Sunday, 27 May 2018

Festival News Scorched Tundra Announce Entire Line-Up For 2018 Edition


Scorched Tundra is proud to announce the entire lineup for its tenth edition.  The second installment of 2018 – taking place on August 31st and September 1st at The Empty Bottle in Chicago – features newcomers and veterans of the festival from across the country and abroad.

Friday August 31st
Monolord
Lair of the Minotaur
Telekinetic Yeti
Saturday September 1st

Sumac
Yakuza
In the Company of Serpents
Couch Slut


Tickets can be purchased through these links:
Scorched Tundra’s mission is to give a new generation of talented artists a unique live platform in Gothenburg and Chicago. The festival’s billing – based on sound, not stature  creates an unparalleled aural experience for its audience.
“The process of selecting bands for the tenth edition of this festival began over a year ago. For this momentous occasion, I sought bands that have forged their own space at the convergence of heavy, progressive and dark music. Scorched Tundra’s mission is to give a new generation of talented artists from Gothenburg and Chicago a unique platform. The tenth lineup achieves this, while also mixing in extremely talented musicians from around the country. I look forward to sharing this exceptional lineup at The Empty Bottle on Labor Day Weekend.” states organizer Alexi D. Front.
Tickets for August 31st and September 1st will be $20 per night, and more exciting festival details will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Tour News - Doomstress Announce "They Come From Texas! Tour'

Doomstress will have just wrapped up a tour in May but will be hitting the road again in June on the  'They came from Texas! Tour'  to play Maryland Doom Fest 4.  (Doomstress Alexis & Brandon played Maryland Doom Fest 1 w/Project Armageddon). 

This tour will also include 2 direct support dates for late 60s heavy rock/proto-metal pioneers Josefus on their 1st ever shows outside of Texas!


Doomstress Alexis (bass & vox), Brandon Johnson (lead guitar) & Matt Taylor (lead guitar) will be joined by fellow Texan, Buddy Hacher of Greenbeard, pounding the skins for this tour! 


Tour poster art by TriStarr (http://tristarr.art)

June Tour dates:

6/18 Mobile, AL @ Blind Mule
6/19 Chattanooga, TN @ Ziggy's
6/20 Atlanta, GA @ 529 w/Tommy Stewart's Dyerwulf
6/21 Raleigh, NC @ Local Band, Local Beer w/Demon Eye & Disenchanter
6/22 Charlottesville, VA @ Magnolia House
6/23 Frederick, MD @ Cafe 611 - Maryland Doom Fest IV w/Windhand, Castle, Earthride & The Watchers
6/24 Norfolk, VA @ Pourhouse of Norfolk w/Shadow Witch & Witchkiss
6/25 Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie w/Goat Wizard
6/26 Canton, OH @ Buzzbin Bar w/Duel & Sparrowmilk 
6/27 Ferndale, MI @ Zeke's Rock N Roll BBQ 
6/28 Kalamazoo, MI @ Shakespeare's Lower Level
6/29 Chicago, IL @ The Hideout w/Josefus & PCW Syndicate
6/30 Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club w/Josefus & PCW Syndicate

Music & Merch:

Sites:
IG @Doomstress_band
Twitter @Doomstress 

YouTube: 
https://youtu.be/KcWevDQPURo

Record Label Spotlight - Forbidden Place Records


Forbidden Place Records is a record label based in Denver, Colorado, USA that was started in 2014. This label is a record label with a difference. As the label describe themselves as:

"An art and music label that focuses on underground and experimental works by national & international artists"

Looking at their BandCamp Page, Forbidden Place Records have a lot of cool artists featured on their roster such as STAVH, The Dead End Alley Band, SIXES, MEPHISTOFELES and RUFF MAJIK.

Though Forbidden Place Records do have a lot of other cool artists that fall outside the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal spectrum.

