Desertfest Oslo 2024 Completes Lineup and Announces Day Splits

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 6th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Over the last several weeks, the inaugural Desertfest Oslo has piece-by-piece announced the remainder of the lineup for May 10 and 11, and the list is substantial. Wolves in the Throne Room, Weedpecker, Kadabra, Steak, Crippled Black Phoenix, Earth Tongue, Apostle of Solitude, Orsak:Oslo, Margarita Witch Cult, REZN, Bongzilla and Slomosa joined the bill one at a time, broadening the scope exponentially in terms of style from searing black metal thrust to sad post-goth to stoner rock of progressive and willfully unprogressive strains and outright ambience, older and newer bands, and geographical range. It’s kind of stunning how commonplace this standard has become for the Desertfest brand over the last decade-plus.

Tickets for each day are also on sale now — in case, what you want to see Acid King and not REZN? it’s okay, I’m not judging; I know people have lives and things to do — but it’s pretty clear looking at the full roster of who’ll play that Desertfest Oslo 2024 is all-in on the thing. And with KadavarMonolordCrippled Black Phoenix and Eyehategod headlining, they’ll rely on a multifaceted draw from the top down through the entire lineup. This feels both like a festival brand reaching into new territory and new collaborations — which it is, absolutely — and a righteous start to what could become a staple of the Spring touring circuit. Do I really need to go on about Norway’s underground boom? Probably not when a hand-picked selection of those responsible are present below to remind you.

Bottom line here is I look forward to seeing how this unfolds even from a distance, but whatever Desertfest Oslo does in the longer term, this is a monster. Behold:

desertfest oslo 2024 final poster

Finally the day splits are here!

As well as day splits we’ve also made single day tickets available from february 29th.

See you may!

Find single day tickets and festivaltickets here:

Full lineup:

Wolves In The Throne Room
Acid King
Earth Tongue

Brant Bjork
The Devil And The Almighty Blues
Full Earth
Margarita Witch Cult
Saint Karloff
Apostle of Solitude

Slomosa, “Rice”

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Wolves in the Throne Room to Release Crypt of Ancestral Knowledge EP Sept. 29; New Song Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 18th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

I’ll admit to being a novice when it comes to black metal. I appreciate more than I like, and there’s a good deal I don’t particularly appreciate, but Wolves in the Throne Room‘s nature-worshiping stylistic innovation on their early work has led to the band exploring different styles and making unexpected sonic shifts that transcend genre anyhow. And anything that pisses off people concerned about ‘genre purity’ is probably good for society in general, so, you know, bonus points there.

They’ve got a big ol’ US tour set to roll out on Sept. 29 in St. Louis, and they’ll head north through the Midwest and into Canada before looping back down through the Eastern Seaboard and cutting inland. It’s a three-plus-week stint, and they’ve got Gaerea, Blackbraid and Hoaxed along with them, so yes, whatever substitute word you want to use for “ripping,” it most certainly will be that. But listen to the new track “Twin Mouthed Spring” with its departure into acoustic guitar and classic charred feel, and the organic nature of tone and presentation that has always underscored Wolves in the Throne Room‘s work — and no, I don’t just mean it sounds crappy, because it doesn’t — is intact, even as they venture beyond blasting in the song itself. I’ll look forward to hearing the rest and other experiments described below.

To the PR wire, then:

wolves in the throne room crypt of ancestral knowledge





American Black Metal overlords WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM announce the Crypt of Ancestral Knowledge EP out September 29! The EP features four new tracks spanning the scope of WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM’s cinematic black metal and dark acoustic folk, as well as two atmospheric industrial tracks that take the band into darker sonic territories.

Listen to WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM’s new song “Twin Mouthed Spring” on all streaming services HERE & on YouTube HERE.

Additionally, WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM begin the Crypt of Ancestral Knowledge North America headline tour this Fall through late September & October! Support throughout the tour will be provided by Blackbraid, Gaerea and Hoaxed. Tickets are on sale now at

Crypt of Ancestral Knowledge is out September 29 on VINYL/CD/CS/Digital. Pre-Order via HERE. Digital Downloads / Streaming (in US & Canada) HERE.

Crypt of Ancestral Knowledge EP opens with “Beholden to Clan”, a blazing slab of Symphonic Black Metal. Regarding the EP opener, Guitarist Kody Keyworth comments, “Journeying high atop a sacred mountain, the song recalls the importance of the sacrificed king’s cycle of rebirth through ancestral hallucinogenic rights of passage. It’s a wild trip. Hail Othila!” Elsewhere, “Twin Mouthed Spring” follows. This new track features vocals and acoustic guitar performed by founding WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM drummer Cedar Serpent who has recently returned to the live stage after a years long hiatus from live performance. He comments, “This song travels to a deep wellspring of passion and creativity. Themes from Celtic Mythology are pulled apart and remade.” Side B of the EP features a different side of the enigmatic band; “Initiates of the White Hart”, an Atmospheric Industrial interpretation of “Spirit of Lightning”, takes this live-set stalwart into deeper dark psychedelic waters while “Crown of Stone”, a ritual dark ambient piece, connects thematically to “Mountain Magic” the lead track on 2021’s Primordial Arcana.

