Castle Stream “Wait for Dark” Lyric Video; More Touring Announced

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

castle

I’d like to sit here and pretend and say, ‘Oh, well, I haven’t heard the new Castle or anything, but…’ and then start talking about the album which I’ve very much heard, but the truth is, I haven’t heard it. The moved-to-the-desert outfit in preparation for making what’s been dubbed Deal Thy Fate and will serve as their Ripple Music debut upon its Oct. 19 release, and whether or that that will affect the ultimate sound of the thing remains to be seen, even with the lyric video playing below for the track “Wait for Dark.”One never knows where they might go with a full collection of songs.

As it happens, where they’re going is Europe. Castle have already been confirmed for Desertfest Belgium 2018 and, as one might expect for a band who are basically nomadic, that’s just one of many shows they’re playing.

Album info and more comes courtesy of the PR wire:

castle deal thy fate

Castle Debuts New Song “Wait for Dark”; Cover Art and Track Listing for New LP, ‘Deal Thy Fate’ Unveiled

Bay Area Doom Rock Duo to Drop Fifth Full-length LP this Fall; Canadian and European Tour Dates Announced

Heavy metal doomsters CASTLE have announced the release of their new album, ‘Deal Thy Fate’, via Ripple Music on October 19. Recorded at Hallowed Halls Studio in Portland, OR by longtime producer Billy Anderson (Sleep, Neurosis), ‘Deal Thy Fate’ is Castle’s fifth album and follows 2016’s critically-lauded Welcome To The Graveyard.

Building on the stripped-down sound of its predecessor, Deal Thy Fate sees Castle continue to push the envelope of classic heavy metal, crafting epic and memorable songs that hearken back to fuzzier times while keeping the pedal down on their own hard-edged, modern sound. Guitarist Mat Davis’ penchant for riffs that worm their way into your brain and singer/bassist Liz Blackwell’s haunted melodies soar out of the depths across the album’s 36 fist-banging minutes.

Written over the last year in the band’s current Mojave Desert location of Joshua Tree, CA, Deal Thy Fate’s 9 tracks are woven with tales of folklore, dark Americana, serial killers and cult leaders, while the album’s striking cover art, inked by Patrick Zoller, reflects the title track’s no compromise, choose-your-own destiny rally cry. The striking album art and full track listing can both be viewed below.

Commenting on the writing and recording of Deal Thy Fate, which was rounded out on drums by previous touring member Chase Manhattan, Blackwell adds, “We were able to spend a couple months in a jam room honing these songs and for the first time, record the entire album live in the studio – it definitely shows in its energy and intensity and sounds more like live CASTLE than anything else we’ve ever done.”

Track listing:
1.) Can’t Escape the Evil
2.) Skull in the Woods
3.) Prelude
4.) Hexenring
5.) Wait For Dark
6.) Deal Thy Fate
7.) Haunted
8.) Red Phantom
9.) Firewind

Castle tour dates:

September 27 Toronto, ON Coalition
September 28 Ottawa, ON House Of Targ
September 29 Moncton, NB The Caveau
September 30 Halifax, NS Gus’ Pub
October 1 Fredericton, NB Capital Complex
October 2 Quebec City, PQ Le Bateau de Nuit
October 3 MontreaL, PQ L’Escogriffe
October 4 London, ON Call The Office
October 14 Antwerp, BE Desertfest Belgium (w/ Enslaved, YOB, Crowbar)
October 15 Frankfurt, DE dasBett (w/ The Skull)
October 16 Munich, DE Backstage (w/ The Skull)
October 17 Freiburg, DE Slow Club (w/ The Skull)
October 18 Cologne, DE Sonic Ballroom (w/ The Skull)
October 19 Siggiewi, MT Malta Doom Fest
October 20 Cottbus, DE Blue Moon Fest
October 22 Gottingen, DE Freihafen
October 24 Dresden, DE Chemiefabrik
October 25 Osnabruck, DE Bastard Club
October 27 Vallet, FR Westhill Music Fest
November 2 Karlsruhe, DE KoHi
November 3 Siegen, DE Vortex
November 4 Hamburg, DE Bambi Galore
November 7 Furstenwalde, DE Parkclub
November 8 Berlin, DE Tief
November 9 Leipzig, DE Black Label
November 10 Vienna, AT Doom Over Vienna Fest
November 24 Rotterdam, NL Dutch Doom Days

heavycastle.com
facebook.com/CastleSF
https://heavycastle.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://twitter.com/RippleMusic
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Castle, “Wait for Dark” official lyric video</h3

