Thursday, June 30, 2016

ZZ Top – Tejas

I was at a show a couple weeks ago and the sound guy put this album on between bands. I probably sat there for a good 5 minutes with a stupid grin on my face, just enjoying the music, before I realized it. That's what a great album that you absolutely love will do to you. Come to think of it, I've probably had a stupid grin on my face over a woman too, so maybe that's just my natural state when I really enjoy something. I listened to this the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that. And here I am writing a review about it.

I grew up listening to these guys because my dad was a massive fan. One of my most enjoyable concert experiences ever was taking my dad to see them shortly after I graduated from high school. As much as he loved them, he never would have gone to see them otherwise. So here I am with my dad, who was a State Trooper, and his best friend, also a State Trooper, standing in line in the good old days of GA shows. There's all kinds of underage drinking and consumption of various illegal substances going on around us, and of course the poor, unfortunate souls who overindulge and pass out before they even get inside, and I'm there with two cops who can't do a damn thing about it. Their reactions alone were worth the price of admission.

But I digress. For me, this album was the pinnacle of ZZ Top. Everything they had done prior to this just set them up for this moment, and certainly nothing they did afterwards came close. On this album they were smooth as a cue ball and cooler than a polar bear's toenails, to quote Andre 3000. All of their influences came together and on this album they did what every great band does; they established their sound. It's not blues, it's not rock, it's not western swing, although there is some of all of those in the mix. This album, this sound, is ZZ Top. If you asked me what the band sounds like, I'd give you this album. Their previous four albums were very good, don't get me wrong. This one, though, is it.

“Tejas” is just a powerhouse album. There is not a bad song here, which you really can't say about the albums that followed. The songs are tight and concise. Listen to this with headphones and check out the interplay between drums, bass and guitar. Everything is right in its place. I love that little 4 note rising pattern right after they sing “It's Only Love”. It just knocks me out. Something so simple and just so right, and the album is full of things like that. The lyrics are good and quite funny in places, and you can tell that the boys are very familiar with the places and things about which they sing. “Pan Am Highway Blues” is a killer track and one of my favorites on the album, and as you listen to it you feel as though you are taking a road trip from Texas to Peru. You can almost see the white lines rolling past. “Avalon Hideaway” is a real place, or at least was, and the slinky groove of this song makes you feel like you are right there with all those characters.

The album “Deguello” would come after this and the musical weirdness would start. It was full blown on “El Loco”, and I consider the 80's and most of the 90's to be lost years for this band. They finally righted the ship with “XXX”, “Rhythmeen” and “Mescalero”, but as many a band has discovered, you can't go back to the early days once you are so far removed from them.

This is the album that I will always remember them by. Its one of those albums that I can put on no matter what kind of mood I'm in and it will always hit the spot. We all have those classic albums that we love and have listened to more times than we can count. Put on one of your favorites and enjoy.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Crobot announce new album; debut new single "Not For Sale" premiering exclusively on NOISEY

 "It skewers the band’s sound further towards the stoner-metal side of hard rock than ever before, Chris Bishop’s sped-up sludgy riff forcing the track forwards while Brandon Yaegley pushes his voice into its glorious upper reaches. It’s less Wolfmother and more Red Fang, the sort of track that makes you want to grow your hair down to your ass and order nothing but takeaway for three months."
Crobot are pleased to unveil their latest single, "Not for Sale" as the first sneak peek to their upcoming album, Welcome To Fat City. Premiering exclusively on Noisey, from start to finish and in true Crobot fashion, this ripper doesn't stop twisting and turning like a hard rock tidal wave.  It gives you just enough time to come up for air, only to get pummeled back into the groovy undertow.

Talking to the Noisey team, band frontman Brandon Yaegley noted that, "Not for Sale" takes you into orbit around the sonic spectrum of our latest album and is an anthem for all of us who work hard enough to make our own luck.  It's a cry to hold on to our own humanity, never letting anyone else manipulate our destiny.  Who paid your debt to be here? No one...and my soul is not for sale."

The single is a highly anticipated follow up to their debut album, Something Supernatural which saw the Pennsylvania based four-piece dominate the US and European live scene, landing them direct slots with the likes of Motorhead, Volbeat, Anthrax, Clutch, Black Label Society, Chevelle, and more. Winning the hearts of audiences at festivals like Rock on the Range, Sturgis and UK's Download Festival, Something Supernatural was also praised by the likes of Yahoo! Music, Revolver, Billboard, Huffington Post, Drum Magazine, Guitar World, Blabbermouth and was featured as VH1's "That Metal Shows" Pick of the Week."

Recorded with producer, Machine (Clutch, Lamb of God, Every Time I Die), and mixed by engineer Alan Moulder (Foo Fighters, Nine Inch Nails, Them Crooked Vultures, Led Zeppelin), Welcome To Fat City is due for release September 23 via Wind-up Records. Catch the band on the road this summer with Sevendust.

find Crobot:
Catch the band on the road this Summer:
Tuesday, August 2nd – Bloomington, IL – Castle Theater *
Wednesday, August 3rd – Minneapolis, MN – Mill City Nights*
Friday, August 5th – Sturgis, ND – Full Throttle Saloon*
Saturday, August 6th – Fort Collins, CO – Aggie Theater*
Sunday, August 7th – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex*
Tuesday, August 9th – Regina, SK – Conexus Convention Hall*
Wednesday, August 10th – Calgary, AB – Marquee Beer Market & Stage*
Thursday, August 11th – Edmonton, AB – The Ranch*
Friday, August 12th – Saskatoon, SK – Saskatoon Events Center*
Sunday, August 14th – Winnipeg, MB – Burton Cummings Theatre*
Wednesday, August 17th – Toronto, ON – The Opera House*
Friday, August 19th – Council Bluggs – River Riot*
Saturday, August 20th – Columbia, MO – Blue Note* (also w/ Killswitch Engage)
Saturday, September 17th – Revolution Rock Festival – Mashantucket, CT
September 18th – Chester, PA – Rock Allegiance Festival
October 1st & 2nd – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life Festival
January 16th – 20th – Shipwrecked 2017

*with Sevendust

Time to party!

