Doomstress Premiere “Way of the Mountain” Lyric Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 11th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

doomstress logo

Comprised of members of  Project ArmageddonSparrowmilk and Venomin JamesDoomstress is a new trio looking to make their debut sometime in the coming months with an EP titled Supernatural Kvlt Sounds. The first audio from the recently-formed outfit arrives as a lyric video to the song “Way of the Mountain,” which finds the three-piece — “Doomstress” Alexis Hollada on bass/vocals, Brandon Johnson on guitar and Tomasz Scull on drums — chugging through doomed-out riffs and grooving into a solid introductory chorus. With empowerment lyrics and nature footage in the video for atmosphere, one begins to get a sense of what Doomstress are about, and the different vibe they’re going for separate from Project Armageddon, from whence Hollada and Johnson hail, who released their more metallic third album, Cosmic Oblivion (review here), last year.

The EP brings forth two originals in “Way of the Mountain” and “Sleep Among the Dead,” as well as covers of Uriah Heep and Coven, and while I wouldn’t attempt to judge a new band’s trajectory from hearing one song and reading the titles of three others, between that, the logos courtesy of The Perverted Old Goatess and the “Way of the Mountain” video below, Doomstress distinguish themselves by bringing a hard edge to modern doom, the heft in Johnson‘s guitar tone holding onto some of that punch from Cosmic Oblivion. Where Supernatural Kvlt Sounds, as their initial recordings, might lead them, probably best not to speculate, but the underlying foundation of songwriting they show in “Way of the Mountain,” the nodding toward a classic influence in their choice of covers and the clear intention toward aesthetic commitment they’re making at the outset all would seem to auger well.

Go ahead and get yourself introduced by checking out the video below, which is followed by some more background on the band, and please enjoy:

Doomstress, “Way of the Mountain” lyric video

Formed by Doomstress Alexis of Project Armageddon from Houston,TX, covering bass & vocals, she asked fellow Project Armageddon bandmate Brandon Johnson to bring his guitar skills to the sonic altar for her new project. Rounding out the project, Doomstress Alexis tapped Sparrowmilk drummer, Tomasz Scull from Cleveland, OH (also guitarist for Venomin James) to contribute his percussive stylings.

doomstress square logoDoomstress Alexis and Brandon travelled to Ohio in March to complete writing and to record a 4 song demo ep, “Supernatural Kvlt Sounds”, consisting of 2 originals and 2 covers.

Doomstress Alexis had certain artistic aesthetic ideas in mind for the new DOOMSTRESS project and shared these with Goatess Doomwych (the674society) who crafted the logo and art designs.

“Doomstress was spawned by Doomstress Alexis’s desire to take a more personal musical direction. While still rooted in doom and metal, Doomstress seeks to invoke heavier grooves found more in vintage & stoner rock. The layering of twin guitar and vocal harmonies allows Doomstress to bring a darker ambience and mood to the music. Lyrically and visually Doomstress appeals to free spiritedness, strength of self, elements of nature & the supernatural, as well as some occult and gothic themes.”

EP tracklisting:
1-Way of the Mountain
2-Rainbow Demon (Uriah Heep cover)
3-Sleep Among the Dead
4-Wicked Woman (Coven cover)

Doomstress on Thee Facebooks

Doomstress on YouTube

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Project Armageddon, Linus Pauling Quartet and More Playing Doomsgiving IV on Dec. 5

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 27th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Next weekend in Houston, Rudyard’s Pub hosts Doomsgiving IV – The Krampus Hunt, and while I have no idea what a Doomsgiving might entail as regards the traditional meal — turkeys made of riffs! — it’s a killer lineup with Project ArmageddonLinus Pauling QuartetThe Dirty Seeds and Serpent Sun, and that’s usually enough to pique my interest.

Linus Pauling Quartet, if you missed the news, had the Jan. 15 release date for their new album, Ampalanche, confirmed earlier this week by Vincebus Eruptum Recordings. Meantime, Project Armageddon will headline the evening in support of their earlier-2015 offering, Cosmic Oblivion (review here), which was a Doomsgiving feast unto itself.

