Monday, April 29, 2013

... With heart and bite : an INTERVIEW with Phil Howlett of ROTE MARE

From the other side of the planet is coming one of the most interesting Doom bands of the recent past years, I've named ROTE MARE  - out of Australia ... After their debut album "Serpents of the Church" released in late 2011, Phil Howlett and his buddies are back in 2013's actuality with an amazing split album shared with the excellent Dire Fate  and ... this is soon to be followed by two full albums !!! Yes, you've read well, no less than 2 new Albums in a row and hopefully successive occasions to let way more people know how good those guys are in crafting raw and heavy DOOM with heart and bite... 

I felt necessary to ask Phil (guit/voc) more about all that happened to the band during this last year filled with many recording sessions, the local scene and a few other stuff ... Watch out for ROTE MARE, you won't regret your support to make 2013 the year of a well deserved recognition for them !

- How did it come that you released a split CD with DIRE FATE ? Was it a long-time planed collaboration ?

 I came across Dire Fate on myspace a few years ago and really liked what I heard. I got a copy of their demo and I guess the idea of a split just grew from there. The Hour Of Doom and Sinking Ships were recorded mid-late 2011. So the process of getting it together has taken a very long time. The songs were recorded after the idea of the split came about.

- Was the deal with Altsphere a one-album affair ? Were you satisfied of this collaboration , did it end in good terms ?

The deal with Altsphere was not specified as being ongoing or otherwise. I can only appreciate Jeff's efforts in releasing and promoting Serpents Of The Church. It got us a lot more promotion overall. So I guess I was pretty happy with the collaboration. It didn't end in bad terms.

- The split marks a neat evolution in my opinion in terms of thickness, like your definitely a full and cohesive band… I know you started as one-man band and released quite many demos, to me “serpents of the church” and more logically older materials sounded at times a bit too confused; am I wrong or ROTE MARE did evolute as a band team ? Is that for this reason that you re-recorded old songs for the new albums ?

Sorrows Path in 2010 was the first band recording everything before that was solo. I still write 90% of the material now although band input is important. Sean has taken over the artwork side of the band as he is obviously pretty talented in that area. I guess I write a little differently when writing for the band as opposed to writing solo. So there is definitely some evolution in the sound. The main reason for re-recording old songs is that I like the songs and would like to hear them with a full band with nicer guitar solos and much better drumming. On these two albums I just wanted to get these old songs done and out of my system. I feel like on the next album following these I will write an entirely new bunch of songs.

  -  You generally write very long songs, obviously considering the format you couldn’t put two songs of 15 minutes like “the hour of doom” but on the other hand “sinking” is maybe one of your shortest ever … was that the only one you have had in mind to compose your part of the split ? This song has a tremendous gothic edge, another facet of your singing which is usually more nuanced but still perceptible, this time it’s clearly developed and musically too with hints of british death/doom which make it in the end too fuckin’ short, hahaha !

I liked the humour in the idea of doing one massive song and one extremely short song so that was the main reason ha ha. I often get comments on my vocal style being gothic or sounding at times like Robert Smith. It's not a conscious effort on my part. I just try and fit a style which I think suits the particular song. In some ways I would like to be able to sing in a traditional doom/metal style more often but my voice just doesn't seem to work that way in a number of the songs. I have never been a big fan of gothic music in general or for that matter british death/doom. I would say most of my influence in that area comes from Celtic Frost's "Into The Pandemonium". Celtic Frost in general are a massive influence on me. I enjoy a bit of the early to mid Anathema particularly "The Silent Enigma" but other than that very rarely does death/doom do it for me. Another song I had in mind for the split was Eternal Winter.

- “The hour of doom” has everything of a true DOOM anthem like just a few have written, I guess that if a song has to be ever associated to your name this will be this one … are you conscious of that, is it a particular one for you or is it just a song among others ? This song required certainly an optimal form to get it such brilliantly executed on a vocal point ? just as the whole vocal performance, those screams around 11 to 13 minutes are awesome, do you succeed to be faithful with that on live performances ?

Thanks for the compliment. I was not really conscious of that when writing it and it actually came to me very easily and quickly. It is just a song among others for me but I did want to write a massive traditional DOOM song because this is my favourite style of music. I am planning to write more songs in that vein in the future. In fact it was probably the easiest song I have ever written and it was also very easy to put lyrics to. Strangely in this song the vocals were very easy for me both in the recording and in reproducing them live. That style of screaming is also very easy for me so it's no trouble doing it at a gig. It was recorded in pretty much one or two takes and is very natural for me.

(Fuckin' Blogger, don't know why but I couldn't find this one with its usual youtube upload function, anyway here's the link to "The Hour of Doom", listen this song which will soon become one of your faves !)

- And now you are about to release 2 new albums “The invocation” and “the kingdom”, those sessions were damn productive last summer !? did you had in mind to release 2 distinct albums a long time before ? each one is a song title but is featured on the album of the other, is there an explanation to this ?

The drums tracks were recorded around May/June 2012 and the rest was recorded at home over the rest of the year and even early this year. Originally it was going to be one album and we would use the other tracks for singles and possible splits etc. Then we thought double album and then eventually two albums. I like the idea of two separate albums because you can just listen to something an hour long rather than two hours and you can chose whichever one you prefer. Double albums require a lot of concentration to listen to the whole thing. Again, it amused us to put the title track of each album on the opposing album. There is no underlying concept to the two albums just a basic idea to link the two covers and titles through the artwork. It seems now that both albums will come out at the same time (late May 2013) as they are both pretty much ready.

- The song “the furthest shore” on The Invocation album is pretty different from the 3 others you sent me and your previous recordings too, it sounds much more 70’s like, bluesy and psyched-out stuff… was that another form of DOOM you wanted to explore ?

I love 70's rock almost as much as I love trad DOOM so it's always been a form I would like to explore more.
- The beginning of “The kingdom” is a pure fury of raw 80’s Metal ( before quickly slowing down in more known territories) a period that has influenced you a lot, did you start to listen METAL with bands like Maiden of course but also Mercyful Fate, Celtic Frost, Satan, etc… or did it came a bit later ?

80's metal is a massive influence on me. I started listening to metal through Maiden, Priest, Motorhead, Angel Witch and others in the early 80's along with Candlemass, Cirith Ungol, Trouble etc. 80's thrash and Celtic Frost were also things I was heavily into. Loved Satan's "Court In The Act". Really looking forward to the new one.