Links:

Willow Child - Paradise & Nadir (Album Review)


Release date: May 11th 2018. Label: StoneFree Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Paradise & Nadir – Tracklisting

1.Little Owl 06:25
2.Eirene 03:58
3.Land Of Sloe 05:28
4.Starry Road 04:32
5.Beyond The Blue Fields 07:00
6.Red Wood 04:22
7.Mayflies 05:34
8.Unspoken 03:56

Members

Eva Kohl: vocals, guitar
Flo Ryan Kiss: guitar, backing vocals
Jonas Hartmann: organ
Javier Zulauf: bass
David Kohl: drums, backing vocals

Review

Paradise & Nadir is the new album from Psychedelic Heavy Blues Rockers Willow Child. The album is a very well made album and shows Willow Child’s passion for all things 70s Classic Rock. It’s not really original as a lot of bands are currently performing this style of music. Sometimes it can be hard to standout from the crowd. However Willow Child manage to be one of the better bands from this over-crowded genre. That’s perhaps down to the superb vocals from lead vocalist Eva and the insightful lyrics contained on the album.

The album is quite heavy in places and the band are excellent musicians going by the msuic they create throughout Paradise & Nadir. The heavy psychedelic sounds of the opening track – Little Owl – takes a few minutes to get accustomed to. From that point on, Willow Child are in complete control with their vintage blend of Psych, Blues, Classic and Stoner Rock.

The production is quite good with the Willow Child’s vintage sound feeling like it was actually recorded in the 1970s. Songs such as Eirene, Land Of Sloe, Beyond The Blue Fields, and Mayflies perhaps offer the best songs on the album.

I’m not the biggest fan of this style of music. However Willow Child have made me a fan of their music and I do want to hear more from the band in the future. As they have something positive and magical around their music that makes you want to immerse yourself with the superb riffs contained on the album.

This is an album solely for fans of Classic Rock/Retro Rock. If you’re looking for an album with a more modern sounding groove then you will perhaps be slightly disappointed. However if you’re in the mood for that harks back to do the days of 70s Classic Rock with a few moments of Progressive Rock then Paradise & Nadir is the album for you.

Words by Steve Howe

Links:


Saturday, 26 May 2018

DOPETHRONE - Transcanadian Anger (Album Review)


Release date: May 25th 2018. Label: Totem Cat Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Transcanadian Anger – Tracklisting

1.PLANET METH 03:44
2.WRONG SABBATH 04:30
3.KILLDOZER 04:39
4.SCUZZGASM 05:20
5.TWEAK JABBER 03:44
6.SNORT DAGGER 04:25
7.KINGBILLY KUSH 03:14
8.MISERABILIST (Feat Julie)

Members

Vince - guitars & vocals
Vyk - Bass
Shawn - Drums
Julie - Vocals on "Miserabilis

Review

Transcanadian Anger is the new album from Canada's premiere Sludge/Doom/Filth Merchants - Dopethrone. The album is perhaps their heaviest and angriest offering yet with the band writing blistering political based lyrics and harsh Doom/Sludge Metal sounds. The band is five albums into their epic career and they show no signs of stopping their aggressive behaviour.

Opening track - Planet Meth - opens in trademark Dopethrone fashion with brutal sounding Doom/Sludge Metal grooves and the harsh growls from lead vocalist Vince. The heavy bass line is instantly recognisable as Dopethrone build up a thunderous sounding rhythm for a cool progressive feel. The lyrics are quite harsh. Even for Dopethrone. It seems the band have been heavily influenced by current problems within the world. As Transcanadian Anger doesn't shy away from creating gloomy atmospheric vibes. The band manages to include their deadly sense of wicked fun that's been a major staple of their previous albums.

Second track - Wrong Sabbath - is less volatile than the opening song but still manages to incorporate a lot of harsh sounding vocals, riffs and lyrics.

Third track - Killdozer - is classic sounding Dopethrone with fast-paced Doom/Sludge sounds but with more hard-hitting aggression. The song is perhaps the most hard-rocking listed on the album. As this song has quite an addictive groove.

The next two tracks – Scuzzgasm and Tweak Jabber - may have very tongue-in-cheek titles but they perhaps offer some of the albums heaviest moments with the band putting in a commanding performance. The whole tone of the album doesn't really change much but that's a good thing as Dopethrone are known for creating a certain type of sound. It's a sound they brilliantly excel at.

There are a few psychedelic and progressive sounds heard on the album that I really enjoyed. As it shows the band have matured into one of the most dependable and recognisable bands within the world of Doom/Sludge Metal.

