Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Watchers – Sabbath Highway

I put this CD in the player and about ten seconds later the first thing that came out of my mouth was “God Damn!!!”. It's been a while since I listened to an album that comes out swinging like this one. If you were ever a fan of heavy, late seventies/early eighties rock like Van Halen, Thin Lizzy, ZZ Top, Judas Priest, and so on, you will probably never take this one out of your CD player. I'm not sure I have the words to describe this one; it's that good. But I'll try.

First off, you could probably use this as your ED medication if you find yourself in that boat. Problem is you'd probably be headed to the ER with priapism every time you listen to this. Everything about this album is top notch. The songs are well written, the vocals are killer, the musicianship is incredible. The only problem with this release is that it's too short. You're left wanting more when the final track fades out, so you just let it play again.

“Sabbath Highway”, the first track, is a high energy blast of pure rock. Not many bands play heavy rock like this any more, which is a shame, because so-called rock radio could use more music like this. As if the song wasn't already a true gem, the guitar solo that cuts in like a laser and just levels everything in sight takes this one to a completely different plane of existence. There's a brief respite with “Requiem”, then we take off once again with “Call The Priest”. This one is a little slower but just as heavy with a guitar tone that could double as a sandblaster. Great stuff.

Next up is “Today” with a great opening segment that reminds me of an old school muscle car just smoking the tires before it rips up the asphalt. Nice work by the drummer on this one with a driving rhythm that keeps the whole thing moving right along. There's a little breakdown section that is very reminiscent of ZZ Top at their best. Then everything wraps up with “Just A Needle”, a slinky little number that, as I mentioned before, fades away too soon.

Get your hands on this one as soon as you can and you'll be one very happy camper. Who cares if its January, pop this one in the CD player in your car and it will feel like the best summertime jams you ever heard. Just maybe keep the windows up for a few more months.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

SUPERJOINT To Kick Off Winter Headlining Tour With Battlecross And Child Bite; Tour Trailer Posted And More!

[photo by Danin Drahos]

SUPERJOINT will kick of the New Year with part one of their US headlining tour. The band's latest journey, and first in support of their recently issued Caught Up In The Gears Of Application full-length will commence on January 12th and run through February 3rd with more dates to be announced in the coming weeks. Support will be provided by Motor City thrashers Battlecross and noise rock eccentrics/Housecore labelmates Child Bite, also of Detroit.

Additionally, SUPERJOINT will play the For The Sick Benefit, a three-day festival-style event organized for Eyehategod frontman Mike IX Williams, who underwent a liver transplant last month. The For The Sick Benefit will take place at Siberia and Poor Boys venues in New Orleans and will include appearances by Eyehategod, Crowbar, Goatwhore, Thou, Classhole, and many more acts bound together for the cause.

Watch a hilarious tour trailer at THIS LOCATION where you can also view the band's "Caught Up In The Gears Of Application" video.

In other SUPERJOINT news, frontman Philip H. Anselmo recently visited Loudwire's HQ where he was filmed narrating classic Sesame Street tale The Monster At The End Of This Book. Check it out HERE.

SUPERJOINT w/ Battlecross, Child Bite:
1/19/2017 The Agora Ballroom - Cleveland, OH
1/20/2017 Big Shots - Valparaiso, IN
1/21/2017 Oddbody's - Dayton, OH
1/22/2017 The Crofoot Ballroom - Pontiac, MI
1/24/2017 Diamond Pub Concert Hall - Louisville, KY
1/25/2017 The Emerson Theater - Indianapolis, IN
1/27/2017 House Of Music & Ent. - Arlington Heights, IL
1/28/2017 Pop's Concert Venue - Sauget, IL
1/29/2017 The Warehouse - Clarksville, TN
1/31/2017 Zydeco - Birmingham, AL
2/01/2017 The Concourse - Knoxville, TN
2/03/2017 Vinyl Music Hall - Pensacola, FL
2/04/2017 For The Sick Benefit For Mike IX @ Siberia + Poor Boys - New Orleans, LA w/ Eyehategod, Crowbar, Goatwhore, Classhole, Mountain Of Wizard

