Fuzznaut Premiere “Conjunction and Ellipsis” Video from Form is Emptiness EP

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 19th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

fuzznaut

The debut EP release from Pittsburgh’s Fuzznaut, Form is Emptiness, is comprised of four tracks written for and performed by solo guitar. The project is the work of Emilio Rizzo, who brings a strong current of Earth-style meditative riffing to the 21-minute offering, which begins with “Form is Emptiness” and moves into “Emptiness is Form,” sounding less indebted specifically to HEX: Or Printing in the Infernal Method than many of the more Americana-minded entities who might take on a Dylan Carlson influence, but still capturing an emotional ambience even if, by its very nature, it’s something of a stark one.

Of course, that is to say, Rizzo‘s on his own throughout “Form is Emptiness,” “Emptiness is Form,” “Conjuction and Ellipsis” and the two-minute finale “Midnight and Shadow,” and in solo-drone fashion, the results are duly lonely. Without the anchor of drums, it’s tempting to float off on Rizzo‘s thickened tonal undulations, and I won’t necessarily recommend against it — Form is Emptiness is a short-enough journey at 21 minutes even if you sign up for the whole thing — but there are distinct riffs that emerge through the surrounding patterns of effects and atmospherics, and one finds that as the tracks play through, the more grounded rhythms, even without percussion, give the listener something to grasp onto where otherwise the music might simply drift.

He’s not the first to strike this balance, obviously, but Form is Emptiness is a first release, so it’s worth remembering that this is the point from which future work will spread outward, and in that capacity there are multiple encouraging factors here, whether it’s Rizzo‘s not giving in to all-out indulgence in the material or the fact that the blend of spaciousness and tonal weight he conjures here leaves himself an open context for which that future work might grow. That is, should he wish to add effects, instrumentation, whatever it might be, there’s room in the sound for all of it without it seeming out of place, and frankly, the emptiness sends a message unto itself as well.

You can see the video for “Conjunction and Ellipsis” — most of which was recorded live and is accompanied by scenes from around Pittsburgh — premiering on the player below.

Please enjoy:

Fuzznaut, “Conjunction and Ellipsis” official video premiere

Pittsburgh Doomgaze Fuzznaut Premier New Video “Conjunction and Ellipsis” Off The Debut EP “Form Is Emptiness”.

FUZZNAUT “Conjunction and Ellipsis” shot and directed by Fuzznaut entirely on the iPhone is in exploration in sound vision, and experimental video documentation. Taking scenes from Fuzznaut’s hometown, experimental video, and the first year of life performance. This video encapsulates the origins and development of the solo artist. That reflects the tones and textures of the soundscapes.

FUZZNAUT is the solo electric guitar project of Pittsburgh based composer Emilio Rizzo. Using the guitar as means to summon sequences that are a complex clamor of timbre and power ambiance. That engages the listener to discover ominous sounds from minimalist architecture.

Fuzznaut live:
May 22 Cattivo Pittsburgh, PA

Fuzznaut, Form is Emptiness (2019)

Fuzznaut on Thee Facebooks

Fuzznaut on Instagram

Fuzznaut on Bandcamp

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Review & Full Album Stream: Outsideinside, Outsideinside II

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

outsideinside ii

[Outsideinside’s II is out March 6 on Rock Freaks Records. Click play above to stream the album in full.]

Since they made their debut in 2017 with the somewhat undervalued Sniff a Hot Rock (review here), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, classic-style heavy rockers Outsideinside — who take their name from Blue Cheer‘s 1968 sophomore album — have toured Europe and signed to the Freak Valley-affiliated Rock Freaks Records as well as added a fourth member to the band in James Hart, who brings organ/keys and guitar to the proto-heavy style proffered by the returning trio of drummer Panfilo Dicenzo, bassist Jim Wilson and vocalist/guitarist Dave Wheeler. Accordingly, their own sophomore album, Outsideinside II, is a somewhat richer affair than its predecessor, but its root mission is nonetheless consistent with its predecessor in not only paying homage to the heroes of two generations prior — the names are myriad, but the band cites FreeHendrixSpooky Tooth and Funkadelic, among others — but in giving new life to the sound and style those bands proffered. Thus, songs like side B’s “Ancient Faces” and the earlier swaggering “Fine Line” are more vintage in construction and tone than actual production, which remains clear modern, if organic and live sounding, finding a balance throughout its unassuming 40 minutes that is neither pretentious nor overblown in either direction.

