Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Xroadie Files

Briqueville - II
AKTE V has dark grinding guitar and a solid beat.  The song begins with lots of noise and feedback that worms its way into your brain.  This is kinda like pissed off old Pink Floyd or some of the more obscure progressive rock bands from the 70’s but heavier.  AKTE VI is very slow and almost silent.  Slowly building in volume the guitar has some very emotional playing, then it kicks you in the teeth with intensity and volume.  It sounds like a cross between stoner and psychedelic music.  AKTE VII is another slow building song that is very space rock oriented at the end and it has a very middle eastern feel.

Midnite Hellion – Condemned to Hell
Drew Rizzo – Drums, Rich Kubik – Bass/ Vocals, Mario DiBartolo – Guitar

Black and White starts with an old radio changing stations.  Then an awesome speed metal style of riffs kicks in with thrash style vocals.  Death Dealer continues the metal riffage like fast Judas Priest with some excellent tempo changes.  Cross the Line is classic fast heavy metal that makes you want to just get up, throw your fist in the air, and then mosh.  Enter The Nightmare slowly builds with acoustic guitar and some chimes then an excellent speed thrash song.  It reminds me of some of the Exodus stuff.  Soldiers Of Hands is a fist in the air head banger that will have the entire crowd moving.  The Fever is another Judas Priest inspired song.  It's a great fist in the air, sing along metal anthem.  RIP It Up has an Annihilator style to the music and vocals along with some excellent guitar leads.  The Morrigan is just pure classic heavy metal, maybe the best riff on the album and that’s saying a lot.  Another just pure metal song.  Teenage Bloodsuckin’ Bimbos has spoken words then another excellent riff, some awesome bass, and some chanting sing along vocals to end this excellent metal festival of sounds.  

Monster Magnet - Tab (Reissue)
Dave Wyndorf – Vocals/ Guitar, Tim Cronin – Vocals, John McBain – Guitar, Joe Calandra – Bass, JonKlieman – Drums

Tab is an almost 34 minute space rock odyssey of sounds.  Mix Hawkwind, older Pink Floyd, and some more slow space rock from the 70’s and this is what you get.  Kick back, close your eyes and get ready to trip.  25 takes you to the outer places in your mind, then kicks into a MC5 style of song, and maybe like the original Amboy Dukes.  Longhair is more straight forward hard space rock, maybe with some Ziggy Stardust influence.  Lord 13 has the sound of a bar crowd mixed with a band tuning up which starts to play over the crowd noise.  Strange and different.   

Monster Magnet -  Spine Of God (Reissue)
Dave Wyndorf – Vocals/ Guitar, Tim Cronin – Vocals, John McBain – Guitar, Joe Calandra – Bass, JonKlieman – Drums

Pill Shovel has an excellent drum intro and then the fuzz guitars kick in.  This takes you back to the psychedelic late 60’s.  Medicine has a very Grand Funk Railroad style of riff with lots of awesome musicianship.  NOD Scene starts out very much like older Pink Floyd with fuzz guitars and strange sounds.  Then it kicks into a Black Sabbath style of riff, then goes back and forth.  Black Mastermind is a stoner Sabbath style of riff and rhythm with some excellent drum and bass playing.  Zodiac Lung takes you back to the days of maybe a cross between Frigid Pink and The Animals.  Spine Of God slowly builds with some very spacey sounds and guitar, then a slow plodding Black Sabbath style of riff kicks in, then back to the spacey melodic stuff with some spoken word continues till the end. Snake Dance has an excellent riff and drums to move to the beat with and also trip to.  Sins a Good Mans Brother is a cover originally done by Grand Funk Railroad.  I like the original better but this is a very good cover worth listening to.  Ozium takes you back to the 60’s and early 70's.  It's just slow, trippy, and moody with lots of emotion.  They end the album with the demo version of Ozium, slightly different but still as trippy.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017


"...the band delivers its most stunning work in years, a true blast from its thunderous roots." - Outburn

"True to its name, Wolves In The Throne Room has always painted between the lines of barbaric and regal. For over a decade it has been this between-space that has driven WITTR's power; burning black-metal riffs communing with mystical folk and ambient music." - NPR

This Friday, September 22nd, one of the most potent and highly regarded bands in heavy metal today -  Wolves In The Throne Room - will open a portal into their mythic ethereal heathen landscape with the release of Thrice Woven, via their own label Artemisia Records.  On Thrice Woven, WITTR re-imagine black metal as an ode to rain storms, wood smoke and the wild energies of the Pacific Northwest; it a glorious return to the blazing and furious Black Metal that they alone can create. Listen to the album in full today via Noisey.

