Album Review: Clutch, Weathermaker Vault Series Vol. 1

Posted in Reviews on November 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Clutch Weathermaker Vault Series Vol 1

For those  Search for jobs related to Home Page or hire on the world's largest freelancing marketplace with 13m+ jobs. It's free to sign up and bid on jobs. Clutch fans who’ve followed along over the last year-plus as the band has made their way toward building up their ‘Weathermaker Vault Series’ — the first one to be unveiled was proofreading research paper Racism Essay 123helpme college application essay service nursing jeeves help with homework Cactus-via- how to write a phd conclusion Written Bibliographys Online dissertation francais plan apparent home work free Willie Assignment Help In London, - cpt icd 9 homework help. At best essay writing service review platform, students will get best suggestions of best Dixon‘s “Evil” in June 2019 — through their own  Literary Analysis Essay On The Hunger Games. College Algebra. Welcome to College Algebra Online! A free online math course. Chapter 1: Lets Get Real. Weathermaker Music label, the collection  How To Write An Admission Essay Linking Words uk - professional and cheap paper to make easier your studying Why be concerned about the essay? apply for the necessary help on Weathermaker Vault Series Vol. 1, should be a welcome advent. At very least convenient. In addition to the singles themselves, it includes odds and ends like “Run, John Barleycorn, Run” from the Maryland lifer-rockers’ 2014 split with reggae-informed buddies Our blog Phd Thesis Index Uk is the easiest way to get highly relevant, researched, and professionally written content, for your website on a regular basis. Lionize, and “Algo Ha Cambiado,” a cover of influential ’70s-era Argentinian outfit  Paperless Pay Best Buy - paper writing service Pay someone to do my assignment australia -... Pappo’s Blues that appeared in a jammier take as part of 2009’s check my site is essential for successful application! Our college essay editors will refine your writing and make it perfect! Get more chances Strange Cousins From the West (discussed here and here), as well as sundry other reduxes and covers.

It is, accordingly, a fan-piece.  Professional Distribution Service Bank Usa Candidate Resumes offered by Dubais top career consultancy with the team of best resume writers; CVMaker.ae. Our prices start from as Weathermaker Vault Series Vol. 1 should probably not be anyone’s starting point with  Its crucial to http://www.vsprint.com/?live-chat-homework-help which fits perfectly into your schedule and budget. To do this, youll need to go through all the costs involved. Clutch. The band have a wide catalog of full-lengths to choose from, and which one makes the best entry to their work is an argument — a fun argument! — for another time. These 10 songs put together as a respectable 38-minute LP are best approached for what they are, and that’s a niche offering for the previously-indoctrinated.

There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. As they approach 30 years since first getting together, the four-piece of vocalist  Racism And Educated Peoples Ghostwriting Australia Ghost writers Brisbane Ghostwriter Gold Coast Ghostwriting fees How do I find a ghostwriter for my book Neil Fallon, guitarist Need http://grandpicsaintloup.fr/a-research-papercom/? We are Do My College Algebra, a premium provider of algebra class taking services for discerning clients. Tim Sult, bassist  Order research paper writing services and enjoy the highest Homework Help Ks2 show that SameDayEssay.com holds the top Dan Maines and drummer  What Website Can Help Me With My Math Homework me - experience the advantages of professional writing help available here Spend a little time and money to get the paper you could Jean-Paul Gaster are no strangers when it comes to this kind of thing. Various limited live offerings through the years have surfaced, as well as countless promo discs and collections like 2003’s  Slow Hole to China: Rare and Unreleased, 2005’s Pitchfork & Lost Needles, 2015’s La Curandera and of course the massive 2020 limited box set, The Obelisk, that brought together all their Weathermaker material — this compilation aside — under one banner. It may be the first of its kind — and it may not be the last; hence ‘vol. 1’ — but even though the method of releasing singles and David Brodsky-directed videos over the course of a year and a half is new to the band, it’s an engagement with multimedia-focused attention spans in a way that fits with what they’ve done before.

Beginning with the recently-unveiled revisit to “Passive Restraints” from the 1992 Earache Records EP of the same name that features a guest appearance from vocalist Randy Blythe of Lamb of GodWeathermaker Vault Series Vol. 1 wants nothing for an initial kick of energy. The nature of an outing like this is to be somewhat disjointed as tracks from various sessions are cobbled together, and Clutch have always been a band who bring out different sounds and vibes working with different producers, and while J. Robbins might be the unifying factor here in having helmed several of the songs, there are still shifts both in sound and style as the band spans their long career arc. Clutch don’t hide from them.

Clutch (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Instead, they back “Passive Restraints” with a newer take on one of their most successful singles, “Electric Worry.” The song that originally appeared on 2007’s From Beale Street to Oblivion (reissue reviewed here) is among Clutch‘s most landmark hooks, and while the single version had the unfortunate timing of being roughly concurrent with the death of former organist Mick Schauer, who played on that album and that track, the Weathermaker Vault “Electric Worry” does well in capturing a sense of the band’s live performance of it. Likewise that the later, speeded up redo for “Spacegrass.” It’s almost painful to hear Maines‘ holy-of-holies bassline played at anything other than a glacial pace, and the total presentation throughout is almost too clean for its own good in comparison to the danker edge with which that “Whenever it feels right” hook was delivered some 25 years ago, but again, that was 25 years ago, and Clutch take nothing away from what was by giving a reinterpretation to their own material.

The only other album track on Weathermaker Vault Series Vol. 1 is “Smoke Banshee,” originally on 2001’s Pure Rock Fury and it’s the best of the three. That LP has been maligned by some for its rougher-edged production — I’ll argue the “noise factor” is part of its appeal — but there’s no debating the success they bring in terms of fullness of sound in this version of “Smoke Banshee.” If they’re testing the waters for a full-re-recording or full-album live runthrough to mark the record’s 20th anniversary next year, “Smoke Banshee” shows that material might indeed be ripe for a revamp. And I like Pure Rock Fury. A lot.

