Gaza are pissed off. I mean, dangerously pissed off. They’re one of the few bands in the extreme music today that actually lives up to such classification, whether it’s the blistering time signature changes on I Don’t Care Where I Go When I Die or the monolithic funeral dirges at the start of He Is Never Coming Back. The bottom line is, Gaza are scary as hell, filled with vitriol towards 95% of modern society, and four of the nicest guys I’ve had the opportunity to chat with. I met with Gaza after their almost unpleasantly loud set in Charlotte, North Carolina to chat with them about what it’s like to be a black sheep, North Carolina’s new marriage amendment, who they’d record a split with, and the band’s undying love for Metallica. More below: (more…)
Corrosion of Conformity are serious about getting back on the road. They have a slew of dates booked this month with Torche and Valient Thorr and now they've went ahead and announced a tour in June as well. They will be taking out Torche once more, as well as Black Cobra and the mighty GAZA. This sounds like quite the killer package of down tuned heavyness, so it gets the MI stoner seal of approval. Here are the dates: (more…)
Upon graduating from At a Loss Recordings to Southern Lord for their third album, 2009's Chronomega, Bay Area sludge purveyors Black Cobra clearly felt that the larger stage dictated a corresponding growth in maturity. Chronomega deviated sharply from the origins of 2006's Bestial, itself a myopic yet effective riff factory pumping out the kind of accessible stoner hooks that go over like gangbusters in a live setting.
Chronomega began slowing things down a bit, introducing foreboding, atmospheric chords in the High on Fire vein, hinting at a larger canvas from which the duo of Jason Landrian and Rafael Martinez were culling their ideas from. The problem with that approach is that it came off as labored, too self-conscious; Landrian and Martinez no longer sounded like they were enjoying themselves. And though, on paper, the songs were objectively well crafted, the pacing found itself locked into a stagnant mid-tempo groove… there just wasn't enough variety, though the brisk 38 minute running time mitigated this flaw somewhat.
Unsurprisingly, then, Invernal finds Landrian/Martinez more at home in their own shoes. At eight tracks and 39 minutes, the album demonstrates a re-upped commitment to brevity – the better to avoid overstaying the band's welcome – yet also shows a better mastery of velocity. "Avalanche" fires things off with double kick drums and a meaty riff out of the late era Sepultura songbook, Landrian's clean vocals a counterpart to the thickened sludge of the instrumentation.
Two big pieces of HIGH ON FIRE news to report on. First off, the title track off their upcoming CD, Snakes for the Divine, can be streamed over at SPIN.com. The track is killer. You can't resist headbanging. Speaking of which, you will get the chance to do so in person as the band has announced a full U.S. headlining tour. They will be bringing out PRIESTESS, BLACK COBRA and BISON BC, all very suitable openers. Want a prediction about this tour? Frontman Matt Pike will not be wearing a shirt. Also, they will rip live. Here are the announced dates… (more…)
Our comrades at MetalSucks recently scored an interview with guitarist GREG ANDERSON of ambient metal droners SUN O))). Anderson, who also co-founded prominent avant-metal label Southern Lord (BORIS, SAINT VITUS, EARTH,) revealed that his band's seventh album will be graces us sometime in the next few months, while spilling the beans on some exciting new Southern Lord releases. The interview reads, in part:
MetalSucks: What's it like to live the dual life of a working musician and a record label owner? Do you ever find those two things to be at odds with each other? How do you balance the needs of the label with life on the road?
Anderson: I actually think that potentially it can be the best way a label is run. As a musician who is running a label I have empathy for other artists/musicians and try to treat bands on the label how I would want a label to treat me. I think many other labels do not have this insight into the minds of their bands. These days I don't do much touring but when I'm out on the road I have a kick ass staff that takes care of business while I'm away.
MetalSucks: What do you think of the state of the overall metal scene today? Any new bands that are impressing you?
Anderson: It is very rare that a new band catches my interest these days. Part of the problem is that there are simply too many bands out there and it becomes harder to separate the wheat from the chaff. EAGLE TWIN and BLACK COBRA are 2 exceptions to this. Both bands' vigilant heaviness resonated immediately with me. Eagle Twin is comprised of one of my favorite guitar players: GENTRY DENSLEY, whom I met in the late eighties, and his work with Iceburn and other groups has always been a favorite of mine. Black Cobra to me embody several elements that a lot of bands lack these days. Their DIY ethos and relentless battering set them apart from many. I have also been enjoying: THOU and BLACK BREATH as of late.
MetalSucks: What's in the near future for both Sunn O))) and Southern Lord?