It’s a line Wheeler and Wilson were able to tread in their previous outfit, Carousel, as well, but as Hart finds his place in the mix by Nate Campisi, who also recorded at Mr. Smalls Studio, here alongside the other three players, be it in the brash and speedy “In Your Mind” or the near-10-minute “Maggot Brain”-plus-vocals-esque finale “Eventide,” Outsideinside also seem to come into their own, building on the accomplishments in songcraft and overarching flow of their first LP — learning those lessons well and integrating them into what they do — while exploring new challenges and methods with a rightly won confidence. Thus it is a song like the presumed side A capper “I Ain’t Waitin'” is able to place a multifaceted hook in a verse position and shift fluidly into a thrilling pair of organ and guitar solos ahead of its last fadeout — what might be called a “duel” if the two elements weren’t so clearly working as part of the same team and toward the same ends.

While Hart makes key contributions throughout Outsideinside II as much figuratively as literally, one would be remiss not to point out the presence Wheeler brings to his performance throughout this material. As he leads the way through the Humble Pie-style mid-tempo boogie opener “My Mother’s Son” — those waiting to spot the record’s first use of cowbell will not have to wait long — he taps into a particular kind of soulfulness that few modern singers can effectively portray. Dru Brinkerhoff of Stone Axe could do it, but one is hard pressed to come up with other names besides Wheeler. It’s a style that is able to conjure booze-addled sway and follow-the-riff party vibes and emotional sincerity in kind, and amid all the swing and shove of the penultimate “Top 10” or “In Your Mind,” it shouldn’t be forgotten that after “My Mother’s Son” at the album’s outset comes “Sisterman,” wherein the lyrics position the idea of a sister as one who helps shoulder burdens and provides support apart even from what a brother or a parent might.

outsideinside (Photo by Susan Pedrazzi)

The first two tracks, then — the most immediate impressions Outsideinside II makes — are about notions of family. The hook of “My Mother’s Son” is likewise heartfelt: “Born and raised my mother’s son/Mama prays/Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” It’s not only a welcoming groove to start the LP and warm in tone and general feel in a way that represents well what follows, but a sweet sentiment that “Sisterman” complements even as it brings on more of a strut and stomp in terms of its rhythm. That too represents a defining aspect of the album as an entirety — not just how one track shifts into the next, but how the songs play off each other as a result of that. The sleek motion of “Fine Line” picks up from the opening duo and smoothly leads the listener into the next section of the LP, with “In Your Mind” and “I Ain’t Waitin'” right behind to bolster and further flesh out side A.

And after that organ/guitar fade at the end of “I Ain’t Waitin’,” it’s also worth noting that “Ancient Faces” answers right back at the (again, presumed) outset of side B with a likeminded procession in its introduction, and though the personality of the song is more mellow and built around its changes in volume between the verse and chorus and a kind of noodling lead in its second half as it builds to a more patient but still effective payoff, ahead of the last shakedown in “Top 10,” that momentum brings them into the increased breadth of “Eventide,” wherein Hart arguably makes his presence most felt in filling out what would otherwise be empty spaces in the ensuing jam. It is a moodier vibe that persists in the closer, and purposefully so, but Wheeler‘s vocals are able to fit the shifts that ensue, and the subtle wash of Dicenzo‘s cymbals behind and the foundation of Wilson‘s low end prove no less crucial in the quiet places than in any of the album’s prior boogie.