Thrice Woven begins with "Born from the Serpent’s Eye" a true thrashing black metal epic that is bisected with a haunting northern lament sung by Swedish star Anna von Hausswolff.  "The Old Ones Are With Us" opens with the crackling of a fire and the voice of Steve Von Till (Neurosis) invoking the springtime thaw.  It then storms into a dirge inspired by 90’s Finnish doom with lyrics that celebrate Imbolc, the holy day which marks the end of winter and the first stirrings of spring. Figures from Norse mythology intertwine with personal heartbreak and rebirth in the bleak "Angrboda."  The song is named after a frost giantess who birthed Fenrir Wolf, a beast who was destined to destroy the world and murder the gods.

A raven’s wings stir the air in the interlude "Mother Owl, Father Ocean."  Anna von Hausswolff returns in a duet with Turkish harpist Zeynep Oyku, forlorn industrial atmospheres haunt the mix, Hausswolff’s lyrics, sung in Swedish, echo over a barren grey seascape. "Fires Roar in the Palace of the Moon" is the classic Cascadian Black Metal epic, the third eye opens to see holy rivers being born from the ice on the tallest peaks, the lyrics offer blessings to the waters of the earth as they flow from the high places to the source of darkness, the ocean. 

Catch Wolves In The Throne Room on tour across Planet Earth throughout 2017 in support of Thrice Woven:

September 29  Boise, ID @ Neurolux
September 30  Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
October 2  Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
October 3  Albuquerque, NM @ Launch Pad
October 5  Houston, TX @ White Oak (downstairs)
October 6  New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
October 7  Birmingham, AL @ Zydeco
October 9  Tampa, FL @ Crowbar
October 10  Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade Hell
October 11  Richmond, VA @ Capital Ale House
October 12  Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Sound Stage
October 13  Brooklyn, NY @ Villain
October 14  Pittsburgh, PA @ Villain
October 16  Cincinnati, OH @ The Taft Ballroom
October 17  St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall
October 18  Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th St. Collective
October 20  Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole
October 21  Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
October 22  Berkeley, CA @ Cornerstone
October 23  Portland, OR @ Tonic Lounge
October 24  Portland, OR @ Tonic Lounge
October 25  Olympia, WA @ Obsidian

November 12  McDade, TX @ Sound On Sound Festival

November 15 Zagreb, HR @ Vintage Industrial Bar
November 16 Innsbruck, AT @ PMK
November 17 Dresden, CZ @ Beatpol
November 18 Wroclaw, PL @ Firlej
November 19 Berlin, DE @ Bi Nuu
November 20 Moscow, RU @ Volta
November 21 St Petersburg, RU @ Opera
November 22 Helsinki, FIN @ Tavastia
November 23 Stockholm, SE @ Kraken
November 24 Oslo, NO @ Bla
November 26 Aarhus, DK @ Voxhall
November 27  Bochum, DE @ BHF Langendreer
November 28 Utrecht, NL @ Pandora
November 29 Tilburg, NL @ 013 Popcentre
November 30 London, UK @ Heaven
December 1 Manchester, UK @ Rebellion Club
December 2 Glasgow, UK @ St Luke's
December 4 Dublin, IRE @ Whelans
December 5 Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
December 6 Bristol, UK @ The Fleece
December 7 Brighton, UK @ The Haunt
December 8 Paris, FR @ Glazart
December 9 Limoges, FR @ Festival de Noël #25
December 10 Toulouse, FR @ Le Rex
December 12 Bern, CH @ Dachstock - Reitschule
December 13 Schorndorf, DE @ Club Manufaktur
December 14 Leuven, BE @ Stuk
December 15 Athens, GR @ Gagarin 205
Thrice Woven, track listing:
1.  Born from the Serpent’s Eye
2.  The Old Ones Are With Us
3.  Angrboda
4.  Mother Owl, Father Ocean
5.  Fires Roar in the Palace of the Moon

Monday, September 18, 2017



Australian prog artist Jacqui L has released her debut album that is a conceptual piece that has ten tracks of intriguing music that will capture your attention. She states that she is a scorpion/alien from the planet PP5, but let’s not hold that against her.

