Thursday, July 31, 2014

Falls Of Rauros / Panopticon Split 12"

This is a beautiful package, brought to us courtesy of Bindrune Recordings.  If you are not familiar with this label, hop on the interwebs as soon as you finish this review and educate yourself.  This is a vinyl only release, so that's one beautiful thing.  The 12” vinyl itself is gorgeous, half black and half white.  That's two beautiful things.  And people will call me crazy, but I happen to think that black metal itself is beautiful, especially the variety played by Falls of Rauros.  And Panopticon is pretty good stuff too.  I dig everything about this release.

I don't know which is the “A” side and which is the “B”, and it probably doesn't matter in the case of a split anyway.  I started out with the Falls of Rauros side.  We are treated to two tracks, as these guys work more with the epic kind of song length.  The first song, “Unavailing” is very good.  The lyrics hint at loss and desolation and the music matches those sentiments perfectly.  There is a somewhat raging first section of the song and then a beautiful, slower, more acoustically tinged second part.  The thing that I really love about these longer tracks is that they develop some repetition in the riff and there is a feeling of almost drone or trance-like quality to the music.  It just makes me feel like I can slip away for a while, just wander outside of myself and truly lock in to the feelings and emotions of the song.  Second track “The Purity of Isolation” is shorter and starts out with acoustics so that the listener can more or less continue the vibe from the previous track.   Again, the repetition of the riffs and rhythms allows the listener to close their eyes and drift off.  And again, I don't know quite what it is, but it is music that really allows your soul to connect with what the musicians are bringing you.  All of it, performance, rhythm, progressions, combine to take you to a place that is almost sacred.

Panopticon bring us a slightly different flavor of black metal.  This is more to the point, less meandering, a little more brutal and menacing in feel.  They provide 4 tracks on their side, so the songs are shorter and more direct.  This is the black metal that feels like there is horde of rampaging Vikings bearing down on your village and there isn't a lot you can do about it.  Their first track, “Through the Mountains I Wander this Evening”, most definitely has the rampaging Viking feel to it.  Track 2, “Can You Loan Me A Raven”, has a cool name and a very sinister vibe.  Slower in tempo and a very ominous, repeating riff, you probably shouldn't listen to this when you are alone in the house and its dark outside.  Or maybe you should, and that's the whole point.

The third song, “Gods of Flame”, is the shortest one on offer from Panopticon, but it feels like it could really stretch out and go places.  It has an epic feel to it.  Mostly it's just a very crushing black metal tune that would be right at home on an album released in Norway 20 years ago.  Very classic stuff.  And then the side wraps up with “One Cold Night”, a very appropriately named track.  You can feel the iciness creeping up around you, and almost expect to confront some Frost Giants.  Then the song blasts off into hyper speed and you could maybe imagine that you're fighting said Giants with Thor by your side.  I think you get the picture.

You can probably find this digitally, like on the Bandcamp site for Bindrune, but do yourself the favor of trying to find a copy of this one on vinyl if its still available.  As I said, a beautiful package in every way, one that you will be happy to own and will listen to over and over again if you are a fan of the black metal. 


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Paul Di'Anno reveals the artwork and tracklist of "The Beast Arises" DVD!

The Beast is back! The original voice of Iron Maiden, and the front man of such bands as Killers, Battlezone and Gogmagog, arises to bring his fans a show of sheer heavy metal brutality! Paul Di’Anno returned to Poland in April to play a string of live shows. One of the shows -  at Lizard Club in Kraków on April, 9th - was recorded for the purposes of a live DVD release “The Beast Arises”.
The material from the DVD captures a sensational live show in a club full of audience that would not let Di'Anno leave the stage for a long time. The release features mind-blowing performances of the classic material from the first two Iron Maiden studio albums, “Iron Maiden” and “Killers”, as well as songs by Killers, Battlezone, and, to top it off, a fierce cover of Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop” – all this making for an outstanding show that will leave no fan in doubt that the Beast has truly risen! The DVD also includes an interview with Paul Di’Anno, a photo gallery and other extras.

"The Beast Arises" - tracklist:
1. Sanctuary
2. Purgatory
3. Wrathchild
4. Prowler
5. Marshall Lockjaw
6. Murders in the Rue Morgue
7. The Beast Arises
8. Children of Madness
9. Genghis Kahn
10. Remember Tomorrow
11. Charlotte the Harlot
12. Killers
13. Phantom of the Opera
14. Running Free
15. Transylvania
16. Iron Maiden
17. Blitzkrieg Bop
Bonus video:
Interview with Paul Di’Anno
Photo gallery
Desktop images

“The Beast Arises” has been set for release on October, 6th in Europe and October, 7th in North America (via MVD). Formats available: DVD, CD and double LP.