20 years of Pushing Scandinavian Rock to the Man! have gone by. Bad Afro Records is no longer a teenager and the anniversary party will take place at Musikloppen at Christania in Copenhagen November 5th. BABY WOODROSE, NARCOSATANICOS and TELSTAR SOUND DRONE are on the bill. Instead of looking back focus will be on the present artists on Bad Afro and all three bands have releases out in 2016. The second Telstar Sound Drone album Magical Solutions To Everyday Struggles came out in March, the new Baby Woodrose album Freedom is released September 16th while Narcosatanicos will release their first album on Bad Afro November 4th. Narcosatanicos will play a full set since the night will also be the release party for the new album in Copenhagen. There will be 200 free beers when Loppen opens at 21.00. The first 100 guests will receive a free Baby Woodrose vinyl 7” including the two exclusive tracks Breaking The Spell and ESP. This single will not be available in any record shops or as streaming and will no doubt end up being collectable. Pre-sale tickets are available HERE

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The return of Ripple Music’s The Second Coming Of Heavy; Chapter III BoneHawk and Kingnomad Out Now!

Already recognised as one of the world's leading purveyors of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Stoner, Doom and Heavy Psych, Ripple Music upped the ante in 2015 with the arrival of one of the year’s most ambitious projects, The Second Coming Of Heavy.

Serving as an ongoing showcase for some of the best and heaviest bands emerging from the underground, each instalment shines a light on those worthy of your attention. Consisting of one, 12” slab of multicoloured vinyl with full colour sleeves and inserts, the series is designed to be saved and treasured, like a fine anthology of books. So much so, when the albums are filed next to each other, the complete collection of aligned spines forms a mind-blowing image direct from the underground.

Following on from the series’ first instalment released last summer featuring Geezer and Borracho, and February’s Chapter II’s split between Supervoid and Red Desert, the latest chapter, released this June offers up new music from hard hitting Michigan quartet BoneHawk and Sweden’s Kingnomad.

The Second Coming Of Heavy; Chapter III will get an official vinyl release on 24th June 2016 and is limited to 300 copies in three alternative versions (100 of each) – The Resurrection Edition, The Risen OBI and The Ascension Edition.  Vinyl can be found at

Stream and share BoneHawk’s The Scout’ here and King Nomad’s ‘Lucifer Is Dead’ here.

BoneHawk – The story of BoneHawk is one that started as early as third grade, in an unassuming Kalamazoo school, where guitarist/vocalist Matt Helt and guitarist Chad Houts first met and bonded instantly over a shared appreciation of video games, pizza, poster girls and rock and roll. As the years passed by with each feeding the other on a steady diet of thrash metal and classic rock, the duo decided to put together something that paid homage to the heavy riffs they discovered as teens growing up in the mid 90s, specifically, that beguiling breed of heavy rock directly influenced by the mighty Black Sabbath.

Kingnomad – Originally formed in January 2014 out of a small northern town in Sweden by best friends Mr.Jay and Marcus, Kingnomad pride themselves on an endless provision of of occult psychedelic streams and 70s doom rock in the Lovecraftian mould. Later joined down in the basement (the band’s “Doom Room”) by Andreas on drums and Maximilian on bass, the Swedish quartet’s first effort was ‘Lucifer Is Dead’ included here for the first time on Ripple Music’s The Second Coming Of Heavy; Chapter III.

Praise for Ripple Music’s The Second Coming Of Heavy vinyl series:

“Ripple Music is fast becoming the label of choice for good old fashioned heavy metal. They have released some great albums over the past twelve months, their latest being this split release featuring Supervoid and Red Desert […] two great bands and another great release from Ripple.”
Martin Howell, Powerplay Magazine

“I've long thought that The Second Coming Of Heavy series was one of the coolest things happening among a flock of cool things that Ripple Music has going on. The latest submission to this series, appropriately titled The Second Coming Of Heavy: Chapter 2 is a split between Supervoid and Red Desert. Featuring the fuzzed out tones that make so much of this classic rock and roll stuff so worthwhile, these two bands prove that they both deserve a place in a scene crowded by posers and chumps.”
Matt Bacon, Two Guys Metal Reviews

“Ripple Music believes we are in the midst of a heavy rock renaissance. Two editions deep, they’ve already highlighted a range of styles and a swath of acts from around different regions of the US brought together by their varied takes on what it means to be heavy. There’s a lot of ground to cover, and the project remains ambitious, but taking it one LP at a time, there seems to be nothing keeping the label from continuing this exploration and enlightening listeners as they go.”
JJ Koczan, The Obelisk

California's Ripple Music is widely recognized as one of the world's leading record labels for heavy rock, Stoner, Doom, Heavy Psych and lost 70's acid rock.  You can find all their bands at and 

Monday, June 27, 2016

KING DEAD: Psychedelic Bass And Drum Trio Confirms New Live Dates; Vinyl Edition Of Woe & Judgement Now Available

[photo by Natasha Padilla]

Pennsylvania mostly-instrumentalists, KING DEAD, will bring their spacious, tripped out, post-metal/doom manifestations to the stage on a smattering of live performances this Summer. The band's latest excursions include an in-store appearance this weekend at Darkside Records in Poughkeepsie, New York with Geezer and Linear North.  

