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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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    The new Doommantia Comp Volume 3 is now available.

    20 bands, 20 tracks with a total playing time of over 2 hours. Bands featured are Abbotoir, Blut, Cardinals Folly, Chronobot, Merrin, Mist, Moonbow, Mortalicum, My Silent Wake, Pektop, Spiral Shades, Swamp Witch, Twin Giant, Void Of Sleep, Bretus, Wicked Inquistion, Myoptic Empire, Ordus, Wiljen Wij, and Nevertanezra. Only $7 will get you this killer compilation.

    Head to the Downloads page or The Doommantia Bandcamp

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    The Cosmic Dead are about to unleash another installment of krautrock, doom, space rock and psychedelia. Here is the latest update from the guys....

    Hi everybody!

    We are so excited to start the 2014 with a killer release. We are talking about THE COSMIC DEAD - the heavy psych kraut rock quartet from Glasgow! Since 2010, The Cosmic Dead have been exploring the outer reaches of kraut rock, doom and psychedelia, tasting the extremes of sound and fusing them into a single, all-enveloping web of stratospheric riffing, otherworldly ambience and kosmic textures that has spread itself across countless shows throughout all Europe. Remember that satanic drug thing you didn't understand? Forget about it! Here comes the new breed and it's a fierce and fiery force! A creeping barrage of sound that embodies the spirit of heavy psychedelic freak-outs from the Godz and Hawkind to early Monster Magnet („25... Tab“-era) and Acid Mother's Temple to set you afire. Want some? Tune in, turn on, get burned!

    “For anyone who hasn’t yet stood before the Dead and their live homage to the cosmos, expect religious devotion to synthesised dreamworlds, subsonic grooves, guitaristic splendour and the vast, hypnotic sounds of Hawkwind and Popol Vuh eternally jamming in the Möbius strip of time and space”

    The album is EASTERFAUST and it comes out in a limited edition of 400 copies on a 180 gr. marble coloured vinyl.



    Sound Of Cobra Records

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    This is part eight of a thirteen part series

    Rarely do films court so much controversy and acclaim. Filmed in the fall of 1967 and released to a thoroughly unprepared world in May of 1968, “Witchfinder General” (which was also released as “Matthew Hopkins: Witchfinder General” and the Edgar Allan Poe-themed “The Conqueror Worm”) was one of the first punk rock horror films. Made on a shoestring budget, “Witchfinder General,” according to Benjamin Halligan’s book “Michael Reeves,” was initially viewed as little more than a tax write-off by Samuel Z. Arkoff and James H. Nicholson - the two men in charge of the legendary studio American International Pictures. AIP spent a good bit of coin in producing “Witchfinder General,” but, despite the sizable contribution of Tigon British Film Productions (the production company who first conceived of the film after buying the rights to Ronald Bassett’s 1966 novel of the same name), the film still wound up looking down and dirty.

    The unsentimental grittiness of “Witchfinder General” is one of the film’s trademark characteristics, along with what Empire Magazine writer Simon Braund calls its “uncompromisingly brutal” eschewing of melodrama. Unlike its peers in either the United Kingdom or North America, “Witchfinder General” is a horror film without over-the-top theatrics or garish splashes of supernatural color. Instead, director Michael Reeves’ final film is a quick, bloody, and somewhat nihilistic depiction of human depravity. No monsters need apply: Vincent Price’s Matthew Hopkins is evil enough for everybody.

    Because of its gratuitous nature and its various on-screen depictions of torture and rape, “Witchfinder General” was mostly met with outright contempt in the press. Although the Sunday Times, The Guardian, and the Daily Telegraph rarely agree on anything, they all agreed in 1968 that “Witchfinder General” was somewhere between a low-brow appeal to thuggish violence and a prurient attempt at softcore pornography. Glancing over these reviews, one comes upon words such as “sadistic,” “torture,” and “morally rotten.” Writing in his regular column for the BBC magazine The Listener, playwright Alan Bennett claimed that the film made him feel physically dirty, almost as if all the unwashed stink of the film’s seventeenth century exploded right out of the reels and onto his lap.

    While there were those who applauded the film for being truly horrifying (which it is) and being an expert example of matter-of-fact violence, these voices were few and far between in the late 1960s. Over time though, “Witchfinder General” gained a cult following and even a critical one. Even more importantly, “Witchfinder General” has had a large influence on the world of popular music, especially the dank realm of heavy metal. Obviously, the NWOBHM and proto-doom act Witchfinder General were (and probably still are) fans of the film, while bands such as Cathedral and Electric Wizard have paid homage to the film with songs and sound clips (“Hopkins [The Witchfinder General]” by the former, “I, The Witchfinder” by the latter). Because of this, and because of the poetic fact that the twenty-five year-old Reeves died from an overdose of barbiturates and alcohol less than a year after the film’s release, “Witchfinder General” has become firmly entrenched in the collective pulp consciousness.




    The film opens with an execution. Set against the backdrop of an overcast sky, the opening scene follows a group of villagers as they drag a screaming woman towards a gibbet. On that gibbet, which sits atop a barren and windy hill, a noose is slipped around the woman’s neck and she’s forced to drop. In the wings, a lone rider observes the whole scene. The opening credits quickly inform us that that rider is one Matthew Hopkins - the lecherous, corrupt, and contemptible witchfinder who is played brilliantly by the horror icon Price. Initially, Donald Pleasence was cast in the role, and in the original script (which was penned by Tom Baker and Reeves), Hopkins was written as a bumbling authority figure. Considering the combined age of Reeves and Baker, the Pleasence Hopkins was intended to be a very countercultural send-up of the British status-quo, but when AIP got involved, they demanded that the stately Price be cast in the title role. Because of this, a new script (which had extra help from producer Louis M. Heyward) was rushed through which transformed Hopkins into an arch villain motivated by greed and personal power.

    According to various histories of the film’s production, the upstart Reeves and the aging Price butted heads constantly. This conflict did not translate to the screen however, and Price is at his most menacing in “Witchfinder General.” He is not alone either, for Robert Russell plays the equally villainous John Stearne - a drunken lout of a man who genuinely enjoys torturing accused witches. Since “Witchfinder General” lacks any real witchcraft or practicing Satanists, the evil of Hopkins and Stearne goes without dilution.

    An early voiceover in the film tells us that all the action takes place in the year 1645. In British history, one would be hard pressed to find a more important date. In that year, the pivotal English Civil War, which began in 1642, finally began to favor Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentarians, and in June of that year, the Parliamentarian victory at Naseby (which is talked about at length in “Witchfinder General”) finally sealed the fate of the Royalist cause. In “Witchfinder General,” our main protagonist is the Parliamentarian soldier Richard Marshall (played by Ian Ogilvy). Marshall is a dashing and brave cavalry officer who is set to marry a beautiful country girl named Sara (played by Hilary Dwyer). Sara lives with her uncle John Lowes (played by Rupert Davies, the British actor famous for his Hammer runs and his time spent playing the French detective Maigret), a clergyman.