This English singer is best known as the first vocalist to record with the iconic band Iron Maiden, from 1978 to 1981. Despite world-wide success lurking just around the corner, Di’Anno departed from the band by the fall of 1981 (he’s since admitted that he was partying a bit too hard around the time of his departure from Maiden). However, Di’Anno’s unique and extremely powerful voice had made a huge impression on rock music fans the world over, and also gained him an army of fans due to the sales of more than 20 million copies of the first two Iron Maiden albums (“Iron Maiden” & “Killers”) featuring Paul’s unique vocal talent.
In his post-Maiden career, Di’Anno has issued numerous albums, both as a solo artist and as a member of such bands as Gogmagog, Battlezone and Killers, and he has been featured (either as the artist or as a guest) on more than 60 albums released world-wide.

As a confirmed icon of the metal genre Di’Anno is constantly gigging (with his various bands) throughout all of Europe, USA, Canada, Central & South America, Australia, Asia etc.

Di’Anno has even had time to have his first full sized and highly acclaimed Book/Autobiography released entitled “The Beast”, which is a no holds barred journey through his turbulent and often disturbing car crash lifestyle, throughout the last two decades.

Although he only appeared on the first two Maiden albums, Maiden’s work with Paul Di’Anno remains among metal’s all-time finest, and to this day those two albums are idolized and thought of as “The All Time Classics” by most Metal fans and musicians alike throughout the World.


BRIMSTONE COVEN: New Cosmic Hymn From Retro/Doom Metal Sorcerers Now Playing At Revolver; Release Day Draws Near

As retro doom metal sorcerers, BRIMSTONE COVEN, prepare for the official unveiling of their self-titled full-length and inaugural release for Metal Blade Records, today Revolver Magazine summons forth the cosmic echoes of "Children Of The Sun."

Spawned in Wheeling, West Virginia in 2011, BRIMSTONE COVEN manifests a captivating amalgam of dark, smoky cult rock that echoes the eerie reverberations of Black Sabbath and Pentagram, mixed with the classic rock expressions of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, all the while preserving a vintage rock sound mixed with a style all their own. The outfit's Metal Blade debut boasts seventeen inebriating tracks of manic occult conjurings - a combo of their self-released full-length and EP - complete with new mastering and the vintage art renderings of Creighton Hill.

In an advance review of the offering, Metal Underground relays, "Brimstone Coven should appeal to most of the occult rock set for its vintage sound and supernatural atmosphere that pervades throughout the album. The band's use of dynamics is fantastic," furthering that, "the band's members have major chops and their foray into the occult is certainly alluring." Against Magazine notes, "the dry sound can refer to Led Zeppelin, the blues soul derives directly from Black Sabbath and the solid structures scream Pentagram, but somehow BRIMSTONE COVEN manage to do it with a bit of own musical personality and self-consciousness," while Sea Of Tranquility concurs, "this is not your typical stoner/doom release by any means. There is a psychedelic feel throughout the album that drifts between the riffs, adding the right amount of atmosphere and a somewhat spooky element that works quite well." Adds The Obelisk, "Brimstone Coven is an album that righteously engages the tenets of classic doom. There's an early '70s sway to the material, a looseness in the rhythm section of bassist Andrew D'Cagna and drummer Justin Wood, that gives the chugging, grooving riffs of guitarist Corey Roth both meat and movement, and vocalist 'Big John' Williams meshes with this modus perfectly, the layers of his voice harmonizing and calling to mind the natural feel and melodic range of grandiose '70s prog, working with the music surrounding to give cuts like 'Behold, The Anunnaki,' 'The Black Door' and 'The Séance' a mystique without sounding overblown or needlessly theatrical. It's a careful balance and BRIMSTONE COVEN executes it well."

Comments the band of latest premiere, "This song focuses lyrically on prehistoric cultures that saw our Sun as a Godhead, protector and creator."

Fall into the gritty, psychedelic rock swagger of "Children Of The Sun," courtesy of Revolver Magazine, at THIS LOCATION.

And if you missed it, check out "Behold, The Anunnaki," still streaming at The Obelisk at THIS LOCATION.

In related news, BRIMSTONE COVEN will bring their bewitching odes to the stage with additional ceremonies to be announced in the weeks to come.

7/31/2014 31st Street Pub - Pittsburgh, PA
9/27/2014 Chronic Tattoo - Cleveland, OH

Brimstone Coven will be released in North America via Metal Blade Records on August 5th, 2014. Preorder you copy at THIS LOCATION where you can also sample delightfully jam-laden fifth cut, "The Grave."


A full 90-minute concert feature from Atlanta-based southern rockers BLACKBERRY SMOKE, filmed in North Carolina, is available to watch now online.

