned to Death‚ÄĚ from Caged in Flesh
The Devil and the Almighty Blues, ‚ÄúStorm Coming Down‚ÄĚ from The Devil and the Almighty Blues
Saturndust, ‚ÄúRealm of Nothing‚ÄĚ from Saturndust
Sonny Simmons & Moksha Samnyasin, ‚ÄúWe are Entering a Place of That‚ÄĚ from Nomadic

Total running time: 1:55:50

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 044

 

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Tomorrow’s Dream 2015: 90 of the Year’s Most Anticipated Releases

Posted in Features on January 21st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

This is the longest list of anything I’ve ever done, and it might be the longest I ever do. The truth is, when I started keeping track of things coming out in 2015, back around October/November, I had no idea what I was getting into. More and more names just kept getting added to the list, and between solid release dates, bands entering the studio, writing sessions underway and the usual round of vague “they’re due”-type speculation, it kept growing. Even now, I’m quite sure that by the time I’m finished with this, I’ll add something else, and 90¬†will become 91, and then someone will point out something glaring I forgot and 91 will become 92, and so on.

I don’t think I could reasonably expect anyone to read 90¬†complete entries, so I’ve broken it down somewhat. There are 52 weeks in a year, so my thinking is that if you buy one record per week, I’ve got recommendations to carry through till December (with the acknowledgement that we’re already a couple weeks into 2015) and then more beyond that. Even asking you to skim 52 entries is a lot, but hell, we’ve got 12 months until 2016, so there’s plenty of time. We’ll do 52 entries and then list the others, both alphabetically.

Thank you in advance for reading.

1. Acid King, Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere

Acid King Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere

If this was my year-end list instead of my year-start list,¬†Acid King‘s¬†Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere¬†would be my album of the year. Best album of 2015 about 20 days into it? Maybe. The Oakland trio’s first outing in nearly a decade is a joy of languid riffing and heavy spaceout, songs like “Coming down from Outer Space” and “Center of Everywhere” reminding of just what it is we’ve been missing about¬†Acid King¬†all these years. They’ve continued to play live all that time, of course, and¬†Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere, which is due April 14 on¬†Svart, plainly demonstrates that they’ve lost none of the potency for years absent from studio work. More to come.¬†Acid King on Thee Facebooks, Svart Records.

2. All Them Witches, TBA

all them witches tba

The¬†Nashville four-piece blew up following the 2013 digital release of their second album,¬†Lightning at the Door, which saw a physical pressing last year (review here), and with a growing public at their heels and a salivating underground press anxious to hear what they come up with next,¬†All Them Witches¬†hit the studio this month to put together their third full-length. They’re on tour in Feb., and it seems reasonable to expect they’ll be trying out new material on the road, but as free-flowing as¬†Lightning at the Door¬†was, it’s hard not to consider the follow-up one of 2015’s most anticipated records, whenever it arrives and whatever shape(s) it takes.¬†All Them Witches on Thee Facebooks, official website.

3. Anthroprophh, U.F.O.

UFO Vinyl Sleeve.qxp

Guitarist/vocalist¬†Paul Allen, formerly¬†of¬†The Heads,¬†teamed up with Jesse Webb and Gareth Turner of the duo¬†Big Naturals¬†as his rhythm section for 2014’s¬†Outside the Circle¬†(review here), and for his new release under the¬†Anthroprophh¬†moniker for¬†Cardinal Fuzz,¬†Allen¬†centers around different U.F.O. abduction reports from the UK between 1954 and 1978, each of the eight tracks taking its name from the date and location of a reported incident. Sound fucking awesome? Yeah, I agree. Expect raw psychedelic experimentation, heavy swing and interpretive instrumentalism galore on the two-sided release when it gets declassified on Feb. 2, pressed in an edition of 500 copies.¬†Anthroprophh on Thee Facebooks, Cardinal Fuzz.

4. Arenna, TBA

arenna cover

Spanish heavy psych outfit Arenna will release the follow-up to their 2011 Nasoni Records debut, Beats of Olarizu (review here), and they just this week posted the 10-minute opener “Butes” from their sophomore outing (listen here). The first album earned them a hearty following, and it’s been four years since it came out, but somehow I doubt¬†Arenna¬†will have much trouble picking up where they left off in their wide-open, jam-heavy sound. They mark a decade together in 2015, and they seem to just be getting started, so I’m particularly interested to learn how the European heavy underground takes to their second LP, which is due to be mastered next month and released sometime thereafter.¬†Arenna on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

5. The Atomic Bitchwax, Gravitron

the atomic bitchwax

New¬†Bitchwax? Sold. The stalwart New Jersey three-piece — now featuring¬†two¬†members of¬†Monster Magnet¬†— will release¬†Gravitron¬†on April 21 via¬†Tee Pee Records, just in time to make a stop a few days later at¬†Desertfest¬†London 2015. They toured Europe last summer as well, and I think the fact that they’ll be over that way when they put¬†Gravitron¬†out speaks volumes to their priorities at this point, but who can blame them? Perpetually underappreciated in the US, they’ll follow-up 2011’s¬†The Local Fuzz¬†(review here) in grand form at¬†Desertfest¬†(they play Berlin as well), finally getting their due even if they have to get on a plane to get it.¬†The Atomic Bitchwax on Thee Facebooks, Tee Pee Records.

6. Black Cobra, TBA

black-cobra

Hints were dropped back in November that raging two-piece¬†Black Cobra¬†were working on material for a new album. Whenever it arrives, this year or next, it will be their sixth and first since 2011’s¬†Invernal¬†(review here), which I don’t think I’m alone in counting as their finest moment to-date. They’ll also be at¬†Desertfest¬†for a return appearance, and wherever they go, devastation follows. They posted this week that their tour van has passed the 300,000-mile mark, which is emblematic of the workout they’ve given it over the last decade-plus, and I’d expect no slowdown, tempo¬†or itinerary-wise, from them in 2015, regular oil changes notwithstanding.¬†Black Cobra on Thee Facebooks, Southern Lord Recordings.