ZZ Top‘s “Precious and Grace” feels like it might be included to let anyone who didn’t know know that Fallon cribbed the “Good god almighty…” lyric on Elephant Riders‘ “Eight Times Over Miss October” from the Texan outfit, and fair enough, and the Creedence Clearwater Revival cut “Fortunate Son” that presumably closes side A could hardly be a more fitting Clutch song if they wrote it. “Run, John Barleycorn, Run” is another among the slew of quality hooks early on, sat comfortably between “Electric Worry” and “Evil,” and quite possibly the best choice Clutch made as regards Weathermaker Vault Series Vol. 1 was to put “Willie Nelson” last, since invariably that’s the song that would be stuck in the listener’s head when the LP is over anyway. There’s just no escape from that chorus, and the re-recording — it originally appeared on Slow Hole to China and in a different version on the 2004 High Times compilation, High Volume — absolutely nails it.

That, obviously, is spoken as a fan of the band, but if the point hasn’t yet be made, that’s who inevitably will be most concerned with Weathermaker Vault Series Vol. 1 anyhow. It’s for the kind of Clutch listener who’s hoping they announce a holiday-timed ‘Doom Saloon’ live stream to take the place of the usual tour. Clutch have discussed the possibility of recording a new album this winter, but since they they can’t play live as they otherwise invariably would, Weathermaker Vault Series Vol. 1 is an opportunity in the meantime for followers to step forward and show support to the band and the work they’ve put in not only across this year, but for nearly three decades. If you made it this far reading, you probably know that already.

Clutch, “Willie Nelson” official video

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Clutch Releasing Weathermaker Vault Series Vol. 1 Nov. 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 19th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Clutch fans, you know what this is. Slow Hole to China. Lost Needles. That La Curandera vinyl. The sundry live records from the earlier ’10s. This is the kind of Clutch offering that comes out as a fan-piece, and if you don’t pick it up, you only get pissed off later at not having done so. You know exactly how it is. You see it at the merch table and you’re like, “Eh, I already bought five shirts, I’ll get it next time,” and then it’s gone and out of print and you feel like a sap. It’s why you bought that deluxe Earth Rocker even though you had the regular one. And you were right to do that.

So, after watching Clutch produce kickass videos for the ‘Weathermaker Vault Series’ over the last year-plus, you know what to do with Weathermaker Vault Series Vol. 1. They’ve even put that Pappo’s Blues cover on there.

You can’t lose:

clutch weathermaker vault series vol 1

CLUTCH SET TO RELEASE “THE WEATHERMAKER VAULT SERIES VOL. I” NOVEMBER 27TH

Clutch will be releasing The Weathermaker Vault Series Vol. I November 27th.

In the summer of 2019, Weathermaker Music began to release digital-only Clutch covers and re-recorded songs from their vast catalog as a way to stay active and give fans a regular dose of Clutch every six or so weeks. The campaign is called The Weathermaker Vault Series, and it has been successful so far with the digital release of 9 singles. Weathermaker Music is now releasing a ten-track physical album on CD and 12″ vinyl as The Weathermaker Vault Series Vol. I. The album will contain one unreleased track, a Spanish language cover version of “Algo Ha Cambiado,” a hard-rocking shuffle written by the legendary blues-rock guitarist Norberto Napolitano affectionately known as Pappo of the pioneering Argentinean blues metal band Pappos Blues. The CD and the digital album version will be released on November 27th. A 12″ colored vinyl (Opaque White) LP version will be available in the new year.

“This Clutch release is unique in that we chose to record some of our favorite songs by artists that have provided us with inspiration over the years as well as re-record some Clutch Classics,” states drummer Jean-Paul Gaster. “Hitting the studio this way was great to keep our recording chops up as well as celebrate some music that has meant so much to us as fans and musicians.”

The Weathermaker Vault Series Vol.I Track Listing:

01. Passive Restraints
02. Electric Worry
03. Run, John Barleycorn, Run
04. Evil
05. Fortunate Son
06. Algo Ha Cambiado
07. Spacegrass
08. Precious And Grace
09. Smoke Banshee
10. Willie Nelson

CLUTCH:
Neil Fallon – Vocals/Guitar
Tim Sult – Guitar
Dan Maines – Bass
Jean-Paul Gaster – Drums/Percussion

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Clutch, “Willie Nelson” official video

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Clutch Revisit “Passive Restraints” for Weathermaker Vault Series

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 16th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

clutch passive restraints

Look, I’m perfectly willing to go on record and say I’ve never been a Lamb of God fan. My first real exposure to the band was seeing them live in 2000 at an event hosted by my college radio station, selling their merch and when Randy Blythe came up and couldn’t find a box of CDs, accusing me of stealing it — I told him, “dude I haven’t sold one of your records, I don’t know what you think I’d do with a whole box of them,” which is not a line I regret — and trying to get me fired.

Well, I’d get myself fired without his help eventually and for something entirely unrelated, but the sour taste left in my mouth from that incident hardly dissipated as the band went on to inherit Pantera‘s fanbase and emerge as one of their generation’s leading metal bands. Was it the worst thing Blythe ever did? Well, there was that time a guy died. Did my lack of on-boardness hold Lamb of God back or cause them to lose sleep? Likely not.

So here come Clutch with a redux of “Passive Restraints,” taken from the 1992 EP of the same name, and they brought Blythe into the studio to guest on vocals as he’s apparently done a couple times on stage. Fine.

I’ll look forward to when the entire Weathermaker Vault Series comes out later this month and furrowing my brow when this song comes on. You care? Nah.

Here’s the video:

Clutch, “Passive Restraints” official video

Clutch has released its new single “Passive Restraints” today. “Passive Restraints” originally appeared as the title track to the bands 2nd EP released in 1992. This newly recorded version is part of the Weathermaker Vault Series and features guest vocals by Randy Blythe from Lamb of God. Clutch and Blythe have collaborated on this track live for several years now, the last time at European festival appearances in the summer of 2019. The song can be streamed on Spotify at this location: https://orcd.co/passiverestraints and on the band’s official YouTube Channel: https://tinyurl.com/yy2575t7

The upcoming official video for the song was directed by David Brodsky (The Black Dahlia Murder, Papa Roach).

