Led by vocalist Jamie Myers (ex-Hammers of Misfortune), Sabbath Assembly anno 2017 features guitarist Kevin Hufnagel (Gorguts, Dysrhythmia), who has been with the band since 2011; original drummer Dave Nuss; bassist Johnny Deblase, who also played on the band's self-titled album; and the new addition of second guitarist Ron Varod (Kayo Dot, Psalm Zero, Zvi). We have been thrilled by the group's endeavors since the early albums, yet not they continue to evolve and excite as a far more progressive and at times heavier beast than when they first arrived, steeped in interpreting the hymnody of the Process Church of the Final Judgment. One of the most consistently good and unique bands in modern rock and metal, Sabbath Assembly are no mere faux-cult or yet another pretend wizard band. The new album Rites Of Passage draws from much deeper wells and is one of their most dynamic releases. The songs on Rites of Passage include stories of losing one's religion (rather than initiation), dissolution of a relationship (rather than marriage), and managing the dementia and physical decline of a loved one (as more profound than a funeral rite).
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An inspired East Cost short run pairing between the melodic and yet massive styles of Junius and InAeona is just what the doctor ordered to start Spring with a kick to the crotch. Junius are supporting an excellent new record Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light and InAeona are between releases but keeping the juices flowing as they contemplate what new material will follow the brilliant catharsis of Force Rise The Sun (which was on our 2015 top 5 year end list, fyi). My friend Michael Guthaus’s driving and chaotic band Clover open the Kingston show.
04/17 Boston, MA – Great Scott
04/18 Baltimore, MD – Metro Gallery
04/19 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie
04/20 Kingston, NY – BSP Kingston
04/21 Pittsburgh, PA – Black Forge Coffee House
04/22 Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus Bar
Gridfailure is one of our favorite current projects out there in the extreme musical weirdo multiverse, the experimental and totally mental brainchild of scene lifer Dave Brenner (ex-Theologian, ex-Heidnik) . Since May of 2016 Brenner has already released two albums, a split with Never Presence Forever and several collaborative releases with even more on the horizon! There is really no rule book, which makes this one of the more exciting acts to follow currently.
The latest Gridfailure release Hostile Alchemy features guest contributions from a wide cast of allies including Leila Abdul-Rauf (Vastum, Ionophore, Cardinal Wyrm), Mark Deutrom (Bellringer, ex-Melvins), Jeff Wilson (Wolvhammer, Abigail Williams, Chrome Waves), Faith Ciavarella, Pete Tsakiris, Benjamin Levitt (Megalophobe), Christian Molenaar (Those Darn Gnomes), Alexei Korolev (The Company Corvette), and more. Some sections of the album sound like listening to distant jazz while drowning in a swamp, the hallucinations mounting as oxygen is cut off to the brain and you fade to black. Other songs are like the half remembered film score from a two week old nightmare you haven’t been able to shake off. This is probably the music that Morlocks in the X-Men universe screw to by candlelight in the sewers beneath the underbelly of New York City.
“As Gridfailure was spawned from creating horror music, the underlying themes of terror and impending harm are always going to be there,” Brenner says.
Read more below.Add to My Radar
Eight Bells stand out with their experimental, acclaimed sound. The West Coast band’s new album Landless explores corners of brain, heart and soul that many bands are not insightful enough to even locate. Drone, doom, old timey harmonies and more patient tempos than you can shake a stop watch at will make this appeal to any SubRosa, Ides of Gemini or Witch Mountain fan, though the group are also capable of holding their own on tour with the likes of Voivod and Vektor! This will slay year end lists and it isn’t even Spring yet.Add to My Radar
Japanese drone/stoner/experimental veterans BORIS have announced a run of US tour dates this coming April surrounding Gensho, their new collaborative Relapse release with noise legend MERZBOW. The tour will see the band playing eight shows across the American Southwest and West Coast. A full itinerary is available below.
I saw you, comin’ back to me…
The latest rocker who gave their all; to part this Earth yet remain in our memories is Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane.
Personally, I love Airplane and Starship. They were groovy and didn’t care. That’s cool.
