Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hard Times and Tribulations

John Joseph at Knitting Factory, NY 12/28/08. Photo by Ami.

Back in December, I caught the "Cro-Mags" (John Joseph & Mackie + A.J. from Leeway and Craig from S.O.I.A.) at one of the last shows at the downtown Knitting Factory. I won't get into whether this counted as a real Cro-Mags show or not, I was just psyched to get to see some of my favorite songs ever performed live in front of a crowd that loved them as much as I do. John and Co. did not disappoint, tearing through everything from Age of Quarrel, Demoniac off of Best Wishes and some well chosen covers. Only way the set could have been improved would be if they'd played Hard Times twice. If you missed it, looks like you'll get a second chance. They're doing it all over again at the Europa on March 29th with Maximum Penalty (!) and Dump Body (who?) on the bill. Tickets here.

(Quick note about shows at the Europa- They book some awesome bands, but make sure they're not planning on cutting the headliner off half-way through their set in order to get Polish Disco Night started like they did when I went to see Withered there in December. Not cool.)

From a life-long favorite to a new discovery- I just got ahold of The Horror, the most recent release from Sweden's Tribulation. I guess these guys have been around for a minute, but they are new to me. Maybe that's because despite dropping various demos and EPs over the years, this is their first proper full length. It fucking destroys. A brutal blend of classic death/black/thrash that manages to feel fresh and contemporary. If you love a great, evil, buzzsaw metal assault like I do, click the link above and check these guys out. They are on Pulverized, the same label as the mighty Watain, so maybe they'll take a cue from their labelmates and actually tour the States, unlike so many other Scandinavian bands. Would love to see these guys live.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Surprises In The Throne Room

Quick update on the WITTR news below- I just listened to the Malevolent Grain EP (can be found at all the usual spots).


The first song, A Looming Resonance, is not what I was expecting at all. Melodic, clean vocals throughout. Yes, there were those melodic female interludes on the previous releases, but not a whole song like this. Oddly enough it works.

Works even better when you get to the B-side and you realize it is (probably) a one-off and not a new direction. The second song, Hate Crystal, has all the rasped, atmospheric darkness we've come to know and love from these guys.

Psyched to hear/see how this new stuff works out live.

Said and Done, Son

The first chunk of deep-fried sludge from Kylesa's upcoming album Static Tensions hit MySpace today. It's called Said And Done and it fucking rocks, especially when it really hits its stride roughly 2/3 of the way in. Check it out at the link a few dozen words ago.

In other awesome Kylesa news, they just announced an upcoming Southern mini tour with Skeletonwitch and Blacktusk that includes a stop at Austin's SXSW Fest. This is in addition to the previously announced outing with Nachtmystium and The Haunted. Kylesa, Skeletonwitch and Blacktusk are three of my favorite bands out right now, so you know I'm going to find a way to travel to one of these shows. The Austin date would be ideal, but I'll take whatever opportunity presents itself.

With any luck, I'll have more Kylesa news later this week after I see them tomorrow night at this-

(Hint- They're the "secret guest.")

In unrelated but equally awesome news, Wolves In The Throne Room's previously discussed vinyl EP, Malevolent Grain, is now available through their web store. As eager as I am to hear some new material from them, I think I'm going to wait and cop it in person when I see them at the Scion Fest.

Worth noting that free ticket registration for this insane show is now available on the Scion Fest website. I just registered and got a confirmation. You should do the same immediately.

