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DOOM * STONER * SLUDGE * DRONE * PSYCHEDELIC ~ HOME OF THE DOOM METAL ALLIANCE REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS FROM THE UNDERGROUND

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    One for the What The Fuck file right here....

    It is with heavy heart that I must announce that Hour of 13 is on an indefinite hiatus. The 1one remaining show at Martyrdoom Fest 2013 in New York City will go on as planned, but after that no shows no interviews and no records. The massive lack of support for this band weighs heavily. Fan support is unmatched, but all other aspects support wise is a huge factor in this decision. We cannot be expected to give all and receive nothing in return.

    I thank it everyone of you for your message support you have shown throughout the years and hopefully this matter will be resolved and we will return, but at this point after June we are no more.

    Regards to all,
    Chad Davis

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    To celebrate the up and coming 12” split release with their acoustic alter ego COMA WALL, UNDERSMILE have some new T-Shirts available which features a snippet of the amazing artwork by Craig Byrant that’ll be emblazoned across the record sleeve.

    The shirts will be white print on black, limited in number and available in various sizes which can be ordered from the bands Big Cartel store at http://undersmile.bigcartel.com

    There has also been a slight delay on the highly anticipated UNDERSMILE and COMA WALL split 12” ‘Wood & Wire’, all parts are now recorded and mastered, the final touches to the artwork are just being made, so we’re expecting this to go to press in the next couple of weeks, with Pre-Sales starting on the  Shaman Recordings website in around 4-6 weeks time, watch this space! UNDERSMILE also have a string of live dates over the coming weeks, which also takes in an appearance at Hammerfest 2013 at Pwllheli, North Wales, the full gig listings are:

    Friday 1st Feb: Royal Park Cellar, Leeds *Wiht LP launch* w/ Bismuth & Wizard’s Beard
    Friday 15th Feb: The Wheatsheaf, Oxford w/X-1 & Agness Pike
    Friday 22nd Feb: Colchester Arts Centre, Colchester w/Serpent Venom, Meadows, William English
    Saturday 16th March: HAMMERFEST, N. Wales [info]
    Saturday 30th March: Sanctuary, Basingstoke w/Trollkraft, Cernunnos & Grim Iron Claw
    Saturday 1st June: Gullivers, Manchester w/Ishmael, Grimpen Mire & Bastard of the Skies


    In the meantime, UNDERSMILE’s debut album ‘Narwhal’ is still available from Future Noise Recordings  featuring 80 cathartic minutes of tortured doom.

    Source: The Sleeping Shaman

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  • 02/03/13--19:45: Ennui - "Mze Ukunisa" ...
  • It has been a while since there has been a new funeral doom album worth getting excited about but finally Ennui's "Mze Ukunisa" arrived in our PO Box and it blew us away. This is extreme funeral doom at work right here; 6 songs all 10 to 15 minutes in length and all crawling, monolithic slabs of suffering misery filled riffage and emotion. As a funeral doom band, there is also a lot to be thankful for. Nothing is overly predictable, even though is sticks within the boundaries of funeral doom. The opening track of this album is a good example of their unpredictability with it's immediate catchy qualities. These songs are indeed long but this two-man band avoid the obvious pit-falls of the funeral doom genre and keep it very interesting for all this 76 minute release.

    Along with stunningly heavy guitar work that can be very raw at times, the band also has a tasteful grasp on how to use a synthesizer and that adds a lot of atmosphere to the pieces. The tempos are mostly painfully slow but they do explode into uptempo death metal beats at times that comes as a bit of a shock on first listen. Despite the length of these tracks, it is hard to get bored when you have so much overwhelming heaviness and raw emotion on display here. A track-by-track breakdown of the album is pointless in this case, this is an album that has to be enjoyed as one monster epic piece of funeral doom drama. However there is some highlights; 'Dead Desires' is 14 minutes of great riffs, hooks, melodies, mood swings and tempo changes and is gripping stuff right up to the end. The following track 'Maybe the Time Shall Come' is similar but a 5 minute shorter jab of sorrow and misery but with the spectacular amount of crushing guitar needed to get the job done.

    The rest of the album is equally impressive. The only other thing worth mentioning is the vocals and the production of this killer release. The vocals or should I say monstrous otherworldly growls are excellent and are perfectly in context with the songs, sound and the production job. Some bands over-do the growls and grunts but this is a nicely balanced job that is done on this album and with the tracks being so long, the album is a lot better off for it. For funeral doom fans out there reading this, this is essential listening. I am hard pushed to find any flaws with the album at all. As a piece of funeral doom, this beast is a winner.....10/10.

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    Let’s go back to Downunder …I had briefly mentioned the split object of this post in my previous write-up about the recent release by Bro Fidelity Records involving Australian bands Hotel Wrecking City Traders and Spider Goat Canyon (HERE).

    So time to go through it!
    Recently the Australian label Bro Fidelity Records released this three-way split involving the Melbourne-based Wrecker brothers’ band Hotel Wrecking City Traders together with WaterWays, from USA, and Sons of Alpha Centauri, from UK.  This is certainly one of the top new releases for the label especially for the standing of the bands and musicians involved and for the ideal world-wide embrace that this split seems to enact.After the successful collaboration with Gary Arce of Yawning Man’s fame, back in 2011, Ben and Toby Wrecker had promised they would be doing something else with Arce. Well, they have only just started keeping the promise by means of this album which is cool soundwise as well as object-wise. Just look at the impressive care and beauty of this unique item, a deluxe tri-coloured heavyweight 12" vinyl where blue stands for WaterWays, red for Sons of Alpha Centauri and yellow for Hotel Wrecking City Traders. These distinctive colours also dominate in the cover arts for the American, European and Australasian versions of the release, respectively. If you go and have a look at the BroFidelity’s webpage (see below) you’ll see the details of such cool edition and the bonus features coming with it.

     Music now, and a few words about these bands collaborating with the Wrecker brothers. WaterWays is the newest project between Gary Arce and Mario Lalli (Fatso Jetson, Yawning Man, Desert Sessions … well, the man is an institution …) and also featuring Tony Tornay from Fatso Jetson on drums, and Abby Travis as vocalist. Abby is well known for a long series of electic performances and collaborations including those with monster bands Masters of Reality, Farflung, etc. Sons of Alpha Centauri, from UK, are a cool, dark instrumental prog rock act whose members are partly involved in Gary Arce’s other psych drone master project Yawning Sons.  As to the Hotel Wrecking City Traders duo, well, their elegant style in experimenting and jamming with ambient psychedelia, noise, desert rock vibes is by now well known and appreciated.

    The three-way split is slightly over 35 minutes in length and is dominated by four tracks by WaterWays (“Piece of You”, “Queen”, “The Blacksmith” and “WaterWays”), followed by one suite for Sons of Alpha Centauri (simply called “27”) and closed by a +9 minutes-long suite for Hotel Wrecking City Traders (called Pulmo Victus). So it is probably a sort of hommage, and a most welcome one, to Gary and Mario’s new project. The WaterWays offering is permeated by a delightful, etereal sound drenched with light, psychedelic trippy vibes and sustained by the infectious groove of desert rock vibes. Abby’s voice is beautiful indeed. I had never heard it before, such a cool surprise! Also Abby’s duet with Mario Lalli’s low voice (probably him …) in the groove-laden opening track is intriguing. Abby’s singing is interlaced with the evolutions of Gary’s guitar and both unfold over the dynamic, mid- to up-tempo beating background driven by Marios’ bass and Tony’s measured but effective blows on the drums. The fourth and last track by WaterWays is maybe less “hard rocking”  than the previous ones and acts as a quite ethereal, almost romantic, careless poppy conclusion of this happy, Southern Californian dream before entering the powerful darker, definitely more metallic, colder sounds in Sons of Alpha Centauri’s instrumental suite 27.



    This 27 suite is not a “normal” track. It had been originally recorded by Sons of Alpha Centauri as centerpiece for their 2007 self-titled debut album. But apparently this almost 9 minutes-long, fine track was too long for being featured in the album and eventually it was regretfully left aside. This version has been remastered for the purpose of the vinyl split.  Sons of Alpha Centauri build up their eclectic ballad around a syncopated, circular leading melody straying genres and equally oscillating between Joy Division-like sounds and post/desert rock vibes. The band like their pulsating bass accompanying the whole ballad, be it either when simple sounds of acoustic guitars are heard, like in the somber opening, or else when fuzzy or hard-beating, crunchy metallic riffs are employed or mournful organ-driven sounds are introduced.
    After the dynamic evolutions in Sons of Alpha Centauri’s suite, it is the turn of Hotel Wrecking City Traders and their tricks for relaxing the listener’s mind and hooking his/her attention by means of their ability in creating expectation via their charming combination of psychedelia and soft noise.