7. Black Rainbows, Hawkdope

black rainbows hawkdope

There are 90-someodd bands included in this feature, all told. Might be over 100. I’m not sure anybody beats¬†Italian trio¬†Black Rainbows¬†in the album-title department, however.¬†Hawkdope, man. Hard to mess with that. Guitarist/vocalist¬†Gabriele Fiori¬†continues to keep his finger on the pulse of European heavy rock with his Heavy Psych Sounds¬†imprint, and while I haven’t heard¬†Hawkdope¬†yet, it seems likely they’ll continue the push toward heavy psychedelia that 2013’s¬†Holy Moon¬†EP (discussed here) and their inclusions in last year’s four-way split (review here) spoke of, but of course, they can always throw down some top notch fuzz riffing as well.¬†Black Rainbows on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

8. Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth

brothers of the sonic cloth brothers of the sonic cloth

Six years after the arrival of their demo (review here),¬†Brothers of the Sonic Cloth¬†will make their self-titled debut through¬†Neurot Recordings¬†on Feb. 17. Immediately notable for being the brainchild of guitarist/vocalist¬†Tad Doyle¬†(ex-TAD), bassist¬†Peggy “Pegadeth” Doyle¬†and drummer¬†Dave French,¬†Brothers of the Sonic Cloth¬†pushes plodding heavy into seething aggression with a lumber¬†only made more potent by¬†Billy Anderson‘s production. It’s been a while in the making, true, but the album’s execution leaves no room for argument in¬†its lung-deflating tonal density. Justifies the wait and then some.¬†Brothers of the Sonic Cloth on Thee Facebooks, Neurot Recordings.

9. Chiefs, Tomorrow’s Over

chiefs tomorrow's over

With vinyl to follow in May on¬†Battleground Records, Arizona/SoCal heavy rockers¬†Chiefs¬†will release their debut LP, Tomorrow’s Over, via¬†Roosevelt Row¬†on Feb. 24. Its striking cover art by¬†David Paul Seymour¬†offers immediate intrigue, as did¬†Chiefs‘ inclusion on their 2014 split 7″ with¬†Fuzz Evil¬†(streamed here). The song from that, “Stone Bull,” won’t be featured on the album, but all four cuts from¬†Chiefs‘ 2013¬†Buffalo Roam¬†demo will, which should give you some indication as to how much the trio got it right the first time around. The title-track of the demo opens, and the album takes its name from one of the demo tracks as well, so it all ties together.¬†Chiefs on Thee Facebooks, Battleground Records, Roosevelt Row Records.

10. Clutch, TBA

clutch

Clutch‘s¬†Earth Rocker¬†(review here) was the undisputed high point of 2013, and the long-running Maryland four-piece have returned to the¬†Machine Shop¬†studio (now located in Texas) to record the follow-up to it. They’ve been playing new material live for a while now, as they’ll do, and while they always manage to change things up from album to album, the fact that they’ve going back to work with¬†Machine¬†again makes in plain that they’re where they want to be at this point sound-wise. As if there was ever any doubt. Their forever-tour will continue, but it’s good to know they’re taking a little break from the road to put together another slab for their always-expanding, always-frothing fanbase.¬†Clutch on Thee Facebooks, Weathermaker Music.

11. Conan, TBA

conan

I’m not sure if it will be out before the end of 2015, but whenever it arrives, the next¬†Conan¬†should be a much different affair than we’ve yet heard from the UK thunderplodders, whose 2014¬†Napalm Records¬†debut,¬†Blood Eagle¬†(review here), further established their dominance among the heaviest bands in doom. Since that album hit, guitarist/vocalist¬†Jon Davis¬†has traded out two-thirds of the trio, bringing in producer¬†Chris Fielding¬†on bass/vocals and new drummer¬†Rich Lewis.¬†Davis‘ riffs have always been at the core of what makes¬†Conan¬†the beast they are, so I wouldn’t expect much fixing of what isn’t broken, but don’t be surprised if some different personalities emerge in¬†Fielding¬†and¬†Lewis¬†as well.¬†Conan on Thee Facebooks, Conan’s webstore.

12. Colour Haze, To the Highest Gods We Know

CH_TTHGWK_BOOKLET 4&1

Yeah, I’m sneaking this one in here. Sorry, but frankly, I think¬†Colour Haze¬†deserve more than a toss-it-out-there mid-December album release date, so instead of the CD release, which was last month, I’m choosing to think of the impending Feb./March vinyl issue as the official one for¬†To the Highest Gods We Know¬†(review here), which is both a fascinating and fitting answer to¬†Colour Haze‘s 2012 outing,¬†She Said (review here). Feels strange so early in the year to start calling out end-of-year highlights, but between this and¬†Acid King, I feel like two of my top five are already set in stone, and that’s a pretty good start to any year.¬†Colour Haze¬†are one of the most important heavy rock bands of their generation, and they continue to expand their form and the genre as a whole.¬†Colour Haze’s website, Elektrohasch Schallplatten.

13. Corrections House, TBA

corrections-house-logo

Their totalitarian fetishizing well intact, the it’s-a-supergroup-but-don’t-call-it-a-supergroup¬†Corrections House¬†announced back in November that they’d have a sophomore effort out this year to follow their 2013 debut,¬†Last City Zero. The returning lineup of guitarist¬†Scott Kelly¬†(Neurosis), vocalist¬†Mike Williams¬†(Eyehategod), saxophonist¬†Bruce Lamont¬†(Yakuza) and keyboardist/programmer¬†Sanford Parker¬†(Buried at Sea, etc.) is enough to warrant attention in itself, and while their industrial tinged output isn’t really my thing sound-wise, they’re not an assemblage easily ignored. Hopefully a recently canceled round of tour dates doesn’t derail the new release plams.¬†Corrections House on Thee Facebooks, at Neurot Recordings.

14. Corsair, One Eyed Horse

corsair one eyed horse

Virginian dual-guitar classic heavy rock/metallers¬†Corsair¬†are now three years removed from their¬†Shadow Kingdom Records¬†self-titled debut (review here), and their new album,¬†One Eyed Horse, arrives with a striking-almost-disturbing cover and a refined progressive edge. Their melodic sensibility has never been in question, and guitarists¬†Marie Landragin and¬†Paul Sebring, bassist¬†Jordan Brunk¬†(who, like the guitarists, contributes vocals) and drummer¬†Michael Taylor¬†will look to expand their reach even further with the eight new vinyl-ready tracks. One looks forward to the album and hopes for a tour in equal measure.¬†Corsair’s website, Shadow Kingdom Records.

15. Crypt Sermon, Out of the Garden

crypt-sermon-out-of-the-garden

Classic doom bleeds through the cover of Philly five-piece Crypt Sermon‘s debut full-length,¬†Out of the Garden. Set to release Feb. 24 on¬†Dark Descent Records, I’d expect¬†Out of the Garden¬†to be an early highlight for the year in doom despite being¬†Crypt Sermon‘s first outing. Their Demo MMXIII¬†(review here)¬†found them well schooled in the tenets of the downtrodden, and while the record may end up a sleeper, it’s one that no doubt will find its way to the right ears; namely those of the old school doomers tired of psychedelic idolatry, who want something dark, beaten and grueling without concern for genre-melding or novelty. So, doom on.¬†Crypt Sermon on Thee Facebooks, Dark Descent Records.