- In a way, do you humbly aim to cover almost all possible facets of Doom, yet in a traditional manner but blending a great part of the influences that the genre has taken to form a mournful, heavy yet melodic music for servants of sorrow ?!!!

ha ha nice description. It's not really my aim but it just seems to come out a bit that way. My aim is for Rote Mare to be a traditional doom metal band but I know we sometimes don't sound that way. Influences and ideas and varied singing styles just seem to come in from various directions. One thing though is that I always try and keep the music heavy and with some rawness and bite. I like there to always be some edge to the music if that makes any sense.

- Do your lyrics have evoluted with all those new songs to write on ? did you explore new themes ?

My lyrics pretty much cover the same things they have always covered. Apocalypse, greed, suicide, depression, introversion, murder etc. Occasionally I will get a new idea or a different angle to put on something. I find lyrics very difficult in general and I only really like a few of the ones I have written.

- During those successive sessions in Summer 2012 you also recorded covers of Twisted Sister “destroyer” and Big Star “Holocaust”, looks like they were planed to be included as bonus on both new albums, but I just see Holocaust in the track list of “The Invocation”, what happened to that T.S. song ?

Originally they were both going to be bonus tracks. I felt that Holocaust being very different to the original Big Star version was worth being included on the album. We moved Eternal Winter to the bonus track on The Invocation. Twisted Sister's Destroyer turned out great and will be on The Kingdom as the bonus track. It is more similar to the original version so we felt it would be better as a bonus rather than appearing in the track listing.

It could seem a bit strange considering this split will sadly remain too confidential but to me this is a perfect DOOM collaboration which will leave a mark to the trad’ Doom scene of the years 2010 and can maybe push some young australian doomheads to form a band… do you ever think about the fact that your music can be lived like a real revelation for some and/or an influence for others ?

I never really think like that. To be honest I look up to the many other great trad DOOM bands around and think that we are a long way below them. I consider myself a fan of others and no matter what Rote Mare does in the future I will probably always think like that.

- The scene in Australia has always provided quality bands, not in numerous quantities though, at least to our ears… it looks like Death Metal remains very popular and Stoner is another popular heavy style but Doom seems very confidential … is there any new Doom bands worth mentioning from Australia ?

To be honest I don't hear of many. I'm sure there are some others hiding away that I would like to hear. There are a lot of stoner and sludge bands around but not so many trad DOOM bands. I like some of these but would prefer to hear some more bands like Rituals Of The Oak or Dire Fate.

 - What about playing LIVE for ROTE MARE ? You played at black Conjuration Fest in March, how good was this half an hour of Doom ?! How do you succeed to compose the ideal setlist with such reduced time of playing ?

That was an awesome half an hour and it was a great successful night in general. We were a bit nervous and made a few little fuck ups as it was our first gig for over a year but it went down really well. Our setlist for the show was The Kingdom, The Furthest Shore and The Hour Of Doom. The idea was just to put a bit of variety into such a short set.

- Next one is in May opening for UNIDA, isn’t it a bit special to be playing for people who maybe don’t know anything about Doom or even just don’t like it in such circumstances or do you take it as an interesting challenge ? Do you have other plans coming next ?

I wrote to the promoter asking for a Saint Vitus support if they came to Adelaide which would have been an absolute dream. But the promoter thought they would not draw enough of a crowd in Adelaide (probably right unfortunately) so he offered us the Unida support instead. That's cool because I do love Unida but it can't compare to Vitus of course... ha ha. I'm going to enjoy inflicting The Hour Of Doom on the Unida audience. I will probably organise a local show where we can play a longer set to promote the release of the two albums sometime mid year.

- Thanx a lot Phil for your time and for providing such good music to our doomed ears ! add something about merch of course, plus more we might not have spoke about !

Thanks Steph for the opportunity of the interview and the interesting thoughtful questions. So if anyone is interested in cds or patches you can find our store in a couple of places. or . Demos available for download from bandcamp. Thanks to the people who have already bought it or supported us in other ways.


Read the nice review of the split - by Steve Miller : here

Sunday, April 28, 2013

... DEUIL "Acceptance / Rebuild" (EP review)

It's not that this recording is an outstanding debut revealing your new Blackened Sludge/Doom sensation, I'd say that  we got here 2 rather classical songs of bleak, mournful and abrasive atmospheres somewhere between Black Metal, Drone,Sludge and Shoegaze stuff, but there's something so sick, ambient, aggressive and loud at the same time in this EP that DEUIL is definitely worth of attention for fans of early Altar Of Plagues, Agalloch, Earth...

The Live recording conditions certainly help to feel (and enjoy) a rough and immediate discomfort from their sick and blackened soundscapes; with pretty simple structures, soaked in cold and heathen black metal, the guitar tone is extremely heavy and close to punishing saturated Black/Doom tones... Classically too it has at times that Post BM slight refinement which tends to not feel totally strangled and crawling, but never trying to thicken and/or enlighten their sound with electronic additions (just like they're  not forcing too much the punishing edge of their anger), the quatuor is before anything else perfectly at ease in a foggy context of fear, death and alienation.

Sure there's just two songs, yet for a total duration of 30 minutes and a future full-length would certainly need a bit more variety between the basical structures of each song (pretty much the same between "Acceptance" and "Rebuild", just the 1st is twice as long as the 2nd) but here -on this debut- the band succeeds in keeping the interest intact in a genre that can often be easily adrift in redundancy or weird experimentations.
Another last positive point is that definitely it's always a kind of little bonus when a band's name is such perfectly in mood with its sound and presently DEUIL -which means "mourning" in french- is aptly in accordance with the bleak music those promising  Belgians play...

DEUIL is actually playing several dates in Central Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia...), check out details on their FB page and before all : download this great Name Your Price Affair !

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Better to reign in Hell…PROCESSION – ‘To Reap Heavens Apart’

Few bands manage to occupy the soaring, majestic realm of doom that Procession presides over. Over the span of a couple of EPs and a full-length the band has woven a tapestry of death metal ideology seamlessly with the grandeur and instrumentation of traditional doom. Despite the band’s predilection for the dark and sinister, both ‘The Cult of Disease’ EP and ‘Destroyers of the Faith’ full-length stand as monuments of the genre, worthy of veneration. Those two releases managed to cast a shadow over the listener as they traversed perverse lands of pestilence and death while still retaining an epic and noble air. The band’s newest—the ambitiously titled ‘To Reap Heavens Apart’—doesn’t quite ascend to the same heights achieved by the band’s previous works, but it is still a welcome addition to the band’s discography.

