Wednesday, August 31, 2011

female fronted occult stoner-doom from Norway : HIGH PRIEST OF SATURN

Coming from Norway, this trio consisting in Robert (bass), Andreas (drums and lead guitar) and Merethe (vocals, guitar and organ) could be your next occult stoner-doom revelation... The future will confirm it or not, but HIGH PRIEST OF SATURN is just at the dawn of a probably rich history. This is not just another female fronted band among many others, don't think here about Blood Ceremony or Jex Thoth (even if the organ sounds generally like the canadian's), but rather to Acid King for the mesmerized vocals and early Electric Wizard for this blackened heavy and fuzzy approach of stoner doom. The eponymous ep contains two long songs of about 10 minutes which are brilliantly massive and monolithic, ethereal, occult and psychedelic at the same time... Sounds like a delightful programm ?Defintiely YES and I wouldn't be surprised to see this first effort quickly released by a tasteful label... 

wanna test lo-fi electronic Doom ?!! check out WRECK AND REFERENCE !!!

I recently received a mail from WRECK AND REFERENCE, presenting their music like this : "we are a lo-fi electronic doom band from Sacramento, California; eschewing guitars, we use samples and synthetizers to craft wastelands of sonic chaos and despair"...
To tell the truth, a bit skeptical about the association of the words "electronic" and "doom", I entered with curiosity their unique world of  sullen atmospheres. There's no boundaries in music and DOOM should not be an exception to that, I don't know if in a few years, these guys will be considered as pioneers but they have yet created their own style; no need to be  four, five or more and record in  high conditions, this is recorded live by a duo and is full of sheer  alienated heaviness !!!  
"Electronic", of course as there's no guitars here (which is not so obvious in some parts at the first listening) but I'm pretty amazed by this distorted fuzzy organic sound from  the use of samples and synths. Perfectly in harmony with  mournful vocals, the pace is generally slow and despaired, atmospheric and contrasted with a few angered tempos, revealing an epic blackened edge. "Doom" certainly too, the pounding drums always keep it very catchy and heavy but there's no trad doom influences at all, sure there's a few welcome great melodies, epicness but this would more border funeral and even drone in a few structures.
I'm not at all into electronic musics, so I can absolutely not think about any influences from this side but I can hear some Swans, YOB, Sleep and  Ice Dragon (yeah, to my ears, some quiet despaired vocal lines sound  like Ron's which is awesome) overtones on the other side, which should be yet largely enough to convince you ! Their originality will do easily the rest believe me... This "black cassette" ep (six songs for about twenty minutes) released through Music Ruins Lives is definitely one of my best surprises of the year, and now curiosity has given way to envy, impatience to listen more and quickly guys if possible !!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

interview with Newfoundland kings : SHEAVY

YES, I finally got it back !!!! Thanx to Paul Gruchy and Jason Williams (first and actual drummer) to have helped me reaching Steve Henessey for this interview... it was worth waiting ! For various reasons SHEAVY represents a lot for me : the perfect blend of metal, doom and  stoner, catchy melody and heaviness, highly skilled musicianship with one of the best singer from this side of the Aatlantic (understand whole North America), an awesome sense of harmony from Steve... but not just musically, indeed, like this wonderful island of Newfoundland, this band breathes authenticity and magnificence at a rare point !!! I often read or hear "yeah great band, I love the "celestial hi-fi" album", ok this one is a cult release but be sure that SHEAVY still has a lot to offer with a very personnal style, more metallic but still easily recognizable. Both "the golden age of daredevil" and "disfigurine" had been in my top 10 of 2010, so I felt like a real necessity to ask a few questions to Steve about those memorable releases and the near future...  ENJOY !

* Hey Steve, how is it going for Sheavy these days ? with 2 new albums released, 2010 has been a fruitful year for the band, what’s your look on it a few months after?

I’m happy with what we did in 2010. It was nice to get recordings done with the new lineup since some of the guys had never made a full album from start to finish. This year has been a bust though. We had a fire in our jam space that left us homeless as a band for a while and we definitely lost a bunch of momentum. I’m hoping to get writing again over the next few months. We already have a bunch of new songs that just need to be arranged

* “the golden age…” was yet a bit heavier, but “disfigurine” is in my opinion your most METAL album, was it a deliberate choice or did it came naturally with Chris bringing new metallic blood ?!
Yeah, I think it was the infusion of new blood with Chris and Evan. They brought a more metal vibe to the band. Disfigurine is about as metal as I’d like to go though. I’m much happier with the slow doomier stuff but hey, I don’t dictate what gets written.