    The Wrecker brothers open their ballad Pulmo Victus with a slightly unsettling, drony background buzz which has a strong hypnotic effect like with didgeridoo. The pulsating yet delicate melody created by the (improvised?) jamming between riffs and drumming seems to almost physically dig its way through the background buzz in waves and only towards the end of this trippy ballad the melody seems to gain stronger energy for bursting out. It will die out swallowed by the drony buzz before fully exploding. Nothing tragic, through. The sensations conveyed are of laid back drowsiness like when lying under the shade in a very hot day, lulled by the buzz of chicadas and trying to find the energy for moving. And eventually falling back into peaceful inactivity, mmmmh …

    Get hold of this gem via BroFidelity Records.    BroFidelity Records

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    WaterWays

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    Myspace

    Sons of Alpha Centauri

    Official Website
    Facebook

    Hotel Wrecking City Traders

    Official Website
    Facebook
    Bandcamp

    N.B: Streaming …
    Bandcamp

    WaterWays - 'The Blacksmith'
    Soundcloud


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    I bet that you didn’t ever listen doom / stoner from India, well, everything changes in this unstable world. Bangalore-based stoner/doom/metal quintet Bevar Sea has been functional for the best part of two years now, having started out in late 2010, and having gathered an unprecedented cult following in the country in such a short span of time. Influenced by heavy blues-rock of the ‘60s and ‘70s, the band is focused on presenting classic heavy metal exactly the way it should be, by employing an organic, no-frills approach to songwriting and live musicianship. The band did release their debut album featuring some of their best songs in October 2012. The album was recorded by the band themselves in early 2012, and is mixed and mastered by Billy Anderson (Melvins, Neurosis, Sleep, High on Fire, Agalloch etc), with artwork from the band’s lead guitarist and artist Rahul Chacko. Here comes guitarist of Bevar Sea – Sirkanth Panaman. Be prepare to enlightenment.

    Hail comrade! I feel that most of our readers see your name for a first time, and more than this – I bet that they’ll be really surprised when find that Bevar Sea is Indian band playing bloody qualitative stoner doom metal. So what are main facts besides those mentioned above which me must know about the band?

    Hails! Thanks for the compliments, and for having us over at doomantia! I’ve been a follower of the site for a long time! I started Bevar Sea in 2008 as a hobby project with a friend of mine, and things changed over the next two years, and it eventually got a five piece line-up with two guitars and a vocalist, a drummer and a bassist. We practiced throughout the second half of 2010 and made our live debut in 2011, we recorded our debut album in late 2011 and early 2012 and got it mixed and mastered by the mighty Billy Anderson. The album saw a release in late 2012 and we’ve been really happy with the response it has received so far. We just opened for Anathema, a band which we grew up listening to, and we brought the house down. We’re pretty much on a high at this point!

    I think it would be right to ask you about band’s name – what does “Bevar” mean? And what were your motives to create the band? What is main idea behind Bevar Sea?

    Ha! It’s a play on the local language word ‘bevarsi’ which means bastard. Lots of doom bands have the sea/ocean connection as well, so that’s where the band name comes from.

    I would like to ask you introduce band’s crew for our readers, I know that some of you have musical background…

    Deepak our drummer is from LA Music Academy and is the most schooled of us all. Avinash, our bassist is from a music school here as well. Our vocalist/lyricist Ganesh is also a bass player and has been in local bands. Rahul Chacko, our lead guitarist, is also a very talented illustrator and does all our artwork. I’m Srikanth, the least talented guy in the band but I have the riffage, and am also the de facto producer of our music!

    Ha-ha, so is it hard to produce stoner doom from India?

    I think it’s hard to produce any real rock/metal in India. The producers/engineers here don’t really know how to mic a drum kit and get a nice natural sound, bands don’t use tube amps, and therefore most metal producers/engineers here take the shortcut to save costs and program drums and use emulated/digital guitar sounds. They don’t know any reference for the dirtier kind of music either, so they don’t really understand how to approach this. At least I haven’t come across those people – may be they’re working in big studios and are churning out crappy Bollywood music. That is why I made the investment and the effort to teach myself how to record ourselves, and then found Billy Anderson to mix and master our album. I think for the next one I hope to fly Billy down for the entire project.



    Does the origin of Bevar Sea work enough well as attractive factor for new listeners?

    We’ve got a pretty decent following here, and we see a lot of our fans coming to shows rocking our t-shirts. A lot of them weren’t very familiar with doom before we came along, and now they’re getting more into it. It helps that we play doom with the kind of classic/70s sensibilities that they’re already quite familiar with. So doom has taken off here more than I would’ve expected, and I actually am running a distro to help these people source quality doom titles in India. Eventually it’s going to help the scene here. There’ll be more doom fans, and there’ll be more doom bands. 


    How can you describe main characteristics of the band which you may consider as typical for Indian scene?

    I am not really sure. The one characteristic of the band that is similar to other bands in the scene is that we too struggle to procure quality playing and recording equipment because of lack of availability in our country. So we learn to work with what we have. For example, all our club gigs have decent PA systems and good monitors, but they have horrible amps, so our guitar players and bassists are always equipped with pedals and processors to go direct into the mixer. It’s a compromise, but that’s the only way we can survive the scene where there’s often no soundcheck and the equipment is worse than most first world-ers have in their bedrooms. I don’t know what else is typical of the Indian scene. We pretty much learn from the international scenes. Did that answer your question?

    Yes, it does! But don’t you ever think to combine some of your national culture features with western music?

    We don’t force anything. We speak to each other in English, we think in English even though we’re multilingual, and we all grew up listening to and watching western things. There’s still obviously an undeniable local flavor in us as people, and if that’s going to come through in the music, we’ll not fight it. But it’s going to have to be natural.

    There’re a lot different languages in India besides two official ones – Hindi and English, why don’t you use some of them for songs lyrics? Though – true to say – I have no idea how it could sound with heavy riffs!

    Ha! It might work. It’s just that, like I said, we’re all pretty much English users. There is a death metal band here called Dhwesha that plays Bolt Thrower and Dismember type music but with lyrics in our local language Kannada, and they made it work. We just don’t know our local languages well enough to even consider it honestly. It’s not like those Spanish/South American bands here – we used to be a British colony, and we have so many languages here to even keep track of, so English is pretty much the common language for urban people.

    How much did western scene influence upon Bevar Sea and how much of local influences do you have in your music?

    Absolutely no local influences in our music. Our influences are pretty much Black Sabbath and the bands that are influenced by them. This kind of sound might be generic and outdated, but that’s the way we like it. We actually don’t think about the influences too much – we all draw from a wide variety of heavy music and we work within the broad boundaries that we’ve set ourselves for this band. For Bevar Sea, we keep it heavy, groovy, riffy, with the 70s influence. It’s partly a tribute to our favourite riff masters, and partly our contribution to keep it alive and take it to the next level.

    What were first heavy bands which did entice you into underground scene? Let me guess… B.S.? Right?

    70s heavy rock would be our roots for sure. Also, most of us have thrash, death and 80s metal background. I was always into some form of doom, but I think in early 2000s when I discovered the Man’s Ruin, Tee Pee, Rise Above, Relapse, Small Stone Records style of stoner/doom/sludge bands that were more closer to the Sabbath sound and not the weepy European kind, that quickly became a favourite, and eventually wanted to form a band that played this kind of music. 

    Once I’ve surfed metal-archives trying to find any active doom band but I don’t remember that I get any band with a full-length album in their list, so we may suppose that doom isn’t popular at all in your country. How would you analyze modern tendencies onto Indian scene?

    Our city, Bangalore had a death/doom band in the 90s. Around the time we were starting out, they were making their comeback as well, with our drummer in the new lineup. There was also a band from Mumbai called Dormant Inferno which put out an EP. They’re more of the Peaceville Records kind of doom. Our ex-bassist quit our band in 2011 and went on to form a doom/drone type band called Djinn & Miskatonic, and our drummer has another band called Shepherd which plays more straight-up sludge with punk and Soundgarden type influences. That’s it for doom related music from India at the moment. Most new bands play djent, metalcore or whatever’s trendy and cool, but there’s also a small scene where the old school style bands are getting together and doing shows, putting out splits etc. There’s still not enough bands here for any proper scenes for sub-genres.




    I know that Bevar Sea play gigs time to time and you even did share scene with Orphaned Land, how often do you play in Bangalore and do you see perspectives of playing abroad?

    We played a dozen gigs each in 2011 and 2012, with a vast majority of them in Bangalore and a few out of town gigs too. Highlights would be opening for Kreator and Anathema of course. Since the scene here is not that big and not conducive for tours, our focus is really on getting to Europe with our second album after getting the most out of the first album in 2013.



    Both of Bevar Sea’s demos and self-titled full-length have similar paintings, who is it’s author and do you follow any conception using these art-works for your CDs?

    Rahul Chacko, our lead guitarist is the in-house artist for the band. We started with having a piece of art for every song we played live. We would project the artwork in the background as well. Whenever people got familiar with the songs and the artwork, we would also put out posters, tshirts, and stickers for sale at shows. The album artwork just has a big nautical themed painting that extends across 3 panels of the digipak, and it also has all the individual song artwork in the booklet inside. Chacko put in a lot of work on the album for sure.

    Man, may you comment lyrics of songs from debut full-length?