New Kylesa Tour Dates-

March 13th @ The Milestone, Charlotte NC w/Skeletonwitch, Black Tusk

March 14th @ The Hideaway, Johnson City TN w/Skeletonwitch, Black Tusk

March 15th @ The Muse, Nashville TN w/Skeletonwitch, Black Tusk

March 16th @ Downtown Music, Little Rock AR w/Skeletonwitch, Black Tusk

March 17th @ The Hi-Tone Café, Memphis TN w/Skeletonwitch, Black Tusk

March 18th @ Club Dada, Dallas TX w/Skeletonwitch, Black Tusk

March 19th @ Rock Bottom, San Antonio TX w/Skeletonwitch, Black Tusk

March 20th @ Tone Deaf Touring SXSW Showcase, Red 7, Austin TX w/Skeletonwitch, Rwake, Black Tusk

March 21st @ Numbers, Houston TX w/Skeletonwitch, Black Tusk

March 22nd @ Candle Factory, New Orleans LA w/Skeletonwitch, Black Tusk

March 24th @ The Orpheum, Tampa FL w/Skeletonwitch, Black Tusk

March 25th @ The Jinx, Savannah GA w/Skeletonwitch, Black Tusk

March 26th @ Lucky's Pub, Wilmington NC w/Skeletonwitch, Black Tusk

March 27th @ The Rocket Club, Asheville NC w/Skeletonwitch, Black Tusk

March 28th @ The Nick, Birmingham AL w/Skeletonwitch, Black Tusk

March 29th @ The Gypsy on College, Fayetteville AR

March 30th @ The Conservatory, Oklahoma City OK

March 31st @ Launchpad, Albuquerque NM

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mastodon Monday Continues

As promised, here is the newly revealed cover art from Crack The Skye-

Click it to see a big ass version.

The Rasputiny guys are pretty sweet, if a little too made-on-a-computer for my taste, and the bear is bad ass (sure to inspire some ink). I dig that they included all the previous album symbols. Stay tuned for more Mastonews as it breaks.

First Taste of Skye

As mentioned below, Divinations, the first song from Mastodon's forthcoming album Crack The Skye, was supposed to debut on BBC tonight. Apparently it leaked a little early.

You can check it out here.

My first impression, despite being a borderline fanatical Mastodon fan, is that it's a little underwhelming. Like I said before, I've had some concerns about this album for a minute since I'm not a big fan of Brendan O'Brien as a producer and the band's description of the album as a step away from the crushingly heavy stuff was troubling to me. Unfortunately, listening to Divinations doesn't eliminate those worries about the album. Yes, it still sounds distinctly like Mastodon, which is great, but I'm not sure about the cleanish vocals (which is funny, because I love the clean vocals on Naked Burn), it's a little more wanky than ballsy , and even my favorite part, the surfy guitar that comes in at 2:14, is more interesting than awesome. Lyrics involving Vikings are definitely a plus though.

All that said, I've loved everything these guys have done so far and have been to more than a dozen of their shows, so I will reserve judgment on Crack The Skye until I get to hear the album in its entirety. With luck, that will be soon.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Divine Revelations

Next week promises some cool first glimpses at anticipated new albums from Mastodon and Kylesa.

Mastodon's Crack The Skye teaser campaign is picking up steam.

In addition to Monday's album art reveal that I posted about yesterday, it looks like they'll be debuting the first single from the album on Monday too. Then on Tuesday a limited edition single/t-shirt thing will become available.

Here are the details from their website-

"Jan.22, 2009 – (Burbank, CA) – Atlanta-based, Globally-revered hard rock behemoths MASTODON will reveal a brand new song, “Divinations,” from their highly anticipated, long-awaited new studio album, CRACK THE SKYE, this coming Monday, Jan 26, on BBC Radio One’s “Rockshow” in the U.K. American fans can tune in to the radio debut via the internet by following link:
The follow day Tues. Jan. 27, fans will have the opportunity to buy the “Divinations” bundle which will be comprised of a two-track CD-single (“Divinations,” along with an instrumental, non-album version of the track) and an exclusive album art T-shirt unavailable anywhere else. The single will also be available digitally as well from iTunes and all other participating digital retailers.
This direct to consumer bundle is only available through
Supplies will be extremely limited so don’t delay."

In case you're wondering, that radio show airs from midnight-2am Tuesday morning in the UK. So 7pm Monday Feb 26th in NY and 4pm Monday in LA. (The rest of the world can do their own math.)

