Posted in Whathaveyou on October 25th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Seems to me that if you’re going to release your debut album in the middle of December, that better be some cold-ass doom. None of this summer doom. I’m talking classic. Metal. Misery. Fortunately, that seems to be just the order of the day from Naked Star, the new project from Seamount‘s Tim Schmidt. Comprised just of Schmidt as multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Jim Grant, at least in the studio, the band will release their first full-length, Ancient Rites, on Dec. 16, 2016, through The Church Within Records after making an impressive initial offering earlier this year with the Bloodmoon Prophecy EP, a three-song 10″ that you can hear below and which makes me think Ancient Rites will more than stand up to whatever the coldest and darkest days have to offer. Guess we’ll find out.
Info follows from the PR wire:
NAKED STAR – Ancient Rites (The Church Within Records)
Release date: 16.12.2016
NAKED STAR is the new musical outlet of Tim Schmidt (Seamount) and Jim Grant (Vampyromorpha), born in a night with a lot of booze, horror movies and a bloodmoon. In spring 2016 the 10’’ EP “Bloodmoon Prophecy” has already been released via Voize Of Azram Records, followed by a tape version from Auric Records.
After the collaboration had turned out to be very fertile, the duo began working on their full-length debut very soon and found the right label with The Church Within Records. Expect a full dose of pure and extremely HEAVY Doom in the vein of Saint Vitus, Goatsnake, Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Count Raven, Hour Of 13 and the likes!
In the upcoming winter season 2016/2017, NAKED STAR will plan several club performances, consolidated by two live members.
Naked Star, Ancient Rites tracklisting: 1. Purgamantic 2. Stoned Demon 3. Spawn of the Witch 4. Be My Sacrifice 5. Bound to Hell 6. Alter Ego 7. I am the Antichrist 8. Necrolust
Distribution CD: Alive (GER) & Code7/PHD (Europe) Distribution Vinyl: Voice Of Azram, Plastic Head, Clear Spot & All That Is Heavy (USA)
Members: Tim Schmidt – Guitars, Bass, Drums; Jim Grant – Vocals live force: Chris “the Amperor” – Bass Markus “Satanas” – Drums
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 25th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Good news today out of the nation’s capitol in that burl-rocking trio Borracho will issue their third full-length, Atacama, on Dec. 2 as their label debut through respected German purveyor Kozmik Artifactz. One might recall the album’s recording took place this past Spring, when the title was also announced, and found the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Steve Fisher, bassist Tim Martin and drummer Mario Trubiano working alongside producer Frank “The Punisher” Marchand (The Obsessed, many more in the Chesapeake region), in following up their 2013 sophomore outing, Oculus (review here), and their split LP with Geezer (review here) that kicked off Ripple Music‘s The Second Coming of Heavy series last year.
CD and DL will be out Dec. 2, with vinyl to follow early in 2017, and you can stream the encouraging opener “Gold from Sand” below. Atacama marks their second album as a three-piece, and especially after that Geezer split I’m intrigued to hear where they go with it. Stay tuned for more to come as we get closer to the release date. Here’s info fresh from the PR wire in the meantime:
Atacama is the driest place on earth. A vast wasteland, to pass through it inevitably affects the traveler in profound ways. As the body crosses miles of barren landscape, the mind looks inward, examining itself, unsure of what is there and unprepared for what it will find. With time and distance, the harsh conditions conspire with the traveler’s distracted subconscious to present a reality very different than it is. How this new reality is interpreted can be a dangerous and powerful journey. This is the soundtrack to that journey.
Releases December 2, 2016.
Atacama was produced, recorded and mixed by Frank “The Punisher” Marchand. Tracking completed at the House of Rock in Crofton, Maryland in February and March, 2016, and mixing at Waterford Digital, in Millersville, Maryland, in March and April 2016. Mastered by Mike Monseur at Bias Studios, Springfield, Virginia.
Cello on “Flower” performed by Erin Snedecor.
