Grey Skies Fallen Announce Cold Dead Lands out Jan. 24

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

grey skies fallen
New York-based death-doomers Grey Skies Fallen have set a Jan. 24 release for their fifth long-player, Cold Dead Lands, which is about an accurate a description of NY in January as I could ever hope to devise. They’re streaming a teaser for it as well as the whole track “Procession to the Tombs,” and both would seem to speak of a consuming bleakness to come, some inescapable aspects of New York’s death metal crunch making their way into the sound of the tracks. Unsurprisingly, it’s very, very dark. Like 5PM for the next two months.

I’ve observed a phenomenon over the years that when I write about death-doom, no one ever really gives a crap. I don’t know if that’ll be the case here, but I dig the track they’ve posted, so I’m going to try to review the album if I can regardless, so take that, I guess. If you want more fuzz rock, I don’t know, wait five minutes or something. I’m sure it’ll be along soon enough.

Meantime:

grey skies fallen cold dead lands

Grey Skies Fallen to Release “Cold Dead Lands” January 24th, 2020

Grey Skies Fallen will self-release Cold Dead Lands on January 24, 2020. Cold Dead Lands is the 5th studio album from the New York-based melodic death metal/doom band in a 23-year career.

Cold Dead Lands was produced by Grey Skies Fallen. The album was recorded at Audio Playground, and engineered by Keith Moore. Dan Swanö (Nightingale, ex-Edge of Sanity, ex-Bloodbath) mixed and mastered the album at Unisound Recordings Studio.

Travis Smith (Opeth, Nevermore, Katatonia) created the artwork. Dan Gargiulo (Revocation, Artificial Brain) and Will Smith (Buckshot Facelift, Artificial Brain, Afterbirth) appear as guests.

Listen to the Album Teaser
Cold Dead Lands Tracklisting
1. Visions from the Last Sunset
2. Cold Dead Lands
3. Procession to the Tombs
4. Picking Up the Pieces
5. Ways of the World
6. After the Summer Comes the Fall

Pre-order a digital download or digipack CD of Cold Dead Lands via the band’s Bandcamp page. All pre-orders include an instant, high-quality download (MP3, FLAC, more) of the album track “Procession to the Tombs,” plus the complete album the moment it’s released on January 24th.

Grey Skies Fallen is:
Rick Habeeb – Guitar/Vocals
Tom Anderer – Bass
Sal Gregory – Drums

http://www.facebook.com/greyskiesfallen
https://greyskiesfallen.bandcamp.com/

Grey Skies Fallen, Cold Dead Lands album teaser

Grey Skies Fallen, Cold Dead Lands (2020)

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Live Review: Magnetic Eye Records Day of Doom in Brooklyn, 11.02.19

Posted in Reviews on November 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

magnetic eye records day of doom poster

Before the Show

Well, don’t tell anybody, but the dude sitting at the end of the bar DJ’ing is me. Actually, come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I don’t care if you tell anybody. At this point, I know most of the seven or eight people in this room right now. But I made a playlist, edited it together so it all plays as one track, and it’s three hours long — like the old podcasts, including a really long song or two along the way — but that’s going, so as far as I’m concerned, sitting here on my laptop is why they asked me to come early. The rest is kind of just waiting around, so at least this way I can look like I’m doing something.

I’ve been kicking around the idea of writing the review while the show is happening — I’m not committing to posting any of it live, since I’ve never done photos on this machine before when I’m actually in a hurry — but it’s 15-minute breaks between bands, DAY OF DOOM SCHEDULEso it’s going to depend on how I can time it either way. The important thing? That I stress out about it. Obviously.

And oh yeah, I included Earthride on my playlist specifically with the Saint Vitus Bar in mind, because they often play them between bands. My nod to the room. No one cares, but I wouldn’t expect otherwise, so there it is.

This is the Magnetic Eye Records Day of Doom, a nine-band label showcase that will go from at least now — coming on 1:30 — to 10:30 tonight, so yes, a full day of doom, as it were. At very least, if today had a quota of heavy, I suspect it’ll be filled by the end of it and then some.

But we enter now the sit-tight portion of the afternoon, so that’s my plan. Will check in with more either during or after it’s all over.

During the Show

These Beasts

these beasts (photo by jj koczan)

One would not accuse Magnetic Eye Records of easing into the day with These Beasts. Rather, the Chicago three-piece are at this very moment bludgeoning a Vitus Bar live room with an ultra-aggro, thickened noise rock that’s only sense of letting up is in letting up on the letup. By which I mean there is none. It’s somewhat awkward to be sitting here while they’re playing and admit I don’t know their self-titled LP, released earlier this year, but they’re showing me the error of my ways in pummeling fashion. Can hear punk roots coming through amid the intertwining screams and shouts, but there’s a definite heft to the tone and some vocal echo adds atmosphere to go with all that heads-down force. But there’s plenty of that too and it’s the sheer physicality of what they’re playing that’s letting them pull in such an early crowd. To wit, I’m one of like three people in the back bar right now and I’m about to head back in. Clearly they’re doing something right in there.

