Saturday, August 27, 2016

BEERS IN HELL FEST 2016 Bay Area’s First Craft Beer and Heavy Music Festival

The Bay Area loves craft beer and heavy music, and through the years San Jose has been an epicenter of innovation for both. On September 24 at Johnny V’s Bar in downtown San Jose, Heavy San Jose, Ripple Music, and Doomed & Stoned are proud to bring these two things together for the Bay Area’s first ever craft beer and heavy music festival. Eleven bands from San Jose, Oakland, Santa Cruz, Sacramento, San Diego, Oceanside, and Arizona will descend upon San Jose and join forces with five craft breweries for an insane event that we call Beers in Hell. Beer and music lovers from the Bay Area and beyond will enjoy some of the west’s best up-and-coming heavy bands, and drink a great selection of fresh and heavy craft beer.

The line-up is full of heavy-blues, stoner rock/metal, doom and straight–up classic heavy metal. Five west coast breweries will be doing a 12-tap takeover, and brewery reps—who also happen to be music lovers—will be onsite hanging out to chat about beer and music. When the time comes to fill those 12 taps, only the freshest (or most evil) beer from Ballast Point, Lagunitas, Firestone Walker, Oskar Blues and Santa Clara Valley Brewing will be chosen and an announcement will be made the week of the event. As a bonus, brew master at SCVB, Steve Donohue, will concoct a special firkin of Hell Brew IPA just for the fest.

To support the event and bands, Heavy San Jose has launched an innovative Indiegogo presale campaign for tickets, exclusive event merchandise, and unique one-off perks—like a guest singing slot and an opportunity to write a concert review to be published in the influential Doomed & Stoned blog.

Bands Performing:
Blackwülf (Oakland), Burn Thee Insects (Jerome AZ), Crimson Eye(Sacramento), Great Electric Quest (Oceanside), KOOK (San Jose), Mesmer (Oakland), Red Wizard (San Diego), Smoke (Santa Cruz), Supernaut (Santa Cruz), TVSK (Oakland), War Cloud (Oakland).

Event Details:
When: September 24, 2016 5:00 PM – 1:30 AM
Where: Johnny V’s Bar – 31 East Santa Clara St.  San Jose, CA 95113
Cost: Tickets start at $20 and additional perks/merch can be purchased via

Friday, August 26, 2016

Mandatory Vinyl Hornss - Telepath

Rising from the ashes of the origin of the original “desert rock” back in the heyday, Hornss showcase their roots in classic punk rock, hardcore, and heavy metal. The debut album No Blood, No Sympathy released back in 2014 exemplified the impact the desert rock scene of the 90’s had on the dudes. The band are featured on the recently released documentary Lo Sound Desert which is getting rave reviews across the scene for its insight on the formation of what is known as desert rock featuring bands such as Kyuss, Dalis Llama, Mondo Generator, and what eventually ended up as Hornss before and after they relocated from the southern desert to San Francisco. Seasoned in thick, obnoxious noise, skate sessions in the bum-fuck bowls on the outskirts of Palm Desert, and bonfires within mosh pits, Hornss demonstrate a tolerance to brutal riffage, reckless attitude, and a defiant energy you’d hear on an album blended with equal parts Fu Manchu, Black Sabbath, and Motorhead.

Intrigued yet? Well how about the fact that STB Records is putting the new album out on collector grade wax! (with Ripple Music doing the CD and Digital)  In it of itself the term Mandatory becomes imperative. Here we present another round of Mandatory Vinyl  bringing you a taste of the brand spanking new Hornss album.

As some of the regulars may have noticed at first spin there is that uncertainty whether the record should be played at 33rpm or 45rpm. That uncertainty is compounded when the volume is so heavy, so ploddingly fuzzy and doom-ridden that you double check the cover for the correct setting cause the default 33rpm sounds like the speakers are going to explode with an outpouring of sludge (in a good way). Just to double check and have some fun after a few listens I went ahead a verified the sound at 45rpm and I was actually quite impressed. The instruments excelled and it friggin’ almost gets a pass. The vocals sounded like a chick cranked out on groove laden chipmunk doom, and the guitars raged with precision. Hornss exemplifies the need for speed (or lack thereof) on their second full length album, Telepath, which will be released to the masses on August 27th, 2016 via the one and only STB Records on 5 editions of vinyl, plus worldwide digitally via the rising stars in the cult underground Ripple Music. STB and Ripple have forged a partnership made in heaven and hell combining their undying passion and love for all things rock n roll.

