Desertfest London 2022 Announces Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 30th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

desertfest london 2022 banner

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Note Slomosa. Note Wolftooth. I would expect both to be touring Europe around this time. Green Lung too, for that matter.

There’s no way this isn’t going to be one to remember and it is my sincere hope to be there for it. Maybe I’ll see you there. Maybe we can hug.

Kudos and thanks to the Desertscene crew — Sarika, Jake and Reece — on and for a job well done.

Here’s looking forward:

desertfest london 2022

DESERTFEST LONDON ANNOUNCE FULL LINE-UP FOR 2022 ·

A DECADE IN THE DESERT
CELEBRATING TEN YEARS WITH THE BIGGEST & MOST DIVERSE LINEUP YET

EXCLUSIVE UK PERFORMANCES FROM
WITCHCRAFT
(FIRST UK SHOW IN OVER A DECADE)
and
SHELLAC

As the home for all the things truly heavy, leading independent UK festival Desertfest have announced their full line up for 2022, which will take place in Camden, London from Friday 29th April – Sunday 1st May.

Celebrating their tenth year, next year’s festival promises to be their biggest and most diverse yet. Covering six venues across the heart of Camden and now including a full line up at The Roundhouse on both Saturday 30thApril and Sunday 1st May.

Founding owner of Desertfest Reece Tee comments, “Desertfest is 10 years old! I’m so proud that our independent festival has stood the test of time. What we have created is special, a decade of great bands, great friends and amazing memories. This year’s line up is a true reflection of how diverse Desertfest has become and with such a loyal audience, Desertfest can champion the underground for decades more to come.”

Headlining the Friday will be Swedish heavy rock masters Witchcraft, with a UK exclusive performance and their first UK show in over a decade.
Saturday’s headliners are none other than Chicago’s Shellac, who in another UK exclusive will be bringing their experimental post-hardcore sound to the Roundhouse. Fronted by the iconic Steve Albini, Shellac are one of those bands we all need to experience live, at least once. Whilst closing the festival on Sunday will be UK doom legends Electric Wizard, whose heavy sound encompasses the spirit of Desertfest.

Other acts confirmed include the likes of Corrosion Of Conformity, Orange Goblin and Truckfighters who all played the festival in its debut year in 2012 and there are further UK exclusive performances from hardcore-punks Integrity and the Ukrainian psych space rock trio Somali Yacht Club.

The festival will also see desert legends Brant Bjork and Nick Oliveri’s new band Stoner, who will be playing the Electric Ballroom and doomed heavy metallers Khemmis making their UK debut at The Underworld.

Please see below for the full Desertfest 2022 line up / stage splits.
Tickets are on sale now and are available at www.desertfest.co.uk

NEW TICKETS FOR 2022
Weekend Ticket (all venues) – £132 +fees
Friday Day Ticket (all venues) – £45 +fees
Saturday Day Ticket (all venues) – £50 +fees
Sunday Day Ticket (all venues) – £50 +fees
Saturday Roundhouse only – £35 +fees
Existing ticket holders from 2020’s postponed event have a number of options as the festival is now larger, with an added Roundhouse line-up on Saturday 30th April & Sunday 1st May.

EXISTING WEEKEND + DAY TICKET HOLDERS OPTIONS
Full refund
Weekend roll-over to 2022 without Roundhouse upgrade (access only to Electric Ballroom, Underworld, Black Heart & The Dev)
Weekend roll-over to 2022 with Roundhouse upgrade – £15 +fees
Day ticket holders can upgrade to a full weekend ticket – £92 + fees – or will be issued a refund. Upgrade options only available until May 7th ’21.
For any ticketing enquiries please contact sarika@desertscene.co.uk

Desertfest 2022’s artwork is hand drawn by legendary artist Arik Roper who has created illustrations for the likes of Sleep, Earth, Sunn O))), High on Fire, Kvelertak, Windhand and many more. As always, posters and other merch will be available to buy at the festival.

https://www.facebook.com/events/464163361105416/
http://www.desertscene.co.uk/support
https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestLondon
https://www.instagram.com/desertfest_london/
https://twitter.com/DesertFest
https://www.desertfest.co.uk/

Electric Wizard, Live at Desertfest London 2016

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Quarterly Review: Fuzz, Crippled Black Phoenix, Bethmoora, Khan, The Acid Guide Service, Vexing Hex, KVLL, Mugstar, Wolftooth, Starmonger

Posted in Reviews on December 23rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

Day III of the Inexplicably Roman Numeralized Winter 2020 Quarterly Review, commence! I may never go back to actual numbers, you should know. There’s something very validating about doing Day I, Day II, Day III — and tomorrow I get to add a V for Day IV! Stoked on that, let me tell you.