Leather Lung

Leather Lung (Photo by JJ Koczan)

It’s been weeks, not months, not years — more than days, though — since I last saw Boston’s Leather Lung. Last time? Dudes brought stoner-sludge chicanery to Ode to Doom in Manhattan (review here). This time? The location has changed, but the mission not so much. Vocalist Mike Vickers has had the cast taken off his arm and judging by his onstage mosh-shuffle, all seems to be in good working order, so that’s my official medical checkup, but beyond that, they’re bringing a groove that’s plenty fresh in my memory; sludge played from the heart via the crotch that makes no bones about where it’s coming from — Boston — and no bones about its affection for all manner of inebriating. Their groove has this toughguy edge to it that I can’t quite put my finger on and couldn’t last time either, but I don’t think these dudes want to fight so much as they want to get fucked up and play riffs. Like I said, the mission hasn’t changed much since I last saw them. I’ll check back on them in a bit and hope for no more busted limbs from them or anyone else in attendance, for that matter. “It’s all fun and games, until,” and so on.

High Priest

High Priest (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Chicago’s High Priest issued their Sanctum EP (review here) earlier this year and it was kind of a sleeper, but they were high (pun like 25 percent intended) among my list of anticipated acts for the day. Nothing too complex, but they roll out big-time riffs and dig into some hazy vibes and especially after the nasty nasty nastiness that was These Beasts and Leather Lung back to back, they’re a chance to show off some of the stylistic breadth on Magnetic Eye‘s roster. The kind of label as likely to redux Pink Floyd as Helmet, you know. They’d be a fitting complement to a tour with Elephant Tree, if we’re doing label pairings, but I guess probably there needs to be an album out before one starts nailing down dates. We’re in November now, so kind of fair to look back on some of the year’s highlights, and seeing High Priest live for the first time is a reminder of just how much I dug those tunes this past Spring. I’m apparently learning stuff all over the place today. Fun and educational! They also finished by dissolving into a total wash of noise that was affecting and psychedelic in kind. A pleasure to watch. Can’t say it plainer than that.

Caustic Casanova

Caustic Casanova (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Of the nine bands on this bill, I’m pretty sure Caustic Casanova win the prize for having the most recent release. Their new record, God How I Envy the Deaf, came out on Oct. 18 as their first through Magnetic Eye and they’re playing Vitus Bar as a precursor to hitting the road on the next of their seemingly endless string of tours. This is also the first time I’m seeing them as the four-piece of drummer/vocalist Stefanie Zaenker, bassist/vocalist Francis Beringer, and guitarists Andrew Yonki and Jake Kimberley, the last of whom is a new recruit. For a band on the road as much as they are, I have to imagine finding someone to mesh with wasn’t easy — Caustic Casanova‘s particular take on melodic heavy rock is a big-time beneficiary of the chemistry they’ve built through touring — but they did it, and the match extends to onstage energy, to be sure. How many bands could cover “Wicked World” and make it sound believable? Caustic Casanova played it like they wrote it, and their original material was no less vital. I’ll make it easy: this is a band you should see. They make it even easier by touring their collective ass off, but even if they didn’t, they’d be worth the effort of showing up when possible. Magnetic Eye made a good-ass pickup when they signed them.

Ghastly Sound

Ghastly Sound (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Rivaling Caustic Casanova in the running for most-recent-outing is Vermont trio Ghastly Sound, whose debut full-length, Have a Nice Day, dropped like a sarcastic anvil in September. This was my first time seeing the three-piece, but it’s worth noting they primo position on the bill they’ve received, and I’ll admit that because of that alone, my expectations were high before they went on. Is this the part where I say the band slaughtered those expectations outright, blah blah blah dominance, blah blah blah heavy band destroys minds reaps souls and all the rest? Well, my mind feels pretty destroyed and if I ever had a soul — nope — it’s long gone, but yeah, they delivered in a big spot, taking crossover-style hardcore and leaving the guitar at home, adding melody through vocal effects and reviving a bit of the aggression from earlier in the day. The way they were set up on the Saint Vitus Bar stage made me think there was a guitarist somewhere missing in the building, but nope, and it turned out they didn’t need one, though one hesitates to say such things on a day that has featured thus far and will continue to feature so much choice riffing. A little — or a lot, as in this case — of rumble goes a long way. Also with the shouting and the being really loud. No question the pressure was on, and I know their record was a while in coming, but if I didn’t know they’d just released their debut, I’d say they’d been around much longer.

Horsehunter

Horsehunter (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Okay. Putting together a nine-band bill? Pretty impressive. Doing so and bringing in bands from the UK and Europe? Even more impressive. Doing so and bringing a band from Australia? And that band is Horsehunter? Who I don’t think are really even together at this point? Yeah, that’s some next level shit. The Aus megasludge four-piece put out their self-titled second album (discussed here) and swansong earlier this year — like, earlier than September — and had already been busted up for two years. Should they be broken up? No, they should not. Even if one could manage to put aside the context of seeing them play even just for 45 minutes as being a total once-in-a-lifetime experience, a group of the Melbourne four-piece’s destructive potential should continue to exist. If they were the only band playing today, it would still be a Day of Doom, and in volume and viscosity alike, they’re on a plane of their own amid this lineup. I don’t know what the future might hold for them, as members have already moved onto different projects, but I have to think that if a band is willing to get together and travel to the other side of the planet to play essentially a one-off gig, they’d have to feel motivated to maybe follow that up with something? Or maybe this would be a pinnacle anyway? I don’t know. Either way, it’s clearly a special moment for all involved parties — those in attendance, those playing, and the Magnetic Eye crew, who believed in them enough to release the record even though they were done — and I’m lucky to have been here for it. Biggest big rock finish of the day as well, so bonus points there, as if they needed them.

