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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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    Gandhi's Gunn change their name and become ISAAK.

    It's a new course, full of important choices starting with a very great news: a two-album WORLDWIDE contract with an American label.
    Scott Hamilton, founder and owner of Small Stone Records, the undisputed leader of worldwide stoner scene (responsible for the release of many albums by authentic icons as Acid King, Dozer, Los Natas, Sons of Otis, Solace, Might Could, Wo Fat, Five Horse Johnson, Skanska Mord and Dixie Witch among others), was enthusiastic about the project and sound of ex-Gandhi's Gunn and wanted the Genoese band in its roster.

    "We are very proud to become part of the Small Stone family" the Ligurian band members say. "This label doesn't need any introduction and will surely provide us a worldwide visibility" continues the band "and this can only be the best possible start for a project that will give us huge satisfaction, for sure. We are proud of our hard work and progress so far. We are so pleased to have achieved such an important record recognition".

    ISAAK have signed a contract that will provide for the remastered reissue of "The Longer The Beard, The Harder The Sound" including some unreleased bonus tracks, and a new full lenght planned for the end of 2013. "We're going to be able to announce our first European tour supporting an important American band" the members of ex-Gandhi's Gunn also reveal "and we're also planning our first U.S. tour during 2013 under the aegis of Small Stone. In the meanwhile we've started writing the songs for our new album, that will hopefully be considered a starting point for a new era in our history.. so, after celebrating the record deal, the time has come to give life to ISAAK, a band born to win a place of honor in the Heavy Rock world"

    Gandhi's dead. Isaak was born.

    ISAAK contacts:
    Official Website
    isaakband@gmail.com
    Facebook

    SMALL STONE RECORDS:
    Official Website
    Gandhi's Gunn
    Heavy Rock for Heavy People!!!

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    Fan-filmed video footage of CANDLEMASS' August 18 performance at Dalsjöforsparken in Borås, Sweden can be seen below.

    The band's setlist was as follows:

    01. Marche Funebre
    02. Prophet
    03. Bewitched
    04. Dark Reflections
    05. Dancing In The Temple (Of The Mad Queen Bee)
    06. Waterwitch
    07. At The Gallows End
    08. The Lights Of Thebe
    09. Black Dwarf
    10. Seven Silver Keys
    11. Psalms For The Dead
    12. Black As Time
    13. Hammer Of Doom
    14. Solitude

    CANDLEMASS played its first show with stand-in singer Mats Levén on June 5 at Debaser Slussen in Stockholm, Sweden. Levén is a former member of YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, THERION and TREAT, who also plays with CANDLEMASS bassist/mainman Leif Edling in KRUX. Also joining the group for the current live performances is keyboard player Per Wiberg (OPETH, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS). CANDLEMASS in June parted ways singer Robert Lowe. According to the band, this was "a very difficult decision" to make and "has mainly to do with the quality of the live performances." Lowe — who is still a member of SOLITUDE AETERNUS — joined CANDLEMASS in January 2007 and sang on the band's last three studio albums: "King Of The Grey Islands" (2007), "Death Magic Doom" (2009) and "Psalms For The Dead" (2012).

    CANDLEMASS released its 11th and final album, "Psalms For The Dead", on June 8 via Napalm Records. A limited-edition seven-inch vinyl single contaning two album tracks —"Dancing In The Temple Of The Mad Queen Bee" and "The Killing Of The Sun" — preceded the full-length effort on April 13.



    See more HERE

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    Another painfully, woefully underrated band is Hangman's Chair from France. In just 7 years they have released 3 full length gloomy gems and featured on a couple of splits and they just seem to be getting better and better and actually seem to be gaining in heaviness and sheer monolithic misery.

    'Hope//Dope//Rope' is their third full length album, their heaviest to date but also their most atmospheric and most mournful. The band are pure doom but they also dabble in psychedelia and a kind of doom blues and you will hear a lot of it on this new album.

    What is perhaps the bands strong-suit is they don't get hooked in any one direction for too long. They will switch gears from doomy plod to mid-tempo stoner grooves to melodic grunge in the vein of Alice In Chains but this is just scratching the surface.

    This album has 7 great songs that certainly pack in a lot in their running times hence they need the 6 to 11 minute songs just to squeeze in all the ideas that this band seem to have ample supply of these days.

    'The Saddest Call' opens the album with a sample of school kids chanting and I don't know why but I find the sound of kids yelling, chanting or just generally making a lot of noise.....somewhat unconfortable and unsettling. This is therefore a perfect mood enhancer for the opening of a doom metal album. The sample that starts the album has a suicidal element about it but the riffing that follows throws a range of different musical textures into the doom metal melting pot. One part Iommi, one part Wino and Windstein the guitar approach is not one-dimensional but rather a mish-mash of approaches that come together creating a powerfully crushing but very infectious sound. The track is equal parts grooves and downright drunken doom as it delivers hooks, both in the vocal and the guitar department. Vocalist Cedric Toufouti has a charismatic voice, perfect for melodic doom but it is also menacing and emotive when it needs to be. They seem to be using more than just one effect on the vocals on the album but it doesn't distract from what a fine voice he has.

    The first track bleeds right into the second 'Open Veins' and as the title might suggest, it is a bleak piece. The song about drug addiction again blends a range of styles from hardcore to grunge to stoner rock to a doom metal blend that few bands manage to create. The start-stop arrangement keeps the listener guessing to where the song will go next but it is the instrumental jammy section that is truly the icing on what is a spectacular track. 'Ain't Living Long Like That' comes next, pushing the album into even more murky waters. Sinister and wallowing in a psychedelic meets doom blend, this track is another flawless track that features some catchy as hell chugging riff work. The songs on this album are long or longish but they are so infectious so you never notice the extended playing times. 'December' is the odd track out in many ways and it is also the shortest tune that this riff-fest has on tap. The song leans on southern blues and doom balladry, sounding like something that Down might come up with. There are blues guitar, acoustics, emotive vocals but it seems the albums most "ordinary" moment, not bad at all but rather ordinary given the quality of the rest of the album.

    Moving into the second half of the album and it just gets ridiculously good with a hat-trick of epic songs, each of them majestic and captivating. 'A Scar To Remember' is a pummeling, pulverizing tour de-force that doesn't do anything you haven't already heard on the album but it still kills just the same. Without a doubt one of the albums most intense doom-driven songs, it is almost 9 minutes of some of the most menacing crossover doom you will hear this year. This is followed by 'Alley's End' which packs in stoner grooves, sabbathian doom riffs, psychedelic breaks, southern rock and even vocal crooning. The track becomes more "jammy" as it progresses with its final section sounding slightly off the cuff. This leads into the album highlight for me personally, the almost 11 minute wonder that is the title track 'Hope///Dope///Rope.' I love bands that always managed to pull that bit more out of the water when it is least expected and that is the story here.

    After a spoken word introduction that is basically Mother Nature saying she has had enough of the human race, this gorgeous and melancholic jam is hypnotic right down to its dying seconds and is a perfect showcase for the bands musical skills. It all comes to a close all too soon, bringing the curtain down on what is an amazing album that goes far beyond expectations. Hangman's Chair have always been good but this brings the band up to a whole other level of brilliance.....9.5/10.


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    UNIDA, the American stoner band featuring former KYUSS and current KYUSS LIVES! vocalist John Garcia, will perform at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California on November 24. Also scheduled to appear are ALL HAIL THE YETI and WITCHBURN. UNIDA's current lineup consists of Garcia, Arthur Seay (guitar), Miguel Cancino (drums) and Seay's nephew, Owen Seay, who is only 20 years old. "We wanted a young hungry dude with no baggage. We've been through a lot with different bass players and we have a super positive family vibe so we just wanted someone who fits," Arthur explained to CoachellaValleyWeekly.com.

    Cancino shared his enthusiasm about reuniting with his UNIDA bandmates, telling CoachellaValleyWeekly.com, "It's a really cool start over… a new beginning kind of deal. We took a long break and we're really building things from the bottom again and everything feels great again and part of that is having a new fresh bass player." He added, "We like hanging out. We laugh, we BBQ, it's like family with us and John. All the good stuff that was around in the beginning that made it work is still there." UNIDA returned to the stage on August 10 at The Hood Bar & Pizza in Palm Desert, California. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below.

    UNIDA originally consisted of Garcia , Arthur Seay, Miguel Cancino and Dave Dinsmore (bass). Dinsmore was later replaced by Scott Reeder, who was in turn replaced by Owen Seay. Paul Gray of SLIPKNOT fame also played with the band as a touring bassist. In 1999, UNIDA appeared on a split CD release with Swedish band DOZER. The UNIDA portion was titled "The Best Of Wayne-Gro" EP. Later that year, they released their debut full-length album entitled "Coping With The Urban Coyote" on Man's Ruin Records. UNIDA appeared on the High Times Records' "High Volume: The Stoner Rock Collection", contributing the track "Left Us To Mold". The band's song "Black Woman" was featured on the soundtrack to the skateboarding video game "Tony Hawk's Underground".



    See More HERE

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    Cielo Drive, from Rome, is a new band arising from the Italian stoner-doom rock/metal panorama.   The quartet includes Giulio Serpico Marini on vocals, guitars and effects, Fulvio Glerean on guitars, Francesca Kamelia Cascasi on bass and vocals, and Tiziano Giammichele on drums. Apart from drummer Tiziano, who is related to the cool stoner-death’n’roll band Camion, the other band members come from very different musical experiences, ranging from melodic death/black metal, dark elektro/prog metal to thrash/hardcore. Nevertheless Cielo Drive’s debut album, Red Magick Mushroom, is rocking quite hard as if the guys plus gal have been playing what they play for a substantial while! The choice of the band’s name, album title and album cover sets some reference points about the intentions of this bunch of rockers.  The band’s name reminds of the address of the villa where Sharon Tate, Roman Polansky’s pregnant wife, and her friends were slaughtered on August 9th 1969 by Charles Manson and his  followers. So hardly the mention of a Californian site can sound more gloomy than this one …  The album title, “Red Magick Mushroom”, is duly exaggerate in the way excess with strong hues and psychotropic substances is allowed in psychedelic rock, stoner and doom. And the cover art further confirms that these folks want to play heavy, retro, psyched-out and unholy music. And they do it quite well.

    Cielo Drive’s debut album is a full hommage to the big names of heavy stoner, southern and traditional psych-doom panorama, as plainly stated by the band that “ … was born from the personal desire to play and mix Stoner and Doom, with no special refinements or stylistic innovation, enriching the mixture with a good dose of Blues. The sound of Cielo Drive is naked, raw and direct …”. And lyrics are based on another passion of the band, of classic horror movies of the 60s and 70s, Horror/Gothic literature (well, Lovecraft for sure), and introspection.  So here is “Red Magick Mushroom” that will keep you pleasantly busy over 45 minutes with its six tracks. Yes, only six tracks, so you have to expect rather long songs (up to almost 12 minutes-long in one case). The opener “Dexter” introduces Cielo Drive’s powerful heavy distorted riffs drenched in dirty southern groove and enriched with wah-wah effects invariably sounding “American”. Vocal parts are added as somewhat subdued choir mostly in the first part of the track. This track is maybe a bit too long (over 8 minutes): the absence of remarkable tempo changes eventually dilutes too much the impact of the winning riffs.  The title track “Red Magick Mushroom” is lead by tough Sabbathian riffs and sees the vocal section getting more powerful and varied as well. This is a quite multifaceted track where the band mixes traditional doom, psychedelia (especially at the closure of the track) and even something, I guess, from the other musical experiences of the band members. For example, the interesting highly melodic refrains where even some growl is heard for a few seconds, reminded me of Swedish-type melodic death metal à-la-In Flames.

