Live Review: Psycho Las Vegas Pool Party, 08.17.18

Posted in Features, Reviews on August 17th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

viva psycho

08.16.18 – 4:50AM – Friday morning – Hard Rock, hotel room

None of it makes any fucking sense. Not a lick of it. And it took me the better part of the day to realize that’s the idea. The whole point. What even is underground when you watch Bell Witch play by the side of a casino pool in a sweltering den of capitalist exploitation? What is real? Any of it? I don’t know. That’s the point. Psycho Las Vegas is taking the narrative of what the underground is and punching it in the face until it can’t be recognized anymore. The sheer spectacle of this event. The are-you-overwhelmed-yet-okay-good tilt. It’s so weird. It’s so weird.

psycho las vegas 2018 thursdayIt’s so weird.

But I don’t think you’re supposed to get it. It’s not about making sense in any kind of traditional way. Psycho Las Vegas, in the span of three very-clearly-well-funded years, has become the absolute destination heavy festival in the US. There are plenty of other metal fests that have been around longer and have unquestionable reputations, but for this particular branch of heavy, there’s nothing to match this. I don’t know how anything could.

This was the first day. The pool party. By the Paradise Pool. I apologize deeply to Haunt and Toke. I just didn’t make it in time. I wanted to see both. It just didn’t work out. I got myself situated in time to catch most of Fireball Ministry though, and here’s how it went from there:

Fireball Ministry

fireball ministry (Photo by JJ Koczan)

If you gotta start a weekend of top-class heavy somewhere, it might as well be with top-class heavy. Fireball Ministry had bassist Helen Storer filling in for Scott Reeder alongside guitarist/vocalists Jim Rota and Emily Burton and drummer John Oreshnick, but there was no way in hell they weren’t going to rock either way. Ostensibly, they were here supporting their new album, late-2017’s Remember the Story (review here), but even more than that, they were here representing a sans-frills heavy rock spirit that has endured in spite of trend and generational swap. That is, Fireball Ministry were there when, and they’re here now, and they delivered a powerful set as only a group of no-bullshit, ace-songwriting, still-underrated-after-all-these-years veterans could hope to do. I hoped to run into Rota later to ask him if this was the first casino pool party he’d ever played — hey, Fireball Ministry‘s done a lot of shows, so you never know — but didn’t get the chance. Either way, they absolutely delivered, and while I was fairly gutted to miss the first two bands, if you need to get on board with a show already in progress, Fireball Ministry are more than ready to make their rock your rock. Oh and by the way, they rock.

Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Tough to be the odd band out on this bill, but Dengue Fever managed, and again, I was a little bit in wrapping my head around what was happening. Psycho returnees? Took it all in stride. Let’s assume they were the ones in the patched battle vests dancing to Dengue Fever‘s upbeat semi-punk/semi-funk surf groove. There’s a trick to being here, I think, and no, it’s not just drinking. I’ll grant that Las Vegas is among the worst places on earth to be sober — the town simply wasn’t built for humans to be lucid within its borders — but beyond that, the trick is to just go with it. Dengue Fever played two bands after the dirt-sludge of Toke and two bands before Bell Witch and Wolves in the Throne Room back to back. That was the whole vibe of today in a nutshell. If you sat back and thought about it, you were doing it wrong. It’s a party. It’s a weird party. So party, and be weird. Dengue Fever were more than just a vehicle for that spirit, of course, but in this context, but with the sax blaring and the bouncing rhythms, they seemed to embody this festival’s will to be whatever the hell it wants to be, whenever the hell it wants to be it. Truly Psycho.

Elder

Elder (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Band of the day. One more record and Elder will be headlining shows like this. It’s a toss-up whose crowd was bigger, theirs or Wolves in the Throne Room‘s, but even so, their presence on stage, their command of their sweeping progressive heavy rock sound, and their drive to genuinely push the idea of ‘heavy’ to places it’s never been all speak to a band ready to be at the next level. Their 2017 album, Reflections of a Floating World (review here), and 2015’s landmark Lore (review here) were assuredly well known to the masses assembled, and even if it was the title-track of  2011’s Dead Roots Stirring (review here) that got the biggest response, people were cheering during part transitions, let alone the standard round of applause between the songs. Elder are that kind of band, and their movements within tracks have only gotten more fluid and nuanced over time. The four-piece incarnation of the band had all the more depth of tone and sonic reach from guitarists Nick DiSalvo and Mike Risberg (the former also vocals, the latter also keys), while bassist Jack Donovan and drummer Matt Couto offered swing and intricacy of play alike that just furthered the proggy impression Elder make at this point. They killed. I don’t know how else to say it. It was an utter pleasure to watch and they’ve become one of the best heavy rock live acts anywhere, period. If you missed them, sorry.

Bell Witch

Bell Witch (Photo by JJ Koczan)

It was sunny when Bell Witch started and by the time they were done, dusk had fallen and the moon was out. Felt about right. They had 80 minutes at their disposal, which would’ve been just enough time to play last year’s brilliant and mournful Mirror Reaper (review here), and sure enough, that single-song outing was basically what comprised their set, even if Erik Moggridge (aka Aerial Ruin) wasn’t around to add his clean parts to it. Bassist/vocalist Dylan Desmond and drummer/organist/vocalist Jesse Shreibman had no problem carrying across the outright bludgeoning sensibility of their ultra-doom on their own, however, and with the inward-turned grieving process that is the material itself, Bell Witch nonetheless oozed forth a consuming mass of volume that, despite the outdoor setting, left little choice but to be swallowed whole by it. They’ve toured fairly heavily in support of Mirror Reaper since its arrival — I was fortunate enough to catch them playing it at Roadburn earlier this year as well — and there’s no denying the power of their performance. It’s a masterwork in every sense and deserves to be heard by as many people as possible.

