Saturday, October 29, 2011

awesome proto hard rock stuff with "Wulfram" from THE MOSS

There's a strong revival for all the 70's psychedelic stuff for about two years, some bands going even further back in time and add a little more retro style with hints from the mid-late 60's too; this is where THE MOSS evolutes exactly and damn, more than pretty well ... !!!
This young band based in Portland (Oregon) formed in summer 2010 by Tony Pacific (lead guit), Adam Burke (guit/voc), Beth Borland (bass) and Ben Spencer (drums)... I felt a bit surprised when I first saw that this recording was released just six months after (understand January this year), I mean this is a pretty short delay but (logically) the band considers this as a demo and not a first album.
Anyway, fuck, this is just a question of words, because I didn't need several listenings to quickly conclude that this has definitely all the qualities of an album, the band is yet so mature here ! The repertory was certainly in the compistor's heart and mind for a little while, cause we don't have here a succession of heterogenous songs with an approximative technic and identity, this is all the contray, everything has been well worked out, very tight musicianship with a nice taste for pyschedelic melodies.
BLACK SABBATH, LED ZEPPELIN, HAWKWIND, THE BEATLES and SIR LORD BALTIMORE for the historical influences can be heard, while they could be ranged somewhere between GRAVEYARD, DANAVA and WITCHCRAFTas contemporary brothers of arms, with even a little something in the guitars that could remind the recent stuff of BLOOD CEREMONY (the 2nd part of "widow trakk" especially)...
There's 12 songs on this debut which seems pretty much, but considering it lasts 40 minutes and contains 4 short instrumentals (to be considered like interludes, but still worthy to include), this gives 8 complete songs from about 4 minutes, which doesn't let place to demonstrative instrumental parts even if there's sometimes a palpable jam feeling, this is pretty direct, fuzzy with catchy mid-tempos 70's riff rock... I've read about comparisons with the flashy UNCLE and The DEADBEATS which I feel is partially true, even if some parts could remind it a bit (the title track especially) this isn't as intense in the tempo, mesmerized and drug-fueled as the english revelation, but don't misunderstand me that doesn't mean these guys are totally clean and their music too polished !!!
Give quickly a listen/view to the video posted below and you'll have a nice overview of what THE MOSS has to offer on this great "Wulfram"... THE MOSS, a name to remember, that will surely explode in 2012 with their forthcoming album which is yet on the works, you've been warned !

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Elysian magnetic fields" by DIRGE

Dirge is a french band born in 1994. From the industrial metal genre that exploded in the first part of the 90's, the band slowly evolved towards more atmospheric sounds and progressive structures, related to the post-metal scene.
After their enormous double album "Wings of lead over dormant seas" (lasting about 2 hours, including one song of an hour !), this too rare band comes back with its 4th album "Elysian magnetic fields".
Too rare, indeed, because 4 albums in almost 18 years of existence isn't much at all and DIRGE isn't hyperactive live speaking (although they deplore it themselves), but here especially, quality prevails over quantity !
Where the previous album was very stretched and progressive, this new release is more compact and direct; this isn't a radical comeback to their industrial roots (except the song  "narconaut", very old Godflesh-like) but heaviness and massive power are omnipresent with a palpable tension that is almost constantly dark, scary and overwhelming...
Songs like the long opener "Morphée rouge" or "Obsidian" are  brillantly hypnotic and painful, sometimes reminding the dark and epic aura of YOB on "Atma" but with more despair and pronouced dissonances like the NEUROSIS of the mid-late 90's. The progressive edge specific to the post metal/HC  style à la ISIS isn't left at all, even if more nuanced, if offers some quieter moments, where mystery and beauty coexist in perfectly arranged atmospheres.
The last song "Apogée" (which means "peak", pretty aptly named !) is maybe my fave with both others mentioned, this longest song (12 mn) is the perfect closer to this album, synthesizing brillantly the original and rich musical world of DIRGE: massive, dark, violent, tortured, aesthetic, abrasive... like a kind of immense and fragile fortress from a dark and cold unknown realm !
The band has toured a few months ago, 10 dates including Germany and other countries from central/ eastern Europe, next one is (this week-end) a festival in Portugal with Godflesh, Sungrazer, Jesu... Nothing huge or spectacular but certainly some serious sets to promote this great new album ! It's never too late, so give them a well-deserved chance and let you dive into this nice sonic aggression.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

new album from NEGATIVE REACTION : "frequencies from Montauk"

