Sunday, March 31, 2013

PSYCHOSOMATIC Gearing Up For Spring 2013 Tour

Sacramento, California-based crossover punk thrashers PSYCHOSOMATIC are gearing up for their Spring 2013 US tour. The tour will see PSYCHOSOMATIC playing select dates with Philly-based ultra-violent death match rock n' rollers EAT THE TURNBUCKLE before hooking up with the Jersey devils in HAMMER FIGHT for 16-dates of destruction through Texas and the East Coast. A full list of tour dates is posted below:

4/04 Sacramento CA @ Press Club **
4/05 Monterey CA @ Jose's Underground Lounge **
4/06 Los Angeles CA @ 5 Star Bar **
4/07 Santa Ana CA @ Unit B
4/08 San Diego CA @ Tower Bar
4/09 Phoenix AZ @ Old World Brewery
4/10 Tucson AZ - TBA
4/11 El Paso TX @ Love Sprout
4/12 San Antonio TX* @ Bonds 007
4/13 Austin TX* @ White Swan
4/14 Dallas TX* @ 406
4/15 Houston TX* @ White Swan
4/16 Baton Rogue LA* @ Mud and Water
4/17 Pensacola FL* @ The Handle Bar
4/18 Raleigh NC* @ Slim's
4/19 Chesapeake VA* @ Rodger's Sports Pub
4/20 Richmond VA* @ Strange Matter
4/21 Frederick MD* @ Lallo's Pizza
4/22 Baltimore MD* @ The Sidebar Tavern
4/23 Atlantic City NJ* @ Bull Shots
4/24 Providence RI* @ Dusk
4/25 Boston MA* @ OBrien's Pub
4/26 Philadelphia PA* @ JR's Bar
4/27 New York NY* - TBA
4/28 Akron OH - TBA
4/29 Columbus OH - TBA
4/30 Detroit MI - TBA
5/01 Chicago IL @ Fallout
5/02 Milwaukee WI @ Monkey Bar
5/03 Minneapolis MN @ The Medusa
5/04 Des Moines IA @ Underground Rockshop
5/05 St Louis MO @ Cusumanos
5/06 Topeka KS @ Boobie Trap
5/07 Denver CO @ 7th Circle Collective
5/08 Carbondale CO - TBA
5/09 Salt Lake City UT @ Willie's Lounge
5/10 Reno NV @ The Hideout Bar
5/11 Sacramento CA @ Blue Lamp

* - with HAMMER FIGHT (NJ)

   For more on PSYCHOSOMATIC, visit
From the depths of Sacramento California the crossover thrash metal, punk rock band PSYCHOSOMATIC was twisted into form in 1988 spewing forth chaotic blasts of jackhammer style guitar picking on top of super tight speed drumming with ripping fast bass guitar lines and ferocious vocals spitting out lyrical topics ranging from anti establishment social issues to horror and insanity. The Sacto thrashers barrage listeners with fast, tight, punk style energy songs into the technical darkness of metal. Psychosomatic has carved their trench in the underground thrash metal world with several US tours, leaving blistered eardrums in their wake.

Psychosomatic has four full-length releases to date including 2006's Unquenchable Thirst and 2010's Another Disease along with two Video cuts, "Another Disease" and "Everybody Hates Me" featuring guest singer Nickie Sickie from Verbal Abuse. Psychosomatic also has several tracks on various compilations such as, Thrasher Magazine's Skate Rock vol 9, Shred or be Shredded on Buried in Hell Records and Econo-Comp on Recordsontap.

Freedoms Reign - S/T

Years ago someone told me that the best  New England based metal bands always have a graveyard, October  night, type of feel. This band has captured that sound and feeling. My first listen and it's tearing my head off. Very Sabbath orientated riffs, but also some algebraic progressive time shifts thrown into the mix. Yes I'm hearing the early Fates Warning sound but also a tinge of maiden and early New Wave Of British Heavy Metal.

Ritual is the lead off track and it's a bone crushing nod of the hat to early Sabbath. Sludgy doom played to a higher standard. Shades of the band"Trouble" here.

"Shadows Of Doubt" , and "Brother" are sonic temples of metal played at its most creative. The drum intro to "Brother" is simply ...perfect. Can someone send me some new speakers for my car. This disc is tearing up the ride to work.

Victor Arduini weaves a hypnotic spell with this disc. Each song is a study of power metal intertwined with the early sludge jam of Sabbath. His guitar work here is stellar. Creatively I can see this band taking the New England Area by storm and then the world. Strong mention must go also to Chris Judge on drums. Normally I am drawn to the guitar but those drums keep slicing out from the background and kick me in the head.

This band, Michael Jones(Bass), And Tommy Vumback(guitars), included is a powerhouse the likes we have not seen for a long time. I want to see this band live. They remind me of Sabbath more than Fates and that is a good thing. There is some Corrosion and Down influences there as well. Get this cd. Any fan of heavy metal will appreciate the monolithic trebuchet of molten metal sludge hurled over their sonic castle walls.

"Looking Around" is an epic way to close this sonic masterpiece. Nice guitar shredding here. Hands down my favorite track. Drifts into a pink floyd-esque closing....awesome!

8 horns up


Kaotoxin Records To Release YEARS OF TYRANTS Debut EP On April 2nd


Kaotoxin Records, in cooperation with Total Deathcore and Clawhammer PR, is proud to unleash the debut EP of France's brutal and technical Deathcore band YEARS OF TYRANTS.

Produced at the Iguana studio (Necrophagist) with Rise Of The Northstar and ex-Resistance members, Leading the Blind is a 23+ minutes long (nine tracks) showcase of, not only a high level of musicianship and technical abilities, but also songwriting skills, mixing blasting parts and the genre-specific breakdowns with dark melodies and atmospheres with even some saddened atmospheric moments.

The EP is available for preorder NOW at on CD or, until April 1st only, as a preorder exclusive package deal including the MCD and a limited edition high-quality Gildan Heavy Cotton t-shirt or girlie with the artwork on the front and the title on the back.

From now until April 1st, Total Deathcore is hosting an exclusive full album stream of Leading the Blind. Listen to the EP at this location.