You have to make your own entertainment these days, lest your brain melt like wax and drip from your nostrils.

Plurp.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Fuzz, III

fuzz iii

Plenty of heavy rockers can come across sounding fresh. Most of the time all it takes is being young. In the case of III, the third long-player from FuzzCharles Moothart, Ty Segall and Chad Ubovich — they sound like they just invented it. Dig the hard-Bowie of “Time Collapse” or the made-for-the-stage opener “Returning,” or the surf-cacophony of “Mirror.” Or hell, any of it. The combination of this band and producer Steve Albini — aka the guy you go to when you want your album to sound like your live show — is correct. That’s all you can say about it. From the ’70s snarl in “Nothing People” to the triumphant melody in the second half of “Blind to Vines” and the back and forth between gritty roll and fragile prog of “End Returning,” it’s an energy that simply won’t be denied. If Fuzz wanted to go ahead and do three or four more albums with Albini at the helm in the next five years, that’d be just fine.

In the Red Records on Thee Facebooks

In the Red Records on Bandcamp

 

Crippled Black Phoenix, Ellengæst

crippled black phoenix ellengaest

The narrative (blessings and peace upon it) goes that when after lineup shifts left Crippled Black Phoenix without any singers, founder Justin Greaves (ex-Iron Monkey, Earthtone9, Electric Wizard, etc.) decided to call old mates. Look. I don’t care how it happened, but Ellengæst, which is the likewise-brilliant follow-up to the band’s widely-lauded 2018 outing, Great Escape, leads off with Anathema‘s Vincent Cavanagh singing lead on “House of Fools,” and, well, there’s your new lead singer. Anathema‘s on hiatus and a more natural fit would be hard to come by. Ryan Patterson (The National Acrobat, a dozen others), Gaahl (Gaahls Wyrd, ex-Gorgoroth), solo artist Suzie Stapleton and Jonathan Hultén (Tribulation) would also seem to audition — Patterson and Stapleton pair well on the heavy-Cure-style “Cry of Love” — and there are songs without any guests at all, but there’s a reason “House of Fools” starts the record. Make it happen, Crippled Black Phoenix. For the good of us all.

Crippled Black Phoenix on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist website

 

Bethmoora, Thresholds

Bethmoora Thresholds

Copenhagen’s Bethmoora served notice in a 2016 split with Dorre (review here) and their debut full-length, Thresholds hone destructive lumber across four low-toned tracks that begin with “And for Eternity They Will Devour His Flesh” and only get nastier from there. One imagines being in a room with this kind of rumbling, maddeningly repetitive, slow-motion-violence noise wash and being put into a flight-or-fight panic by it, deer in doomed headlights, and all that, but even on record, Bethmoora manage to cull, and when their songs explode in tempo, as the opener does late in its run, or “Painted Man” does, that spirit is maintained. Each side of the LP is two tracks, and all four are beastly, pile-driver-to-the-core-of-the-earth heavy. “Keeper”‘s wash of noise has willful-turnoff appeal all its own, but the empty space in the middle of “Lamentation” is where they go in for ultimate consumption. And yeah. Yeah.

Bethmoora on Thee Facebooks

Sludgelord Records on Bandcamp

 

Khan, Monsoons

khan monsoons

Khan‘s second album, Monsoons is a departure in form from 2018’s Vale, if not necessarily in substance. Heavy, psychedelic-infused post-rock is the order of business for the Melbourne trio either way, but as guitarist Josh Bills gives up playing synth and doing vocals to embark on an instrumental approach with bassist Mitchell Kerr (also KVLL) and drummer Beau Heffernan on this four-track/31-minute offering, the spirit is inescapably different. Probably easier to play live, if that’s a thing that might happen. Monsoons still has the benefit, however, of learning from the debut in terms of the dynamic among the three players, and Bills‘ guitar reaches for atmospheric float in “Orb” and attains it easily, as the midsection rhythm of the closing title-track nods at My Sleeping Karma and the back end of the prior “Harbinger” manages to shine and not sound like Earthless in the process, and quite simply, Khan make it work. The vocals/synth might be worth missing — and they may or may not be back — but to ignore the breadth Khan harness in little over half an hour would be a mistake.