A new album by NEGATIVE REACTION is honestly something not to miss for several reasons : first, these guys are among the pioneers of SLUDGE, existing for 20 years without any compromise, second, this is a band that (at least to my knowledge) has never disappointed its fans and finally the last album "tales from the insomniac" came out a bit more than three years ago which is pretty long and another largely sufficient reason to welcome this new effort warmly.
What are basically the origins of SLUDGE ? A cross between HC and DOOM if I'm not wrong !? Some people might think that there's hardly anything in common between HC and DOOM, that's a wrong idea at least concerning power, heaviness, misery and the repetition of suffocating heady riffing. But of course we are not speaking here about modern HC, no it's all about HC/punk from the early days, think especially about BLACK FLAG !
There's not so many bands whose style really fits to this definition, but N.R. does it pretty well and more than ever with this "frequencies from Montauk", while both previous albums were doomier and kind of more psychedelic in the structures and mood.
What we got here is definitely old-school sludge, closer to Crowbar and Grief than Weedeater if you prefer ! While remaining extremely heavy and crushing, I think the overall atmosphere is more massive and intense  on this new album.
All 11 songs are rather short, averagely between 3 and 4 minutes. Most  tempos are insanely downtuned, save just a few faster ("docking bay 94"); Ken Bones vocals are always raw with that old HC  type - screamed  special touch, sometimes nicely angered and painful, it's certainly not the kind of love it or hate it vocals but this strong caracter of their identity can maybe put off some people, which is a shame ... For our greatest pleasure, the sabbathian type of riffing is still omnipresent and gives a great solid groovy edge, a kind of mix of old C.O.C. eying on the Maryland sound, especially with some amazing solos directly coming from the old ST VITUS era ("shattered reflection") and also some catchy riffs à la THE OBSESSED, you know that direct but simple rockin' doom approach with a vintage bluesy southern touch ("planet saggar and the trobbits", "space capsule 1"), in some points they can remind their label mates LEATHER NUN AMERICA (the bikers edge replaced by the HC touch !).
Whichever mood their songs tend to,  this is always full of feeling, authenticity and heart with amazing heaviness. I  haven't heard all the bunch of split  stuff they did in the past but I think this is their best album, 20 years is the golden age ! This is another excellent release from PSYCHEDOOMELIC Rds with some of the most sincere and crushing doomy SLUDGE you can expect...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

About "Interzone", an interview with french stoner band : WHEELFALL

After ZOMBIE KING a few weeks ago, here's now a new interview with (in my opinion) the most promising french stoner band : WHEELFALL...
Their excellent ep "from the blazing sky at dusk" allowed them to get some decent exposure and feedback, but now the quartet has just freshly recorded a full length album called "interzone"  and believe me this one should definitely reveal them to a wider audience, thanx to their amazing blend of stoner with delightful doomy hints and some original conceptual science-fi lyrics...
Deeply impatient to know more about this debut album, I coudln't wait any longer and asked vocalist Wayne Furter a few questions about the band's history, this new recording and future expectations :

- You formed the band in 2009 and have quickly released "blazing from the sky at dusk," what is your look on this ep now? Do you consider it as a nice "visit card" that allowed to make you a name?

Hi dude ! In fact, since we formed in late May 2009, everything went fairly quickly. We did our first gigs after only 1 month, little by little some people believed in us and helped us playing quite regularly. After our gigs, we often had to face the fatidical question "do you have a cd or something where we can listen to your music?", To which it was often a little embarrassed that we had to answer "no."

It has been the trigger, we had yet composed 7 or 8 songs by December 2009, so we thought it was about time to record. We did that in conditions that could be called "outrageous" (to paraphrase Kris from Huata) by anybody used to work in the sound environment, haha ! We recorded everything in about thirty hours in our garages. Quentin (our previous drummer) had to record his tracks with his headphones listening to our compositions in midi (and the song "NASA" is improvised while shooting)! This is also the only instrument on the EP that has benefited from more than one microphone and a mixing desk to register. The rest was a microphone, an old computer and let's go ! Then finally I took care of the mix and mastering, without any experience and proper equipment. It was a real little adventure, but it was out of question to offer people something unfinished, we made everything to propose something decent !

Considering the age of the band, it's clear that now, with time and experience, we consider this EP like a big mixture of all our influences at the time. We wanted to show we were there, that people had to count on us and finally in some way that we knew our classics. So yeah, we consider it as a small visit card that induced the expected effects, because even if we were still looking our own identity, "from the blazing sky..." contained already several major aspects of our personality, could they be thematic or musical.
"From the blazing Sky at Dusk" is for Wheelfall what "Within the Woods" is to Sam Raimi: a DIY basis enabling us about a year after to give birth to our first album "Interzone", which we consider more personal , richer and based entirely on a single story that we have created !

-  I like your nicknames/pseudonyms, especially the pair Niko El Moche and Niko Elbow ... I do not know if it's realistic but at least it's pretty explicit ! but what about for yourself ("Wayne Furter) and Daniel ("cactus"), where does it come from ?
Ha no, these are not pseudonyms ... I really don't know what made ​​you understood things like that but ... hahaha!

- You have received some great reviews from lots of popular sites such as The Soda Shop, Sludge Swamp or more recently The Sludgelord ... Did it bring you real good contacts from abroad ? Are you doing all the promo by yourselves ?

It has been indeed a damn fuckin proud to have had so much positive feedback with this first EP. In fact our very first review was published on (rip), and it was particularly positive ! Globally it has completely exceeded our expectations . Imagine, we've had reviews from Poland, Italy, Spain, the United States, England, etc... and in addition all have been very encouraging . It was completely unexpected for us, young little band from la Lorraine with less than one year of existence.

I must say that we have always done things with our guts, without really worrying about what was happening elsewhere and I believe that somewhere, it is this authenticity that attracted. In addition to the fact that yes, we have provided all the promotion ourselves. I mean, we still move our asses, even now more than ever.

It's been a kind of mixture of positive factors that proved to be a big winner after all. One got to remember that in 2009 there was a great revival in stoner, sludge musics and related genres, it has certainly helped. Add to that a passion and an overwhelming athenticity, unfailing motivation, good choices and a bit of luck ... When I speak of "choice" of course I want to mention that our first EP was available physically and by mp3 too for free. It turned out to be obvious: Now, everything is done via the Internet. If you are not present cleverly on internet, if you do not have a com 'adapted, your band does not exist. It is unfortunately the actual truth...before it was differrent, but nowadays, it is necessary to enable the auditor to see you among the millions of groups on facebook or myspace. There are artists who manage to take advantage of this, I immediately think about Trent Reznor (who is one of our biggest influences, even though it's not obvious musically speaking), which succeeds to considerably increase his sales, while giving the possibility to  legally download his works.