The feature is included on a DVD with the band's upcoming new live album, LEAVE A SCAR: LIVE IN NORTH CAROLINA, and includes a phenomenal full-length concert along with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the band at home and on the road.

Watch the full live feature now online at

Already known as one of the most hard-working bands around, BLACKBERRY SMOKE regularly play up to 250 shows a year, and are now bringing one of their incredible live performances to their fans around the world to listen to and watch over and over again.

LEAVE A SCAR: LIVE IN NORTH CAROLINA is due to be released in Europe on August 18th and is available to pre-order now on double CD, featuring 22 tracks spread across 2 discs and accompanied by a bonus 18-track live DVD stuffed with extras.  The album is also being released on double vinyl LP in a range of limited edition colours available exclusively from the Earache Webstore.


The live album is also available to pre-order now on iTunes in Europe, including 3 free-in-advance tracks which are available to download immediately when you pre-order, at

Don't miss your chance to witness BLACKBERRY SMOKE live in the flesh on their upcoming European tour this October and November at the following shows:

Oct. 15 - Dublin, Ireland - The Academy
Oct. 16 - Glasgow, UK - O2 ABC
Oct. 17 - Manchester, UK - The Ritz
Oct. 19 - London, UK - O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
Oct. 21 - Cambridge, UK - Junction
Oct. 22 - Birmingham, UK - The Institute
Oct. 24 - Paris, France - Alhambra
Oct. 25 - Cologne, Germany - Kantine
Oct. 26 - Hengelo, Netherlands - Metropool
Oct. 27 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
Oct. 29 - Leuven, Belgium - Depot
Oct. 30 - Mannheim, Germany - Alte Seilerei
Oct. 31 - Zurich, Switzerland - Komplex Klub
Nov. 02 - Nuremburg, Germany - Hirsh
Nov. 03 - Berlin, Germany - C-Club
Nov. 04 - Esbjerg, Denmark - Tobakken
Nov. 06 - Malmö, Sweden - KB
Nov. 07 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Tradgarn
Nov. 08 - Oslo, Norway - John Dee
Nov. 09 - Stockholm, Sweden - Tryol

Get your tickets now at

Get more BLACKBERRY SMOKE news and info:

Official site -
Facebook -
Twitter -

The Swan King - Last So Long

I sure do love a good 3-piece heavy rock and roll band. I'm not talking the typical bluesy garage rock 3-pieces in this respect. I love them too, but there is something to be said about this emerging style of heavy as shit, dirty, hardcore punk n roll sound that The Swan King and several other bands are slinging in our faces. Other bands that you are probably more familiar with include the veterans Coliseum and rising stars Sandrider. I lump The Swan King into the same cage as the above mentioned bands which should be enough to spark a little interest had you not heard of this great band yet.

I first discovered these guys with their album 'Eyes Like Knives' on bandcamp released back in 2011 on Seventh Rule Recordings. I remember totally falling in love with the rugged hybrid form of hardcore/punk meets stoner/sludge. Vocals have that gritty edge bellowing loudly and melodically amongst the searing riffs, throbbing low end base and muscular drums. Talk about efficiently getting the job done; the key elements of rock music are present with Zaffar Musharraf - drums, Jamie Drier - bass, and Dallas Thomas - guitar and vocals. Not only is there absolutely no waste on the stage, the music they bring is superb. It’s no wonder, as the band includes members of both Planes Mistaken For Stars and Pelican, a couple bands you may have heard of…..

The new album has been long awaited to my collection and seeing it on the War Crime Recording promo list, I was more than excited. The album delivers a fast and furious output veering from technical guitar breaks to an outpouring of meaty vocal shouts. I can't get enough of this brand of metal or rock or punk or whatever you want to call it. It deserves its own genre. If you are a fan of Sandrider or Coliseum I strongly urge you to add The Swan King to the circle. They have a number of releases available including the full length Eyes Like Knives, a couple 7" splits and EP’s linked below, all of which stand on their own. I will say the two full lengths are capable of satisfying any heavy rock craving. Last So Long has enough clout to win a spot in my top albums of the year list based on how much I've been playing it lately. If you know me, that is a bold statement to make. Give it a try, let us know what you think.

-The Huntsman

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

BLACKWOLFGOAT: Progressive Drone Project To Release New Full-Length Via Small Stone Recordings


Progressive drone project, BLACKWOLFGOAT, will release the fittingly titled Drone Maintenance full-length late next month via volume powerhouse, Small Stone Recordings.

