The Obelisk Questionnaire: Love Forsberg, Zubaida Solid and Sam Riffer of Siena Root

Posted in Questionnaire on May 23rd, 2023 by JJ Koczan

SIENA ROOT (Photo by Petter Hilber)

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Love Forsberg, Zubaida Solid and Sam Riffer of Siena Root

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

Love Forsberg – We make root rock music. Siena Root is a dynamic root rock experience.

Zubaida Solid – I’ve been with band since 2018 and my role has expanded since joining. For me Siena Root is a band that puts great emphasis on great live shows, high quality analog recordings with roots and inspiration from different genres, from blues, dragged, Indian ragas, classic rock, psychedelic influences. All this melt in to a honey pot that has something to offer everyone.

Sam Riffer – It’s the sum of our influences, personalities and creativity in a blender haha.

Describe your first musical memory.
LF – I think this was a ’70s production that my dad played, an album called “Kåldolmar och kalsipper”, by a swedish group Nationalteatern. It was an album somewhat produced for kids, but I still enjoy it today.

ZS – My first contact with music comes from my dad, listening to old Bollywood music from ’70s on cassette tape in the car. Listening and singing along while on road trips with my family, has special place in my heart.

SR – I was 7 years old and an older kid in school played a a cassette with Kiss’ Heaven’s on Fire really loud! I was stunned :) To this day I remember that kick drum beat and the shouts, somehow it came across as something dangerous… yet appealing.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

SR – When I saw Page & Plant, 1995 in Colorado, I was 18 years old and had recently discovered Led Zep. You could easily say I was on a Stairway to… It was a magical night with lots of hippies, friends and all the rest :)

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

LF – Last year when my pacifism was set under pressure by a war in Europe that I thought was unpredicted.

ZS – I learned whilst being sick in covid how fragile life is. It was quite a jarring experience.

SR – Definitely the war here in Europe, so many things I believed in went out the window. I had always thought that the so called threat from the east was exaggerated here in Sweden. That said, I never believed that our generation would walk through life with only peace around us, yet it was something I wished for of course. Still a chock when war approaches for real and we’ve taken peace for granted somehow.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

ZS – That’s hard to answer but I always feel that different experiences and trails in life propels me forward musically.

SR – I guess it’s rather individual, for some people it can lead to less desirable things I think but to me it’s about learning, growing and moving forward but also about spiritual calmness and maturity.

How do you define success?

LF – Success is when you are understood by others.

ZS – Success for me is a combination of things. Having music out that you can stand for and be enjoyed by others and of course is substantial enough to make an impression and last.

SR – It’s not about commercial success to me it’s only about creative and musical fulfilment or whatever you live to achieve, doesn’t have to be music of course.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

SR – Tough one, I have seen things that makes me sad and/or angry and of course lots of things I wish never happened or didn’t exist like violence, oppression and poverty but I shouldn’t say I wish I hadn’t seen it as much as I wish those terrible things didn’t happen or exist. If it’s part of reality I am somehow obliged to face it rather than to close my eyes.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

ZS – A big dream of mine is writing a musical. If we could ever write something like works of Webber/Rice through a “Siena Root-lens” that would be super cool.

SR – I really would like to time-travel but I guess I won’t be able to create such a machine…

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

ZS – I think we’ve seen different examples though out history as to why art Is so important. I think that arts biggest importance lies in the emotional outlet people need, not only for the creator but the viewer/listener as well. Seeing and hearing yourself being represented or recognising something within one self.

SR – Perspectives and interpretation, it’s all in the eyes and ears of the beholder and that’s the beauty of it, in most arts there is no correct answer or prevailing conclusion.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

SR – Besides our dream of lasting world peace I really look forward to summertime.

Siena Root, Revelation

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Quarterly Review: Siena Root, Los Mundos, Minnesota Pete Campbell, North Sea Noise Collective, Sins of Magnus, Nine Altars, The Freqs, Lord Mountain, Black Air, Bong Coffin

Posted in Reviews on April 11th, 2023 by JJ Koczan


If you missed yesterday, be advised, it’s not too late. If you miss today, be advised as well that tomorrow’s not too late. One of the things I enjoy most about the Quarterly Review is that it puts the lie to the idea that everything on the internet has to be so fucking immediate. Like if you didn’t hear some release two days before it actually came out, somehow a week, a month, a year later, you’ve irreparably missed it.

That isn’t true in the slightest, and if you want proof, I’m behind on shit ALL. THE. TIME. and nine times out of 10, it just doesn’t matter. I’ll grant that plenty of music is urgent and being in that moment when something really cool is released can be super-exciting — not taking away from that — but hell’s bells, you can sit for the rest of your life and still find cool shit you’ve never heard that was released half a century ago, let alone in January. My advice is calm down and enjoy the tunes; and yes, I’m absolutely speaking to myself as much as to you.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Siena Root, Revelation

siena root revelation

What might be their eighth LP, depending on what counts as what, Revelation is the second from Siena Root to feature vocalist/organist Zubaida Solid up front alongside seemingly-now-lone guitarist Johan Borgström (also vocals) and the consistent foundation provided by the rhythm section of bassist Sam Riffer (also some vocals) and drummer Love “Billy” Forsberg. Speaking a bit to their own history, the long-running Swedish classic heavy rockers inject a bit of sitar (by Stian Grimstad) and hand-percussion into “Leaving the City,” but the 11-song/46-minute offering is defined in no small part by a bluesy feel, and Solid‘s vocal performance brings that aspect to “Leaving the City” as well, even if the sonic focus for Siena Root is more about classic prog and blues rock of hooky inclusions like the organ-and-guitar grooving opener “Coincidence and Fate” and the gently funky “Fighting Gravity,” or even the touch of folkish jazz in “Winter Solstice,” though the sitar does return on side B’s “Madukhauns” ahead of the organ/vocal showcase closer “Keeper of the Flame,” which calls back to the earlier “Dalecarlia Stroll” with a melancholy Deep Purple could never quite master and a swinging payoff that serves as just one final way in which Siena Root once more demonstrate they are pure class in terms of execution.