The production is perhaps what makes this album. As the album sounds so brutally heavy from the start. You can feel the full force of Dopethrone coming at you from all angles and it's impossible to ignore. Especially on the epic last song - Miserabilist. A slightly depressing number with a few weedian influences hidden amongst the dark brooding sludge based grooves.

The line-up may have changed recently. However that hasn't stopped Dopethrone for constantly releasing great albums and Transcanadian Anger maybe their best album to date.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Transcanadian Anger is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl from Totem Cat Records.

Links:


Continuing Their Progressive Journey - An Interview With Nick and Marlon from SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI

It’s hard to believe that Sons Of Alpha Centauri have been around since 2001 and they are about to release their second full length album with Continuum. It’s also their first full length album since 2007’s debut S/T album.
Though the band have not been quiet since then. As Sons Of Alpha Centauri have released split albums and singles with bands such as Yawning Man, Karma To Burn and Hotel Wrecking City Traders.
Sons Of Alpha Centauri are considered pioneers of the UK Desert/Psych/Stoner Rock scene and it’s good to see the band return with a full length album of their own. For this album, the band have teamed up with Aaron Harris from Post-Metal titans – ISIS. Aaron recorded and produced this album and Continuum has a more post-rock/post-metal feel compared to previous releases.
I managed to catch up with Nick (Bass) and Marlon (Guitars) from the band where we discuss their formation, evolution of their sound and the recording of the new album.
Hi Guys. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today.
Nick – I’m all good thanks Steve. Thanks for doing the interview and good to speak with you again. Marlon is with this time for some variety!
For people not in the know can you give a brief history of how Sons Of Alpha Centauri came together and what the current line-up is today.
Nick – Me and Marlon (guitars) formed in 2001 and starting a whole host of different tracks just out of school. We wrote about 35 tracks and then asked some local musicians who we respected, but didn’t really know too well – if they’d be interested in playing drums and keys for the band. Those people were Stevie B and Blake respectively. They joined in 2004 and the band has had the same line up since then till now.

You’re about to release your new album – Continuum. What can people expect from this album.
Nick – the debut album split down two distinct but very different paths. One was the lighter, desert, stoner type instrumental vibes and that entwined with the darker, heavier contrasting ambient material. We worked the album into a hybrid of these two approaches and although it was quite long at nearly 70 minutes we felt that we have captured the band at the time. We were pretty broke too so had time to write and record. Continuum is a development of the darker material that we knew was always going to be the harsher cerebral side of the band. We extended the war and vessel concepts into the new album too so there is a natural extension of ideology so it still links through, even after 11 years!
It’s your first album in almost eleven years. Though SOAC haven’t been quiet. As you’ve released a high amount of split records with bands such as Yawning Man and Karma To Burn. Why have you decide to come back now with a full length album. Was it the time was just right to release something other than a split EP or record.
Marlon - We have been working on the second album now for several years. Originally it was going to be a lot more chilled however that went on to become the Yawning Sons project. 

We have enjoyed creating the singles along the way with Karma to Burn. But we also found ourselves writing in a darker direction and in the right place for creating Continuum in this heavier darker theme. 

The last couple of years we have been working towards the release of Continuum and once Aaron Harris said he would mix it that was just the icing on the cake.
Do you prefer releasing split records with other bands or your own albums.
Marlon - We definitely enjoy working with other bands and without giving anything away, we have a few more plans up our sleeves for the future. That said, time has been slipping through our fingers and recording our own album allows us to go 100% in the SOAC direction without compromise. Music can be self-indulgent at times and once we started writing Continuum we knew we were on to something.


SOAC seem to have taken on a Progressive Space Rock/Post-Metal sound on the new album. Compared to your other records. Was that the intention to return with something different.