BLACKWOLFGOAT is the solo vessel of guitarist Darryl Shepard (Black Pyramid, The Scimitar, Hackman, Milligram, Roadsaw). Shepard's previous two outings, 2010's Dragonwizardsleeve and 2011's Dronolith, established BLACKWOLFGOAT's modus operandi of looped guitar movements, building and layering upon each other to create compositions of dense distortion and delicate lines, as well as purely ambient pieces. Engineering and mixing duties were handled by Glenn Smith (Tired Old Bones Ehnahre, Ichabod et al) at his Amps vs. Ohms studios in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

A quasi-concept album, the ten-track Drone Maintenance sends Shepard into the future as a drone repairman, fixing and servicing rogue drones. Musically, BLACKWOLFGOAT's palette has been expanded to include acoustic guitar and judiciously applied vocal parts, but the main focus remains the electric guitar itself -- without any other instrumentation or ulterior motives, and frequently captured live in one take with minimal overdubs of carefully considered embellishments added to the base layer. Inspired by early-'70s fusion, Krautrock, (Randy Holden's Population II) and suffocating doom, each song could serve as a soundtrack for an as-yet-unrealized film, yet they stand on their own and transduce their own moods. Drone Maintenance urges listeners to leave all preconceptions of traditional music at the door and take an audio journey to places both bathed in sunlight and cloaked in darkness. Additionally, Drone Maintenance boasts another otherworldly creation from renowned artist Alexander von Wieding (Karma To Burn, Monster Magnet, Trouble, etc.),

Drone Maintenance Track Listing:
1. 1-Bwg8 8 9
2. Notausgang
3. Sunfall
4. Fahey
5. 3-Bwg5 6 5
6. Axxtrokk
7. Night Heat
8. White Hole
9. 1-Bwg0 0 6
10. Cyclopean Utopia

BLACKWOLFGOAT's Drone Maintenance will be released via Small Stone Recordings August 26th, 2014 with track previews to be unveiled in the coming days. Stay tuned.

"Progressive is the name of the game as his music creates a shifting landscape of fuzzed out
guitars/ambient noise. His creative use of atmosphere is most striking of all..." -- Heavy Metal Time Machine

"Each sonic structure has a distinctly modern and minimalistic texture established on firm but simple foundations, soon evolving, almost organically, into towering edifices and labyrinthine
Complexity..." -- Sea of Tranquility

BLACKWITCH PUDDING premiere second track from their forthcoming EP, Covered In Pudding Vol. 1, via The Sleeping Shaman

Just a few short weeks after revealing "Gods Of Grungus" on No Clean Singing (listen HERE), Portland's trio of 600-year-old wizards of doom, the infamous Blackwitch Pudding, have unleashed "Toke'n Man," the second track from their forthcoming EP, Covered In Pudding Vol. 1 (out Aug 12). The Sleeping Shaman, who are featuring the track exclusively today, have written:

"As Portland’s doom wizards BLACKWITCH PUDDING doth their robes while they prepare to unleash their new EP, Covered In Pudding Vol. 1, The Sleeping Shaman is ecstatic to premiere the 2nd track, Toke’n Man, which symbolises the band at their heaviest and filthiest as the waves of bludgeoning despondent doom crush everything in its path and carry you off into a heavy, yet magical ether. However, 1 question does remain, is it new material, a cover version or even a parody? Nobody really knows."

Take a toke of the Pudding AT THIS LOCATION.

Paying Homage to the rotten filth from which they were born, Blackwitch Pudding are actually a band of three wizards. Legend has it they were raised from a stagnant, used puddle of ergot, left by the mysterious Blackwitch no less than 600 years ago. Trained in the dark arts of doom and witchery, these wizards wander the cosmos in search of nothing, for their path is a simple one: The riffs must be heavy and the smoke must be heavier.

The band, their records, their merch, their live shows and the entire experience of Blackwitch Pudding is a self-sustaining, self-produced operation. Great lengths have been taken to ensure that no part of the spectacle that is Blackwitch Pudding has been overlooked. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the lights and the crushing feeling you get in the pit of your stomach travel to every stage, forest, and cabin they play. Hand-crafted by a loyal cadre of dark-art comrades, everything that goes into the Blackwitch Pudding experience is tailored to send the listener, and even more so the concert goer, into an unforgettable celestial black hole of tongue-in-cheek, stoned-out doom.

It’s been nearly a year since the wizards released their infamous debut LP, Taste the Pudding, and they have grown restless. Though one might question why, after 600 years of conjuring evil riffs, casting spells and wreaking supernatural havoc upon this planet that the trio has only created one full-length record, but the truth is, for centuries, pesky, silly mortals have been ripping them off and making the themes more palatable for straight-laced human consumption. So the robed wizards of doom have resurfaced again with  a new EP, Covered In Pudding Vol. 1, to prove once and for all that they were here first, that their riffs shall ring true, and that rock and roll should be about an average wizard’s favorite things: sex, drugs, witch-babes and filth.