Siena Root on Facebook

Atomic Fire Records website


Los Mundos, Eco del Universo

los mundos eco del universo

The latest and (again) maybe-eighth full-length to arrive within the last 10 years from Monterrey, Mexico’s Los Mundos, Eco del Universo is an immersive dreamboat of mellow psychedelia, with just enough rock to not be pure drift on a song like “Hanna,” but still an element of shoegaze to bring the cool kids on board. Effects gracefully channel-swap alongside languid vocals (in Spanish, duh) with a melodicism that feels casual but is not unconsidered either in that song or the later “Rocas,” which meets Western-tinged fuzz with a combination of voices from bassist/keyboardist Luis Ángel Martínez, guitarist/synthesist/sitarist Alejandro Elizondo and/or drummer Ricardo Antúnez as the band is completed by guitarist/keyboardist/sitarist Raúl González. Yes, they have two sitarists; they need both, as well as all the keyboards, and the modular synth, and the rest of it. All of it. Because no matter what arrangement elements are put to use in the material, the songs on Eco del Universo just seem to absorb it all into one fluid approach, and if by the time the hum-drone and maybe-gong in the first minute of opener “Las Venas del Cielo” unfolds into the gently moody and gorgeous ’60s-psych pop that follows you don’t agree, go back and try again. Space temples, music engines in the quirky pop bounce of “Gente del Espacio,” the shape of air defined amid semi-krautrock experimentalism in “La Forma del Aire”; esta es la música para los lugares más allá. Vamos todos.

Los Mundos on Facebook

The Acid Test Recordings store


Minnesota Pete Campbell, Me, Myself & I

Minnesota Pete Campbell Me Myself and I

Well, you see, sometimes there’s a global pandemic and even the most thoroughly-banded of artists starts thinking about a solo record. Not to make light of either the plague or the decision or the result experience from “Minnesota” Pete Campbell (drummer of Pentagram, Place of Skulls, In~Graved, VulgarriGygax, Sixty Watt Shaman for a hot minute, guitarist of The Mighty Nimbus, etc.), but he kind of left himself open to it with putting “Lockdown Blues” and the generally personal nature of the songs on, Me, Myself and I, his first solo album in a career of more than two decades. The nine-song/46-minute riffy splurge is filled with love songs seemingly directed at family in pieces like “Lightbringer,” “You’re My Angel,” the eight-minute “Swimming in Layla’s Hair,” the two-minute “Uryah vs. Elmo,” so humanity and humility are part of the general vibe along with the semi-Southern grooves, easy-rolling heavy blues swing, acoustic/electric blend in the four-minute purposeful sans-singing meander of “Midnight Dreamin’,” and so on. Five of the nine inclusions feature Campbell on vocals, and are mixed for atmosphere in such a way as to make me believe he doesn’t think much of himself as a singer — there’s some yarl, but he’s better than he gives himself credit for on both the more uptempo and brash “Starlight” and the mellow-Dimebag-style “Whispers of Autumn,” which closes — but there’s a feeling-it-out sensibility to the tracks that only makes the gratitude being expressed (either lyrically or not) come through as more sincere. Heck man, do another.

Minnesota Pete Campbell on Facebook

Kozmik Artifactz website


North Sea Noise Collective, Roudons

North Sea Noise Collective Roudons

Based in the Netherlands, North Sea Noise Collective — sometimes also written as Northsea Noise Collective — includes vocals for the first time amid the experimental ambient drones of the four pieces on the self-released Roudons, which are reinterpretations of Frisian rockers Reboelje, weirdo-everythingist Arnold de Boer and doom legends Saint Vitus. The latter, a take on the signature piece “Born Too Late” re-titled “Dit Doarp” (‘this village’ in English), is loosely recognizable in its progression, but North Sea Noise Collective deep-dives into the elasticity of music, stretching limits of where a song begins and ends conceptually. Modular synth hums, ebbs and flows throughout “Wat moatte wy dwaan as wy gjin jild hawwe,” which follows opener “Skepper fan de skepper” and immerses further in open spaces crafted through minimalist sonic architecture, the vocals chanting like paeans to the songs themselves. It should probably go without saying that Roudons isn’t going to resonate with all listeners in the same way, but universal accessibility is pretty clearly low on the album’s priority list, and for as dug-in as Roudons is, that’s right where it should be.

North Sea Noise Collective on Facebook

North Sea Noise Collective on Bandcamp


Sins of Magnus, Secrets of the Cosmos

Sins of Magnus Secrets of the Cosmos

Philly merchants Sins of Magnus offer their fourth album in the 12 songs/48 minutes of Secrets of the Cosmos, and while said secrets may or may not actually be included in the record’s not-insignificant span, I’ll say that I’ve yet to find the level of volume that’s too loud for the record to take. And maybe that’s the big secret after all. In any case, the three-piece of bassist/vocalist Eric Early, guitarist/vocalist Rich Sutcliffe and drummer Sean Young tap classic heavy rock vibes and aim them on a straight-line road to riffy push. There’s room for some atmosphere and guest vocal spots on the punkier closing pair “Mother Knows Best” and “Is Anybody There?” but the grooves up front are more laid back and chunkier-style, where “Not as Advertised,” “Workhorse,” “Let’s Play a Game” and “No Sanctuary” likewise get punkier, contrasting that metal stretch in “Stoking the Flames” earlier on In any case, they’re more unpretentious than they are anything else, and that suits just fine since there’s more than enough ‘changing it up’ happening around the core heavy riffs and mean-muggin’ vibes. It’s not the most elaborate production ever put to tape, but the punker back half of the record is more effective for that, and they get their point across anyhow.

Sins of Magnus on Instagram

Sins of Magnus on Bandcamp


Nine Altars, The Eternal Penance

Nine Altars The Eternal Penance

Steeped in the arcane traditions of classic doom metal, Nine Altars emerge from the UK with their three-song/33-minute debut full-length, The Eternal Penance, leading with the title-track’s 13-minute metal-of-eld rollout as drummer/vocalist Kat Gillham (also Thronehammer, Lucifer’s Chalice, Enshroudment, etc.), guitarists Charlie Wesley (also also Enshroudment, Lucifer’s Chalice) and Nicolete Burbach and bassist Jamie Thomas roll with distinction into “The Fragility of Existence” (11:58), which starts reasonably slow and then makes that seem fast by comparison before picking up the pace again in the final third ahead of the more trad-NWOBHM idolatry of “Salvation Lost” (8:27). Any way they go, they’re speaking to metal born no later than 1984, and somehow for a band on their first record with two songs north of 11 minutes, they don’t come across as overly indulgent, instead borrowing what elements they want from what came before them and applying them to their longform works with fluidity of purpose and confident melodicism, Gillham‘s vocal command vital to the execution despite largely following the guitar, which of course is also straight out of the classic metal playbook. Horns, fists, whatever. Raise ’em high in the name of howling all-doom.