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The Munsens Post New Single “Dirge (For Those to Come)”; Playing Psycho Las Vegas This Friday

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

the munsens (photo by Underground Chuck)

If you go back to 2014’s Weight of Night EP (review here), the trio The Munsens, then based in New Jersey, recorded with Mike Moebius (PilgrimKings Destroy) at Moonlight Mile in Hoboken. The band has roots in my beloved Garden State, but made their way out to Denver, Colorado, in time to track 2016’s follow-up EP, Abbey Rose (review here), out that way with Jamie Hillyer at Module Overload. Fair enough. I don’t know what brought them back to the Eastern Seaboard — tour, family, etc. — to record their debut album, but the forthcoming Unhanded finds The Munsens back with Moebius, and the leadoff single “Dirge (For Those to Come)” shows some significant stylistic shift from the prior outing. It’s an oozing, charred sludgy rollout, not about the heft of tone so much as that of the atmosphere, and there’s a consistent threat lurking just beneath the surface of it. It’s down there at the bottom of this post if you want to check it out.

The Munsens will be at Psycho Las Vegas later this week — hey, me too! — as the PR wire details:

the munsens dirge for those to come

THE MUNSENS: Denver Trio Releases Single From Impending LP As Band Prepares For Psycho Las Vegas Performance

Denver, Colorado-based THE MUNSENS will hit the road to perform at Psycho Las Vegas in the coming days. In conjunction with the festivities, the band has issued a single, “Dirge (For Those to Come),” which is pulled from their recently-completed new LP, Unhanded, which will see release this Fall.

THE MUNSENS make noise from a Colfax Avenue dungeon. Having carved out a place of their own in the much-lauded Denver metal scene, the band’s debut full-length comes on the heels of a productive summer that included appearances at 71Grind IV, Austin Terror Fest, and Electric Funeral.

The band’s impending Unhanded comprises five new tracks, running approximately forty minutes in length. It is the band’s most caustic and critical release to date. “Though it’s roughly the same running length as our last release, the Abbey Rose EP, we were able to put more time into the writing and recording of this one,” issues the band. “For a number a reasons, this release feels like a much more comprehensive effort from us” says the band. Call it what you will.”

Recorded at Hoboken Recorders with Mike Moebius of Moonlight Mile Recording, who recorded the band’s Weight of Night EP, and mastered by Dennis Pleckham (Comatose Studio), Unhanded is being finalized for release in the months ahead, with a release date and outlet to be announced.

The band plays Friday, August 17th alongside the likes of Witchcraft, High On Fire, Boris, Church Of Misery, Integrity, Rocket From The Crypt, and many others. A more extensive US tour will follow later this year; stand by for additional tour and album updates shortly.

THE MUNSENS Tour Dates:
8/17/2018 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV @ Psycho Las Vegas

THE MUNSENS:
Michael Goodwin – bass/vocals
Shaun Goodwin – guitars/vocals
Graham Wesselhoff – drums

https://themunsensnj.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/themunsens
https://www.instagram.com/themunsens

The Munsens, “Dirge (For Those to Come)” official video

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Review & Video Premiere: Backwoods Payback, Future Slum

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on August 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

backwoods payback future slum

[Click play above to view the premiere of Backwoods Payback’s ‘Generals.’ Their new album, Future Slum, is out now.]

Future Slum could hardly sound more sincere if Backwoods Payback had cut themselves open and bled it out. And, listening to the melodic, post-grunge ending of “It Ain’t Right” — an Alice in Chains reference, maybe? — I’m not entirely sure they didn’t. There are raging moments as the album begins at a sprint in “Pirate Smile” and “Generals” seems to lay hands on the listener only to shove them out of its way, and the later “Alone” offers tonal thickness and grooving lumber of a more seasoned pace. This while “Lines” finds the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Mike Cummings, bassist Jessica Baker and drummer Erik Larson locked into blood-boiling tension before skillfully cramming in one last chorus for the opening salvo that ends with the rolling “Whatever” bringing forth a hook that one might call “signature” before guest vocalist Mlny Parsonz of Royal Thunder hurls out a scream that reminds of the harsher edge Backwoods Payback stand ready to unleash at any given moment.

