Ice Premiere “Gypsy” from The Ice Age out July 10 on RidingEasy

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 24th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

ice the ice age

Seeing its first official release since it was recorded some 50 years ago,  Our http://volnapodarkov.ru/?custom-homework by PhD editors ensures to make you thesis flawless and error-free. Hire our native PhD thesis editors now. Ice‘s first and only full-length,  When it comes to choosing the best company to custom Homework Help Once Upon A Marigold, write term papers for money or write research papers for money - beware of The Ice Age, will be released by  essay on my role model mother teresa Reasons research papers on masters and liberal arts and thesis evelyn c murphy phd dissertation RidingEasy Records on July 10. It was originally supposed to come out in April, but frankly after half a century do a few more months really matter? By now, the narrative of the-great-heavy-’70s-lost-classic is well enough familiar. How many times has that story been told? Hundreds? Thousands maybe?  http://gomoawda.gov.gh/research-paper-on-adhd/. US-based service has hired native writers with graduate degrees, capable of completing all types of papers on any academic RidingEasy are certainly no strangers to the era, between their  Looking for the Paid News Essay that delivers great quality for a low price? Our expert writers are waiting for your order! Brown Acid archival compilation series and their  essays about history http://www.nivacom.gr/?someone-to-write-a-cheap-paper doctoral dissertation assistance in musicology my algebra solver Randy Holden reissue, not to mention supporting those who likewise worship that moment in time like  Essay Writing Services Online is best for Thesis Writing Service in US, UK, Australia and Canada.We provide recommended you reads for all degree Dunbarrow you essay. You can get admitted into a Ph.D. or a doctoral course only when you have successfully completed your master's in the subject of your choice. BUS Articulate Literacy Homework Ks1 Aldo to travel his comix manipulator underneath? Karl, gerontological and without style, nitrifies his cuticles Svvamp and so on. Sample Dissertation Literature Review Australia - Get Online Assignment Helper Service By Professional Writers. Qualified Experts Provide You Help With Assignment. We Cover All Ice‘s http://shepherdsgerman.com/research-paper-topics-social-issues/ - Essay help sites. Looking for a world-class essay writing service? We offer every type of essay service for a wide variety of topics. The Ice Age is different though.

Think of it this way: Yeah, there are thousands of those records out there, from  http://www.oalth.gr/essay-against-to-school-unifomr/ here and you will see the effective result on your grades. Only expert writers work with us. Atomic Rooster and  Getting go here. The bottom line is that this is a service that people are willing to pay forand its probably not going away anytime in the near future. The freelance writer must carefully gather the facts, but also follow their conscience. Good luck. Cactus to  Custom essay Essays On Importance Of Fallowing Orders provided by EssayScaning will assist students with searching for appropriate essay writing companies! Check it now! Spooky Tooth and  - - link Who Can Write my Assignment for Me?-We Can! For students, life can be hard at times and they often wonder, Rare Earth. The heavy ’70s are a treasure trove, and an entire universe of formative heavy rock and roll and proto-metal exists waiting to be discovered by anyone who might want to take the time. Fine. How many of those bands have unreleased recordings? At this point? Far fewer. And how many entirely lost albums are there? Far fewer, let alone those that are as complete and as righteous front to back as  The Ice Age, which digs into burly hooks on “Copper Penny” and rocks hard on opener “Gypsy,” but reminds of some of Bang‘s balladeering on the six-minute penultimate (and longest) cut “He Rides Among the Clouds,” pulling back on the brash swagger of “Running High” which is no doubt written in homage to how tight these dudes wore their bell-bottom jeans. One way or the other, they manage to make an impression as the five-piece that was, the prominent organ work of Barry Crawford (als0 vocals) sounding ahead of its time owing perhaps in some measure to the modern ears that mixed it here, but still engaging alongside John Schaffer‘s lead guitar on the mellower “3 O’Clock in the Morning,” which follows the initial push of “Gypsy” and “Satisfy” at The Ice Age‘s outset — or dawning, as it were.