    “Abishtu” is a song about a serial killer and his ride that goes around tormenting hipsters, and is always on the run from the cops. Mono Gnome is a song about a midget, and the hots he has for a witch. Their commune results in a fire, because of a curse that the witch carries, that sets the world on fire. Another song, “Universal Sleeper”, is set in limbo, a drug fiend spawns a generation of workers, a populace - bent on mind domination. The second part, the song titled “Sleeping Pool”, is when it all goes bad, and musically it takes the band to their doomiest and the bleakest yet. Sleeping Pool will go on the second album.

    Srikanth, I think that our interview is quiet informative so let us finish it with few words about future plans of Bevar Sea! Thanks for your time comrade!

    Thanks a ton for the opportunity, Aleks. I’ve been a long time follower of Doommantia and we’re honoured to be featured here. Bevar Sea is in the process of doing pre-production work on some of our newer material – I think it’ll be put out as an EP/MCD later this year, or we’ll keep the songs for our next full length. We have to decide still, but we’re recording demos anyway because it’s become a habit – and they’re sound pretty damn good. We’re also a part of an Indian tribute to Motorhead, and I’ll be producing the album. It features a dozen of the country’s best old school style metal bands, and it’s an exciting project for us to be part of. It should be out in May. Apart from that, we just want to focus on writing new material and have enough new songs for the second album by the end of 2013. We will also continue to promote our debut album this year. A couple of shows a month won’t hurt either, and we’ve got a new management here to take care of that. Let’s see how things go.  DOOM!

    Interview By Aleks

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    Bevar Sea.Com
    YouTube Channel

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    England’s THE WOUNDED KINGS are one of several artists to be featured in the upcoming documentary Smells Like Sweat. Filmed at 2012’s inaugural Heavy Days in Doomtown Festival, the film was compiled by Unknown Factor, a DIY collective of progressive artists. The 30-minute film will be premiered at the Denmark-based festival’s warm-up weekend planned in Stockholm on February 22nd with an encore showing in Copenhagen on February 23rd. THE WOUNDED KINGS are set to perform at the premiere in Copenhagen.

    Regarding the film, THE WOUNDED KINGS guitarist Steve Mills says, "When we were asked to play the festival, we were one of the first bands to be approached and we all really liked the DIY ethos behind it so we signed up immediately. Little did we know it was going to turn into such a beast! Along with the crowd on the 23rd, this will also be the first time we will see the documentary. If the festival was anything to go by then the film will be loud, heavy and fuckin’ killer.”

    A trailer for Smells Like Sweat can be seen at THIS LOCATION

    Last month it was announced THE WOUNDED KINGS had signed with England’s metal powerhouse Candlelight Records. Questioned on the choice of label partner Mills shares, “When we were looking at new labels we were convinced that walking straight into one that focused primarily on doom wasn't the way to go for us. We all felt it would have been kind of limiting. So we are totally stoked to be able to call a diverse label like Candlelight our new home.” Discussing plans for the band’s still unrecorded fourth album, Mills says, “at the moment we are aiming towards a July recording but nothing is set in stone. We have a working title of Seven Veils. Rehearsals so far are shaping up. Expect this album to be our most expansive and heaviest yet.”

    The Dartmoor-based five-piece has released three full-length studio albums and a split album with Richmond, Virginia’s Cough since forming in 2005. The two-time Roadburn Festival performer has been finding a growing American audience since the release of their 2011 album, In The Chapel Of The Black Hand. The first album to feature new vocalist Sharie Neyland, MetalSucks noted her “voice is like ice water and mercury dripped down the small of your back in a darkened room. She’s like a post-apocalypse metal Grace Jones or Eartha Kitt.” Terrorizer Magazine called the album, “absolutely monstrous and essential.”

    THE WOUNDED KINGS is guitarist/keyboardist Steve Mills, vocalist Sharie Neyland, guitarist Alex Kearney, bassist Al Eliadis, and drummer Myke Heath.

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    Translation Loss Records has announced the signing of LESBIAN. The Seattle, Washington band's third full-length offering, "Forestelevision", is a single-song, 44-plus-minute all-encompassing force of nature. Never has an album sifted through the deepest trenches of prog-influenced epic-doom and blackened metal to produce such an awe-inspiring aural assault to the senses. Recorded at Avast! Studios with longtime producing collaborator Randall Dunn (WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM, EARTH, BORIS) and featuring gorgeous artwork by Arik Roper, the effort will see an early/mid-2013 release on CD (digipack), digital and 2xLP. The 2xLP version will come housed in deluxe gatefold packaging and include an exclusive vinyl-only extended outro bonus track.

    Consisting of guitarists Arran McInnis and Daniel La Rochelle, bassist/vocalist Dorando Hodous and drummer Benjamin Thomas-Kennedy, LESBIAN has grown accustomed to composing lengthy eclectic journeys that take the listener through myriad genres ranging anywhere from doom to prog to psyche to '70s rock to black metal to grunge and beyond. "Forestelevision" continues LESBIAN's music genre-defying journey from their prior full-length on Holy Mountain Records called "Power Hor", a split 10-inch with OCEAN on Roadburn Records, an independently released two-song tour EP, and a second full-length on Important Records called "Stratospheria Cubensis".

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    Southampton, U.K. doom trio MOSS will release its new album, "Horrible Night", on April 2 via Rise Above Records. Recorded during the summer and autumn of 2012 at Hampshire's Earth Terminal and London's Earthworks studios, the CD is the sound of MOSS emerging from its cocoon a much more savage, intelligent and all the more terrifying beast. While no longer obsessed with extremity for its own sake — with weirdly infectious riffs, eccentric vocal melodies and no song over 12 minutes — MOSS remain heavier-than-thou, broadening their horror beyond any imposed "scene" expectations. This mastery of the craft is evident from the opening moments of first track, "Horrible Nights"; written back in 2010, it sets the course for the album, taking the twisting death-crawl of MOSS mini-epics such as "Tombs of the Blind Drugged" and administering a lethal dose of addictive melody, cooked up by the colossal riffs of Dominic Finbow and the Ozzy-via-seance vocalizations of Olly Pearson. Cuts such as "The Coral of Chaos" and "Dark Lady" expand further upon this potent formula, dragging the BLACK SABBATH blueprint to its most nightmarish conclusion and ushering MOSS further into their newest dark age.

    With six tracks, MOSS proves more than ever why this English cult band is regarded exactly as such. While still no easy pill to swallow for the uninitiated, over its duration, "Horrible Night" will demand complete mind control. Nonsense prefixes such as "stoner", "sludge" or "drone" do not apply here; this is pure doom metal, a celebration of horror, the arcane and the unknown.

    Although traditionally a reluctant live act, in 2013 MOSS is set to embark on its first European headline tour, as well as make a return trip to Holland's Roadburn festival.

    Said MOSS: "We wanted to write something that would stand up over time… No disrespect to our earlier recordings, we feel the essence and atmosphere of those is still very much with us, but they were of a time and place that we're no longer part of."

    "Horrible Night" track listing:

    01. Horrible Nights
    02. The Bleeding Years
    03. Dark Lady
    04. Dreams from the Depths
    05. The Coral of Chaos
    06. I Saw Them That Night

    Source: Blabbermouth

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    Abysmal Grief are by now a cult band worldwide and there is no exaggeration when saying that there are hordes of doomsters in total love with their morbid atmospheres and their keyboard-driven crushing sound reminding of vintage horror movies, crypts and old cemeteries. Well, here at Doommantia we had spotted a smoke sign from the Italian music press agency Metaversus (why, wasn’t it my magic crystal ball?). And so with much pleasure we are here announcing that a new album by mighty Abysmal Grief is due out soon, very soon!  The new album is called “Feretri”, an Italian word meaning coffins, but in a quite formal way.  Perfect for the cover art! Abysmal Grief will poison your Valentine’s Day with their creepy funereal lithanies and frenzied Sabbah dances!  Feretri is the third full-length album by Abysmal Grief.  Here again the band will explore and worship the cult of Death and of Occult beliefs. Abysmal Grief’s sound will drag you into obscure and mystical atmospheres and creepy, horrorific experiences. Six new tracks for 45 minutes of obscure, negromantic doom … fans will be happy!

    Tracklist:
    1) Lords of the Funeral
    2) Hidden in the Graveyard
    3) Sinister Gleams
    4) Crepusculum
    5) The Gaze of the Owl
    6) Her Scythe

    Album Feretri will be out as CD by the Italian label Terror From Hell Records on February 14th 2013. The LP version will be out via Horror Records, the Danish label that had released some of the previous works by the Italian band.

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Abysmal Grief Links ....
    Official Website
    Facebook

    Terror From Hell Releases - HERE
    Horror Records - HERE


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    After the acclaimed, crushing 2010 debut album The Ruins At Dusk and after much successful live activity, the crushing New York-based hypnotic sludgy doom league Archon is about to unleash their new, second full-length album, Ouroboros Collapsing. Four tracks that will capture you for over 47 minutes with crushing, monumental heaviness and charming experimentation with styles, atmospheres and inspirations.
    Tracklist:
    Worthless
    Desert Throne
    God’s Eye
    Masks
    “With the upcoming release of Ouroboros Collapsing, Archon travels further down the path of devastation, disillusion and despair by exploring the depths of self as a microcosm for all existence. The crushing riffs are still heavy as fuck, but are interlaced with more contemplative ambience. With dueling vocals ranging from death growls to clean singing, and everything in between, the sense of universal collapse will engulf you.