Khan on Thee Facebooks

Khan on Bandcamp

 

The Acid Guide Service, Denim Vipers

the acid guide service denim vipers

Jammy, psychedelic in parts, Sabbathian in “Peavey Marshall (and the Legendary Acoustic Sunn Band)” and good fun from the doomly rollout of 11-minute opener and longest cut (immediate points) “In the Cemetery” onward, the second full-length from Idaho’s The Acid Guide Service, Denim Vipers, brings considerable rumble and nod, but these guys don’t want to hurt nobody. They’ve come here to chew bubblegum and follow the riff, and they’re all out of bubblegum. Comprised on average of longer songs than 2017’s debut, Vol. 11 (review here), the four-tracker gives the trio room to branch out their sound a bit, highlighting the bass in the long middle stretch of the title-track while the subsequent “Electro-Galactic Discharge” puts its guitar solo front and center before sludge-rocking into oblivion, letting “Peavey Marshall (and the Legendary Acoustic Sunn Band)” pick up from there, which is as fine a place as any to begin a gallop to the end. Genre-based shenanigans ensue. One would hope for no less.

The Acid Guide Service on Thee Facebooks

The Acid Guide Service on Bandcamp

 

Vexing Hex, Haunt

vexing hex haunt

Based in Illinois, Vexing Hex make their debut on Wise Blood Records with Haunt, and yes, playing catchy, semi-doomed, organ-laced cult rock with creative and melodic vocal arrangements, you’re going to inevitably run into some Ghost comparisons. The newcomer three-piece are distinguished by a harder edge to their impact, a theremin on “Planet Horror” and a rawer production sensibility, and that serves them well in “Build Your Wall” and the buildup of “Living Room,” both of which play off the fun-with-dogma mood cast by “Revenant” following the intro “Hymn” at the outset of Haunt. Not quite as progressive as, say, Old Man Wizard, there’s nonetheless some melodic similarity happening as bell sounds ensue on “Rise From Your Grave,” the title of which which may or may not be purposefully cribbed from the Sega Genesis classic Altered Beast. There’s a big part of me that hopes it is, and if Vexing Hex are writing songs about retro videogames, they sound ready to embark on a Castlevania concept album.

Vexing Hex on Thee Facebooks

Wise Blood Records on Bandcamp

 

KVLL, Death//Sacrifice

kvll death sacrifice

Proffering grueling deathsludge as though it were going out of style — it isn’t — the Melbourne duo KVLL is comprised of bassist/vocalist/guitarist Mitchell Kerr (also Khan) and drummer Braydon Becher. It’s not without ambient stretches, as the centerpiece “Sacrifice” shows, but the primary impression KVLL‘s debut album, Death//Sacrifice makes is in the extremity of crash and heavy landing of “The Death of All That is Crushing” and “Slow Death,” such that by the time “Sacrifice” ‘mellows out,’ as it were, the listener is punchdrunk from what’s taken place on the prior two and a half songs. There’s little doubt that’s precisely KVLL‘s intention here, as the cavernous screams, mega-lurch and tense undercurrent are more than ably wielded. If “Sacrifice” is the moment at which Death//Sacrifice swaps out one theme for another, the subsequent “Blood to the Altar” and nine-minute closer “Beneath the Throne” hammer the point home, the latter with an abrasive noise-caked finale worthy of standard-bearers Primitive Man.

KVLL on Thee Facebooks

KVLL on Bandcamp

 

Mugstar, GRAFT

mugstar graft

Not that the initial droning wash of “Deep is the Air” or the off-blasted “Zeta Potential” and warp-drive freneticism in “Cato” don’t have their appeal — oh, they do — but when it comes to UK lords-o’-space Mugstar‘s latest holodeck-worthy full-length, GRAFT, it’s the mellow drift-jazz of the 12-minute “Ghost of a Ghost” that feels most like matter dematerialization to me. Side B’s “Low, Slow Horizon” answers back later on ahead of the motorik linear build in the finale “Star Cage,” but the 12-minute vibe-fest that is “Ghost of a Ghost” gives GRAFT a vastness to match its thrust, which becomes essential to the space-borne feel. It’s 41 minutes, still ripe for an LP, but the kind of album that has a genuine affect on mood and mindset, breaking down on a molecular level both and remolding them into something hopefully more evolved on some level through cosmic meditation. Fast or slow, up or down, in or out, it doesn’t ultimately matter. Nothing does. But there’s a moment in GRAFT where the one-skin-on-another thing becomes apparent and all the masks drop away. What’s left after that?