* You said that you would be enthusiast to do the RPM challenge again and then slip into doom mode with 2 super sludgy 18 mn epic trax (!!!!) even having yet an album title and artwork in mind, I doubt this was totally serious, could you really imagine a 100% doom album from Sheavy ?
I’d do a 100% doom album in a flash. I think I’d have a hard time selling it to everyone in the band though. The songs on Sheavy albums tend to show our varied interests. The writing is more spread out than ever these days so the tempos and tuning preferences tend to vary. 

* How about the “Best Of” ? why was it delayed ? maybe three albums within the same year would have been a bit too much ?
I’m pretty disappointed the third record didn’t get done. One of the guys basically threatened to quit if we didn’t slow down a little so I took that as a sign. But they should know by now that I’m not happy if I’m not writing or recording. If we’re not touring, we should be making records. Hey, that’s how I feel.

* I’ve read last autumn that you already had quite a number of new songs, so for the 2nd year in raw can we expect 2 albums for 2011 ?! Could you speak about some new songs or at least the general mood of the album?
At the rate things are going we’ll be hard pressed to get a new record out before the end of the year. We’ve been jamming for a few shows and that pretty much kills the songwriting jams. I can pretty much only speak for the tunes I’ve been writing with Jason but the songs are a little less metal, a little more classic rock, a little less epic in length and I want to bring the synthesizer back. I want it back bad!

* You cite Ian Gillan, Peter Gabriel and the singer of Yes as sources of inspiration, but aren’t there any more recent or actual singer that, if not inspire, impress you?
I don’t listen to much modern music to tell you the truth. Skeletonwitch and Mastodon are recent faves but more for the instrumental aspects of the music. Some of that pagan/satanic rock stuff like The Devil’s Blood and Blood Ceremony have quality vocals. Even the dude from Ghost has a cool voice. I don’t know, it’s a bad time to answer this question, I’ve been listening to nothing but Steely Dan for the past three months. Makes me want to make a killer sounding record though.

* Personally I would classify you in Doom METAL (with stoner overtones), but you’re often categorized in stoner, do you care about that and make a real difference ?
I don’t get hung up on musical categories. I come from a small city where we’ll share the stage with a punk band and a hardcore band on the same night. It’s all music man and if it’s got loud guitars I can dig it. I just tell people I sing in a metal band. I think we’re a hard band to peg in terms of categories.

Having passed 4 months in 2008 in Saint Pierre et Miquelon, I’ve been a few days in St John’s and its area, enjoyed it very much with beautiful landscapes, icebergs, whales, puffins, etc… sure the climate was cold and often foggy, but I thought it would have been really worse, did you notice a real evolution in the climate within the last 10 years ?
No, I don’t think the climate has changed that much. We seem to be getting wetter winters and colder summers though. This summer sucked. July days at 8 degrees celcius with fog, rain and a north wind. Hell, it was warmer in the far north! This is a rugged and beautiful place. All those icebergs off our coasts are a testimony to global warming. Oh they look beautiful, but that ice, belongs in Greenland. 

Since about 15 years Newfoundland has developed quite much with natural resources, did you feel personally the benefits of that ?
I think the obvious benefits of the oil boom are being felt in parts of the province but there’s a definite divide. I mean there’s 5% unemployment here in St, John’s right now. I can remember days when it was 22% or higher. So yeah, it’s easier to find work, the jobs are better paying but shit is also getting more expensive and the rural areas of the province are not necessarily reaping benefits. If all this oil money passes us by without the creation of sustainable industries and a good infrastructure for the future, then we’ve failed miserably. The oil will dry up. What then? Check back on us in twenty years and see how we’ve done

* How about live dates ? I imagine it’s not even possible to play in quite many areas of the island, so in which other part of NF is it rather easy to play?
Being a band that plays all original heavy music there are only a small number of places viable for gigs. Gander is a good location in the central part of the province while Corner Brook is a good option on the West coast. Those places are also easy to play because they’re off the main highway. But to tell you the truth it’s the cover bands and tribute acts who do the best outside of St. John’s. The markets are small, the drives are long and there just aren’t many venues that would book a band like us.

* Your website is awaiting a serious lifting, update and development, don’t you think that with the incredible power of the web, you could more develop your name?
Yeah, the website’s been in a sorry state for a while. Occasionally I’ll get motivated to work on it but then I’ll get depressed about putting a bunch of work into something and not being able to tour. I don’t have any illusions about getting rich on this stuff. I’ll agree with you that the web is powerful but it’s also a desert and a minefield. I’d be content with a single web page that shows the band name and nothing else. I’d probably rather be a mystery than a brand.

