Tuesday, March 28, 2017

WINDHAND Announce Headlining European Tour Dates With Satan's Satyrs

Photo Credit: Ben Stas

Richmond, VA doomsters WINDHAND have announced a new run of headlining European tour dates this coming fall with fellow Virginia based group Satan’s Satyrs. The tour commences September 21st in Copenhagen, DK and runs till October 13th in Bristol, UK. The two bands will also do a short North American run preceding the European Tour.  A full listing of WINDHAND tour dates is available below.

WINDHAND Tour Dates:

--- All Dates 3/31 - 4/8 with Cough ---

Mar 31 Wellington, NZ San Fran
Apr 01 Auckland, NZ King’s Arm Tavern
Apr 02 Fortitude Valley, AUS Crowbar
Apr 05 Newtown, AUS Newton Social Club
Apr 06 Adelaide, AUS Fowlers Live
Apr 07 Melbourne, AUS Corner Hotel (+ Inverloch)
Apr 08 Perth, AUS Badlands

Apr 21 Portland, OR Mississippi Studios
Apr 22 Vancouver, BC Fortune Sound Club
Apr 23 Seattle, WA Neumos

--- All dates 5/17-5/25 with Satan's Satyrs ---

May 17 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
May 18 Pittsburgh, PA Cattivo
May 19 Toronto, ON Horseshoe Tavern
May 20 Detroit, MI Loving Touch
May 21 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
May 22 Minneapolis, MN 7th St. Entry
May 23 Milwaukee, WI Cactus Club
May 24 Indianapolis, IN The Hi-Fi
May 25 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups

Aug 18-20 Las Vegas, NV Psycho Las Vegas Festival

--- All dates 9/21 - 10/14  with Satan's Satyrs ---

Sep 21 Copenhagen, DK Loppen
Sep 22 Oslo, NO BLA
Sep 23 Stockholm, SE Debaser Strand
Sep 25 Helsinki, FI Kuudes Linja
Sep 27 Gothenburg, SE Pustervik
Sep 28 Hamburg, DE Hafenklang
Sep 29 Cologne, DE MTC
Sep 30 Wiesbaden, DE Kesselhaus
Oct 01 Leipzig, DE UT Connewitz
Oct 02 Berlin, DE Cassiopeia
Oct 03 Vienna, AT Arena
Oct 04 Munich, DE Feierwerk
Oct 05 Bologna, IT Freak-Out Club
Oct 06 Mezzago, IT Bloom Club
Oct 08 Paris, FR Stoned Gathering
Oct 09 London, UK The Borderline
Oct 10 Leeds, UK Brudenell
Oct 11 Glasgow, UK Audio
Oct 12 Manchester, UK Rebellion
Oct 13 Bristol, UK Exchange

Windhand Tour
Windhand Tour
WINDHAND are still touring in support of their critically-acclaimed 2015 full-length Grief's Infernal Flower, which was hailed by publications including NPR, Pitchfork and many more as one of the best metal albums of the year. Grief's Infernal Flower can be streamed and purchased at the band's Bandcamp page here.

Completing the collection! No Prayer through to Final Frontier album reissues coming this summer - all on black vinyl!

Parlophone Records will follow 2014’s reissue of the first eight IRON MAIDEN albums, which spanned the 1980s, with twelve brand new pressings of albums from the period 1990-2015 in heavyweight 180g black vinyl.

Unlike the 1980’s reissues which were cut from the original analogue master tapes, the audio on these releases has been cut from the high resolution remasters of 2015 when the Maiden catalogue was digitally upgraded. They will be packaged in identical artwork to the initial vinyl releases.

The records will be released chronologically across a three month period:

May 19th: No Prayer For The Dying / Fear Of The Dark / The X Factor / Virtual XI

June 23rd: Brave New World / Rock In Rio (Live) / Dance Of Death / A Matter Of Life And Death

July 21st: Death On The Road (Live) / Flight 666 (Live) / The Final Frontier / En Vivo! (Live)

As a bonus, the first two albums (No Prayer For The Dying & Fear Of The Dark) will also be made available in an exclusive Collector’s Box sized to house all 12 albums with additional space for fans to insert the latest Maiden studio album The Book Of Souls, which was released on triple black vinyl in 2015. The Collector’s Box will be a strictly limited edition and available while stocks last.