Borracho, Atacama tracklisting: 1. Gold From Sand 2. Overload 3. Lost In Time 4. Descent 5. Drifted Away From the Sun 6. Flower 7. Shot Down, Banged Up, Fade Away 8. Last Song
Who the hell’s gonna have a problem taking a couple minutes out of their day to watch Brant Bjork roll around the desert in a primo boogie van with a soundtrack featuring a choice cut from his latest album? Obviously not me. “Luvin'” is the second video to come from Tao of the Devil (review here), which is out now on Napalm Records, behind one for “Stackt” (posted here), and it works on much the same theme vis a vis Bjork being in the desert, going to a bar with a shorty-shorts ladyfriend and ensuing whatnot. In this case, said ladyfriend swipes his van and the relationship would seem to come to an unceremonious conclusion — perhaps in part because of her propensity for littering that beautiful landscape with his maps — but Bjork gets his in the end, reclaiming the van and driving off into the sunset.
All told, it’s a cool track and a good bit of fun and I don’t think it aspires to be anything more than that or necessarily needs to. As much as Bjork has become an ambassador and figurehead for California’s desert rock legacy over the last several years — and even more since hooking up with Napalm before issuing Black Power Flower (review here) in 2014 — he’s maintained a level of cool to his persona that I think extends both to the music he makes and the visuals that come with it. Shit, at this point, you don’t need me to tell you to check out Tao of the Devil. If you haven’t already done so, that’s probably a conscious decision on your part and almost certainly your loss. Imagine being 17 years out from your first solo record and coming around with some of your best work yet. Really. Take a second and think about that. However you feel about the style or whatever, the dude is doing something special.
That’s my spiel. Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band head back to Europe next month, hooking up with Italy’s Black Rainbows (ambassadors in their own right) for a couple weeks of touring. You’ll find those dates listed under the video below.
Brant Bjork, “Luvin'” official video
The wait is finally over, as BRANT BJORK has released his brand new masterpiece! Tao Of The Devil is more focused than its predecessor Black Power Flower and boasts a more song-oriented and groovy stoner sound, with a healthy dose of 70s style greatness.
Low Desert Punk Brant Bjork, king of the sweetest flow and forever kissed by the burning sun of Southern Cali will be hitting the road all over Europe quite soon. Find all dates listed below:
BRANT BJORK European tour: 03.11.16 DE – Osnabrück / Bastard Club 04.11.16 NL – Deventer / Burger Weeshuis 05.11.16 DE – Erfurt / Stadtgarten 06.11.16 BE – Hasselt / Mod 07.11.16 UK – London / Garage 08.11.16 FR – Paris / Divan Du Monde 09.11.16 DE – Wiesbaden / Schlachthof 10.11.16 DE – München / Backstage 11.11.16 AT – Graz / PPC 12.11.16 GR – Athen / An Club 14.11.16 AT – Wien / Arena 15.11.16 CH – Zürich / Rote Fabrik 16.11.16 DE – Karlsruhe / Substage 17.11.16 DE – Köln / Live Music Hall 18.11.16 DE – Dresden / Beatpol 19.11.16 DE – Berlin / Columbia Theater 20.11.16 DE – Hamburg / Logo
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
The tribute show is an essential part of the rock and roll Halloween experience — bands essentially dressing up as other bands, if only in sound — and kudos to the guys from NYC trio The Brought Low for teaming up with Carl Porcaro from Kings Destroy and Sweet Diesel‘s Nat Murray (of course The Brought Low have their own connections to that outfit as well) for hooking up a gig and not just doing a set of Misfits songs like probably hundreds of other acts along the Eastern Seaboard will be doing that weekend. On Oct. 28, performing as The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas, the five-piece will hit The Gutter in Williamsburg to pay due homage to the MC5. Maybe not the kind of thing I’d always post about, but given the personnel involved and the thought of how killer a time this one would actually be to attend, you’ll get no argument out of me.
And I gotta be honest with you, I could use another The Brought Low album. It’s been a surprisingly long six years since their Third Record (review here) came out in 2010 on Small Stone, and as early as 2012, there was discussion of a fourth, but nothing has yet materialized. Would be awfully nice, is all I’m saying.