Thus it is that Outsideinside become a genuine four-piece on their second offering, and the change in dynamic from a classic power trio is evident despite the fact that the natural feel remains paramount. “Eventide” breaks at its halfway point and goes to ground to begin the final instrumental build that will close, and it is an especially engaging moment of the band functioning at all levels to bring together old and new strengths. In more than just the actual makeup of the group, Outsideinside II is an important forward step in aesthetic as well as songwriting, and while it never veers — somewhat refreshingly — into territory one might call progressive, the evolution on display from Outsideinside could hardly be called anything else. As yet, they are a better band than people know.

Outsideinside on Thee Facebooks

Outsideinside on Spotify

Rock Freaks Records on Thee Facebooks

Rock Freaks website

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Descendants of Crom IV Lineup Announced: Bongzilla, Evoken, Ruby the Hatchet, Orodruin & More Confirmed

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 1st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

descendants of crom iv logo

The annual Descendants of Crom in Pittsburgh has become a reliable assemblage of heavy, with a lineup diverse in sound woven together by a consistent quality of taste that unites across styles. For evidence of the ongoing nature of this phenomenon, look no further than the first two names on the poster of Descendants of Crom IV — Bongzilla and Ruby the Hatchet. The former, a recongealed stoner-sludge exercise in Midwestern working-class bomber crust, and the latter, a more urbane newschool-via-oldschool heavy rock outfit laced with keys and nigh-on-glam melodicism.

Those differences are stark, but I’ll be damned if both don’t fit well at the top of the bill here, which includes plenty of shouldn’t-be-missed names in the likes of OrodruinValley of the Sun, Heavy TempleRebreatherPale DivineHorehoundCavern, on and on. I guess I could probably just run down the whole list at that point. It’s a good fest, and more even than last year, you begin to see the sense of curation and the personality of the festival emerge in its blend of styles. It’s not just about more, more, more, in an overwhelming onslaught of bands, but about what each specifically brings to the lineup as a whole. Kudos, as ever, to Shy Kennedy and her crew on a job on its way to being well done.

Here’s the announcement:

descendants of crom iv poster

DESCENDANTS OF CROM IV – A GATHERING OF THE HEAVY UNDERGROUND

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2nd & SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3rd

CATTIVO NIGHTCLUB – ­­­PITTSBURGH, PA, USA

The fourth annual Descendants of Crom will be held this year again in Pittsburgh on both floors of Cattivo Nightclub. The events begin early Friday evening and are followed by a Saturday all-dayer.

The underground scene of heavy rock and metal here is healthy and thriving and we’re feeding great regional bands to a hungry crowd and utilizing legendary, international fan-favorites to entice music fans in the door with the support of our amazing local artists. Descendants of Crom was planted in 2017 as a little black seed and has been growing and strong contender among other established annual music festivals. We aspire to become the premier music event of the Northeast and invite you to become part of the 2020 event. After all, we are all Descendants of Crom!

This year’s DESCENDANTS are:

Bongzilla, Ruby the Hatchet, Black Tusk, Valley of the Sun, Evoken, Orodruin, Rebreather, Horseburner, Heavy Temple, Horehound, Cavern, Pale Divine, Howling Giant, Ironflame, Cruces, God Root, Zom, The Long Hunt, Makeshift Urn, and We, the Creature.

Schedule and tickets will be on sale Friday, March 6th for single-day as well as two-day passes.

We’re looking for sponsors, vendors, and any entity that supports the heavy underground and all things psych, stoner, doom, sludge, and occult to reach out and be a part of our event and community.

Additionally, in anticipation for this year’s Descendants of Crom, there will be a DOC showcase held at Cattivo on Saturday, March 21st featuring bands that have all been part of the Descendants of Crom history. Urns, The Long Hunt, Horehound, Horesburner (WV), and Ironflame. This showcase is a taster of what sort of musicianship and energy that DOC brings to the stages.