“Passive Restraints’ was one of the first Clutch songs I wrote lyrics to,” states frontman Neil Fallon. “It was a staple of Clutch sets for years but fell by the wayside as we wrote more and more songs over the years. When we toured with Lamb of God a few years back, Randy would often ask us to bring it back into rotation. We dragged our feet, and finally, we caved. And we were glad we did. The last time Clutch played Copenhell, Randy joined us on stage to perform the song. We decided to re-record it for the WM Vault Series and thought it was only fitting to have Randy join us.”

The single “Passive Restraints” comes from the upcoming album “WeatherMaker Vault Series Vol. I” out on Friday November 27th.

CLUTCH:
Neil Fallon – Vocals/Guitar
Tim Sult – Guitar
Dan Maines – Bass
Jean-Paul Gaster – Drums/Percussion

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Review & Full Album Stream: Serpents of Secrecy, Ave Vindicta

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on October 26th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

SERPENTS OF SECRECY ave vindicta

[Click play above to stream Serpents of Secrecy’s Ave Vindicta in full. Album is out on Halloween through Moving the Earth Records.]

Releasing an album can be an emotionally loaded experience in the best of contexts, so one struggles to approach Serpents of Secrecy‘s Ave Vindicta imagining how it might feel for the members of the band. The roots of the project go back to 2012/2013, with earlier lineups featuring members of Alabama Thunderpussy, Gypsy Chief Goliath, and When the Deadbolt Breaks, but at the core of the group was the rhythm section of drummer Chuck Dukehart III (Foghound, ex-Sixty Watt Shaman) and bassist Rev. Jim Forrester (also later Foghound, ex-Sixty Watt Shaman), and expectations for Serpents of Secrecy were essentially shunted when Forrester was murdered in late 2017. That horrific context in no small part defined Foghound‘s most recent LP, 2018’s Awaken to Destroy (review here), and as the Baltimore/greater-Maryland underground heavy community continues to grieve, it defines Ave Vindicta as well — perhaps all the more so because of the potential shown in the record’s 11-track/52-minute run.

Serpents of Secrecy‘s debut LP and possible swansong — one never knows — arrives with the lineup of DukehartForrester, vocalist Mark Lorenzo (Zekiah, Crawler), and guitarists Steve Fisher (Borracho) and Todd Ingram (Pimmit Hills, who were formerly King Giant), the latter of whom is a founding member as well. Their collective pedigree makes them something of a Chesapeake Watershed supergroup, and with the production of J. Robbins at the Magpie Cage (also guest keys on “Bleeding Still”) as a sixth member in terms of bringing the album to light, the sense throughout Ave Vindicta is all the more complete, dynamic, and purposeful. As a straight-up, sans-nonsense heavy rock and roll band, they hit all their marks, rolling out at a nod with the six-minute title-track before the bass opens “Heel Turn” with a post-Clutch groove that Lorenzo meets with due burl en route to the semi-Southern “The Cheat” — a sound still more Maryland than Carolina; if you know what I mean — and “Time Crushes All,” which is the longest inclusion on the outing at 7:36 and veers between calm and volatility all the while giving the melody space to flourish before the wash of crash turns raw at the last apex, giving a beastly finish to the opening salvo. Ass meet boot.

And that was always going to be the story of this band. For what they’re delivering — and let’s be frank and say it’s not a stylistic reinvention of form as much as an offering made for the joy of these players combining their influences and writing the best songs they can because that’s what they’re driven to do; they’re not concerned with shifting genre paradigms here and they don’t — Serpents of Secrecy were going to be a no-doubter from the outset, and even through the various lineup changes that brought them to the five-piece of DukehartForresterIngramFisher and Lorenzo, that remained the case. As Ave Vindicta give its first breather in the instrumental “Lament” ahead of barreling through “Warbird’s Song” and the moody-but-also-huge “Orphan’s Dream,” finally breaking out the cowbell on “Dealer’s Choice” — and leading with it, no less — it is a promise being fulfilled. In the sureness of their hooks and the impact with which their material lands, Serpents of Secrecy not only fill out what they teased on 2017’s Uncoiled – The Singles two-tracker (which featured what seem to have been the same recordings of “Warbird’s Song” and “The Cheat,” with guest organ from Mark Calcott on the latter), but pay off the years of expectation preceding them.

serpents of secrecy (Photo by Shane Gardner)

What do you do with that at this point? I won’t feign impartiality here — I was always going to like this record and I do — but it’s hard to listen to it too. I knew Forrester in kind of a secondary way, through his music and being in touch over his years in his various bands. We spoke a few weeks before he was killed. He was a complex person. He had a dark side and a light side completely separate from his on-stage persona of the tongue-wagging, up-front bass player engaging the crowd, calling you “brother,” and so on. He was sweet, and someone worthy of missing as he is missed. If you didn’t know him, or you don’t know that Ave Vindicta arrives as a posthumous release for the bassist, it’s entirely possible listen blind to that mournful aspect of it. I suspect that most people who hear it won’t be so fortunate, but having known Forrester even to the extent that I did, there’s no way he would have ever wanted this material to languish, unheard, unreleased, in the event of his death or anything else. It is right and proper that Ave Vindicta sees release in homage to him.

The album’s final movement begins with “Dealer’s Choice,” which brings back guest organ alongside the noted “cowbell,” and moves into the more spacious “Bleeding Still” before the final pair “Broke the Key” and “In the Lock” round out, the penultimate track finding Lorenzo doing his best oldschool Life of Agony while the sees him taking on the role of a dollar-hungry preacher — “the salvation van is rolling, but a lack of gas money can stop it” — as the band jams out behind. It’s good fun, and indicative of the cathartic reasoning behind putting out Ave Vindicta in the first place. It’s a look at what was and what might’ve been from Serpents of Secrecy. It’s entirely possible that the band may decide to continue in some form, and certainly they have that right, but Ave Vindicta is as much a final word on the years it took to bring it about as it is a demonstration of the group’s potential. One suspects that if the album had come out in 2018, the five-piece would already be at work on a follow-up, if not already doing shows to support that next release, but then, what might’ve been is nothing if not an underlying theme to what actually is in this case. Whatever happens or doesn’t from this point on, this is a record that summarizes, earns, owns and deserves its moment.