Caught Up In The Gears Of Application is SUPERJOINT's first proper studio offering in over a decade. Recorded at the famed Nodferatu's Lair, produced by SUPERJOINT co-founder Philip H. Anselmo (Down, Pantera, Scour, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, Arson Anthem etc.) and Stephen Berrigan (Down, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, Eyehategod, Haarp, Classhole, etc.), and mastered by Scott Hull (Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Pig Destroyer) at Visceral Sounds, the thirty-eight-minute bruiser spews forth an unapologetic crossover of hardcore punk, metal, and uncompromising, antagonistic, New Orleans-style angst.

Various order bundles, including limited edition vinyl options and authentic woodwork from their "Caught Up In The Gears Of Application" video are available via Housecore at THIS LOCATION. For digital orders, point your browser HERE where you can also stream the record in full.

In addition to Anselmo claiming the cover of Decibel Magazine's December 2016 issue, Caught Up In The Gears Of Application continues to earn critical accolades from fans and critics globally. In a perfect 5/5 score, New Noise Magazine likens the band's rhythm section to a, "rapid series of punches like a Cajun boxer," furthering, "SUPERJOINT's variety of hardcore can have a strenuous relationship with jazz, as in the midst of Caught Up In The Gears Of Application's storm of nihilism is the sexy gospel of New Orleans jazz. SUPERJOINT's music is like a poison that you want to keep drinking, a spirit that doesn't age, and never heals - but it'll kill time. There is creative genius in these guys." Loudwire notes, "SUPERJOINT are looking to add a vicious and philosophical third chapter to the band's legacy." Of the title track, Metal Injection champions, "...a great mix of southern rock and hardcore punk... if Down ever got really angry and decided to knock out a punk record, this is what I imagine it would sound like." While Maximum Volume Music writes, "They may have dropped the ritual but they have kept the habitual as the ferocious New Orleans supergroup pick up where they left off after a 13-year gap."

Elsewhere the sentiment echoes. "The volatile, acidic savagery that the band is known for is just as present now as it was before they went on hiatus over a decade ago...," issues Metal Nexus. "Songs heaving with hardcore foundations and muscular musical swagger detonate and decimate everything within earshot as they creep down your auditory canals and crush your skull from within..." Two Guys Metal Reviews concurs, "Caught Up In The Gears Of Application is exactly what it needs to be: raw, vicious, and unrelenting. Everything that has made the Phil Anselmo projects great over the past few years is represented here... this man is one of the truly great forces in metal." The Sludgelord champions the band's collectively "gnarly and nasty music," that's as, "potent as ever," and a, "storming return." Adds Hellbound, "'Circling The Drain' is perhaps the best Bower riff he's written in a while, literally interpreting the song title with a circling, buzzsaw neckwrecker. Gawddamn! Tracks like 'Asshole,' 'Mutts Bite Too,' and 'Rigging The Fight' only thicken the toxic mixture. Revenge is a dish best served sludgy!"

SUPERJOINT was resurrected in 2015 after the original band broke up a decade earlier. At the behest of the late Corey Mitchell, co-founder of The Housecore Horror Film Festival, SUPERJOINT founders Anselmo, Jimmy Bower (Down, Eyehategod), and Kevin Bond (Christ Inversion, Artimus Pyledriver et al) joined forces with longtime comrades, drummer José "Blue" Gonzalez (Warbeast, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals), and bassist Stephen Taylor (Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, Woven Hand, 16 Horse Power). A new era of the band was born. Consequently, the band members found true joy in playing together again. After just two tours, new material followed culminating in the scathing sounds of Caught Up In The Gears Of Application.

ROZAMOV Issues Artwork And Trailer For This Mortal Road Album Due In March Through Battleground Records And Dullest Records; Preorders Posted

Boston-based ROZAMOV has issued the details and a brief trailer for their upcoming debut full-length, This Mortal Road, which is set for co-release through Battleground Records and Dullest Records in March.