I'm cautiously optimistic about checking out the new single (Brendan O'Brien behind the boards and the band's self-described less aggressive approach have me a little worried), but it would have been cooler if the debuted it on their site or myspace or something.

Can't say i really care about the single/t-shirt, but I'm sure some collectors will dig that. Personally, I just want to hear the album already.

As for Kylesa, they posted the following on their MySpace page today-

"It's high time for some updat​es and we'​ll be updat​ing our site and news in the following days.​ We'​re going​ to uploa​d a​ track​ from our new album​ "​Stati​c Tensi​ons"​ on Tuesd​ay.​ It's the third​ track​ on the new recor​d and it's calle​d "​Said and Done"​.

We'​ve also got a 7" featu​ring anoth​er song off the new album​ (​with a B side)​ comin​g out on Hyper​reali​st Recor​ds.​ We'​ll have a handf​ul to sell at the upcom​ing Amebi​x shows​ with silks​creen​ed cover​s.​.​.​.​more info on these​ pups soon.​.​.​."

Have high expectations for this album based on their previous releases. Can't wait to hear the new song. They don't specify, but I assume Tuesday's debut will be on their MySpace or website.

An Addendum To Holy Fucking Shit

The final nine bands have been announced for the Scion Rock Fest in Atlanta on Feb 28th.

They are-

Pig Destroyer
Septic Flesh
Trash Talk
Evil Army
US Christmas
Apocalyptic Visions

Can't say any of those additions mean that much to me, but nine of my favorite bands are already playing this thing, so no complaints here. Plus, I know a lot of folks love Pig Destroyer and Converge.

You can check out the revised flyer here.

Word on tickets is that the first step will be an online registration via the Scion website. The site says registration will be available "by 1/28" and to "check back soon." Apparently you give them your zip code when you register and if you live within 60 miles of one of the participating record stores (list below) you will get a confirmation code that allows you to go the store to pick up your tickets. The registration step is mandatory, you can't just show up at the store and score tix.

If you don't live near one of these stores (like me), you'll get added to a list that allows you to pick up your tix at will-call the day of the show (should be a total clusterfuck).

Stores are-

Criminal Records
1154-A Euclid Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30307

Wax N' Facts
432 Moreland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

Low Yo Yo Stuff Records
432 Moreland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

Wuxtry Records-Atlanta
2096 N Decatur Rd
Decatur, GA 30033

Decatur CD
356 West Ponce de Leon Ave.
Decatur, GA 30030

Full Moon Records
1653 Mclendon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

1604 8th Ave. South
Nashville, TN 37203

Carmichael’s Bookstore
1925 Bardstown Rd
Louisville, KY

Underground Sounds
2003 Highland Ave.
Louisville, KY 40204

Lunchbox Records
1419-A Central Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28205

Manifest Records
6239 South Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28217

Lost & Found Records
3714 Walker Blvd.
Knoxville, TN 37902

Vinyl Fever
(850) 580-3480
2256 W Pensacola St
Tallahassee, FL 32304

Horizon Records
2-A West Stone Ave.
Greenville, SC 29609

1418 Laurens Rd.
Greenville, SC 29607

52.5 Records
561 King St.
Charleston, SC 29403

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Start Booking Those Tattoo Appointments

Mastodon will be revealing the cover art for their eagerly anticipated album Crack The Skye on Monday. Thanks to the crafty marketing geniuses at Warner Bros, you'll have to be signed up for their mailing list to see it. Get all the details here.

For those of you who fear Big Brother Bunny, I will try and post the artwork here when I receive it Monday. Stay tuned.

Crack The Skye hits stores March 9th.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Out Come The Wolves

Courtesy of our friends at Brooklyn Vegan, awesome news about some upcoming Wolves In The Throne Room releases, in including a NEW ALBUM March 31st!