    After Marshall is granted leave, Lowes agrees to give Sara’s hand to Marshall in marriage, and the two lovers consummate the blessing even before the ringing of the wedding bells. Tragically, this small glimmer of hope for the future is dashed when Lowes is accused of being both a witch and a Papist (a Roman Catholic). Hopkins and Stearne come calling, and the pair of witchfinders torture the hoy man in his own home with a dagger. This is the first tough scene in the film, and if you happen to find yourself one of the heavily censored copies of “Witchfinder General,” you’ll notice a dramatic shift in the cinematography.

    When Sara is alerted to the torture session, she moves to stop Hopkins and Stearne. At first she tells Hopkins that she was adopted by Lowes, and thus is free of the clergyman’s wicked bloodline. Next, in a very awkward scene, she gives her body to Hopkins in exchange for the release of Lowes. Hopkins agrees to stop torturing Sara’s poor uncle, but he keeps him locked in his private dungeon. Growing suspicious of Hopkins’ sudden decision to spare the clergyman, Stearne decides to investigate the witchfinder’s movements. Eventually he gets wise to Hopkins’
    late night assignations with Sara, and so he sets out to rectify the situation by raping Sara in broad daylight. It works, and before long Lowes is again tortured before he is submitted to the trial by ordeal (aka thrown into a river to see if he floats or not) with two other accused witches.


    When Marshall goes looking for horses for Cromwell’s army of red coats, he hears of the recent goings-on involving Hopkins and Stearne. In a panic, he finds Sara and learns all about her recent anguish. The two perform an impromptu marriage ceremony in a wrecked church, then Marshall swears to avenge his wife’s honor.

    First, he finds Stearne drinking in a pub. This leads to small skirmish which forces both men to flee, with Marshall going back to the war and Stearne going back to Hopkins. Marshall is saved from a court martial by a grateful superior (whose life was earlier saved by Marshall), but his reward is a date with destiny at Naseby.

    Hopkins and Stearne have a run-in with the military themselves, and after both agree not to donate their horses to Cromwell’s cause, they are chased after by mounted soldiers. In the scuffle, Hopkins leaves Stearne to his fate, while Stearne narrowly avoids dying from a pistol shot. There’s supposedly no honor among thieves, and there’s definitely no loyalty between witchfinders.

    By the film’s final twenty minutes, both Marshall and Stearne are hunting after Hopkins, with the former doing so under the guise of a Cromwell-mandated mission. Specifically, General Cromwell (who is portrayed in the film by Patrick Wymark) has ordered Marshall to stop King Charles II from escaping to Europe, but as luck would have it, Marshall’s mission puts him on the trail of Hopkins. By this point, Hopkins is professing his allegiance to the Parliamentarian cause, and as such his witch trials and executions are deemed an essential part of the Cromwellian cause. In his own words, Hopkins is now Parliament’s Witchfinder General.

    Hopkins cannot enjoy his powerful title for long though, and while he is hunting suspected witches on England’s southeastern coast, he spots Sara in a village where he has recently burned a woman at the stake. Seeing an opportunity to be rid of both Sara and Marshall, Hopkins and Stearne (who has forgiven Hopkins for his abandonment) decide to accuse the pair of witchcraft, and with the help of the local magistrate, Marshall and Sara are graphically tortured in a remote castle.

    In the final scene, Marshall’s fellow soldiers come to his rescue, but what they find repels them. Marshall has broken free of his captures, and after kicking in Stearne’s eye, he has taken to chopping Hopkins with a hatchet. One of the soldiers (who is played by “Pyschomania” star Nicky Henson) puts Hopkins out of his misery with a pistol shot. In a rage, Marshall screams “You took him from me!” and the films ends on an especially psychotic note.

    This final scene is one of the best depictions of someone going “blood simple” (to lift a phrase from Dashiell Hammett), and its gory glory has become one of the more memorable aspects of “Witchfinder General.” Overall, Reeves’ cinematic swan song is a revolutionary piece that heralded in the new age of excessive bloodletting in film. It’s hard to imagine what 1970s horror would look like without “Witchfinder General.” Frankly, as a film fan and as a horror hound, I don’t want to imagine a world without “Witchfinder General,” for that would be truly terrifying.

    Words: Benjamin Welton





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    Finnish doom rock group Harvest Bell has made a record deal with Italian BloodRock Records. As a result the band will be releasing an EP called Wheel of Foretaste in both vinyl and CD formats. Founded in 2006, Harvest Bell combines heavily rolling riffs with atmospheric melodies strewed with a touch of psychedelia. Harvest Bell has previously released Wooden Stone EP. The band’s lineup is Jussi Helle (vocals), Petri Härmä (guitar), Tuomas Heinonen (guitar), Jarno Mäkinen (bass) and Juho Alhola (drums).

    Harvest Bell - Salutation


     


    Harvest Bell website: HERE
    BloodRock Records website: HERE

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    Founded in 2008 as formerly Satellite Beaver, Warsaw doomsters Sunnata have just revealed a brandnew track from their upcoming full length album "Climbing The Colossus", which will be finally coming out on March 24th 2014!

    As Satellite Beaver, the band released three EPs and played some of the biggest central and eastern-european stoner festivals, including Desertfest Berlin, Days Of The Ceremony (PL) or Robustfest (UA), and shared the stages with acts such as Sungrazer, Karma To Burn or Suma.

    After changing their bandname in the beginning of 2014 and moving into a heavier direction, Sunnata have just premiered a first single called "Asteroid",  which you can check out for free on their Bandcamp now and get an exclusive first taste of their upcoming, hotly anticipated album:

    "Many things have changed since our start in 2008. After three short-length releases and numerous shows we all (finally) agreed to make a step closer to become premium pop-stars. However, the new band name doesn’t imply any line-up or make-up changes. It simply suits our approach to the music, which has become way heavier and trippy in comparison to what we played back in 2008. So here it is. SUNNATA is a soundscape, where noise crossfades clearness –where walls of fuzz, delay and reverb confront the monolith of absolute silence."  explains the band. "We´re excited to finally unveil a first taste of our new sound!"

    "Climbing The Colossus" - The new album by Sunnata will be coming out March 24th 2014 - For fans of finest doom, sludge, stoner rock, fuzz trips & heavy riffs!

    Tracklist:
    1. Orcan
    2. Asteroid
    3. Seven
    4. Path
    5. Stalagmites
    6. Monolith
    7. Fomalhaut

    SUNNATA is:
    SZY – vocals, guitar
    GAD – guitar
    DOB – bass guitar
    ROB - drums




    Official Links:
    Facebook
    Bandcamp
    Twitter
    Official Website

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    A legendary doom metal guitarist Victor Griffin has returned to Pentagram for live shows and for the new, 7th studio album. Victor Griffin a played on the last Pentagram album which was released in 2011. Later on, he left Pentagram to concentrate on his Victor Griffin's IN-GRAVED.