With five monolithic passages consuming over forty minutes of textured, melody-laced doom metal, This Mortal Road presents a sonic catharsis featuring the longest, heaviest, and most progressive tracks ROZAMOV has ever created. The crushing production was recorded and mixed by Jon Taft at New Alliance Audio, and mastered by Nick Z at New Alliance East Mastering, the album finalized with photography by Andrew Weiss and layout by Matt Martinez. The cover art, track listing, and a brief trailer for This Mortal Road, featuring a clip of audio, have been issued.

View ROZAMOV's This Mortal Road trailer RIGHT HERE.

This Mortal Road will see release March 3rd on vinyl through Battleground Records, on CD and cassette through Dullest Records, and digitally through the band. Digital preorders are posted HERE, and physical preorders at Battleground HERE and Dullest HERE.

Stand by for additional audio samples, an official video, and more to be released in the coming weeks. ROZAMOV will announce their US tour dates in support of the album in the coming days as well.

This Mortal Road Track Listing:
1. This Mortal Road
2. Wind Scorpion
3. Serpent Cult
4. Swallowed And Lost
5. Inhumation

Since 2011, ROZAMOV has left their mark on the US metal circuit with their infectious psyche-tinged grueling doom, having opened for countless national acts, touring regions of the country, and much more, in addition to releasing two independent EPs - 2012's Rozamov and 2013's Of Gods And Flesh. A busy 2015 included performances at Psycho California, Converse Rubber Tracks Live alongside Slayer and Doomriders, a Converse feature on the back cover of Decibel Magazine, a tour with Destroy Judas, and the release of a split 7" with Deathkings. Amidst the bleak and historic winter of 2014-15, the recording lineup of ROZAMOV including Tom Corino (bass/vocals/noise guitar), Matt Iacovelli, (guitar/vocals/piano), and Will Hendrix (drums) entered New Alliance Audio in Cambridge to record This Mortal Road. Since its recording the band's new live lineup is completed with Iacovelli on guitar and vocals, Corino on bass and vocals, and Jeff Landry on drums.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

St. Lenox - Ten Hymns From My American Gothic

I'm not hip waveriders.  I'm not cool.  I don't keep up with trends or fashion my playlists based off of who is hot right now.  Why have I mentioned these character traits?  The answer lies in another question.  Have you heard of an artist named St. Lenox?  I certainly had not until I stumbled upon his latest release entitled Ten Hymns From My American Gothic.  Now I know and knowing know the rest.

St. Lenox burst onto the indie scene a couple of years ago in 2014 with his debut album Ten Songs About Memory And Hope.  That album made enough of an impression on several journalists and publications to be named to their year end best-of lists.  Fast forward to 2017.  Based off of the evidence I have gathered this second album is poised to obtain much more critical acclaim and I have absolutely no issue with that whatsoever.  In fact, I'm going to do what I can to add more fuel to the fire because this album is absolutely stunning!

One of the highest compliments I can pay to Ten Hymns... is that it doesn't sound like anything else in my current music rotation.  Amusingly that uniqueness nearly made me dismiss this album.  My first taste of St. Lenox was the song "Fuel America".  It began with some tasteful piano playing accompanied by a drum machine.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  Then the vocals began and my ears informed me that everything had suddenly changed. 

This incredibly powerful, resonant voice seized my full attention and I admit that I was taken aback.  A chuckle escaped my lips because I couldn't immediately draw comparisons to any other singer, but the distinctive timbre of Andrew Choi's voice wasn't the only element which gave me pause.  The lyrical delivery on each song does not conform to what I typically encounter.  Others have described it as 'stream-of-consciousness' singing and I can't disagree.  Yes there are repeated choruses but these songs have more in common with short stories than poetry.  Verses do not relate to each other except to advance the tales Mr. Choi weaves so well.  Upon first exposure these elements were jarring and I stopped listening.