Rest assured, Cummings will answer soon enough in “Threes” at the end of side A as Larson gives his toms a torrential workover, and “Generals” wants nothing either in terms of aggro edge. To the notion of authenticity as a myth in terms of art or, really, anything — it’s a false standard at the very least — Future Slum is a challenge. It is so much the band’s own, and so much of it comes across as an arrival point in their ongoing growth, that in kind with the atmospheric spaces it covers in “Cinderella” and “Alone,” its punk, metal, grunge and heavy rock elements craft an identity that stands in the middle of a Venn diagram of genres while delivering a hard no to committing to any of them for more than the purposes of the single track being served. And as they make their way through the 10 songs/34 minutes of Future Slum, what ties their disparate ideas together — aside from Baker‘s basslines, which would probably be enough on their own — ends up being that flat-out refusal to play to style or be anything other than the band they’ve become.

This isn’t accidental, of course. Backwoods Payback have never been shy in terms of getting out and touring, and as they returned in trio form with 2016’s Fire Not Reason (review here) after a half-decade’s relative quiet — they had a 2012 live release (discussed here) and 2014’s In the Ditch EP (review here) filling that gap — following 2011’s Small Stone-delivered sophomore album, Momantha (review here), they maintained their commitment to pushing their sound forward on stage. Future Slum only benefits from this on a performance level, as CummingsBaker and Larson are tighter as a unit than they were even just two years ago, and one can hear it in the initial thrust of “Pirate Smile” as much as the dug-in emotionalism of the memorable “Big Enough,” a wistful highlight as much for its self-harmonizing as the instrumental build happening beneath, culminating in a wash and some quiet strum soon enough devoured by the opening riff of the penultimate “Alone.”

backwoods payback (Photo by Useless Rebel)

I used to call Backwoods Payback “dirt rock,” and there’s an aspect of that still applicable, but Future Slum makes easy tags a thing of the past, and as a fan, it’s all the more an exciting release for that. It’s been two full-lengths thus far, but since Cummings and Baker brought in Larson on drums, one can hear in the songs not that they’re playing against each other, but that all three members of the band are challenging each other to make the whole group stronger. And they do. Future Slum has three inclusions over four minutes long, and the band’s execution is accordingly teeth-grindingly tight, but as they continue to refine their processes and their delivery, their output makes it plain for anyone to hear that they’ve reached a new level in style and substance. Fortunately, in accord with this is a consistency of songwriting. Cummings‘ lyrics are spit poetry and the forward drive he, Baker and Larson are able to conjure amid dynamic turns of tempo and melody, is unmistakable. Fire Not Reason laid the foundation, and as a result of that, Future Slum is the strongest release they’ve ever had.

That’s true in terms of performance, craft and overall production sound, which remains thick where and when it needs to be while allowing the three-piece to still have a live feel and highlight nuances like the layered-in guitar effects in the second half of the opener or the timely shouts that punctuate the lines of “Generals.” Following the weighted nod of “Alone,” “Lucky” closes out as the longest cut at 4:57 and seems to find some middle ground in a Sabbathian central riff and steady initial pace, but true to form, it ups the tempo in a classically metallic turn — no less Sabbath, for that matter — that soon enough gives way to the slower chorus before landing in a chug that seems to disintegrate as it fades out, ending Future Slum with a bit of tension that one might even dare to think Backwoods Payback would answer with the start of their next album. Whether they do or don’t, and wherever they might go from here, the organic nature of their progression only makes Future Slum all the more of an accomplishment.

Some 11 years removed from their self-titled debut, they’ve risen to their own challenge and come together to create something special and truly theirs. It’s not dirt rock. It’s not stoner, or Southern rock, or doom or grunge or hardcore punk or whatever else. It’s Backwoods Payback. They’ve carved their sonic persona out of all of these things, and most of all, stayed true to themselves while embracing such a breadth of influence. In their faster and slower songs alike, one can hear the sense of immediacy, and it’s completely reasonable why. Backwoods Payback have been around, and they’re not dumb. This is a moment they’ve managed to capture, and there are parts of Future Slum that sound like they’re almost chasing after themselves before they get away. That’s not a negative at all. Rather, as it manifests here, it serves notice of the consciousness underlying their efforts, and they’re right. This is a watershed for them. Their urgency is nothing if not well placed.