    Victor Griffin comments "Time continues to teach me to expect the unexpected and never say never…at least to some things. After years of investment in Pentagram and in my relationships with Bobby Liebling, nephew Greg Turley of course, and more recently to drummer Sean Saley…the door has opened to hit the road again with my favorite dysfunctional band. We'll be starting out in the Pacific Northwest in late February, with a new album in the works plus a full tour calendar for the rest of the year and beyond. Until then…until the end!" Vocalist and founding member Bobby Liebling adds; "Victor Griffin and I are brothers and it's a joy to be working side-by-side again. As we've stated before, the door will always be open for him and he'll always be an important part of PENTAGRAM's Ram Family. It's great to have my partner in crime saddled up next to me on stage and the studio. He's truly one of a kind and we're ecstatic to create another classic PENTAGRAM album!"

    You can see Pentagram with Victor Griffith with special guests Radio Moscow and Kings Destroy on those dates:

    22.2 Seattle, WA El Corazon
    23.2 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theater
    25.2 San Francisco, CA DNA Lounge
    27.2 Albuquerque, NM Sister Bar
    28.2 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall
    1.3 Salt Lake City, UT In The Venue

    Source: Jan Zajc

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    Birmingham doomsters ALUNAH, who recently signed a worldwide record deal with Napalm Records, have announced a bunch of dates throughout the UK over the next few months. Make sure to catch them live at these shows:

    08.02 | The Vampire, Bradford w/ Monolith Cult
    15.03 | The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton w/ Grand Magus & The Vintage Caravan
    13.04 | The Asylum2, Birmingham w/ Windhand & Inter Arma
    10.05 | Doom for the Doomed at The Asylum, Birmingham w/ Purson & Others
    28.05 | The Unicorn, London
    29.05 | The Green Door Store, Brighton
    30.05 | Midsummer Nights Doom, Firebug, Leicester
    31.05 | The Star & Garter, Manchester
    01.06 | Till Death Doom us Part - venue tbc, Bristol
    05.09 | The Trip Out, Scald End Farm, Bedford

    More shows to be announced soon!

    After Napalm Records / Spinning Goblin reissued the band's 3rd album ‘White Hoarhound" on Vinyl in early 2013, the West Midlands four piece featuring Soph Day (vocals and guitar), Dave Day (guitar), Dan Burchmore (bass) and Jake Mason (drums) are currently working on a new record, scheduled to be released on Napalm Records later this year.

    For more information and further news on Alunah visit:

    Alunsh | Official Website
    Alunah | Facebook

    Listen to "White Hoarhound":



    Source: Platinum PR

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    The crude horde that be the CAULDRON BLACK RAM emerge yet once more from wat'ry tomb to besiege hapless poseurs and put to manacles weak would be picaroons. Being the third of albums to sail under the banner of CBR, the new recording is a commanding effort of sludgy crossboned black death metal and slimy, rum-sodden doomed debauchery. The brigands from the far side of the world prove well versed in the execution of this unfair trade, delivering knavish punishment unto unprepared ears in the form of Stalagmire.

    Bear witness to the sordid melody at the opening of the "Maw" and be ushered violently into cave where 'luckless beggars only want for open sky'. Doomed seafarers spew forth "A Litany Of Sailors Sins" wherein their anthemic call 'What dire straights we are in' foreshadows the final echo of men given to lust for plunder. And that old reprobate from earlier days of the black ram, Black Douglass again here appears in "The Devil's Trotters."

    This scurrilous tale, Stalagmire, puts CAULDRON BLACK RAM in league with similar ugly contemporaries who pay heed to old, distasteful gods and outlaw tradition but yet forge a singular path of their own making. Be it black, death, doom or thrash, all goes into the strange brew mixed in the CAULDRON BLACK RAM. Horrible, horrible end for ye who enter thus.

    Stalagmire will invade ports and pillage villages in North America on April 1st in North America and in Europe April 4th as part of the 20 Buck Spin armada. Be on watch for further missives and warnings on the horizon...

    Stalagmire Track Listing:

    1. Fork Through Pitch
    2. Maw
    3. Discarded Death
    4. A Litany Of Sailors Sins
    5. Bats
    6. Cavern Fever
    7. From Whence The Old Skull Came
    8. The Devil's Trotters
    9. Speliogenesis




    For all 20 Buck Spin-related media wants, signal The Earsplit Compond: dave@earsplitcompound.com

    Bandcamp
    Facebook
    20 Buck Spin | Official Site
    20 Buck Spin | Facebook

    Source: Earsplit PR

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    Caveman Battle Doomers CONAN have announced dates for a UK tour to happen during March, the gigs will be in support of their new album ‘Blood Eagle’ which is set for release via Napalm Records, all dates will be opened by UK Blackened Doomers BAST and for those attending the London gig, US Heavy Sludgers INDIAN will also join the party which is sure to make foundations crumble!

    CONAN & BAST UK Tour Dates
    14.03.14 Nottingham, UK, Stuck On A Name Studios
    15.03.14 Bournemouth, UK, The Anvil
    16.03.14 Birmingham, UK, Asylum 2
    17.03.14 Glasgow, UK, Audio
    18.03.14 Aberdeen, UK, Downstairs
    19.03.14 Manchester, UK, Kraak Gallery w/ Corrupt Moral Altar & Bastard Of The Skies
    20.03.14 Cardiff, UK, The Full Moon
    21.03.14 Brighton, UK, The Prince Albert w/ Sea Bastard
    22.03.14 London, UK, Electrowerkz w/ Indian & Dead Existence
    23.03.14 Basingstoke, UK, Mousetrap


    ‘Blood Eagle’ was recorded at CONAN Guitarist/Vocalist’s Jon Davis newly opened studio SkyHammer, with Chris Fielding at the helm, artwork was once again handled by the talented Tony Roberts and this much anticipated album will released via Napalm Records on Gatefold Vinyl, Digipack CD and Digital formats, the official street dates are as follows:

    28/02/2014: G/A/S, FIN & Benelux
    03/03/2014: UK & Rest of Europe
    05/03/2014: ESP, SWE & NOR
    11/03/2014: USA/CAN

    ‘Blood Eagle’ Tracklist:
    1. Crown of Talons
    2. Total Conquest
    3. Foehammer
    4. Gravity Chasm
    5. Horns For Teeth
    6. Altar of Grief




    Conan | Official Website
    Conan | Facebook
    Conan | Bandcamp
    Bastmusic | Facebook
    Bastmusic | Bandcamp
    Napalm Records | Offical Website
    Napalm Records | Facebook

    Source: The Sleeping Shaman

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    The line-up for the Moving The Earth Fest 2! Taking place again at the Windup Space here in Baltimore Maryland on Saturday and Sunday March 22nd and 23rd 2014.

    The lineups are…

    Saturday March 22nd 7pm
    The Return of Sixty Watt Shaman
    Kingsnake
    Wasted Theory
    Supervoid
    Compression
    Passage Between

    Sunday March 23rd 6pm
    Iron Man
    Foghound
    Asthma Castle
    Bastards of Reality
    Fortress
    Black Lung
    Northwoods

    Admission will be $10 per day, 21+. We look forward to bringing all these great bands together for what is sure to be an amazing 2 day celebration of Heavy, Stoner, Doom and Psych music!