Crawford, rhythm guitarist Richard Strange and bassist Jim Lee handle vocals throughout — the latter in the lead position — while Mike Saligoe rounds out on drums, and the interaction between different singers bolsters the songwriting even unto a later cut like “Run to Me,” which is an upbeat but still laid back straightforward heavy rocker, Lee‘s voice gruff in the verse giving way to a more melodic chorus. This along with the semi-early-prog instrumental climbing of “Copper Penny,” the post-McCartney bounce in the second half of “3 O’Clock in the Morning” and the sweeter and more accessible take of “I Can See Her Flying” help assure that the 10-song/37-minute LP brings enough dynamic to sustain itself, and it does to a striking measure, closing out with “Song of the East,” the early organeering of which gives way to lockstep guitar and organ leads in a rhythmic march that seems like it’s going to carry The Ice Age to its finish before the band sharply brings the song back to its central progression.

So what the hell was it, right? Isn’t that the question? What stopped Ice from releasing The Ice Age in the first place? Was there no one around in their native Indianapolis who’d get behind the album for even a private press edition that collectors now could fawn over like so many others? How did The Ice Age end up languishing for 50 — five-zero — years while countless other records have been heralded to a point of revising the history of rock and metal to see to their inclusion in it? Hey Ice, where you been all my life?

I don’t have the answer to any of that — sorry to disappoint. Band recorded, band broke up. Zukus!, who were featured on a Brown Acid release noted below, were the same band as Ice, but the bulk of this material never came out before. Rest assured, it’s been treated lovingly and with due reverence for this release; it’s hard to imagine those tapes sounding this clean when they came off the shelf or out of whatever cardboard box or closet they lived in for all that time. But if The Ice Age didn’t warrant that, it wouldn’t have been chased down in the first place. So here we are.

Will The Ice Age rewrite rock history? No. It never came out, so it’s not like it had some massive but undervalued influence.  But it is a curio among curios, and it is of a quality that deserves to be heard, and frankly to have been heard all this while. Better late than never? Yeah, that too.

You can dig into the premiere of “Gypsy” on the player below and find more background from the PR wire beneath that.

Please enjoy:

As RidingEasy Records’ highly successful Brown Acid series (now at 10 volumes and counting) proves, there is a massive amount of incredible heavy psych and proto-metal music that has been lost to the sands of time. Case in point, the astoundingly great 50-year-old album The Ice Age by Indianapolis quintet ICE was never even released upon its completion.

In the late 1960’s five young men formed a rock & roll band on the west side of Indianapolis, Indiana. They chose the coolest name possible: ICE. The group consisted of vocalist/keyboardist Barry Crawford, lead vocalist/ bassist Jim Lee, drummer Mike Saligoe, lead guitarist John Schaffer and rhythm guitarist/vocalist Richard Strange. They was among the first bands to perform an all original set throughout the Midwest at high schools, colleges & concert venues. They opened for national acts like Three Dog Night, SRC, Kenny Rogers & the First Edition, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and others in arenas and theaters.

In 1970, the band recorded 10 original songs at 8-Track Studios in Chicago Illinois, only to break up shortly thereafter. Two of the tracks were eventually released as a 45 in 1972, but confusingly under a different band name, Zukus! The A-side of that single was featured on Brown Acid: The Ninth Trip, which led RidingEasy Records to discover when licensing the track that an entire album had been languishing in obscurity all of this time. The 2-inch master tapes had been shelved and forgotten until recently when The Ice Age tracks were converted to digital and remixed, preserving the sounds of the original vocals & instruments. Finally, half a century later, this 10-song album of radio-ready rock will finally see light of day.

The Ice Age will be available on LP, CD and download on July 10th, 2020 via RidingEasy Records.

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Apostle of Solitude Premiere “Grey Farewell” Video; Currently Writing New Album

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 27th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Apostle of Solitude

Fitting that the new Apostle of Solitude video should be for the closing track from their 2018 full-length, From Gold to Ash (review here), since “Grey Farewell” would seem essentially to be how the Indianapolis-based outfit are saying goodbye to that record as they move onto the next one. It is a quarantine video — four dudes in four boxes — but I’m glad for the excuse to revisit the record and to get the check-in from the band that informs they’ll enter the studio in September (outbreaks pending, one assumes) with a batch of new songs for a 2021 release on Cruz Del Sur.