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Clutch’s The Obelisk Box Set Out This Week

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

Yeah, I know. Snicker snicker. If I believed in fun, the title of this box set would tickle me pink. In any case, Clutch originally announced their humongous 18LP The Obelisk box set would be out for Record Store Day in April. They had a bunch of tour dates to coincide. Well, neither the tour dates nor the box set nor anyone’s anything happened as scheduled. The box set is happening this weekend. The tour? Well, we’ll just see about that. Don’t forget to wear your mask to your favorite participating record store.

Speaking of. I made the trek to one of New Jersey’s premier indie spots the other day. It was early in the day and I took The Pecan since he says the words “record store” I think because he knows he’ll get a positive response for doing so. Whatever. I looked around at CDs I don’t have room for and LPs that were cool looking but that I also don’t have room for and are more expensive and it was just kind of a bummer. I didn’t end up getting anything. It was cool to go with the kid and all, but I felt like I was kind of missing out. Time was I’d go drop $150 easy at this place without looking back. Now I just suck I guess.

But this’d be a reason to go back:

clutch the obelisk

CLUTCH’S LP BOX SET “THE OBELISK” IS FINALLY HERE

After many delays due to the ongoing pandemic The Obelisk is finally scheduled to hit stores on Saturday, Oct. 24th for the third drop of Record Store Day. The box set is comprised of all of Clutch’s Weathermaker Music vinyl releases. There are six double LP’s, three 12″ LPs, and three 12″ picture discs all together in a beautifully designed box set. In addition, the box contains a turntable mat and a square, artist signed lithograph. The rigid box has a magnetic closure and the silver foil is stamped on black Sierra cloth. This is a unique collector’s item and only 2,000 boxes were made for worldwide sales.

Says Neil Fallon: “In 2008 Clutch launched Weathermaker Music. Starting our own record label has proven to be one of the better decisions we made and The Obelisk box set is evidence. The Obelisk is comprised of all the Clutch vinyl LPs released on Weathermaker Music. It has been a long time coming, but we think it has been worth the wait.”

You can finally find this LP box set at participating Record Store Day retailers everywhere around the country on Saturday, October 24th.”

The individual 12” vinyl releases are Full Fathom Five (2xLP), Live at The Googolplex (Picture Disc), Jam Room (Picture Disc). Pitchfork & Lost Needles (Picture Disc), La Curandera, Strange Cousins From The West (2xLP),Blast Tyrant (2xLP), Robot Hive/Exodus (2xLP), From Beale Street To Oblivion (2xLP) Earth Rocker, Psychic Warfare, and Book Of bad Decisions (2xLP).

CLUTCH:
Neil Fallon – Vocals/Guitar
Tim Sult – Guitar
Dan Maines – Bass
Jean-Paul Gaster – Drums/Percussion

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Quarterly Review: Molasses Barge, Slow Green Thing, Haze Mage & Tombtoker, White Dog, Jupiterian, Experiencia Tibetana, Yanomamo, Mos Eisley Spaceport, Of Wolves, Pimmit Hills

Posted in Reviews on October 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

We roll on with day two of the Fall 2020 Quarterly Review featuring another batch of 10 records en route to 50 by Friday — and actually, I just put together the list for a sixth day, so it’ll be 60 by next Monday. As much as things have been delayed from the pandemic, there’s been plenty to catch up on in the meantime and I find I’m doing a bit of that with some of this stuff today and yesterday. So tacking on another day to the end feels fair enough, and it was way easy to pick 10 more folders off my far-too-crowded desktop and slate them for review. So yeah, 60 records by Monday. I bet I could get to 70 if I wanted. Probably better for my sanity if I don’t. Anyhoozle, more to come. For now…

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Molasses Barge, A Grayer Dawn

molasses barge a grayer dawn

Following up their 2017 self-titled debut issued through Blackseed Records, Pittsburgh-based rockers Molasses Barge present A Grayer Dawn through Argonauta, and indeed, in songs like “Holding Patterns” or the melancholy “Control Letting Go,” it is a somewhat moodier offering than its predecessor. But also more focused. Molasses Barge, in songs like stomping opener “The Snake” and its swing-happy successor “Desert Discord,” and in the later lumber of “Black Wings Unfurl” and push of the title-track, reside at an intersection of microgenres, with classic heavy rock and doom and modern tonality and production giving them an edge in terms of overarching heft in their low end. Riffs are choice throughout from guitarists Justin Gizzi and Barry Mull, vocalist Brian “Butch” Balich (Argus, ex-Penance, etc.) sounds powerful as ever, and the rhythm section of bassist Amy Bianco and drummer Wayne Massey lock in a succession of grooves that find welcome one after the other until the final “Reprise” fades to close the album. Its individuality is deceptive, but try to fit Molasses Barge neatly in one category or the other and they’ll stand out more than it might at first seem.

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Slow Green Thing, Amygdala

slow-green-thing_amygdala-2000

Yes, this. Slow Green Thing‘s third album, Amygdala, is melodic without being overbearing and filled out with a consuming depth and warmth of tone. A less jammy, more solo-prone Sungrazer comes to mind; that kind of blend of laid back vocals and heavy psychedelic impulse. But the Dresden four-piece have their own solidified, nodding grooves to unveil as well, tapping into modern stoner with two guitars setting their fuzz to maximum density and Sven Weise‘s voice largely floating overtop, echo added to give even more a sense of largesse and space to the proceedings, which to be sure have plenty of both. The six-track/44-minute outing picks up some speed in “Dirty Thoughts” at the outset of side B, and brings a fair bit of crush to the title-track earlier and lead-laced finale “Love to My Enemy,” but in “Dreamland,” they mellow and stretch out the drift and the effect is welcome and not at all out of place beside the massive sprawl conjured in side A capper “All I Want.” And actually, that same phrase — “all I want” — covers a good portion of my opinion on the band’s sound.