While the band has made a giant leap geographically and evolved into a four-piece with some minor lineup changes, the signature Procession sound has remained intact, especially the powerful bellow of vocalist/guitarist Felipe Plaza whose commanding presence is most notably bestowed upon the album’s title track. Despite the lineup changes Procession has also retained the perfect balance of instrumentation that is reflected in the album’s production. The weight of the songs are still carried by the rhythm section and the bass lines are both audible and, like the band’s earlier releases, engaging and mesmerizing—an element that is unfortunately missing or obscured in too many contemporary acts. The strength of the rhythm section allows the guitar playing of Plaza and Jonas Pedersen to create crushing moods and textures that are both abysmal and glorious.

From the album’s impressive title to the shift to a four-piece ‘To Reap Heaven’s Apart’ has everything going for it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite meet expectations, but this can mostly be attributed to the band being a victim of its own success rather than any overt fault or misstep. The instrumental album opener, “Damnatio Memorae”, sets the tone and features an excellent bass line and doom riffing before launching into full-on metal territory. It may be an unjust comparison, but “Damnatio Memorae” doesn’t carry the same heft as an album opener as did “Hyperion” for ‘Destroyers of the Faith’. ‘To Reap Heavens Apart’ is also slightly marred by the fifth track, “The Death Minstrel”. A fading thunderstorm, acoustic guitar, and subtle percussion create a somber, anticipatory mood that plateaus too soon and stagnates into an uninspired spoken word plod.

Minor complaints aside, there is no mistaking that ‘To Reap Heavens Apart’ is a powerful album, but it would seem that it is tarnished by the strength and consistency of the band’s past works. While the title track is an album highlight, it still doesn’t stand out like tracks from the band’s past like “Down the River of Corpses”, the too brief “Hyperion”, or “The Road to the Gravegarden”, all of which are some of the best tunes the genre has to offer.

Words: Steve Miller

Blood Turns to Beer … BOOZE LORDS: ‘Legion of the Tankard’

Since before the beginning of recorded history, mankind has always been beset by vice of one kind or other, be it the magic mushrooms of shamanic ritual or something darker and heavier. A staple of mankind’s long rise and eventual decline and fall has been the ‘demon drink’. Booze has been responsible for such acts as penis-wagging, lamp-shade hat wearing and the conception of about 9-10ths of the world’s population (wiping a tear). Lately, it has also been responsible for the conception of another doomed monster, the Portland, Oregon two-piece band the Booze Lords.

Straddling a line between party thrash and stoner doom, the Booze Lords don’t often attempt to strike a balance, instead putting either style on display as needed. In this way the band embodies the classic dichotomy of the drunkard. So often the life of the party, the drunkard, whose high spirits, disposition and enthusiasm are tempered by the downer urge to brood and mutter angrily to himself when things go wrong, lays waste to all inhibitions and feelings of self-consciousness with a blacked out fury. He is a fascinating creature, one who simply lives, freely and more often than not, loudly and obnoxiously.

When the Booze Lords are in high spirits, they know it’s time to party. Inebrion, the multi-instrumentalist of the duo, hits the strip like an intoxicated bat out of hell, recalling heady, early days of thrash when bands were fuelled by beer, chix and rat mustached testosterone. Those were the days when Metallica was still called Alcoholica by fans before their more flaccid later incarnation, Metal-liquer (okay, nobody calls them that, I just made it up).

Through it all, vocalist Drunkus Crom bears rotted fruit from a distinguished family tree of rasping vocal styles. Wino and Mike Dean, who sprang from the loins of Lemmy, master of us all, who in turn sired Karl Simon and all of them must have had some kind of weird orgy to give birth to the man behind the mic here (what else is there to blame but the booze?). One of the things that initially drew me to The Booze Lords was their song titles, several of which I admit caused me to laugh out loud (or LOL as the youngens say), “Brewicide”, “Count Pabstula” and “Besieged by Poverty” among the most memorable (important note: when spoken aloud “Besieged By Poverty” must be uttered in a gruff low register while holding an invisible globe). Imbibe the revelry of the Booze Lords’ bacchanalia! Stoner doom is not just for stoners anymore, bring on the drunks! The subject matter of each of the 11 songs on this disc is what you might expect … booze and all booze related things, which can actually branch out into some expansive territory including paranoia (“Specter [watching you]”). You cannot fault the band for their focus and purity of vision, however double-sighted it may be.

While party thrash provides a big element of their debut full-length album, the Booze Lords are at their brooding best when muttering angrily to themselves in a darkened and doomed mood. Songs like “Brewicide”, “Booze Lords”, “I.N.I.T.”, “Bow to the Booze”, “The Hand of Drunk” and the aforementioned “Besieged by Poverty”, have a good old school doom metal bouquet to them, maybe standing (and swaying) a little too close to the material that inspired it, Saint Vitus … and booze, but enjoyable nonetheless. These are the songs that quash my inhibitions and turn my blood to beer. Then again, I just may be a surly drunk!

words by Lucas Klaukien

Thursday, April 25, 2013

... Hymns to the left hand path : IMPRECATION "Satanae Tenebris Infinita"

What else than IMPRECATION's long awaited debut could I have picked-up from my evergrowing list of albums to review -  after the last post which was a Live-report of WO FAT ???
Hahaha, you may wonder what those guys have in common... Well, maybe a taste for heavy sounds but most noticeably all those guys are Texans; Houston Death Metal vs Dallas Stoner Rock if you prefer !!! In any case, to my knowledge, the connection between both bands stops here !

For those who have a particular affection for US Death Metal of the early-mid 90's -like me, the name of IMPRECATION evokes certainly positive memories... To think about their "Siggil of Baphomet" Ep released on Dave Rotten's legendary Drowned productions and "Theurgia Goetia Summa" a CD compilation (of demos)  brings you back 20 years ago when the style was its peak and tons of great bands were flourishing everyday with obscure demo tapes.
For some reasons, including successive line-up changes, IMPRECATION didn't surf on the wave and remained a broken hope which splited up in 1998 in a relative anonimity... Like other bands from the same period, the guys reformed a few years ago with 3/5 of the original line-up, firmly focused on finally releasing an album to torn pieces apart !