Wolves in the Throne Room

Wolves in the Throne Room (Photo by JJ Koczan)

The fog machines on full blast for the breezy desert night, incense consecrating the stage during the low-end volume-swell drone of their intro, and Washington’s Wolves in the Throne Room actually managed to make the atmosphere of the pool party their own for the duration of their set. It was a raging, scorching performance, as they took hold on the heels of 2017’s Thrice Woven (review here) and blasted out an intensity that was as much about the ambience as it was the assault. The expanded five-piece lineup was fully charged and as guitarist/vocalist Nathan Weaver, whose brother, Aaron, handles drums in the studio while Trevor DeSchryver fills in live, led the band through an outright pummeling set that made itself even further distinguished from everything before it owing to its keys and synth elements and the manner in which it was able to turn from its most seething stretches to minimalist soundscaping seemingly on a dime. The crowd thinned out some by the end — I’ll admit I watched them finish out my hotel room window as well — but for every dragging-ass member of the audience like me, there were even more for whom the party was just getting started, and somehow, Wolves in the Throne Room fit that party as well as anyone else who played on the poolside bill.

It’s about six-thirty now. Need to shower. Need to sleep more. First band today at 12:30PM. Madness is the order of the weekend. Keep falling asleep while typing. Writing with my eyes closed. Still need to sort pictures. Busy busy busy.

Didn’t have enough coffee yesterday. Will work to rectify that soon enough. More pics after the jump though, so thanks for reading.

More later.

Read more »

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Psycho Las Vegas 2018 Reveals Lineup; Dimmu Borgir, Hellacopters, Godflesh, Witchcraft and More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Psycho Las Vegas 2018 logo

It’s only taken a few years for Psycho Las Vegas to establish itself as the premier underground festival in the US. All well and good. With 2018’s lineup, though, it’s time to start thinking of Psycho among the best in the world.

Sounds like too much? Consider Godflesh and Dimmu Borgir sharing a stage, both for exclusive West Coast appearances. Think of Sweden’s Witchcraft playing one of the two shows they’ll do in the US at Psycho, and ditto that for Japanese riff-madmen Church of Misery. Think of US exclusives from Lee Dorrian’s With the Dead, or Lucifer, whose Johanna Sadonis will also DJ the Center Bar. The commitment to up and coming underground acts local, domestic and foreign like Temple of Void, King Buffalo, Dreadnought, The Munsens and DVNE. Picture yourself watching Wolves in the Throne Room headline a pre-fest pool party with Elder, Young and in the Way, Dengue Fever, Fireball Ministry and Toke.

2018 is the year Psycho Las Vegas outclasses even itself and pushes further than it ever has in terms of stylistic reach (Integrity walks by and waves… at Boris) and the sheer power of its construction. If you’re looking for the future, you’ll find it in scumbag paradise.

Here’s the lineup:

Psycho Las Vegas 2018 poster

Psycho Las Vegas 2018

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas
4455 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas, Nevada 89169

Tickets: https://www.vivapsycho.com/pages/tickets

PSYCHO LAS VEGAS 2018 lineup:
DIMMU BORGIR (west of chicago exclusive)
HELLACOPTERS (one of two shows to be played in the USA in 2018)
SUNN 0)))
GODFLESH (west of chicago exclusive)
WITCHCRAFT (one of two shows to be played in the USA in 2018)
ENSLAVED
AMERICAN NIGHTMARE
HIGH ON FIRE
ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT
RED FANG
ZAKK SABBATH
CHURCH OF MISERY (usa exclusive 2018 with exception to one other show in San Diego)
TINARIWEN
GOBLIN
CKY
VENOM INC
EYEHATEGOD
VOIVOD
BORIS
COVEN
INTEGRITY
PALLBEARER
WITH THE DEAD (USA exclusive 2018)
MONOLORD
LUCIFER (USA exclusive 2018)
ACID WITCH
SURVIVE
DOPETHRONE
BIG BUSINESS
UNEARTHLY TRANCE
MUTOID MAN
TODAY IS THE DAY
HELMS ALEE
SPIRIT ADRIFT
BATUSHKA
PRIMITIVE MAN
DVNE
ALL PIGS MUST DIE
EIGHT BELLS
WORMWITCH
INDIAN
NECROT
HOMEWRECKER
BRAIN TENTACLES
CLOAK
BLACK MARE
MAGIC SWORD
UADA
TEMPLE OF VOID
DREADNOUGHT
WOLVHAMMER
ASEETHE
DISASTROID
FORMING THE VOID
VENOMOUS MAXIMUS
GHASTLY SOUND
HOWLING GIANT
KING BUFFALO
NIGHT HORSE
THE MUNSENS
GLAARE

Paradise Pool Pre Party
August 16th

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM
ELDER
YOUNG AND IN THE WAY
DENGUE FEVER
FIREBALL MINISTRY
TOKE

Center Bar DJ’s
Andrew W.K.
Nicke Andersson (Entombed/Hellacopters)
Johanna Sadonis (Lucifer)

https://www.facebook.com/psychoLasVegas/
https://www.facebook.com/events/125340824913552/
http://vivapsycho.com

High on Fire, Live at Psycho Las Vegas 2016

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Psycho Las Vegas 2018 Announces Pool Party Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

In the long, storied and groundbreaking career of Washington-based US black metal innovators Wolves in the Throne Room, I’m willing to wager that this will possibly be the first pool party they’ve ever played. Now, if you told me Toke had done pool parties, or even Elder, or Fireball Ministry — yeah, I’ve got no trouble believing that. But Wolves in the Throne Room? No way. This has to be the first.