Anderson: 2009 is going to be an exciting year for both Southern Lord and Sunn O))). Southern Lord has several killer releases coming in the first half of the year. The debut solo album from SCOTT "WINO" WEINRICH (Saint Vitus, OBSESSED, THE HIDDEN HAND) entitled: "Punctuated Equilibrium," [read the MetalSucks review], the debut album from Norwegian black metal band ORCUSTUS (featuring members of ENSLAVED, GORGOROTH). The third studio album from Northwest Black Metal band WOLVES IN THE THROWN ROOM. And the albums from the two bands mentioned above: Eagle Twin and Black Cobra. The seventh Sunn 0))) studio album "Monoliths/Dimensions" will be released in April or May. The second half of the year is also starting to take shape and this may go down as our most prolific and eclectic year as a label yet!
Check out the rest of the interview, which includes Mr. Anderson's takes on CANNIBAL CORPSE, METALLICA, and the "hipster metal" label, right here.
File Under: HOLY SHIT. Noisy trailblazers Today is the Day are all over the place lately – first they're tapped to play Maryland Death Fest, and now they're embarking upon a month-long tour with one of my favorite bands, dirty Dixie sludgemongers Weedeater. I personally never got into Today is the day, but as I said, Weedeater's pretty much the best band ever (in my humble opinion, anyway) and I'm sure Steve Austin will as always bring the fucking noize live. Don't miss this!
Nov 1 – Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn w/ Black Cobra
Nov 2 – Wilmington, NC @ The Soapbox
Nov 3 – Richmond, VA @ Alleykatz
Nov 4 – Baltimore, MD @ Sonar w/ Triac
Nov 5 – New York, NY @ Knitting Factory w/ Made Out Of Babies
Nov 6 – Philadelphia, PA @ T.B.A.
Nov 7 – Albany, New York @ T.B.A.
Nov 8 – Toronto, ON @ The Wreck Room
Nov 9 – Montreal, QC @ Les Foufounes Electriques
Nov 10 – Providence, RI @ Club Hell
Nov 11 – Pittsburgh, PA @ 31st St Pub
Nov 12 – Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
Nov 13 – Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
Nov 14 – Lansing, MI @ Mac’s Bar
Nov 15 – St Paul, MN @ T.B.A.
Nov 16 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
Nov 18 – St Louis, MO @ Fubar
Nov 19 – Little Rock, AR @ Downtown Music
Nov 20 – Tulsa, OK @ The Marquee
Nov 21 – Dallas, TX @ Reno’s Chop Shop
Nov 22 – Austin, TX @ Red 7
As previously reported, sludge-encrusted doom legends Grief have reformed and will be hitting the road for a European tour, as well as a short East Coast jaunt with New Hampshire hardcore ragers Trap them. A few more dates of this utterly unmissable tour have surfaced, including a spot on the newly-instated second stage at Maryland Death Fest. I'M SO EXCITED, especially since it's looking like the the date in my home base (Philadelphia) will also feature the ravenous Black Cobra, and two of the ugliest bands to ever crawl out from under the City of Brotherly Love's whitewashed skies – Jail. and Serpent Throne. If you haven't heard GRIEF yet, check out an MP3 below…
GRIEF/TRAP THEM tour dates:
October 24 – Baltimore, MD @ The Nowarehouse
October 25 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Khyber
October 31 – Chicago, IL @ The Hideout
May 22-24 – Baltimore, MD @ Maryland Deathfest VII
Massive Doom News Round-up: GRIEF, EYEHATEGOD, CROWBAR, SUNN0))), ZOROASTER, SOURVEIN, ORANGE GOBLIN, TORCHE, ACROSS TUNDRAS, and more!
Instead of posting a half dozen bite-size stories about the latest news from the doom/sludge underground, I decided to compile it all into one big nasty ball o'resin and load y'all up with enough album updates, tour dates, and general sludgefuckery to BLOW. YOUR. FUCKING. MINDS. Load up the bong, and read on…
Cult sludge act GRIEF have reunited and are currently plotting a European tour with the totally respectable crusty metallic hardcore (NOT metalcore) band TRAP THEM. They've also announced two East Coast shows, with plans for an equally-short West Coast run shortly thereafter.
Oct 24 2008 – BALTIMORE, Maryland @ THE NOWAREHOUSE
Oct 25 2008 – PHILADELPHIA, PA @ THE KHYBER PASS w/ BLACK COBRA
The best band in the world, a.k.a. EYEHATEGOD, played a 20th anniversary show with CROWBAR in New Orleans this past weekend. The date was made even more special as it fell on the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's devastation of the city, and came just as the threat of Hurricane Gustav loomed over the still-healing city. I made the pilgrimage down there to see the show, and goddamned if it wasn't one of the best I've ever seen. EYEHATEGOD played three new songs and announced that they are currently writing their next album. CROWBAR are also knee-deep in new tunes; their next record is expected to drop in 2009, with Kirk himself proclaiming that not only did they plan to tour, they "want to play every country that's got electricity!"
More doom news after the jump… (more…)