Marlon - I don't think we intentionally picked a direction. Nick and I have two very different approaches to writing and who influenced us. Combined each track we write can vary significantly. Sometimes we find the darker side taking over - that's what happened here. It can also depend on what time of year we are writing, this album could be reflective of the bleak winters we have had recently.
Was this a hard or easy album to write and record for.
Nick - Hmmm… an easier album to write for but very difficult to perfect. Most of the tracks were hit out of the park straight by me and Marlon but Blake had a much bigger involvement in this album. ‘Io’ was written by me and him first and then Marlon came in and worked on it later. Blake has a much bigger role but it was another pair of ears that needed to be satisfied. The band has gone through so many personal changes over 10 years but overall the maturity and ambition of the album is what drove us to know that this would be our sophomore release.
Aaron Harris recorded and produced this new album and you can feel his influence all over this album. How did you get Aaron to produce your album and what does Aaron bring to the SOAC standard sound.
Nick – I met Aaron at an ISIS show when I was doing a lot of work with Seldon (Hunt) on the debut SOAC album back in 2006. Seldon was doing our t-shirts, logos and album covers and Aaron and the ISIS guys were taking a genuine interest. I think at the time as the band was taking a definitive form we thought we might end up as more of a Hydrahead band and there was a lot of talk of tours with Pelican. Anyway, Aaron was interested in the band, we traded details and we kept in contact.
When ISIS called it a day and Aaron went into production full time then I remember thinking that it could work out. After the release of the Palms album that he had produced and mixed I contacted him to see if he would be interested. He’s exceptionally busy and on average does like one or two albums a year but he said to send him through a couple of tracks, which we did. He was in. So, we recorded the whole album and sent it through to him for mixing and production. His production was adding stuff that although is the recorded instruments isn’t the original sound or interpretations.

What was recording with Aaron like. Did he provide any helpful advice when recording the album.
Nick – Aaron transformed some of the songs in terms of dynamics. He heard what we had recorded with fresh approach and different ears. Despite being instrumental we still do tend to have usually all four instruments performing at the same time. He used space and silence to build dynamics and even cut off or really reduce some performance. He invested a lot into the album, it wasn’t just ‘Here you go, cheers’ it was a whole other collaborative experience. Needless to say he has excelled the tracks to the next level and he was totally invested into the mood and concept.
H42 Records and Cobraside is releasing the album. Though H42 Records have released a few of your split records over the years. Was it an easy decision to continue with this relationship. Did you have any offers from other labels to release the album?
Nick – H42 Records have been great. I didn’t really look elsewhere as everything had gone so well with our previous releases. They really believe in the arthouse and unique version of each release. Jürgen invests in different colours, versions and each release in a way that is bespoke and tailored for that band. Despite the main pressing in five different colours which was one for each region, he did an Abyss Edition for this album that was different artwork, silkscreened with a 3” CD of a remix that we did of a track from the debut plus all copies come with a CD and an MP3 download the whole deal. It just really makes the extra effort for those people that do want a physical release to ensure that we cover not only all of the formats but it is a truly physical engagement and the best possible representation for the album, entwined with the artwork. H42 Records make that happen and we really didn’t think or look anywhere else.
Will you be touring and promoting this album heavily. Or will it be down to a few gigs and festival appearances.
Marlon - We already have some shows lined up, dates to be confirmed. Looking forward to playing the new tracks. That said, I have recently had my first born son "Logan", so whilst we will be promoting the album, we won't be going crazy.


The Stoner Rock/Instrumental Rock musical landscape has changed dramatically over the years since SOAC first formed and appeared on the scene. Have you noticed any dramatic changes over the years. Or is has it remained the same.
Nick – It has changed dramatically. I went for a drink with guys from what would become ‘Desert Scene’ after the release of Yawning Sons back in 2009 and there was very little in the UK in terms of shows and promotion but they had an ‘idea’. Desert Scene put on the their first few shows at the Underworld and we played pretty much the first 5 or 6 shows straight up. Then in 2012 we played DesertFest and then, well look at what DesertFest is now.
It’s a bit weird that we released a more stoner album back when post metal was in its hey day and now when stoner doom seems to be rocking it, then we’ve gone with a heavier more progressive output as opposed to I think, what was expected but then, SOAC are predictably unpredictable in that sense. We had to do what felt right for us, and with Aaron and John involved it is something which contrasts nicely with where the UK scene is right now.
Before you go do you have any words of wisdom to say to your fans. Best of luck with your new album as it’s a great sounding and progressive album.
Nick – Thanks Steve, that’s a great thing to say! Glad that you’re liking it and appreciate the progressive elements. I think the main thing to say is that we have spent a lot of time honing our craft but after 15 years we really feel that this is kind of the end of the beginning now. I quite like that we operate in the shadows a bit but it’s easy to be forgotten - this album is reinstating ourselves as being true to our commitment to the band and people who have followed us in our various guises that this feels like something special and we want people to be a part of it. Thanks again Steve and for your support as always. Hope to speak again soon!
Words by Steve Howe, Nick Hannon and Marlon King