And finally, here comes "Satanae Tenebris Infinita", due to be released on June 25th via Dark Descent Rds (responsible of a bunch of excellent releases with Krypts, Necrophile, Uncanny, Timeghoul, Mortuary Drape, etc...), a connoisseurs label who perfectly fit with the band's profile; add cover-art by Chris Moyen and all conditions are ultimately gathered to let this album assaulting the still active OSDM sphere.
This would be a bit unfair to say that IMPRECATION didn't deviate of an inch from their old material but logically the band stays true to its original approach and sound, maybe a bit more dynamic with not just typical US textures à la Incantation or Infester but more pronounced  European crushing heaviness à la Bolt Thrower Asphyx (can't help but thinking to Martin Van Drunen vocals in many occasions) Gorefest or some finnish  ripping acts too...

As you should expect it, the band adorns a great part of the songs with those heavy menacing slowed-down parts which the genre is also wellknown for;  infectious and skullcrushing, particularly in the (crucial) heart of the album from "Hosanna ex Inferis" to "Chapel of Rotting Flesh" (track 3 to 6),  enhanced by spooky keyboards, those doomier horrifying moments give way to or are preceded by  faster tempos filled with demonic intensity.
Save maybe the almost exclusively brutally blasting "From Beyond the Fiery Temples", there's a real care to find the ultimate balance between evil atmospheres, brutality and musicianship; nothing highly technical though but IMPRECATION songs contain so many morbidly catchy riffs that they almost instantaneously reveal themselves as classics and to tell you the truth I always digged this kind of raw morbid vocals who add a stenching texture to the overall.

The great production work  makes this cohesive and attractive especially for old fans who finally get here a professional product on all terms, not just old tape-stuff recorded in 12 hours and simply released on CD ! It's never too late to get such top-notch Death Metal, old school or not, the essential is that it's truly evil with no mechanical bullshit and if your still really into it, this is an album that must find its place between "Onward to Golgotha" and "The Rack" in your collection... Make your own opinion if this album is their (contemporary) equal or not but in my opinion it's the perfect link between those both influential masterpieces and a major release of the year in the genre !


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

... WITCH MOUNTAIN / COUGH / WO FAT : Paris 23th April 2013 (LIVE report)

First gig of the season -for your servant- yesterday evening and even more than expected, this killed everything !!!  Stoned Gatherings proposed again  a very consistent line-up for Stoner/Doom addicts (from Paris mainly but some people made hundred kms for the masters of Texas riffage' 1st venue in France) and it's about 200 people who have attended a rich and pretty memorable gig.

I can just regret not to have given a more attentive ear to WITCH MOUNTAIN before their excellent set, but gigs are also made for this : discover more in depth and be seduced by awesome bands who open for your longly loved headliner... Uta Plotkin is assuredly one of the most complete and original female vocalist within the actual scene and believe me, this opinion can only be reinforced after you see the band on stage !
She's incredibly bewitching and has definitely a unique tone, could it be in the expansive way of a slow, bluesy and majestic song like "Never Know" or in the more traditional heavy and  grimmy Metallic manner like in another highlight of the gig that was "Veil of the Forgotten" ! As I already deplored it, female vocals are often too weak on stage in front of loud and fuzzy volumes but with Uta this is absolutely not the case, she dominates her subject and her physical presence adds certainly to make the performance even more captivating than on album which is remarkable.
Rob Wrong's riffage is relentless and crushing; serene most of the time, the guy gloats amazingly during his swinging solos and seems at his peak, just like the whole band who alternates moods with lots of fluency and soul... A very very good surprise which definitely converted me as an attentive fan of the band now. Too bad I couldn't take any correct picture of them, being far too much in the back of this small venue !

Time for some bubbles and it's with great pleasure and honour that I share some fresh drinks with Kent Stump, Ewen Padovan from Totem Cat Rds and an american guy from San Fransisco who follows WO FAT during the tour, labeled by the fan as their biggest fan - which is certainly deserved judging by his enthusiasm proportional to the distance accomplished !!!

I hardly succeeded to find a closer place for the 2nd band COUGH, but sufficiently to take a couple of pictures this time... I'm not a huge fan of those type of crawling and monolithic sounds on LIVE conditions, especially in small venues like this - where the most intense and punishing parts can quickly lead me to relative trouble... The ritualistic and punishing textures are impressive; damn this is so crushing, is that the horrific tortured vocals of Parker Chandler or the hammering drums who produce secondary effects on me ? did I become a wimp ? hahaha ! I feel like some alien beast pervade my stomach, fortunately David Cisco knows how to introduce more distinctive and melodic parts and I resist longer than I did with Conan at last year's Roadburn (not the whole gig though), but definitely I prefer this type of stuff much more on album with headphones, it's then much deeper and incantatory... I will experience COUGH willingly again though - next week at HDDT in a bigger venue !


Kent is still present at the bar (no early conclusion please !) joined now by Tim and Michael, those guys are very accessible and friendly, sincere and interested by what you think and do about this or that... and this you enjoy even more when thinking just a second about the lesson you gonna take in a few minutes !!! It's time to pepare some drinks for the next hour, usual but absolutely essential presently - the temperature must not be far 40°c and will increase even more, to the point that a great part of the audience will end shirltess quickly after the beginning of WO FAT's set !

They could have choose a fair number of others, but what could have been better than "The Black Code" to start the gig ?! Awesome from the first notes, the sound is HUGE, incredibly dense and heavy, just Kent's vocals are too much in back at the beginning and in several brief instants but the band perfectly retranscribe the nebulous and spacey moods of the album with a special touch à la "Noche del Chupacabra" brought by the moist atmosphere and the sparing use of lights.

"Lost Highway" make things degenerating in the first ranks, furiously headbanging and sweating ! The crowd is incredibly boosted by such energy and each song make the temperature increase, the cauldron is boiling and we could drink of their soup all night along... Everybody seems to float, including our blazing trio, still concentrated though and relentlessly they carry on with "Hurt at Gone", "Enter the Riffian" and the more than ever aptly named "Descent Into the Maelstrom". Of course when you discuss with them after the gig, they will humbly regret a few impairs but everybody will just remember that this band is one of the most transcended on stage you could ever imagine... Despite a style that could let place to improvisation and redundancy, Kent is faithful to his original interpretation, just fuckin' heavier !!!
Tim and Michael form more than a simple rythmic complement to the master's riff machinery, introducing their own creative touch in subtle twists and turns, Tim's rumbling bass-lines are delightfully psych-infused and Michael's brings often a gnarly touch to his surgical hit... They are just 3 but so cohesive and dense that you never think a second about a need of a 2nd guitar for live considerations.