* I bought your two last albums with All That Is Heavy, but it seems that some people don’t know where to find them, could you give precisions about distributors currently selling your stuff ? We’re also a few guys to await T-shirts, any possibility with that ?
Yeah, we had a bunch of shit luck with our distribution last year. The US worked out well but Canada and Europe were messed up due to some stuff beyond our control. Daredevils and Disfigurine are now available in Europe through Code7 Distribution which I believe is a subsidiary of PlasticHead. As far as shirts go we haven’t done much lately. I normally design and print them myself so the runs are super small and they get bought up at shows here in St. John’s. I’m hoping to do a bigger run and have some on eBay to coincide with our next release. Just gotta get that thing done!!

*  Well , thanx a lot Steve, add some words if you wish…
Just wanna thank all the fans who’ve continued to support us and who’ve showed interest over the years. The musical landscape is constantly changing but I think you can count on us to keep putting out music that stays true to the roots of classic rock and metal. Now if I could just get the guys to do that doom album I’ve been dreaming of. Hey, no worries, I’ll never stop dreaming. Peace!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

interview with NYC doomsters KINGS DESTROY

I'm particularly happy to feature NY's premier doomsters KINGS DESTROY here, because the band's debut "and the rest will surely perish" had been in my opinion one of the most promising of last year and the following interview with vocalist Steve is very cool. Indeed, beyond all interesting things he has to say about his band, this experimented, talented and very friendly guy gives us here a fantastic testimony about the evolution of NY's underground scenes throughout the last 20 years... So read and enjoy this one, there's lots of nice things to learn and remember... plus pay attention to his last words and you could easily win a FREE T-shirt !!! I'm sure this band 's gonna be major in a very near future, so be prepared for that, and as Steve precises it, the album can now be downloaded for free from their FB page, so don't hesitate a second more and experience some of the most original Stoner DOOM coming from the USA...

* About 8 months after the release of "and the rest will surely perish", what's your actual appreciation of this debut album ?
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by appreciation of the album. We've had a great response from everywhere in terms of reviews..all of the major blogs, Decibel, Village Voice etc etc. If you mean our own appreciation of the album from the bands perspective, i think overall we are happy with it. Its a great first look into the band and I think you can hear us finding ourselves in the studio. Even though we have all recorded in our previous bands many times before, playing slow is a totally different experience. Luckily Rob (drummer) has had some experience in his old doom band The Begotten which put out an album on Man's Ruin records. If you put my feet to the fire(american expression), i think we were a little conservative on the record overall and we realized it almost immediately and the new stuff is not conservative. Reviews are great but we play for ourselves!

* The production by Sanford Parker is truly remarkable, how did it happen to have him like producer ? I guess his experience helped you to find your sound, that particular atmosphere ?
 Sanford was great to work with. He flew in from Chicago and lived with us for 10 days while we recorded in our friend Rob Grenoble's Studio Water Music. Its one of the biggest and best recording studios on the East coast of the US. Sanford is just easy to work with. He came into our practise space, listened to us play for an hour, had a few opinions and then we were in the studio. He is a total pro and we all worked our asses off to get the tracks down. He asked us if he could take the tapes back to his studio in Chicago to mix it and we were fine with it. He has a great ear. I think a lot of what he does these days is more on the aggressive side of metal than KD but its pretty clear he understands how to get a deep aggressive sound out of a band. We highly recommend him.

* Some of you have a HC background, your band's name sounds more HC than doom or stoner, you come from NY too and finally still mention this style in the musical genres that you play (although I honestly don't find any special HC influences in your songs, except maybe the final part of "old yeller" ) anyway don't you think that could lead to a bit of confusion for some potential (metal) fans?   Our roots are in the NYHC CBGB's scene. Since I wasn't in Killing time, i'll be happy to tell you that Carl (KD Guitarist) and the boys in Killing Time were some of the pioneers of bringing metal into hardcore in NY back in the day. We were seeing bands like St Vitus/Painted Willy/Gone/ The Melvins/Black Flag etc etc Even though we played hardcore, we had and have a deep respect for all things metal.We listened to more Slayer and Metallica than hardcore even back then. Having said that, bands like the Cro-Mags and Leeway were playing some serious metal and touring with bands like Motorhead so I don't us hardcore is very metal from our era. As for our name,it's quite simple...a lot of us lived in the Bronx. We couldn't afford Brooklyn or Manhattan so we lived in the Bronx. One of the biggest Graffiti gangs in the Bronx at that time was called Kings Destroy. It was lead by a guy named Cope. In the NYHC scene at that time graffiti and hardcore crossed over..there was a lot of mutual respect between those 2 worlds so we honored the taggers by naming the band after the Bronx's greatest grafitti crew.