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Haze Mage & Tombtoker, Split

Haze Mage Tombtoker Split

Anyone bemoaning the state of traditionalist doom metal would do well to get their pants kick’d by Haze Mage, and when that’s done, it’s time to let the stoned zombie sludge of Tombtoker rip your arms off and devour what’s left. The two Baltimorean five-pieces make a righteously odd pairing, but they’ve shared the stage at Grim Reefer Fest in Charm City, and what they have most in common is a conviction of approach that comes through on each half of the four-song/19-minute offering, with Haze Mage shooting forth with “Sleepers” and the semi-NWOBHM “Pit Fighter,” metal, classic prog and heavy rock coming together with a vital energy that is immediately and purposefully contradicted in Tombtoker‘s played-fast-but-is-so-heavy-it-still-sounds-slow “Braise the Dead” and “Botched Bastard,” both of which find a way to be a ton of fun while also being unspeakably brutal and pushing the line between sludge and death metal in a way that would do Six Feet Under proud. Horns and bongs all around, then.

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White Dog, White Dog

white dog white dog

Oldschool newcomers White Dog earn an automatic look by releasing their self-titled debut through former Cathedral frontman Lee Dorrian‘s Rise Above Records, but it’s the band’s clearcut vintage aesthetic that holds the listener’s attention. With proto-metal established as an aesthetic of its own going on 20 years now, White Dog aren’t the first by any means to tread this ground, but especially for an American band, they bring a sincerity of swing and soul that speaks to the heart of the subgenre’s appeal. “The Lantern” leans back into the groove to tell its tale, while “Abandon Ship” is more upfront in its strut, and “Snapdragon” and opener “Sawtooth” underscore their boogie with subtle progressive nods. Closing duo “Pale Horse” and “Verus Cultus” might be enough to make one recall it was Rise Above that issued Witchcraft‘s self-titled, but in the shuffle of “Crystal Panther,” and really across the whole LP White Dog make the classic ideology theirs and offer material of eminent repeat listenability.

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Jupiterian, Protosapien

jupiterian protosapien

The only thing that might save you from being swallowed entirely by the deathly mire Brazil’s Jupiterian craft on their third full-length, Protosapien, is the fact that the album is only 35 minutes long. That’s about right for the robe-clad purveyors of tonal violence — 2017’s Terraforming (review here) and 2015’s Aphotic (review here) weren’t much longer — and rest assured, it’s plenty of time for the band to squeeze the juice out of your soul and make you watch while they drink it out of some need-two-hands-to-hold-it ceremonial goblet. Their approach has grown more methodical over the years, and all the deadlier for that, and the deeper one pushes into Protosapien — into “Capricorn,” “Starless” and “Earthling Bloodline” at the end of the record — the less likely any kind of cosmic salvation feels. I’d say you’ve been warned, but really, this is just scratching the surface of the trenches into which Jupiterian plunge.

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Experiencia Tibetana, Vol. I

Experiencia Tibetana Vol I

It’s an archival release, recorded in 2014 and 2015 by the Buenos Aires-based band, but all that really does for the three-song/hour-long Vol. I is make me wonder what the hell Experiencia Tibetana have been up to since and why Vols. II and III are nowhere to be found. The heavy psych trio aren’t necessarily inventing anything on this debut full-length, but the way “Beirut” (18:36) is peppered with memorable guitar figures amid its echo-drifting vocals, and the meditation tucked into the last few minutes of the 26:56 centerpiece “Espalda de Elefante” and the shift in persona to subdued progressive psych on “Desatormentandonos” (14:16) with the bass seeming to take the improvisational lead as guitar lines hold the central progression together, all of it is a compelling argument for one to pester for a follow-up. It may be an unmanageable runtime, but for the come-with-us sense of voyage it carries, Vol. I adapts the listener’s mindset to its exploratory purposes, and proves to be well worth the trip.

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Experiencia Tibetana on Bandcamp

 

Yanomamo, No Sympathy for a Rat

yanomamo no sympathy for a rat

Filth-encrusted and lumbering, Yanomamo‘s sludge takes Church of Misery-style groove and pummels it outright on the opening title-track of their four-song No Sympathy for a Rat EP. Like distilled disillusion, the scream-laced answer to the Sydney four-piece’s 2017 debut, Neither Man Nor Beast, arrives throwing elbows at your temples and through “The Offering,” the wait-is-this-grindcore-well-kinda-in-this-part “Miasma” and the suitably destructive “Iron Crown,” the only letup they allow is topped with feedback. Get in, kill, get out. They have more bounce than Bongzilla but still dig into some of Thou‘s more extreme vibe, but whatever you might want to compare them to, it doesn’t matter: Yanomamo‘s unleashed assault leaves bruises all its own, and the harsher it gets, the nastier it gets, the better. Can’t take it? Can’t hang? Fine. Stand there and be run over — I don’t think it makes a difference to the band one way or the other.

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Iommium Records on Bandcamp

 

Mos Eisley Spaceport, The Best of Their Early Year

mos eisley spaceport the best of their early year

They mean the title literally — “early year.” Bremen, Germany’s Mos Eisley Spaceport — who so smoothly shift between space rock and classic boogie on “Further When I’m Far” and brash tempo changes en route to a final jam-out on “Mojo Filter,” finally unveiling the Star Wars sample at the head of organ-inclusive centerpiece “Space Shift” only to bring early Fu Manchu-style raw fuzz on “Drop Out” and finish with the twanging acoustic and pedal steel of “My Bicycle Won’t Fly” — have been a band for less than a full 12 months. Thus, The Best of Their Early Year signals some of its own progressive mindset and more playful aspects, but it is nonetheless a formidable accomplishment for a new band finding their way. They lay out numerous paths, if you couldn’t tell by the run-on sentence above, and I won’t hazard a guess as to where they’ll end up sound-wise, but they have a fervent sense of creative will that comes through in this material and one only hopes they hold onto whatever impulse it is that causes them to break out the gong on “Space Shift,” because it’s that sense of anything-as-long-as-it-works that’s going to continue to distinguish them.