These high quality, black vinyls comprised of eight studio albums together with a specially selected choice of four live recordings from this period, completes the IRON MAIDEN album reissues series and offers Maiden fans the opportunity to own the band’s entire studio album legacy on vinyl simultaneously for the very first time.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Ripple Field Trip: The Meat Puppets at the Silverlake Echoplex

The best concert I have ever attended in my life was at UCLA’s Ackerman Union hall in 1985 – a trifecta never to be equaled in modern American rock – the Minutemen, followed by Meat Puppets, followed by Husker Du.  All 3 bands launched by landmark punk label SST earlier in the 80s, these 3 juggernauts all tore through spectacular material at the height of their respective games.  The Minutemen’s songs were maturing way beyond their 70 second sonic blurts into fully developed, politically charged rock n roll anthems from their double cd opus Double Nickels on the Dime; the Meat Puppets were touring to support their spectacular Up on the Sun album, where their trippy psychedelically tinged, rootsy punk coalesced into brilliance; and Husker Du were riding the crescendo of their creative peak, playing an endless parade of high quality songs from their stellar albums Zen Arcade and New Day Rising, and debuting new single Makes no Sense at All , foreshadowing a newfound power pop sensibility.

Where are they now?  Sadly we lost Minutemen guitarist and frontman D Boon to a tragic tour bus accident not a year later, the group disbanding immediately, and Husker Du dissolved a few years later after the brilliant Warehouse – Songs and Stories double album to leave an influential legacy without which we do not know a litany of high achieving bands that we take for granted.  But the Meat Puppets?  Well, they are not just still around, they are thriving and killing it live.  Having released over a dozen albums throughout their 3-decade plus career, they continue to tour regularly around the country, and their recent headlining stop at Silverlake’s Echoplex revealed a band that can still kick out the jams in most impressive fashion.  Choosing what seemed like one song from practically every record they’ve released, their extended jams on Up on the Sun’s enchanting instrumental “Seal Whales” and the particularly intense “Lake of Fire’ (made famous of course by Nirvana’s unplugged version) were breathtaking.

Hailing originally from Phoenix, what an apt synergy, because bass player Cris Kirkwood’s is truly one hell of a success story, having risen from the depths of heroin addiction and incarceration 10 years ago to take center stage as the far more animated of the two brothers, older brother Curt content to convey a chill vibe and focus on delivering his pleasantly quixotic lyrics and mindbending guitar solos.  It’s Cris whose elfish figure draws the eye’s attention, his good natured and quirky facial contortions keeping pace with his solid fretwork, blasting to smithereens the Entwistle/John Paul Jones-inspired theory that the bass player stands still like a steady ox caught in the vortex of hyperkinetic lead singers and uber type-A guitar heroes.  At his left flank on stage was yet another Kirkwood, young Elmo, whose long flowing locks and overall mojo clearly betrayed a family resemblance and conjured up images of his lineage from that concert decades ago.

On stage before the Meat Puppets was Ford Madox Ford, the new band from SoCal music scene veteran Chip Kinman, whose 1980s band Rank and File with (speaking of brothers) Tony made some noteworthy inroads into local lore with solid radio-friendly “cowpunk” tracks like “The Conductor Wore Black” and “Amanda Ruth”.  The new band sounded very accomplished indeed given their short history – after Chip playfully announced he was gonna play some punk, they launched into a mighty fine set of energetic blues and rockabilly-influenced rootsy rock that called to mind more “Brand New Cadillac”  than “White Riot”.  Look out for their debut release this summer on Porterhouse Records, recording as we speak.  

-Rhythm Slayer

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Watchers hit the road in support of their critically-acclaimed debut EP on Ripple Music

S.F. Bay Area rock heavyweights, The Watchers, hit the road this summer in support of their debut Ripple Music release, their "Sabbath Highway".

Starting this June, the "Sabbath Highway Tour" will see the band hitting the highways of the American heartland, crossing from their West Coast homes all the way to their  pinnacle stop at The Maryland Doom Fest #3, where they'll lay waste to waiting audiences along side such heavyweights as The Skull, Wo Fat, and  Bang.

 6/17 Nevada • Reno / Jub Jubs Thirst Parlor
 6/18 Utah • SLC / The Urban Lounge
 6/19 Colorado • Ft Collins / Surfside 7
 6/20 Kansas • Lawrence / Replay Lounge
 6/21 Illinois • Chicago / Reggies
 6/22 Indiana • South Bend / Smiths Downtown
 6/23 Ohio • Wapakoneta  / Route 33 Rhythm & Brews
 6/24 Maryland • Frederick / Cafe 611
      (Maryland Doom Fest)
 6/26 Oklahoma • Tulsa (TBA)
 6/27 Texas • San Antonio / Limelight
 6/28 Texas • Austin / The Lost Well
 6/29 Texas • El Paso / Rock House
 6/30 Arizona • Tempe / Yucca Tap Room

Before the Tour commences, The Watchers will enter the studio to record their next full length offering anticipated to be released by Ripple Music in Sept. 2017.