They’re in good company with the aforementioned as well as Young and in the Way and Dengue Fever, but it should be an interesting test of their aesthetic to see if it works in such an unexpected context. Call me crazy, but it seems like Wolves in the Throne Room would be way more suited to a party in a dark and humid cave than a Vegas poolside. Hey, cave party! Maybe next year.

One more reason to hit Psycho Las Vegas 2018, as far as I’m concerned. Incongruity like that doesn’t come along every day. I dig it. You wouldn’t want to let the chance to see it slip.

Info from the PR wire:

psycho las vegas 2018 pool party

Wolves in the Throne Room, Elder, Dengue Fever to play PSYCHO LAS VEGAS Pre-fest Pool Party (Tickets Limited)

PSYCHO LAS VEGAS ANNOUNCING
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM
ELDER | YOUNG AND IN THE WAY
FIREBALL MINISTRY
DENGUE FEVER | TOKE

TO PLAY PRE-FEST POOL PARTY AT THE HARD ROCK HOTEL

LIMITED NUMBER OF TICKETS HERE

PLUS TINARIWEN JOINING FULL LINEUP AUGUST 17-19, 2018
@ HARD ROCK HOTEL AND CASINO, LAS VEGAS

In a week oversaturated with redundant festival announcements, Psycho Las Vegas throws its hat into the ring to once again prove why the award-winning festival keeps fans on their toes year after year. Playing the exclusive pre-fest pool party will be Psycho alumni Young and in the Way, as well as Wolves in the Throne Room, Elder, Dengue Fever, Fireball Ministry, and Toke. This event will be the only time during the weekend where desert festival goers can enjoy the lineup from the comfort of the Hard Rock Hotel pool during the daytime — and tickets are extremely limited, available only to the first 2500 ticket buyers (labeled as Tier I), with less than 1000 remaining.

In true Psycho form, they have announced their first curveball for the main lineup: Mali’s Tinariwen.

Another exciting addition to the Psycho Las Vegas team is legendary artist Dirty Donny Gillies, who will be designing this year’s exclusive artwork. Deemed to be one of the most influential artists to invade the pop culture scenes of the punk, rock and metal underground, Dirty Donny has been spreading his art across all mediums for decades; ranging from skate decks to pinball machines, hot rods and album covers for clients like Metallica, Vans, Stern Pinball and Snap-on Tools, to name a few. The pairing of Psycho Entertainment with Gillies’ signature psychedelic themes and acid-soaked color palette is a celebration of the classic underground, the roots of heavy music and the surrounding culture. Limited prints of the 2018 poster will be available soon.

PSYCHO LAS VEGAS 2018
AUGUST 17-19
WITCHCRAFT | GOBLIN | HIGH ON FIRE | TINARIWEN
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM | ELDER | S U R V I V E
ZAKK SABBATH | DENGUE FEVER | INDIAN | YOUNG AND IN THE WAY
FIREBALL MINISTRY | TOKE | DVNE
And many, many more to be unleashed…

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/psycho-las-vegas-2018-tickets-41041983678
http://www.vivapsycho.com
https://www.facebook.com/psychoLasVegas
https://www.instagram.com/psycholasvegas

Wolves in the Throne Room, Thrice Woven (2017)

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Quarterly Review: Wolves in the Throne Room, Gravy Jones, Marmora, Mouth, Les Lekin, Leather Lung, Torso, Jim Healey, Daxma, The Re-Stoned

Posted in Reviews on January 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Lodewijk de Vadder (1605-1655) - 17th Century Etching, Landscape with Two Farms

The Obelisk’s Quarterly Review continues today with day two of five. I don’t mind telling you — in fact I’m pretty happy to tell you — that this one’s all over the place. Black metal, post-metal, singer-songwriter stuff, psych jams, heavy rock. I feel like I’ve had to go to great pains not to use the word “weird” like 17 times. But I guess that’s what’s doing it for me these days. The universe has plenty of riffs. All the better when they start doing something different or new or even just a little strange. I think, anyhow. Alright, enough lollygagging. Time to dive in.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Wolves in the Throne Room, Thrice Woven

wolves in the throne room thrice woven

True, it’s something of a cliché when it comes to Wolves in the Throne Room to think of their work as “an awaited return,” and perhaps that speaks to the level of anticipation with which their outings are greeted generally. Nonetheless, Thrice Woven arrives via the band’s own Artemisia Records six years after Celestial Lineage, their last proper full-length, and three after its companion, Celestite (review here), so the five-track/42-minute offering from the USBM innovators is legitimately due. The Washington-based troupe’s black-metal-of-the-land remains heavily focused on atmosphere, with a sharp, experimental-feeling turn to ambience and melody in opener “Born from the Serpent’s Eye” and the later drone interlude “Mother Owl, Father Ocean” that precedes the rampaging closer “Fires Roar in the Palace of the Moon,” which caps Thrice Woven with a long fade into the sound of rolling waves. Between them, “The Old Ones are with Us” casts a vision of blackened folk-doom that seems to pull off what Agalloch was always aiming for, and centerpiece “Angrboda” blasts through an early wash before splitting near the midsection to minimalism and rebuilding itself on a slow march. 15 years on from their beginning, Wolves in the Throne Room still sound like no one else, and continue to push themselves forward creatively.