    More Info | Facebook

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  • 01/28/14--17:30: Writers Wanted ...
  • Here is the deal, we need dedicated writers/bloggers to join the Doommantia team before we pull the pin for good. This site, despite still gaining an impressive amount of hits to the website has been on free-fall for months now. Now it is crunch time. If you wish to be part of the team and help push this site past a staggering 7 million page views and help in promoting the doom metal, stoner, sludge, psychedelic and drone genres, shoot us a email. We have no deadlines, and writers are free to express themselves in any way they feel like, within reason of course. We need album reviews, live reviews, interviews and even movie reviews if it is related to the music we promote. General articles on doom, stoner related music are also welcome. PLEASE no time wasters and no false promises. Only contact us if you are serious and you have the spare time as this can be time consuming.

    If interested, send a email to contact@doommantia.com.

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    Seattle's purveyors of monolithic minimalist rock, EARTH, have confirmed their first live actions for 2014 and the initial murmurs of a new LP.

    This Spring, EARTH will trek into the American Midwest, centered around this year's massive Big Ears Festival in Knoxville on March 29th and 30th, where they share the stage with Steve Reich, Television, Jonny Greenwood, John Cale, Stephen O'Malley, Oren Ambarchi, Tim Hecker, Low and countless more, followed by Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City on April 2nd, sharing a bill with the likes of Philip Glass, Oneohtrix Point Never, Wolf Eyes and many others. This is the first tour EARTH has routed since 2012 while supporting their sprawling Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light Part II LP released via Southern Lord that year.

    EARTH is currently mixing tracks in Seattle and while it remains shrouded in mystery, EARTH's founder and lead guitarist, Dylan Carlson has publicly stated that it contains some of the heaviest material they've written in years.

    Though EARTH remained largely dormant since 2012, Carlson has spent much of that time focused on solo material, releasing a series of short run releases and touring across Europe throughout the later part of 2013.

    EARTH Spring 2014 Tour:

    3/27/2014 Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL
    3/28/2014 Zanzabar - Louisville, KY
    3/29-30/2014 Big Ears Festival - Knoxville, TN [tickets]
    3/31/2014 Firebird - St. Louis, MO
    4/01/2014 The Record Bar - Kansas City, MO
    4/02/2014 Mission Creek Festival - Iowa City, IA [tickets]

    For coverage of EARTH, in North/South America contact dave@earsplitcompound.com and in Europe contact lauren@rarelyunable.com.

    Official Website
    Facebook

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    THE SKULL — the new band featuring original TROUBLE members vocalist Eric Wagner and drummer Jeff "Oly" Olson alongside TROUBLE's longtime bassist Ron Holzner and SACRED DAWN guitarist Lothar Keller - have signed an exclusive deal with U.S. booking agency Tone Deaf Touring for the band’s upcoming 2014 tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of TROUBLE’s debut record “Psalm 9.”

    Tone Deaf Touring will handle the band’s territory of U.S, Canada, South America, and Australia. Tour dates (including Europe) will be announced in the coming weeks.

    In a recent interview with the Greek zine Metalpaths.com vocalist Eric Wagner said, “Next year we are planning a tour, where we are going to play the whole Psalm 9 in it, and a new record to celebrate Psalm 9’s thirty- year anniversary.”

    During the same interview, MetalPath’s asked whether THE SKULL would be working with producer Billy Anderson for the debut record. Bassist Ron Holzner responded, “Actually we worked with Billy Anderson on two songs. I always wanted to work with him and he always wanted to work with us, so we had two songs, ready to record and we wanted to see how they would sound. We are not sure we will do the whole record with Billy Anderson because he is too busy and he is staying in South America for months. We can’t wait for him.” You can read the entire interview at this location. THIS LOCATION

    THE SKULL is currently negotiating a record deal for their as-yet-untitled debut full-length album that will be announced this winter.

    Photo by Kevin T. Miller


     THE SKULL is:

    Eric Wagner – vocals
    Jeff “Oly” Olson – drums/keys
    Ron Holzner – bass
    Lothar Keller - guitar

    As recently reported, drummer Jeff “Oly” Olson will be scheduling a meet and greet and launch party at Idle Hands Bar located in New York City on Saturday, March 1st from 8PM-11PM to celebrate his new Imperial Stout, Red Howes, that Olson released with Allagash Brewing Company last Saturday, January 25th. The brew is available in 750 ML bottles only at the brewery in Portland, Maine and is released nationwide on draft.

    For an interview with any member of THE SKULL, please contact Leigh@LeighOlsonManagement.com

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    Swedish doomsters KNOGH will support their mighty new album "Sole Creation" on a European tour. The "Ten Years Of Doom" tour will be made of two parts. One in April, including Denmark, Germany, Poland, Austria, Belgium, France, Holland and UK (poster with dates can be seen below). The second part is soon to be announced and will feature other regions of Europe.

    "April 2014 happens to be exactly ten years since the formation of Kongh, and this journey will be a celebration of that. Total heaviness guaranteed!" The Swedish Grammy-nominated band released their latest album "Sole Creation" in February 2013. Quoted as "an absolute colossus" by Papmatters as well as a "chest-puffing good time" by Decibel Magazine, the release can be listened to in full at:

    Agonia Records | Bandcamp

    With a guest appearance of John Doe from Craft, the album was recorded at Teknikkompaniet (Vetlanda, Sweden) by Peter Lundin; mixed and mastered by Magnus Lindberg of Cult Of Luna fame.

    Dates are as follows:

    April 10 - Copenhagen, DK - Loppen
    April 11 - Bielefeld, DE - AJZ (with Windhand, Indian, Inter Arma)
    April 12 - Leipzig, DE - "Doom Over Leipzig" at AZ Connewitz
    April 3 - Wroclaw, PL - Firlej
    April 14 - TBA
    April 15 - Vienna, AT - Arena (with Sourvein, Graves At Sea)
    April 16 - Nurnberg, DE - Artischocken
    April 17 - Brussels, BE - Magasin 4
    April 18 - Rouen, FR - Emporium Galorium
    April 19 - Paris, FR - La Maroquinerie
    April 20 - Nijmegen, NL - Doornroosje (with Castle, Lonely Kamel, Sleepy Sun)
    April 21 - Hamburg, DE - Astra Stube
    April 27 - London, UK - "The Desertfest" at The Underworld


    Follow the band at: Kongh's Facebook

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    This is part nine of a thirteen part series.

    This is a tough call. Between 1970 and 1972, the dapper and debonair American actor Robert Quarry made three great schlockers, two of which were produced by the legendary studio American International Pictures. All three of these films - 1970’s “Count Yorga, Vampire,” 1971’s “The Return of Count Yorga,” and 1972’s “The Deathmaster” - are worthy of being included on the “Doomsters At the Drive-In” list, but only one can make it, so I’m going to go with my heart.