Kaotoxin Records has posted a video trailer for Leading the Blind HERE.

Release dates:
- April 2nd - Preorders and France (Season Of Mist)
- May 6th - UK & Eire (Code7)
- May 7th - USA, Canada & digital (MVD)

Stronger Than All
Through Infamy
Infestation of Larvae
This World is Ours
Leading the Blind
This is Meat
Of Those Who Wasted it All

Contact for press inquiries.
Rare are the ultra technical albums able to be something else than a simple display of a very high-level of musicianship and a ton of complex riffs thrown one after the other. Rare are also the debut releases able to already show a real personality and a great sense of song-writing. Years Of Tyrants' Leading the Blind avoids the first and has the second: a very technical, at times ultra brutal, kind of Deathcore that has a soul, that's able to carry emotions, be them violence, frustration or, much more rare in this style, melancholy and sadness.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Exclusive Album Stream CHOSEN 'Resolution'; FREE Album Download Available March 30th

Chosen Line Up | David McCann (Drums & Percussion) | Paul Shields (Vocals/Guitars) – Photo Credit – Fiaz Farrelly
Irish extreme metallers CHOSEN are exclusively streaming their new album 'Resolution' on at the following link here. The debut album is set for official release on Saturday, March 30th as a FREE DOWNLOAD on their official website along with it being available on CD in two special editions. 

Produced by Alwyn Walker, 'Resolution' is a reflection of sheer perseverance and innovation, brimming with top-notch musicianship, well-crafted arrangements and inventive hooks. Merged with a rich audio production value, void of the sterile, homogeneous and plastic instrumentation factor, which currently dominates the commercial metal market, this debut album from one of Irelands noteworthy metal bands is a truly refreshing piece of work.

Drummer / Percussionist David McCann comments:

“Our hope is to put our music out there, make it as accessible as possible, and simply let people discover it in their own time, free of charge. While we do respect the rights of other bands and artists who want to charge for their music upfront, we believe in this new method of exposure and it’s something we are willing to explore for the foreseeable future in this digital age of abundance.”

About Special Edition CDs:

The Deluxe Special Edition is a double CD that features a 9-track bonus disc of unreleased songs, rough mixes, drum and bass tracks taken from their album sessions along with a detailed album booklet.
The Collector’s Edition is a spawn of the Deluxe Special Edition that includes a beautiful 60-page, full colour soft cover booklet, extensive liner notes, lyrical themes and illustrations for each song, rare photos, studio diaries and more, all exhibited within an exquisite tapestry of expanded album artwork courtesy of Fiaz Farrelly making it a must have item for those who want something a little more tangible to add to their music collection. 

CHOSEN will also be holding a competition on the album release day, where they will be giving away three copies of the Deluxe Special Edition. To enter, contestants must email their full name to for their chance to win, with the option of having a personal message of your choice inscribed inside the booklets if they choose.

The winners will be announced the day of the album release on March 30th. The closing date for entry was March 28th

Track Listing
1. Engines of Belief
2. Defective Prospection
3. The Narcissism Epidemic
4. Mental Clarity
5. Diminishment
6. Instinct
7. Asch’s Paradigm
8. Metaphysical Contradiction
9. The Departure Lounge

Streaming Links
- Youtube - Engines of Belief - 
- Soundcloud - Engines of Belief 
- Free Download - Engines of Belief - 
- Behind The Scenes In Studio With CHOSEN -
For more info on CHOSEN, please visit these links: | | Twitter @chosenmetal

Monks of Mellonwah - Sky And The Dark Night EP

Do you like symphonies?  By that I mean thematic and harmonic organization through exposition of tonal materials that are frequently recapitulated during the course of a work? 

The first things that come to most music lovers’ minds when they hear the term are classical works by Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and their ilk.  However, symphonies do not need to be orchestrated 18th and 19th Century classical compositional masterpieces.  Rock music has also had its share of symphonies -  Moody Blues' Days Of Future Passed, Jethro Tull's Thick As A Brick, King Crimson's In The Court Of The Crimson King, Genesis’ Selling England By The Pound, Pink Floyd's The Wall, just to name a few.    Monks of Mellonwah, a Sydney, Australia based indie band, provides its rock symphony with the release of Sky And The Dark Night.

The EP is comprised of three parts and there are no breaks between tracks.  Part 1 is "Breakout," part 2 is "Control" and part 3 is "Condition."  The music is created by singer Vikram Kaushik; backing vocalist and guitarist Joe de la Hoyde; bassist John de la Hoyde; and drummer John Baissari. Inspiration for the album, according to Joe de la Hoyde: 

"We are each riddled by our own curses and battle our own demons. There are diseases and syndromes, and many things that we can't understand let alone hope to control. Sky And The Dark Night, to me, is the journey from the beginning of our battles to their fruitless ends; the ups and downs, the triumphs and the failures. It is the undying hope that maybe somewhere along the way, we might find  ourselves."

What you hear is not as bleak as Joe paints it.  The eight minute sixteen second trilogy of parts commences with timpani and strings, as if clouds from an ominous storm approach.  Cellos soar to an abrupt end as a subdued guitar takes up the theme and Vikram sings of being lost in pain in another person. The orchestra again slowly joins as the theme builds to a shredder solo by Joe before returning to Vikram's and Joe's vocal harmonies and a heavy guitar, bass, drum movement.  The orchestra rejoins with foreboding cautiousness punctuated, first, by spasms of metal rock guitar and drums, and then, by galloping electronica with barely perceptible human voices caught in the tempest. The EP finally slowly fades to silence.

According to their press release this is Monks of Mellonwah's third EP in the past three years and they are currently in production on a full-length offering.  They have an incredible amount of compositional and musical talent.  In fact, they recently signed a development deal with A&R Worldwide, which also handles Muse, Adele and Coldplay. 

Just like symphonic music, Monks of Mellonwah is building up to a grand crescendo.  Grab your headphones and be the first on your block to hear them.