I had not listened to this album until I started spinning the Standard LP on my turntable, but I knew relatively what I was getting myself into and I was quite excited. I was a fan of the debut album. The hardcore doom meets psychedelic fuzz rock riffs have the umph to elevate the heartrate and shake any family photo off the wall with the volume turned just right. Telepath smacks the listener with somewhat of a lo-fi stoner sound, heavy on the fuzz and wicked on the vocals. Imagine Fu Manchu trudging through a sludgy bog hazed with visions of a dust-filled desert. The songs are relatively short placing Hornss deep within the punk isle of the desert rock subgenre. The guitars add a bluesy flair with intermittent solos which should cater to the heavy stoner rock crowd and the rumbling low end echoes with psychedelia which will garner the fans of the uber doom field.  The fuzz blisters with malicious intent throughout as the villainous vocals antagonize the in-laws trying to relax. No shit, I was spinning this whilst my mother-in-law was visiting the house and, along with my wife, they were not impressed. Take that as a compliment in the heavy rock world. The heavier and louder the better right? I’d recommend this for a crowd who’s looking for something loud, not afraid of coyotes howling in the desert moonlight, or in general open minds looking to expand. My 7-year old daughter on the other hand seemed to be digging it, and I was rather proud watching her dance around in the listening room while I was attempting to write this review.

Like the last STB/Ripple Music release Witchskull – The Vast Electric Dark, which was the first edition of Mandatory review here, the release comes with a variety of options including:

Test Press - 15 units. Available in STB Records exclusive alternate art envelope jacket sealed with a STB Records wax seal.
Die Hard Edition -100 units. 180g - Black and Pink swirl with heavy duty high gloss case-wrapped jacket with foil stamping and UV print. Comes in a tinted Static bag with printed cover
OBI Edition - 125 units. 180g - Clear and black vinyl with pink and silver splatter. Comes with exclusive hand numbering alternate art work OBI Series strip. 15th release in the OBI series.
World Wide Edition - 200 units. Available through Kozmik Artifactz and Underground Records (AU) on date of sale. 180g Hot Pink vinyl
Standard Edition - 175 units. 180g - Silver and Hot Pink Swirl.

And like Witchskull, the vinyl seeks attention, the digital screams for a Ripple subscription and the music speaks for itself. The more I listen to this new Hornss album, the more I like it. I’ve since gone back and re-listened to the previous album as well, which is always a treat. I’d say the only downfall with Telepath is the duration. I just want more, its one track shorter than the debut, but the pace of the record is fitting as they’re not trying to be epic doom or lengthy prog. That said, it’s a great candidate for the double spin. Both sides are evenly mixed and it’s a quick flip to treat like a 2LP and just keep on flipping. Take care though, because these bad boys are on the verge of priceless and as usually you best set your alarm for sale day which is this Saturday May 27th, 2016 at 12pm Eastern Time in the USA as is the CD via Ripple Music as well. Go get both, its like peanut butter and jelly, they go hand in hand. The artwork is stunning, the packaging is pristine, and the vinyl is Mandatory. Don’t second guess yourselves. You know you need it. Good luck on Saturday and see you soon for the next edition.

Order Here:
CD Here:
Ripple Music Bandcamp:

-The Huntsman

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thoughts On The New Metallica Single

Everywhere I go in the last few days, every time I look at social media, everyone is losing their shit over the new Metallica single, “Hardwired”. Before I launch into my thoughts on the new song, let me say that I was a huuuge fan of the band for a long time. I got into arguments with friends and foes alike over “Load” and “Re-Load”. I loved this band like I have loved few other things in my life. So I'm not a hater, and I'm not jumping on the “its cool to bash Metallica” band wagon. I've actually been very unhappy with this band for a long time.