    “The Return of Count Yorga” was one of the very first movies that I ever got up early for (and on a school day, no less). Way back in time, when I was still living with my old man, we had digital cable, which of course meant that with the press of the blue “Info” button, you could see which movies were on next. Before falling asleep one night during the middle of the week, I noticed that “The Return of Count Yorga” would be playing at 3:00 am the next morning. Because it was obviously a horror film, I decided to wake up early and catch the flick.

    I was not disappointed, for although I had yet to see the earlier installment of Count Yorga, I immediately fell in love with the campy weirdness of the sequel. Set in the unbelievably small town of Westwood, California (which seems to be located somewhere near San Francisco), “The Return of Count Yorga” deals with the titular character’s desire for one Cynthia Nelson (played by Mariette Hartley), a redheaded teacher at a local orphanage. Cynthia makes the old Bulgarian nobleman feel love for the first time, and for a vampire, such human emotions are deadly. In the tradition of “Dracula,” the Count decides to forgo his misgivings, which in turn leads him towards an unfruitful attempt at turning Cynthia into his immortal and undead lover. Vampires: they can’t catch a break.




    Rather than treat it like a standalone piece, “The Return of Count Yorga” is best appreciated when compared and contrasted with its predecessor - “Count Yorga, Vampire.” Also, in case you’re the type who likes doom metal accompaniment with your fright flicks, I would suggest Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats - a British band that sounds like they’re from the same late ‘60s and early ‘70s California milieu as Count Yorga himself. And Count Yorga really is a California kid, for both of his films are set in the Golden State.

    But they’re not set in the same place, mind you. “Count Yorga, Vampire” opens with a shot of the Port of Los Angeles. In that scene, we watch as a wooden box is loaded into a red pickup truck, which then carts its cargo to a hillside home that isn’t terribly foreboding by itself. The chills in this opening come from the voiceover narration (which was done by George Macready, the father of the film’s producer). The narrator tells us all about the figure of the vampire - it’s place in world superstitions, the possibilities of its tribe being real, and so on and so forth.

    From there, the film transitions to a séance. Donna (played oddly enough by Donna Anders) has just lost her mother, and the séance is her way of trying to communicate with her recently deceased relative. Count Yorga, a mystic from deep behind the Iron Curtain, conducts the ceremony, and despite his strong presence, not everyone takes him seriously. The two main offenders are Paul (played by Michael Murphy) and Michael (played by Michael Macready, the film’s producer). Although Paul and Michael treat the whole thing like a joke, Donna and her friend Erica (played by Judy Lang) do not, and it is they who mostly urge on the Count.

    Eventually, while the séance reaches deep into the night, Donna becomes hysterical after getting worked up by the Count’s repeated calls to her mother. When Donna finally cracks, Count Yorga hypnotizes her into relaxation. This effectively ends the night’s festivities, and all leave to go home. After dropping Count Yorga off at his new residence (which is guarded by his unsightly henchman Brudah [played by Edward Walsh]), Paul and Erica manage to get their van stuck in the mud, even though Paul notes that the ground had been dry only a few minutes before. Like any other couple in such a situation, Paul and Erica decide to shag in the wagon while Count Yorga looks on from afar. After the tryst, Count Yorga attacks the pair. He first knocks out Paul with a swift kick to the mush, then he slowly engulfs a heavy breathing Erica.

    This method of approach is repeated in “The Return of Count Yorga.” Ever the heterosexual, Count Yorga, a thoroughly modern man, dispatches of his male foes with kicks or strangleholds, while his female victims are treated more gently. He only bites the girls, and when he does, he works them up to a sexual fury. There’s no better example of this than the scene where Count Yorga finally makes Erica a full-fledged creature of the night. In that scene, Erica, who has been recently attacking cats and eating a lot of red meat, presages the Count’s arrival by wearing next to nothing and massaging her breasts in front of the windy night sky. It’s a little much, and in fact it seems like something left in from a soft-core porno.

    That’s no coincidence, either. Initially, “Count Yorga, Vampire” was called “The Loves of Count Yorga,” and some prints of the film still display the original title. Macready and writer/director Bob Kelljan just wanted to make a little extra cash with a skin flick, but when Robert Quarry signed on to play the vampire, he talked them into making a straight horror film. Still, there’s a sleazy glaze to “Count Yorga, Vampire,” and certain scenes (such as when Count Yorga watches two of his vampire brides make-out) feel too over-the-top, even for an exploitation film.



    In order to combat Count Yorga and his continued advances on Donna, Paul and Michael turn to Dr. Jim Hayes (played by Roger Perry). A veteran of Erica’s ordeal, Dr. Hayes is the first one to suspect that Count Yorga might be a vampire, and as the film progresses, he convinces everyone else. Ultimately, the living gang attack Count Yorga’s mansion, where they find Donna’s mother (who is played by the stag film specialist Marsha Jordan) as one of Count Yorga’s many vampire brides. Since Dr. Hayes is the first to fall during the assault (he’s eaten alive by Yorga’s brides), it’s left up to Michael to not only destroy the Count and his brides (which includes Erica, his best friend’s former flame), but also rescue Donna from the clutches of Yorga’s hypnotism. When Michael corners Yorga, Donna’s mother, and Donna, the Count throws his former bride in front of the stake just before he himself accidentally runs into Michael’s wooden weapon. Count Yorga’s death is a loud one, and the protracted gurgling sounds are unintentionally hilarious.

    At the film’s end, Yorga is reduced to dust, thus signaling the end of the threat. Or does it? After locking the two remaining vampire brides in a room, Michael reaches for Donna’s hand. She responds by biting him, for she has become a vampire herself. Right before “The End” roles around, the narrator returns as a cackling maniac invisibly overseeing Los Angeles’s nighttime panorama. The vampire threat is still out there, and who knows when it might return.

    Well, it returned only a year later with “The Return of Count Yorga.” In the sequel, the usual horror film cliches are toned down in favor of a tongue-in-cheek sarcasm that continually plays around with the boundaries of the fourth wall. Examples include a scene wherein Count Yorga loses a costume competition to a man dressed like Count Dracula and a scene wherein Count Yorga is caught watching a Spanish language version of Hammer’s “The Vampire Lovers.” And while these are moments of intentional fun, the film also contains a few head-scratchers that possibly point towards a sloppy and forgettable Kelljan (who not only directed the film, but also co-wrote it with Yvonne Wilder). For instance, Roger Perry reprises his role as a doctor who quickly wises up to Count Yorga’s vampirism, but this time around he’s Dr. Baldwin. While Dr. Baldwin is Cynthia’s fiancé and rocks a mean goatee, he’s essentially the same character as Dr. Hayes. Hell, they both even wear the same tie. In similar situation, Brudha is present in the film despite his earlier on-screen death. Unfortunately for him, in “The Return of Count Yorga,” he has to die again in yet another unglamorous scene.