Covered In Pudding Vol. 1 is the follow-up to Blackwitch Pudding’s Billy Anderson-mastered, self-released debut, Taste The Pudding. Released in August 2013, it was so heavy, catchy and bewitching that the riffs cast by this power trio of wizards left thousands spellbound.

Who are these mortals who nicked their tunes? You’ll have to hear Covered In Pudding Vol. 1 and figure it out for yourself.

Covered In Pudding Vol. 1 pressing info:
-Release date: August 12, 2014
-Limited to 200 pudding-green, wizard-conjured cassettes
-Digital download will be available on Bandcamp

The wizards of Blackwitch Pudding are:
Space Wizard - Guitar, Vocals
Lizard Wizard - Bass, Vocals
Wizard Wizard - Drums, Vocals

Catch Blackwitch Pudding Live:
8/13/14 - Portland, Oregon @ Slabtown w/ Usnea, Fórn & Chasma (cassette release show)


LAS CRUCES: Texan doom crew ink new contract with RIPPLE MUSIC

  Burly, Texan doom rockers Las Cruces have signed to California’s Ripple Music for a world-wide onslaught of heavy rock. The group, who just completed a standout performance at the infamous Doom in June Festival, have already started writing and making demos and will enter an undisclosed studio this summer to record their Ripple Music debut and follow up to 2010's Dusk, which The Obelisk hailed as “something not to be missed by loyal doomers."

Hailing from San Antonio, Texas, Las Cruces has spent the past several years bludgeoning audiences with their doom-driven, precision sound. Originated in 1994 by George Trevino, their influences range from Venom, Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Fates Warning to vintage Sabbath. Las Cruces has risen to the top of the South Texas metal heap and left its mark across the Lone Star State, with a resume that includes opening slots with such acts as Overkill, Nebula, Kyuss, Trouble, Spirit Caravan, Solitude Aeturnus, Cathedral, Monster Magnet, Rob Zombie, Bio-Hazard, Pissing Razors, King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Eyehategod, Crowbar, Sixty Watt Shaman, Vader, Kreator., Atomic Bitchwax, Gates of Slumber, Lo Pan, Earthride, Pale Devine, Kamelot, Sour Vein, Weedeater and many others.

Shortly after forming, Las Cruces began touring the Texas scene, gaining widespread recognition and the interest of John Perez, guitarist of Solitude Aeturnus & owner of Brainticket Records, thus forging the Debut release, S.O.L. After a year of touring Texas and the Southern States, Las Cruces decided to re-enter the studio. Driven by the hunger and sharpness of old school metal along with the power melodies of 70s rock, Las Cruces released their skull-crushing follow-up, 1998's Ringmaster. Las Cruces was invited to perform at the first-annual Stoner Hands of Doom Fest in August of 1999 and have been asked to perform regularly at many heavy rock festivals in North America ever since.

Over the years Las Cruces has gone through line-up changes and rumors of break-up. However, these things have not foiled the bands ideology.  The band was honored to be featured in The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal by author Daniel Bukszpan in 2003 as well as in the publication Rockdetector Music Presents: Stoner, Doom and Gothic Metal series published in 2003.

Described as "a journey into a parallel sonic universe of all that is heavy," their songs are sprinkled mighty, bludgeoning riffs; barn-burning guitar work, and apocalyptic vocals that melt listener's brains. Las Cruces is poised to begin the metal onslaught for the masses as they prepare to record their fourth full-length album.

"We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Ripple Music to unleash the fourth Las Cruces record upon the underground," comments Trevino.  "Many of our friends and contemporaries have passed through the ranks and we're thrilled to march onward into the streets with them at our side."

In addition to George Trevino on guitar, Las Cruces features Mando Tovar - Lead Guitar, Paul De Leon - Drums and vocals, and Jimmy Bell - Bass Guitar

“Dusk is rudely riffer’s doom. I hesitate, though, to call Las Cruces traditional doom. Guitarists George Trevino and Mando Tovar know their Sabbath, but there’s a grittier, more uniquely American thrust to their tones that feels more in line with modern biker metal. There are souls being burned, Christians being slaughtered and no shortage of blood being spilled otherwise.”  -- The Obelisk

“Dusk is a welcome return from Las Cruces. This is another album that will be high up on peoples list for best albums for 2010 so you will want to check it out as soon as possible. 9/10” -- Doommantia

VENOMOUS MAXIMUS Announces U.S. Tour Dates

Houston Dark Metal Band Putting Finishing Touches on New LP Firewalker

"Iron Maiden via High on Fire...a kind of post-Mastodonic punk. Venomous Maximus could hit on an excellent balance of familiar and genre-defying, ultimately adding to their home state's storied legacy of heavy. Recommended." - THE OBELISK

Texas heavy metal band VENOMOUS MAXIMUS has announced a string of east coast U.S. tour dates set to kick off on August 7 in New Orleans, LA. As part of the major market jaunt, the award-winning band will perform as part of the 2014 GWAR-B-Q on August 15 in Richmond, VA, also set to feature Ice-T's Body Count, Hatebreed and more. The upcoming live dates are as follows.