Rritual event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/509381869977026/

https://www.facebook.com/DescendantsOfCrom/
www.instagram.com/descendantsofcrom/
https://www.facebook.com/events/437759083832580/
www.descendantsofcrom.com/Tickets.php
http://descendantsofcrom.com

Ruby the Hatchet, Live in Atlanta, GA, Dec. 5, 2019

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ZOM Set to Begin Recording Second Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

It’s only been two years since Pittsburgh’s ZOM debuted on Argonauta with their first full-length, Nebulos (discussed here), but in that time they’ve not only toured Iceland, but restructured their lineup as a four-piece as well, and when you consider that Nebulos shared much of its material with their prior 2013 self-titled EP (review here), it seems like it’s probably fair to expect something different from them this time around. What that might look or sound like, I don’t know, mostly because the album hasn’t been tracked yet. They’ll enter the studio… soon?… to record their sophomore LP with Steel City go-to Jason Jouver engineering and issue the album either later this year or in 2021. I know they’re working on other touring abroad as well, but I’m not sure what the actual timing is on any of it. I’d think getting the recording done is probably right up there on the priority list though. Just a guess.

They sent the following down the PR wire:

zom

ZOM prepares to enter the studio to record follow up to 2018’s “Nebulos”

Pittsburgh, PA stoner-groove, heavy rockers, ZOM are heading into the studio to record their second album and first with the current lineup.

The band’s debut album, Nebulos was released via Argonauta Records in 2018 and featured founding member and songwriter, Gero von Dehn (Monolith Wielder, Von Dane) on guitars/vox alongside bassist and recording engineer Andrew D’Cagna (Brimstone Coven, Ironflame). Percussion duties were shared by D’Cagna and Ben Zerbe (Monolith Wielder, Mandrake Project).

The band was then retooled for live shows and touring and has performed domestically and abroad as a four piece ever since.

Von Dane and Zerbe remain but added to the band were guitarist Matthew Tuite (Blackfinger, Penance) and bassman Sam Pesce (Del Rios).

The new album will be recorded at Plus Minus Studios in Pittsburgh and at the helm will be engineer, Jason Jouver (Monolith Wielder, Lady Beast).

No release date has been set.

https://www.facebook.com/ZOMofficialpage/
https://zom-rock.bandcamp.com/music
http://www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/

ZOM, Nebulos (2018)

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Deathwhite, Grave Image: Funereal Portraits

Posted in Reviews on January 27th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

deathwhite grave image

Pittsburgh robe-clad four-piece Deathwhite have heretofore managed to keep their identities secret. A few initials have floated around — DW, AM, LM, and so on — but after forming in 2012 and issuing two independent EPs in 2014’s Ethereal and 2015’s Solitary Martyr, then signing to Season of Mist ahead of their 2018 debut album, For a Black Tomorrow (review here), the fact that they’ve managed to hold actual names back from public consciousness is fairly impressive in a day and age where immediate access is the norm. One suspects, listening to Grave Image, the all-the-more-accomplished follow-up to For a Black Tomorrow, that Deathwhite as a collective view this as an aesthetic choice.

That is, it’s not necessarily a choice made to drum up a faux-rocker mystique so much as an extension of their sound and general presentation. This makes the fact that their material on songs like “Further From Salvation” and “A Servant” is so emotive and personal-seeming something of an irony, but perhaps this too is the idea. Their anonymity forces the listener to focus not on individual players or elements, but on the entirety of their craft, which is deep, purposeful and a cross achievement in style and substance, bringing the emotional severity of European-style death-doom to the fore with an ever-present sense of melody that refuses to lose its grip.

In the early “In Eclipse” as well as the title-track a short time later, one is reminded of mid-period Katatonia or My Dying Bride, or even the odd-Americans-out in Novembers Doom — the specific moment when that league of bands gave up largely gave up guttural death growls but still had an audience expecting them. Some from-the-ether whispers in the verses of the otherwise gorgeous “In Eclipse” are about as close as Deathwhite comes to abrasive vocals — and that’s probably close enough to scare off the squares — but like the decision to hold back their names, the restraint they show in not breaking out in roars across the weighted sprawl and midpoint breakdown intensity, albeit fleeting, of “Among Us” or the subsequent chugs of “Words of Dead Men” are emblematic of the sense of mission behind Grave Image overall. Deathwhite have a bleak vision and Grave Image is the latest and to-date most vivid incarnation of it.