* Quite many quality live videos of Kings Destroy can be viewed on youtube but now there's an official clip for the song "the mountie", with ha very nice result, is it all your idea and self-production ? In the second part especially I feel a different guitar sound from the album, more psychedelic, right or is that the product of my smokey imagination ?  
We are fortunate to have some very talented friends in the film industry. For "The Mountie", our very good friend and Carl's lady Lucia Grillo wanted to do that video. She is a gifted filmmaker and has shown short films at the Cannes Film festival etc. We gave her complete artistic freedom to do what she wanted with the song and we were very happy with it. We like to see how people interpret our music and we respect peoples artistry in adapting the music to a different format such as film.  The Mountie was written in the vain of a French tragicomedy Corneille or Racine. Its about a real life figure in our lives whom we made up a story about. He has a sad hard existence but in the end rises up to reach his glory/potential while at the same time dying for a cause that he believes in--all dressed as a Canadian Mountie....true story.

* Have you been satisfied with the work of The Mapple Forum for the release of the album ? Have you been contacted by some other (bigger) labels, what's gonna happen for the next release ?
The Maple Forum is an offshoot of the Doom/Stoner Blog "" JJ Koczan is the sole proprietor of the website and the label. When Kings Destroy first got together I sent him an email telling him who we were and he wrote about us. As it turns out he really liked the band and we were not interested in a big label at the time. He became a great friend and does it all, he runs the label, he runs his blog and he plays in bands (Maegashira,Myclops) He is a great, humble, super smart guy with an even greater wife. We knew he was the guy to put the album out and he accepted immediately when we asked him. As for the next album, we are definately open to a "larger" label and have had some interest though I cant say whom or how. If people are interested in the next album, they should get in touch with us. It is a hot topic of conversation within the band right now. Europe especially interests us.

* I would qualify your style as an hybrid form of traditional doom mixed with mid 90's stoner, do you situate K.D. in one scene more than the other or you absolutely don't care about that ? Through your experiences and feelings do you feel both scenes must be distinguished ?
We just wanted to start out playing slow, super heavy and with melody. We dont ascribe ourselves to any scene. We know the guys in Winter and have been friends with them for awhile and our old band Minds Eye played with Kyuss in 1993 at CBGB's there were probably 50 people there to see us and no more than that to see them haha. Funny how things change. To be honest, scenes are limiting and we want to be open to playing with anyone and for any genre of fan to see us. We played a hardcore show with Ringworm a few weeks ago and it went great. it seems we are a lot more animated on stage than a lot of doom /stoner bands. Our lyrics have a message and i guess we cant get away from our hardcore roots when it comes to playing live. Thats just who we are. We like to bring it onstage. 

* The only problem I have with your album is about its too short duration, seriously I 'm always amazed that 45 minutes can pass so quickly, you need to change that for the new album !!! How is it working on new songs, don't you feel a bit of pressure ? 45 min seems like the right length for us. We keep our songwriting pretty stripped down in general. Probably because we are used to writing 3 min hardcore songs so 5 minute songs seem like an eternity!! We haven't written the 10-12 minute song that a lot of Doom bands have and that doesn't seem to be who we are..who knows though we have been doing a lot more experimenting in the practise room !

 * Since the release of the album, if I'm not wrong, you've haven't played that many gigs but they were always with nice bands like Naam, Winter, ORange Goblin, The Gates of Slumber, Truckfighters... how was the response generally ? In september you have a small tour planed with Shroud Eater, a great opportunity to play in other (new) states ?
We have had some great times playing  with a lot of great bands..Winter, Apostle of Solitude,the gates of Slumber, The Brought Low plus all of the bands you mentioned. The band Shroud Eater is a great story, totally cool band from Miami, Fl. I sent them an email telling them we dug their sound and it just so happens the band was going to be down in Miami for a weekend as friends. Jean from Shroud Eater invited us to play so we show up and play in was awesome. We also met Tim from Hollow Leg there...great band , great guys check em out. Unfortunately Shroud Eater had to cancel the minitour up north but we got Borgo Pass from Long Island to step in. Another great band. We really enjoy helping other cool bands out. We know a lot of clubs in NYC and we are happy to put on shows ourselves if we like the band and they need help. NY is a hard place to play because there is so much competition every night . There are tons of shows going on. Thats what happened with The Truckfighters, they are well known in Europe but not so much in NY. Kings Destroy booked that show and we packed it out for those guys to come and play. We like the old DIY style...we help you, you help us down the road ( French bands included!!). But yes September will be cool and hopefully we will have a bigger West coast tour in the late fall. 