Finally, to rev up for the tour, The Watchers just released a new video from the "Sabbath Highway" EP, "Just A Needle."   Check it out and prepare for the Sabbath Highway!

Video Link!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bandcamp Bonanza – March In And Out Like A Lion

The month of March has been a bruiser as customary with the weather. The” in like a lion out like a lamb” saying smacked the music world here on bandcamp rather inversely. Bandcamp pounced us like a lion the entire month with no signs of slowing down. Here are some stragglers I managed to dig up recently. I have been on vacation all week, so not a lot of new discovery, but with the internet and smart phones I am always just a click away from greatness. Check these bad boys out.

Familiars – This Water That is Warm (I Will Soon Join)
I was not familiar with the Familiars until a couple weeks ago. They popped up on the feed and it took me a while to push play. Probably due to the fact that their catalog was mainly 2-song singles and those are always a bit hit and miss. However, when I finally sat down and pushed play I was enamored with  delight.
For those unfamiliar with The Familiars, I'll tell you this much; this single is one of the gnarliest 2 song sequences I've heard all year. By gnarly I mean thick burly riffs, hazy psychedelic vocals and mind altering rhythm that demands repeat attention. Blown away.

Smokey Mirror – Smokey Mirror EP
One hell of an EP right here waveriders. Straight out of the heart of Texas, Smokey Mirror hammer us with one of the best EPs of the year so far.
Signature Texas blues distorted with desert psychedelics, and scorching with cactus fried vocal chops. The guitars jam with twisted rhythm, pulsate with fuzz drenched doom, and bewilder with an enchanting echo. I can’t wait to see where these guys go from here.
Book a show with them, grab the EP, and spread the word. This is hot shit.

Earth Witch – Out of the Shallow
These guys caught my ear with not only the intriguing artwork on display, obviously a David Paul Seymour piece, but the energy was present. The massive doom throbs like Sabbath at a blues fest. If an album could come close to resembling the tone on the first Sword album, ‘Out of the Shallow’ nails it. Probably what caught my ear initially and held my attention throughout. The vocals are both  burly and intoxicating without being overbearing, and the riffs are both weighty and bluesy bringing the sound full circle for fans of uber doom, and those that prefer a heavy psychedelic blues affair. There are various physical merch packages including the cassette tape which is actually the same price as the digital only. You are really missing out by not holding something by Earth Witch in your hand. It gets better with each listen as well.

Mosgila – Mosgila
This one came out of nowhere. A facebook recommendation by a trusted source and a push of the play button and I was sold. Based in Seattle, Washington, one can’t help but immediately look for a grunge influence. Although the grunge sound is not at the forefront of the scene these days, the Seattle climate always seems to invoke somewhat of a grungey tone. As the album plays through there is definitely a 90’s hard rock vibe going on. But rather than a clone of Stone Temple Pilots or Soundgarden, Mosgila creates more of a modern hard arena rock meets stoner metal. The vocals are the dividing factor that gives this one a nostalgic essence. The guitars are smooth, riffy, and melodic, and the tone screams 20th century Pacific Northwest stoner metal. I hear bits and pieces that remind me of post 2000 hard rock of the like of Tim Narducci of ‘The Watchers’ old band ‘Systematic’, which I’ve always loved. Check this out and give these guys some love. I think they’ve got something special going on here.

Sleeping Tigers – Ancient Request
Here we are with another 2-song set that had me completely sold. Straight out of Salt Lake City, UT, Sleeping Tigers roar at us with a fine demo output.
Consider my interest in full pique mode. Groove for days, riffs for miles, and the hooks catch you like Yogi Berra on a curve ball.

Ethiva – Sublime Island
Here is a band that is worth listening to. With a heavily progressive direction, Ethiva have released an album that will spin you into the abyss with layers of psychedelic infused kraut mixed with melodic strums of metallic force. I was blown away and still am with how much this band is able to impress. Take a listen for yourself. This one is available on vinyl and although I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, it is high on the list of priorities as it’s an absolutely gorgeous album. Also, their debut is stunning and available on bandcamp as well.