Why are we discussing this on a metal site? Well , for one…Sanctuary’s White Rabbit cover is one of the coolest metal covers of all time. Secondly, Jefferson Airplane had a golden streak where they got everything right before grapes soured or the smooth voiced Grace of graces had problems down the road in her life. Paul and the gang were bold enough to wave the love flag instead of beating the drums of war. This alone is metal as fuck in a truer sense than basement losers listening to gore metal.
People fetishize Charles Manson, the man who almost ruined the Beatles, LSD and the hope of the 60’s peace movements single handedly. Maybe he was a frail man who started out analytical and wanting to know what was behind the veil or the Satanic power mad world behind the curtain of politics, but he ended up as a scared little murderer who needed validation from vulnerable followers that did his dirty work for him. Plus, Sharon Tate was so amazing and we were robbed of her and her friends lives in such a disgusting fashion. I personally was just writing for another site that I think the Manson murders scarred us and shoved us more violently towards the fear mongering world we live in today than people realize. Hunter S. Thompson knew. And by the way, we all know HE was an Airplane fan.
Surrealistic Pillow, the title alone makes my loins feel lysergic and the head start to daydream. Love it.
It was so cool once to learn about Flower Travellin’ Band from my friend Laura Pleasants of Kylesa or to once upon a time discover the stoner rock sub genres that are more retro like The Golden Grass,Purson and Jex Thoth, albeit with an emphasis on picking back up an old torch yet without making the same mistakes of yesteryear.
It doesn’t have to be cool to be miserable. Anthrax wrote “anti-social” but actually want to have happy lives, for example.
Yeah, let’s not fetishize the murderers. We think it is edgy but while it is cool to psychoanalyze things or listen to Church Of Misery or the newest Wreckmeister Harmonies or Nick Cave’s Murder Ballads or whatever, but if it is dwindled into essentially a fashion statement devoid of meaning we are in trouble. Or we might as well put Che Guevara and Trump faces on every other frisbee and sell em out of the same tent at the county fair.
Death Valley ’69 by Sonic Youth and other smarter trips through the underbelly aside, it is cooler to push the “WE CAN” culture. Take the seediness out of the underground and look at pot as medicine, meditation as research, kindness as strength, acceptance as a test of Manhood.
Doing speed or carving nazi symbols on your face and being a dipshit might make for good TV, but you’re still a dick. Martin Shkreli can claim altruistic goals but still perhaps to be strapped to a chair and forced to watch Philadelphia and Dallas Buyers Club over and over Clockwork Orange style until he admits he has been acting like a dipshit robber baron Oliver Queen playboy without the redeeming Green Arrow side. Fuck you, dude.
The shit that Jefferson Airplane and San Fran held up triumphantly in the flower power daze of hopes and dashed dreams. But remember, flowers grow back. You just need good soil.
Whatever happened to wishes wished on a star?
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Temples Festival have announced grunge godfathers The Melvins as the Saturday night headliner. The fest line up this year is pretty damn forceable, featuring Jucifer, Acid King, All Pigs Must Die and many more great bands.
Patrons of Temples Festival,
First and foremost, thank you all for the patience you’ve kindly extended of late.
Without further ado, it’s with great pride with which we finally announce our first Temples 2016 headliner, following on from the likes of Neurosis and Sunn0))) as our Saturday night headliner, please welcome (the) Melvins to Temples Festival 2016.
The Melvins will headline Saturday, June 4th alongside a diverse and tasteful selection of artists – for what’s set to be one of the heaviest & most memorable days in the history of Temples Festival. With over forty bands now announced and many more (including two headliners) still to be unveiled, we’re firmly on course for another monumental weekend.
As ever, we’ll be under-selling the overall capacity of Motion to minimise the strain on each room and ensure we can offer the most comfortable experience possible for each of our Patrons. We have secured a number of tasteful caterers for 2016 which includes an array of vegan and vegetarian options, and once again we’ll be offering a fairly priced Ale and Cider bar for the drinking contingency among us – this time, featuring a bespoke Temples Festival ale.