Comments drummer Steve Truglio of the upcoming dates, "It's really getting fun now. Not only are we enjoying the hell out of playing the new Woe & Judgment stuff, but we just started test driving an even newer song in the set. We are playing cool places with great bands and things are really starting to click."  

KING DEAD undraped their three-song full-length, Woe & Judgement, earlier this year. Having impressed with the spacious post-metal textures of their 2014 demo, the scope of Woe & Judgement has expanded considerably even from where it started. With three tracks constructed to fit on two sides, KING DEAD - Truglio with four-string bassist Kevin Vanderhoof, and six-string bassist Wil McGrath - pushes its way into an encompassing rumble that still seems to hold onto a human core even as it lumbers between airy doom and rawer, thoroughly-reverbed noise. "It's an immersive, thirty-seven-minute stretch," proclaims The Obelisk, "but lack of pretense prevails, and KING DEAD's debut long-player finds them aesthetically locked in and proffering a balance between the raw and the lush, with a patience underlying that only makes the songs seem more methodical."  

Woe & Judgement is currently available on limited edition vinyl and can be streamed at THIS LOCATION.  

8/06/2016 Smiling Moose - Pittsburgh, PA w/ Iron Man, Caustic Casanova, Horehound
8/19/2016 O'Briens Pub - Allston, MA w/ Snail

KING DEAD have been conspicuously haunting the Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania area. Bass players Wil McGrath and Kevin Vanderhoof, recruited New Jersey transplant Steve Truglio on drums in 2013, and have been traumatizing ears throughout Pennsylvania ever since. Their debut record Woe & Judgement was recorded by Dave Reiser in Stroudsburg at Rock Hard Studios. Call it sludge, doom, spaghetti western doom sludge... With virtually no vocals, it's all about dynamics and the building tempos. Creepy, dreary, sleepy and melodic riffs layered over deep bottom and pounding drums.

Said of the band's latest offering, "Woe & Judgement is an instrumental doom metal album that has material to please everyone from those who are fans of the older-school drone-theory of traditional doom metal, to those who are excited about where the genre's future is headed. With the dense production utilized, the album has an overall feel that would best be described as taking doom metal into the same atmospheric place that Mayhem did for black metal on Ordo Ad Chao. This production of the album, along with a guitar tone and style that delves into the first wave of the goth/death rock genres - especially early Bauhaus - helps them add to their self-described 'spaghetti western doom sludge.' With the tri-tone and minor chord-progressions, along with slower tempos and the sounds of oversaturated guitar, KING DEAD has definitely crafted a sound of their own."

POWERWOLF And EPICA Join Forces for a co-headline European Tour 2017!

German heavy metal giants POWERWOLF and Dutch symphonic metal stars EPICA are teaming up for an European tour in early 2017. This impressive co-headline tour comes in support of the highly awaited new EPICA album HOLOGRAPHIC PRINCIPLE, which is scheduled for a September 30th 2016 release and POWERWOLFs spectacular DVD THE METAL MASS LIVE, which will be released July 29th 2016.

Comments Matthew Greywolf of POWERWOLF: „In early 2017 we will embark on a special tour, sharing stages throughout Europe with the amazing EPICA. Those shows will become POWERWOLFs biggest indoor metal masses to date. Be prepared for an amazing stage set and crazy nights full of metal madness!“ 

„Woohoow, this fall we're releasing our 7th studio album and the band has exciting times coming up! A new album means a new EPICA chapter and obviously a new world tour. Early 2017 we'll join forces with our German friends in POWERWOLF and together we'll storm stages allover Europe. If you want to hear our brand new songs come to live, if you want to see our brand new visuals and if you simply want to have a good time with us, we expect you on our biggest tour to date! I really can't wait to be back on the road again and to see the music, the energy and our lovely fans become one. Until then!" commented EPICA frontwoman Simone Simons.

12.01.2017 DE - Wiesbaden, Schlachthof
13.01.2017 DE - Cologne, Palladium
14.01.2017 DE - Ludwigsburg, MHP Arena
16.01.2017 CH - Geneve, Salle des Fetes de Thonex
17.01.2017 CH - Zurich, Volkshaus
20.01.2017 DE - Munich, Tonhalle
21.01.2017 AT - Vienna, Gasometer
24.01.2017 PL - Warsaw, Progresja
25.01.2017 DE - Berlin, Huxleys
27.01.2017 DE - Oberhausen, Turbinenhalle
28.01.2017 CZ - Prague, Forum Karlin
03.02.2017 UK - London, Shepherds Bush Empire
04.02.2017 FR - Paris, Zenith

Further dates of this tour to be announced at a later date.