Show details and whathaveyou:

doomsgiving iv the krampus hunt

Doomsgiving IV – The Krampus Hunt

December 5th at Rudyard’s Pub, Houston, TX.

Lineup:
Project Armageddon
Linus Pauling Quartet
The Dirty Seeds
Serpent Sun
Doors at 8:00 $8

Spawned of Doom Metal, with open minds & experimentation; Hailing from the northern outskirts of Houston, TX-Project Armageddon consists of members: Brandon Johnson – guitar, Raymond Matthews – drums, and Doomstress Alexis – bass and vocals. February 2010 saw the release of Project Armageddon’s debut full length cd “Departure”: a self released, 45 minute record that stays true to P.A.’s no holds barred stylistic approach, running the gamut from straight out doom to somber acoustic tracks to full out effects laden psychedelic guitar tracks, dealing with super-genetic beings, nuclear holocaust, natural devastation, and religious intolerances.

Project Armageddon continued on an extensive show schedule from 2010 to mid-2011 both in the local clubs and around Texas. In the summer of 2011, Project Armageddon returned to Dungeon Manor studios to record their 2nd full length record: “Tides of Doom”. This was then sent out to be mixed by Supernatural Sound in Kultland, OH. “Tides of Doom” was released in March of 2012 followed the “Tides of Doom – Texas Tour” to support & promote the record. Demo work resumed after touring the Summer of 2012, and amidst a slew of many local shows supporting the local metal scene and touring acts both national and international. Project Armageddon rocked Austin during the SXSW festival and plans additional shows in Dallas/Ft. Worth and San Antonio. The touring schedule has recently been set taking Project Armageddon around the state and to some new areas as well as supporting more international acts.

Pure guitar muscle and Texas Stoner Metal Psych insanity with universal themes like drugs, beer, sci-fi/fantasy, and Bongs of Power. If you like your riffs heavy, the solos unyielding, and the smell of the bong to billow out of your stereo, the LP4 is your band.

The Dirty Seeds. No gimmicks, just four strangers gathered together by an ape-like stoner prophet from the future to save humanity with loud rock n roll. Face melting stoner rock with enough of a groove to trick white people into thinking they know how to dance.

Event will feature the traditional Doomsgiving table set w/club decor by artist Chuyz Beard. Also photo gallery display by Goon73 Photography.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1619457394970452/
http://projectarmageddon.com/
http://www.worshipguitars.org/LP4/
https://www.facebook.com/thedirtyseeds
https://www.facebook.com/SerpentSunHT

Project Armageddon, “Vortex to Oblivion”

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Project Armageddon, Cosmic Oblivion: Vortex of Crush

Posted in Reviews on September 4th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

project armageddon cosmic oblivion

Houston’s Project Armageddon are quick to let their listeners know what it’s all about. On their third album, Cosmic Oblivion, they open with the eight-minute instrumental “Cosmic Crush,” and the ensuing progression moves from riff to riff to riff and back again. Frills be damned. Each member of the Texan trio, who release Cosmic Oblivion through Shattered Man Records as the follow-up to 2012’s Tides of Doom after having made their debut with 2010’s Departure, played at one point or another in Brainticket Records trad-doomers Well of Souls, but with Project Armageddon, they present a foundation of oldschool metal that one can hear in the guitar tone of Brandon Johnson and the vocals of bassist “Doomstress” Alexis Hollada, as well as the forward-moving rhythms of drummer Raymond Matthews.

The album’s 47 minutes (43 for the digital version) are put to varied use, however, with several cuts positioned almost as bonus material at the end, including the CD-exclusive Judas Priest cover “Deceiver,” the acoustic song “Time’s Fortune” — which, though it’s somewhat buried at the end, is a highlight — and a live version of the title-track to Tides of Doom (recorded somewhere along the line in the band’s hometown) to finish out. As such, though substantial in both runtime and content, Cosmic Oblivion at times feels more like an EP in giving the audience a sample of what Project Armageddon have to offer than a front-to-back full-length, but there’s a flow established all the same, the metallic drive of Matthews‘ drums and Hollada‘s bass setting a patient, grand opening pace under Johnson‘s riffs on “Cosmic Crush,” but deftly shifting between tempo and fostering fist-pumping righteousness along the way through the opener’s chug-happy course.