While I go back and put on their last one again, here’s the highly exclamatory show info for The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas this Friday:
The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas – MC5 Tribute @ Gutter
The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas is The Brought Low and Carl from Kings Destroy on second guitar and Nat Murray from Sweet Diesel on lead vocals doing MC5 covers. We have a show at The Gutter in Brooklyn Friday, October 28th. Here’s the info:
Friday, October 28 The Gutter Bowling and Fine Brews 200 N 14th St, Brooklyn, New York 11249
Brothers and sisters!!!!!!! It’s time to see a sea of hands!!!!!! It’s time to kick up some noise!!!!!! It’s time to get down with it this Halloween weekend and I want to know… Are you ready to testify?!!!!!! Are you ready to testify?!!!!!!
I give you a testimonial….
The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas!!!!!!!!!! A musical tribute to the MC5 with members of Breakdown, The Brought Low, Killing Time, Kings Destroy and Sweet Diesel!!!!!!!
Join us at The Gutter Friday, October 28th to kick out the jams motherfuckers!!!!!!!!!
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
There hasn’t yet been a physical pressing of Sleep‘s 2014 single, The Clarity (review here), that hasn’t sold completely through, and I wouldn’t expect any different from this forthcoming Feb. 2017 Southern Lord edition either. Guitarist Matt Pike (do I really need to say he’s also in High on Fire?) has said publicly that Sleep will record a new album next year as well, so whether this is a precursor to that, I don’t know, but given that it was five years between their first getting back together in 2009 and putting out The Clarity, it seems fair to think they’ll take their time with a what would be their first full-length since the now-legendary Dopesmoker, released some 15 years ago. Maybe 2018?
I don’t know. Sometimes my suppositions on that kind of thing are way off — certainly not like I saw The Clarity coming at the time — so don’t by any means take my baseless speculation as any kind of authority. Bottom line is that whenever it shows up, if it does, a new Sleep will be welcome, at least around these parts. If it’s another pressing of The Clarity in the interim, so be it.
From the PR wire:
SLEEP’s “The Clarity” 12″ To Receive Official Pressing Via Southern Lord
Southern Lord Recordings is pleased to announce the impending re-release of SLEEP’s “The Clarity.” The special 12″ contains the first new song from the band in nearly two decades.
Initially released digitally as part of the Adult Swim Singles Program in 2014, SLEEP’s “The Clarity” is the first new track the band released since their critically-adored, 1998-released Dopesmoker album. Afterward, the band issued a very limited run of the song on vinyl which was sold exclusively at their live shows and the band’s online store. Having been out-of-print in physical format since, Southern Lord will now re-release the mammoth track for official distribution.
Recorded by Neurosis’ Noah Landis and mastered by John Golden, the near ten-minute-long “The Clarity” has been re-cut by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph Mastering for this new pressing, which will see release on 180-gram 12″ vinyl pressed at RTI. The B-side of the platter features a special etching of the artwork by David V. D’Andrea (Samaritan Press), and will be housed in a heavyweight picture disc-style sleeve, silkscreened with the SLEEP logo.
The Clarity will see re-release in February 2017, with preorder info and more to follow shortly. Find other SLEEP titles and merch in the meantime RIGHT HERE.
Remaining one of the most widely-respected and influential acts in the stoner/doom metal universe, SLEEP’s popularity has grown tremendously since their reformation in 2009. The reborn lineup, reuniting bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros (OM) and guitarist/vocalist Matt Pike (High Oh Fire), and including drummer Jason Roeder (Neurosis), SLEEP continues to do what they have always done; largely and without pause, make music in tune with the ages.
[Click play above to stream Albez Duz’s Wings of Tzinacan in full. Album is out Oct. 28 via Listenable Records.]