Regulus – Quadralith
Last but not least we have the brand new full length album by Regulus, whom I’ve featured on the series before. The new album was high on my priority list, and although I can’t afford the vinyl at the moment the music will certainly justify a purchase if you haven’t already.
Fuzzy layers of heavy blues build within strapping vocal chops and stoner-fueled groove. Regulus have arrived by way of Quadralith with a 10-song set of powerhouse, riff-driven heavy rock n roll.

March is always a strong month straddling the winter and spring divide taking us from a blustery cold front to fresh and airy pastures. The campgrounds will soon be green as the rivers of music begin to rise with runoff creating waves of sounds for you all to ride. See you next time.

-The Huntsman

Friday, March 24, 2017

Second Coming of Heavy Chapter Five Lands This Saturday, and Mothership, Freedom Hawk, and Gozu Back in Stock!!!

It's here!  The next edition of The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter Five - featuring Ripple favorites Desert Suns and Chiefs.  All brand new, never before released songs that rip with stoner/desert power.  Will be available in all the versions you've come to know and love, The Tricolor swirled with white splatter Resurrection Edition, The individually numbered oxblood in clear color in color with black splatter Risen OBI, and the milky clear/oxblood splattered Ascension Edition.   Only 100 pressed of each edition with no repress.  Jump onboard the series that many are calling the best "Split series in the heavy underground."   On sale Saturday 25th, 7 am PST.  www.ripple-music.com
Mothership "High Strangeness"  released last week and has catapulted the band to the upper echelons of the heavy underground.  The limited editions of the LP sold out in under 24 hours, but fret not!  We always keep some in reserve for lost/damage replacement and we'll be releasing these, reserve 7" Crown of Lies, and test pressings in just one week.  So stay tuned.  Meanwhile, black vinyl and CD are available right now in the shop. 
Back in stock!!  We sold out of all limited color, test pressings and black vinyl (even sold out of CD's!) in less than a month, so here's great news.  The debut album by legendary heavy rockers, Freedom Hawk is back in stock.  Sunlight finds the band making their debut Ripple release and brims with the killer riffage that Freedom Hawk are world-known for.  In the shop now in LP and CD.   www.ripple-music.com
Another one that sold out quickly, and again we're thrilled to let you know that this baby is back in stock. "Revival" by Gozu, their Ripple Music debut, broke the band to their biggest audience  yet.  On most sites end-of-year-best-of lists, nobody does it like Gozu.  Intense riffing, killer melodies and those perfect soulful vocals.  Back in stock in vinyl and CD.  www.ripple-music.com

Thursday, March 23, 2017

KROKUS - New Covers Album, BIG ROCKS, slated for US Release in April!

Rockers around the world - prepare yourselves for the latest album by Switzerland's legendary hard rock band KROKUS, entitled BIG ROCKS!

Release date: April 7th 2017

On BIG ROCKS, KROKUS pay tribute to their roots by covering classic tracks of The Rolling Stones, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Steppenwolf, The Who, Bob Dylan and many more.

With a total of 12 flawlessly executed cover versions in the typical KROKUS vein plus a newly recorded version of the KROKUS classic "Backseat Rock N' Roll" as well as comments on selected songs by various band members, BIG ROCKS offers everything fans of straight-forward and honest rock music can ask for.

BIG ROCKS is available as CD Jewelcase as well as download and stream (Available now). The album is already available outside North America, but fans within North America will now be able to pick up this piece of hard rock history.

Click here to pre-order the CD at selected stores or purchase a download/streaming copy: http://smarturl.it/KrokusBIGROCKS

A lyric video of the classic track "House Of The Rising Sun" isa available on YouTube and Vevo via the link below.

Let the Krokus Pokus begin!
BIG ROCKS - Tracklist

1. N.I.B.
(originally by Black Sabbath)

2. Tie Your Mother Down
(originally by Queen)

3. My Generation
(originally by The Who)

4. Wild Thing
(originally by The Troggs)

5. The House Of The Rising Sun
(originally by The Animals)

6. Rockin' In The Free World
(originally by Neil Young)

7. Gimme Some Lovin'
(originally by Spencer Davis Group)

8. Whole Lotta Love
 (originally by Led Zeppelin)

9. Summertime Blues
(originally by Eddie Cochran)

10. Born To Be Wild
(originally by Steppenwolf)

11. Quinn The Eskimo
(originally by Bob Dylan)

12. Jumpin' Jack Flash
(originally by The Rolling Stones)

13. Backseat Rock N' Roll
(KROKUS original recording)
KROKUS line-up:
Marc Storace: Lead Vocals
Chris von Rohr: Bass, Vocals
Fernando von Arb: Guitars,Vocals
Mark Kohler: Guitars
Mandy Meyer: Guitars
Flavio Mezzodi: Drums