"Sleep of the Black Lotus" and his 10 minutes of high-flying fuzzy groove could have logically been the programmed highlight of the evening but each song was a definitive HIGHLIGHT, like a perpetual état de grace and there's even been an unexpected ice on the cake with "Nameless Cults" unreleased song soon to be released via a promising split 12'' with Egypt on Totem Cat rds.

Time to leave after a last collective picture with Witch Mountain and Wo Fat members (my camera battery was off but I'm sure I'll get it sent by Kent or Tim !)... and I can't help but remembering about that review of Broken Beard on The Black Code which concluded like this : « the truth about Kyuss Lives! is that they caught wind of The Back Code and decided that continuing with the reunion was completely pointless » ...

I've seen KYUSS in their golden days (1993) and have been marked during two decades, that was my most striking live reference within the Stoner genre, until yesterday evening :)
WO FAT have offered yesterday the most stunning MASS OF FUZZ I've ever had the luck to attend and I can humbly say there's been quite many on the list; something so crushing, grooving and infectious at the same time, brrrr.... simply memorable !


Monday, April 22, 2013

... P.U.T. "Like Animals" (Album review)

Is it the conjunction of different facts announcing the decline of humanity which favours the blend of noisy genres and scenes ? More and more bands manage to gather avid fans of blackened, heavy and mesmerizing stuff through a raw and minimalistic common banner; in different manners though, they can originally come from Punk, sludge, Industrial or Black metal, have grown through different phases but (often, at maturity) have considerably slowed-down their tempos, turned them rawer and more minimalistic, also reflecting the harshness of nowadays life - before all as individuals and eventually as underground bands...
Until recently, I didn't knew much about P.U.T., a french duo (though physically shared between France and Belgium) existing since 15 years and delivering uncompromised Industrial/Sludge/Punk with a bunch of albums, eps , splits and even 2 lives !!! Being absent of the REAL underground during 10 years (1996 to 2006) -like I've been- often reveals to me some hidden gems and P.U.T. is one of those, lurking in the shadows of doom to eviscerate you with crushing noises...

"Like Animals" is the 5th album of brothers Beyet and from what I've briefly heard of their previous works, it is the rawest and heaviest too; Lionel handles the bass and sings while Nicolas is on guitar and sings too, the machines do the rest... If you think immediately -like I did- about another french band named Crown, you got it wrong for a great part - even if there's common caracters (anger) and influences (Godflesh, Killing Joke). P.U.T.'s sound is a lot more raw and minimalistic, this has been live recorded in a dozen of hours and smells perfectly sweat, booze, cold smoke and filthiness. Loud and abrasive, the sound is originally also influenced by Industrial and Electro with hypnotic, sometimes martial textures ("There's a Mammoth in this Room") but the thick guitar sound brings some harsh METAL crudeness that predominates in the overall.

We're definitely not far some Black Metal tones with vicious and rasping vocals, tense crudeness ("Exuvia", "Like Animals", "Broke a Line")... Indeed most often the SLUDGE tag fits but more in its recent blackened forms than its noiseist.

Noises samples are regular but not prominent and boring at any moment, some enhance horrific atmospheres ("IT"), others some dissonant dementia... just as in the closing song "It ain't Gonna be Fun" which ends in an hypnotic way the album.
Half groggy but motivated for more, P.U.T. is in no way fun that's certain, the band acts on you like a disturbing machine, attractive and painful at the same time... Simple, loud and sinister; taste it !

... ENSHINE "Origin" (Album review)

Formed in 2009, ENSHINE was originally the solo project of Swedish guitarist Jari Lindholm (Seas of Years, ex-Slumber) but became a bit later a full and steady band with the coming of French vocalist Sébastien Pierre (Fractal Gates, Inborn Suffering, Cold Insight)...
An improbable duo on the paper, but what made me first skeptical was the doom/death tag to describe their sound,  a style which one can think has revealed everything it could and is outdated for quite some time now... Without being the revelation of the decade, there's still several  consistent things that make ENSHINE contradicting nicely my prejudices and prove this "Origin" to be a real winner in the end !

One thing that is important to keep the captivating dynamic almost intact -all along this album- is that the guys avoid the too typical Peaceville 3 references, their type of melodic mid-tempo Metal is more made of Scandinavian overtones (Katatonia  most prominently); not particularly melancholic, nor depressive, the sound of Enshine gives a lot of place to atmopsheric textures, enhanced by the regular use of keyboards.
Shared between both Jari and Sébastien, keys are bringing that Gothic touch typical of those years (mid 90's - remember Phlebotomized, Theatre of Tragedy, etc...), just enough mellow, providing beautiful harmonies with layering guitar parts, they never make songs loosing weight. Also, we're here preserved from the overused typical female vocals (just a few choir vocals here and there), double-bass drums or violins, a distinctive force instead (and better enjoying) is the stellar soloing of Jari !

If some acoustic introductions are somewhat too predictable and systematic, peaceful and bright moments bring a well-balanced variation to their basically dark and agressive structures, the guys craft great soundscapes to make you float in a kind of parallel dreamy world ! Naturally in those contemplative moods, death growls are abandoned for whispers or darker and more commanding vocals ("Nightwave"). Always  in harmony with the dynamics, vocals are just perfect on the whole album, never too forced in either of the register used, just like the guitars are not too heavy, keys not too treacly as said before, drums not too fast, etc...

Pure modern doomsters who crave for crushing and abrasive heaviness may not find their count here, but songs like "Stream of Light", "Refraction", "Nigthwave" and "Ambivalence" are very solid pieces filled with pretty memorable melodies, just a thicker production and rythmic would have allowed to add a couple of songs to that list, this will be undoubtedly for next time...

I'm not saying that you'll necessarily love this band but one must recognize that the songwriting is very skilled, cohesive and fluid. I'm the first surprised to write this from a doom/death album in 2013 but this debut  is a real breath of fresh hair - which makes this "Origin" a potential illuminator of that gloomy spring !

"Origin" will be released on May 15th through Rain Without Ends rds

Sunday, April 21, 2013

... BITE THE BULLET "S/T" (EP review)

This duo from Copenhagen, formerly in the now disbanded classic Rock group Highway Child, propagates guitar-driven vintage music that reaches further back than your usual Sabbath worshippers: Bite The Bullet strongly rely on songwriting principles and vibes established from the 1960s on by bands from the so-called British Invasion most prominently.