- Old School

Friday, March 29, 2013

SkullsNBones Debuts New DEVIL TO PAY Track has posted an exclusive world premier of the song "Already Dead," taken from Fate is your Muse, the upcoming release from Indy-based heavy rockers DEVIL TO PAY.  Enjoy the sludge-soaked and soulful tune at 

Fate is your Muse
 is set for an April 9th release on Ripple Music.  
Fate is your Muse is an introspective lyrical journey that careens from the metaphysical, to the absurd, to the pragmatic (and back again), all set to bone crushing heaviness wrapped in elaborate vocal melodies and elegant guitar phrases. Exploring topics such as reincarnation, the end of days, and the thin veil between reality and fantasy, the Indianapolis foursome create a rare musical experience; one that will have heavy rock fans returning for the primal emotional riffs, as well as the complex and heady lyrical content. Order the album on CD, digital and vinyl formats

DEVIL TO PAY released a video for the single "This Train Won't Stop," which was premiered by The Obelisk in conjunction with the end of the Mayan Baktun on December 21st. The lyrics are about the continual false prophesizing of the world's end. Check out the video at this location.

"I feel the need to go and dance round a pole. Fate Is Your Muse is the soundtrack to every seedy strip club you ever wanted to go to." [4.5/5] - TBFM Online

"Fate Is Your Muse mixes hard riffing and suave grooves into a twelve track fat album of boot stomping, head moshing magnificence that you didn't even know had been missing from your life." -  

Stone Machine Electric - S/T

I’ve said time and time again, I’m not a Doom fan. Not in the traditional sense, that is. I like the heavy riffs, I like the plodding grooves, and I like the imagery of destruction and the hopefulness masked in hopelessness. I like the psychedelic fancy and the manic tension. On paper, I should be a freak for Doom Metal. The problem is, too many bands do their Doom thing in a very one dimensional fashion, or it’s just that they don’t do it well, and I find it as boring as a church service lead by monotone priest. Give me some vocal inflection to drive home the fact that my soul is going to live on in the afterlife, tormented by the tasty little succubae of the Netherworld.

Well, I’m not sure what church the Stone Machine Electric guys go to service in, but they’ve got their own message and it’s rife with intrigue and overflowing with dread and fear. The music of their 5 song debut disc is the heaviest stuff I’ve come across since Wo Fat’s The Black Code left a crater in my soul. Hey! Would you look at this! Kent Stump recorded and produced this album . . . that’s one explanation for the heaviness, the other being that the recording duo of Dub and Kitchens are actually this heavy as a two-piece in the live arena. Having witnessed their tyranny to the senses awhile back, I know firsthand that these guys bring sonic destruction to everything in their path. The addition of Stump twisting and turning knobs was an act of brilliance coz’ this dude captured the band perfectly, and then enhanced it for the audiophile in all of us.

Brutally heavy, and I mean HEAVY, Stone Machine Electric create a wall of sound, but they do it in that just-so elegant manner that makes the listener understand that there’s substance to the weight. The song craft is top notch in that you’re never quite sure where these guys are going to take the music, leaving us certain that the music is gonna go careening over a cliff and end up a nasty wreak, but nay . . . the band just like the thrill ride that we’re all on. And, while the time changes are complex and some of the compositions have a herky-jerky motion going on, it still feels natural and organic. Hence, the compelling nature of this album . . . always something new to hear and it never, ever becomes boring or dull.

“Mushroom Cloud”, “Hypocrite Christ”, “Carve” . . . all of the songs have this amazing musical quality to them. Each tune has that aforementioned heaviness, but mixed within all that riffage and diabolical dread, Stone Machine Electric mix in these fantastic washes of psychedelia, and wildly dangerous and abrasive moments of blues rock. It’s absolutely killer to listen to, whether completely sober, or (maybe more appropriately) lit to a mind expanding state. The layers of the guitar are so deep and the tonal qualities so rich (I have to think this is due in large part to Kent Stump’s engineering talents), the way one channel is picking up cleaner tones, while another is littered with landmines of distortion and sonic turbulence. Best example of all of this is on “No/W/Here”. Positively brilliant tune!

You’re never gonna hear Stone Machine Electric on terrestrial radio, nor should you. A part of me wants to keep them the undergrounds best kept secret, another part of me wants to see them succeed beyond all reality (coz’ seeing these guys in tuxedos while accepting an award would be priceless). Much like Wo Fat, who have begun redefining the word “heavy” and who have applied that heaviness to blues-based freestyle rock, Stone Machine Electric is using the blues as a basis and going free form, and taking the music in their own direction. Don’t listen to this and think Sabbath, though there’s certainly an influence in there. This is their own thing and I, for one, think it’s fucking beautiful.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dordeduh - Dar De Duh

Dordeduh from Romania was born when Hupogrammos and Sol Faur left fellow country-men Negură Bunget. And having listened to Dar De Duh countless times all I can say is they made the right choice by forming Dordeduh. Not that I don't like Negură Bunget, on the contrary, but the guys have created something else here and there is no telling how far they can go.

What these Romanians offer is an amalgamation of black metal, post metal, Romanian folk, transcendentalism and shamanism in equal measures. Of course I don't understand a word they say since they sing in their native tongue. However their instrumentation and performance alone is so fantastic that it puts me in a trance-like state every time I listen to Dar De Duh. And that makes even more sense since the band name apparently means longing for spirit.

Despite their various influences Dar De Duh is a very solid and cohesive release which is clearly emphasized in the band's talent of weaving a fantastic musical tapestry for me utilize to create my own tale due to the language barrier. And the various style employed on the album serves, to me at least, as chapters or stages where Dordeduh's soundtrack sends me out on a great journey of the soul and mind.

Also Dar De Duh is that rare kind of an album where each song is great individually but also as a whole, and that's where the cohesiveness I mentioned earlier comes into play. On many records past and present songs would be great on their own but as part of a whole album they would fail miserably. Dar De Duh is nothing of that sort at all. Dissect it and it's great, keep it untouched and it's fantastic. And that's what I love about Dordeduh, they are not afraid to take wide turns and experiment knowing that they won't fail. To me they seem so confident in everything they do that they are completely unrestrained and at ease which is a great trait. Alas they do whatever they want to and the end-result is bar none earth-shattering.