    The other big question in “The Return of Count Yorga” is in regards to the Santa Ana winds. Everybody, even the Reverend Thomas (played by Tom Toner), is afraid of the winds. Not only do they nosily blow throughout the film, (“The Return of Count Yorga” is a noticeably quiet movie and it lacks even a rudimentary soundtrack), but they also seem to have supernatural powers. It is the wind that revives the Count’s vampire brides, and one unlucky orphan named Tommy (played by Philip Frame) finds out that the winds can also call up Count Yorga.

    Count Yorga quickly turns Tommy into his new little henchman, and in some ways, Tommy overtakes Count Yorga as the film’s biggest heavy. After all, it’s Tommy who has to be dissuaded from killing a peer with a stone slam to the skull, and it is Tommy who plunges knives into two separate hearts (the first one belongs to the Nelson’s mute maid Jennifer [played by Wilder herself], and the other belongs to the detective Lieutenant Madden [played by Rudy DeLuca]).

    Not to be outdone, Count Yorga first captures Cynthia by unleashing his now larger harem on the Nelson household. The brides break into the place and kill everyone except for Cynthia. Using hypnotism once again, Count Yorga convinces Cynthia that she has been in a car accident, and that her doctor has proscribed her an extended stay at Count Yorga’s old Spanish mission abode. Of course this lie doesn’t keep, and as the film roles along, Cynthia receives scattered flashbacks to the assault.

    As a more consciously artistic film than “Count Yorga, Vampire,” “The Return of Count Yorga” includes some film school flourishes that help to amplify the film’s weirdness. In one case, after Count Yorga has snuffed out Joe (played by Michael Pataki), the boyfriend of Mitzi (played by Jesse Wells), the film’s second victim, the camera goes underwater and glimpses Count Yorga through watery ripples as a strange bit of whale noise plays in the background. In another scene, Count Yorga attacks Jason (played David Lampson), the former boyfriend of one his new brides, by running after him with his arms outstretched and his two rows of teeth showing. The vampire’s run is shot in slow motion, thus allowing for a greater feeling of unnatural eeriness to seep into the film.

    But as much as “The Return of Count Yorga” changes things, it’s still in many ways a repeat of the earlier film. Both films involve the Count lusting after one woman and both films include climactic battles that take place within the vampire’s home. This time around though, in “The Return of Count Yorga,” the battle sequence is more drawn out, involves more characters (including Craig T. Nelson, who was then acting in his very first feature film), and is done with better cinematography. Also, Count Yorga’s ancient manor house in “The Return of Count Yorga” easily trumps his much humbler dwelling in “Count Yorga, Vampire.”

    “The Return of Count Yorga” returns to an earlier ending however, and after Dr. Baldwin (who has just survived a hallway full of vampire brides and one vampire witch) has successfully defeated the Count with a little help from Cynthia and a medieval battle axe, he turns on his lover with his newly acquired fangs barred. The film ends with Tommy, the lone survivor, kicking a ball around in the sunshine. For 1971, this is all very dour stuff.

    After “The Return of Count Yorga,” AIP decided that the horror film trend was on the decline, and so they started to back blaxploitation as the next profitable genre. In 1972, Quarry would again play a vampire, but in “The Deathmaster,” Quarry played the Charles Manson-inspired bloodsucker Khorda. Due to the AIP promotions and posters that billed Count Yorga as “the Deathmaster,” many people went to see “The Deathmaster” under the assumption that it was the third installment of the Count Yorga series. Alas, “The Return of Count Yorga” is the last cinematic appearance of the Bulgarian vampire. Speaking personally, Count Yorga is one of my favorite vampires, and although many people have overlooked or forgotten this particular pair of fangs, I will never let go of the groovy vampire who made me get up at 3:00 a.m.

    Words: Benjamin Welton





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    Cool show,(This sold out). Apparently Heavy Temple's 6 string was a "douche nozzle" and they played with a new drummer as a bass and drum duo. It was interesting.

    We missed half of Village's set maybe, they went on early as shit I think because they were a surprise addition and a welcome one to my ears, the lady friend as well.

    Village I think are an instrumental only band, there was a Mic up, if I missed the singing I'm wrong, but what I heard was instrumental. 2 axes, one of whom plays the organ sounding keyboard, bass and drums. It was like Deep Purple mixed with Sabbath and Hawkwind with the power of 2013's tones. I dug it, asked the bassist about any Bandcamp, he said a fast-space? I'll look it up.

    Heavy Temple they called themselves; in reality they were the bassist/vocalist of Heavy Temple only, and another drummer who was absolutely nuts for how tiny he is. As only playing the bass and drum bits to the songs, i assume her songs, there was a very real sons OTISy tone I was detecting. Because the songs were meant to be with guitar, she took on the solos and all basically and the songs drugged their spacey way to their endpoints.Since OTIS are basically a Canadian only band live, I'd never think I'd be able to hear tones like that mixed with space acid freak out cosmic sludge in a live setting, but I'll be damned if I didn't close my eyes, let her beautiful voice take me to more beautifully universal places than OTIS could ever attain. Really fucking outstanding she found that guy so fast or whatever and he knew the songs, he was standing up and crashing down on the symbols, kept having to move the bass drum back to him, etc. And then there was the one, and best, section I thought, where they toned it down, slowed it down, jazzed it out, drug it along, and it was like hearing Bill Ward in 1969 man. I'll probably never be able to see them again as a duo, because some real guitar solos would have aced it, but that set was a black monolith trudged through by a white witch and some tiny really angry dude on drums. He was so happy playing, it looked like they really had fun trying the songs like this.

    Mike quietly took the stage, the place was pretty full by then. I'd heard the first track he posted on Bandcamp whenever that was, and will check it again to see if new songs were released. He has a great voice and solo acoustic he really let it shine. The songs were pretty somehow, heavy bluesy but uplifting. I'd check an album out if he were to want to release this kind of stuff. They'd be better rounded with a fiddle, upright bass..

    Dax capped the night with an opener of What A Wonderful World. It was so beautiful yet the rest of his set wasn't any less. This stuff rivaled unplugged Nirvana for me as far as sorrowful yet beautiful simple acoustic songs. Dax has been going a long time and I really enjoyed hearing this side of him live for the first time I was introduced to him. I'd be down for sludge, but this was intimate. He had a bassist next to him who was playing Paul McCartney's bass (the model, whathaveyou) and it was cool to see and hear that different bass live for the first for me.

    It was like, 9 different firsts for my lady friend, she had a blast, and basically shows are more fun with the one you love. Some are for different friends, but last night was for her.

    Go see Village, and this tour..............You can thank me later if you must.

    Words: Sabbath Jeff

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    Portland sludge slingers and recent Neurot family additions, STONEBURNER, are readying to unleash their forthcoming new full-length, Life Drawing. The follow-up to their 2012 debut, Sickness Will Pass, which The Sludgelord appropriately crowned "an ugly, visceral and truly terrifying beast of an album," and Metal Underground dubbed "a bruising sludge/doom debut that is the perfect antidote to the dog days of summer," features nine rumbling odes of bottom-heavy hostility and emotional decay. Recorded, mixed and produced by Fester at Haywire Studios, mastered by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph Mastering -- both in Portland -- and swathed in the visually abrasive cover art of J.J. Shirey, Life Drawing promises to hurl STONEBURNER's habitually chest-caving sludge mantras to entirely new realms of earth-deteriorating heaviness.