What you get on their debut is Rhythm 'n' Blues in its earliest form alongside psychedelic tinges such as spaceship-keyboards and handclaps in the reverb-laden (as are most of the tracks) "Hit The Ground", tinkling piano parts as well as noisy feedbacks throughout, the latter never destroying the actual songs, which the twopiece happens to write rather well. This EP is  comprised of five of them, ranging from the aforementioned across the hammering "Space Drums" to the dreamy "I Will Not Die", all not quite blessed with hit qualities, but appealing particularly to fans of White Stripes or , of course, Baby Woodrose.

If catchwords like garage, Mod and Fuzz are no strangers to you, give Bite The Bullet a listen, also because of the quite unique (well, almost typical for oh so many Scandinavian bands, and I bet Christian Norup and Paw Eriksen don't shave that often either) androgynous voice, making the nicely melodic closing tune "My Soul" the highlight of this initial calling card.

words by Andreas Schiffmann  

Saturday, April 20, 2013

... ALUNAH "Europe Tour - Spring 2013" includes Two UK dates to replace Dopethrone !!!

Due to unfortunate VISA issues, Alunah have replaced Dopethrone on the two UK dates for The Wounded Kings and Huata. The gigs will take place on Friday 24th May at The Asylum2, Birmingham and Saturday 25th May at The Garage (Upstairs), London. Witchsorrow will also be playing the London date.

And before this, don't forget that :

European Tour 2013

The band started working with Sound Of Liberation this year, and their first shows for them will be out in mainland Europe on tour. They will be doing the following dates, and hope to see some of you there!

27/04: DesertFest Berlin @ Astra Kulturhaus - Berlin, Germany
28/04: Alunah / Dopelord @ Morion - Szczecin, Poland
29/04: Belzebong / Alunah @ Römer - Bremen, Germany
30/04: Ufomammut / Belzebong / Alunah @ Sektor E - Dresden, Germany
01/05: Belzebong / Alunah @ La Casa - Cottbus, Germany
03/05: Heavy Days in Doom Town Festival @ Ungdomshuset - Copenhagen, Denmark


Friday, April 19, 2013

... COLD BLUE MOUNTAIN "s/t" (Album review)

This is a pretty cool mix of Sludge, HC, Post Metal and Doom sounds that this five piece band from Chico/CA/USA present with their full length self titled debut album (July 2012).
There’s an underlying sludge and post metal vibe throughout the entire album, but it easily draws in a lot of different stylistic ingredients in a way that all of them get their chance to take the lead and step back again.
So while in one song crushing sludge riffs dominate, the next one may sound more like a speedy HC song and yet another one offers downtempo doom riffs and then all changes into an ambient post metal atmosphere. The last song  even is a piano melody totally different from all the others, but still with an ambient atmosphere.
These shifts of focus on the different elements, the many changes in tempo, dynamic and atmospheres create a great variety that surprises ever again. At times it is only a pinch of whatever ingredient that pushes the whole thing into another tone of atmosphere.
The melodies are simply captivating. They are breathtakingly beautiful and emotive without ever being pathetic or overdone, instead they leave room enough for all the other elements to blend in and everything goes together surprisingly well.  The vocals are perfectly complementing the melodies as well as the sludge or doom riffs.
Here, great musicianship and creativity meet to bring us an album of an individual style, nine songs, tightly written and straight forward going, with a total running time of 30 short minutes and pure listening joy. Highly recommended.

Words by Ulla Roschat

(Vynil release date: April 19, 2013; check it out at Gogmagogical Records)


Thursday, April 18, 2013

... CARDINALS FOLLY "Strange Conflicts of the Past" (Album review)

This new release from Shadow Kingdom rds is in fact a complilation of old material from CARDINALS FOLLY, a mighty Finnish trio which deliver occult classic Doom since 2004 (more exactly under the name of The Coven  until 2007 when things started to be serious and implied a more striking name...).

Cardinal's Folly is one of those great bands which get too few attention from the actual overcrowded scene which tends to turn more and more into extreme or retro sounds and forsake more traditional METAL  with guts and heart, melody and harmony ! If this wouldn't be such a regrettable situation, then please tell me why bands like GALLOW GOD, ORODRUIN, EVANGELIST, MODERN FUNERAL ART, PAGAN ALTAR, ARKHAM WITCH or CARDINALS FOLLY (just to name a few) remain all too/very confidential... ?

On the other hand there has always been inexplicably underrated bands and suddenly one day... many many years later, someone or something can give a new destiny to a burried entity who will become cult, play at German festivals specialized in old Metal warriors and see hallucinating prices increase on e-bay for a copy of their unprobable first recording !!!

Even if things are maybe long to take off, I wish all those bands a brighter and more immediate destiny, but the most essential is to leave a trace, perpetuate a style, a spirit, through some excellent DOOM Metal and on that point the abilities of the Finnish band are more than effective.
Other bands names cited with them were nothing except hazardous, beyond their love for Heavy (Doom) Metal, a great part of them share a passion for HP Lovecraft and/or black magic horror, puting their musical moods in harmony with the lyrical and visual sides.
Starting by the french M.F.A who share another similarity with C.F., vocally wise, though Mikko Kääriänen is more steady and penetrating, the gothic overtones are patent too (but they're just vocal) giving at times a nice theatrical dramaturgy to the overall.

Released one year and a half after their debut album "Such Power is Dangerous" and while waiting for their sophomore recorded at the end of this month, this (compilation) album is collecting songs from their both (sold-out) eps, 2 songs (+ intro) from "Heretic's Hangover" (save the very long "uncharted seas" already on the debut) and 4 songs of "Orthodox Faces" (means its integrality), not forgetting a song from their early days under The Coven's name and a cover of Kraftwerk 'the Model' amazingly doomed to the core.

Otherwise, obviously the mid-tempo metallic pace is a basic rule of composition, filled with harmony, melody and an ominous lyrical flow... This is classic Doom-laden Heavy Metal with many elements of the 80's - not just for the twisted melodic solos, some occasional high pitched screams typical of that period, but also for its rough epicness, tinged at times with a slight black metal nastiness  like for example on "Blood Axis Raiders" - which sounds like a mix between Bathory and Mercyful Fate !!! I honestly regreted that this awesome song was not included on their debut, it's a fuckin good surprise to get it here as a real highlight. In no case, something sounds forced and outdated, Cardinal's Folly craft songs with tense crushingness  and dynamic mixed together - which can remind an old local legend named Reverend Bizarre, if that could give a more glorious and recent reference to some irreducibly skeptical doomsters !