* You had the honour of playing with Winter for their first reunion-show just a few days before the Roadburn fest... This was in a small club in NY, the atmosphere was certainly particular that night, how did you enjoy that ? I suppose you knew them before, as they are mentioned in the thanx list of the album, certainly not as an influence !?
Yes Winter invited us to play a small show right before their Roadburn appearance. The venue is crowded when there are 75 people there. That night there were over 200. It was awesome . Stephen from Winter has been a great friend to Kings Destroy and we like them a lot. Ill tell you what we love about Winter. In 1991 those played about 20 shows, maybe 30 in NY ...No one was doing what they were doing back then. Everyone in NY was playing fast and metallic almost the original metalcore. We knew who they were and we respected what they were doing. Remember we were a little different than your normal NYHC kid back then. We loved to see St Vitus or Sleep or The Melvins. so Winter may not have been a direct influence but certainly they are an indirect influence and we consider them friends. We are thrilled with their recent success.
* Did you receive good reception from Europe ? What would be the most exciting if you come down here in the future ? 
We have received only positive encouragement from Europe. One of our main goals as a band is to tour Europe and hopefully that will happen in 2012. We are all of European heritage (Swedish, Polish, Irish, Italian) and I have a very close relationship with France so lets make it happen!! 

* Anything to add (merchandising...) ?
Friend us on Facebook. You can download the album for free. Kings Destroy will give the first 5 readers of your blog who email us a free t shirt. We are all about supporting people like you who keep the scene alive and better. Thanks a lot for the opportunity to speak to you and your readers!!!/KingsDestroy


Friday, August 26, 2011

new Dave Sherman's project WEED IS WEED : where the green grass grows...

I don't know if SPIRIT CARAVAN will finally reunite or not, but as for now there's still very  good news to share about ex-members Dave Sherman (actually in Earthride) and drummer Gary Isom (actually in Nitroseed) who have formed a new band, along with 4 other experimented guys, which they have amazingly named WEED IS WEED !!!  
Listen to both songs below (from the demo, which contains another song called "low to no") freshly posted on youtube, where you can also find live stuff, especially from their recent performance at SHoD XI... This is absolutely AWESOME stuff !!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

taste the welsh Heaviness with DOOM CHILD "blest by sinners"

Like writen in the short presentation of the band a while ago, DOOM CHILD have recently released their debut effort "blest by sinners". Call that as you want, ep/mini album or full lenght , it will always contain six (great) songs for about 30 minutes of some of the heaviest metal around !!!

This is what I wrote last May : "despite its name, the style of this band is not exactly doom, netiher sludge or stoner or thrash... a mix of all ? difficult to precise, I would say this is simply pure down-tempo METAL, heavy and loud with bright and harmonious guitars,  catchy raw vocals and a massive rythmic".

Nothing really changed towards this appreciation/description; in some way it says it all,  DOOM CHILD has a real identity and this six songs release largely confirms that... It starts with their previously recorded (hit song) "sands of time", which gives the tempo of the whole release and definitely shows the wide range of influences the band is under, from Down to My Dying Bride, Danzig to Celtic Frost... HEAVINESS, this is what prevails here, generally seriously breaking your neck and kicking your ass at the same time ! Lyrically in a rather engaged reflexion about today's world deviances, Scriv's vocals are harsh and angered in a perfectly well appropriated manner, sometimes bordering the frontiers of sludge. Never fast, neither extremely brutal (depends of what you call "brutal", my wife would precise !) , the music of D.C. can also be more melancholic ("S.O.D.") reminding the (golden) early days of the english doom/death scene, particularly those brillant whispered vocals that some Aaron S. or Nick H. would certainly respect very much.

This is raw and melodic ("solitude"), pure and filthy, enriched with catchy and regularly contrasted atmospheres, with an average lenght of 5 minutes which is perfect for me, despite a very skilled musicianship that could easily allow demonstrative overflows.
The band gives regularly shows, including the Slugfest and Rocktoberfest this summer; they plan to record again before the end of the year which is a fuckin good perspective. Before this, such a solid effort at such a weak price deserves your immediate attention (ask infos about the cool T-shirt too) !!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