Century Media Records Online:

HORISONT Announce 'About Time' North American Tour

Swedish Hard Rockers HORISONT are thrilled to announce that they will be returning to North America next month as part of their 'About Time' world tour. The upcoming dates come in support of the band's new album, About Time, which was released on February 3rd and features the singles "Electrical" (Music Video), "The Hive" (Album Track) and "About Time" (Music Video). Speaking about their return stateside, the members of Horisont comment,

"Well, well! Look what we have here! We had such a good time on our last U.S. tour, we thought it’s time to go back! So it’s with great pleasure that we can announce our next upcoming North American tour which is scheduled for April and May. We’ll be bringing the awesome blues rockers The Dirty Streets with us throughout the whole tour. More dates will be added shortly so stay tuned! See you soon!"


HORISONT - 'About Time' North American Tour

4/16 VANCOUVER, BC @ PUB 340
* - w/Mothership

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

VERENA VON HORSTEN - Alien Angel Super Death


This is the second solo album by artist Verena von Horsten from Zurich, Switzerland. It was written, produced and recorded by herself in New York and Zurich. This album is a moving and sentimental tribute to her late brother who committed suicide four years ago. The songs on the album, explore the haunting journey of despair she embarked on as she struggled to understand why her brother felt like the only option he had left was to end his own life, and the way the world treats suicide.

The album has been called "synth-pop," but there is no "pop" here, it's more along the lines of "synth rock" because of the edginess of it and the topic of the album. She has also been compared to Bjork and PJ Harvey, but she isn't like them at all, except that they are all females that sing, instead let's not lump her into a group of singers, let's take her at face value; a singer that has an amazing voice and raw talent that stands out as soon as you start to listen to the album. Song after song is chock full of emotion that grabs your ears as well as your heart knowing the tragic way this album came to be. The songs are catchy, tightly played and infectious, something that can be played over and over again and never get boring. She has a voice that goes from being almost operatic and hitting high notes to sounding melancholy and heart-wrenching, but still beautiful. The over eight minute long "Sakrament der Büffelherde" is an amazing song that has a fantastic beat, astounding vocals and seems so much shorter than is listed. This is a song that will get stuck in my head and be played repeatedly. The production is clear, but keeps the rawness of her emotions in full view, and everything just falls into place.

As a person who has also dealt with suicide in my immediate family, I can relate to the bleakness of it all, as well as the fight to overcome those feelings and the pain. Von Horsten has come a long way to figuring things out and has given the public something beautiful to help make sense out of the chaos of it all. 

-Rick Ecker

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

THE OBSESSED Premieres "Punk Crusher" Via Brooklyn Vegan/Invisible Oranges; Record Release Show Announced

[Photo by Susie Costantino]

Maryland doom legends THE OBSESSED today premiere the second single off their impending new Sacred full-length, their first studio offering in over two decades.

Stream "Punk Crusher" exclusively via Brooklyn Vegan at THIS LOCATION and Invisible Oranges HERE.

Listen to previously released track "Razor Wire" via YouTube HERE or Soundcloud HERE.

April 7th, 2017 will see the worldwide release of Sacred via Relapse Records on CD, LP, deluxe 2xLP, and digital formats. Physical preorders and bundles are available via Relapse.com HERE and digital downloads can be preordered by Bandcamp at THIS LOCATION. The deluxe 2xLP bundle includes an enamel logo pin, signed art print, and two bonus tracks.

With renewed energy and purpose, THE OBSESSED sounds heavier and more relevant than ever before. On Sacred, the band doubles down on enormous, heaving riffs and pummeling low-end across twelve tracks of eternal doom. Rounded out by guitarist/vocalist Scott "Wino" Weinrich's lyrical honesty and iconic throaty vocals, Sacred is an album that further pushes THE OBSESSED into the annals of heavy metal history, well worth the two-plus decade wait. The band will perform once again as a three-piece featuring Wino, Reid Raley, and Brian Costantino.

