Maryland Doom Fest 2021 Announces Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Maryland Doom Fest 2021 is set for Halloween Weekend, Oct. 28-31, in Frederick, Maryland. Some of the acts on the newly announced bill are carryovers from the first-delayed-then-canceled 2020 edition — among them SasquatchWorshipper, and so on — but it’s worth noting that among those and others, the likes of The Age of Truth will have a new record out by this Fall, and pre-pandemic, Boozewa didn’t even exist. So yes, things have changed.

For further proof of the festival’s stylistic branching out — and with this many bands, they’d just have have to — you’ll note the departure in the poster art from the fest-standard purple toward a greater range of color. The music they’re pushing is likewise broader in palette, and to think of seeing the likes of Howling Giant and Revvnant alongside Arduini/BalichOmen Stones, and Place of Skulls is an encouraging thought indeed. This even was much-missed last year.

Expect a time-table sooner than later, as organizer JB Matson doesn’t screw around when it comes to that kind of thing. The lineup announcement — short and sweet, as ever — is further proof of same.

I don’t know what the world’s gonna look like come Halloween, but I know damn well this is one reason I’m glad I got that vaccine.

[UPDATE 04/30: Black Road and Vessel of Light can’t make it. Lo-Pan and When the Deadbolt Breaks have been added. If there are any further changes, I’ll probably just make a new post.]

To wit:

maryland doom fest 2021 new poster

Here is the Md Doom Fest 2021 roster folks!!!
Halloween weekend – Oct 28-31, 2021
WE CANNOT WAIT TO DOOM WITH YOU!!

Lineup:

Poobah, Sasquatch, Place of Skulls, Lo-Pan, Lost Breed, Cavern, Horseburner, Spiral Grave, The Age of Truth, Mangog, Wrath of Typhon, Helgamite, Almost Honest, Indus Valley Kings, VRSA, Monster God, Et Mors, Astral Void, Worshipper, Boozewa, Admiral Browning, Omen Stones, Formula 400, Molasses Barge, Arduini/Balich, Dirt Eater, Dyerwolf, Ol’ Time Moonshine, Shadow Witch, Revvnant, Bloodshot, Ritual Earth, Gardens of Nocturne, Conclave, Crow Hunter, Bailjack, Warmask, Akris, Alms, Thunderbird Divine, Strange Highways, Howling Giant, Yatra, Jaketehhawk, When the Deadbolt Breaks, Grave Huffer, Dust Prophet, Plague Wielder, Weed Coughin, Morganthus, Tines

www.marylanddoomfest.com
#4daysofdoom

https://www.facebook.com/MdDoomFest/
https://www.instagram.com/marylanddoomfest/
www.marylanddoomfest.com

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Revvnant Posts “The Revenant” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

revvnant

Industrial music has always been about isolation. As peppered as the ’90s were with caricature images of spiky-haired ravers dressed in black engulfed by dark mechanical sounds, the actual processes by which the likes of Nine Inch Nails, The Electric Hellfire Club and others patterned their work were much more singular. Locked in a room in keyboards, synthesizers, recording gear. There’s a romance to it, but even that is the romance of loneliness. Is it any wonder industrial music is swinging back around as hard as it is?

To wit, Revvnant, the new solo vehicle of Elias Schutzman (also of Black Lung, formerly of The Flying Eyes) plus a few others, have a new single: “The Revenant.” With lyrics building from Baudelaire — that most junk-wagging of French poets — and a video that includes an apparently-real human skull, there’s no shortage of theatricality to the clip that accompanies the song, but industrial music always had an eye toward presentation anyway, and so Schutzman and Anne Godoneo are right on target in that regard. The song, though, is more than just a display of affection for Pretty Hate Machine, as its weighted guitar and post-rock/metal sensibility bores through the rhythmic intensity surrounding and an overarching vocal melody floats above the wash.

The video — a product of quarantine and thus all the more fitting the loneliness discussed above — comes with a warning for those who are sensitive to flashing images, and it’s well earned. If that’s you, I might suggest checking out the Bandcamp page instead, where I’m sure the song will show up sooner or later. “The Revenant” has something of a different stylistic feel than either “Automatic” (posted here) or “The Second Coming” (posted here) which preceded it, but as Schutzman builds out the project, one can increasingly get a sense of the richness and scope as it expands, and that’s only becoming more exciting a prospect the farther he goes.

Enjoy:

Revvnant, “The Revenant” official video

WARNING: This video may potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy.