Crypt of Ancestral Knowledge North American Tour
w/ Blackbraid, Gaerea & Hoaxed
09/29/23: St Louis, MO: Red Flag
09/30/23: Chicago, IL: Metro
10/01/23: St. Paul, MN: Amsterdam Bar & Hall
10/03/23: Detroit, MI: El Club
10/04/23: Toronto, ON: Lee’s Palace
10/05/23: Montreal, QC: Theatre Fairmount
10/06/23: Boston, MA: Big Night Live
10/07/23: Hamden, CT: Space Ballroom
10/08/23: Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Monarch
10/10/23: Philadelphia, PA: Underground Arts
10/11/23: Baltimore, MD: Baltimore Soundstage
10/12/23: Richmond, VA: The Canal Club
10/13/23: Greensboro, NC: Hangar 1819
10/14/23: Atlanta, GA: The Loft
10/15/23: Tampa, FL: Orpheum
10/17/23: Dallas, TX: Echo Lounge & Music Hall
10/18/23: Austin, TX: Come And Take It Live
10/20/23: Albuquerque, NM: Sister
10/21/23: Tucson, AZ: Encore
10/23/23: Salt Lake City, UT: Metro Music Hall
10/24/23: Denver, CO: The Oriental Theater

Aaron Weaver – Drums/Vocals
Nathan Weaver – Vocals/Guitars/Keyboards
Kody Keyworth – Guitars

Wolves in the Throne Room, “Twin Mouthed Spring”

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Roadburn 2023 Makes First Lineup Announcement

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 3rd, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Names like David Eugene Edwards and Julie Christmas are bound to draw eyes, along with Deafheaven, but dig into the lineup announcement for Roadburn 2023 and you’ll find even more genre-spanning righteousness from the e’er forward-looking Dutch fest, which recently unveiled its pretty-people-doing-stuff thematic artwork by William Lacalmontie. Burst and Chat Pile stand out to me immediately, and Norna whom I recently saw for the fist time, but LLNN will kill it in their commissioned collaboration, and a special set from Wolves in the Throne Room is an idea that has a proven history at Roadburn of being, well, special.

I didn’t get to go to Roadburn 2022, which if we’re being honest is a lack in my life that I’ve felt throughout the entire year since. I don’t imagine they’re bringing back the daily ‘zine for 2023, having now thrived without it for the first time in however many years it was. But if I can get back over for next April, I’m going to do everything I can to try and make that happen. Assuming I can walk by then, I’ll carry amps from one end of the loading bay to the other, I don’t care. Just please let me be in Tilburg again.

This is the first announcement. More will follow. This is always one of the best and most hopeful times of the year.

From the PR wire:

Roadburn 2023

Roadburn announces first names for 2023, including Deafheaven, Julie Christmas, and David Eugene Edwards

Roadburn has announced the first names for the 2023 line up ahead of tickets going on sale later this month. The festival will take place at the 013 venue, Tilburg, The Netherlands between April 20-23, 2023. Tickets will go on sale at 7pm CET (6pm GMT, 1pm EST, 10am PST) on November 15.

Roadburn Artistic Director, Walter Hoeijmakers comments:

“We are very thrilled to see Roadburn 2023 coming together, especially in a world turned upside down and all the challenges facing the live music industry. Roadburn 2023 is shaping up to be a very exciting edition of the festival even while navigating the underground post-pandemic. This year’s Roadburn won’t see a curator as there are so many obstacles and pitfalls to overcome; it would be hard for a curator to fully realise their artistic and musical dreams. We at Roadburn will make sure the 2023 edition will be as adventurous and explorational as always, and it will be an anchor point as usual. It will be a very current edition, reflecting the world as it is now.”

Line up announcements:
Deafheaven will fly in to Roadburn to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their groundbreaking sophomore album, Sunbather, by performing the album in full alongside a second set where they will play their latest incredible album, Infinite Granite.

Originally scheduled to perform at Roadburn 2020, Julie Christmas will finally perform next April as a European exclusive set. With a diverse back catalogue and the promise of new material on the horizon, this will be a must-see show.

Also drawing from a rich back catalogue, Roadburn will welcome back David Eugene Edwards, who will be performing cuts from his 16 Horsepower, Wovenhand and solo discographies.

Wolves In The Throne Room will enhance their already immersive performances with additional audio and visual components to create a special, exclusive set titled Shadow Moon Kingdom.

Another postponed Roadburn debut will finally come to fruition as Brutus will perform off the back of their stunning new album, Unison Life.

Big Brave warranted a rare back-to-back Roadburn booking and will be performing their upcoming new album nature morte at Roadburn 2023.

The Soft Moon has made such an impact over the years, but their latest album, Exister, takes things to a new level. They will be performing the album in full at Roadburn 2023.

Giles Corey will be making their live debut with a full band at Roadburn; originally scheduled for 2020 this underground phenomenon will bring catharsis and emotion in abundance.

Chat Pile have made an immense impact in a short space of time, and Roadburn has snagged the exclusive European debut of this much-hyped quartet.

Candy will be performing their blistering new album, Heaven is Here in full at Roadburn.

KEN Mode are doing their bit for the thriving noise-rock resurgence of 2022, and they’ll be flying in for a one-off show at Roadburn 2023.

The genre-defying experimentalism found on Show Me the Body’s latest album Trouble the Water will be brought to life in the flesh with their Roadburn debut next April.

Recently reformed and raring to go, Roadburn will host Sweden’s Burst, bringing the sound of early Scandinavian post-metal to Tilburg.

Norna will also represent Sweden with a crushing take on sludgy post-hardcore.

Commissioned Music:

Roadburn has been commissioning artists to create and perform original compositions at the festival since 2018. 2023 will see an array of such commissioned projects – this year with a particular focus on giving a platform to underground artists – the first of which is announced today.