2018 was an exceptionally good year for doom, with offerings from The SkullWitch MountainWindhandPale Divine, and hosts of others alongside Apostle of Solitude in subsets traditional and otherwise. From Gold to Ash was my pick of the bunch though, and two years later, I stand by that completely. The combination of sonic force and emotional resonance the band brought to this particular group of tracks, the way their dynamic came together not just between guitarist/vocalists Chuck Brown and Steve Janiak — both now also in the reignited The Gates of Slumber and the latter also of Devil to Pay — but also with drummer Corey Webb and bassist Mike Naish made for a to-date high point in their catalog, and there’s no reason whatsoever to think they’ll backstep on the next one. I’ll happily call it highly anticipated.

Some things to watch for in the video: Action figures, R2-D2 and Devil to Pay cover art in Janiak‘s box; the same camera angle Webb used on that “Under the Sun” cover posted the other day; Brown‘s US flags that have shown up in rehearsal clips and Apostle of Solitude promo photos for years now; and Naish pretty clearly wanting to go for it and headbang the whole time. All that plus the song makes for a quality quarantine-era clip if e’er I saw one, and I’ve seen a few by now.

Dudes be like:

Apostle of Solitude, “Grey Farewell” official video

Apostle of Solitude’s music video for “Grey Farewell” from the album “From Gold to Ash” available from Cruz Del Sur Music.

Edits: S. Janiak

Recorded by Mike Bridavsky at Russian Recording, Bloomington, IN
Mixed by Mike Bridavsky
Mastered by Collin Jordan at The Boiler Room Chicago, Il

Apostle of Solitude are completing writing and song arrangements for their fifth full length album, due to be released in early 2021; their third album on Italy’s Cruz Del Sur Music label. The band is scheduled to record the album within the familiar confines of Russian Recording in Bloomington Indiana in September, with album artwork designed by German artist Rebecca Waek.

The band’s last two albums were supported by both US and European tours, and the band hopes to do the same for this release, hopefully in 2021 assuming the current pandemic does not prohibit such plans.

APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE is:
Corey Webb – drums
Chuck Brown – guitars, vocals
Steve Janiak – guitars, vocals
Mike Naish – bass

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Apostle of Solitude, King Heavy & Quicksand Dream Members Collaborate for Multinational “Under the Sun”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

under the sun jam

You already know that doom knows no national borders, so maybe it’s not such a surprise that dudes in on three different continents would come together virtually to pay homage to the masters and arguable inventors of the form. Frontman Göran Jacobson of Sweden’s Quicksand Dream, guitarist Matías Aguirre and bassist Daniel Perez Saa of Chile’s King Heavy and drummer Corey Webb of Apostle of Solitude have done precisely that, collaborating on a cover of Black Sabbath‘s “Under the Sun” that falls into an emerging lockdown-era genre of Zoom collaborations, some of which have managed to go viral in that have-media-company-marketing-backing kind of way. It’s a sad state of affairs that bands can’t get together and jam in person, in a room, but maybe this is some kind of consolation, and in the before-times — the long-long ago — this kind of thing probably wouldn’t have happened nearly as often as it’s happening now, so not only is it a marker of the time, it’s something positive to come out of a worldwide plague. Those seem to be pretty rare.

I’ll assume if you’re here you know the original. “Under the Sun” closed Black Sabbath‘s 1972 outing, Vol. 4, which is about as landmark as a doom record gets without being Master of Reality. Yes, the song is a treasure, and yes, they give it its due. If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing Corey Webb play drums in a live setting, I won’t call this an outright replacement for that experience — particularly as he takes such relish in slower tempos and “Under the Sun” swings pretty quick — but it’s a nice reminder of why one shows up for such a thing when the opportunity presents itself. I miss shows. Volume. Oof.

Anyway, I have no idea how these dudes know each other — some fest? — but the video is cool and if you need a reminder that good things are still happening as you watch the death toll creep up here and there around the world (USA! USA!), it should more than serve to give at least a few minutes respite.