August 7     New Orleans, LA    Siberia
August 8     Birmingham, AL     Upside Down Plaza (w/ Stoned Cobra)
August 9     Atlanta, GA        The Basement
August 10    Johnson City, TN   The Hideaway
August 12    Baltimore, MD      TBA
August 13    Brooklyn, NY       Saint Vitus
August 14    Philadelphia, PA   Kung Fu Necktie (Late Show)
August 15    Richmond, VA       Broadberry (Gwar B4BQ w/ Black Dahlia Murder)

VENOMOUS MAXIMUS is one of the most successful metal bands to emerge from Houston in years. Since its formation in 2010, the group has risen to the top of the music scene in the country's third-largest city, winning back-to-back titles at the Houston Press Music Awards as the Space City's "Best Metal Band".  The band's most recent album, Beg Upon the Light, the LP has met to widespread celebration, being called "Lovecraftian" and a "masterpiece" by Metal Injection, "mayhem without mercy" by Decibel and  "super-thick occult doom" by Rhapsody. A live powerhouse, VENOMOUS MAXIMUS has toured the U.S. as hand-picked guests of metal legends DOWN and PENTAGRAM and created a huge buzz as part of both Austin's SXSW and Fun Fun Fun festivals. The band is currently wrapping up work on it's new album Firewalker

VENOMOUS MAXIMUS features Gregg Higgins (Vocals, Guitar), Christian Larson (Guitar), Trevi Biles (Bass) and Bongo (Drums).

VENOMOUS MAXIMUS is available to speak with interested media now. To chat with the band, simply contact Carl Schultz @ ACTION! PR. Updated news and tour information will be made available via ACTION! PR online. 

"Red eyes aglow and horns held high, Venomous Maximus waves its pentagram flag in the face of spiritually upstanding citizens everywhere. The Houston combo revels in black-lit tales of witches, mausoleums, gravestones at midnight, and the mystical pull of the moon...rumbling riffs and raging rhythms" - THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE

"there is enough talent in the musicianship and tightness in the songs to make listeners wonder what else Venomous Maximus might have hidden up their sleeves...perpetuating a classic sound while adding their own touches." - MXDWN

Monday, July 28, 2014

RIPPLE MUSIC and STB RECORDS forge new partnership

Over the last few years, Ripple Music and STB Records had established hefty reputations as leaders in the heavy rock scene; blasting out killer albums of stoner, doom, heavy psych and sludge.  Both Labels have run up an impressive list of sold-out and highly sought after releases, such as Mothership, Mos Generator, Ape Machine, Poobah, Brimstone Coven, Doctor Doom, Dopethrone and Druglord.  Yet, deep down, both labels always hoped they could do more to help the underground scene reach a great audience.

Now that hope is a reality.

As of June 2014, Ripple Music and STB Records have forged a relationship that will expand upon the top-notch, limited releases by STB Records with a full complement of Digipack CD’s and Digital distribution via Ripple Music.  Both companies remain separate entities, each with their own roster of heavy-rocking bands, release schedules, and A&R, but the partnership allows the DIY Labels to work more closely together to get the music out to a world-wide fanbase that is clamoring for more.

In a very short period of time, STB Records had carved a place for itself with its boutique style deluxe, limited-edition vinyl releases. Die-hard editions, OBI editions, and multi-colored vinyl had heavy music fans salivating. Most STB releases sell out in a manner of hours and already command top dollar on the resale collectors market like Dopethrone, Spelljammer, Ancient Warlocks and Brimstone Coven.   Ripple Music established its reputation as a leading force in the resurrection of heavy rock with its keen ear for talent and partnership approach with its bands that led to a string of best-selling releases by Mothership, Mos Generator, Stone Axe, Ape Machine, Devil to Pay and Grifter as well as some highly regarded reissues of classic '70s albums and new releases by protometal giants like Leaf Hound, Poobah, JPT Scare Band and Iron Claw.  Ripple Music established a world-wide network of physical and digital distribution that it will employ to spread the CD and digital versions of STB artists around the globe.

“I’m a firm believer of cooperation amongst labels, not competition,” comments Ripple Music CEO Todd Severin.The goal is to get the music heard. Get it out there.  Help the bands. By working together in this capacity, Ripple Music and STB Records can make a huge impact.”

