Nov 27, 2014

Interview With Iron Void: UK's Masters of Traditional Doom ...

There is passion in Iron Void's music that sets them apart from many bands of their ilk. This UK trio is rising quickly on the honesty and strength of their work and the interview below has some of the flavor of their music. This is an intelligent unit looking to the future and imbued with a rare quality in these cookie cutter times - genuine creative vision.

This seems to be a prolific band - you're looking as far ahead as your third album already. Is the band on a creative high right now and can you describe the band's songwriting process?

Jonathan ‘Sealey’ Seale:
We definitely have a long-term plan. We’ve planned as far ahead as the fourth album, actually and I have a good idea of what our future releases will sound and look like. The third album will be a concept album based on the Arthurian legends, entitled ‘Excalibur’ and the fourth album will simply be entitled ‘IV’. We feel like the band is definitely moving in the right direction now after years of relative obscurity. We have been writing new material for the follow up to ‘Iron Void’ and it’s sounding great! Steve or I usually come to rehearsal with either a few riffs or sometimes a full song without lyrics. We then jam this with Damien, sort the arrangement of the song then we’ll start singing a basic melody to get an idea of what the vocals will sound like. I don’t sing anything in particular, just random words that come into my head. Then we start writing lyrics. Either we have a pre-conceived idea of what the lyrics will be about or we’ll just write something that sounds good and then build on that until we figure it out eventually.

Damien Park:
When we played Doom For The Doomed festival in Birmingham earlier this year, Sealey decided why not do another album. We have some new songs for the next album as well as some old ones that have been re- worked and ready to record. Makes more sense to do an album rather than an EP. When it comes to songwriting, Sealey and Steve come into the studio with riffs and ideas, then I listen to them and try to fit a certain drumbeat or drum fill to add extra dynamics. 

What can you tell us, at this point, about the follow-up?

We’re recording the follow up to the ‘Iron Void’ album in March 2015 at Skyhammer Studios (owned by Jon Davis from Conan) with Chris Fielding (Conan, Electric Wizard, Serpent Venom, Witchsorrow) engineering and co-producing, alongside ourselves. This will be entitled ‘Doomsday’and Goatess Doomwych will once again be creating the album artwork and inlay design. We hope to release this by August / September 2015 at the latest. The album will contain 11 tracks that are a mixture of old and new compositions.

Steve Wilson:
The new album was originally going to be an EP. We were talking about the songs at Doom for The Doomed fest in Birmingham back in May. That was when Sealey suggested we do two or three more songs and make it a full album. Iron Void was recorded in 2013 and was put together with no idea which label would release it (if any). We've had it a year longer than the fans and we've had enough time to put a new set of songs together. I'm looking forward to recording with Chris and seeing what guitar tones we can get out of his valve amps. As far as mastering goes, we’ll probably use James Plotkin again.

I’m looking forward to recording at Skyhammer Studios. I’d like to see what kind of sounds we can get from the guitars and drums with their methods of recording.  

How have the live shows been going and what sort of future touring does the band have lined up?

We’ve just completed a UK tour with Goatess, which was a fantastic experience and a very successful tour. We had a few technical hiccups with the guitar pedals at the Wakefield show but the rest of the tour went really well. We had some great turnouts at the shows, sold a lot of merch and it was an honour to tour with Goatess and the legendary Chritus! We are headlining the 2nd day at ‘Doom Over Edinburgh’ in March 2015 and we’re looking at a couple of festival appearances that have yet to be confirmed in mainland Europe next year too. We’re also currently in the process of organizing another UK tour and a European tour for the end of 2015 which will take in dates in Germany, Holland and France if everything goes to plan. We have a pretty busy schedule planned!

Losing power on stage put me off having only one power source for my whole pedal board. I think I'll just upgrade to a more powerful system rather than use less pedals. I was able to carry on with just wah pedal and still keep most of my sound (luckily overdrive was coming from the amp so no pedal needed). The tour was great overall and as Sealey said, it was a privilege to share a stage with Chritus and Goatess. A highlight for me was the cover of ‘Electric Funeral’ by Black Sabbath we did with Chritus at Scruffy Murphy's in Birmingham. That was one of our best sets I think, alongside Malta back in 2012.

Out of the five dates we did for the UK tour with Goatess, Birmingham, Camden and Edinburgh were the best gigs of the tour. And it was a great privilege to have Chritus on stage with performing vocals on ‘Electric Funeral’. The only complication I had was when my beater from my kick pedal came off in the middle of the song. I just carried on and improvised, sometimes these things happen and you just have to think on the spot!  

A lot of bands have to make small or significant changes to their material when they play it live. Are these songs built for the stage?

Yes, absolutely! We don’t alter the songs in any way to play them live. Damien might add some different drum fills and Steve might improvise on his solos slightly but that’s it. I’m very conscious of being able to play our songs in the live environment because that’s what we enjoy the most.

The album is a recorded version of the live songs, not the other way around. There may be more changes on future recordings, but these are mainly due to having one guitarist. Things like harmonies, adding rhythm guitar to solos, some acoustic overdubs. Otherwise, things are more or less the same live.

When it comes to recording the songs, I keep it precise and simple with a few fills. But when I play live, I intend to go all out on the drums. When I am on stage and see the crowd, nerves are there but then my adrenaline kicks in and I just go into overdrive! I keep the main drumbeats down, so Sealey and Steve don’t get too lost. But when it comes to playing live, I want to give the crowd an experience that they will remember.

While rock music is, in general, on the wane in America, European audiences turn out in such greater numbers that a lot of American bands I talk to can't wait to tour the UK and European continent. As a fan and musician, any theories why rock and metal's popularity persists overseas while Americans listen to pop and rap?

I don’t know really. I know our friends in Pilgrim toured the States recently and they lost money due to poor turnouts. To be honest, in the UK, the turnouts at shows up until recently were terrible. In mainland Europe, the shows are very well attended, even on a Sunday night. Perhaps we have better Beer, maybe that has something to do with it?! Ha, ha!