Nine Altars on Facebook

Good Mourning Records website

Journey’s End Records website


The Freqs, Poachers

The Freqs Poachers

Fuzzblasting their way out of Salem, Massachusetts, with an initial public offering of six cuts that one might legitimately call “high octane” and not feel like a complete tool, The Freqs are a relatively new presence in the Boston/adjacent heavy underground, but they keep kicking ass like this and someone’s gonna notice. Hell, I’m sure someone has. They’re in and out in 27 minutes, so Poachers is an EP, but if it was a debut album, it’d be one of the best I’ve heard in this busy first half of 2023. Fine. So it goes on a different list. The get-off-your-ass-and-move effect of “Powetrippin'” remains the same, and even in the quiet outset of the subsequent “Asphalt Rivers,” it’s plain the breakout is coming, which, satisfyingly, it does. “Sludge Rats” decelerates some, certainly compared to opener “Poacher Gets the Tusk,” but is proportionately huge-sounding in making that tradeoff, especially near the end, and “Chase Fire, Caught Smoke” rips itself open ahead of the more aggressive punches thrown in the finale “Witch,” all swagger and impact and frenetic energy as it is. Fucking a. They end noisy and crowd-chanting, leaving one wanting both a first-LP and to see this band live, which as far as debut EPs go is most likely mission accomplished. It’s a burner. Don’t skip out on it because they didn’t name the band something more generic-stoner.

The Freqs on Facebook

The Freqs on Bandcamp


Lord Mountain, The Oath

Lord Mountain The Oath

Doomer nod, proto-metallic duggery and post-NWOBHM flourish come together with heavy rock tonality and groove throughout Lord Mountain‘s bullshit-free recorded-in-2020/2021 debut album, issued through King Volume as the follow-up to a likewise-righteous-but-there-was-less-of-it 2016 self-titled EP (review here) and other odds and ends. Like a West Coast Magic Circle, they’ve got their pagan altars built and their generals out witchfinding, but the production is bright in Pat Moore‘s snare cutting through the guitars of Jesse Swanson (also vocals and primary songwriting) and Sean Serrano, and Andy Chism‘s bass, working against trad-metal cliché, is very much in the mix figuratively, literally, and thankfully. The chugs and winding of “The Last Crossing” flow smoothly into the mourning solo in the song’s second half, and the doom they proffer in “Serpent Temple” and the ultra-Dio Sabbath concluding title-track just might make you a believer if you weren’t one. It’s a record you probably didn’t know you were waiting for, and all the more so when you realize “The Oath” is “Four Horsemen”/”Mechanix” played slower. Awesome.

Lord Mountain on Facebook

King Volume Records store

Kozmik Artifactz store


Black Air, Impending Bloom

Black Air Impending Bloom

Opener “The Air at Night Smells Different” digs into HEX-era Earth‘s melancholic Americana instrumentalism and threat-underscored grayscale, but “Fog Works,” which follows, turns that around as guitarist Florian Karg moves to keys and dares to add both progressivism and melody to coincide with that existential downtrodding. Fellow guitarist Philipp Seiler, standup-bassist Stephan Leeb and drummer Marian Waibl complete the four-piece, and Impending Bloom is their first long-player as Black Air. They ultimately keep that post-Earth spirit in the seven-minute title-track, but sneak in a more active stretch after four minutes in, not so much paying off a build — that’s still to come in “A New-Found Calm” — = as reminding there’s life in the wide spaces being conjured. The penultimate “The Language of Rocks and Roots” emphasizes soul in the guitar’s swelling and receding volume, while closer “Array of Lights,” even in its heaviest part, seems to rest more comfortably on its bassline. In establishing a style, the Vienna-based outfit come through as familiar at least on a superficial listen, but there’s budding individuality in these songs, and so their debut might just be a herald of blossoming to come.

Black Air on Instagram

Black Air on Bandcamp


Bong Coffin, The End Beyond Doubt

Bong Coffin The End Beyond Doubt

Oh yeah, you over it? You tired of the bongslaught of six or seven dozen megasludge bands out there with ‘bong’ in their name trying to outdo each other in cannabinoid content on Bandcamp every week? Fine. I don’t care. You go be too cool. I’ll pop on “Ganjalf” and follow the smoke to oh wait what was I saying again? Fuck it. With some Dune worked in for good measure, Adelaide, Australia’s Bong Coffin build a sludge for the blacklands on “Worthy of Mordor” and shy away not a bit from the more caustic end their genre to slash through their largesse of riff like the raw blade of an uruk-hai shredding some unsuspecting villager who doesn’t even realize the evil overtaking the land. They move a bit on “Messiah” and “Shaitan” and threaten a similar shove in “Nightmare,” but it’s the gonna-read-Lovecraft-when-done-with-Tolkien screams and crow-call rasp of “Träskkungen” that gets the prize on Bong Coffin‘s debut for me, so radly wretched and sunless as it is. Extreme stoner? Caustic sludge? The doom of mellows harshed? You call it whatever fucking genre you want — or better, don’t, with your too-cool ass — and I’ll march to the obsidian temple (that riff is about my pace these days) to break my skull open and bleed out the remnants of my brain on that ancient stone.

Bong Coffin on Facebook

Bong Coffin on Bandcamp


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Siena Root to Release Revelation Feb. 24; “Coincidence & Fate” Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 15th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

SIENA ROOT (Photo by Petter Hilber)

A solid release date for the new Siena Root album, Revelation, is good news, as it will be fascinating to hear what the long-running Swedish outfit have conjured to coincide with the classic vibes of the single “Coincidence and Fate” below. My guess? More classic vibes. My hope, anyhow. This will be their second record with Zubaida Solid on lead vocals, and she brings a marked charisma to the lead track from the album, which feels like a long time coming despite the fact that the band’s prior LP, The Secret of Our Time, was released in 2020.

If you can keep a secret, I’ve already decided to close out this week with the first Siena Root record, 2004’s A New Day Dawning, so this won’t be the last you hear of them before Friday afternoon, but I wanted to get this posted anyhow because (1:) I’m already late on it and (2:) this band has seen two entire bands’ worth of personnel come and go over the course of their time and still managed to be pretty consistent as regards awesome. Can’t help but admire such a thing.

From the PR wire:

siena root revelation

SIENA ROOT Presents Video For New Digital Single, “Coincidence & Fate;” Revelation Album Details Unveiled + Preorders Available

Sweden’s root rock figureheads SIENA ROOT will release their eighth studio album on February 24th via their new label home, Atomic Fire Records!