In its use of Aztec language (actually Nahuatl) as well as its cover art and sound, Wings of Tzinacan is very much a follow-up to Albez Duz‘s 2014 sophomore outing, The Coming of Mictlan (review here). Released as their first through Listenable Records, it finds the Berlin-based cult rockers working as a trio, with founding drummer/multi-instrumentalist Eugen Herbst (ex-Dies Irae) and vocalist Alfonso Brito Lopez having brought on guitarist Julia Neuman — they’ve done live shows as a five-piece, and also currently list David Petersen as a full-time member, so the situation seems in some flux — and further codifying the gothic themes of the preceding record in a way that draws their various stylistic sides together into one cohesive statement.
That statement comes loaded with echoing spaces, weighted groove, righteously dark melodies, top-grade organ work on songs like “Our Lord the Flayed One,” and adds up to an eight-track/51-minute excursion into murk that calls to mind Type O Negative and The Butterfly Effect-era Moonspell as much as Paradise Lost while still retaining an identity of its own in its sense of atmosphere, depth of mix and arrangement flourish. More perhaps than its predecessor, Wings of Tzinacan — the word translates to “bat” — steps forward with a singular idea of what it wants to do. Where The Coming of Mictlan explored a range of ideas, and Wings of Tzinacan operates similarly, the third album moves ahead from the second by having those ideas push further toward a singular emotional and sonic expression.
All of that said, I don’t necessarily think one has to have heard The Coming of Mictlan, which was released through Iron Bonehead and Archaic Sounds, to appreciate what Albez Duz have on offer here. Lopez delivers a striking performance in classic metal frontman fashion, and the instrumental arrangements behind him — from the full-toned headbang roll of second track “Reflections” through the calling bats of “Tzinacan’s Rising” to the grueling desolation of the penultimate “Death Whistle,” in which volume ebbs and flows but the lurching sense of agony remains constant — engage with both their diversity of approach and how that approach never veers from the mission of best serving the song at hand and the album as a whole. Each half of Wings of Tzinacan begins with its longest track, and while I’m not sure exactly of the vinyl structure — that is, as a 51-minute CD/digital stretch, it’s possible one or two songs don’t appear on the LP for time constraint — the immersion both of them bring about helps set up what the ensuing portion of the record has to offer.
With opener “The Uprising,” the metallic chug prominent early in its 9:44 run builds in intensity but gives way toward the midsection to reunion-era Celtic Frost-type malevolence, slower, meaner, wider, and the arrival of keys signals a transition into a longer atmospheric break. Satisfyingly, they return to the central riff before finishing out, and in accord, “Reflections” and “Our Lord the Flayed One” both offer a blend of straightforward-ish hooks and grand-in-the-presentation downer atmospherics — the latter delving into extreme metal growls and shred late while still keeping a relatively moderate tempo; a fascinating meld rarely so fluidly executed — before the quieter, mournful organ of “Innocence Gate” begins a turn toward some of the broader-reaching material that “Sacred Flame” (the longest inclusion at 9:46) will establish as the course for Wings of Tzinacan‘s unfolding side B.
“Innocence Gate” is also a transition in a sense of how it plays out with the songs surrounding, and by that I mean how it picks up from “Our Lord the Flayed One” and leads into “Sacred Flame.” Where “The Uprising,” “Reflections” and “Our Lord the Flayed One” stand alone and certainly each cut has its personality, particularly as the album progresses and particularly on repeat listens, “Innocence Gate” begins a conversation that “Sacred Flame” continues — Lopez reminding of Amorphis‘ Tomi Joutsen in his delivery — by building momentum to lead through the bats-notwithstanding instrumental “Tzinacan’s Rising,” the growling horrors of “Death Whistle” and closer “Omen Filled Season,” which in a mirror of what “The Uprising” itself did before it was done, seems to go back toward a more straightforward (again, -ish) push to finish out. It’s this whole-album mentality that Albez Duz so successfully convey this time around and which, if one was to speculate on a direction for future evolution of the band, seems the most likely candidate.
There is, as for everyone all the time everywhere, room to go further, but Wings of Tzinacan gracefully balances diversity of approach with overarching intent and leads its listeners down a grim path without wholly losing itself in indulgences or letting its theatrical elements take away from the impact the material is clearly meant to have. In clarity and in the sureness of the hands guiding it, it is very much a third full-length, but Albez Duz haven’t stopped growing yet and I wouldn’t expect them to now either.