I was surprised by the audience numbers on this tour. We had a good crowd every night, with the smallest turnout being Kraak in Manchester. We also did quite well on last year's tour with Hooded Priest and Arkham Witch but smaller, local gigs can vary. On a bad night, there could be just the other bands, sound engineer and bar staff! Fortunately, this doesn't happen too often because we always try and bring a good band, or two, with us to give people an incentive to turn out. We've never been to America but at a guess, I'd say distance could put people off traveling to gigs.

It takes more commitment than ever before for artists in any field to pursue their dreams and make it pay. What does passion mean to you? How hard is it balancing the real world and pursuing your dreams?

Without passion, this band wouldn’t be where it is today. We’ve experienced severe financial difficulties in the past, setbacks, line-up changes, van breaking down, you know, the usual stuff bands experience but a lot of bands give up when these things happen. Not us, we have a single-minded determination to succeed and that is now starting to pay off, which is fantastic! It is very difficult balancing the band, a relationship and running a business too, I don’t know how I manage it sometimes! I book all our shows, promote the band online, and deal with a lot of the business side of things, so it can be very demanding on my time. I guess I’ve just accepted that this is the way it has to be if we want to make something of the band.

I used to work temporary, often minimum wage jobs, spending the rest of my time on music. It worked OK for a while but I wasn't very happy in daily life. In the end, I did a part time degree with the Open University and now I'm working freelance. It's going well so far. If I can keep it going, I will have time and maybe even some money to carry on doing music. You have to do something that will allow space for the band otherwise there will be too much getting in the way of tours and recording. The new album will be recorded over two long weekends to make things a bit easier. We'll go back home and then come back and work on it again.

At this moment in time, I am balancing two bands (my other one being Dead Party Scene). I just left a third band I also played in, due to not having much time for them and holding them back. I also work part time, to keep money flowing, as well as juggling a relationship. It is very hard at times, but with the love and support from family, friends, and the fans, my love and passion for music keeps me going and encourages me to do what I do best.

There are obvious influences playing out over the album. What are some of the other bands that exert a big hold over this band's imagination?

I would say our three main influences are Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus, and Pentagram. We are also influenced by classic Heavy Metal bands such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Thin Lizzy and the N.W.O.B.H.M. We also draw influence from bands like Trouble, Cathedral, The Obsessed, Spirit Caravan, Pagan Altar, Iron Man, Revelation, Count Raven, Witchcraft, Warning, Venom, and Witchfinder General, among many others.

I'd agree with most of those. I've been a Maiden fan since the age of 13. Definitely classic Rock and Metal (and Doom of course) but fused with more modern bands from the sort of Electric Wizard era. Iron Monkey stand out as the one band that taught me music could be a lot heavier.

Since I was a small child, I have been surrounded with heavy music like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Ozzy Osbourne. Then as I got older, I started getting into more extreme music such as Black Metal, Death Metal, Grindcore, Hardcore, etc. Right up to this day, I still listen to heavy music but from time to time, I go through stages. One day I will listen to Iron Monkey, Eyehategod, Electric Wizard, next day I might listen to Aphex Twin, Johnny Cash or movie soundtracks like Twin Peaks. Right now, I am listening to Mastodon and Big Business.    

Can you name a musical influence on the band that might surprise people?
I don’t know, maybe Metallica (pre-Black album)? Personally, I’m heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix. I listen to a lot of Dub Reggae and Folk too!

I listen to Classical music at home but I try to go for the heavier stuff. I've been listening to The Planets suite a lot lately. I also enjoy soundtracks, especially cult Horror film music. Goatess helped get us into The Osmonds on the tour, too!

Bands like Iron Void get it. This sort of music needs a real swing in the drums, otherwise it turns into plodding nonsense. There's a lot of melody behind the band's huge power. How do you see the band's sound and approach growing from here?

We have always tried to compose songs that are heavy, but catchy, at the same time. ‘Doomsday’ is pretty heavy but will continue in the same vein as the debut album but ‘Excalibur’ will incorporate more acoustic guitars and possibly some female vocals, spoken word pieces and even a Recorder! We don’t want to veer too far away from our original sound but it will be different.

We would have been a slower band if we had been able to find a drummer who was willing to slow down. We've found a good balance with Damien. The swinging drums play a big part in it, I'd agree with that. We were looking for that Bill Ward kind of feel to the drums and we got lucky.

Being a versatile drummer does become an advantage, especially when I already listen to that kind of music. I know a few drummers who were in the band before me and they are great drummers, but for Sealey and Steve, they played either too fast or too technical. I am technical in my playing but I also like to put feel and groove into any kind of music I play. Before I joined Iron Void, I was discovering more Doom bands and listening to how different each band was. So when I joined, I was prepared for what kind of drummer they wanted.        

I read that, at least some of the lyrics were written very quickly. So when I listened to the album, I didn't expect much. I figured I'd get standard heavy metal lyrics 101, you know? Needless to say, I was quite surprised. Many of the lyrics are detailed and specific, not a trait one associates with a lot of classic metal, and some had strong narratives. Is there room to keep growing in that area for this band?

Definitely. Steve and I are very well read and we both share a passion for old Horror films, which is a theme we will continue to work with in future. Some of Steve’s lyrics were written mere days before we entered the studio and some took over 3 years to complete. We do work hard on our lyrics, which I think a lot of bands don’t do anymore.

The third verse for 'Tyrant's Crown' was a last minute thing. I'd been repeating the first verse playing it live for about 2 years. I decided to write a new verse instead of repeating it but I only got it right a few days before we recorded. I usually spend more time on them. There's definitely room for more lyrical growth. ‘The Mad Monk’ is kind of a fantasy themed song but I chose it because there was a real-life Rasputin behind the story. We're drawn to English folk tales and legends (such as Robin Hood for Sealey's song, ‘Outlaw’). I'd rather cover that than, say, Norse mythology, which isn't as closely related to us.

What was the last album, new or old, you heard that made a deep impact on you?

I would most definitely have to say the latest Serpent Venom album, ‘Of Things Seen & Unseen’. It’s a killer Doom album, filled with some heavy as fuck riffs and very catchy, accomplished song writing. The fact that they are friends of ours doesn’t even come into it, it’s just a classic album. I would probably say it’s my favorite album of 2014.

I agree with the Serpent Venom album. I didn't realize it was recorded at Skyhammer until I read the booklet. I haven't listened to that many new albums this year but I'd choose the new Witch Mountain album, ‘Mobile of Angels’.  I don't like the title much if I'm being honest, but it's a good album made a bit sad by the fact their singer was planning to leave. That's the type of thing I listen to now. Big riffs and powerful vocals. I'm not bothered about fast, fancy playing any more. It can be two chords and still work.

After our tour, I’ve been listening to a lot of Judas Priest and the first four Metallica albums. Right now, I am listening to Mastodon “Leviathan” on vinyl to be followed by ‘Head For The Shallow + Battlefields Forever” albums by Big Business.

A small, but significant, part of the album's appeal comes from the song sequencing. It flows very nicely. Is that something that the band gave a lot of thought to?

Thank you! Yes, we did think a lot about the sequence of the songs. We have 3 real mid-tempo heavy hitters up first (‘Tyrant’s Crown’, ‘I Am War’ and ‘The Mad Monk’), then the album slows down somewhat, before picking up the pace again with ‘Own Worst Enemy’ and then we slow down again until the final, instrumental track (‘Xylanthia’), which has an almost acoustic feel to bring you back down to earth after the heaviness of the album.

Sealey takes charge and puts together most of our set lists. He talked the track listing over with us and I remember we all agreed to have Xylanthia at the end. I usually go with his suggestions as they seem to work and a lot of thought goes into them.

Did the band record the songs live and add some overdubs? It has a very live feel.

We recorded the drums with me and Steve playing along at the same time. We then re-recorded the bass and rhythm guitars followed by guitar leads and finally the vocals. Some of the vocals were double tracked, but yes, it does have a live feel and this was intentional.

We double tracked my vocals because they seemed to sound a bit thin in the studio with just one track. We probably didn't need to do it but the finished product sounds good so we must have been on the right track. The album has four rhythm guitar tracks too, with different combinations of pedals and amps. Matt Richardson gave me the option of recording two or four and I decided to do the extra work.

What was the last show you attended as an audience member?

Just before our UK tour with Goatess, I went to see Trouble in Manchester supported by our good friends, Serpent Venom. It was an awesome gig, SV absolutely destroyed the place with their heavy as fuck Doom attack and Trouble were fantastic! It was the first time I’ve seen them with Kyle Thomas singing and probably one of the best times I’ve seen them. He’s got a great voice and the note perfect guitars of Franklin and Wartell make them one of the best duel guitar bands in Metal.

Damnation Festival in Leeds. Orange Goblin and Saint Vitus were the highlights for me and the reason I bought a ticket. Vitus were on form and they showed us how it's done as usual.

Same as Steve, Damnation Festival in Leeds. Anaal Nathrakh, Saint Vitus, and Cannibal Corpse were the main highlights for me. But the latest gig I attended was Mastodon with support from Big Business in Manchester. It was one hell of a gig! 

Interview By J. Hillenburg


Nov 24, 2014

NEWS: BLACK COBRA To Headline West Coast December Tour With Wolvhammer; Band Continues To Hatch New Material For Next LP ...

With the dust settling on the country consequent to the band's recent full US tour with support from Lo Pan, San Francisco's most devastating duo, BLACK COBRA, will shred the West Coast this December with support from Midwest cult, Wolvhammer.

As Wolvhammer treks westward on the second phase of Desanctifying North America 2014, they'll liaise with the mighty BLACK COBRA in Portland, Oregon on December 3rd. From there, the two bands will lay down an extremely diversified but wholly deadly salvo of metallic destruction in Seattle, Eugene, Sacramento, Los Osos, Santa Cruz, San Diego, Los Angeles and Ventura before the final gig of the tour for BLACK COBRA in San Francisco on December 13th, while Wolvhammer tours back east.

BLACK COBRA West Coast Tour w/ Wolvhammer:
12/03/2014 Rotture - Portland, OR
12/04/2014 Highline - Seattle, WA
12/05/2014 Wow Hall - Eugene, OR
12/06/2014 Press Club - Sacramento, CA
12/07/2014 Sweet Springs - Los Osos, CA
12/08/2014 Catalyst - Santa Cruz, CA
12/10/2014 Brick By Brick - San Diego, CA
12/11/2014 Complex - Los Angeles, CA
12/12/2014 The Garage - Ventura, CA
12/13/2014 Thee Parkside - San Francisco, CA

While little else from BLACK COBRA is available for public consumption at press time, the band has been slaving away on new material which is being penned for their next full-length album which will be completed in the first several months of 2015 for release later in the year.

Since 2001, the BLACK COBRA duo -- guitarist vocalist Jason Landrian (ex-Cavity) and drummer Rafa Martinez (ex-16, ex-Acid King) -- has unloaded a deadly, damaging and wholly unique style of punk/hardcore-propelled sludge doom metal. An introductory self-titled demo EP would get them immediately picked up by At A Loss Recordings who officially re-released the EP as well as their 2006 debut LP, Bestial, and 2007-released follow-up, Feather And Stone, the albums bridged by a split with Eternal Elysium on Diwphalanx Records. Their destructive hymns and notoriously explosive live energy caught the attention of Southern Lord Recordings who signed the band for their acclaimed 2009 LP, Chronomega, as well as their most widely and positively received album to date, with 2011's massive Invernal. An unstoppable touring machine, BLACK COBRA continually destroys the planet on the road, having played over seven-hundred shows on multiple continents since 2006, including Asia, Australia and both Europe and North America many times each. Massive festivals including Hellfest, The Power Of The Riff, Roadburn, Dour, Scion and others have set the band up with prime slots where the meager duo strikes the crowd with more venom than a band thrice its size every time. Their albums portray visceral otherworldly and sci-fi lyrics and storylines, the result of the band's major fascination with horror and sci-fi literature and cinema.

For all BLACK COBRA coverage, in North/South America contact and in Europe contact

Official Website
Southern Lord Official Website
Southern Lord Bandcamp

Source: Earsplit PR

Byzanthian Neckbeard – From The Clutches of Oblivion ...

From the Bailiwick Islands in the English Channel (the Bailiwick of Guernsey to be precise) comes a breath of fresh air into the stoner doom genre by way of Byzanthian Neckbeard.

One look at their album cover for From The Clutches of Oblivion and I knew I had to press play faster than you can say doom.

The art was done by just what it looks it was done by: a tattoo artist, one named Nico “Hazard Inks” Romero. I’m already sold so all I could do was take a deep breath and see if the music matched my enthusiasm as so often it does not.

I’ve been trying to get to this review for over a week so in the that time I have now listened to this album several times so I guess you could say I wasn’t disappointed. Take a listen as I try to guide you through the dark and gloomy path it makes.

The opening track, Doppleganger, begins with a groove filled sludgey doom riff that sounds familiar if you listen to this type of music but it hits a sweet spot right from the get go. Then the vocals kick in or perhaps I should say gravel throated growls that remind me of John Tardy of Obituary which I mean with all respect as an Obituary fan of many years. A line like, “Slick with horror sweat” has this horror writer very much on the hook as Doppleganger is just filled with a sludgey groove that has me bobbin my head along and looking forward to the rest of the album.

Indoctrinate The Priestess starts out with a bass line which not enough bands do because I truly love it. Where Doppleganger is more of a groovy sludge track, Indoctrinate The Priestess is a full on doom tune but maintaining a slight stoner groove to it. Again as a writer of horrorific things the chorus filled with the repeated, “Gore, Gore, Gore, Gore” just has me fully hanging on Bysanthian Neckbeard’s meat hook waiting for Leatherface or some other baddie to come in with a chainsaw to finish me off. If the album ended here I’d die happy at least but there’s still more.

Then the heavy factor which is already high to this point gets dialled up another notch or two as Plant of Doom begins with a fat bass line accompanied by heavy handed skin thumping before settling into one damn fine stoner groove. Leatherface didn’t come in to take a chainsaw to me, he came in with a bong to ease the pain. “This doom, it comes for us all” sums it up absolutely perfectly then the tempo kicks up a few notches but still grooves like a mother. I don’t know what the guys in Byzanthian Neckbeard are smoking but I have the distinct feeling I wouldn’t be able to handle it.

The Ganch is the shortest song on the album but feels much longer as the doom groove is just heavy as hell. Ganch means to kill by impaling on stakes or hooks and I guess they mean hooks here because I am beyond hooked on this band by this point. The Ganch fades out to Hive Mind Overlord which tones down the doom slightly with more of a stoner type groove that just hooks you in even further. The chorus pretty much says it all, “Our form/Demonic to your eyes/We are/Gods to mankind/Hive mind, Overlord!” Yes, with only one song to go I am definitely a slave to the groove.

The album closer, The Cyberdwarf, is a full on doom ride of epic proportions feeling much longer than it’s seven minute run time or in other words, you don’t want it to ever end. The hallmark of a great doom tune is just riding the riff and The Cyberdwarf does it perfectly as if Sleep have come back to write one last tune. The entirety of the lyrics are four simple lines, “Riddles with amnesia/In this devastated wasteland/I seek the terrible truth/I seek The Cyberdwarf.” The doom groove is just amazing and you don’t want it to ever end but it has to at some point and sadly it does. Don’t cry all you have to do is hit play once again as I have many times now.

I was beyond impressed with Byzanthian Neckbeard and all I hope is they stay together and make more beautiful doom because From The Clutches Of Oblivion is fantastic and seems far too short with only 6 awesome tracks. The songs do not sound exactly alike which is a pitfall many doom bands or any band really tend to fall into. I look forward to many more years of awesome metal coming from these guys and hopefully I’ve gotten a few more fans hooked too. Take a listen if you haven’t already, if you’re into doom and sludge these guys are young but batting a thousand so far.

Words: Feind Gottes (editor, Thy Demons Be Scribblin)

Links for Byzanthian Neckbeard:

 Label: unsigned
Engineered & Mixed by James Le Huray
Recorded at Tardis

Heads Up: The Only Thing Fat About Obese Is The Groove ...

Pleasant surprise time! I love random finds that just jam rather than completely suck. I’m always on the prowl for something new to groove to and more often than not I find total trash that I wouldn’t force my worst enemy to endure. What makes it all worth it is finding something new that just grooves like a mother! Such was the case when I hit play on the video for Nymphus by Obese.

I knew nothing about the band and there was no description and with a name like Obese I don’t know why but I wasn’t expecting a cool southern stoner rock groove which made them a pleasant surprise. Obese may hail from The Netherlands but their sound is straight out of the deep American south. In fact they’re better than a lot of bands actually from there. Give a new band a chance, this one doesn’t disappoint.

 If the slow jam that Nymphus is doesn’t have you sold then check out the only other song I found from them which is more of a rocker called The Lion. It’s pretty awesome so give it a spin.

That’s about all there is on this band so far but I, for one, am looking forward to hearing more from this band. Stay up to date with all the band’s latest news & notes on Facebook.

Words: Feind Gottes (editor, Thy Demons Be Scribblin)

Facebook: HERE

Nov 19, 2014

Doomology Vol. 3 - Silberbart ...

For this edition of Doomology we have a band from the annals of Krautrock. A very heavy and mind destroying band who went by the name of Silberbart. Silver beard being the meaning of that name. They formed sometime in 1970/1971 in the town of Varel, which is located in Lower Saxony, Germany. The idea for the band came about after guitarist Hans Joachim “Hajo” Teschner’s previous group, The Tonics, had disbanded. He was interested in playing more interesting and improvisational music rather than the commercial, beat pop of The Tonics. The original lineup of Silberbart consisted of Hans singing and guitaring, Werner Klug as the bassist, and Gerd Baker on the drums. However Gerd was soon replaced by Peter Behrens who was considered the best drummer in the area. As it is with many of these groups starting out, their song repertoire featured covers from the a lot usual suspects (i.e Zeppelin, Hendrix, Grand Funk, Cream, Deep Purple, etc). The band managed to get weekly gigs at a Kurhaus (a German spa or health resort of some sort) which enjoyed somewhat of a cult status. They also gave concerts in other venues in the surrounding area but rarely ventured away from home. As money was tight and gigs provided minimal income to work with, they had no manager and were forced to organize everything themselves. The band did hook up with a manager at one point, but after their second gig with him he “mysteriously” disappeared; conveniently with all the cash receipts.

During their existence they opened up for many popular bands at the time such as Eloy and Frumpy. However after Silberbart’s usually ferocious and devastating performances the headlining bands would often sound like “well-behaved high school bands” in comparison. The group only managed to record a single LP during their career. 4 Times Sound Razing was recorded between April and May of 1971 on a cheap 4 track recording system originally intended for voice recordings. The four songs were performed as if they were playing live and the LP was only meant to be a demo; but for whatever reason it was released as an album. Although well received, the album was probably way too out there for the record label to consider letting the band record a second (this was the same label Teschner’s previous group had been with so there was quite a musical contrast). Unfortunately the band’s financial situation never really improved, even after the release of the album. And although popular in Varel, they were barely known outside their hometown. None of the members had any permanent jobs either so the only source of income was through gigs. Because of the difficulty of the situation they decided to call it quits at the end of 1972. All three band members moved onto various other careers and prospects; some musical, some non-musical. Bassist Werner Klug is employed as a trucker and still plays with various rock and blues bands. Peter Behrens went on to play with the German synth pop group, Trio. And guitarist/vocalist Hans Joachim Teschner completed his music studies and has taught at several different music schools in Germany. In addition he is involved in many different writing projects as well as operating a bass guitar with a jazz trio.

The album these guys made is an absolute mind-fuck and then some. Four songs of total madness as well as the heaviness to back it up. You’ll read lots of Blue Cheer and Guru Guru comparisons and that gives you a bit of an idea of what you’re about to hear. Even so, these guys are totally unique and sound like no one else out there. The first song is by far the most accessible and sober song of the bunch. It definitely has the heaviness in spades, but things aren’t too out of control yet. However get ready to take the plunge into complete psychosis for track number two, Brain Brain. It begins soft and dreamlike but the trip soon takes a turn for the worse and you will find yourself searching for a nearby straight razor to remove the beetles from under your skin. You’re brain brain will definitely go bye bye soon. But wait, you’re not finished yet, there’s still more horror up ahead. Track three isn’t quite as insane as the previous song, but it’s still extremely heavy and takes you ever closer to complete mental breakdown. The first half of the song consists of badass, catchy guitar and bass interwoven with some fun soloing and trippy effects.

But second half is all brutal, lysergic jamming. It entertains, horrifies, and confuses. And it eventually carries you into the final phase of the journey entitled Head Tear Of The Drunken Sun; 12 more minutes of total insanity. Who the hell knows where they came up with the title, but it’s another solid track and is possibly my favourite from the album. Like the third song it begins with some heavy and catchy guitar and bass and for the second half goes for total experimentation and mind fuckery. And then the trip is over. Your sanity is now cured and your mind can see. The title, 4 Times Sound Razing, basically says it all; your brain will be razed four times during course of listening to this. There aren’t many albums out there this mind bending. Not to mention how heavy it is as well. A definite treat for fans of experimental, adventurous, Krautrock mixed with Sabbath/Cheer/Pentagram heaviness.


Another band that could have and should have been. They were definitely ‘out there’ (like really fucking far out there). And it’s such a shame they only have four actual recorded songs to their name. But the quality over quantity expression definitely applies here. And I can just imagine what kind of brain damage you would have been able to cause by dropping some acid and seeing them live. Unfortunately this is impossible until time travel is invented, so for now I recommend you go out and listen to their sole album and enter a psychedelic coma.

Recommended tracks:

-All of them (this album needs to be experienced as a whole)

Words: Brian

Nov 14, 2014

NEWS: PENTAGRAM - 'All Your Sins' Double-Disc DVD Coming In February ...

U.S. doom metal legends PENTAGRAM will release an extensive double-disc DVD collection, titled "All Your Sins", in February 2015 via Peaceville. The set features over six hours of numerous electrifying concerts spanning three decades — all straight from the band's collection.

PENTAGRAM, the highly influential American heavy metal/doom act fronted by mastermind Bobby Liebling, formed in the early 1970s, though their debut album — now known as "Relentless" — didn't see a release until 1985. Through four decades of adversity and triumph, PENTAGRAM has become a legendary international act and have firmly stamped their name in the heavy metal history books.

This first-ever official PENTAGRAM video collection, "All Your Sins" recovers, repairs and resurrects the earliest known footage of these doomed metal pioneers and more. It contains two DVDs packed with priceless archive footage, as well as recent shows, "All Your Sins - Video Vault". This definitive collection features numerous historical shows, including a charged performance in 1985 at the legendary CBGB club in New York City, with a mass of classic renditions from the band's catalogue finally gathered together for a live journey spanning over 30 years.

Although always a cult act with a strong and dedicated worldwide fanbase, PENTAGRAM has enjoyed a recent surge in interest due in part to the fly-on-the-wall 2011 documentary "Last Days Here" following the life, trials & tribulations of Bobby Liebling. The film gained international recognition; travelling the worldwide film festival circuit where it won several awards including "Best Music Documentary" at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.

In a recent interview with Esquire magazine, BLACK SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne said that he saw the "Last Days Here" documentary, calling it a "very, very sad story, because [Bobby is] a guy... He's the only child of his elderly mom and dad and he lives in a crack-smoking, heroin-using world. And why that guy is still alive is beyond me. I mean, I've been there, done it, and by the grace of God, I got out of it. But, you know, I hope the guy doesn't die."

Ozzy added: "I hope he has [cleaned up] because that video was like a good reason not to get stoned. And you know, for what it's worth: That could have been me. That could have been any number of people. That's why I say to myself every day, 'God, you're fucking lucky, Ozzy!'"

Source: Blabbermouth

Nov 13, 2014

NEWS: SAINT VITUS Singer WINO Deported From Norway For Possession Of Illegal Substances ...

Doom metal legends SAINT VITUS have released the following statement:
"SAINT VITUS would like to regretfully inform all of our European fans that our lead vocalist Wino was detained by the Norwegian police and immigrations officers for possession of illegal substances since Sunday, November 9th. As of 4 p.m. yesterday evening (November 11th), we were informed by his Norwegian defense attorney that he would more than likely be released that same day and be able to continue the remaining dates of our European tour. This morning we received notification that Wino was being deported today back to the U.S. with no hope to remain in Scandinavia or anywhere in the EU.

"Our sincere apologies to all of our fans, the promoters, booking agents and especially our Norwegian fans and promoter for the cancelled show. We will still deliver the HEAVY sound to all of our friends in Europe and it is our hope that everyone will understand our position to go forward with the remaining dates without Wino. [guitarist] David Chandler and [drummer] Henry Vasquez, along with a few surprise guests, will take over vocal duties and this will be a rare opportunity to see VITUS with main songwriter David Chandler vocalizing his tormented tales of pain, heartache and DOOM.

"We hope to still see all of you on our remaining dates.

Nov 10, 2014

Moss - Spectral Visions EP ...

H.P. Lovecraft's fiction and poetry has, since his death, proven to be a deep cultural well for artists to draw inspiration from. The efforts have not been entirely successful. Just as the author's fans have yet to see a faithful, big-budget representation of his vision translated to the screen, many metal bands have struggled to invoke the understated cosmic dread hanging over his best work. Moss, thankfully, avoids the obvious and ham-fisted in their attempts to approximate that dread on their Spectral Visions EP.

By any measure, this is uncompromising fare, but expertly delivered. Working without a bass guitarist hasn't impeded this English unit from filling "Carmilla (Marcilla)" with a thunderous foundation. The guitars and drumming never completely coalesce around a sharply defined riff. Not all is chaos however. While the song never attempts obeying strict rules of song craft, it has a clear, if flexible, structure. The guitars and drums alike drop strains of color into the mix through creative fills, extended sustain, and an array of string bends. The clean vocals possess a slightly shrill, maniacal edge appropriate for the song's taut, understated lyrics.

The title track, "Spectral Visions", has a much more clearly defined riff than the first track and a stronger cinematic presentation. It is easy to admire their focus - many young bands overload compositions believing more is more, but the best bands, regardless of genre, are rigorous self-editors who pare tracks down to whatever strengthens a song and delivers it with maximum immediacy. Moss escapes the mishmash of dross and excellence weighing down many promising outfits by embracing this principle. The lyrics veer more into well-worn cliché than the opening song, but capably conjure the aforementioned cosmic dread the band aims for.

This is promising group that will likely grow and refine their approach in short order, though these songs solidify a template going forward from here. Highly recommended.

Moss @ Facebook

Words: J. Hillenburg

NEWS: BILLY ANDERSON to Mix and Master DOOMRAISER's New Album! ...

DOOMRAISER are proud to announce that, over with the recordings and finishing on the new album, mixing & mastering will be handled by his Majesty of the Low Frequencies BILLY ANDERSON (Neurosis, Cathedral, Orange Goblin, Sleep, Mr. Bungle, Melvins, Brutal Truth, among others).

More news on the album will be announced soon.

Follow the DOOM:
Official Website

Posted By Ed and Savannah

Nov 6, 2014

Doomology Vol. 2 - Pax ...

Pax (which is the Latin word for peace and was apparently chosen because it was easy to remember and phonetically simple) was formed in 1970 by guitarist Enrique “Pico” Ego Aguirre. Enrique’s previous band, Los Shain’s, had just released their final album, Los Nuevos Shain’s. It featured covers by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Blind Faith, Cream, and even a very early cover of Black Sabbath’s Wicked World.

Influenced by many of the heavy hitting guitarists of the day such as Blackmore, Beck, Page, Hendrix, Clapton, Iommi, and Carlos Santana, Enrique wanted to explore much heavier musical directions than he had been doing with Los Shain’s. He recruited the charismatic Miguel Fiores to handle the percussion side of things, Mark Aguilar, a multi-instrumentalist originally from the US, for bass and acoustic guitar playing and a bit of the piano, and Jaime “Pacho” Orue Moreno, brother of the famous Peruvian pop singer Gustavo “Hit” Moreno, as the group’s lead vocalist.

Aguirre himself would perform rhythm, lead, and additional acoustic guitar playing for the group. Gerardo Manuel Rojas, who sang in Los Shains, would also make a guest appearance on the song Mr. Skin, which was recorded as a single with the track Exorcism. This line-up of the band performed between 1970 and 1972 and released only one album; as well as three 45’s. Their sole LP, May God And Your Will Land You And Your Soul Miles Away From Evil, was released in October of 1970 and contained eight tracks ranging from Sabbath inspired doom to Jimi Hendrix styled psych to mellow Zeppelin-like acoustic tunes. The band also recorded a handful singles to accompany the LP. These can be found as bonus tracks if you purchase the CD reissue of MGAYWLYAYSMAFE (lol). They all also appear on the compilation album, Dark Rose. However the compilation CD is missing three of the tracks from the original record so you’d be better off trying to track down the release containing the full album with the seven bonus tracks included.

After Peru experienced a military coup in 1968, Pax and other Peruvian rock bands found it very difficult to record or perform as the new dictatorship had basically abolished rock music in the country. The cover for their record was in fact made to contain a subliminal message against this corrupt government. But thanks to the difficulties this caused for the band, Pax decided to disband in 1975. However this was only temporary as Enrique would revive the band with different members in the 1980’s and once again in the 00’s. The focus remained the same however; to keep heavy metal alive and flowing in Peru.

Although not quite a masterpiece, Pax’s one and only album is still an entertaining slice of 70’s stoner rock fun. The opener is one of the highlights from the album and gets things started very nicely. It’s also one the heaviest tunes found on the disc. Following this things start to mellow out for a while; a bit too much for me in all honesty. As fun and as catchy as Rock An’ Ball and Green Paper are, they just don’t hit hard enough. Especially when paired against such a strong first track. Things pick up again for Sittin’ On My Head though. It has some fun Hendrix-y guitar and is a good jam overall. But it still doesn't quite pack the same punch the first song has. Next up we have Deep Death. Starts out as a pretty mellow, psychedelic jam, but soon unfolds into another one of the heavier songs on the album (with a title like Deep Death there’d be no excuse not to go all out with the heaviness for this one). It isn't overly destructive the entire time, but there are parts that are pure doom all the way. For Cecilia slows things down once again unfortunately. And once again the song isn't a total train-wreck but there is a definite longing for the Iommi worship found on A Storyless Junkie (the first track) or Deep Death.

Thankfully it returns with a god damn vengeance for song number 7. Don’t be turned off by the title, Pig Pen Boogie is easily the heaviest and most memorable song found on this record. For this track turning the volume up past 11 is a must and it alone makes the album worth your hard earned cash. It even has some cowbell in it and that’s fucking metal and a half. Finally to close the album we have a short, goofy, joke-type song thrown in just for good measure. It starts out fun and upbeat, but ends with some unsettling, totally off the wall, maniacal doll cackling. Interesting to say the least. Overall this album is quite a good listen and although fairly mellow at times (not necessarily a bad thing) there are enough moments of heaviness sprinkled throughout to keep the momentum going. Now if you’re fortunate enough to get your hands on the bonus tracks they’re also quite worthwhile. Firefly will probably have the most appeal, but all seven have merits. There are a couple good covers of Smoke On The Water and Radar Love and Exorcism is definitely very fun and groovy. Another interesting tidbit is apparently Dark Rose was the first recorded funk song to come from Peru.

Along with the Tarkus, these guys were easily among the heaviest groups Peru had to offer in the 70’s. No they didn't choose to demolish everything in sight with each song, but when they wanted to they sure as shit did. They’re influence is still felt in Peru and if you’re a fan of stoned out, heavy rock from the 70’s then do not pass this band by.

Recommended tracks:
-A Storyless Junkie
-Deep Death
-Pig Pen Boogie
-Firefly (bonus track)

Words: Brian

Nov 5, 2014

HEADS UP: Occultation Will Haunt You With Silence In The Ancestral House ...

Every now and again I search for new music just for the chance of hearing something I haven’t heard before. Sometimes this experiment is awful ending with a hurried press of the stop button (icon usually these days) but I can’t help it when I have a thirst for something new I have to try and quench it. In an attempt to play it safe I went straight to the bandcamp page of Profound Lore Records. They seem to always have impeccable taste when it comes to doom or doom-ish bands so I was fairly confident I could easily find something to appease my nagging need for something new, something doomy yet something unlike every other band out there. This is how I discovered Occultation.

Silence In The Ancestral House was released by Profound Lore Records on October 14th and I find myself hard pressed to describe their sound adequately. The comparisons on their bandcamp page itself while accurate to a degree really tell you nothing of how they actually sound as I can’t think of a single band I can point to and say, “Occultation sounds like insert band name here.” The description from Profound Lore of “a wicked mix of classic Mercyful Fate, Death SS, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and The Cure.” tells you what? Yeah, basically nothing. What I can tell you is that Occultation play hauntingly creepy, eerie music that would fit perfectly into some John Carpenter horror film setting the mood for terrible things to unfold before your eyes. Silence In The Ancestral House is one you truly need to hear and judge for yourself as it mixes elements of black and doom metal into an end product that is as progressive as it is experimental. Also of note, it was produced, mixed and recorded by Converge’s Kurt Ballou who has come to be one of the premiere producers in all of metal. I’ve never been a fan of Converge, they’re just not my flavor, but I am a huge fan of Kurt Ballou in the production booth. Some producers have a way of bringing out the best sound a band has to offer and Ballou has proven to be one of those and this album is no exception.

Aptly titled Intro begins with bells chiming in a mockery of a children’s nursery rhyme setting the eerie mood that Occultation maintains through the following eight tracks. The haunting vocals break in with “The Ancestral House is quiet…” and the foreboding eerie tone is set for all that is to come. Intro breaks right into a faster yet still haunting The First of the Last with the metal quotient turned up while maintaining the haunting tone started on the first track. I can’t help thinking of my favorite King Diamond album, Them, as Silence in the Ancestral House seems to weave its own horror story minus King Diamond’s high-shrieking falsetto. The vocals blend perfectly with the music as if being sung from beyond the grave beckoning you in further like sirens luring you onto the rocks. In this case you happily crash on the rocks begging only to be able to do it again.

Laughter in the Halls of Madness sets out another deceivingly fast pace with VB’s haunting voice continuing to, all pun intended, drive you mad (all three band members use only their initials rather than names). Occultation sound familiar though it is impossible to pinpoint from exactly where as the entire thing is one creepy delight after another. They sound like a creepy metal soundtrack to a Munsters movie which is meant as a giant compliment. ‘Madness fades to All Hallows Fire which continues this multi-layered trip through the labyrinth of the apparently haunted Ancestral House. You can only smile that the “Silence” part of the title doesn’t come into play because this is just a pleasure to hear. Through the first four tracks it is deceptively heavy with so much going on musically that you not only want but need several listens to attempt taking it all in.

The halfway point of the album, The Place Behind The Sky, comes in with a marching riff overlaid with a trippy guitar part that keeps your ears fully enthralled for more. The vocals fit perfectly in their dreamy “called out from beyond” style smartly set slightly back in the mix by producer guru Ballou to make them sound even more haunting which is reminiscent of what Tool does in mixing their albums. The vocals seem to flow out of the music rather than being front and center with the music merely a backdrop to them. It doesn’t fit every bands’ style but is absolutely perfect for Occultation as it is for Tool.

The Dream Tide begins making you think it’s going to be a scorching rocker which it is in its way. The rhythm section marches on with the vocal cadence following suit. This may just be the highlight song of the album serving its purpose well as it only makes you want to hear more. It has a sing along feel and I can’t help but bob my head to the rhythm as I’m totally sold on the album’s awesomeness at this point and just enjoying myself. The Dream Tide breaks on the shore of the short interlude of Intermission which connects back to Intro, feeling like a creepy yet beautiful version of a children’s nursery rhyme.

The final two tracks bring the album to a close in epic doom style. Forever Hereafter mixes some familiar Black Sabbath riffage in without ripping off the heavy metal forefathers. The vocals are pushed a little forward in the mix for a slightly more powerful edge though still sounding like a spirit calling out to you from the back of the graveyard or “to the great beyond” as the lyrics so nicely suggest. Forever Hereafter takes you on a sonic journey that you don’t want to end though it eventually fades to the closing epic title track, Silence In The Ancestral House. A soft guitar riff accompanies an almost acapella vocal line serving as the intro before the drums pound in and the guitars burst forth with fervor. The song speeds up and slows down at will keeping it interesting to the bitter end.

 Silence In The Ancestral House seems like a slow burn on the first listen but with repeated spins you start to understand just how heavy it is similar to the aforementioned Tool. Occultation may sound nothing like Tool but with Ballou behind the boards he definitely mixed it like a Tool album. Every instrument sounds crisp and sharp and the vocals hang back just enough in the mix to compliment and give the impression they are truly being called out from the back of the graveyard. My first impression of the album was a subtle 3.5 out of five but repeated listens crank it up to easily a 4 and perhaps higher after yet a few more spins. It is definitely one you can say has no equal out there. Occultation don’t sound like any other band I can think of so on the originality front Silence in the Ancestral House screams out a pure 5.

Words: Feind Gottes (editor, Thy Demons Be Scribblin)

Bandcamp: HERE
Facebook: HERE
ReverbNation: HERE

Nov 4, 2014

NEWS: GALE - Debut From Arizona Sludge/Doom Metal Faction Out Now ...

Another new name surges forth from Arizona's flourishing sludge/doom scene in the form of GALE, as the outfit self-releases their debut recordings, Vol. 1.

The moniker references the massive desert winds, a trait which the band attempts to exemplify with similarly devastating results through their exceptionally loud craft, the band even playing at full live volume at practice where the drums are amplified, as they also do live. Formed in the sunbaked soil of Phoenix, the very new quartet, GALE razes all in their path with a very promising, killer brew of modernized, organic sludge/doom metal. As per the band: "We play loud as fuck. This is rock n roll; it should be loud and dangerous."

Burning with twenty-six minutes of material, GALE's debut recordings have been independently released by the band in recent days as Vol. 1, the record recorded in nearly one take by Jalipaz Nelson at Audioconfusion in Mesa, Arizona. While not a concept record, the album and its lyrical basis primarily deals with existentialism and the darkness that can be revealed upon self-analysis. With a brutalizing tone sure to intoxicate fans of statemates Godhunter, Sorxe, Methra and the like, the ultra-amplified output of GALE here alludes to the works of Yob, Melvins, Crowbar, Neurosis and Sleep, yet only in theory and not simply regurgitated. The band performs their engulfing craft with each member of the four-piece lineup contributing a different style of vocals in addition to their respective instruments.

With the hopes all reaching as many diehard fans of doom, sludge and all open-minded forms of extreme music, GALE has self-released Vol 1. as a name-your-price digital download. Stream, purchase and spread the destruction from THIS LOCATION.

GALE will forge a physical version of Vol. 1 in the pending months, and the band has already begun the planning stages on additional new material which will see release through several new works throughout 2015. Additionally, GALE will perform their next live set this Saturday, November 8th in Mesa, joining the massive lineup including Column III, Funerary, Godhunter, Today Is The Day and Eyehategod. Additional live incursions will be continually announced through the coming months.

GALE Live:
11/08/2014 Club Red Theaters - Mesa AZ w/ Eyehategod, Today Is The Day, Godhunter, Funerary, Column III

For review copies of Vol.1I and coverage of GALE contact

Official Website

Nov 3, 2014

NEWS: Funeral doom masters SKEPTICISM present a new SVART album, to be recorded live ...

The legendary Skepticism are preparing to record their new album, Ordeal. Instead of usual working methods, the band has chosen a different approach. The recording will happen in front of a live audience on January 24th at Klubi in Turku, Finland, and the event will also be captured on film.

The concert is the first time any of the songs on Ordeal will be heard in public. According to Skepticism, the new songs are emotion-laden, crushing, and yet beautiful, more than ever before. Visitors to the historical recording event will also receive a repro of the band’s first 7” EP, originally released in 1992. This 7” will not be available to the public. Tickets for the concert can be purchased HERE.

Ordeal will be released in May 2015. The album will be available as a CD/DVD bundle and also as a LP/DVD set. The album will be released by the Finnish label Svart Records, known for their championing of the local metal underground and high-quality vinyl reissues.

Skepticism was formed in 1991. The band has been often stated as one of the pioneers and founding fathers of the funeral doom metal genre.Ordeal is their fifth full-length album.

Official Website
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