We wanted to follow this exemple ... And it worked out really well. On one hand the EP has sold like hot cakes thanks to concerts, artworks (which are an integral part of our concept), but also thanx to all these reviews on the web, that offered an opportunity for interested people to order a physical copy etc ... Internet and music can be very well together, our experience is an example even if it's not current yet, knowing that the stoner rock has a fairly reactionary side, and most fans love to have a physical copy (including us too : vinyl, such an happiness! there's nothing better to enjoy THE sound?)

- You recorded your first album this summer, can you tell us more about the recording conditions and talso about the musical evolution of its content ?

First, we can say that it was definitely good to be able to rely on a professional,  haha! The advantage we had with recording the EP before is that this time we already knew the processes of recording, it sometimes helped to understand more quickly some aspects of the producer's job.
We had not really planed to record this summer actually. At one of our gigs, we played with a group whose drummer was none other than Gorgor, who currently plays with Addicted, Slapback, but also played with Phazm and Agressor (and many others). We quickly became good friends and he told us that if one day we wanted to record an album, he had a studio and it would be a pleasure to work with us. It has made "tilt" in our heads, and then we began to "work" to record at the Far Beyond Studio during two weeks.
Real nice holidays for music lovers like us ! From 8 am until exhaustion, each day, we gave our best to get the best result 

We honestly had a few hard times for some riffs as "simple" as they seemed ! In addition, like us, Gorgor is a very demanding guy, which was really helpful. He also handled the mixing and mastering, with our help of course, but it's noteworthy. The fact that he has a very long experience in extreme metal was a real luck for us and I'm not sure a guy who used to work only a more conventionnal rock environement could have identified our songs as well as he did. There is an heaviness and an approach to the songs that is definitely more metal than rock ... Even if in my opinion the overall sounds more rock than metal haha!

"Interzone" is our personnal accomplishment. We know that we have given the best of ourselves for it and it's all that matters. We are extremely proud of the songs we recorded, and we have really left a great part of our personalities. We have puted in this album all that we felt important from our heart, artistically speaking.

First,  musically, we're more mature, our songs are much more homogeneous and full of our personality. We have worked hard to assimilate our influences and at our gigs I'm not ever surprised to hear that our music evokes to listeners, goodies like  Black Sabbath, Cactus, Free, Kyuss, Goatsnake or certain periods of the Melvins or Weedeater BUT these references, although very flattering come after "ho, but that's Wheelfall !" indicative of a very obvious identity.
This identity exist also through a music that is certainly more influenced by Doom Metal than before, while maintaining a high artistic freedom.

Beyond music, "Interzone" implies several arts. As I said, graphics are very important to our concept. That's why in this album, there will be illustrations for each song, "Interzone" tells a story, and in the order of the album, the listener can follow it , through the music  and those illustrations under his eyes. The story is not only told by the album's lyrics. This is a full brand. This story has also influenced the composition of the songs, so each arrangement is thought through the story. It gives a very special ambiance!

- Your lyrics deal with topics related to science fiction and especially the extra-terrestrial life, what's the source of inspiration : books, movies , true stories ... ? Have you had the opportunity to watch the serie "The Event" ?

Indeed, it is something recurring with us! All stories written by Wheelfall have a core element : the tripod. This tripod is in our stories an abstract representation of the unknown, of a higher power, inaccessible, a forbidden knowledge. Like many humans, those things obsess us, we always want to know more about that at our own risks. It allows us to  address topics that are very important to us: fear of the unknown, mental fragility, the metamorphosis of the individual, the manipulation of reality ...
Of course, all these themes have been inspired by various works we've been interested in for ages, be it literary, cinematic or even real facts.
The tripod is an obvious wink to HG Wells and his "War of the Worlds" and histories have been shaped by the films of David Cronenberg, John Carpenter, Ken Russell, but also the books of William S. Burrough H. P. Lovecraft or. All these elements have helped to build a mythology around the stories we speak about in Wheelfall.
But no, I do not know anything about this serie you mentioned. I've just had a look on the synospsis and  it looks interesting indeed ! 

- In which way does the title "interzone" approach your usual lyrical themes and how can it be justified to give this name to the album?

In the album's story, "Interzone" is a place where the character  must evolve to get answers to his questions. This place is actually a kind of maze in which we see  reality blending with the unreal, an hallucinatory maze. Which falls in fact in this issue of reality's manipulation. What is real, what is not ... Centuries ago, imagine being able to speak to someone at the other end of the earth or just fly was completely inconceivable, unreal. Yet this is real now, and it is other things that are no more real. Finally, what is real is relative to our body and what you can accomplish with it. This table is real, I see it, I touch it, you too. It is even red, you notice that you, too. Yet some people because of their body and mind will tell you something else, see something else you do not see yourself. For you it's just bullshit, and for the other person it's just reality. It's pretty fun. The reality, ultimately, it is something that each one has for himself, and it's especially something that evolves.
In that state of mind there's then so many questions to ask yourself ... If you change physically, is the reality  changing ? If we exclude our perception of reality, is there still something real?

This zone of the history, which we define as a place where real and unreal are mixed, we have called it "Interzone"  by simple wink to the novel "The Naked Lunch" by Burroughs. There is also an  Interzone in here, but defined differently in a different place. But the principle remains the same, and like I said, the reality is unique to each, so the Interzone too.