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
UK outfits Lacertilia and Cybernetic Witch Cult have teamed up for a run through their native land that’s on now and will run through Oct. 30. Shows started this past weekend in London and the as-Welsh-sounding-as-it-is Merthyr Tydfil (I honestly don’t know how there’s a word in the Welsh language without a black metal band named after it) and find Lacertilia supporting their 2016 release, We’re Already Inside Your Mind, which came out at the end of July on Red Sound Records, while Cybernetic Witch Cult in May issued their second full-length, Spaceous Cretaceous, as the rhyme-consistent follow-up to their 2015 debut, Morlock Rock.
Respect to a couple outfits who’ve very clearly taken it upon themselves to get out and spread the word about what they’re doing for what’s sure to be a week off work and away from whatever other obligations real life might present to them. This is the kind of stint that doesn’t happen unless people really believe in their work.
Dates and info follow:
Lacertilia / Cybernetic Witch Cult: Wizards and Lizards UK Tour
Lacertilia & Cybernetic Witch Cult are teaming up on a UK run of shows. Dates posted below
Lacertilia are a cosmic blend of primal rock ‘n’ roll energy, heavy psychedelia and sludgy groove rock. Their new album ‘We’re Already Inside Your Mind’ is out now on Red Sun Sounds and is available to buy via their Bandcamp page https://lacertilia-uk.bandcamp.com
Cybernetic Witch Cult are a groovacious metal trio from Cornwall who take their influences from Doom metal, 70s rock, stoner rock, space rock and science fiction/horror B movies. A serious band with a fun outlook on music, the lyrics tell stories of invasions, time travel, space and cult horror, the riffs are grandiose and the drums are pounding.
Lacertilia & Cybernetic Witch Cult: 22/10 – Underdog Gallery, London 23/10 – New Crown, Merthyr Tydfil 24/10 – Crowley’s Rock Bar, Swansea (with Suns Of Thunder) 25/10 – Buffalo Bar, Cardiff 26/10 – The Black Swan, Bradford 27/10 – Opium, Edinburgh 28/10 – Arches Venue, Coventry 29/10 – The Anvil, Bournemouth 30/10 – The Junction, Plymouth
Good times had by all. And by all, I mean everybody. Some records just don’t take no for an answer, and that’s Humble Pie‘s 1972 LP, Smokin‘, all the way. The UK heavy rockers’ fifth full-length, it was also the first after guitarist Peter Frampton split, only to be replaced by Clem Clempson (Colosseum) in the lineup alongside guitarist/vocalist/founder Steve Marriott (Small Faces), bassist/vocalist Greg Ridley (Spooky Tooth) and drummer Jerry Shirley. It’s also unquestionably their biggest album, released by A&M Records and powered by the landmark single “30 Days in the Hole,” which opens side B, but of course it’s a far richer offering when taken front to back than that ultra-hook can fully convey, and whether it’s the guest spot Stephen Stills puts in on organ and vocals for “Hot and Nasty” — which lives up to its name — or the driving heavy rock and roll of closer “Sweet Peace and Time,” Smokin’ is a classic through and through in performance, songwriting, and vibe. Like I said, good times had by all.
Like a lot of acts of the era, particularly 1970-1973, Humble Pie were taken with a post-Cream blues sensibility, but they cleaned up the boogie with a slice of funk, as one can plainly hear on cuts like “The Fixer” — a Marriott original; compare to Cactus‘ slowed down take on “Long Tall Sally,” released the year before — or the ultra-friendly Eddie Cochran cover “C’mon Everybody,” both of which appear on the first half of the record. One can debate whether or not “You’re so Good for Me,” with its churchgoing acoustic blues foundation, piano and underlying rhythmic swing, was anything that Parliament hadn’t already been doing for three years at that point, but Humble Pie would hardly be the first of the English rock set to borrow from American black culture — or, for that matter, the American set, or any other — and the twanging context of “Old Time Feeling,” the jam on the Junior Walker cover “Road Runner” and the bluesy sprawl of “I Wonder,” Smokin‘ could hardly be accused of being one-dimensional in that regard. Marriott‘s interplay with background singers in “30 Days in the Hole” is likewise an aspect drawn out of soul and R&B, but Humble Pie marry it to rock heft and impact in a way that would help shape the model an entire generation of acts followed.