Like many in Texas’ heavy underground, they’ve taken some measure of influence from Pepper Keenan‘s work in Down and C.O.C., and Project Armageddon aren’t halfway through “Cosmic Crush” before one can hear shades of Deliverance in the guitar, but they grow more individual as they move forward from there and toward “Frigid Bitch,” the centerpiece of the CD and a bluesier, almost Witch Mountain-esque high point boasting Hollada‘s most accomplished vocal performance and a careening interplay of guitar and bass in its back half that’s a showing of diversity in approach after the two tracks prior, “Vortex to Oblivion” and “Lost to Forever,” round out a (theoretical, since so far as I know there’s yet to be a vinyl pressing) side A comprised of satisfying and unmistakably metal-infused riffs that seem to be pushing toward a deeper purpose.

project armageddon

Taken with the vinyl split in mind, Cosmic Oblivion is a completely different record than when played front to back, and some of the second half’s experiments — that acoustic track, the cover, the live cut — make more sense, but the tradeoff for stopping halfway through is felt in the momentum that emerges between “Cosmic Crush,” “Vortex to Oblivion” and “Lost to Forever,” all three of which top seven minutes and give a complete-seeming glimpse at Project Armageddon‘s songwriting and in particular Hollada‘s marked frontwoman presence in the tracks, which are peppered with stage-style exclamations and an energy that does right in teasing a live feel later affirmed as “Tides of Doom” rounds out. Compression on the vocals takes a bit of getting used to, but I’m not about to pan a self-releasing band for audio fidelity. The quality of the tracks holds up across Cosmic Oblivion‘s first half, and while the album’s structure can be a head-scratcher at first, it doesn’t take much to put the pieces together, and a hook like that of the chorus to “Lost to Forever” is its own best sell.

A tempo downshift and more relaxed — opening “woo!” aside — but still heavy vibe, along with Hollada‘s soulful approach, help make “Frigid Bitch” the highlight that it is, and if there’s one truly frustrating aspect of the CD version, it’s that the cover of “Deceiver,” which originally appeared on Judas Priest‘s classic 1976 second album, Sad Wings of Destiny, is placed before “Time’s Fortune.” What’s the difference? Arriving after the cover, the acoustic cut feels more like a bonus track than the album closer it truly is, and more like an extra than the essential component it deserves to be. It broadens the context of Cosmic Oblivion as a whole, and particularly directly following “Frigid Bitch” as it does on the digital version, its added percussion, harmonica and subdued vocal, it provides a resonant counterpoint to side A’s more traditional aspects. “Deceiver,” at just over four minutes, rocks plenty hard, but interrupts that process. Maybe it’s moot, since invariably more people will hear the digital album anyway, but the shift between “Frigid Bitch” and “Time’s Fortune” is an especially engaging finish and the CD doesn’t get the same treatment.

Structured for vinyl, released on CD and better suited to mp3, Cosmic Oblivion can seem somewhat uneven at times, but it will not be the last we hear from Project Armageddon, and I’d be very surprised if someone didn’t pick it up for a restructured vinyl release. That said, without “Deceiver” or the live “Tides of Doom” to close out, Cosmic Oblivion would check in at just 35 minutes, so in addition to an extra enticement toward the physical product — a philosophy against which I won’t argue — they also add to the album’s runtime, and the latter, which opens with a sample releasing the Kraken, affirms the band’s focus on their onstage energy while also not at all subtly confirming that anything Project Armageddon bring to the studio they can also bring to a live setting: no trickery involved. Not that much would be suspected, since as noted at the top, it’s about the riffs and the groove, but the one element “Cosmic Crush” leaves out is Hollada‘s vocals, the dynamics of which are crucial to the album’s overall success.