    Formed in New York City in 2008 by Andrew Jude (of Agnosis), Archon's unique blend of the heaviest of psych, stoner, doom and sludge immediately caught the attention of their peers and critics alike and, in 2010, the band released its first full length record, The Ruins at Dusk.

    Since late 2010, the band has been comprised of Andrew Jude (guitar, bass), Nikhil Kamineni (bass, guitar), Rajah Marcelo (drums), Rachel Brown (vocals, synth) and Chris Dialogue (vocals, noise). In 2011 Archon toured the Northeast, and over the years has shared the stage with doom heavyweights Unearthly Trance, Coffinworm, Wolvserpent, Negative Reaction, Apostle of Solitude, Cough, Hull, Batillus, Sea of Bones, Graven and Earthride.”

    If you don’t know this eclectic band and you are not aware of what is behind these guys and gal and their way of making music, you can read some thoughts about their first slab of doom posted . 
    HERE

    The new, haunting Archon album Ouroboros Collapsing will be released as CD via The Path Less Traveled Records on February 19th 2013, but it can be streamed and purchased as digital release as well via the Bandcamp page of Dark Matter Recordings.

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Official Website
    Facebook
    Myspace
    Bandcamp - Dark Matter Recordings

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    It is nice indeed and quite encouraging when you see that there actually exist folks behind the underground labels that are able to believe in cool independent bands who built up their fame via heartfelt and relentless diy activity. There are many bands doing like this (for the pleasure of our ears and lives) but there are not so many labels like Gogmagogical Records. Gogmagogical Records is a new US-based label that started its activity right on December 25th 2012 with a monster release which is splendid-looking and kickass music-wise. A kind of release that is meant to stimulate all senses: hearing, sight, touch, sense of smell and taste.
    Hearing? Well, here I’m dealing with Violence, the killer surge of wild, crusty sludge-doom metal that had been released by mighty FISTER last year together with The Infernal Paramount EP and the two servings of demos, the 3424 and 5902 Demos. Sight and touch? Well, this new edition of Violence, that many of you knew and appreciated as digital release or tape, comes as totally solid and,  as FIVE incredibly awesome different versions of coloured 10” vinyl LPs!!!

    Sense of smell? Eh, it may come from the smell of new plastics when you’ll open the parcel, or else, it will be the fat joint you’ll end up lighting up while enjoying Fister’s bearded metal, that crushing, nasty and crusty, yet blues-veined sludge doom assault that hooked so many people around the world to this band during these last four years.    And what about the taste? Well, that will be the taste of the ice-cold beer you’ll like to enjoy while headbanging to one of these LPs, if you are not too keen on ganja, or else beer that you would like to share with this bunch of crazy, friendly metallers from St. Louis, Missouri, after one of their kickass gigs. And, well, why not, à-la-santé of the boss behind Gogmagogical Records. Because the new Violence album by Fister is awesome! For those who have never approached Fister before, I shall refresh some of the thoughts I had written about the first, coupled release of Violence and The Infernal Paramount last year HERE

    Fister are Kenny Snarzyk, with or without moustache, on very heavy bass and lead vocals, plus bearded Marcus Newstead on guitars and vocals and bearded Kirk Gatterer on drums. Fister play a “black-weed-poisoned crunchy mixture of Sabbath-inspired, seismic doom, and filthy, toxic sludge” added with crusty wilderness and invariably drenched with bluesy groove. Fister’s potentials had blasted out in the badass 2011 debut album Bronsonic which was dripping groove coupled with the band’s blackish humour. In the 2012 releases, and especially in Violence, Fister had started steering towards somehow darker sounds and evoking grim atmospheres with touches of somber melancholy conveyed by the background, genuine swampy blues occasionally and painfully filtering through the doom and gloom. In Violence the five tracks are organized as five chapters of a concept album devoted to tragic historical events involving war, racism, rebellion against oppression, and so on. Fister’s slow, raw, distorted, downtuned heavy music and tortured vocals are the narrating voice embedded in these tragic facts, which may be just the starting point for extending pessimism and cynic hopelessness to everyday life issues and disasters. You can read some details about this album in my old review  HERE, or else just “experience” Fister in their different shades of heaviness by streaming their tunes in Bandcamp.  Then you will like to “touch” Fister’s music.

    So we are back to Fister’s solid releases and, in particular, the re-release of Violence album. Actually Fister are not new to fancy solid releases. Last year that band had released a “candy pink” LP version of The Infernal Paramount EP which had to be played somehow backwards to be heard because otherwise an invocation to Satan would be heard. Look at one of the videos posted in the old review! I told you these guys are a bit crazy, eh eh …Well, also the original tape version of Violence was quite cool and stylish, but  this vinyl re-release of Violence is classy indeed, not to say, again, awesome …  The Violence LPs come as five different deluxe versions for both vinyl platter and cover and package artwork, each combination of colours and art inspired by one of the five tracks of the album and involving five different artists! You can read about and see more details about the variety of the release and the artists involved on the relevant pages in the label’s official website ( see below).  Impressive release, no doubt! So chapeau to the band for the achievement and to the label for the smart start!

    These new, awesome Fister’s LPs were released on Christmas day 2012. They can be purchased (One? Two? All of them?) directly from Fister during their gigs or else from Gogmagogical Records web store.
    Not easy to resist, eh, so rush …

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Bandcamp
    Facebook
    Gogmagical Records
    Gogmagogical Records Webstore

    For streaming: HERE @ BANDCAMP



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    If this band were any more death metal, the Grim Reaper himself would be afraid of them.  Remember when the main point of death metal was not mere aggression, but creating a feeling like you were buried alive? Krypts remember that time well. This is death metal that sounds DEAD...dead and rotten and festering in the ground. 2013 is barely into February as I write this, but it will a mighty task to surpass "Unending Degredation" when it comes to sheer morbid atmosphere. Many bands are trying to recreate the primitive horror of early DM...Krypts easily grasps that concept and manages to sound even more convincing than the old masters. This sucker has a dark, dark, DARK sound to it...deep, cadaverous guitar tones, bone-shuddering bass, decayed roaring vocals. The pace is very doomy and speed is very judiciously applied. I am of the opinion that you just can't have fast morbid riffs that are as effective as slow, crawling ones. Krypts' riffs crawl over your brain like maggots! For example, listen to the lumbering DOOM of the track "Inhale", which brilliantly gives way to the more up-tempo crush of "The Black Smoke". Devastating shit! Any lover of Grave and Autopsy will be digging this the most.

    I think "Dormancy of the Ancients" and "Open The Crypts" dragged on maybe a little too long and that is the only criticism I can aim at this macabre masterpiece. And the album builds up to its most suffocating and arcane track, "Beneath the Archaic", which is a death/doom classic. This album is rather like its cover art...bleak, oppressive, smothering all life, all hope.

    Krypts has arrived.

    Words: Dr. Mality

    Bandcamp
    Official Homepage

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    The doom-stoner psych scene of my country, Italy, has surely been graced by much attention during these last years. This probably also helped in opening the scene “internally” a bit more although Italian metal and rock fans are still a bit sluggish when it comes to support (both local and foreign) bands by going to their gigs. Anyway after the monumental and excellent compilations released last year by the Italian stoner-doom Perkele portal (HERE) and by Doom Metal Front zine (HERE), another impressive compilation came out at the end of 2012 in connection with the latest issue of the fine music magazine Vincebus Eruptum.