Mugstar on Thee Facebooks

Centripetal Force Records website

Cardinal Fuzz Records BigCartel store

 

Wolftooth, Valhalla

Wolftooth Valhalla

Hooks abound in power-stoner fashion throughout Indiana four-piece Wolftooth‘s second album, Valhalla, which roughs up NWOBHM clarity in early-Ozzy fashion without going overboard to one side or the other, riffs winding and rhythms charging in a way not entirely unlike some of Freedom Hawk‘s more recent fare, but with a melodic reach of its own and a dynamism of purpose that comes through in the songwriting. Grand Magus‘ metallic traditionalism might be an influence on a song like “Fear for Eternity,” but “Crying of the Wolfs” has a more rocking swagger, and likewise post-intro opener “Possession.” With tightly constructed songs in the four-to-five-minute range, Valhalla never feels stretched out more than it wants to, but “Molon Labe” pushes the vocals deeper into the mix for a bigger, more atmospheric sound, and subtle shifts like that become effective in distinguishing the songs and making them all the more memorable. Recently signed to Napalm after working with Ripple, Ice Fall, Cursed Tongue and Blackseed, they seem to be poised to pay off the potential here and in their 2018 self-titled debut (review here). So be it.

Wolftooth on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Cursed Tongue Records BigCartel store

Ice Fall Records BigCartel store

 

Starmonger, Revelations

starmonger revelations

Parisian riff-blaster trio Starmonger have been piecemealing tracks out for the last five years as a series of EPs titled Revelation, and the full-length debut, Revelations, brings these nine songs together for a 49-minute long-player that even in re-recorded versions of the earliest cuts like “Tell Me” and “Wanderer” show how far the band has come. It’s telling that those two close the record out while “Rise of the Fishlords” and “Léthé” from 2019’s Revelation IV open sides A and B, respectively, but older or newer, the band end up with a swath of stylistic ground covered from the more straightforward and uptempo kick of the elder tracks to the more progressive take of the newer, with plenty of ground in between. Uniting the various sides are strong performances and strong choruses, the latter of which would seem to be the thread that draws everything together. Whether or not it takes Starmonger half a decade to put out their next LP, one can hardly call their time misspent while listening to Revelations.

Starmonger on Thee Facebooks

Starmonger on Bandcamp

 

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Wolftooth Sign to Napalm Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 15th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Though it came out earlier this year on Ripple Music and Cursed Tongue, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Wolftooth‘s second long-player, Valhalla, be reissued on Napalm Records as well, though there’s no mention of it in the announcement below that the label has picked up the Richmond, Indiana-based outfit. Quality band and they do good work, but though Napalm has a few heavy rock acts on its roster, with Stoned Jesus, Greenleaf, Villagers of Ionnina City, and so on, the last time I can recall them picking up an American heavy rock-ish act was The Midnight Ghost Train, and that was six years ago. If I’m leaving someone out, I hope somebody will correct me.

All the more honor to Wolftooth, then, and clearly the metallic appeal of Valhalla is just the start of the band’s forward potential at this point. I’d expect a European tour if and when such things become possible.

Until then, kudos and congrats to the band. Here’s this from the PR wire:

wolftooth

WOLFTOOTH Signs Worldwide Record Deal with Napalm Records

After hustling in the underground scene for the better part of three years, Richmond, Indiana-based metal outfit WOLFTOOTH snagged the attention of Napalm Records with their multifaceted blend of classic NWOBHM and doom influences lifted by heavy stoner rock riffage. Closing out a bleak year with something very bright, the band is pleased to announce that they’ve signed worldwide contract with the premier rock and metal label!

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Chris Sullivan, guitarist Jeff Cole, bassist Terry McDaniel and drummer Johnny Harrod, WOLFTOOTH launched in 2017 with the release of their debut EP, grabbing the attention of fans and industry alike. In early 2018, the band followed up by dropping their self-titled album, Wolftooth, to rave reviews. Immediately hitting the road in support of the album, WOLFTOOTH harvested countless new fans, building a reputation as a hard-hitting live act by supporting metal icons like Iced Earth, Sanctuary, Black Label Society, The Atomic Bitchwax, EYEHATEGOD and The Obsessed. In 2019, the band returned to the studio to record their sophomore release, Valhalla. WOLFTOOTH expanded on their already potent sound with cleaner production, hooky choruses and colossal riffs, all while harking back to the golden age of heavy metal. The record hit the underground in mid-2020.

WOLFTOOTH says about the signing:
“In the three short years that we’ve been a band, we’ve made great strides to be heard and bring the almighty riff back into the forefront of heavy music. We are very thankful for our fans and the support they have given us on this journey. The band is also very excited for the future and about our partnership with Napalm Records – now anything is possible. We are currently writing our third album and look forward to getting on the road in 2021.”