interview with Gaz from SERPENT VENOM

     "carnal altar" the debut album from english doomsters SERPENT VENOM is one of the   few absolutely essential  releases of the year. Just like their label mates Orchid, their ep had already shown great promises, but in one year, the quartet  has worked hard to present some of the best psychedelic occult doom that you could expect.
     Pretty much opened to all the catchiest and gloomiest forms of doom, from the early proto years to the "dopethrone" period of Electric Wizard, while not forgeting at all the late 80's renaissance wave, Gaz (ex vocalist in the mighty Sloth) and his guys have succeeded to create an overall atmosphere that is brillantly suffocating, incantatory and mesmerizing, perfectly represented by the cover and the special book-style packaging full of creepy illustrations. 
    This masterpiece pleasantly digested, I thought it was time to know more about this band that really has the potencial to take the place of the future retired Cathedral, a few days ago Gaz (and bassist Nick for a part) kindly answered the following questions :
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        *  So, « carnal altar » is out for about 2 months now, it gets good critics everywhere, expect the weather that I imagine in England even more shitty than here (which seems hardly possible) ain't life great ? I suppose you're satisfied with the way things are turning out ?
    Gaz : We're really happy with how things are turning out and people like yourself, Hellridemusic, D.F.F.D, and so on have been so supportive of us, we've had some great reviews and some real positive feedback from most people who've heard it. Also the fact it's been released on such a cool label with a great stable of bands is definately a bonus! And trust me the weather here is probably a lot more shit! 
                                                                                                                                                                 * Bands like Cathedral and Electric Wizard have been under the highlights for a very long time now but it seems to be just recent that the english doom scene reveal quite a number of great new bands, how could you explain it and do you feel there's a real fresh and new breath  ?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
     Gaz : Definitely, Cathedral and Wizard are rightfully held in high esteem and over the past couple of years there's really been a real emergence of killer bands here in the UK, bands like Conan, Groan, Age of Taurus and Jackal headed guard of the dead to name but a few. I think the UK has always produced good doom bands going way back to the early 90's and hopefully the bands of today are helping to carry on the tradition.  
    Nick : I agree with Gaz whole-heartedly. Not only is the doom scene alive and very much well within the UK, but the world. there's plenty of podcasts and review sites cropping up such as blood or love and the Soggy Bog show that consistently shows us all new bands all of the time. regarding British metal music, it's not just doom, but sludge, thrash, death you name it, new bands are pushing their way through all of the time. Never have we all been so well off in terms of musical entertainment.
    * I don't agree with that, considering this is your first album and you guys got a flawless sense of composition, but the rare critics I have read or heard about your album focus on some kind of linearity, you know like playing always at the same tempo with the same general atmosphere, are you sensible to that ? could new songs show some evolution towards this  ?                                                                                                                                                                 Gaz: I've read the same thing and thats cool, everyones got their own opinion on stuff, i don't really agree myself, as songs like The Outsider and Devilshire are quite uptempo in parts as opposed to Blood of Serpents and Carnal Atar which are pure slow doom, you have to take criticism constructively and use it to take you forward, we're all really proud of this album and hopefully we'll take what we've learned this time around and make the next one even better. With regards to new stuff we're just starting the process of putting ideas together for new songs so its too early to say what direction they may take.
    Nick: You have to take the rough with the smooth at the end of the day.... then ignore it and do what you want to haha. You can't please everyone all of the time.
                                                                                                                                                             * You cite influences like Sabbath, Blue Cheer, italian prog, horror soundtracks, krautrock and psychedelic stuff, but no « modern » bands like Electric Wizard, Candlemass or Cathedral which can in my opinion be heard too in your sound... is it because you like to make the list short and not just cite names or maybe you think that (some of) those bands just have common influences ?
    Gaz: Those bands have had a huge impact on all of us, i wouldn't say we were directly influenced by them though because as you say i think there's common influences there, we couldn't have listed all the bands we're into or the list would have gone on forever.
    Nick: Well I could write you a list of bands if you really want but you'll die of old age or boredom reading through it all.
                                                                                                                                                            * You seem to follow closely what's happening in the doom scene and necessarily have heard about other retro 70's bands like Blood Ceremony, Orchid, Graveyard, Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats, Jex Thoth... sometimes more or less doom ok but do you feel anything common musically or in the identity with any of these bands or others ? More generally which albums did you particularly enjoy this year so far ?
    Gaz: Well we share a label with Orchid and they're a great band with a real classic sound, i got the first Blood ceremony album which was awesome and need to get hold of their new one, i've heard of the others but i've been too skint to buy much new music lately! 
    * The production of the album sounds very vintage, did you record it in Wales because the studio had some special 70's material and/or was it your producer's « home » ?
    Gaz: The recording experience was brilliant we went to Foel which is owned by Dave Anderson(ex hawkwind, groundhogs) they've got analogue equipment and the engineer Chris Fielding is into alot of the same stuff as us he really knew what we were after, and the production was spot on! The whole place has a really good vibe about it and it's literally in the middle of nowhere so you can really knuckle down and get the best out of everything on offer. We did the whole thing over a 4 day period which was quite intense, it was hard work but well worth it. I couldn't recommend the place highly enough!
                                                                                                                                                            * Your songs are generally quite long, do you think there's limits to fix for the length of a song? Did you guys ever played covers that you extended « improperly » ?  
    Gaz: The songs just came out that way,we never have a time limit on anything, once a song is done it's done, when Pete brings a song in he nearly always says "this will be a 5 minute long song", its only once we've taped it we're like "shit its over 10 minutes again"! We haven't done any covers yet as we'd been concentrating on writing the album, but i'm sure there'll be some interesting ones in the future. 
                                                                                                                                                            * The CD has been released by Church Within in a very original special book format, it's you who made all the artwork and illustrations but was it all your idea or did you get help from Olli or someone else ?
    Gaz: We were all taken aback when we saw the final result, Pete's the one to thank for that, he's massively into his old horror and wanted to create something that emulated the old paperback beat ,horror and occult pulp novels , the whole concept was his vision and Oli was happy to run with that, i'm not sure any other label would have let us do something as bold for our first album, but Oli's really cool and as you can see from his other releases he believes in going the extra mile for people buying stuff from Church Within, we also need to thank our friend Roland Scriver for all his help.  
                                                                                                                                                            * There's a tour with Orchid and Seamount planed for October in Europe, Theo Mindell told me about Germany, France, Holland and Swittzeralnd, did he forget UK ?!!! the poster is ready but wihtout dates for the moment, do you have more infos about that?
     Gaz: Not at the moment as we haven't had dates through yet, i know its over 9 days, unfortunately there's no UK dates but it would be great to get them both over at some point in the future as i'm sure the UK crowd would lap them up, i can't tell you how excited we are to be a part of this, both Orchid and Seamount are amazing bands, we've never played Europe before, we're opening so hopefully there'll be a few people out.
                                                                                                * Ok, thanx a lot for your time, all the best to you, à bientôt en concert j'espère ;)
    Gaz: Take it easy ! Hopefully you can make the French date of the tour I'll get you a pint in !!