Like all great music I've encountered however, that small sample was memorable enough to leap unbidden into the front of my mind on several occasions.  I revisited Ten Hymns... and quickly became completely enamored with this stupendous music.  If you have not heard of St. Lenox until now you are in for a real treat!  I mean, where else can you hear incredibly catchy songs about Thurgood Marshall or President Nixon?  Nowhere waveriders.  Nowhere but this album.  Listen and enjoy!


Monday, January 16, 2017

Ripple Music New Releases! White Light Cemetery and Freedom Hawk Limited Edition Vinyl and Tests

With production work by the legendary Kent Stump of Wo Fat, "Careful What You Wish For," is the Lafayette, Louisiana-based quartet’s third official release overall after their 2011 EP debut “Crow Sessions” and its follow-up, their self-titled full length. White Light Cemetery‘s guitarist/vocalist Shea Bearden, bassist Tara Miller, guitarist Ryan ‘Cletus‘ Robin, and drummer Thomas Colley are the very embodiment of metallic Southern Rock circa 2017 and this fact is verified all throughout “Careful What You Wish For“. If you’ve never heard WLC, it is what would result if one mixed the best elements of Black Oak Arkansas with Pepper Keenan era Corrosion Of Conformity and added a splash of Black Stone Cherry for flavor. Now, who the hell wouldn’t want to check that out I ask you?

On sale now!!  Limited vinyl limited to 80 copies.

"White Light Cemetery have released the first great rock record of the year and only tease at what a formidable force they surely must be when witnessed live. Highly Recommended." -- Atom Heart Mutha.
At long last!!! Finally available on vinyl and completely remastered by Chris Goosman, and never sounding better, Freedom Hawk's long out-of-print debut gets the full, grand re-release via Ripple!

Coming to you on January 28th. Dawn Arises Edition: Gold/Black two tone swirl with White splatter limited to only 80 copies.  Only 1 test press! Midnight Black and CD.

"If Freedom Hawk were in search of the lost Black Sabbath riff, they've struck gold. Their debut CD, 'Sunlight' is so chock full of lumbering Sabbath-powered riffs and Blue Cheer-pinched guitar licks that it will put cracks in your walls once you press play! Freedom Hawk rock loud and proud and come HIGHLY RECOMMENDED."
- The Atomic Chaser, THE DRP/All Access Magazine​​

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Marillion From A Swedebeast's Point Of View

Marillion - Brave
Once I caught wind that Marillion were in the studio to complete the follow up to 'Holidays In Eden', a strange feeling came over me. Was this going to be mark 2 of the previous release, or are Marillion able to fight off the record label and create a non-comformist wax? Something that is truly them which their fans had grown to love? As reviews started to trickle in raving about the return of the true Marillion, I was still very cautious about 'Brave'. Remember, I sided much more with Fish, therefore anything the guys did, had to be on point. However, the moment 'Brave' from my speakers for the first time, any fear of giving in to EMI's demands were gone. Instead, what I heard was a classic recording in the grander scheme of things. Elation and euphoria are two very small words to describe my state of mind as the opening bars to 'Bridge' rang out. Sadly this was the last time I paid attention to anything Marillion did for many years. Yes I know I'm an idiot but that's what happened.

As the guys got together after a much-needed break from recording and touring 'Holidays In Eden', to create a new album, they only had bits and pieces ready, at best. No proper songs nor any direction on a theme was decided on until Steve Hogarth told the band about a news segment he had heard on a radio station in Bristol, England. A woman had been found walking on Severn Bridge, a known location for suicides, and was allegedly stopped from jumping to her own death. However, she wouldn't speak to anyone, so no one knew what caused her to attempt this. Marillion decided this woman's story was the angle they needed and began to piece together what would become the amazing 'Brave'.