    The drumming style and sound (or the way it has been rendered) is something that struck me in this track as well as in the rest of the album: solid, thick, dense and sometimes rolling according to some sort of tribal/ethno style. Cool! The following tracks, “The Colors From Beyond” (this one as well so much of Lovecraftian memory …) and “Vertigo” (hey, that’s Hitchcock!) are where the band’s guitar players stretch their fingers on some more juicy dynamic riff sequences. Both tracks are comparably fast and adhering to the classic heavy stoner rock/metal style in the vein of Monster Magnet, Orange Goblin etc.. And speaking about the band’s musical relationships, these tracks are where the echoes of band Camion are probably most perceived. The luring spires of bluesy groove generated by the heavy distorted riffs make these two tracks quite enjoyable, but the stream of swampy groove cannot conceal some background sinister atmospheres.  A truly remarkable, highly distorted bass line can be heard particularly in “The Colors From Beyond” as well as the next track “A Crimson Ecstasy”, a charming, almost 12 minutes-long suite driven by a highly hypnotic psych doom theme. In this suite everything is slow-paced and plodding, i.e. the leading raw, distorted cycling riff, the double vocal parts (where Kamelia’s voice is clearly heard) and that impressive vibrating bass sound that reminds me of the one heard in Horse Latitudes. Everything is greatly kept together by the thick ritualistic drumming and cymbals in the background. Raw doped psych doom but enriched by a generous dose of swampy blues, like Electric Wizard or War Iron made southern.

    The closing track, “Saturnalia”, sees the band exploring psychedelic, desert, when not post-metal, territories in the long ethereal intro, although the powerful, beefy riffs heard before will soon come back. Again deformed vocals struggle for emerging amidst the riffs. The “desert” will come back in the atmospheric inset in the heart of the track, where again that cool tribal drumming can be heard and appreciated. A final “heavy metal” charge is there to remember that these guys plus gal are able to beat hard as well …So, I would say, a cool way to start!  If I have to compare what I heard in this album to bands in the by now big Italian scene, well, I think I may mention bands like Black Rainbows, El-Thule, Oak’s Mary, Hards of Orlac, and so on. Plus, obviously, something personal added by the band. As a listener, for the future I would advise the band not to exaggerate with an excessive length of the tracks and maybe to give vocals a more important role. Get in contact with the band for this cool slab of a debut!

    Words by Marilena Moroni

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    Cielo Drive – A Crimson Ecstasy


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    Message from the river-banks of Washington State............


    Nothing new to report, same old bullshit so here is a repost of the last update, nothing has changed except a cop told me to move my tent. I didn't know but apparently I have been camping somewhere where it is illegal to camp. I moved everything half a mile down the river and been there ever since. Yep, life sucks.

    Thanks to all the wonderful people who have donated so far. It has kept me fed for a few weeks now and I even managed a motel stay for 6 days. The latest is I am back to camping out inside my weather-beaten tent. Medical bills are kicking my ass so saving for a house/or apartment is a slow process but I am moving forward ever so slowly. I have no electricity (obviously) so life is pretty boring to say the least but I am trying to stay sane by writing reviews (the old fashioned way with pen and paper) and reading books. Listening to music is a random situation as damn batteries don't last too long in my 15 year old ghetto blaster and in some ways that is killing me the most. Music has always been my release so without out that, it gives me too much time to think which is not a good thing in my manic depressive state of mind.

    So this is just a little note to say thanks for what you have done so far and to say I am thinking of you and everything you have done for me. It means a lot to me and be sure when I do finally dig myself out of this hole, I will try and offer some kind compensation, maybe a CD or something. Thanks to Sally for keeping this site going, without you Doommantia.Com would have died weeks ago. Not many people know that she has been single-handedly running both this and the forum site and having done that before myself, I know it is damn time-consuming work. Thanks again folks, I am on the brink of losing my mind completely but it is you guys and girls that are offering me the strength and hope to carry on.....Ed.

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    NEW PODCASTS UP

    The latest editions of the Soggy Bog and Crestfallen podcasts are now posted on podcast page. Tune in and enjoy the two best doom podcasts on the net.

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  • 10/11/12--12:36: Orchid - "Heretic 10" EP ...
  • Sometimes you have to wonder what makes some bands so popular. Is it all hype or are they really that good? Some bands release a great début album so they have a lot to prove with their second release. Was their first release just a fluke ? Can they do it again, are they a one-trick pony, the questions keep on coming. Orchid perhaps know this better than most. They created a storm with their Capricorn album which received mostly overwhelmingly positive reviews almost everywhere you looked. Some people however missed the point and will continue to do so, take a look at this review of this new EP for example - Here.


    The EP 'Through The Devil’s Doorway' and the full-length 'Capricorn' are regarded by many people as the very best example of retro doom rock in the world today and with good reason; great playing, fine production and a songwriting quality that is hard to match, especially comparing them with the endless supply of retro/proto doom metal that seems to be getting churned out these days and lets face it, most bands doing the 70's thing are pretty forgettable. Orchid are one of the odd bands out. The band is pure sabbathian hard rock and certainly nothing original but the infectious nature of their songs makes the band impossible to ignore.

    The 'Heretic 10" EP' is here as a teaser for the next full-length the band is planning to release and what a teaser it is. If "artistic value" is judged on how memorable something is then Orchid have to be the most consistent retro/proto doom rock band the world has ever seen. This 26 minute EP release for the label Nuclear Blast is surprisingly good, I really thought they might run out of steam early in their history but actually the complete opposite has occurred. The band seems to be gaining confidence, gaining strength as a band and perfecting a signature sound that is almost guaranteed to make sure the band has a very long future in front of them.

    This EP is catchy as hell from the get-go. Opening with the title track, the band launch themselves into one hell of a memorable tune complete with heavy ass riffing, 70's organ, and a sinister, menacing vibe that keeps the listener riveted to the song for all of its 5 minutes. The band have always had a psychedelic edge without making it their sole direction any of the time and this opening tune has that early 70's prog meets metal meets psych rock crossover vibe. Every aspect of the band has an infectious edge from the bass grooves to the insanely catchy drumming to Theo Mindell's charismatic vocals. The band sound inspired and sound like they are truly loving what they are doing and that comes across in the passionate performance.

    Second track 'Falling Away' is when you realize this band blows away most other retro rockers. This track sees the band taking on a more experimental approach, bringing in acoustics and a style that is closer to mainstream rock than it is doom metal. Don't let that frighten you because the results are positive. 'Falling Away' is truly a piece of artistic rock music, the kind that can stand the test of time. A lot of EP's are of course full of filler. Bands use them to fill the gap between full length albums or to meet record label obligations but this is not the case here. Here we have 3 new songs of exceptional quality that are every bit as good as anything from the 'Capricorn' album. If the 'Capricorn' album seemed to get a bit stale to you after a while (this is a complaint I have read many times) then I suspect you won't get that feeling with this EP.

    The detour that is 'Falling Away' is soon replaced by the earth shattering 'Saviours of the Blind' which is pure Black Sabbath with an extra dose of blues thrown into the intoxicating blend. Again the band seem to be on fire, feeding off each other with passionate performances all around. The EP ends on 'He Who Walks Alone' which originally came from their début album 'Capricorn' and I don't know why they have re-released here because it doesn't have the some power than it did on the full length album and that brings me to my one and only gripe but it is a minor one. The production on this EP is not great, not bad, not a deal breaker but it does sound a bit flat and lifeless compared with the 'Capricorn' album.  Something about the mix seems a bit askew but I must stress, it is no biggie, just a slight annoyance.

    There is a reason why Orchid get so much attention.........they are fucking good. It really is that simple sometimes and while the retro-rock killjoy's will still find something to bitch about with this band, the faithful will love 'Heretic.' If you love traditional doom and retro/proto doom played with passion, integrity and authenticity, then Orchid is about as good as it gets.....9.5/10.


    Bandcamp
    Facebook
    Official
    Youtube

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    Clostridium Records are proud to announce the exclusive, worldwide vinyl release of Peruvian psychedelic project Don Juan Matus' third album, Más Allá Del Sol Poniente. The album, which earned record of the year accolades in such mainstream media as El Comercio and Caretas magazine, was originally issued in late 2010 via joint release between Espíritus Inmundos (Perú), and Golden Procession (Japan), only on CD format, making this the first time the album's available worldwide in an analog format. The LP will be released on gatefold 180g vinyl, featuring reimagined cover art by Karen Müller, in classic black, white, and ultra-limited die-hard marbled grey wax. The latter also includes an A2 sized poster and 3 postcards.

    Here's what the press has said about the album:

    A rewarding listening experience. It’s warm music, cool, invigorating and intriguing, it develops a welcoming creativity that opts for an open approach of music... Bertrand Marchal (DOOM-METAL.COM)

    Más Allá Del Sol Poniente makes itself required reading. H.P. Taskmaster (THE OBELISK)

    This may be the best album by Don Juan Matus. Highly recommended. Tapiman (MENTES DE ÁCIDO)

    Clostridium Records
    Don Juan Matus | Facebook
    Official Website

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    VIA: Earsplit PR .....

    Los Angeles-based stoner/groove metallers ALL HAIL THE YETI have confirmed their first official tour in support of their self-titled debut full-length, released at the end of August worldwide via AFM Records. Dubbed the Reconcile For Revenge Tour, ALL HAIL THE YETI will tear up and down the West Coast for twelve shows, performing with prominent acts including Unida (John Garcia from Kyuss), System Divide and many more along the way. Preceding the tour actions, AHTY will perform as part of a six-act bill tonight in Tempe, Arizona at a show sponsored by the metallians at 98 KUPD’s Into The Pit. ALL HAIL THE YETI's self-titled debut album boasts the act's most crushing, groove-laden, Southern-tinged stoner metal with over a solid hour of thunderous riffage. Featuring well-known tattoo artist Connor Garritty of Timeless Tattoos in Los Angeles, ALL HAIL THE YETI have forged their own path through what they see as a desolate Hollywood music scene. Recorded with producers Tommy Decker and Mike Sarkisyan, All Hail The Yeti was released in late August worldwide via German metal juggernaut AFM Records. Immediately following the album’s release, ALL HAIL THE YETI unleashed their amazing Wild West style video for the track “The Art Of Mourning,” chock full of brutal gunfights and gory head-shots utilizing actual .45 revolvers, a full-on lynching and all kinds of high-action entertainment!