Project Armageddon, “Lost to Forever” Live in TX, 2014

Project Armageddon on Thee Facebooks

Project Armageddon’s website

Cosmic Oblivion at CDBaby

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Bayou Doom Fest III Full Lineup Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 9th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

One thing Texas always has an ample supply of is heavy. Actually, Texas has all kinds of things, but riffs are definitely in there as well. To wit, the newly-announced lineup for Bayou Doom Fest III in Houston next month is a Texas-centric all-dayer with the varied likes of Las CrucesProject ArmageddonSwitchblade JesusFuneral HorseKin of Ettins and more that pretty much looks like it should be a two-day event with such a packed lineup, but nope. That’s just how they roll down there.

Helstar will headline, as you can see in the announcement below that came down the PR wire:

bayou doom fest iii

Helstar to Headline Third Installment of Bayou Doom Fest

The Houston Doom Brigade is pleased to announce that this year’s edition the Bayou Doom Fest will be headlined by none other than Houston legends Helstar. Bayou Doom Fest III will take place on August 8th at Fitzgerald’s in Houston, TX. In addition to Helstar, the fest will feature Century Media’s newest signees, Oceans of Slumber, plus Las Cruces, Sanctus Bellum, Project Armageddon, Funeral Horse, and many more.

Speaking on the festival, Helstar vocalist James Rivera stated “Although most people wouldn’t consider us to be a doom band in the traditional sense, doom is a style of music that is very near and dear to our hearts and it’s one that’s been a big influence on us. Doom metal has a darkness to it that we incorporate into our sound as well. In honor of the occasion, we’ve got a very special set planned that will showcase some of our doomiest tracks. We’ve also got some surprises planned around the theme of the late, great Christopher Lee as Dracula. Godfathers of Doom and Nosferatu anyone?”

Houston Doom Brigade co-founder Doomstress Alexis commented “There’s been no bigger friend to the doom scene in Texas than Helstar. Though they may a somewhat unorthodox choice as headliner, there’s not a doom fan in the state that isn’t a big fan of Helstar. That makes them a great fit for the fest.”

Now in its 3rd year, Bayou Doom Fest has showcased the best talent that the Gulf Coast region has to offer. Festival alumni include Venomous Maximus, Warbeast, Wo Fat, Cauldron (ex-Gammacide), Mothership, and Destroyer of Light.

Bayou Doom Fest III
August 8th, 2015 Doors at 5PM, Show at 5:30PM
Fitzgerald’s, Houston Texas
$13, all ages

Helstar
Oceans of Slumber
Las Cruces
Sanctus Bellum
Project Armageddon
Deguello
Switchblade Jesus
Funeral Horse
Dirty Seeds
Kin of Ettins
Funeral Shroud
Dead Hawke
Gallion

https://www.facebook.com/events/502558536559224/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Houston-Doom-Brigade/462658783800700

Sanctus Bellum, “Parallax” Live at Bayou Doom Fest I

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Project Armageddon Embark on Cosmic Oblivion Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 22nd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

project armageddon

Houstin trio Project Armageddon have set out on a tour to the East Coast in support of their third album, Cosmic Oblivion. The run began this past Friday and will continue through to the start of next month, making a stop this weekend in Frederick, Maryland, for the Maryland Doom Fest where Project Armageddon will join the likes of Spirit CaravanThe Skull and many, many others in celebrating one of the country’s most distinct styles of doom.

Project Armageddon also recently unveiled the instrumental opener of Cosmic Oblivion, which is titled “Cosmic Crush,” and which you can find on the player that follows the tour dates below.

Information is the key:

project armageddon tour

Project Armageddon – Cosmic Oblivion Tour

Project Armageddon releases our 3rd record “Cosmic Oblivion” in June 2015 and will embark on a 2 week tour of the midwest/northeast US on our way to play The †maryland DOOM† Fest!

Project Armageddon is stoked to announce the current dates of our upcoming northeast US tour to play The maryland DOOM Fest and to support our new record “Cosmic Oblivion”! Local record release and tour kick off show starts 6/13 in Houston,TX at Numbers Nightclub and tour begins the following weekend!