    Comments the band in a collective statement: "Lyrically we've always focused on personal matters, and one theme that particularly seems to keep coming up on this record is the struggle to be a decent person in a world that keeps doing its best to cause you not to be. J.J. Shirey, who paints our album covers, is part of the STONEBURNER brotherhood and we have absolute faith in him. We have him sit in on rehearsals, read our lyrics, and then we send him off to come up with whatever he thinks best suits the material. We feel that this piece absolutely captures the mood of trying to grow and heal, but constantly finding yourself falling back into the darkness caused by emotional and physical addictions. The world isn't always a happy, beautiful place, and neither is our music. Thanks to J.J. you're going to sense that before you even hear the album."

    Life Drawing Track Listing:

    1. Some Can
    2. Caged Bird
    3. Drift
    4. An Apology To A Friend In Need
    5. Pale New Eyes
    6. Giver Of Birth
    7. Done
    8. You Are The Worst
    9. The Phoenix


    STONEBURNER features a persuasive musical ancestry that winds through Buried At Sea, Buried Blood, Heathen Shrine and others. Named after a subterranean weapon from the novel Dune, STONEBURNER deliver a wholly organic orchestration of captivating, crustified doom metal, their torrid hymns bathed in internal agony, anguish and despair. To define STONEBURNER, one need only look to the list of bands with whom they've shared the stage: Yob, Sleep, Eyehategod, Neurosis, Buzzov-en, Weedeater, Saint Vitus, Watain, Tragedy, Noothgrush, Graves At Sea, Lord Dying, Drop Dead, Whitehorse, Wind Hand, Bastard Noise...

    Life Drawing will be unleashed via Neurot Recordings later this Spring. Stay tuned for further info.

    For STONEBURNER/Neurot Recordings coverage, in North/South America contact Earsplit PR [liz@earsplitcompound.com], in Germany contact Community [ansgar@community-promotion.com], and in the rest of Europe contact Rarely Unable [lauren@rarelyunable.com].

    Stoneburner | Facebook
    Neurot Recordings | Official Website
    Neurot Recordings | Facebook
    Source: Earsplit PR

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    Following the successful release of their Prosthetic Records debut, "Blacklands", which earned the female-fronted doom trio a nomination for a Juno Award (Canada's Grammy equivalent) for "Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year," CASTLE will soon return to the studio to record a new album, with producer Billy Anderson (SLEEP, NEUROSIS) again overseeing the sessions.

    Commented the band: "The next CASTLE record will be a culmination of the last two years of our life — a year and a half on the road in support of 'Blacklands' and the last six months holed up writing. The demos are done, the studio is booked and we were lucky enough to get Billy Anderson back to produce.

    "The new record picks up where we left off with 'Blacklands' and, before that, 'In Witch Order'.

    "There's a lot to sink your teeth into on the new record — killer riffs, big vocals — and if anything, it's about trying to harness the power that comes from playing night after night. It's going to sound huge and we can't wait to get it out."

    The as-yet-untitled CD is expected to be released in the late spring.

    CASTLE has also announced a Western European tour with U.K. doom group CONAN throughout April. Additional support will be added by Swedish rockers THE GRAVIATORS on select dates.

    Since the release of "Blacklands" in 2012, CASTLE has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe, including appearances at Roadburn and Desertfest, in addition to playing alongside acts such as INTRONAUT, THE SWORD, DEMON LUNG and WITCH MOUNTAIN.

    Originally conceived by guitarist, songwriter and producer Mat Davis as a solo project, CASTLE turned a meeting of hearts into the formation of a band. After meeting his wife Elizabeth Blackwell, who would become the group's vocalist and bassist, Davis also reached out to his longtime friend and musical collaborator Al McCartney from Toronto to play drums. The power trio released their debut album, "In Witch Order", via German label Van Records in 2011; it was revered by the press, including being named Metal Hammer Norway's "Album of the Year" in addition to leading the Roadburn festival to name the band "Newcomer of the Year.""Blacklands" earned similar acclaim, with Metal Hammer calling it "a tough alloy of purest classic metals — doom, thrash, epic and power — with dark, smoky lady vocals," and Exclaim! praising its "sinister sweetness" and "irresistible hooks."

    Read more at Blabbermouth

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    Today Metal Injection, in cooperation with blackened doom bringers, INDIAN, premiere a brand new visual atrocity in the form of "Rhetoric Of No."

    The menacing six-plus-minute demonstration of deviance comes courtesy of INDIAN's newly-released From All Purity full-length. A corrosive audio collage where tar-black doom unites with expansive waves of noise to create a near smothering sensation of revulsion, suffering, and imminent degeneration, the six-track From All Purity, which debuted at #24 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart, is the true sound of the earth dying.

    Recorded at Electrical Audio and Soma Studios in Chicago with engineer/co-producer Sanford Parker (Minsk, Yob, Samothrace), From All Purity has reaped the love of fans and media globally. In an 8.2/10 score, Pitchfork calls the record, "commanding and well-crafted," adding that "this is the strongest they've ever sounded," Hit The Floor names it, "the most vicious and scathing pieces of bleak recorded hatred you will hear all year," Metal Insider points out that, "it's almost as if INDIAN aren't playing their instruments so much as abusing them and we are allowed to witness this display of musical debauchery like some sickening peep show," while MetalSucks commends the record's "gnarled brilliance" furthering that, "it's just so fucking ugly and unpleasant that, unless you're in the mood to go looking for diamonds in the vomit-encrusted rough, it can sound like an endless, sickly death march.... INDIAN know that doom's slowness can be used to stretch out one's concept of time to submerge whoever's listening into something truly vicious." Lambgoat agrees, "With their fifth full-length, INDIAN builds upon a key fact that should define their music: beauty through dissonance... It's noisy, unpleasant, and vicious in its sludge/doom attack; all qualities that make From All Purity a strong release." Adds Metal Injection, "Far from a mere Eyehategod or Neurosis clone, INDIAN are a well-rounded quintet capable of appealing to fans of groups as disparate as Batillus, Pelican or High On Fire."

    Widen your eye holes and check out "Rhetoric Of No" at THIS LOCATION

    In related news, the Chicagoan misanthropes will head overseas this Spring for a short bout of onstage rituals alongside labelmates Inter Arma and Windhand on select dates. The international excursion includes a performance at this year's Roadburn gala. North American dates will be revealed in the coming weeks.