Backwoods Payback, Future Slum (2018)

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Backwoods Payback on Instagram

Backwoods Payback on Twitter

Backwoods Payback on Bandcamp

Backwoods Payback website

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Mirrors for Psychic Warfare to Release I See What I Became Sept. 28; Preorders up Now

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

So next week, because hey why not, the Sanford Parker and Scott Kelly industro-distortion — yes, industortion — revue known as Mirrors for Psychic Warfare are going to take the stage in direct support for Godflesh. It’s happening once in Chicago and once in New York. Both bills are awesome, to be sure, but god damn, what a pairing that is. It’s like Godflesh get to see the chaos they’ve wrought before they even go on. “Now look what you made happen!,” etc. I was fortunate enough once to watch Mirrors for Psychic Warfare when they were supporting their 2016 self-titled debut (review here) and it was a sight to behold. Also to be-felt in terms of the low end wave frequencies rumbling in your chest. I’d imagine they’re no less consuming now than they were, especially with a new record on the way.

That album is called I See What I Became and it’s due out Sept. 28 of course on Neurot Recordings. The PR wire brings more about the shows, about the album and the project as a whole.

Have at it:

mirrors-for-psychic-warfare-i-see-what-i-became

MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE: Industrial Collaboration Featuring Neurosis’ Scott Kelly And Buried At Sea’s Sanford Parker To Release I See What I Became This Fall Via Neurot; Trailer Posted, Preorders Available + US Shows With Godflesh Draw Near

MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE, the industrial collaboration between Neurosis’ Scott Kelly and Buried At Sea’s Sanford Parker, will unleash their second chapter of sonic anxiety this fall via Neurot Recordings.

Titled I See What I Became, the follow-up to the duo’s 2016’s critically-lauded, self-titled debut was produced by Seward Fairbury (Corrections House) and Negative Soldier, mastered by Collin Jordan (Eyehategod, Indian, Wovenhand, Voivod etc.) with decibel manipulation by Dave French (Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth, The Anunnaki), and comes swathed in the cover art of Thomas Hooper (Neurosis, Harvestman, Boris, Tombs, Doomriders).

I See What I Became will see release on CD, digital, and vinyl formats on September 28th with preorders available at THIS LOCATION.

View the album trailer, courtesy of Chariot Of Black Moth, at THIS LOCATION.

I See What I Became Track Listing:
1. Animal Coffins
2. Tomb Puncher
3. Body Ash
4. Flat Rats In The Alley
5. Thing Of Knives
6. Crooked Teeth
7. Death Cart
8. Coward Heat

As a precursor to the album’s release, MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE will play two very special shows later this month supporting industrial titans Godflesh in Chicago and New York City respectively with future MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE live abrasions, including a European tour this fall, to be announced in the weeks to come.

MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE w/ Godflesh:
8/24/2018 Metro – Chicago, IL w/ Harm’s Way, Ledge
8/25/2018 Gramercy Theater, New York, NY w/ Tombs, Body Stuff

https://www.facebook.com/mirrorsforpsychicwarfare
http://www.mirrorsforpsychicwarfare.bandcamp.com
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

Mirrors for Psychic Warfare, I See What I Became trailer

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Kamchatka to Release New Single Stone Cold Shaky Bones; German Tour Announced

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

Stone Cold Shaky Bones b/w Midnight Charmer is the first offering from Swedish traditionalist heavy rockers Kamchatka. Set for release this October, it follows behind 2015’s full-length, Long Road Made of Gold (review here), which found the band out supporting it at Desertfest Berlin and elsewhere. They’ve got a string of German dates announced for October and a festival weekender in November as well, leading to December’s Sankt Hell fest, where they’ll take the stage with Colour Haze, Mustasch, Horisont and many more.

There isn’t an exact release date listed beyond October — I’d assume it’s whenever they’re back from the press and ready to be shipped — but with the timing of the tour and whatnot that seems pretty firm. The PR wire updates on all the doings and gives some history on the band:

kamchatka stone cold shaky bones

New Kamchatka 7″ vinyl after a three years break from H42 Records

KAMCHATKA is finally back on the boards of the European stages. Close to a compulsory break of almost 3 years, they will release new songs on a 7″ this October and do a small tour through germany.

Kamchatka are no strangers to the Swedish hard rock/heavy metal scene; having begun well over a decade ago, they released their first album in 2004, and have rubbed shoulders with the legendary Clutch on multiple tours and and have recently taken on new bassist Per Wiberg (ex-keys player for Opeth, Spiritual Beggars, Candlemass), who also produced their latest album. Rounding out the line-up is Tobias Strandvik on drums and Thomas ‘Juneor’ Andersson on guitar and vocals.