16. Ecstatic Vision, TBA

ecstatic vision

Also based in Philadelphia, heavy psych troupe¬†Ecstatic Vision¬†signed to¬†Relapse¬†on the strength of a demo and an apparent willingness to hit the road — they’ll do so this spring alongside¬†YOB¬†and¬†Enslaved — and as just about any band who’s ever sent that label a rough recording will likely tell you, that’s no small feat. I was fortunate enough to catch them in Brooklyn last month (opening for¬†YOB, as it happened), and the appeal was easy to see in their space rock jamming, lighting effects and propensity for deceptively quick rhythmic turns. A debut offering is reportedly due this year, and as it will come after they spend a month on the road, I expect it will be something to behold.¬†Ecstatic Vision on Thee Facebooks, Relapse Records.

17. Elder, Lore

elder-lore

What to say about¬†Elder? They’re a bright spot in the hope for the next generation of heavy rock, but they were that already. What really distinguishes their third album,¬†Lore, is the fiercely progressive bent of the tracks, songs like “Compendium” (streamed here)¬†taking the hypnotic rhythms of 2012’s¬†Dead Roots Stirring¬†(review here) and refining what¬†Elder¬†— the trio of guitarist/vocalist¬†Nick DiSalvo, bassist¬†Jack Donovan¬†and drummer¬†Matt Couto¬†— do with a newfound clarity of purpose and precision execution. They make well-thought-out songs sound exciting front to back, and if you’ve ever dug anything they’ve done, you’re going to shit a brick when you hear the title-track of¬†Lore.¬†Elder on Thee Facebooks, Armageddon Shop, Stickman Records.

18. Enslaved, In Times

enslaved-in-times

I make no bones or apologies about being an¬†Enslaved¬†fan. The Norwegian progressive black metallers strip down their presentation with¬†In Times, the follow-up to 2012’s¬†Riitiir¬†(review here), solidifying some aspects of their approach while nodding at the brutality of yore in a still-somehow-forward-thinking manner. They never fail to deliver, and they’ve long since hit a stride where they can deliver album after album and come up with ways to advance their sound each time out. Recording themselves has only made them bolder over their last couple records, and¬†In Times¬†benefits from this in its brought-to-fruition experiments as well. It would take a lot for these guys to do wrong in my eyes.¬†Enslaved on Thee Facebooks, Nuclear Blast Records.

19. Eye, TBA

eye

They’re the Midwest’s inadvertent answer to the West Coast’s Moog-prog vibing, and Ohio’s¬†Eye¬†want for nothing in comparison to any of their coastal contemporaries. The photo above was taken recently in the studio — I’ll just assume the room is actually that color when they record and that that is not, in fact, an Instagram filter — tracking their third record and follow-up to 2013’s brilliant-yes-brilliant¬†Second Sight¬†(review here), which rightfully garnered attention far and wide. No release date yet for the new one from what I’ve seen, but the album is reportedly done, so hopefully it won’t be too long before it sees release, most likely on vinyl since that seems to be where the band’s heart lies.¬†Eye on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

20. Freedom Hawk, TBA

freedom hawk

After an appearance last year at¬†Roadburn¬†and confirmation of a return trip to Europe this spring for¬†Freak Valley¬†in Germany, Virginia’s¬†Freedom Hawk¬†would seem to have considerably expanded their reach. Last year saw them lose guitarist¬†Matt Cave¬†and transition from a four-piece to a trio, and they were in the studio in the fall to record their second album for¬†Small Stone¬†behind their 2011 label debut,¬†Holding On¬†(review here), and while I’m not sure if it’s finished or if it will be out in time for the band’s sojourn abroad, one assumes it will be out sooner or later. Their late-2013¬†Live at the Jewish Mother¬†download makes a decent stopgap if you’ve got a hankering, but they’re due for a new one for sure.¬†Freedom Hawk on Thee Facebooks, Small Stone Records.

21. Glowsun, Glowsun

glowsun glowsun

In a recent discussion about finally picking up¬†Glowsun‘s 2012 outing,¬†Eternal Season, I said¬†I wasn’t going to miss their next record, so I guess you could call this me holding myself to that task. The French heavy psych outfit have a new one, apparently self-titled — though of course I could be wrong; I’m just going by the album art — due out for release this Spring. I haven’t seen an official date from¬†Napalm¬†for when it’s due, but it’s not one I’m going to let slip by one way or another as I did for far too long with¬†Eternal Season. Some mistakes don’t bear repeating, and¬†Glowsun‘s output is of a quality that demands immediacy. At least now I know it. Ha.¬†Glowsun on Thee Facebooks, Napalm Records.

22. Goatsnake, TBA

goatsnake

Rumors abound about a new¬†Goatsnake. They’re in the studio, this is done, that isn’t done, they’re over here, over there. They’re headlining¬†Freak Valley¬†and playing¬†Psycho California, and they headlined¬†Southwest Terror Fest III¬†last fall, but the last official word I saw about a new album — it would be their first since their 2004¬†Trampled Under Hoof¬†EP — was last Sept., when word came down that it was happening at all and that¬†Southern Lord¬†would put it out. A timetable on when would be convenient, but maybe that’s asking too much and I should be grateful¬†it’s even being discussed. They remain on my bucket list of bands to see before I die. One of these days I’ll get there.¬†Southern Lord Recordings, Southern Lord on Thee Facebooks.

23. Gozu, TBA

gozu

Probably the biggest change for Boston’s¬†Gozu¬†since the 2013 release of their second album for¬†Small Stone,¬†The Fury of a Patient Man¬†(review here), is the solidification of their lineup. As they enter into the process for their third¬†Small Stone¬†outing, they’ll do so with bassist¬†Joe Grotto¬†and drummer¬†Mike Hubbard.¬†Grotto¬†played on part of¬†Fury, but¬†Hubbard¬†(ex-Warhorse) is a new presence entirely in the band. They’ve also experimented with a third guitarist, so they might not be¬†so¬†solidified, but they’ve got a monster of a core four-piece to work with in¬†Grotto,¬†Hubbard, guitarist/vocalist¬†Marc Gaffney¬†and guitarist¬†Doug Sherman, and they seem poised to get the most out of the chemistry they’ve busted their collective ass to develop.¬†Gozu on Thee Facebooks, Small Stone Records.

24. High on Fire, TBA

high on fire

I feel like a new¬†High on Fire¬†record isn’t even just an event for heavy rock at this point but for metal as a whole. The¬†Matt Pike-fronted three-piece hit the studio this month (this week?) after a quick tour up the East Coast, returning to Massachusetts to work with¬†Converge‘s¬†Kurt Ballou¬†at his¬†Godcity Studios, where they also busted out 2012’s¬†De Vermis Mysteriis¬†(review here). For anyone who heard that record, it should be plain why they’d want to work with¬†Ballou¬†again — even enough to go to¬†Massachusetts in January — and whenever their next one shows up, no doubt it will do so as one of 2015’s most anticipated offerings. I’m not sure what to expect other than “heavy,” but that’s enough to go on for now.¬†High on Fire on Thee Facebooks, eOne Metal.