Tickets for all shows will be available on June 8th at 10:00am CET and can be purchased on the bands’ websites and

EPICA VIP Upgrades are available from

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Tales from the Road - KIND Tour 2016 -- Good music, Polish Sausages, and Craziness -- Tour Report from Darryl Shepard

Here's a tour recap if you want to check it out. Some names have been omitted to protect the innocent. Some have been left in because fuck it. We had a great time. Huge thanks to everyone involved.

Day 1: Seattle. No show so we were able to hang out and walk around and drink a lot. Found a great bar called Shorty's with cheap beer ($2.75 for a Hamm's), video games and pinball so we planted ourselves there for a while. Apartments next door said "starting at $400" and everyone who came out of there had a dog. Walked through a park across the street from our hotel where junkies and hookers congregate so that was fun. Girl walked right up to me and asked if I had a needle. Unfortunately I was all out. Then went to the 5 Point bar which rules in every way. $2.50 beers, big old CD jukebox loaded with great tunes and good food. Also, in Seattle "chicken carnitas" is a thing. Still not sure what it is. First show tonight at the Funhouse. Need to stay somewhat sober.

Day 2: Seattle. Second day here. Walked around some more. Seattle has awesome/bizarre sculptures, seems to be a thing out here. First show of the tour. We finally meet Salem's Bend, very cool guys. Robert the singer/guitarist is wearing a vintage Dokken shirt, which immediately impresses. Food at the Funhouse is amazing. Chicken and waffles from heaven. Local bands Big Bad and Skullbot were impressive, Skullbot in a "WTF are these guys doing" kind of way. Salem's Bend bring laid back riffs and grooves. Good shit. Small problem with guitar amp during our set but we overcome it. First night playing on borrowed gear, it's like wearing someone else's clothes. Looking forward to the next week, Portland's next. Onward!

Day 3: Portland. Who knew there was brutal traffic in the Northwest? We didn't. The drive to Portland seemed to take forever. Once we got in we went right to an oyster bar, met up with Hez Aronson, then hit up a brewery and then a restaurant where the food tour continued. Fried chicken in Old Bay seasoning had me weeping tears of joy. Cool venue, two locals opened. One of them butchered "Green Machine" by Kyuss so that was unfortunate. Good turnout. No vocals onstage. None. Apparently there's some parade in Portland, we saw people camped out on sidewalks in tents for it. Shit's serious. No sign of Fred Armisen yet.

Day 4: Chico. Day off so Craig drove about eight hours. Stopped off in Weed, CA because duh. Very sleepy little town. A small dog in a pick-up was barking at us at the gas station so I yelled at it for a little while. That was fun. Pull into Chico around 9:30, go to the Sierra Nevada brewery, start drinking. Get hotel, then hit the bars. Bar across the street closed at 11:45 on a Saturday. Fine, we'll go down the street. Finish night at dive bar, don't know what it's called, don't care. Oh, the shower is right in the hotel room, not in the bathroom. Interesting design concept. Coffee then Oakland.

Day 5: Oakland. Played at the Golden Bull, which is basically metal central for Oakland. Ex-Bostonian Justin Ennis set up the show, did sound and supplied shots all night. Blacked have a great name and some cool riffs. Taarkus were heavy mellow, female vocals, keyboards and flute. Beastmaker destroyed. Drummer was a monster. Singer's father played bass in Montrose. Like, the original Montrose. How bad ass is that? Salem's Bend stepped it up again. Jäger shots flowed like water. Hip hop club next door had the music cranked. Dude out front grilling polish sausages, had to get one. Ruled. Then hit up a taco truck which ruled even more. Met a Penguins fan who was obviously psyched. Matt got into arguments with two different strangers, including a hotel employee and a guy at Whole Foods who thought Matt pissed all over the toilet seat. Need to keep Matt away from people today. Breakfast sucked. Oakland ruled. Doll Hut in Anaheim next.

Day 6: Anaheim. This was the day we hit the legendary LA traffic. Headed to Anaheim during rush hour because we're nuts. It lived up to the hype. Rolled into Anaheim a little after six, club wasn't open, so we hit up the Green Cactus nearby for burritos and tacos. Yes, it was awesome. Club opened a little late but it didn't seem to matter. The Doll Hut is a small roadhouse whose walls are covered with band stickers. Singer of first band chuckles when I ask him if 20 people will show up. Cool. That's reassuring. They're called Kosmic Halo and play to the other bands. Woman in her seventies wearing a Gorguts shirt shows up and becomes my new hero. People start to show up so it turns into a decent show. The sound guy is also the bartender. Band after us is nu metal. Singer was wearing flip flops. Last band is possibly the worst band I've ever seen. It was like someone gave them instruments and they had never heard music before. No reference points whatsoever. I think the guitarist's amp was a microwave oven. Stunning. Ended up staying with Tom Davies of Nebula and the Freeks in LA after the show. The Complex in Glendale tonight.

Day 7: Los Angeles. Where to start? Not at the beginning, that's for sure. Show kicked ass, maybe best so far of this run. Great club (Complex) and staff. Plus a fog machine. Some old school Bostonians came out. The Rare Breed kicked ass. So much good Mexican food that my brain can't handle it. Taco truck blew minds. Amazing hosts Tom and Pamela, thank you so much. Hearts everywhere. San Diego here we come.