Fittingly titled Revelation, the recording serves as the group’s most versatile offering of their long-spanning career, guiding listeners through a true journey rather than simply stringing together song after song. The eleven-track offering was recorded analogously at Silence Studio in Koppom, Sweden and Root Rock Studios in Stockholm, Sweden where it was also mixed. Mastering was handled at Stockholm’s Cutting Room.

In advance of the record’s release, today SIENA ROOT unveils their video for “Coincidence & Fate.”

The band comments, “This is the trailer for our movie, Wheels Of Revelation, as well as the first track of the album Revelation and tells a story of fear one experiences when coming close to death and realizing the fickleness of life. Musically, ‘Coincidence & Fate’ is an all-analogue recording featuring dirty organ riffs and fat drums. That’s where heavy rock tunes with female front vocals — seemingly inspired by classic acts such as Uriah Heep and Jethro Tull — meet SIENA ROOT’s remarkable root rock sound. Enjoy!”

Preorder Revelation on CD, LP, pre-save it on your favorite DSP or preorder it digitally to receive “Coincidence & Fate” immediately at THIS LOCATION:

Revelation Track Listing:
1. Coincidence & Fate
2. Professional Procrastinator
3. No Peace
4. Fighting Gravity
5. Dusty Roads
6. Winter Solstice
7. Dalecarlia Stroll
8. Leaving The City
9. Little Burden
10. Madukhauns
11. Keeper Of The Flame

SIENA ROOT have announced a show to celebrate Revelation on release day at Pipeline in Sundsvall, Sweden with support coming from Drivet.

2/24/2023 Pipeline – Sundsvall, SE

Zubaida Solid – vocals, keys
Johan Borgström – guitars
Sam Riffer – bass
Love Forsberg – drums

Siena Root, “Coincidence & Fate” official video

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Siena Root Announce Revelation LP Due in Spring

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 4th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Well, at least I didn’t miss it. When last discussed, Siena Root‘s Revelation LP was set to arrive in Aug. 2022 through Metalville Records. They posted the single “Little Burden” earlier this year and now there’s word that the album will be released this coming Spring through Atomic Fire Records, who’ve picked them up for the release. Hey, good for the band I guess. Given the folks who run it, Atomic Fire is no minor endorsement for a band even with an established track record — which, even before their eighth LP lands, they have, across multiple lineups — to get, and they’ve already been out on tour this year. How could more possibly not follow in 2023 if that’s when Revelation is actually going to happen?

I’ll be interested to see what those plans include, actually. But we’ve probably got a bit to go before we get there. The PR wire brought background and the signing announcement:

SIENA ROOT (Photo by Petter Hilber)

SIENA ROOT Unveils New Digital Single/Video, “Little Burden;” Forthcoming Full-Length, Revelation, To Be Released In Spring 2023 Via Atomic Fire Records

With seven studio albums in nearly two decades of band history, Sweden’s root rock figureheads SIENA ROOT are constantly working on something new. They’ve continually changed their approach and experimented with their sound — not only to keep their music fresh but to challenge themselves which is one of the main reasons why the group’s relevance remains after all these years.

Besides touring with acts such as Deep Purple and Dewolff, the quartet — founding members drummer Love Forsberg and bassist Sam Riffer with guitarist Johan Borgström and vocalist/keyboardist Zubaida Solid — have always brought an infectious performance to stages globally. Those lucky enough to attend one of SIENA ROOT’s post-pandemic tours earlier this year may already know how the band spent the Corona years recording a brand-new album that is finally set to be released next year via their new label home of Atomic Fire Records!

Comments the band, “The ‘Dynamic Root Rock Experience’ called SIENA ROOT caught fire a long time ago. As we all know, you need to catch a fire to be burnin’ and this time SIENA ROOT caught an Atomic Fire: we are very proud and honored to announce that we are a part of the Atomic Fire Records family now. The new album, Revelation, will be released in early 2023, stay tuned!”

Atomic Fire Records CEO Markus Wosgien adds, “We’re very happy to enrich our roster with SIENA ROOT’s innovative mixture of classic, folk, and psychedelic rock. Their musical path as well as their everchanging sound charmed us enormously, leading to their new opus Revelation, which is nothing short of amazing. It’s an album that surely won’t only fascinate rockers but also fans beyond the genre. What an outstanding group. They truly know how to perform this music the right way!”

The record title definitely keeps its word: it’s a sonic Revelation and has become the most versatile offering in SIENA ROOT’s long-spanning career, guiding listeners through a true journey rather than simply stringing together song after song. But that’s not all: the first appetizer, new single “Little Burden” which premiered live in 2022, can be enjoyed alongside a music video, edited by Linus Grane, via YouTube.

Elaborates the band, “This is a first taste of SIENA ROOT’s journey when introducing the more acoustic side of the ‘Dynamic Root Rock Experience.’ The song deals with leaving the city and the experience that comes with that. ‘Little Burden’ is a song that describes the feeling of melancholy and battle one experiences when faced with the arbitrary issues of man and when burdens, however small and inconsequential, make you weary and sometimes even poison you.”

More info on SIENA ROOT’s eagerly awaited eighth studio album as well as preorder details will be unveiled before the end of the year.

Zubaida Solid – vocals, keys
Johan Borgström – guitars
Sam Riffer – bass
Love Forsberg – drums

Siena Root, “Little Burden” official video

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Siena Root Sign to Metalville Records; Revelation Due in Aug. 19

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 23rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

siena root

In the wreck that was 2020, I somehow missed that long-running Swedish classic heavy rockers Siena Root had put out a new album. Frankly I’m embarrassed to admit that. Nonetheless, when Revelation follows The Secret of Our Time as the group’s second album with Zubaida Solid on vocals and Johan Borgström stepping in as their lone full-time guitarist, I’m not about to make the same mistake twice.

The band have signed to Metalville Records for the new outing and while there’s no audio from Revelation yet, the fact that it’s not coming out until Aug. 19 — the second half of next year, already — means there’s plenty of time for such things before we get there. I won’t pretend to know what the world will look like by then or what the state of vinyl pressing will be.

Still, new Siena Root is good news in whatever contextual apocalypse it might show up. Here’s word from the PR wire:

siena root revelation

SIENA ROOT sign with METALVILLE, prepare new album

Metalville Records is proud to welcome Siena Root to its roster. The band’s new studio album, Revelation, will be released on August 19th, 2022.