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Of Wolves, Balance

of wolves balance

One doesn’t often hear “the Wolfowitz Doctrine” brought out in lyrics these days, but Chicago heavy noise metallers Of Wolves aren’t shy about… well, anything. With volume inherent in the sound no matter how loud you’re actually hearing it, conveyed through weighted tones, shouts of progressions unified in intensity but varied in aggression and actual approach, the three-piece take an unashamed stance on a range of issues from the last two decades of war to trying to put themselves into the head of a mass shooter. The lyrics across their sophomore outing, Balance, are worth digging into for someone willing to take them on, but even without, the aggro mosh-stomp of “Maker” makes its point ahead of the 17-second “Flavor of the Weak” before Of Wolves dive into more progressively-structured fare on the title-track and “Clear Cutting/Bloodshed/Heart to Hand.” After “Killing Spree” and the aural-WTF that is “Inside (Steve’s Head),” they finish with a sludgecore take on the Misfits‘ “Die, Die My Darling,” which as it turns out was exactly what was missing up to that point.

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Trepanation Recordings on Bandcamp

 

Pimmit Hills, Heathens & Prophets

Pimmit Hills Heathens Prophets

Comprised of four-fifths of what was Virginian outfit King Giant, it’s hard to know whether to consider Pimmit Hills a new band or a name-change, or what, but the first offering from vocalist David Hammerly, guitarist Todd “TI” Ingram, bassist Floyd Lee Walters III and drummer Brooks, titled Heathens & Prophets and self-released, hits with a bit of a bluesier feel than did the prior outfit, leaving plenty of room for jamming in each track and even going so far as to bring producer J. Robbins in on keys throughout the four-song/29-minute release. I suppose you could call it an EP or an LP — or a demo? — if so inclined, but any way you cut it, Heathens & Prophets plainly benefits from the band’s experience playing together, and they find a more rocking, less moody vibe in “Baby Blue Eyes” and the harmonica-laced “Beautiful Sadness” that has a feel as classic in substance as it is modern in sound and that is both Southern but refusing to bow entirely to cliché.

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Quarterly Review: Steve Von Till, Cyttorak, Lambda, Dee Calhoun, Turtle Skull, Diuna, Tomorrow’s Rain, Mother Eel, Umbilichaos, Radar Men From the Moon

Posted in Reviews on October 5th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

Oh hi there. It’s Quarterly Review time again, and you know what that means. 50 records between now and Friday — and I may or may not extend it through next Monday as well; I think I have enough of a backlog at this point to do so. It’s really just a question of how destroyed I am by writing about 10 different records every day this week. If past is prologue, that’s fairly well destroyed. But I’ve yet to do a Quarterly Review and regret it when it’s over, and like the last one, this roundup of 50 albums is pretty well curated, so it might even be fun to go through. There’s a thought. In any case, as always, I hope you find something you enjoy, and thank you for reading if you do or as much as you do.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Steve Von Till, No Wilderness Deep Enough

steve von till no wilderness deep enough

Neurosis guitarist/vocalist Steve Von Till seems to be bringing some of the experimentalism that drives his Harvestman project into the context of his solo work with No Wilderness Deep Enough, his fifth LP and first since 2015’s A Life unto Itself (review here). Drones and melodic synth backs the deceptively-titled “The Old Straight Track,” and where Von Till began his solo career 20 years ago with traditional folk guitar, if slower, on these six tracks, he uses that meditative approach as the foundation for an outward-reaching 37-minute run, incorporating ethereal strings among the swirls of “Shadows on the Run” and finishing with the foreboding hum of “Wild Iron.” Opener “Dreams of Trees” establishes the palette’s breadth with synthesized beats alongside piano and maybe-cello, but it’s Von Till‘s voice itself that ties the material together and provides the crucial human presence and intimacy that most distinguishes the offerings under his own name. Accompanied by Von Till‘s first published book of poetry, No Wilderness Deep Enough is a portrait of the unrelenting creative growth of its maker.

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Neurot Recordings on Bandcamp

 

Cyttorak, Simultaneous Invocation of Apocalyptic Harbingers

Cyttorak Simultaneous Invocation of Apocalyptic Harbingers

Take a breath before you hit play only to have it punched right out from your solar plexus by the brutalist deathsludge Cyttorak cleverly call “slowerviolence.” Dominated by low end and growls, screams, and shouts, the lumbering onslaught is the second standalone EP for the three-piece who hail from scenic Pawtucket, Rhode Island (former home of the PawSox), and throughout its six-track run, the unit conjure an unyieldingly punishing tonal morass set to aggressive purpose. That they take their name from the Marvel Universe character who controls X-Men villain Juggernaut should not be taken as coincidence, since their sound indeed seems intended to put its head down and smash through walls and/or anything else that might be in its path in pursuit of its quarry. With Conan-esque lyrical minimalism, the songs nonetheless give clues to their origins — “Royal Shokan Dismemberment” refers to Goro from Mortal Kombat, and finale “Domination Lord of Coldharbour” to Skyrim (which I still regret not playing) — but if you consider comics or video games to be lighter fare, first off, you’re working with an outdated mentality, and second, Cyttorak would like a bit of your time to smother you with volume and ferocity. They have a new split out as well, both on tape.

Cyttorak on Thee Facebooks

Tor Johnson Records website

 

Lambda, Heliopolis

lambda heliopolis

Also signified by the Greek letter from which they take their moniker, Czech four-piece Lambda represent a new age of progressive heavy post-rock. Influences from Russian Circles aren’t necessarily surprising to find coursing through the instrumental debut full-length, Heliopolis, but there are shades of Elder as well behind the more driving riffs and underlying swing of “Space Express,” which also featured on the band’s 2015 EP of the same name. The seven-minute “El Sonido Nuevo” did likewise, but older material or newer, the album’s nine-song procession moves toward its culminating title-track through the grace of “Odysea” and the intertwining psychedelic guitars of “Milkyway Phaseshifter” with an overarching atmosphere of the journey to the city of the sun being undertaken. And when they get there, at the closer, there’s an initial sense of peace that gives way to some of the most directly heavy push Heliopolis has to offer. Payoff, then. So be it. Purposeful and somewhat cerebral in its execution, the DIY debut brings depth and space together to immersive effect.