It's a good thing to know that the new album will be released this year too but this "Strange Conflicts of the Past" present a real interest to catch all the essence of this highly respectable band - whose discography complete you must end with !

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

... Like a subterranean propulsion : an Interview with BORRACHO !!!

Formed in 2007 as a side-project to their other current bands, BORRACHO (which means "drunk man" in spanish) is a striking Heavy Stoner-Fuzz Rock band which comes from Washington D.C. and recently released a new 7'' entitled "Mob Gathering"... If covers artwork can sometimes be a good indicator of an album general mood, this one presently does it explicitly ! A bit different from their amazing debut album "Splitting Sky", this "Mob Gathering" is a stomping and boiling affair comprised of two relentless songs filled with heavy riffs, fat grooves and raunchy vocals !
Old fans will crave for this and it is a great manifest to gain new ones who will quickly need to put their ears on the majestic "Splitting Sky" which reveal the real and whole extent of BORRACHO's talent with more variety and refinement; on this material the textures are also greasy but a large place is also given to southern, psychedelic overtones and extended jams which give a very consistent thickness to their music and definitely prevent from dreadful considerations like "this is nothing I've never heard before"... 
I felt it would be interesting to know more about this kick-ass band, particularly the way the line-up had been composed (a real challenge for each of those guys, as you'll see), those three 7'' released since the album, the next recordings, etc... Mario (drums) answered kindly my questions, definitely a damn interesting guy !
Hi Mario… thanx for answering the following questions for T.o.P. !!! This new 7’’ “mob gathering” consists in two unreleased songs from a recording of your early days in an old mansion… ok,  the new mix has kinda brilliantly resurrected them but what’s so particular in the saga behind those sessions which happened in 2009 ?
We really thought that at the time we were recording our debut. We had a bunch of songs we loved, were well rehearsed, primed, and ready. The situation was cool in principle. Hole up in a unique location, work a relaxed schedule, and hopefully capture some magic in a bottle. Some Led Zeppelin IV, Blood Sugar Sex Magik kinda shit.
Reality was the engineer didn’t really have all the equipment needed, the experience needed, or the professionalism to pull it all together. We couldn’t track at the same time. That was a major issue. We couldn’t capture the live performances, and we weren’t very happy with that. Before we finished all the tracking of vocals and mixing, our engineer literally joined the circus! He left before we finished. By the time he came back, we pretty much wrote off the sessions. Some more work was attempted on mixes of a couple songs that we used as demos, but really we lost so much time and never got things sounding the way we envisioned or expected them to. So we moved on.

It was a good move, because we met Frank Marchand during that time, and ultimately ended up recording an amazing debut that has resonated and helped us make a name for ourselves. I’m not sure that would have happened if we released those other recordings as our debut.

The first years of BORRACHO have not been that easy for you guys with that unreleased debut, your other main bands being  more or less still active, having also swaped-up your instruments too I guess each one needed some time  to find its place ultimately ?

It’s funny because we initially were in these other bands, and we just wanted a way to scratch a couple of other creative itches. Borracho was born out of our friendships, our love of stoner rock, and a desire to express ourselves on these other instruments we had all dabbled in before, but not ever played in a band setting, at least for the most part. I don’t really consider those years “hard” – it was formative shit that bands have to go through. We were finding our footing. We are fortunate to have the experiences and connections of what we did in our earlier bands to take and build upon. Like our relationship with No Balls Records, for instance, who have really helped from the beginning with the first Adam West split 7” and going on to release the Splitting Sky LP and now the new “Mob Gathering” 7”.

On a personal point, BORRACHO allowed to reveal yourself as drummer (where you were basically guitarist in your other bands), did you already seriously practice drumming previously  ?  how did this maturation / revelation happen ? Was it an old challenge that you wanted to achieve ?

I’ve played guitar since I was 11. It’s always been a passion for me. But as a kid in school, there’s no way to be involved in the school music programs as a guitarist, so I actually began learning drums and percussion through school concert band. As I got older, I was the kid who would have band rehearsals at my house, so there was always a drum set there. So after school I’d come home and play drums for about an hour before I played guitar for another three or four hours. Basically, before adults got home from work. That helped a lot. Then, as my circle expanded more, I became friends with other multi-instrumentalists, and we would get high, eat mushrooms, whatever, and spend these epic sessions just jamming, trading off instruments, recording, and that was huge for me in finding my bearings as a drummer.

But, I never played drums in a band scenario before Borracho. Never gigged out. Never was really involved in songwriting as a drummer. That was definitely part of the challenge with Borracho, for all of us. Steve played bass in Adam West, but was always the primary songwriter, so he had a lot of guitar skills already. Tim played guitar, and had to make that adjustment to playing bass. But the other big challenge was for Noah, who was a drummer. We actually didn’t know he was going to play guitar in the band until the first practice. We knew he had this powerful voice, and wanted him to step out from behind the kit, and just own being a singer. It actually played out well to round out our sound with that second guitar, but it added to the level of growth and learning we all had to do. The great thing was that we had really low ambitions when we started out. It was about having fun first and foremost. The fact that we’ve really improved individually and collectively and are able to perform on a level with our peers makes us all proud. But it’s still about having fun, even if it’s our main gig these days.

How did come the idea of recording a Spanish version of ‘concentric circles’…  ?  Is that the only foreign language you can imagine sing on, or can we expect for example a French singing romantic ballad in the new album?!!!

Ha! I wouldn’t expect any other surprises like you suggest! The idea came up in the studio when we were recording Splitting Sky. It started with Frank asking us why we named the band Borracho. As we recounted that story we revealed that Noah speaks fluent Spanish, and his wife is Argentine, so they speak Spanish at home and with family quite a bit. Frank asked if we ever thought about doing a tune in Spanish, and the idea kind of set off a light bulb in our heads. Noah went home that night and worked out a translation, and the next day he came in and cut it. We were able to work out a co-release of the 7” with Ghost Highway Recordings, who are based in Madrid, through our good friend and former Adam West bandmate Jake Starr, who runs Fandango Records. It all just kind of fell into place. We have a pretty solid following in Latin America so we hope the track has helped gain a little more attention there. We’d love to head to South America to tour somewhere down the line.

In November 2011, you also released a new 12’’ vinyl including “plunge/return”, a major piece of your first album… Was it an evidence to choose “grab the reins” (live), the other longest song of the album for the B-side?  where was it recorded ?