Wolves in the Throne Room on Thee Facebooks

Artemisia Records on Bandcamp

 

Gravy Jones, Funeral Pyre

gravy jones funeral pyre

It’s a crazy world into which Gravy Jones invite their listeners on their self-issued debut full-length, Funeral Pyre, and the fire they bring is born of a molten classic psychedelic rock underpinned by low end weight and further distinguished by its use of organ and proto-metallic vocal proclamations. Opener and longest track (immediate points) “Heavens Bliss” tops 10 minutes in its weirdo roll, and subsequent cuts “The Burning of the Witch” and “It Came from the Sea” do little to dispel the off-center vibe, the former dug into rawer NWOBHM-ism and the latter, the centerpiece of the five-tracker, beaming in from some kind of alt-universe Deep Purple idolatry to lead into the particularly doomed “Gilgamesh” and the shuffle-into-noisefest onslaught of the closing title-track. All told it’s 41 minutes of bizarre excursion that’s deceptively cohesive and feels like the start of a longer-term sonic exploration. Whether or not Gravy Jones even out sound-wise or hold to such an unhinged vibe, they definitely pique interest here.

Gravy Jones on Thee Facebooks

Gravy Jones on Bandcamp

 

Marmora, Criterion

marmora criterion

Criterion – yes, like the collection – is the debut EP from Chicago four-piece Marmora, who released a single in 2013 before the core brotherly trio of Zaid (guitar), Alejandro (bass) and Ulysses (drums) Salazar hooked up with vocalist/guitarist/synthesist Allan Cardenas in 2015. The three-tracker that has resulted begins with its title-cut, which thrusts forth a wash of heavy post-rock that makes an impression in weight as much as space before turning to the more grounded, propulsive, aggressive and punkishly noise-caked “Apathy” and closer “Flowers in Your Garden,” which turns traditional heavy rock riffery on its head with frenetic drum work and rhythmic turns that feel born of modern progressive metal. Significant as the crunch factor and aggro pulsations are, Criterion isn’t at all without a corresponding sense of atmosphere, and though there isn’t much tying these three tracks together, for a first EP, there doesn’t need to be. Let that come later. For now, the boot to the ass is enough.

Marmora on Thee Facebooks

Marmora on Bandcamp

 

Mouth, Live ’71

mouth live 71

Perhaps in part as a holdover between their 2017 second album, Vortex (review here), and the impending Floating to be issued in 2018, German progressive retroists Mouth offer Live ’71. No, it was not actually recorded in 1971. Nor, to my knowledge, was it recorded in 2071 and sent back in time in a slingshot maneuver around the sun. It’s just a play on the raw, captured-from-the-stage sound of the 55-minute set, which opens at a 19-minute sprawl with “Vortex” itself and only deep-dives further from there, whether it’s into the keyboard throb of “Parade,” the nuanced twists of “Into the Light” or the more straightforward riffing of “On the Boat.” There’s room for all this scope and the stomp of “Master Volume Voice” in a Mouth set, it would seem, and if Live ’71 is indeed a stopgap, it’s one that shows off the individualized personality of the long-running band who seem to still be exploring even as they approach the 20-year mark.

Mouth on Thee Facebooks

Mouth on Bandcamp

 

Les Lekin, Died with Fear

les lekin died with fear

A second full-length from Austrian heavy psych trio Les Lekin, Died with Fear is perhaps more threatening in its title than in its overall aesthetic. The four inclusions on the 43-minute follow-up to 2014’s All Black Rainbow Moon (review here) set their mission not necessarily in conveying terror or some overarching sense of darkness – though low end is a major factor throughout – as in cosmic hypnosis born of repetition and chemistry-fueled heavy psychedelic progressivism. Well at home in the extended and atmospheric “Orca” (10:41), “Inert” (10:21), “Vast” (8:59) and “Morph” (13:34), the three-piece of guitarist Peter G., bassist Beat B. and drummer Kerstin W. recorded live and in so doing held fast to what feels very much like a natural and developing dynamic between them, their material all the more fluid for it but carrying more of a sense of craft than most might expect from a release that, ostensibly, is based around jams. Sweeping and switched-on in kind, Died with Fear turns out to be remarkably vibrant for something under a banner so grim.

Les Lekin on Thee Facebooks

Tonzonen Records webstore

 

Leather Lung, Lost in Temptation

leather lung lost in temptation

Oh, they’re mad about it, to be sure. I’m not sure what ‘it’ ultimately is, but whatever, it’s got Leather Lung good and pissed off. Still, the Boston-based onslaught specialists’ debut full-length, Lost in Temptation, has more to its cacophony than sheer violence, and though that intelligence is somewhat undercut by the hey-check-it-out-it’s-cartoon-tits-and-also-because-snakes-are-like-wieners cover art, the marriage between fuckall noise intensity on “Gin and Chronic” and trades between growl-topped thrust and more open and melodic plod on “Shadow of the Scythe” and upbeat rock on “Momentum of Misfortune.” Put it in your “go figure” file that the closer “Destination: Void,” which is marked as an outro, is the longest inclusion on the 28-minute offering, but by then due pummel has been served throughout pieces like “Deaf Adder” and “Freak Flag” amid the willful stoner idolatry of “The Spice Melange,” so there’s texture in the assault as well. Yeah though, that cover. Woof.