STB Records President, Steve Macioci agrees. “I think it’s only right that people with the same values and ethos work together for the common good. There is a DIY renaissance happening in the underground stoner rock/doom scene right now, STB and Ripple are right there at the forefront setting the plate for these amazing artists to be heard and discovered. We are carving a path for this new resurgence and its 100% DIY for music lovers by music lovers, untainted by greed or ego. It’s so exciting."

The first joint Ripple Music/STB release will be the CD and digital versions of STB’s immediate sold-out release by Ancient Warlocks, with more joint ventures to follow with the new Geezer album.

Ripple Music and STB Records. A new cooperation. A new force to reckon with in the underground heavy music scene.

Ripple Music:
STB Records:

The Drip - A Presentation Of Gruesome Poetics

There is the mythology in baseball of the “slump buster”.  I don't know if it really works or even really happens.  It might be something that was concocted for the movies, but I'm kinda thinking it's a real thing.  As the myth goes, a baseball player who just can't get a hit is in a slump, and if the slump goes on too long the player has to search out a slump buster.  Which basically means he has to go out and find the ugliest woman he can, and have sex with her.  Supposedly, once he does this, the slump is over and he's knocking the ball all over the park again.

I've been in a slump of my own lately, trying to find some albums that really get me going enough to write about them.  You'd think that when 400-500 albums cross your desk in a year's time this wouldn't be an issue.  Well, it can be from time to time, and as I said I've been in a slump.  Then I pushed play on this album.  Slump busted.

The Drip is brutal and ugly in all the best ways.  This is a lethal mix of grindcore, real old school death metal, and a little hardcore.  There's also just a dash of groove that pops in just for a moment, here and there, right before the next riff hits like a cast iron skillet to the face.  This is music that is gloriously ugly.  It makes you want to turn it up as loud as you can and just mosh around your living room, knocking things over, throwing things against the walls, etc.  You know, that really good feeling when you can just RAGE!!

The only issue I have at all with this album is that it is too short.  Only 6 songs, barely clocking in at 12 minutes. I've listened to it twice just while I've been writing this.  It's like really good sex; sometimes its over too soon.  And also like really good sex, it's leaves you wanting more.  Thankfully, with a CD, you can just press play and do it all over again.  That doesn't always work for sex.

All of these songs are awesome.  My favorites are “Siren”, about how women can lure you in and you wind up doing all kinds of things with them, and “Lash In, Lash Out”.  And if you read the lyric sheet, there really are some gruesome poetics going on, so the album title fits quite nicely.

This is out on Relapse so it shouldn't be hard to find.  Added bonus for me, the band is from the great state of Washington, and I'm hoping that they are going to make a trek over the mountains soon so I can check them out.  But you can, and should, go buy this CD, or download it (legally).   We need more ugliness like this in our lives. 


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cleopatra Records Partners With Carmine Appice's Rocker Records to Release Rare Live and Studio Recordings By Cactus, Bogert & Appice and Travers & Appice!

Much to the excitement of music fans around the world, Cleopatra Records has joined forces with drum icon Carmine Appice's Rocker Records and will be releasing rare live and studio recordings by US rock legends Cactus, Tim Bogert & Carmine Appice and Pat Travers & Carmine Appice!

“I’m so excited that my label Rocker Records has partnered with Cleopatra Records to put out this collection of RARE and UNIQUE kick ass rock !!!” - Carmine Appice

Available Now!

The band referred to as America’s Led Zeppelin, Cactus, offer this stunning concert performance recorded in late 2012 at the Garden Shimokitazawa club in Tokyo! Features founding member and Vanilla Fudge/Ozzy Osbourne alum Carmine Appice plus Detroit blues legend Jim McCarty (formerly of Mitch Ryder’s backing band The Detroit Wheels), vocalist Jimmy Kunes (formerly of Savoy Brown), bassist Pete Bremy and harp player Randy Pratt!

1. Swim
2. One Way...Or Another
3. Bro. Bill
4. You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover
5. Alaska
6. Electric Blue
7. Muscle And Soul
8. Evil
9. Parchman Farm
10. Rock N’ Roll Children

Available August 5!

Drum legend Carmine Appice reunites with his fellow rock n’ roll superstars Tim Bogert & Jim McCarty for a very special Cactus reunion show at B.B. King’s in New York - June 2006! Includes powerful performances of Cactus’s live favorites “Parchman Farm,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Evil,” “Bro. Bill” and more! Like a fine double-barreled bourbon, this group has only grown stronger and better over the years!

1. Long Tall Sally
2. Let Me Swim
3. One Way...Or Another
4. Cactus Music
5. Bro. Bill
6. Muscle And Soul
7. Oleo (Bass Solo)

1. Part Of The Game
2. Evil
3. Cactus Boogie
4. Parchman Farm
5. Rock N’ Roll Children

Available September 2!