John Cxnnor performing All My Future’s Past.
Brothers Ketil and Rasmus Sejersen grew up in Denmark’s hardcore scene and the influence of that is felt in the music they create as part of LLNN, but it also infiltrates their work under the John Cxnnor moniker. For this commissioned project, they will enhance the industrial electronics of the John Cxnnor project with the contributions of fellow musicians from the hardcore scene they were shaped by.

Collaboration with Schouwburg Tilburg:
For the first time, Roadburn is collaborating with Schouwburg Tilburg to embrace dance as part of the Roadburn landscape. Dance Of The Seven Veils will be brought to life by director Aïda Gabriëls with musical accompaniment courtesy of Colin H. Van Eeckhout (CHVE, Amenra), Pieter-Jan Van Assche (Innerwoud) and soprano Astrid Stockman. Tickets for this event will be sold as an upgrade to Roadburn tickets, with a discount for Roadburn attendees.

More information on all these announcements can be located HERE:

Roadburn’s official visual artist for 2023 is William Lacalmontie, more information about his collaboration with the festival can be found HERE:

Weekend tickets and accommodation options will go on sale via at 7pm CET (6pm GMT, 1pm EST, 10am PST) on November 15. 4-day tickets will be priced at €244, 3-day tickets at €214, and single day tickets at €79 (all costs inclusive of fees and service charges).

Julie Christmas, The Bad Wife Live in full

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Psycho Las Vegas 2022 – Day 1 Notes

Posted in Features on August 20th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Hippie Death Cult (Photo by JJ Koczan)


You never have to wait long when you’re on the strip to see the next plane fly overhead. That’s part of the image of the whole thing. Movers and shakers, people going places. I don’t see myself that way. I’m more the wiggly type.

The Starbucks — there might be two — wasn’t crowded and tastes a bit like burning but I don’t care. I found some THC tablet things up at the dispensary the other night and because I’m 40 years old and someone who thinks and operates in precisely this manner, I budgeted them out for the next few days and will accordingly be mildly stoned from here on out. My original plan had been to come here, get ahold of a bunch of mushrooms and blow my brains out for the weekend, writing all the while in what I’m sure would be a fit on too-damn-long sentences that I’d think were brilliant until I read them later and realized they were all about dragons and tearing down the capitalist uberstructure that allows shit like this to exist in the first place, let alone me to get away with being here to see it. The singer from Uniform yesterday, between one pissed off song and the next, started talking between songs and then shut it down. “Never mind. You don’t want to hear what I have to say.” I kind of did.

Curious at least where the commentary might start. Making thongs and heels the apparently-mandatory pool attire for waitstaff? The $15 water bottle? This is a party town. Party don’t come cheap, and in terms of vibe I’ve never experienced anything else like where I am now. Divorcing the fest from the inherently predatory aspects of any casino experience for a moment — which I don’t think you’re supposed to do, but I have neither the cash nor inclination to gamble, so there it is; and there goes another airplane — because it’s all a fucking trap and we’re dancing around the edge of it, addled with drink and chemical reactions in reckless checked out bliss. Heard Cancer Christ ripped up a Bible in the Redtail last night after I went to bed. Somebody had to sweep that up.

I think I’d like another tattoo. Any ideas?

Sanguisugabogg (Photo by JJ Koczan)

But again, to remove the fest from its surroundings, to try and separate ‘sub-‘ from culture, is nearly impossible. And the true innovation Psycho had made isn’t so much in getting GZA to come play chess — though that’s awesome too — but in taking the aesthetics of underground culture, mostly based around metal even when it’s not metal specifically, and using them as a means to infiltrate a broader cross-section of institutions. I heard “Lady in Red” on my way to Starbucks to get coffee. In about half an hour, Sanguisugabogg are going to take stage in what I’m pretty sure is a seated ballroom. Guess I’ll find out. That achievement, as well as the procuring of the significant financial backing to make it happen, isn’t to be understated. An accomplishment of scale and scope the results for which will manifest over the next three days.

Thankfully, that will mostly happen inside.


The death growls of Sanguisugabogg are blending with the mall tunes, distortion underlying safe ’80s-ish synthpop, and I almost hate to say it, but it’s kind of working for me, sound-wise. I’m pretty sure this is what my nightmares sound like.

Watched enough of them — the ones with all the esses and gees, please don’t make me type it again — to know that they’re a good time musically. And that there are no seats up there. One way or the other, 11AM death mosh is perfect for Psycho Las Vegas. It should be a tradition if it already isn’t. More coffee called and I made my way out, but no regrets for having seen the Rose Ballroom, which is kind of just up in the corner of the third floor. I’ve come to understand this might just be what casino hotel resorts are, but I promise you I have no idea in that regard. Also watched enough of them to know that every dude in that band could and just might on a given day beat my ass. I’m sure they’re sweethearts though. They had Mike Gitter out at 11AM, which is all the endorsement you’ll ever need as far as I’m concerned.

Dreadnought (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I’ve lost just about all sense of time now. If not for my phone giving me minute-by-minute updates on the matter I’m pretty sure I’d be a goner. There’s a horn being played somewhere. It’s cutting through the echoing distorted noise from Sanguisugabogg and the bassy muzak and goodness gracious maybe I’m a goner anyway. Gotta hydrate.

Sitting outside the pizza place, where I’ve been a good portion of the morning by now. It’s almost a chair and it’s definitely free, so it gets the prize. Festival types are up and about by now, either getting food, outside smoking, whatever it is. I feel like I’m from another planet. Maybe everyone does? I look at people going about their business though, just living, and that’s not how I operate. Even in this weirdo microculture, in my most honest moments I never quite feel like I belong. Anywhere. There goes another plane.