Starting with an a capella that did nothing for me, I thought that this was going to be a hard listen, but then comes the first song with its Middle Eastern sound and then it started to happen, “Frankenstein” got into my head and I had to hear more. “I’ll Covet” has a great chorus and is a pretty heavy track that I just loved from the start. As I continued to listen, the songs became better and better, maybe this alien was corrupting me through her music, you never know. With great songwriting and tight playing, this was continuing to draw me in and then I got to “Cold” which had a great ‘70s vibe to it and almost a Supertramp sound to the keys.

I was thinking that this was going to be some sort of pretentious tripe, but it really was a fantastic album from start to finish. The people from planet PP5 are coming, and they can take me as their slave, as long as I can listen to this over and over again. 

-Rick Ecker

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Katla (ex-Sólstafir) Premieres New Song "Nátthagi"

Katla is an Icelandic band featuring ex-Sólstafir drummer and visual artist Guðmundur Óli Pálmason and singer/multi-instrumentalist Einar Thorberg Guðmundsson (Fortíð, Potentiam). Named in tribute to one of Iceland's greatest active volcanos, Katla creates powerful, panoramic music where shimmering guitars, crushing melodies and atmospheric density meet dark, entrancing power. Katla's debut album, Móðurástin, will be released on October 27 via Prophecy Productions (Alcest, Dool).

In advance of the record's release, Katla debuts the new song "Nátthagi" which features "dark, post-hardcore vocals from Guðmundsson", "strong hooks" and "a unique, entrancing quality." Hear Katla's "Nátthagi" at THIS location (via Metal Injection).

Móðurástin, shines a spotlight on Katla’s hook-heavy, horizon-stretching sound. The lyrics tell tales of living in a country of contrasts; a land where fire and ice co-exist and dark winters are offset by the summer’s midnight sun. Iceland: a country where insular existence has spurred a rich and vibrant culture. Móðurástin, Icelandic for (a) Mother's Love, might seem like a strange title for a metal album, but Katla dares to be different. What on Earth is stronger than a mother's love? Nothing. Not hate, not lust, not greed.

Another taste of Katla's power can be sampled now as the band has also released the new track "Hyldýpi". Hear it now at THIS location.

Katla has shaped a towering sound sharpened by experience and forged for fans of heavy, atmospheric music. It is time for Katla to erupt again!
Track listing:

   1.) Aska
   2.) Hyldýpi (listen HERE)
   3.) Nátthagi (Metal Injection premiere)
   4.) Hvila
   5.) Hreggur
   6.) Kul
   7.) Móðurástin
   8.) Dulsmál

Móðurástin will be available as digipak CD (with 24-page booklet), gatefold LP (on black and limited dark green vinyl) and as a collector's 2xCD art book edition (28x28 cm, 72 pages, with art photography of Guðmundur Óli Pálmason and a full-length bonus CD featuring remixes of all album tracks). Pre-order Móðurástin at this location.

Follow Katla on Facebook.

"Pálmason's talent and experience from his Sólstafir days found its way into Katla. The duo's music certainly shares a similar ethereal shape. The main difference stemming from their dark and shimmering take on Iceland's beauty. The project aims to convey the natural radiance of their homeland through expansive and atmospheric metal." - METAL INJECTION

UFOMAMMUT: "Core" Now Playing At Decibel Magazine; Eighth LP 8 Sees Release Next Week Via Neurot Recordings

[photo by Malleus]

With the release of UFOMAMMUT's eighth LP, 8, nearing release through Neurot Recordings next week, the band presents a visual accompaniment for the album's thundering "Core," which is now playing at Decibel Magazine.