    Here is the title of the compilation: VA - Hofmann’s Kaleidoscope - "Expiation of the Psychedelic Hunters Vol. I". This release came out on November 2012. It is coupled with the limited deluxe edition of issue 14 of Vincebus Eruptum magazine, although it can be purchased as an independent release. In case you wonder who the man is in the colourful, psyched-out cover art, he is the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann, who synthetized the lysergic acid, better known as LSD, for the first time in 1938. So this compilation somehow stands out a bit because it is completely devoted to the exploration of the Italian psychedelic scene. This scene is a bit more submerged and even less known than the doom and stoner ones, in spite of the efforts of several true psych experts and lovers among the folks managing the Perkele portal. Well, these people (i.e. Roberto Mattei, Alessandro Zoppo and Eugenio di Giacomantonio of ExLab Records), had the great idea of pairing up with Davide Pansolin, Vincebus Eruptum boss, and creating this awesome psychedelic-only collection. A magic and, yes, happy psychedelic and acid rock trip lead by twelve bands ranging from long-lived legendary to emerging, extinct, brand new, “frozen” in a too-long stand-by, obscure, etc. Or better, as the authors nicely wrote in the press notes, “a unique trip into the murky swamps of the Italian acid rock, a one-way trip with the aim of bringing out both the forgotten gems and the new heroes of the visionary and dilated rock sounds in the Italian scene”. The compilation is monumental length-wise as it will keep you busy for almost 80 minutes.
    Here is the tracklist:

    01. CLARK NOVA - Gentlemen Start Your Engines
    02. ENORMOUS - Fly Low Dragonfly
    03. INSIDER - Dark Age
    04. MOTOPOLKABLACKSAMBA - Astroblues
    05. TRIP HILL - Fever
    06. ANUSEYE - Thirst for a Fix
    07. OTEHI - Sea Witch
    08. EPSTEIN SUPERFLU - The War Inside Darktown
    09. PERIZONA EXPERIMENT - Santa Canapa
    10. MY BRAND IS GRASS - Dolce ginocchiata (sui denti)
    11. ZIZ - ZiZ
    12. NO STRANGE – Pogaridade

    As you can see, some of these bands, i.e, Insider and Otehi, are not strangers here at Doommantia. I knew about a few other bands, but for me this compilation has been a much enjoyable and haunting experience of discovery. The best thing to do would be to listen to the comp, but I think it is worth spending a few words about each track and especially each band. The compilation is duly opened by the killer track “Gentlemen Start Your Engines” by CLARK NOVA. Clark Nova is a long-lived psych garage rock band from Varese. They started their activity back in 1995 and had their debut album out only in 2006, plus a cool self-titled EP out in 2009 and other appearances like in the 2010 collection Fuzztones Illegitimate Spawn Vol. II. Clark Nova will immediately hook you with their dynamic, fuzz-laden, bass-driven, dense and seducing rock tunes and trippy acid singing, influenced by new wave, and glorious retro garage, hard psych and krautrock. ENORMOUS’ track Fly Low Dragonfly is what made me aware of this cool obscure band devoted to space psychedelia based on improvisation and sonic experimentation. Enormous, now extinct, was a band from Rome active in the 2000s. They apparently released one or two albums and then disappeared. With its propulsory rhythm, track Fly Low Dragonfly is a perfect representative of Enormous’ debut album, impressive “Attentionbahn” (2008), an amazing slab of heavy acid space psychedelia merging heavy psychedelic rock sounds à-la-Hawkwind with modern psychedelia in the vein of White Hills, etc., prog and experimental sounds.

    INSIDER, well … Insider, from Pescara, are one of the glories of the Italian heavy psych scene, and, happily, they are musically alive and kicking. All their albums are great, both the old ones dating back in the mid-late 90s and the more recent ones, including the monumental 2012 album Vibrations from the Tapes (read HERE). Dark Age is a long suite from the latter: jazzy pulsating bass, fuzzy distortions, spacey pedal effects dilating the sounds and your perceptions, mind-warping cymbals, hypnotic drumming patterns … a riff-based, lisergic jamming trip inspired by Jimi Hendrix, 13th Floor Elevators, Hawkwind and the krautrock monsters. MOTOPOLKABLACKSAMBA follow with the infectious track Astroblues, taken from their album “El Delirio in Blanco y Negro” (2004). Motopolkablacksamba was/is a cool eclectic band in deep love with blues, jazz, psychedelia, garage rock and experimentations. On the Perkele forum I had spotted a quite effective definition of Motopolkablacksamba: “… as if they were coming out of a jam between Primus and Frank Zappa meeting on Saturn for playing post-psychedelic rock”. Lol … On the band’s official webpage it is possible to download their two albums so far, the one above and Delirio Pintado (2006).

    TRIP HILL is represented by the tribal-sounding drony track Fever. Trip Hill is a one-man-band / experimental project started by Fabrizio Cecchi back in 1995. The project is still active, proudly diy and quite prolific. Trip Hill’s music is made of instrumental only, distorted hypnotic, mantric ballads influenced by American psychedelic rock of the 60s and 70s, acid folk, raga rock, krautrock, improvisations, etc.
    ANUSEYE is introduced by the killer track Thirst for a Fix. Anuseye, from Bari, is basically the very recent, most welcome reincarnation of one of the coolest Italian hard psych rock acts and stoner forefathers in the 90s, cult bandThat’s All Folks!/Colt.38. Young Anuseye has got blood with memory in their veins. So their powerful sound, nicely developed in their 2011 self-titled album, blends abrasive heavy stoner rock with acid kraut- and grungy psychedelia, desert rock, beefy southern rock, etc., and everything is linked by cool, reverbered vocals on acid.
    OTEHI, from Rome, are a young, cool and skilled psych stoner/doom band already known to Doommantia (see HERE)
    Their track is new and taken from the split Otehi recently made with US stoner metal trio Sludgebucket from Oakland, California. In the charming track Sea Witch the band develops a strongly psychedelic-oriented sound where experimentations with dilated and reverbered, layered sounds prevail on doom heaviness heard before.

    EPSTEIN SUPERFLU is another intriguing discover! Their kickass track The War Inside Darktown is taken from the 2007 eponymous EP, i.e. what seems to be the only release by this meteorite-like Italian-British band, whose members come from previous grindcore/death metal bands! Infectious and massively groovy, heavy psych-bluesy doom/stoner rock lead by some massive riffs and awesome vocals … mmm!
    PERIZONA EXPERIMENT is another long-lived band related to Insider. As the long, charming and surreal track Santa Canapa (= Holy Hemp) will show, the band is definitely devoted to experimentations. Melodies may start from retro psychedelia and then move to space metal, progressive rock, noise or towards unpredictable directions. “Real” vocals are replaced by distorted spoken samples nested into the reworked sounds.
    MY BRAND IS GRASS is a totally obscure, emerging instrumental, raw psych stoner-blues-garage rock band from Villacidro, on the Sardinia Island (that is, the Duna Jam island …). They don’t even have a proper website, but basically some youtube videos with their rehearsals and live exhibitions at local festivals. Track “Dolce Ginocchiata (sui Denti)” (= sweet blow on your teeth with my knee, ehm) and those videos show how badass these guys are …

    The atmospheric, trippy track ZiZ introduces ZIZ, from Pavia, another rather new band involving experienced musicians belonging to various extinct bands, among which doomsters will recognize the heavyweight sludge-doom band Malasangre. Such heavy legacy may probably be found in the heaviness of the distorted riffs occasionally employed by Ziz in their dynamic style where ethereal space-psych soundscapes are dominant. A distinctive retro element is the use of Vocoder. The track Ziz is taken from the new album, “Ever” that was released a few days ago. Band NO STRANGE is left in charge of the closure of this impressive compilation with their psych-ambient track Pogaridade. No Strange, from Torino, is considered among the seminal bands in the international neo-psychedelic scene. They started back in 1980 and were active until 1992. After years of stand-by, the band was reactivated in 2008 and released a new album, Cristalli Sognanti, in 2011. The lysergic track Pogaridade evokes spacey, relaxing visions and sums up No Strange’s experimental attitude in combining cosmic psychedelia, prog rock, ambient, ethnic music and effects. Hence sounds vibrate in waves and crazy colourful sparks and flashes and eventually die out in the silence of a chemical slumber.

    Hofmann’s Kaleidoscope, this excellent and substantgial collection devoted to psychedelia can be obtained for a ridiculously low price by contacting Vincebus Eruptum, Perkele or the ExLab Records folks at the links and/or at the following e-mail addresses: davidew@vincebuseruptum.it, roberto_mattei@hotmail.com, ultramagneticglow@gmail.com, eudjex@yahoo.it .
    .
    Below I also add a list with the links to the bands, as they are missing in the cd. This is, for me, the only pitfall of the release. But this does not diminish the awesomeness of it.

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Vincebus Eruptum
    Perkele.it
    ExLab Records

    Bands’ links

    Clark Nova
    http://www.clarknovatheband.com
    http://www.myspace.com/clarknovasoyoung

    Enormous
    http://www.myspace.com/pouritonyourhead

    Insider
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Insider-Band-Italy/321353917954909
    http://www.insider-dome.it/

    Motopolkablacksamba
    http://www.motopolkablacksamba.it/

    Trip Hill
    http://www.myspace.com/triphill

    Anuseye
    http://www.myspace.com/anuseye

    Otehi
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/OTEHI/190206011036730
    http://www.myspace.com/otehi

    Epstein Superflu
    http://www.myspace.com/epsteinsuperflu

    Perizona Experiment
    http://www.myspace.com/perizona
    http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=5528

    My Brand Is Grass -
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wfELcn6emI

    ZiZ
    http://www.facebook.com/zizedelic
    http://www.myspace.com/zizedelic

    No Strange
    http://www.facebook.com/NoStrange
    http://www.myspace.com/nostrange