Their sound is a mix of stoner rock (very similar to Clutch and Kyuss) and a very traditional blues-based hard rock sound that pays homage to such classic groups as Uriah Heep, Cream, and The Allman Brothers.

Growing up in Varberg, a small town on the west coast of Sweden, Roger, Thomas and Tobias were all rehearsing at the same place,though in different bands, except for the occasional weekend jamsession. In their mid teens, Roger and Thomas moved to pursue their musical career elsewhere,Roger to the east and Thomas to the north, while Tobias continued his back home. Some learnful years of touring and recording albums with all kinds of different acts later,they met up again in Varberg for a Jimi Hendrix tribute concert in 2001, and after a successful performance the guys simply came to the conclusion that they should start a band.Roger came up with the name Kamchatka, and the band was formed.

KAMCHATKA live:
23.08 DE-Duisburg, Steinbruch
24.08 CH-Herzogenbuchsee, Kreuz
25.08 DE-Sirzenich, Rebel Run Festival

Germany w/ Basement Saints
05.10 DE-Düsseldorf, Pitcher
06.10 DE-Cottbus, Zum Faulen August
07.10 DE-Weinheim, Cafe Central
09.10 DE-Stuttgart, Keller Club
10.10 DE-Frankfurt, Das Bett
11.10 DE-Erfurt, Museumskeller
12.10 DE-Oldenburg, Cadillac
13.10 DE-Münster, Hot Jazz Club
16.11 DE-Marsberg, Diemelkult Festival
17.11 DE-Passau, Blackwood Music Fest
27-28.12 DE-Hamburg, Sankt Hell, Gruenspan

KAMCHATKA
Per Wiberg – Bass & Vocals
Thomas Juneor Andersson – Guitar & Vocals
Tobias Strandvik – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/Kamchatkaofficial
https://twitter.com/KamchatkaSWE
https://instagram.com/kamchatkaofficial
http://kamchatka.se/
http://www.h42records.com/
https://www.facebook.com/H42Records
https://twitter.com/H42Records

Kamchatka, Long Road Made of Gold (2015)

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Ape Machine: New Album Darker Seas Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

ape machine

Underrated road-dogger rockers Ape Machine have a new record coming out Sept. 7 called Darker Seas, and as one might guess, it’s working through some tough times on the part of the band. Ups and downs, at the very least. That’s all detailed below, but when perusing the PR wire info below, consider as well the part that notes the upcoming as the band’s fifth long-player and not only that it was recorded with Poison Idea‘s Steve Hanford, who’s also joined the band, but that it has some elements of sonic progression as well, a bit more of a mind perhaps on arrangement beyond the straightforward riffy fare — nothing wrong with it, particularly given the level of their songcraft — that Ape Machine have thus far proffered. One has to wonder if they’ll keep up their tour-heavy ways supporting this new release, but we’ll find that out eventually I’m sure. Meanwhile, we’re already less than a month out from the album landing, so you know, time’s a crunch.

Here’s info from the PR wire:

ape machine darker seas

Ape Machine to Release New LP, ‘Darker Seas’, September 7

Portland, OR power rock band, Ape Machine, will release its new LP, Darker Seas, on September 7 via Ripple Music. The group’s fifth and latest album was recorded with punk legend Steve Hanford, producer and former Poison Idea drummer, who has since joined Ape Machine on drums. Darker Seas is described by the band as “heavier and more progressive than previous records but also more structured and cinematic.”

Along with fellow Portland, OR-based heavyweights Red Fang and Danava, the high-powered quartet Ape Machine has been making its modern take on vintage hard rock for the better part of the past decade. Formed by singer Caleb Heinze and guitarist Ian Watts, the group self-released their first album, entitled This House Has Been Condemned, in 2010. The name APE MACHINE is a nod to the days of reel-to-reel magnetic tape audio recording; a fitting moniker as the band plays through vintage tube amplifiers and lays down its songs using exclusively throwback quality studio equipment.

The making of the new album, Darker Seas, saw the band experience death and rebirth in more ways than one. During the making of the record, Caleb and Ian lost a mother and father respectively, and Brian experienced the birth of his first child, a son. The band went nearly bankrupt from relentless touring and untimely vehicle failures, but ultimately developed an unshakable determination and resolve to deliver the message of the music. Musically, Darker Seas reflects the personal struggles of the band and its members but also the patience developed by living through it all.