Recorded at Crono Sound Factory in Vimodrone, Milano, Italy, 8 is a major turning point in the heavy alchemic arts, with the elements of UFOMAMMUT's recording constellation being re-aligned. Although the musicians within the collective remain unturned, a change in recording approach saw the trio playing and recording live together in the same room, even utilizing their live sound engineer Ciccio and his project Femore for production purposes, with Fabrizio San Pietro on mixing duties. Overdubs were used only for vocals, synth sounds, and minor details, with the result of the endeavor being a stricter focus on the soul, darkened groove, and overall cohesion of the music and themselves as musicians. In turn, 8 clarified to UFOMAMMUT who they are as a unit now and their new sonic path...

Decibel offers, "Psychedelic doom titans UFOMAMMUT have increased both the psychedelic and the doom on their new record, 8. Containing eight tracks of flattening and mind-bending metal, the trio make it clear that almost two decades in, they're still pushing sonic boundaries. On 'Core,' the album's sixth song, UFOMAMMUT employ psychedelia that pulses and swirls around walls of guitars that sound like the work of a much larger band. Buried beneath the thick layers of sound are bassist/keyboardist Ulo's vocals; combined with the psychedelic elements, it's almost possible to believe that 'Core' is an alien transmission."

Immerse your senses in UFOMAMMUT's "Core" RIGHT HERE.

8 will see release next Friday, September 22nd on vinyl and CD formats via Neurot Recordings, and on a limited and regular edition vinyl via UFOMAMMUT's Supernatural Cat label; the limited edition 7" for the "Warsheep" single is out now. EU vinyl Preorders for the limited LP (500 copies) can be placed via Supernatural Cat HERE, hand-crafted in Italy by Malleus - the rock art collective run by members of UFOMAMMUT. US Preorders can be placed via Neurot Recordings HERE.

Check out the previously-released "Babel" at Kerrang HERE, the "Warsheep" video HERE, and "Zodiac" at Cvlt Nation HERE.

To celebrate the release of 8, UFOMAMMUT is going full throttle with a big release party at the Santeria Social Club in Milan, Italy on the day of the album's release, next Friday, September 22nd. On September 30th, the band unites with Usnea for a European tour which runs through October 22nd. A tour of their native Italy is confirmed for November, and spring of 2018 will see the band returning to the US for their return to Maryland Deathfest. Stand by for new tour dates to be announced throughout the coming months.

9/22/2017 Santeria Social Club - Milan, IT *8 release show and Malleus exhibit [info]
w/ Usnea:
9/30/2017 La Boule Noire - Paris, FR
10/01/2017 Le Ferrailleur - Nantes, FR
10/03/2017 Borderline - London, UK
10/04/2017 Magasin 4 - Brussels, BE
10/05/2017 Schlachthof - Wiesbaden, DE
10/06/2017 Up In Smoke Festival - Pratteln, CH
10/07/2017 Doornroosje - Nijmegen, NL @ Soulcrusher Festival
10/08/2017 Forum - Bielefeld, DE
10/10/2017 Blitz - Oslo, NO
10/11/2017 Klub Undergangen - Stockholm, SE
10/13/2017 Korjaamo - Helsinki, FI @ Blowup Vol. 3 Festival
10/14/2017 Olympia-Kortelli - Tampere, FI
10/16/2017 KB 18 - Copenhagen, DK
10/17/2017 Lido - Berlin, DE
10/18/2017 Markthalle - Hamburg, DE
10/19/2017 Werk 2 - Leipzig, DE
10/20/2017 Firley - Wroclaw, PL
10/21/2017 007 - Prague, CZ
10/22/2017 Keep It Doom Festival - Munich, DE
11/17/2017 Magazzino Sul Po, Turin, IT
11/25/2017 Traffic Club - Rome, IT
11/07/2017 Bronson - Ravenna, IT
11/08/2017 Tetris - Trieste, IT
5/24-27/2018 Maryland Deathfest - Baltimore, MD

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Ripple Field Trip - Ripple Fest Sweden 2017

Here is a funny story. Last year me and Mrs. Void were supposed to meet up with big Ripple Music label boss Todd in San Francisco as we visited the city on our vacation. All was set but when the day arrived it all fell apart because of the San Francisco Marathon that clogged up the whole city. So we never managed to get together.