"Wolves In The Throne Room have emerged from the dark forests of the Pacific Northwest to announce a pair of new releases and drop more details on their previously announced upcoming live LP, Live At Roadburn 08! First up, the Malevolent Grain EP will hit Southern Lord with a 180-gram LP bang, with Conspiracy Records dropping a small pressing of picture discs for the record (a limited batch of CDs will be available on tour). Then on March 31st, the band will drop Black Cascade their new full-length on Southern Lord! Both Malevolent Grain and Black Cascade were recorded by Randall Dunn/Mell Dettmer and are the first to feature new guitarist (former touring member) Will Lindsay of ex-Middian / Age Eternal fame. In addition, WITTR's Live at Roadburn 08 will be released with a companion DVD available with the first pressing of 500 copies, with 150 coming in gold vinyl with a silkscreen. Full WITTR tour dates are below, including their date at Scion Rock Fest."

Such good news. Looks like March is going to be an insane month with new albums from WITTR, Kylesa and Mastodon all dropping then. Can't fucking wait.

If you've never seen these guys live, I urge you to do whatever you have to do to make it happen. They fucking destory. Drummer Aaron Weaver will blow your mind.

Here's a cool flick of their candlelit set from when they played Reggie's in Chicago with Nachtmystium and Velnias in the fall. Great show, well worth the trip.

The band has a couple of shows this weekend in Washington-

Friday, January 16th 2009
Benefit Concert for Green Scare Political Prisoners
with lots of other bands
at the UnderGround Event Center
2407 1st Ave, Seattle
Doors Open 7pm

Saturday January 16, 2009
With Mt.Erie and Son Skull
The Big Room (All Ages)
508 Legion Way, Olympia, Washington

Other currently scheduled tour dates are below. Word is US dates will be announced shortly.

January 16 Underground Events Center, Seattle, Washington
January 17 The Big Room, Olympia, Washington*
January 22 Vera, Gronigen
January 23 JAZ, Rostock
January 24 Loppen, Copenhagen
January 25 Cassiopea, Berlin**
January 27 DNA, Brussels
January 28 Underworld, London
January 29 The Croft, Bristol
January 30 Barfly, Birmingham
February 1 Star and Garter, Manchester
February 2 Engine Rooms, Brighton
February 3 Boule Noir, Paris
February 4 Heretic Club, Bordeaux
February 5 El Balca de la Lola, Bilbao
February 6 Sala Whippoorwill, Oviedo
February 7 Porto Rio, Porto
February 8 Ritmo Y Compas, Madrid
February 9 Be Good Club, Barcelona
February 11 Magnolia, Milan
February 12 Circolo Degli Artisti, Rome
February 13 Cage Club, Livorno
February 15 Kunstverein, Nurnberg
February 16 007, Prague
February 17 Arena, Vienna
February 18 Beatpol, Dresden
February 19 Scheldapen, Antwerp
February 20 Willem 2, Den Bosch
February 21 Festung, Bitterfeld
February 28 Scion Rock Fest- The Masquerade, Atlanta, Georgia
April 23 Roadburn 013, Tilburg Roadburn 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Static Age

Savannah hardcore/sludge superheroes Kylesa are getting ready to drop their new album Static Tensions on March 17th through Prosthetic Records. Should help us all destroy both our brain cells and our eardrums come St. Patty's day. Word is there will be some sweet limited/special edition vinyl too.

Bad ass cover art is by John Baizley of Baroness, of course. Dude is the Pushead of Southern metal.

They've also got a bunch of US and international tour dates coming up, including a Northeastern run with crust punk legends the Amebix and a longer run supporting The Haunted and Nachtmystium. The whole thing kicks of with a sweet NYC one off at the Charleston Jan 28th. Should be pretty sick to see them at such a small venue. I'll be there for sure.