We will be back just in time for the Doomstress to host her 3rd anniversary Doomstress Alexis Day Grace Note benefit for Montrose Grace Place for homeless youth on Sunday July 5th at Pearl Bar Houston, where she will be performing with her other band, Vendetta Diabolique! All tour event links are posted in this tour event page.

Hope to see you on the road!

Doomstress Alexis-Bass & Vox
Brandon Johnson-Guitars
Raymond Matthews-Drums

6/19 Denton,TX @ Andy’s Bar
6/20 Texarkana, AR Silver Dollar
6/21 Chattanooga,TN @ JJ’s Bohemia
6/23 Indianapolis,IN @ The 5th Quarter Lounge
6/25 Kent,OH @ Stone Tavern
6/26 McMechen,WV @ Goodfellas Bar & Grill
6/27 Frederick,MD Maryland Doom Fest Cafe 611
6/30 Bethlehem,PA @ Shankara Vegan Restaurant
7/2 Richmond,VA 25 Watt RVA

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Project-Armageddon/115542915136006
https://www.facebook.com/events/1596999430538981/
http://www.projectarmageddon.com/Home.html

Project Armageddon, “Cosmic Crush”

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Maryland Doom Fest 1: Nagato Added; Final Schedule Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 4th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

nagato (Photo by Rachel Ellen Morton)

It turns out Pull had to them-out (get it?) of the first-ever Maryland Doom Fest, but they’ve been replaced by reunited riffers Nagato, who got back together last year after a cessation of activity in 2012. Thick on vibe, they’ll add progressive atmospherics and gorgeous tone to the lineup of the fest, which takes place from June 26-28 at Cafe 611 in Frederick, Maryland. I’ve only been fortunate enough to see the four-piece once, at Stoner Hands of Doom XI in 2011 (review here), for which they also played on a Sunday, but that set left enough an impression that four years later I keep hoping I’ll hear some news about them putting out a record sooner or later.

They might get there. I know the members of Nagato are involved in a few other projects as well, so maybe their playing Maryland Doom Fest is enough for the moment. They’ve joined a killer lineup, for which the final schedule has just been announced.

And just so we have it all in one place, alphabetically, here’s the full lineup as of now (there are still a couple months to go, things can change) for the inaugural Maryland Doom Fest: Apostle of Solitude, Balam, Banned from H.E.L.L., Foehammer, Foghound, Into the Void, Iron Man, Lord, Mangog, Mind’s Eye, Nagato, Outside Truth, Primer Grey, Project Armageddon, Season of Arrows, Serpent Witch, Sixty Watt Shaman, Slaves B.C., Spirit Caravan, The Skull, Unorthodox, Valkyrie, Weed is Weed.

Poster by Audrey Mantel and running order follow, along with Nagato‘s return show last August:

md doom fest flyer

The Maryland Doom Fest 1

June 26 – 28, 2015
Cafe 611, Frederick, MD

A weekend of doom metal in its purest form.

FRIDAY
The Skull 1225-130
Sixty Watt Shaman 1115-1210
Unorthodox 1005-11
Weed Is Weed 855-950
Into The Void 755-840
Banned From H.E.L.L. 655-740
Primer Grey 6-640

SATURDAY
Spirit Caravan 1215-130
Apostle of Solitude 1105-1200
Outside Truth 1010-1050
Valkyrie 910-955
Project Armageddon 815-855
Foghound 720-8
Balam 630-705
Slaves B.C. 540-615
Season of Arrows 445-525

SUNDAY
Iron Man 1045-1215
Foehammmer 945-1030
Lord 845-930
Mind’s Eye 745-830
Nagato 650-730
Serpent Witch 655-735
Mangog 6-640

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-maryland-doom-fest-tickets-15022390374
https://www.facebook.com/events/562627560540323
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-maryland-DOOM-Fest/815331421863100

Nagato, Live at Guido’s Speakeasy, Frederick, MD, Aug. 23, 2014

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The Skull, Spirit Caravan, Apostle of Solitude and More Confirmed for Maryland Doom Fest 2015

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

There isn’t much more to the Maryland Doom Fest 2015 at this point than a list of bands, dates and a place, but that’s really all you need. In true Maryland doom style, no bullshit, no one-at-a-time teasers, just “here’s this awesome thing” and you can either show up or suck. The inaugural edition of the Frederick-based fest will take place at Cafe 611 and bring together a killer assemblage of acts, headlined by The Skull and Spirit Caravan and also boasting Apostle of Solitude and War Injun-offshoot Outside Truth.