    Check out “The Art Of Mourning” video and more AHTY action RIGHT HERE

    ALL HAIL THE YETI Confirmed Live Dates:
    10/12/2012 The Marquee Theatre - Tempe, AZ w/ Sicmonic, Among The Risen, Anomaly

    November 2012 Reconcile For Revenge Tour:
    11/09/2012 The Hood Pizza and Beer - Palm Desert, CA w/ Unida
    11/0/2012 Whiskey Dicks - South Lake Tahoe, CA w/ Murdericious
    11/12/2012 Shea’s Tavern - Reno, NV
    11/13/2012 American Legion - South Lake Tahoe, CA w/ System Divide, Idekay
    11/15/2012 TBA - Portland, OR
    11/16/2012 McCoy’s Tavern - Olympia, WA
    11/17/2012 Sunset Tavern - Seattle, WA w/ Zero Down
    11/18/2012 Tony V's Garage - Everett, WA
    11/19/2012 Musik Ink - San Jose, CA
    11/20/2012 Eli's Mile High - Oakland, CA
    11/21/2012 The Hemlock - San Francisco, CA
    11/24/2012 Whisky A-Go-Go - West Hollywood, CA

    All Hail The Yeti | Official Website
    All Hail The Yeti | Facebook

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    WO FAT must be one of the most underrated bands out there. The more-than-heavy-fuzz-from-Mars-pure-horror Texans are a league of their own in Stoner. “Noche de la Chupacabra” was a total blast and with this year’s “The Black Code” the band seems to be on killing spree. Did I neglect to mention an invitation for this year’s Roadburn? Kent Stump (Vocals, Guitars) has something to say…

    Dr.Doom: “The Black Code” is one nicest surprises of the year. I believe fans were expecting a new album from WO FAT no sooner than next year! When did you actually write the material for “The Black Code”?

    Kent: We started working on some of the initial ideas for a couple songs on “The Black Code” pretty much right after we finished “Noche del Chupacabra,” which would’ve been around January 2011, and the writing process continued for the next year. We knew that we wanted to get another album out fairly quickly because there was a bit of a buzz going around about “Noche del Chupacabra” and we wanted to make the most of that momentum. Ideally, I’d love to be able to put out a record every year and half or so, but sometimes it’s not that easy to do. The writing process for us is a fairly long one. Either myself or Michael Walter (drummer) will bring in some ideas that we have for songs and we’ll jam on them together. We record every rehearsal so that we can listen to the new songs take shape over time and we can critique them and decide what’s working and also see what needs to be changed. We like to let things ferment for a while as we jam on them and see how the grooves feel. Lots of times after playing a riff or a groove together, it will morph into something maybe a little different than what I originally was thinking, which is why it’s really cool to let the songs grow and unfold organically over time. We don’t usually come up with ideas from scratch in rehearsal, but we do work through and flesh out our skeletal riff ideas together.

    That being said, though, some songs do come together faster than others. Lost Highway was the last song written for“The Black Code” and it happened really quickly. I think we first started jamming on it in maybe February and then we did all of the recording for the album in April.
    Recording our rehearsals is incredibly helpful, I have to say.

    Dr.Doom: I found that the new record is balancing amazingly between heavy riffing and jamming. Do you feel that the chemistry between the band members reached its peak with “The Black Code”?

    Kent:I’m glad you noticed that! Yeah, we are trying to strike a balance between heavy and jam. We try to have a foundation of heavy yet groovy riffs that serve as a launching pad, a jumping off point, into extended psychedelic explorations. That’s a combination that seems to be somewhat uncommon, but seems completely logical to me. You know, it’s easy to find bands with massive heaviness and great riffs, but they don’t really go for it when it comes to extended jamming and sometimes those bad ass riffs just scream out for a slammin’ guitar solo over them, and, of course, the opposite can also be true –cool jam, improvisation-oriented bands that don’t have a lot going on as far as riffiness goes and that can sometimes get tedious after a while if it’s just about freedom with no structure and is just aimless jamming. We want the best of both worlds.

    And yes, I do think that the chemistry we have between us is stronger than it’s ever been which allows each of us to have more freedom and to reach further both individually and collectively. We definitely wanted this album to have an urgency and a very live feel to it. When we record, we track everything live together, so that we can get that vibe – that ebb and flow and give and take that happens when you’re all grooving together. There are of course some parts overdubbed and/or redone, but I think this is the livest record we’ve done so far.

    I am always baffled by bands that don’t record at least the basic foundation tracks live together. There’s a groove and synergy that happens when you do that. To me, that’s why we play music. Music is about time and interaction and communication of parts and players. You know, we’re always searching and striving for those fleeting moments of sublime groove when it all comes together, and we hope to capture some of that magic on the record.


    Dr.Doom: Do you think that jamming has become one of the basic elements of the band? Do you give much room for improvisation?

    Kent:It definitely has. Like we just talked about, we’re trying to strike a balance between heavy riffing and jamming and that basically means a balance between structure and improvisation. All of the songs have a basic form to them, but within that are some sections that are very structured and some that are more open and improvised to one degree or another. The long intro to “The Shard of Leng” is an open ended improvised jam that has a loose framework as a guide and we cue off of each other as to when we move on into the more structured and composed part of the song for the verse/choruses. All of the solo sections are improvised and both Michael and Tim (drums and bass) have the freedom to either stick with a more static groove or expand beyond that. Generally Tim keeps things very grounded for us with the bass and the guitar and drums can take things out a bit further.

    Even with the structured parts, though, there is freedom to take liberties with the riff. We have sort of a jazz approach to playing. Not harmonically but from a conceptual standpoint. Music is emotional and I think should also be spontaneous and reactive. Not everything should be exactly the same each time we play it. I mean, sure, there are specific parts that we do play the same each time, but I don’t want every part of every song to be that way.

     Dr.Doom: WO FAT has one of the most consistent styles all these years. What are the chances for a big change? Since it’s obvious that you guys come from different musical backgrounds do you experiment at all or try new styles when you are in studio?

    Kent:I guess there is a consistency there, but to us, we feel like we have evolved quite a bit since we first started playing together. We do try to work within a certain set of melodic parameters and I think because of that, maybe some of the evolution and change is kind of subtle. We consciously try to mainly use the building blocks of the blues as our melodic vocabulary but within that we do try and experiment with incorporating different styles and concepts and try to expand the language in our own way. We all have very wide ranging tastes musically, which I think definitely affects our music. It gives us different ways of thinking about things and different ways of approaching things and I truly feel that you can hear that wide array of influences, maybe not overtly, but subtly, maybe rhythmically or compositionally, in our music.

    For example, Michael and I both have been very influenced by deep 70’s funk and I think that informs our need to have a funkiness to our riffs. You know the blues has always been a deeply funky music and early on rock and roll, especially the heavier bands, like early Sabbath, Zeppelin and Deep Purple, had that funk engrained in their music. I think it sort of faded away a bit later and sometimes is the missing ingredient with some metal these days, in my opinion. Of course I live in Texas and I like that extra bit of spice thrown into a dish.

    Dr.Doom: Is it true that “The Black Code” is a self-recorded, self-produced, self-mastered record?

    Kent:It is true that is self recorded, self mixed and self produced although we did not do the mastering ourselves. I work as a recording engineer at a killer studio in Dallas that has a bunch of seriously badass analog gear and it just made sense for me to do the recording, especially from a budget standpoint, but also, the way the record sounds is extremely important to me. I believe the recording/mixing can make or break an album and since we know what we’re wanting to hear sonically, it is helpful, also, that know how to achieve that ourselves. I am not, however opposed to working with another engineer/producer in the future. It’s just not an opportunity that has presented itself yet. It can be good sometimes to have outside ears and opinions, although it would be tough to give up some of the control, though, I have to say. I think the sound of our recordings are an important part of what the Wo Fat persona is.

     Dr.Doom: Since I don’t have the lyrics, is there a lyrical concept behind “The Black Code”?

    Kent:Yes, there is an overarching theme to “The Black Code”. Our lyrical content has always been influenced and inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. I like using imagery and concepts from his writing as vehicles for telling my own stories and getting my own messages across. When starting to think about lyrics for “The Black Code” I knew I wanted to move to a more modern, science fiction kind of vibe and away from the swampy, hoodoo, horror themes I had been using for previous albums and I had been thinking a lot about technology and how we’re all constantly connected to the internet and various networks through our smart phones and wifi, etc. , and also how we are directed, controlled and educated, essentially, through these devices by often hidden agendas that we don’t even think about and how we spend more and more time living in this virtual digital world. We have more information at our fingertips now than ever before but we mostly just use this technology for mindless distraction. It’s an ongoing, endless means of advertising and directed-thinking run by, more often than not, corporate interests. So “The Black Code” is a Lovecraft style concept about this technology, inter-connectedness and wireless data that is constantly in the air around us and the idea of doorways and portals opening in the digital and virtual world that let loose digital demons through the cloud and networks to enslave us or do other more sinister things. I read a really cool short sci fi novel recently that introduced the idea of these quantum computers that opened doors to other dimensions and led to interdimensional servers where a website called Faust.us existed that was like a demonic ebay where people would essentially sell their souls, or prts of themselves, like their sense of humor, in exchange for wealth or success or something. Then whatever they offered up for their part of the bargain would then be collected by digital demons that would manifest from the virtual to the real worlds. I thought it was a really fascinating idea and I used that as part of my lyrical inspiration.

    The album isn’t so much a chronological story as it is a set of different tales relating to this idea of an evil computer code, maybe it’s sentient, or maybe it’s a tool for something more sinister, that enslaves and or destroys us . A couple songs are more loosely related than the others, but I’ll leave that to the listener to ponder.



    Dr.Doom: You (Kent) must have one of the most characteristic singing styles in the genre and I didn’t realize this until “The Black Code”. Can you reveal any inspirations or singers that you admire?

    Kent:Hopefully that’s a good, thing! Haha! (Dr.Doom: It is, unless Lemmy’s singing is bad). Singing, for me, has been something of a journey of trying to figure out what I can do and what I can’t do. I’ve always loved singers like Robert Plant or Chris Cornell or David Coverdale, but I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I’ll never be able to sing like that, so I just kind of have to embrace what I can do and just do what I do. Some other singers that I’m really dig are Jan Bengtsson of Skanska Mord and of course, John Garcia, who is completely a badass and is one of my favorites.

    Speaking specifically about “The Black Code”, I think the vocals are the best that we’ve had so far with Wo Fat and I did get a lot of inspiration for the performances from listening to Elmore James. I think his singing just kills and I was trying to cop a little bit of his style. I’m not saying that I sound like Elmore, but I hope that the vibe comes through. Great singing is something that’s hard to do and I think that for certain aspects of it, you’re either born with it or you’re not. To me, though, a killer singer is heavier than just a screamer that doesn’t do any kind of melody.

    Dr.Doom: WO FAT is a band that smells 70’s all the way but lately more and more bands turn to 70’s for inspiration. Do you listen to any new stuff (i.e. post 2000) at all? Do you have any favorites?

    Kent:We love the 70’s, man! But yeah, we listen to a lot of new stuff too. I, myself go through phases where I’ll listen to certain bands or styles a lot for a little while. For example, I went through a period during the writing of some of “The Black Code” songs where I was heavily into a number of Blackfoot records from the late 70’s. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of newer music. It varies. We get a lot of inspiration from 70’s rock, but we also like the modern heaviness and we like to combine elements of both of those things. There are a bunch of post 2000 bands that I dig heavily. The new High on Fire record is a monster (and obviously Sleep is a big influence on Wo Fat). I just recently got the new Tombstones album, which is also a monster, as well as the new record from Wight– also quite bitchin’. Of course Church of Misery are a favorite of mine as well as Las Cruces , who are some fellow Texas boys. The ReStoned, Earthride. The Egocentrics, Premonition 13, Stonehelm, Bongzilla, Ufomammut, Smoking Spore, Orchid, Maligno. I could go on and on probably. There are so many great bands out there right now.

     Dr.Doom: Small Stone Records has become one of my favorite labels but how did you decide to shift from Nasoni records to Small Stone Records?