Setting the mood right away the eerie ‘Bridge’ begins with a ship baying it’s horns before a dreamlike keyboard takes it away. It’s almost like the beginning of the end. As Steve Hogarth starts to sing, we are inside the woman’s mind who is preparing to take that final step. The song leads into ‘Living With The Big Lie’ guided by a trippy, creepy guitar. Once the whole band joins in, the atmosphere is dreamy and dark with a lot of turmoil bubbling inside our main character. It picks up pace eventually making the woman’s distraught mind even more vivid, as she is thinking about all the events that led her to the bridge. ‘Runaway’ goes back in time when the troubles started for the woman. It deals about being blinkered, so instead of finding a resolve and giving proper help, only pity and sympathy is given which many times triggers a trauma, which is the case with the bridge woman. Built up around five chapters, if you like, ‘Goodbye To All That’ tells it all how the woman slips fast into the tormented realm she came to inhabit. The descent happens faster due to the lack of proper help from her family. Thinking she has found a resolution and an escape, she embraces the world of heroin with all that it entails. Deep down she knows it’s wrong but it’s better than the false airs put up at home. Musically the song covers many different spectra and it works so well depicting the whirlwind she’s in.

Heavy riffs initiates ‘Hard As Love’ which is the album’s out-and-out rocker as the band really lets it all hang out. Trying to open up and let the love she so desperately crave in, it might be too little too late. Still, she tries because she wants to love and be loved and have a purpose. Lyrically ‘The Hollow Man’ is a direct follow up to ‘Hard As Love’, but it tells about the consequences of shutting love and people out of her life. A soft piano courtesy of Mark Kelly backs up Hogarth for the most part and it creates the perfect soundtrack to the woman stepping away from her people. ‘Alone Again In The Lap Of Luxury’ is the point where our main character hits breaking point. Her father commits acts of treason towards his wife and family. The mother tries to deny everything for the sake of superficial appearances, and this plummets our heroine to her impending doom. Steve Rothery is playing his heart out, as does Ian Mosley and Pete Trewavas as always, all while Mark Kelly is adding anguish to the woman’s troubled being. Another rocker is ‘Paper Lies’ where Marillion sings about the horrible twists the Press puts on stories, all in the name of more sales. In the end there’s hardly a trace of truth left behind each news story.

A man who tried to save the woman mainly by talking to her, thinks back on their conversations. Thinking she showed a lot of strength despite her adversaries, he hopes she’s alright and managed to climb out of the descent she was stuck in. By utilizing a somewhat Celtic feel to ‘Brave’ the band perfectly brings out the reflective mood this man is in. In ‘The Great Escape’, which is actually made up by ‘The Last Of You’ and ‘Fallin’ From The Moon’ as well, we’re taken back to real time again as the woman is on her way to the bridge. She doesn’t view her soon-to-be suicide as something bad, but rather the only way to cleanse herself and get rid of all the demons. Waiting to take that final leap, she finally opens up – to herself – and accuse the father, who initially caused all her problems, for not helping and caring for her. Finally liberation is there. She realizes all the pain she’s suffered doesn’t matter any longer. She’s free and steps out from the bridge and falls into the water and disappears…or does she? The music does have a build-up character, it slowly grows and grows until Marillion are pulling out all the stops to add to all the emotions and freedom the woman finally feels. Amazing! Album closer ‘Made Again’ is a contrast to the main theme. It offers hope and rebirth, if you like. Again, who knows if the woman actually died. Bright, light and free of obstacles, a solitary guitar guides Hogarth through a journey of new beginnings.

Listening to ‘Brave’ now it has lost none of the magic it radiated upon it’s release. The album still moves me and touches deep within and I can’t stop marveling at Marillion’s fantastic ability to be down to earth and hit home on emotions like few can. And that’s just focusing on the lyrics. Add the music they create and everything explodes in ways unfathomable. So let their music embrace you and enjoy. While writing this and listening to the album over and over again, I simply can’t grasp why I couldn’t be bothered with the guys later on. I’ll try to figure that out until the next installment.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Bandcamp Bonanza – Heavy New Year

While the New Year’s celebrations are waning, we’re all hitting the gyms, avoiding the unnecessary evils in forms of resolutions, over here in bandcamp I have found myself resolutioning with heavier than normal listening. Don’t get me wrong, I still like a bit of mellowness, but more than in recent memory the harsher, more damaging sounds are really hitting home. Here are a few recent albums I have found to be seriously addictive and been jamming a lot lately.