Whether you're into this kind of music or you are looking for something new that will challenge your musical boundaries look no further waveriders. Dordeduh is that special band that can and will take you on a head trip you have never experienced before. Just sit back, clear your head and allow these Romanian maestros to spellbind you....and spellbind they will. This is awsome stuff!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

MADE IN IRON Announce Montreal & Quebec City Iron Maiden Tribute Shows 'Live After Death' Like No Other Tribute In North America

"MADE IN IRON: Present Live After Death: The Iron Maiden Experience 1984"

 MADE IN IRON (formerly known as Power Slaves) are proud to announce they will be returning to Montreal on May 4th at L'Olympia and May 25th in Quebec City at Théâtre Capitole with its renowned Iron Maiden tribute show that showcases an experience like no other homage in North America. Experience 1984 Iron Maiden once again!

Having first performed in Montreal in 2009 at the Medley in full band character as Iron Maiden. MADE IN IRON demonstrated a four floor Egyptian stage setup, along with a twelve foot walking Eddie (a smaller version of Iron Maiden's best known mascot).

Then in 2010, they added to their success in Quebec City at Théâtre Capitole by enlarging their stage to the exact size that IRON MAIDEN had in 1984 along with a lighting show based on Live After Death and again an appearance of an Iron Maiden replica of Big Eddie standing twenty five feet tall.

Then in 2012, MADE IN IRON returned to Quebec City due to high demand to bring forth another stellar experience with drummer Maxime Beauséjour as Nicko McBrain with Iron Maiden's 1984 live drum setup. 

Now in 2013, MADE IN IRON has big plans as they perform their largest tribute experience to date. The stage will move like maiden, sound like maiden and feel like maiden! With plans to be identical to Iron Maiden's 84/85 World Slavery Tour when the metal titans recorded their 1985 Live After Death live album. 

"This is the first time we will be in Montreal with ALL the setup. Phase I of the project was launched at Le Medley in Montreal. Then Phase II was launched at Le Capitole de Québec. No one in Montreal saw our 25 feet tall Eddie, the new stage that is now twice bigger than what it was at Le Medley, and all the changes in the show like the new costumes and staging. It is also our first time at L’Olympia. We just can’t wait to May 4th!" comments MADE IN IRON's Pierre-Etienne Drolet.

Made In Iron founder Pierre-Etienne Drolet discovered Iron Maiden and their influential Live After Death when he was first 14. It was from listening to that album that Drolet turned Iron Maiden into his personal religion, listening non-stop to every musical endeavour they have created. As he grew older and strongly familiar with Iron Maiden and their tours. He had his epiphany of creating a tribute band for his most beloved idols and rebuilding the World Slavery Tour stage. It wasn't an overnight success, but it has been a project that has been building over the years as Drolet has gathered many resources such as musicians, artists, behind the scenes crew and business endorsements to make his dream come true. Live After Death 1984 returns with full stage setup, costumes, songs, and Eddie for the best Iron Maiden tribute experience on the planet.

For more info and ticket information, please visit the following links:
Montreal - May 4 -
Quebec City - May 25 -

A Ripple Conversation with Richie Wise from Dust

The story of Brooklyn proto-metal power trio Dust is truly one of a kind. Over the years there have been bands where a member goes on to a much brighter future. There have been plenty of supergroups. But there's only one where every single band member stayed in music and achieved success, sort of like a supergroup in reverse. Guitarist/vocalist Richie Wise went on to become a producer and engineer working with Kiss, Gladys Knight, Weird Al Yankovic and many, many more. Bassist Kenny Aaronson has played with just about everyone you can think of and then some. Marc Bell went on to play drums with Estus, Wane County and Richard Hell joining The Ramones in 1978. 

Dust only made two albums but they have been influencing musicians for decades. Their first album, 1971's Dust featured primitive guitar riffing and a very active rhythm section, sort of cross between the Stooges and Procol Harum. 1972's Hard Attack was a much more varied album with some of their heaviest jams balanced out with a strong influence of The Who. The vinyl has been out of print for a long time and inferior sounding CD's have been the only thing available from Dust. But that's all finally going to change. Sony owns the Kama Sutra catalog and has given the Dust albums a complete sonic upgrade. Both albums have been remastered and will be available on a single CD and a double vinyl album just in time for record store day on April 20. I had the great pleasure with speaking with Richie Wise on behalf of all the Ripple proto-metal maniacs. 

Let's start at the beginning. When did you start playing music?

We have to go back a long time now to when I picked up a guitar. First of all you have to understand that The Beatles just knocked me upside the head. I knew music was the only thing I wanted to do and I started playing guitar. Walking on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, I was one of the few guys at Erasmus High School that had long hair. We're going back to 1967. That was the beginning of me meeting other guys with like interests. Me and my friend Anthony started playing together, he was a drummer. Before long we had another friend of mine, Frankie who started playing bass. My partner Kenny Kerner, he was starting to write songs with me. He was writing lyrics and I was writing all the music. 

Where did the band name Dust come from?

Where the name came from I don't know. It just came down from the sky or something. It just happened. I believe I came up with it, I don't know why. All of a sudden we were Dust. The name early on might have been The Rising Suns or something as silly as that. Sometime in 1967 we started calling ourselves Dust. This is before Kenny Aaronson or Marc Bell joined. We were Dust then and we did a lot of gigs.  We did some real great local promotion. We created these little yellow lapel buttons, campaign buttons. In black letters it said Dust. I gotta tell you, we made thousands of them and everybody in Erasmus High School was wearing these Dust buttons. No one knew it was a rock n roll band! Everybody though it meant "Don't Underestimate Student Temper." Isn't that crazy? Everybody was wearing them! Kenny Kerner, who was acting as the manager at that time, was promoting shows. We started building up a reputation. But as we were getting better, and I certainly made some big improvements, my friend Frankie didn't want to play bass anymore. 

Is that when Kenny Aaronson joined?