For starters, this song is really not that great. If it had come out on “Kill 'Em All” or “Ride The Lightning” or “Master of Puppets”, it would have been filler. And honestly, after unfurling the shitstains that are “St. Anger”, “Death Magnetic”, and “Lulu”, a mediocre Metallica track is going to sound awesome. Like Eddie Murphy once said, “If you've only been eating saltines, and someone gives you a Ritz cracker, you're going to think that Ritz is the best thing in the world”. I think there is a lot of that syndrome going on here. It's a nice track, and it could be a good start, but after what Metallica have put us through over the last 3 releases, they are going to have to prove it to me that this track is not just a one off fluke.

The problem with bands like Metallica is that they constantly talk about going back to their roots, but that just isn't possible. There is a hunger, an anger, a drive in young bands that just want to reach the top that a band can't duplicate once they get there. It's very hard to write angry music when you have houses everywhere and drive whatever vehicle you want and own your own office building. There's no hunger to fill. You've topped it off 20 times over. And as much as we fans want them to put out another amazing album, we have to be realistic too. Once the “Black Album” blew the world open for Metallica and made them ultra-rich megastars, that was it. That was their high point, that was the best it was going to be, and we need to accept that. I know a lot of fans who consider “...And Justice For All” to be the highlight of their career anyway.

One more thing. Metallica are not a metal band and haven't been since “Justice”. Be honest, they've just been a really heavy rock band. That's ok too, but in keeping with the theme of this whole thing, let's call it what it is.

I understand the enthusiasm, because it comes from wanting a band we love to really step up and remove some of that tarnish on their legacy. It's time for Metallica to be honest too, and stop telling us they've gone back to the beginning and they are leaner and harder and blah, blah, blah, because they have to know in their heart of heart's that it's all bullshit. For the reasons noted above they can't go back and they know that too. And I'll just say this because you all are thinking it anyway: there's no way Lars can play that song live. He admitted five years ago how much trouble he has playing the old stuff. They'll have to bring in a stunt drummer. They probably had him play that beat for 8 bars and then just looped it. Sorry Lars, but we're trying to real here.

You all can do what you like, but I'm going to temper my enthusiasm and keep my expectations real, real low. Maybe the new album will blow me away. There have been a few bands in recent years who have managed to do that, like Carcass and At The Gates, to name a couple. I will continue to be a skeptic until a band I formerly loved gives me a reason not to be.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Boston Riff-Masters, Roadsaw, Sign World-Wide Deal with Ripple Music - New Album out Early 2017

Ripple Music is proud to announce the signing of legendary riff-masters, ROADSAW to the label's hard and heavy roster. The veteran Boston motor-stoner act still consists of the decade-long classic line up and will be heading into the illustrious Mad Oak Studios with producer Benny Grotto to lay down a potent new batch of songs, due out early 2017, that are sure to please old fans and turn on new ones.

For the unfamiliar ROADSAW  invite you  to climb inside their jaded jalopy and careen headlong into their amplified analog landscape. From the shores of British electric blues, across the pond to America's sonic 70s stomp; down to the Southern swamps, thru the New York groove,  straight into heart of California's psychedelic desert.  ROADSAW's long strange trip is a virtual history of heavy riffs.

ROADSAW's often turbulent career includes 7 albums , numerous compilations, and  a smattering of hard-to-find singles.  The band has shared stages big and small on both sides of the Atlantic with comrades like Orange Goblin, Fu Manchu, Queens Of The Stone Age, Nebula, Scissorfight, Karma To Burn, Black Label Society and many others. Together with Ripple, the band looks forward to adding a big bold exclamation point to this already impressive resume.  US and European tours are being booked for spring 2017, including an appearance at London's Desert Fest. Spirits are high for the much anticipated return of one of riff rocks most loyal disciples.

Like cockroaches in a post apocalyptic fall out, ROADSAW rise once again. Having survived every storm, war, trend and taste, ROADSAW simply refuses to die.  Now, they're signed to one of the world's leading heavy rock, stoner, doom and heavy psych label's, Ripple Music, and it's a certainty that mayhem will follow.   Look for limited edition vinyl, CD's and digital to be spread around the world in Spring 2017.