Pinkish Black‘s Bottom of the Morning is a decidedly low key but brilliant
release from Relapse and the Texas based band. Much more akin to the (current
tour mates) Zombi side of the label than the Suffocation side, PB are an
artful and smart band who create often lengthy but never boring synth based
band with droll vocals which nonetheless have an insistent emotional impact.
The title track is a cool dream that whirls like slowly whipped cream around a
vertiginous yet repetitive refrain, building and taking away in layers
including at times rising to a fuzzed out stomp. Much of the music snakes and
teases this way, somewhat akin to Krautrock or electronic Radiohead but
perhaps not as minimalistic and with more of a cultish (and cultivated) sense of menace.
Maybe if Mark Lanegan was really into Tangerine Dream? I dunno.
The songs are actually deceptive in that they
have a lot more elements than you might at first remember, since a casual pass
is more hypnotic than “woah, go back to that part!” in general. But every song
has numerous rewards from horn sounds to cinematic 70’s art film style
disorienting textural key strokes or almost imperial moments of august and
celestial import. Some of it is even oddly No Wave.
The Fort Worth band are very interesting and anyone who enjoyed the soundtrack
feel of Goblin Rebirth’s record or who likes rock a bit more brainy that still
has a certain moody allure will dig this. It’s like an at times challenging
and hallucination frought semi-grandiose withdrawal from some womb-like Philip
K Dick-esque state sponsored pill of conformity. Challenging but in the end it makes you
wiser and glad you shed the brainwash. The songs take on a landscape of their
own, even when they drift into almost background music at times due to a
lulling nature of some of the more repetitive parts (“Brown Rainbow” has a
particularly hypnotic march) you suddenly are swirled right back into the dead
center of this oddly all seeing eye.
Seattle drone metallers Eye of Nix have premiered a new song “Blood In The Fire”.
“Blood In The Fire” comes off of the upcoming album Moros which will drop on November 6.
Check out “Blood In The Fire” and Eye of Nix tour dates here.
Last night writing the delightfully awesome Bridge Laviazar of Prosthetic’s 2015 standout act InAeona, things were going well until she threatened to kill me if I listed her band as “Goth Metal.”
I was telling her how I wish we had a post-metal category on the drop down menu of this site and was trying to figure out what to categorize her band’s amazing, spacious and heavy, outer space meets a little bit industrial racket. We were going through the categories you can choose from on this site and none seemed to really fit.
“If you put us as Goth Metal I will find you and kill you,” she…joked? I told her there were worse fates than sitting in a coffee shop somewhere and having a blue haired amazon run in and decapitate me. In fact, my friends would think it was pretty fitting and probably just shrug. We finally settled on “no genre”.
However you choose to describe the East Coast trio, which also includes James Dunham and Dave Soucy, they have a massive and awesome sound. Force Rise The Sun is one of the years best records. I wont say where it sits on my year end list yet because the end of the year is still a few weeks away, but let’s just say it is absolutely in the top 5 albums of 2015 for me.
Read my chat with Bridge BELOW.Add to My Radar
Confrontational is a European darkwave project that is turning heads with ass kicking new record A Dance Of Shadows. The album features mastermind Massimo Usai charting a dark yet infectious as a zombie bite (but much more fun!) course for the dance floor. With cover art from Branca Studios and a sound akin to the best 80’s horror and action cinema soundtracks that never existed but sound like classic cuts, Confrontational is much more interesting than the 800th metalcore band to hit up my email for coverage. In fact, I had to seek this dude out because I was so intrigued by the project.
Turns out we had some similar tastes and a mutual pal or two. That’s the power of the underground!
How did this studio whiz get Monte Pittman from Madonna’s band (and ex-Prong), Darren Travis from fucking Sadus and horror legend John Carpenter’s own son Cody Carpenter on this release? The music is just that fuckin’ cool!
A Dance Of Shadows is out on bandcamp now HERE and you ought to go support it!
Read our full Confrontational interview BELOW.Add to My Radar
I was just bitching about being unsure how on Earth I will whittle down my year end list to a reasonable number this year in the face of so many rad records when news broke about Relapse releasing a pending new collaboration between legends Boris and Merzbow. Seeing Boris live ought to change anyone’s life and I even got to chat with Jim Jarmusch about how cool they are once when I waited on him at a restaurant I used to work at, The Depuy Canal House. Anyhow, thankfully Gensho, the new collaboration, does not street until next February so I don’t have yet another contender for my year end list. After August every year I start freaking out counting down to December and become impossible to be around.