A blockbuster multi-media 2CD+DVD live set recorded in 2012 from the mighty Cactus! Features one single, mind blowing concert performance captured on both audio CD and crystal clear digital video, and includes some of the band’s finest versions of “Bro. Bill,” “Parchman Farm,” “Evil” and more! This show was recorded the night after Evening In Tokyo at the very same venue.

1. Long Tall Sally
2. Let Me Swim
3. One Way...Or Another
4. Bro. Bill
5. You Can’t Judge a Book By The Cover
6. Alaska
7. Muscle And Soul
8. Electric Blue

1. The Groover
2. Evil / Drum Solo
3. Big Mama Boogie
4. Parchman Farm
5. Randy’s Song
6. Rock N’ Roll Children
7. Part Of The Game

1. Long Tall Sally
2. Let Me Swim
3. One Way...Or Another
4. Bro. Bill
5. You Can’t Judge a Book By The Cover
6. Alaska
7. Muscle And Soul
8. Electric Blue
9. The Groover
10. Evil / Drum Solo
11. Big Mama Boogie
12. Parchman Farm
13. Randy’s Song
14. Rock N’ Roll Children
15. Part Of The Game

Available August 19!

Longtime partners in crime and one of the tightest rhythm sections in all of rock music, bassist Tim Bogert & drummer Carmine Appice, team up with musical friends and family for this special studio album! Features Vanilla Fudge alumni Bill Pascali, Teddy Rodinelli, and Vince Martell PLUS special guests T.M. Stevens (James Brown / The Pretenders) & Brian Auger (Rod Stewart)!

1. Bye Bye Love
2. Falling
3. Black Box
4. Eternity
5. The Star-Spangled Banner

6. Falling (with Brian Auger)

Available September 16!

Together again on this very special live album recorded in 2004, guitarist Pat Travers and drummer Carmine Appice, along with special guest bassist Tony Franklin (The Firm), bring the house down with some of the realest, rawest classic rock you’ve ever heard! Includes Travers’ biggest hits “Snortin’ Whiskey” and “Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights)” as well as a supercharged version of the mega hit Appice co-authored “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” and lots more!

1. Taken
2. Better From A Distance
3. I Don’t Care
4. Crash And Burn
5. Livin’ Alone
6. Tony Solo
7. Gotta Have Ya
8. Keep On Rockin’
9. Snortin’ Whiskey
10. Can’t Escape The Fire
11. Evil
12. Do Ya Think I’m Sexy
13. Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights)
14. Stand Up

To purchase:
Cactus - An Evening In Tokyo
Cactus - Live In The U.S.A.

Bogert & Appice - Friends

For more information:

Beitthemeans - Marble City Secrets Are Off In The Black

Sometimes, you hear an album that completely changes the way you view the art of heavy music.  This album is one of them. 

Beitthemeans (be it the means) has released their third album, Marble City Secrets Are Off In The Black… and it is by far the best album I have heard this year, and actually tops the albums I listened to last year.  This is a game changer for me.  A top 10 album of all time type of deal… and ironically, this is not my usual type of music. 

Pulling from southern rock, blues, metal, indie, atmospheric, and a wide range of other rock-related sub genres, these boys from Alabama have crafted an absolutely perfect piece of musical genius.

It all starts with guitarist/singer Josh Jones.  His brutal, beautiful, and haunting vocals carry the sweet twang of old-school south.  Instead of having his vocals carry across a canvas of equally twangy instrumentation, this powerful trio instead pummels you with a beautiful rhythmic force that is completely unique. 

There just isn’t another band like this out there anywhere. 

Jones is more than just a “pretty” voice.  He is an absolute monster shredder on guitar.  Weaving his way from simple southern chug, to sweeping and immaculately calculated solos, to insane slide-driven atmospheric guitar, Jones seamlessly adds technical elements to every piece they produce.  He’ll switch his styles up multiple times on one song.  This is not just a recording trick… they do it live as well, with no tracking.  He’s an absolute legend in the making. 

This band would not be complete without a superior rhythm section, and luckily for the band, they have that in Casey Wilson (bass) and Nathan Kelly (drums).  Wilson is the perfect complement to Jones.  His powerful bass lines and smooth delivery fills the music and creates a thick and full sound.  This band doesn’t sound like a three piece.  Throw in Kelly’s powerhouse drumming, and you’ve got a combination that is truly special. 

I won’t go through a song-by-song description like I usually do.  Just take it from me… if you’re into heavy music at all… you’ll be constantly surprised and constantly pleased by the sounds that you hear.  

- The Professor

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