“Sonically, ‘Darker Seas’ takes on new territory for the band with use of vocal harmonies, melodic guitar harmonies and even some Cello on “Nocturne in D Flat (The Jester),” says Watts. “The songs paint a picture of trial, hardship, pain and optimism all at the same time.”

Track listing:

1. Damned, Their Bones
2. Into The Shredder
3. Piper’s Rats
4. Watch What You Say
5. The Fall
6. Nocturne in D Flat (The Jester)
7. The Contract
8. All Hands Gathered To The Mast, We’re Going Down
9. Bend Your Knee
10. Push It Away
11. A Many Things

Ape Machine features Caleb Heinze (vocals), Ian Watts (guitar), Brian True (bass) and Steve Hanford (drums).

http://apemachine.com/
https://www.facebook.com/apemachinemusic
https://twitter.com/apemachine
www.ripple-music.com

Ape Machine, Live at the Tonic Lounge, May 28, 2018

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Druglord to Release New Day Dying Sept. 14

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Been a minute since we last heard from Druglord, but the Richmond dirge-doomers are back with a new album, titled New Day Dying following up on their 2015 EP, Deepest Regrets (review here), and despite a shift in lineup, they sound as miserable and misanthropic as ever. Proof, you ask? Well, you can check out the track “Walk with God” now via the Bandcamp player below courtesy of the trio’s new label, Sludgelord Records, and hear the special kind of madness for yourself. Their new allegiance with Sludgelord follows putting out Deepest Regrets and their prior full-length, Enter Venus (review here), on STB Records, after their 2011’s debut Motherfucker Rising (review here), which was self-released.

Other art and info follow here, courtesy of the social medias:

druglord new day dying

Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, Druglord were formed in 2010 and during June 2011, the band recorded 6 songs at Etching Tin Studios, which were intended for demo purposes but ended up being released as the “Motherfucker Rising” LP on Last Anthem Records in October 2012.

This activity resulted in STB Records offering to release the next LP. In July 2013, the band began recording with Garrett Morris of Windhand in his former recording space known as The Darkroom, and the result was the “Enter Venus” LP, which was released in Feb. 2014. The band would also release the “Deepest Regrets” EP on STB Records in December 2015.

in Feb 2017 the band started recording 6 new songs (their first with new bassist Julian Cook) with Garrett Morris in his current space, Phantom Sound Recording And Reproduction. Fast forward to 2018 and these recordings will be released as “New Day Dying”, their first album in 4 years set for release via Sludgelord Records on 14th September 2018.

Sludgelord Records 2018 (SLR012) preorder is live.

Tracklisting:
1. Blood And Body
2. Walk With God
3. Rot Of This Earth
4. Buried Demons
5. The Flesh Is Weak
6. New Day Dying

Recorded by: Garrett Morris @ Phantom Sound Recording & Reproduction
Mastered by: Bill McElroy @ Slipped Disc Audio
Artwork by: Maxime Taccardi

Druglord is:
Julian Cook | Bass
Tommy Hamilton | Guitars & Vocals
Hufknell | Drums

www.facebook.com/DruglordVA/
https://www.instagram.com/druglordva/
https://druglord.bandcamp.com/
https://druglord.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SludgelordRecords/
http://instagram.com/sludgelordrecords
https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/album/new-day-dying

Druglord, New Day Dying (2018)

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Kingnomad, The Great Nothing: Into the Outer

Posted in Reviews on August 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

kingnomad the great nothing

As to what might be Swedish progressive cult rockers Kingnomad‘s fascination with emptiness, I can’t say, but it’s worked out for them thus far into their relatively brief tenure. Ripple Music released their debut long-player, Mapping the Inner Void, and now issues the quick-turnaround follow-up in the form of The Great Nothing; six tracks recorded by vocalist/guitarist/organist Mr. Jay at The Crazy Heart Studio. It is a work of significant and multifaceted growth that may surprise those who heard the debut for only coming a year later — the band formed in 2014 — but still holds true to a classically naturalist ’70s sound while being modern in both production and atmosphere.

With the lineup of Mr. Jay, fellow guitarist Marcus, bassist/backing vocalist Maximilian and drummer Mano, Kingnomad make an obvious focal point of the 22-minute title-track, which closes out and comprises the entirety of side B, but even when it comes to the rest of what surrounds, from the introduction “The Yoga of Desolation” through “Cosmic Serpent,” “The Mysterious Agreement,” “All Those Things” and “Collapsing Pillars of the Earth,” the group patiently delivers proggy sounds and an engaging ambience without necessarily resorting to trickery to do it.