Day 8: San Diego. This is it. Last show of the tour. On the way out of LA we stop by Vacation Vinyl to say hi to Mark Thompson, who takes a couple of KIND records to sell. VV is a great store, tons of cool stuff. We also get mind melting breakfast tacos before we hit the road. Once in San Diego Riggs secures us a hotel room in Ocean Beach, then we hit up a bar called Tony's for $2 beers and I load up the jukebox with Steely Dan. Seems fitting. Then head to Brick By Brick. We have to go on first at this show but some people make it out early. Locals Beira and Garth Algar put on good sets. Salem's Bend closes it out. They get the girls dancing. Dude at club will be playing drums for Unearth when they play in Boston soon. I drink a vanilla cream ale. It's gross. We say our goodbyes and then go out for last call. Great little tour, it's been a fun time. Much thanks to Salem's Bend for letting us use their gear, and to Aaron Gray for booking this. Know what I'm sayin? I'm out.

The Heavy Eyes Tour

Inline image 1

Fuzz and groove based, Heavy Eyes, announce tour dates for the western half of the US. Heavy Eyes, who released their third album, He Dreams of Lions, in November, will be hitting the road from 7/10 starting in Tempe, AZ and ending in Missoula, MT on 7/16. While the tour is quick, Heavy Eyes have promised to add more dates in future months and hopefully to include Europe in the near future. See July dates below.
7/10 Tempe, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room
7/11 Los Angeles, CA @ Viper Room
7/13 Portland, OR @ Ash Street Saloon
7/14 Seattle, OR @ High Dive

7/16 Missoula, MT @ Stage 112

The Heavy Eyes

CASTLE Premiere Music Video / Announce Canadian Tour

Welcome To The Graveyard is the forthcoming new full-length from West Coast doom metallers, CASTLE. Captured by Billy Anderson (Sleep, Neurosis, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth, Eyehategod, Ommadon et al) at Type Foundry Studios in Portland, Oregon this past Winter, the eight-track offering will see official release July 15th via Ván Records.
In advance of its official unveiling, Castle have released a brand new video for second track, “Hammer And The Cross.” Directed by Jaan Silmberg of Pistoltrixx, “Hammer And The Cross,” was shot north of Toronto, Ontario while the band was between recording and mixing sessions for Welcome To The Graveyard this past winter.
“The song ‘Hammer And The Cross’ commands a lot of space and we wanted to find a location to match its starkness,” elaborates vocalist Elizabeth Blackwell of the clip. “We filmed the video at an old, abandoned dairy farm north of Toronto in the middle of February in Canada. The cold, swirling imagery is a perfect complement to the hypnotic doomy sounds of the song. It was a successful collaboration with our director and a lot of fun to make”.
[CASTLE 'Hammer and the Cross' VIDEO LINK]
Welcome To The Graveyard sees CASTLE merge their doom-powered riffing with soaring 1970s rock . The album features a new level of confident songwriting and is a creepy-crawl through the wastelands of the band’s new Los Angeles’ ­­home; a hard-boiled barrage of classic heavy metal riffery tempered with blasts of melodic orchestrated doom. The perfect soundtrack for a Hollywood cult initiation.
Elizabeth Blackwell’s haunted vocal style draws a sigil of death and madness — envision the Wilson sisters singing hymns from the stygian void, while lyrically CASTLE adapt the stark and compelling vistas of Aleister Crowley’s Amphora for the song “Traitors Rune” and Eliphas Levi’s Transcendental Magic, whose mystic rumination inspires the lyrical backdrop for the lead-off single “Flash Of The Pentagram.”
[CASTLE 'Flash of the Pentagram' AUDIO LINK]
Welcome To The Graveyard Track Listing:
  1. Black Widow
  2. Hammer And The Cross
  3. Welcome To The Graveyard
  4. Veil Of Death
  5. Flash Of The Pentagram
  6. Traitors Rune
  7. Down In The Cauldron Bog
  8. Natural Parallel
In addition to their already announced US tour schedule, CASTLE have also just announced a month long Canadian headline tour, kicking off Aug 27 at the Doom Over TO Fest in Toronto, Ontario and including a stop at The Envol et Macadam Fest in Quebec City on Sept 8. A full list of CASTLE tour dates can be seen below.
CASTLE was forged in San Francisco in 2009 and released their debut full-length, In Witch Order, on Germany’s Ván Records in 2011. The album brought light to the newly-formed band and earned them “Album Of The Year” honors from Metal Hammer Norway, as well as Roadburn Festival’s “Newcomer Of The Year.” Shortly thereafter, the band joined the Prosthetic Records roster in North America and released their critically-adored sophomore album Blacklands. The record led to a Canadian JUNO nomination for “Metal/Hard Music Album Of The Year.” CASTLE performed over two-hundred shows worldwide in support of the release alongside the likes of The Sword, Conan, Intronaut, and Pentagram among many others as well as appearances at some of the underground’s largest fests including Roadburn, and the London and Berlin Desertfests.
Since the release of Under Siege in 2014, CASTLE, which consists of vocalist/bassist Elizabeth Blackwell, guitarist/vocalist Mat Davis and drummer Al McCartney, has maintained a relentless touring schedule with multiple expeditions throughout the US, Europe and Canada including stops at the 2015 edition of Heavy Days In Doomtown Fest in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Acherontic Arts Fest in Oberhausen, Germany.
CASTLE Upcoming Tour Dates6/15/2016 Yucca Tap – Phoenix, AZ
6/26/2016 5th Quarter – Indianapolis, IN
6/27/2016 Skeletunes – Ft. Wayne, IN
6/28/2016 Vaudeville – Des Moines, IA
6/29/2016 O’Leaver’s – Omaha, NE
6/30/2016 Flux Capacitor – Colorado Springs, CO
7/01/2016 Metro Bar – Salt Lake City, UT
7/02/2016 Chateau le Punk – Las Vegas, NV
7/17/2016 Slidebar – Fullerton, CA #
7/19/2016 Mission Tobacco – Riverside, CA  #
7/20/2016 Elbo Room – San Francisco, CA #
7/21/2016 Hi Water Mark – Portland, OR #
7/22/2016 Funhouse – Seattle, WA  #
7/23/2016 The Palace Lounge – Missoula, MT #
7/24/2016 Railyard – Billings, MT #
7/26/2016 Reggies – Chicago, IL *
7/27/2016 High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI *
7/28/2016 Franks Power Plant – Milwaukee, WI  *
7/29/2016 Shakespeare Pub – Kalamazoo, MI *
7/30/2016 Corktown Tavern – Detroit, MI *
7/31/2016 Howlers – Pittsburgh, PA *^
8/01/2016 Now That’s Class – Cleveland, OH ^
8/02/2016 Rockin Buffalo Saloon – Buffalo, NY ^
8/03/2016 Geno’s – Portland, ME ^ w/ Hessian
8/04/2016 Ralph’s – Worcester, MA ^ w/ Pilgrim
8/05/2016 Acheron – Brooklyn, NY ^ w/ Pilgrim
8/06/2016 The Fire – Philadelphia, PA ^ w/ Pilgrim
8/07/2016 TBA – Washington, DC
8/08/2016 Riffhouse Pub – Chesapeake, VA
8/09/2016 Pilot Light – Knoxville, TN
8/10/2016 The End – Nashville, TN
8/11/2016 Vino’s – Little Rock, AR
8/12/2016 The Grotto – Ft. Worth, TX
8/13/2016 The Lost Well – Austin, TX
8/14/2016 The Elbow Room – Wichita, KS
8/16/2016 The Underground – Santa Fe, NM
8/17/2016 The Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
8/18/2016  Flycatcher – Tucson, AZ
8/19/2016 The Merrow – San Diego, CA
8/20/2016 The Complex – Los Angeles, CA
8/27/2016 Doom Over T.O. Fest – Toronto, ON
9/07/2016 Katacombes – Montreal, PQ
9/08/2016 Envol at Macadam Fest – Quebec City, PQ
9/09/2016 Panic Room – St. John, NB
9/10/2016 Gus Pub – Halifax, NS
9/11/2016 Baba’s – Charlottetown, PEI
9/12/2016 Capitol Complex – Fredericton, NB
9/13/2016 Ti-Petac – Trois Rivieres, PQ
9/14/2016 House Of Targ – Ottawa, ON
9/16/2016 Black Pirates Pub – Thunder Bay, ON
9/17/2016 King’s Hotel – Winnipeg, MB
9/18/2016 TBA – Saskatoon, SK
9/19/2016 Starlite Room – Edmonton, AB
9/20/2016 Fernando’s – Kelowna, BC
9/21/2016 The Office Pub – Kamloops, BC
9/22/2016 Funky Winkerbeans – Vancouver, BC
9/23/2016 Logans Pub – Victoria, BC
9/24/2016 Palomino – Calgary, AB
9/26/2016 The Club – Regina, SK
9/28/2016 New American – Sault Ste. Marie, ON
9/29/2016 Call The Office – London, ON
# w/ Disenchanter
* w/ Brimstone Coven
^ w/ Blizaro