Wolftooth is:
Chris Sullivan Guitar/ Vocals
Terry McDaniel Bass
Jeff Cole Guitar
Johnny Harrod Drums/Vocals

https://www.facebook.com/wolftoothmetal/
https://www.instagram.com/wolftooth_metal/
www.napalmrecords.com

Wolftooth, Valhalla (2020)

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Wolftooth and Psychlona Vinyl Represses Coming Soon from Cursed Tongue Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

There was some drama or some shit this week on the social medias about Cursed Tongue Records. Someone on the label — I honestly don’t even remember who it was; it was the kind of thing where I rolled over in the middle of the night and dicked around on my phone for probably longer than I needed to before falling asleep again — was unsatisfied with the level of promotion or whatever. Whatever it was. I don’t think you can do what any record label does and not have someone gripe along the way, that’s the nature of the business and you’re never, ever, ever going to meet everyone’s expectations, but as someone who’s watched this imprint grow from its inception to where now they’re sharing releases with Ripple Music and selling out quality vinyl pressings on preorders, I’ll throw in my two cents to say I respect their work.

Obviously my dealings with them aren’t the same as someone putting out music through them, but for what it’s worth, I’ve never heard of them ripping anyone off, and they’ve always seemed like passionate, forward-looking individuals to me. Whoever that was might have a legit argument to make, again, I don’t remember and don’t really care enough to go back and search out that post from the depressing miasma of misinformation that is my Facebook feed at this time — once it’s gone, it’s lost — but if I was putting 0ut a record, I’d be stoked to work with them.

I’m not putting out a record, but you know what I mean.

Couple represses coming up for Wolftooth and Psychlona, and I’ll have a new signing announcement from Cursed Tongue next week too, so keep an eye out for that:

psychlona venus skytrip lp

wolftooth valhalla lp

WOLFTOOH – ‘VALHALLA’ AND PSYCHLONA – ‘VENUS SKYTRIP’ VINYL REPRESSES ON CURSED TONGUE RECORDS RELEASES WORLDWIDE NOVEMBER 27, 2020

Cursed Tongue Records is super pleased to announce the repressing of two of 2020’s best performing releases, name Richmond, IN based riff-welding behemoth Wolftooth and Bradford, UK kebab-slinging, fuzz-riff, space-traveling stoner desert rockers Psychlona.

Earlier this year both Wolftooth and Psychlona released their sophomore album that both were immediate barnburners, and both vaporized from the record store shelves and online stores quite rapidly.

We thus look forward to the repressing of ‘Valhalla’ and ‘Venus Skytrip’ and to be able to bring both albums out again on premium, heavyweight 180 grams coloured vinyl and get it into the hands of the fans that missed out on the first pressing. Vinyl pre-orders start from the label’s webstore October 2nd at 6PM CET: https://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/

WOLFTOOTH – ‘VALHALLA’ REPRESS OUT NOVEMBER 27, 2020 [VINYL PRE-ORDER OCTOCER 2ND]

On their sophomore album Wolftooth has truly upped the ante, expanded on their already tested and tried formula, added more layers of sound and variation in the song writing and overall musical execution. The production has improved markedly and the tracks oozes of the much attention that has gotten into capturing both detail, feel and vibe during the recording. As the band members, they express it: “We started work on this album back in August 2019; it is our masterpiece haha”

‘Valhalla’ is everything you would come to expect from a follow-up album to Wolftooth’s über popular self-titled debut album – and then some! And even more! Seriously, we have been heavy-nodding, headbanging and fist pumping on a daily basis since these four hoosiers submitted their new stellar opus. God damn ‘Valhalla’ is great, oh yeah! As if there would ever be a more suiting set of rock hymns to accompany the Aesir Gods to their sacred halls at Asgard after having slain all giants (Jætter, ed.) at the battlefield it has to be ‘Valhalla.’

PSYCHLONA – ‘VENUS SKYTRIP’ REPRESS OUT NOVEMBER 27, 2020 [VINYL PRE-ORDER OCTOCER 2ND]

With ‘Venus Skytrip’ Psychlona has truly taking everything they have come to stand for and kicked it to a whole new level of fuzzy stoner rock space ecstacy. Standing on the pedigree the foursome gained with their critically acclaimed ‘Mojo Rising’ album they have build an entire new spaceship of might and power, but also of bloody coherent beauty and memorability. There’s no escaping from the hum-worthy refrains and hypnotic grooves.