25. Hollow Leg, TBA

hollow leg god-eater

My interest was piqued early last year when Floridian sludgers¬†Hollow Leg¬†issued their¬†God-Eater¬†single and spoke of it as the beginning of a change in direction. The change? More melody, a less outright aggressive style, more of an emphasis on thickness rather than rawness. As a starting point, the song “God-Eater” seemed to bode well, and I’m hoping in 2015 that¬†Hollow Leg¬†follow through at least partially on its promise. Not that the viciousness of 2013’s second LP,¬†Abysmal¬†(review here), left me particularly wanting, just that they seemed to be following a fulfilling new-ish path, and I thought the sound was one worth pursuing. They’ve said their third will be out this year, so I’ll take it.¬†Hollow Leg on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

26. Horsehunter, Caged in Flesh

horsehunter caged in flesh

Australian four-piece¬†Horsehunter¬†made an impression a few weeks back with the 16-minute “Stoned to Death,” the opening track from their¬†Magnetic Eye Records¬†debut LP,¬†Caged in Flesh, and it stands to reason why. Crushing tones, brutal vibes and hints of psychedelic wash abounded on what was a gripping sample of the album, which the band had recorded, scapped because it wasn’t heavy enough and then recorded again. There are four songs on¬†Caged in Flesh, so “Stoned to Death” is literally just the beginning for¬†Horsehunter, whose foreboding atmospherics come across no less punishing than their most weighted of tones.¬†Horsehunter on Thee Facebooks, Magnetic Eye Records.

27. Kind, TBA

kind (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I’ve been lucky enough to see Boston¬†four-piece¬†Kind¬†play twice, the lineup of¬†vocalist¬†Craig Riggs¬†(also¬†Roadsaw), guitarist¬†Darryl Shepard¬†(also¬†Black Pyramid,¬†Blackwolfgoat, etc.), bassist¬†Tom Corino¬†(also¬†Rozamov) and drummer¬†Matt Couto¬†(also¬†Elder) taking shape visibly from one show to the next. Their debut full-length is in progress now at the¬†Riggs-owned¬†Mad Oak Studios¬†in Allston, and while I¬†don’t think I can say yet what label it’s coming out on (it’s not¬†Small Stone), the latest word I’ve gotten is that a summer release is booked. Definitely interested to hear how the jams I’ve seen live translate to a studio recording, and how Corino‘s tone comes through¬†Mad Oak‘s board.¬†Kind on Thee Facebooks, on Soundcloud.

28. Kings Destroy, Kings Destroy

kings destroy

So, you’d think the pic of Kings Destroy¬†bassist¬†Aaron Bumpus¬†above is from some recent studio shot while they’re tracking their third album, right? Nope. The self-titled’s been in the can for months. It’s out in April on¬†War Crime Recordings. What¬†Kings Destroy¬†are doing now is working on album number four, and I bet before it comes out, they’ll be on number five. Fiercely creative. I’ve had the¬†KD¬†record for I don’t know how long at this point, and it’s the best thing they’ve done yet. I can’t even pretend to feign impartiality after being asked to tour with them twice last year — a fucking blessing both times — but it’s the closest they’ve come to their live sound so far and that progress suits them remarkably well.¬†Kings Destroy on Thee Facebooks, War Crime Recordings.

29. Lamprey, TBA

lamprey logo

The two-bass Portland trio Lamprey‘s¬†recent stop-motion video for “Iron Awake” served due notice of their impending album, as yet untitled, and while it’s the shortest track on there by a considerable margin, it nonetheless represents the big-crash, big-impact severity of the outing as a whole. Not sure through what label it will surface if one at all or on what media it will be pressed — the word burning above, which I hope is the album cover, may or may not be — but the full-length seems poised to establish them as a force after 2012’s¬†The Burden of Beasts¬†EP (review here) brought their sometimes-plodding, sometimes-sprinting heavy rock into focus. Also, one of the songs is called “Lament of the Deathworm,” and that just rules.¬†Lamprey on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

30. Lord Dying, Poisoned Altars

lord dying poisoned altars

The hard-touring Portlanders teamed up with¬†Dark Castle¬†drummer¬†Rob Shaffer¬†for their sophomore outing for¬†Relapse Records,¬†Poisoned Altars¬†(review here), and though he’s since out of the band, his presence bolsters the songs in¬†Lord Dying‘s blend of¬†High on Fire-style thrash and¬†Crowbar-loyal sludge. A pervasive sense of simplicity helps the material achieve maximum force, but the hard-won nature of¬†Lord Dying‘s cohesion isn’t to be understated or underappreciated — they did about 18 months of touring in support of their first effort,¬†Summon the Faithless. At least they know their time wasn’t misspent. Seems likely they’ll continue to pound the pavement throughout 2015, so keep an eye open.¬†Lord Dying on Thee Facebooks, Relapse Records.

31. Magic Circle, TBA

magic circle (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Rest assured, I’ve seen¬†zero¬†confirmation that a new¬†Magic Circle¬†album is under way. There’s been no word from the by-now-notoriously secretive Massachusetts-based band or their label,¬†Armageddon Shop, on the subject of a follow-up to their 2013 self-titled debut (review here). This is rampant speculation.¬†Their first 7″ was recently re-pressed, though, so there’s activity in their camp one way or another. They also made their way out to Seattle in October to open for¬†Satan, which only emphasizes the fact that you never really know when they’re going to show up until they do. Ditto that their next album, I suppose. Hopefully this year it happens.¬†Armageddom Shop website, on Thee Facebooks.

32. The Midnight Ghost Train, Cold was the Ground

Opmaak 1

Riotous Southern heavy rockers¬†The Midnight Ghost Train¬†have outdone themselves with their¬†Napalm Records¬†debut,¬†Cold was the Ground, taking the rager blues of 2012’s¬†Buffalo¬†(review here) to new heights of manic push. After several years of steady touring, the Kansas-based trio of guitarist/vocalist¬†Steve Moss, drummer¬†Brandon Burghart¬†and¬†bassist¬†Mike Boyne¬†are an explosive live act, and as the recent video premiere for “Gladstone” showcased, their third album reaps the rewards of their labors. It’s due to release March 10 in North America, but I really don’t need to note the date, because you’ll hear it coming a mile away like the freight train that it is.¬†The Midnight Ghost Train on Thee Facebooks, Napalm Records.