- So what about the marketing of the album, do you have some contacts with labels ?
As for now, the album is finished, we're just waiting for the artworks to be finalized, then we can provide labels that we're going to contact a total immersion in our universe ! We want to offer the exclusivity of the album to label(s) who want to work with us ... I hope it will happen quickly because I really want to present it to our fans as soon as possible.

- You are a stoner band before all, but I feel there's a little penchant for doom gaining you with time, which is rather an originality here because both scenes do not mix very easily in France, unlike in the United States for example, waht's your opinion about that ?

As I said it before, we have indeed developed  a doomy edge since our EP, which is much more palpable now. Our passion for heavy sound vibrations and heady riffs  prevailed ! haha

It's true that in France there are just a  few bands playing stoner-doom, and even less  doom metal bands. I think it's a problem of culture. What I see is that in France there was a boom with many bands influenced by Kyuss and QOTSA side of pop, by all the (northern to eastern) wave of heavy rock à la Dozer or psyche bands like Colour Haze. A lot of bands influenced by the NOLA scene also ... But not much for Doom metal.
Strangely, the United Kingdom is so close and the basis come from there, namely Black Sabbath. Yet the pillars of doom come mostly from the States: Saint Vitus, Trouble, The Obsessed ... Athough two among the biggest , Candlemass and Cathedral, are European (and there are plenty of others),  we may be less bathed in doom in Europe than in the United States, considering that Europe's stoner stops before the Channel haha! In any case, we feel a serious lack in the music of our country! (I would better say that it's rather France than Europe in general that has a little "problem" with Doom)

- You give regularly concerts in eastern France and recently in Paris, but not yet in other parts of France or abroad ... Do you projects in this direction with the next release of the album? Does the gig as opener for Karma To Burn represent your best live moments so far ?
 We just have about two years and a half of existence, so it was necessary to be first known in our area, before playing in other parts of France ! We've now given about 25 gigs which isn't bad at all but it's obvious that it's now time to visit new places, we're working on that and it's gonna come for sure.
To open for Karma To Burn was just pure pleasure and fun, even if it's not been our best set (never self-satisfied..., this has been a memorable meeting ! The guys of KTB were really nice with us, despite our average english, we had great time speaking together and it was cool to see just normal attitudes from such a cult stoner band and they killed everything on stage !

- Thank you, all the best to WHEELFALL for "Interzone", something to add?
Thanx to you especially, it's been a pleasure to answer your questions. Thanx to the readers who have come down to this sentence, I've been pretty talkative !
If you wanna have a beer and discuss with us, we'll play soon in Dijon (Nov. 04) with Human Jail and The True Dukes of Burgundy, then in Nancy (Nov.26) at the Metalride with Moonspell, Kronos, Punish Yourself and many more... A bientôt !

Friday, October 21, 2011

interview with Quebec's monsters : DOPETHRONE

Even if released quickly after the band's formation, "demonsmoke" the first album of Montreal's trio DOPETHRONE had yet shown a serious potencial, but two years later, with a more than slightly developed sense of composition, "dark foil" has given naturally the band a new  status in the scene... Nothing "trendy" under the highlights, just a deep respect from the true underground, leading to the next Roadburn, which for a young unsigned band is a very nice recognition - and more locally certainly hailed as the natural leader that our cousins were expecting for a long while and all the better if they play some of the most sickest sludge/stoner/doom ever !!! Imagine the perfect cross between early Electric Wizard, Bongzilla and Weedeater, that's what you got here, the kind of band that you can't fully enjoy if you're clean !!! "dark foil" shows a great step towards something more of their own,thicker and more oppressive  too, with some of the most vicious vocals ever... Their smoky sound now well spreaded (but there's never enough, so if you haven't tasted it yet, check out their bandcamp page) and beautiful projects announced for 2012, it was time to ask Vincent (guit/voc) a few questions :

- Hail Vincent, you formed in 2008 and less than year after released "demonsmoke", what's your look on this first album now ?
Now that I sit down, drink a cold one and listen to our first album, I remember the haze of all the tasty smoke we inhaled in order to come up with that riffage.

“Demonsmoke” was recorded only 9 months after we started playing together, we were hanging out, getting ripped and we had access to a decent basement studio at Thom’s old place (our former drummer) so we decided to make this project “official”. But it was only the beginning, we were getting closer and closer to what was gonna become “our” sound.

- In my opinion, this first album was more crude, somekind of blackened stoner/doom, while "dark foil" eyes a lot more on sludge, the music is deeply enriched, thicker but also more sick, vicious and even if that was hardly possible more smoky... also I think you certainly improved a lot as musicians ! how do you see the evolution between both albums ?
With Demonsmoke, we were still figuring out what our sound was gonna be, it was kind of a experiment… but the response was great, and we were having fun, so we kept on givin’er.
So, after Thom left, we got a different drummer (Carl Borman). We also changed some of our gear. Let’s just say shit got pretty fucking crazy, (substance abuse & more) and we finally gave birth to Dark Foil.

- The original logo reminded the one of Venom... was it a wink or a reminiscence of some tastes for black metal stuff ? The new one looks better, more simple and sober, why did you change it ?
I drew that “Venom style” logo by hand because I really dig the style and when it comes to being in league with Satan, Venom has this “omnipresence” in people’s minds… Kind of like the Coca-Cola logo does… The main difference is that; unlike Dopethrone, Coca-Cola doesn’t turn your earwax into hash oil.