Behold eight tracks of new Psychlona, and as the band expresses it themselves: “When the fog receded from our scorched minds it appeared we’d taken a year long ride through space taking in Venus and Mars before doing a quick lap of the Sun (Blast Off), encountered 27 club rock ‘n’ roll tragedy (Star), drifted around in a smoke fuelled beachside dream (Resin) before taking a lengthy acid trip courtesy of The Owl himself. We’re beyond proud of this album. Comments we hear regularly at live shows mention the power of the sound and the energy in the performance. We believe we’ve captured that power and energy in this record. Oh yeah – we’re still space truckin’ desert rockin’ kebab eating mofos so no change there.” So get your trip on and head for Venus…

http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords/
https://www.instagram.com/cursedtongue/

Psychlona, Venus Skytrip (2020)

Wolftooth, Valhalla (2020)

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Wolftooth Announce Valhalla Release on Cursed Tongue, Ripple & Ice Fall Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

They’re keeping some info close to their (battle) vest, but with the announcement of the May 22 LP release of Wolftooth‘s second album, Valhalla, comes word that not only will Cursed Tongue Records be handling that vinyl, but that tapes will be done through new imprint Ice Fall Records, and indeed Ripple Music, which reissued the band’s 2018 self-titled debut (review here), will be on board as well for the CD. The multi-format approach covering all flanks is only fitting for a release so concerned with battles among the gods, and though they’re a ways out from unveiling a single, the tracklisting, or even the cover art, rest assured that all of these things are duly epic. If you don’t want to take my word for it, consider the quality of the label endorsements they’ve earned.

Preorders May 1, as the PR wire informs. Please expect more to come on this one:

wolftooth

RICHMOND, IN RIFF-WELDERS WOLTOOTH RE-SIGNS TO CURSED TONGUE RECORDS FOR A GLOBAL VINYL RELEASE OF THEIR SOPHOMORE ALBUM MAY 22 2020

Cursed Tongue Records is super pleased to announce the re-signing of Richmond, IN based riff-welding behemoth Wolftooth and look forward to release their sophomore album entitled ‘Valhalla’ on premium vinyl come May 2020. This release will be a joint venture between a glorious trinity of Cursed Tongue Records (vinyl), Ripple Music (CD/digital) and Ice Fall Records (Cassette Tape) that all have joint forces to bring forth a tangible testament to ‘Valhalla’.

On their sophomore album Wolftooth has truly upped the ante, expanded on their already tested and tied formula, added more layers of sound and variation in the song writing and overall musical execution. The production has improved markedly and the tracks oozes of the much attention that has gotten into capturing both detail, feel and vibe during the recording. As the band members themselves express it: “We started work on this album back in August 2019; it is our masterpiece haha.”

‘Valhalla’ is everything you would come to expect from a follow-up album to Wolftooth’s über popular self-titled debut album – and then some! And even more! Seriously we have been heavy-nodding, head-banging and fist pumping on a daily bases since these four hoosiers submitted their new stellar opus. God damn ‘Valhalla’ is great, oh yeah! As if there would ever be a more suiting set of rock hymns to accompany the Aesir Gods to their sacred halls at Asgard after having slain all giants (Jætter, ed.) at the battlefield it has to be ‘Valhalla.’

Wolftooth’s Valhalla’ album is out May 22 2020 on premium vinyl (Cursed Tongue Records), CD/digital (Ripple Music) and Cassette Tape (Ice Fall Records). Vinyl pre-orders open May 1!!

It is with much joy, that Cursed Tongue Records can roll out the red carpet and give this utterly blatant head-banging, neck-snapping, skull-cracking, fist-pumping HM, riff-rock fest a well-deserved vinyl treatment. We open the doors for the vinyl pre-order on May 1 with official vinyl release May 22 2020.

Time of Victory Is Nigh, a Warrior on His Horse Ascending, the Throne of Valhalla to Claim

Wolftooth is:
Chris Sullivan Guitar/ Vocals
Terry McDaniel Bass
Jeff Cole Guitar
Johnny Harrod Drums/Vocals

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Wolftooth, Wolftooth (2019)

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Wolftooth in the Studio for Second Album out Next Year

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

The self-titled debut (review here) from Indiana’s Wolftooth kind of bounced around after its initial 2018 release, picked up by Blackseed Records and then Cursed Tongue Records and Ripple Music for an eventual issue this past June. I mean, hey, I get it. The record’s a kind of riff metal paradise, with spot-on weighted tones that have just enough sharpness to their edge to keep moving when they want to — and yes, they want to for a decent portion of the time, but still allow the band to emphasize groove rather than charge — can’t it be both? yes! — when they see fit to do so. Top it off with solid songcraft and you’ve got the kind of winner that, yeah, three separate labels might indeed be interested in working with.