Created by Anne Godoneo
https://www.annegodoneo.com
https://www.instagram.com/annegodoneo

“The Revenant” is the eponymous second single from Revvnant, a musical adaptation of Charles Baudelaire’s darkly sinister poem “Le Revenant”. Set against the backdrop of pulsating drum machines, heavily distorted synths and Schutzman’s haunting vocals, it’s reminiscent of Kraftwerk and Nine Inch Nails, while sounding completely unique. The video, created by Brazilian photographer and video artist Anne Godoneo, is an intense visual experience, equal parts eerie, entrancing and mind melting. Using occult and devilish imagery from classical artwork, as well as a real human skull, Revvnant embraces their identity as a Satanic artist, not afraid to deal in blasphemy. The video was created remotely while both Schutzman and Godoneo were locked down in the Covid-19 pandemic, using the tools they had available at home.

Revvnant is the new creation of songwriter Elias Schutzman (drummer of The Flying Eyes and Black Lung) that finds him leaving percussion behind for analog synthesizers, drum machines and fuzz pedals. Drawing from the realms of trip-hop, dream-pop, industrial and doom, the sound cannot be defined by any one genre. Although Revvnant is Elias’ solo vision, the band is a shape-shifting outfit of collaborators, including Trevor Shipley on keyboards and Sidney Yendis (mem. of Burnpilot) on drums. Revvnant’s first show was a sold out support gig for Orville Peck in 2019, and this year the band was scheduled to make their debut festival performance at Freak Valley Festival with Pelican, Witchcraft and Elder. It’s now been rescheduled to 2021, for obvious reasons. For now, enjoy “The Revenant”… and Hail Satan.

Revvnant on Instagram

Revvnant on Thee Facebooks

Revvnant on Bandcamp

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Revvnant Post New Single “The Second Coming”

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 31st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

revvnant

I do my best to not talk about politics on this site, and I’m not always successful. I am of the firm belief that everything — even the decision not to talk about politics on this site — is political. So as Revvnant, which is the post-The Flying Eyes project helmed by that band’s drummer Elias Schutzman (here cast as a multi-instrumentalist/vocalist), unveil the new single “The Second Coming” with lyrics derived from Yeats‘ poem of the same name — “what rough beast” and all that — it’s harder than usual not to engage with the political moment in which we’re living. As much as COVID-19 would seem to be the plague of our times — or at least until the next one hits — perhaps too one might consider the persistent spread of the schism between sides of humanity that might lead some people not to care as others are dying. I know that’s nothing new, but it sure is stark these days.

If you’re not considering radical labor action, you probably don’t work at a grocery store right now. I know the young woman who scanned my blueberries at Shop-Rite yesterday was thinking about putting a bullet in my brain, and I can’t fault her for that.

Capitalism. Symptoms and causes.

Enjoy the track:

revvnant the second coming

Elias Schutzman on “The Second Coming”:

Shortly after the 2016 election I came across the apocalyptic poem “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats… It perfectly expressed the existential dread I was feeling so I decided to put it to music, enlisting the help of Adam Bufano (my long time bandmate in The Flying Eyes) on guitar. I wasn’t really planning to release it, but in this moment it feels so relevant. This song isn’t the “feel good jam” people probably wanna hear right now. But for me music is supposed to express truth, no matter how dark and ugly that is. And the truth here is we are in deep shit. We have a “leader” who cannot, or will not adequately protect us in this time of crisis, instead feeding us incessant lies and looking out for his own self interest. If we don’t remove this human virus from office, we will truly reap the whirlwind…if we haven’t already.

Lyrics adapted from William Butler Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming”…

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

released March 24, 2020

Elias Schutzman- Vocals, Synthesizers, Programming
Adam Bufano- Guitar
Stella- Backing Vocals

Produced and mixed by Elias Schutzman

https://www.facebook.com/revvnantmusic
https://www.instagram.com/revvnant
https://revvnant.bandcamp.com/

Revvnant, “The Second Coming”

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Freak Valley 2020 Adds Elder, Beastwars, Sunnata & More; Official Poster Art Unveiled

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 10th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

freak valley 2020 banner

Freak Valley 2020 has revealed its official poster art, once again contributed by Sebastian Jerke who has done the past I-don’t-know-how-many-years. It’s a kind of deer-fox-wolf-dragon-warthog beast that, well, if you look to long at it might just haunt your dreams, but is unquestionably exquisite in its detail and creativity. From the forked tongue to the fact that it’s holding a tattered black flag and the logo of the festival like a trophy it just won for Most Horrifying Thing With Feathers, it’s every bit the hoodie-worthy level of work one has come to expect from Jerke, who is no stranger to killing it.