    Kent:Well, we were actually really happy with everything Nasoni did for us and I’ve got nothing but great things to say about them and I truly believe they played an instrumental role in getting us where we are now. Our previous album, “Noche del Chupacabra”,was very well received and when we were about to start working on “The Black Code,” because of the momentum we had from that, we felt like it was time to try and step things up a notch and Small Stone seemed like the perfect label to do just that. Small Stone has solid worldwide distribution, an awesome reputation and name recognition and, best of all, they have released so many killer records over the years that are now classics in the genre and for us to be able to be a part of that catalog and history is a huge honor for us as well as a bit humbling. We were really thrilled to be able to work out a deal with Small Stone and already, even before we’ve had the new album released in physical form (vinyl/cd’s), we’re already seeing the benefit of being associated with Small Stone. Being invited to Roadburn this year I think is one indication of that.

    Dr.Doom: Invitation to this year’s Roadburn is certainly a big reward for your efforts but did you know much about Roadburn in the first place? Do you tour much in the U.S.?

    Kent:I’ve known about Roadburn for a long time. I remember, it must’ve been around 1999 or 2000, and I discovered the Roadburn website, which back then had some wacky url that I couldn’t ever remember, and that’s one of the places where I learned about some great obscure 70’s bands. I remember also always reading about the festival when they started doing that and ever since we started Wo Fat, playing Roadburn has been something that I’ve wanted to do. So, needless to say, the invitation to Roadburn is something that is pretty huge for us.

    Dr.Doom: Have you ever felt that WO FAT is underrated or that you don’t get the recognition you deserve?

    Kent: Man, I’m just thrilled when anybody digs our music. Don’t get me wrong – I stand behind our music and what we’ve done and I’m proud of that, but we try to make music that WE dig and if other people like it, then that’s even better. Of course who doesn’t want more recognition? But ultimately, I’m a just fan of this music– metal, stoner rock, doom, heavy psych, 70’s rock, blues – and for me, I’m just really happy to add our voice to the unfolding story of this music. I think if we get too worried about what people think or what people’s expectations or criticisms are, then it will negatively affect our creativity and our sound and we just need to stay true to what we dig and keep doing our thing. Just getting to where we are is pretty damn cool. Getting further and doing bigger things would be even cooler.

     Dr.Doom: Now this is a question from the fans! Are there any plans for touring Europe this year, next year, ever…?

    Kent:We are actually in the process of putting together a tour right around Roadburn as we speak. This first time around it will be kind of a short tour because of our commitments here at home, but if things go well, we plan on doing a longer tour in the future. But we’re gonna hit as many places as we can this time. Coming to Europe has been a goal of ours for a long time and we’re really stoked about actually making it happen. The expense of getting there has always been our main impediment, so we are about to start a kickstarter.com campaign to help raise the funds for air fare to get us there and back, so check our facebook page (HERE) for information about that.



    Dr.Doom: Before we close, since I know that your name comes from the evil mastermind of the legendary “Hawaii 5-0” series do you watch the new version?

    Kent:It’s funny that you bring that up. Man, no I don’t watch the new version because, honestly, I’m really disappointed that they made a new version and that it really is nothing like the original (Dr.Doom: That’s the answer I was hoping for). The original is just a classic and it had arguably, one of the best opening credit sequences ever. It had this cool 70’s vibe plus had cool mysterious eastern/asian overtones to it, especially the Wo Fat character, who was sinister and enigmatic and seemed ancient in a way. The new version I think just lacks so much of what made the original series a classic. Also, it’s kind of a drag that the name Wo Fat is now associated with a current tv show. Originally, when we picked the name, it was just a somewhat obscure 70’s reference.

    Dr.Doom: Thanks a million for this interview! Take care!

    Kent:Thank you! We hope to see you at Roadburn!

    Interview By Dr Doom Metal ( Dr Dooms Lair )








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    “El Sur De La Fe”, the new video by the Venezuelan sludge/ doom quartet Cultura Tres, can be seen below:

     



    The clip is produced and directed by Juan de Ferrari (guitar) and Alejandro Londoño (guitar,vocals). “El Sur De La Fe” comes from the critically acclaimed second Cultura Tres album “El Mal Del Bien”, which will see its release in CD format through the UK label Devouter Records (HERE) on November 12th. The song can be downloaded for free HERE

    “In English "El Sur De La Fe" means something like "South of the Faith"- says Alejandro -“For us it refers to two things: the way religion is experienced in the area where we come from and the hidden side of the faith and its illusive benefits. We would like people to reflect on the impact religion has had on the lives of the original inhabitants of the Americas; how the Catholic church and it's covered-up, gold hungry crusade practically exterminated a culture older than Christianity itself. In this sense, we didn't choose Oct 12th for the premiere of the video by accident; it is a day to contemplate and condemn the invasion and genocide that followed. Unfortunately, repressive, genocidal and extermination policies are still present in many parts of the world and in 21st century Religion is still married to Politics; and this marriage is still used to instill fear and maintain ignorance, often backed up by one of their most faithful children: War. This is what this clip is about.”

     To support the CD release of "El Mal Del Bien", Cultura Tres will play in UK on the following dates:

    Nov 15th – Colchester @ The Hole in the Wall
    Nov 17th – Birmingham @ The Asylum
    Nov 18th – London @ The Purple Turtle

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    On October 1, Josh Rundquist (a.k.a. That Drummer Guy) conducted an interview with guitarist Dave Chandler of doom metal legends SAINT VITUS before the band's performance at The Triple Rock in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below. SAINT VITUS' new album, "Lillie: F-65", was released in North America on May 22 via Season Of Mist. SAINT VITUS recently released a seven-inch single featuring "Blessed Night", a track from "Lillie: F-65". The B-side is a live version of classic VITUS tune "Look Behind You", recorded in December 2010 at Z7 in Pratteln, Switzerland. The band's current lineup features Chandler, drummer Henry Vasquez, bassist Mark Adams and Weinrich.


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    Thanks to Fabrizio Garau and Michele Giorgi out at the Italian webzine The New Noise (The New Noise) for allowing me to post the English version of their exclusive interviews to three honourable members of mighty EYEHATEGOD: frontman Mike IX Williams, bassist Gary Mader and guitarist Brian Patton.  The three interviews were agreed between The New Noise and the musicians with the help of Jennifer Reisberg of label A389  (A389 Records) in the occasion of the release of the new single “New Orleans Is The New Vietnam”. (Bandcamp



    I, Marilena, did the interviews between September 21st and 24th  2012. First I had a long phone chat with Mike IX Williams on Friday evening September 21st. With Gary Mader and Brian Patton I did interviews via chat/e-mail during the night of Friday September 21st and Saturday September 22nd and on Monday evening September 24th respectively. So thanks to everybody for kindness and friendly attitude!This post deals with the first interview, with Mike IX Williams. That was my first ever phone interview in my life, and I couldn’t ask for a more monster “baptism”! Mike IX Williams of Eyehategod … As you may guess, I was completely upset: broken voice out of emotion, total amnesia of the most elementary rules and words for speaking in English … Hahaha, the old witch was scared like a child! Fortunately on the other side there was Mike, nice, friendly and patient. We chatted for almost one hour. Most of what was said is faithfully reported below. I just omitted some parts dealing with everyday life at the Williams’, growing children and similar issues, that made the chat even more homely.
    So, folks, here is Mike IX Williams of EHG. The only thing we forgot to speak about was Arson Anthem. Sorry, next time …


    Mari - Hello, am I speaking with Mike Williams?

    Mike IX – Yes this is Mike!

    Mari– OK this is Mari. Hi Mike Ninth.

    Mike IX – Mike Nine, like number nine. I thought, from Nicky Sixx, eh eh …

    Mari – Oh, I see eh eh . OK, thanks for accepting the interview …Sorry, I’m not a professional journalist, I have here a list of questions that I was going to ask you but I don’t know if I can stick to it at all. Let’s see how it goes.

    Mike IX – OK, and I don’t speak good English. My English is terrible.

    Mari – Well, I’m glad that you don’t speak like Lizard Messiah out at Core of Destruction Radio [ by now y’all know it, US-based internet radio where Mike IX Williams started running his own explosive radio show recently, and where I happen to run a radio program as well  - [Core of Destruction Radio] because in that case I would not understand anything, hahaha …

    Mike IX – Hahaha … Well, you know, I used to talk like that, because I grew up in that area … Lizard is from the Deep South, where I live [ New Orleans ]. But I wasn’t born here, I was born in North Carolina. We have a different accent there, pretty thick southern accent, you know, but …  Well, yeah, eh eh, I must admit I don’t understand very strict southern accent sometimes as well …

    Mari – Ah, ok, so I’m not the only one, eh eh …

    Mike IX – You know, I moved, travelled around, been around quite a lot, I think. In this way it may happen that the slang you’ve born with is somehow left behind.

    Mari – I see … So am I going to call you “colleague”? I heard your radio program, Southern Nihilistic Front Radio show, the other night out at Core of Destruction Radio. Well … Great!

    Mike IX -  Oh, yeah, did you like that?

    Mari – Ah yes!

    Mike IX – Right, so you like punk rock and all the stuff like that?

    Mari – Yes, I like heavy and extreme music in general.

    Mike IX – That’s cool!

    Mari – I hope you’ll go on with more shows!

    Mike IX – Yeah, well, I’m trying to figure out, I’m not quite computer-savvy … Lizard [ Lizard Messiah ] is gonna help me in setting the software in my computer, set the microphone etc, so that I can do it from home.

    Mari – Sure!

    Mike IX – And I’ll be connected to their server, and I don’t need .. because the other night what I did was that he called me and I had previously sent him the playlist.

    Mari – I thought so, as you were speaking as if you were phoning him.

    Mike IX – Yes, it was a bit awkward sometimes, with all those delays, etc.

    Mari – Eh, yes, but it was ok anyway. I think they have that special program they use for the streaming which is rather easy. I don’t use that program for my shows as I don’t do live show, because it would be too late for me because of the time zones.

    Mike IX – What’s the name of your show?

    Mari – Mari’s Cauldron.

    Mike IX – So yours was the show before mine!

    Mari – Yes

    Mike IX – Well, such a coincidence … But it’s cool that you do that!

    Mari – Well, thanks! Ehm, I’ve never been a DJ before so it is totally new. It’s about one year, no, more than one year. But it’s fun, eh eh …

    Mike IX – Yeah, it’s fun. Playing different stuff … That’s why I asked you earlier whether you liked that punk rock  stuff. People might think that I’m going to play nothing apart from Saint Vitus-like stuff for so for over two hours. I don’t like close-minded people. That’s why I like to play stuff that “trip them out” a little bit, make them think a little bit,  get them into different music.

    Mari – Eh, I too like to listen to and like to play different music in my shows.

    Mike IX – Yes, if I keep doing the show I’m going to play more stuff like death metal, I’ll play country music, etc. There are so many things I might have played the other night, but with just three hours, you know …

    Mari – Eh, sure, you’ll need to do more shows!
     
    OK so, let’s start with the questions, there are so many that one can ask you … Sometimes I wonder how you can sleep in the night by thinking about what your band has become, what you have become for so many people in the world. Have you got a perception of your importance in the underground music or is life-like at the beginning when you started ..?