I’ll be derned curious to hear the four-piece’s follow-up when the time comes in 2020, not the least because the band’s update on the recording currently in progress includes word that, “Bigger riffs and bigger choruses were the focus on this new installment of Wolftooth songs.” I like big riffs and big choruses. The more the merrier. So yeah, sign me up. I don’t know if it’ll be out through Ripple/Cursed Tongue or what, but when I hear something I’ll let you know.

Here’s the rest of what they had to say:

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Wolftooth – Recording Update

Wolftooth entered Led Fields Studio in Connersville, Indiana, with Jeremy Lovins at the helm the end of August 2019 to start the recording process of their sophomore full length album. The band has 10 new tracks and is the final stages of tracking at the time of this update. We expect to be finished by the end of December 2019 and the album out to the fans by summer 2020.

The songs themselves represent a more focused and polished Wolftooth. Fans can expect tracks that are full on rockers to tracks that are reminiscent of Wolftooths’ nwobhm roots. Bigger riffs and bigger choruses were the focus on this new installment of Wolftooth songs. The band feels that this is their best effort yet.

Wolftooth is:
Chris Sullivan Guitar/ Vocals
Terry McDaniel Bass
Jeff Cole Guitar
Johnny Harrod Drums/Vocals

https://www.facebook.com/wolftoothmetal/
https://www.instagram.com/wolftooth_metal/
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https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Wolftooth, Wolftooth (2019)

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Wolftooth Set June 21 Release for Self-Titled Reissue; Bonus Track Included

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

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Indiana’s Wolftooth released their self-titled debut (review here) in 2018 through Cursed Tongue Records and Blackseed Records, and the four-piece have now signed to Ripple Music for a CD reissue that will include the yet-unheard bonus track “Withered Trees.” That represents the latest recording the band have done, though it’s not exactly like so much time has passed since the album that one would expect any great leaps in sound. Still, I’d be curious to hear what they’ve been up to, and I’ll be likewise curious to see if Ripple holds onto them for the inevitable next record. Seems like there’s plenty of competition for them.

The PR wire offers the following:

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WOLFTOOTH Reissue Debut Album this June via Ripple Music, Including Exclusive New Song

Determined to raise the bar of the almighty riff, Wolftooth combine influences from 70’s riff-rock and NWOBHM with Bay Area Thrash and stoner-doom riffery. Their self-titled debut album is full of crisp changes, muscular tones and blues-drenched solos, crowned with soaring vocals and addictive hooks.

Loosely channeling The Sword and a less-angular Baroness, the band found its footing less than a year after its formation, though comprised entirely of veteran players who’ve been churning out heaviness for over two decades.

Ironically, with this band, they weren’t actively seeking success or even public consumption. All the members, having been in many bands before, had put to rest any expectations and were simply making music for themselves in Wolftooth, but the dynamic musicianship and confident songwriting garnered them an initial record deal after they’d shopped their album to exactly zero labels.

Now, following a year which saw a gamut of press accolades and gushing fan enthusiasm, the band have joined the Ripple Music stable to offer up a re-issue of the album with an exclusive new track added on.

“The Wolftooth camp is extremely proud and excited to be working with Ripple Music to be re-releasing our self-titled debut worldwide,” says the band. “The bonus track ‘Withered Trees’ is a song we wrote around the same time as ‘Frost Lord.’ It wasn’t quite ready for release at the time, but we’ve tweaked some riffs and arrangements to bring forth a new song we are really proud of.”

WOLFTOOTH releases on June 21st, 2019 through Ripple Music on CD and worldwide digital.

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Wolftooth, Wolftooth (2018)

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Review & Track Premiere: Wolftooth, Wolftooth

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on January 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

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[Click play above to stream ‘Frost Lord’ from Wolftooth’s self-titled debut. Album is out Jan. 19 digitally on Cursed Tongue Records with vinyl to follow in May and CD and tape due March 9 via Blackseed Records.]