In other words, it’s not the world with the problem, it’s me.

I wish that was new information.

Stinking Lizaveta (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Later again

Dreadnought and Stinking Lizaveta present dueling and likewise accurate visions of what constitutes salvation. Hippie Death Cult back this with unexpectedly metallic progressions; a bit of march from that expansive drum kit. This allows me to rediscover the antidote to that feeling, that so-in-my-own-head isolation, which of course is the fucking music. Granted, being unworthy is kind of my running theme of Psycho so far — underscored by various security personnel who’ve all been polite enough in telling me I can or can’t bring this or that to stages, or go here or there or take pictures or whathaveyou; my ‘I’ve got an email that says I can be here’ is getting a workout — but watching Dreadnought is pretty goddamned special. Even compared to seeing them here in 2018 — well, not here, but at Psycho — they played like a band who know they’re on fire, and they are. Don’t let me get all hyped up, but after missing them in NYC, to see them here is a boon.

Same goes for Hippie Death Cult, and Stinking Lizaveta I’ll watch any day of any week and call it a good day. The music radiates joy.

That one-two-three was my must-stuff for the day, which means that everything else is gravy. I sat for a while after Hippie Death Cult finished, found a chair in back of the Dawg House, then decided I’d pop up to the Event Center and see if I could shoot Wolves in the Throne Room. Somewhere along the way someone sent an edict about backpacks I guess.

Wolves in the Throne Room (Photo by JJ Koczan)

There was some back and forth — got that email out again — and yeah, turns out I could shoot Wolves in the Throne Room, and they went on about 15 minutes late but that was still plenty of time to pretend I was in a forest for the second time of the day, pit stop back in my room, and make it to Great Electric Quest’s party back at at Dawg House. In addition to rocking, they did just about everything possible to engage the crowd short of handing out ice cream. Seemed to work for them though and they absolutely brought it. They played like there were 400 people in the room, which there weren’t, and played one more song when demanded by the crowd to do so. Rock and roll show. Pretty sure it’s my first time seeing them. And they used that space on the stage. Up on amps, waving a big green flag, turning classic heavy vibes into epics. They were easy to dig, so I did.

Great Electric Quest (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Later even than that was

A little disorienting? Good. That’s the idea. Time has passed, that’s all you need to know. If you want to know exactly what time it is, you should probably have a different pass. Or not. I’m not really clear on it.

I’m probably the wrong person to be discussing Emperor’s legacy, influence or anything like that, but hell’s bells, I own those records and I can appreciate it. My final three bands of the day were Sasquatch, Mothership and Emperor. So, you know, another night in Anytown USA. Sasquatch came through New York recently but I couldn’t go because let’s face it, my life is way more set up for leaving for a few days once every couple months than it is for going out on a given Friday night, and that’s just where it’s at right now. But to see them any night, anyplace, is a win. Band would seem to have spent the entirety of lockdown on absolute fire, since the second venues opened back up they hit it.

Sasquatch (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Their US tour is almost done, then Australia/New Zealand, then five weeks in Europe. That’s a working fucking band. They played like one. Keith Gibbs on guitar/vocals, Jason Casanova on bass and backing vocals that every time I hear them live I feel like should be used more, and Craig Goshdarn Riggs on drums and a bit more vocals, and they’re just electric. Even in the years since Riggs joined — what, five years ago now? — they’ve gotten tighter in a way that apparently two years without gigs hasn’t dulled so far as I can tell. Or maybe I’m just saying that because Riggs threw a drum stick and hit me with it and I’m worried if I don’t say nice things about the band he might do it again next show. He’s a madman, you know. They all are, those Sasquatch types.

Both they and Mothership brought people into the Dawg House, and fair enough. Neither is an unknown quantity, here or otherwise, but honestly they both killed it dead. Took Mothership about 30 seconds to warm up and they were gone after that. I’d say good luck keeping up, but their grooves make it easy enough to follow where they’re headed, and Kelley and Kyle Juett out front while Judge Smith holds it all together behind. I suppose the kicker there is there’s no real danger of it coming apart, right? These guys are pro-shop heavy rock and roll. They know their sound and their songs inside out, and for all the fucking around, there’s not much actual fucking around, even in jams and introducing the band, saying hi to the members of Rifflord in the crowd and so on. Fuck else do you want to know? They’re a great live act and they played like one. It was not a surprise, but it was a blast.

Mothership (Photo by JJ Koczan)

That’s it. Put Ihsahn from Emperor looking like a black metal Robert Fripp on top — not intended at all as an insult; Fripp just about anything and you’re doing it right — and that’s my evening. I don’t know when the last time Emperor played in the States was, but I’m reasonably sure it was more than a decade ago. And if you’ve ever seen them, they’re basically the reason why black metal both rips and thinks it’s smarter than you. The Event Center/main stage tent is huge. You go outside and then back inside and there’s like a hangar and a massive thankfully air conditioned space that I’m not sure is permanent and I’m not sure isn’t. But I’d been there for Wolves in the Throne Room so knew at least what to expect in that regard.

I won’t say I stayed the entire time for Emperor; it’s just not where I’m at. But I did stay longer than I intended to, and I probably could’ve stuck around for more, but dinner and sleep and that’s-enough-of-that were calling, and I am nothing if not attuned to all of those things.

Emperor (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Kind of terrifying to think this is just day one. Not only is there a whole other day tomorrow, there’s one after that too. Holy shit. It’s not even really the weekend yet.

Save us.

Thanks for reading.