- While it has always provided quality death/thrash metal bands, the doom/stoner/sludge scene in Quebec seems pretty small... how do you explain this strange phenomenon ? Except Dopethrone, Cauchemar and Ensorcelor, is there any new bands to recommend ?
Well there isn’t much Doom sauce up here, except for maybe: Squalor, Stoned Horses & Downtrodden. I think the weather as lot to do with the whole “Heavy/Sludge” phenomenon, it’s way warmer down south and people tend to be more laid back. 

- When I've been in Quebec a while ago, I noticed that you guys were very attached to the french language, even blaming us to use often anglicism... what's your opinion about that and does France represent something special for you ? do you feel more steeped by the North American or the French culture ?
Well, I don’t know who you met out here, but we don’t discriminate, we party in both languages… and we don’t blame anyone for using Anglicism… We are from North America. Our ancestors are lumberjacks that were having sex with hot native women.

Unless someone speaks the original language from the tribe this land was taken from, they have no right to blame people about what language they speak.

- Did you get any tangible recognition from your dealers for their apparition in your thanx list for "dark foil" ?!!! I've lived 4 months in St Pierre et Miquelon in 2008 and was kind of surprised that almost all drugs available were coming through New Foundland, were you aware of this ? what kind of weed is especially circulating in Montreal ?
We wish we got some free drugs out of this, but no.                                                                                     The best shit around right now is: 1-Jean-Guy 2-Kush 3-Jack Hearer

- You asked your fans ideas to give a name for your future european tour next year, so any good idea selected ? Could you tell more about these touring plans ? Knowing that Walter was in Montreal this summer, I feel there's a real possibility to see you guys playing at Roadburn, am I wrong ?!!! (this was sent just the day before the announcement...)
Yeah, ROADBURN is on the list!!!
We plan to do a small European tour so we can spread the demonic sludgy Dopethrone sickness around… We didn’t find the name of the tour yet, but we got a few good ideas from our fans.

- I know you've plans for a record deal, and certainly the perspective of a future european tour is closely linked to this, could you tell something about that please ?- I know you've plans for a record deal, and certainly the perspective of a future european tour is closely linked to this, could you tell something about that please ?

Actually, no plan for a record deal so far… And… No link to the tour… Our stuff is 100% D.I.Y. and we intend to keep it that way and manage ourselves until we get a decent offer.

You're in a very productive state of mind musically, as material is ready for a 3rd album, will it be a logical following to "dark foil" or should we expect some special evolutions ?
We are almost finish writing the 3rd album, we might call it “Hooked”, but we are not completely sure yet. I think we found our sound with “Dark Foil” but the next album will be more violent/punishing and evil, some faster/more aggressive grooves. But don’t worry, a lot of slow thick riffage with drug-fueled bluesy leads also. We are also considering a stoner “Sitar” style intro. 

- How did it come that you plan to cover the bluesy "graveyard train" from Creedence Clearwater Revival ? any special taste for this kind of stuff ? Will it be included to next album or for another release ?
Yeah the CCR cover will be included in the next album, We love that swamp music, because that and the blues are the true roots of sludge.

- I was pointing the rather unactive scene in Quebec for occult stoner/doom metal, but I know that France is neither a reference too, do you enjoy any french bands though ? Are you attracted by a scene in particular ? Could you please name your faves for 2011 ?
I can’t think of any heavy bands from France at the moment…
The New-Orleans sludge scene is definitely our favourite.

- On your FB page, there's very very nice photos taken recently at a rehearsal, those are in white&black which is pretty rare, was it your idea ?
Wasn’t my Idea, one of our friends from showed up with is camera at one of our rehearsals and he took those, he’s really fucking good.

- Well, thanx a lot cousin, add something if you want (I'm thinking especially about your awesome T-shirt !)...
Cheers to you my friend!
And yes, our new T-shirt is fucking evil as fuck, you can order the shirt and a copy of both CD’s at:!/pages/Dopethrone/201732593171312 
Check us out and listen/download our new CD for only 6$ at:
Thanks & burn heavy)))

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"An Ache For The Distance" by THE ATLAS MOTH

Having read many dythirambic reviews about this album, I must admit that at the first listening this second effort (the first on Profound Lore rds) disappointed me a bit but I thought  it was the kind of stuff that is so rich that it needs time to be fully enjoyed in all aspects. 
It's partly true but partly not...Starting by the production which in my opinion is too massive and modern for this kind of music. In fact what surprise me is to read here and there that this band is sludge or/and tends seriously on Black Sabbath riffing with also many blues overtones, that this is the album of the year...
Oh well, maybe I'd better wash my ears full of 3 kilos of shit each, cause this is for me "just" atmospheric dark metal, pretty much influenced by european bands from the mid 90's, english and dutch for the music + clean vocals and scandinavian for the blackened vocals + some (rare) ripping riffs. 
THE ATLAS MOTH is good in catchy atmospheric mid-tempos with screamed blackened and clean vocals shared, hauting and melodic riffing with frequent keyboards, Everything is well-arranged, with good moments like solos sounding pretty psychedelic which could give a little stoner feeling, then a nice eastern touch sometimes pointing too and it can be another pagan touch the song after ... Interesting but not so original for their metal aspects (which are most essential in their sound)... If you take apart the (dispensable) gothic-ballad "the courage", I think there's  a little lack of variety, the musical basis tend to sound a bit lall the same,  except with  the last song "horse thieves" which shows a wider variety of sounds, this is certainly not a coincidence if this one is the doomiest of all the album and the best one !!! there's a grasping atmosphere  here which is good and I think they should explore more these kind of landscapes (and leave a bit the too classical dark metal edge) to find definitely their own identity in the future.
This is good stuff, I like it but for me this doesn't deserve more highlights than many others and it certainly won't figure in my musical top 10 list of the year (just the cover and general artwork could be ;) ...).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

soon to be released"in the name of the Father,the Son and the Unholy"by FAETHOM

FAETHOM  formed initially in Bolivia by Mariela (voc/keyboards) and David (guit), but they soon left their country of origin to relocate in Fort Lauderdale (Florida), joined since then by Federico (bass), Hermes (drums) and very recently by Fabian (guit)...