They are by no means the first to marry beauty and darkness in metal, but what stands out in Grave Image even in relation to its predecessor is the factor of songwriting. Deathwhite have managed the feat of making atmosphere and expressiveness work in conjunction with memorable, dare-one-say catchy, material. Their choruses are stuck-in-the-head fodder for later revisits, and though of course there’s a contemplative feeling to the style as would be demanded in the first place by the tenets of genre, the one does not detract from the other.

Rather, from the outset of “Funeral Ground,” “In Eclipse” and “Further From Salvation,” Deathwhite never lose sight of the fact that they’re playing songs, writing songs, in a traditional style. Their arrangements are by no means lacking complexity or dumbed down in order to be more broadly accessible — it would be incorrect to say otherwise — but they are engaging their audience in these tracks one way or another, and that feeds into rather than pulls back from their overarching purpose and intent with Grave Image. A fine line trod skillfully and surely.

deathwhite

“Grave Image” itself and “Among Us” would seem to be the final pieces of the first vinyl side, which puts “Words of Dead Men” as an impact-laced side B opener, but even the 48-minute runtime of the proceedings speaks to the workings of a different era, not the classic LP form that’s dominated so much of underground music, but the linear presentation of compact discs in the 1990s, and sure enough, Grave Image is best taken in this manner — front to back without even a break in the middle for a side flip. To pretend most who take it on won’t be doing so digitally is folly anyhow, but that works to Deathwhite‘s advantage as the second half of Grave Image progresses, pushing deeper into the open-feeling stretches and quiet/loud trades and lyrical pleading, “open up my eyes” of “No Horizon” and comparative rush at the outset and later keyboard-choral bridge of “Plague of Virtue.” Is it wrong to hope Deathwhite‘s third album incorporates strings somewhere in its proceedings?  If it is, I don’t want to be right.

The longing is palpable in “A Servant” but not overwrought in a dramatic sense, and amid a wash of guitar and understated percussive accomplishment, the penultimate of the total 10 tracks presents a bookend with the highlight opening salvo that began the record, with six-and-a-half-minute finale “Return to Silence” following suit, taking instrumentally soft-edged verses, guitar that’s outright pretty, and setting it/them against more intense bursts in the chorus, “Return to silence/Return to dust/Return to stillness/Return to us.”

A final, cold dropoff is sudden when it arrives, but beautiful, and of course it seems all the more appropriate that “Return to Silence” should close Grave Image, since the song itself leads to the silence at the end of the album, which also becomes an encompassing factor in play for Deathwhite, as well as indicative of their engrossing, multifaceted attention to detail. It is that, ultimately, which allows them to deliver the songs as fluidly as they do, but it’s worth noting that the behind-the-scenes work and thought so clearly put into Grave Image does not at all pull focus away from the songwriting itself, which I’ll reiterate is among the album’s greatest strengths, along with its melodic delivery, aesthetic awareness and willingness to bring its audience into its sphere via craft.

As Deathwhite make the conventions of style function to their own ends throughout Grave Image, it is easy to lose sight of the achievement if only because of the resonance of the material is so affecting emotionally, but that in itself is a triumph of the intent behind its construction. Dark in spirit, Grave Image nonetheless soars, and its success in doing so is a testament to Deathwhite‘s driving vision. Whoever they are, they’ve created something special.