I believe I saw Kenny Aaronson play with my friend Robert Schwartz. He was this guy in Brooklyn who, if he would have lived - he died right around then at a young age, was absolutely one of the greatest guitar players. He was great, unbelievable. Anyway, I had a reputation among everybody in the neighborhood that I was real serious about playing in a band. That's all I ever did. I hated school. Before I know it, it's me and Anthony but now Kenny's there. I don't know who else, we had different lead singers through the years. But that was a real solid outfit. Me and Kenny felt that we needed a better drummer and Kenny somehow knew Marc. They might have played together, maybe in Robert Schwartz's band. I remember Marc being in some other bands and being blown away by him. He was like Mitch Mitchell. All of a sudden it winds up being me, Marc and Kenny. We were looking for another singer but didn't bother after awhile. The three of us, we didn't have to think, we didn't have to talk, we all loved the exact same stuff.  All three of us were into, in the deepest way, the British rock bands - Cream, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Procol Harum, all the stuff back then. I remember being at Marc's house and he had the single of "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath and being blown away by the density of the sound. 

All of a sudden I'm playing with these great guys, I start getting better and writing a lot of songs. Me and Kenny Kerner would bring them to the group and I don't remember ever really teaching anybody songs. I would play them riffs, play them parts and the next thing I knew we were playing them. We were so in sync in with what we wanted to do. The three of us made a demo or something. Every three months I'd have new songs. We'd throw out the old ones and bring in the new. It was constant evolvement and playing and getting better. We never put any thought into style, into what we should be doing, should we go this direction, that direction. We just played. I liked different bands so I'd write different types of songs. The group was into doing them and we did 'em. So that's why there's such a variety of styles on these albums. But when we were onstage it was just one friggin LOUD, fast thing - "Learning To Die," "Suicide," "Ivory," "From A Dry Camel." Hard, heavy, loud. Probably louder, heavier, faster than any band ever. If we would have thought about it maybe we would have taken it somewhere. It was so organic and real. 

You mentioned being influenced by British hard rock bands. Were American bands like Blue Cheer or Grand Funk Railroad on your radar at all?

Not at all. We thought very little of those bands. In retrospect, Blue Cheer still stayed pretty much nothing to me except a loud bunch of Marshall stacks. We didn't like them at all, they didn't have the British vibe whatsoever. Later on in life, Grand Funk became a really good band. When Don Brewer started singing "We're An American Band" they did some classic shit, no question about it. To us they had this mid-Western vibe and we weren't into it. I didn't think there were any bands that had a real vibe like us until a little later on. Up in Boston, I heard about this band called Aerosmith. They went on to do pretty OK for themselves. 

What about another band from Brooklyn called Sir Lord Baltimore. Did you have any interaction with them?

I didn't know they were from Brooklyn, I always thought they were from Baltimore! The only thing I knew is that they had signed with Dee Anthony. Do you know who that is?

He was Humble Pie's manager.

Right and he booked all the British bands. He was the number one agent for all the British bands that came to America. He booked everybody. We never had any interaction with Sir Lord Baltimore other than being jealous that they had the kind of management that I thought we needed to have. Kama Sutra was not the right label for us. They had a lot of hit records but "Tie A Yellow Ribbon" was a lot different from what we were doing. 

What about other New York City based bands from that time like Mountain or Cactus?

Mountain were a big influence no question about it. Leslie West is, still to this day, one of the best guitar players. Totally underrated and never talked about as one of the greats. No interaction whatsoever but we admired them very much. I still love those first two Mountain albums. I met Leslie West back then and hung out with him a little bit at Ungano's, a club in Manhattan. Dust played with Cactus. All the guys in Vanilla Fudge became my dear friends later on, Carmine and Tim and Mark Stein, the singer in Vanilla Fudge. I produced a record with Carmine, a band called KGB. But there was never any real interaction with any other bands. We just did our own thing. And we thought no other bands played anything like us. I never listened to Sir Lord Baltimore, I thought they were from friggin' Baltimore! Didn't have a clue they were from Brooklyn. I don't know what Sir Lord Baltimore did later on, but the three guys from Dust all stayed in music. 

Dust's history is pretty unusual. All three band members and your lyric writer Kenny Kerner all stayed in music and had a lot of success.

That's what makes the back story so interesting. Marc went on to be in the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame. I'm so friggin proud of him, you have no idea. At least one of us got in. Marc is stupendous. And Kenny, I would just be blown away seeing him onstage with Bob Dylan, Billy Squier, Billy Idol. He's played with so many great people. What a great, great bass player. And I went on to produce Kiss, Gladys Knight & The Pips, all kinds of shit. A 30 year career in music. Kenny Kerner went on to be one of the main guys at the Musicians Institute. It's a great story.

I'm looking at my copy of the Gladys Knight album Imagination right now that you worked on in 1973. That's the same year you started working with Kiss. Not a lot of producers could work in both realms.

Thank you very much! I thought I might have been the only producer that was comfortable in rock and R&B. I had a knack to fill up a blank piece of tape with tracks. I just loved being in the studio directing people and helping them anyway I can. I produced about 70 albums. 

And it all started when you were getting ready to record the 2nd Dust album Hard Attack?

Absolutely. I talked about it on that promo reel and I wish I could have elaborated on it a little more. I used to sit at home and say OK, I want to lay down an acoustic guitar to shadow the electric guitar, that's a very Pete Townshend thing to do. And I want to put the acoustic guitar on the left to balance the lead on the right. I want to have the vocals here. I'd write up the tracks where I wanted them, left, center, or right. The panorama of the record. And that's where it all began. The record company thought we were good enough to go in with other acts. 

Is that when Dust broke up?

Dust never broke up. No question about it. Dust just fizzled out. It seems that it wasn't going anywhere. It was probably because of a combination of management and we didn't really have a booking agency. The label Kama Sutra didn't know what to do with us even though we had some really nice success. In a number of places, like St. Louis, we were selling more tickets than the groups that were headlining on top of us, like Alice Cooper and King Crimson. Alison Steele on WNEW in New York played a lot of Dust back then. I'm from Brooklyn and you'd hear "From A Dry Camel" a 9 minute cut on the radio. That was very unusual and we loved it. But it just seemed to be fading out and there wasn't a lot of thought about it. People have said that if we had 8 songs like "Suicide" we would have been the biggest band in the world. I told Kenny Kerner that and he said "it still wouldn't have happened because we were on the wrong label." You see what I'm saying? I loved playing on stage. I loved the gigs and the backstage and the hotel but the whole overall lifestyle, the whole sex, drugs, rock n roll kind of thing was not me. I wanted to go home and be with my wife. Producing records was a way that I could live my dream, be in the studio but still come home at night. Kenny and Marc just had to play and be in bands. 