    Mike IX – Well, I mean, I kind of noticed from what people say … My band has a lot of fans around the world, is respected around the world, but I don’t expect that people look at me in a different way … because I am the same person as I was when we first started. I think that what set us apart from a lot of bands is that we don’t have any kind of attitude. I mean, you’ll see us hanging out with fans at the bar, we don’t need to hide. Maybe somebody is not seen, as he is taking a rest, sitting in the van or so … We like to hang out with the fans, we don’t consider ourselves different from the fans. It is really cool that people place us so high in their mind and in their respect. I think this comes across on stage and it comes across as inner view. People respect that. I mean, I am a fan of music. When I grew up, well, when a band was meaning something to me and I approached them … you remember those things, like “hey, that guy couldn’t say hi to me for 2 seconds …!!!”. I was not into any kind of worship, but, you know, you remember those things. You remember if somebody is interested in talking to you, you now … I think I got it natural to hang out with people. I think about it and it’s very cool that probably I can go anywhere in the world and maybe meet someone who knows who I am.  It is not a huge thing but in the underground sense it is a cool thing to have.

     Mari – Actually, you are an underground band because big numbers are elsewhere unfortunately. But I think that compared to other big bands you are more important because basically you contributed to invent a musical genre. You are “inventors”. That is top of creativity, I think.

    Mike IX – I see what you mean. We even found bands that … Sometimes you don’t even notice it … Like there’s a band that don’t even sound like us, it is called Lickgoldensky, like, you know, “lick golden sky” [ verse in the lyrics of song Sisterfucker in album Take as Needed for Pain ] …. The didn’t sound anything like us but they took their name from my lyrics. …  But they sounded nothing like it. And they stole some other parts of that, hahaha ..
    I’m just joking about it, eh eh. But it guess it kind of seeps into the established society a little bit, you know. As much as I hate society, what we do artistically has been seeping in it in some way, which is very cool… That’s incredible, actually …

    Mari – Yes, definitely. Also, well, your band means something for myself as well as it was through Eyehategod that I started listening to a certain kind of music. Well, obviously in the past, like in the 70s (because I’m not so young …) there were Black Sabbath and so. But as to “sludge” or music like that, well, Eyehategod was “the band”, I mean. And as this has a meaning for me, it also has a meaning for other thousands, no, wait, at least tens of thousands of people  …

    Mike IX –That’s very cool! I mean, that is one of the main reasons why we are here now. I can sense that in the crowd that come to our shows as there is a mixture of so many kinds of people who like so many different genres and stuff.
    We get the punk crusty kids with the mohawk, you know, and then you get the Pantera fans, the southern rock-loving people, and then you get the hardcore kids, you get even those who are into experimental, noise music …  I think we’ve got a good cross-section … And people always stop me and say “wow, you people got me to listen to so and so …”, and I say “wow, that’s cool!”, you know …

    Mari – Eh, right from the start your style is something very much contaminated by different types of music, so I guess it comes as natural that so many kinds of people approach you and appreciate you. If I think about your songs, well, they have so many different shades and aspects. You’ve got the slow parts, and you’ve got also the fast and furious parts. It’s impressive, it’s like a boiling magma!

    Mike IX – Yes, sure, that’s a good way to put it. And it is good that it gets recognized.  Back in time we kind of took a little bit off it, was in year 2000 because of label problems, personal problems and so on … It was in those years 1999 and 2000, and while we took a hyatus (it must have been like 8-9 months or so…), that bands started popping up, like Iron Monkey in Great Britain, and several other bands. And we were saying “What’s going on?” We had no idea that there was something underground that was like boiling under. We had no idea!
    So it is very cool that now that we are again active in recording, doing as much as we can, touring etc, and that people do recognize that …

    Mari – Absolutely!

    Mike IX – … and not going like … “Oh, you guys ripped off this or that band”, I mean, they give us our credits. That’s cool.

    Mari – So at the end you were luckier than many inventors who didn’t see the recognition or the credits of their inventions while they were alive.

    Mike IX – That’s right, that is true, a lot of people don’t get recognized. Dead gone …

    Mari – But when you were back in time, what made you think about making this kind of music?

    Mike IX – Because it was just the way we were, you know. I come from … Well, I was a punk rock kid, you know, I grew up like skateboard, on the street, running away from home, listening to Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Germs, Dead Boys and stuff like that. That was how I grew up, you know. Before I was a Kiss fan. When I was like 10 years old I was a Kiss fan, you know … And that evolved into Sex Pistols, Clash, and all that. But I always liked metal, I always liked it, because even if I was on punk rock I would talk also about, say, Black Sabbath. My friends would just go like “Black Sabbath, what are you talking about?! They suck!”, “No, they don’t, they are heavy! They are great!”, you know … And people couldn’t understand it. And so me and Jimmy Bower, we … He was in a band called Shellshock back in the 80s, I was in a band called Suffocation by Filth at that time, we used to play shows together, and things like that. So I met Jimmy. And my best friend Hatch was in Shellshock too. So Jimmy started playing drums in Shellshock and I became like the t-shirt guy, like the roadie kind of guy that was on tour with Shellshock. So while we were in tour me and Jimmy got the Melvins’ first record, then Confessor, we listened to Confessor, Carnivore, and bands like that, early Celtic Frost, Hellhammer, … you know, we were trippin’ out over this new stuff.  So it wasn’t even a conscious decision. The music … No-one had really done that, except kind of the Melvins stuff back then … You know, most of the doom bands at that time had a singer, a guy who sings, like Wino (who, by the way, is great, is awesome). Well, I brought that punk rock hardcore element in the music, I said “Fuck it, I don’t care”. And the attitude too, that we don’t give a fuck if we piss people off: I gonna scream, we gonna always have feedback … It just happened, it just evolved like that, you know. If you listen to Corrosion of Conformity back then, the original band, it was just like that. And as we grew, we started listening to like Lynyrd Skynyrd, and things like that, and so we added a bit more southern bluesy kind of  … But this is all stuff that we like, there was never any kind of construction, we just played what we liked to play. We didn’t care, we took the attitude of the punk rock and hardcore scene and we said we don’t care what people think, we go up there and play whatever we want. And when we started playing, we were opening for some fast, speed or thrash metal bands (which I loved at that time, totally, I still love that stuff). But, eh eh, we pissed off that people a lot back in the days. So it is just strange the way it came around …

    Mari - …Well, I believe you, I have a dear friend who was very much into the punk-hardcore scene here in Italy, but who also likes metal, and he too was telling me about sort of conflicts between punk people and metal, even borderline violent reactions. Did you experience something like that?

    Mike IX – Well, I’m sure I lived something like that as well, when I was a kid, you know … you grow out of that … I remember being beaten up, I mean, beaten up really really bad by these two guys. They looked like marines, big tough guys. They beat my little skinny ass because I was wearing an Iron Maiden patch on my jacket but I still had shaven head, and I wore combat boots … I was still a punk rocker but I wore an Iron Maiden patch, because I loved Iron Maiden, because I though they were awesome. But you couldn’t do that at that time. So these guys decided they would kick my ass for Iron Maiden, you see.
    But a lot of kids back then would not go for stuff like that. I mean, we have been regularly fighting with heavy metal guys when we were really young … before that crossover thing happened, before Slayer and Metallica made it cool, you know, they made “ok, they do” … But it was just because we had to take up for ourselves that these people attacked us, you know, and just because they way we looked. I mean, I loved Ozzy, I loved Iron Maiden … So it depended on who he was: either the punk would beat us up or the metalhead would beat us up, it didn’t matter. I was beaten up for either kind of music I liked, hahaha …

    Mari – Ouch! Eh eh … In you career, in the band, you have been playing for more than 20 many years. I think your style is very well recognizable .. But has something changed substantially in your way of playing in all those years or do you still feel very close to your initial idea? Do you feel you evolved deeply?

    Mike IX – Oh yeah, for sure! Our first album, “In the Name of Suffering”, sounds so primitive when I listen to it now! I mean, it’s a cool records as it is a piece of time, but …

    Mari – That was the album that made me approach you! I was enjoying it a lot …

    Mike IX –  … but you can tell just from that first album to album “Take as Needed for Pain”, the second album, that there’s a huge evolution just right there. On the second album we kind of started realizing what we were doing. In the first album we were just … look, we could not play that well, we were just sloppy … That surely added some character to it, but … So, of course we evolved, for sure.

    Mari – Yes, but sometimes also the primitiveness in recording, mastering procedure makes music sound different …

    Mike IX – Yes, yes, that’s also what is so cool of our first record: it is raw, it ‘s primitive, we didn’t do it on purpose, we had no idea of what we were doing. Like those black metal bands, the first wave of black metal: they were just playing with the limited equipment they had and they made that sound … But you can’t recreate later what you got by accident, I don’t think. I think it is crazy what some bands do, they go back and try and copy what was done on total accident. Like I said, take album “In the Name of Suffering”, with us being naive young guys doing what we did, playing what was in our hearts, you know, just because it was a passion that we had, you know … So yes, it is definitely that rawness that makes it unique. But I’ve seen bands going back and re-recording their first records, I think Suicide Tendencies did that … Well, to me that is crazy, I mean, why would you record the entire record? It is what it is, a piece of time.

     Mari – And what about what new is about to come from you? I heard the new track, several times, as it is out since a bit of time, since last year in that festival in Denmark. My impression is that … Well, of course, I didn’t hear the new album as only you know that, obviously. But I have the impression that the new track is a little bit more, let’say, “mellow” … I mean, if the new Eyehategod’s style is like the new track, it seems a little bit more mellow, maybe slightly more melancholic … Or better, it actually gave me the exact impression of that kind of well seasoned whisky that has reached  a round taste but it’s still whisky, so it is still burning in your mouth …

    Mike IX – Sure! I know exactly what you mean. And yeah, that’s probably true, I think that, overall … I always compare with bands like Ramones, Motörhead, ACDC, … we have our sound, we’ll always stick to that sound, because we are EHG, that's what we do. But things have to change as we grow, we get older every day, and we have different ideas .. We’ve got other songs for the new record that are thoroughly more intense than that song. But it’s all EHG at the end …But I know what you mean. Someone even said that it is almost melodic. That’s crazy! They were saying like “dreamy and intense” … the vocals are intense, the guitar sounds and the drum and everything but it’s got more of … Like you said it, aged-like in a certain way. Hopefully it’s cool that we get a new crowd and new people listening to us than was normally not into us …

    Mari – Well, I saw the new song played during the concert here in Milano, and I can say that it is not too “melodic” at all, it was a stream of burning energy … But I just had that impression of the attitude and the pleasure that some aged stuff, like that whisky thing or like blues, can give.

    Mike IX – Yes, I agree! Maybe we are a little more wise now. But I don’t think we lost power. Actually people are amazed that us being guys in their forties that can be so energetically on stage and playing for so long as we do. Sometimes we play for over two hours, as we do, it depends on the crowd, you know, if the crowd is into it or not … although sometimes it doesn’t even depend on the crowd as we play for ourselves and feel good …  So it all adds up to … it’s the same band, same guys, EHG .. like you said, and also like wine, aged wine … Also about imitation … Imitation is a great form of flattery.There are a lot of bands that sound like us but I don’t think all those bands can get the hold up with what’s all as being in the real thing. You have to have lived as we lived, you know, you can’t pretend … that’s why we call ourselves the “blues band” … if you get blues and rock’nroll you end up to what we have been into for a long time … And we progress as we get older, but we’re still EHG jamming on stage, pretty intense ...

    Mari – About what you have been through in the recent past … Has something changed in New Orleans after the disaster, how is life there now, did the government solve problems or is much still like a messy state?