33. Minsk, TBA

minsk logo

A new¬†Minsk¬†full-length is an utterly fascinating thought. Sorry if that sounds cold or overly clinical, but it’s true. Consider that it’s been six years since the Chicago post-metallers last released an album. That record, 2009’s¬†With Echoes in the Movement of Stone¬†(review here), hit at what was arguably the pinnacle of post-metal’s stylistic movement, the waters having since receded in no small part because¬†Minsk¬†wasn’t around to push forward creatively. Now, with slots booked at¬†Roadburn¬†and¬†Desertfest, they’ll make a return to the studio as well, and I have absolutely zero idea of what to expect from them.¬†A partially-revamped,¬†Sanford Parker-less lineup only adds further intrigue.¬†Minsk on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

34. Mondo Drag, Mondo Drag

mondo-drag-mondo-drag

This is one of I think two or three releases on this list that’s already out. The self-titled¬†Mondo Drag¬†(review here) nonetheless warrants inclusion for its heavy psych boogie concoctions and natural-toned spirit, not full-on retro but still well-indebted to the heavy ’70s in its use of organ and guitar and the swing of its rhythm section. That rhythm section?¬†Zack Anderson¬†and¬†Cory Berry, who, fresh out of¬†Radio Moscow, stepped in to record with fellow¬†Iowans Mondo Drag¬†in 2012¬†before founding¬†Blues Pills. A shortlived moment in¬†Mondo Drag‘s history, perhaps, but they got a killer record out of it, and while the recordings are already three years old, they’re well worth the time to appreciate.¬†Mondo Drag on Thee Facebooks, Bilocation Records.

35. Monolord, Vaenir

monolord vaenir

Swedish trio¬†Monolord¬†won over hearts and minds bigtime with their 2014¬†RidingEasy Records¬†debut, Empress Rising,¬†earning a spot on the 2014 Readers Poll right between Eyehategod¬†and¬†Mastodon. That’s rather significant company to keep — and all the more so for a band’s first record — and with¬†Vaenir, we’ll get to hear how the intervening year has seen them progress. They’ve already proven a favorite among the converted, and they’ll tour in Feb./March¬†with¬†Salem’s Pot¬†ahead of an appearance at¬†Roadburn¬†prior to¬†Vaenir‘s April 28 arrival¬†date, so it looks like they’ll keep¬†their momentum moving forward through the release and most likely beyond.¬†Monolord on Thee Facebooks, RidingEasy Records.

36. Neurosis, TBA

neurosis

Okay. I don’t know that¬†Neurosis‘ next album will be out in 2015. It’s just not a thing I know. What I know is that the ultra-seminal five-piece are getting together to write in Feb., and that they’re a no-bullshit band when it comes to writing and recording, so the timing works that, if they make new songs happen this winter, their record would probably be ready for release sometime in the summer or early fall. That’s what I’m going on. It might be that they write half the album now and half in 2016, but from what I hear they’re planning on doing some more significant touring this year, so it would stand to reason they’d want to do it with a follow-up to 2012’s¬†Honor Found in Decay¬†(review here)¬†under their collective belt. We’ll see what we get.¬†Neurosis on Thee Facebooks, Neurot Recordings.

37. Pentagram, TBA

pentagram

I saw¬†Pentagram¬†play 20 shows last year. Believe me when I say the pairing of frontman¬†Bobby Liebling¬†and guitarist¬†Victor Griffin¬†has never seemed stronger musically, and with bassist¬†Greg Turley¬†and drummer¬†Sean Saley,¬†Pentagram¬†head into the making of their next album firing on all proverbial cylinders.¬†Metal Blade, who also issued their 2011 comeback album,¬†Last Rites¬†(review here), seems the likely outlet for the yet-untitled offering, which the band will herald with a headlining performance at¬†Psycho California¬†alongside¬†Sleep¬†and¬†Cult of Luna¬†on May 15-17, and which will no doubt dig deep into¬†Pentagram‘s long history of doom for a trove of classic-style riffs.¬†Pentagram on Thee Facebooks, Metal Blade Records.

38. Ruby the Hatchet, Valley of the Snake

ruby the hatchet valley of the snake

A not-so-subtle¬†Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats¬†influence permeates¬†Ruby the Hatchet‘s Tee Pee Records¬†debut,¬†Valley of the Snake, which is something the Philly-based band seems to acknowledge willfully on “Vast Acid,” frontwoman¬†Jillian Taylor¬†crooning “I’ll cut you down” toward the end of the song in a call-out of one of the UK outfit’s most resonant hooks. Otherwise, the organ-laced five-piece get down on more psychedelic vibes, though the heavy ’70s swing in the drums could be taken as another common factor, if you really wanted to stretch it. Either way, a laid back, less murderous atmosphere persists, and that suits me just fine. Out Feb. 24. Bonus points for the gorgeous¬†Adam Burke¬†cover art.¬†Ruby the Hatchet on Thee Facebooks, Tee Pee Records.

39. Saturnalia Temple, To the Other

saturnalia-temple-to-the-other

The entire meaning of being a “cult” band has changed since Sweden’s¬†Saturnalia Temple¬†released their¬†UR¬†demo in 2007, but after their 2011 debut,¬†Aion of Drakon, hit with such a low-end wash of psychedelic obscurity, I’m intrigued to hear what¬†they’ve come up with on¬†To the Other, the cover’s foreboding darkness, consuming swirl and bizarre patterning seeming a fit for their sonic methodology.¬†To the Other¬†is out April 7 on¬†The Ajna Offensive, and features Tim Call¬†of¬†The Howling Wind¬†and¬†Aldebaran¬†on drums¬†alongside¬†Saturnalia Temple guitarist/vocalist¬†Tommie Ericksson¬†and bassist¬†Peter.¬†Saturnalia Temple on Thee Facebooks, The Ajna Offensive.

40. Six Organs of Admittance, Hexadic

six organs of admittance hexadic

I’ll make no claims toward understanding the theoretical basis driving the latest outing from the¬†Ben Chasny-helmed project¬†Six Organs of Admittance, which in its 17-year history has gone from bedroom folk and avant electronics to the far-ranging heavy psych jamming of 2012’s¬†Ascent¬†(review here).¬†Chasny, joined by members of¬†Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound¬†and¬†Deerhoof¬†on the album — which is due out Feb. 17 on¬†Drag City¬†— seems to have developed a compositional method based around a system involving playing cards and varying tonal intensities. No idea what the hell any of it means, but it sounds like a freakout to me, so I’m in.¬†Six Organs of Admittance website, Drag City Records.