Beyond the South American origins specific to each of the band's members, they all have a pronounced taste for : horror themes and blackened metal... Taking basically influences in early Morbid Angel, Ancient and Enslaved with little hints of mid 80's brazilian thrash, the music alternates between raging blackened malignant parts with raw deathed vocals, and some orchestral melodic moments with keyboards and incisive melodic guitars, that's where the influences of Mercyful Fate/King Diamond and even Candlemass ("by the lake of sacred eyes") amazingly appear to give a surprising technical  dimmension while a sinister atmosphere always prevail.
Ok, I've mentioned several references (good ones though) but that doesn't mean they're unoriginal at all, all the contrary in fact... Epic and theatrical with a ferocious evil touch, this is indeed pretty unique and refreshing with some very tight musicianship and a general mood (scary and haunting) perfectly in line with their concept. Mariela's vocal register is impressive,  always harmonious with a lot of deepness, could her singing be evil, menacing or melodically enchanting.
Their nice 5 songs ep entitled "Lullaby for Heathen Spawn" was self-released  late 2009 and after quite many awesome local shows, FAETHOM now announce that their debut concept album "In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Unholy" will be out on November 1st, 2011 and this will contain no more than 16 tracks !!! The band invested a lot during two years to achieve something complete (both musically and on the concept)  and certainly worth discovering... The album should also reveal some great artwork and interesting lyrics, no doubt you'll hear more from them here in a short time !

Monday, October 17, 2011

“Boued Tousek hag traoù mat all” debut album by STANGALA - due to be released on Solitude Productions

I already presented you one of  our new regional pride (along with HUATA whose album should finally come out in november), here  in Brittany, a few months ago : STANGALA...
Now there's great news, indeed they have just signed a deal with Solitude Productions (from Russia) for the release of their debut album “Boued Tousek hag traoù mat all”. 
The band plays a drug-fueled, vintage and occult stoner/doom rock with celtic influences and lyrics entirely in breton. Mind your head while entering the druids forest, your journey is about to begin…
Set to be released in the first days of 2012, the album contains 10 songs and has numerous guests including guys from Huata and The Bottle Doom Lazy Band ! 

To whet your appetite, two songs can yet be listened at their bandcamp page  :

Swedish death metal pioneers DISMEMBER announce they quit

I've never hiden my taste for old-school death metal, could it be in the US vein or the Scandinavian one; most monsters of the early years are still here, in various states of health, often relying on classics of their golden period... and gods know that DISMEMBER had a bunch of classics in their pocket !  
A bit more than 22 years ago, "dismembered" was one of the first demos I ever received from a foreign band and now, with more than a hint of nostalgia,  I remember songs like "deathevocation",  "defective decay", "skin her alive", "pieces", "reborn in blasphemy", etc...  because  Sunday the sad news was officially confirmed via bass player Tobias Crtistiansson who released an (extremely short) official statement on the band’s behalf :

“After 23 years, DISMEMBER have now decided to quit. We wish to thank all our fans for your support.”

The band was well known within the death metal faction as one of the finest and first offerings in the genre from Sweden, along with other pioneers Entombed and Unleashed.

Total respect for these guys and best wishes for their personnal future...

Here's a few commemorative blasting videos : "skin her alive", "pieces" and "defective decay"

Thursday, October 13, 2011

interview with YOB (2nd and main part) - live in Paris 10/09/2011

After the first part I posted with my gig report, as a kind of  introduction (with nice special news about next Roadburn), here's the second and main part of the interview I did last Sunday with Mike Scheidt, just before their oustanding gig in Paris; a superb example of integrity, passion and respect ...
There will never be enough said about how YOB is brilliant and creative,  and how this band live is one of the most crushing and heaviest of the planet, so don't count your efforts to support them, they'll give back to you a hundredfold !

Topics evoked :
- first we return to the end of the question concerning how the other members caracters do give strenght to YOB as a collective
- main constraints to endure as an underground musician
- the development of his vocals register
- the contractual situation towards Profound Lore rds
- objectives fixed when the band came back in 2009
- objectives for the future considering the band's evolution and his age
- the assimilation as the "Enslaved of stoner/doom" and the notion of progressivity in doom metal
- differences between Europe and USA that he enjoys/dislikes most
- the setlist of the tour
- and finally the "ATMA philosophy"...

 Thanx again to Mike for having been so pleasant, eloquent and interesting !

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

live interview w/ Mike Scheidt (part1) + report DARK CASTLE & YOB - Les Combustibles PARIS 09/10/2011

There are (musical) events, meetings who leave their own special mark in life ... Sometimes nothing special happens during one or several years, but personnaly this year has been quite fruitful, 1st with  the memorable special show of Candlemass at Roadburn and then -this past sunday- with YOB coming in Paris...
A couple of hours before the gig, I've had the honour to speak during a long delightful moment with Mike Scheidt, leader of Oregon's masters YOB, and even if it was no surprise, I've felt something very special emanating from this guy; a very developed expression, quite and thoughtful, with simple, true, fair and essential values . Some people are maybe more accessible than me to YOB's philosophy but this shared moment and the gig right after helped me to DEFINITELY get into it, understand all his message and live at 101% his unique sonic odissey transcribing all his and our twisted emotions.