Leather Lung on Thee Facebooks

Leather Lung on Bandcamp

 

Torso, Limbs

torso limbs

I won’t deny the strength of approach Austria’s Torso demonstrate across Limbs, their StoneFree Records debut LP, in the straightforward structures of songs like “Meaning Existence” or “Mirror of My Mind” or “Skinny and Bony” and the semi-acoustic penultimate grown-up-grunge alternarocker “Down the Highway,” but it’s hard to listen to the nine-minute spread of “Red Moon” in the midsection of the album and not come away from its patient psychedelic execution thinking of it as a highlight. Shades of post-rock and moodier fare make themselves known in “Come Closer” and the righteously melodic “Ride Up,” and closer “Voices” delivers a resounding payoff, but it’s “Red Moon” that summarizes the atmospheric and emotional scope with which Torso are working and most draws together the various elements at play into a cohesive singularity. One hopes it’s a model they’ll follow going forward, but neither should doing so necessarily draw away from the songwriting prowess they show here. It’s a balance that, having been struck, feels ready to be manipulated.

Torso on Thee Facebooks

StoneFree Records website

 

Jim Healey, Just a Minute More

jim healey just a minute more

Companioned immediately by a digital release of the demos on which it’s based, including four other songs that didn’t make the cut of the final, studio-recorded EP, Jim Healey’s Just a Minute More conveys its sense of longing in the title and moves quickly to stake its place in a long-running canon of singer-songwriterisms. Healey, known for fronting metal and heavy rock acts like We’re all Gonna Die, Black Thai, Set Fire, etc., could easily come across as a case of dual personality in the sweetly, unabashedly sentimental, acoustic-based opener “The Road” or the more-plugged-in “You and I” at the outset, but in the fuzzed-out centerpiece “Swamp Thing,” the emotionally weighted memorable hook of “Faced,” and the piano-topped payoff of closer “Burn Up,” the 18-minute EP unfurls a sense of variety and a full-band sound that sets the project Jim Healey on its own course even apart from the man himself. Some of those other demos aren’t too bad either. Just saying.

Jim Healey on Thee Facebooks

Jim Healey on Bandcamp

 

Daxma, The Head Which Becomes the Skull

daxma-the-head-which-becomes-the-skull

Signed to Magnetic Eye for the release, Oakland post-metal five-piece Daxma answer the ambition of their half-hour single-song 2016 debut EP, The Nowhere of Shangri-La, with the even-fuller-length The Head Which Becomes the Skull, demonstrating a clear intent toward sonic patience and ambient reach that balances subtle builds and crashes with engaging immersiveness and nod. Three of the six total inclusions top 10 minutes, and within opener “Birth” (10:53), “Abandoning All Hope” (11:34) and the penultimate “Our Lives Will be Erased by the Shifting Sands of the Desert” (13:42), one finds significant breadth, but not to be discounted either are the roll of “Wanderings/Beneath the Sky,” the avant feel of the closing title-track or even the 80-second drone interlude “Aufheben,” which like all that surrounds it, feeds into a consuming ambience that undercuts the notion of The Head Which Becomes the Skull as a debut album for its purposefulness and evocative soundscaping.

Daxma on Thee Facebooks

Magnetic Eye Records on Bandcamp

 

The Re-Stoned, Chronoclasm

the re-stoned chronoclasm

For their first new outing since they revisited their debut EP in 2016 with Reptiles Return (review here), Moscow instrumentalists The Re-Stoned cast forth Chronoclasm, a six-track long-player of new material recorded over 2015 and 2016 that ties together its near-hour-long runtime with a consistency of guitarist Ilya Lipkin’s lead tone and a steady interweaving of acoustic elements. “Human Without Body,” “Save Me Under the Emerald Glass,” “Psychedelic Soya Barbecue” and the title-track seem to have some nuance of countrified swing to their groove, but it’s lysergic swirl that ultimately rules the day throughout Chronoclasm, Yaroslav Shevchenko’s drums keeping the material grounded around Lipkin’s guitar and Vladimir Kislyakov’s bass. The trio are joined on percussion by Evgeniy Tkachev on percussion for the CD bonus track “Quartz Crystals,” which picks up from the quiet end of “Chronoclasm” itself and feels like a nine-minute improve extension of its serene mood, adding further progressive sensibility to an already wide scope.

The Re-Stoned on Thee Facebooks

Oak Island Records on Thee Facebooks

 

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Here are 40+ New Releases to Look for in the Next Three Weeks

Posted in Features on September 21st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Starting tomorrow, the next three weeks are absolutely stupid with new albums. Over-the-top, ridiculous. An immediately-go-broke amount of music. Nothing less than an onslaught. We’re under attack.

Far be it from me to tell you how to spend your money — also far be it from me not to — but there’s some really killer stuff in here. As to why it’s all landing now? Some of it of course has to do with the timing of when it was recorded, bands hitting the studio in Spring before heading out on the road over the summer, but Fall releases also line up nicely for tours in October and November, heading into the holiday season, when the music industry basically shuts down. This is the last chance for releases to come out in 2017 and be considered for best-of-year lists.

I doubt the likes of Chelsea Wolfe or Godspeed You! Black Emperor or even Kadavar would cop to that as a motivating factor, instead pointing to the timing of Fall touring and so on, but these things are rarely coincidental. You know how there aren’t any blockbusters in January but every movie feels like it’s trying to win an Oscar? Same kind of deal.