Deathwhite, Grave Image (2020)

Deathwhite on Thee Facebooks

Deathwhite on Bandcamp

Deathwhite website

Season of Mist website

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Molasses Barge to Release A Grayer Dawn April 10 on Argonauta Records; New Track Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

MOLASSES BARGE

The news out of Pittsburgh is doomy as word comes through the PR wire that Molasses Barge have signed to Argonauta Records for the release of their second album, A Grayer Dawn. The record’s not due out until April 10 — which is far enough in the future that my feeble brain can barely comprehend it — and yet not only are we getting the news that the band have been picked up, but also the record’s cover art, tracklisting, and a streaming track. No one-at-a-time trickle of information here. Molasses Barge are laying it on the line and with “Control Letting Go” as the first impression they’re making, frankly, they’re not wrong to do so. You can hear the track at the bottom of this post, and from its kind of raw coming together at the start, it sets an organic atmosphere that I have the feeling the band are going to toy around with a lot in the surrounding material. We’ll see though.

I’d expect to hear more about A Grayer Dawn in the New Year, and in the meantime, as the kind of guy who has a running list of 2020’s anticipated releases, I’ve got another name to jot down in my notes.

Here’s all the whatnot:

MOLASSES BARGE a grayer dawn

MOLASSES BARGE Sign To Argonauta Records For Release Of Brand New Album + Share First Single!

Pittsburgh PA’s Molasses Barge have inked a worldwide deal with rising cult label Argonauta Records, who will release the band’s sophomore album in the Spring of 2020! Titled A Grayer Dawn and set for a release on April 10th, since their critically acclaimed 2017- self-titled debut album Molasses Barge are following their path in the name of doom metal and finest heavy rock grooves, creating a blistering, raw and authentic sound.

“We are very excited to bring this new album to our friends and fans around the globe in 2020.” The band comments. “We were first fortunate to have the engineering and mastering expertise of Jason Jouver and Jack Endino for this recording, and secondly to have Argonauta Records sign us on to be a part of their burgeoning label. Thank you to everyone who has supported us for all of these years!”

The A Grayer Dawn tracklist reads as follows:
1. The Snake
2. Desert Discord
3. Control Letting Go
4. Holding Patterns
5. Black Wings Unfurl
6. Distant
7. A Grayer Dawn
8. Reprise

Molasses Barge were formed in 2008 by Wayne Massey (drums), Brian “Butch” Balich (vocals), and Justin Gizzi (guitar). Originally intended as a side project with designs on recording an EP and making a few live appearances, the group picked up momentum following the additions of second guitarist Ken Houser in 2009, and bassist Amy Bianco at the outset of 2010, recording a pair of EPs and playing numerous shows in PA, Maryland, and New York. After Ken Houser and the group parted ways in 2014, David Fresch was brought aboard and the band released a self titled double-CD through Blackseed Records in 2017. Now entering 2020, with their core still intact and mainstays of Pittsburgh PA’s heavy music scene, Molasses Barge are set to release their second full length album via Italy’s Argonauta Records, featuring the addition of new guitarist Barry Mull.

A Grayer Dawn will see the light of day on April 10th, the band has also been confirmed to play Maryland Doom Fest in 2020. Watch out for more news and album tunes to follow in the weeks ahead!

Molasses Barge is:
Brian “Butch” Balich – Vocals
Amy Bianco – Bass
Justin Gizzi – Guitar
Barry Mull – Guitar
Wayne Massey – Drums

www.facebook.com/molassesbargedoom
www.molassesbarge.bandcamp.com
www.argonautarecords.com
www.facebook.com/argonautarecords

Molasses Barge, “Control Letting Go”

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Deathwhite Post “Funeral Ground” Video From New Album Grave Image

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

deathwhite

I have been spending some significant time with Deathwhite‘s second long-player, Grave Image, since hosting the premiere of the first single from it last month. That song was “Further From Salvation” (posted here) and proved to be a deceptively catchy grim joy of darkened melodicism, taking cues from death-doom instrumentally while refusing to give itself over entirely to that breed of the sonically extreme. The just-under-five-minute “Funeral Ground” is the album opener and follows a similar atmospheric course while serving the dual purpose of leading the listener along the vine-covered path that runs deeper into the record itself. There are some growl-ish backing vocals in a call and response in the chorus of “Funeral Ground,” but that’s about as far as Grave Image goes in that direction, which is consistent as well with 2017’s For a Black Tomorrow (review here). Gracefully, it captures that spirit regardless.