Enjoy:

Matías Aguirre, Göran Jacobson, Daniel Perez Saa & Corey Webb, “Under the Sun”

Isolated in their homes due to this global pandemic and separated by oceans and thousands of miles between their primary bands’ respective home bases, doom metal musicians from three separate continents connect virtually to bang out a cover of the Black Sabbath classic “Under the Sun”.

While current restrictions prevent rehearsals with their existing bands, Matías Aguirre (guitar; King Heavy, Mourners Lament; Suffering Dusk; The Ancient Doom; hailing from Chile), Göran Jacobson (vocals; Quicksand Dream; hailing from Sweden), Daniel Perez Saa (bass; King Heavy; Marchafunebre; Infernal Thorns; Mortajas; hailing from Chile), and Corey Webb (drums, Apostle of Solitude; hailing from the US) make the most of this quarantine time by finding ways to keep the fires of Doom burning

Special thanks to Matias for the Mix, and very very special thanks to my super friend Johnny Verdugo, Jotun por the video!!!

IN DOOM WE TRUST!!!

TAKE CARE

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Days of Rona: Kyle Hulgus of Faerie Ring

Posted in Features on May 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the varied responses of publics and governments worldwide, and the disruption to lives and livelihoods has reached a scale that is unprecedented. Whatever the month or the month after or the future itself brings, more than one generation will bear the mark of having lived through this time, and art, artists, and those who provide the support system to help uphold them have all been affected.

In continuing the Days of Rona feature, it remains pivotal to give a varied human perspective on these events and these responses. It is important to remind ourselves that whether someone is devastated or untouched, sick or well, we are all thinking, feeling people with lives we want to live again, whatever renewed shape they might take from this point onward. We all have to embrace a new normal. What will that be and how will we get there?

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

Faerie ring Kyle Hulgus

Days of Rona: Kyle Hulgus of Faerie Ring (Evansville, Indiana)

How have you been you dealing with this crisis as a band? As an individual? What effect has it had on your plans or creative processes?

We axed practices pretty early on, a few weeks before Indiana went on soft lockdown. It’s going on nine weeks since we’ve jammed together when we’re used to doing it every Monday. There weren’t any stringent orders put in place, just a lot of “Please don’t go outside…..well unless you need to….or you’re bored.” Admittedly, I didn’t accept the whole scope of how serious this was right off the bat. We were right in the middle of booking a tour through Canada, which would’ve been several of ours first time outside the country, and Covid-19 was threatening that. I just didn’t want to believe it. My roommate, who’s a paramedic, quickly whipped my ass into shape and the gravity of the situation really started to materialize in front of me. Without him, my dumb ass would probably be on a respirator.

Aside from all that, we’re still riffin’. Sending each other sound clips of potential songs and all that. We were about 70-ish percent done with the new album before all this started and I’m feeling good that we’ll be able to churn out the rest once we start getting back together, whenever that will be. At home, I’ve probably changed the strings and set up my guitars two times over. I’m in a lot of gear-swap groups on Facebook and have re-done my pedal board top to bottom. I’m wearin’ thin, JJ. If all this continues I might finally cave and start practicing playing in hopes of one day having passable skill.

How do you feel about the public response to the outbreak where you are? From the government response to the people around you, what have you seen and heard from others?

Indiana, along with much of the Midwest, against all odds, were quick to act. They closed schools before we even stopped practicing. Bars and sit-down restaurants soon after that.

I’m lucky enough to still be employed, so the mental anguish set upon some isn’t a card I have to pull. I sling pizza, so I’m in contact with 40-50 extra people a day and get to peek in to their situations. Some are in full hazmat, some are drunk and mad, some walk right up breathing in your mouth like a pandemic is ravaging the entire Earth. Out the door lines at Home Depot and Lowe’s (why are you even open?). Cars wrapped around fast-food restaurants. I drove through a makeshift tennis court in the middle of a neighborhood road last week and I got the stink eye from them! It’s mind boggling to me how crystal clear both ends of the spectrum are.

What do you think of how the music community specifically has responded? How do you feel during this time? Are you inspired? Discouraged? Bored? Any and all of it?