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Desertfest Belgium 2022: Wolves in the Throne Room, Belzebong & More Added to Antwerp Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 19th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2022 dates banner

Desertfest Belgium, now in its eighth year and second to feature festivals in two cities — Antwerp and Ghent — has put day tickets on sale as of yesterday. Further, the day splits — who plays when — have been announced, so I guess if you only want to see one day’s worth of killer shit, you can do that. Honestly though, unless you have a pressing prior engagement like your own wedding or there’s a family emergency or some such, I’m not sure how you make a conscious decision to not do all three days.

Even if The Brian Jonestown Massacre isn’t your thing, or you’ve never been huge on Red Fang or Wolves in the Throne Room, look down these bills. From Gozu and Samavayo and Josh Graham‘s IIVII the first day, Naxatras and Suma the next (talk about a marriage of opposites) and Bongripper and Polymoon the third, there’s really no way you lose. Pick one? Shit, I’ll take 10.

Ghent is apparently next to be filled out, and of course there will be some crossover for bands who are tour for a couple weeks, but there’s always a bunch of acts reserved for one or the other as well. I don’t know. I like bands playing shows. I like fests. I’d like to go to Belgium one day and make up for that one time I was there only long enough to fuck up ordering coffee in French like the dipshit passthrough tourist I was. Make up for it by probably doing the same thing, that is.

Oh, and they’re not on this poster, but Cities of Mars play on Sunday.

From the PR wire:



Back once again, with another headbanger. This time we break out the truly deep ‘n’ heavy, from all over Europe and beyond. Please take note: the following bands will be appearing at DF ANTWERP ONLY. News on the Ghent edition to follow in short order.

Making up for last year’s unfortunate cancellation, we’re glad that WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM will make it this year. Let’s burn some black candles to ward off any new pandemic, shall we? We’re also very glad to welcome two doom titans from the east and the north. BELZEBONG from Poland are always a Good Bad-Ass Time with their ripping lowdown instrumentals, and Sweden’s SUMA are keen on celebrating a belated 20th birthday on stage.

In case you were wondering if there will be a no-frills blues rock fix on the bill, wonder no more! THE HEAVY EYES have us covered with their homegrown Delta boogie, while DOMMENGANG will be here to deliver a West Coast vibe.

Greece has been delivering the stoner goods for a long time now, and it is with great pleasure we announce the return of the jam-adelic NAXATRAS and the first-time arrival of HALF GRAMME OF SOMA.

We promised some deep cuts, and we got ’em. Berlin scene mainstays SAMAVAYO will be here, as well as Sweden’s Ripple Records signees CITIES OF MARS. We’re also very excited that POLYMOON will come to dish out a hefty dose of Finnish nu psychedelia.

To round things off, two Belgian bands from extreme ends of the spectrum. On the one end we got the extremely grim sludgers of HISPYN, at the other is the very goofy but equally hard-banging GNOME who despite their diminutive appearance are not to be messed with.

What’s more? This Monday 18/07 at 11:00 AM CET we will announce the day per day lineup for DF ANTWERP. This means that on Monday 18/07 separate one day tickets will go on sale for DF ANTWERP! You have been warned!

Let’s be honest here: things are looking good, and better by the minute. Your hard-earned money will be well spe.. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T HAVE YOUR TICKET YET!! Ticket prices are still reduced now, go get ’em before we start calling ’em ‘regular’!

MESSAGE OF GENERAL IMPORTANCE: We now welcome the Day Trippers to join the Weekend Trippers, as DAY TICKETS for the Antwerp Edition (Friday, Saturday & Sunday) become available as of NOW, Monday 18 July at 11am. You can find them on our ticketing page at the price of €58 (all-in) per day.

Desertfest insiders know what’s coming next: the DAILY SCHEDULE for both festivals is also visible on our line-up page, and will be complemented with any new acts we announce from now on. This will somewhat facilitate the hard choice to make when picking a day.

But! Let’s not forget that them Reduced Combi tickets are still available, so maybe you don’t have to choose after all. Get the full monty, 3 days of Desertfest Antwerp, or even throw in a day of Desertfest Ghent as a kicker.

We’ll be back soon with another round of new names.. stay tuned!

(valid 4 days: 14-16/10 – Antwerp & 30/10 – Ghent)

(valid 3 days: 14-16/10 – Antwerp)

(valid 1 day: 30/10 – Ghent)

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Psycho Las Vegas 2022 Makes Second Lineup Announcement

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 17th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

It was probably inevitable, but if you’d asked I’m not sure I would’ve said that at some point we’d be talking about Wu-Tang around these parts not in the context of the badass PS1 fighting game they had. Also in the realm of things-I-probably-should’ve-seen-coming is the fact that it’s Psycho Las Vegas as the occasion for doing so. Don’t get me wrong, having the GZA and Raekwon & Ghostface on the bill alongside Watain and Mayhem and Boris and Monster Magnet and The Juliana Theory is fucking genius (natch), but it’s a very particular kind of genius that one doesn’t find anywhere else. You want Ulver and Suicidal Tendencies and Primitive Man together? Well, you’re probably booking your flight to Vegas as we speak. Psycho, as you, me, and everyone around us knows, is in a class of its own here.

KatatoniaCirith UngolBone Thugs-n-Harmony — who I would totally watch, by the way — and High on FireAt the Gates. Fucking a, Psycho.