THE OBSESSED has announced a special Sacred record release show April 8th at Kung Fu Necktie which will include an album listening session and a special Wino acoustic performance. The band will also perform at this year's Berserker Fest IV in Detroit, Michigan the weekend of April 14th-15th. Stay tuned for further tour live announcements in the future.

4/08/2017 King Fu Necktie - Philadelphia, PA [info] * Record Release Show
4/14-15/2017 Berserker Fest IV - Detroit, MI w/ GWAR, Eyehategod, OFF!, Weedeater, Brain Tentacles, more

THE OBSESSED was formed in the late 1970s in Potomac, Maryland by legendary guitarist Scott "Wino" Weinrich (Saint Vitus, Spirit Caravan). The band spawned in the realm of musicians/artists such as Black Sabbath, Frank Zappa, The Dictators, and The Stooges. The earliest lineup consisted of Wino, bassist Mark Laue, guitarist John Reese, and drummer Dave Flood. In 1983, Wino took over vocal duties and the band became a three-piece to record the Sodden Jackal EP.

The band broke up in the late '80s after Wino moved to California to join Saint Vitus. At that time, a German label, Hellhound Records, and the booking agency that had signed Saint Vitus, released The Obsessed, originally recorded in 1985, prompting Wino to reform THE OBSESSED. After multiple lineup changes, the band signed to Columbia Records in 1994 to release their third and final album, The Church Within. Despite highly acclaimed reviews, THE OBSESSED would breakup following the release, seeing Wino forming Spirit Caravan (Then Shine) and other projects.

In September 2011, THE OBSESSED returned to the stage at Roadburn Festival with The Church Within's legendary lineup (featuring Wino, Greg Rogers, and Guy Pinhas). The band played a few more reunion shows over the next couple years at Hellfest Open Air 2012 and Maryland Deathfest XI in May 2013 with bassist Reid Raley.

Wino announced the full-time return of THE OBSESSED in March 2016 and the band's official signing to Relapse Records to record the follow up to The Church Within. The new lineup originally consisted of Spirit Caravan bassist Dave Sherman and Wino's longtime friend and former road crew member. drummer Brian Costantino. On October 31st, 2016, Wino announced the lineup for THE OBSESSED, included bassist Bruce Falkinburg and guitarist Seraphim, making that the first time the band had been a four piece in over thirty-five years. Now in 2017, THE OBSESSED will unleash Sacred, the band's first studio album in over two decades.


"Delicate leads shimmer and spark; ornate guitars unfurl majestically, like a medieval tapestry." - Pitchfork

“…Pallbearer's stepped up its composition game, with dexterous contrapuntal interplay between the guitars and bass. Heartless is going to be something special, y'all.” - NPR

"...more aggressive and immediate than Pallbearer's previous work. The band moves out of the shadows of mythology and toward an earth riddled with new problems, broken defenses and evaporating futures. The music follows, with hooks that seem sharper and choruses that demand more attention." - Rolling Stone

Pallbearer’s colossal third album Heartless will be released on March 24th and last night, the band unveiled the album’s opener “I Saw The End” on BBC’s Radio 1 Rock Show with Daniel P. Carter.  Today, you can check out a music video for the track, which was directed by Zev Deans / Panorama Programming (Lamb of God, Chelsea Wolfe, Ghost), here on YouTube. 

The band commented, "Both song and video present a telescopic view on an eternity of corruption. The path of greed leads to misery. When higher awareness allowed us to claw our way out of the mud, we found new ways to exploit one another, abusing the gift that could bring us to new heights. In the end, we pay for our selfishness. Join us for this elegy for what might have been." 

“I Saw The End” is an indicator of an album grander in scope than anything Pallbearer has released prior, showcasing a natural progression that melds higher technicality and more ambitious structures with their most immediate hooks to date.   On Heartless, Pallbearer offer a complex sonic architecture that weaves together the spacious exploratory elements of classic prog, the raw anthemics of 90’s alt-rock, and stretches of black-lit proto-metal. Lyrics about mortality, life, and love are set to sharp melodies and pristine three-part harmonies. Vocalist and guitarist Brett Campbell has always been a strong, assured singer, and on Heartless, his work is especially stunning.  By fusing their widest musical palette to date, Pallbearer make the kind of heavy rock that will appeal to diehards, but could also find the group crossing over into newer territories and fanbases. After having helped revitalize doom metal, it almost feels like they’ve gone and set their sights on rock and roll itself. Which doesn’t seem at all impossible on the back of a record like Heartless.