It is a nighttime album, to be sure, but there is nothing about it that feels like caricature. Kingnomad are sincere in their approach and clearly serious about the forward creative drive they demonstrate in these songs, following a narrative course through the early cuts and into the latter reaches of the title-cut, with its late acoustic strum and volume-swell of effects adding spaciousness and a psychedelic feel to a sweet post-payoff epilogue. That aspect of the band’s execution is pivotal and feels as willful as any of the individual arrangements, and from the harmonized intro “The Yoga of Desolation” onward into the sweep of guitar that starts the space-boogie of “Cosmic Serpent,” the four-piece make plain their intent to invite listeners along the course they’re taking, a winding but consuming path guided by sure hands all the while.

One doesn’t want to overstate it, but even in light of what they were able to bring to their first album, The Great Nothing is a significant achievement, and where that record was concerned with the ‘Inner,’ this collection seems to answer back by centering around an expanse of creative exploration in its songwriting. Elements like the short break to organ at the halfway point of “Cosmic Serpent,” or Mano‘s cyclical tom patterning in the third minute of “The Mysterious Agreement” — let alone anything the title-track brings to bear — demonstrate a nuanced take that only continues in the bed of bass under the guitar at the outset of “All Those Things” and the structure of “Collapsing Pillars of the Earth,” which abandons its opening progression only to embark on King Crimson-y starts and stops, turn that on its head with some early-Witchcraft-ed doom classicism, return to the start-stop, break into a stretch of quiet guitar on its own, work its way into a worthy boogie fleshed out as so much of the record is by the organ, and only then return back to the long-ago opening movement to close out.

kingnomad

This would be dizzying were it not so well done, and especially when taken in kind with the songs before it and in consideration of the smooth flow between them and how one leads into the next, all the more so. Making complex ideas sound organic seems to be a running theme throughout, but it’s also worth remembering the basic elements of songwriting at play. “Cosmic Serpent,” which its layers of vocal harmonies over tripped-out crashes, offers a memorable hook and taps cult rock aspects without giving itself entirely to the post-Uncle Acid garage doom aesthetic.

And likewise, “Collapsing Pillars of the Earth” seems to draw on the smoothly-done harmonies of Swedish countrymen Ghost without aping them at all. From the samples at the beginning of the proto-metal-chugging “The Mysterious Agreement” through the foreshadowing sense of purpose in the not-all-who-wander-are-lost midsection of “All Those Things,” The Great Nothing proves to be of marked character and noteworthy detail, unfolding new elements and aspects on subsequent listens one might have missed the first time around.

Likewise, parsing the title-track, which also begins with the aforementioned acoustic strum that closes, is something that requires several visits to that alleged void. And I say “alleged” because “The Great Nothing” is anything but empty. Sure it has its atmospheric stretches, but even these are filled with subtle keys, drums building in tension, and interplay between the two guitars that is as hypnotic as it is thoughtful. Whether loud or quiet at any given time, Kingnomad keep a mind on their ultimate direction and as they make their way into the psychedelic reaches as seven minutes becomes eight and the song seems to almost completely stop, there’s never any doubt that the band know what they’re doing and that none of it is happenstance.

They’ve earned that trust over the course of side A and they put it to use in side B, which picks up around 8:40 with a percussion-backed rumble that pushes into the next heavier section and verse, crossing the halfway point during a chorus that unfolds to bluesy versemaking before it nestles into a bluesy jam. A break after crossing the 14-minute mark returns to the chorus and thicker riffing takes hold to mark the beginning of the last march and payoff. “The Great Nothing” almost can’t help but summarize what Kingnomad do so successfully throughout the LP that shares its name — how could it not? it takes up more than half the runtime! — but particularly the decision to end in relatively subdued form speaks further to the purposefulness of how far they’ve come in so short a time.

It reinforces the suggestion that not only did Kingnomad know what they wanted to do with The Great Nothing, but with their aesthetic as a whole, and that they’ve been working toward those ends over the last four years. I doubt their development is over, but The Great Nothing does not seem to set a goal for itself it subsequently doesn’t achieve. It’s really something.

Kingnomad, The Great Nothing (2018)

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