So are there  going to be some Dust reunion shows?

With them two, not with me! They'll have to get somebody else to play for me. They continued playing but I pretty much stopped a long time ago. I played a little guitar on some of the earliest groups I produced but then I stopped. I haven't played electric guitar for about 38 or 39 years. I got married at the end of 1972. Still married to this day to the same girl. 

You mentioned the 5 minute promo video they did for the Dust reissues. Is the live footage in that from the bandshell in Prospect Park?

Bingo! Yes it is! Do you know who we played with? Flash, with Peter Banks, the original guitar player from Yes. 

I'm calling you from right across the street from Prospect Park, very close to that bandshell. So they had concerts in the park back then?

Yeah, but not too many. I have to tell you, I never saw that footage before. 

Is it silent footage?

I don't know, I think it's silent. Man, we were crazy! Marc was insane! Marc loved playing that kind of stuff. Marc's a hard rock guy, that's what we used to call him. We loved him because he could play like Mitch Mitchell, Ginger Baker, Keith Moon. He had amazing chops. We were all into Clive Bunker from Tull, who's a great drummer. The fact that he was able to simplify and play very fast with the Ramones is a testament to his ability. In some ways, it takes more endurance to do that than the heavy rock arm shit. 

Where did you guys practice so loudly in Brooklyn?

Marc's basement! Marc's parents had a house on Ocean Parkway around Avenue H or Avenue I. A nice house on Ocean Parkway and in the basement was this insanity. It was a little basement room and we had Marshall stacks and Kenny's amps and Marc's drums and that's where we worked out a lot of shit. Eventually we left the basement and went into Manhattan and played at a rehearsal studio called Baggy's on Wooster Street. That was later when we started to play out more and became less of a Brooklyn band and more of a recording band. 

Was it difficult to get Marshall amps back then?

My friend Harry from the neighborhood was the first guy I knew with a Marshall. He had the old Marshall with the different speaker cover, it looked like wall paper. I think Terminal Music was maybe the first store that sold the Marshalls. I'm talking before Manny's had them, before Sam Ash had them.  When we got signed the most important thing for us was to buy more equipment. I got 3 Marshall stacks, Kenny Aaronson bout four Acoustic 360 amps and Marc custom ordered drums from Ludwig with a 28" bass drum. Our friend painted the bass drum head that you see in that video. 

It sounds like he's playing 2 bass drums but it's only one, right? 

Yeah. Marc had amazing ability to make it sound like double bass drums on the fast stuff. 

Who had the pleasure of moving all that gear?

Oh we, had roadies. I wasn't gonna do that!

What do you think of the sound on the remastered CD?

I haven't actually heard it yet. Marc and Kenny attended the mastering sessions in New York. I'm sure they did a great job. 

Over the years, has your opinion of Dust changed? 

You know, that is a very good question. There were years when I would never even think about Dust. Years! Every so often I'd see Kenny Aaronson and he'd tell me that some other musicians would tell him how much they loved Dust. I couldn't believe anyone remembered us. A few years ago I saw a youtube clip of some young band covering a Dust song and I was blown away. 

When was the last time you were in Brooklyn?

Not too long ago, maybe 3 years. I went to Peter Luger's Steakhouse, of course but I was blown away by the transformation of that neighborhood. When I was growing up, Williamsburg was really dangerous. Holy cow, has it changed!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Single Life - 7" of fun featuring El Depravo, Rural Ghosts, Heavy Glow, and R. Stevie Moore

El Depravo - Tulare Kiss b/w Revolution Casino

Good times are what await amid the grooves of this way-cool, retro 7"platter courtesy of Ripple favorite Chuck Prophet, James Deprato and Rusty Miller.  As El Depravo, they dish out uber-swinging surf-styled garage instrumental ditties that woulda made the Ventures proud back in the day.  I can almost see the bikini-clad dancers doing the swim, while groovy guys ready the bon fire.  There's a hint of a swingin' sixties London cool to the beach party, with enough fuzz and grunge in the production to appease even the most ardent garage rock fan.  Toss in the cool picture sleeve art and there's just something a touch leery about this 7", which makes it all the cooler.

Rural Ghosts - Eyes b/w Scatia

No fancy way to say this.  "Eyes" is a simply gorgeous song.  Carrying with it's perfectly delicate melody, "Eyes" weaves cello and acoustic guitar into its enchanting world.  While all that may sound kinda out of place for music I usually review, in reality, "Eyes" fits perfectly into the world of lost-70's rock that I love.  It sounds like what would be one of the slower tracks on an obscure 70's heavy psych album, with a mythic quality to it gentleness.  A great calm down from all the metal I usually hear.  Second song, "Scatia" is a gentle violin led instrumental that evokes mood and texture of dark gothic nights and painful howls heard across the moors.   Gentle music that any metal fan could be proud to enjoy.

Heavy Glow - Headhunter b/w Mine all Mine

Somewhere between classic 70's era Santana and Cream, you'll find this delicious slice of retro-rock guitar pie.  "Headhunter" simply grooves and slithers in it's mid-tempo glory, undulating back and forth like great sex.  The solo guitar work is so tasty and mouth-wateringly good it really does bring up flavors of Santana. Vocals are mellow and the whole thing just slides on easily.

 "Mine all Mine" follows in the same vein with some of the nicest guitar tones I've heard in ages.  Again, rocking but not moving too much beyond a mid-tempo crawl doesn't hamper this at all.  It's a mellow yet vibrant ride.  Perfect for a Sunday morning or whenever . . .

The best stuff I've heard from Heavy Glow so far.


R. Stevie Moore "I Missed July" b/w "Traded My Heart for Your Parts"

Exhausted your search for early Syd fronted Floyd bootlegs? Wish the Kinks had been a little more out there? This record is for you. This record will appeal to the collectors out there for sure, but just the casual vinyl listener can appreciate this gem. While the two tracks were recorded 16 years apart, they are remarkably cohesive in sound – a testament to the consistent artistic vision of R. Stevie Moore.