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    Not to be confused with with the US horror-loving death thrash metal band involving Vanessa Nocera and Elektrocutioner, Loathsome is a pitch-black depressive sludge/doom/drone band from USA, or else, according to the official definition, "One Man Misanthropy from Seattle, WA". The first utters from this project were painfully emitted during last autumn, mid-late October, and the end of January 2013 saw the release of a further massive dose of punishing tunes.  Because Loathsome is not only the name of the band … The two long tracks of Loathsome’s debut SELF-TITLED TAPE, released on October 13th 2012, are enough for getting floored by the crushing intensity of Loathsome’s extremely raw sound.  Extremely slow, ultra-heavy, totally bleak, drony sludge doom where sensations of  darkness, madness and pain are further enhanced by substantial but not excessive doses of noise. The long tracks see sick dark ambient-drone soundscapes alternating with violent bursts of extremely heavy and molasse-thick, raw blackened funeral doom-sludge metal possessing the coarse abrasiveness of Reclusa, Moloch, Corrupted, Hell, Karcavul and the gruesome New Zealand acts Invertebrate and Baboon King, Meth Drinker. Vocals are either netherworld roars smeared by distortion and murky production in the crushing sludge-doom bursts or spoken samples. The depressive, suicidal charatcter of this ultra-dark music sounds is well suggested by the grim cover arts in Loathsome’s releases showing a scared child, a man blocked on a chair with something looking like a suspicious experiment tied to his arm and the desperate hands of a drowning man. However it is impossible to be insensitive when at the very end of the self-titled tape the dull blow of a gun puts an end to anything that was troubling the painfully restless mind before, the mess represented by the violent bursts of sounds or the numbing and suffocating dark ambient intervals. Scary indeed …

    Towards the end of October 2012 Loathsome released DEPRIVED EP, four tracks dragging you back to the nightmare for 30 minutes. As stated by the band, these tracks are actually like the precursor to Loathsome and some of them were composed two years before. The EP sees the alternance of shorter tracks, between 4 and +5 minutes long, and long suites. In the latter  the band can better unfold the majestic power of their crushing sound via alienating soundcapes and the slow rolling of their glacier-heavy riffs over the suffocating, plodding rhythms of the cataclysmic percussions. The first short track, Maladaptation, is introductory to the majestic and obscure, almost ritual sludge-doom ballad in track Blistered. In the second “short track, Hindsight, is a mournful dark ambient experience where background noise creates the impression of relentless rain. As it was for the opener, also Hindsight seems to have the same role as preparatory track for the sick, grim to apocalyptic, noise-industrial madness dominating the final suite duly called Bleak. Sickening music is like dope, so for those who love suffering via devastating heaviness, Loathsome has more to offer with the new release, SCAPELUST, out on January 2013. This release includes seven tracks for almost 38 minutes, time-wise basically like a full-length. The final two tracks, actually the longest ones, are Black Flag covers. These tracks belong to the “manic depression-fueled recording sessions” from Fall 2012 and were originally meant for splits.

    Solitary notes and rants are populating the short, somber intro Lightless before the crushing track XII explodes. This cool crusty sludge-doom track is a bit different from what heard so far because of its dynamics deriving form extreme tempo changes. The sludge doom parts alternating with the dark ambient intervals are lead by faster tempos and have an even more crushing impact. Track Scapelust is mournful and martial at the same time with its layered sound lead by the dull sound of ultra-downtuned guitars.

    Tracks Soiled and Humiliation Rite are two monster slabs of tortured, sinister sludge doom leaving scars on your skin with their extremely coarse, noisy texture and the terrifying screams in the background sounding as seeping through the soil over a tomb!  The two Black Flag covers are Nothing Left Inside and Three Nights, both killer, nevrotic “Sabbathian” tracks from album My War (1984). Loathsome pours its boiling pitch and bleak noises over the almost laid-back doomy bluesy feeling in the sick Nothing Left Inside and turns the latter into a blackened sludge-doom nightmare. With Three Nights Loathsome retains some of the original groove but hyper distortion, scary chanting, the echoing percussions and the murky production make this suite as coming from a crypt.

    Just awesome …
    Can you imagine listening to Loathsome in a live show? How crushing …Loathsome is working on new stuff, splits and tapes, as announced on the band’s webpage, in collaboration with another one-man band  project from Washington State, Violent Inhalant, devoted to harsh noise, and Norwegian drone act Töndra. Keep label Amputape checked, the same label that released Loathsome’s debut tape. While waiting for more new gut-tearing stuff, enjoy (so to say) the first monster servings that are available for FREE DOWNLOAD via Bandcamp.
    You’ll be infected …

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Facebook
    Bandcamp

    For streaming:  Bandcamp | here

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    A bit of history and coincidences …
    Back in 2010 Bode Preto had been disclosed to the world thanks to the great taste of folks out at Terrorizer. A Terrorizer’s “fear candy” CD was where my first encounter with these Brazilian metallers happened, not long after a festival where these guys would have fit perfectly, the 2010 edition of Live Evil Festival where some legendary and long-lived Brazilian bands had set the stage to fire, i.e. Vulcano and Grave Desecrator. 
    Then I got hold of Bode Preto’s debut EP, Dark Nights, offered for free download on the band’s site. Out at the old Sludgeswamp I was concluding my post about Bode Preto, and their far too short debut, with a loud “we want more!!!”. Well, it took a bit of time and important changes in the line-up but Bode Preto came back with more excellent stuff.Which is again highlighted on the latest issue of Terrorizer.

    Bode Preto (= “black goat” in Portuguese) are from the town of Teresina, in the State of Piauì, in Northern Brazil. The band started as a trio fronted by founder vocalist/guitarist Josh S. Then the band evolved into a duo where Josh is in charge of vocals, guitar and bass, and is sustained by drummer Adelson Souza aka Angeldust, previously in band Grave Desecrator. These are the bodies and minds behind the new album by Bode Preto, Inverted Blood. The final addition to this team and to their release is none less than guitarist Fábio Jhasko Mello of legendary Sarcófago.
    Not bad, eh?

    So here we are obviously not dealing with doom or sludge metal but with equally gloomy tunes, genuine, pedigree-guaranteed Brazilian death metal, drenched with ancestral nastiness and darkness but also with much much groove and old-school character. That’s probably why these tunes are so infectious, especially if one is not into “modern” metal.  Moreover Josh has something in common with many of us: he has always listened to different kinds of music but he was struck and infected by Black Sabbath when he was an early teen! But of course legendary old-school death and black metal bands from USA, Brazil and Scandinavia are the main sources of inspiration for the sound of old and new Bode Preto.  So here is album Inverted Blood, which was released in early November 2012 and which includes 9 tracks for about 26 minutes.
    A spoken, or better, growled Anunciação (“annunciation”) is the menacing intro to the album which develops across the following eight tracks into a rather consistent way in spite of some differences between the tracks. This because Bode Preto by now have their own style.



    Bode Preto play a hybrid genre mixing death and black metal done with a murky production perfect of a dirty, lo-fi-sounding “old-school” feeling. They play fast, raw, quite brutal, with deep growled vocals, razor-sharp riffing, frenzied accelerations, furious drumming, blast beats, the whole lot. However brutality is tempered by loads of pure, Motörhead-ian punkish/  rock’n’roll groove. But Bode Preto are immensely nasty: Josh’s growls are powerful and scary and may even turn to deep bestial gurgles. Tricks of the mixing allowed a reverbered or  doubling effect of the vocals that make chanting even more gruesome, ancestral and three-dimensional. The conflicting coupling of such deep, ancestral growls with the frenzied rhythms of riffs and blastbeats remind me of the sinister, morbid darkness as in early Morbid Angel. This also reminds me an experience in Amazonas years ago with the majestic, scary roars of the howler monkeys echoing over the jungle at the twilight while birds and insects around me were getting crazy with their noises and calls.
    But in spite of the typical leading relentless rhythms, Bode Preto tracks have often a special flavour. For example this may come from the nesting of almost epic, haunting or ritualistic melodies into the fury, like in the core of the beautiful track Elytron (Succubus). Or else you get the surprise from some pure heavy metal solos fighting for emerging from the dirty wall of sound, like, for example, towards the end of track Serpent Inferior, one of the tracks where Fábio Jhasko Mello of Sarcofago contributes his guitar solo performances (the other two tracks are “Black Mirror” and “'Mother of Ferocity”). Also track Amorphophallus Titanum has something special as it is lead by a somehow swinging melody which is curiously and pleasantly contrasting with Adelson’s devastating drumming.

    The making of this album is something worth being told and reflecting how passion and kinship may deal with huge distances, like the over 3000 km separating Teresina, where Josh lives, from Rio de Janeiro where Adelson Souza lives. In spite of  computer connections and invariable exchange of files etc., these guys overcame an impossible distance for an underground band and ended up actually rehearsing together at Josh’s home! And this is how a simple collaboration at distance turned into a real band. Bode Preto’s Josh and Adelson are recruiting session musicians, on bass and second guitar, for touring in Brazil during April 2013 and then, hopefully, in Europe during the second half of 2013. Inverted Blood started as totally diy project and is available as digital release on the band’s official website. However the band was able to attract the interest of labels that have been and are distributing the album, both in tape and CD format, on both hemispheres (Ketzer Recs. in Germany, Goatprayer Recs. in UK and Läjä Recs./Death Noise Prod. in Brazil – see Bode Preto’s official website for details). Recently the band got some cool merch ready as well, like t-shirts with the beautiful cover art by Gustave Doré and stickers.  These can be purchased for supporting the band, together with CDs, also by contacting directly Josh at soturnusskullcrusher@gmail.com .