Speaking of killing it — FUCKING BEASTWARS ARE PLAYING FREAK VALLEY. I’m thrilled to say I’ve got my flight booked, and no, I have no clue how to get from the airport in Frankfurt to Siegen, and no, I have no clue where I’m staying when I get there, but hot damn, I’m going to Freak Valley 2020. Thanks so much to the festival for inviting me. This is a trip that has been years in the making and I could not possibly be more stoked on it, not the least because it means I’ll see Beastwars, whose work I’ve spent the last decade being pummeled by. Elder ain’t bad either. Ha.

All kidding aside — of course Elder are amazing blah blah blah — this is a pretty killer round of adds. I wrote the announcement, as I’ve done all the Freak Valley 2020 announcements, and I didn’t know Hank Davison at all, but his stuff is pretty right on, and I felt like having seen Sunnata in Norway last October gave me a distinct advantage in understanding where the band was coming from. Revvnant‘s recently-unveiled single bodes well for that set’s experimentalist bent, and while I won’t give The Great Machine too many points for the title of their most recent album, their stuff is pretty off-the-wall heavy in that kind of what-you-wish-QueensoftheStoneAge-became kind of way. I’ll take that.

So here you go. If you’re going, I’ll see you there:

Freaks, The Countdown Is On!

Every one of these announcements brings us closer to Freak Valley Festival 2020 and we can’t wait to welcome you all. There are some huge names coming to the lineup this time, so let’s get down to business!

Join us in welcoming Elder, Beastwars, Sunnata, The Great Machine, Hank Davison & Friends, and Revvnant!

ELDER

Do they need an introduction? We certainly don’t think so. They stand among the next generation’s most crucial and most progressive heavy acts to be found anywhere. With guitarist/vocalist Nick DiSalvo and new drummer Georg Edert based in Berlin, the four-piece are half German at this point, so maybe we’ll think of them coming to FVF as something like a hometown show! Why not? Their upcoming album, Omens, is out in April and paints a proggy wonderland of heavy riffs and lush melodies like never before, with DiSalvo and Mike Risberg’s guitars and keys fleshing ever further out and Jack Donovan’s bass holding down the band’s inimitable groove. They are one-of-a-kind and stand among the upper echelon of modern heavy. There. How’s that for an introduction?

BEASTWARS

You asked, we answered. Let’s face it, Beastwars coming from New Zealand to play at Freak Valley is a gift we’re giving ourselves as much as we’re presenting them to you. For years, we’ve watched and admired from afar as their crushing riffs resonated from Aus/NZ tour after Aus/NZ tour and when the band broke up following 2016’s ‘The Death of All Things,’ we thought we’d never get the chance to witness them in-person. It was facing mortality that brought them back together for 2019’s ‘IV,’ but their sound was as much a physical sonic force as ever, and their sludge will be even more epic coming from the stage. If you know their albums, you already know why we’re so excited. If not, there’s still time to get yourself educated.

SUNNATA

Those who’ve paid heed to the weighted prog rock/metal of Poland’s Sunnata — whose style is like a plant grown from roots of grunge that reaches out to the stratosphere — can attest to the sense of poise and presence they bring live. Their studio work is melodic and forward thinking, to be sure, and on stage, the band transform themselves as a part of the ritual of playing. It’s not just about headbanging or throwing themselves into the songs, it’s about watching their communion with the material as the play, and thus having your own experience with their work. While avoiding all cult rock cliche, they actually bring a ceremonial feel to each performance, and we know you’ll agree as we bring them to Freak Valley 2020.

THE GREAT MACHINE

From the raging speed-punk of “Bitch Too” to the sprawling nod and crash of “DM II,” Israeli three-piece The Great Machine made one hell of an impression with their 2019 album, ‘Greatestits,’ and we knew there was no way we could let 2020 pass without inviting them back to play Freak Valley Festival for the second time. Maybe you caught them in 2017 as they were supporting their ‘Love’ album — “South West Sugar Rush,” anyone? — but you can still expect something new and off the wall for their return. And anyone else who didn’t see them last time? Yeah, you’re in for a treat.

HANK DAVISON & FRIENDS

You Freaks outside of Germany might not be as familiar, but Hank Davison is an institution when it comes to biker blues. From his days leading the Hank Davison Band to his solo acoustic work and more recently finding a middle ground performing unplugged with Hank Davison & Friends, the man himself brings a sense of outlaw country danger and classic blues to everything he does. At the tender age of 63, Davison sets the standard for badassery everywhere he goes, and you know we love our blues here at Freak Valley, so get ready to get down as the “Face of a Wanted Man” itself comes to our stage for the first time. We promise it’ll be something you’ll be talking about long after the weekend is over.