One year later in Stockholm. We arrive in the Swedish capital in the afternoon to attend the first ever Ripple Fest in Sweden. Todd and his lovely wife Corrine (aka Mrs. Ripple) are traveling the Scandinavian peninsula. To celebrate that three of the Scandinavian Ripple bands, Vokonis, Craneium and Kingnomad, are putting together the Ripple Fest event. Perfect time to try again to meet up with Todd.

As we make our way through the city we notice that lots of streets are being closed down for traffic. When we arrive at the hotel the hotel manager asked if we are staying for the marathon. It turns out the track runs right through central Stockholm and as it turns out right outside our hotel and Todd's hotel over in the Old Town. Oh, the irony.

Anyway. After finding our way to Todd and Corrine's hotel happy greetings and hugs were exchanged. We went for a dinner with very traditional Swedish cuisine (and schnapps). Meeting Todd is like finding my lost twin brother. Lots to talk about. And Mrs. Ripple and Mrs. Void quickly connected sharing the same traumas of living with record collecting and nerdy husbands. Good times.

Later on. We ride the subway to Copperfields that is the venue for the evening where the Ripple Fest is going down. Now I have attended lots of gigs in my days but this turned out to be something very special. Minutes after arriving all wet because of a wonderful autumn rain we see Johnny from Kingnomad. Todd and Johnny look at each other and just smile. The rest of the nomads arrive and a big jolly hug bonanza commences. Epic moment. The dudes from Craneium join the fun and more hugs are being exchanged. I have never hugged so many bearded men in one night in my life. Love is everywhere.

Enter Simon and Vokonis. This is really special. One year ago Simon and I were standing in front of the stage at the Wizard Of Fuzz Festival talking about Vokonis needing a record deal for their second album. I told him I’d tell Ripple about them and he kind of laughed it off. Well I did just that and you all can guess what happened next. “The Sunken Djinn” is one of Ripple Music's heaviest releases in 2017. I still can’t believe that all that happened but I’m happy it did.

Anyway. The band enters the venue dripping wet from the pouring rain and more epic moments happen. Seeing Simon and Todd hug each other is one of the sweetest moments I have ever witnessed during my years as a writer and radio DJ. It’s like they've known each other for an eternity.

Then I get to hug even more bearded men, meeting lots of cool people from Domkraft, Nekromant and other power players in the heavy underground and even more love is in the air.

After inspecting the official event t-shirt, the wonderful blue vinyl second pressing of “The Sunken Djinn”, discussing new music with Kingnomad and planning the next Craneium release it’s about time for some live music right? You bet.

First band of the evening on stage is the mighty Kingnomad. They deliver a truly stellar set nailing all the details in the songs from the album without losing the power and might of the tracks from “Mapping the Inner Void” and then they premiere a brand new track that is just as good as everything else they've ever released. The band rocks the Copperfield so hard that I’m starting to wonder how the hell someone is going to be able to top them.

Well Craneium takes the challenge. Our friends from Finland put on a spectacular live experience with their heavy, fuzz driven stoner rock. The guitars are loud and distorted and heads bang furiously. Very impressive.

The clock has passed well beyond midnight when Vokonis enters the stage. Now once again I am wondering how the hell someone is going to top the previous band but I do not need to worry. At all. Vokonis is just crushing it. Simon's riffs are ten ton hammers and Emil and Jonte are laying down the groove of doom. More headbanging in front of the stage and the total love for Ripple Music is in the air. You can inhale it.

After the gig we all get together outside Copperfields and more hugs are exchanged. As we gather for a group picture of the Scandinavian Ripple Family I just feel happiness. Just pure happiness. I’m happy to get to meet Todd and Corrine, Vokonis, Kingnomad and Craneium. I’m happy that music can unite people from all over the world. I’m happy that I got to be a part of all this.