Domkraft

Domkraft (Photo by JJ Koczan)

This is my second time seeing Sweden’s Domkraft after being fortunate enough to catch them about 13 months ago in Oslo, Norway, at Høstsabbat (review here). They were at that point heralding the release of their second album, Flood (review here), and as they got ready to go on just now I thought back fondly to the positive impression they made that day, blending noise rock, sludge and an almost post-metallic kind of ambience. That’s a fun little narrative, right? Sure it is. Lost in that, however, is the rhythmic undulation of that nod, but man, when they decide to lock that in — and they don’t always, because they’re not a do-one-thing kind of band — they are hypnotic. They had their work cut out for them in following Horsehunter, as anyone would, but guitarist Martin Widholm, bassist/vocalist Martin Wegeland and drummer Anders Dahlgren captured a feeling of spaciousness that seemed to take all the crush of the mighty performance before them and taffy-pull it into a headier, spacier reach, still deeply weighted, still giving that feeling of surrounding you while you’re standing there in front of it, but at the same time extending outward beyond you, beyond the room — maybe just beyond, period. They’ve been to the States before, having played Psycho Las Vegas, and I guess you could count the show they did last night in Jersey with Solace too, but they feel like a band who are really stepping into themselves, and the identity they’re finding as a part of that process suits them. I’m already looking forward to their next record, and far be it from me to tell you how to live your life, but you probably should be too.

Summoner

Summoner (Photo by JJ Koczan)

If you know anything about Magnetic Eye Records, or label founder Mike Vitali (also Black Electric, Ironweed, ex-Greatdayforup, etc.), it’s probably that the label frickin’ loves Boston’s Summoner. I’ve seen them live a handful of times over the years, certainly dug the crap out of 2017’s Beyond the Realms of Light (review here) as I have their material since their days a decade ago operating as Riff Cannon — a name they quickly outgrew and were smart enough to realize it, even though it was a cool moniker to have — and it’s hard to argue. I knew accordingly what to expect going into their set, at least to a degree, but with the recent change that brought Worshipper‘s Dave Jarvis to the lineup on drums — I’m not sure if it’s a permanent or temporary thing; dude was sitting next to me like 15 minutes ago, I should’ve asked — there was an added sense of intrigue to seeing them for what was the first time in a while anyway. However, part of knowing what Summoner do is knowing they do it pro-shop, and as their slot found them positioned right before Elephant Tree at the end of the show, they had an occasion to rise to and they rose to it accordingly, Jarvis sliding right in alongside bassist/vocalist Chris Johnson and guitarists A.J. Peters and Joe Richner, on familiar material while still bringing some of his own swing to it. You won’t hear me disparage the work of Summoner as they were, but if they’re indeed pressing on in this configuration, they’ll be just fine. When Johnson stops smiling on stage, I’ll worry. Didn’t happen at Day of Doom, even after the strap of his bass broke and he had to finish the song with it resting on his knee. That was like two songs in, maybe? No loss of momentum. Pro-shop, front to back.

Elephant Tree

Elephant Tree (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Elephant Tree‘s second full-length, which will actually be released by Holy Roar Records at least in the UK — I admit there might be some regional deal worked out with Magnetic Eye that I don’t know about — is reportedly in the mastering stage. At least, that’s what they told me and I’m not sure what would be their motive for lying about it. Last I heard were a couple rough mixes, but that was a while ago, and I’m all-the-way-serious when I tell you that I can’t think of another record that’s been announced for 2020 that I’m anticipating more. The Londoners’ 2016 self-titled debut (review here) has lost none of its appeal for the subsequent three years — just ask Sister Rainbow, who flew from the UK for this show basically just to see them for what I understand is at least the 48th time — and with the progression I heard evident in their performance (again) at Høstsabbat 2018 (review here) and those rough versions, yeah, I feel justified in my high hopes. It wouldn’t have made sense for them to come to Brooklyn and play only new stuff, but as noted, even the cuts from their self-titled were welcome. The fact that even after such a full show they were given a complete hour for their set should tell you something, and basically it should tell you they’re a band just waiting for your loyalty. See them 49 times? Well, I’m up to at least three now and I feel like that’s barely worth calling a start. Also of note, they’re a four-piece now, with John Slattery on guitar and keys and vocals joining the trio of guitarist/vocalist Jack Townley, bassist/vocalist Peter Holland (of the green strings) and drummer Sam Hart, so that’s all the more of an occasion for their primo stage banter. They’ve just hit into “Aphotic Blues,” if you’ll excuse me… Yeah, that’s an earplugs-out moment not to be missed. And to have them then follow it by bringing album-engineer/multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/he’s-kinda-in-the-band-but-not-really-anymore-except-I-guess-sometimes-like-tonight Riley “The Wizard” MacIntyre on stage first to scream like mad, then to take over Townley‘s guitar for “Wither” only highlighted how incredible this day has been. What a trip. It’s not over. I mean, it’s mostly over, but they’ve got about 10 minutes left, so I’m going to stow the computer and get back to what’s important and get up front for the end, which is where it feels like I should be.