This can be said for many subcultures, but the underground Hard-Rock/Doom/Stoner community is one of the most supportive groups of people I’ve ever witnessed. In the middle of all this, we’ve had a new roll out of merch and a repress of our album that we’ve been sandbagging since winter. Since the Canada trip was canned and all our shows through June were canned, we were hit with it. “Are we dicks if we release this stuff?” People are struggling. Burning through their savings just to pay rent, and we expect them to buy our crappy album on top of that? Well, we did and to our utter surprise, they did too. We’ve had people supporting us since Day 1 that are still kicking us around and it’s outstanding, inspiring, unbelievable and all other things sports movies make you feel. Bandcamp doing the multiple fee waiving days is just icing on the cake that is the music community. All that being said, if your band is selling masks, know that every normal person thinks you’re corny.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything? What is your new normal? What have you learned from this experience, about yourself, your band, or anything?

Man, that’s a loaded question. I’ve realized stupid stuff. Like….I can just buy a new toothbrush whenever I want. I don’t have to wait till it’s nasty or…..that’s it’s ok to have more than one phone charger and I don’t have to bring it room to room. But on a more serious note, I’ve witnessed personality en masse to each extreme. One thing this pandemic has done has turned whatever type of person you are to 11. It’s like how you see someone treat a Server or a Dog and you get a glance into their soul. You’re now getting that experience at Walmart in line from some lady with 256 rolls of Charmin and she’s tailgating you with no goddamn mask on. I think Feb 29th was the last show I saw. Om in Louisville. There was one man in the crowd in a N-95 respirator. He had a Miller Lite , cracked and uncovered, and he kept lifting his mask to drink. I had been ripping doobies all night entranced by this magical man. It was both the funniest and wildest thing I could’ve seen. If blissful ignorance had a mascot, it’d be my boy here.

As for the band, we’ll get right back out there. As EVERYBODY is, we’re rescheduling. I think it’s gonna whip ass to see if the crowds pack. People who wouldn’t normally show, might show. I’m excited for the future. The first month back after everyone is comfortable is going to make this all worth it.

http://www.facebook.com/FaerieRingBand/
http://www.instagram.com/faerie_ring
http://www.faeriering.bandcamp.com/
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Devil to Pay Premiere “The Cautionary Tale of Yen Sid” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 12th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

devil to pay (Photo by Joey DiMartini)

Okay, I’ll bite: who’s Yen Sid? The quickest of googlings uncovers the answer that Yen Sid is a stand-in wizard character in the Disney universe. Originally meant to represent at least physically Walt Disney himself — the name Yen Sid is Disney backwards — he’s kind of taken on a severe persona and made a bunch of appearances as a character of that sort will. So there you go. Mystery solved.

As to the cautionary portion of the tale, it’s a message about self-actualization and acceptance being put forth in the five-minute track, which stems from the veritable hook-fest that was Devil to Pay‘s late-2019 offering, Forever, Never or Whenever (review here), and its somewhat subdued melody is suited both to the lyrics and the thoughtful message they’re carrying. And while I’ve done a number of Devil to Pay premieres in the past, I’ll note further that “The Cautionary Tale of Yen Sid” — though obviously not written with current scenarios in mind — is inevitably a video for our times, as more than half of the footage was captured by the band last month during the COVID-19 lockdown. They appear, each playing their part, on a four-way split-screen.

But those shots come spliced with live snippets from last year in Indianapolis that features the group — guitarist/vocalist Steve Janiak, guitarist Rob Hough bassist Matt Stokes and drummer Chad Prifogle — on stage together. What a novelty that seems to be now. So even as the lyrics to “The Cautionary Tale of Yen Sid” provide a kind of existentialist pep-talk at a moment where such a thing is very much needed, they offer a reminder of what waits on the other end of this entire, generation-traumatizing experience in the ability to be with friends and loved ones and, yes, even bandmates again. To be able to go to shows. To experience art in-person. Don’t you miss that?

Devil to Pay are slated to be back at the venue where that show was filmed — Radio Radio, in their native Indianapolis — on June 5, and hey, who knows what the situation will be by then. Maybe it’ll happen.