    Mike IX – Oh well, the media would try to make you think it’s all over,  they made the people think everything was perfect a couple of months after the storm. We are talking about Katrina, obviously. And we just had another hurricane a couple of weeks ago, that flooded a lot of areas and destroyed more of our lands. But we just keep persevering, you know, we stick to it down here. That’s what people of the Derry do, they stick together. We were resilient, we are bound stack. But of course, Katrina in 2005 was … Well, we are not talking about the physical appearance of the city … the physical appearance of the city is somewhat back to normal, but I mean, it depends on the neighbourhoods. Some of them are still abandoned and run down but … you know, they are trying … But as far as everybody who was here, who had family members here, who had anything to do with this city during that storm, it definitely changed all, that will never leave their mind, you know. It was something we thought we would never see, you know … I mean, everybody down here know at least one person that died, or that lost at least one person. Then half of the people here lost everything they had …

    Mari – Well, you lost everything as well …

    Mike IX – Everything! Look, I had 25 years of records and books, material objects, and so on … It’s just material stuff, you know, it’s life, but well, shit happens. That’s what is all about. All we are is just this body that we are in right now. I mean, it was bad but I’m not defined by how many records I have, although some people think like that, and it is stupid …

    Mari – Also, what struck me, and not only me, of that event was not only the natural event of the “super” storm and not even, or not only, the technical mishappenings or misjudgment of the event or so on, but what struck me more was the social aspects, I mean, how people were completely abandoned by the authorities. That was incredible, and terrible  …

    Mike IX – Yeah! That’s got a lot to do with living in where we live … you know, there’s a lot of poverty down here, and it has always been there. And of course it comes with minorities, and you know, white people can be a minority too, poor white people. There is a lot of poor people down here. But of course the government doesn’t care about us, they don’t care about the blacks. The didn’t care. You know, Bush was in charge at that time, he probably thought in the back of his mind he didn’t care of the problem, he wiped it out. You know, 80% of the poor people down here just happened to be black, Latinos and the poor white people. So yes, that was pretty sad that they didn’t care …

    Mari – But in these last years has something changed towards better with the new government or not?

    Mike IX – Ah, well, look, we have one of the most corrupt local governments …


    Mari – Ah, really? Very Italian! I thought we were the champions! Eh eh eh,  Now I would like you to speak a bit about your other side of creativity that is writing, and also your performances with poetry, your second artistic side …

    Mike IX – Well, I think it is one and the same, because that all comes out of … I mean, in my book “Cancer as Social Activity” there are a lot of EHG lyrics, the thoughts that I wrote. I don’t think it is a separate side, I think it is the same. But yeah, I have that book out, “Cancer as Social Activity”. People can get it from my website, which is Mikeix.Com .
    But, yeah, I’ve done those “Spoken Words” performances, where I get up and read. I’ve been kind of shy while doing it, maybe not shy but … I know it sounds like crazy that I would be shy … Just being up there with no band behind you it’s a little intimidating, eh eh … I started out doing it with a friend of mine, I would read a couple of poems, and he would come in with like some synthesizers. But I point doing a bit more by myself and giving up with the use of the back noise and trying to focus more on the reading part.
    I also do like experimental noise stuff ..

    Mari – Ah yes, I heard that other project of yours, The Guilt Øf … That’s really cool! Mixing punk and experimental stuff. I heard tracks on youtube.

    Mike IX – Oh, you like it? Good! We have got like 8 recordings out, a Cd and 6 songs, and that Bloodlust record. Label At War With False Noise put out a vinyl version of that. We have a cassette out  and we also have another cassette out that is rolled in broken glass. [ It should be the 2001  Mike IX Williams’ ‎– Glass Torn And War Shortage: The Purposeful Poisoning Of A Shardless Society ]. You have to remove the glass from the cassette to play it … I mean, it is a kind of conceptual art of  piece or whatever, I don’t know, I just did it because I liked it, you know … We also have a split with an Italian band, Ivs Primae Noctis, have you heard of this band? 

    Mari – No, my bad, actually I don’t know them …

    Mike IX – Well, I’m not sure who of  the head members was sort of affiliated with Cripple Bastards [ actually I found out that FOAD Records, run by Cripple Bastards’ frontman Giulio, organized a festival with Ivs Primae Noctis’ first ever live show back in 2011 ].

    Mari – Ah, yeah, Cripple Bastards, I know them!

    Mike IX – So, yeah, we did a split with them. Then I’m trying to think what else we have … We also have a compilation and a solo Mike IX 7” [ it should be the 2009 That's What The Obituary Said / Ten Suicides” ], and then there’s the stuff in Spoken Words. Most of this stuff, you have to realize, comes out in a very limited editions, they maybe print a few hundred copies at their most, because there’s a limited audience, you know … it is something I have always been into and that I wanted to do. Also beside doing it with Ryan [ Ryan McKern ], who is in The Guilt Øf…, I do something with Joey [ Joe LaCaze ], our drummer in EHG and Bruce  [ Bruce Lamont ] from the band Yakuza from Chicago. We did live performances together in the South and South-West, in Texas and so … So, well, yeah, I’m trying to keep busy in doing as much as I can creatively.

    Mari – And with the writing, are you going to continue?

    Mike IX – Yeah, of course, I couldn’t stop even if I wanted it to, I mean, I can’t help writing. Every day I think about something and scribble it down  in my book here. But I’ve got like 20 thousands words, new words, and I’ve been sitting on them for years by now. Finally they are on the computer, and not on a piece of paper.

    Mari – Eh, no more paper, it can burn … [ Mike IX’s house got completely burnt out during the Katrina disaster  ],

    Mike IX – Yes, I’m glad they are all on the computer now, finally. I can put out two more books.

    Mari – In the new books are you going to keep the same style as in your first book? I read several poems of yours, and sometimes they remind me of that Japanese poetry Haiku.

    Mike IX – Oh yes, some of them are definitely Haiku.

     Mari – Your poems are sometimes quite Haiku, like shots of images, quite pictorial. Japanese poets were often speaking about nature, love, sadness, while you tell about rough life, personal and social tragedies, pessimism, painful Haiku …

    Mike IX – Yeah, there’s probably more of this in the books coming next, some Haiku stuff, but definitely there’s some of that also in the first book. But even some of the lyrics in The Guilt Øf… are written in a Haiku fashion. We do our songs pretty gothic, eh eh, total straight gothic, but written in a Haiku style.

    Mari – Well, it’s a quite effective style in poetry able to give immediate images and impressions. I also think that English language is cool for this kind of style, quite efficient. You guys are able to say many things in a short space.

    Mike IX - You mean as we talk very fast?

    Mari – No, I mean that several words in English are made of very short sounds but each of them may mean a lot of things or complex concepts. I compare it with my language, Italian, with which sometimes you need far more words, you need to speak a lot for expressing the same things.

    Mike IX – Sure, also think about German. With so long words … I couldn’t imagine writing lyrics in German, it would be hard to rhyme words, hahaha … I love German language, but there are many words that are so long … But I think all this comes from Americans being lazy, maybe, hahaha, probably making our words shorter and trying to get away with it as much as possible …

    Mari – Eh eh, that’s an idea …  There’s a last question I would like to ask you. I happened to hear you speaking about labels and being very very pessimistic. Is it really so hard for bands to deal with labels? I ask this because people like me having to do with webzines, get often asked by emerging bands about advises, links or info about labels for releasing their stuff, as bands’ folks think that we are maybe seeing different sides of the scene. I mean, a band like yours, I heard, is presently not related to any label …

    Mike IX – No, we are not related to any label. We are kind of still on Century Media, but we are not signed with them. They still have our back catalogue. But with “label” do you mean only record labels or also “labels” like naming stuff too, like styles and so?

    Mari – No, actually I was meaning “record labels”.

    Mike IX – Well, because we are down with both ... I mean, we hate being labelled as “sludge”, we sometimes said that in interviews … As to record labels .. they can’t be trusted at all. The guy that just put out our new 7” one sided record “New Orleans Is the New Vietnam”, the guy out at label A398, well, he is probably the first guy I met in my entire career that I actually trusted.  I mean .. well, yeah, also the stuff of The Guilt Øf… came out on some underground label. Those labels can be trusted too. You see, we deal with that with a handshake, ok, you print say 500 copies and you give me 20% or 10%, depending on the deal, and that’s it.  With major, or not even major labels, I mean like Relapse, or Roadrunner or anybody like at that level … you can’t trust those people … I mean, there’s nothing personal about the people that work there. It depends on the label… usually the people working there are fans that want to help the bands. But there will be always some guy who sits in a room somewhere with a cigar in his mouth and he is the one taking money from you band! They don’t care, you know … I mean, still Housecore Records [ Phil Anselmo’s label ] is a new label where people can be trusted. They do business face to face and so.
    But to me it is all still scary. We have been screwed so much when we were young …

    Mari – So what advice would you give to an emerging band that has to face all this?

    Mike IX – Do you mean as to the label guys? Eh, I would say it depends on the label they are talking to. You usually need a lawyer, even if you do a handshake type of agreement. Well, actually with that The Guilt Øf… stuff, with those underground, well, super-underground labels, I got a different experience.
    But of course you need lawyer, you need stuff like this that will bomb you out ..

    Mari – So, you mean that it is better to stick to the DIY phylosophy?

    Mike IX – Well, I mean, that’s is a great way to do stuff too. But then you have to worry about distribution or so. It’s just a part of the whole thing that we can’t handle …

    Mari – OK, Mike, thanks so much for the long and nice chat and for your time and patience. Hey, I’m looking forwards to more radio shows from you! [ Mike IX actually did a second episode of his Southern Nihilistic Front radio show on Core of Destruction Radio on October 3rd 2012 – the podcasts of this and the previous radio shows can be got hold of from the Facebook page of the radio: HERE  And when and if you’ll be back to my town, Milano, on tour, I’ll be pleased to meet you again.

    Mike IX – Ah, yes yes, Corrado [ Corrado “Riot” Gioia, of Hard Staff booking agency ] is trying to give us at least 5 or  6 Italian shows. That would be after the new album is out, obviously.

    Mari – Sure! I can’t wait! So I’ll see you then.

    Mike IX – Definitely! And keep in touch! Ciao!
    Interview by Marilena Moroni

    EyeHateGod | Facebook
    EyeHateGod | Official Website
    Mike IX | Official Website

    Eyehategod - New Orleans Is the New Vietnam [NEW SONG] (Live at Roskilde Festival, July 1st, 2011)













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    After four seemingly endless years of deep, ear-shattering silence, the Wandering Midget returns from his secret travels into the unknown, and again holds us spellbound with new tales of the strange, the sad, the evil and the macabre. Classic Finnish Doom Metal that truly is one of its kind - epic and sorrowful, mystical and obscure, hauntingly beautiful, melancholic, occult, lyrical and dark! A magic potion to intoxicate the worshippers of early Candlemass, The Lamp Of Thoth, Reverend Bizarre, Wheel or Griftegård, enriched with their own secret ingredients and creeping horror á la Lovecraft and Poe. An elegy to the world of dreams, an album to drown in... ( Eyes Like Snow )


    The above quote from the Eyes Like Snow website is more than just a sales pitch for the new Wandering Midget album, it perfectly describes the majestic beauty of this incredible album from the Finnish doom band. It is hard to believe it has been 4 years since their last album but I put that down to their last album 'The Serpent Coven' being such a good timeless release. Even after all this time the album still sounds remarkably fresh. In the world of doom metal or to be exact, traditional doom metal, there are a few bands that can truly regard themselves as masters of the craft, Candlemass, Reverend Bizarre and Count Raven are three that qualify but now with this new album The Wandering Midget can also be placed in the hall of fame of trad-doom bands.