It is called the Ripple Family. Because it truly is.

-The Void

Friday, September 15, 2017

CASTLE: Heavy Doom/Metal Unit Announces Stone Thrones West Coast Dates; Endless Graveyard Tour Underway

" irrepressible combination of '70s doom, NWOBHM, musty-yet-in-your-face production courtesy of famed Neurosis/Melvins producer Billy Anderson, and the smoky, whiskey-stained vocals of Liz Blackwell..." - Metal Hammer

Heavy doom/metal unit CASTLE -- currently in the midst of their Endless Graveyard live takeover -- will take to the streets again in November for the west coast Stone Thrones tour. The trek begins November 24th and runs through December 2nd winding its way through nine cities spread across Washington, Oregon, and California. See all confirmed dates below. 

CASTLE continues to tour in support of their molten Welcome To The Graveyard full-length, issued last summer via Ván Records. Welcome To The Graveyard was captured by Billy Anderson (Sleep, Neurosis, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth, Eyehategod, Ommadon et al) at Type Foundry Studios in Portland, Oregon and is currently available at THIS LOCATION.

If you missed them, be sure to check out CASTLE's visual companions to tracks "Black Widow," "Down In The Cauldron Bog," "Hammer And The Cross," and "Flash Of The Pentagram" at

CASTLE - Endless Graveyard Tour:
9/15/2017 Shadow Woods Metal Fest - White Hall, MD
9/16/2017 O'Brien's - Boston, MA
9/17/2017 Cherry Street Station - Wallingford, CT
9/18/2017 Saint Vitus Bar - New York, NY
9/19/2017 Bug Jar - Rochester, NY
9/20/2017 Mohawk Place - Buffalo, NY
9/21/2017 Maple Grove - Cleveland, OH
9/22/2017 Cattivo - Pittsburgh, PA
9/23/2017 Smalls - Detroit, MI
9/24/2017 Taps Live - Indianapolis, IN
9/25/2017 Northside Yacht Club - Cincinnati, OH
9/26/2017 FuBar - St. Louis, MO
9/27/2017 Riot Room - Kansas City, MO
9/28/2017 The Elbow Room - Wichita, KS
9/29/2017 Stoned Meadow Of Doom Fest - Sioux Falls, SD
9/30/2017 Triple Nickel - Colorado Springs, CO
Stone Thrones Tour:
11/24/2017 The Valley - Tacoma, WA
11/25/2017 Funhouse - Seattle, WA
11/26/2017 Shakedown - Bellingham, WA
11/27/2017 Tonic Lounge - Portland, OR
11/28/2017 Old Nick's - Eugene, OR
11/29/2017 Spirits - Dunsmuir, CA
11/30/2017 Elbo Room - San Francisco, CA
12/01/2017 Blue Lamp - Sacramento, CA
12/02/2017 5 Star Bar - Los Angeles, CA

"Skulking like wraiths in a blackened landscape, the band charges through eight fairly short songs... that grab you, rough you up, and leave you battered and bruised."  - Metal Bandcamp

"...some of their best songs... If you haven't caught onto CASTLE yet, you're not taking a thing about your career as a metal fan seriously... Hear this, feel the power and glory and put on the vest!" -- Angry Metal Guy

"Welcome To The Graveyard is a document of their precision songcraft and that elusive 'this world is horror and life is dark but so am I' vibe perfected by Danzig and Ghost. And ...Graveyard is an emphatic ad for an undoubtedly cool, smoky live show, too. Which is good because they're definitely playing your town. Crank it up!" - MetalSucks

"...fantastic heavy metal of the most traditional kind, forged, I can only assume, in the fires of hell." -  The Sludgelord

 "They're the kind of band who could make you believe in heavy metal... their righteously individualized blend of thrash, traditional metal, doom, heavy rock 'n' roll, etc., speaks to some mystical bygone era when metal was about not compromising, putting a fist in the air against expectation and going on tour forever." - The Obelisk

"CASTLE's most mature, well-crafted, inspiring work..."  - Metal Kaoz 

"...true-blue classic metal is hard to top. And so is CASTLE." - Dead Rhetoric

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