But in the meantime, some poignant editing, a welcome message and a catchy chorus. I dare you to ask for more than that from where we are.

Enjoy the clip below:

Devil to Pay, “The Cautionary Tale of Yen Sid” official video

Devil to Pay’s music video for “the Cautionary Tale of Yen Sid”

from the album “Forever, Never or Whenever” on the Ripple Music label http://www.ripple-music.com

Home quarantine shots filmed April 2020. Live shots filmed at Radio Radio, Indianapolis, IN in November 2019.

Edited by S Janiak.

Recorded & Mixed by Mike Bridavsky at Russian Recording, Bloomington IN 2019.
Mastered by T. Dallas Reed at HeavyHead Recording Co.

Devil to Pay is:
Steve Janiak – guitars/vocals
Matt Stokes – bass
Chad Prifogle – drums
Rob Hough – guitars

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The Heavy Co. Release New Single “Phoenix” & Please Tune In… (2008-2014) Compilation

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Oh hey there, The Heavy Co. It’s been a while. Let’s see. The Uno Dose tape (review here) came out in 2014, so there’s that, and though last year, the Indianapolis-based jammers issued the demo collection, Psychedelamigo Sessions, that along with all their past releases would seem to have disappeared from their Bandcamp page, leaving instead the new compilation Please Tune In… (2008-2014) to summarize their initial run in its entirety.

As the title of the new comp. has served as a slogan for the band for at least as long as I can remember, it’s only appropriate as a title even though it was also the name of their debut EP (review here) in 2011, and while I’m sad to see offerings like Uno Dose and 2013’s Midwest Electric full-length (review here) go, the arrival of the mellow-flowing new single “Phoenix” is welcome, as the reignited-as-a-studio-band two-piece of Ian Daniel and Jeff Kaleth are fuzzing out and clearly exploring some trippy terrain in the process. Dudes sound like they’ve got it down. I’d happily take an EP or album of that stuff, should such a thing be in the offing.

The song is out as of today, as is the comp, so by all means, tune in accordingly, and enjoy:

the heavy co phoenix

Indianapolis neo-psychedelic stoner rockers The Heavy Co. are pleasantly thrilled to announce the release of their first single, Phoenix, in over half a decade.

After calling it quits in 2014, original members Ian Daniel and Jeff Kaleth have reformed and streamlined their record making process as an in-house production duo. Phoenix is a giant step forward in fidelity while retaining the hypnotic riffs and swirling, fuzz driven, seat of your pants, jamming style THC is known for.

Coinciding with the 4/20 release, THC has also compacted their back catalog into their 6 dopest hits and have re-released them as “Please Tune In… (2008 – 2014)”.

The compendium comprises of five previously released, mostly instrumental, tracks and one demo from the abandoned Psychedelamigo recording sessions.

Phoenix will be released on April 20, 2020 via THC’s Bandcamp will be available for streaming through the major platforms subsequently.

Please tune in…

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The Heavy Co., “Phoenix”

The Heavy Co., Please Tune In… (2008-2014) (2020)

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Days of Rona: Karl Simon of The Gates of Slumber & Wretch

Posted in Features on April 16th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

the gates of slumber karl simon

Days of Rona: Karl Simon of The Gates of Slumber & Wretch (Indianapolis, Indiana)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

Well, Gates of Slumber just got back from Europe just ahead of things going to shit here. We were all in quarantine for two weeks at home… and now shelter in place.

Somehow in spite of being in O’Hare the date of that big shitshow we are all healthy. No fevers no symptoms.

Wretch was meant to be recording our second record at the end of April. Those plans are paused now as we are just waiting to see what the future has in store. Sucks… this album has been held up so long… it’s like the way things go for Wretch: everything takes twice as long as it should. Which is fine.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

I don’t know. I am just holed up indoors. So far as I know it’s carry-out only at restaurants and maybe bars. People can still go to stores you just keep your distance.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

I see more people walking in front of my house than normal. Kids riding bikes. People walking their dogs. I think that’s a good thing to come of this: people have been slowed the fuck down. And hopefully we stick with it. But that is just what I see out my window. I don’t really pay attention to the news or anything. Stay away and stay down. If you have to go out: cover up the best you can — wear any kind of glove/mask/hat. Get in get what you need and get out. Wash your hands a fuck ton.