    INDIAN w/ Inter Arma

    4/04/2014Kavka - Antwerp, BE
    4/05/2014 Iduna - Drachten, NL
    4/06/2014 Luftschlossfabrik - Flensburg, DE            
    4/09/2014 KB18 - Copenhagen, DK w/ 16, Grime

    w/ Windhand, Inter Arma
    4/10/2014 Doom Over Leipzig - Leipzig, DE                   
    4/11/2014 AJZ - Bielefeld, DE
    4/12/2014 013 Venue - Tilburg, NL [info]

    From All Purity is currently streaming in full at the Indian Bandcamp Page.  Purchase your copy of From All Purity via Relapse HERE. For iTunes orders, point your browser HERE



    Indian | Facebook
    Indian | Official Website
    Relapse | Official Website
    Source: Earsplit PR

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    Introducing a new feature we are calling "Past Lives." A Collection of live reviews from Sabbath Jeff who some of you may know from the Stonerrock Lives Forum. Hope you enjoy them and welcome Jeff to Doommantia.Com.


    In some bygone era, music itself was birthed.  Ages ago, the archetypal drum was conceived- a torn cow hide and a hollowed log, or woven basket. A few men thumped on it, producing a beat that pleased their heretofore music-less ear canals. They were no doubt trying to extract rhythms and patterns, complex notes and classical, timpani-like noises.

    These were not my ancestors. No, I grooved with that other Neanderthal, who simply pounded that uncomplicated rudimentary instrument for the sheer joy he felt until his hands bled from the pre-drumstick senseless nature of it all. That’s where music was really born.

    Of course, since that time, music has become so fractionalized that sometimes it’s not recognizable as sounds produced by evolved humans, while at other times, there can be enough emotion to sway a listener any which way the artist wants. When music has that power over me, I can be transported beyond any worldly affair. In a trance, I listen only to what I let be heard; only to that which feeds my addiction to these sounds.

    Some bands I’ve heard melt the fabrics of the cosmos and lift me skyward, billions of miles above Terra-firma. Some are gargantuan, leaving me so little room to breathe. Others are archaic, underground, sounding like they were recorded in the center of our planet. Then, however, there exists the band I just saw at the Knitting Factory.

    I truly believe their name irrelevant, because frankly, the music speaks for itself. That Neanderthal on the skins is here, except tonight, he had two carved tree branches to beat his kit, which seemed a huge metallic cage of equipment all around his small frame. From the looks of him one can hardly tell the difference between he and a brute, which may work to their advantage. He has the impassioned rage, the power. He wields it. Sticks flail about so quickly that I can’t understand why the band doesn’t just utilize two drummers in half-step: wouldn’t that be easier on the back? The bass drums are massive to the point that I can’t even see the guy’s chin.

    He produces a horrifying din: a mountain, a brick wall of noise that penetrates through to the toes of all in attendance. It’s all so tribal, so base, and yet his skills probably rival that of any drummer in whatever genre one can name. He’s not so much a musician as some mystical shaman granted the gift of quizzically fast limbs and the sacred knowledge of the metronome. He is thunder: my senses are brutalized and I see him laughing as I try to counteract the fact that he’s replaced my gentle heartbeat with thuds. Then he strikes at a cymbal; the crash, as lightning follows the rumbling thunder.

    I can only grin as he works his magic, doing things to my gut I didn’t know were legal and letting me know that I’m alive. I accept that there is no space in the tiny club to avoid this madness. It is there, and I must succumb to the power.

    Then, there are the other two guys up on stage, trying to be as loud as the drummer, simultaneously pounding away on their own instruments in some suicidal attempt to keep the machine together, which surprisingly, they accomplish.

    The characteristically stoic bassist, is the member then which my eyes happen upon the least.  He’s a huge green amplifier behind him, and his lows sound low enough to get a whales’ attention.  The whole of my body is treated to his furious, pick-free slapping.  I can’t keep up with his movements either.  Not unlike watching Black Sabbath from the 7th row on Geezer Butler’s side, the bassist here too seems to be playing poly-rhythms underneath the searing Les Paul, and those maniacal drums.  His head bobs so fast that I don’t well comprehend how he stays in one spot; all the cool bassists pick that sweet spot and do their thing, it seems.  He is not the main attraction tonight either.  He is the compliment, to be sure, the yin to the yang.  Then I look to the right and realize that yang is pretty angry.

    The guitarist is, in fact, another madman.  He’s the final one on this stage before us.  His axe, more weapon than woman, is a gorgeous orange Gibson that produces noises I’ve never heard.  Another massive green amp lumbers in his background as well, giving this beautiful guitar its voice, the third puzzle piece connecting this triangle of chaos and bringing it all together.

    I can only describe it as the sound of the apocalypse when the trio puts it together.  It’s not quite fast enough to be labeled heavy metal, yet it is bother certainly heavy and metallic all at once.  The riffs bleed together indistinguishably, and then, the lion roars.  Knowing the lyrics, I had no trouble keeping up with what song was which.  I want to scream from how much abandon I feel, but I can’t even hear myself think.

    Those woven riffs pummel me in every which way, leaving me battered.  I beg for an encore.  It’s so loud it is painful, but I’m 18, up front, and have finally entered the dingy world of underground rock and roll.  I love these noises: they get me through the rough days.  I bang my head for every song all the way through.  There isn’t much else to be done when the songs sound this way, so I succumb to the urges and let my gut decide where I move instead of my head.

     The band blasts through eight battle cries, one of them a Venom cover of Witching Hour, which was really fun.  The riffs alone are enough to make lesser men whimper in fear, and yet, there’s an added element.  The guitarist launches into solos which are so unique and blisteringly fast that I sneak a smile during them until those war drums beat me back down.  I’m gone at this point: the technicality and speed, coupled with his recklessness and abandon up and down the neck, just leave me speechless.  His fingers move so quickly up and down and back again, that I find myself staring, trying to somehow comprehend as this master does what he loves, again and again for the full headlining set.

    The most interesting piece for me is not hearing the volume level dip once throughout the set.  During the solos, the bassist and drummer make enough noise that there are no needs for overdubs on the albums, or rhythm guitarists live.  That’s the most dangerous thing about this band.  That’s the power in this trio.  Just when you think a solo will come along and give you a moment to breathe, you’re still somehow battered in the exact fashion of the rest of the song.  It doesn’t even make any sense but there they are, doing just as I have described.  I don’t care how loud one blares an album: until you’ve witnessed what I have heard, you won’t know how three people can make that much noise.  You’ll have no idea.

    All three distinct sounds tear through my soul, and I am more than willing to let them do just that.  It is just amazing to me that three guys can produce such a massive rage, as if war itself were channeled.  The songs will never be the same, now.  They are elevated, better than in my dreams; thankfully, played at a volume level I knew they should be heard on.  The night was intense, to be sure.  I can’t feel a thing, my neck looks like jell-o, it’s pouring, cold, literally three in the morning due to the incredibly late start of the opener, and I’m walking to a dorm room half deaf: pure bliss.

    Somehow, I make it to my room.  That tiny stage in that small club remained on my mind all night, having shown me what music can do to the body.  Like the venue, I was still standing, but our structures had been ravaged.  I, for one, was perfectly satisfied with the entire evening.  I handed the guitarist a gift for the road, and he smiled.  Bravo, you insane savages: when are you doing this to me next?

    Words: Sabbath Jeff

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