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Bandcamp Bonanza – Bottoms Up

Lately I've found myself in the habit of raving about mostly new discoveries and sequencing the bonanza articles somewhat chronologically by staying current at the top of my collection feed. Today I figured I'd take you back to where it all started for me by inverting my online Bandcamp collection to showcase some of the earliest additions to my collection. These albums all made ripples years ago in my hard rock hatchery and the hope is that they will splash ashore into your dry camp. Cheers (bottoms up) and chug down some of this sweet groovy nectar.

Legal Fingers – No Time for Tenderness
Legal Fingers bring a sleazy attitude with afros flapping, titties bouncing, and no frills punk rock blues riffing away the night (or is it afros bouncing and titties flapping?).  I remember raving about this one back when nobody was using bandcamp. I have no clue if these guys are still pumping out tunes or not, but this cool ass album is available for name your price now in case you haven’t checked it out yet.  There is no better time for tenderness than now. Hit that buy button!

The Mud Sons – The Hundredth Monkey
This album played religiously back upon first discovery. A killer blend of raspy blues with a rocking stoner groove hovering endlessly within its alternative rock base. Infectious stuff here folks. They have some newer material up for the taking as well. Have a listen to “Dead and Gone” and tell me that isn’t catchy!

Cube – Cube
This album was adored the entire year of 2012. 2012? Shit I’ve been surfing bandcamp for damn near 4 years if not longer I guess. This is a funky concoction of rock tunes incorporating a bit of grunge, alternative stoner rock, and a funk based rhythm that is hard not to get into. I clearly grabbed this before I was into vinyl and notice they have it available on wax. I may have to invest in the vinyl copy. It’s kind of in the Red Hot Chili Peppers realm of grooves but with clearly a different sound.

