Sep 29, 2014

NEWS: ATRIARCH: Ceremonial Death/Doom Ensemble Unveils New Hymn Via Cvlt Nation; West Coast Live Rituals Confirmed ...

Ceremonial death/doom ensemble, ATRIARCH, today unveils the slow brooding audio treachery of "Allfather."

The towering new hymn comes by way of the band's third full-length and first under the Relapse Record banner, An Unending Pathway. Recorded at Type Foundry in Portland, Oregon, produced by Billy Anderson (Sleep, Eyehategod, Melvins et al) and the band, engine-eared and mixed by Anderson at Everything Hz, also in Portland, and mastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, Beastmilk, Nails) at Audiosiege, on An Unending Pathway, ATRIARCH delivers catharsis through sonic ritual, churning an otherworldly fusion of death rock, doom, black metal, post punk and psychedelic drone/noise, their haunting atmospheres and avalanches of chest-heaving sludge at once compelling and overwhelming. Imagine Bauhaus as interpreted by Eyehategod, or Sisters of Mercy filtered through Neurosis, and only then can you begin to grasp the darkness that is ATRIARCH.

Relays Cvlt Nation of the offering: "An Unending Pathway, is an arresting and welcome combination of doom metal, death rock, black metal, and Mid Eastern-influenced darkwave sounds.... this LP is a well-produced and masterful synthesis of its differing components. It sounds confident and assured, a definite step forward in ATRIARCH's sonic progression... it's ATRIARCH's best and most cohesive-sounding LP to date... singer Lenny Smith's deadpan, chanting-like vocals rise to the fore, echoing as if sung from the depths of a musty Egyptian tomb. Tribal-type drumming underscores the building intensity, and halfway through the track the band switches gears and Smith begins to sound like Rozz Williams, with the band picking up speed and fury around him."

Feel the cold audio decay of "Allfather" now playing at Cvlt Nation at THIS LOCATION.

And if you missed it, check out the haunting resonance of "Collapse" via Soundcloud at THIS LOCATION or YouTube HERE.

In related ATRIARCH news, the band will bring their ceremonials to the stage this November on a West Coast run of live dates. Scheduled to kick off November 7th in Seattle, the band will traumatize thirteen cities through November 21st. See confirmed shows below.

ATRIARCH West Coast Tour 2014:
11/07/2014 Chop Suey - Seattle, WA
11/08/2014 Obsidian - Olympia, WA
11/10/2014 Slabtown Records - Portland, OR Release Show w/ Usnea, Muscle, Marrow
11/12/2014 TBA - Eugene, OR
11/13/2014 Cafe Colonial - Sacramento, CA
11/14/2014 First Church of the Buzzard - Oakland, CA
11/15/2014 Black Castle - Los Angeles, CA
11/16/2014 Tower - San Diego, CA
11/17/2014 Sweet Springs - Santa Barbara, CA
11/18/2014 The Knockout - San Francisco, CA
11/19/2014 Catalyst Atrium - Santa Cruz, CA
11/20/2014 TBA - Medford, OR
11/21/2014 Wisp House - Salem, OR

An Unending Pathway will be released via Relapse Records on October 28th, 2014. Preorder your copy on CD HERE, via iTunes (which includes an instant download of "Collapse") HERE or via BandCamp HERE.

"...shambling, ritualistic drone that gets its talons into you via crusty howls, a colossal dynamic, and the overall feel of continuing ritual" - Pitchfork

"...doom-soaked, gothic death act that have our undivided attention." - Exclaim

For all ATRIARCH coverage in North America contact, in the UK contact, in the rest of Europe contact, elsewhere contact
Atriarch Official

BLACK SABBATH To Begin Work On New Studio Album Next Year ...

Heavy metal legends BLACK SABBATH will begin work on a new studio album in 2015, to be followed by one final tour.

BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi, who has battled cancer since 2012, recently hinted that the group's July 4 gig at London's Hyde Park could have been the band's last because the touring can be tough on him. But frontman Ozzy Osbourne now says that the group will record another CD next year.

"The whole SABBATH experience this time around was great," Ozzy tells Metal Hammer magazine. "We all made friends, we didn't fuck around, we all knew that we had a job to do, and we did it. It was a lot of fun. So we're going to do one more album, and a final tour.

"Once the dust settled after the last tour, we started discussing the idea, because we were getting asked about it all the time. I said to [wife/manager] Sharon, 'What's going on? Because if there's no more SABBATH, I want to get on with my own thing again,' and she came back and said, 'Let me look into it.' Three weeks later, I asked her about it again, and she said, 'Oh, I still have to talk to so and so...' and I said 'Sharon, I ain't fucking 21 anymore. If we're going to do it, I want to do it before I'm 70!' Time isn't on our side! So she made the call and came back and said, 'Yeah, the record company wants another album.' I believe [producer] Rick Rubin is going to do it with us again."
No new material has yet been written for what will be SABBATH's fourteenth studio album, but Osbourne says that sessions will begin early next year.

"It'll be sooner rather than later," the singer says. "Obviously a lot of it is coming down to Tony's health, he's obviously got his cancer treatment, but we'll get onto it next year. I don't know if we'll be writing in England or L.A., but I'll fly to the fucking moon for it if I have to!"
"13", the first SABBATH album since 1978 to feature Ozzy, Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler, was No. 1 in the U.S., the U.K. and nearly a dozen other countries.

Butler recently said that that the threesome already have a head start on a new record, explaining, "We've still got four tracks left over from ['13']. So maybe we'll fill in the other four or five tracks and put out another album — if it's right. We wouldn't do it just for the sake of it, or the money or whatever. But yeah, maybe."

Original BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward was on board for the reunion when it was first announced in November 2011, but backed out soon after due to contractual issues.
SABBATH has used Ozzy's regular touring drummer Tommy Clufetos since then for live work. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE's Brad Wilk laid down the drum tracks on "13", which came out in June 2013.

Iommi revealed in January of 2012 that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma, which is described by the Mayo Clinic as "a cancer of the lymphatic system, the body's disease-fighting network." He had to go back to England every six weeks for treatment, forcing him and SABBATH to work around both the treatments and the recovery time needed afterward.

Source: Blabbermouth

NEWS: Tank86 has an crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter ...

Instrumental Sludgemetal monster TANK86 just finished up their new record OBEY. To raise funds for the vinyl, CD and shirts they started a crowdfunding campaign on Though they are already halfway towards their goal, the band could really use some help to reach the total sum.

On Kickstarter  you can back the project by pre-ordering the new record, or by using one of the other ‘pledges’. And while you’re there, get your face melted by listening to a brand new TANK86 track!

Sep 27, 2014

Interview With George Trevino of Las Cruces ...

Powerhouse southwest doom outfit Las Cruces has been a force to reckon with in the genre for over twenty years. Albums like Ringmaster and the band's most recent release, Dusk, provide ample evidence of the band's talent and power. The guiding hand behind this outstanding band's creative direction has been rhythm guitarist and songwriter George Trevino and rarely will you encounter a musician as self-effacing and forthright.

I'd like to start with a little recent history. The band signed with Ripple Music this year and I am wondering what your plans are going forward from here?

George Trevino:
Well, finishing our next album is first. We are two tracks short of what we need for a full length album and then, after that, promote the heck out of it once we've got the product.

Can you take the unfamiliar through who's currently in the lineup?

Yeah, sure. There's myself, George Trevino, on guitar, Mando Tovar on lead guitar, Jimmy Bell on bass, and then our drummer/singer Paul Deleon.

A lot of musicians have different onstage demeanors. I was wondering what 60-90 minutes onstage is like for you with these guys?

That's a great question. I don't know if I could really tell you because I'm not paying too much attention to the other guys. I'm just trying to make sure I don't mess up on the notes and getting into the song. But, you know, as far as musically, I hear everything that's going on onstage. It's great. I don't think I'd want to share a stage with another group of guys.

Many musicians I've talked to have said they play and write songs because they really don't have a choice. Would you say that applies to you as well?

No, actually. While music is a huge, huge factor in my life, it's not my end-all, be-all. I don't see myself not doing music, but if I couldn't do it anymore, if I had to stop for any reason, I'd be alright. I know some people who couldn't be, but I'd be alright.

You've been a professional working musician for a long time now. Everyone's doom and gloom, rightly so, that the record industry is dying business, but from your vantage point, is there anything easier or better about the business than when you first started?

The marketing is easier with all the social media sites online and resources that bands or musicians have access to nowadays as opposed to when I started Las Cruces twenty years ago it was barely email, it was in its infancy, and there was tape-trading also. Burning your cd was almost non-existent, you had to go to someone to make copies of your demo. I think the technology is awesome and helping musicians. Of course, it killed the industry, as far as labels. I'm a big fan of independent labels, you know. Majors are no longer a factor in getting a band started like back in my day when it was, let's get this out to Metal Blade, or let's get this out to Roadrunner Record, one of those big major underground labels. Not anymore though. Now it's let's see how many hits I can get off Reverbnation, where I stand in the charts this week, what part of the country is listening in, all these different areas. As I mentioned before, the technology has really stepped it up a bit, as far as the industry, it's non-existent in my case, other than if you were in the mainstream and an "artist", not a musician per se, but an artist. That's the only time you hear about a major label doing anything, you know?

I know a lot of people, including myself, who believe Ringmaster is a classic and still listen to it today. I was wondering what some of your memories are from writing and recording that album?

Thanks for the kind words, man. Ringmaster is definitely my favorite, at this point. The best memories I have aren't so much from writing it as recording it. A lot of those songs were written before I even created the band, they were just songs that I had never really played in bands I was in until forming Las Cruces. Some of them ended up on the first one so then, we thought, let's get them on the second one. I think being in the studio was the most memorable time because we were in there for a whole week from morning until almost late at night. The funny thing is we recorded in kind of a secluded area in Dallas where we didn't really want to move the van around, so we had to walk wherever we wanted to eat, like a restaurant, but there were no restaurants' around there because it was a neighborhood. All we had was a bakery next door so, for a whole week, all we ate was bread. [laughs] All we had was bread and Coke because we didn't want to drive because it was so secluded and we didn't want to take time away from the studio, so one day we'd get sweet bread, the next day something different. After the recording, I didn't want to see bread for a year! [laughs]

The band's last full length album, Dusk, came out in 2010. How's that stand up for you now?

It took a long time to get our third album out. A lot of changes from the previous album, in terms of new members and budget. We were on a really tight budget. It's a great album, but I think where it lacked is having a producer with us. With Ringmaster, of course, we had John Perez of Solitude Aeturnus helping us out. This time around, it was just us, we didn't have a producer and just self-produced it. I think that's where it lacked, but other than that, it's a great album, in my opinion.

How do you think your approach to guitar playing has evolved over the years?

When I first started, I wanted to go all digital with the pedal boards and effects, but I learned, basically the hard way, it's best to go au natural. I've learned to find my tone, stick with it, and modify it if I have to and not rely on a lot of tools. If I have to use anything, it's a wah, other than the tuner, of course. I still have the pedal boards, which I don't even use for live performance. You know, I was never a studied musician. I didn't go to school, I never took a guitar lesson, I just picked up the guitar when I was eleven and started learning by ear. I've been growing and learning about theory and all the other areas of study for the guitar that I really never had a clue existed. I try to incorporate that into some of the songs, different scales, different tunings, things like that.

Who's the guy that when you hear him playing guitar, you think, wow, if I could play like him, I'd be in heaven?

I'd have to say Tony Iommi is my biggest influence, as far as guitar playing, but I'd also have to say Eddie Van Halen. It's kind of a cliché for guitar players to say, but it's not for his style as much as his expertise. I've heard some of his solo tracks from the first Van Halen album, you know where they separate the tracks, and I found out that it was just one take stuff. One take. The guy's a genius.

Can you say that your life as a professional musician has shaped who you are as a man?

Absolutely. One, I've learned so much about the business being in the business, things you'll never, ever learn from a book or a class. I took classes for sound engineering, but there's some things you just learn doing them, especially in the live portion of the business where you perform. On the business end, you've got to deal with a lot of folks because, believe me, there are a lot of great promoters, but there's some really bad ones and you've got to learn to take the punches, so to speak, because they're going to happen. It's made me take those lessons and put them into life. I've dealt with some tragedies in my life, some losses, and it's helped me learn how to get through because I've been able to deal with certain emotions. Some people tend to lose their cool at times, but I've found that zen, you know, you're okay and things sometimes happen. As far as professionally, I've been doing this band for twenty years, this year is its anniversary. I want to be able to continue with the band, of course, but I also want to do more behind the scenes stuff now. I'm getting into writing songs for movies, tv shows, commercials, things like that, not jingles, but background music. Especially horror movies, of course. And I'm slowly getting into that business, making contacts here and there with filmmakers and such. I've taken all these lessons I've learned and I'm putting them towards a sort of different path musically. I did say that if I didn't have music, I'd be okay, but that doesn't mean I don't want music to be part of my life. It's very important. So I'd just like to be able to continue in any aspect, whether it be writing it, performing it, helping produce it, or finding people to help do shows here in Texas, stuff like that.

My last question is a bit more light-hearted. When you've got some downtime, what music are you listening to these days?

I got really big into Windhand, I don't know why. A friend of mine turned me onto them and I just can't get enough of them. I've been listening to their stuff and it's really, really cool, you know? Some of our label mates, like Mothership, I've been getting into their stuff too. There's some Texas bands that I've gotten to see live. They had a fest a month ago in Houston, so I went to check out some bands from Houston, Austin, and so forth. There were quite a few. I can't remember their names off the top of my head. They were very, very cool and I look forward to seeing them again soon.

Thanks again, George for taking the time to talk with me today.

It's my pleasure, man. Thank you.

Interview By J. Hillenburg

Las Cruces @ Facebook

Sep 25, 2014

NEWS: GOATSNAKE Reveals Initial Details Of Impending New Album Due For Release In 2015 ...

Los Angeles, California's GOATSNAKE is back in a big way. Having spent the Summer at Rock Falcon Studios in Franklin, Tennessee, the band is gearing up to release their first new full-length album since 2000's Flower Of Disease.

The new GOATSNAKE  album, due for a release on Southern Lord next year, will feature the familiar faces of Greg Rogers (The Obsessed, Sonic Medusa), providing drums, Greg Anderson of Sunn O))) taking care of the riffs, Pete Stahl (Scream, Wool, Earthlings?) on vocals, and new bassist Scott Renner (Sonic Medusa, Sourvein). Joining them again on production duties is Nick Raskulinecz, who, since being introduced to Dave Grohl during the recording sessions of Flower Of Disease, has gone on to work with seminal artists such as Rush, Alice in Chains, Deftones and Ghost, and has won Grammys with the Foo Fighters. United again, he and the band are sure to serve a menacing cut of the time-honored ultra-heavy rock they are infamous for.

GOATSNAKE came to life in 1996, and released two EPs, two LPs, two 7" records and a split between 1998 and 2000. In 2010 they returned as a live band, playing a handful of well-received shows in the US and Europe in the years since.

More details of the upcoming album will be announced soon. Fans will be able to catch GOATSNAKE live at several confirmed live events, including the upcoming Southern Lord showcase in LA on October 15th with Excel, Xibalba, Obliterations, Baptists and Torch Runner, followed by a Friday night headlining set at Southwest Terror Fest III: The Western Front, on October 17th, joined by Godhunter and labelmates Eagle Twin and Pelican. GOATSNAKE has also confirmed new 2015 live actions including a spot at Maryland Deathfest in Baltimore, performing Sunday, May 24th with Amorphis, Anaal Nathrakh, Demilich, Inverloch, Neurosis, Primordial, Prosanctus Inferi, Skepticism, Tombs and Winter, as well as taking part in Temples Festival in Bristol, UK taking place may 29th through the 31st, alongside acts including Sunn O))), Today Is The Day and Martyrdöd.

GOATSNAKE Live Actions:
10/15/2014 Los Lobos - Los Angeles, CA @ Southern Lord Showcase w/ Excel, Xibalba, Obliterations, Baptists, Torch Runner
10/17/2014 The Rialto Theatre - Tucson, AZ @ Southwest Terror Fest w/ Godhunter, Eagle Twin, Pelican
5/24/2014 Maryland Deathfest - Baltimore, MD w/ Amorphis, Anaal Nathrakh, Inverloch, Neurosis, Primordial, Winter, more
5/29-31/2015 Temples Festival - Bristol, UK w/ Sunn O))), Today Is The Day and Martyrdöd

For coverage of GOATSNAKE contact in North America and internationally.

Southern Lord.Com
Southern Lord Bandcamp
Southern Lord Facebook

Sep 24, 2014

Gateway - "Aeternae" ...

Purity of vision is unmistakable. You can hear it on albums where the artist has dug in their heels and pushed back against any sort of compromise. Sometimes it manifests itself as music revisiting genres long in commercial eclipse. Other times it takes the form of closing their eyes to convention - for instance, the artist who fuses disparate genres into a new whole or the rock band with no guitar solos. Stylistic approaches are another form. Gateway's self-titled three song EP, a one-man project guided by Belgian Robin Van Oyen, is uncompromising in its efforts to drain every flicker of light from the room and overwhelm you.

This release plays like an unified work with different "movements". The brief feedback laden intro to the opener, "Kha'laam", explodes into a black funeral march. The guitars and drumming alike create an atmosphere of clanging dread. Extreme music like this challenges your preconceived, and likely long held, notions of the art form's function. Mainstream voices have often told us, from our earliest days, that music works best on a single level Can you hum it? Can you dance to it? "Kha'laam" and music like it works under a different paradigm. It is compellingly theatrical and entertaining on that level. However, it also pulls an aural blackness over the listener and forces them to confront it.

As if cycling through a larger musical structure, "Mangled Icons" stomps into the listener's consciousness immediately with charging guitars cutting through a thin haze of feedback. The effect seems to connect the song to its predecessor. The lyrical content is indecipherable to my ear, but the vocal timber and the inhuman quality in its performance is a key component of this song. The dark, glowering power and style present in the first track is here as well.

Gateway's final offering, "Vocatvs", plays like a summation of themes. The aural signatures heard in earlier songs receive an extended treatment and surprises abound. Keyboards open "Vocatvs" and a slight classical influence seems laced through their arrangement. It is not just a tribute to Van Oyen's musical ideas, but the clear production as well, that this finale sound monolithic. The song and release end with the music slowly stopping and leaving ambient sound lingering in the air.

It is rare to hear debuts so singular, so devoid of the influence plundering young artists often mistake for originality. Gateway is intent on capturing your attention and never letting it go.

Words: J.Hillenburg



Magmafröst – such an amazing, smart title … full of contrasts and of orthodox and unorthodox hints: boiling hot magma vomited from a fissure in the earth versus frozen immobility; the reference to northern mythological legends (Byfröst, the bridge betwenn the land of mortals and the land of gods) and that ö always, invariably and instinctly reminding metalheads of legends of another kind, Motörhead! 

Of course there’s not much proper Motörhead here, but this is just to warn you that Magmafröst, the new, full-length album by fantasy-loving Italian trio Kröwnn, is primarily and overwhelmingly a yummy slab of metal …The substantial Hyborian Age demo (HERE) was the first, super-tight effort of these doomsters crawling out of the heavy music scene in charming Venice, Italy, back in early 2013.

The new album, Magmafröst, was completed in mid  June 2014 and, basically still steaming hot, was immediately injected into the net and released in digital form via Bandcamp.  In these late summer-early autumn weeks the band is setting stages to fire while touring around, and finishing the crafting of the beloved solid versions of the new album (CD, tape and vinyl) which will be out soon soon. So time has more than come for writing about the Kröwnn bunch …

Hyborian Age was deeply rooted into old school heavy doom in the vein of Cathedral-Trouble with a marked penchant towards epic doom metal à-la-Candlemass as well as towards gothic tinges at least vocal-wise (many recognized a remarkable affinity of frontman Michele’s chanting style with both  Messiah Marcolin and Pete Steele). Fantasy (by Tolkien, Howard, Martin, etc.) is the passion and the genre preferred by frontman Michele for writing the lyrics of Kröwnn’s music. So it comes as natural for me to imagine Hyborian Age like a baby beast of heavy doom right out of its huge egg and uttering its hungry calls in lo-fi.  But now the doom beast has grown up, huge and in full power. Magmafröst includes eight tracks, that means six full-bodied songs and two short instrumental tracks for intro and outro, all of them masterfully produced. The big tracks may reach over 8 minutes length, but, believe me, time will fly even too quicker …

Bennu, the short instrumental intro, is a perfect foreboding. But the obscure rarefaction of this 1 minute-and-a-half intro won’t reveal anything of the upcoming riff thunderstorm right at the onset of Skeksis Dance and that will mark the next +45 minutes of the album.

One says Doom and may think about something slow, heavy and bleak. But most of the times at Kröwnn’s home Doom means tsunami of riffs as high as half mountain and by which you’ll be happy to be continuously overwhelmed. Kröwnn’s Doom is the thick, Iommi-centric groove-drenched doom which is also dripping sweat for the sultry air of Maryland. Doom lead by a mammoth pace but naturally able to gain speed in powerfully rolling waves of heavy metal, a boiling hot and “metal-macho” doom to the utmost, no matter if two thirds of the Kröwnn band are women, Elena on drums e Silvia Selvaggia (that means “wild”!) on bass. Tough women …Skeksis Dance is lead by a rather simple basic melody, however it is so easy to be caught by it as if being swallowed into a pitch-dense space-time vortex. This sonic vortex will invariably draw me and you all in a parallel world for experiencing a weird adventure as sinister as the strained and dissonant narrating voice (frontman Michele) and as the malignant whispers materializing towards the end of this first ballad.

 In Wyvernking Kröwnn’s doom is chuggying away like a huge locomotive fueled by Hell’s fire. Here more than elsewhere in the album, probably, riffs are the main focus of the whole thing. Torn vocals and drums are somehow subdued, although essential for the overall atmosphere. Demons took over and possessed Michele and “wild” Silvia and their overly distorted guitar and bass chords. And in a crazy crescendo these demons strain and extend and morph the base doom melody into a mindwarping reverbered Hawkwind-esque cosmic cacophony …Wölfhunt will bring us back down to solid earth riff- and an chant-wise. The dynamic pace of this doom-stoner ballad is accompanying Michele’s narrating voice telling about the story leading the Magmafröst concept album. “I am a warrior”, Michele says, and soon after doom turns into a frenetic, epic, pure NWOHM charge. The combination of plodding, groove-laden filthy-ish, bluesy heavy doom-stoner half Church of Misery half Sourvein, and NWOHM embodied in Wölfhunt and, subsequently, in Sleipnir, are probably the best trait-d’union, the bridge with the Hyborian Age demo.

To Minas Morgul is a magnificent flow of molten steel which is structured somehow similarly to Wyvernking because it starts in a way and it evolves in something else. But the way the metamorphosis will take place is different, of course. The initial leading, definitely bass-driven melody is solid and seducing at the same time because of that swinging between tight riff badassery and the morbid, nocturnal atmosphere evoked by the vibrating bass chord and the luring bewitching whispers. If Wyvernking was evolving into acid space metal madness, in To Minas Morgul the trio further downtune their guitars, tighten their skins, and unleash a long, breathlessly rumbling riff charge calling for war. It’s Tolkien speaking …

Forge Of Crom is the last doom ballad before Cernunnos, the long ambient instrumental outro closing the album. The forge is effectively evoked by some noise of hammers beating on metal. You call for metal, you’ll have it! The riffage starts as slow paced and no less than majestic, Sleep-like. But the Kröwnn trio adores action and so you have to expect the continuous merging between dark, ultra-slow heaviness and the dynamic aggression of the faster parts.  When the riffs stop, sharply, it will be like waking up from a hypnotizing experiment, and the peaceful pastoral melody in the instrumental outro will not reveal what you have been through before …

Magmafröst reveals great skills and a magic chemistry between the musicians, which have however been forged just by simple “elbow grease”: endless sessions of rehearsing and writing music together as well as a long experience in playing live (in other bands). The trio is also involved in the mastering and in the other artistic sides of their releases, which are auto-produced. As a matter of fact the label releasing CD, Tape and vinyl, Bizzarian Records, is the band’s own label. A special mention goes to the exquisite cover arts for Kröwnn’s albums which is resulting from a collaboration with artist Raoul of View From The Coffin (Lento, The Secret, Bastard Sapling, Grime, Fuoco Fatuo, etc.).

Magmafröst and Kröwnn - An album to have and to headbang to, a band to experience live …

Words. Marilena Moroni

Kröwnn @ Bandcamp
Kröwnn @ Facebook

Sep 23, 2014

NEWS & Video: Crobot - Visualize La Mano de Lucifer ...

"It's better to reign in Hell than to serve God's will" - I couldn't agree more with the opening line to Crobot's latest release, La Mano de Lucifer, off their upcoming major label debut with Nuclear Blast Records. Crobot call what they do "dirty groove rock" and my foot tappin and head bobbin along can't disagree.

The retro 70s hard rock movement is a bit of a flooded market as of late it seems but when it's done as well as Crobot does it you won't hear me complaining. Crobot have dubbed their fans Beardos and the Beardos should rejoice in this latest release from the band. Set the dial to groove and watch the audio visualizer video for La Mano de Lucifer below.

Crobot's Something Supernatural comes out Oct 27th via Nuclear Blast Records, preorder  (HERE) You can stay up to date on all of the latest Crobot news via their Facebook page (HERE,) and Twitter (HERE.)

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

Sep 22, 2014

(Don Juan) Matus - Espejismos (2014 re-issue) ...

Even if South America is rather far from what is believed to be or felt as the main "market" for heavy or underground music, i.e. Europe and North America, many heavy bands from those far-off countries are able to grasp attention worldwide and conquer our passion solidly, either with the wildest rage of their riffs, or with their exotic combinations of sounds or atmospheres. Matus, previosuly known as Don Juan Matus, is from Lima, Peru, and is one of those bands which rely on creativity, elegance as well as on heavy riffage while crafting their unique and elegant blend of styles.

Since their debut album in 2007, Don Juan Matus have become one of the most interesting and fascinating acts of the stoner/doom realm, even if their music bears a marked experimental, progressive imprint while spanning over a wide variety of genres like psychedelia and heavy rock from the 60-70s, Sabbathian doom, folk, ambient, blues, desert, space prog rock, etc.  The very name of the band, Don Juan Matus, suggests a specific focus on various shades of psychedelia. Juan Matus is a major spiritual character in the books by Carlos Castaneda and is described as an Indios "magician" or shaman expert in trance-inducing herbs and plants from the desert.

Being a band from South America and relying upon some local environmental and cultural features, there are various "hybrid" sides in the music of Matus which make it different, "exotic", and greatly attractive.

No wonder that all the band's albums, three full-lengths, two splits (with the German doom act Angel of Damnation and with the Peruvian heavy metal band Oxido) and a substantial compilation, were highly acclaimed and successfully released by international labels. Above I mentioned the band dropped the Don Juan Matus name and shortened it into Matus. This happened very recently. That seems like a sort of rebirth after a period of uncertainties mostly related to the fact that the band's members now live in different countries and even continents (Peru and Australia). There were also a few rearrangements in the line-up recently (mid July 2014) when drummer Alfonso Vargas was forced to leave due to work issues. Friend Walo Andreo Carrillo took over and hence joined the core of the band involving founder Richard Nossar (guitars), Alex Rojas (vocals), Veronik (vocals, flute, theremin, guitar) and, not least, Manuel Garfias (guitars, bass). This recent reworking in the line-up took place during the recording of Matus' forthcoming album.

So ... yes, new tunes are about to come from the Matus folks!

However there is something else moving and regarding Matus' last release, Espejismos.  Espejismos (= mirages, optical illusions) is the name of the substantial collection of alternate versions and unreleased tracks that was released as a limited edition pro-tape by the US label Caligari Records during August 2013 and rapidly sold out.

Well, this fine collection will be soon re-issued as CD via the Japanese label Golden Procession Records, the same label that had released Don Juan Matus' 2008 split with  Angel Damnation and the CD version of the 2010 masterpiece Más Allá Del Sol Poniente (see the review here). As reported in various interviews (including this one on Doommantia) the Espejismos collection includes different (re-recorded, reworked, extended ...) versions of selected tracks from the three previous full-length albums (S/T, Visiones Paganas and Más Allá Del Sol Poniente) as well as new, unreleased tracks.

The new, 2014 edition of Espejismos by Golden Procession Records will not be a simple re-issue, though, but will be expanded for including extra stuff which will make this release even more massive (over 60 minutes) than the original one.  The Espejismos compilation may be regarded as a sort of patchwork of tracks, where the "old" tracks are effectively sewn together by the new tracks acting as a thread. Fans will recognise single tracks from the old albums. Nevertheless the different approach or the re-arrangement of the old tracks coupled with the impression induced by the new combination of songs as a whole, somehow act as a fascinating experience. The result sounds like a new, resuming album sweeping through the history of the band driven by inspiration and not by time constraints.

Which fits in the Matus character, I guess ... 

Moreover this collection is a great way for approaching (Don Juan) Matus for those who happened to miss this valuable band before. The new tracks in the tape are, in sequence, “Cantico a los Dioses Antiguos", “Vortice Espiral II”, “Espejismos II”, “Auroral” and “Carne Humana para las Masas”.  The short “Cantico a los Dioses Antiguos" opens the collection and immediately imparts an ancestral and definitely Andean atmosphere lead by ritual chanting/drumming and directly inspired by shamanism. But what follows, Sol Poniente, Kadath, Ecoplasma II, Mundo Alterno, Adios Afallenau, Vortice Espiral II and Matorral, is a kaleidoscope of styles where, however, the band seems to highlight their retro doom component. Sol Poniente is addictive with its plodding riffs with a retro flavour and the aggressive take of Alex' vocals which often sound so much like Chris Cornell. Doom turns to epic and mournful in Kadath, where the intensity of Alex' chanting interacts with the sinister sonic doodles of Veronik's theremin. The howls of the theremin also dominate Ectoplasma II (Breve Regreso), the brief dynamic interlude  before the other amazing psychedelic doom slab of Mundo Alterno. 

The relaxed swinging mood in the acoustic Adios Afallenau, driven by guitar and piano, is intimate and refreshing. This track was originally closing the side A of the tape version and was probably contributing to the separation between the two halves of the tracks, because the second part of the compilation is a bit different, comparably less heavy doomy and more markedly psychedelic and ambient. Moreover the second half of the collection hosts all the other new, previously unreleased tracks. Vortice Espiral II is a spectacular hommage to both occult rock with a garage tinge directly from the roaring late 60s-early 70s and hosts a drumming-cymbal solo in its second half. And while the leading riffs dies out, the band goes back to the acoustic mood with Matorral, a delicate, proggy dialogue between acoustic guitars and flute reminding me of some acoustic interludes in the very early Genesis. The airy poetry of this music is kept anchored to earth by means of very natural noise, like crickets chirping, dogs barking etc. The noise goes on with the shaking cymbals in the short track Espejismos II which acts both as a reprise of the drumming virtuosity heard before (maybe?) and as a charming bridge towards the other new track Auroral. Auroral is a calm and delicately melancholic semi-acoustic song which easily merges with the piano-driven atmospheric onset of Verde Nocturno/Las Horas Azules (already in Más Allá Del Sol Poniente). From the initial simple and slow refrain the proggy Verde Nocturno/Las Horas Azules ballad gradually unfolds thesophisticated richness of Matus' own electric space prog rock mixed with theremin vibrations and the flute evocative of thin air over the Andean heights. 
The new track Carne Humana Para las Masas is an unsettling return to crude reality by means of its menacing martial take. The use of theremin together with the drums for the leading marching melody sounds particularly sinister to me.

Hands clapping at the end of this track were closing the tape.  But in the upcoming re-issue of Espejismos by Golden Procession Records the band will keep your bong blazing for additional +20 minutes with a new version of the colossal heavy-psych doom suite Círculo De Sueños (originally opening Don Juan Matus’ 2007 self-titled debut album) as bonus addition.

So Don Juan Matus are Matus now.  My feeling is that such evolution is best celebrated by the making of a project like Espejismos. And it is great to see the efforts of another underground label willing to share this project by Matus with more and more fans who missed the far too limited edition of the tape version. By the way, the tape version can be streamed in full on the bandcamp page of Caligari Records: HERE.

Keep Matus' new webpages checked for what is about to come, soon ...

Words: Marilena Moroni

Matus Links

Don Juan Matus (old pages, still active)
Official Website

News: Italian doom trio BLACK CAPRICORN to release new album Cult of Black Friars, new video and new Euro tour ...

The Italian occult psychedelic doom-mongers BLACK CAPRICORN are back with a brand new full-length album, the third one, called Cult of Black Friars. The charming female-dominated, (lucky) male-fronted doom trio from Cagliari (Sardinia island) recently posted their first video with the title track for teasing the doom addicts all over.

The new album will be out via the German label label Stone Stallion Rex as 12" picture LP limited to 300 copies. The artistic features of the release are in the hands of top artist Vance Kelly (Down, the Sword, Graveyard, the Graviators etc.), whose style is ideal for grasping the retro occult and charming sides of the band.

Black Capricorn's Cult Of Black Friars LP  will be out on  Saturday 01 November 2014.  Pre-orders are possible HERE.

 Moreover Black Capricorn are about to start a new tour, the 10 days-long Save The Witches Tour, across Central Europe starting from September 25th, 2014.

These are the approximate areas which will be reached by the trio who are still busy in organizing some dates.
25/09 Munich/Leipzig/Innsbruck area
30/09 Freiburg/Basel/Karlsruhe area
01/10 Karlsruhe/Koln/Darmstadt/Mannheim area
03/10 the Netherlands/Belgium/West Germany
04/10 Bielefeld/Munster/Dortmund/Dusseldorf area

Please, contact the band at for helping in booking some missing dates.
Keep the the band's FB page checked for further updates.

Words: Marilena Moroni

Black Capricorn @ Facebook HERE.

News: US bearded sludge band Cold Blue Mountain with new video and their new second album coming up very soon ...

After their crushing self-titled debut LP out via Gogmagogical Records back in 2013, California-based atmospheric sludge-doom band COLD BLUE MOUNTAIN are back with a new album called "Old Blood". CLICK HERE.

The new video for track The Strongest Will is an entertaining and surely "refreshing" way for drawing attention to this new release and to this cool heavy band, whose philosophy seems to be a humorous attitude to life coupled with tough riffs and harsh throats.

But you can explore the atmospheric side of the band with Retreat, another track from the upcoming album, which is available for full streaming via Cvlt Nation's Soundcloud page: HERE.

Cold Blue Mountain's new album "Old Blood" is released by the US label label Halo of Flies and will be shipped starting from October 7th, 2014. 
As for the previous release, the elegant cover art of the new album was crafted by the fine US artist Matt Loomis.

The different versions of album (limited-edition colored and black vinyl) are currently available for pre-order on the label's website at this link:  HERE.

Check out the band's official website for the record release show (at home, in California ...) and more live dates.

Words: Marilena Moroni

Cold Blue Mountain @ Facebook
Cold Blue Mountain @ Official Website

Interview With Laura Dolan of Electric Citizen ...

1) Is the name of the band from the song by The Edgar Broughton Band-"Death of an Electric Citizen"?

Yes, that’s our namesake. So perfectly raw, and the lyrics are badass! "This is my heaven, you can make it if you try." "You hear the promises blowing on the wind, and the wind is a vehicle for a bad man's sins."
"and then it's just about The death of an...The life of an...Electirc Citizen"

2) When did the band form? How did you meet the other members, Laura?

We played our first show in March of 2013, and formed about 6 months prior to that. Ross and I met in highschool, as did Nick and Nate. We knew each other through the local music scene, and when we decided to form this band it all just seemed to click. There’s good energy and a mutual respect between us that’s hard to come by.

3) Will the band be playing any live dates?

We just came off a very long stretch of touring that started back at the end of April. We've been lucky enough to support some really awesome bands along the way - Fu Manchu, Joan Jett, The Budos Band, Wolfmother, and The Cult. We are playing The Uninvited Fest in NYC on Sept 20th, and heading to Europe in April 2015 for Roadburn Festival with a week long tour preceding that. I'm sure more dates will come up, but right now we are focused on writing our second album.

4) Could you name a few favorite bands?

We have many, but here's a few favorites that have certainly influenced us - Budgie, UFO, Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Frumpy, The Pretty Things, Chrissy Zebby Tembo.

5) How is the writing of the new album coming, Laura?

The second album is coming along great, we've been dying to work on our new material, so we jumped right in as soon as we returned home from tour. We're a little over halfway through writing it, can't wait to be in the studio again.

Photo by Steven Levas Photography — at The Observatory Orange County. 
6) Are you interested in occultism?

Interested, sure, the supernatural certainly intrigues me, but I don't actively practice occultism. We often get coined occult rock, but I don't really know where that comes from, and I don't personally consider us occult rock. I do have a bit of family history in witchcraft - my ancestors ran a safe house to protect the accused during the Salem Witch Trials. I think that's pretty cool, and pretty brave of them to do so.

7) What are you doing when not in the recording studio, or playing live, Laura?

Right now my attention is focused on writing our second album, but it's been good to get back to normal life since being home. I missed my pets and my friends. I love anything to do with animals, art, music, old cars, metaphysics, science, and technology. I'm fascinated by Nikola Tesla and Edgar Cayce, I'll read anything on them. My grandfather worked with Nikola Tesla as a young scientist, but he wouldn't (or perhaps couldn't) tell us much before he died, and I think that has fueled my curiosities even further. And Edgar Casey is an endless source of knowledge. I rode horses for 14 years, I wish I could find the time to do that again. When I was a kid I'd shovel stalls all day at this old western barn just to get a free ride at the end of the day. I've never had the money to own one, but someday I will, or atleast I'll go back to shoveling stalls. I've always said, if life as I know it fell apart I'd run off to the west and become a cowgirl. And I'd like to have another vintage car someday. I had a 1969 VW Karmann Ghia when I was a teenager, I spent hours driving that thing  to nowhere, I loved it to death.

Interview By John Wisniewski

Electric Citizen @ Facebook

Sep 18, 2014

Hashbreath - "Hashbreath Demo" ...

It's good to be young and love music. You're in your first decade of hearing everything, so the riffs, solos, and style that sound clichéd to your ears twenty-five years later sound, at twenty years old, like the sky cracking open to reveal the cosmos above. When you join a band, the idea of writing music like your heroes strokes fires within and the thrill of hearing actual music coalescing around you is immeasurable.

    The members of Hashbreath are in their early twenties and hail from Sweden. Their four-song demo, "Hypnotic Voodoo Rhythm", is a strong representation of the band's musical firepower. Make no mistake - this is a muscular, unpretentious outfit aiming to overwhelm the listener in every song. It isn't any slight to say that what they shore up what's lacking in instrumental and composition prowess with a palpable enthusiasm running through the demo's entirety. This band has a wealth of compelling musical ideas to draw from and, occasionally, stumble when the songs seem a little cluttered. If this is a failure, however, it is a noble one and, certainly, far from fatal.

     The opening track, "The Big Chill", has a number of strengths apparent on first listen. The cohesion they display as a musical unit is impressive for even seasoned professionals. On first listen, the vocals didn't excite me much. I will concede a preference for clean singing, but long ago realized that this sort of singing isn't about the lyrical content. It is deeply theatrical and every bit as much of an instrument as the accompanying guitars, bass, and drums. Nor is it tuneless shrieking. Though the lyrics are indecipherable to my ears, the shrieking invokes terrified, nail-cracking desperation in a vivid, visceral way. This is the result of the music working together with the vocal to form a larger whole. This is an excellent choice for the opener. Clocking in at a little over four minutes, it has strong focus and never overextends itself.

    "Hashbreath" kicks off with a surprisingly bluesy crawl. The vocals are clearer here than the first song and the shrieking retains its sharp emotive edge. Everything musical is high quality, but the band marches through three different sections within the song's first three minutes. Sometimes the variations from section to section aren't drastic, but they are notable shifts in the music and betray their inexperience. In the interests of fairness, you can argue this phenomenon is the sign of an exciting, creatively restless band. All bands should have so many good musical ideas and significant parts of this song prove that the band is well on their way to learning what will work, how to arrange it, and what to leave out. I will say that the song's second half, specifically its surprising feedback drenched interlude, is the track's strongest suit.

    The swaggering, vaguely bluesy riff driving the largest part of "Goosebuds" is one of the song's highlights. Another intangible Hashbreath has is the authoritative confidence to take a strong riff like this and play it with unblinking, fully committed confidence. This is another tightly focused effort that doesn't attempt to clutter the song with too many ideas. The lead guitar work compliments the song well.

    "Black Voodoo Drug Lord", the demo's closing song, is by far the longest of the four and runs nearly ten minutes. I appreciate the wealth of ideas they bring to the song and the determination to create an epic number invoking the power of similar efforts in the genre. However, this is too long. One reviewer's belief, sure, but extended pieces need a number of compelling ideas to keep them afloat. not merely a watch. The band is content to milk, with assorted variations, the same primary riff for entirely too long and, without discernible lyric content, the experience can be a little tedious. It is only when the song approaches its conclusion that the tempo makes a clear adjustment and finishes the song on a rousing note.

    This is an enormously promising demo and shows a band that is passionate about music, brimming over with energy, and certain to grow as musicians. Keep an eye out for Hashbreath in the future and enjoy this now.

Words: J. Hillenburg

Hashbreath @ Facebook
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