    If you like to alternate your doom/sludge with your dose of old school nastiness and darkness, like in Beherit, Mystifier, Sarcófago, Bathory, old Morbid Angel, Deicide, Celtic Frost and so forth, then you’ll enjoy Bode Preto and their killer new album as well …

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Official Website
    Facebook


    For Streaming:   http://bodepreto.com/album/inverted-blood-debut-album-out-now


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    San Francisco-based doom rockers ORCHID have set April 26 as the release date for their new album, "The Mouths Of Madness". The cover art for the CD done was created by singer and tattoo artist extraordinaire, Theo Mindell.

    Comments Mindell: "I wanted the cover of the album to be really classic and strong, like one of the records from my childhood where when you'd see the colors and shapes on it from across the room, you'd immediately recognize it. A classic 'icon' ...so it's very simple, really. But then I did a really elaborate painting for the inside that is totally ornate.. I wanted people to open this kind of sparse, plain thing and be drawn into another world that kind of visually told the story of some of the emotions of the record. Kind of like peeling a weird fruit open... the inner painting was really inspired by some of the Latino psychedelic murals that were done around San Francisco in the late '60s-early '70s... like the cover of 'Abraxas' by SANTANA, which is a record I grew up on and always loved. So, it's the 'ORCHID version' of those murals."

    Guitarist Mark Thomas Baker stated about the extensive "The Mouths Of Madness" production process: "Most of the tracks on 'The Mouths Of Madness' were cut in early June 2012. We were pretty fresh off of our European tour and full of confidence. The basics done at that time were the best recording experience that we've had so far. Everybody got along great and did great work.

    "We did this album with a completely different guitar sound than 'Capricorn'. I think it sounds much heavier in that regard. We take a lot of time to get things right. I hope people enjoy it and let it sink in. I think it's miles above our past efforts."

    Producer Richard Whittaker, who also took care of the latest BLACK SABBATH and THIN LIZZY rereleases/analogue transfers, comments: "I've been a huge fan of ORCHID since I first heard their debut EP back in 2009, and they've certainly come a long way since then. So, as you can imagine, to be asked to work with ORCHID on their records was an honour and a pleasure. They're a great bunch of guys and a stellar band to be involved with.

    "'The Mouths Of Madness' is such a well-crafted and awe-inspiring album. Sonically, its 1974 meets 2013 which, for me, takes the SABBATH/PENTAGRAM vibe to whole new level."




    As an appetizer and collector's item, ORCHID will also release the 10-inch vinyl EP, "Wizard Of War", on February 22, containing a brand new track, as well as "Demon's Eyes", a song that previously had only been released on an underground Halloween compilation as well as the extensive "Albatross", from the band's stunning debut, "Capricorn".

    The official "Wizard Of War" lyric video can be seen below.





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    "Death March", the new video from Indianapolis doomsters THE GATES OF SLUMBER, can be seen below. The song comes off the band's new EP, "Stormcrow", which was released on January 29 via Scion Audio/Visual, (a.k.a. Scion A/V), the in-house record label and lifestyle marketing division of the Scion marque produced by Toyota Motor Corporation for the North American market. The CD was recorded by Sanford Parker and it features cover artwork by Dave Quiggle.

    "Stormcrow" will contain five brand new songs:

    * Death March
    * (Devil's Grip) - Driven Insane
    * Son Of Hades
    * Dragon Caravan
    * Of That Which Can Never Be

    THE GATES OF SLUMBER last year parted amicably with drummer J. Clyde Paradis, who recorded and toured behind the 2011 album "The Wretch" (Rise Above Records).

    THE GATES OF SLUMBER started in 1998 as a backlash against the stoner rock trend prevalent at the time and with their mixture of BLACK SABBATH, SAINT VITUS, PENTAGRAM, and prime-era CELTIC FROST, the band has crushed or converted unbelievers ever since.

    "The Wretch" was released in May 2011 via Rise Above/Metal Blade. The CD was recorded at England's Orgone Studios with producer Jaime Gomez Arellano (GHOST, ANGEL WITCH).




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    It’s one of those postcard perfect Malibu afternoons: temps in the low 70s, sunshine sparkling intoxicatingly across the smooth surface of the Pacific, seagulls gliding idly overhead, and surfers and bikini babes—literally the only humans in sight—all seemingly moving in gorgeous slow motion.

    So why, instead of deepening our collective tan on the Zuma Beach sand, is Revolver sitting in a dark and cramped old bus parked two blocks away? It’s because this rusting vehicle has been retro-fitted as the playback room of Malibu’s Shangri-La Studios — and what’s being played back here today are three new songs from Black Sabbath.

    Truthfully, we are a little squeamish about hearing these tracks for the first time. It’s been almost 35 years since Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler last made a studio album together—1978’s disjointed Never Say Die—and nearly 38 since they convened to record 1975’s Sabotage, the last great long-player from the original incarnation of Black Sabbath. Subsequent attempts to reunite the original lineup in the studio have resulted only in a couple of forgettable “modern metal” tracks (“Psycho Man” and “Selling My Soul,” included on 1998’s otherwise excellent live album, Reunion) and an aborted 2001 session with über-producer Rick Rubin. So really, what are the odds that this new music will be any good, let alone be worthy of this legendary band’s impossibly influential legacy?

    Then, of course, there’s the troubling (and, for many fans, deal-breaking) fact that 13, the Rick Rubin-produced Black Sabbath reunion album that’s tentatively scheduled for a June release, was recorded by only three-fourths of the classic Sabs lineup: drummer Bill Ward opted out of the reunion in early 2012 over some well-publicized contractual disagreements. After much fan speculation regarding Ward’s replacement, it was finally revealed this January that Brad Wilk—best known for his work with Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave—had been brought in by Rubin to handle the album’s drum duties. Though Wilk is an undeniably talented player, the news of his involvement was met with more puzzlement than elation from Sabbath diehards.

    But whatever trepidation we may have is quickly put to rest by the slab of prime Sabbath sorcery that is “End of the Beginning,” the first track we hear. “Is this the end of the beginning? Or just the beginning of the end?” Ozzy asks mournfully over Iommi’s doomy opening riff, sounding like an older but not necessarily wiser version of the dread-filled oaf who wondered “What is this that stands before me?” at the beginning of 1970’s “Black Sabbath”. Boasting more badass riffs than you can shake a sack of dwarves at, the track only staggers to a close after some eight gloriously demonic minutes, with Iommi’s stump-fingered outro solo leaving a spiral-shaped exclamation point on the proceedings.

    Equally impressive is “God Is Dead,” a nine-minute track that moves effortlessly from an ominous opening powered by Wilk’s tribal tom-tom pattern into a swinging groove reminiscent of Sabotage opener “Hole in the Sky.” “Up from the gloom, I rise out of my tomb,” intones a double-tracked Ozzy, and you can practically smell the clouds of crypt dust wafting up with him.

    After the sonic feast of “End of the Beginning” and “God Is Dead,” it’s almost impossible to fully digest the seven-minute “Epic,” which could also easily pass for a previously unheard outtake from Sabbath’s highly creative 1972-75 period. And unfortunately, it’s also the last song we get to hear today, in part because there’s apparently still some confusion over which (and how many) of the other tracks recorded during the recent sessions with Rubin will actually make into onto the album—something we learn as soon as we sit down with Butler and Osbourne in Shangri-La’s living room lounge. (Iommi is currently back home in England, putting the final touches on a couple of solos at his studio, and continuing his treatment for the lymphoma he was diagnosed with in early 2012.)

    “Rick was saying there’ll be nine songs on the album,” says Osbourne.

    “Nine?” responds Butler, clearly somewhat taken aback. “We recorded 15—what’s going to happen with the others?”

    “Don’t you fucking worry,” mutters Osbourne. “They’ll be used somewhere.”

    “Next album?” Butler laughs.

    But track listing aside, Black Sabbath’s frontman and bassist-lyricist seem quite happy with the music they’ve recorded for 13, an album which began to take shape nearly a year before the November 11, 2011 press conference where the original Sabbath members announced their reunion.

    “Tony had tons of riffs—like, two or three CDs full of 80 or 90 riffs,” Butler recalls. “We were talking about getting back together and doing an album, instead of doing yet another tour with no new things. Tony played us some of his stuff, and it was like, ‘Oh yeah, there’s more than enough there—we can easily do this!’”

    But the sheer prodigiousness of Iommi’s riff surplus was, at least at first, more of an impediment than a catalyst. “There was so much stuff there, it was confusing for us,” Butler chuckles. “We couldn’t really pick out which one to start with.” It took a meeting with Rick Rubin to give the band a sense of focus for the new album; according to Butler, the producer played their malevolently bluesy 1970 debut back to them and announced, “Forget heavy metal—this is what I want the vibe to be. This is the direction. Don’t copy it, but keep it in mind. Play it like a live gig.”