After the Show

Just past 12:30AM. I left the Saint Vitus Bar at I guess around 10:45PM and got back here a little bit ago, cursing the name of the tech giant whose mappery failed yet again to take into account Lincoln Tunnel traffic in its calculations. Next time, I take the FDR unless it’s visibly on fire.

Elephant Tree finished with their slowed-down take on Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid,” which given the Brooklyn setting found Holland’s gruffer vocal reminding all the more of Peter Steele from Type O Negative (green strings may have been a factor there as well), and followed that with a new song called “Bird,” the harmonies of which are particularly gorgeous and lush seeming. Mike Vitali Magnetic Eye Records (Photo by JJ Koczan)I can’t wait to hear that album.

Basically I’m keying down from the show, and there was a lot of show to key up. Kind of striking how even the bands whose sounds had common elements were able to stand themselves apart. That was true the whole time. And I stayed the whole time. And I wound up running the playlist the whole time as well, at least until Elephant Tree were done. So I guess that’s a thing. I DJed the show. Wasn’t planned, but I was plugged in and using my laptop anyway, so there you have it. I dug the tunes, anyway. Hopefully I wasn’t the only one.

Thanks to Mike Vitali and to Jadd Shickler for having me on board for that and for putting the thing together generally. This was a pretty astounding feat when it comes to coordination, and those efforts on their behalf were deeply appreciated. Vitali got on stage before Horsehunter went on to thank everybody and it was plain to see it was an emotional night for him as well. It would have to be, frankly.

Thanks to the bands, to everyone who said hi and/or nice things, and thanks to you for reading. Most of all, thanks to The Patient Mrs., who made my being there possible, and who makes pretty much everything that’s possible possible.

Now off to bed.

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Clouds Taste Satanic Post “Second Sight (The Seer)” Video; Album out Tomorrow

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 30th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

all that much.clouds taste satanic

Yeah, I’ll readily admit that I’ve largely slept on the progression of Brooklyn instrumental heavymakers Clouds Taste Satanic. No one’s fault but my own. Of course, I’ve seen their name bandied about the New York-region doomosphere for years, but the last time I actively wrote about them was 2015, and frankly, I didn’t write all that much. My loss? As usual, most definitely. The double-guitar four-piece played Maryland Doom Fest this year and made a splash — it was the venue I couldn’t get into because of a lost (misplaced, not DUI or anything) drivers license — to the point that people seemed genuinely excited about them, and I don’t think I’ve ever casually perused a record of theirs without being like, “Yeah, this is cool,” before going about my business. clouds taste satanic second sightWell, Second Sight is their sixth album overall and their second of 2019 behind April’s Evil Eye, and it’s out tomorrow to finish out the complementary Walpurgis and Halloween releases — spooky times indeed — and it brings together two extended, side-consuming tracks each broken into multiple parts that stand on their own almost as individual collections of ideas.

“Second Sight (The Seer)” is the new video, and with its righteous solo and driving Northeastern aggro groove beneath, it definitely makes an impression, but really it’s just the first stage of a larger movement. Positioned on side A — which itself is called ‘Lesser Magic’ — “Second Sight” (21:20) breaks down into ‘The Seer (Vision),’ ‘The Psychic (Mist),’ and ‘The Pythia (Blood)’ while side ‘Greater Magic’ is consumed by “Black Mass” (21:06), which in turn divides into ‘The Goat (Dawn),’ ‘The Demon (Star),’ and ‘The Devil (Templar),’ thereby ensuring that even though there aren’t lyrics or vocals to dig into, the proceedings are well complicated enough to keep listeners occupied until a follow-up seventh LP happens along. Bullet points and outline structure notwithstanding, what Clouds Taste Satanic do over the course of these pieces is bring together a progressive take on heavy riffing that’s both of doom and willing to look outside it when called for. Past its halfway point, “Second Sight” turns to a swaggering bluesy swing for just a moment and the resulting impression is that not only are there multiple parties contributing to the songs — something I don’t know for sure, so don’t quote me on it — but that their interest lies in building a sonic complexity to match that of their structural presentation.

Do they get there? Yeah, I think they do. It’s subtle, but as “Second Sight” shifts into what would seem to be its final movement with a sleeker, bass-led section of brooding, the build that ensues is both effective and accounting for the piece as an entirety as well as its own movement. The payoff, in other clouds taste satanic second sight tracklistwords, more than justifies the journey to it, and as “Black Mass” crashes in to start the second leg of Second Sight, the momentum has hardly subsided, carrying through a patient unfolding toward some classic stonerly fuzz-wah lead work and plays back and forth in tempo and roll as (perhaps) ‘The Demon (Star)’ takes hold amid more driving fare in the middle third of the track, eventually giving way to long crashes and dueling leads, post-Sabbath starts and stops and a long fadeout that has a due dirge vibe given the progression still underway. At two songs/42 minutes, it’s not a minor undertaking, but it’s clearly not supposed to be, and Clouds Taste Satanic live up to the weighty goals they’ve set for themselves, practically in terms of making two records in a year and creatively in terms of crafting something forward-thinking at the same time as it is heavy, doomed and all that other vibed-out stuff that essentially means “heavy” and “doomed.”