Anyway, any decent weirdo worth their salt knows Merzbow is a noise legend and Boris know no limits when it comes to creativity. In a noise rock/avant pop climate where awesome stuff is being done again by bands ranging from JC Satan to Tearist to Pigs and Fad Nauseam, it is rad to know some of the scene stalwarts are still cutting their teeth on pushing boundaries as well. Deets on Gensho can be read BELOW.
Swans can be one of the most intense bands to this day, even if it’s been a long time since Filth. Whether spacious rock, furrowed brow indie rock or harsher passages, M.Gira and his ensemble/collective always deliver a thrill. From The Burning World to My Father Will Guide Me…I can’t think of a single bad record.
“…Hello There, Michael Gira of Swans here. I thought that, since you signed up to our newsletter, you might be interested to know that the 2xCD live SWANS handmade fundraiser event/portal of support for our (in)glorious efforts is now up. The live 2xCD is called The Gate. I believe it captures the live SWANS experience effectively. The woodblock print is by Nicole Boitos and I draw all over each one and sign it as well. Each one is unique. They’re numbered 1 – 2500 and won’t be available elsewhere… The upcoming album (as yet untitled) will be the last with this core group (comprised of my beautiful friends Norman, Christoph, Thor, Phil, Christopher and myself) and the subsequent (marathon) tour in 2016 will be our last together. As such, I am determined to make this album the most fully realized, cataclysmic, subtle and nuanced, heartfelt and inspirational, truthful and luminous recording that we have yet undertaken. As always, your valued (and quite necessary) support in this perhaps quixotic endeavor is sincerely appreciated. I love you! I thank you!…”
The rapport this group has developed over the last 5 plus years is a gift for which I will remain forever grateful. In live performance it has sometimes lead us to unleash a sound that is not only greater than us but seems to swallow us into its own immanent consciousness and will. It feels great! Oftentimes I’ve spoken to people in the audience after a show and they’ve expressed similar notions. My sentiment at these moments is that I’m delighted to have been of service, but can’t really take responsibility for it, since it’s beyond us too. So, following the final 2016 touring cycle with the wonderful cadre of talented individuals mentioned above, I will continue to record and perform (though perhaps less frequently) using the name Swans, on a project-by-project basis. Acutely aware that the psychic connection with which we’ve been blessed is irreplaceable, I will instead pursue the ever-elusive pathway alluded to above through other means. You can read more about this and other ephemera at the link above.
Crowhurst have an extensive catalogue that bears reflecting upon, yet recent release I is garnering more respect than ever. I love when a project goes full on Willie Nelson / Swans/ Smashing Pumpkins/Neil Young style where the artist releases just a ton of material throughout their career. It’s not even about being less calculated, as Crowhurst ringleader and renaissance man Jay Gambit clearly puts care into each release, from the musical ground up to the visuals. This is to noise and blackened industrial what All Out War’s Dying Gods is to metalcore, the real genuine fuckin’ deal, kids.
Read our conversation BELOW.Add to My Radar
Swans have always seemed really tribal in some way to me, even when they have been more about casting out spirits or deep isolation. Not exactly always the most “social” music, in my opinion. It’s a quality of fearless expression you can find today in Swans themselves, of course, but also younger acts like Tearist , Palms or Ides Of Gemini who also kind of straddle this lonely line between beauty, stark poetry or powerful melody/humanity versus (or rather in conjunction with) discomfort, shamanistic ritual and the fearless self discovery of not caring if people are ready to be initiated where you need to travel on your own path to full blossoming.
Photographer Miss Magpi documented elder statesman M. Gira’s act for us at their recent Union Transfer stop, a stunning venue to witness this act who still remain, in their way, more extreme than most “heavy” bands. Sometimes it’s all about the vibe, baby.
Magpi describes the show as:
“.collosal. & .meticulous.”