See Pallbearer on tour later this month with support from Marissa Nadler and Kayo Dot (dates listed below, with an additional show announced in June with Baroness) and look for Heartless to be released March 24th from Profound Lore in North America (in Europe from Nuclear Blast Entertainment).  Heartless is available for pre-order here.

March 22  Little Rock, AR @ Revolution Music Room
March 23  Nashville, TN @ The End *
March 25  Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg *
March 28  Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop *
March 29  Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme *
March 31  Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall *
June 2  Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer

* w/ Marissa Nadler, Kayo Dot
* w/ Baroness, Nothing

Pallbearer is:
Brett Campbell - guitar, vocals
Devin Holt - guitar, vocals
Mark Lierly - drums
Joseph D. Rowland - bass, vocals

Heartless, track listing:
1.  I Saw the End
2.  Thorns
3.  Lie of Survival
4.  Dancing in Madness
5.  Cruel Road
6.  Heartless
7.  A Plea for Understanding

Top photo by: Diana Lee Zadlo.

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Ripple Conversation With. . . .Brad Frye, guitarist and vocalist of Red Mesa.

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.
What have been your musical epiphany moments?

BF: Oh yeah, I grew up in household with soft rock radio in rural, coastal Maine.  My brother and I know the lyrics to so many shitty songs.  My first musical epiphany was hearing the the full version “Suzy Q” by Credence Clearwater Revival.  I was a boy riding in my parents car.  My Mom had it on cassette.  I didn't know that songs were longer than 3 minutes.  They do this long guitar solo and then jam out for another 5 minutes.  I was mesmerized.  I remember thinking, “I didn't know you could do that.” So that's what I do now. 

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

BF:  Generally our songs start with a riff.  I spend a long time working on riffs and progressions that 1) sound cool 2) don't remind me of any guitarist or band in particular 3) I can sing and play at the same time.  The next step is playing the music with the band, whether I brought in the idea or not.  We all need to get behind it.  We listen for space to have lyrics.  Start working out changes.  I then take the music home and start singing over it my car.  Working on lyrics and melodies.   I'd prefer to write music AFTER a song/melody.  But usually it starts with a riff.

Who has influenced you the most?

BF: Oh wow.  A lot of people.  It has changed through the years.  When I was 8, Guns 'N Roses “Appetite for Destruction”  came out and I played that over and over.  It was a great introduction to attitude and rock and roll.  I haven't listened to them for probably 20 years, but I recently heard that album and it is still killer.
In terms of playing guitar, Josh Homme from Kyuss and QOTSA has been a huge inspiration and influence to me.  Also, Brant Bjork (Kyuss, Vista Chino, solo stuff).  He is an underrated guitarist and wrote some killer Kyuss riffs and songs.
Tony Iommi is a massive influence for riffs.  David Gilmore for solos.  I'm not a shredder.  I prefer slower, psychedelic and melodic solo. 
For singing, I love a lot people.  Singing got me into playing guitar so I could use it as a tool for songwriting.  I try to not sound like anyone, and just focus on my own voice. 

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

BF:  Whatever is going on in my life and around me at the moment.  But try I focus on frustrations, sadness, anger, and desires to give them a release so I don't carry around a lot of negativity.  Music is a release.  There is a lot of suffering in life.  Music helps me deal with it.  That way I can evolve and be a positive and good human being. 

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

BF:  The band's hometown is Albuquerque, New Mexico.  We are certainly inspired by the high desert, with its great big blue sky and mountains.  New Mexico has a cool laid back feel to it. We try to get in a heavy groove and pretend we are outside playing under a desert sunset.  Duane Gasper our drummer, and Shawn Wright our bass player are both New Mexico natives.  They really embody the spirit. 

Where'd the band name come from?

BF:  Band names are harder to come up with than songs.  I believe it was a suggestion from an old friend  and guitarist we used to jam with before this band came to fruition in its current line-up as a power trio.  Shawn reminded us of the band name and it fit the best.   We wanted a band name that represented the high desert environment of New Mexico.  

Tell us about witchcraft, what it means to you and your life?

BF:  I don't know a damn thing about witchcraft.  I am, however, a spiritual non-religious person.  I have spent a lot of my life exploring nature and natural environments.  I believe you can benefit from some good things from getting outside and away from people.  I feel its important to find a quiet space.  To get away from everything.  There's a lot of wisdom life and nature can teach you.  There is a lot of wisdom your mind, body, and soul can teach you.  It's important to open up and listen to that. 