Dryland – Dryland
First up we have my proclaimed album of the week at the end of week #1 of 2017. Not significantly popular as of yet, Dryland bring the heavy, doomy Pacific Northwest progressive sludge rock to the table on their debut full length. Most played album through 2017 so far. It’s a rager.
The massive riffs chop by way of blunt force crushing in all directions with progressive tendencies and hardcore roots. The vocals scream with infectious vigor and the bass cleans up the remains with a sweeping groove. Album of the week 1-6-17.Favorite track: Mirrormaker.

Lizzard Wizzard – Total War Power Bastard
Lizzard Wizzard has been around a while as evidenced by the support on bandcamp of their earlier efforts. The Aussies bring a powerful blend of psychedelic doom metal with elements of stoner and an overall twisted ride of heavy riffs. I wouldn’t have fell so hard for this perhaps last year at this time, but like I said the heavy shit is appealing more to me at the moment. This is heavy, but also maintains a hook that keeps you on you on your toes. It lives up to the album name if I must mention.
Holy crap! What a wild ride. Heavy, trippy riffs, sludgy vocals with bluesy swagger and doomy atmosphere. This is outside my normal go to style but the slow-baked intense doom meets stoned out space rock really makes an impression.

Sons of Serro – Eps
These guys popped up on my feed and I couldn’t help but take advantage of the price tag on a series of 4 EPs just put up on bandcamp. When bands do this I can’t help but assume they are new to Bandcamp and putting up their discography online to view. Nothing wrong with that. It was confirmed by Steve Janiak of Ripple Music’s ‘Devil to Pay’ that these guys are old timers and they had played together 10-12 years ago. He had great things to say about them. Here’s to hoping they’re actively creating new stuff for us to listen. In the meantime go check out the aggressive desert rock with big beefy vocals.
Woah, this came out of nowhere. It's heavy, it's got groove laced hooks, burly vocals spewing angsty tones like a Danzig meets Fu Manchu lovechild. I'm a sucker for this type of undiscovered talent. Western psychedelia meets hardcore desert sludge rock. Killer!

Owain – Owain
This one is heavy as all hell. Super distorted doomy grooves, chaotic vocals and depressing lyrics set the stage for a pummeling assault to the senses. Why do I like this? Because its fucking anniliating to the reality of everyday life. Stoner sludge that fans of High on Fire should eat up. Like Dryland above, there is a progressive element in the songwriting structure that I’m a sucker for and balances out the gruffness in the vocals with an added touch of psychedelic blues. The riffs churn at doom pace and the fuzz is amplified to maximum distortion.

Shadow Giant – Honkytonk on the Moon
This one is perhaps the least heavy on this series, yet is still heavy as all fuck. I mean that album title and artwork scream hard and evil. Shadow Giant is more in line with the stoner/psych crowd with a heavy emphasis on doom. I literally just discovered this one as I was writing up this feature via the recommendation of Steve Howe at Outlaws of the Sun who you should follow for great reviews and recommendations in the heavy underground. So hot off the press my paypal just alerted me via email of my recent purchase. I can foresee this one will soon grow into the hearts of the usual suspect in the heavy doom/stoner/psych scene. The vocals are a lot more accessible than the others on this list. Very groovy and Southern sludgy blues oriented. I’m digging it, only one listen in still trying to figure out what this is comparable to. At the moment all I can say is Shadow Giant have released a stunning debut album and should appeal to fans in all sectors of the heavy underground, especially the heavy blues, stoner, doom crowd. Corrosion of Conformity meets Sleep? Something wicked like that.

That’s it for round #2 of Bandcamp Bonanza here in the new year (2017). Let us know what you think. Send in your tunes to the blog for a chance to be heard by our other writers, let us know what’s been rocking your world. Send me bandcamp codes and I can promote your shit via bandcamp. Hell, just keep on making ripples and we’ll help turn them into waves.

 -The Huntsman
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