The lineup as so far announced for Psycho Las Vegas 2022 follows here, as per the PR wire. Fest is Aug. 19-21:

psycho las vegas 2022 logo square

Psycho Las Vegas Announces Second Wave of Artists for 2022 Lineup; Reveals Festival Destination: Resorts World Las Vegas – the Strip’s newest integrated resort

As previously announced, the 2022 installment of Psycho Las Vegas will see Mercyful Fate (USA-exclusive performance), Emperor (USA-exclusive performance), Mayhem, Satyricon, Watain, Wolves In The Throne Room, Samael, Boris, MGLA, Cirith Ungol, King Woman, Marissa Nadler, Bömbers and Year Of No Light perform at the annual bacchanal, set to take place at Resorts World Las Vegas Aug. 19 – Aug. 21. Already an other-worldly line-up, today, Psycho Las Vegas has revealed the second wave of artists for America’s premier Rock ‘N Roll festival (with tickets available for purchase at:

Mercyful Fate
Suicidal Tendencies
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
Carpenter Brut
She Past Away
Raekwon & Ghostface Killah
At The Gates
High On Fire
Beats Antique
Paradise Lost
Cirith Ungol
The Accüsed AD
Dance With The Dead
The Juliana Theory
Monster Magnet
Wolves In The Throne Room
…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
Primitive Man
King Woman
Marissa Nadler
Year Of No Light
The Goddamn Gallows
200 Stab Wounds
Last Podcast On The Left
Chessboxing with GZA

Bridge City Sinners
Early Moods

Psycho Las Vegas 2022 is set to be the wildest ride yet as the festival will move to a new destination, Resorts World Las Vegas. The Strip’s newest ground-up resort to be built in over a decade, Resorts World Las Vegas ventures into a new frontier of entertainment, offering an immersive trip for festivalgoers with six stages, with every genre under the sun performing from the pool’s tropics to the Resorts World Event Center. Additionally, Resorts World Las Vegas contains the most options for leisure, cuisine, and gambling in Psycho Las Vegas history, while providing a more intimate musical experience in the epitome of Las Vegas elegance and extravagance. Fans can also spend the day at AWANA Spa & Wellness, enjoy a meal or drink at one of over 40 food and beverage venues or hit the poker tables because Texas Hold ‘Em is back with a vengeance at Psycho Las Vegas. Without curfews, the party doesn’t stop as sets and Psycho dance parties go on through all hours of the night.

Psycho Las Vegas is the ultimate rock ‘n roll all night and party everyday experience. Go all in – buy the ticket and take the ride:

Viva Psycho

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Quarterly Review: Sons of Alpha Centauri, Doctors of Space, River Flows Reverse, Kite, Starless, Wolves in the Throne Room, Oak, Deep Tomb, Grieving, Djiin

Posted in Reviews on September 30th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


Today we pass the halfway point of the Fall 2021 Quarterly Review. It’s mostly been a pleasure cruise, to be honest, and there’s plenty more good stuff today to come. That always makes it easier. Still worth marking the halfway point though as we move inexorably toward 70 releases by next Tuesday. Right now, I just wish my kid would take a nap. He won’t.

That’s my afternoon, I guess. Here we go.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Sons of Alpha Centauri, Push

sons of alpha centauri push

Never ones to tread identical ground, UK outfit Sons of Alpha Centauri collaborate with Far/Onelinedrawing vocalist Jonah Matranga and Will Haven drummer Mitch Wheeler on Push, their material given relatively straight-ahead structural purpose to suit. I’m a fan of Sons of Alpha Centauri and their willingness to toss out various rulebooks on their way to individualized expression. Will Push be the record of theirs I reach for in the years to come? Nope. I’ve tried and tried and tried to get on board, but post-hardcore/emo has never been my thing and I respect Sons of Alpha Centauri too much to pretend otherwise. I admire the ethic that created the album. Deeply. But of the various Sons of Alpha Centauri collaborations — with the likes JK Broadrick of Godflesh or Gary Arce of Yawning Man — I feel a little left out in the cold by these tracks. No worries though. It’s Sons of Alpha Centauri. I’ll catch the next one. In the meantime, it’s comforting knowing they’re doing their own thing as always, regardless of how it manifests.

Sons of Alpha Centauri on Facebook

Exile on Mainstream Records website


Doctors of Space, Studio Session July 2021

Doctors of Space Studio Session July 2021

The programmed drums do an amazing amount to bring a sense of form to Doctors of Space‘s ultra-exploratory jamming. The Portugal-based duo combining the efforts of guitarist/programmer Martin Weaver (best known for his work in Wicked Lady) and synthesist/keyboardist Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective (and many others) have been issuing jams by the month during a time largely void of live performances, and their get-together on July 30 resulted in seven pieces, four of which make up the 62 minutes of Studio Session July 2021. It’s hard to pick a highlight between the mellower, almost jazzy flow and cosmic wash of the 19-minute “Nighthawk,” and the more urgent setting out that “They Are Listening” provides, the more definitively space-rocking “Spirit Catcher” closing and “Bombsheller” with what feels like layers upon layers of swirl with keyboard lines cutting through, capping with a mellotron chorus, but any one of them is a worthy pick, and that’s a good problem to have.

Doctors of Space on Bandcamp

Space Rock Productions website


River Flows Reverse, When River Flows Reverse

River Flows Reverse When River Flows Reverse

In its readiness to go wherever the spirit of its eight included pieces lead, as well as in its openness of arrangement and folkish foundation, River Flows Reverse‘s first offering, the semi-eponymous When River Flows Reverse, reminds of Montibus Communitas. That is a compliment I don’t give lightly or often. The hour-long 2LP sees issue as part of the Psychedelic Source Records collective — Bence Ambrus and company — and with members of Indeed, Lemurian Folk Songs, Hold Station, on vocals and trumpet and banjo, etc., and a variety of instruments handled by Ambrus himself, the record is serene and hypnotic in kind, finding an outbound pastoralism that is physical as much as it’s swirling in mid-air. “Oriental Western” taps 16 Horsepower on the shoulder, but it’s in a meditation like “At the Gates of the Perennial” or the decidedly unraging “Rain it Rages” that the Hungarian outfit most seem to find themselves even as they get willfully lost in what they’re doing. Beautiful.