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

BF:  I like movies that travel to beautiful landscapes.  If I had the opportunity to write a soundtrack that played off a movie about a hitchhiker or a backpacker traveling through epic landscapes, I'd be down. 

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?). You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

BF:  “Space Cadet” by Kyuss.  When I first heard that song, it blew my fucking mind.  I had always wanted to listen to something like that, but I had no idea where to find it.  I remember listening to it while on the bus in Seattle.  When that song came on, I got off the bus and just stood on the street.  I couldn't move.  I just stood there, and thought, “holy shit, this is fucking incredible.” 

What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?

BF:  I want people to feel......... SOMETHING.  I intend for it to be a positive, powerful something.  And I want them to listen to the songs as a whole.  Not just a beat to dance to or some entertainer to watch.  For me, that's not what turned me on to music.  It was killer songs and albums.  I think in the underground rock community, the focus is on a quality product. 

The most important message I'm trying to send out is to be a cognitive human being.  Live life with an open mind, question any bullshit, be a great and wonderful human being.  And rock the fuck out.    

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

BF:  I played an open mic at Pappy and Harriet's in Joshua Tree, CA. Which was super rad to play there even though it was an open mic.  Maybe one day we'll play a show there....!  But around 7pm, the local crowd all sits down and has dinner.  I decided to try out some new material.  I get up on stage and say, “You guys ready to fucking rock?!”  And start playing real loud and I look up and the entire bar is having dinner and chewing food.  And I was playing some aggressive music.  It totally didn't fit.  I felt that I was yelling directly at them while they were eating dinner.  I finish the first song and no one makes any noise.  No one claps.  They just sit there eating.  And I think, “Oh fuck, this is so awkward, I'm playing to an entire dinner crowd.”  I think I played a few mellow songs on an acoustic and then got the hell off stage.  Embarrasing.  

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?

BF:  I love playing live.  We focus on making sure the overall tone and sound for playing live is really unique and balanced.  We take pride in having great tone. We play very loud.  We want the instruments to really stand out, but sound great as a whole.  We have been getting excellent feedback from our fans and from people who have just seen us for the first time.  It feels great to hear people tell us we have great tone. Also, it is very humbling to play live.  At least it is for me. I feel very humbled and grateful to play music live.  It is communication and expression on a different level. 

What makes a great song?

BF:  A great song, you feel it in your soul.   It just completely speaks to you and envelops you.  

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

BF:  I think it would be a song called “Gold Rush”  It's basically a country song on acoustic.  Hillbilly jam.  For me it is some form of rock and roll.  I've never recorded it, maybe I should. 

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

BF:  Well, we finished recording our EP for Ripple Music.  It will come out on the Second Coming of Heavy vinyl compilation.  We are very excited about the songs on the EP.  It's gonna kick ass.  Due out December 2016.  Get yourself a copy!

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

BF:  The album that kicked my ass in 2015 was Wino and Conny Ochs acoustic album “Freedom Conspiracy.”  It has incredible songs, beautiful melodies and hooks.  Is very sad, yet gorgeous.  It really hit me in my heart and my soul. 

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

BF:  For convenience, its digital.  For sound quality its, CD and vinyl.  And for the experience, definitely vinyl.  Nothing like dropping the needle down. 

Whiskey or beer? And defend your choice

BF:  Whiskey, hands down.  I fucking love whiskey.  Beer is fine, but its heavy and makes you slow.  You gotta consume a lot of volume to achieve the type of buzz I like.  I'm not a heavy drinker.  But I drink daily.  When I'm relaxing, its beer.  When it's time to perform, or go out for the night, it's whiskey.  It gets me fired up. 

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

BF:  Charlies 33's and CD's is really the only record store left in Albuquerque.  Cool old school record store.  Vintage and new vinyl. 

What's next for the band?

BF:   Our EP on the Second Coming of Heavy compilation will come out in 2016 on Ripple Music.  Be sure to grab a copy!  I believe we are on Volume 4.  In the meantime, we are slowly working on new music for a second full-length album. 

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

BF:  We truly appreciate everyone who seeks out and supports underground music.  There is so much incredible music being made these days, especially in heavy rock/metal.  And it's not easy to find.  We are being spoon-fed so much crap these days.  It's impossible to hear great music on the radio or on TV or on any popular, multi-mass media.  You gotta work for today.  It's sad.  But there is a movement of people around the world that know good music is out there and they are finding it.  So, thank you.    
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