The bite force of a large wolf has been said to exceed 1,000 pounds of pressure, making it particularly efficient at crushing bones of prey. Their fangs can grow to an inch in length. Thus, for the sharpness of their execution and the thrust behind it, one can only consider Indiana heavy rockers Wolftooth aptly named. The double-guitar Hoosier four-piece make their debut via Blackseed Records and Cursed Tongue Records with a self-titled eight-tracker that from the very beginnings of opener “Blackbirds Call” engages the overarching question of where heavy rock stops and heavy metal begins; a semi-aggro push punctuated by the insistent chug of guitarists Chris Sullivan (also vocals) and Jeff Cole and the popping snare of drummer Johnny Harrod that’s given due heft by bassist Terry McDaniel.

Informed somewhat in its melodic reach by modern progressive metal via the likes of a less angular Baroness, the mid-tempo swing of “Aegaeon” finds vocals layered and manipulated in a manner that recalls Fireball Ministry‘s compressed style, and the penultimate “Forged in Fire,” though it embarks on a gallop just past its halfway point, reaffirms that notion early in its going, as does the harmony-laced closer “Season of the Witch.” A persistent use of epic themes in cuts like “Sword of My Father,” “White Mountain,” “Frost Lord” — unless they just really love cocaine, which given the cohesiveness of their sound seems less likely, but I suppose isn’t impossible — and some of the push in “White Mountain,” or “The Huntress” and “Blackbirds Call” could be said to be culled from High on Fire, but like the other potential points of influence or at least sonic congruity noted above, as well as the classic-style Thin Lizzy stomp that begins “Sword of My Father,” these are filtered through the band’s own modus of expression and come through as their own.

Wolftooth, in other words, make an impression.

That they’d do so isn’t necessarily a surprise. Very quickly, the tastes of Blackseed and Cursed Tongue have each become a trustworthy factor as regards the releases the imprints choose to stand behind, and the 42 minutes of Wolftooth‘s Wolftooth acquit themselves well in terms of the obvious conscious thought put into their song structures and melodic arrangements. Also the shortest track at 3:55, “Sword of My Father” might also have the album’s most resonant hook, but it’s one of many, and as the forward-charging slicer “Frost Lord” turns just before three minutes in to its metallo-chugging mosh part — at least one of these guitarists came of age amid the rise of metalcore near the turn of the century — there’s certainly a memorable moment being captured. Perhaps what’s most striking overall about the album, though, is how fluidly Wolftooth tie these ideas together into a coherent entirety.

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No question it’s a collection of songs as opposed to a singular work, but the band split the tracklist neatly in half to bring the two sides of their debut long-player to bear with a marked flow from front to back, and aside from being impressively consistent in tone across its span, in the expanding melodies of “The Huntress” and “Season of the Witch” — which, it should be noted, does not seem to be a Donovan cover — one can nonetheless hear how much effort the group has put into crafting this material, and that very much extends to the production contribution of Jeremy Lovins at LedFields Studio in Connorsville, IN. Produced in conjunction with the band and assisted in engineering by Skylar Nichols, the clarity of Wolftooth‘s underlying aesthetic and sonic ideas comes that much more to fruition because, one senses, not just of the past experience of members in other acts, but because of the partnership between band and studio, the two sides working in conjunction toward the same ends.

All of this, of course, feeds into the notion of Wolftooth, as a debut album, being particularly noteworthy in its sheer got-itself-together-ness. That’s a somewhat patronizing cliche to use, but it’s a striking appeal all the same, and further evidenced by the balanced nature with which Wolftooth approach what for them is a thin line between rock and metal and prove themselves able to follow the whims of their songwriting to one side of it or the other. To wit, the pairing of “Frost Lord” and “The Huntress” or “White Mountain” coming out of “Sword of My Father” to cap side A. This dynamic, bolstered by the steadiness in the production itself, gives the album its sense of range, and Sullivan‘s melodic vocal approach assures that as they recount tales of witches, broadswords and other epic/fantasy thematics, they neither become overly dramatic nor chestbeatingly dudely in their delivery, even as “Frost Lord” dips into its triplet-gallop chugging breakdown.

It should be noted that Wolftooth caps with its three longest tracks in “The Huntress,” “Forged in Fire” and “Season of the Witch,” which leads one to wonder if perhaps the band aren’t signaling intentions toward even grander fare their next time out. Would be fair enough. They’re still able to hone a memorable chorus into these longer slabs, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they expanded the interweaving aspects of the two guitars as they moved forward and wound up with longer tracks as a result, although the more immediate impact of “Sword of My Father” here is a factor to consider. Whichever way they go, Wolftooth‘s forward potential is writ large throughout this first offering, and that it drives one toward such speculation for avenues of their future progression should be taken as a sign of how likely that progression seems to take place in general, regardless of its ultimate direction.

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