Psychedelic Source Records on Facebook

Psychedelic Source Records on Bandcamp


Kite, Currents

kite currents

Even amid the lumbering noise rock extremity of the penultimate “Heroin,” Kite manage to work in a willfully lunkheaded Melvins riff. Cheers to the Oslo bashers-of-face on that. The second long-player from the Oslo-based trio featuring members of Sâver, Dunderbeist, Stonegard and others sets out in moody form with “Idle Lights” building to a maddening tension that “Turbulence” hits with a brick. Though not void of atmosphere or complexity in its construction, the bulk of Currents is harsh, a punishment derived from sludge-thickened post-hardcore evidenced by “Ravines” stomping into the has-clean-vocals centerpiece title-track, but it’s also clear the band are having fun. Closer “Unveering Static” brings back the non-screaming shouts, but it’s the earlier longest track “Infernal Trails” that perhaps most readily encapsulates their work, variable in tempo, building and crashing, chaotic and raging and lowbrow enough to be artsy, but still given an underpinning of heft to match any and all aggression.

KITE on Facebook

Majestic Mountain Records webstore


Starless, Hope is Leaving You

Starless Hope is Leaving You

A sophomore full-length from the Chicago-based four-piece of guitarist/vocalist Jessie Ambriz and Jon Slusher, bassist/vocalist Alan Strathmann and drummer/vocalist Quinn Curren, StarlessHope is Leaving You runs a melancholy gambit from the prog-metal aggression of “Pendulum” to “Forest” reimagining Alice in Chains as a post-rock band, to soaring escapist pastoralia in “Devils,” to the patient psychedelic unfurling of “Citizen,” all the while remaining heavy of one sort or another; sonic, emotional, whatever it might be. Both. Cellist Alison Chesley (Helen Money) guests on “Forest” and the devolves-into-chaotic-noise closer “Hunting With Fire,” and Sanford Parker produced, but the band’s greatest strengths are the band itself. Hope is Leaving You isn’t going to be the feel-good hit of anyone’s summer in terms of general mood or atmosphere, but it’s the kind of release that’s going to hit a particular nerve with some who take it on, and I think I might be one of them.

Starless on Facebook

Starless on Bandcamp


Wolves in the Throne Room, Primordial Arcana

wolves in the throne room primordial arcana

Some 15 years on from their landmark first album, Olympia, Washington’s Wolves in the Throne Room make their debut on Relapse Records with duly organic stateliness on Primordial Arcana, bringing their particular and massively influential vision of American black metal to bear across tracks mostly shorter than those of 2017’s Thrice Woven (review here) — exceptions to every rule: the triumphant 10-minute “Masters of Rain and Storm” — as drummer/keyboardist/vocalist Aaron Weaver, guitarist/vocalist Nathan Weaver, guitarist/vocalist Kody Keyworth and guest bassist/vocalist Galen Baudhuin readily draw together ripping blasts with cavernous synth, acoustic guitar, percussion and whatever the hell else they want across eight songs and 49 minutes (that includes the ambient bonus track “Skyclad Passage,” which follows the also-ambient closer “Eostre”) for an immersive aesthetic victory lap that’s all the more resonant for being the first time they’ve entirely produced themselves. One hopes and suspects it won’t be the last. Their sixth or seventh LP depending on what one counts, Primordial Arcana sounds like the beginning of a new era for them.

Wolves in the Throne Room on Facebook

Relapse Records website


Oak, Fin

oak fin

London heavy rockers Oak perhaps ultimately did themselves a disservice by not putting out a full-length during their time together. Fin, like the end screen of a fancy movie, arrives as their swansong EP, their fourth overall in the last six years, and is made up mostly of two five-plus-minute tracks in “Beyond…” and “Broken King,” with the minute-long intro “Bells” at the start. With the soaring chorus of “Beyond…” led by vocalist Andy Valiant with the backing of bassist/mellotronist Richard Morgan and guitarist/synthesist Kevin Germain and the shove of Alex De La Cour‘s drums at their foundation, the clarity of production by Wayne Adams at Bear Bites Horse (Green Lung, Terminal Cheesecake, etc.) and the gang shouts that rouse the finish of “Broken King,” Oak end their run sounding very much like a band who had more to say. If their breakup really is permanent, they leave a lot of potential on the proverbial table.

Oak on Facebook

Oak on Bandcamp


Deep Tomb, Deep Tomb

Deep Tomb Deep Tomb

By the time Los Angeles’ Deep Tomb get into the stomp of the 12-minute finishing track on their four-song/29-minute self-titled, they’ve already well demonstrated their propensity for scathing, harsh sludge. Opener “Colossus” has some percussion later in its seven minutes that sounds like something falling down stairs — maybe those are just the toms? — but it and the subsequent “Ascension From the Devoured Realm” aren’t exactly shy about where they’re coming from in their pummel and fuckall, and even though “Endless Power Through Breathless Sleep” starts out mellow and ends minimalist, in between it sounds like a they’re trying to use amps to remove limbs. And how much of “Lord of Misery” is song and how much is noisy chaos anyway? I don’t know. Where’s the line from one to the other? When does the madness end? And what’s left when it does? The broken glass from tube amps and soured everything.