Falling Down compilation

After the great volumes 1 & 2, the webzine FALLING DOWN is actually working on the release of a new compilation CD... The first bands confirmed are :

Mouth of the Architect (US)
Karma to Burn (US)
Julie Christmas (US)
Terra Tenebrosa (SWE)
Year of No Light/Mars Red Sky (Special Collaboration - FR)
Hopewell (US)
Rosetta (US)
Black Sun (SCO)
Ahkmed (AUS)
Vanessa Van Basten (IT)
Sendelica (UK)
Ayahuasca Dark Trip (PER)
Ocoai (US)
The Winchester Club (UK)
Planning for Burial (US)
Vespero (RUS)
Rorcal (CH)
Ethereal Riffian (UKR)

Available in 2012, all tracks will be exclusive (this is a priority).

Next bands will be announced very soon with all the purchase details...

A few copies of both volume 1 & 2 are still available :

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lord Vicar : tracks list for "sign of Osiris risen"

Recording of the finnish band's sophomore album started the 1st of this month at Redhouse Studio. 
About two weeks and a half later, all the recording works are completed, especially Chritus vocals last week; set to be released by the end of October the album will contain the following songs :

Sign of Osiris Slain
The Answer
Child Witness
Between the Blue Temple and the North Tower
Sinking City
Endless November
Sign of Osiris Risen

While waiting for this masterpiece, here's the majestuous song of their split ep with Funeral Circle :

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats "Blood Lust" (soon to be released on vynil via Rise Above rds)

Emerging from an (english) acid coven with an oustanding 2nd album named "blood lust", here's the new sensation of the whole underground (proto)doom scene : Uncle Acid & the deadbeats...
Self financed at only 100 copies, this album is simply brilliant and (a few weeks later) already has caught the attention of Rise Above which will soon release a limited vynil edition (certainly before a larger CD edition ?). Potencially, there's for sure a hype coming towards this band but I think this would be well deserved, as their identity is real and cohesive.
To compare with bands that present apparently some same caracters, this trio is musically closer to  The Devil's Blood than to Ghost, with the occultosatanic elements being replaced by an horror movie vibe, they take influences in the 70's from Black Sabbath to Neil Young, Cactus or the Kinks (B.S. being naturally the most prominent...). 
The vintage production fits pretty well with a particularly dark and haunting approach topped by a psychedelic special touch; melody is constantly present too, not just with guitars but also vocally wise.The pace is always removed and heavy;  some riffs are really original, so catchy that you immediately memorize them while beating the rythm with your feet. I don't know if that's just my case but this band has for me a positive  and exciting edge that I've rarely felt before in the doom genres, maybe cause I feel it's actually THE perfect stuff to listen loudly without making at least half of the people running away !!!
Some people have complain about the expensive price of the album after having realized that it was a CDR, sure this can be a bit disappointing for some "fetichists" but the "blood lust" 's content is absolutely flawless, so they'd better complain before about albums that are musically just empty and generic... Anyway I thought that it would be fair to give you Uncle Acid's  own answer about that :
-source "doom forever - forever doomed FORUM"-
"This is yer Uncle Acid..I was pointed in the direction of this thread and just thought I'd clear a few things up. First off...thanks for all the kind words on the album, very much appreciated! Secondly about the CDR thing....As we were only releasing 100 copies to start with, we simply could not afford to get a glass mastered CD pressed and replicated at such low quantities. We were given the advice that anything under 500 copies should be duplicated rather than replicated. We just sent in the master disc and got it duplicated at the factory and it came back on discs that to me resembled CD's. In fact the order sheet even says "GRADE A+ CD". But now I'm told they're technically CD-Rs!! I'm a me it was just a plastic disc with our music on that can play in a cd player. I honestly didn't think there was much difference. I know, so thanks for bringing it up.
We've not had any complaints from anyone so I was not aware of this being an issue for some people... but I've updated the listing on our big cartel page to mention that it's a cdr. We aren't here to screw anyone or mislead people and I hope no one thinks that's the case. And to the guy fae the moment we're not signed to Rise Above, they're just releasing the vinyl for us...something we could never afford to do on our own! Cheers!"