Great Western – Warrior of Light
Just listen to this. Honestly it’s been a while since I listened to any of these but re-listening now I realize what I loved about this album. It combines a somewhat chaotic blend of heavy rock with a completely accessible groove. The hybrid stoner/sludge/punk slings gritty outlaw riffs with a grizzled punk attitude. Kind of reminds me of a favorite of mine that is Coliseum

DSW – Dust Storm Warning
This one is just straight up hard driving stoner rock full of heavy, muscular desert grooves. This will appeal to anybody who is into stoner rock period. It’s got the Kyuss crunch with melodically graveled vocals and a psychedelic tendency that blends itself nicely in the storm of fuzz.

Savora – Company of Dogs
This one was closer to the bottom of my stack than to the top and I felt strongly enough about to mention it here. One of those albums you really wish was out on vinyl to be able to hold in your hands.  It’s an absolutely unique and one of a kind sound that I still play regularly today.
“Moments of sheer alchemy combined with trance like elements of fuzzy groove create a plethora of serenity. Seriously dreamy hard rock with a cool factor off the charts.”

Well that was fun. These were just some random albums digging around towards the bottom of my collection. With the enormous amount of new music hitting the social feeds of the internet every day it is nice to step back and listen to some old stuff every now and then. Until next time, tilt those whiskey jugs up, crank the volume higher, and hope you remember what you listened to in the morning whether you go the route of the whiskey bottle or just the intoxicating grooves of the music.

-The Huntsman

Friday, June 24, 2016

Full album stream from Druids (doom/sludge) - 'Cycles of Mobeum' (Sump Pump Records)

Druids’ third album, Cycles of Mobeum, tells the tale of Warpia and her home planet Mobeum (so named as a nod to the French comic book artist Moebius, whose work is a major influence on the sound of the record). The doom/sludge metal trio from Des Moines that Band Bombshell calls “thrilling” are preparing to release the 8-song full length on June 3rd from Sump Pump Records, with cover artwork by Mark Facey.

Druids, who have opened for Baroness, Toxic Holocaust, Kylesa and Skeletonwitch, began as a couple of friends in Pella, Iowa absorbing the output of metal behemoths like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Mastodon, eventually forming Druids in 2008 as the duo of Luke Rauch (guitar, vocals) and Keith Rich (drums, vocals). The pair added Rauch’s younger brother Drew (bass, vocals) following the release of their first album, Pray For Water, in 2009.

Druids’ debut was released first as a limited edition CD on Ruleogy Records and later that year on cassette by Ea, Lord of the Tapes, before the album was re-released on CD by Austrian label PsychDOOMelic Records with a reissue on LP by Don’t Shoot Records. Druids put out their follow-up album, The Sound of Meditation, in their present form of a trio in 2013.

“There was a strong reaction to The Sound of Meditation that we didn't expect,” recalls Drew Rauch. “So that response really drove us. Right after we released it, we started writing the new album.” The beginnings of the writing process involved the Rauch brothers getting together every weekend and hashing out ideas while bingeing on sci-fi movies. Once the album began taking shape, they headed to Wabi Sound in Des Moines. “We went into the studio knowing that we were going to take our time with it and that we didn't have a strict deadline. We tried a lot of new things for this album.”
Cycles of Mobeum, recorded and mixed by Phil Young at Wabi Sound and mastered by Carl Saff (Earthless, Coliseum, Urge Overkill), will be out on June 3rd on CD and vinyl formats on Sump Pump Records. Druids’ first appearance on a Sump Pump Records release came in 2014 when they were included on a compilation, detailed at Druids will be hitting the road for a July tour, including sets at 80/35 festival and QC Metal Fest.

Cycles of Mobeum Track Listing:
01 The Grand Sleeve of Time
02 Firemares
03 Dreams of a Surface
04 Trial by Stone
05 Moon Systems
06 Halo
07 Oscillator
08 Warpia

Listen and share: Druids - Cycles of Mobeum

Dark Suns Debut New Song "Spiders"

German progressive metal band DARK SUNS will release their fifth studio effort, the double album, Everchild, on June 3 via Prophecy Productions. Recorded in Berlin's Funkhaus Studios (Europe's largest studio complex) with producer Yensin Jahn (Alice Cooper, Yo La Tengo), the album is the respected band's fifth full-length effort and follows 2011's Orange, which was hailed as "an album which embraces the sounds of early and vintage progressive, psychedelic, and jazz rock". In celebration of the record's release, the band premieres the new song "Spiders" via Burning Ambulance magazine. Listen to DARK SUNS' "Spiders" now, at this location.

   “As well as being the second track on the album, ‘Spiders’ was also the second track we wrote during the songwriting process. It resulted mainly from the idea to combine a teenage pioneering spirit with urban melancholy," says vocalist Niko Knappe. "It tells about a young person’s departure. A group of teenagers in a state of eagerness and wanderlust, waiting for a friend to set out and break away from the parental home. ‘Push the spiders downhill’ is how the lyrics end, and stands for conquering fears and overcoming obstacles. We like the playful ease of the verses and how the song merges into the stomping brass parts and chorus lines, followed by a boisterously outro part.”

Check out an interactive EPK for the record's title track, "Everchild", now at this location.