41. Snail, Feral

snail

Come on,¬†Snail. Even if¬†Feral‘s not coming out until later in the year, you can send it to¬†me. I won’t tell anybody if you don’t want me to. I can keep it to myself. Hell, I won’t even review it until I get word that it’s cool to do so, I just want to hear the damn thing. Alright, Snail, have it your way. I’ll just sit here and remember how awesome¬†Terminus¬†(review here) was when that came out in 2012, and¬†Blood¬†(review here) before that in 2009 back when I did snarky headlines for reviews. That’s cool. I’ve waited this long for your¬†Small Stone¬†debut to make its way into my ears, I guess I’ll just keep waiting until it shows up. Which it would be awfully nice if it did as soon as possible. Today works. Now works.¬†Snail on Thee Facebooks, Small Stone Records.

42. Sourvein, Aquatic Fanatic

sourvein-aquatic-occult

At the risk of being sincere, I’ll say it warms my cold, doomed heart to know that¬†Sourvein‘s next album is going to be released by¬†Metal Blade Records. After trudging the Southern sludge underground for, what, 20 years?, the Cape Fear-based outfit led by¬†T-Roy Medlin (whose lineage goes back to¬†Buzzov*en, lest we forget their role in establishing the sound) are finally poised to get their due, and I think it’s fucking awesome.¬†Mike Dean‘s producing the thing, and you know¬†Sourvein¬†are going to tour the hell out of it because that’s what they do whether they’ve got a new record or not. I’m calling it the feelgood story of the year, which is perfect since the music will most likely be utterly scathing.¬†Sourvein on Thee Facebooks, Metal Blade Records.

43. Spidergawd, II

spidergawd ii

Just stop reading and go fucking listen to¬†Spidergawd. Here, I did a track premiere a little bit ago for the song “Tourniquet.” It rules. Go listen to that. For the life of me I have no idea why this band’s name isn’t on the lips of every boogie-loving heavy rocker in the universe.¬†Stickman¬†has the new album,¬†Spidergawd II, sold out in the special edition preorders, but there’s a regular version still available and apparently en route from the plant, and for the love of all things riffed, it’s glorious. So get on it. I implore you. And no, I don’t have any idea what’s going on with the album cover, so don’t ask. No time for questions anyway. Get listening.¬†Spidergawd on Thee Facebooks, Stickman Records.

44. Stoned Jesus, The Harvest

stoned jesus the harvest

Ukrainian heavy rockers¬†Stoned Jesus¬†posted the opening track from their third album,¬†The Harvest, a while back on their Bandcamp page, and my goodness it does swing. They’ll make their way to the US for the first time in support of¬†The Harvest, appearing at the¬†Psycho California¬†fest and hopefully elsewhere, and they do so having built up a steady following with their first two long-players, 2010’s¬†First Communion¬†(noted here)¬†and 2012’s¬†Seven Thunders Roar (review here), their most stonerly of names spread far and wide ahead of the latest offering’s early March arrival following 2013’s jams collection,¬†The Seeds, Vol. 1.¬†Stoned Jesus on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

45. Torche, Restarter

torche restarter

I haven’t heard it yet, but¬†Torche‘s awaited¬†Relapse Records¬†debut,¬†Restarter, is due out Feb. 24 and the band are kicking into gear once again to mark its coming. They’ve already announced US and European tours to carry them through June, and I don’t imagine there are many markets they’ll leave un-hit ¬†by the time they’re through. Their last album, 2012’s¬†Harmonicraft¬†(review here), was a solid showing of what’s come to be expected of them in terms of hooks, upbeat heaviness and melodies, but especially with the ambitious title, the new label and the energized-seeming schedule, I’m hoping that¬†Restarter¬†gives the band the same kind of boot to the ass they’ve been to delivering the heavy underground for the last decade.¬†Torche on Thee Facebooks, Relapse Records.

46. Ufomammut, Ecate

ufomammut (Photo by Andrea Tomas Prato)

Very, very much looking forward to hearing¬†Ecate, the newest outing from¬†Ufomammut¬†and their “second” album for¬†Neurot Recordings behind the 2012 two-parter¬†Oro (reviews here and here). Why is kind of a silly question — new¬†Ufomammut¬†is its own excuse for anticipation — but truth be told, they’ve always managed to get bigger-sounding and more expansive with each LP, and after having to break their last album in half and release the two pieces months apart from each other, I’m dying to know where they go with¬†Ecate, what shifts in their sound the last couple years — including last year, which was their 15th anniversary — have brought and where in the cosmos they might be headed now.¬†Ufomammut on Thee Facebooks, Neurot Recordings.

47. Valkyrie, TBA

valkyrie

During what I guess we’ll call Valkyrie‘s original run, the Virginia two-guitar four-piece released a pair of albums, 2006’s¬†Valkyrie¬†and 2008’s¬†Man of Two Visions¬†— both of which were reissued through¬†MeteorCity¬†in 2010 — before guitarist¬†Peter Adams, who founded the band with his brother, guitarist/vocalist¬†Jake Adams, got signed to¬†Relapse¬†with his other group,¬†Baroness. Now back with¬†Earthling‘s¬†Alan Fary¬†on bass and drummer¬†Warren Hawkins, they’ve got their new LP recorded with¬†Sanford Parker¬†and reportedly in the can for an early 2015 release, also through¬†Relapse. They’ll no doubt be greeted as heroes when they play the¬†Maryland Doom Fest¬†in June, and understandably so.¬†Valkyrie on Thee Facebooks, Relapse Records.

48. VA, Electric Ladyland Redux & The Best of James Marshall Hendrix

various artists the best of james marshall hendrix

Magnetic Eye Records launched a Kickstarter campaign last fall with the ambitious aim of paying homage to¬†Jimi Hendrix¬†by having current heavy rock artists (Elder,¬†Earthless,¬†Wo Fat,¬†Gozu¬†and more; full list here) re-record¬†Electric Ladyland¬†in its entirety. The project, on track to be released this year to coincide with what would’ve been¬†Hendrix‘s 73rd birthday in November, expanded to include a tribute best-of collection as well, and has grown in repute ahead of its actually being issued to stand as a gathering of some of the finest the underground has to offer playing some of the best rock and roll ever crafted. From the idea to the impending reality of it, there’s really no arguing with this one.¬†Magnetic Eye Records on Thee Facebooks, Magnetic Eye webstore.

49. Wino & Conny Ochs, Freedom Conspiracy

wino and conny ochs

When¬†Scott “Wino” Weinrich¬†entered rehab late last fall, he mentioned in a public statement several projects in the works.¬†Spirit Caravan‘s reunion is ongoing.¬†Saint Vitus¬†are due for a next album, but he also noted the second release for his collaboration with German singer-songwriter¬†Conny Ochs,¬†Freedom Conspiracy, as being in early 2015. Particularly after the ultra-intimate, solo feel of¬†Wino‘s 2010 acoustic debut,¬†Adrift¬†(review here), the first collaboration with¬†Ochs,¬†2012’s¬†Heavy Kingdom (review here), was an unexpected expansion of the form that paid sonic dividends in both the songwriting and performance of both players. A second installment should benefit from the chemistry they built on the road for the debut.¬†Conny Ochs on Thee Facebooks, Exile on Mainstream.