 That being said, one thing is certain : we've got here one of the most surprising effort of the last two or three years and nothing can prevent their ascent... Experience them now !!/pro...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

ENSORCELOR "crucifuge"

After DOPETHRONE, the Montreal's scene can now proudly count on ENSORCELOR which recently released its first album "crucifuge" (on vynil via Media Tree and Psychic Assault). If "dark foil" was a great piece of demonic stoner/doom, these five ENSORCELOR's are more in the blackest fields of doom. Both songs composing the album are very long (14 and 20 minutes), but nothing boring or repetitive at all, the band has a real own identity, mixing  the coldness of black metal, the rawness of sludge and the heaviness of doom.                                                              This is an epic and apocalytpic at the same time world of dark heaviness and crawling despair !!! The ethereal atmospheres sometimes let place to harsh fast and epic black metal parts, sometimes to more melodic and melancholic  parts, still not for the die-hard trad doomsters for sure but a surprisingly homogeneous result that can fairly suit to people who dig above all blackened deep moods somewhere between Cough's 1st   album, Thou, Eibon, Wolves In The Throne Room... 


From Minneapolis here's WITCHDEN, a promising quartet playing some of the crudest SLUDGE I 've heard from a long time... To present their upcoming debut album "consulting the bones", the band has posted 4 songs on line and believe me this is worth the listen if you like extremely heavy, raw, dirty and crushing sludge in the vein of the mighty Weedeater.   More infos when the album is released, meanwhile check them out for a great dose of sick and brutal heaviness...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

THE GATES OF SLUMBER "villain, villain"

Seems like a new era is starting : the sun is shining this morning :), suggesting, finally, a nice summer day... but one thing remains certainty from day to day, rainy or sunny the weather could be, "the wretch" from THE GATES OF SLUMBER is still my favourite album of the year !!! That's also why I feel the need to write about a (double) compilation CD from these doom lords that I recently bought : "villain, villain" released in 2009 by Metal Supremacy rds from Germany.
If you've listened to the last album "the wretch", you've quickly noticed that TGOS came back to a more direct style very closed to their two first albums, some top notch traditional doom with lots of deligthful gloominess and extreme heaviness.  Songs  that can make feel inside you a pronounced sensitivity, this is something that Karl Simon's always been particularly good at...
What is particularly interesting is the nice way songs have been placed : it shows the band's progress in times, the affirmation of an identity, maybe there could be something similar released in the future to cover the "conqueror" + "hymns of..." period, cause this compil really presents the interest to be the perfect testament of the band's first period (from 2000 to 2006) and it's something incredibly cool to have on a same release ,old songs from the "cloaked figure" demo, the "like a plague upon the land" ep, ""the awekening" and "suffer no guilt" albums... But this isn't all, like Karl said in his interview with me a few months ago, the band always had pleasure to play covers live in the early years, this comp is a good way to point that. Sometimes ,live cover songs are just here to fill as bonus tracks, nothing essential at all, this is absolutely not the case here, the pleasure is shared and you really enjoy nice covers of Samhain, Manilla Road and -the band's most influential source- Saint Vitus (3 songs !!!). 
I guess you understood my purpose, this "villain, villain" is definitely a piece to own, so start the hunt... (not too difficult, starting from All That is Heavy with currently -25% off on this little jewel !).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

SHEAVY @ Headquarters sound check (NEW TUNE 08/2011)

Before the upcoming publication of an interview, thanx to Jason Williams (drums), I'm pleased to present you a new song from the canadian doomsters SHEAVY... Recorded a few days ago, the sound is just average but the song is damn fuckin heavy and announces another brilliant album from the valorous descendents of "our" terras nuevas ;)