“Dynamic Root Rock Experience” is the term Siena Root use to describe their music. And it is exactly this experience that makes the Swedes’ new album Revelation, so attractive to the listener: an uncompromising mixture of hypnotizing rhythms, heavy riffs, beautiful solos, and emotional vocals. The band fuses eastern acoustic folk melodies with hard rock and Nordic wilderness.

In 20 years of band history, Siena Root have constantly worked on something new, changed their approach, and experimented a lot.

Revelation has become the most versatile in Siena Root’s career; the band jumps between strong melodies and beautiful harmonies, led by a fantastic female voice. For this, the band used exclusively analog equipment, as usual. With their incredible range of different styles, the 11 tracks show the band’s musical ingenuity, recorded by experienced musicians who have a perfect sense for the right moment when handmade root rock is to be served.

Tracklisting and first track to be revealed in time. Cover artwork for Revelation is as follows.

The Secret of Our Time – Album (2020)
In the Fire – 7″ Single (2019)
A Dream of Lasting Peace – Album (2017)
Pioneers – Album (2014)
Conveniently Blind – 7″ Single (2013)
Root Jam – Double Live Album (2011)
Kalejdoskop – Live DVD (2010)
Different Realities – Album (2009)
Far From The Sun – Album (2008)
Kaleidoscope – Album (2006)
Mountain Songs – 7″ Single (2005)
A New Day Dawning – Double Album (2004)

Sam Riffer – bass
Love Forsberg – percussion
Zubaida Solid – vocals
Johan Borgström – guitar

Siena Root, The Secret of Our Time (2020)

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Six Records Released Yesterday You’re Going to Want to Pick Up

Posted in Features on April 30th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

This kind of thing happens every now and again throughout the course of a year, where there just happens to be one day filled with killer releases. It’s convenient if periodically overwhelming, and even in this age of preorders and stuff just showing up in the mail — a somewhat disconnected process compared to going to a shop and asking at the counter if something is in yet, but again, convenient — a day like that can be special. I remember days like that going back a longer time than I care to admit, and yesterday was definitely one of them as well.

If you felt the North American continent rumble just a little bit, that was probably just the combined weight — applied one on the West Coast, one on the East — of Fu Manchu and Floor putting out records at the same time. What will no doubt be two of 2014’s best releases when the year is done both arrived on April 29, but they were hardly the end of the story. In case you missed any of it, here’s a convenient (there’s that word again), alphabetically-organized assemblage from which to organize yourself before payday:

1. Floor, Oblation

Released by Season of Mist. File picking up the first Floor record since 2004’s Dove as a no-brainer. The Miami trio of guitarist/vocalist Steve Brooks, guitarist Anthony Vialon (interview here) and drummer Henry Wilson have been kicking around doing stuff live since a little while after they released their 8CD Below and Beyond box set in 2009, but Oblation (review here) is the new album and spiritual successor to 2002’s landmark self-titled outing. Following that one up is no easy task and they know it, but I think history will serve Oblation well in the long run, songs like “Love Comes Crushing” and the eight-minute “Sign of Aeth” expanding the sludge-pop formula that made Floor‘s early work so vital without sacrificing the hooks that at this point have spanned more than a decade en route towards timelessness. Floor on Thee Facebooks.

Floor, Oblation (2014)

2. Fu Manchu, Gigantoid

Released by At the Dojo. The first new Fu Manchu self-release after two full-lengths on Century Media and a handful of reissues through their own imprint, Gigantoid brings a rawer sound from the widely influential SoCal fuzz stalwarts. They recorded with Moab guitarist Andrew Giacumakis, and while the album boasts some quintessential examples of what’s always made the Fu‘s songwriting so infectious — looking at you, “Anxiety Reducer” and “Radio Source Sagittarius” — their hardcore punk roots come through on “No Warning” and Gigantoid rounds out with an extended jam led by bassist Brad Davis on “Last Question” and filled out through a barrage of effects from guitarist Bob Balch. If I can get to it today I’ll have an interview up with guitarist/vocalist Scott Hill (otherwise tomorrow), and a review is forthcoming, but the short version is Gigantoid is one of the year’s best, no doubt. Fu Manchu on Thee Facebooks.

Fu Manchu, Selections from Gigantoid (2014)

3. Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus, Spirit Knife

Released by Small Stone. Swedish upstarts Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus offer engaging touches of heavy psychedelic blues and expanded-definition stoner rock on their third long-player and Small Stone debut, Spirit Knife (stream/video premiere here), working naturally in a classic heavy context without pretending the last 40 years never happened. The album is immersive and atmospheric, offering standout moments of righteousness in 10-minute opener “Fog by the Steep,” “Clang,” “Point Growth” and elsewhere, and provides a look at a unit with the potential to continue to expand their sound going forward. Seems like JIRM have thus far flown under North American radars for the most part, but Spirit Knife is worth the effort of tracking down, and by that I mean clicking “play” on the Bandcamp stream below to hear it for yourself. Give it some time to unfold and you won’t regret it. Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus on Thee Facebooks.

Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus, Spirit Knife (2014)

4. Revelation, Salvation’s Answer

Released by Shadow Kingdom. Perennially underappreciated Maryland doomers Revelation and Pittsburgh’s Shadow Kingdom Records are no strangers. The label has handled reissues of 1992’s Never Comes Silence, 1995’s …Yet So Far, and 2008’s Release, in addition to having the first release of 2009’s For the Sake of No One and 2012’s Inner Harbor. This time, the band and imprint partner up for a revisit of Revelation‘s 1991 debut, Salvation’s Answer, and while the look is overdue, it’s no less welcome for its late coming. Salvation’s Answer might sound raw 23 years after the fact, but its elemental sound remains deceptively atmospheric, and like much of Revelation‘s earlier output, it wears a deep-running melancholy on its sleeve and blends progressive guitar work with a strong foundation of metallic groove. Revelation on Thee Facebooks.

Revelation, Salvation’s Answer (1991/2014)

5. Salem’s Pot, …Lurar ut dig på prärien

Released by EasyRider Records. Mired in drug-derived riffing and classic horror/exploitation ambience, Swedish four-piece Salem’s Pot have plenty of scummer groove in common with Electric Wizard on their debut, …Lurar ut dig på prärien, but if worshiping at the altar of Sabbath and drawn-out fuzz was a crime, we’d all have been put to death years ago. Their reverential depravity comes through in the three extended tracks, “Creep Purple” (14:28), “Dr. Death” (9:52) and “Nothing Hill” (9:12), and the album unfolds in a haze of degenerate psychedelia. It’s crafted with vinyl in mind, but give me a CD to get lost in front-t0-back without having to worry about changing sides, because Salem’s Pot isn’t the kind of listen where you want to have anything whatsoever to do with consciousness. You could tag it derivative, but what isn’t? Familiar though it might be, it’s still worth a nod. Salem’s Pot on Thee Facebooks.