50. Wizard Eye, TBA
wizard eye

Heard it. Slays. Actually, I’m not sure if the version of¬†Wizard Eye‘s sophomore full-length I got was final, but the songs were killer either way, and the Philly stoner-toner three-piece will have the album out on vinyl later this year through a newcomer label that I don’t think I’m supposed to mention yet so I won’t. Either way, they’re included here because the more heads they reach the better, their blend of rolling grooves, sludged out vocals and the occasional bout of theremin is just right for the riff-loving purist in all of us. Their recent live outing,¬†Riff Occult Live¬†(review here) says it better than I could, so make a note to yourself to dig into that at your next convenience. It’s name-your-price on Bandcamp.¬†Wizard Eye on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

51. Wretch, TBA

wretch

Listed as the “bastard spawn” of¬†The Gates of Slumber,¬†Wretch¬†finds that band’s guitarist/vocalist¬†Karl Simon¬†teamed with bassist¬†Bryce Clark¬†and drummer¬†Chris Gordon, the prior outfit having been laid to rest in 2013 after what seemed like an excellent return to form in 2011’s¬†The Wretch (review here) and subsequent¬†Scion-sponsored EP. I haven’t heard the new band yet, but some demos have made their way out thus far, and you’d have to figure it won’t be too long before¬†Simon,¬†Clark¬†and¬†Gordon¬†make their proper debut as¬†Wretch¬†and start¬†a new chapter in one of modern traditional doom’s most pivotal legacies.¬†Wretch on Thee Facebooks, Tone Deaf Touring.

52. Zun, TBA

zun

Early in 2013, a song called¬†“Come through the Water” (review here) appeared as the first audio from a new project helmed by guitarist¬†Gary Arce¬†of¬†Yawning Man¬†called¬†Zun. It was to be used as¬†Zun‘s portion of a split with¬†Fatso Jetson¬†and while I’m not sure that ever materialized, it drew immediate attention for the collaboration between¬†Arce¬†and vocalist¬†Sera Timms¬†of¬†Ides of Gemini¬†and¬†Black Mare, also formerly of¬†Black Math Horseman. A significant duo for sure. With¬†Bill Stinson¬†(also¬†Yawning Man) on drums, they’re set to debut later this year on¬†Small Stone¬†with their first album, and if¬†Timms¬†and¬†Arce¬†aren’t enough to draw your attention so late in the feature — the hazards of alphabetics — the one and only¬†John Garcia¬†is set for a guest appearance on the record. Dig that, desert rockers.¬†Yawning Man on Thee Facebooks, Small Stone Records.

 

Going Into Overload…

So, okay. At this point, you could literally buy a different record each week of this year and hear something that, unless there’s some disaster between the idea of the album and the actual thing itself, is most likely worth your time. That’s not too bad. But we’re not at 88 yet, so with those 52 already set, I’ve got 36 more that you might want to keep on your radar.

Some of these are solidly lined up, some are slated to be recorded, etc., so the same rule of “things don’t always work out the way they’re supposed to” applies. With that caveat:

 

53. Abrahma, TBA — Their second album for Small Stone is due sometime this year.

 

54. Bedroom Rehab Corporation, Fortunate Some — From what I hear, the Connecticut twosome have their second record in the can.

 

55. Black Black Black, TBA — Brooklyn outfit featuring former members of Disengage should have a sophomore album out in 2015.

 

56. Black Pyramid, New 7″ — The trio will release a new single to coincide with their Euro tour that includes a stop at Desertfest.

 

57. Bright Curse, New 10″ EP — It was mentioned the new lineup would record an EP before taking on their next album.

 

58. Camel of Doom, TBA — Was announced in December there’d be a new Camel of Doom along with a vinyl of their last album.

 

59. Cherry Choke, Raising the Waters — Should be out this month on Elektrohasch.

 

60. La Chinga, TBA — Vancouver¬†group’s Small Stone debut is reportedly being mixed.

 

61. Curse the Son, TBA — I’m hoping this one gets out by the end of the year. It will be the CT trio’s first with their new bassist.

 

62. Egypt,¬†Endless Flight¬†— North Dakota’s favored sons will return with a new full-length this summer. Album trailer posted with a clip of the new song “Tres Madres.”

 

63. Enos, TBA — Not sure where they’re at with it, but worth keeping an eye out.

 

64. Foghound, TBA — The Maryland rockers have finished tracking their new album with Mike Dean of Corrosion of Conformity at the helm.

 

65. Funeral Horse, TBA — They’ve been full of surprises on their first two releases and they work quick, so I wouldn’t be surprised if something new showed up.

 

66. Fuzz Evil, TBA — Interested to see where they go on an LP after their split with Chiefs.

 

67. The Glasspack, Moon Patrol¬†— A snippet clip¬†has been posted that bodes well. Supposed to be done recording in the spring. They’re currently sorting out label whatnots.

 

68. Graves at Sea, TBA — Yeah, it’s been more than a decade since their demo, but a split and an EP into their reunion, they just signed to Relapse, so now might be the time a debut album shows up.

 

69. House of Broken Promises, TBA — Should be a change from the first album after swapping out bassist/vocalists. They killed live last I saw.

 

70. Ice Dragon, TBA — No solid word of a new release from the Boston garage doom forerunners, but they’re always up to something.

 

71. Killer Boogie, Detroit — The debut from this Black Rainbows offshoot is out this month on Heavy Psych Sounds.

 

72. Krautzone, TBA — German synth-heavy prog-jammers have hit a groove and hopefully they continue to ride it as well as they have thus far.

 

73. Leeches of Lore, TBA — Wishful thinking on my part? Maybe. Got my fingers crossed, though.

 

74. Legion of Andromeda, Iron Scorn — They’re about as extreme as extreme doom gets. Album out next month.

 

75. Lord Fowl, TBA — I think they’re writing. Might be 2016 before it gets here, but I’ll take it whenever it comes. They’re worth a mention either way.

 

76. The Machine, TBA — Been a minute since we last heard from the Dutch heavy psych jammers. They were on this list last year as well.

 

77. Mirror Queen, Scaffolds of the Sky — Should be out in April on Tee Pee, and that suits me just fine. Choice grooves for springtime.

 

78. Mountain God, Forest of the Lost — A single-song EP from the Brooklyn post-sludgers is out in Feb. with a release show booked.