Side A features “I Missed July”, a tune that would be at home on Floyd’s Relics. A killer “digging in the vaults” vibe. You will feel like you discovered this in one of those musty record shops with the crazy owner and his cat that pisses in the corner daily. You will take it home and discover that it was worth the dig.

Side B offers “Traded my Heart for Your Parts”. Initially this felt like a sort of off-the cuff undeveloped jam, but as it continued I began to appreciate the sunny, hypnotic vibe of this track. Fans of Band of Bees or early reggae would dig this, and it still has that lysergic residue between the grooves

I’m new to the party on Mr. Moore, but he is a legendary home recording pioneer that has released over 400 albums (!) How he slipped under my radar is beyond me, but this is a cool offering to get anyone started. Red vinyl 45 RPM 7”, and thankfully devoid of mildew and cat piss.

--Mysterious Mammal

Monday, March 25, 2013

Prog Rockers FEN Announce FREE T-Shirt Give Away! Time To Make Room For New Merch!

Top Left to Right = Bass: Jeff Caron | Drums: Nando Polesel   
Bottom Left to Right = Lead Guitars/Backing Vocals: Sam Levin | Guitars/Vocals: Doug Harrison

Vancouver progressive rockers FEN have announced they will be giving away FREE band T-shirts to make room for new merchandise as they encourage their fans to share their tunes and increase their social media presence. 

The band has commented the following:

"Dear Grumps,
We're clearing out our merch closet and using it as a shameless excuse to pull a few more listeners out of the woodwork. We'll give away 10 T-shirts if we reach 1000 likes on our facebook page: After that, we'll give away 5 shirts for every additional 500 likes until supplies are gone. The selection will be made on April 12th.

And how will we make the crucial decision of who gets the shirts?
We're still sorting that part out. We're considering a kind of ritualistic monkey dance that will involve the four of us uprooting house plants then hurling our feces at the computer monitor. Whichever names get covered up on our facebook page, we'll contact those people and mail the shirts to their homes.
Shamlessly yours, 
Doug, Jeff, Sam & Nando"

In additional news, Fen recently released their latest music video 'A Long Line Final' from their fifth and latest album 'Of Losing Interest' released last summer via indie label Ripple Music to follow up their fourth release 'Trails Out Of Gloom'.
Video - A Long Line
a long line - fen (ripple music)

fen - miracle - official music video
Their heaviest and most technical album to date, 'Of Losing Interest' is an album that revisits the band’s harder edged metallic past while retaining the melodic sensibilities that made 'Trails Out of Gloom' so alluring. Co-Produced by Mike Southworth, his fourth with the band, 'Of Losing Interest' is a contrast of technical virtuosity layered against warm low end organics.

Track Listing: Of Losing Interest
1. Riddled 03:55
2. Of Losing Interest 04:59
3. Nice For Three Days 04:04
4. A Long Line 04:43
5. The Glove 03:23
6. Drunken Relief 04:26
7. Light Up The End 03:34
8. Pilot Plant 06:03
9. Snake Path 03:17
In January of 1998, in the mountain shadows of Nelson, British Columbia, a creatorship emerged called Fen. The road has been long for this dark-leaning band, which after more than a decade of obscurity, was finally ushered into the prog and metal fan’s psyche. This occurred in 2010, when Fen signed to California label Ripple music and released their fourth album Trails Out Of Gloom. The album garnered impressive reviews from bloggers and print magazines worldwide, including mention in the UK’s Classic Rock magazine and a perfect 16/16 score from the US authority on prog: Progressions Magazine. To follow up this attention, in May of 2011, the management of UK/Israeli prog veterans Blackfield invited Fen to open for them on the Vancouver stop of their North American tour.

To date, Fen’s music has sold in more than fifteen countries, and with the help of dedicated bloggers, two AAA-radio campaigns, and a music video for the single “Miracle,” the band’s following continues to expand. In surprising contrast to the dark nature of Fen’s music, their songs have been placed on HGTV (Home and Garden Television) and Animal Planet’s, From Underdog to Wonderdog, among others. The song “Through the Night” will soon be available on the video game RockBand.

Fen has performed at clubs and festivals throughout BC, and in the summer of 2011, took part in the Forest Symphony at UBC’s Pacific Spirit Park. Fen’s fifth album, Of Losing Interest, will be available in August 2012, and is a return to the heavier aspects of the band's sound. It is their second release under the Ripple Music label, and it brings together a band line up first assembled in 1999.

Mortal Music Releasing MONSTERWORKS' Album of Man on March 28th

Chicago's Mortal Music is pleased to announce the release of Album of Man from expansionist UK metallers MONSTERWORKS on March 28th.  This brings together all tracks from the Album of Man sessions which were released in part as Man :: Instincts and Man :: Intrinsic in the latter half of 2012.

Album of Man will be available through all the usual digital outlets and with a special collectors' CD edition in gatefold "mini-LP" format with lyric book available direct from the band via its webstore (

To celebrate the release MONSTERWORKS is making one of its relatively rare live appearances at The Intrepid Fox, London on 28 March. This comes in the middle of preparation for its next album recording sessions at the end of April.

1 The Creation Dream
2 It's Alive (The Philosophical Baby)
3 Unconditional Lie
4 All Suns Die
5 Known
6 Harden to Art
7 Taste of Doom
8 Being Human
9 Free Will
10 Air (We Have Come So Far)

 Critical praise for Man :: Instincts/Intrinsic

"Monsterworks is an amazing grungey, progressive, sometimes thrashy sometimes insane kind of band with amazing musicianship and incredible songwriting abilities." 
- Tragedy Axe

"There are some big shapes within these tracks. Very big shapes. Each track has a completely different sound, starting with huge chunky riffs to chew on and then turning to sludge-like doom number, closing with a tranquil, melodic tune." [4/5]
- Culture Bomb Magazine 

"Man: Instincts is at times bizarre, at times incomprehensible, and at all times utterly interesting. The experience gives you so much in such a short amount of time that it's absolutely worth the ride, even if you only manage to take in half of everything available."