    “We originally were a jazz-blues band,” Osbourne explains. “On the first album, it was very bluesy, very jammy, and that’s what Rick wanted. He didn’t want the songs to be verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle eight, bridge—he wanted it to flow.”

    Butler, Iommi and Osbourne worked together in England compiling ideas for songs, intending to return to the States and complete the songs with Ward. But after Ward left the band in February 2012, Tommy Clufetos (who’d toured with Osbourne and played on his 2010 solo album Scream) was brought in to keep time during the writing sessions, and play on a handful of Summer 2012 shows. The band then auditioned several drummers for the album gig; once Wilk got the nod—“He’s got that Bill Ward vibe, definitely,” enthuses Butler—Sabbath began recording in earnest with Rubin at Shangri-La.

    “Rick wouldn’t ever go, ‘That’s crap!’” Osbourne says of the producer’s involvement. “He’d go, ‘That was good, but just try it once more—you may be able to get it one better.’ For me, I’ve been the captain of my ship for so many years, so it’s kind of humbling in a way to be like, ‘Rick, are you happy with that?’”

    Rubin occasionally weighed in on Butler’s lyrics, as well, at one point objecting to the use of the word “fun”. “Rick said, ‘You can’t have that in there—this is Black Sabbath!” laughs Butler, who claims this will be the darkest Sabbath LP yet. “It’s all about death,” he says. “I mean, the old stuff used to be about death, but there was hope in it. Now it’s just…death. [Laughs] Forty years ago, you thought that there was some hope for the world. Now it’s like, you know we don’t have a chance.”

    Iommi’s cancer diagnosis obviously contributed to the sense of encroaching mortality that shadows this Sabbath album—though the guitarist behaved like a true “Iron Man” during the recording sessions, refusing to let his illness or treatments get in the way of the album’s progress. “He’s been so inspirational,” says Butler. “You have a headache and don’t feel like recording, and then he comes in from the hospital after doing chemotherapy, and he’s like, ‘Come on, let’s go’!”

    Butler and Osbourne are convinced that Iommi will beat the lymphoma and be strong enough to tour this spring and summer, but there’s clearly a lingering sense of sorrow and frustration over Ward’s defection, as well as the way the negotiations with the drummer turned into, in Butler’s words, “a bit of a soap opera on the internet.”

    “The only sad thing is that Bill couldn’t keep it together,” reflects Osbourne. “It would have been great to have Bill with us. I’ve never understood the business side of this. I don’t choose to go there. My wife does that for me, and Geezer’s wife is his manager, and Tony’s got his manager. So, I keep my nose out of it. But they couldn’t come to an agreement with him. I mean, I still love him, and I wish him well, but…”

    As of this writing, it’s still unclear as to who will be behind the kit for Sabbath’s upcoming tour dates. “We don’t know yet,” laughs Butler. “Maybe we’ll have a different drummer for each track!”

    Given how long it took to bring the original Black Sabbath (or at least three-quarters of them) back together in the studio, and the fact that Butler, Iommi, and Osbourne are all in their early 60s, it’s entirely conceivable that 13—or whatever it’s called—will be the final Black Sabbath album. Which brings us to our final question of the day: How would you like Black Sabbath to be remembered?

    “Just the fact that we’re remembered, you know,” says Osbourne. “We were just a bunch of guys who had fun making music, and look what happened! One day we had a fucking bag of French fries in in our hands—and the next day, we had champagne!”

    “That’s how we should be remembered,” cracks Butler. “The French fries and champagne band!”

    “It’s just been an incredible journey,” Osbourne continues. “I never dreamed my life was going to be like this. None of us did. We all burst off into different areas, and then we all came back together. And now we’re a family again.”

    “We were told, ‘No, you can’t do this,” so many times when we first started,” Butler reflects. “But we were a band that believed in itself, believed in what we were doing. Like with Tony now—cancer can’t stop him, because he believes in what we’re doing. Regardless of what kind of music you’re doing, you have to have that belief in yourself. And I think that was the main thing with us.”




    Source: Revolver Mag

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    Relapse Records this week unveils a pummeling upcoming split between two prime acts in the contemporary doom/sludge circuit, COUGH and WINDHAND.

    With both COUGH and WINDHAND hailing from the unrestrained Richmond, Virginia underground, the choice to team the two of them up for the brutal Reflection Of The Negative split album was a simple one, and the results are, as expected, thunderous and immense. COUGH leads off, delivering a characteristically electrifying down-tuned epic track, while their brethren in WINDHAND serve up two brand new epic songs for their half of the dirge. While the track listing bears merely three tracks, this monstrous split bears nearly forty minutes of premier doom at its absolute gloomiest. The album acts as a precursor for both bands’ upcoming full-lengths, which are both currently being conceived.

    Reflection Of The Negative will see official release on April 16th in North America, preceded by international street dates of April 12th (Germany/Benelux) and April 15th (UK/World). Today Relapse has released a visual trailer for the LP, as well as preorders for the album including digital and CD formats, as well as a super-limited mailorder-only black/white vinyl combo.

    In conjunction with the release of the split, COUGH will embark on a brutal month-long European tour. The majority of the dates will see the band joined by Witch Mountain, while several later dates will instead be with Grime, the entire trek leading up to Heavy Days in Doomtown. The festival, an international DIY doom/stoner/sludge festival in Copenhagen, Denmark, runs from May 2nd through the 5th, and will see COUGH sharing the stage alongside Graves At Sea, Pagan Altar, Samothrace, Moss, Bell Witch, Dark Buddah Rising, Lecherous Gaze, Mournful Congregation and many others.

    COUGH European Tour 2013:

    4/08/2013 Fonobar - Warsaw, Poland w/ Witch Mountain

    4/11/2013 Nuclear Nightclub - Oulu, Finland w/ Witch Mountain

    4/12/2013 Klubi - Turku, Finland w/ Witch Mountain

    4/13/2013 Studioravintola Paksu - Helsinki, Finland w/ Witch Mountain

    4/15/2013 Klub Püssy A Go Go - Stockholm, Sweden w/ Witch Mountain

    4/16/2013 Truck Stop Alaska - Gothenburg, Sweden w/ Witch Mountain

    4/18/2013 Schaubude - Kiel, Germany w/ Witch Mountain

    4/19/2013 O13 @ Roadburn Festival - Tilburg, Netherlands w/ Witch Mountain

    4/20/2013 DNA - Brussels, Belgium w/ Witch Mountain

    4/21/2013 Raymond City - Clermont-Ferrand, France w/ Witch Mountain

    4/22/2013 Saint Des Seins - Toulouse, France w/ Witch Mountain

    4/23/2013 Combustibles - Paris, France w/ Witch Mountain

    4/24/2013 Bastard Club - Osnabrück, Germany w/ Witch Mountain

    4/26/2013 Desertfest - Berlin, Germany w/ Witch Mountain

    4/27/2013 De Pit - Terneuzen, Netherlands w/ Witch Mountain

    4/28/2013 Desertfest - London, England w/ Witch Mountain

    4/29/2013 Péniche Inside Out - Liege, Belgium w/ Grime

    4/30/2013 Halle 14. - Karlsruhe, Germany w/ Grime
    5/04/2013 Ungdomshuset - Copenhagen, Denmark @ Heavy Days in Doomtown


     


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    Seventh Rule Recordings are pleased and honored to release the vinyl version of Stream From The Heavens, the long lost debut from now-defunct Finnish funeral doom masters, THERGOTHON.

    Among the most vital bands of the doom metal movement, THERGOTHON foreshadowed the epic appearance of the funeral doom subgenre long before their time. Initially formed as a brutal death metal act in 1990 in Turku, Finland by Niko "Skorpio" Sirkiä (vocals, synthesizers/keyboards), Jori Sjöroos (drums) and Mikko Ruotsalainen (guitar), a stylistic shift to a more original sound found the trio detuning their instruments and slowing down tempos consequently crushing the souls of non-believers.

    The band's short activity however only allowed for the spawning of a single studio offering. Released in 1994 via Avantgarde Music, the band’s Stream From The Heavens full-length influenced countless bands (see the great Evoken) despite its cult, hard-to-find status.

    Seventh Rule’s reissue of this long out-of-print and frantically sought after debut, back into existence. Lacquer creation was executed by John Golden perfectly retaining the original sonic dynamics of the release. The original art and layout has been revisited by Niko Skorpio with the original negatives scanned for artwork and packaged in a beautiful full color Tip-on Board gatefold, this release is strictly limited to 500 copies: 100 copies on 180-gram orange vinyl and 400 on 180-gram black vinyl. Preorders are currently available at  THIS LOCATION.

    Additionally, Decibel Magazine’s latest issue of molten metal awesomeness (issue #101; March 2013) offers up an exclusive profile piece with THERGOTHON discussing their profound impact on the doom metal scene. Order your copy  HERE.

    Stream From The Heavens Track Listing:

    1. Everlasting
    2. Yet the Watchers Guard
    3. The Unknown Kadath in the Cold Waste
    4. Elemental
    5. Who Rides the Astral Wings
    6. Crying Blood & Crimson Snow

    Source: Earsplit PR

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