So there you have it. New year. New music. New label. The 'Saw remains the same.

CASTLE: West Coast Occult Rockers Unveil New Video; Band Announces European And Japanese Fall Dates + Epic North American Tour Continues

West Coast occult rockers CASTLE are pleased to unveil the official new music video for "Flash Of The Pentagram." The tune comes by way of the band's recently issued Welcome To The Graveyard full-length.

Elaborates guitarist Mat Davis, "Our director for 'Flash Of The Pentagram,' Brian J. Davis (who also directed CASTLE's 'Evil Ways'), mentioned he didn't think anyone had ever captured what it's like to watch CASTLE live, so his idea was to use the gig flyer as a the kind of perfect medium to do that. He filmed us in a studio and printed the frames out on a cheap photocopier. Then he re-photographed the photocopies on an animation table over a month. We think the result is close to CASTLE live: intense, raw, and trancelike."

The video initially premiered worldwide via Team Rock/Metal Hammer who issued, "If you're partial to an inverted pentagram, you can thank the 19th-century occult author Éliphas Lévi for making them the metalhead's symbol of choice. When he wasn't popularizing tarot decks in the western world and inspiring the likes of Aleister Crowley, he was declaring that pentagrams pointed down represented evil, and thus bequeathing the metal scene's most potent of emblems.... CASTLE have unveiled a tribute to the great man in the riff-flinging form of their lead-off single, 'Flash Of The Pentagram' ...An irrepressible combination of '70s doom, NWOBHM, musty-yet-in-your-face production courtesy of famed Neurosis/Melvins producer Billy Anderson, and the smoky, whiskey-stained vocals of Liz Blackwell, 'Flash Of The Pentagram' pays tribute to Lévi's theory of Transcendental Magic while rocking out with an unforgettable groove and basically soundtracking a party populated by motorcycle clubs, magicians and bottles of absinthe while sigils adorn the walls."

Watch "Flash Of The Pentagram" at THIS LOCATION.

Captured by Billy Anderson (Sleep, Neurosis, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth, Eyehategod, Ommadon et al) at Type Foundry Studios in Portland, Oregon this past Winter, Welcome To The Graveyard is currently available at THIS LOCATION.

CASTLE is currently road-bound on a massive North American live takeover. The mammoth trek, which commenced on June 15th, included a three-week run of tour dates surrounding their appearance at the Maryland Doom Fest followed by a month-long headlining tour that began July 17th and will run through August 20th. From there, CASTLE will take a week-long pause before taking to the streets yet again for a month's worth of Canadian dates through September 29th. In October, the band will make their way to Europe. The tour includes a stop at Desertfest Belgium and Old Grave Fest V in Bucharest. In December CASTLE will return to the stage, this time in Japan with Guevnna! More dates will be added in the coming weeks. Stay up to date and visit or

8/27/2016 Doom Over T.O. Fest - Toronto, ON
9/07/2016 Katacombes - Montreal, PQ
9/08/2016 Envol at Macadam Fest - Quebec City, PQ
9/09/2016 Panic Room - St. John, NB
9/10/2016 Gus Pub - Halifax, NS
9/11/2016 Baba's - Charlottetown, PEI
9/12/2016 Capitol Complex - Fredericton, NB
9/13/2016 Ti-Petac - Trois Rivieres, PQ
9/14/2016 House Of Targ - Ottawa, ON
9/16/2016 Black Pirates Pub - Thunder Bay, ON
9/17/2016 King's Hotel - Winnipeg, MB
9/18/2016 TBA - Saskatoon, SK
9/19/2016 Starlite Room - Edmonton, AB
9/20/2016 Fernando's - Kelowna, BC
9/21/2016 The Office Pub - Kamloops, BC
9/22/2016 Funky Winkerbeans - Vancouver, BC
9/23/2016 Logans Pub - Victoria, BC
9/24/2016 Palomino - Calgary, AB
9/26/2016 The Club - Regina, SK
9/28/2016 New American - Sault Ste. Marie, ON
9/29/2016 Call The Office - London, ON
10/05/2016 TBA - Prague, CZ
10/06/2016 Durer Kert - Budapest, HU
10/07/2016 Old Grave Fest V - Bucharest, RO
10/09/2016 Death Disco - Athens, GR
10/11/2016 Titty Twister - Parma, IT w/ Universe217
10/12/2016 Blue Rose - Milan, IT w/ Universe217
10/13/2016 White Rabbit Club - Freiburg, DE w/ Universe217
10/15/2016 Little Devil - Tilburg, NL w/ Universe217
10/16/2016 Desertfest Belgium - Antwerp, BE
10/17/2016 AZ - Aachen, DE
10/18/2016 Urban Spree - Berlin, DE
10/19/2016 Coq d'Or - Olten, CH
10/20/2016 UT Connewitz - Leipzig, DE
10/22/2016 Truckstop Alaska - Gothenburg, SE w/ Year of the Goat
10/26/2016 Gerber3 - Weimar, DE
w/ Guevnna:
12/08/2016 El Puente - Yokohama, JP
12/09/2016 Earthdo - Tokyo, JP
12/10/2016Osaka - Hokage, JP
12/11/2016 Huck Finn - Nagoya, JP
12/12/2016 Ruby Room - Tokyo, JP
# w/ Disenchanter
* w/ Brimstone Coven
^ w/ Blizaro