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Lambda on Bandcamp

 

Dee Calhoun, Godless

dee calhoun godless

Following his 2016 debut, Rotgut (review here) and 2018’s Go to the Devil (review here), Godless is the third full-length from former Iron Man and current Spiral Grave frontman Dee Calhoun, and its considerable 63-minute runtime finds him working in multiple directions while keeping his underlying roots in acoustic-based heavy metal. Certainly “To My Boy” — and Rob Calhoun has appeared on his father’s releases before as well — has its basis in familial expression, but its pairing with “Spite Fuck” is somewhat curious. Meanwhile, “Hornswoggled” cleverly samples George W. Bush with a laugh track, and “Here Under Protest,” “The Greater Evil,” “Ebenezer” and “No Justice” seem to take a worldly view as well. Meanwhile again, “Godless,” “The Day Salvation Went Away” and “Prudes, Puritanicals and Puddles of Piss” make their perspective nothing if not plain for the listener, and the album ends with the two-minute kazoo-laced gag track “Here Comes the Bride: A Tale From Backwater.” So perhaps scattershot, but Godless is nonetheless Calhoun‘s most effective outing yet in terms of arrangements and craft, and shows him digging further into the singer-songwriter form than he has up to now, sounding more comfortable and confident in the process.

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Argonauta Records website

 

Turtle Skull, Monoliths

Turtle Skull Monoliths

Melodic vocal lines weave together and float over alternately weighted and likewise ethereal guitars on Turtle Skull‘s second album, Monoliths. The percussion-inclusive (tambourine, congas, rain stick, etc.) Sydney-based heavy psychedelic outfit create an immersive wash that makes the eight-song/55-minute long-player consuming for the duration, and while there are moments of clarity to be found throughout — the steady snare taps of “Why Do You Ask?” for example — but the vast bulk of the LP is given to the overarching flow, which finds progressive/space-rock footing in the 11-plus minutes of finale “The Clock Strikes Forever” and is irresistibly consuming on the drifting wash of “Rabbit” or the lysergic grunge blowout of “Who Cares What You Think?,” which gives way to the choral drone of “Halcyon” gorgeously en route through the record’s back half. It’s not the highest profile heavy psych release of 2020, but neither is it to be overlooked for the languid stretch of “Leaves” at the outset or the fuzz-drenched roll in the penultimate “Apple of Your Eye.”

Turtle Skull on Thee Facebooks

Art as Catharsis on Bandcamp

Kozmik Artifactz website

 

Diuna, Golem

diuna golem

In some ways, the dichotomy of Diuna‘s 2019 sophomore full-length, Golem, is set by its first two tracks, the 24-second intro “Menu” and the seven-minute “Jarmark Cudów” that follows, each longer song throughout is prefaced by an introduction or interlude, varying in degrees of experimentation. That, however, doesn’t cover the outsider vibes the Polish trio bring to bear in those longer songs themselves, be it “Jarmark Cudów” devolving into a post-Life of Agony noise rock roll, or the thrust in “Frank Herbert” cut into starts and stops and shouting madness. Heavy rock, noise, sludge, post-this-or-that, it doesn’t matter by the end of the 12-track/44-minute release, because Diuna establish such firm control over the proceedings and make so clear the challenge to the listener to keep up that it’s only fun to try. It might take a couple listens to sink in, but the more attention one gives Golem, the more one is going to be rewarded in the end, and I don’t just mean in the off-kilter fuckery of closer “Pan Jezus Idzie Do Wojska.”

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Diuna on Bandcamp

 

Tomorrow’s Rain, Hollow

tomorrows rain hollow

“Ambitious” doesn’t begin to cover it. With eight songs (plus a bonus track) and 11 listed guest musicians, the debut full-length, Hollow, from Tel Aviv-based death-doomers Tomorrow’s Rain seems to be setting its own standard in that regard. And quite a list it is, with the likes of Aaron Stainthorpe of My Dying Bride, Greg Mackintosh of Paradise Lost, Fernando Ribeiro of Moonspell, Mikko Kotamaki of Swallow the Sun, and so on, it is a who’s-who of melodic/gothic death-doom and the album lives up to the occasion in terms of the instrumental drama it presents. Some appear on one track, some on multiple tracks — Ribeiro and Kotamaki both feature on “Misery Rain” — and despite the constant shifts in personnel with only one of the eight tracks completely without an outside contributor, the core six-piece of Tomorrow’s Rain are still able to make an impression of their own that is bolstered and not necessarily overwhelmed by the extravagant company being kept throughout.

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AOP Records website

 

Mother Eel, Svalbard

mother eel svalbard

Mother Eel‘s take on sludge isn’t so much crushing as it is caustic. They’re plenty heavy, but their punishment isn’t just meted out through tonal weight being brought down on your head. It’s the noise. It’s the blown-out screams. It’s the harshness of the atmosphere in which the entirety of their debut album, Svalbard, resides. Five tracks, 33 minutes, zero forgiveness. One might be tempted to think of songs like “Erection of Pain” as nihilistic fuckall, but that seems incorrect. Nah, they mean it. Fuckall, yeah. But fuckall as ethos. Fuckall manifest. So it goes through “Alpha Woman” and “Listen to the Elderly for They Have Much to Teach,” which ends in a Primitive Man-ish static assault, and the lumbering finish “Not My Shade,” which assures that what began on “Sucking to Gain” half an hour earlier ends on the same anti-note: a disaffected malevolence writ into sheer sonic unkindness. There is little letup, even in the quiet introductions or transitions, so if you’re looking for mercy, don’t bother.