REVVNANT

Back in 2018, it was with bittersweet joy that we played host to the final gig from Baltimore-based blues rockers The Flying Eyes, whom we loved dearly. Revvnant is a new project spearheaded by Elias Schutzmann (also of Black Lung) that brings him out from behind the drumkit to front the band based around psychedelic and progressive experimentation, analog synth, washes of effects noise, soulful vocals, the occasional bit of death-whistle and more. Joined by keyboardist Trevor Shipley and Burnpilot’s Sidney Yendis on drums, Revvnant seem poised to blow open the doors of perception, and we can’t wait to watch them walk through as they forge their own path forward.

Still more to come!

FREAK VALLEY 2020
No Fillers – Just Killers

https://www.facebook.com/events/2434350453469407/
https://www.facebook.com/freakvalley/
http://www.freakvalley.de/
http://www.rockfreaks.de/

Elder, “Omens”

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Revvnant Take on Gun Culture with “Automatic” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

revvnant

I don’t feel like it’s a risky political position to not support murder either on a mass or individual scale. Violence is a ubiquitous and foundational part of American culture, from the ongoing subjugation of the Native American population as part of the colonial process, to the continued stain on the nation’s soul that slavery represents — implicit bias, cultural appropriation, casual racism, fear, microaggression; it’s its own list — to the regular slaughters that pepper the news, to the rise of Antisemitism and xenophobic jingoism, to the glorification of rape for shock value in media at the same time an entire landscape of sexual violence is being unveiled, to every time a husband batters his wife behind a closed door and no one ever knows about it, or worse, everyone does but can’t or won’t do anything in response. As a people, we are complicit in violence against the earth itself every time we wear mass-produced clothing, eat Roundup-treated produce shipped by a truck, or run tap water through a 60-year-old lead pipe, use a car, plug in a refrigerator, or heat our homes. It is the way the world has been arranged for us and for as long as there is a planet hosting us, it is the inheritance our species will pass to the subsequent generations that follow our path, either blindly or conscious of their own shame.

It doesn’t matter whether you believe these things or not. Glaciers fall into water. People die. Life proceeds until it doesn’t. And violence was by no means invented by America, though American gun culture, as Revvnant‘s Elias Schutzman examines in the new single “Automatic,” does seem to be something that, at least for now, is particular to the national character. In the “Automatic” video, drone-wave undulations of riff and far-back dream-style vocals are set to footage of firearms being shot and various other portrayals of violence throughout culture, some insidious — televangelist preachers knocking people over to heal them, snakedancers, Charlie Manson, etc. — some subtle like the staring eyes of Bill Cosby selling Coke, Burt Reynolds smacking Marc Summers from Double Dare on The Tonight Show, and so on. But the visual hook is guns, and the focus is guns. Schutzman, formerly the drummer of The Flying Eyes and currently also in Black Lung, is hardly the first to tackle the subject, but the means through which he and Christopher Stone and Dave Gibson — who made the video — use it to tie the various sides together into a single description/perspective is clever and no less hypnotic than the song, which sets its trance around the refrain, “You’d better pray that god is really dead.”

So be it.

Revvnant, which also features Trevor Shipley (who worked with both The Flying Eyes and Black Lung in the past) alongside Schutzman, are donating proceeds from this debut single to the March for Our Lives via their Bandcamp, and there are far worse ways you could spend your money. Like on a gun. Or a snake.

Video and info follow:

Revvnant, “Automatic” official video

Elias Schutzman on “Automatic”:

“Automatic” is my livid critique of American gun culture, the epidemic of mass shootings, and the profiteers who lobby to keep the system in place. It’s just one of the many viruses that have infected our society. People have an almost erotic obsession with their firearms. Many will claim it’s for safety, when the hard facts show owning a gun makes you statistically less safe. I think it’s really about a false sense of power, when you feel powerless about everything else in life. And after every mass murder, gun sales go up, and masters of this bloody industry get richer…”

Video created by Christopher Stone and Dave Gibson

Buy the single here: https://revvnant.bandcamp.com/track/automatic
All proceeds will be donated to March For Our Lives (marchforourlives.com).

Lyrics:
“Words carry disease
Murder feeds families
God killed himself from shame

You’d better pray
That god is really dead

All hearts flirt with insanity
Tools of men worshipped so easily
Auto-erotic war machines
Breed violence, a quest for infamy

You’d better pray
That god is really dead

Where do we place the blame?
Evil, a flawed society?
Or masters of blood and industry?

You’d better pray
That god is really dead.”

Revvnant is Elias Schutzman (Vocals, Synthesizers, Programming), with Trevor Shipley on guitar.

Mixed by Mickey Freeland
Mastered by Alan Douches

Revvnant on Instagram

Revvnant on Thee Facebooks

Revvnant on Bandcamp

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