To that point, while Maryland itself is well represented — Spirit CaravanOutside TruthIron ManWeed is WeedFoghoundMind’s EyePull, Daydreams with Nightmares, etc. — the festival’s reach is immediately wider, not only pulling in Lord and Valkyrie (the latter of whom should have a new album out by then, on Relapse) from nearby Virginia, but reaching up the Eastern Seaboard to nab Rhode Island’s Balam and into the Midwest for The Skull and Apostle of Solitude, who together supplied some of 2014’s best doom in their latest albums.  What’s consistent throughout the lineup is the spirit of doom. There’s some variety around sludge, stoner, heavy rock and so on, but it’s a riffer’s delight front to back and it looks like it’ll be one worth traveling to see.

I’m not sure if more bands are being added, but presumably there will be a change here and there one way or another — June 26-28 is a long time away — and if I hear anything, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, here’s the poster and lineup for the first Maryland Doom Fest:

maryland doom fest 2015

The Skull
Spirit Caravan
Apostle of Solitude
Outside Truth
Unorthodox
Iron Man
Valkyrie
Weed is Weed
Balam
Project Armageddon
Foghound
Pull
Mind’s Eye
Slaves BC
Foehammer
Season of Arrows
Lord
Daydreams with Nightmares

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-maryland-DOOM-Fest/815331421863100
http://cafe611.com/

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First-Ever Bayou Doom Fest Set for Next Weekend

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 1st, 2013 by JJ Koczan

We’re just 10 days out from the fist-ever Bayou Doom Fest, set to take place May 11 in Houston, Texas, with a killer lineup of native and regional acts who run a gamut of heaviness from the thrashing Warbeast all the way to the heavy rock of Orthodox Fuzz with no shortage of doom in between. I know Las Cruces have been working on new material — they’ll also play Doom in June 3 in a couple weeks — so maybe they’ll have something on tap for the setlist, and with Wo Fat just back from Europe and Mothership just off the road with Gypsyhawk, you know these guys are going to deliver an awesome night.

Details came down the PR wire:

Warbeast and Venomous Maximus to Headline Inaugural Bayou Doom Fest

Presented by the Houston Doom Brigade, the inaugural Bayou Doom Fest, to be held at Fitzgerald’s in Houston, TX on May 11, 2013, will be headlined by DFW thrash-masters Warbeast and Houston’s occult metal kings, Venomous Maximus.  The show marks the first time that Warbeast and Venomous Maximus have shared the stage since a run of shows in January supporting the legendary Down.  The show will also be Warbeast’s first since returning from a successful tour supporting GWAR and Venomous Maximus’ first hometown appearance since signing to Napalm Records.  Making the festival even more special is the fact that it will be a free event for those 21 and up ($10 under 21).

Joining Warbeast and Venomous Maximus on the bill are psychedelic fuzz rockers Wo Fat (fresh off appearances at Roadburn and Desertfest), Maligno (Mexico), Sanctus Bellum (Houston), Mothership (DFW), Las Cruces (San Antonio), Project Armageddon (Houston), Orthodox Fuzz (DFW), and Serpent Sun (Houston).

Houston Doom Brigade Presents:  Bayou Doom Fest I
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Fitzgerald’s
2706 White Oak, Houston, TX
Doors, 5:00 – Show 5:15
Free for 21+ (under 21: $10)

Warbeast (Housecore Records)
Venomous Maximus (Napalm Records)
Wo Fat (Small Stone Records)
Mothership (Ripple Music)
Las Cruces (Brainticket Records)
Maligno
Sanctus Bellum
Project Armageddon
Orthodox Fuzz
Serpent Sun

Las Cruces, “Cocaine Wizard Woman”

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