The band continued for a long time after Smokin’, with various lineups, various players taking control of the name, and so on. When Steve Marriott died in a house fire in 1991, Greg Ridley held the reins on their by-then formidable legacy, and after he died of pneumonia in 2003, Jerry Shirley toured with a lineup as Humble Pie and derivations thereof as well. When the Smokin’ incarnation of Humble Pie split in 1975, Clempson hooked up with Cozy Powell (Jeff Beck, Black Sabbath, etc.) in Strange Brew and went on to do film work and play backing a whole swath of distinguished acts and solo artists from the era, be it Jack Bruce or Bob Dylan.
As always, I hope you enjoy. I’ve wanted to close out a week with Smokin’ for a long time, and as it’s Universal at this point who owns the label group to which A&M Records belongs, the album rarely stays on YouTube long. But even when it gets removed, the record’s been reissued more times than I can count, so it’s not like it’s not readily accessible, and hell, if you’re reading this, you probably own a copy already anyway. So just go grab it and put it on. And again, enjoy.
Quick week. Needed one. Not free of stress by any stretch of the imagination, but could be worse. The Patient Mrs. and I put our townhouse on the market this week. Monday we had a photographer in to take pictures. You can see our collectible plate with Worf from Star Trek: The Next Generation in the kitchen shot (because yes, it hangs in the kitchen) and my Candlemass promotional wall hanging for their 2005 self-titled reunion album in the office, but other than that, the place looks good. I take no credit for any of it. The Patient Mrs. took the idea and ran with it and basically the plan is to see what we can get for the place before we decide if we’re actually going to move. If we do go anywhere, it’ll be south a bit, probably to Rhode Island if we can, or otherwise near the border. We can just inch our way toward living in Connecticut (the dream) one domicile at a time for the next 35 years. That’ll be fine.
Open house on Sunday, if you’re free. Someone’s coming in this morning to clean, so hopefully by then the place won’t be re-covered in dog hair.
Before I get to next week’s stuff — there’s a lot of it — let me just say that if you didn’t get to check out the Zaum album stream that went up yesterday, you should do so. I turned 35 this week and every year I decide to write about something special on my birthday to treat myself, and this year I wrote about Zaum on the day before the post went up as my little present to me. So yeah, if you haven’t dug into that, obviously I think it’s worth your time.
Also had a blast writing the Asteroid review that went up this morning, so there’s that as well.
Okay, next week. Of course it’s subject to change, but here’s the current plan:
Monday: Full album stream and review for the new Albez Duz.
Tuesday: A Devil to Pay album review and a Droids Attack video/audio premiere that’s going to be really cool.
Wednesday: A full stream and review of the new Scissorfight EP.
Thursday: A one-two combo review of new stuff from Mos Generator and a video premiere and big news from Geezer.
Friday: Pending, obviously, but right now I’ve got a review of the solo debut from Magnus Pelander of Witchcraft.
That’s what’s slated as of today. Could shift around some. I’ve already pushed that Pelander review back considerably.
Any video gamers out there? I bought myself a tablet last weekend (I guess that was actually the birthday present to myself; got a Samsung one on the cheap) and have been playing Final Fantasy V on it as I’ve never actually played that one and IV is my favorite game of all time and VI is an ultra-classic as well. They’ve got Final Fantasy XV coming out next month and I’m considering preordering a PS4 Pro to play it. Anyway, just some nerd stuff that has me excited. If you’re down, awesome. If not, sorry for the aside.
My mother and sister’s son are coming north tomorrow to spend the day and stay over to Sunday, so lots going on this weekend between that and the open house. Whatever you’re up to, I hope you have a great one. Stay safe and have fun and please check out the forum and radio stream.