Deep Tomb on Facebook

King of the Monsters Records webstore


Grieving, Songs for the Weary

Grieving Songs for the Weary

A band that, sooner or later, somebody’s going to refer to as “heavyweights.” Perhaps it’s happened already. Justifiably, in any case, given the significant heft Poland’s Grieving bring to their riff-led fare on their first LP, built on a foundation of traditionalist doom but not necessarily eschewing modern methods in favor thereof throughout its six component tracks — the three-piece of vocalist Wojciech Kaluza, guitarist/bassist/synthesist Artur Ruminski and drummer Bartosz Licholap are willfully Sabbathian even in the shuffle of “This Godless Chapel” but neither are they shy about engaging more psychedelic spaces on “Foreboding of a Great Ruin,” however grounding the clear-headed melodies of the vocals might be, and the riff at the core of the hard-hitting “A Crow Funeral” would in another context be no less at home on a desert rock record. Especially as their debut, Songs for the Weary sounds anything but.

Grieving on Facebook

Interstellar Smoke Records webstore

Godz ov War Productions webstore


Djinn, Meandering Soul

Djiin Meandering Soul

Heavy blues is at the core of Djiin‘s second album, Meandering Soul, but the Rennes, France, four-piece meet it head-on with both deeper weight and broader atmospherics, and lead vocalist Chloé Panhaleux owes as much to grunge as to post-The Doors brooding, her voice admirably organic even unto cracking in “Red Desert.” With the backing of guitarist Tom Penaguin, bassist Charlélie Pailhes and drummer Allan Guyomard, Djiin are no less at home in the creeping lounge guitar stretches of “Warmth of Death” than in the bursts of volume in opener “Black Circus” or the what-the-hell-just-happened-to-this-song prog jam out that caps the erstwhile punk of finale “Waxdoll.” Clearly, Djiin go where they want, when they want, from the folkish harmonies of “The Void” to the far-less-hinged crushing aggro “White Valley,” each piece offering something of its own on the way while feeding into the immersion of the whole.

Djiin on Facebook

Klonosphere Records website


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Desertfest Belgium 2021 Announces Motorpsycho to Headline & More; Second Installment Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 1st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2021 banner

Not only something happening again that’s happened before, but also something new! Desertfest Belgium, with all due respect to the delta variant and yet-unforeseen circumstances, will be the first post-pandemic installment of Desertfest to take place, and in addition to announcing the beginnings of its lineup with Motorpsycho, Wolves in the Throne Room, Dool, Blood Incantation and Stygian Bough, they’ve also added a second city. A Ghent date will follow for the first time the three-day event in Antwerp. Desertfest Antwerp is Oct. 15-17, and Desertfest Ghent is Oct. 30. Belgian double-shot, and apparently it’ll be an ongoing thing. Pretty frickin’ cool.

Of course, there’s no guarantee it’s going to happen, but there’s no guarantee it’s not going to happen either, and that’s saying something at this point.

Tickets are available now and there’s more lineup announcements to come. This went to my spam folder for some reason, but rest assured I’ll be looking to sort out any technical kinks in the functioning of the PR wire, rerouting primary EPS conduits through the secondary couplings and so on.


desertfest belgium 2021 poster


Tickets for Antwerp & Ghent are now available!

We’re back… bigger and better than ever.

Here’s the news you were waiting to hear: We will have a Desertfest Belgium edition at Trix Antwerpen on 15-16-17 October 2021.

BUT THERE’S MORE! We are adding a new festival edition in another esteemed Belgian club venue: Kunstencentrum Vooruit in Ghent. For this year, this event will be limited to one evening on 30/10, but you can expect a full-blown second festival weekend from 2022 onwards. Most of the lineup will be shared, but of course each venue will bring its own personal touch. We are most hyped for this new chapter in the Belgian DF saga!

As of 2pm CET today, the ticket booths for both our Antwerp & Ghent events are active. Just the sweet memories of past Desertfests should be enough to get your ass over there as we speak, but of course you’re also wondering what we have in store for you.

We have a few first names to share, and all of these will perform on both editions, Antwerp as well as Ghent. First up, we finally have the legendary MOTORPSYCHO headlining Desertfest! They definitely need no further introduction, so let’s move on to a killer two-punch of extreme metal favorites: WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM and BLOOD INCANTATION will bring their progressive take on blackened metal to the DF stage this year. On the slow end of the extreme spectrum, we have STYGIAN BOUGH, the moody folk dirge collab between BELL WITCH and AERIAL RUIN. And finally, from Holland we welcome DOOL and their unique blend of heavy psychedelia and gothic vibes.

Get your tickets here:

DESERTFEST ANTWERP (15-17/10): €87,50 ALL-IN (or 2020 VOUCHER):
DESERTFEST GHENT (30/10): €52,00 ALL-IN:

Don’t forget to use your voucher if you have it!

If you have any questions about the tickets, get in touch:

Of course, due to COVID still not entirely beaten we have a few restrictions and uncertainties to take into account. The lineup will be somewhat reduced, and we’ll probably have a few more local acts than usual. Still, we’re doing our best to make it worth your while, and we’re confident that you will all bring that precious Desertfest vibe that makes our festival the best in town, anytime and anywhere.

We hope this first batch of names gets you all hot and bothered for what’s to come – spread the word and see y’all in October!

Motorpsycho, “Little Lucid Moments” live June 12, 2021

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