   A forward-thinking band that wears its influences -- such as King Crimson, The Soft Machine and Still Life -- proudly on its sleeve, DARK SUNS formed in 1997 and, in the time since, has released four celebrated recordings, including Swanlike (2002), Existence (2005), Grave Human Genuine (2008) and 2011's aforementioned Orange, morphing from 'progressive dark metal' through to dreamlike fantastical rock, over the course of its evolution. With Everchild, DARK SUNS mine the human experiences of sleep, escapism and nostalgia for subject matter, delving into the depths of these intense emotional states and pairing them with musical movements rife with exploration.

In addition to ten new retro-prog originals, the album's second disc contains a creative cover of Tori Amos' "Yes, Anastasia".

Track listing:

   1.) The Only Young Ones Left
   2.) Spiders (Burning Ambulance premiere)
   3.) Escape With the Sun
   4.) Monster
   5.) Codes
   6.) The Fountain Garden
   7.) Unfinished People
   8.) Everchild
   9.) Torn Wings
 10.) Morning Rain
 11.) Yes, Anastasia (Tori Amos cover)

   Pre-order Everchild at this location.

DARK SUNS features Niko Knappe (vocals), Maik Knappe (guitar), Torsten Wenzel (guitar), Ekkehard Meister (piano, organ), Dominique Ehlert (drums), Jacob Müller (bass), Evgeny Ring (saxophone) and Govinda Abbott (trumpet).

   Follow DARK SUNS on Facebook. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

From The Depths – From The Depths

There are a lot of reissues of releases from metal bands from twenty and thirty years ago. Many of those reissues are head scratchers, like, you listen to them and you immediately understand why the original album didn't sell well and went out of print. Fortunately, there are labels such as Hells Headbangers, who are a bit more discerning in what they release from the past. This here little beauty is a prime example of that. I'd never heard of this band, which hailed from Cleveland, Ohio and was around in the mid-nineties. That was a tough time for metal bands because grunge ruled the “heavy” universe at that time, or at least that was the popular opinion. Thankfully this survived and we have this lovely re-packaging to enjoy.

From The Depths is a hard band to pin down if you are one of those people who has to put bands into some neat little pigeonhole. Look at that album cover. Even though I've stared at it for hours, I still lose the face of that monster/beast/demon. There's so many circles and eyes and horns and decrepit areas. The music is kind of like that too. It dances very ably between death and black metal, sharing both genres in the same songs, or with death metal vocals in a black metal song, and so on. One thing it certainly is though, is very good. You owe it to yourself to check this out if you consider yourself to be any kind of death or black metal fan.

The other cool “secret” about this album is that it features the vocal talents of one “Malcolm Judas Anthony”, otherwise known as Jim Konya, the longtime drummer for Nunslaughter who tragically passed away in September of 2015. He manages some crazy stuff, from straight up speaking the lyrics right on through several different metal styles. I particularly love the one that sounds like Gollum. Go back and watch those Lord of the Rings movies and tell me that Gollum wouldn't be an awesome death metal singer.

The album is fantastic right from the jump. The intro is a keyboard driven number that sounds like something John Carpenter composed for the opening credits of a horror film. This is followed by eleven crushing tracks. There is a wonderful, creepy atmosphere to some of them thanks to the very judicious use of keyboards. This will never be mistaken for some of those bands that have keys all over the place, but they way they are used sparingly, and only on some tracks, contributes greatly to the overall sound and vibe. “Autumn Colored Day” is a great track and is very evocative of the title of the song. I love when bands do that. And it also could describe the great colors on the swirl variation of the vinyl. “The War of the Captive Spirits” drops the hammer from the opening moments and is pretty much everything I want in a death metal track. I like the idea behind “Apparitions of Myself”, and it is a cool song. I mean, who wouldn't want to see their own ghost? This is one of the tracks where the synths are just right, and the rest of the music and lyrics are spot on.

This is a great album for the nostalgic value, as well as just a great representation of what underground metal was doing here in the US while not many were paying attention. The packaging is cool, as is the vinyl color, so if you're a collector you may want to snag this one. This release works on a lot of levels, so give it a listen.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

RADIO MOSCOW 'Live In California' (Alive Naturalsounds Records)

Release Date: July 8th 2016

Radio Moscow's new double LP Live! In California was recorded absolutely live (no overdubs) over two nights at The Satellite club in Los Angeles in December 2015. The album features 76 minutes of the trio's unique brand of high-energy psychedelic rock'n'roll. The material is pulled from all their studio albums and the songs feature new arrangements.

Live! In California also includes the previously unreleased song 'Chance Of Fate', a cover of the '70s band Sainte Anthony's Fyre.

Radio Moscow is Parker Griggs on guitar and vocals, Anthony Meier on bass and Paul Marrone on drums. Now based in San Diego, CA, the band has five albums out, all on Alive Records, including their self-titled debut produced by Dan Auerbach (2007); Brain Cycles (2009); The Great Escape Of Leslie Magnafuzz (2011); 3&3 Quarters – early demos (2012) and Magical Dirt (2014). The trio have toured the U.S. and Europe with acts like Graveyard, Witchcraft, Joe Bonamassa, Pentagram, Sheepdogs and Nebula, and have shared the main stage at the Psycho California festival with Kylesa and Earth, along with performing in Europe, South America and Australia. Following their upcoming U.S. tour dates (which includes a headlining slot at Denver's Electric Funeral Fest in June, and playing at the Ride Festival with Pearl Jam in July), they'll also be touring extensively in Europe this summer.
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