    We don't usually do this on Doommantia but while making sure we get info right for this release and band, we stumbled upon a Doom Metal.Com review for the album (the only other review for the album that we know of) and the writer draws parallels between Reverend Bizarre and The Wandering Midget. We think this is rather profound as Reverend Bizarre and The Wounded Kings might just be the last important traditional doom bands to emerge onto the scene, that was till this wonderful band came along. If 'The Serpent Coven' was the sound of the band treading carefully but still nailing the style, 'From The Meadows Of Opium Dreams' is the sound of a band with a point to prove and that point is that they are serious contenders for the traditional doom metal crown. In short - this album is a progression from the last and it rules.

    While it is true that The Wandering Midget are not doing anything new, it is the way they are doing it that makes this such a captivating doomed experience. The band change directions just when it's needed but none of the changes can be regarded as predictable. The changes that happen are essential considering the epic nature of the albums pieces. Apart from the opener 'Price Of Fire' all the songs are 12 to 20 minutes long and it has been a while since we have come across an album that makes such long songs such an easy listening experience. The Wandering Midget are the ultimate merging of old school trad doom and modern trad doom. Sounding neither like an old band or a modern band exactly, The Wandering Midget have found their niche in a genre that is currently running low on freshness.

    The music here is monolithic, slightly progressive, psychedelic and funeralized at times while very infectious at other times. Songs switch, move, twist and turn to such a degree that even the 20 minute 'Temples in the Sky' seems like a short and concise piece of exquisite songwriting. The excellent songwriting and arrangement is really where the band excels; putting together 4 songs that define doom metal in all its glory. 'Prince Of Fire' kicks off the album with monster riffs and a captivating atmosphere but rather than setting the mood for the rest of the album, it just hints at what is to come for the next 50 minutes or so and lets face it, most doom albums you can judge in the first 5 minutes but this is an album that keeps you guessing right up to the dying seconds.

    'Prince Of Fire' is the albums most "headbanging" tune, the perfect opening track for this album and also for live performances. The riffing is based around the generic blueprint created by the fathers of doom (Sabbath, Trouble, Candlemass et al) but to the bands credit they make it sound new and that is something very few bands can do at the best of times. The albums longest track 'Temples In The Sky' follows in mesmerizing fashion, conjuring up images of occultism, rituals and nightmares and the way the track rolls is nothing short of hypnotic. The track starts with a rather long intro (maybe too long) and then builds into a gripping hellride, twisting, turning and going through various moods and musical textures. At times it verges on funeral doom, at other times it is a swirling psychedelic-doom masterpiece. The musicianship is excellent but this is one of the those rare times where the songs themselves are what totally grab 100% of the listener's attention.

    'She-Wolf' is 12 minutes of dark, menacing, ominous doom. Again it is all sounds so damn fresh, it is like they are the ones that invented the genre in the first place. While every riff has been played a million times before, they take those riffs, give them a dose of much-needed personality and viola.....you get something totally out of this world. 'She-Wolf' is what I think I should call doom metal erotica for the want of a better term. This moody piece is total doom but it is also so damn sexy. Then the band pull off the impossible, they finish off the album with another epic masterpiece with 'Follow the Forest Lights.' Now it has been 4 years between albums so they did have time to get things just right but even with that in mind, this goes far beyond what any doom fan would expect.

    In 55 minutes 'The Wandering Midget' deliver one of the most captivating doom albums released in recent years with 'From The Meadows Of Opium Dreams.' Superior songwriting, top-notch production, great musicianship and cool artwork is what you get but you also get what might be the best doom album released in 2012. If you take it in small sections, the songs are great enough but considering how epic these songs are, it just makes this an even more of a remarkable release.....10/10.

    Words: Sally, Doomm@niac - ( Review dedicated to our guru, master and inspiration, Ed Barnard - We Love You. )

    The Wandering Midget | Facebook

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     Superskum.com conducted an interview with guitarist Juha Raivio of Finnish doom metallers SWALLOW THE SUN on September 18 at the Gothic Theatre in Englewood, California during the band's North American "Teutonic Terror Attack" tour with ACCEPT and KREATOR. You can watch the chat below.

    SWALLOW THE SUN's fifth full-length album, "Emerald Forest And The Blackbird", entered the official chart in Finland at position No. 2. Released on February 1 via Spinefarm Records, the CD was recorded during September and October 2011 by Mikko Karmila (NIGHTWISH, AMORPHIS, CHILDREN OF BODOM) at Drumforest Studios in Viitasaari and Sonic Pump 2 in Helsinki, and by Hannu Honkonen at Noisework Studios in Helsinki. The effort was mixed by Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, APOCALYPTICA, AMORPHIS, MOONSPELL) and was mastered by Mika Jussila (NIGHTWISH, AMORPHIS, SENTENCED) at Finnvox Studios. The artwork was once again created by Rami Mursula.


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    It's now quite obvious that Southern sludge metal is the trend du jour in the metal world. Bands all over the world now sprout beards, wear Carhartts and sport baseball caps to look like Kentucky truck drivers. The knockoffs are starting to take the fun out of the genre with their bald-faced bandwagon jumping and thus we have the perfect segue to introduce All Hail The Yeti.

    A lack of sincerity permeates this debut album. Everything smacks of a band that used to play "core" or maybe the typical Lamb of God/Pantera fare, but smelled dollars around the sludge swamp. The riffs here are deliverd with some energy, but are weary with being so typical and well-worn. Listen to the tired Southern-fried riffs that kick off "I Am Wendigod" and "Axe Murder Hollow" and tell me you haven't heard this a hundred times before. There's something about the vocals that doesn't seem quite right either...a little too light to match with the whiskey-fueled growl of Weedeater's Dixie Dave or Sourvein's T-Roy. The Yeti boys would like you to think they stumbled out of Hog Waller, Tennessee but somehow their true roots emerge...the streets of LA.

    They are surely fans of the great psychological horror film "Session 9" as that masterwork is sampled frequently throughout. For that I salute them. But then they royally fuck everything up by ending the album with twenty minutes of owls screeching and crickets chirping in the woods. Yes, literally crickets chirping. I haven't heard such bullshit since the end of Sepultura's "Roots".

    Maybe All Hail The Yeti can make a big step up on their next effort, but right now, they're just another blob of tobacco spit in the great sludge swamp.

    Words: Dr. Mality ( Wormwood Chronicles )

    All Hail The Yeti | Facebook

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    THE SKULL, the new band formed by the original member of Chicago doom legends TROUBLE — vocalist Eric Wagner (also of BLACKFINGER) — alongside the band's longtime bassist Ron Holzner (also of EARTHEN GRAVE), and guitarists Lothar Keller and Michael Carpenter of the Chicago, Illinois-based progressive power metal band SACRED DAWN, and drummer Kevin Tarpey has scheduled the following European tour dates:

    Nov. 09 - Berlin, Germany - Cassiopeia (with HORISONT)
    Nov. 10 - Würzburg, Germany - Posthalle (Hammer Of Doom Fest)
    Nov. 11 - Vienna, Austria - Arena (with Horisont)
    Nov. 12 - Jena, Germany - Rosenkeller (with Horisont)
    Nov. 13 - Eindhoven, Netherlands - Dynamo
    Nov. 14 - Bremen, Germany - Römer
    Nov. 16 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Truckstop Alask

    THE SKULL is:

    Eric Wagner - Vocals
    Ron Holzner - Bass
    Lothar Keller - Guitar
    Mykull Carpenter - Guitar
    Kevin Tarpey - Drums

    Fan-filmed video footage of THE SKULL's August 31 performance at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn, New York can be seen below. Drummer Jeff "Oly" Olson quit THE SKULL earlier in the year, explaining in a statement, "Upon much thought, and effective immediately, I will not be participating with THE SKULL. I've decided to wait for a real TROUBLE reunion with original members or not play TROUBLE's music at all. I can not comment further at this time. My apologies to those who have been disappointed." Wagner, Olson and original TROUBLE bassist Sean McAllister shared the stage for the first time since 1986 during Olson's RETRO GRAVE set on June 18, 2011 at the Days Of The Doomed Fest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. TROUBLE formed in 1979 and released several classic albums like "Trouble", "Manic Frustration" and "Plastic Green Head". Eric was one of the guest singers on Dave Grohl's (NIRVANA, FOO FIGHTERS) heavy metal side project PROBOT, whose 2004 album featured heavy metal vocalists from the '80s and '90s. Wagner also makes a guest appearance in the forthcoming horror film "Jezebeth" (written and directed by Damien Dante of Satania 6 Films), to be released on Blu-ray in early 2012. Eric Wagner left TROUBLE in April 2008, citing his disdain for the touring life as the main reason for his departure.


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    Here is the English, original version of the second out of three interviews to Eyehategod folks I, Mari, did on behalf of the Italian webzine (The New Noise).
    A few hours after the long chat at the phone with Mike IX Williams (see Here), I had a chat via computer with bass player Gary Mader in the late night of September 21st 2012.

    Also the express interview via chat was a new experience for me, and again fortunately there was an exquisite person like Gary on the other side of the cable! We took quite a lot, eh …
    With Gary as well there was the opportunity for discussing about the new track New Orleans Is The New Vietnam out now as single with label A389, and about what we, the fans, can expect from EHG working on the new album.
    But Gary was carrier of more cool news too, about Hawg Jaw and Outlaw Order, for example …
    Keep on reading!


    Mari - Hi Gary, I’m ready! First of all thanks a lot for accepting the interview with such kindness, speed and, well, friendly attitude. Two hours ago I chatted with Mike, now you, and tomorrow evening (your afternoon) Brian! You guys are amazing! Hahaha, indigestion of Eyehategod … but as soon as you guys come back to Milano (and I hope soon) I’ll come and say hello to you personally and pay you a beer, or better some high quality Italian wine, minimum, eh eh … So let’s start with this:
    How does it come that you play the so-called “bearded metal” and you don'’t have a long bear?!?


    Gary – Eh, beards aren't really my thing; they catch food, drink, and are rather uncomfortable at my job where the temperature is about 115 degrees F [ Gary works in a restaurant ]. You must have heard that from Brian; he is very proud of his beard, eh eh …

    Mari - Hahaha .. no, not yet, it was just a joke, as now many bands playing sludge/doom or so do wear that kind of look ... it was just a fake start, obviously, eh eh … Now more seriously … Gary, you are a key element in this series of interviews to Eyehategod. You are “relatively” new to the band, as you have been into it “only” for about 10-11 years or so, you are playing bass and you are deeply involved, as co-founder, into one of EHG’s satellite bands, Outlaw Order.

    Gary - Yeah, I started playing with EHG at the end of 2001, and helped start up Outlaw Order shortly after while Jimmy [ Bower ] was busy touring with Superjoint Ritual and Down.

    Mari - Also you are into another band into the southern sludge-doom scene, riff-machine Hawg Jaw, which, according to Metal Archives database, has got a connection to Soilent Green as of late. And Soilent Green is of course the band where your EHG colleague/friend Brian Patton is militating as well. Like in a loop ...

    Gary - Yeah, Hawg Jaw is my longest running project. We began in 1996, formed by Mike Dares (vocals) and myself. We still play, but usually just around New Orleans. We have an upcoming discography to be released on Emetic Records that will contain all of our past recordings, most of which are out of press, and a new full length that is nearly done.