We were always a bit disappointed that Plunge/Return didn’t fit onto the Splitting Sky LP. When the opportunity to release it on a 10” came up with Strange Magic Records, we considered a few options for the B side. We had a couple of live tracks we recorded in December 2011 at The Velvet Lounge in DC during our Splitting Sky release show. Frank Marchand recorded the set, and in June 2012 he worked on mixing “Grab the Reins” and “All In Play” from that show for some future release, along with the remixes of “Mob Gathering” and “Short Ride.”  “Grab the Reins” just had the right vibe, was a great performance, and obviously a good length. As far as a single goes, having two 11 minute songs makes for a good long listen – nearly an EP! We also love singles that have live recordings on the B side, so it worked out well.

“The mob gathering” contains 2 old songs that are shorter and faster compared to the album period which has also some doomy and epic moments,  so what can we expect from the new stuff ?

The new stuff is pretty epic! I’d say it’s more a continuation of where we were headed with Splitting Sky than a harkening back to the shorter/faster material you hear on the Mob Gathering 7”. But we’re really exploring our psychedelic side a bit more. I think the new material will be well received as both familiar sounding, and a step forward, musically.

Did your recent shows last month allow you to test some new songs on stage ?

We have been playing some new material live for the past 10 months or so. Noah has been overseas for work, and we’ve been playing as a trio since July 2012. At first the shows without Noah were instrumental, and we’ve been playing instrumental versions of new songs for quite some time now at shows. Steve has begun to sing some of the Splitting Sky material live, as well as some new songs. Right now Noah’s return to the States is pretty indefinite, and in the meantime, we’ve all agreed that we will perform and record as a trio, at least until he returns. We spent quite a bit of time and effort to arrange for long distance collaboration, but in the end we feel like we can best represent our recordings and ourselves with Steve on vocals, at least for the foreseeable future. So far the response at the shows has been really positive, and we hope everybody likes the direction with Steve at the helm.

You guys released three EPs since the album,  which is cool to wait until the new one but I guess that now this sophomore album  won’t take too long to come out, at least this will be in 2013 ?!

Well, you’ll definitely have more new Borracho to groove to over the course of 2013. With our current personnel issues resolved for the time being, we‘ve mapped out a plan to release at least one if not two medium length, 35 min. releases in 2013 but before completing our full length follow-up to Splitting Sky. We have a few creative directions – coming out of all the jamming we did with the new material – that we want to explore in the two EP releases. Then want to see where we end up after working through those ideas before we form the concepts for next full-length release. It may be some time to wait for the next full-length but we'll give you a lot to chew on in the meantime and we are sure the next LP will be something worth the wait.

You already gave quite a number of significant gigs and took part in both latest editions of Stoner Hands of Doom festival… what have been your most memorable moments on stage so far ? Starting from this month, there should be some more highlights, indeed you’ll soon be opening for FU MANCHU, does it represent something special for you guys ?  Do you have other cool live plans for the next months?

Yeah, we’ve been happy with how things have been in the live arena. We love playing live, and that’s what it’s all about. It’s always flattering to be invited and take part in festivals. We are all huge fans of Elder, and were stoked to play with them twice last year, at the Stoner Hands of Doom and the Autumn Screams Doom festivals. Of course playing with Fu Manchu later this month is a bit of a dream, and we’re looking forward to that. Later this year we’re taking part in the “Eye of the Stoned Goat” fest in New York, in Brooklyn, with a tremendous line up, and are playing a few shows with Lo-Pan leading up to that.

On May 18 we are putting on a special show in DC with our friends Cortez and Weed is Weed to launch the new “Borracho Smokin’ Brown Ale” with Port City Brewing Company. We’re super stoked about this limited edition brew and the show we are putting on will feature some excellent talent, and we expect good feedback on the beer. Port City doesn’t put out any bad beers, and this one won’t be an exception.

With your previous bands, Assrockers and Adam West, you got a solid experience of touring (including  many times in Europe with A.W.)…  which places - you’ve already been to, are you now uggerly waiting to play in with Borracho ? Did those previous experiences notably help you for contacts and getting the name of Borracho spreaded at the beginning of this new adventure ?

We are working on a short tour to Europe, hopefully to coincide with the upcoming release later this year. Our booking agent/tour manager was the tour manager for the last Adam West Europe tour, so we have a long history. The tour, when it happens, shouldn’t hold too many surprises. We don’t plan to cover quite as much ground, so we’re looking to focus on Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, and maybe dip into northern Italy, the Netherlands, maybe a couple other spots. Since our very first release was a split 7” with Adam West released for the last tour in 2008, we definitely got early exposure to that audience, and I think there’s a good amount of crossover there.

What do you think of  CLUTCH’s “earth rocker” ? Does the fact that a band like Orange Goblin finally became professional after all those years, give you hopes and strength for future perspectives concerning Borracho ?

I’ve been cranking Earth Rocker on regular rotation. I love it. While it’s short, it leaves you wanting more, and I listen to it on repeat! Those guys are an inspiration. To see them 20 years on with all the same members, doing things on their own terms after all kinds of crazy record label nonsense, makes me really admire them. Not many bands persevere like that. The same with Orange Goblin. Those guys haven’t relented to trends, and still kill it after all these years. I assume you ask if it gives us hope because we’re a bunch of old guys! We frankly take every day as it comes, and every opportunity as a gift. We work hard, but we’re grateful and don’t feel entitled to anything. If people like what we release, that makes us proud. But we MUST love what we write and release or it’s not worth the effort.

I guess that the fact of working  with 313 Inc artist management brings you quite many facilities/opportunities for the US market, but are they dealing too with Europe and the rest of the world for your promotion ? except answering interviews, do you still invest time by yourselves for your promotion or is everything done by 313 ?

I feel like a team member of 313.  We don’t stress him out too much! We have a bit of a professional team in-house, as Tim and I run our website, social media, promotion, and booking. It’s a lot of work, and it takes a team. We’re happy to have the 313 guys in our corner, and look forward to more opportunities to come, be they in the States, Europe or beyond.

Thanx a lot for your time Mario, add something you feel important I might have forgotten to ask you… cheers

Thanks for the opportunity. Without the support of sites like Temple of Perdition, nobody would know about Borracho. So cheers to you and all the guys who sink their blood sweat and beers into discovering, reviewing, and promoting bands from this scene! You rule!