Nonetheless, 2017 is laying it on particularly thick these next couple weeks, and as you can see in the lists below, if you’ve got cash to spend, you can pretty much choose your rock and roll adventure. I’ll add to this as need be as well, so keep an eye for changes:

Sept. 22:

Alcest, Souveinirs d’un Autre Monde (10th Anniversary Edition)
Brant Bjork, Europe ’16
Chelsea Wolfe, Hiss Spunthe-flying-eyes-burning-of-the-season
Epitaph, Claws
Faces of the Bog, Ego Death
The Flying Eyes, Burning of the Season
Fvzz Popvli, Fvzz Dei
Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Luciferian Towers
Jarboe & Father Murphy, Jarboe & Father Murphy
Monarch, Never Forever
Nibiru, Qaal Babalon
Process of Guilt, Black Earth
Satyricon, Deep Calleth Upon Deep
Spelljammer, Inches from the Sun (Reissue)
Thonian Horde, Inconnu
Trash Titan, Welcome to the Banana Party
Ufomammut, 8
With the Dead, Love from With the Dead
Wolves in the Throne Room, Thrice Woven

Sept. 29:

monolord rust
Cities of Mars, Temporal Rifts
Deadsmoke, Mountain Legacy
A Devil’s Din, One Hallucination Under God
Disastroid, Missiles
Jim Healey, Just a Minute More (Sept. 26)
Idylls, The Barn
Kadavar, Rough Times
Lucifer’s Chalice, The Pact
Monolord, Rust
Outsideinside, Sniff a Hot Rock
Radio Moscow, New Beginnings
Scream of the Butterfly, Ignition
Tronald, Tronald (Sept. 30)
Unsane, Sterilize
Wucan, Reap the Storm

Oct. 6:

fireball-ministry-remember-the-storyElder Druid, Carmina Satanae
Fireball Ministry, Remember the Story
Frank Sabbath, Are You Waiting? (Oct. 2)
Himmellegeme, Myth of Earth
House of Broken Promises, Twisted EP
O.R.B., Naturality
Primitive Man, Caustic
Spirit Adrift, Curse of Conception
Spotlights, Seismic
Sumokem, The Guardian of Yosemite
Torso, Limbs
White Manna, Bleeding Eyes

Also:

Oct. 13: Enslaved, Firebreather, I Klatus, R.I.P., Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats (reissue), Weird Owl, etc.

Oct. 20: Iron Monkey, Spectral Haze, Bell Witch, The Spacelords, etc.

Something I forgot?

Invariably, right? If you know of something not seen above that should be, then by all means, please leave a comment letting me know. My only ask is that you keep it civil and not call me a fucking idiot or anything like that. I write these posts very early in the day, and if something has been neglected, I assure you it’s not on purpose and I’m happy to correct any and all oversights.

Thanks for reading and happy shopping. Support local record stores.

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Wolves in the Throne Room Announce Fall Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

wolves in the throne room

Golly. I gotta say, to take a look at the new Wolves in the Throne Room video, and to see the upcoming tour dates they’re doing in Europe and the US to support the Sept. 22 release of their new album, Thrice Woven, through their own Artemesia Records, it sure looks like they’re positioning themselves at the forefront of American black metal. I’m sure there are purists who’d quibble with this or that clarification, but stop for a second and consider who’s better suited to the task?

Since their founding 15 years ago, haven’t Wolves in the Throne Room constantly offered an individualized, born-of-the-land take on the style that’s been both of and beyond the conventions of genre? I’d argue yes, and while I wouldn’t profess to be the be-all-end-all expert on the subject, I’d further argue that in so doing they’re the group who’ve most typified USBM’s relationship to the rest of the world’s blackened undergrounds. It is an essential function of American art to be brash, heathen and to work against rigid dogma. Wolves in the Throne Room have done and seem to be continuing to do that.

So if they’re taking their rightful place, all the better. They’ve certainly earned it.

From the PR wire:

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM TOUR

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM ANNOUNCE U.S. TOUR

Dates run from September 29 through October 25 – New album Thrice Woven out September 22nd on Artemisia

In preparation for their September 22nd release of Thrice Woven, Wolves in the Throne Room have announced an extensive U.S. tour shortly after the album’s street date. Set to run from September 29th through October 25th with support from Pillorian, the tour will take the bands from coast to coast – check out the full routing listed below.

Since their inception in 2002, over the course of 5 studio albums and hundreds of live performances, Wolves in the Throne Room have refracted Black Metal through their own Cascadian prism. Their songs explore the hidden world of magic that one accesses through dreams, visions and music and the resulting sounds are intimately linked to the wild lands of the Pacific Northwest. Now, a portal into the dreamworld of Wolves in the Throne Room opens again with their forthcoming sixth LP, Thrice Woven – a glorious return to the blazing and furious Black Metal that they alone can create.

Look for Thrice Woven to be available September 22nd on Wolves in the Throne Room’s own label, Artemisia.