So yes, it’s to my regret that it took me this long to really dig into what Clouds Taste Satanic were up to. Better late than never, I guess? Despite the urgency created by Pokemon to do so, you can’t really ever catch them all, and I do the best I can. Bottom line is this is a cool record and I gave myself another reason to feel like a yutz today, so that’s one box ticked for my morning. Time to chase down some older records, I suppose.

They play a release show tomorrow in Brooklyn and the lineup is awesome, Eternal Black and a bunch of others. More info on thee social medias here.

Enjoy the video:

 

Clouds Taste Satanic, “Second Sight (The Seer)” official video

Guitarist Steve Scavuzzo states:

“Despite the mystical mellowness the name implies, Second Sight is actually the most aggressive Clouds Taste Satanic record to date. Not sure when that happened, but at some point the doom turned angry.”

CLOUDS TASTE SATANIC formed in Brooklyn, New York in 2013. These Post-Doom Instrumentalists have steadily built a reputation as one of the few truly great DIY riff-heavy underground bands playing today. Patiently and deliberately developing a unique sound that melds riff-dominated Stoner Rock with Heavy Doom, their live show is a multi-sensory atmospheric display, offering a true experience and companion to their albums.

In 2014, the band released their debut album, ‘To Sleep Beyond the Earth’. The debut, along with second album ‘Your Doom Has Come’ (2015), third album ‘Dawn of the Satanic Age’ (2016), fourth full-length ‘The Glitter of Infinite Hell’ (2017), and their most recent ‘Evil Eye’ (2019) all demonstrate the band has no intentions of slowing down. The band celebrated its fifth year anniversary in 2018 by releasing ‘In Search of Heavy’, a four CD Box Set.

In 2019, the band has retained solid footing without falter, soon to achieve a bold goal of releasing two albums in one year. ‘Evil Eye’ came out April 30th (Walpurgis Eve), and we now await ‘Second Sight’ on October 31st (Halloween).

Steve Scavuzzo – Guitar
Sean Bay – Bass
Greg Acampora – Drums
Brian Bauhs – Guitar

Clouds Taste Satanic website

Clouds Taste Satanic on Bandcamp

Clouds Taste Satanic on Thee Facebooks

Clouds Taste Satanic on Instagram

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Tower Sign to Cruz Del Sur Music; New Album Coming in 2020

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 30th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Had the chance earlier this year to check out NY trad metallers Tower at the inaugural Desertfest New York (review here), and having done so, and in light of their new EP, Yesterday and Tomorrow — kudos to whoever in the band came up with that title; it’s a perfect summation of what they do — I’ll say that yeah, Cruz Del Sur makes sense as a label home for them. This is the label, after all, that puts out Slough Feg, and if you ever need know-your-shit-about-traditional-heavy-metal cred, putting out something by Slough Feg is about as much as you can do to argue in your own favor. Tower join those esteemed ranks, as well as those of ArgusApostle of SolitudeOgre and Orodruin, and come aboard as being tight with Twisted Tower Dire and Sanhedrin, so clearly, clearly in good company, and they’ll reportedly work to have a new full-length out sometime in the middle of next year.

Congrats to the band, and respect for guitarist Danzo in what he says about image in the PR wire info below. Anyone who claims they’re not conscious of how they’re perceived by others is fucking lying to you and probably trying to sell you something. Likely clothing.

Dig:

tower

New York City Metal Brigade TOWER Joins CRUZ DEL SUR MUSIC

Cruz Del Sur Music is proud to announce the signing of New York City’s own TOWER. The label will release the band’s sophomore full-length in mid-2020.

Formed in 2015, TOWER plays a brand of classic, traditional metal inspired by legends such as JUDAS PRIEST and SCORPIONS, further propelled by the imitable, almost Pat Benatar-esque vocals of Sarabeth Linden. To date, TOWER has one studio album to their credit, 2016’s self-titled, as well as this year’s “Tomorrow & Yesterday” EP.

Shortly after the release of the video for “Run For My Life”, multiple record companies came calling for TOWER, including Cruz Del Sur. What sealed the deal for TOWER and Cruz Del Sur, though, was the good word put in by some of the label’s existing bands.

“We’re close friends with Nate Honor and Jim Hunter, whose bands SANHEDRIN and TWISTED TOWER DIRE are/were on Cruz Del Sur,” says guitarist James Danzo. “We heard so many good things about Cruz that it was pretty clear from the beginning which route we should take. In the few years we’ve been a band, we’ve learned not to rush into things and to be very deliberate, but we know we made the right choice!”

Danzo describes the first four years of TOWER’s existence as a “real wild ride,” with the band (who is rounded out by second guitarist Zak Penley, bassist Jeff Filmer and drummer Claire Vastola) going from formation to the demo stage, to playing shows, then scoring their first record deal for the release of their self-titled album. “In this crazy world of ours not everything is ice cream sundaes and cherries on top — we’ve been through some changes with lineups and labels when it became clear we had different goals in mind. We look back with pride on our debut album and especially the new EP. It’s been a huge boost in morale and poured gasoline on the fire inside us!”