As far as music goes. I think a lot of bands are going to be releasing some very meticulously arranged stuff over the next few years. I expect we might see attention spans lengthen and that’s always good I think. I like the live shows people have been doing on social media. Might be the future…. which sucks for me as I actually like the idea of touring and playing live. But all of this remains to be seen.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

I think that we will get over this and things will get back to a normal. People need to take it easy. And they need to look out for each other a bit more. This won’t last forever.

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Friday Full-Length: The Gates of Slumber, …The Awakening

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Beginning next week, Indianapolis doomers The Gates of Slumber will embark on a European tour that, centered around and fostered by an appearance at Hell over Hammaburg in Germany, will touch down in six different countries across nine shows. It’s not the hugest tour the band have ever undertaken by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a special moment nonetheless as founding guitarist/vocalist Karl Simon (interview here) — who’s spent the last couple years developing the similarly-minded trio Wretch in part to spread The Gates of Slumber‘s legacy — revitalizes the band after splitting up in 2013. They go abroad with the express purpose of celebrating their 2004 debut, …The Awakening (originally released on Final Chapter Records), and joining Simon in the lineup is drummer Chuck Brown, who played on the album and went on to found Apostle of Solitude as vocalist/guitarist after its release, and bassist Steve Janiak, who’s been in Apostle of Solitude since about 2012 and who also fronts the wildly underrated Devil to Pay, also in vocals and guitar. The latter steps into an especially precarious position in the band, taking on the role once held by Jason McCash prior to his leaving the band in 2013 — causing the breakup — and subsequent death the next year.

The reunion tour and what it might lead to aside, …The Awakening hit 15 years old in 2019 and remains a work out of its own time. Not that there was no doom happening circa 2004 — indeed, The Gates of Slumber‘s “membership” in the ‘Circle of True Doom’ speaks to a community already crossing international borders — but they represented a new generation in direct engagement with some of the style’s most treasured traditions. You want to know how to doom? Cool. Go ahead and put on the opening track of …The Awakening, and once you’re past the howling wind, tolling bell and vague screams that consume the first minute-plus, sit back as SimonMcCash and Brown put together a handy tutorial on doing it right. Seriously. “The Awakening (Interpolating the Wrath of the Undead)” is a nine-minute clinic not only in what the album that in part shares its name has to offer, but really on the appeal of traditionalist doom on the whole. Its Sabbathian lurch is worn on-sleeve, and Simon‘s vocals are immediately downtrodden, the melody following the riff on a depressive spiral punctuated by the bell of Brown‘s ride cymbal evoking the introduction. The song grows slower and more tortured in its second half setting up the guitar solo that consumes both channels in Iommic layering, and then, as it approaches its last minute, the drums kick into a faster progression to thrash out as another, more ripping lead finishes off.

I won’t discount the 9:33 bookending closer “The Burial,”the gates of slumber the awakening or a speedster shuffle like “The Executioner,” the low-end-shoved chug of “Broken on the Wheel” or the plod and swing of “The Judge” and “The Jury,” respectively — this is essential doom and essentialist doom. It is doom the cuts through nuance and bullshit and proceeds to death. That is what it does from front to back. Wakes up on its last day, sees judge and jury, is tortured, executed and buried — done. But it’s in “The Awakening (Interpolating the Wrath of the Undead)” that The Gates of Slumber set the stage on which the drama that follows plays out, and they’re never so much consumed by the narrative as they are bringing to bear the sense of defeat of one who is powerless against their fate. Every dense-toned bassline from McCash and even the most uptempo of parts in “Broken on the Wheel” or “The Executioner” are prefaced by that last stretch in the leadoff cut. Perhaps only the penultimate bass-led interlude “Blessed Pathway to the Celestial Kingdom” stands apart in terms of aesthetic, but definitely not in mood, and …The Awakening remains unified in its purpose even as it transitions from alive to dead in that brief moment.