 

79. Om, TBA — I’ve yet to see solid evidence that a new Om is in the pipeline, but no one knew that Sleep single was coming last year either.

 

80. Planes of Satori, Planes of Satori — Dug their single, hope the full-length follows suit.

 

81. Pombagira,¬†Flesh Throne Press¬†— Their sixth album and¬†Svart¬†debut is due on March 23 as per this week’s¬†announcement.

 

82. Righteous Bloom, TBA — My understanding was the Beelzefuzz offshoot are writing. Would be good if they can pick up where the prior act left off.

 

83. Royal Thunder,¬†Crooked Doors¬†— The Atlanta outfit’s second album for¬†Relapse¬†is due out April 7.

 

84. Sandrider/Kinski, Split — Don’t know much about Kinski, but new Sandrider is enough to sell me on it. Out Feb. 17 on Good to Die.

 

85. SardoniS, TBA — Expect big lumbering riffs from this Belgian duo, always. A new album is en route, last I heard.

 

86. Sun Voyager, TBA — Didn’t get to hear their last tape, but¬†a¬†five-song EP is due out sometime soon.

 

87. Sweat Lodge, Talismana — Not much word since they signed to Ripple, but they said this year, so until I hear otherwise…

 

88. Throttlerod, TBA — A teaser clip of new riffage came out over this past weekend. New Throttlerod is never something to complain about.

 

89. Venomous Maximus, Firewalker — When they signed to Shadow Kingdom in November, they gave it the ol’ “sometime in 2015.”

 

90. Weedeater, TBA — After a whole series of reissues, their Season of Mist debut is due.

 

91. Wight, Love is Not Only What You Know¬†— Alphabetically last but not at all last in my heart, Germany’s¬†Wight¬†have their third record in progress. More in the comments.

 

92. Wo Fat,¬†Live Juju at Freak Valley¬†—¬†Wo Fat‘s live set from the 2014¬†Freak Valley¬†fest in Germany is due to release on vinyl March 17 in an edition of 500 copies.

 

Others to Keep an Eye On…

Guitarist Ian Gerber of Indianapolis’ The Heavy Co. has a couple side-projects going, but new stuff from his main band doesn’t seem unlikely either. New York’s Geezer might also have something new before December in addition to Ripple‘s CD version of their¬†Gage¬†release, and labelmates King Buffalo are continuing their relationship with STB Records via a new spit next month, so hopefully a debut LP follows that. Let it Breathe should make their debut on the label too¬†in 2015.

Recently streamed trio Wake up Lucid release their EP on March 31. Last I heard The Body had a new one coming too in collaboration with Thou. Sixty Watt Shaman have plans to record tracks for a split due out later this year, and they’ll reissue their first album, 1998’s Ultra Electric, as well. Look out for¬†Godhunter‘s split/collaboration with¬†Amigo the Devil, and the second offering from¬†Black Moon Circle is on the way.¬†Balam‘s full-length should also be out sometime this year, and I anxiously await news of a solid release date for the third¬†Clamfight¬†record.

Murmurings abound also for new ones from Graveyard, Greenleaf, The Sword, Vhöl and others.

Plus, Sleep still exist and that simple fact probably makes them worth more of a mention than this quick aside. Their 2014 single The Clarity was an offering of pure Iommic idolatry. A sign of things to come? Who the hell knows.

If you don’t have enough to go by yet, labels like Sulatron, Tee Pee,¬†El Paraiso, Ripple, Small Stone, STB, Napalm and so on are always worth a keen watch what’s next. There’s always something.

 

Which I guess is the point of this whole thing. I’m sure, even as huge as this list is, someone is going to drop a comment immediately that will make me slap my forehead and wonder how I ever forgot whatever it is. It’s always something. It looks like it’s going to be a tremendous year, so if you’ll pardon me, I’ll cut out quick and get started making my way through it.

No doubt I’ll add to this post over the next couple days, so if the numbers change, don’t be surprised. In any case, if you made it this far, thanks again¬†for reading. May your 2015 be filled with excellent music and even better times.

 

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Horsehunter to Release Caged in Flesh on Magnetic Eye Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 18th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

horsehunter

Nearly two weeks after opening for¬†Sleep¬†in their native Melbourne, doomly four-piece¬†Horsehunter¬†have inked a deal to release their four-track debut full-length,¬†Caged in Flesh, on¬†Magnetic Eye Records. The Aussie band self-released the album at the end of September and have been garnering acclaim for it since, as they’ll no doubt continue to do in 2015 owing to the massive tones, throaty shouts and lumbering vibe of songs like “Stoned to Death,” which you can hear and download below following a premiere from¬†Decibel. Its 16-minute course is no small undertaking, but they pay it off with hypnotic, bleak psychedelia that only makes the underlying rumble seem like more of a threat.

More to come, I’m sure. In the meantime, the PR wire has this:

horsehunter caged in flesh

MAGNETIC EYE RECORDS Announce Signing of Doom Quartet HORSEHUNTER | New Album out March 2015

Magnetic Eye Records is thrilled to announce the signing of Horsehunter; one of the Southern Hemisphere’s heaviest and most eagerly anticipated doom exports of 2015.

The news crowns a remarkable year for the band and one that has seen them share stages with the likes of High On Fire, Conan and Windhand, and harvest fans from all four corners of the globe through a growing, almost cult-like stir of online worship. In fact news of their signing might come as little revelation to those already baptised and burnt by the fire of Caged In Flesh, the Australian quartet’s impressive self-released debut album.

“After one listen we recognized it for what it is. It‚Äôs a masterpiece,” explains MER owner Mike Vitali. “Hands down it’s one of the most exciting albums of 2015 and we‚Äôre looking forward to making sure the double gatefold vinyl is above and beyond visually stunning.‚ÄĚ

Canned, scrapped, rewritten and rerecorded numerous times by the band over an obsessive two-year period, the darkly lyrical and brutally heavy compositions of Caged In Flesh embody Horsehunter’s perverse and maniacal precision as a band. A testament in four parts to the psychedelic power and glory of Shrinebuilder, Neurosis and Sleep, the latter of whom join Horsehunter this month as part of a sold-out show at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne, Australia.

To celebrate the official worldwide release of Caged In Flesh on 10th March 2015, Magnetic Eye Records and Horsehunter are honoured to bring you the sixteen-minute opus ‚ÄėStoned To Death‚Äô, available as a free download.

horsehunter.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/officialhorseHunter
youtube.com/officialhorsehunter
soundcloud.com/officialhorsehunter
@horsehunterisdead
merhq.com
facebook.com/MagneticEyeRecords
store.merhq.com
twitter.com/magnetic_eye

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