    Mari - Cool! You guys rocked quite hard as far as I could hear in the albums of yours I happened to lay my hands on ...

    Gary - Yeah, we have that New Orleans heaviness, but we were mostly influenced by bands like The Accüsed, Cro-Mags, and Corrosion of Conformity especially. "Animosity" is a record that had a profound influence on Mike and me. We wanted to be the "hardcore" sludge band. I only use sludge as a point of reference; I think all of our bands have little more dynamics than just "sludge".



    Mari – Yes, definitely ... I see that you guys are all linked to a deep and ancient love for hardcore punk, so much different, at least superficially, if not in contents, from your other slow heavy tunes (as soon as you get slow ...). With "you guys" I also include/mean EHG mates ...

    Gary - I don't think its very different at all, like you said, maybe superficially. It all stems from a common energy, and I think that explains our diverse audience; we play music that touches fans of Black Flag, but at the same time, we have fans into Bauhaus or Darkthrone …

    Mari – Absolutely true ... the EHG shows I happened to attend (and this quite holds for other bands more or less applying to your genre, like Weedeater etc.) had amongst the most varied "fauna", eh eh …

    Gary - We are very grateful for that.

    Mari – It is a cool feature indeed. It means that you are actually cross-genre, a cool sign of freedom, I guess, not being crystallized in any strict tag but still being a reference band. When one says "like Eyehategod" people into this kind of music know fairly well what one is speaking about …

    Gary - Collectively, we listen to so much different music, and while there will always be an Eyehategod sound, what breathes beneath it reflects all of what we take in as influence, and reinterpret it in our songs. We often cite delta blues as a major influence; it’s nothing you can hear literally, but the feel is there.

    Mari - Well, I would say the amount of luscious groove of Eyehategod music is roaring blues very much …

    Gary - We'd like to think so, eh eh …

    Mari - EHG have been all in all fairly stable band line-up-wise for over 20 years of its activity. The only position that saw quite a bit of changes is the bass. What happens with bass players? Riotous people? Hahah …
    If I am not wrong you are the fifth bassist of the band.


    Gary - There was a running joke that I'd be kicked out of the band after this record, as bass players can only play on one album. I don't know what happened with the other bassists; they are all friends of mine, but I never asked. I will play in this band til death, if they let me.

     Mari - Lol ... so that's why you guys are taking so long in making a new album since the last one, eh eh …Well, of course it is well known why the band did slow down the activity during these last years. But it is amazing that, in spite of this, you guys are able to draw big amounts of adoring fans to your shows, even without new albums to launch! Well, I guess it is one of the aspects of having become a cult band although you still behave in such a friendly, close-at-hand way with your fans.

    Gary - That is something that amazes us as well. We are so thankful to all of our fans that have stuck with us all these years, cult band or not. There is so much music out there now, that to still be recognized amidst so many bands is a blessing to us. We consider ourselves lucky for that. I guess hanging out with our fans is the least we could do to say "thanks".

    Mari – Sure! One other thing that I was liking a lot (and it is noted and appreciated by many others) in your shows I happened to attend was to see you guys of EHG spending your time in attending also the exhibition of the local bands opening for you. I mean, it is really nice and cool, and not that frequent for big bands ...

    Gary - We've met many cool bands that way. We want to know what is happening in whatever city we are in, so you'll see us watching bands all the time. Many of those bands end up being life long friends

    Mari - Cool!   So ... you guys are working on a new album. One new track, New Orleans is the New Vietnam, now out with label A389, has been around since last year. Just a mouthful of new tunes but probably suggesting that EHG's style may have a wee bit changed, "matured" ... there's a strong stream of passion in that song.

    Gary - More bluesy than ever …

    Mari -  Well, I saw it played live in the show you guys did in Milano recently and of course it is pure EHG energy, but still very much passionate and slightly less wild than previous hits of yours.

    Gary - I think “progressed” is more appropriate. We definitely haven't matured. I don't know how to judge my own music, but I've been told that all of the songs we have for this record are reminiscent of "Take as Needed for Pain" if it had to be compared to one of our early works. We just set out to write an album worth waiting this long for.



    Mari -  Well, I can't wait for it … When one thinks about the kind of music you guys and affine bands play, your "dynamic sludge with southern tinges", one may almost instinctively thinks about "swamp" and/or else (or better) a well-defined amazing pictoresque and multi-faceted urban context: New Orleans. Your music style is rich, heavy, drenched with groove and painful. Is it by chance that such genre was basically "invented" by your band in that geographical/cultural/social context? Or do you think that the context doesn't matter much ...

    Gary - I think our surroundings have a huge influence on our music. I'm not sure that any of us could write the same way had we not been raised in New Orleans. The music history alone is immense and a huge source of inspiration to us. When we tour we always play Dr. John, Professor Longhair, Anders Osbourne, local rap, really anything New Orleans. No matter where we are, it lights up that special place inside of us that makes us proud to be from here. Besides the music, there is a vibe in the air here that is hard to find elsewhere. We plan to record our new record here.

    Mari - Well, New Orleans is an important part of the general mythical "aura" and charm that USA has for us in Europe. When we dream of USA we naively dream of certain charming features of your country as well as some clichées ... Then especially coming to USA helps in seeing that there are so many people in poverty and that life is very difficult indeed. I guess that's an important inspiration for music and art as well ... Not to speak about disasters and tragedies as the one that struck New Orleans in 2005, Katrina. I guess it was deeply traumatic for you as well, even if you maybe didn't have as radical and strong consequences as Mike's.

    Gary - We have dealt with a good deal of hardship in the past, and while it’s not something we bring up in conversation much, it is strongly expressed thru our music. There is pain and suffering all over the world, and we feel that ours is no different, and that we just deal with it as best as we can. We are lucky to have music as a creative outlet for our troubles in life; I think we are all thankful for the lives we have; Things can always be worst.

    Mari - True ... Back to music then ... What about the fate of Outlaw Order?

    Gary - We will play again in the near future. It’s been a few years, and based on the feedback we've been getting for 00% lately, and the fact that we are just ready to play those songs again, it will happen soon. We've been so focused on Eyehategod's record, that we haven't had time to jam in the past few years. The last time we did jam, we were almost half way into a new record. We plan on picking up where we left off and finally tour when the time is right.

    Mari - Ah, this is a juicy news, eh ...

    Gary -  Keep in mind, we don't work on the strictest timeline.

     Mari - Tours. Two night ago I was listening to Mike’s radio show out on Core of Destruction radio and he mentioned that you guys are about to leave for a far Eastern branch of your tour, and you are going to reach Australia, among others.

    Gary -  Yes, we have wanted to do this for a long time, and are excited!

    Mari -  Yes, it is awesome indeed! You guys tour "seriously", eh eh …  Apart from the magic of the deed itself, basically touring all over the world for your music, do you find touring a tiring activity?  And is it difficult for you to make it cope with your "real" job and family issues? Because one important thing is that you guys involved in a world-famous cult band do live on your real jobs ...


    Gary -  No. I am grateful for every day that I am some place different. Some people save money their whole lives to see the places we've been.  It can be difficult at home to leave behind my wife and pets. It’s the only thing that makes touring difficult. Aside from that, I have worked shitty jobs for my entire life to insure that I have the flexibility with my work schedule to leave when I want to, and that is hard to come by, but not impossible.

    Mari - OK, Gary, I think I have stolen already much of your time. Thanks a lot for the chat. One thing: happy birthday! Here it is already your birthday, it turned to September 22nd  ...

    Gary - No problem, thank you for taking the time to interview all of us; we sincerely appreciate it. Thanks for my b-day wishes!


    Interview by Marilena Moroni

    (Many thanks to Fabrizio Garau and Michele Giorgi at webzine The New Noise and Jennifer Reisberg of label A389 Records for organizing the interviews)

    EHG | Facebook
    Official Website

    Eyehategod – Full set  January 21, 2012 Sonar (A389 VIII Bash)
    Baltimore, MD

    Eyehategod (Full Set) from hate5six on Vimeo.


    http://vimeo.com/35971477












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    It is so easy to look at people who are struggling with life, and it's hardships, and think that it will never be you. However, a sad fact of life is that beggars and homeless people can come from all walks of life and levels of intelligence. Less than a year ago, our editor and my boyfriend Ed had a wife and kids by his side, a full-time job and was more than healthy enough to handle almost any situation that came his way. How quickly then can life crumble and fall apart. He has lost two-thirds of his weekly wage, had 2 heart attacks, got a divorce from his wife and has to struggle to see his kids despite being forced to pay for what the courts deemed as 75% of their living expenses. A back injury has progressively got worse to the point where most days he can't walk unless it is with the use of a cane. He had no choice but to sell his car and even his beloved dog and cat are now living somewhere else, upset and wondering what happened to their master. That alone is enough to make a person break down and cry but this is just the tip of the iceberg in Ed's case.

    When we are young it is so easy to be complacent and self-assured. However, once we are older, I think that many of us can see how some folk end up having such hard times. A breakdown in the family circle, bereavement, a mental breakdown, lack of work, various kinds of health issues, are all examples of how a slippery slide into homelessness can occur. Ed has been through all of these events in less than a year and has no medical and is ineligible to apply. One time when trying to apply for some government help, he was told and I quote "you have to go back to the country you came from." If he had the cash flow to fly halfway around the world, he wouldn't be in this situation to begin with. Heartless and brainless remarks like that one are sadly commonplace with a system that is quickly falling into a gigantic shit-heap.

    With the lack of support now days, it can be all to easy for someone suffering health problems to lose their home and job and in no time at all, a smart and intelligent citizen can become a down and out. Think that this is not true? Take a look around. It is almost impossible for the average person to imagine, thankfully, how desperate it must feel to have no home, no money, no family, poor health, no food and little hope and perhaps that is why, people are reluctant to give money to the people who need it the most. Ed gave money to organizations like Greenpeace and the ASPCA for years, now he is looking for donations himself. Again it is sad how quickly the tables can be turned. This isn't a rant designed to tug at the heart-strings even though it is pretty hard for it not to. Ed has lived on handouts and donations for a long time now, living in homeless shelters, the back seat of cars but mostly inside a weather-beaten tent that really should have been thrown away years ago.

    I am writing this with tears in my eyes because I love Ed with all my heart and it is tearing me apart to see him like this. We are not looking for millions, just enough to find a home and stay there which these days is not cheap but it is nothing compared to the thousands of dollars the average person wastes on themselves each year. Did you spend $20 at Burger King recently? Ed has to feed himself for a week on $20 or less. It is kind of sad that most messages he receives are still all about what albums are up for reviews, does it really matter anymore? We are starting to ask that question regularly. Considering the vast sums of money being spent, of late, on death and destruction, it really is a disgrace that genuine people and children are homeless. Look at the ridiculously large bonus payments bankers are set to receive, yet again? Also it is depressing that people with serious life-threatening health problems who don't have insurance are treated the same as anybody else, surely those people should have some kind of priority, sadly this is not the case with the US system.

    Anyway, this post has been made against Ed's wishes but I felt it is something that needed to be done. Don't treat it as another plea for cash, even though that obviously is what needs to happen. This is just a girl who is hopelessly stressed and emotionally crippled over her mans terrible situation. I love Ed, I don't want to lose him. Thanks for reading.....Sally Bethhall.


    PS: People have asking what is in the future for Doommantia.Com if Ed doesn't return. The answer is a simple one, NO ED, NO DOOMMANTIA!

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