“The Burial,” then, is a glorious epilogue of a wasted life. You never find out what brings about the execution — “The Awakening (Interpolating the Wrath of the Undead)” references zombies and post-death horrors at the outset, but the nearest clue is in the lyrics to “The Jury,” with the lines, “You were guilty as the oaths were sworn. A felon to die upon the morn.” Whether we’re burying the undead alive or punishing some unknown treason or betrayal, does it really matter? The underlying point of …The Awakening is that existence is the punishment, and whatever situational extrapolation one might want to bring to the narrative across the songs, the same statement applies. There’s no getting away from it. No escape from that executioner’s blade. We’re all fucked. Doom on.

As much as one might look at a lineup of The Gates of Slumber with Karl SimonSteve Janiak and Chuck Brown and daydream of new material topped with morose three-part harmonies to fill the grueling spaces left by the band’s signature riffs, part of the appeal of …The Awakening — a big part of it — is its straightforwardness. It is hiding nothing, either about its origins, its influences, or its intentions. The band at the time were beginning an exploration that would gradually lead them away from doom as a central focus and toward a more epic metal style, as 2006’s Suffer No Guilt begat 2008’s Conqueror and 2009’s Hymns of Blood and Thunder (review here), but doom was always there, and when 2011’s The Wretch (review here) — from whence Simon‘s post-Gates band would later derive their name — surfaced in all its ultra-Saint Vitus-style misery, the feeling was that The Gates of Slumber‘s claim on the forefront of US doom had never been stronger or more resonant. When their 2013 EP, Stormcrow (review here), served as the final installment of their career, even more than a decade on from their start the primary loss seemed to be in their potential going unfulfilled.

The Church Within Records has — today, apparently — issued a live record called Live at Tempe Arizona, and The Gates of Slumber have been steadily posting rehearsal footage from a basement that should be well recognizable to anyone who follows along with similar videos from Apostle of Solitude. Wherever their reunion goes or doesn’t go after this tour, whether there’s another The Gates of Slumber album or tour or not, their legacy is cast in the quality and the sincerity of their doom. There are few bands who have been able to play to style while feeling as genuine and heartfelt as The Gates of Slumber do on …The Awakening, and that only makes the record all the more worthy of the homage they’re paying it.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

Don’t even ask what’s on next week. I have a dentist appointment Thursday? I know that. But I don’t even know what I’m writing about for Monday. It’s in the notes, I’ll deal with it over the weekend. Lord Buffalo maybe? I don’t know. Whatever. I’ve been trying to sleep later with mixed results and this week sucked anyway. Kid’s good. Everyone’s healthy. Whatever else.

Fuck email. I just don’t have the energy to deal with that shit. I have 147 messages that I just have no idea what the fuck to do with. I want to put up an out of office and be like, “Sorry I’m dead.” Facebook Messenger. Are you fucking kidding me?

Oh, I’m gonna review Arbouretum next week. Well that’s a break. That’ll be good. No one will give a crap, but whatever. I reviewed My Dying Bride this week, no one gave a crap. Why would they. Band’s been around for 30 years, what the hell am I gonna say about them that hasn’t been said 100 times before? Duh they’re good at what they do. Review over. Took me 1,000 words to say that, pretentious nitwit that I am. Feigning relevance for 11 years and counting! I don’t care. I just keep doing it anyway. I need it.

I’m burnt out, man. Still more than a month to go until Roadburn and I’m feeling like that spiritual rejuvenation is needed. Lot of hills to climb before I get there.

Leap Day tomorrow. I’ll be watching baseball and trying to avoid looking at the computer, counting down the minutes until it’s time to heat up leftovers for dinner. Farmer’s market on Sunday maybe. Fine.

Last night, I got offered $100 to write a review for today. Someone trying to buy coverage. This is a person who, in the past, I’ve considered a friend. Trying to buy coverage from me. Obviously clueless as to how insulting that is. I did not, and now will not, write the review. How could I possibly?

That’s life.

So I’m out $100. Ha.

At least Picard is good.

Anyway. Great and safe weekend. Appreciate you reading. FRM.

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