Very purposefully, I’m not listening to Grave Image as I write this post, since I want to give the album a proper review sometimes before its Jan. 31 release through Season of Mist. But thus far, it has become my winter’s soundtrack, suiting well these grey days and the rain that would formerly be snow, somehow all the more mournful given the context of that change in temperature. It’s not as cold as it used to be in December, but it’s no less dark, figuratively or literally. Though it’s still more than a month to go before it comes out, Grave Image is suiting that mood well.

See? There I am writing about the album and it’s not even on. Sometimes it’s hard to stop myself.

The “Funeral Ground” video was filmed alternately it would seem in the woods of Pennsylvania and somewhere in the vicinity of a fog machine. Both fair enough, as far as locales go. You’ll find the clip below, followed by more background and the album preorder link, courtesy of the PR wire.

Enjoy:

Deathwhite, “Funeral Ground” official video

Enigmatic dark metal collective DEATHWHITE premiere the morbid music video for their brand new song, “Funeral Ground.” The track is taken from the band’s upcoming full-length, ‘Grave Image,’ which is due on January 31, 2020.

DEATHWHITE comments: “We were quite elated upon seeing Jérôme Comentale’s cover art design for ‘Grave Image.’ With that mind, we wanted to find some way to tie it into a video, which we did for “Funeral Ground”. It is not obvious at first, but, rest assured, it is there. We had the good fortune of shooting during a brisk autumn day in the natural outdoors, something that we feel only added to the song’s overall atmosphere, which treads some new – no pun intended – ground for us. Due credit to our resident jack-of-all-trades Shane Mayer, who lent his considerable time and energy to the video’s creation.”

‘Grave Image’ can be pre-ordered in various formats HERE.

‘Grave Image’ Track List:
1. Funeral Ground (05:05)
2. In Eclipse (04:46)
3. Further from Salvation (04:56)
4. Grave Image (04:50)
5. Among Us (04:11)
6. Words of Dead Men (03:56)
7. No Horizon (05:29)
8. Plague of Virtue (04:14)
9. A Servant (04:43)
10. Return to Silence (06:38)
Total Length: 48:48

Line-up: The band does not provide line-up information.

Deathwhite, “Further from Salvation”

Deathwhite on Thee Facebooks

Deathwhite on Bandcamp

Deathwhite website

Season of Mist website

Season of Mist on Thee Facebooks

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Deathwhite Premiere “Further From Salvation”; Grave Image out Jan. 31 on Season of Mist

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on November 13th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

deathwhite

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but winter is coming. As I sit and write this in the middle of the pre-dawn night, it’s single-digits cold in what’s been hyperbolized as an Arctic deathfreeze or some such. The moon is full through the trees outside my window and the wind sounds biting and harsh even from the delusional comfort of indoors. It is going to be a long, dark several months ahead, and the melancholia of Deathwhite would seem to be ready for it. Following up their debut, For a Black Tomorrow (review here) — independently issued in 2017 and picked up early last year by Season of Mist — the anonymous Pittsburgh-based outfit will offer the bleak emotionalism of their second long-player, Grave Image, on Jan. 31, 2020.

“Further from Salvation” is the first audio to come from Grave Image, and despite the grimness of its atmosphere, I’m thrilled to host the premiere of it. With recording done in Pittsburgh and Florida and mastering in Sweden, it represents a range deathwhite grave imageof histories from the unheralded Midwestern death-doom pioneering of Novembers Doom to the Sunshine State’s sonic extremity — something that comes through in the drumming here as well — and of course the European legacy of depressive melodic heaviness, as expressed through bands like KatatoniaParadise LostAnathema and My Dying Bride. This sense of drama can be felt in “Further from Salvation” in the whispered vocals of the verse and the morose theme being conveyed, the loss of one’s name, the pursuit of knowledge under penalty of death, and as they did on their debut, Deathwhite bring it forth on “Further from Salvation” with conviction and aesthetic loyalty that is as genuine in its identity as in its homage.