So, here's the first part of the interview I did with Mike (5 minutes),.. Don't blame my  zombiefied voice with this awful english accent but concentrate on interesting things this nice guy has to say !!!! 
at the end of this part, we've been a bit disturbed by the parisian garbage collectors (!) put then the sound higher... we moved a bit and then continued during 25 minutes, that'll be the 2nd part which I'll post quickly, but as for now there's still some great news to hear about :

1st question is about the reasons that led the band to cancel the spring european tour and the headlining of Raodburn 2011... and then I asked if there's any hope for next edition in April 2012... he he !

2nd question is underlining that discussions often focus on Mike as the leader of YOB and his life philosophy, so that we don't know much about other member caracters,  so I wanted to know how the other members give their part of strength to YOB as a collective ...

(special thanx to Fernando for making this possible and Stéphane Bourcier from Barabbas for being enough patient and competent to film this correctly)

The gig's report with photos :

I was expecting a lot from this gig for a few months, listening so many many times yet to "ATMA" and re-plunging heavily into previous albums, certainly not that I had abandoned them, but I felt the need to prepare myself specially to this gig, like I did when I was a lot younger, conscientiously to carefully enjoy each moment and the strongest feelings possible...   
Not just for me; indeed expectations were high for everyone but I can without any risk affirm that no person present has felt even the slightest disappointment, cause Mike and his buddies have completely blown away "les Combustibles", with an audience that ended the gig rinsed, washed and drained (the small hall was sold-out with around 160-170 people, during YOB's gig the ambient temperature has increased from at least 10°c degrees inside !) but so happy and aware to have experienced some unique moments, in an hypnotic transe that was just simply amazing !

Prior to this magic hour, DARK CASTLE had already impressed with their shredding  sludge including a great dose of crushing doom and blackened post-HC insanity... Even if you already know it, that's pretty strange to have just drummer Rob Schafer and Stevie Floyd on vocals/guit occupying the scene; but the space is pretty small and their set is so fuzzy and extreme at the same time, that you forget quickly everything and get 100% completely in their dark, cold, funeral, extreme world of earth-shaking riffs...
Most songs are naturally taken from the excellent "surrender to all life beyond form", including this awesome title track. Ambient, groovy, crushing, scary, possessed; lots of various components  that complete perfectly one with each others and form a very original style, a band that can now be considedred seriously as a precursor of some new extreme kind of music for the rest of this starting decade.

What's the ideal setlist of a YOB's show ? I think there's none actually, the repertory is now so wide and rich; Mike has picked up songs from the last four albums and everything is equally as good in heaviness, power and atmospheres ; could it be with "burning the altar", "quantum mystic", "grasping air", or more recent stuff with "Atma" and "prepare the ground"... It's not a problem of broken string on the 2nd song that can disturb the serenity of Mike and a 2nd set in row for Rob Schafer which can mitigate his enormous power. The audience is stunned by this constant massive and epic heaviness but -instead of undergoing and suffering from the more and more oppressive heat invading the hall- is constantly headbanging, hypnotically in a slow motion with a part of it collapsing in front of the scene like if carried away by a viciously surging wave. 
Too bad there's no encore but no one would have the idea to blame them, Rob seems exhausted and Mike in total trance... he  thanks warmly the fans, then sits down a few minutes on the left side of the scene, enjoying alone and peacefully the last moments of this memorable, authentic  communion... The set was totally grasping but this moment too believe me.  
Thanx YOB for these great times, I'm already impatiently waiting to see you  again next spring around there guys...  And also a major thanx to Bloodrites association (Fernando and Maryline) and Stoned Gatherings (Mathieu) to have organized this event, all the best to you concerning the next future plans that should allow french doomsters to see top notch bands within the next months and (hopefully) years.

Friday, October 7, 2011

about "son of a witch" : review + interview with ZOMBIE KING

Coming from Charleville Mézières and formed in 2006, this french Stoner rock band has just released its new album a few days ago. "Son of a Witch" follows a self-titled debut which came out rather confidentially two years ago, but the band has in between given quite many sulfurous gigs to gain an increasing attention, inducing some real expectations for this 2nd release. 
Rawer, stripped of from some too smoothy parts and with a better production, "son of a witch" shows a great improvement in many terms; named influences from Kyuss or Fu Manchu seem here now more realistic, for our greatest pleasure...
At first sight, the essential force of attraction of ZOMBIE KING is the presence of female singer Emeline, she has been compared to Misdemeanor's vocalist which isn't false at all but I think that on this album she shows a real evolution towards some heavier and more direct singing, this is still clear and harmonious but more (just enough) agressive. But that's not all ...
You guessed it ZOMBIE KING like fuzzy guitars with thick, hot and dripping riffs; the rythmic section is massive and rumbling, something with guts and balls that can easily heat halls of their corner (which is not known -weather speaking- as the nicest place to live in France !). The pace is generally well balanced,  but it is not  devoid at all of sensitivity and technical abilities.
Direct, as yet mentioned pretty much in the vein of the referent Kyuss, the style is dense and powerful, no room is left for dispensable breaks or uninspired useless solos, everything is well orchestrated in a kind of immediate urgence, just like if their lives would depend of it (sure, things must be done well and quickly when zombiefied mexican catchers persecute you !)
30 minutes, this album passes too quickly, in that way that reminds me Brant Bjork's last album, short and catchy, but amazingly awesome songs... This is not the only common point with the "cool man"... the heaviness and catchiness of a song like "a ritual and the aftermath" reminds me "lion one" from the album "punk rock guilt", while "hanged at dusk" or "one million light years" could have found a great place in another "somera sol"; more refined and meaningful, this tends to consider ZOMBIE KING as not just another traditionnal Stoner outfit. 
Rather than sounding like an insult, the expression  "son of a witch"  will now refer to a gem you'd better purchase urgently !!! I asked a few questions to Jérôme (guit) to help familiarize with this worthy band :