Thanks to Nick and Marlon for doing this interview. Continuum will be available to buy from the following records labels and distributions sites listed below on June 1st 2018.


Links:

Sons Of Alpha Centauri - Continuum (Album Review)


Release date: June 01st 2018. Label: Various. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Continuum – Tracklisting

1.Into The Abyss
2.Jupiter
3.Solar Storm
4.Io
5.Surfacing for Air
6.Interstellar
7.Orbiting Jupiter
8.Return Voyage

Members

Nick Hannon (bass)
Marlon King (guitars)
Blake (electronics)
Stevie B (drums)

Review

Sons Of Alpha Centauri (SOAC) are a band that should rightly be bigger than they actually are. The band have been together for over sixteen years and have released one full length album and a ton of split records with legendary Desert/Stoner Rock bands such as Karma To Burn and Yawning Man. SOAC even formed a group with Yawning Man called Yawning Sons. One of the best collaborations within the Desert/Stoner Rock scene.

Now SOAC return with their eagerly awaited second full length album - Continuum. The album opens with - Into The Abyss - a stylish Post-Rock/Ambient/Stoner Rock song that feels partially inspired by John Carpenter theme music. As the electronic sounds could have easily fitted into one of his classic movies. The mood and atmosphere is very subtle with glimpses of heavy guitars threatening to break through.

Second track - Jupiter - has a gloomy sprawling post-rock atmosphere. The song turns into a heavy Psychedelic blend of Stoner Rock/Post-Metal. The mood is deliberately slow-paced but that allows the music to grow and breathe more naturally. The ambient post-rock parts of the song have quite a jazz based approach though it's the heavier sounds that make SOAC's music truly stand out.

SOAC carry on this style of Stoner Rock/Post-Metal hybrid sound on the remainder of the album with songs such as: Solar Storm, lo and Interstellar being some of the best songs on the album. Though the standout track has to be the epic final song - Return Voyage - which offers almost eleven minutes of finely tuned progressive Post-Rock/Post-Metal vibes though merged with SOAC's trademark Desert/Stoner Rock sound.

Some people are wondering why have SOAC ventured into the realm of Post-Rock/Post-Metal than their usual Stoner Rock sound. Well that could be down to the person who recorded and produced this album. Aaron Harris from legendary Sludge/Post-Metal collective - ISIS. Aaron has brought a true Post-Rock/Post-Metal sensibility for SOAC's new sound. I admire SOAC's creative choices on this album. As some of their fans maybe think the album is too heavy for SOAC. However bands need to progress and SOAC has made the perfect choice with releasing this album. Though SOAC don’t forget their Stoner Rock roots on this album As John McBain (ex-Monster Magnet) to master this album.

Continuum is a brave and bold album that's very atmospheric and even gloomy in parts. The album has its fair share of melodic parts but it's mostly a genuinely exciting and heavy audio experience. Everything about this album oozes class and it's perhaps my favourite SOAC record they've released so far.

With Yawning Man releasing a new album later this year. It's good to see the "old-guard" of Desert/Stoner Rock coming back and showing the younger generation of bands how to create a beautiful sounding album that has thought and intelligence to match. The instrumental work is wonderful throughout.

SOAC have put a lot of thought into the overall structure of the album. As everything flows beautifully together. Even there are no vocals; Continuum has a superb storyline that ventures into the vast reaches of Space. Continuum has the potential to be one of the best Instrumental Rock/Metal albums released this year.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Tom at Polymath PR and Sons Of Alpha Centauri for the promo. Continuum will be available to buy from the following records labels listed below on June 1st 2018.


Links: