VOLTO! – Incitare

•August 9, 2013 • Leave a Comment


I’ll admit that I was only drawn to VOLTO! due to Danny Carey’s involvement.  As one of the best drummers around and as a member of one of my favorite bands, TOOL, my interest was piqued immediately.  Once I made my way down to the Baked Potato, the little club by Universal Studios that the band plays at on the regular, I was immediately blown away by the bands jazzy, proggy jam band approach to performing. Now, after several years of playing the small venue, the band has finally released their debut record, Incitare.

Danny Carey may be the big name here and the initial draw for many, but he not the star of the show. In fact, there is no real star here, what makes the band so good, is that each member brings there superb musicianship to the table.  These songs are a product of the group’s cohesiveness.

This is a great album and a great introduction to an incredible band.  While the album, for the most part captures the jazzy fusion of their live shows, you have to see them live to fully appreciate them. During their sets, the joke around, the mess up parts of the songs, they argue about what cover to do and have just an all-around great time. So if you can, go see these guys live, but while waiting, pick up the album.


Hexer – Hexer

•August 8, 2013 • Leave a Comment


Once again, our friends at Gilead Media have presented us with another outstanding record, this one from Philadelphia based black metal trio Hexer. I don’t know much about the band but they deliver a solid slab of classic thrash infused Norwegian styled black metal. It’s a lo-fi mix of dark, nihilistic chaos.

This type of records is actually difficult for me to review, I absolutely love it but my knowledge of black metal is somewhat limited, having only really gotten into it over the last few years, which makes it hard to compare or contrast with the genre’s classics. But what I do know is that every time I’ve listened to the promo, I have fallen into a dark trance, completely oblivious to those around me, my mind swirling in a chaotic frenzy.

I’ve said it before, but what I truly love about black metal is its power to engulf your mind and draw you into its own dark little world, a harsh, bleak world full of death and destruction, yet one full of beautiful decay. Hexer does just that here. Through swirling riffs, frantic drumming and harsh growling screams, the listener is drawn into a world where humanity Is falling about through its own actions, a world streaming towards its own annihilation.

This release combines the bands cassette eps from 2011 on 180 gram vinyl. Limited to 300 copies. Preorders will be up soon at gileadmedia.net

Fell Voices – Regnum Saturni

•May 1, 2013 • Leave a Comment


With music, I typically need to be familiar with a band or artist before I spend my hard earned money on their records, but there are a couple of labels with such excellent track records that I will gladly purchase anything they release without even hearing it first:  Southern Lord and Profound Lore. And now we can add Gilead Media to the list.  With its recent string of superb releases, the label has quickly become a favorite of mine.

After the recent Ash Borer “Bloodlands” record and the reissue of “Destroyer“ by Inter Arma, Gilead returns with the latest from West Coast black metalists Fell Voices. “Regnum Saturni” is made up of three songs, the shortest being over seventeen minutes. Each song starts with ambient intros that leading into heavy black metal dirges. Keyboards play there part throughout the songs, but in a minimalistic way, adding to the background and the overall atmosphere of the songs. Vocals are a low, guttural howl that, while not buried in the mix, never overshadow the music, also adding much to the overall atmosphere. This record is so powerful, it’s harsh, yet beautiful; it’s dark, yet glimmers of light shine through; it’s chaotic, yet rhythmic. This is, in my humble opinion, exactly what black metal should sound like.

The best thing I can say about this album is that it demands to be heard, over and over again.  I get probably a dozen or so promos every week, in addition to the tons of music a buy on a regular basis and with all that at my hands, this album has been at the top of my rotation for since the promo arrived.

Regnum Saturni, which clocks in at 62 minutes, will be presented as a gatefold 2LP w/hand screen printed etched D-side. The release will feature a heavy-duty old style tip-on jacket w/spot gloss print, metallic silver LP labels, 180g black vinyl, and download code.

Preorders for the album, as well as shirts are up now at Gilead

Also, OMGVinyl is hosting a contest to win a test pressing of the album, although the contest will probably be over by the time you read this.

Ash Borer – Bloodlands 12”

•February 13, 2013 • Leave a Comment


Ash Borer has quickly become one of my favorite bands.  I first came across them with last year’s release “Cold of Ages” on Profound Lore. I then went back and got their 2011 split with Fell Voices on Gilead Media. Then Profound Lore re-released their self-titled debut earlier this year; and it was that album that really caught my ear, it’s such a powerful and heavy piece of black metal. Now Gilead Media is partnering with Power Violence to release their latest, the vinyl only “Bloodlands” 12”.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been listening to all of their releases back to back, almost exclusively, so when this promo came across my desk, I was pretty excited. One of the things I love about black metal is its power to create stirring emotional atmospheres, and Ash Borer is one of the best.  Their music is full of such despair and melancholia. Over he course of 35 so minutes, the band takes you on a thoroughly depressing journey.

Press Photo 1

Side A kicks off with the 15 minute “Oblivion’s Spring”. It starts of slow with some guitar and noise/ambience before breaking into a cacophony of swirling guitars, drums and tortured vocals. Side B’s two tracks make up the song “Dirge/Purgation”, which continues in a similar vein. An ambient, noise drenched intro builds with its repetitive riff. The “Dirge” ends when “Purgation” begins as the drums come in as a mid-tempo beat before the blast beats kick in the chaos. The song continues with a swirl of guitars, drums and harsh vocals through various breakdowns and movement.  Both songs are fairly long, and like most black metal, are repetitive, but they are never boring, in fact, the repetition in almost trance inducing.

This is dark, foreboding music that is full of desperation, yet there is beauty in it, creating a sense of tranquility within its chaotic execution. It’s this type of music I often turn to on stress filled days. It has a power that rips all of the anger, frustration and despair right out of my soul, giving me some much needed, albeit brief solace from the world.

COUGH / WINDHAND Split Album To See Spring Release Via Relapse

•February 13, 2013 • Leave a Comment

April is shaping up to be a great month for extreme music….COUGH released one of my favorite sludge albums of the past few years with “RITUAL ABUSE” and I’ve been waiting for new music from them for a while.  Although the split only has one track by them, that’s better than nothing!!!




Relapse Records this week unveils a pummeling upcoming split between two prime acts in the contemporary doom/sludge circuit, COUGH and WINDHAND.


With both COUGH and WINDHAND hailing from the unrestrained Richmond, Virginia underground, the choice to team the two of them up for the brutal Reflection Of The Negative split album was a simple one, and the results are, as expected, thunderous and immense. COUGH leads off, delivering a characteristically electrifying down-tuned epic track, while their brethren in WINDHAND serve up two brand new epic songs for their half of the dirge. While the track listing bears merely three tracks, this monstrous split bears nearly forty minutes of premier doom at its absolute gloomiest. The album acts as a precursor for both bands’ upcoming full-lengths, which are both currently being conceived.


Reflection Of The Negative will see official release on April 16th in North America, preceded by international street dates of April 12th (Germany/Benelux) and April 15th (UK/World). Today Relapse has released a visual trailer for the LP, as well as preorders for the album including digital and CD formats, as well as a super-limited mailorder-only black/white vinyl combo.


In conjunction with the release of the split, COUGH will embark on a brutal month-long European tour. The majority of the dates will see the band joined by Witch Mountain, while several later dates will instead be with Grime, the entire trek leading up to Heavy Days in Doomtown. The festival, an international DIY doom/stoner/sludge festival in Copenhagen, Denmark, runs from May 2nd through the 5th, and will see COUGH sharing the stage alongside Graves At Sea, Pagan Altar, Samothrace, Moss, Bell Witch, Dark Buddah Rising, Lecherous Gaze, Mournful Congregation and many others.


COUGH European Tour 2013:

4/08/2013 Fonobar – Warsaw, Poland w/ Witch Mountain

4/11/2013 Nuclear Nightclub – Oulu, Finland w/ Witch Mountain

4/12/2013 Klubi – Turku, Finland w/ Witch Mountain

4/13/2013 Studioravintola Paksu – Helsinki, Finland w/ Witch Mountain

4/15/2013 Klub Püssy A Go Go – Stockholm, Sweden w/ Witch Mountain

4/16/2013 Truck Stop Alaska – Gothenburg, Sweden w/ Witch Mountain

4/18/2013 Schaubude – Kiel, Germany w/ Witch Mountain

4/19/2013 O13 @ Roadburn Festival – Tilburg, Netherlands w/ Witch Mountain

4/20/2013 DNA – Brussels, Belgium w/ Witch Mountain

4/21/2013 Raymond City – Clermont-Ferrand, France w/ Witch Mountain

4/22/2013 Saint Des Seins – Toulouse, France w/ Witch Mountain

4/23/2013 Combustibles – Paris, France w/ Witch Mountain

4/24/2013 Bastard Club – Osnabrück, Germany w/ Witch Mountain

4/26/2013 Desertfest – Berlin, Germany w/ Witch Mountain

4/27/2013 De Pit – Terneuzen, Netherlands w/ Witch Mountain

4/28/2013 Desertfest – London, England w/ Witch Mountain

4/29/2013 Péniche Inside Out – Liege, Belgium w/ Grime

4/30/2013 Halle 14. – Karlsruhe, Germany w/ Grime
5/04/2013 Ungdomshuset – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Heavy Days in Doomtown


Promos of the COUGH / WINDHAND split album will be available shortly. For promo requests, in North/South America contact earsplitpr@aol.com, in Europe contact frank@pettingzoo.nl, or bob@relapse.com for the UK.









WOE: Pitchfork Premieres New Track

•February 13, 2013 • Leave a Comment

This is another band I really dig…



Pitchfork has premiered the song “Carried By Waves to Remorseless Shores of the Truth,” from WOE’s forthcoming new album titled Withdrawal. The song, written by vocalist/guitarist Chris Grigg, examines the darkness and antisocial inclinations of mankind. It is one of seven new songs featured on the album set for North American release on April 23.


Recorded at studios in New York and New Jersey during the latter months of 2012, Withdrawal is a robust and penetrating album. It benefits from 18-months of live performances; something impossible in the band’s early years. “WOE as a band is all-around stronger than WOE as a solo project,” shares Grigg who founded the band as a solo endeavor in 2007. “Withdrawal presents WOE at its strongest; the full potential of its sum parts realized with the fat trimmed. Working alone has its benefits,” he confirms, “but working as a band allows everyone to operate at their peak at all times. Being able to play live is also crucial. This was music meant to be seen and felt in person. I’m grateful for the opportunity the full band set up allows us that I did not have when I was operating alone.”


A predator lives inside of every man,” is a verse from the song’s closing passage. It is a narrative that carries throughout the album. Grigg says, “the conflict between how we want to behave and how our nature pushesus to behave has always fascinated me. ‘Carried By Waves to Remorseless Shores of the Truth’ confronts this head-on and explores the fine line between the day-to-day exploitation we somehow think of as normal and extraordinary acts that we do not accept.”


The Onions’s A.V. Club calls WOE, “one of the best young American black metal bands willing to play around with the boundaries of the genre.” MetalSucks says, “sincere and relentlessly creative, WOE put a new spin on an old method. This is the sound of black metal to come.” Popdose adds, “WOE burns the black metal rule book to create something wholly unique and desirable.”


To listen to “Carried By Waves to Remorseless Shores of the Truth” click HERE.


Withdrawal is the third studio album from WOE. The album was produced by Grigg and mastered by Colin Marston. It reunites the band, currently including guitarist Ben Brand, bassist/vocalist Grzesiek Czapla, drummer Ruston Grosse, and Grigg, with artist and long-time friend Justin Miller. WOE is expected to announce tour dates in support of Withdrawal in the coming weeks.


To preorder the CD or limited edition vinyl pressing of Withdrawal visit Candlelight Records US webstore HERE.


For more information contact Liz Ciavarella-Brenner (earsplitpr2@aol.com) or Paula Hogan (paula@candlelightrecordsusa.com). European media contact Darren Toms (d.toms@plastichead.com). Booking contact: booking@subvertallmedia.com.




•February 13, 2013 • Leave a Comment


As you may know, ISIS is one of my favorite bands of all time.  Arguably, they are one of the most influential bands of the last decade or so.  So needless to say, this is great news.

Feb. 11, 2013, San Francisco – Palms, the Los Angeles based quartet that features Jeff Caxide, Aaron Harris and Bryant Clifford Meyer from ISIS and Chino Moreno of the Deftones, will release their self-titled debut album on June 25 via Ipecac Recordings.
An audio clip of an early, unmastered mix of the song “Tropics” was recently played by Moreno on his online Mixlr broadcast and went viral shortly thereafter.
Palms was recorded and mixed by Aaron Harris and produced by Palms.  The band recently put up a splash page at Palmsband.com.
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