The origins of TOWER date back to when Linden and Danzo were playing in THE PSYCHO HIPPIES, a group that primarily played ’50s, ’60s and ’70s pop covers, along with some RAMONES songs to boot. Because of her experience playing such music, Linden brings a unique brand of soul and style to metal, with Danzo noting she even sang at the legendary Apollo Theater as a teenager. Fret not true metal believers: Linden’s vocal idol happens to be Ronnie James Dio, further rounding out a band who is equal in music and image.

“Metal bands love to say, ‘we hate image!’” notes Danzo, “but truth be told, we have a vision and are very protective of it. It’s important to us to come across as real, first and foremost. Everyone in the band has a unique style and persona and we aren’t about to mess with it. We try to avoid clichés when it comes to album covers, too — so far photographs have worked, they’re just classic and real. We’re just here to kick some ass and I think that comes across clear as day.”

TOWER will fill up the rest of 2019 with occasional live duty, but the priority remains to get ready for their forthcoming second studio album. Danzo says “lack of material has never been a problem” for TOWER: The band has three songs leftover from the “Tomorrow & Yesterday” session, as well as another cut that has already been aired live.

“Unlike the last two releases which took forever in spaced-out sessions from weekend to weekend, we plan on blocking out 7-10 days of studio time and doing it as a concise and complete project like a band would do in the old days. Onward and upward!”

Tower is:
Sarabeth Linden: VOCALS
James Danzo: GUITAR
Zak Penley: GUITAR
Jeff Filmer: BASS
Claire Vastola: DRUMS

https://www.facebook.com/TOWERnyc/
https://towernyc.bandcamp.com/
cruzdelsurmusic.com
facebook.com/cruzdelsurmusic
cruzdelsurmusic.bandcamp.com

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The Obelisk Presents: Godmaker, Hyborian & Migrator at Saint Vitus Bar (Matinee) Nov. 17

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on October 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

godmaker hyborian migrator ghouls

Alright, let’s face facts. Nov. 17, you weren’t going to be anywhere other than the Saint Vitus Bar. That’s the night Monolord and Blackwater Holylight are playing. Obviously you’re going. Obviously I’m going. Obviously we’re all going and we’re all looking very much forward to that.

What I’m saying to you is, get there early. Super-early. 2PM early. Because there’s an opportunity here to turn a pretty heavy night into an all-day extravaganza, and there’s even a convenient break in between for you to, I don’t know, get some food or coffee-up or do whatever you need to do.

In conjunction with Ode to Doom, The Obelisk (you are here) is presenting Godmaker with (Kenny Appell of Cleanteeth, Goes Cube, etc., filling in on drums), Hyborian and Migrator on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 17, ahead of the evening’s festivities. Is it going to be absolutely insane? Yes. Should you take Monday off from school, work, or whatever of life’s duties might otherwise occupy your time? Totally. Why? Because chances like this don’t come along every day, and years from now, you’re still going to remember that time you told the rest of the universe to buzz off and did it up proper in Brooklyn, whereas otherwise, it’s just gonna be another Monday of the same old crap that, barring disaster, will be another in a series of forgettable such Mondays. Even if you have a good day doing whatever it is you do, I submit it won’t compete with plowing your brains into oblivion with riffs by hitting these two shows back-to-back.

And hey, if you need to, need to, need to go to work or whatever on Monday, a Sunday matinee still gives you plenty of time to get home and get yourself ready for the morning. Either way, you don’t lose.

Godmaker‘s got the show info as follows:

godmaker hyborian migrator new poster

MATINEE SHOW- Godmaker, Hyborian, Migrator.

Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 2 PM – 5:30 PM

Buy tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/matinee-godmaker-hyborian-migrator-tickets-77034092043

Brought to you by our friends at Ode to Doom and The Obelisk.

Godmaker (Brooklyn, Aqualamb / The Company / godmaker.bandcamp.com) returns to bringing the loud, for one last 2019 show, with their midwestern brothers in:

Hyborian (Kansas City, MO / Season of Mist / Company Crüe alumni / hyborianrock.bandcamp.com), and your soon to be favorite Heavy / Sad / Crushing thing from Lawrence, KS —

Migrator / (mem. of Young Bull, Amenaza, The Cast Pattern / migrator.bandcamp.com),

for a special Sunday Matinee at Saint Vitus Bar, ahead of the Monolord / Blackwater Holylight show.

Godmaker, “An Excerpt”

Nov. 17 Matinee Show Event Page on Thee Facebooks

Tickets at Eventbrite

Saint Vitus Bar website

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White Hills Post “Automated City” Video Ahead of European Tour

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

white hills

I believe that if you go back and check the Official Bureau of Records on Such Things, the central thesis of my last post about New York’s White Hills was that nobody has any idea what they’re doing and that people who pretend otherwise are full of crap. It was something like that, anyhow. Or if not, that’s what it should’ve been. Whatever. In support of this argument I may or may not have been making — I don’t have the funds to file a 27B/6 request with the Official Bureau to check the record and find out — I humbly offer the band’s new video for “Automated City,” which they’ve newly posted ahead of the European tour on which they’ll embark next month.