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM, ON TOUR:
UPCOMING EUROPEAN LIVE DATES:
Thu 03/08/2017 RO Arad – Dark Bombastic Evening
Fri 04/08/2017 SL Ljubljana – Kino Siska
Sat 05/08/2017 PL Katowice – OFF festival
Sun 06/08/2017 SK Bratislava – Randal Club
Mon 07/08/2017 HUN Budapest – A38
Wed 09/08/2017 CZ Josefov – Brutal Assault
Fri 11/08/2017 CH Le Locle – Rock Altitude
Sat 12/08/2017 BE Kortrijk – Alcatraz festival
Mon 14/08/2017 RU Moscow – Volta
Tue 15/08/2017 RU St Petersburg – Opera

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM & PILLORIAN:
September 29 Boise, ID @ Neurolux
September 30 Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
October 2 Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
October 3 Albuquerque, NM @ Launch Pad
October 5 Houston, TX @ White Oak (downstairs)
October 6 New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
October 7 Birmingham, AL @ Zydeco
October 9 Tampa, FL @ Crowbar
October 10 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade Hell
October 11 Richmond, VA @ Capital Ale House
October 12 Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Sound Stage
October 13 Brooklyn, NY @ Villain
October 14 Pittsburgh, PA @ Villain
October 16 Cincinnati, OH @ The Taft Ballroom
October 17 St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall
October 18 Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th St. Collective
October 20 Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole
October 21 Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
October 22 Berkeley, CA @ Cornerstone
October 24 Portland, OR @ Tonic Lounge
October 25 Olympia, WA @ Obsidian

http://wittr.com/
https://www.facebook.com/wolvesinthethroneroom/
https://shop.wittr.com/
https://artemisiarecords.bandcamp.com/

Wolves in the Throne Room, “Born from the Serpent’s Eye” official video

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Wolves in the Throne Room Set Sept. 22 Release for Thrice Woven; Album Trailer Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 29th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

wolves in the throne room

US black metal aesthetic pioneers Wolves in the Throne Room launched their Artemesia Records imprint with the release in 2014 of Celestite (review here), which was intended as a full-length complement to their 2011 studio outing, Celestial Lineage. On Sept. 22, the Washington natives are set to issue Thrice Woven, their fifth proper long-player, through the same label. The band toured Europe earlier this year, playing Roadburn and Desertfest London, and having just recently performed at Northwest Terror Fest, they’re also set to take part in Psycho Las Vegas this August, still well ahead of the new offering’s release date.

Wolves in the Throne Room have never wavered in their commitment to sonic progression or let go of the atmospheric elements of their approach, and the trailer at the bottom of this post for Thrice Woven would seem to indicate that’s still very much the case. This’ll be one to watch for as 2017 starts to wind down its best-of-the-year list contenders.

From the PR wire:

wolves in the throne room thrice woven

Wolves In The Throne Room return with a brand new album, Thrice Woven (Artemisia Records, 22 Sept)

Wolves in the Throne Room re-imagine black metal as an ode to rain storms, wood smoke and the wild energies of the Pacific Northwest. They are considered as one of the most potent and highly regarded bands in heavy metal today. Now, a portal into their mythic ethereal heathen landscape opens once again. On September 22nd the band will release THRICE WOVEN on their own label Artemisia Records. It is a glorious return to the blazing and furious Black Metal that they alone can create.

The album begins with “Born From the Serpent’s Eye” a true thrashing black metal epic that is bisected with a haunting northern lament sung by Swedish star Anna von Hausswolff. The band worked with metal documentarians Peter Beste and Nico Poalillo to create a video for this track which captures a bonfire-lit performance in the forest near their Olympia compound. More on this very soon, to tide us over, there’s a trailer which hints at what is to come…

“The Old Ones Are With Us” opens with the crackling of a fire and the voice of Steve Von Till (Neurosis) invoking the springtime thaw. It then storms into a dirge inspired by 90’s Finnish doom with lyrics that celebrate Imbolc, the holy day which marks the end of winter and the first stirrings of spring. Figures from Norse mythology intertwine with personal heartbreak and rebirth in the bleak “Angrboda”. The song is named after a frost giantess who birthed Fenrir Wolf, a beast who was destined to destroy the world and murder the gods.

Fenrir Wolf also appears on the cover of Thrice Woven in a painting by Russian occult artist Denis Forkas. Forkas’ obscure medieval painting techniques perfectly compliment the music of Wolves in the Throne Room, you can explore the glimmering painting at the bottom of this post.

A raven’s wings stir the air in the interlude “Mother Owl, Father Ocean”. Anna von Hausswolff returns in a duet with Turkish harpist Zeynep Oyku, forlorn industrial atmospheres haunt the mix, Hausswolff’s lyrics, sung in Swedish, echo over a barren grey seascape. “Fires Roar in the Palace of the Moon” is the classic Cascadian Black Metal epic, the third eye opens to see holy rivers being born from the ice on the tallest peaks, the lyrics offer blessings to the waters of the earth as they flow from the high places to the source of darkness, the ocean.