I’ve yet to hear the entirety of Grave Image, but the band speaks to an added sense of severity in their presentation, and I think that is apparent in this track, which is one of a total 10 on the album, the stark and frigid artwork for which could hardly be more suited to the swaying and sad melodycraft and the sense of longing being conveyed.

Rather than prattle on, I’ll turn you over to the song itself and let the copious PR wire background do the rest of the talking while I listen through again and wait for the sun to come up, which it will sooner or later despite the current encompassing darkness.

Grave Image preorders are here: https://smarturl.it/DeathwhiteGraveImage

Enjoy the track:

Deathwhite, “Further from Salvation” official track premiere

Deathwhite on “Further from Salvation”:

“‘Further from Salvation’ was the first song we wrote for ‘Grave Image.’ It gave us the confidence and direction to move forward in a similar direction for the rest of the album, whereby we decided to place more emphasis on heaviness and melody. ‘Further from Salvation’ is also unique for its drum break in the middle portion of the song, something we are imminently proud of. The song itself is reflective of the regular back-and-forth of the human psyche, where inner peace and turmoil is sometimes a mirage of one’s own doing. There is, of course, no parallel to peace of mind, as difficult as it is to achieve.”

The fallible nature of mankind is reflected through its actions and words. Once an absolute, truth is now fluid, twisted and contorted to suit the often-short-sighted needs of those who now suffer the indignation of willful ignorance. Paired with the stench of hypocrisy and unrelenting depletion of the earth’s resources, and the state of the world could not appear graver. It is under this grey cloud that enigmatic dark metal collective DEATHWHITE created their second full-length studio album, Grave Image.

Grave Image was recorded during April and May 2019 at Cerebral Audio Productions with producer/engineer Shane Mayer; vocal tracking took place at Erik Rutan’s (Hate Eternal, Morbid Angel) Mana Recording under the supervision of engineer Art Paiz. The album was mastered by the incomparable Dan Swanö (Bloodbath, Edge of Sanity, Nightingale) at Unisound, and, as with the band’s previous two efforts, the artwork and design were handled by Jérôme Comentale, whose visuals are crucial to DEATHWHITE’s overall aesthetic.

Written over the span of 18 months, Grave Image is a largely heavier and more orchestrated body of work than its 2018 For a Black Tomorrow predecessor. The album is driven by clean, emotive vocals, an increasingly rare commodity in a metal scene so committed to harsher styles of singing. This embrace and execution of such vocals are one of the defining traits of the ten songs found therein, which also offer a wall of guitars flanked by a constant stream of melodies, the direct result of the band adding a second guitarist in 2018.

Since its 2012 formation, DEATHWHITE has remained committed to playing dark metal while remaining anonymous. The band is the utter representation of “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” adage — its members are from disparate backgrounds and are once again spread out across the United States. However, DEATHWHITE remains a vehicle for its members to create new music and convey their unflinching sense of despair as the human race continues its rapid descent to the bottom.

“We consider ourselves to be quite privileged to have DEATHWHITE in our lives,” concludes the band. “With that in mind, Grave Image represents the months of hard work that went into its creation. It is our hope it will resonate long after we’ve outlived our usefulness. If nothing else, we hope it will find a home with those who share a similar frame of mind as us.”

‘Grave Image’ Track List:
1. Funeral Ground (05:05)
2. In Eclipse (04:46)
3. Further from Salvation (04:56)
4. Grave Image (04:50)
5. Among Us (04:11)
6. Words of Dead Men (03:56)
7. No Horizon (05:29)
8. Plague of Virtue (04:14)
9. A Servant (04:43)
10. Return to Silence (06:38)
Total Length: 48:48

Line-up: The band does not provide line-up information.

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