“Band releasing a new video ahead of a tour,” you say. “Not much weird about that.” Correct. However. Check out the track itself before you fully assess. Yeah, you’ll hear some krautrock vibes in there as well as intangibles like the legacy of New York’s noisemaking experimentalist scene such as it was before Thurston and Kim got divorced, and you’ll hear any number of things all coming together as White Hills, but isn’t that the point? Put a tag on that. Call it something other than the band’s name. Double-dog dare you. As I know I said last time, verbatim: “Good fucking luck.”

And once you’ve accomplished that task, I’ll gladly set you on figuring out what might lead White Hills to make a video for a song from 2015’s Walks for Motorists rather than their latest LP, 2017’s Stop Mute Defeat, or maybe even something new they’re working on from their next album in progress.

And once you’ve accomplished that task, I’ll leave you to the video itself, put together by the band’s own Ego Sensation, and looking like something out of a Hitchcock opening credits sequence.

Have fun:

White Hills, “Automated City” official video

White Hills present “Automated City”, a noir vignette shot and constructed by Ego Sensation. Inspired by noir films of the 1940s and the avant-garde stage theater of American director and playwright Robert Wilson, the video traverses a shadowy dream world of shifting perspective. A firm fan favourite, the song is from the band’s 2015 album Walks For Motorists, produced by David Wrench, best known for his work with Goldfrapp, Caribou and FKA Twigs as well as with his own synth-duo audiobooks.

White Hills are currently in the studio working on a new album with Jeff Berner (Psychic TV) at Studio G in Brooklyn featuring a slew of unique collaborators including; Jim Jarmusch (Filmmaker & Musician), Yasmine Hamden (singer-songwriter who also appears in Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive”), Simone Marie Butler (bassist with Primal Scream), Jim Coleman (Cop Shoot Cop) and Alex Macarte (GNOD).

White Hills – Buy The Ticket Take The Ride EU tour 2019 Dates:
14/11 CH Bern Spinnerei
15/11 ITA Busto Arsizio Circolo Gagarin (with Martin Bisi)
16/11 ITA Roma Roma Psych Fest
17/11 ITA Loreto Reasonanz (with Martin Bisi)
18/11 ITA Perugia T-Trane
19/11 ITA Torino BlahBlah
20/11 ITA Padova Nadir
21/11 ITA Ravenna Transmission Festival (with Martin Bisi)
22/11 ITA Ravenna Transmission Festival
23/11 AT Salzburg Dome of Rock Festival
24/11 DE Karlsruhe Alte Hackerei
25/11 DE Leipzig Nato
26/11 DE Berlin Urban Spree (with Martin Bisi)
27/11 SWE Malmo Plan B
28/11 SWE Gothenborg Musikenhus
29/11 DK Copenhagen BASEMENT
30/11 DE Munster Rare Guitar
1/12 NL Den Bosch W2 Poppodium
2/12 BE Bruxelles Mag 4 (with Martin Bisi)
3/12 FRA Paris Supersonic

White Hills Tumblr

White Hills on Thee Facebooks

White Hills on Bandcamp

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End of Hope Premiere “Arc of Movement”; Debut Album Cease and Destroy out Nov. 19

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on October 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

end of hope

I’m neither qualified to comment on the vibrant history of stylized aggression that is New York hardcore nor inclined to pretend otherwise, but with members of Eternal Black and Reign of Zaius involved here, End of Hope once again show the relation between hardcore and tonally-heavier fare that goes back for as long as one might want to look. End of Hope‘s debut album is called Cease and Destroy and will be self-released on Nov. 19 as nine songs and 27 minutes varying in sonic intensity at any given moment, but united around a presentation that is clenched-fist tense and prone to violent outbursts, as, frankly, one would hope it would be either in the punkish sub-two-minute blast “What Was I Thinking?” or the more complex closer “Arc of Movement,” which resolves the album at a full sprint after the brief but spectacular plunder has concluded.

Heart’s everything for this kind of release and End of Hope‘s collective heart is clearly in it, so what the hell. Take a couple minutes and peruse the album info and dig into “Arc of Movement” below, then maybe you do the Bandcamp thing, then you go about the rest of your day. Alright? Alright.

Enjoy:

end of hope cease and destroy

End of Hope — featuring members of Kraut, St. Bastard, Reign of Zaius, and Eternal Black — release debut album, Cease & Destroy, on November 19, 2019

End of Hope — comprised of members from several well-known New York City acts including Kraut, St. Bastard, Reign of Zaius, and Eternal Black — will release their debut album, Cease & Destroy, on November 19th, 2019. The album will be for sale in both digital and CD formats via their Bandcamp page (endofhope.bandcamp.com) and available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, and other services. Cease & Destroy features nine songs in the band’s trademark Motörhead-meets-Black Flag style — a potent cocktail of high-volume speed rock and anthemic choruses.

The band consists of Davey Gunner of New York Hardcore legends Kraut on vocals, Dave Richman of the one-man sludge-and-doom project St. Bastard on drums, Davis Schlachter of Brooklyn’s ape-rock purveyors Reign of Zaius on bass, and Ken Wohlrob of Brooklyn doom heavyweights Eternal Black on guitar. They formed in 2018 and released a two-song EP, titled D E M O, in March of that year.

According to vocalist Davey Gunner, “I’m super excited about this album,” adding, “It’s probably the best lyrics I have written in years, particularly because of the meaning and motivation behind it all.”