When the band returned to the road in summer 2016 long-time touring guitar player Kody Keyworth was welcomed as a full member of Wolves in the Throne Room. On Thrice Woven, Kody contributes raven’s screams and some of the most brutal and dark riffs. The live line-up also features Peregrine Somerville (Sadhaka) playing 3rd guitar and Brittany McConnell (Wolvserpent) on keyboards and percussion. The effect of three guitars on stage is mesmerising and reflects the dark psychedelia of the band’s albums. Check out upcoming live dates below…

UPCOMING LIVE DATES:
Thu 03/08/2017 RO Arad – Dark Bombastic Evening
Fri 04/08/2017 SL Ljubljana – Kino Siska
Sat 05/08/2017 PL Katowice – OFF festival
Sun 06/08/2017 SK Bratislava – Randal Club
Mon 07/08/2017 HUN Budapest – A38
Wed 09/08/2017 CZ Josefov – Brutal Assault
Fri 11/08/2017 CH Le Locle – Rock Altitude
Sat 12/08/2017 BE Kortrijk – Alcatraz festival
Mon 14/08/2017 RU Moscow – Volta
Tue 15/08/2017 RU St Petersburg – Opera

TRACK LIST:
1. Born from the Serpent’s Eye
2. The Old Ones Are With Us
3. Angrboda
4. Mother Owl, Father Ocean
5. Fires Roar in the Palace of the Moon

http://wittr.com/
https://www.facebook.com/wolvesinthethroneroom/
https://shop.wittr.com/
https://artemisiarecords.bandcamp.com/

Wolves in the Throne Room, Thrice Woven album trailer

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Northwest Terror Fest 2017: Coven and John Haughm Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Losing Warning is a bummer, but Northwest Terror Fest 2017 is taking it in stride and taking its game to another level entirely by adding Coven to the bill for their first US show in 27 years. I had the good fortune of watching Coven play at Roadburn in April (review here), and their classic sound has never been more relevant than it is today, and Jinx Dawson remains a mystifying presence as frontwoman, even nearly five decades after the band issued their landmark 1969 outing, Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls, which you can hear in full below. The point of that massive fucking run-on sentence? Go see Coven if you can. There. I made it simple. I hear that’s what you’re supposed to do on the internet.

John Haughm of Pillorian and Agalloch will also play an acoustic set as part of the packed lineup, and as a side note, tomorrow I’ll have a Six Dumb Questions interview posted with David Rodgers of Godhunter, who organizes this fest as well as other Terror Fest incarnations like the Austin Terror Fest at SXSW and Southwest Terror Fest in Arizona. Dude breaks his ass in making these things happen, and you’ll note Godhunter aren’t on this bill, so it’s clearly not about just putting together an event to promote his own doings. Just something to keep an eye out for.

Northwest Terror Fest 2017 runs June 15-17. Here’s the latest from the PR wire, including the full schedule:

northwest-terror-fest-2017-poster

COVEN, JOHN HAUGHM JOIN NORTHWEST TERROR FEST

NORTHWEST TERROR FEST – SEATTLE JUNE 15-17

Due to matters out of control of Northwest Terror Fest, we regret to inform that Warning will no longer be able to perform during this specific weekend. But at the end of the darkness is light as we are proud to announce that the legendary Coven will be playing on the evening of Saturday June 17th in what will be their first stateside show in 27 years!

While its widely disputed that some have cited Coven as the first band to brandish the sign of the horns, their occult laced tunes have laid down an irrefutable influence on the world of metal and doom beginning with their mystic debut album, 1969’s Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls.

John Haughm of Agalloch will be performing an intimate set.

Inspired by Cormac McCarthy, Ennio Morricone, Neil Young’s “Dead Man” soundtrack, and the renegade years of the American old west, John Haughm’s solo performance is a haunting and sonic 30 minute journey through dystopian wastelands of the past. It is a bleak, atmospheric, and powerful droning Western soundscape in steadfast spirit of the years 1865 – 1895.

Northwest Terror Fest Schedule:

THURSDAY 6/15
Neumo’s:
10:10 – END – Wolves In The Throne Room
8:50 – 9:30 – Samothrace
7:35 – 8:10 – King Woman
6:30 – 7:00 – Lycus
5:30 – 6:00 – Uada

Barboza:
9:30 – 10:10 – Graves At Sea
8:10 – 8:50 – Take Over And Destroy
7:00 – 7:35 – Void Omnia
6:00 – 6:30 – Barghest
5:00 – 5:30 – Witch Ripper

THURSDAY AFTER PARTY

Highline:
1:00 – END – John Haughm
11:50 – 12:40 – Aerial Ruin
11:00 – 11:30 – Crowhurst

FRIDAY 6/16

Neumo’s:
10:10 – END – Cephalic Carnage
8:50 – 9:30 – Goatwhore
7:35 – 8:10 – Noisear
6:30 – 7:00 – Nomads
5:30 – 6:00 – Fucked And Bound

Barboza:
9:30 – 10:10 Cult Leader
8:10 – 8:50 – Call Of The Void
7:00 – 7:35 – Transient
6:00 – 6:30 – Endorphin’s Lost
5:00 – 5:30 – Recluse

FRIDAY AFTER PARTY

Highline:
12:40 – END – Usnea
11:50 – 12:20 – Burials
11:00 – 11:30 – Sol

SATURDAY 6/17

Neumo’s:
10:10 – END – Coven (First US Show in 27 years)
8:50 – 9:30 – Yob
7:35 – 8:10 – Marissa Nadler
6:30 – 7:00 – Young And In The Way
5:30 – 6:00 – Infernal Coil

Barboza:
9:30 – 10:10 – Bell Witch featuring Aerial Ruin
8:10 – 8:50 – Forn
7:00 – 7:35 – CHRCH
6:00 – 6:30 – Hands Of Thieves
5:00 – 5:30 – Cliterati

SATURDAY AFTER PARTY

Highline:
12:40 – END – Heiress
11:50 – 12:20 – Rhine
11:00 – 11:30 – Old Iron

www.facebook.com/northwestterrorfest
https://www.facebook.com/events/1741333786182206/
www.neumos.com
www.thebarboza.com
www.highlineseattle.com

Coven, Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls (1969)

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