Salem’s Pot, “Nothing Hill” from …Lurar ut dig på prärien (2014)

6. Wovenhand, Refractory Obdurate

Released by Deathwish Inc. History has taught time and again not to be surprised when it comes to the David Eugene Edwards-led outfit Wovenhand, and their seventh offering and first for Deathwish Inc., Refractory Obdurate continues to expand beyond genre bounds, incorporating tonal weight into their signature brilliant arrangements so that songs like “Masonic Youth” (get it?) and “Hiss” pummel their payoffs as much as they enhance the atmospheres of “Salome,” “King David” and the joyously rumbling “Good Shepherd.” Wovenhand are a singular entity on stylistic terms, and Edwards‘ commanding presence burns through this material even at moments when he seems consumed by the full-breadth chaotic churning surrounding him in the mix. Refractory Obdurate — culling influences no less a patchwork than its cover art — is the work of genius, driven by faith and in perpetual development. Wovenhand on Thee Facebooks.

Wovenhand, Refractory Obdurate (2014)

That’s a pretty good day. If I left anything out or if you’ve already picked any of these up, I hope you’ll let me know in the comments. Thanks as always for reading.

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If You Only Buy 24 Records Between Now and May 1…

Posted in Features on March 12th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

…Yeah, I know, 24 is a buttload of records to buy in the span of about a month and a half. To do the division, it would mean buying a new album every 2.04 days. Probably not feasible in terms of time, let alone budget, but hell, it’s a nice thought and seeing the onslaught of new stuff coming between now and the end of April, I thought maybe a list would help keep it all straight. Even if I’m only helping myself, I could probably spend my time in worse ways.

Worth noting that even with 24 albums, presented below in order of release, I feel like there’s stuff I’m forgetting. Frankly, it’s an overwhelming amount of material, so if I’ve missed something or there’s something you’d like to see added to the list, as always, that’s why there’s a comments feature.

Okay. These are numbered just for fun, but listed by date:

1. Orange Goblin, A Eulogy for the Fans (March 12)

My understanding is that London’s foremost doom scoundrels, none other than Orange Goblin, have been selling copies of A Eulogy for the Fans since starting their US tour with Clutch on March 8 in Cincinnati, Ohio, but today is the official release date, and I can think of no better place to start than with the four-piece’s ferocious performance at the 2012 Bloodstock festival, captured audio and video in all its bloodsoaked glory. Not to be missed or taken lightly because it’s a live record. Album review here.

2. Borracho, Mob Gathering 7″ (March 13)

Even though it’s comprised of older tracks, the new Mob Gathering 7″ from Borracho is welcome by me for two reasons: I’ve never heard the songs before and Borracho rocks. The Washington D.C.-based riffers recorded “Mob Gathering” and “Short Ride (When it’s Over)” in 2009 and are set to release the cuts on a limited platter in black and orange swirl through Spain’s Ghost Highway Recordings and Germany’s No Balls Records. They’ve been playing live as a mostly-instrumental outfit while guitarist/vocalist Noah is out of the country on what I can only assume is an awesome spy mission, so if you need a Borracho fix — and it’s obvious from the way your hands are shaking that you do — this might be the way to go. More info here.

3. Inter Arma, Sky Burial (March 15)

Like Windhand below, Inter Arma are recent Relapse Records signees from Richmond, Virginia, and Sky Burial will serve as their first release for the label. Literally and figuratively, the album is expansive, topping 69 minutes and pummeling the whole way through with a genre-transcending concoction of bleakness that’s not so much aligned to any particular heavy aesthetic so much as it is set to its own atmospheric purposes. Through this, Inter Arma emerge terrifyingly cohesive where many others would falter, and their second LP behind 2010’s Sundown (review here) leaves a progressive impression despite an almost complete lack of sonic pretense. Mostly, it’s fucking heavy. Track stream and info here.

4. Clutch, Earth Rocker (March 19)

If 2013 ended tomorrow, Clutch‘s Earth Rocker would be my album of the year. That’s not saying the situation will be the same nine months from now when I actually start putting that list together (already dreading it), but as of March 12, it’s the cat’s pajamas and no foolin’. The long-running Marylanders outdid themselves and put together a surprisingly fast, energetic collection of songs that don’t forsake the bluesy tendencies of their last album, 2009’s Strange Cousins from the West, so much as they put some of the jamming on lockdown in favor of all-out pro-grade heavy rock and roll. The velocity is crucial and the wolfman is out, but it feels like the party’s just starting. Look for them on tour sometime between now and forever. Album review here.

5. Black Mare, Field of the Host (March 20)

Black Math Horseman and Ides of Gemini frontwoman Sera Timms (who’s also recently collaborated with Yawning Man‘s Gary Arce in the new outfit Zun) steps further out on her own with the solo-project Black Mare, from whom Field of the Host is the first album. Due March 20 on LP through The Crossing and on cassette through Breathe Plastic, limited in both cases and sure to be gone shortly after release if they’re not already taken through pre-orders. Fans of Timms‘ past works will be glad to hear the misty wash of melody and dreamy, somehow sad, languid roll of “Blind One,” for starters. Audio and info on the forum.

6. Kvelertak, Meir (March 26)

Short of setting themselves on fire, Norwegian triple-guitar six-piece Kvelertak did just about everything they could to get noticed in support of their 2010 self-titled debut LP (review here), and sure enough, their work paid off in getting signed to Roadrunner Records for all territories outside their native Scandinavia (where Indie Recordings holds sway) and trumpeting up a wave of anticipation for their second full-length, Meir. Their energetic, genre-crossing approach might not be for everybody, but the band have turned a lot of heads and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to find them on bigger tours this year with Roadrunner behind them. More info on the forum.

7. Black Pyramid, Adversarial (April 2)

This is actually the first time the Eli Wood cover art for Black Pyramid‘s Adversarial has been seen in full, so you know. The Hydro-Phonic Records release of the third Black Pyramid album and first to be fronted by guitarist/vocalist Darryl Shepard along with bassist David Gein and drummer Clay Neely punctuates the beginning of a new era for the Massachusetts trio. If the advance listen to closing track “Onyx and Obsidian” is anything to go by, they could very well be at their most potent yet, and though I’d hardly consider myself an impartial observer, as a fan of the band, this is one I’ve been looking forward to for a while now. More to come. Track stream here.