Kylesa tour dates-

01/28/09 The Charleston, Brooklyn NY, with Tombs, Tournament, Black Anvil
01/29/09 Bowery Ballroom, New York NY w/Amebix
01/30/09 AS220, Providence RI w/Amebix
01/31/09 Starlight Ballroom, Philadelphia PA w/Amebix
02/06/09 Huck Finn, Nagoya JAP w/Birushanah, Eternal Elysium
02/07/09 Earthdom, Tokyo JAP w/Birushanah, Coffins, Church of Misery, Revolt
02/11/09 51, Gifu JAP w/Birushanah, Eternal Elysium
02/13/09 Graf, Fukuoka JAP w/Birushanah, Hydrophobia
02/14/09 Club Squad, Yamaguchi JAP w/Birushanah, Hydrophobia
02/15/09 Club Drop, Osaka JAP w/Birushanah, Swarrrm, Garadama, Mortalized
04/02/09 The Glass House, Pomona CA w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium
04/03/09 Key Club, West Hollywood CA w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium
04/04/09 Slim's, San Francisco, CA w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium
04/05/09 Hawthorne Theater, Portland OR w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium
04/06/09 Neumos, Seattle WA w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium
04/07/09 Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium
04/08/09 Starlite Ballroom, Edmonton AB w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium
04/09/09 The Warehouse, Calgary AB w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium
04/11/09 Royal Albert, Winnipeg MB w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium
04/12/09 Station 4, Minneapolis, MN w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium
04/13/09 The Pearl Room, Mokena IL w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium
04/14/09 Majestic Theatre, Detroit, MI w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium
04/15/08 Opera House, Toronto ON w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium
04/16/09 Club Soda, Montreal QC w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium
04/17/09 The Palladium, Worcester MA w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium
04/19/09 BB King's, New York, NY w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium
04/21/09 Mr. Smalls, Millvale, PA w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium
04/22/09 Jaxx, Springfield, VA w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium
04/23/09 Volume 11 Tavern, Raleigh, NC w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium
04/24/09 The Masquerade, Atlanta GA w/The Haunted, Nachtmystium

Monday, January 12, 2009

Season of the Witch

Turns out a night of pummeling metal mayhem is the best possible antidote to a soul-crushing NY Giants defeat.

Caught the second installment of Brandon Stosuy's Show No Mercy series at Public Assembly in Brooklyn last night. In case you don't know, Brandon writes an excellent metal column, also titled Show No Mercy, for Pitchfork. There hasn't been a new one in a minute though. Hope that changes soon.

The first SNM show last month featured the killer lineup of Nachtmystium, Javelina and Velnias (see these guys immediately). Was a truly sick night despite some major delays that resulted in a good and sloshed Blake Judd taking the stage sometime after 1am.

Skeletonwitch at Public Assembly, BK 1/11/09

Round two ripped pretty damn hard as well and even managed to stick to a more conventional schedule. Skeletonwitch headlined and they fucking destroyed. Been a fan for a while, but this was my first time catching them live. They did not disappoint. Also on the bill were Cannabis Corpse and Atakke. Only caught the end of Atakke's set, but I liked what I heard and what I've checked out since. Cannabis Corpse were fucking hilarious- Sentenced To Burn is a genius song title.

Looks like this is going to be a pretty sick ongoing series. There are so many sweet bands out there right now, nice to see someone making an effort to bring them through NY, especially at a cool, no bullshit venue. Psyched to see who Brandon lines up next.

Friday, January 9, 2009


What better way to kick off the weekend than a post about what may possibly be the sickest show ever?

Talking about the Scion Rock Fest (lame name, insane lineup).

Check this out-

Saturday, February 28, 2009
12 p.m. - 12 a.m.
18 and over

The Masquerade
695 North Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA 30308

Confirmed lineup so far-

High on Fire
Wolves in the Throne Room
Harvey Milk
Toxic Holocaust
A Storm of Light

Look at that lineup! The Dark Lord truly has answered our prayers.

More bands are going to be announced soon. I have it on good authority that Converge and Pig Destroyer will be among them.

Believe it or not, this show is FREE. The silver lining to corporate sponsorship, I guess.

Details on how to get the free tickets are going to be announced soon, so stay tuned. Tickets do not guarantee admission. Once the venue is at capacity, it's one-out, one-in. In other words, plan on getting there early.