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Mother Eel on Redbubble

 

Umbilichaos, Filled by Empty Spaces

Umbilichaos Filled by Empty Spaces

The four-song/39-minute atmospheric sludge long-player Filled by Empty Spaces is listed by Brazilian solo outfit Umbilichaos as being the third part of, “the Tetralogy of Loneliness.” If that’s the emotion being expressed in the noise-metal post-Godflesh chug-and-shout of “Filled by Empty Spaces Pt. 02,” then it is loneliness viscerally presented by founding principal and multi-instrumentalist Anna C. Chaos. The feel throughout the early going of the release is plodding and agonized in kind, but in “Filled by Empty Spaces Pt. 01” and “Filled by Empty Spaces Pt. 03” there is some element of grim, crusted-over psychedelia happening alongside the outright dirge-ism, though the latter ultimately wins out in the four-minute instrumental capper “Disintegration.” One way or the other, Chaos makes her point through raw tonality and overarching intensity of purpose, the compositions coming across simultaneously unhinged and dangerously under control. There are many kinds of heavy. Filled by Empty Spaces is a whole assortment of them.

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Sinewave website

 

Radar Men From the Moon, The Bestial Light

radar men from the moon the bestial light

Fueled by avant grunge/noise impulsion, Radar Men From the Moon‘s latest foray to Planet Whothefuckknows arrives in the eight-song/41-minute The Bestial Light, a record alternately engrossing and off-putting, that does active harm when the sounds-like-it’s-skipping intro to “Piss Christ” comes on and then subsequently mellows out with psych-sax like they didn’t just decide to call the song “Sacred Cunt of the Universe” or something. Riffs, electronics, the kind of weirdness that’s too self-aware not to be progressive, Radar Men From the Moon take the foundation of experimentation set by Astrosoniq and mutate it via Swans into something unrecognizable by genre and unwilling to compromise its own direction. And no, by the time “Levelling” comes on to round out, there is no peace to be found, though perhaps a twisted kind of joy at the sheer postmodernism. They should score ballets with this stuff. No one would go, but three centuries from now, they’d be worshiped as gods. Chance of that anyway, I suppose.

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Fuzz Club Records on Bandcamp

 

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Serpents of Secrecy Announce Oct. 31 Release for Ave Vindicta

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 2nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

It both is and isn’t a surprise to see Serpents of Secrecy‘s debut album, Ave Vindicta, finally coming out. Already having gone through some shifts in lineup, the band, which ultimately pulled together dudes from Foghound, Borracho and King Giant (now Pimmit Hills), was essentially slammed shut with the late-2017 murder of bassist Rev. Jim Forrester, and that seemed to be the end of the discussion. On the other hand, it’s only fitting given Forrester‘s own persistence and creative attack that they should at last realize the LP in his honor.

Set to issue on Halloween through drummer Chuck Dukehart III‘s own Moving the Earth Records, it will no doubt be a release packed with added emotional context but perhaps cathartic for those involved in making it and perhaps too those who hear it. I look forward to doing precisely that.

Preorders are up through Bandcamp. From the PR wire:

SERPENTS OF SECRECY ave vindicta

SERPENTS OF SECRECY: Maryland Doom Outfit To Honor The Late Rev. Jim Forrester With Halloween Release Of J. Robbins-Produced Ave Vindicta Album; Audio And Preorders Posted

Preorders: https://serpentsofsecrecy.bandcamp.com/album/ave-vindicta

Baltimore, Maryland doom outfit SERPENTS OF SECRECY – formed by members of Sixty Watt Shaman, King Giant, Foghound, Borracho, and more – presents their long-awaited debut album, Ave Vindicta, confirming it for release this October 31st, Halloween, in homage to the late Rev. Jim Forrester. The band has issued the album’s cover art, preorders, and more, and the tracks “Warbird’s Song” and “The Cheat” are also available for streaming.

Several years in the making, SERPENTS OF SECRECY has been through overwhelming grief creating the Ave Vindicta album. Following a CD single release in 2017, bassist Rev. Jim Forrester (also of Sixty Watt Shaman, Foghound) was murdered on the streets of Baltimore. The band spread the word to help track down the killers while dealing with their own personal loss of their dear friend, while leaving the record to the side as it was just too painful to hear. Finding solace in the fact that Jim would have wanted the album to see completion and release, the band finally forged their way through and locked into the final stages of creating the record. Having completed the record in recent weeks, the band is now extremely proud of the final product and is ready to present Ave Vindicta. The album will see release on Halloween, Forrester’s favorite holiday.

A massive eleven-song recording, SERPENTS OF SECRECY’s Ave Vindicta delivers more than fifty-two minutes of hard rocking classic doom metal. With Rev. Jim Forrester’s bass riding high in the mix, guitarist Todd Ingram (King Giant, Pimmit Hills), drummer Chuck Dukehart III (Foghound, Sixty Watt Shaman), guitarist Steve Fisher (Borracho), and vocalist Mark Lorenzo (Zekiah, Crawler) create an album as inwardly personal as it is thundering to the passing listener. The songs are clearly rooted in and fed by the fertile doom metal their hometown and surrounding area is internationally known for yielding, with an overwhelming bounty of powerful, dynamic, grooves delivered from an intensely soulful core.

Ave Vindicta was engineered by J. Robbins and Matt Redenbo and recorded and mixed by J. Robbins at Magpie Cage Studios Baltimore, Maryland (Jawbox, Burning Airlines, Government Issue), with the keyboards engineered and recorded for “The Cheat” and “Dealer’s Choice” by Adam Micalczu at Empire Studios in Windsor, Ontario, and mastered by Dan Coutant at Sun Room Audio in New Windsor, New York. The album is completed with cover art by Joe “Joweone” Nasatka, photography by Shane Gardner, and graphics by Bill Kole. Ave Vindicta features guest keyboards on “The Cheat” and “Dealer’s Choice” by Mark Calcott and by J. Robbins on “Bleeding Still.”

Ave Vindicta Track Listing:
1. Ave Vindicta
2. Heel Turn
3. The Cheat
4. Time Crushes All
5. Lament
6. Warbird’s Song
7. Orphan’s Dream
8. Dealer’s Choice
9. Bleeding Still
10. Broke The Key
11. In The Lock

SERPENTS OF SECRECY:
Rev. Jim Forrester – bass
Todd Ingram – guitar
Chuck Dukehart III – drums
Mark Lorenzo – vocals
Steve Fisher – guitar

https://www.facebook.com/serpentsofsecrecy/
https://serpentsofsecrecy.bandcamp.com/

Serpents of Secrecy, Ave Vindicta (2020)

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