8. Moss, Horrible Night (April 2)

I’ve yet to hear the complete album, but UK trio Moss seem poised to surprise with a cleaner vocal approach on Horrible Night, their first offering since 2008’s impressive Sub Templum LP and two EPs in 2009, so in addition to wondering how they’ll pull it off, the level of the shift remains to be seen. That is, how big a deal is it? Should I call my mom? Is this something grandma needs to know about? Time will tell, but for it having been five years since the last time a Moss record reared its doomly head, it seems only fair to give the band a little breathing room on their evolution. More info and video here.

9. Mars Red Sky, Be My Guide EP (April 8)

How glad am I that French fuzz rockers Mars Red Sky have a new EP coming? Well, I’m not as happy that it’s coming as I am that it’s frickin’ awesome. The trio keep the weighted bass tones that gave so much depth to their 2011 self-titled debut (review here), but they’ve also clearly set to work expanding the formula as well, adding stomp to second track “Seen a Ghost” and an eerie repetitive sense to side B closer “Stranger,” while also broadening their melodic reach and taking claim of whichever side of the line they want between fuzz rock and heavy psychedelia while remaining so much more to the ears than either genre descriptor can offer to the eyes. At half an hour, my only complaint with it is it’s not a full-length album. Video trailer and info here.

10. Blaak Heat Shujaa, The Edge of an Era (April 9)

A sample of the poet Ron Whitehead — who also featured on Blaak Heat Shujaa‘s late-2012 debut EP for Tee Pee Records, The Storm Generation (review here) — comes to clarity just in time for the gonzo Boomer poet to let us all know that, “America is an illusion” (that may be, but it’s an illusion with an army of flying killer robots), and from there, the youngin’ desert transplants embark on a low-end-heavy freakout topped with sweet surf rock guitars and set to use in intricate, sometimes surprisingly jagged, rhythmic dances. Mario Lalli of Fatso Jetson guests, Scott Reeder produced. Review is forthcoming, but till then, there’s more info here.

11. Devil to Pay, Fate is Your Muse (April 9)

Fate is Your Muse serves not only as Indianapolis rockers Devil to Pay‘s Ripple Music debut, but also as the double-guitar foursome’s first outing since 2009’s Heavily Ever After. With tales of lizardmen attacks and the alleged end of the world, it’s got its fair share of personality, and set to the chugging riffs, melodic vocals and straightforward heavy grooves, that personality still goes a long way. I’ll have a review up before this week is out (I hope), but still, I wanted to make sure to include Devil to Pay here too, since their songs command both attention and respect. To wit, I just can’t seem to get “This Train Won’t Stop” out of my head. Video and info here.

12. Cough & Windhand, Reflection of the Negative Split (April 15)

Virginian doomers Cough and Windhand share a hometown in Richmond, a love of volume, a bassist in Parker Chandler and now a label in Relapse Records, so yeah, a split makes sense. Reflection of the Negative will be Windhand‘s first release through Relapse ahead of their sophomore full-length, scheduled for later this year (info here). For Cough, this split marks their first outing since 2010’s An Introduction to the Black Arts split with UK masters The Wounded Kings (review here), and they’ll present the 18-minute “Athame,” while Windhand bring forth “Amaranth” and “Shepherd’s Crook.” More info here.

13. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Mind Control (April 15)

What the last Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats album, 2011’s Blood Lust (semi-review here), did so well was capture the atmosphere and the grainy imagery of late ’60s/early ’70s psychedelic horror and put it into audio form. For that, Blood Lust earned massive praise, but I still think that without the central core of songwriting underneath the genre trappings, it would’ve fallen flat. When it comes to Mind Control, the question waiting to be answered is if the band wants to stick to the blueprint they’ve established or go brazenly into uncharted weirdness. I’m not really sure they can lose, either way. Info and music here.

14. Kadavar, Abra Kadavar (April 16)

Their debut on new label Nuclear Blast and the quick-arriving answer to my pick for 2012 debut of the year, Abra Kadavar arrives with plenty of anticipation leading the way. The retro-rocking German trio have their work cut out for them in following that self-titled, but however it turns out in the comparison, it will be fascinating to learn how Kadavar develops the band’s sound and whether or not they prove able to push the boundaries of their aesthetic while simultaneously setting a new standard for promo photos. New video here.

15. Spiritual Beggars, Earth Blues (April 16)

I guess when it comes to these long-running Swedes, everybody’s got their favorite lineup, their favorite tunes, etc., but for me, I’m just impressed that Michael Amott — now more than 20 years on from starting Spiritual Beggars as a side-project while still in grindcore pioneers Carcass — still has any interest in keeping the classic rock Hammond-loving outfit grooving. Their last outing, 2010’s Return to Zero (review here), was the first to feature vocalist Apollo Papathanasio, formerly of Firewind, and though those songs were solid, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re more settled in on Earth Blues when it drops via InsideOut Music on April 16. More info on the forum.

16. Beastwars, Blood Becomes Fire (April 19)

Alternating between periods of brooding intensity and all-out crushing heaviness, the second full-length from New Zealand’s Beastwars, Blood Becomes Fire, is nasty, nasty, nasty. It’s nasty when it’s quiet and it’s nasty when it’s loud. It’s the kind of record you put on and you’re like, “Damn that’s nasty.” And you’re not wrong. The four-piece — touring shortly with Unida — upped their game even from 2011’s self-titled debut (review here), and for anyone who heard that record, you know that’s saying something. I’m still in the “getting to know it” phase, but so far all that nasty feels pretty right on. More info here.

17. Ghost, Infestissumam (April 19)

Man, this one just kind of happened, huh? I suck — and I mean S-U-C-K suck — at keeping up with band hype. I’m the dude who hears the record three months later and goes, “Yeah, I guess that’s cool,” as countless reviews here can attest, including the one for Ghost‘s 2010 debut, Opus Eponymous, but with the Swedish cult heavyweights, all of a sudden I turned around and blamo, major label deal, semi-name change to Ghost B.C., and enough slathering over the impending Infestissumam to make the first album seem like less than the hyperbole it was treated to initially. Funny how that happens. Out in April? I’m sure I’ll review in June and go, “Yeah, I guess that’s cool.” More info on the forum.