"They're the kind of band who could make you believe in heavy metal... their righteously individualized blend of thrash, traditional metal, doom, heavy rock 'n' roll, etc., speaks to some mystical bygone era when metal was about not compromising, putting a fist in the air against expectation and going on tour forever. CASTLE were so deep into what they were doing that I think they could've been anywhere and it would've been the same, that trance taking hold early on as they locked in and holding sway for the duration of their set, which seemed short when it was over." - The Obelisk

Welsh cosmic doom warlords MAMMOTH WEED WIZARD BASTARD unveil a stellar new song off their album "Y Proffwyd Dwyll".

Welsh cosmic doom outfit MAMMOTH WEED WIZARD BASTARD have just revealed the title track off their second album Y Proffwyd Dwyll, due out September 30th on New Heavy Sounds. It is streaming exclusively on Metal Hammer today.

Stream Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard's stellar new song HERE

Don't mind the cheeky name, the North Wales-based foursome is nothing but deadly serious with their music. Following on from their debut Noeth Ac Anoeth, MAMMOTH WEED WIZARD BASTARD's sophomore album is once again massive, full of riffs and all shot through with Jessica Ball's trademark angelic siren vocals. With added synths, cosmic, Hawkwind-style wig outs and tighter songs and arrangements, Y Proffwyd Dwyll is an album that is both doom heavy and beautiful.

Out on September 30th via New Heavy Sounds
CD & Vinyl presale available here

"One of the most distinctive doom bands in the UK right now." - Metal Hammer

"They've already managed the near-impossible: finding their own sound." - Noisey

1. Valmasque
2. Y Proffwyd Dwyll
3. Gallego
4. Testudo
5. Osirian
6. Cithuula

Released just 9 months after their debut Noeth Ac Anoeth, it is once again produced by Chris Fielding of Conan, and without doubt a whopping great slab of heaviness. But that’s not all. Those who’ve investigated beyond the name, have already discovered that both the band and their music are deadly serious, and though MWWB may share sonic alliances with likes of Conan, Windhand and Yob, the many who tuned into their impessive debut have discovered that MWWB don’t stick to the usual tropes, and are a unique proposition, with a sound all their own.

The guitars are down-tuned to Z, the guitar tone is tar thick and the riffs massive and full of hooks ... of course. But with the soaring, angelic, multi-textured vocals of Jessica Ball, MWWB have added an extra dimension to what’s considered doom. Not your normal melodramatic dark chanteuse here pilgrims, more like MWWB’s secret weapon, a vein of crystal in the rock, a combination which sounds at times startling and often beautiful. Like if Liz Fraser had fronted Kyuss or Sleep ... though that’s too simplistic a comparison.

Y Proffwyd Dwyll has all the elements of the first LP, but here the band reveal their more song-based side. There’s nothing approaching the 30-minute epic of their debut EP Nachthexen, but the arrangements are tighter and the vocal elements are considerably upped. Add to that a smattering of cello, some swirling moog wig outs, and you have a record that also invokes Hawkwind’s cosmic synthscapes, as well as a nod to the John Carpenter soundtracks that the band love.