Cease & Destroy was recorded at Suburban Elvis Studios in New York with production, mixing, and mastering duties being handled by Joe Kelly and Kol Marshall (Ministry, King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Eternal Black, Begotten). “We knew that Joe and Kol were the guys who could capture the live sound of the band,” says guitarist Ken Wohlrob. “I had worked with them on all the Eternal Black albums, and it was key that we get across what people were hearing at the live shows. That attack, the wall of volume that is such an important part of what we do.”

In addition to the new album, End of Hope has also released a cover of Discharge’s classic song “Protest and Survive” as a digital-only single (available on Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming services).
https://open.spotify.com/track/3JIt7OzzTfjlRNQsJiyT6G

Cease and Destroy track listing:
1. Hypocrisy
2. Last Night
3. Guilt Trip
4. The Hardest Thing
5. What Was I Thinking?
6. End of Hope
7. Excessive Fortune
8. The Deal
9. Arc of Movement

End of Hope is:
Davey Gunner: Vocals
Dave Richman: Drums
Davis Schlachter: Bass
Ken Wohlrob: Guitars

https://endofhope.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/endofhopenyc/
https://www.instagram.com/endofhopenyc/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/7pWGk80FILrxb2HMNRLFjD
https://soundcloud.com/endofhope

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White Hills Announce European Tour Dates & New Collaborations

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Let’s face it: Long after the floods and storms and famine and whatever else claim humanity, the sentient dolphins who inherent the earth will still be dedicating their best scholars to the task of trying to understand just what the hell level White Hills were working on. Most certainly, whatever it was — or, you know, is — it’s their own. In the best tradition of New York’s underground, they’ve long been an in-the-know-type band. The sort who might record and play shows with Martin Bisi and whose experimentalism extends through things like covering obscure ’80s synth tracks and scooting off to their kinda-adopted-home-base on the European circuit for a Fall tour that includes a slew of festivals psychedelic and otherwise.

White Hills thrive in this hard-to-get-a-handle-on aesthetic territory between genres, and as they’re in the studio putting together a new album that, you know, just has Jim Jarmusch on it — as one does — they’ll no doubt continue that thread of casting out mysteries for future aquatic-mammalian historians to try and unravel.

Good fucking luck.

From the PR wire:

WHITE HILLS Tour

New York’s acclaimed fuzz art-rock duo White Hills return to Europe

Having gathered a reputation as one of the most prolific and exciting live bands of their generation, White Hills are scheduled to descend upon mainland Europe this Autumn, playing for the very first time as a duo; with Ego Sensation on drums, electronics and vocals and Dave W on guitar and vocals.

On this tour the set will include new never-before-heard material which the band are currently working on (more on this below) as well as songs from the band’s vast catalogue including tracks from Glitter Glamour Atrocity, White Hills, H-p1, So You Are…So You’ll Be, Walks For Motorists and Stop Mute Defeat.

The tour includes several shows with collaborator and legendary NYC producer Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Swans, Foetus). Dave and Ego comment further on this collaboration. “We’re honored to have been able to work with Martin on three White Hills’ albums and the BC35 collaboration which brought together members of The Swans, Sonic Youth, Pop 1280, Foetus, Dresden Dolls and many other unique artists. BC Studios continues to be a vibrant breeding ground for New York noise and innovative music.” Bisi is curating The Transmission Festival in Ravenna, Italy which will feature several other NYC artists who appear on the BC35 Volume II compilation, which is released by the hosts of the festival, Bronson Recordings.

White Hills are currently in the studio working on a new album with Jeff Berner (Psychic TV) at Studio G in Brooklyn featuring a slew of unique collaborators including; Jim Jarmusch (Filmmaker & Musician), Yasmine Hamden (singer-songwriter who also appears in Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive”), Simone Marie Butler (bassist with Primal Scream), Jim Coleman (Cop Shoot Cop) and Alex Macarte (GNOD).

White Hills – Buy The Ticket Take The Ride EU tour 2019 Dates:
14/11 CH Bern Spinnerei
15/11 ITA Busto Arsizio Circolo Gagarin (with Martin Bisi)
16/11 ITA Roma Roma Psych Fest
17/11 ITA Loreto Reasonanz (with Martin Bisi)
18/11 ITA Perugia T-Trane
19/11 ITA Torino BlahBlah
20/11 ITA Padova Nadir
21/11 ITA Ravenna Transmission Festival (with Martin Bisi)
22/11 ITA Ravenna Transmission Festival
23/11 AT Salzburg Dome of Rock Festival
24/11 DE Karlsruhe Alte Hackerei
25/11 DE Leipzig Nato
26/11 DE Berlin Urban Spree (with Martin Bisi)
27/11 SWE Malmo Plan B
28/11 SWE Gothenborg Musikenhus
29/11 DK Copenhagen BASEMENT
30/11 DE Munster Rare Guitar
1/12 NL Den Bosch W2 Poppodium
2/12 BE Bruxelles Mag 4 (with Martin Bisi)
3/12 FRA Paris Supersonic

http://whitehillsmusic.tumblr.com/
https://www.facebook.com/WHITE-HILLS-90476409450/
https://whitehills.bandcamp.com/

White Hills, “Putting on the Pressure”

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