18. One Inch Giant, The Great White Beyond (April 19)

Now signed to Soulseller Records, Swedish heavy rockers One Inch Giant will unveil their debut full-length on April 19 and as three of my favorite words in the English language are “Swedish heavy rockers,” I’m excited to find out how this Gothenburg four-piece follow-up their Malva EP, and if they can capture some of the extreme dynamic they brought to their live show when they toured the US last summer — a run of shows that included a stop at SHoD. Hard not to pull for a band after they come over to play club dates. More info and music here.

19. The Heavy Co., Midwest Electric (April 20)

It was actually the other day writing about The Heavy Co.‘s Midwest Electric that I had the idea for this feature, so however high the profile might be for some of these albums — Ghost walks by on their way to cash a check — it was these unpretentious Hoosier rockers and their new outing, Midwest Electric, that started me off. From what I’ve heard so far, the new collection sounds a little more confident in exploring psychedelia than did the trio’s 2011 debut EP, The Heavy (Please Tune In…) (review here), so I’m looking forward to hearing if and how that plays out over the course of the whole thing. Video trailer here.

20. Gozu, The Fury of a Patient Man (April 23)

I have an interview slated for later this week with Gozu guitarist/vocalist Marc Gaffney, and I’m even more excited for this time than I was when we last spoke, around their 2009 Small Stone debut, Locust Season (review here), since in everything but its goofball song titles, the sophomore outing marks a huge developmental step in the band’s melodic reach and songwriting chemistry. Stay tuned for that interview and check out the Bandcamp stream included with the album review here.

21. Yawning Man & Fatso Jetson, European Tour Split 7″ (April 26)

Note: I don’t actually know that April 26 is the day that what’s sure to be 2013’s most desert-rocking split is due to arrive, I just know that it’s Fatso Jetson and Yawning Man‘s European tour split, and that’s the day the Euro dates start — with performances at Desertfests London and Berlin, to be more specific. Given both the greatness of Fatso Jetson‘s last record, 2010’s Archaic Volumes (review here), and of Yawning Man‘s own 2010 outing, Nomadic Pursuits (review here), the bands’ shared lineage and the relative infrequency of their touring, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to hope that, even for a single, they pull out all the stops. And starts. And riffs. More info on the forum.

22. Serpent Throne, Brother Lucifer (April 29)

Philly-based instrumental heavy rockers Serpent Throne will follow-up 2010’s White Summer/Black Winter (review here) with Brother Lucifer, and while no one can ever really know what to expect, it’s a safe bet that the dual-guitar outfit will have the solos front and center once again. Having seen them do a couple new songs back in December, I can’t blame them in the slightest. Looking forward to letting these songs sink in for a while and having those solos stuck in my head. Track stream here.

23. Melvins, Everybody Loves Sausages (April 30)

Hey wow, a Melvins covers album. Finally, an opportunity for the band to let their hair down and go wild a bit, right? I mean, at long last, they can really feel free to indulge a little and explore their musical roots in a free and creative way. Okay, you get the point. In all seriousness, it’s a pretty cool idea and anything that teams the Melvins with Scott Kelly to do a Venom song is probably going to be a worthy cause. The most amazing part of it is they haven’t already done a version of “Black Betty.” More info on the forum.

24. Revelation, Inner Harbor (April 30)

Their most progressive outing yet and their first album since 2009, Revelation‘s Inner Harbor (review here) is bound to surprise some who thought they knew what to expect from the Maryland doom stalwarts who double as the classically rocking Against Nature. Good thing Inner Harbor had a digital release last year through the band’s Bland Hand Records to act as a precursor to this Shadow Kingdom CD issue. Rumor has it vinyl’s on the way as well, so keep an eye out, since John Brenner‘s guitar tone should be heard on as natural-sounding an apparatus as possible. More info here.

Okay, so you’re saying to yourself, “Golly, that’s a lot of stuff.” You’re absolutely right. But even as I was typing up this feature, I got word of a new Queen Elephantine full-length coming in April, so even as much as this is, it’s not everything. And that’s not even to mention May, which will bring a new Shroud Eater EP, a new Kylesa record and a new Mark Lanegan collaboration, among however much else. Tons of stuff to keep your ears out for, and like I said way back at the top of this thing, if you have something to add, a comment’s always appreciated.

Thanks for reading.

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Revelation’s Inner Harbor to be Released on Shadow Kingdom in April

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 18th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Looks like Pittsburgh imprint Shadow Kingdom Records and underappreciated Maryland doom stalwarts Revelation will be continuing their alliance with a release of the latter’s newest album, Inner Harbor (review here), in April. As they usually do, Revelation self-released the album digitally last year and highlighted a more progressive sound, still melancholic, but steeped in a kind of resigned mellowness of spirit as well. If you didn’t hear it then, it’s worth hearing now.

The members of Revelation‘s other outfit Against Nature (same dudes, different band) will be playing a show in Philadelphia earlier in April as well that a trailer has just been released to help promote. Find that after the PR wire info about the Inner Harbor release:

Shadow Kingdom Records To Release REVELATION’s “Inner Harbor” In April

April 30th, 2013 will see the release of Inner Harbor, the newest album from long-running prog rock/doom outfit REVELATION.

In existence since the mid-80’s REVELATION has earned the respect of many bands and fans from all around the world and are often credited with creating the Progressive Doom Metal genre. They’ve taken the very best sounds of Rush, Black Sabbath, and early Heavy Metal to create yet another masterpiece amongst a catalog of many with Inner Harbor. This is quite possibly the band’s most fluid and laid-back release to date. While the sound is difficult to pinpoint, one can hear classic REVELATION mixed in with a dash of 70’s Italian Progressive Rock. The music flows through you so smoothly and freely, that you’re going to feel like you’re in a state of deep relaxed meditation.

The combined creative forces of drummer Steve Branagan, guitarist/vocalist John Brenner and bassist Bert Hall Jr. are responsible for over twenty full-length releases – split between REVELATION and their eclectic alter-ego AGAINST NATURE – and countless demos and EPs. Inner Harbor was made available as a digital release last year by the band’s own Bland Hand Records ( and will see worldwide distribution on CD format by Shadow Kingdom Records in April. Pre-orders are being taken at the newly revamped Shadow Kingdom Records Webstore at

In other news, Revelation‘s alter ego Against Nature will be playing a rare gig in Philly on April 6 with Beelzefuzz, Wizard Eye and Lucertola at The M Room. A video promo for the show has been put together by Lucertola‘s Tad Leger (also Blood Farmers) and you can find it below:

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