* How did you want your  sound to evolute to get such a great result with "son of a witch"?
With "Son of a witch," we had a real desire to anchor our music more strongly in the stoner landscape. Our first album was recorded very quickly and was a kind of melting pot from all our influences, it was much more nuanced. So we worked the songs to fulfil definitely our true desires and I think the result is immediately clear to the ears when listening to both albums. It was also very important for us to have a visual  transcribing this evolution and Fred, a friend of ours, has fully met our expectations.

- Your name refers to the movie "zombie king (and the Legion of Doom) and a part of your texts also apparently or at least about this universe, that's a pretty original trip for a french band and even for a tradionnal stoner type of band, can you tell us more about this concept?
Indeed, the band's name was even initially including "and the legion of doom" !!! Cinema is one of our biggest influences in terms of texts and moods. The most part of us in the band are fans of this kind of movies, including the operating theater and cinema bis, occult movies of the 70's, grindhouse, that kind of stuff ! This passion is naturally transcribed in our texts, which generally deal with occult rituals, virgins sacrifices, witches ... I've seen the performance of  ELECTRIC WIZARD at the Hellfest this year, they aired an old movie of Jess Franco and  the result, the atmosphere were just incredible. That's something I really would like to do.

- How do you situate ZOMBIE KING in the French scene? which objectives "son of a witch" should help you to achieve?
Hard  question ... I have absolutely no perspective on what I do, so I could not tell you where the group is exactly within the scene. French stoner scene starts to really grow and there's quite a few killer bands who gain more and more attention. Our music has allowed us to share the stage with bands like LOS DISIDENTES DEL SUCIO MOTEL and GLOWSUN, two bands that are for me top notch ! that's yet a kind of victory for us ^ ^ Then, our goal was never to professionalize us, perhaps because the opportunity never came either. We just want to offer quality work, and have fun. Our albums never go out in large numbers (all is self-financed) but it is a great way to confront us with  the audience and press opinions. We did not really set targets with "Son of a Witch", but if it can help us to get cool contacts and find dates, it will be a great satisfaction.

- Your 2nd guitarist has just left the band, how was the recent latest concert with him ? it's a shame just before the release of the album, do you intend to find quickly a replacement in order to tour as soon as possible ?
Indeed, Pak is leaving us by lack of time, we all have our life outside the band and he will be extremly busy in 2012. Our last concert took place on the 1st October, with GLOWSUN and WHEELFALL and it was a great night! We've have already thought a lot about this situation and it seems that we decided to stay all four together, not looking for any replacement ! We have yet started to compose, but sure that for future live performances, we should have to rework a bit differently the tracks from the album. We are still in transition, so I'm not sure of anything. Time shall tell...

- What do you think of the existence of Kyuss Lives and especially the relevance of a new album (maybe cancelled considering the personnal problems of Mr Oliveri)? don't you think (like me) that Brant Bjork's new album would be much more welcome and quickly if possible ?!
ah, this is the BB's fan speaking here !? you know I've seen KYUSS Lives at Hellfest and it was just awesome. Some people just think about them like a "money machine", but a KYUSS gig is something huge, just pure happiness. Concerning a new album, I would be more reserved but why not ?! Scott Reeder has replaced Nick Oliveri on several dates, so why not on the eventual album ? So, I will do my greedy, a new Kyuss and then a new Brant Bjork right after ^ ^

- Can you tell us how to get the album and its price? Do you have contacts for distribution?
The best to get the album is to come see us live ^ ^ There is no distribution network for the moment, however if a label wants to support us, we're all opened^ ^ We have never been good at making promotion and it's true that it is a problem today. We are just a point in the multitude of groups that emerge and to be noticed is a real obstacle course.... (but if you insist and ask him details, 10€ should be ok to get your copy for sure !)

- As long as talent and motivation are present, one can certainly play rock'n roll everywhere, but isn't it sometimes a little difficult to be a stoner band up there in the Ardennes (north-east of France,  a bit isolated, far from Paris and other big cities) ? But on the other hand could the proximity of neighboring countries (Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg) help you like a window towards abroad ?
It's extremely difficult to exist in the Ardennes ^ ^ There are very few places that allow bands like us to play. We still managed to organize amazing stoner parties, but the audience here is basically metal, sometimes hard to interest them in something different. Belgium offers indeed some opportunities to move, we're also close to Reims, Lille, so we sometimes have great opportunities here and there. A project of SMAC is on its way for  Charleville, I think it will offer real solutions to the local groups to organize evenings of quality, but I admit that for now it's a little desert. And we ourselves love the desert so ...^^

- Thanks Jérôme, I wish you all the best, a small conclusion maybe ?
Well, thanx very much for your interest. The immediate future for us is all about managing the change in the line-up, there's work ahead of us but we'll be back soon, because to play live is our greatest pleasure !   Good luck to you.