"Monsterworks have no boundaries and flip the bird at the rule book." [8/10]

"With powerful lyrics that doubt one's belief, the band's music is far more than harmony and technique, for it might make a person think and confront himself with things he may consider undoubtedly true." -Metal Shock Finland

Contact for press inquiries and interview requests.
In the course of its existence MONSTERWORKS has been responsible for albums as farfetched as a metal space adventure concept album in two parts (Spacial Operations - 2007 and Singularity - 2009), but more recently has explored philosophical territory (The God Album - 2011) and an approach to recording that mostly relies on "old-school" technology, i.e. 24 track, 2-inch tape, like the classic albums the band grew up with.  It was time to take a step back and rediscover the grit that made metal great, rather than the over-polished mechanical production that is often evident in modern releases.

Stylistically the band has always been difficult to pin down, at one moment death metal, in another stoner rock, then back to thrash; but the challenge to the listener is intentional and somehow in the end it works (in the context of heavy metal, which is the only essential influence).  What is important is that the music does not switch between styles for the sake of it, nor to show off; it is just what feels right in the moment.

MONSTERWORKS has, possibly to its own detriment, never followed trends or towed the line; preferring to forge its own path in the continually evolving world of heavy metal.  In this respect it has always stayed true to its mission statement:


Hugo - Bass
James - Drums
Jon - Guitar / Vocals
Marcus - Lead Guitar

Orcus Chylde - S/T

The magic mushroom glowed in purple and red hues.  Iridescent circles and geometric designs dotted it's earthy body like a bespectacled jewel.  The shade of the weeping willow tree protected me from the afternoon sun, as I sat near it's stubby roots under it's graceful canopy.  The river flowed by like gleaming diamonds. 

As the mushroom called to me . . .

The world opened up beneath me and swallowed me whole, as I fell, gently into the magical world of Orcus Chylde.

Many bands come out brandishing a retro-70's banner, waving it high and proud and beating their chests as they declare their "heavy psych" roots.  Few do it as effortlessly as Orcus Chylde.  Fusing the warmth of that very 70's organ with a decidedly pre-digital tone to their guitars, Orcus Chylde have nailed the timelessness of that lost era of proto-metal psych.  So much so that when this album first popped into my playlist, I had to double check that it was indeed a new release and not a lost classic from a bygone era.

Each song here is an epic of muted protometallic heaviness.  Proggy in nature, psychedelic in heart, jazzy in its freedom, Orcus Chylde take their time in releasing their tales of lost worlds and universes.  Each song clocks in at a minimum of 6 minutes, with the exception of the 5 minute sliver of acoustic grace and beauty that is "As Time Will Bury Us."   And Orcus Chylde know what to do with that time.  They don't simply stretch out the riff, burying it in extended monotony.  Each song is given ample room to breathe and reach and grow. They explore like the roots of our willow tree, digging through the soil towards the heart of the earth. 

"The Day the 7th Angel Came" begins with a simmering burst of organ and bass that screams for lava lamp and black light accompaniment.   Guitars here are texture, mood setters, as the organ and bass guide us into the swirling world of Orcus Chlyde; a world forged by the Gods in an age pre-punk revolution.  A sequestered world that has never been tainted by the scourge that was hair metal.  It's a world of bluesy psychedelia and organic protometal heaviness.   Riffs come and go and blur and dance and fade with a seamless jammy exploration, but never become lost or wavering.  It's no trick to keep the feeling of unlimited jamming exploration while keeping things confined to a driving song structure.  But Orcus Chylde do it effortlessly.
Vocals are otherworldly in tone with a nasal disassociated quality as if they don't come from an individual, so much as they ride on the coming wind.  Guitars are impassioned and set loose to explore their every whim.  The rhythm section keeps it all locked together and then there's that organ.  That perfect organ that really sets it all in place in time.  Within the 6:16 of this song, the band explores more territory and shifting riffs and passages than many cover in an album.

Yet it all hangs together perfectly.

And that's where I'm going to leave this writing.  Orcus Chylde have crafted without a doubt one of my favorite retro-rock albums of 2012.  With all the talk of Witchcraft and Kadavar and Ghost, I find it hard to believe that Orcus Chylde isn't etched onto that list.  Carved into the retro-rock stone of respect in large chiseled letters.  Spoken about In hushed and revered tones and mushrooms and lava lamps and whatever else comes from their mystical world.

An album definitely worth hearing and a vinyl that quickly took it's place in my collection.  


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Band to Keep your Eye On - Terne

Terne I never thought I'd see a metal band adopt my mother's attitude toward music ("enough with the screaming already!"), but when I saw Terne's mini-bio describe them as being metal music without screaming, I was certainly intrigued. In practice, I found their music to be so much more than just metal, and although I'd certainly say their sound is genre-crossing, it still has a very distinct style.

 I'll admit it was surprising to see such a range of sounds a band that calls themselves metal. Tinges of electropop mix in with heavy dubstep, and even rap in some places. On paper it sounds like maybe Terne need to make a decision as to what kind of band they actually are, but when you listen to the handful of songs they have on their YouTube channel, suddenly it all starts to make sense.

Take, for example, "Where ever you are" [sic]. If this had been the only song Terne ever put out, I wouldn't have guessed that metal was the sound they were going for. There's something industrial or maybe even Skrillex about it, but not anything I'd associate with metal. Move on to another song like "Stick to," however, and suddenly you start to see where they're going with all this, and how the various sounds they incorporate all fit together. "Stick to" does have a lot of things typically associated with metal - heavy guitars, a thrash beat, a double kick drum - but, as promised, there's no screaming.


The obvious reason behind the lack of screaming in Terne's vocals is that the singer actually has a good, solid voice. There's no need to screech your way through monotone vocal lines when you can make them sound much better simply by delivering them the old-fashioned way.

In short, there's a lot to recommend this band, and apparently they're putting out a full-length album later this year, to be released on Bandcamp. That's definitely something to look forward to, and it'll be interesting to see how they incorporate the songs they've already recorded with the others they have planned, what the balance of genres ends up being, and how it all works together. In any case, it'll certainly be one to check out, and if they play their cards right, Terne could be one of the surprise viral hits of this year.

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