As with all New Heavy Sounds releases, there will be deluxe vinyl and CD versions. The LP will be a limited edition of 500, housed in a gatefold sleeve, printed inner bag with full download included. There will be two vinyl colour options: 250 in cherry red and 250 in sea foam green. The CD will be a 5 panel fold out package, with an alternative take on the LP design. ‘Y Proffwydd Dwyll’ will touchdown in LP/CD/DL formats on September 30th.

Paul Michael Davies - Synth & guitar
Jessica Ball - Bass, vocals, synth
Wez Leon - Synth & guitar
James ‘Carrat’ Carrington - Synth & drums


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

VALLEY OF THE SUN announce European tour this September with Dot Legacy | Volume Rock out now on Fuzzorama Records

“Valley of the Sun sound like one of those bands best experienced in a dive bar with sweat dripping off the walls – a perfect setting for the short, sharp shock of ‘The Hunt’, the QOTSA-esque jaunt of ‘Land of Fools’, where Ryan Ferrier’s huge vocals sound like Steven Tyler experiencing an exorcism.”
Metal Hammer

“There’s no question that Valley of the Sun are placing themselves at the forefront of the new generation of American heavy rock.”
The Obelisk

“[Volume Rock] may go down as one of the best stoner rock albums of the year because it understands how to go full-throttle joyously. The album is the result of the band firing on all cylinders.”
New Noise Magazine

Valley Of The Sun on Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

European Live Dates:

22/9 – Manchester, UK – Rebellion (Presented by Snuff Lane)
23/9 – Bristol, UK – The Mother's Ruin (Presented by Snuff Lane)
24/9 – London, UK – The Unicorn (Presented by Snuff Lane)
27/9 – Malle, Belgium – Jeugdhuis Babylon
28/9 – Ghent, Belgium – Kinky Star
29/9 – Caen, France – La Demeuree
30/9 – Nantes, France – La Scene Michelet
1/10 – Paris, France – Espace B
3/10 – Poitiers, France – Le Cluricaume Cafe
4/10 – Olten, Switzerland – Le Coq d'Or
5/10 – Munich, Germany – 8 Below
6/10 – Berlin, Germany – Urban Spree
7/10 – Halle, Germany – Rockpool eV
8/10 – Chemnitz, Germany – Zukunft
11/10 – Cluj-Napoca, Romania – The Shelter
12/10 – Bucharest, Romania – Fabrica
13/10 – Sofia, Bulgaria – Mixtape
14/10 – Larissa, Greece – Stage Club
15/10 – Athens, Greece – Death Disco

Volume Rock... Of all the words in the English language that could be drawn upon to illustrate the sheer sound and substance of Cincinnati’s Valley Of The Sun, you’d be hard pressed to find two better. Picking up where last year’s Electric Talons Of The Thunderhawk left off, Volume Rock – released last April on Sweden’s formidable Fuzzorama Records - showcased their drive and ambition to become one of the best bands to emerge from the underground.

Formed in 2010, the band established themselves as a force to be reckoned with thanks to an impressive succession of self-released EPs and albums; the kind that never seem to go unnoticed/unheard for long. Often compared to the likes of Corrosion of Conformity, Alice in Chains and Badmotorfinger-era Soundgarden – the latter due in no small part to singer Ryan Ferrier’s exemplary vocal range – listeners are treated to a sound that runs the gamut of blues, hard rock, grunge and heavy metal, via big riffs, fuzzed out hooks and deep bass grooves. It’s a concoction expertly packaged with a raw and unbridled delivery whether heard from stage or speaker.

After supporting Fuzzorama label mates Truckfighters on lengthy stints across Europe and America, 2016 continues to be a big year for Valley Of The Sun as they travel across Europe this September for a headline tour.

Valley Of The Sun:

Ryan Ferrier – Guitar/Vocals
Aaron Boyer – Drums
Adam Flaig – Guitar
Ringo Jones – Bass

Volume Rock by Valley Of The Sun is out now on Fuzzorama Records –

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